Grupo De Jovenes Adultos

Grupo De Jovenes Adultos

Cuando jueves a las 7

Edades 18-30

Estamos en una aventura con cristo. Encontramos maneras de involucrar nuestra fe con nuestras vidas atraes de temas, alabanza, retiros, y peregrinaciones.

Únete a la aventura 

Would You Like to be a Music Leader at Queen of Peace?

Would You Like to be a Music Leader at Queen of Peace?

The Queen of Peace Music Ministry is seeking a part-time Music Leader for the 5pm Sunday Mass Young Adult Choir. Interested applicants should submit their resume to Erin Murdock, Director of  Music: erin.murdock@queenofpeace.net

St. Vincent de Paul Giving Tree is Up!

St. Vincent de Paul Giving Tree is Up!

Did you see the St. Vincent de Paul giving tree in the church, by the altar? It’s decorated with names of children and seniors in our area, as well as SVdP tags, which we use to help provide shelter to those in need this upcoming winter. Please, take a tag and  fulfill the wish list attached to each name.

If you take a tag from the tree, please note that the deadline to return the gift isDECEMBER 9TH. Everything has to be sorted and ready for distribution before the 13th of December. Any gift not returned on time will have to be replaced with our Conference funds. remember to attach the red tag you take from the Giving Tree to your wrapped gift so that we can be sure it gets to the proper family and child.
This is such a wonderful program and we appreciate your help in bringing a bit of sunshine into the life of a child, senior, or family who might otherwise not experience the joy of knowing they are loved and valued members of our community.
THANK YOU AND MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL!

Upcoming Funerals

Upcoming Funerals

William (Bill) Sixta on October 15th at 10am

Frank Gerbenc on Tuesday October 23rd 10am

Answers to Questions About Clergy Misconduct

Answers to Questions About Clergy Misconduct

Q&A ON CLERGY MISCONDUCT AND ABUSE OF POWER

This document is provided to answer questions about how the Archdiocese of Denver handles misconduct and/or abuse of power by members of the clergy, i.e., Cardinals, Bishops, Priests, and Deacons. It is not meant to present the topics exhaustively nor serve as a form of policy; rather, it is a starting point to answer questions that are being asked. The Archdiocese addresses misconduct in four areas: prevention, reporting, immediate response, and ultimate outcomes. 

Prevention

How does the Archdiocese screen men who apply for seminary or permanent diaconate formation?

The application process for entering seminary and the diaconate is multi-layered and stringent. The men first enter a discernment process with the Director of Vocations or the Director of Deacon Formation through discernment retreats and one-on-one conversations. These conversations and interactions help the directors evaluate the man on a personal and informal level. All areas of life pertaining to a priestly discernment are discussed with the director including sexuality, academics, family-of-origin experiences, and prayer life. Once the man begins to understand and demonstrate evidence of a call to the priesthood or the diaconate, and once the director has separate and converging evidence that the man is called by God, then he may begin the formal application process.

What does the formal application process for seminary and diaconate formation entail?

The application, currently 24-page document, asks many direct and probing questions about a man’s discernment of the priesthood or the diaconate, his family life, religious experiences, educational background, and financial situation. In addition to the application itself, the following are also required:

  • A comprehensive psychological evaluation, which includes a battery of psychological tests and a personal interview with a trained Catholic professional who evaluates the candidate's compatibility with the state of life he is pursuing (This evaluation addresses an applicant's emotional health, family background, psycho-sexual health, and ability to maintain boundaries.)
  • Four letters of reference from family, friends, associates, and at least one priest
  • An autobiography
  • A physical, along with blood-work
  • A criminal background check

Once an applicant has completed these steps with the Director of Vocations or the Director of Deacon Formation, and if there are no impediments or other issues identified, then he is scheduled for an interview with the seminary board of review and a personal interview with the Archbishop. At any point during the process, a man can be asked to delay his entrance into the seminary or diaconate formation, or to discern a different vocation.

(For those applying to the diaconate, the application process also includes the man’s wife, whose support is required for the process to move forward. Men applying for the diaconate must have a stable marital relationship for at least five years.  The children of the individual applying for the diaconate are also asked questions as appropriate concerning their father’s desire to become a deacon.)

What policies are in place that govern the conduct of men in formation and members of the clergy?

The Archdiocese has a comprehensive Code of Conduct that must be followed by all bishops, priests, deacons, seminarians, consecrated lay people, employees, and volunteers who have regular contact with minors. The code, currently a 33-page document, stresses that behavior towards others is the essence of discipleship, and that public and private conduct has the potential to inspire and motivate people, but also the potential to tear down their faith.

What does the Code of Conduct include?

The code includes standards of ministerial behavior and boundaries, a policy regarding sexual misconduct and child abuse, and a social media policy. It also includes harassment reporting procedures, Colorado Child Abuse and Child Sexual Assault Reporting Act Requirements, and Colorado Elder Abuse and At-Risk Adult Abuse Reporting Requirements. A copy of the code can be found here:

http://archden.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/2018-Arch-of-Den-Code-of-Conduct-ver-1.2.pdf

How is the conduct of clergy monitored?

All priests, deacons, seminarians, consecrated lay people, employees, and volunteers who have regular contact with minors are required to complete a Safe Environment training program. This program teaches how to identify signs of misconduct and best practices for making churches, schools, and communities safer. Further, the Code of Conduct instructs that all signers, even if they are not considered a Mandatory Reporter by Colorado Law, are expected to report incidents of abuse, neglect, or suspected abuse of children, elders, or at-risk individuals. Clergy are surrounded each day by people who have been through the Safe Environment training program and who have signed the Code of Conduct. Such individuals are expected to help set the standard of behavior and call out any problem behavior, especially that of clergy.

