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Don't join devil's game of jealousy, pope says at Mass

IMAGE: CNS photo/Vatican Media

By Cindy Wooden

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The devil is real and is so jealous of Jesus and the salvation Jesus offers that he tries everything he can to divide people and make them attack each other, Pope Francis said.

Celebrating Mass in the chapel of his residence Nov. 12, the pope preached about the day's first reading from the Book of Wisdom, which says: "God formed us to be imperishable; the image of his own nature he made us. But by the envy of the devil, death entered the world."

"Some people say, 'But, Father, the devil doesn't exist,'" the pope told the small congregation in the chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae. "But the word of God is clear."

The devil's envy, which the Book of Wisdom cites, is the root of all his efforts to get people to hate and kill one another. But his first steps, the pope said, are to sow "jealousy, envy and competition" instead of allow people to enjoy brotherhood and peace.

Some people will say, "'But, Father, I don't destroy anyone.' No? And your gossiping? When you speak ill of another? You destroy that person," the pope said.

Someone else might say, "But, Father, I've been baptized. I'm a practicing Catholic, how's it possible that I could become an assassin?"

The answer to that is that "we have war inside of us," the pope said.

Pointing to the beginning of Genesis, he noted that "Cain and Abel were brothers, but out of jealousy, envy, one destroyed the other." And even today, he said, just turn on the TV news and you see wars, destruction and people dying either because of hatred or because others are too selfish to help.

"Behind all this, there is someone who moves us to do these things. It's what we call temptation," he said. "Someone is touching your heart to make you follow the wrong path, someone who sows destruction in our hearts, who sows hatred."

Pope Francis said he cannot help wondering why countries spend so much money on weapons and waging war when that money can be used to feed children at risk of dying of hunger or to bring clean water, education and health care to everyone.

What is happening in the world, he said, happens also "in my soul and in yours" because of the "devil's seeds of envy" sown abundantly.

Pope Francis asked the people at Mass with him to pray for an increased faith in Jesus, who became human to battle and to defeat the devil, and for the strength "to not join the game of this great envier, the great liar, the sower of hate."


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Copyright © 2019 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. www.catholicnews.com. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at [email protected]

New York bishops to vote remotely in Rome for USCCB elections

Vatican City, Nov 12, 2019 / 04:45 am (CNA).- New York bishops will be voting remotely from Rome Tuesday for the election of the next leaders of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

The 21 bishops from New York State will vote by paper ballot at the North American College in Rome and tune into the video livestream of U.S. bishops’ General Assembly taking place in Baltimore Nov. 10-13.

A vote in Baltimore on a proposed increase in diocesan payments to the USCCB was declared inconclusive Nov. 11 because 28 of the eligible voting bishops were not present. Once the results of the bishops’ remote votes are called in to Baltimore, the final voting outcome will be able to be announced.

The New York bishops are in Rome for their ad limina apostolorum visit in which they will meet with Pope Francis and curial officials this week while making a pilgrimage to the tombs of St. Peter and St. Paul. These visits are required for all diocesan bishops approximately every 5 years.

For the first time, the ad limina visit coincides with the U.S. bishops’ General Assembly in Baltimore at which presidential and vice-presidential elections will occur Nov. 12.

The nominated candidates on the ballot in these elections are Archbishops Timothy P. Broglio of the Military Services, Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City, Salvatore J. Cordileone of San Francisco, Jose H. Gomez of Los Angeles, Jerome E. Listecki of Milwaukee,  Allen H. Vigneron of Detroit, Frank J. Caggiano of Bridgeport, Daniel E. Flores of Brownsville, Thomas John Paprocki of Springfield (IL), and Kevin C. Rhoades of Fort Wayne-South Bend.

The first round of voting will elect the president by a simple majority of the bishops. If a candidate does not receive 50%-plus-one of the votes, an additional ballot is taken. If there is still no winner, a run-off between the two bishops with the most votes is held until a winner is determined.

The elected president and vice-president will each serve a term of three years.

In addition to the presidential and vice-presidential elections, the members of the USCCB will be voting for the new chairmen of six conference committees: the 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.

Following the Nov. 12 vote, the U.S. bishops in Rome will visit the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls where Bishop Richard J. Malone of Buffalo is scheduled to celebrate Mass.

The Diocese of Buffalo recently underwent an Apostolic Visitation -- a canonical inspection and fact-finding mission ordered by the Vatican -- after a year of controversy surrounded the bishop’s handling of claims of clerical sexual abuse in the northern New York state diocese.

Cardinal Timothy Dolan will celebrate Mass with the New York bishops in the crypt of St. Peter’s Basilica on Nov. 14.

