Archive for October, 2011

Catholic Herald: Pope at Assisi: People still seeking faith are ‘pilgrims of truth’ too

Friday, October 28th, 2011

Below is an excerpt from a report in the Catholic Herald about yesterdays gathering of religious leaders in Assisi.

“Pope Benedict XVI told 300 religious leaders at Assisi today that people who are suspicious of religion cannot be blamed for questioning God’s existence when they see believers use religion to justify violence.

At the historic gathering in the Basilica of St Mary of the Angels, the Pope said: “All their struggling and questioning is, in part, an appeal to believers to purify their faith so that God, the true God, becomes accessible.”

Marking the 25th anniversary of the first Assisi interfaith gathering for peace, hosted by Blessed Pope John Paul II in 1986, Pope Benedict brought together the religious leaders and – for the first time – several philosophers who describe themselves as humanists or seekers who do not identify with any single religion.

After a train ride of almost two hours from the Vatican, Pope Benedict and his guests arrived in Assisi and were driven to the Basilica of St Mary of the Angels for the morning gathering focused on “testimonies for peace”.

Entering the basilica before the Pope, the delegates created an unusually colourful congregation. They wore white, black or crimson robes or business suits; on their heads were skullcaps, turbans, scarves or veils.

The Pope condemned the use of religion to excuse violence and the use of violence to impose a religion, as well as the growing violence resulting from “the loss of humanity” that comes from denying the existence of God and of objective moral standards.

“As a Christian, I want to say at this point: yes, it is true, in the course of history, force has also been used in the name of the Christian faith. We acknowledge it with great shame,” Pope Benedict said.

Christian leaders, like all religious leaders, he said, must work constantly to help their followers purify their faith and be “an instrument of God’s peace in the world, despite the fallibility of humans”.

But a lack of religion isn’t the answer to world peace, he said.”

By Cindy Wooden

To continue reading visit the Catholic Herald

Catholic Herald: Pope prays that Assisi moves world towards peace

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

Below is a short excerpt from a report in the Catholic Herald about the Popes prayers for peace at a service that took the place of yesterdays general audience.

“Pope Benedict XVI has prayed that his interreligious pilgrimage to Assisi will promote dialogue among believers of different faiths and help the world move towards peace.

“In a world still torn by hatred, divisions, selfishness and wars, we want to pray that tomorrow’s meeting in Assisi would promote dialogue among people of different religions,” the Pope said today during a prayer service at the Vatican.

Pope Benedict prayed that the Assisi meeting would help “enlighten the minds and hearts of all men and women so that anger would give way to pardon, division to reconciliation, hatred to love, violence to meekness, so that peace would reign in the world.”

“We ask God for the gift of peace. We want to pray that he make us instruments of his peace,” the Pope said at the Christian prayer service, which was attended by cardinals and bishops, as well as Orthodox and Protestant leaders. Several Muslim representatives also were present.

The prayer service took the place of the Pope’s weekly general audience. About 25,000 people were expected for the service planned for St Peter’s Square, but a storm forced the Vatican to pack the Vatican audience hall to overflowing and to accommodate others in St Peter’s Basilica, where Pope Benedict stopped briefly to give his blessing.”

From the Catholic Herald

To continue reading visit the Catholic Herald

CiNews: 25th anniversary of peace meeting in Assisi

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011

Below is an excerpt from CiNews regarding the 25th Anniversary of the Peace meeting in Assisi.

“More than fifty nations will be represented in Assisi next week at an Interreligious peace event.

People from many European and American nations will travel to the “Day of reflection, dialogue and prayer for peace and justice in the world: Pilgrims of Truth, Pilgrims of Peace”.  Also among participants will be those from areas struggling with religious freedom and dialogue between religions such as Egypt, Israel, Pakistan, Jordan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Philippines and elsewhere.

For the first time the Pope has invited non-believers, based on the conviction that men and women, believers, and non-believers, are always searching for God or the Absolute, and travelling towards the fullness of truth.

His invitation has been accepted by the French linguist, psychoanalyst, philosopher and writer Julia Kristeva; the Italian philosopher Remo Bodei; the Mexican philosopher Guillermo Hurtado, and the Austrian economist Walter Baier.  By calling this day in Assisi, Benedict XVI wishes to mark the twenty-fifth anniversary of the historic meeting organised there by John Paul II in 1986.”

