A group of LGBT Catholics and their allies will attend the 10:15AM Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York on Sunday with a unique visual marker: their hands will be covered in charcoal. Their purpose? Responding visually to a blog post the archbishop of New York, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, penned last week in which, they say, LGBT people were called dirty and compared to alcoholics.
I spoke to Joseph Amodeo, an organizer of the event, who said he felt like a victim of “spiritual bullying” after reading Dolan’s post. The Cardinal, who is also president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, relayed a story from his childhood, describing how his parents welcomed a playmate to stay for supper, but only after washing up, per house rules. Dolan was attempting to explain how the Catholic Church welcomes all people, but with certain conditions. Regarding LGBT Catholics, he wrote:
The Church loves, welcomes, and respects a woman or man with a same-sex attraction…while reminding him or her of our clear teaching that, while the condition of homosexuality is no sin at all, still, God’s teaching is clear that sexual acts are reserved for a man and woman united in the lifelong, life-giving, faithful, loving bond of marriage.
“I don’t see where he actually said ‘you’re welcome.’ It’s always with an asterisk, which is not a welcome at all,” Amodeo said. “We, as gay Catholics, are homeless in a spiritual sense and we’re seeking a home. It’s the ‘welcome, but’ that’s hurting people.”
He said that while a change in Catholic theology about homosexuality remains a dream, he and fellow organizers, including Nicholas Coppola, a gay man who made headlines last month after his bishop removed him from lay parish ministry, “want the Cardinal to see we’re not an oversexed population, but people of God just as committed to our church as others. The goal is to have the church see us, to listen to us. There’s a lack of understanding about who we are as gay people.”
Francis DeBernadro, executive director of New Ways Ministry, agreed with Amodeo, writing on his blog, “I don’t know about you, but I don’t find this notion to be welcoming at all. I find it condescending.”
The protest comes in the wake of comments made by Most Rev. Thomas Tobin, the bishop of Providence, who lamented Rhode Island’s recent same-sex marriage legalization. In a letter being described by some as divisive, Tobin called same-sex marriage a “serious regression in the public morality” of Rhode Island. He said the that Catholics are not “free to endorse or ignore immoral or destructive behavior.” Catholics attending same-sex ceremonies, he wrote, “might harm their relationship with God and cause significant scandal to others.”
Recent polls continue to show lay Catholics leading the pack when it comes to support for marriage equality.
By Marielena Montesino de Stuart
ESPRESSO with Marielena…
Recommended roast level: VERY DARK.
Cardinal Roger Mahony does not need an introduction – but what is The Papal Foundation all about, from Francis’ perspective?
The Papal Foundation is based in Pennsylvania. This is an excerpt of their mission statement, as printed on their website [bold added for emphasis]:
“The Papal Foundation began in 1988 as a response to the desire of Catholic clergy and laity in the U.S. for a unique, sustainable way to support the Holy Father and his witness in the world.
The vision was to establish an endowment that would
- Provide an additional source of income for the Holy See
- Strengthen the Holy Father’s ability to fulfill the mission of Saint Peter
- Set the standard for other nations and challenge them to establish similar foundation.
Income generated from the investment of capital creates a perpetual source of revenue. The portfolio does not invest in any companies that engage in activities inconsistent with our faith.”
Here is a PDF file of The Papal Foundation Board of Trustees website page, captured on May 1, 2013:
which indicates that “a three-tiered Board of Trustees manages Papal Foundation funds. American Cardinals who reside in the United States serve as ex-officio members of the Board. Archbishops, Bishops and elected laity from across the country serve as Trustees.”
This year The Papal Foundation delivered $8.6 million to Francis, “to support his witness in the world.”
Now, take another sip of your espresso and remember, its called The Papal Foundation.
A private audience with Francis
According to the Catholic News Service (CNS is the official news service of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops) Francis met on April 11 during a private audience with “about 120 members of the [Papal] foundation and their families, including Cardinals Donald W. Wuerl of Washington; Theodore E. McCarrick, retired archbishop of Washington; and Justin Rigali, retired archbishop of Philadelphia.” [Bold added for emphasis].
…about 120 members? How much money was spent on flights, food and accommodation for “about 120″ people, in order to conduct this private visit with Francis? Does The Papal Foundation need 120 people to deliver one check? As a fundraising institution… are they serious?
In light of Francis’ call for “decisive action” against sexual abuse by members of the clergy, let’s review a communiqué issued recently by the Vatican news service, and reflect on some of the records of the Cardinals mentioned in the CNS report:
April 5, 2013 Vatican communiqué :
EXCERPT: “The Holy Father today received in audience Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Mueller, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. During the audience, various subjects pertaining to the Dicastery were discussed, the Holy Father recommended in particular that the Congregation, continue the line desired by Benedict XVI of decisive action regarding cases of sexual abuse, primarily by promoting measures for child protection; help for the many who in the past have suffered such violence; due process against those who are guilty; the commitment of Bishops’ Conferences in the formulation and implementation of the necessary directives in this area which is of great importance to the witness of the Church and its credibility.” [Bold added for emphasis].
The witness of the Church and its credibility?
