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Author Topic: Pope Francis  (Read 2549639 times)
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« Reply #5580 on: September 25, 2017, 08:44:05 PM »

http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2017/09/25/pope_at_mass_‘god’s_consolation_leads_to_peace’/1338907

Pope at Mass: ‘God’s consolation leads to peace’
25/09/2017 13:13

(Vatican Radio)  Let us ask the Lord to help us recognize true consolation and to conserve it. That was Pope Francis’ message at morning Mass on Monday in the Casa Santa Marta.

Reflecting on the First Reading in his homily, Pope Francis said the Lord “visited His people and returned them to Jerusalem.” The word “visited”, he explained, is important in salvation history, because “every act of redemption by God is a visitation.”

“When the Lord visits us He gives us joy, that is, He places us in a state of consolation… You have seeded in tears, but now the Lord consoles us and gives us spiritual consolation. Consolation happens not only in a certain moment in time but is a state in the spiritual life of every Christian. The entire Bible teaches us this.”
 
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« Reply #5581 on: September 25, 2017, 08:50:23 PM »

http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2017/09/25/pope_francis_meets_members_of_swiss_guard_foundations/1338928

Pope Francis meets members of Swiss Guard foundations
25/09/2017 15:12

Pope Francis meets with members of two foundations offering economic, technical and material support to the Swiss Guards
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis met on Monday with members of two foundations which offer economic, technical and material support to the Swiss Guards. The papal audience marked the official inauguration of a new operative centre for the corps which has been guarding the Vatican for over 500 years.

In his words to the two groups, Pope Francis thanked them for their support and for the fruitful collaboration established with its commanders and with the competent Vatican authorities.

Spirit of fraternity and sharing

In carrying out your activity, he said, you express the community and fraternal spirit typical of the presence of Catholics in society. This attitude, he continued, is rooted in the Gospel call to love one’s neighbour, helping to overcome tensions and become an example of fraternity and sharing.
 
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« Reply #5582 on: September 26, 2017, 09:21:39 PM »

http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2017/09/26/pope_francis_daily_mass_familiarity_with_jesus_sets_us_free/1339045

Pope Francis daily Mass: Familiarity with Jesus sets us free
26/09/2017 11:59

“Those who hear the Word of God and act on it”: this is the concept of the family for Jesus, a concept of family that is “wider than that of the world.” That was the focus of Pope Francis’ homily at the morning Mass at the Casa Santa Marta. In the Gospel reading, Jesus says that it is precisely those who come to Him, and listen to His preaching, who are His “mother,” and His “brothers”: His family. And this, the Pope said, makes us think of the concept of familiarity with God and with Jesus, which is something more than being “disciples” or even “friends”; it is not a “formal” or “polite” attitude, much less a “diplomatic” one. So, he asked, “what does this word – familiarity – which the spiritual fathers of the Church have used so often, and have taught us, actually mean?”

First of all, he said, it means “entering into the home of Jesus, to enter into that atmosphere, to live in that atmosphere that is in the home of Jesus. To live there, to contemplate, to be free. Because the children are free, those who reside in the house of the Lord are free, those who have a familiar relationship with Him are free. Others, to use a word from the Bible, are the children of the ‘slave woman.’ We might say that they are Christians, but they don’t dare to draw near to Him, they don’t dare have this familiarity with the Lord. There is always a distance that separates them from the Lord.”
 
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« Reply #5583 on: September 26, 2017, 09:26:36 PM »

http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2017/09/26/pope_discusses_ukraine_with_russias_metropolitan_hilarion/1339205

Pope discusses Ukraine with Russia's Metropolitan Hilarion
26/09/2017 17:36

Pope Francis meets with Russian Orthodox Metropolitan Hilarion in the Vatican on Tuesday - AP
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis met on Tuesday with Russian Orthodox Metropolitan Hilarion, who came to thank the Holy Father for the recent loan of the relics of the 4th century Saint Nicholas of Myra.

The relics, which were taken from the southern Italian city of Bari to Moscow and St Petersburg, drew huge crowds of Orthodox pilgrims during the two month loan period.

Metropolitan Hilarion, who has been a regular visitor to the Vatican in recent years, heads the department for external church relations.

Speaking to Vatican Radio after the private audience, the Orthodox leader said he and the pope also discussed ongoing tensions in Ukraine, as well as joint efforts to support Christians in the Middle East. Despite a warming of relations between Moscow and Rome, he said there are no current plans for a papal visit to Russia, or for Patriarch Kirill to visit the Vatican.
 
