Clerical Sex Abuse Scandal Despite the slowness of reforming our Church, some changes are beginning to take place. No doubt, the entire year has been overshadowed by the clergy sex abuse scandal. Tribunals are slowly being established in dioceses around the globe though only headed by laity in not-nearly-enough instances. We're happy to see Francis lift the papal secrecy rule on this abuse. Follow Australia's lead, New Zealand implemented own Royal Commission to investigate this matter. So far, 1400 victims have come forward to talk to the Commission. The members plan to have a temporary report out by the end of 2020 and the final by 2023. There is talk among the laity of this also leading to a Plenary Council for this country.
Appointment of Filipino Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle to a key Vatican office This appointment of Tagle to the Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith may have long-term significance according to the article written by Fr. Thomas Reese:
First, Tagle is an enthusiastic supporter of Francis, who has the same pastoral approach to church issues as does Francis.
The influence of this congregation is far-reaching. It was originally created in 1622 to deal with the missions opened up by European colonization. For these territories, the congregation is responsible for nominating and supervising bishops throughout Asia, Africa and Oceania, about one-third of the dioceses in the world. As prefect, Tagle will undoubtedly look for candidates who will support the pastoral vision of Francis. Coming from Asia, Tagle will be sympathetic to Francis' desire that Christianity reflect local cultures and traditions rather than simply imitating how Catholicism is lived in Europe.
Because of this appointment, Tagle is now well positioned to succeed Pope Francis if he does well in his job as prefect. But there will be more sex abuse scandals expected out of will take place in Africa and Asia, the areas for which he is responsible. In addition, he will be handling millions of dollars in donations for the missions, he could easily find himself embroiled in the Vatican financial scandals. But if Tagle avoids these pitfalls, he would be an obvious choice if the conclave wants the next pope to be in continuity with the present pope, since his views are so much in sync with those of Francis.
The Women the Vatican Couldn't Silence (Sr. Joan Chittister and Dr. Mary McAleese) In case you missed it, here is the live streaming to watch these two women discuss the areas of greatest need for reform in our Church and some of the history of what has distorted Church teachings. This was sponsored by We Are Church Ireland, Trinity College, and Voices of Faith. Tony Flannery shared the highlights that stood out for him in this two-hour discussion.
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Wishing you all the best at this special season of the year as we remember the birth of Jesus,
Rene Reid CCRI