October 17, 2018 // World News

News Briefs: October 21, 2018

Pope accepts Cardinal Wuerl’s resignation as Washington archbishop

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl as archbishop of Washington but did not name a successor. When the pope’s decision was announced Oct. 12, the Archdiocese of Washington released a letter from Pope Francis to the cardinal, making clear his support for Cardinal Wuerl’s ministry and leadership, but also praising the cardinal for putting the good of the Church first. “You have sufficient elements to ‘justify’ your actions and distinguish between what it means to cover up crimes or not to deal with problems, and to commit some mistakes,” the pope wrote. “However, your nobility has led you not to choose this way of defense. Of this, I am proud and thank you.” The archdiocese also announced the pope has named Cardinal Wuerl as apostolic administrator. Cardinal Wuerl had been facing pressure to resign after an Aug. 14 grand jury report detailing sexual abuse claims in six Pennsylvania dioceses painted a mixed picture of how he handled some of the cases when he was bishop in Pittsburgh from 1988 until 2006. The 77-year-old cardinal, the sixth archbishop of Washington, had submitted his resignation, as is mandatory, to the pope when he turned 75, but it had not been accepted until now.

Kavanaugh says he feels no ‘bitterness’ over confirmation process

WASHINGTON (CNS) — New Supreme Court Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh said Oct. 8 he has no “bitterness” over a contentious confirmation process that ultimately ended with a Senate vote Oct. 6 to confirm him for the seat on the high court left vacant by the July 31 retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy. “The Supreme Court is an institution of law. It is not a partisan or political institution. The justices do not sit on opposite sides of an aisle. We do not caucus in separate rooms,” Kavanaugh said in remarks at an evening ceremonial swearing-in held in the East Room of the White House. “The Supreme Court is a team of nine, and I will always be a team player on the team of nine.” Anthony administered the oath at the swearing-in, which was hosted by President Donald Trump. The packed room include Kavanaugh’s wife and daughters and other family members along with Chief Justice John Roberts and all the associate justices. Kavanaugh was to hear his first cases Oct. 9 with the rest of the court. Roberts officially swore in Kavanaugh late Oct. 6, after the Senate’s 50-48 confirmation vote, which took place despite the interruptions of screaming protesters who had to be escorted from the gallery that oversees the Senate chamber.

Honesty, gratitude to God are basis of credibility, cardinal tells synod

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Unless they recognize themselves as sinners rescued by Jesus, adults cannot be effective in helping young people find the path to faith and doing God’s will, Cardinal Blase J. Cupich of Chicago told the Synod of Bishops. “We must always keep fresh in our minds our own story of how Christ, the good Samaritan, did not pass by, but poured his oil of tenderness in our wounds, lifted us up, redeemed what was unredeemable on our own and opened for us a new future,” the cardinal told the synod Oct. 10. As synod members began their second week of meetings, their speeches in the general sessions focused on the section of the synod working document dealing with “vocational discernment” and “the art of accompanying.” Cardinal Cupich quoted the working document’s assertion that “for young people, it is particularly important that mentors recognize their own humanity and fallibility.” The parable of the good Samaritan was the Gospel reading for Oct. 8, he noted, and the early Christian writers read it as a story of each person’s redemption. Pope Francis made the same point in his homily at his early morning Mass that day. 

Do not judge Church by acts of individuals, synod observer says

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The faults of one person cannot be blamed on the entire Catholic Church, Percival Holt, a 25-year-old observer at the Synod of Bishops, told reporters. “It is wrong to judge the Church for the acts of certain people within the Church,” he said Oct. 11 during the Vatican’s daily briefing on what is happening inside the synod on young people, the faith and vocational discernment. Holt, president of the Indian Catholic Youth Movement and member of the National Youth Commission of India’s bishops’ conference, said he wanted to make it clear that the Church has “immense love and concern” for young people. “The Church cares for you,” he said. When asked specifically about the clerical abuse scandal, Holt told Catholic News Service, the abuse was not caused by the structure of the Church, but by its members. His message to young people is that “if we want the Church to be different, we have to hold onto our values and principles.” 

What is God saying with rise of secularization? Jesuit superior asks

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — The Catholic Church must find a way to look at secularization as an opportunity to find new ways to proclaim the Gospel, the Jesuit superior general told the Synod of Bishops. While the working document of the synod dedicated to young people views secularization as “a dark phase that is in the process of being overcome,” the document offers no approach to “looking to interpret reality and discern God’s action in history,” said Jesuit Father Arturo Sosa Abascal. “What if we try, instead, to look at secularization as a sign of the times, in the theological sense that the Second Vatican Council gave to this expression? It means looking at secularization, and the secular world that arises from it, as one of the ways the Spirit is speaking to us and guiding us in this time,” he told the synod Oct. 11. Father Sosa began his brief talk by looking at the working document’s interpretation of secularization, which he said was viewed in a “simplified and negative” light. Secularization, he affirmed, can range from a combative attitude, “a militant atheism,” that “wages war against any form of religious faith” to a more common form that interrupts “the social transmission of religion leading to ignorance regarding faith, religious experience and religion itself.” 

John Gagliardi dies at 91; was winningest college football coach ever

ST. CLOUD, Minn. (CNS) — What must the opposing football team have thought when they began their vigorous calisthenics before the game while the St. John’s University Johnnies were stretched out on their backs glancing up at the heavens? John Gagliardi didn’t care much what anyone thought about his unorthodox coaching methods. With 60 years of coaching football at St. John’s University in Collegeville, he had a record of 489-138-11 and won four national championships (two in NAIA and two in NCAA Division III). Gagliardi is down in the books as the winningest college football coach of all time. The esteemed coach, who retired in 2012 at age 86 and died Oct. 7 at 91, didn’t do anything extraordinary in his coaching, according to those who knew him. In fact, it was some of the simplest things that captured the most attention. Instead of the usual calisthenics many teams partake in before a game, Gagliardi believed in appreciating the moment. He called it the “Nice Day Drill.” He would instruct the players to lay on the ground on their backs and notice the world around them — the cool breeze, the rustling leaves, the sky above. Gagliardi also didn’t have a long list of rules to follow. There were no set times for “lights out,” no spring practices, no required time in the weight room, just one main rule, the Golden Rule: Treat each person as you wish to be treated. 

A destroyed home is seen Oct. 11 after Hurricane Michael swept through Mexico Beach, Fla. The Category 4 storm raged through the Florida Panhandle into Georgia Oct. 10 as the most powerful storm to hit the continental United States in decades, turning homes into piles of lumber and flooding subdivisions. (CNS photo/Carlo Allegri, Reuters)

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