DOCAT, A CATECHISM OF CATHOLIC SOCIAL DOCTRINE FOR YOUTH

Yesterday, October 24, Pope Francis gave the young people who are auditors at the 2018 synod a copy of Docat. If the name is new to you, don’t worry – it’s new to a lot of people but not to those who attended the 2016 World Youth Day in Krakow, Poland.

Listen here to Pope Francis explain his dream: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fB_eIm3X6tU

And now read the following report put together by Catholic World Report when Docat was revealed at the 2016 WYD.

DOCAT, A CATECHISM OF CATHOLIC SOCIAL DOCTRINE FOR YOUTH

(Catholic World Report, July 2016)

DOCAT, says Pope Francis in the Introduction, “it is like a user’s manual that helps us to change ourselves with the Gospel first, and then our closest surroundings, and finally the whole world.”


DOCAT, the follow-up and companion volume to the popular YOUCAT (Youth Catechism), was officially released yesterday at World Youth Day 2016 in Kraków, Poland.

DOCAT (pronounced “do-cat”) is a popular adaptation of the social doctrine of the Catholic Church that draws on Scripture, YOUCAT, the Catechism and the Compendium of Catholic Social Teaching, and features a foreword by Pope Francis (see below). As part of the release, a DOCAT app has been made available to all World Youth Day participants. The app helps readers to start groups, participate in discussions, and do acts of justice as a present to the pope, who, in writing the foreword to DOCAT, shared his dream with youth on how to change the world.

DOCAT is published and available in North America through Ignatius Press, which offers this description of the accessible, Q&A-formatted volume:

DOCAT is written with help from church and business leaders, social activists and young people in a popular Q-and-A, YOUCAT style that guides young people in conscience formation and Catholic action on social and political issues. It shows Catholics how to apply Gospel values to poverty, imbalance of wealth, employment and unemployment, the use of natural resources and environmental concerns, terrorism, immigration and abortion, among other topics.

DOCAT features inspirational and insightful quotes from Catholic leaders and saints, including St. Pope John Paul II, Mother Teresa, Pope Francis and Pope Benedict; excerpts from Francis’ magisterial teaching; and important statements from his immediate predecessor regarding the four principles of Catholic social teaching: the dignity of the human person, the common good, subsidiarity and solidarity.

“DOCAT answers the question: ‘What should we do [as Catholics]?’; it is like a user’s manual that helps us change ourselves with the Gospel first, and then our closest surroundings, and finally the whole world,” says Pope Francis in the foreword of DOCAT. “For with the power of the Gospel, we can truly change the world.”

Mark Brumley, President of Ignatius Press, states in a recent interview with Fathers For Good that DOCAT “shows young people how to use Catholic social teaching — which is really the gospel lived in society in a consistent way — in their daily lives and in their life aspirations.” He explains that the volume will help young people become what they are called to be: “enthusiastic, well-formed and well-informed disciples of Jesus, acting by the power of the Spirit.”

Ignatius Press has also co-published, with the Augustine Institute, The DOCAT Study Guide, which is an aid for using the DOCAT in a classroom setting, at home, or in small groups.

An 8-page, full-color flyer offering details about DOCAT and the Study Guide is available in PDF format from the Ignatius Press website.

SYNOD OF BISHOPS: GOD IS AN ABSTRACT THOUGHT FOR THE YOUNG

If you want to spend some very special time understanding the synod with Bishop Robert Barron or in some of the Eternal City’s beautiful churches via his video team, go here for some marvelous videos! https://wof.digital/synod2018/#updates

SYNOD OF BISHOPS: GOD IS AN ABSTRACT THOUGHT FOR THE YOUNG

Although many young people attend mass and go to confession, and despite 12 years of catechism, God still remains an abstract thought for them, a bishop says at Wednesday’s press briefing.
By Russell Pollitt, SJ (vaticannews)

On Wednesday the Synod Fathers discussed the draft of the final document of the Synod of Bishops on Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment. A letter to young people, from the Synod, was also read out in the General Assembly. It is expected that the letter will be read at the closing Mass of the Synod on Sunday, 28 October.

Full Churches but what happens outside?
Bishop Andrew Nkea Fuanya of Cameroon said that parishes in Africa are full, there is not enough space to contain all the young people. The problem is that after joyful celebrations – sometimes lasting a number of hours – young people leave and enter a world of unemployment, no medical care, high rates of poverty and war situations.
The Bishop said that the understanding of family in Africa was still very strong. He said that traditional values correspond to values in the Church. They are passed on from generation to generation, youth still follow their elders.

Asked why he thought the Church in Africa was thriving, he said that he believes that it is because community is at the heart of African life. The Bishop said that in Africa they fight the “in-creeping” of individualism. He said that once people lock themselves up in big houses and build high walls then community and connection are lost. The Church as community and family is very strong in Africa. If this is lost, then the Church will empty out.

He also noted that the Church must speak in unambiguous language, tell young people the truth. It is important that the truth is not watered down, he added, especially about delicate topics.

God is an abstract idea
Archbishop Grzegorz Ryś of Poland said that it is not that Poland’s parishes are empty, to the contrary. He said that about 50 percent of young people go to Church and seek confession regularly. This, however, does not necessarily mean that they know Jesus. He said that for many youngsters God is an abstract idea after 12 years of catechism. He said that young people know little about faith. He went on to explain that if you ask young people about values they say that family is a value; faith is, sadly, way down the list. Family is important because of the relationships. He used the example of religious feasts like Christmas and Easter. Young people see these as significant “family events” and not as religious occasions. He added that this is not a judgement but something important to take note of.

Accompanying the young as they make existential decisions
Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Germany said that Pope Francis has decided to use Synods as part of a global process and way of moving the Church forward. The Cardinal said that looking at young people between the ages of 15-28 was key because this is when they are making existential decisions. He said that they are at a sensitive age and one that the Church must understand. He said that accompaniment at this time was crucial because if they are not well accompanied then the Church will be a lost playing field for evangelisation.

Women
Asked about the role of women in the Church, Cardinal Marx said that without change and development one can never make any progress. The question of women’s roles in the Church is important for the whole Church. He said that women need to be given real participation in the Church’s decision-making processes. In some place this is already happening. The Cardinal said that 30 years ago he too may have been opposed to this but, he said, “thank God I didn’t get stuck there!”

The Cardinal said that the Church must understand the evolution of time and the development of women’s equality. He said that this is a gift that God gives the Church in the light of the Gospel. We would be foolish if we did not make use of the potential that women have. Thank God we are not that stupid, the Cardinal added.

Sexuality should not be exploited for ideological reasons
Asked about the use of the acronym LGBTI in the final document, Bishop Nkea said that we must be careful of the language we use. He said that the Church is the only voice that is opposed to certain ideologies. He said that there were programmes that require pro-abortion policies in order to receive aid. This cannot be accepted. The Bishop said that he would not be in favour of the acronym “LGBTI” being used in the final document. He said that 99.9 percent of young people in his diocese would not know what that means. He said that if the acronym was used in the document, he would have to take time to become conversant with something he is not familiar with so that he can explain it to others.

Cardinal Marx was asked about sexual orientation and the way that the German Church has handled this. He said that sexuality is being discussed at the Synod but that this is not a Synod on sexuality. It is being dealt with in the dimension of accompaniment. He said that there are lobbies from all different sides wanting to have their agenda heard. He warned against those who use sexuality to exploit it for ideological reasons. He said that the Church needs to use a language that is understandable to everyone, one that accompanies and does not homogenise cultures. He said that this Synod is not about language but about accompanying the young as best as the Church can. He said that, for Jesus, sexuality is one dimension of the whole person and not the whole person.

Commenting on sexual abuse, Cardinal Marx said that this was brought back into focus in Germany just before Synod. He said that it has been discussed at the Synod and that a change of attitude is necessary. He added that abuse was also an abuse of power, as Pope Francis has said many times.

