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- Year XXII - Num. 177
|- To the Missionary Groups of Argentina: continue to build an outgoing Church|
|- The Pope encourages the participants in the World Peoples' Conference on Climate Change and the Defence of Life|
|- Angelus: faith and attachment to wealth cannot coexist|
|- The Pope's profound sadness for the attack in Turkey|
|- The archbishop of Corfu, Zante and Cefalonia reflects with the Synod Fathers on external worship and inner adhesion to the Word of God|
|- Respecting the freedom of faith, the outcome of an interreligious marriage|
|- Telegram for the attack in Turkey|
|- Plenary Session of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors|
|- New dormitory for the homeless near the Vatican|
|- Cardinals to take possession of their titular churches|
|- Cardinal Cordes, Pope's special envoy to the First National Eucharistic Congress of the Czech Republic|
|To the Missionary Groups of Argentina: continue to build an outgoing Church|
Vatican City, (VIS) – Pope Francis has sent a message to the participants in the Fourth National Meeting of Missionary Groups, which took place in Santiago del Estero, Argentina from 10 to 12 October, examining the theme “Mission, a way of life”.
The Holy Father, who spiritually joins with the missionaries, writes: “Let us always remember that we cannot show to others what we ourselves have not seen or heard. Therefore, to be a missionary, before announcing and communicating, it is necessary to see. To see that Jesus, who made Himself small to experience our weakness, who assumed our mortal flesh, to clothe it in His immortality and Who comes forward to meet us every day, to walk with us and to offer us His hand of friendship when we are in difficulty”.
“Never forget the call, your first encounter with Jesus, the joy with which you heard that first proclamation, perhaps from your parents, your grandparents, your catechists or teachers”, said the Holy Father. “And do not neglect to pray, to pray for each other, to support each other with prayer, so that Jesus, through you, and in spite of your weakness, may work wonders before all peoples”.
“Neither must you forget that the mission, as well as being a passion for Jesus, is a passion for His people. Let us look to Jesus, but let us also learn how to look as Jesus does. A look of tenderness, understanding and mercy that leads us to touch the wounds of the Lord in the flesh of our brothers in need. To see Jesus in others purifies the heart, freeing it from selfishness, from any underhand intention, any worldly desire”.
“I hope that these brief reflections will encourage you to continue building an outgoing Church, a fraternal group that works to communicate this joy that the Lord has placed in our hearts”, concluded the bishop of Rome.
|The Pope encourages the participants in the World Peoples' Conference on Climate Change and the Defence of Life|
Vatican City, (VIS) – Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin has sent a message on behalf of the Holy Father to the Second World Peoples' Conference on Climate Change and the Defence of Life, held in Tiquipaya, Cochabamba, Bolivia from 9 to 12 October. In the text, the Pope greets the participants and encourages them always to be guided in their reflections and work by the principles of a just and integral ecology, that takes into account the true good of the human person.
|Angelus: faith and attachment to wealth cannot coexist|
Vatican City, (VIS) – At midday today the Holy Father appeared at the window of his study to pray the Angelus with the faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square. Francis reflected on the day's reading, from Chapter 10 of the Gospel of St. Mark, which is divided into three scenes corresponding to three gazes of Jesus. The first scene presents the encounter between the Teacher and the young man who asks, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?”. “Eternal life is not only the life of the hereafter, but it is also full life, complete and limitless”, said the Pope. “Jesus' response translates into an intense gaze full of tenderness and affection”. He understands the youth's weakness and answers that he must “give everything he has to the poor and follow Him. But the youth's heart is divided between two masters: God and money, and he goes away sad. This shows us that faith and attachment to riches cannot coexist. Thus, in the end, the initial impulse felt by the youth vanishes in the unhappiness of an invitation to follow that fails”.
In the second scene, Jesus gaze is pensive, and warning. Looking around Him, He says to His disciples, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!”. Seeing the wonder of his disciples, who ask, “Then who can be saved?”, Jesus responds with a gaze of encouragement – this is the third gaze – and says, salvation, yes, “For human beings it is impossible, but not for God. If we trust in the Lord, we can overcome all the obstacles that prevent us from following Him on the path of faith. To entrust oneself to the Lord. He will give us strength; He will give us salvation; He will accompany us along the journey”.
