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Speakers: Aim for truth with love to help those with same-sex attraction

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Catholic News Service

PHOENIX — For Courage member Daniel Mattson, the intersection of his life with the gay rights movement caused “all hell to break loose.”

“I willfully turned my back on God,” he said, “and took the forbidden fruit.”

With the love and support of his brother, Father Steve Mattson, he left behind his homosexual lifestyle and found that the “good news is chastity. It has brought me peace and tremendous freedom.”

Jennifer Roback Morse, founder of the Ruth Institute, talks to an audience Jan. 10 about the sexual revolution in the 1960s and'70s that she said has led to negative consequences for men and women. Morse was a speaker at the "Truth and Love Conference" at St. Paul Parish in Phoenix. (CNS photo/Tony Gutierrez, Catholic Sun) See COURAGE-CONFERENCE Jan. 19, 2017.

Jennifer Roback Morse, founder of the Ruth Institute, talks to an audience Jan. 10 about the sexual revolution in the 1960s and’70s that she said has led to negative consequences for men and women. Morse was a speaker at the “Truth and Love Conference” at St. Paul Parish in Phoenix. (CNS photo/Tony Gutierrez, Catholic Sun) See COURAGE-CONFERENCE Jan. 19, 2017.

The brothers were part of a panel of faith and human science leaders that gave presentations at the Courage International “Truth and Love Conference” at St. Paul Parish Jan. 9-11.

Father Mattson conceded his discussions with his brother felt more like “apologetic Whac-A-Mole,” but he knew he had to faithfully speak on the Gospel call to chastity and authentic love.

“The church is obsessed with love, true love. We don’t want to offend unnecessarily … but if we don’t offend, we can’t share the truth,” Father Mattson said. “When we’re not talking, they have a steady diet from the culture and not from us.”

Sponsored by the Diocese of Phoenix and Courage International, more than 200 clergy, religious and laypeople heard practical and pastoral advice on sharing the Catholic Church’s teaching to men and women with same-sex attraction at the three-day conference.

The theme of “welcoming and accompanying our brothers and sisters with same-sex attractions or confusion regarding sexual identity” was clear to state human beings should not be categorized by their sexual inclination, but rather as a “child of God.”

Keynoter Father Philip Bochanski, Courage’s executive director, said the apostolate is a confidential, spiritual support system for people with SSA who desire to live a chaste life, which everyone is called to, through five goals: chastity, prayer and dedication, fellowship, support and good examples.

“We need to speak honestly about sin but speak how Jesus did with the woman at the well — with compassion,” Father Bochanski said Jan. 10. “People with same-sex attraction want to know where they fit in in the church. We help people to gently know who they are so we can show them who they can become. We’re in the hope business.”

Bishop James S. Wall of Gallup, New Mexico, was involved with Courage as pastor of St. Thomas the Apostle Parish in Phoenix.

The bishop said he came in support of the conference because of the value of addressing “God’s gift of human sexuality” grounded in Christian understanding of the human person.

“Some people can feel alone or on an island. We can support them by loving and accompanying them, walking with them to a genuine and authentic encounter with Jesus Christ and his church,” he said, adding, “We need to speak the truth to them, always in charity.”

Jennifer Roback Morse, founder of the Ruth Institute, discussed “Understanding the Sexual Revolution” by stating that the “heartache was airbrushed out” of the glamorized excitement of sexual freedom. Heartache has included children of divorce, post-abortive women and men, pornography addiction and gay lifestyles. She called Blessed Paul VI a “prophetic voice” when he wrote his 1968 encyclical, “Humanae Vitae,” on the moral degradation contraception and abortion could pose.

Morse is an author and speaker who specializes in the area of marriage and family and who played a prominent role defending traditional marriage in California’s Proposition 8 ballot campaign in 2008 to define marriage as between one man and one woman. She said the “contraceptive ideology” has led to the family breakdown. (Voters approved Proposition 8 but it was overturned by the courts; the U.S. Supreme Court in 2015 ruled that same-sex marriage was legal.)

“The sexual revolution is just as great of a spiritual and political crisis as the Arian crisis, but we can make a difference. Never underestimate what you can do in your personal relationships,” she said. Morse was referring to the Arian heresy denying Jesus’ divinity.

Patty Juarvic from Portland, Oregon, attended her first conference on behalf of her daughter. She also is a member of the apostolate’s counterpart for family and friends, EnCourage.

Juarvic explained how she took a photo of the priests on the altar during Mass to send to her daughter back home.

“I’m going to say, ‘Look at all the priests that are here to learn how to minister to their parishioners who are SSA (same-sex attracted). I have learned you are in no way thought of as a second-class citizen,’” she told The Catholic Sun, newspaper of the Phoenix Diocese. “They love her and they want to know how to pastorally care for her. She’s part of the fold.”