How does the Archdiocese ensure that clergy from another diocese are screened?

In order for a priest or deacon from outside the Archdiocese to function in a ministerial capacity, a letter of good standing must be received by the Vicar for Clergy office from the priest or deacon’s home diocese. This letter affirms that the priest or deacon has never been accused of misconduct with a minor, that his background check is clear, and that he has completed a Safe Environment training program. 

After the initial training and screenings, how often are prevention methods updated?

Background checks are run on all priests and deacons every five years. Five years after completing the Safe Environment Training Program, priests and deacons complete the State of Colorado Mandatory Reporter on-line training program.

What does the Archdiocese do to help children and youth protect themselves from abuse? 

Every year in the Archdiocese, between 20,000 and 25,000 children and young people are trained in ways to keep themselves safe.

  • Called to Protect for Young Children™ is designed to teach children in grades K-5 the skills they need to recognize boundary violations that may precede abuse, to remove themselves from uncomfortable situations, and to tell a trusted adult when someone has crossed a boundary with them.
  • Called to Protect™ for Youth is the first comprehensive program specifically designed to teach middle and high school youths self-protection skills. The program uses a three-part DVD series and guided group discussions to teach young people how to recognize their personal boundaries, how to respond if someone tries to violate their boundaries, and what to do if someone is sexually abusing them or someone they know.

Of course, adults cannot hold children and teenagers solely responsible for their own safety, but they can be trained to play an active role in keeping themselves, their friends, and their activities safe.

How is the Archdiocese held accountable for its prevention practices?

The Archdiocese participates in a United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) annual audit on the Implementation of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. The curriculum for training adults and children in abuse prevention and reporting, information on how parishes are reviewed for compliance, and reports on any accusations that were made and their credibility, are reviewed annually by an independent outside firm. Periodically, this audit is accompanied by in-person interviews of all archdiocesan personnel involved with child and youth protection. The Archdiocese has participated in the audit since 2004 and has always been found in compliance. More information on USCCB audits can be found here:  

http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/child-and-youth-protection/audits.cfm 

What measures are in place for overseeing bishops and cardinals?

Bishops and Cardinals fall under the jurisdiction of the Holy See (the Vatican). Currently, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is working with the Holy See to open new and confidential channels for reporting complaints against bishops, as well as advocating for more effective resolution of future complaints. These goals will be pursued according to three criteria: proper independence, sufficient authority, and substantial leadership by laity. (For example, in the recent case involving Archbishop McCarrick, the USCCB is pursuing an investigation and will be asking the Vatican to conduct an Apostolic Investigation that includes qualified, independent lay professionals from fields like law enforcement and psychology.)

Reporting

What expectations does the Archdiocese have for reporting misconduct or suspected misconduct?

The Archdiocese strives to be a highly reliable organization creating environments that are safe for all people to live out their lives of faith. Actual or suspected abuse of minors, elders, or at-risk adults are reported to law enforcement. Questionable actions or speech which are neither abusive nor provoking a direct suspicion of abuse should nevertheless be brought to the attention of clergy and/or staff. In the event that such actions or speech are that of clergy or a staff member, it should be reported to the Victim Assistance Coordinator.

What channels exist for such reporting?

  1. Abuse of a minor, by anyone: 

-Must be reported to local law enforcement or the statewide reporting hotline: 1-844-CO-4-KIDS / 1-844-264-5437

-Fill out the Archdiocese of Denver Reporting Form: http://archden.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Child-and-Adult-Abuse-and-Neglect-Reporting-English.pdf

-Contact Victim Assistance Coordinator – 720-239-2832 – victim.assistance@archden.org

  1. Abuse of an elder or at-risk adult, by anyone:

- Must be reported to law enforcement or County Adult Protective Services

- Fill out the Archdiocese of Denver Reporting Form: http://archden.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Child-and-Adult-Abuse-and-Neglect-Reporting-English.pdf

- Contact Victim Assistance Coordinator – 720-239-2832 – victim.assistance@archden.org

  1. Abuse of power or other misconduct by a priest or deacon:

-Contact Priest Personnel (Office of Bishop Rodriguez) – 303-715-3197

Abuse of power/ Inappropriate behavior by a deacon

-Contact Deacon Personnel (Deacon Joseph Donohoe) – 303-715-3198

Sometimes, for a variety of reasons, people have been reluctant to report misconduct or abuse of power by clergy or staff members, how is the Archdiocese addressing this issue?

Since 2003 – and indeed even before that date – the Archdiocese has had an independent Conduct Response Team that has worked with legal counsel to address and respond to, in accordance with Church and civil law, accusations against a member of the clergy. This approach is very similar to secular “Whistle Blower” policies for the corporate world. The Archdiocese is developing a means for anonymously reporting any kind of misconduct and/or abuse of power by any member of the clergy or Church employee, that will ensure all reports are appropriately addressed.

Who would handle a case of reported abuse by a bishop or cardinal in the Archdiocese of Denver?

While no specific procedure or precedent exists for the reporting of abuse by a bishop or cardinal in the Archdiocese beyond the procedures described above, abuse or suspected abuse of a minor, elder, or at-risk adult by such persons should always be reported to law enforcement in accordance with the Archdiocese’ standard policies. For other forms of misconduct, reports can be made to the bishop of a neighboring diocese or the Apostolic Nuncio. Such reports should also be made to the Victim Assistance Coordinator. The Conduct Response Team and/or the proposed anonymous reporting method mentioned above are also avenues for reporting.

