thomas.kochi + catholic   274

Memo to Henneberger: The logical thing is to 'hang in there'
I think it was Bernard Shaw who was asked, when he left the church, if he was going to become a Protestant. He answered, "I've lost my faith, not my reason."What I hear you saying is, "I've lost my reason, not my faith."Could this be your personal version of the "dark night of the soul," when nothing human seems to support our faith? The purpose of the dark night is to let us experience our faith as divine by holding on to it when all the human reasons for doing so just don't mean anything anymore. We see the logic in them, but they just don't affect us.When that happens, the only advice anyone can give us is, "Hang in there!" Then we come to understand on a deeper level what faith is.
catholic  scandals  Reporter 
5 days ago by thomas.kochi
Steve Bannon goes to war with the Pope
His greatest failings outside the spiritual and theological are siding with the globalist elites against the citizens of the nations of the world. Memo to the Pope — if you want to cultivate a media image of working man’s champion, great; but you then actually have to stand up for the little guy, and not with the rich and powerful who drive the UN and the EU in favor of their own internationalist agendas at the little guy’s expense. His attempts to demonize the populist movement in Europe and the United States are beneath contempt.’
catholic  pope  contrarians 
8 days ago by thomas.kochi
Battle of wills: Tiny order of French nuns takes on Vatican
As the standoff escalated, 34 of the 39 nuns issued an extraordinary public declaration last month saying they had no other choice but to ask to be relieved of their religious vows.“We are not making this sacrifice lightly,” they wrote. “We wish to remain in total communion with the church but we cannot signify more clearly, or more painfully either, our incapacity in conscience to obey what we are commanded to do.”The standoff with the Little Sisters comes amid a continuing free-fall in the number of nuns around the world, as elderly sisters die and fewer young ones take their place. The most recent Vatican statistics from 2016 show the number of sisters was down 10,885 from the previous year to 659,445 globally. Ten years prior, there were 753,400 nuns around the world, meaning the Catholic Church shed nearly 100,000 sisters in the span of a decade.European nuns regularly fare the worst, seeing a decline of 8,370 sisters in 2016 on top of the previous year’s decline of 8,394, according to Vatican statistics.
catholic  controversies  France 
8 days ago by thomas.kochi
Duterte to Filipino Catholics: Emulate Virgin Mary’s selflessness
“Let us emulate Mary's qualities as a humble and caring person and remain guided by her faithfulness as we strengthen our devotion and nurture our lives with unconditional love and good deeds that will benefit the Filipino people,” Duterte said in an official statement.“I wish you a happy and meaningful occasion,”Duterte acknowledged the traits of the Virgin Mary, which include “simplicity, kindness, and humility.”“Every year, our thoughts and hearts unite to celebrate the life of Virgin Mary whose simplicity, kindness, and humility we truly adore and admire,” Duterte said.He pointed out how Filipinos, in times of difficulty, have always considered the Virgin Mary as “an epitome of faith.
catholic  oddly  Philippines 
8 days ago by thomas.kochi
Argentine archbishop: in some dioceses there is a gay priests’ lobby
The Pope has touched a key point, which did not used to be talked about,” he said. “I can assure you that, in some dioceses, the percentage of homosexual priests is high, and that they usually cover for each other; they do not come out of the closet … they constitute a kind of lodge or lobby, even those who are ‘non-practising’.”The archbishop suggested it was a just form of discrimination not to admit gay people to the priesthood. “Fair discrimination is preventing things from being done that should not be done or that people who should not be in such a place be there,” he said. “Well: choosing candidates for the priesthood with full male integrity is an obligation of the Church; otherwise the sense of celibacy is being put at risk.”
catholic  scandals  gender  sexuality 
8 days ago by thomas.kochi
Pope points to Mary’s trust in God on solemnity of the Immaculate Conception
“Today we look at the beauty of Our Lady, who was born and lived without sin, always docile and transparent with God. This does not mean that life was easy for her. Living with God does not magically solve problems,” “Why not start your days like this? It would be nice to say every morning: ‘Here I am, Lord, today your will be done in me’,”After the Annunciation, the angel departed and Mary’s “problems began immediately,” Mary knew that “she would become the Mother of God, but the angel had not explained it to others,” Francis explained. “Think of her irregular situation according to the law, the torment of St Joseph, the skipped life plans, what the people would say…”“The angel leaves the Virgin alone in a difficult situation… And she trusts,” he said. “We ask the Immaculate to have the grace to live like this.”
catholic  pope  Christmas 
8 days ago by thomas.kochi
Former U.S. attorney indicts Catholic priests
Whenever someone generalizes from the individual to the collective (of a negative nature)—making sweeping statements indicting an entire class of people—it is rightly condemned. Well, not always. This is certainly true of most races, religions, ethnic groups, and sexual orientations, but it is definitely not true of Catholic priests..former U.S. Attorney David Hickton spoke about his experiences at a Pittsburgh suburban Catholic elementary school. He said there were members of the basketball team who were abused by the coach. Hickton didn't stop by commenting on the offending coach. He said that "I don't think my experience is that much different than many people who went to Catholic school."This is a remarkable statement. Was Hickton abused? No, he says he was not. On what basis does he make such a sweeping generalization? He has never done a study of this issue and cannot point to one that would substantiate his claim. One would think that a man of his stature—he is the director and founder of the University Institute for Cyber Law, Policy and Security—would choose his words more carefully.
WilliamDonohue  catholic  scandals 
16 days ago by thomas.kochi
In new book on clergy and religious life, Pope Francis addresses homosexuality
The Strength of a Vocation:“The issue of homosexuality is a very serious issue that must be adequately discerned from the beginning with the candidates, if that is the case. We have to be exacting. In our societies it even seems that homosexuality is fashionable and that mentality, in some way, also influences the life of the Church,” “It’s not just an expression of an affection. In consecrated and priestly life, there’s no room for that kind of affection. Therefore, the Church recommends that people with that kind of ingrained tendency should not be accepted into the ministry or consecrated life. The ministry or the consecrated life is not his place.”“have to urge homosexual priests, and men and women religious to live celibacy with integrity, and above all, that they be impeccably responsible, trying to never scandalize either their communities or the faithful holy people of God by living a double life. It’s better for them to leave the ministry or the consecrated life rather than to live a double life.”
pope  catholic  gender  celibacy  sexuality 
17 days ago by thomas.kochi
A visit to the Chapel of the Miraculous Medal
The Chapel of the Miraculous Medal, at 140 rue de Bac, Paris, attracts many visitors all bent on expressing their devotion to Our Lady. This is no architectural gem, no awe-inspiring masterpiece of design. It is a simple Convent chapel, beautiful despite its simplicity.The history of the Miraculous Medal is known throughout the world. This fact alone tells of the wonder Our Lady created when she appeared in this little Chapel to Catherine Labouré in 1830.
catholic  France  pilgrimage 
20 days ago by thomas.kochi
What Catholics lose when they leave the Church
The Church proclaims a higher, more demanding teaching than any other religious assembly. Because Catholic aspirations are higher, Catholic sins are always more shocking. Corruptio optimi pessima – or as DH Lawrence put it, “The greater the love, the greater the trust, and the greater the peril, the greater the disaster.” Despite the infamies that rightly enrage them, these ex-Catholics have not been able to shake a residual belief in the Catholic faith, a recognition of the nobility of the Catholic creed. When a woman he loved decided to leave the Catholic Church, Evelyn Waugh inquired: “Did you never think how you were contributing to the loneliness of Calvary by your desertion?” Like so much of Waugh’s writing, this was unkind – and absolutely correct. Christ is the victim who suffered with and for all the world’s victims. His body, the Church, has been lashed and pierced by evil men. Whoever would accompany the suffering must cling to him. Tending to its wounds – to His – and to those of the victims is a single task.
C.Herald  catholic 
24 days ago by thomas.kochi
Amateur hour at the bishops' conference
But, when the bishops began discussing the proposals on Nov. 13, it quickly became obvious that the proposals were ill-conceived and would have fallen apart on their own, without any help from Rome. Erecting a national oversight commission, at considerable expense and with additional bureaucracy, to monitor 200 bishops, very few of them likely to have broken their vows of celibacy, didn't seem very practical once they began discussing it. The proposed commission would report allegations to the nuncio, but that happens now, and no one had bothered to ask the nuncio if he wanted a commission to help him in his work. The Standards of Conduct seemed poorly framed and vague. The whole thing seemed amateurish.
MichaelSeanWinters  catholic  C.Herald  Reporter 
29 days ago by thomas.kochi
Soros-backed leftists and their agenda at the Catholic bishops' conference
None of these people bothered to tell us how we would resolve the problem of clergy sexual abuse by changing the Church's teachings on ordination or sexuality. That they refuse to state the obvious—this has been a homosexual scandal all along—only weakens their position.They are also seemingly unaware of the fact that many of the Protestant mainline denominations that adopted these reforms are crashing—they've been in free fall for decades. Indeed, the decline in membership was driven by these reforms! Why is it seen as "progressive" to adopt strictures that cause a regression?Sexual abuse by homosexual priests has been checked since the Dallas reforms of 2002, making it all the more ludicrous to adopt these irrational reforms. Fortunately, few bishops will listen to them.
WilliamDonohue  catholic  scandals 
4 weeks ago by thomas.kochi
The papacy is working hard to combat the sex trade
EVEN THE Holy See’s greatest defenders would acknowledge this much: this is not an easy time for the Vatican to be burnishing its credentials as a defender of vulnerable youngsters from exploitation. As a colleague wrote recently, there is good reason to expect the fallout from clerical abuse scandals to get worse.But, in what is one of the great paradoxes of the current papacy, Pope Francis has repeatedly returned to the issue of people-trafficking, and the closely related problem of sexual exploitation, especially of minors. In the thinking of the Vatican, the manipulation of vulnerable individuals for the sex trade is the epitome of a darkly materialistic age, when everything can be monetised and intangible values are cast aside. Over and above these philosophical assertions, it is acknowledged by people who work in the field (including those who are far from the church) that Catholic-inspired projects and charities have a role to play in combating people-trafficking and the sex trade, one that cannot easily be matched by their secular counterparts.Over and above these philosophical assertions, it is acknowledged by people who work in the field (including those who are far from the church) that Catholic-inspired projects and charities have a role to play in combating people-trafficking and the sex trade, one that cannot easily be matched by their secular counterparts.Whatever motivates the individuals involved in these Christian charities (who may be religious professionals or lay-people, devout or otherwise), it is probably not the desire to improve the Holy See’s image, or even to put into practice some theological principle about the dignity of the human person. There is simply a job to be done and they get on with it.Vatican has other failings. Here, at least, it is sincere
catholic  Economist  charity  Vatican  pope 
4 weeks ago by thomas.kochi
Meet America's Catholic tribes
..this is a horrible time for American Catholics.. the civil war provoked by the McCarrick revelations, and by mixed messages from Rome, is being fought by a colourful array of Catholic “tribes” – noisy groups of priests and laity who disagree on pretty much everything. Liturgy, sexual morality, Pope Francis, Vatican finances – there are fault lines everywhere, growing wider thanks to a deadly combination of scandals and social media.Casual observers usually assume that the battle is being fought between two camps: liberals and conservatives. Pious Catholics remind us that “there is neither Jew nor Greek, conservative nor liberal,” for we are all one in Christ Jesus. And that’s perfectly true. Yet the American Church is rife with factionalism – sometimes toxic, sometimes comically petty, often both.Yes, this is essentially a fight between conservatives and liberals. But there are sub-divisions within both camps..profiles of six of the tribes fighting for control of the American Church.
