Papacy & Catholic Hierarchy

David Gibson of Religious News Service writes,

After last month’s annual meeting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, I wrote a story handicapping the four American churchman who enjoyed growing influence in the new(ish) pontificate of Pope Francis.

They were Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston, who is one of the eight members of Francis “kitchen cabinet” of advisors on reforming the Roman Curia; Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, who was elected vice-president of the USCCB and is the likely incoming president in three years; Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington, whose advice the Vatican has tapped and who was rumored for an important curial post; and Cardinal Raymond Burke, head the Vatican’s canonical court system and more importantly a member of the Congregation for Bishops. That latter role gave Burke a decisive voice in pushing through a number of key stateside appointments, sometimes against the wishes of U.S.-based bishops.

Burke was something of an outlier on that list — a very conservative holdover from the Benedict XVI era and a fan of the kind of high liturgical finery that Pope Francis does not take to, at all.

Today the calculus of the “Top Four” list changed, perhaps decisively, as Francis dropped Burke from the Congregation for Bishops and added Wuerl. The two cardinals are not known to be allies, to say the least. It’s even less likely now that they’ll be exchanging Christmas cards this year.

Wuerl will remain as Archbishop of Washington but the new appointment means he will make regular trips to the Vatican to vet candidates for bishop in the U.S. and around the world — perhaps the most important way that Francis can secure his legacy.

Those looking for more pastorally-inclined bishops will likely take heart in Wuerl’s advance and Burke’s retreat. But Francis also dropped from the Congregation two other cardinals, both Italians, considered allies of Benedict XVI — Cardinal Mauro Piacenza, 69, described by one Vatican-watcher as “one of the former pope’s most conservative appointments in the Roman Curia,” and Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, 70.

Just as important: also apparently no longer on the Congregation is former Philadelphia Cardinal Justin Rigali, a longtime Vatican insider and leader of the Old Guard who continued to exert influence in the appointment of bishops long after he left Philadelphia under something of a cloud because of the abuse scandals.

In addition to Wuerl, Francis added Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster, Cardinal Francisco Robles Ortega of Guadalajara, Mexico, Cardinal João Braz de Aviz, a Brazilian who already works in the Curia, Archbishop Pietro Parolin, the pope’s new Secretary of State, and Archbishops Beniamino Stella and Lorenzo Baldisseri. The latter is organizing next fall’s synod of bishops. All are seen as more in the mold of Pope Francis.

It remains to be seen how and whether this affects the type of episcopal appointments.

 - See more at: http://davidgibson.religionnews.com/2013/12/16/rome-american-rises-another-american-fades/#sthash.6EJO8cou.dpuf

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“You are Peter” in Jesus’ language of Aramaic

by Steve Ray on November 21, 2013

Since we recently visited Caesarea Philippi, the site where Jesus renamed Simon as “Peter” or Kepha (Matt 16:13-20), I thought you would find this interesting.

So, what did it sound like at Caesarea Philippi when Jesus renamed Simon and made him the rock of the Church: “And I tell you, you are Peter [rock], and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it” (Matt 16:18)? Compare this with John 1:42. (Even though the auto link here says it means Peter, it should say “means rock”.)

You know of course, that Jesus did not speak English. If most of us heard Him speak those words today we would have no clue what He was saying. Jesus spoke Aramaic and that language is still alive in very small communities in the Middle East.

Aramaic sm.jpgWhat you see written to the right is Syriac Aramaic as written by my friend Efrem Nissan in Bethlehem. He is a Syrian Orthodox Christian. (Click on the text for a larger image.)

Now, not only can you see the script — which is close to what would have been written in the time of Jesus — but you can listen to it as well. I took this short video clip of Efrem reading the words you see written here. He read them on our pilgrimage. Listen for the word “kepha” twice. Kepha is the word “rock” in Aramaic.

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Click on picture for larger image of Pyramid of Dogma and Doctrine

From Jimmy Akins’ Secret Information Club:

Periodically, I’m asked what the difference is between dogma and doctrine.

People have the idea that they are kinds of Church teaching, but they’re not sure precisely what the difference is (or even if there is one).

To help folks understand this, I’ve created an infographic that shows how dogma and doctrine relate to theology.

