Saturday, January 18, 2020

Sister Helen Prejean says check your (white) privilege

Editorial: US foreign policy belies the veneer of noble purpose

Editorial

Editorial: US foreign policy belies the veneer of noble purpose

Second Sunday in Ordinary Time: Questions to set us on fire

Second Sunday in Ordinary Time: Questions to set us on fire

ncr 

Sarah’s last hurrah? 2020 could see major Vatican shakeups

Sarah’s last hurrah? 2020 could see major Vatican shakeups

Sarah’s last hurrah? 2020 could see major Vatican shakeups

Elise Harris, Crux

Friday, January 17, 2020

The diaconate is about more than ‘humble service’


Deacon Anthony Klein of the Diocese of Sioux Falls, S.D., during Mass for the feast of the Epiphany celebrated by Pope Francis in St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican, January 6, 2020. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
Pope Francis can turn a phrase. Speaking recently to the Vatican’s Dicastery for Laity, Family, and Life, he said, “Move deacons away from the altar…. They are guardians of service, not first-class altar boys or second-class priests.” With characteristic bluntness, Francis put his finger on the still-unresolved identity and mission of deacons in Roman Catholicism.
In one sense, the pope’s words run counter to Vatican II’s teaching that those men who already carry out diaconal-type ministries—catechesis, pastoral leadership, charitable service—should be ordained, so that “they would be more closely bound to the altar and their ministry made more fruitful through the sacramental grace of the diaconate” (Decree on the Church’s Missionary Activity [1], 16).
In another sense, Francis’s words represent a widely held view that the diaconate is about service, especially the humble service exemplified in foot-washing (although only bishops and priests wash feet on Holy Thursday). Today, in an effort to see deacons as something other than “first-class altar boys or second-class priests,” and also to avoid what some see as a too “churchy” or introverted view of ordained ministry, the diaconate often gets defined primarily as a ministry of service, especially of charity and justice—sometimes with subtle and not-so-subtle warnings against focusing too much on the ministries of word and sacrament.

Another veiled attack on Francis?


16 January 2020, The Tablet

Another veiled attack on Francis?


Are the opponents of Pope Francis trying to open a second front in their war against his reforming papacy? According to some interpretations, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI has sent a warning to his successor not to allow the ordination into the priesthood of a small number of married men, in order to relieve the severe shortage of priests in the Amazon region. This was one of the proposals that emerged from last year’s Amazon Synod in Rome, to which Pope Francis is still considering his response. Such an interpretation appeals to that vociferous ultra-conservative minority in the Catholic Church which regards Francis with deep suspicion and not a little antagonism. It suits them to maximise any impression of a split between the two, Benedict being cast as a trenchant critic of the Franciscan papacy – which, in fact, he is not.

In his contribution to a book arguing in support of a celibate clergy, an essay apparently written before the meeting of the bishops of the Amazon, Benedict does not write anything opposing the known views of Francis on this topic. However, a stronger stand is taken by Cardinal Robert Sarah, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, who wrote the rest of the book in which Benedict’s essay appears. Sharing a book with someone whose opinions are more stringent than one’s own is bound to be seen as a kind of endorsement of them, even though he has withdrawn his name from the introduction and conclusion to the book, which were originally issued in both their names.

Francis finishes work on Amazon synod text, publication expected within weeks

Francis finishes work on Amazon synod text, publication expected within weeks

VATICAN CITY
National Catholic Reporter
January 16, 2020
By Joshua J. McElwee
Pope Francis has completed work on his highly anticipated response to last year's Vatican gathering of Catholic bishops from the Amazon that may allow for the ordination of married men as Catholic priests in the nine-nation region, NCR can reveal.
Catholic bishops around the world are receiving a letter from the Vatican this week, advising them that the document, which is also expected to lament devastating environmental destruction in the region and may detail new ministries for women in the church, is nearing publication.
"The draft is currently being reviewed and corrected and then needs to be translated," states the letter, which is signed by retired Brazilian Cardinal Claudio Hummes and was obtained by NCR.
"Pope Francis hopes to promulgate it by the end of this month or in early February," writes Hummes, who served as the synod's lead organizer.

Baptism for mission, not only the remission of sins

Baptism for mission, not only the remission of sins

ncr