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Posts Tagged ‘Cardinal Francis George

Morning Catholic must-reads

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Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster has urged Catholics to get behind the papal visit to Britain.

Cardinal Francis George, President of US Conference of Catholic Bishops, has said Sister Carol Keehan and her colleagues “are to blame” for the passage of the healthcare bill in March. John Allen offers analysis.

Pope Benedict insisted again that faith “protects reason from every temptation to mistrust its own capacities” at his general audience yesterday (full text).

The Apostolic Nuncio to Kyrgyzstan has described the fighting in the country as an “absolute catastrophe”.

Apostolic visitors have toured 35 US female religious communities so far and have 80 to go.

Scientists claim to have solved the mystery of Caravaggio’s death.

Cuban blogger Yoani Sanchez assesses the rise of the Catholic Church in the country.

A Reuters blogger feels uneasy about the Pope’s visit to Britain.

Fr Christopher Phillips considers whether papal infallibility will prove an obstacle to the success of Anglicanorum coetibus.

Matthew Warner asks if we need a new apologetics after Vatican II.

And Ross Douthat wonders if the Catholic Church is finished.

Morning Catholic must-reads

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Cardinal Seán Brady has said he accepts an opinion poll which found that 76 per cent of Irish adults believe that he should resign from office.

Catholic employees at a Chinese factory making iPhones have accused the Church of failing to support migrant workers following a string of suicides since January.

Benedict XVI has urged future diplomats of the Holy See to be distinguished by their full adhesion to the Pope and the Magisterium (video).

Cardinal Francis George of Chicago is reportedly planning to lead a delegation to Cuba.

President Barack Obama has praised Sister Carol Keehan for her support in passing health care reform.

A video of the Christopher Hitchens-John Haldane debate in Oxford on the public role of religion is now online.

David Clohessy, executive director of SNAP, explains why he doesn’t accept the Pope’s latest apology for clerical abuse. Mathew Schmalz, a professor at the College of the Holy Cross, offers a different point of view.

Deacon Greg Kandra asks whether Hyundai is mocking the Catholic Church.

And Sherry Weddell discusses the rise of “socially Catholic” Protestants.

Morning Catholic must-reads

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Pope Benedict XVI dedicated his general audience yesterday to two Italian priests who served the needy (video).

The five bishops who conducted an apostolic visitation of the Legion of Christ will present their report to the Pope on Friday.

The US bishops respond to Nicholas Cafardi’s claim that they led the Church into a “cul-de-sac” during the heathcare debate.

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach gives a candid account of his audience with Benedict XVI yesterday.

An American mother is hoping Pope Benedict will intervene to prevent the execution of her son by the state of Texas.

John Smeaton and Mulier Fortis continue to question the wisdom of appointing former Labour MP Gregory Pope as deputy director of the Catholic Education Service of England and Wales.

The Vatican has lent its support to a new equities index.

Rome Reports looks at how seminarians at the Pontifical North American College are screened for the priesthood (video).

Writing in L’Osservatore Romano, Cardinal Francis George of Chicago sums up the first five years of Benedict XVI’s pontificate.

Newt Gingrich, the former Speaker of the US House of Representatives, has produced a film about John Paul II’s 1979 visit to Poland.

Gerry O’Hanlon SJ unveils a blueprint for the renewal of the Irish Church.

The Huffington Post publishes an extract from Fr James Martin SJ’s new book, The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything.

And the bookmaker Paddy Power has sponsored a confessional box in a church in Suffolk.

Morning Catholic must-reads

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The Catholic Education Service of England and Wales has issued a statement welcoming the passage of the sex education Bill last night. Fr Tim Finigan is dismayed by Church support for the Bill and Melanie Phillips suggests that the Schools Secretary Ed Balls has launched a “secular inquisition“.

Gordon Brown has said he will resist calls to legalise assisted suicide.

The Times wonders whether religion will determine the result of the British general election.

Germany’s Catholic bishops have promised that they will respond quickly to the abuse crisis in the country.

American Catholic leaders are calling for new efforts to achieve bipartisan healthcare reform.

Cardinal Francis George of Chicago has urged Catholics and Mormons to defend religious freedom together.

The Vatican previews the Pope’s trip to Malta in April (video).

David Gibson suggests the Vatican may have shown judicious restraint by shelving a report on condoms.

A spectacular new Caravaggio exhibition has opened in Rome (video).

A Communist barber in Rome says praying to John Paul II cured him of a hernia.

And Leon Suprenant offers a guide to the “top 10 confirmation saints you never considered“.

Morning Catholic must-reads

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Fr Tim Finigan asks whether Catholic state education in Britain has entered its “endgame”. Damian Thompson, John Smeaton, Mulier Fortis, St Mary Magdalen, and Sunday Morning Soapbox also reflect on the latest developments in the battle over sex education.