Finally, the third scene is that of Jesus' solemn declaration. “I assure you that he who leaves everything to follow me will have eternal life in the age to come and a hundred times more now in this present age”. The Pope explained, “This 'hundred times more' is made up of the things that are first possessed and then left, but which are found infinitely multiplied. We deprive ourselves of goods and receive in exchange the joy of the true good; we free ourselves from slavery to things and we win the liberty of service out of love; we renounce possession and attain the happiness of giving. As Jesus said, 'There is more joy in giving than receiving'”.
“Only in welcoming with humble gratitude the Lord’s love do we free ourselves from the seduction of idols and the blindness of our illusions. Money, pleasure and success dazzle us, only to disappoint us later. They promise life but bring death. The Lord asks us to detach ourselves from these false riches to enter into true life, a full life, that is authentic and luminous”. Before imparting his blessing, the Pope asked those present if they had felt Jesus' gaze upon them, and how they would want to respond. “Do you prefer to leave this square with the joy that Jesus gives us, or with the sadness in your heart that worldliness offers us?”, he said, asking Our Lady to help open our heart to Jesus' love.
|The Pope's profound sadness for the attack in Turkey|
Vatican City, 11 October 2015 (VIS) – After praying the Angelus today, the Pope expressed his profound sadness for the attack against a demonstration for peace in Ankara, Turkey, causing more than 100 deaths and numerous injuries. Francis described the attack as a “terrible massacre” and sadness that the attack was aimed at defenceless people demonstrating together for peace. “I pray for this dear country and ask the Lord to receive the souls of the deceased and to console the suffering and their families. Let us pray in silence together”, he added.
The Holy Father then mentioned that is International Day for the Reduction of Natural Disasters. “Unfortunately it must be recognised that the effects of such calamities are often aggravated by a lack of care for the environment by man. I unite with all those who, in a far-sighted way, are committed to the care of our common home, to promote a global and local culture for the reduction of disasters and greater resilience when they occur, harmonising new and traditional knowledge, and paying particular attention to the most vulnerable populations”.
|The archbishop of Corfu, Zante and Cefalonia reflects with the Synod Fathers on external worship and inner adhesion to the Word of God|
Vatican City, 10 October 2015 (VIS) – During this morning's Terce prayer with the Synod Fathers, Archbishop Ioannis Spiteris O.F.M. Cap. of Corfu, Zante and Cefalonia reflected on the biblical reading from the Book of Samuel. In the text the prophet accuses the king Saul of not having rigorously observed the law that demanded he sacrifice all his loot to God. The king not only kept it for himself but also passed the blame to his soldiers. But in the text, as Archbishop Spiteris observed, Samuel also reproaches Saul who wishes to compensate for the lack of faith and obedience to God through sacrifices, an external sign of his devotion.
“The Author, by placing two attitudes before the man who wishes to please God, does not invite him to choose between sacrifice and mercy (being docile), but rather makes him understand that God appreciates one more than the other; that His eyes do not rest on appearances but instead look to the heart. … And Samuel shows Saul that sacrifice and listening to God's voice do not have the same value: 'To obey is better than sacrifice'”.
“Throughout the history of the Church, on paths beaten by saints, this affirmation has and continues to illuminate. No, holiness (that is, the communion with God as Love that is expressed in the commitment to living well with love one's human and Christian commitments) does not consist in the primacy of sacrifice, of external and soulless worship, but rather in loving obedience to God, in putting into practice His quintessential commandment, reciprocal love. It may indeed be a fatal deception, this imposition of exorbitant sacrifices, not so much for making life better and more serene for oneself and for others, but rather for appearing better and holier than others, like the Pharisee in the parable who boasts of his own merits and scorns the other, considered a publican and a sinner. The Phariseeism which prevailed in Jesus' time is always ready to resurface where insufficient attention is paid to the Word to be welcomed with joy and put into practice”.
