Bishops – St Matts Laramie http://stmattslaramie.com/ Fri, 25 Nov 2022 04:20:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://stmattslaramie.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/icon-2022-01-25T213047.278.png Bishops – St Matts Laramie http://stmattslaramie.com/ 32 32 Latest US shootings ‘heartbreaking’, Bishops say https://stmattslaramie.com/latest-us-shootings-heartbreaking-bishops-say/ Thu, 24 Nov 2022 12:23:59 +0000 https://stmattslaramie.com/latest-us-shootings-heartbreaking-bishops-say/ BISHOPS in the United States have expressed their anguish as two shootings in three days have left at least a dozen dead. In a pastoral letter after the third and deadliest of Tuesday’s shootings, the Bishop of Southern Virginia, the Most Reverend Susan Haynes, wrote in a pastoral letter that “Once again our world has […]]]>

BISHOPS in the United States have expressed their anguish as two shootings in three days have left at least a dozen dead.

In a pastoral letter after the third and deadliest of Tuesday’s shootings, the Bishop of Southern Virginia, the Most Reverend Susan Haynes, wrote in a pastoral letter that “Once again our world has been plunged into the darkness”.

“The aftermath of such violence is dark and full of anguish. Our cries of pain and our lamentations rise,” Bishop Haynes wrote, before urging people to “say your prayers and get to work.”

Bishop Haynes was responding Tuesday to a shooting in Chesapeake, Va., in which a Walmart employee pulled out a gun in a break room and killed six people, injured several others, then returned the gun against himself. The New York Times reports that five of the victims have been confirmed to be colleagues of the shooter, while the identity of the sixth – a 16-year-old boy – is not known due to his age.

Walmart identified the shooter as 31-year-old Andre Bing, who had worked at the store for more than a decade. The motive for the attack remains unknown.

Three days earlier in Colorado Springs, five people were killed and at least 25 injured when a gunman opened fire at an LGBTQ+ nightclub.

The Bishop of Colorado, the Rt Revd Kym Lucas called the shooting “heartbreaking”. In a statement to the Episcopal Press Service (ENS), she said: “Our thoughts are with the victims and their families as we hold them in our prayers. We also pray for the shooter and his family, and we pray fervently for an end to gun violence.

Police have arrested Anderson Aldrich, 22, and are holding him on suspicion of murder and hate crimes, although the motive for the attack remains undetermined.

The rector of St Michael’s Episcopal Church, Colorado Springs, the Reverend Matt Holcombe, told ENS that he went to the scene of the attack the next morning, “just to be a physical presence of love and to offer prayers to a place where lives were lost and changed forever.

Mr Holcombe said: “As a church that welcomes all, we have staff, clergy, parishioners who are all part of the LGBT community. Our hearts are breaking; our hearts were once again broken by another mass shooting.

Colorado Springs is considered a socially conservative town, and Club Q, where the shooting took place, was featured in The New York Times as having been an “oasis for many” in the city’s LGBTQ+ community

Jim Daly, the president of Focus on the Family, a conservative evangelical group based in the city, condemned the shooting saying, “We are never for violence against anyone.”

Mr Daly said The New York Times that “there is a perception that if we have a deep difference of opinion on the definition of marriage, we are simply a hate group. We don’t see each other like that. »

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German Bishops Ease Restrictions for Same-Sex, Divorced-Remarried Church Employees | National Catholic Register https://stmattslaramie.com/german-bishops-ease-restrictions-for-same-sex-divorced-remarried-church-employees-national-catholic-register/ Wed, 23 Nov 2022 23:34:23 +0000 https://stmattslaramie.com/german-bishops-ease-restrictions-for-same-sex-divorced-remarried-church-employees-national-catholic-register/ The new legislation means that while in the past lay employees had to agree to a moral code, these matters are now considered a private matter and the Church as an employer will pay no attention to them. Just a few days after returning from their ad limina visit to Rome, the German bishops have […]]]>

The new legislation means that while in the past lay employees had to agree to a moral code, these matters are now considered a private matter and the Church as an employer will pay no attention to them.

Just a few days after returning from their ad limina visit to Rome, the German bishops have relaxed church labor law so that all employees of the Catholic Church in Germany are no longer threatened with dismissal if they are divorced and remarried or live in a same-sex relationship.

The German Bishops’ Conference (DBK) announced on Tuesday that the new law, called “Basic Order of Ecclesiastical Service”, was adopted by a two-thirds majority at the full meeting of bishops this week.

The law applies to some 800,000 lay people working for the Church in Germany – the country’s largest employer – but not to those directly engaged in pastoral work such as catechists.

The new legislation means that while in the past lay employees had to agree to a moral code, these matters are now considered a private matter and the Church as an employer will pay no attention to them.

“The core area of ​​privacy, in particular relationships and intimacy, is not subject to legal assessment,” the law says.

She adds that “diversity in the institutions of the Church is an enrichment” and that “all employees can be representatives of the unconditional love of God and therefore of a Church in the service of people, whatever their tasks. specificities, their origin, their religion, their age, their handicap, their sex, their sexual identity and their way of life.

He concludes that “as long as they have a positive attitude and an openness to the gospel message [and] respect the Christian character of the institution.

The Bishops’ News Portal Katholisch.de called the reform “paradigm shift away from harsh demands on lifestyles and private lifestyles, and towards valuing diversity.

To take effect, each diocesan bishop must enact the law which goes further that a 2015 amendment to the legislation. Although at this time the law was relaxed for employees in irregular unions, it continued to give church authorities the right to examine on a case-by-case basis any public violation of loyalty to Church teaching. And an employee could, for example, always be dismissed if he remarries civilly, but only in special cases.