POPE FRANCIS REMOVES BISHOP HOLLEY FROM DIOCESE OF MEMPHIS – THE SIXTH COMMANDMENT IS A CALL TO FIDELITY, LOYALTY IN RELATIONSHIPS – POPE FRANCIS AND “SHARING THE WISDOM OF TIME”: AN ALLIANCE BETWEEN GENERATIONS

I posted a note you might find interesting at the end of the first story about the Pope removing Bishop Martin Holley from his diocese – how the Vatican used to announce resignations and how it is done now.

About the third story: I’d like to think that every grandchild might find time to sit down with their grandparents (or their great Aunts and Uncles!) to listen to their stories and to ask questions: What was life like then you were a child? Were your parents (or grandparents) born in America or did they come from another country? Did you learn another language at home? Was religion important on your home and family? What was your church? Did you know priests and nuns as you grew up? What was school like? How were holidays celebrated? Your favorite moments as a child? Favorite foods? Favorite friends? teachers? sports and games? vacations? How did you live without social media? Did you have television? What hobbies did you have? How did your parents discipline you? Did you need discipline? And so on…..Sharing the Wisdom of Time…

POPE FRANCIS REMOVES BISHOP HOLLEY FROM DIOCESE OF MEMPHIS

A statement released by the Holy See Press Office on Wednesday revealed that Pope Francis has removed Bishop Martin D. Holley from the pastoral care of the diocese of Memphis in the United States.

The statement also said Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville has been appointed as temporary apostolic administrator to oversee the diocese until further notice.

The removal follows a Vatican investigation into the Diocese of Memphis in June to address concerns about major changes Bishop Holley had made.

Holley was installed as Bishop of Memphis in October 2016 after serving as Auxiliary Bishop of Washington, D.C. for 12 years.

CNA/EWTN News noted that, “the removal follows a Vatican investigation into the Diocese of Memphis in June to address concerns about major changes Bishop Holley, 63, had made. Among these was the reassignment of up to two-thirds of the 60 active priests in the diocese, according to local media reports.

The apostolic visitation, as it is called, was carried out by Archbishop Wilton Gregory of Atlanta and Archbishop Bernard Hebda of Saint Paul and Minneapolis. They spent three days “fact-finding” in the diocese, including conducting interviews with Memphis-area clergy and laypeople, according to Memphis newspaper The Commercial Appeal.

The outcome of the apostolic visitation has not been made public.

In a letter to his priests in June, reported on by The Commercial Appeal, Holley said: “Many of you may have read, seen or heard news this week that an apostolic visitation was made to our diocese. We are respectful of the confidentiality of the apostolic nunciature’s process and are thankful that some of you were invited to participate in that process.”

*** (JFL) What I have found interesting for quite some time is how the Vatican presents the resignation of a bishop compared to how we announced them when I worked at VIS, Vatican Information Service. The daily news stories came to VIS from the Secretariat of State via the Holy See Press Office. One of the young men at the press office front desk always brought us copies of that day’s papal speech or homily or some other document, including lists of nominations and resignations.

In a column entitled “Other Pontifical Acts” (namely, appointments and resignations) a resignation was presented in one of two ways:

OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS
Vatican City, date (VIS) – The Holy Father:

– Accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of ABC, Germany, presented by Bishop XYZ in accordance with canon 401 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law.

– Accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of ABC, Hungary presented by Bishop XYZ upon having reached the age limit.

We presented a resignation as it came to us from the Secretariat of State and it was based on Canon 401 of the Code of Canon Law. In early years, we specifically noted the Canon, ie, Bishop So and So resigned in accordance with Canon 401, Para 1, having reached the age limit of 75.

OR: Bishop So and So resigned in accordance with canon 401 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law, that is, he is “less able to fulfill his office because of ill health or some other grave cause.”

CANON 401 §1. A diocesan bishop who has completed the seventy-fifth year of age is requested to present his resignation from office to the Supreme Pontiff, who will make provision after he has examined all the circumstances.

§2. A diocesan bishop who has become less able to fulfill his office because of ill health or some other grave cause is earnestly requested to present his resignation from office.

No reference is made any more to this Canon when the Vatican announces resignations. Interesting…..

Want to see two decades of VIS stories: http://visnews-en.blogspot.com/

THE SIXTH COMMANDMENT IS A CALL TO FIDELITY, LOYALTY IN RELATIONSHIPS

Pope Francis Wednesday at the general audience continued his catechesis on the Ten Commandments, reflecting this week on the Sixth Commandment: “You shall not commit adultery.” He said the primary call of this Commandment is a call to fidelity and loyalty in our relationships.


We cannot love another only as long as it is convenient, he said. True love for another is revealed in fidelity, which is a characteristic of “free, mature, responsible human relationships.” Even in friendships we see that a true friend is one who is there for us even in trials.

This speaks to a real human need: the need to be loved without conditions. Without this kind of love, the Pope said, we feel incomplete, even if we often don’t recognise it. When that love is lacking, we seek to feel the emptiness within us with substitutes, which are only a reflection of true love.

So, the Pope said, we can find ourselves overestimating the value of physical attraction. Attraction is a gift from God, but it is ordered to a faithful and authentic relationship with the other person. Quoting Saint John Paul II, Pope Francis said we must learn, “with perseverance and consistency, the meaning of the body.”

“The call to married life,” Pope Francis continued, “requires an accurate discernment of the quality of the relationship,” including a suitable period of preparation. This cannot simply be a few meetings of “marriage prep” at the parish, but rather a true catechumenate. And it must be based, not simply on good will, or a vague hope that “things will work out,” but on the faithful love of God.

The Pope said that the Sixth Commandment helps us understand that fidelity is a “way of being, a style of life.” Fidelity, based on the faithfulness of Christ, must enter into our whole life, so that it permeates all our thoughts and actions.

For this to happen, the fidelity of God must enter our lives. Christ’s fidelity “can take from us an adulterous heart and give us a faithful heart,” Pope Francis said. Only He can help us to give ourselves completely, without “parentheses,” and with fidelity to the very end. Our communion with Him, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, is the source of communion among ourselves, and helps us to faithfully live our commitments to one another.

POPE FRANCIS AND “SHARING THE WISDOM OF TIME”: AN ALLIANCE BETWEEN GENERATIONS

A new book published by Loyola Press highlights the wisdom of the elderly, their experiences and their insights as fundamental contributions to society. In the preface to the book, written by Pope Francis, he calls for an alliance between the young and the old to help counter the culture of waste.
By Linda Bordoni (vaticannews)

Pope Francis asked young and elder people to join forces to make the world a better place. Answering questions during a book launch at the Augustinianum Institute in Rome, the Pope invited young people to listen and to bond with their elders in an effort to counter a culture of waste, a growing indifference to the plight of migrants and refugees, and a dangerous resurgence of populism that spurns hatred and intolerance.
The event, dubbed as an “intergenerational conversation” presented a book published by Loyola Press and curated by Jesuit Father Antonio Spadaro, entitled “Sharing the Wisdom of Time”.

The book contains stories gathered from elderly persons from all over the world. Its inspiration comes from Pope Francis himself who repeatedly expresses his belief that the young can only sink roots into the soil of tradition through their relationships with the elderly.

The 175-page book fleshes out what Pope Francis said he feels “the Lord wants me to say: that there should be an alliance between the young and old people.”

In the preface, written by the Pope, he explains this alliance entails sharing the experiences of older people, heeding their advice and creating a strong bond with the new generations who are hungry for guidance and support as they prepare for their future.

“Sharing the Wisdom of Time” offers a collection of stories and wisdom from older people from 30 countries and from every walk of life.

The stories are organized in five thematic chapters: work, struggle, love, death and hope, and each chapter begins with the Pope reflecting on each theme.

