Archive for May, 2014

By Cindy Wooden Catholic News Service

the_vaticanVATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis told reporters May 26 that “three bishops are under investigation” for misdeeds related to the sexual abuse of minors and that “one has already been condemned and his penalty is being studied.”

The pope’s statement during the news conference aboard his flight from Israel back to Italy came after he was asked what he would do if a bishop did not observe church norms regarding a moral, and often legal, obligation to report allegations of sexual abuse against a member of the clergy. (more…)

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Fr. Charles Sellars, former pastor of St. Mark the Evangelist Parish in Silsbee, died  in San Antonio on Friday, May 23, 2014 at the age of 86.   Father Sellars served as pastor of St. Mark the Evangelist from 1996 until his retirement in 2007.

Funeral services will be held at Oblate Madonna Residence, 5722 Blanco Road, San Antonio.  A Vigil/Rosary will take place on Tuesday, May 27, 2014, at 7:00 PM. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Wednesday, May 28, 2014, at 10:00 AM. Interment will follow at the Oblate Cemetery.   A Memorial Mass for Fr. Sellars will be celebrated at St. Mark the Evangelist Church in Silsbee on June 4, 2014 at 5 p.m.

Fr. Sellars entered Immaculate Heart of Mary Novitiate on August 14, 1947, in Godfrey, Illinois and professed vows as a member of the Congregation of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate on August 15, 1948. He was ordained to the priesthood on May 29, 1954, at San Fernando Cathedral in San Antonio by Archbishop Robert E. Lucey, DD.

Fr. Sellars was also a published author of several spiritual books including “Reflections on Mary” – a overview of Marian devotions.  He is survived by his sister, Rosemary Schaefer, of California.

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By Cindy Wooden Catholic News Service

cns-logoVATICAN CITY (CNS) — Christians must recognize that they do not lead or guide the church, but that the Holy Spirit does and the Holy Spirit can be unpredictable, Pope Francis said.

“If, for example, an expedition of Martians arrived tomorrow,” and one said he wanted to be baptized, “What would happen?” the pope asked May 12 during his early morning Mass at the Domus Sanctae Marthae.

Explaining that he really was talking about Martians, something unimaginable, he said he meant beings that are “green, with long noses and big ears, like in children’s drawings.” (more…)

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By Cindy Wooden Catholic News Service

Archbishop Silvano Tomasi pictured in late January photo in GenevaVATICAN CITY (CNS) — No matter how sophisticated and how many algorithms are programmed to help a drone or other machine make calculations before firing on a target, autonomous weapons systems could never comply with international human rights law, a Vatican official said.

“Meaningful human involvement is absolutely essential in decisions affecting the life and death of human beings,” Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Vatican observer to U.N. agencies in Geneva, told experts meeting May 13-16 to discuss lethal autonomous weapons systems. (more…)

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By Carol Zimmermann Catholic News Service

cns-logoWASHINGTON (CNS) — The Supreme Court ruled May 5 that prayers said before town council meetings in Greece, N.Y., do not violate the Constitution.

In their 5-4 decision, the judges noted a historical precedent to opening local legislative meetings with a prayer and stressed that the predominantly Christian nature of the prayers in the New York town were not coercive to those in attendance.

Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing for the majority, said the prayers delivered before public meetings in Greece, a suburb of Rochester, “evoked universal themes” such as “calling for a ‘spirit of cooperation.'” (more…)

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By Francis X. Rocca Catholic News Service

the_vaticanVATICAN CITY (CNS) — Using what he acknowledged was unusually “blunt” language, the head of the Vatican’s doctrinal office rebuked officers of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious for honoring a Catholic theologian whose work was judged “seriously inadequate” and for promoting futuristic ideas he described as “opposed to Christian revelation.”

Cardinal Gerhard Muller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, made the remarks April 30 in an address to the presidency of the LCWR, a Maryland-based umbrella group that claims about 1,500 leaders of U.S. women’s communities as members, representing about 80 percent of the country’s 57,000 women religious. (more…)

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By Carol Glatz Catholic News Service

the_vaticanVATICAN CITY (CNS) — The number of Catholics in the world and the number of priests, permanent deacons and religious men all increased in 2012, while the number of women in religious orders continued to decline, according to Vatican statistics.

The number of candidates for the priesthood also showed its first global downturn in recent years. (more…)

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