Let’s find out if Francis is serious about getting rid of pederasts, cowards, liars and thieves
I wonder if Francis met with another intriguing member of the The Papal Foundation Board of Trustees, Cardinal Egan? Do you know?
Good vs. Evil
Once you have read the above links you will see that Father James Haley’s testimony about Theodore E. McCarrick is confirmed through the testimonies provided by the former Father Robert M. Hoatson and by psychotherapist Richard Sipe. Hoatson’s testimony, as set forth in Hoatson vs. New York Archdiocese, is considered among the most important, regarding McCarrick, Egan and others. It is not surprising, however, that Father Hoatson could not prevail in Hoatson vs. New York Archdiocese. Remember, the Catholic Church has very deep pockets and it can afford to hire some of the most powerful defense lawyers and public relations firms in the world.
While Hoatson and Sipe are not conservatives, NEITHER ARE THESE CARDINALS AND BISHOPS! This is a clarification for those cynics out there who enjoy diverting attention from the perpetrator of the crime, or the cover-up artist.
Informed Catholics are very much aware that there is a lot of inconsistency and political correctness coming from many individuals who speak out against sexual abuse in the Catholic Church, while embracing a liberal social agenda. (Read more about this in the Brief Archive section, at the end of this article). But there is a type of individual who is particularly repugnant: the closet socialist and shameless opportunist, who claims to be a “conservative” – but looks the other way when his or her favorite prelate is immersed in filth.
Indeed, there is much work to be done in this battle between good and evil. But if we were to dismiss testimonies and records of the sexual abuse of children based on the accuser being a conservative or a liberal, then victims would never see justice served; therefore, the focus must remain on the truth – which is that individuals who are homosexuals have entered the priesthood in violation of Church laws.
These individuals have either remained as priests – or have moved up in the hierarchy of the Catholic Church and have assumed positions of power. As such, they parade around as compromised Bishops and Cardinals who have destroyed their own moral authority – and are nothing more than charlatans with access to a lot of money.
I call them impostors.
The current panorama
But you say, “… this is old news.”
For a very long time these impostors have benefited from the support of their fellow LAY travelers – and their devoted uninformed and bewildered fans, who pounce (almost always anonymously) on anyone who dares to expose the cover-ups and activities of these prelates. But sometimes the pouncing and destructive tactics are orchestrated by the prelates themselves – as clearly outlined by the former Governor of Oklahoma, the Honorable Frank Keating, in The Last Straw: Quitting the Bishops’ Review Board.
In spite of Grand Jury Reports and public records, some of these supporters appear to have moved forward with their own agendas – while claiming to stand by their beloved favorite prelate – who is either a homosexual, a cover-up artist, or both.
But you say, “… maybe these supporters are trying to protect the Catholic Church from external attacks.”
That’s pure hypocrisy! If Catholics really wanted to protect the Catholic Church, they would begin by demanding the expulsion of the enemies within.
Remembering Cardinal Anthony J. Bevilacqua… the former Chairman of The Papal Foundation
Remember how invaluable Cardinal Anthony J. Bevilacqua was? Well, Grand Jury Reports and legal records have exposed him as one of the most horrific cover-up artists of pederasts in the history of the Catholic Church. Read about the Bevilacqua nightmare and his record at the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, through the link in this paragraph – and in the Brief Archive section at the end of this article.
Significant sidebar: pederasty and cover-ups are widespread in the Catholic Church
The following are also examples of cases involving pederasty and cover-ups (not related to The Papal Foundation) but significant because of the tragic consequences and their scope:
Let Him Prey… and For He Has Sinned are a couple of bone-chilling articles that need your attention, involving well known Jesuit priests (you may even know some of these priests). This is the record that emerged from a motion filed on March 28, 2011. It is described as a record that “analyzes and documents in shocking detail the Jesuits’ 50-year history of concealing and enabling sexual abuse.”
Another absolute nightmare is the scandal that affected the Legionaries of Christ and the movement, Regnum Christi. A communiqué from the Vatican best describes their former leader, Father Maciel (now deceased):
EXCERPT OF COMMUNIQUÉ: “The very grave and objectively immoral actions of Father Maciel, confirmed by incontrovertible testimonies, in some cases constitute real crimes and manifest a life devoid of scruples and authentic religious meaning.” [Bold added for emphasis].
Details of Maciel’s life, his revolting crimes and the Vatican investigation, are copiously documented online by journalists and support groups.
What took you so long?
The grave situation of homosexuals and sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic Church has been outlined in a RECENT article by Fr. Dariusz Oko, Ph.D., a priest of the Archdiocese of Krakow and Assistant Professor at the John Paul II Pontifical University in Krakow.
I appreciate Father Oko’s efforts – but frankly and with all due respect, Father Oko reminds me of Captain Louis Renault in the film Casablanca, when he says: “I’m shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!”
Father Oko’s article is simply a synopsis – and a rather LATE reaffirmation by a member of the clergy, of Randy Engel’s The Rite of Sodomy – which is considered the magnus opus for those who conduct in-depth research around the world, about this dark and harrowing subject.
Welcome to reality, Father Oko. What took you so long?