For Daniel Mattson, who also is featured in the documentary “Desire of the Everlasting Hills,” he learned who he is by being in healthy, loving and chaste relationships with others. The film focused on two men and one woman sharing what it is like to be a Catholic who experiences same-sex attraction and chooses to life chaste lives in accord with Catholic teaching.

“I have begun to see all of my life through the lens of God … who brought out the greater good,” Daniel said. “He knew I wouldn’t know how much I would need Him if I didn’t suffer. When I feel lonely or have sorrow I can offer it up, and there is joy in uniting it to the sacrifice in the Lord’s cross.”

By Gina Keating, who writes for The Catholic Sun, newspaper of the Diocese of Phoenix.

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January 16th, 2017 Posted in Featured, National News

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"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that." -- The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. The nation honors the legacy of Rev. King, the slain civil rights leader and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, with a national holiday, observed Jan. 16 this year. (CNS/Joe Heller)

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” — The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. The nation honors the legacy of Rev. King, the slain civil rights leader and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, with a national holiday, observed Jan. 16 this year. (CNS/Joe Heller)

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Bishops still have hope Congress will pass immigration reform

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Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON — Despite the apprehension over policies that could be enacted by a Republican-led Congress acting in accord with a Republican president in Donald Trump, the U.S. Catholic bishops remain hopeful that Congress will pass an immigration reform bill.

A U.S. Border Patrol agent frisks a man Jan. 11 near the U.S.-Mexico border fence in Jacumba, Calif. Despite the apprehension over policies that could be enacted by a Republican-led Congress acting in accord with a Republican president in Donald Trump, the U.S. Catholic bishops remain hopeful that an immigration reform bill will pass. (CNS photo/Mike Blake, Reuters)

A U.S. Border Patrol agent frisks a man Jan. 11 near the U.S.-Mexico border fence in Jacumba, Calif. Despite the apprehension over policies that could be enacted by a Republican-led Congress acting in accord with a Republican president in Donald Trump, the U.S. Catholic bishops remain hopeful that an immigration reform bill will pass. (CNS photo/Mike Blake, Reuters)

“This is a new moment with a new Congress, a new administration. We should up our expectations and move very carefully on comprehensive immigration reform,” said Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, of Galveston-Houston, who is president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

“I think this might be a very good time, a better time, to pursue our goals,” Cardinal DiNardo said during a Jan. 12 conference call promoting National Migration Week, Jan. 8-14.

“I think the (bishops’) conference is trying to start a conversation with the transition team of the president-elect,” said Archbishop Jose H. Gomez of Los Angeles, USCCB vice president. “We continue to help elected officials … to understand the issue,” he added. “I think we are trying to establish that communication.”

“We are very much concerned about keeping families together. It’s Important to respect the security of this nation … but never to lose that human face to this reality,” added Bishop Joe S. Vasquez of Austin, Texas, chairman of the bishops’ Committee on Migration.

“People are suffering. People want to be welcome. People want to be a part of this great American society,” Bishop Vasquez said. “We need to bring about some change,” he added. “We hope the president will work with us and with Congress as well to pass some laws that will be humane and respectful.”

“In the days and weeks ahead, there will be intense debate over immigration reform and refugee policy. Ultimately, the question is this: Will our nation treat all migrants and refugees, regardless of their national origin or religion, in a way that respects their inherent dignity as children of God?” Cardinal DiNardo said.

“Pope Francis reminds us we are all equal before God. In equal measure, we are in need of and can receive God’s great mercy. This is what makes us sisters and brothers, regardless of how we chose to divide ourselves.”

The morning of the conference call, Archbishop Gomez presented a video message from Pope Francis on immigration during a Mass at the Dolores Mission Church in Boyle Heights, California, near Los Angeles. The clip was part of the pope’s interview with a U.S. television journalist.

Bishop Vasquez dismissed the notion that nationwide immigration reform is virtually impossible.

“I don’t know whether indeed working with the local level is sufficient. I think we as a church have to work with our local communities, with our local diocese and our state Catholic conferences,” he said. “But it’s important that we engage the current administration, to make known what is taking place in our countries. We have to work at the local level, but yes, we also have to work at the national level.”

“There are many in Congress who think that immigration reform is a definite possibility,” said Ashley Feasley, policy director for the USCCB’s Migration and Refugee Services. “We need to show the need for the reform of our broken system.”

Shortly after Trump’s election, Archbishop Gomez had preached about children in his diocese going to bed afraid. Bishops, he said during the conference call, “can be present to the people and give that sense of peace that we are together. There is a democratic process in our country, and this happens every four years. … We can address those situations and accomplish that in the specific area of immigration reform.”

He added that in his archdiocese, people are “more open to see the future with more peace and understanding.”

