Category: 2013
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Watch Your (Catholic) Language! 
John A. Dick, Ph.D.                          Jun.30, 2013 

America magazine has announced it will no longer use the words "liberal" or "conservative," when describing people or positions. Great idea!

Actually I suggest it is time for a major clean-up of our language used in liturgy, writing and speaking about people and movements, and of course when addressing people like your local bishop, archbishop, or cardinal.

To begin with of course, we need to use inclusive language, in our writing, in our speaking, and in our prayer. None of that "for us men" stuff. It is offensive and simply incorrect. When I say a prayer publicly or read from the Scriptures at a liturgy, I always use inclusive nouns and pronouns. This is not a "nice" thing to do. It is the correct thing to do. If the authorities are upset, that is their problem not mine.

Next we need to deal with pompous hierarchic nomenclature. Never again refer to a bishop as "your excellency" or a cardinal as "your eminence." The middle ages have been gone for more than a few centuries.

Now for the pope. How refreshing when Francis appeared on the balcony, some long minutes after the white smoke from the Sistine Chapel, and announced that he was the new "Bishop of Rome." Let's follow his example. Drop "his holiness" and "supreme pontiff." As well as other Renaissance superlatives. "Bishop of Rome" is fine and fitting.

Now for some appropriate adjectives for our Catholic brothers and sisters:

When they know little or nothing about Catholic history or biblical exegesis, they are Catholic "illiterates" or "ignoramuses." A few bishops deserve these descriptive nouns, unfortunately.

When some Catholics would rather live in the former century of Vatican I, like the former Bishop of Rome now in poor health, we should not call them "conservative" but "rooted in a nineteenth century ethos."

And when these people cannot accept any other vision of God, humanity, and church, let's be honest and call them "Catholic fundamentalists."

Well this is a starter. We need to clean up our Catholic vocabulary.

I no longer use the word "priest" but prefer a much more Christian term "ordained minster."

And I don't like calling the twenty-five year old ordained minister, whom I helped educate over four years, "father." I should really call him "son" 

But for now, his first name will do and perhaps "Reverend" In public. I call my doctor "Arnold" and my dean and professorial colleagues by their first names. And I call one of my best older hierarchical friends simply "Cardinal." And he calls me "Jack."

And I call my wife of nearly 45 years "honey-bunch."

We still have linguistic work to do. Not an unimportant issue.

Words have consequences.

Thank you America


Jack Dick is ARCC vice-president.    
Some things we have been reading  
Presentation Of The Encyclical "Lumen Fidei": Faith Is An Experience Of Communion And Solidarity
VIS     Jul.5, 2013

A press conference was held at 11.00 this morning in the Holy See Press Office to present Pope Francis' first encyclical, "Lumen Fidei."  . . . .

Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Muller began the presentations, explaining that "'Lumen Fidei' is divided into four parts, which can be seen as four aspects of one whole".

. . . .

This was followed by a presentation by Cardinal Ouellet, who emphasised that the encyclical "speaks of faith like an experience of communion, of the enlargement of the 'I' and solidarity in the path the Church takes with Christ for the salvation of humanity. ...  

. . . .

The final presentation was given by Archbishop Fisichella, who returned to the words of the Holy Father. "'Those who believe, see'. This expression ... encapsulates the teaching of Pope Francis in this, his first encyclical. " 

Read more 

Full text of Lumen Fidei

Pope Francis signs canonization decrees for John XXIII and John Paul II 
Vatican Radio    Jul.5, 2013

John 23Journalists in the Holy See Press Office busy getting to grips with Pope Francis' first encyclical the Light of Faith, were somewhat surprised Friday lunchtime when Director Fr. Federico Lombardi S.J. called them back for a second announcement: Pope Francis had approved the cause for canonization of two of his venerable and much loved predecessors Blessed John XXIII and Blessed Pope John Paul II. Emer McCarthy reports:  

JP 2Meeting with Cardinal Angelo Amato, Prefect of the Congregation for the Cause of Saints, Friday morning, Pope Francis approved the promulgation of the decree and also convoked a special Consistory of the College of Cardinals to discuss the canonization of the Polish pope in depth. 

Furthermore, he approved the favorable votes of the Ordinary Session of the Congregations Cardinals and Bishops regarding the raising to the altars of sainthood of Blessed John XXII.

This slightly unusual gesture was explained by Fr. Lombardi who told journalists that despite the absence of a second miracle it was the Pope's will that the Sainthood of the great Pope of the Second Vatican Council be recognized. 

Fr. Lombardi stated that a canonization without a second miracle is still valid, given that there is already the existing miracle that lead to the Roncalli Pope's beatification. He also pointed to ongoing discussions among theologians and experts about whether it is necessary to have two distinct miracles for beatification and canonization. Certainly, he added the Pope has the power to dispense, in a Cause, with the second miracle. 

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Three things to learn about Francis from his sainthood surprise
John L. Allen Jr.     Jul.5, 2013


Today's surprise announcement that John Paul II will be canonized along with John XXIII seems to tell us at least three things worth knowing about the new pontiff.


First, it confirms his determination not to be bound by the usual Vatican protocol. Francis dispensed with the usual requirement for a second miracle to proceed to canonization, following John XXIII's beatification in 2000.

. . . .

Second, the decision to package John XXIII and John Paul II also underscores the inclusive spirit of Francis' papacy.  


As it happens, Francis also released his first encyclical this morning - Lumen fidei, "The Light of Faith," which was drafted in part by Benedict XVI. It's marked by a strong spirit of outreach to the seekers of the post-modern world, saying that anyone "open to love" and concerned for others is "already, even without knowing it, on the path leading to faith."

With the canonizations, Francis is speaking not just to the outside world but to rival camps within the Catholic fold who see John XXIII and John Paul II as their heroes - meaning liberals and conservatives, respectively. The message seems to be, "You both belong here."

. . . .  

