Posts Tagged Robert Mickens
“But (Robert) Mickens said Francis has never made the church’s sexual abuse crisis a priority of his administration.” (Religion News Service)
As the Vatican reeled from news that one of its top officials was taking a leave to fight historical sex abuse charges in Australia, the spotlight quickly turned to Pope Francis, with his critics slamming him for failing to do enough to tackle the vexing issue.
“Cardinal George Pell, the most senior figure in church history to face child sex abuse charges, is the Vatican’s financial czar and a trusted adviser to the pope.
“Pell, 76, is facing ‘multiple charges in respect of historic sexual offences,’ said police in the Australian state of Victoria.”
By Josephine McKenna, Religion News Service — Read more …
By now it should be clear.
“Pope Francis really believes there is a serious lack of quality among priests and bishops in the Catholic church. Otherwise, he would not talk so often about the negative traits of certain men in ordained ministry, as he’s done again several times in recent days.
“‘The world is tired of lying charmers and — allow me say — of ‘fashionable’ priests or ‘fashionable’ bishops,’ the pope said on Sept. 16 to a group of 94 bishops consecrated in the last two years for dioceses in mission territories.
“‘The people ‘scent’ — the People of God have God’s ‘scent’ — the people can ‘scent’ and they withdraw when they recognize narcissists, manipulators, defenders of personal causes and standard bearers of worthless crusades,’ the pope warned the so-called ‘baby bishops,’ who were in Rome for a training seminar.
“He also cautioned them about too easily accepting seminarians or incardinating already ordained priests into their dioceses …”
By Robert Mickens, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this article
A Christian is not supposed to give up hope. She is not to despair.
“But after three very uplifting and incredible years under the prophetic leadership and compelling personal witness of Pope Francis, many reform-minded Catholics have again become quite worried about the future direction of their church.
“It is not that their honeymoon with the first New World pope is over. (The memory of what a disastrous state the church was in before his election has prevented that from happening just yet.)
“But there are growing concerns that, despite being able to effect a seismic change in attitude and ethos throughout the worldwide Catholic family, Francis has done nothing to ensure that this will not all be tossed aside once he is gone.
“It should be stated again, without any gloss, that he must move more quickly to make structural and juridical changes that cannot be easily undone by one of his successors.”
By Robert Mickens, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this article.
Might all of Pope Francis’ efforts at reform be for naught?
Pope Francis, with the publication of Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love), has offered a broad and deep reflection on the myriad (and often messy) issues concerning marriage, the family and human sexuality.
“And in doing so, the 79-year-old pope has also put forth a clear vision of Christian discipleship. It is one based more on personal responsibility and prayerful discernment than on the mere following of church rules …
“… He is attempting to pick up the journey that the church had embarked upon in the first decade or so following Vatican II, but one that John Paul II halted and began to “correct” and recalibrate early on in his long pontificate (1978-2005) …
“But there is a serious challenge here. The vast majority of the world’s bishops, younger clergy (under the age of 45 or so) and seminarians are squarely on the road that St. John Paul II and his German successor built. Too many find themselves greatly conflicted by Francis and all that he is doing to shake up and renew the church.
“A good number of them are rigid personalities obsessed with the ‘clarity’ of doctrine, who find their identity in a churchy world of black and white (like the uniform they wear) and exude confidence in being the recognized and unchallenged upholders of the Truth that they believe is possessed by the church alone.”
By Robert Mickens, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this commentary.
Pope Francis marked the third anniversary of his pontificate yesterday (Mar. 13). Here are a few perspectives from media stories over the weekend and today.
- At 3-year mark, Francis is a both/and pope in an either/or world, By John L. Allen Jr., Cruxnow.com
- Francis stresses mercy on his 3rd anniversary, By Associated Press on Cruxnow.com
- Pope Francis: Year four begins, By Robert Mickens, National Catholic Reporter
- Mercy, globetrotting and our global home: recapping Francis’ third year as pope, By National Catholic Reporter
- 12 of Pope Francis’ most inspiring quotes from the past 3 years, By Carol Kuruvilla, Huffington Post
- The seven major changes made by Pope Francis, By RomeReports.com
Pope Francis goes to Africa tomorrow (Nov. 25) for a six-day, three-nation apostolic journey that is supposed to culminate next Monday in Central African Republic, a country still in the throes of a brutal civil war.
