The Vatican Information Service reports: "Today- the Holy Father accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the Archdiocese of Saint Andrews and Edinburgh, Scotland, presented by Cardinal Keith Michael Patrick O’Brien, in accordance with canon 401 para. 1 of the Code of Canon Law."
Canon 401 (1) reads:
A diocesan Bishop who has completed his seventy-fifth year of age is requested to offer his resignation from office to the supreme pontiff who, taking all the circumstances into account, will make provision accordingly.
The Catholic News Service reports on the popularity of Fish Frys on Fridays of Lent.
Cod and haddock are popular choices. Msgr. Tim Stein, pastor of St. Mary's Parish in Altoona, PA says,
" If you don't serve haddock to the western Pennsylvania audience, you're not going to get a big crowd."
But "comfort food" has its supporters as well. One menu addition came to Blessed Sacrament Parish in Milwaukee about nine years ago when Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan was Archbishop of Milwaukee. He noted the absence of something which he always had during Lent growing up - Mac and Cheese. So Blessed Sacrament put that on the menu. Cardinal Dolan loved it, and Blessed Sacrament had Mac and Cheese ever since.
"Reliable Sources" report that Mac and Cheese will grace the menu at Saint Bridget's when the Youth Group take responsibility for for the Lenten meal on March 8th.
The director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J., responding to journalists' questions, commented that the Holy Father is considering the publication of a Motu Proprio in the coming days, obviously before the beginning of the Sede Vacante, to clarify a few particular points regarding the Apostolic Constitution on the conclave that have arisen over the last years.
"I don't know if he will deem it necessary or appropriate," he added, "to elucidate the question of the opening date of the conclave. We will have to see if and when a document is published. It seems to me, for example, the clarification of some details in order to be in complete agreement with another document regarding the conclave, that is, the Ordo Rituum Conclavis. In any case, the question depends on the Pope's judgement and if this document comes about it will be made known through the proper channels."
Saint Bridget's Men's Club will meet in Hobert Hall on Saturday, February 23 at 9:00am. The purpose is to formalize the club and to schedule monthly "Breakfast Meetings" on a continuing basis on the last Saturday of each month. All men of Saint Bridget's (18+ years) are invited and encouraged to join. If you are unable to attend meetings but wish to be included as a member, please contact Jim Kelly at 540 955 4632 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
On the first Friday of Lent, Father Krempa lead the members of Saint Bridget's faith community in the Stations of the Cross at 7pm.. Before that, the "Fryers" and the "Chip Monks" of the Saint Bridget Men's Club prepared and served a Lenten fish dinner in Hobert Hall.
A slide show of the fish fry can is on the Gallery Section of the church website.
According to EWTN News, plans for a national March for Marriage in downtown Washington, D.C., are generating excitement and enthusiastic support.
The National Organization for Marriage announced in late January that it would be hosting a March for Marriage in the nation’s capital on March 26. The date coincides with the first day of oral arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court in the case Hollingsworth v. Perry which involves a challenge to California’s Proposition 8, a state measure recognizing marriage as existing solely between a man and a woman.
Hollingsworth v. Perry is one of two cases on same-sex marriage that the nation’s high court will consider this year. The court will also consider a challenge to the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as the union of one man and one woman for all federal purposes. Decisions in both cases are expected in late June.
Neither the schedule nor the official route of the upcoming March for Marriage has been made public, but information will be added to the march website, marriagemarch.org, as it becomes available.
In addition to the announcement of Benedict XVI, the Vatican News Service (VIS) carried several English language statements by various Vatican officials concerning the papal announcement. Those can be found by following this link.
The following paragraph regarding the composition and administration of the Conclave to select Benedict XVI's successor is one of the statements in VIS today.
"COMPOSITION OF THE CONCLAVE Vatican City, 11 February 2013 (VIS) – The conclave to elect the successor of Benedict XVI will be regulated by the "Ordo Rituum Conclavis" established by John Paul II's apostolic constitution "Universi Dominici Gregis", para. 27. The Cardinal Camerlengo, who has a fundamental role during the Sede Vacante period, is Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, appointed by Benedict XVI on 4 April 2007. The Cardinal electors, by their continents of provenance, will be 61 Europeans, 19 Latin Americans, 14 North Americans, 11 Africans, 11 Asians, and 1 from Oceania. These figures may vary depending on the date that the conclave opens: for example, Cardinal Walter Kasper will turn 80 on 5 March. The country with the greatest number of Cardinal electors is Italy, with 21. Sixty-seven of the electors were created by Benedict XVI and the remaining 50 by John Paul II. One of John Paul II's innovations regarding the period of conclave is that the Cardinal electors―of whom there will be 117 on 28 February―will be housed in the Vatican residence Casa Santa Marta, which is independent from the place where they vote, the Sistine Chapel. The Cardinal electors must remain in the Vatican during the entire period of conclave, and no one can approach them when they move from the Sistine Chapel to their place of residence or vice versa. All forms of communication with the outside world are prohibited. As in the past, the Sistine Chapel stove will be used to burn the ballots after each vote."
The Most Reverend Paul S. Loverde, Bishop of Arlington, released the following statement in response to Pope Benedict XVI’s announcement today that he will resign the papacy:
“As I reflect on the life and ministry of Pope Benedict XVI, I am unfailingly impressed by his serenity; a quiet, peaceful yet certain manner of speaking and acting. This serenity is rooted in his deep faith in the Lord Jesus, a faith that underlies hope and leads to love of God and neighbor. His decision to resign the Petrine Ministry on February 28th reflects this spirit of serenity.
