Monthly Archives: September 2013

Pope Francis Saturday Morning Homily

(Vatican Radio) Ask for the grace you need in order not to flee the Cross: this was the message of Pope Francis to the faithful at Mass on Saturday morning in the Domus Sanctae Marthae chapel in the Vatican. His remarks following the daily readings focused on the Gospel passage of the day, in which Jesus announces His Passion to the disciples. Read more from Vatican Radio.

News Briefs, September 24

Catholic News Service is the official news agency of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops. Here is their News Briefs for today.

Pope Emeritus Benedict challenges athiest, denies hiding abuse cases

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — In a letter to an atheist Italian mathematician, retired Pope Benedict XVI defended his own handling of allegations of the sexual abuse of minors by clergy and politely criticized the logician’s total reliance on scientific facts for meaning. Read more.

Catholic News Service

New Bishop for Houma-Thibodaux, Louisiana

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Monday named Bishop Shelton Fabre as the new Bishop of Houma-Thibodaux in the United States. He replaces Bishop Sam G. Jacobs, whose resignation the Holy Father accepted upon having reached the age limit.

Bishop Shelton J. Fabre was born in New Road, Louisiana, in the Diocese of Baton Rouge on 25 October 1983. He studied at Saint Joseph Seminary College in Saint Benedict Louisiana before attaining his Baccalaureate and Master in Religious Studies at the Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium.

e was ordained a priest of the diocese of Baton Rouge on 5 August 1989.

As a priest of the diocese, he undertook the following pastoral duties: Associate Pastor of St. Alphonsus Liguori Parish in Greenwell Springs (1989-1992); Director of the Office of Black Catholics (1991-2004); Associate Pastor of St. George Parish in Baton Rouge (1992-1994), of St. Isidore the Farmer Parish in Baker (1994-1995), and of St. Joseph Cathedral in Baton Rouge (1995-1996); Pastor of St. Joseph Parish in Grosse Tete and of Immaculate Heart Parish in Maringouin (1996-2004); Defender of the Bond for the Tribunal of Baton Rouge (1997-2006); Pastor of Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish in Baton Rouge (2004-2006).

Fabre was named titular Bishop of Pudenziana and Auxiliary Bishop for New Orleans on 13 December 2006, and was consecrated the following 28 February.
From 2007 he has served as Vicar General of the Archdiocese of New Orleans.

Bishop Fabre also serves at the U.S. Bishops’ Conference as President of the Subcommittee on African American Affairs

Pope Francis visits the island of Sardinia

(Vatican Radio) The Pope on Sunday celebrated Holy Mass at the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Bonaria, in Cagliari on the island of Sardinia.
The pastoral voyage has a special significance for Pope Francis, whose hometown of Buenos Aires in Argentina takes its from Our Lady of Bonaria.
Read more.

Sunday’s Scriptures

Here are the Scriptures for this Sunday, the 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time, from the US Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Scripture Commentary for Sunday, September 22

Catholic News Service publishes their “Word to Life” series based on the readings for Sunday. Read this week’s commentary.

Pope makes new key appointments to Roman Curia

Vatican City (CWN)

The Vatican announced a series of key appointments in the Roman Curia on September 21, as Pope Francis began assembling his own Vatican leadership team.

The Pope confirmed the prefects of two Vatican congregations: Archbishop Gerhard Müller at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and Cardinal Fernando Filoni at the Congregation for Evangelization. Shortly after his election the Pope had announced that the leaders of the Roman Curia should remain at their posts donec aliter provideatur–until other provisions are made. The appointments of these two prefects are no longer provisional.

The Pope transferred Cardinal Mauro Piacenza, who had been the prefect of the Congregation for Clergy, to a new role as head of the Apostolic Penitentiary. This appointment could raise some eyebrows, since the prefect of a major congregation has considerably more influence over everyday Vatican policies than the Major Penitentiary. The Apostolic Penitentiary is the Vatican tribunal with jurisdiction over matters involving the “internal forum”–the relationships involving matters of conscience between a penitent and confessor, or an individual and his spiritual director. Cardinal Piacenza replaces Cardinal Manuel Monteiro de Castro, who is retiring at the age of 75.

To replace Cardinal Piacenza, the Pope named Archbishop Benjamin Stella, who has been head of the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy (the training place for Vatican diplomats), the new prefect of the Congregation for Clergy. And to fill the opening created at the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy he named Bishop Giampiero Gloder, a ranking official of the Secretariat of State.

In perhaps the most interesting change, Pope Francis appointed Archbishop Lorenzo Baldisseri, who has been the secretary of the Congregation for Bishops, as Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops. He replaces Archbishop Nikola Eterovic, who is being sent to Germany to be apostolic nuncio there—again, a transfer that could be perceived as a demotion. Pope Francis has spoken of his desire to give the Synod of Bishops a more prominent role; he evidently chose Archbishop Baldisseri as his personal choice to carry out that role.

The Pope confirmed the secretaries, members, and consultors of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the Congregation for Evangelization, leaving those two offices essentially intact. He did, however, make minor changes. Bishop Protase Rugambwa, who had been an official at the Congregation for Evangelization, is now the adjunct secretary. And Archbishop Augustine Di Noia, who was vice-president of the Ecclesia Dei commission, will now be an assistant secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. The latter change could be significant, although Archbishop Di Noia was already working with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Pope Benedict XVI had named the American Dominican as vice-president of the Ecclesia Dei commission last year, in an evident attempt to reinvigorate dialogue with the traditionalist Society of St. Pius X (SSPX). By detaching him (at least formally) from the Ecclesia Dei commission, Pope Francis may be signaling that the talks with the SSPX are no longer a high priority.


Cardinal Dolan’s statement on the Pope Francis interview

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 19, 2013


In his interview in La Civiltà Cattolica, and America magazine, our Holy Father confirms what has been apparent during these first six months of his papacy: that he is a man who profoundly believes in the mercy of a loving God, and who wants to bring that message of mercy to the entire world, including those who feel that they have been wounded by the Church. As a priest and bishop, I particularly welcome his reminder that the clergy are primarily to serve as shepherds, to be with our people, to walk with them, to be pastors, not bureaucrats! It is becoming more evident every day that we are blessed with a Pope who is a good shepherd after the heart of Christ.

Text of Pope Francis interview

Read the entire text of Pope Francis’ extended interview with the Jesuit magazines, which was published yesterday.