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Is anybody out there? Vatican astronomer wouldn’t be surprised, if there is

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Catholic News Service

Jesuit Brother Guy Consolmagno, the new president of the Vatican Observatory Foundation, has no doubt that life exists elsewhere in the universe and that when humanity discovers it, the news will come as no big surprise.

This giant spiral disk of stars, dust and gas known as M101 is seen in a composite view captured by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope. The galaxy is 170,000 light-years across, or nearly twice the diameter of the Milky Way galaxy, and is estimated to contain at least 1 trillion stars. About 100 billion of them could be similar to the Sun in terms of temperature and lifetime, according to the HubbleSite Web site. This image is a composite of 51 individual Hubble exposures, in addition to ground-based photos. (CNS photo/NASA)

This giant spiral disk of stars, dust and gas known as M101 is seen in a composite view captured by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope. The galaxy is 170,000 light-years across, or nearly twice the diameter of the Milky Way galaxy, and is estimated to contain at least 1 trillion stars. About 100 billion of them could be similar to the Sun in terms of temperature and lifetime, according to the HubbleSite Web site. This image is a composite of 51 individual Hubble exposures, in addition to ground-based photos. (CNS photo/NASA)

He suggested that the likely discovery, whether next month or a millennium from now, will be received much the way that news of planets orbiting far off stars has filtered in since the 1990s.

“The general public is going to be, ‘Oh, I knew that. I knew it was going to be there,’” Brother Consolmagno told Catholic News Service prior to a presentation at a NASA/Library of Congress symposium on preparing for the discovery of life in the universe Sept. 18-19.

A planetary scientist who has studied meteorites and asteroids as an astronomer with the Vatican Observatory since 1993, Brother Consolmagno said he hopes the questions about life on other planets will focus more on how humanity sees itself.

“When we say human, human as compared to what?” he asked.

While the discovery of life elsewhere will not prove nor disprove the existence of God, Brother Consolmagno expects that it will open the door to ponder what form salvation history may take in other intelligent societies.

The longtime Vatican astronomer addresses the same question and a series of others that cross the threshold between science and religion in a new book, “Would You Baptize an Extraterrestrial? … and Other Strange Questions From the Inbox at the Vatican Observatory,” set to be published in October. Co-written by Jesuit Father Paul Mueller, another Vatican Observatory astronomer, the book uses a series of easy-to-read conversations between the two in an effort to explain how the church supports science and provide insight into how religion works.

Not all is as black and white as people imagine, and there’s no conflict between science and religion, Brother Consolmagno said.

“Eventually you learn that the kinds of questions you ask as a scientist and the kinds of answers you get as a scientist are only the kinds of questions that lead to more questions. They’re all very contingent. Now I understand how this works, but that opens up a new mystery that I hadn’t seen before and now I can explore that mystery,” he explained.

“The bigger questions, the religious questions, they’re handled by science. The religious questions give you the framework that gives you the motivation to ask the science questions, gives you the confidence the science is going to work and explains to you why I get this excitement at holding a rock from outer space.”

The book addresses questions about the Big Bang theory on the origins of the universe and the creation story in the Book of Genesis; the circumstances surrounding the star of Bethlehem; the end of the world; and the church’s inquisition of Galileo Galilei as he wrote about a sun-centered solar system.

“They’re profound questions and they’re real questions, but the questions aren’t always what you think the words are saying,” Brother Consolmagno said. “You have to dig underneath and say, ‘When people are worried about what was the star of Bethlehem, they really want to know how much does God act in the universe? Did God make that star? Does God arrange things? Does God use divine coincidences?’”

Brother Consolmagno, who had an asteroid named for him in 2000 — 4597 Consolmagno — has long been a promoter of better understanding across what is often portrayed as the science-religion divide. He said there is no conflict between his faith life and his scientific life.

“I don’t think people understand nearly well enough about being a scientist and about being a religious person, a member of a religious order or just a devout Catholic,” he said. “It’s fun. It’s supposed to be fun. If it’s not fun, you’re doing it wrong. God makes himself known through joy.

