Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Papal Press Conference

Pope Francis held his first news conference July 28, shortly after the Alitalia flight taking him back to Rome departed from Rio de Janeiro. The press conference was conducted in Italian and lasted well over an hour.. The questions of the 21 journalists were not submitted in advance and no topics were ruled out of bounds.His remarks on several of the topics addressed, received front page coverage in papers of nationwide circulation

The following excerpts are from a Google translation of the original Italian transcript and are a bit awkward


On the Roll of Women in the Church
 A Church without women is like the apostolic college without Mary. ...
 This should explain better. I believe that we have not done it yet profound theology of women in the Church. Only can do this, can do that, now is the altar boy, now reads Reading, is the president of Caritas ... But, there's more! ...

 ... No! It must be more, but more deeply, even mystically more, with this I have said of the theology of woman. And, with reference to the ordination of women, the Church has spoken and says, "No". The said John Paul II, but with a definitive formulation. That is closed that door, but on this I want to tell you something. I've said it, but I repeat. Our Lady, Mary, was more important than the apostles, the bishops and deacons and priests. The woman in the Church is more important bishops and priests, as it is what we must try to explain better, because I think it lacks a theological explanation of this.

[:See  comments of the Archbishop of Canterbury,Justin Welby in the July post entitled "The Spirit of God Drawing Christians Together"   Welby believes that the ordination of women, is the biggest obstacle to unity with Rome, but  both Churches now accept that they must “walk together’’., Welby commented “Rome is semper eadem [always the same], but infinitely flexible when it needs to be...”]

On sacraments for the divorced and remarried 
“I think this is the moment for mercy. The divorced may have access to the sacraments. The problem regards those who are in a second marriage … who cannot receive communion. But, in parenthesis, the Orthodox have a different praxis. They follow the theology of economy, and they give a second chance: they allow that. But I think that this problem – and here I close the parenthesis – should be studied within the framework of matrimonial pastoral care. One of the themes that the Council of Cardinals will consider in the meeting in … October is how to proceed in relation to matrimonial pastoral care. 

If a person is gay and seek the Lord and has good intentions, but who am I to judge? The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains in this so beautiful, but says - wait a bit ', as they say ... - and says, "you do not have to marginalize these people for that matter, should be integrated into society." The problem is not having this tendency, no, we must be brothers, because this is one, but if there's another, another. The problem is to lobby for this trend: 

The Italian transcript of the pres conference is available here

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Pope Addresses Cardinals and Bishops of Brazil

On  Saturday, Pope Francis met with the Cardinals and Bishops of Brazil.

  During the meeting he addressed several important  issues for today's Church.  Excerpts follow.
The right to proclaim the Gospel
"In the context of society, there is only one thing which the Church quite clearly demands: the freedom to proclaim the Gospel in its entirety, even when it runs counter to the world, even when it goes against the tide. In so doing, she defends treasures of which she is merely the custodian, and values which she does not create but rather receives, to which she must remain faithful. The Church claims the right to serve man in his wholeness, and to speak of what God has revealed about human beings and their fulfilment. The Church wants to make present that spiritual patrimony without which society falls apart. … The Church has the right and the duty to keep alive the flame of human freedom and unity."

Alluding to the story of Emmaus, He then addressed
The difficult mystery of people who leave the Church
"The two disciples have left Jerusalem. They are leaving behind the 'nakedness' of God. They are scandalized by the failure of the Messiah in whom they had hoped and who now appeared utterly vanquished, humiliated, even after the third day. Here we have to face the difficult mystery of those people who leave the Church, who, under the illusion of alternative ideas, now think that the Church – their Jerusalem – can no longer offer them anything meaningful and important. So they set off on the road alone, with their disappointment. Perhaps the Church appeared too weak, perhaps too distant from their needs, perhaps too poor to respond to their concerns, perhaps too cold, perhaps too caught up with herself, perhaps a prisoner of her own rigid formulas, perhaps the world seems to have made the Church a relic of the past, unfit for new questions; perhaps the Church could speak to people in their infancy but not to those come of age. It is a fact that nowadays there are many people like the two disciples of Emmaus...

