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Lansing, Mich., Nov 18, 2018 / 04:41 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Catholic bishops must act to counter sex abuse of adults as well as minors, says a lay group that has compiled a reader of news stories, analysis and commentary to help renewal and reform.
“We believe clergy sexual misconduct with adults is at the core of so many of the problems of the Church in the last many decades,” the group No More Victims told the bishops.
“As you deal with the scandal of [Archbishop Theodore] McCarrick and abuse committed by bishops, we urge you to include in your concerns efforts to rid seminaries, dioceses and all Church institutions and structures of those who are involved in sexual misconduct with adults.”
Lay people of Michigan’s Diocese of Lansing formed the group No More Victims. They have produced the reader “What We Laity Are Reading that has Shaken Us to the Core,” compiling news stories and analysis about sexual abuse and misconduct by Catholic clergy.
The group sent copies of the reader to the media and to the U.S. bishops. It also sent the bishops a letter signed by executive director Jason Negri, a Michigan attorney, as well as board member broadcaster and author Al Kresta and moral theologian Janet E. Smith, who is an adviser to the group.
“We know the tasks before you are truly of epic proportions and will affect the faith and salvation of many for decades to come,” their letter continued. “We are praying that what needs to be done to rebuild and purify the Church will be done.”
The group asked the bishops to consider its members “loyal partners in the work of the Church,” adding “we would like to stand with you through this crisis in your commitment to the Gospel which brings healing and calls us all to true holiness.”
A copy of the reader is provided at the No More Victims website, www.nomorevictimsmi.org.
The reader’s material, dating back to the 1990s, is generally from a U.S. perspective. No More Victims said it shows “what the crisis looks like from the standpoint of the average lay Catholic with access to the internet.”
The collection includes news stories about abuse victims, including abused seminarians, as well as news, opinion and commentary from abuse victims, priests, Catholic lay leaders and other observers such as Sandro Magister, Matthew Schmitz, Kenneth L. Woodward, Mary Eberstadt and Daniel Mattson.
In its introduction, the No More Victims group hoped that the reader would help the bishops find methods that will assure laity that seminarians will not be sexually harassed but rather “taught the fullness of the faith.” Actions are needed to ensure that there is no “network of priests who engage in sexual misconduct” in a diocese, and to ensure that priests who violate chastity “in serious ways” will be given an opportunity to repent and change. Bishops’ actions must ensure that “unchaste priests who refuse to repent and change their ways” will be asked to leave the priesthood.
The reader aimed to help find ways “to correct fellow bishops whose response to sex abuse cases is poor, confuses the faithful, and reflects badly upon all bishops,” No More Victims said.
Included in the collection is a Time Magazine essay from a Catholic priest who wrote that he was repeatedly sexually abused as a 15-year-old altar boy in New Jersey by a visiting priest of the New York archdiocese; an Irish-born California priest who was groomed and abused in Ireland by a priest who waited until he was 18 so it would not appear to be abuse; a priest who, according to the Pennsylvania grand jury report, arranged for an abortion for a young girl he had allegedly raped from 1980-1985; a Crux News report on Chilean seminarians who suffered sex abuse; a National Catholic Register report on seminarians sexually abused in Honduras; a 2011 Gawker report on sex abuse and, in the report’s own words, a “secret gay cabal” in Florida allegedly under former Archbishop of Miami John Favalora.
A December 2013 Vanity Fair story on an alleged “gay lobby” at the Vatican between cardinals, priests and monks that “survives on secrecy” is included, as is a 2018 CNA report on priest-sociologist Father D. Paul Sullins’ consideration of sex abuse trends, including apparently strong statistical correlations between sex abuse, a priesthood that is disproportionately homosexual, and a seminary life with a reported “gay subculture.”
The reader has several pages listing “troubling headlines” and it recommends the documentary “Sex Abuse in the Church: Code of Silence,” made in France about how priests have been reassigned to escape prosecution. It ends with “a disturbing account of how Cardinal Bergoglio handled the case of Fr. Grassi in Buenos Aires.”
The reader’s appendix lists key documents, online resources, coordinated responses, and books.
