Historic flooding in Louisiana has changed region forever, many say

A statue is partially submerged in flood water in Sorrento, La., Aug. 20. (CNS/Reuters)

A statue is partially submerged in flood water in Sorrento, La., Aug. 20. (CNS/Reuters)

By Richard Meek
Catholic News Service

BATON ROUGE, La. (CNS) — Water lapped at the heels of Father Michael Galea, steady rain an arduous reminder of Mother Nature’s unfinished business.

With a sadness in his voice, Father Galea, pastor at Holy Rosary Church in St. Amant, estimated that as many as 90 percent of his parishioners were impacted during the recent historic flooding that touched nearly every corner of the Diocese of Baton Rouge.

“It’s going to change the whole dynamic of Holy Rosary as a parish as we know it,” Father Galea told The Catholic Commentator, the diocesan newspaper. “It’s not going to be the same. And we are going to lose quite a bit of people if they choose to move away. Continue reading

Posted in U.S., Vatican

‘Icon of mercy’: Missionaries superior describes Blessed Teresa

 

By Cindy Wooden
Catholic News Service

ROME (CNS) — Blessed Teresa of Kolkata was a woman who truly felt wed to Jesus, and the freedom she experienced in loving him led her to radical poverty, a courageous outreach and an immense love for the poor, said the superior general of the order Mother Teresa founded.

“She was very happy to be a woman and to be a mother to so many souls,” Missionaries of Charity Sister Mary Prema Pierick told Catholic News Service.

“Her freedom of loving opened the doors of hearts and avenues of service, which maybe were not so common, especially in sharing the radical poverty of the poor,” said the blue-eyed, German-born sister, who was elected superior general in 2009. Continue reading

Posted in Vatican | Tagged

For 2017 World Peace Day, pope asks to focus on nonviolence

Pope Francis greets the crowd during a general audience last year. (CNS/Paul Haring)

Pope Francis greets the crowd during a general audience last year. (CNS/Paul Haring)

By Junno Arocho Esteves
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — When nonviolence is the basic approach of political decisions and public policy, it promotes the restoration and consolidation of peace, the Vatican said.

In his message for the Jan. 1 celebration of World Peace Day, Pope Francis will offer reflections on the importance of nonviolence as a political choice, the Vatican said in a statement Aug. 26.

“Nonviolence: A style of politics for peace” is the theme the pope chose for World Peace Day 2017, the Vatican said. A papal message on the theme will be sent to heads of states around the world in December. Continue reading

Posted in Vatican

Retired Pope Benedict says it was his ‘duty’ to resign from papacy

Pope Francis greets retired Pope Benedict XVI during a ceremony in June marking the 65th anniversary of the retired pope's priestly ordination. (CNS/L'Osservatore Romano)

Pope Francis greets retired Pope Benedict XVI during a ceremony in June marking the 65th anniversary of the retired pope’s priestly ordination. (CNS/L’Osservatore Romano)

By Junno Arocho Esteves
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Retired Pope Benedict XVI said in an interview that he felt a “duty” to resign from the papacy because of his declining health and the rigorous demands of papal travel.

While his heart was set on completing the Year of Faith, the retired pope told Italian journalist Elio Guerriero that after his visit to Mexico and Cuba in March 2012, he felt he was “incapable of fulfilling” the demands of another international trip, especially with World Youth Day 2013 scheduled for Brazil.

“With the program set out by John Paul II for these (World Youth) days, the physical presence of the pope was indispensable,” he told Guerriero in an interview, which is included in the journalist’s upcoming biography of Pope Benedict. “This, too, was a circumstance which made my resignation a duty,” the pope said. Continue reading

Posted in Vatican

Pope asks Jesuits to educate diocesan clergy in practice of discernment

Pope Francis greets the faithful prior his general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican Aug. 24. (CNS/L'Osservatore Romano via EPA)

Pope Francis greets the faithful prior his general audience in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican Aug. 24. (CNS/L’Osservatore Romano via EPA)

By Cindy Wooden
Catholic News Service

ROME (CNS) — When it comes to the Christian life, too many seminaries teach students a rigid list of rules that make it difficult or impossible for them as priests to respond to the real-life situation of those who come to them seeking guidance, Pope Francis said.

“Some priestly formation programs run the risk of educating in the light of overly clear and distinct ideas, and therefore to act within limits and criteria that are rigidly defined a priori, and that set aside concrete situations,” the pope said during a meeting with 28 Polish Jesuits in Krakow during World Youth Day.

The Vatican did not publish details of the pope’s meeting July 30 with the Jesuits, but — with Pope Francis’ explicit approval — a transcript of his remarks to the group was published in late August by Civilta Cattolica, a Jesuit journal reviewed at the Vatican prior to publication. Continue reading

Posted in Vatican

Diocese says government slow to offer ways to resolve impasse on mandate

Bishop David A. Zubik of Pittsburgh and Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl of Washington stand near the U.S. Supreme Court March 23 when the high court heard oral arguments in Zubik v. Burwell. (CNS/Reuters)

Bishop David A. Zubik of Pittsburgh and Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl of Washington stand near the U.S. Supreme Court March 23 when the high court heard oral arguments in Zubik v. Burwell. (CNS/Reuters)

By Ann Rodgers
Catholic News Service

PITTSBURGH (CNS) — The Pittsburgh Diocese said Bishop David A. Zubik is making every effort to achieve a swift negotiated solution to the diocese’s dispute with the federal government over religious freedom in relation to the federal contraceptive mandate, as directed by the U.S. Supreme Court.

“We have always been willing to meet with representatives of the government to negotiate a mutually agreeable solution to our impasse over religious freedom,” said a diocesan statement.

In a May 16 unanimous decision in Zubik v. Burwell, a consolidated case of challenges to the contraceptive mandate filed by several Catholic and other religious entities, the Supreme Court sent the case back to lower courts, vacated earlier judgments against those parties opposing the mandate, and encouraged the plaintiffs and the federal government to resolve their differences. Continue reading

Posted in U.S.

Trustees agree to protect whistleblowers at Irish national seminary

Archbishop Martin (CNS/Paul Haring)

Archbishop Martin (CNS/Paul Haring)

By Michael Kelly
Catholic News Service

DUBLIN (CNS) — The trustees of Ireland’s national seminary have agreed to bring in a specific policy to protect whistleblowers after serious allegations were made about life in the college.

The Aug. 23 announcement also followed a decision by Dublin Archbishop Diarmuid Martin to pull his students from St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth, after publicly raising misgivings about the life and governance of the 221-year old institution.

The archbishop referred to claims of what he described as a “gay culture” in the seminary and further allegations that some seminarians have been using a gay dating app. Archbishop Martin said some of the allegations had been shown to be true. Continue reading

Posted in World