Catholic leaders respond to Mitt Romney’s speech on his Mormon faith

Los Angeles, Dec 09, 2007 (CINS /CNA) - Mitt Romney’s speech on his Mormon faith was meant to clear the air about its impact on his potential leadership as president of the United States. In an effort to determine if that was the case, CNA contacted some influential Catholic leaders to hear their assessment of Romney’s speech."There was a lot to like in Governor Romney's speech, particularly his clear understanding that the alternative to today's vibrantly religious public square is not a naked public square but state-enforced secularism -- the establishment of secularism, if you will,” Catholic author and scholar George Weigel told CNA. One portion of the presidential candidate’s speech that resounded with Catholic intellectual and author George Weigel was Romney’s attack on secularism.Speaking about those who advocate for the separation of church and state “way beyond its original meaning,” Romney claimed that “they ...Read More

Bishop Edward J.Slattery criticizes new Oklahoma statute on illegal immigration as 'noble but misguided'

TULSA, Okla, Dec.09, 2007 (CINS /CNS) - The state lawmaker who wrote a new Oklahoma statute on illegal immigration that is considered one of the harshest such laws in the nation has said he plans to follow it up with "son of H.B. 1804" when the Legislature convenes in January.The Oklahoma Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act of 2007, also known as H.B. 1804, took effect Nov. 1.Republican State Rep. Randy Terrill also said Tulsa Bishop Edward J. Slattery's Nov. 26 pastoral letter concerning the law was "noble but misguided."Terrill said Catholic leaders oppose the law because "the fastest-growing parishes in Catholicism are non-English-speaking" and that "a good portion" of their congregations "are illegal aliens."His remarks were quoted in the Nov. 29 Tulsa World daily newspaper. The following day, Bishop Slattery told a news conference he has been advised by ...Read More

Vatican will release a new document on evangelization next week

Vatican City, Dec. 09, 2007 (CINS /CWN) - The Vatican will release a new document on evangelization next week, with officials in Rome indicating that it will be an important statement on the duty to spread the Catholic faith. The subject of the new document, which is being released under the auspices of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, is evangelization. The document will be released on December 14. The importance that the Vatican attaches to the subject is reflected by the list of ranking officials who will participate in a news conference introducing the document. Three cardinals will join in presenting the subject to the press. And because the three cardinals head three separate Vatican congregations, it is clear that the document is the product of careful preparation involving several dicasteries. Cardinal William Levada, the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, will chair the December 14 presentation, assisted by Archbis ...Read More

Will new director take Vatican Museums far from the madding crowd?

Vatican City, Dec.09, 2007 - (CINS /CNS) -- Perhaps even more than Michelangelo's frescoes or the statue of Laocoon, the discouragingly long entrance line -- often stretching half a mile -- has become the modern emblem of the Vatican Museums.In peak seasons, visitors can wait more than an hour to get inside the museum complex. And once inside, it's shoulder to shoulder in some of the more popular rooms and hallways.The congestion is the price of success at the Vatican Museums, where attendance has more than tripled over the last 30 years. In 1976, about 1.3 million people came to the museums; last year, the number reached nearly 4.3 million.Economically, this is all good news. Last year, the Vatican Museums took in about $65 million and spent about half that amount, providing Vatican City with its most significant source of income.But for visitors, the experience can be more claustrophobic than cultural. On a r ...Read More

Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to release important document

Vatican City, Dec.7,2007 (CINS /CNA) - The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), headed by Cardinal William Joseph Levada, is about to release an important document on evangelization and catechesis, Vatican sources told CNA this week. According to the Vatican sources, the document, which could be made public this Advent, “can be regarded as an application of the principles of the document “Dominus Iesus” to the way evangelization is transmitted and catechesis is taught within the Catholic Church.”In “Dominus Iesus” the CDF, then under the leadership of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, clearly established the differences between the Catholic Church and other religions including other Christian denominations. “Dominus Iesus” states that only the Catholic Church possesses the fullness of the Christian faith.   According to sources consulted by CNA, the new document on evangelization will stress the need to make the perso ...Read More

