Category Archives: Church (ecclesiology)

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

Read more ...

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.

The story

Slow, deliberate steps of renewal for Legion of Christ

The eyes of many are looking for signs of renewal, restructuring, reform of the Legion of Christ following the very unsavory revelations of the founder’s life as a priest and sexual and financial abuses. Father Marcial Maciel founded the Congregation of the Legion of Christ in 1941, died in 2008. There was a papal takeover in 2009 with Cardinal Velasio De Paolis, CS, as the Pope’s delegate. In February, the Legion will be begin a several year series of community-wide conversations and the “revision process.” The saga continues; wounds not yet healed; suffering not yet connected with the Sacrifice of the Cross.

Recent news of the Legion is here, here and here.

João Bráz de Aviz of Brasilia named by Pope as Prefect of Religious

João Bráz de Aviz of Brasilia.jpgPope Benedict XVI named today João Bráz de Aviz, 63, Archbishop of Brasilia, as the new Prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life  (AKA Congregation of Relgious), replacing Franc Cardinal Rode, CM.

Archbishop Bráz de Aviz’s family is Portugese and German. He is not a religious (and to hold the job it is not a prerequisite to be a vowed religious) but he was educated at a PIME seminary and he’s friendly with Focolare, even overseeing the beatification process for Focolare member Ginetta Calliari. At the service of the Pope at the Holy See, Bráz de Aviz is the second Latin American among the current leaders of one of the central offices.
Archbishop João Bráz de Aviz has been a bishop for nearly 17 years and has served as such in 4 dioceses, three of them as the Diocesan Ordinary.
Many consider Archbishop João Bráz de Aviz to be personable, reliable, discrete, relatively traditional and is not known to have a penchant for religious life (considered so because he’s not one). In short, he’s an outsider to much of the Vatican politics. What he’s connected to are the lay ecclesial movements which is also something Pope Benedict –and John Paul before him– is also very interested in.

Legion of Christ orders changes

Legion of Christ logo.JPG

The Legion of Christ in recent days has been making some changes to its way of proceeding. The other day, for example, the pontifical delegate Cardinal Velasio de Paolis, CS, named the committee that will examine and re-write the congregation’s constitutions (Fathers Gianfranco Ghirlanda, SJ, Agostino Montan, CSI, and 4 LC priests –Roberto Aspe Hinojosa, Anthony Bannon, José García Sentandreu and Gabriel Sotres).
On December 6 but made public on the 11th, a decree was sent to the order’s superiors regarding the following:
  • a new way of referring to Father Marcial Maciae: either as “the founder of the Legion of Christ & Regnum Christi” or just “Father Maciel”;
  • photos of Father Maciel in public places are to be removed but given personal freedom, individuals are free to keep his image privately;
  • no dates concerning Father Maciel will be celebrated; the date of his death with be a day of prayer;
  • Father Maciel’s writings and talks will not be for sale in any of the congregation’s houses or works but a preacher may use Maciel’s works appropriately;
  • the place of internment of Father Maciel will be treated as a place of burial, nothing else;
  • retreat centers in Cotija will be places of prayer, reparation  and expiation of sin.

The Associated Press is running this story today, which does add more to the news release of the congregation but it does show the news is getting around.

As always, we beg the Holy Spirit to guide the seminarians in the discernment to follow the Lord in the vocation given.

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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