VATICAN INSIDER: CONVERSATION WITH AN IRAQI CARDINAL – POPE RECEIVES CHILEAN BISHOP AND HEAD OF NATIONAL COUNCIL FOR PREVENTION OF ABUSE – HOLY FATHER WELCOMES FRANCISCAN MARCHERS

VATICAN INSIDER: CONVERSATION WITH AN IRAQI CARDINAL

Tune in to Vatican Insider this weekend for Part II of my conversation with Iraqi cardinal and Patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans Louis Raphael I Sako. We spoke the day after Pope Francis made him a cardinal in the June 28th consistory. We met at an international house for clergy and spoke for about a half hour. The patriarch and I have been friends since 2010, having first met in Kirkuk, Iraq when he was bishop of that diocese. We’ve met a number of times since, in Iraq, Lebanon and Rome and it was a joy to renew our acquaintance on this auspicious day for the Chaldean Church and faithful.

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POPE RECEIVES CHILEAN BISHOP AND HEAD OF NATIONAL COUNCIL FOR PREVENTION OF ABUSE

Friday morning, August 10 at the Santa Marta residence, Pope Francis received Bishop Juan Ignacio González of San Bernardo, Chile and Ana María Celis Brunet, president of the National Chilean Council for the Prevention of Abuse and Accompaniment of Victims. The object of the encounter was to inform each other and exchange opinions on the steps being taken in Cbhile to face the cases of abuse and to prevent that they take place again. An important point in the conversation was about the suffering of the victims and their need to find consolation and reparation.

Pope Francis, who follows with interest every step forward taken by the Chilean Episcopal Conference, has expressed his desire that all questions be clarified in order to give a just response to each individual.

HOLY FATHER WELCOMES FRANCISCAN MARCHERS

Paloma G. Ovejero, vice director of the Holy See Press Office tweeted on Friday, August 10: The Pope this evening met with the young people of the 38th Franciscan March (Loreto-Assisi-Rome). After 117 kilometers on foot, they received three key words (from the Pope): “Path, grace, vocation.” Also an admonition: hypocrisy!

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POPE INTERVIEW: TALKS WITH CHINA, MIGRATION, CHILE ABUSE CRISIS – POPE SAYS NO TO WOMEN PRIESTS, YES TO WOMEN IN CURIAL LEADERSHIP – POPE TALKS TO REUTERS ABOUT THE ‘DIALOGUE WITH CHINA’

The papal interview seen by Vatican News, CNA and AsiaNews:

POPE INTERVIEW: TALKS WITH CHINA, MIGRATION, CHILE ABUSE CRISIS

Pope Francis spoke about talks with China, migration policy, populism, Chile’s clerical sex abuse crisis, reform of the Roman Curia, and other issues in a wide-ranging interview with the Reuters news agency. The interviewer was Philip Pullella, head of Reuter’s Rome bureau.

by Susy Hodges (Vatican news)

In a new one-on-one interview Pope Francis has responded to a series of questions on various issues including the Holy See’s talks with China, the position of women within the Church, migration policy, populism, Chile’s clerical sex abuse crisis and reform of the Roman Curia.

Talks with China “at a good point”
Asked in the interview about relations with China, Pope Francis said he was optimistic about the outcome of normalization talks with the Chinese authorities saying they were “at a good point” but couldn’t say when they would conclude. He acknowledged that dialogue “is a risk” but said he preferred that to “the certain defeat” of not holding a dialogue with Beijing.

The Pope talked at length about immigration during the interview and was asked about the U.S. administration’s policy of separating migrant families at the U.S./Mexican border. In his reply, he said he supported recent statements issued by U.S. Catholic Bishops who called the separation of children from their parents contrary to Catholic values and immoral.

Turning to the migration situation in Europe, the Holy Father said populists were “creating a psychosis” on the issue of immigration, even as ageing societies like Europe faced “a great demographic winter” and needed more immigrants.

