U.S. Bishops Respond to Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report

Cardinal Daniel DiNardo has issued the following statement concerning the recently released and highly disturbing report of the Pennsylvania grand jury concerning cases of abuse of minors in six of Pennsylvania’s eight dioceses.

In 2002, the U.S. bishops adopted the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. It commits the bishops to respond promptly and compassionately to victims, report the abuse of minors, remove offenders and take ongoing action to prevent abuse. Each of the four Missouri dioceses have established offices for the protection of children and have staff members available to assist those in need of services.

To make a report of current or past sexual abuse in your Missouri diocese, please contact:

Archdiocese of St. Louis
Sandra Price
Executive Director
Office of Child and Youth Protection
314-792-7704
sandraprice@archstl.org

Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph
Jenifer Valenti
Independent Ombudsman
816-812-2500
jenifervalenti@att.net

Diocese of Jefferson City
Nancy Hoey
Victim Assistance Coordinator
Office of Child and Youth Protection
573-694-3199
reportabuse@diojeffcity.org

Diocese of Springfield/Cape Girardeau
Bill Holtmeyer, Jr., Director
Judy St. John, Victim Assistance Coordinator
Office of Child and Youth Protection
417-860-3858 (Holtmeyer)
573-587-3139 (St. John)
billholtmeyer@dioscg.org

Cardinal DiNardo Outlines Plans for Bishop Accountability

This week, Cardinal DiNardo also outlined his plans for holding bishops accountable in collaboration with the Vatican, laity, and experts, with the ultimate goal being stronger protections against predators within the church. The plan would encompass three underlying goals: an investigation concerning Archbishop McCarrick, new channels for reporting complaints against bishops, and advocacy for more effective resolution of future complaints.

DiNardo made these goals public as part of his ongoing efforts to establish a concrete plan of action in preparation for the bishops fall meeting in November. He closed his statement by asking for prayers, stating: “Let me also ask you to pray for us, that we will take this time to reflect, repent, and recommit ourselves to holiness of life and to conform our lives even more to Christ, the Good Shepherd.”

Nebraska Holds First Execution in Decades

On Tuesday, Carey Dean Moore was executed for the murder of two taxi drivers in Nebraska. The execution proved to be a series of firsts for the state: the state’s first execution in 21 years, its first lethal injection, and it’s first to use a synthetic painkiller that helped drive the opioid epidemic. The execution was even more unusual in that the state legislature voted to abolish the death penalty in 2015 before voters reversed the decision the following year. Adding to the controversy was a lawsuit filed last week by a European company alleging that Nebraska had obtained some of the drugs by improper or illegal means. That lawsuit was later rejected.

It took 23 minutes to pronounce Moore dead and the curtain was closed on three occasions preventing witnesses from viewing what was happening. So far in 2018, seven states have carried out executions. Moore is the 16th person to be executed this year.

Missouri Democratic Party Removes Pro-life Provision of Platform

This week, the Missouri Democratic Party removed a recently-approved provision of their platform that specifically recognizes pro-life candidates. The section removed stated: “We respect the conscience of each Missourian and recognize that members of our party have deeply held and sometimes differing positions on issues of personal conscience, such as abortion. We recognize the diversity of views as a source of strength, and welcome into our ranks all Missourians who may hold differing positions on this issue.”

In place of this provision, the party inserted new language which states: “A woman’s right to choose and the right of every person to their own bodily autonomy and to be free from government intrusion in medical decisions, including a decision to carry a pregnancy to term, and oppose any efforts to limit access to reproductive health care.”

The Missouri Catholic Conference has and still continues to work with pro-life Democrats in the Missouri General Assembly, and there are Democrats serving in the Missouri legislature who vote pro-life. It is unfortunate that the official Missouri Democrat Party platform does not acknowledge this. Read more about this provision here.

Annual Assembly Workshop of the Week

This week kicks off the series highlighting a different workshop from the strong lineup at the 2018 Annual Assembly.

