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US bishops discuss penance, homilies, religious liberty, economy


The U.S. bishops’ fall general assembly in Baltimore began with an emphasis on conversion and a return to the sacrament of penance.

New York Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, president of the U.S. bishops’ conference, told the bishops at the start of the Nov. 12-15 meeting that he could imagine the criticism he might get for emphasizing penance when there are plenty of “controversies and urgent matters for the church right now.”

But he stressed that the bishops cannot engage culture, dialogue with others or confront challenges unless they first recognize their own sins and experience the grace of repentance.

The cardinal also said the sacrament of penance was something the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops planned to stress for all Catholics year-round with reflections on re-embracing Friday as a day of penance, including the possible re-institution of abstinence on all Fridays.

Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, papal nuncio to the United States, echoed Cardinal Dolan’s call for reconciliation.

Noting that there have been some clergy who “out of weaknesses have brought great pain to others,” Archbishop Vigano reminded the bishops. “We must continually undergo conversion ourselves … so people have faith and confidence in us.”

Bishop David L. Ricken of Green Bay, Wis., chair of the bishops’ Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis, presented a document that encouraged all Catholics to make a renewed effort to seek the sacrament of penance, also known as reconciliation.

If approved, the document will be published as a pamphlet in time to allow dioceses to prepare for Lent 2013.

The bishops’ assembly, which opened nearly a week after Election Day, also included discussions about religious liberty and marriage. [More]


Catholic News Service



  1. Tony says:

    Angelo, I know that God is not a kind of sick dysfunctional being you present. Not doubt you are projecting your dysfunction unto God..

    • Angelo says:

      Tony, Recently the Synod of Bishops for the Year of Faith had alot to say, I wish to give you just one example of what was said, then give me your opinion again. Cardinal Raymond Burke’s intervention at the Synod of Bishops: “Excitement following the Council, linked to the establishment of a new Church which teaches freedon and love, has strongly encouraged an attitude of indifference towards Church discipline, if not even hostility. The reforms of ecclesial life which were hoped for by the Council Fathers were therefore, in a certain sense, hindered, if not betrayed.”. Now tell me who is dysfunctional. There are many such things that were said at the Synod. I hope you now see where you stand and where I have stood and will continue to stand.

      • Tony says:

        Burke is another sick puppy have you seen some of the long flowing garments he wears instead of following the simple Jesus like Cardinal OMalley?
        I stand with the loving and compastionate God of scripture who is slow to anger and rich in mercy.

        • Angelo says:

          Tony, God is slow to anger, but when he does get angry, one better watch out! As for the flowing garments, it was God who ordered rich vestments in the OT when public or private liturgical actions were performed. God meant it for his Glory and Honor, and not for the priest who wears them. Many priests after the Council, in the name of personal humility started using ugly vestments for liturgical use. These priests were terribly misguided. Pope Benedict XVl is returning to the use of elaborate vestments to honor and glorify God. Recently he started using the Papal Fanon again. St. Catherine of Sienna writes that God told her about this, “My house they humble, but their own dwelling places they lavishly furnish” so much for humility! Who told you Jesus wore simple clothing, in liturgical actions he wore the elaborate vestments that he himself prescribed. And now Cardinal Raymond Burke is a sick puppy, just because he proves you wrong. What is it, everyone is a “sick puppy, constipated or needs to have a bowel movement” whenever they say something you don’t like. No sense in quoting from the Synod anymore or you will make personal insults against all the Synod Fathers, as none of them agree with your fantasy world of error. It is said that the worst enemies of the Church today are not outside but within the Church, you prove that only too true.

          • Tony says:

            I am hardly an enemy of the Church, but I won’t tolerate self seeking, self glorifying guys like Burke acting in contradiction to the command of Jesus not to Lord it over people.
            I love the Churc too much to have people like yourself represent God as a dysfunctional tyrant who condemns people and punishes people.
            There is a rise in people who are “nones” people who don’t believe in God and with people who proclaim your distorted view of God no one can blame them. You do a great disservice to theology in general and the Catholic religion in particular.

            • Angelo says:

              Tony, Your a pathetic heretic. You have succeded in fooling yourself. You have done what St. Peter warned about, self interpretation of scripture to your own damnation. You are an enemy of Christs Church, an enemy of God, an enemy to yourself. You created your own God, you have made your stupidity your idol, your false God. You are not Catholic. By your heresies you have incurred excommunication “Latae Sententiae”, that is automatic excommunication by your own doing, according to the Code of Canon Law. According to V2 you are outside of the Church, you cannot receive Communion under pain of mortal sin. You would be heaping mortal sin upon mortal sin, making yourself eternaly lost to satan. This is the truth of God’s Church. You know nothing of theology, except that of heretics. You attack the truth with non stop blasphemy. You reject Christ and his Church, in scripture Christ says he will say to you, “I reject you, off to the unquenchable fire prepared for the devil and his angels”. Last response to you, I do not respond to excommunicated heretics. Repent or burn!

              • Tony says:

                Angelo, you are quite ill, for your own good, please get help.
                Your emotional illness maybe the cause of your obesity.
                Get help guy.

                • Angelo says:

                  Tony, You speak of a God who is not a God of Justice, you believe in some God who is Love Love Love. In the type of Love you believe in, a priest once said that God’s Love has been dragged in the mud by dissidents. Falsifying the true Love God has for us. You continualy say God is Love, in which he certainly is, but when you are opposed you go into a rampage and begin insulting those who do not agree with you. You clearly show that the love you believe in is not love at all. You deny God punishes sin, yet you go around punishing anyone who does not agree with you. I did the same to you, only to show how you err. You did not like it, did you? You need to discover what the Love of God truly is, and stop creating your own God of Love. You would do well to read the Encyclical of Pope Benedict XVl “Deus Caritas Est” “God is Love”

                  • Tony says:

                    sacred Scripture tells us, “God IS Love.”
                    That’s good enough for me.
                    God IS love itself, God is the Qintesence of love.

