Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
May 3, 2010
World News in Brief
Pope may create department for new evangelization
Pope Benedict is planning to create a Roman Curia department charged with overseeing the "re-evangelization" of traditionally Christian countries, an Italian newspaper reported.
The Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization will be announced in an apostolic letter being prepared by the pope and will be headed by Italian Archbishop Rino Fisichella, Il Giornale said April 25. The Vatican had no immediate comment.
The step would represent the first major Roman Curia innovation under Pope Benedict, who has frequently spoken about the need to renew the roots of the faith in European and other Western societies.
It was Pope John Paul II who first used the term "new evangelization." Il Giornale said a proposal to create a Vatican department to promote this type of activity was made in the 1980s by Father Luigi Giussani, the founder of the Italian lay movement Communion and Liberation.
New parliamentary c'tee to look at palliative care
Members of Parliament from three parties have pledged to examine deficiencies in Canada's palliative care network and the treatment of the elderly, disabled and mentally ill. Five MPs announced the establishment of the Parliamentary Committee on Palliative and Compassionate Care at a news conference a couple of hours before Quebecois MP Francine Lalonde's euthanasia and assisted suicide bill was defeated.
"It became quite clear we couldn't simply oppose the bill," NDP MP Joe Comartin told journalists. "We had to go beyond that." Conservative MP Harold Albrecht said the initiative is "an effort to provide the oxygen of hope" to respond to Canadian concerns around death, dying, disability and mental illness.
Albrecht said the committee will hold hearings and conduct research on:
At 83, things are getting busy for Benedict
Almost lost in the recent furor over clerical sex abuse is that Pope Benedict just turned 83 and is approaching one of the busiest stretches of his pontificate. At an age when most Church officials have long retired, over the next six months the pontiff will make six trips, preside over dozens of public liturgies, close the Year for Priests, chair a Synod of Bishops on the Middle East and keep up a steady stream of audiences, both public and private. A major document on Scripture in Church life is expected soon. In his spare moments - which are few - the pope is working on his second volume of Jesus of Nazareth. Recent media reports have drawn a portrait of a weary pope, overwhelmed by the onslaught of criticism over the Church's handling of sex abuses cases. Yet on the public stage, Pope Benedict has shown few signs of succumbing to job fatigue.
Belgian bishop admits abuse, resigns
Pope Benedict has accepted the resignation of a Belgian bishop who admitted to sexually abusing a young man. Bishop Roger Vangheluwe of Brugge, Belgium, said in a statement April 23, "When I was still a simple priest and for a certain time at the beginning of my episcopacy, I sexually abused a young man." Pope Benedict accepted the 73-year-old bishop's resignation April 23. Vangheluwe had led the Diocese of Brugge for more than 25 years. Vangheluwe said, "I am deeply sorry for what I did and I offer my sincerest apologies to the victim, to his family, to the whole Catholic community and society in general."
Pope accepts resignation of Irish bishop
Pope Benedict accepted the resignation of Bishop James Moriarty of Kildare and Leighlin, Ireland, who said he should have challenged the culture of silence in the Irish Church when priests were accused of sexually abusing minors. The Vatican announced April 22 that the pope accepted the resignation of the 73-year-old bishop. In a statement April 22, Moriarty said that while he was not directly criticized in a report of an independent commission investigating how the Church handled abuse allegations, as an auxiliary bishop in Dublin from 1991 to 2002 "I should have challenged the prevailing culture."
Agca wants meeting with Pope Benedict in Fatima
The Turk who tried to kill Pope John Paul II in 1981, Mehmet Ali Agca, wants to meet with Pope Benedict at the Marian shrine of Fatima in May, news reports said. The Vatican said the pope has no plans to meet Agca. The Vatican spokesman, Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, said: "Such an encounter is not on the schedule." The pope is going to Portugal from May 11 to 14 to mark the 10th anniversary of the beatification of Blesseds Francisco and Jacinta Marto, two of the shepherd children who saw Our Lady of Fatima in 1917. Agca shot and seriously wounded Pope John Paul in St. Peter's Square on May 13, 1981, the feast of Our Lady of Fatima.
Bishops ask Catholics to do penance to atone for abuse
The bishops of England and Wales are asking Catholics to carry out acts of penance each Friday in May to help atone for clerical abuse crimes. In a statement to be read at all parishes April 24-25, the bishops assured Catholics that effective child protection procedures are in place. However, they said, it is "time for deep prayer and reparation for atonement" of the sins of priests and other Catholics who have abused children. "We invite Catholics in England and Wales to make the four Fridays in May 2010 special days of prayer," the bishops said in their statement. They recommended visiting the Blessed Sacrament to pray for victims, their abusers and for Church leaders who mishandled cases. The Church in England and Wales claims it has one of the toughest child protection regimes in the world, and numbers of allegations have fallen dramatically in the past five years.
Diocese dedicates area for eco-friendly burials
Maryrest Cemetery, one of the 10 Catholic cemeteries owned and operated by the Newark. N.J., Archdiocese, has a new section dedicated to natural burials and green funerals. It's believed to be one of the first Catholic cemeteries in the U.S. to reserve grounds for eco-friendly burials. Andrew Schafer, executive director of the archdiocese's cemeteries, said the green burial site was developed in response to consumer requests.
Polish institute shows police tracking of Wojtyla
Poland's National Remembrance Institute has published a book of documents detailing how the communist secret police kept the future Pope John Paul II under surveillance and sought material for blackmailing him. "As a priest, lecturer and pastor, and later as a bishop and metropolitan of Krakow, Karol Wojtyla was seen by the government as an especially dangerous ideological opponent," the book's editor, Marek Lasota, said in an introduction. "This was proved by the use of a full range of operational methods and technical means against him, from telephone bugs and the opening of correspondence to direct observation through an agent network used for disintegration and disinformation activities."
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