First up is a session that encapsulates the theme of this year’s event, Pope Francis’ Theology of Accompaniment: The Church Serving the Peripheries. This workshop will be led by Most Reverend Mark Rivituso, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of St. Louis. The workshop will celebrate Pope Francis’ vision of the Church who humbly serves those on the peripheries by accompaniment. The Church, modeling herself after the very example of Christ, goes out and accompanies all in their poverty and need with Christ’s compassion, advocates their God-given dignity and serves them with Christ’s love. Living the call to be the Catholic Church, as well as being faithful in the Lord’s call for our advocacy and legislative efforts, is truly fulfilled as we put into practice Pope Francis’ Theology of Accompaniment.

Join other Catholics from around the state during this workshop to participate in the celebration of five years of Pope Francis! Descriptions for other workshop offerings can be found on the MCC website. If you haven’t yet registered for the event, be sure to do so at no cost by calling (800) 456-1679 or by registering online.

Magnificent Milan Cathedral

This week we travel to Milan, Italy, to feature the Catholic Cathedral in the heart of this great city. This white marble gothic beauty took six centuries to complete. It is adorned with over 3,000 statues and is the second largest cathedral in Italy after St. Peter’s in Rome. The Milan Cathedral is famous for a number of reasons, not the least of which is its size; it can hold 35,000 people. It boasts a sundial placed in 1768 that is so precise, the city clocks are set by it, and it also houses one of the nails used in the crucifixion of Christ. The nail is displayed publicly each year for three days. 

For a 360 view of the interior, click here. To view the city of Milan from the rooftop terrace, click here.

Governor Parson to Allow Board of Inquiry to Meet

Missouri Governor Mike Parson will allow a panel of five former judges to review the death penalty case of Marcellus Williams. The inquiry was initially ordered last year by then-Governor Eric Grietens. When Parson replaced Greitens as governor, there was ambiguity as to whether or not the review would continue.

Williams was convicted of killing former St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter Lisha Gayle during a robbery at her home in 1998. Williams was hours away from execution last August when Greitens stepped in and ordered the investigation. Greitens’ action followed the release of new DNA testing unavailable at the time of the killing indicating that the DNA found on the murder weapon belonged to an unknown person.

Drugmaker Seeks to Block Nebraska from Using Execution Drugs

A German pharmaceutical company has filed a lawsuit to prevent Nebraska from using lethal injection drugs next week in what would be the state’s first execution in more than two decades. The federal lawsuit could delay the Aug. 14 execution of Carey Dean Moore, who was sentenced to death for killing two cab drivers in 1979.

The company, Fresenius Kabi, opposes the use of its drugs in executions and alleges that the Nebraska Department of Corrections’ supply of potassium chloride was made through improper or illegal means. This is not the first time that Nebraska has had a run-in with Fresenius Kabi; last year state officials received a batch of potassium chloride because of a distribution error. Nebraska has never carried out an execution by lethal injection, and the state plans to use an untried combination of drugs for Moore’s execution.

It’s Time to Register for the 2018 Annual Assembly!

It’s time to register for the 2018 Annual Assembly! This year, we’re hosting the assembly on Saturday, Oct. 6, at Helias High School in Jefferson City. This free event will focus on Pope Francis at Five Years: the Church at the Peripheries. This year, sessions are inspired by a quote from Pope Francis:

“The church is called to come out of herself and to go to the peripheries, not only geographically, but also the existential peripheries: the mystery of sin, of pain, of injustice, of ignorance and indifference to religion, of intellectual currents and of all misery.”

This year’s keynote speaker is Bishop Joseph Perry of the Archdiocese of Chicago. We are excited to welcome Bishop Perry to Missouri, and encourage our attendees to read his bio on our website to learn more about him. The assembly will offer both morning and afternoon workshops with topics including pro-life, human trafficking, the death penalty, immigration, and more.

The first 400 attendees who pre-register will receive a copy (pictured above) of the devotional “Pope Francis Celebrates Faith and Family”.

Starting next week, we’ll feature a workshop from this year’s lineup in our MCC Weekly Update. For now, check out all of the workshop descriptions here.

We look forward to seeing you in October! Register online, or call our office at 1-800-456-1679.