Author Archive

Catholics on immigration order: more reform needed

Washington D.C., Nov 21, 2014 / 03:35 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- President Barack Obama’s executive action on immigration was met with both praise and concern from Catholic groups, who emphasized that more must be done to find long-term solutions for a…

What fuels migration? For Pope Francis, a strong ‘aspiration to hope’

Vatican City, Nov 21, 2014 / 01:14 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis said on Friday that the desire to migrate from one’s homeland is inspired by the search for hope, and encouraged the Church throughout the world to welcome migrants, whose prese…

Pope Francis: Turning churches into ‘businesses’ is a scandal

Vatican City, Nov 21, 2014 / 10:33 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis condemned priests and laity who turn their parishes into a “business” by charging for things such as baptisms, blessings and Mass intentions – calling it a scandal that’s hard to forgive.

“It is interesting: the people of God can forgive their priests, when they are weak; when they slip on a sin, the people know how to forgive them,” the Pope told mass attendees in the Vatican’s Saint Martha guesthouse on Nov. 21.

“But there are two things that the people of God cannot forgive: a priest attached to money and a priest who mistreats people. This they cannot forgive! It is scandalous…”

The Pope centered his homily on the day’s Gospel from Luke in which Jesus turns over tables and drives out those who were selling things inside the temple, saying it is a sacred place meant for prayer and not for business.

While the many people who went to the temple to pray were good and searched for God, they were forced to pay in order to make an offering, the Pope explained, noting that although the temple was a sacred place to these, “there was corruption that scandalized the people.”

He recalled the biblical story of Anna, the mother of Samuel, who was a humble woman that went to the temple and whispered her prayers in silence, while the priest and his two sons were corrupt and exploited the pilgrims who came.

“I think of how our attitude can scandalize people with unpriestly habits in the Temple: the scandal of doing business, the scandal of worldliness,” the Bishop of Rome said, observing how many parishes have a price list readily available for baptisms, blessings and Mass intentions.

The Pope then recounted the story of a young couple who were a part of a group of college students he led shortly after being ordained. When they decided to get married, they went to their parish to ask for the civil ceremony and Mass together.

When they asked, the couple was told that they couldn’t have the Mass in addition to the ceremony because the time slots for the ceremony were limited to only 20 minutes, the couple needed to pay for two time slots in order to have the Mass as well.

“This is the sin of scandal” the pontiff explained, and alluded to the scripture passage where Jesus tells those who cause scandal that it is “better to be thrown into the sea.”

When those who manage God’s temple and its ministry, including both priests and lay people, become businessmen, “people are scandalized. And we are responsible for this. The laity too! Everyone,” the Roman Pontiff continued.

Preventing scandal is the responsibility is everyone, he said, because if we see this business-mentality going on in our parishes we need to have the courage to say something to the priest.

“It is scandalous when the Temple, the House of God, becomes a place of business, as in the case of that wedding: the church was being rented out.”

Pope Francis noted how when Jesus made his whip and started driving the people out of the temple it was not because he was angry, but rather because he was filled with the wrath of God and zeal for his house.

Jesus, he said, has “an issue with money because redemption is free; it is God’s free gift, He comes to brings us the all-encompassing gratuity of God’s love.”

So when a church or a parish start doing business it’s like saying that salvation is no longer free, the Pope explained, which is why Jesus takes his whip out in order to purify the temple of the corrupt.

He noted how the feast of the day commemorates the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Temple, saying that Mary enters the temple as a young, simple woman like Anna, and prayed that she would help keep God’s temple pure.

“May she teach all of us, pastors and those who have pastoral responsibility, to keep the Temple clean, to receive with love those who come, as if each one were the Blessed Virgin.”

US cardinal to the undocumented: you can ‘come out of the shadows’

Rome, Italy, Nov 21, 2014 / 10:15 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The vice president of the U.S. bishops’ conference has said that charitable immigration reform must address the needs of both legal and illegal immigrants, encouraging the latter to come forward and receive help.

“Immigration (reform) should be more comprehensive, that is, we cover all immigrants, even the undocumented. We give people a chance to get their green card, a chance to come out of the shadows, so that when they work the money they get for themselves helps the culture too,” Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo told CNA on Nov. 19.

“From my point of view, it’s important that immigrants come out of the shadows, particularly the undocumented ones. In my mind it’s one of the most important things we could do.”    

