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How long, O Lord, must we wait to reform the clerical system?

Reform starts with ordinary Catholics because we are the ones who financially support the present failed system. We are complicit in the sins of that system if we are not involved in creating inclusive structures of accountability. 

Pope Francis: Be not afraid of migrants

Vatican City, Feb 15, 2019 / 10:05 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis said Friday that people need to overcome their fear of migrants and refugees, and look for the face of Christ in each immigrant arriving in their countries.

“The Lord speaks to us today and asks us to let Him free us from our fears,” Pope Francis said in a homily Feb. 15 at the Fraterna Domus di Sacrofano, a Catholic retreat center north of Rome.

In fear, we tend to become closed off, Pope Francis explained. “This withdrawal into ourselves, a sign of defeat, increases our fear of ‘others,’ the unknown, the marginalized, the strangers.”

“It is not easy to enter the culture of others, put yourself in the shoes of people so different from us, understand their thoughts and experiences. And so often we give up the meeting with the other and raise barriers to defend ourselves,” he continued.

“Faced with the wickedness and ugliness of our time, we … are tempted to abandon our dream of freedom. We feel legitimate fear in front of situations that seem to us with no way out. And the human words of a leader or prophet are not enough to reassure us,” he said.

However, when fear holds one back from encountering the stranger, it is a missed opportunity to practice charity, the pope explained.

“The meeting with the other, then, is also an encounter with Christ. He told us himself. It is He who knocks on our door hungry, thirsty, stranger, naked, sick and imprisoned, asking to be met and assisted,” he said.

“It is really Him, even if our eyes [struggle] to recognize Him: with broken clothes, with dirty feet, with a deformed face, with a wounded body, unable to speak our language,” Pope Francis added.

Pope Francis celebrated the opening Mass for a Feb. 15-17 gathering called, “Freedom from Fear,” a meeting of people and organizations dedicated to welcoming migrants. The event was organized by the Italian bishops conference and Caritas Italiana.

In the Mass, Pope Francis prayed that all pastors “know how to train all the baptized to welcome to migrants and refugees.”

Welcome Christ present in migrants and refugees, pope urges

Even if Christians struggle to recognize him with his "torn clothes (and) dirty feet," Jesus is present in the migrants and refugees who seek safety and a dignified life in a new land, Pope Francis said.

French police investigate sexual assault claim against Vatican nuncio

Italian Archbishop Luigi Ventura, 74, a Vatican diplomat who once served in Canada, Chile and western Africa, is under investigation by police in Paris for allegedly sexually assaulting a city official.

Virginia's two dioceses release lists of clergy credibly accused of abuse

Virginia's two Catholic bishops, Arlington Bishop Michael Burbidge and Richmond Bishop Barry Knestout, released lists Feb. 13 of the clergy credibly accused of child sex abuse in their respective dioceses.

The Catholic Church's euphemization of power

Commentary: Euphemization has enabled the hierarchy to mask the double truths — celibacy/sexual activity and priestly service/power — that have sustained its consecrated status for many generations of Catholics.

Your thoughts on McCarrick as NCR Newsmaker of the Year

Your thoughts: Just before Christmas, NCR published an editorial announcing former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick as our publication's choice for Newsmaker of the Year. Many NCR readers wrote letters to the editor in reaction to our pick. 

Pope's quotes: Do not point the finger

Pope's quotes: "It is not enough to point the finger or attack those who do not think like is. That is a wretched tactic in today's political and cultural wars, but it cannot be the method of the Church."

We do not need another businessman in the White House, Mr. Schultz

Distinctly Catholic: Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz has been making public appearances lately, telling his success story and complaining about the government's lack of a similar one.

Under Jeanne Atkinson, CLINIC has ramped up efforts to help immigrants

During a challenging time for immigrant advocates in the U.S., they have found resources for collaboration thanks to initiatives of Catholic Legal Immigration Network's outgoing executive director, admirers say.