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Update: Cardinal Burke cuts ties with institute, citing its alignment with Bannon

IMAGE: CNS photo/Marcia per la Vita

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VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- U.S. Cardinal Raymond L. Burke has resigned from the Dignitatis Humanae Institute, saying it has become "more and more identified with the political program" of Steve Bannon.

In a letter posted on his Twitter feed, Cardinal Burke said June 25 he had urged the institute to return to its original purpose of promoting the respect of human dignity but "it has not done so," so he was terminating his relationship, including being the institute's honorary president. Eleven other cardinals make up the institute's advisory board and Bannon, former chief strategist at the White House, is a patron and member of the board of trustees.

"I have been made aware of a June 24 LifeSiteNews online article -- now removed -- entitled 'Steve Bannon hints at making film exposing homosexuality in the Vatican,' in which the insinuation is made that somehow, through my association with Mr. Benjamin Harnwell of the Dignitatis Humanae Institute, I was involved in a meeting between Mr. Bannon and Mr. Frederic Martel, author of the book, 'In the Closet of the Vatican,' to promote a film version of Mr. Martel's book," Cardinal Burke said in his letter.

"LifeSiteNews made no contact with me to verify my possible involvement," he said. "Given the overall content of the article and given several statements made by Mr. Bannon in the article, I must make the following clear:

"I do not, in any way, agree with Mr. Bannon's assessment of the book in question," Cardinal Burke said. "Furthermore, I am not at all of the mind that the book should be made into a film. I disagree completely with a number of Mr. Bannon's statements regarding the doctrine and discipline of the Roman Catholic Church.

"Above all, I find objectionable his statement calling into question the church's discipline of perpetual continence for the clergy, in accord with the example and desire of Christ ..." he said.

Cardinal Burke said he had never worked with Bannon but had met with him "on occasion to discuss Catholic social teaching regarding certain political questions."

"In meeting with him, as in meeting with other political leaders, I have tried to fulfill my mission as a priest to teach the faith and morals for the common good," he said.

LifeSiteNews issued a statement expressing regret for "any harm to His Eminence that may have come from our mentioning his name."

"We did not think to contact Cardinal Burke to verify the story because it had nothing to do with him," the statement said.  

In early June, the Italian ministry for culture revoked a license it granted to the Dignitatis Humanae Institute to manage a state-owned historic monument south of Rome, citing irregularities in the bidding process and a breach of contract. The former Carthusian monastery of Trisulti was being used as the headquarters of the institute.

 

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Copyright © 2019 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. www.catholicnews.com. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at [email protected]

Christian community a place of welcome, solidarity, pope says

IMAGE: CNS photo/Paul Haring

By Junno Arocho Esteves

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- To be part of a Christian community is to belong to a group of believers who shun selfishness and give witness to God's love by loving and caring for one another, Pope Francis said.

While modern society places more importance on "one's own interests regardless of or even to the detriment of others," true Christians "ban individualism in order to encourage sharing and solidarity," the pope said June 26 during his weekly general audience.

"There is no place for selfishness in the soul of a Christian," he said. "If your heart is selfish, you are not a Christian; you are a worldly person who looks only for your own benefit, your own profit."

Prior to taking part in the final audience before his summer break, to avoid the scorching Rome heat the pope met indoors with pilgrims who are sick or have a disability.

Outside, continuing his series of talks on the Acts of the Apostles, the pope reflected on the first Christian community in Jerusalem, which was comprised of people who "felt their hearts pierced by the joyful announcement" of Christ's salvation for all men and women.

St. Luke's account of this community, he said, provides a glimpse of the "communion of love" that existed and was fortified by listening to the apostolic teaching, sharing their goods with one another, taking part in the Eucharist and prayer.

"These are the attitudes of a Christian; the four signs of a good Christian," he said.

The grace that comes from baptism, he added, makes "rivalries between young and old, men and women, rich and poor" disappear.

"Baptismal grace reveals the intimate bond between brothers and sisters in Christ who are called to share, to identify with others and to give according to each one's needs," the pope said. "This is a way of listening to the cry of the poor -- which is very pleasing to God -- and of giving him back what belongs to him."

Pope Francis concluded his talk by asking the faithful to pray so that Christians may emulate the first community and establish a "genuine covenant with God" so that they would become an attractive force that fascinates and "conquers the hearts of many."

The pope prayed that the Holy Spirit would "make our communities places in which to welcome and practice new life, works of solidarity and communion; places where liturgies are an encounter with God, which becomes communion with our brothers and sisters; places that are open doors to the heavenly Jerusalem."

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Follow Arocho on Twitter: @arochoju

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Copyright © 2019 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. www.catholicnews.com. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at [email protected]

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Cardinal Burke cuts ties with institute, citing its alignment with Bannon

U.S. Cardinal Raymond Burke has resigned from the Dignitatis Humanae Institute, saying it has become "more and more identified with the political program" of Steve Bannon.

Cuban Catholics pray for Cardinal Ortega battling terminal cancer

IMAGE: CNS photo/Deborah Gyapong, Canadian Catholic News

By Rhina Guidos

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The archbishop of Havana said his predecessor, Cardinal Jaime Ortega Alamino, is in stable condition, but his health has weakened and taken a downturn in recent days.

"We have received in this archdiocese countless calls and messages manifesting caring interest in the health of Cardinal Jaime Ortega," Havana Archbishop Juan Garcia Rodriguez wrote in a letter posted on Facebook June 24. Archbishop Garcia took over the archdiocese when the Vatican accepted Cardinal Ortega's resignation in 2016.

Cuban Catholics have taken to Facebook to post updates on the cardinal's health and to communicate with others about his condition. A June 22 post on the Facebook page of San Antonio Maria Claret parish in the city of Santiago de Cuba asked Catholics to pray for the 82-year-old cardinal, who "suffers from terminal cancer."

"Last night the health of our brother, longtime bishop and cardinal, Jaime Ortega, became extremely weak," said the post. "It is expected that at any moment he will pass to the house of the Lord."

On June 19, Palabra Nueva, the magazine for the Archdiocese of Havana, published online photos of a visit with the cardinal, surrounded by brother bishops and smiling with the prelates.

Cardinal Ortega played a pivotal role in reestablishing relations between the Vatican and the Cuban government, which ultimately allowed the last three popes to visit the island. At the same time, some criticized him for not speaking out against the Cuban government, which began persecuting Christians shortly after the Cuban revolution brought Fidel Castro to power in 1959.

However, he seems to be a beloved figure inside Cuba and has witnessed and been a player during crucial moments in the island's recent history, including the thawing of relations with the United States in 2015.

Signis-Cuba, the local affiliate of a global Catholic communications organization, also has been keeping Cuban Catholics informed of the cardinal's health via Facebook. The cardinal, the organization wrote June 22, has been "surrounded by the clergy, who has been with him during his illness. The Cuban Catholic Church prays for his health and from their homes are with him in prayer."

 

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Copyright © 2019 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. www.catholicnews.com. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at [email protected]

English bishops praise ruling that mentally disabled woman can give birth

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