Catholic Culture Overview
Catholic Culture Overview

Most Popular News Within Last 30 Days

Vatican document suggests new look at papal primacy

In an important new “study document” released on June 13 by the Dicastery for Christian Unity, the Vatican has proposed a new consideration of the role of the Roman Pontiff. The...

US bishops express ‘some frustration’ with Vatican in new Synod synthesis report

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has released its national synthesis report for the interim stage of the synod on synodality. The synod’s interim stage followed the October...

Argentine archbishop—Cardinal Fernández’s successor—resigns at 55

Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Archbishop Gabriel Antonio Mestre, 55, who succeeded Cardinal Víctor Manuel Fernández as archbishop of La Plata, Argentina.

The prelate’s resignation comes eight months after his installation, and just two days after he exhorted civic leaders to “listen to the heartbeat of the geographical and existential peripheries” at a commemoration of the nation’s May Revolution.

Ordained to the priesthood in 1997 and appointed bishop of Mar del Plata in 2017, Mestre was president of the Argentine bishops’ Commission for Catechesis, Animation and Biblical Pastoral Ministry when the Pontiff appointed him archbishop of La Plata last July. He was installed as archbishop two months later.

Although the Vatican announcement did not disclose the reason for the resignation, the prelate said he resigned at the Pontiff’s request “after confronting some different perceptions with what happened in the Diocese of Mar del Plata from November 2023 to the present.” (Two bishops resigned before their installations.)

Archbishop Mestre added that he was “conscious of my weakness and the human weakness of the beautiful Church that is my home and my family.”

USCCB issues new abuse report: 1,308 allegations, 17 of them current, made in 2022-23

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Secretariat of Child and Youth Protection has released its 2023 annual report on the implementation of the Charter for the Protection of...

Journalist explores new DDF members’ views on homosexuality

Pope Francis has appointed Cardinal José Tolentino de Mendonça, Cardinal Marcello Semeraro, and Archbishop Bruno Forte as members of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Each Vatican dicastery is led by a prefect and secretary; the members of dicasteries are appointed to five-year terms and meet at least every two years for discussion of “matters and questions of greater importance,” according to Praedicate Evangelium, the Pope’s apostolic constitution on the Roman Curia.

All three of the new members “have defended the Church’s moral teaching and marriage between a man and a woman,” writes Edward Pentin, senior correspondent of the National Catholic Register.

However, he continues, Cardinal Tolentino has written a foreword to a book by an ex-nun who is an advocate for “queer theology”; Cardinal Semeraro supported the legal recognition of homosexual civil unions (in 2016, well before Pope Francis did); and Archbishop Forte “has been a prominent voice advocating for more inclusion and respect for homosexuality and homosexual rights within the Church.”

Pope encourages homosexual rejected from seminary

Just days after telling Italian bishops that homosexuals should not be admitted to seminary training, Pope Francis reportedly sent a message of sympathy to a homosexual man who protested after he was rejected.

Lorenzo Caruso wrote to the Pontiff after his application was turned down, complaining that the policy reflected “a toxic and elective clericalism.” In a written response—made public by the daily Il Messagero—Pope Francis replied: “You know that clericalism is a plague? It’s an ugly ‘worldliness’ and as a great theologian said, ‘worldliness is the worst that can happen to the Church, even worse than the era of concubinary popes.”

The Pope encouraged Caruso to “go forward with your vocation.”

Pope, at general audience, reflects on the freedom of the Holy Spirit

At his June 5 general audience, held in St. Peter’s Square, Pope Francis reflected on freedom of the Holy Spirit, in the second talk in a series of Wednesday general audiences devoted to the...

Over 1 million attend celebration for feast of Ugandan martyrs

A massive congregation of over 1 million people—the Fides news service estimated the crowd at 4 million—participated in the June 3 celebration of the feast of St. Charles Lwanga and his companions at their shrine in Namugongo, Uganda.

The shrine, located outside the capital city of Kampala, is built on the site where the Ugandan martyrs were killed, between 1885 and 1887, for having refused to participate in homosexual activities with King Mwanga II. The martyrs were canonized by Pope Paul VI in 1964.

Archbishop Raphael Wokorach of Gulu celebrated the Mass for the feast day, with Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni in attendance. Along with Ugandans, the congregation included pilgrims from many nearby African countries and elsewhere around the world.

Vatican foreign minister warns of hyper-individualized, Hobbesian society

Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, the Holy See’s Secretary for Relations with States and International Organizations, delivered a lecture at the Croatian Catholic University and warned that society in heading toward the “state of nature” about which the English philosopher Thomas Hobbes wrote—one in which homo homini lupus [man is a wolf to man].

In “The Human Person: A Communion of Relations,” Archbishop Gallagher linked the transformation of “healthy patriotism into a dangerous nationalism” to an earlier shift from the “we” of the human person (in Greek philosophy) to the “I” of the individual, a shift he attributed to the French philosopher René Descartes.

This individualism, he continued, has become a hyper-individualized atomism in which people no longer see themselves in a web of relationships and as collaborators for mutual benefit, but rather as competitors. In this context, the prelate compared freedom “from,” freedom “for,” and freedom “with.”

Citing an address by Pope Francis, Archbishop Gallagher said that politics “should always be understood not as an appropriation of power, but as the highest form of charity.” The Christian politician, said Gallagher, does so when he is attentive to the fundamental principles that serve the dignity of the human person and promote the common good.

Pope meets with members of LGBTQ+ community, Vatican newspaper emphasizes

In a front-page article, the Vatican newspaper emphasized that Pope Francis greeted homosexuals and transsexuals after his June 6 general audience. They were accompanied by Sister Geneviève Jeanningros, who has ministered “for 56 years in the midst of the LGBTQ+ community and carnies.”

The Pontiff, according to the newspaper, greeted her with the words, “Here she is, the enfant terrible,” before shaking hands, joking with people, giving a Rosary to one person, and giving a blessing.

Echoing a 2022 article, the Vatican newspaper reported that Sister Jeanningros brings a group of those to whom she ministers to almost every general audience—and that she will bring ten people, seven of them homosexuals, to next week’s audience.

The front-page article bore the busily-worded headline “From the Pope Sister Geneviève Jeanningros and trans and homosexuals: ‘Thanks to him we feel welcomed’”—suggesting a continued Vatican PR effort to address the Pope’s recent use of a crude term for homosexuals.

The relationship between the Pope, Sister Jeanningros, and those to whom she ministers “is sincere, without opportunism but made of benevolence and gratitude,” according to the newspaper. “A relationship that has not even been affected by the recent controversy over the expressions that the Pope is said to have uttered in a closed-door meeting: ‘Perhaps there was a bit of suffering at the beginning, but looking back they laughed and said: in reality this is not the case. The Pope loves little ones, he certainly doesn’t throw them away.’”