At the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ General Assembly last month, it was announced that a new Catholic insurance program entitled “Catholic Benefits Association” has been established to provide employees of our non-exempt affiliates, like Catholic Charities, Catholic nursing homes, separately incorporated high schools, and the like, with health care benefits while not violating Catholic moral values.
The feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which we will celebrate this year on Friday, June 27, has its theological origin in sacred Scriptures, not the least of its passages being the powerful scene in the Gospel of St. John, wherein water and blood flow from the pierced heart of Christ (John 19:34). Many of the early Church Fathers spoke powerfully about this vision and its deep ecclesial, eschatological and spiritual meaning.
While most of us were off enjoying a beautiful Memorial Day weekend, our Holy Father, Pope Francis, made a whirlwind apostolic visit to the Holy Land.
“In the blessed encounter between Mary and Elizabeth, we discover the role of the Blessed Virgin as bearing Christ to the world. But as baptized believers, we, too, share in that noble vocation, and we, too, are bound to bringing Christ to others, giving birth to him by lives of compassion, service, and witness.”
A good deal of media attention was given last week to the deposition I made on April 2 and which was publicly released on Tuesday, April 22. For four hours, seven minutes and 15 seconds, I was questioned on a whole host of matters relating to clerical misbehavior from 1970 to the present.
Pope Francis will give the universal Church a great Easter gift in the canonizations of Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II on Divine Mercy Sunday, April 27. I hope to be present in the Piazza San Pietro on that historic occasion. I have been told that for the first time ever, any and every bishop present is invited to concelebrate the Mass.
Today, I am announcing the details of our new disclosure practices. These disclosures being made now, and the changes in our disclosure practices generally, are part of a comprehensive and cohesive set of actions to address the issues associated with clergy sexual misconduct.
“The strength of your prayers has been felt by my entire leadership team, which is working tirelessly to do the right thing in the midst of this crisis.”
“The protection of minors must be our top priority, and it must be what animates our every action and decision.”