Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
February 8, 2009
World News in Brief
Saint Paul U honours Jean, Lafond
It was standing room only Jan. 27 at an assembly at Saint Paul University in Ottawa that honoured Gov. Gen. MichaŽlle Jean and her husband Jean-Daniel Lafond to mark the creation of a special endowment fund in their names.
SPU established The MichaŽlle Jean and Jean-Daniel Lafond Endowment Fund for Social Communications Studies to provide bursaries to international students enrolled in the Catholic university's social communications department.
Before her 2005 appointment as the representative of Canada's head of state Queen Elizabeth II, Jean had worked as a journalist both for Radio Canada and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.
She thanked SPU for the honour of the fund that will carry their names. She spoke of the responsibility that anyone engaged in picking up a pen, a microphone or a video camera has to those who read, listen or watch what they produce.
Jean spoke of the power of the communications media as it provided eyewitness accounts of the catastrophe in her native Haiti, bringing about the unprecedented response of solidarity.
Lafond told the assembly his first visit to SPU came after the 2008 release of his film Folle de Dieu that touched on the life of Marie de l'Incarnation, who founded the Quebec City Ursuline convent in 1639.
He spoke of the importance of making a space to ponder ethical responsibility and spirituality. Communication should not only rely on techniques, but include ethics and meaning, he said.
Letter to the Editor - 03/01/10
Notre Dame task force calls for pro-life approach
A task force appointed in September by Holy Cross Father John Jenkins, president of the University of Notre Dame, has issued a set of preliminary recommendations designed to "broaden and deepen the pro-life culture" at the university. The recommendations include undergraduate "witness to life" research opportunities in various academic disciplines; adoption of a policy statement on the university's "support for Catholic teaching on the sanctity of human life from conception to natural death"; and guidelines on how to "avoid formal or immediate material complicity in evils such as abortion and torture" in charitable gifts and investments. The task force was created at the start of the current academic year following what Jenkins called "the vigorous discussions surrounding President (Barack) Obama's visit" to the campus in May. Jenkins' decision to invite Obama to deliver the commencement speech and present him with an honorary law degree set off a firestorm of criticism by at least 70 U.S. bishops.
U.S. nuns slow to respond to questionnaire
The nun who is overseeing the Vatican-mandated apostolic visitation of U.S. communities of women religious has expressed "sadness and disappointment" over congregations that have resisted completing the questionnaire that is part of the process. Announced Jan. 30, 2009, the Vatican-ordered apostolic visitation process was opened "in order to look into the quality of life" of U.S. congregations of women religious. The study covers nearly all of the country's 67,000 sisters. In a letter dated Jan. 12 and addressed to women religious, Mother Mary Clare Millea - who is overseeing the study of 341 congregations as apostolic visitator - urged those who have not responded to do so.
New Mass translation ready for Advent 2011
The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments is pulling together the final version of the English translation of the complete Roman Missal, the book of prayers used at Mass. Most English-speaking bishops' conferences are preparing materials to introduce and explain the new translation with the hope people will begin using it in parishes at the beginning of Advent 2011.
Spanish Cardinal Antonio Canizares Llovera, prefect of the congregation, "expressed his hope that the coming confirmation of the Roman Missal would prove to be of great pastoral advantage to the Church in the English-speaking world," according to a statement by Vox Clara, an international group of bishops providing advice on the translation of the Roman Missal into English.
Ont. bishops reject gender studies course
The Assembly of Catholic Bishops in Ontario is urging Catholic secondary schools to reject a proposed gender studies course that contravenes Church teaching on sexuality. "A reading of the overall expectations leads us to believe that, though much of the content could be taught within a Catholic context .†.†. the fundamental thrust of this proposed optional course reflects an ideology which is at variance with Catholic anthropology and moral teaching," the bishops said in a recent letter to Catholic school board chairs and directors of education.
According to the Grade 11 course draft, students will be offered a course that studies "the struggle for women's rights and historical waves of feminism" including access to birth control information and reproductive rights. Students will "analyze successes and challenges in the recognition for rights for sexual minorities" including "radical feminist movements and LGBTT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and transsexual) rights."
The bishops proposed a choice of two social science courses as an alternative. The Institute for Catholic Education will work on course profiles or modules for the courses which integrates Catholic social teachings.
Annulments must be based in truth, justice, pope says
True pastoral charity and concern can never lead the Church to grant an annulment to a Catholic whose marriage is valid according to Church law, Pope Benedict said. "One must shun pseudo-pastoral claims" that look only at the desire of divorced Catholics to return to the sacraments, the pope said Jan. 29 in his annual speech to officials of the Roman Rota. The Rota is a tribunal that mainly deals with appeals filed in marriage annulment cases. The pope said helping Catholics be able to go to Confession and receive the Eucharist is important, but it cannot be done without taking into account the truth about their Church marriage. The Church cannot act charitably toward its faithful without upholding justice and truth, he said. Pastors and those who work in church tribunals must beware of "the widespread and deeply rooted tendency" to see justice and charity as totally competing values, the pope said.
Indiana students pray, promote the rosary
"I pray the rosary." Eighth-grade students at Holy Name School in Beech Grove, Ind., are proudly wearing T-shirts they decorated with this message. They made the T-shirts after watching a YouTube video during religion class about a teenager who promoted his Catholic faith as well as his devotion to Jesus and Mary in this way. Benedictine Sister Mary Nicolette Etienne, their religion teacher, said she enjoys teaching students to pray the rosary. She also distributes rosaries she makes to the students. During a recent class the students said their teacher inspires them to pray because she has a strong faith and deep love for Jesus.
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