Group issues what it calls ‘filial correction’ of pope’s teaching

Bishop Bernard Fellay, superior of the Society of St. Pius X, is pictured near an image of St. Pius X at the society's headquarters in Menzingen, Switzerland, in this 2012 file photo. (CNS/Paul Haring) (May 15, 2012)

Bishop Bernard Fellay, superior of the Society of St. Pius X, is pictured near an image of St. Pius X at the society’s headquarters in Menzingen, Switzerland, in this 2012 file photo. (CNS/Paul Haring)

By Cindy Wooden
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Several dozen priests, scholars and writers have published what they described as a “filial correction” of some of Pope Francis’ teachings about marriage — particularly about access to the sacraments for divorced and civilly remarried Catholics.

The best-known name among the signatories is Bishop Bernard Fellay, superior general of the traditionalist Priestly Society of St. Pius X, a group still involved in talks with the Vatican aimed at regularizing its status within the Catholic Church.

The letter originally was signed by 40 people and delivered to Pope Francis in August; the writers said they did not receive a response, so they released it publicly Sept. 24, launching a website as well: www.correctiofilialis.org. Continue reading

Posted in Vatican

Blessed Rother ‘an authentic light’ for church and world, says cardinal

A banner with a likeness of Blessed Stanley Rother and an image of his Guatemalan mission hangs behind the altar at the Oklahoma priest's beatification Mass in Oklahoma City Sept. 23. (CNS photo/Dave Crenshaw, Eastern Oklahoma Catholic)

A banner with a likeness of Blessed Stanley Rother and an image of his Guatemalan mission hangs behind the altar at the Oklahoma priest’s beatification Mass in Oklahoma City Sept. 23. (CNS/Dave Crenshaw, Eastern Oklahoma Catholic)

(Updated 4:00 p.m. ET)

By Catholic News Service

OKLAHOMA CITY (CNS) — If the martyrdom of Blessed Stanley Francis Rother “fills us with sadness,” it also “gives us the joy of admiring the kindness, generosity and courage of a great man of faith,” Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for Saints’ Causes, said Sept. 23 in Oklahoma City.

The 13 years Blessed Rother spent as a missionary in Guatemala “will always be remembered as the glorious epic of a martyr of Christ, an authentic lighted torch of hope for the church and the world,” the cardinal said in his homily during the U.S. priest’s beatification Mass.

“Formed in the school of the Gospel, he saw even his enemies as fellow human beings. He did not hate, but loved. He did not destroy, but built up,” Cardinal Amato said.

“This is the invitation that Blessed Stanley Francis Rother extends to us today. To be like him as witnesses and missionaries of the Gospel. Society needs these sowers of goodness,” he said. “Thank you, Father Rother! Bless us from heaven!” Continue reading

Posted in U.S.

‘They killed a man but created a saint,’ prelate says of slain priest

Father Stanley Rother, a priest of the Oklahoma City Archdiocese who was murdered in 1981 in the Guatemalan village where he ministered, is shown baptizing a child in this undated photo. The priest will be beatified Sept. 23 in Oklahoma. (CNS)

ST. PAUL, Minn. (CNS) — Retired Archbishop Harry J. Flynn was rector of Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, Maryland, when he got a call in 1979 from an old friend from the seminary, asking if he could visit for a week.

That friend was Father Stanley Rother, a priest of the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City and a missionary in a rural part of Guatemala.

He picked up Father Rother from Dulles International Airport near Washington and was appalled by the horrific situation the priest described in Guatemala. Members of his congregation had disappeared and were presumed dead, victims of a civil war between the government and guerrilla groups.

Continue reading

Posted in U.S., World

Bishops: Amend repeal bill to protect poor, keep ban on abortion coverage

The U.S. Capitol in Washington is seen June 7. (CNS photo/Tyler Orsburn)

By Julie Asher
Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON (CNS) — The latest version of a Republican measure in the Senate to repeal the Affordable Care Act must be amended to protect poor and vulnerable Americans, said the chairmen of four U.S. bishops’ committees.