Immediate Response

What happens when a report is made about a member of the clergy?

When a credible report of abuse of a minor is made about a member of the clergy, the man is removed from ministry immediately. This is done to protect both potential victims from any further harm. In regard to other types of alleged misconduct, the Archdiocese will respond promptly and with great seriousness. If it is determined that the kind of misconduct being reported would put the safety of others at risk, (physically, spiritually, emotionally), restrictions can be placed on the ministry of the accused clergy member. It is the goal of the Archdiocese in all incidents of reported misconduct to protect victims, while at the same time withholding judgment until all investigations can be conducted. The Archdiocese does not transfer accused clergy to other dioceses or parishes unless such transfer takes place after an accused has been definitively cleared of all wrong doing.

How does the Archdiocese treat sexual misconduct of clergy with adults?

All reports of instances or suspected instances of such misconduct are investigated in accordance with the Code of Conduct. In the event of reported misconduct, the Archdiocese also investigates whether the clergy member abused his position of power, which would add to the gravity of an already grave situation. Once the details of the misconduct are better understood, the Archdiocese acts in a manner that addresses its particularities—specifically addressing whether the clergy member is suitable for ministry. These steps are taken with the intent of preserving the safety of others, while at the same time protecting clergy against potential false accusations. It is important not to judge this type of misconduct according to what society might find acceptable or unacceptable, since the Church has always taught that sexual activity outside of marriage is a sin.

Ultimate Outcomes

What happens to a member of the clergy who is found guilty of sexual misconduct with a minor or child abuse?

The consequences and penalties determined by the legal system always take precedence. Additionally, a member of the clergy who is found guilty of sexual misconduct with a minor or child abuse is permanently removed from all ministry in the Archdiocese of Denver without the possibility to transfer to another diocese. Tolerance or allowances are never made in these situations.

What happens to a member of the clergy who is found guilty of other types of grave misconduct?

If a clergy member is found guilty of grave misconduct, it is doubtful that he will ever be able to return to active ministry. Considering the nature of misconduct, it may be the case that after an extended period of time, a man may return to a limited form of ministry that takes into account his past transgressions. Additionally, transfer of a member of the clergy will never be made without a full disclosure of his past misconduct.

What happens to a member of the clergy who is found innocent or who faces an allegation with insufficient evidence?

In cases where insufficient evidence exists, and/or a member of the clergy is found innocent of an accusation after a comprehensive investigation, he will be able to return to ministry. It may be the case that his assignment will change in location or responsibility due to the length of time of an investigation and/or the damage to his reputation.

Archbishop Aquila Addresses Sexual Abuse Crisis

Archbishop Aquila Addresses Sexual Abuse Crisis

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

This past week I was on my annual silent retreat and the accusations against Archbishop McCarrick were a part of my prayer. Faithful have written to me and have asked questions about the situation. Some have felt that the Lord has abandoned the Church. Other bishops have spoken out on this tragedy, and today I offer to you, the faithful of the archdiocese and my brother priests and deacons, the following reflections.

As noted by Cardinal DiNardo, president of the U.S. bishops conference, the revelations about Archbishop McCarrick have caused both bishops and the laity “anger, sadness, and shame.” Personally, I am deeply sorry that both laity and clergy have had to experience this type of betrayal. In response, I am asking every priest in the archdiocese to offer a Mass each month in reparation for the sins committed by cardinals, bishops, priests and deacons, and for all sins committed by clergy and lay people against the commandments of our Lord, as well as to pray for healing for the victims of sin. This Mass is to be announced publicly so the lay faithful can attend and offer prayers in reparation for these grave sins that have wounded so many and for their own sins.

The staff of the Archdiocese of Denver and I strive to make every effort to ensure that such things do not occur here. Our preventative measures include: background checks, safe environment classes, mandatory reporter training, creating a conduct response team that is primarily made up of lay people, an annual independent audit of our abuse reporting structures, having a laywoman (Christi Sullivan, 303-715-3241 or Christi.Sullivan@ArchDen.org) serve as the coordinator of our Safe Environment Office, which deals with all cases of any type of abuse against minors by clergy or laity, and providing psychological screening for candidates for the priesthood.

We also have a Victim’s Assistance Coordinator, Jim Langley, Psy.D., who can be contacted at 720-239-2832 or Victim.Assistance@ArchDen.org. If anyone in the archdiocese has an abuse situation concerning any member of the clergy or a lay employee of the archdiocese with a minor or the elderly, they may contact one of them. Both Bishop Rodriguez and I take these matters with the utmost seriousness.

During my retreat, my director encouraged me to pray with the calls of Isaiah, Jeremiah and Samuel. In praying with the call of Samuel, I was struck by the Lord’s words to Samuel concerning Eli. The Lord told Samuel to tell Eli, “…I will fulfill against Eli all that I have spoken concerning his house from beginning to end. And I tell him that I am about to punish his house forever, for the iniquity which he knew, because his sons were blaspheming, and he did not restrain them. (1 Samuel 3: 12-13, emphasis added). Too many seminarians, priests and bishops knew of Archbishop McCarrick’s behavior and did not restrain him.

Due to this, I call on the U.S. bishops’ conference to ask for and allow an independent investigation that includes members of the lay faithful and those clergy who had nothing to do with the matter. Since the oversight of bishops and cardinals falls under the jurisdiction of Rome, I humbly ask Pope Francis to conduct an independent investigation like he did in Chile.