Speaking off-the-cuff during the book launch, Pope Francis touched on current themes and issues such as migration and the tragedy of so many forced migrants and refugees who die during their journeys of hope and of the responsibility of policy-makers and world leaders to find solutions that safeguard the lives and dignity of all; the importance of cultivating memory so that evils – such as wars – witnessed in history are not repeated; the danger of populism that gives rise to hatred and intolerance.

SYNOD OF BISHOPS: YOUNG PEOPLE ARE USED-LESS, NOT USELESS – BEHIND THE SCENES OF THE SYNOD

Yesterday was, as I briefly noted, the feast day of St. John Paul II and it was also the 40th anniversary of the inauguration of his pontificate on October 22, 1978. At his death on April 2, 2005, almost 27 years later, his was the third longest papacy after Pius IX (31 years, 7 months, 21 days) and St. Peter (precise dates unknown).

I met John Paul almost 20 times when I worked at VIS, the Vatican Information Service, had a number of occasions to actually speak to him and actually have a video I really cherish, a close up of the two of us talking before I left for China on the Holy See delegation to the UN’s women conference in 1995. He met the delegation before we left the next day for three weeks in Beijing. (I had no knowledge of the audience beforehand or I’d have worn a dark color outfit instead of a pink dress)

For 15 years in my job at VIS, I read every speech or homily John Paul gave and every document he wrote – how my faith and knowledge of the Church, the Universal Church grew!

The first time we met after Mass in his private chapel: there’s an hysterical story associated with this meeting in December 1985!

My favorite moments were attending Mass in his private chapel and making cookies for him. Yes, I started making chocolate chip cookies for John Paul as soon as I learned he loved chocolate. I’m a chocaholic so it was natural to share my favorite food. I always hand delivered them to his then secretary – now Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz – and I always got a note or phone call of thanks from Msgr. Stanislaw.

World Youth Day, Denver 1993-

One day I decided to research for VIS the countless “firsts” of John Paul’s pontificate. To name but a few: first Pope to ever visit a synagogue; to visit a mosque (Omayyad Great Mosque of Damascus); to hold press conferences in airplanes and one in the Holy See Press Office; the first Pope to stay in a hotel during a trip instead of residing in the apostolic nunciature or the bishop’s residence as is tradition during papal trip: he stayed at the Irshad Hotel in Baku, Azerbaijan, in May 2002. The hotel had diplomatic status for the duration of his stay. There was no bishop in Azerbaijan and there were only 120 faithful, the smallest ever number of Catholics in a country visited by a Roman Pontiff.

Pope John Paul visited the Holy See Press Office in January 1994

I was a lector at Christmas Midnight Mass, December 1993


A few more “firsts” of the dozens and dozens of this papacy: St John Paul added five new mysteries to the Rosary, the Luminous Mysteries; he said Mass in an airplane hangar at Rome’s Fiumicino Airport on the December 10th feast day of Loreto: Our Lady of Loreto is the patron saint of aviators; he called for a Day of Pardon in the Great Jubilee Year 2000); said Mass in the northernmost Catholic community in the world, over 350 kilometers north of the Arctic Polar Circle (Tromso, Norway 1989); first Pope (and I think the only one!) to use a letter on his papal crest: he put “M” for Mary. The rules of heraldry allow letters or words only around a crest, not on it.

The final time we met: December 14, 2004


I have always felt tremendously sorry for people who did not live during this papacy, who never knew St. John Paul! We were blessed beyond telling!

SYNOD OF BISHOPS: YOUNG PEOPLE ARE USED-LESS, NOT USELESS

At the Tuesday briefing for the Synod of Bishops on Young People, Cardinal Tagle from the Philippines said that the young women present with the bishops provided a much-needed expansion of horizons at the Synod.
By Russell Pollitt, SJ (vaticannews)

The draft of the final document was presented to the Synod Fathers on Tuesday morning and was greeted with a long round of applause, said Dr Paolo Ruffini Prefect of the Vatican Dicastery for Communication. On Wednesday, the Synod Fathers will put forward proposals for integration into the final document. Dr Ruffini said that the document is different than the working document, the Instrumentun Laboris, but reflects many of the issues that were outlined in that document. He said that the icon for the entire document is the Scriptural account of the Road to Emmaus. He also said that a letter is being prepared and addressed to young people.

Wisdom and strength move us forward
Mr Joseph Sepati Moeono-Kolio, an auditor representing Caritas International and Oceania from Somoa, said the Synod has been an overwhelming experience. He said that it has been a time in which the Church has been reflecting on its engagement with the world, being acutely aware of the challenges the Church faces and proactively going out to meet those challenges. He said that the Synod spoke about Catholic Social Teaching and how to equip young people to go and use it in the world to face the issues that are before them.

Mr Sepati said that an image of the Synod for him from his own context in the Pacific region is an older wise person and young person in a canoe. The older person knows how to read the stars and navigate the oceans, the younger person has the strength to move things forward.

The Synod was like a school
Cardinal Charles Maung Bo from Myanmar said that after the Synod he personally and the Church in Myanmar will give more attention to young people. He said that he realised that young people have not be listened to as they deserve to be. He said that the Church needs to realise that young people are used-less and not useless. He said that he hopes that the whole Church will give attention to young people and follow up on the recommendations of the Synod.

Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle from the Philippines said that he doesn’t like comparing Synods, as each one that he has attended, seven in all, is unique. This Synod has been like a school, young people have been teaching us, by sharing their dreams and desires but most especially by telling their stories, the Cardinal explained.

The feminine
Cardinal Tagle said that this has also been a different Synod as the feminine voice has certainly been a focal point. He said that it was suggested often that female figures in Scripture should be used as interpretative lights for young people today. He said that the testimony of the young women at the Synod provided a much-needed expansion of horizons. The Cardinal said that when we talk about diversity it is not just about cultures but also the experience of women which is unique.

Migration and education
Archbishop Bienvenu Manamika Bafouakouahou from Congo said that he uses this image for the Synod: the final document of the Synod will be one that launches the bishops into orbit, like satellites, they in turn will give the signal back to young people on earth.

He said that in different parts of the world the issues were different for young people. For him, he said, migration is a real issue. Young people are looking for a better life but they are also driven from their homes, expelled from their land. This was caused, for example, by the degradation of the ecosystem at the hands of multinationals. He said that things like COP21 are often not adhered too despite all the promises made.

The Archbishop went on to say that another big concern is formation and education. He said that in Europe education was advanced but that in many African countries this is still a serious problem. Something must be done so that young people can grow and integral development can take place on the continent, the Archbishop concluded.

Holy Father to attend a book launch
At the briefing Jesuit Father Antonio Spadaro spoke about a book that will be launched tonight at which Pope Francis will be present and answer questions. The book is entitled The Wisdom of Time and is aimed at bridging and connecting different generations. Fr Spadaro said that the Pope has been involved in the book in three ways: The Holy Father wrote the preface, he wrote about his own experience as an older man himself and then also contributed as a spiritual guide by commenting on the stories in the book.

BEHIND THE SCENES OF THE SYNOD

From “The Catholic Thing”: “On the Verge – by Robert Royal

The first draft of the final document of the Synod on Youth is being given to the bishops today – many of you may already know something about that by the time you read this, given the six-hour time difference between Rome and the East Coast of America. As I write, I don’t yet.

Italian journalists with long experience here say to expect a relatively uncontroversial text – on the surface. It will, they say, include ambiguous language about LGBTs designed not to provoke too strong a reaction, but formulations that can be turned in several desired directions in the future.

This seems only too likely. And that’s why the bishops who truly get what’s going on must push strongly for language that allows for no blurring of Catholic teaching, explicit or implicit, anywhere in the final document.

The synod fathers were on a kind of brief vacation Monday and will be back in session reading this text and proposing changes Tuesday and Wednesday. Their proposed changes will then be incorporated, or not, by the committee doing the writing of a second draft later in the week and finally voted on Saturday. Or at least that’s the schedule – which Pope Francis can always decide to change – as Paolo Ruffini, prefect of the Communications Office of the Holy See, regularly reminds audiences.

