✣ Highlights from the week online
Surprises for a cardinal
Cardinal Pell’s Secretariat for the Economy “has had its wings clipped in recent weeks”, wrote Edward Pentin at the National Catholic Register. First an external audit of the Holy See’s finances was cancelled, and then much of its power was transferred back to the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See (Apsa).
Pentin said Cardinal Pell was not consulted about either move. News of the Pricewaterhouse-Coopers suspension, he wrote, “came as a surprise to Cardinal Pell”. Neither he nor his office were involved in the decision, “which was announced when both the cardinal and his most senior financial adviser were out of Rome.”
The document transferring much of his department’s powers, meanwhile, was already signed by Pope Francis before Cardinal Pell had even seen it.
Both moves are being interpreted by some as “a concerted effort to obstruct revealing financial information and possible misconduct in the Roman Curia”, said Pentin. Despite this, he argued that the moves could actually help, rather than harm, efforts to “root out mismanagement and corruption in the long term”.
How to win converts
We can help win converts by simply asking people, “Have you ever thought of becoming a Catholic?” wrote Fr C John McCloskey III at thecatholicthing.org.
Fr McCloskey (who has helped luminaries including Newt Gingrich and Bernard Nathanson to convert) wrote: “You will often be surprised at how flattered many people are at the question. The great majority will say that you are the first person who has ever asked. More than a few may say they have been waiting for someone to ask them that question all their lives.”
Lay takeover in Rome
With the appointment of lay people as director and deputy director of the Holy See press office, “Pope Francis confirmed his preference for a less clericalised Church”, wrote Andrea Gagliarducci at mondayvatican.com. But he argued that the Vatican has long had a large lay involvement. The key issue of reform, he said, was not a “more lay and efficient Church, but rather a Church more aware of its divine mandate”.
Lesson of hipster coffee
Matthew Petesch at aleteia.org described his local hipster coffee house, the Merc. Every cup of coffee or tea is individually made, and this takes time. “In a lot of ways the Merc is an image of Christian prayer,” he wrote.“We hurry through our prayers or gloss over them as we speed through the day.”
“Like the hipsters with their coffee, we should savour the sweetness of his love and mercy and bask in the glory of his presence. But in order to do this we must be prepared to linger. Prayer isn’t meant for a drive-thru.”
A new guide to Catholic social teaching, DoCat, will be launched at World Youth Day. Like its predecessor, the youth catechism YouCat, it uses a bite-size question-and-answer format, and is heavily illustrated with photos, cartoons and quotations. Pope Francis has contributed a preface.
The quotations draw on Scripture and the saints, but also include such figures as Bruce Willis, Marilyn Monroe and Lenin – though the latter’s remarks on the traditional family structure are only brought up in order to reject them.
Willis, most famously the star of the Die Hard films, was quoted in the chapter on the internet for his observation: “The internet is a place for searching, copying and browsing. At worst it is a place for executions, sexual abuse, a place for data-mining and privacy groups. More trivially, it is a world of escapist nonsense.”
✣ An Irish priest who gave Sam Allardyce his career break has said he is “absolutely delighted” by his appointment as England manager.
Fr Joe Young approached Allardyce in 1991 to offer him the management job at League of Ireland side Limerick. Fr Young said: “I’m so happy – I said Mass for him this morning and I’ll say Mass for him tomorrow.”
✣ The week in quotations
Be torches to guide men and women through the dark night of time … like Mary Magdalene on Easter morning
Pope Francis to contemplative women
Apostolic constitution Vultum Dei Quaerere
The faith isn’t a hermeneutical game … It is the way of eternal life
Dr Alan Fimister on why he signed the Amoris Laetitia letter to cardinals
[His views] are clearly contrary to well-established Catholic teachings
Bishop Thomas Tobin on Tim Kaine
✣ Statistic of the week
Number of WYD pilgrims from Britain
Source: Fr Christopher Jamison, Twitter
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