New Jersey would be the first state to abolish death penalty

Trenton, U.S.A, Nov. 12, 2007 (CINS/CNA).- New Jersey legislators are considering abolishing the state's death penalty within the next two months, the Associated Press reports.The state has not executed anyone in 44 years. If approved by the legislature and the governor, New Jersey would become the first state to abolish capital punishment since the Supreme Court reinstated it in 1976.Assembly Speaker Joseph Roberts, Jr., speaking of the proposal, said "the time has come."Speaker Roberts met with Sister Helen Prejean, the Catholic nun who is a famous death penalty abolitionist. Her book "Dead Man Walking" told of her experience as a spiritual adviser to inmates on death row. The book was made into an Oscar-winning movie. ...Read More

Pope:Evangelization depends on an encounter with Christ

Vatican City, Nov 12, 2007 (CINS/CNA).- In the Holy Father’s address to the prelates from the Portuguese Episcopal Conference who have just completed their "ad limina" visit, the Pope invited them to turn to God in thanksgiving "for the great mercy He showed towards the pilgrim Church in Portugal during the Holy Year, and over subsequent years which were impregnated with that same jubilee spirit."The Pope emphasized the need to incorporate the “faithful into community life.”  He mentioned the necessity of changing the “manner of organization of the Portuguese ecclesial community and the mentality of its members," to ensure "that the Church marches to the rhythm of Vatican Council II and that the functions of clergy and laity remain clearly established," at the same time bearing in mind the fact that "we are all one since we were bapt ...Read More

Pope Benedict's first visit to the United States April 15-20

Vatican City, Baltimore, U.S.A, Nov.12, 2007 (CINS/CNA).- Archbishop Pietro Sambi, the Apostolic Nuncio to the U.S., has announced that Pope Benedict will be making his first visit to the United States April 15-20. The plans for the five day voyage will include an address at the United Nations in New York and a stop in Washington D.C.The Pope’s itinerary will begin with an April 16 meeting with President George W. Bush at the White House, followed by a gathering with the U.S. bishops at the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.On Thursday, April 17, the American public will have its first chance to see Benedict XVI at a Mass to be held at the new Washing ...Read More

Saturday in the Vatican: A telegram of condolences, Portuguese Bishops and Italian Confraternities

Vatican City, Nov.12,2007 (CINS/EWTN:Joan's Rome) - It was a very busy Saturday morning for the Holy Father, who sent a telegram of condolences for the death at age 77 of Japanese Cardinal Stephen Fumio Hamao, and then met separately with Portuguese Bishops and, in St. Peter’s Square, with 40,000 members of Italian Confraternities.In his telegram, Benedict spoke of Cardinal Hamao's pastoral ministry for nearly two decades in Yokohama, as well as his "lively concern for the poor and his generous service to the universal Church" as president of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples. Commending "the soul of this proud son of the Japanese people to the loving mercy of God our heavenly Father,” the Pope also wrote to the cardinal’s sister, Teresa Teruko Uematsu, assuring her of his prayers for the repose of the soul of her ...Read More

Pope welcomes Indonesia’s new ambassador to the Holy See

Vatican City, Nov.12,2007 (CINS/EWTN:Joan's Rome) - This morning Suprapto Martosemoto, Indonesia’s new ambassador to the Holy See, presented his Letters of Credence to Pope Benedict . The Pope praised Indonesia for its "commitment to pursue policies aimed at advancing the noble goals of democracy and social harmony enshrined in the Constitution.”“Certainly at present,” said Benedict , “one of the gravest threats to Indonesia's cherished ideal of national unity is the phenomenon of international terrorism.” He expressed appreciation for the Indonesian government's "position of condemning terrorist violence, … as a criminal offense which, by its contempt for human life and freedom, undermines the very foundations of society.” He said, "this is particularly the case when the holy name of God is invoked as a justification for such acts. The Church, ... unequivocal ...Read More

Lebanese bishops warn failure to reach consensus will mean chaos

Beirut, Lebanon, Nov.11,2007 (CINS/CNS) -- Lebanon's Catholic bishops warned that rival politicians' failure to agree on a consensus candidate for the presidency will lead the country to unprecedented disruption.The prelates admonished pro-government and opposition leaders and insisted that elections take place "on time and in line with the constitution.""The general situation (that) Lebanon is suffering does not call for tranquility, especially the presidential issue, which the Lebanese wait for with anxiety because of the strong tension between the pro-government (forces) and the opposition," said the Maronite bishops, following their Nov. 7 meeting."That's why we reiterate with insistence our appeal for unity, so the pres ...Read More

Pope at Angelus: Follow St.Martin's gesture of charity, where every human being can live in dignity

