Pope Francis Unexpectedly Names Fourteen New Cardinals

After celebrating Mass for the Feast of Pentecost on Sunday, May 20, Pope Francis unexpectedly named fourteen new Cardinals in the Catholic Church.  The newly-appointed Cardinals will be installed during a consistory at the Vatican on June 29, 2018.

Notable among the group was the appointment of Chaldean Patriarch Louis Raphael I Sako from Iraq.  He has been very vocal about the suffering of the Iraqi people following the invasion of their country in 2003.

Eleven of the new Cardinals are under the age of 80, bringing the number of Cardinal electors to 125 following the June ceremony.  Of that number, fifty-nine will be Pope Francis appointees.

Please select this link to review the National Catholic Reporter coverage of the new Cardinals.

In Crux, editor John Allen prepared an analysis on the appointments entitled “Seven quick takeaways on the creation of 14 new cardinals.”  Please click here to review that text.

 

Anglican Bishop Michael Curry’s Historic Royal Wedding Sermon and Lessons to be Learned

Where were you at daybreak on Saturday, May 19, 2018?  Approximately 29.2 million Americans opted to forego a little week-end-sleep-in to watch Prince Harry wed Meghan Markle.  Globally, the estimated number of viewers was close to a billion people.

While listening to a stirring and untraditional sermon delivered by The Very Rev. (Bishop) Michael Curry, millions of viewers witnessed history being made.  Bishop Curry, whose home base is Chicago, was the first American ever invited to preach at a royal wedding.  Of course, this was not the Bishop’s first history-making event; he also happens to be the first African American to be the Presiding Bishop of the U. S. Episcopal Church.  Catholic wedding-watchers were also pleasantly surprised to hear Jesuit philosopher and scientist, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, quoted at an Anglican service.

Bishop Curry’s memorable sermon on the redemptive power of love received extensive media coverage and rave reviews both nationally and abroad.  It clearly introduced elements of the traditional Black worship into the ceremony.  But to no one’s surprise, it also amassed some criticism.

In an article entitled: “What can Catholic preachers learn from Bishop Michael Curry’s Royal Wedding sermon”? Fr.Joshua Whitfield, a convert from the Episcopal Church to Catholicism, viewed Curry’s sermon as a “learning opportunity for Catholic Priests.” Whitfield commented: “What the world saw Saturday was vintage Michael Curry.  Rhythmic, echoing not only Dr. Martin Luther King’s words but even his tone. Bishop Curry’s style bore witness to his ethos.  And this is precisely what so much Catholic preaching lacks.”  He continued: “too many Catholic preachers hide themselves, forgetting that personality matters in preaching, that one should preach from the heart.”

Sharing Whitfield’s comments also presents an opportunity to revisit Pope Francis’ “recipe for the makings of a good homily” delivered during General Audiences on February 7 and 14, 2018.  Francis noted whether it’s a priest, deacon or bishop delivering the homily, remember that you are “offering a real service to all those who participate in Mass.” Francis further advised homilists to “keep it short, no more than ten minutes.”

Please click here to review the complete article on Bishop Curry’s sermon published in America Media.

Here, too, is “Homily 101” – advice from Pope Francis:

Click here forFaithful have a right to a well-written, well-preached homily.”

To review “Pope tells priests to keep homilies brief: no more than 10 minutes,” please Click here.

 

Archbishop Naumann: We Are Called to Renew Our Nation

May 24, 2018 –  The Very Reverend Joseph Naumann, Archbishop of Kansas City, KS, and Chairman of the U.S. Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, delivered the keynote address at the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast this morning.

In his opening, Archbishop Naumann offered thanks “for the many blessings we enjoy, including religious liberty, freedom of speech and expression, the right to assemble.”  Next, he enumerated the many challenges our nation faces both at home and abroad.  Archbishop Naumann noted, however, that the most serious crisis facing our country today is a “God crisis” – a crisis of faith.