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« Reply #5584 on: September 26, 2017, 09:49:57 PM »

http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2017/09/26/fr_zollner_on_pcpm_achievements,_goals_and_lessons_learnt/1339127

Fr. Zollner on PCPM achievements, goals and lessons learnt
26/09/2017 15:28

Pope Francis and members of the PCPM - ANSA
(Vatican Radio) The Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors concluded its 4-day Plenary Assembly on Sunday,  with a renewed commitment to its mandate as an advisory body to the Holy Father for the protection of minors.

In an interview with Vatican Radio, Commission member Father Hans Zollner spoke of the  key areas of focus during the plenary and of the lessons learnt during the past three years of work.

He also spoke of the encouragement expressed by Pope Francis  during a private audience at the start of the Plenary, and of his ongoing support since the Commission was established.
 
http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2017/09/26/the_pcpm_concludes_plenary_assembly_with_renewed_commitment/1339014
The PCPM concludes Plenary Assembly with renewed commitment
26/09/2017 09:57
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« Reply #5585 on: September 27, 2017, 09:54:17 PM »

http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2017/09/27/pope_francis_general_audience_english_summary/1339233

Pope Francis: General Audience English Summary
27/09/2017 10:03

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Wednesday continued his catechesis on Christian hope and invited all Christians to welcome so many of our brothers and sisters forced to leave their homes in search of a better life.

Launching Caritas Internationalis’ “Share the Journey” campaign, the Pope pointed out that no one deserves to be robbed of hope by a soulless and materialist society.

He was speaking to crowds gathered in St. Peter’s Square for the weekly General Audience.

Please find below the official translation of the Pope’s Catechesis:
 
http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2017/09/27/pope_urges_governments_and_individuals_to_welcome_migrants_w/1339246
Pope urges governments and individuals to welcome migrants with open arms
27/09/2017 10:57

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZVb--nqFQ54
2017.09.27 - General Audience
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« Reply #5586 on: September 27, 2017, 10:00:57 PM »

http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2017/09/27/pope_francis_prays_for_hurricane-hit_puerto_rico__caribbean/1339311

Pope Francis prays for hurricane-hit Puerto Rico & Caribbean islands
27/09/2017 14:05

Pope Francis prays for Puerto Rico and the Caribbean at his Wednesday General Audience - ANSA
(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis on Wednesday appealed for prayers for the victims of Hurricane Maria in the Caribbean and Puerto Rico.

His words came in Spanish-language greetings at his Wednesday General Audience.

“I ask you to remember in prayer the victims and those affected by the hurricane, which in these days has battered the Caribbean, in a particular way Puerto Rico,” he said.

Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico last Wednesday as a Category 4 hurricane, also making landfall in Dominica as a Category 5 hurricane.
 
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« Reply #5587 on: September 27, 2017, 10:05:32 PM »

http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2017/09/27/pope_sends_message_to_members_of_st_vincent_de_paul_family/1339285

Pope sends message to members of St Vincent de Paul family
27/09/2017 12:41

Pope Francis sends a message to all members of the religious institutes founded by 17th century French Saint Vincent de Paul - RV
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis sent a message on Wednesday to members of the Vincentian family to mark the fourth centenary of their foundation by French priest Saint Vincent de Paul.

In 1617, Fr Vincent began his work among poor, farming families, supported by a group of wealthy Parisian women known as the Daughters of Charity. They collected funds for missionary activities, for the founding of hospitals, to support victims of war and to ransom galley slaves who were returning from North Africa.

Thanking the members of the Vincentian family for the work they do today among the most marginalized people, Pope Francis recalled that throughout his life, Fr Vincent de Paul was always searching for the presence of God in the lives of the poor.
 
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« Reply #5588 on: September 28, 2017, 07:51:16 PM »

http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2017/09/28/pope_francis_at_mass_%e2%80%98remorse_is_sign_of_salvation%e2%80%99/1339480

Pope Francis at Mass: ‘Remorse is sign of salvation’
28/09/2017 11:25

(Vatican Radio)  Be not afraid of “speaking the truth about our life”, by recognizing our sins and confessing them to the Lord. That was Pope Francis message at Mass on Thursday morning in the Casa Santa Marta.

Reflecting in his homily on the day’s Gospel about Herod’s response to Jesus’ preaching, Pope Francis noted that some people associated Jesus with John the Baptist, Elijah, or a prophet.

