Browsing News Entries
U.S. Bishops Will Gather for Seven Days of Prayer and Reflection at Invitation of Pope Francis; Papal Preacher to Direct Retreat Taking Place January 2-8
Posted on 12/21/2018 06:46 AM (USCCB News Releases)
WASHINGTON— Catholic bishops from across the United States will begin the new year taking part in a spiritual retreat for seven days at Mundelein Seminary January 2 to 8, 2019. Preacher to the Papal Household, Capuchin Friar Father Raniero Cantalamessa, O.F.M. Cap., will direct the retreat under the theme of “He appointed Twelve, to be with Him and to Send Out to Preach” based on Mark 3:14. The retreat is taking place at the invitation of Pope Francis who has asked all bishops in the United States to pause in prayer as the Church seeks to respond to the signs of the times.
The structure of the retreat will emphasize quiet reflection, including silent meal times, and will offer daily Mass, time for personal and communal prayer before the Blessed Sacrament, vespers, and an opportunity for confession. The next business meeting of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops is scheduled for June 2019. No ordinary business will be conducted at the January retreat.
Cardinal DiNardo expresses his gratitude to Pope Francis for offering the services of his personal preacher for the retreat and offers special thanks to Cardinal Blase Cupich for hosting the retreat in the Archdiocese of Chicago. The Cardinal is also asking the faithful to join in prayer for the U.S. bishops throughout the duration of the retreat.
“I am grateful to the Holy Father for calling the bishops and me to step back and enter into this focused time of listening to God as we respond to the intense matters before us in the weeks and months ahead. I also humbly ask the laity, our priests and religious for your prayers for my brother bishops and me as we join in solidarity to seek wisdom and guidance from the Holy Spirit. Pray also for the survivors of sexual abuse that their suffering may serve to strengthen us all for the hard task of rooting out a terrible evil from our Church and our society so that such suffering is never multiplied.”
On February 21-24, 2019, Cardinal DiNardo will join presidents of the world’s bishops’ conferences for a Vatican summit on the clerical sex abuse crisis and child protection. The pope had announced in September that he was calling all the presidents of bishop’s conferences, the heads of the Eastern Catholic churches and representatives of the leadership groups of men and women religious orders to the Vatican to address the crisis.
Father Cantalamessa was appointed the Preacher to the Papal Household by Pope John Paul II in 1980. He has remained in this position through the pontificates of Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis and is the only person allowed to preach to the Pope.
Mundelein Seminary, located on the campus of the University of St. Mary of the Lake, is the principal seminary and school of theology for the formation of priests in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago. It is the largest Catholic seminary in the United States and home to 200 seminarians from 34 dioceses across the country and around the world.
Keywords: Pope Francis, Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, Father Raniero Cantalamessa, O.F.M. Cap., Cardinal Blase Cupich, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Mundelein Seminary, silent retreat, University of Saint Mary of the Lake, Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago, clergy sex abuse crisis
Bishops’ Conference Praises Senate for Passage of the FIRST STEP Act and Encourages Passage in the House
Posted on 12/20/2018 09:49 AM (USCCB News Releases)
WASHINGTON—Following the passage of the FIRST STEP Act in the U.S. Senate this week, Frank J. Dewane, Bishop of Venice, FL, and Chairman of the USCCB Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, praised the Senate for passing the bill and encouraged the House to do likewise.
The full statement is as follows:
“I am grateful to the members and staff in the U.S. Senate, especially Chairman Chuck Grassley and Senators Mike Lee, Dick Durbin, and Cory Booker, for years of hard work and bipartisan collaboration that culminated in the resounding passage of the FIRST STEP Act last night. I am also grateful to President Trump and his staff for their strong support and advocacy for this legislation.
The FIRST STEP Act contains several much-needed reforms for the federal prison system, including sentencing reform, strongly limiting the practice of shackling pregnant women in prison, establishing a maximum geographical distance between prisoners and their families, enhancing compassionate release for terminally ill and elderly prisoners, assisting returning citizens with obtaining government identification documents, and fixing the time credit system. The bill also reauthorizes the Second Chance Act which will provide important resources for reentering citizens after release from incarceration. I am very grateful to Senator Lankford for resolving a religious liberty concern that arose in a late version of the bill, correcting the issue prior to final passage. The bill contains many more fine provisions which will help foster a more just and merciful criminal justice system.
Today, the House of Representatives has an opportunity to pass this improved version of the bill and send it to the President for his signature. Our nation’s criminal justice system is in need of reform, and this legislation is a worthy 'first step' in the right direction and a model of bipartisan collaboration and good policy making. As we approach the Nativity of our Lord, we are reminded of the need to promote justice and mercy in our society. In this spirit, I call on the House to take up this legislation and pass the FIRST STEP Act."
Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Bishop Frank J. Dewane, Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, First Step Act, President Trump, U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, federal prison system, Second Chance Act, religious liberty, criminal justice system, justice, mercy
# # #
Posted on 12/18/2018 23:51 PM (USCCB News Releases)
WASHINGTON—Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Bishop Alexander Salazar from the office of Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.