C.Herald  catholic  America 
4 weeks ago by thomas.kochi
Italian priest and pioneer in anti-pedophilia fight optimistic about Italian Church
An Italian priest on the front lines of the fight against sexual abuse, and a member of a commission that shortly will be producing the Italian bishops’ new guidelines for safeguarding children, said he’s optimistic about the handling of abuse cases on the peninsula.The guidelines “will address formation, information and prevention, as well as everything necessary to ensure that the Church becomes a safe haven of care capable of handling these issues,” said Father Fortunato Di Noto, an internationally renowned figure respected for his work in the fight against pedophilia.Italy, the priest added, “is not at ground zero” when it comes to this issue, and the 2014 guidelines already paved the way for further progress.Di Noto’s opinion on the handling of sexual abuse, especially in the Italian context, comes from over 30 years of experience in fighting human trafficking and sexual abuse, within and outside of the Church.He started surfing the internet in 1989, and while studying at the Gregorian University in Rome, first came across the reality of pedo-pornographic content during a conference raising awareness. From that moment, he began using his keen understanding of the internet to track down victims and perpetrators.While many police departments in Italy and the world did not even have a computer, Di Noto was getting information about pedophilia on the web and sending it via fax to authorities all over the world.He started his non-profit organization, Meter, in his parish in 1995, with a few concerned faithful. In the past 12 years they have proved essential in over 23 national and international police investigations, led to over 300 arrests and signaled concerns regarding more than 23,000 religious and lay people accused of abusing minors
catholic  scandals  cyber  activists  pioneers  crime 
4 weeks ago by thomas.kochi
New book throws light on Viganò and McCarrick
“The truth emerges,” Ben Bradlee, the former editor of the Washington Post once said.“Truth is humble, truth is silent, the truth is not noisy,” the Pope said during Mass a week after Viganò had published his testimony. He added that “with people who seek only scandal, who seek only division” the only response is “silence”.
catholic  pope  scandals  books  A.Tornielli 
4 weeks ago by thomas.kochi
Cardinal Henri De Lubac:"A man of the Church will always remain open to hope; for him the horizon is never closed. Like St. Paul, he will want to be full of rejoicing in his sufferings and will go so far as to believe himself called ... to 'fill up those things that are wanting in the sufferings of Christ ... for his
body which is the Church.', knowing that in Christ he has 'the hope of glory'."
catholic  speeches  letters 
5 weeks ago by thomas.kochi
Even amid attempts at revolution, Rome remains the same
.. magical city, whose very ground is (in the words of Pius V) inzuppata col sangue dei martiri, soaked with the blood of the martyrs like a piece of bread dipped in soup.A full survey of Rome’s churches, shrines, and hospitals would constitute a summa of the Christian faith, with no doctrine neglected, no duty of love overlooked, no divine favour forgotten. It is a credo in stone, an ebenezer to the mighty works of God. Gregory Martin’s 1581 work Roma Sancta, a rapturous defence of the city against its Protestant critics. Writers such as Martin Luther and William Fulke believed that Rome had broken with primitive Christianity. Though such polemics have cooled in the last 500 years, this view is still common. Last year the Protestant philosopher James K.A. Smith wrote, “Anyone who’s actually read Augustine would have to conclude: he would be more at home at St Pierre’s in Geneva than St Peter’s in Rome.”Martin counters such arguments by quoting patristic encomia to the city and praising the devoutness of the city’s Christians. “They are so ravished with devotion and sodenly touched with sweete compunction,” he writes, “that I was ashamed of my own hardnesse and coldnesse.” But Martin’s most important argument is historical. “Rome now is nothing degenerated from Rome in old tyme shuch as the fathers have described.” He contrasts the decay of pagan temples with the perdurance of the Catholic faith.No Roman Christian from 1518 or 518 would have trouble joining the men and women who visit the Madonna del Parto in Sant’Agostino to pray that God will bless them with children, and return to pin up pink or blue bows in thanks.For those disturbed by the direction the Church has taken under Pope Francis, nothing is more reassuring than the fulfilment of one of Martin’s more eccentric predictions: “Thou shalt never see Rome without some Athanasius and Paulus.” I saw both Athanasius and Paul. Whatever their own concerns about current events in the Church, they are confident that God will once again rescue and save his elect inheritance. So am I.
catholic  Rome 
5 weeks ago by thomas.kochi
Recognition for a Much-Neglected English Catholic Artist
David Jones: Engraver, Soldier, Painter, Poet by Thomas Dilworth is the recently published and definitive biography of Jones. It will spark renewed interest in the various aspects of the Londoner’s creativity...Off duty one wet Sunday, Fusilier Jones wandered along the frontline looking for firewood. He came upon a byre where he thought he might find some wood. Putting his eye to a crack in the paling he spied two candles and a man dressed in liturgical vestments facing a stack of ammunition boxes covered in a white cloth. Half a dozen men knelt around this figure. Unexpectedly, the tinkling of a bell broke the silence, followed by Latin words, gently spoken. Jones was to express “marvel” at such a thing, which he realized was a Catholic Mass, taking place so close to the front the time Jones “saw” the Mass for the first time, he was already being drawn intellectually and aesthetically to Catholicism. This moment of unlooked-for “sacramentality” impressed Jones deeply. He was never to forget it. In fact, his later ideas about art as “sacrament” were to be a constant lodestar.Although Jones lived modestly, with a seemingly monastic detachment from possessions and wealth, he was a welcome and beloved visitor at the homes of the wealthy and the powerful, from Downing Street to Buckingham Palace, and through to the home of T.S. Eliot (his publisher at Faber and Faber). For the last twenty years of his life, from the early 1950s onwards, Jones was living in a ‘cell-like’ room in Harrow, in North West London. And yet, this small room, in a shared household, was to witness a constant parade of composers, poets, film stars, actors, artists, writers, and politicians who came to visit him.
catholic  C.Herald  artists  books 
5 weeks ago by thomas.kochi
…the way Pennsylvania attorney general Josh Shapiro presented the report—and the way it was often described in the press—made it easy to assume that the grand jury had unearthed three hundred new clerical abusers, when in fact most of the abuse covered in the report occurred in the last century and roughly eight out of ten of the alleged abusers are dead. It was easy to overlook the good news in an otherwise disheartening report—namely, that since the U.S. bishops established stringent new procedures for handling allegations of sexual abuse in 2003, only two priests from the seven dioceses studied have been accused.The “narrative” of an ongoing, widespread, and unaddressed rape culture in the Catholic Church in the United States is one state attorney general after another finds political hay to be made by investigating the Catholic past, it is essential that Catholics understand that a lot of the awfulness that is going to keep coming out—both in terms of abusive clergy and malfeasant bishops—was in the past...Catholics are fed up with clerical narcissism. The angers of the present have been stoked by that narcissism for decades; the deadly combination of McCarrick and Josh Shapiro blew the boiler’s lid off.At the same time, it must be remembered that most priests and bishops in the United States are not narcissists: rather, they’re men with a deep sense of vocation who know they’re earthen vessels through whom flows unmerited but superabundant divine grace. Those men deserve our support, affection, and gratitude as they, like the rest of us, deal with the fallout of this season of humiliation and purification.As for the narcissists, they need help—and disciplining.
catholic  scandals  FirstThings  GeorgeWeigel 
5 weeks ago by thomas.kochi
Four underground priests reportedly disappeared in China's Hebei province
Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun, Bishop Emeritus of Hong Kong wrote in a column for the New York Times that the agreement was a step toward the “annihilation” of the Catholic Church in China While Pope Francis is “very pastoral,” Zen said he does not think that he properly understands how communist China works. In Pope Francis’ home country of Argentina, the communists worked to defend the poor against government oppression, often alongside Jesuits, he said. This could be why the pope “may have a natural sympathy for Communists,” as he views them to be persecuted.It is far different, said Zen, in places where communists are the ruling party – like China. When they acquire power, the communists become the persecutors themselves, he said.While the exact terms of the agreement between China and the Vatican were not released, Zen is not optimistic about the future of the underground church. While Pope Francis could still “veto” the nomination of a state-approved bishop, “how many times can he do that, really?”“What good is having the last word when China will have all the words before it,”
catholic  China 
5 weeks ago by thomas.kochi
Guam's Catholic Church To File Bankruptcy Amid Deluge Of Sex Abuse Lawsuits
Keith Talbot, an attorney for the Church, said the decision to file bankruptcy grew out of information gleaned from mediation sessions."Bankruptcy does two really good things for us. One is finality for the archdiocese going forward," As part for the process, a judge will set a deadline — effectively a kind of statute of limitations — for claimants to come forward with any new lawsuits. "The other part is that bankruptcy is the method to deliver the greatest measure of justice to the greatest number of victims."In this respect, Leander James agrees. He's an attorney representing nearly a dozen of the alleged victims."I think this bankruptcy was necessary to create an avenue toward a final settlement,"It will also provide the archdiocese a road out of this dark jungle it's been in. For years now, they've been trying to find their way out. I think this may provide that path."
catholic  scandals  laws 
5 weeks ago by thomas.kochi
‘Incredibles 2’ Designer Says God’s Creation Is His Inspiration
A Catholic designer has spoken about how God and his faith inform his work. As a visual set designer at Pixar Animation Studios, Philip Metschan helped create the environment of Incredibles 2, most notably, the superhero Parr family’s new home.Metschan told CNA that one of his favorite parts of being an environment builder is getting to take inspiration from the real world, filtering it through his own experience “to produce a world that’s never existed — fantastic things that no one has ever seen before.”“I am definitely someone who likes to be out in nature and out in the world and experiencing it, because I think there are strong narratives that are created just from the existence of these places,” he said, adding that, for him, it is not possible to separate creation from the Creator.“In a sense, I feel like whenever I’m using [real-world environments] as inspiration, I’m using [God] as inspiration,”
register  catholic  design  arts 
5 weeks ago by thomas.kochi
A Church of Color
early Christian texts abound with references to visual worlds and the symbolic role that color played in them; one thinks of the jeweled foundations of the New Jerusalem from John’s Apocalypse, the blinding light of Paul’s conversion experience, or the ‘glory’ of the Lord, typically imaged as azure expanses and flashes of golden lightening. This polychromatic glory is hinted at in Eusebius’ panegyric for the dedication of the cathedral-basilica at Tyre during which he extols the nature of the light and the inlaid marbles adorning the building. His description is good evidence that when Christians began building their use of color was very Roman – a population that had imitated luxurious color-saturated stone and tapestry in stucco during the Republic and then began importing colored stone from North Africa during the Empire.The Christian interest in color and its use in worship was not simply decorative, it was also highly speculative and scientific. Saint Isidore of Seville (Etymologiarum sive originum, libri XX ) and the Venerable Bede (De natura rerum) carried forward the ancient notion that color is the human apprehension of light, which itself is divine, and therefore the most real element of the created order. They suggested, as well, symbolic functions of color based upon a color’s correlating material substance: For example, white is the color of life and nourishment as the blood left over in the womb is transformed into breast milk and nourishes the suckling child. This riot of color and meaning was the norm of the Church’s liturgical life and in the Medieval era found its greatest proponent in Abbot Suger of Saint-Denis, whose fascination with color and light brought him to expend great wealth on sacred vessels and vestments, popularize stained glass, and change his bedspreads according to the feast day. There are of course the subsequent Cistercian and Reformation trends toward monochromaticism, but they are historic outliers.