Vatican City, Nov.11,2007 (CINS/AsiaNews) – An appeal to Christians and to the world so that there is food, health care work, and culture for all; an appeal for Lebanon where tomorrow presidential elections were to have been held: these were the two main themes of Benedict XVI’s reflections during the Angelus held before thousands of pilgrims in St Peter’s square.Beneath a cold and rain swept winter’s sky, the pontiff recalled that today the Church celebrates St Martin of Tours, the first person in the history of the Church to become a saint not because of a cruel martyrdom for the faith, but because he dedicated his life to evangelisation and charity. ...Read More

Today in Church History

1503 Pope Julius II elected 1919 Pope Benedict us XV states Roman Catholics political/business views  ...Read More

Food for Thought: Give Joy to God

God refuses only the person who does not admit his own weakness; He sends away only the unhappy proud person. You must "hold him" well and strongly, with a poor spirit, with a poor heart, with a life entirely poor...The life of a soul who seeks true happiness clearly and indisputably depends on this: that those who seek their joy in God are the ones who give joy to God. - Saint Raphael Kalinowski, OCD   (On Baptism and Religious Vows ) ...Read More

Cardinal George to be chosen as Voice of American prelates

Chicago, U.S.A, Nov.11,2007 (CINS/Agencies) - Cardinal Francis George,  Chicago's Archbishop will be chosen as the voice for the Church in America when the Roman Catholic Bishops gather this week in Baltimore.  The group is led by the Former presidents of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to speak out to the nation on topics such as nuclear war and abortion.Cardinal Francis George would be the first Cardinal elected to the post and is one of the nation's most senior church men. Gillis, author of "Roman Catholicism in America" said Cardinal George is someone with high visibility and high stature in the church. So, if there were an issue that needed to be brought to Vatican's attention, he has the status to bring it, and they'll listen to him. Also he is the one thoroughly obedient to Rome.Recentl ...Read More

Endless Jihad: The Truth about Islam and Violence

Jihad.It was once a word unfamiliar to American ears. But in recent years it has become all too familiar. The actions of Muslim militants and terrorists have seared the word into American consciousness.Yet even with thousands of innocent civilians killed on American soil by Islamic terrorists, the full significance of the Muslim concept of jihad has not been grasped by the American public.In the days after September 11, 2001, American leaders rushed to portray Islam as a peaceful religion that had been "hijacked" by a fanatical band of terrorists. One hopes that these assurances were merely tactical—that nobody was meant to believe them and that they were meant to assure the Muslim world that the inevitable American reprisals were not directed at their religion as a whole. If the world Muslim ...Read More

Pope names the new Bishop of Ambanja

Madagascar, Nov.11, 2007(CINS/Agencies) - On Wednesday Pope Benedict XVI appointed Rev.Fr. Rosario Saro Vella, S.D.B., parish priest and Superior of the Salesian Community in Bemaneviky as the Bishop of the Diocese of Ambanja.He succeeds Odon Marie Arsčne Razanakolona who was appointed archbishop of the capital, Antananarivo, in December 2005. Fr.Vella learned theology at the Theological Institute in Messina and he was ordained as a priest on May 27, 1979. Also he holds a degree in philosophy from the University of Palermo. ...Read More

New Bishop for the Diocese of Musoma

Tanzania, Nov.11, 2007(CINS/Agencies) - Rev.Fr.Michael Msonganzila, aged 51 of Mwanza Archdiocese, has been appointed as the new Bishop of the Diocese of Musoma by the Holy Father Benedict XVI.The Catholic Secretariat in Dar es Salaam informed yesterday that until his new appointment, Father Msonganzila served at the Tanzania Episcopal Conference (TEC) as the national director of the Pontifical Missionary Works. ...Read More

So, why can’t I watch porn?

by Daniel TayWhat do we say to our child or to a student or to a peer when he or she asks, “Why can’t I watch pornography?” THERE IS NO simple answer to this question, and a proper understanding of human sexuality is required to provide a good response.This is why 25 teachers and counsellors attended the “So, Why Can’t I Watch Porn?” seminar conducted by the Family Life Society (FLS) over two full days Sep 6-7 at the York Hotel, Singapore. This is the fifth run of ...Read More

Discovering the unkown Bernini, the Vatican’s artist

Vatican City, Nov.10,2007 (CINS/ROMEreports) - Lorenzo Bernini was the Vatican’s artist par excellence. During his life, he produced a prodigious output of artwork for seven popes, including Urban VIII and Innocent X. The great columns in St. Peter’s Square – designed to symbolise the Church’s embrace of the faithful – were his creation. So, too, was the sublime baldaquino in St Peter’s basilica. Both have become great Christian icons.Most of his artwork was in the form of sculpture or architecture. But what’s less well known is that Bernini was also a great painter. Evidence of this can be seen in an exhibition that has just opened at Palazzo Barberini.The exhibition is putting on display the artist’s 50 best paintings. For the first time, these works of art are shown together in the same hall. Normally they ...Read More

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