“Now everyone can live in contradiction to what the Church teaches,” a German Church source told the Register. “This amounts to secularization, or an adaptation of the Church to the world.”

The source also pointed out that the Church had voluntarily given up its right to maintain its teaching in Church-run institutions – a privilege that had been hard-earned and preserved through the Kulturkampf of the 19th century, the Third Reich and communist East Germany.

The staunchly heterodox Central Committee of German Catholics, Germany’s largest and most influential secular organization, said the move was “overdue”. Observers also said the change was precipitated by staff shortages.

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VATICAN – Archbishop Arrieta: the agreement on the appointment of Chinese Catholic bishops is not new in the history of the Church https://stmattslaramie.com/vatican-archbishop-arrieta-the-agreement-on-the-appointment-of-chinese-catholic-bishops-is-not-new-in-the-history-of-the-church/ Wed, 23 Nov 2022 10:55:42 +0000 https://stmattslaramie.com/vatican-archbishop-arrieta-the-agreement-on-the-appointment-of-chinese-catholic-bishops-is-not-new-in-the-history-of-the-church/ VATICAN – Archbishop Arrieta: the agreement on the appointment of Chinese Catholic bishops is not new in the history of the Church Vatican City (Agenzia Fides) – The so-called “sinicization” of the Catholic Church in China, that is, the adaptation of forms of ecclesial life to the Chinese cultural and social context, in itself “is […]]]>

VATICAN – Archbishop Arrieta: the agreement on the appointment of Chinese Catholic bishops is not new in the history of the Church

Vatican City (Agenzia Fides) – The so-called “sinicization” of the Catholic Church in China, that is, the adaptation of forms of ecclesial life to the Chinese cultural and social context, in itself “is not a problem “. The important thing is that in this adaptation the “essential things” which characterize the very nature of the Church are preserved, and which in reality “are few”. The Spanish Bishop Juan Ignacio Arrieta, Secretary of the Department for Legislative Texts, affirms this with determination in the video interview made for Agenzia Fides by Teresa Tseng Kuang yi (see attached video).
The Catholic Church, in carrying out her mission – adds Archbishop Arrieta – has always recognized the legitimacy and also the need to incorporate elements drawn from the context of each country and the traditional expressions of each culture. The only condition is that such adaptations do not compromise or obscure the “essentials,” the constituent genetic factors that shape the identity of the Catholic Church, and the performance proper to it.
In this regard, the Secretary of the Dicastery for Legislative Texts also commented on the Provisional Agreement between the People’s Republic of China and the Holy See on the appointment of Chinese bishops, signed in September 2018 and renewed for the second time last October. .
The Agreement on Episcopal Appointment Processes in China – underlines Archbishop Arrieta – aims to guarantee that the appointments of bishops to head Catholic communities are made “by mutual agreement between the Chinese government and the Pope”, which, according to which is also defined by the Code of Canon Law, has the prerogative of freely appointing bishops or confirming “those who have been legitimately elected” (Can. 377, §1).
Archbishop Arrieta also underlines that in the relations established to sign the Agreement and verify its concrete application, the Holy See and “the legitimate authorities of the Chinese people” recognize each other as interlocutors.
In the video interview, the secretary of the Dicastery for Legislative Texts also points out that the direct participation of civil authorities in the procedures for appointing Catholic bishops is certainly not a Chinese prerogative or a novelty in the history of the Church.
In this sense, Bishop Arrieta, born in Vitoria, in the Basque Country, recalls what happened in Spain during the time of Francisco Franco, when to elect the Spanish bishops “the government presented three names, and the pope chosen”.
In the opening lines of the video interview, Bishop Arrieta confides that he spent 20 years cultivating relationships and exchanges with “Chinese friends” and that he visited China and was impressed by these people “to ancient culture”. Arrieta adds that he is not officially and directly involved in the relations of the Holy See with the representatives of the Chinese government, and at the same time reaffirms his commitment to work according to his skills to increase confidence in the relations between the Holy Headquarters and Beijing, also cultivate cultural relations and friendships with Chinese scholars and scholars.
Archbishop Arrieta refers to his efforts to disseminate the study of ecclesiastical law in China, in order to offer avenues for reflection and deepening for those interested in civil law regulations relating to communities of believers in China.
Juan Ignacio Arrieta Ochoa de Chinchetru, born April 10, 1951, was ordained a priest of the Prelature of the Holy Cross (Opus Dei) on August 23, 1977.
He obtained doctorates in canon law and jurisprudence and was professor of canon law, first at the University of Navarre (Spain), then in Rome and Venice. He was Dean of the Faculty of Canon Law of the Pontifical Holy Cross University from its creation in 1984 until 1993, then from 1995 to 1999.
In 2003, he became Dean of the Saint Pius X Institute of Canon Law in Venice. He was appointed Secretary of the Pontifical Council (now Dicastery) for Legislative Texts on February 15, 2007, and appointed Titular Bishop of Civitate on April 12, 2008. He received his episcopal consecration on May 1, 2008.
In his essay devoted to the organizational aspects of Church-State relations in China, contained in the volume entitled “The Agreement between the Holy See and China” (published in 2019 by Urbaniana University Press and edited by Professors Agostino Giovagnoli and Elisa Giunipero), Bishop Arrieta, referring to the events of Chinese Catholicism, bears witness to how “canon law, due to its flexibility, continues to be able to solve today, as it has done in the centuries in different cultures and historical situations, the problems that can arise from respecting only the essential elements of the theology of the Church”. (GV) Agenzia Fides 23/11/2022)