Brazilian law to promote the activist homosexual agenda

Brazil, Dec.07, 2007 (CINS /catholiconline) – The President of Brazil Luiz Lula will officially convene “The First National Conference of Gays, Lesbians, Bisexuals, Transvestites and Transsexuals.” The conference is a first in the history of that Nation. It will take place on May 8-11, 2008. It is officially endorsed by the Special Secretariat for Human Rights. The President noted that the conference would be sponsored, "under the auspices of the Special Secretary of Human Rights of the Presidency of the Republic, with the objectives of 1. Proposing the directives for the implementation of public policies and the national plan for promoting the citizenship and human rights of Gays, Bisexuals, Transvestites and Transsexuals - GBLT, and 2. Evaluate and propose strategies to strengthen the program Brazil Without Homophobia." His administration has launched “Brazil without Homophobia”, a National educational initiative w ...Read More

“Passionate search for truth” is part of the nature of the Catholic university

Vatican City, Dec 7, 2007 (CINS /CNA) - The Archbishop of Genoa and president of the Italian Bishops’ Conference, Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, said this week the “passionate search for truth” is part of the nature of the Catholic university. During a Mass for the opening of the 2007-2008 academic year at the Sacro Cuore Catholic University in Rome, Cardinal Bagnasco stressed that “man cannot live on bread alone,” but that he must seek the truth “from the world that surrounds him,” and especially he must “seek the truth within himself.  He needs to know his origins and his destiny.  Only this knowledge will lead to wisdom and only this awareness will guide him to create culture in a singular and social manner.”To not seek out such metaphysical truth is to lack any reference point, the cardinal continued.  Every choice is reduced to what is immediate, which is “quickly consumed in order to move on to something else, and then something else ...Read More

Our Lady of Guadalupe as the mother of all peoples

LOS ANGELES (CINS /CNS) -- Thousands of Catholics from throughout the greater Los Angeles area gathered in East Los Angeles Dec. 2 to honor Our Lady of Guadalupe as the mother of all peoples - from every language, race and culture.A mile-long procession, the oldest religious procession in the city honoring Mary, led participants to East Los Angeles College Stadium, where Cardinal Roger M. Mahony and the auxiliary bishops of Los Angeles, numerous priests and more than 15,000 of the faithful gathered for Mass.The theme this year was "Mother Without Borders: Bringing Down the Walls of Injustice." The event was part of a statewide call to action for comprehensive immigration reform by the California Catholic Conference of Bishops."The Virgin of Guadalupe is a symbol of hope and compassion for all who are marginalized," said the cardinal. "Today she continues to unite us as a humble people of God in sea ...Read More

Cardinal Dionigi Tettamanzi of Milan was scheduled to meet with the Dalai Lama

Milan, Dec. 7, 2007 (CINS /CWN) - Cardinal Dionigi Tettamanzi of Milan was scheduled to meet with the Dalai Lama on Thursday afternoon, December 6, according to Italian media reports. A spokesman for the cardinal refused to confirm plans for the meeting, thus underlining the diplomatic delicacy of the Buddhist leader's visit. The Dalai Lama was in Milan at the beginning of a visit to Italy. He will be in Rome next week, and rumors had circulated in November that he would meet with Pope Benedict XVI during his stay. The Vatican has announced that no papal audience is planned-- leaving open the possibility that an unannounced "private" meeting could take place. The Chinese government strongly protested the reports that the ...Read More

Myanmar's bishops: Cut down on parties, focus on promoting peace

Yangon, Myanmar, Dec.07, 2007 (CINS /CNS) -- Bishops in Myanmar have called on Catholics to cut down on external celebrations of Advent and Christmas this year and focus on promoting peace and development. Archbishops Paul Zinghtung Grawng of Mandalay and Charles Bo of Yangon, president and general secretary, respectively, of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Myanmar, issued the message on behalf of Myanmar's bishops. The message was dated Dec. 3, reported the Asian church news agency UCA News. In September, the government cracked down on protests -- led by Buddhist monks -- against rising prices and corruption. Myanmar is a predominantly Buddhist country. In the message sent to all parishes, the bishops proposed that the church "observe the season of Advent and celebrate the feast of Christmas more in accordance with the spirit of prayer and penance." The bishops' conference issued the message after a meeting in Yangon Nov. 30. ...Read More

