aSpire: News from the Catholic Diocese of Little Rock
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February 22, 2019
Pope Francis prays at the opening session of the meeting on the protection of minors in the church at the Vatican Feb. 21. At right is Cardinal Blase J. Cupich of Chicago, a member of the organizing committee of the meeting. (CNS / Evandro Inetti, pool)

'Cancer' of the Church

News you might have missed in 200 words

An unprecedented summit to discuss clergy sexual abuse of minors is going on at the Vatican this week. Pope Francis called almost 190 Church leaders from around the world to meet Feb. 21-24, bringing together the presidents of national bishops' conferences, the heads of the Eastern Catholic churches, superiors of some men's and women's religious orders and top Vatican officials.

Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila, Philippines, said justice for the victims is an absolute necessity, but justice by itself "does not heal the broken human heart." Five survivors gave their recorded testimony for the bishops. Comparing the abuse crisis to a cancer in the Church, one survivor said that "it is not enough to remove the tumor and that's it," but there must be measures to "treat the whole cancer."

Cardinal Blase J. Cupich of Chicago said he expected the meeting to be "a turning point" in the way the Catholic Church handles allegations across the globe and the way it strengthens child protection policies.

Here at home

On Feb. 8 Bishop Anthony B. Taylor announced that Kinsale Management Consulting had completed its review of clergy files. The diocese’s internal review Sept. 10 revealed the names of 12 priests who have had credible allegations of sexual abuse of minors against them. Two more names were added by the outside reviewers, bringing the list to 14 priests and brothers with credible allegations. 

"I once again ask for your prayers for all the victims of sexual abuse from whatever source, but in particular those who have been abused by a priest, deacon or other representative of the Church. I would like to renew my call for any others who have been abused or know someone who has been abused to come forward ..., " Bishop Taylor wrote.

February in review

You might have missed these stories that appeared in February issues of Arkansas Catholic:

Just one minute

 In Mark 7:31-37 Jesus heals a man who is deaf and has a speech impediment. Jesus touches the man and says “Ephphatha,” which means "be opened." Have you ever thought about why humans have the ability to speak? It is to glorify God, build each other up, seek, discover and communicate the Truth in all disciplines (math, science, philosophy, etc.)

Reflection: Spend some time today reflecting on how you use the gift of speech. Stand in the light of God and consider how you communicate with your spouse, children, co-workers or fellow drivers in traffic. What can be celebrated? What needs to be repented of? How do you desire to go forward with God’s grace? 

— Deacon Danny Hartnedy

March Datebook

1-3: Permanent Diaconate Formation Weekend (English), Little Rock

1-3: Diocesan Council for Black Catholics Adult Retreat, Subiaco

3: 109th Annual Spaghetti Dinner, Lake Village

6: Ash Wednesday (collection for missions in all parishes)

7: Rite of Election, Jonesboro

See more events


Paying her debt?

Recently, I learned my daughter in college got a department store credit card despite my advice. She has stayed within her credit limit, but she has never made any of the payments. At this point, she owes about $3,500. Should I pay it off for her this one time?

Read the full story ...


"The Church is holy; it is the bride of Christ. But we, sons and daughters of the Church, are all sinners — some big ones — but he (Padre Pio) loved the Church as it was and did not destroy it with his tongue as is the fashion today."

— Pope Francis, Feb. 20

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