Third, although Francis could have set a date for the canonization ceremony himself, he's decided not to make that call until after a consistory with members of the College of Cardinals. Given the likely tidal wave of people that will crash through Rome whenever it happens, the choice of date is no small matter, and it's telling that Francis wants to take the temperature of the cardinals before setting it in stone.
. . . . 

The process he's following for the canonization is another small gesture in the direction of collegiality, meaning avoiding diktat in favor of ruling by consensus whenever possible, beginning with the cardinals. 

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ohn Paul Blesses Maciel
John Paul II Blesses Maciel
Popes Making Popes Saints
Garry Wills      Jul.9, 2013


On September 3, 2000, Pope John Paul II beatified Pope Pius IX.  . . . .  


Pius IX was a polarizing figure. He wrested from the Vatican Council a declaration of his own infallibility; he condemned such modern heresies as democratic government; he took a Jewish child, Edgardo Mortara, from his family-on the grounds that Edgardo's Christian nurse had baptized him as an infant, making him belong to the church, not to his infidel parents.


Promoting such a man was a touchy matter for Pope John Paul-but he helped ease Pius into the ranks of the blessed by simultaneously beatifying the popular Pope John XXIII.   . . . .

Now Pope Francis has come up with another ablutionary pairing. He is canonizing John Paul II in record time (Benedict XVI had already waived the normal five-years-after-death period to allow the beatifying process to begin.) Though John Paul II is not as hotly resented by liberals as Pius IX, he is still subject to deep criticism.   . . . .


But-not to worry-the "good Pope John" is again being pressed into service. He was beatified to take the sting out of Pius IX's promotion. He is now being canonized to make a joint heavenly pair with John Paul II. To rush John XXIII forward, Pope Francis is even waiving the normal requirement of a second miracle for canonization. John XXIII is the feel-good pope in a time of turmoil, even though he is being used to sanction the turmoil caused by John Paul II.  

. . . .  

It is a bit sad to see Pope Francis, who has been doing wonderful things in his short time at the Vatican, play the old game of self-certification at the top of a saint-making factory. Many hope he will make needed changes in the church. But in promoting John Paul II he is exalting a man who fought every one of those changes.  

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Listen for this Word: 'Synodality' 
Drew Christiansen    Jul.1,2013 

Since the first days of his pontificate, Pope Francis has spoken of his plans to renew the Synod of Bishops. In the last weeks it emerged as a centerpiece of his ministry. Three times this month he has spoken of "synodality," that is, the role of meetings of bishops in church governance. The new pope suggests that synodality may be a source of unity within the Catholic Church itself as well as with the Orthodox, for whom synodality is the primary form of church governance.

Keep alert. Listen for this word, "synodality." It looks to be the heart of the Franciscan reform of the church.

While the advance of collegiality among bishops is regarded as one of the great ambitions of the Second Vatican Council, it was an idea still born. A Nota Praevia, a preliminary note, attached to the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Lumen Gentium, by Pope Paul VI, directed that none of the document's teaching on collegiality or the Synod of Bishops should prejudice the rights and privileges of the pope and the Holy See. As a result, the Synod of Bishops has been a consultative, not a deliberative body, and its effectiveness depends on papal endorsement.

The only teaching document ever issued directly by a Synod was "Justice in the World" in 1971. Ever since the results of subsequent synods have been published by the pope as apostolic exhortations, whose release marks the conclusion of the synod. Under Pope John Paul II the church became more centralized, the teaching power of bishops was curbed, and the workings of the Synod of Bishops tightly controlled. 

From the beginning Pope Francis has indicated his desire for greater representation in the running of the church.  

. . . .

Reform of the Synod of Bishops and the growth of synodality within the western Catholic Church would greatly enhance the opportunity for union between Rome and the Churches of the East, removing two of the greatest obstacles to reunion, the monarchical papacy and Roman centralism. The Eastern Catholic Churches already have some degree of synodality, though they have made it clear that they would prefer still greater autonomy from Rome.

Two things that drew the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to Rome at the time of Pope Francis's inauguration was Francis's reference to himself as "bishop of Rome" rather than as pope and his description of "the church of Rome [presiding]" over the other churches "in love." Day by day, event by event, one symbol at a time, Pope Francis seems determined to make all the churches, most of all our own, understand that the true nature of primacy is a love which allows the other to be other.  

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Pope laments indifference over refugees 
Nick Squires     Jul.10, 2013
Remembering migrants
Remembering migrants lost at sea: Pope Francis throws flowers into the sea   

Pope Francis has condemned what he calls the ''globalisation of indifference'' towards the plight of refugees. During a historic visit to the tiny island of Lampedusa, he prayed for the estimated 20,000 migrants and asylum seekers who have drowned trying to reach Italy in the past 20 years.


Francis, the son of Italian immigrants who moved to Argentina before World War II, led Mass in sight of a cluster of abandoned fishing boats, hauled ashore after they had been used by people traffickers to bring migrants from North Africa.


Tens of thousands of migrants, mostly from Africa, have reached Lampedusa in recent years in search of a better life in Europe.


The Pope remembered those who did not make it after drowning in the Mediterranean when their boats sank far from help.


''We ask forgiveness for the indifference towards so many brothers and sisters,'' he said at the Mass, held near the port where the migrants are brought ashore after their boats are intercepted by the Italian navy and coast guard.

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Liturgical and ceremonial aspects: 

  • The altar was built over a small boat used by migrants.
  • The chalice was carved from wood of a shipwrecked boat (though lined with silver).
  • Francis' pastoral staff was made of wood recycled from a shipwrecked boat.
  • The lectern was made of old wood with a ship's wheel mounted on the front.
Staff, chalice,lectern
Union of Islamic communities pleased with pope's words 
ANSA     Jul 8, 2013 

Pope Francis delivered "beautiful words that have a very important meaning" during his visit to an historic migrant stop in southern Italy, a spokesman for Italy's Islamic communities said Monday. Ezzildin Elzir, president of the Union of Islamic Communities in Italy, said he hoped that the pope's comments reaching out to the Islamic community at the opening of the holy month of Ramadan means continued interfaith dialogue.    . . . .  "To the dear, Muslim immigrants who today, this evening, are beginning the fast of Ramadan, with wishes for abundant spiritual fruit," Francis said. "The Church is close to you in the search for a more dignified life for you and your families".  