Herod, he said, did not know what to think about Jesus, but “he felt” something within. This was not a mere curiosity, the Pope said, but “remorse in his soul and heart”. Herod sought to see Jesus “to calm himself”.

The Holy Father said Herod wanted to see the Christ perform a miracle, but Jesus refused to hold “a circus before him”, so Herod handed him over to Pontius Pilate. And Jesus paid for his refusal with his life.

In so doing, the Pope said, Herod covered “one crime with another” and “one remorse of conscience with another crime”, like one “who kills out of fear”.

Remorse, he said, is therefore not “simply remembering something” but “an open wound”.
 
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« Reply #5589 on: September 28, 2017, 08:08:34 PM »

http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2017/09/28/popes_message_to_council_of_european_bishops_conferences/1339477

Pope sends message to Council of European Bishops' Conferences
28/09/2017 16:30

Pope Francis with members of the presidency of the Council of European Bishops' Conferences - ANSA
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Thursday sent a message to participants in the plenary assembly of the Council of European Bishops' Conferences (CCEE), encouraging them to continue promoting initiatives of solidarity and fraternity.

The message, signed by Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, urges European Church leaders to impart “courageous impetus to the Church’s mission in Europe, especially on behalf of young people”.

This week’s plenary assembly of the CCEE is being held for the first time in Minsk, the capital of Bielorussia. The Church leaders have been discussing the pastoral care of young people, ahead of next autumn’s Synod of Bishops on the faith and vocational discernment of young people.

Please see below the full text of the Pope’s message to the Plenary Assembly of the Council of European Episcopal Conferences
 
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« Reply #5590 on: September 28, 2017, 08:32:37 PM »

http://www.thetablet.co.uk/news/7843/0/-amoris-laetitia-is-built-on-traditional-thomist-morality-pope-says

'Amoris Laetitia' is built on traditional Thomist morality, pope says
28 September 2017 | by Catholic News Service   

'To be a good theologian...one must reflect and pray on one's knees'

Seeing, understanding and engaging with people's real lives does not "bastardise" theology, rather it is what is needed to guide people toward God, Pope Francis told Jesuits in Colombia
.

"The theology of Jesus was the most real thing of all; it began with reality and rose up to the Father," he said during a private audience on 10 September in Cartagena, Colombia. The Rome-based Jesuit-run journal, La Civilta Cattolica, published a transcript from the meeting on 28 September. The journal provided its own translations of the original Spanish remarks.
 
The pope then said that he wanted to use the teacher's question as an opportunity address -- in justice and charity -- the "many comments" concerning the postsynodal apostolic exhortation on the family, "Amoris Laetitia."

Many of the commentaries, he said, are "respectable because they were made by children of God," but they are "wrong."

"In order to understand 'Amoris Laetitia,' you must read it from the beginning to the end," reading each chapter in order, reading what got said during the synods of bishops on the family in 2014 and 2015, and reflecting on all of it, he said.

To those who maintain that the morality underlying the document is not "a Catholic morality" or a morality that can be certain or sure, "I want to repeat clearly that the morality of 'Amoris Laetitia' is Thomist," that is, built on the moral philosophy of St. Thomas Aquinas, he said.

One of best and "most mature" theologians today who can explain the document, he told them, is Austrian Cardinal Christoph Schonborn of Vienna.

"I want to say this so that you can help those who believe that morality is purely casuistic," he said, meaning a morality that changes according to particular cases and circumstances rather than one that determines a general approach that should guide the church's pastoral activity.

The pope had made a similar point during his meeting with Jesuits gathered in Rome for their general congregation in 2016. There he said, "In the field of morality, we must advance without falling into situationalism."

"St. Thomas and St. Bonaventure affirm that the general principle holds for all but -- they say it explicitly -- as one moves to the particular, the question becomes diversified and many nuances arise without changing the principle," he had said. It is a method that was used for the Catechism of the Catholic Church and "Amoris Laetitia," he added.

