Click on the link above to begin reading the Holy Father's new Apostolic Exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium. He has a lot to say and his comments are stirring up the airwaves. He is calling Catholics to a deeper understanding of their faith in order to spread the joy of the Gospel to the whole world. Take a read and let me know what you think!
Request for Special Collection to benefit the Philippine people affected by Super Typhoon Haiyan
Super Typhoon Haiyan, the equivalent of a Category 5 hurricane with sustained winds of 195 miles per hour, slammed into the Philippines on the island of Samar the evening of November 7, 2013 and hit Vietnam on Sunday, November 9. The storm has killed an estimated 10,000 people, and local officials report approximately 9.5 million people have been affected.
Catholic Relief Services, in cooperation with partners, will provide 100,000 families with shelter, essential living supplies and clean water and sanitation. CRS will continue to identify the most vulnerable communities that need assistance and will also be involved with energy and efforts to the long-term diocesan rebuilding efforts.
CRS desperately needs our help so that people and communities in most in need can be helped. Cardinal Timothy Dolan, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, has appealed to all bishops. And so while emphasizing the importance of collections already scheduled, I am asking that all parishes consider adding a special collection to benefit Super Typhoon Haiyan relief efforts between now and Christmas. As with previous large-scale relief requests, make the check payable to the Diocese of Davenport with ‘CRS Typhoon Relief’ on the memo line.
Thank you for your consideration and please continue to pray for those affected by the typhoon.
Sincerely in Christ,
(St. Alphonsus and St. Peter's will have a special collection on November 23-24)
Here is an article that I received the other day in relation to Pope Francis and the Latin Mass. Some have asked me if his policy will be different from that of Benedict. The article shows that we do not expect much to change in relation to the extraordinary form of the Mass.
Cardinal assures traditionalists of Pope’s support for Extraordinary Form
CWN - November 11, 2013
The former prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy has told a traditionalist group that Pope Francis has no intention of restricting access to the Extraordinary Form of the Latin liturgy.
“I met Pope Francis very recently and he told me that he has no problem with the old rite, and neither does he have any problem with lay groups and associations like yours that promote it,” Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos told members of Una Voce International (FIUV), who were in Rome for a general assembly.
Responding to questions from FIUV members about tensions within the Friars of the Immaculate, the Colombian cardinal said that the Pope moved to insist on the use of the Novus Ordo in that religious community only because of internal dissension, and not because of any negative judgment on the traditional liturgy.
At its general assembly, FIUV elected a new president: James Bogle, a lawyer, author, and chairman of the Catholic Union of Great Britain. “We are very grateful to His Eminence Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos, His Eminence Cardinal Brandmüller, and to Archbishop Pozzo for taking part in our General Assembly of the International Federation Una Voce,” Bogle said in a brief statement to CWN. “We are very pleased with the way the celebration of the traditional Mass is now going worldwide. We are obviously very grateful to Benedict XVI and also our present Pope Francis for all the support that they have given us in our right to worship in the traditional Roman rite.”
I was reading up on some news articles concerning the Holy Father and I found the following passage at the end of an article about Vatican politics: "Following Pope Francis' Oct. 1-3 meeting with the new Council of Cardinals advising him on church governance, the Vatican announced that plans are underway for an overhaul of the curia, possibly including the creation of a "moderator" who could assume some of the responsibilities currently exercised by the secretary of state." While this does not sound like anything earth-shattering, it does mark an important change in the life of the Church. This article will help to explain what some of these terms mean, like "curia" and "moderator," and why it might matter to you.
If you go to the Vatican website (www.vatican.va), you will see that there is a tab for the "curia." It will direct you to congregations, committees, councils, tribunals, and a plethora of other offices. These offices make up the curia, forming the governing body of the Church. The Curia functions as an advisory body to the pope and bishops. While the pope does make a lot of the decisions that keep the Church going, an army of bureaucrats and staffers keep the wheels turning on this great world-wide organization. There is a document called Pastor Bonus that governs these workings. It is an Apostolic Constitution that defines which offices are in charge of certain Church matters and how decisions are made. It also provides a means for administrative appeals and judicial processes when they are needed. Pastor Bonus describes how each of these offices works with one another, how they interact, and who gives them a direction.
Currently, the Vatican Secretary of State has quite a bit of power over decision making in the Vatican. Not only does he maintain relationships with foreign nations, but he also functions as the intermediary between the Pope and the Curia. As you can imagine, this position has quite a bit of influence over the daily workings of the Church. Some have been critical of this influence and others have even called for this position to be dramatically changed.
Another important and powerful entity in the Vatican is the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF). This congregation is made up of some of the best theologians in the Church and typically is responsible for any question having to do with matters of the faith. Over the last several decades, a lot of other matters have been entrusted to the CDF because of the level of expertise that its members possess. Now, many issues that used to be handled by other congregations have found their way over to the CDF. This is another oft-heard criticism, that the CDF does too much that could be handled by other entities.
The last office I will describe is the "supreme court" of the Church. The Roman Rota is the highest court in the Church and handles a great number of judicial cases from around the world. These are primarily marriage and annulment cases that have been sent off for a final appeal to the court in Rome. This court has a great deal of power and influence in the world, but has one great flaw- it can take years to hear from them because of the massive backlog of cases. Because the court hears appeals from all over the world, each judge is responsible for thousands of cases. Many bishops and the Pope himself have asked for a way for this backlog to be cleared.
The Council of Cardinals I mentioned in the first paragraph has been looking at many of these questions and concerns. In the coming years we may see a radical departure from the old ways of doing business with a whole new order established in the Vatican. We could also see a confirmation of things as they are, with very few changes. I think the final result will likely be somewhere in the middle. Our Holy Father seems to be the kind of guy who wants things to run efficiently and well. The Cardinals on his council are bringing a fresh set of eyes to some of these issues and I am curious to see what some of their recommendations are. Please keep these men in your prayers as they tackle some of these very tough considerations!
Welcome to Father's Blog!
Here you will find my periodic musings on life in the parish, answers