Posts Tagged Cindy Wooden

‘Elitist, clericalist’ church allows abuse to thrive / Catholic News Service via National Catholic Reporter

The root of the problem, he (Pope Francis) said, is elitism or clericalism. The two attitudes foster “every form of abuse. And sexual abuse is not the first. The first abuse is of power and conscience.” (National Catholic Reporter)

Sexual and physical abuse by priests and religious and the scandal of its cover-up by church authorities thrive in countries where the Catholic Church is “elitist and clericalist,” Pope Francis told Jesuits in Ireland in August.

“‘There is something I have understood with great clarity: this drama of abuse, especially when it is widespread and gives great scandal — think of Chile, here in Ireland or in the United States — has behind it a church that is elitist and clericalist, an inability to be near to the people of God,’ the pope told the Jesuits during a meeting Aug. 25 in Dublin …

“The root of the problem, he said, is elitism or clericalism. The two attitudes foster ‘every form of abuse. And sexual abuse is not the first. The first abuse is of power and conscience’ …

“In confronting abuse and the church culture that allows it to fester, Pope Francis told the Jesuits, ‘Courage! Be courageous!'”

By Cindy Wooden, Catholic News Service, in National Catholic Reporter — Read more …

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Cardinal Burke presides over trial investigating Guam archbishop / Catholic News Service

Cardinal Raymond Burke, a church law expert and former head of the Vatican’s highest court, arrived in Guam Feb. 15 as the presiding judge in a church trial investigating allegations of sexual abuse leveled against Archbishop Anthony Apuron of Agana.

“The Vatican press office confirmed a ‘tribunal of the first instance’ was constituted by the Vatican Oct. 5 and its presiding judge is Cardinal Burke. Four other judges, all of whom are bishops, also were appointed, the press office said.”

By Cindy Wooden, Catholic New Service, in National Catholic Reporter — Read more …

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Doctrinal congregation convokes meeting on role of women in the church / Catholic News Service in National Catholic Reporter

Leaders of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith spent three days in late September listening to women theologians, canon lawyers, Scripture scholars and specialists in other academic fields talk about roles women have played in the Catholic church and roles they could play in the future.

“After the symposium Sept. 26-28 was over, the congregation issued a brief statement outlining the topics discussed and listing the women who made formal presentations. The congregation said the papers will be published at a later date.

“Cardinal Gerhard Müller, prefect of the doctrinal congregation, opened the meeting, which involved about 50 people, mostly women, and officials and consultants to the congregation, the statement said.

“The theme of “the role of women in the church” was explored first by looking at “the definition of the feminine vocation in Catholic tradition,” and proceeded to a discussion about concrete roles women have played and can play within the church.”

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

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Vatican dialogue with U.S. women religious continues, says cardinal / Catholic Herald

More than a year after the conclusion of the Vatican’s apostolic visitation of US communities of women religious, the Vatican has begun asking more than a dozen orders to send their superiors to Rome to discuss concerns that surfaced.

“‘We did a very positive report at the conclusion of the visitation,’ a report that looked at the life of women’s congregations in the United States as a whole and was released in December 2014, said Cardinal Joao Braz de Aviz, prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life.

“But ‘there remained about 15 — more or less — congregations that we needed to speak with about a few points,’ the cardinal told Catholic News Service on June 14. The cardinal had attended a news conference about a new document from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith looking at the relationship between the hierarchy and communities or movements that arise from ‘charismatic gifts.'”

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

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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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Papal sexual abuse commission ‘developing processes’ of accountability / National Catholic Reporter

Somewhat cryptically hinting at possible new procedures for handling Catholic bishops who mishandle clergy sexual abuse, the Vatican commission advising Pope Francis on the issue says it is ‘developing processes to ensure accountability for everyone in the Church.’

“The commission, which met for the first time at the Vatican with all 17 of its members this weekend, makes the claim of such new processes in a press statement released Monday (Feb. 9) afternoon.

Mentioning the word ‘accountability’ four times in the statement, the commission says it is ‘keenly aware that the issue of accountability is of major importance …’

“The Vatican commission on clergy sexual abuse, which the pope created to advise him on the protection of minors in all circumstances, is being led by Boston’s Cardinal Sean O’Malley. Among its 17 members are two survivors of clergy sexual abuse, Irishwoman Marie Collins (Marie Collins will be the featured speaker at the Voice of the Faithful® 2015 National Assembly, April 18) and Englishman Peter Saunders …

“Asked by NCR after the press conference about the fact that only the pope can remove bishops, Collins interrupted the question to say: ‘Currently, yes.’

“‘All I can say is the commission is working on a means by which bishops can be made accountable,’ Collins, an Irish abuse survivor who serves on the commission, continued. ‘And if that goes forward … there will be an answer to this problem.’”

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

Also of interest, “Accountability is key concern for pope’s child protection commission,” by Cindy Wooden, Catholic News Service, and “Forget spanking: bishop accountability is the big pope story,” by John L. Allen, Jr., Cruxnow.com

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Church needs more women theologians, their insights, pope says / Catholic News Service

Pope Francis said he was pleased that five of the 30 members of the International Theological Commission are women, but the body that advises the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, as well as the church in general, needs more women theologians.

“‘They are the strawberries on the cake, but there is need for more,’ the pope said Dec. 5 as he met the members, who were named to a five-year term in July.”

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

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