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German Catholic bishops meet Vatican on homosexuality and women https://stmattslaramie.com/german-catholic-bishops-meet-vatican-on-homosexuality-and-women/ Tue, 22 Nov 2022 21:59:00 +0000 https://stmattslaramie.com/german-catholic-bishops-meet-vatican-on-homosexuality-and-women/ VATICAN CITY — German bishops have left the Vatican with mixed feelings of “relief and concern,” after renewing their loyalty to Rome over the weekend, but leaving questions over sexuality, the role of women and how to reform the power structures in the church still unanswered. Speaking at a press conference on Saturday, the president […]]]>

VATICAN CITY — German bishops have left the Vatican with mixed feelings of “relief and concern,” after renewing their loyalty to Rome over the weekend, but leaving questions over sexuality, the role of women and how to reform the power structures in the church still unanswered.

Speaking at a press conference on Saturday, the president of the German Bishops’ Conference, Bishop Georg Bätzing, said that despite the Vatican’s ban, he planned to personally continue to bless same-sex couples.

“For me, as a bishop, these blessings for people who ask God’s blessing for their committed relationship, I wouldn’t take that away from them,” Bätzing said.

Sixty-two German bishops came to Rome last week for traditional “ad limina” visits with members of the Vatican departments and offices that make up the Roman Curia. The bishops also had a private audience with Pope Francis at the Vatican and an extraordinary meeting with all heads of Vatican departments.

It was the first time German bishops had visited the Vatican since they began their “synodal journey,” a series of nationwide clergy-laity talks to address sexual abuse in the country, in 2018 A report published the same year showed that a pervasive culture of concealment and clericalism had led to numerous abuse scandals in the church.

U.S. Bishops’ Report to Vatican Shows Catholic Church Divided by Politics

The German synodal path included discussions questioning Catholic Church teachings on homosexuality, the ordination of women, and the role of clergy and laity in the Church. It passed a number of resolutions but met with pushback from Rome as the Vatican tries to rein in the German bishops.

In March 2021, the Vatican’s doctrinal department banned the blessing of same-sex couples place in the German church. Some German priests continued to bless the unions in any event. That summer, the Vatican Secretariat of State reminded the German bishops that the synodal way “does not have the power to compel bishops and the faithful to adopt new modes of governance and new approaches to doctrine. and morality”.

While conversations between the bishops and Vatican officials were “difficult but civil” last week, Bätzing insisted that “it is wrong to speak of a so-called ‘confrontation’ in Rome.”

On Friday, the German bishops had the opportunity to express their concerns to Vatican officials, including Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin; Cardinal Marc Ouellet, head of the department supervising the bishops; and the Vatican Doctrine Czar, Cardinal Luis Francisco Ladaria Ferrer. Bätzing said the topics of power structures, priestly life, female leadership and sexuality were openly discussed.

The Vatican’s mishandling of high-profile abuse cases prolongs its most significant crisis

In his address to the Vatican Curia, Bätzing said he was “amazed” that some within Vatican departments do not recognize the need for renewal in Church practice and teachings. He singled out clericalism, understood as the “use of power and exploitation of dependency” of the faithful, as the main culprit in the sexual abuse crisis and called the issue of the role of women in the Church ” decisive question for the future”. .”

The bishop stressed that “the synodal path of the Church in Germany does not seek a schism nor does it lead to a national Church,” fending off criticism. There are tensions, Bätzing said, and, like in many families, “it gets noisy at times.” But the German Church, he said, seeks to participate in “a better Catholic Church” where “we will stay together”. A joint statement between the German bishops and the Holy See says Ferrer and Ouellet spoke “frankly and clearly” about their reservations about the German synodal path.

Francis was notably absent from the meeting, a move Bätzing described as characteristic of an “intelligent Jesuit” who let the prelates “discuss like brothers.” The bishop said he was “encouraged” when he met the pope the day before.

Ex-Vatican auditor sues and threatens to expose financial mismanagement

Francis has been ambivalent towards the German synod discussions, which are taking place within the framework of a global consultation of lay and religious faithful, which will end in 2024. While promoting open discussions and ideas, the pope, in a letter from 2019 to the German Church, also reinforced the need to avoid becoming too polarized or political.

The German synodal path, however, will continue. A fifth general meeting is scheduled for March.

“The follow-up phase begins now,” Bätzing said, “as does the reflection phase on what was said and heard: our concerns, which we raised in Rome, and the considerations Rome gave us to take home. we”.

— Religious News Service

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COVID amnesty for bishops? – The Catholic Thing https://stmattslaramie.com/covid-amnesty-for-bishops-the-catholic-thing/ Tue, 22 Nov 2022 05:22:32 +0000 https://stmattslaramie.com/covid-amnesty-for-bishops-the-catholic-thing/ As a student at the Catholic University of Lublin in 1990, I wrote an article against the then Polish Prime Minister, Tadeusz Mazowiecki, gruba kreska. The “thick line” was a policy pushed by the first free Prime Minister of Poland, deciding not to hold accountable the communists who, for forty-five years, had betrayed their country […]]]>

As a student at the Catholic University of Lublin in 1990, I wrote an article against the then Polish Prime Minister, Tadeusz Mazowiecki, gruba kreska. The “thick line” was a policy pushed by the first free Prime Minister of Poland, deciding not to hold accountable the communists who, for forty-five years, had betrayed their country to the Soviets. He wanted, on the contrary, to draw a “thick line” (Gruba Kreska) between the past and the future. I called it injustice, because it prevented totalitarians, great and small, from being accountable to their victims for their actions, while leaving those same perpetrators well placed to meddle in Poland’s future.

