Posts Tagged Rome
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
The controversial investigations of U.S. women religious by the Vatican — and resulting tensions — stemmed largely from a ‘cultural chasm,’ the group’s president said Wednesday (Aug. 12).
“But that chasm is closing, she said, and a new era of communion seems to have begun.
“Immaculate Heart of Mary Sr. Sharon Holland, president of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, told the group’s annual assembly that behavior that is very normal for a woman in American culture — such as asking questions and thinking critically — might easily be perceived as disrespectful in another setting.
“Holland understands one of those settings well: She spent 21 years as a canon lawyer in Rome, where she was one of the highest-ranking women in the Vatican. Now vice president of her community in Monroe, Michigan, and in her final days as president of LCWR, Holland gave the presidential address Wednesday (Aug. 12) morning to the approximately 800 LCWR members gathered here in Houston. The organization is made up of Catholic women religious who are leaders of their orders in the United States; communities in LCWR represent about 80 percent of the nearly 50,000 women religious in the United States.”
By Dan Stockman, Global Sisters Report — Click here to read the rest of this story.
When Bernard Cardinal Law, Archbishop of Boston, fled to the Vatican in 2002, he left behind a trail of human and financial wreckage: 550 victims abused by parish priests and court judgments that eventually topped $85 million. Meanwhile, Law was assigned a comfortable post in Rome, where he disappeared from the headlines.”
“Meanwhile, Law was assigned a comfortable post in Rome, where he disappeared from the headlines.
“Law led America’s fourth-largest archdiocese for 18 years. His reputation as a public figure peaked during Boston’s court-ordered school desegregation crisis, when the cardinal emerged as a steadying voice of sanity.
“However, as his role as the architect of the abuse cover-up emerged, first in the Boston Phoenix, then in the Boston Globe, Law was transformed into a pariah. With permission from Pope John Paul II, he resigned in 2002 ahead of the mandatory age of 75. Law was subsequently appointed head of Santa Maria Maggiore, one of the most significant basilicas in Rome. He retired from that post in 2011. Where is he now? What has he been doing since then?”
By Phillip Martin, WGBH-FM — Click here to read and hear the rest of this story.
An unmistakable air of expectation mixed with uncertainty pervaded the atmosphere here as Pope Francis prepared to open in early October his global meeting of Catholic bishops to discuss issues of contemporary family life.
“As of now, nearly every aspect of how the event will unfold is unclear — from how delicate questions like divorce and remarriage will be handled, to how much discussion will be allowed, to even if it will be known who is speaking each day inside the closed-door Oct. 5-19 Synod of Bishops.”
By Joshua J. McElwee, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this story.
Days before the opening of a global meeting of bishops to address family life — an event that could be the signal moment of Pope Francis’ papacy — the Vatican stressed the ‘original and innovative’ nature of the meeting but faced tough questions about the pervasive opacity surrounding the event.
“Briefing reporters Friday (Oct. 3), the prelate who has mainly organized the meeting said it is being convened ‘to deal with a particularly urgent topic, with adequate direction to this moment, for the good of all the church.’”
By Joshua J. McElwee, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this story.
In this column, Global Pulse publisher Robert Mickens, who worked for 11 years for Vatican Radio and another decade as Rome correspondent for London’s The Tablet, wonders whether the Synod of Bishops on the Family (Oct. 5-9, 2014, in Rome) will lead to the episcopal collegiality and attention to the voice of the Catholic faithful that Vatican II promised.
When the Vatican held its first synod on the family in 1980, the Polish-born John Paul II — a man “from a far-away country” — had been pope for only two years. Curiously, next week’s gathering of bishops on the very same theme also comes quite early in a new pontificate. It is less than 19 months from the day a Jesuit from Argentina, “the end of the earth,” was elected bishop of Rome and took the name Francis.
“The nearly 35 years that have passed between these two international meetings of bishops span a bit more than two generations. And while there is a similarity in two non-Italian popes confronting issues related to marriage and the family early in their papal ministry, their approaches could not be more different.”
