Archive of June 29, 2012

Pallium ceremony a boost for Australian evangelization

Rome, Italy, Jun 29, 2012 (CNA/EWTN News) - Archbishop Mark Coleridge of Brisbane believes that the June 29 pallium ceremony in Rome will provide a significant boost to the work of re-evangelizing Australia.

“It's a shot in the arm at a time when I think we need that,” he told CNA in Rome.

Archbishop Coleridge will be one of 43 new archbishops who will receive the pallium from Pope Benedict at St. Peter’s basilica. The woven strip of white lamb’s wool symbolizes the authority given to an archbishop by the Pope.

The archbishop noted that the pallium “is a call not just to me as the archbishop who wears it but it is a call to whole Church to be more apostolic and you can only become more apostolic by entering into deeper communion with the See of Peter.”

“If you separate yourself from the see of Peter then it becomes impossible to fulfill the apostolic task entrusted to the Church by Jesus.”

Joining him at Friday’s ceremony will be his fellow Australian, Archbishop Timothy Costelloe of Perth. Both were only appointed by Pope Benedict in recent months.

“I’ve been saying that in my meager six weeks in Brisbane that we are at a time in the Church in Australia – and in Brisbane in particular in my case – that we have to become more missionary,” said Archbishop Coleridge.

The 63-year-old Melbourne born cleric believes that Catholicism in Australia has to fight the temptation to “become more introverted and circle the wagons” despite some signs that “the Church seems to be diminishing in some way” at least institutionally.  

Instead, he said, “this is a time to roll the wagons out in new territory in new and more imaginative ways” by becoming a “genuinely and more deeply apostolic Church.”

Before taking over the helm in Brisbane, Archbishop Coleridge spent six years as Archbishop of the Canberra–Goulburn while before that he was Auxiliary Bishop of Melbourne.

He firmly believes that renewal of the Australian Church will come through being rooted in prayer and scripture and then finding “new and imaginative ways of engaging the culture.”

However, the question to be asked of every evangelization activity must be “what has this got to do with Jesus?”

“Now it’s an embarrassingly simple question but it’s a crucial question because given how busy we are in our parishes and diocese sometimes we forget Jesus and we really forget what we’re on about.”

Archbisop Coleridge is no stranger to Rome having served in the Vatican’s Secretariat of State for five years before being appointed to Melbourne in 2002. On this week’s visit he’s brought 30 pilgrims from his new archdiocese, many of them key officials in his chancery.

“My hope would be that they will understand more deeply what it means to call the Church ‘one, holy, catholic and apostolic’,” he said, “No place will teach you better than Rome what those four words mean.”

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Archbishop Sheen decree a 'great day' for US Catholics

Peoria, Ill., Jun 29, 2012 (CNA/EWTN News) - Bishop Daniel R. Jenky of Peoria says the declaration of Archbishop Fulton Sheen as “venerable” is wonderful news for both the diocese and the Catholic Church in America.

On June 28 the Pope Benedict XVI authorized the decree recognizing the heroic virtues of the much loved U.S. archbishop, author and television evangelist. The move brings Sheen closer to sainthood.

“Fulton Sheen's zeal, wisdom, and holiness should help us build our faith,” Bishop Jenky said. He thanked God that the Catholic Church has recognized “a son from central Illinois.”

Archbishop Sheen was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Peoria and went on to become a prominent speaker and author. In addition to serving as an auxiliary bishop of New York and Bishop of Rochester, was best known for his weekly radio broadcast “The Catholic Hour” and his later weekly television program “Life is Worth Living.”

The archbishop died in 1979 at the age of 84. His cause for sainthood was opened in 2002.

Msgr. Stanley Deptula, executive director of the Archbishop Fulton John Sheen Foundation in Peoria, said the Catholic Church in America needs “heroes to inspire us to stand up and to fall to our knees.”

“I think in a special way, Venerable Fulton Sheen can be an inspiration and a consolation to our bishops and other Church leaders. He was a man of courage, and priest of prayer.”

In response to the decree, Bishop Jenky will celebrate a thanksgiving Mass on Sept. 9 at the Cathedral of St. Mary in Peoria.

If a recognized miracle is attributed to him, he can be beatified. Two recognized miracles mean he can be canonized as a saint.

One possible alleged Fulton Sheen miracle is already under investigation.