By Ann Marie Foley

To continue reading please visit CiNews.

Rome Reports: Vatican proposes a “Global Public Authority” to stabilize economy

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

Below is a short excerpt from an article in Rome Reports about a new document released by the Vatican aimed at tackling the world financial market. The document is the work of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, meaning it’s not the work of the papal Magisterium.

“In light of the economic crisis, the Vatican released a proposal to tackle the world’s financial market. The document titled, “Reforming the International Financial System” was presented at the Vatican Press Office.  The document says the market needs a so called “Global Public Authority” that can make sure all players are following the rules of the game.

The document claims that the current leadership of the G7 and G20 is informal. It also says it excludes too many countries.

Italian economist Leonardo Becchetti explained some of the key points.

Leonardo Becchetti
Economist, Università Tor Vergata (Rome)

“To protect some of the global public goods, there needs to be a quick international coordination among States. For example, on issues like pollution and also financial stability. We need better international coordination, quicker responses and true representation.”

The Vatican says part of the solution is a World Central Bank. Under the proposal, the bank  would regulate currency exchange. It would also have a world fund to re-capitalize where needed. It would implement different rules for commercial and for investment banks and it would also impose a tax on financial transactions.”

By Rome Reports

To read more including the full text of the document, click here

CiNews: News Pope Praises English Translation of The Mass

Monday, October 24th, 2011

Below is a short excerpt from an article in CiNews in which Pope Benedict XVI praises the new English language translation of the Mass.

“Pope Benedict XVI has praised the new English language translation of the Mass, which, he says, “could enrich and deepen the sacrifice of praise offered to God.”

The Pontiff made his comments on the new translation of the mass during a meeting with Bishops from Australia on October 20.

Speaking at the meeting, he said that the new translation is, “the fruit of a remarkable cooperation of the Holy See, the bishops and experts from all over the world.”  He also advised the Australian bishops to help their people accept and adapt to the new language of the Mass.

“Help your clergy to welcome and to appreciate what has been achieved, so that they in turn may assist the faithful as everyone adjusts to the new translation.  As we know, the sacred liturgy and its forms are written deeply in the heart of every Catholic.  Make every effort to help catechists and musicians in their respective preparations to render the celebration of the Roman Rite in your dioceses a moment of greater grace and beauty, worthy of the Lord and spiritually enriching for everyone.  In this way, as in all your pastoral efforts you will lead the church in Australia towards her heavenly home under the sign of the Southern Cross.”

By Sean Ryan

To read more click here

Irish Catholic: Missionaries vital to renew Irish Church

Friday, October 21st, 2011

Below is an excerpt of an article from the Irish Catholic about how the experience of Irish missionaries abroad has a key role to play in renewing the faith in Ireland.

“Irish missionaries’ experience of lay participation in the Church abroad has a key role to play in renewing the faith in Ireland. As the Church celebrates Mission Sunday, fresh focus is shifting to the Church at home which, in many ways, has become mission territory.

Returned missionaries are making a vital contribution to the Irish Church and are an ”untapped resource” for renewal and reform, according to the Irish Missionary Union (IMU).

Fr. Eamon Aylward, IMU executive secretary, told The Irish Catholic that missionaries ”have a particularly unique gift to give in reaching out to people on the margins of the institutional Church or society”.

A survey conducted by the IMU shows that returned missionaries are involved in a wide variety of ministries in Ireland, with the majority involved in parish work, pastoral care and chaplaincy, and that they are reaching out to the most vulnerable people in Ireland.

According to Fr Aylward: ”Returned missionaries have a lot to offer and in some ways are an untapped resource which will become more apparent in the years to come as we seek to find different ways to renew our Church.”

By Mags Gargan

To read more click here

Zenit: Pope: It’s Time to Remember the Beauty of Faith

Thursday, October 20th, 2011

Below is an excerpt taken from an article by Zenit regarding the “Year of Faith” to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Vatican II.

“Benedict XVI says it is time to remember the beauty and centrality of the faith, to go deeper into it and strengthen it, and for this purpose he has convoked a “Year of Faith.”

The Pope announced the special year, which will begin next October and conclude in November 2013, at the end of an event on the new evangelization held this weekend in the Vatican.