"It is evident that, in the field of morality, one must proceed with scientific rigor and with love for the church and discernment. There are certain points of morality on which only in prayer can one have sufficient light to continue reflecting theologically. And on this, allow me to repeat it, one must do 'theology on one's knees.' You cannot do theology without prayer. This is a key point and it must be done this way," he had told the Jesuits in Rome.

http://www.ncregister.com/blog/edward-pentin/pope-francis-to-jesuits-amoris-laetitia-is-thomist-help-its-critics-to
Sep. 28, 2017
Pope to Jesuits: Help Critics of Amoris Laetitia to See Its Morality Is Thomist
In a question and answer session during his visit to Colombia, now published in La Civilta Cattolica, the Pope again defends the document against its critics, repeating that its moral basis is Thomistic, and dismisses theologians who take a “purely casuistic” approach to morality.
Edward Pentin
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« Reply #5591 on: September 29, 2017, 04:51:55 PM »

http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2017/09/29/pope_at_mass_celebrates_archangels_who_accompany_us_on_our_j/1339769

Pope at Mass celebrates archangels who accompany us on our journey
29/09/2017 13:49

(Vatican Radio) Celebrating the feast day of the three archangels, Michael, Gabriel and Raphael, Pope Francis said we share their vocation “cooperating together in God’s salvific design”.

Speaking during the homily at Mass in the Casa Santa Marta, he reflected on the Collect for the Day in which we sing the Lord’s praises in the sight of angels.

Angels, Pope Francis said, are masters of contemplation: they serve and contemplate the Lord who has sent them to accompany us on the path of life.

Michael protects us against evil 

Michael, Gabriel and Raphael in particular, he continued, have an important role in our journey towards salvation.

“Michael, he said, is the one who fights against the devil” and protects humanity from the snares of evil. He protects us against the serpent that seduces us, makes us fall and then accuses us before God claiming us as his own.

“Michael, the Pope explained, was asked by the Lord to fight the devil” and he helps us resist temptation on our earthly journey towards heaven.
 
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« Reply #5592 on: September 29, 2017, 04:57:57 PM »

http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2017/09/29/pope_francis_to_new_evangelization_we_are_made_for_mission_/1339818

Pope Francis to New Evangelization: we are made for mission
29/09/2017 15:46

Pope Francis with the President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelisation, Archbishop Rino Fisichella
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis received the participants in the Plenary Assembly of the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelisation on Friday.

In remarks prepared for the occasion, and delivered to participants during the course of an audience that began shortly before noon in the Consistory Hall of the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican, Pope Francis reflected particularly on the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy that ran through 2016, under the direction of the Council, calling the Holy Year a “moment of grace that the entire Church lived with great faith and intense spirituality.”

The Holy Father went on to say that the present moment is one in which to harness the energy of that grace-filled year.
 
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« Reply #5593 on: September 29, 2017, 05:06:46 PM »

http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2017/09/29/pope_world_communications_day_2018_fake_news‎/1339738

Pope to focus on “fake news” in message for World Communications Day 2018‎
29/09/2017 12:12

(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis will focus on the harmful effects of fake news against journalism for peace, in his message for peace for World Communications Day next year.  ““The truth will set you free” (Jn 8:32). Fake news and journalism for peace,” is the theme of the annual Catholic Church observance that the Pope announced with a post on Twitter (@Pontifex) on Friday.

World Communications Day, the only worldwide celebration called for by the Second Vatican ‎Council ‎‎(“Inter Mirifica”, 1963), is marked in most countries, on the recommendation of the bishops of ‎the ‎world, on the Sunday before Pentecost, which in 2018 will fall on May 13.  In some countries, the day is marked as the solemnity of Ascension.

The announcement of the ‎theme is traditionally made on Sept. 29, the feast of the Archangels Michael, ‎Raphael and Gabriel, with ‎Gabriel being designated the patron saint of telecommunications.

The Holy ‎Father's message for World ‎Communications Day is traditionally published in conjunction with January ‎‎24, feast of St. Francis de ‎Sales, patron of journalists, to allow bishops' conferences, diocesan offices and ‎communications ‎organizations sufficient time to prepare audiovisual and other materials for national ‎and local ‎celebrations.
 
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« Reply #5594 on: September 29, 2017, 05:19:10 PM »

https://cruxnow.com/global-church/2017/09/29/pope-gets-political-italys-debate-citizenship-immigrants/

Pope gets political in Italy’s debate on citizenship for immigrants
Claire Giangravè   September 29, 2017

ROME - While in the United States, the concept that the Vatican might influence public policy is outrageous, in Italy, the relationship between politics and the Catholic Church is like a well-made cappuccino: The espresso and milk foam may seem separated at first, but once you drink it, they blend into one.

