Posted on 10/17/2018 23:45 PM (CNA Daily News)
Washington D.C., Oct 17, 2018 / 03:45 pm (CNA).- The Archbishop of Washington occupies one of the most prominent posts in the Church in America. But the assignment, usually accompanied by a cardinal’s hat, comes with a tricky job description.
Because of his proximity to the federal government, DC’s archbishop often sets the tone, or at least frames the debate, for how other bishops in the country react to political events. Washington’s archbishop often finds himself the first point of reference on very public pastoral questions, like admittance to Communion for pro-abortion politicians, and he is often asked to take a lead role in overtly political events like the annual March for Life.
Washington is also one of the more diverse dioceses in the country: pastorally, liturgically, and culturally. It takes a particular skill-set for a bishop to bring together a flock of almost 700,000, which includes the deeply enculturated African-American parishes in the southeast of the city, the affluent parishes of northern parts of the city, large communities of Latin American immigrants, thousands of university students, and the rural communities of southern Maryland.
In addition to ordinary parish life, groups and movements like Opus Dei, the Neocatechumenal Way, and Communion and Liberation are all present in the archdiocese, as are numerous adherents to the Extraordinary Form of the liturgy, the so-called “Traditional Latin Mass.” Encouraging, promoting, and supporting those movements, without seeming to favor or disfavor one or another, can be a challenge all its own.
Beyond that, there are six Catholic colleges or universities in the diocese, and a number of seminary programs, as well as a far higher than average number of religious houses.
The Archbishop of Washington also has the USCCB in his backyard, and he is expected to play a senior role in the USCCB’s deliberations, without being seen to undermine or overrule its work on the federal level. That’s a tricky balancing act.
Before the scandals of the past few months, one of the most common criticisms of Cardinal Wuerl was that he was something of an episcopal Rorschach test; he could appear to be different things to different people, and seemed often to avoid coming down clearly on one side or another of difficult theological debates.
But, by some estimates, the ability to be all things to all people is a necessary skill for an archbishop in Washington – the line between taking a decisive stand and a divisive one is often very thin, indeed.
In short, the Archbishop of Washington is usually expected to represent a balance- neither to keel very far to the left or to the right, because of the scope of the issues that tend to fall into his lap. This means he usually faces criticism from the left and the right- and Wuerl, long before the scandals, faced both. But that balance is understood to be a critical part of the job.
Framing an authentically Catholic response to the issues of the day in a way that does not appear either openly partisan or impossibly vague requires a diplomatic skill set not necessarily found, or even needed, in every bishop.
If the pope were to name a successor to Wuerl who is perceived to be a committed “progressive” or “conservative, or who has a reputation for a narrow focus on one band of issues, the man might arrive to find a diocese already divided over his appointment.
While it would be myopic to assess Cardinal Wuerl’s tenure solely through the lens of the recent scandals, it is also impossible to deny that they have been the immediate cause of his departure, and that they will be the first priority of his replacement.
When he announced that he was asking the pope to accept his resignation, Wuerl said that the archdiocese needed to begin to move past the summer’s revelations. Last month, a spokesman for the cardinal told CNA that Wuerl believed “healing from the abuse crisis requires a new beginning and this includes new leadership for the Archdiocese of Washington.”
How “new” that “new leadership” is perceived to be could determine how fast healing happens, and how seriously the Vatican is seen to be responding to the situation.
Wuerl himself has given some indications of the kind of bishop he hopes will replace him; key among his criteria would seem to be someone unconnected with the current scandals.
In an interview with the New York Times published Friday, Wuerl said he was stepping aside “to allow for new leadership that doesn’t have this baggage,” and hoped that his replacement would be someone who became a bishop after the last abuse crises of the early 2000s.
Of course, being free from ties to the current scandal will require more than relative youth.
It was, arguably, Wuerl’s proximity to his predecessor, Theodore McCarrick, that did as much as anything else to end his tenure. His insistence that he knew nothing of rumors of McCarrick’s alleged misdeeds, or of supposed Vatican attempts to make him keep a lower profile in retirement, left him appearing, at least to some, to be either evasive or negligently incurious, in what became a major crisis of credibility for the American hierarchy.
Other bishops, including some touted as possible successors to Wuerl, have similarly had to account for their reactions, or lack of action, when they were first made aware of allegations against McCarrick.