Like Jesus weeping over Jerusalem, so have I wept for the Church and for the innocent victims. I remember when I visited Auschwitz for the first time in 1988. As I walked with horror in my heart over the palpable evil present, pondering how could human beings do this to other human beings, I heard in prayer, only Jesus Christ and he alone can redeem this evil. The same is true with the sexual abuse crisis of today, as well as with the emptying of our pews, and the abandonment of God by the world. So, what must we do?

We must recognize that complacency about evil and sin is present both in the Church and the world and has led us to where we are today. This culture of complacency among clergy and laity must come to an end!

We have also failed to recognize that the spiritual battle is real. Some say the Lord has forsaken the Church, but this is not true. Rather, there are some within the Church who have forsaken Jesus and the Gospel. Pope Francis speaks often in his homilies of the devil and his workings. The devil is real and pulls us away from the ways of Jesus and the love of the Father. The devil uses confusion, chaos, discouragement, and negative thinking to draw us away from Jesus. When one looks at salvation history one sees, beginning with Adam and Eve, moving through the Old and New Testaments, and down through the centuries to now, that it is human beings who abandon the ways of God. When the ways of God are abandoned, God lets human beings go their own way and there are always dire consequences.

Jesus tells his disciples in John 15 that “apart from me you can do nothing” and he further tells us that if we separate ourselves from the vine, Jesus, we will wither. Perhaps the reason for our empty pews, the sharp decline of the faith in Europe and the west, the decimation of many religious orders, and the sexual abuse crisis is that we are not attached to Jesus, the true vine. At the heart of this crisis today is a spiritual crisis that depends more on the solutions of men than on the Gospel and Jesus. The cost of discipleship is real and it includes dying to ourselves, a complete surrender to Jesus, who loves us and desires only our good and joy (Lk 9: 23-26; Lk 14: 25-35; Mt 16: 24; Jn 15:11).

Thus, our response to this complacency must be a return to the ways of God, which lays out the path of grace that preserves us from the real dangers of sin and the attacks of the evil one. The Father has given us his son Jesus, the Beatitudes, the Gospels, the truth, and his commandments out of love for us to keep us on the narrow way of love. He is merciful in all that he has given to us. Charity and truth must always go together. A disciple should never lead someone into sin or condone sin. Jesus never condoned sin! But rather taught that for the unrepentant, the consequence for doing so is hell (Mk 9:42, Lk 17: 1-4). Just as a parent provides boundaries for their children for their own good and protection, so has the Lord provided for us.

All of us within the Church, including the Holy Father, cardinals, bishops, priests, deacons, consecrated and laypersons need to examine our consciences and ask ourselves: Do I truly know, love and serve the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit? And do I follow the ways of Jesus or the ways of the world? In the formation of my conscience do I listen to the voice of God, the voice of the world, or my own voice, and do I test the voice I hear to make sure that it is in accord with the Gospel? Have I personally put my faith in Jesus Christ, and in this time of tribulation do I keep my eyes fixed on “Jesus the leader and perfecter of faith” (Heb 12: 2)? Do I know where I have come from; that God loves me and knew me before I was born (Ps 139)? Do I know where I am going, that I am created for eternal life and to know the Father, as Jesus knows him (Jn 8:14)? Do I truly believe that intimacy with Jesus can heal the wounds of my sins, weakness, or brokenness? And finally, as Jesus so frequently reminds his disciples in John 14 and 15, those who love him keep the commandments, just as he kept the Father’s commandments. Do I do that?

Pope Francis and every pope since Blessed Paul VI, has called us to a deeper encounter with Jesus Christ. This encounter leads to faith in Jesus Christ and a deep personal relationship with him, who in turn leads us to the Father and the Holy Spirit. His desire is for each disciple to be one with the Father and him. Once we put our faith in Jesus, love him and keep the commandments, then the Father and the Son will make their home in our hearts (Jn 14:23). Each one of us must pray for a deeper faith in Jesus each day, the faith that will move mountains (Mt 17:20) and make us into missionary disciples. With God “all things are possible,” (Mk 10:27) and that includes the forgiveness of our sins, the healing of our wounds, becoming a saint, and living a life of holiness and virtue, including chastity. And that brings me to another important aspect of this crisis.

Cardinal DiNardo noted in his statement that “the Church is suffering from a crisis of sexual morality” and it is not just the Church, it is the world. Sadly, too many, both clergy and lay, have listened more to the world than to Christ and the Church when it comes to human sexuality. The consequences of the worldly approach to sexuality are clear in the distortion of this precious gift and the confusion about sexuality that grows daily.

The teaching of the Church on human sexuality has been clear over the centuries, and St. John Paul II helped tremendously with his positive message about the Theology of the Body. Furthermore, those who have received the teaching of the Church and have been accompanied in a loving and merciful way, both young and old, have testified to the truth contained in this teaching, as well as the healing, freedom and joy it brings. This is observed in many of the young people whom I have encountered through the Fellowship of Catholic University Students program, those who have walked in the Neocatechumenal Way, those who have shared in Living Waters or Courage retreats, or participated in Sexaholics Anonymous. Their witness, joy and freedom are real, and it embraces the truth of who they are in the merciful eyes of the God. The God who heals and restores order.

Amidst the darkness of the sexual revolution and all that it has brought about, the Church must decisively return to the truth, dignity and beauty of human sexuality.