Setting the record straight
It is important to remember that the overwhelming number of victims of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church are boys – and that their abuse has been committed by adult males. This should not be a surprise to anyone, given the presence and power of homosexuals in the Catholic Church, as described in the aforementioned research and records.
That being the case…
Cardinal Roger Mahony
The CNS report talks about Francis thanking The Papal Foundation for the money and the benefits drawn from it, but mentions nothing about the removal of Cardinal Roger Mahony from the Board of Trustees – another intriguing member of this powerful organization.
Yes… I’m talking about THIS Roger Mahony (Includes links to court documents released earlier this year. You’ll need several espressos after you read Mahony’s record of cover-ups).
A couple of questions come to mind:
Is Cardinal Mahony attracting donors to The Papal Foundation? Given Mahony’s record of despicable cover-ups of the sexual abuse of children – what kind of individuals could possibly provide their financial support, inspired by Mahony? This is a VERY DISTURBING scenario.
How many American Bishops and lay Catholics have said “no, thank you” to joining The Papal Foundation?
Records of letters that further expose Mahony’s modus operandi are now available as part of Illinois Supreme Court Justice Anne Burke’s archives, at DePaul University in Chicago. Anne Burke was a Justice of the Illinois appellate court, at the time that she served as vice chairwoman of the National Review Board for the Protection of Children and Young People, the church-appointed panel that sought to resolve the sexual abuse scandal involving priests and minors. Judge Burke later took over as interim chairwoman, when former Oklahoma Gov. Frank Keating resigned, having reached the end of his rope with Mahony and his cronies. Keating’s famous letter of resignation included the following statement:
”To resist grand jury subpoenas, to suppress the names of offending clerics, to deny, to obfuscate, to explain away; that is the model of a criminal organization, not my church.” Former Gov. Frank Keating. – New York Times, June 17, 2003.
If Francis is not willing to demand the immediate removal of someone like Mahony from The Papal Foundation Board of Trustees (as part of the new “decisive action” program) – how can anyone expect Francis to take any action against other Bishops and Cardinals, who are mired in cover-ups and scandals involving homosexuality and pederasty?
Putting on an act
What we are witnessing is the on-going hypocritical and dysfunctional stage production of modernist Bishops and Cardinals – who put on an act about changing the world by helping the poor, while covering up homosexuality in their midst – and the sexual abuse of innocent children behind the scenes.
CASE IN POINT: Cardinal Roger Mahony has nearly become the “patron saint” of undocumented aliens. His public militancy in support of undocumented aliens knows no bounds – including posts on his Twitter account and on his blog. Yet, court documents released earlier this year show how Cardinal Roger Mahony covered up the sexual abuse of undocumented children in predominantly Spanish-speaking parishes, at the hands of a monster known as Monsignor Peter Garcia, who even used threats of deportation as a means to continue his sexual abuse of young boys.
How in the world is someone like Cardinal Roger Mahony going to “set the standard for other nations...” as a member of the Board of Trustees of The Papal Foundation? Was it not Mahony who nearly destroyed the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, by spending millions of dollars on legal fees, in order to maneuver his cover-ups of homosexual priests and pederasts?
Given this scenario of tolerance by Francis, we should also NOT expect that he will take any action against another member of The Papal Foundation Board of Trustees, Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan.
I’m also talking about THE Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan who happily endorses Gay-friendly meetings and parish activities at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church, in his Archdiocese of New York, in violation of the rules of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF). But the CDF did not seem interested in enforcing the rules, either under the 24-year praefectura of Cardinal Ratzinger (Benedict XVI) or the six-year praefectura of Cardinal William Levada.
Here are the rules set forth by the former Cardinal Ratzinger, regarding the use of Church buildings and Church property by homosexual groups – calling it “misleading and often scandalous:”
CONGREGATION FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH
LETTER TO THE BISHOPS OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH ON THE PASTORAL CARE OF HOMOSEXUAL PERSONS
“Special attention should be given to the practice of scheduling religious services and to the use of Church buildings by these groups, including the facilities of Catholic schools and colleges. To some, such permission to use Church property may seem only just and charitable; but in reality it is contradictory to the purpose for which these institutions were founded, it is misleading and often scandalous.” – Signed in Rome by Joseph Ratzinger, on October 1, 1986, when he was Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. The entire text can be read HERE.
The current Prefect of the CDF is Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Müller (appointed by Benedict XVI in July, 2012). Will Archbishop Müller enforce these rules under Francis’ watch? As you will see below… he hasn’t so far!
Screen captions of St. Xavier Parish’s website, in Cardinal Dolan’s Archdiocese of New York:
A crash course on raising more money for the poor by auctioning off undesirable Cardinals and Bishops
Remember, the Catholic News Service report says that this year The Papal Foundation delivered $8.6 million. I say, imagine how much more they could deliver if Francis demands that Mahony be removed from the Board of Trustees! If Francis is really serious about raising money for the poor, he needs to start by auctioning off the undesirable Cardinals and Bishops. Now, that would be a real fundraiser!
Start the bidding process at $30 million and work your way up!
But with Mahony you can start the bidding at $100 million. He’ll be gone fast!
