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Thursday, October 8, 2009

CATHOLIC WORLD NEWS: THURS. OCT. 8, 2009





CATHOLIC WORLD NEWS: THURS. OCT. 8, 2009: HEADLINES
AMERICAS: 100,000,000 PRAYERS TO BE OFFERED THROUGH BLUE ARMY-
EUROPE: POLAND: CONFERENCE ON CATHOLIC SOCIAL TEACHING-
ASIA:PHILLIPINES: ON-LINE PARISH ATTRACTS THOUSANDS-
AFRICA: GHANA: CALLS FOR CHEAPER HIV MEDICATIONS
AUSTRALIA:CHILD WELFARE ADVOCATES SUGGEST IDENTIFICATION OF PERPETRATORS


VATICAN

FIFTH GENERAL CONGREGATION VATICAN CITY, 7 OCT 2009 (VIS) - The Fifth General Congregation of the Second Special Assembly for Africa of the Synod of Bishops was held this afternoon in the Vatican's Synod Hall. The president delegate on duty was Cardinal Theodore-Adrien Sarr, archbishop of Senegal, Dakar. Extracts from some of the Synod Father's speeches are given below: CARDINAL JEAN-LOUIS TAURAN, PRESIDENT OF THE PONTIFICAL COUNCIL FOR INTER-RELIGIOUS DIALOGUE. "Traditional African religion strongly influences Africans, who are by nature religious. ... Christian missionaries did not reveal God to the Africans (they already had an idea): they brought them Jesus Christ, 'God with a human face'. ... The activity of the sects, because of the simplicity in their beliefs, attracts many Africans who find themselves in a situation of instability. ... This synodal assembly should encourage the study of traditional African religion, foment greater pastoral care for the people who live in contact with it and suggest what is best to be done for the common good ... The development of sects could also be an invitation to pastors to take better care in the transmission of the content of the faith in the African cultural context. If we wish to answer the question: what does the Gospel have to say to Africans that is new? it is necessary to know and appreciate the religious roots of the peoples in this continent". ARCHBISHOP TARCISIUS GERVAZIO ZIYAYE OF BLANTYRE, MALAWI, PRESIDENT OF THE ASSOCIATION OF MEMBER EPISCOPAL CONFERENCES OF EASTERN AFRICA (AMECEA). "As the Church in Africa, ... we face the call to move to a more mature catechesis, promoting a true Christian identity and a profound conversion of hearts. It is disheartening that in Africa today Catholics should participate in political and ethnic clashes, that Catholic politicians could be involved in serious corruption of public resources, and that some of our Catholics revert to occult practices in times of difficulties. All this tells us that we still have a long way to go to promote a faith that transforms the heart, and a faith that does justice. There is a need at every level of the Church in Africa for more serious formation in the Church's social teaching and deeper implementation of inculturation in our theology and not only in our rituals". BISHOP AMBROISE OUEDRAOGO OF MARADI, NIGER. "In Niger, Islam is present in a substantial way and colours all activities in social, cultural, economic and political life. Mosques and madrasahs are everywhere. We are also witnessing the establishing of orphanages, medical centres and help centres. Certain new reformist Islamic movements provide programming for private radios and television networks with the aim of helping Muslim believers to live and practice their faith better. Living in the heart of this socio-cultural and religious context, the Church Family of God here in Niger, conscious of being a minority, tries to live and testify to the love of God, to be at the service of reconciliation, justice and peace. The Church of God here in Niger has made Islamic-Christian