Topic: Official Releases

CMSM Inaugurates a New Position for the Protection of Minors

 

The Conference of Major Superiors of Men is pleased to announce the hiring of the Rev. Gerard J. McGlone, S.J., Ph. D., to serve as Associate Director for the Protection of Minors. The appointment was announced today by the Rev. John Pavlik, OFM Cap., Executive Director. This newly created position responds to the Conference’s desire to designate a person singularly devoted to serve as a primary resource person of the Conference for its Member Institutes as they participate in and develop programs for the protection of minors. Fr. McGlone will assist institutes in addressing their common commitment to make the Church and the Member Institutes places of safety for children and to stand in unity with the efforts of the universal Church to create safe environments.

Fr. McGlone will formally begin his position in mid-August.

In August of 2016 the leadership of the CMSM accepted a series of recommendations made by a specially formulated National Advisory Council composed of professionals and experienced leaders after a two-year study of the efforts of its member institutes in and through their programs, policies and procedures to fully affirm and collaborate with the ecclesial hierarchy of the United States in applying the values and principles articulated in the Charter for the Protection of Children. One recommendation of the Advisory Council held that the Conference of Major Superiors designate one person to singularly serve the members in these matters, and especially to offer assistance to small institutes with limited resources so that compliance might be achievable by all institutes, regardless of size. The National Board of the CMSM determined that the person hired for this new position should be tasked to gradually implement the ten recommendations of the National Advisory Council announced last summer. Since the autumn of 2016, the Conference worked to define the tasks to be undertaken by the Associate Director, to find funding for the position, and to conduct a broad search for candidates for this position.

Fr. McGlone will leave his current position as Director of Counseling Services, Staff Psychologist, and a member of the Faculty at the Pontifical North American College in Rome, Italy, to accept this role on behalf of men entrusted with leadership in religious institutes in the United States. Because Fr. McGlone has previously served the Church and religious life in the United States through a position at St. John Vianney Center in Downingtown, PA, and as a consultant on formation of new members, and as a retreat director, he is well known to both leadership and members of individual institutes.

The leadership of the Conference will formally introduce Fr. McGlone as director at the August 2017 National Assembly and will present a vision for this new position. Executive Director, Rev. John Pavlik, OFM Cap., stated: “I look forward to collaborating closely with someone I have grown to admire for the breadth and depth of the expertise and knowledge he brings to the field of promoting the safety of children within the ecclesial community. Jerry knows religious life very well, and will, I am certain, generously serve our members to advance the cause and the practices of both safety for children and a balanced and healthy lifestyle for members of religious institutes.”

CMSM President, Very Rev. Brian Terry, SA, Minister General of the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement, stated: “The Conference is deeply grateful to Fr. McGlone for joining us in our commitment to provide safe environments for all children. Fr. Jerry brings a wealth of experience which will assist our members and the Church.”

Download a PDF of this media release.

Download a PDF of Fr. McGlone’s biography.

CMSM Statement on U.S. Bombing in Syria

Syria and Iraq

U.S. Bombing in Syria: We Must Break Free from Retaliation

President Trump recently launched 59 cruise missiles at an air base in Syria in retaliation for an alleged chemical weapons attack within Syria. We, who are called to be Catholic religious leaders, mourn for all those that died in both of these incidents, and we denounce this use of violence which only exacerbates the habits and structures of violence. In fact, these habits and structures are part of the core root causes of this conflict, which has already killed over 300,000 people and led to almost 5 million refugees and 7 million internally displaced persons.

The President has continuously emphasized the “rule of law” and yet in this case it appears that he obtained no congressional approval, nor did he allow for formal due process investigating the facts of the incident. We strongly support the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons’ investigation into this incident and call on all parties to provide access.

As Christians, we go deeper and turn to the example of Jesus who courageously resisted injustice, even with his very life, and offered compassionate and merciful justice humanity could not imagine. This week we enter into the Paschal Mystery of Jesus facing the violent structures of Jerusalem, risking his life, and providing a way to overcome through his nonviolent cross.

Pope Francis has clearly said that, “countering violence with violence leads at best to forced migrations and enormous suffering, because vast amounts of resources are diverted to military ends and away from the everyday needs of young people, families experiencing hardship, the elderly, the infirm and the great majority of people in our world. At worst, it can lead to the death, physical and spiritual, of many people, if not of all” (Nonviolence: A Style of Politics for Peace, Jan. 1, 2017). Thus, he called on all persons, especially government officials to use the Sermon on the Mount as the manual for peacemaking and to apply the Beatitudes in the exercise of their responsibilities.

