- U.S. Bishops Join with Other Christian Leaders to Call for ‘Circle of Protection’ Around Programs for Poor People
April 28, 2011
WASHINGTON (April 28, 2011)—A diverse coalition of Christian leaders, including Catholic bishops, the National Association of Evangelicals, Bread for the World, Salvation Army, Christian Churches Together in the USA, National Council of Churches and other Evangelical and mainline Protestants, has called for a priority for the poor in the current budget process through a common statement, “A Circle of Protection.”
- Pope Names Miami Auxiliary Bishop Estévez as Bishop of St. Augustine, Florida; Accepts Resignation of Bishop Galeone
April 27, 2011
WASHINGTON (April 27, 2011)—Pope Benedict XVI has named Miami Auxiliary Bishop Felipe de Jesús Estévez, 65, as bishop of St. Augustine, Florida, to succeed Bishop Victor Benito Galeone, 75, and accepted Bishop Galeone’s resignation from the pastoral governance of the diocese.
- Pray for Vocations Day Set for May 15
April 26, 2011
WASHINGTON (April 26, 2011)—The Vatican has called for the 48th World Day of Prayer for Vocations to be observed May 15, the fourth Sunday of Easter, commonly known as Good Shepherd Sunday.
Pope Benedict XVI set the theme for the occasion, “Proposing Vocations in the Local Church,” in his message for the World Day of Prayer for Vocations. The theme underscores the responsibility of all in the local Church to foster vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life. The message notes that parish priests, families, catechists and youth ministers are invited to take advantage of “every moment in the life of the Church community” for prayer and pastoral activity that give children and young people a sense of “belonging to the Church and of responsibility for answering the call to priesthood and religious life by a free and informed decision.”
- Pope Names Louisville, Kentucky Vicar General to Succeed Bishop Gerald Gettelfinger of Evansville, Indiana
April 26, 2011
WASHINGTON (April 26, 2011)—Pope Benedict XVI has named Father Charles C. Thompson, 50, vicar general of the Archdiocese of Louisville, Kentucky, and pastor of Holy Trinity Parish in Louisville, to succeed Bishop Gerald A. Gettelfinger of Evansville, Indiana, 75, and accepted Bishop Gettelfinger’s resignation from the pastoral governance of the diocese.
- New Priests Younger, Influenced by Parish Priests, Catholic Education, Service as Altar Boys, Social, Church Environment
April 25, 2011
WASHINGTON—The average age of men ordained to the priesthood in 2011 is trending younger with the average age for the 2011 class at 34, with more than half between the ages of 25 and 34. This is slightly younger than in 2010, and follows the trend over the past five years of ordinands becoming younger.
These figures stand out in The Class of 2011: Survey of Ordinands to the Priesthood, an annual national survey of men being ordained priests for U.S. dioceses and religious communities, conducted by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA), a Georgetown University-based research center. The entire report can be found at www.usccb.org/vocations as well as on the bishops’ vocation Web site, www.ForYourVocation.org. It is the 15th annual survey of ordinands commissioned by the Secretariat of Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).
- New Priest Class Boasts Variety of Religious, Ethnic Backgrounds
April 25, 2011
WASHINGTON—A deaf man, escapees from Vietnam, grandfathers, military veterans, and ministers who converted from other religions are among the men being ordained to the priesthood in 2011.
Men ordained range in age from 25 to 63. Their range of backgrounds shows on www.ForYourVocation.org, and on the website of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) www.usccb.org/vocations.
The sites host results of an annual survey of ordinands conducted by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) for the USCCB Secretariat of Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations. The survey is reported each spring, when most dioceses and religious orders in the nation ordain new priests.
