Posts Tagged church governance

North Carolina ‘Church in Exile’ battles restorationists / National Catholic Reporter

“The clericalism has been canonized,” said a religious sister active in parish ministry in the diocese who also did not want to be named for fear of incurring the wrath of the bishop.

It’s a few nights after a January snowstorm, and the mountain pathways around Waynesville are treacherous. Still, some 30 Catholics arrive for a meeting to talk about their parish.

“Or perhaps their former parish. These are the people of St. John the Evangelist Church in Waynesville who, soon after the arrival of Fr. Christopher Riehl as parish administrator in July 2014, formed what they call a Church in Exile.

“They described why they left: Their de facto pastor told the mostly cradle Catholics they had been doing everything all wrong. The liturgy — overwhelmed with popular contemporary hymns and such standbys as “Amazing Grace” — was not deemed Catholic enough. Veteran catechists were told they weren’t teaching traditional Catholicism. A blind parishioner, holding her guide dog with one hand and seeking Communion with the other, was told she lacked proper reverence. The host was stuck into her mouth …

“It is not a unique situation. Across the country, some young pastors, inspired by their seminary training or informal networks with other young priests, are determined to push the clock back before the church’s liturgical and governance practices of the post-Vatican II era. They have what some perceive as a fetish for elaborate liturgical vestments and other externals, such as the routine wearing of cassocks and birettas. Some of these priests call themselves, and sometimes others call them, restorationists.”

By Peter Feuerherd, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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With ‘Spotlight’ movie an award contender, Catholic reform movement assesses scandal / National Catholic Reporter (‘Spotlight’ received Best Picture Oscar a few days after the post was made)

The critically acclaimed movie ‘Spotlight’ could receive a Best Picture Oscar this Sunday. The film about how The Boston Globe investigated and brought to light clergy sexual abuse of children and its cover up in the Boston archdiocese has brought renewed awareness to the scandal worldwide.

“But many Catholics have had a heightened sense of the crisis all along. Some of those Catholics — determined to remain faithful while addressing the scandal — formed Voice of the Faithful only a couple of months after the Globe’s sensational January 2002 story appeared.

“VOTF continues its work nearly a decade and half later because the scandal remains — ‘a mass psychological dysfunction hidden in plain sight, which has stretched back decades or even centuries and will, unchecked, do precisely the same in the future,’ according to Peter Bradshaw’s “Spotlight” review in The Guardian.

“Amid the passionate indignation the scandal created, VOTF grew rapidly to comprise an international membership. Key to members is to remain faithful Catholics and to help redress and prevent scandal by changing the way the Church operates …”

By Donna B. Doucette, Executive Director, Voice of the Faithful, in National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this commentary.

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What happened at the Synod Oct. 6 regarding women deacons / Pray Tell Blog

What happened at the synod today (Oct. 6)? Review for us just what (Canadian) Archbishop (Paul-Andre) Durocher (of Quebec) said.

“Archbishop Durocher commented on No. 29 in the Synod document—the place of women in the Church. He made two very important and interrelated comments: 1) women should be included in Church governance; 2) women should be restored to the ordained diaconate. As a matter of fact, the only persons who can share governance or jurisdiction in the church are clerics, and the ordinary way of entering the clerical state is by ordination to the diaconate …”

Click here to read the rest of this Q& A on Archbishop Durocher’s comments at the Synod on the Family regarding women’s roles in the Church. The Q&A is on the Pray Tell blog and is with Phyllis Zagano, Ph.D.

Dr. Zagano is a senior research associate-in-residence at Hfostra University, Hempstead, NY, where she continues her research on women in ministry, specifically women deacons. She is author of many books and articles on the topic, most recently: “In the Image of Christ: Essays on Being Catholic and Female,” and the ground-breaking “Holy Saturday: An Argument for the Restoration of the Female Diaconate in the Catholic Church.” Voice of the Faithful presented her with a St. Catherine of Siena Distinguished Layperson Award in 2012.

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Pope, Council of Cardinals discuss how bishops are chosen / National Catholic Reporter

Pope Francis has asked his international Council of Cardinals to study the way the church vets, identifies and appoints bishops around the world, looking particularly at the qualities needed in a bishop today.

“Near the end of the council’s meetings with the pope Sept. 14-16, Jesuit Fr. Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman, briefed reporters on its work.

“While one of the main tasks of the nine-member council is to assist Pope Francis with the ongoing reorganization of the Roman Curia, Lombardi said that from the beginning Pope Francis said he wanted the group to advise him on matters of church governance in general. With more than 150 new bishops being named each year in the Latin-rite church, identifying suitable candidates is a normal part of the governance of the universal church, the spokesman said.”

