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Answering a call: More than 250 to become Catholics this Easter

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For The Dialog

DOVER – When Jamie Thimmes became pregnant with twins about 18 months ago, she was filled with a different kind of awe than pregnancy usually produces.

“It made me feel there was a bigger plan for me,” said Thimmes, 32. “I wanted to be baptized.” Read more »

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German cardinal complains about Vatican vetoes of bishop nominees

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BONN, Germany — A German cardinal said names of candidates submitted to the Vatican as potential bishops are being vetoed by “unauthorized people” in Rome.

Cardinal Karl Lehmann of Mainz, Germany, says preferred candidates nominated for bishop are being vetoed by "unauthorized people" in Rome. (CNS photo/SvenHoppe, EPA)

Cardinal Karl Lehmann of Mainz, Germany, says preferred candidates nominated for bishop are being vetoed by “unauthorized people” in Rome. (CNS photo/SvenHoppe, EPA)

“In the name of the law, these unlawful outside influences must be set aside and a proper voice given to those who’ll be living with the chosen candidate,” said Cardinal Karl Lehmann of Mainz, who was president of the German bishops’ conference from 1987 to 2008.

“If there really is something against a candidate, then the nuncio or Rome must talk about it with the cathedral chapter. Rome cannot just reject names without any comment,” he said.

The cardinal made his criticisms in a German-language book, published by Freiburg-based Herder-Verlag. Extracts were published May 3 by the German Catholic news agency, KNA.

Cardinal Lehmann said “unauthorized people” were interfering in episcopal nominations “also today, unfortunately, under the pontificate of Pope Francis.”

“In recent years, the official list of names has been crossed out and a new list sent from Rome,” said Cardinal Lehmann, who has been bishop of Mainz since 1983. “This represents a burdensome, intolerable disrespect for the church in a given country.”

Church leaders are required by canon law to maintain a secret list of episcopal candidates, who must be “outstanding in strong faith, good morals, piety, zeal for souls, wisdom, prudence and human virtues.””

A set of three, or “terna,” for a vacant see is sent to Rome by the Vatican nuncio after consultations with local priests and bishops.

However, the final choice rests with the pope, following recommendations from the Roman Curia, which can reject the “terna” and request new names.

A cathedral chapter is a group of priests, usually senior clerics, who perform solemn liturgical functions and other duties in the cathedral. In 13 of Germany’s 27 dioceses, as well as in some dioceses of Switzerland and Austria, the cathedral chapters also traditionally propose their own candidates for bishop.

However, Cardinal Lehmann said he believed the nomination process was being disrupted by people “focused on a strict church policy allowing no deviation” and who had “knowledge of how things work in Rome.”

“Much greater attention should be given to an episcopal candidate’s theological competence than his formal orthodoxy,” said Cardinal Lehmann. “There’s an urgent need for clarification — otherwise, the whole appointment process will come into question.”

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Biden visits Guadalupe shrine, speaks of mother’s devotion

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Catholic News Service

MEXICO CITY — Vice President Joe Biden prayed at the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe while visiting Mexico City and later told reporters he would have stopped at the shrine even if he had no official business in the Mexican capital.

Biden visited after meeting with Mexican politicians and political candidates March 5. He knelt before an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe and later spoke of his mother’s devotion to Mary.

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Joy on the journey: More than 200 begin final steps to become Catholics

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Dialog Editor

Bishop Malooly emphasized the joy on the journey to joining the Catholic Church during the Feb. 25 rites for catechumens and candidates at Holy Cross Church in Dover.

He welcomed more than 200 people from the Diocese of Wilmington who began their Lenten journey toward baptism or full membership in the church that will culminate when they receive sacraments at this year’s Easter Vigil.

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