Posts Tagged pope
“His (former cardinal Theodore McCarrick’s) appointment (to auxiliary bishop of New York) required no consultation with the body of clergy of New York, and no consultation with the body of the laity, beyond those few apostolic letters. It mostly required Cardinal Cooke’s patronage.”Commonweal
“There are a number of conclusions one could draw from reading the Vatican report on former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick. For example: that the clerical sex-abuse crisis in the Church is worse than we thought and extends to vulnerable adults. Also, that position and influence in our Church are easily bought, and that bishops lie, even to the pope, to protect other bishops. But the conclusion that encompasses all of the above is that the way we choose our bishops is deeply flawed, producing bishops who are, in turn, deeply flawed. How did things get this way, and what can be done about it?
“First, let’s consider a bit of history. Once the office of bishop was clearly established in the early Church as the unitary head of a diocese (a Roman administrative unit), that office was filled by someone chosen by local people and priests, then ratified by the neighboring bishops, as a sign of the unity of the Church. Even the unbaptized were eligible, as we know from the oft-told story of St. Ambrose, whom the clergy and people of Milan chose as their bishop while he was still a catechumen. The first bishop of the United States, John Carroll, was elected by the priests of Maryland and confirmed by the pope. Today, we are so used to the pope choosing our bishops for us that we think it was always that way. It wasn’t. In fact, the right of the pope to choose bishops was only settled with the 1917 Code of Canon Law, a papal document that clearly allocated that power to the holder of the papal office.
“Arguably, there is some limited lay input in the selection of bishops. When a priest is being considered for appointment as bishop, the papal nuncio sends out what are called apostolic letters to a select group, which may include laypeople from the area, asking their opinion of the candidate based on some very specific questions …”
By Nicholas P. Cafardi, Commonweal — Read more …
“The evil of clericalism is a very ugly thing! It is a new edition of these people. And the victim is the same: the poor and humble people that awaits the Lord.” (Pope Francis)
The spirit of clericalism is an evil that is present in the Church today, Pope Francis said, and the victim of this spirit is the people, who feel discarded and abused. That was the Pope’s message in the homily at the morning Mass at the Casa Santa Marta.
“Among those taking part in the Mass were the members of the Council of cardinals, who are meeting with the Pope this week in Rome.
“In his homily, Pope Francis warned pastors of the dangers of becoming ‘intellectuals of religion’ with a morality far from the Revelation of God.
By Vatican Radio on News.va — Click here to read the rest of this story.
“What they [the cardinals] have done is a very grave scandal, which could even lead the Holy Father to take away their red hats, as it’s happened already in some other times in the Church.”
According to a senior Vatican judge, four cardinals, including American Raymond Burke, who recently published a letter in which they asked Pope Francis to clarify his document on the family, Amoris Laetitia, could lose their red hats over what he termed the ‘very grave scandal’ they’ve caused.
“‘What Church do these cardinals defend? The pope is faithful to the doctrine of Christ,’ said Father Pio Vito Pinto.
“‘What they [the cardinals] have done is a very grave scandal, which could even lead the Holy Father to take away their red hats, as it’s happened already in some other times in the Church,’ Vito Pinto said.
‘The priest, appointed in 2012 by emeritus Pope Benedict XVI as head of the Vatican’s main working court, also known as the Roman Rota, was quick to clarify that his words don’t mean Francis has made such a decision, simply that he could.”
By Ines San Martin, Cruxnow.com — Click here to read the rest of this story.
The pope’s decision to make two American archbishops cardinals is a message to other U.S. prelates that the church needs leaders less concerned with culture war issues and who are instead focused on building bridges and making the church a more welcoming place.
“In a move that will further shake up how the American hierarchy operates, Pope Francis on Sunday (Oct. 9) announced the creation of 17 new cardinals, including three American bishops: Archbishop Blase Cupich of Chicago, Archbishop Joseph Tobin of Indianapolis and Bishop Kevin Farrell, the former bishop of Dallas who was appointed by the pope to lead a new Vatican department on family life earlier this year.
“The impact on how the church operates in the United States could be immense.”
By Michael O’Loughlin, America: The National Catholic Review — Click here to read the rest of this article.
On the agenda of the most recent meeting of the Council of Cardinals was what might be the most important issue in the reform of the Roman Curia — the decentralization of decision-making in the church.
“The council is made up of nine cardinals, six from outside of Rome, who are advising the pope on the reform of the Vatican Curia. This was their 13th meeting since the council’s creation by Pope Francis shortly after his election.
“The Feb. 8-9 meeting of the council included a discussion of the Holy Father’s discourse on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Synod of Bishops (Oct. 17). This talk developed theme of “synodality,” and spoke of “the need to proceed with a healthy decentralization” in the church.
“The pope’s speech “constitutes an important point of reference for the work of reforming the Curia,” according to Vatican spokesman Jesuit Fr. Federico Lombardi.”
By Thomas Reese, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this column.
Pope Francis on Sunday (Oct. 4) told bishops gathered at the Vatican for the opening of a synod on family issues that the church must stay true to its teachings on the ‘indissolubility’ of marriage between a man and a woman. But he also called on them to be sensitive to the complexity of modern society and not be judgmental of it — and to ‘seek out and care for hurting couples with the balm of acceptance and mercy.’