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Pope calls Buenos Aires cathedral to remove statue of him
Author       Mon.dd, 2013


Pope Francis has asked that a statue in his likeness be removed from the gardens of the cathedral in his hometown of Buenos Aires, local media said Tuesday.


Newspaper Clarinreports that the pope - who has consistently shown little interest in the luxuries of his job - personally telephoned the Metropolitan Cathedral of Buenos Aires as soon as he heard it had been installed and asked that it be "removed immediately". That cathedral, which added the statue 10 days ago, had been his home church before Jorge Mario Bergoglio became the world's first Latin American pontiff in March. The statue was created by artist Fernando Pugliese, who had created other monuments dedicated to John Paul II and Mother Teresa. The question has now been raised as to whether the pope will allow Church leaders to open a museum in Argentina in honour of Francis.  


Vatican to be pressed for confidential records on clerical child sex abuse
Owen Bowcott          Jul.9, 2013

The Vatican is to face tough questioning by a United Nations committee over the Catholic church's record in tackling child sexual abuse by its clergy around the world.


detailed "list of issues" has been released by the Geneva-based Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) before the appearance of officials from the Holy See. The session is expected early next year.


The decision to ask senior Roman Catholic clerics to hand over confidential internal documents to such a high-profile inquiry marks a fresh initiative in the global debate over clerical abuse. It will present the new pontiff, Pope Francis, with a direct challenge to provide records of financial compensation given to victims of sexual abuse and disclose whether secret deals were made to preserve the church's reputation.


The UN committee's document is headed: "List of issues to be taken up in connection with the consideration of the second periodic report of the Holy See." Paragraph 11 of the CRC's document states: "In the light of the recognition by the Holy See of sexual violence against children committed by members of the clergy, brothers and nuns in numerous countries around the world, and given the scale of the abuses, please provide detailed information on all cases of child sexual abuse committed by members of the clergy, brothers and nuns or brought to the attention of the Holy See." 

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Pope criminalizes leaks, sex abuse in first laws
Nicole Winfield         Jul.11, 2013

Pope Francis overhauled the laws that govern the Vatican City State on Thursday, criminalizing leaks of Vatican information and specifically listing sexual violence, prostitution and possession of child pornography as crimes against children that can be punished by up to 12 years in prison.


The legislation covers clergy and lay people who live and work in Vatican City and is different from the canon law which covers the universal Catholic Church.


It was issued at a critical time, as the Vatican gears up for a grilling by a U.N. committee on its efforts to protect children under a key U.N. convention and prevent priests from sexually abusing them. The Vatican signed and ratified the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1990 yet only now - 23 years later - has it updated its legislation to reflect some of the treaty's core provisions.


The bulk of the Vatican's penal code is based on the 1889 Italian code, and in many ways is outdated. Much of the hodge-podge of laws passed Thursday - which range from listing crimes against humanity to the illicit appropriation of nuclear material - bring the Vatican up to date with the many U.N. conventions it has signed over the years.

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Singapore Catholic Church promises full abuse inquiry
AFP       Jul.10, 2013

The Roman Catholic church in Singapore has vowed to investigate any charges of sexual misconduct by its clergy after an Australian woman claimed she was abused by priests as a teenager in the city-state.


Singapore-born psychotherapist Jane Leigh, 36, said in an autobiography published last month that she had been sexually abused by two Catholic priests before she moved to Australia in 1995.

. . . .

"The church is deeply concerned with any report of alleged sexual misconduct by its clerics, staff and those who volunteer their services in the church," the archdiocese of Singapore said in a statement on its website Monday.


"The church will do all within its power to see that justice is served, not only by means of the laws of the land but as well as the laws of the church," it said.


It encouraged victims of abuse to file police reports if the acts are criminal in nature "so that the case can be dealt with appropriately through the justice system."

. . . .

The Catholic church in Singapore has so far avoided being dragged into the widespread sexual abuse scandals that first burst into the spotlight over a decade ago involving priests in several countries. 

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Attorney calls on Catholic Church to release child sex abuse info
Madeleine Baran       Jul.10, 2013

St. Paul attorney Jeff Anderson called Wednesday for the Catholic Church to release information on all priests in Minnesota with "credible allegations" of child sex abuse.

The request comes after the passage of the Child Victims Act in May, a new state law that gives victims of child sexual abuse more time to file lawsuits. Anderson's request also follows the release last week of thousands of pages of documents by the Milwaukee archdiocese about dozens of priests accused of sexually abusing children dating back decades.


Similar efforts by Anderson have failed in the past. However, the new state law may provide an opportunity to seek those names in court.


Anderson also announced that he has requested a Ramsey County District judge unseal a list of 33 priests that the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has identified as having credible allegations of abuse lodged against them. The list of names is already in court files from a previous lawsuit, but a judge sealed it. 

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More of the same in Milwaukee 
Bryan Cones Jul.3, 2013 

The much-anticipated release of documents related to sex abuse has revealed--exactly what we have come to expect from the this whole sorry affair. The most sensational news will surely be that current New York Archbishop and Cardinal Timothy Dolan moved some $57 million from diocesan accounts to cemetary trust funds to protect them from lawsuits. (Dolan has disputed the purpose of the transfer, but his request to the Vatican to transfer the funds stated that the purpose of the transfer was to protect them from legal liability.) Coverage also notes $20,000 payments to priests who were convinced to resign their orders voluntarily.

