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The Church Around the World

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 Contents - Aug 2014AD2000 August 2014 - Buy a copy now
Wilcannia-Forbes: An unusual but welcome ordination - Peter Westmore
Culture: US Supreme Court's landmark decisions support faith - AD2000 Report
News: The Church Around the World
Factors in the success of Australia's young adult ministry - Br Barry Coldrey
Fatherhood: mirror of God's relationship with the Son - Anne Lastman
Uncovering the ideas behind the 'culture of death' - Donald DeMarco
Pope Francis condemns 'Gender ideology' as 'demonic' - Patrick Byrne
Eyewitness to history: the canonisation of St John Paul II - Wanda Skowronska
Pope Francis discusses the Church's moral teachings - LifeSiteNews
Miracle on death row - Cedric Wright
War of words: changing society through language - Audrey English
Letters: Use of iPhone at Mass ... - Audrey English
Letters: Still at it, Mr Westmore! - Anne Lastman
Letters: School chaplains - Arnold Jago
Letters: Naming a lost baby - Robert Bom
Books: IN SEARCH OF CARDINAL STEPINAC: A Complete Biography, by Fr Zvonimir Gavranovic - Fr Steven Ledinich (reviewer)
Books: RICH IN YEARS: Finding Peace and Purpose in a Long Life, Johann Christoph Arnold - Michael E Daniel (reviewer)
Books: PRAY FOR ME The Life and Spiritual Vision of Pope Francis, by Robert Moynihan - Br Barry Coldrey (reviewer)
Books: NEW OUTPOURINGS OF THE SPIRIT, by Joseph Ratzinger, Pope Benedict XVI - Br Barry Coldrey (reviewer)
Books: Order books from
Reflection: The Assumption: Mary leads us to Heaven - Bishop Anthony Fisher

Catholic, Muslim joint declaration on life

Catholics and Shia Muslims oppose actions that endanger the life, health, dignity and welfare of others, according to a joint declaration signed by US bishops and Iranian religious leaders.

The 14 June declaration resulted from a dialogue between a delegation from the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and the Supreme Council of the Seminary Teachers of Qom, the pre-eminent centre of religious scholarship in Iran.

The dialogue sought to promote greater understanding and peace between Americans and Iranians. Bishop Richard E. Pates of Des Moines, Iowa, chairman of the US bishops' International Justice and Peace Committee, led the US delegation.

"As religious leaders, we condemn all forms of disrespect for the religious traditions of others," said the joint declaration. "Just as importantly, we commit ourselves to active inter-religious dialogue that transcends governments and national boundaries and serves the common good of the whole human family."

They added: "Shia Islam opposes and forbids the production, stockpiling, use and threat to use weapons of mass destruction. Catholicism is also working for a world without weapons of mass destruction and calls on all nations to rid themselves of these indiscriminate weapons."

Signers of the declaration were Ayatollah Ali-Reza Afarafi, senior member of the Supreme Council of the Society of Qom Seminary Scholars and president of Al-Mustafa International University Dr Abdul-Majid Hakim-Elahi, director of the international affairs office of the Society of Qom Seminary Scholars, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, retired Archbishop of Washington, and Bishop Pates.

Zenit News Service

Miracle attributed to Fulton Sheen approved

Bishop Daniel Jenky of Peoria, Illinois, president of the Archbishop Fulton Sheen Foundation, has been informed that the seven-member theological commission that advises the Congregation of Saints unanimously agreed that a reported miracle should be attributed to the intercession of the Venerable Servant of God, Archbishop Fulton Sheen.

The case involved a stillborn baby born in September 2010. For over an hour the child demonstrated no signs of life as medical professionals attempted every possible life saving procedure, while the child's parents and loved ones began immediately to seek the intercession of Fulton Sheen.

After 61 minutes the baby was restored to full life and over three years later demonstrates a complete recovery.

The decision came after a March 2014 vote by the team of Vatican medical experts who affirmed that they could find no natural explanation for the child's healing.

With the recommendations of the medical experts and now the theologians, the case will next be reviewed by the cardinals and bishops who advise the Pope on these matters.

Finally, the miracle would be presented to Pope Francis who would then officially affirm that God performed a miracle through the intercession of Fulton Sheen.

Upon the Pope signing the decree for the beatification, an additional miracle would be needed to lead to canonisation.

Zenit News Service

Cardinal Burke to visit Sydney and Melbourne

Cardinal Raymond Burke, Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, will visit Sydney and Melbourne in late August. Cardinal Burke is well-known for his love and promotion of the liturgical traditions of the Church, and regularly celebrates the sacraments in the Extraordinary Form. He is also noted for his defence of innocent human life, and of marriage and the family.

The Cardinal will celebrate Benediction in the Crypt of St Mary's Cathedral, Sydney, at 5.30pm on Tuesday, 26 August. Entry to the Crypt is on the east side of the Cathedral, from Cathedral Street, which separates St Mary's from the Cathedral Presbytery.

On Wednesday, 27 August, the Cardinal will celebrate Solemn Pontifical Mass in the Extraordinary Form in St Mary's Cathedral. This will be a votive Mass for the Propagation of the Faith.

On Sunday, 31 August, at 10.30 am, Cardinal Burke will again celebrate Solemn Pontifical Mass in the Extraordinary Form, at the Personal Parish of Blessed John Henry Newman, St Aloysius' Church, 233 Balaclava Road, Caulfield North, Melbourne. An informal BBQ luncheon will follow, and the day will conclude with Pontifical Benediction at approximately 3 pm.

For further information, please contact Fr Glen Tattersall: pastor>.