We can’t yet know, of course, what the draft will say, but we can make informed guesses on the basis of the few things we have seen at recent briefings. For example, on Saturday, Diane Montagna of LifeSite News asked three English-speaking bishops (Cardinal Cupich of Chicago, Cardinal Rabat of Papua New Guinea, and Archbishop Comensoli of Melbourne) a perfectly reasonable – and perfectly clear – question.

Are you distinguishing, on the one hand, between “welcoming and accepting and including” people who are same-sex attracted as persons, who like all persons deserve our respect and goodwill, and on the other hand, are you making it clear, as the Catechism does, that homos exual orientation, let alone behavior, is not being “welcomed”? Especially since young people want the truth.

You would think that this is something any Catholic bishop, archbishop, or cardinal could answer in a couple of words: Of course, yes. You can watch the reaction here (he gave a link to a video), in which Archbishop Comensoli goes through a roundabout way of saying we are all sinners on a pilgrimage to the foot of the Cross.

Well, yes, of course, but that’s not exactly what’s being questioned at the moment.

Cardinal Cupich gave an even more puzzling response that we have to be sure “not to place obstacles” to the workings “of God’s grace.” Presumably, this means that you don’t simply, and obstinately, repeat Church teaching and neglect real human engagement with people who are same-sex attracted, but are also seeking Jesus Christ.

But this is only to say that, when dealing with someone who’s searching, you shouldn’t be a jerk. No argument there, of course. But it’s a real question whether it may also be an obstacle to the working of grace not to urgently – also sensitively, if you will – convey to the same-sex attracted or to anyone how serious all sin is.

There’s something in this “accompanying” that in one way is what the Church has always done – reaching out to all of us as we return again and again to confess, repent, make a firm resolution to avoid future sin.

But in another way, there’s something else being introduced here. Sure the Church wants to walk on a pilgrimage with God’s people, which means dealing with sinners who progress and relapse. But if there’s no sense of urgency and the pilgrimage begins to stretch out seemingly without limit, maybe the real call of the Gospel is not being proposed.

Besides, as the wisdom of all good theology and even pagan philosophy reminds us, none of us knows the hour of our death.

Asking for a real decision – here and now – may be a more merciful and compassionate, even more realistic and essential, than an obstacle.

It’s fair to speculate that we’ll see some attempt to get non-committal, open-ended language like this into the first draft. Amoris laetitia has already given us the example for it, the “walking with” people in second marriages and the half-expressed change in teaching that it’s going to be fine for everyone to receive the sacraments even though there is no intention to change a sinful life.

For multiple reasons, our time finds it particularly difficult to make traditional moral affirmations about homosexuality. The ashes of Matthew Shephard, a homosexual prostitute and drug dealer who was horribly murdered in Wyoming years ago, but has been falsely mythologized as a gay saint, will be interred at the National Cathedral in Washington D.C. this week. The Episcopal Church is quite lost at present, in many ways, not least in trying to normalize and celebrate and even sacralize what until recently that church regarded as sin.

And even American Evangelicals have been affected. Evangelicals have been poorly educated in their churches lately and are now confused about many core Christian beliefs, as a study released in the past week by an evangelical outfit has discovered. But the largest shift in attitudes has occurred over homosexuality. Around half of evangelicals say they believe that “The Bible’s condemnation of homosexual behavior doesn’t apply today.”

The Catholic embrace of both faith and reason, Scripture and tradition, has long been a point of pride about how we differ from other faith groups, especially when they become unmoored, and go along with wherever the culture, often a decidedly non-Christian culture, is going.

We will see in the next few days how such things stand among the gathered bishops.

SYNOD OF BISHOPS: WE MUST ASK FOR FORGIVENESS – NOTRE DAME STUDENTS REFLECT ON SYNOD, CHALLENGES FACING YOUTH TODAY – REFLECTIONS ON ARCHBISHOP VIGANÒ’S COURAGEOUS THIRD LETTER

Tune in tonight to EWTN’s “At Home with Jim and Joy” when I speak of a Pope I dearly loved, respected and admired – and in whose papacy I worked! – St. Pope John Paul. Today is his feast day and also the 40th anniversary of the inauguration of his pontificate on that faraway October 22, 1978. I share a few personal moments and also look at a handful of the “firsts” of the John Paul papacy!

As you will see below, Msgr. Charles Pope wrote a brilliant piece for the National Catholic Register entitled, “Reflections on Archbishop Viganò’s courageous Third Letter.” Believe me, he is spot on!

SYNOD OF BISHOPS: WE MUST ASK FOR FORGIVENESS

At Monday’s press briefing for the Synod of Bishops on Young People a bishop said that the Church must ask young people for forgiveness for the kind of world we have created.
By Russell Pollitt, SJ (vaticannews)

The Synod Fathers had Monday off while the first draft of the Synod document was being finalised. This draft will be presented at the General Assembly on Tuesday morning. The draft will be debated on Tuesday and Wednesday. On Thursday the Synod Fathers will have a day off while a final draft is being prepared. On Friday the General Assembly will meet to elect a new Council for the Synod and, on Saturday, the final document will be presented to the bishops. They will vote on the document paragraph by paragraph, each needing a two thirds majority to be included in the final document.

We must ask forgiveness
Bishop Paolo Bizzeti, S.J., from Turkey said that he has been thinking about the kind of world that has been created for young people. We have not prepared a liveable world for young people where they can work, express themselves and use their talents. We have to ask young people for forgiveness, he said, for creating a world in which we have deprived them of so many possibilities.

The Bishop also said that what emerged for him at the Synod was the vast differences between the Church in affluent wealthy parts of the world compared to many impoverished places. He said that in impoverished places it is very hard to talk about faith and discernment when many young people from the ages of 8 or 10 are not able to choose because choices are made for them, often by the desperate conditions they find themselves in.

Conversion
We must change, we must take conversion seriously, so that we can become a better Church, said Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, S.D.B., General Superior of the Salesians of Saint John Bosco. He said that young people have asked the Church to be brave and bear witness, to testify to the faith. He said that this was a call to all adults, not just to the clergy.

Ms. Henriette Camara, an auditor and member of the Catholic Scouts from Guinea, spoke about her conversion. She said that she came from a Muslim family. She came into contact with the Catholic Scouts and explained how, through this movement, she chose to convert. She says that she received a lot of support from them, she was welcomed without any discrimination and that her commitment to the Church with other young people has been a very meaningful experience. She also said that, even today, her mother is not happy that she chose to convert but she is still supported by the scouts.

Feeling fatherless and motherless
Bishop Bizzeti and Fr Artime said that they believe that motherhood and fatherhood is missing in the world. Fr Artime says that he meets young people who suffer from this lack of parenthood. He said that even in families that are conventional the pace of life is such that children are often not given the presence and accompaniment they need.

He went on to say that he believed that there is a weakness in the Church’s vision. The Church is not only present in parishes but in schools, shelters and other institutions and it is precisely in these that the Church can offer and help young people with a truly mature and healthy motherhood and fatherhood.

Local Synods
Bishop Frank J. Caggiano from the USA, said that the work of the Synod has been to look at things from a universal level but that this now needs to be taken into local Churches. He said that Synodality doesn’t end now, it must be concretised in local areas. A big question for him, he says, is how he takes this forward in his own diocese. He said that he wants to bring young people in his diocese together so that they can put their heads together and find a way forward. He said that a diocesan synod or congress might be a way of taking the Synod forward.

Bishop Caggiano said that young people have a unique contribution to offer the Church in the form of the technologies they use. Young people have expertise on the “digital continent” and that needs to become real missionary territory. He said that the young people at the Synod are ready to be sent and that it is his hope that they unleash a new energy and power in the Church. Young people best evangelise young people, the bishop said.

