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US bishops counter narrative of resistance to Pope Francis

Statement from USCCB says Austen Ivereigh’s new book Wounded Shepherd “perpetuates an unfortunate and inaccurate myth that the Holy Father finds resistance among the leadership and staff of the U.S. Bishops Conference…”

U.S. bishops attend a prayer service in the Chapel of the Immaculate Conception at Mundelein Seminary Jan. 2 at the University of St. Mary of the Lake in Illinois, near Chicago. (CNS photo/Bob Roller)

Washington D.C., Nov 7, 2019 / 04:01 pm (CNA).- The U.S. bishops’ conference issued Thursday a statement responding to a recent book which the conference says perpetuates a myth that it is resistant to Pope Francis.

Austen Ivereigh’s Wounded Shepherd was published Nov. 5 by Henry Holt and Co.

The book “perpetuates an unfortunate and inaccurate myth that the Holy Father finds resistance among the leadership and staff of the U.S. Bishops Conference,” James Rogers, chief communications officer for the conference, said Nov. 7.

Ivereigh claims that Msgr. Brian Bransfield, general secretary of the conference, and Msgr. Ronny Jenkins, dean of canon law at the Catholic University of America and a consultant to the conference, drafted proposals for a bishops’ code of conduct and lay commissions in the wake of the McCarrick scandal that were subsequently rejected by Rome. Ivereigh said the proposals were meant to bypass Roman input.

Rogers called the claim disparaging of Bransfield and Jenkins, and said Ivereigh’s account “is false and misleading.”

According to the conference, its president, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, began in August 2018 to consult bishops on measures that would strengthen the Dallas Charter. Draft proposals were written by the next month “under the direction of the Executive Committee” and with the help of the committees on clergy, consecrated life, canonical affairs, and child protection, as well as the doctrinal secretariat and the general counsel’s office.

“It was intended that the proposals stop short of where the authority of the Holy See began,” Rogers wrote.

“For example, like the Charter before it, the lay commission was based on the voluntary participation of bishops, compiling substantial reports of abuse to be delivered directly to the Apostolic Nuncio in the United States with due regard to civilly mandated reporting laws.”

Rogers added that “while informal consultations with the Holy See took place in October, it was envisioned that the Holy See would have an opportunity to review and offer adjustments only on those drafts benefiting from the input of the full body of U.S. bishops, recognizing that substantial amendments could yet take place.”

The proposals were to have been voted on at the US bishops’ 2018 autumn general assembly, but upon the indication of Rome, Cardinal DiNardo delayed that vote.

The cardinal’s decision “is a clear sign of his and his brother bishops’ collaboration with and obedience to the Holy Father,” Rogers wrote.

“When Pope Francis announced the new universal Church law establishing a worldwide program of protection, Cardinal DiNardo strongly supported the measures and moved quickly to ensure the Conference’s proposals would be both ready for votes in June of this year and would be complementary to the Holy Father’s own program. The June agenda moved forward without the objection of the Holy See.”

According to the conference, “Because of the decisive actions of Pope Francis and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Church is a safer place for children and adults in vulnerable situations.”


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25 Comments

  1. (According to the conference, “Because of the decisive actions of Pope Francis and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Church is a safer place for children and adults in vulnerable situations.”)

    Believe it or not.

      • What is this “No Communion on the hands?” If you wish to accept Jesus on the tongue, you may. But there is nothing inherently wrong taking Communion on the hand. It is your Yes to the Body of Jesus, which you then eat for spiritual and perhaps physical nourishment. This has been a common practice in many countries for centuries. Again you are at liberty to have Jesus placed on your tongue…

        • Ron S., to answer the question which you pose, to wit “What is this ‘No Communion in the hands?'” I submit that the answer is proper reverence. Add to that, on the occasion that I must attend the Novus Ordo (vice the EF) I only receive the Blessed Sacrament from the priest, on the tongue and on my knees. Again, proper reverence. I don’t recall the author but perhaps you will sincerely ponder these words: “I will not profane the Blessed Sacrament by such casual treatment.” (Casual treatment being reception in the hand.)

