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Salt + Light Media has announced the premiere of the new documentary Magisterium of the People: The Story of the People’s Pastoral from the Catholic Committee of Appalachia. The film, directed and produced by Sebastian Gomes, highlights the work of the grassroots church in Appalachia, including the development of CCA’s third pastoral letter, The Telling Takes Us Home.

The Catholic Committee of Appalachia has been listening to the cries of the poor and the earth since 1970. Its hallmark: three pastoral letters published over the last forty years that have told the story of a land and people struggling for survival against a system of exploitation and indifference. The third pastoral letter, issued in 2015, did not come from the Catholic bishops of Appalachia, but from the people themselves. It was a bold and prophetic step, to listen yet again to the cries of the poor and of the earth, to bring the “periphery” into the center, and to create new paths forward toward justice, peace and wholeness in their communities and for creation.

Experience the empowerment, unexpected collaboration, and deep transformations that have taken place, in areas of the environment, immigration, interfaith dialogue and pastoral reform. Far from the corridors of the Vatican, the real Francis impact is lived and felt by people inspired by the Pope’s call for more compassion, inclusion, sustainability and dialogue in a world torn apart.

As West Virginia Catholics await a new bishop to be named by Pope Francis, Archbishop Lori of Baltimore acts as Apostolic Administrator and has appointed Bryan Minor, a layman, as Delegate of Diocesan Administrative Affairs. geothermal electricity how it works Bryan’s job is to manage the day to day operations of the chancery and its many departments in Archbishop Lori’s absence. Our listening led us to collect and compile the many questions West Virginia Catholics had for Minor and Archbishop Lori.

CCA’s Co-Coordinators recently met with Minor to ask those questions and to discuss concerns about transparency and the credibility of the five-person investigation team. We were encouraged by Minor’s sincerity, candor, remorse, compassion and commitment to work towards healing in the Diocese. The meeting resulted in further commitment from him to keep CCA abreast of the investigation process and to collaborate with CCA regularly to increase the flow of information to the people of the Diocese. We trust that the DWC has begun a process similar to that of Steubenville and other dioceses that will eventually result in the publication of a list of priests who have been credibly accused of sexual abuse over the last several decades in the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston. Although we advocate for a external investigation of diocesan records, the publication of such a list is an important step toward transparency and would, at this, time, be preferable to a WV Attorney General subpoena of that list.

Last year, our friends at Salt + Light Media visited CCA’s home office in West Virginia to film a segment for their upcoming documentary The Francis Impact. During their visit they suggested we give them an inscribed copy of CCA’s “People’s Pastoral,” The Telling Takes Us Home, to hopefully pass along to Pope Francis, as they are frequently in Rome covering events there (see photo above).

Esta carta pastoral del pueblo es una expresión de cómo la gente de fe está intentando escuchar atentamente el “magisterio de los pobres” en la región de los Apalaches en los Estados Unidos y escuchar también el llanto de la Tierra tan devastada por la minería y otras industrias extractivas. gas outage Aquí en las montañas de los Apalaches vemos claramente que lo que hacemos a la Tierra, lo hacemos también a los pobres. Le agradecemos a usted que escuche las voces de las bases, que camine con nuestro pueblo, y que nos desafíe a transformarnos en una Iglesia para los pobres, una Iglesia que protegerá y celebrará la santidad de nuestro hogar común.

This “people’s pastoral” letter is an expression of how people of faith are trying to listen closely to the “magisterium of the poor” in the Appalachian region of the United States, including the cry of Earth, which is so devastated here from mining and other extractive industries. In the Appalachian mountains, we see very clearly that what we do to Earth we do to the poor. Thank you for listening to voices at the grassroots, for walking with our people and our movements, and for challenging us to become a church of the poor that protects and celebrates the sacredness of our common home.

Since then, the release of the Pennsylvania grand jury report has rocked the church not only on national and global scales, but on a regional one as well. The report is in many ways an expression of the Appalachian church that implicates a number of our bishops, both past and present. Finally, the resignation of West Virginia’s Bishop Michael Bransfield, and his subsequent investigation for allegations of sexual misconduct, compels CCA to further our efforts to protect the vulnerable in our region and to work for church reforms necessary to address the roots of the problem.