dialogue a pastoral priority in its mission of evangelisation. Without pretending to be carrying out anything extraordinary or doing anything striking, the Christian communities, supported and encouraged by their pastors, are striving to study and live a life of universal brotherhood in a spirit of free giving with their Muslim brothers and sisters, through a dialogue of life, listening and mutual respect, and the exchange of proper procedures in the most significant events of human life". BISHOP MAURICE PIAT C.S.SP. OF PORT-LOUIS, MAURITIUS. "Parents, disarmed by the violence affecting their families, or shaken by the modernity that disrupts traditional paths for the transmission of values, must be supported. When war tears their families apart, parents may ask themselves what meaning there is to their lives, and what values they can still transmit to their children. ... Parents who are victims of violence need to be accompanied on their healing path. ... When, through 'Living Ecclesial Communities', parents find a response to their desire ... to communicate and are put into contact with the Word of God, they discover, on the basis of the trials they have suffered, an unexpected proximity with Christ's suffering which encourages them and restores meaning to their lives. To accompany these families on the Paschal path, it would seem essential today for the Church-Family of God to spread the salt of the Gospel in African lands". BISHOP FULGENCE MUTEBA MUGALU OF KILWA-KASENGA, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO. "To be effective, ecclesial communication must become a pastoral priority. To do this, the social communications media must be truly placed at the service of evangelisation and of the evangelised themselves. In this regard, we hope that our ecclesial structures and ecclesiastical institutions may be able to set up, within the limits of available resources, their own communications media (radio, newspapers, information bulletins, internet sites, television, telephone, etc.) and truly use them. ... Bishops, priests and seminarians, must learn how to use the new technologies of communication and information in pastoral care, especially in the pastoral care of justice, peace and reconciliation. Our people must also be trained in the discernment and critical use of media instruments, in the light of ethical principles and human rights". BISHOP GEORGE NKUO OF KUMBO, CAMEROON. "Apart from greed, corruption and lack of confidence in our political leaders, one of the great obstacles to justice, peace and reconciliation in Africa is poverty. There is poverty in Africa and there is hunger in many parts of the continent of Africa. There are greedy people in Africa including our leaders who do not care about their brothers and sisters. Poverty means that basic needs for food, water and shelter are not being met. Poverty means that security in the community is not available. Poverty means that the means to heal our families is not available. Poverty means that our children will have no future with hopes of having a family and a means of support. Poverty means that sadness and fear have replaced joy and serenity. This is the poverty of many places in Africa. Poverty is the single greatest cause of hunger. There is poverty in Africa but Africa has almost all it takes to be the richest continent on earth. Africa is about the wealthiest continent in natural resources in the world. ... True enough there are no quick fix solutions to solving large scale poverty but we must begin somewhere".SE/FIFTH CONGREGATION/... VIS 091008 (1080)


