Australia's Catholic Bishops listen to reasons for Mass exodus

Sydney, Australia, Dec.17,2007 (CINS/Cathnews) - Australia's Catholic Bishops have discussed a survey that reveals many Catholics have stopped attending Mass because they feel the Church is irrelevant to their lives.News of discussion of the research project was included in the news briefing that followed the Bishops' plenary meeting in Sydney earlier this month. The briefing was released on Friday.The research project on Catholics Who Have Stopped Attending Mass reached its conclusion with a final report to the Bishops, outlining four key recommendations for pastoral focus.The Bishops commissioned the research in 2004 in an effort to explore some of the reasons why people who had bee ...Read More

Fr.Adriano stabbed due to defamation campaign against Christians

Ankara, Turkey, Dec.17, 2007 (CINS/AsiaNews) – Turkey’s press has expressed regrets for the latest incident involving an attack against a Christian clergyman. Fr Adriano Franchini, an Italian-born 65-year-old Capuchin who has been in Turkey for 27 years, was in fact stabbed to the stomach but is now out of danger. Turkish newspapers have however failed so far to take notice of the ongoing defamation campaign against Catholics in the country.Ramazan Bay, the 19-year-old man who carried out the attack, surrendered to police a few hours after the stabbing. He had fled after he carried out his attack in a church in Barakli in Izmir right after mass and in front several witnesses. He was quickly identified as a young Turkish man who had recently expressed a desire to convert to Christianity and complained about the long procedure the Church in Turkey required for conversion. ...Read More

Children of all faiths united at Christmas

Colombo, Srilanka, Dec.17, 2007 (CINS/AsiaNews) –They were orphaned by the tsunami, by the civil war or by their parents.  They are Buddhist, Catholic Muslim but they all express the same emotion:” This Christmas we feel loved, we no longer feel alone”.  It is the merit of the Sisters of Perpetual Succour who run an orphanage in  Lunuwila, Chilaw diocese – north of Colombo.  December 9th last the religious organised an evening of Christmas hymns and a Nativity play.  Among those invited the director of Caritas Sri Lanka, Fr. Demian Fernando, the local parish priest and benefactors many of them foreigners.  The 30 small girls who live in the orphanage tell of their joy in having participated in an event, showing the public their acting abilities, and receiving applause.  Even if of different religions the small children have all learned thanks to Christmas, what “friendship, solidarity, and shared love” means.  “While w ...Read More

Today in Church History

882 Marinus I begins his reign as Catholic Pope succeeding John VIII  ...Read More

Food for Thought: Mortification

The perfection of a Christian consists in mortifying his will for the love of Christ. Where there is no great mortification, there is no great sanctity.- St. Philip Neri ...Read More

Republican presidential candidate John McCain holds discussion with Catholic leaders

Manchester,U.S.A, Dec 16, 2007 (CINS/CNA).- “A man of integrity and a lifelong pro-life advocate” is how the former governor of Oklahoma, Frank Keating, describes presidential contender John McCain. In a conference call that took place friday afternoon with Catholic leaders from around the country, McCain explained to CNA where he stands on issues of concern to Catholics. Pro-life issues were front and center as Fr. Frank Pavone, the president of Priests for Life, began the discussion by thanking Sen. McCain for his “clear and convincing pro-life voting record.”Fr. Pavone took issue with politicians who regard their beliefs on abortion as personal beliefs without public ramifications and asked Sen. McCain what approach he will take to speaking about abortion. Even more specifically, Fr. Pavone wanted to know ...Read More

Fr.Adriano stabbed by an uknown aggressor

Smirne, Turkey, Dec.16, 2007 (CINS/AsiaNews) – An unknown aggressor knifed Fr. Adriano Franchini, superior of the Custody of Turkey this morning at the end of mass. The priest was rushed to hospital where reports of his condition remain reserved.According to eye witnesses the Franciscan was attacked by an “unknown hooligan”, never seen before in the Bayrakli Church, in Izmir, where the attack took place. ...Read More

Pope at Angelus: Christmas joy can be wrong if we are not anticipating Saviours' birth

