Welcome to Starting Seven, The Pillar’s daily newsletter.
I’m Luke Coppen and I seek to guide you each weekday morning to the most interesting Catholic news and comment.
😇 Today’s feast: St. Juan Diego.
📜 Today’s readings: Is 48:17-19 ▪ Ps 1:1-2, 3, 4 & 6 ▪ Mt 11:16-19.
🗞 Starting seven
2: Jesuit Superior General Fr. Arturo Sosa has insisted that the order has “not hidden anything” regarding the Fr. Marko Ivan Rupnik scandal (Portuguese interview, English translation, Almudena Martínez-Bordiú, MessainLatino.it, Pauline Books & Media, Iacopo Scaramuzzi).
3: Paris Archbishop Laurent Ulrich has said that the Catechism’s reference to “intrinsically disordered” acts “reflected an era” and “30 years later, we must undoubtedly return to it with greater respect” (French interview, extracts).
🇻🇦 Today’s Bollettino
- Resignation accepted of 75-year-old Archbishop Domenico Caliandro of Brindisi-Ostuni, Italy, who is succeeded by Bishop Giovanni Intini.
- Fr. Yousaf Sohan named Bishop of Multan, Pakistan.
- Papal audiences for Denis Mukwege; Ian Carlos Torres Parra, Venezuela’s new ambassador to the Holy See; Archbishop Marcelo Daniel Colombo of Mendoza, Argentina; Archbishop Gianpiero Palmieri of Ascoli Piceno, Italy; Cardinal Adalberto Martínez Flores of Asunción, Paraguay; members of the Movimento Cristiano Lavoratori.
- Video message from Pope Francis to Argentina’s Archdiocese of Rosario as it celebrates a Marian Year (Spanish full text, video).
- Second Advent sermon preached by Cardinal Raniero Cantalamessa (Vatican News).
🧐 Look closer
Missing numbers Unlike the Germans and Belgians, the Austrian bishops aren’t arriving in Rome with a headline-grabbing issue (the synodal way in Germany’s case and same-sex blessings in Belgium’s.) But they still have weighty matters to discuss with Pope Francis and the Roman Curia.
- “While 5.27 million people in Austria still professed their faith in the Catholic Church at the last ad limina visit in 2014, the number had fallen to 4.83 million by 2021,” he wrote.
He added that Austrian bishops’ conference president Archbishop Franz Lackner had repeatedly said that the country’s national synod synthesis — which noted widespread calls for “women’s ordination (at least in the form of the diaconate)” — would also be a focus of discussions in Rome.
The last dance The trip may have special poignancy for Austria’s most prominent Catholic leader: Cardinal Christoph Schönborn. The Dominican theologian who helped draft the Catechism of the Catholic Church is likely to be undertaking his last ad limina visit as Archbishop of Vienna.
The cardinal, who is making his fifth ad limina trip and has governed the Vienna archdiocese for 27 years, will turn 78 in January, well past the customary retirement age for diocesan bishops. He tendered his resignation before his 75th birthday, but Pope Francis declined it and asked him to remain in place for “an indefinite period.”
The bishops’ visit could give the pope a chance to assess potential candidates to succeed the cardinal in Vienna.
🤔 Friday quiz
- Cardinal Raymond Burke
- Cardinal Seán O’Malley
- Cardinal Blase Cupich
- Cardinal Joseph Tobin
- Cardinal Daniel DiNardo
- Cardinal Timothy Dolan
- Cardinal Kevin Farrell
🔍 Stories to watch
🇺🇸 Abuse survivors have filed a request for the publication of a report by Maryland’s attorney general on the Baltimore archdiocese.
🇳🇬 A Nigerian bishop has questioned why there have been no prosecutions six months after the Pentecost Sunday massacre at a church in Owo, Ondo state.
📅 Coming soon
Dec. 14 Episcopal ordination of Bishop-elect Peter Collins of East Anglia.
Dec. 16 Anniversary of Naples’ preservation from the 1631 eruption of Mount Vesuvius, associated with the liquefaction of St. Januarius’ blood.
Dec. 17 Pope Francis’ 86th birthday.
Dec. 18 FIFA World Cup in Qatar ends.
Dec. 25 Pope gives Christmas blessing “urbi et orbi” (to the city and the world) at noon.
Dec. 26 St. Stephen.
Dec. 29 Cardinal Óscar Andrés Rodríguez Maradiaga turns 80.
Dec. 30 Feast of the Holy Family.
Dec. 31 Pope presides at Vespers in St. Peter’s Basilica for the Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God.
Friday quiz answers: Cardinal Joseph Tobin (70), Cardinal Timothy Dolan (72); Cardinal Daniel DiNardo (73.54); Cardinal Blase Cupich (73.72); Cardinal Raymond Burke (74); Cardinal Kevin Farrell (75); Cardinal Seán O’Malley (78). Source: Catholic-hierarchy.
Have a happy feast of St. Juan Diego.
Do you know someone who would appreciate reading this newsletter? Invite your friends to sign up here.