catholic  christian  architecture  design  arts  colors 
5 weeks ago by thomas.kochi
Catholic bishops ask Israel to repeal law excluding non-Jews
Top Catholic prelates in Israel are asking the government to repeal the recent Nation State Law, which they say paves a path for discrimination against non-Jewish citizens.“Although the law changes very little in practice, it does provide a constitutional and legal basis for discrimination among Israel’s citizens, clearly laying out the principles according to which Jewish citizens are to be privileged over and above other citizens,”“We, as the religious leaders of the Catholic Churches, call on the authorities to rescind this basic law and assure one and all that the state of Israel seeks to promote and protect the welfare and the safety of all its citizens.”The Nation State Law’s provisions, which have the weight of a constitutional amendment, define Israel as the “historic homeland of the Jewish people” who have “a singular right to national self-determination within it.”
catholic  C.Herald  Israel  laws  Jewry 
5 weeks ago by thomas.kochi
I’ve Changed My Mind
One of the things that has always struck me about the sorts of people who cross from one side of the Tiber to the other. Of course, conversions can happen in either direction, but there is a marked difference in quality between those who convert from Catholicism to Protestantism, and those who make the journey in the opposite direction. In my experience, those who convert from Catholicism to Protestantism are usually either nominal Catholics, or those who have received substandard catechesis. Most of them didn’t really know their faith all that well, and when they finally receive a substantial education in theology and the Bible, they get it in a Protestant context. To quote the prophet Hosea: “My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge.” (Hosea 4:6)By contrast, Protestant converts to Catholicism tend to come from the best and the brightest–pastors, professional theologians, and graduates from top Protestant seminaries such as Westminster Theological Seminary, Reformed Theological Seminary, Geneva College, and (in my case) Wycliffe College (check out this line-up and this one to see what I mean). A perusal of some of their testimonies should give you an idea of what normally drives most of these converts–dissatisfaction with the subjectivity that comes with Sola Scriptura (which results in some of the Reformed to propose alternate final authorities), inability to account for foundational theological presuppositions (e.g. the Canon of Scripture), the superior biblical exegesis of Catholic apologists and theologians and the witness of pre-Reformation church history (the practice of reading the early church fathers has a notorious track record for causing Protestants to convert to Catholicism, so much so that some Protestants discourage reading them altogether). Furthermore, you never hear of WTS or RTS graduates converting to Atheism, or Mormonism, or Islam. Only Catholicism has had such success in winning over the best and brightest of the Reformed world.
catholic  faith  C.Herald 
6 weeks ago by thomas.kochi
Now is the time to modify the Catholic Church's 'seal of confession'
Within Canon 1447 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church we read: "During the first centuries the reconciliation of Christians who had committed particularly grave sins after their Baptism (for example, idolatry, murder, or adultery) was tied to a very rigorous discipline, according to which penitents had to do public penance for their sins, often for years, before receiving reconciliation."Clearly, the church's use of public penances for centuries hardly endorses a seal of confession.Nevertheless, I realize that there are some people who hold that the seal of confession is a matter of divine law, having been intended by the Lord in the establishment of the sacrament of reconciliation and, thus, cannot be changed. However, if that were so, why did the Holy Spirit allow the church to employ public penances over the first centuries? I respond: Because the seal is not a matter of divine law.

And I say that change is needed. To do so we must distinguish confidentiality that is intended by the Almighty for the common good of human life from the statute of secrecy or seal that was established by church authority.Unquestionably, secrets have a proper place in our lives. At times, governments need secrets, businesses need secrets, families need secrets, individuals need secrets, and even the church needs secrets. Yet, if secrets contribute to endangering minors and vulnerable adults to be preyed upon by sexual abusers, that form of secrecy is immoral and perhaps illegal, depending on the civil laws at hand.
catholic  crime  laws 
6 weeks ago by thomas.kochi
CONCLUDING UNSCIENTIFIC POSTSCRIPT-XV Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops
The fifteenth ordinary general assembly of the Synod of Bishops, convened by Pope Francis to reflect on “Youth, the Faith, and Vocational Discernment,” is now history.Some good things happened in Rome this past month. Catholics from all over the world got to know each other’s stories and experiences, which helps shake all of us out of our comfort zones. Catholicism today is genuinely “catholic” in the sense of “universal” or “global,” and to live that, not just think or read about it, is a bracing and revivifying experience of solidarity.St.Paul:And he gave some as Apostles, others as prophets, others as evangelists, others as pastors and teachers, to equip the holy ones for the work of ministry, for building up the Body of Christ until we all attain to the unity of faith and knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood to the extent of the full stature of Christ… [Ephesians 4:11-13].And there were, as always, many experiences of fellowship, and the grace that flows from the Holy Spirit through solidarity in a great cause. In that sense I’ve been glad to have been here. And like others, I suspect, I’m grateful that Synod-2018 has given me a clearer understanding that business-as-usual is not an adequate model for the next months and years of Catholic life.– George Weigel
C.Herald  catholic  summits  synods 
6 weeks ago by thomas.kochi
Why this conservative Catholic defends the Pope and Amoris Laetitia
Two years ago Pope Francis was presented with a list of “dubia,” known as doubts, by four cardinals who wanted him to clarify a teaching document on marriage and family life. The Princes of the Church, two of whom have died, are still waiting for a response and complain about not being able to meet with Francis to discuss their concerns.It was a different story for British Catholic writer Stephen Walford, a married father-of-five who teaches the piano and has a sideline in theological writing.“If we have to use labels, I’m what you call a conservative Catholic, I’ve always tried to be obedient to the Popes’ teachings, whatever they are,” “I’m a family man, married with five children, trying to live what ‘Amoris Laetitia’ is about in the general sense.”“I see no ambiguity in that document whatsoever,”“People are looking for ambiguity when it’s not there. The Pope hasn’t changed the general teaching on confession and holy communion [for divorced and remarried], but he’s opened a pathway in certain cases.”That pathway, he explains, is built on discernment and the Church’s long tradition of moral theology which combines both proclaiming unchanging truths but applying those truths to people’s lives.Mr Walford sets this out in detail in a new book “Pope Francis the Family and Divorce: In Defence of Truth and Mercy”, in which the Pope writes in the preface that "Amoris Laetitia" should be read as part of the Church’s constantly maturing tradition.“Of course some traditionalists have been up in arms for years about anyone since John XXIII. To me, is it really that far from Protestantism? It’s a pick and choose Catholicism now for people who would suggest they hold the teachings most dear, the purest form of Catholicism. And yet the hypocrisy is astounding. They are saying ‘we’ll accept this from this Pope, and we won’t accept that’.Discernment, he goes on, is crucial and helps the Church distinguish different cases. The single mother with children who is abandoned by her husband and enters into a new marriage is different from a man who leaves his wife and family for another woman.
catholic  pope  controversies 
6 weeks ago by thomas.kochi
How Agatha Christie helped to save the Latin Mass
..the ultimately successful approach was through the third aspect of the liturgy: culture.This was developed by the remarkable Alfred Marnau, a Slovakian poet who had come to Britain in 1939. Marnau used his contacts in the arts world to get signatures for a petition which lamented the loss of the old Mass in the context of the “history of the human spirit”:We are not at this moment considering the religious or spiritual experience of millions of individuals. The rite in question, in its magnificent Latin text, has also inspired a host of priceless achievements in the arts – not only mystical works, but works by poets, philosophers, musicians, architects, painters and sculptors in all countries and epochs. Thus, it belongs to universal culture as well as to churchmen and formal Christians.his appeal was such that it could be joined by non-Catholics, and in the circumstances of the time perhaps non-Catholics might have had a greater impact. Accordingly, and knowing time was short, in the space of just three weeks Marnau managed to gather the signatures of more than 50 public figures, including an MP from each of the major political parties, two Anglican bishops, and numerous writers, artists and musicians. These included Graham Greene, Colin Davis, Iris Murdoch, FR Leavis, Malcolm Muggeridge, Yehudi Menuhin and Nancy Mitford. William Rees-Mogg, editor of the Times, ensured that it received national attention.But it was another signatory who, at least in popular legend, caught Paul VI’s eye, when the petition was presented to him by Cardinal Heenan, on behalf of the Latin Mass Society. Marnau relates: “The story goes that Pope Paul VI was reading quietly through the list of signatories and then suddenly said, ‘Ah, Agatha Christie!’ and signed his approval.”Christie herself wasn’t a Catholic; but her greatest fictional creation, the Belgian Catholic Hercule Poirot, would surely have approved.
catholic  culture  authors 
6 weeks ago by thomas.kochi
Germany’s Clout and Some Other Final Observations on the Youth Synod
Pope Francis desires a ‘poor Church for the poor,’ but in his papacy it’s the wealthy German Church that holds a privileged position.At the synod, the direction is provided by the wealthy and worldly Germans, and the drafting of documents is done by the slightly less wealthy Italians. So the Germans got what they always want in the final document, wiggle room on sex. Last time, it was divorce and remarriage; this time, it was homosexuality. The Italians craft texts with a certain artistry; the language can be given an orthodox reading, but with sufficient ambiguity to permit alternate readings.In practice, “synodality” will mean that rich episcopal conferences that wish to experiment will have greater latitude to do so. Another bonus for the state-funded Churches in Germany and Italy.
catholic  register  summits  synods 
6 weeks ago by thomas.kochi
Pastoral Letter from Cardinal Dolan on Bishop Jenik 8
Dear Member of the Family of the Archdiocese of New York: I regret once again having to be the bearer of bad news, but I write to inform you that the archdiocese has received an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor brought against Bishop John Jenik, an auxiliary bishop of the archdiocese.The Lay Review Board has carefully examined the allegation, which concerns incidents from decades ago, and concluded that the evidence is sufficient to find the allegation credible and substantiated. Although Bishop Jenik continues to deny the allegation, he has stepped aside from public ministry and has moved out of his parish
letters  catholic  scandals 
6 weeks ago by thomas.kochi
New Charges of Homosexuality in the Church. But the Pope Is Silent, and Blames “Clericalism”
in the United States, public opinion both Catholic and not, both progressive and conservative, is more active than ever in reclaiming truth and transparency.One particularly revealing expression of this public opinion is the article that came out on October 26 - right when the synod was wrapping up - in “Commonweal,” a storied magazine of “liberal” American Catholicism, written by Kenneth L. Woodward, for thirty-eight years the esteemed vaticanista of “Newsweek”: In Woodward’s judgment, the McCarrick case is revealing of the extent to which homosexuality is really rampant among churchmen, on all levels, as already documented starting in 2003 by the famous report of the Jay College of Criminal Justice, according to which “eight out of ten reported abuses by priests over the past seventy years were cases of males abusing other males.”
s.magister  catholic  scandals 
7 weeks ago by thomas.kochi
The Church at Her Very Best
The Catholic Church is going through a very painful process as the light of truth exposes some very dark and damaging acts of abuse, neglect and sexual immorality by some clergy and bishops. I experienced abuse and neglect as a child in a highly dysfunctional family, so my heart breaks for all who have suffered at the hands of men consecrated to be servants of Christ Jesus. This is truly an abomination that strikes at the heart of the Church’s mission.
