Archive for August, 2013

U.S. Nuns Strike Positive Note on Vatican Investigation / Religion News Service

U.S. Catholic nuns — accused by Rome of “radical feminism” for advocating social justice at the expense of issues such as abortion, gay marriage and euthanasia — responded to a Vatican knuckle rapping with a brief, conciliatory statement on Monday (Aug. 19). After its four-day annual assembly, the board of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, which represents 80 percent of the nation’s 57,000 sisters, emphasized the positive, and remained tight-lipped about negotiations to resolve the investigation.” By Mark Pinsky, Religion News Service

Read Pinsky’s entire story by clicking here.

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New Jersey Church Goers Voice Skepticism about Their Archbishop / North Jersey Record

One churchgoer on Sunday said he has a hard time buying the Newark archbishop’s explanation after a settlement was announced last week between an alleged sex-abuse victim and the Illinois diocese the archbishop once led. Others said he has made mistakes, with a few echoing the suggestion of some state lawmakers that he step down. Only a few of the more than dozen parishioners interviewed on Sunday praised Archbishop John J. Myers’ leadership and his handling of three priests accused of molesting children.” By Jeff Green, North Jersey Record

Read Green’s entire story by clicking here.

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Archbishop Chaput’s Right-Wing Funk / National Catholic Reporter

Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia put into words the anxiety many right-wing Catholics must be feeling at the extraordinary popularity Pope Francis has been enjoying. In an interview with John L. Allen Jr., Chaput, speaking on behalf of his conservative followers, said that members of the right wing of the Catholic church ‘generally have not been really happy about his election.’ The pope, Chaput stated, will ‘have to care for them, too.'” Commentary by Charles Reid in National Catholic Reporter

You can read all of Reid’s commentary by clicking here. This commentary originally was posted to the religiousleftlaw.com blog.

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LCWR Sisters Receive Few Details from Sartain on Reasons for Vatican Concern or on Process of Investigation Going Forward

In his first address to representatives of U.S. Catholic sisters since his appointment in April 2012, the archbishop tasked by the Vatican to oversee their leadership group reportedly had little to offer regarding the reason for Vatican concern or how the process goes forward. Leaving Thursday’s (Aug. 16) closed-door meeting between Seattle Archbishop J. Peter Sartain and the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), several sisters said they felt frustration at the lack of detail given by the prelate nearly 19 months into his mandate.” By Joshua McElwee, National Catholic Reporter

Read McElwee’s entire article, “Sartain Offers Few Details, Some Sisters Say,” by clicking here.

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Why Would a Millennial Become a Priest or a Nun? / The Atlantic

It’s the question that haunts everyone starting a career: What’s my calling? Some refer to it as a vocation; others might call it a life purpose … There are a handful of young people across the country who have interpreted ‘calling’ in perhaps the most literal way possible: By devoting their lives to the Church. The decision seems radical in the context of common stereotypes about millennials … These millennials defy those clichés, taking lifelong vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience to God — and to the Catholic Church, which, especially in their lifetimes, has been regularly plagued by scandal.” By Emma Green, The Atlantic

Read Green’s entire article by clicking here.

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Fierce Opposition by the Catholic Church Helps Block Bill to Allow Sex Abuse Victims More Time to Sue / Los Angeles Times

A bill that would give some sex abuse victims more time to file lawsuits, which has drawn fierce opposition from the Catholic Church, failed to get enough support Wednesday (Aug. 14) to make it out of a key legislative committee. The bill, which needed nine votes to leave the lower house’s appropriations committee and go to the Assembly floor, mustered only six. Four committee members opposed the bill and seven did not weigh in after an emotional hearing that included testimony from a lobbyist who is also a sex abuse survivor.” By Ashley Powers, Los Angeles Times

Read Powers’s entire article, “Bill to Allow Sex Abuse Victims More Time to Sue Fails to Advance,” by clicking here.

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Austrian Reformist Priest Fr. Helmut Schuller Concludes U.S. Tour in Front of St. Patrick’s Cathedral in NYC

Austrian reformist priest Fr. Helmut Schuller started his 15-city U.S. speaking tour, Catholic Tipping Point: Conversations with Helmut Schuller, in New York City July 16. He concluded his tour there Aug. 8 in front of St. Patrick’s Cathedral. He brought his Roman Catholic Church reform message to more than 5,000 people during his tour and received a good deal of media coverage in the U.S. and Europe. After speaking to supporters in front of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Fr. Schuller delivered thousands of actual and virtual red ribbons symbolizing the Holy Spirit and support for reform goals to the office of Cardinal Timothy Dolan, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. He also delivered the following letter to Cardinal Dolan:

August 8, 2013

Dear Cardinal Dolan:

Over the past three weeks, I have met with thousands of Catholics – laity and clergy – in 15 cities across the U.S. to share experiences and to learn from one another. At each place I visited, participants in our conversations wore red ribbons, signifying the gift of the Holy Spirit given to all the faithful. These ribbons as well as nearly 2,000 online signatures have been collected, and we offer them to you as a sign of our commitment to our church, a community where the People of God should be represented at every level of leadership and decision-making.

I learned much during my conversations with American Catholics. I discovered very many who are working hard to meet the challenges facing us all and to give voice to their needs, as is their right and obligation under Canon 212. I also heard from many priests who are concerned about the future of their parishes and their ministries. Sadly, many do not feel free to speak openly about their concerns. This must be a matter of concern to you as president of the USCCB. I do not believe that there is any place for fear or intimidation in our Church, and yet I found it time and again in my talks with fellow priests. I also found this same intimidation in the attempts to prevent Catholics from hearing me in Boston, Philadelphia and Detroit.

My hope is that my visit contributed to an authentic Christian conversation that must take place across our Church in every country. As we all are inspired by the example of Pope Francis, we should engage in an honest dialogue about the challenges we must overcome in making our Church a sign of the Kingdom and a sacrament to the world of the 21st century. As you know, I and my fellow priests have been working in Austria and in other parts of Europe to cultivate this dialogue. We stand ready to assist you here in the U.S. in any way we can to encourage the same honest and fearless exchange of views.

In the peace of Jesus Christ,

Rev. Helmut Schüller

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