“C.S. Lewis wrote about that in his book ‘Surprised by Joy.’ I get joy when I see a new insight into how the universe works in my very tiny field of science. I get joy along with a sense of contentment and peace in a church in prayer. I get joy when I work with the poor, when I work with students, when I work with the elderly.”

In his presentation Sept. 19 bearing the same title as his new book, Brother Consolmagno suggested the idea of discovering extraterrestrial life may be so appealing to humanity, with all its pain, injustice and disease, that there is hope that “any race advanced enough to cross the stars to visit us must also be advanced enough to show us how to overcome all those human ills. They look to the aliens to be saviors of mankind.”

Other symposium participants from around the world involved in searching for life on other planets addressed topics such as how society should cope with the discovery, astrobiology and theology, the moral status of non-human organisms and moving beyond preconceptions of what life is.

An avid reader of science fiction, Brother Consolmagno will receive the Carl Sagan Medal from the Division of Planetary Sciences of the American Astronomical Society in November. The award is being given for his work in communicating planetary science to the general public.

He also is planning the Vatican Observatory Foundation’s first Faith and Astronomy Workshop for clergy, religious and laypeople working in parish education. Set for Jan. 19-23 in Tucson, Arizona, the workshop will give 25 participants the chance to participate in hand-on astronomical projects, join lectures and view deep sky objects at night. The application deadline is Sept. 30. Apply at www.vofoundation.org.

A video of Brother Consolmagno discussing the possibility of discovering extraterrestrial life is online at youtu.be/7ARjTJZVw_o.

 

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Survivors of Albania’s dictatorship move pope to tears

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Catholic News Service

TIRANA, Albania — Two survivors of Albania’s communist crackdown against the church brought Pope Francis to tears with their stories during a vespers service in Tirana’s cathedral Sept. 21.

“To hear a martyr talk about his own martyrdom is intense,” the pope told journalists on the papal plane back to Rome the same evening. “I think all of us there were moved, all of us.”

Pope Francis embraces Franciscan Father Ernest Troshani during a visit to Tirana, Albania, Sept. 21. Pope Francis wept when he heard the testimony of Father Troshani, 84, who for 28 years was imprisoned, tortured and sentenced to forced labor for refusing to speak out against the Catholic Church as his captors wanted. (CNS photo/L'Osservatore Romano via EPA)

Pope Francis embraces Franciscan Father Ernest Troshani during a visit to Tirana, Albania, Sept. 21. Pope Francis wept when he heard the testimony of Father Troshani, 84, who for 28 years was imprisoned, tortured and sentenced to forced labor for refusing to speak out against the Catholic Church as his captors wanted. (CNS photo/L’Osservatore Romano via EPA)

Father Ernest Troshani, 84, talked about his life as a priest under a militant atheist regime that targeted people of every faith — Christian and Muslim — between 1944 and 1991. Despite the risks of torture, imprisonment and execution, people held onto their beliefs as best they could, praying and passing on their traditions underground.

Father Troshani said his religious superiors were shot dead and the military drafted him in an effort to “make me disappear. I spent two years there, years that were worse than any prison.”

He managed to be ordained a priest in 1956, on the feast of Divine Mercy. But the worst was yet to come when the regime, which was set to become the first atheist nation in the world, intensified its war against religion in the 1960s.

On Christmas Eve 1963, the priest was arrested while celebrating Mass and was sentenced to death by firing squad. He was beaten, placed for three months in solitary confinement under “inhumane” conditions, then tortured because he refused to denounce the church.

He was eventually freed, but later arrested again and sent to a prison camp, where he was forced to work in a mine for 18 years and then 10 more years in sewage canals.

All the time he was imprisoned, he said, he celebrated Mass from memory in Latin, heard confessions and distributed Communion to other prisoners, all clandestinely. When the regime collapsed in 1991, he returned to ministry by serving isolated mountain villages, urging Christians caught up in a cycle of revenge to let go of their hatred and embrace God’s love.