More broadly, McCarrick’s influence helped to elevate a generation of priests and bishops from the east coast dioceses which he led, many of whom have gone on to serve in important positions in the Church hierarchy, both in the United States and in Rome. Should someone seen to be in McCarrick’s line of succession or patronage be appointed to take over in Washington, the credibility gap he would have to cross could prove immediate and unbridgeable.
D.C. Catholics – including Cardinal Wuerl – are now hoping for a relatively young bishop, one utterly free from association with either McCarrick or the other scandals currently roiling the Church. He’ll need to be someone of proven governing ability and diplomatic savvy, but with a pastoral heart and an established record of leading like a shepherd and father rather than an administrator.
It is a tall order, but not an impossible one to fill.
Of course, as the outgoing archbishop and still a member of the Congregation for Bishops in Rome, Wuerl will have had an outsized say in the names submitted for papal consideration.
At the same time, Pope Francis has a reputation for picking unexpected candidates for important jobs, and for favoring personal recommendations from people he knows well, rather than relying on officially presented shortlists.
How closely Wuerl’s successor aligns with his own stated hopes could speak volumes about how deep Francis’s respect really is for the man he so publicly praised while accepting his resignation. It could also be a strong indication of how seriously Rome is taking a crisis still acutely felt in the American capital.
Posted on 10/17/2018 22:30 PM (CNA Daily News)
Pensacola, Fla., Oct 17, 2018 / 02:30 pm (CNA).- Thousands of people lost their homes as Hurricane Michael wrought havoc throughout the United States and Mexico last week. Now, the Catholic community in the Florida Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee is working to rebuild and to help those in need.
The hurricane has taken the lives of 46 people and caused an estimated $8 billion in damage. The Florida panhandle was one of the worst hit areas, with more than 20 people believed to have died in the storm.
Since Michael made landfall in the area Oct. 10, St. Dominic Catholic Church has served as a staging area for disaster relief in Panama City, Florida. Associate Pastor Luke Farabaugh, himself a native of the area, told the Pensacola News Journal that the church has “become an aid facility,” with “a lot of 18 wheelers” in the parking lot.
Despite the amount of supplies available, Farabaugh said that they are short of volunteers to distribute the materials. Pensacola Catholic High School’s football team have been volunteering together with administrators from the school, but many more people are needed.
About 50 volunteers are needed each day, said Bambi Provost. Provost is the director of fund development for Catholic Charities of Northwest Florida. She told the local media that the scene in the panhandle was “total devastation” and that “everything was destroyed.”
Cris Dosev is one of the people who came to St. Dominic’s to help out. Dosev, who is Catholic, came in third in the Republican congressional primary for Florida’s 1st District in August, but he was able to use the backs of his campaign signs to replace those that were destroyed in the storm.
Now, the new sign in front of St. Dominic’s Church is a repurposed Dosev for Congress sign. He also made signs indicating where people can pick up water and supplies, and there are signs with phone numbers people can call for assistance.
The Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee has also been able to provide limited lodging for those who are coming to the area to volunteer.
Catholic Charities USA, which is a national organization, gave Catholic Charities of Northwest Florida $1 million on Sunday for disaster relief. Provost said “all of it” will be used for the cleanup effort, and that the money will be used to help everyone, regardless of religious belief.
On its website, Catholic Charities of Northwest Florida boasts that “We strive to serve as many people as possible,” and that last year, 89 percent of those who received assistance from the organization were not Catholic.
Posted on 10/17/2018 20:34 PM (CNA Daily News)
London, England, Oct 17, 2018 / 12:34 pm (CNA).- A Catholic school in London has turned its horticulture lessons into meals for the homeless.
St Gregory’s Catholic Science College in northwest London educates nearly 1000 children, aged 11-18. Many of the students volunteer for social and environmental work.
This year, horticulture students grew pumpkins from seed in the summer term and harvested their fruit in early October. The pupils used the pumpkins, along with thyme from their garden, to make soup. They sent that soup to London’s Ealing Abbey Soup Kitchen, an ecumenical initiative of service for the city’s homeless population.
Ealing Abbey Soup Kitchen has been serving people in need since 1973. The pumpkin-thyme soup provided more than 150 portions.
"I'm really proud of our pupils for sharing the fruits of their labours with those in our community who will benefit the most," the school’s headteacher, Andrew Prindiville told the UK’s Independent Catholic News website.
