Saturday, September 19, 2020

Holy Mass Online - Readings and Video : Sunday, September 20, 2020 - Your Virtual Church



Twenty-fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 133

Reading 1
IS 55:6-9
Seek the LORD while he may be found,
call him while he is near.
Let the scoundrel forsake his way,
and the wicked his thoughts;
let him turn to the LORD for mercy;
to our God, who is generous in forgiving.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
nor are your ways my ways, says the LORD.
As high as the heavens are above the earth,
so high are my ways above your ways
and my thoughts above your thoughts.

Responsorial Psalm
PS 145:2-3, 8-9, 17-18
R. (18a) The Lord is near to all who call upon him.
Every day will I bless you,
and I will praise your name forever and ever.
Great is the LORD and highly to be praised;
his greatness is unsearchable.
R. The Lord is near to all who call upon him.
The LORD is gracious and merciful,
slow to anger and of great kindness.
The LORD is good to all
and compassionate toward all his works.
R. The Lord is near to all who call upon him.
The LORD is just in all his ways
and holy in all his works.
The LORD is near to all who call upon him,
to all who call upon him in truth.
R. The Lord is near to all who call upon him.
Reading 2
PHIL1:20C-24, 27A
Brothers and sisters:
Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death.
For to me life is Christ, and death is gain.
If I go on living in the flesh,
that means fruitful labor for me.
And I do not know which I shall choose.
I am caught between the two.
I long to depart this life and be with Christ,
for that is far better.
Yet that I remain in the flesh
is more necessary for your benefit.

Only, conduct yourselves in a way worthy of the gospel of Christ.

Alleluia
ACTS 16:14B
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Open our hearts, O Lord,
to listen to the words of your Son.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel
MT 20:1-16A
Jesus told his disciples this parable:
“The kingdom of heaven is like a landowner
who went out at dawn to hire laborers for his vineyard.
After agreeing with them for the usual daily wage,
he sent them into his vineyard.
Going out about nine o’clock,
the landowner saw others standing idle in the marketplace,
and he said to them, ‘You too go into my vineyard,
and I will give you what is just.’
So they went off.
And he went out again around noon,
and around three o’clock, and did likewise.
Going out about five o’clock,
the landowner found others standing around, and said to them,
‘Why do you stand here idle all day?’
They answered, ‘Because no one has hired us.’
He said to them, ‘You too go into my vineyard.’
When it was evening the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman,
‘Summon the laborers and give them their pay,
beginning with the last and ending with the first.’
When those who had started about five o’clock came,
each received the usual daily wage.
So when the first came, they thought that they would receive more,
but each of them also got the usual wage.
And on receiving it they grumbled against the landowner, saying,
‘These last ones worked only one hour,
and you have made them equal to us,
who bore the day’s burden and the heat.’
He said to one of them in reply,
‘My friend, I am not cheating you.
Did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage?
Take what is yours and go.
What if I wish to give this last one the same as you?
Or am I not free to do as I wish with my own money?
Are you envious because I am generous?’
Thus, the last will be first, and the first will be last.”
Prayer to Make a Spiritual Communion-
People who cannot communicate now make spiritual communion.
At your feet, O my Jesus I bow down and offer you the repentance of my contrite heart, which abysses itself into its nothingness and Your holy presence. I adore you in the Sacrament of Your love, the ineffable Eucharist. I wish to receive you in the poor home that my heart offers you. In anticipation of the happiness of sacramental communion, I want to possess you in spirit. Come to me, oh my Jesus, that I may come to you. May Your love inflame my whole being, for life and death. I believe in you, I hope in you, I love you. So be it. Amen

Saint September 20 : St. Andrew Kim Taegon and Companions Martyrs and Patron Korean Clergy

 

St. Andrew Kim Taegon

MARTYR

Born:

August 21, 1821

Died:

September 16, 1846

Canonized:

6 May 1984 by Pope John Paul II

Major Shrine:

Chŏltusan (Martyr's Mound), Seoul, South Korea

Patron of:

Korean Clergy

 Saint Andrew Kim Tae-gon is known as Korea's first Roman Catholic priest. Born into a family of Christian converts at a time of unprecedented governmental opposition to Christianity (Christian teachings threatened the hierarchical system of Confucianism and ancestor worship), Kim and his family led lives of deprivation and hardship. Although there were repeated efforts made by the Korean monarchy (who feared European colonization of Korea through Christianity), to uproot the religion of the barbarian foreigners from 1794 to 1866, converts to Christianity continued to increase.

