As the U.S. bishops gathered in Baltimore on the weekend of Nov. 10-11, it seemed certain that, after a day of prayer, penance and reflection on the Church’s sexual abuse crisis, they would take two important steps toward reform. An episcopal code of conduct, holding bishops accountable to the standards applied to priests in the 2002 Dallas Charter, would be adopted. And the bishops would authorize a lay-led mechanism to receive complaints about episcopal misbehavior, malfeasance, or corruption; allegations found credible would be sent to the appropriate authorities, including those in Rome.
I’m just old enough to remember when my elders still called Nov.11 “Armistice Day:” the armistice in question that which stopped the shooting in the Great War. As a military matter, World War I may have ended a century ago, on November 11, 1918, allowing my Grandfather Weigel and millions of other doughboys to be demobilized. The devastating cultural effects of the Great War are still being felt today, though.
After a month out of the country, working in Rome at Synod-2018 and helping mark the 40th anniversary of John Paul II’s election at events in Brussels and Warsaw, I came home to find Catholic anger over the latest phase of the abuse crisis unabated and intensified in some quarters. That this crisis is not acknowledged for what it is by the highest authorities in Rome is a subject for another reflection at another time. The question today is: What are the roots of today’s Catholic anger and disgust?
The recent decision by the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople to grant autocephaly to a unified Ukrainian Orthodox Church – which would mean its independence from the Russian Orthodox Moscow patriarchate — would be precisely such a dramatic, tectonic shift; perhaps the greatest in Eastern Christianity since Constantinople and Rome formally severed full communion in 1054.
by Father Sean M. Suckiel
This week, the Catholic Church in the United States celebrates National Vocation Awareness Week. It is a week-long celebration dedicated to promoting vocations to the priesthood, religious life, diaconate and married life through prayer and education.
The temptation to ally the Church with a particular political party and its program is a perennial one, it seems. When that temptation is not resisted, it invariably leads to trouble – politically, and more importantly, evangelically.
As we endure these difficult days in the life of our Church, I’ve been thinking about the potential for committed Catholic women to bind wounds and buoy up the spirits of the faithful. Saint John Paul II once commended women for helping to make “political and economic structures ever more worthy of humanity.”
POLE THAT HE WAS, Karol Wojtyla had a well-developed sense of historical irony. So from his present position in the Communion of Saints, he might be struck by the ironic fact that the Synod on “Youth, Faith, and Vocational Discernment,” currently underway in Rome, coincides with the 40th anniversary of his election as pope.
PEERING OUTSIDE THE window from an airplane thousands of feet in the air, I had no idea that what I saw in front of me would make Scripture come to life.
MY GRANDMOTHER’S BIRTHDAY is coming up and she does not live in this country, so my family will not be able to see her.