- Polish National Catholic-Roman Catholic Dialogue Discusses Steps Toward Communion, Local Misunderstandings
April 18, 2011
WASHINGTON (April 18, 2011)—A meeting of the Polish National Catholic-Roman Catholic dialogue took place at St. Paul’s College in Washington on April 5 and 6. Bishop Edward U. Kmiec of Buffalo and Bishop John E. Mack of the Central Diocese of the Polish National Catholic Church (PNCC) in Scranton, Pennsylvania co-chaired the meeting. Originally planned for November 2010, this was the first meeting since September 2009.
- Doctrine Committee Chairman Gives Rationale for Critiquing Quest for the Living God
April 18, 2011
WASHINGTON (April 18, 2011)—Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington, chair of the U.S. Bishops’ Committee on Doctrine, sent a resource to bishops, April 18, outlining the relationship between bishops and theologians.
Cardinal Wuerl acted in light of interest in a March 24 Doctrine Committee critique of the book Quest for the Living God: Mapping the Frontiers of the Theology of God, by Sister Elizabeth A. Johnson, a Sister of St. Joseph of Brentwood, New York and professor at Fordham University. He particularly cited criticism from the Catholic Theological Society of America.
- Pope Names San Antonio Seminary Rector as Auxiliary Bishop of Detroit
April 18, 2011
WASHINGTON (April 18, 2011)—Pope Benedict XVI has named Father José Arturo Cepeda, 41, rector of Assumption Seminary in San Antonio, as an auxiliary bishop in the Archdiocese of Detroit.
- U.S. Bishops, Interreligious Leaders Call on President to Take Lead on Arab-Israeli-Palestinian Peace
April 15, 2011
WASHINGTON (April 15, 2011)—In response to the launching of a new Israeli Peace Initiative by former Israeli government, intelligence and security officials, leaders of twenty-five Jewish, Christian and Muslim national religious organizations wrote to President Obama saying that they believe the initiative, along with the earlier Arab Peace Initiative and the Geneva Accord, offers key principles and ideas for comprehensive Arab-Israeli-Palestinian peace.
- New U.S. Catholics Include Former Abortion Clinic Administrator, Marine, Seven Family Members
April 14, 2011
WASHINGTON (April 14, 2011) —A young adult raised in communist Cuba, an African woman who grew up as a Muslim, a marine being deployed in June, and a former abortion clinic administrator, along with tens of thousands others around the country, are joining the Catholic Church in the United States at Easter.
These catechumens, now known as “the elect,” and candidates for full communion have all participated in a process of conversion and study of the Catholic faith through Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA). The RCIA has several stages, the most important of which is the moment when they will receive or complete the sacraments of initiation, usually at the Easter Vigil. A catechumen is a person who has never been baptized; a candidate is someone who was baptized in a Christian tradition and now desires to enter into full communion with the Catholic Church. In some dioceses, the candidates also include baptized Catholics who never completed their sacraments of initiation and weren’t raised in the faith.
- Bishops to Congress: At a Time of Painful Budget Cuts, Defunding Planned Parenthood ‘Not One of Those Hard Choices’
April 14, 2011
WASHINGTON (April 14, 2011)— In an April 13 letter to the U.S. House of Representatives, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston urged Congress to vote for a resolution to ban federal funding of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. In the midst of a budget debate involving shared sacrifice and hard choices, Cardinal DiNardo wrote, “Whether to fund the largest abortion network in the country is not one of those hard choices.”
- Bishops Highlight Protecting the Poor, Fiscal Responsibility as Moral Criteria of Budget Debate
April 13, 2011
WASHINGTON (April 13, 2011)—The federal budget should protect human life and dignity, make the poor a top priority and promote the common good of all during tough economic times, said the U.S. bishops who oversee foreign and domestic policy on behalf of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) in a letter to the U.S. House of Representatives.
- Bishops’ Website Honors Legacy of Pope John Paul II
April 12, 2011
WASHINGTON (April 12, 2011)—The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has launched a new website to honor the legacy of the late Pope John Paul II. The site (www.usccb.org/popejohnpaulii/) features a 17-minute “John Paul II Memorial Video,” which recaptures touching moments and key messages during the late pope’s visits to the United States. Other contents on the site include a biography and a timeline, as well as major writings, backgrounders, canonizations and beatifications, and more.