“I believe that you cannot reject people who arrive. You have to receive them, help them, look after them, accompany them and then see where to put them, but throughout all of Europe,” he said. He praised Italy and Greece for being “courageous and generous” by taking in these migrants.

Populism is not the solution
Pope Francis warned that populism does not resolve issues like migration problems. “What resolves things is acceptance, study, prudence,” he said. The Pope also said Europe should stop exploiting Africa and invest in ways that benefit the continent more and this could help solve the problem of migration at its roots.

When asked about women calling for more top positions in the Roman Curia, Pope Francis said he agreed there were few women in positions of responsibility there. He said he wanted to appoint more women to head Vatican departments because “women are better at resolving conflicts.” At the same time, he reiterated that women cannot be ordained to the priesthood. “(Pope) John Paul II was clear on this point and closed the door and I am not going back on that,” he said.

Chile’s clerical sex abuse crisis was another topic discussed at length during the interview. Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of three bishops in Chile and said he could accept more resignations in the future.

He spoke of how he returned “a bit worried” after his pastoral visit to Chile in January this year and explained why he decided to send Archbishop Charles Scicluna to the Latin American nation to carry out further investigations into the abuse crisis.

POPE SAYS NO TO WOMEN PRIESTS, YES TO WOMEN IN CURIAL LEADERSHIP

Vatican City, Jun 20, 2018 / 03:01 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- In an interview with Reuters, Pope Francis said more space has to be created for women to take on leading roles in the Roman Curia, but that priestly ordination is not an option.

Responding to a question about women’s ordination to the priesthood, the pope said “there is the temptation to ‘functionalize’ the reflection on women in the Church, what they should do, what they should become.”

“We cannot functionalize women,” he said, explaining that while the Church is referred to as a woman, the Sacrament of Holy Orders is out of the question “because dogmatically it doesn’t work.”

“John Paul II was clear and closed the door, and I will not go back on this. It was something serious, not something capricious,” he said, adding, “it cannot be done.”

However, Francis stressed that while the priesthood is out, women do need to be given more opportunities for leadership in the Roman Curia – a view he said has at times been met with resistance.

“I had to fight to put a woman as the vice-director of the press office,” he said, referring to his decision in 2016 to name Spanish journalist Paloma Garica Ovejero as the Vatican’s deputy spokesperson.

He said he at one point offered a woman the job of heading the Vatican’s Secretariat for Communications, but she turned it down because “she already had other commitments.”

Women in the Curia “are few, we need to put more,” he said, adding that it can be either a religious sister or a laywoman, “it doesn’t matter,” but there is a need to move forward with an eye for quality and competency in the job.

“I don’t have any problem naming a woman as the head of a dicastery, if the dicastery doesn’t have jurisdiction,” he said, referring to the fact that some Vatican departments have specific functions in Church governance that require a bishop to do the job. Lay men are also ineligible to oversee offices that require the jurisdictional authority of a priest or bishop.

For example, the Vatican’s Congregation for Clergy has jurisdiction, so it has to be led by a bishop, but for others, such as the Vatican’s Secretariat for the Economy, “I would not have a problem naming a competent woman,” Francis said.

Women must continue to be promoted, but without falling into “a feminist attitude,” the pope said, adding that “in the end it would be machismo with a skirt. We don’t want to fall into this.”

Pope Francis spoke during an interview with American journalist Phil Pullella of Reuters, which took place Sunday at the pope’s Vatican residence, and was published June 20.

In the interview, the pope touched on a variety of topics, including a possible deal with China on the appointment of bishops, clerical abuse and the ongoing scandal in Chile, the reform of the Roman Curia, and criticism he’s faced.

On the topic of women, Francis said that in his experience, things are usually done better when there is a mixed group working on a task, rather than just men.

“Women have an ability to understand things, it’s another vision,” he said, noting that whenever he has visited prisons run by women, they “seemed to do better,” because women know how to be “mothers” and care for inmates and their needs in a unique way.