“May we all, sacrificing the wish to listen to the many inner voices that urge us to seek the salvation of our own good works, silencing the voice of the Lord Who invites us to loving communion with Him, be able to entrust ourselves to He Who is able to do all and Whose arms are continually open to welcome us”, concluded the Prelate.
|Respecting the freedom of faith, the outcome of an interreligious marriage|
Vatican City, (VIS) – During the Sixth General Congregation of the Synod, held , the Baiai couple spoke before the Holy Father and the Synod Fathers. Catholic and married to for 39 years to a Hindu, Penelope Baiai spoke about her
experience of interreligious marriage as a couple, and in terms of faith and community, emphasising that the outcome of an interreligious marriage is mutual respect so that neither of the spouses feel obliged to renounce their faith. “This religious freedom made the path of our marriage smooth and successful”.
She also spoke about her experience as the mother of two children, who accompanied her to Church and attended School, but were not baptised. “It was my husband's desire that both our children should be allowed the freedom of choosing their own religion and I accepted it with a very large lump in my throat”, she said, commenting that, however, “the differences of religion were never a deterrent to us, for little magic words like compromise, humility and sorry helped us to lose our ego and live for the other”.
“Is there someone out there who knows how a perfect marriage takes place?”, she joked, remarking that “we are still learning and understanding our marriage every day. If if were not for my husband's tolerance and love of Christianity and my love and understanding of where he comes from, we would never have been able to celebrate our life and inter-community differences”.
|Telegram for the attack in Turkey|
Vatican City, 10 October 2015 (VIS) – Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin sent a telegram on behalf of the Holy Father to the president of the Republic of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, following the attack against peace demonstrators in Ankara that caused around a hundred deaths and many injuries.
“His Holiness Pope Francis is deeply saddened to learn of the loss of life and the injuries caused by the explosions in Ankara this morning, and he expresses his heartfelt solidarity with those affected by this tragedy. While His Holiness deplores this barbaric act, he asks you to convey his spiritual closeness to all the families affected during this time of grief, and to the security and emergency personnel working to assist the wounded. Commending the souls of all who have died to the loving mercy of the Almighty, Pope Francis invokes divine strength and peace upon their grieving relatives”.
|Plenary Session of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors|
Vatican City, (VIS) – The Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors gathered in Plenary Assembly, from 9 to 11 October in Rome. It is the second time that the full Commission has gathered together.
The Plenary Assembly began with Mass with the Holy Father in the Domus Sanctae Marthae. Members then focused their sessions on listening to and discussing progress reports presented by the Working Groups formed in the February 2015 Plenary.
These Working Groups cover key areas of the mission that has been entrusted to the Commission by the Holy Father, namely to advise him, his collaborators and the local church on the following areas of the protection of minors. The Working Groups are:
- Guidelines for the safeguarding and protection of minors;
- Healing and care for victims, survivors and their families;
- Formation of candidates to the priesthood and religious life and the education of Church leadership;
- Education of families and communities;
- Theology and spirituality;
- Canonical and civil norms.
Particular areas of focus of these working groups include research into the assessment and ongoing formation of candidates to the priesthood and religious life; the use of forensic assessments with people accused of a crime; the provision of liturgical materials for the pastoral care of victims, survivors and communities. The Commission does not address individual cases, it does not exercise oversight, and is not a decision-making body.
Since its establishment, the Commission for the Protection of Minors has been invited by Church leaders to place the inter-disciplinary expertise of its members at the service of Church in various parts of the world.
Commission members have taken part in workshops, conferences and seminars on the protection of minors in Ireland, the United Kingdom, France, New Zealand, the Pacific Islands and recently in the Philippines, where 76 bishops attended. Next month, Commission members will also address all of the bishops of Central America.
Very positive feedback has been received from the Commission's participation in these initiatives. The Commission’s contribution has been seen as a resource for the local Church worldwide as Bishops’ Conferences continue to develop sound and culturally effective guidelines that reflect the local reality.
The Commission plans to hold its next Plenary Assembly in February, 2016.