Even though Kim's family members and eventually Kim himself would suffer persecution, torture and eventual martyrdom under the repressive Korean monarchy, as it desperately tried to preserve itself and Korea's Confucian culture by eradicating Christianity; the sacrifice of these early Korean Christians became the foundation for the Christian Church in Korea to flourish today. Andrew Kim Taegon is revered today for his sacrifice and dedication in bringing Christianity to Korea.

Early Catholic Church In Korea

During the 1592 invasion of Korea by Japan, Japanese soldiers introduced Christianity into Korea by baptizing Koreans. A Japanese commander, Konishi Yukinaga, took a Korean girl, Julia Ota-a to Japan and she became one of the first Korean Christians. Father Gregorious de Cespedes, a Jesuit priest, visited Konishi in Korea in 1593. Korean diplomat, Yi Gwang-jeong returned to Korea from Beijing bearing several theological books written by Matteo Ricci, a Jesuit priest living in China. Some two centuries later, members of the Silhak (practical learning) school were drawn to Christian thought because it advocated a social structure based upon merit rather than birth rank. Most early Christians had family ties to the Silhak school.

During the late Joseon Dynasty and under its Confucian influence, Christianity was heavily suppressed and many Christians were persecuted and executed. Kim Taegon was born into this environment, and just one of several thousands of Catholic, Presbyterian, or Methodist Christians who were tortured and executed because of their faith during this time. In 1866, Regent Heungseon Daewongun (father of King Gojong) signed a decree to execute all Catholics. Over 2,000 Catholics were beheaded at Jeoldusan, "Beheading Hill." Their bodies were thrown into the Han River. Some were as young as 13. Fewer than 40 were identified.[1]

At this time, Korea was isolated from the world; the only outside contact being with Peking, where taxes were paid. Jesuits in China managed to smuggle Christian literature into Korea. When Korea saw its first missionaries arrive from France and America in the mid 1800s, several thousand Koreans were already practicing Christianity.

Kim Family

Andrew Kim Taegon was born in Nol-Mae (Solmoe), Chu’ung-Chong Province (in South Central Korea. At the age of seven, the Kim family moved to Golbaemasil Mankok-ri, Youngin-gun County (Mirinae) Kyungki Province. Kim’s great-grandfather, Kim Jin-Hu was martyred in 1814. Kim’s grand-uncle, Kim Han-hyun was also martyred in 1816. Kim’s father, Kim Je-jun (Ignatius Kim), was subsequently martyred in 1839 for practicing Christianity.[2] With so many male relatives martyred, Kim grew up very poor; his mother reduced to begging.

Ordination and Mission Work

After being baptized at the age of 15, Kim traveled over 1200 miles in 1836 to study at a seminary in the Portuguese Colony of Macau, China. He returned to Korea through Manchuria. That same year, he crossed the Yellow Sea to Shanghai, where he was ordained a priest in 1845 by the French Bishop, Jean Ferréol. He then returned to Korea to preach and evangelize. These grueling trips between China and Korea, on foot and by small unworthy fishing vessels, allowed Kim to explore the terrain and increase the accuracy of the maps he had been using to plan better routes for the French missionaries to infiltrate Korea.

Handwritten map by Father Andre Kim (Kim Tae Gon, the first Korean Catholic priest, who managed to make this map in the short time he had to travel and work in Korea, before he was executed, 1846.)

Imprisonment

In June of 1846, while trying to arrange for passage for additional missionaries to enter Korea by boat along the southeast coast, Kim was arrested by the border patrol. While imprisoned and awaiting his fate, Andrew Kim Taegon wrote to his parish:

"My dear brothers and sisters know this: Our Lord Jesus Christ upon descending into the world took innumerable pains upon and constituted the holy Church through his own passion and increases it through the passion of its faithful....Now, however, some fifty or sixty years since holy Church entered into our Korea, the faithful suffer persecutions again. Even today persecution rages, so that many of our friends of the same faith, among who am I myself, have been thrown into prison. Just as you also remain in the midst of persecution. Since we have formed one body, how can we not be saddened in our innermost hearts? How can we not experience the pain of separation in our human faculties? However, as Scripture says, God cares for the least hair of our heads, and indeed he cares with his omniscience; therefore, how can persecution be considered as anything other than the command of God, or his prize, or precisely his punishment?...We are twenty here, and thanks be to God all are still well. If anyone is killed, I beg you not to forget his family. I have many more things to say, but how can I express them with pen and paper? I make an end to this letter. Since we are now close to the struggle, I pray you to walk in faith, so that when you have finally entered into Heaven, we may greet one another. I leave you my kiss of love.