When the priest finished his testimony, he approached the pope, who extended his arms to embrace him. But the priest dropped to his knees to kiss the pope’s ring. Standing together, the two men embraced warmly. Moved to tears, the pope removed his glasses and the men briefly rested their foreheads against each other.

Stigmatine Sister Marije Kaleta, 85, spoke next about being a novice during the regime and secretly baptizing “everyone who came to my door,” but only after making sure they weren’t spies who wanted to turn her in to authorities.

One day, while walking along a road, a mother carrying her child ran up to her, asking her to baptize the infant.

Sister Kaleta was hesitant because the woman’s husband was a communist and she worried it might be a trap. So she told the mother it wasn’t possible because she didn’t have the things necessary for baptism.

The mother appeared desperate, and even though they were in the middle of a road, she pointed to a nearby ditch saying that’s where they could get the water.

Still unsure, the sister said she had nothing with which to pour the water over the child’s head.

“But she insisted that I baptize her child. So, seeing her faith, I took off my shoe, since it was made of plastic, and I took the water from the canal with that and baptized the child,” she said.

Thanks to a number of priests who also worked clandestinely, “I had the good fortune of having the Blessed Sacrament,” which she kept hidden in bed sheets to secretly administer to people who were ill or dying.

The pope said he had had no idea how much the people of Albania had suffered for their faith, until two months earlier when he started preparing for his trip.

He said he was moved to see Tirana’s main boulevard lined with banners bearing black-and-white photographs of dozens of Catholics killed by the regime. Their cause for canonization as martyrs of the faith is being considered.

Pope Francis called Albania a land of heroes and martyrs and said that, by embracing the priest and sister, he had “touched two of them.”

The pope said Father Troshani and Sister Kaleta “performed a service for us: consoling us” by showing that God always provides the strength and hope to confront and overcome the tiniest inconveniences and the worst atrocities.

 

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Plans to convert Protestant cathedral to a Catholic space

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Catholic News Service

GARDEN GROVE, Calif. — Christ Cathedral has a multilayered mission — and with the rollout of the new design plans that will transform the former Crystal Cathedral into the mother church of the Diocese of Orange, it has taken a big step toward realizing that mission.

Christ Cathedral, the former Crystal Cathedral, will be transformed into a mother church for the Diocese of Orange, Calif. Design plans for the cathedral, which is the centerpiece of a 35-acre campus, were unveiled Sept. 24. The new design incorporates the elements of a Catholic church, including pews, kneelers, an altar and the cathedra, or bishop's chair. (CNS photo/courtesy Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange)

Christ Cathedral, the former Crystal Cathedral, will be transformed into a mother church for the Diocese of Orange, Calif. Design plans for the cathedral, which is the centerpiece of a 35-acre campus, were unveiled Sept. 24. The new design incorporates the elements of a Catholic church, including pews, kneelers, an altar and the cathedra, or bishop’s chair. (CNS photo/courtesy Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange)

“We’re trying to create a place that is welcoming to Catholics, certainly, but to people of all faiths, and even of no faith at all,” said cathedral rector Father Christopher Smith at an afternoon news conference Sept. 24. “(To let them) know that they are loved by God. That was the central message of Rev. Robert Schuller.”

Designed by architect Philip Johnson to serve Rev. Schuller’s ministry, the iconic structure is the centerpiece of a 35-acre campus that includes seven buildings. When the Diocese of Orange purchased the campus from Crystal Cathedral Ministries in 2011, it began the long process of transforming it to meet the needs of Orange County’s Catholic community.

The first building to be renovated, the Arboretum, is where Christ Cathedral Parish celebrates Sunday Mass; weekday Mass is celebrated in the neighboring Art Gallery. The diocesan pastoral center has moved onto the campus, and Christ Cathedral Academy is now in its second year of educating students from pre-K through eighth grade.

The Tower of Hope, where Eternal Word Television Network and Immaculate Heart Radio will have studios, and the Pontifical Mission Societies will have an office, is under renovation.

And the transformation of the church itself, which closed to visitors late last year, is underway.