“We believe the extent of this problem is tremendous and the time to purify the Church is now,” No More Victims said in the reader introduction. “The focus here is on another huge problem: the continuing presence of priests who engage in sexual misconduct with adults, especially males, and the effect they have on the Church ― the harm they have done to victims, their pernicious influence in seminaries, the extent of their influence in dioceses, and the way they impede zealous promotion of the gospel.”
“Some of the articles are from a perspective hostile to the Church but that does not negate their veracity,” it added. “While many of these articles may seem sensationalist, it is in fact the reality of abuse that is truly responsible for the shocking nature of what is reported.”
The introduction said it is difficult to believe all the stories of abuse, but claimed “the sheer volume of them gives credence to them,” in addition to the abuse reported in the 2018 Pennsylvania grand jury report about six Catholic dioceses in the state.
“If you know any of these articles to report false information, please provide your reasons because we have come to believe the material they contain,” No More Victims said, predicting “Once the presence of predator priests and unchaste priests is eliminated, we expect that there will be an influx of devout, chaste men into the priesthood.”
“We are lay people who love Jesus, our Church, our bishops, our priests. We know there are holy and exemplary bishops, and bishops who serve us heroically, and we want them to have a Church that fully supports their invaluable work,” said the group.
“We know that many bishops have inherited messes of various kinds and it seems that often the default way of dealing with priests who live immoral lives is to look the other way. But we think that is the wrong answer–the Church deserves priests fully committed to being faithful to their vows, and those who are not ought to reform or resign.”
The group said it does not aim to force bishops to resign or to embarrass or harass them. Rather, it wants bishops to take strong action to restore trust in the episcopacy.
“We don’t intend to stop praying, fasting, and advocating for change until that happens,” No More Victims said.
Paus Fransiskus pada hari Minggu, 18 November 2018, bergabung dengan sekitar 1.500 orang miskin dan sekelompok relawan untuk makan siang guna merayakan Hari Orang Miskin se-Dunia. Setelah Misa di Basilika Santo Petrus, tempat Paus mendesak umat beriman untuk mengindahkan jeritan orang miskin dan mengatakan bahwa “tangisan orang miskin setiap hari menjadi semakin kuat tetapi kurang didengar, tenggelam oleh keramaian segelintir orang kaya, yang tumbuh semakin sedikit dan semakin kaya,” Paus menyapa orang banyak yang berkumpul di Lapangan Santo Petrus untuk Doa Angelus, dan kemudian pergi ke Aula Paulus VI dan duduk di meja utama. Sebelum makan siang disajikan, Paus berterima kasih kepada mereka yang menyiapkan makan siang itu dan kepada mereka yang melayani, kemudian berdoa memohon berkat Tuhan bagi semua yang hadir. Sebuah band orang muda dari Tempat Ziarah Bunda Kita dari Pompei menemani makan siang itu dengan iringan musik. Lasagna, daging ayam, kentang tumbuk dan tiramisu menjadi menu makanan siang itu. (PEN@ Katolik/paul c pati berdasarkan laporan Linda Bordoni dari Vatican News)Vatican Media Vatican Media
“Merupakan kehormatan besar bagi saya untuk merayakan Misa Kudus pertama kalinya di Katedral Jakarta yang besar dan indah ini. Sejak (diresmikan) 1901, ia telah menyambut banyak peristiwa penting Gereja Katolik di Indonesia, dan hari ini ia adalah saksi atas betapa besar cinta umat Katolik dan bangsa Indonesia kepada Paus dan misi universalnya.”
Duta Besar Vatikan untuk Indonesia Mgr Piero Pioppo berbicara dalam homili Misa Penutupan Sidang Sinodal KWI di Katedral Santa Perawan Maria Diangkat ke Surga, Jakarta, 14 November 2018. Misa yang dipimpinnya itu dihadiri oleh para uskup yang menghadiri sidang itu di Bandung 5-13 November, duta besar dan diplomat dari berbagai negara, serta umat yang memenuhi katedral itu.
Mgr Piero Pioppo lalu mengajak umat untuk berdoa agar Paus Fransiskus “menjadi asas dan landasan yang kelihatan dari iman, kasih dan persekutuan.” Fransiskus adalah Paus ke-266. Dia terpilih sebagai Paus pada hari kedua Konklaf Kepausan 2013, 13 Maret 2013.
