Archive for April, 2016
Fr. Hans Kung says Francis responded to request for free discussion on infallibility dogma / National Catholic Reporters
On March 9, my appeal to Pope Francis to give room to a free, unprejudiced and open-ended discussion on the problem of infallibility appeared in the leading journals of several countries. I was thus overjoyed to receive a personal reply from Francis immediately after Easter. Dated March 20, it was forwarded to me from the nunciature in Berlin.
“In the pope’s reply, the following points are significant for me:
- The fact that Francis answered at all and did not let my appeal fall on deaf ears, so to speak;
- The fact that he replied himself and not via his private secretary or the secretary of state;
- That he emphasizes the fraternal manner of his Spanish reply by addressing me as Lieber Mitbruder(“Dear Brother”) in German and puts this personal address in italics;
- That he clearly read the appeal, to which I had attached a Spanish translation, most attentively;
- That he is highly appreciative of the considerations that had led me to write Volume 5 of my complete works, in which I suggest theologically discussing the different issues that the infallibility dogma raises in the light of holy Scripture and tradition with the aim of deepening the constructive dialogue between the “semper reformanda” 21st-century church and the other Christian churches and postmodern society.”
By Hans Kung, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this article.
Pope Francis has again sharply denounced the culture of clericalism among priests in the Catholic church, calling it ‘one of the greatest deformations’ that must be confronted by the global faith community and saying it helps ‘diminish and undervalue’ the contributions that laypeople make.
“The pontiff has also strongly reaffirmed the right of laypeople to make decisions in their lives, saying that priests must trust that the Holy Spirit is working in them and that the Spirit ‘is not only the ‘property’ of the ecclesial hierarchy.’
“In a letter to Cardinal Marc Ouellet in his role as the head of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America, released by the Vatican Tuesday (Apr. 25), Francis says he wants to speak to the members of the commission about how to better serve what he terms ‘the Holy Faithful People of God.’
“‘Evoking the Holy Faithful People of God is to evoke that horizon which we are invited to look at and reflect upon,’ states the pope. ‘It is the Holy Faithful People of God that as pastors we are continually invited to look to, to protect, to accompany, to sustain and to serve.'”
By Joshua J. McElwee, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this story.
Voice of the Faithful wonders whether any clergy are listening to the Pope.
Pope Francis just keeps on truckin’ as the most compelling moral point of reference in the world today, most recently capping a last-minute trip to the Greek island of Lesbos to make a statement on refugee rights by bringing 12 of those refugees back to Rome with him, thereby offering Europe a pointed lesson about welcome …
“Of late, however, there have been reminders that Francis’ success on the global stage is not really matched by comparable breakthroughs as a manager.
“Over the past quarter-century, two areas above all have generated persistent scandal and heartache for the Vatican, and were waiting for a new pope to take up: The child sexual abuse scandals, and money.”
By John L. Allen, Jr., Crunxow.com — Click here to read the rest of this article.
When Pope Francis’ landmark project of financial reform was announced two years ago, one lynch-pin was the idea that the world would no longer just to have to take the Vatican’s word for it in terms of how much money it has and where it’s going.
“Instead there would be a credible audit carried out according to generally accepted business standards in the 21st century. That step, officials said, would represent a revolution in the direction of transparency and accountability.
As it turns out, it’s now a revolution delayed.
Crux has learned that on April 12, Italian Archbishop Giovanni Angelo Becciu sent a letter to all Vatican entities informing them that an audit being performed by the global firm Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC) has been ‘suspended immediately,’ and that any letters of authorization those entities have already issued to permit the transmission of financial data to PwC are to be revoked.”
By John L. Allen, Jr., Cruxnow.com — Click here to read the rest of this article.
I have interviewed many survivors of child sexual abuse over many years, but this was the first time I had ever interviewed a survivor who was also a politician. State Representative Mark Rozzi sat behind his office desk at the State Capitol in Harrisburg, Pa. As he spoke he fidgeted with a small figurine he kept on his desk — a little dog with four heads, all snarling — a gift from a fellow survivor. We were discussing his long fight trying to pass legislation to make it easier for survivors to press charges and file lawsuits against their abusers.
“Well into the interview I asked him to tell me what had happened to him as a child. ‘The abridged version,’ I said. I had read his story elsewhere, but needed to hear it directly from him, even though I knew it would not play a big part in the article I planned to write. I figured that as a politician, he would have a well-practiced, pithy rendition.