The students of St Gregory’s have also been recently involved with environmental projects, among them helping to clean nearby Woodcock Park. Wealdstone Brook, which runs through the park, has had a problem with misconnected water lines dumping waste into the water from some 140 nearby homes.
Thames Water and Friends of Woodcock Park, who worked alongside the students, have been flushing dirty water away from the brook for the past five years. Receiving $1,300 worth of donated flowers, shrubs, and bulbs, the students and other community volunteers were able to revitalize the landscape.
Earlier this year, St Gregory’s Catholic Science College won the Horticultural Society’s School Gardening Team of the year award. The school has also been awarded the Eco Schools Green Flag Award for its commitment to the environment as seen in its curriculum.
The school was nominated for the 2018 Sustainable Schools TES AWARD. Headteacher Andy Prindiville said consideration for that award was an incredible honor.
“This is a wonderful accolade for St Gregory’s as we are one of only eight schools to have been shortlisted and is the result of the hard work and dedication of the staff, governors, local community and pupils of St Gregory’s,” said Prindiville, the Harrow Times reported.
Posted on 10/17/2018 20:30 PM (CNA Daily News)
Vatican City, Oct 17, 2018 / 12:30 pm (CNA).- Pope Francis told a group of Italian seminarians to report immediately to their bishop if they ever see or suspect any kind abuse, sexual or otherwise, on the part of a priest.
“On this point, speak clearly,” the pope told the students from Lombardy over the weekend.
“If you see something like [abuse], [go] immediately to the bishop. To help that abusive brother. Immediately to the bishop.”
The pope met the group in the Vatican’s St. Clementine hall Oct. 13. The text of the lengthy question and answer session was released by the Vatican Oct. 16. During the meeting, he answered a question about scandals in the Church and how to help Catholics to not lose hope despite the “poverty of its ministers.”
“Scandal wounds. We must be clear: on this point do not yield. To scandals, no. Especially when the scandals hurt little ones,” he said, emphasizing that though statistics show abuse by priests or other clerics to be a small percentage of total cases in society, it is not a reason to ignore the issue.
“No. Because even if it was just one priest, this is a monstrosity,” he underlined.
Pope Francis also spoke about other “scandals” brought about by the public sins of priests, condemning worldliness in particular, and giving the example of a priest who is polite and well-liked, but never seen praying, going to the hospital to visit the sick, or performing works of mercy.
For a priest to scandalize the people of God “is very bad,” he said.
The pope went on to say that in his home country of Argentina, the people are not easily scandalized, but take action, even being able “to forgive a poor priest who has a double life with a woman and does not know how to solve it, saying: ‘Ah, poor man, let’s help him...’ but do not condemn immediately.”
“The people have great wisdom,” the pope said, and urged the seminarians to always condemn scandal when they see it, going to the bishop or even directly to the brother priest to say: “Look, you are scandalizing people with this [behavior].”
Posted on 10/17/2018 18:30 PM (CNA Daily News)
London, England, Oct 17, 2018 / 10:30 am (CNA).- A London borough has apologized to a U.K. pro-life charity after making inaccurate claims about the group. Life, a non-sectarian charity which provides assistance to women and children, was ejected from the Lambeth Country Show in July.
In a tweet posted Oct. 12 on the official account of Lambeth Council, the local government recognized that its previous claim that Life had booked a place at the show using “inaccurate information” – thereby justifying the removal of their stall – was untrue.
“On 22 July 2018, [Lambeth Council] tweeted that Life booked a stall at our County Show using inaccurate information. We accept that was incorrect and would like to apologise to Life,” the tweet read.
The annual event was held in Brockwell Park, south London, and was attended by approximately 150,000 people over the course of the weekend of July 21-22. Having exhibited during the day Saturday, Life staff and volunteers arrived Sunday morning to find their stall had been disassembled and their property removed from the show’s grounds.
At the time of the event, Life said that they had been given no warning or justification for the removal.
“They would not give us an exact reason for the action but did say that Life was against the values of Lambeth Council and was not in line with the causes the council has been funding and supporting. However they were then unable to tell us what those values were,” a statement from the charity said.
Over the course of that weekend, Lambeth councilor Ed Davie alleged in a tweet that Life “wasn’t officially allowed” to be at the event, was “not on the approved list of exhibitors,” and that he would “make sure” they were not permitted to remain through Sunday.
