A word to the faithful of the Archdiocese of Atlanta (Thu, 16 Aug 2018)
My heart and the hearts of our archdiocesan faith community are with the people of God in Pennsylvania and throughout the country. We grieve with the victim-survivors and their loved ones,
especially those who were disbelieved, neglected, or ignored when they came forward to tell Church officials of their torment. We pray for all who […] Full Story | En Español
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Archbishop Gregory, other leaders urge inquiry into abuse claims against former cardinal (Fri, 10 Aug 2018)
WASHINGTON (CNS)—U.S. Catholic church leaders have been calling for an internal investigation into the handling of allegations of abuse and sexual misconduct against Archbishop Theodore E.
McCarrick and urging such an inquiry be spearheaded by laypeople. “I think we have reached a point where bishops alone investigating bishops is not the answer. To have credibility, […] Full Story
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leaders urge inquiry into abuse claims against former cardinal appeared first on Georgia Bulletin.
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Evangelizing, caring for others at core of deacons’ vocation, nuncio says (Tue, 07 Aug 2018)
NEW ORLEANS (CNS)—The core vocational work of permanent deacons is to evangelize and care for others, not to perform office duties, the apostolic nuncio to the United States said July 22 to more
than 1,300 deacons attending the 2018 National Diaconate Congress in New Orleans. In his post-Communion remarks at the opening Mass of the […] Full Story
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AACCW members explore the call to holiness at leadership seminar (Fri, 03 Aug 2018)
SMYRNA—The members of the Atlanta Archdiocesan Council of Catholic Women (AACCW) learned more about Pope Francis’ teaching on holiness at the group’s annual leadership seminar June 16 at the
Chancery of the archdiocese. Guest speaker Kathy Kelly-Huey, director of religious education at St. Mary Magdalene Church, Newnan, highlighted the pope’s apostolic exhortation of 2018—“Gaudete et […]
Full Story | En Español
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Puerto Rico: ‘An unprecedented level of need’ (Mon, 06 Nov 2017)
Catholic News Service was the first major Catholic news organization to send a photographer and a reporter to tour the island and document the efforts of the church and other organizations to help
many of the people far from the capital of San Juan. Continue reading → >> Read more
Historic Tomb of Michelangelo and altarpiece in dire need of repairs (Wed, 11 Oct 2017)
By Matthew Fowler ROME (CNS) — The historic tomb of Michelangelo and the Buonarroti family altarpiece in the Church of Santa Croce in Florence are in dire need of cleaning and restoration due to
sustained damage over the past 50 … Continue reading → >> Read more
A look back at the Legion of Decency (Thu, 17 Aug 2017)
By Mark Pattison and Julie Asher WASHINGTON (CNS) — It’s summertime and the movies are plentiful. As everyone knows the summer movie season is a big one for Hollywood, and when it comes to a close,
it is followed closely … Continue reading → >> Read more
Jamboree called ‘life-changing event’ for youths, adults (Fri, 28 Jul 2017)
Here’s a dispatch from Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve in West Virginia sent earlier this week by Msgr. John B. Brady from the national Scout jamboree, which closed today. A retired
priest of the Archdiocese of Washington, he became … Continue reading → >> Read more
Word to Life — Sunday Scripture readings, July 23, 2017 (Fri, 21 Jul 2017)
July 23, Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle A. Readings: 1) Wisdom 12:13, 16-19 Psalm 86:5-6, 9-10, 15-16
2) Romans 8:26-27 Gospel: Matthew 13:24-33 By Sharon K. Perkins Catholic News … Continue reading → >> Read more
John C. Quinn tended to the ‘least of these’ in U.S. newsrooms (Fri, 14 Jul 2017)
WASHINGTON (CNS) – I’m convinced that around the country, and perhaps the world, there are many letters similar to the one I received in the mail some 18 years ago. It was written by hand and it
ended with a … Continue reading → >> Read more
Some cheese with your ‘whine’: Pope ‘establishes’ complaint-free zone (Fri, 14 Jul 2017)
By Junno Arocho Esteves Catholic News Service VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis left a not-so-subtle message outside his office in the Domus Sanctae Marthae residence: anyone who is thinking of
making a fuss, leave your whining at the door. … Continue reading → >> Read more
Word to Life — Sunday Scripture readings, July 16, 2017 (Thu, 13 Jul 2017)
July 16, Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle A. Readings: 1) Isaiah 55:10-11 Psalm 65:10-14
2) Romans 8:18-23 Gospel: Matthew 13:1-23 By Jeff Hedglen Catholic News Service It seems as though every time … Continue reading → >> Read more
Word to Life — Sunday Scripture readings, July 9, 2017 (Fri, 07 Jul 2017)
The Scriptures this weekend contain a familiar, but difficult text. “Take my yoke upon you,” Jesus says. “For my yoke is easy and my burden light.” Continue reading → >> Read more
Word to Life — Sunday Scripture readings, July 2, 2017 (Fri, 30 Jun 2017)
July 2, Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle A. Readings: 1) 2 Kings 4:8-11, 14-16a Psalm 89:2-3,
16-19 2) Romans 6:3-4, 8-11 Gospel: Matthew 10:37-42 By Beverly Corzine Catholic News Service One winter morning I awoke …
Continue reading → >> Read more
Changing the world requires action, not dreaming, cardinal says (Mon, 20 Aug 2018)
Christians must do more than dream of a better world; they must take an active role in changing it, a Vatican official wrote on behalf of Pope Francis.