Yet, while acknowledging this darkness, I must also witness to the fact that my story reflects the power of a holy priest who led me from despair, into the light of recovery and reconciliation with God...Father Mike also explained that our church was full of sinners, not saints. I did my penance, and out of my old habit of stinking thinking, I waited for something bad to happen.As time went on, just the opposite occurred. I ended up teaching Sunday school, and I became a Eucharistic Minister. I served at masses and did rounds at our local hospital. For the first time in my life, I began to trust God and the church.
register  catholic 
7 weeks ago by thomas.kochi
To Discern and Reform: The ‘Francis Option’ for Evangelizing a World in Flux
Both Dreher and Francis agree — in line with Benedict XVI, and with the forecast in Romano Guardini’s 1950 The End of the Modern World — that Christendom is over and irrecoverable, and that it is futile and counter-productive to invest energy and resources in unwinnable political battles that only reinforce the idea of Christianity as a set of ethical precepts that the Church seeks to impose via the state. Francis sees the technology-driven forces of globalised postmodernity dissolving the bonds of belonging, sweeping away institutions and turning us into consuming individuals obsessed with gratification and increasingly divorced from our cultural and religious roots. In such a society, as he put it in Santiago de Chile in January 2018, ‘points of reference that people use to build themselves individually and socially are disappearing’, such that ‘the new meeting place today is the “cloud”, characterized by instability since everything evaporates and thus loses consistency’
A.Ivereigh  catholic 
7 weeks ago by thomas.kochi
If bishops’ summit was ‘rigged’ on synodality, one question: So what?
..both “collegiality” and “synodality” are terms used to refer to a more decentralized, inclusive way of making decisions in Catholicism. “Collegiality” is sort of the ecclesiological principle, while “synodality” is a way of making it operational through local, regional, national and continental groupings of bishops and other participants.both “collegiality” and “synodality” are terms used to refer to a more decentralized, inclusive way of making decisions in Catholicism.Franci has extolled the virtues of synodality repeatedly throughout his papacy.“The journey of synodality is the journey that God wants from his church in the third millennium,”“A synodal church is a listening church, aware that listening is more than hearing. It is a reciprocal listening in which each one has something to learn.”That’s his vision in a nutshell, and it’s at least arguably not unreasonable for his aides to assume that since the pope would undoubtedly riff on the subject in whatever document he’d eventually issue, it might as well be in the final document too...there’s no point becoming overly invested in the outcome of a synod anyway, because the body is merely advisory to the pope. He’s the one who calls the shots, and if a given pope chooses to use a synod to gauge reaction to something he’s already decided rather than to approach it tabula rasa - well, it’s his meeting anyway.
J.Allen  catholic  summits  synods  usage 
7 weeks ago by thomas.kochi
Catholic Church fails to get on youth wavelength
"One Eastern European bishop ventured to say that the church's rule about 'no sex before marriage' had become untenable. We moved on to the next issue and didn't talk about it again,""The conservatives later joined the fray by demanding a reminder of church morals," Another bishop told AFP that "consensus on the digital (world) is possible, but not on sexual morality. The difference in opinions is too great".The text was vague on homosexuality, saying merely that there are "already accompanying walks in the faith of homosexual persons" in many Christian communities, and "the synod recommends encouraging these paths".Attempts by some of the 34 young Catholics at the synod to get the LGBT acronym into the final text were rebuffed."Some bold proposals, likely to make newspaper headlines, were not taken up," admitted French bishop Emmanuel Gobillard, one of the few to have talked about sexuality.He insisted however that the synod, bringing together the elements of a universal church in all its diversity, had been a remarkable one -- just one that was "untranslatable" for the media.
catholic  summits  morals  media 
7 weeks ago by thomas.kochi
Grace Kelly took the route of assimilation. Hayworth remained exotic
Grace Kelly embodied a perfectly American and classically Protestant elegance. As John Ford observed, she had “breeding, quality and class”. She brought these qualities to her portrayals of the Quaker bride (Amy Fowler Kane in High Noon), the Park Avenue socialite (Laura Fremont in Rear Window), and the Newport divorcée (Tracy Samantha Lord in High Society). Her success in these WASPy roles made her the image of the Catholic who could assimilate into mainstream society.Grace Kelly, like Bing Crosby and JFK, embodied American Catholics’ hopes for social acceptance and economic success in a Protestant society that had tempered its anti-Catholicism while maintaining a certain respect for the moral law. In the wake of Roe, Casey and Obergefell, it seems to me worth asking whether a less assimilated form of Catholic life stands a better chance of advancing the faith. Despite (or because of) her deviations from bourgeois respectability, Hayworth’s example suggests the answer is yes.Hayworth did hold to certain firm – Catholic – moral principles.A sign of her deep and lasting association with an exotic kind of Catholic faith can be found in her last role, in the 1972 Western Wrath of God. It is far from an essential Hayworth film (those would be Gilda, You’ll Never Get Rich, The Strawberry Blonde, Only Angels Have Wings, You Were Never Lovelier, The Lady from Shanghai and Blood and Sand), but it is nonetheless a fitting end to her great career.Hayworth plays Señora de la Plata, the mother of an anti-clerical caudillo who bars a Fr Van Horne (Robert Mitchum) from administering the sacraments in a Mexican village. The señora reminds her son that “God did not cease to exist because one priest or a thousand priests failed him.” When her son finds her in a church and asks why she came, she replies, “Because God is here.
catholic  C.Herald  movies 
7 weeks ago by thomas.kochi
Unjust and Unjustified
Very much tongue-in-cheek, the editors of the well-respected Italian-language church-news site, Il Sismografo, dubbed former Nuncio Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò the “Savonarola di Varese.” Although parallels with the fifteenth century Dominican are not exact, Viganò has indeed appeared as a self-styled prophet, and expended a good deal of energy denouncing the pope. Viganò has now issued his third testimony—this one in response to Ouellet’s letter. In it, he doubles down on his original charges. He invokes the Final Judgment and calls for others to join him in unmasking corruption. Although he now admits that canonical sanctions were not applied to McCarrick (a cornerstone of his original argument), he dismisses the distinction between canonical and informal restrictions as irrelevant “legalese.” Savonarola came to a bad end. He not only alienated the pope, his supporters ultimately turned on him and condemned him.The pope is steering the church on a better course than the one Viganò recommends. Most people will see this, eventually
Commonweal  catholic  scandals 
7 weeks ago by thomas.kochi
Nikki Haley praises ‘everyday miracles’ of Church despite abuse crisis
Ambassador Nikki Haley used her speech at the annual Al Smith dinner in New York City to acknowledge the Church’s efforts to address the sexual abuse scandal while continuing its “incredible work” helping “millions of desperate people” around the world.While the dinner raises millions of dollars for the Church’s charitable outreach in the city, Haley said that the efforts she had seen went “way beyond that.”“I’ve been to the border between Colombia and Venezuela, where people walk 3 hours each way in the blazing sun to get the only meal that they will have that day. Who’s giving that meal? The Catholic Church,I’ve been to refugee camps in Central Africa where young boys are kidnapped and forced to become child soldiers and young girls are raped as a matter of routine. Who was in the forefront of changing this culture of corruption and violence? The Catholic Church.”Haley also acknowledged the sexual abuse crises which have rocked the Church, both in the United States and globally, saying that she would “be remiss” if she did not mention the recent scandals. Noting that sexual abuse and assault was not a problem limited to the Church but one which “deeply touches the American family,”“The church’s place must be with the victims that carry the pain with them. I know the church leaders recognize its deep responsibility to address this moral failing, and it is taking action,” she said. At the same time, the ambassador said that it would be “tragic” if the abuse scandal made the world blind to “the amazing good works the Catholic Church does every single day.”Haley called the Church’s global works of charity, education, and healthcare “everyday miracles” and said that “those miracles are the way of the Church.”
C.Herald  catholic  scandals  charity 
7 weeks ago by thomas.kochi
Eastern prelate urges ‘prudence’ on married priests
Priest shortages are often terribly acute in parts of the Amazon, and some bishops from the area have long favored the idea of ordaining the viri probati, meaning tested married men.Meanwhile in the West, some voices have revived the idea of a married priesthood as a response to the clerical sexual abuse crisis, arguing that marriage would provide priests the chance to express their sexuality in healthy and non-abusive ways.Yet Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk of Ukraine’s Greek Catholic Church, the largest of the 22 Eastern Catholic churches in communion with Rome that carry centuries of experience of married priests, has a basic message for his Western counterparts: “Not so fast!”Asked what advice he would give, the Ukrainian prelate, formally referred to as “His Beatitude,” was succinct: “To be prudent!”We must be careful not to lose our moral authority, because it is our only treasure.I would say that to remove celibacy from the priesthood will not resolve the problem. My experience is that there are holy priests who are married … this holiness, this maturity, is a great treasure, but it’s not a direct consequence of the state of life.In the process of vocational discernment, it’s another challenge. It’s not easy to accompany a seminarian about what state, to be married or celibate, he should choose as he approaches priesthood.Our seminaries accept only young men who are not married. This is because it is almost impossible to ensure a calm period of discernment during formation [after marriage]. If a married man entered seminary, they’d basically have to leave their family for six years.Seminarians cannot marry while they are in the seminary. Nevertheless, in the second half of their studies, they often have a girlfriend. This is also a very delicate period. Relationships through email and skype are so strong, that sometimes during formation it’s hard to focus the attention of the seminarian in the community, because there’s someone from outside pulling on him.They have to choose if they’re going to marry or remain celibate before the diaconal ordination. It often happens that a candidate who is called to be married, a father, has to wait a few years to find the right person.Often, our bishops are worried not only about the seminarian but also his girlfriend, and we’ve created a program for these women too. Often, after two or three encounters they realize that they don’t want to be the wives of a priest. This can also make things more complicated.
catholic  celibacy  debates 
7 weeks ago by thomas.kochi
Church needs fewer and better seminaries, says seminary prof
Fr. Thomas Berg criticized the current seminary system for an “overemphasis on academics” that leaves seminarians lesser formed emotionally and personally. He warned that those kinds of deficits do not form priests who are ready to effectively serve their parishes, and could result in additional misbehavior.“Where focus on personal psychological integration is lacking, space opens for disordered living of precisely the type that has made headlines in recent months,” age of 22 may be an appropriate time to begin seminary studies, which would allow the seminarian to acquire a college degree and work experience before entering.While the current seminary process takes about seven years, Berg suggested that the process be extended by another year. An initial year of formation would consist of “detoxing from the culture and social media,” and would result in “growth in self-knowledge, prayer, and a secure masculine identity.” The final year prior to ordination could consist of “intensive fieldwork” in pastoral ministry.