In a subsequent tweet, Davie further alleged that Life had used “inaccurate information” in their application to exhibit at the show. Lambeth Council’s official Twitter account repeated that allegation later that day. Life demanded an apology and announced they were taking legal action against the council.
Life, which offers information and support to women in crisis pregnancies, and also provides accommodation for homeless pregnant women, said they had explicitly described themselves as “a pro-life charity” in their application for the event.
Their submission to Lambeth Council included pictures of similar stalls they had run at past events.
Speaking at the time, Life’s director of education Ann Scanlan said that “nothing on our stall was offensive. There were lifelike fetal models and pictures of the unborn baby at different gestational stages which can be seen on any pregnancy website, including the National Health Service.”
The eviction came at a time when pro-life speech was under sustained pressure from local government action. Several authorities, including the London borough of Ealing, moved to ban pro-life vigils near abortion clinics. The Ealing ban was upheld against an appeal to the High Court.
In September, U.K. Home Secretary Sajid Javid said that he would not be instituting a national ban on demonstrations near abortion facilities. Javid said that, although the proposal had support across different political parties, it would not be “proportional response.”
Posted on 10/17/2018 16:40 PM (CNA Daily News)
Vatican City, Oct 17, 2018 / 08:40 am (CNA).- While Chinese Bishop Joseph Guo Jincai is new to the Vatican’s Synod of Bishops, he has served three terms as a deputy to the National People’s Congress in Beijing.
As a member of China’s legislative body, Bishop Guo publicly supported an amendment to eliminate presidential term limits and enshrine “Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era” in the Chinese Constitution in March 2018.
Weeks after his excommunication was lifted last month as a part of an agreement between China and the Holy See, Bishop Guo garnered attention in Rome as one of the first Chinese bishops to ever participate in an ecclesial synod, along with Bishop Yang Xiaoting of Yan'an.
Pope Francis opened the synod with a greeting for the two Chinese arrivals, saying that “the communion of the entire episcopate with the Successor of Peter is yet more visible thanks to their presence."
The two Chinese bishops took part in the synod on young people, the faith, and vocation.
Young people in China face unique challenges in relation to faith. For example, due to a change in the Chinese government’s religious oversight earlier this year, it is now illegal for anyone under 18 years old to enter a church or religious building.
Bishop Guo told Chinese state media that he did not see any conflict between his role as a legislator and a bishop as the National People’s Congress convened last March.
“My position as a national legislator will not and cannot affect my religious service, as China implements the principle of separation of church and State," Guo told the state-sponsored newspaper Global Times.
The Global Times reported that Guo went on to say that Catholics must adapt to socialist society in order to survive and develop in China, and a fundamental requirement for this is to be patriotic.
This echoes President Xi Jinping’s repeated comments that all religion in China must “Sinicize” or adapt to Chinese culture and society as defined by the state. In 2016, Xi told Chinese Communist Party leaders that they must “resolutely guard against overseas infiltrations via religious means.”
For decades, China’s 12 million Catholics have been split between an underground Catholic Church in full communion with the Holy See, sometimes subject to government persecution, and the government-run Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association, whose bishops are appointed by the Communist government and have sometimes been ordained without papal approval.
Bishop Guo serves as secretary-general for the Bishops’ Conference of the Catholic Church in China (BCCCC). Bishop Yang, the other Chinese synod delegate, serves as its vice-president.
This Chinese “episcopal conference” was deemed illegitimate in Pope Benedict XVI’s 2007 letter to Catholics in China because it is “governed by statutes that contain elements incompatible with Catholic doctrine.” It is unclear whether the Sept. 22 agreement between the Holy See and China recognized the Chinese government’s bishops’ conference as legitimate.
Vatican spokesman Greg Burke said the objective of the September accord is “not political but pastoral” and will allow “the faithful to have bishops who are in communion with Rome but at the same time recognized by Chinese authorities.”
Yang was ordained a bishop with both papal approval and government recognition in July 2010. The Yan’an bishop studied theology in Rome, obtaining a doctorate in 1999.
“As the family made up of husband and wife is always united, so is the Church, which is one, holy, catholic and apostolic. In Italy, in China or in other countries, the love of Christ is always the same. Pope Francis, who knows very well our situation in the Catholic Church in China, does not want to leave us, does not want to separate us from the universal Church,” Yang said at a Roman parish on Oct. 7, SIR, a news agency sustained by the Italian bishops’ conference, reported.