“Women know how to manage conflicts better. In these things, women are braver,” he said, adding, “I think it would be so also in the Curia if there were more women.”

Francis noted that some have said inviting more women into the mix might mean there is more gossip, however, he said he does not believe that would be the case, “because we men are also gossipers.”

POPE TALKS TO REUTERS ABOUT THE ‘DIALOGUE WITH CHINA’

Vatican City (AsiaNews) – Pope Francis was interviewed by Philip Pullella of Reuters. In the tête-à-tête, the pontiff said that with respect to the dialogue with China, “We are at a good point”. In addition to diplomatic channels there are friendships and cultural exchanges. The Chinese people are “very wise” and know how to wait. By kind permission, we publish here a translation of an excerpt from the registration of the interview between the Holy Father and the journalist two days ago.

Q: How is the rapprochement with China?
R. We are at a good point, but relations with China follow three different paths. First of all, there is the official one. The Chinese delegation comes here, takes part in meetings, and then the Vatican delegation goes to China. Relations are good and we have managed to do good things. This is the official dialogue.

Then there is a second dialogue, of everyone and with everyone. “I am a cousin of the minister so and so who sent me to say that . . .”. There is always an answer. “Yes, all right, let’s go forward.” These side channels are open, let’s say, at a human level, and we do not want to burn them. We can see goodwill, both from the Holy See and the Chinese government.

The third path, which for me is the most important in the rapprochement with China, is cultural. Some priests work at Chinese universities. Then there is also culture, like the exhibit that was put on in the Vatican and in China.[1] This is the traditional path, like those of the great ones, like Matteo Ricci.

I like to think about relations with China as, multifaceted, based not only the official diplomatic one, because the other two are very enriching. I think things are going well. In your question, you mentioned two steps forward and one step backward. I think the Chinese deserve the Nobel Prize for patience, because they are good, they know how to wait, time is theirs and they have centuries of culture . . . They are a wise people, very wise. I respect China a lot.

Q: How do you respond to concerns such as those of Cardinal Zen?

A: Cardinal Zen taught theology in patriotic seminaries. I think he’s a little scared. Perhaps age might have some influence. He is a good man. He came to talk to me. I received him, but he’s a bit scared. Dialogue is a risk, but I prefer the risk to the sure defeat of not talking. With respect to time, someone mentioned Chinese time. I think it is God’s time, forward, calm.

POPE FRANCIS ACCEPTS THE RESIGNATIONS OF 3 CHILEAN BISHOPS – POPE ACCEPTS RESIGNATION OF BISHOP ACCUSED OF COVERING UP CLERICAL SEX ABUSE

Following are two stories about the resignations of three Chilean bishops accepted by Pope Francis. You will recall that all of the nation’s bishops tendered their resignations at the end of their meeting in Rome with Pope Francis last month. The first article is the Vatican’s brief announcement, and the second is CNA’s story that includes background, etc.

One of the bishops whose resignation was accepted was Bishop Juan Barros of Osorno. In 2015 Pope Francis appointed Bishop Barros to the Diocese of Osorno, an appointment that was extremely controversial in Chile as Barros had been accused of covering up sexual abuse by a close priest friend, Fr. Fernando Karadima. Victims tried for years to convince authorities of Karadima’s crimes and Barros’ coverup. In 2011, Karadima was pronounced guilty and ordered to a life of prayer and seclusion).

POPE FRANCIS ACCEPTS THE RESIGNATIONS OF 3 CHILEAN BISHOPS

The Holy See Press Office announces that Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of three Chilean Bishops–two for reasons of having reached the age limit.

Diocese of Osorno, Chile
The Holy Father has accepted the resignation from the pastoral governance of the diocese of Osorno, Chile, presented by His Excellency Msgr. Juan Barros Madrid.

The Holy Father has appointed as Apostolic Administrator sede vacante et ad nutum Sanctae Sedis of the same diocese of Osorno, Chile, His Excellency Msgr Jorge Enrique Concha Cayuqueo, O.F.M., Auxiliary Bishop of Santiago de Chile, Chile.