Cardinal Sean O'Malley, OFM Cap.,United States of America, President; Msgr. Robert Oliver, United States of America, Secretary; Rev. Fr. Luis Manuel Ali Herrera, Colombia; Catherine Bonnet, France; Marie Collins, Ireland; Gabriel Dy-Liacco, Philippines; Sheila Baroness Hollins, United Kingdom; Bill Kilgallon, New Zealand; Sr. Kayula Lesa, RSC, Zambia; Sr. Hermenegild Makoro, CPS, South Africa; Kathleen McCormack, Australia; Claudio Papale, Italy; Peter Saunders, United Kingdom; Hanna Suchocka, Poland; Krysten Winter-Green, United States of America; Rev. Fr. Humberto Miguel Yanez, S.J., Argentina, and Rev. Fr. Hans Zollner, S.J., Germany.
|New dormitory for the homeless near the Vatican|
Vatican City, (VIS) – “Dono di Misericordia” (“Gift of Mercy”) – is the name of the new dormitory for the homeless, newly established near Santo Spirito Hospital and the Church of the same name in Rome. In an extraterritorial zone, the dormitory is a gift to the Pope from the General House of the Society of Jesus in response to the Pope's appeal to religious communities and orders to house people in need or in difficulty in their properties.
It is a “Gift of Mercy” as it is offered as a gift from the community, and mercy is the second name of the love expressed through concrete and generous gestures towards others, according to a press release from the Apostolic Almoner, which financed and carried out the works necessary to adapt the structure to the needs of its users. It was funded by the proceeds from the sale of parchments of the Apostolic Blessing and by generous contributions from private individuals. The Almoner, along with the Sisters of Mother Teresa, will continue to provide economic support for the Dormitory.
The structure is able to house 34 men. The religious sisters engaged in its administration are those who already assist people in need at Termini Station and San Gregorio Magno al Celio. According to the regulations of the Gift of Mercy Dormitory, guests are received following an interview with the Sisters for reception and registration of applicants (at the Casa Dono di Maria in the Vatican), and may stay for a maximum period of thirty days. There is a precise timetable regarding entry into the dormitory (between ), waking time ( ) and closing time ( , to allow general tidying and cleaning). There are also rules regarding personal hygiene and the personal maintenance of each bed and cupboard.
Guests who stay the night may also dine at the canteen at the Casa Dono di Maria before arriving at the Dormitory, and are offered breakfast prepared at the Dormitory before they leave. They may use the showers available under the Colonnade of St. Peter's Square.
It should be recalled that since 1988, in the Casa Dono di Maria in the Vatican, fifty beds are available to accommodate women for overnight stays, of which around thirty are occupied on a stable basis.
|Cardinals to take possession of their titular churches|
Vatican City, (VIS) – The Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff today announced that on the following cardinals will take possession of their titular churches:
At , Cardinal Berhaneyesus Demerew Souraphiel, C.M., archbishop of Addis Abeba, Ethiopia, will take possession of the title of San Romano Martire (Largo Antonio Beltramelli, 23).
At , Cardinal Jose Luis Lacunza Maestrojuan, O.A.R., bishop of David, Panama, will take possession of the title of San Giuseppe da Copertino (Via dei Genieri, 12).
|Cardinal Cordes, Pope's special envoy to the First National Eucharistic Congress of the Czech Republic|
Vatican City, 10 October 2015 (VIS) – In a letter published today, written in Latin and dated 17 September 2015, the Holy Father appointed Cardinal Paul Josef Cordes, president emeritus of the Pontifical Council “Cor Unum”, as his special envoy to the closing celebrations of the First National Eucharistic Congress of the Czech Republic, to be held in Brno on .
The mission accompanying the cardinal will be composed of: Don Radek Tichy of the clergy of the archdiocese of Prague, lecturer in liturgy at the Catholic Theological Faculty of the University of Carlo in Prague; and Don Zdenek Mares of the clergy of the diocese of Ceske Budejovice, lecturer in systematic theology at the Theological Faculty of the University of South Bohemia.
