Showing posts with label Bishops' Conferences. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bishops' Conferences. Show all posts

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Cardinal Müller: "Diocese Are Not Branches of the Bishops' Conference"

Prefect of the CDF after recent statements of DBK-President Marx: "The President of the Episcopal Conference is no more than a technical presenter, this title is not linked to any specific teaching authority."

Vatican ( The claim that a Bishop's Conference was "not a branch of Rome", "gives me the cue to remind you that the dioceses are not branches of the Secretariat of the Episcopal Conference or [branches of] the diocese, whose bishop President of the Bishops' Conference is." This was Gerhard Müller Cardinal (photo), Prefect of the Congregation for Doctrine and the Faith, for the Catholic French magazine, Famille Chrétienne. He had been previously asked what he thought of a statement "where a German bishop had stated that the Bishops' Conference, which he was presiding, was no "branch of Rome," he was referring to remarks by Reinhard Cardinal Marx, President of the German Bishops' Conference . Müller explained further: "A Bishops' Conference is not a Particular Council, [it is] a lot less than an Ecumenical Council. The President of the Episcopal Conference is no more than a technical presenter, there is no special teaching authority linked with this title. "The attitude that a Bishops' Conference is not a branch of Rome," brings with it the danger to revive a certain polarization between the local Churches and the Universal Church which had come rest in the First and the Second Vatican Councils. The Church is not the sum of national churches whose presidents would choose a boss on a universal level."

On the question of whether some teaching or disciplinary decisions about marriage and the family could be delegated to the Bishops' Conferences, the Prefect of the CDF replied: "This is an absolutely anti-Catholic idea that does not respect the catholicity of the Church. Bishops' Conferences have authority in certain topics, but they possess no magisterium against  the magisterium without a pope and without communion with all the bishops."

"The Church is not a philanthropic organization. It is not enough if we say that we respect the views of all and wish good for all," Müller explained further. Indeed it is not too difficult, only present the gospel as a therapeutic agent, but this does not correspond to the requirements of Jesus. "Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and receive all manner of slander because of me, said Jesus. The first Apostles, the Church Fathers, the great bishops of the Church had so often to sail against the wind. Why should this be any different for us? Link to Trans: Tancred AMDG

Saturday, June 21, 2014

A Question of Priorities? -- Corpus Christi Procession Without PopeFrancis

(Rome) Rome witnessed yesterday a papally orphaned Corpus Christi procession. The Vatican released a short term program change through Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi yesterday for the Feast of Corpus Christi. While Italy has long since abolished the feast of Corpus Domini as a day of celebration and is therefore transmitted in Italian parishes to the following Sunday in the liturgical liturgical calendar by the Vatican. The Solemnity of is, however, celebrated on the vigil of Corpus Christi in front of the Patriarchal Church of San Giovanni Laterano.
At the end of the Pontifial Mass celebrated by Pope Francis, the Pope did not take part in the traditional Corpus Christi procession with the Blessed Sacrament. Instead, the Pope, who has had several problems with over-exertion in the past few months, was brought directly in a car to the Patriarchal Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, there to await the procession that leads from one to the other papal basilica. . Pope Francis then issued the solemn blessing. The procession was led by the Cardinal Vicar Agostino Vallini, who represents the Pope in governing the diocese of Rome.
Pope Francis Kneeling to DJ at Charismatic Conference

Participation Not "Opportune" Because of Calabria Visit

The Vatican spokesman Lombardi officially announced that the Pope "has deemed it opportune to give up the long walk between the two basilicas with a view to his next commitments," special mention was made of the trip to Cassano all'Jonio in Calabria, which took place yesterday. "Risum teneatis" was offered by the website Messa in Latino.

