Posts Tagged roman catholic bishops

Catholic bishops back ordination of married men as priests in Amazon region, a milestone / The New York Times

It is the first time a grouping of bishops convened by a pope has endorsed such a historic change to the tradition of a celibate priesthood. (The New York Times)

A summit of Roman Catholic bishops meeting at the Vatican recommended on Saturday that Pope Francis allow the ordination of married men as priests in the Amazon region, which would lift a roughly 1,000-year-old restriction and potentially revolutionize the priesthood.

“It is the first time a grouping of bishops convened by a pope has endorsed such a historic change to the tradition of a celibate priesthood. The proposal is limited to remote areas of South America where there is a scarcity of priests but could set a precedent for easing the restriction on married priests throughout the world.

“If Francis, who has already signaled an openness on the issue, accepts the bishops’ recommendation, he will turn the remote areas of the Amazon region into a laboratory for a Catholic Church looking to the global south for its future, with married priests and indigenous rites mixing with traditional liturgy.

“The pope is expected to respond to the proposals by the end of this year.”

By Jason Horowitz, The New York Times — Read more …

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Reforming the Roman Catholic Church / Oxford Mail

We could not have said this better ourselves.

“Christian Churches are not in good shape today. Reform is urgently needed. Instead, in many parts of Europe, Roman Catholic bishops are destroying local communities…

“Roman Catholic bishops in Europe are abolishing local Christian communities: pointing to the shortage of celibate priests, they are closing or amalgamating parishes into larger regional units. Parishioners are told to get used to finding a mass elsewhere – as if Christian faith could be reduced to merely getting to Mass. Such bishops are convinced that the church depends on priests. However, this thinking is deeply flawed …

“… The rich sacramental life in the Catholic Church gives expression and structure to the local community. The celebration of the Eucharist gathers the community in Christ’s presence around one table. However, a shortage of (celibate) priests does not have to mean the end of Christian vocation and community.

“It is a tragic misunderstanding that the prime task of bishops is to organize people around priests. Rather, priests are called to serve the local community. If this clericalist misunderstanding is to continue, bishops will quickly become the grave diggers of the church …”

Commentary by Prof. Werner Jeanrond, Roman Catholic theologian and Master of St. Benet’s Hall, University of Oxford, in Oxford Mail, as compiled by Pete Hughes — Click here to read the rest of this commentary.

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Two Pennsylvania bishops singled out for sex abuse cover-up / CBS News

Two Roman Catholic bishops who led a central Pennsylvania diocese helped cover up the sexual abuse of hundreds of children by over 50 priests or religious leaders over a 40-year period, according to a grand jury report issued Tuesday (Mar. 1).

“The 147-page report on sexual abuse in the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese was based partly on evidence from a secret diocesan archive uncovered through a search warrant executed in August, said Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane, who announced the findings.

“‘These predators desecrated a sacred trust and preyed upon their victims in the very places where they should have felt most safe,’ Kane said in a statement. ‘Just as troubling is the cover-up perpetrated by clergy leaders that allowed this abuse to continue for decades.’

By Associated Press on CBSNews.com — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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Pope, Council of Cardinals discuss how bishops are chosen / National Catholic Reporter

Pope Francis has asked his international Council of Cardinals to study the way the church vets, identifies and appoints bishops around the world, looking particularly at the qualities needed in a bishop today.

“Near the end of the council’s meetings with the pope Sept. 14-16, Jesuit Fr. Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman, briefed reporters on its work.

“While one of the main tasks of the nine-member council is to assist Pope Francis with the ongoing reorganization of the Roman Curia, Lombardi said that from the beginning Pope Francis said he wanted the group to advise him on matters of church governance in general. With more than 150 new bishops being named each year in the Latin-rite church, identifying suitable candidates is a normal part of the governance of the universal church, the spokesman said.”

By Cindy Wooden, Catholic News Service, in National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this story.

Voice of the Faithful has long advocated for greater lay input into selection of local bishops. VOTF has promulgated a proposal to achieve this, “Furthering the New Evangelization: Consulting the Laity on Candidates for the Episcopacy.” The proposal seeks to restore to the selection process many of the lay-involvement practices followed throughout the first millenium and well into the second, and, at the same time, it would recognize the authority of the pope (as affirmed in Canon Law and Vatican II) to make the final appointment of a bishop, generally from the recommendations submitted for each diocese.

VOTF presently maintains a first-of-its-kind web portal enabling Catholics in a diocese with an announced or impending vacancy to offer confidentially their thoughts on the needs of the diocese, the desired qualities of the next bishop, and the names of potential nominees directly to the Apostolic Nuncio.

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U.S. Catholic bishops try to calm anxiety over Pope / Associated Press

America’s Catholic bishops came together Monday to project an image of unity, after a Vatican meeting on the family unleashed an uproar over the direction of the church.

“Last month’s gathering in Rome on more compassionately ministering to families featured open debate — alarming many traditional Catholics, who argued it would undermine public understanding of church teaching. Pope Francis encouraged a free exchange of ideas at the assembly, or synod, in contrast to previous years, when such events were tightly scripted.”

By Rachel Zoll, Associated Press, on abcnews.go.com — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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U.S. bishops struggling under Francis’ pontificate / Associated Press

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ 2014 fall general assembly starts today, Nov. 10, in Baltimore, Maryland.

U.S. Roman Catholic bishops are gathering at a moment of turbulence for them and the American church, as Pope Francis moves toward crafting new policies for carrying out his mission of mercy — a prospect that has conservative Catholics and some bishops in an uproar.

“The assembly, which starts Monday (Nov. 10) in Baltimore, comes less than a month after Francis ended a dramatic Vatican meeting on how the church can more compassionately minister to Catholic families.

“The gathering in Rome was only a prelude to a larger meeting next year which will more concretely advise Francis on church practice. Still, the open debate at the event, and the back and forth among bishops over welcoming gays and divorced Catholics who remarry, prompted stunning criticism from some U.S. bishops.”

By Rachel Zoll, Associated Press — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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Francis codifies pope’s ability to fire bishops / National Catholic Reporter

Pope Francis has codified his ability to effectively fire Catholic bishops, saying that in some circumstances, he ‘can consider it necessary’ to ask them to resign their offices.

“The move, which the Vatican announced Wednesday (Nov. 5), seems to be an attempt by Francis to clear up any ambiguity about the pontiff’s power to replace prelates around the world. While Francis and his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, have effectively removed bishops in the past, their power to do so was not previously so explicit in the church’s laws.

“Wednesday’s change comes in a short edict approved Monday (Nov. 3) by Francis at the request of Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s secretary of state. Composed of seven short articles, the edict addresses the resignation of diocesan bishops and papal appointees.”

By Joshua J. McElwee, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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