Thomas P. Doyle, J.C.D., C.A.D.C.
ANNUAL SNAP CONFERENCE
June 24 to 26, 2016
In the original presentation I followed the basic format suggested for speakers at Alcoholics Anonymous and other Twelve Step meetings: What is was like before. What Happened. What it is like now. I have revised the original and expanded it to article length and have retained to this format.
WHAT IT WAS LIKE BEFORE
The present era of awareness of sexual violation by Catholic clerics began in 1983 in two Catholic dioceses: the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and the Diocese of Lafayette in Louisiana. This was not the start date of the problem of sexual violation but the beginning of widespread public awareness.
The reality of sexually dysfunctional clerics preying on minors and adults goes back through the centuries. In our lifetime it had been covered with a thick blanket of secrecy. It was unknown to the vast majority of lay persons and clerics as well. Many bishops knew about it but when they had to confront real cases they did so in secret with only a very small number of their closest advisors, all clerics, involved. Although they knew about sexual violation of minors in general, they were incapable of comprehending both its deeply pathological nature and its disastrous effects on victims.
Few knew about such abuse in the Church and even fewer believed it existed and this was due to the nature of the Catholic Church at the time. Back in the forties and fifties there was only one Catholic Church and it was the visible monarchical structure, a stratified society with a clerical aristocracy that was made up of celibate men and the vast ocean of lay commoners. The wall between the clerical caste and the “faithful” as the commoners are known, was steep and almost totally impenetrable.
(Vatican Radio) In the course of a dialogue during a meeting with the participants in the Plenary Assembly of Superiors General, which took place in May, Pope Francis expressed his intention to “establish an official commission that could study the question” of the diaconate of women, “especially with regard to the first ages of the Church.”
After intense prayer and mature reflection, Pope Francis has decided to institute the Commission for the Study of the Diaconate of Women. As president of the Commission, Pope Francis has appointed Archbishop Luis Francisco Ladaria Ferrer, SJ. In addition to Archbishop Ladaria, the commission is composed of six women and six men from academic institutions around the world.
Below, please find the complete list of the members of the Commission for the Study of the Diaconate of Women:
On 100th German Katholikentag from 25 to 29 May 2016 Leipzig with the motto, "Behold the man " the Church People's Movement We Are Church was again intensively involved under the headline: "Future. For church. For all humans."
- - With events within the program of the Central Committee of German Catholics (ZdK)
- - With the "talks at Jacob's Well" on the We Are Church stand on the church mile
- - And with the Catholic plus together with the Reader´s Initiative Publik-Forum at the "Alte Börse".
Also Eva-Maria Kiklas has been called for We Are Church from ZdK in the preparatory group - "local Church - Church with the people".
What are „Katholikentage“?
The first German Catholic Congress was held from October 3 to 6 October 1848 in Mainz as "General Assembly of the Catholic Association of Germany", thrilled by the bourgeois-democratic revolution in March 1848 and as a reaction to the suppression of the Catholic population by the Protestant governments since the Congress of Vienna from 1814 to 1815, which resulted later in the Kulturkampf. At that time, the Katholikentag was purely a delegates meeting, for men only, to the 87 Club Members and around 100 other clergy and lay participants came.
A tribute from We Are All Church South Africa
The most recognizable image of Augustine Shutte, who died in Cape Town early Monday morning 23rd May, is of the teacher. Listeners picked up, even when their intellectual background was too thin to allow them to grasp everything, that here was something of profound value. This was not only in the lectures hall of the University of Cape Town (UCT) where he taught in the Department of Philosophy since 1972, but in the many popular extramural lectures series he gave to the public, often on philosophical aspects of religious faith and its relation to our scientific knowledge. And in the School of Theology at the university chaplaincy which he co-founded, and that fed the minds of generations of Catholic students. Or talks to any number of different groups, Quakers, University of the Third Age, Cape Town Dominican Sisters, the university medical ethics research group, even the Seminary where he began his teaching before joining UCT.
His desire to communicate was passionate, issuing in a book on philosophy in an African context, Philosophy for Africa (UCT, 1993) and one on a summa of the Christian faith written with teachers of religion in mind, The Mystery of Humanity (Cluster, 1994). With Templeton funds he marshalled a group of scholars researching the central science and religion questions, and gave these topics an African context, published as The Quest for Humanity in Science and Religion (Cluster, 2005).
Pubblicato il 14 giugno 2016
Riforma della Curia senza riforma. Non siamo sulla strada giusta.