Execution

On September 26, at the age of 25, Kim was tortured and beheaded near Seoul on the Han River. His ears were pierced with arrows; his face covered with lime.[3] A group of Christians led, by Yi Min-Sik, later moved his body to Mt. Mi-ri-nai, about 35 miles from Seoul.

Before Father Jean Joseph Ferréol, the first Bishop of Korea, died from exhaustion on the third of February in 1853, he wanted to be buried beside Andrew Kim, stating: “You will never know how sad I was to lose this young native priest. I have loved him as a father loved his son; it is a consolation for me to think of his eternal happiness.”Shared from NewWorldEncyclopeidia

Image source: Google Images

US Government Official Proclamation on the Death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg


Proclamation on the Death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Issued on: September 19, 2020

FULL TEXT Release from the White House 
Today, our Nation mourns the loss of a trailblazer, not only in the field of law, but in the history of our country.  Ruth Bader Ginsburg served more than 27 years as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.  She was a loving wife to her late husband Martin, and a caring mother to her two children Jane and James.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg was an inspiration to all Americans.  Having lost her older sister and mother before graduating high school, she entered law school as both a wife and a mother, and one of the few women in her class.  After graduating from law school in 1959, she worked tirelessly for more than 34 years as a litigator and jurist and, in 1993, she became just the second woman to sit on the Supreme Court of the United States.  Renowned for her powerful dissents at the Supreme Court, Justice Ginsburg epitomized powerful yet respectful argument; that you can disagree with someone without being disagreeable to them.  Justice Ginsburg’s work helped bring about greater equality for women, secure rights for the disabled, and will continue to influence our Nation for generations to come.  In addition to her quick mind, she brought flair to the bench with her stylish jabots and her warm friendships among colleagues, even those with whom she often disagreed, most notably with the late Justice Antonin Scalia.

A fighter to the end, Justice Ginsburg defeated cancer and the odds numerous times — all while continuing to serve on the Court.  Her commitment to the law and her fearlessness in the face of death inspired countless “RBG” fans, and she continues to serve as a role model to countless women lawyers.  Her legacy and contribution to American history will never be forgotten.

As a mark of respect for Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Associate Justice of the United States, I hereby order, by the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States of America, including section 7 of title 4, United States Code, that the flag of the United States shall be flown at half-staff at the White House and on all public buildings and grounds, at all military posts and naval stations, and on all naval vessels of the Federal Government in the District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its Territories and possessions until sunset, on the day of interment.  I also direct that the flag shall be flown at half-staff for the same period at all United States embassies, legations, consular offices, and other facilities abroad, including all military facilities and naval vessels and stations.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this eighteenth day of September, in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-fifth.
Source https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/proclamation-death-ruth-bader-ginsburg/

Our Lady of La Salette who Prophesied future sufferings if People don't Pray to God in 1846


La Salette, France: Apparitions of Our Lady of La Salette
The story of La Salette:
The village of La Salette is in the French Alps not far from Grenoble. On Saturday afternoon, September 19, 1846, Maximim Giraud, a boy age 11 and Melanie Mathieu-Calvat, a girl age 14, were attracted to a brilliant light in a ravine.

The figure of a crowned woman with a radiant dress and rose-edged slippers gradually became visible. She was crying and wore a golden crucifix…the youths thought that she was a ‘saint’.

She spoke first to both of them, then gave each a ‘secret’ individually. After a final admonition to both to ‘make this known’ she rose in the air looking heavenward in joy, glanced momentarily toward Rome, and then gradually disappeared. Melanie and Maximim told their fellow townspeople of the vision, but met with initial unbelief (with the exception of Fr. Perrin, the parish priest, who announced the event during Mass).

As time progressed, conversions (including Maximim’s father and a locally known rebellious priest) and over 23 healings associated with a stream of water which flowed again from a dried-up spring at the apparition site, made the townsfolk reformed and firm believers.

A three-year investigation led to the Bishop’s approval of the apparition. Construction began a year later on a basilica which draws thousands of pilgrims to honor the ‘Virgin of Converts’, the ‘Reconciler of Sinners’.

Here is a sampling of Our Lady’s messages:
“If my people will not submit, I shall be forced to let fall the arm of my Son. It is so strong, so heavy, that I can no longer withhold it.”

“A forerunner of the antichrist with his troops from several nations will fight against the true Christ, the only Savior of the world; he will spill much blood, and will want to annihilate the worship of God in order to make himself be looked upon as a God.”
Source: https://thecatholictravelguide.com/destinations/france/france-la-salette-lady-la-salette/

Quote to SHARE by St. Ignatius "If God sends you many sufferings, it is a sign that He has great plans for you ...."