“I still ask you for help for this Church in China. Our Church is like a child, it is not very mature, so we need your accompaniment, your help and your prayer, always in the love of the Lord,” Yang continued after celebrating Mass at Santa Maria ai Monti.
Before leaving the synod early on Oct. 15 without explanation, the two Chinese bishops had the opportunity to speak with Pope Francis and invite him to visit China.
Guo and Yang stayed in Vatican City’s Santa Marta guesthouse, where “we could live together in daily life with the pope,” Bishop Guo told Avvenire, the newspaper of the Italian bishops conference, in an interview published Oct. 16.
“We could speak with familiarity as children with their father. He told us that he loves us, loves our country and always prays a lot to Christians in China,” Guo said.
Posted on 10/17/2018 11:22 AM (CNA Daily News)
Vatican City, Oct 17, 2018 / 03:22 am (CNA/EWTN News).- A person may not have killed someone, but if they are angry or have hate toward another person, it is like they have killed him or her in their heart, Pope Francis said Wednesday.
To insult or hate someone, or to have contempt, is a way of “killing the dignity of a person,” the pope said Oct. 17.
One may think: “I’m fine because I do not do anything wrong,” but he or she is deceiving themselves, he continued. “A mineral or a plant, or the sampietrini stones in the piazza, have this kind of existence, a person – a man or a woman – no.”
“More is required of a man or woman,” he stated. “Human life needs love.”
Pope Francis continued his series of messages on the Ten Commandments at the general audience with a reflection on Christ’s teachings about anger and its connection to the fifth commandment: You shall not kill.
Francis referenced the Gospel of Matthew, when Jesus is teaching his disciples on the mountain, and says: “You have heard that it was said to your ancestors, ‘You shall not kill; and whoever kills will be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you, whoever is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment.”
In this passage, the pope explained, Jesus reveals to his followers that “before God’s court, even anger against a brother is a form of murder.”
Jesus also says that, by the same logic, insult and contempt are sins too, he added, pointing out how often people are accustomed to insulting others, even commenting sometimes that so-and-so “is dead to me.”
To do so is like killing them in your heart, the pope said: “Jesus says stop!”
Pope Francis said the commandment to not kill is more than an order against bad actions, it is also “an appeal to love and mercy, it is a call to live according to the Lord Jesus, who gave his life for us and rose for us.”
“And what is authentic love? It is what Christ showed us, that is, mercy. The love we cannot do without is the one that forgives, which welcomes those who have harmed us.”
Pope Francis advised Catholics, before the start of Mass, to strive to be reconciled with anyone they have a problem with and to fight against the temptation to be indifferent toward their fellow human beings.
He pointed to Cain in the Old Testament, who said after he killed his brother Abel, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” This is how killers speak, the pope emphasized: “Are we the keepers of our brothers? Yes, we are! We are the keepers of each other!”
There is more to a person than his or her physical body – there is the spirit, he added, saying that even “an inappropriate phrase is enough to violate the innocence of a child.”
He concluded by urging Catholics to give thanks to Jesus, “the author of life.” In Christ, “in his love [which is] stronger than death, and through the power of the Spirit that the Father gives us, we can welcome the Word ‘Do not kill’ as the most important and essential appeal: to not kill is the call to love.”
Posted on 10/17/2018 01:00 AM (CNA Daily News)
Vatican City, Oct 16, 2018 / 05:00 pm (CNA).- Feeding the hungry requires combined action and political will to provide real help for the poor, Pope Francis has said.
In an Oct. 16 letter marking World Food Day, Pope Francis said that words needed become actions in the effort to eliminate poverty and hunger.
“We do indeed have the adequate means and framework so that beautiful words and good wishes may become an action plan of substance that leads effectively to the eradication of hunger in our world,” the Pope said Tuesday.
“To this end we need joint efforts, upright hearts, and persistent concern to firmly and resolutely make the other’s problem one’s own.”
There are “immense obstacles” to solving problems, and barriers that are “the fruit of indecision or delays, and a lack of enthusiasm on the part of responsible political leaders who are often absorbed purely by electoral concerns or are focused on biased, transitory or limited perspectives,” he said.
The pope’s message for World Food Day was sent to José Graziano da Silva, director general of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. This year’s World Food Day aims for a zero-hunger world by the year 2030.