I remember this paper because That of the Atlantic Emily Oster recently argued for a Gruba Kreska, an “amnesty” for the architects of various COVID policies. Rather than holding people accountable for their decisions and their consequences, Oster just wants us to forget the draconian COVID rules and focus on the future.

No.

Americans died alone in hospitals. Americans were concentrated in nursing homes, and some politicians even mused about COVID internment camps. Americans have lost military jobs and careers because of the warrants. Americans have lost their religious freedom.

“Oops sorry!” not enough.

It’s not enough when some of COVID’s worst policy makers are themselves shameless and go so far as to say, “I’d do it again!”

But I want to shift the focus. What about an “amnesty” for American Catholic bishops?

Like zealous COVID politicians, America’s bishops haven’t even looked at their own record during the “pandemic.” So far, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has not considered whether the closure of Mass and sacraments from coast to coast, in some places for more than a year, was a bad idea. Maybe just wrong. They seem to have forgiven themselves.

More than a year ago, I urged the bishops to do an autopsy on the performance of the “field hospital” breaking camp and leaving the battlefield in the middle of a war. It’s a normal self-assessment after a crisis. To date, this has not happened. Another fall assembly of bishops has come and gone to Baltimore this year without any soul-searching about the behavior of the “field hospital” or its trustees. No one has taken responsibility that Catholics are:

  • deprived of the last rites when dying;
  • refused Mass for months;
  • denied family weddings and funerals due to arbitrary attendance rules;
  • Free sacraments invalid as bishops said the medical staff could do the actual anointing of a sick person while the priest stood behind the door praying;
  • probably invalidating the confirmation by the use of Q-tips. (I would argue that long-standing sacramental theology holds that it is invalid).

There was no accounting. Without accounting, we can’t even begin to talk about “amnesty” or forgiveness.

*

The refusal to report on the above and much more demonstrates the worst of “clericalism,” which is very much in vogue these days to decry everywhere from Rome to local parishes. In the United States, Catholics have basically been told to “shut up and move on,” because the bishops have decided among themselves that their policy is right, and the Church still wants to maintain a beautiful figure.

What is most laughable about all of this is that the legitimate demand of the People of God is being ignored in a “listening synodal Church” that repeatedly invokes the Second Vatican Council, which clearly enjoined every bishop not to “refusing to listen to his subjects, whether he [should] cherish like true sons. (Lumen gentium 27)

The same dogmatic constitution also reminds bishops that the faithful:

have the right, like all Christians, to receive in abundance from their spiritual shepherds the spiritual goods of the Church, in particular the assistance of the word of God and the sacraments. They should openly reveal their needs and desires to them with that freedom and confidence which befits children of God and brothers in Christ. They are, by reason of the exceptional knowledge, skill or aptitude they may possess, authorized and sometimes even obliged to express their opinion on matters concerning the good of the Church.” (Lumen gentium, 37, italics added)

One would think we should be asked how the bishops “accompanied” or “smelled like their sheep”, who faithfully knocked on the locked doors of the churches – doors that the bishops locked – relegated to the “outskirts” by their own shepherds.

Public officials seek “amnesty,” if not out of genuine regret, at least out of a healthy sense of protecting themselves from future responsibility and accountability. It is a kind of secular contrition: healthy self-preservation is perhaps not the noblest of motives, but is sufficient for salvation. when accompanied by confessing what we have done wrong. In their distant clerical attitude, our bishops have not even reached this state.

Beyond liability, however, what both groups (and Catholics in this country) need is protection against future occasions of sin. Even if we admit that there is a modicum of good faith among state and church officials, we should not rely solely on their (in)firm aim of amendment. We need to put measures in place (including repeal or at least hard caps on civil “state of emergency” legislation) to prevent these abuses from happening again.

The doors of a church should never again be closed to Catholics in a “democratic” country.

*Image: The comparison by Jehan George Virbert, mid or late 19th century [private collection]

You can also enjoy some of our most popular chronicles from the last twelve years:

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The catholic thing is a smart catholic commentary forum. The opinions expressed by the authors are solely their own.

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Colorado bishops pray for ‘peace and healing’ after LGBTQ nightclub shooting https://stmattslaramie.com/colorado-bishops-pray-for-peace-and-healing-after-lgbtq-nightclub-shooting/ Mon, 21 Nov 2022 22:00:00 +0000 https://stmattslaramie.com/colorado-bishops-pray-for-peace-and-healing-after-lgbtq-nightclub-shooting/ Colorado Springs is about 70 miles south of Denver. Denver Archbishop Samuel Aquila joined the reaction, praying for “the peace of Christ” in the aftermath of the shooting. In a statement Sunday afternoon, Aquila said, “I am saddened by this tragic and senseless act in Colorado Springs and pray that those affected may find peace […]]]>


Colorado Springs is about 70 miles south of Denver. Denver Archbishop Samuel Aquila joined the reaction, praying for “the peace of Christ” in the aftermath of the shooting.

In a statement Sunday afternoon, Aquila said, “I am saddened by this tragic and senseless act in Colorado Springs and pray that those affected may find peace in Christ.”

He quoted the Letter of Saint Paul to the Romans, which urged “not to be overcome by evil, but to overcome evil with good”.

“As we seek to overcome evil with good, we must promote the dignity of every human being created in the image and likeness of God,” he said.

“While the motives remain unclear, what is clear is that evil incidents like this have become far too common in our society,” Aquila said. “Random acts of killing innocent human beings must be condemned by a civil society.”

