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Archive of December 2, 2003

Pope appoints Bishop Raymond Burke as new Archbishop of St. Louis

Vatican City, Dec 2, 2003 (CNA) - Pope John Paul II appointed Bishop Raymond Leo Burke of La Crosse, Wisconsin, as the new Archbishop of Saint Louis.

Bishop Burke was born in Richland Center, Wisconsin, on June 30, 1948. He attended elementary school at St. Mary's, Richland Center, and after his family moved to Stratford he attended St. Joseph's School there from 1959 to 1962.

He attended high school at Holy Cross Seminary, La Crosse, from 1962 10 1966, and also studied college courses there from 1966 to 1968 before attending The Catholic University of America from 1968 to 1971. He then studied theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, and was ordained priest on June 29, 1975, at St. Peter's Basilica by Pope Paul VI.

His was associate rector of the Cathedral of St. Joseph the Workman in La Crosse, while teaching religion at Aquinas High School.

In 1980, he returned to Rome to study Canon Law at the Pontifical Gregorian University. After completing his studies, he was named Moderator of the Curia and Vice Chancellor of the Diocese in April 1984.

In 1989, Father Burke returned to Rome when Pope John Paul II named him Defender of the Bond of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signature. He was serving in this position when he was appointed Bishop of the Diocese of La Crosse by Pope John Paul II on December 10, 1994.

Bishop Burke's Episcopal ordination by Pope John Paul II took place at St. Peter's Basilica on January 6, 1995, the Feast of the Epiphany.

He was installed as diocesan bishop on February 22, 1995, the Feast of the Chair of St. Peter.

The Archbishop-elect replaces Cardinal Justin Rigali, who was recently appointed Archbishop of Philadelphia.

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Vatican officially puts Anglican-Catholic dialogue on hold

Vatican City, Dec 2, 2003 (CNA) - The Vatican officially suspended the Anglican-Catholic ecumenical dialogue on Tuesday, as a consequence of the ordination of a homosexual bishop within the Anglican Communion.

A statement released by the Holy See’s press office reveals that “on Tuesday, November 25, Cardinal Walter Kasper, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, met in the Vatican with Reverend Canon John L. Paterson, Secretary General of the Anglican Consultative Council.” 

The future of Anglican-Roman Catholic dialogue was discussed during the meeting, “especially in light of recent developments within the life of the Anglican Communion,” the statement says.

 “As a result of the conversation, it was decided that the next plenary session of the International Anglican-Roman Catholic Commission for Unity and Mission (IARCCUM) and its work towards the publication and reception of a Common Statement of Faith would have to be put on hold.”

The statement concludes by saying: “Cardinal Kasper has welcomed the request of His Grace the Archbishop of Canterbury, that appropriate means be found to reflect jointly upon the ecclesiological issues raised by recent developments within Anglican Communion in the light of the relevant Agreed Statements of ARCIC (Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission).”

London’s Daily Telegraph announced yesterday that the Vatican was preparing to suspend unity talks with the Anglican Church following a final meeting in the New Year.

That final meeting was only rescued by the resignation this past weekend of the senior Anglican participant in the unity talks, Bishop Frank Griswold, who split the Anglican Church last month by leading the consecration of Canon Gene Robinson as Bishop of New Hampshire, said the newspaper.

Bishop Griswold announced his resignation in a letter to Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, “in which he acknowledged the strain that the consecration had ‘caused in the relationship between the Holy See and the Anglican Communion’,” said the British newspaper.

In October, the Pope and other cardinals warned the Archbishop of Canterbury during his visit that the issue of homosexuality would jeopardize church relations.

The suspension of these talks delays an historic process begun in the 1960s by Pope Paul VI and the then Archbishop of Canterbury, Michael Ramsey, said the Telegraph.

According to London’s Telegraph, Bishop Griswold, “who had been the Anglican co-chairman of ARCIC for two years, was deeply committed to the talks, but he nevertheless ignored pleas for him to distance himself from the consecration.”

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Summit on “Sacrosanctum Concilium” to evaluate state of Catholic Liturgy

Vatican City, Dec 2, 2003 (CNA) - On the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the promulgation of the constitution on sacred liturgy “Sacrosanctum Concilium” during the II Vatican Council, the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of Sacraments has announced a symposium that will review the state of liturgical reform.

The conference, to be held at the Vatican on December 4, will be presided by the Prefect of the Dicastery, Cardinal Francis Arinze.