Today, we need a Church capable of walking at people’s side, of doing more than simply listening to them; a Church which accompanies them on their journey; a Church able to make sense of the night contained in the flight of so many of our brothers and sisters from Jerusalem; a Church which realizes that the reasons why people leave also contain reasons why they can eventually return. But we need to know how to interpret, with courage, the larger picture.

I would like all of us to ask ourselves today: are we still a Church capable … of leading people back to Jerusalem? Of bringing them home? Jerusalem is where our roots are: Scripture, catechesis, sacraments, community, friendship with the Lord, Mary and the apostles… Are we still able to speak of these roots in a way that will revive a sense of wonder at their beauty? ...

People today are attracted by things that are faster and faster: rapid Internet connections, speedy cars and planes, instant relationships. But at the same time we see a desperate need for calmness, I would even say slowness. Is the Church still able to move slowly: to take the time to listen, to have the patience to mend and reassemble? Or is the Church herself caught up in the frantic pursuit of efficiency? Dear brothers, let us recover the calm to be able to walk at the same pace as our pilgrims, keeping alongside them, remaining close to them, enabling them to speak of the disappointments present in their hearts and to let us address them. … We need a Church capable of bringing warmth, of lighting up hearts, and that is capable of restoring citizenship to her many children who are journeying, as it were, in an exodus.

From VISnews130728

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Cardinal Dolan on World Youth Day

Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York is among the 36 American bishops serving as catechists for English-speaking groups during the week-long World Youth Day program in Rio de Janeiro that concludes on Sunday.. His interview with  Sean Patrick Lovett, Vatican Radio’s correspondent in Rio can be found here

If you do follow the link to the interview be sure to listen to the audio of the 4!/2 minute interview. Cardinal Dolan makes very interesting observations about WYD, American Catholic Youth and Pope Francis..


Click to enlarge
Tuesday afternoon more than half a million young people participated in the opening Mass of the 28th World Youth Day, celebrated by the archbishop of St. Sebastian of Rio de Janeiro, Msgr. Orani Joao Tempesta, on the beach at Copacabana. At dusk, the large stage dominated by a blue cross was lit up with the colours of the Brazilian flag. Silence greeted the arrival of the Cross and the image of the Virgin of World Youth Day, carried in procession by young people from the five continents.

Before Mass there were prayers for the young unemployed, for the victims of a nightclub fire in Brazil, for the street children murdered at La Candelaria church, and for the young French woman who died in a bus accident in French Guiana while preparing to travel to Rio to participate in World Youth Day.

As is customary, the Pope did not participate in the opening ceremony of World Youth Day, but the director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr. Federico Lombardi S.J., confirmed that he watched the event on television and was impressed by level of participation in the event.

In his homily, Archbishop Tempesta returned to the theme of World Youth Day: “Go and make disciples of all nations”, inviting the young to be missionaries: “This week Rio has become the center of the Church, its heart both youthful and vibrant”, he said. “You have come from all over the world to share together in the faith and the joy of being disciples and missionaries in all nations. Everywhere, youthful enthusiasm shows in the faces of young Christians, who wish to unite the testimony of an authentic and Christian life with the social dimension of the Gospel. … We are called to be agents for a new world. I am sure that you will do this in your cities and countries. The world needs young people like you”.
In addition, from 24 to 26 July, 250 bishops from all five continents will deepen the themes of World Youth Day in three mornings of catechesis on the following themes: “thirst for hope, thirst for God” (Wednesday 24 July), “being a disciple of Christ” (Thursday 25) and on “being a missionary: now go!” (Friday 26). The catechesis sessions will take place in 300 distinct locations, from Copacabana and the metropolitan area to the favelas, and in churches, gyms, sports camps and social centres. The majority of the sessions will be held in Portuguese (133), but there will also be 50 in Spanish, 25 in English, 15 in Italian and French, 8 in German and 5 in Polish. In total, the catechesis will be held in 20 different languages, including Arabic, Croatian, Danish, Slovenian, Greek, Czech and Russian.
(From VIS   7/24/2013)