Tra i propositi ben noti e largamente condivisi fin dall’inizio del pontificato di papa Francesco vi è la riforma della Curia vaticana. Di ciò si parla poco. La forte immagine e la linea pastorale di questo papa nascondono o lasciano in secondo piano il funzionamento della struttura centrale della Chiesa e il problema urgente di come modificarla. Per ragionare sulla questione bisogna essere informati sugli organi centrali, cosa non difficile almeno in prima approssimazione. Notizie si trovano online e sull’Annuario Pontificio. Nell’opinione cattolica spesso non si ha consapevolezza delle dimensioni della Curia. Le Congregazioni sono nove, i Pontifici Consigli sono dodici, le Pontificie Commissioni sono sei, le Accademie pontificie sono undici, i Tribunali sono tre oltre alle istituzioni collegate che sono quattordici (tra le quali tutto il sistema della comunicazione). Poi c’è il Sinodo dei vescovi e la Segreteria di Stato, dalla quale dipendono le rappresentanze pontificie presso gli stati che sono 178 mentre 35 sono le organizzazioni internazionale nelle quali la S. Sede è presente a vario titolo.
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Local bishops have an obligation to welcome new movements and communities and guide them, while the groups have an obligation to obey the local bishop and avoid the appearance of setting up a parallel church, said a new Vatican document.
The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith's letter to bishops around the world on "the relationship between hierarchical and charismatic gifts in the life and mission of the church" was released June 14.
The hierarchical gifts -- teaching, sanctifying and governing -- are those conferred with ordination. The charismatic gifts refer to those given by the Holy Spirit to groups or individuals to help them live the faith more intensely and to share the faith with others through missionary activity and acts of charity.
Read Iuvenescit Ecclesia
Mons. Capovilla: un protagonista del Concilio. Il cordoglio di Noi Siamo Chiesa e dell’International Movement We Are Church
[ English ]
Il coordinatore nazionale di Noi Siamo Chiesa Vittorio Bellavite ha rilasciato la seguente dichiarazione:
“Ho partecipato questa mattina a Sotto Il Monte ai funerali di Mons. Loris Capovilla, il segretario di papa Giovanni. Vi ho rappresentato il sincero cordoglio di tutte e di tutti di Noi Siamo Chiesa , dell’International Movement We Are Church(IMWAC), oltre che quello mio personale, avendolo ben conosciuto negli ultimi anni.
Dire “Capovilla” voleva dire “Concilio”, voleva dire “papa Giovanni”, per lunghi difficili anni nella vita della Chiesa. Mons. Loris è stato un vescovo che ha sempre ascoltato, e con vero interesse, quanto pensavamo e quanto scrivevamo. Per quanto tendesse a difendere comunque l’istituzione ecclesiastica e a vederne soprattutto gli aspetti positivi, posso dire che egli guardava con grande attenzione e disponibilità alle nostre analisi e alle nostre proposte. Con lui si era stabilito un rapporto fondato su un dialogo vero.
Le sue posizioni erano esplicitamente e senza riserve per il Concilio e per lo spirito del Concilio di cui era stato uno dei protagonisti nascosti; si capiva bene, conversando con lui, la sua sofferenza, anche se mai esplicitata in modo diretto, per i freni che ne hanno bloccato per decenni l’attuazione. A lui chiedevano consiglio e con lui si sfogavano esponenti della struttura ecclesiale insofferenti per la situazione nella Chiesa. Di qui la sua evidente gioia per l’elezione di papa Francesco che egli considerava un nuovo papa Giovanni e che gli concesse quella porpora cardinalizia che gli era sempre stata negata per ciò che egli rappresentava nell’immaginario di una vasta area del mondo cattolico”.
Roma, 30 maggio 2016
Women's Ordination Conference USA have issued the following Press Release
Rome, Italy: The Women's Ordination Conference (WOC) applauds the women religious of the International Union Superior Generals (UISG) for brazenly dialoguing with Pope Francis on leadership and ministerial roles for women in the Church, including the opening of the diaconate to women. In response to the sisters' questions, Pope Francis agreed to launch a Vatican Commission to study the diaconate to include women, stating: "It would be good to clarify this."
Opening a commission to study the diaconate for women would be a great step for the Vatican in recognizing its own history. Decades of research on this topic has already been published by renowned feminist voices. WOC recommends that the Vatican's commission include the following scholars: Gary Macy, Dorothy Irving, Ida Raming, Sr. Christine Schenk, John Wijngaards, and Phyllis Zagano.
