Archive for September 5th, 2013
Pope Francis’ Qualifications for Bishops — Ambitious Priests Steeped in Clericalism Need Not Apply
Posted by Voice of the Faithful in Catholic Bishops, Vatican, Voice of the Faithful on September 5, 2013
I would like to conclude by saying just one word about one of the important points of your service as Papal Representatives, at least for the vast majority: collaboration in providing bishops. You know the famous expression that indicates a fundamental criterion in choosing who should govern: si sanctus est oret pro nobis, si doctus est doceat nos, si prudens est regat nos – if holy let him pray for us, if learned teach us, if prudent govern us. In the delicate task of carrying out inquiries for episcopal appointments be careful that the candidates are pastors close to the people, fathers and brothers, that they are gentle, patient and merciful; animated by inner poverty, the freedom of the Lord and also by outward simplicity and austerity of life, that they do not have the psychology of “Princes.” Be careful that they are not ambitious, that they do not seek the episcopate – volentes nolumus – and that they are married to a Church without being in constant search of another. That they are able to “watch over” the flock that will be entrusted to them, take care to keep it united, “vigilant” of the dangers that threaten it, but above all that they are able to “watch over” the flock, to keep watch, imbue hope, that they have sun and light in their hearts, to lovingly and patiently support the plans which God brings about in His people. Let us think of the figure of St. Joseph, who watches over Mary and Jesus, of his care for the family that God entrusted to him, and the watchful gaze with which he guides it in avoiding dangers. For this reason Pastors must know how to be ahead of the herd to point the way, in the midst of the flock to keep it united, behind the flock to prevent someone being left behind, so that the same flock, so to speak, has the sense of smell to find its way.”
From Pope Francis’ address to papal nuncios, June 21, 2013, as carried on Vatican Radio, “Be Pastors Who Carry Christ to the World”
Additional commentary: Pope Francis’ Game-Changing Decision: Non-Ambitious, Pastoral Bishops, Eugene Cullen Kennedy, National Catholic Reporter; Pope Francis Wants Pastors as Bishops, Fr. Thomas Reese, National Catholic Reporter
Update on Voice of the Faithful’s Bishop Selection Project
Posted by Voice of the Faithful in Catholic Bishops, Voice of the Faithful on September 5, 2013
Last week, Voice of the Faithful® sent a letter and proposal to Pope Francis outlining a demonstration project for restoring wider lay participation in the selection of a diocesan bishop. The effort would have national bishop conferences conduct demonstrations, report on the results, and then submit them to the Vatican for development of “best practices.”
The VOTF proposal, prepared by our Bishop Selection Committee, details the mechanism for collecting lay input via projects the national bishop councils would conduct within their own countries.
The method retains papal assignment of local bishops (thus avoiding what could easily become a decades-long revision of canon law) and shows how broad, local lay and clergy input can be incorporated in the recommendations sent to the pope for such assignments.
Here are the documents VOTF mailed to Rome:
Furthering the New Evangelization: Consulting the Laity on Candidates for the Episcopacy
Vatican Removes Its Envoy to Dominican Republic / The New York Times
Posted by Voice of the Faithful in Clergy Sexual Abuse, Vatican, Voice of the Faithful on September 5, 2013
The authorities in the Dominican Republic said they would look into rumors of child sexual abuse involving the papal envoy there after he was abruptly removed from his post by the Vatican. The nation’s attorney general, Francisco Domínguez Brito, said Wednesday (Sept. 4) that his office had not received any accusations about the papal nuncio, Archbishop Josef Wesolowski, and was aware only of rumors. A Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, confirmed that Archbishop Wesolowski had been removed from his post a few weeks ago and that the church was conducting an investigation of him. He declined to provide any further details. Pope Francis in July approved legislation criminalizing child sexual abuse and other sexual crimes. It applies to Vatican employees as well as diplomatic staff members. The location of Archbishop Wesolowski, who is 65, was unknown. A woman at the nuncio’s office in Santo Domingo said no one was available to comment. By Associated Press in The New York Times