Friday, February 22, 2019

Four-Day Vatican Summit On The Protection Of Minors Opens In The Vatican

Pope Francis speaks to the participants at the Vatican summit
on the 'protection of minors' at the Synod Hall
 on Feb. 21
Photo courtesy: Vatican Media, via CNA

Pope Francis, on February 21, opened the Vatican summit on the 'protection of minors' from Catholic clergy sex abuse, with more than 200 world bishops, cardinals, Vatican officials, priests, experts, and clergy sex abuse victims in attendance. Abuse victims came from the continents of Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, and South America. 

In his opening remarks, the pope gave a list of "21 talking points" for the participants that include "suggestions to have periodic reviews of protocols on safeguarding, handbooks of steps authorities should take in abuse cases, provisions for facilitating the participation of lay experts in investigations, and the direction to inform civil authorities and higher Church authorities in compliance with civil and canonical norms," reports the Catholic News Agency (CNA).

The summit will also deal with raising the minimum age of marriage for women from 14 to 16 years and make it universal in the Church, psychological evaluations of the seminarians for the priesthood, and proper penalties for priests or Religious who commit the abuse.

Some observers feel that the Vatican now is dealing with only one type of problem (clergy sex abuse of minors -- also known as pedophilia), but, in reality,  there are priests all over the world with other types of sex abuse problems, for example, bi-sexual priests (going after both men and women), heterosexual priests (going after women and nuns -- some priests even having illegal abortions done on their lovers, and others having secret children of their own), homosexual priests (going after men), and so on. These priests need to be dealt with, too, to have greater accountability and "sexual chastity" in the Church. Who, then, will bell the cat in the future? 

For more on the ongoing Vatican summit, you may read the following:

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Sunday, February 17, 2019

The Quotation of the Week (February 17 - 23, 2019)

A quotation of Mother Teresa of Calcutta on 'smiling,'
compiled by Jerome D'Costa
Artwork (an indigenous girl of Canada) by Andrea Mary D'Costa (2018)

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Sunday, February 10, 2019

Father Francis Sunil Rosario Presents A Paper For National Consultation On Challenges and Crises In Indian Church

Father Francis Sunil Rosario 

Father Francis Sunil Rosario, a diocesan priest from the Archdiocese of Kolkata, now studying in the USA, made a video presentation of his paper for the February 9-11 National Consultation On Challenges and Crises in Indian Church being held at the Proggaloy Pastoral Centre of Kolkata, India. The title of his paper is "How Far the Laity Impacted the Governance Within the Church and In Their Leadership Role."

Initiated and managed by the Indian Catholic laypersons, this special consultation is dealing with the following topics: The Renewal of the Church According to Vatican II, The Current Political Scenario, The Role of the Media, Crisis Management and Leadership Skills, The Status of Women in the Church, and Youth Aspirations and Expectations.

Please click on the following to watch Father Rosario's video presentation:

To read his above-mentioned video presentation, you may click on the following:

To know more on the consultation at the Proggaloy, you may read the following:

(Updated on Feb. 19, 2019)

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The Quotation of the Week (February 10 - 16, 2019)

A quotation of Pia Savage on 'do what you love with your ability,'
compiled by Jerome D'Costa
Artwork by Ryan Andre D'Costa (2018)

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Sunday, February 3, 2019

The Quotation of the Week (February 3 - 9, 2019)

A quotation of Richard Giannone on
'Catholic Church's inability, or unwillingness,
or fear for dealing with the evolving society,'
compiled by Jerome D'Costa
Artwork © Jerome D'Costa

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Friday, February 1, 2019

The Role Of The Laity In Today's Catholic Church

Image design © Jerome D'Costa (February 2019)

Isaac Gomes, an Associate Editor at the Church Citizens' Voice website of Kerala, India, in this write-up says that the laity (or laypersons who are Catholics but don't belong to the priesthood and Religious Orders) is an indispensable part and parcel of the Catholic Church. Their essential role in the Church has been confirmed by various documents of the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965). 

After this council, until now, the laity is still in the second position, they are still behind in the participation in various designated Church affairs. The members of the Church hierarchy (priests, bishops, cardinals, and pope), who are supposed to be servants (any Pope's official title is 'servus servorum Dei' -- servant of the servants of God) are still dominating them as masters not equal. This writer is, therefore, asking whether the laity needs to wait for another Vatican Council to fulfill the teachings of the Second Vatican Council. Only because of the presence of the laypersons, the hierarchy is able to be there -- no laypersons, no hierarchy. So, why not make the Second Vatican Council teachings a reality?

For more on this subject, you kindly click on the following: 

Initiated by Catholic laypersons, a national consultation, called 'We too are Church,' will be held at the Proggaloy Pastoral Centre of Kolkata, India, on February 9-11. 

This consultation will attempt to implement "the far-reaching teachings" of the Second Vatican Council. Renowned speakers and participants will deal with topics like -- The Renewal of the Church According to Vatican II, The Current Political Scenario, The Role of the Media, Crisis Management and Leadership Skills, The Status of Women in the Church, and Youth Aspirations and Expectations.

To keep in touch with this effort, you may read the following:

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Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Catholic Nuns In India Enduring Clergy Sex Abuse For Decades

Nuns of Kochi in Kerala, India, in a protest march,
seeking justice for the alleged rape of a
fellow nun by Bishop Franco Mulakkal (Sept. 11, 2018)
Photo courtesy: PTI via

Nuns in India are speaking out. They are speaking about certain members of the Catholic clergy (priests and bishops) who have been abusing nuns for years, even decades. 

The latest Associated Press (AP) report speaks of this in detail. It says, "Across India, the nuns talk of priests who pushed [them] into their bedrooms and of priests who pressured them to turn close friendships into sex. They talk about being groped and kissed, of hands pressed against them by men they were raised to believe were representatives of Jesus Christ."

The AP report continues, "'He was drunk,' said one nun, beginning her story. 'You don't know how to say no,' said another. At its most grim, the nuns speak of repeated rapes, and of a Catholic hierarchy that did little to protect them."

"The Vatican has long been aware of nuns sexually abused by priests and bishops in Asia, Europe, South America and Africa, but it has done very little to stop it, The Associated Press reported last year."

The AP, in its special investigation of a single country -- India --, uncovered "a decades-long history of nuns enduring sexual abuse from within the church." 

Does it sound deafening? Yes, but reality-wise, no. Where there is a sex organ, there is sexuality -- either active sexuality or repressed sexuality. Catholic celibate priests are supposed to live repressed sexuality -- an asexual life, but in reality, it is not so. Celibacy and sexual chastity of the clergy, although hammered into our ears all the time by the Church teaching, have been proven to be a fiction in the two-thousand-year history of the Catholic Church. A lie about these 'men of God,' or 'representatives of Christ,' or 'alter Christus' (the other Christ) is being propagated in a resounding voice without taking the reality of human life into consideration. 

Pope Francis, therefore, on his January 28 return journey to Rome from Panama, spoke to reporters aboard his plane and said: "We have to deflate the expectations [from the Feb. 21-24 world gathering of bishops in Rome dealing with clergy sex abuse of minors] ... because the problem of abuse will continue because it is a human problem, and it is everywhere."  He further said, "It is a human drama that we have to be conscious of, even us, resolving the problem in the Church, but also in society, in families." 

Please read the following for more on the situation of  nuns in India and some other countries:

(Updated on February 8, 2019)

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