Pope appeals for Somalia's peaceful solutions

Vatican City, Nov. 21, 2007 (CINS/SIR) - An appeal to find “peaceful solutions” and bring “aids” to the “beloved population” of Somalia was made today by Benedict XVI at the end of his catechesis in Saint Peter’s Square. The political and humanitarian crisis has actually escalated in Somalia, with hundreds of civilians killed in just a few weeks and one million people evacuated from the inland, 200,000 of whom left the capital, Mogadishu, in the last two weeks. “Painful news arrive about the uncertain humanitarian condition of Somalia, especially in Mogadishu, increasingly affected by social insecurity and poverty – said the Pope today –. I follow with trepidation the development of the events and I appeal to all those who have political responsibilities, on a local and global scale, that peaceful solutions may be found and aids may be brought to that beloved population”. ...Read More

Pope at General Audience: One of the virtues that best becomes the disciples of Christ is humbleness

Vatican City, Nov. 21, 2007 (CINS/SIR) - “One of the virtues that best becomes the disciples of Christ is humbleness”: it was stated today by Benedict XVI during the general audience in Saint Peter’s Square, where gathered 13,000 pilgrims. Pope focused his catechesis on the ancient Syriac Churches of the IV century and the figure of Afraates, also known as the “Wise Man”. The Syriac communities of the IV century – recalled the Pope – constitute the Semitic world which the Bible itself comes from and are the embodiment of a Christianity the theological formulation of which has not yet come into contact with different cultural currents but lives in its own peculiar forms of thinking. These are Churches in which asceticism, in different hermitic forms (hermits in the desert, in the caves, enclosed, stylites), and monasticism, in forms of community life, play a role of vital importance in the development of theological and spiritual think ...Read More

Jewish group protests at Israel's treatment of Christian delegation

Israel, Nov.21, 2007 (CINS/Ekklesia) - The International Jewish Committee on Interreligious Consultations has asked the Israeli government to investigate the circumstances surrounding a group of Austrian Catholic clergy who were prevented from paying their respects at the Western Wall recently.In a letter to Yitzhak Cohen, the Minister in Charge of Religious Affairs in the Office of the Prime Minister, IJCIC expressed concern over international negative impact on Israel and Jewish-Christian interfaith relations as a result of the incident.The incident occurred when a delegation of Austrian Catholic Bishops seeking to pay their respects at the Western Wall, a remnant of the Second Holy Temple, declined to remove their crosses before entering the wall area. ...Read More

Middle East conference will fail unless crisis in Gaza is on agenda

Gaza, Nov.21, 2007 (CINS/Ekklesia) - Christian Aid and some 40 other development and human rights organisations are warning world leaders attending the Middle East conference in Annapolis of the dangers of ignoring the humanitarian and political crisis in Gaza.This week a joint statement signed by some 40 international, Israeli and Palestinian development and human rights organisations will be published in Israeli and Palestinian newspapers and sent to key figures attending the conference. It calls for an urgent end to the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip, an end to the international isolation, and dialogue and reconciliation between Palestinian parties.The statement adds that in order for any peace process resulting from Annapolis to have a chance of success, there must be concerted action by the internation ...Read More

Archdiocese of Mexico City condemns “brutal profanation”of Cathedral, closes church

Mexico City, U.S.A, Nov. 21, 2007 (CINS/CNA).- The Archdiocese of Mexico City has condemned the “brutal profanation” during Mass at the Cathedral last Sunday carried out by over two hundred sympathizers of the Democratic Revolution Party (PRD) and its leader, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.The protesters forced their way into the Cathedral and began shouting insults against Pope Benedict XVI and Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera of Mexico City.In a statement signed by spokesman Father Hugo Valdemar, the archdiocese condemned the “brutal profanation” of the Mass and the Cathedral, “as well as the physical aggression that the faithful suffered”. He also berated “city and federal officials [who] have failed in their duty to safeguard freedom of religion and the respect for the most cherished sacrament we Catholics hav ...Read More

Brazilian society rejects feminist proposal to legalize abortion

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Nov. 21, 2007 (CINS/CNA).- Brazilian society, represented by its delegates, rejected a government-supported proposal during the 13th National Conference of Health to legalize abortion in the country.The NCH voted on some 400 different proposals to improve public health in Brazil.  Agencia Brasil reported that on the issue of abortion, 70 percent of the 2,627 delegates rejected the proposal and that it would be excluded from the Conference’s final report, which will be sent to the government.The proposal on abortion was introduced as a “recommendation” by feminist groups and portrayed abortion as “a public health problem” that should be addressed through the law.Supporters of the proposal were booed by the majority of the part ...Read More