At the same time, the Vatican spokesman continued, "it was prefered that the Pope, not cover the procession in an open vehicle, so according to the spirit of today's celebrated festival, the attention of the faithful would be focused instead on the Blessed Sacrament exposed and carried in the procession." "Risum teneatis" Messa in Latino again intervened. "Despite the incredible concealment by the press-service of the Vatican, we hoped confidently and with Christian hope that the Holy Father, maybe perhaps a little fortified by vitamins, that in the year of Our Lord 2014 he would at least participate in the last part of the procession. Unfortunately this was not so! "

Mother cried: "For the first time a pope has left his flock"

A mother was with her children on the Via Merulana and wept. A TV crew from La7, taking notice of the scene, asked the woman: "The Pope stayed away from the Corpus Christi procession, while during Holy Mass he never knelt and after the Mass at St. John Lateran he ducked into a car till Santa Maria Maggiore to reappear for the blessing ... I am Roman, this is the first time a pope has left his flock in the Corpus Christi procession, is this Pope is so 'humble' that he is humbler than Jesus Christ? "
Pope Benedict at Corpus Christi Procession

Seriously Ill John Paul II Never Lacked Suffering

In fact, the absence of the Pope and the thin grounds that the Vatican spokesman Father Lombardi delivered, was irritating. Actually Pope Francis seems much more "humble", taking into consideration the words of the Roman mother, than his predecessors. "Who could not remember Pope John Paul II, the physically handicapped, yet with great devotion worshipping his Lord in the procession through the streets of Urbe. Or, Pope Benedict XVI. with his frailties, who did not shrink from it as vain, but was driven in a private vehicle in the procession, at which he knelt to worship the holy of holies," said Messa in Latino.

When Did Pope Francis Kneel?

In fact, since the beginning of the pontificate, there is a question of when Pope Francis kneels. An official explanation as to why the Pope does not genuflect at the consecration of the Lord, has not been offered up until today. Francis knelt during personal prayer when he visited the miraculous image of the Virgin in Santa Maria Maggiore, he knelt in prayer on June 1 in the football stadium in Rome, when he attended the meeting of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal and he knelt on Holy Thursday at the washing of the feet of people of different creed and religion. He does not genuflect at the consecration and does not kneel before the Eucharistic Lord. The only exception is for the prayer vigil for peace for Syria previously on September 7, 2013. There was a Eucharistic adoration on St. Peter's Square, at the first part of which Pope Francis participated. To this end, he also had the Salus Populi Romani, the miraculous image of Santa Maria Maggiore brought out, before which he prayed kneeling.

The visit to Calabria and the shift of power in the Bishops' Conference

Bishop Nunzio Galantino, the new strong "man of the Pope" in the Italian Episcopal Conference
The visit, limited to a few hours to Cassano dell'Jonio, was to call out the Mafia. A legitimate and important concern for the affected population. Can the "control" of the Mafia, however, take precedence over the first duties of the Pope, the worship of God. Is the drive to Cassano dell'Jonio more important than the Blessed Sacrament? Thus the question must be answered as to why the Pope actually drove to Calabria.

On December 28, 2013, Pope Francis appointed the Bishop of Cassano dell'Jonio, Monsignor Nunzio Galatino, the new Secretary General of the Italian Episcopal Conference. Although Francis had declared the direct autonomy of the Bishops' Conference of the Pope, which leads automatically to decoupling from the chair, he has grasped increasingly in the following months, the Episcopal Conference with an authoritarian hand, than his predecessor. This includes the appointment of Msgr Galatinos. The Secretary-General had always been a confidant of the delegates appointed by the Pope, who represent him in the office of president. Bishop Galantino was, however, appointed him Executive President of the Bishops' Conference over the incumbant Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco named by Benedict XVI. Cardinal Bagnasco had learned of the appointment, which is equivalent to his actual disempowerment, from the media. The new strong man of the Italian Episcopal Conference, the man of the Pope, is Bishop Nunzio Galantino. Galantino himself stood out as exceedingly negative. He seems to take the controversial statements and gestures of Pope Francis literally. In early May he distanced himself brusquely and in a disappointing way to the Pro-Lifers (see separate contribution Bergoglio Effect: Secretary of the Bishops' Conference Distances Himself From Pro-Lifers ).

Pontifical Request for "Forgiveness"

Already the appointment Galatinos was completely unusual and downright curious looking. Pope Francis begged the diocese of Cassano dell'Jonio to "pardon" him, saying that he was making their Bishop, the General Secretary of the Bishops' Conference. It was already an agreed upon papal wish that Galatino remained also the bishop of his diocese. Cassano dell'Jonio with nearly 100,000 believers is one of the most numerous small dioceses, as they are frequently maintained in Italy for historical reasons. Even more: Pope Francis was asking the faithful of the Calabrian Diocese, of course, only rhetorically for "permission" to use their bishop and otherwise. The Pope wrote a letter specifically to the faithful of Cassano dell'Jonio to post the everyday decision and offer a wordy justification. "It has the impression that the Pope had to ask permission in Mafia Land, that he may decide something," wrote one commentator called No Mafia on the website of the daily newspaper Quotidiano della Calabria.