From choosing an architect — the diocese hired two, Johnson Fain to focus on the church and Rios Clementi Hale Studios to focus on the grounds — to selecting a liturgical consultant, from approving design ideas to selecting materials, it has taken more than a year to develop the designs that were unveiled at the news conference.

“It’s probably the first time in the history of the Catholic Church taking a major building of worship from the Protestant Reformed tradition and transforming it into a Catholic church,” said Msgr. Arthur Holquin, episcopal vicar for divine worship. “And not just any Catholic church, but a cathedral.”

The great challenge is to respect Johnson’s iconic design, while transforming the space into a Catholic church.

Completed in 1980 and built to seat 2,900 people, Crystal Cathedral was one of the nation’s first megachurches. It is made up of more than 10,000 panes of glass.

With its theater-style seating and focus on the spoken word, the structure lacked many of the characteristics of a Catholic church. Johnson Fain had to develop a plan to incorporate the elements of a Catholic church, including pews and kneelers, as well as those that make a cathedral a cathedral: the altar, the ambo, and the cathedra, or the bishop’s chair.

“Those symbols will speak loudly, clearly, unambiguously” to the church’s catholicity, said Msgr. Holquin.

“We needed to be respectful of this environment (while) integrating these primary liturgical symbols,” he added.

Christ Cathedral will seat 2,100 in an antiphonal design: Worshippers will be seated on the east and west sides of the church, to the side of the altar. It’s a design that hearkens back to both ancient Roman basilicas and the monastic tradition, Orange Bishop Kevin W. Vann pointed out.

Inside the glass structure, a series of quatrefoils will be installed to manage the heat and glare from the sun, as well as to improve the acoustics. Roughly 5-foot square, each quatrefoil is made up of petals that are arranged in a more open or closed fashion, depending on the quatrefoil’s location within the building. The system will reduce the church’s mechanical loads by half, said architect Greg Verabian, a principal with Johnson Fain.

Stone walls also will be added around the lowest levels of the church to improve the acoustics and control the light.

These larger changes, as well as small details, like the pattern on the plaza outside the church itself, are accessible to the public in an exhibit that opens today in the Christ Cathedral Cultural Center.

“It’s very contemporary, yet its imagery is very ancient,’ said Father Smith. “(We are transforming) buildings that are already beautiful into buildings that will carry out our purpose as the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange.”

 

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Viewpoint: ‘War is never a necessity,’ Pope Francis has said — even now?

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We need to do something. With the barbaric Islamic State now controlling large portions of Iraq and Syria, and inflicting rape, torture and beheading on those who do not conform to their fundamentalist interpretation of Islam, it is imperative that they must be stopped.

So yes, we need to do something. But that “something” is not more violence and war. Answering violence and war, with more violence and war, is always part of the problem, not part of the solution.

Caliphate soldiers, members of a group linked to Islamic State militants, published a video on the Internet, Sept. 22, claiming responsibility for the kidnapping of Herve Gourdel of Nice, France. The group said it would kill Gourdel if France does not halt it participation in airstrikes on Iraq. Pax Christi International leaders are urging nation's use nonviolent solutions to stop ISIS. (CNS photo/Reuters via Reuters TV)

Caliphate soldiers, members of a group linked to Islamic State militants, published a video on the Internet, Sept. 22, claiming responsibility for the kidnapping of Herve Gourdel of Nice, France. The group said it would kill Gourdel if France does not halt it participation in airstrikes on Iraq. Pax Christi International leaders are urging nation’s use nonviolent solutions to stop ISIS. (CNS photo/Reuters via Reuters TV)

Shortly after the start of the first Gulf War in 1991, St. John Paul II wrote: “No, never again, war, which destroys the lives of innocent people, teaches how to kill, throws into upheaval even the lives of those who do the killing and leaves behind a trail of resentment and hatred, thus making it all the more difficult to find a just solution to the very problems which provoked the war.”

There is a collective amnesia that continues to block government and society’s memory that we have been there, and done that, many times before. Therefore, the war machine keeps rolling on with the encouragement of hawkish politicians, pundits and the military-industrial-complex.

