Category Archives: Church (ecclesiology)

Severed from dependence & completion in God we forget about our eternal destiny in communion with God, Pope reminds Filipino bishops

The Philippines is the most populous Catholic nation in Asia. We ought to be aware that the Catholic faith has been in the Philippines for 5 centuries now!!!!

These days, among the many things Benedict XVI is doing, he’s meeting with the Filipino bishops who are praying at the tombs of Saints Peter and Paul, all in an effort to strengthen the bond of unity between the universal Church and the Church in the Philippines. This is the second group of bishops from the Philippines led by Archbishop Palma of Cebu, is in Rome for the ad Limina. A third group will begin their visit on the 21st. Benedict addresses the body the bishops and also meets individually with each bishop. Every 5 years a bishop who heads a diocese is to make a pilgrimage to Rome to pray, to visit with the pope to report on the state of evangelization of the local church and to visit with the various departments at the Holy See. A quinquennial report is sent ahead of a bishop’s visit to the Eternal City so that the pope can study the good and areas of need of a particular diocese. It is the expectation that the ad Limina Apostolorum, to the threshold of the Apostles, helps in the transparency in bishop’s concern for the salvation of souls. What Benedict told the Filipino bishops today is appropriate for us here in the USA. A portion of the text is given below with my notations for emphasis.

OL Lourdes at St Peter's.jpg

Filipino culture is also confronted with the more
subtle questions inherent to the secularism, materialism, and consumerism of
our times. When self-sufficiency and freedom are severed from their dependence
upon and completion in God, the human person creates for himself a false
destiny and loses sight of the eternal joy for which he has been made
. The path
to rediscovering humanity’s true destiny can only be found in the
re-establishment of the priority of God in the heart and mind of every person.

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Still at the beginning of a papacy

RFisichella.jpgIn some comments made of a book on the papacy of Benedict XVI, Archbishop Rino Fisichella said that at the beginning of every pontificate the new pope and the Church face certain challenges that are normal. As Fisichella, the head of the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelization reminded his audience, we’re only 6 years into Benedict’s ministry as the head of the Catholic Church. None of the things that blotted the pope’s copybook (that is, have caused the Pope to expend political capitol) are new and that extraordinary; change is always needed in the Church moving to a new administration. All of the recent popes have had to deal the growing pains of transitioning from pontificate to another. In Fisichella’s interpretation, and I concur, the central issue of Benedict’s work is one of formation, a new education in the faith of all the faithful, including the higher and lower clergy. However, I do think that some of the people that work directly or indirectly at the Holy See have not been as helpful as they possibly could be so as not to have Benedict kicked by the secular media at every “major” event.

Legion of Christ forms commission on Maciel, expands Council

Legion of Christ logo.jpgThe ongoing reforms for the Legion of Christ to make it more user- friendly continue to be rolled out. The efforts of the Legion’s leadership which is overseen and directed by the papal delegate Cardinal Velasio De Paolis, CS, established a more transparent set of procedures by forming a commission to give objective results on legitimate concerns (see this link for detailed contact info) in dealing with Marciel Maciel’s sordid past in a honest and charitable manner. The Cardinal also expanded the superior general’s council (a set of advisors) from 4 to 6.

Dolan writes to Members of the 112th Congress

Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan’s letter to Members of the 112th Congress speaks for itself. As he notes, US Catholics are the largest religious body in the USA. 68 million, 22% of the US population. There are 195 archdioceses and dioceses with one apostolic exarchate. Other interesting statistics can be found here.

Dear Member of

Abp Timothy M.Dolan NY & USCCB Pres.jpg

As a new Congress begins, I write to congratulate you and to outline
principles and priorities that guide the public policy efforts of the United
States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). As President of the Bishops’
Conference, I assure you of our prayers and hopes that this newly elected
Congress will advance the common good and defend the life and dignity of all,
especially vulnerable and poor persons whose needs are critical in this time of
difficult economic and policy choices. We continue to seek ways to work
constructively with the Administration and the new Congress and others of good
will to pursue policies which respect the dignity of all human life and bring
greater justice to our nation and peace to our world.

As bishops, of course we
approach public policy not as politicians but as pastors and teachers
. Our
moral principles have always guided our everyday experience in caring for the
hungry and homeless, offering health care and housing, educating children and
reaching out to those in need. We lead the largest community of faith in the
United States
, one that serves every part of our nation and is present in
almost every place on earth. From our experience and our tradition, we offer a
distinctive, constructive and principled contribution to the national dialogue
on how to defend human life and dignity, promote and protect marriage and
family life, lift up those who experience economic turmoil and suffering, and
promote peace in a world troubled by war and violence

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Problems with the NeoCats? Are changes in the Neocatechumenal Way coming, too???

Neocatechumenal Way Bishop Tarcisio Isao Kikuchi SVD_CNA_World_Catholic_News_1_14_11.jpegProblems with the Neocatechumenal Way? There seems to be problems with the NeoCats with some of the bishops in Japan to the point that mediator is being appointed. You will recall that the Holy See asked the NeoCats to conform their liturgical ceremonies –Mass included– to what the Church teaches and expects. They did an odd ceremonial for Mass and claimed some sort of historical precedence. In a church with 2000 years of history, there’s precedent for everything. Plus, they’ve been accused of setting parallel church structures in the parishes where they have a following. I have to say, I think the Church ought to listen to the Japanese bishops. Some of the problems with the NeoCats sound similar to those with the Regnum Christi when talk like “cult like” sensibilities. Also, with lots in the high placed churchmen supporting the work and life of the NeoCats it will difficult to unravel some facts from fiction. This was also true of the Legionaries of Christ.

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About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]
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