Popes theoretically handed in their temporal power almost 150 years ago, but their voice and opinions still hold considerable weight in public discourse, which, in Italy as well as in many parts of the world these days, is centered around the immigrant crisis.

In the past, Pope Francis has been hesitant, if not downright opposed, to using his hefty popularity to intervene directly in matters of Italian public policy. But while the pope remained quiet as Italy’s parliament passed a law on de facto-couples, which critics say opened the road towards gay marriage, he was vocal on a recently proposed law concerning citizenship to the children of long-term immigrants.

The legislation is based on the concept of ius soli, which establishes citizenship depending on where you are born and not ius sanguinis, requiring a blood lineage, and would offer citizenship to the children of immigrants born in Italy who have completed at least five years in the Italian school system.
 
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« Reply #5595 on: September 29, 2017, 05:47:57 PM »

https://cruxnow.com/book-review/2017/09/29/new-nuggets-book-length-interview-pope-francis/

Few new nuggets in book-length interview with Pope Francis
Austen Ivereigh   September 29, 2017

A new book-length interview with Pope Francis goes over much of the territory the pontiff has discussed in his previous interviews with various publications, but Austen Ivereigh says there are still some interesting points to be mined from 'Politique et Societé' [Politics and Society]. Ivereigh says the interviewer, French sociologist Dominique Wolton, should have dug deeper to reveal more of the man who is now sitting on the Chair of Peter.
 
Here are three other sections in the Wolton interview that throw some new light on Francis’s thinking and inner life.

1.
 Slips in the lions’ den

Although he says he is never anxious, Francis clearly regards the airborne press conferences on his return flights as a big deal. He feels like he is going into the “lions’ den,” he tells Wolton - something he had laughingly told the Vatican press corps on his first flight with them - and always begins with a prayer because, he says, “I try to be very precise.”

There is “a lot of pressure,” he says, and “there have been some slip-ups.”

Wolton doesn’t ask which, not even when he repeats the admission a few sentences later. “I have made a mistake two or three times in my way of saying things,” adding: “On the plane. Two or three times, I’ve made a mistake.”

Instead, Wolton asks if his direct style helps him to communicate better. Francis answers that his is “the pastoral style” of communication. “I try not to speak like a professor but as a pastor.”

Asked if he is happy, the pope says: “Yes, I’m happy. I’m happy. Not because I’m pope, but the Lord has given me that, and I pray not to do anything too stupid … But I do!”

2.
The political pope
 
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« Reply #5596 on: September 29, 2017, 06:06:01 PM »

https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/questions-and-answers-on-the-filial-correction-38558

Questions and Answers on the 'filial correction'

Steubenville, Ohio, Sep 29, 2017 / 03:19 am (CNA).- Dr. Jacob Wood, an assistant professor of theology at the Franciscan University of Steubenville, offers answers on some frequently-asked-questions about the ‘Filial Correction on the Spread of Heresies” a letter sent to Pope Francis by a group of bishops, priests, and scholars, who released the letter this past weekend

What is fraternal correction?

Fraternal correction is an act of charity (CCC 1829), in which we call a brother or sister in Christ, who has fallen into serious sin, back to the way of the Gospel. Fraternal correction is explained by Jesus in the Gospel (Mt 18:15-17).

Why is this called a “filial” and not a “fraternal” correction?

Christ established a hierarchy in his Church (CCC 877), and the signatories on the letter are not on equal footing with the pope in that hierarchy. Out of respect for the pope’s authority, they appeal to the pope as his spiritual sons and daughters, not as spiritual brothers and sisters.

Why is this correction being issued?

Some of the signatories issued a filial appeal to Pope Francis last year, asking him to clarify the Church’s teaching with regard to marriage, sin, and grace. When they did not receive a response, they prepared this correction. The correction was originally sent to Pope Francis privately in July.
 
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« Reply #5597 on: September 30, 2017, 08:39:41 PM »

http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2017/09/30/pope_italian_mayors_municipalities_solidarity_integration/1339962

Pope meets Italian mayors, municipalities
30/09/2017 13:28

Pope Francis meeting members of the National Association of Italian Municipalities (ANCI) in the Vatican, Sept. 30, 2017.
(Vatican Radio)  The image of a city that the New Jerusalem evokes is one of a human society that is based on true solidarity, whereas where envy, unbridled ambitions and spirit of adversity grow, it condemns itself to the violence of chaos.