Commenting on the sexual abuse of minors. Bishop Caggiano said that abuse was both a crime and a sin and that there is no place in the Church for this at all. We need to let young people know that we are committed to rebuilding our credibility and trust. The Bishops said that when trust is broken it is very hard to rebuild and needs to be done one person at a time. He said that that is something the bishops will address and must have a definitive way of dealing with in the future.

NOTRE DAME STUDENTS REFLECT ON SYNOD, CHALLENGES FACING YOUTH TODAY

As the Synod of Bishops on Young People, Faith, and Vocational Discernment draws to a close, twelve students from the University of Notre Dame’s Center for Ethics and Culture’s Sorin Fellows program spent a week in Rome meeting with synod delegates, volunteering with the Missionaries of Charity, and traveling on pilgrimage to some of Rome’s historic churches.

Here is a link to their reflections on the synod process and the challenges facing young people today: https://cruxnow.com/synod-of-bishops-on-youth/2018/10/21/notre-dame-youth-on-synod-the-sacred-heart-and-mother-teresa/

REFLECTIONS ON ARCHBISHOP VIGANÒ’S COURAGEOUS THIRD LETTER

In thin-skinned times such as these, Archbishop Viganò’s most recent letter shines forth as a clarion call to Catholics everywhere.

Msgr. Charles Pope (for National Catholic Register)

As I finished reading Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò’s third letter, I had an immediate sense that I had just read something that is destined to be one of the great pastoral and literary moments of the Church’s history. There was an air of greatness about it that I cannot fully describe. I was stunned at its soteriological quality — at its stirring and yet stark reminder of our own judgment day. In effect he reminded us that this is more than a quibble over terminology or who wins on this or that point, or who is respectful enough of whom. This is about the salvation of souls, including our own. We almost never hear bishops or priests speak like this today!

Others will write adequately on the canonical, ecclesial and political aspects of Archbishop Viganò latest and very concise summary of the case. As most of you know, I have fully affirmed elsewhere that I find his allegations credible and that they should be fully investigated. But in this post I want to explore further the priestly qualities manifest in this third letter, qualities that are too often missing in action today.

 (AP Photo/Alex Washburn)

To begin with, he has in mind the moral condition of souls. The Archbishop warns in several places of the danger posed to the souls of the faithful by the silence and confusing actions of many bishops and priests and the Pope. He laments that this, along with the homosexual subculture in the Church, “continues to wreak great harm in the Church — harm to so many innocent souls, to young priestly vocations, and to the faithful at large.”

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, this was the first concern of most every priest: the moral condition of souls, including his own. Today, many bishops and priests, as well as many parents and other leaders in the Church, seem far more concerned with the feelings, and emotional happiness of those under their care than with their actual moral condition. They worry more about political correctness and not upsetting those who engage in identity politics and base their whole identity on aberrant and sinful habits and disordered inclinations. That a person be pleased and affirmed today is seemingly more important than that they be summoned to repentance and healing or be made ready for their judgment day. Passing and apparent happiness eclipses true and eternal happiness. Further, silence in the face of horrible sin, deferring to and fawning over powerful churchmen, and cultural leaders of this world seems to outweigh any concern for the harm caused to the souls and lives of others.

Yes, too often, the only thing that really matters, the salvation of souls, is hardly considered. As others have rightly pointed out, this points to a loss of faith and a bland universalism wherein all, or the vast majority, attain to Heaven. Further, the possibility of Hell is all but dismissed — almost never preached, let alone considered a factor in how we should pastorally guide people.

In all of this, Archbishop Viganò still has that “old-time religion.” He takes seriously Jesus’ admonitions regarding Judgment Day, his many warnings about Hell and the absolute need to decide whom we will serve: God or the world, the Gospel or popular culture, the flesh or the spirit. Viganò’s final two paragraphs could not be clearer:

You can choose to withdraw from the battle, to prop up the conspiracy of silence and avert your eyes from the spreading of corruption. You can make excuses, compromises and justification that put off the day of reckoning. You can console yourselves with the falsehood and the delusion that it will be easier to tell the truth tomorrow, and then the following day, and so on.

On the other hand, you can choose to speak. You can trust Him who told us, “the truth will set you free.” I do not say it will be easy to decide between silence and speaking. I urge you to consider which choice — on your deathbed, and then before the just Judge — you will not regret having made.

This is powerful. I could be reading St. John Chrysostom, Pope St. Gregory the Great or St. Alphonsus Liguori. Honestly, I cannot recall many times I have heard a modern bishop or even priest speak like this. There are exceptions of course, such as the great Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, but clarity is rare. I hope too that some of the deacons, priests and bishops who might read this are saying, “I too am an exception. I often preach like this.”

But my general experience tells me, from many who write to me, that their priests and bishops never mention mortal sin, Hell or judgement. And if they do preach on sin they use abstractions and generalities, euphemisms and other safe terms such as “injustice” and “woundedness.”

In this letter Archbishop Viganò writes as if he never got the memo to obfuscate and speak in cloaked and guarded ways; to speak in such hazy terms that no one really has any idea what you are saying.

Instead the Archbishop comes right out and says,
[T]his very grave crisis cannot be properly addressed and resolved unless and until we call things by their true names. This is a crisis due to the scourge of homosexuality, in its agents, in its motives, in its resistance to reform. It is no exaggeration to say that homosexuality has become a plague in the clergy, and it can only be eradicated with spiritual weapons. It is an enormous hypocrisy to condemn the abuse, claim to weep for the victims, and yet refuse to denounce the root cause of so much sexual abuse: homosexuality. It is hypocrisy to refuse to acknowledge that this scourge is due to a serious crisis in the spiritual life of the clergy and to fail to take the steps necessary to remedy it.… the evidence for homosexual collusion, with its deep roots that are so difficult to eradicate, is overwhelming. …To claim the crisis itself to be clericalism is pure sophistry.

Here too there have been very few bishops or priest willing to speak so clearly and to depart from euphemisms. There are exceptions, but they are too few. And, for a bonus round, the good archbishop even reintroduces an older term that has fallen out of use:

Unquestionably there exist philandering clergy, and unquestionably they too damage their own souls, the souls of those whom they corrupt, and the Church at large.

A philanderer is a man who exploits women, a “womanizer.” He is one who, in an often-casual way exploits a woman, but has little or no intention of marrying her. He will exploit her for his needs but not consider her as a person deserving of his ultimate respect and loyalty in marriage. Sadly this too exists in the priesthood, but on a far more limited basis. Whatever the number or percentage of philanderers — one is too many — the much larger number of homosexual offenses (80 percent) in clergy sexual delicts shouts for attention. But few, very few bishops or Vatican officials are willing to talk openly and clearly about it. This must change if any solutions are to be credible and trust is to be restored with God’s people. Excluding any reference to active homosexuality in the priesthood is like excluding any talk about cigarette smoking as a cause for lung cancer. It results in a pointless and laughable discussion that no one can take seriously. Will any other bishops follow the lead of Archbishop Viganò and a few others, such as Bishop Robert Morlino? It remains to be seen, but credibility remains in the balance.

Finally, Archbishop Viganò, in a Pauline sort of way, has taken up the necessary mantle of opposing Peter’s (i.e., Pope Francis’) behavior to his face and publicly. While some wonder why this is not done privately, the answer must surely be, “How could he approach Pope Francis privately?” Pope Francis has steadfastly refused to engage his questioners. He has taken up a policy of “weaponized ambiguity” and when legitimate questions are asked, they are greeted with silence. Far from answering his flock, he often refers to them as monsters, accusers, scandalmongers and worse when they press for clarity and seek for answers and accountability.

How rare it is that other bishops are willing to speak out so clearly of their concerns. Only four cardinals issued the dubia. Why is this? Where are the rest? Only in recent weeks has the Pope even hinted that there may be an allowable investigation of the Vatican Archives. One must still ask: When? How? And to what extent? It will take a courageous insistence on the part of the faithful and bishops to see this through.
In the end, I am deeply grateful for Archbishop Viganò’s dose of “old-time religion.”