To that end, we have created this page as a resource for current news and analysis of the abuse crisis as it impacts Appalachia, focusing in part on the Bransfield/DWC investigation but looking beyond it to surrounding states. electricity outage houston tx In the interest of transparency, we will also publish diocesan documents that are helpful for understanding any investigations taking place. If you know of a news item, opinion piece, or document that should be shared here, please email ccappalachia [at] gmail [dot] com . electricity experiments for 4th graders Any documents shared here will not be traceable to the individuals who share them with CCA.

As the Roman Catholic Church reels from new revelations of the cover-up of clergy sexual abuse, thousands of Catholics from various corners of the church have loudly demanded the mass resignation and/or dismissal of U.S. bishops in order to “clean house.” In the midst of this turmoil, Bishop Michael Bransfield of the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston offered his resignation to Pope Francis, not as penance, but in the manner customary for bishops who have reached the age of 75. (Bransfield turned 75 on September 8 th.)

The swift acceptance of Bransfield’s resignation and subsequent investigation is not surprising. Abuse allegations have haunted Bransfield, resurfacing most recently during the criminal trial of Catholic priests in Philadelphia in 2012. But more, Bransfield’s lavish lifestyle and flaunted political allegiances marked his episcopacy with signs of clerical privilege and entitlement that are the root cause of abuse by members of the priesthood, including sexual misconduct. Continue reading →

Once upon a time, the conservative political commentator Francis Fukuyama said that with the collapse of the Soviet Union we had reached the end of history. Others joined the chorus; globalization had made the world flat and capitalism was here to stay. 1 Today the confident and triumphalist mood of the 80s and 90s has been severely shaken as the reality of climate change sinks in and promises to usher in a very different historical epoch. j gastroenterol hepatol impact factor Indeed, we are conscious of reaching an end, but as we look around the fear is that it might be the end not of history but of humanity. At the same time, activists are showing us that another world is possible, encouraging institutions to divest from fossil fuels, severing their financial ties to the fossil fuel industry by “getting rid of stocks, bonds, or investment funds that are unethical or morally ambiguous.” 2 At the same time, this movement has been controversial particularly among Catholic institutions, the majority of which have been reluctant to make this move despite strong pressure from students and other activists. These institutions often cite the ability to advance institutional mission. 3

In a 2017 article published in America Magazine, Jim McDermott, takes this latter position, suggesting that shareholder advocacy is the more ‘Catholic’ option. McDermott, tellingly cites Francis G. Coleman, the executive vice president of Christian Brothers Investment Services, “which manages nearly $7 billion in assets for Catholic groups around the world.” McDermott notes CBIS’s skepticism toward divestment as a strategy, “at the same time, at C.B.I.S., the question of writing a group off speaks to a challenge of our faith. ‘When do you stop talking to the sinner?’ asks Mr. Coleman. ‘It’s a fundamental faith question. And our faith teaches us you don’t stop talking to the sinner. Our belief is that if you keep talking there’s always the possibility for faith and evangelization.’” 4 In the article, McDermott fails to engage the voices and reasons of activists or the voice of Earth itself. He also fails to take divestment seriously as a Catholic option. His perspective remains firmly within a top-down, status quo model that privileges the voices of elite managers as authorities.

The Catholic Committee of Appalachia (CCA) released a Statement on Child Sexual Abuse in the Catholic Church in November 2017 following the death of Barbara Blaine, founder of SNAP. The continued relevance of our 2017 statement could not be more clear as the People of God respond to new reports of clergy abuse over the past weeks. gasbuddy trip CCA reaffirms our November 2017 statement and the calls to action contained within it.

The recently released Pennsylvania grand jury report is in many ways a window into the innerworkings of the hierarchy with global relevance for the Catholic community. As most of the dioceses contained in report fall within the Appalachian region, the report is also, in many ways, an expression of the Appalachian church that implicates a number of our bishops, both past and present.

The Pennsylvania report provokes Catholics in our region to reflect on both the global and regional causes and implications of sexual abuse in the Church. CCA’s 2017 statement began some of that reflection, and we remain committed to efforts to protect the vulnerable in our region and to work for church reforms necessary to address the roots of the problem.

Specifically, CCA calls for the following immediate actions. Although some Appalachian bishops have been publicly resistant to doing so, CCA insists that all bishops of the region release a statement of priests and bishops accused of sexual abuse within their dioceses. We also insist that each diocese disclose the amount which has been paid in settlements and legal costs related to abuse and make all documents pertaining to sexual abuse by clergy and bishops available to the proper authorities.