Tag Archives: Church


Spirituality of Women for the Future of the Church

Join us for a reflection on Women and the Church sixty years on from Vatican II.

In an impromptu press conference on the return flight from the World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro, Pope Francis said “… all we say is they can do this, they can do that, now they are altar servers, now they do the readings, ..but there is more! We need to develop a profound theology of the woman.”

Where is the Church in relation to women nearly sixty years after Vatican II?

Where are women in relation to the Church?

We will reflect on these questions based on church documents and present understanding and practice in light of the gifts of mind and heart that women can and do bring to Church ministry. Along with the presentation, you will be invited to some time for personal reflection and an opportunity to share your wisdom with one another.

This program includes lunch.

Sister Eileen Fucito, CP is an experienced retreat leader and spiritual director. She was a member of the retreat team at Holy Family Passionist Retreat Center. Sister Eileen founded and then directed Our Lady, Queen of Peace Retreat Center in Dancyville, Tennessee for over 20 years. Currently, she serves as Congregational Leader of the Sisters of the Cross and Passion and is a member of Our Lady of Calvary’s Retreat Team.

Register for this program using the form below or call (860) 677-8519. You may also download and print Spirituality of Women for the Future of the Church


New Norms on Child Protection

New Norms on Child Protection

Recently, Pope Francis issued a legal new document about child protection and the manner in which allegations of sexual misconduct are to be dealt with in the Church. Commentators fall into two basic categories; those who say the new law is a great step forward, and those who say the new norms do not go far enough. Probably, both views are correct.

In the “norms are a step forward” category, the norms name all clergy and religious as mandated reporters in all instances of sexual abuse of minors and vulnerable adults. There are protections in place for these mandatory reporters, and courses of action to be taken in case of retaliation against them.

Minors are defined as those under the age of eighteen. Vulnerable adults are any persons over eighteen who are in a state of physical or mental infirmity or deprived of personal liberty in a way that limits understanding. Furthermore, victims must be listened to, respected and given whatever spiritual, medical or therapeutic assistance called for in the particular circumstance.
The norms also provide a framework for holding bishops accountable if they fail in their responsibilities to take action, or if they themselves are accused of misconduct.

In the “norms do not go far enough” category, is the fact that all the reporting and investigation of allegations remain within the Church, with bishops or archbishops or with Vatican officials. There is minimal possibility for the involvement of the laity in these processes, so for many, the new norms are not new at all.

There is one important point to be made here. Most dioceses in the United States have had a process for reporting sexual misconduct and investigating allegations in place since 2002. That was the year the Bishops’ Conference (USCCB) implemented what is referred to as the Charter for the Protection of Children. One of the deficiencies of the 2002 Charter is the lack of consequences for bishops who fail to take action when action is called for. The new norms issued by Pope Francis address this point of episcopal accountability, and the USCCB will work to amend the already existing Charter to include this essential point.

Even at this time in the life of the Church, many dioceses around the world have no norms in place for addressing this crisis of clergy sexual abuse, no system for reporting abuse, and no guidelines for carrying out investigations. As this new law is implemented throughout the entire Church, we pray that the scandal of sexual abuse will be rooted out completely and forever.
Note: The full text of Pope Francis’ apostolic letter issued “motu proprio” (by his own authority) is titled “Vos estis lux mundi” and available at www.vatican.va or at www.usccb.org.

~ Sister Elissa Rinere, CP