Menurut Duta Vatikan yang lahir di Savona Italia, 29 September 1960 itu, lahir dari semangat misionaris, para uskup, imam dan katekis serta umat awam yang kudus. Juga dikatakan bahwa Allah telah memberikan sumbangan kepada Indonesia melalui kehadiran Gereja Katolik “yang senantiasa rendah hati dan bijaksana dalam berdialog dan melaksanakan misinya dalam kemurahan hati dan penuh semangat.”
Makanya, dalam perayaan itu Nuntius mengajak berterima kasih kepada penyelenggaraan ilahi atas karunia besar yang dialami Indonesia, khususnya “untuk pelayanan unggul Paus Fransiskus, pemimpin yang kelihatan dari Gereja Kristus, yang telah menjalaninya selama lima tahun dan akan melanjutkannya dengan murah hati tanpa kenal lelah demi kebaikan setiap anak-anaknya di Indonesia.”
Paus Fransiskus, lanjut Nuntius, memahami dan mencintai anak-anaknya di Indonesia, tahu suka duka mereka, memahami upaya, harapan dan mimpi setiap orang dan menemani pelayanan para uskup, para imam, kaum hidup bakti, semua keluarga dam semua orang yang dengan tulus hati mencari Allah. “Dia adalah gembala universal yang baik, dia memperhatikan dengan penuh hormat bangsa kita dan masyarakat kita. Dia juga tidak pernah berhenti mendorong dan mengajarkan kita untuk meningkatkan martabat dan kemajuan kita,” kata Nuntius.
Paus Fransiskus selalu berdoa dan berupaya untuk perdamaian, kerukunan, dan persatuan di antara kita, warga negara Indonesia, kata Nuntius seraya mengajak umat berterima kasih dengan Mazmur 23 “Tuhan adalah gembalaku, tak kan kekurangan aku ….”
Bacaan Injil hari itu, mujizat penyembuhan 10 orang kusta, “menjelaskan kepada kita tentang sikap kita yang seharusnya bila berhadapan dengan rahmat yang telah Tuhan kerjakan melalui pelayanan Bapa Suci kepada Gereja Katolik Indonesia demi kebaikan umat kita, melalui kontribusi yang Dia berikan dengan murah hati, dengan menjaga dialog antaragama, kerukunan dan perdamaian di antara warga dalam negara yang luas ini.”
Nuntius juga mengajak untuk meneladani seseorang yang setelah disembuhkan, yang kembali bersyukur atas kebaikan yang telah dilakukan Yesus kepadanya. “Semoga perayaan pesta Sri Paus Fransiskus membantu kita untuk memohon kepada Tuhan agar selalu menciptakan hati yang selalu bersyukur demi kebaikan semua saudara kita, bangsa kita, Gereja kita, dan semua umat manusia.”
Di bagian lain Nuntius menyampaikan proficiat kepada Uskup Agung Jakarta Mgr Ignatius Suharyo yang terpilih kembali sebagai Ketua Umum KWI periode 2018-2021 dan mengajak seluruh umat untuk terus mendoakan agar para uskup dan seluruh kepengurusan KWI dapat melaksanakan tugas sebaik-baiknya.
Sejam sebelum Misa dilakukan peresmian penandatanganan dan pembukaan selubung Museum Katedral Jakarta oleh Mgr Ignatius Suharyo disaksikan oleh para uskup se-Indonesia dan ratusan umat. Pembangunan museum itu, kata Mgr Suharyo memiliki arti penting sebagai tanda bahwa umat Katolik memiliki tanggung jawab sejarah. “Museum Katedral Jakarta memang tempat menyimpan barang-barang mati, tetapi diharapkan hadirnya museum ini mengingatkan semua orang akan masa lampau dengan nilai-nilai moral yang perlu diteladani,” kata Mgr Suharyo.
