Pope advances sainthood cause of Canadian bishop
Pope Francis has advanced the sainthood cause of Bishop Ovide Charlebois – a Canadian Missionary Oblate of Mary Immaculate who ministered to First Nations peoples and migrant workers scattered throughout the vast, lake-covered province of Manitoba.
The Pope recognized the Quebec native, who lived from 1862 to 1933, as having lived the Christian virtues in a heroic way.
The Pope also recognised the martyrdom of Fr Jan Franciszek Macha, a Polish priest who began his parish ministry when the Nazis invaded Poland and was imprisoned and murdered by its elite force, the SS, despite his mother’s efforts to secure a pardon from Adolf Hitler.
The Pope also formally recognised the martyrdom of 16 victims of the Spanish Civil War and advanced the causes of eight other men and women.
During a meeting last week with Cardinal Angelo Becciu, prefect of the Congregation for Saints’ Causes, the Pope signed the decree approving the heroic virtues of Bishop Charlebois, making him ‘venerable’. Before he can be beatified, the Vatican must recognize that a miracle has occurred through his intercession.
Explore theology but don’t confuse the faithful – Francis
Theologians must explore and debate disputed questions, at times even taking “risks” with what they propose, but those discussions should take place within the academy so as not to confuse the faithful, Pope Francis has said.
“Theology must move forward,” the Pope told members of the International Theological Commission. “It must face things that are not clear and take risks in discussion. However, this is among theologians.
“You must give the solid food of faith to the people of God, not feed the people of God disputed questions,” because that could confuse them and cause them to lose their faith, the Pope told the group last Friday during a meeting celebrating the commission’s 50th anniversary.
St Paul VI established the commission to continue the collaboration between theologians and the teaching authority of the Church experienced at the Second Vatican Council, the Pope said. And he wanted to ensure that the doctrinal congregation would benefit from the contributions of theologians reflecting on questions of faith in different parts of the world and in different cultural contexts.
Pope speaks with bishops about Pennsylvania abuse report
“Happy Thanksgiving,” Pope Francis said in English at the beginning of a two-and-a-half-hour meeting with the bishops of New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
The meeting, a central part of the bishops’ ad limina visit, featured a wide-ranging conversation that, of course, included talk about the clerical sexual abuse scandal, Bishop Lawrence Persico of Erie, Pennsylvania, said.
The bishop said the Pope himself mentioned the 2018 Pennsylvania grand jury report on abuse in six dioceses over the previous 70 years; “he was aware of it and he understood it,” the bishop said.
Especially considering that the Pope had just returned from a weeklong trip to Thailand and Japan, giving the bishops more than two hours of his time “was really extraordinary”, Cardinal Joseph Tobin said.
“Without going into detail because I want to respect the familiarity and confidentiality that the Holy Father asked for, you wouldn’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure out what we talked about,” the cardinal said.