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Catholic panelists discuss ‘Faithful Priorities in a Time of Trump’

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Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON — Catholic panelists gathered to discuss “Faithful Priorities in a Time of Trump” said it is difficult to get over some of the words the president-elect said during the campaign, and even before he was a candidate. But as his presidency nears, many of them said it’s important to find ways to work with him for the common good.

“When Donald Trump says things about women … I have a hard time stomaching those comments,” said Msgr. John Enzler, president and CEO of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington. “We can still find a way, though, to listen and say, ‘How do we find common ground?’”

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump speaks Jan. 11 during a news conference in the lobby of Trump Tower in New York City. (CNS /Lucas Jackson/Reuters)

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump speaks Jan. 11 during a news conference in the lobby of Trump Tower in New York City. (CNS /Lucas Jackson/Reuters)

Msgr. Enzler was one of five panelists Jan. 12 who addressed the role the Catholic faith can play as the country gets ready for the incoming Trump administration. Some Catholics such as Rep. Francis Rooney, R-Florida, expressed great optimism.

“We can have a lot of hope that he will protect life the way we want him to do … defunding Planned Parenthood, protecting life,” Rooney said. “Things like the insurance mandate can be brought into harmony of First Amendment rights.”

Yet others such as panelist Jessica Chilin Hernandez expressed uncertainty and apprehension of the days ahead. Chilin works at Georgetown University’s Kalmanovitz Initiative for Labor and the Working Poor, thanks to a work permit she has through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, known as DACA. President Barack Obama, through executive action in 2012, created a policy that allows certain undocumented young people who came to the U.S. as children to have a work permit and be exempt from deportation.

Chilin is one of more than 750,000 people who signed up for DACA. During the campaign, Trump said he would kill the program and threatened mass deportations, sending those like Chilin into panic.

“I felt a fear unlike any other fear I have had before,” she said about the moment she learned Trump won the election. “The fear was visceral. … one thought that occupied my mind was that homeland security knows exactly where I live. It was hard to imagine myself having a future in 2017.”

Joan Rosenhauer, executive vice president of U.S. Operations for Catholic Relief Services, said now is a good time to review the principles of Catholicism and social justice, explaining that they don’t divide people and don’t say refugees or immigrants are enemies or a burden on society.

“What we have to do is lift up our principles,” Rosenhauer said. “The problem is deeper because our own Catholic people do not know those principles.”

Sister Simone Campbell, executive director of Network, a Catholic social justice lobbying organization, said the country is showing a high level of ambiguity, fear, dysfunction and chaos.

“I think that challenges all of us as people of faith,” she said.

Now is the time to stand up for the stranger, the working poor, and anyone who needs of our kindness or help, and Catholic social teaching has a lot to say about it, Sister Campbell said.

Msgr. Enzler noted it is also important to understand that individuals can do much by performing kind actions toward others. People can start by asking: “What did I do today? It’s not an agency that can make things better but people,” he said.

Chilin said it’s important to keep in mind language that we use in daily conversation.

“Be conscientious of language,” she said. “Illegal is a racial slur. No human being is illegal and yet, in many circles, they use it to describe us.”

Panel moderator John Carr, director of Georgetown University’s Initiative on Catholic Social Thought and Public Life, which sponsored the event, asked how Catholics can build bridges in “an angry country, a divided country.” There are a lot of people who feel under attack, he said.

“It’s important to see what role (Catholics) can play in divisions that have been created over the past year,” Rosenhauer said. “I was really struck by Cardinal (Joseph) Tobin and his homily at his installation where one of his key points was that our kindness must be known to all.”

It’s important to stand up for beliefs even when others disagree with them, she said, “but we have to find a way to do it with kindness.”

“We want to protect children in the womb. That’s something we can work with this (the Trump) administration and Congress on. … Senator (Jeff) Sessions said there would be no Muslim ban. That’s something we would support and work together on … then let’s be clear about the areas for disagreements.”

Msgr. Enzler said Catholics, particularly the church’s leaders, must also speak and raise their voices for the vulnerable, and strongly speak the church’s message.

Moderator Carr asked Sister Campbell whether she could offer any lessons about building bridges that she learned during the Nuns on the Bus tour last summer, a 19-day trip that a group of women religious undertook from Wisconsin to the national political conventions in Cleveland and Philadelphia. Its aim was to learn what people around the country were thinking about just before the presidential election.

Sister Campbell used the bus as a metaphor for the country. Some said the bus had made them feel as if they were welcome back into a community, a feeling they had not had in a long time, because everyone was welcome on the bus. She said she heard stories about poverty, lack of jobs and lack of access to health care that resulted in the deaths of loved ones.

“No one can be left out of our care,” Sister Campbell said. “We are a nation of problem-solvers, but we have sunk into extreme individualism.”

As Pope Francis has said, it’s about the people, and when people feel loved, they flourish and when they flourish so does the country, she said.

