Cardinal Walter Kasper's response

Vatican City, Dec.05, 2007 (CINS /Chiesa) – Eight days before it was published on the last day of November, Benedict XVI had announced the release of the encyclical on hope, "Spe Salvi," to the cardinals gathered in Rome from all over the world, at the meeting that opened the consistory. For many of them, the announcement came as a surprise. But the topic at the center of the discussion was not that of the encyclical, but the current state of ecumenical relations between the Catholic Church and the other Christian confessions. The cardinals' meeting with the pope took up the entire day of Friday, November 23. Benedict XVI entrusted the task of introducing the discussion to cardinal Walter Kasper, president of the pontifical council for Christian unity. 17 other cardinals spoke after Kasper's address. The meeting was held behind closed doors, but the Holy See press office, in a concise summary, related that some of the speaker ...Read More

"The impact of abortion on men" : first international conference on men and abortion

San Francisco, Dec.05, 2007 ( CINS /CNS) - While the impact of abortion on men is low on the cultural radar, there is overwhelming research, clinical experience and anecdotal evidence that men can be profoundly traumatized by the elective loss of a child whether they encouraged it, resisted it or only learned of it after the fact.This was the view of speakers at the first international conference on men and abortion held in San Francisco Nov. 28-29.Nearly 200 people from at least seven nations and 28 states gathered at St. Mary's Cathedral to hear the personal stories of men affected by abortion, reports on research on the topic, and presentations by counselors and therapists on the treatment of men suffering post-abortion grief.Organized by the Milwaukee-based National Office of Post-Abortion Reconciliation and Healing, the "Reclaiming Fatherhood: A Multifaceted Examination of Men Dealing With Abortion" conferen ...Read More

Light sentence for terrorists who beheaded three Christians

Jakarta, Indonesia, Dec.05,2007 (CINS/AsiaNews) – 19 years in prison for three Islamic terrorists’ guilt of having decapitated three young Christians in Indonesia. The crime took place in 2005 in Poso, a “hotbed” in Central Sulawesi.  Yesterday a court in South Jakarta condemned Wiwin Kalahe alias Rahman to 19 years in prison; his accomplices Yudi Heriyanto alias Udit and Agus Nur Muhammad alias Agus Jenggot, received 10 and 14 years detention.The public responded with dissatisfaction, saying the ruling was too “light” compared to other brutal crimes. The judges admitted that the trio’s terrorist actions provoked widespread anxiety and fear throughout Poso.  According to Rohadi, a local from Jakarta, did not take this into consideration when it emitted its verdict: “They should have been sentence to death”. On October 29th the three Christian schoolgirls were walking to sc ...Read More

New Archbishop of Guangzhou: “Also in China the Church is One and Catholic”

Guangzhou, China, Dec.05,2007(CINS/AsiaNews) – The Catholic Church, even in China is “one holy Catholic and apostolic”.  It was underlined by the new archbishop of Guangzhou, Msgr. Joseph Gan Junqiu, and minutes before he gave his parting blessing to the faithful who had gathered in Sacred Heart Cathedral to participate in his ordination.  Local sources who took part in the celebrations described the event to AsiaNews.The solemn mass took place this morning in the “House of Stone”, the great cathedral that lies in the centre of the city.  Press and faithful from other diocese were not allowed attend due to “lack of space”.  About 900 people participated, each given an admission pass with the number of the pew assigned to them as well as their position within the same pew.  A” massive” police presence as well as ...Read More

Getting papal Mass tickets likely not ready for weeks

Washington, Dec.03,2007 (CINS /CNS) - To answer the question that is increasingly being asked of officials with the archdioceses of Washington and New York -- and pretty much anyone else who works for the Catholic Church in the region -- you can't yet get tickets to any events during Pope Benedict XVI's visit to those cities in April.The two archdioceses don't expect to have information about how to get tickets for the few public events of the April 15-20 visit until after the first of the year. And what tickets are available will likely be distributed according to formulas that will give priority to people from Washington and New York and neighboring dioceses.The Vatican announced Nov. 12 that the pope will arrive in Washington April 15, spend the next two days there, move on to New York April 18 and depart for Rome the evening of April 20.He will address the United Nations; participate in events with interreligious and e ...Read More


