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BISHOP'S SCHEDULE
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A summary of Bishop Barber's upcoming schedule
 
 
THE DIOCESE placeholder News briefs from the Oakland Diocese
 
 
THE VATICAN placeholder News briefs from the Vatican
 
 
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placeholder October 7, 2013   •   VOL. 51, NO. 17   •   Oakland, CA
BISHOP BARBER’S SCHEDULE

Oct. 7: 11 a.m., Catholic Television Network Board Meeting, St. Patrick Seminary, Menlo Park

      5:30 p.m., Priest Advisory Council Leadership Group, Chancery

Oct. 8: 9:30 a.m., Mass, St. Martin de Porres School, Oakland

Oct. 10: Noon, Pastoral Leadership Placement Board, Chancery

Oct. 11: 10 a.m., Installation Mass — New President, Saint Mary's College, Moraga

Oct. 12: 10 a.m., Chautauqua XVIII, St. Jarlath Parish, Oakland

Oct. 13: 10:30 a.m., Mass, St. Anne Parish, Byron

      7:30 p.m., Mass, St. James Parish, Fremont

Oct. 16: 4 p.m., Workshop for Priests, Santa Maria Parish, Orinda

Oct. 17: 10:15 a.m., Bishop's Administrative Council Meeting, Chancery

      1:30 p.m., College of Consultors, Chancery

      6 p.m., Malta Clinic Fundraiser Dinner, San Francisco Yacht Clube

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THE DIOCESE
 
Final Twilight
The last of three annual Diocese of Oakland Twilight by the Lake events will be on the Plaza of the Cathedral of Christ the Light from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Oct. 17. All are welcome to enjoy live music, a beautiful lake view and complimentary appetizers at the Twilights by the Lake, which take place the third Thursdays of August, September and October. Last month, top, several hundred people were treated to live music and dancing.
All: ALBERT C. PACCIORINI/
The Catholic Voice

Celebrate 5 on the Plaza
Frances Landeza joins son Patrick Landeza, slack key guitarist, on the cathedral plaza during Patrick Landeza's concert on Sept. 25, the fifth anniversary of the opening of the Cathedral of Christ the Light.
Michele Jurich/
The Catholic Voice

Chautauqua coming

The 18th Chautauqua celebration, a joyous "gathering of people," will be 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Oct. 12 at St. Jarlath Church, 2620 Pleasant St., Oakland.

The liturgy will be celebrated by Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ. Other plans for Mass include a Unity Choir of at least 70 people of many different languages; a liturgical dance by girls ages 8 to 15; and a variety of voices for readings and intentions. Bishop Barber plans to greet each group in its native language, and will be the homilist. Eight ethnic groups have signed up to entertain after the Mass, and many made plans to sell ethnic specialties. For more information, www.oakdiocese.org/chautauqua.



Voice collection

Parishes are accepting donations for the annual collection to support the publication of The Catholic Voice, El Heraldo Católico, the annual Diocesan Directory and affiliated websites.

Collection envelopes are usually distributed in October. The official weekend for this second collection was set by the diocese as Oct. 5-6, though individual parishes can change the date and many accept donations throughout October.

The money donated in each collection remains in each parish to offset the parish's support for The Voice and affiliated operations. Make the checks payable to your parish.



Crèche Festival entries

All parishes are invited to participate in this year's Cathedral Crèche Festival, Dec. 13-15, a weekend devoted to the family tradition of the Nativity scene. Parishes, schools and pastoral centers are invited to create one crèche that will be put on display for the entire three-day event. Or you may also send a Nativity scene that has been displayed in your parish/pastoral center during the Christmas season. To register your parish for free, visit www.ctlcathedral.org. For questions, contact Denise Kogler, 510-271-1935 or cctlstarlight@gmail.com.



Bishop's Appeal at 91%

The 2013 Bishop's Appeal has reached $2.275 million, 91 percent of its $2.5 million goal. Thirty-six parishes have reached or exceeded their goals.