Present in Rome for a Nov. 17-21 congress on the Pastoral Care for Migrants, Cardinal DiNardo, who is Archbishop of Galveston-Houston, Texas, offered his comments just one day before U.S. President Barack Obama revealed a major immigration reform package, issued by executive order.

In what is seen as a highly-contentious move, the president announced that he would stay the deportation of certain undocumented immigrant parents for up to three years, allowing them to work legally. Eligibility requirements include having lived in the U.S. for at least five years, having children who are U.S. citizens or legal residents, passing a criminal background check and agreeing to pay taxes.

Roughly 4 million people will likely qualify for this measure, while thousands of others will benefit from other changes. The president extended benefits of temporary residence to more children of undocumented immigrants, expanding the eligibility for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and extending their temporary stay from two to three years.

In addition, the president said he would increase border security resources and deport those who had illegally crossed the border recently. He said he would focus government enforcement resources on criminals and those who threaten security.

The executive order will mark the biggest change in immigration policy in three decades.

In his televised address, President Obama echoed Cardinal DiNardo’s sentiments in telling immigrants to “Come out of the shadows and get right with the law.”

The president insisted that his proposals did not amount to amnesty or straight-shot path to citizenship, although it will offer Social Security cards to those who qualify for the deferred deportation.

“What I’m describing is accountability – a common-sense, middle ground approach,” the president said.

“Mass amnesty would be unfair,” he stated. “Mass deportation would be both impossible and contrary to our character.”

Auxiliary Bishop Eusebio Elizondo of Seattle, chair of the U.S. bishops’ migration committee, issued a Nov. 20 statement welcoming the announcement of deferred deportations, saying that the United States has “a long history of welcoming and aiding the poor, the outcast, the immigrant and the disadvantaged.”

Each day in the Church’s social service projects, hospitals, schools and parishes, the devastating consequences of the separation of families due to the deportation of parents or spouses can be seen, he said.

The bishop noted that the episcopal conference had asked the Obama administration to “do everything within its legitimate authority to bring relief and justice to our immigrant brothers and sisters,” adding that as pastors, “we welcome any efforts within these limits that protect individuals and protect and reunite families and vulnerable children.”

He urged President Obama and members of Congress to work together in pursuing permanent reforms to the U.S. immigration system that seek the best interests of both the nation and the persons who migrate to the country in search of refuge.

“We will continue to work with both parties to enact legislation that welcomes and protects immigrants and promotes a just and fair immigration policy,” the bishop said.

Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, president of the U.S. bishops’ conference, issued a Nov. 20 statement, saying, “There is an urgent pastoral need for a more humane view of immigrants and a legal process that respects each person’s dignity, protects human rights, and upholds the rule of law.”

“As our Holy Father, Pope Francis, said so eloquently: ‘Every human being is a child of God! He or she bears the image of Christ! We ourselves need to see, and then to enable others to see, that migrants and refugees do not only represent a problem to be solved, but are brothers and sisters to be welcomed, respected, and loved,’” the archbishop said.

On the topic of improving the pastoral care of immigrants, Cardinal DiNardo explained that the Church already offers a lot of help. However, he said that a legal reform would help “lighten-up” the Church’s burden and allow greater focus on pastoral assistance.

“The Church always emphasizes the human person, so when we talk about the human person, we don’t ask if you’re an immigrant or whether you were born in the country,” the cardinal observed.

“You are a human person that has aptitudes, has a singularity, has an excellence and a dignity that we want to draw on,” he said, stressing that this vision is important to keep in mind when welcoming immigrants and helping them integrate into society.


The life of minorities in Ukraine, one year after protests began

Kyiv, Ukraine, Nov 21, 2014 / 04:01 am (CNA/EWTN News).- One year ago, Mustafa Nayyem, a Ukrainian journalist born in Afghanistan,  began Euromaidan from his post on Facebook: “Let us be serious. Who is ready to come to The Independence Square today before midnight? Likes are not considered, only the comment, ‘I am ready’.”

This year, Nayyem changed his journalistic career to become a member of the Ukrainian parliament. However, not only has his life changed this year, but all Ukraine has become different.  

Euromaidan, the protest movement centered on Maidan (as Kyiv’s Independence Square is known) led to a change of government in Ukraine in February. Tens of thousands participated in the protests, and around 100 people died. Since then, Russia has annexed Crimea from Ukraine, and more than 4,300 have died in fighting between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russian separatists in the country’s east.