Vatican City, 11 October 2015 (VIS) – Today the Holy Father received in audience Archbishop Alberto Ortega Martin, apostolic nuncio in Jordan and Iraq, with family members.
Thirteen Cardinals Have Written to the Pope. Here’s the Letter
But Francis has rejected their requests en bloc. And meanwhile, the “Relatio finalis” has disappeared from the program of the synod
by Sandro MagisterROME, October 12, 2015 - On Monday, October 5, at the beginning of work at the synod on the family, Cardinal George Pell delivered a letter to Pope Francis, signed by him and twelve other cardinals, all present in the synod hall.
by Sandro MagisterROME, October 12, 2015 - On Monday, October 5, at the beginning of work at the synod on the family, Cardinal George Pell delivered a letter to Pope Francis, signed by him and twelve other cardinals, all present in the synod hall.
The thirteen signatories occupy positions of the first rank in the Church’s hierarchy. Among them there are, in alphabetical order:
- Carlo Caffarra, archbishop of Bologna, Italy, theologian, formerly the first president of the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family;
- Thomas C. Collins, archbishop of Toronto, Canada;
- Timothy M. Dolan, archbishop of New York, United States;
- Willem J. Eijk, archbishop of Utrecht, Holland;
- Péter Erdõ, archbishop of Esztergom-Budapest, Hungary, president of the Council of the Bishops' Conferences of Europe and relator general of the synod underway, as also at the previous session of October 2014;
- Gerhard L. Müller, former bishop of Regensburg, Germany, since 2012 prefect of the congregation for the doctrine of the faith;
- Wilfrid Fox Napier, archbishop of Durban, South Africa, president delegate of the synod underway as also at the previous session of the synod of October 2014;
- George Pell, archbishop emeritus of Sydney, Australia, since 2014 prefect in the Vatican of the secretariat for the economy;
- Robert Sarah, former archbishop of Conakry, Guinea, since 2014 prefect of the congregation for divine worship and the discipline - Angelo Scola, archbishop of Milan, Italy;
- Jorge L. Urosa Savino, archbishop of Caracas, Venezuela.
In the letter, concise and perfectly clear, the thirteen cardinals bring to the pope’s attention the serious “concerns” of themselves and other synod fathers over the procedures of the synod, in their judgment “designed to facilitate predetermined results on important disputed questions,” and over the “Instrumentum laboris,” viewed as inadequate as a “guiding text or the foundation of a final document.”
Here is the text of the letter, in the original English.
As the Synod on the Family begins, and with a desire to see it fruitfully serve the Church and your ministry, we respectfully ask you to consider a number of concerns we have heard from other synod fathers, and which we share.
While the synod’s preparatory document, the "Instrumentum Laboris," has admirable elements, it also has sections that would benefit from substantial reflection and reworking. The new procedures guiding the synod seem to guarantee it excessive influence on the synod’s deliberations and on the final synodal document. As it stands, and given the concerns we have already heard from many of the fathers about its various problematic sections, the "Instrumentum" cannot adequately serve as a guiding text or the foundation of a final document.
The new synodal procedures will be seen in some quarters as lacking openness and genuine collegiality. In the past, the process of offering propositions and voting on them served the valuable purpose of taking the measure of the synod fathers' minds. The absence of propositions and their related discussions and voting seems to discourage open debate and to confine discussion to small groups; thus it seems urgent to us that the crafting of propositions to be voted on by the entire synod should be restored. Voting on a final document comes too late in the process for a full review and serious adjustment of the text.
Additionally, the lack of input by the synod fathers in the composition of the drafting committee has created considerable unease. Members have been appointed, not elected, without consultation. Likewise, anyone drafting anything at the level of the small circles should be elected, not appointed.
In turn, these things have created a concern that the new procedures are not true to the traditional spirit and purpose of a synod. It is unclear why these procedural changes are necessary. A number of fathers feel the new process seems designed to facilitate predetermined results on important disputed questions.