Forward in Faith UK is supporting a Day of Prayer today, the feast of the Chair of St Peter, in response to Anglicanorum Coetibus. Thinking Anglicans rounds up the latest developments. And Christian Campbell says that, despite claims to the contrary, groups of Anglicans around the world are preparing to respond to the Pope’s offer.

Two of the Vatican’s most senior officials have raised the issue of reducing the number of dioceses in Ireland.

Pope Benedict XVI began his traditional Lenten retreat on Sunday evening (audio). Shortly before, he gave the Angelus address in which he compared Lent to “a long retreat” (video).

Pope Benedict has confirmed that he will visit a Lutheran church in Rome next month.

The Pope has not yet received a letter from members of the Pontifical Academy for Life criticising their president, Archbishop Rino Fisichella.

The Guardian suggests that the Pope has condemned intrusive body scanners at airports.

No Hidden Magenta wonders if Europe is heading for its own Roe vs Wade.

Australian and Quebec will gain their first saints on October 17 (video).

Cardinal Francis George of Chicago will speak at Brigham Young University tomorrow on the topic “Catholics and Latter-day Saints: Partners in the Defence of Religious Freedom”.

A Marian statue damaged during the atomic bombing of Nagasaki will meet its counterpart in Guernica as part of a “peace pilgrimage” marking the 65th anniversary of the bombing.

America magazine examines the trends in the latest Annuario Pontificio and Rocco Palmo notes that the Catholic Church in America is still growing.

Robbers have shot dead a priest in Mexico.

The BBC reports that a monastery near Vienna is offering men the chance to “be a monk for a weekend“.

Bishop Thomas Tobin of Providence, Rhode Island, asks whether John Paul II was “crazy or holy“.

Zenit meets the Polish twin brothers who both felt called to the priesthood in the Salesian order.

And Da Mihi Animas marvels at the skills of the skateboarding friar (video).

Morning Catholic must-reads

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Pope Benedict will visit a shelter for the homeless in Rome on Sunday morning.

The Pope will commemorate the shipwreck of St Paul when he travels to Malta in April.

Portugal’s bishops have unveiled a new website to mark the Pope’s visit to the country in May (go directly to the site here).

The Vatican marked the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes yesterday with a fireworks display (video), while Pope Benedict celebrated Holy Mass for the sick (video, full homily text).

The world’s oldest Christian monastery has opened its doors to the public again after eight years of renovations.

The Church “cannot tolerate” abuse by priests, Cardinal Claudio Hummes has told clergy in India.

The search for the successor to Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles has officially begun, reports Rocco Palmo.

More than 80 per cent of American Catholic 18 to 29-year-olds believe that morals are “relative”, according to a new survey.

A Catholic school in Ipswich, Suffolk, has banned female pupils from wearing skirts.

A gay rights group is planning to confront Cardinal Francis George of Chicago on Valentine’s Day.

Michael Sean Winters offers an American perspective on the row over Pope Benedict XVI’s remarks on equality legislation in Britain.

Footage of the Scottish bishops’ ad limina meeting with the Pope is now on YouTube (video).

Fr Ray Blake urges British Catholics to be less “churchy”.

Fr Robert Barron discusses the Seven Deadly Sins and the Seven Deadly Virtues (video).

And singer Cyndi Lauper tells the LA Times that being raised Catholic inspired her spectacular style.

Morning Catholic must-reads

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Pope Benedict recalled his “upsetting” visit to Yad Vashem in his annual address to the Roman Curia yesterday. Sandro Magister picks out the speech’s highlights.

The Telegraph suggests that the Pope’s visit to a Rome synagogue next month is in doubt following the decision to advance Pius XII’s Cause.

Hebrew-speaking Catholics in Israel respond to the Pius move.

A church lawyer explains what the JFS ruling means for Britain’s faith schools.

Japan’s bishops have reportedly clashed with the Vatican over a new Japanese translation of the Mass.

A priest in Turkey has been threatened as a consequence of the Swiss minaret vote.

CBS examines the plight of Turkey’s beleaguered Christians.

One of Cardinal Francis George of Chicago’s aides has denied giving money to the campaign of the city’s mayor, who supports abortion.

The brother of a Canadian archbishop takes out a newspaper advertisement to explain why he pleaded guilty to sexual assault.

Scientist P Z Myers calls Cardinal Pell a “religious nitwit”.

The Pope has given his blessing to a new initiative of L’Osservatore Romano.

Ross Douthat says James Cameron’s new film, Avatar, is “a long apologia for pantheism”.

Jonathan Jones argues that Caravaggio paved the way for today’s insipid Christmas decorations.

And a new book considers the rise in displays of faith by elite athletes.