Nach Aussage von Hans Küng selbst hat Papst Franziskus auf sein Schreiben geantwortet, mit dem der Tübinger Theologe eine freie Diskussion über das päpstliche Unfehlbarkeitsdogma gefordert hatte. Wie der Onlinenachrichtendienst National Catholic Reporter (NCR) berichtet, habe Papst Franziskus ihm über die Berliner Nuntiatur einen Brief zukommen lassen, in dem die Anrede „Lieber Mitbruder“ handschriftlich verfasst sei und in dem er sich offen für eine Diskussion zum erst seit 1870 geltenden Unfehlbarkeitsanspruch ex cathedra zeige.
Den Brief selbst wolle Küng aus Gründen der Vertraulichkeit nicht herzeigen, doch er sei begeistert über die Öffnung, die Papst Franziskus bereits mit der Veröffentlichung seiner apostolischen Exhortation Amoris Laetitia und nun auch mit der Antwort auf seinen Aufruf zur Diskussion gezeigt habe. „Das ist der neue Geist, den ich mir stets vom Magisterium erwartet habe“, zitiert NCR Küng. „Diesen neuen Freiraum, so meine Folgerung, gilt es zu nutzen, um die Klärung der in der katholischen Kirche und Ökumene umstrittenen dogmatischen Festlegung voranzutreiben“, betont Küng. Dem Papst gelte für diese neue Denkfreiheit „mein tief empfundener Dank“, berichtet auch die Katholische Nachrichten-Agentur (KNA) unter Berufung auf den Theologen.
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis said Tuesday that the clergy should serve lay people and not make use of them and spoke out against clericalism, calling it one of the greatest distortions affecting the Church in Latin America. His comments came in a wide-ranging letter reflecting on the role of the laity that was addressed to Cardinal Marc Ouellet, President of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America. The Pope’s letter was a follow-up to the commission’s recent Plenary Assembly whose theme was “the indispensable role of the lay faithful in the public life of Latin American countries.” In his letter, Pope Francis explained that he wished to follow-up the discussions and reflections that emerged during the Plenary Assembly in order to prevent them "from not bearing fruit."
He urged the clergy to look closely at the people and lives of the lay faithful and avoid falling into the trap of adopting certain slogans on their behalf that seem well-meaning but in practice don't succeed in supporting the lives of our communities. Pointing to the example of a famous phrase “it’s time for the laity,” he noted that in this particular case, that clock has ground to a halt.
Catholics decry modern-day inquisition
An international group of Catholic sisters, priests and lay people, all of whom have been ‘delated’ (i.e. reported) and subjected to ‘examination’ by the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), formerly known as the Holy Office of the Roman Inquisition, have said that this body “doesn’t reflect the gospel values of justice, truth, integrity and mercy that the Catholic Church professes to uphold” and that are called for by Pope Francis. They also say that the CDF “acts in ways that are out of keeping with contemporary concepts of human rights, accountability and transparency that the world expects from the Christian community and which the Catholic Church demands from secular organizations.”
“Can you get justice from a body that acts as investigator, accuser, judge and jury and then imposes the penalty?” spokesman for the group, church historian Paul Collins asks. “And then, if an appeal is made, it is heard by the same people,” Collins adds. The accused have to deal with secrecy and anonymity, often having to negotiate with the CDF at third or fourth hand via a network of superiors and bishops. “People are not informed as to who accused them,” Collins says, “there is no presumption of innocence, the accused don’t know who is judging them with prosecutors acting as judges; they don’t even know who their defense counsel is. They are usually never given a chance to defend themselves verbally and in person. Letters go unanswered for months, or are “lost”.
Members of the International Movement We Are Church endorse and fully support the statement by Pax Christi International following the Conference on Nonviolence and Just Peace: Contributing to the Catholic Understanding of and Commitment to Nonviolence held in Rome, April 11-13, 2016
Living Gospel Nonviolence and Just Peace
In that spirit we commit ourselves to furthering Catholic understanding and practice of active nonviolence on the road to just peace. As would-be disciples of Jesus, challenged and inspired by stories of hope and courage in these days, we call on the Church we love to: continue developing Catholic social teaching on nonviolence. In particular, we call on Pope Francis to share with the world an encyclical on nonviolence and Just Peace;
- integrate Gospel nonviolence explicitly into the life, including the sacramental life, and work of the Church through dioceses, parishes, agencies, schools, universities, seminaries, religious orders, voluntary associations, and others;
- promote nonviolent practices and strategies (e.g., nonviolent resistance, restorative justice, trauma healing, unarmed civilian protection, conflict transformation, and peace-building strategies);
- initiate a global conversation on nonviolence within the Church, with people of other faiths, and with the larger world to respond to the monumental crises of our time with the vision and strategies of nonviolence and Just Peace;
- no longer use or teach “just war theory”; continue advocating for the abolition of war and nuclear weapons;
- lift up the prophetic voice of the church to challenge unjust world powers and to support and defend those nonviolent activists whose work for peace and justice put their lives at risk.
