Welcome to Starting Seven, The Pillar’s new daily newsletter.
I’m Luke Coppen and I aim to guide you each weekday morning to the most interesting Catholic news and comment.
😇 Today’s feast: St. Margaret of Scotland, St. Gertrude.
📜 Today’s readings: Rv 4:1-11 ▪ Ps 150:1b-2, 3-4, 5-6 ▪ Lk 19:11-28.
🗞 Starting seven
1: Pope Francis said at this morning’s general audience that even the spiritual state called desolation “can be an occasion for growth” (full text, full video, photos, Vatican News report).
2: The U.S. bishops have elected Archbishop Timothy Broglio as president and Archbishop William Lori as vice president of the USCCB (Joe Bukuras, Ed Condon, Elizabeth Dias, Michael R. Heinlein, Francis X. Rocca, Michael Sean Winters).
3: Archbishop José Gómez reflected on unity, sainthood, and the Eucharist in his final address as USCCB president.
4: Apostolic nuncio Archbishop Christophe Pierre urged the U.S. bishops to accompany the laity in the pursuit of holiness (full text).
5: Vatican official Msgr. Camillus Johnpillai has explained the Dicastery for Evangelization’s role in selecting China’s bishops (Sandro Magister).
6: Massimo Faggioli and Fr. Hans Zollner argue that the prospects of the global Synodal Process “are closely tied to what the Catholic Church is doing and not doing on the abuse crisis.”
7: And Ruth Graham considers why the Traditional Latin Mass is “experiencing a revival in the United States.”
🇻🇦 Today’s Bollettino
🧐 Look closer
Rome’s big year What’s the biggest event scheduled to take place in Rome this decade? Is it the “synod on synodality,” the two-part gathering of the world’s bishops in October 2023 and October 2024? Possibly, but another contender is the Jubilee Year planned for 2025.
Vatican officials are hard at work on preparations for the Holy Year, which will fall 1,700 years after the Council of Nicaea, the first ecumenical council in the Church’s history.
While it has understandably attracted less media attention than the synod, the Jubilee Year is likely to be another milestone Catholic event of the 2020s.
Renewal and rebirth Much of what we know about the Jubilee Year comes from a papal letter released in February. Pope Francis asked Archbishop Rino Fisichella, then president of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization (now a pro-prefect of the Dicastery for Evangelization), to find “suitable ways for the Holy Year to be planned and celebrated with deep faith, lively hope, and active charity.”
The letter noted that the custom of celebrating Holy Years began in 1300 and they now occur every 25 years. The most recent of these events, known as “ordinary Jubilees,” was the Great Jubilee in 2000. Holy Years that fall outside this pattern are called “extraordinary Jubilees.” The last one was the Jubilee of Mercy in 2015-2016.
The pope observed that Holy Years are marked by “the forgiveness of sins,” associated with an indulgence granted to participants in Jubilee events, as well as pilgrims passing through the Holy Door of St. Peter’s Basilica and venerating the relics of Sts. Peter and Paul.
Pope Francis wrote that in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, “the forthcoming Jubilee can contribute greatly to restoring a climate of hope and trust as a prelude to the renewal and rebirth that we so urgently desire.”
The 2025 Jubilee Year already has a motto, “Pilgrims of Hope,” a (much-mocked) logo, and the text for an official hymn.
In a sign of the weight that Pope Francis is giving the event, the world’s cardinals discussed the “Jubilee of Hope” at the end of their two-day meeting in Rome in August.
What’s next? In his February letter, the pope said that he would “in due course” issue a Bull of Indiction providing guidelines for the Jubilee’s celebration. He also called for 2024 to be dedicated to what he called “a great ‘symphony’ of prayer” ahead of the event.
But with the synod on synodality dominating coverage, it seems unlikely that the 2025 Jubilee will appear on most Catholics’ radars until shortly before it begins.
What's Starting Seven? Here's what you're reading, and how to get must-read morning news in your inbox, each day.
🔍 Stories to watch
🇺🇸 The Archdiocese of Washington has announced the cancelation of the 2023 Youth Rally and Mass for Life (full text).
🇻🇦 A new Christmas tree has been found for the Vatican after forest rangers prevented the felling of a silver fir earmarked for St. Peter’s Square.
🇺🇦 Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk has announced that the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church intends to “create special rehabilitation centers in each of our dioceses” for war victims.
🇩🇪 Bishop Stefan Oster has said that if reports that thousands of migrant workers died building stadiums for FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 are true, then it is a “humanitarian catastrophe” (German interview).
🇮🇶 A church bell has rung at St. Paul’s Chaldean Catholic Cathedral in Mosul, Iraq, for the first time in eight years.
🇸🇱 Freetown Archbishop Edward Tamba Charles has said that “the laity is actively participating in the growth of the Church” in Sierra Leone.
🇦🇺 The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference has formally approved the Plenary Council’s acts and decrees before they are sent to the Vatican for review.
📅 Coming soon
Nov. 17 Cardinal Pietro Parolin celebrates a Mass for peace at the Basilica of St. Mary Major.
Nov. 18 Italian bishops due to release abuse report.
Nov. 19 Pope Francis begins two-day visit to Asti, Italy.
Nov. 20 Feast of Christ the King; World Youth Day 2022 (in dioceses); Beatification of Fr. Giuseppe Ambrosoli in Gulu, Uganda; Cameroon’s Archdiocese of Bamenda launches Year of the Eucharist; FIFA World Cup begins in Qatar.
Nov. 21 Belgium’s bishops start ad limina visit.
Nov. 22 St. Peter’s Basilica hosts discussion on Petrine primacy.
Nov. 23 Msgr. Alberto Perlasca faces three days of questioning in Vatican finance trial.
Nov. 27 First Sunday of Advent.
Nov. 28 Oceania’s bishops hold online conference in preparation for their 2023 general assembly.
Have a happy feast of St. Margaret of Scotland (and St. Gertrude).
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