An NCR story quotes former Milwaukee Archbishop Rembert Weakland describing his dilemma regarding whether or when to make public allegations against priests: "There are a lot of things that when you make an assignment you don't disclose," he said, noting other problems such as alcohol abuse and financial troubles as other problems for some priests. Weakland also admitted treating priests accused of abuse differently from, say, a teacher: "There was a certain obligation that I had toward the priests that went beyond what I might have toward anyone else."

Milwaukee is merely another, repetitive chapter in this sorry, sordid tale of nondisclosure, clerical privilege, and insensitivity to victims that has characterized bishops' responses to instances of child sexual abuse. I remain convinced that part of their inclination to favor priest perpetrators is their relative lack of contact with families and children, exacerbated by seminary formation that does not include families and institutionalized by clerical celibacy. Both deserve review as part of continuing efforts to reduce instances of clerical sexual abuse and respond appropriately when an accusation arises.  



Archdiocese Of Milwaukee Documents 

Also see

Depositions and Priest Files

Proposal to lift statute of limitations for sex abuse victims 
Mike Lowe       Jul.4 2013

The release of 6,000 pages of documents revealing priest misconduct by the Archdioceses of Milwaukee has prompted state lawmakers to propose a bill temporarily lifting the statute of limitations.

John Pilmaier's story is depicted in those documents. He was abused by Fr. David Hanser in the second grade and due to the statute of limitations, Hanser will never face justice. Pilmaier strongly believes laws should be changed to protect victims, not predators.

"He took me to the rectory and pulled my pants down and fondled me," says Pilmaier. "He was able to elude justice because of the statute of limitations."

State law requires child abuse victims to file their cases before they turn 35, but a group of Democratic lawmakers is hoping to change that.

"The clock shouldn't be ticking when you're a child and you've been victimized," says Democratic State Senator Lena Taylor. "At the very least, we should want to make sure that people have a voice."  

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Church settles with Quebec sex-abuse victims
Sidhartha Banerjee      Jul.5, 2013

A judge has signed off on a landmark agreement to compensate victims of sex abuse that occurred for decades within a Roman Catholic organization in Quebec.

. . . .

The $18-million mediated settlement, the largest in Quebec and one lawyers have said could even be the largest ever in Canada, was officially enacted as Quebec Superior Court Justice Claude Auclair signed the agreement Wednesday.

. . . .

Victims will be paid by July 24 and will be awarded an indemnity ranging from $10,000 and $250,000, depending on the type of abuse they endured at three Quebec institutions. The agreement stems from an out-of-court mediated settlement, spurred by the threat of a class-action lawsuit. 

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Victims call for Pell to stand down
Barney Zwartz      Jul.1, 2013

Cardinal George Pell has failed Australia's 5 million Catholics as a religious and moral leader and must be told to stand down as Sydney Archbishop, according to a petition by a clergy sexual abuse victims' group to the Pope's Australian ambassador.


''Cardinal Pell is a spiritually impotent leader, a leader who presents no empathy, no moral judgment and no felt deep concern for victims, a leader who is avoiding responsibility for the immorality and sodomy that has been breeding in his house of God,'' says the petition to papal nuncio Archbishop Paul Gallagher.


''It is time for the Roman Catholic Church in Australia to change, and the starting point is for Cardinal George Pell to stand down. He is part of the problem, not the solution.''

The request by victims' advocacy group COIN comes asanother petition, launched last month by Sydney Catholic Bishop Geoffrey Robinson calling for a global church council to tackle the scourge of clergy sexual abuse, has passed 80,000 signatures.

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Child abuse inquiry: Whistleblower's credibility questioned 
Catherine Armitage       Jul.9, 2013 

The credibility of police whistleblower Detective Chief Inspector Peter Fox came under prolonged testing in the NSW inquiry into whether the police covered up child sexual abuse allegations against Catholic priests in the Hunter Valley.

Counsel assisting the inquiry, Julia Lonergan SC, quizzed Chief Inspector Fox on Tuesday as to why he doubted an "extraordinary" alleged admission by one priest, Father Des Harrigan, that he had owned and subsequently destroyed gay pornography.

The policeman has given evidence that he suspected videos and magazines found in a presbytery at Lochinvar in 2003 had belonged to Father James Fletcher.

Ms Lonergan put it to Chief Inspector Fox that he had no evidence that the material belonged to Fletcher. She also suggested Chief Inspector Fox had not kept an open mind when speaking with Father Harrigan, and as a result did not believe the priest's admission.  

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Vatican bank director, deputy resign amid scandal 
Nicole Winfield  Jul.1, 2013 


The director of the embattled Vatican bank and his deputy resigned Monday following the latest developments in a broadening finance scandal that already has landed one Vatican monsignor in prison and added urgency to Pope Francis' reform efforts.

The Vatican said in a statement that Paolo Cipriani and his deputy, Massimo Tulli, stepped down "in the best interest of the institute and the Holy See."

Mr. Cipriani, along with the bank's then-president, was placed under investigation by Rome prosecutors in 2010 for alleged violations of Italy's anti-money-laundering norms after financial police seized 23 million euros ($30 million) from a Vatican account at a Rome bank. Neither has been charged, and the money eventually was ordered released.

But the bank, known as the Institute for Religious Works, or IOR, has remained under the glare of prosecutors and now Francis amid fresh concerns it has been used as an offshore tax haven.

Last week, a Vatican accountant was arrested as part of Rome prosecutors' broadening investigation into the IOR. Monsignor Nunzio Scarano is accused of corruption and slander in connection with a plot to smuggle 20 million euros ($26 million) into Italy from Switzerland without reporting it to customs officials.  

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Vatican monsignor denied house arrest in $26M plot
Associated Press       Jul.5, 2013

The Vatican monsignor arrested in a 20 million euro ($26 million) money-smuggling plot has been denied house arrest.


A judge on Friday refused the request by Monsignor Nunzio Scarano's lawyers to let him await a decision on his fate in a monastery, ruling he must stay in Rome's Queen of Heaven prison. Attorney Silverio Sica said he would appeal. 