“It is a real possibility that security concerns could force the Pope and his entourage to return home after visiting only the first two destinations — Kenya and Uganda — or at least limit the last leg to just a brief stopover for a Mass at the tightly guarded Bangui airport.
“No matter how the trip unfolds, Francis will not be coming back to anything remotely considered “peace and quiet” in Rome.
“Among other things, in the coming days and weeks he is set to announce some major personnel and structural changes in the Roman Curia and other Vatican-related departments.
By Robert Mickens, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this story.
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.
A high-ranking Vatican official recently voiced serious doubts about the need to reform the Roman Curia. Believe it or not, he said talk of reform was exaggerated.
“‘I personally can see no significant reason that would necessitate a reform of the Curia at the moment,’ the official said.
“‘One or two changes have been or will be made concerning personnel or structures, but that is part of the normal run of things,’ he continued.
“‘To speak of ‘Curia reform’ is, with all due respect, somewhat of an exaggeration,’ he maintained.
“This wasn’t just any official. It was Archbishop Georg Ganswein, prefect of the papal household. He’s the same one who is the private secretary and housemate of the former pope, Benedict XVI.”
By Robert Mickens, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this column.
Vatican watchers in the media continue to assess Francis’ impact a little more than two years and a month into his papacy. Here are three recent stories:
The barque of Peter in shark-infested waters
(Apr. 13, 2015) “The seas have suddenly become a lot more agitated for Pope Francis, who up to now has proven to be amazingly unsinkable in the face of any kind of adversity. But in the last few weeks, he has found himself in the midst of several minor crises and controversies that if not resolved well could work to undermine his credibility with many Catholics and deal a blow to his project for reforming the church.” By Robert Mickens, Global Pulse editor-in-chief, in National Catholic Reporter
Despite rhetoric, Pope Francis treats cardinals like princes
(Apr. 10, 2015) “In his pre-Christmas talk to the cardinals and bishops of the Vatican Curia, Pope Francis shocked his audience and the world by his scathing words on the failings of those working in the Vatican. He warned them against 15 separate “diseases” in their work and attitudes … News stories of this talk naturally connected it with Pope Francis’ plans to reform the Curia, but the speech notwithstanding, little progress has been seen except in the area of financial reform. After such a speech, one would have expected heads to roll, but they did not. Despite the rhetoric, curial cardinals are still treated like princes.” By Thomas Reese, National Catholic Reporter
Pope Francis is wildly popular. So what?
(Apr. 8, 2015) “In the days before Easter, NBC News and the Wall Street Journal published the results of a poll finding that most Americans still hold a favorable view of Pope Francis. A few weeks before that, the Pew Research Center released a report showing that the pope remains popular even with non-Catholics. That was an update to a poll from last December demonstrating that Francis was popular around the world, too.” By Michael O’Loughlin, Cruxnow.com
“Indeed, says the US Catholic paleo-conservative (Pat Buchanan), the Pope may be ‘speaking heresy,’ which would imply that Francis is ‘not a valid pope.’
“Yet how does this high-octane indignation square with widespread reports at the end of last week (Oct. 17) that a liberal Pope had been defeated by doctrinaire traditionalists in his attempts to make the Church more welcoming to gays and divorcees? The fortnight-long Extraordinary Synod on the Family ended with headlines like: ‘Pope snubbed’ and ‘Liberal Hopes Dashed.’
“The answer is that, as the dust settles, what has become clear is that, for all the hoo-ha made by conservative cardinals, the overall outcome has been a remarkable advance for those who want the Catholic Church to be more compassionate and inclusive. The vociferous minority who tried to box the Pope into a corner, on gays and divorcees who remarry, may have won one small battle. But they are losing the wider war.”
By Paul Vallely, The Independent — Click here to read the rest of this story.
“Pope Francis told bishops attending the recent Synod of Bishops on the family to speak their minds freely and boldly during the two-week-long assembly. And so they did, at least a good many of them. (There were also some who held back, hedging their bets, perhaps as they wait in joyful hope for the coming of the next pontificate.)
“This freedom of theological speech has been, until now, a faded memory in ecclesiastical Rome, and it opened quite a lively debate on issues that had long been closed off to candid discussion throughout the church. Now the debate has begun. And it will continue.”
By Robert Mickens, Editor-in-Chief, Global Pulse, in National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this story.