In the letter, the pontiff advocated policies for the real needs of the poor, especially regarding levels of agricultural production, access to food markets, and other initiatives and actions. He stressed the need to realize that all countries are “equal in dignity” when it comes to making decisions.
“What is needed is the willingness to end hunger, and this ultimately will not happen without a moral conviction that is shared by all peoples and all religious persuasions, where the integral good of the person is at the heart of all initiatives and consists in ‘doing to another what we would want done to ourselves’.”
“We are speaking of an action based on solidarity among all nations and of the means that express the disposition of the people,” he said, stressing that it is imperative for civil society, media, and educational institutions to join forces.
“From now until 2030 we have 12 years to set up initiatives that are vigorous and consistent; not giving in to occasional spurts or intermittent and fleeting headlines, but rather facing up unremittingly to hunger and its causes in a spirit of solidarity, justice and consistency,” the Pope continued.
“The poor expect from us an effective help that takes them out of their misery, not mere propositions or agreements that, after studying in a detailed way the roots of their misery, bear as their fruit only solemn events, pledges that never materialize, or impressive publications destined only to enlarge library catalogues,” he said.
One in nine people around the world lack enough food to eat, according to Catholics Confront Global Poverty, a joint initiative of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and Catholic Relief Services, said that
The initiative has expressed its frustration at the failure of the Congressional Farm Bill Conference Committee to finalize the “critical piece of legislation” and pass it into law before it expired on Sept. 30.
Catholics Confront Global Poverty is calling on Catholics and others to contact their lawmakers to ensure that “critical improvements” to international food security programs are present in the final version of the bill.
Catholic Relief Services is the largest private distributor of U.S. food aid in response to immediate emergencies including drought, flooding, or war or conflict. The agency also has land management and conservation programs to preserve and expand productive farmland.
While the pope’s remarks addressed global policy priorities and solutions for poverty and hunger, Joseph Cullen, a spokesperson for the Knights of Columbus, said the fraternal organization and its 1.9 million members worldwide are among those working to fight hunger directly, both overseas and close to home.
“We often forget that many people in the developed world also experience hunger,” Cullen told CNA.
The Catholic fraternity’s Food for Families program in the U.S. and Canada has donated almost $14 million for food and 28 million pounds of food since its launch in 2012.
Cullen suggested that such organized volunteerism and charity is a basis for creating the will to fight hunger.
“Many of us are unaware on a practical level that families and individuals struggle and are unable to provide food for their families,” he said. “By conducting and publicizing Food for Families programs in our communities, the underlying problem of hunger becomes better known and understood, helping create the will to eliminate this problem.”
The Knights of Columbus’ Supreme Council reimburses a portion of local councils’ monetary donations to food pantries, food banks and soup kitchens. Since 2014, the organization’s aid to persecuted Christians and other religious minorities in the Middle East has also included a food program component.
Pope Francis’ message further lamented the incongruity between technological advancement and continued problems with hunger.
“In this twenty-first century that has seen considerable advances in the field of technology, science, communications and infrastructure, we ought to feel shame for not having achieved the same advances in humanity and solidarity, and so satisfy the primary needs of the most disadvantaged,” he said in his World Food Day message.
“Neither can we console ourselves simply for having faced emergencies and desperate situations of those most in need. We are all called to go further. We can and we must do better for the helpless. We must move to concrete action, so that the scourge of hunger disappears completely.”
Posted on 10/17/2018 00:30 AM (CNA Daily News)
Vatican City, Oct 16, 2018 / 04:30 pm (CNA).- Young people should look to the “saints of our times,” as models of holiness, Archbishop José Gomez told the Synod of Bishops on Tuesday. The Archbishop of Los Angeles highlighted the example of the seven recently canonized saints in his speech to the assembly.
Gomez spoke Oct. 16 during the fifteenth ordinary general assembly of the Synod of Bishops, currently meeting in Rome to discuss young people, the faith, and vocational discernment. The session continues until Oct. 28.
In looking to saints, of which there are examples from “every continent,” young people will be inspired to live their vocation as “everyday saints” in their own unique way, Archbishop Gomez said. He also called on his brother bishops to be a model of sainthood for young people.
“We need to show young people what holiness looks like, by living the Gospel we preach, proclaiming Jesus Christ by the way we live. We need to call young people to be saints — and we need to be saints ourselves,” he said.