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Arrested Vatican prelate lived lush life in hometown
Philip Pullella      Jul.4, 2013

Even though he was known to like to live well, police said they were startled when they entered Monsignor Nunzio Scarano's apartment after he called them one night in January to report a burglary.


The apartment, in one of Salerno's most up-market neighborhoods in the city center, was huge, with art lining the walls and hallways divided by Roman-style columns.


Scarano, a Vatican official with close ties to the Vatican bank and who is now in Rome's Queen of Heaven jail, had called police to report that thieves had stolen part of his art collection.

. . . .

The investigators disclosed that the trove of stolen goods estimated to be worth up to 6 million euro ($7.82 million) included six works by Giorgio de Chirico, one by Renato Guttuso, one attributed to Marc Chagall and pieces of religious art.  

. . . .

The 700 square-meter (7,500 square feet) luxury apartment on Via Romualdo Guarna was not the only piece of property that Scarano owned, either alone or jointly. Investigators discovered that he was part owner of three Salerno real estate companies. 

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Vatican bank review commission should drop individuals' accounts 
Nicholas P. Cafardi     Jul.2, 2013


In the last few days, Pope Francis created, in a handwritten document, a five-person group to review the operations of the Vatican bank, whose real name is the Istituto per le Opere di Religione, or IOR for short. That group will have its hands full because, you see, Italian authorities arrested Msgr. Nunzio Scarano, a Vatican official, and charged him with attempting to use the Vatican bank as part of a scheme to avoid Italian fiscal control laws. He is currently a guest of the Italian government in Rome's Regina Coeli (Queen of Heaven) prison. 

. . . .

No matter how the Scarano affair plays itself out, I have some friendly advice for the new five-person commission who will be reviewing the Vatican bank for Pope Francis: There is no reason for any individual, be he priest, monsignor, bishop, cardinal or pope, to have an account there. As its real name implies, accounts at the Institute for the Works of Religion should be limited only to religious orders or other corporate bodies that actually do works of religion.  

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Holding the bank to account
Robert Mickens      Jul.6,  2013

First an inquiry announced, then an arrest, followed by major resignations. It has been quite a week at the Vatican Bank, the financial organisation that Pope Francis has in his sights. But can he and his allies really get to grips with what has been happening behind its closed doors and ensure transparency?

. . . . 

So what is likely to happen? Most people believe Pope Francis will move like a good Jesuit superior. He will listen to the suggestions from his cardinal-advisers, as well as the commission of inquiry and other officials at the IOR. Then he will make up his own mind. Among his options might be to restructure the IOR into a sort of credit union, perhaps with more international and less Italian oversight. Another possibility is that he could choose to divest the Holy See of its entire interest in the institute's ownership or management. In this case, perhaps he could even allow some Catholic group with a proven track record in financial operations (like the Knights of Columbus) to take control of the IOR. Of course, the most radical action that Papa Francesco could take would be to close the IOR all together and leave its clients to deposit their assets in regular banks.

Various cardinals and Vatican officials have said with assurance that closure is not an option. But they are the same people who think that the Pope will eventually move into the Apostolic Palace. 

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Chilean archbishop says pope will go to Africa, Asia next year 
Cindy Wooden       Jul.3, 2013 

Chilean Archbishop Ricardo Ezzati Andrello of Santiago told his people he hoped Pope Francis would visit Argentina on a South American tour in 2015, but he said the pope told him the 2014 trip schedule was already full.

Pope Francis will travel to meet Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, will make "another trip to Africa and another to Asia" in 2014, Archbishop Ezzati said in an interview published July 2 on his archdiocesan website.

The Vatican press office said it had no information to release on the pope's 2014 schedule.

Archbishop Ezzati said he spent 45 minutes talking with Pope Francis June 28 in the Domus Sanctae Marthae, the Vatican guesthouse where the pope lives.  

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U.S. bishops (finally) take a stand in favor of voting rights 
Scott Alessi       Jul.3, 2013

Just over a week after the Supreme Court issued its decision on the Voting Rights Act, the U.S. Catholic bishops have weighed in with a statement that takes a strong stand for the right of all American citizens to vote. Although their reaction didn't come nearly as swiftly as the response to the Supreme Court decision on the Defense of Marriage Act, the bishops' response on voting rights is a welcome reminder of the church's teaching on the importance of including all members of society in the voting process.


Signed by Bishops Stephen Blaire, chair of the bishops' Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, and Daniel Flores, chair of the Committee on Cultural Diversity, the statement calls for swift action from Congress to ensure that the right of all citizens to vote is protected in the wake of the court's decision. 

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Grant Gallicho     Jul.9, 2013

Last night the Catholic Health Association issued a memo to its members announcing that the final rules governing the Obama administration's contraception-coverage mandate are workable. In June of last year, CHA strongly criticized--as did the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops--the way the Department of Health and Human Services had attempted to accommodate the concerns of religious employers who objected to the mandate. The USCCB is still not (and may never be) happy with the rule. But CHA now believes HHS has addressed their concerns.


"It was important for our members to achieve resolution of this issue in time for them to negotiate their insurance renewals and with the assurance they would not have to contract, provide, pay or refer for contraceptive coverage," Sr. Carol Keehan, president of CHA, told me. "We are pleased that that has been achieved with this accommodation." 

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Archdiocese report unveils huge financial concerns 
Harold Brubaker      Jul.4, 2013 

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia on Wednesday reported a staggering $39.2 million loss for the year ended June 30, 2012, while disclosing unprecedented details about longterm financial deficits totaling $350 million. Even after stripping away millions in unusual expenses, including $11.9 million for legal and professional services related to the priest sex-abuse scandal and other issues, the archdiocese said its cash expenses 2012 still exceeded revenue by $17.4 million.