During a “Democracy Now” interview with Rami Khouri, director of the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs at the American University of Beirut, Khouri said the major problems that lead to the formation and growth of militant Islamic groups like the Islamic State, are brutal dictators – often backed by the United States – who rule much of the Arab-Islamic world, and a foreign military presence like the U.S. in Muslim majority countries.

Khouri said American led military action in the Islamic world is the best recruiting tool for al-Qaeda and the Islamic State.

And it stands to reason. Imagine how most people would react – including many Christians – to a foreign power bombing and killing their loved ones.

So, what would be a Gospel-based way of responding to this violent crisis?

The Gospel calls us to mount an active response to suffering based on love and nonviolence.

This means no bombs, no drones, no missiles.

The U.S. and other arms supplying nations need to stop flooding the Middle East and world with weapons. A total multilateral arms embargo is needed.

And the diplomatic tool must be vigorously pursued.

Yes, negotiations with the Islamic State are highly unlikely. But negotiating just settlements to the grievances of hurting populations in Iraq and Syria will dry up support for the Islamic State and other militant groups.

The U.S. and other wealthy nations need to provide adequate resources for the quick evacuation of Christians and other minorities who are in harm’s way.

And funds and supplies need to be massively increased to assist nations – like Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey – that are being overwhelmed by Iraqi and Syrian refugees.

Finally, the U.S. and other industrial nations need to do their fair share in offering emergency asylum to these poor, frightened refugees.

It would do us all well to seriously reflect on the words of Pope Francis: “War is never a necessity, nor is it inevitable. Another way can always be found: the way of dialogue, encounter and the sincere search for truth.”

Tony Magliano is a syndicated social justice and peace columnist, who lives in the Diocese of Wilmington.

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Photo of the week: Fielder’s choice

September 25th, 2014 Posted in Uncategorized

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Pope Francis reaches out to grab a baseball thrown by someone in the crowd as he leaves his general audience in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican Sept. 24. The pope gave a sign it was okay for the ball to be thrown, then leapt and almost caught a slightl y high throw. The ball was picked up by Domenico Giani, the pope’s lead bodyguard, center. The pope signed the ball, which according to a YouTube video was thrown by a member of the Pope Francis reaches to grab baseball thrown by someone in crowd as he leaves his general audience at VaticanKoeppel family from St. Edward’s Church in Palm Beach, Fla., in the hope of raising money for their parish. (CNS photo/Claudio Peri, EPA)

 

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New Diocesan organizational chart

September 24th, 2014 Posted in Our Diocese, Uncategorized

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CDOW Chart Edit 4 copy

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+ Official Appointments

September 24th, 2014 Posted in Uncategorized

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Bishop Malooly announces the following appointments:

 

Retirement

Rev. Msgr. J. Thomas Cini, VG, has requested and been granted retirement effective Oct. 1, 2014. Monsignor Cini is appointed Special Assistant to the Bishop with the title of Vicar General with residence at St. Joseph on the Brandywine, Wilmington.

Official Appointments

Very Rev. Steven P. Hurley, VG, STL is appointed Moderator of the Curia and Vicar General for the Diocese of Wilmington, effective immediately. This appointment is in addition to his ministry as Pastor of St. Thomas the Apostle Parish, Wilmington.

Very Rev. Timothy M. Nolan, VC is appointed to oversee the offices of Vocations, Deacons and Institutional Chaplains with the title of Vicar for Clergy for the Diocese of Wilmington, effective immediately. This appointment is in addition to his ministry as Pastor of Corpus Christi Parish, Wilmington.

Robert Krebs is appointed Chancellor for the Diocese of Wilmington, effective immediately. This is in addition to his position as Communication Director for the Diocese of Wilmington.

Sister Ann David Strohminger, OSF is appointed Delegate for Religious of the Diocese of Wilmington effective Oct. 20, 2014.

Rev. Joseph W. McQuaide IV is appointed Vice Chancellor and Coordinator for the Office of Worship for the Diocese of Wilmington, effective immediately. This appointment is in addition to his ministry as Associate Pastor of Holy Cross Parish, Dover, and Immaculate Conception Parish, Marydel, Md.

