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29 May 2015 – The Catholic Bishop of Christchurch, Barry Jones, has announced a $45 million plan to partially restore the Christchurch Catholic cathedral.

The rebuilt Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament would include a part of the original building, but would not entirely replicate it.  Some areas, including the sanctuary, cannot be saved.  And because of budget constraints and the demolition of the buildings in the rear section, the plan does not allow for the dome to be returned.

However, after four years of testing and modelling, it is believed the nave can be retained.  The plan is not a guarantee. An application will be made to the Christchurch Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) to deconstruct the badly damaged areas surrounding the main body.  Cathedral Management Board chairman Lance Ryan said by doing so, church engineers will be able to undertake an in-depth study of the state of the nave.  “Those studies could then reveal if the nave is too badly damaged to be saved, or the ground conditions too unsuitable, and in that case we would have no option but to move to a full demolition of the Cathedral,” he said.

The church hopes to raise around $15 million to help with the work which should be completed 2019-20.

Kiwi named among Pope’s new cardinals

5 January 2015

The head of the Catholic Church in New Zealand, Archbishop John Dew of Wellington, and Bishop Soane Patita Paini Mafi of Tonga are among new cardinals named by the Pope early this morning (NZT).

The Pontiff selected the 15 prelates from 14 nations, including far-flung corners of the world such as Cape Verde, Burma, Ethiopia, Thailand and Vietnam, to reflect the diversity of the church and its growth in places such as Asia and Africa.

Cardinal Dew was born in Waipawa, Hawkes Bay, in May 1948 and was educated at St Joseph’s School, Waipukurau, and St Joseph’s (now Chanel) College, Masterton, before starting his studies for the priesthood. He was ordained in May 1976, and was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Wellington Archdiocese in 1995.

He succeeded Cardinal Tom Williams, ONZ, as Archbishop of Wellington in March 2005.

Cardinal Mafi, born in 1961, first became co-adjutor bishop of Tonga in 2007.

Referring to the Vatican, Pope Francis told the faithful in St Peter’s Square that the new cardinals were “from every continent” and “show the indelible tie with the Church of Rome to churches in the world”.

In addition to the 15 new cardinals who are under 80 and thus eligible to vote for the next Pope, Francis bestowed the honour on five other churchmen older than that who had distinguished themselves through their work in the Vatican bureaucracy and diplomatic service.

He also made another surprise announcement: that on February 12-13, he will lead a meeting of all cardinals to “reflect on the orientations and proposals for the reform of the Roman Curia”, the Vatican’s administrative bureaucracy.

Francis is using his papacy, which began in March 2013, to root out corruption, inefficiency and other problems in the curia.

No Americans or Canadians

The pope, who has undertaken a reform of the Vatican’s administrative body known as the Curia, named only one cardinal from within it: Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, a Frenchman. He used to serve as the Vatican’s foreign minister.

No American or Canadian cardinals were named, which Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said was because “their numbers are already consistent and remained stable.”

Once these new members of the College of Cardinals are officially installed on February 14, there will be 228 members, including 125 who can vote in conclaves.

The new cardinals reflect a change in church demographics, which have shifted toward Africa, Latin America and Asia in the past century.

In 1910 about 65 per cent of the world’s Catholics lived in Europe with 24 per cent in Latin America and the Caribbean, according to a 2010 study from American think tank Pew Research Center.

By 2010 Latin America accounted for 39 per cent of the church’s followers while 16 per cent were in Africa and 24 per cent were in Europe.

Despite the new nominations, the overwhelming number of cardinals named during this and the previous two papacies have been Europeans. Over the three papacies, 57 are from Europe, 19 from Latin America and 15 from Africa, 14 from Asia and three from the Pacific.

These are the 20 new cardinals, grouped by region:

Europe:

Archbishop Dominique Mamberti of France
Archbishop Francesco Montenegro of Italy
Archbishop Luigi De Magistris of Italy (Non-voting)
Archbishop Ricardo Blazquez Perez of Spain
Archbishop Karl-Joseph Rauber of Germany (Non-voting)
Archbishop Edoardo Menichelli of Italy
Archbishop Manuel Jose Macario do Nascimento Clemente of Portugal

Africa:

Bishop Arlindo Gomes Furtado of Cape Verde
Bishop emeritus Julio Duarte Langa of Mozambique (Non-voting)
Archbishop Berhaneyesus Demerew Souraphiel of Ethiopia