Monday, July 22, 2013

Youth Group Hosts Mid-Month Doughnut

The Youth Group initiated Mid-Month Doughnut Get-togethers in Hobert Hall last Sunday. It was well received by all participants who enjoyed a chance to escape the record heat and chat with fellow members of the Saint Bridget's community.
There follows a collage of pics from the event.
Click to enlarge

Saturday, July 20, 2013

The Spirit of God Drawing Christians Together

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, was the subject of a lengthy article by Charles Moore, reporter for the British newspaper, "the Telegraph". The Archbishop had recently met with Pope Francis, and the Telegraph article included Archbishop Welby's impression of Pope Francis and his thoughts about meeting itself, its meaning and where it may lead.
What follows is an excerpt from the article:

"... For his own spiritual discipline, Justin Welby uses Catholic models – the contemplation and stability of Benedictines, and the rigorous self-examination of St Ignatius. And, in a choice that could not possibly have been made since the 16th century – until now – the Archbishop’s spiritual director is Fr Nicolas Buttet, a Roman Catholic priest."

The Archbishop recently visited the new Pope, Francis, and was thrilled.
“I think he is extraordinary. Unpredictable. He’s not John XXIII or anyone else. He’s Francis. He has deep humility and a consciousness of the complexity of things. He has Ignatian and Franciscan spirituality.”
It is spirituality that the two men share, and it is overcoming the divisions of 500 years: “One of the most exciting trends in western Christianity is that the Spirit of God is drawing Christians together.”

Where will his discussions with the Pope lead?
 “I haven’t a clue,” he says, disarmingly. He (Welby) thinks that the ordination of women bishops, though he vigorously supports it, is the biggest obstacle to unity with Rome, but he also believes that both Churches now accept that they must “walk together’’. Besides, “Rome is semper eadem [always the same], but infinitely flexible when it needs to be...”


1. Fr Buttet is founder of the Eucharistein Community in Switzerland

2. Justin Portal Welby  is Primate of All England and the symbolic head of the worldwide Anglican Communion. His early career was in the oil industry. Welby's theology is reported as representing the evangelical tradition within Anglicanism. Some of his publications explore the relationship between finance and religion and, as a member of the House of Lords, he sits on the panel of the 2012 Parliamentary Commission on Banking Standards.
On 9 November 2012, the Prime Minister's office announced Welby's appointment as the next Archbishop of Canterbury.  He legally took office on 4 February 2013 at a ceremony in St Paul's Cathedral, and his public ministry as archbishop formally began with his enthronement service in Canterbury Cathedral which took place on 21 March 2013.( From Wikipedia)

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Archdiocese of Philadelphia Transfers 14 Parish Elementary Schools to Non Profit

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia has signed an agreement transferring ownership of 14 former parish elementary schools to Independent Mission Schools, a non-profit school network, that will operate them as Catholic schools. The model for the mission schools is based on North Philadelphia’s St. Martin de Porres school.

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the schools have a total enrollment of 4,200 students from pre-K through eighth grade. About 63 percent of the enrolled students are non-Catholic.

Brian McElwee, chairman of Independence Mission Schools, said that the initiative was intended “to preserve the unique value of Catholic schools – an academically excellent, cost-effective, values-based education.”

The same teachers and other staff will return for the upcoming school year and the schools will continue to use the core curriculum of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. The mission schools can supplement the curriculum if they choose. The archdiocese’s Office of Catholic Education will continue to provide some services.

From Catholic News Agency (Full story here )

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Donut Sunday Redux

Following Mass on July 21st, the Youth Ministry will  host a  Donut Sunday. The event will become an additional Hobert Hall event to be held on the third Sunday of each month. Based upon the earlier efforts of the group in hosting family get togethers in Hobert Hall, this will be something special.
Now that the Men's Club and the Youth Group are hosting these  events on the first and third Sunday of the month, some are asking: "Will the Women's Club host a similar event on the 2nd or the 4th Sunday?"
(Home made would be nice)

Saturday, July 06, 2013

Annual Child Protection Report Published

The Diocese of Arlington's  Annual Child Protection, Victim Assistance, Advisory Board and Victim/Survivor Sharing Reports for the 2012-2013 audit year have been published and are available to read or download here.
These reports will also be in the print edition of the  Arlington Catholic Herald of July 18.