Other Official Appointments

Louis DeAngelo, Ed.D. is appointed Secretary of the Department of Catholic Education for the Diocese of Wilmington, effective immediately. This appointment is in addition to his position as the Superintendent of Catholic Schools.

Kelly Anne Donahue is appointed Secretary to the newly created Department of Human Resources for the Diocese of Wilmington, effective immediately. This appointment is in addition to her position as Director of Human Resources. Most Rev. W. Francis Malooly Bishop of Wilmington

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Bishop Malooly restructures diocesan offices to serve parishes more efficiently

September 24th, 2014 Posted in Featured, Our Diocese, Uncategorized

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Dialog Editor

Names Msgr. Cini his special assistant, Father Hurley his moderator of the curia,

 Krebs named first lay chancellor

Bishop Malooly has announced a restructuring of the diocesan curia, the offices that implement the diocese’s mission.

During a Mass for diocesan employees at St. Joseph Church in Middletown on Sept. 23, the bishop announced the changes that include personnel appointments and realignment of some offices on the diocese’s organizational chart.

Bishop Malooly told The Dialog that the restructuring is meant to “provide the best services we can to our parishes and other institutions.”

“Over these past few years we’ve had less staff as a result of the assets we have available. We’re trying to redefine a way to be more efficient.” Read more »

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Vatican Letter: Cardinals openly debate Communion for divorced, remarried before Vatican meeting on family

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Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — The extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family will not open until Oct. 5, but some of its most prominent members are already publicly debating what is bound to be one of its most controversial topics: the eligibility of divorced and civilly remarried Catholics to receive Communion.

German Cardinal Walter Kasper. (CNS)

German Cardinal Walter Kasper. (CNS)

In an interview published Sept. 18, a proponent of changing church practice to allow such Catholics to receive Communion answered criticism from some of his fellow cardinals, suggesting they are seeking a “doctrinal war” whose ultimate target is Pope Francis.

“They claim to know on their own what truth is, but Catholic doctrine is not a closed system, but a living tradition that develops,” German Cardinal Walter Kasper told the Italian daily Il Mattino. “They want to crystallize the truth in certain formulas … the formulas of tradition.”

“None of my brother cardinals has ever spoken with me,” the cardinal said. “I, on the other hand, have spoken twice with the Holy Father. I arranged everything with him. He was in agreement. What can a cardinal do but stand with the pope? I am not the target, the target is another.”

Asked if the target was Pope Francis, the cardinal replied: “Probably yes.”

Cardinal Kasper, who will participate in the upcoming synod by personal appointment of the pope, was responding to a new book featuring contributions by five cardinals, including three of his fellow synod fathers, who criticize his proposal to make it easier for divorced and civilly remarried Catholics to receive Communion.

According to church teaching, Catholics who remarry civilly without an annulment of their first, sacramental marriage may not receive Communion unless they abstain from sexual relations, living with their new partners “as brother and sister.”

Pope Francis has said the predicament of such Catholics exemplifies a general need for mercy in the church today, and has indicated that their predicament will be a major topic of discussion at the synod. In February, at the pope’s invitation, Cardinal Kasper addressed the world’s cardinals at the Vatican and argued for allowing some Catholics in that situation to receive Communion.

The Oct. 5-19 synod is not supposed to reach any definitive conclusions but instead set the agenda for a larger synod on the family in October 2015, which will make recommendations to the pope, who will make any final decisions on change.

“Remaining in the Truth of Christ,” which Ignatius Press will publish Oct. 1, includes essays in response to Cardinal Kasper’s proposal by three synod fathers: Cardinal Gerhard Muller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith; Cardinal Raymond L. Burke, prefect of the Supreme Court of the Apostolic Signature; and Cardinal Carlo Caffarra of Bologna, Italy.