In December 2011 a tribunal of the Diocese of Peoria, Ill. concluded its investigation into a reputed miracle attributed to Archbishop Sheen’s intercession. It sent the results to the Vatican for consideration.

Bonnie Engstrom and her husband Travis prayed to Archbishop Sheen in September 2010 after she delivered an apparently stillborn son at home in Goodfield, Ill.

The baby, named James Fulton after the archbishop,  was rushed to the hospital but had no pulse for 61 minutes after his birth. Following their prayers his heart started beating and he escaped serious medical problems.

Dr. Andrea Ambrosi, the postulator leading Archbishop Sheen’s cause for canonization, did not speak about the possible miracle. However, he said the canonization cause is “taking a special road” and moving “quite quickly.”

“This is due to the importance of this cause for Fulton Sheen's sainthood to the American Church and all the faithful,” he said June 28. “We hope to go on with continued momentum.”

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Fr. Euteneuer's accuser seeks damages from diocese, former ministry

Arlington, Va., Jun 29, 2012 (CNA) - Former Human Life International President Father Thomas Euteneuer is accused of abusing a woman employed by the organization, in a lawsuit seeking damages from HLI and its local bishop.

In a statement provided to CNA, Human Life International spokesman Stephen Phelan said that the organization, from which Fr. Euteneuer resigned in August 2010, would “vigorously defend itself” against the “false accusations” of complicity in alleged abuse by its former president.

“To the extent Father Euteneuer has already admitted to engaging in highly inappropriate and gravely sinful conduct with a young adult woman, we can only emphasize that such behavior was never within the scope of his employment with HLI,” Phelan said.

The alleged victim worked for Human Life International for two years, during which time she says the priest repeatedly violated physical boundaries.

The anonymous plaintiff, identified as “Jane Doe” in her June 19 lawsuit, is also seeking punitive damages from Bishop Paul S. Loverde of Arlington, and from his diocese.

Although Human Life International is located in the Arlington diocese, Fr. Euteneuer was under the authority of Bishop Gerald M. Barbarito of Palm Beach during the time of the alleged abuse. Bishop Barbarito recalled Fr. Euteneuer to the diocese after learning of the accusations against him in 2010.

Fr. Euteneuer is not named as a plantiff in the lawsuit. According to Robert T. Hall, one of her attorneys, the priest and the unnamed woman already agreed on an earlier financial settlement.

In the new lawsuit, “Jane Doe” says she contacted Fr. Euteneuer for spiritual help in February 2008, and later signed an “agreement for spiritual help” making the priest her “deliverance minister.”

Her lawsuit states that “between September 11, 2008 through June, 2010, Euteneuer had numerous deliverance sessions with the Plaintiff during which he sexually abused her during working hours and in various rooms at HLI and HLIE headquarters.”

In June 2010, nearly two years after the beginning of the alleged abuse, Jane Doe says she “reached the conclusion that her treatment by Euteneuer was … contrary to the dictates of her understanding of Roman Catholic beliefs and practices.”  

The plaintiff claims she kept a journal of her time with Fr. Euteneuer, but entrusted it to him for “safekeeping” and later found that he had burned it.

According to the lawsuit, Fr. Euteneuer's actions caused not only severe mental and emotional suffering, but also “the loss of her employment and the ability to obtain gainful employment.”

Fr. Euteneuer has already acknowledged his sexual indiscretions, apologizing in January 2011 for making “imprudent decisions with harmful consequences, the worst of which was violating the boundaries of chastity with an adult female who was under my spiritual care.”

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Pope upholds Saints Peter, Paul as witnesses of Christian brotherhood

Vatican City, Jun 29, 2012 (CNA/EWTN News) - Pope Benedict XVI reflected that St. Peter and St. Paul are prime examples of the brotherhood that all Christians should live in Jesus Christ.  

“Peter and Paul, much as they differ from one another in human terms and notwithstanding the conflicts that arose in their relationship, illustrate a new way of being brothers, lived according to the Gospel, an authentic way made possible by the grace of Christ’s Gospel working within them,” he said.

The Pope made his observations June 29 during his homily marking the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul at the Vatican.

Among the vast congregation in St. Peter’s Basilica were 43 new metropolitan archbishops upon whom he had just conferred the pallium. The woven strip of white lamb’s wool symbolizes the authority given to them by the Roman Pontiff.

