Posts Tagged pontiff
In surprise, Benedict openly defends clerical celibacy as Francis considers married priests / National Catholic Reporter
“Although the volume is yet to be seen in full, it appears to signify something as yet unexperienced in the two millennia history of the Catholic Church: a retired pope openly weighing in on something currently under consideration by his successor, the reigning pontiff.” (National Catholic Reporter)
Retired Pope Benedict XVI has coauthored a new book defending the Catholic Church’s practice of a celibate priesthood, in a shocking move that comes as Pope Francis is considering the possibility of allowing older, married men to be ordained as priests in the Amazon region.
“According to excerpts from the volume released Jan. 12 by the conservative French outlet Le Figaro, the ex-pontiff says he could not remain silent on the issue as Francis is contemplating the move, which was requested by the bishops from the nine-nation Amazon region at October’s Vatican synod gathering.
“The book is co-written with Cardinal Robert Sarah, the head of the Vatican’s liturgy office. It is to be released in France Jan. 15 and carries the title Des profondeurs de nos cœurs (‘From the Depths of Our Hearts’).
“Although the volume is yet to be seen in full, it appears to signify something as yet unexperienced in the two millennia history of the Catholic Church: a retired pope openly weighing in on something currently under consideration by his successor, the reigning pontiff.
“One noted theologian reached shortly after the release of the excerpts called Benedict’s decision to write on the issue a ‘serious breach.'”
By Joshua J. McElwee, National Catholic Reporter — Read more …
Pope Francis is firing back at foes of his efforts to make the Catholic church more open and pastoral in its ministry, telling an interviewer that ‘they are acting in bad faith to foment divisions.’
“The pontiff’s lengthy interview in Avvenire, the official newspaper of the Italian hierarchy, was published Friday and followed days of news coverage of demands by four hard-line cardinals who have grave concerns about Francis’ approach.
“The four say that focusing on ministering to people in their particular circumstances is eroding the church’s doctrinal absolutes and that Francis must dispel any ambiguities or face serious consequences.”
By David Gibson, Religion News Service, in National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this story, and click here to read NCR’s Joshua J. McElwee’s story “Flour cardinal challenge Francis over ‘Amoris Laetitia.'”
Vatican guide says Francis’ family document puts doctrine ‘at service of pastoral mission’ / National Catholic Reporter
A Vatican reading guide sent to Catholic bishops globally ahead of the release of Pope Francis’ widely anticipated document on family life says the pontiff wants the church to adopt a new stance of inclusion towards society and to ensure its doctrines are ‘at the service of the pastoral mission.’
“The guide — sent by the Vatican’s office for the Synod of Bishops in preparation for Friday’s (Apr. 8) release of ‘Amoris Laetitia; On Love in the Family’ — explains that Francis ‘encourages not just a ‘renewal’ but even more, a real ‘conversion’ of language.
“‘The Gospel must not be merely theoretical, not detached from people’s real lives,’ states the guide. ‘To talk about the family and to families, the challenge is not to change doctrine but to inculturate the general principles in ways that they can be understood and practiced.’
“‘Our language should encourage and reassure every positive step taken by every real family,’ it continues.
“Amoris Laetitia, which in Latin means ‘The Joy of Love,’ is a document written by the pope following two back-to-back meetings of Catholic bishops at the Vatican in 2014 and 2015 on issues of family life.”
By Joshua J. McElwee, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this story.
Today (Mar. 13) is the beginning of Year Three of the Pope Francis era, as the pontiff completes two full years in office since his surprise election in March 2013. Although the Vatican says there are no festivities planned aside from giving most employees the day off, that hasn’t stopped the rest of the world from taking stock of the spiritual tsunami this maverick pope has become.
“One almost strains to find the right adjective: ‘Eventful,’ ‘tumultuous,’ and ‘momentous’ all suggest themselves, but somehow each seems inadequate to fully capture the drama of the last 24 months.”
By John L. Allen, Jr., Cruxnow.com — Click here to read the rest of this article.
At the end of a tumultuous year for the Catholic Church, in which divisions among senior leadership over the direction being set by Pope Francis were at times glaringly apparent, the pontiff on Monday delivered a blistering critique of arrogance, careerism, gossip, and division in the Vatican.
“Among other points, the pope denounced what he called ‘spiritual Alzheimer’s,’ meaning ‘a progressive decline in spiritual faculties,’ leading people to ‘build walls around themselves’ and to make ‘idols’ of their personal habits.
“After the broadside, some observers wondered if the pontiff might risk alienating the very aides he needs to motivate in order to implement his reform agenda, especially ahead of challenges set for 2015 on which he may need the help.”
By John L. Allen, Jr., Cruxnow.com — Click here to read the rest of this story.