Cardinal Walter Kasper on Ravenna Final Document

The Vatican’s Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity will issue the final document from the October Ravenna meeting of the Joint International Commission for the Theological Dialogue between the Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church, entitled: “The Ecclesiological and Canonical consequences of the Sacramental nature of the Church”. Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of the Vatican Council who led the Catholic delegation at the meeting spoke to us about the main issues contained in the document. Countering recent speculation that it deals with the question of primacy, he described recent advances in Orthodox Catholic relations as a first step in a long road:“Now the real breakthrough is that for the first time the orthodox were ready to speak about the universal level of the church and also on the universal level we have synodality of course, but also an authority – it means a primate which is of course according to the old order- the taxis of the ...Read More

Church responds to crisis of urban violence in Chicago

Chicago, Nov.24, 2007 (CINS /CNS) - On Oct. 30, at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church in a Chicago neighborhood known as "Back of the Yards," Auxiliary Bishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller of Chicago celebrated a Mass for victims of violence. He read dozens of victims' names and met with their family members and loved ones.But the next day, another victim was added to the roll: Leticia Barrera, shot in gang crossfire as she returned home from trick-or-treating with her three children on Halloween. She was four months pregnant, and it was her 32nd birthday. Bishop Garcia-Siller led her wake service Nov. 6 at St. Michael the Archangel Church. Providing support and comfort through the rituals of funerals and wakes is one of the ways in which the church is obligated to respond to violence, according to Bishop Garcia-Siller and several priests who serve in communities where such violence has happened all too often. "Violence is an unhealthy thing,&quo ...Read More

Senate Finance Committee, announced a probe involving six prominent Protestant televangelists

Washington,USA, Nov.24, 2007 (CINS /CNS) -- In November, U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, the ranking Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, announced a probe involving six prominent Protestant televangelists: Kenneth Copeland, Benny Hinn, Joyce Meyer, Creflo Dollar, Paula White and Bishop Eddie Long.Grassley sent letters to each, asking detailed questions about purchases, gifts and "love offerings," demanding answers by Dec. 6 for an investigation into possible financial misconduct by these tax-exempt ministries.Grassley told the Des Moines Register, a daily newspaper in Iowa, that religion isn't the issue behind the probe. "Churches aren't any different from any other nonprofit organization, and they have to abide by the same tax laws," he said.The six televangelists, all of whom have been accused of maintaining extravagant lifestyles, preach the "prosperity gospel."This ...Read More

Will Group of Anglicans Come Home to Rome?

Los Angeles, USA, Nov.24,2007 (CINS /Catholiconline) - In his first homily after assuming the Chair of Peter, Pope Benedict XVI signaled his primary and unwavering commitment to Christian Unity, continuing the groundbreaking work of his predecessor, the Servant of God John Paul II. “Thus, in full awareness and at the beginning of his ministry in the Church of Rome that Peter bathed with his blood, the current Successor assumes as his primary commitment that of working tirelessly towards the reconstitution of the full and visible unity of all Christ’s followers. This is his ambition, this is his compelling duty. He is aware that to do so, expressions of good feelings are not enough. Concrete gestures are required to penetrate souls and move consciences, encouraging everyone to that interior conversion which is the basis for all progress on the road of ecumenism.” He has certainly lived up to that commitment. Pope Benedict ...Read More

Church officials closed and locked Mexico City's Metropolitan Cathedral and suspended all services

Mexico, Nov.24, 2007 (CINS /CNS) - Church officials closed and locked Mexico City's Metropolitan Cathedral and suspended all services after about 150 leftist protesters stormed into a Sunday Mass shouting slogans and kicking over pews.Father Hugo Valdemar, spokesman for the Mexico City Archdiocese, said Nov. 19 that the cathedral will not resume Masses until federal and city police can guarantee security. It is the first time the cathedral has suspended services since Mexico's Cristero uprisings in the 1920s, he said."We have to take this action before there is bloodshed," Father Valdemar told CNS. "We need police to launch a public campaign showing we are being protected."Leftist leader Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who lost the 2006 presidential race by a razor-thin margin, was leading a protest in the plaza adjoining the cathedral. Lopez Obrador claims the election w ...Read More

Catholic Priest Excommunicated in Ukraine

Lviv,Ukraine, Nov. 23, 2007 (CINS / CWN) - The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has announced the excommunication of a Ruthenian-rite priest in Ukraine, the KAI news service reports. Father Basil Kovpak is the head of the Priestly Society of Saint Josephat Kuntsevych (SSJK), a group with ties to the traditionalist Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) which has been active among Byzantine Catholics in the Ukraine since the early 1990s. Bishops of the SPPX-- themselves excommunicated because they were consecrated without approval from the Holy See-- have ordained priests for the SSJK. This is the second time that the excommunication of Father Kovpak has been announced. In 2003, the Major Archbishop of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, Cardinal Lubomyr Husar, excommunicated the defiant priest. However the Roman Rota later declared the excommunication null and void for lack of canonical form. Last Novemb ...Read More

Cardinal oppose lesbians from having test-tube babies without men

London, UK, Nov.23, 2007 (CINS /CNA) - The archbishop of Westminster Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor has expressed strong opposition to a new bill making it easier for lesbian couples to undergo fertility treatment.Cardinal oppose lesbians from having test-tube babies without menThe Human Fertilization and Embryology Bill, soon to be debated in the House of Lords, recognizes same-sex couples as legal parents and removes the requirement that IVF clinics consider the "need for a father" when evaluating an unborn child's welfare. In a letter to The Times, the Cardinal said: "The Bill proposes to remove the need for IVF providers to take into account the child's need for a father when considering an IVF application, and to confer legal parenthood on people who have no biological relationship to a child born as a result of IVF." "This radically undermines the place of the father in a child's life, and makes the natural rights of t ...Read More