"It's not so simple to say our problems are related to the sexual-abuse crisis," Timothy O'Shaughnessy, chief financial officer for the archdiocese, said. "That is a serious issue, a very serious issue that I believe the church is taking more seriously now. "We've also had serious financial problems independent of the abuse crisis," said O'Shaughnessy, who became CFO in April 2012.

Somewhat more positive financial news could be on the horizon in the nation's sixth-largest diocese, which covers the five counties in Southeastern Pennsylvania and is home to nearly 1.5 million Catholics. Without going into detail, O'Shaughnessy said the loss for the fiscal year just ended Sunday is expected to be in the range of $6 million, after significant cuts that included the elimination of 45 jobs at archdiocesan headquarters, or 18 percent of the staff. The fiscal year that began Monday should show continued progress, he said, estimating that the loss for fiscal 2014 would be less than $5 million.  

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Churches welcome Morsi's ousting
Tablet      Jul.5, 2013

The head of the Coptic Church of Egypt, Pope Tawadros II, has praised the campaign that ousted the country's elected president and leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, Mohamed Morsi, on Thursday evening.


Pope Tawadros, the leader of the largest religious minority in Egypt, said that Egyptian people had recovered their "stolen revolution" - a reference to how the Arab Spring of 2011 had led to an increasingly hardline Islamist government.

. . . .

The Anglican Bishop of Egypt, Dr Mouneer Hanna Anis, also welcomed the overthrow, which he said was good news for Christians in the majority Muslim country. "At last, Egypt is now free from the oppressive rule of the Muslim Brotherhood," he said.
. . . . 

A Catholic priest based in Cairo described Thursday's events as a "happy end". He told The Tablet: "We could have had a terrible confrontation between the Muslim Brothers and the majority, and one day ago this was our fear. It didn't happen. I just spent two hours in town right now to see how it is. Everyone is celebrating the happy end of this political crisis."

. . . .

But the head of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the UK, Bishop Angaelos, warned that Egypt's first priority must be reconciliation and unity. He called on the country's new leaders to work to resolve "years of fragmentation, distrust, anger and resentment". 

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Coptic priest shot dead in Egypt attack
Yousri Mohamed, Paul Taylor       Jul.6 2013


Gunmen shot dead a Coptic Christian priest in Egypt's lawless Northern Sinai on Saturday in what could be the first sectarian attack since the military overthrow of Islamist President Mohamed Mursi, security sources said. 

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Catholic monk not beheaded by Syrian rebels, friar says 
Mohammed Jamjoom and Daniel Burke,     Jul.2, 2013

A Catholic monk was not among the men beheaded in a gruesome video circulating online, a friar who oversees Franciscans in the Middle East told CNN in an exclusive interview.

Father Franҫois Mourad, a Syrian, was shot eight times and killed June 23 at a Catholic monastery in Gassanieh, said Friar Pierbattista Pizzaballa, head of the Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land.


Mourad was buried the same day in a nearby village, the friar said.

A nine-minute video, which appears to have been shot with a handheld device, shows three men being beheaded on a grassy hill while a crowd shouts, "Allahu Akbar!" - Arabic for God is great. It is not clear where or when the video was shot.


A number of Catholic websites in the United States have posted the video online, saying that Mourad was among the three beheaded men. 

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Editorial: Criteria for choosing bishops can go one step further 
NCR Editorial Staff Jul.3, 2013 

"Meek and merciful": Does that sound like your bishop or the kind of bishop you hope might be appointed to your diocese? How'd you like a local ordinary you could describe as "gentle, patient ... animated by inner poverty ... and also by outward simplicity and austerity of life"? What would you think of a bishop who was not ambitious and wasn't looking for a bigger, more prestigious see? How about a bishop without "the psychology of princes"?

This is not a wish list from progressive Catholics. These are qualities that episcopal candidates should have, Pope Francis told a gathering of papal ambassadors June 21.   

. . . .

It would seem that Francis is looking for pastors who have a sense of joy about them and who can share that joy with others. He is looking for listeners who can attune themselves to the "plans which God brings about in his people." (Here's a translation of the pope's talk.)

Our hope is that the papal ambassadors heard and received Francis' message, and that they will keep this criteria in mind as they seek out episcopal candidates.

We would add just one thing. We would suggest that besides this set of criteria, the ambassadors also check with the people the new bishop will be serving. Last December, Benedictine Abbot Peter von Sury of Mariastein Abbey in Switzerland addressed the need for greater local consultation when selecting new bishops.

Von Sury said that during the first millennium, three authorities were decisive in nominating a new bishop to a diocese, namely, the local faithful, the local clergy and the neighboring bishops, which today would be the equivalent of the local bishops' conference.

"That is a procedure that makes sense," he said. We agree.  

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The Secular Society
David Brooks     Jul.8, 2013

I might as well tell you upfront that this column is a book report. Since 2007, when it was published, academics have been raving to me about Charles Taylor's "A Secular Age." Courses, conferences and symposia have been organized around it, but it is almost invisible outside the academic world because the text is nearly 800 pages of dense, jargon-filled prose.

. . . .

Taylor's investigation begins with this question: "Why was it virtually impossible not to believe in God in, say 1500, in our Western society, while in 2000 many of us find this not only easy but even inescapable?" . . . .


This story is usually told as a subtraction story. Science came into the picture, exposed the world for the way it really is and people started shedding the illusions of faith. Religious spirit gave way to scientific fact.


Taylor rejects this story. He sees secularization as, by and large, a mottled accomplishment, for both science and faith.
Advances in human understanding - not only in science but also in art, literature, manners, philosophy and, yes, theology and religious practice - give us a richer understanding of our natures. 
. . . .
But, Taylor continues, these achievements also led to more morally demanding lives for everybody, believer and nonbeliever. Instead of just fitting docilely into a place in the cosmos, the good person in secular society is called upon to construct a life in the universe. She's called on to exercise all her strength.