Gomez emphasized that calling young people to “conversion and new life in Christ” should be a priority in the synod’s final conclusions, and that the Church is called to serve and accompany young people on that journey.
This involves, he said, setting an example of how to pray, helping young people meet the Lord in the Sacraments of the Eucharist and Confession, encouraging them to perform works of mercy for the poor, and cultivating a devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
“Sadly, young people today do not know how to live authentic human lives because the adults of our secular society have not shown them the way,” Gomez said.
“The vision for life offered to young people in Western societies does not call them to goodness or beauty or truth. Instead, what is offered are various life ‘styles’ and alternatives for self-creation rooted in the restless consumption of material comforts, virtual entertainments, and passing pleasures,” he said.
The archbishop said that in his conversations with young people in his own diocese he came to see that the Church did offer the answers they were seeking.
"In the Incarnation of the Son of God and in his Passion and Resurrection, we see revealed the dignity and destiny of the human person, created in God’s image and called to live by his Spirit as a child of God and to be saints — to be holy as our Father in heaven is holy,” Gomez said.
Archbishop Gomez, along with seven auxiliary bishops, leads the largest archdiocese in the country, with over 4 million Catholics out of a total population of over 11 million.
Posted on 10/17/2018 00:30 AM (CNA Daily News)
Washington D.C., Oct 16, 2018 / 04:30 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Following a comment by President Emmanuel Macron, in which he expressed skepticism that any well-educated woman would decide to have many children, women with large families have been using the “#PostcardsForMacron” hashtag to send the French president pictures of their happy families.
Speaking about high fertility rates in Africa during a Gates Foundation “Goalkeepers” event held in New York City Sept. 25-26, Macron compared having a large family with forcing a girl to be married as a child.
Macron stated that when women are educated, they do not have many children.
“I always say: ‘Present me the woman who decided, being perfectly educated, to have seven, eight or nine children,” said Macron.
“Please present me with the young girl who decided to leave school at 10 in order to be married at 12.’”
In response, many women took issue with the French president’s apparent disbelief that academically successful women would choose to be mothers of several children.
Dr. Catherine R. Pakaluk, a professor of social research and economics at the Catholic University of America, started the hashtag by sharing a photo of herself and six of her eight children.
Postcards for Macron #postcardsforMacron pic.twitter.com/fmX1vzITpv
— Catherine R Pakaluk (@CRPakaluk) October 16, 2018 She followed up that tweet explaining that she holds both a Master’s degree and a Ph.D. from Harvard University and has, as she phrased it, “Eight children by choice.”
Her post garnered thousands of views, and other women followed her lead, including Beth Hockel, a “Stanford graduate, electrical engineer, mom of 11.”
Stanford graduate, electrical engineer, mom of 11. #postcardsforMacron pic.twitter.com/Gl1Py63j7v
— Beth Hockel (@ehockel1) October 16, 2018 Catholic writer Elizabeth Foss shared a picture of her nine children, saying “Yes, they’re all mine. And so is my (University of Virginia) degree.”
Yes, they’re all mine. And so is my UVa degree. #postcardsforMacron pic.twitter.com/dROzkKq1md
— elizabeth foss (@elizabethfoss) October 16, 2018 Men joined in as well, sharing pictures of their wives and their own mothers.
“Check out my educated and inspiring wife and mom of 7,” tweeted writer Josh Canning, along with a picture of his family.
#DearEmmanuelMacron check out my educated and inspiring wife and mom of 7. #postcardsforMacron pic.twitter.com/Ucp5eizIMa
— Josh Canning (@CatholicJosh) October 16, 2018 Several people pointed out that philosopher Elizabeth Anscombe was a mother of seven, and yet still taught at Oxford and Cambridge.
Dear @EmmanuelMacron This is the Oxford and Cambridge philosopher Elizabeth Anscombe. She is widely considered one of the greatest 20th century philosophers. She had seven children. #PostcardsforMacron pic.twitter.com/slZZptPsGv
— Samuel Gregg (@DrSamuelGregg) October 16, 2018 While Macron made the remarks at the end of September, his comments on family size gained media traction on Monday, following a report in the Guardian newspaper.
Macron himself does not have any children, but his wife has three children from her first marriage.
The Macrons met when the future French president was 15 years old, his future wife Brigitte Trogneux was his teacher.