Sebelum berkat penutup, diumumkan Presidium KWI Periode 2018-2021 sesuai hasil pemilihan Sidang Sinodal KWI 2018. (PEN@ Katolik/Konradus R. Mangu, pcp) Foto: HanphiDuta Vatikan untuk Indonesia Mgr Piero Pioppo. Foto Hanaphi
Milan, Italy, Nov 18, 2018 / 06:01 am (CNA/EWTN News).- An Italian court has ordered Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò to pay back nearly 2 million euro of inheritance, plus interest and legal fees to his brother, Father Lorenzo Vigano.
Archbishop Vigano had been managing the brothers’ inheritance since their father’s death in 1961. According to Italian paper La Stampa, the brothers hold about 20 million euro in real estate, and about six million euro in cash.
The archbishop, who had been collecting money from the estate, was ordered to pay his brother back half of what he had collected - which amounted to 1.8 million euro, or more than 2 million U.S. dollars, plus fees.
The inheritance has reportedly been a cause of contention in their relationship for years - Fr. Lorenzo Vigano, a Jesuit biblical scholar who has lived in Chicago for years, has tried to sue over the inheritance numerous times. This is the first time he has succeeded in being rewarded any money.
The inheritance has also reportedly caused friction between Archbishop Vigano and his sister Rosanna, whom he paid 8,600 euro in 2014 to settle a lawsuit, according to The Catholic Universe.
Archbishop Vigano is the former Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, a position he held from 2011-2016. His public letter of Aug. 26, accusing Pope Francis of knowing about the allegations of sexual misconduct against former cardinal Theodore McCarrick and failing to act, thrust him into the center of the debate about the Church sex abuse scandal this summer.
Vigano had previously made headlines in the 2011-2012 “Vatileaks” scandal, during which some documents from the office of Benedict XVI were leaked to Italian journalists. The documents revealed that Vigano had told the Pope that he couldn’t take up his assignment in the U.S. because he had to take care of his ailing brother, Lorenzo.
Lorenzo said in an interview at the time that while he had suffered a stroke, he had not been close to his brother in years due to conflicts over their inheritance, and that his illness was no reason for Vigano to reject his new position, according to La Stampa.
While Archbishop Vigano went into hiding in August, fearing for his safety after the publication of his letter on Francis and McCarrick, he has not remained silent. He has written two additional letters on the sex abuse scandal, and sent a message to the U.S. bishops ahead of their meeting this week, urging them to be “courageous shepherds” in the face of the sex abuse crisis.
Vatican City, Nov 18, 2018 / 05:19 am (CNA/EWTN News).- During a difficult time, it can be easy to see only the immediate problem; but asking Jesus to be the guide is the key to weathering the storm, Pope Francis said Sunday at a Mass with 6,000 poor and volunteers.
“The boat of our life is often storm-tossed and buffeted by winds. Even when the waters are calm, they quickly grow agitated. When we are caught up in those storms, they seem to be our only problem,” the pope said Nov. 18.
“But the issue is not the momentary storm, but how we are navigating through life. The secret of navigating well is to invite Jesus on board. The rudder of life must be surrendered to him, so that he can steer the route.”
“Today,” he continued, “let us invite Jesus into the boat of our life. Like the disciples, we will realize that once he is on board, the winds die down and there can be no shipwreck.”
Francis celebrated Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica for the World Day of the Poor, which he established in 2016 at the end of the Jubilee of Mercy. The theme for 2018 is taken from Psalm 34: “This poor one cried out and the Lord heard.”
After Mass, he ate a lunch of lasagna, chicken nuggets, mashed potato and tiramisu with poor in the Vatican’s Paul VI hall.
Before the meal, Francis offered a blessing, saying "we thank everyone and pray to God to bless us all. A blessing from God for all, all [of us] who are here. May God bless each one of us, bless our hearts, bless our intentions, and help us to go forward."
In his homily at Mass, the pope reflected on Matt. 14:22-33, which gives the account of Jesus walking across the water to meet his disciples in the boat, which was being tossed about by waves.
As St. Matthew writes, after the multiplication of the loaves and fishes, Jesus left the crowd of people and his disciples and went up on a mountain to pray.
His disciples set off in a boat for the other side of the Sea of Galilee, “meanwhile the boat, already a few miles offshore, was being tossed about by the waves, for the wind was against it. During the fourth watch of the night, [Jesus] came toward them, walking on the sea.”
