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
American Cardinal McCarrick’s resignation, house-arrest and forthcoming canonical trial following allegations of child sexual abuse has hit the headlines the world over. Click here to read one of the many reports…
Not quite so well known, however is the fact that McCarrick’s long time friend, who shared a home with him for six years, Cardinal Kevin Farrell, is the person in charge of the Youth Synod. Guilt by association, of course, is unjust. However, watch his performance in this short video report and then read the comments from YouTube, some of which are copied below, for ease of reference.
Then ask yourself – would YOU want this man in any kind of position where he can influence any child of yours, with his upside down view of the role of young people in the Church? He doesn’t see them as requiring the teaching and guidance of the Church – he thinks these uncatechised young people should be running the Church! We’ve a bishop here in Scotland who thinks the same – if you recall, not so long ago, we discussed this same ambition of the Bishop of Paisley (John Keenan) to hand his diocese over to his uncatechised youth. Seems to be catching on – can’t wait for the polling on that one in a year or two…
Watch the clip below, where he reacts to the “news” (not likely news to him) of Cardinal McCarrick’s credibly alleged sordid behaviour, the consequences of which are now coming home to roost. Then check if your own thoughts chime with the YouTube commentators below.
Comments from those who watched the video on YouTube… to read all comments click here
…Will Farrell denounce the actions of McCarrick? Where is that?
…Not buying it at all. This Cardinal Farrell was the guy who invited weirdo homosexualist priest Father James Martin to speak at the World Meeting of Families in Ireland. Why would they want to turn the World Meeting of Families into a big gay pride parade? This guy is behind having this stuff at the Ireland meeting and should never have been made a Cardinal. This clown also said that priests have nothing to offer when it comes to preparing people for marriage. He is a disgrace to the church.
…Haul this guy into court and have him testify under oath
…Cardinal, as you can see from the comments below, no one believes one word you say about this. You’re only adding to the shame the Church must shoulder because of the acts of the mitered dirt bag McCarrick. We in the pews are sick of pious lies of the kind we hear in this interview.
…Translation: “I lived with a pedo for many years and never noticed anything odd!” If true, this just tells us that Farrell is a very naive and unintelligent man. And that’s probably the best scenario we can hope for. His choice of words also make him suspect. A person with a properly formed conscience in this case would use words like “disgusting,” “repugnant,” and “despicable.” Instead he’s just talking about himself and how “overwhelmed” he is. Not convincing.
…I don’t believe him at all
…I don’t believe this. Sorry. Total liar. They know very well what’s going on. Sickening… totally sickening.
…He seems to care only about himself, not for any victims. This is so disheartening as a Catholic.
…Play at slower speed to hear that I am recording this accurately. 0:53 And I was involved 0:58 heavily involved in Washington, 1:00 ahh in the whole … from 2000 on 1:06 in the sex abuse 1:09 ammm 1:12 so I really 1:16 don’t have any knowledge or ‘anything’ to add about 1:20 more than that
…If this “interview “ was supposed to help Cardinal Farrell it totally backfired. “I, I, I, I, I, I…” Any sense of shame, indignation and compassion for the terrible damage done to others? I don’t think so. He’s just thinking about how to get out of this.
…“…heavily involved”… “in the sex abuse…”… hmmm. Anyone else think that’s a “strange” remark? Notice he did not say sex abuse SCANDAL!?!
…Utter rubbish. Every priest in the Archdiocese had heard about this.
…What was the question? Is he saying he’s only “shocked” to hear Cardinal McCarrick preyed on minors? Or is he shocked by all the accusations, including that Cardinal McCarrick was an active homosexual? Because Cardinal Farrell lived with Cardinal McCarrick for several years, during a time when “everyone know” (including several journalists) about McCarrick’s behavior. Of course, the obvious answer is that of course Cardinal Farrell knew and that he should be taken down by all this too.
…No sense of being indignant by the accusations against McCarrick. No sense of shame, or caring for the victims. This man is typical of why the sex scandal went on for so long.
… he looks like he’s hiding something. His gaze looks more like “I dare you to find something on me” rather than one of contrition. A normal human would say something like “I WISH I had heard something so I could have stopped the abuse” or “I was shocked…McCarrick played us all for fools”, but his comments are entirely defensive and self-centered. If Cardinal Farrell won’t stick up for us lay people and our kids, which bishop will?
If – in your opinion – Pope Francis is not the worst ever pope in the history of the Church, tell us who you would nominate for that title.
Does anyone seriously think that contemporary youth is equipped to “save the Church”? Aren’t they kinda tied up saving the planet? And doing Facebook and stuff?
Some extracts from this Scottish Catholic Observer report follow [with editorial comment]…
Bishop of Paisley calls on the [uncatechised] faithful to halt ’25 years of decline’. Yes, you read that right. He wants the blind to lead the blind. It’s the latest in pastoral practice.
The laity needs to take up more leadership positions in the Church to save it from a 25-year period of decline, the Bishop of Paisley has said.
[Notice, no mention of the nature of the “decline” or the cause of said decline – that would require facing some uncomfortable truths.]
