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    The 7th Annual Diocesan Men’s Conference, “Men of God” will be held on Saturday, August 11, 2018 at Immaculate Heart

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CELEBRATING THE SEASON - LENT

Length 12 min.
Age Group I - Intermediate
Publisher St. Anthony Messenger Press
Topics Special Seasons
Spirituality


This video explores customs, traditions, prayers and ways we can keep Lent as we walk together on the path to Jerusalem, preparing for the new life of Easter. It invites us to Fast, Do Good Works, and Remember the way Jesus lived his life.

Featured Events

Catholic News Headlines

  • IMAGE: CNSBy Junno Arocho EstevesVATICAN CITY (CNS) -- A former staff member at the Vatican nunciature in Washington, accused of possessing and distributing child pornography, admitted his guilt to a Vatican court and said he had never engaged in such behavior before his assignment in the U.S. capital. "This kind of morbidness was never a part of my priestly life," Msgr. Carlo Alberto Capella told a courtroom June 22. Vatican City State's criminal court issued an indictment June 9 against the prelate, who has been held in a jail cell in the Vatican police barracks since April 9. Msgr. Capella is accused of having and exchanging with others "a large quantity" of child pornography; the quantity is such that the charges are considered "aggravated" by the Vatican City court. The U.S. State Department notified the Holy See Aug. 21 of Msgr. Capella's possible violation of laws relating to child pornography images. The 50-year-old Italian monsignor had been working in Washington just over a year when he was recalled to the Vatican. On Sept. 28, police in Canada issued a nationwide arrest warrant for Msgr. Capella on charges of accessing, possessing and distributing child pornography. Recounting his diplomatic career at the Vatican, the Italian prelate told the court that after several years in India, Hong Kong and the Vatican Secretariat of State, he was unhappy about his assignment to the nunciature in Washington. He said that "out of respect to the hierarchy, out of sense of duty and to not create problems, instead of making my discomfort known to them, I thanked them for the transfer." The monsignor told the court that he felt "empty" and "useless" in his first four months at the Washington nunciature and initially used the internet for news and funny images. In April 2016, Msgr. Capella started using the social microblogging site Tumblr to search for images when he started to see pornographic images. He said this led to conversations on the site's chat feature to engage in lewd conversations and exchange more perverse child pornographic images. Gianluca Gauzzi, deputy commissioner of the Vatican police and a computer engineer, later testified that 40-55 photos, videos and Japanese comics depicting adult-child relationships were found or recovered from cellphones, USB drives and hard drives belonging to Msgr. Capella. One video uncovered from the prelate's cellphone, Gauzzi told the courtroom, depicted sexual acts between a child and an adult. Tommaso Parisi, a psychiatrist, told the courtroom he began treating Msgr. Capella in October and that the prelate has been cooperative and responded well to treatment twice a week. Msgr. Capella was born in Carpi, Italy, and ordained to the priesthood in 1993 for the Archdiocese of Milan. After studying at the Vatican diplomatic academy in Rome, he entered the Vatican diplomatic service in 2004. He was assigned to the Washington nunciature in the summer of 2016. Giuseppe Dalla Torre, president of the tribunal of Vatican City State, announced that the trial will continue June 23. - - - Follow Arocho on Twitter: @arochoju  - - -Copyright © 2018 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. www.catholicnews.com. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at cns@catholicnews.com.