Finally and perhaps most urgently, various fathers have expressed concern that a synod designed to address a vital pastoral matter – reinforcing the dignity of marriage and family – may become dominated by the theological/doctrinal issue of Communion for the divorced and civilly remarried. If so, this will inevitably raise even more fundamental issues about how the Church, going forward, should interpret and apply the Word of God, her doctrines and her disciplines to changes in culture. The collapse of liberal Protestant churches in the modern era, accelerated by their abandonment of key elements of Christian belief and practice in the name of pastoral adaptation, warrants great caution in our own synodal discussions.
Your Holiness, we offer these thoughts in a spirit of fidelity, and we thank you for considering them.
Faithfully yours in Jesus Christ.
On the afternoon of that same Monday, October 5, during the first discussion in the assembly, Cardinal Pell and other synod fathers referred to some of the questions presented in the letter, without citing it.
Pope Francis was present and listening. And the next morning, on Tuesday, October 6, he spoke.
The text of these unscheduled remarks has not been made public, but only summarized verbally by Fr. Federico Lombardi and in writing by “L'Osservatore Romano.” As follows:
“The pontiff wanted to reaffirm that the current synod is in continuity with the one celebrated last year. With regard to the “Instrumentum laboris,” Francis emphasized that this results from the ‘Relatio synodi’ together with the contributions that came afterward, that is was approved by the post-synodal council - meeting in the presence of the pontiff - and that it is the basis for continuing the debate and discussions of the upcoming days. In this context, the contributions of the various linguistic groups take on essential importance. The pope also recalled that the three official documents of last year’s synod are the two discourses, initial and final, and the ‘Relatio synodi.’ The pontiff emphasized that Catholic doctrine on marriage has not been touched and then cautioned against the impression that the only problem of the synod is that of communion for the divorced, appealing against a reduction in the horizons of the synod.”
To this account from “L'Osservatore Romano,” Fr. Lombardi added that “the decisions of method were also shared and approved by the pope, and therefore cannot be brought back into discussion.”
From this it can be gathered that Francis has rejected the requests of the letter en bloc, apart from the marginal recommendation not to reduce the discussion only to “communion for the divorced.”
And he has not rejected them without a polemical jab, as afterward made known - in a tweet that has not been disowned - by the director of “La Civiltà Cattolica,” Antonio Spadaro, also present in the hall, according to whom the pope told the fathers “not to give in to the conspiracy hermeneutic, which is sociologically weak and spiritually unhelpful.”
All of this at the beginning of the synod. But toward the end of the first week of work, something else happened. Once again contrary to the wishes of the letter from the thirteen cardinals.
On Friday, October 9, Cardinal Luis Antonio G. Tagle, archbishop of Manila and president delegate of the synod, said out of the blue that with regard to the final relation, “we await the decision of the pope.”
And the next day, Fr. Lombardi clarified that “we do not yet have certainty on how the conclusion of the synod will take place, meaning if there will or will not be a final document. We will see if the pope gives precise indications.”
Incredible but true. With the synod in full swing, a question mark has suddenly been raised over the very existence of that “Relatio finalis” which figured in the programs as the goal toward which all of the work of the synod was finalized.
The “Relatio finalis,” in fact, was the subject of extensive remarks from the secretary general of the synod, Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, in his official presentation on October 2:
> Briefing su tema e metodo della XIV assemblea generale ordinaria del sinodo dei vescovi
That same day, Baldisseri also revealed that Pope Francis had appointed a commission of five cardinals and bishops precisely “for the elaboration of the final relation.”
On October 5, in the opening talk for the work of the synod, Baldisseri returned to illustrate in even greater detail the phases of elaboration and approval for the “Relatio”:
> Relazione del segretario generale
And he talked about it again in the assembly on the morning of October 6, right before the pope spoke.
Not to mention the official working calendar for the synod, which still assigns four full days, from October 21-24, to the writing of the “final relation,” to its presentation in the assembly, to the discussion and presentation of written observations, to its rewriting, to its re-presentation in the assembly and to the definitive vote:
> Calendario dei lavori
In the letter to Pope Francis, the thirteen cardinals expressed their hopes for the restoration of the procedure of past synods, which ended with votes, one by one, on “propositions” to be offered to the pope. Or that at least, in the absence of these propositions, there be a point-by-point vote on a “Relatio finalis” written by an elected commission, not one appointed from on high.