The protests began the evening of Nov. 21, 2013, as people gathered at Maidan objecting to the government’s announcement that it would not sign a major economic partnership agreement with the European Union, in favor of a $15 billion bailout agreement with Russia.

Serhiy Nigoyan, a Ukrainian of Armenian descent, was the first victim of the protests:  he died Jan. 22 on Hrushevskoho Street in Kyiv, just after the first stage of escalation.

“He was Ukrainian. My wife and I are left without anything. We had just one son. My wife still cries every day. One year after, nobody has told us who is actually are responsible for his death. We think we will never discover it. We just desire that he and other young people will stay in the memory of the people. After all, they are heroes,” Garik Nigoyan, Serhiy’s father, told CNA.

Serhiy’s death showed that Euromaidan was not only a protest of ‘Ukrainian nationalists’ – in addition to the Armenian-Ukrainian, Michael Zhyznevskyy, a Belarusian activist, died at Maidan Jan. 22.

Religious minorities were also joined together at the Maidan protests. While Jews and Muslims each constitute less than one percent of Ukraine’s population, both religious groups were alongside the country’s majority Christians at Maidan.

“I know that at Maidan it was the case that in one corner of a tent a young girl prayed in the Jewish tradition, and in the other a Muslim prayed with his ceremony. I don’t know if it would be possible otherwise, but for them it was absolutely natural,” the Jewish-born Ukrainian artist Oleksandr  Roitburd told CNA.

“There were people from the right and the left, conservatives and liberals, anti-Semites and Jews, but they did not come to Maidan to fight against each other, but to protest against  the government.”

“I don’t think that after Maidan there is less corruption – it is a process,” Roitburd said. “Even economic life is more difficult than before. Yet this is no longer perceived us as a humiliation, but we keep thinking hopefully. People began to appreciate the personal space of freedom.”

Russians, too, have found a place in Ukraine since the protests began a year ago.

Andrew Teslenko, who lived most of his life in Barnaul, Russia, 2,600 miles east of Kyiv, received refugee status in Ukraine this week, together with his wife.

“In Russia the police opened the criminal case against me, because of my support for Maidan – I had made just a few posts on Vkontacte,” a Russian social network. “This spring they accused me in ‘inciting inter-ethnic conflict’ and ‘calling for extremism.’ The maximum term of imprisonment is five years. They searched our flat, and removed all our computers. That night, my wife and I decided: we can’t stay there anymore, and needed to run.”

While their refugee status gives them the opportunity to legally work in Ukraine, it does not make it any easier for the Teslenkos to integrate into their new home. Nevertheless, Andrew says, “it is easier to breathe here.”

“Of course, I realize that Ukraine, as a country which was at war for a long while, cannot become successful in a short time. My wife and I want to help develop this country in the field of migration and integration of foreigners, as we ourselves passed this way.”

Christians, too, are forming new ties in Ukraine since Euromaidan.

On Nov. 13, representatives of five different Orthodox Churches in the country signed the “Rivne Memorandum,” which Archbishop Thomas Gullickson, apostolic nuncio to Ukraine, said in his Nov. 16 blogpost, “denounces inter-religious violence, calls for an end to Russian aggression in Ukraine, and formulates the wish that there should be one Orthodox Church for Ukraine.”

Two bishops  of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church which is backed by the Moscow patriarchate were among the signatories, but they later withdrew from the memo, saying they had signed “under duress.”

In Crimea, by contrast, minorities have not always fared well under the changes of the past year.

Following the change of government in Ukraine, the country’s southern peninsula was annexed by Moscow on March 18.

In Russian-administered Crimea, Tatars, the indigenous group who are nearly all Muslim and who constitute 15 percent of the population, are facing particular persecution.

On Nov. 12, arson was attempted on the mosque in the village of Sonyachna Doluna. On Oct. 6 an activist, Eden Asanov, was found dead in Yevpatoria; she had been disappeared Sept. 29.

The Tatars say that the disappearing of young activists in Crimea is common, but no one takes responsibility for these actions.

On Sept. 16, the Majilis, the Tatars’ representative office was searched for 16 hours, and the group’s leader, Mustafa Dzhemilyev, was exiled from Crimea for five years by the Russian administration.

Refat Chubarow, the head of the Majlis and who is also exiled from Crimea, told CNA: “One day this conflict should finish. I believe it will. Than we need to help Russia somehow to be our good neighbor.”