          • I doubt that the original Apostles received the bread (EUCHARIST) on their tongues, while on their knees at the Last Supper which instituted the EUCHARTIST itself. In early settings, Christian people gathered together with special reverence for the fact that they were indeed receiving the special gifts of the actual body and blood of their savior Jesus Christ in communal meals together. Reverence is not particularly shown openly so that others can see how pious we are…remember the Pharisees?…it is found in our hearts and daily actions. Please allow each person to be judged by the Almighty God himself, not by us…mere mortals and sinners that we all are. Please allow each of us to show proper reverence ourselves in the way that we choose to reverence God.

    • The results speak for themselves. Absurd and ridiculous twaddle from the USCCB. Bergoglio himself has covered up for notorious s users like McCarrick, Zanchetta, and Pena.

    • According to the conference, “Because of the decisive actions of Pope Francis and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Church is a safer place for children and adults in vulnerable situations.”
      Nothing could be further from the truth.
      The Vatican is a cesspool of intrigue, embezzlement, corruption, sexual abuse and COVER UP. The spirit of fear and coverup – the Smoke of Satan – has enveloped the Vatican.
      Yes, Bergoglio has created “confusion”, division, heresy and schism. What could be worse?
      Time for a massive purge and back to the one true Catholic Church.

      • Don’t you think if all that was going on God wouldn’t have put a stop to it…Catholics must learn to TRUST IN THE ALMIGHTY…He is in control…not the bishops,cardinals,priests. I believe Pope Francis does what God Almighty tells him to do! TRUST IN OUR FATHER🙏

  2. I am glad to see the USCCB push back against bullies like Iverleigh who feel like they have to lie, exaggerate, and mischaracterize situations in the name of defending Pope Francis. If the USCCB isn’t doing more to fix the clerical sexual abuse problem it is because they have been hampered by the likes of Cupich and Wuerl (like that insane Metropolitan plan for bishops investigating bishops within the same ecclesiastical province plus their involvement as members of the Congregation of Bishops through “vetting” men for the episcopacy that belong to their corrupt McCarrick network). Does Bergoglio share any blame for these fiascos? Not according to Iverleigh the myth-maker.

  3. At this point, the visceral reaction to this is “Who Cares?”

    Something is very amiss. The pope’s determined diminishment of doctrine has had its effect. For too many of us, what Rome or the US bishops think really doesn’t matter. I’ll stick with Scripture and the time-tested catechisms. Whatever infallibility means, it doesn’t mean much with the current regime undermining simple, basic faith.

  4. A better title for Ivereigh’s for-hire participation in the typically clinically self-expressed victim status of a let’s just say “personality” like Bergoglio?

    WOUNDING Shepherd.

    There’s not ENOUGH “resistance” to this papacy by the bishops. Nothing much to say during and after…Pachamama?

    Yet not surprising. With all that sodomy happening around you (“but it did not involve minors…consensual”)…only the death penalty, immigration laws and climate change seem “really bad.” Not even abortion/euthanasia are “really bad” considering who gets star status in Rome by Vatican/Bergoglio invite. The “underemployment of youth” may indeed be on a par or even worse…in “the seamless garment” which sounds better than “blurred morality.”

    We’re worried about how much “resistance” Bergoglio faces…so little concern for how much “resistance” Christ faces.

    When you have a Catholic bishop who expresses such theological optimism as his baseline unable to make the sign of the Cross or mention Christ in a Congressional Prayer, you understand what it really means to be among the majority of American Catholic bishops: in the final analysis, a politician, someone who gets invited to dinners by all kinds of people, someone who appears on camera.

