Bishop Martin: Special Concern needed towards Catholics, the target of Neo-Pentecostal Groups

Vatican City, Oct.09, 2009 - The increasing number of Catholics in Africa who flock to the evangelical churches is a topic of concern at the second special Synod of Bishops for Africa.Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, told synod participants Oct. 6 that while the church in Africa is experiencing rapid growth "there is sadly also an increasingly deeper fragmentation among Christians."Sometimes dialogue with the charismatic, Pentecostal and other evangelical communities is difficult or even impossible "because of their aggressive behavior and, to say the least, their low theological standard," he said.But ecumenical relations must continue or be established where possible, he said, and the church must engage in some serious, self-critical reflection.Some of the questions the church must ask itself, the cardinal said, are "What is wrong or what is deficient with our own pastoral work? Why (do) so many ...Read More

Praying the Rosary by Bishop Fulton J sheen

From the earliest days, the Church asked its faithful to recite the one hundred and fifty Psalms of David. This custom still prevails among priests, who recite some of these Psalms every day. [9] However, it was not easy for anyone to memorize the one hundred and fifty Psalms. Then, too, before the invention of printing, it was difficult to procure a book of the Psalms. That is why certain important books like the Bible had to be chained like telephone books are today; otherwise people would have run off with them.Incidentally, this gave rise to the stupid lie that the Church would not allow anyone to read the Bible, because it was chained. The fact is, it was chained just so people could read it. The telephone book is chained, too, but it s more consulted than any book in modern civilization!The people who could not read one hundred and fifty Psalms wanted to do something to make up for it. Therefore, they substituted one hundred and fifty Hail Marys. They broke up th ...Read More

The Holy Father's Intentions for the Month of October 2009

General: That Sunday may be lived as the day on which Christians gather to celebrate the risen Lord, participating in the Eucharist.Missionary: That the entire People of God, to whom Christ entrusted the mandate to go and preach the Gospel to every creature, may eagerly assume their own missionary responsibility and consider it the highest service they can offer humanity. ...Read More

Pope Benedict to visit Rome Synagogue

Rome, Italy, Oct.03,2009 – On the eve of the Jewish New Year, which was celebrated on September 19 this year, Benedict XVI sent the chief rabbi of Rome, Riccardo Di Segni, a telegram of good wishes and friendship. In it, he confirmed that he will soon visit the synagogue of Rome, "animated by the profound desire to manifest my personal closeness and that of the whole Catholic Church" to the Jewish community.The synagogue in Rome will be the third one visited by Benedict XVI, after the synagogue in Cologne in August of 2005 and the Park East synagogue in New York, in April of 2008. Before him, John Paul II had visited the synagogue in Rome on April 13, 1986. ...Read More

Convention Center Collapses, 23 Christians Killed

Kathmandu, Nepal, Oct.03, 2009 - A major Christian gathering in eastern Nepal ended in tragedy when the convention center collapsed.At least 23 Christians died and 100 were injured when a bamboo structure housing participants collapsed in Dharan on Sept 29.Around 1,800 Christians of the El Shaddai group had gathered for a 10-day convention that began on Sept 28. The gathering was organized by the Zion El Shaddai Church."A three-story makeshift bamboo structure where women and children had been housed in collapsed at 11:30 p.m. It is believed that the participants at the convention included people from Bhutan, and Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Siliguri in India.Christians at this time of the year organize conventions to take advantage of the 15-day holiday for Dashain, a Hindu festival.According to Protestant pastor Laxmi Prasad Neupaney, members of Protestant Churches usually gather at this time of the year to "renew their faith.""Christians bel ...Read More

Pope Meets New U.S. Ambassador to Vatican

Vatican City, Oct.02, 2009 - Welcoming the new U.S. ambassador to the Vatican, Pope Benedict XVI outlined wide areas of potential cooperation with the administration of President Barack Obama, but drew a sharp line on the issues of abortion and the rights of conscience.The pope called for "a clear discernment with regard to issues touching the protection of human dignity and respect for the inalienable right to life from the moment of conception to natural death, as well as the protection of the right to conscientious objection on the part of health care workers, and indeed all citizens."He made the remarks at a ceremony Oct. 2 to accept the credentials of Miguel Diaz, named in May by Obama as the ninth U.S. ambassador to the Holy See. After the encounter at the papal villa in Castel Gandolfo south of Rome, Diaz held talks at the Vatican with the Vatican secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone.The pope's comments on the right to life touched on a current d ...Read More

