Voice of the Faithful Focus, Dec. 13, 2012
Highlighting issues we face working together
to Keep the Faith, Change the Church
Call for Debate to Re-energize Church
A senior and influential figure in the Swiss Church has issued a potentially incendiary appeal for church reform with a string of proposals to empower the laity. The ideas include appointing women and young people as cardinals and arranging regular meetings for them with the Pope, giving laypeople greater say in the choice of bishops and discussing priestly celibacy and Communion for remarried divorcees.
Attempt to Resurrect Pre-Vatican II Mass Leaves Church at Crossroads
The people attached to the extraordinary form, the Tridentine Mass, are seriously trying to enact a particular worldview and understanding of church that is incompatible with the Second Vatican Council. The extraordinary form is incapable of activating us as the priestly people of God – the vision of Vatican II.
Former Bishops’ Staffer Banned over Women Deacons
A former key U.S. Catholic bishops’ conference staffer has been told he is not allowed to speak publicly in the Philadelphia archdiocese because he co-authored a book investigating the possibility of ordaining women as deacons.
Editorial: Ordination of Women Would Correct an Injustice
Catholic women who have discerned a call to the priesthood and have had that call affirmed by the community should be ordained in the Roman Catholic Church. Barring women from ordination to the priesthood is an injustice that cannot be allowed to stand.
Bar Is Set Low in Acceptance of Year-Old English Missal
The first Sunday of Advent, Dec. 2, marked one year since the new translation of the Roman Missal was implemented in parishes in the United States and much of the rest of the English-speaking church. Despite the misgivings about the missal many who worked on it had, some think it’s working.
D Is for Distortion
On a Nov. 30, dotCommonweal’s Mollie Wilson O’Reilly wrote a blog cataloging Bill Donohue’s shortcomings, both as a crusader against anti-Catholicism and as a surrogate for the conservative movement. Her conclusion was pointed: “Seriously, your excellencies and eminences: what will it take to make you rethink the wisdom of encouraging Bill Donohue to act as your public interpreter?”
Jesuit, 92, Penalized after Eucharistic Liturgy with Woman Priest
A Catholic priest who participated in a Eucharistic liturgy with a woman priest in November has been ordered to no longer celebrate the Mass or perform any other priestly duties.
This History of Sex Abuse in the Catholic Church
A video that puts it all in a nutshell.
Priest Abuse Files May Be Released without Church Officials’ Names
At a judge’s direction, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles redacted the identities of members of the Church hierarchy. But another judge has the final say and is expected to rule on Monday, Dec. 17.
Someone Should Tell Finn to Step Down If He Won’t Do It Himself
Maybe one day we’ll learn that one of Bishop Robert Finn’s peers told him privately that his continued presence as bishop of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Missouri, was hurting the church in many ways and that he should quit. Maybe.
Missouri Bishop’s Conviction Leaves Clergy Divided
In the three months since Bishop Robert W. Finn became the first American prelate convicted of failing to report a pedophile priest, lay people and victims’ advocates have repeatedly called for his resignation.
Helena Diocese, Nuns, Victims to Take Sex Abuse Claims before Mediator
Judge Jeffrey Sherlock will have to decide whether to hold individual or group trials for more than 300 plaintiffs unless attorneys for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Helena, an order of nuns and hundreds of alleged sex abuse victims can reach a settlement.
Deceased Priest Added to Abuse List 15 Years after Rape Allegations
A deceased Catholic priest accused of raping a young girl in the 1970s has been added to the Archdiocese of Milwaukee’s list of clergy restricted because of substantiated allegations of sexual abuse of children – 15 years after the victim first made the allegations against him.
Child Protection Recommendations Don’t Include Statute of Limitation Reform
A task force created in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal has given legislators a load of recommendations to review, but none of them involve statute of limitation reform.
Archdiocese, Parishes Win Key Victory in Bankruptcy
In a major victory for the Church, a U.S. bankruptcy court has ruled that the Catholic Archdiocese of Milwaukee’s 200-plus parishes are separate legal entities and their assets will not be consolidated with the archdiocese’s as part of its bankruptcy.