Of course, the best gift that Francis could offer to the poor is to let Holy Mother Church guide them by presenting her beauty, greatness and traditions. But that is not part of Francis’ modernist vision, which is rooted in ecumenical and interfaith dialogue. Indeed, Francis will end up with his “poor Church for the poor.”
What about Francis’ concern for “the Church and its credibility?” Isn’t it reasonable to expect that Francis would at least care to deal with the removal of an undesirable element like Mahony, from an organization using the term “Papal”?
Oh… but wait, we have a problem!
But now that The Papal Foundation has already delivered the money, will Francis turn around and give it to someone else?
Maybe Francis’ close friend, the liberal Rabbi Abraham Skorka, will manage the money – in order “to improve the world through a special leadership” that supports Francis “and his witness in the world” – which is centered, as I have said, on militant interfaith dialogue and ecumenism.
Francis is making statements about the Church acting “decisively” against sexual abuse – but his lack of “decisive” action concerning Mahony (and others) staying on the Board of Trustees of The Papal Foundation, speaks louder than words.
This confirms what I have thought from the beginning: Francis may take action against some protectors of pederasts and others mired in scandals, as long as it doesn’t affect the bottom line for “works of charity.” This would be an act of treachery which will never end the cycle of corruption. The poor deserve better.
Such a materialistic approach completely delegitimizes any “decisive” program of action to clean up the Church of pederasts, cowards, liars and thieves.
Come back for another Espresso with Marielena… where the roast is very dark, the coffee is very sweet – and the words flow with tenacity.
© Marielena Montesino de Stuart
From Our Special Correspondent
Daijiworld Media Network – Bangalore
Bangalore, Apr 26: The first Asian Edition of the biography of the new Pope, titled “Francis, Pope of a New World,” published by the leading Bangalore-based publishing house of Asian Trading Corporation (ATC), was released by Cardinal Oswald Gracias in Bangalore on Thursday evening.
Cardinal Gracias, who is the Archbishop of Bombay and President of the Catholic Bishops Conference of India (CBCI), released the low-cost edition of the biography of Pope Francis on the occasion of the Diamond Jubilee celebration of the Holy Ghost Church, at the Redemptorists Seminary Grounds, Richards Town, Bangalore.
Cardinal Gracias, who is also the Conference of Catholic Bishops of India (CCBI), which represents the Latin Rite, was among the participants in the Conclave that elected Pope Francis. He is also one of the 8 Cardinals recently chosen to advise the Pope.
Cardinal George Alencherry, Major Archbishop of Ernakulam-Angamaly and Dr Bernard Moras, Archbishop of Bangalore released “The Holy Bible (Revised Standard Version – Second Catholic Edition),” a recent revision of an acclaimed Bible translation in English.
The author of the first biography of Pope Francis is Vatican insider, Andrea Tornielli, who is acclaimed as the best-sourced, most accurate and one of the most knowledgeable reporters among the unique band of ‘Vaticanisti,’ who travel with the Pope.
The low-cost Asian edition of the biography in English, “Francis, Pope of a New World” (Ignatius Press / ATC Publications, Rs. 150/-), is a fascinating, definitive and complete biography on Pope Francis. It provides the keys to understanding the man who was a surprise choice, even a revolutionary choice for Pope.
The biography explains why the cardinal electors of the Catholic Church set aside political and diplomatic calculations to elect a pope to lead the renewal and purification of the worldwide Church of our time. In addition, there is an invaluable background on Pope Benedict’s resignation and the process of electing Pope Francis.
The biography seeks to answer questions like:
What led to the election of the first Latin American, first Jesuit pope?
What is the background against which his first papal acts find their context?
What was his family life like and how did his family view his decision to become a priest?
How did Jorge Bergoglio minister as a Jesuit priest and as an archbishop in violent, horrible times?
The Holy Bible: Revised Standard Versionn – Second Catholic Edition (RSV-SCE), which was released along with the biography on Pope Francis is widely regarded as one of the most accurate translations into modern English from the biblical languages, the Revised Standard Version or the RSV became widely established as the English version of choice even in Catholic circles through its Catholic edition approved in 1966.
It was this translation that was adopted in the English Lectionary – the book of readings used in the Liturgy – in India. With rapid changes in the English language in the last few decades, there was a felt need for an updating of some of the now archaic language (e.g., “thees,” “thous”, etc.), into their present-day equivalents.
The revision undertaken was further enhanced to conform to the 2001 Vatican Instruction, Liturgiam Authenticam which governs the translation of liturgical books including the Lectionary. The result is the Revised Standard Version – Second Catholic Edition or the RSV-SCE which in April 2012 was approved by Conference of Catholic Bishops of India (CCBI) as the Bible version for use in the liturgy in India.
The ATC Publications was started in 1946 as a bookseller and publisher. ATC has been at the forefront of efforts to publish Christian Literature, including reprints of foreign editions, and make them available to local clergy, religious and laity at concessional rates and has over 1000 titles to its credit and a wide distribution network in India/Asia that has seen the distribution of over 25 million copies.
