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The Church Around the World

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 Contents - Sep 2012AD2000 September 2012 - Buy a copy now
Editorial: 2012 Fighting Fund launched: support Christian values - Peter Westmore
Sainthood: Cardinal Van Thuân: process to beatification 'very advanced' - Michael Gilchrist
News: The Church Around the World
Film: 'For Greater Glory': an inspiring message for today's Christians - Babette Francis
Survey confirms crisis of faith in Ireland - Michael Gilchrist
Noted UK doctor slams BBC program's anti-Catholic bias - Robert Walley
Interview: Egypt after Mubarak: 'Christians feel excluded' - Father Andrzej Halemba
Letters: Archbishop Chaput: how to meet the challenges to religious freedom - Archbishop Charles Chaput OFM
Time for women's "true genius" to reassert itself - Anne Lastman
Australian Catholic Students Association Conference 2012 - Br Barry Coldrey
The Church's mission priority: to search for its 'lost sheep' - Andrew Kania
Letters: Media bias - Anne Lastman
Letters: Achilles' heel - Fr John George
Letters: Appreciation - Frank O'Connor
Letters: Article of faith? - Jean-Leon Shanks
Letters: Power of the Rosary - Gabrielle Gannon
Letters: Old Testament - Fr Brian Harrison OS
Books: A COMPANION TO CATHOLIC EDUCATION, by Leonardo Franchi (Editor) - Gerard O'Shea (reviewer)
Books: THROUGH SHAKESPEARE'S EYES: Seeing the Catholic presence in the plays, Pearce - Michael E. Daniel (reviewer)
Books: FATIMA FOR TODAY: The Urgent Marian Message of Hope, by Fr Andrew Apostoli CFR - Brother Barry Coldrey (reviewer)
Books: Order books from
Reflection: Fatima: Mary's appeal for penance and conversion - Bishop Arthur Serratelli

New Archbishop of San Francisco appointed

Pope Benedict XVI has named Bishop Salvatore Cordileone the new Archbishop of San Francisco.

The appointment is certain to create shockwaves in a city known for homosexual activism. Recognised as a leading force behind the 2008 passage of Proposition 8, the ballot initiative that defined marriage as the union of a man and a woman, Archbishop-elect Cordileone was named chairman of the US bishops' Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage in 2011 by Cardinal Timothy Dolan.

In June this year he came into conflict with leaders of the Catholic Association for Gay and Lesbian (CALGM) ministries, who refused his request to take an oath pledging to uphold Church teachings regarding human sexuality. (CALGM is headquartered in Oakland, where Bishop Cordileone has been serving.)

Bishop Cordileone succeeds Archbishop George Niederauer, who has retired at age 76. Archbishop Niederauer found himself frequently facing opposition to Church teachings from gay-rights activists and from the high-profile statements of former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a resident of the Archdiocese.

Catholic World News

Vatican approved new Chinese bishop missing

The Vatican had praised the approved ordination of a Chinese bishop, who is now missing after announcing his split from the state-run Catholic Patriotic Association during his ordination.

"The ordination of the Reverend Thaddeus Ma Daqin as Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of Shanghai on Saturday 7 July 2012 is encouraging and is to be welcomed," said a 10 July Vatican communique.

During the ordination ceremony, Bishop Ma revealed that he was quitting his posts within the government-controlled Catholic Patriotic Association which refuses to acknowledge the authority of the Pope.

The announcement by the 44-year-old native of Shanghai was made in front of several state officials and was seen by many as a rebuke to China's communist regime. The 1000 strong congregation in the city's St Ignatius Cathedral responded with rapturous applause.

Bishop Ma, however, has not been seen in public since. Various media outlets suggest he was whisked away by state officials following the ceremony.

UCA News reports that priests and nuns in Shanghai have since received a text message from Bishop Ma's cellphone claiming to be sent by him. It states that he was "mentally and physically exhausted" and needed "a break" to make "a personal retreat." It also claims he is residing in the Sheshan seminary near Shanghai.

