Thursday, November 21, 2019

We need to stop separating seminarians from lay ministers in formation

Power games in the Roman Curia pose greatest threat to financial reform


19 November 2019, The Tablet

Power games in the Roman Curia pose greatest threat to financial reform



Power games in the Roman Curia pose greatest threat to financial reform
Rene Brulhart, then president of the Financial Intelligence Authority, arrives for a news conference at the Vatican in this file photo from 2016.
Photo: CNS photo/Paul Haring)
It’s one step forward, one step back when it comes to reforming Vatican finances.
Pope Francis has, after a long wait, appointed a successor to Cardinal George Pell as Prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy (Pell, of course, is in prison in Australia, fighting to overthrow a conviction for sex abuse offences). The new prefect is Father Juan Antonio Guerrero, a Spanish Jesuit and an outsider to the Roman Curia who has taken a vow of poverty.
Fr Guerrero held various leadership positions in the Jesuit order, studied economics, speaks five languages, and hopes to “contribute to the economic transparency of the Holy See”.
But that work is under threat from the farcical shenanigans over Vatican finances.

On pope’s Asia swing, doctrinal tension is the dog that’s not barking

On pope’s Asia swing, doctrinal tension is the dog that’s not barking

On pope’s Asia swing, doctrinal tension is the dog that’s not barking

John Allen, Crux

Home for a visit, a year after leaving the church

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Pope Francis: Religious fundamentalism is a ‘plague’

Junno Arocho Esteves - Catholic News Service

The first Jesuit arrived in Japan in 1549. Why are there so few Christians today?

Christianity is declining at a rapid pace, but Americans still hold positive views about religion’s role in society

Christianity is declining at a rapid pace, but Americans still hold positive views about religion’s role in society

WASHINGTON (DC)
Washington Post
Nov. 15, 2019
By Sarah Pulliam Bailey
Despite public concerns about religious groups and a loss of respect for clergy in general, a new poll from the Pew Research Center suggests many Americans still see religion generally having a positive role for Christianity.
Christianity has been rapidly declining in the United States while the number of Americans who are religiously unaffiliated is growing. Gallup polls have found a massive, three-decade fall in confidence in “organized religion” from as high as 66 percent in the mid-1980s to 36 percent in 2019. Pope Francis’s image has declined in multiple surveys in the wake of new revelations about sex abuse scandals.
But Pew’s survey, published Friday, finds that Americans hold more positive views of religion’s role overall and concerns about it declining. Fifty-five percent say churches and religious organizations do more good than harm in society (compared with 20 percent of people who think it does more harm than good). Similar majorities say religious organizations strengthen morality in society (53 percent), and 50 percent say they bring people together.

POPE FRANCIS AND THE AMERICAN BISHOPS


POPE FRANCIS AND THE AMERICAN BISHOPS

NEW YORK (NY)
First Things
Nov. 19, 2019
By Philip Lawler
During the most significant debate of last week’s meeting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia rose to decry any suggestion that the American bishops are at odds with Pope Francis, “because that isn’t true.” That interpretation of the relationship between the U.S. and Rome “sets up an artificial battle between the bishops’ conference of the United States and the Holy Father which isn’t true,” he said. He rejected a brother bishop’s argument, based on that interpretation, “because it isn’t true.”
In the space of less than 30 seconds, Chaput said three times that a popular narrative “isn’t true.” Was he stating a fact, or voicing a plaintive hope? Or was he protesting too much?
The perception of tensions between the USCCB and the Roman pontiff might be traced back to the pope’s remarks during an in-flight interview in September, when he told a New York Times reporter: “For me it’s an honor that Americans attack me.” (To be fair, the pope was not then referring to the American bishops; he was speaking about a new book, How America Wants to Change the Pope, in which author Nicolas Seneze posits an American media campaign to subvert papal authority.) Father Antonio Spadaro, the pope’s close Jesuit adviser, has on several occasions complained that Americans are leading the opposition to the papal agenda.