In 2010, ATC became the first lay organisation to publish a Catholic Bible in Asia – Revised Standard Version – Catholic Edition (RSV-CE). The same year, at the express wish of His Holiness, now Emeritus, Pope Benedict XVI, ATC was chosen as the Pope’s publisher in Asia for “The Spirit of Liturgy” and later went on to publish Asian editions of the Pope’s interview “Light of the World” and “Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week”, the sequel to the Pope’s earlier book “Jesus of Nazareth.”
Consistent with its longstanding mission of serving the Church through its literature outreach, ATC has taken up the mission to make affordable editions of the newly released biography of Pope Francis and The Holy Bible (RSV-SCE) available in Asia. Other recently published titles of interest include YOUCAT – the catechism of the World Youth Day, YOUCAT T-Shirts, DIVINITY – a fascinating family board game based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
ATC is one of the largest distributors for several publishers worldwide with 5 retail outlets in the city – ATC-St. Anthony’s Friary Church–Madivala (T: 080-41116837), ATC-DVK Central Library, Dharmaram Vidya Kshetram (T: 9844019444), ATC-Paalanaa Bhavana, #5 Nandidurg Road, Benson Town (T: 9844067444), ATC-Holy Redeemer Church, Hennur Road, Kalyan Nagar (T:080-65341884), ATC-Da Costa Layout, St. Mary’s Town (T: 080-25487444).
Saturday April 6, 2013
STOCKBRIDGE — The recent installation of Pope Francis is expected to be an added blessing for this weekend’s annual Divine Mercy Sunday celebration at the National Shrine of the Divine Mercy on Eden Hill.
Typically, the religious event draws between 15,000 and 20,000 pilgrims from all over the eastern United States and Canada, with an estimated 17,000 pilgrims the previous two Mercy Sundays, according to the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception (MIC).
However, the local order of Marians expect an uptick in attendance this year, given last months’ election of Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina as the new leader of the Roman Catholic Church.
“Pope Francis has rejuvenated the Catholic faith and I expect more people than last year,” said the shrine’s rector, the Rev. Ken Dos Santos, MIC. “We still have people calling to register bus tours.”
As of Wednesday, organizers had to limit to 261 the number of buses that will be allowed Sunday on the shrine’s 350-acre campus. Additional off-site parking is available with shuttle-buses continually running to and from Eden Hill.
Divine Mercy Sunday is an international Catholic feast day promoting Jesus’ message that he’s merciful to everyone and that people should trust in his mercy and lead a compassionate life.
The Friday through Sunday celebration held the weekend after Easter Sunday culminates with the area’s largest outdoor Catholic Mass starting at 1 p.m. Sunday.
This year’s main celebrant is the Rev. Martin D. Holley, auxiliary bishop of Washington, D.C. Holley is a member of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, serving on several subcommittees, including chairman of the panel on African-American Catholics.
Francis’ willingness to regularly mingle with the public outside the Vatican and be an advocate for the world’s poor has resonated with many Catholics here and abroad, according to the Rev. Kazimierz Chwalek, MIC, the Marians’ provincial superior.
“He has re-awakened the beautiful side of Catholicism,” Chwalek said.
In addition to a rejuvenated faith, shrine officials also expect the newly installed bronze statues depicting the 14 Stations of the Cross — Jesus’ path to crucifixion on Good Friday — could boost attendance on Eden Hill this weekend and year-round. Overall, more than 70,000 people visit the shrine each year.
“The mystery of Christ’s suffering and death manifest his mercy to the highest degree,” Chwalek noted. “God sacrificing his only son shows his love and mercy for humanity.”
One of five life-like stations in the United States, commissioned by an anonymous benefactor, are along a winding path on a grassy knoll across from the shrine’s chapel. The hollow, bronze figures were created by Canadian sculptor Tim Schmalz and installed last summer and fall.
In September, they were formally blessed by the Most Rev. Timothy A. McDonnell, bishop of he Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield.
To reach Dick Lindsay:
or (413) 496-6233.
If you go …
What: Divine Mercy Sunday Weekend
When: Friday through Sunday, with celebration Mass at 1 p.m. Sunday
Where: National Shrine of the Divine Mercy, Eden Hill, Stockbridge
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org
USCCB: offer Good Friday fast, abstinence for strength to live Catholic faith in daily life
CWN – March 29, 2013
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has asked Catholics to offer their fasting and abstinence from meat on March 29 “for the strength to stand with Christ and conduct our personal and professional lives according to our religious convictions.”
“On this Good Friday, let us ardently pray to Christ our Savior for the courage and strength to express our religious convictions—to be unafraid to witness to the truth,” the USCCB flyer continued.
The USCCB has asked Catholics to fast and abstain from meat on all Fridays until the conclusion of the Year of Faith; both are obligatory on Good Friday.
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WASHINGTON — In an effort to make Catholic universities a fulcrum of the New Evangelization, the U.S. bishops’ Doctrine Committee will meet with theological societies in Washington, D.C., to address impediments to fruitful collaboration and clarify the need for effective catechesis.
On March 16, Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore, Archbishop Allen Vigneron of Detroit, and Bishop John Barres of Allentown, Pa., will address members of U.S. theological societies at a closed-door meeting at The Catholic University of America.