Among those being conferred with the pallium were Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Philadelphia, Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore, Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila of Denver and the Byzantine Archbishop William C. Skurla of Pittsburgh.

Pope Benedict used his homily to explore the life and spiritual legacy of Saints Peter and Paul who were both martyred in 1st century Rome thus making them, said the Pope, “a kind of counterbalance to the mythical Romulus and Remus, the two brothers held to be the founders of Rome.”

He noted how in St. Matthew’s Gospel, Saint Peter’s proclamation of Jesus as the Messiah which did not come “through flesh and blood” is quickly followed by the rebuke to “Get behind me, Satan!” as Christ foretells of his impending passion.

Thus we clearly see, said Pope Benedict, a “tension that exists between the gift that comes from the Lord and human capacities” that in some sense anticipates the drama of the history of the papacy itself.

“On the one hand, because of the light and the strength that come from on high, the Papacy constitutes the foundation of the Church during its pilgrimage through history,” he said, “on the other hand, across the centuries, human weakness is also evident, which can only be transformed through openness to God’s action.”

Pope Benedict then looked at the other promises given by Christ to Saint Peter including the assurance that the “gates of the underworld” will not prevail against the Church.

This guarantee, said the Pope, is foreshadowed by a similar pledge given by God to the Old Testament prophet Jeremiah. However, while the promise to Jeremiah only pertained to him as a person, the promise to Peter concerns “the future of the Church, the new community founded by Jesus Christ, which extends to all of history, far beyond the personal existence of Peter himself.”

Meanwhile the “symbol of the keys” is also prefigured in the Old Testament in the granting of the keys to the House of David to the steward Eliakim.  

The Pope said the New Testament parallel reveals that “the authority of loosing and binding consists in the power to remit sins” which “defuses the powers of chaos and evil” and “is at the heart of the Church’s ministry.”

“The Church is not a community of the perfect, but a community of sinners, obliged to recognize their need for God’s love, their need to be purified through the Cross of Jesus Christ,” he concluded.

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Successor to Opus Dei founder moves toward beatification

Vatican City, Jun 29, 2012 (CNA) - Pope Benedict XVI has approved a decree recognizing the heroic virtues of Bishop Alvaro del Portillo, the successor of St. Josemaria Escriva de Balaguer, founder of Opus Dei.

“Bishop Alvaro is remembered by so many men and women as a priest of peace, loyal to his commitment of love to God, very united to the Church and to the Roman Pontiff,” remarked Bishop Javier Echevarria, current prelate of Opus Dei.

“With love and total generosity he learned to serve St. Josemaria Escriva de Balaguer, his brothers – and later his sons and daughters – in Opus Dei, his relatives, friends and colleagues,” the bishop noted.  

“With his preaching he helped hundreds of thousands in the different countries he visited to find happiness in fidelity to Jesus Christ.”

Bishop Alvaro del Portillo was born in Madrid on March 11, 1914. He was the third of eight children.  As an engineer, doctor in philosophy, liberal arts and canon law, he joined Opus Dei in 1935 and soon became a close collaborator of St. Josemaria Escriva de Balaguer, who founded the prelature.

Ordained a priest in 1944, he moved to Rome in 1946. Between 1947 and 1950 he helped Opus Dei expand in Italy and focused on Christian formation for the laity.

From the pontificate of Pius XII until that of John Paul II, he held various posts at the Holy See. He was an active participant at the Second Vatican Council and was a consultor at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith for many years.

After the death of St. Josemaria Escriva, he was elected his successor on September 15, 1975. On November 28, 1982, when John Paul II erected the personal prelature of Opus Dei, he made Father Alvaro del Portillo its prelate and on December 7, 1990, he appointed him bishop.

Bishop del Portillo promoted Opus Dei in twenty countries, and as its leader, he helped it launch numerous social and educational initiatives. He died in Rome on March 23, 1994, just hours after returning from a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. After his death, thousands testified to his kindness, warm smile, humility and interior peace.

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Cardinal Schönborn asks dissenting priests to renounce manifesto

Vienna, Austria, Jun 29, 2012 (CNA) - Cardinal Cristoph Schönborn of Vienna has asked a group of priests to renounce a manifesto called “Call to Disobedience” or leave administrative posts in the Catholic Church.

