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CDF weighs in on pro-choice Communion debate, a catechesis on catechists, and hot chicken

Discussion in 'One Bread, One Body - Catholic' started by Michie, May 12, 2021.

  1. Michie

    Michie Human rights begin in the womb. Supporter

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    Hey everybody,

    Greetings from Knoxville, Tennessee, where I am spending a couple of days interviewing Bishop Rick Stika, who was recently the subject of reports to the Holy See, from priests and others in the diocese who have criticized his leadership on several fronts. Bishop Stika has another view on those criticisms, and invited me to Tennessee to talk about that.

    I’ll interview him and others in the diocese over the next few days.

    For now, know that it’s true what they say about Nashville Hot Chicken: It’s amazing.

    [​IMG]
    Nashville Hot Chicken is an extraordinary experience. This wasn’t my lunch, but it was like my lunch. Credit: Jimmy Emerson via flickr. CC BY SA 3.0

    Here’s what you need to know:
    A catechesis on catechists

    Pope Francis this morning issued
    Antiquum ministerium, a motu proprio that establishes the “lay ministry of catechist,” and calls for the promulgation of a ritual commissioning of catechists.

    Here’s what’s going on:

    In the U.S. and most of the Anglophone West, we tend to think of “catechists” as instructors of religious education, perhaps parish DREs or high school religion teachers, and others who teach the faith in some similar institutional setting. But in many other parts of the world, especially those the Church deems missionary territory, the “catechist” is responsible for much more — teaching the faith, but also sometimes maintaining a village or community chapel, conducting marriage and baptism prep, actually witnesses marriages and baptizing people in the absence of a priest, making communion calls, sometimes burying the dead.

    In those parts of the world, the catechist is a layperson who assists a missionary priest in a variety of significant ways. After the 2019 Amazon synod, Pope Francis talked about the importance of recognizing the work of catechists, developing ways to liturgically “commission” them, and to adapt them to local circumstances. The new motu proprio mostly calls episcopal conferences to develop ideas about how better to understand, form, and make use of catechists in local circumstances.

    It is interesting to note that the Church identifies the work of catechists
    as a “ministry” - a term usually reserved in a formal way for liturgical functions, such as the ministries of lector and acolyte.

    In any case, I predict the U.S. bishops’ conference committees on catechesis and laity will probably put together a working group on this, but I don’t imagine it
    will have a practical component in the U.S. with much immediacy, given that the American sense of being a catechist is not precisely what’s envisioned in other parts of the world.

    Read an explainer here about what catechists are, and read a full report on this morning’s news here
    .


    Germany
    Yesterday, as part of the “Love Wins” protest in Germany, more than 100 Catholics parishes offered liturgical blessings to same-sex couples, partly in a kind of public protest of a March statement from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith explaining the theological “impossibility” of conferring such blessings.

    The blessings yesterday, to which the president of the German bishops’ conference objected before they took place, have not yet
    drawn any official rebuke from ecclesiastical leaders in Germany. But they represent clearly an acceleration of the kinds of dissenting practices called for by the country’s ongoing “synodal path,” through which German bishops and lay Catholics intend to pass resolutions calling for changes to Catholic doctrine. Doctrine, of course, is not decided by committee, and the ongoing activity of the “synodal path” has caused a lot of consternation in Rome.

    Lately, a few Vatican Churchmen have even begun to say that if the situation doesn’t defuse soon, bishops
    in Germany could find themselves in schism — the formal refusal of submission to the Supreme Pontiff, the pope.

    I’ve been wondering for a while what would actually happen if a German bishop were declared to be in schism — I’ve been especially curious whether Germany’s government would still recognize a schismatic bishop as head of the local Church, and the legitimate administrator of the vast sums collected by German dioceses through the kirchensteuer — the state collected Church tax, worth billions annually, which accounts for 70% of diocesan revenues in Germany.

    I talked to an expert in German law on the subject. And the answer, it turns out, is found in the Reichskonkordat- the controversial 1933 treaty between the Holy See and the Nazi-led German government, which is still in force today. Honestly, guys, just when you thought the story in Germany couldn’t get any weirder, the Reichskonkordat makes an appearance.

    Read it here.


    Eucharistic coherence and the CDF
    Cardinal Luis Ladaria, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, wrote to Archbishop Jose Gomez on Friday about the U.S. bishops’ plan to address the issue of "Eucharistic coherence” — Holy Communion for pro-choice politicians, especially — in an upcoming document.

    The cardinal’s letter didn’t discourage the U.S. bishops’ from addressing the question, but it did make a number of suggestions which would seem to slow the process down — that the bishops consult broadly with other episcopal conferences, the bishops deliberate to reach unanimity, that they engage in “extensive and serene dialogue,” before proceeding.

    The letter has been framed as a kind of absolute kibosh on the bishops’ plan — I’m not sure that’s the right reading.

    A few months ago, I mentioned that the CDF’s prefect would not want this issue to land on his desk, and, for my part, I think this letter reflects that — Ladaria seems to be urging above all else that the bishops not do anything that might lead to increased division among the U.S. bishops, and thus become something the CDF has to mete out. That perspective represents an extremely Roman sensibility — work out amongst yourselves before you do anything.

    The process Ladaria prescribes is a lengthy one, I suspect the Holy See would be glad for the U.S. bishops to take their time before publishing anything on the subject.

    Of course, the U.S. bishops don’t agree with each other about “Eucharistic coherence,” so the effect of Ladaria’s letter will probably, in my estimation, mean they settle on a far less direct statement than some Catholics were expecting — there will likely be the expectation that the statement not be seen to push the envelope too much, even if that means articulating principles expressed in canon law and articulated expressly by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger in 2004.

    Again, this is a matter in which authority rests at the level of the diocesan bishop — not the USCCB. If making a statement of some significance at the USCCB seems increasingly possible, it’s likely that an increasing number of bishops will just issue statements on their own, as Bishop Thomas Olmsted did this week.

    You might not agree with my reading of Cardinal Ladaria’s letter. So don’t take my word for it. We’ve posted the cardinal’s entire letter here.

    Continued below.
    The news: CDF weighs in on pro-choice Communion debate, a catechesis on catechists, and hot chicken


     
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  2. Romans 13:3

    Romans 13:3 Newbie

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    interesting read.
     
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