AMERICAS: CANADA: BISHOP RESIGNS & TURNS HIMSELF INTO CUSTODY -
AFRICA: SOUTH AFRICA: AID TO CHURCH IN SIERRA LEONE-
AUSTRALIA: NATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS CONSULTATION COMMITEE ASSESSMENT -
Officers conducting a search at the Ottawa Airport found images “of concern” on Bishop Lahey’s laptop and seized it along with other media devices when the 69-year-old prelate reentered Canada on Sept. 15. When a forensic examination revealed child pornography, files were charged against the bishop and a warrant was issued for his arrest last Friday, the Globe and Mail reports.
The bishop turned himself in to Ottawa police on Thursday.
On Saturday, September 26, Archbishop of Halifax Anthony Mancini was named apostolic administrator of Antigonish, according to the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB).
The CCCB reported that Pope Benedict XVI accepted the resignation of the accused bishop, who asked to leave office for “personal reasons.”
“I have already left the diocese to take some much-needed time for personal renewal. I simply ask for your prayers, as I assure you of my continued prayers for you all,” the bishop wrote in a letter to his diocese.
According to the Globe and Mail, Diocese of Antigonish spokesman Fr. Paul Abbass said there had been “a ton of speculation” about the reasons for the bishop’s resignation, with many believing it was due to stress or his health.
“We know the reason now and now we have to deal with that,” he remarked.
He described the former bishop as warm, respectful and “very pastoral.” In the priest’s view, Bishop Lahey was “absolutely committed” to resolving allegations of clerical sexual abuse, but the new charges were “pretty devastating” in light of the recent sexual abuse settlement.
In August the diocese reached a $15 million class-action settlement with known and alleged former child victims of sexual abuse by its priests dating back to 1950.
The Globe and Mail reports that Bishop Lahey, who was not implicated in the allegations, apologized to those abuse victims.
“Sexual abuse, indeed any abuse, is wrong. It is a crime and it is a serious sin in the eyes of God,” he had told a press conference. “I want to assure you that for some time our diocese, like others throughout Canada, have been taking steps to protect children and youth.”
A Wednesday press release from the Archdiocese of Halifax reported that Archbishop Mancini learned of the charges against Bishop Lahey through the news media.
“I am shocked and saddened by this devastating news. For the priests and people of Antigonish Diocese, this is a terrible moment,” the archbishop said.
Archbishop Mancini told CTV News that he assumed that Pope Benedict knew “the gravity of the matter” when he accepted the bishop’s resignation.
Bishop Lahey had been bishop of Antigonish since June 2003. Previously, he had been Bishop of St. George’s, Newfoundland and Labrador since July 1986.
According to the CCCB, the Diocese of Antigonish has a Catholic population of 129,730 in 118 parishes and missions. They are served by 114 diocesan priests, three religious priests, one permanent deacon and 272 religious sisters. (SOURCE: http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/new.php?n=17281
"Our priority is to recruit and send volunteers to the place as soon as possible to help save people trapped under collapsed buildings and to collect the dead. Material aid will follow," Father Paulus Sigit Pramudji, head of Caritas Indonesia or Karina, told UCA News Oct. 1.
"This afternoon, a Karina team will leave for Padang to observe the situation there," he said. "Based on their report, Karina will immediately arrange to send medical workers and volunteers and material aid."
The undersea earthquake measured 7.6 on the Richter Scale and, according to media in Jakarta, has left at least 464 people dead and 500 injured. The death toll is expected to rise with hundreds still trapped under collapsed buildings.
Thousands of people's homes, public buildings and facilities, including hotels, hospitals, mosques and schools have been severely damaged.
A multi-story Catholic-run foreign-language school collapsed trapping many students in the debris, although there have been no reports of churches being destroyed or damaged.
The damage from the quake is estimated at trillions of rupiah.
The Karina team comprises volunteers and medical workers from the Jakarta-based Atma Jaya Catholic University, and Perdhaki, an umbrella organization for 440 Catholic healthcare services.
Jesuit Father Yosephus Edi Mulyono of Jakarta archdiocese said the archdiocese plans to hold a special cash collection during Oct. 11 Sunday Masses for the quake victims.
"The fund will be channeled through the Padang diocesan commission for socio-economic development," said the head of Jakarta archdiocese's socio-economic development commission.
The quake occurred in the Padang diocesan territory.
Irene Kusuma, head of the Perdhaki voluntary team, told UCA News that Perdhaki has prepared medicines. "A team of three doctors and four nurses are ready to leave for Padang," she said.
The Indonesian branch of the international lay Catholic association, the Sant'Egidio Community (SEC), is also collecting material aid from members in the form of tents, blankets, mats, mosquito nets, medicines, generators, food, drinking water and clothes.
"We will immediately send a team with the aid to Padang to help the victims," Eveline Winarko, head of SEC Indonesia, told UCA News.
Padang has experienced earthquakes before. Two strong quakes struck on March 6, 2007, killing 72 people.
