John Allen reports the resignation of Bishop Finn.
Thomas Reese, S.J. @ThomasReeseSJ 3h
This article on marriage should be read by the bishops going to the Synod on the Family, including Pope Francis http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2014/02/how-to-save-marriage-in-america/283732/ …
Cardinal Sean O’Malley cautions that those with high expectations that the shift in tone presages major changes in church teachings on contraception, abortion, homosexuality, and other flashpoint issues are likely to be disappointed.
» Blog Archive » WHAT THE PEOPLE OF GOD SAID: “At the beginning of December, I announced in these pages and in a letter sent to all of our parishes and missions that our diocese would welcome any input from the faithful as they might wish to the questions sent by the Holy See at the request of Pope Francis on marriage and family life in our day”……(Bishop Robert Lynch oF St. Petersburg comments on the responses from his Diocese.)
The American Postal Service announced a series of stamps for 2010. Amid some consternation on the part of atheists etc., one of the stamps will honor a catholic nun, Mother Teresa: “With this stamp, the U.S. Postal Service recognizes Mother Teresa, who received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 for her humanitarian work. Noted for her compassion toward the poor and suffering, Mother Teresa, a diminutive Roman Catholic nun and honorary U.S. citizen, served the sick and destitute of India and the world for nearly 50 years. Her humility and compassion, as well as her respect for the innate worth and dignity of humankind, inspired people of all ages and backgrounds to work on behalf of the world’s poorest populations.” To Read the full text go to Postal Service.
Just Google Sister Louise Akers and see the uproar. Sister is a believer in women’s ordination in the Catholic Church, as many men and women are in this time of complex, ongoing, fast paced change. I guess there is one way of dealing with these confusing and difficult times, and that is forbidding and punishing people who disagree with you. It doesn’t usually seem the responsible and compassionate way, and it is likely to result in backlash and demoralization. There are no easy answers when one is in leadership, but when one is confronted with one of the key issues in our modern church, it would appear that this method should only be used as a last resort for very serious situations. I really don’t think this situation qualifies, and if it does, I think millions of Catholics at nearly every level of leadership in the Church would need to be banned, removed, silenced. Here are the headlines in Lebanon Ohio’s Western Star:
How do you reward a Catholic sister for nearly 40 years of service to the cause of peace and justice?
If you’re the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, you tell her to shut up.
This is what the Archbishop actually said:
“It is a bishop’s responsibility to provide authentic and orthodox Catholic teaching in his diocese. Persons who are not in accord with the teaching of the church should not expect to be allowed to teach catechetical leaders or others in the name of the church.”
“We don’t hire people to teach only infallible doctrine; we hire people to teach what’s in the Catechism of the Catholic Church,” he explained. “As a result, Sister Louise may not teach in the name of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati or at any venue for which the archdiocese is responsible.” (Catholic Telegraph)
I’m glad I’m not a bishop, it is challenging enough being a parish priest in this day and age when so many issues are being debated – and opinions abound. But, I wonder at the action of Archbishop Daniel E. Pilarczyk who barred Sister Akers from teaching catechetical leaders and others in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati. Maybe, this is the way he felt in conscience he had to deal with it, but I am left wondering and thinking in my own conscience that there has to be a better way. In the long run I believe an action like this does far more harm than it does good. People learn to fear and whisper when this type of reprimand take place – nothing really gets resolved, feelings get hurt, people of faith become scandalized, some shut-up, others get louder, the debate continues, etc…! And, let us remember, this is not an infallible doctrine of the church, as the archbishop has pointed out in his above comment.
Sometimes when I surf the various Catholic blogging sites, I am dismayed (even saddened) by the harsh critical words that Catholics use on one another. Living in a pluralistic society requires vigilance, if one hopes to remain true to one’s faith. But it seems that the pressure is just too much for some, and they turn to name calling, insults, and all types of derogation, as they strive for faithfulness. If we can’t be respectful of one another, what chance have we of witnessing to the world the Love of Christ? The planet we live on is very small, and the challenge we all face today is living together in love, forgiveness, and respect. This month America Magazine tackles this very issue. Although the article is written for and about the American Church, it still has relevancy in our Canadian context. The concluding paragraph is particularly relevant:
In his book Models of the Church, the late Cardinal Avery Dulles, S.J., highlighted the image of the church as a “community of disciples.” This image from the early church (Acts 6:1-2) sees every Christian united in learning from and following Christ. Here the church is always a learning church led by the Spirit, not yet in full possession of the truth. A disciple is by definition one who has not yet arrived, but is on the way to full conversion. This more humble view of a pilgrim church always in need of purification and improvement may help to tone down the rhetoric and encourage Catholics to work together in addressing the great issues of our day, especially those involving the culture of life. True dialogue, as Cardinal Dulles noted, enables the church “to understand its teaching better, to present it more persuasively and to implement it in a pastoral way.” America Magazine Article: Community of Disciples