- Pope Names Auxiliary Bishop Tyson of Seattle to Succeed Bishop Carlos Sevilla of Yakima, Washington
April 12, 2011
WASHINGTON (April 12, 2011)—Pope Benedict XVI has named Auxiliary Bishop Joseph J. Tyson of Seattle, 53, to succeed Bishop Carlos Sevilla of Yakima, Washington, 75, and accepted the resignation of Bishop Sevilla from the pastoral governance of the diocese.
- Head of Bishops’ Latin America Office Named National Director of the National Pontifical Mission Societies
April 11, 2011
WASHINGTON (April 11, 2011)–Father Andrew Small, 42, an Oblate of Mary Immaculate, has been named National Director of the Pontifical Mission Societies. The appointment was made March 4, by Cardinal Ivan Dias, prefect of the Vatican Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, and became effective immediately. Father Small succeeds Msgr. John E. Kozar, who is completing his second five-year term.
- Drop in Number of Victims of Clergy Sexual Abuse Continues; Application of Charter Needs Clarification
April 11, 2011
WASHINGTON (April 11, 2011)—Reports of current instances of sexual abuse of minors continues to decrease, with seven credible allegations against seven priests reported in 2010, according to the 2010 Survey of Allegations and Costs done by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate, CARA. At the same time diocesan audits are uncovering weaknesses in audit compliance and finding reports of boundary violations short of abuse, such as inappropriate hugging.
- Bishops Call for Responsible Transition in Afghanistan, Voice Concern over U.S.-Pakistan Relations
April 7, 2011
WASHINGTON (April 7, 2011)—The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) stressed the importance of a responsible transition of the leadership of Afghanistan to the Afghan people and expressed concern over the U.S. partnership with Pakistan in an April 6 letter from Bishop Howard J. Hubbard of Albany, New York, to National Security Advisor Thomas Donilon.
- Cardinal DiNardo Urges Support for ‘Respect for Rights of Conscience Act’
April 6, 2011
WASHINGTON (April 6, 2011)— Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, chairman of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), has written to urge all members of the U.S. House of Representatives to support a bipartisan bill protecting conscience rights in health insurance. Introduced by Reps. Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE) and Dan Boren (D-OK), the Respect for Rights of Conscience Act of 2011 (HR 1179) “will help ensure that the new health care reform act is not misused to violate the religious freedom and rights of conscience of those who offer and purchase health insurance coverage in our nation,” Cardinal DiNardo wrote.
- Vatican Announces Worldwide Telecasts for Holy Week, Easter and John Paul II Beatification Ceremonies
April 5, 2011
WASHINGTON (April 5, 2011)—The Pontifical Council for Social Communications has announced its Worldwide Telecasts for April-May, 2011. In addition to the traditional Holy Week and Easter liturgies, this year the telecast will also include the beatification ceremonies of Pope John Paul II.
- Pope Names Vicar General as Auxiliary Bishop of Cincinnati
April 6, 2011
WASHINGTON (April 6, 2011)—Pope Benedict XVI has named Father Joseph Binzer, 55, vicar general of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati and pastor of St. Louis Parish in Cincinnati, as an auxiliary bishop for the Cincinnati Archdiocese.
- Catholic Home Missions Appeal Strengthens the Church at Home
April 4, 2011
WASHINGTON (April 4, 2011)—There are 87 Catholic home mission dioceses in the United States. Whether due to the rugged terrain or the poverty of the population, these dioceses are for the most part unable to fund by themselves the most basic and essential pastoral works. The Catholic Home Missions Appeal, sponsored by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), works to bridge the gap between need and available resources in mission dioceses, thus strengthening the Church here at home. The national date for the Appeal is May 1.