“I’m being called into the principal’s office! … next week I’ll be examined by the Pope and his closest collaborators in the pastoring of the Church universal,” the cardinal wrote on the Archdiocese of New York website Nov. 6, about the ad limina visit to Rome.

“While, at the tombs of the apostle Peter and Paul, I’ll pray an act of faith, an act of hope for my continued ministry, and an act of contrition for my multiple failings and I’ll also pray for you,” Dolan said.


Bishop Barron urges bishops to help bring people back to the church

IMAGE: CNS photo/Bob Roller

By Carol Zimmermann

BALTIMORE (CNS) -- Auxiliary Bishop Robert E. Barron of Los Angeles did not just bemoan the fact many young people are leaving the Catholic Church. He said church leaders need to make it a priority to bring them back.

The bishop, chairman of the bishops' Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis, who is known for his website, "Word on Fire," and for hosting the documentary series "Catholicism," offered a five-step plan of sorts to bring the religiously unaffiliated, or "nones," back to the fold.

He said for starters, the church should lead with its social justice work, getting young people involved with caring for those in need, working in soup kitchens, prison ministries, helping the homeless. Leaders can reinforce this by reiterating messages on social justice from Popes Leo XIII to Francis.

From there, the church should promote its own writers and artists to show people the beauty of the Catholic faith, he said.

Another key step -- and he said he's been "banging this drum for a long time" -- is to stop dumbing down the faith. The bishop, who first brought up this issue of church exodus with the bishops at the spring meeting, said young Catholics, or those of any age, should be able to articulate why they believe what they do.

For starters, "we have to beef up the intellectual content of our religion classes in Catholic schools, our religious education programs, RCIA, confirmation preparation, etc., " he said.

From his own experience, he said he has been asked very basic questions, particularly on the "AMA" (Ask Me Anything) feature on Reddit, an internet news aggregator, about faith, including: "Who is God and can you prove he exists? Can you explain evil and how do you know that your religion is right?"

He said it "breaks your heart to realize we haven't communicated our tradition effectively," but that doesn't mean throwing in the towel. Instead, the work begins locally: in one's parish.

On the parish level, Catholics need to start recognizing that their parishes are not just places where they experience the sacraments, but they should be seen as missionary grounds. This especially holds true with reaching out to young people because as he put it: "Young people aren't going to come to us; we have to go out to them."

This idea of going out to people is very much in line with Pope Francis' message of accompaniment, he added.

The bishop's last point was about using social media to turn this trend around stressing: "We should invest lot of time and money to get really good people to work our social media, suggesting that parishes, or even groups of parishes, hire someone to do effective social ministry outreach.

His presentation prompted more than one hour of discussion from the floor with bishops all in agreement that the drop in church numbers is a deep concern and offering other possibilities to combat it from increased devotion to Mary to opportunities for mission work or strengthening catechetical programs.

The bishop brought three lay leaders to the podium to help with the discussion, including Brandon Vogt, author and content director for "Word on Fire," who echoed the bishop's point that young people leaving the church is a "huge crisis."

For every one person who comes into the church, six and a half walk out the back door, he said re-emphasizing the need not only to plug the hole but to "look for those who left."

He also suggested that just as parishes and dioceses have staff members working on abuse situation, someone should be working at the local level just to reach out to those who left the church. "If it's a priority, lets emphasize it with resources," he added.

In a new conference after the presentation, Bishop Barron said he wasn't surprised by the lengthy conversation about bringing people back to church because when he first brought up this topic last spring, he said he was supposed to have 10 minutes and it went an hour.

Yes, there was a lot to take up, but we have to do it, he said, emphasizing that an individual's relationship with the Lord needs to be integrated into the life of the church.

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Follow Zimmermann on Twitter: @carolmaczim


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Copyright © 2019 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. www.catholicnews.com. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at [email protected]

Key figures of the Reformation: Henry VIII

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the first part of a nine-part series where Fr. Dwight Longenecker examines the conflicts of the 16th century through its main players. Each article will connect with contemporary Church life, showing the origin of the Protestant churches and the challenges we face in the Catholic Church today. Ask the man or woman in […]

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Bolivian bishops call for end to vandalism after Morales' resignation

La Paz, Bolivia, Nov 11, 2019 / 04:47 pm (CNA).- The Bolivian bishops have urged an end to the vandalism that has taken place following the resignation of president Evo Morales on Sunday.

Supporters of Morales have clashed with police in several cities.

In a Nov. 10 message, the bishops' conference, along with several civic groups, encouraged “Bolivians to peace and to not commit acts of vandalism or revenge or anything we could regret. We all have a grave obligation to defend the lives of all Bolivians.”