Below you will see examples of what goes in each category! (I recommend everyone join Jimmy Akins’ Secret Information Club.)

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Peter & the Primacy in the New Testament

October 12, 2013

St. Peter in the New Testament What Do We Know About Him? Peter is the big rugged fisherman who became the humble servant of the servants of God. Jesus chose him from among the Twelve to be the leader and the visible head of the Church. What do we know about Peter from the New [...]

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Are the Pope’s Off-the-Cuff Comments Destroying the Church?

September 24, 2013

Interesting Article

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What My Grandpa Said About the Pope – A Boy’s Story

September 23, 2013

My grandpa is a nice old gentleman, with gray hair, and gold spectacles, and very fond of his little grandson Billy—that’s me. Grandpa and I often go out to walk together, that is, on fine days, because on cloudy days he never goes out of the house, but stays at home to keep “comfortable with [...]

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Pedophile Prostitution Ring in the Vatican?

June 30, 2013

Has a gay pedophile prostitution ring been discovered at the Vatican? (8 things you need to know) by Jimmy Akin

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Another Budding Young Apologist, with a Good Sense of Humor too! -UPDATED

June 5, 2013

Introducing Joseph, young apologist who’s not just sitting around waiting for “someone else to evangelize”, he’s getting out there and doing it himself. Good work Joseph – the humor is great! Where’d you get that accent? Also check out the website below by and for young people in love with Jesus and his Church! UPDATE: [...]

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The Devilish Delight When a Bishop Screws Up

May 8, 2013

When schadenfreude turns into demonic delight   by Dr. Edward Peters The glee being expressed in open comboxes (modern near occasions of sin, if you ask me) over Bp. Robert McManus’ (Worcester, MA) arrest for drunk driving goes far beyond the schadenfreude that one has come to expect in the wake of a Catholic bishop’s fall. Much, [...]

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Holy Father – is he Holy?

May 6, 2013

A young man stood up at my conference in the Philippines a while ago and parroted (yelled out) the Fundamentalist mantra: “The Pope is a sinner like everyone else; why do you call him ‘HOLY Father’?” I leaned into the microphone and said to the young man in front of 2,000 people, “You should really [...]

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First Words of our New Pope

March 13, 2013

VATICAN CITY, March 13, 2013 (Zenit.org) – Here is a translation of the brief greeting Pope Francis gave from the central balcony of St. Peter’s Square following his election as the Successor of St. Peter. * * * Brothers and sisters, good evening! You know that the duty of the Conclave was to give a [...]

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New Free Conclave App – (Link Fixed)

March 12, 2013

The app allows you to watch video from the Vatican, follow what is being said on Twitter, read news stories, as well as access all the important documents concerning the history and procedure of the conclave. It even has biographies of all the cardinal electors and ranks them according the “buzz” they are receiving on [...]

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What Will Happen Once the Pope Is Elected?

March 12, 2013

Proceedings From Election to 1st Apostolic Blessing VATICAN CITY, March 12, 2013 (Zenit.org) – Drawing from the booklet “Conclave” by Monsignor Charles Burns, the ecclesiastical adviser at the British Embassy to the Holy See, here is a summary of the proceedings that will occur once the cardinals choose a new pope. * * * As [...]

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Why You Don’t Have to Worry about Malachy’s Predictions on the New Pope and the End of Time

March 10, 2013

Al Kresta interviews Jimmy Akin about Malachy’s Predictions

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Are Popes Bound to Serve for Life? Popes Who Resigned (a new e-book)

February 26, 2013

E-mail I received from St. Benedict Press: “Dear Steve: “As you know, questions regarding the process, history and meaning of papal resignations are of burning interest to Catholics right now. Popular author Thomas Craughwell addresses these questions in Popes Who Resigned, a fascinating new ebook from TAN. Craughwell spans 20 centuries to unveil fourteen unique [...]

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Can You Wager or Bet on the Conclave?

February 26, 2013

New post on “In the Light of the Law“ Betting on the conclave? by Dr. Edward Peters According to the (Old) Catholic Encyclopedia , in his bullum Cogit nos (21 March 1591), Pope Gregory XIV forbade under pain of excommunication all bets concerning the election of a pope, the duration of a pontificate, or the [...]

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