In a message sent Aug. 19 to the Meeting in Rimini, an annual event sponsored by the Communion and Liberation movement, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state, said men and women must
ask themselves how to bring about change in light of the "current situation in the West."
"We are once again building walls instead of building bridges. We tend to be closed instead of open to others different from us. Indifference grows rather than the desire to take the initiative
for change. A sense of fear prevails over trust in the future," he said. "And we ask ourselves if, in this half century, the world has become more habitable."
To address the problem head-on, he said, Christians must first overcome the fear of change.
"No, it isn't about retiring from the world to not risk making a mistake and to preserve the faith in a sort of uncontaminated purity, because an authentic faith always implies a profound desire
to change the world, to move history," he said.
But, the cardinal wrote, it is equally important to work toward a clear objective, otherwise "it remains blocked and no promise, no initiative can move it."
"No effort, no revolution can satisfy the heart of man and woman," he said. "Only God, who has made us with an infinite desire, can fill it with his infinite presence. That is why he became man:
so that men and women can encounter the one who saves and fulfills the desire of happy days."
Assuring participants of the pope's prayers, Parolin said Pope Francis hoped the gathering would be an "occasion to deepen and welcome Jesus' invitation to 'come and see.' "
Following Jesus, he said, is the path that frees people from "the slavery of 'false infinities' — which promise happiness without being able to assure it — thus making them new protagonists on the
world scene, called to make history the place of encounter between the children of God and their father and among themselves as brothers and sisters."
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Nuncio says U.S. bishops committed to addressing abuse scandal (Mon, 20 Aug 2018)
Archbishop Christophe Pierre, the Vatican nuncio to the United States, speaks Aug. 19 during the Rimini Meeting,
an annual event sponsored by the Communion and Liberation movement. The U.S. bishops are "deeply committed" to facing the reality of clerical sexual abuse and the history of covering it up, said
Pierre. (CNS /courtesy Rimini Meeting)
The U.S. bishops are "deeply committed" to facing the reality of clerical sexual abuse and the history of covering it up, said the Vatican nuncio to the United States.
"All of us bishops, priests and members of the church must find a real response to the problem. Just a juridical or organizational response will not be enough to avoid evil," said the nuncio,
Archbishop Christophe Pierre.
The archbishop made the comments at a news conference Aug. 19 in Rimini, Italy, before giving the opening address at the annual weeklong conference of the Communion and Liberation movement.
Responding to reporters, Pierre said he would have to be "very discreet" in talking about the crisis that began unfolding in June with the news that a church investigation found credible
allegations that now-Archbishop Theodore E. McCarrick abused a minor. That was followed by a series of revelations about sexual harassment and misconduct in some seminaries and, especially, with the
release in August of a Pennsylvania grand jury report about decades of abuse and cover-ups in six dioceses.
In his formal talk to the "Rimini Meeting," the archbishop focused on the human search for happiness and how every Christian has an obligation to be a credible witness to the truth that happiness
is found in experiencing God's love and striving to live according to God's will.
The "encounter with Christ happens in and through the church," the archbishop said. "There is an ecclesial dimension to the encounter. The pope calls the whole church to accept its responsibility
for facilitating this personal experience of Jesus, who fills life with joy."
Departing from his prepared text, Pierre told the Communion and Liberation members: "We must never stand outside the church to judge her; we are the church. We all are responsible for the church,
including when there are problems in the church."
A longtime Vatican diplomat who served in Haiti, Uganda and Mexico before being named nuncio to the United States, Pierre said that "no matter the country or nationality, no matter the wealth or
poverty, many people are searching for happiness -- for that which corresponds to the deepest longings of the human heart. They are on a quest to discover the forces that move history, for these are
the same that make man happy."
People try "to cope with our sin, weaknesses and inadequacies by filling our lives with things we think will satisfy us," he said. "For some people it is alcohol, drugs and pornography; for others
it is wealth, power and the desire for human respect. We will take anything we can to help us feel better, but in the end, it doesn't satisfy."
