Various Catholic News

Archbishop Viganò’s third testimony indicates a way through the current morass

Catholic World Report - 3 hours 23 min ago
While the Church in the United States faces the prospect of an autumn to make Chile’s seem tame and even idyllic by comparison, the grotesque spectacle of “he said / he said” continues at the [...]

Lawsuit asks Illinois dioceses to release names of accused priests

Natl Catholic Reporter - 5 hours 10 min ago
The six Catholic dioceses in Illinois have been sued for conspiracy to conceal a public hazard because they have not released the names of all priests with credible accusations of sexual abuse and misconduct, including those who have died and those who belong to religious orders.

Hypocrisy can be a leaven impeding spiritual growth, pope says

Natl Catholic Reporter - 6 hours 39 min ago
Hypocrisy is the leaven that causes men and women to be self-centered and indifferent to the world around them, Pope Francis said.

Vietnam releases, then exiles jailed Catholic blogger

Natl Catholic Reporter - 6 hours 46 min ago
Vietnam has freed a well-known Catholic blogger and rights activist jailed two years ago for posting anti-government material on social media and forced her into exile in the United States.

Synod: Bishop Dowd on ‘fitting the pieces of the puzzle'

Vatican News - 7 hours 50 min ago
Synod Father and Auxiliary Bishop of Montreal, Canada – Thomas Dowd – talks about the need to formulate new methods of engagement to involve young people.

'Conspiracy of silence harms the Church,' Vigano says in response to Cardinal Ouellet

Catholic Register Canada - News - 8 hours 24 min ago
VATICAN – In a new testimony Friday, Archbishop Carlo Vigano charged that Pope Francis has been negligent in his responsibilities to the Church, and responded to efforts to refute allegations he has made in recent months about Archbishop Theodore McCarrick and other ecclesiastical leaders.

Vigano also denied charges that he is in rebellion against Pope Francis.

Responding to an Oct. 7 letter from the Vatican’s prefect for the Congregation for Bishops, Cardinal Marc Ouellet, Vigano said he is not urging anyone to “topple the papacy,” and that he prays for Pope Francis daily – more than he has for any other pope – urging the pontiff to “admit his errors, repent.”

However, Vigano’s Oct. 19 statement also defended his decision to “bear witness to corruption in the hierarchy of the Catholic Church,” which he called a painful decision. He said he believes his further silence would cause damage to souls and “certainly damn” his own.

Responding to the charge that he has created confusion and division in the Church with his testimony, Vigano said “impartial observers” know there was already an excess of both, a situation which he blames at least partially on Pope Francis.

Confusion and division, he said, “is inevitable when the successor of Peter is negligent in exercising his principal mission, which is to confirm the brothers in the faith and in sound moral doctrine. When he then exacerbates the crisis by contradictory or perplexing statements about these doctrines, the confusion is worsened.”

"Therefore I spoke. For it is the conspiracy of silence that has wrought and continues to wreak great harm in the Church -- harm to so many innocent souls, to young priestly vocations, to the faithful at large."

Vigano’s statement outlines the principal claims he made in his original Aug. 25 testimony about Archbishop Theodore McCarrick and the knowledge he says the Vatican and Pope Francis had regarding of the ex-cardinal’s sexual abuse of seminarians.

Vigano’s latest testimony also summarizes what he considers Ouellet’s main arguments.

“In brief, Cardinal Ouellet concedes the important claims that I did and do make, and disputes claims I don't make and never made.”

Refuting a claim by Ouellet, that the Holy See was only aware of “rumors” about Archbishop McCarrick and nothing further, Vigano said that “to the contrary, that the Holy See was aware of a variety of concrete facts,” and has documentary proof in the appropriate archives, where “no extraordinary investigation is needed to recover them.”

"The crimes reported were very serious, including those of attempting to give sacramental absolution to accomplices in perverse acts, with subsequent sacrilegious celebration of Mass."

The attempted sacramental absolution of an accomplice in a sin of sexual immorality is a "grave delict" in the Church's canon law, for which a priest can be punished with excommunication.

Vigano conceded a statement from Ouellet’s letter that there were not canonical “sanctions” against Archbishop McCarrick (as claimed by Vigano in his original testimony) but that there were “conditions and restrictions” against him.

He said that he believes “to quibble whether they were sanctions or provisions or something else is pure legalism. From a pastoral point of view they are exactly the same thing.”

The archbishop argued that the public criticism against him following his August testimony was silent on two topics: the situation of the victims and the “corrupting influence of homosexuality in the priesthood and in the hierarchy.” It is not a matter of politics or “settling scores,” he said, but “about souls.”

He said it is “an enormous hypocrisy” to condemn abuse and feel sorrow for victims, but not denounce the “root cause” of much sexual abuse: homosexuality within the clergy. He also accused homosexual clergy of “collusion,” and called clericalism an instrument of abusers, but not the “main motive.”

“I am not surprised that in calling attention to these plagues I am charged with disloyalty to the Holy Father and with fomenting an open and scandalous rebellion,” for calling attention to “homosexual corruption,” he said.