German Cardinal Gerhard Muller, doctrinal congregation prefect. (CNS/Reuters)

German Cardinal Gerhard Muller, doctrinal congregation prefect. (CNS/Reuters)

On the same day, Ignatius Press will also publish two other books in which synod fathers respond to Cardinal Kasper’s proposal: “The Hope of the Family,” an extended interview with Cardinal Muller; and “The Gospel of the Family,” which features a foreword by Cardinal George Pell, prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy. (Cardinal Kasper’s address, published by Paulist Press, is also titled “The Gospel of the Family.”)

Cardinal Pell calls for a clear restatement of the traditional ban on Communion for the divorced and civilly remarried, to avoid the sort of widespread protests that greeted Pope Paul VI’s affirmation of Catholic teaching against contraception in 1968.

“The sooner the wounded, the lukewarm, and the outsiders realize that substantial doctrinal and pastoral changes are impossible, the more the hostile disappointment (which must follow the reassertion of doctrine) will be anticipated and dissipated,” writes Cardinal Pell, who sits on the nine-member Council of Cardinals advising Pope Francis on Vatican reform and governance of the universal church.

Cardinal Muller’s essay, previously published in the Vatican newspaper, reaffirms the traditional ban. However, the cardinal notes that many Catholics’ first marriages might be invalid, and thus eligible for annulment, if the parties have been influenced by prevailing contemporary conceptions of marriage as a temporary arrangement.

In the book-length interview, Cardinal Muller, whom Pope Francis made a cardinal in February, makes an apparent reference to Cardinal Kasper’s argument, which underscores the importance of mercy.

“I observe with a certain amazement the use by some theologians, once again, of the same reasoning about mercy as an excuse for promoting the admission of divorced and civilly remarried persons to the sacraments,” Cardinal Muller is quoted as saying. “The scriptural evidence shows us that, besides mercy, holiness and justice are also part of the mystery of God.”

Cardinal Burke, head of the Vatican’s highest court, warns that any reform of the process for annulling marriages, something both Pope Francis and Cardinal Kasper have said is necessary, should not oversimplify the judicial process at the cost of justice, since Catholics seeking an annulment deserve a decision that “respects fully the truth and, therefore, charity.”

Cardinal Caffara, whom Pope Francis personally named to participate in the synod, argues that divorced and civilly remarried Catholics may not receive Communion because their situation “is in objective contradiction with that bond of love that unites Christ and the church, which is signified and actualized by the Eucharist.”

To lift the ban, Cardinal Caffarra argues, would be to legitimize extramarital sexual relations and effectively deny the doctrine of the indissolubility of marriage.

 

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Support Catholic education through Share in the Spirit

September 19th, 2014 Posted in Uncategorized Tags: , ,

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Dear Friends,

 

Catholic education is one of the greatest instruments we have available to evangelize and to pass on the treasures of our faith. Through our Catholic schools we reach not only the children who seek excellence in education, faith and morals, but also their parents, family and friends who see firsthand those values each day.

The importance of having our children begin their day with prayer, freely talk about faith in God and incorporate essential moral values into their daily lives cannot be underestimated. The Catholic school experience not only prepares our children for challenges they will face as adults, it also prepares them to become intellectual and honorable leaders of our next generation.

It is, however, unfortunate that we are unable to provide a Catholic education to every child who desires one. The cost of education is increasing and the resources of many of our families have been stretched to the limit.

On Sept. 27 and 28, the diocese will conduct its annual Share in the Spirit collection. Monies drawn from the diocesan Vision for the Future Education Trust and raised through the Share in the Spirit collection enable the diocese to make Catholic education affordable to many families who desire it, regardless of their economic circumstances. This year $605,500 in tuition assistance will be allocated to 317 students. While this support is significant, there were nearly 500 other students whose families qualified for aid but who will go unassisted because of limited resources.

By supporting the Share in the Spirit collection you will not only help to pass on the gift of a Catholic education to the children who seek it, but you will also be making a valuable investment in the future of our Church.

May God bless you for all that you do in his name.

 

Sincerely yours in Our Lord,

 

 

Most Reverend W. Francis Malooly

Bishop of Wilmington

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