“Twenty-five minutes of unrelenting trauma later, we had still gotten only as far as high school. Then, just as Mr. Rozzi was saying, “I’m going to tell you something I have never talked about to a reporter” — at that very moment — there was a knock at the door and his executive assistant came in to tell us that another legislator was waiting in the vestibule. Interview over.
“As I rushed to gather up my notebook, laptop and recorder, I realized I had no idea what he was about to reveal, but I had just gotten the answer to another question I am often asked: Why does the sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic Church never seem to go away? Why is it still a story? It has been 31 years since National Catholic Reporter, an independent Catholic publication, broke the first story, about a serial abuser in Louisiana. It has been 22 years since I reported my first article about abusive priests (out on an Indian pueblo in New Mexico, for The Washington Post). Why is the news media still covering this?
“The answer lies with the victims.”
By Laurie Goodstein, The New York Times — Click here to read the rest of this story.
In three years at the helm of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis has been a source of inspiration for millions of faithful around the world. In one critical respect, however, he has fallen short of his own promise: to come fully to terms with decades of child sex abuse by clergymen and the institutional cover granted to them by bishops and cardinals.
“Francis has pledged “the zealous vigilance of the Church to protect children and the promise of accountability for all.” Yet there has been scant accountability, particularly for bishops. Too often, the church’s stance has been defiance and obstruction.”
By The Washington Post Editorial Board — Click here to read the rest of this editorial.
Records from a Franciscan religious order show three former leaders knew a friar had been accused of child sex abuse before he was allowed to work at a high school and other jobs where he was later accused of molesting more than 100 children, an investigator testified Thursday (Apr. 14).
“Jessica Eger, a special agent with the state’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation, said documents showed Giles Schinelli, Robert D’Aversa and Anthony Criscitelli were aware of allegations dating to 1977 against Brother Stephen Baker, who killed himself in 2013.
“‘He molested children because these men put him in a position to molest them,’ Deputy Attorney General Daniel Dye told the judge while arguing with defense attorneys during the testimony.
The hearing, which will resume April 27, will determine whether the three former Franciscan leaders stand trial on child endangerment and conspiracy charges.
By Associated Press in Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania — Click here to read the rest of this story.
In its statement regarding Amoris Laetitia, Voice of the Faithful pointed to the role of conscience in moral decision-making and quoted Pope Francis, who said, “We also find it hard to make room for consciences of the faithful, who very often respond as best they can to the gospel amid their limitations, and are capable of carrying out their own discernment in complex situations. We have been called to form consciences, not to replace them.” James Martin, S.J., is concerned in the article below that some critics of the Pope’s letter are missing “… the notion that God can deal with people directly. The way that this notion is framed in the document is primarily through the lens of ‘conscience.'”
What some critics of “Amoris Laetitia” are missing
By James Martin, S.J., Editor at Large, America
Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation “Amoris Laetitia” has been accepted by most Catholics as a breath of fresh air. Its warm encouragement to families to place love at the center of their lives, its clear invitation to pastors to accompany Catholics in the ‘complexity’ of their situations and its strong reminder that the church needs to recover an appreciation of the role of conscience have been welcomed by millions of Catholics as a sign that the church wants to meet them where they are.
“But not by all Catholics. In a few quarters of the church it has not been received warmly at all. In fact, it was greeted with a vituperation that seemed to approach apoplexy.
“Many critics were frustrated, alarmed and angered by the same thing. They claimed that Francis had muddied the clear moral waters of the church by elevating a concept that had landed St. Ignatius Loyola, the founder of the Jesuit order to which the pope belongs, in jail: the notion that God can deal with people directly.
“The way that this notion is framed in the document is primarily through the lens of ‘conscience’ …”
Click here to read the rest of this article.
“After all, until last weekend (Apr. 9-10) there had not been a synod in Ireland in over half a century, and none in Limerick for 70 years.
“Having come from Dublin it was an opportunity for Bishop Leahy to get a feel for his flock. More importantly still it was a clear indication that this was a bishop willing to listen and take heed of what his faithful were telling him.
“Fast forward 18 months and Bishop Leahy now describes the synod as an ‘incredible journey’ that began because he ‘wanted to hear from the people exactly what they are concerned about and what we can do in the future to improve our Church and how it serves the people.’
“‘The great thing about it is that it has been a people-led journey. The people decided what would be on the agenda and the people voted,’ Dr Leahy said.”
By Cathal Barry, The Irish Catholic — Click here to read the rest of this story.