Vigano ended his testimony by asking any priests or bishops who have access to documents, or who have other knowledge, to testify to the truth of his statements.

“You too are faced with a choice,” he charged. “You can choose to withdraw from the battle, to prop up the conspiracy of silence and avert your eyes from the spreading of corruption” or choose to speak, he said.

Archbishop Vigano's Thi... by on Scribd

The road to Hell is paved with Catholic ideals.

It is becoming increasingly common (again!) for bishops and theologians to refer to the moral law as an “ideal”. This is simply more evidence of the secularization of what passes for Christian thought. For example, Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago has used this language in commenting on those who enter into gay marriages:

Legal marijuana will have 'disastrous effects,' Canadian bishops say

Catholic Register Canada - News - 8 hours 56 min ago
OTTAWA – Canada’s bishops reiterated their opposition to the legalization of recreational marijuana Wednesday, the same day that legal marijuana sales began across the country.

The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops underlined “the ethical problems involved with the recreational use and abuse of this drug” in an Oct. 17 statement.

Lionel Gendron, Bishop of Saint-Jean-Longueuil, lamented the “growing problems of a society more and more dependent on drugs and alcohol,” and said that businesses and governments who wish to exploit sales of cannabis for commercial interests or tax revenue are “jeopardizing the pursuit of the common good.”

Canada is now the largest country in the world in which federal law permits marijuana to be legally sold and consumed for recreational purposes. Canada joins Uruguay as the only two countries to have legalized cannabis nationwide.

Under the new laws, Canadians will be allowed to grow up to four of their own cannabis plants, make their own cannabis products such as foods and drinks, and buy the drug from provincially-licensed stores or online.

Most Canadian provinces have set the legal age for buying cannabis at 19, the same as their legal drinking age. Ontario, the country’s most populous province, is still working on crafting regulations and likely won’t open any stores until next spring, the Associated Press reports.

The Canadian government also announced on Wednesday that they would be introducing new legislation that would allow people with convictions for possessing up to 30 grams of marijuana, which is the new legal threshold, to apply for pardons with no waiting period or fee. The new legislation will likely be introduced by the end of 2018, but may take some to make its way through Canadian parliament to become law.

Medical cannabis has been legal in Canada since 2001.

The CCCB previously expressed disappointment at the government’s announcement of the decision to legalize cannabis in June 2018, in a statement that was also endorsed by the Chair of the Canadian Council of Imams.

The bishops cited the Canadian Medical Association, the Canadian Psychiatric Association, and the Canadian Paediatric Society, all of whom have pointed out that the use of cannabis is linked to numerous mental and lung problems.

“It is lamentable that the federal government has decided to facilitate the provision and use of an addictive substance that will have disastrous effects for so many people,” the bishops wrote.

The bishops asserted that their position is shared by Pope Francis, who has spoken out against even the partial legalization of so-called “soft drugs.” They assert that drug trafficking and abuse can be curtailed through education, employment opportunities, and treatment and recovery programs, rather than through legalization.

“The massive increase in cannabis use that will accompany its legalization will not produce a more just and humane society,” the bishops wrote, “But will only exacerbate or multiply problems already widespread in society, including mental illness, crime, unemployment, family breakdown, injuries and fatalities resulting from impaired driving, and increased addiction to “harder” drugs along with associated problems resulting from overdose.”

The Catechism of the Catholic Church states in paragraph 2291 that the use of drugs inflicts grave damage on human health and life, and the use of drugs beyond therapeutic use constitutes a “grave offense.” It also states in paragraph 2211 that the political community has a duty to protect the security and health of families, especially with respect to drugs.

Viganò: Vatican rebuke proved truth of McCarrick cover-up

Natl Catholic Reporter - 9 hours 10 min ago
In new "testimony," Viganò asserts again that he informed Pope Francis about allegations against McCarrick in 2013, and calls homosexuality "the principle cause" of the clergy abuse crisis.

Synod final document must include scandal of human trafficking affecting young people, cardinal says

Catholic Register Canada - News - 9 hours 15 min ago
VATICAN – The scandal of human trafficking, which affects millions of young people in the world, needs to be included in the Synod of Bishops' final document, one synod father said.

It is estimated that more than 40 million people are held in some form of slavery "and the vast majority of those are young people," British Cardinal Vincent Nichols of Westminster told the synod Oct. 18.

Traffickers and criminals often take advantage of the insecurity or poverty of young people as they seek to find employment or embark on "dangerous journeys" in search of a better life, he said in his talk.

The "horrific crime of modern-day slavery and human trafficking" is, as Pope Francis has said, "an open wound in the body of humanity," said the cardinal, who is also president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales.

Trafficking touches every country in the world and everybody, he said, explaining how the batteries powering the mobile phones in people's pockets are manufactured using cobalt, which "children in forced labor in central Africa dig out of the earth with their bare hands."

"The Catholic Church has a crucial part to play" in fighting human trafficking and modern-day slavery, he said.