West Sumatra is also earthquake prone and the Dec. 26, 2004 quake that sparked the tsunami was felt there. More than 170,000 people were killed in Aceh and Nias at that time, although mainly in the ensuing tsunami. Another quake in Nias on March 28, 2005, killed about 1,000.
NEPAL: 23 PEOPLE KILLED IN CHURCH COLLAPSE
The committee headed by Jesuit priest Father Frank Brennan also held more than 65 public hearings. Views were heard from government ministers, lawyers, activists, academics and an asylum seeker among others, in one session in Canberra, The Age reported.
The committee's report and the government's official response would be released "in the coming months", Attorney-General Robert McClelland was cited saying.
Opinions varied whether Australia, the only western common law democracy without a bill of rights, should institute one.
A recent Amnesty International poll of 1,000 Australians found that more than 80 percent would be in favour of a charter but there is also fierce opposition to the move, The Age said.
The federal opposition's submission said it would transfer decision making powers from elected parliamentarians to unelected judges and bureaucrats.
The Australian Christian Lobby was also opposed to it, saying judges would have too much power to determine moral and social policy and concerned that Christians would lose their rights to discriminate on religious grounds. (SOURCE: http://www.cathnews.com/article.aspx?aeid=16810
St. Therese of Lisieux
DISCALCED CARMELITE MYSTIC, DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH
Feast: October 1
January 2, 1873, Alençon, France
September 30, 1897, Lisieux, France
May 17, 1925 by Pope Pius XI
Basilique de Sainte-Thérèse, Lisieux, France
AIDS sufferers; aviators; bodily ills; florists; France; illness; loss of parents; missionaries; tuberculosis
The spread of the cult of St. Therese of Lisieux is one of the impressive religious manifestations of our time. During her few years on earth this young French Carmelite was scarcely to be distinguished from many another devoted nun, but her death brought an almost immediate awareness of her unique gifts. Through her letters, the word-of-mouth tradition originating with her fellow-nuns, and especially through the publication of Histoire d'un ame, Therese of the Child Jesus or "The Little Flower" soon came to mean a great deal to numberless people; she had shown them the way of perfection in the small things of every day. Miracles and graces were being attributed to her intercession, and within twenty-eight years after death, this simple young nun had been canonized. In 1936 a basilica in her honor at Lisieux was opened and blessed by Cardinal Pacelli; and it was he who, in 1944, as Pope, declared her the secondary patroness of France. "The Little Flower" was an admirer of St. Teresa of Avila, and a comparison at once suggests itself. Both were christened Teresa, both were Carmelites, and both left interesting autobiographies. Many temperamental and intellectual differences separate them, in addition to the differences of period and of race; but there are striking similarities. They both patiently endured severe physical sufferings; both had a capacity for intense religious experience; both led lives made radiant by the love of Christ.
The parents of the later saint were Louis Martin, a watchmaker of Alencon, France, son of an army officer, and Azelie-Marie Guerin, a lacemaker of the same town. Only five of their nine children lived to maturity; all five were daughters and all were to become nuns. Francoise-Marie Therese, the youngest, was born on January 2, 1873. Her childhood must have been normally happy, for her first memories, she writes, are of smiles and tender caresses. Although she was affectionate and had much natural charm, Therese gave no sign of precocity. When she was only four, the family was stricken by the sad blow of the mother's death. Monsieur Martin gave up his business and established himself at Lisieux, Normandy, where Madame Martin's brother lived with his wife and family. The Guerins, generous and loyal people, were able to ease the father's responsibilities through the years by giving to their five nieces practical counsel and deep affection.
On September 8, 1890, at the age of seventeen, Therese took final vows. In spite of poor health, she carried out from the first all the austerities of the stern Carmelite rule, except that she was not permitted to fast. "A soul of such mettle," said the prioress, "must not be treated like a child. Dispensations are not meant for her." The physical ordeal which she felt more than any other was the cold of the convent buildings in winter, but no one even suspected this until she confessed it on her death-bed. And by that time she was able to say, "I have reached the point of not being able to suffer any more, because all suffering is sweet to me." (SOURCE: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/T/stthereseoflisieux.asp
Luke 10: 1 - 12
After this the Lord appointed seventy others, and sent them on ahead of him, two by two, into every town and place where he himself was about to come.
And he said to them, "The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.
Go your way; behold, I send you out as lambs in the midst of wolves.
Carry no purse, no bag, no sandals; and salute no one on the road.
Whatever house you enter, first say, `Peace be to this house!'
And if a son of peace is there, your peace shall rest upon him; but if not, it shall return to you.
And remain in the same house, eating and drinking what they provide, for the laborer deserves his wages; do not go from house to house.
Whenever you enter a town and they receive you, eat what is set before you;
heal the sick in it and say to them, `The kingdom of God has come near to you.'
But whenever you enter a town and they do not receive you, go into its streets and say,
`Even the dust of your town that clings to our feet, we wipe off against you; nevertheless know this, that the kingdom of God has come near.'
I tell you, it shall be more tolerable on that day for Sodom than for that town.