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THE VATICAN
Who is Pope Francis?
Papal interviewer Jesuit Father Antonio Spadaro said he asked Pope Francis that question "point-blank," according to the full interview published in America magazine. The pope "stares at me in silence" before answering, "I am a sinner. This is the most accurate definition. It is not a figure of speech, a literary genre. I am a sinner."
Paul Haring/CNs

Pope: Focus on morality can obscure Gospel message



 
'A new balance'

Highlights from Pope Francis' interview with Jesuit Father Antonio Spadaro, editor of the Italian journal La Civilta Cattolica, published simultaneously Sept. 19 in Jesuit journals worldwide:

Without a "new balance" on dogmatic and moral teaching, "even the moral edifice of the church is likely to fall like a house of cards."

"It is not necessary" to talk about issues of sexual morality "all the time."

What the Church "needs most today: "The ability to heal wounds and to warm the hearts of the faithful."

The confessional: "is not a torture chamber."

"This is the time of discernment" regarding reforms of church governance.

"Authoritarian" as a young priest, accused of rigidity, the pope is now open to "real, not ceremonial consultation."

A more visible role for women is essential, but "I am wary of a solution that can be reduced to a kind of 'female machismo.'"

Conciliar liturgical reform is "absolutely irreversible."
 
VATICAN CITY — In a lengthy and wide-ranging interview with one of his Jesuit confreres, Pope Francis spoke with characteristic frankness about the perils of overemphasizing Catholic teaching on sexual and medical ethics; the reasons for his deliberate and consultative governing style; and his highest priority for the church today.

The pope's remarks appeared in an interview with Jesuit Father Antonio Spadaro, editor of the Italian journal La Civilta Cattolica. The interview, conducted in August, was the basis for a 12,000-word article published Sept. 19 in the U.S. magazine America, and simultaneously in other Jesuit publications in other languages.

According to the editor of America, Jesuit Father Matt Malone, Pope Francis personally reviewed the article and approved its publication.

"We cannot insist only on issues related to abortion, gay marriage and the use of contraceptive methods," the pope said in the interview, noting that he had been "reprimanded" for failing to speak often about those topics. "It is not necessary to talk about these issues all the time.

Moral teachings

"The dogmatic and moral teachings of the church are not all equivalent," the pope added. "The church's pastoral ministry cannot be obsessed with the transmission of a disjointed multitude of doctrines to be imposed insistently.

"Proclamation in a missionary style focuses on the essentials, on the necessary things," he said. "We have to find a new balance; otherwise even the moral edifice of the church is likely to fall like a house of cards, losing the freshness and fragrance of the Gospel.

"The proposal of the Gospel must be more simple, profound, radiant. It is from this proposition that the moral consequences then flow."

The pope reaffirmed one of his major themes: the need for mercy rather than judgment when approaching sin.

"The thing the church needs most today is the ability to heal wounds and to warm the hearts of the faithful. It needs nearness, proximity," he said.

Small things

"The church sometimes has locked itself up in small things, in small-minded rules. The most important thing is the first proclamation: Jesus Christ has saved you," the pope said.

"The confessional is not a torture chamber," he said, "but the place in which the Lord's mercy motivates us to do better.

"Those who today always look for disciplinarian solutions, those who long for an exaggerated doctrinal 'security,' those who stubbornly try to recover a past that no longer exists — they have a static and inward-directed view of things," Pope Francis said. "In this way, faith becomes an ideology among other ideologies."

Pope Francis also spoke extensively about his approach to church governance.

"Many think that changes and reforms can take place in a short time," the pope said. "I believe that we always need time to lay the foundations for real, effective change. And this is the time of discernment.

"Sometimes discernment instead urges us to do precisely what you had at first thought you would do later. And that is what happened to me in recent months," he added, though without specifying the action in question.

The pope described the evolution of his governing style, starting with his appointment at age 36 as superior of the Argentine province of the Jesuits.

Right-wing

"My authoritarian and quick manner of making decisions led me to have serious problems and to be accused of being ultraconservative," Pope Francis said, adding, "I have never been a right-winger. It was my authoritarian way of making decisions that created problems."

Later, as archbishop of Buenos Aires, he adopted another approach, meeting often with his auxiliary bishops.

"I believe that consultation is very important," the pope said, noting his establishment as pope of the so-called Group of Eight advisory panel of cardinals. "I want to see that this is a real, not ceremonial consultation."

With respect to the Vatican bureaucracy, whose reform he has made a clear priority of his six-month-old pontificate, Pope Francis pointed to the need to devolve more authority to local churches.