The responsibility of the church and of each of its members, he said, is to find a way to offer people the possibility of encountering Christ so that their sins can be forgiven, and they can know
"Pope Francis calls us to move from a pastoral plan of self-preservation to one of intense missionary activity, capable of meeting the deepest needs of the human heart," the archbishop said. "His
election at this point in history is truly providential because, with it, the church received a pastor who will push her to be a church of encounter, of mercy and witness, engaged in reality."
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Bishops around U.S. respond with 'sorrow' to abuse report, vow to act (Mon, 20 Aug 2018)
In a screen grab taken from video, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro speaks during an Aug. 14 news
conference to release a grand jury on a months-long investigation into abuse claims spanning a 70-year period in the dioceses of Harrisburg, Pittsburgh, Scranton, Allentown, Greensburg and Erie.
In a tweet, a U.S. bishop said he had spent the night reading a grand jury report detailing seven decades of child sex abuse claims in six Pennsylvania dioceses and "it was like reading a horror
Unfortunately, it was not a fictional account, wrote Bishop Richard Stika of Knoxville early Aug. 15, a day after the Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General published the mammoth document of
more than 1,300 pages detailing accounts of the rape of children, secrecy by church officials and some law enforcement failures over 70 years.
"It is real and lives were destroyed and faith shattered," Stika tweeted.
He joined at least a dozen or so prelates outside of Pennsylvania who, via Twitter, TV or in person, at Masses for the feast of the Assumption, took time to express the same sorrow and pain that
lay Catholics have been feeling and expressing. But many bishops also spoke about the added layer of what to do about the pain of a shattered trust between shepherds and their angry and pain-stricken
flock that many say they now must fix.
"This is extraordinarily painful, it is humiliating, it is nauseating," said New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan during an interview with local CBS station WLNY in New York City. "This is a kick in
the gut. I really worry about a loss of credibility, a loss of trust. There's no use denying it. We can't sugarcoat this. This is disastrous."
Painfully aware of the anger Catholics are voicing after the revelations out of Pennsylvania, Boston Cardinal Sean O'Malley said Aug. 16 that something must be done right away.
"The clock is ticking for all of us in church leadership, Catholics have lost patience with us and civil society has lost confidence in us," said O'Malley in a statement. "But I am not without
hope and do not succumb to despondent acceptance that our failures cannot be corrected."
Transformation has to take place in the way the church prepares priests, "the way we exercise pastoral leadership and the way we cooperate with civil authorities; all these have to be consistently
better than has been the case," he said, adding that "we remain shamed by these egregious failures to protect children and those who are vulnerable and affirm our commitment that these failures will
never be repeated."
At the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, Cardinal Edwin O'Brien, grand master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre, began a Mass on the feast of
the Assumption Aug. 15 by making a brief reference to the developments.
"Mary, our patroness, has guided the church in America through many difficult moments," he said. "Today, yet another moment of trial is upon us, a very serious crisis which has brought many of our
people to the point of despair and anger and even the loss of faith."
He said he offered the Mass asking for Mary's intercession, so "that the bishops of our nation might accomplish a renewal of trust in the church and its leaders across the land."
"And no less I ask Mary's son, the Good Shepherd, for the graces of healing, reconciliation and justice for all the people of God among us, above all for those who have been abused and their
families," he said.
The report by a Pennsylvania grand jury of 23 people said the investigation of almost two years identified more than 1,000 people who say they were abused by some 301 priests, many whom are now
However, some living priests named in the report are disputing some of the information and claims in the document and challenged to have their names blacked out, or redacted. They will be heard by
the courts in September. The grand jury said it was likely that more victims as well as perpetrators were not identified in the months-long investigation.
Dallas Bishop Edward Burns told The Dallas Morning News he felt "sick" reading the accounts, "knowing that this occurred at the hands of men that you knew and even worked side by side with adds to
a dimension of disbelief."
Burns grew up in Pittsburgh and knew some of those named in the report, The Dallas Morning News article said.
Recalling one of the priests named in the report, Burns told the newspaper that the priest "was domineering, he was extremely bossy, he did not possess a shepherd's heart, from my perspective,"
adding that "now I have come to recognize that he not only had a different view of priesthood, he just had a double life.
But like others, he never suspected the horrors that were taking place.
Archbishop of Detroit Allen Vigneron said in an Aug. 13 statement, before the report became public, that it was disheartening, "for us once again to come face-to-face with moral failures in the
priesthood, especially among us bishops."
"These sins are marks of shame upon the church," he said.
Though there may be the temptation to despair and think that change is not possible, "reform can only happen when hope lives," he said.
"We must move forward with the conviction that God will not abandon his church. He wants her purified, cleansed of these sins and brought to new life," he said.
Los Angeles Archbishop José Gomez urged prayers during the feast of the Assumption for abuse victims.
