Posts Tagged ‘US’

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…

New Chicago archbishop: Be authentic, leave your comfort zone

Chicago, Ill., Nov 18, 2014 / 04:06 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Newly installed Chicago Archbishop Blase J. Cupich’s first public homily stressed the importance of personal witness “with joy and compassion,” purified of “anger, harshne…

Remember the ‘least of these’ in spending cuts, bishops tell Congress

Washington D.C., Nov 18, 2014 / 03:40 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- As the 113th Congress enters the “lame-duck” session before newly-elected members take office, the U.S. Bishops are urging that a “circle of protection” be enacted aroun…

How the Church can rebuild from the ashes of the sexual revolution

Washington D.C., Nov 18, 2014 / 01:09 pm (CNA).- Faced with a destructive “new intolerance,” the greatest Christian witnesses could be the very victims of the sexual revolution that created that intolerance, Catholic author Mary Eberstadt predicted.

Of all the witnesses who can illustrate the harm of the “new intolerance,” Eberstadt said in a Nov 11 lecture sponsored by the publication First Things, “the most empowering of all may be the ones most hidden to us.”
“These are the former victims of the sexual revolution itself. The walking wounded coming in and out of Pope Francis’s proverbial field hospitals.”

Eberstadt is a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C., and author of the book “How the West Really Lost God.” Her lecture discussed “The New Intolerance,” which she described as a campaign by supporters of the sexual revolution to silence and intimidate those who speak out against its rotten fruits.

Such persecution has many ugly heads, she said, including slander against those preaching Christian sexual ethics, the HHS birth control mandate that threatens religious institutions, and the marginalization of academics and public figures who speak out against sexual misconduct.

This “New Intolerance,” born from the sexual revolution, uses “intimidation, humiliation, censorship and self-censorship to punish people who think differently,” she insisted.

In the face of this intimidating foe, however, some victims of the sexual revolution are not withdrawing into marginalization but are building a new order with mercy, Eberstadt said. She compared these people to the Christians who constructed the magnificent cathedral of Chartres on the ashes of their beloved basilica destroyed by fire.

“Those people and their leaders persevered and determined not to have their minds disfigured once and for all by a disaster,” Eberstadt said of the citizens of Chartres. The cathedral, one of the most famous in Europe for its Gothic architecture, was “built by men and women who had witnessed the signature disaster of their times and refused to resign themselves to it.”

In much the same way, victims of the sexual revolution are rebuilding Christianity with mercy, she explained, citing examples like author Eve Tushnet, a Catholic author who has written about her struggle with same-sex attraction and the vocation to love for all.

Victims such as Tushnet are helping other victims live the Christian vocation to love rather than give into to the demands of the sexual revolution, Eberstadt said.

“Christianity is being built more and more by these very witnesses themselves. By people who have come to embrace the difficult and long-standing Christian rulebook not because they know nothing of the revolution and its fallout, but because they know all too much,” she explained.  

“And they are doing it with the same tool,” she added, that Pope Francis is emphasizing, namely, “mercy.”

Mercy for Pope Francis means “meeting people where they live,” Eberstadt explained, and this means finding those opponents of the sexual revolution who have been ostracized and marginalized in society for speaking out against it.

Not just Christians are persecuted here, she emphasized.

“It’s an ‘everybody’ problem,” she said, adding that a “civilized people do not just stand by and hit the ‘like’ button” while those around them suffer slander and criticism.

“Free speech isn’t just a religious word. Any attempt to make it one needs to be called out,” she stated.

Retiring Cardinal George opens up on faith, freedom and death

Chicago, Ill., Nov 18, 2014 / 11:58 am (CNA/EWTN News).- As he enters retirement, Cardinal Francis George of Chicago noted the importance of living faith in the truth, reflecting on his time as archbishop, the approach of death, and advice for his succ…

Lots of high fives: Philly celebrates announcement of Pope’s visit

Philadelphia, Pa., Nov 18, 2014 / 04:47 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis’ official confirmation of a visit to Philadelphia in 2015 has stoked great Catholic enthusiasm and prompted hopes that a papal visit will reinvigorate the archdiocese.

“Everyone is absolutely overjoyed. There are a lot of high-fives around here, a lot of big smiles. Everyone is celebrating,” Donna Farrell, executive director of the 2015 World Meeting of Families, said in a Nov. 17 conference call with reporters.

“One of our top goals with the World Meeting of Families is to reenergize, to reinvigorate the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and even the wider Church. I think Pope Francis is the man to do it,” she added.

“That’s why, in part, we are so grateful. This means an awful lot for the archdiocese.”

Bishop John J. McIntyre, a Philadelphia auxiliary bishop, said the announcement was “a moment of great joy for us.”

“The day has been really phenomenal.”

Farrell suggested the celebration should be “short-lived” because “we have an awful lot of work to do.”

On Monday morning, Pope Francis officially announced his intention to visit the U.S.

“I wish to confirm, if God wills it, that in September of 2015 I will go to Philadelphia for the Eighth World Meeting of Families,” he said at Vatican City’s Synod Hall during his remarks at an international colloquium on the complementarity of man and woman.

The 2015 World Meeting of Families, a global Catholic event, will take place in Philadelphia from Sept. 22-27. The world meeting takes place every three years and seeks to support and strengthen families. St. John Paul II founded the event in 1994.