  5. The Vatican continues to use the strategy of false accusations, now against the USCCB and again through Papal biographer Austen Ivereigh. Earlier he accused in a Crux magazine article seven Catholic editors and writers of being mentally ill for raising concerns about Amoris Laetitia.
    https://cruxnow.com/commentary/2017/08/09/pope-francis-convert-problem/

    Readers may find of interest this article citing the strategies associated with the use of passive-aggressive anger through false accusations and silence in the face of statements and views that differ completely from the teaching of the Lord and His Church.

    Passive-Aggressive Anger Against Doctrine.
    http://www.priestlyhealing.com/sites/default/files/files/PassiveAggressiveAnger-Fall2017.pdf

    In spite of these unprecedented stormy waters, we can draw strength, hope, and comfort from Pope Benedict’s words in 2010. “May the seven years which separate us from the centenary of the apparitions (of Fatima) hasten the fulfillment of the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, to the glory of the Most Holy Trinity.”

  6. I would hope, as a very confused Catholic convert, that American bishops would push back strongly against a Pope who wants uncertainty rather than certain truths which we should all profess and live by. But I’m afraid most bishops are now in the camp that holds it’s ok for priest and layman to be gay i.e. sexually active, even in the Church. Nuts! I’ll support my parish financially with donations that go to parish, but not diocese or to Peters Pence speculations in London real estate.

  7. Most familiar with tactical dialogue are aware Austen Ivereigh, Fr Spadaro SJ engage in reverse psychology. A ruse to elicit the timid defense of exactly the behavior desired. My sense it’s more than dislike of Americans rather fear of independence of thought. Cardinal DiNardo exhibited that requesting the Pontiff’s permission to pursue and sanction reprobate bishops and was immediately quashed. And additionally embarrassed by Pope Francis who unofficially demoted him and placed a favoritti Cardinal Cupich in charge of the Synod on abuse. The topic which should have been mutual adult clerical homosexuality was changed to child abuse. Eventually under pressure the ‘vulnerable’ were included. McCarrick and others like him were thereby insulated until that blew completely open. Still no viable response indicating the Vatican and Pontiff are instead in favor of reevaluating consensual adult homosexual relationships. Appointments to high office so indicate. Added to this the American Hierarchy have towed the Vatican line on migration here illegal immigration and have opposed the President every step of the way encouraging the Hispanic vote to decline. Yet President Trump has done more for the Catholic Church than others. He has prevented the rapid advance of procreative ‘rights’. Either they lack intelligence or lack the moral courage to divorce themselves from being the ecclesial branch of the Democrat Party, and the pliable whipping boys of Vatican new paradigm enforcers. Would that Bishop Athanasius Schneider were chair of the USCCB. Our bishops need to observe and learn from him what practice of the faith for hierarchy really is.

  8. This article was a complete white-wash and misdirect. The issue is not of some alleged conflict between the USCCB and the Vatican/Curia, but the open rebellion of many right-wing Bishops, Presbyters (priests), and talking heads (deceiving the faithful) in the United States.

    Let us not forget that there are still Bishops who refuse to participate in the Dallas Charter. The reason Hillary is still being criticized for her “vast right-wing conspiracy” is that her observation was spot-on: that there has been a decades-long, intentional, and coordinated effort to stop the Church from proclaiming the entirety of the Gospel (which includes the “social gospel”) is undeniable.

    Too much of the Church in the United States has surrendered to pro-capitalism ideologues more interested in giving aid and comfort to the wealthy and powerful than to proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ. That is the actual conflict between Holy Father Francis and the angry old white guys clinging to a vision of the world that, like them, is irrelevant and soon to pass into the dust-bins of history.

    • You appear to have a greater fidelity to a ideology than to the perennial Magisterium of the Roman Catholic Church. Should that be the case perhaps it would be best to confront that reality and follow the current it indicates. Sometime by living out erroneous options we determine their true origin and character. Often it occurs to me that counterintuitive clergy and religious are merely in a personal crisis of protracted adolescence and are merely “acting out” and displaying their bitterness at having assumed a commitment they were not yet developmentally prepared to shoulder. Bergoglio is a classic example of sporting a mask of eccentric notions and behavior in lieu of the character of the authentically wise man which he is decidedly not.
      Freud, Marx, Darwin and Alfred Kinsey are no substitute for Jesus Christ, true God and true man.