C.Herald  catholic  America 
8 weeks ago by thomas.kochi
The Viganò case and the religious’ justifications that divide the Church -Episode 3
Operation Viganò, i.e. the attempt to shift all responsibility onto the current Pontiff for the mismanagement of the case of Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, further raised the level of tension in a Church already exhausted by the re-emergence of scandals mostly belonging to the past, which placed numerous bishops on the stand for not having acted correctly in the face of child abuse perpetrated by their priests. If Pope Francis considered it appropriate to invite all the faithful to pray the Rosary in the Marian month of October with a special intention for the Church under attack from the devil who wants to divide, dusting off the old prayer to St Michael the Archangel, this means that what is happening is particularly dramatic.The bias of the operation lies precisely in wanting to put on trial, asking for his resignation, the only Pontiff who really sanctioned - and in a very serious way - McCarrick, when the accusation of having abused a minor were considered credible (still with the canonical trial not concluded), which emerged for the first time in September 2017. Even considering the memories of the former nuncio credible, to think that, having told the Pope a single sentence about the past of the over eighty-year-old (who had already resigned seven years ago) Cardinal McCarrick, without having brought, or sent later, any written note and without having communicated any element of denunciation or new report, to think that that would be enough to ask for the resignation of a Pontiff, indicates the point at which the awareness of what the Church is has dissolved.
catholic  scandals  A.Tornielli 
8 weeks ago by thomas.kochi
A True Antagonist for a Broken World: Faith in a Secular Age
The glass, I thought, was indeed half-full and filling..I think I, like many people now see the glass as half-empty and draining.How can we fight when it seems as if the very body of Christ seems to be tied down and rent apart not only by a hostile secular world but by her own weakness? Does this sound like a glum assessment? I suppose it does. The Church, the one true Ark, as Newman would say, is the one he describes as the great Antagonist to our broken world, and yet the Church as a whole seems like more and more like the original Ark of Noah—if it weren’t for the storm outside we couldn’t stand the stench inside. Or, in another version of the old joke, full of clean and unclean beasts. And though we have the divine promises for it, in the midst of the storms it can feel as if we are going to capsize—or at the very least that we are wandering far off our course. But this is where I think Blessed John Henry Newman meets us right where we need to be met, for his own life of faith was one of feeling lost and bewildered, of fighting battles that seemed ever to be lost, of seeing that the ways of Providence are mysterious and even frustrating.
catholic  faith  secularism  scandals 
8 weeks ago by thomas.kochi
a quick roller coaster ride through twenty centuries of church history so that we can make better sense of where we are by understanding where we’ve come from.The Catholic Church is the only institution from that time period that still not only survives, but thrives.One of the interesting thing is a 500 year pattern.The first five hundred years is the Roman period. The church grows, goes through persecution, then is established and the fortunes of the church rise as the Roman Empire slowly crumbles.The second 500 years are the Dark Ages. Europe drifts into chaos, anarchy and lawlessness. The barbarian tribes invade, but St Benedict establishes monasticism in the East while the Celtic church is flourishing and sending out missionaries from the West. The hierarchy and papacy disintegrates into an ongoing war between what are essentially Italian crime families.The third 500 years sees the great flourishing of Christendom. Monasticism blossoms, learning expands, universities are established, art and architecture flowers into greatness. The Middle Ages enjoy a unity across Europe united in loyalty to a papacy that is growing in power, organization and domination of European civilization.The fourth 500 years are are time of revolution. First the Protestant revolution, then the dissent and division of nation states, the English Protestant revolution, the French revolution, the revolution of rationalism, secularism and humanism and the American revolution. Then the industrial revolution, Russian revolution, Spanish, Mexican and Italian revolutions. Two world wars and finally the sexual revolution and technological revolution. These 500 years have been tumultuous, and they have sent the church reeling.I believe we are at the end of a 500 year cycle and about to enter a New Age in the church. This means great uncertainty. Some respond by a blind attempt to return to an earlier age–preserving all the externals of a bygone Catholic age. Other respond in exactly the opposite way–by embracing everything new and adapting the church completely to the Spirit of the Age.I believe the true answer is a balance of both approaches
catholic  history  predictions  protections 
8 weeks ago by thomas.kochi
There are still good reasons for becoming a Catholic
Talk about going against the flow: Thousands of Americans choose to join the Catholic Church each year.These are men and women figuratively swimming against a very powerful tide. Overall, the church has lost more than three million congregants in the past 10 years. Every time the church adds a member, six leave.Why? If you are a Christian, there is one obvious reason: Because it’s the church founded by Jesus Christ. My denomination, the Anglican or Episcopal church, traces its roots to King Henry VIII’s antipapal pique in the 16th century. Martin Luther founded the Lutheran church, Joseph Smith begat the Mormons, and so on.But there is only one church founded by the guy whose name is on the door. Jesus’ words are right there on the dome of St. Peter’s basilica in Rome: “Upon this rock I will build my church.” The rock refers to the apostle Peter (“Petrus,” or rock), the first pope of the Roman Catholic church.In 2018, women and men come to Catholicism for reasons both profound and mundane.“Catholicism has a delineated history back to 100 A.D.,” “and it’s 2018 and it’s still the Catholic church. I feel its historical authority helps to keep it on the right path.”“The problems facing the Catholic church are problems that face any institution run by human beings,”
catholic  faith  christian  Christianity 
9 weeks ago by thomas.kochi
The man who said no to free love: Paul VI becomes saint
Pope Paul VI, the man who cracked down on free love during the 1960s and carried out sweeping changes to the Church, became a saint Sunday, along with slain Salvador archbishop Oscar Romero.He was a pope of great initiative. The first pilgrim pope -- crossing continents on his trips to meet the faithful, he was also the first to attempt to reform the Vatican's powerful Curia, the first to hold weekly general audiences with the common man in Saint Peter's Square and seek the opinions of non believers.He is most famous, however, for reaffirming the Church's ban on artificial contraception -- despite the fact that his own birth control commission, set up to advise the Vatican, voted overwhelming to lift the prohibition.The decision enraged many Catholics at a time when believers were embracing sexual freedom and women were demanding the right to use the birth control pill.The ceremony coincides with a meeting of the world's bishops, for it was Paul VI who introduced the tradition of holding such synods.The current meeting is being held as the Church struggles to emerge from a series of abuse scandals.Francis was in his late 20s when Paul VI was elected and while it is yet to be seen whether he will stand firmer than the Italian pope, the pair share a sense of humility and openness towards people of all backgrounds.Some of Francis's actions have also echoed those of Paul VI before him, from the latter's historic 1964 encounter in Jerusalem with the Patriarch of Constantinople to his 1965 speech to the United Nations in which he cried out an appeal for "no more war, never again!"
catholic  saints 
9 weeks ago by thomas.kochi
Eastern European bishops want a focus on Eucharist, fatherhood in Youth Synod
Archbishop Kondrusiewicz said that Eucharist is fundamental to the Catholic faith, and gave an example of how the Eucharist has drawn Belarusian youth deeper into their faith.Church needs not just “horizontal efforts…we need vertical efforts,” meaning that the Church must not only be “a comfortable place for everyone, it must above all be a place of strong spiritual formation.”“We should always remember that liturgy is source and climax of Christian life, and at the same time we must recognize that we lost this truth, and celebrations of Eucharist are turned into theater,” “data show that when a father is seriously involved in faith issue, there is a 75 percent probability that (his) children will follow him, while when only the mother is involved in the faith, there is just a 15 percent chance that (her) children will follow.”Likewise, “when a mother converts, the family converts after her in 17 percent of cases, while when a father converts, the family will convert in 93 percent of cases.”Archbishop Stankevics said that Catholics must look past the “stereotype that education to faith must be entrusted to mother,” as “in God’s plan, man defends (his family) not only from concrete dangers, but also from spiritual and ideological dangers.”
C.Herald  catholic  summits 
9 weeks ago by thomas.kochi
At the synod, the Church’s culture war looks a lot like class war
Oscar Wilde once said that the Catholic Church was “for saints and sinners. For respectable people, the Anglican Church will do.” The Francis party seems to want the Catholic Church to resemble the Anglican in this sense. They suggest that the most forgivable sins are those of the bourgeoisie – those done with planning, foresight, and an eye to respectability. As Archbishop Mark Coleridge put it at the last synod, “A second marriage that is enduring and stable and loving and where there are children who are cared for is not the same as a couple skulking off to a hotel room for a wicked weekend.”Every time a bishop urges Catholics to speak with parrhesia of the importance of the new pastoral paradigm of discernment in dialogue and encounter with the concrete situations of the lay faithful whose well-formed consciences must be respected in light of the new historical reality of our increased understanding of human dignity, I want to chew off my hand. Progressive Catholicism has become so obsessed with avoiding offence that it now offers little more than a concatenation of clichés.Happily, when the forces of blandness seek to remake the Church, they meet organized resistance. Characters as disparate as Cardinal Robert Sarah and Mariae Gloria, Princess of Thurn and Taxis can find something to hate in bourgeois Catholicism. Ultimately, I think these people will be able to build a Church that is more capacious and welcoming, more tolerant of human variety, than the one that the organisers of the Synod on Youth are trying to sing into being
C.Herald  catholic  summits 
9 weeks ago by thomas.kochi
The prayer reminds us of the reality of hell and the need for humility
Fatima prayer.Our Lady revealed this short prayer to the children on July 13th 1917, soon after she had given them a terrifying glimpse of hell, directing them to say it after each decade of the Rosary. She had asked for the Rosary to be recited daily, which makes the prayer the most commonly recited after the Our Father, Hail Mary and the Glory Be. It is a mere 29 words: “O My Jesus/ Forgive us our sins/Save us from the fires of hell/And lead all souls to heaven/Especially those in most need of Thy mercy/Amen.”
catholic  prayers  miracles 
9 weeks ago by thomas.kochi
Letter from Pope Francis to Cardinal Wuerl.
To our Venerable Brother.."That they may be all one ,as you ,Father, are in you and I in you,that they may be also in us,that the woid may believe that you sent me (John 17:21).This is the horizon from which we are continually invited to discern all our actions
pope  catholic  letters 
9 weeks ago by thomas.kochi
What Óscar Romero’s Canonization Says About Pope Francis
Reassessing the Catholic Church’s dubious history in Latin America:"I implore you, I beg you, I order you, in the name of God: stop the repression!” As the archbishop read the Gospel, the assassins pulled up to the chapel. As he raised the consecrated bread and wine, the gunman fired a shot to the heart.Nearly four decades later, Pope Francis has declared Óscar Romero a saint. An archbishop murdered at the altar, in the manner of England’s Thomas Becket, would seem a simple case. But Romero’s path to canonization—at an October ceremony at Saint Peter’s Basilica, in Rome—has been tortuous. At a moment when bishops in the United States and around the world are being called to account for their criminal cover-up of priestly sexual abuse, Óscar Romero stands in stark contrast as a bishop who strove to be holy by being accountable—a voice for the voiceless rather than for the Church and its patrons. To celebrate Romero, the Church has to address unholy episodes in its past—episodes as troubling, in their own way, as the current sexual-abuse scandal. The canonization also forces us to consider Francis in a different light—as a figure scarred by Latin American politics and his own encounter with fear and violence, compromise and complicity.
catholic  saints  pope 
9 weeks ago by thomas.kochi
Ireland is led by fools’: an interview with John Waters
Chesterton once wrote that a religion is dead “when it has ceased to dwell on the positive and happy side of its visions, and thinks only of the stern or punitive side”. Does this description fit the fate of Irish Catholicism, at least in part?.. Pseudo-rationality has become the core form of thinking in our culture now: what Pope Benedict characterised as the thinking of the bunker: the bunker that man has built for himself to live in, excluding Mystery, including the Mystery of himself. But I can exit the bunker at will, simply by going through a series of rational steps.Leo Varadkar and Simon Harris,..They are interlopers, fools.A better day will dawn in Ireland. I may not be here for it, but I know it is coming. If I did not believe that, I would not be entitled to call myself a Christian. That is part of the promise we hold to: that we can leave our loved ones behind in the knowledge that they will be looked after as we were. That’s all I can hope for now, as these terrible days unfold themselves. I know a better day is coming, when every tear will be wiped away.
