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Pope Francis: I am always joyful when I see young priests

June 1, 2017 CNA Daily News 0

Vatican City, Jun 1, 2017 / 08:54 am (CNA/EWTN News).- On Thursday Pope Francis spoke with the Vatican department in charge of priests, saying he is always happy when he sees young priests, because they are important for Christ and represent the youthful face of the Church.

“I am always joyful when I meet young priests, because in them I see the youth of the Church,” the Pope said June 1.

He pointed to various young biblical figures, such as David, who was not presented by his father as a potential king because of his young age, and the prophet Jeremiah, who thought that he was too young for the mission the Lord entrusted to him.

Speaking directly to young priests, Francis said “you are chosen, you are dear to the Lord! God looks at you with the tenderness of a Father and, after making your heart fall in love, will not let your steps waver.”

“You are important in his eyes and he has confidence that you will be at the height of the mission to which you have been called,” he said, stressing that it’s important for young priests to find pastors and bishops “who encourage them in this perspective, and not only wait for them because there is need for a replacement and to fill empty places!”

Pope Francis spoke to members of the Congregation for Clergy currently participating in their plenary assembly.

The gathering takes place just six months after the promulgation of the congregation’s new “Ratio Fundamentalis,” the Vatican’s document on priestly formation, which was released Dec. 7, 2016.

This document, Francis said, “speaks of integral formation, capable of including all aspects of life; and so it indicates the path to form the missionary disciple. A fascinating and demanding path.”

In reflecting on the fascinating and demanding aspects of this path, the Pope said he immediately thought of young priests, who “live the joy of the beginning of ministry and, together, feel the weight.”

A young priest, he said, “lives between the enthusiasm of the first projects and the anxiety of apostolic fatigue, in which they immerse themselves with a certain fear, which is a sign of wisdom.”

While the joy and strength of his recent anointing is acutely felt, the new priest’s shoulders gradually become “burdened” by the weight of the responsibility of his various pastoral commitments and the expectations of his flock, the Pope observed.

“How does a young priest live all this? What does he carry in his heart? What does he need so that his feet, which run to bring the joyful announcement of the Gospel, are not paralyzed in front of the fear of the first difficulties?” the Pope asked.

He noted that young people today are frequently judged “a bit superficially, and are too easily labeled as a ‘liquid’ generation, deprived of passions and ideals.”

While there are certainly youth who are fragile, disoriented and “infected by the culture of consumerism and individualism,” this doesn’t mean that youth capable of generous service and involvement don’t exist, Francis said.

“With all their limits, they are always a resource,” he said, and urged participants to ask themselves how they, in their parishes, view young priests.

Turning again to the new Ratio, which speaks of the priest as “a missionary disciple in permanent formation,” Pope Francis underlined three attitudes he said are key for any priest, but especially those who are just beginning their ministry.

These attitudes, he said, are: to pray without ceasing, to always walk and to share with your heart.  

Consistent prayer is essential in the life of a priest “because we can be fishers of men only if we first recognize that we have been ‘caught’ by the tenderness of the Lord,” he said.

Like the fishermen of Galilee who dropped their nets and followed Jesus, priests have also left behind their own personal plans in order to take up their own nets and “catch” the faithful entrusted to them, the Pope said, adding that “if we are not strictly linked to (the Lord), our fishing will never be successful.”

To live in harmony in prayer, work and rest “represents a precious resource to face apostolic fatigues,” Francis said, stressing that “every day we need to stop ourselves, putting ourselves in a position to listen to the Word of God and to pause in front of the tabernacle.”

He also touched on the need to listen to one’s body, “which is a good doctor,” and which tells us when we’ve reached the limit.

On the need to always keep walking, the Pope said this is important because a priest never really “arrives,” but remains a disciple, a pilgrim “overlooking the threshold of the ministry of God and the holy ground of the people entrusted to him.”

A priest, Pope Francis said, can never “feel satisfied” or let go of a certain “healthy apprehension that makes him stretch out his hands to the Lord” in order to be trained and fulfilled.

He told priests to always “be open to the surprises of God,” adding that with this openness to what is new, young priests especially “can be creative in evangelization, frequenting with discernment the new places of communication, where faces, stories and the questions of people are met, developing the ability to socialize, to relate and to announce the faith.”

