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Pope issues scathing critique of Vatican bureaucracy in pre-Christmas meeting


Pope Francis said while the Curia is called to "always improve and grow in communion," it is also prone to "disease, malfunction, and infirmity" like every human institution.

Joshua J. McElwee, National Catholic Reporter  (NCR)

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Curia2.jpg?itok=zAZnXFjyPope Francis leads an audience to exchange Christmas greetings with members of the Roman Curia on Monday in Clementine Hall at the Vatican. (CNS/Paul Haring)

Dec. 22, 2014 | Pope Francis on Monday used an annual pre-Christmas meeting with the cardinals and bishops of the Vatican bureaucracy -- normally an exchange of good wishes and blessings -- to issue a scathing critique of them, warning against 15 separate "diseases" in their work and attitudes.

Saying he wanted to prepare them all -- including himself -- to make "a real examination of conscience" before Christmas, Francis said while the Vatican bureaucracy was called to "always improve and grow in communion," it was also prone to "disease, malfunction, and infirmity" like every human institution.

Joshua J. McElwee is NCR Vatican correspondent. 

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Cultivating Gratitude For Everything in Life

“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

Michelle MarosPeaceful Mind Peaceful Life

Thanks to Evergreene Digest reader Tim Nolan for this contribution.

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Sunday, November 23, 2014 | The other day I was walking down the street in New York City, which is one of my favorite past times, and saw a fabulous piece of street art. One of the things I love about walking in NYC is you never know what you’re going to run into, and on this day I saw a sign that said, “Congratulations! You’ve just won another day on planet Earth!” What a wonderful reminder to be present and have gratitude.

Around the time of the holidays, especially Thanksgiving, we are reminded of the importance of gratitude. We sit around and talk about the major things in life we are grateful for, and that is so wonderful. What is even more wonderful is having that attitude of gratitude everyday, and being grateful for even the smallest blessings in life. When we are thankful and present to these blessings, we create space for even more to show up. Find gratitude for all aspects of your life by following these tips.

Michelle Maros is Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life's Creative Director and resident writer. She has a degree in Journalism from Indiana University and is also a certified holistic health coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and registered yoga teacher with trainings with Anuttara Yoga Shala and Strala Yoga.

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Four easy steps to take to become a bishop

The problem as I see it: the way bishops are groomed and chosen. Our bishops are chosen more for their connections than for their simplicity. They are often much more ecclesiastical careerists than they are pastors. In fact, very few of them have much (if any) actual parish experience.

Peter Daly, National Catholic Reporter

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Jogues Epple

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Bishops_1.jpg?itok=p6QFb4R5Bishops arrive for a Mass celebrated by Pope Francis to open the extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family Oct. 5 in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican. (CNS/Maria Grazia Picciarella, pool) 

Oct. 14, 2014 | The appointment of Blase Cupich as the new archbishop of Chicago is a good sign. He is a pastoral bishop. His writings emphasize civility in discourse and a willingness to listen. He is not a cultural warrior. He seeks dialogue rather than confrontation. Hopefully, Cupich's pastoral orientation is a harbinger of appointments to come.

Pope Francis has given the church an indication of the kind of things he wants in his priests and bishops. He says he wants priests and bishops who have the "smell of the sheep"; that is, he wants them to be out among their people and not remote, removed and seemingly superior.

Peter Daly is a priest in the archdiocese of Washington, D.C., and has been pastor of St. John Vianney parish in Prince Frederick, Md., since 1994.

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The Pope Gave This Man A Promotion And He Could Dramatically Change The Focus Of The Catholic Church, Jack Jenkins, Think Progress 

Cupich — and possibly others like him — are primed to be the new face of a more moderate, less antagonistic brand of American Catholicism.

Nuns on the Bus: The Call to Compassion


  • Sr. Simone Campbell 

Thursday, November 13, Noon

Westminster Presbyterian Church

Nicollet Mall and 12th Street, Minneapolis 

Free and open to all 

  • Empathy: The one thing that could save the world

Susan McKenna, Westminster Town Hall Forum

Thanks to Evergreene Digest reader Bob Wedl for this contribution.

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About the Speaker

Sr. Simone Campbell is executive director of NETWORK, a Washington-based public policy research organization lobbying for immigration reform, healthcare and economic justice, and peace-building. An attorney and member of the Sisters of Social Service, she was one of the Nuns on theBus who traveled the country to offer support to people living in poverty. She served as executive director of JERICHO, an interfaith public policy organization in California, and founded the Community Law Center, which provides family law and probate support to the working poor.


Begins at 11:30am with Andrea Stern on harp and Laura Sewell on cello.

Where to park

Convenient parking is available at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Nicollet Mall and 13th Street; the Marquette Avenue and 11th Street Ramp across from Orchestra  Hall; and the Convention Center garage, corner of 2nd Avenue and Marquette Avenue.

Contact Information

Susan McKenna, Director, Westminster Town Hall Forum



Empathy: The one thing that could save the world, Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest 

  • You'd think empathy would be the minimum qualification to hold public office in a democracy. Sadly, a  remarkable number of people who are supposed to be devoting their lives to representing others seem clueless  about how their constituents actually live and what they need.
  • Part 1: Why we need empathy now more than ever
  • Part 2: Empathy Deficit Disorder

Forgive Us


  • The reality (is) that my faith life, however rich or anemic, will affect the world. We must turn back to God. We must confess. We must repent if our world is ever to be healed.
  • Pope Calls Out "Bad Shephards" as Conservatives Prepare to Fight Change

Lisa Sharon Harper, Sojourners 

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9780310515968.jpg10-20-2014 | I attended Catholic school for one year as a child. My second-grade year in Philadelphia’s St. Athanasius left me with a strong sense of the mystery of the church. The most mysterious space there was the confessional booth. I wasn’t allowed to enter because I wasn’t Catholic, so I just sat and watched others enter with pinched brows. Then they would exit with peace painted over their faces.

There is a scene in the book Blue Like Jazz where author Donald Miller sets up a confessional box in the center of the Reed College campus. But Miller’s confessional worked in reverse. Students of Reed, which is known as the most liberal campus in the country, entered the confessional booth with curiosity, cynicism, skepticism, or worse — to disprove this thing called Christianity. But what they encountered upon entry was disarming — even healing. Rather than prompts to confess their sin, Miller sat on the other side of the veil and confessed of the sins of the church. This was a revolutionary act in the context where, according to Gabe Lyons and David Kinnaman’s modern classic, UnChristian, the general consensus about Christians is decidedly negative.

Lisa Sharon Harper is Senior Director of Mobilizing for Sojourners and co-author of Forgive Us: Confessions of a Compromised Faith.

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Pope Calls Out "Bad Shephards" as Conservatives Prepare to Fight Change, Patricia Miller, Religion Dispatches

  • What’s evolving isn’t so much a battle over doctrine but a fight for the soul of the church. Francis and his allies are promoting a vision of the church that’s much more live-and-let-live, repeatedly turning to the word “mercy” to describe how they view the application of doctrine to the actual lives of Catholics, guided by a sense of the larger mission of the church as spreading the Gospel, not enforcing laws.
  • Pope Francis: Culture Warriors Out, "Collaboration and Consultation" In