But if even the “Relatio” - as implied - is to be no more, the only product of the synod can be nothing other than a re-elaboration of that “Instrumentum laboris” which the thirteen signers of the letter maintain is incapable of acting as “the foundation of a final document,” partly because of its “various problematic sections,” which are of uncertain fidelity to doctrine.
Because it is true that the 270 synod fathers are working day after day to re-elaborate the “Instrumentum” from the ground up. But it is just as true that the rewriting of the text will be the prerogative of that commission entirely appointed by Pope Francis in which the innovators have an overwhelming majority, the opposite of what holds true in the assembly. And in a sprawling, rambling text like the “Instrumentum” - not telegraphic like the “propositions” of many past synods - it is much easier for a repeat of the 2014 synod to take place, with the inclusion of vague, kaleidoscopic formulas that are hard to reject in assembly with a straightforward vote.
“Catholic doctrine on marriage has not been touched,” Pope Francis pledged in referring to the entire conduct of the synod from 2014 to today, in response to the “concerns” of the thirteen cardinals of the letter.
But Cardinal Tagle, a prominent representative of the innovators, also said at the press conference on October 9, with visible satisfaction:
“The new method adopted by the synod has definitely caused a bit of confusion, but it is good to be confused once in a while. If things are always clear, then we might not be in real life anymore.”
English translation by Matthew Sherry, Ballwin, Missouri, U.S.A. Text from Chiesa.espresso.repubblica.it
Feast: October 12
634 in Northumbria, England
709 at Oundle, Northhamptonshire, England
Middlesbrough, England (image source: GOOGLE)
Bishop of York, son of a Northumbrian thegn, born in 634; died at Oundle in Northamptonshire, 709. He was unhappy at home, through the unkindness of a stepmother, and in his fourteenth year he was sent away to the Court of King Oswy, King of Northumbria. Here he attracted the attention of Queen Eanfleda and by her, at his own request, he was sent to the Monastery of Lindisfarne. After three years spent here he was sent for, again through the kindness of the queen, to Rome, in the company of St. Benedict Biscop. At Rome he was the pupil of Boniface, the pope's archdeacon. On his way home he stayed for three years at Lyons, where he received the tonsure from Annemundas, the bishop of that place. Annemundas wanted him to remain at Lyons altogether, and marry his niece and become his heir, but Wilfrid was determined that he would be a priest. Soon after persecution arose at Lyons, and Annemundas perished in it. The same fate nearly came to Wilfrid, but when it was shown that he was a Saxon he was allowed to depart, and came back to England. In England he received the newly founded monastery at Ripon as the gift of Alchfrid, Oswy's son and heir, and here he established the full Benedictine Rule. The Columbite monks, who had been settled previously at Ripon, withdrew to the North. It was not until he had been for five years Abbot of Ripon, that Wilfrid became a priest. His main work at Ripon was the introduction of Roman rules and the putting forward of a Roman practice with regard to the point at issue between the Holy See and the Scottish monks in Northumbria; to settle these questions the synod of Whitby was held in 664. Chiefly owing to Wilfrid's advocacy of the claims of the Holy See the votes of the majority were given to that side, and Colman and his monks, bitterly disappointed, withdrew from Northumbria. Wilfrid, in consequence of the favours he had then obtained, was elected bishop in Colman's place, and, refusing to receive consecration from the northern bishops, whom he regarded as schismatics, went over to France to be consecrated at Compiègne.
He delayed some time in France, whether by his own fault or not is not quite clear, and on his return in 666 was driven from his course by a storm and shipwrecked on the coast of Sussex, where the heathen inhabitants repelled him and almost killed him. He succeeded in landing, however, in Kent not far from Sandwich. Thence he made his way to Northumbria, only to find that, owing to his long absence, his see had been filled up, and that a St. Chad was bishop in his place. He retired to his old monastery at Ripon, and from thence went southwards and worked in Mercia, especially at Lichfield, and also in Kent.