The Congregation announced that the one day event will discuss the themes:  “ ‘Sacrosanctum Concilium’ forty years later: between the past and future,”  “The liturgy of John Paul II,” and “One hundred years after the document  ‘Tra le sollecitudini’ by St. Pius X: balance and perspectives.”

“Tra le Sollecitudini” (“Among the cares”,) was Pope Pius X's “motu proprio” on sacred music and liturgical chant. Promulgated on November 22, 1903, the document is now 100 years old.

Besides the officials of the dicastery, participants at the symposium will include Cardinal Francis George, O.M.I., Archbishop of Chicago; Cardinal Joachim Meisner, Archbishop of Cologne (Germany;) Archbishop Christian Wiyghan Tumi of Douala (Cameroon;) Archbishop Ivan Dias of Bombay (India;)   Bishop Stefan Cichy, Auxiliary of Katowice (Poland;)  Dom Phillipe Dupont, O.S.B., Abbot of  the monastery of Solesmes (France;)   Fr. Matias Auge, C.M.F. and Fr. Alberto Aranda Cervantes, M.Sp.S., both consultants for the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of Sacraments.

The symposium, which will take place in the New Hall of the Synod, will be open to personnel of the Roman Curia and pontifical universities, as well as experts in liturgy and sacred music.

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Name of God  cannot be used to justify violence, Pope says

Vatican City, Dec 2, 2003 (CNA) - Pope John Paul II told a group of Catholic and Muslim scholars that the name of God cannot be used to justify violence.

Addressing the group of participants at a meeting promoted by the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue and the Organization for Islamic Culture and Communications in Teheran (Iran) on the theme of “Truth, Justice, Love, Freedom: Pillars of peace,” the Holy Father said that “today there is an especially urgent need for dialogue, understanding and cooperation between the world’s great religions, especially Christianity and Islam.” 

“Religion is in fact called to build bridges between individuals, peoples and cultures, to be a sign of hope for humanity,” said the Pope. 

“I appeal to you, and to all men and women of good will, to join your voices with mine as I repeat that the holy name of God must never be used to incite violence or terrorism, to promote hatred or exclusion,” he added.

 “I am confident,” he concluded, “that your continued dialogue and cooperation, of which this Colloquium is an eloquent example, will do much to help Christians and Muslims to be ever more effective instruments of peace in our world.  May Almighty God bless your efforts, and may He grant to all mankind the courage and strength to embrace truth, justice, love and freedom as true pillars of peace.”

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Dialogue Between Catholic Church and Reformed Churches continues in the U.S.

Washington D.C., Dec 2, 2003 (CNA) - The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) announced last week that the dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Reformed (Protestant) churches in the U.S. continues with the discussion of serious theological issues.

The Seventh Round of the consultations included the United Church of Christ, the Reformed Church in America, and the Presbyterian Church (USA). Joining them for the first time were representatives of the Christian Reformed Church in North America. Lutheran leaders participated as observers.

The consultations began Sept. 24 at Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Louisville. Dr. Richard Mouw, resident of Fuller Theological Seminary, and Bishop Patrick Cooney of Gaylord, Michigan, co-chaired the Consultation.

According to a USCCB press release, the discussions took an in-depth look at two major "church-dividing" issues in the 16th century, which lay at the heart of the Protestant Reformation – the sacramental understanding of Eucharist and baptism.

These issues, raised by the reformer John Calvin and his followers, split the Church in the West and are considered to be essential toward eventual union.

The American dialogue between Reformed and Catholic Christians began in 1965. Previous discussions have led to innovations in several areas of ecumenical reflection, such as the ministry, structure, and nature of "the unity we seek" (1975), the implications for church unity of the respective stances on questions of abortion (1980) and war and peace (1988).

The two recent consultations have produced practical and well-received pastoral materials: Laity in the Church and the World (USCCB publications, 1988) and Interchurch Families: Resources for Ecumenical Hope (Westminster John Knox Press and USCCB, 2002).

In an unprecedented move last year, the Reformed Church asked the U.S. bishops whether its Heidelberg Catechism, produced after the Council of Trent in the 16th century, accurately depicts the Catholic understanding of the mass.

According to Fr. Arthur Kennedy, director of the USCCB Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, the constructive reaction of the Reformed Church to the response that it did not adequately portray Catholic teaching represents, "a significant ecumenical achievement, giving rise to renewed hopes for unity."

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