Archdiocese of Puerto Montt, Chile
The Holy Father has accepted the resignation from the pastoral governance of the diocese of Puerto Montt, Chile, presented by His Excellency Msgr. Cristián Caro Cordero, for reasons of having reached the age limit.

The Holy Father has appointed as Apostolic Administrator sede vacante et ad nutum Sanctae Sedis of the same archdiocese, Puerto Montt, Chile, the Reverend Father Ricardo Basilio Morales Galindo, O. de M., Provincial of the Mercedarians in Chile.

Diocese of Valparaiso, Chile
The Holy Father has accepted the resignation from the pastoral governance of the diocese of Valparaiso, Chile, presented by His Excellency Msgr. Gonzalo Duarte García De Cortázar, SS.CC., for reasons of having reached the age limit.

The Holy Father has appointed as Apostolic Administrator sede vacante et ad nutum Sanctae Sedis of the same diocese, Valparaiso, Chile, the His Excellency Msgr. Pedro Mario Ossandón Buljevic, Auxiliary Bishop of Santiago de Chile, Chile.

POPE ACCEPTS RESIGNATION OF BISHOP ACCUSED OF COVERING UP CLERICAL SEX ABUSE

Vatican City, Jun 11, 2018 (CNA/EWTN News).- The Vatican announced Monday that Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Bishop Juan Barros Madrid from his post in the diocese of Osorno, after being accused of covering-up for Chile’s most notorious abuser priest, Fernando Karadima.

The announcement came in a June 11 communique from the Vatican, along with the resignation of two other Chilean bishops who had reached the age of retirement.

Barros submitted his resignation to Pope Francis alongside every other active bishop in Chile at the close of a May 15-17 meeting between the pope and Chilean prelates, during which Francis chastised the bishops for systematic cover-up of abuse throughout the country.

Taking over as in Barros’ stead is Bishop Jorge Enrique Conchua Cayuqueo, O.F.M., auxiliary bishop of Santiago, who will serve as apostolic administrator for the Diocese of Osorno.

In addition to Barros, Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Archbishop Cristián Caro Cordero of Puerto Montt, naming Fr. Ricardo Basilio Morales Galindo, provincial for the Order of Mercy in Chile as apostolic administrator.

He also accepted the resignation of Bishop Gonzalo Duarte García de Cortázar of Valparaíso, naming Bishop Pedro Mario Ossandón Buljevic, auxiliary bishop of Santiago, as apostolic administrator.

Both Caro and Duarte had reached the normal retirement age for bishops, at which it is customary for bishops to submit their resignation.

Francis had summoned the bishops of the country to Rome following an in-depth investigation and report into the Chilean clerical abuse crisis carried out by Maltese Archbishop Charles Scicluna and Msgr. Jordi Bertomeu of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in February, resulting in a 2,300 page report on the scandal.

The decision of whether to accept the bishops’ resignations is up toPope Francis. So far Barros, Caro and Duarte are the first bishops whose resignation Pope Francis has formally accepted.

The announcement of Barros’ resignation coincides with the announcement that Scicluna and Bertomeu will make another visit to Chile June 12-19, this time traveling to the diocese of Osorno, which Barros has led since 2015. The investigators will spend June 14-17 in Osorno, and the remainder of their time will be spent in Santiago.

Pope Francis’ appointment of Barros to Osorno in 2015 was met with a wave of objections and calls for his resignation. Dozens of protesters, including non-Catholics, attempted to disrupt his March 21, 2015 installation Mass at the Osorno cathedral.

Opponents have been vocal about their opposition to Barros ever since, with some of the most outspoken being victims of Karadima, who in 2011 was found guilty by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith of sexually abusing several minors during the 1980s and 1990s, and sentenced to a life of prayer and solitude.