Alim Aliyev, co-founder of the volunteer  organization Crimea SOS, added that “in Crimea there is a real danger to the life of each person who has a ‘different’ opinion. Anyone who thinks the annexation of Crimea is Russia’s aggression, not a natural process, is considered an extremist. After the kidnapping, killing, and intimidation of activists, the Russian government wants Crimean Tatars to become humble citizens of the Russian Federation, or that we should leave Crimea ourselves, because of the circumstances they created. This is our land – it was too hard to return there, to leave it so easily.”

Of the 300,000 Tatars who call Crimea home, since Moscow annexed the peninsula on March 18, 8,000 have already emigrated.

“The Crimean Tatars traditionally are the most pro-Ukrainian population, because we have assimilated the most with Ukraine. With Ukrainians we are connected by common senses of life – we know what it means to defend the right to freedom; Russian don’t have this experience,” a 26-year old Tatar told CNA.

“The Crimean Tatars still clearly remember Stalin’s deportation, which for us is very painful. We don’t want back in the Soviet Union.”

What’s the biggest threat to Asia? Atheism, this cardinal says

Rome, Italy, Nov 21, 2014 / 02:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Hong Kong’s retired prelate Cardinal Joseph Zen said that amid decades of communist rule in China, human values are at stake in all of Asia and can only be salvaged by fervidly preaching the gospel.

What threatens the continent most today, Cardinal Zen told CNA, “is a humanistic atheism; people who oppose God-to-man, man-to-God.”

By looking to the history of China, it’s clear “that communism has destroyed all human values. So to save human values we have to work hard to spread the good news of Jesus Christ,” he said. “We have to preach God because only God can save man.”

The retired cardinal gave his comments during a Nov. 18 symposium on the Church in Asia, entitled “The mission in Asia: from John Paul II to Pope Francis.”

He reflected that the task of evangelization in China, as it is in all of Asia, requires boldly proclaiming human values and rights.

“So that’s what we are doing in Hong Kong. Although we are already a part of China, we still have freedom of speech so we must speak out,” he said, noting that while there will not be any immediate results, the Church must persevere.

He also touched on how Pope Francis is received in China, saying that although it is likely that the whole world has some sympathy and respect for what the pontiff is doing, the Chinese government is not ready to change anything in terms of their religious policy.

Pope Francis “has to work very hard,” the cardinal added, saying that if the Pope chooses to visit China right now, “I don’t see any probability of a success because they will surely manipulate him, because there is no sign of any good will on the part of China.”

The Pope’s ongoing push for dialogue is something key for the Asian Church and for modern times in general, Cardinal Zen observed, drawing specific attention to what he told Asian bishops during his visit to South Korea in August.

“In the mass with the Asian bishops, (the Pope) spoke about dialogue, and he said that dialogue has two essential conditions: one is that each one should be coherent to his own identity, (and) the second point is to have this empathy and this open heart to listen.”

“Both the coherence with one’s own identity and the openness of heart are important,” he noted, saying it is “very wise” advice on the pontiff’s part.

Also present at the Nov. 18 symposium on Asia was Bishop Lazzaro You Heung-Sik of Daejeon, South Korea, who welcomed Pope Francis to his diocese during the pontiff’s August visit.

Like the rest of Asia, the Church in Korea is also walking a path of dialogue, he told CNA Nov. 18, noting that it is not a dialogue of “activism or superficiality, but an authentic dialogue of Christians who live their relation to Christ every day, and which brings them close to others, listening to others.”

Only by fostering this attitude will others be influenced to come forward in dialogue as well, Bishop You said. He added that as Christians, we are “the living flowers that give lived testimony to the Gospel.”

Among the current initiatives the local church in Hong Kong is backing in the push for greater human rights are the current protests that have been organized largely by students in response to limits Chinese leadership has placed on who can run for the position of chief executive, Hong Kong’s top leader, in 2017.

With the new rules allowing only one vote per citizen for pre-selected candidates chosen by the Chinese government, protestors have accused Beijing’s authorities of breaking their previous guarantee of Hong Kong’s right to democracy.

Cardinal Zen said that the people of Hong Kong “are fighting for a real democracy,” which is not something that the new restrictions allow. “That is not a real election, so we are fighting against that,” he said.

However, despite the good intentions on the part of protestors, things are getting out of hand. The cardinal noted that whereas things began “rationally” with no immediate expectations, the students have become impatient.

