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placeholder June 6, 2011   •   VOL. 49, NO. 11   •   Oakland, CA

June 9: (Morning) Bishop’s Administrative Council, Chancery

        (Afternoon) Presbyteral Council and Diocesan Consultors, Chancery

        (Evening) Regional Case Study focus group

June 10: (Evening) Regional Case Study focus group

June 10-12: Retreat master, Permanent Deacon Retreat, Danville

June 11: Mass, Relic of St. Toribio, Noon, Cathedral

June 12: (Evening) Mass, 125th Anniversary, Holy Spirit Church, Fremont

June 14-17: Spring General Assembly, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Seattle

June 18: (Morning) Group Confirmation, Cathedral

        (Afternoon) Discernment gathering, diocesan priesthood, Concord

June 18-19: Parish visitation, St. Joseph the Worker

June 20: (Evening) Regional Case Study focus group

June 22: (Evening) Region 4 Deanery 15 dinner, Rectory

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There were no diocese items in this issue.

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Charter review, assisted suicide: assembly topics

WASHINGTON — Although the U.S. bishops’ spring general assembly will focus primarily on a review of the 2002 “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People” and consideration of a new document on physician-assisted suicide, the June 15-17 meeting in Seattle also will include a variety of presentations looking forward and back.

Ken Hackett, president of Catholic Relief Services since 1993, will address the bishops about his nearly four decades of work with the international humanitarian agency of the U.S. Catholic community as his retirement nears. Msgr. David Malloy, a priest of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, also will address the assembly as he concludes a five-year term as general secretary of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

The bishops are expected to look to the 2012 elections as they discuss their perennial “Faithful Citizenship” document on political responsibility, and Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl of Washington will report to them on progress toward incorporation of Anglican groups into the Catholic Church in the United States under Pope Benedict XVI’s November 2009 apostolic constitution “Anglicanorum coetibus.”

Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin will speak to the U.S. bishops about the International Eucharistic Congress to be held in his city in June 2012. Maryknoll Father Edward Dougherty, superior general of the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers, will talk to them about the 100th anniversary of the organization founded by the bishops to recruit, train, send and support American missioners overseas.

Bishop Kevin J. Farrell of Dallas, chairman of the bishops’ Committee on National Collections, will report to his fellow bishops on a recent evaluation of national collections and there will be an update on USCCB efforts in defense of traditional marriage, including a new Spanish-language video.

Most of the changes to the charter under consideration in Seattle involve bringing it into line with recent Vatican instructions in response to the crisis of sexual abuse of minors by priests. These include mentioning child pornography as a crime against Church law and defining the abuse of someone who “habitually lacks reason,” such as a person with mental retardation, as the equivalent of child abuse.

The proposed revisions also reflect the recent release of the long-awaited report on “The Causes and Context of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests in the United States, 1950-2010,” which had been mandated by the charter.

The report, prepared by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice and released in Washington May 18, concluded that there is “no single identifiable ‘cause’ of sexually abusive behavior toward minors” and encouraged steps to deny abusers “the opportunity to abuse.”

Discussion of this second set of revisions to the charter — the first was in 2005 — is likely to lead the bishops to a wide-ranging discussion of the report and other aspects of the clergy sex abuse crisis.


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Pope, Hungarian leader attend concert
Pope Benedict XVI and Hungary’s President Pal Schmitt speak during a concert offered by the president in Paul VI hall at the Vatican May 27.
CNS photo/Paul Haring

Pope receives papers for cause of Archbishop Sheen

VATICAN CITY — When Bishop Daniel R. Jenky of Peoria, Ill., presented Pope Benedict XVI with two thick volumes about the life of Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, the pope surprised him by saying he had worked with the late archbishop. Pope Benedict “told me something I hadn’t known: he worked on the commission for mission at the Second Vatican Council with Fulton Sheen,” Bishop Jenky told Catholic News Service. The pope served as a theological expert at the council in the 1960s. The “positio,” the official position paper, outlines why the Catholic Church should recognize Archbishop Sheen as a saint. Archbishop Sheen, who was born in Illinois in 1895 and died in New York in 1979, was an Emmy-winning televangelist.

Church must find better ways to evangelize

VATICAN CITY — New evangelization means finding the most effective ways to proclaim the Gospel to a world that is either too distracted or too blind to see the divine, Pope Benedict XVI said. Today’s spiritual crisis is marked by people excluding God from their lives, “generalized indifference” toward Christianity and stringently pushing faith from the public to the private sphere, he said. The Church will have to “find ways to make the proclamation of salvation more effective,” he told members of the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelization.

Pope meets members of German sodality group

VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI joined a men’s Marian sodality when he was 14 years old, but as a teen he never had a chance to participate in a sodality function because World War II scattered the members “to the four winds,” he said. Meeting May 28 with members of the Marianische Manner Congregation, the Bavaria-based fraternal organization, the pope said he had joined the group in 1941. The pope said he was accepted into the Marian sodality, “but soon after, the war against Russia began. The seminary was dissolved and the congregation — before it was able to meet — was already scattered to the four winds.”


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