Citing the now famous cover story for the April 8, 1966 edition of Time magazine, Archbishop Naumann commented: “The 1966 article began with these words: ‘Is God dead’?  I was reminded of this article while reading the 2017 book The Benedict Option, by Rod Dreher, who makes the case that we need a new St. Benedict to form vibrant Christian communities to preserve the truth of the Gospels during a new Dark Age of unbelief.”

Here is an excerpt from the Archbishop’s closing:

In our prayer this morning, let us pray for a religious revival in our nation, another “Great Awakening.” For those of us who have encountered the Risen Jesus, we have a responsibility to bring his love and mercy to others, especially, as Pope Francis so often reminds us, to those on the peripheries. We are called to be missionary disciples, communicating the love of Jesus to others and bringing others to encounter the Risen Lord.

We have no permanent enemies, but only confused brothers and sisters who have yet to encounter the Lord of Life and to experience his unconditional love and amazing grace.”

Select this link to review the complete transcript of Archbishop Naumann’s address.

 

Religious Leaders Call For UN to Offer Brighter Future to Migrants and Refugees

During an interfaith conference at the United Nations on May 3, 2018, Buddhist, Jewish, Muslim and Christian leaders gathered to ensure the United Nations Global Compacts on Refugees and Migrants (GCRM) “respects the rights of all migrants and commits to a shared responsibility for refugee reception.”

“Sharing the Journey of Migrants and Refugees: An Interfaith Perspective on the Global Compacts” was hosted by the Holy See in advance of the May 14-18 fourth round of inter-governmental negotiations on the GCRM.  The event included the Venerable Gijun Sugitani, Rabbi David Rosen, Sheikh Mohamad Abou Zeid, Metropolitan Emmanuel Adamakis, Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle and Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Apostolic Nuncio and Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations.

One of the goals of the conference was to bring broad moral principles to bear on the diplomatic negotiations.  During the discussions, each religious tradition shared some of the principles adhered to by their respective faiths in caring for sojourners.

The fourth round of inter-governmental negotiations on GCRM convened from May 14-18.  Among the 192 nations, noticeably absent was a representative from the United States.  In December 2017, the current administration announced that the US would no longer participate in the negotiations to improve the handling of migrant and refugee situations, deeming it “inconsistent” with its policies.  Two additional negotiation sessions are scheduled in the coming months to finalize the Global Compact.

Select this link to review Caritas International: Call for brighter future for migrants and refugees.

Click here for “You Shall Love the Sojourner as Yourself – Interfaith Principles on Immigration” published in Commonweal Magazine.

Australian Bishop Guilty of Child Sex Abuse Cover-Up – Steps Down

In a landmark verdict handed down on May 22, 2018 in Newcastle Local Court, Australian Magistrate Robert Stone found Archbishop Philip Wilson guilty of concealing child abuse allegations against priest, James Fletcher.  According to the evidence produced during Wilson’s trial, he was informed by a 15-year old boy in 1976 that the Priest sexually assaulted him but chose not to report it to the authorities although he believed the allegations were true.

Wilson, who has consistently refuted the charges against him, told the Newcastle Local Court last month that he had no knowledge of Fletcher’s actions, which occurred while he was an assistant priest in Maitland, eighty miles north of Sydney.  Fletcher was convicted in 2004 on nine counts of child sexual abuse and died during his incarceration in 2006.

According to CNN, the archbishop’s legal team argued that in the 1970s, child sex abuse was not understood to be a serious crime that should be reported to authorities. Wilson’s legal team also made four attempts to have the charges against him dismissed, including after he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in November 2016.  Magistrate Stone denied their motions.  Archbishop Wilson is now the most senior Catholic cleric globally found guilty of failing to report child sexual abuse to police and faces a maximum sentence of two years in jail. Under Australian law, he is entitled to file an appeal of Magistrate Stone’s ruling.

In a statement issued late yesterday, the Australian Bishops Conference announced that Archbishop Wilson was stepping down.  Click here to review Archbishop Coleridge’s statement.

Additional media articles are also available:

Please click here to review the Catholic World Report.