 

If God sends you many sufferings, it is a sign that He has great plans for you and certainly wants to make you a saint. - 
St. Ignatius Loyola

Bishops in Panama say "We encourage our communities of faith to kindle the flame of hope" ...."Against the viruses that have condemned us to poverty and death..."


AMERICA/PANAMA - The Bishops: "Against the viruses that have condemned us to poverty and death, we have the antibodies of justice, charity and solidarity"
Friday, 18 September 2020

Panama City (Agenzia Fides) - "In the midst of uncertainty, we are in a time of grace, which offers us a historic opportunity to rebuild the social fabric and establish another dynamic that makes us more human, more caring and fraternal .
We encourage our communities of faith to kindle the flame of hope, witnessing a Servant, Supportive and Fraternal Church, through parishes, groups and movements so that the joy of the Gospel is rediscovered": this is the appeal that the Bishops of the Episcopal Conference of Panama address at the end of their ordinary Plenary Assembly, which was held from 14 to 17 September.
Sharing the reflections on the life of the Church and the country in this time of pandemic, the Bishops in their message highlight the signs of hope. "Our Country has shown once again that it is inhabited by a noble people during this pandemic. Six months have passed, in which we have lost many loved ones, many have been affected by Covid-19, in their health, in their economy, in their human and commercial relationships, in their life of faith. However, in the midst of this dark landscape, the light of solidarity and brotherhood have emerged from many people, organizations and institutions, who have put their talents at the service of others to share what they have and alleviate their difficult situation".
The Church of Panama has also been affected by the pandemic, however, "now more than ever, its social and works of mercy have been strengthened and others have been created, in order to be that Church that goes forth". The domestic Church, which is the family, has also been strengthened through accompaniment through digital platforms, taking on a different pastoral dimension, always open to hope.
"As Pastors, in permanent contact with the people - they continue -, we have noted the concern for the problems that existed before and which survived the pandemic, because they are viruses that erode the social fabric, impoverishing a large majority, such as corruption, lack of credibility and ethics in all spheres of life. "Concerns regard education, the collapse of the health system, "but with health workers who set a commendable example to fight Covid-19", a growing number of vulnerable families who have lost their jobs or livelihoods. To all this are added violence and crime in all its forms, corruption and the lack of transparency in public management, the constant requests for better living conditions: water, housing, health, education, decent and stable employment. To reactivate the economy, there is also the risk of a resumption of the contagion, so "it is up to the authorities to design a strategy that allows for the control of Covid-19 and guarantees the protection of the population", which, however, is called to observe the measures adopted by the authorities.
In the concluding part of the message, the Bishops invite us to "renew fraternity and solidarity, aware that no one is saved alone. It is time to move from words to action, to tear down the walls that separate us. It is urgent to face together the challenge of poverty and exclusion, global warming and the universality of globalization, after the alarm of Pope Francis". We must all work to alleviate the suffering of our brothers and sisters, the Panamanian Bishops exhort: "It is up to us to wear the shirt of Panama to rebuild our Country, we are a people of faith and a people of hope. Against the viruses that have condemned many to poverty and death, we have the necessary antibodies of justice, charity and solidarity. We live the commitment to be one in all, to become more human, responsible for each other". (SL) (Source: Agenzia Fides, 18/9/2020)
Image Source: Iglesia.org.pa - Screen Shot Google Images

Bishop Julius Jia Zhiguo Kidnapped for over a Month by Government in China


09/18/2020
Mindong: Fr. Liu released (VIDEO). But in Zhengding the bishop has been kidnapped for over a month
The 46-year-old priest returned home yesterday at 6.30pm. Msgr.Julius Jia Zhiguo was taken from his residence last August 15.


AsiaNews reports that Fr Liu Maochun, an unofficial priest, kidnapped for 17 days by members of the Religious Affairs Bureau was released yesterday. A few hours after the AsiaNews report around 6.30 pm local time, Fr. Liu was able to return to his faithful (see video).

So no further news on his wellbeing has been shared.

Fr Liu, 46, is among about 20 priests in the diocese of Mindong (Fujian) who do not accept membership of the "independent Church" subject to the Chinese Communist Party. All these priests suffer from pressure and censorship to force them to sign up.

Meanwhile, some faithful from Zhengding (Hebei) recall that their bishop, Msgr. Julius Jia Zhiguo, not recognized by the government, has been held prisoner for over a month by the ministry of religious affairs.

According to information shared, the bishop was sequestered on August 15 to educate him in the politics of the Patriotic Association (PA), the organization that controls the life of the Church in China, which aims to build a national Church independent of the Holy See.