The common good

Pope Francis made the point on Saturday while addressing some 300 members of the National Association of Italian Municipalities (ANCI) in the Vatican.   The model of the city or town that the Pope proposed to them is one that “does not permit a one-way traffic of exasperated individualism,” that does not tolerate the “blind alleys of corruption” that breeds disintegration, and where there are no “walls of the privatization of public spaces, where the "us" is but a rhetoric ploy that “masks the interest of a few.”

The Pope urged the town and city officials to have “the passion for the common good” that grants each one and his family the possibility to realize themselves and open themselves in communion with others.
 
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« Reply #5598 on: September 30, 2017, 08:53:47 PM »

http://www.thetablet.co.uk/news/7846/0/pope-francis-reappoints-cardinal-burke-to-vatican-s-top-court

Pope Francis reappoints Cardinal Burke to Vatican's Top Court
30 September 2017 | by Christopher Lamb in Rome   

Appointment comes three years after Pope removed Cardinal from the job of prefect

Pope Francis has named Cardinal Raymond Burke as a member of the Apostolic Signatura, the Church’s supreme court which the cardinal used to lead.

The appointment came as a surprise given the cardinal has been a prominent critic of Francis who is threatening to issue the Pope with a “fraternal correction” over the papal family life document, “Amoris Laetitia”.


The Pope’s decision to give the cardinal a seat on the board of the Church’s top justice body will be read as a peace offering, and comes after the Holy See’s most senior diplomat, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, called for more dialogue in the Church.

It also has the effect of drawing Cardinal Burke closer into the Francis administration and therefore upping the stakes should the cardinal issue a correction. A correction by Burke would be divisive, yet the Pope's move today signals the papacy wants reconciliation.

In November 2014, Francis moved Cardinal Burke out of his job as prefect of the signatura, allegedly for the cardinal’s blocking of reforms to simplify - and speed up - the marriage annulment process.

Since then the 69-year-old former Archbishop of St Louis, Missouri, has become the leading traditionalist critic of the Francis papacy. Last November he and three other cardinals submitted the Pope with a series of questions - known as “dubia” - about “Amoris Laetitia” calling into doubt the openings it made to give some remarried divorcees communion.
 
https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/pope-francis-re-names-cardinal-burke-to-vaticans-highest-court-68003
Pope Francis re-names Cardinal Burke to Vatican's highest court
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« Reply #5599 on: October 01, 2017, 12:29:36 PM »

https://cruxnow.com/news-analysis/2017/09/25/amid-avalanche-real-questions-papacy-risk-obscured/

Amid avalanche, real questions about the papacy risk being obscured
John L. Allen Jr.  September 25, 2017

In the last few days, Pope Francis has faced three remarkable accusations -- one of suffering from narcissistic personality disorder, another of heresy, and a third of dropping the ball on financial reform of the Vatican. In trying to sort through it all, one towering problem is that in an environment defined by hysteria, separating legitimate criticism from the same-old, same-old is increasingly difficult.

ROME - In the last six days, Pope Francis has been subject to three extraordinary accusations, each coming from disparate sources and covering different ground. In a nutshell, here they are:

◦On Sept. 17, a right-wing Italian blogger and writer named Maurizio Blondet, drawing on a report by an Argentine journalist, accused Francis of suffering from narcissistic personality disorder, which Blondet claims was manifest during the future pope’s time as a Jesuit provincial in the 1970s and which Blondet says has defined his career ever since, including in the papacy.
 
Before moving on, here’s a brief summary of each point.

Blondet’s assertion draws on the work of an Argentinian journalist named Alejandro Brittos, who published a reconstruction of the pope’s past in early July titled, “How the ‘humble’ Bergoglio prepared his climb to the top of the Church.”

Among other things, Brittos cites a letter from two former Jesuit novices under the future pope, who assert that he was self-promotional about his virtues of humility and simplicity, and that he sought complete submission and loyalty from his disciples - both indicators, according to Blondet, of a narcissistic personality. He goes on to cite clinical descriptions of the disorder, which he claims also characterize Francis’s leadership style as pope.
 
So, what’s a reasonable person to think?

First, the suggestion that Francis has some sort of psychological disorder is not new. It’s been floating around in the traditionalist-deeply conservative Catholic world for a while, although it may have been given a new lease on life by a recent book-length conversation between the pontiff and French sociologist Dominique Wolton, in which Francis said that when he was 42 and a Jesuit provincial, he consulted a psychotherapist over an arc of six months “to clarify a few things.”
 
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