There are several lessons that can be taken from this Gospel passage, the pope said; one being to have the courage to leave behind comfort and an easy life. “To go where? To God by praying, and to those in need by loving. These are the true treasures in life: God and our neighbor,” he said.
He explained that Jesus’ disciples were not meant to have a carefree life, “traveling light, ready to leave passing glories behind, careful not to cling to fleeting goods.”
“Christians know that their homeland is elsewhere,” he underlined. “We do not live to accumulate; our glory lies in leaving behind the things that pass away in order to hold on to those that last.”
“Let us ask for the grace to hear the cry of all those tossed by the waves of life,” he said: The unborn, starving children, young people in places of conflict, the elderly, those forced to leave their home and native country.
Taking care of those in need is not a “sociological option, it is not the fad of a pontificate; it is a theological requirement,” he emphasized. “It entails acknowledging that we are beggars pleading for salvation, brothers and sisters of all, but especially of the poor whom the Lord loves.”
After Mass, Pope Francis led the Angelus in St. Peter’s Square. Before the prayer, he reflected on the day’s Gospel passage from Mark. In the passage, the pope explained, Jesus is saying that the story of people and of individuals all have a goal: “permanent encounter with the Lord.”
“We do not know the time nor the ways in which [the end of the world] will happen,” Francis said. “We know, however, a fundamental principle which we must confront: ‘Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away,’ Jesus says.”
At the end he offered a special prayer for everyone affected by the fires that are “scourging California” and for the victims of the winter storm on the east coast.
“May the Lord welcome the deceased into his peace, comfort the family members and support those who commit themselves to help,” he prayed.
The pope also prayed for those who died in a Nov. 15 attack on the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Alindao, in the Central African Republic. At least 42 people died in the attack, including at least one priest, according to local reports. Some unofficial estimates have said the death toll could reach as high as 100. Many of the people killed were refugees sheltering at the church.
Pope Francis said, “we pray for the dead and the wounded and for an end to all violence in that beloved country, which is in great need of peace.”
PLN Peduli Bantu Gerja Katolik di Senakin
Laporan Wartawan Tribun Pontianak, Alfon Pardosi. TRIBUNPONTIANAK.CO.ID, LANDAK - PLN Unit Layanan Pelanggan (ULP) Ngabang, memberikan bantuan uang tunai kepada Gereja Katolik Santo Agustinus Stasi Senakin, Kecamatan Sengah Temila ...
Vatican City, Nov 17, 2018 / 04:25 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The Vatican’s nativity scene will be a little bit different this year. In a departure from the traditional Neapolitan or Maltese figures of recent years, the scene of Christ’s birth will be entirely sculpted from sand.
Beginning Nov. 17, four artists are beginning their work in St. Peter’s Square, crafting nearly 46,000 cubic feet of sand, equal to around 700 tons, into a grand “Sand Nativity.”
The creators, who have been sculpting sand nativities in the Italian town of Jesolo for years, say on their website that the goal is “to build the largest sand nativity in Christendom in the center of Rome in order to provide moments of authentic and joyful contemplation to all those who love Christmas.”
Sand Nativity scene in the Italian town of Jesolo. Credit: Town of Jesolo.
A partnership between the mayor of Jesolo and Patriarch Francesco Moraglia of Venice is what brought the famous sand sculptures to the Vatican for Christmas 2018.
The Jesolo sand, as it is called, was brought to the square from the Dolomites, a mountain range in northeastern Italy near Jesolo. The four sculptors who will transform the shapeless mounds into the traditional figures of Jesus’ birth hail from Holland, Russia, the Czech Republic, and the United States.
Phase one of construction will begin with a large pyramid of sand; spaces will then be dug into the sides and the sand compacted. A few days later, a protective structure will be built around the sand. The true sculpting phase will begin Nov. 21 and go until the first week of December.
In the final 48 hours, which will be Dec. 5-6, the final touches will be placed, before the big reveal Dec. 7, the same day as the annual lighting ceremony of the St. Peter’s Square Christmas tree.
The tradition to have a tree in St. Peter’s Square was begun by Pope St. John Paul II in 1982. This year’s tree comes from the Forest of Cansiglio in northern Italy, which is near the Dolomites.