Category Archives: Church (ecclesiology)

The Pope & his cardinals met today

the new cardinals.jpgBilled my some as extra-ordinary, but likely seen by insiders as ordinary, Pope Benedict met with his cardinals and the new cardinals –24 of them– he intends to make tomorrow, in a forum where information is exchanged and consultation given. The meeting of Pope and cardinals was conducted in the context of prayer. Prayer and exchange, not the making of decisions was the format. It is estimated that about 150 of the worlds 203 cardinals met today. Topics ranged from the sacred Liturgy and religious freedom, but also the exercise of religion, secularism, conversion and entering into full communion with the Catholic Church to healthcare. Since this is also the 10th anniversary of Dominus Iesus, the document which recalls that salvation comes uniquely and universally through the person of Jesus Christ, the Pope and cardinals will reflect on the impact this document has made since its publication.

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Some cardinals expressed their frustration and exhaustion over the sexual abuse crisis, but their feelings aside, this is a central issue that needs to be corrected right now. Certainly people are worn down by the continuous attention the sex abuse crisis has garnered, but the credibility of the Church to proclaim the Gospel of Salvation is at stake if the immoral actions of priests, bishops and laity is not dealt with in forthright manner. Pope Benedict is doing the hard work now, as he has done in the past, to clean up the moral rot found in the Church.
The Vatican Radio has a report.

Cardinals to pray & discuss about Dominus Iesus, sex abuse, Ordinariate for Anglicans wishing to be Catholic

cardinals2.jpgAnna Arco’s article online at the Catholic Herald (of the UK fame) reports that before the consistory of cardinals on November 20, during which the Pope will create 24 new cardinals there will be prayer, reflection and conversation about a number of things but three key topics will be the 10th anniversary of Dominus Iesus, sex abuse crisis and the Ordinariate for Anglicans who desire to enter into full communion the Catholic Church. Other issues to be discussed, but no less crucial to the life of the Church, are religious liberty and the sacred Liturgy.

Read Arco’s article, “Cardinals to discuss Church reactions to sexual abuse and the Ordinariate.” Don’t make the connection between the two issues. There’s no connection.

24 New Cardinals named by Pope Benedict today

cardinals.jpgThe Pope announced his intention to name 24 new cardinals of the Holy Roman Church today. The public consistory is scheduled for November 20 and it is at this ceremony that the Holy Father’s intention becomes official, becoming members of the College of Cardinals. The new cardinals will have their names in inscribed in the list of “Roman priests” who are deputed to elect the Bishop of Rome.

This is the third time the Holy Father has created cardinals since his becoming Pope in 2005. Previous consistories were in 2006 and 2007. The new cardinals reflect the various competences the Church relies upon to preach the Gospel and to serve the Church.

  • Italians

Archbishop Angelo Amato, SDB, Prefect of the Congregation of Saints

Archbishop Mauro Piacenza, Prefect of the Congregation of Clergy

Archbishop Fortunato Baldelli, Major Penitentiary

Archbishop Velasio De Paolis, CS, President of the Prefecture of the Economic Affairs of the Holy See

Archbishop Paolo Sardi, Vice-Chamberlain of the Apostolic Chamber and Patron of the Order of Malta

Archbishop Francesco Monterisi, Archpriest of the Basilica of Saint Paul outside the Walls

Archbishop Gianfranco Ravasi, President of the Pontifical Council of Culture

Archbishop Paolo Romeo, Archbishop of Palermo

  • North Americans

Archbishop Raymond Leo Burke,  Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of Apostolic Signatura

Archbishop Donald William Wuerl, Archbishop of  Washington, DC

  • Other Europeans

Archbishop Kurt Koch, President of the Pontifical Council for the Unity of Christians

Archbishop Reinhard Marx, Archbishop of Munich and Freising

Archbishop Kazimierz Nycz, Archbishop of Warsaw

  • Africa

Archbishop Robert Sarah (Guinea Conakry), President of  Cor Unum

Archbishop Medardo Mazombwe, Emertius Archbishop of Lusaka

Archbishop Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya, Archbishop of  Kinshasa

  • Asia

Archbishop Malcom Ranjith Patabendige Don, Archbishop of Colombo

  • Eastern Church

His Beatitude, Patriarch Antonio Naguib, Patriarch of Alexandria of the Copts 

  • South America

Archbishop Raymundo Damasceno Assis, Archbishop of Aparecida

Archbishop Raul Eduardo Vela Chiribogo, Emeritus Archbishop of Ecudor

  • The Over 80 Cardinals

Msgr. Domenico Bartolucci, Emeritus Master of the Sistine Chapel

Msgr. Walter Brandmüller, Emeritus President of the Pontifical Commission of Historical Sciences

Bishop Elio Sgreccia, Emeritus President of the Pontifical Academy of Life

Archbishop Jose Manuel Estepa Llaurens, Emeritus Ordinary of the Spanish Military


Read journalist John Allen’s analysis of the new cardinals: John Allen the new cardinals 2010.pdf

Synod of Bishops for the Middle East

The Synod of Bishops for the Middle East begins today. The importance of this particular Synod is given by NCR correspondent John Allen.
The Synod’s meeting is the result of requests of bishops and the pastoral visits of the pope to that part of the Church. The Christian minority in the Middle East needs our help.
The Synod is using Arabic for the first time as an official language and a rabbi and 2 Muslims are observers to the Synod.
The North American contingent to the Synod is quite substantial. See the list…

The Synod meets from October 10-24.

We beg the Holy Spirit to guide the work of the Pope, the bishops and other attendees.

Supporting Catholic Schools

This morning the Archbishop of Hartford, Henry J. Mansell hosted what has become the annual Columbus Day Breakfast to provide scholarship grants to students attending Catholic elementary schools in greater New Haven. The Archbishop assisted by the Foundation for the Advancement of Catholic Schools helped us to look with fresh eyes at the need for Catholic education in greater New Haven. I am very happy to have been invited to attend this morning’s breakfast.

Some thoughts though… It was a good networking opportunity but something was missing, the reason why we dragged ourselves out of bed to have breakfast with people vaguely known but connected through our concern for Catholic education: Jesus Christ and our friendship with Him. While we are all very grateful for the $60K raised for Catholic elementary students, the absence of noting who sustains our efforts and why we are at all interested in Catholic education was for me problematic. Do-gooders are well-meaning; they can be helpful and advancing a good mission such as education. Yet, as I mentioned to a friend, I don’t care about Catholic education or any other program if we’re not helping each other seek a relationship with Jesus and try to live as Catholics (Christians, if you will). It is not a “what” that sustains our efforts in education but a “who” –it is Jesus Christ. “Remember Him,” I’d like to say?
I agree that “An education would be most impoverished if it were limited to providing notions and information and neglected the important question about truth, especially that truth which can be a guide in life” (Benedict XVI, January 21, 2008). That truth is none other than unique offer of love and salvation given to us by the Lord. It is the pursuit of Truth that makes education, formal or informal, worth it. Everything else pales. 
Anthony Cernera, President of Sacred Heart University (Fairfield, CT) spoke well of remembering the past and dreaming for the future. When we remember the past we hold in ourselves an attitude of gratitude for graces received. When we dream we look forward in hope for realization of the desires of the heart given by God Himself. If the Church is correct, then those who believe in Christ are obligated to hope, to live concretely in the present yet looking to the fulfillment of the promises God has made personally with each of us. Catholic education is indeed in a difficult place today with the great divorce of remembering and dreaming, faith and reason, and faith and justice. SO, yes, support Catholic education because as Mansell said, “Our schools not only provide a rigorous curriculum, but also an education for a lifetime….”

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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