 

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Paralyzed NYPD officer who spoke of forgiveness dies at 59

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NEW YORK — Detective Steven McDonald, the New York City police officer who was paralyzed after being shot in the line of duty 30 years ago and famously forgave his teenage assailant and went on to became a prophetic voice for forgiveness and reconciliation, died Jan. 10. He was 59.

A New York police spokesman confirmed that McDonald, who was Catholic, had died at a Long Island hospital four days after suffering a heart attack.

Detective Steven McDonald of the New York Police Department, who was shot and paralyzed in the line of duty in 1986, smiles as he is greeted by then Cardinal Edward M. Egan of New York in front of St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City during the St. Patrick's Day Parade in 2013. McDonald died Jan. 10 at a Long Island hospital at age 59. (CNS/Gregory A. Shemitz)

Detective Steven McDonald of the New York Police Department, who was shot and paralyzed in the line of duty in 1986, smiles as he is greeted by then Cardinal Edward M. Egan of New York in front of St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City during the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in 2013. McDonald died Jan. 10 at a Long Island hospital at age 59. (CNS/Gregory A. Shemitz)

Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York called McDonald “a prophet, without speaking, of the pro-life cause.”

“He showed us,” the cardinal said, “that the value of life doesn’t depend on physical ability, but on one’s heart and soul, both of which he had in abundance.”

The cardinal told Catholic New York, newspaper of the New York archdiocese, that he had visited McDonald in the hospita’s intensive care unit and said that the many rosaries and religious statues there represented outward signs of a Catholic faith the detective dearly practiced.

“You could see that he was such a fervent Catholic,” Cardinal Dolan said.

McDonald often discussed his Catholic faith and the reason he forgave the teenage shooter, explaining that he believed what happened to him was God’s will and that he was meant to become a messenger for God’s message of peace, forgiveness and reconciliation in the world.

While on patrol July 12, 1986, McDonald came upon three teenagers in Central Park and stopped to frisk them because he thought one of them had a weapon in his sock. One of the youths, then-15-year-old Shavod Jones, pulled out a weapon of his own and shot McDonald, leaving him for dead as the trio fled.

Three bullets struck McDonald, including one that pierced his spinal cord, leaving him paralyzed.

Doctors initially told McDonald’s wife, Patti, who was three months pregnant with the couple’s son, that the officer would not survive. However, McDonald pulled through. At the baptism of the son, Conor, March 1, 1987, McDonald asked his wife to read a statement about his feeling toward the shooter, saying “I forgive him and hope he can find a purpose in his life.”

McDonald remained on the police department payroll after being shot and later was named a detective.

McDonald long hoped that he and Jones could team up to speak about reconciliation. They corresponded while Jones served a 10-year sentence for attempted murder, but the correspondence ended when McDonald declined a request from Jones’ family for help in seeking parole, saying he was not knowledgeable enough or capable to intervene. Jones died in a 1995 motorcycle accident shortly after being released from prison on parole.

For years after the shooting, McDonald drew widespread attention and media coverage. He met with St. John Paul II in 1995 and with South African anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela. Although he was able to breathe only with the help of a respirator, McDonald crossed the country speaking at schools and other venues about the importance of forgiveness and peace. He also became an advocate for peace in troubled lands, visiting Northern Ireland, Israel and Bosnia to take his message to communities in conflict.

Conor McDonald eventually joined the NYPD and became a sergeant in 2016. He is the fourth generation of the family to serve in the department.

McDonald was born March 1, 1957, in Queens Village, New York, and grew up in Rockville Centre on Long Island. He was one of eight children of David and Anita McDonald.

      A funeral Mass was scheduled for Jan. 13 at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City with Cardinal Dolan presiding.

      – – –

      Contributing to this report was Catholic New York, newspaper of the Archdiocese of New York.

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Cardinal Dolan to read from Book of Wisdom at inauguration

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Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON — New York Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan said the Scripture passage he chose to read at the Jan. 20 inauguration of Donald J. Trump as president, Wisdom chapter 9 in which King Solomon prays for wisdom to lead Israel according to God’s will, was an easy one to make.

“I pray it all the time,” he said and joked that “the Lord still hasn’t answered the prayer.”

Jokes aside, Cardinal Dolan said that Solomon’s prayer has been one offered to God for centuries.

New York Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan speaks Nov. 14 during the annual fall general assembly of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Baltimore. (CNS/Bob Roller)

New York Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan speaks Nov. 14 during the annual fall general assembly of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Baltimore. (CNS/Bob Roller)

In the prayer, Solomon acknowledges that God made humankind “to govern the world in holiness and righteousness and to render judgment in integrity of heart.” The king continues by asking God for wisdom, “the consort at your throne, and do not reject me from among your children.”

Solomon also pleads with God to send wisdom “that she may be with me and work with me, that I may know what is pleasing to you.” He asks that his “deeds will be acceptable and I will judge your people justly and be worthy of my father’s throne.”