We must teach that every sexual act that takes place outside of a marriage between a man and woman, is not in keeping with God’s plan for our happiness. When one separates the procreative aspect from sex, one can justify just about any sexual act. As Blessed Paul VI noted in Humanae Vitae, this separation has had and will continue to have negative consequences on the Church and society.

We must also teach that, according to the Sacred Scripture and tradition, “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.” They are contrary to the natural law and they “do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2357).

We must also be sure to carefully form seminarians, as we have been doing in the archdiocese for quite some time. However, all seminaries need to devote special attention to the formation of our future priests and their education in chastity, so that they can develop an authentic maturity, and embrace celibacy for the Kingdom of God, respecting and fostering the nuptial meaning of their bodies (Pastores Dabo Vobis, 44). Chastity is a great good that needs to be lived!

The sexual revolution occurring in our culture, which essentially says, “Anything goes if adults consent to it,” is not the way of God and only leads to where we are today. We must be willing to accompany people into the truth of Jesus Christ who will set them free to live the virtues, which bring true freedom, peace and joy.

In closing, I ask all of us to remember to pray and stay close to the heart of Jesus, to ask for the humility of Jesus and the gift of loving others as Jesus loves (Jn 13:34). Every disciple must pray for the gift of faith and a deeper trust and confidence in Jesus, most especially in his healing power. We must pray for all victims of sexual abuse in our culture today, for their healing and their encounter with Jesus Christ, who can bring healing to them.

We must pray for the clergy of the Church, the Pope, cardinals, bishops, priests and deacons, that the Holy Spirit will stir into flame the gifts he has bestowed on them, help them to be faithful to Christ and the Gospel, and to be true servants of the faithful with the heart of Christ. We must pray for the Church, our Mother, that is holy, though having sinners in her midst, and suffers for the offenses of all her members.

Let us pray for the virtue of hope, so that we come to the awareness that we can do all things in Christ, who gives us the strength to be saints (Phil 4:13). Let us ask for the gift of piety, so that we truly behave as God’s children and reverence our own and each other’s bodies as temples of the Spirit. Let us beg for the grace to have pure hearts (Mt 5: 7).

Finally, as those who belong to Jesus, we must pray for our enemies and those who persecute us. We can never wish evil or seek vengeance on another (PV 24:29; Mt 5: 44-48; Col 3:13; Rom 12:19-21). Every human being is a sinner whom Jesus loves and is in need of the mercy of Jesus. Jesus forgave every human being from the Cross when he said, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.” No matter how egregious the sin, the Lord is willing to forgive us if we “repent and believe in the Gospel” (Mk 1:15). This forgiveness, like his love, must be received.  He reminds us to be merciful as his Father is merciful and that the Father loves both the just and unjust (Mt 5:44-48). In this time of darkness, may we put our faith, trust and love in Jesus who is our Savior and Redeemer, the one who will free us, and may we live in his truth and light!

With the love of Jesus Christ, the Good Shepherd,

 

Most Reverend Samuel J. Aquila, S.T.L.

Archbishop of Denver

 

Given in Denver on August 13, 2018.

Queridos hermanos y hermanas en Cristo:

Esta semana pasada estuve en mi retiro anual de silencio y las acusaciones en contra del arzobispo McCarrick formaron parte de mi oración. Varios fieles me han escrito y preguntado sobre la situación. Algunos han sentido que el Señor ha abandonado a la Iglesia. Otros obispos se han expresado sobre esta tragedia y hoy yo les ofrezco a ustedes, los fieles de la arquidiócesis y a mis hermanos presbíteros y diáconos, las siguientes reflexiones.

Como lo expresó el cardenal DiNardo, presidente de la Conferencia Episcopal de los Estados Unidos, las revelaciones sobre el arzobispo McCarrick han causado, tanto en obispos como en laicos, “ira, tristeza y vergüenza”. Personalmente, siento mucho que ambos, laicos y clérigos, hayan tenido que experimentar este tipo de traición. En respuesta, le pido a cada sacerdote en la arquidiócesis que ofrezca una misa mensualmente en reparación por los pecados cometidos por cardenales, obispos, presbíteros y diáconos, y por todos los pecados cometidos por clérigos y laicos en contra de los mandamientos de nuestro Señor, y a la vez oren por la sanación de las víctimas del pecado. Esta misa ha de ser anunciada públicamente para que los laicos puedan asistir y ofrecer plegarias en reparación de estos pecados graves que han herido a tantos y por sus propios pecados.

El personal de la Arquidiócesis de Denver y su servidor nos esforzamos por hacer lo posible para asegurarnos de que tales cosas no ocurran aquí. Nuestras medidas preventivas incluyen: verificaciones de antecedentes, cursos de “ambientes seguros”, capacitación obligatoria de reporte de abusos, la creación de un equipo integrado principalmente por laicos de respuesta adecuada al reporte de abusos, una auditoría independiente anual de nuestras organizaciones encargadas del reporte de abusos, contar con una persona laica (Christi Sullivan, 303-715-3241 o Christi.Sullivan@ArchDen.org) sirviendo como directora de la Oficina de Ambiente Seguro, la cual se encarga de todos los cargos de cualquier tipo de abuso contra menores por parte de clérigos o laicos, y de proveer evaluaciones psicológicas de los candidatos al sacerdocio.

Igualmente, tenemos al coordinador de asistencia a víctimas, Jim Langley, Psy. D., quien puede ser contactado al 720-239-2832 o Victim.Assistance@ArchDen.org. Si cualquier persona de la arquidiócesis conoce o ha sufrido una situación de abuso por parte de algún miembro del clero o empleado laico de la arquidiócesis con un menor o anciano, cualquiera de estas dos personas puede ser contactada al respecto. Tanto el obispo Jorge Rodríguez como su servidor tomamos estos asuntos con la máxima seriedad.