SIXTH GENERAL CONGREGATION VATICAN CITY, 8 OCT 2009 (VIS) - The Sixth General Congregation of the Second Special Assembly for Africa of the Synod of Bishops took place in the Vatican's Synod Hall this morning. The president delegate on duty was Cardinal Francis Arinze, prefect emeritus of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, and 227 Synod Fathers were present. Extracts from some of the Synod Father's speeches are given below: FR. KIERAN O'REILLY, SUPERIOR GENERAL OF THE SOCIETY OF AFRICAN MISSIONS. "Inspired by their faith commitment, and informed by Catholic social teaching, a number of missionary and religious congregations have formed networks to meet this challenge. I refer in particular to the work of the Africa Faith and Justice Network. The particular concern of these networks is to address issues of structural injustice rooted in European and United States policies that affect Africa adversely. As the 'family of God' the Church is challenged to witness and promote the universality of God's love for all people and the future unity of humanity.... The witness of international missionary and religious communities is both relevant and urgent. ... Africa is poorly served by the mass media, which focuses almost exclusively on the bad news, thus creating a widely accepted narrative of a continent in a constant state of crisis. The 'Aid Industry', too, feeds on selling negative and outmoded stereotypes of Africans as helpless victims of endless wars and constant famines. The people of Africa must become more central to the narrative of Africa that is propagated abroad, international missionary congregations and institutes are ideally situated to assist in this process". ARCHBISHOP MARCEL UTEMBI TAPA OF KISANGANI, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO. "The political dimension of peace invites the Church in Africa to invent new methods of presenting her social teaching, founded on Gospel values capable of favouring peace and understanding among peoples. In agreeing that peace is above all a gift from God, we propose that the Church in Africa show even greater commitment, so that: (1) The African political class may effectively be at the service of common good. To this end, the Church must care for and reinforce the guidance and formation of politicians in the light of the social teachings of the Church. (2) A transversal and ecumenical programme for civic education of the people must be established, to promote citizens' consciences and the responsible participation of local people in the management of the patrimony of their countries". BISHOP LOUIS NCAMISO NDLOVU, O.S.M. OF MANZINI, SWAZILAND. "The Catholic Church in Swaziland is still young having arrived in 1914 and numbers some fifty-five thousand adherents in a population of one million, meaning that only five percent of Swazis are Catholics. Even though the Church is a minority it remains the largest single Christian Church in the country. ... In recent years, the relationship between the Church and traditional and political leaders has become ambivalent. The Church continues to receive much praise from government for her interventions in the area of education, health, and development programmes. As a Church we continue to question the system of governance as we believe that it contributes to the high levels of poverty in the country. The government criticises the Church for speaking on issues of governance, insisting that the duty of the Church should be confined to the liturgy and worship and not to be present in the social and political life of the people. This has seen us being befriended by members of civic society, including trade unions and the banned political parties and movements. As a Church we therefore find ourselves in the middle of two opposing forces. This presents a unique opportunity for the Church as she can minister to the government and members of civic society". BISHOP NICOLAS DJOMO LOLA OF TSHUMBE, PRESIDENT OF THE EPISCOPAL CONFERENCE OF THE DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO. "We deplore the fact that the suffering and the human lives lost in the Democratic Republic of Congo through war have not aroused the same indignation and the same condemnation as occurs for other countries. Otherwise how can we explain the resurgence and virulence of the violence that we continue to condemn verbally, without planning effective actions to put an end, once and for all, to the causes behind it. Do we not share the same humanity? ... We suggest that this Synod invite all Christians - in the name of Jesus Christ Who through His supreme sacrifice on the Cross gave us the true measure of each human being's dignity - and all men and all women of good will, on behalf of our human community, publicly to condemn and denounce those that back wars and violence in Africa. Otherwise we become accomplices in the evil done to our fellows". BISHOP PETER MARTIN MUSIKUWA OF CHIKWAWA, MALAWI. "Being 'domestic Churches', places of forgiveness, reconciliation and peace, most African families are not enjoying total harmony. They are facing a lot of challenges such as HIV/AIDS-related problems, multicultural globalisation, deterioration of the cultural value of marriage, political influence and lack of role models. True love and reconciliation is lacking. There is still then a need for a qualitative pastoral follow‑up, continuous catechesis of marriage and family life. This can be done at various levels: episcopal conference, diocese and parish. Besides this, Christian movements/associations, such as Family Movements and Christian Marriage Encounter can be of much assistance".