As for his appearance on the podium at the start of the inaugural ceremony with three other faith leaders, Cardinal Dolan explained that he was “flattered” to be invited to participate by inauguration planners.

The cardinal has one minute to read the passage. “That’s more than enough,” he said. “I’ve timed it.”

He also was asked to send his selection to the Trump team. “I don’t know if that was for vetting purposes or not, which I think is appropriate to do so,” he told CNS.

And in these divisive times in the country, Cardinal Dolan acknowledged that he opened himself to critics by agreeing to be part of the ceremonies on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol.

“I know they are (there) because they’ve written to me,” he said. “And as I tell them, had Mrs. (Hillary) Clinton won and invited me, I would have been just as honored.

“We pastors and religious leaders are in the sacred enterprise of prayer. People ask us to pray with them and for them. That doesn’t mean we’re for them or against them,” he added.

“That’s our sacred responsibility.”

The cardinal noted that he had met Trump twice. The first time came Oct. 14 in the midst of the presidential campaign when Trump and his wife, Melania, made the six-block trip from Trump Tower to St. Patrick’s Cathedral. At the time, diocesan spokesman Joseph Zwilling said that Trump had requested the meeting weeks before it occurred.

The two met again at the 71st annual dinner of the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation six days later.

For the record, Cardinal Dolan met Clinton a few months earlier and also at the dinner, according to Zwilling.

The inauguration of a new president can be a time of hope and renewal for the country, Cardinal Dolan said.

“Many people may have reservations of the president-elect and I certainly do, as with any incoming president. But in the great American tradition, we look at the time of an incoming president as a time of hope … a way to give a man a chance and try to fulfill some of the promises he made.”

Trump’s inauguration won’t be the first in which a Catholic cleric participated. History shows that Msgr. John Ryan, a pioneer of the church’s social justice advocacy who served a long term as director of the U.S. bishops’ social action department, offered a prayer at the President Franklin Roosevelt’s 1937 inauguration.

Prelates who prayed at inaugurations include Cardinal Richard J. Cushing of Boston at the inauguration of President John F. Kennedy in 1961; Cardinal Terrence J. Cooke of New York, at both of President Richard Nixon’s inaugurations in 1969 and 1973; and, most recently, Archbishop John R. Roach of St. Paul and Minneapolis, who was U.S. bishops’ conference president in 1977 when President Jimmy Carter took the oath of office.

Cardinal Dolan said he attended ceremonies as a private citizen for President Ronald Reagan in 1981 and President George H.W. Bush in 1989.

 

The full Bible passage of Wisdom chapter 9 can be found online at www.usccb.org/bible/wisdom/9:13.

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Charleston bishop opposes death sentence for Dylann Roof

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CHARLESTON, S.C. — Jurors unanimously agreed to sentence Dylann Roof to death for killing nine black churchgoers.

In closing statements before the deliberation Jan. 10, the unrepentant 22-year-old told jurors that “I still feel like I had to do it,” the Associated Press reported.

Bishop Robert E. Guglielmone of Charleston, S.C., talks to Barbara Thompson of  Manning, S.C., while she waits in the heat outside the South Carolina Statehouse in Columbia June 24. Inside the Capitol the body of the Rev. Clementa C. Pinckney, a pastor and state senator, lay in state. The pastor of Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston was one of nine people shot and killed at the church June 17. (CNS photo/Mic Smith, The Catholic Miscellany) See story to come.

Bishop Robert E. Guglielmone of Charleston, S.C., talks to Barbara Thompson of Manning, S.C., while she waits in the heat outside the South Carolina Statehouse in Columbia in 2015. Inside the Capitol the body of the Rev. Clementa C. Pinckney, a pastor and state senator, lay in state. The pastor of Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston was one of nine people  killed at the church by Dylann Roof in June 17. Sentencing Roof to death for the murders conflicts with church teaching that all life is sacred, Bishop Guglielmone said this week. (CNS /Mic Smith/The Catholic Miscellany) 

Bishop Robert E. Guglielmone of Charleston said in a statement that the Catholic Church opposes capital punishment and reminded people that all life is sacred.

“We are all sinners, but through the father’s loving mercy and Jesus’ redeeming sacrifice upon the cross, we have been offered the gift of eternal life. The Catholic opposition to the death penalty, therefore, is rooted in God’s mercy. The church believes the right to life is paramount to every other right as it affords the opportunity for conversion, even of the hardened sinner,” Bishop Guglielmone said.

“Sentencing Dylann Roof to death conflicts with the church’s teaching that all human life is sacred, even for those who have committed the most heinous of crimes. Instead of pursuing death, we should be extending compassion and forgiveness to Mr. Roof, just as some of the victims’ families did at his bond hearing in June 2015,” the bishop added.

