Topic: For the Public

National Assembly Update: Vatican Releases Synod Document; Hotel Deadline

The Vatican released the working document for the  Synod on Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment on June 19 (in Italian). The document has three primary sections: recognizing, interpreting and choosing with regard to vocation in life.

Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri introduced the working document, noting, “The Synod’s primary aim is to make the whole Church aware of her important and not at all optional task of accompanying every young person, without exclusion, towards the joy of love; secondly, by taking this mission seriously, the Church herself will be able to reacquire a renewed youthful dynamism; thirdly, it is also important for the Church to take this opportunity to carry out vocational discernment, so as to rediscover how she can best respond today to the call to be the soul, light, salt and leaven of our world.”

News Coverage: Catholic News Service | National Catholic Reporter

Hotel Deadline is July 6

If you are attending the Pre-Assembly Workshop and/or National Assembly, reserve your hotel room by July 6 to get our special conference rate of $135/night and to guarantee a room. “Youth & Religious Leadership Together: Discerning in Missionary Discipleship,” is July 31-Aug. 3, in St. Louis, Missouri. Learn more here. If you have questions, please contact Susan Gibbs.

All Chilean Bishops Offer Their Resignation to Pope Francis

Jesus with the Children


Bishops take unprecedented step in light of cover-ups associated with past sexual abuse of minors by priests

“We have placed our positions in the hands of the Holy Father so that he may freely decide with respect to each one of us”, said the bishops of Chile.

In an unprecedented move, the bishops of Chile have presented their resignation, this Friday, May 18, 2018, in the Holy See, at the end of the meetings held with the Holy Father in these days.

The 34 Chilean bishops have been meeting with Pope Francis in Rome from May 15 to 17 to “examine in depth their causes and consequences, as well as the mechanisms that have led in some cases to their cover-up and serious omissions towards the victims” , reported the Holy See in a statement , published on May 12.

Read the full article.

Catholic groups oppose CIA nominee Gina Haspel for connection to torture

from the National Catholic Reporter

Several Catholic groups have opposed President Trump’s nominee for director of the Central Intelligence Agency, saying Gina Haspel’s role in overseeing torture disqualifies her, according to “basic moral standards for human dignity.”

The move marks a rare instance of Catholic activists opposing a government nominee, rather than addressing specific policy questions.

“Confirming someone who actively supervised torture to be CIA Director would send a very unhealthy, unethical, and anti-rule of law message to the world,” said a May 7 letter sent to all U.S. senators ahead of Haspel’s confirmation hearings, which begin Wednesday.

“Our friends and allies would question our opposition to torture, and tyrants and dictators would once again point to us to justify their own use of torture,” the letter said.

The letter was signed by Pax Christi USA, a national Catholic peace organization, and groups representing religious men and women, including the Conference of Major Superiors of Men and Network, a Catholic social justice lobby.

Other signers included the Franciscan Action Network, Maryknoll Office of Global Concerns, National Advocacy Center of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd, USC Province of the Society of the Sacred Heart and the Institute Justice Team of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas.

“Catholic social teaching is clearly against the practice of torture because it violates human dignity, and it is certainly not in accord with Jesus’ way of reconciliation and love of enemies,” Eli McCarthy, director of justice and peace for the Conference of Major Superiors of Men, told NCR.

McCarthy cited Pope John Paul II’s 1993 encyclical Veritatis Splendor, which condemned physical and mental torture as intrinsic evils.

Read the full article.

International Conference on Religious Life Held at Vatican

Nearly 700 people attended an international conference on consecrated life, held in Rome from May 3-6 by the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life (CICLSAL). Pope Francis addressed participants on May 4. His off-the-cuff remarks focused on the Holy Spirit and discernment. According to Catholic News Service, he said, “What are the things the Spirit wants to stay strong in consecrated life? Prayer, poverty and patience.”

Cardinal João Braz De Aviz, prefect of CICLSAL, gave the closing remarks.  According to Zenit, Cardinal De Aviz, said, “We need to keep journeying together, in a synodal manner, because the Holy Spirit speaks only where there is harmony of fraternal life.”


Pontifical Commission for Protection of Minors Hears from Survivors

Jesus with the Children


The Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors (PCPM) met this week in Plenary Assembly in Rome.

The first day of the meeting was dedicated to hearing from members of the Survivor Advisory Panel (SAP) of the National Catholic Safeguarding Commission from England and Wales. The gathering was part of the PCPM’s ongoing commitment to ensuring that the thoughts and contributions of people who have been abused inform all aspects of the Commission’s work.

The visitors said that the experience of being listened to so carefully by the Commission members was empowering. They could see that their sharing, and putting victims first, had an impact on the Commission. Read the full article from Zenit.

