Cardinal Marx meets Pontiff with German bishops, Vatican at odds (Vatican Press Office) Cardinal Reinhard Marx, the president of the German bishops’ conference, met with Pope Francis in a private audience on September 19. Although the Vatican press office did not indicate the topic of their discussion, it was likely to focus on the impasse between the Holy See and the German bishops, who are resolved to vote on potential doctrinal changes in a “binding synodal assembly.”
Council of Cardinals reviews feedback on draft of apostolic constitution (Vatican Press Office) The Council of Cardinals held its 31st meeting this week at the Vatican. The three-day session was devoted primarily to discussing suggestions from Pope Francis and from the bishops’ conferences, who were reacting to a draft of the apostolic constitution that will redefine the responsibilities of the Roman Curia. The Council—which has now been trimmed from nine to three members—will hold its next working session in December.
Pope Francis: Saints Matthew, Stanislaus Kostka inspire us to convert, follow vocation (Vatican Press Office) Pope Francis recalled the example of the two saints in greetings to pilgrims following his September 18 general audience. The Pontiff referred to St. Stanislaus Kostka (1550-1568) as a “young man from Vienna [who] arrived in Rome on foot to become a Jesuit. He demonstrated that it is necessary to sacrifice so much to follow the voice of one’s vocation. He is also an example for those young people who, fearing the reaction of their families, friends or others, are afraid to choose the vocational path to the priesthood or religious life. Dear young people, do not be afraid to follow the voice of Christ!”
Majority of Americans support conscience protection in health care: USCCB survey (USCCB) 83% of Americans agree that “healthcare professionals should not be forced to perform procedures against their moral beliefs,” according to the poll. However, only 58% agree with the statement that “healthcare professionals should not be required to perform abortions if they have moral objections”; 20% say they should be legally required, and 22% are unsure.
Philippine senate considers proposals to legalize divorce (CNS) “The Philippines has a lot to teach, and the rest of the world has much to learn from the Philippines in defending the sanctity and indissolubility of marriage,” said Fenny Tatad of the Family and Life Office of the Philippine bishops’ conference, which opposes the proposed legislation.
Eastern churches can shed light on synodality, Pope remarks (Vatican Press Office) Speaking on September 19 to an audience of participants in a conference on canon law in the Eastern Catholic churches, Pope Francis observed that “we have the opportunity to learn from the experience of other traditions, especially those of the Eastern churches,” and particularly regarding the question of synodality. He added that the Eastern churches, Catholic and Orthodox, are also in the forefront of exploring “a common understanding of primacy and synodality and their relationship in the service of the unity of the Church.”
Pope appeals for prayers for persons with Alzheimer's Disease (Vatican Press Office) “This coming 21 September is World Alzheimer’s Day, a disease that affects many men and women who, because of this disease, are often victims of violence, abuse and mistreatment that trample their dignity,” Pope Francis said following his September 18 general audience. “Pray for the conversion of hearts and for those affected by Alzheimer’s, for their families and for those who care for them with love. I also remember in prayer those affected by cancer, so that they too may be increasingly supported, both in the prevention and in the treatment of this disease.”
'How a Melbourne seminary became the breeding ground for pedophile rings' (The Age) The Melbourne newspaper examines allegations of a “network of pedophiles coalescing around Corpus Christi [College seminary] in the mid-1970s ... A large number of pedophile priests and religious brothers acted in clusters, or rings of abusers. They knew what each other was up to and actively colluded by sharing victims. They passed on intelligence about children who were potential targets. They kept each other’s secrets.”
The Pope is a revolutionary like Jesus, Argentine rabbi says (Crux) “In the same way Jesus was revolutionary, [Pope Francis] tries to continue this and follow in his footsteps,” said Rabbi Abraham Skorka, rector of the Seminario Rabínico Latinoamericano in Buenos Aires, a friend of the Pope who coauthored a book with him. “He tries to renew and to purify the Church, and for a conservative person, to renew is not a possibility, because he tries to maintain the structures in the way that they are.”
Pope, at audience, speaks of apostles' bravery (Vatican Press Office) At his weekly public audience on September 18, Pope Francis continued his series of catechetical talks on the Acts of the Apostles, emphasizing the bravery of the apostles as they refused to accept the order from Jewish authorities to stop preaching in Jesus’ name. Their success, the Pope said, indicated the power of the Holy Spirit. “Human projects always fail,” the Pope remarked; “they have a time limit, as we do.” But with the Spirit’s aid the work of the Church endures.