The jury had to reach a unanimous decision to sentence Roof to death. Had they disagreed, he would have been automatically sentenced to life in prison. He was convicted of 33 federal charges last month, including hate crimes. Roof acted as his own attorney and did not question any witnesses. In his FBI confession, he said he hoped the massacre would bring back segregation or start a race war, the Associated Press reported.

Bishop Guglielmone offered prayers of support for those who were killed and their families.

“Our Catholic faith sustains our solidarity with and support for the victims of the Emanuel AME Church massacre and their relatives. We commit ourselves to walk with these family members as well as the survivors as they continue to heal from the trial and this tragedy,” he said.

The bishop asked people to continue to pray for the victims, survivors and families connected with the shooting. He also encouraged people to pray for Roof and his family.

“May he acknowledge his sins, convert to the Lord and experience his loving mercy,” Bishop Guglielmone said.

The Rev. Clementa Pinckney, pastor of Emanuel AME Church, Tywanza Sanders, the Rev. Sharonda Singleton, the Rev. DePayne Middleton-Doctor, the Rev. Daniel Simmons Sr., the Rev. Cynthia Hurd, Myra Thompson, Ethel Lance, and Susie Jackson were killed in the shooting.

 

Contributing to this report was The Catholic Miscellany, newspaper of the Diocese of Charleston, S.C.

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Retired Archbishop Flores, first Hispanic bishop in U.S., dies

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SAN ANTONIO — Retired Archbishop Patrick F. Flores, 87, the first Mexican-American bishop in the United States, died of pneumonia and congestive heart failure Jan. 9 at Padua Place Residence for retired priests in San Antonio.

The bishop, who dropped out of school to be a migrant farmworker, was known for his support for farmworkers, Mexican-American civil rights and his love of his culture and heritage.

The late Archbishop Patricio Fernandez Flores, retired archbishop of San Antonio and the first Mexican-American elevated to the hierarchy in the Catholic Church in the United States, is pictured in this photo from the 1990s. Archbishop Flores, 87, died Jan. 9 of complications of pneumonia and congestive heart failure. (CNS file photo)

The late Archbishop Patricio Fernandez Flores, retired archbishop of San Antonio and the first Mexican-American elevated to the hierarchy in the Catholic Church in the United States, is pictured in this photo from the 1990s. Archbishop Flores, 87, died Jan. 9 of complications of pneumonia and congestive heart failure. (CNS file photo)

A funeral Mass was scheduled for Jan. 17 at San Fernando Cathedral in San Antonio with Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller presiding. The archbishop also will celebrate a Mass for the Dead Jan. 16 at the cathedral followed by visitation.

Los Angeles Archbishop Jose H. Gomez described Archbishop Flores as his good friend and mentor and “a pioneer and role model not only for me but also for a generation of Hispanic priests and Latino leaders.”

He said the archbishop of San Antonio, who retired in 2004, “knew the struggles of Hispanics in this country, and he was a friend to the farmworker and a voice of conscience for dignity and human rights. He taught all of us to celebrate our heritage and traditions and encouraged us to share our faith and values proudly and to become leaders in our communities.”

Archbishop Flores, born in Ganado, was one of nine children and called “Ticho” by his family.

His younger sister, Mary Moreno, told Today’s Catholic, newspaper of San Antonio archdiocese, in 2004 that her brother would often walk up and down the road in front of the family home praying the rosary. “He was always very close to God,” she said.

He also had a light side, often winning dance contests with his sister Mary, and played a number of instruments and sang.

He was ordained to the priesthood in 1956 in the Diocese of Galveston-Houston and was appointed auxiliary bishop of San Antonio in 1970. Eight years later, he was installed as bishop of El Paso, and in 1979, he was appointed archbishop of San Antonio.

He was a member of the Immigration and Refugee Department of the U.S. Catholic Conference, chairman of the Church in Latin America Committee of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, and chairman of the Texas Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

In 1987, he welcomed Pope John Paul II to the San Antonio archdiocese as part of the pope’s nine-city tour. The pope celebrated Mass for a crowd of 330,000 people in a field that is now the site of John Paul Stephens High School. The Mass still holds the record for the largest gathering in the state.

In an interview with Today’s Catholic newspaper in preparation for his retirement, Archbishop Flores said what he remembered most fondly of his time as archbishop was simply his life as a priest.

“I’ve spent 48 years as a priest, and I have loved it all. If I had the chance to start all over again, I would not hesitate. I might have prepared better academically and in some other ways. But I have literally found great satisfaction in simply being a priest, being a bishop is simply assuming additional responsibility.”

“I have found it very challenging and very satisfying. So I’ve been happy at it and will continue to be happy,” he added.

Following Archbishop Flores’ retirement, he resided briefly at Casa de Padres retirement center for priests of the archdiocese, but he spent the past several years at the Padua Place residence for priests needing medical assistance.