Msgr. Jia allegedly removed one of his priests who would have joined the PA from a parish of the diocese. The PA is demanding the priest be reintegrated into the parish.

According to Benedict XVI's Letter to Chinese Catholics, the decision to enter the official Church must be made by the bishop, after having conversed with all the priests (No. 7).

Bishop Jia is famous throughout China for his commitment to abandoned children. He is in charge of an orphanage that the authorities are constantly threatening to close.
FULL TEXT Source: Asia News IT - Image Source: BitterWinter - Google Images

Fr. Ron Foshage, MS of the Diocese of Beaumont Wins Lumen Christi Award for his Work against Racism

Fr. Ron Foshage, M.S., of the Diocese of Beaumont named Lumen Christi Award recipient Catholic Extension is honored to recognize Father Ron Foshage, M.S., as our 2020-21 Lumen Christi Award recipient. The award is Catholic Extension’s most prestigious of the year.
In this challenging year—in a country suffering from a pandemic, natural disasters, reckoning with its past and current struggles with systemic racism, and enduring ceaseless political battles in a landmark election year—it can be difficult to see the valiant efforts of everyday people working to make a difference.
Catholic Extension celebrated the remarkable work of  47 nominees and eight outstanding finalists, including Fr. Foshage. Each is a reflection of the “Lumen Christi” or “Light of Christ.”
Fr. Foshage leads five Catholic Extension-supported parishes in the Diocese of Beaumont, including St. Michael Parish in Jasper. He showcases how gestures both grand and small, in the most difficult of times, can create an immense impact. 
According to Catholic Extension, Father Foshage has traversed the country as a leading voice against racism and hate crimes. In 1999, he spearheaded the dismantling of a 163-year-old fence that separated Black and white graves in the city cemetery. Later that year, the U.S. Department of Justice honored his work to improve race relations.
Father Foshage’s testimony before legislators helped to bring about the James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which became federal law in 2009 as the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. In January of this year, he was named Jasper’s “Citizen of the Year.”
It’s not all that unusual that Father Foshage found himself in the center of rebuilding a community torn apart by what occurred in Jasper that terrible night. 
The religious congregation of missionary priests and brothers to which Fr. Foshage belongs has a special “charism” of reconciliation. This means that wherever they are called to serve in the world, they act as facilitators and promoters of reconciliation through their ministry. 
Father Foshage admits, “I never thought I would be called to live it out in such a visible way.” 
Read more about Fr. Foshage: https://www.catholicextension.org/stories/texas-priest-forges-a-path-for-reconciliation/

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Catholic Extension's Lumen Christi Award honors an individual or group working in one of America's mission dioceses who demonstrates how the power of faith can transform lives and communities. Lumen Christi recipients are the hidden heroes in our midst. They bring light and hope to the forgotten corners of our country and inspire those around them to be the "Light of Christ" as well.

Past recipients of the Lumen Christi Award, which is Latin for “Light of Christ,” have included priests, women religious, and lay leaders from across the nation.


The Lumen Christi Award is accompanied by a $50,000 grant — $25,000 for the honoree and $25,000 for his or her nominating diocese — to be used for enhancing a specific area of ministry.

Pope Francis tells Pharmacists "Too many people, too many children still die in the world because they cannot have that drug that is available..." Full Text


ADDRESS OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS
TO THE MEMBERS OF THE "BANCO FARMACEUTICO" FOUNDATION

Paul VI Hall
Saturday, 19 September 2020

Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!

I welcome you. I thank the President of the Banco Farmaceutico Foundation for the kind words he addressed to me. As you recalled, this year marks the twentieth anniversary of the birth of Banco Farmaceutico: happy birthday! From that initial intuition, a long way has been made. In addition to being present in Italy, you also operate in other countries.

Those who live in poverty are poor in everything, including medicines, and therefore their health is more vulnerable. Sometimes there is the risk of not being able to be treated for lack of money, or because some populations of the world do not have access to certain drugs. There is also a "pharmaceutical marginality", and this we must say. This creates a further gap between nations and between peoples. On the ethical level, if there is the possibility of curing a disease with a drug, this should be available to everyone, otherwise an injustice is created. Too many people, too many children still die in the world because they cannot have that drug that is available in other regions, or that vaccine. We know the danger of the globalization of indifference . Instead, I propose that you globalize care, that is, the possibility of access to those drugs that could save many lives for all populations. And to do this we need a common effort, a convergence that involves everyone. And you are the example of this common effort.

I hope that scientific research can progress to always seek new solutions to old and new problems. The work of many researchers is precious and represents a magnificent example of how human study and intelligence are capable of growing, as far as possible, new paths of healing and treatment.

