Posts Tagged Christa Pongratz-Lippitt

Brazil may soon have married priests, says Leonardo Boff / National Catholic Reporter

Pope Francis may soon fulfill the Brazilian bishops’ special request to allow married priests to resume their priestly ministry, liberation theologian Leonardo Boff said in a Dec. 25 interview in the German daily Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger.

“‘The Brazilian bishops, especially the pope’s close friend Cardinal Claudio Hummes, have expressly requested Pope Francis to enable married priests in Brazil to return to their pastoral ministry,’ Boff said. ‘I have recently heard that the pope wants to fulfill this request — as an experimental, preliminary phase for the moment confined to Brazil.’

“With its 140 million Catholics, Brazil needs at least 100,000 priests but it only has 1,800, which is a ‘catastrophe,’ Boff said …”

By Christa Pongratz-Lippitt, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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Muller on ‘Spotlight’ cover-up: Most priests ‘bitterly wronged’ by abuse generalizations / National Catholic Reporter

Questioned on his reaction to the unveiling of systematic cover-up of priestly sexual abuse in the Oscar-winning film ‘Spotlight,’ the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Gerhard Müller, said that only a number of individuals not motivated by their priestly office but instead ‘disturbed or immature,’ have been proven guilty of sexually abusing minors …

“Meanwhile, Jesuit Fr. Klaus Mertes, the whistleblower who first unveiled the abuse in the Jesuit College in Berlin during his tenure as headmaster in 2010, has called for Müller to step down.

“Bishops who contribute towards covering up abuse cases should be removed from episcopal office or step down, Mertes told the Kölner Stadt Anzeiger …

“‘Instead of stepping down, Bishop Müller, who covered up and obscured sexual abuse when he was in the highest position in the church in his diocese, has climbed the hierarchical ladder just like that,’ Mertes said. ‘… He still continually speaks of ‘malicious press campaigns’ against the Catholic church. Not a sign of remorse and certainly not of a willingness to deal with the structural problems that the church has in connection with abuse. For him it is just the case of a few evil churchmen but otherwise everything is in order in the church and can remain as it always was.’

“‘In my opinion, that is intolerable — above all, intolerable for the victims,’ Mertes continued. ‘How can this man, who is the head of the Congregation finally responsible for abuse, of all things, ever again be credible?'”

By Christa Pongratz-Lippitt, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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Former diocesan leader alleges Muller thwarted investigation of choir boy abuse / National Catholic Reporter

A former chairman of the lay diocesan council in Regensburg, Germany, has alleged that Vatican Cardinal Gerhard Müller ‘systematically’ prevented the investigation of abuse in Germany’s famous ‘Regensburger Domspatzen’ boys’ choir during his time as Bishop of Regensburg.

“The allegations against Müller, who is now the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, coincided with 60 further alleged abuse victims coming forward since Ulrich Weber, an independent lawyer, published an interim report in January which showed that three times as many boys had been abused between 1953 and 1992 than reported by the diocese.”

By Christa Pongratz-Lippitt, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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Pope Francis — Married Men Could Be Ordained Priests If World Bishops Agree on It / The Tablet

A bishop who met with Pope Francis in a rare private audience on 4 April has said in an interview that the two men discussed the issue of the ordination of “proven” married men – viri probati – in a serious and positive way.

“Bishop Erwin Kräutler, Bishop of Xingu in the Brazilian rainforest, spoke to the Pope about Francis’ forthcoming encyclical on the environment, and the treatment of indigenous peoples but the desperate shortage of priests in the bishop’s huge diocese came up in the conversation. According to an interview the Austrian-born bishop gave to the daily Salzburger Nachrichten on 5 April, the Pope was open-minded about finding solutions to the problem, saying that bishops’ conferences could have a decisive role.”

By Christa Pongratz-Lippitt, The Tablet — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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Swiss Abbot Says Greater Local Input in Bishop Selection Can Help Solve Church Problems

Bishop Sash & crossSwiss Abbot Urges Change in How Bishops Are Selected

A leading Swiss abbot is calling for a change in how bishops are selected, saying that the nomination process should include greater local input, and he wants bishops and theologians to join him in pressing for the change. ‘We are faced with serious systemic problems in our church. For me, as a canon lawyer, solving these systemic problems has absolute priority, as our other problems can only be solved if the structures are consistent and the procedures transparent,’ Benedictine Abbot Peter von Sury of Mariastein said in an interview with the Swiss Catholic press agency Kipa/Apic last month.” By Christa Pongratz-Lippitt, Austrian correspondent for London-based weekly Catholic magazine The Tablet, in National Catholic Reporter

The present Vatican process for selecting bishops also recently was challenged by priests and laity in Nigeria where they rejected the pope’s recent bishop appointment. Among reports of this protest was the Jan. 13, 2013, article, Ahiara Catholic Faithful Protest, in the Nigerian newspaper Daily Independent.

Voice of the Faithful® has long been an advocate of greater local lay input in bishop selection. VOTF promulgated the Primer: Organizing Lay Input in Bishop Selection during its 10th Year Conference this past September in Boston, Massachusetts, and maintains a Lay Input In the Bishop Selection Process page on its website.

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