Barros maintained his innocence, saying he didn’t know the abuse was happening. Pope Francis initially backed him, refusing to allow Barros to step down from his post and calling accusations against him “calumny” during a visit to Chile in January.

However, after Scicluna and Bertomeu’s investigation, the pope in April apologized for having made “serious mistakes” in judging the case due to “a lack of truthful and balanced information.”

Since then, he has met with two rounds of abuse survivors in addition to his meeting with Chilean bishops.

PAPAL LETTER TO THE PILGRIM PEOPLE OF GOD IN CHILE – IN MEMORIAM: 74 YEARS AFTER NORMANDY

PAPAL LETTER TO THE PILGRIM PEOPLE OF GOD IN CHILE

On May 31, Holy See Press Office Director Greg Burke announced that the weekend of June 1-3, Pope Francis would host a group of Chilean priests at the Santa Marta residence. He added that, “With the aim of going forward with the process of reparation and healing of the victims of abuse, once again in coming days Archbishop Charles Scicluna and Bishop Jordi Bertomeu will go to Chile, this time on a mission in the diocese of Osorno, in agreement with Pope Francis.”

That press office statement also announced that, “In the meantime, as he had promised the bishops of Chile, the Holy Father will send the president of the Episcopal Conference of Chile a letter personally written by him and addressed to the People of Chile.”

Following is CNA’s translation of the full text of Pope Francis’ May 31 letter: To the Pilgrim People of God in Chile (you may have to cut and paste link if it is not working):

http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/full-text-of-pope-francis-letter-to-the-church-in-chile-35580?utm_source=CNA&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=daily_newsletter

IN MEMORIAM: 74 YEARS AFTER NORMANDY

I offer this column from Aleteia as a tribute to all those who died in Normandy 74 years ago, to those chaplains who prayed with men of all faiths who knew they might die yet hoped they would not die, but in particular I offer this as a tribute to those men who, when they knelt down, knew precisely why they were on their knees!

Aleteia: These incredible images remind us of the brave sacrifice of thousands and the important role of chaplains and priests during the aftermath.

Seventy-four years after the Allied invasion of Normandy, we remember and honor those who served during the largest seaborne invasion in history.

Chaplains and Catholic priests played an important role in providing essential spiritual and psychological guidance during the days and weeks that followed. Unarmed, they courageously put themselves on the front lines to say Mass, offer pastoral care for active and wounded soldiers, and provide last rites for the dying and prayers for those killed.

Click “Launch the slideshow” on the link below to see some incredible photos from D-Day and brave chaplains and priests who served during the aftermath:

D-Day, 74 years later: Remembering the heroic chaplains and priests of Normandy

POPE FRANCIS TO CELEBRATE MASS WITH 5 CHILEAN PRIESTS

POPE FRANCIS TO CELEBRATE MASS WITH 5 CHILEAN PRIESTS

FROM HOLY SEE PRESS OFFICE:

Pope Francis to celebrate Mass at 4 pm today with five Chilean priests who have been his guests at the Santa Marta residence since yesterday, June 1. He will have individual meetings with these priests. The aim of these meetings is to look more deeply into the reality lived by part of the faithful and the Chilean clergy. With the help of these five priests the Pope will try to put an end to the internal rupture in the community. Thus, one can begin to rebuild a healthy relationship between the faithful and their pastors once everyone becomes aware of their own wounds.

POPE APPOINTS APOSTOLIC VISITOR FOR MEDJUGORJE PARISH – FRANCIS SENDS SEX ABUSE INVESTIGATORS BACK TO CHILE

POPE APPOINTS APOSTOLIC VISITOR FOR MEDJUGORJE PARISH

The Holy See Press Office issued a statement noting that today, May 31, 2018, the Holy Father named Archbishop Henryk Hoser, S.A.C., emeritus of Warszawa-Praga, Poland, as Apostolic Visitor for the parish of Medjugorje, for an indeterminate period of time ‘ad nutum Sanctae Sedis’ (at the pleasure of the Holy See).