  • IMAGE: CNS photo/courtesy Jason Miller, Franciscan Action NetworkBy Rhina GuidosWASHINGTON (CNS) -- Bipartisan disagreement on how to fix the country's immigration system led to failure once again as lawmakers on Capitol Hill turned down one immigration bill June 21 and postponed a vote on a second proposal, which also has a slim opportunity of passing. Each side blamed the other for the failure to advance the first piece of legislation, which did not clear the initial hurdle of passing in the House of Representatives. The remaining proposal, seen as a "compromise" bill, seeks to find a way to help youth brought to the country illegally as minors and a $25 million advance for a wall along the border with Mexico, a major campaign and yet-unfulfilled promise made by President Donald Trump. Though Trump said Mexico would pay for the wall, he is now asking Congress for U.S. taxpayer money for the structure. "It's not a compromise. It may be a compromise with the devil, but it's not a compromise with the Democrats," said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-California, of the remaining bill. Though House Democrats voiced opposition to both bills, some Republicans, too, disagreed within their ranks. Republican Congressman Will Hurd, of Texas, said in a statement released by his office June 21 that he opposed money for the border wall, saying it was "an expensive and ineffective fourth-century border security tool that takes private property away from hundreds of Texans." He also expressed concern about taking away something from one immigration program in exchange for helping another. The remaining proposal seeks to do away with family-based migration, which allows U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents to sponsor certain family members for a visa, but at the expense of providing a legal path for the youth brought into the country as minors, popularly known as "Dreamers." As lawmakers retreated to salvage what they could and to haggle with others before the June 22 vote, a short distance away, Catholic groups joined other faith organizations in speaking out on Capitol Hill during a June 21 demonstration organized by Faith in Action against the detention of children at the border who have been separated from their parents. Religious leaders -- including priests and women and men religious, the Franciscan Action Network, members of the Sisters of Mercy, the Columbans and others -- surrounded a group of children wrapped in aluminum insulation blankets in a building at the Capitol and called for prayer and fasting to bring an end to the misery of separated families on the border. The insulation blanket was like those handed out to children in detention centers at the border. The Ignatian Solidarity Network also issued a press release voicing support for a statement from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops opposing both measures and asked Catholics to contact their representatives in Congress. In the June 18 letter to House members, Bishop Joe S. Vasquez of Austin, Texas, chairman of the USCCB's Committee on Migration, expressed concern with the compromise measure's cuts to family-based immigration, as well as the "harmful" changes to the asylum system and its lack of protections for unaccompanied children . "Without such changes to these measures, we would be compelled to oppose it," he said. - - -Copyright © 2018 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. www.catholicnews.com. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at cns@catholicnews.com.

  • IMAGE: CNS Photo/Robert DuncanBy Junno Arocho EstevesROME (CNS) -- In the wake of historic allegations of sexual abuse and cover-up in countries around the world, the Catholic Church is experiencing the same challenge that has brought a reckoning to those who used their authority to abuse or silence victims, said an Australian archbishop. Allegations such as those raised against Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, retired archbishop of Washington, represent a "major shift" within the culture of the church, Archbishop Mark Coleridge of Brisbane said June 21. Abuse survivors are "willing to speak and they are believed," and the church has new processes of investigation, he added. "It's not unrelated to the #MeToo phenomenon; there's something going on in the culture. And one of the elements of that cultural shift is that people are prepared to speak up in a way that they would never have done before," he told journalists following a four-day conference in Rome on safeguarding and child protection. The Anglophone Safeguarding Conference, held at Rome's Pontifical Gregorian University June 18-21, reflected on the theme, "Culture, an enabler or barrier to safeguarding." Among the speakers at the conference was Jesuit Father Hans Zollner, head of the Pontifical Gregorian University's Center for Child Protection, and Bishop Gilles Cote of Daru-Kiunga, Papua New Guinea. While local cultures can influence how the church in a particular area handles abuse cases, there are aspects of church culture that have hindered progress in addressing allegations of sexual abuse, Archbishop Coleridge told Catholic News Service June 21. "One word that's used to describe a large and complex phenomenon within the culture is clericalism. In other words, authority geared to power and not to service," he said. "In many ways, what happened in the Catholic Church was that our strengths became our weaknesses." An example of those strengths was that closeness that Catholic clergy and religious shared with families. However, he said, it was precisely that which, "in certain situations, gave them access to the children who were abused." Nevertheless, Archbishop Coleridge said that just as strength can become a weakness, a weakness can also become a strength. "I believe that the agony we are passing through this time in fact is a purification of the church that has already made us stronger. It's kind of a searing grace that we never saw coming, and we certainly wouldn't have chosen. But somehow, God is in the midst of it all, purifying the church and calling us to what we are intended be," Archbishop Coleridge told CNS. Following the conference's conclusion, Father Zollner told journalists that allegations such as those raised against Cardinal McCarrick are signs that now "things are tightening up and that the thoroughness of the approach reaches now even the highest levels." Cardinal McCarrick, retired archbishop of Washington, said June 20 that he would no longer exercise any public ministry "in obedience" to the Vatican after an allegation he abused a teenager 47 years ago was found credible. "A few years ago, we probably wouldn't have so easily (seen) that headline," Father Zollner said in reference to news about Cardinal McCarrick. "The church -- step-by-step, too slow but more and more consistently -- comes up with or lives up to what the norms are." Archbishop Coleridge agreed with Father Zollner, adding that "what's happening with Cardinal McCarrick focuses on episcopal accountability" and that while progress has been made, "we have more to do." As president of the Australian bishops' conference, Archbishop Coleridge stressed that although collaboration with local authorities is critical in confronting abuse and cover-ups, measures that compromise religious freedom and the rights of conscience are not the answer. Laws requiring Catholic priests to break the seal of confession in some cases passed the Australian Capital Territory's Legislative Assembly in Canberra June 7. The proposal, he said, "is poor public policy" that will not make children safer and amounts to a "renegotiation of the relationship between church and state." He also said that following many cases of abuse, "there is a thirst for the church's blood" as well as a "desire to punish the Catholic Church and a desire to show the Catholic Church who is in charge." "In other words, it's almost being said implicitly. 'For a long time, you tried to tell us what to do. Now, because of what's happened, we will tell you what to do.' So, it's a kind of a public humiliation of the church but it is one that we have brought upon ourselves. So self-pity doesn't take us very far," Archbishop Coleridge said. - - -Follow Arocho on Twitter: @arochoju  - - -Copyright © 2018 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. www.catholicnews.com. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at cns@catholicnews.com.