The mystery surrounding Bishop Ma comes on the day the Vatican formally announced the excommunication of 48-year-old Fr Joseph Yue Fusheng following his illicit ordination as bishop of Harbin in north-east China on 6 July.

The note also stipulates that those licitly ordained Catholic bishops who took part in the ordination have "exposed themselves to the sanctions laid down by the law of the Church" and must now "give an account to the Holy See of their participation in that religious ceremony."


US Diocese strengthens teaching of the faith

The Diocese of Arlington, Virginia, hopes to strengthen teaching in Catholic schools and churches by asking religious instructors to promise allegiance to the Church's teachings, including on controversial subjects.

"This is viewed as a positive gesture - one of community and communion, in which our catechists profess their faith in communion with Bishop Loverde, Pope Benedict, and the entire Church," diocesan communications director Michael Donohue said in a 12 July CNA interview.

While a small number of teachers said they could not make the profession, Donohue said a "far greater number" have told the diocese they see the profession of faith as "a positive gesture."

The profession has been sent to religious instructors to sign by September 2012. It contains the articles of the Nicene Creed and an affirmation of faith in all teachings "whether written or handed down in Tradition, which the Church ... sets forth to be believed as divinely revealed."

It asks signatories to "firmly accept and hold each and every thing definitively proposed by the Church regarding teaching on faith and morals," giving "submission of will and intellect to the teachings which either the Roman Pontiff or the College of Bishops enunciate."

Nearly half a million Catholics, including almost 5,000 religious instructors, live and worship in the Arlington diocese. On 11 July, the  Washington Post published a lengthy story about five Sunday school teachers who left their positions after refusing to sign the oath of fidelity to Church teaching.

In his announcement of the Year of Faith, the Pope described various ways in which dioceses and parishes could join in professing the Church's beliefs. Based on this suggestion, the Arlington diocese extended the profession of faith - already expected of others in Church offices - to its religion teachers.

Catholic News Agency

Ordinations to Australia's Anglican Ordinariate

The Melbourne parish of the Australian Ordinariate will come into being over the weekend of 7-9 September 2012. On Friday, 7 September, at 7.00pm, laity coming into the Personal Ordinariate will be received by the Australian Ordinary, Msgr Harry Entwistle, at Holy Cross Catholic Church, 707 Glen Huntly Road, Caulfield South.

On Saturday, 8 September, at 10.00am ordinations to the priesthood will take place at St Patrick's Cathedral, East Melbourne, with Archbishop Denis Hart presiding. Candidates for the Ordinariate are James Grant, Neil Fryer, Ramsay Williams and Christopher Seton while candidates for the Melbourne Archdiocese are Andrew McCarter, Benneth Osuagwu, Jerome Santamaria and Kevin Williams.

On Sunday, 9 September, at 11.00am Msgr Entwistle will concelebrate Mass with the newly ordained Ordinariate priests at Holy Cross Catholic Church.

From 9 September, the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross, Melbourne Parish, will reside and worship at Holy Cross Church, with High Mass to be celebrated at 11.00am while Evensong and Benediction will take place at 7.00pm.

Russian Orthodox leader's visit to Poland

During his 16-19 August visit to Poland, Russian Orthodox Patriarch Patriarch Kirill I of Moscow planned to join the country's Catholic leaders in signing a statement appealing for mutual forgiveness.

The document signals "a new stage and a common perspective on a difficult, common history," Polish bishops' spokesman Father Jozef Kloch said of the document on reconciliation, due to be signed by the Moscow Patriarch along with Polish Bishops' Conference President Archbishop Jozef Michalik.

Russia's top church leader will be in Warsaw for the first two days of his visit, meeting with Polish state officials and Catholic bishops. He will sign the joint Catholic-Orthodox statement on his second day in the capital, at the city's Royal Castle, Fr Kloch said during a 16 July press conference.

A commission with representatives of both churches has been working for three years to develop the statement. "We hope it will gradually lead to reconciliation between our nations," said Fr Kloch, explaining that the document was a step towards resolving "the painful history of Poland and Russia" on the basis of a shared Christian faith.