Durante mi retiro, mi director me alentó a orar con las llamadas de Isaías, Jeremías y Samuel. Al orar con la llamada de Samuel, me impactaron las palabras del Señor a Samuel acerca de Elí. El Señor le dijo a Samuel que le dijera a Elí: “… cumpliré todo cuanto he dicho contra la familia de Elí, desde el principio hasta el fin. Ya le he anunciado que voy a condenar a su familia para siempre, porque sabía que sus hijos vilipendiaban a Dios y no los ha corregido” (1 Sam 3,12-13, énfasis añadido). Demasiados seminaristas, sacerdotes y obispos sabían del comportamiento del arzobispo McCarrick y no lo frenaron.

Debido a esto, exhorto a la Conferencia Episcopal de los Estados Unidos a que pida y permita una investigación independiente que incluya a miembros fieles laicos y a sacerdotes que no hayan tenido nada que ver con el asunto. Debido a que la supervisión de obispos y cardenales está bajo la jurisdicción de Roma, humildemente le pido al Papa Francisco que conduzca una investigación independiente como la que llevó a cabo en Chile.

Como Jesús lloró sobre Jerusalén, también yo he llorado por la Iglesia y por las víctimas inocentes. Recuerdo cuando visité Auschwitz por primera vez en 1988. Mientras caminaba con horror en mi corazón por el mal palpable que estaba presente, reflexionando sobre cómo podían unos seres humanos hacer esto a otros seres humanos, oí en oración: “Sólo Jesucristo, solamente Él, puede redimir esta maldad”. Lo mismo se puede decir de la crisis de abuso sexual de hoy, así como del vaciamiento de nuestras iglesias y del abandono de Dios por el mundo. Así que, ¿qué debemos hacer?

Debemos reconocer que la complacencia sobre el mal y el pecado están presentes tanto en la Iglesia como en el mundo y nos ha llevado a donde hoy nos encontramos. ¡Esta cultura de complacencia entre clérigos y laicos tiene que terminar!

Además, hemos fallado en reconocer que la batalla espiritual es real. Algunos dicen que el Señor ha abandonado a la Iglesia, pero esto no es verdad. Más bien, hay unos en la Iglesia que han abandonado a Jesús y al Evangelio. El Papa Francisco habla frecuentemente en sus homilías sobre el diablo y sus obras. El diablo es real y nos aparta de los caminos de Jesús y del amor del Padre. El diablo utiliza la confusión, el caos, el desánimo y los pensamientos negativos para alejarnos de Jesús. Cuando uno ve la historia de la salvación, ve, comenzando con Adán y Eva, recorriendo el Antiguo y Nuevo Testamento, y a través de los siglos hasta ahora, que son los seres humanos los que abandonan los caminos de Dios. Cuando se abandonan los caminos de Dios, Dios deja que los seres humanos sigan su rumbo y esto siempre trae consecuencias graves.

Jesús les dice a sus discípulos en Juan 15 que “separados de mí nada pueden hacer” y posteriormente nos dice que, si nos separamos de la vid, Jesús, nos secaremos. Quizá la razón de nuestras Iglesias vacías, el drástico declive de fe en Europa y el Occidente, la aniquilación de muchas órdenes religiosas y la crisis de abuso sexual, es que no estamos adheridos a Cristo, la verdadera vid. En el centro de la crisis de hoy se encuentra una crisis espiritual que depende más en la solución del hombre que en el Evangelio y en Jesús. El precio del discipulado es real e incluye el morir a nosotros mismos, una entrega total a Jesús, quien nos ama y desea solamente nuestro bien y alegría (Lc 9, 23-26; Lc 14, 25-35; Mt 16, 24; Jn 15, 11).

Por tanto, nuestra respuesta a esta complacencia debe ser un retorno a los caminos de Dios, quien dispone la senda de gracia que nos preserva de los peligros verdaderos del pecado y de los ataques del maligno. El Padre nos ha dado a su hijo Jesús, las Bienaventuranzas, los Evangelios, la verdad y sus mandamientos por amor a nosotros, para mantenernos por la senda estrecha del amor. Él es misericordioso en todo lo que nos ha dado. La caridad y la verdad siempre han de ir unidas. Un discípulo nunca ha de conducir a nadie al pecado o consentirlo. ¡Jesús nunca consintió el pecado! Al contrario, enseñó que para los impenitentes la consecuencia de no arrepentirse es el infierno (Mc 9, 42; Lc 17, 1-4). Así como un padre de familia proporciona límites para sus hijos por su propio bien, el Señor también nos los ha proporcionado.

Todos los que estamos en la Iglesia, incluyendo al Santo Padre, a los cardenales, obispos, presbíteros, diáconos, consagrados y laicos, debemos examinar nuestras conciencias y preguntarnos: ¿Verdaderamente conozco, amo y sirvo al Padre, a Jesús y al Espíritu Santo? y, ¿sigo los caminos de Jesús o los caminos del mundo? En la formación de mi conciencia, ¿escucho la voz de Dios, la voz del mundo o mi propia voz? y, ¿examino la voz que escucho para asegurarme que está de acuerdo al Evangelio? ¿He puesto mi fe en Jesucristo personalmente y, en este tiempo de tribulación, mantengo mi mirada fija en “Jesús, que inicia y lleva a la perfección la fe” (Heb 12, 2)? ¿Sé de dónde provengo, que Dios me ama y que me conocía desde antes de haber nacido (Sal 139)? ¿Sé a dónde voy, que soy creado para la vida eterna y para conocer al Padre como Jesús lo conoce (Jn 8, 14)? ¿Creo verdaderamente que la intimidad con Jesús puede sanar las heridas de mis pecados, mis debilidades o mi quebrantamiento? Y finalmente, como Jesús recuerda con frecuencia a sus discípulos en Juan 14 y 15, aquellos que lo aman guardan los mandamientos, así como él ha guardado los mandamientos del Padre: ¿Hago yo esto?

