Browsing News Entries
Posted on 10/18/2019 08:23 AM (CNA Daily News)
Belfast, Northern Ireland, Oct 18, 2019 / 12:23 am (CNA).- Pro-life groups in Northern Ireland are hopeful that there is sufficient support in the legislature to block an expansion of legal abortion from going into effect next week.
According to the Belfast Telegraph, the pro-life group Both Lives Matter says 30 members of the legislative assembly have pledged to ask the Speaker to recall the Assembly, which the Speaker will be obligated to do under Northern Ireland law.
In order to block the new abortion measures from taking place, however, an Executive would need to be formed, which is unlikely before the Monday deadline, the Belfast Telegraph reports.
The British parliament voted in July to add same-sex marriage and a loosening of abortion restrictions as amendments to the Northern Ireland (Executive Formation) Bill, which is designed to keep the region running amid a protracted deadlock in the Northern Ireland Assembly.
If Northern Ireland Assembly is not reconvened by Oct. 21, the expansion of abortion rights and the legalization of same-sex marriage will take effect. Secretary Julian Smith would be mandated to put the laws into effect by March 31, 2020.
The Northern Ireland Assembly has been suspended for the past two years due to a dispute between the two major governing parties. The DUP, the largest party, is opposed to changing the law. Sinn Féin, another prominent party in Northern Ireland, backs a liberalization of the abortion law.
The DUP has said it is ready to return to the Assembly “immediately without pre-conditions,” according to local media reports.
Talks over the matter are being held Thursday and Friday.
“The British and Irish Governments both share the view that there remains an opportunity in the coming days to reach an accommodation,” Northern Ireland minister Robin Walker said Wednesday, according to the Guardian.
“One only has to look at the passionate and sincere demonstrations in recent weeks on both sides of this issue to appreciate that this remains a highly sensitive matter in Northern Ireland,” he said, adding that in the government’s view, it is preferable to have the matter decided by the Northern Ireland assembly.
Labour MP Stella Creasy criticized Walker for his statement, arguing that the UK government was only in favor of a quick resolution that handed power back to the Northern Ireland assembly because UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson saw a need to secure DUP support for his Brexit negotiation plan.
The DUP has said that it does not support Johnson’s plan, arguing that its provisions on customs and value-added tax rates are not in Northern Ireland’s best interest.
Leaders of the Catholic Church, the Church of Ireland, Methodist Church in Ireland, Presbyterian Church in Ireland, and the Irish Council of Churches, have called on their congregations to pray and lobby against the abortion changes, saying, “There is no evidence that these [legal] changes reflect the will of the people affected by them, as they were not consulted. They go far beyond the ‘hard cases’ some have been talking about.”
Last year, the Republic of Ireland held a referendum in which voters repealed the country’s pro-life protections, which had recognized the life of both mothers and their babies. Irish legislators then enacted legislation allowing legal abortion in what had long been a Catholic and pro-life stronghold.
Elective abortion is legal in the rest of the United Kingdom up to 24 weeks, while currently it is legally permitted in Northern Ireland only if the mother's life is at risk or if there is risk of permanent, serious damage to her mental or physical health.
Northern Irish women have been able to procure free National Health Service abortions in England, Scotland, and Wales since November 2017.
The UK government’s plans to decriminalize abortion in Northern Ireland has garnered opposition from hundreds of health professionals in the region, who the BBC reports have written to Secretary Smith expressing opposition and calling for reassurance that as “conscientious objectors,” they will not have to perform or assist abortions.
Posted on 10/18/2019 01:06 AM (CNA Daily News)
Austin, Texas, Oct 17, 2019 / 05:06 pm (CNA).- When Pamela Whitehead takes a call for LoveLine, a new pregnancy helpline, she listens.
“Too often we think we know what a woman needs and we don't really listen to what she says to us,” Whitehead told CNA, “and I think if we listen long enough, we really hear her need.”
In one recent call to the helpline, Whitehead said she listened to a woman who, at first, thought her biggest need was rent money.
The young woman from Arizona had three children with her boyfriend and had just found out she was pregnant with their fourth. Facing extreme pressure from her boyfriend and family to abort, the woman was sure she would be kicked out of her house for refusing the abortion, and said she needed rent money to prevent her from being homeless.