                    • Angelo says:

                      Tony, Try reading all of sacred scripture.

                    • Tony says:

                      God so loved the world that he sent His only Son.
                      By this shall all men know that you are my disciples that you Love one another.love your neighbor as you love yourself.

            • Andrew says:

              You may not consider yourself an enemy of the Church but you most certainly are an enabler to the modern day persecutors of our Holy Mother Church. No one who has respect for the Church founded by Jesus Christ Himself would even consider voting for Barack the baby killer Obama. You and everyone who voted for Obama voted for every intrinsic evil the Church teaches against.

  2. Tony says:

    So, is it gonna be a mortal sin if I have a hamburger or a Frankfutter on Friday, or should I not give anything to the poor and needy and have a lobster dinner? Hoe insane can these guys get?

    • Angelo says:

      Tony, In the US if you eat a hamburger or Frankfurter on Friday it would not be a mortal sin. You will have though the obligation to choose another pennance according to ones sins. Pennace is obligatory on Fridays for all Catholics, except if a Solemnity falls on a Friday. If one does not do pennace on Friday I don’t know if it be a sin or not. But whats for sure is that if one does not do pennace on Friday, nether will he gain the spiritual benefits that come with it from God. That is a real loss!

      • Tony says:

        So, our God who is eternal and not limited by time keeps a calander and limits sharing his life with us, if we don’t do penance on Friday?

        • Angelo says:

          Tony, God is certainly not limited by time, time does not exist for him. He gave it to us as a gift and expects us to make each moment of time a moment in which to please him. He himself says in scripture that there is a time for everything. That includes doing pennance on Friday as his Church commands us.

  3. Concerned says:

    Yes, the Bishops would benefit, as everyone, from the gift of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. But really, reinstitute abstinence on all Fridays? This is supposed to help point people toward the sacrament and what God offers us? How? Even abstinence on the Fridays of Lent are meaningless motions. Abstinence was started at a time when those who made their livlihood from fishing were suffering greatly. They implored the Pope for assistance. Fish was considered a poor persons food. It was a sacrifice to eat it. Now, with pizza, lobster, gormet amc and cheese, and so many other alternatives, what’s the point? The Bishops just can’t learn to look forward – they are going backwards. They have made abundantly clear why Jesus said that those who put their hand to the plow but keep looking back can not be his disciples. Put it into forward Bishops! You are stuck in reverse! Go forward. They accomplished nothing in this gathering. They are so embroiled in politics that now they have modeled their gatherings after the political bodoes that are in gridlock, refuse to move forward and are allowing the people to suffer. The USCCB is rendering itself impotent, obsolete, unnecessary, useless and sadly devoid of the Spirit.

    • Angelo says:

      Concerned, What is your definition of “Moving Forward”? Your invention of how meatless Fridays came about, is a false statement that is a blasphemy to Christ’s Church. Friday traditionaly is a day of pennance for our sins and pennace on Fridays is an obligation. Friday was especialy chosen because it was a Friday that Christ shed his blood for our sins. More and more Bishops are going forward by calling Catholics back to living a penitential life, thus undoing the damage caused by the false reformers. Please give examples of how the Bishops are “embroiled in politics”. I hear that alot, now I would like solid examples of this so that I can form my opinion in union with Christ’s Church. Please don’t fail me Concerned! I am ready to listen.

  4. Florian says:

    Golly! The NERVE of that Cardinal, telling his bishops to repent! Sounds like an OT prophet proclaiming doom and gloom all the way to the tomb.
    He should know that of all the prophets in the Old Testament, only ONE was actually listened to by people who repented. And some scholars that this prophet never existed, that his book is a fable — which makes for a better reading!

    • Angelo says:

      Florian, These are the days of the New Testament. Our leaders are called to be stricter that the Prophets of the OT. God sent his prophets in the OT in order to teach the people and also warn them of eternal loss if they rejected God. Many want a God where we have no Obligations to him, no such God exists! As they used to say, “Get with the program”!

      • Catholic Lady says:

        Dear Angelo, I serve the Lord, my God out of Love for Him, not because I feel obligated to do so – however I recognize that I am totally dependant on God for everything I am, I have and I will ever hope to become – I attend Mass because my Lord is present in the Holy Sacrament and invites me to a banquet set for all those who believe, where I feast on His body and His blood.

        • Angelo says:

          Catholic Lady, If thats the way you serve God, then it is great. But there are those of us who must be told that we have obligations, and that we must fulfill them. I remember a priest years ago putting in the bulletin, “Catholics are like canoe’s, sometimes they have to be paddled”. That goes for many of us because of our weak nature through the fall of Adam.

          • Tony says:

            I find that Paddled remark highly offensive. NO ONE NEEDS TO BE PADDLED. That is what got sicko priests like this guy in trouble with little boys. It is that sick sado masichist attitude that we don’t need in our culture, never mind our church.

            • Angelo says:

              Tony, Paddled really offends you? The guy who told me to have a “bowel” movement? Your really mixed up!

              • Tony says:

                Paddled implies physical abuse and physical abuse is offensive.

                • Angelo says:

                  Tony, Jesus in the temple made a cord of whips and used it to beat the Sellers and the moneychangers in the Temple. God punishes every sin we commit. I guess Christ is a physical abuser in your interpretation of Our Lord. Stop fantasizing of what you want God to be, and accept who he in fact is.

  5. Francis says:

    Shepherds without a flock! Many of them should be in prison!


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