“As you consider the Graham-Cassidy legislation as a possible replacement for the Affordable Care Act, we urge you to think of the harm that will be caused to poor and vulnerable people and amend the legislation while retaining its positive features,” the bishops said in a letter to all senators released Sept. 22.

Continue reading

Posted in U.S.

Sunday Scripture readings, Sept. 24, 2017: In the vineyard

The Catholic News Service column,

The Catholic News Service column “Speak to Me Lord” offers reflections on the Sunday Scripture readings. (CNS/Nancy Wiechec)

Sept. 24, Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Cycle A Readings

      1) Is 55:6-9

      Psalm 145:2-3, 8-9, 17-18

      2) Phil 1:20-24, 27

      Gospel: Mt 20:1-16

 

By Jem Sullivan
Catholic News Service

Jem Sullivan writes for the Catholic News Service Scripture column,

Jem Sullivan

Gospel parables often contain a paradox meant to open us to a deeper understanding of who God is and who we are in relationship to God. To unpack the deeper meaning of the parable takes time, reflection and silence.

At times, we are challenged to “think outside the box” to understand the meaning of God’s word. This is particularly true of today’s Gospel parable that invites us to reflect on how different God’s ways are from our ways.

At first glance, the scene in the Gospel appears unfair, even unjust, as workers who come at the 11th hour are paid the same as those who work all day. From a purely human point of view, it doesn’t make sense. And that’s when we realize something deeper is unfolding.

The parable is not a lesson on how to run a business or payroll. In fact, it has nothing to do with economics. To understand the meaning of Jesus’ words, we look to the times when Jesus first spoke the parable. Continue reading

Posted in "Speak to Me Lord", CNS columns

Rothers still rooted to land where martyred priest and siblings grew up

Tom and Marti Rother pose for a photo on their farm in Okarche, Okla., where Tom grew up with his siblings. He is the brother of Father Stanley Rother, a priest of the Oklahoma City Archdiocese, who was murdered in 1981 in the Guatemalan village where he ministered. (CNS/Anamaria Scaperlanda Biddick)

Tom and Marti Rother pose for a photo on their farm in Okarche, Okla., where Tom grew up with his siblings. He is the brother of Father Stanley Rother, a priest of the Oklahoma City Archdiocese, who was murdered in 1981 in the Guatemalan village where he ministered. (CNS/Anamaria Scaperlanda Biddick)

By Anamaria Scaperlanda Biddick
Catholic News Service

OKARCHE, Okla. (CNS) — Tom Rother and his wife of 52 years, Marti, live on the farm where he grew up, less than an hour’s drive from their five children and 15 grandchildren.

Though the farm, located three miles from the center of Okarche, is now run by his oldest two sons, he still spends days in the gently sloping fields, cutting hay alongside them and raising calves. At first glance, his life seems exceptional mostly in its rootedness: He attends the same parish and farms the same land where he was raised.

He also is a brother to the first U.S.-born martyr, Father Stanley Rother, who will be beatified Sept. 23 in Oklahoma City. He was gunned down in 1981 in the Guatemalan village where he ministered.

Tom, like his older brother Stan and their other siblings, grew up surrounded by farming, family and faith. Continue reading

Posted in U.S.

Mercy can scandalize those who don’t see their own sin, pope says

Pope Francis kisses a baby during his general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican Sept. 20. (CNS/Paul Haring)

Pope Francis kisses a baby during his general audience in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican Sept. 20. (CNS/Paul Haring)

By Cindy Wooden
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Celebrating the feast of St. Matthew, the anniversary of the day when as a 17-year-old he said he was overwhelmed by God’s mercy, Pope Francis said it was interesting how many Catholics today seem to be scandalized when God shows mercy to someone.

In his homily at Mass in the Domus Sanctae Marthae Sept. 21, Pope Francis looked in depth at the day’s short Gospel story of the calling of St. Matthew.

The story, the pope said, has three parts: “the encounter, the celebration and the scandal.”

Jesus sees Matthew, a tax collector — “one of those who made the people of Israel pay taxes to give to the Romans, a traitor to his country” — and calls him to follow. Jesus looks at him “lovingly, mercifully” and “the resistance of that man who wanted money, who was a slave to money, falls.” Continue reading

Posted in Vatican