“So I simply asked her the question, do you want to have an abortion? And she said no,” Whitehead said.
Whitehead said she reassured the woman that no one could force her to have an abortion. She suggested to the woman on the phone that she should first try humanizing the baby to her family - telling her mom how much she would love another grandbaby, and telling her boyfriend how much better their lives would be for having another child.
“And you know what she did? She went back and she stood up for herself and she spoke to her family and they actually...turned around and she ended up not having an abortion,” Whitehead said.
“So while what she thought she needed was some material resources, what she actually needed was empowerment and confidence, and that's what we were able to provide for her.”
That story is just one of many hopeful stories that have come from the newly-released LoveLine, Whitehead said, which is a pro-life helpline, founded by former abortion clinic worker Abby Johnson, who is now a pro-life advocate. The helpline connects pregnant or post-abortive women in need to the proper resources. Sometimes that means public assistance or private donations or simply a community of like-minded pro-life people. Often, it is some combination of all three.
LoveLine is a new project under the larger umbrella organization of ProLove Ministries, which houses multiple pro-life projects founded by Johnson. The organization was a spin-off of And Then There Were None, a support organization for abortion clinic workers who are leaving the abortion industry.
Through LoveLine, women in need can text, chat or call the helpline and talk to someone about what they’re going through and the resources that they need. The project hopes to respond to a “gap in services.”
“There's a population of women who are in need who aren't being served,” Whitehead explained.
Usually, she said, it’s because the resources that women in crisis pregnancies need are either unavailable, hidden, or delayed. Public assistance is often delivered on a first-come first-served basis, Whitehead noted, and by the time a woman connects to those services, there can be a long line ahead of her before she actually gets the help that she needs.
“For instance, if all of a sudden (a woman’s) partner leaves her, whether it's her spouse or her boyfriend, and she's accustomed to having a two-income household...that puts her in a major situation,” Whitehead said.
“While her pregnancy wasn't a so-called crisis, all of a sudden the pregnancy becomes a precipitating factor for her because it's just one more thing. And so she's looking at her situation and she's considering all of her options, and one of those oftentimes is abortion because it's like, well, he's left me, now what?”
LoveLine wants to be there to fill in those gaps, Whitehead said. Some other examples of assistance that the group has provided so far to women in need include baby registries, diapers and food assistance, referrals to pro-life doctors, rent assistance through private donations, and referrals to vetted, untapped public assistance.
Any public assistance or service that LoveLine refers to is first vetted by staff or volunteers to make sure that it can actually provide what the woman needs in a timely manner.
“If we are going to send her to an organization or to an individual or to a social service resource, I'm going to call that resource in advance...and make sure this woman's going to hear ‘yes.’ Because it's overwhelming when the pressures of life are on top of you and you're trying to just make it through and you've got 10 decisions you've got to deal with,” Whitehead said.
“We want to give her a yes,” she added. “So whatever that takes, we want her to say yes and feel empowered, so that means we have to vet resources.”
“So we connect, we care, we make a commitment and we offer community.”
The community aspect of LoveLine’s promise often comes in the form of volunteers spread throughout the country who offer to help with various needs of the project, Whitehead said. When baby registries are set up for women in need, for example, everything is sent to a volunteer’s house, where the goods are unpacked, sorted and personally delivered, so that the woman is not overwhelmed with receiving dozens of packages at her house. They have also helped connect women with pro-life moms’ groups in their own areas. Whitehead said she was personally delivering a highchair and some maternity clothes to a woman in her area this week.
For Whitehead, working in the pro-life movement is personal. In 2001, she had an abortion that perforated her uterus and sent her to the emergency room. For years afterward, she though the trauma she was experiencing was “what she deserved,” she said.
At the time, Whitehead had been addicted to drugs and alcohol and was living in poverty. She said the advice she received at the time ignored her needs, and was instead focused on concerns that she would not be able to care for the child.
“They all considered the child and thought, ‘There's no way you can bring this child into the world because you can't take care of it, and I'm not willing to help you,’ basically. No one tried to help me with the drug addiction or help me with the alcoholism or help me with my poverty,” Whitehead noted.