Asia/Pacific:

Archbishop Charles Maung Bo of Myanmar
Archbishop John Atcherley Dew of New Zealand
Archbishop Francis Xavier Kriengsak Kovithavanij of Thailand
Bishop Soane Patita Paini Mafi of Tonga
Archbishop Pierre Nguyen Van Nhon of Hanoi

Latin America:

Archbishop Daniel Fernando Sturla Berhouet of Uruguay
Archbishop Alberto Suarez Inda of Mexico
Bishop Jose Luis Lacunza Maestrojuan of Panama
Archbishop Jose de Jesus Pimiento Rodriguez of Colombia (Non-voting)
Archbishop emeritus Luis Hector Villaba of Argentina (Non-voting)

– additional reporting AFP

NZ Herald

Will we get a Cardinal in February?

16 December 2014

When he was visiting New Zealand last year Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, who is thought to be close to the Pope, said that there was a need for more cardinals from Oceania. He said Oceania is not Australia by itself, and the region has a wide variety of nations and peoples.

So it is possible that the Pope may appoint at least one cardinal from among the more than 80 bishops who make up the Federation of Catholic Bishops Conferences of Oceania when he creates new Cardinals at a consistory he has called for 14 and 15 February 2015. If the traditional practice is followed those who are to be to be made a cardinal will be announced mid-January.

At present there are no active Cardinals resident in Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea/Solomon Islands and all of Oceania. George Pell, formally archbishop of Sydney, is now working in the Vatican as secretary for the economy, and living in Rome.

The emeritus archbishop of Wellington, Thomas Williams, is retired. The only Pasifika cardinal, the late Pio Taufinu’u, was appointed by Pope Paul VI as a personal gesture, soon after his Papal visit to Samoa. Because Oceania encompasses so many independent nations, covering such a vast area, it is hard to predict which of its bishops would be likely to be made a cardinal.

The Pacific Regional Seminary which serves most of Oceania, is in Suva, Fiji, and its recently appointed Archbishop, Peter Loy Chong, has attracted some attention. There has never been a cardinal appointed from among the bishops of Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.

Almost two-thirds of the voting cardinals (69) still come from the global north, while two-thirds of the world’s Catholic population today lives in the global south. When Pope Francis holds the consistory, there will be 110 voting cardinals; those under 80. Two other cardinals turn 80 in March and April, so Francis may appoint 10-12 new voting cardinals. Between April and June a further three cardinals turn 80, so in the course of the next year, Pope Francis will therefore have the option of creating 15 new voting cardinals.

According to Universi Dominici Gregis, St John Paul II’s apostolic constitution governing conclaves, the maximum number of cardinal electors must not exceed 120, however a pope is not obliged to follow the rules.

When he made the announcement of the consistory last Friday, Fr Lombardi, the director of the Holy See’s press office also announced two other important appointments: a meeting of the Council of Cardinals for the reform of the Roman Curia (9 to 11 February) and a meeting of the College of Cardinals (12 to 13 February) to discuss matters relating to the reorganisation of the Holy See.

Archbishop Dew summarises synod on family

24 October 2014

Archbishop John Dew says the discussion at and after the synod on the family is ultimately about people’s lives and it is clear that people are hurting. In a summary statement on the synod, Archbishop Dew said “if the Church is to be a mother that consoles, encourages, reaches out, supports it must listen to what is emerging from the discussion”.

But the Archbishop of Wellington noted that things will not change overnight and that the synod is only the start of a process. He recalled that in the days before leaving for Rome he was astounded at the messages he received, offering prayerful support and expressing hope and enthusiasm about the synod. “This hasn’t happened before previous synods,” he said, noting how the issues were very important to people. The archbishop said his own intervention on behalf of the New Zealand Church “focussed on the need for Church language to be changed so that it gave people hope and encouragement”. “To find a language that speaks the truth of the Gospel, but in a way that doesn’t make them simply sanctions, but draws people to God.”

He also noted that the concept of graduality, which was much discussed at the synod, did not refer to graduality of doctrine, faith or morals.“It recognises that none of us are perfect, but we’re all on a journey, so what are we doing to help (or hinder) others on that journey, who are often in very difficult and complex family situations?” he asked.

Archbishop Dew said the fact that the topic of homosexuality was discussed so openly at the synod was a “change from previous discussions”.