Finally, Francis pointed to the need to share with one’s heart, because “priestly life is not a bureaucratic office nor a collection of religious or liturgical practices to get through.”

Priests, he said, carry in their own flesh “the joys and anguish of the people,” spending time with them and listening “in order to heal the wounds of others, and offering the tenderness of the Father to all.”

New priests have a prime opportunity to live this experience by sharing with youth and teens, Francis said, explaining that this means being with them “not only as a friend among others, but as the one who knows how to share their life with his heart, to listen to their questions and participate concretely in the different ups and downs of their lives.”

“Youth don’t need a professional on the sacred or a hero who, from above and from the outside, responds to their questions,” he said. “Rather, they are attracted by whoever sincerely commits their lives, supporting them with respect and listening to them with love.”

To genuinely share their experiences “means having a heart full of passion and compassion, above all toward youth,” the Pope said, adding that these three qualities imply the priestly life is lived by “looking up and thinking big.”

“It’s not an easy task, but one can full trust in the Lord, because always precedes us on the journey!” he said, and asked for Mary’s intercession and guidance.

[…]

No Picture
News Briefs

Planned Parenthood’s services are declining…except for abortion

June 1, 2017 CNA Daily News 0

Washington D.C., Jun 1, 2017 / 06:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The controversial abortion provider Planned Parenthood has lost over half a million unique patients in five years, but its abortion figures remain the same – a consistency its critics have blasted.

“While non-abortion services are declining, Planned Parenthood continues to perform a record number of abortions – over 300,000 per year,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, Susan B. Anthony List president.

“They’ve performed more than 1.6 million abortions in the last five years alone.”

The pro-life group, citing the abortion provider’s own annual reports, said that in the period from 2011-2016 Planned Parenthood’s number of unique patients have dropped by 600,000, a 20 percent decline. Cancer screenings have halved, while contraceptive services are down 18 percent. STD screenings have dropped five percent.

At the same time, its abortion numbers are stable. In the last five years, Planned Parenthood performed about 11,290 adoption referrals total. That makes a ratio of 145 abortions for each adoption referral.

“Women are turning away from abortion giant Planned Parenthood,” Dannenfelser said. “It’s time to re-direct Planned Parenthood’s funding to community health centers.”

“Taxpayers would be disentangled from the grisly abortion industry and get a better return on their investment in women’s health,” she said.

While the abortion provider enjoyed protection and influence under the Obama administration, the U.S. House of Representatives has now passed a bill that would defund Planned Parenthood for one year. The proposal would shift $422 million to community health care centers.

The Susan B. Anthony List backs the shift, saying that community health centers have strong bipartisan support and work in under-served communities. The centers provide mammograms, mental heath services, and other care for women that is not available at Planned Parenthood.

The abortion provider’s latest annual report said its website has received nearly 70 million visitors from 2015-2016. The report claims 75 percent of Americans support continued Medicaid reimbursement for preventive care at Planned Parenthood.

The report describes attacks on Planned Parenthood as having reached “fever pitch,” citing “a record number of state laws” regulating abortion. The organization claimed to have nearly 650 Planned Parenthood health centers in the year 2015.

The organization is struggling in some parts of the country. Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains recently announced the closure of six facilities in its region due to financial concerns, including its only Wyoming clinic. Four Iowa facilities will also close.

The abortion provider is under scrutiny after the release of investigative reports beginning in 2015 appearing to show Planned Parenthood leaders involved in the illegal sale of unborn baby parts and other fetal tissue for profit. The reports prompted a multi-million dollar damage control campaign from Planned Parenthood and its allies like the Open Society Foundations, the Hewlett Foundation and the Democracy Alliance, records from the Open Society Foundations indicate.

[…]

No Picture
News Briefs

Looking forward to 10 years of Summorum Pontificum

June 1, 2017 CNA Daily News 0

Rome, Italy, Jun 1, 2017 / 03:04 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Ten years after Benedict XVI broadened access to the celebration of the Traditional Latin Mass, the document by which he did so is being hailed as a means of closing the rift of division following liturgical changes made after the Second Vatican Council.