ARCHBISHOP BUTI JOSEPH TLHAGALE O.M.I. OF JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA, PRESIDENT OF THE EPISCOPAL CONFERENCE OF SOUTH AFRICA. "Moral values embedded in the diverse African cultures, alongside the Gospel values, are threatened by the new global ethic which aggressively seeks to persuade African governments and communities to accept new and different meanings of concepts of family, marriage and human sexuality. The cultures of Africa are under heavy strain from liberalism, secularism and from lobbyists who squat at the United Nations. Africa faces a second wave of colonisation both subtle and ruthless at the same time. ... Lay people, by virtue of their Baptism, have a significant role to play. They are expected to witness in the public square, in their families and places of work. Their Christian voice in the face of the many challenges in Africa, is weak, muffled or simply silent. The hierarchy is without credible partners in the work of the transformation of Africa. Lay Catholics need to be given a voice in order to stand up and be counted for their Catholic faith. The hierarchy cannot do it alone".SE/SIXTH CONGREGATION/... VIS 091008 (1090)


HOLY FATHER RECEIVES PRESIDENT OF PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY VATICAN CITY, 8 OCT 2009 (VIS) - The Holy See Press Office today released the following communique: "This morning in the Vatican Apostolic Palace, the Holy Father Benedict XVI received in audience Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority. President Abbas subsequently went on to meet Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B. who was accompanied by Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States. "During the cordial discussions, having recalled the Holy Father's own recent trip to the Holy Land, the dialogue focused on the situation in the Middle East and, in particular, on the need to find a just and lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, in which the rights of everyone are recognised and respected. In this context, emphasis was given to the importance of co-operation and mutual respect between the parties involved, and of the support of the international community. "Reference was also made to the situation of Catholics in Palestine, and in the region more generally, and to the contribution they make to social life and to peaceful coexistence among peoples".OP/VISIT/ABBAS VIS 091008 (190)


OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS VATICAN CITY, 8 OCT 2009 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed: - As counsellors of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America: Cardinal Antonio Canizares Llovera, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments; Cardinal William Joseph Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and Archbishop Jean-Louis Brugues O.P., secretary of the Congregation for Catholic Education. - As members of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America: Cardinal Nicolas de Jesus Lopez Rodriguez, archbishop of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic; Cardinal Juan Sandoval Iniguez, archbishop of Guadalajara, Mexico; Cardinal Marc Ouellet P.S.S., archbishop of Quebec, Canada; Cardinal Odilo Pedro Scherer, archbishop of Sao Paulo, Brazil; Archbishop Mario Antonio Cargnello of Salta, Argentina; Archbishop Hector Ruben Aguer of La Plata, Argentina; Archbishop Nicolas Cotugno Fanizzi S.D.B. of Montevideo, Uruguay; Archbishop Geraldo Lyrio Rocha of Mariana, Brazil; Archbishop Lepoldo Jose Brenes Solorzano of Managua, Nicaragua; Archbishop Orlando Antonio Corrales Garcia of Santa Fe de Antioquia, Colombia, and Coadjutor Archbishop Juan Jose Asenjo Pelegrina of Seville, Spain.NA/.../... VIS 091008 (180)