Critique of “anti-LGBTQ rhetoric”, Catholic teaching

Club Q was to hold a “musical brunch for all ages” on Sunday, according to its Facebook page. Some children’s drag events have been criticized for sexualized displays in front of children or for encouraging them to hold false or misleading views about sex and gender. They have also become the target of in-person protests and sometimes threats from those who argue the shows amount to sexual grooming.

Even before initial charges were filed against the alleged shooter, some news reports and commentators sought to link the attack to political opposition to transgender and other LGBT causes.

A post from Denver reportOn Monday, he appeared to suggest that the Archdiocese of Denver’s policy on sexual orientation and gender identity in Catholic schools was part of a trend of “anti-LGBTQ rhetoric” before the attack on the box. night. Last week, the Denver Post editorial board called for Catholic and other schools to be barred from high school athletic associations because of their policies on sexual orientation and gender identity.

The Denver Archdiocese Politics has been in place since 2019 but drew critical coverage from the Denver Post in a Nov. 7 article. The story highlighted a section advising against enrolling students who reject their biological sex, especially if their parents support the student’s transition. It also looked at how to deal with students whose parent(s) are in a same-sex relationship.

“Ministry to students who experience same-sex attraction or gender confusion or who are diagnosed with gender dysphoria, or to their families, should be exercised with charity and caution, affirming God’s unconditional love for the person, being faithful to the teachings of the Church, showing compassion, and helping students integrate their understanding of self with truth,” the 2019 document states.

(Story continues below)

State Rep. Leslie Herod, who is running to be mayor of Denver in the 2023 election, appeared to blame Catholic school politics in Sunday’s comments posted to Twitter in response to the Club Q shooting.

“It’s no accident that such an attack took place after a week as we saw members of the LGBTQ+ community targeted for who they are and who they love,” she said. . “From students denied entry to schools to employees told they could not act on same-sex attraction and must conform to their biological sex, this community – my community, our community – has continued to suffer the ravages of discrimination.”

In response to the Denver Post story earlier this month, the Archdiocese said, “We don’t expect everyone to subscribe to a Catholic worldview, but we strongly reject attempts to present our position as bigoted or unloving.”

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US Catholic bishops concerned about views on abortion in pews https://stmattslaramie.com/us-catholic-bishops-concerned-about-views-on-abortion-in-pews/ Sun, 20 Nov 2022 15:04:31 +0000 https://stmattslaramie.com/us-catholic-bishops-concerned-about-views-on-abortion-in-pews/ In October 2021, the First Lady, Dr. Jill Biden, President Joe Biden and Pope Francis meet at the Vatican – President Joe Biden, a pro-legalized abortion Catholic, has received communion since 2021 in churches across Rome, the pope’s own diocese. -photo courtesy CSPAN. BALTIMORE (AP) — Although they have reported a continued hardline stance on […]]]>
In October 2021, the First Lady, Dr. Jill Biden, President Joe Biden and Pope Francis meet at the Vatican – President Joe Biden, a pro-legalized abortion Catholic, has received communion since 2021 in churches across Rome, the pope’s own diocese. -photo courtesy CSPAN.

BALTIMORE (AP) — Although they have reported a continued hardline stance on opposition to abortion and same sex marriageThe Nations Catholic bishops admitted on Wednesday that they were struggling to reach a key audience: their own herd.

The members of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops completed their leadership bench on the final day of public sessions at their annual fall meeting in Baltimore, which concludes with private meetings on Thursday.

They also have a plan in place to recirculate their longstanding election document in 2024 – a 15-year-old statement that prioritizes opposition to abortion – while acknowledging that it is outdated and adding a cover statement addressing such things as the teachings of Pope Francis and the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision in June that struck down the nation’s abortion rights.

The bishops elected Oklahoma City Archbishop Paul Coakley as secretary in a 130-104 vote against Cardinal Joseph Tobin of Newark, New Jersey, who had been named a cardinal by Pope Francis. It is the second time in five years that the bishops have passed over a cardinal appointed by Francis for a key leadership position.

Earlier this year, Coakley applauded the Archbishop of San Francisco’s decision to deny Communion to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Catholic Democrat from this town who supports abortion rights. So has the bishops’ new point man on opposition to abortion — Bishop Michael Burbidge of Arlington, Va., who was elected chairman of his committee on pro-life activities on Wednesday.

The votes came a day after bishops elected Archbishop Timothy Broglio of the archdiocese for military service as their new president. Broglio is also seen as more of a culture warrior than Pope Francis, although Broglio dismissed the idea of ​​any “dissonance” between the two.

Meanwhile, Coakley cited the importance of Francis’ priorities during a press conference on Wednesday.

Coakley is leading the bishops’ review of “Training Consciences for Faithful Citizenship,” a document they have used during election years with only minor revisions since 2007.

While a full review will take years, the bishops endorsed Coakley’s recommendation to begin drafting a new introduction to be published with the document in time for the 2024 elections. It would incorporate recent events such as the war in Ukraine and the Dobbs decision.

The plan also includes using church bulletins and social media to share the main ideas of the long document.

Coakley said the new introduction should reflect Pope Francis’ priorities, such as promoting civil discourse and protecting the environment.

“It’s a rich pontificate that has a lot for us to offer people…to embrace the vision that Pope Francis has articulated,” Coakley said.

Bishops from the progressive and conservative flanks of the church have echoed the concern that Catholics are not reading the document.