“So when I see these situations, I see the woman. Not that we don't care about the unborn, of course we do, and that's the goal. But if we don't see the woman, if we don't see her and her dignity and her worth and her value, then we're missing. We're missing it,” she said. The tagline for LoveLine is “When you love first, life follows.”
For the pro-life movement, Whitehead said, LoveLine offers people a chance to do something concrete for the women and babies in need.
“So many people love to give to tangible, practical needs. They love to buy a box of diapers and know that it's going to this person, you know? And that means so much to people,” Whitehead said.
Typically, she explained, the word gets about the womens’ needs on social media, either through Abby Johnson’s Facebook page or through ProLove Ministries’ Facebook page.
“What we've seen is every time we put out a need, the pro-life movement just moves on it. I mean, within hours a whole registry is filled. They just can't wait. The love is just exploding,” she said.
The LoveLine website offers a phone number that women in need can call or text, or an online chat. Volunteers can also offer their assistance in their area via the LoveLine website under the “Get Involved” tab.
Posted on 10/18/2019 00:50 AM (CNA Daily News)
St. Louis, Mo., Oct 17, 2019 / 04:50 pm (CNA).- Last year, Thomas Bruce was accused of assaulting three women and killing one of them at the Catholic Supply of St. Louis retail store Nov. 19 in Ballwin, Mo., a suburb of St. Louis.
Now, authorities are wondering if Bruce may be connected to a 1985 murder in Tennessee, Fox 2 Now St. Louis reported. One complicating factor: another man was already tried and executed for that murder.
Suzanne Collins was a 19-year-old Marine Lance Corporal in an avionics training school when she was murdered in Tennessee in 1985. According to authorities, Sedley Alley confessed to the crime but eventually retracted his confession, claiming he had been coerced into it. Alley was executed in 2006.
Bruce’s possible connection to the 1985 murder was revealed in court last week by Barry Scheck with the Innocence Project, Fox reported. The Innocence Project is an organization that works to clear innocent people of wrongful convictions.
According to Fox, Scheck told the court that there was untested DNA from Collins’ clothing that could help to clarify whether Bruce was involved in her murder. Bruce reportedly attended the same school as Collins at the time of the murder.
“It is clear that if we don’t get a DNA test in this case, it is wrong,” Scheck said in court. “It is fundamentally unfair. He was entitled to that test.” He added that the people of St. Louis deserve answers about Bruce.
According to Fox 2, the Tennessee Attorney General’s Office opposes the DNA test on the grounds of not letting litigation for the 1985 case drag on forever, and on the grounds that Sedley is already dead.
A judge is set to rule Nov. 18 whether there will be additional DNA testing allowed on Collins’ clothing in order to investigate the possible connection to Bruce.
Bruce had no known convictions in November 2018, when he sexually assaulted, shot, and killed 53-year-old Jamie Schmidt and sexually assaulted two other women.
Schmidt was a customer in the Catholic Supply store at the time of the attack and was transported to a hospital where she later died of her injuries. She was survived by her husband and three children.
Authorities at the time said Bruce did not appear to know Schmidt and that the attack seemed to be at random.
Fox 2 reported that after the 2018 incident, their reporters uncovered two other incidents involving Bruce for which he had not yet been charged.
In one incident, a 77 year-old woman recognized a photo of Bruce on T.V. and reported that in September 2018, just two months prior to the Catholic Supply store attack, Bruce had sexually assaulted her. Bruce was subsequently charged with kidnapping, sexual abuse, and assault for the incident.
The next month in October 2018, a man reported that Bruce’s road rage had caused a deliberate accident on US Highway 61, according to Fox. A dashcam video retrieved by Fox 2 in St. Louis reportedly revealed Bruce yelling and cussing at a police officer responding to the scene.
Bruce’s trial is scheduled for next October. Authorities told Fox in St. Louis that they are still investigating whether Bruce is connected to any other criminal activity.
Posted on 10/17/2019 22:22 PM (CNA Daily News)
Vatican City, Oct 17, 2019 / 02:22 pm (CNA).- The Congregation for the Oriental Churches has rejected the appeal of Sister Lucy Kalapura, who was dismissed from religious life in August for several acts of disobedience, including a protest of the handling of another nun's accusation that a bishop serially raped her.