DeSales University Inaugurates Former CMSM President Rev. James Greenfield, OSFS, as 4th President

Rev. Jim Greenfield OSFS


On a very windy but joyful day in Center Valley, Pa. on April 4, 2018, DeSales University faculty, administrators, delegates from universities spanning several states, representatives from several religious communities and more gathered for the inauguration celebration as University alumnus and former CMSM President Rev. James J. Greenfield, OSFS formally began his tenure as the University’s fourth president. It was a joyful celebration for all, capped by Rev. Greenfield’s thoughtful and visionary inaugural address, which can be viewed in the video below.

Pope Asks Forgiveness to Chilean Bishops for ‘Serious Mistakes’ in Assessment of Situation

Jesus with the Children


Pope Francis has acknowledged “his serious errors” in the assessment and perception of the situation of the sexual abuses in Chile and has asked the Chilean bishops for forgiveness.

The Holy See published the unprecedented letter of the Pope, dated Divine Mercy Sunday, April 8, 2018, letter in Spanish on Wednesday evening, April 11 around 8:00 pm, in response to the report of his envoy to Chile, Archbishop Charles Scicluna of Malta.  The Pope announces a future fraternal meeting in Rome to “to make the truth shine.”


Pope Francis Releases Apostolic Exhortation on Call to Holiness

Pope Francis smiling


Pope Francis released an Apostolic Exhortation today, on the observed Feast of the Annunciation, Gaudete et exsultate: On the call to holiness in today’s world. He writes that he does not intend the document to be a “treatise.” Rather, “My modest goal is to repropose the call to holiness in a practical way for our own time, with all its risks, challenges and opportunities.”

Read the text here  | Vatican video  | Vatican News Service | Catholic News Service

He notes that holiness grows through “small gestures” and is for each of us: “We are frequently tempted to think that holiness is only for those who can withdraw from ordinary affairs to spend much time in prayer. That is not the case. We are all called to be holy by living our lives with love and by bearing witness in everything we do, wherever we find ourselves.” (14)

In the central portion of the document, he discusses each of the Beatitudes, which are, he writes, “Like a Christian’s identity card. So if anyone asks: ‘What must one do to be a good Christian?’, the answer is clear. We have to do, each in our own way, what Jesus told us in the Sermon on the Mount.[66] In the Beatitudes, we find a portrait of the Master, which we are called to reflect in our daily lives.

“The word ‘happy’ or ‘blessed’ thus becomes a synonym for ‘holy.’ It expresses the fact that those faithful to God and his word, by their self-giving, gain true happiness.” (para. 64)


Dominican from the Western Province Appointed Auxiliary Bishop of San Francisco

Dominican Father Robert Christian, O.P., a member of the Western Dominican Province (Province of the Most Holy Name of Jesus) was named auxiliary bishop of San Francisco by Pope Francis on March 28, 2018. A native of the San Francisco area, Fr. Christian was serving as Master of Students for the province at the time of his appointment. He also has been a consultor to the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity and a member of the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission.

In a statement posted on the Dominican website, Fr. Mark Padrez, O.P., prior provincial of the Western Dominican Province and president-elect of CMSM, said, “This appointment is a recognition of Fr. Robert’s deep love for Christ and the Church, and also a recognition of the Order’s deep roots in the Church in the Bay Area.”

Read more about Bishop-elect Christian and his appointment in Catholic San Francisco. His ordination will be in the next few weeks.


Bankruptcy Court Approves Settlement Between Sexual Abuse Survivors and Crosier Order

Jesus with the Children


(Minneapolis, MN) – Today, sexual abuse survivors, attorneys, and members of the Crosier order appeared before Judge Robert J. Kressel in United States Bankruptcy Court in Minneapolis seeking approval of a consensual bankruptcy plan between sexual abuse survivors and the Crosiers.

Judge Kressel approved the proposed plan, but what made this hearing notable is the never-before-seen tenor between the Crosiers and survivors. After the bankruptcy plan was approved, Fr. Thomas Enneking, the Crosier Prior Provincial, offered a sincere and heartfelt apology to all of the sexual abuse survivors.

“The Crosiers and their attorneys helped build a model of transparency and accountability,” said Attorney Jeff Anderson. “The reality is that survivors can take comfort in knowing the Crosiers are not hiding offenders or their assets so this fair settlement could be reached.”

Anderson followed Fr. Enneking’s apology, commending survivors for their courage in speaking up. He also lauded Fr. Enneking for his heartfelt apology and expression of sorrow. Anderson promised he would convey this message to all of the sexual abuse survivors who were harmed and who could not be present in court today. He also commended the Crosiers and their attorneys, Bill Tipping and Rob Vaccaro, for the way they handled the sexual abuse claims over the past 20 years.

The settlement provides for the Crosiers to contribute approximately $5.7 million and its insurer to contribute approximately $19.7 million.

On June 1, 2017, the Crosiers filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in United States Bankruptcy Court, District of Minnesota. The Crosier order is a Roman Catholic religious order of priests and brothers with communities in Phoenix, Arizona and Onamia, Minnesota.