Bishop John Stowe of Lexington, Kentucky, appointed by Francis, said the bishops needed a relevant statement amid shaken confidence in democracy in the wake of the U.S. Capitol riot and in the wake of Dobbs and defeats abortion opponents in votes on five state ballot measures. “It is irresponsible to post old teaching and suggest that the church has nothing new to say when so much of that context has changed,” he said.

Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas, one of the most vocal conservative bishops, lamented recent state ballot measures. Polls show Catholics are mixed on legal abortion.

“I think it’s a solid document,” Strickland said, but “I think we have to recognize that people aren’t listening.”

The rift between Francis and the U.S. bishops partly reflects the conference’s continued focus on culture war battles over abortion and same-sex marriage.

Francis, while also opposing both in line with Church teaching, has used his papacy to emphasize a broader agenda to bring mercy to those on the margins, such as migrants. and the other poor. The Vatican said in 2021 that the church cannot bless same-sex unions because God “cannot bless sin,” but Francis has made outreach to LGBTQ members of the church a hallmark of his papacy. Just last Friday, Francis met Reverend James Martin, an American Jesuit priest whom the pontiff has supported in his calls for dialogue with LGBTQ Catholics.

Pelosi and President Joe Biden, another pro-legalized abortion Catholic, have received communion since 2021 in churches in Rome, the pope’s own diocese.

The bishops also heard an impassioned speech on Wednesday by Archbishop Borys Gudziak of the Ukrainian Archeparchy of Philadelphia on behalf of war-torn Ukraine.

Gudziak thanked American Catholics for providing millions of relief supplies to displaced Ukrainians and urged the United States to continue supporting Ukraine’s self-defense, saying Russian aggression has left many vulnerable over the past the coming winter.

At the same time, he said that during a conference call with the staff of a Catholic university in Lviv, he heard only joy and resolution, even amid the electricity losses during the barrage of Russian missiles on Tuesday. A staff member told him: “It’s better without electricity and with Kherson,” he said, alluding to the recently liberated city.

Gudziak accused Russia of “genocide” through such attacks and its denial of the identity of Ukrainians as a distinct people.

Also on Wednesday, a small group of sexual abuse survivors and their supporters held a press conference on the sidewalk outside the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront, where the bishops meet. As this year marks the 20th anniversary of the bishops’ historic policy barring all abusers from the ministry, advocates are seeking more transparency.

They called on bishops in every diocese to release detailed lists of credibly accused abusers and to stop lobbying against state legislation that would extend statutes of limitations for abuse suits.

David Lorenz, Maryland director of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, cited Archbishop Broglio’s archdiocese as one of the few that doesn’t publish even a minimal list of abusers. Broglio declined to comment.

“I don’t need any more excuses because it does nothing to protect the children,” Lorenz added. “I want actions to help children. I want them (the bishops) to be totally, absolutely transparent.

Also on Wednesday, bishops voted to advance efforts to have three American women declared saints.

Among them is Michelle Duppong of North Dakota, a campus missionary who died of cancer in 2014 and was credited with showing faithfulness in suffering.

They also include two 20th-century women: Cora Evans, a Catholic convert from Utah who reported mystical experiences from an early age; and Mother Margaret Mary Healy Murphy of Texas, founder of a religious order, who provided education and other ministries to African Americans.

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Young people share with bishops their desire to grow in faith, in the Church https://stmattslaramie.com/young-people-share-with-bishops-their-desire-to-grow-in-faith-in-the-church/ Sat, 19 Nov 2022 16:30:01 +0000 https://stmattslaramie.com/young-people-share-with-bishops-their-desire-to-grow-in-faith-in-the-church/ Rudy Delaney, campus minister at the University of Notre Dame of Maryland in Baltimore, speaks during a November 16, 2022 session of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ fall general assembly in Baltimore . Delaney was among approximately 325 ministry leaders, young adults and bishops who attended a gathering in Chicago June 23-26 titled […]]]>

Rudy Delaney, campus minister at the University of Notre Dame of Maryland in Baltimore, speaks during a November 16, 2022 session of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ fall general assembly in Baltimore . Delaney was among approximately 325 ministry leaders, young adults and bishops who attended a gathering in Chicago June 23-26 titled “Alive in Christ: Young, Diverse and Prophetic Voices Journeying Together.” (SNC photo by Bob Roller)

By Mark Pattison

BALTIMORE — If honesty is indeed the best policy, then two young people speaking to U.S. bishops about the joys and challenges of growing in faith became decision makers during a Nov. 16 session at the assembly Annual Fall General of the Bishops in Baltimore.

Rudy Delaney and Cecilia Flores spoke about their own experiences and the obstacles that can get in their way.

The two have been selected as delegates from their respective dioceses to attend a June 23-26 gathering in Chicago titled “Alive in Christ: Young, Diverse, Prophetic Voices Journeying Together.” About 325 ministry leaders, young adults and bishops gathered for the “Walking Together” process.

Delaney, a minister from the University of Maryland’s University of Maryland Baltimore campus, recounted an episode that occurred at the rally.

Known as “the music guy,” Delaney, who is black, said that on Sunday mornings “gospel music could be heard at home or in my parish.”

On the first night of the Chicago rally, some attendees were “speculating and anticipating what would be sung at Mass the next day. You could hear “Total Praise” or “Hallelujah!” Hail and Glory.’ As we remembered those songs we grew up on, there was joy in our hearts that night,” Delaney told the Bishops.

“When we didn’t hear the songs that day, we felt disappointed and it was a missed opportunity,” he said. “It wasn’t the first time,” he added, but “it’s not unique to our culture. You say you get used to it, but you don’t.

Then Delaney started wondering, “Is this something that can be fixed? … Was it something that could be possible? It turned out yes. All the connections were already there.