International Movement We are Church:
Press Release Munich / Rome, April 8, 2016
"Responsibility now lies with the bishops, theologians and local Churches"
The International Movement We are Church sees the letter "Amoris laetitia" of Pope Francis published today as a hopeful new course for the urgent development of Catholic sexual ethics, pastoral and family theology. This letter introduces a new epoch in sexual ethics, very much in line with Vatican II. Now the local churches, including their theological sciences and all the faithful, have a duty to develop the basic ideas and initiatives and spaces set out by Francis.
The letter is in structure, style and content a pleasing departure from the previous legalistic and rigoristic thinking on Catholic sexual teaching towards a perspective of charity that can properly invoke the exemplary action of Jesus. Pope Francis consciously - which some will regret – does not yet make any changes in doctrine. But the discrepancy between the Gospel’s message of Mercy together with the pastoral approach of Pope Francis makes it ever more clear how necessary it is to make corrections and developments in doctrine and in canon law.
La porta, già sbarrata, ora è socchiusa. Dal basso il popolo cristiano la apra- e la tenga aperta- perché la fede nell’Evangelo ispiri nella Chiesa la vita quotidiana delle famiglie. Riflessioni di “Noi Siamo Chiesa” sulla Amoris Laetitia
La troppo lunga Esortazione Apostolica Amoris Laetitia inizia al paragrafo 3 con una affermazione che indica il percorso che si dovrà percorrere: “desidero ribadire che non tutte le discussioni dottrinali, morali o pastorali devono essere risolte con interventi del magistero… in ogni paese o regione si possono cercare soluzioni più inculturate, attente alle tradizioni e alle sfide locali. Infatti, «le culture sono molto diverse tra loro e ogni principio generale […] ha bisogno di essere inculturato, se vuole essere osservato e applicato» (dal discorso conclusivo del Sinodo 2015)”. Questa affermazione di papa Francesco, tanto attesa, dovrà essere valorizzata. Dopo una consultazione diffusa in tutto l’universo cattolico e due sinodi ci si rende conto che i grandi principi rigidi, dottrinari, esigenti saranno belli da declamare, daranno soddisfazione al sistema ecclesiastico ma non al vissuto del popolo cristiano. E papa Francesco continua aspramente:” Stentiamo anche a dare spazio alla coscienza dei fedeli, che tante volte rispondono quanto meglio possibile al Vangelo in mezzo ai loro limiti e possono portare avanti il loro personale discernimento davanti a situazioni in cui si rompono tutti gli schemi. Siamo chiamati a formare le coscienze, non a pretendere di sostituirle” (paragrafi 36-37). Questo è l’esordio che ispira poi la parte finale dell’Esortazione Apostolica.
Pressemitteilung München/Rom, 8. April 2016
Erste Einschätzung des Papstschreibens zur Familie von Wir sind Kirche
Die KirchenVolksBewegung Wir sind Kirche sieht das heute veröffentlichte Papstschreiben „Amoris laetitia“ als Weichenstellung für die dringend notwendige Fortentwicklung der katholischen Sexualethik, Pastoral und Familientheologie. Mit diesem Schreiben ist der auf Linie des Zweiten Vatikanischen Konzils liegende Epochenwechsel auch in der Sexualethik eingeleitet. Jetzt sind vor allem die Ortskirchen unter Einbeziehung der theologischen Wissenschaften und aller Gläubigen in der Pflicht, die von Franziskus gesetzten Grundlinien, Impulse und Gestaltungsspielräume aufnehmen und weiterzuführen.
PRESS RELEASE from We Are Church (Ireland)
8 APRIL 2016
We are Church Ireland welcomes the publication of ‘Amoris Laetitia’ - the reflections of Pope Francis on the recommendations of the 2014 and 2015 Synod of the family. However the Synod recommendations did not reflect the voices of Catholic families who had no deliberative voice throughout the course of both Synods.
While its pastoral outlook and its emphasis on the ‘logic of mercy’ are very welcome we are disappointed that there are no positive changes for the many divorced and civilly remarried Catholics who are in second relationships.