"We are aware that this is a sad and confusing time for the church in this country," he said in his homily. "In recent days and weeks, we have heard new revelations about sin and abuse in the
church. This is a time now for prayer and repentance and a time for examining our conscience, especially for those of us who are bishops and priests."
Bishop Michael Olson of Fort Worth, Texas, said in an Aug. 14 statement that it's time to hold accountable "morally and legally" those who allowed the abuse in Pennsylvania to occur, as well as
those who hid alleged abuses by former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick.
"Pledges of penitential prayer and actions on the part of church leadership are meaningless unless first preceded by contrition, confession, firm purpose of amendment and concrete actions of
conversion," he said.
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Archdiocese looking into sexual harassment claims at seminary (Mon, 20 Aug 2018)
The Philadelphia Inquirer daily newspaper reported Aug. 16 that the Archdiocese of Philadelphia is investigating allegations of sexual harassment from a former student at St. Charles Borromeo
The paper reported that a letter with claims that a former student at St. Charles sexually harassed a freshman during the 2010-11 school year was sent to
priests and deacons Aug. 14.
Related: Boston, Lincoln open inquiries into misconduct among seminarians, priests
The claims are related to a blog post that also implicated St. John's Seminary in Boston, which the Archdiocese of Boston also is investigating.
Like the Boston case, the claims originated on social media, and are linked to a blog post that describes seminarians at a "conservative seminary" drinking heavily, "cuddling" after a drunken
party, and being involved in sexual behaviors and acts. The person who wrote the blog says he experienced sexual harassment at the Philadelphia seminary and later witnessed the other behavior in the
The story says that the writer of the blog was 17 when the alleged abuse in Philadelphia occurred, which is described as "sexually inappropriate advances by a fellow student" in a dorm room.
The Inquirer reported that archdiocesan spokesman Ken Gavin said Aug. 16 that the seminary "recently became aware of allegations of sexual harassment by one seminarian of another that is purported
to have occurred during the 2010-2011 academic year."
"In keeping with the long-term policy of the seminary and the Archdiocese of Philadelphia," he said, "this allegation was turned over the archdiocesan Office of Investigations for appropriate
handling in light of policy and applicable law. As it is an active investigation, we are not able to comment upon it further."
In his letter to archdiocesan clergy, Philadelphia Auxiliary Bishop Timothy Senior, rector of the seminary, said St. Charles has a longtime policy "against sexual violence, harassment and
stalking." It was last updated in 2015.
All seminarians are required to review the policy at orientation and to sign a form acknowledging they received it, Senior wrote.
He also noted that among the 170 seminarians about to begin the fall term at St. Charles, 50 will be new seminarians studying for the Philadelphia Archdiocese and other dioceses and religious
orders of priests.
- - -
Contributing to this report was Matthew Gambino, director and general manager of CatholicPhilly.com, the news website of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.
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Eucharist is a taste of heaven on earth, pope says (Mon, 20 Aug 2018)
By receiving the Eucharist at Mass, Christians are given Christ's same spirit and a taste of eternal life, Pope Francis said.
"Every time that we participate in the Holy Mass, we hasten heaven on earth in a certain sense because from the eucharistic food — the body and blood of Christ — we learn what eternal life is,"
the pope said Aug. 19 during his Angelus address.
After praying the Angelus prayer with pilgrims in St. Peter's Square, the pope led them in praying for the victims of massive flooding caused by monsoon rains in the Indian state of Kerala.
According to the BBC, more than 350 people have died while thousands more are still trapped and awaiting rescue.
"I am close to the church in Kerala, which is in the front lines to bring aid to the population. We are all close to the church in Kerala and let us pray together for those who have lost their
lives and for those people who are tried by this great calamity," the pope said.
In his main address, Pope Francis reflected on the Sunday Gospel reading in which Jesus tells the crowd that "whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life."
The Eucharist, the pope said, is where Christians find "that which spiritually feeds us and quenches our thirst today and for eternity."
"Happiness and eternity of life depend on our capacity for making the evangelical love we received in the Eucharist fruitful," he said.
Resistance to allowing oneself to be nourished by Jesus' body and blood, he said, is seen "when we struggle to model our existence to that of Jesus, to act according to his standards and not
according to the standards of the world."
"This is so important: to go to Mass and receive Communion because to receive Communion is to receive the living Christ who transforms us from within and prepares us for heaven," Pope Francis
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Cardinal Tobin denies knowledge of 'gay subculture' in Newark (Mon, 20 Aug 2018)
Newark, N.J., Aug 20, 2018 / 07:00 pm (CNA).- In an Aug. 17 letter to the priests of Newark, Cardinal Joseph Tobin has said he has
not been told by priests about a “gay sub-culture” in the Archdiocese of Newark.