The congregation's Sept. 26 decree denying recourse to the nun of the Franciscan Clarist Congregation was conveyed in an Oct. 11 letter from the apostolic nunciature in India.
Sr. Lucy has the right to further appeal to the Apostolic Signatura.
However, she told the BBC that “I don't see any point in doing that since they have made up their mind. I will now go to court on behalf of all the people who are being suppressed and facing illegal behaviour from authorities of the congregation.”
She maintained: “I am not going to leave the convent. The lifestyle I lead is as per the rules and regulations.”
Sr. Lucy was sent a letter Aug. 5 from the superior general of the FCC, Sr. Ann Joseph, notifying her she had been dismissed from the community, which decision had been confirmed by the Congregation for the Oriental Churches.
Sr. Lucy has led a life against the principles of religious life, the community says, by disobeying a transfer order, publishing poems after having been denied permission to do so, buying a vehicle, withholding her salary from the congregation, and participating in a protest against Bishop Franco Mulakkal of Jullundur, who has been charged with several instances of raping a nun of a different congregation.
The letter from Sr. Ann Joseph said that Sr. Lucy “did not show the needed remorse and you failed to give a satisfactory explanation for your lifestyle in violation of the proper law of the FCC.”
Sr. Lucy had been sent a letter of warning Jan. 1, asking that she appear before Sr. Ann by Jan. 9 to explain her disobediences, or face expulsion from the congregation.
In January Sr. Lucy said that the congregation was trying to silence her, and denied any wrongdoing.
She was sent a second letter of warning in February, and India Times reported that she “failed to respond to a notice issued against her in March”.
The congregation's General Council, held May 11, voted unanimously to dismiss Sr. Lucy, and asked for confirmation from the Congregation for the Oriental Churches.
In the January letter of warning sent to Sr. Lucy, the superior general wrote that she joined a protest regarding Bishop Mulakkal “without the permission of your superior. You have published articles in some non-Christian newspapers and weeklies … gave interviews to 'Samayam' without seeking permission from the provincial superior. Through Facebook, channel discussions and the articles, you belittled the Catholic leadership by making false accusations against it and tried to bring down the sacraments. You tried to defame FCC also. Your performance through social media as a religious sister was culpable, arising grave scandal.”
The letter also said Sr. Lucy failed to obey a transfer order given her in 2015 by her provincial superior, and that she published a book of poems despite being denied permission to do so, and used 50,000 Indian rupees ($700) from the congregation's account “without proper permission” to do so.
Sr. Kalapura is also accused of buying a car for about $5,670 and learning to drive without permission, and failing to entrust her salary from December 2017.
Sr. Ann Joseph called these acts “a grave infringement of the vow of poverty.”
The superior general added that Sr. Kalapura has been corrected and warned several times by her provincial over her “improper behaviour and violations of religious discipline.”
“Instead of correcting yourself, you are simply denying the allegations against you stating that you have to live your own beliefs, ideologies and conviction. You are repeatedly violating the vows of obedience and poverty. The evangelization and social work you do should be according to the FCC values, principles and rules. The present mode of your life is a grave violation of the profession you have made,” Sr. Ann Joseph wrote.
Another nun of the FCC, Sister Lissy Vadakkel, was transferred earlier this year from Muvattupuzha to Vijawada.
Sister Alphonas Abraham, superior of the FCC's Nirmala Province, said in February that Sr. Lissy's transfer was unrelated to her acting as a witness in the case against Bishop Mulakkal.
In April, Bishop Mulakkal was charged with rape.
Posted on 10/17/2019 20:41 PM (CNA Daily News)
Washington D.C., Oct 17, 2019 / 12:41 pm (CNA).- A man claiming to be a former child victim of Theodore McCarrick has written an open essay in response to a recent interview given by the former cardinal. Writing under the name Nathan Doe, the man says that McCarrick sexually abused a series of minors during his years as a cleric.
Media reports have detailed a string of allegations made against McCarrick since the announcement of a Vatican investigation in June 2018. Those reports have referred to McCarrick’s alleged victims as including eight former seminarians and three minors.
“The ‘third’ accuser they were referring to in those news articles was me,” Doe said.
