- Monday, 06 February 2012 15:45
Today, in Rome,
there is a Gregorian University sponsored Symposium entitled “Towards Healing
and Renewal.” It is a four day gathering of professionals and clergy-types who
have responsibility for working with victims and family members of sexual
abuse. While not personally in attendance, Pope Benedict XVI was present
through his personal message sent to participants and with the presence of
several cardinals and bishops, Including William Cardinal Levada, 76, Prefect of
the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Cardinal Levada’s address, “The
Sexual Abuse of Minors: A Multi-faceted Response to the Challenge,”
The Pope’s message iterates in this context, as he has done in the
past, his hope and life’s work that “healing for abuse victims must be of
paramount concern in the Christian community,” with “a profound renewal of the
Church at every level.” Further, he “supports and encourages every effort to
respond with evangelical charity to the challenge of providing children and
vulnerable adults with an ecclesial environment conducive to their human and
spiritual growth” and he urges the participants in the Symposium “to continue
drawing on a wide range of expertise in order to promote throughout the Church
a vigorous culture of effective safeguarding and victim support.”
Abuse of Minors: A Multi-faceted Response to the Challenge Toward Healing and
Renewal” is the title given to this Symposium for Catholic Bishops and
Religious Superiors on the Sexual Abuse of Minors. For leaders in the Church
for whom this Symposium has been planned, the question is both delicate and
urgent. Just two years ago, in his reflections on the “Year for Priests” at the
annual Christmas greetings to the Roman Curia, Pope Benedict XVI spoke in
direct and lengthy terms about priests who “twist the sacrament [of Holy
Orders] into its antithesis, and under the mantle of the sacred profoundly
wound human persons in their childhood, damaging them for a whole lifetime.” I
chose this phrase to begin my remarks this evening because I think it important
not to lose sight of the gravity of these crimes as we deal with the multiple
aspects the Church’s response.
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- Wednesday, 14 September 2011 13:20
The Vatican office organizing the “talks” between the Holy See and the Society of Saint Pius X issued a press release going over some of the areas of concern between the two. William Cardinal Levada, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith met today for two hours with Bishop Bernard Fellay. Among the issues presented and discussed was the set of principles called the “Doctrinal Preamble” which is outlining the ecclesial solution of bringing the SSPX into full communion with the Catholic Church. Some are thinking that the pastoral solution might be akin to that of a personal prelature like what the Opus Dei is in the Church.
The Doctrinal Preamble gives canonical and ecclesiological guidance for life in the Church, including principles for interpreting Church teaching since the Second Vatican Council, namely ecumenism, interreligious dialogue, religious freedom and the sacred Liturgy. This is understood in the saying: thinking (feeling) with the Church” (sentire cum ecclesiae).
No deadline was given but it is understood that a period of a two to three months is given to understand and pray about the issues at hand. It has been 21 years since the SSPX broke with Catholic Church.
Read the Vatican Radio’s announcement about the meeting
- Monday, 16 May 2011 07:36
The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith delivered a circular letter to the world’s bishops asking for help in working for the common good of the faithful –protecting children from abusive priests. The CDF wants each of the bishops’ conferences around the globe to develop the appropriate processes assist the diocesan bishops in helping victim, educating the ecclesial community, forming priests, and being clear agents of charity and justice.
- Thursday, 05 May 2011 08:08
The Pontifical Biblical Commission is a group of theologians and scriptural scholars who help the Pope and the teaching mission of the Church exploring particular questions and concerns about the nature and reality of divine revelation and Christian life. The PBC is meeting this week in Rome led by Cardinal William J. Levada, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith; the theme is “Inspiration and Truth of the Bible.” Interesting. Did we forget that the sacred Scriptures were inspired by the Holy Spirit? One way of figuring out why something is important to the Pope or to sacred Magisterium is to be aware of the work done by these commissions. So, yes, there seems to be skepticism among the faithful that the Scriptures are revealed by God through the agency of human language. Recall, however, this is not the first time in salvation history that the Church has had to deal with this question: think of the various heresies from the early Church, the Renaissance, Reformation, and Enlightenment periods and even with the extreme use of the historical critical method of Scripture study. His Holiness reminds not only the professionally trained scholars but all of us that there can be in no way a reduction in how we interpret the Bible.
Here are the key points of what Benedict said to the PBC:
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