VATICAN CITY, DEC 1, 2007 (CINS /VIS) - As is traditional on November 30, Feast of St. Andrew, patron of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, a delegation from the Holy See, led by Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, travelled to Istanbul, Turkey, for the liturgical celebrations marking that day. Every year, the ecumenical patriarchate sends a delegation to Rome on June 29, Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul. Yesterday the Catholic delegation attended a solemn liturgy presided by His Holiness Bartholomew I, ecumenical patriarch, in the Church of St. George in Fanar, then met with the patriarch and with members of the synodal commission for relations with the Catholic Church. At the end of the ceremony, Cardinal Kasper presented the ecumenical patriarch with a signed copy of Benedict XVI's Encyclical "Spe salvi," a reproduction of a mosaic showing the "Mystical Lamb" from the vault of the Basilica o ...Read More

Pope's prayer intentions for December

VATICAN CITY, DEC 1, 2007 (VIS) - Benedict XVI's general prayer intention for December is: "That human society may be solicitous in the care of all those stricken with AIDS, especially children and women, and that the Church may make them feel the Lord's love." His mission intention is: "That the incarnation of the Son of God, which the Church celebrates solemnly at Christmas, may help the peoples of the Asiatic Continent to recognize God's Envoy, the only Savior of the world, in Jesus." ...Read More


VATICAN CITY, DEC 1, 2007 (CINS /VIS) - This morning in the Vatican, Benedict XVI received members of a Forum of Catholic-inspired Non Governmental Organizations, who are currently in Rome to reflect on the contribution they can offer, "in close collaboration with the Holy See, to the solution of the many problems and challenges associated with the various activities of the United Nations and other international and regional organizations." In his English-language talk, the Holy Father noted how, despite their different backgrounds, the delegates share "a passion for promoting human dignity. This same passion has constantly inspired the activity of the Holy See in the international community," he said. In this context, the Pope examined the question of international cooperation between governments, noting "with satisfaction ... achievements such as the universal recognition of the juridical and political primacy of human rights, ... the efforts ...Read More

Hope: A gift that changes life

Vatican City, Dec. 03, 2007 (CINS /VIS) - At midday yesterday, the first Sunday of Advent, Benedict XVI appeared at the window of his study overlooking St. Peter's Square to pray the Angelus with the thousands of pilgrims gathered there. The Holy Father began his remarks by recalling how during this liturgical time "the People of God resume their journey to experience the mystery of Christ in history. Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever; history however changes and needs to be constantly evangelized." "This Sunday," he said, "is then an appropriate day to offer the entire Church and all men and women of good will my second Encyclical, which I have chosen to dedicate to the subject of Christian hope. It is entitled 'Spe salvi' because it begins with St. Paul's expression 'Spe salvi facti sumus (in hope we are saved). Here, as in other passages of the new Testament, the word 'hope' is closely linked to the word 'faith.' It is a gift t ...Read More

Korean Bishops: Understanding Dynamism of Christian Life

Vatican City, Dec. 03, 2007 (CINS /VIS) - Benedict XVI today received prelates from the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Korea and the apostolic prefect of Ulaanbaator, Mongolia, who have just completed their "ad limina" visit. Their coming to Rome, the Pope observed in his talk, has helped to strengthen "the bonds of collegiality which express the Church's unity in diversity and safeguard the tradition handed down by the Apostles." Continuing his English-language address to the prelates, the Holy Father spoke positively of the growth of the Church in Asia, recalling how the testimony of Korean martyrs and of many others on the continent "speaks eloquently of the fundamental concept of 'communio' that unifies and vivifies ecclesial life in all its dimensions." "To remain in Christ's love also has a particular significance for you today," the Pope told the Korean bishops, who in their reports had highlighted the negative effects of ...Read More

