Topic: CMSM in the News

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.

Hundreds of U.S. Catholic leaders challenge President Trump on Iran and North Korea



CMSM was a signatory to a recent statement signed by 751 leaders of Catholic organizations, religious orders and justice and peace committees which challenges President Trump’s threat to “totally destroy” North Korea and his efforts to repudiate the Iran deal negotiated by the Obama administration.

A complete article about the letter and related statements can be found on the website of America Magazine.

Children of priests step out of the shadows, and the Catholic church responds

Jesus with the Children


from The Boston Globe

The proactive work of CMSM regarding efforts to ratify a set of principles for priests who father children is highlighted in this article which addresses the circumstances of children fathered by Catholic priests and their efforts to achieve redress from the Catholic Church.

Fr. Gerald McGlone, S.J., Ph.D., CMSM’s Associate Director for the Protection of Minors is quoted in the article highlighting recent efforts by the bishops of Ireland to agree to principles which state that priests who father children are to take “personal, legal, moral and financial responsibility” for their children, and to include the child’s mother in all decisions about the child’s welfare. He indicated a similar approach to CMSM’s efforts to approve a set of principles around this need in the near future.

Read the full article.

Religious brothers often overlooked in church life

from Catholic News Service, published in America, August 21, 2017

The church needs to look beyond ordained clergy for leadership, said Marianist Father James Heft during an address at the annual meeting of the Conference of Major Superiors of Men in Phoenix in early August.

Read more about Fr. Heft’s address and the CMSM 2017 Assembly

US men’s religious orders commit to working for papal encyclical on nonviolence


from the National Catholic Reporter

The umbrella group of the leaders of U.S. Catholic men’s religious orders has committed to working to persuade Pope Francis to write a new encyclical letter focused on shifting church teaching away from just war theory towards Gospel nonviolence.

In a resolution adopted Aug. 3 at its annual assembly, The Conference of Major Superiors of Men declared it would “use both our individual charisms and experience as religious leaders to … invite Pope Francis to offer an encyclical on nonviolence, which would include a shift to a just peace approach for transforming conflict.”

View the article.

View the full resolution from the CMSM 2017 Assembly.

See the Resolution Implementation Guide.


Priests’ Prophetic Roles

Fr. John Pavlik, OFM Cap.

A recent article by CMSM Executive Director Fr. John Pavlik, OFM Cap. in Our Sunday Visitor reflects on the importance of the exercise of the prophetic vocation in the ministry of the priesthood.

Is it possible or desirable for priests more deliberately to manifest a prophetic dimension of our vocation?

Would people who know you say that you are prophetic in your ministry?

Recently, I conversed with a fellow priest of a large Southern U.S. diocese as we awaited the commencement of a long liturgical procession. Anglo-Caucasians, he and I stood among the marvelous ethnic diversity of the presbyterate in a vibrant local church set among an economically thriving mixed urban-suburban-rural metro region. This priest told me that he pastors a parish huge in both numbers of parishioners and in territory.

Obviously perceptive and well-studied, this pastor replied thoughtfully to my question about issues confronting his congregation. In conversation he named a few: immigrant families attending to their offspring becoming acculturated to U.S. society; youths somewhat disaffected from the regular exercise of religion; religious education needs for all parishioners stretching the constrained resources of the congregation; uncertainty and fear regarding a new phrase in national leadership; and a norm for families of long hours of labor to provide sufficiently where cellphone packages can cost $500 or more per month, coupled with a recognition that strong family life demands personal presence and shared affection.

Thinking about this article on the prophetic dimension of our priesthood, I wondered how he would respond to these reflections examining a dimension of our ministry that our complex responsibilities might seem variously to take for granted, honor and/or ignore.

Read the full article.

Faith Coalition Takes A Stand Against Gun Violence

from The National Catholic Reporter, June 16, 2017

A coalition of 55 religious groups, Faiths United to Prevent Gun Violence, was already commemorating the one-year anniversary of the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando on June 12 and the two-year anniversary of the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church (Mother Emanuel) shooting in Charleston June 17 when a Congressman and several others were shot at a baseball practice in Alexandria, Va. A traveling exhibit, organized by the coalition and Heeding God’s Call, of 58 T-shirts with the names, ages and dates of death for the victims of the two shootings — called A Memorial to the Lost — will be on display there through June 23.

The Faiths United coalition was originally constituted in 2011. Members include the General Board of Church and Society of the United Methodist Church, the Catholic Health Association of the United States, the Franciscan Action Network, the Conference of Major Superiors of Men, and a host of other Christian, Jewish and Muslim groups.

Read the full article.

CMSM Executive Director Highlights Networking in Support of U.S. Bishops’ Death Penalty Stance

from Catholic News Service

Capuchin Father John Pavlik, executive director of the Conference of Major Superiors of Men, told CNS that networking is a key tool in the toolbox in spreading information opposing the death penalty. CMSM, he said, has a person on staff to monitor issues surrounding justice and peace, and has consistently communicated capital punishment information to CMSM members.

Father Pavlik said he takes inspiration from an Ohio woman whose child was murdered decades ago. The killer was arrested, tried and convicted on a charge of capital murder, “and she has spent the last 25 years advocating against the execution of this man.” The priest also voiced his distaste at the “disregard for life” shown in Arkansas, which he said had tried to execute eight death-row prisoners in such a short time because “the drug (used in the fatal injection) was going to expire.”

Read the full article.

15 Christian Organizations Call for Peace, Justice in Israel/Palestine


The Conference of Major Superiors of Men and Pax Christi International are among 15 major Christian organisations of different denominations that sent a briefing paper to all members of Congress and to the Trump Administration this morning, calling for US policies that promote peace, justice, and equality between Israelis and Palestinians.

The paper states: “2017 marks 50 years since Israel occupied the West Bank and Gaza and 24 years since the signing of the Oslo Accords. Over the last 50 years, but particularly since the signing of the Oslo accords in 1993, there have been significant changes on the ground in the occupied Palestinian territories that have a negative impact on efforts to achieve peace with justice.”

View the article. 

Source: ICN News