“(They) have taken the whole thing in their hands, and they are impatient…they go so fast without much planning, and obviously they want to have immediate success, and that’s not possible. So in this way they are making mistakes.”

Yesterday protestors in Hong Kong clashed with police when they attempted to break into a parliament building, using metal barricades to break down a side entrance of the Legislative Council building, BBC reports.

Because the students are young, they could have the opportunity of raising “the awareness of the whole world, but then it’s dangerous to waste the sympathy of the people, because now things are dragging on too long,” he said.

Italy’s return of millions to ‘Vatican bank’ indicates financial reform

Vatican City, Nov 21, 2014 / 12:08 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The recent return to the “Vatican bank” of some $28.8 million, seized because of alleged money laundering, closes a story that opened almost five years ago and accompanied the reform of Vatican finances.

In 2010, the Public Prosecutor of Rome made a preventive seizure of 23 million Euros transferred by the Institute for Religious Works (IOR, or “Vatican bank”) from an account it held in the Italian bank Credito Artigiano, now Credito Valtellinese.

According to the prosecutor, the IOR had not given the Italian bank the needed information to carry out the obligation of “enhanced due diligence,” that is, the identification of the account holder and of the origin of funds.

The seizure came in the midst of the Vatican’s drafting of an anti-money laundering law, which it committed to drawing up after signing a Monetary Agreement with Europe in 2009.

The seizure worked as a source of pressur on Vatican officials, who drafted a law which largely agreed with Italian anti-money laundering law.

After the Vatican’s anti-money laundering law came into effect in 2011, Rome’s public prosecutor ruled that the preventive seizure could be revoked, but at the same time “funds remained bound because of unsolved issues connected with due diligence,” as a Nov. 18 statement from the IOR said.

So the funds  remained ‘frozen’ in Italy for almost four years, and have been repatriated to the Vatican only recently.

In the course of these almost five years, there can be identified two different seasons in the Vatican’s path toward financial transparency.

The first season is that of emergency: the Vatican needed to solve concrete problems, such as the seizure of funds in Italy, and so it oriented towards a bilateral policy with its Italian neighbor, as the choice of Italians for the key posts in the IOR and of then newly-founded Financial Information Authority shows.

This season is also characterized by a concentration of powers with a strong mandate to single persons at the IOR’s top offices.

This ‘modus operandi’ did not, however, lead to positive outcomes.

The Council of Europe’s Moneyval committee came to the Vatican for an on-site visit in November 2012, and asked the Holy See to issue strong modifications to the law, so that it would better adhere to international standards.

The Holy See was conscious that a change of pace was needed, and this how it entered in the second season.

The anti-money laundering law was first modified in 2012, and substantially re-written in 2013, while the Institute for Religious Works and the Authority for Financial Information Italian staff has been replaced with a new staff, chosen with international criteria.

The second season of the IOR has been characterized by a long-term commitment, inserted in a juridical framework that led to the issuance of a sort of comprehensive Vatican text regarding finances, Law XVIII, issued last year.

This is the reason why the IOR release may note that “the repatriation of funds was carried out because the Holy See has introduced a solid system of prevention and countering of money laundering and financing of terrorism, and of oversight.” A system that Moneyval acknowledged in December 2013.

Despite the return of funds, the prosecution against the IOR’s management remains open, and with this the question: why is the trial still open, if it was proven that the IOR did not launder money?

Cardinal O’Malley expands on ‘provocative’ 60 Minutes interview

Boston, Mass., Nov 20, 2014 / 05:37 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley has clarified his recent 60 Minutes interview, saying its “difficult questions” on women’s ordination and Vatican investigations of a Missouri bishop and a women’s religious conference needed more discussion and nuance.
“The program’s interviews include difficult questions that are often on many people’s minds. For some people, being featured on 60 Minutes would be exhilarating, but television interviews are not at the top of my list of favorite things to do,” Cardinal O’Malley said in his Nov. 19 column for the Boston Pilot.

While he praised 60 Minutes reporters and the news show’s “trying to go deeper into the topics they address,” he said the “provocative” matters that he discussed “call for more time and consideration than can be given in a 20 minute broadcast segment.”

“I hope that one take-away from my 60 Minutes interview will be that cardinals, bishops and priests are human, and that we love the Church,” said the cardinal, who is part of a special advisory board for Pope Francis.