People are called to greater activism, to engage in more reform. Religious faith or nonfaith becomes more a matter of personal choice as part of a quest for personal development.
. . . .
People are now able to pursue fullness in an amazing diversity of different ways. But Taylor observes a general pattern. They tend not to want to live in a world closed off from the transcendent, reliant exclusively on the material world. We are not, Taylor suggests, sliding toward pure materialism. 

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Benedict XVI joins Pope Francis in consecrating Vatican to St Michael Archangel
Vatican Radio      Jul.5, 2013


To the joy of Vatican City State workers, Friday morning Pope Francis was joined by Pope emeritus Benedict XVI in the gardens for a ceremony during which the Holy Father blessed a statue of St Michael Archangel, at the same time consecrating the Vatican to the Archangel's protection. 

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Rome's new mayor meets with Pope. Arrives to the Vatican on his bicycle 
Rome Reports       Jul.4, 2013

Rome's new mayor, Ignazio Marino is known for using his bicycle as his means of transportation. That's something that was noted by Pope Francis, during their first official meeting. 

-Did your ride your bicycle here? Bravo! Good job. 
-My mother told me, you can't go see the Pope in your bicycle.
-But of course, you can!
-I told her, to go see this Pope, yes I can. 
-I like it!   

 Rome's new mayor meets with Pope. Arrives to the Vatican on his bicycle

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What would Jesus drive? Pope tells priests to buy "humble" cars
Catherine Hornby       Jul.6, 2013


Pope Francis said on Saturday it pained him to see priests driving flashy cars, and told them to pick something more "humble". 


As part of his drive to make the Catholic Church more austere and focus on the poor, Francis told young and trainee priests and nuns from around the world that having the latest smartphone or fashion accessory was not the route to happiness.


"It hurts me when I see a priest or a nun with the latest model car, you can't do this," he said. 

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Pope: Meditation, penance, studies won't bring you to the living Christ 
Carol Glatz       Jul.3, 2013 


The only way to truly touch the living Christ is through the tender care of his wounds in the poor, sick and outcasts of today, Pope Francis said.

Just as St. Thomas' life changed when he touched Jesus' wounds, people who lovingly care for the body and soul of those in need will see their lives transformed, too, the pope said July 3 during his morning Mass in the Domus Sanctae Marthae.

In his homily on the feast of St. Thomas, the pope said people have tried a number of ways to experience the living Christ and none is as effective and direct as encountering him through "his wounds. There's no other way."

"A refresher course" is useless for learning how to encounter the living God; all it takes is "getting out onto the street," the pope said, according to a report by Vatican Radio.   

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Pope Francis gets animated 
EuroNews       Jul.1, 2013


A fun four-minute video narrating the life of Pope Francis using cartoons and animation has been published by faith website Catholic Link. It has been launched with the intention of showing the Pontiff's life in a dynamic way 

 Meet Pope Francis (In 4 min.)

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Greensburg Bishop Anthony Bosco dead at 85 
Ann Rodgers       Jul.3, 2013 

Bishop Anthony Bosco, a North Side native who led the Diocese of Greensburg from 1987 to 2004, has died.

Bishop Bosco, 85, died unexpectedly at his home in Unity on Tuesday evening, said Jerry Zufelt, communications director for the Diocese of Greensburg. Funeral arrangements were not complete this morning.

Bishop Bosco, who was an auxiliary bishop of Pittsburgh from 1970-1987, was known for his acerbic wit and his efforts to bring the church into the digital age.  

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Homophobic Dominican Cardinal Facing Pedophilia Accusations In His Diocese
RJ Aguiar       Jul.6, 2013

Nicolás de Jesús López Rodríguez, a Catholic Cardinal from the Dominican Republic, is facing a great deal of controversy as of late. Cardinal de Jesus has recently come under fire for using a gay slur, "maricón" (which is generally translated to mean "faggot"), to refer to James "Wally" Brewster, Barack Obama's gay nominee for U.S. ambassador to the Caribbean nation.


Now, the Cardinal could potentially be facing even greater trouble, thanks to accusations of pedophilia taking place in his diocese, as well as evidence of a potential cover up.


Dominican Today has reported that the "Santiago Office of the Prosecutor on Wednesday announced it awaits the Immigration Agency to specify whether Catholic priest native of Poland, Wojciech (Alberto) Gil, accused of pedophilia by several families, left the country with another identity." Gil managed to flee the country after the accusations began to draw attention to the small village of Janico. Two minors from the village have also left the country, although it has not yet been determined whether they did so in the company of the priest.  

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Holy Cross Mentioned in Recent Episode of 'Jeopardy! 
Nikolas Markantonatos       Jul.3, 2013 

Quick: This nationally renowned, Jesuit liberal arts college has appeared on "Jeopardy!" 10 times.
If you responded with "What is Holy Cross?," that is correct, as host Alex Trebec might say.

On June 27, in the category of "Colleges With Mass. Appeal," Holy Cross was the question to the following answer: "This oldest Catholic college in New England is located in the wicked excellent city of Worcester."

It was the 10th time that Holy Cross has been part of either the answer or question in the longtime running quiz show, according to a "Jeopardy!" spokeswoman. Holy Cross was last featured on March 6.

Here is a complete list of Holy Cross references on the show, according to the J! Archive website 

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Italian "Vanity Fair" crowns Francis Man of the Year
Vatican Insider      Jul.9, 2013

Vanity FairThe July issue of the Italian edition of Vanity Fair magazine, on news stands tomorrow, has dedicated its front cover to Pope Francis, with the title"Francesco Papa Coraggio" (Francis Pope Courage) and his appeal for the forgotten immigrants who lost their lives trying to reach the southern Italian island of Lampedusa: "Chi ha pianto per la morte di questi fratelli e sorelle? Domandiamo al Signore la grazia di piangere sulla nostra indifferenza" ("Who cried for the deaths of these brothers and sisters? ... Let us ask the Lord for the grace to weep over our indifference").