Henry J. Hyde, former Republican congressman, dies at 83

Washington, Dec.03 ,2007 (CINS /CNS) - Henry J. Hyde, the former Republican congressman from Illinois whose name became synonymous with efforts to limit federal funding of abortion, died Nov. 29 at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago.Hyde's death was announced in Washington by House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, who gave no cause of death for the 83-year-old Catholic political figure.Hyde retired from politics in 2006 after 32 years in Congress and eight years in the Illinois Legislature. He received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor, from President George W. Bush Nov. 5 but was unable to attend the White House ceremony because he was recovering from quadruple heart bypass surgery in July.At the ceremony, Bush described Hyde as a "commanding presence" and "a man of consequence," who impressed colleagues with his "extraordinary intellect, his deep c ...Read More

Rudd election buoys Bishops' Reconciliation hopes

Australia, Dec.03, 2007 (CINS /CNS) - Australia's Catholic Bishops have issued a statement reflecting the hope that "Indigenous Australia will be listened to", on the back of Prime Minister Elect Kevin Rudd's acceptance speech.Acknowledging the traditional custodians of Australia, the Bishops say they affirm their respect for the elders, memories, traditions, culture and hopes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.“The Catholic Church in Australia, as always, looks forward to working in partnership with the new government and with indigenous communities to improve the situation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples throughout the nation, the statement stated.“Earlier this year we welcomed the high priority that the Federal Government placed on addressing disadvantage in remote Northern Territory Aboriginal communities.“However, we also emphasised that there is much more to be done to address fundamental causes of ...Read More

Big, open spaces not an option for Washington, New York papal events

Washington, Dec.03,2007 - Pope Benedict XVI's trip to the U.S. next spring brings a different kind of pope to a different environment in terms of security than when millions of people were able to participate in Masses celebrated by Pope John Paul II on his U.S. visits. When Pope John Paul visited the United States in 1979, his weeklong trip included huge, open public Masses attended by hundreds of thousands of people at each venue, ranging from an Iowa farm field to Washington's National Mall. The scenes were repeated when Pope John Paul returned for a multicity tour in 1987, celebrating liturgies in the New Orleans Superdome, a California racetrack, an empty San Antonio field and other huge spaces. When Pope Benedict makes his first trip to the United States as pope April 15-20, the opportunities for the public to see him will be limited to Masses at two baseball stadiums in Washington and New York, with a capacity of probably no more than 45,000 and 65,000, res ...Read More

Vatican spokesman: encyclical 'Spe Salvi' cannot be ruled out

Vatican City, Dec.03, 2007 (CINS /CNS) - After Pope Benedict XVI's encyclicals on love and hope, could one on faith be next?"We're all asking ourselves whether there will be a third encyclical on faith. It cannot be excluded, but it's not yet on the agenda," Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, said Nov. 30.The three theological virtues -- faith, hope and love -- are considered the foundation of Christian moral activity. Pope Benedict 's first encyclical was "Deus Caritas Est" ("God Is Love"), and his second was titled "Spe Salvi," which means "saved in hope."Father Lombardi, speaking at a press conference to present "Spe Salvi," said the pope had surprised his aides earlier in the year when he told them he was writing an encyclical on Christian hope.The pope was already working on a separate encyclical on social justice issues, but h ...Read More

Pope:Christians must "respond with a united voice and with conviction"

Vatican City, Dec.03, 2007 (CINS /CNS) - Pope Benedict XVI told Ecumenical Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople that Christians must "respond with a united voice and with conviction" to the challenges modern men and women are facing. "Our work toward unity is according to the will of Christ Our Lord," the pope said in the letter, released at the Vatican Nov. 30, the feast of St. Andrew, the Constantinople patriarchate's patron. The letter was delivered to the patriarch and read during the feast day celebration by Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. Pope Benedict said his visit to Turkey last year to participate in the feast day celebration and the tradition of the pope and patriarchate sending delegations to each other's celebrations "represent authentic signs of the commitment of our churches to an ever-deeper communion, strengthened through cordial personal relations, pra ...Read More

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