Last month the cardinal told priests he would not appoint supporters of the manifesto, organized by a group called Priests’ Initiative, to the position of dean. He would not renew the assignments of those already in posts, Reuters reported.

“You can easily remain a member of the Priests’ Initiative. You must only distance yourself from the ‘Call to Disobedience’ in an appropriate way,” said the Archdiocese of Vienna spokesman Nikolaus Haselsteiner.

“In an average company, a department head can't say he doesn't care what the CEO says,” he explained.

The leader of the Priests’ Initiative, Fr. Helmut Schueller, has said his group represents 10 percent of clergy in Austria, though other reports say the figure is closer to 7.5 percent.

The group has pledged to give Holy Communion to Protestants and divorced and remarried Catholics despite Catholic teaching on the need for communicants to be properly disposed. It has also called for an end to the celibate priesthood and for the ordination of women as priests.

Fr. Peter Meidinger, a dean in the archdiocese, said he has stepped down after a conversation with the cardinal. He said that the manifesto used the word “disobedience” in the sense of “civil disobedience,” a concept which in his words is used “when the leaders are simply not prepared to listen to people.”

In a May 14 interview with CNA, Cardinal Schönborn criticized the call for disobedience because  “you cannot build up a Church life on the basis of disobedience.”

He said there had not yet been sanctions against the Priests’ Initiative because of a belief in “the possibility of personal dialogue” but he also said priests will have to decide for themselves.

The cardinal said there are “practically no young priests” among the dissenting Catholic groups. He criticized “a certain nostalgia” among older clergymen who seem to think that if the Church would be “a little bit more liberal” then  the churches would be filled again and have the popular acceptance they once did.

He said this kind of thinking is “a dream” and “an illusion.”

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New US archbishops grateful to receive palliums

Rome, Italy, Jun 29, 2012 (CNA/EWTN News) - Archbishop-elect Samuel J. Aquila of Denver said he was deeply thankful to be among the dozens of new archbishops to receive a pallium from Pope Benedict XVI in Rome on June 29.

“When I went up to receive the pallium I truly felt humbled thinking 'who am I to be receiving this great gift, this sign of unity with the Holy Father and to be receiving it from Benedict XVI,'” he told CNA moments after departing the papal ceremony at St. Peter’s basilica.

Archbishop-elect Aquila was one of 43 new metropolitan archbishops to receive the pallium from the Pope upon the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul. The woven strip of white lamb’s wool symbolizes the authority given to an archbishop by the Roman Pontiff.

The 61-year-old will be installed as Archbishop of Denver at the city’s Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception on July 18. After a decade as Bishop of Fargo, North Dakota, he will be returning to the archdiocese where he was ordained a priest in 1976.

He explained how upon receiving the pallium his heart “was just filled with joy and also deep awareness of the Father’s love” that had called him to serve the people of Denver.

He also drew inspiration from a nearby statue of Our Lady holding the Christ Child that sits to the left of the high altar in St. Peter’s basilica.

“Just knowing of her protection, knowing of her love for me, and seeing that and really entrusting things to her too my new diocese that I will be going to in July,” said Archbishop-elect Aquila.

Joining him for today’s ceremony was his predecessor in Denver, Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Philadelphia. This was, in fact, the second time he has received the pallium, the first coming on his appointment to Denver in 1997.

He told CNA that he found today’s occasion “easier than the first in terms of being relaxed and not being nervous.”

“So I was able to focus on praying for my people, my priests and all the issues we have in Philadelphia,” he explained, “so I carried them in my heart and in my mind and in my prayers today at Mass.”

The two other American clerics honored with the pallium today were Byzantine Archbishop William C. Skurla of Pittsburgh and Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore who found himself caught up in conversation with Pope Benedict.

“The Holy Father remembered that Baltimore is the oldest archdiocese in the United States, without any prompting from me, and we spoke a little bit about the heritage of the Archdiocese of Baltimore which was very warm and very personal,” recalled Archbishop Lori.

He explained how his new pallium will be “a source of endless meditation” as it symbolizes “the solidarity, the communion of the Church in Baltimore and the Province of Baltimore with our Holy Father.”

He also views it as a reminder of “Christ the Good Shepherd who lays the sheep upon his shoulder and brings them to safety” but who also “became the lamb of sacrifice” and that “his yoke is easy and his burden is light.”

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