They also pointed out that “what's happening in Bolivia is not a coup d'état, we say it before all Bolivian citizens and the entire international community.”

“In the name of God we tell you: stop the violent acts and let us preserve life and the peace. Let us maintain the peaceful spirit that has reigned in the people in this time,” they said.

Morales resigned Nov. 10 after weeks of protest regarding a disputed Oct. 20 election. The socialist leader had been in power since 2006.

According to the electoral commision Morales won on the election's first round, but the opposition claimed fraud. The Organization of American States said Nov. 10 that there was “clear manipulation” in the election, and that it was statistically improbable that Morales had won by the margin needed to avoid a runoff.

Within hours of the OAS report, Morales resigned, after being encouraged to do so by the head of the Bolivian armed forces.

In both La Paz and El Alto, Morales' supporters have clashed with police, and more than 20 people have reportedly been injured.

The deputy head of the Senate, Jeanine Anez, has said she will serve as a caretaker president until elections are held.

Morales has been offered asylum by Mexico.

The Bolivian bishops and civil leaders said, “We call on the National Police and the Armed Forces of the nation to urgently fulfill their constitutional role in defense of property and people, preserving the lives and freedom of everyone.”

“We are all in agreement in proposing to the National Assembly of Bolivia a constitutional and peaceful solution in order to shortly have  constitutional president with the task of forming a new electoral tribunal and bringing us to new elections so that the entire people may express their opinion in freedom and peace,” they continued.

Luis Fernando Camacho, an opposition leader, reportedly placed a Bible on the Bolivian flag in the presidential residence after Morales resigned, saying, “Pachamama will never return to the Palace. Bolivia is Christ's.”

Bishop Krzysztof Bialasik Wawrowska of Oruro spoke with ACI Prensa, CNA's Spanish language sister agency, saying that when the news of Morales' resignation came, “at that moment all the people gathered together to celebrate this fact, practically as a victory, because we were already living in a dictatorship and the people knew that they didn't want to become like Venezuela.”

“At this moment there's a big celebration in Oruro's main square and they just called me to go there and pray and thank God for this grace of freedom that he has given us,” Bishop Bialasik said.

The bishop said Bolivia must “form an electoral tribunal as soon as possible for the new elections. This could take about three months to find the people, the leaders that can lead the country over the next few years.”

With these leaders, the Bishop of Oruro concluded, Bolivia may have “more hope, and also the life and dignity of people … may also be respected.”

Cardinal O'Malley: Pope Francis will publish Vatican McCarrick report 'soon'

Baltimore, Md., Nov 11, 2019 / 03:41 pm (CNA).- The results of the Vatican’s investigation of Theodore McCarrick should be published by early 2020, Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston told U.S. bishops on Monday.

“The intention is to publish the Holy See’s response soon, if not before Christmas, soon in the new year,” Cardinal O’Malley said on Monday afternoon

O’Malley presented a brief update on the status of the Vatican’s McCarrick investigation during the annual fall meeting of the U.S. bishops in Baltimore, Maryland, held from Nov. 11-13.

Earlier on Monday morning, Bishop Earl Boyea of Lansing, Michigan, had requested that an update on the Vatican’s McCarrick investigation to be added to the agenda of the bishops’ meeting. Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas, seconded the motion and the bishops approved it by a voice vote.

The Vatican announced that it would conduct a review of files on McCarrick in October 2018.

In March 2019, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, said the Vatican was still engaged in its investigation into McCarrick and that the Holy See would issue a declaration once it was finished.

On Monday, O’Malley provided the update on the Vatican’s investigation shortly after he and other bishops from New England arrived back in the U.S. from a visit with Pope Francis at the Vatican.

“We were not afraid to bring up the question of the report on Theodore McCarrick, and we insisted on the importance of publishing a response to the many serious questions of this case,” O’Malley said.

O’Malley sad the New England delegation made it clear to Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin that bishops, priests, religious and the lay faithful in the U.S. were all anxiously awaiting the results of the investigation, of how McCarrick “could become an archbishop and cardinal, who knew what and when.”

“The long wait has resulted in great frustration on the part of bishops and our people, and indeed a harsh and even cynical interpretation of the seeming silence,” O’Malley added Monday.

Cardinal Parolin “assured” the U.S. delegation of the Vatican’s original intent to publish its response to the investigation before the U.S. bishops’ November meeting in Baltimore, but the scope of the investigation and quantity of the information discovered in the process necessitated a later publishing date.

“There is a desire, a commitment, to be thorough and transparent so as to answer peoples’ questions and not simply to create more questions,” O’Malley said of the Vatican.