Vatican City, Dec.16, 2007 (CINS/AsiaNews) – Even Christmas joy can be “wrong” if it is a joy which originates in a culture where “happiness is an idol”, instead of that joy of hope found in the Saviours’ birth.This Sunday is known as “gaudete” Sunday” or the Sunday of “rejoicing” and it offered Benedict XVI the opportunity to reflect on the Christian sense of the season leading up to Christmas.“The mystery of Bethlehem – the Pope told the 30 thousand people present in St Peter’s square for the Angelus prayer – reveals God –among-us–, the God who is near to us, not only in the sense of tim ...Read More

Today in Church History

687 St. Sergius I begins his reign as Catholic Pope succeeding Conon 1124 Chancellor Haimeric selects pope (Lamberto becomes Honorius II) 1952 Pope Pius XII publishes encyclical Orientales Ecclesias ...Read More

Food for Thought: Good, better, best

Good, better, best. Never let it rest. 'Til your good is better and your better is best.-St. Jerome ...Read More

Address of Pope Benedict XVI

To the Bishops of Japan on their "Ad Limina" VisitSaturday, 15 December 2007 Dear Brother Bishops,I am pleased to welcome you on your ad Limina visit, as you come to venerate the tombs of the Apostles Peter and Paul. I thank you for the kind words that Archbishop Peter Takeo Okada has addressed to me on your behalf, and I offer you my warmest good wishes and prayers for yourselves and all the people entrusted to your pastoral care. You have come to the city where Peter carried out his mission of evangelization and bore witness to Christ even to the shedding of his blood—and you have come to greet Peter’s Successor. In this way you strengthen the apostolic ...Read More

What Do You Expect?

by Fr.Mark Edney O.P.16 December 2007Third Sunday of Advent (Gaudete Sunday) (A)Readings:Isaiah 35:1-6,10The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad, the desert shall rejoice and blossom; like the crocus it shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice with joy and singing. The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it, the majesty of Carmel and Sharon. They shall see the glory of the LORD, the majesty of our God.Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees. Say to those who are of a f ...Read More

Evangelization means not just teaching doctrine but announcing Lord Jesus

Vatican City, Dec.14, 2007 (CINS/VIS) - This morning in the Holy See Press Office, the presentation took place of a "Doctrinal Note on some aspects of evangelization" prepared by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.Participating in the press conference were Cardinal s William Joseph Levada, Francis Arinze and Ivan Dias, respectively prefects of the Congregations for the Doctrine of the Faith, for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, and for the Evangelization of Peoples; and Archbishop Angelo Amato S.D.B., secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.Cardinal Levada explained that the document is intended to respond "to a certain confusion about whether Catholics should give testimony about their faith in Christ. The congregation," he said, "deci ...Read More

Nativity scene and Christmas Tree, references to the great mystery of the Incarnation and the Birth of Jesus

Vatican City, Dec.14, 2007 (CINS/VIS) - This morning the Holy Father received in audience a delegation from the autonomous Italian region of Trentino - Alto Adige/Sud Tirol, led by the regional president and the mayor of the village of St. Martin en Thurn, which has supplied this year's Christmas tree for St. Peter's Square."This ancient fir," said the Pope, "cut down without harming the life of the forest, ... will remain standing by the nativity scene until the end of the Christmas festivities. ... It is an important symbol of Christ's Nativity because with its evergreen leaves it recalls the life that does not die. The fir is also a symbol of the popular religiosity in your valleys, which finds particular expression in processions.""The tree and the nativity scene are elements of tha ...Read More

Pope: From the 'yes' of Mary young people should learn to pronounce 'yes' to God

Vatican City, Dec.14, 2007 (CINS/VIS) - Yesterday evening following a Eucharistic celebration for Roman university students, celebrated in the Vatican Basilica and presided by Cardinal Camillo Ruini, vicar general for the diocese of Rome, the Pope arrived in the basilica to greet the young people gathered there. In his remarks to them, the Holy Father reflected on two themes: the spiritual formation of the young, and his own recent Encyclical "Spe salvi." ...Read More

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