AMERICAS

100,000,000 PRAYERS TO BE OFFERED THROUGH BLUE ARMY


Catholic online reports that on Sunday, October 18, 2009, under the leadership of the Blue Army, 100 million will offer prayers to heaven. We will pray together that powerful prayer that Pope Benedict XVI, just this week encouraged once again, the Most Holy Rosary. We will ask for the intervention of the Lord in our Nation and in the world. Through the powerful intercession of Mary, His Mother and our own, we will ask the Jesus, the Prince of Peace, to bring peace into the growing climate of hatred and hostility which is engulfing us. We will ask Jesus, the Lord of Life, to bring an end to the scourge of legal abortion and halt the advance of the Culture of death. We present below portions of a letter sent by Michael La Corte, the Executive Director the Blue Army, the Pontifical Association of the Faithful that has been assigned the responsibility by our Church to help people everywhere Learn, Live, and Spread the message of Fatima. This letter gives details about this extraordinary event: ****** One World Praying: Sunday October 18, 2009. Aired on EWTN TV 11:00am – 5:30pm EST 100,000,000 PRAYERS FOR LIFE AND PEACE Dear Friend of Our Lady of Fatima, …Pope John Paul II said, “The Message of Fatima is More Important Now than Ever!” …And how prophetic that statement becomes with each passing day. The world is in serious trouble and it is because there is Too Much Sin and Too Little Reparation. Troubles with North Korea, the Iran nuclear advancement program, unemployment, global recession, Israeli fears of annihilation, 50 million abortions a year, pandemics, cultural decay, … name the problem and it is a result of turning our backs on God. The world thinks it can survive without God’s help, too many believe that they or our governments know better than God. Governments that are run by politicians focused on keeping their jobs and gaining more power for themselves rather than focused on serving God, Country and Family. God gave us the gift of freewill, thus we choose whether we want God to help us or to stay out of our lives. Take just one example, the removal of prayer from our schools by the US Supreme Court in 1962. Since then, among our children, violent crime has increased 500%, assault 500%, murder 500%, Sex among 13, 14, and 15 year olds 500%, teen pregnancy 750%, and the abortion rate…incalculably high. Scholastic Achievement Test (SAT) scores are so embarrassingly low that they have lowered the grading standard not once but twice so it will appear as if our children are doing as well or better than they did in the past. So when you hear of tragedy in the schools ask yourself… did we un-invite God! Did we ask God to stay out of our schools! As I speak about the Message of Fatima throughout the country I include this example among other examples of the rapid decay of our culture. Teachers often come up to me and thank me for letting people know the truth about so many of our schools. One teacher told me that she decided to, “buck the system” and she started her day helping her classroom know that God is real and that His will comes first… she prayed with her children. A student reported her to the principal and she was forced to stop. At first I didn’t think this was remarkable but then she told me…”Mike I work in a Catholic school.” Yes, you read it right, she is a teacher in a Catholic school and she was stopped when she asked her children to start their day with a Prayer! I thought this was an anomaly… another teacher told me she was reprimanded for showing her Rosary in class and was told she had to remove a picture from her classroom of Pope Benedict XVI speaking to a child. Yes, again a Catholic School! Governments answer… throw more money at the problem. God’s answer… spiritual nourishment! Put God first not self and watch what happens! Let’s pray together for these kids who can’t. Let’s pray for these children that are taught that praying to God, the Blessed Mother, and that even private quiet prayer is offensive. Also, do me this favor, ask the kids you know that are in Catholic schools if they pray in school each day. If not, please see if you can find out why and let me know at SOUL@bluarmy.com if you don’t have internet, ask a friend or write. Again, this is just one example of one consequence of a world with too much sin and too little reparation. Fatima tells us that this leads to lost souls and wars so terrible that nations will be annihilated. Mother Theresa summed it up this way, “The Fruit of Abortion is Nuclear War.” But the Message of Fatima is a MessageBold of Hope! I am optimistic. During the cold war no end and no solution was in sight, but millions and millions of Blue Army members and others prayed daily and performed other acts to repair the damage sin causes. Soviet Oppression that forced atheism on the unfortunate people of Russia and spread it to other nations was defeated not by our military or our government; it was defeated because we followed the Blessed Mother’s plan for peace. After billions of individual acts of reparation and the consecration of Russia the Russian government has converted from forced atheism. The Russian government now understands how necessary God is to a successful society. The Russian government is building Catholic Churches and other places of worship and they are reinstituting prayer in their schools. Although current times appear to be difficult, I believe we can show the world God’s path to peace and the salvation of souls. We can use our freewill to help bring about peace on earth, the salvation of souls, and a return to a sane God based culture. It will take a lot of work, a lot of sacrifice, the intercession of the Blessed Mother, and Divine intervention. We can do little or nothing or we can fight hard. I want to be one who fights hard. I pray you are also ready to give the battle to return to a God based culture your all! I propose to you that we work together and with the help of the Blessed Mother offer 100 million prayers to Heaven for Life and Peace on October 18, 2009. How is it possible to teach so many and offer so many prayers in one day. Well, the truth is it can’t be done without your help and the help of many others, but I believe you will discern, pray and conclude that this is a spiritual battle you want to fight and win, just as I have come to that conclusion. One World Praying. Sunday October 18, 2009. EWTN TV 11:00am – 5:30pm EST. 100,000,000 Prayers for Life and Peace - - -The World Apostolate of Fatima/Blue Army is a worldwide public association of the faithful, responding to the requests that Our Blessed Mother made to three shepherd children in Fatima, Portugal in 1917, to help save souls and bring peace to the world. It promotes Eucharistic prayer and the Rosary, as well as penance, especially the generous acceptance of the duties of our state in life.


