Archive for November, 2013

Future of the Church? Apostolic Exhortation Amounts to Francs’ ‘I Have a Dream’ Speech / National Catholic Reporter

Dreams can be powerful things, especially when articulated by leaders with the realistic capacity to translate them into action. That was the case 50 years ago with Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous ‘I Have a Dream’ speech, and it also seems to be the ambition of Pope Francis’ bold new apostolic exhortation, ‘ The Joy of the Gospel.’” By John L. Allen, Jr., National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of Allen’s analysis.

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No Clear ‘Pope Francis Effect’ among U.S. Catholics / Pew Research Center

In the first eight months of his pontificate, Pope Francis has impressed, charmed and inspired many people around the world with his outreach to non-Christians, his statements of concern for the poor and disabled, and his personal humility. At the same time,
other Catholics have expressed dismay
over the pope’s statements about homosexuality and his remarks that the church is “obsessed” with some social issues … But has the pope’s popularity produced a Catholic resurgence in the U.S., where 10% of adults are former Catholics? Not so far, at least in terms of the share of Americans who identify as such, or the share of those who report attending Mass weekly.” By Conrad Hackett, Pew Research Center Fact Tank — Click here to read Hackett’s entire article.

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Vatican Abuse Prosecutor Says Rome ‘Well Aware’ of Accountability Problem / National Catholic Reporter

“The Vatican’s top prosecutor for sex abuse cases says Rome is “well aware” of how frustrated many people are with perceived confusion about how to hold bishops accountable when they’re accused of failing to make a “zero tolerance” policy stick and hopes a solution will emerge from debates over curial reform under Pope Francis.” By John L. Allen, Jr., National Catholic Reporter

Click here to read the rest of Allen’s article.

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Archdiocese Removes Father Paul From Ministry Without Announcement

Catholics4Change

by Susan Matthews

First Father Paul resigned from Our Lady of Calvary, where he remained as pastor while under investigation and review for two allegations of child sex abuse. A week later, without announcement, the archdiocese temporarily removed his faculties and he will not be able to celebrate Mass in public pending the outcome of the canonical investigation. This has been confirmed by an archdiocesan official. The only reason we discovered Father Paul’s removal is because Kathy Kane monitors the clergy list for just such changes.

– Why, after leaving him as pastor during much of the investigation, remove him from ministry now?

– Why wasn’t there a public announcement of this removal? Other victims might be prompted to come forward.

– Do the parishioners of Our Lady of Calvary know Father Paul has been temporarily removed from ministry? The families were not informed of the allegations until he resigned…

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Synod Questionnaire an Opportunity to Hear from the People / National Catholic Reporter

Did the Vatican originally intend that the questionnaire to gather input for the 2014 Extraordinary Synod on the Family be distributed to all Catholics? Did Pope Francis? Did the bishops? Do we discover something about where the Church might be going under Pope Francis by determining the answers. To help answer the questions, read the National Catholic Reporter editorial from which the following was taken:

Since the synod documents became public, ‘NCR’ has had conversations with a number of people with extensive contacts in the Vatican and who have observed quite a few synods over the years. The consensus among this group is that the process is different this time. While all synods and other Vatican-sponsored consultations use surveys and questionnaires and ask local bishops for input, this time the questions really seem to matter, they say. The questions matter because Francis wants to hear the answers, they say.”

Click here to read the entire editorial.

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Lay Groups Launch Surveys to Answer Vatican Questionnaire / National Catholic Reporter

While U.S. bishops consider how best and how broad to collect information ahead of a 2014 global bishops’ meeting on family issues, several lay Catholic groups took the task into their own hands. In mid-November, a coalition of 15 church reform groups (including Voice of the Faithful) — primarily members of Catholic Organizations for Renewal — created an online survey for U.S. Catholics to offer their thoughts on the preparatory document to the 2014 Synod of Bishops, which will focus on the theme of ‘pastoral challenges to the family in the context of evangelization.’” By Brian Roewe, National Catholic Reporter

Read the rest of Roewe’s report by clicking here.

Additional information on gathering input from the faithful in preparation for past synods can be found in NCR’s Joshua McElwee’s article “Experts: Wide-Range Listening for Synods a Massive Undertaking.” Click here to read the article.

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Pope Francis Acknowledges Theologians’ Statement on Authority in the Church

In what may well be an unprecedented response by a Pope to a request from a non-hierarchical source, Pope Francis has acknowledged receiving the “Catholic Scholars’ Declaration on Authority in the Catholic Church” from a group of theologians.

Archbishop Giovanni Angelo Becciu, Substitute for General Affairs, the Pope’s personal secretary, wrote to thank John Wijngaards, professor emeritus of the Missionary Institute London, for sending the statement, “whose contents have been seen with due interest.”

Wijngaards was among the original group of theologians who recently sent the Pope the declaration, which to-date has been signed by 214 academic sponsors and nearly 2,500 co-signers.

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