Archive for April, 2016

Fr. Hans Kung says Francis responded to request for free discussion on infallibility dogma / National Catholic Reporters

On March 9, my appeal to Pope Francis to give room to a free, unprejudiced and open-ended discussion on the problem of infallibility appeared in the leading journals of several countries. I was thus overjoyed to receive a personal reply from Francis immediately after Easter. Dated March 20, it was forwarded to me from the nunciature in Berlin.

“In the pope’s reply, the following points are significant for me:

  • The fact that Francis answered at all and did not let my appeal fall on deaf ears, so to speak;
  • The fact that he replied himself and not via his private secretary or the secretary of state;
  • That he emphasizes the fraternal manner of his Spanish reply by addressing me as Lieber Mitbruder(“Dear Brother”) in German and puts this personal address in italics;
  • That he clearly read the appeal, to which I had attached a Spanish translation, most attentively;
  • That he is highly appreciative of the considerations that had led me to write Volume 5 of my complete works, in which I suggest theologically discussing the different issues that the infallibility dogma raises in the light of holy Scripture and tradition with the aim of deepening the constructive dialogue between the “semper reformanda” 21st-century church and the other Christian churches and postmodern society.”

By Hans Kung, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this article.

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Francis: Spirit works in laypeople, ‘is not property of the hierarchy’ / National Catholic Reporter

Pope Francis has again sharply denounced the culture of clericalism among priests in the Catholic church, calling it ‘one of the greatest deformations’ that must be confronted by the global faith community and saying it helps ‘diminish and undervalue’ the contributions that laypeople make.

“The pontiff has also strongly reaffirmed the right of laypeople to make decisions in their lives, saying that priests must trust that the Holy Spirit is working in them and that the Spirit ‘is not only the ‘property’ of the ecclesial hierarchy.’

“In a letter to Cardinal Marc Ouellet in his role as the head of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America, released by the Vatican Tuesday (Apr. 25), Francis says he wants to speak to the members of the commission about how to better serve what he terms ‘the Holy Faithful People of God.’

“‘Evoking the Holy Faithful People of God is to evoke that horizon which we are invited to look at and reflect upon,’ states the pope. ‘It is the Holy Faithful People of God that as pastors we are continually invited to look to, to protect, to accompany, to sustain and to serve.'”

By Joshua J. McElwee, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this story.

Voice of the Faithful wonders whether any clergy are listening to the Pope.

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French cardinal admits mistakes in child sex abuse cases / Associated Press on Cruxnow.com

A French cardinal said his diocese has made ‘some mistakes’ in the management and nomination of certain priests amid allegations that he had covered up child sex abuse cases.

“Cardinal Philippe Barbarin stressed the ‘importance’ for the victims ‘to see their right to truth and justice recognized’ in a statement issued Monday (Apr. 25) following a meeting on the issue with 220 priests from the Lyon region.

“Barbarin, the archbishop of Lyon and one of the highest-ranking church officials in France, is among six church officials targeted by complaints for not reporting child sex abuse cases to judicial authorities.”

By Associated Press on Cruxnow.com — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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Is a ‘governance gap’ emerging under Pope Francis? / Cruxnow.com

Pope Francis just keeps on truckin’ as the most compelling moral point of reference in the world today, most recently capping a last-minute trip to the Greek island of Lesbos to make a statement on refugee rights by bringing 12 of those refugees back to Rome with him, thereby offering Europe a pointed lesson about welcome …

“Of late, however, there have been reminders that Francis’ success on the global stage is not really matched by comparable breakthroughs as a manager.

“Over the past quarter-century, two areas above all have generated persistent scandal and heartache for the Vatican, and were waiting for a new pope to take up: The child sexual abuse scandals, and money.”

By John L. Allen, Jr., Crunxow.com — Click here to read the rest of this article.

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Pulling the plug on audit means gut-check for Vatican reform / Cruxnow.com

When Pope Francis’ landmark project of financial reform was announced two years ago, one lynch-pin was the idea that the world would no longer just to have to take the Vatican’s word for it in terms of how much money it has and where it’s going.

“Instead there would be a credible audit carried out according to generally accepted business standards in the 21st century. That step, officials said, would represent a revolution in the direction of transparency and accountability.

As it turns out, it’s now a revolution delayed.

Crux has learned that on April 12, Italian Archbishop Giovanni Angelo Becciu sent a letter to all Vatican entities informing them that an audit being performed by the global firm Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC) has been ‘suspended immediately,’ and that any letters of authorization those entities have already issued to permit the transmission of financial data to PwC are to be revoked.”

By John L. Allen, Jr., Cruxnow.com — Click here to read the rest of this article.

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Sex abuse and the Catholic Church: Why is it still a story? / The New York Times

I have interviewed many survivors of child sexual abuse over many years, but this was the first time I had ever interviewed a survivor who was also a politician. State Representative Mark Rozzi sat behind his office desk at the State Capitol in Harrisburg, Pa. As he spoke he fidgeted with a small figurine he kept on his desk — a little dog with four heads, all snarling — a gift from a fellow survivor. We were discussing his long fight trying to pass legislation to make it easier for survivors to press charges and file lawsuits against their abusers.

“Well into the interview I asked him to tell me what had happened to him as a child. ‘The abridged version,’ I said. I had read his story elsewhere, but needed to hear it directly from him, even though I knew it would not play a big part in the article I planned to write. I figured that as a politician, he would have a well-practiced, pithy rendition.

“Twenty-five minutes of unrelenting trauma later, we had still gotten only as far as high school. Then, just as Mr. Rozzi was saying, “I’m going to tell you something I have never talked about to a reporter” — at that very moment — there was a knock at the door and his executive assistant came in to tell us that another legislator was waiting in the vestibule. Interview over.

“As I rushed to gather up my notebook, laptop and recorder, I realized I had no idea what he was about to reveal, but I had just gotten the answer to another question I am often asked: Why does the sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic Church never seem to go away? Why is it still a story? It has been 31 years since National Catholic Reporter, an independent Catholic publication, broke the first story, about a serial abuser in Louisiana. It has been 22 years since I reported my first article about abusive priests (out on an Indian pueblo in New Mexico, for The Washington Post). Why is the news media still covering this?

“The answer lies with the victims.”

By Laurie Goodstein, The New York Times — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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The Catholic Church’s defiance and obstruction on child sex abuse / The Washington Post

In three years at the helm of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis has been a source of inspiration for millions of faithful around the world. In one critical respect, however, he has fallen short of his own promise: to come fully to terms with decades of child sex abuse by clergymen and the institutional cover granted to them by bishops and cardinals.

“Francis has pledged “the zealous vigilance of the Church to protect children and the promise of accountability for all.” Yet there has been scant accountability, particularly for bishops. Too often, the church’s stance has been defiance and obstruction.”

By The Washington Post Editorial Board — Click here to read the rest of this editorial.

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