C.Herald  Ireland  catholic 
9 weeks ago by thomas.kochi
Wuerl hounded from office for becoming face of abuse crisis
"Antistite nostro Donaldo." For more than 10 years, from the time of his installation as Archbishop of Washington in 2006,.. every Sunday at Mass, I softly repeated these words as the priest said them in the Roman Canon. "For our bishop Donald,"Today, the Body of Christ in the United States is bruised and bloodied. The depredations of former-cardinal Theodore McCarrick and the grim and gruesome details of clergy sex abuse revealed in the Pennsylvania grand jury report both conspired to place the abuse of children by clergy back at the center of the church's consciousness and public image. Cardinal Donald Wuerl was a link between the two scandals, having succeeded McCarrick in Washington in 2006 and been a bishop in Pennsylvania for 18 years.It did not matter that Wuerl was one of the first bishops to meet with victims and their families, despite being advised by lawyers not to do so. It didn't matter that he introduced policies, such as mandatory reporting to police, a decade before the 2002 Dallas Charter for the Protection of Children made such policies the law for all bishops. It did not matter that he was one of the leaders in Dallas who fought back against efforts at ameliorating the "zero tolerance" policy which many, many priests found offensive and unfair. It did not matter that the grand jury report was spotty and inconsistent. It did not matter that unscrupulous columnists and commentators conflated stories and elided details, all of them unable to answer the core problem with the report: Why, if Wuerl was willing to risk his career fighting powerful Vatican forces to remove pedophile Fr. Anthony Cipolla from ministry, was he being portrayed by news accounts as indifferent to the suffering of child victims at the same time? It didn't matter that fringe and dangerous groups like Church Militant were calling for Wuerl's resignation before the grand jury report came out. None of that mattered. He has been hounded from office because he became the face of the crisis
Reporter  scandals  catholic 
9 weeks ago by thomas.kochi
First Synod reports focus on abuse and sexuality
In their first formal reports to the entire Synod of Bishops, many of the gathering’s working groups reported that they had discussed the clerical sexual abuse crisis and, especially, its impact on young Catholics...“the context for vocational discernment has changed utterly. Our group suggests that the issue of child sexual abuse in the church cannot be skimmed over tangentially in a few short sentences.”“The shattered trust, the trauma and lifelong suffering of survivors; the catastrophic failures in case management; the continued silence and denial by some of these awful crimes and sins – these issues cry out to be named openly by the synod,” ‘Trust arrives slowly, on foot, but Trust leaves on horseback! Trust must be rebuilt, one person at a time.'”..the central concern of the synod must be the central concern of the church: preaching salvation in Jesus Christ. Pastors today “do not have answers to young people’s questions nor a pastoral and missionary strategy appropriate for a globalised, secular and digital culture,” the group said. “It appears urgent and necessary to rethink the content of formation in seminaries and novitiates, to propose a new style of priestly life and a new form of exercising priestly ministry.
C.Herald  catholic  summits  scandals 
9 weeks ago by thomas.kochi
An underrated Catholic novelist by Francis Phillips
Lucy Beckett is an underrated Catholic novelist of originality and breadth. Her subjects have included The Time Before You Die, a sympathetic historical exploration of the life of a former Carthusian at the time of the Reformation, and A Postcard from the Volcano and its sequel, The Leaves are Falling, two novels charting the lives of a group of cultured young people caught up in the last war in Germany, Poland and Russia.Her most recent novel, The Year of Thamar’s Book (Gracewing £20) is no less unusual in scope and interest; set in the Burgundian countryside and in Algeria between the 1960s and the present day, as a young Frenchman, Bernard, discovers a bond with his grandfather, Thamar, who has been deeply affected by conscription in the French-Algerian war of the early 1960s.As always with her writings, the novel raises absorbing and perennial questions about the existence of God, the meaning of suffering and evil in the world and the distinctive presence and mission of the Catholic Church
C.Herald  catholic  fiction  books 
9 weeks ago by thomas.kochi
St. Thaïs, the Prostitute Who Became a Nun
it’s wonderful that a Catholic saint inspires secular artists — as in the case of Mark Twain, who was taken with stories of St. Joan of Arc and made her the subject of his fascinating novel Personal Recollections of St. Joan of Arc. Though it can hardly be said that Twain admired Catholics or the Catholic Church, he held St. Joan in the highest regard and treated her respectfully in his work and in everyday contemplation.Such are the mysterious workings of the Holy Spirit.Another such case of a Catholic saint who made her splash in the arts and held up as a moral tale was that of St. Thaïs (pronounced “thigh-ees”).Thaïs was a repentant courtesan in fourth-century Roman Alexandria. She is one of the Egyptian Desert Mothers and a contemporary of St. Augustine of Hippo...Christ and His followers have always inspired good art in the past two millennia. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Ring and The Silmarillion come immediately to mind. Mel Gibson’s 2004 The Passion of the Christ, Franco Zeffirelli’s 1972 Brother Sun and Sister Moon, Karen Blixen’s 1987 Babette’s Feast, Ann Clare Booth Luce’s 1949 Come to the Stable and Vittorio de Sico’s 1947 Bicycle Thieves are all outstanding contributions to the field of art and great opportunities for Christians to evangelize.
catholic  register  saints  movies 
9 weeks ago by thomas.kochi
Catholics in Egypt: We will not leave this country because we have a mission
“These roots, this heritage if it is not lived, if it is not cared for by people for whom it means something, runs the risk of becoming something to fill up museums and that disappears little by little, of being forgotten. History and today's events tell us that where there are more Christians there is more freedom of conscience, more democracy and a greater spirit of coexistence. It is like a natural antibody to fanaticism. That's why I think we have to help these Christians to stay in their countries.”
catholic  Christianity  MiddleEast  Egypt 
10 weeks ago by thomas.kochi
Sydney Archbishop apologises to young people for Church’s failures
“And for the times when you were searching for your sexual, ethnic or spiritual identity and needed a moral compass, but found Church people unsympathetic or ambiguous: I apologise,”The Catholic Church, Archbishop Fisher said, often “sold you short” by not challenging young people to live up to their baptismal call to holiness, by offering them “unbeautiful or unwelcoming liturgies” and by not sharing with them Church traditions such as the sacrament of reconciliation, pilgrimages and Eucharistic adoration.He apologised for “poor preaching, catechesis or spiritual direction” that failed to inspire conversion and for families, dioceses and religious orders that adopted a “contraceptive mentality” that did not even try to give birth to new vocations.
C.Herald  catholic 
10 weeks ago by thomas.kochi
The Church’s Disease Is Called Post-modernism. The Diagnosis of a Theologian
More than 80% of known sexual abuses committed by clergy are not in fact cases of paedophilia, but of pederasty. The conviction that any form of love is to be accepted has become more commonplace as a consequence of lifting the ban on contraception, even without changing dogmatic formulas. The very essence of Modernism consists in changing the theory with the praxis, by letting people become used to customs accepted by the majority.
catholic  scandals 
10 weeks ago by thomas.kochi
Pederasty and Paedophilia – What’s the Difference? And What Difference Does It Make? – Part II
Among sex offenders, the habituated homosexual pederast has one of the highest incidences of recidivism.Father Gerald Fitzgerald founder of the Congregation of the Servants of the Paraclete in 1941. Based in Jemez Springs, New Mexico, Father Fitzgerald’s Paraclete Center was one of the first Catholic facilities to treat clerical sexual perversions including pederasty.Father Fitzgerald understood the incorrigibility of priests and religious who sexually abused adolescent boys, stating that they “would never be free of the temptation to act out.” He recommended the involuntary laicization of these men, or at the very least, that they be restricted to the seclusion of a monastery. Under no circumstances were they to be permitted to exercise their ministry in the outside world..before his death in 1969, Father Fitzgerald shared his first-hand knowledge of the crime of pederasty with the Vatican during the pontificate of three popes – Pope Pius XII, Pope John XXIII, and Pope Paul VI. Numerous bishops in the United States received letters warning them of the dangers of homosexuality and pederasty in the clergy and religious life.The crime of pederasty, including clerical pederasty, as evidenced by the early writings of Saint Peter Damian in the 11th century; in the tragedy of the Piarist Order in the 17th century; and the recorded history of the founder of the Paraclete Fathers in modern times, has been a reality of clerical life since the earliest days of the Catholic Church.
catholic  scandals 
10 weeks ago by thomas.kochi
“Being a priest in an unprecedented time of change”
The crisis we face in the Church is deep-seated, perhaps not unlike the financial institutions whose culture of corruption and self-interest has been exposed.Indeed, to many people, Catholics included, it is not only the case of a few bad apples. It is more like the apple that is rotten at its core... the dirt hit the fan in the Vatican itself.The sexual abuse crisis is inundating the whole Church like a tsunami and it has the potential to cause long-term damage, chaos and even schism. (Mind you, there is already a silent schism in that the majority of Catholics in many parts of the world have simply walked away from the practice of the faith.)Clearly, Captain Francis will have to weather both the storm and the mutiny onboard. Pope Francis has unleashed a new energy, he has poured a new wine which cannot be contained in old wineskins. He has challenged us to move in concert with him and bring about the rebirth of the Church The harder part is to do what most of you do, which is to labour at the coalface of the Church.t is have the smell of the sheep, to accompany our people in their joys and griefs, hopes and struggles. Transition times call for deep discernment, courageous imagination and prophetic action.Like Noah before the flood, we must be able to prepare for what is around the bend. Like the prophets who accompanied their people into exile, who interpreted the signs of the times and led them in the direction of the Kingdom, we must do the same for our people in the context of this new millennium.Like Ezekiel who dream and enact the dream of the New Temple, we must embody the vision of the Church made anew and the priesthood made anew from the ashes of the old clericalist model. We must learn to re-incarnate the spirit of Jesus, faithful to the past but also creative to the present and courageous to the future.