The resignation was publicized in Washington, December 19, 2018, by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States.
The Archdiocese of Los Angeles said in a statement that the announcement comes after Archbishop José H. Gomez requested a full review of all allegations of sexual misconduct involving minors to bring up to date the 2004 Report to the People of God lists of accused priests. More information will be available from the Archdiocese at www.AngelusNews.com
Bishop Alexander Salazar was born on November 28, 1949 in San Jose, Costa Rica and later moved with his family to the United States.
In 1977, Salazar entered St. John’s Seminary in Camarillo, California. He was ordained to the priesthood on June 16, 1984. After ordination he served as associate pastor at St. Gregory the Great, in Whittier; Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Pasadena, and at the Cathedral of St. Vibiana. From 1995-2004, he was pastor of St. Teresa of Avila Church in Silverlake and served as Dean of Deanery 14. He also served as a member the Council of Priests, College of Consultors, and on the Clergy Pension Board. He additionally served on the Archdiocesan Personnel Board. In 2003, he was named Vice-Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and Honorary Chaplain of His Holiness.
On September 7, 2004, he was appointed as Auxiliary Bishop of Los Angeles and Titular Bishop of Nesqually by Pope John Paul II. He was ordained as auxiliary bishop on November 4, 2004 by Roger Cardinal Mahony who appointed him Episcopal Vicar of the San Pedro Region.
Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Pope Francis, Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio, Auxiliary Bishops Alexander Salazar , Archdiocese of Los Angeles
Chairman of the USCCB Committee on Migration and Bishops from Texas Dioceses Issue Statement on the Death of Jakelin Caal Maquin
Posted on 12/18/2018 10:28 AM (USCCB News Releases)
WASHINGTON--On December 8, seven-year-old Jakelin Caal Maquin died in the custody of United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP). She and her father had been apprehended the evening of December 6 in a remote stretch of the U.S./Mexico border in Antelope Wells, New Mexico. Most Reverend Joe S. Vásquez, Bishop of Austin, and Chairman of the USCCB Committee on Migration, along with Most Reverend Mark J. Seitz, Bishop of El Paso and Most Reverend Gerald Kicanas, Administrator of the Diocese of Las Cruces, issued the following statement:
“We are extremely distressed at the news of seven-year-old Jakelin Caal Maquin’s death shortly after crossing the U.S./Mexico border with her father and turning themselves into CBP in search of asylum in the United States. Our prayers and heart-felt condolences go out to Jakelin’s family. The death of a child is always a moment of great sadness, a jarring disruption of the natural order of life. From this tragedy, we must remember this profound human consequence of our failed immigration policies, including also that restrictions on the flow of asylum seekers at the border can push more families to seek entrance between ports of entry which place them at greater risk. Jakelin’s death is a tragic reminder of the desperate situation that many fleeing violence, persecution, and poverty face - both in their home countries and now at our border.
We welcome the investigation of the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General. We recognize the work and commitment of CBP officers to ensure our safety, but urge CBP leadership to critically review policies regarding the care of vulnerable populations in their custody. We pledge our assistance to help CBP do so.
As we prepare to celebrate Christmas and the birth of Jesus, himself a child whose parents were told “there is no room,” we continue to recognize and affirm that seeking asylum and protection is legal. As a nation, we have the obligation to receive distraught individuals and families with welcome, compassion, and humane treatment. We must heed the words of Christ that “Whatsoever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me” (Matthew 25:40).
Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Committee on Migration, Bishop Mark J. Seitz, Bishop Gerald Kicanas, Bishop Joe S. Vasquez
U.S. Bishops’ Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities Calls NIH’s Dr. Francis Collins Defense of Using Baby Body Parts from Abortions for Research “Deeply Disturbing”
Posted on 12/18/2018 05:02 AM (USCCB News Releases)
WASHINGTON—Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), recently defended current NIH research that uses the body parts of babies destroyed by elective abortions and said that fetal tissue research “will continue to be the mainstay.”
Greg Schleppenbach, Associate Director of the U.S. Bishops’ Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities, responds with the following statement:
“Dr. Collins’ comments are deeply disturbing. Research using fetal tissue from aborted babies is unethical and should not continue under his leadership. The use of fetal remains procured from abortions can be interpreted as legitimizing abortion by saying it is an important source for research. It also requires close collaboration with the abortion industry. Every abortion stops a beating heart, unjustly denying a defenseless human being of her or his life. There is nothing pro-life about further violating these aborted babies by scavenging, even commodifying, their body parts for use in research. The remains of aborted babies are human remains and should be given the full respect they deserve. Millions of pro-life Americans find such research morally offensive and do not want their tax dollars to be used to pay for it.
Researchers have demonstrated the ability to both pursue excellence in research and to avoid violating the rights and dignity of nascent human beings. Dr. Collins can and should lead the NIH in a way that honors both ends, incentivizing research that all Americans can support.”
Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities, Greg Schleppenbach, Dr. Francis Collins, National Institutes of Health (NIH), elective abortions, research, fetal tissue, abortion industry, unethical, commodifying, human remains, tax dollars, pro-life, human life, human dignity, pro-life, human beings