EUROPE:
POLAND: CONFERENCE ON CATHOLIC SOCIAL TEACHING

The ICBC reports that an international conference organized by the Commission of Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community (COMECE) - will take place in Gdansk, Poland from 8-11 October 2009. The aim of this conference is to provide an opportunity for Catholic laity to debate major anthropological and socio-ethical challenges at EU level, inspired by the social teaching of the Catholic Church. The theme of the conference, the first of its kind, is: Solidarity – the challenge for Europe. The objective of the conference is to provide opportunities to debate, discuss, interact and examine concrete examples of solidarity throughout Europe. The date and venue of the conference are significant and symbolic: reminding us of the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939; the end of Communist rule in Central and Eastern Europe in 1989; and the first visit by Pope John Paul II to his homeland in 1979, which gave rise to Solidarnosc, the social movement of millions of Poles which started in Gdansk.Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, Archbishop of Dublin, will deliver the opening address on the theme The Concept and Reality of Solidarity in the European Union – a Reflection on the Basis of the Social Teaching of the Church. Other speakers at the conference will include: Mr Hans-Gert Pöttering, former President of the European Parliament; Professor Gosta Esping-Andersen, social scientist; Ms Eveline Herfkens, UN coordinator for the Millennium campaign; Tunne Kelam and Alojs Peterle both Members of the European Parliament; and Professor Dr Irena Lipowicz, Special Ambassador for German-Polish relations. Delegates from the Bishops’ Conferences will constitute the majority of the expected 600 participants. In addition, European Catholic networks and religious orders will be represented. Half of the participants will be younger than thirty-five years old. Ireland will be represented at the conference by a delegation led by Bishop Noel Treanor, Bishop of Down and Connor. Bishop Treanor is the delgate of the Irish Bishops' Conference to COMECE. The themes to be examined during the conference are: (i) The Human Person; (ii) Europe’s Families; (iii) A European Socio-Economic Model; (iv) Europe – founded on solidarity; and, (v) The Global Common Good.
The list of the Irish delegation to this conference is:
Bishop Noel Treanor, Bishop of Down and Connor
Bishop Alan Abernethy, Church of Ireland Bishop of Connor
Ms Sylvia Thompson, Irish Commission for Justice and Social Affairs (ICJSA)
Senator Rónán Mullen
Professor John Monaghan, Vice-President of the St Vincent de Paul
Professor Eamonn Conway, Mary Immaculate College, Limerick
Dr Julia Hynes, Queen's University Belfast
Ms Orla Mc Carthy, Little Flower Secondary School, Belfast
Ms Kate McQuillan, Church Relations Officer for Trócaire, the overseas development agency of the Catholic Church in Ireland
Ms Nicola Rooney, Research Coordinator ICJSA Ends
Further information
Martin Long, Director of Communications 086 172 7678
Brenda Drumm, Communications Officer 087 2337797
(SOURCE: http://www.catholicbishops.ie/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1161:8-october-2009&catid=17:news