His highlight for the whole synod was the presentation by Pope Francis before the closing Mass.

before the closing Mass. This address received a five-minute standing ovation. “I highly recommend people reading his speech . . . , it is available online and I know I will be meditating on it for a long time to come.”

Archbishop John Dew has contrasted the freedom of speech prevailing at the synod on the family with the atmosphere at a past synod.

14th October 2014

The Archbishop of Wellington told Vatican Radio that what is happening is very different from a synod on the Eucharist nine years ago.

“ . . . I talked [then] about the possibility of Communion for the divorced and remarried, and got a lot of criticism, and now at this synod, it is being spoken about openly, by many, many people.”

He said Pope Francis’s invitation to synod members to speak boldly and not to be afraid is creating a new dynamic.

The fact that topics like Communion for the divorced and remarried are even being discussed is giving people hope, the archbishop said.

But he dampened down any prospects of overnight changes flowing from the synod, saying there is a long way to go.

In an intervention last week, Archbishop Dew pressed for recognition that people come to moral perfection gradually.

This concept was mentioned St John Paul II’s Familiaris Consortio, the archbishop said.

“So what do we do to help people on this journey to God and particularly help people who are often in very difficult and complex family situations?” Archbishop Dew said on Vatican Radio.

In his intervention, he said some of the language used in Church documents – terms like “intrinsically evil”, “irregular situation” and “abortive mentality” – don’t help this process.

“[I] said we need to find a language that still speaks the truth of the Gospel and the truth of the doctrine, but makes it in such a way that it is not all about rules and sanctions, but it is about helping people find their way to God.”

Archbishop John Dew has contrasted the freedom of speech prevailing at the synod on the family with the atmosphere at a past synod.The Archbishop of Wellington told Vatican Radio that what is happening is very different from a synod on the Eucharist nine years ago.

“ . . . I talked [then] about the possibility of Communion for the divorced and remarried, and got a lot of criticism, and now at this synod, it is being spoken about openly, by many, many people.” He said Pope Francis’s invitation to synod members to speak boldly and not to be afraid is creating a new dynamic. The fact that topics like Communion for the divorced and remarried are even being discussed is giving people hope, the archbishop said.

But he dampened down any prospects of overnight changes flowing from the synod, saying there is a long way to go.

In an intervention last week, Archbishop Dew pressed for recognition that people come to moral perfection gradually. This concept was mentioned St John Paul II’s Familiaris Consortio, the archbishop said. “So what do we do to help people on this journey to God and particularly help people who are often in very difficult and complex family situations?” Archbishop Dew said on Vatican Radio.

In his intervention, he said some of the language used in Church documents – terms like “intrinsically evil”, “irregular situation” and “abortive mentality” – don’t help this process. “[I] said we need to find a language that still speaks the truth of the Gospel and the truth of the doctrine, but makes it in such a way that it is not all about rules and sanctions, but it is about helping people find their way to God.”

Pastoral Letter on the Responses to the Preparatory Document for the Extraordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops

15 Sep 2014 | BIOETHICS

Dear sisters and brothers in Christ

E te iwi whakapono, tena koutou, tena tatou katoa.

Next month an Extraordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops will take place in Rome.

The Preparatory Document for the Assembly, Pastoral Challenges to the Family in the Context of Evangelization, was received in October 2013, and included a list of questions. We decided to make the Document and the questions available in two ways: the usual way through national, diocesan and parish channels, and for the first time, online with the opportunity to provide an online response.

The questions were not the easiest to understand, and frustrated many respondents. However people persevered and gave us information which was often personal and painful to recount, and always heartfelt. We feel humble and blessed by the openness and honesty with which people responded to the questions. The responses provided us with some profound insights into how we Catholics think about and practise the faith, and we are grateful that so many of you chose to share your thoughts and experiences with us.

Themes emerged which were common to all the questions:

Respondents recognized that the Church’s teaching on marriage, divorce and adultery is the teaching of Jesus as found in scripture.

A strong sense of exclusion and hurt is felt by many people who are living in situations not in accord with Church teaching in areas such as divorce and re-marriage, cohabitation, contraception and same sex unions. This sense of exclusion and hurt is also felt by their family and friends, and by those in the wider community who see what they consider to be the exclusion of others.