  • IMAGE: CNS photo/Paul HaringBy Carol GlatzABOARD THE PAPAL FLIGHT FROM GENEVA (CNS) -- The question of allowing Protestants married to Catholics to receive Communion at Mass in special cases has to be decided by each individual bishop and cannot be decided by a bishops' conference, Pope Francis told reporters after a one-day ecumenical journey to Geneva. During an inflight news conference June 21, the pope was asked about his recent decision requesting the Catholic bishops' conference of Germany not publish nationwide guidelines for allowing Communion for such couples. He said the guidelines went beyond what is foreseen by the Code of Canon law "and there is the problem." The code does not provide for nationwide policies, he said, but "provides for the bishop of the diocese (to make a decision on each case), not the bishops' conference." "This was the difficulty of the debate. Not the content," he said. Cardinal-designate Luis Ladaria, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, had written the bishops that "the Holy Father has reached the conclusion that the document has not matured enough to be published." Pope Francis expanded on that by saying it will have to be studied more. He said he believed what could be done is an "illustrative" type of document "so that each diocesan bishop could oversee what the Code of Canon Law permits. There was no stepping on the brakes," he said. The bishops' conference can study the issue and offer guidelines that help each bishop handle each individual case, he said. When asked about countries' recent reluctance to take in refugees, the pope underlined the basics every nation should provide, "welcoming, accompaniment, (help with) settling in, integrate." He added that each government must act with "prudence" and understand how many people it can educate and integrate and help. In response to another question, the pope said human rights are in a serious state of crisis today, having become relative or unimportant in the eyes of some parts of the world. Today there is a "crisis of hope, a crisis of human rights, a crisis of mediation, a crisis of peace," he said. Pope Francis said he and leaders of the World Council of Churches discussed this crisis during a private lunch, and one Protestant pastor commented that "perhaps the first human right is the right to have hope." The lack of belief in and enthusiasm for basic human rights is a serious concern, he said, and "we have to look for the causes for how we got here -- that human rights today are relative, even the right to peace is relative. It is a crisis of human rights." Conflicts in the world should not be resolved the way Cain tried, with violence, he said, referring to the biblical story of Cain and Abel. "Resolve them with negotiations, with dialogue, with mediation." Recounting remarks he had heard, he said: "If a Third World War is waged, we know what weapons will be used. But if there were to be a fourth, it will be waged with sticks, because humanity will have been destroyed." - - - Follow Glatz on Twitter: @CarolGlatz.- - -Copyright © 2018 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. www.catholicnews.com. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at cns@catholicnews.com.