Patriarch Alexei, leader of the Russian Orthodox Church to meet with Pope

Top Russian ecumenical official to meet with Pope Vatican City, Dec. 6, 2007 (CINS /CWN) - Pope Benedict XVI will meet on December 7 with the top ecumenical-affairs official of the Russian Orthodox Church, L'Osservatore Romano reports. Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk-- who is in Rome this week for festivities marking the feast of St. Catherine of Alexandria, the patron of Rome's Russian Orthodox Church-- met on December 6 with Cardinal Walter Kasper, the president of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity. Informed sources said that Cardinal Kasper would convey an invitation for Patriarch Alexei II to attend the next meeting of the Joint International Commission for the Theological Dialogue between the Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church, which is scheduled to take place in 2009. Metropolitan Kirill-- who is regarded as a likely eventuall successor to Patriarch Alexei as leader of the Russian Orthodox Church-- has praised Pope Benedict for his commitment to ecumenism. But ...Read More

New Australian prime minister has Catholic roots

Sydney, Australia, Dec.05,2007 (CINS /CNS) -- Kevin Rudd, the Catholic-born leader of Australia's Labor Party, was sworn in as Australia's prime minister Dec. 3.Throughout a year of electoral campaigning, Rudd worked to familiarize the Australian people with how his view of Christian values informed his policies.The youngest of a Catholic family of four children in rural Queensland, Rudd said the death of his father, a dairy farmer, from complications arising from a car accident had the greatest transforming effect on him when he was just 11 years old.When his father died in 1969, Rudd was the only child living at home. His older brother was away in the army, his sister was a novice at a Mercy sisters' convent, and his 14-year-old brother was boarding at the Marist College Ashgrove in suburban Brisbane.With the family evicted from their farm, Rudd recalled that he and his mother spent a night in their car befor ...Read More

Apostle in the Desert : Experiences of a Catholic chaplain working in the trenches

Recently, CNA had the opportunity to send a writer to the Anbar Province of Iraq to cover the experiences of a Catholic chaplain working in the trenches. What follows is his recounting of the amazing encounter he had with this apostle in the desert. Father Bautista: Apostle in the DesertJoe Burns, War StringerA few weeks ago, I returned to the U.S. after spending a week with Army troops in Iraq.  More specifically, I spent six and a half days with my son’s outfit, the 63rd Ordnance Company stationed at Al Taqaddum.  Al Taqaddum is a former Iraqi airbase, nicknamed TQ, and lies about 50 miles west of Baghdad in the Anbar Province near Ramadi.  My son Mike and I spent the first three days in Baghdad while I was processed for my press pass and then waited for a helicopter to become available to take us to TQ.  Al Taqaddum is covered in dust. In some areas where vehicles had repeatedly driven, the earth was ground down to a fine powder se ...Read More

Holy See calls on European security council to safeguard against religious discrimination

Vatican City, Dec.05, 2007 (CINS /CNA) - Last week Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, Secretary for Relations with States, addressed the 15th Ministerial Council of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in Madrid, Spain.  In his speech he called on the organization to promote human dignity and defend the values of all people.  “What I would like to stress the most is that, in the opinion of the Holy See, the vocation of the OSCE is to create an area of freedom and the rule of law." “In order to achieve this end,” he continued, “the Organization must ceaselessly promote the dignity of the human person and defend the intrinsic rights and values of all men and women…. I also believe, that it is essential that we continue to oppose human trafficking and the sexual exploitation of children," he added.Religious IntoleranceTo support human dignity, the archbishop explained to the foreign ministers, the OSCE “must also eff ...Read More

Protestant film company is releasing a movie dishonoring Catholic Faith

New York, USA, Dec.05, 2007 (CINS /CNA) - A Protestant film company is releasing a movie that trivializes the Sacraments, dishonors the Virgin Mary, and depicts Catholic priests and nuns in a belittling fashion, says the Catholic League. Gener8Xion, the studio that also created the movie One Night with the King, will release the film Noëlle on December 7. Claiming to be “a parable of forgiveness and grace,” the movie features two laughable priests who are in love with the same woman. The film company’s synopsis describes the character Jonathan Keene as “a young Catholic priest seemingly devoid of genuine human emotion” whose job is “to do what he does best: shut down a failing parish.” The other clerical character is described as “the child-like Fr. Simeon Joyce, a faithful but disillusioned priest who blatantly disregards church regulations, uses church monies to pay an old fisherman’s medical bills and spends most of his time drinking at the local ...Read More

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