The letter was written in response to a CNA report published the same day, in which Newark priests described their experience in seminary and ministry in the archdiocese. Tobin’s letter specifically
addressed allegations, included in CNA’s report, of sexual misconduct on the part of two priests.
CNA's article included testimony about homosexual activity in the
Archdiocese of Newark, from six priests who spoke to CNA on the condition of anonymity. The priests’ experience spanned across several decades under the leadership of Archbishop Theodore McCarrick
and Archbishop John J. Myers.
CNA reported that, in 2014, Fr. Mark O’Malley was – according to multiple sources – removed from his position as rector of the archdiocesan college seminary, and placed on medical leave following an
incident in which he was accused of hiding a camera in the bedroom of a young priest.
Cardinal Tobin’s letter, which surfaced on the internet over the weekend, addressed the matter directly.
“In April 2014, Father Mark O’Malley, who was serving at St. Andrew’s College, experienced a serious personal crisis for which he received a psychological evaluation and subsequent therapy. In April
2015, he was deemed fit for priestly ministry. He hopes to serve as a hospital chaplain.”
CNA also reported last week that Fr. James Weiner, currently pastor of the parish of St. Andrew’s in Westwood, NJ, was under renewed investigation by archdiocesan authorities. Weiner was identified
as the previously unnamed man referred to in the allegations of sexual assault made by Fr. Desmond Rossi, now a priest of the Diocese of Albany, NY.
Rossi has alleged that, in 1988, he was sexually assaulted by two transitional deacons. In 2004, Rossi received an out-of-court settlement of approximately $35,000.
Recently, Rossi said that his allegation was found “credible” by an archdiocesan review board but that no action was taken.
Tobin’s letter confirmed that Weiner’s case had been examined by a review board in 2003 “even though it did not involve an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor.” The cardinal also confirmed that he
had ordered the matter reopened earlier this month because of “new information and out of an abundance of caution in these most difficult times.”
This weekend, the bulletin at Fr. Weiner’s parish carried a notice that Cardinal Tobin’s office had indefinitely delayed the ceremony formally installing Weiner as pastor of the parish because of a
scheduling conflict. Tobin had been scheduled to install Weiner in the post on Sept. 15.
Addressing reports of harassment and active sexual behavior by some priests, both in the seminary and in the archdiocesan presbyterate, Cardinal Tobin said that “no one – including the anonymous
‘sources’ cited in the article – has ever spoken to me about a gay subculture in the Archdiocese of Newark.”
Tobin began his letter by acknowledging the ongoing scandal of sexual abuse in the Church, following the allegations against Archbishop McCarrick and the release of the Pennsylvania grand jury
report. The cardinal said that these events “have shaken and saddened the bishops and priests of the Archdiocese of Newark.”
Turning to the CNA report, Tobin said that while there was “much more to communicate about these open wounds,” he was writing the letter in response to “allegations of misconduct” against the two
priests of the archdiocese, Weiner and O’Malley.
The cardinal closed his letter by expressing his hope that CNA’s sources were not actually priests of the archdiocese. However, CNA confirms that the sources for the story were priests of the Newark
archdiocese, along with one priest member of a religious order.
The Archdiocese of Newark declined to offer comment or respond to questions from CNA regarding the letter.
Tobin’s letter concluded by encouraging priests to refer media inquiries to the archdiocesan director of communications.
Added Cardinal Tobin, “I repeat my willingness to meet with any brother who wishes to share his concerns regarding allegations in the press or personal experience in our local Church.”
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Welcoming pope's letter on abuse, head of US bishops pledges action (Mon, 20 Aug 2018)
Washington D.C., Aug 20, 2018 / 04:57 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, president of the U.S.
bishops’ conference, has welcomed Pope Francis’ letter to all the faithful addressing the recent
sex abuse crises in the Church.
“I am grateful to the Holy Father for his Letter to the People of God, responding to the Pennsylvania grand jury investigation and other revelations that have surfaced,” DiNardo said in a statement
released by the bishops’ conference.
“The very fact that he opens the letter with the words of Saint Paul: ‘If one part suffers, all parts suffer with it’ (1 Cor 12:25), shows that he is writing to all of us as a pastor, a pastor who
knows how deeply sin destroys lives.”
In his letter, Pope Francis called the universal Church to “a penitential exercise of prayer and fasting.”
Responding to the call, Cardinal DiNardo said, “I find these words of the Holy Father particularly helpful: ‘penance and prayer will help us to open our eyes and our hearts to other people’s
sufferings and to overcome the thirst for power and possessions that are so often the root of those evils.’ These words must provoke action – especially by the bishops. We bishops need to – and
we must – practice with all humility such prayer and penance.”
Vatican spokesman Greg Burke said that the Pope’s letter was not just about recent scandals in the Church in America.