It turned out that it was Flores who interceded. “She heard us wail and sing another set of songs,” Delaney said. “Turns out we were rehearsing that night,” as their favorites were incorporated into another liturgy.

Delaney said all it takes is “honesty, awareness, inclusion and healing.”

There were “tense moments that appeared and perhaps felt chaotic” in Chicago, Flores acknowledged. But there was “a greater reality occurring that brought me great joy and hope: shepherds being shepherds, and disciples of the Lord being disciples. The disciples felt their pain; the shepherds listened.

Rejection and clericalism are just two of the reactions young people face most often, Flores said. “I wonder what it might be like if we lived church like this every day,” she added, “if young adults felt seen, loved, heard, trusted” and “what ‘it would take us to get there’.

Flores, a community organizer in Sacramento, Calif., and chair of the multicultural young adult advisory committee “Journeying Together,” told the bishops that “there is a need to foster interpersonal relationships and intergenerational dialogue.”

Cecilia Flores of the Diocese of Sacramento, Calif., speaks during a Nov. 16, 2022, session of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ fall general assembly in Baltimore. Flores is a community organizer and chaired a multicultural young adult advisory committee for the “Journeying Together” process and its closing event June 23-26 in Chicago. (SNC photo by Bob Roller)

From the Chicago experience, she says, “there has emerged a new community of leaders eager to share their gifts with the church and with the world. Often when our needs are not being met, young adults often take matters into their own hands. This has already begun and takes many forms,” including, she said, the creation of regional support groups that grew out of the Chicago session.

“We are part of God’s conversation with the world,” Flores said. “We’ve all heard of young adults leaving the church, but we’ve also heard of incredible ministries being shared by young adults everywhere.”

“We have a deep desire to be in a deeper relationship and conversation with all of you,” she said, “to be loved by you, or to be led, fought and guided by you.”

“Journeying Together” is an initiative of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. It’s a process that began two years ago, inspired by Pope Francis’ 2019 exhortation on young people, “Christus Vivit” (“Living in Christ”), and the 2018 Synod of Bishops on youth.

Organizers said the process seeks to start encounter, dialogue and accompaniment and to respond in a pastoral way to the hopes and challenges of young people from diverse cultures.

The name “Journey Together” comes from a passage in the pontiff’s exhortation: “If we journey together, young and old, we can be firmly rooted in the present, and from here revisit the past and look to the future. »

Suggestions and conclusions from the Chicago gathering are being compiled and will be offered as a resource to dioceses, schools, Catholic organizations and apostolic movements.

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Catholic Bishops of Rwanda and Burundi Express Solidarity with Congolese Amid Insecurity https://stmattslaramie.com/catholic-bishops-of-rwanda-and-burundi-express-solidarity-with-congolese-amid-insecurity/ Sat, 19 Nov 2022 04:45:43 +0000 https://stmattslaramie.com/catholic-bishops-of-rwanda-and-burundi-express-solidarity-with-congolese-amid-insecurity/ The DRC is experiencing violent clashes in the East, particularly in the regions of Ituri, Kasaï and Kivu, Global Conflict Tracker reported. Dozens of armed groups are believed to be operating in the Central African nation’s eastern region despite the presence of more than 16,000 UN peacekeepers. On November 14, the Local Ordinary of the […]]]>

The DRC is experiencing violent clashes in the East, particularly in the regions of Ituri, Kasaï and Kivu, Global Conflict Tracker reported.

Dozens of armed groups are believed to be operating in the Central African nation’s eastern region despite the presence of more than 16,000 UN peacekeepers.

On November 14, the Local Ordinary of the Diocese of Wamba in the DRC announcement a peaceful march against insecurity in the eastern region of the country which will be undertaken by its episcopal see.

“Through this peaceful march, we are going to show the world that we are tired of repeated wars in the east of the country,” the Bishop said. January Kataka Luvete said in reference to the march scheduled for December 4.

He added: “It is also a way of expressing our attachment to the unity and integrity of the national territory”.

The Congolese bishop added: “We must show that those who are to the east of the neighboring countries of the DRC, and all those who are in cahoots with the aggressors in Ituri, are accomplices in the destabilization of our country” .

On November 10, the Catholic bishops of the DRC expressed concern on insecurity in the country and called for collective action to restore peace.

In their collective statement, the members of the National Episcopal Conference of Congo (CENCO) highlighted the cases of insecurity recorded in the country in recent times and called for collective responsibility to restore peace in the country.

“We are concerned about the deteriorating security in our country and moved by our prophetic mission to sound the alarm on the danger facing our country and the responsibility of all of us,” CENCO members said. in their message published at the end. of their Extraordinary Plenary Assembly from 7 to 9 November in Kinshasa.

Jude Atemanke is a Cameroonian journalist passionate about the communication of the Catholic Church. He holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communication from the University of Buea in Cameroon. Currently, Jude is a journalist for ACI Africa.

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Dear Bishops: We know that the Church is in difficulty. Let the rest of us help you. https://stmattslaramie.com/dear-bishops-we-know-that-the-church-is-in-difficulty-let-the-rest-of-us-help-you/ Fri, 18 Nov 2022 18:48:30 +0000 https://stmattslaramie.com/dear-bishops-we-know-that-the-church-is-in-difficulty-let-the-rest-of-us-help-you/ Recently, the Archdiocese of St. Louis announced a proposal that would close more than half of its 178 parishes. The problems the archdiocese cited are all too familiar in the United States: declining attendance and an aging clergy. The fact is, young Catholics in the United States aren’t coming to church — in a 2021 […]]]>

Recently, the Archdiocese of St. Louis announced a proposal that would close more than half of its 178 parishes. The problems the archdiocese cited are all too familiar in the United States: declining attendance and an aging clergy.