  9. Pope Francis and all the other Clergy and Laity blindly and closely following him have grave personal and spiritual issues. It’s our sacred duty to pray for them and ourselves, all sinners. I offer you this PRAYER if you chose to use it and use it often: “Lord Jesus, we adore You, we praise You, we love You and we thank You, in all things good, bad and horrible. You are Lord Almighty and you turn all things, even the darkest, into great blessings for us. Nothing good is ever impossible to You. Increase our Faith that we may receive and give to others invincible encouragement and total commitment to You and Your Truth, as only Truth guarantees Love. Fill us with the Kingdom of God in all its fullness, that we may share it and bring others to You, our God and our All.

    We lift up to You, Pope Francis and all Cardinals, Bishops, Priests, Deacons, Nuns and Monks, and all their family and associates. We plead that You may liberate them and all of us from the mental, emotional and spiritual rape of the Devil, the world, the flesh, their demons and associates, that turns us into rapists of others, Your Holy Church and all Creation.

    May the Infinite Beauty of Your Divine Matrimonial Love for us (Jeremiah 3:14) make us true, holy Saints, planting the Seed of Infinite Beauty in others, in the Kingdom of God in Authentic Catholic Truth. In this Kingdom of God that You brought to Earth and time, grant us to live as if we were already in Heaven, doing Your Will perfectly, repenting quickly, growing in Truth and loving others into You. Thank You, Lord. Now and forever. Amen!” [Note: Repentance is at the very core of living God’s Will perfectly on this temporal Earth, bringing in this humble act Heaven and Earth together as one. That’s why the first words in Jesus’ public ministry were: Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand”, Matthew 4:17).]

  10. There has been entirely too little resistance to the Bergoglian enterprise among the American episcopate. It is disheartening, to say the least, to observe our bishop acquiesce to the pastoral malpractice on display in Rome. Obviously these individuals find their own personal notions in line with the Bergoglian perspective or simply know where there bread is buttered. But for a few I have no esteem for them. I would not trust the catechesis of child to them. Ivereigh is simply displaying a Euro-globalist contempt for the United States.
    The only service Ivereigh has provided the Church is to spill the beans on the St. Gallen Mafia, their connivance to elect Bergoglio and Bergoglio’s complicity with the connivance. With that reality published in his biography of Cormac Murphy-O’Connor we have the story on the conclave. Ivereigh, narcissist that he is, thought he was announcing an admirable work, unmindful that conscientious Roman Catholics would justifiably take exception to this manipulation of the conclave. When the backsplash came they pulled the first edition of the book and printed a revised edition eliminating the crime.
    Ivereigh is a dishonest man at best. A fool who regards subterfuge, deceit and self-deception marks of a man rather than a maggot.

  11. I just wonder why our cardinals and bishops are not rising up to be counted for the truth.Do we follow every wind of doctrine just because the pope is the one propagating them?.The merit and truth in every contrary view is never considered but seen as opposition.How has the church dealt with this in the past?.Why all these ambiguities,changes and tension?.If removing the present occupier of the petrine office solves this problem,let it be.The laity is getting more conscious of all these.All hands should be on deck to educate the clergy and equip them with the whole truth so as to discourage these radicalism and attempt to bring down the church of God while holding fast to the whole counsel of God handed down to us by faithful men.

  12. Time is ripe for we the Catholic laity to revise our original catechism,rise and defend our One Holy, Catholic Apostolic Church; adore and Console Our Lord Jesus Christ who is weeping and bleeding together with His Mother for the sins of our modern time!!! Jesus forgive us for we do not know what we are doing to You Our King and Our lord!
    Ursula Kiiza

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