Traffickers are "a vast, international criminal network" while the church is "a vast, international network committed to all that is good and just," he said, praising the work of so many Catholics, especially women religious, who risk their safety helping victims.

The cardinal also mentioned the Santa Marta Group, an anti-trafficking initiative organized by his bishops' conference, to bring together representatives of bishops' conferences and top national and international law enforcement officials to promote cooperation, particularly in identifying and caring for victims of trafficking as well as aiding in the prosecution of criminals.

Because "the victim is always at the center of our efforts," the group is looking at ways to provide resources and opportunities for young people to dissuade them from leaving their home countries and risk slavery, he said.

"I hope that this topic of human trafficking, so crucial to millions of young people today, finds its place in our final document and that this important work can go from strength to strength," he said, praying for the intercession of St. Josephine Bakhita, a young Sudanese woman who had been sold into slavery.

Youth minister hopes Church will learn how to adapt its message

Vatican News - 9 hours 21 min ago
Sebastian Duhau, a youth minister from Australia, and a young auditor at the Synod of Bishops, advocates the use of appropriate language in youth evangelization.

Synod: Archbishop Fisher’s message to young people

Vatican News - 9 hours 54 min ago
"With God you can do great things”, and make “our world a better place.”


Catholic League - 9 hours 57 min ago
Bill Donohue comments on opposition to a new federal court nominee: The atheists at the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) are opposing another Trump judicial nominee. Their target this time is Allison Jones Rushing, nominated for the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals based in Richmond, Virginia. Rushing's offense is twofold: a law review article [...]

Synod of Bishops: Ministering online

Vatican News - 10 hours 1 min ago
The sad reality of migrant youth and their families and how the Church should use the digital world was the focus of the daily Synod of Bishops on Youth, the Faith and Vocational Discernment press briefing.

Seton Hall president decries verbal abuse of seminarians; report calls for increase in campus ministry

Natl Catholic Reporter - 10 hours 3 min ago
College Roundup: Seton Hall interim president decries verbal abuse of seminarians; report calls for increased presence of campus ministers on American campuses; Chestnut Hill hosts Harry Potter-themed academic conference.

Ukraine's war forming heroic young Christian leaders, Ukrainian archbishop says

Catholic Register Canada - News - 10 hours 14 min ago
VATICAN – The horror of the ongoing war in Eastern Ukraine is shaping the moral compass of a generation of young Ukrainians and preparing them to be heroic Christian leaders, said the head of the Ukrainian Catholic Church.

"Frequently, a young person that has suffered, that has gazed into the eyes of death on the field of battle or who has braved bombs to save the life of civilians, learning to preserve life in extreme conditions, understands the value of human life better than an arrogant priest or kleptocratic politician," Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk told the Synod of Bishops Oct. 18.

Confronted by Russian "military aggression," young Ukrainians especially "are dying for our country," thus becoming the "principal protagonists of the transformation of our society," the archbishop told the synod, which is discussing "young people, the faith and vocational discernment."

The Ukrainian Catholic Church, headed by Archbishop Shevchuk, survived almost total destruction by the Soviet Union in the 20th century and has since risen to an increasingly prominent role in national life and politics.

Young Ukrainians – "not only Catholics" – believe the church "represents a moral and spiritual authority and is the teacher of life," Archbishop Shevchuk said. They "look to us as a moral authority that offers clear direction for their lives."

Some commentators on international politics have explained contemporary Catholic-Orthodox rivalries in Ukraine as religious expressions of competing nationalisms. Archbishop Shevchuk warned the synod fathers that the young people of his country would never belong to a church interested only in political victories.

Young people "harbor a certain aversion to a church which presents itself as a cold structure, which fights for its own survival and for geopolitical interests," he said. "They tell me that such a church will never be young."

On the contrary, "young people are searching for a formative community which is capable of becoming an oasis of true humanity and human dignity," he said.

Because of the war, that search has led many Ukrainians to flee their homeland, the archbishop lamented.

"Ukrainian immigrants," he said, "are in the millions; and they are a population of young people."

Ukraine's recent trials underline how necessary "human, spiritual and professional maturity" is for young people today, he said. Only with such maturity will they become witnesses to the "treasure in our faith in the only savior, Jesus Christ."

Morning Briefing

Natl Catholic Reporter - 10 hours 39 min ago
Morning Briefing: More from Archbishop Vigano, a federal probe in Pennsylvania and Buffalo, and a lawsuit against all six Illinois dioceses

Mexico seeks UN help with Honduran migrant caravan

Vatican News - 11 hours 33 min ago
Mexico is asking the United Nations for help about the Honduran Caravan, which is knocking on its door for access, in order to continue its journey to the US Border.

Holy See reiterates Israel-Palestine two-state solution, Jerusalem status quo

Vatican News - 12 hours 6 min ago
Archbishop Bernardito Auza, the Holy See’s Permanent Observer to the United Nations in New York on October 18 addressed a UN Security Council debate on the Middle East and the Palestinian question.

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Vatican Radio Morning News - 13 hours 58 min ago
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