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Salt Lake City’s new bishop was born in Philippines – updated

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WASHINGTON — Pope Francis has named Auxiliary Bishop Oscar A. Solis of Los Angeles as bishop of Salt Lake City.

Bishop Solis, 63, a native of San Jose City, Nueva Ecija, Philippines, has been auxiliary bishop of Los Angeles since 2004. Previously he served the Archdiocese of Manila and the Diocese of Cabanatuan, both in the Philippines before coming to the United States in 1984.

Pope Francis has named Auxiliary Bishop Oscar A. Solis of Los Angeles as bishop of Salt Lake City. The first Philippine-born prelate to head a U.S. diocese, Bishop Solis is pictured in a Jan. 5 photo. (CNS photo/J.D. Long-Garcia, The Tidings)

Pope Francis has named Auxiliary Bishop Oscar A. Solis of Los Angeles as bishop of Salt Lake City. The first Philippine-born prelate to head a U.S. diocese, Bishop Solis is pictured Jan. 5 . (CNS photo/J.D. Long-Garcia, The Tidings)

Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States, announced the appointment Jan. 10 in Washington.

Bishop Solis served as associate pastor of St. Rocco Church in Union City, N.J., from 1984 to 1988 and was incardinated in the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux, La., in 1988 and served as a parish priest for 15 years prior to his appointment to Los Angeles.

In the archdiocese, he was the vicar for ethnic ministry and was the auxiliary bishop of the San Pedro Pastoral Region, covering southern Los Angeles County.

At a news conference at diocesan offices where he was introduced, Bishop Solis said the visit was only his second in Utah, but he pledged to quickly learn about the Catholic community of 300,000 people.
“I humbly submit myself to you as the new servant leader of the Diocese of Salt Lake City and a shepherd for the people of the state of Utah,” he said.
Bishop Solis said he worked “very hard” for the past 13 years in the Los Angeles Archdiocese. “I would like to emphasize the words ‘very hard,'” he said, to laughter from those gathered at the news conference. “And lo and behold, I received a very surprising and shocking phone call informing me that Pope Francis was asking me to become the 10th bishop of Salt Lake City.”

The call from Archbishop Pierre was “a curveball out of nowhere,” Bishop Solis said, recalling how he asked, “Am I in trouble?” But the nuncio “made me feel at peace” with the assignment, the bishop said.

After the call, the bishop said his life changed completely, and he felt that the “world stopped turning around.” He felt afraid of the uncertainties and that the human element somehow overcame the grace of God.

“I was living and working comfortably in Los Angeles,” he said, thinking it would be the place in which he retired, “but the walls of heaven were made open, and a voice came out and said, ‘You fool!’ Because man proposed and God disposes.”

Since receiving the appointment, he has learned about Catholic Community Services’ and other pastoral outreach to the poor and needy. He said he looked forward to hearing the voices of the well-known Madeleine Choir School students and work with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to enhance the well-being of all the people of Utah.

Bishop Solis’ installation is March 7 at the Cathedral of the Madeleine in Salt Lake City.

The Diocese of Salt Lake City has been without a bishop since Archbishop John C. Wester was installed in the Archdiocese of Santa Fe June 4, 2015.

Bishop Solis earlier told the Angelus News, the archdiocesan multimedia platform, that his appointment is “a recognition of the diversity of the church in America and the universality of the church.” He added, “I know what it means to be a pastor, a shepherd of a particular diocese. It is a tremendous blessing and a responsibility and a privilege to be of service to the local church in the United States of America, coming from the Philippines.”

He said he would miss friends and priests in Los Angeles. “But I know God has something in store for us when he leads us to a new place,” he said. “I have wonderful priests in Utah and wonderful people. I know we won’t go wrong if we work together as a church, as a community. God will provide the rest.”

He added that there’s always a reason when God puts you in a new place.

“It’s always God’s will. I don’t have expectations. I don’t have any hidden, personal agenda,” he said. “I’m just going with an open heart and an open mind, with the willingness to embrace and love the people that I will shepherd, to listen to them, and to establish a beautiful working relationship to build the local church in Utah.”
Los Angeles Archbishop Jose H. Gomez said Bishop Solis will be missed by the archdiocese.

“Our loss will be a gift to the family of God in Salt Lake City,” he said. “I know that Bishop Solis will be for them a model of prayer and compassion and a great bishop. And I fully expect that he will become the leading voice for the millions of Filipino Catholics in this country, who are a beautiful sign of growth and renewal in our church and in our country.”
After arriving in the U.S., Bishop Solis served as associate pastor of St. Rocco Church in Union City, New Jersey, from 1984 to 1988 and was incardinated in the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux, Louisiana, in 1988 and served as a parish priest for 15 years prior to his appointment to Los Angeles.