Sistine Chapel to have new climate-control system

The Vatican has plans to install a new climate-control system in the Sistine Chapel, to preserve the renowned Michelangelo works.

The new system, replacing an older system that was installed in the 1990s, will be in place later this year, the Vatican has announced. The new system will have much greater power, while using more efficient energy-saving techniques.

Along with the Carrier climate-control system, the Vatican Museums have also reached an agreement with United Technologies Corporation to provide for fire detection and suppression, video surveillance, electronic security, and other systems ensuring the safety of the buildings and visitors.

Catholic World News

Pope slams Mafia as "adorers of evil"

 In his homily at a Saturday evening Mass during his day trip to Italy's Calabria region, Pope Francis denounced the dishonesty and violence perpetrated by members of the local mafia.

"When adoration of the Lord is substituted by adoration of money, the road to sin opens to personal interest ... When one does not adore the Lord, one becomes an adorer of evil, like those who live by dishonesty and violence," Pope Francis said at the outdoor Mass in Sibari.

"Your land, which so beautiful, knows the signs of the consequences of this sin. The ' Ndrangheta (Calabrian Mafia) is this: adoration of evil and contempt of the common good. This evil must be fought, must be expelled. It must be told no," he urged.

Those who have chosen the "evil road, such as the mobsters" are "not in communion with God". They are "excommunicated", he said.

Pope Francis urged the congregation to "witness to concrete fraternal solidarity" in families, parishes, and ecclesial movements.

"If you adore Christ and walk behind him and with him, your diocesan Church and your parishes will grow in faith and in charity, in the joy of evangelisation," he said.

"You will be a Church in which fathers, mothers, priests, religious, catechists, children, the elderly, (and) young people walk together, one alongside the other, supporting one another, helping one another, loving one another as brothers, especially in moments of difficulty."

Catholic News Agency

US March for Marriage

Defenders of marriage from around the United States came to Washington, DC, for the March for Marriage to support the institution as one between a man and a woman.

The march was the second national rally recognising marriage's unique role as an institution that unites a man and a woman. Participants met in front of the US Capitol, and then walked to the Supreme Court building, where the group gathered in prayer and song.

"It's good to be here" said Tom Pell, a senior at Providence College in Rhode Island who came with the Love and Fidelity Network, a group of college students who promote the traditional understanding of love and sexuality.

The effect of the changing definition of marriage "can be seen on college campuses" in the breakdown of relationships on campus and the rise of the hookup culture, he added.

Angelina Rivera, a young married mother from Patterson, NJ, told CNA that she was "here to demonstrate that we have a voice".

Her husband, David, added that children "need that balance", a balance in approach to parenting "that can only come from a mother and a father".

David also said that their experiences as young parents inspired them to come to the march, saying that their children are already "getting the same things we're getting for speaking the truth about marriage", from school classmates.

Angelina said they "teach our children not to discriminate and to love others", even while having different understandings of the world.

Jack Anderson from Baltimore said that he came because of the unique pressure surrounding this issue.

"I don't know any other word that's being re-defined," he said. "It's a religious term. It's one of the sacraments."

Elloise Dessaussoure of South Carolina said that she hoped that the wide participation in the March for Marriage would "send a signal that we may have differences" but ultimately, in the cause of defending marriage, that the "foundation is love".

Catholic News Agency

Pope Francis deplores persecution of Christians

Pope Francis has lamented continued persecution against Christians and other religious believers, encouraging scholars and governments to defend religious liberty.

"Nowadays, persecution against Christians is stronger than it was in the first centuries of the Church, and there are more Christian martyrs than in that time," the Pope told participants at the International Religious Liberty and Global Clash of Values conference in the Vatican's Consistory Hall.

The conference was co-sponsored by the School of Law at St John's University in New York and by the law department at Rome's Universitą Maria SS Assunta.

Pope Francis said it was "incomprehensible and worrisome" that there continue to be discrimination and restrictions of rights on the sole basis of religious profession. He said persecution motivated by religious affiliation was "unacceptable".

He added: "It gives me great pain to see that Christians around the world suffer the most from such discrimination."

Research institutions such as the Pew Research Centre have found that religious hostilities involving religion reached a six-year high in 2012, while government restrictions on religion have increased in Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa.

In his comments to religious liberty scholars, Pope Francis reflected on Catholic teaching, citing the Second Vatican Council's declaration on religious freedom, Dignitatis Humanae.

"Every human is a 'seeker' of truth on his origins and destiny," the Pope said. "In his mind and in his heart, questions and thoughts arise that cannot be repressed or stifled, since they emerge from the depths of the person and are a part of the intimate essence of the person. They are religious questions, and religious freedom is necessary for them to manifest themselves fully."

He called religious freedom "a fundamental right of man". It was "not simply freedom of thought or private worship", but "the freedom to live according to ethical principles, both privately and publicly, consequent to the truth one has found".

"Legal systems, at both national and international level, are therefore required to recognise, guarantee and protect religious freedom, which is a right intrinsically inherent in human nature."

Religious freedom was also "an indicator of a healthy democracy" and "one of the main sources of the legitimacy of the state", Francis concluded.

Catholic News Agency

Vatican officials visit Indonesia

Two officials from the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue visited Indonesia in late May.

Indonesia is the world's most populous Muslim nation and a statement from the Pontifical Council said the visit was aimed at boosting inter-religious dialogue as a sign of respect and friendship, as urged by Pope Francis.

During their visit, the officials met with members of the Indonesian bishops' conference and Catholic institutions involved in interreligious dialogue, as well as the three most important Islamic organisations in Indonesia, the Nahdlatul Ulama, the Muhammadiyah and the Ulama Council.

Zenit News Agency

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Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 27 No 7 (August 2014), p. 4

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