“Sometimes there are these polemics, but I think Benedict tried to overcome these polemics, saying that even in the liturgy there is a certain progress … but clearly in full continuity with the tradition of the Church,” Fr. Vincenzo Nuara, OP, told CNA May 31.

Tensions were heightened after the Second Vatican Council’s reforms, and “unfortunately these situations of contrast, of opposition are created” even today, Fr. Nuara said.  

In light of this situation, Benedict XVI’s 2007 motu proprio Summorum Pontificum, which widened access to the pre-Vatican II liturgy, “was not an instrument to divide” or throw further fuel on the flames, he said.

Rather, “it was an instrument to unite. To unite, and to bring again that ecclesial peace that’s needed in this time.”

“I see it as a positive instrument, not negative,” Fr. Nuara said. “It’s not an instrument for going backwards. It’s an instrument to reconnect ourselves in continuity” with different ecclesial styles.

Fr. Nuara is president of the association “Priestly Friends of Summorum Pontificum” and founder and spiritual assistant of the “Youth and Tradition” association.

He is also one of the organizers of an upcoming Sept. 14-17 pilgrimage marking the 10th anniversary of Summorum Pontificum, and spoke to journalists at a working breakfast on the event. 

The motu proprio was issued July 7, 2007, and went into effect Sept. 14 of that year, the feast of the Exaltation of the Cross.

The document established that the post-Vatican II Roman Missal, first issued by Blessed Paul VI, is the ordinary form of the Roman rite, and that the prior version, last issued by St. John XXIII in 1962 and known as the Traditional Latin Mass or the Tridentine Mass, is the Roman rite’s extraordinary form.

In the motu proprio, Benedict noted that the Traditional Latin Mass was never abrogated. He awknowledged clearly the right of all priests of the Roman rite to say Mass using the Roman Missal of 1962, and established that parish priests should be willing say the extraordinary form for groups of the faithful who request it.

Benedict also established that the faithful could have recourse to their bishop or even the Vatican if their requests for celebration of the extraordinary form were not satisfied.

The provisions of Summorum Pontificum for the use of the extraordinary form replaced those of St. John Paul II laid down in Quattuor abhinc annos and Ecclesia Dei.

According to that indult, priests and faithful who wished to celebrate the Traditional Latin Mass had to get permission from their bishop to do so. It could only be for those who requested it, could not normally be said at parish churches, and the bishop could set days and conditions for its celebration.

After the Second Vatican Council, the Missal issued by Bl. Paul VI, also known as the Novus Ordo, was widely adopted. It was widely translated into vernacular languages, and is often celebrated with the priest facing toward the congregation.

However, not a few faithful continued to be attached to the earlier form of the liturgy, and Benedict’s motu proprio was considered a generous response to these faithful.

Benedict wrote in the motu proprio that the two forms “will in no way lead to a division” in the Church’s belief “for they are two usages of the one Roman rite.”

In his letter to bishops accompanying Summorum Pontificum, Benedict also noted that “the two Forms of the usage of the Roman Rite can be mutually enriching.”

Fr. Nuara reflected that since Summorum Pontificum, “those who have permission to use the ancient form of the liturgy have also at the same time rediscovered the sanctity of the new.”

This mutual enrichment is a discovery Fr. Nuara said he himself has made in his 25 years as a priest, during which he has celebrated both the new and ancient liturgical formulas.

But it is also a discovery “that many (other) priests have made.”

“Benedict is a positive man. Benedict, who reflects as a theologian and a pastor, realized that the ancient form that has grown in the history of the Church for years, can give new impetus to the new form,” he said.

The Mass “is the bridge where they meet, because the Eucharist is the point of encounter …  the sacrament of unity,” Fr. Nuara said, adding that what “must be avoided” is that people “take advantage of their particular trend or attention to one or the other liturgy, to create fences of division and separation.”

Benedict himself celebrated the new form of the liturgy “with great dignity,” but before his election as Bishop of Rome was also known to celebrate the ancient liturgy with the same esteem.

What Summorum Pontificum seeks to do, then, is to work for this unity, he said, adding that at 10 years since its publication, his hope is that people from both sides will work toward this goal.

“We want to send, to communicate this message,” he said. “Because the Church is a family, the family of God.”

When the Summorum Pontificum Pilgrimage takes place in September, it will be a privileged time to show this unity, he said.

