Editorial: Instrumentum Laboris - a major disappointment
The Instrumentum Laboris (I.L. or Working Document) is the latest product of the Preparatory Stage for the 5th Plenary Council of the Catholic Church in Australia (the 1st General Assembly is scheduled for 3-10 October 2021) convened to address the huge existential crisis facing the Church in this nation. The final document will be the Agenda......Measured against its stated objectives it is a huge disappointment..........
1. We too - The Laity Speaks
2. Church Interrupted - Havoc & Hope: The Tender Revolt of Pope Francis
Ten thousand clerical sex abuse cases in France
Extract from Tom Heneghan, The Tablet, 3 March 2021
At least 10,000 cases of sexual abuse have taken place in the Catholic Church in France since 1950, according to a senior retired judge. Jean-Marc Sauvé, a respected retired judge who heads the independent commission investigating sexual abuse, confirmed to journalists on Tuesday that it had found “at least 10,000” cases of sexual abuse in the Church since 1950. That was a jump from his announcement last June of “at least 3,000” cases, and he said researchers still had more archives to work through. He disclosed his latest findings shortly after France’s bishops held an extraordinary plenary assembly by video conference last month to ponder their moral responsibility in the sexual abuse crisis. Participants said it helped them better understand the abuse scandal and examine what obligation they had for crimes committed decades ago. Church leaders have said victims deserved some financial reparation from them, but left details until later....(more)
Pope appoints woman Under-Secretary at Synod of Bishops
Pope Francis appoints two new Under-Secretaries to the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops: Sr Nathalie Becquart and Fr Luis Marín de San Martín.
By Vatican News staff writer, Vatican News, 6 February 2021
Pope Francis has appointed Sr Nathalie Becquart and Fr Luis Marín de San Martín to be the Under-Secretaries of the Synod of Bishops. Currently headed by Cardinal Mario Grech, the Synod of Bishops is a permanent institution established by Pope Paul VI in 1965, in response to the desire of the Fathers of the Second Vatican Council to keep alive the spirit of collegiality engendered by the conciliar experience. The appointment of Sr Natalie Becquart is particularly interesting as it is the first time ever a woman has been appointed to this position. Biography Sr Nathalie Becquart. Nathalie Becquart was born in 1969 in Fontainebleau, France. She graduated from the HEC school of management with a Master in Management with a specialization in Entrepreneurship in Jouy-en-Josas in 1992, and went on to study philosophy at the Sorbonne University in Paris. Between 1992-1993 she spent her volunteer year in Beirut, Lebanon, working as a Professor of Mathematics and French in a Catholic High School and taking philosophy and theology courses at ISSR-St Joseph Jesuit University of Beirut. This was followed by two years working as a Consultant in a marketing and advertising agency for NGO’s and Christian organizations (EJC consulting) in Paris. Nathalie Joined the Xaviere sisters, missionaries of Christ-Jesus (Apostolic Congregation of Ignatian Spirituality) in August 1995 and took her final vows in September 2005. She has since worked in various roles including Spiritual Director for the Ignatian Youth Network in France National Coordinator of the scouting program for youth in poor urban multicultural areas, Scouts de France; President of the Ignatian association “Life at Sea, entry into prayer”; Director of Campus Ministry in Créteil (University of East Paris) and member of the diocesan office of youth ministry, WYD diocesan coordinator in 2007-2008; Deputy Director of the National Service for the Evangelization of Youth and for Vocations (SNEJV), in charge of university pastoral care, at the French Episcopal Conference; Director of the National Service for the Evangelization of Youth and for Vocations (SNEJV) at the French Bishop’s conference (Sept. 2012-August 2018 for a 6 years term); Member of the Bishop’s council of the Diocese of Nanterre France (with Bishop Michel Aupetit, who is now the Archbishop of Paris); Vice-President of the European Vocations Service (CCEE).....(more). Photo: Fr Luis Marin and Sr Nathalie Becquart, Vatican News
Joe Biden’s Catholicism
Extract from Paul Collins, Pearls and Irritations, John Menadue website, 18 January 202
Most of them keep their faith private, but Biden is different; he’s right up-front about his Catholicism. ‘It’s foundational to who he is,’ his long-time friend, Senator Chris Coons of Delaware says. Coons also says that Biden’s stances on social justice, race, refugee and environmental issues are informed by ‘a deeply rooted sense of fairness’ that he learned from his parents and his Catholic formation. He has profoundly assimilated the Christian sense of the importance of the community over individualism, of putting others before self, and he sees politics in the words of Pope Francis ‘as something more noble than posturing, marketing and social spin.’ As well as the Catholic tradition of social justice, his faith is deeply rooted in the church’s spirituality and practice. He attends Mass every Sunday and quite often on weekdays. He prays regularly, often quotes the bible in political speeches and even publicly bursts into popular hymns, as he did in his November 7, 2020 victory speech when he quoted Michael Joncas’ hymn On Eagle’s Wings. ‘In the last days of the campaign,’ he said, ‘I began thinking about a hymn that means a lot to me and my family, particularly my deceased son Beau. It captures the faith that sustains me and…I hope it can provide some comfort and solace to the…Americans who have lost a loved one through this terrible virus this year.’ He then quoted the first verse:.....(more). Photo: Paul Collins
Catholic Church Reform Int'l recently released a survey inviting people globally to describe their experience of Covid-19 and freely share its effect on their experience of church, their place in the human family, and their hopes and dreams for our world. We were interested in knowing whether the experience of the lockdown had changed what is important to them and whether they intended to change anything about their life as they transitioned through the pandemic. Providentially, we find it encouraging that this is also the topic of Pope Francis's newest book: Let us Dream: the Path to a Better Future.
This broad initiative was in response to the Papal Exhortation on the Amazonian Synod,
released in February 2020, just as the Corona virus pandemic began its
global impact. Just as Francis immersed himself into the people and the
culture they live in to understand the obstacles and opportunities they
face, likewise, through this survey, we have attempted to do the same –
really listening to the diversity of voices and seeking the
Spirit-guided perspectives of the People of God. The survey was
conducted from July to September 2020 in five languages (English,
Spanish, French, Italian, and Portuguese) with responses from thirty
countries spanning six continents. While we believe we speak for a
broader group, when we refer to the People of God, we are primarily
reflecting the views of the participants in this survey. The summary result, which we dare to call A Peoples Exhortation,
is a parallel effort to reflect an incarnate journey and to collect
broad perspectives with many points of connectedness. For centuries, the
Catholic Church has tried to make everyone sing one note, but we
believe beautiful harmony can be made from all the different notes....(More) (Context of photo on source page - Pope Francis at Youth Synod).