CMSM Executive Director Fr. John Pavlik, OFM Cap., says, “Our hearts were broken as we learned of the suffering inflicted upon Syrian families and children with chemical weapons. And our hearts were wounded a second time in a violent response with cruise missiles bombing, destroying, and killing yet more. The US response manifested strong military power but showed nothing of a united will to lift, rescue, and save suffering people from the ravages of war. The US can be so much better than this.”

The issue we must face is not simply chemical weapons, but war itself along with the habits and structures of violence that enable it. The U.S. has too often been involved in killing thousands in recent wars, especially civilians and children, as we have seen most recently in Mosul, Iraq and our direct support for Saudi Arabia in Yemen. As we celebrated the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s speech “Beyond Vietnam” on April 4th, we are reminded of his words that “war is not a just way of settling differences,” and it cannot be “reconciled with wisdom, justice, and love.” Hence, we recommit to Vatican II’s call that “it is our clear duty to strain every muscle to outlaw war” (Pastoral Constitution, 81). Further, we commit to Pope Francis’ call to make “every effort to build peace through active and creative nonviolence” (Nonviolence: Style of Politics for Peace) as we create a “culture of nonviolence…that has produced decisive results” (Letter to Bishop Cupich, Apr. 4, 2017).

Download this statement as a PDF.

Previous CMSM statement on use of chemical weapons and alternative responses – Sept. 6, 2013.

Media Release: ICE Must Respect Places of Worship and Ministry

ICE Logo

 

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials apprehended six men exiting a hypothermia shelter on February 8 at Rising Hope Mission Church in Alexandria, Virginia — violating ICE’s own policy not to conduct enforcement actions at or near “sensitive locations” like houses of worship. We, who are called to be Catholic religious leaders, are deeply troubled by the pattern of deportations of those seeking refuge who do not pose a “significant threat to national security and public safety.” We are outraged when a government agency breaks its commitment to religious respect and invades and violates holy ground. No action of a government should ever bring fear into any person who seeks worship or aid at a religious house of worship or religious sponsored place. Our constitution guarantees our freedom of worship and religion even when it embraces acts of mercy.

As Christians, we turn to the example of Jesus who often had a compassionate and merciful justice humanity could not imagine. The very soul of our country is based on being free from religious oppression. Are we so blind as to not see how many frightening moments in our world’s history began by the erosion of a universal belief in dignity for all and oppression of religion? We choose to remind all people of our long standing Catholic social teaching on the poor and Pope Francis renewed call to all humankind to encounter the other, build bridges with relationships, and resist injustice.

CMSM President Fr. Brian Terry, SA says, “Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’ The very words of Jesus’ parable ring in my ears. I cannot imagine the pain filled eyes of the six vulnerable men who joyfully escaped the death of a cold night because of the care of a loving Church, only to be imprisoned as they exited… by the cold steel of handcuffs, a freezing cold steel of terror and despair which would go right into your soul.”

Immigration and Customs Enforcement is implementing President Trump’s recent executive orders to increase immigration enforcement by targeting all undocumented immigrants, including a Methodist lay leader in Kansas, a mother in Arizona, and now, men coming out of a church ministry that provides shelter in extremely cold conditions. People are increasingly afraid to go to school, hospitals, and places of worship. We promote the value of law and order, but we also recognize the greater values of merciful justice and compassion.

We invite others to join us in denouncing these deportation efforts that harm the “least of our brothers and sisters.” We especially denounce the irreverence, disrespect and violation of sensitive locations, such as houses of worship and ministry which belong to God and the erosion of our Constitutional right to be free from religious oppression by our government.

For more information about this media release, contact Eli McCarthy or call 301-588-4030.

Download a printable copy of this media release.

Joint LCWR and CMSM letter to President-Elect Trump

White House

SILVER SPRING (January 18, 2017). The Presidents of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) and the Conference of Major Superiors of Men (CMSM) representing the elected leaders of more than 55,000 Catholic religious sisters, brothers, and priests sent a letter to President-Elect Donald Trump reminding him of the gift and responsibility of leadership. LCWR President, Mary Pellegrino, CSJ and CMSM President, Brian Terry, SA write out of their concern for the critical needs facing the country and the world today, and the call to respond through the service of leadership. They express deep concerns about the “fractures and divisions” that “threaten the wellbeing and freedom of all Americans and those who have fled in fear to our shores and borders.” They urge all of us to commit to “respectful and dignified civil discourse.”

View the Full Release.

View the Letter.