For the National Catholic Reporter article on the verdict, please click here.

Great Falls-Billings Bishop Milone Dies

Recent news from the Heartland announced the passing of Bishop Anthony Milone on May 17, 2018. A native of Omaha, Bishop Milone was characterized as “a simple, humble priest and bishop, who willingly sacrificed for the people of God throughout his life.”

Bishop Milone was ordained in 1957 and served as an auxiliary bishop in Omaha from 1982 to 1987. He was installed in 1988 as the sixth bishop of the Great Falls-Billings Diocese to lead nearly 58,000 faithful throughout an area spanning 95,000 square miles.   Bishop Milone will be remembered for his guidance and faith during the restructuring of the Diocese.  To achieve this goal, Bishop Milone led the implementation of a strategic planning process actively involving the laity.

In 2006, health issues impeded his ability to travel around the Diocese. Facing retirement Bishop Milone stated” “My biggest satisfaction was getting out to the parishes and being with all the wonderful people.” He continued: “One of the painful things is to not be able to travel around the diocese to see the people.” He was 85 years of age at the time of his passing.

Milone’s body will be received at St. Cecilia Cathedral in Omaha where a prayer vigil will be held in the evening of May 23. The Very Reverend Michael W. Warfel, Bishop of Great Falls-Billings, will be the celebrant at Bishop Milone’s funeral Mass planned for Thursday, May 24 at the cathedral.

Please click here to review Bishop Milone’s complete bio published in Catholic Voice Online.

Today Marks 1st Celebration of Mary Mother of the Church

Today, May 21, 2018, marks the first celebration of the Feast of Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church, instituted by Pope Francis.  The decree which was announced earlier this year by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, added each Monday following Pentecost to the church’s liturgical calendar.

Pope Unexpectedly Names 14 New Cardinals

Chaldean Patriarch Louis Raphael I Sako

After celebrating Mass for the Feast of Pentecost on Sunday, May 20, Pope Francis unexpectedly named fourteen new Cardinals in the Catholic Church.  The newly-appointed Cardinals will be installed during a consistory at the Vatican on June 29, 2018.

Notable among the group was the appointment of Chaldean Patriarch Louis Raphael I Sako from Iraq.  He has been very vocal about the suffering of the Iraqi people following the invasion of their country in 2003.

Eleven of the new Cardinals are under the age of 80, bringing the number of Cardinal electors to 125 following the June ceremony.  Of that number, fifty-nine will be Pope Francis appointees.

Please select this link to review the National Catholic Reporter coverage of the new Cardinals.

In Crux, editor John Allen prepared an analysis on the appointments entitled “Seven quick takeaways on the creation of 14 new cardinals.”  Please click here to review that text.

 

Date Announced for Canonization of Blessed Pope Paul Vi, Oscar Romero and 4 Others

October 14, 2018, has been officially announced as the Canonization date for Pope Paul Vi, Oscar Romero, and four other Blesseds including Francesco Spinelli, Vincenzo Romano, Maria Katharine Kasper and Nazaria Ignacia de Santa Teresa de Jesus.  Pope Francis declared the date on May 19, 2018, during an Ordinary Public Consistory for the Canonization of the Blessed.  Their paths to sainthood were cleared in March 2018 when the Holy Father approved a series of decrees related to their causes.

Please click here to review each Blessed full title and the miracles attributed to them published in Zenit.

 

Clearinghouse Request for Assistance

NFPC has received the following request for assistance. Any input we receive will be forwarded to this diocesan staff:
“Our diocese is looking at re-examining our current speakers’ policy for presenters in our parishes and at diocesan events.  Would the NFPC have any leads on current policies used by any of the other members?”
 
Background: NFPC’s mission is the communion, brotherhood and solidarity of priests, bishops and presbyterates.  One practical way we live this mission is through our Clearinghouse Requests – NFPC receives requests for assistance from priests or diocesan staff and shares them with other priests and dioceses for input.
With your input, answers can be found, and your brothers assisted in your shared ministry.
Please respond to [email protected]