The man says he chose to maintain his anonymity because he does not wish to expose other innocent people to “pain and suffering” by making his name public.
Much of the coverage of allegations against the former cardinal has focused on his apparent crimes against seminarians in the dioceses which he led during his career as a bishop, first in New Jersey and later in Washington, D.C., something which many people have since reported was an “open secret” among those around McCarrick.
“I am not even sure I know what ‘open secret’ means,” Doe wrote in an essay published online on Oct. 17. “What I do know is that no one ever talked about McCarrick and the boys.”
“I am referring to McCarrick’s targets and victims before he was given power and control over all of those seminaries. I am referring to the first act in McCarrick’s sexual abuse career that no one ever talked about before the Summer of 2018. I am referring to young Catholic boys - almost always between the ages of 12 and 16.”
A source with knowledge of the Vatican investigation into McCarrick told CNA that the former cardinal is alleged to have regularly invited high school boys to accompany him on trips between 1971-1977, when he served as secretary to Cardinal Terrence Cooke, then-Archbishop of New York.
As previously reported by CNA, during that same period, McCarrick already had a well-established reputation among seminarians as a predator, with one former student at a New York seminary telling CNA last year that “the dean of our theology school was a classmate at CUA with McCarrick, and he knew about the rumors.”
The priest told CNA that so well-known was McCarrick’s reputation, the priest said, that when McCarrick would accompany Cooke to visit the seminary there was a standing joke that they had to "hide the handsome ones" before he arrived.
Similar accusations were reported by former students at Seton Hall University, home to the Archdiocese of Newark’s seminary. An independent report, commissioned in response to CNA’s reporting, concluded that as Archbishop of Newark, McCarrick created a “culture of fear and intimidation” at the Seton Hall and “used his position of power as then-Archbishop of Newark to sexually harass seminarians.”
In his essay, published on Thursday, Doe said that in addition to these seminary-related allegations, as a priest of the Archdiocese of New York, McCarrick abused a group of at least seven boys under the age of 16 who collectively provided evidence to Church authorities during the canonical penal administrative process which resulted in McCarrick’s laicization earlier this year.
“Collectively, we were able to provide law enforcement with names, dates, times, locations, who was present, supporting evidence, and related documentation covering hundreds of Church-related or fundraising-related overnight trips between the years 1970 and 1990 that, as fate would have it, all resulted in McCarrick sharing a bed with a young Catholic boy.”
Doe says he recognized his own experience, and those of other minors abused by McCarrick, in the account of James Grien, initially published anonymously in the New York Times last year.
“To varying degrees, Grein’s story was our story. I don’t know James Grein, have never spoken to him, and I never even knew he existed until that moment, but there were too many details in that interview that only a person in our exclusive club would know.”
The report comes just weeks before the U.S. bishops will meet for their third assembly since the McCarrick scandal broke in June 2018. In November 2018, the bishops defeated 83-137 a resolution that would have urged the Vatican to release a comprehensive dossier on McCarrick.
In October 2018, Pope Francis ordered an internal Vatican investigation into the career of the disgraced McCarrick. Results of that investigation have not been released. While many have criticized the delay in making public a report into McCarrick, Doe said he was undeterred by the apparent delay.
“I have no insights at all into who is writing that report and how all of that will work. What I can tell you is that if they had completed and issued their report before today, I would be sitting here telling you that they closed the book too soon,” he wrote.
Calling McCarrick a “walking jurisdictional nightmare,” Doe said it is important not to “underestimate the sheer volume of information that began coming in last year, the number of different channels that information came in through, and all of the various investigative processes and law enforcement agencies that have been involved with the examination of the information.”
“I am personally inclined to grant all of the investigators all the time they need to do whatever work is necessary to get this done right once and for all,” he said.
Sources in Rome and Washington have confirmed to CNA that large quantities of documents and a detailed report on archdiocesan records have already been compiled and forwarded to Rome, but the Archdiocese of Washington has repeatedly declined to comment on those records.
In June 2019, Newark Cardinal Joseph Tobin told CNA he was precluded by a state attorney general’s investigation from releasing the files and reports compiled by his diocese on McCarrick, who was Newark’s archbishop from 1986 to 2000. Tobin is believed to have also forwarded a report to the Vatican detailing McCarrick’s time in Newark.