Pharmaceutical companies, by supporting research and directing production, can generously contribute to a more equitable distribution of drugs.

Pharmacists are called to carry out a care service in proximity to the most needy people, and in science and conscience they work for the integral good of those who turn to them.

Even the rulers, through legislative and financial choices, are called to build a more just world, in which the poor are not abandoned or, worse still, discarded.

The recent experience of the pandemic, in addition to a major health emergency in which nearly a million people have already died, is turning into a serious economic crisis, which still generates poor people and families who do not know how to move forward. While charitable assistance is being carried out, it is also a question of combating this pharmaceutical poverty, in particular with the widespread diffusion of new vaccines in the world. I repeat that it would be sad if in providing the vaccine priority was given to the richest, or if this vaccine became the property of this or that nation, and was no longer for everyone. It must be universal, for everyone.

Dear friends, thank you very much for the service you carry out on behalf of the weakest. Thanks for what you do. Drug Collection Day is an important example of how generosity and the sharing of goods can improve our society and bear witness to that love in the proximity that is required of us by the Gospel (cf. Jn 13:34). I bless all of you present here, your families. I bless and ask God to bless all of you who, as the president said, are of different religions. But God is the Father of all and I ask: God, bless all of you, your families, your work, your generosity. And, since priests always ask, I ask you to pray for me. Thank you.

Bishop Herbert Bevard of the the Virgin Islands Resigns and Pope Francis Appoints Archbishop Gregory of Washington as Apostolic Administrator


Pope Francis Accepts Resignation of Bishop Herbert Bevard of the Diocese of Saint Thomas in the Virgin Islands; Names Archbishop Wilton Gregory of Washington as Apostolic Administrator
SEPTEMBER 18, 2020
WASHINGTON—Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of the Most Reverend Herbert A. Bevard, from the pastoral governance of the Diocese of Saint Thomas in the Virgin Islands. At the same time, he has appointed the Metropolitan Archbishop, Most Reverend Wilton D. Gregory of Washington as the Apostolic Administrator of the diocese.

The resignation and appointment were publicized in Washington, D.C. on September 18, 2020 by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

The Diocese of Saint Thomas in the Virgin Islands is comprised of the Islands of Saint Thomas, Saint Croix, Saint John, and Water Island, and has a total population of 110,000 of which 30,000 are Catholic.
Full Text Release: USCCB - Image Source: Google Images Virgin Islands Consortium

Irish Redemptorist Priest who Refuses to Submit to Vatican on Subject of Women's Ordination is Suspended



 An Irish Redemptorist Priest, named Fr. Tony Flannery, who refuses to submit to the Church's teachings on the subject of women's ordination has been suspended by the Vatican.
Here is his response and the Vatican's letter (below):
My real response to the Vatican Document
SEP 17
Now that I have released the Vatican document into the public domain two things stand out in my mind this evening.

First, it is good to have it out there. From the first moment it came to me I knew that I was not going to sign it. But it has been sitting there for the last three months or so. Now it is gone, my decision has been finally made certain and clear, and there is a sense of relief and satisfaction about that.

Secondly, the response all day has been enormously reassuring. So many people have been in touch in various ways with words of support and encouragement. I am grateful to them all. Taking on such a big and powerful institution as the Vatican can be a lonely spot for an individual. Thankfully it is not like that for me at this stage.

My hope is that by taking a public stance as I have done, that I can focus attention on the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, highlighting both their theological positions, but even more so their modus operandi, which is by far and away the worst aspect of their existence.

Rather than signing their propositions, which for me would be both a craven and a deceitful action, I have put a fuller response within the covers of a new book, which is due for publication on October 10th — entitled From the Outside; Rethinking Church Doctrine.

At the very least I hope my response in the book might get the gentlemen of the CDF to move from their apparent obsession with matters of sex and gender, and begin to focus instead on the need to look at some of the more fundamental doctrines of the Church, especially ones that date from the early centuries, and begin to realize that we need to find new language, new metaphors and images, to convey some of the deep meaning of these mysteries to the modern mind and spirit.

Unfortunately in our present circumstances any sort of physical launch will not be possible. But I hope that it will create sufficient of a stir to let people know that it is out there and available, and that people will find it a worthwhile read.
Source: http://www.tonyflannery.com/my-real-response-to-the-vatican-document/
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Vatican's CDF Document with demand for signatures
SEP 16, 2020

 1.  The Reservation of Priesthood to Men Alone

The following paragraph is taken from the Apostolic Letter, Ordinatio Sacerdotalis of Pope John Paul II (1994).