According to Italian Vanity Fair, Pope Francis illustrated what he meant when he said "be shepherds who have the smell of their sheep" by visiting Lampedusa. He illustrated his message with powerful words and gestures.


"The Pope has only been in office for little more than a hundred days and he has already come top of the list of world leaders who have made history.

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New Translation of the
Roman Missal
Bishop: Address priests' dissatisfaction with Mass prayers 
Dan Morris-Young    Jul.2, 2013 

U.S. Catholic bishops "must take to heart" that the "vast majority" of U.S. priests are "extremely dissatisfied" with the current translation of the Roman missal, says the bishop who was responsible for the nation's liturgy policies for six years.

Liturgical celebrants find much of the new missal's language "flawed, awkward and clumsy," said Bishop Donald Trautman during an interview as he prepared to fly to Seattle, where the Association of U.S. Catholic Priests honored him with its Blessed Pope John XXIII Award during its national assembly June 24-27 at Seattle University.

Trautman served as chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on the Liturgy, now known as the Committee on Divine Worship.

He said he was "accepting the honor on behalf of all those who have struggled through the years" seeking "a lectionary and missal that are prayerful, understandable and proclaimable."

The recently retired bishop of Erie, Pa., said bishops "have to take note of the fact" that multiple studies have documented priests' "alarming" discomfort with translations used in celebration of Mass since November 2011, when the revised Sacramentary took effect in the United States.  

. . . .

Noting that discontent with Sacramentary translations is not as prevalent among the laity as with priests, the bishop said he was concerned Catholic worshippers "will become spectators again at the Eucharist" as they were in the time before the Second Vatican Council.

Emphasizing that liturgical language "must serve the hearer" and can suffer when "slavishly literal," Trautman said.

"Our Lord did not speak above the heads of his hearers," he said. "He used the language of the people."  

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Misguided Missal




NOTE:  Please sign the petition below, no later than Labor Day.  Then, on or about September 8th, a copy of this letter, along with all the signatures, will be sent by the Misguided Missal Team to Cardinal O'Malley.  This will allow him time to prepare for his meeting in October with Pope Francis, and his other seven newly appointed advisors.  Please make copies of this letter for anyone who does not use the internet or is otherwise unaware of our web site.  All are invited to sign it, pass it along, and send it to Cardinal O'Malley by September 8th.


September 8, 2013


Cardinal Sean Patrick O'Malley, O.F.M., Cap.
Archdiocese of Boston
66 Brooks Drive
Braintree, MA 02184-3839

Dear Cardinal O'Malley:

We, the undersigned, are writing to you because you are one of Pope Francis' eight newly appointed advisors. As laity and clergy who have had ample time to experience the new language and theology of the Third Edition of the Roman Missal, we wish to share our concerns regarding its effects in many of our communities. We speak for the many people who were inspired by the liturgical changes brought about by Vatican II and challenged to grow in faith, hope and commitment to Christ, to each other and to the world.


Vatican II taught us that the liturgical principle to be held above all others is the "full, conscious, and active participation by all" the People of God. We believe that the words we pray should lift our hearts and minds to the abundance of a loving and compassionate God, who feeds us through Word and Eucharist. We understand the power of proclaiming words that call us forth to be true disciples, bringing hope and joy, peace and comfort, healing and justice to a weary world. Experience has taught us that the language of liturgy should be "of noble simplicity," that is, clear, simple yet elegant, easily understood and spoken.


We fear that the new words and theology reflected in the Third Edition of the Roman Missal fall abysmally short of sound liturgical principles. By choosing to use words, rhythms and syntaxes which reflect Latin syntax but are foreign to the common use of English, the focus on celebration of the Eucharist and Christ's presence among us takes second place to an awkward, obedient recitation of words. Those assembled, both priest and laity, are too often left reciting language which is confusing, scripturally and theologically unsound and, at times, just plain silly. It does little to lift our hearts and minds in thanksgiving and praise to the God who made us, the Christ who saves us out of extravagant love, and the Holy Spirit who inspires us.


The new language found in the Third Edition has, too often, become a stumbling block for many of us, both priests and laity, who find the language demeaning, with its emphasis on human unworthiness. We have taken our dignity and responsibility as the baptized People of God seriously. The Word and the Eucharist have nourished us and called us to become that which we have received. Indeed, the Eucharist has become the sign and summit of our faith in Christ. Reducing our worship to an awkward, confusing recitation in the name of faithfulness to a language no longer spoken- indeed, to a Latin which was revised before the 2002 edition- is a denial of who we are as the People of God.


Eucharist and Christ's presence among us takes second place to an awkward, obedient recitation of words. Those assembled, both priest and laity, are too often left reciting language which is confusing, scripturally and theologically unsound and, at times, just plain silly. It does little to lift our hearts and minds in thanksgiving and praise to the God who made us, the Christ who saves us out of extravagant love, and the Holy Spirit who inspires us.


The new language found in the Third Edition has, too often, become a stumbling block for many of us, both priests and laity, who find the language demeaning, with its emphasis on human unworthiness. We have taken our dignity and responsibility as the baptized People of God seriously. The Word and the Eucharist have nourished us and called us to become that which we have received. Indeed, the Eucharist has become the sign and summit of our faith in Christ. Reducing our worship to an awkward, confusing recitation in the name of faithfulness to a language no longer spoken- indeed, to a Latin which was revised before the 2002 edition- is a denial of who we are as the People of God.


We, the undersigned, pray that you will make our concerns known to those in the Vatican who need to hear them. We feel that we are speaking not only for ourselves but those who have been silenced by fear and despair.


Sincerely yours, in Christ

 Sign the Petition

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Fr. Helmut Schüller, founder of the Austrian Priests' Initiative will be on a U.S. speaking tour this summer.  His "Call to Disobedience," signed by a majority of Austrian priests, has brought worldwide attention and momentum to addressing the crises in the Catholic Church. Today, he leads a practical movement that recognizes the Holy Spirit among the laity and the necessity of reforming church governance.   


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