Category Archives: Church (ecclesiology)

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
Congress,

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.

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]yahoo.com.
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