Following is a compilation of recent briefs published by Catholic News Service on these topics: Catholic and Orthodox unity; Allentown priest named bishop; First Salvadoran cardinal; Catholic literary conference; New cardinal received.
Unity is not just 'bland uniformity,' Pope tells Orthodox delegation
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The dream of restoring full unity between Catholics and Orthodox can be a prophetic sign of legitimate differences coexisting rather than just simply agreeing on everything, Pope Francis said. Both Churches must strive to return to their roots where they once "shared in the same eucharistic table, preserving together the same truths of faith while cultivating a variety of theological, spiritual and canonical traditions," the Pope said June 27 as he welcomed a delegation from the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. "That experience is a necessary point of reference and a source of inspiration for our efforts to restore full communion in our own day, a communion that must not be a bland uniformity," he said. The delegation was in Rome for the celebration June 29 of the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, the Vatican's patron saints. Since 1969, the patriarchs have sent delegations to the Vatican each year on the feast of the Vatican's patron saints, and the popes have sent a delegation to Turkey each year for the feast of St. Andrew, patron of the patriarchate.
Allentown, Pa., priest becomes bishop of his home diocese
WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Pope Francis has named Msgr. Alfred A. Schlert, administrator of the Diocese of Allentown, Pennsylvania, as the diocese's new bishop. Bishop-designate Schlert succeeds Bishop John O. Barres, who was transferred in December to serve as bishop of the Diocese of Rockville Centre, New York. The appointment was announced in Washington June 27 by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States. A native of Easton, Pennsylvania, Bishop-designate Schlert, 55, has held several administrative positions in the Allentown Diocese. He was became vicar general of the diocese in 1998. For two years, from 2008 to 2010, he also was pastor of St. Theresa of the Child Jesus Parish in Hellertown, Pennsylvania. In addition, he is vice president of the Pennsylvania Catholic Conference and is a member of its administrative board. He also served on the diocesan priest's council, the finance council and the College of Consultors.
In Washington, Salvadoran diaspora in awe of first Salvadoran cardinal
WASHINGTON (CNS) -- As El Salvador's first cardinal receives his red hat June 28 at the Vatican, he will have the eyes of his flock at home but also of the Washington area, home to approximately 260,000 Salvadorans -- one of the largest communities of Salvadorans outside of the Central American nation. Cardinal-designate Gregorio Rosa-Chavez has been a pastor, not just inside El Salvador, said Capuchin Franciscan Father Moises Villalta. For years, he has frequently visited Salvadorans abroad, including many who were forced to flee their native country during its civil conflict from the late 1970s until the early 1990s, said Father Villalta, a native of El Salvador and pastor at the Shrine of the Sacred Heart in Washington. He has tried to learn about the diaspora and even spent time teaching some expats and their children El Salvador's national popular spiritual hymn, which is an ode to Christ as "savior of the world." "He has come (to the United States) to listen, to strengthen our faith ? to be a pastor and representative of the Salvadoran Church for those of us who live abroad. ? He has known how to guide us," said Father Villalta.
Inaugural conference looks to re-energize Catholic literary imagination[[In-content Ad]]
NOTRE DAME, Ind. (CNS) -- An effort to re-energize a Catholic arts culture in this secular society attracted over 200 established and aspiring writers, artists, musicians and vocalists to the University of Notre Dame for a June 22-24 conference. The inaugural conference of "Trying to Say 'God': Re-enchanting the Catholic Literary Imagination" drew participants from across the United States. The gathering offered support and encouragement to attendees, as well as the opportunity to share interests and ideas about how to express the faith in new ways that will speak to a modern culture that often is hostile to the faith. Bishop Daniel E. Flores of Brownsville, Texas, set the tone with his opening address, saying that "the whole Christian life is a participation in the expressiveness of the Word. That the Church by grace both engenders and needs artisans of words, painters, sculptors, musicians and other sub-creators is akin to an evident truth that flows from revelation." The conference program featured a striking variety of nearly 50 diverse presentations and performances on how artists and writers bring God into their works to reach believers as well as nonbelievers. Topics ranged from writing contemporary crime fiction to writing on science, and from writing fantasy to writing devotional works.
Fresh from consistory, new cardinals greet family, friends
VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The Catholic Church's five new cardinals received a warm reception from family, friends and the general public June 28 after Pope Francis inducted them into the College of Cardinals. The atrium of the Vatican audience hall, where the reception was held, is air-conditioned, but the Rome heat and the press of well-wishers quickly diminished any hint of cool air. Before the public was let into the atrium, Laotian Cardinal Louis-Marie Ling Mangkhanekhoun of Pakse, sat quietly alone. Asked what it was like to become a cardinal when he had been ordained to the priesthood in a refugee camp and spent three years in a communist prison, he said it was just the next step in his life, which "will continue in the same way." The cardinal's red clothes, he said, do symbolize a willingness to suffer for the faith, but for him, "red also means love." A long line of well-wishers was on hand to greet Sweden's first ever cardinal, Cardinal Anders Arborelius of Stockholm. One of the first to greet him was Lutheran Archbishop Antje Jackelen of Uppsala, head of the Church of Sweden.