Pakistani President's discussion with Pope Benedict XVI

CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy, Oct.02, 2009 - Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari and Benedict XVI have discussed anti-Christian violence in Pakistan, emphasizing the need to overcome discrimination.The leader of the Islamic republic visited the Pope today in Castel Gandolfo.A communiqué from the Vatican press office characterized the discussion as "cordial," saying it "provided an opportunity to examine the current situation in Pakistan, with particular reference to the fight against terrorism and the commitment to create a society more tolerant and harmonious in all its aspects."The communiqué added: "Talk then turned to the positive role played by the Catholic Church in the social life of the country through her educational, health care and aid activities."Evoking recent episodes of violence against Christian communities in some localities, and the elements that have favored such serious incidents, emphasis was given to the need to overcome all forms of disc ...Read More

Pope: Little way of St.Therese is the humble path of love

Castel Gandolfo, Italy, Oct 02, 2009 - As the Catholic Church celebrated the feast day of St. Therese of Lisieux yesterday, Pope Benedict XVI offered his reflections on what her life can teach the faithful. The French saint's “little way,” he said, is the “humble path of love, capable of enveloping and giving meaning and value to all human affairs."The Holy Father made his comments on Thursday as he bid farewell to Bishop Marcello Semeraro of Albano—the diocese in which the papal summer residence is located—as well as the numerous personnel that made the Pontiff's two month stay possible.After thanking everyone for their service, the Pope recalled the fact that today marks the Feast of St. Therese of the Child Jesus, a Carmelite nun of the convent of Lisieux."Her witness," he said, "shows that only the Word of God, accepted and understood in its concrete requirements, can become the source for renewed life.”“To our society, often permeated by a rationalis ...Read More

Pope's cyprus visit scheduled

Rome, Italy, Oct 2, 2009 - The government of Cyprus announced on Thursday that Pope Benedict XVI has accepted an invitation to visit the country made by President Demetris Christofias during an audience with the Holy Father at the Vatican on March 27.The papal trip could take place in June of 2010, according to a story published by Vatican Radio.According to the report, Maronite Archbishop Josef Souaef of Cyprus, Latin Patriarch Fouad Twal of Jerusalem, and Father Pierbattista Pizzaballa, the Custodian of the Holy Land, have expressed their joy at the announcement of the Pope’s visit. ...Read More

Pope takes wary approach to medias explosion

Vatican City, August 21, 2009 - Toward the end of his encyclical "Charity in Truth," Pope Benedict XVI included a brief but strongly worded analysis about the "increasingly pervasive presence" of modern media and their power to serve good or immoral interests.The two pages on communications were barely noticed in an encyclical that focused on economic issues, but they underscored the pope's cautionary and critical approach to today's media revolution.In particular, the pope zeroed in on the popular assumption in the West that the penetration of contemporary media in the developing world will inevitably bring enlightenment and progress."Just because social communications increase the possibilities of interconnection and the dissemination of ideas, it does not follow that they promote freedom or internationalize development and democracy for all," the pope wrote.The pope's critique made several important points:-- The mass media are not morally "neut ...Read More

Nuns still praying for burglary suspect

INDEPENDENCE, Mo., August 21, 2009 - A 17-year-old man confined in the Jackson County Jail as he faced serious felony charges now has an entire community of sisters praying for him.If he needs any help to turn his life around, the Sisters of St. Francis of the Holy Eucharist will provide it as best they can.But he should know now that he is loved, said Sister Connie Boulch, one of the two sisters who helped police capture the burglary suspect, later identified as Cory D. Anderson, as he tried to cut through their motherhouse property in northern Independence."I hope we get a chance to talk to him," said Sister Connie, the community's vicar who also works as the director of the Office of Consecrated Life for the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph. "I would like to tell him that he was on our property not by accident, but by providence."This young man has his whole life ahead of him," she told The Catholic Key, newspaper of the diocese. "He has the opportuni ...Read More