El Papa Francisco y cada papa desde el Beato Pablo VI nos han llamado a un encuentro más profundo con Jesucristo. Este encuentro nos lleva a la fe en Jesucristo y a una relación profunda y personal con Él, quien a su vez nos dirige al Padre y al Espíritu Santo. Su deseo es que cada discípulo sea uno con el Padre y con Él. Ya una vez que pongamos nuestra fe en Jesús, lo amemos y cumplamos los mandamientos, el Padre y el Hijo harán morada en nuestros corazones (Jn 14, 23). Cada uno de nosotros debe orar para tener una fe más profunda en Jesús cada día, la fe que mueva montañas (Mt 17, 20) y que nos convierta en discípulos misioneros. Con Dios “todo es posible” (Mc 10,27) y eso incluye el perdón de nuestros pecados, la sanación de nuestras heridas, el hacernos santos y vivir una vida de santidad y virtud, incluyendo la castidad. Y esto me lleva a otro aspecto importante de esta crisis.

El cardinal DiNardo señaló en su declaración que “la Iglesia está sufriendo de una crisis de moralidad sexual” y no es solo la Iglesia, es el mundo. Lamentablemente, demasiados clérigos y laicos han escuchado más al mundo que a Cristo y a la Iglesia al tratarse de la sexualidad humana. Las consecuencias de un planteamiento mundano de la sexualidad se hacen evidentes en la distorsión de este precioso don y en la confusión sobre la sexualidad, que aumenta diariamente.

A lo largo de los siglos las enseñanzas de la Iglesia sobre la sexualidad humana han sido claras. San Juan Pablo II ayudó tremendamente con su mensaje positivo acerca de la Teología del Cuerpo. Asimismo, aquellos que han recibido las enseñanzas de la Iglesia y que han sido acompañados de una manera amorosa y misericordiosa, ya sean jóvenes o ancianos, han testificado la verdad que contienen estas enseñanzas; así como también la curación, la libertad y la alegría que esto trae. Esto se puede ver en mucha gente joven a quien he encontrado a través del programa de la Comunidad de Estudiantes de la Universidad Católica (FOCUS por sus siglas en inglés n.d.t), a aquellos que hacen parte del Camino Neocatecumenal, a aquellos que han compartido iniciativas como Living Water o los retiros de Courage, o para quienes han participado de los grupos de Sexoadictos Anónimos. Su testimonio, alegría y libertad son reales y esto abraza la verdad que de quiénes son ante los ojos de Dios. El Dios que cura y que restaura el orden.

En medio de la oscuridad de la revolución sexual y todo lo que esto ha traído, la Iglesia debe, de manera decisiva, retornar a la verdad, dignidad y belleza de la sexualidad humana.

Debemos enseñar que cada acto sexual que tiene lugar fuera del matrimonio entre un hombre y una mujer no está de acuerdo con el plan que Dios tiene para nuestra felicidad. Cuando uno separa en el acto sexual el aspecto procreativo del unitivo, casi cualquier acto sexual está justificado. El beato Pablo VI puntualizó en la encíclica Humanae Vitae que esta separación ha tenido y seguirá teniendo consecuencias negativas en la Iglesia y la sociedad.

Nosotros también debemos enseñar que, de acuerdo con las Sagradas Escrituras y la tradición, “los actos homosexuales están intrínsecamente desordenados”. Ellos son contrarios a la ley natural y “no proceden de una verdadera complementariedad afectiva y sexual” (Catecismo de la Iglesia Católica, 2357).

También debemos asegurarnos de formar de manera cuidadosa a los seminaristas, así como lo hemos hecho en la arquidiócesis por largo tiempo. Sin embargo, todos los seminarios necesitan dedicarle una atención especial a la formación de nuestros futuros sacerdotes, a su educación en la castidad, para que ellos puedan desarrollar una auténtica madurez y acoger el celibato por el Reino de los Cielos, respetando y fomentando el significado nupcial de sus cuerpos (Pastores Dabo Vobis, 44). La castidad es un gran bien y necesita ser vivida.

La revolución sexual que está ocurriendo en nuestra cultura, la cual dice básicamente “todo vale si los adultos lo aceptan”, no es el camino de Dios y solo nos conduce a donde estamos hoy. Debemos estar dispuestos a acompañar a las personas a la verdad de Jesucristo, que los hará libres para vivir las virtudes, que traen verdadera libertad, paz y alegría.

Para concluir, pido que todos nosotros recordemos orar y estar cerca del corazón de Jesús, pedir la humildad de Jesús y el don del amor a los demás, así como Jesús amó (Jn. 13, 34).  Cada discípulo debe orar para tener el don de la fe y una confianza más profunda en Jesús, y de manera especial en su poder sanador. Debemos orar por todas las víctimas de abuso sexual hoy en nuestra cultura, por su sanación y por su encuentro con el Señor Jesús, quien puede traerles sanación.

