Seven things Paul VI did before Pope Francis made it cool

Beatification

Only a pope who has railed against clericalism to the extent that Pope Francis has could get away with canonizing two popes at once and then beatifying a third within six months. But that’s exactly what will happen Oct. 19, when Pope Francis moves another one of his predecessors, Paul VI (1963-1978), one step closer to official sainthood.

There’s been ample consideration of how Pope Francis completes a triumvirate with his two immediate predecessors, and it’s easy to compare Francis to the jovial, Council-calling, tradition-shirking John XXIII. But in numerous other ways, there’s a direct line of influence from Pope Paul to his latest successor, who was ordained a priest during Paul’s pontificate and largely formed by it: Read more

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New National Review Board members include judge, prosecutor, therapist

ONE OF THREE NEW MEMBERS OF NATIONAL REVIEW BOARD—Assistant US Attorney Donald J. Schmid of Granger, IN, is one of three new members of the US bishops’ National Review Board. (CNS/courtesy Donald J. Schmid)
ONE OF THREE NEW MEMBERS OF NATIONAL REVIEW BOARD—Assistant US Attorney Donald J. Schmid of Granger, IN, is one of three new members of the US bishops’ National Review Board. (CNS/courtesy Donald J. Schmid)
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Three new members of the US bishops’ National Review Board, which monitors dioceses’ performance in dealing with sexually abusive priests and creating a safe environment for children throughout the Church, were appointed May 1 by Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, KY, president of the bishops’ conference.

The new members are Assistant US Attorney Donald J. Schmid of Granger, IN; Judge Mary. K. Huffman of Centerville, OH; and Nelle Moriarty, a marriage and family therapist in Rochester, MN. Read more

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Church increased spending for child protection by more than 50 percent, annual audit finds

More than 4.6 million children, 99 percent of priests have had safe-environment training

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US dioceses and religious orders in 2013 increased what they spent on child protection by more than 50 percent over what they spent the year before, according to the 2013 report from the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA). In 2013, dioceses and religious orders spent $41,721,675 for child protection efforts, an increase of more than $15 million over the previous year, when they spent $26,583,087.

The numbers were reported in the “2013 Survey of Allegations and Costs: A Summary Report for the Secretariat of Child and Youth Protection, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.” The Georgetown University-based research organization has gathered information since 2004, as part of an annual report required by the US bishops’ “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.” The full report can be found at www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/child-and-youth-protection/upload/2013-Annual-Report.pdf Read more

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‘Tragic day for marriage and our nation,’ state US bishops

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The US Supreme Court decisions June 26 striking down part of the Defense of Marriage Act and refusing to rule on the merits of a challenge to California’s Proposition 8 mark a “tragic day for marriage and our nation,” said Card. Timothy Dolan of New York, president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), and Abp. Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco, chair of the US bishops’ Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage.

The statement follows. Read more

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Catholic, Southern Baptist leaders issue open letter for conscience protection

Open letter to all Americans: ‘Standing Together for Religious Freedom’

MAN HOLDS PROGRAM AND US FLAG DURING OPENING MASS FOR FORTNIGHT FOR FREEDOM AT BALTIMORE BASILICA--(CNS photo/Tom McCarthy Jr., Catholic Review)
MAN HOLDS PROGRAM AND US FLAG DURING OPENING MASS FOR FORTNIGHT FOR FREEDOM AT BALTIMORE BASILICA–(CNS photo/Tom McCarthy Jr., Catholic Review)

Abp. William E. Lori of Baltimore, chairman of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty, Russell D. Moore, PhD, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, and a wide variety of over 100 prominent national religious leaders and scholars released an open letter July 2 entitled “Standing Together for Religious Freedom.” The letter calls on the Administration and Congress to respect conscience rights and religious freedom.

The open letter highlights the threat to conscience posed by the Administration’s mandate that almost all employers cover contraception, sterilization, and abortifacient drugs and devices in their health insurance plans. As the signatories write, freedom of religion goes beyond mere freedom of worship and extends to believers’ roles as citizen and employer. Read more

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