ASIA




PHILLIPINES: ON-LINE PARISH ATTRACTS THOUSANDS


UCAN reports that One “parish” here is not listed in the country’s Catholic directory. It has no church or other buildings but still claims thousands of members.
Father Roberto Reyes listens to his guests at a gathering of bloggers in a Quezon City bar. The screen presents Parokya sa Web (parish on the web).
Parokya sa Web (parish on the web) is a “virtual parish” where devotions and spiritual matters are discussed online, and which its organizer says demonstrates the potential and power of new technologies that have revolutionized the world.
Parokya sa Web (parish on the web), http://www.thepoc.net/poc-presents/parokya-sa-web.html, is hosted by the Philippine Online Chronicles (POC), and is the name of Father Roberto Reyes’ blog.
In it the priest of Cubao diocese, well-known as the “Running Priest” for his social activism, shares daily reflections on the Gospel, his online homilies, news reports, photos and multimedia commentaries, and images on spiritual matters and social issues.
Some 13,000-15,000 visitors a month discuss or comment on Parokya material that deals mostly with spiritual reflections on life in a troubled world.
While some of these people from around the world seek advice, others put in prayer requests, reflections on the Bible and comments.
For example, one Parokya blog visitor identified as “Maribel of Hong Kong” wrote that the blog has been her companion in her journey through life.
Another blogger, Noemi Lardizabal-Dado, 52, who has 10 blog sites of her own, said the virtual parish gives much-needed “food for the soul.”
She spoke with UCA News at a recent gathering of 40 bloggers in a Quezon City bar a year after Parokya was launched. At last these bloggers were able to meet in person the priest they had been talking with online for so long.
Most of them are “mom bloggers” -- mothers who blog about motherhood and issues they face. One is an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW).
Father Reyes’ reflections are relevant to current conditions especially for OFWs who have no access to the Church, Dado noted.
She described the priest as a good blogger, noting his writings are “brief, but relevant” to the situation of OFW and other people who “hunger for spirituality online.”
POC publisher Gaspar Vibal was among guests at the anniversary gathering. He told UCA News he supports Parokya because “we love this kind of advocacy.” It is fruitful to “gather as a virtual community, as part of social networking,” he said.
In his view, Father Reyes’ blog, like a real parish, “connects thousands of people” even though they are not part of a physical church.”
“It’s a very powerful tool for OFWs because they can share things happening in places like Saudi Arabia, where they are not allowed to go to Mass,” Vibal said.
Another guest, Edicio de la Torre, 66, and a former Society of the Divine World (SVD) priest, has his own blog dealing with socio-political and spiritual issues. “Father Reyes is very good because he touches many people” who want to discuss various issues but cannot meet physically, he told UCA News.
After the anniversary celebration, Father Reyes said that through the Internet and email, he is able to share what he thinks, feels, and plans, with a very wide spectrum of people. “I think this is what evangelization is all about,” the priest told UCA News.
He said when he was a parish priest he did not spend a lot of time in a church but in the parokya sa kalye (parish in the street). He was referring to his prayer rallies, hunger strikes and other movements with farmers, urban poor and other sectors, to call attention to corruption, environmental degradation and various “social evils.”
“The Church was defined by Vatican II as the ‘people of God,’ and where you find people then that is where the Church is, so I now use the Internet,” Father Reyes said.
He believes Jesus is finding a way to talk to people today. “The Holy Spirit is working through cyberspace so we cannot say, ‘No, that is not for me.”
In his view, a cyber parish is no longer an option but an evolving reality.
He expressed hope that face-to-face meetings of Parokya sa Web bloggers would help in some way to improve the nation’s moral values.
(SOURCE: http://www.ucanews.com/2009/10/08/online-%e2%80%98parish%e2%80%99-attracts-thousands-to-its-virtual-world/



AFRICA


GHANA: CALLS FOR CHEAPER HIV MEDICATIONS


CISA reports that the money used on condoms in Africa would be better spent providing anti-retroviral drugs to those already infected, Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson of Ghana has said.Cardinal Turkson who is the relator-general of the Second Africa said at a conference that the quality of condoms in Africa is poor and could engender false confidence.“I would basically wish that the amount of resources which are available to put into the production of condoms, if they were spent to subsidize the anti-retroviral drugs, now I think we would be happier, in Africa, for the availability of the retroviral drugs then,” said Cardinal Turkson.The 60 year old archbishop of Cape Coast said that condoms are effective only in families where they resolve also to be faithful. “The ordinary use of condoms, just as a stop of Aids, is not the given, appreciable resort in our case,” the cardinal said.“We are talking about a product of a factory and there are different qualities. There are condoms which arrive in Ghana where in the heat they burst during sex and when that is the case, then it gives the poor a false sense of security which rather facilitates the spread of HIV/Aids,” he added.He called for abstinence and fidelity saying they are the key to fighting the HIV/AIDS epidemic, along with refraining from sex if infected.(SOURCE: http://www.cisanewsafrica.org/story.asp?ID=4169