By Robert Mickens, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this column.
There ought to have been a sense of huge importance noted about Pope Francis’s first meeting with six survivors of clerical child sexual abuse in Rome on July 7th last. The survivors came from Ireland, the UK and Germany … Battles by survivors to be believed and to secure accountability on the part of a Catholic hierarchy that knew about and allowed spread vile crimes against children rage on … It was against this background that two Irish survivors met the pope last month. What happened in Rome was a monumental shift. In his acknowledgement, the pope shattered any illusions left about the lifelong, intergenerational and appalling reality faced by survivors.”
By Mark Vincent Healy, The Irish Times — Click here to read the rest of this story.
A bishop from the Dominican Republic has reported that he was shocked to see a former papal nuncio, who is under investigation on sex-abuse charges, walking freely around the center of Rome.
“Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski, who had been the Vatican’s representative in the Dominican Republic, was recalled to Rome last year. Prosecutors in the Dominican Republic have said that they have convincing evidence that the prelate molested young men there; he has also been accused of abuse in his native Poland.”
By CatholicCulture.org — Click here to read the rest of this story.
Can Pope Francis manage his local opposition as he attempts Church reforms?
A few weeks after Benedict XVI announced his resignation, the political philosopher Giorgio Agamben published a short book called “The Mystery of Evil: Benedict XVI and the End of Times.” In that volume, Agamben calls the pope’s resignation a prophetic moment, and argues that it highlights the crisis of institutional legitimacy … As the cardinals assembled in Rome to elect a new pope, curial reform became the conclave’s watchword. That is Francis’s mandate. It is also one of his greatest challenges. Whether he is able to rouse the church from its institutional coma depends entirely on his ability to manage his opposition …
“According to Bishop Fernández (Víctor Manuel Fernández, rector of the Catholic University of Argentina, whom Franics appointed bishop in May 2013), Francis believes in the participation of the people of God (bishops, priests, and laity) in the church’s decision-making processes. The pope is interested in reforming more than the Curia. That is important, but it won’t solve all the church’s structural problems. The church needs more ‘synodality.’ That is, the church must develop processes through which all Catholics ‘can feel represented and listened to…giving more autonomy to the local churches.’ In this sense, it is time for ‘more listening to the people of God.’
“But listening entails risk. If the pope really does want to allow all Catholics a place at the table, then he’ll have to listen to a lot of people who aren’t especially pleased with his leadership so far.”
By Massimo Faggioli, Commonweal magazine — Click here to read the rest of this article.
On the question of how far papal authority extends, the canon law of the Catholic Church could not be clearer: ‘The vicar of Christ … possesses full, immediate, and universal ordinary power in the Church, which he is always able to exercise freely.’ (Can. 331) Note that canon law does not say, ‘except in cases of priestly sex abuse of children.’ Canon law does not say that priests and bishops are independent contractors. Canon law does not say that what happens in Catholic parishes and dioceses around the world has nothing to do with Rome. In fact, another canon reads, ‘By virtue of his office, the Roman pontiff not only possesses power over the universal church, but also obtains the primacy of ordinary power over all particular churches and groups of them.’ (Can. 333)
“How to square that sweeping papal power with the shameless dodge put forward by the Holy See in this era of church disgrace — the claim that, when it comes to protecting children from abuse, the Roman Catholic Church is legally responsible only to safeguard those living in the confines of Vatican City, a tiny city-state that would fit inside New York’s Central Park eight times …”
By James Carroll, The Boston Globe — Click here to read the rest of this column.
Vatican Abuse Prosecutor Says Rome ‘Well Aware’ of Accountability Problem / National Catholic Reporter
“The Vatican’s top prosecutor for sex abuse cases says Rome is “well aware” of how frustrated many people are with perceived confusion about how to hold bishops accountable when they’re accused of failing to make a “zero tolerance” policy stick and hopes a solution will emerge from debates over curial reform under Pope Francis.” By John L. Allen, Jr., National Catholic Reporter
Click here to read the rest of Allen’s article.