PHILADELPHIA (CNS) — Philadelphia Archbishop Charles J. Chaput is asking Pope Francis to call off the Synod of Bishops on young people this October to focus instead on the life of the bishops.
“I have written the Holy Father and called on him to cancel the upcoming synod on young people. Right now, the bishops would have absolutely no credibility in addressing this topic,” the archbishop said at an Aug. 30 conference at Philadelphia’s St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, according to a report by the website LifeSiteNews.
In its place, the archbishop suggested that the pope “begin making plans for a synod on the life of bishops,” the archbishop said.
Ken Gavin, spokesman for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, confirmed the archbishop sent the letter to the pope, but he offered no additional comments.
The archbishop gave his comments about canceling the synod during a panel discussion called the “Cardinals’ Forum,” sponsored by the Cardinal John Foley Chair of Social Communications and Homiletics and the Cardinal John Krol Chair of Moral Theology, both at the seminary.
The archbishop, who is set to participate in the synod on youth, was one of three panelists speaking on the topic “Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment,” the theme of the Oct. 3-28 synod in Rome.
Hundreds of bishops and young people representing youth from across the globe will engage in discussions at that meeting and typically, the pope attends some synod conferences. After the gathering’s conclusion, the bishops make recommendations to advise the pope as he formulates pastoral policy to address the specific issues discussed.
Pope Francis had previously confirmed Archbishop Chaput, chairman of the Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, as one of only five American bishops to attend the synod, all of whom were elected by their peers in the USCCB.
The other church leaders planning to attend are: Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, USCCB president; Los Angeles Archbishop Jose H. Gomez, USCCB vice president; Bishop Frank J. Caggiano of Bridgeport, Connecticut, a member of the USCCB Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth; and Los Angeles Auxiliary Bishop Robert E. Barron, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis.
Calls for reform in the Catholic hierarchy have risen throughout the summer as the clergy sexual abuse scandal has intensified, with bishops across the globe coming under scrutiny for their potential role in covering up cases of abuse of children and young adults.
And confidence in the credibility of Catholic bishops has been eroding in the wake of allegations against the former Washington Archbishop Theodore E. McCarrick, the Pennsylvania grand jury report on 70 years of clergy child sexual abuse in the state and the explosive letter of Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, the former U.S. papal nuncio, alleging the cover-up of Archbishop McCarrick’s abuse by bishops in the United States and in the Vatican.
In an Aug. 30 letter to the pope, Dallas Bishop Edward J. Burns asked for an extraordinary synod to address issues in the latest Catholic clergy sex abuse crisis.
“The current crisis of sexual abuse by clergy, the cover-up by leaders in the church and the lack of fidelity of some have caused great harm,” the letter said. It suggests that this synod should include topics such as “the care and the safeguard of children and the vulnerable, outreach to victims, the identity and lifestyle of the clergy, the importance of healthy human formation within the presbyterate/religious community, etc.” Source
How come Ben Shapiro, a young Jew, could see right away that Francis was not fit to hold the papal office, when most modern Catholics are still of the opinion that he’s the best thing in the Church since [the original] St Francis [of Assisi]? Sarcasm aside, can anyone answer that? Please and thank you…
Part of the Catholic Truth series, Thinking Through Catholic Truth – The Big Questions…Answered.
Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, is determined to put Scotland at the front of the queue in promoting LGBT issues, and is now focussing big time on “Trans” issues. This includes brainwashing pupils in primary schools:
“…Last week the Scottish Government was told it may face legal action over school transgender guidance it endorsed and funded.
‘Supporting Transgender Young People: Guidance For Schools in Scotland’ says teachers should not tell parents if their child changes gender at school unless the child, who could be as young as four years old, gives permission first. Lawyers for The Christian Institute warned the guide “contains glaring errors in relation to the current law”. Read more here
So, from their primary school days through to university, Scottish students are to be brainwashed with the crackpot notion that men can become women and women can become men. For Edinburgh University to issue “Pronoun” badges, is akin to handing out Identity (ID) badges. So much for the fear of being bullied. Seriously, what kind of craziness IS this? Is there nothing to be done? Are we simply to settle down and wait for this madness to pass? Are we going to continue to allow ourselves to be bullied into silence through fear of being charged with “hate speech”? Is there anything we can do, those of us who do not adhere to politically correct “norms”? And that includes the priest chaplains of these schools, colleges and universities… and their Bishops – why are they silent? When will it dawn on them that they, more than anyone else, will be called to serious account for their failure to speak out loud and clear in the face of this major assault on our basic humanity?
Letter of Philip Egan, Bishop of Portsmouth (pictured below)
to His Holiness Pope Francis
22nd August 2018
Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary
His Holiness, Pope Francis
Most Holy Father,
I am writing in the light of the terrible scandals of the abuse of minors by clergy revealed by the Pennsylvania Grand Jury report. To these can be added the scandals in Chile, Australia, Ireland and now here in England too, in light of the Independent Investigation into Child Sexual Abuse. Clerical sex abuse seems to be a world-wide phenomenon in the Church. As a Catholic and a Bishop, these revelations fill me with deep sorrow and shame. I pray for the healing of the poor victims. I pray for the forgiveness of the perpetrators. I pray too for myself, and for all our clergy and people, that by our penance we will grow in holiness.
