CATHOLIC NEWS WORLD: THURS. JAN. 27, 2011: HEADLINES-
VATICAN CITY, 27 JAN 2011 (VIS REPORTS) - On 24 and 25 March, the Pontifical Council for Culture, the president of which is Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, will launch a new permanent Vatican structure to be known as the "Courtyard of the Gentiles", the aim of which is to promote dialogue and encounter between believers and non-believers.
IMAGE SOURCE RADIO VATICANA
According to a communique released by the council, the launch will involve three colloquia on the themes of "religion, enlightenment and common reason". They will be held on 24 March at the Paris headquarters of UNESCO, on the morning of 25 March at the Sorbonne University and on the afternoon of the same day at the "Institut de France". The colloquia will be followed by a round table discussion at the "College des Bernardins".
On the evening of 25 March a celebration will be organised on the forecourt of the cathedral of Notre Dame with the theme: "Into the Courtyard of the Unknown". The event is open to everyone. especially young people, and will involve artistic creations, music, drama, lights, meeting and reflection. Exceptionally, the cathedral will remain open for those who wish to participate in a prayer vigil and shared meditation.
VATICAN CITY, 27 JAN 2011 (VIS) - At 11.30 a.m. on Thursday 3 February, the presentation will take place of Benedict XVI's Message for the nineteenth World Day of the Sick. The Day itself falls on 11 February.
The press conference will also be used to present a seminar on the theme "Catholic healthcare associations and the culture of life", due to be held on 5 February at Rome's St. Pius X Auditorium to mark the end of the 25th anniversary celebrations of the Pontifical Council for Health Pastoral Care.
The press conference will be presented by Archbishop Zygmunt Zimowski, Bishop Jose Luis Redrado Marchite O.H. and Msgr. Jean-Marie Mpendawatu Mate Musivi, respectively president, secretary and under secretary of the Pontifical Council for Health Pastoral Care, and by Rosa Merola, consultor of the pontifical council and psychologist at Rome's Rebibbia prison.
UCAN REPORT: The main aim of an inter-denominational meeting between Christian leaders in Bangkok is to lay down a joint code of conduct regarding how Christianity can live side by side with other religions, a senior Church official said today.
|Church officials and guests during the opening ceremony of the meeting|
“To understand ourselves as Christians we should know what and how we should witness to our brothers and sisters of different religions while respecting their beliefs,” said Monsignor Andrew Vissanu Thanya-anan, secretary of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue’s Buddhism desk.
Monsignor Thanya-anan was speaking to ucanews.com during the third consultation for a project on Christian Witness in a Multi-Religious World, Recommendations for a Code of Conduct, being held Jan. 25-28.
The meeting brought together 45 prominent religious leaders representing the World Council of Churches, the World Evangelical Alliance and the Catholic Church’s Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue.
“In the past, Christians from other denominations rarely had the chance to communicate with each other. Each has their own way of evangelization, and many times some methods angered other religions,” he said.
“Worse still, those unaware of other denominations in Christianity simply associate all Christianity with Catholicism and complain about the Pope. This has from time to time created conflict among Christian denominations,” Monsignor Thanya-anan added.
“In this meeting, we are discussing and creating mutual understanding, so we can adopt methods of evangelization that will not offend those of other beliefs,” he said.
“For example, here in Thailand, Christians should not tell people from other religions that if they don’t believe in ‘our God’ they will go to hell. This is disrespectful of others beliefs — which we should not do. Evangelization should not be by force. It needs to respect others,” said Monsignor Thanya-anan.
The meeting is the third phase of a project that started in Italy in 2006, with the second phase being held in France in 2007. There were four joint meetings in the last two years in Geneva and Rome between the committees of the Catholic Church, the World Council of Churches and the World Evangelical Alliance to prepare the draft of the project’s document.
The outcome of this meeting will be the Bangkok Declaration (code of conduct) that will be officially released worldwide soon.
The meeting aims to make an important contribution to the promotion of mutual respect and understanding among members of different religious or among adherents of different beliefs so that they may live and work together peacefully for the common good.
The Catholic Weekly report photo of 7-year-old Jordan Tate with his mother and family members
A seven-year-old Catholic student from the western suburbs of Sydney has won a Community Hero of the Year award for saving his mother's life by calling triple-0, reports the Catholic Weekly.
Jordan's award - from Family Capers, a family-centred, online portal - was bestowed in recognition of his efforts which helped save his mother from a burst appendix. After voting among Family Capers' members ceased for October, Jordan had gained 100 per cent of votes.Late last year, and following his being crowned October's 'Family Hero', Jordan Tate was honoured at a special school assembly at Sacred Heart Primary in Villawood after proving the merits of teaching young children how to dial triple-0 in an emergency.
Jordan was then up against 11 other very worthy "heroes", one from each month. When voting ended on December 30, Jordan had romped home with almost 80 per cent of the vote.