Doe wrote that despite seeing the coverage of McCarrick’s disgrace, and even though he participated in the canonical process which resulted in the former cardinal’s laicization in February, he “never” thought about making a public statement.
“That all changed when I read McCarrick’s recent interview with Slate magazine where he attempted to discredit the victims of his sexual abuse while creating further division and confusion within our Church.”
In that interview, McCarrick said he is “not as bad as they paint.”
“I do not believe that I did the things that they accused me of,” McCarrick said, while going on to suggest that his accusers “were encouraged” to come up with allegations by “enemies” of the former cardinal, pointedly referring to former Vatican diplomat Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano as “a representative of the far right” for coming forward with a series of allegations about McCarrick and apparent Vatican knowledge about his behavior.
Some senior Church officials have told CNA that McCarrick was under consideration for an influential Vatican post in 1999; concerns about the former cardinal’s lifestyle are rumored to have played a role in scuttling that plan. McCarrick was nevertheless appointed Washington’s archbishop in 2000, where he continued to serve until his retirement in 2006.
Doe said that he was only concerned with the integrity of McCarrick’s victims, whom he said McCarrick had further abused by suggesting they were politically motivated.
“I don’t have an axe to grind with anyone other than Theodore McCarrick. For me, this is not an attack on our Church. This is not about Conservative vs Liberal. This is not about Straight vs Gay. This is not about Benedict vs. Francis. In my view, those arguments are a distraction.”
“For me, this is about our humanity. This is about the criminal, sexual abuse of minors,” Doe said.
Chairman of U.S. Bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace raises concern and solicits prayer over renewed violence in northeast Syria
Posted on 10/17/2019 07:34 AM (USCCB News Releases)
WASHINGTON— The Most Reverend Timothy P. Broglio, Archbishop for the Military Services, USA, and Chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace, issued the following statement over renewed violence in northeast Syria:
“This past week has witnessed renewed military actions in Syria. It is estimated that over 100,000 people have already fled their homes in the past several days as a result. Unabated, such military actions will create further instability, violence, and hunger, exacerbating an already fragile humanitarian situation in northeast Syria and northern Iraq. The ancient Christians and other religious minorities who have called this region home for millennia are at-risk of being lost forever. I urge all regional and international actors in this complex conflict to renew themselves to peace over violence, and dialog over confrontation. And I invite all people of good will join me in beseeching our Lord, the Prince of Peace, for real solutions and stability and to prepare to meet the concrete needs of the new wave of refugees.”
Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Committee on International Justice and Peace, Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio, Archbishop for the Military Services, Syria.
Chairmen of U.S. Bishops’ Committees Comment on Federal Study Released on Danger of Assisted Suicide Laws to Persons with Disabilities
Posted on 10/15/2019 06:56 AM (USCCB News Releases)
WASHINGTON—Last week, the National Council on Disabilities (NCD) released a federal study revealing that assisted suicide laws are dangerous to people with disabilities. In its report, “The Danger of Assisted Suicide Laws,” NCD provides several policy recommendations including urging states to not legalize any form of assisted suicide or active euthanasia. The NCD is an independent federal agency charged with advising the president, Congress, and other federal agencies regarding policies, programs, practices, and procedures that affect people with disabilities.
Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann, of Kansas City in Kansas, and Chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Pro-Life Activities and Bishop Frank J. Dewane, of Venice, and Chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development issued the following statement:
“We applaud the National Council on Disabilities for its critical research and report exposing serious risks of abuse, coercion and discrimination posed by assisted suicide laws, specifically for people with disabilities. Every suicide is a human tragedy, regardless of the age, incapacity, or social/economic status of the individual. The legalization of doctor-assisted suicide separates people into two groups: those whose lives we want to protect and those whose deaths we encourage. This is completely unjust and seriously undermines equal protection under the law. The human rights and intrinsic worth of a person do not change with the onset of age, illness, or disability. As Pope Francis said, “True compassion does not marginalize anyone, nor does it humiliate and exclude – much less considers the disappearance of a person as a good thing.” We must do what we can to uphold the dignity of life, cherish the lives of all human beings, and work to prevent all suicides. We urge state and federal governments, health care providers, and associations to heed this report’s warnings and recommendations, especially its opposition to assisted suicide laws.”
Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann, Bishop Frank J. Dewane, Committee on Pro-Life Activities, Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, assisted suicide, National Council on Disabilities, culture of life, pro-life, persons with disabilities.
Posted on 10/11/2019 09:17 AM (USCCB News Releases)
WASHINGTON – The Catholic Church in the United States will celebrate National Vocation Awareness Week, November 3-9, 2019. During this week, dioceses across the U.S. lead the effort in parishes and schools to uphold and encourage the fostering of vocations among the faithful and to pray for those currently discerning a call to marriage, ordained ministry, or consecrated life.
In his message for the 2019 World Day of Prayer for Vocations, Pope Francis reminded the faithful that unlike a secular career, a vocation is a gift born from God’s own initiative: “The Lord’s call is not an intrusion of God into our freedom; it is not a ‘cage’ or burden to be borne. On the contrary, it is the loving initiative whereby God encounters us and invites us to be a part of a great undertaking.”
Whereas choosing a career requires much “doing” – such as the accomplishment of various tasks and goals – vocational discernment requires much “being.” At its core, vocational discernment is a process of self-discovery. Assisted by divine grace, each person is invited by the Lord to receive the gift of a specific vocation whereby they manifest God’s love in a particular way to the outside world. In the Holy Sacrament of Matrimony, the husband and wife image the Trinity by their communion of love that produces new life; in ordained ministry, priests and deacons are called to minister in the person of Christ, the High Priest and Servant; and in consecrated life, each member is called to bear Christ’s love through a particular charism.
Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, C.Ss.R., of Newark, and Chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations, echoed Pope Francis's definition of vocation as a gift. “Discerning a vocation is not the same as completing a checklist. It is a process of learning how to receive the greatest gift God could offer us – the gift of living in accordance with our true identity as a son or daughter of God.” For those currently discerning a vocation, Cardinal Tobin suggested that one always stay close to the Blessed Mother. “Entrust your vocation to Mary, the Mother of all Vocations. She will always direct you to her Son and intercede for you along the path the Lord has for you.”
Observance of Vocation Awareness Week began in 1976 when the U.S. bishops designated the 28th Sunday of the year for the celebration. In 1997, the celebration was moved to the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord and in 2014, the Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations moved the observance of National Vocation Awareness Week to November to engage Catholic schools and colleges more effectively.
More resources for National Vocation Awareness Week, including homily aids, recommended reading and discernment tips, prayers of the faithful and bulletin-ready quotes are available online at http://www.usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/vocations/national-vocation-awareness-week.cfm
Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Cardinal Joseph Tobin, Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations, Pope Francis, vocations, National Vocation Awareness Week, priesthood, religious life, consecrated life, marriage, religious, vocation, Catholic education, ministry, prayer, World Day of Vocations.
Chieko Noguchi or Miguel Guilarte
Pope Francis Accepts Resignation of Bishop John Jenik, Names New Auxiliary Bishops for Archdiocese of New York
Posted on 10/10/2019 01:34 AM (USCCB News Releases)
WASHINGTON—Pope Francis has appointed the Rev. Msgr. Gerardo Colacicco and the Rev. Msgr. Edmund Whalen as Auxiliary Bishops-elect of New York.
Monsignor Colacicco is a priest of the Archdiocese of New York and currently serves as Pastor of St. Joseph-Immaculate Conception Parish in Millbrook, NY. Monsignor Whalen is a priest of the Archdiocese of New York and currently serves as Vicar for Clergy for the Archdiocese. The appointments were publicized today in Washington, D.C, by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States.
Monsignor Gerardo Colacicco was born September 19, 1955 in Poughkeepsie, NY. He holds a Bachelor of Arts (1978) from Marist College, NY. He attended St. Joseph Seminary in Yonkers, NY, and was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of New York on November 6, 1982. He received a Licentiate of Canon Law from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas in Rome in 1992.