The sense of exclusion can come from one or all of the following:

  • The existence of the teaching itself, which on its own is seen to exclude those who can’t match the ideal.
  • Hard-line un-pastoral presentation of the teaching, in a few cases by priests, but mostly by organizations or individuals who “police” the “rules”.
  • The attitudes of some parishioners which are perceived to be, or actually are, judgmental in relation to the life situation of others.
  • A strong personal sense of failure, of “not meeting the ideal” set by the Church, and therefore a feeling of not being accepted in the Church community.

There are a number of Catholics struggling to stay in their faith community who have been deeply wounded by the judgmental and sometimes righteous attitudes of individuals and groups who see themselves as upholding or policing the Church’s teaching.

At the same time those who feel excluded and hurt, or unable to “live up to the teaching” as they described it, also have a deep sense of connection to the Church. They spoke of “hanging on” to their faith in Jesus Christ while trying to deal with painful feelings of being excluded from the Church. Supportive Individuals (priests, parishioners and relatives) emerged as the best catalysts for strengthening their sense of belonging to the Church.

Many respondents considered that the Church’s definition of family implicit in the questions lacks understanding of the diverse nature of modern families. The emphasis on the family as mother, father and children has led many other family groupings to feel that in the Church’s eyes (or in the view of their faith community) their families are inferior; for example, grandparents bringing up grand children, parents bringing up children alone, families resulting from second marriages, and culturally-sanctioned adoptions within extended families.

Respondents to the questions indicated strongly that sexual abuse by clergy has undermined their faith in priests and bishops as teachers in matters of sexual morality. Many questioned the right of celibate men to “prescribe” what is right or wrong for married couples.

In both online and other submissions, gratitude and appreciation were expressed for the opportunity to contribute. A number of people were courageous in sharing personal stories which were difficult and painful, or the difficulties they have with various aspects of the Church’s teaching. Others expressed their support for the teaching and wrote about how they tried to be faithful to it in their families. We were deeply impressed by the way in which people are striving to live according to the gospel, whatever the circumstances of their lives.

In the responses there was a strong undercurrent of hope that those whose lives are in conflict with Church teaching would again feel at home in the Church, and that those who feel burdened by Church teaching might have their load lessened in some way.

We have taken very seriously the task of conveying your thoughts to the Holy See, and have been anxious to know if what people across the world are saying is truly being heard by those who will organise the Synod Assembly. Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri is the Secretary-General of the Synod of Bishops, and it is his office which is responsible for analysing the submissions on the Preparatory Document. He said in an interview that the responses show “much suffering, especially by those who feel excluded or abandoned by the Church because they find themselves in a state of life that does not correspond to the Church’s doctrine and discipline”.

The results compiled by the bishops’ conferences, he said, show “the urgency of recognising the lived reality of the people and of beginning a pastoral dialogue with those who have distanced themselves from the Church for various reasons”.

There is a huge responsibility resting on Pope Francis and those who take part in both the Extraordinary Assembly of the Synod this year and the Ordinary Assembly next year. The Synod needs the support of sustained prayer, something we can all participate in, individually and in our parishes. Please pray also for Archbishop John Dew who will represent us at the Synod Assembly.

The responses received to the Synod questions challenge us all to do some things now, here in Aotearoa New Zealand, without waiting for the Extraordinary Assembly and the Assembly to follow in 2015. The responses to the questions revealed that in our parishes we are hurting one another, and beyond our parishes there are people who have left because they felt like second-class Catholics due to their particular situation. Pope Francis has spoken often about judging others. He continually encourages us to focus on God’s mercy and love, forgiveness, reconciliation, and acceptance of one another with all our faults.

“What kind of love do we bring to others? Is it the love of Jesus that shares, that forgives, that accompanies… What are the relationships like in our parishes, in our communities? Do we treat each other like brothers and sisters? Or do we judge one another, do we speak evil of one another, do we just tend our own vegetable patch? Or do we care for one another? These are the questions of charity!”

Pope Francis, General Audience, 23 October 2013

This is where we must start now, in all of our interactions with one another, here in our own communities. We do not have to wait for the Synod Assembly in order to start bringing about change.

Yours sincerely in Christ

Archbishop John Dew, President NZCBC
Bishop Patrick Dunn
Bishop Denis Browne
Bishop Colin Campbell
Bishop Charles Drennan
Bishop Barry Jones
Bishop Peter Cullinane

Note: a summary of the responses is available from communications@nzcbc.org.nz, or from the NZCBC Communications Adviser, P O Box 1937, Wellington 6140.

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