I wanted to make a constructive suggestion. Would it be possible to call an Extraordinary Synod on the Life and Ministry of Clergy? The Synod might begin with a ‘congress,’ attended by the bishops but formed of laity and others expert in the clergy abuse scandals and in the safeguarding of children and the vulnerable. The fruits of this could then be taken forward into a Synod of Bishops proper. I suggest the Synod be devoted to the identity of being a priest/bishop, to devising guidance on life-style and supports for celibacy, to proposing a rule of life for priests/bishops and to establishing appropriate forms of priestly/episcopal accountability and supervision. Canon Law could then be revised in the light of the outcomes and each Diocese be required to apply it by developing its own Directory for Clergy.
As a Bishop, I seem to have few tools to facilitate the day to day management of clergy. For example, when I was a seminary formator, we spent several years devising a balanced system of annual assessments and scrutiny, based on Pastores Dabo Vobis, to help an individual student take responsibility for his formation. By contrast, once ordained, priests/bishops have few formal ongoing assessments or ministerial supervision. It ought to be possible to devise mechanisms to help bishops in their responsibilities towards clergy and to help clergy realise they are not ‘lone operatives’ but ministers accountable to the direction and leadership of the diocese – nihil sine episcopo.
Most Holy Father, please be assured of my prayers for you in your daunting ministry. I look forward to meeting you soon for the Ad Limina.
In Corde Iesu
Bishop of Portsmouth
Bishop Egan’s initiative is to be warmly welcomed. At last a prelate showing the need for practical steps to end this scandal of clerical sexual abuse of young people. Will the Pope take up his suggestion though? And what sorts of “mechanism” and “rule of life” would YOU like to see adopted for priests? How might priests react to the introduction of measures of accountability and supervision, having become used to the kind of laxity we have seen in the seminaries (none left in Scotland, as a result) and in their priestly lifestyle. They seem to be a law unto themselves at the moment. How might they react to restrictions being imposed on them now? Is it too late? Or, as the saying goes, is it never too late?
From the Scottish Catholic Observer…
MP’s comments on Catholic education ‘very disappointing’
The director of the Scottish Catholic Education Service has described comments made last week by MP Mhairi Black (pictured, left) on Catholic schools are ‘very disappointing.’
Barbara Coupar, SCES director, spoke following a report by the Sunday Herald, which claimed the SNP MP had said there should be a debate on the future of Catholic schools in Scotland.
The Paisley and Renfrewshire South MP, who herself attended a Catholic school, reportedly made the comments in a interview at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and offered a ‘personal’ view on the subject.
When asked if she and the SNP believed it was good for the future of Scotland to have children educated along religious lines, she said debate was needed, the Sunday Herald reported.
“Just when I am thinking of some of the damage that was done to me in an LGBT sense, growing up, [that] is something that I wouldn’t want any other child to ever have to suffer, ever again,” she said. “That’s a debate that has to happen.
“What the answer to that debate is I honestly don’t know.”
Ms Black shared her views during an ‘in conversation’ event at the Fringe on August 4 with journalist Graham Speirs, at which she discussed a number of other subjects including her scepticism on having another EU referendum.
Her comments come two months after First Minister Nicola Sturgeon publicly voiced her support for Scotland’s Catholic schools, in what is the centenary year for the provision Catholic state education in Scotland.
Mrs Coupar has expressed her disappointment with Ms Black’s remarks.
She said: “The comments which MP Mhairi Black reportedly made on Catholic schools are very disappointing and I’m sure that Catholics within her Paisley constituency will also be upset by them.
“Her views seem to be a stark contrast to that of her boss, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who only a few months ago gave a very public backing of Catholic schools when she delivered the Cardinal Winning Lecture at Glasgow University.
“We have always felt very supported by the Scottish Government, especially this year when we marked 100 years of the Catholic Education Act.
“Therefore, it is somewhat perplexing that Ms Black would make such comments which show complete contradiction to the SNP public stance on the place of Catholic schools in Scotland and their ongoing, excellent contribution to Scottish society.”
Delivering the Cardinal Winning Lecture at Glasgow University in June this year, the First Minister spoke of how state-funded Catholic schools helped to ‘shape modern Scotland for the better,’ praising the 1918 Education (Scotland) Act as a ‘national success story’ and a ‘very courageous and far-sighted compromise’ between the Church and state ‘with very few parallels elsewhere.’
“When you consider the immense contribution the Catholic community as a whole has made to Scotland in the last century, it seems to me to be inarguable that the settlement arrived at in 1918 is one which brought benefits, not just to the Catholic Faith, but to all of us,” Ms Sturgeon said.
“The Scottish Government is an unequivocal supporter of Catholic schools. We value the contribution that Catholic schools make to modern Scotland. We want that contribution to continue in the years ahead.”
She said that celebrating the centenary of the Act was important because ‘100 years on, you are an important and valued part of Scottish life.’ “As we do so, we should celebrate the progress the legislation enabled. We should appreciate the contribution Catholic education makes to modern Scotland. And we should endeavour to work even harder to raise standards in Catholic schools and all schools.” Source
Miss Black is somewhat behind the times or she would know that the Scottish Catholic Education Service has long caved in to the demands of the LGBT lobby; as a result, “safe spaces” for allegedly homosexual pupils are to be found in Catholic schools. And the staff in Catholic schools are highly unlikely to be causing “damage” to pupils who allegedly “identify” in this way, by passing on Catholic teaching (which is nothing more than repeating the natural moral law) out of fear of being accused of “hate speech”, so it seems that, while Miss Black is right to call for a debate on the future of Catholic schools, she’s got the wrong reason for so doing. A debate is necessary because Catholic schools are failing to do what they were established to do – pass on the Catholic religion, including true morals, which, in turn, would mean an end to “safe spaces” for those intent on rewriting the moral law. Here we go round the Mulberry bush… Share your thoughts…