4. Although the teaching that priestly ordination is to be reserved to men alone has been preserved by the constant and universal Tradition of the Church and firmly taught by the Magisterium in its more recent documents, at the present time in some places it is nonetheless considered still open to debate, or the Church’s judgment  that women are not to be admitted

to ordination is considered to have a merely disciplinary force.

Wherefore, in order that all doubt may be removed regarding a matter of great importance, a matter which pertains to the Church’s divine constitution itself, in virtue of my ministry of confirming the brethren (cf. Lk 22:32) I declare that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church’s faithful.

The following paragraphs  are taken  from the Post-Synodal  Apostolic Exhortation, Querida Amazonia (2020). While addressing the strength and gift of women, Pope Francis at the same time affirms the reservation of the sacred priesthood  to men alone.

The strength and gift of women

In the Amazon region, there are communities that have long preserved and handed on the faith even though no priest has come their way, even for decades. This could happen because of the presence of strong and generous women who, undoubtedly called and prompted by the Holy Spirit, baptized , catechized, prayed and acted as missionaries. For centuries, women have kept the Church alive in those places through their remarkable devotion and deep faith. Some of them, speaking at the Synod, moved us profoundly by their testimony.
This summons us to broaden our vision, lest we restrict our understanding of the Church to her functional structures. Such a reductionism would lead us to believe that women would be granted a greater status and participation in the Church only if they were admitted to Holy Orders. But that approach would in fact narrow our vision; it would lead us to clericalize women, diminish the great value of what they have already accomplished , and subtly make their indispensable contribution less effective.
Jesus Christ appears as the Spouse of the community that celebrates the Eucharist  through the figure of a man who presides as a sign of the one Priest. This dialogue between  the Spouse and his Bride, which arises in adoration and sanctifies the community, should not trap us in partial conceptions of power in the Church. The Lord chose to reveal his power and his love through two human faces: the face of his divine Son made man and the face of a creature, a woman, Mary. Women make their contribution to the Church in a way that is properly theirs, by making present the tender strength of Mary, the Mother. As a result, we do not limit ourselves to a functional approach, but enter instead into the inmost structure of the Church. In this way, we will fundamentally realize why, without women, the Church breaks down, and how many communities in the Amazon would have collapsed , had women not
been there to sustain them, keep them together and care for them. This shows the kind of power that is typically theirs.

We must keep encouraging those simple and straightforward gifts that enabled women in the Amazon region to play so active a role in society, even though communities now face many new and unprecedented threats. The present situation requires us to encourage the
emergence of other forms of service and charisms that are proper to women and responsive to the specific needs of the peoples of the Amazon region at this moment in history.

In a synodal Church, those women who in fact have a central part to play in Amazonian communities should have access to positions, including ecclesial services, that do not entail Holy Orders and that can better signify the role that is theirs. Here it should be noted that these services entail stability, public recognition and a commission from the bishop. This would also allow women to have a real and effective impact on the organization, the most important decisions and the direction of communities, while continuing to do so in a way that reflects their womanhood.
DOCTRINAL PROPOSITION: According to the Tradition and the doctrine of the Church incorporated in the Canon Law (c. 1024), a baptized male alone receives sacred ordination validly.

I, Fr. Tony Flannery C.Ss.R, submit to the above doctrinal proposition given by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Fr. Tony Flannery, C.Ss.R.  ______________________________

2.   The Moral Liceity of Homosexual Practices

The following paragraph is taken from the Catechism of the Catholic Church n. 2357.

2357. Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological

genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.” They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.

DOCTRINAL PROPOSITION: Since the homosexual practices are contrary to the natural law and do not proceed from  a genuine affective and sexual complementarity, they are not approved by the moral teaching of the Catholic Church (cf. CCC 2357).

I, Fr. Tony Flannery C.Ss.R, submit to the above doctrinal proposition given by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Fr. Tony Flannery, C.Ss.R. ___________________________

3.  The Institution of Marriage and Same-Sex Marriages

The following paragraph is taken from the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhoration Amoris Laetitia (2016). In this paragraph Pope Francis affirms that only the exclusive and indissoluble union between a man and a woman benefits society.

52. No one can think that the weakening of the family as that natural society founded on marriage will prove beneficial to society as a whole. The contrary is true: it poses a threat to the mature growth of individuals, the cultivation of community values and the moral progress of cities and countries. There is a failure to realize that only the exclusive and indissoluble union be-tween a man and a woman has a plenary role to play in society as a stable commitment that bears fruit in new life. We need to acknowledge the great variety of family situations that can offer a certain stability, but de facto or same-sex unions for example, may not simply be equated with marriage. No union that is temporary or closed to the transmission of life can ensure the future of society. But nowadays who is making an effort to strengthen marriages, to help married couples overcome their problems, to assist them in the work of raising children and, in general, to encourage the stability of the marriage bond .

