US bishops’ new communications chair talks about challenges

Our friends at Salt + Light, Canada’s premier Catholic media ministry, last week posted an interview with Bishop John C. Wester of Salt Lake City and Tim Reidy of America magazine on modern communications challenges and on U.S. immigration issues. Bishop Wester is former chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Migration and was elected last fall to head their Committee on Communications. Reidy is America’s online editor.

Here they discuss the challenges — and opportunities — facing the church in spreading the Gospel to a mobile society. Later in the interview they discuss immigration reform and the responsibility of the church to speak out for principles that recognize the humanity of immigrants coming to the United States.

Text of Cardinal Levada address opening Rome symposium on abuse

By Francis X. Rocca
Catholic News Service

ROME — Cardinal William J. Levada, prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, gave the opening address Monday at “Toward Healing and Renewal,” a weeklong symposium in Rome aimed at improving efforts to stop clerical sexual abuse and better protect children and vulnerable adults. Here is the text of Cardinal Levada’s address:

“Toward Healing and Renewal” is the title given to this Symposium for Catholic Bishops and Religious Superiors on the Sexual Abuse of Minors.  For leaders in the Church for whom this Symposium has been planned, the question is both delicate and urgent.  Just two years ago, in his reflections on the “Year for Priests” at the annual Christmas greetings to the Roman Curia, Pope Benedict XVI spoke in direct and lengthy terms about priests who “twist the sacrament [of Holy Orders] into its antithesis, and under the mantle of the sacred profoundly wound human persons in their childhood, damaging them for a whole lifetime.”  I chose this phrase to begin my remarks this evening because I think it important not to lose sight of the gravity of these crimes as we deal with the multiple aspects the Church’s response.

As I begin my presentation, I want to offer a word of gratitude to the Pontifical Gregorian University for this initiative.  Even those of us who have been dealing with this issue for decades recognize that we are still learning, and need to help each other find the best ways to help victims, protect children, and form the priests of today and tomorrow to be aware of this scourge and to eliminate it from the priesthood.  I hope that this Symposium will make a significant contribution toward these goals.  I thank in particular Fr. Francois-Xavier Dumortier, S.J., the Rector of the University, and Fr. Hans Zollner, S.J., and his team for organizing these days together. Continue reading

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