It is refreshing to hear an archbishop actually call sin by name; to show concern for the moral condition of souls, not just the emotional state; to warn of judgment and summon us all to decide — not just hide, obfuscate and fret about “getting along” while souls are being lost. It is hopeful that an archbishop of high reputation is willing to call the Pope and the Vatican to account. This sort of leadership is too little in evidence today among the hierarchy and priests.

Some will surely bristle at the Archbishop’s “strong language.” But I ask you, is it really so different from the way the Lord Jesus spoke? Perhaps the bristling is more emblematic of our dainty and thin-skinned times — times marked by identity politics, cries of victimization, and every form of shock and outrage over the slightest reproach.

In my estimation this letter of Archbishop Viganò will go down in history as one of the great moments of pastoral exhortation and integrity. It will shine forth as a clarion call in an age of timid silence from too many other prelates and priests. May the Archbishop’s courage inspire many more to come forth and respectfully but clearly insist on answers and honesty. May his warning on our Judgement Day be salutary. May repentance, renewal and courage be growing realities in God’s Church!

THE THIRD TESTIMONY: ARCHBISHOP VIGANO RESPONDS

THE VIGANO RESPONSE: In his third letter or testimony, made public today, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano answers accusations made by Cardinal Marc Ouellet in his letter of October 7.

Vigano’s 2400-word missive is more dispassionate than his previous letters and is laid out as if by a lawyer – chronological dates and facts, and responses to what Cardinal Ouellet wrote, noting that basically the cardinal’s letter vindicated his (Vigano’s) original statements. Vigano details Ouellet’s letter statement by statement, answering point by point and even listing what Cardinal Ouellet omitted in his accusatory letter.

Abp. Vigano begins: “To bear witness to corruption in the hierarchy of the Catholic Church was a painful decision for me, and remains so.

“But I am an old man, one who knows he must soon give an accounting to the judge for his actions and omissions, one who fears Him who can cast body and soul into hell.

“A judge, even in his infinite mercy, will render to every person salvation or damnation according to what he has deserved.

“Anticipating the dreadful question from that judge — “How could you, who had knowledge of the truth, keep silent in the midst of falsehood and depravity?” — what answer could I give?”

Vigano writes of the pain of realizing “that many of the innocent faithful would be confused and disconcerted by the spectacle of a bishop’s charging colleagues and superiors with malfeasance, sexual sin, and grave neglect of duty. Yet I believe that my continued silence would put many souls at risk, and would certainly damn my own.”

Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano speaks to thousands during the “Walk for Life” rally and march, Saturday, Jan. 24, 2015, in San Francisco. Abortion opponents gathered at Civic Center Plaza in front of City Hall for the 11th annual “Walk for Life West Coast” before marching down Market Street to Justin Herman Plaza while chanting and carrying signs that called to end abortion. (AP Photo/Alex Washburn)

The archbishop states: “I have been accused of creating confusion and division in the Church through my testimony. … Most impartial observers, however, will have been aware of a longstanding excess of both, as is inevitable when the successor of Peter is negligent in exercising his principal mission, which is to confirm the brothers in the faith and in sound moral doctrine. When he then exacerbates the crisis by contradictory or perplexing statements about these doctrines, the confusion is worsened.

“Therefore I spoke”

Following is the entire text of Abp. Vigano’s third letter:

THE THIRD TESTIMONY: ARCHBISHOP VIGANO RESPONDS

The Third Testimony – On the Memory of the North American Martyrs
By Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano
October 19, 2018

To bear witness to corruption in the hierarchy of the Catholic Church was a painful decision for me, and remains so.

But I am an old man, one who knows he must soon give an accounting to the judge for his actions and omissions, one who fears Him who can cast body and soul into hell.

A judge, even in his infinite mercy, will render to every person salvation or damnation according to what he has deserved.

Anticipating the dreadful question from that judge — “How could you, who had knowledge of the truth, keep silent in the midst of falsehood and depravity?” — what answer could I give?

I testified fully aware that my testimony would bring alarm and dismay to many eminent persons: Churchmen, fellow bishops, colleagues with whom I had worked and prayed.

I knew many would feel wounded and betrayed.

I expected that some would in their turn assail me and my motives.

Most painful of all, I knew that many of the innocent faithful would be confused and disconcerted by the spectacle of a bishop’s charging colleagues and superiors with malfeasance, sexual sin, and grave neglect of duty.
Yet I believe that my continued silence would put many souls at risk, and would certainly damn my own.

Having reported multiple times to my superiors, and even to the pope, the aberrant behavior of Theodore McCarrick, I could have publicly denounced the truths of which I was aware earlier.

If I have some responsibility in this delay, I repent for that.

This delay was due to the gravity of the decision I was going to take, and to the long travail of my conscience.

I have been accused of creating confusion and division in the Church through my testimony.

To those who believe such confusion and division were negligible prior to August 2018, perhaps such a claim is plausible.

Most impartial observers, however, will have been aware of a longstanding excess of both, as is inevitable when the successor of Peter is negligent in exercising his principal mission, which is to confirm the brothers in the faith and in sound moral doctrine.

When he then exacerbates the crisis by contradictory or perplexing statements about these doctrines, the confusion is worsened.

“Therefore I spoke”
Therefore I spoke.

For it is the conspiracy of silence that has wrought and continues to wreak great harm in the Church — harm to so many innocent souls, to young priestly vocations, to the faithful at large.

With regard to my decision, which I have taken in conscience before God, I willingly accept every fraternal correction, advice, recommendation, and invitation to progress in my life of faith and love for Christ, the Church and the pope.

Let me restate the key points of my testimony.
• In November 2000 the U.S. nuncio Archbishop (Gabriel) Montalvo informed the Holy See of Cardinal McCarrick’s homosexual behavior with seminarians and priests.
• In December 2006 the new U.S. nuncio, Archbishop Pietro Sambi, informed the Holy See of Cardinal McCarrick’s homosexual behavior with yet another priest.
• In December of 2006 I myself wrote a memo to the Secretary of State Cardinal (Tarcisio) Bertone, and personally delivered it to the Substitute for General Affairs, Archbishop Leonardo Sandri, calling for the pope to bring extraordinary disciplinary measures against McCarrick to forestall future crimes and scandal. This memo received no response.
• In April 2008 an open letter to Pope Benedict by Richard Sipe was relayed by the Prefect of the CDF, Cardinal (William) Levada, to the Secretary of State, Cardinal Bertone, containing further accusations of McCarrick’s sleeping with seminarians and priests. I received this a month later, and in May 2008 I myself delivered a second memo to the then Substitute for General Affairs, Archbishop Fernando Filoni, reporting the claims against McCarrick and calling for sanctions against him. This second memo also received no response.
• In 2009 or 2010 I learned from Cardinal (Giovanni Battista) Re, prefect of the Congregation of Bishops, that Pope Benedict had ordered McCarrick to cease public ministry and begin a life of prayer and penance. The nuncio Sambi communicated the Pope’s orders to McCarrick in a voice heard down the corridor of the nunciature.
• In November 2011 Cardinal (Marc) Ouellet, the new Prefect of Bishops, repeated to me, the new nuncio to the U.S., the Pope’s restrictions on McCarrick, and I myself communicated them to McCarrick face-to-face.
• On June 21, 2013, toward the end of an official assembly of nuncios at the Vatican, Pope Francis spoke cryptic words to me criticizing the U.S. episcopacy.
• On June 23, 2013, I met Pope Francis face-to-face in his apartment to ask for clarification, and the Pope asked me, “il cardinale McCarrick, com’è (Cardinal McCarrick — what do you make of him)?”– which I can only interpret as a feigning of curiosity in order to discover whether or not I was an ally of McCarrick. I told him that McCarrick had sexually corrupted generations of priests and seminarians, and had been ordered by Pope Benedict to confine himself to a life of prayer and penance.
• Instead, McCarrick continued to enjoy the special regard of Pope Francis and was given new responsibilities and missions by him.
• McCarrick was part of a network of bishops promoting homosexuality who exploiting their favor with Pope Francis manipulated episcopal appointments so as to protect themselves from justice and to strengthen the homosexual network in the hierarchy and in the Church at large.
• Pope Francis himself has either colluded in this corruption, or, knowing what he does, is gravely negligent in failing to oppose it and uproot it.