The following article is taken from the Catechism of the Catholic Church n. 1660 (cf.

GS 48; CIC 1055, §1).

1660. The Marriage covenant, by which a man and a woman form with each other an intimate communion of life and love, has been founded and endowed with its own special laws by the Creator. By its very nature it is ordered to the good of the couple, as well as to the generation and education of children. Christ the Lord raised marriage between the baptized to the dignity of a sacrament.

DOCTRINAL  PROPOSITION:  The Marriage  covenant,  by which a man and a woman form with each other an intimate communion of life and love, has beenfounded and endowed with its own special laws by the Creator (CCC 1660). Otherforms  of union do not  correspond to God ‘s plan for  marriage andfamily.  Therefore, they are not allowed by the Catholic Church.

I, Fr. Tony Flannery C.Ss.R, submit to the above doctrinal proposition given by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Fr. Tony Flannery, C.Ss.R. _______________________________

4.   “Gender Theory”

The following paragraph is taken from the Congregation For Education’s document on gender theory in education, “Male and Female He Created Them” (2019).

2. The context in which the mission of education is carried out is characterized by challenges emerging from varying forms of an ideology that is given the general name ‘gender theory ‘,

which “denies the difference and reciprocity in nature of a man and a woman and envisages a society  with-out  sexual  differences, thereby  eliminating  the  anthropological  basis  of the family.  This  ideology  leads to  educational  programmes  and  legislative  enactments  that promote  a personal  identity  and emotional  intimacy  radically  separated  from the biological difference  between  male and  female.  Consequently,  human  identity  becomes  the  choice of

the individual, one which can also change over time.”

DOCTRINAL PROPOSITION:  In sofar  as it contradicts thefoundations  of a genuine Christian anthropology, gender theory is not accepted by Catholic teaching

(cf. Congregation for Catholic Education, Male and Female He Created Them, nn. 2-4; 19-23 and passim ) .

I, Fr. Tony Flannery C.Ss.R, submit to the above doctrinal proposition given by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Fr. Tony Flannery, C.Ss.R. __________________________

I, Fr. Tony Flannery C.Ss.R, submit to all of the above doctrinal propositions given by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith as they pertain to the Church’s teaching on the: 1. Reservation of the sacred priesthood to men alone; 2. The moral liceity of homosexual practices; 3. The legal recognition of marriage between persons of the same sex; and 4. “Gender Theory.”


Fr. Tony Flannery, C.Ss.R. Date

————————————————————————————————

It came with the following covering letter from the Secretary of the CDF to the Superior of the Redemptorists:

I will not be signing this document.

CONGREGATIO PRO  DOCTRINA FIDEi

00120 Cittd de/ Vatica110

Palazzo dcl S. U ffizio

July 9, 2020

PROT.  N. 50/2013 – 77665

Dear Reverend Father,

Thank you for your letter of February 27, 2020 [Prot. N. 1300 040/2020], which proposed that this Dicastery consider permitting Fr. Tony  Flannery to return to public ministry. The letter followed a meeting which occurred on  the same day here at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. The effects of Fr. Flannery’ s situation on the Irish Church, and in particular the Irish province of your Congregation, were presented within the proposal.

After reflecting carefully upon your request, the Congregation has decided that Fr. Flannery should not return to public ministry prior to submitting a signed statement regarding his positions on homosexuality, civil unions between persons of the same sex, and the admission of women to the priesthood. With this letter, the Congregation provides some recent doctrinal propositions on the above-mentioned topics. The Irish Provincial should ask Fr. Flannery to give his assent to the statement by providing his signature in each of the places indicated (enclosure). After Fr. Flannery has provided his signatures to the enclosed statement, it should then be transmitted to this Congregation.

After the statement is signed and received , a gradual readmission of Fr. Flannery to the exercise of public ministry will be possible by way of an agreement with this Congregation. Furthermore, given the fact that he has stated numerous times that he is not a theologian, he should be asked to not speak publically on the above-mentioned topics which have caused problems in the past.

Taking this opportunity to give you my warmest regards, I remain

+ –

ffi Giacomo MORANDI Archbishop tit. of Cerveteri Secretary

(with enclosure)

Rev. Fr. Michael BREHL, C.Ss.R.

Superior General

Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer

Via Merulana, 31

00185 ROMA