The event’s first day, held at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas, will feature keynote addresses from Archbishop Guido Pozzo, secretary of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei; Cardinal Gerhard Müller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and president of the PCED;  and Cardinal Robert Sarah, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship.

Pilgrims who come will participate in various other activities throughout the rest of the three days, including adoration and a Eucharistic procession presided over by Archbishop Pozzo on Sept. 16, followed by a Pontifical High Mass said by Cardinal Carlo Caffarra, Archbishop Emeritus of Bologna.

Titled “Summorum Pontificum: A renewed youth for the Church,” the pilgrimage is being organized by the “Priestly Friends of Summorum Pontificum” and “Youth and Tradition” associations in partnership with the Coetus Internationalis Summorum Pontificum.

Speaking of the title in comments to journalists, Fr. Nuara noted that a “truly surprising” phenomenon is that the “true protagonists” of this new “season of the Church … are the youth.”

In his letter accompanying the motu proprio, Benedict had noted that while “it has clearly been demonstrated that young persons too have discovered this liturgical form, felt its attraction and found in it a form of encounter with the Mystery of the Most Holy Eucharist, particularly suited to them.”

“Benedict XVI already in 2007 was aware that the new recipients of this liturgy, loved, desired and also sought, were the youth,” Fr. Nuara said.

Pope Francis has also commented on the fact that many of the enthusiasts for the Traditional Latin Mass are young people who never knew it growing up, but encountered it later.  

“Youth can’t be nostalgic for something they didn’t know,” Fr. Nuara said, adding that “this is very nice, because by experience I can say that the youth who draw near to the ancient liturgy of the Church love it” for the reverence and silence of the celebration.

In celebrating the ancient form, “you really understand who is at the center, who the protagonist is,” the priest said, noting that “youth understand very well that this liturgy speaks of … the essential truth of the faith.”

[…]

No Picture
News Briefs

Looking forward to 10 years of Summorum Pontificum

June 1, 2017 CNA Daily News 0

Rome, Italy, Jun 1, 2017 / 03:04 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Ten years after Benedict XVI broadened access to the celebration of the Traditional Latin Mass, the document by which he did so is being hailed as a means of closing the rift of division following liturgical changes made after the Second Vatican Council.

“Sometimes there are these polemics, but I think Benedict tried to overcome these polemics, saying that even in the liturgy there is a certain progress … but clearly in full continuity with the tradition of the Church,” Fr. Vincenzo Nuara, OP, told CNA May 31.

Tensions were heightened after the Second Vatican Council’s reforms, and “unfortunately these situations of contrast, of opposition are created” even today, Fr. Nuara said.  

In light of this situation, Benedict XVI’s 2007 motu proprio Summorum Pontificum, which widened access to the pre-Vatican II liturgy, “was not an instrument to divide” or throw further fuel on the flames, he said.

Rather, “it was an instrument to unite. To unite, and to bring again that ecclesial peace that’s needed in this time.”

“I see it as a positive instrument, not negative,” Fr. Nuara said. “It’s not an instrument for going backwards. It’s an instrument to reconnect ourselves in continuity” with different ecclesial styles.

Fr. Nuara is president of the association “Priestly Friends of Summorum Pontificum” and founder and spiritual assistant of the “Youth and Tradition” association.

He is also one of the organizers of an upcoming Sept. 14-17 pilgrimage marking the 10th anniversary of Summorum Pontificum, and spoke to journalists at a working breakfast on the event. 

The motu proprio was issued July 7, 2007, and went into effect Sept. 14 of that year, the feast of the Exaltation of the Cross.

The document established that the post-Vatican II Roman Missal, first issued by Blessed Paul VI, is the ordinary form of the Roman rite, and that the prior version, last issued by St. John XXIII in 1962 and known as the Traditional Latin Mass or the Tridentine Mass, is the Roman rite’s extraordinary form.

In the motu proprio, Benedict noted that the Traditional Latin Mass was never abrogated. He awknowledged clearly the right of all priests of the Roman rite to say Mass using the Roman Missal of 1962, and established that parish priests should be willing say the extraordinary form for groups of the faithful who request it.

Benedict also established that the faithful could have recourse to their bishop or even the Vatican if their requests for celebration of the extraordinary form were not satisfied.