"Gesture of humility" or The Bizarre Scenario of a "Pope-King"?

Of this may of course be no question. In Rome we saw that behind the baroquely ornate gesture of humility, a rather quite successful diversion, which drew the focus on the unusual and the rather brutal intervention of a "pope-king" (Sandro Magister) in the Bishops' Conference, with the dismissal of the previous Secretary-General Mariano Crociata and the de facto disempowerment of Cardinal Bagnasco.
So also the Pope's visit to the Diocese of Cassano dell'Jonio officially stands under the motto "I come to ask for forgiveness." So there was Bishop Galatino making known throughout his diocese in March: "He comes to ask us for forgiveness." It's a statement that Bishop Galatino repeated several times. His exact words were: "The Pope's visit will be an opportunity to - look us in the eye after he has already done it in writing - to be 'understood' and to learn 'forgiveness' and, as he told me himself on Thursday [27 März 2014] repeated several times asking for forgiveness.'" A rather bizarre scenario.
Already in his letter, with which he informed the diocese of the appointment of Galantino to General Secretary, the head of the Church wrote: "I have not had the pleasure of meeting you in person, but I hope that I'll be able to do soon." The program has been amended several times. Now, a visit to the prison of Castrovillari is also provided for. There sits a the entire family of little Cocò, a three year old child, who had been executed on January 16 Clan War like a mafia boss, and then burned. Pope Francis had mentioned him at the Angelus of 26 January. The family of Cocò, parents, grandmothers and siblings are sitting in prison for drug trafficking. In Castrovillari prison a Romanian is also also incarcerated, who was found guilty of murdering the priest Don Lazzaro Longobardi on March 2. A "martyr of charity" to whom the Pope was alerted by Bishop Galantino.

The human need for the sacred, worship, prayer and penance, were given gestures with strong sociological connotations in the past few months. The trip to Calabria is being loaded up, in addition to the primary reason, as strange "apology tour" with sociological accessories.

Sacredness or Sociology: A Matter of Priorities?

So the fact remains that the Corpus Christi procession in Rome, the city of the Popes, was first orphaned in recent history. Jesus Christ in the Blessed Sacrament found no Vicar of Christ who was kneeling in front of Him and accompanied Him. The Successor of Peter spared himself, for a pastoral visit to a small diocese whose significance is at best "third-rate". The people there will be happy rightly about the visit, but the question arises as to the priorities. The "existential margins" may be important, but certainly not more important than the Blessed Sacrament, and liturgical actions.
Text: Giuseppe Nardi Text: Giuseppe Nardi
Bild: RnS/Papa Ratzinger Picture: RnS / Papa Ratzinger
Trans: Tancred
Link to Katholisches...

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Prefect Gerhard Ludwig Müller Rejects More Power for Bishops' Conferences

The President of a Bishops' Conference is no Vice Pope.

Vatican (Catholic news / CF / The prefect of the Vatican congregation, Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Müller, has turned strongly against decentralizing the Church on the level of the national bishop conferences. "The Catholic Church is made up of local churches, but it is one," said the Prefect for the Italian daily newspaper "Corriere della sera": "There are no 'national' churches." - The Presidents of the Episcopal Conferences are "coordinators, not vice-popes" stressed the Vatican defender of the Faith. While the papacy and the office of bishop have "divine right", the Patriarchs and Bishops' Conferences to facilities work according to "human rights". Of course, these conferences also have doctrinal authority in certain areas, for instance when preparing local catechisms, liturgical books or the management of universities and Catholic schools: "The Pope can not know everything that happens in the individual countries," said Archbishop Müller. One must "find a practical balance." Pope Francis had recently announced in his letter "Evangelii Gaudium" considering more powers for national Bishops' Conferences. '

Photo: Archbishop Müller - image source: M. citizens,

  Link to