Some Vatican offices "run the risk of becoming institutions of censorship," he said. "It is amazing to see the denunciations for lack of orthodoxy that come to Rome. I think the cases should be investigated by the local bishops' conferences, which can get valuable assistance from Rome. These cases, in fact, are much better dealt with locally. The Roman congregations are mediators; they are not middlemen or managers."

Shared authority

In matters of belief rather than governance, Pope Francis said that the pope and bishops share authority with the laity.

"The church is the people of God on the journey through history," he said. "Thinking with the church, therefore, is my way of being a part of this people. And all the faithful, considered as a whole, are infallible in matters of belief."

The pope quickly added that "we must be very careful not to think that this 'infallibilitas' of all the faithful I am talking about in the light of Vatican II is a form of populism. No, it is the experience of 'holy mother the hierarchical church,' as St. Ignatius called it, the church as the people of God, pastors and people together."

Role for women

Among the other topics the pope addressed in the interview was the challenge of finding a more visible role for women in a church with an all-male priesthood.

"I am wary of a solution that can be reduced to a kind of 'female machismo,' because a woman has a different makeup than a man," he said. "The church cannot be herself without the woman and her role. The woman is essential for the church. Mary, a woman, is more important than the bishops. I say this because we must not confuse the function with the dignity."

Pope Francis, whose simple way of celebrating Mass has attracted criticism from traditionalist Catholics, also took up the controversial subject of liturgy.

Pope Benedict XVI's 2007 decision to lift most restrictions on celebrating the Tridentine Mass "was prudent and motivated by the desire to help people who have this sensitivity," Pope Francis said. "What is worrying, though, is the risk of the ideologization of the (old Mass), it's exploitation."

The pope also said that the liturgical reform that followed in the wake of the 1962-65 Second Vatican Council is "absolutely irreversible."



Eight cardinals began closed-door meetings with the pope Oct. 1 to help him reform the Roman Curia and study possible changes in the worldwide Church. From left are Chilean Cardinal Francisco Javier Errazuriz Ossa, Italian Bishop Marcello Semeraro, secretary to the Council of Cardinals, Indian Cardinal Oswald Gracias, German Cardinal Reinhard Marx, Pope Francis, Honduran Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, Italian Cardinal Giuseppe Bertello, U.S. Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley, Australian Cardinal George Pell and Congolese Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya.
CNS PHOTO/L'OSSERVATORE ROMANO VIA REUTERS

Pope, advisory council discuss synod reform on first day



VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis and his eight cardinal advisers on church governance spent much of their first day together discussing reform of the Synod of Bishops, but the Vatican downplayed expectations that their discussions would lead to major changes in the near future.

Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, told reporters Oct. 2 that the pope and the international Council of Cardinals had held morning and afternoon sessions the previous day, for the first of three days of initial meetings.

Their morning session took place in a private library in the Apostolic Palace. Pope Francis opened the meeting with a talk on the ecclesiology of the Second Vatican Council, in order to establish a "working climate not limited to organizational questions but broadly spiritual and ecclesiological," Father Lombardi said.

Among the topics of the pope's reflection were the mission of the church, the relationship between the universal church and local churches, collegiality, the church and poverty, and the role of the laity.

Each of the cardinals then offered a summary of the suggestions he had collected in preparation for the meeting, and offered his views on what should be the major areas of the council's work.

Most of the Oct. 1 afternoon session was devoted to reform of the Synod of Bishops, which organizes periodic meetings of bishops from around the world to advise the pope on specific subjects. Pope Francis, who replaced the synod's secretary-general Sept. 21, has suggested that he wants to make it into a permanent advisory body.

The synod's new secretary-general, Archbishop Lorenzo Baldisseri, joined the pope and cardinals for their discussion, which touched on possible revisions to the body's statues.

Father Lombardi said that Pope Francis has suggested that the next synod will have an "anthropological" theme relating to the pastoral care of families, which was also a topic of discussion at the council meeting.

Last April, Pope Francis named eight cardinals to advise him on the governance of the universal church and reform of the Vatican bureaucracy; on Sept. 28, he gave the group permanent status and renamed it the Council of Cardinals.

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