“The goals of the meeting include developing relationships among the academic societies and with U.S. bishops and exploring current theological issues,” read a statement attributed to Capuchin Father Thomas Weinandy, executive director of the Secretariat for Doctrine of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and released March 7 by the conference.
The one-day conference features three separate presentations by a member of the Doctrine Committee followed by responses from theologians.
Archbishop Lori will address “the relationship between catechesis and theology in a university setting in light of the New Evangelization,” according to the USCCB press release. The respondent will be Aurelie Hangstrom of Providence College, representing the Catholic Theological Society of America.
Bishop John Barres will consider “the role of a Catholic university or college in the promotion of the New Evangelization.” The respondent will be Brian Benestad of University of Scranton, representing the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars.
Archbishop Vigneron will address “the intellectual, theological, and moral needs of contemporary undergraduates in the age of the New Evangelization,” and the respondents will be James Keating of Providence College, representing the Academy of Catholic Theology, and Sandra Yocum of the University of Dayton, representing the College Theology Society.
The meeting signals the U.S. bishops’ hope that Catholic theologians can help address the intellectual, moral and spiritual challenges to the faith that lead many Catholic college graduates to drift away from the Church, under the thrall of an aggressively secular culture.
Further, the discussion marks an ongoing dialogue between Church leaders and scholars regarding the proper role of Catholic theologians, some of whom routinely critique key elements of Church teaching in undergraduate classes.
“It is a really good time to be doing something like this, as Benedict will be known for his emphasis on the New Evangelization and his constant stress on the compatibility of faith and reason,” said John Garvey, the president of The Catholic University of America, who is leading a campus-wide effort to deepen the institution’s religious identity.
“There has been a tendency among some academics to make theology a professional discipline that doesn’t have much to do with people’s faith, and … has no bearing on the way we raise our families or our reception of the sacraments,” Garvey told the Register.
“In fact, the work of theologians is connected with evangelization, and it is is a good thing to have theologians and bishops come together because they are both doing the work of the Church.”
He stressed that the meeting did not reflect an effort “to rein in speculation and make departments more orthodox. Rather it is a way to help theologians engage in the practice of evangelization.”
The gathering will include members of The Catholic Theological Society of America, Fellowship of Catholic Scholars, Academy of Catholic Theology, College Theology Society, Black Catholic Theological Symposium, the Academy of Catholic Hispanic Theologians of the U.S. and the USCCB Doctrine Committee.
New Evangelization Partners
Auxiliary Bishop Arthur Kennedy of Boston, a theologian who presently serves as the archdiocese’s Vicar of the New Evangelization, welcomed an initiative that would bring together different theological societies and “schools” to address long-standing issues within their academic discipline.
“It’s the Church inviting theologians to be in dialogue with one another about how they understand their professional work in relationship to their own faith,” Bishop Kennedy said in a Register interview.
He suggested that the meeting was inspired, at least in part, by the 1990 Instruction on the Ecclesial Vocation of the Theologian, issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
That instruction concluded with the CDF prefect, then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, inviting bishops “to maintain and develop relations of trust with theologians in the fellowship of charity and in the realization that they share one spirit in their acceptance and service of the Word.”
Msgr. Stuart Swetland, who holds the Archbishop Harry Flynn Chair of Christian Ethics at Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, Md., said it was urgent that Catholic theologians bring the New Evangelization into their classrooms.
“In their call for the New Evangelization, both Blessed John Paul II and Benedict reminded us that this is an ‘all hands on deck’ exercise: We need every part of the Church involved,” said Msgr. Swetland.
He noted that some theologians engaged in speculative work do not view catechesis as their primary mission, yet most undergraduates lack a basic education in the faith when they arrive on campus.
“Everybody who teaches theology at the university level realizes that we are often dealing with remedial work,” he said.
A Theologian’s Task
The simmering debate over the proper role of theologians has fueled tensions between university scholars and church leaders. In 2011, the USCCB Doctrine Committee made headlines when it publicly criticized a book widely used in undergraduate theology classes, Quest for the Living God: Mapping Frontiers in the Theology of God, written by St. Joseph Sister Elizabeth Johnson.
Sister Johnson was the former president of both the Catholic Theological Society of America and the American Theological Society, and her many allies in the academy attacked the USCCB doctrine committee, in part, for allegedly acting on a mistaken view of a theologian’s professional obligations.
Subsequently, in an article in the Jesuit publication America, “Beyond Catechesis,” Todd Salzman and Michael Lawler of Creighton University argued that the USCCB committee articulated an overly “narrow” view of the task of the theologian, reducing the “theological task of the theologian to catechesis.”
“Beyond Catechesis” prompted a flurry of responses, including one from Cardinal Wuerl, who expressed the hope that “Catholic campuses all over the nation can be centers for the new evangelization providing, in communion with the local bishop, the reasoned exposition of the truth of the Church’s teaching.”
During a March 7 interview, Creighton’s Todd Salzman told the Register that he viewed the upcoming meeting as a “positive” step, but he expressed some caution regarding the USCCB committee’s overall goals.
“There is definitely a need for catechesis. No one would deny that. The question is who is primarily responsible for catechizing the faithful?” asked Salzman.
