Posts Tagged future of Catholic Church

Over five years, Pope produces major shift in church culture / Associated Press in The Boston Globe

Francis’ first five years have been an introduction to a new kind of pope, one who prizes straight talk over theology, and mercy over moral discussion — all for the sake of making the church a more welcoming place for those who have felt excluded. (Associated Press in The Boston Globe)

Whenever Pope Francis visits prisons, during his whirlwind trips to the world’s peripheries or at a nearby jailhouse in Rome, he always tells inmates that he, too, could have ended up behind bars: ‘Why you and not me?’ he asks.

“That humble empathy and the ease with which he walks in others’ shoes has won Francis admirers around the globe and confirmed his place as a consummate champion of the poor and disenfranchised.

“As he marks the fifth anniversary of his election Tuesday Mar. 13), Francis still faces criticism for both the merciful causes he has embraced and the ones he has neglected.

By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, in The Boston Globe — Read more …


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Focus on preaching the kingdom is key to ending clericalism / National Catholic Reporter

What we need in today’s Roman Catholic church is a redistribution of power and authority. Pope Francis’ openness to the possibility of having women deacons is not nearly enough to achieve this essential organizational revolution …

“Francis should change canon law so one does not have to be a priest to be the ‘pastor’ of a parish. Give qualified lay men and women and male and female deacons real power and authority to lead some of our faith communities. This change would have two important consequences. It would disconnect the roles of priest and pastor and significantly change the culture of clericalism that Francis rightly deplores …

“Francis is to be applauded for his critique of clericalism and careerism and his emphasis on the Gospel call to bring peace and justice into everyone’s life, especially that of the poor. But if he and others do not make significant changes in the Catholic church’s current power structure and help us return to an emphasis on its mission to call people to discipleship by preaching peace and justice, I believe his efforts will fall far short of what we and the world need from us and our church today.

“We need some big changes in our church and the time is now.”

By Jim Purcell, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this column.

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Pope Francis appoints Archbishop Cupich to Congregation for Bishops / National Catholic Reporter

In yet one more sign of his growing confidence in the archbishop of Chicago, Pope Francis appointed Blase Cupich to the Vatican Congregation for Bishops, the office that proposes candidates for the episcopacy.
     “The announcement, made July 7, means the congregation retains two Americans. The other is Cardinal Donald Wuerl, archbishop of Washington, D.C. The Cupich appointment comes just weeks after American Cardinal William Levada left the congregation. Levada turned 80 in June.
     “The turnover of American personnel on the congregation during the past few years is significant for several reasons …”
     By Tom Roberts, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this story.
     Also of note — “How Archbishop Cupich’s Appointment Could Shape the Church,” By Michael O’Loughlin, America: The National Catholic Review

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Pope names 15 new cardinals reflective of diversity of the Faithful / The New York Times

Pope Francis named 15 new cardinals from 14 countries on Sunday (Jan. 4), continuing his efforts to diversify the church hierarchy and extend the global reach of the church …

“‘He’s breaking all the patterns of cardinal nominations,’ and even the bishops of dioceses that in the past led to a cardinal post ‘will have to earn his respect,’ said Alberto Melloni, the director of the John XXIII Center in Bologna. ‘What’s striking is how quickly he broke with a centuries-old mechanism.’”

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

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Bishops Need to Be Couragious, Listen to the People — Discussing a Roman Catholic, Married Priesthood / National Catholic Reporter

Many Catholics will find hope in the conversation between Brazilian Bishop Erwin Kräutler and Pope Francis in which they discussed the ordination of married men as a serious and positive possibility.

“For the first time in a very long time, the idea of a Roman Catholic married priesthood is a topic that can be discussed and is being discussed inside the Francis administration. Pietro Parolin, recently made a cardinal, was clear about this in media interviews shortly after the pope named him secretary of state last summer. Celibacy ‘is not a church dogma and it can be discussed because it is a church tradition,’ Parolin said. Even as archbishop in Argentina, then-Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio was open to the idea, saying celibacy for priests ‘is a matter of discipline, not of faith. It can change.'”

Click here to read the rest of this editorial by National Catholic Reporter.

Click here to see the Voice of the Faithful® webpage “Crisis in the Priesthood: Conversations about Celibacy,” which contains links to the history of celibacy in the Roman Catholic Church, VOTF position papers on celibacy and its effects, and action steps toward optional celibacy for Catholic priests.

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Not a Happy Day in Hartford / National Catholic Reporter

“Always be prepared to make a defense to anyone who calls you to account for the hope that is in you,” we read in 1 Peter 3:15. We are called to be “a people of hope.” Some days, watching and listening to Pope Francis, being hopeful comes easy, even naturally.

“Today (Oct. 29) is not one of those days. In naming Bishop Leonard Blair to become the next archbishop of Hartford, Conn., the Holy See has sent what can only be described as a counter-sign. This was a missed opportunity to send a signal to all the bishops in the United States that the Holy Father is calling for a different style of pastoral leadership in the Church. In June, Pope Francis spoke to the nuncios from around the world assembled in Rome. He sketched the type of pastoral leadership he expected in the appointment of bishops. The pope said he wanted pastors who would serve their people, not serve as overlords. They were, he famously said, to be men who “have the smell of the sheep.

“The good news is that Archbishop-designate Blair has the smell of the sheep. The bad news is that one suspects he thinks the sheep stink.”

By Michael Sean Winters, National Catholic Reporter — Read the rest of Winters’ article by clicking here.

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