By Cindy Wooden, Catholic News Service, in National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this story.

Voice of the Faithful has long advocated for greater lay input into selection of local bishops. VOTF has promulgated a proposal to achieve this, “Furthering the New Evangelization: Consulting the Laity on Candidates for the Episcopacy.” The proposal seeks to restore to the selection process many of the lay-involvement practices followed throughout the first millenium and well into the second, and, at the same time, it would recognize the authority of the pope (as affirmed in Canon Law and Vatican II) to make the final appointment of a bishop, generally from the recommendations submitted for each diocese.

VOTF presently maintains a first-of-its-kind web portal enabling Catholics in a diocese with an announced or impending vacancy to offer confidentially their thoughts on the needs of the diocese, the desired qualities of the next bishop, and the names of potential nominees directly to the Apostolic Nuncio.

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Voice of the Faithful 2015 National Assembly Will Take Place in Hartford, April 18

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Voice of the Faithful, a Roman Catholic Church reform movement focusing on issues surrounding the clergy sexual abuse scandal and the laity’s role in Church governance, will hold its 2015 National Assembly on Saturday, April 18, at the Connecticut Convention Center, Hartford.

HartfordJuneLMitaWebShadowThe featured speaker will be Marie Collins, a Catholic clergy sexual abuse survivor from Ireland who pioneered child protection policies there and is on the Vatican’s Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors.

Organizers also have scheduled five interactive workshops to allow attendees to offer opinions and learn about VOTF activities surrounding several issues:

  • Degrees of Transparency: The Good, the Bad, and the Confusing in Diocesan Financial Accountability
  • Towards Healing the People of God
  • Let’s Talk About It: Can Clergy & Laity Speak to Each Other as Equals
  • Survivor Support: A Discussion with Fr. Tom Doyle
  • Your Voice for the Synod on the Family

MarieCollinsWebShadowCollins was among the first in March 2014 whom Pope Francis appointed to his Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors. She has spoken out for years on the Church’s need to provide better protection for children and justice for clergy sexual abuse survivors. She helped the Dublin Archdiocese set up its Child Protection Service in 2003 and was a member of the Lynott Committee drafting the Church’s all-Ireland child protection guidelines. She was among survivors who lobbied the Irish government for the Murphy Commission, which reported in 2009 extensive clergy child abuse and coverup in the Dublin Archdiocese. In 2012, she spoke about being a clergy abuse victim at the Vatican symposium on child sexual abuse “Toward Healing,” which was attended by Church leaders from around the world.

The documentary “A Matter of Conscience: Confronting Clergy Sexual Abuse” also will be screened at the Assembly. The film, produced by Boston College faculty members John and Susan Michalczyk, features several members of Catholic Whistleblowers, a group Catholic priests and religious formed in 2013 to support other whistleblowers and identify shortcomings in Church child protection policies.

Registration for the 2015 National Assembly is at the Voice of the Faithful website, votf.org.

Voice of the Faithful®: Voice of the Faithful® is a worldwide movement of faithful Roman Catholics working to support survivors of clergy sexual abuse, support priests of integrity and increase the laity’s role in the governance and guidance of the Church. More information is at votf.org.

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Francis’ Cardinal Council Focusing on Financial Reform, Laity / National Catholic Reporter

While the deliberations of the select group of eight cardinals advising Pope Francis on reforming the governance of the Catholic church remain secret, Tuesday gave several peeks into the shape and contour of the discussions.

“Financial reform is topping the agenda, but laity and family life are also points of discussion.

“The chief concern in this round of meetings, according to the Vatican: how to make sure the financial structures of the church are ‘at the service … of the world and not at the operational service of the Vatican itself’ …

“In his interview, (Honduran Cardinal Oscar) Rodríguez (Maradiaga) also raised an idea he has spoken of previously: that the pope create a congregation at the Vatican dedicated solely to the laity.”

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

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Cardinals’ Summit Shapes Up As Potential Turning Point / National Catholic Reporter

Francis’ papacy only just reached the six-month mark, so it’s probably premature to be talking about make-or-break moments for his legacy. That said, the Oct. 1-3 maiden summit of eight cardinals from around the world, tapped by the pope to advise him on governance and reform, profiles as a potentially critical turning point.” By John Allen, National Catholic Reporter

Read the rest of John Allen’s story about the Pope’s upcoming meeting with his cardinal advisors by clicking here.

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