Bishops June statement put dialogue between two faiths at risk

WASHINGTON, August 21, 2009 - U.S. Jewish leaders have expressed concern over a June statement issued by the U.S. bishops to clarify a 2002 document that raised questions about the church's mission of evangelization and how the church relates to the Jewish community.In a letter to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the leaders said that because of the statement dialogue between the two faiths is at risk.Representatives of the Anti-Defamation League and the American Jewish Committee and rabbis from various branches of Judaism sent the letter Aug. 20.They were reacting to a June clarification of a 2002 document called "Reflections on Covenant and Mission," written by participants in an ongoing dialogue between the National Council of Synagogues and the USCCB interreligious affairs committee."Catholic-Jewish dialogue has been important to the U.S. bishops for almost 50 years. The U.S. bishops have just received the letter and currently are studying it, ...Read More

Last call for youth to participate in Taiwan Youth Day

Taichung, July 29, 2009 – Almost everything is ready and the Diocese of Taichung, which will host the Taiwan Youth Day 2009, is making another appeal to all the youth of Taiwan to come together on August 19-22 to participate in this great national event. “I think, I speak, I act like Jesus” is the theme of the “Taiwan Youth Day '09” that calls the youth to transmit the Lord's love with concrete actions. According to information sent to Agenzia Fides, the program for the event will includes moments of diocesan communion, sharing in the history of evangelization, faith workshops, a reenactment of the Way of the Cross, the celebration of the Sacrament of Reconciliation, a concert, sharing experiences from the Asian Youth Day...The Regional Bishops' Conference of Taiwan has given great importance to the event. Bishop Thomas Chung, Director of the Youth Group of the Commission for the Evangelization of the Bishops' Conference, on Palm Sunday published a Letter entitled “Youth, joy ...Read More

Santwana - new Lay Center inaugurated in India

New Delhi, India, August 01, 2009 - “The 'Santwana' (Consolation) Lay Movement is a great gift to the Church in India.” These were the words of Archbishop Vincent Concessao of Delhi, in inaugurating the new Lay Center, recently opened in Delhi by the Movement.The 'Santwana' Movement is formed by lay men and women who wish to be disciples of Christ, on the “way of love,” building up and proclaiming His Kingdom. Thus, the movement leads programs of formation for evangelization, pastoral training for the laity, correspondence courses, and mission initiatives in various Indian dioceses.The Archbishop, in inaugurating the new structure, mentioned the Santwana laity as an example of the laity's role in the Church and in Indian society.The movement began 20 years ago, founded by Fr. Dheeraj, of the Indian Missionaries Society (IMS), and is now led by Mr. Alexy Pallan, former businessman from Kochi.The movement has contributed to a greater reflection on lay leade ...Read More

26th World Youth Day (WYD) preparations are underway in Madrid

Madrid, August 01, 2009 – Preparations are already underway for the 26th World Youth Day (WYD) in Madrid, August 15-21, 2011, with the theme: “Rooted and Built Up in Jesus Christ, Firm in the Faith.” Yesterday, July 30, a press conference was held at the Archdiocese of Madrid headquarters, given by the WYD Director of Communications, Santiago de la Cierva, along with Auxiliary Bishop Cesar Franco. During the conference, a presentation was made of the official logo of WYD. The creator's name is Jose Gil-Nogues, a graphic designer who works in Madrid and Oviedo (Spain). He explained that the drawing depicts “the youth of the entire world who come together to celebrate their faith with the Pope, at the foot of the Cross, and form a crown of the Virgin of Almudena (Patroness of Madrid). The crown shows an “M” for Mary, as well as to recall the first letter of Madrid, the site of the encounter. The Cross, the sign of the Christian, presides this meeting of the Pope with the youth, who be ...Read More

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