Posts Tagged St. Francis

Many Points of Praise for Pope’s First Year / The Boston Globe

One year ago Thursday (Mar. 13), a relatively obscure prelate from Argentina made his debut as the new leader of the world’s oldest Christian church, stepping out onto the fabled balcony overlooking St. Peter’s Square and joking that his brother cardinals had gone to “the end of the earth” to find a pope.

“For an institution legendary for taking itself rather seriously, that flash of humor alone communicated that this wasn’t going to be your grandfather’s kind of pontiff.

“By taking the name Francis, the new pope awakened images of St. Francis, the beloved poor man of Assisi. He then knelt to ask the crowd to pray for him before imparting his official blessing, seemingly inaugurating a new era of papal humility.

“It was, as we know now, only the beginning.”

By John L. Allen, Jr., The Boston Globe — Click here to read the rest of this article. John Allen will be a guest speaker, “Perspectives on Pope Francis & A Climate of Change,” at the Voice of the Faithful® 2014 Assembly in Hartford, Connecticut, April 5. Click here for information and to register.

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On St. Clare Feast, Catholics Support Sisters, Pray for Authentic Dialogue

Printed below is the news release disseminated by the Nun Justice Project, which is supported by Voice of the Faithful®, announcing that Catholics will pray in solidarity with the sisters this Sunday, Aug. 11, the feast of St. Clare, in advance of LCWR’s 2013 General Assembly next week, Aug. 13-17 (Download the Nun Justice Project prayer service for the feast of St. Clare by clicing here):

Contact: Erin Saiz Hanna 401-588-0457, Jim FitzGerald 773-404-0004

For immediate release: August 7, 2013

On St. Clare Feast  Catholics Support Sisters, Pray for Authentic Dialogue

WASHINGTON D.C. – Next week, hundreds of Catholic nuns are expected to gather in Orlando, FL for the annual meeting of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR).

On August 11, 2013 in solidarity with U.S. women religious, thousands of Catholics will join in prayer [link to prayer] on the Feast of St. Clare.

“The pope intentionally chose St. Francis as his namesake, and he has shown himself to be open to dialogue” stated Erin Saiz Hanna, spokesperson for the Nun Justice Project.  “St. Francis of Assisi’s sacred friendship with St. Clare is well documented.  St. Francis worked collaboratively alongside his sisters rather than against them. We pray Pope Francis, and Archbishop Sartain, will not only speak but listen and authentically dialogue with the sisters as St. Francis did with St. Clare.”

LCWR, an umbrella group representing 80% of the 57,000 nuns in the United States, remains under scrutiny from the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF).  In the spring of 2012 the CDF issued a statement accusing LCWR of promoting “radical feminist themes” and “corporate dissent,” causing outrage among Catholics around the globe.

LCWR responded that the CDF statement was based on “unsubstantiated accusations’ and the result of a  “flawed process that lacked transparency.”  Last August, the organization’s president, Sr. Pat Farrell, announced that  “open and honest dialogue” would be LCWR’s next step with Archbishop Sartain who had been appointed to oversee the mandate.

Last summer, nearly 70,000 Catholics signed a petition and hundreds organized vigils to rally around the sisters.

“Catholics around the country have been inspired by the faith and work of the sisters and will continue to support them; we urge Pope Francis to recognize their commitment and contributions and dismiss the mandate,” said Jim FitzGerald, spokesperson for the Nun Justice Project.

The Nun Justice Project is a grassroots movement supported by the following organizations: American Catholic Council, Association for the Rights of Catholics in the Church, Call to Action, Catholics for Choice, CORPUS, DignityUSA, Federation of Christian Ministries, FutureChurch, New Ways Ministry, Quixote Center, RAPPORT, Voice of the Faithful, WATER: Women’s Alliance for Theology, Ethics and Ritual, and Women’s Ordination Conference.

For more information, visit

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