The Family Capers managing director, Linda Enever, will travel from Queensland to present the schoolboy with a trophy in recognition of his actions.
At the end of Term 3 last year, Jordan, then 6, was playing on the computer with his sister Mia, then 4, when his mother, Jessica, called out to him. She had not felt well at all that day but, being a busy young mother, had no option but to keep going. She had just put her one-year-old daughter, Chloe, to bed for her nap.
When Jordan found his mother in the kitchen, she had collapsed and was shaking on the floor. He asked her if he should call someone and - thinking she would be OK - Jessica said "no". When she slipped into unconsciousness, Jordan found her mobile and dialled triple-0.
Jordan called triple-0 and told the operator "my mum is sick" and his little sisters were "being brave".
"I'm very proud of him," Ms Tate said. "He really did save my life."
WASHINGTON (January 24, 2011)—Three bills currently in the U.S. House of Representatives would help ensure that adequate protections are in place for the consciences of taxpayers and health care providers and against federal funding of abortion. In three letters, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, chairman of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), urged House members to support the bills.
The Protect Life Act, H.R. 358, Cardinal DiNardo wrote in a January 20 letter, would address flaws in the new health care reform law and bring it “into line with policies on abortion and conscience rights that have long prevailed in other federal health programs.” It would do so by preventing funds under the new law from subsidizing abortion or health care plans that cover abortion, protecting the consciences of health care providers who decline to participate in an abortion, and ensuring that the law doesn’t override state laws on abortion and conscience.
The full text of Cardinal DiNardo’s letter on the Protect Life Act is at:www.usccb.org/healthcare/DiNardo-HR358-ltr.pdf
In a second letter January 20, Cardinal DiNardo urged support for the Abortion Non-Discrimination Act (ANDA), H.R. 361, which will codify into law the longstanding policy of the Hyde/Weldon amendment and give health care entities that do not provide abortions legal recourse when faced with government-sponsored discrimination. The Office for Civil Rights at the Department of Health and Human Services would be designated to investigate complaints.
“Passage of ANDA is urgently needed to protect the civil rights of health professionals and other health care entities,” the cardinal wrote. “This bill reaffirms a basic principle: No health care entity should be forced by government to perform or participate in abortions.”
Full text of the ANDA letter is at: www.usccb.org/conscienceprotection/cardinal-dinardo-HR361-ltr.pdf
In a January 21 letter, Cardinal DiNardo also voiced his support for the bipartisan No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, H.R. 3, which would “write into permanent law a policy on which there has been strong popular and congressional agreement for over 35 years: The federal government should not use taxpayers’ money to support and promote elective abortion.” The cardinal wrote, “Even public officials who take a ‘pro-choice’ stand on abortion, and courts that have insisted on the validity of a constitutional ‘right’ to abortion, have agreed that the government can validly use its funding power to encourage childbirth over abortion.”
Cardinal DiNardo noted that this agreement is so longstanding that, during the recent health care debate, many assumed it was already in place at all levels of the federal government, when in fact the Hyde amendment is only a rider to the annual Labor/HHS appropriations bill and only governs funds under that act.
The cardinal noted, “The benefit of H.R. 3 is that it would prevent problems and confusions on abortion funding in future legislation. Federal health bills could be debated in terms of their ability to promote the goal of universal health care, instead of being mired in debates about one lethal procedure that most Americans know is not truly ‘health care’ at all.”
The letter on H.R. 3 is available online at: www.usccb.org/prolife/DiNardo-HR3.pdf
Archbishop Tlhagale notes further: “Our three nations are developing democracies. They are politically stable, but fragile. To varying degrees, they are characterised by graft, violent crimes, corruption, the serious lack of service delivery and self enrichment by those in positions of responsibility. The South African jails are overflowing with prisoners. To the majority of the ordinary citizens, the promises of democracy and rule of law are not only dreams that have failed but in many a reminder of the painful experiences of the past.”
The President of the SACBC also denounces the “materialistic society” which “protects and promotes the rights of individuals to accumulate wealth.” Consequently, the “Christian principles of fairness, equality and justice have fallen by the wayside. Our societies have lost a basic tenet of morality: the upliftment of those who have a greater need. The rich flaunt their wealth. They have become incapable of postponing their own personal interests in favour of the upliftment of poor communities.”
“All this begs the question. What is the role and possibly the influence of Christian morality on our societies and nations? Is the church capable of persuading individuals to move away from a rights-based morality – 'It is my right to accumulate wealth.'? Is the Church able to persuade our fellow citizens that to be truly moral person it is equally important not to harm others and to avoid greed?” Archbishop Tlhagale asks in conclusion.
St. Angela Merici
FOUNDRESS OF THE URSULINES AND MYSTIC
Feast: January 27