“I invoked God as my witness”

I invoked God as my witness to the truth of my claims, and none has been shown false.

Cardinal Ouellet has written to rebuke me for my temerity in breaking silence and leveling such grave accusations against my brothers and superiors, but in truth his remonstrance confirms me in my decision and, even more, serves to vindicate my claims, severally and as a whole.

• Cardinal Ouellet concedes that he spoke with me about McCarrick’s situation prior to my leaving for Washington to begin my post as nuncio.
• Cardinal Ouellet concedes that he communicated to me in writing the conditions and restrictions imposed on McCarrick by Pope Benedict.
• Cardinal Ouellet concedes that these restrictions forbade McCarrick to travel or to make public appearances.
• Cardinal Ouellet concedes that the Congregation of Bishops, in writing, first through the nuncio Sambi and then once again through me, required McCarrick to lead a life of prayer and penance.

What does Cardinal Ouellet dispute?
• Cardinal Ouellet disputes the possibility that Pope Francis could have taken in important information about McCarrick on a day when he met scores of nuncios and gave each only a few moments of conversation. But this was not my testimony. My testimony is that at a second, private meeting, I informed the Pope, answering his own question about Theodore McCarrick, then Cardinal archbishop emeritus of Washington, prominent figure of the Church in the US, telling the pope that McCarrick had sexually corrupted his own seminarians and priests. No pope could forget that.
• Cardinal Ouellet disputes the existence in his archives of letters signed by Pope Benedict or Pope Francis regarding sanctions on McCarrick. But this was not my testimony. My testimony was that he has in his archives key documents – irrespective of provenance – incriminating McCarrick and documenting the measures taken in his regard, and other proofs on the cover-up regarding his situation. And I confirm this again.
• Cardinal Ouellet disputes the existence in the files of his predecessor, Cardinal Re, of “audience memos” imposing on McCarrick the restrictions already mentioned. But this was not my testimony. My testimony is that there are other documents: for instance, a note from Card. Re not ex-Audientia SS.mi, or signed by the Secretary of State or by the Substitute.
• Cardinal Ouellet disputes that it is false to present the measures taken against McCarrick as “sanctions” decreed by Pope Benedict and canceled by Pope Francis. True. They were not technically “sanctions” but provisions, “conditions and restrictions.” To quibble whether they were sanctions or provisions or something else is pure legalism. From a pastoral point of view they are exactly the same thing.

In brief, Cardinal Ouellet concedes the important claims that I did and do make, and disputes claims I don’t make and never made.

There is one point on which I must absolutely refute what Cardinal Ouellet wrote.
The Cardinal states that the Holy See was only aware of “rumors,” which were not enough to justify disciplinary measures against McCarrick.

I affirm to the contrary that the Holy See was aware of a variety of concrete facts, and is in possession of documentary proof, and that the responsible persons nevertheless chose not to intervene or were prevented from doing so.

Compensation by the Archdiocese of Newark and the Diocese of Metuchen to the victims of McCarrick’s sexual abuse, the letters of Fr. Ramsey, of the nuncios Montalvo in 2000 and Sambi in 2006, of Dr. Sipe in 2008, my two notes to the superiors of the Secretariat of State who described in detail the concrete allegations against McCarrick; are all these just rumors?

They are official correspondence, not gossip from the sacristy.

The crimes reported were very serious, including those of attempting to give sacramental absolution to accomplices in perverse acts, with subsequent sacrilegious celebration of Mass.

These documents specify the identity of the perpetrators and their protectors, and the chronological sequence of the facts.

They are kept in the appropriate archives; no extraordinary investigation is needed to recover them.

“I have noted two omissions”
In the public remonstrances directed at me I have noted two omissions, two dramatic silences.

The first silence regards the plight of the victims.

The second regards the underlying reason why there are so many victims, namely, the corrupting influence of homosexuality in the priesthood and in the hierarchy.

As to the first, it is dismaying that, amid all the scandals and indignation, so little thought should be given to those damaged by the sexual predations of those commissioned as ministers of the gospel. This is not a matter of settling scores or sulking over the vicissitudes of ecclesiastical careers. It is not a matter of politics. It is not a matter of how church historians may evaluate this or that papacy. This is about souls. Many souls have been and are even now imperiled of their eternal salvation.

As to the second silence, this very grave crisis cannot be properly addressed and resolved unless and until we call things by their true names. This is a crisis due to the scourge of homosexuality, in its agents, in its motives, in its resistance to reform. It is no exaggeration to say that homosexuality has become a plague in the clergy, and it can only be eradicated with spiritual weapons. It is an enormous hypocrisy condemn the abuser, claim to weep for the victims, and yet refuse to denounce the root cause of so much sexual abuse: homosexuality. It is hypocrisy to refuse to acknowledge that this scourge is due to a serious crisis in the spiritual life of the clergy and to fail to take the steps necessary to remedy it.

Unquestionably there exist philandering clergy, and unquestionably they too damage their own souls, the souls of those whom they corrupt, and the Church at large.
But these violations of priestly celibacy are usually confined to the individuals immediately involved.

Philandering clergy usually do not recruit other philanderers, nor work to promote them, nor cover-up their misdeeds — whereas the evidence for homosexual collusion, with its deep roots that are so difficult to eradicate, is overwhelming.

It is well established that homosexual predators exploit clerical privilege to their advantage.

But to claim the crisis itself to be clericalism is pure sophistry.

It is to pretend that a means, a new instrument, is in fact the main motive.

Denouncing homosexual corruption and the moral cowardice that allows it to flourish does not meet with congratulation in our times, not even in the highest spheres of the Church.

I am not surprised that in calling attention to these plagues I am charged with disloyalty to the Holy Father and with fomenting an open and scandalous rebellion.
Yet rebellion would entail urging others to topple the papacy.

“I am urging no such thing”

I am urging no such thing.

I pray every day for Pope Francis — more than I have ever done for the other popes.
I am asking, indeed earnestly begging, the Holy Father to face up to the commitments he himself made in assuming his office as successor of Peter.

He took upon himself the mission of confirming his brothers and guiding all souls in following Christ, in the spiritual combat, along the way of the cross.

Let him admit his errors, repent, show his willingness to follow the mandate given to Peter and, once converted let him confirm his brothers (Lk 22:32).

“I wish to repeat my appeal”

In closing, I wish to repeat my appeal to my brother bishops and priests who know that my statements are true and who can so testify, or who have access to documents that can put the matter beyond doubt.

You too are faced with a choice.

You can choose to withdraw from the battle, to prop up the conspiracy of silence and avert your eyes from the spreading of corruption.

You can make excuses, compromises and justification that put off the day of reckoning.

You can console yourselves with the falsehood and the delusion that it will be easier to tell the truth tomorrow, and then the following day, and so on.

On the other hand, you can choose to speak.

You can trust Him who told us, “the truth will set you free.”

I do not say it will be easy to decide between silence and speaking.