The cardinal said he shown a “hefty document” by the Vatican, which is being translated into Italian for a presentation to Pope Francis, with an intended publication by early 2020.

Reports of McCarrick’s history of sexual abuse were initially made public in June of 2018, when the Archdiocese of New York had announced that a sexual abuse allegation against then-retired Cardinal McCarrick was “credible and substantiated.”

Subsequent reports of sexual abuse or harassment of children and seminarians by McCarrick surfaced, and Pope Francis accepted his resignation from the College of Cardinals and assigned him to a life of prayer and penance, in July of 2018.

In August 2018, former apostolic nuncio to the U.S. Carlo Maria Vigano claimed that Pope Francis knew about existing sanctions on McCarrick but chose to repeal them.

At their November 2018 meeting, just months after settlements of the Archdioceses of New York and Newark of abuse cases involving McCarrick were made public, the bishops were set to vote on a number of measures to deal with the clergy sex abuse crisis including a call for the Vatican to release all documents about McCarrick in accord with canon and civil law.

However, after the Vatican requested shortly before the meeting that the bishops not take action on the abuse crisis until an international summit of bishops in Rome in early 2019, the bishops did not end up voting on the McCarrick measure because of fears they could be viewed at odds with Rome.

Pope Francis laicized McCarrick in February 2019, shortly before convening a summit of bishops from around the world on clergy sexual abuse. The Vatican’s accelerated investigation into McCarrick’s case was reportedly an “administrative penal process,” not a full juridical process but one used when the evidence in the case is overwhelming.

In June, the U.S. bishops’ National Advisory Council unanimously requested the bishops to urge the Holy See to “make public the results of diocesan and archdiocesan investigations of Theodore McCarrick.”

Memorial of St. Josaphat, Bishop and Martyr

Memorial of St. Josaphat, Bishop and Martyr Readings: Wisdom 2:23-3:9 Psalms 34:2-3, 16-17, 18-19 Luke 17:7-10 Memorial of Saint Josaphat Ephesians 4:1-7, 11-13 Psalms 1:1-2, 3, 4, 6 John 17:20-26

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St. Ignatius Loyola-Let us work

Memorial of St. Josaphat, Bishop and Martyr Let us work as if success depends on us alone, but with the heartfelt conviction that we are doing nothing and God everything. — St. Ignatius Loyola

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O'Malley: Vatican may 'soon' release details of McCarrick investigation

IMAGE: CNS photo/Bob Roller

By Rhina Guidos

BALTIMORE (CNS) -- In a brief presentation Nov. 11 to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Boston's Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley told the bishops gathered in Baltimore the Vatican may publish what it knows about the ascent to power of now-disgraced former U.S. Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick by Christmas, or perhaps the New Year.

McCarrick was dismissed by the Vatican from the clerical state in February following an investigation of accusations that he had abused children early on in his career of more than 60 years as a cleric, and that he also had abused seminarians as a bishop.

However, he had long been one of the premier U.S. bishops, traveling the world on behalf of the church as an esteemed member of the USCCB, leaving many wondering how he could have ascended in church ranks when many are said to have been aware of his alleged abuses.

"We made it clear to Cardinal (Pietro) Parolin at the leadership of the curia that the priests and the people of our country are anxious to receive the Holy See's explanation of this tragic situation, how he could become an archbishop and cardinal, who knew what and when," Cardinal O'Malley said of meeting with the Vatican secretary of state in early November. "The long wait has resulted in great frustration on the part of bishops and our people and indeed a very harsh and even cynical interpretation of the seeming silence."

Cardinal Parolin said the Vatican's intention had been to publish the report before the bishops' November meeting, Cardinal O'Malley reported, "but the investigation has involved various dioceses in the United States as well as many offices" at the Vatican and a much larger than expected "corpus" of information than anticipated.

In Baltimore, Bishop Earl A. Boyea of Lansing, Michigan, had earlier in the day asked for an update on the Vatican's report, which many of the bishops, by voice vote, also said they wanted to hear,

"There is a desire and a commitment to be thorough and transparent, so as to answer people's questions and not simply create more questions," Cardinal O'Malley said.

"I can share with you, I've recently heard the Vatican is indeed working in strenuously on this," said the USCCB's president, Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Houston-Galveston. "And they are almost finished, I think, but they are in the process still of more information coming in."

Cardinal O'Malley's approximately three-minute presentation was short on details, other than to say the Vatican had showed him a "hefty document that has been assembled."

It is being translated into Italian and will be presented to Pope Francis, he said.


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Copyright © 2019 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. www.catholicnews.com. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at [email protected]