Posts Tagged David Gibson

Facing scandal and division, U.S. Catholic bishops to hold unprecedented retreat / National Catholic Reporter

“What’s important is that we let the differences be expressed, for one thing, but also that we are willing to learn from each other, realizing that not any of us has the total answer,” he (Cardinal Blase Cupich, Archbishop of Chicago) said. “We do need to find a pathway together.” (National Catholic Reporter)

The Catholic bishops of the U.S. announced Oct. 23 that at the behest of Pope Francis they will meet for a weeklong retreat in Chicago in January.

“The unprecedented move reflects the depth of the crisis they are facing with the sexual abuse scandal and the long-standing divisions within their ranks over the broader direction of American Catholicism.

“The pope is even sending an elderly and revered Franciscan priest, the Rev. Raniero Cantalamessa, who holds the title of Preacher of the Papal Household, to lead the retreat — just as he does each year at Lent for the pontiff and the Roman Curia.

“Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, archbishop of Galveston-Houston and president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, issued a statement thanking Francis for sending Cantalamessa, who is 84 and rarely travels abroad, ‘to serve as the retreat director as we come together to pray on the intense matters before us.'”

By David Gibson, Religion News Service, in National Catholic Reporter — Read more …

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Pope Francis dismisses critics of his teachings / National Catholic Reporter

Pope Francis is firing back at foes of his efforts to make the Catholic church more open and pastoral in its ministry, telling an interviewer that ‘they are acting in bad faith to foment divisions.’

“The pontiff’s lengthy interview in Avvenire, the official newspaper of the Italian hierarchy, was published Friday and followed days of news coverage of demands by four hard-line cardinals who have grave concerns about Francis’ approach.

“The four say that focusing on ministering to people in their particular circumstances is eroding the church’s doctrinal absolutes and that Francis must dispel any ambiguities or face serious consequences.”

By David Gibson, Religion News Service, in National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this story, and click here to read NCR’s Joshua J. McElwee’s story “Flour cardinal challenge Francis over ‘Amoris Laetitia.'”

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Vatican newspaper essays say women should preach at Mass / Religion News Service

A series of essays in the semiofficial Vatican newspaper is urging the Catholic Church to allow women to preach from the pulpit at Mass, a role that has been reserved almost exclusively to the all-male priesthood for nearly 800 years.

“‘This topic is a delicate one, but I believe it is urgent that we address it,’ Enzo Bianchi, leader of an ecumenical religious community in northern Italy and a popular Catholic commentator, wrote in his article in L’Osservatore Romano.

“‘Certainly for faithful lay people in general, but above all for women, this would constitute a fundamental change in their participation in church life,’ said Bianchi, who called such a move a ‘decisive path’ for responding to widespread calls — including by Pope Francis — to find ways to give women a greater role in the church.”

By David Gibson, Religion News Service — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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Catholic bishops revise voter guide after debate over ‘Pope Francis agenda’ / Religion News Service

The nation’s Catholic bishops on Tuesday (Nov. 17) passed an updated guide for Catholic voters ahead of next year’s elections, but only after airing unusually sharp disagreements on how much they can, and should, adjust their priorities to match those of Pope Francis.

“More than any other item on the agenda of the bishops’ annual meeting here, the debate over the lengthy voter guide, called ‘Faithful Citizenship,’ revealed deep divides among the bishops and provided a snapshot of the extent of the ‘Francis effect’ on the U.S. hierarchy.”

By David Gibson, Religion News Service — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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Secret ‘Catacombs Pact’ emerges after 50 years, and Pope Francis gives it new life / Religion News Service

Sounding like a document from a Dan Brown novel, the secret Pact of the Catacombs has re-emerged after 50 years, echoing the “poor Church for the poor” of Pope Francis.

The signatories (of what was to become known as the Pact of the Catacombs) vowed (shortly before the end of Vatican II) to renounce personal possessions, fancy vestments and ‘names and titles that express prominence and power,’ and they said they would make advocating for the poor and powerless the focus of their ministry.

“In all this, they said, ‘we will seek collaborators in ministry so that we can be animators according to the Spirit rather than dominators according to the world; we will try to make ourselves as humanly present and welcoming as possible; and we will show ourselves to be open to all, no matter what their beliefs.’

The document would become known as the Pact of the Catacombs, and the signers hoped it would mark a turning point in church history.”

By David Gibson, Religion News Service — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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Five reasons the synod is doomed to fail / National Catholic Reporter

The synod on the family has created a lot of interest in the church and spilled a lot of ink (or electrons) in the media, but there are five reasons that it was doomed to fail before the bishops even gathered in Rome Oct. 4. Perhaps Pope Francis can perform a miracle and save it, but the odds are against him.”

By Thomas Reese, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this commentary and here to read similar comments from David Gibson, “Are conservatives at high-stakes Vatican summit overplaying their hand,” at Religion News Service.

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Pope Francis faces a big week in his effort to reform the Vatican / Religion News Service

Pope Francis on Monday (Feb. 9) began what could be a key week for his reformist papacy, starting with meetings with his hand-picked kitchen cabinet of nine senior cardinals, who are developing plans to overhaul the Roman Curia, the papal civil service that has been plagued with crisis and dysfunction.

“The three-day gathering was preceded by intense talks among his economic advisers, who are trying to revamp the scandal-plagued Vatican bank as well as instituting other reforms aimed at cleaning up the Vatican’s tangled finances.

“At the same time, the commission Francis set up to tackle the clergy sex abuse crisis held its first full meeting over the weekend, with its 17 members vowing to find ways to finally hold bishops accountable if they look the other way on abuse.

“The week will conclude with two days of closed-door meetings with the entire College of Cardinals — more than 150 scarlet-clad princes of the church — before Francis formally adds 20 members to their ranks at a service in St. Peter’s Basilica on Saturday (Feb. 14).”

By David Gibson, Religion News Service — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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