In Los Angeles, Bishop Solis served in a variety of roles, including as vicar for Ethnic Ministry from his ordination in 2004 until 2009. He also served as the director of the Office of Justice and Peace from 2005 to 2009. Then he was assigned to the San Pedro Pastoral Region, covering southern Los Angeles County, where he serves today.

Contributing to this report were Marie Mischel, editor of the Intermountain Catholic, newspaper of the Salt Lake City Diocese, and J.D. Long-Garcia is editor-in-chief of Angelus News, the multimedia platform of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

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Cardinal Tobin installed as Newark, N.J., archbishop

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Catholic News Service

NEWARK, N.J. — The chasm between faith and life is the greatest challenge facing the Catholic Church today, Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin said at his installation Mass, and he urged the church to be salt for the earth so that the presence of Christ does not become “a comforting, nostalgic memory.”

Delivering the homily during the liturgy Jan. 6, the feast of the Epiphany, Cardinal Tobin said he wanted to head off “a growing trend that seems to isolate us, convincing us to neatly compartmentalize our lives” as people attend Mass on Sunday and then doing “whatever we think we need to do to get by” the rest of the week.

Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin smiles as he greets a clergyman before his Jan. 6 installation Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark, N.J. (CNS photo/Bob Roller)

Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin smiles as he greets a clergyman before his Jan. 6 installation Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark, N.J. (CNS photo/Bob Roller)

Cardinal Tobin said his appointment reminded him “that stakes are incredibly high” as he assumes leadership of the richly diverse Archdiocese of Newark.

“If we permit the chasm between faith and life to continue to expand, we risk losing Christ, reducing him simply to an interesting idea of a comforting, nostalgic memory. And if we lose Christ, the world has lost the salt, light and leaven that could have transformed it,” he said.

He recalled how the church is “the place where believers speak and listen to each other, and it is the community of faith that speaks with and listens to the world. The church senses a responsibility for the world, not simply as yet another institutional presence or a benevolent NGO, but as a movement of salt, light and leaven for the world’s transformation. For this reason, our kindness must be known to all.”

The installation took place before more than 2,000 people at Newark’s towering Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart. Cardinal Tobin concelebrated the Mass with six other cardinals and more than 60 archbishops and bishops. Five hundred priests and deacons also participated.

After a 30-minute processional, Archbishop John J. Myers, retired archbishop of Newark, welcomed participants and took special note of members of Cardinal Tobin’s religious community, the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer, his mother, Marie Terese Tobin, and his extended family. Cardinal Tobin, 64, is the eldest of 13 children.

Archbishop Christophe Pierre, papal nuncio to the United States, recalled when St. John Paul visited Newark in 1995, he described the nearby Statue of Liberty as a symbol of “the nation America aspires to be.” Archbishop Pierre told Cardinal Tobin, “We are confident that in imitation of the Good Shepherd, your episcopal ministry will be both hospitable and welcoming.”

The nuncio read the apostolic mandate from Pope Francis to the College of Consultors to authorize Cardinal Tobin as the new archbishop of Newark.

Carrying the unfurled scroll with the mandate raised high in front of him, Cardinal Tobin walked down the main aisle and was greeted with sustained applause.

The cathedral was filled to capacity with the cardinal’s family and well-wishers from Newark and Indianapolis. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and his wife, Mary Pat, as well as Sen. Robert Menendez were among the civic representatives.

The installation took place on the feast of the Epiphany and the choice of music reflected the liturgical season, as well as the special occasion. “O Come, All Ye Faithful” was the opening hymn.

Ethnic diversity in the archdiocese was represented by prayers of intercession in Spanish, English, Korean, Polish, Creole, Ibo, Portuguese, Tagalog and Italian.

At the end of Mass, Cardinal Tobin thanked “all those families to which I belong, beginning with the one that’s put up with me for 64 years,” specifically his mother, 12 brothers and sisters, in-laws, nieces, nephews, cousins, aunts and uncles who were present. He said his family taught him how to love and share while growing up in a one-bathroom house with eight sisters.

The cardinal extended thanks to his Redemptorist family and “bishops in episcopal service in Indiana and New Jersey.” When he thanked Archbishop Meyers for his welcome and “the care you’ve given to this archdiocese for 15 years,” the congregation offered sustained applause.

Thanking the people in the Archdiocese of Indianapolis for all they taught him and now mean to him, Cardinal Tobin said, “I showed up there unexpectedly four years ago and I was a little embarrassed to be parachuted in on top of these unsuspecting Hoosiers.”

Of his newest family in Newark, Cardinal Tobin said, “These past couple of months have been an interesting roller coaster of emotions, a time of preparation, anticipation and change for all of us.” He expressed heartfelt thanks to the army of people who worked since his appointment was announced Nov. 7 to plan multiple services and celebratory events.

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