400 South Adams Ave. Rayne, La 70578

Day: October 13, 2015

Synod on the Family: Press Briefing Day 8

(Vatican Radio) Oct 13. On Tuesday the Synod delegates spent the whole day working in “circuli minores,” director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr Federico Lombardi, SJ, told the daily press briefing. He also read statements from Cardinals George Pell and Wilfrid Napier.
He was joined at the briefing by three Synod Assembly delegates: Abbot Jeremias Schröder, General of the Benedictines of St. Ottilien, Mrs Moira McQueen, head of the Canadian Institute for Bioethics and Mrs Thérèse Nyirabukeye of the African Federation of Family Action.
Click below to listen to the report by Fr. Russell Pollitt SJ

Cardinal George Pell said that a letter sent to the Holy Father was confidential and what had been widely published “does not reflect the text or the signatories”. This was in response to a letter which was addressed to the Pope by thirteen Cardinals who were allegedly unhappy with the way the Synod process was being managed.
Fr. Lombardi went on to say that Cardinal Pell said that whoever handed this letter and the names of signatories to the media had disrupted the process of the Synod which was being conducted in a “good climate”.
Lombardi also read a statement written by Cardinal Wilfrid Napier, one of the president delegates of the Synod. The South African Cardinal stated that what media claimed he said “did not reflect his thought at all.” Napier had been quoted as saying he would challenge the right of the Holy Father to choose the drafting committee of the final report. He said that the Pope did have the right to choose the drafting committee. Lombardi added that the statement was written in Napier’s own hand.
The three guests at the briefing spoke of the importance of good families to foster future vocations. “The quality of the individual is forged in the family,” Nyirabukeye said.
On the question of the ordination of women to the deaconate, Abbot Schröder said that it was a single proposal by an isolated voice that did not seem to be important in the room.
Mrs. McQueen was asked for her thoughts on the fertilisation and manipulation of embryos. She replied that the assembly was dealing in “broad generalities” when it came to bioethical issues because, inside the Synod, there was “already a clear understanding of the Church’s position.”  
Nyirabukeye spoke at length about her experience of teaching couples natural family planning in Africa. She said that she has been involved in this ministry since 1985. She told the briefing that 1500 couples had recently registered to learn about natural family planning methods in Rwanda. She said that she thought that engaging in natural methods gave women an understanding of their bodies and gave them pride. “I am very happy to tell the Fathers of the Synod that these work,” she said.
All three of the guests spoke about the question of diversity and unity and how this might be managed. There have been numerous suggestions that issues be decentralised and dealt with by local Episcopal Conferences. Mention was made of the question of cohabitation (in Germany specifically) and local pastoral responses to homosexuality. Abbot Schröder explained that many interventions had supported this, few had cautioned against it.
Mrs McQueen told the media that she could see many advantages and a number of disadvantages to such an approach. It would be positive to put this into practice but some doctrinal aspects would have to be reserved to the Holy See. She said that she thought this was about Church structure and therefore could not be dealt with at this assembly.
The guests spoke about the participation of women at the Synod. Both women present said that they were delighted to be at the Synod and felt that their contributions were being listened to and taken seriously. They felt “at ease” and “happy” to make contributions.
Abbot Schröder remarked that he wished there were more women religious present. He explained that at a meeting of male Superior Generals’ there was a suggestion that they should give half of their ten allocated seats to women religious. Meanwhile, women religious had approached the secretary-general of the Synod and thereafter had been allocated three seats.
McQueen said that she thought the Synodal process was fair and very democratic. All the delegates were allowed the same time to make interventions – three minutes each.
Lombardi told the media that the session on Friday afternoon will be devoted to interventions from fraternal delegates, listeners and auditors.
On Wednesday the Synod delegates will return to a plenary session to listen to the reports from the small group work. 
(from Vatican Radio)…

Archbishop Coleridge on challenges facing Synod on Family

(Vatican Radio) The risks of idealizing marriage and family life. The task of holding together diverging views from different parts of the globe. The need for new, more user-friendly language to make sure the Church’s message is being heard. These are just three of the major challenges emerging as participants at the Synod of Bishops on the Family conclude their second round of small group work on Tuesday, before  reconvening for their 8th General Congregation on Wednesday morning.
At this half way point through the three-week meeting, Philippa Hitchen spoke about some of these emerging themes with Australian Archbishop Mark Coleridge of Brisbane, who’s in charge of presenting the results of one of the English working groups…

Archbishop Coleridge says there is “a real danger in this Synod” of speaking about the family in a “highly idealized and somewhat romanticized and disembodied way” that does not relate to the reality of peoples’ lives…
There is a tendency to look back to an imagined ‘golden age of the family’, he says, in which there was a mum, a dad and three or four children, but that is no longer the reality for so many people today and if the Synod doesn’t acknowledge that, it will simply mean the bishops talking to each other in ways that are “incomprehensible to other people”.
“As celibate, male bishops”, the Archbishop says, it is essential  “to make sure we are in touch with the realities of peoples’ lives in families – otherwise the Synod will not succeed. He describes the bishops as “antennas” who should be listening and engaging with families “in all their variety and complexity”. Rather than speaking of a crisis of family life, he says “what’s really in crisis is our own, sometimes too narrow, understanding of what marriage and the family is”…
Talking about the challenge of bringing together so many different perspectives being voiced at the Synod, Archbishop Coleridge says “We came to feel that there are issues that need to be addressed, analysis that needs to be done and decisions that need to be taken at the local or regional level.”
While he believes all the Church leaders see themselves as “called by God to safeguard and promote the truth that has been revealed”, he adds the bishops “must be careful about deciding what we can and what we can’t negotiate”….
Discussing the risks of using “church speak” which fails to communicate the Church’s message to contemporary audiences, Archbishop Coleridge says just as the Second Vatican Council was “a language event” that spoke to people in a new way, so this Synod must find “new, fresh, illuminating ways” of speaking to people today….. 
(from Vatican Radio)…