  • IMAGE: CNS photo/Gregory A. ShemitzBy Mark PattisonWASHINGTON (CNS) -- Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, retired archbishop of Washington, said June 20 he will no longer exercise any public ministry "in obedience" to the Vatican after an allegation he abused a teenager 47 years ago was found credible. Bishop James F. Checchio of Metuchen, New Jersey, where Cardinal McCarrick served as its first bishop, said in a statement the same day that he had been advised that "Cardinal McCarrick himself has disputed this allegation and is appealing this matter through the canonical process." "While shocked by the report, and while maintaining my innocence," Cardinal McCarrick said in his statement, "I considered it essential that the charges be reported to the police, thoroughly investigated by an independent agency and given to the Review Board of the Archdiocese of New York. I fully cooperated in the process." Cardinal McCarrick said that "some months ago" he was informed of the allegation by New York Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan. "My sadness was deepened when I was informed that the allegations had been determined credible and substantiated," Cardinal McCarrick said. Cardinal Dolan, in a June 20 statement, said it was "the first such report of a violation" against Cardinal McCarrick "of which the archdiocese was aware." In separate statements, Bishop Checchio and Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin of Newark, New Jersey -- where Cardinal McCarrick served in-between his appointments to Metuchen and Washington -- said this was their first notice that Cardinal McCarrick had been accused of sexual abuse of a minor. "In the past, there have been allegations that he engaged in sexual behavior with adults," Cardinal Tobin said. "This archdiocese and the Diocese of Metuchen received three allegations of sexual misconduct with adults decades ago; two of these allegations resulted in settlements."Several news accounts quoted the lawyer for the accuser, a New York-area businessman now in his early 60s, who said his client was a 16-year-old altar boy being fitted for a cassock to wear during Mass when then-Msgr. McCarrick fondled him. Patrick Noaker, the lawyer, said a similar incident happened a year later. Noaker told reporters that his client met in April with the New York Archdiocesan Review Board, which verified his claims. Going to the board was his client's only recourse, Noaker said, because of criminal and civil statutes of limitations on an almost 50-year-old incident.Cardinal McCarrick, who turns 88 July 7, was ordained a priest of the New York Archdiocese May 31, 1958. He was ordained auxiliary bishop of New York May 24, 1977, six years after the incident of abuse is believed to have occurred. He was appointed the first bishop of Metuchen in 1981 and was named archbishop of Newark in 1986. He was installed as archbishop of Washington in 2001. He was made a cardinal Feb. 21, 2001, and retired as head of the Washington Archdiocese May 16, 2006. Cardinal Dolan said the alleged abuse occurred during the time Cardinal McCarrick served as an archdiocesan priest in New York. He added the allegation was turned over to law enforcement officials, and was then thoroughly investigated by an independent forensic agency, as per the "Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People" first approved by the U.S. bishops in 2002. "The Holy See was alerted as well, and encouraged us to continue the process," he added. "Again according to our public protocol, the results of the investigation were then given to the Archdiocesan Review Board, a seasoned group of professionals including jurists, law enforcement experts, parents, psychologists, a priest, and a religious sister." The Archdiocese of New York "renews its apology to all victims abused by priests," Cardinal Dolan said. "We also thank the victim for courage in coming forward and participating in our independent reconciliation and compensation program, as we hope this can bring a sense of resolution and fairness." The Archdiocese of Washington said in a June 20 statement that "the Holy See ... has exclusive authority in the oversight of a cardinal" and referred the matter to the New York Archdiocese. It added the instruction for Cardinal McCarrick to refrain from exercising public ministry came "at the direction of our Holy Father, Pope Francis," and was delivered by Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state. Cardinal Tobin said he recognized the "range of emotions" felt by Newark-area Catholics upon hearing the news. "I am thinking particularly of those who have experienced the trauma of sexual abuse by clergy -- whose lives have been impacted tragically by abuse," he added. "To those survivors, their families and loved ones, I offer my sincere apologies and my commitment of prayer and action to support you in your healing." At the same time, "no doubt many of you developed strong relationships with him and appreciate the impact of his service," Cardinal Tobin said. "Those feelings are likely hard to reconcile with the news of a credible and substantiated claim of abuse of a minor." "The abuse of anyone who is vulnerable is both shameful and horrific. The abuse of a minor by a priest -- as is being reported in this case from New York -- is an abomination and sickens and saddens us all," Bishop Checchio said. "The work of building the kingdom of God in this diocese is much more than its bishops, and I thank you for all of your help here in the Diocese of Metuchen in supporting our common mission," he added. Cardinals Dolan, Tobin and Wuerl and Bishop Checchio all asked for prayers for those involved, and recommitted themselves to support of clergy sexual abuse victims. Cardinal McCarrick is not the first cardinal to have had his ministry restricted after allegations of sexual abuse of a minor. Austrian Cardinal Hans Hermann Groer, who died in 2003, was asked by St. John Paul II in 1998 to give up his public duties amid allegations of sexual abuse of minors.The most senior church official to face criminal charges in connection with child sexual abuse is Australian Cardinal George Pell, head of the Vatican Secretariat for the Economy. He took a leave of absence from his position in the summer of 2017 to face charges of sexual abuse of minors from the 1970s, when he was a priest, and the 1990s, when he was archbishop of Melbourne. Although Cardinal Pell has consistently denied the charges, in early May an Australian magistrate ordered him to stand trial, saying she believed there was enough evidence presented in connection with about half the original charges to warrant a full trial.- - -Copyright © 2018 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. www.catholicnews.com. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at cns@catholicnews.com.