"We have the same sacraments, similar challenges. As brothers in Christianity we want to take common positions."

Zenit News Agency

Christian minority fears anarchy in Damascus

The Chaldean Bishop of Aleppo says Christians of the region are terrified that the situation of anarchy in Damascus could result in calamity for their minority population. Chaldean Bishop Antoine Audo of Aleppo spoke with the charity Aid to the Church in Need in July.

Recalling the forced exodus of basically the entire Christian community from Homs, with nearly 120,000 people fleeing, the bishop said that the worsening situation in Aleppo and Damascus has Christian refugees turning to him for help.

"What we are afraid of is that in this situation of anarchy, armed people will come into Christian areas as they did in Homs," he said. "If they come in around our churches and round our bishopric, just as they did in Homs, it will be disastrous for us.

"It is very difficult, especially for people from Homs, who have left everything behind. The poor people have nothing. When I am asked which side do I support, I always answer, I am on the side of my country. I am doing whatever I can to save Syria, this lovely country of ours. What we need is your prayers for all of us. This is a very dangerous time. People are very fearful."

Zenit News Agency

Scotland: jail over "gay marriage" a possibility

Archbishop-designate Philip Tartaglia of Glasgow could see himself being imprisoned for speaking out in support of the traditional married family. "I could see myself going to jail possibly at some point over the next 15 years, if God spares me, if I speak out," Archbishop Tartaglia said in an interview with STV News on 24 July.

His comments came just a day before the Scottish Government announced it would legislate in favour of same-sex "marriage." Archbishop Tartaglia warned that the redefinition of marriage will have "enormous implications for religious liberty."

"I am deeply concerned that today, defending the traditional meaning of marriage is almost considered 'hate speech' and branded intolerant."

Earlier, a leading Scottish lawyer Aidan O'Neill warned that same-sex "marriage" legislation will radically undermine religious liberty.

He predicted that a change in the law could result in employees being fired for opposing same-sex "marriage," ministers and priests being sued for refusing to allow "wedding" ceremonies to take place in their churches, school children being forced to attend homosexual history lessons, and couples being rejected as foster parents if they oppose the new legislation.

Archbishop Tartaglia will be installed in St Andrew's Cathedral in Glasgow on 8 September.


Courage Executive Director to visit Australia

Fr Paul N. Check, the Executive Director of Courage, the international organisation that helps same-sex attracted (SSA) people to live chaste lives, is to visit Australia in September.

During his talks, Fr Check will clarify the Church's teachings and the difference between homosexual inclination and homosexual activity.

A sister organisation EnCourage supports families and loved ones who endeavour to understand the complexities of same-sex attractions. Those who join Courage or EnCourage find the shared experience of members and the opportunity to express their own thoughts and feelings peacefully and freely very helpful; from that fraternity, and from their shared fidelity to the Church, they draw strength. 

In Melbourne, Archbishop Hart appointed Fr Laurie Leonard SJ to serve as Chaplain of Courage and EnCourage. Melbourne also offers monthly EnCourage meetings, chaired by Alan and Marie Mason.

For information regarding Fr Check's upcoming visit, contact the following: Melbourne, Courage Chaplain, Fr Laurie Leonard SJ, 9854 8189 or; EnCourage Coordinators Marie and Alan Mason, 9847-0713 or encouragemelbourne

There will be a public presentation at the Thomas Carr centre on Saturday, 22 September, from 10:30-12noon and an EnCourage meeting especially for families from 2-4pm followed by Mass at 5pm.

SSPX response to Vatican due "very soon"

The head of the Society of St Pius X says the group is on the verge of giving a definitive response to the Vatican's offer of re-unification.

"All ambiguity has now been resolved among us. Very soon we will convey to Rome the position of the Chapter," Bishop Bernard Fellay said on 16 July, following the conclusion of the society's general chapter in Econe, Switzerland.

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Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 25 No 8 (September 2012), p. 4

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