I urge you to consider which choice– on your deathbed, and then before the just Judge — you will not regret having made.
October 19, 2018
Memory of the North American Martyrs
+ Carlo Maria Viganò
Tit. Archbishop of Ulpiana
Apostolic Nuncio

THE SYNOD IN PICTURES – POPE WELCOMES PRESIDENT OF SOUTH KOREA – CARDINAL PAROLIN CELEBRATES MASS FOR PEACE ON KOREAN PENINSULA – LOOKING BACK: HOLY SEE NUNCIO TO KOREA, THE TRUMP VISIT, THE CHURCH IN KOREA

THE SYNOD IN PICTURES

https://www.vaticannews.va/en/church/news/2018-10/synod-youth-2018-pope-photo-gallery.html

POPE WELCOMES PRESIDENT OF SOUTH KOREA

Today, in the Vatican Apostolic Palace, the Holy Father Francis received in audience H.E. Mr. Moon Jae-in, President of the Republic of Korea, who subsequently met with His Eminence Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, and with H.E. Msgr. Paul Richard Gallagher, Secretary for Relations with States. (AP photos)

During the cordial discussions, the parties evoked the good bilateral relations and the positive contribution offered by the Church in the social, education and healthcare sectors, as well as the promotion of dialogue and reconciliation between Koreans.

Strong appreciation was expressed for the common commitment to fostering all useful initiatives to overcome the tensions that still exist in the Korean Peninsula, in order to usher in a new season of peace and development. Finally, some matters of a regional nature were discussed.

FROM AP: South Korea’s president has met with Pope Francis in a private audience, and his office says that the pontiff indicated his willingness to visit North Korea.
The South Korean presidential office said in a statement that President Moon Jae-in “conveyed North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s desire for a papal visit to North Korea”.

A formal invitation directly from North Korea will follow.
The office said Francis said that, “if the invitation comes, I will surely respond to it, and I can possibly go”.

Mr Kim initially indicated his desire for a papal visit during a Korean summit last month.

If it materialises, such a visit would be the first by a pope to North Korea.

CARDINAL PAROLIN CELEBRATES MASS FOR PEACE ON KOREAN PENINSULA
By Robin Gomes (vaticannews)

Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin celebrated Mass Wednesday evening in St. Peter’s Basilica and prayed for peace in the Korean peninsula, saying that peace without crosses and tribulations is not the peace of Jesus.

Present at the Mass were visiting South Korean President Moon Jae-in (a Catholic), his wife, a large group of Korean faithful, a hundred priests and missionaries, some bishops and many representatives of the Holy See’s diplomatic corps.

The Holy See Press Office had announced that Cardinal Parolin would celebrate the Mass on the eve of a meeting between Moon and Pope Francis.

In his homily, Cardinal Parolin said that they were praying for peace in the world, especially in the Korean Peninsula, so that “after so many years of tension and division, the word peace may finally fully resound.”

Peace – God’s gift amidst tribulations
The secretary of State said that, “peace is built by daily choices, by a serious commitment to the service of justice and solidarity, by the promotion of the rights and dignity of the human person, and especially by caring for the weakest”. “But, for the one who believes, peace, first of all, is a gift that comes from above, from God Himself.”

The cardinal pointed out that peace is something lived concretely in daily life, as Pope Francis often repeats, “a peace in the midst of tribulations”. This is why the peace promised by Jesus is not the as the world gives but as He gives.

Citing Pope Francis again, who said that the world often “anaesthetizes us so that we do not see another reality of life, which is the cross,” the Vatican Secretary of State said that the peace that God offers us goes beyond merely earthly expectations. “It is not the fruit of a simple compromise, but a new reality, which involves all the dimensions of life, even the mysterious ones of the cross and the inevitable sufferings of our earthly pilgrimage. For this reason, he said, Christian faith teaches us that, “a peace without the cross is not the peace of Jesus”.

Educating to love and build peace
Cardinal Parolin also recalled St. Pope Paul VI, who in his message for the Church’s first “World Day of Peace” in 1968, cited St. John XXIII saying, “We must always speak of peace. The world must be educated to love peace, to build it up and defend it.” “Against the resurgent preludes to war […]we must arouse in the men of our time and of future generations the sense and love of peace founded upon truth, justice, freedom and love.”

The Vatican secretary of State urged all to implore God for the grace to make peace an authentic mission in today’s world, trusting in the mysterious power of Christ’s cross and resurrection.

“With God’s grace,” he said, “the path of forgiveness becomes possible, the choice of fraternity among peoples becomes a concrete fact, peace becomes a shared horizon even in the diversity of those who make up the international community.”

LOOKING BACK: HOLY SEE NUNCIO TO KOREA, THE TRUMP VISIT, THE CHURCH IN KOREA

NUNCIO IN KOREA: SINGAPORE SUMMIT IS TRULY HISTORIC

The Apostolic Nuncio to Korea Archbishop Alfred Xuereb comments on the outcome of the summit.

The Apostolic Nuncio to Korea and Mongolia, Archbishop Alfred Xuereb hailed Tuesday’s “truly historic” summit between the US President Donald Trump and the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. He said the Church is “full of hope and confidence” but warned, “we’re still at the beginning of a long process.”

Long and arduous road

Speaking from Seoul in an interview with Vatican News, Archbishop Xuereb said that the Korean people and the local Church had been anxiously awaiting “these truly historic events.” He described the summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un as “marking an important page at the beginning of a long and arduous road” (towards peace).

At the same time, said Archbishop Xuereb, “we are hopeful because this beginning was very positive, very good” and we’ve moved from rhetoric and words like “fire and fury” and “the complete devastation of North Korea” to more conciliatory words that speak about peace.

Novena for peace

Saying the Church in Korea is living these events “with great faith,” the Nuncio described how the Catholic Cathedral in Seoul has been holding special prayers for peace and reconciliation every Tuesday. He also said the Catholic Bishops of Korea have proposed a novena from the 17th to the 25th of June to pray for peace, reconciliation and unity on the Korean peninsula.

In the wake of this historic summit and the more conciliatory climate engendered by it, Archbishop Xuereb said the Church prays for the evangelization of North Korea.
“The Holy See wishes to offer its support to any initiative in favour of dialogue and reconciliation and also take advantage of this to bring the Good News of Jesus Christ to North Korea,” he said. (https://joansrome.wordpress.com/2018/06/12/nuncio-in-korea-singapore-summit-is-truly-historic-church-in-korea-launches-novena-for-peace-on-korean-peninsula/)

CHURCH IN KOREA LAUNCHES NOVENA FOR PEACE ON KOREAN PENINSULA

The Catholic Church in Korea has proposed a novena for peace and reconciliation on the Korean peninsula as a series of summits and declarations mark the way for new diplomatic relationships between the two Koreas and with the United States.
By Linda Bordoni (vaticannews June 12, 2018))

The Catholic Church in Korea has proposed a novena from 17 to 25 June to pray for peace, reconciliation and unity on the Korean peninsula.

As leaders of the United States and North Korea held an historic Summit in Singapore on June 12, the Korean Church called for a novena of prayer and organized a conference for reconciliation and unity between the two Koreas who technically are still at war since the Korean Armistice Agreement signed in 1953.

Singapore Summit

After the Singapore Summit, Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un signed a “comprehensive” document, promising a new relationship between the nations and committing North Korea to work towards “the complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.”

Just over a month ago the leaders of North and South Korea, Moon Jae-in and Kim Jong-un signed an agreement in which they agreed to pursue talks on a peace treaty as well as denuclearization.

Panmunjom Agreement

In the 27 April Panmunjom Agreement, the two leaders committed to bring a swift end to the Cold War relic of longstanding division and confrontation, to boldly approach a new era of national reconciliation, peace and prosperity, and to improve and cultivate inter-Korean relations in a more active manner.

The Catholic Bishops of Korea have indicated a different prayer intention for each day: For healing following the separation of the Korean people; for families who have been separated by the Korean war; for the brothers and sisters who live in the North; for refugees from the North who currently live in the South; for politicians of the North and the South; for the evangelization of the North; for the promotion of exchange and dialogue between South and North; for true reconciliation between the two nations; for the peaceful reunification of the peninsula.

A Conference on the future of the Korean peninsula

The Bishops are also promoting a Conference on 21 June to take place at the Major Seminary of the Archdiocese of Daegu. Dedicated to a new future of the Korean peninsula thanks to fruitful exchanges between South and North, the event foresees the participation of the Bishops of Uijeongbu and Daegu as well as a panel of experts.