With all of the dialogue, with all of the interventions, with all of the relations from the bishops and delegates in the Vatican Synod on the Youth that is currently ongoing this month, what the average Catholic in the pew and, indeed, what the average Catholic priest in the parish needs, more than anything and more than ever, is to know what exactly the goals and objectives of the Catholic Church are and are not.
This past Sunday saw the canonization of Pope Paul VI. Paul, as has been said in this column before, was a truly prescient man. His biographer, Peter Hebblethwaite, described Paul as “the first modern Pope” and indeed he was. He was the first pope in recent history who suffered direct attacks for his consistent defense of natural law as well as calumny against his own person.
This past week, the Vatican’s Synod on Youth began and there have already been several interventions made by prelates. In particular, some of the English-speaking Bishops have made some excellent points.
His Holiness, Pope Francis, has asked Catholics throughout the world to pray the Rosary daily throughout the month of October. This is hardly groundbreaking as October is traditionally the month of the Holy Rosary.
With the release of the apostolic constitution “Episcopalis communio” on Sept. 18, His Holiness, Pope Francis, has ordered a change to the way that the Catholic Church understands the authority and work of assemblies of bishops.
According to some pundits, sexual abuse by clerics and other Church workers and sexual harassment and misconduct by clerics and other Church workers of adults, is a uniquely American problem. This is patently false.
Both Attorney Generals in New York and New Jersey announced last week that they would investigate sexual abuse in all the dioceses in New York and New Jersey.
The fierce debate that is being waged in the Church about whether Pope Francis enabled a wayward cardinal to continue to be part of church life has less to do about specific instances and more to do with the direction that the Church is heading. There is all-out war going on in ecclesiastical ranks between liberals who love where Pope Francis is taking the Church and conservatives who consider his thinking to be anathema.
This past week, Our Holy Father, Pope Francis, made his journey to the World Meetings of Families, sponsored by the Vatican dicastery responsible for ministry to families, laity and life, headed by Cardinal Kevin Farrell. The Diocese of Brooklyn was blessed by a representation of priests and parishioners.
Many of our Bishops in the United States have reflected wisely and well on the situation facing the Church in the United States concerning the sexual abuse of minors by members of the clergy. The Pennsylvania Grand Jury report detailing incidents is just the latest in a sad and shameful story.