“Certainly, we are deeply grateful for his eight years of faithful and selfless service so evident in his homilies, encyclicals and addresses; in his numerous trips around the world, including his visit to our country in 2008; and his sensitive and pastoral concern for the faithful world-wide.
“Thinking of the welfare of the Church which he loves so dearly and is serving so faithfully, our Holy Father is confident that his stepping aside for the election of a new pope truly will benefit the Church and allow him to continue his ministry of prayer for the Church.
“I urge my brothers and sisters in the Church and beyond to pray for the welfare of Pope Benedict XVI and also to ask the Holy Spirit, Who inspired the Pope’s decision, to guide the Cardinals in the upcoming Conclave to elect a new Vicar of Christ and successor to St. Peter. With a similar serenity of spirit, let us pray for and support the Holy Father each day as he moves forward into a new chapter in his journey of faith. We remain confident about the future, recalling Christ’s words: “Behold, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (cf. Mt 28:20).
Full text of Pope's declaration (English translation from Latin)
I have convoked you to this Consistory, not only for the three canonizations, but also to communicate to you a decision of great importance for the life of the Church. After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God, I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry. I am well aware that this ministry, due to its essential spiritual nature, must be carried out not only with words and deeds, but no less with prayer and suffering. However, in today’s world, subject to so many rapid changes and shaken by questions of deep relevance for the life of faith, in order to govern the bark of Saint Peter and proclaim the Gospel, both strength of mind and body are necessary, strength which in the last few months, has deteriorated in me to the extent that I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me. For this reason, and well aware of the seriousness of this act, with full freedom I declare that I renounce the ministry of Bishop of Rome, Successor of Saint Peter, entrusted to me by the Cardinals on 19 April 2005, in such a way, that as from 28 February 2013, at 20:00 hours, the See of Rome, the See of Saint Peter, will be vacant and a Conclave to elect the new Supreme Pontiff will have to be convoked by those whose competence it is.Dear Brothers, I thank you most sincerely for all the love and work with which you have supported me in my ministry and I ask pardon for all my defects. And now, let us entrust the Holy Church to the care of Our Supreme Pastor, Our Lord Jesus Christ, and implore his holy Mother Mary, so that she may assist the Cardinal Fathers with her maternal solicitude, in electing a new Supreme Pontiff. With regard to myself, I wish to also devotedly serve the Holy Church of God in the future through a life dedicated to prayer.
BENEDICTUS PP XVI
(From the Vatican, 10 February 2013 )
Link to Vatican Radio where you can listen to Pope's announcement in Latin
According to a statement by the United States Council of Catholic Bishops President, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the Feb. 1 the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Notice of Proposed Rule Making implementing portions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act falls short of addressing all of the Bishops' concerns..
The USCCB statement stated in part:
"Throughout the past year, we have been assured by the Administration that we will not have to refer, pay for, or negotiate for the mandated coverage.We remain eager for the Administration to fulfill that pledge and to find acceptable solutions—we will affirm any genuine progress that is made, and we will redouble our efforts to overcome obstacles or setbacks.Thus, we welcome and will take seriously the Administration's invitation to submit our concerns through formal comments, and we will do so in the hope that an acceptable solution can be found that respects the consciences of all.At the same time, we will continue to stand united with brother bishops, religious institutions, and individual citizens who seek redress in the courts for as long as this is necessary."
The website of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) reports that the USCCB and four Reformed Christian denominations publicly signed an agreement on baptism, at the opening of the annual meeting of the
ecumenical association Christian Churches Together (CCT), which includes
over 40 Christian communions and groups.
The Agreement on the Mutual Recognition of Baptism is the result of the seventh round of the Catholic-Reformed Dialogue in the United States, from 2003-2010, which agreed that the formula for a valid baptism is that it includes flowing water and is performed in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. While other episcopal conferences around the world have similar agreements with Protestant communities, this is the first such agreement into which USCCB has entered.
“There has already been a strong response from CCT members who have said this represents healing,” said Oblate of Saint Francis De Sales Father John Crossin, executive director of USCCB’s Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs.
More information on the Common Agreement on the Mutual Recognition of Baptism is available here.
According to the Catholic News Agency, Los
Angeles Archbishop José H. Gomez has relieved retired Cardinal Roger Mahony of
his remaining administrative and public duties.
Archbishop Gomez also confirmed the release of files of
priests who sexually abused children while they were serving in the Los Angeles archdiocese.
Most of the documents have already been made public as part of the “Report to
the People of God” created by the archdiocese in 2004. The documents include
psychiatric records, investigative reports, letters of complaint, and private
correspondence and are availablehere.
Archbishop Gomez said, “The behavior described
in these files is terribly sad and evil. There is no excuse, no explaining away
what happened to these children. The priests involved had the duty to be their
spiritual fathers and they failed. We need to acknowledge that terrible failure today. Reading these files, reflecting on the wounds
that were caused, has been the saddest experience I've had since becoming your
Archbishop in 2011,”
"We need to pray for everyone who has ever been hurt by
members of the Church,” the archbishop said "And we need to continue to
support the long and painful process of healing their wounds and restoring the
trust that was broken.”
Archbishop Gomez also announced that in the weeks
ahead, he will address all of these matters in greater detail.
In response to Friday's’s release of revised proposed regulations implementing portions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, provided the following brief statement.
“Today, the Administration issued proposed regulations regarding the HHS mandate. We welcome the opportunity to study the proposed regulations closely. We look forward to issuing a more detailed statement later.”