He then made a public announcement of the initiative before praying the midday Angelus with crowds who had gathered Sunday in St. Peter’s Square.

The Holy Father suggested that the Year of Faith will be not so much a celebration as a missionary event: a chance to “remember the beauty and the centrality of the faith, the need to strengthen and deepen it, both at the personal and the community level, and to do this in a perspective that is not so much celebratory, but rather, missionary — precisely in the perspective of the mission ad gentes and the new evangelization.”

He spoke of how John Paul II promoted these two elements of mission — both to those communities in which the Gospel has not taken root, and to those in which people have lost their zeal for the Gospel.”

By Zenit (17/10/11)

To continue reading this article,Click Here.


CiNews: Pope says economic laws must always take account of the family

Wednesday, October 19th, 2011

Below is an excerpt from an article from CiNews.

“The pope has stated that social doctrine of the Church developed over the last 120 years, with all the social changes in that time, always promotes human beings and the family in their everyday lives, including in business.

Pope said, “Economic laws must always take account of the interests and the protection of this fundamental cell of society (family).”

He was speaking on Monday morning (October 17) to participants in the annual congress of the Centesimus Annus Pro Pontifice foundation, who are focusing their reflections on the relationship between families and business.

The 2011 congress coincides with the twentieth anniversary of John Paul II’s Encyclical Centesimus annus (published 100 years after Leo XIII’s historic Rerum novarum), and with the thirtieth anniversary of the Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris consortio.”

To read on visit CiNews.

CiNews: World’s first vocations app far from “a churchy gimmick” – Bishop

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

Below is an excerpt from an article in CiNews about the launch of the first ever iPhone app designed to promote vocations to the priesthood.

“The first ever iPhone app designed specifically for the promotion of vocations to the priesthood was launched in Co Kildare on Monday by Bishop Donal McKeown, Chair of the Vocations Commission of the Irish Bishops’ Conference.

Designed by Fr Paddy Rushe and developed by Magic Time Apps in Dublin, the new Vocations app can be downloaded for free from the Apple iPhone app store.  It is intended to assist those seeking information on the diocesan priesthood in Ireland and includes answers to frequently asked questions about vocations and some ‘tests’ to help those thinking of priesthood discern their initial suitability.

Launching it, Bishop McKeown of the Diocese of Down and Connor, acknowledged that some would caricature the new app as, “just a churchy gimmick that will try to give the impression of modernity to something that is passé, a vain attempt to market something that belongs to yesterday.”

But he underlined that social media is where young people are.  “From my own little venture onto Facebook, I am very aware that this is how news travels.  This is the market place, this is the public square.”

He added that people in the Church had to be prepared, like Jesus, to hang around where people are and thus encounter Matthew the tax collector, the Samaritan woman and the lepers in the public forum.  He said that like all vocations promotion, the app is not primarily a recruitment exercise.

“Vocations work never seeks just to get people to sign up, to sign their life away.  It can only be there to help people get into conversation with themselves, with their own life story,” the auxiliary bishop of Down and Connor said.”

by Sarah Mac Donald

To read more visit CiNews

Zenit: Rio’s Redeemer Statue Turns 80

Monday, October 17th, 2011

Below is an excerpt from an article on about the statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio which celebrated its 80th birthday over the weekend.

“When young people gather in July 2013 for World Youth Day, they will have an octogenarian among them, so to speak.

Christ the Redeemer, the 125-foot, 699-ton, statue that looks down on Rio de Janeiro from atop Corcovado Mountain has just ”celebrated” its 80th birthday.

The famous statue officially became part of the Brazilian landscape on Oct. 12, 1931. Built by architect Heitor da Silva Costa and French/Polish sculptor Paul Landowski, the statue cost $250,000 in 1931 (estimated to be $3 million today). It was funded by donations from residents of what the mayor of Rio, Eduardo Paes, called “the world’s most beautiful city.”

It was transported to Brazil from France in pieces and taken by rail to the top of the 2,330 foot hill where it now stands.

Paes said the statue and its well-recognized outstretched arms are “how we welcome those who come visit us.”

In addition to the 2013 WYD, Rio will also host the 2016 Summer Olympics and the World Cup in 2014.

Rio locals and tourists are joining in the birthday celebration, holding concerts and vigils in honor of their local landmark, considered since 2007 a seventh Wonder of the Modern World.”


To read more click here