Posts Tagged U.S. Catholic bishops
“‘Amoris Laetitia’ calls for church leaders to accompany Catholic families, learning from them along the way.” (America: The Jesuit Review)
While much of the debate over ‘Amoris Laetitia,’ the controversial 2016 document from Pope Francis about pastoral outreach to families, has focused on the question of Communion for divorced and remarried Catholics, more than three dozen cardinals, bishops and lay theologians gathered at Boston College this week to explore the broader implications of the letter—and to strategize ways to promote it in the United States.
“‘I would caution us that there are other dimensions of family life that the pope treats in ‘Amoris Laetitia’ that have to do not just with the moral questions but also the social life, the economic constraints and the difficulties that people face in raising families and raising children,’ Cardinal Blase Cupich, the archbishop of Chicago and a co-host of the conference, said on Oct. 5.
“‘We want to make sure that we keep in mind as pastors and theologians that we’re in touch with that reality as well, in terms of where God is revealing where God is working in the world,’ he continued. ‘What are some of the questions there that need to be looked at?'”
By Michael J. O’Loughlin, America: The Jesuit Review — Read More …
Could giving more autonomy to Catholic bishops make things worse for progressive Catholics?
A lot has been written about Pope Francis’s goal of making the church more democratic, with less control by the Vatican and more power to individual bishops. In an ideal world, not only would the Vatican have less say in choosing bishops, but priests and laity would have a larger role in the selection of their leaders.
“However, unless the institutional church actually reaches that goal, and power truly devolves to the grassroots, giving more autonomy to Catholic bishops might make things worse, not better, at least for progressive Catholics.
“While Pope Francis’s appointments of often have elevated reformers to power, he cannot replace every powerful leader in the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).
“And the bishops now leading U.S. Catholics skew conservative. Indeed, in 2014, one bishop speaking on background confided that only about a third of American bishops were totally on board with Francis’s agenda, about a quarter were definitely against, and the rest were still figuring out where they stood. Not much appears to have changed in the intervening years.”
By Celia Wexler, Contributor, Huffington Post — Read more …
Watching the USCCB meeting this week was frustrating. The conference seems stuck. At a time when the country desperately needs a strong moral voice, the united voice of the bishops is sidelined, fretting about things that don’t matter and tepidly addressing the things that do. And, it was apparent to all that the concerns of Pope Francis are far from the concerns of the USCCB …
“In his update to the body on the work of the ad hoc Committee on Religious Liberty, Archbishop William Lori said they were making a difference. Are they …
“I heard almost no mention of the environment or Laudato Si’ at the USCCB meeting. Think about that for a minute …
“There was frequent mention of the charitable work of the church. But, there were no bishops heading to the microphones to denounce the ‘economy that kills’ …
“There was also a lack of discussion, at least in public session, about Amoris Laetitia …
“And, of course, the biggest immediate issue the bishops face is the prospect of mass deportations of many of our Catholic parishioners …
“… Sadly, I fear the country is about to be morally vandalized, indeed that process has already begun. There is a parable in the Gospel about the need for the night watchman to be vigilant. It is a parable the bishops should take to heart.”
By Michael Sean Winters, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this column.
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.
The nation’s Catholic bishops on Tuesday (Nov. 17) passed an updated guide for Catholic voters ahead of next year’s elections, but only after airing unusually sharp disagreements on how much they can, and should, adjust their priorities to match those of Pope Francis.
“More than any other item on the agenda of the bishops’ annual meeting here, the debate over the lengthy voter guide, called ‘Faithful Citizenship,’ revealed deep divides among the bishops and provided a snapshot of the extent of the ‘Francis effect’ on the U.S. hierarchy.”
By David Gibson, Religion News Service — Click here to read the rest of this story.
It was a hail and farewell moment at a tumultuous time for the Roman Catholic Church. More than 200 bishops rose to their feet Monday (Nov. 10) and gave a protracted standing ovation to Cardinal Francis George, a former president of the bishops’ conference, who will step down next week as the archbishop of Chicago …
“There is no bishop who is standing up and being the real leader of a Francis faction,” Father (Thomas) Reese (a Jesuit priest and senior analyst for National Catholic Reporter) said. “They grew up in conservative families, went to conservative seminaries and have been told not to talk to theologians who are creative because they’ve been labeled heretical. Now Francis is saying let’s go in a different direction and let’s have a discussion. The last two pontificates, there was no room for discussion, and this makes them nervous and confused.”
By Laurie Goodstein, The New York Times — Click here to read the rest of this story.
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.
Pope Francis on Saturday (Nov. 8) sidelined a powerful American cardinal who has emerged as an unabashed conservative critic of the reform agenda and the leadership style that the Argentine pontiff has brought to the Roman Catholic Church.
“In an expected move, Cardinal Raymond L. Burke was officially removed as head of the Vatican’s highest judicial authority, known as the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura. He was demoted to the ceremonial position of chaplain for the Knights of Malta, a charity group.”
By Jim Yardley, The New York Times — Click here to read the rest of this story.
During the introductory press conference Sept. 20 of the next leader of the Chicago Catholic church, Blase Cupich was, unsurprisingly, asked about the sexual abuse of minors by clergy.
“The archbishop-designate responded that he is committed to protecting children and bringing ‘healing to people who have been victimized by clergy.’
“Cupich then added: ‘I am not asking people to say that all of a sudden they find me a credible individual because they really don’t know me. I will just say that I will work hard at this and make it an important part of my ministry.’
“To better understand whether Cupich might fulfill that pledge requires an examination of his track record on handling allegations and instances of clergy sexual abuse, one that includes stints in national positions as well as a lawsuit against former diocesan lawyers and a mediated settlement for future claims.”
By Brian Roewe, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this story.
In November, when the U.S. bishops met for their annual meeting in Baltimore, they did not pick up on the themes that are the signature features of the papacy of Pope Francis: concern for the poor and marginalized, criticism of the capitalism, and the mercy and compassion of God. Rather, they continued to worry about gay marriage and the contraceptive mandate and voted to write a statement on pornography. (Spoiler alert: They are against it.)
“It was truly embarrassing to watch the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in action in Baltimore, especially for those who remember the glory years when the bishops were prophetic voices with their letters on peace and the economy. It was as if they had missed the Francis memo.
“This week, the bishops will have another chance to get on the Francis bandwagon as they meet Wednesday through Friday in New Orleans. Will they miss the bus again?”
By Thomas Reese, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this story)