The Roman Catholic clergy sexual abuse scandal in Australia continues its inexorable course:
— Sister Angela Ryan Discusses Support for Victims
— Wagga Bishop Hopes Commission Will Rebuild Trust
— Adelaide School Abuse Inquiry Gets Royal Commission Powers
— Ballarat Bishop ‘Moved Pedophile Priest Overseas;
— Clergy Abuse Victim Tells His Story in Newcastle Cathedral
— Call for Joint Effort on Abuse Inquiries
— Australian Commission to Investigate Child Sex Abuse Allegations
— Catholic Church ‘Must Excise Moral Cancer’ of Sex Abuse
— After Decades of Injustice, the Sex Crime Revolution Arrives
— Dysfunctional church Stares into the Abuse Abyss
— Bishops’ Council Will Co-Operate with Royal Commission into Child Sex Abuse
— Peak Law Body Fears Rush on Royal Commission
— Key Catholic Flags Overhaul of Abuse Response
Irish Priest Association Supports Bourgeois
The church reform group that represents about a quarter of Ireland’s Catholic priests has issued a statement of support for Roy Bourgeois, the U.S. Maryknoll priest the Vatican laicization and dismissed from his order because of his support of women’s ordination.
Priests Facing Abuse Claims Want Their Accusers Named
A group representing liberal clergymen has said that priests accused of sexual abuse want their accusers identified and the allegations against them in writing.
Former Catholic Brother in New Zealand Court over Sex Charges
Former Catholic brother and convicted sex offender Bernard Kevin McGrath has appeared in Christchurch District Court on charges over a warrant for his extradition to Australia.
The Vanishing Nuns
In 1965, when the average age of a baby boomer was 10, there were 180,000 nuns in the United States. Today there are about 56,000. But even more dramatic than this decline is the age of the average Roman Catholic sister — 74 years old.
Nun Uses Music to Convey Spirited Message Against the Vatican’s Rebuke
Last spring, when the Vatican issued a harsh assessment of the group representing a majority of American nuns accusing them of “serious doctrinal problems,” Sister Kathy Sherman, 60, said she responded the way she always does when she feels something deeply. She wrote a song.
Vatican’s Doctrinal Congregation Clears Bourgeois by Condemning Him
The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has forced Maryknoll to expel Fr. Roy Bourgeois from the society because of his public advocacy of women priests. Surprisingly, only after Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger became Pope Benedict XVI was the doctrinal congregation’s title of “Sacred” removed from its coat of arms. That grandiose term was really a misprint for “Scared.”
Vatican Disciplines Austrian Dissident Priest
The Vatican has cracked down on a prominent Austrian Roman Catholic priest who has been leading a disobedience campaign to openly challenge Roman Catholic teachings on celibacy and women priests.
Prefect of CDF Says Seeing Vatican II as a ‘Rupture’ Is Hersey
Traditionalist and progressive camps that see the Second Vatican Council as a “rupture” both espouse a “heretical interpretation” of the Council and its aims, according to the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
Ex-Manager Stole $353K, Archdiocese Alleges
The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cincinnati has sued a former business manager, Thomas “Shaun” Martin of Mason, for allegedly stealing more than $353,000 from three Hamilton County parishes.
Bourgeois’ Lawyer Asks Maryknoll for ‘Honest Answers’
Roy Bourgeois’ canon lawyer has written to the leadership of the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers, asking for “honest answers” about the order’s involvement in the Vatican’s dismissal of the longtime peace activist and priest. By Joshua J. McElwee, National Catholic Reporter
The Future of the Church: Discernment or Intimidation
Sr. Joan Chittister says she gets a lot of questions in her mail, many of them personal, many of them professional. One of the professional ones, she says, “taught me more about the present state of the church than much else could possibly have done.”
Awareness, Enforcement Help Reduce Child Sex Abuse
Increased public awareness of how child predators operate, along with better law enforcement and policies to protect children, may be helping to reduce child sex abuse despite this year’s headlines about cases connected to institutions like Penn State, the Boy Scouts and the BBC. By Beth J. Harpaz, Huffington Post