Speaking as the diocese prepares to implement the next stage of an historic synod, Bishop John Keenan urged the faithful to decide for themselves how to shape the future and create ‘new skins for new wine.’ [A tad difficult when the poor kids have no experience of the “old wine”]
Paisley parishioners have been taking part in an ongoing synod in the diocese in recent years, discussing its future against a background of a 31 per cent drop in Mass attendance over the ten years from 2005-2015. [Getting close there – how many of the Paisley youth realise that the Mass they attend is a relatively new liturgy; that there is such a thing as “the old Mass”? And that there are young people who attend it? Young people who love it? I wonder why they don’t know that?]
Other dioceses in Scotland are struggling with similar issues, with Archbishop Leo Cushley of St Andrews & Edinburgh indicating this month that as many as 40 parishes in his archdiocese could close. [Ouch! Not exactly a sign of rip-roaring success, is it. Vatican II, please say “sorry, folks”! ]
Bishop Keenan said a small number of parish closures could be a part of his diocese’s future, but he stressed he would take his lead from parishioners. [Well, there’s a novelty. A bishop who refuses to lead. A shepherd being led by his sheep. WOW. Original or what? Cool, man.] Source – Scottish Catholic Observer
Vote in the very serious poll below and then share your thoughts…
Young people are ‘leaving the Church in droves,’ says Scots delegate to Vatican youth synod By James Farrell
Young people are ‘leaving the Church in droves for all the wrong reasons,’ according to Scotland’s representative to a global Vatican meeting of young people.
Sean Deighan, 23, a youth worker for Glasgow Archdiocese, will be one of 300 young representatives to attend the Synod on Young People, the Faith, and Vocational Discernment to be held in Rome from March 19 to 24.
The meeting is being held ahead of a Synod of Bishops in October that will focus on youth.
“I didn’t realise it was such a select group [attending the meeting] and it’s a great privilege,” Mr Deighan said. “I hope that my voice will be heard and by extension I hope the representative voice of all young people in Scotland will be heard. I’m optimistic that real results will materialise from the pre-synodal meeting. I think what needs to be addressed is that young people are leaving the Church in droves for all the wrong reasons.
“They are leaving the Church because of what they think the Church is and not the reality. If we want to pursue the new evangelisation authentically then we need to present the Church authentically and young people need to see that.”
“When young people see the Church being presented authentically, it’s attractive,” Mr Deighan said. “We have never had to dress things up or use false pretences to get people in the Church. It has always been the reality of the Church’s message which they are attracted to.”
At the Angelus on Sunday February 18, Pope Francis called on young people from around the world to take part in the preparatory work of the upcoming synod.
“I strongly desire that all young people might be the protagonists of this preparation,” Pope Francis said. “And so they will be able to contribute online through linguistic groups moderated by other young people.”
The Pope was referring to an initiative promoted by the Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops, under the direction of its general secretary, Cardinal Lorenzo Baldiserri. Young people have been invited to join a Facebook group through the Synod website, http://www.synod2018.va, and from March 12 will have the opportunity to send questions to Pope Francis for the Synod on the group page.
“Pope Francis insisted on showing great concern for the ‘distant’—the young people of the ‘peripheries,’ those who are not part of our network of Catholics faithful,” Cardinal Baldisseri said in conversation with the Vatican website.
“The participants will be able to ask questions, propose ideas and therefore act as intermediaries between the ecclesial institution that derives from the people of God and secular society. The experience that will be proposed to them will consist in getting to know the Church better, discovering what we are more deeply.”
At the end of the youth meeting representatives will approve a document, the result of the work of the entire week, which will express their point of view on the reality of youth in the Church and present their expectations, their doubts and their hopes. This document will then help guide reflections at the synod in October. Source – SCO
I know it’s been a while, but when I was a schoolgirl we were taught about the Faith, that we were Catholics and should be knowledgeable and be able to explain it to those we met outside of school, friends etc. and later, in the workplace, colleagues. There was no mention of, let alone emphasis on, the fact that we were “young Catholics”, a separate type of Catholic from everyone else. We didn’t have “special” Masses for the young, etc. That’s the beauty of the Traditional Latin Mass, with which I grew up – it cannot be manipulated into a performance tailored to particular groups. We were simply Catholics. This contemporary emphasis on reaching out to the young as if they ARE a different type of Catholic has led to a great deal of muddled thinking, beginning with this…
Those young people identified in the above SCO report, are not leaving the Church because they are young. They are leaving it – as the author writes – for all the wrong reasons, and that is because, there IS no “right reason” to leave Christ and His Church. Someone needs to clarify for those youngsters who say they believe in Jesus, admire Jesus etc. but just don’t like the Church or “institutionalised religion” that, like love and marriage, as the old song goes, you can’t have one without the other. Christ cannot be separated from His Church – that’s the way HE has arranged things.
Think of your favourite quotes from Scripture and from saints, to drive home this message to the young. Plenty read this blog, I’m told, so how would YOU convince them that, not only is there no right reason to leave Christ’s Church, but there is no “wrong” reason either – leaving the Church for any reason means that they are risking damnation – spelt out, they are risking suffering Hell fire for all eternity. Not cool. Convince them to begin their journey to the fullness of the Faith which they have manifestly not been taught and which, if they truly knew it, would love it and never dream of leaving it. What’s the first thing you would advise a young person seeking the Faith in its fullness to do… where’s the best place to begin that journey?