“This is about Ireland, this is about the United States, and this is about Chile, but not only [those places],” he told reporters. “Pope Francis has written to the People of God, and that means
Burke said that it was especially significant that the pope referred to abuse as “a crime, not only a sin” and that, while asking for forgiveness, he acknowledged that “no effort to repair the damage
done will ever be sufficient for victims and survivors” and that the “wounds from abuse never disappear.”
Pope Francis wrote that “with shame and repentance, we acknowledge as an ecclesial community that we were not where we should have been, that we did not act in a timely manner, realizing the
magnitude and the gravity of the damage done to so many lives. We showed no care for the little ones; we abandoned them.”
Cardinal DiNardo acknowledged the need for a sincere and spiritually committed response to the abuse crisis.
“The Holy Father is also inviting, and I am asking this as well, that all the faithful join in prayer and fasting as a way to help foster conversion and genuine change of life wherever it is needed,
even in the shepherds of the Church. Jesus remarked once, ‘This kind can only come out through prayer and fasting’; a humble reminder that such acts of faith can move mountains and can even bring
about true healing and conversion,” DiNardo said.
The pope also wrote that “no effort must be spared to create a culture able to prevent such situations from happening, but also to prevent the possibility of their being covered up and
This, Burke told journalists, meant “greater accountability is urgently needed - not only for those who committed these crimes, but also for those who covered them up, which in many cases means
Cardinal DiNardo said that the bishops of the United States accept the urgent need for accountability, and pledged an unflinching approach to addressing past crimes.
“On behalf of my brother bishops, I offer that only by confronting our own failure in the face of crimes against those we are charged to protect can the Church resurrect a culture of life where the
culture of death has prevailed.”
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Wuerl cancels World Meeting of Families appearance (Sat, 18 Aug 2018)
Washington D.C., Aug 18, 2018 / 08:35 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The Archbishop of Washington has cancelled his scheduled participation at
the Church’s World Meeting of Families, which will be held next week in Dublin, Ireland.
The cancellation comes after a week in which Washington’s archbishop, Cardinal Donald Wuerl, has faced heavy criticism for the way he managed priests who had been accused of sexual assault during his
tenure of Bishop of Pittsburgh, from 1988 to 2006.
On Aug. 14, a Pennsylvania grand jury released its report on an 18-month investigation into seven decades of clerical sexual abuse allegations in six Pennsylvania dioceses, including Pittsburgh. The
report raised serious questions about Wuerl’s handling of abuse cases, including one in which Wuerl authorized the transfer and continued ministry of a priest who had been accused of committing acts
of sexual abuse decades earlier.
Wuerl has denied having had knowledge of the allegations at the time he authorized the transfer, but questions remain remain unanswered regarding his management of that case and others.
The cardinal has also recently faced questions related to what he might have known about the alleged sexually coercive behavior of his predecessor as Archbishop of Washington, former cardinal
Theodore McCarrick. In recent months, McCarrick has faced allegations that he serially sexually abused two adolescent boys, and spent decades committing acts of sexual assault and coercion toward
seminarians and young priests. In 2005 and and 2007, two New Jersey dioceses reached settlements with alleged victims of McCarrick.
Wuerl, who succeeded McCarrick as Archbishop of Washington in 2006, reports having had no knowledge of those settlements, or of any complaints about sexually abusive behavior on the part of
McCarrick, who continued to live and minister in the Archdiocese of Washington subsequent to his retirement.
Wuerl has faced multiple calls for his resignation this week. In fact, the cardinal actually submitted a letter of resignation to Pope Francis in November 2015, upon turning 75, the age at which
bishops customarily submit letters of resignation to the pope. While many insiders had expected Wuerl to remain in his post until the age of 80, it now seems likely that his resignation will be
accepted before that time.
There has been no indication from the Vatican of when Wuerl’s resignation might be accepted. However, sources close to the cardinal speculate that he might remain in his position long enough to
participate in initial discussions among U.S. bishops as they begin to address the fallout from the monumental sexual abuse crisis the Church is now facing.
Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston also cancelled his participation this week in the World Meeting of Families. O’Malley withdrew from the event after announcing an investigation into allegations
of sexual improprieties at the Archdiocese of Boston’s seminary.
The World Meeting of Families is organized by the Vatican’s Dicastery for Laity, Family, and Life, which is headed by Cardinal Kevin Farrell, formerly the Bishop of Dallas, and before that an
auxiliary bishop, under McCarrick, in the Archdiocese of Washington.
The World Meeting of Families will take place Aug. 21-26. Pope Francis will celebrate an open air Mass in Dublin’s Phoenix Park on Aug. 26.
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Bishop Morlino: 'Homosexual subculture' is source of 'devastation' in the Church (Sat, 18 Aug 2018)
Madison, Wis., Aug 18, 2018 / 02:21 pm (CNA).- In response to recent sexual abuse crises, the Bishop of Madison, Wisconsin, has said
that the Catholic Church must renew its conviction to identify and reject sin, and admit that a homosexual culture among some clerics has caused great harm in the Church.