Assignments after ordination include: parochial vicar at Good Shepherd Parish, Rhinebeck, NY (1982-1984), Our Lady of Fatima Parish, Scarsdale, NY (1984-1987), St. Denis-St. Columba Parish, Hopewell, NY (1987-1989), and Priest-Secretary to Cardinal John O’Connor (1989).
Monsignor Colaccico also served as Judge of the Metropolitan Tribunal (1992-1996; 2007-2010). He was Pastor at Sacred Heart Parish, Newburgh, NY (1996-2002) and St. Columba Parish, Hopewell, NY (2002-2014). In 2014, he served as Administrator at St. Joseph, Millbrook, NY, and from 2015 to present he has been Pastor at St. Joseph-Immaculate Conception Parish, Millbrook, NY.
Monsignor Edmund Whalen was born July 6, 1958 in Staten Island, NY. He was ordained a priest on June 23, 1984 for the Archdiocese of New York. He holds a Bachelor of Arts (1980) from Cathedral College, a Bachelor of Sacred Theology (1984) from Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome (1984), a Licentiate of Sacred Theology (1986), and a Doctorate of Sacred Theology (1995) from Academia Alphonsiana.
Assignments after ordination include: North American College, Rome, Graduates Studies (1984 and 1992); Parochial Vicar at Resurrection Church, Rye, NY (1985); Faculty at Monsignor Farrell High School (1987) and Secretary to Cardinal John O’Connor (1990). Monsignor Whalen also served as Vice-Rector at St. Joseph Seminary (1995), Rector at St. John Neumann Residence (1998), and was also Pastor at St. Benedict Parish, Bronx, NY (2001) and St. Joseph-St. Thomas Parish, Staten Island, NY. From 2010-2018, he served as Principal at Msgr. Farrell High School.
At the same time, the Holy Father has accepted the resignation of the Most Reverend John Jenik from the Office of Auxiliary Bishop of New York.
The Archdiocese of New York is comprised of 4,683 square miles in the state of New York and has a total population of 6,183,764 of which 2,782,694 are Catholic. Cardinal Timothy Dolan is the current archbishop of New York.
Keywords: Bishops appointment, Pope Francis, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Bishop-elect Gerardo Colacicco, Bishop-elect Edmund Whalen, Bishop John Jenik, Archdiocese of New York, Cardinal Timothy Dolan.
USCCB President and Vice President Candidate List Released; Elections to take place at November General Assembly in Baltimore
Posted on 10/9/2019 07:02 AM (USCCB News Releases)
WASHINGTON—The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) will elect their next president and vice president at the upcoming general assembly, which meets November 11-13 in Baltimore. Each office is elected from a slate of 10 candidates who have been nominated by their fellow bishops.
The slate of candidates for president and vice president are as follows (in alphabetical order):
• Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio of the Military Services
• Bishop Frank J. Caggiano of Bridgeport
• Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City
• Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone of San Francisco
• Bishop Daniel E. Flores of Brownsville
• Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles
• Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki of Milwaukee
• Bishop Thomas John Paprocki of Springfield in Illinois
• Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades of Fort Wayne-South Bend
• Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron of Detroit
The president and vice president are elected to three-year terms, which begin at the conclusion of the meeting. At that time, Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, and Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, will complete their terms as president and vice president, respectively.
The by-laws of the USCCB provide that the first election is that of the president by simple majority vote of members present and voting. Following the election of the president, the vice-president is elected from the remaining nine candidates. In either election, if a candidate does not receive more than half of the votes cast on the first ballot, a second vote is taken. If a third round of voting is necessary, that ballot is a run-off between the two bishops who received the most votes on the second ballot.
During the meeting, the bishops will also vote for new chairmen of six committees: Committee on Canonical Affairs and Church Governance, Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis, Committee on International Justice and Peace, Committee on the Protection of Children and Young People, and the Committee for Religious Liberty.
Coverage of the bishops' meeting taking place at the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront hotel is open to credentialed media. Sessions open to the media will be November 11-13 and there will be media conferences after all open sessions. Reporters interested in covering the meeting must register before October 25 and submit a letter of assignment from their editor/producer. Due to enhanced security, on-site credentialing will not be available.
Keywords: USCCB, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Fall General Assembly, November meeting, Baltimore, elections, president, vice president, ballot, vote, majority vote, committee, #USCCB19.