Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
June 14, 2010
World News in Brief
Collins, Prendergast to help Irish Church rebuild
Pope Benedict has named nine Church leaders, including two Canadian prelates, to begin an apostolic visitation of the Catholic Church in Ireland aimed at helping the Church address the sexual abuse scandal, improve assistance to victims and perfect preventive measures.
Archbishop Thomas Collins of Toronto will conduct the visitation of the Archdiocese of Cashel and Archbishop Terrence Prendergast of Ottawa will visit the Archdiocese of Tuam.
The Vatican announced May 31 that the visitation would begin in the fall and that no deadline has been set for its conclusion.
The visitation is intended "to contribute to the desired spiritual and moral renewal that is already being vigorously pursued by the Church in Ireland," said the announcement.
Other bishops involved in the visitations include British Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, Cardinal Sean O'Malley of Boston and Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York.
Haitian peasants challenge Monsanto's seed donation
Advocates for Haitian peasants said a U.S.-based company's donation of up to 475 tons of hybrid vegetable seeds to aid Haitian farmers will harm the island-nation's agriculture. The advocates contend the donation is being made in an effort to shift farmer dependence from local seed to more expensive hybrid varieties shipped from overseas. Haitian farmers and small growers traditionally save seed from season to season or buy the seed they desire from traditional seed markets. However, an official from the St. Louis-based Monsanto Co. told Catholic News Service that the seed is simply a donation to the Haitian government. The first two shipments - 135 tons - of hybrid varieties of corn, cabbage, carrot, eggplant, melon, onion, spinach, tomato and watermelon arrived in Haiti during the first two weeks of May. In a widely distributed email in mid-May, Chavannes Jean-Baptiste, executive director of the peasant group, excoriated the seed donation as "a new earthquake."
Migration problems have economic roots - bishops
Bishops of the United States, Canada, Central America and the Caribbean called on their governments to address the economic root causes of migration and seek policies that will help create jobs for people in their homelands. Following a consultation on migration held in Washington June 2-4, Guatemalan Bishop Alvaro Ramazzini Imeri said the poor of his country have not benefited from the Central American Free Trade Agreement, known as CAFTA, which it ratified three years ago. "The level of poverty in Guatemala is increasing," he said. Bishop Francois Lapierre of Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec, said, "We are living an incredible contradiction. We want to live in a global economy, but every day we make it more difficult to go across the border." The Church continues to address migration-related issues from a Gospel perspective, Lapierre said, "because somebody years ago said, 'I was a stranger and you welcomed me.'"
Jesuit journal praises U.S. health reform law
The health care reform law passed in the United States marked "a needed and long awaited beginning" of bringing greater justice to all citizens, especially the most vulnerable, said an influential Jesuit journal. "Limited access to health care compromised in many ways the health of citizens and the country," said the journal, La Civilta Cattolica. It also said the different positions within the U.S. Catholic community over whether the measure should have been passed reflected a "clash" of differing opinions over how to implement Church social teaching. The Rome-based biweekly magazine is reviewed by the Vatican Secretariat of State before publication.
New media must touch people's hearts with Christ
If Catholic communicators are to use new media effectively, they must use it in ways that touch people's hearts and draw them to living faith communities, Pope Benedict said in a greeting to people gathered for a media convention in New Orleans. During his general audience in St. Peter's Square June 2, the pope read his message to those attending the Catholic Media Convention June 2-4. The meeting focused on the theme Spreading the Good News - Byte by Byte, which "highlights the extraordinary potential of the new media to bring the message of Christ and the teaching of his Church to the attention of a wider public," the pope said. "If your mission is to be truly effective - if the words you proclaim are to touch hearts, engage people's freedom and change their lives - you must draw them into an encounter with persons and communities who witness to the grace of Christ by their faith and their lives," he said. The pope said he hoped the conference would give participants renewed enthusiasm for the Gospel.
CNS director wins St. Francis de Sales Award
Tony Spence, director and editor-in-chief of Catholic News Service since 2004, is the winner of the Catholic Press Association's 2010 St. Francis de Sales Award. Accepting the award at a luncheon during the Catholic Media Convention in New Orleans, Spence said that when he got his first Catholic press job at The Tennessee Register, diocesan newspaper more than 25 years ago, "I thought I would give it a year." "It hardly took that long to realize it was much more than a job," he added. "It was a vocation. And one I truly love." The St. Francis de Sales Award is the highest award the CPA presents to an individual for "outstanding contributions to Catholic journalism."
Catholic classmates cheer teen golf sensation
It had been a watershed week, and as Jordan Spieth approached the last fairway on his final round, he raised an arm to acknowledge the crowds. His Jesuit College Preparatory School classmates positioned themselves to welcome the teen golf sensation to the 18th green at the TPC Four Seasons Resort in Irving, Texas, where Spieth made his PGA Tour debut May 17-23. For Spieth, 16, the week that whirled him into a new orbit was ending. But he could read in the faces of his family and friends that much had begun. Hannah Walker, an Ursuline Academy cheerleader who had been Spieth's classmate at St. Monica Catholic School in Dallas, said, "He represents good sportsmanship and leadership. And he also is humble."
Pope praises Jesuit's outreach to China
Pope Benedict praised an Italian Jesuit missionary for his unique and effective evangelization in 16th-century China and for opening dialogue between China and the West. The pope spoke May 29 to a group of pilgrims from Italy's Marches region, where Father Matteo Ricci was born. Pope Benedict said the Jesuit was able to win the hearts and minds of his Chinese hosts by throwing himself into their culture with respect and openness. Ricci not only learned the Chinese language, but he adopted the style of life and customs of cultured Chinese people and, so, was "accepted with respect, not as a foreigner, but as 'Great Master of the West,'" the pope said. The missionary's efforts made the Chinese more open to his teachings about the Christian faith, he said. Because Ricci and his companions were able to start a dialogue with the Chinese, he said, their era marked "one of the highest and happiest points in relations between China and the West."
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