catholic  scandals 
10 weeks ago by thomas.kochi
Wealthy Catholics to target Cardinals with ‘Red Hat Report’
Austen Ivereigh@austeni How wealthy US libertarian allies of Viganò who oppose Pope Francis are exploiting abuse crisis to undermine his allies (incl Parolin) & to bend the next conclave to its neo-Jansenist ideology..“The Better Church Governance Group” held its launch on the campus of the Catholic University of America (CUA) with the stated intention of producing its “Red Hat Report” by April 2020.The Red Hat Report, dubbed as the group’s “flagship project,” is designed to audit all 124 current papal electors.Better Church Governance’s Operations Director, Jacob Imam, said the organization was not meant as an attack on Pope Francis, though he asked the crowd of nearly forty attendees: “What if we would have had someone else in 2013 who would have been more proactive in protecting the innocent and the young?”“Had we had the Red Hat Report, we may not have had Pope Francis,”Imam, who is currently a Marshall Scholar of the University of Oxford and converted to Catholicism from Islam three years ago, alleged that following the 2013 conclave that elected Francis, many major news outlets based their knowledge of the newly elected pope on what they could find on Wikipedia
catholic  pope  conservatives 
11 weeks ago by thomas.kochi
Claims against Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor 'lacked credibility'
The Church in England and Wales’ child protection policies, considered to be among the most robust in global Catholicism, arose out of an independent review conducted in 2001 by Lord Nolan and recommendations in a report compiled by Baroness Cumberlege in 2007. A 2016 policy statement from the National Catholic Safeguarding commission makes clear that “Church authorities always report allegations of abuse to the statutory agencies to ensure that they are dealt with promptly and properly.” After an allegation is lodged, the Church ordinarily uses the police inquiry for the substantive part of their investigation into an abuse claim, and following that outcome take the next steps in the canonical process for assessing the allegation.This includes a review panel to examine allegations and undertake a risk assessment of the accused, who is in many cases withdrawn from ministry throughout this process...according to the guidelines set out in the 2007 Cumberlege report “the management of an allegation of abuse and whether or not a priest or religious is temporarily removed from active ministry (or an employee or volunteer is suspended from his duties) depends entirely on the nature and seriousness of the allegation and the situation of the alleged offender at the time the allegation is made.” It also states that this decision “remains that of the Bishop or Congregational Leader” and recommends that bishops “apply the civil standard of proof” in an “internal investigation and determination of any matter relating to the abuse of children and vulnerable adults.”This means that an assessment of allegations made against priests needs to be made, as it runs the risk that any clergy or church worker could be removed from ministry or a job as the result of false claims.The Cumberlege report also makes clear that as a general principle those accused of abuse are treated with "respect and in a consistent manner in accordance with nationally agreed procedures, natural justice, and Canon Law.”
catholic  scandals  Britain 
11 weeks ago by thomas.kochi
Both on China and the abuse crisis, Pope Francis faces a trust deficit
Five days after announcing a landmark deal with China over the appointment of bishops, Pope Francis released a letter to Chinese Catholics on Wednesday. The gist of it amounts to, “Trust me.”Specifically, Francis asked the roughly 13 million Catholics in China to “place your trust ever more firmly in the Lord of history and in the church’s discernment of his will.”In some ways, the situation isn’t entirely dissimilar from the approach Francis has taken on the charges leveled a month ago by Italian Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò.In some ways, it’s an understandable request. From the beginning of his papacy, Francis has shown himself to be a friend of victims, underdogs and oppressed peoples everywhere, and to have a keen pastoral heart for those shoved to life’s peripheries. It’s thus perhaps not unreasonable for him to think that he could rely on a certain benefit of the doubt.The problem he faces, however, is two-fold.First, Francis suffers from an institutional trust deficit that didn’t begin with him, but he inherited it and it’s part of his reality.Moreover, both constituencies are feeling a little ambivalent about Francis himself these days, wondering if despite the new tone the underlying music from the Church really hasn’t changed that much.Transparency, in other words, isn’t just a “best practice” in both avoiding and remedying scandals, though it certainly is that. It’s also a down payment on trust - a payment that can’t just be made once, but regularly, like gas and water, because otherwise the service gets turned off.Both on China and on sex abuse, making that payment may be costly for Francis and his Vatican team, but experience may prove that doing is no longer a luxury but a necessity.
J.Allen  catholic  pope  scandals  accords  China 
11 weeks ago by thomas.kochi
Conservatives must face John Paul II's legacy in sex abuse crisis
First, it is always an honor to be mentioned alongside Frs. Spadaro and Martin, as well as Professor Faggioli. But, while I can't presume to speak for them, I can assure Ms. Eberstadt that the reason I called Vigano's filthy lies a "putsch" attempt was because he not only mixed just enough truth amidst the lies to tantalize many journalists for a week, and apparently still has her believing him, but he called for the pope to resign. In the face of the fact that Francis is the only pope who ever really took action against McCarrick, this call for his resignation was self-evidently an attempt at triggering a putsch, the modern day ecclesial equivalent of the shot fired by the cruiser Aurora to trigger the October Revolution in 1917. This is what Viganò and his crowd of admirers want, for Francis to go.I detest hypocrites. I do not think John Paul's dreadful legacy on sex abuse takes away from the great things he did, but it does require us to rethink the whole "John Paul the Great" cult. I do not believe all the diplomatic work on behalf of the church that McCarrick undertook is vitiated because we know now he was living a double life for many years and what he kept hidden was predatory and disgusting. Still, to give credence to Viganò's unproven and self-evidently score-settling allegations, dribbled out through friendly media outlets aligned against the pope, and not to smell a rat? You have to be willfully obtuse. Eberstadt may not see it. Weigel may not see it. Still, their ideology blinds them.John Paul II, more than any other person, set the model for obfuscation and cover-up that became the sex abuse scandal. Saying so does not make me a partisan. It is the simple truth.
catholic  Reporter  scandals  pope 
11 weeks ago by thomas.kochi
Coffee was “Satan’s brew” before Pope Clement VIII baptized it
2.25 billion cups of coffee are consumed daily, worldwide.Legend has it that a goat herder named Kaldi was the first to discover the effects of coffee, around the year 850.The drink quickly achieved popularity in the Middle East, although it was seen by some as a vice akin to alcohol and tobacco. During the reign of Sultan Murad IV (1612–40), all three of these items were made illegal, in a bid to cleanse the land of vice.Coffee was met with harsher criticism when it came to Western society. The association with its Islamic founders fanned the flames of prejudice and it was commonly dubbed “Satan’s Drink.” It was not until the reign of Pope Clement VIII, more than 700 years after its discovery, that the West accepted the drink.When members of his court implored Pope Clement VIII to denounce coffee, the pontiff insisted on trying a cup before he cast his verdict. After a few sips, he announced, “This Satan’s drink is so delicious that it would be a pity to let the infidels have exclusive use of it.”Popular tradition holds that the pope then “baptized” coffee beans in order to cleanse them from the devil’s influence. Historians are unclear whether this was a metaphorical baptism, or if the pope performed an exorcism rite on actual beans, but either way it had the same effect. Once Catholics knew they were allowed to drink coffee, it spread through Europe like wildfire...Church has blessed beer and they have blessed cheese, but we bless Pope Clement VIII for his role in bringing us, each day, our daily brew.
culinary  culture  beverages  catholic 
11 weeks ago by thomas.kochi
House of card(inal)s
The problem is that the current scandals reflect corruption of clergy, leadership and the institution itself, going far beyond the sexual abuse alleged. The roots of the corruption were sown as the institution that evolved from a tribal guerrilla movement that the Roman empire co-opted, to a militant state, to an empire and, finally, to adapt to modern demands for specialization and efficiency, to a corporate institution.The problem is that, as it “corporatized” and specialized, it made the mistake of many companies — it began to focus on protecting the institution, rather than meeting the needs of the customer, in this case, the “faithful.”.. the estimated $170 billion operating budget of the U.S. church, $100 billion is hospitals and health care, $50 billion is colleges and universities, $10 billion is churches and parishes, $5 billion is charity — note the relatively small proportion devoted to pastoral work of spreading the gospel and helping parishioners, though of course schools and hospitals could be considered pastoral or charitable in some cases.It would be a miracle if a secretive and tightly controlled organization with a $170 billion operating budget did not have other hidden scandals.The problem is that the pope is a product of the socialist, revolutionary theology, Latin American wing of the church.Unfortunately, he has adopted the favorite strategy of authoritarian socialist leaders when the heat is turned up: resorting to extreme nationalism and creating external “threats.” Venezuela’s former president Hugo Chavez and Cuba’s communist revolutionary and former president Fidel Castro went for “American imperialism.” Pope Francis is going for “the devil.” The problem for socialist leaders is, when their economic and political foundations crumble, such nationalistic trope never works for long.
catholic  America  criticism  pope 
11 weeks ago by thomas.kochi
The left-leaning German news weekly strongly criticises the Holy Father
Here are five areas where it takes a particularly critical stance..Division in the upper levels of the Church..Criticism not just from ‘archconservatives’..Francis “does not really listen to people who don’t share his views”, many believers end up “disenfranchised”..The wrong silences..Argentine background ..Juan Pablo Gallego, who prosecuted Grassi, says that Pope Francis won’t return to Argentina because he would face heavy criticism over his handling of abuse cases..Bad advisers..some of the Pope’s “advisers and assistants” are “in more or less obvious concubinage with representatives of one sex or the other.”..a document supposedly commissioned by Pope Benedict, describing the “gay lobby” in the Vatican.
Spiegel  pope  catholic  criticism 
11 weeks ago by thomas.kochi
Pope Francis Takes Responsibility for China Deal
Francis said the agreement was the fruit of a dialogue that has taken several years.“The Vatican team worked a lot,”Cardinal Parolin has a special devotion to the lens; he studies all of the documents down to the period, comma, notes, and this gives me a great assurance.”“You know that when you make a peace agreement or a negotiation, both sides lose something,” “This is the law.And you move ahead.”..the dialogue that led to the agreement was a process of going two steps forward and one step back. “Then, months passed without speaking to each other; and then the time of God, which appears to be [the time of the] Chinese. Slowly. This is wisdom, the wisdom of the Chinese.” “the bishops who were in difficulty were studied case-by-case,” and “dossiers came on to my desk about each one. And I was responsible for signing the case of the bishops.““I think of the resistance, the Catholics who have suffered. It’s true. And they will suffer. Always, in an agreement, there is suffering. They have a great faith.”He said they have written him, saying that “what the Holy See, what Peter says, is that which Jesus says. The martyrial faith of these people today goes ahead. They are the great ones!
accords  catholic  China  pope 
11 weeks ago by thomas.kochi
In the Accord with China, "a Glimmer of Positivity." The Commentary of an Expert
The commentary by Fr. Bernardo Cervellera,is the most authoritative and balanced evaluation published so far on the accord between the Holy See and the Chinese authorities signed in Beijing on September 22. Pope Francis, in Vilnius, recalling the victims of the Nazi and communist genocide, expressed a prayer in which he asks the Lord that we do not become "deaf to the cry of all those who today continue to raise their voices in heaven". And that's exactly what Chinese Catholics are asking for. But if in the agreement, although provisional, we can see even a glimmer of positivity, then the Lithuanian celebrations are a sign of hope: communism, "the delirium of omnipotence of those who claimed to control everything", did not win. And this also gives us hope for China… China's Catholic Church (Patriotic) said it would "persevere to walk a path suited to a socialist society, under the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party."The Vatican has said it would lead to "the full communion of all Chinese Catholics.
