After ‘Catholic Spring’ Email leak, US bishops warn American ideals at risk

The United States capitol building. (Photo by trekandshoot via Shutterstock)
The United States capitol building. (Photo by trekandshoot via Shutterstock)

Following a leaked Email from prominent political actors about a possible “Catholic Spring” movement to plant “seeds of the revolution” within the Church, the US bishops’ conference has rebuked interference in the Church and a political discourse that marginalizes the faithful and demeans women.

“There have been recent reports that some may have sought to interfere in the internal life of the Church for short-term political gain,” said Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, the US bishops’ conference president. “If true, this is troubling both for the well-being of faith communities and the good of our country.”

“In our faith and our Church, Christ has given us a precious gift. As Catholics, we hold onto our beliefs because they come to us from Jesus, not a consensus forged by contemporary norms,” he said Oct. 13. Read more

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Pope visits neonatal unit, hospice to highlight respect for life

RESPECT FOR LIFE—Pope Francis visited the neonatology ward of San Giovanni in Rome, Sept. 16, 2016. (Photo by L’Osservatore Romano)
RESPECT FOR LIFE—Pope Francis visited the neonatology ward of San Giovanni in Rome, Sept. 16, 2016. (Photo by L’Osservatore Romano)

On Sept. 16, Pope Francis visited a neonatal hospital unit and a hospice for the terminally ill, stressing the dignity of human life from conception to natural death.

The Sept. 16 visit is the latest in the Pope’s “Mercy Friday” initiatives, to spend time with various groups each month during the Jubilee of Mercy.

In previous trips, he has made surprise stops at places including an elderly home, a drug and alcohol rehab center, and a facility for retired priests.

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Don’t let the media guide Catholics on divorce

(Photo by George Hodan)
(Photo by George Hodan)

Divorced Catholics who have remarried civilly are welcome to seek reconciliation with the Church, but they need to be sure they’re following the right path, some Catholic bishops of Canada have said in new guidelines.

“It may happen that, through media, friends, or family, couples have been led to understand that there has been a change in practice by the Church, such that now the reception of Holy Communion at Mass by persons who are divorced and civilly remarried is possible if they simply have a conversation with a priest,” said guidelines from the Catholic bishops of Alberta and the Northwest Territories.

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Why Archbishop Chaput thinks the US presidential candidates are ‘very bad news’

PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES—Donald Trump at the RNC, July 2016 (Photo by Addie Mena/CNA). Hillary Clinton (Photo by Joseph Sohm via Shutterstock).
PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES—Donald Trump at the RNC, July 2016 (Photo by Addie Mena/CNA). Hillary Clinton (Photo by Joseph Sohm via Shutterstock).

The 2016 presidential elections are particularly bad in the eyes of Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Philadelphia. He says they show the failures of American society and the need for Christians to be a different people.

In the 50 years he has voted, the archbishop said, “the major parties have never, at the same time, offered two such deeply-flawed presidential candidates. The 1972 Nixon/McGovern race comes close. But 2016 wins the crown.”

“Only God knows the human heart, so I presume that both major candidates for the White House this year intend well and have a reasonable level of personal decency behind their public images. But I also believe that each candidate is very bad news for our country, though in different ways,” he said at the University of Notre Dame on Sept. 15.

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Labor Day statement invites us to replace fear with a fuller vision


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The lack of jobs that can support families, particularly among those without access to higher education, has placed heavy burdens on families and communities across the country. This Labor Day, the Church draws close to these families and expresses words of hope, said A​bp. Thomas G. Wenski of Miami, chairman of the ​US bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development in the 2016 Labor Day statement. In the statement, attention ​is drawn to Pope Francis’ recent address to the US Congress, in which he highlighted the connection between economic pressures and stresses on the family. While the United States is undergoing a difficult time with political tensions, fear, and anxiety, A​bp. Wenski challenges people to respond with faith and action. “For our dynamics to change, we must replace fear with a fuller vision that can be powerfully supported by our faith…the Church’s history is filled with communities that took seriously the call to be their ‘brother’s keeper’ (Gn 4:9), faced challenges together, and lifted up the ‘cry of the poor’ (Ps 34:7).” To those who are experiencing isolation and feel left behind in today’s economy, A​bp. Wenski offers assurance of the Church’s solidarity. He said, “For those who feel left behind today, know that the Church wants to walk with you, in the company of the God who formed your ‘inmost being’ and who knows that you are ‘wonderfully made’ (Ps 139:13-14).”

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