Summary of Amoris Laetitia [Vatican Radio]
Amoris Laetitia: Five key passages you need to read [Catholic Herald]
Francis' exhortation a radical shift to see grace in imperfection, without fearing moral confusion [NCR] -
Amoris Laetitia is ‘kitchen sink theology’ and all the better for it [Catholic Herald]
Pope Francis offers hope to divorced Catholics, says no to gay marriage [Chicago Tribune]
Amoris Laetitia: How the Pope's exhortation could shake up the Church [Christian Today]
Highlights of Pope Francis' teaching on the family [Vatican Radio]
Erwartungen an postsynodales Schreiben
Pressemitteilung München/Rom, 7. April 2016
Die KirchenVolksBewegung Wir sind Kirche sieht das postsynodale Schreiben „Amoris laetitia“ („Freude der Liebe“), das am Freitag veröffentlicht wird, als Nagelprobe für die Reformfähigkeit der gesamten Kirche. Nach dem inhaltlich in Vielem enttäuschenden Abschlusspapier („relatio finalis“), das die Bischofssynode Ende Oktober 2015 Papst Franziskus übergab, wird jetzt das Schreiben des Papstes ein erster, aber hoffentlich wegweisender Schritt sein, die jahrhundertealte Fixierung der katholischen Lehre auf eine rechtlich rigorose Sexualmoral zu verändern.
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis’s highly-anticipated post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation, “Amoris Laetitia” (The Joy of Love) on love in the family will be released on Friday 8th April. The Vatican said the Exhortation will be presented to journalists at the Holy See’s Press Office on Friday 8th April at 11.30.
The text of the Apostolic Exhortation in Italian, French, English, German, Spanish and Portuguese (in paper and/or digital format) will be available to accredited journalists from 8.00 a.m. (Rome time) on Friday 8th April. However, the document will remain under embargo until 12 noon that day.
The panel of speakers at the press conference will include: Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, general secretary of the Synod of Bishops; Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, O.P., archbishop of Vienna, and an Italian married couple: Professor Francesco Miano, lecturer in moral philosophy at Rome’s University of Tor Vergata, and his wife, Professor Giuseppina De Simone in Miano, lecturer in philosophy at the Theological Faculty of Southern Italy in Naples.
A simultaneous translation service will be available in Italian, English and Spanish. The Press Conference can be seen via live streaming (audio-video) on the site: http://player.rv.va (Vatican Player, Vatican Radio) where it will subsequently remain available on demand.
See also We Are Church - Ireland's webpage
Today, Good Friday, members of ‘We are Church Ireland‘ staged a dramatic presentation on Grafton Street, Dublin 2, calling for ‘Justice for Worldwide Survivors of Clerical Child Sex Abuse‘ and for members of the Catholic Hierarchy involved in the cover-up of these heinous crimes through not reporting them to the civil authorities, to be brought to justice both in the Civil and Church courts. There is ambivalence and no clear direction from the Vatican on the reporting of clerical child sex abuse to civil authorities worldwide.
A training course organised by The Vatican Congregation for Bishops for newly appointed Catholic bishops from around the world held in September 2015, was told that they had no obligation to report abuse charges to civil law enforcement agencies. The Pontifical commission for the Protection of Minors set up by Pope Francis in 2014 had not been invited by the organising Congregation of Bishops to address the new bishops with their alternate view that all bishops had a moral and religious responsibility to report all child sexual abuse charges to the civil authorities.
Pope Francis begins Sunday his fourth year as leader of the global Roman Catholic church. NCR wanted to mark the occasion by dipping into the some 2,500 stories we published mentioning the Argentine pontiff in 2015 and early 2016. Below are links to many of our reports accompanying the pope around the globe in the past year, followed by some of the most striking statements of his travels.
Next week, Hans Küng, the Catholic priest and Swiss theologian, will mark his 88th birthday. The fifth volume of his complete works, titled Infallibility, has just become available from the German publishing house Herder. In connection with the release of Infallibility, Küng has written the following “urgent appeal to Pope Francis to permit an open and impartial discussion on infallibility of pope and bishops.” The text of his urgent appeal is being released simultaneously by National Catholic Reporter and The Tablet.
We thank FutureChurch for alerting us to this.
Pope Francis, LWF President Bishop Dr Munib A. Younan and General Secretary Rev. Dr Martin Junge will lead the Ecumenical Commemoration in cooperation with the Church of Sweden and the Catholic Diocese of Stockholm.
The joint ecumenical event will take place in the city of Lund in anticipation of the 500th Reformation anniversary in 2017. It will highlight the solid ecumenical developments between Catholics and Lutherans and the joint gifts received through dialogue. The event will include a common worship based on the recently published Catholic-Lutheran “Common Prayer” liturgical guide.
“The LWF is approaching the Reformation anniversary in a spirit of ecumenical accountability,” says LWF General Secretary Rev. Dr Martin Junge. “I’m carried by the profound conviction that by working towards reconciliation between Lutherans and Catholics, we are working towards justice, peace and reconciliation in a world torn apart by conflict and violence.”