International congress to commemorate 50 years since Nostra Aetate

Vatican City, 13 October 2015 (VIS) – On the fiftieth anniversary of the conciliar declaration “Nostra Aetate”, on the relationships between the Catholic Church and non-Christian religions, the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, the Commission for Religious Relations with Jews and the Pontifical Gregorian University (PGU) have organised an international congress from 26 to 28 October hosted by the PGU to commemorate the event and to analyse its repercussions during the last five decades.
The congress will begin on Monday 26 October with greetings from Fr. Francois-Xavier Dumortier, S.J., rector of the Pontifical Gregorian University, and with an introduction by Fr. Miguel Angel Ayuso Guixot, M.C.C.J., secretary of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue. This will be followed by a screening of the documentary “Nostra Aetate, the Leaven of God”, and interventions from Cardinals Kurt Koch (president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity) and Jean-Louis Tauran (president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue). The day will conclude with greetings from representatives of various religions.
On Tuesday 27, in the morning, the theologian Paul Gilbert S.J. and the philosopher Professor Bruna Costacurta from the Pontifical Gregorian University will consider the theme “Interreligious Dialogue: believers at the service of the human person”, a dual reflection from perspectives of philosophy and theology. The next session will be entitled “Violence and the engagement of religions for peace” with the Fr. Rocco D’Ambrosio (PGU) as moderator of the two round table discussions. In the first, the speakers will be the general secretary of the Islamic Cultural Centre of Italy, Abdellah Redouane, and Rabbi David Rosen, international director of interreligious affairs of the American Jewish Committee. In the second there will be interventions from Alberto Quatrucci (Men and Religions, from the Sant’Egidio Community) and Professor B. Wimalaratana of the Buddhist Bellamwila Rajamaha Viharaya temple in Sri Lanka. The theme of the afternoon session will be “The challenge of religious freedom”, with Fr. Franco Imoda, S.J., as the moderator of the two round tables. In the first, the speaker will be Rev. Fr. Christian Rutishauser S.J., Permanent Consultor of the Holy See for religious relations with Jews, and Rabbi Daniel Sperber of the Bar-Ilan University, Israel, while in the second there will be interventions by Rasoul Rasoulipor of the Faculty of Letters and Human Sciences of the University of Kharazmi, Iran and Swami Chidananda of the FOWAI (Flame of Who Am I?) Forum, India.
On Wednesday 28 October, the participants in the Congress will attend the morning general audience with the Holy Father, and in the afternoon they will debate the issue of “Education and the transmission of values”. The moderator will be Fr. Bryan Lobo, S.J. (PGU), and the speakers Singh Walia of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib World University, India; Nayla Tabbara, of the ADYAN Foundation, Lebanon; Rabbi Riccardo Segni, chief rabbi of the Jewish Community of Rome, and Samani Pratibha Pragya of the Jain Vishwa Bharati Institute, United Kingdom.
The Congress will conclude with a presentation by Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, entitled “Educating for peace”….

Fr. Lombardi on the “Letter to the Pope from thirteen cardinals”

Vatican City, 13 October 2015 (VIS) – The director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J., has given the following clarification regarding the publication yesterday of a “Letter to the Pope from thirteen cardinals”.
As we are aware, at least four of the Synod Fathers who were included in the list of signatories have denied their involvement (Cardinals Angelo Scola, Andre Vingt-Trois, Mauro Piacenza and Peter Erdo).
Cardinal Pell has declared that a letter sent to the Pope was confidential and should have remained as such, and that neither the text published nor the signatories correspond to what was sent to the Pope.
I would add that, in terms of content, the difficulties included in the letter were mentioned on Monday evening in the Synod Hall, as I have previously said, although not covered extensively or in detail.
As we know, the General Secretary and the Pope responded clearly the following morning. Therefore, to provide this text and this list of signatories some days later constitutes a disruption that was not intended by the signatories (at least by the most authoritative). Therefore it would be inappropriate to allow it to have any influence.
That observations can be made regarding the methodology of the Synod is neither new nor surprising. However, once agreed upon, a commitment is made to put it into practice in the best way possible.
This is what is taking place. There is very extensive collaboration in the task of allowing the Synod to make good progress on its path. It may be observed that some of the “signatories” are elected Moderators of the Circuli Minori, and have been working intensively. The overall climate of the Assembly is without doubt positive.
Cardinal Napier has expressly asked me to clarify the comments published in an interview with “Crux”, which do not correspond to his opinion. With regard to the composition of the “Commission of the 10” for the final text, it was incorrectly written that “… Napier said, adding that he would actually challenge ‘Pope Francis’ right to choose that’”. Cardinal Napier has requested that this be corrected, affirming the exact opposite: “… no-one challenges Pope Francis’ right to choose that”.
I have no further observations to make….