Next year’s event was expected to draw tens of thousands of people even before the papal announcement. Pope Benedict XVI’s papal Mass at the 2012 World Meeting of Families in Milan drew more than 1 million people representing 153 countries.

Farrell said the Philadelphia meeting’s planners had not expected an announcement for months.

She noted that Pope Francis announced his visit himself, rather than announcing it in a Vatican communique.

In addition, she said, the announcement was a special moment because Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Philadelphia was present. Farrell said there is a “special relationship” between the archbishop and the Pope, dating back to their participation in the 1997 Synod of Bishops.

Bishop McIntyre recounted media footage of Monday’s announcement.

“While the Holy Father was making the announcement, he looked over at Archbishop Chaput and waved and nodded as he announced that he would be visiting Philadelphia,” he said.

The bishop also said people have “a lot of questions” about the event, some of which cannot yet be answered.  

“When will the Pope arrive? How long will he be with us? Where will he visit while he is here? How can I attend this event or that event?”

He said these questions indicate “their real interest in this and excitement for it.”

Bishop McIntyre said most people in the archdiocese would never have the opportunity to visit Pope Francis, “so it’s just very humbling that he’ll come to us, and it’s a real source of encouragement to the Church here.”

Farrell said that ahead of the official announcement there was an atmosphere resembling “suspended animation” in the archdiocese.

She said most people asked how they could help with the World Meeting of Families. However, the second-most popular question was about Pope Francis: “Is he really coming?” they asked.

Event organizing has been going on “for months” before the announcement, Farrell observed. She said organizers have been careful about the budget for the event, which will be a “massive logistical undertaking” involving security, cleanup and emergency services, among other costs.

She told reporters she did not know whether the Pope would address the sex abuse scandals in Philadelphia.

However, she said she thinks Philadelphia will “find a lot of healing from this visit.” She pointed to Pope Francis’ “way of interacting with people, his humility, his caring presence.”

Farrell said everyone is “incredibly grateful and honored” that Pope Francis’ first U.S. visit will be in Philadelphia.

“To say that that is overwhelming is an understatement. Our gratitude is very deep,” she said.

Farrell noted that St. John Paul II’s visit to Philadelphia in 1979 had a decades-long impact.

“One can only imagine the kind of impact that Pope Francis’ visit to Philadelphia is going to have in the years and decades to come,” she said.

The 2015 meeting’s theme is “Love is Our Mission: The Family Fully Alive.” The meeting will include speakers and breakout sessions. Keynote speakers include Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston, Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of the Philippines, Cardinal Robert Sarah, professor Helen Alvare, and Dr. Juan Francisco de la Guardia Brin and Gabriela N. de la Guardia.

The Philadelphia meeting will mark the first time that the event will be held in the United States. Registration for the event opened Nov. 10.

The World Meeting of Families website is

You are my legacy, Cardinal George tells Chicago at final Mass

Chicago, Ill., Nov 17, 2014 / 04:28 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Cardinal Francis George celebrated his last public Mass as Archbishop of Chicago on Sunday, thanking the people of Chicago for being God’s “gift” to him.

“Every priest and bishop is given the gift of the people that he is called to care for and to love in Christ’s name,” Cardinal George said in his Nov. 16 homily, according to the Chicago Tribune.

“At some point, Christ will question me: What have you done with my people? Are they holier because of your ministry? Are they more generous, more loving toward others? In short, you are my legacy,” he told the congregation at Chicago’s Holy Name Cathedral.

The 77-year-old Cardinal George has headed the Archdiocese of Chicago since 1997. He submitted his resignation two years ago upon reaching 75 years of age, as is required by canon law. He is suffering from cancer for the third time and uses crutches to help him walk. He has often expressed his desire to be the first Archbishop of Chicago to retire, rather than die in office.

The cardinal said that people will have different views of his ministry, “some of them I might appreciate, and some not.”

He said he asked himself the questions “With what have I been entrusted? And what have I done with this gift?”

He said he has sometimes been “too fearful to speak, to act, to love generously,” but he has helped people “better able to know and live their faith, able to worship God in spirit and in truth, able to give themselves to the salvation of others.”

Cardinal George said there are “a lot of holy people” in the counties of the Archdiocese of Chicago. “I meet them every week. I’ve met them for years. And you are among them.”

The cardinal said his successor, Archbishop-designate Blase Cupich, is “very pleased with what he will see here.” The 65-year-old, who has headed the Diocese of Spokane, Wash., will be installed as Archbishop of Chicago on Tuesday.

On Friday Cardinal George celebrated an annual memorial Mass for the archdiocese’s clergy who have died in the last year. He remembered his own predecessor, Cardinal Joseph Bernardin.

On Monday evening Cardinal George was scheduled to preside at Holy Name Cathedral for a Liturgy of the Word with a Rite of Reception for Archbishop-designate Cupich. The archbishop-designate will greet representatives of Chicago civic life, other religious leaders, and officials of the archdiocese.

Archbishop-designate Cupich will deliver a homily at the service and receive the archdiocesan stole.

For one young Catholic, music is an apostolate of beauty

Ann Arbor, Mich., Nov 15, 2014 / 03:46 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- An up-and-coming Catholic musician in Michigan aims to expose listeners to God in the same way she did during her school years – through beauty found in “truly good” forms of…

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