catholic  China  accords 
12 weeks ago by thomas.kochi
7 facts about American Catholics
1.roughly 51 million Catholic adults in the U.S., accounting for about one-fifth of the total U.S. adult population (21% in 2014;24% in 2007) 2. Catholicism has experienced a greater net loss due to religious switching than has any other religious tradition.13% of all U.S. adults are former Catholics By contrast, 2% of U.S. adults are converts to Catholicism- 6.5 former Catholics for every convert to the faith 3.Catholics in the U.S. are racially and ethnically diverse-Roughly six-in-ten Catholic adults are white, one-third are Latino..4.Compared with some other religious groups, Catholics are fairly evenly dispersed throughout the country: 27% live in the South, 26% in the Northeast, 26% in the West, and 21% of U.S. Catholics live in the Midwest 5.Politically, Catholicvoters are evenly split between Democratic Party (47%) and GOP (46%).6Large majorities of U.S. Catholics have admired Pope Francis throughout his tenure, but there are signs of growing discontent.. disenchantment with Pope Francis was especially pronounced among Catholics on the political right
statistics  surveys  catholic  America 
12 weeks ago by thomas.kochi
Pilgrimage in a time of turmoil
Prepping us for the eight days ahead, the Jesuit leading our pilgrimage to the Holy Land said our time together would be less like a tour and more like a spiritual retreat. As it unfolded for me, it was also something like time travel by bus.Billed as an opportunity to walk “in the footsteps of Jesus,” the trip promised its 100 participants a chance to see for ourselves the places we’d been reading and hearing about since childhood.Given the turbulence roiling the present day church, the prospect of exploring its origins beckoned as a welcome respite, a refresher on the stories that shaped our beliefs in the first place...As much as there was nothing holy about the unruly queue we endured to get in, fumbling our way through conflict in pursuit of the sacred seemed not unlike what we’re up to in the life of the church these days.Once inside the tomb, we were hustled out after just a couple of moments. Exiting the place where Jesus is said to have done likewise seemed like a pretty good way to conclude a pilgrimage in the time of turmoil.
christian  Christianity  pilgrimage  Israel-Palestine  scandals  catholic 
12 weeks ago by thomas.kochi
Time to Leave?
Damon Linker, Sexual Abuse, and the Church Linker a convert to Catholicism. In a recent column titled “The Unbearable Ugliness of the Catholic Church,” Linker announced his decision to leave the church, which he described as “thoroughly corrupt.” A photograph of Pope Francis wearing what looks like a burial shawl accompanies the article online.What is harder to understand is why this would suddenly hit home for Linker now, sixteen years after the scandal broke wide open in Boston. The Pennsylvania grand-jury report, as horrible as the details are, does not provide any evidence that sexual abuse continues to be epidemic in the church.He writes, “But to wade through the toxic sludge of the grand jury report; to follow the story of Theodore McCarrick’s loathsome character and career; to confront the allegations piled up in Viganò’s memo—it is to come face to face with monstrous, grotesque ugliness. It is to see the Catholic Church as a repulsive institution—or at least one permeated by repulsive human beings who reward one another for repulsive acts, all the while deigning to lecture the world about its sin.”Like many converts, Linker seems to have a tendency to mistake flawed people and fallible institutions for a reified ideal, whether that is Rudy Giuliani, Richard John Neuhaus, or the Catholic Church. In my mid-twenties, I was getting reacquainted with Catholicism. One day I was waxing poetical about the church in the presence of my maternal grandfather, who had been educated by the Jesuits at Boston College High School and Boston College.He warned me in a vague but unmistakable way about the clergy and the church. He said in effect, “They’re not as bad as some people claim, but they aren’t as good as they want you to think.” In other words, although we owe a certain loyalty to the church, what priests and bishops say should get the same scrutiny we give to the pronouncements of others in positions of authority. Skepticism is warranted.How can we justify staying? I think the answer is similar to the one you might give when asked to justify allegiance to the United States of America, a nation founded as a slave state and established by the virtual annihilation of its native population, a country that killed several million Vietnamese in an unprovoked and unjust war and now threatens the peace of the entire world by putting nuclear weapons in the hands of a clearly repulsive and disturbed individual. You remain because, despite the nation’s manifold sins, you still want to believe in the truth of the propositions put forth in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Gettysburg Address. You stay in the church, despite its sins, because you long for what it proposes about the nature and destiny of human life to be true as well.
catholic  scandals 
september 2018 by thomas.kochi
Reconsidering the fiction of Andre Dubus
When I think of Dubus, I often return to the end of his story “Anna.” Wayne is cooking hamburgers at Wendy’s. Anna listens to the end of a Waylon Jennings record before going to the laundromat. The air’s moist. She’s among the “gurgling rumble and whining spin of washers, resonant clicks and loud hiss of dryers.” Two women smoke, read magazines, and talk. And then there is Anna, alone. She “took a small wooden chair from the table and sat watching the round window of the machine, watched her clothes and Wayne’s tossing past it, like children waving from a ferris wheel.” It is the perfect Dubus sentence: gracefully hypnotic, curiously innocent, and beautifully sad. You’ve got to believe in something to write that way.
culture  catholic  authors 
september 2018 by thomas.kochi
The Elephant in the Sacristy, Revisited
The Catholic laity is far from blameless in this hour. The scandals might have been reduced long ago if the laity’s rejection of church teaching on birth control hadn’t led to collusion of mutual misuse. Many priests winked at the laity’s breaking the law against contraception and many laity tacitly returned the favor by not worrying overmuch about their priest and some of his friends.“If humility is now required of Catholics, so too is backbone. If it takes shutting down certain seminaries to protect boys of the present and future, close them now. If vocations to the priesthood should be so far reduced by stringent screening for abuse victims that American Catholics have to travel 50 miles to Mass, let them drive.” Today, a laity forged in this latest round of scandal knows all too well that there are worse things for the church than a priest shortage. And thanks again to the Internet, the same laity is scrutinizing the hierarchy as never before.Good things will come of the evil confronted today. Judging by the signs of newfound courage and questioning, they already are. The ultimate legacy of 2018, whether we live to see it in this world or not, will be a holier and more transparent church.
catholic  scandals 
september 2018 by thomas.kochi
Source: China and the Vatican to sign historic agreement by end of September
Pope Francis firmly believes in the culture of encounter, not that of confrontation The Jesuit pope, following in the footsteps of Matteo Ricci, the famous Italian Jesuit missionary who is buried in Beijing, has given strong leadership in this direction.Holy See recognizes that it is “not a good agreement,” but it believes that it is the only one possible at present and that, in a small but highly significant way, it opens the door to developing a constructive and improving dialogue with the world’s emerging superpower..the Holy See and Beijing have agreed on a process for the nomination of bishops. Candidates will be chosen at the diocesan level through the “democratic election” system that the Chinese authorities introduced in 1957, whereby the priests of the diocese, together with representatives of women religious and laypeople, vote from among the candidates presented by the authorities that supervise church affairs. The results of these elections will be sent to the Beijing authorities that oversee the church in China, including the bishops’ conference, which will examine them and then submit a name to the Holy See through diplomatic channels. The Holy See will have some months to carry out its own investigation of the candidate and, based on this work, the pope will either approve or exercise his veto. The Holy See will then communicate his decision to Beijing.If the pope approves of the candidate, the process will continue. But if he exercises his veto, both sides will engage in a dialogue, and Beijing would eventually be expected to submit the name of another candidate.
catholic  China  accords 
september 2018 by thomas.kochi
Glen Argan: Francis is making slow but sure progress
VatiLeaks had fostered the perception that the Pope(Benedict) was the captain of a ship of fools. The cardinals entering the March 2013 conclave were resolute that, among other qualities, the next pope should be a man who would sweep the deck and impose clear discipline on the ranks.That man chosen was Pope Francis..from well outside the Vatican club and owed no debts to those within it. He immediately set up his Council of Cardinals, nine diocesan bishops who advise him on running the Church’s internal matters. His annual Christmas greetings with the Curia also became an event filled, not with sweet remembrances of the year past, but chastisements and moral advice to avoid the sins that can occur in an entrenched bureaucracy.Many say real reforms to that bureaucracy have been slow to arrive. Still, Pope Francis has made more than his share of enemies. To those who want reform, this is a good sign, but to those whose careers are rooted in the curia, the negative papal attention can lead to resentment.So it should be no surprise that some have publicly tried to discredit the Pope and even force his resignation. To those in the bureaucracy, he represents a formidable threat to their established way of life. It would serve their purposes to have Francis disgraced and rendered ineffective, if not totally out of the picture.Pope Francis’ Christmas remarks to the curia have included calls for greater holiness. Structural reforms are needed, but will be of no avail if those implementing them are cut from the same cloth of careerism and in-fighting which has been the norm. Earlier this year, the Pope even issued a letter to all the faithful — Gaudete et Exsultate (Rejoice and Be Glad) — underlining the universal call to holiness. As the Pope wrote in his recent letter, holiness is the most attractive face of the Church. An evident lack of holiness is the Church’s repulsive face.Whatever his faults, Pope Francis has pointed us in the right direction, a direction opposite from the deplorable situation indicated in the butler’s leaked documents.
catholic  pope  Register 
september 2018 by thomas.kochi
In Ciociaria the teocon academy that cheers Salvini: "But it is not true that we are against Pope Francis"
The Dignitatis Humanae will open at Certosa di Trisulti sponsored by the former Trump strategist Steve Bannon together with Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke, leader of the opponents of is not true that we are against the Pope."This is a project to promote Western civilization and its Judeo-Christian foundations, according to the populist nationalist thought developed by Bannon".. And already this strides with the recent words of Francis in Sicily, for which the only admissible populism is the "Christian": "to serve and to listen"."Yes, but it is not said that one must share every word of the Pope to be Catholic",In this same thought they coagulate an Islamophobia that transcends into white suprematism, the denunciation of the "crony capitalism" of global finance, the "bloody conflict" necessary to preserve the Western roots, the emergence of a right-wing world movement (a sort of "tea party" on a global scale)..."every man is made in the image and likeness of God". «On this concept all courses will take place». Every person, therefore. Even the homosexuals? "Good question. Anyway, yes, every person because we are all sinners. This does not mean that the Church can not propose the right rules for living .. some newspapers knew about Bannon and Burke and they got a narrative - that of an anti-Francis frond - that I understand is captivating, but it does not correspond to truth.
L.Stampa  catholic  counter-view  conservative 
september 2018 by thomas.kochi
Adoration may seem useless – but the world needs it desperately
The film Into Great Silence (2005) offers a rare glimpse into the life of a Carthusian monastery. Every so often the camera lingers over the faces of the monks, one by one, and in each of them we see a great serenity. We see the contentedness of a creature happy in his dependant, finite nature and happier still with the love of God shining in his eyes. It is a life of contemplation, of Adoration, which creates such freedom in a creature. JRR Tolkien once said he did not return to fidelity to the Lord by being chased by Francis Thompson’s Hound of Heaven, but through hunger for the Blessed Sacrament, as one starving for love. In a letter to his middle son during World War II (the context of the letter is marriage and sex), he wrote:Out of the darkness of my life, so much frustrated, I put before you the one great thing to love on earth: the Blessed Sacrament. . . . There you will find romance, glory, honour, fidelity, and the true way of all your loves on earth… by the taste of which alone can what you seek in your earthly relationships… take on that complexion of reality, of eternal endurance, which every man’s heart desires.
C.Herald  catholic  movies  authors 
september 2018 by thomas.kochi
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