Catholic Bishops praised Stem cell breakthrough without embryos

Washington DC, USA, Nov 23,2007 (CINS/CNA) - Prelates across the United States are lauding the Japanese research team of Dr. Shinya Yamanaka and the University of Wisconsin-Madison team of Dr. James Thomson for their efforts in advancing stem-cell research. In a press release yesterday, Philadelphia Cardinal , Justin Rigali commended the scientific advances: “Studies published this week in the journals Cell and Science offer new hope for advancing stem cell research and therapies while fully respecting the dignity of human life. “Scientists in Japan and Wisconsin used four genes to ‘reprogram’ ordinary adult human cells, creating ‘induced pluripotent stem cells’ (iPS cells). James Thomson, head of the Wisconsin team and the founder of human embryonic stem cell research, says these cells ‘meet the defining criteria’ for pluripotent human embryonic stem cells, ‘with the significant exception that the iPS cells are not deriv ...Read More

Cardinal Marc Ouellet of Quebec apologized for discrimination against women and homosexuals

Quebec, Canada Nov. 21, 2007 (CINS / Lifesite) - An Open Letter to Quebec Catholics by Cardinal Marc Ouellet published today in Quebec newspapers and on the website of the Archdiocese of Quebec has caused a media uproar in the French-speaking province.  Cardinal Ouellet, both the Archbishop of Quebec and the Primate of Canada, apologized for historical attitudes of some Catholics which promoted "discrimination against women and homosexuals."He noted also that those "narrow attitudes of some Catholics, before 1960, have promoted Anti-Semitism, racism," and "indifference to the First Nations."The open letter comes in response to an outpouring of public reaction to the Archbishop's recent statement detailing various problems in the province of Quebec.His inspiration in apologizing comes, he says, from similar actions by the late Pope John Paul II in 2000.  And like John Paul, Cardinal Ouellet also strongly affirms the Church's stands a ...Read More

Vatican representative in Jerusalem frustrated at Israeli government's behaviour

Rome, Italy, Nov.22, 2007 (CINS/AsiaNews) – And after Msgr. Pietro Sambi’s voicing of  his “disappointment” and “frustration” at the Israeli government’s polices regarding the Holy See and the Catholic Church, its the turn of Msgr. Antonio Franco. The two men are linked by the title of papal representative in Israel, the former holding the post to 2005 the latter the current envoy.  Therefore it has become increasingly difficult to dampen the conviction that this is opinion of Vatican officials, a conviction further supported a recent reference to Msgr. Sambi’s “experience” made by Vatican press office director Fr. Federico Lombardi. Sambi, moreover, was promoted to Washington from Tel Aviv, in short, a key position in international diplomacy.The two nuncio’s evaluation of Israeli policies appears similar, if somewhat diverse in tone: in an interview with the Jerusalem Pos ...Read More

Today in Church History

235 St. Anterus begins his reign as Catholic Pope 496 St. Gelasius I ends his reign as Catholic Pope 695 Pope Sergius names Willibrord as archbishop Clemens of Friezen 1964 Pope Paul VI signs 3rd sitting of 2nd Vatican council  ...Read More

Food for Thought: God, the reason for our life

Let us allow ourselves to be purified, illuminated and consumed by Him, since He alone is the reason for our life. - Saint Maravillas of Jesus, OCD(Thoughts of Maravillas of Jesus) ...Read More

Pope favours Gregorian chant and baroque sacred music

Vatican City, Nov. 21, 2007 (CINS/the age) - Pope Benedict is considering a dramatic overhaul of the Vatican to force a return to traditional sacred music.After reintroducing the Latin Tridentine Mass, the Pope wants to widen the use of Gregorian chant and baroque sacred music.In an address to the bishops and priests of St Peter's Basilica last month, he said there needed to be "continuity with tradition" in their prayers and music.Gregorian chant has been reinstituted as the primary form of singing by the new choir director of St Peter's, Father Pierre Paul. ...Read More

Cardinal Pell: I am Shocked by the faith of young catholics on reincarnation

Sydney, Australia, Nov. 21, 2007 (CINS/Cathnews) -  Cardinal George Pell has said he is shocked and surprised at the number of young people, especially young Catholics, who say they believe in reincarnation, the Catholic Weekly reports.A report entitled The Spirituality of Generation Y showed that almost four times as many young Catholics (35 per cent) as Anglicans (nine per cent) believed in reincarnation.“It is not reassuring to be told that young Catholics are so much more superstitious than other young Christians,” Cardinal Pell said.“The figures for belief in reincarnation are worse for Catholic baby boomers, with 41 per cent of them believing this nonsense.“Years ago I never dreame ...Read More

New Vatican document surveys Catholic schools

Vatican City, Nov. 21, 2007 (CINS/CWN) - At a November 20 press conference introducing a new Vatican document on Catholic schools, the prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education said that "a profound malady is affecting the educational world, especially in the West."Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski said that the indications of this malady include rising violence in schools and the breakdown in family life-- pointing out that the latter problem is critical because families "have the prime responsibility for the education of their children."The Polish cardinal appeared at the November 20 press briefing along with Msgr. Angelo Zani, the undersecretary of the Congregation for Catholic Education, to introduce a document on Catholic school ...Read More

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