The provisions of Summorum Pontificum for the use of the extraordinary form replaced those of St. John Paul II laid down in Quattuor abhinc annos and Ecclesia Dei.

According to that indult, priests and faithful who wished to celebrate the Traditional Latin Mass had to get permission from their bishop to do so. It could only be for those who requested it, could not normally be said at parish churches, and the bishop could set days and conditions for its celebration.

After the Second Vatican Council, the Missal issued by Bl. Paul VI, also known as the Novus Ordo, was widely adopted. It was widely translated into vernacular languages, and is often celebrated with the priest facing toward the congregation.

However, not a few faithful continued to be attached to the earlier form of the liturgy, and Benedict’s motu proprio was considered a generous response to these faithful.

Benedict wrote in the motu proprio that the two forms “will in no way lead to a division” in the Church’s belief “for they are two usages of the one Roman rite.”

In his letter to bishops accompanying Summorum Pontificum, Benedict also noted that “the two Forms of the usage of the Roman Rite can be mutually enriching.”

Fr. Nuara reflected that since Summorum Pontificum, “those who have permission to use the ancient form of the liturgy have also at the same time rediscovered the sanctity of the new.”

This mutual enrichment is a discovery Fr. Nuara said he himself has made in his 25 years as a priest, during which he has celebrated both the new and ancient liturgical formulas.

But it is also a discovery “that many (other) priests have made.”

“Benedict is a positive man. Benedict, who reflects as a theologian and a pastor, realized that the ancient form that has grown in the history of the Church for years, can give new impetus to the new form,” he said.

The Mass “is the bridge where they meet, because the Eucharist is the point of encounter …  the sacrament of unity,” Fr. Nuara said, adding that what “must be avoided” is that people “take advantage of their particular trend or attention to one or the other liturgy, to create fences of division and separation.”

Benedict himself celebrated the new form of the liturgy “with great dignity,” but before his election as Bishop of Rome was also known to celebrate the ancient liturgy with the same esteem.

What Summorum Pontificum seeks to do, then, is to work for this unity, he said, adding that at 10 years since its publication, his hope is that people from both sides will work toward this goal.

“We want to send, to communicate this message,” he said. “Because the Church is a family, the family of God.”

When the Summorum Pontificum Pilgrimage takes place in September, it will be a privileged time to show this unity, he said.

The event’s first day, held at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas, will feature keynote addresses from Archbishop Guido Pozzo, secretary of the Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei; Cardinal Gerhard Müller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and president of the PCED;  and Cardinal Robert Sarah, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship.

Pilgrims who come will participate in various other activities throughout the rest of the three days, including adoration and a Eucharistic procession presided over by Archbishop Pozzo on Sept. 16, followed by a Pontifical High Mass said by Cardinal Carlo Caffarra, Archbishop Emeritus of Bologna.

Titled “Summorum Pontificum: A renewed youth for the Church,” the pilgrimage is being organized by the “Priestly Friends of Summorum Pontificum” and “Youth and Tradition” associations in partnership with the Coetus Internationalis Summorum Pontificum.

Speaking of the title in comments to journalists, Fr. Nuara noted that a “truly surprising” phenomenon is that the “true protagonists” of this new “season of the Church … are the youth.”

In his letter accompanying the motu proprio, Benedict had noted that while “it has clearly been demonstrated that young persons too have discovered this liturgical form, felt its attraction and found in it a form of encounter with the Mystery of the Most Holy Eucharist, particularly suited to them.”

“Benedict XVI already in 2007 was aware that the new recipients of this liturgy, loved, desired and also sought, were the youth,” Fr. Nuara said.

Pope Francis has also commented on the fact that many of the enthusiasts for the Traditional Latin Mass are young people who never knew it growing up, but encountered it later.  

“Youth can’t be nostalgic for something they didn’t know,” Fr. Nuara said, adding that “this is very nice, because by experience I can say that the youth who draw near to the ancient liturgy of the Church love it” for the reverence and silence of the celebration.

In celebrating the ancient form, “you really understand who is at the center, who the protagonist is,” the priest said, noting that “youth understand very well that this liturgy speaks of … the essential truth of the faith.”

[…]