“Theology includes catechesis. You represent what the Church teaches fairly and accurately, and then engage in a process of critical reflection.
“That process can lead to a deeper appreciation and integration of what the Church teaches, but on other issues, like artificial contraception, it can lead to questioning the arguments used to justify that teaching.”
While Salzman suggested that the New Evangelization “is more in line with the goals and objectives of catechesis,” the March 16 meeting will examine the role of theologians in relation to New Evangelization by drawing from various theological schools and a range of viewpoints.
Listen and Learn
Patrick Reilly, president of the Cardinal Newman Society, a group that seeks to strengthen the religious identity and theological departments at Catholic universities, suggested that the USCCB meeting was designed to set aside doctrinal disputes and simply remind theologians that the Church needed their help.
“The agenda does not directly tackle points of common dissent among college theologians, so I wouldn’t expect much debate about doctrine,” said Reilly.
“Instead, the topics seem intended to remind theologians about their proper and productive role in Catholic education. This is greatly needed, and I pray that the theologians come prepared to listen.”
Joan Frawley Desmond is the Register’s senior editor.
The U.S. bishops’ Committee on Doctrine will meet with the nation’s theological societies, March 16, in Washington at The Catholic University of America.
The goals of the meeting includes developing relationships among the academic societies and with U.S. bishops and exploring current theological issues, said Capuchin Father Thomas Weinandy, executive director of the Secretariat for Doctrine of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Societies to be represented at the meeting include the Catholic Theological Society of America, Fellowship of Catholic Scholars, Academy of Catholic Theology, College Theology Society, Black Catholic Theological Symposium, and the Academy of Catholic Hispanic Theologians of the U.S.
The day-long meeting will include three sessions. Each will start with short presentations by a member of the Doctrine Committee and a scholar from one of the societies. Their task will be to enumerate the principal matters at stake and identify topics for conversation to provide a starting point for the discussion. Scholars from the academic societies will facilitate the discussion following each session.
Bishop presenters will include Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore, S.T.D., speaking on the relationship between catechesis and theology in a university setting in light of the New Evangelization. The respondent will be Aurelie Hangstrom, Ph.D., of Providence College, representing the Catholic Theological Society of America.
The second speaker is Bishop John O. Barres, Diocese of Allentown, S.T.D.,speaking on the role of a Catholic university or college in the promotion of the New Evangelization. Respondent will be Brian Benestad, Ph.D, University of Scranton, representing the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars.
The third speaker is Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron, Ph.D, S.T.L. of Detroit, speaking on the intellectual, theological, and moral needs of contemporary undergraduates in the age of the New Evangelization. Respondents will be James Keating, Ph.D., Providence College, representing the Academy of Catholic Theology, and Sandra Yocum, PhD, University of Dayton, representing the College Theology Society.
A report on the proceedings will be published after the meeting.
From Cantcha, Inc. the makers of the highly acclaimed iMissal suite of Catholic apps for Apple, Android, BlackBerry and Windows mobile devices comes a new and approved Catholic Bible app.
Scottsdale, AZ (PRWEB) March 01, 2013
The iMissal Catholic Bible features the New American Bible (NABre) approved by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) with an Imprimatur and Nihil Obstat from the Catholic Church.
Some of the key iMissal Catholic Bible features include:
- No Internet connection necessary after the app is installed. The entire New America Bible (NABre) is saved on your device.
- Social media sharing of Scripture via Facebook, Twitter, SMS, and Email.
- Display viewing options for day or night with customizable fonts and font sizes.
- All Footnotes and Endnotes are included along with the ability add and save your own notes and thoughts in any section.
- The app is fully searchable by word, phrase, or verse with the ability to highlight and bookmark or use digital book ribbons to mark text for future reference.
Cantcha, Inc. is a developer of mobile and web based applications with a goal of providing simple and elegant software solutions.
For the original version on PRWeb visit: http://www.prweb.com/releases/prwebiMissal/CatholicBible/prweb10477867.htm
I’ve been waiting all week for NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair to apologize to the millions of Canadians who call themselves evangelical Christians, but it looks like an apology won’t be coming.
Nor will Mulcair admit that he is an outright hypocrite on the issue he is criticizing evangelicals over.
It started with a “news” story published earlier this week by The Canadian Press which said an “anti-gay” group was getting federal tax dollars for doing foreign aid work.
Now that’s an odd description of any group, but it is especially odd when referring to Crossroads Christian Communications.
Since 1982 Crossroads has been involved in helping the poor, the hungry and the thirsty in some of the most desperate places on earth.
In this particular case they were providing water. Yet to CP, this group could simply be dismissed as anti-gay because they hold the traditional Christian teaching that any sex outside of the marriage of one man and one woman is a sin. That view of sexual sin was too much for Mulcair, who branded the group as being un-Canadian.
“It goes against Canadian values. It goes against Canadian law,” Mulcair told reporters in the foyer of the House of Commons.
Here’s the thing though, that view is not illegal and is, in fact, held by Mulcair’s own church.
The Catholic catechism, the official document on church teaching, is even more direct than Crossroads in calling homosexuality a sin.
“Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that ‘homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered,’ ” the catechism reads.
So based on that, is Mulcair ready to renounce his Catholic faith and demand Catholic groups not get funding?
This isn’t about religion or homosexuality. It is about politics.
In the same breath as Mulcair denounced Crossroads, he called for more funding for a group called Development and Peace, the official aid organization of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops who, incidentally, uphold that section of the catechism I just cited. So what’s the difference?
Mulcair feels at ease bashing Canada’s four million or so evangelicals, viewing them as a group that won’t vote for his socialist dreams. Catholics, meanwhile, Mulcair sees as ready NDP voters as long as they reject all their church teachings on abortion and sexuality like he has.
On Thursday, Sun News reporter Jessica Hume pointed out to Mulcair that the Catholic and evangelical views were the same and asked him whether the Catholic church went against Canadian law and values. Mulcair dodged the question.
I’m not one to push for religious groups to get government money simply because I believe government money harms the churches, forces them to compromise.
But the fact is government money goes to religious groups for foreign aid because they are the experts in the field.
When the rest of the world turns away, religious groups step in.
In the past 30 years, Crossroads has spent
$35 million in private donations delivering foreign aid. In the last 10 years, the feds have ponied up $2 million. It’s like this with so many church groups, the private donations are far in excess of any government money.
But now Mulcair wants to institute a belief test, one that must adhere to his secular worldview. Does Mulcair realize that this is un-Canadian?
While the Catholic church and the United Church of Canada aren’t about to agree about same-sex marriage (Catholic against, United in favor), the official Roman Catholic Church/United Church of Canada Dialogue has found significant common ground in their theologies, liturgies and pastoral approaches.
“In the end it is good news that we were able to say something together on marriage,” said Michael Attridge, a University of St. Michael’s College theology professor who was one of the Catholic representatives in the dialogue. “A very important topic — something that’s very important to both our churches.”
The 23-page final report on marriage makes no change in either church’s teaching on marriage and does not try to paper over significant differences on same-sex marriage, divorce and marriage as a sacrament. However, by analyzing the Catholic and United church marriage ceremonies and official documents, the dialogue found common ground.
Both believe that marriage must be the free choice of the spouses, is intended to be a lifelong commitment, is “a commitment to self-transcendence” that serves not just the couple but children and the whole community, and is a vocation to holiness. Both believe that pastorally marriage preparation is important.
The United Church of Canada was formed in 1925 through the union of Canadian Methodists, Congregationalists and about two-thirds of the Presbyterian churches in Canada. The agreement was ratified in an Act of Parliament. Other smaller groups of churches and individual congregations have joined the United church, so that approximately 3,200 congregations belong to it today, making it Canada’s largest Protestant denomination, according to its website.
The two church bodies decided to tackle marriage in their official dialogue after the United church and the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops found themselves submitting opposing factums to the Supreme Court in 2004, before the court ruled on the constitutionality of same-sex marriage.
“This is exactly what the dialogue is for,” said the Rev. Richard Bott, a United Church of Canada representative. “We both believe we’re disciples of Jesus Christ. How is it that we were sitting in different places? … What we wanted to do was get past the stereotypes.”
A “winner-take-all” legal debate is the wrong way for Christians to discuss their differences, said the final report.
“While remaining honest about real differences, we wanted to discover ways to celebrate and to build upon our important commonalities,” reads the report’s introduction.
The essential difference is in how each church reads scripture, said Attridge, who was brought onto the dialogue both for his theological expertise and because he is married. Where the United church gives individuals and communities freedom to interpret the Bible according to their contemporary social reality, the Catholic church entrusts the magisterium of the church as a standard for authentic interpretation.
The different approaches to scripture resulted in the United church concluding that “treating people differenly because of their sexual orientation was an injustice, inconsistent with biblical norms of justice and inclusivity.”
“Understanding marriage within the order of creation is perhaps the primary point of departure for Catholic theology of marriage,” the report said.
The Catholic side cites the Bible, tradition and natural law to support a definition of marriage restricted to the union of a man and a woman. The Catholics also claim marriage as one of seven sacraments given to the church by Christ.
Dialogue is always a positive experience of faith, said Bishop Gerard Bergie, who participated in the discussions from 2009 to 2012.
“I found that my confreres on this commission were people of faith who firmly believed in what they were saying,” said Bergie, bishop of St. Catharines, Ontario. “They were sincere in their approach to things.”
The bishop said he doubts the report is “going to be a hot topic. But for anyone interested in ecumenical dialogue, I think it would be interesting.”
Since the law has left the Catholic view of marriage behind, the bishops have become wary that traditional marriage is being delegitimized. In conversation with the United church, Catholics are hoping the church’s view is not misconstrued as contempt for gays.
“What we are simply asking, particularly from the United church perspective, is that they respect the Catholic church’s approach and that we have an understanding and respect for their approach, even though we may not agree,” Bergie said.
Bott, minister to a United church congregation in Maple Ridge, British Columbia, said he believes the final report will be an aid to ministers and priests who have to prepare mixed couples for marriage.
[Michael Swan writes for The Catholic Register, a Canadian national newspaper based in Toronto.]
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