“This is exclusively a pastoral assignment in continuity with the mission of Holy See Special Envoy to the parish of Medjugorje that was entrusted to Abp. Hoser on February 11, 2017, and concluded by him in recent months. The aim of the Apostolic Visitor is to assure a stable and continuous accompaniment of the parish community of Medjugorje and of the faithful who travel there in pilgrimage whose needs call for a particular attention.”

(JFL: Archbishop Hoser, a Pallottine missionary priest and a trained physican, was sent to Medjugorje in 2011 to assess the pastoral needs of this immensely popular pilgrimage site. He was not tasked to judge the veracity of alleged appearances by the Blessed Virgin on this site as that is a doctrinal issue. However, Abp. Hoser’s final report is expected to be added to conclusions reached by the Ruini International Commission – a study and evaluation of Medjugorje entrusted to the former vicar of Rome, Cardinal Camillo Ruini – that took place over several years.)

FRANCIS SENDS SEX ABUSE INVESTIGATORS BACK TO CHILE

Statement from Holy See Press Office Director Greg Burke:

This coming weekend, as scheduled, the Holy Father will host a group of Chilean priests at the Santa Marta residence: https://joansrome.wordpress.com/2018/05/23/pope-to-meet-with-second-group-of-chilean-abuse-victims/

With the aim of going forward with the process of reparation and healing of the victims of abuse, once again in coming days Archbishop Charles Scicluna and Bishop Jordi Bertomeu will go to Chile, this time on a mission in the diocese of Osorno, in agreement with Pope Francis.

In the meantime, as he had promised the bishops of Chile, the Holy Father will send the president of the Episcopal Conference of Chile a letter personally written by him and addressed to the People

(JFL: In 2015 Pope Francis appointed Bishop Juan Barros to the Diocese of Osorno, an appointment that was extremely controversial in Chile as Barros had been accused of covering up sexual abuse by a close priest friend, Fr. Fernando Karadima. Victims tried for years to convince authorities of Karadima’s crimes and Barros’ coverup. In 2011, Karadima was proniunced guilty and sentenced to a life of prayer and solitude.)

POPE TO MEET WITH SECOND GROUP OF CHILEAN ABUSE VICTIMS

POPE TO MEET WITH SECOND GROUP OF CHILEAN ABUSE VICTIMS

The Holy See Press Office issued a statement last night, May 22, that Pope Francis, from June 1 to 3 in the Vatican, will meet with a second group of Fr, Fernando Karadima’s victims of abuse – or that of his followers – from the parish of Sagrado Corazón de Providencia (“El Bosque”) in Chile.

By Sr Bernadette Mary Reis, fsp

Among the group are 5 priests who were victims of “abuse of power, of conscience and sexual abuse,” as well as 2 additional priests who “have assisted the victims throughout the juridical and spiritual process, and 2 lay people involved in this suffering.” The group will be provided hospitality in the Santa Marta residence where the Pope lives.

The communique reported that most of those coming also took part in the meetings that took place in Chile with Archbishop Charles Scicluna and Bishop Jordi Bertomeu in February. Others collaborated in the weeks after their visit.

This upcoming June meeting was scheduled a month ago because, said the statement, “Pope Francis wants to demonstrate his closeness to the abused priests, to accompany them in their pain and listen to their valuable opinion so as to improve preventive measures and the fight against abuse in the Church.” This will conclude the first phase of the meetings that Pope Francis wanted to have with the victims from Sagrado Corazón de Providencia parish.

The meetings will be conducted “in an atmosphere of trust and confidentiality.” On Saturday morning, June 2, the Pope will celebrate Mass privately at Casa Santa Marta. In the afternoon, a meeting with the group is scheduled which will be followed by individual meetings.

The communique concluded: “The Holy Father continues to ask the faithful of Chile, and especially the faithful of the parishes where these priests have exercised their pastoral ministry—to accompany them with prayer and solidarity during these days.”