AUSTRALIA


CHILD WELFARE ADVOCATES SUGGEST IDENTIFICATION OF PERPETRATORS


Cath News reports that Australian Catholic University academic Patricia Hansen and child welfare advocate Frank Ainsworth have come out strongly against protecting the anonymity of children killed by their parents, saying it protects the perpetrators.
Dr Hansen, who is also a children's court lawyer and Dr Ainsworth, who is guardian ad litem in the NSW Children's Court, representing the interests of children and their parents, have written a paper titled "Confidentiality in Child Protection: Who Benefits?" on the public's right to know more about what happens in the children's court and child welfare systems, The Australian reported.
The law that prevents the public from identifying child murderers and their victims was on display in NSW this week, the newspaper said, when media organisations were banned from showing the face of a little girl who starved to death in her family home at Hawks Nest in November 2007.
By contrast, the public have this week been able to see the face of Darcey Freeman, whose father Arthur Freeman is to stand trial charged with throwing her to her death from Melbourne's Westgate Bridge, because the law in Victoria covering the identification of minors differs from that in NSW.
Dr Ainsworth said his paper would argue that confidentiality mostly benefits "organisations like the NSW Department of Community Services who benefit from the secrecy and the lack of transparency." (SOURCE: http://www.cathnews.com/article.aspx?aeid=16965


TODAY'S SAINT

St. Pelagia
VIRGIN
Feast: October 8
Information:
Feast Day:
October 8

She was a tender virgin at Antioch, only fifteen years of age when she was apprehended by the persecutors in 311. Being alone in the house, and understanding that their errand was to carry her before the judge, where her chastity might be in danger, she desired leave of the soldiers to go up stairs and dress herself. But fearing to be an innocent occasion to others' sin, threw herself from the top of the house, and died on the spot by her fall: in which action, says St. Chrysostom, she had Jesus in her breast inspiring and exhorting her. She probably hoped to escape by that means; and might lawfully expose her life to some danger for the preservation of her chastity; but nothing will ever make it lawful for any one directly to procure his own death.
Whoever deliberately lays violent hands upon himself is guilty of a heinous injury against God, the Lord of his life, against the commonwealth, which he robs of a member, and of that comfort and assistance which he owes to it; also against his friends, children, and lastly against himself, both by destroying his corporeal life, and by the spiritual and eternal death of his soul; this crime being usually connected with final impenitence, and eternal enmity with God, and everlasting damnation. Nor can a name be found sufficiently to express the baseness of soul, and utmost excess of pusillanimity, impatience, and cowardice, which suicide implies. Strange that any nation should, by false prejudices, be able so far to extinguish the most evident principles of reason and the voice of nature, as to deem that an action of courage which springs from a total want of that heroic virtue of the soul. The same is to be said of the detestable practice of duels. True fortitude incites and enables a man to bear all manner of affronts, and to undergo all humiliations, dangers, hardships, and torments, for the sake of virtue and duty. What is more contrary to this heroic disposition, what can be imagined more dastardly, than not to be able to put up a petty affront and rather to offend against all laws divine and human, than to brook an injury or bear a misfortune with patience and constancy, than to observe the holy precept of Christ, who declares this to be his favorite commandment, the distinguishing mark of his followers, and the very soul of the divine law! Mention is made of a church at Antioch, and another at Constantinople, which bore the name of this saint in the fifth century. (SOURCE: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/P/stpelagia.asp




TODAY'S GOSPEL



Luke 11: 5 - 13
5
And he said to them, "Which of you who has a friend will go to him at midnight and say to him, `Friend, lend me three loaves;
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for a friend of mine has arrived on a journey, and I have nothing to set before him';
7
and he will answer from within, `Do not bother me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot get up and give you anything'?
8
I tell you, though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him whatever he needs.
9
And I tell you, Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.
10
For every one who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.
11
What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent;
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or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion?
13
If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!"
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