In 669 Archbishop Theodore of Canterbury visited Northumbria, where he found Chad working as bishop. He pointed out to him the defects of his position and, at his instigation, St. Chad withdrew and Wilfrid once more became Bishop of York. During his tenure of the see, he acted with great vigour and energy, completing the work of enforcing the Roman obedience against the Scottish monks. He founded a great many monasteries of the Benedictine Order, especially at Henlam and at Ripon, and completely rebuilt the minster at York. In all that he did he acted with great magnificence, although his own life was always simple and restrained.
So long as Oswy lived all went well, but with Ecgfrid, Oswy's son and successor, Wilfrid was very unpopular, because of his action in connection with Ecgfrid's bride Etheldrida, who by Wilfrid's advice would not live with her husband but retired into a monastery. It was just at this juncture that Theodore, possibly exceeding his powers as Archbishop of Canterbury, proceeded to subdivide the great diocese over which Wilfrid ruled, and to make suffragan bishops of Lindisfarne, Hexham, and Witherne. Wilfrid, whether or not he approved of the principle of subdivision, refused to allow Theodore's right to make it, and appealed to the central authority at Rome, whither he at once went. Theodore replied by consecrating three bishops in Wilfrid's own church at York and dividing his whole bishopric between them.
An attempt was made by his enemies to prevent Wilfrid from reaching Rome, but by a singular coincidence Winfrid, Bishop of Lichfield, happened to be going to Rome at the same time, and the singularity of the name led to his being stopped while Wilfrid got through safely. At Rome a council was called by Pope Agatho to decide the case, and Wilfrid appeared before it in person, while Theodore was represented. The case was decided in Wilfrid's favour, and the intruding bishops were removed. Wilfrid was to return to York, and since subdivision of his diocese was needed, he was to appoint others as his coadjutors. He came back to Northumbria with this decision, but the king, though not disputing theright of Rome to settle the question, said that Wilfrid had brought the decision and put him in prison at Bambrough. After a time this imprisonment was converted to exile, and he was driven from the kingdom of Northumbria. He went south to Sussex where the heathen inhabitants had so inhospitably received him fifteen years before, and preached as a missionary at Selsey.
In 686 a reconciliation took place between Theodore and Wilfrid, who had then been working in Sussex for five years. Through Theodore's good offices Wilfrid was received back in Northumbria, where Aldfrid was now king. He became Bishop of Hexham at once, and before long, when York again fell vacant, he took possession there once more. For some years all went well, but at the end of that time great difficulties arose with the king because Wilfrid utterly refused to recognize what had been done by Theodore but annulled by Rome in the matter of the subdivision of his diocese, and he once more left York and appealed to Rome. He reached Rome for the third and last time in 704.
The proceedings at Rome were very lengthy, but after some months Wilfrid was again victorious. Archbishop Brihtwald was to hold a synod and see justice done. Wilfrid started again for England but on his way was taken ill at Meaux and nearly died. He recovered, however, and came back to England, where he was reconciled to Brihtwald. A synod was held, and it was decided to give back to Wilfrid, Hexham and Ripon, but not York, a settlement which, though unsatisfactory, he decided to accept, as the principle of Roman authority had been vindicated.
Beyond all others of his time, St. Wilfrid stands out as the great defender of the rights of the Holy See. For that principle he fought all through his life, first against Colman and the Scottish monks from Iona, and then against Theodore and his successor in the See of Canterbury; and much of his life was spent in exile for this reason. But to him above all others is due the establishment of the authority of the Roman See in England, and for that reason he will always have a very high place among English saints.
Eddius, the biographer of St. Wilfrid, was brought by that saint from Canterbury when he returned to York in 669. His special work was to be in connection with the music of the church of York, and he was to teach the Roman method of chant. He was an inmate of the monastery of Ripon in 709, when St. Wilfrid spent his last days there, and he undertook the work of writing the life of the saint at the request of Acca, St. Wilfrid's successor in the See of Hexham. The best edition of the work is in Raines, "Historians of the Church of York" (Rolls Series).