Cardinal George: Imagine a world without priests

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Reading Cardinal George’s address to the US bishops, I’m struck by the remarkable passage in which he imagines a world without the sacrament of Holy Orders.

He says:

The priest teaches the people in Christ’s name and with his authority. Without ordained priests, the teaching ministry would fall primarily on professors, whose obligation is first to seek the truth in the framework of their own academic discipline and whose authority to teach derives from their professional expertise.

The priest governs the people in Christ’s name, exercising Christ’s authority in collaboration with the bishops. Without ordained priests, the only instance of real governance in any society would be that of civil and political leaders. Their authority comes from God through the people they have sworn to serve; but, in Catholicism, secular kingship confers no religious authority and a civil government has no right to deprive the Church of freedom to govern herself by her own laws and under her own leaders.

The priest counsels people to see the hand of God directing human affairs, using the discernment of spirits to govern souls and to free people from what oppresses them. Without ordained priests, counseling passes into the hands of therapists, dedicated to their clients and skilled in examining the dynamics of human personality, but without consideration of the influence of God’s grace.

The priest leads his people in worship, making possible the real presence of Christ, the head of his Church, under the sacramental forms of bread and wine. Without ordained priests, the Church would be deprived of the Eucharist, and her worship would be centered only on the praise and thanksgiving, the petition and expiation open to all by reason of baptism.

Without ordained priests who love and govern their people in the name of Christ and with his authority, the Church would not be connected to Jesus Christ, the great High Priest, as Christ himself wants us to be joined to him. Without ordained priests, the Church would be a spiritual association, a faith community, but not fully the Body of Christ.

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Written by Luke Coppen

November 17, 2009 at 9:09 pm

Cardinal George: We may vet those who claim ‘right to be a voice in the Church’

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Cardinal Francis George’s presidential address at the American bishops’ autumn meeting is getting a lot of attention.

Both Commonweal and America are discussing the cardinal’s disclosure that the bishops are considering vetting universities, media and other organisations that claim “the right to be a voice in the Church”.

Rocco Palmo has the full text of Cardinal George’s speech.

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Written by Luke Coppen

November 17, 2009 at 4:04 pm

Cardinal George on the thirst for power

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WORLD YOUTH DAY

For me, the web highlight of the week was John Allen’s long, thought-provoking interview with Cardinal Francis George of Chicago.

I was especially struck by his suggestion that both “liberal” and “conservative” Catholics share a common obsession with ecclesiastical power. He recommends that instead of defining ourselves as liberals or conservatives, we should call ourselves “simply Catholic”. According to Cardinal George, “simply Catholicism” is focused on serving Christ, rather than exerting influence in the Church. Here’s how he expresses it, in conversation with Allen:

You wade back into a debate you set off in 1998, when you defined liberal Catholicism as an ‘exhausted project’. Among other things, you write that while liberals and conservatives often see themselves as opposites, both share an implied ecclesiology that comes from St. Robert Bellarmine, defining the church as a visible society. Can you explain that?

For both of them, bishops take on an importance that’s disproportionate. Liberals and conservatives both define themselves vis-à-vis authority.

Broadly speaking, liberals want you to have less of it, and conservatives want you to use it more.

Liberals are critical of [authority], although they’ll use it when they’re in power. Conservatives would tend to be less critical, but equally dependent upon it.

Consequently, when you get into the Church, you get the conservatives unhappy because bishops aren’t using power the way they’re supposed to, the way they want them to. You get liberals who are unhappy because [the bishops] have any power at all. Both of them are defining themselves vis-à-vis the bishops rather than vis-à-vis Christ, who uses the bishops to govern the church. It’s not a Christ-centered church, as it’s supposed to be, it’s a bishop-centered church.”

This chimes with the Gospel reading we will hear on Sunday, October 18, Mark 10:35-45, in which James and John ask to sit next to Jesus in the Kingdom, one at his right and the other at his left. Jesus replies:

You know that those who are recognized as rulers over the Gentiles
lord it over them,
and their great ones make their authority over them felt.
But it shall not be so among you.
Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you will be your servant;
whoever wishes to be first among you will be the slave of all.
For the Son of Man did not come to be served
but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.

The cardinal’s idea isn’t original, of course. Fr Robert Barron advocates a “post-liberal, post-conservative evangelical Catholicism” and in Witness to Hope George Weigel mentions that the future cardinal Jean-Marie Lustiger wrote an influential essay in which he argued that French Catholics on the Left and Right shared a common thirst for power in the Church. But still, it’s interesting to see the president of the American bishops’ conference making the case.

With that, it’s time to add Cardinal George’s new book, The Difference God Makes, to my Amazon wish list.

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Written by Luke Coppen

October 9, 2009 at 4:15 pm