The CBS news show broadcast its interview with cardinal on Nov. 16. Topics included the ordination of women as priests and Vatican investigations of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, as well as a Missouri bishop.

The cardinal made headlines over comments from his 60 Minutes appearance touching on Catholic teaching on the priesthood. He had said: “If I were founding a church, I’d love to have women priests.” However, he also added that Jesus Christ founded the Catholic Church, “and what he has given us is something different.”

His television interview also rejected claims that Catholic teaching on priestly ordination was immoral, saying “Christ would never ask us to do something immoral.” He said that “not everyone needs to be ordained to have an important role in the Church.”

The cardinal discussed these remarks in his column, saying “The Church is called to be faithful to Christ’s will, and that is not always easy or popular. Understanding the Church’s teaching is always a process that begins with faith.”

Cardinal O’Malley acknowledged that Catholic teaching on women’s ordination is “particularly painful to many Catholic women who feel that the teaching on women’s ordination is a rejection and unfair.” He said “many wonderful Catholic women have wished to be priests, among them St. Therese, the Little Flower.” However, he also pointed for the need to fidelity to Christ’s teaching.

He said his comments had been “trying to communicate that women are often holier, smarter and more hard-working than men, and that the most important member of the Church is a woman, the Blessed Virgin Mary.”

The cardinal in his 60 Minutes interview also said that the Vatican should “urgently” address the situation of Missouri Bishop Robert Finn of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, who was convicted on a misdemeanor count of failure to report suspected child abuse after he and his diocese failed to report that lewd images of children, which the bishop never saw, had been found on a laptop belonging a priest of his diocese.

The cardinal appeared to agree with 60 Minutes’ interviewer Norah O’Donnell that Bishop Finn would not be allowed to teach Sunday School in Boston under its “zero tolerance” policy.

In his column, Cardinal O’Malley said advance reporting on his interview “did not reflect the nuances of my answer to the question.”

He said there is a need both for “justice for all” and a need to “avoid crowd-based condemnations.”

“I said that the Vatican must attend to this situation. The Holy Father is aware of this need, and recently an episcopal visitator was sent to Bishop Finn’s diocese,” he said.

Archbishop Terrence Prendergast of Ottawa, Canada has visited the diocese on behalf of the Congregation for Bishops.

Cardinal O’Malley stressed the need for bishops to be accountable for the safety of children and for “clear protocols that will replace the improvisation and inertia that has often been the response in these matters.” He also said bishops deserve “due process that allows them to have an opportunity for a fair hearing.”

The 60 Minutes interview also referred to the Vatican investigation of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious.

A multi-year, Vatican-initiated doctrinal assessment of the women’s conference raised concerns about dissent from Church teaching on topics including homosexuality, the sacramental priesthood and the divinity of Christ. The assessment found major theological and doctrinal errors in the presentations at the conference’s annual meetings.

O’Donnell said the investigation “looked like a crackdown from men in the Vatican.”

Cardinal O’Malley said in the interview that it appeared to be “a disaster.”

In his column, Cardinal O’Malley expanded on his comments and noted that there was also an apostolic visitation of communities of religious women.

“I trust that there were serious concerns that gave rise to the visitations, but it would seem that better planning and a wider participation of American religious and U.S. bishops would have been helpful,” he said in his newspaper column.

“The Church personnel who carried out these assignments have done an admirable job under very difficult circumstances,” he said. “Unfortunately, many religious women have been alienated by the process and the bishops in this country have been blamed for shortfalls in communications and the process.”

Cardinal O’Malley said he hoped that the final report on the visitations will present “a more positive experience that will contribute to healing in our Church and be helpful for the cause of religious life.”

He said the Catholic Church’s upcoming Year of Consecrated Life is “an opportunity to celebrate the great achievements of our religious.”


Knights donate $2 million for Middle East refugee housing

Washington D.C., Nov 20, 2014 / 04:41 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The Knights of Columbus is putting more than $2 million toward new homes for Iraqi and Syrian refugees fleeing violence, and not a moment too soon, said Supreme Knight Carl Anderson.


Fight discrimination against pro-life doctors, bishops ask Congress

Washington D.C., Nov 20, 2014 / 03:35 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The U.S. bishops are imploring Congress to enact stronger medical conscience protections against state abortion laws by passing the Abortion Non-Discrimination Act.

“We want to undersc…

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