German plans for binding Synod violate Church law, Vatican says (CNA) Plans by the German Catholic bishops to hold a Synod that would establish new policies are “not ecclesiologically valid,” the Vatican has warned. Cardinal Marc Ouellet, the prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, has written to Cardinal Reinhard Marx, the president of the German bishops’ conference, emphasizing that the German bishops’ meeting must not attempt changes in Church teaching or discipline. Cardinal Ouellet enclosed a legal analysis by Archbishop Filippo Iannone, the head of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, explaining that a national bishops’ conference cannot decide issues that involve the universal Church.
Pope explains gift of St. Peter's relics to Orthodox Patriarch (Vatican Press Office) In a letter to Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, Pope Francis explains that he sent the bones of St. Peter to the Orthodox leader because “I sensed it would be highly significant were some fragments of the relics of the Apostle Peter to be place beside the relics of the Apostle Andrew.” He said that the unprecedented gift was “a confirmation of the journey that our churches have made in drawing closer to one another.”
Pope endorses event to create a global educational village (@Pontifex) “It takes a whole village to educate a child. We have to create such a village before we can educate,” Pope Francis wrote in his message for the launch of the educational alliance. The Pope emphasized “the courage to place the human person at the center,” “the courage to capitalize on our best energies,” and “the courage to train individuals who are ready to offer themselves in service.”
Diocese of Rochester files for bankruptcy (Democrat & Chronicle) “I begin by renewing my sincere apology to all those who have suffered sexual abuse by those clerics or Church personnel who violated their position of trust,” Bishop Salvatore Matano said. “We believe this is the only way we can provide just compensation for all who suffered the egregious sin of sexual abuse, while ensuring the continued commitment of the Diocese to the mission of Christ.”
Details published of Bishop Bransfield's spectacular spending (Washington Post) The Washington Post carries an astonishing account of the exorbitant and self-indulgent spending of Bishop Michael Bransfield, the former leader of the Diocese of Wheeling, West Virginia. The details include tens of thousands of dollars spent on chartered executive jets, luxury hotels, and other long vacations—all using diocesan funds.
West Virginia diocese fights false-advertising complaint (Herald Star ) Lawyers for the Diocese of Wheeling/Charleston are fighting a lawsuit filed by the attorney general of West Virginia, who charges that the diocese violated laws against false advertising, by failing to inform parishioners of abuse charges against priests and church employees. The diocesan lawyers note that no other business has been required to announce allegations against employees.