“The church must be a bridge, not a roadblock, for the faithful, the pope said in his homily during the ceremonial Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica that signaled the beginning of the three-week council, in which bishops from around the world will discuss how the church should respond to the needs of the modern Catholic family.”
By Elisabetta Povoledo, The New York Times — Click here to read the rest of this story.
The C9 has finalized the proposal it will present to the Pope, who may decide to establish the congregation even before the whole reform plan is complete.
“The work of the C9 group, the council of nine cardinals tasked with studying the reform of the Roman Curia and helping the Pope in the government of the universal Church, concludes today (Sept. 16). After the establishment of the Secretariat for the Economy and the Secretariat for Communications, the next step will be the creation of a new congregation dedicated to the laity, the family and life issues …
“It was suggested on a number of occasions that lay people should be placed at the helm of the new congregation but in February this year, Fr. Lombardi said the top person in charge could not be a lay person. However, the possibility of lay people acting as secretaries or assistant secretaries of the congregation has not been excluded.”
By Andrea Tornielli, Vatican Insider, La Stampa — Click here to read the rest of this story.
When Pope Francis visits the United States next month, U.S.-based Church reform movement Voice of the Faithful hopes this reform-minded pontiff will hear a wide spectrum of lay voices, particularly about healing wounds from clergy sexual abuse and holding dioceses financially accountable.
We applaud the steps Pope Francis has taken towards needed structural reform: addressing Vatican bank problems, overhauling the Vatican bureaucracy and appointing a council of cardinals outside the Curia as advisors. More importantly, we take hope in steps aimed at bringing justice to survivors and holding bishops accountable: approving a child abuse trial against an archbishop, accepting resignations from four bishops involved in the clergy sexual abuse scandal, accepting two more bishops’ resignations for financial malfeasance, establishing the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors and setting up a tribunal to judge bishops involved in the clergy sexual abuse scandal.
But VOTF sees discontinuities within this reform environment, principally two areas where lay voices can focus needed attention: healing wounds from clergy sexual abuse and shedding light on diocesan finances.
Despite decades of sex-abuse revelations, the Church’s response thus far has conspicuously lacked meaningful healing. So, VOTF is using the Healing Circle model of Restorative Justice to help all those harmed by clergy sexual abuse: the victims/survivors, their family members, faith communities, clergy and the Church itself. We are inviting Pope Francis to participate in a Healing Circle to experience its potential directly.
We also call on Pope Francis and all the faithful to see how the harms from clergy sex abuse will continue until past harm is addressed, all current abuses are exposed and future child protection is ensured. It’s not “over” until all three are accomplished. Directing bishops to take a pastoral approach to the settlement of abuse cases, rather than using legal weapons, would be one significant advance, as would the release of all relevant documents previously shielded and the immediate funding of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors.
Regarding diocesan finances, we note that Pope Francis has preached loud and long on the injustice of economic inequality, for example, in his climate encyclical and during his trip to Argentina. With that attitude, perhaps the Pope could endorse a system providing Catholics with a clear idea of where their donations go. As a step in this direction, VOTF has developed a public Internet database to help Catholics do just that, so they can help thwart malfeasance like theft, fraud, donations being spent for purposes other than intended by contributors and paying for sex abuse victims’ silence.
Pope Francis will be welcomed by millions during his U.S. visit, and VOTF would be pleased to see a papal nod toward these issues.
Voice of the Faithful®: Voice of the Faithful® is a worldwide movement of faithful Roman Catholics working to support survivors of clergy sexual abuse, support priests of integrity and increase the laity’s role in the governance and guidance of the Church. More information is at www.votf.org.
Today (Aug. 19), I kick off a series of columns that will set the table for the pope’s visit. Today (Aug. 19), I explore what I think is the over-arching theme of this pontificate, and tomorrow, I will examine how that one large theme plays out in six, smaller sub-themes. Friday (Aug. 21), we will dig down on what we can expect specifically from his talks – and more than the talks, from the gestures – in the U.S. Next week (week of Aug. 24) I will examine how the pope challenges both the Catholic Left and the Catholic Right.”
By Michael Sean Winters, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this column.
Certain Catholics love to repeat ad nauseam that the church is not a democracy, especially when it comes to decision-making and the selection of leadership.
“And thank God it is not.
“Nor should it aspire to be if the democratic model is the dysfunctional political and electoral system at work in places like the United States.
“But that doesn’t mean all is well with the way the Roman church makes its pastoral-administrative decisions, discerns the call of the Spirit, or chooses its bishops.
“Quite the contrary.
“The inadequate leadership displayed by too many bishops in the United States and other parts of the world the past couple of decades has made that point painfully clear. One wonders how some of these men were ever put in a position of such weighty responsibility.”
By Robert Mickens, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this story.
Since 2012, U.S. Catholics in a vacant See or a diocese where a bishop has retired have had the opportunity to provide input into the selection of a local bishop through Voice of the Faithful’s web portal, votf.org/bishop. The input is submitted via a form to the U.S. apostolic nuncio by email. The form records concerns and recommendations in three areas: 1.) needs and opportunities in the diocese; 2.) candidates’ ideal qualities and qualifications; and 3.) priests who would be excellent candidates for bishop. Canon Law encourages all Catholics to express their views on Church matters that concern them.