The fact is, young Catholics in the United States aren’t coming to church — in a 2021 CARA survey, only 13% of American Catholics between the ages of 18 and 35 said they attend Mass every week and another 21 percent once a month. Likewise, a poll of Catholics in February showed that while half of them feel their faith in God has improved during the pandemic, only 61% plan to return to mass every week by summer.

Meanwhilea recent study of American priests have seen half say they have experienced some form of ministerial burnout. Strikingly, the most recent priests, those under the age of 45, were the most likely to have experienced burnout. And because of the shortage of priests in many places, older priests are being asked to remain in stressful full-time positions long after their lay peers have been able to retire.

If I had one wish for the American bishops at this time, it is that those who are concerned or uncertain about our future share this experience with the rest of us.

These are deeply disturbing trends, data points that portend a coming crisis of potentially historic proportions for the American church. It becomes difficult to imagine what form the American Catholic Church will take in 20 years. We are already close a point where there are not enough priests just to give the sacraments to the parishes that we have.

There is no doubt that every bishop is confronted with these problems on a regular, even daily basis, and that he struggles to find solutions capable of stemming the tide. But it is rare to hear a bishop speak from the heart about all this.

I can barely fathom what it is like to be a bishop in the face of what seems to be our own Catholic version of the impending disaster of climate change. But if I had one wish for the American bishops right now, it’s that those who are concerned or uncertain about our future share this experience with the rest of us. As paradoxical as it may seem, I think it could be a tremendous source not only of hope but of enthusiasm in these difficult times.

We know the problems are there.

In the face of the cascading crises facing our Church, the fact that bishops remain silent about their experiences is open to misinterpretation. Some interpret it as a lack of attention to the suffering parishioners and parish clergy are already going through. Others wonder if the bishops are out of touch with what is happening.

Personally, I suspect that the bishops’ reticence on these issues is more indicative of the seriousness with which they take their role. The mission of Catholic bishops is to serve as pastors and preachers of the Good News. Talking about the seriousness of the situation or naming problems without providing ready-made solutions does not seem to fit this. Some might even say that taking risks increases people’s discouragement and disaffection with the church.

For faithful Catholics struggling with the state of affairs, hearing a bishop share their concerns and uncertainty would be extremely consoling.

But the fact is that anyone who reads a newspaper in the last 20 years knows the situation of the Catholic Church in the United States. Anything a bishop might share is unlikely to make the situation worse.

On the other hand, for the Catholic faithful grappling with the state of affairs, hearing a bishop share their worries and uncertainties would be extremely consoling. It tells them that they are not alone and that it is not wrong or wrong for them to feel the concern they feel. It teaches us that an honest assessment of reality is not a sin. Even Jesus cried out in confusion and fear from the cross.

Speaking the truth can be liberating.

A few times I was able to spend time in outback Australia. There are so few people there and so little light pollution that at night you are looking at an ocean of stars. It sounds good, but it’s also surprisingly disturbing. You can’t help but feel microscopically tiny about this.

But at some point, this awareness goes from dizzying to liberating, even funny. It’s true, I am microscopically tiny in the context of the universe. So why do I walk around like it’s all up to me?

Part of the burden of any leadership position is the sense of personal responsibility that comes with it. It’s your organization. Its well-being and its future are in your hands.

For religious leaders like bishops, this burden is undoubtedly magnified. They not only look after the financial well-being of employees, but the spiritual well-being of an entire diocese and local community.

If a bishop were to simply express his fears or concerns, he would find many talented people who would rush to help him. It’s what people do for each other.

In this situation, it is natural to expect a lot from yourself, perhaps even to think that everything is up to you. But the fact is, no. The church belongs to God and its future is in God’s hands. Bishops have an essential role to play, of course, but they are not expected to “save the Church”.

When you admit to others that you don’t have all the answers, it frees you from some of the burden of that subtle demon of self-expectation. It reminds you that there is a God you can turn to. More than that, it redirects you to him. Problems demanding answers instead become invitations to pause and listen. God, what are you trying to show us? What do you want us to see?

Expressing your limits opens up new possibilities.

In Jesuit communities you will sometimes hear a frustrated superior complaining that men are not free, not available for mission. Some will try to use these comments as a kind of incentive for change. And honestly, it’s usually only effective in losing men’s trust. Because shame does not motivate; it paralyzes.

Do you know what moves the Jesuits? An expression of need. Our superior general says Jesuit refugee services needs volunteers, or a provincial says the pastor of one of our parishes is in real trouble, and suddenly men volunteer to help.

Bishops, you carry great burdens. But you don’t need to wear them alone.

It’s not just a Jesuit thing. When people see other people in need, they have a natural tendency to react.

I think this fits the current dilemma of the church. Even though many Catholics see the problems we face, the organizational structure of the church is such that there is not much room for us to either voice our concerns or help. Instead, we are mostly asked to come to Mass, make a generous donation, and maybe do some volunteer work. And the responsibility for everything related to the whole is left to the bishop and his team.

If a bishop were to simply express his fears or concerns, he would find many talented people who would rush to help him. It’s what people do for each other. For so many Catholics, who love the Church and see her in difficulty, it is also a much-desired chance to help secure her life and her future.

One can feel a sense of impending doom reading about the situation in the church today. But to the extent that they are shared, our struggles also offer opportunities. Bishops, you carry great burdens. But you don’t need to wear them alone.

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