National Catholic Reporter

The Independent News Source

Vatican

Director of Vatican Bank resigns under pressure

VATICAN CITY -- In an unprecedented move, the board of the Vatican Bank on Thursday forced its president, Ettore Gotti Tedeschi, to resign.

According to a Vatican statement, the bank's supervisory council unanimously passed a no-confidence motion in Gotti Tedeschi for his "failure to fulfill various primary functions of his office." Carl A. Anderson, the supreme knight of the U.S.-based Knights of Columbus, is one of the council's four members.

Vatican publishes rules for verifying visions of Mary

 | 

VATICAN CITY -- To help bishops determine the credibility of alleged Marian apparitions, the Vatican has translated and published procedural rules from 1978 that had previously been available only in Latin.

The "Norms regarding the manner of proceedings in the discernment of presumed apparitions or revelations" were approved by Pope Paul VI in 1978 and distributed to the world's bishops, but never officially published or translated into modern languages.

However, in the last three decades, unauthorized translations have appeared around the world, according to U.S. Cardinal William J. Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

The doctrinal office "believes it is now opportune to publish these 'Norms,' providing translations in the principle languages" so as to "aid the pastors of the Catholic Church in their difficult task of discerning presumed apparitions, revelations, messages or, more generally, extraordinary phenomena of presumed supernatural origin," the cardinal wrote in a note dated December 2011.

Pope tells U.S. bishops to build church unity

VATICAN CITY -- Pope Benedict XVI urged American Catholics to strive for greater unity, especially among ethnic groups and between bishops and religious orders, in order to carry out the church's mission in an increasingly hostile society.

The pope made his remarks May 18 in a speech to U.S. bishops from the Chaldean, Ruthenian, Maronite, Ukrainian, Armenian, Melkite, Syriac and Romanian Catholic churches, who were making their periodic "ad limina" visits to the Vatican.

They were the last of 15 groups of U.S. bishops to make to make "ad limina" visits since November 2011, reporting on the status of their dioceses to Pope Benedict and holding discussions with Vatican officials.

In his speech, Pope Benedict called for greater "Catholic unity" to counter the "forces of disaggregation within the church which increasingly represent a grave obstacle to her mission in the United States."

The pope echoed his earlier warnings to other U.S. bishops about the dangers of secularization and state curbs on religious freedom.

Open letter to the U.S. bishops: Let's not be a laughingstock, OK?

 | 

Commentary

Back in the 13th century, St. Thomas Aquinas warned his fellow scholars about taking positions that brought ridicule upon the church. "Ne fides rideatur," he said. Literally, "Don't let the faith be laughed at."

Last week, we learned the U.S. bishops were launching an investigation into the supposedly subversive activities of our Catholic Girl Scouts. According to The Associated Press, Bishop Kevin Rhoades of Ft. Wayne-South Bend, Ind., and his fellows on the bishops' Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth will be looking into the Scouts' "possible problematic relationships" with groups like Doctors Without Borders, the Sierra Club, and Oxfam International "because they support family planning."

Year after removing bishop, pope names new head of Toowoomba diocese

 | 

VATICAN CITY -- More than a year after Pope Benedict XVI removed Bishop William Morris as head of the Diocese of Toowoomba, Australia, the pope named the vicar general of the Diocese of Parramatta to succeed him.

Msgr. Robert McGuckin, 68, a canon lawyer and director of the Institute of Tribunal Practice at the Catholic Institute of Sydney, was named head of the diocese May 14.

Vatican imposes new controls on charity federation

 | 

ROME -- After moving last year to block the reelection of the first lay woman to head Caritas Internationalis, the Rome-based confederation of Catholic charitable agencies around the world, over an alleged “lack of coordination” with papal aides, the Vatican today imposed sweeping new rules that effectively tightens its control over Caritas' finances and global operations.

Among other points, the rules require the top officials of Caritas to make promises of loyalty before a Vatican official, including "Christian obedience" to church leaders.

Aside from its direct importance for Catholic charities, today’s Vatican move is also interesting for the recently decreed overhaul of the Leadership Conference for Women Religious in the United States, the country’s main umbrella group for superiors of women’s orders.

Like LCWR, Caritas Internationalis is a juridical person under church law recognized by the Vatican. The new rules are thus a further indication that the Vatican is in earnest about tightening its grip over groups that enjoy official status and, in some sense, represent the church.

Pope donates $250,000 to Anglican ordinariate

 | 

ROME -- Pope Benedict XVI donated $250,000 to the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham to help support its clergy and work.

The gift "is a clear sign of (the pope's) personal commitment to the work of Christian unity and the special place the ordinariate holds in his heart," said Archbishop Antonio Mennini, the Vatican nuncio to Great Britain.

The ordinariate made the announcement in a press statement May 1.

"The gift will help establish the ordinariate as a vibrant part of the Catholic Church in England and Wales," the statement said.

The ordinary, Msgr. Keith Newton, said, "This gift is a great help and encouragement as we continue to grow and develop our distinctive ecclesial life, whilst seeking to contribute to the wider work of evangelization."

Pope Benedict established the ordinariate to welcome former Anglicans into the Catholic Church. The structure provided a way for entire Anglican parishes or groups to become Catholic while retaining some of their Anglican heritage and liturgical practice.

Has the 'real Ratzinger' come out to play?

 | 

ROME -- When Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was elected to the papacy in April 2005, the popular forecast called for stormy weather ahead. This was, after all, the Vatican enforcer who had been leading a “smack-down on heresy since 1981”, in the words of T-shirts and coffee mugs marketed by a Ratzinger fan club. His rise elicited dread in some quarters and joy in others, but virtually everyone agreed big things were in the works.

Pope names retired cardinals to investigate source of leaks to media

 | 

VATICAN CITY -- Pope Benedict XVI named the members of a papal commission he established in March to investigate a series of leaks of letters exchanged among Vatican officials and between the officials and the pope himself.

Spanish Cardinal Julian Herranz, 82, a former president of the Pontifical Council for the Interpretation of Legislative Texts, will lead the commission. The two other members are 88-year-old retired Slovakian Cardinal Jozef Tomko, prefect emeritus of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples; and the retired archbishop of Palermo, Cardinal Salvatore De Giorgi, 81.

The commission of cardinals "will act at all levels on the strength of its pontifical mandate" to investigate the "recent leaks of reserved and confidential documents on television, in newspapers and in other communications media" and "bring these episodes fully to light," said a Vatican press release Wednesday.

The commission met for the first time Tuesday, the statement said, "to establish the method and timetable for its activities."

Pages

Feature-flag_GSR_start-reading.jpg

NCR Email Alerts

 

In This Issue

July 18-31, 2014

07-18-2014_0.jpg

Not all of our content is online. Subscribe to receive all the news and features you won't find anywhere else.