The bishop also called Catholics to join him in offering acts of reparation for the sins of sexual immorality among Catholic deacons, priests, and bishops.
“For too long we have diminished the reality of sin — we have refused to call a sin a sin — and we have excused sin in the name of a mistaken notion of mercy. In our efforts to be open to the world
we have become all too willing to abandon the Way, the Truth, and the Life. In order to avoid causing offense we offer to ourselves and to others niceties and human consolation,” wrote Bishop Robert
Morlino in a pastoral letter released Aug. 18.
“There must be no room left, no refuge for sin — either within our own lives, or within the lives of our communities. To be a refuge for sinners (which we should be), the Church must be a place where
sinners can turn to be reconciled. In this I speak of all sin,” he added.
Morlino said that he had been sickened by reading the stories of sexual abuse contained in a report on clerical sexual abuse released Aug. 14 by a Pennsylvania grand jury, and by allegations against
former cardinal Theodore McCarrick, who has been accused of serially sexually abusing two teenage boys, and of sexually assaulting and coercing priests and seminarians for several decades.
“But my own sickness at the stories is quickly put into perspective when I recall the fact that many individuals have lived through them for years. For them, these are not stories, they are indeed
realities. To them I turn and say, again, I am sorry for what you have suffered and what you continue to suffer in your mind and in your heart,” he wrote.
The bishop was particularly candid in his assessment of the cause of those problems: “In the specific situations at hand, we are talking about deviant sexual — almost exclusively homosexual — acts by
clerics. We’re also talking about homosexual propositions and abuses against seminarians and young priests by powerful priests, bishops, and cardinals. We are talking about acts and actions which are
not only in violation of the sacred promises made by some, in short, sacrilege, but also are in violation of the natural moral law for all. To call it anything else would be deceitful and would only
ignore the problem further.”
"There has been a great deal of effort to keep separate acts which fall under the category of now-culturally-acceptable acts of homosexuality from the publically-deplorable acts of pedophilia. That
is to say, until recently the problems of the Church have been painted purely as problems of pedophilia — this despite clear evidence to the contrary," he added.
"It is time to be honest that the problems are both and they are more. To fall into the trap of parsing problems according to what society might find acceptable or unacceptable is ignoring the fact
that the Church has never held ANY of it to be acceptable — neither the abuse of children, nor any use of one’s sexuality outside of the marital relationship, nor the sin of sodomy, nor the entering
of clerics into intimate sexual relationships at all, nor the abuse and coercion by those with authority," he wrote.
Morlino said that McCarrick was guilty of abusing power "for the sake of homosexual gratification."
“It is time to admit that there is a homosexual subculture within the hierarchy of the Catholic Church that is wreaking great devastation in the vineyard of the Lord. The Church’s teaching is clear
that the homosexual inclination is not in itself sinful, but it is intrinsically disordered in a way that renders any man stably afflicted by it unfit to be a priest,” he added.
Morlino wrote to seminarians of his diocese that they should immediately notify him of any sexual abuse, coercion, or sexual immorality they might experience or witness in their seminaries.
“I will address it swiftly and vigorously. I will not stand for this in my diocese or anywhere I send men for formation,” he wrote, adding that he expects seminaries to address sexual immorality
To the priests of Madison, the bishop explained his expectation that each one “live out your priesthood as a holy priest, a hard working priest, and a pure and happy priest — as Christ Himself is
calling you to do. And by extension, live a chaste and celibate life so that you can completely give your life to Christ, the Church, and the people whom he has called you to serve. God will give you
the graces to do so.”
He likewise called priests to notify him of abuse or sexual immorality they might become aware of.
Morlino also wrote to lay Catholics, asking them to bring forward any instance of clerical sexual abuse or immorality they might be aware of. The bishop promised to hold priests and seminarians
accountable to chaste standards of behavior, and to call for reform in the Church.
The bishop asked lay Catholics to “assist in keeping us accountable to civil authorities, the faithful in the pews, and to God Almighty, not only to protect children and the youth from sexual
predators in the Church, but our seminarians, university students, and all the faithful as well. I promise to put any victim and their sufferings before that of the personal and professional
reputation of a priest, or any Church employee, guilty of abuse.”
The bishop concluded his letter with a call to holiness and prayer.
“More than anything else, we as a Church must cease our acceptance of sin and evil. We must cast out sin from our own lives and run toward holiness. We must refuse to be silent in the face of sin and
evil in our families and communities and we must demand from our pastors — myself included — that they themselves are striving day in and day out for holiness. We must do this always with loving
respect for individuals but with a clear understanding that true love can never exist without truth.”