Debemos orar por el clero de la Iglesia, por el Papa, los cardenales, obispos, presbíteros y diáconos, para que el Espíritu Santo, quien avivará los dones que les ha otorgado, los ayude a ser fieles a Cristo y al Evangelio y a ser verdaderos siervos de los fieles con el corazón de Cristo. Debemos orar por la Iglesia nuestra Madre, que es santa, aunque tenga pecadores en medio de ella y sufra por las ofensas de todos sus miembros.

Oremos por la virtud de la esperanza, para que lleguemos a la conciencia de que podemos hacer todas las cosas en Cristo quien nos da la fuerza para ser santos (Flp 4, 13). Pidamos por el don de la piedad, para que podamos comportarnos verdaderamente como hijos de Dios y reverenciemos nuestros cuerpos y los de los demás como templos del Espíritu. Pidamos la gracia de tener corazones puros (Mt 5, 7).

Finalmente, como aquellos que pertenecemos a Jesús, debemos orar por nuestros enemigos y por aquellos que nos persiguen. No debemos desear el mal o buscar la venganza para los demás. (Pr 24, 29; Mt 5, 44-48; Col 3, 13; Rom 12, 19-21).

Cada ser humano es un pecador que Dios ama y tiene necesidad de la misericordia de Jesús. Jesús perdonó a cada ser humano desde la Cruz cuando dijo: “Padre, perdónalos porque no saben lo que hacen”. Sin importar cuán enorme sea el pecado, el Señor está dispuesto a perdonarnos si nos convertimos y creemos en la Buena Nueva (Mc 1, 15).

Este perdón, como su amor, debe ser recibido. Él nos recuerda ser misericordiosos como su Padre es misericordioso y que el Padre ama tanto a los justos como a los pecadores (Mt 5, 44-48). ¡En este tiempo de oscuridad, pongamos nuestra fe, confianza y amor en Jesús quien es nuestro salvador y redentor, quien es aquel que nos liberará y para que vivamos en su verdad y su luz!

Con el amor de Jesucristo, el Buen Pastor,

 

Su Exc. Revma. Samuel J. Aquila, S.T.L.

Arzobispo de Denver

Dado en Denver el 13 de agosto, 2018.

Queen of Peace celebrates 50th Anniversary

Queen of Peace celebrates 50th Anniversary

Every seat in the Queen of Peace sanctuary was filled last Sunday, as parishioners came together to celebrate 50 years of the Lord’s blessings. The cultural diversity of our parish was reflected in the music and the different languages spoken during the Mass. It was a time of reflecting on the past, with visiting clergy that have served at Queen of Peace throughout the years, and a time of thanksgiving with our shepherd, Archbishop Samuel Aquila. The joy felt at Mass continued at the parish festival, where large crowds enjoyed food, music, and games well into the night. This was the first time the festival was held on Sunday, and the turnout was incredible. More than that, attendees were happy and in communion with each other. It was a true witness that when we are in communion with God and with each other, we are happy. It took many people and a lot of work to plan, organize, and carry out the liturgy and the festival. Thank you to everyone who made this wonderful experience possible! Your hard work paid off!

Cada asiento en el santuario de Reina de la Paz estaba llenó el domingo pasado, cuando los feligreses se reunieron para celebrar 50 años de las bendiciones del Señor. La diversidad cultural de nuestra parroquia se reflejó en la música y los diferentes idiomas que se hablaron durante la Misa. Fue un momento de reflexión sobre el pasado, con clérigos visitantes que han servido en Reina de la Paz a lo largo de los años, y un momento de acción de gracias con nuestro pastor, el arzobispo Samuel Aquila. La alegría que se sintió en la Misa continuó en el festival parroquial, donde grandes multitudes disfrutaron de comida, música y juegos hasta bien entrada la noche. Esta fue la primera vez que el festival se llevó a cabo el domingo, y la participación fue increíble. Más que eso, los asistentes estaban felices y en comunión. Fue un verdadero testimonio de que cuando estamos en comunión con Dios y con los demás, somos felices. Se necesitaron muchas personas y mucho trabajo para planificar, organizar y llevar a cabo la liturgia y el festival. Gracias a todos los que hicieron posible esta maravillosa experiencia. ¡Su trabajo valió la pena!

Our Raffle Winners! ¡NUESTROS GANADORES DE LA RIFA!

New 2017 Nissan Altima: Maurel Guerera (789)

$1,500: Juana Romero (824)

$1000: Juan Mendoza (1402)

$100: Rose-marie Nelson (995), Yda Mobley (864), Arturo Mantar (698), KB Edmond (3510), Sandra Alexander (2002), Ricardo Grajeda (274), Jose Antonio Alfaro (3068), Alma Bustillos (430), Ann Marie Kazutomi (3750), Kathleen Ramirez(3273) 

$50: Guillermina Ramirez (3601), Cindrea Santos (1071), Gabriella Martinez (2930), Hector Flores (135), Sergio            Hernandez (589), Chennell Gallegos (1723), Raul Erives (1122), Rodney Padilla (3015), Maria Gonzalez (965), Mary Barclay (3281).


And thank you to our sponsors:/ Gracias a nuestros patrocinadores:

JUNIPER VILLAGE
ROMERO FUNERAL HOME
GUILD MORTGAGE
ABILENE SIGNS AND TROPHIES
CHARISMA FAMILY DENTISTRY
3 MARGARITAS MEXICAN RESTAURANT
ADVANTAGE SERVICES INC.
SONODA SUSHI RESTAURANT &
TC GROUP REALTORS/KW KELLER WILLIAMS