Convent once used as a place of torture by Communists re-opened in Albania

Rome, Italy, Nov. 21, 2007 (CINS/CNA).- In the Albanian town of Scutari, eight Poor Clare sisters have opened the doors of their convent, which was once used as a prison during the Communist regime where many died defending their faith.In statements to Vatican Radio, Sister Sonia, one of the religious living at the convent, noted that the convent was the “first Poor Clare monastery here in Albania to open after many centuries.  Today we are using an old convent that belonged to the Franciscan friars.  In 1946 it was confiscated and transformed into the headquarters of the Securimi, that is, the regime’s secret police.”She recalled that one of the sections of the convent “was converted into a cell for detaining and torturing prisoners.  The oldest part still contains even today a series of cells where prisoners ...Read More

Cardinal Cormac Murphy decries homosexual parenthood bill as ‘profoundly wrong’

London, U.K, Nov 21, 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.The 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." ...Read More

Today in Church History

 1168 Giovanni di Struma elected anti-Pope1342 Pope Clemens VI names John IV of Arkel as bishop of Utrecht 1890 Pope Leo XIII encyclical On slavery in missions  1947 Pope Pius XII publishes encyclical Mediator Dei  ...Read More

Food for Thought: I am Nothing God

Give me, O my God, a thorough knowledge of myself! Let me be really convinced that I am nothing and that You are everything! Do not let me think that I am anything more than the nothing I am.- Saint John Eudes  ...Read More

Lahore Sacred Heart Cathedral celebrates its first 100 years

Lahore, Pakistan, Nov.20, 2007 (CINS/AsiaNews) – The three-day celebrations to mark the 100th anniversary of Lahore’s Sacred Heart Cathedral ended with a special message from Pope Benedict XVI to the local congregation in Lahore. The Pakistan government also issued a postal ticket to celebrate the event.The solemn mass celebrated by Archbishop Lawrence John Saldanha was attended by Pakistani and Indian bishops who were invited to pray for peace in the country and an end to terrorism.In his homily Monsignor Saldanha stressed the “importance of democracy, freedom of speech and security for the minorities who live in Pakistan.”Mgr Adolfo Tito Yllana, papal nuncio in Pakistan, stressed “the historic event of the founding of this church, a milestone for ...Read More

For the Church school is a privileged field for mission, to “teach” life projects

Vatican City, Nov.20,2007 (CINS/AsiaNews) – The truly vast area of education, which involves more than a billion school-age children as well as 58 million teachers plus support staff, includes more than 250,000 Catholic schools and 42 million students. It is a reality that in the Asian continent alone affects some ten million students and constitutes a privileged area of action for the Catholic Church. Educating Together in Catholic Schools. A Shared Mission between Consecrated Persons and the Lay Faithful, a paper published by the Congregation for Catholic Education (for Seminaries and Institutes of Study), confirms it.“The lack of interest in the fundamental truths of human life as well as individualism, moral relativism and utilitarianism” but also the growing “gap between rich and poor countries” and growing population movements and the problems related to the stabil ...Read More

Pope: Abortion is never justified but women who repent should be welcomed

Vatican City, Nov.19,2007 (CINS/AsiaNews) – Abortion “can never be justified.” The “direct destruction of an innocent human life” is inadmissible, “however difficult the circumstances that may lead some to consider taking such a grave step,” but the Christian “community should be open to welcome back all who repent of having participated” to such a great sin.Benedict XVI reiterated the Church’s opposition to abortion, pointing the finger at the “agencies promoting abortion” whilst recommending an attitude of openness towards those who repent.The Pope made these remarks to the bishops representing the Bishops’ Conference of Kenya whom he met this morning in the Sala del Concistoro for their quinquennial visit “ad Limina Apostolorum”.“[I]t is a matter ...Read More

Pope received prelates from the Kenya Episcopal Conference

Vatican City, Nov. 19, 2007 (CINS/VIS) - This morning in the Vatican, the Pope received prelates from the Kenya Episcopal Conference who have just completed their five-yearly "ad limina" visit.   Speaking English, the Pope began his talk to them by recalling that "it is bishops who, as ministers and signs of communion in Christ, are pre-eminently called to make manifest the unity of His Church." In this context he urged them "to continue your fraternal cooperation with one another in the spirit of the community of Christ's disciples, united in your love for Him and in the Gospel that you proclaim."   "Within each diocese, the vibrancy and harmony of the presbyterate offers a clear sign of the vitality of the local Church. ... As bishops, we must constantly strive to build up t ...Read More

Locations for visits to new cardinals published

Vatican City, Nov 19, 2007 (CINS/CNA).- The Office of Liturgical Celebrations has published the locations and times for those who wish to visit with the newly created cardinals following their elevations to their new rank this coming Saturday.Visits can be paid to the cardinals between 4:30 and 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, November 24 at the locations listed below.The consistory for creating the 23 new cardinals will be held in St. Peter's Square at 10.30 a.m. on Saturday, November 24.Also in St. Peter's Square, at 10.30 a.m. on Sunday, November 25, Solemnity of Christ the King, the Holy Father will preside at a concelebrated Mass with the new cardinals, during which he will give them their ring of office. ...Read More

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