“I ask you all to join me and the entire clergy of the Diocese of Madison in making public and private acts of reparation to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary for all
the sins of sexual depravity committed by members of the clergy and episcopacy,” he wrote.
He added that he would be offering a public Mass of reparation in the diocese and explained that on Sept. 19, 21, and 22, the traditional “ember days” of the Church, he would be fasting “in
reparation for the sins and outrages committed by members of the clergy and episcopacy and I invite all the faithful to do the same.”
“Some sins, like some demons, can only be driven out by prayer and fasting,” he wrote.
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After roadblocks, film on abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell releases preview (Sat, 18 Aug 2018)
Washington D.C., Aug 18, 2018 / 06:04 am (CNA).- The trial of a Philadelphia abortion doctor, whose shoddy clinics and gruesome
practices led to his conviction of three counts of murder and one count of involuntary manslaughter, is the subject of a movie due to be released in October.
A trailer previews the movie “Gosnell: America’s Biggest Serial Killer”, a crowd-funded project produced by a team of filmmakers and journalists, some of whom were present for the trial which
concluded in 2013.
The name takes its title from the grand jury report in the trial, which detailed the crimes and grisly malpractices of abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell’s clinics, including the snipping of the necks of
more than 100 babies who had survived abortion.
The film was given the green light to show in U.S. theaters after the producers settled with Judge Jeffrey Minehart, who was involved in the original Gosnell trial and sued to block the film’s
release, arguing that he was portrayed in the film as “Philadelphia’s liberal corrupt government.”
The film’s producers told The Hollywood Reporter that it had been “a really hard road” but that they are anticipating the movie to show in as many as 750 theaters throughout the country.
“No matter what your stance is on abortion, you will have a more informed opinion after you see Gosnell,” director Nick Searcy said.
The filmmakers have said they are hoping to avoid an R-rating by alluding to, but not directly showing, some of the most gruesome details of Gosnell’s practices.
"The fanatic subject matter poses a risk," executive producer John Sullivan told The Hollywood Reporter. "We were very careful not to make it too graphic. Gosnell saving feet of infants in jars as
trophies plays a role, and you’ll see him take scissors out, but that part plays out as theater of the mind."
After reportedly being kicked off of crowdfunding site Kickstarter because of the film’s anti-abortion content, the multi-million dollar project was crowdfunded on Indiegogo, and was one of the most
successfully crowdfunded films of all time, according to Gosnell producers.
“Almost 30,000 people donated over $2.3m in 45 days. When it ended it was the most successful crowdfunding campaign on the Indiegogo website,” the producers note on their website. “We want to thank
all of our funders who helped make this project such a success. We literally could not have done it without you. This is your movie.”
Phelim McAleer, one of the film’s producers and a journalist who covered the Gosnell trial, said in an introductory video to the film that part of the motivation for the movie was the lack of
attention to the trial in the mainstream media.
“The media have basically ignored his crime and his trial,” he said.
“He ran an abortion clinic in Philadelphia where he delivered live, viable babies and then murdered these newborns by severing their spinal cords with scissors.”
"I've been on hard films before, but this one was particularly difficult," Sullivan told The Hollywood Reporter. "Hollywood is afraid of this content. It's a true story the media tried to ignore from
the very beginning, so I wasn’t surprised to see Hollywood ignore us."
During Gosnell's trial, one Philadelphia-area reporter took photos of the courtroom showing that the courtroom benches reserved from the press were empty.
National media covered the case only after pro-life advocates launched a social media campaign to raise awareness about the case.
Gosnell's clinic had not been subject to oversight by the state of Pennsylvania since 1993. A federal drug raid in 2010 uncovered blood-stained rooms and filthy equipment.
According to the grand jury report, the clinic stored aborted fetuses in a basement freezer in plastic food containers and bags next to staff lunches. Gosnell kept severed feet of unborn babies
preserved in specimen jars, allegedly for future identification or DNA samples.
Staff allegedly sent women to give birth into toilets, a doctor allegedly spread sexually transmitted infections to women through poor sanitary standards, and a 15-year-old staffer administered
anesthesia to patients. The clinic also allegedly gave preferential treatment to white patients.
In addition to the counts of first degree murder, the abortion doctor was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the death of a patient who died of an overdose in 2009.
Prosecutors had sought a third-degree murder charge in her case, saying Gosnell let his untrained and unlicensed staff give the 41-year-old Bhutanese immigrant woman a fatal combination of
Several of Gosnell’s former employees have pleaded guilty to murder and other charges. Gosnell himself is now serving several life sentences.
“Gosnell” opens in theaters throughout the country on Oct. 12 through GVN Releasing. It stars Dean Cain as Detective James “Woody” Wood, the main detective on the case, and Earl Billings as Dr.
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