VIS REPORTS: SAVING ONE LIFE CANNOT JUSTIFY DESTROYING ANOTHER
VATICAN CITY, 12 NOV 2011 (VIS) - This morning in theVatican, the Holy Father received a group of 250 participants in an international conference entitled "Adult Stem Cells: Science and the Future of Man and Culture", promoted by the Pontifical Council for Culture in collaboration with the U.S. Stem for Life Foundation. The three-day meeting examined the use of adult stem cells in medicine, both from the perspective of science, and from that of its cultural, ethical and anthropological implications. (IMAGE SOURCE: RADIO VATICANA)
Extracts of Benedict XVI's English-language remarks are given below:
"Since human beings are endowed with immortal souls and are created in the image and likeness of God, there are dimensions of human existence that lie beyond the limits of what the natural sciences are competent to determine. If these limits are transgressed, there is a serious risk that the unique dignity and inviolability of human life could be subordinated to purely utilitarian considerations. But if instead these limits are duly respected, science can make a truly remarkable contribution to promoting and safeguarding the dignity of man".
"In this sense, the potential benefits of adult stem cell research are very considerable, since it opens up possibilities for healing chronic degenerative illnesses by repairing damaged tissue. ... The improvement that such therapies promise would constitute a significant step forward in medical science, bringing fresh hope to sufferers and their families alike. For this reason, the Church naturally offers her encouragement to those who are engaged in conducting and supporting research of this kind, always with the proviso that it be carried out with due regard for the integral good of the human person and the common good of society.
"This proviso is most important. The pragmatic mentality that so often influences decision-making in the world today is all too ready to sanction whatever means are available in order to attain the desired end, despite ample evidence of the disastrous consequences of such thinking. When the end in view is one so eminently desirable as the discovery of a cure for degenerative illnesses, it is tempting for scientists and policy-makers to brush aside ethical objections and to press ahead with whatever research seems to offer the prospect of a breakthrough. Those who advocate research on embryonic stem cells in the hope of achieving such a result make the grave mistake of denying the inalienable right to life of all human beings from the moment of conception to natural death. The destruction of even one human life can never be justified in terms of the benefit that it might conceivably bring to another.
"Yet, in general, no such ethical problems arise when stem cells are taken from the tissues of an adult organism, from the blood of the umbilical cord at the moment of birth".
"Dialogue between science and ethics is of the greatest importance in order to ensure that medical advances are never made at unacceptable human cost. The Church contributes to this dialogue by helping to form consciences in accordance with right reason and in the light of revealed truth. In so doing she seeks, not to impede scientific progress, but on the contrary to guide it in a direction that is truly fruitful and beneficial to humanity, ... with a particular regard for the weakest and most vulnerable.
"In drawing attention to the needs of the defenceless, the Church thinks not only of the unborn but also of those without easy access to expensive medical treatment. ... Justice demands that every effort be made to place the fruits of scientific research at the disposal of all who stand to benefit from them, irrespective of their means. ... Here the Church is able to offer concrete assistance through her extensive healthcare apostolate, active in so many countries across the globe and directed with particular solicitude to the needs of the world's poor".
"I pray that your commitment to adult stem cell research will bring great blessings for the future of man".
VATICAN CITY, 12 NOV 2011 (VIS) - The Holy See Press Office released the following communique at midday today:
"This morning His Holiness Benedict XVI received in audience Herman Van Rompuy, president of the European Council. The president subsequently went on to meet with Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B. who was accompanied by Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States.
"The discussions, which took place in an atmosphere of great cordiality, provided an opportunity for a fruitful exchange of opinions on the international situation, and on the contribution the Catholic Church wishes to make to the European Union.
"In the course of the meeting, attention also turned to the promotion of human rights and, in particular, of religious freedom".
VATICAN CITY, 13 NOV 2011 (VIS) - The provisional nature of earthly life and the call to experience it as "a pilgrimage" towards God, Who "represents our final destination and gives meaning to our lives", were the central themes of the remarks Benedict XVI addressed to faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square before praying the Angelus today.
In the Parable of the Talents, as related in today's reading from the Gospel according to St. Matthew, "Jesus speaks of the three servants whose master departed on a long journey and entrusted them with his money. Two of them behaved correctly and redoubled the wealth they had received, but the third hid the money in a hole. When the master returned he asked what had become of his riches and, while he was pleased with the first two servants, he was disappointed with the third, ... because he had behaved as if his master would never return, as if the day of reckoning would never come.
"With this parable", the Holy Father added, "Jesus wished to teach His disciples to make good use of His gifts. God calls each one of us to life and gives us talents, at the same time entrusting us with a mission to accomplish. It would be foolish to think that these gifts are our due, just as refusing to employ them would be to fail in the goal of our lives. Commenting on this Gospel episode, St. Gregory the Great notes that the Lord does not stint His gift of charity and love to anyone".
"Let us accept the invitation to be watchful, as reiterated in the Scriptures. This is the attitude of those who know that the Lord will return and will wish to see in us the fruits of His love. Charity is the fundamental good which no one should fail to practise and without which all other gifts are in vain".
VATICAN CITY, 13 NOV 2011 (VIS) - After praying the Angelus this morning, the Pope mentioned that today marks World Diabetes Day, "a chronic illness which affects many people, including the young", he said. "I pray for all those brothers and sisters, for those who share their daily fatigue, and for the healthcare workers and volunteers who assist them".
Speaking French, he also referred to his forthcoming trip to Benin during which he will sign the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation of the Second Special Assembly for Africa of the Synod of Bishops. The Pope highlighted how his visit will seek "to reaffirm the faith and hope of Christians in Africa. ... To your prayers I entrust this journey and the inhabitants of the dear continent of Africa, especially those who are experiencing insecurity and violence. May Our Lady of Africa accompany and sustain the efforts of everyone who works for reconciliation, justice and peace".
Continuing his remarks in German, he sent greetings "to the faithful who today will participate in the beatification of the martyr priest Karl Lampert in Dornbirn. In the dark days of National Socialism, he clearly understood the words of St. Paul 'we are not of the night or of darkness'. During an interrogation which could have given him his freedom, he declared: 'I love my Church. I remain faithful to my Church and to the priesthood. I am with Christ and love His Church'".
He then recalled how, at the initiative of the "Aid to the Church in Need" association, Poland is currently celebrating a Day of Solidarity with the persecuted Church. "This year", he said, "with your prayers and your offerings you are giving particular support to the Church in Sudan. My hope is that the Day may raise people's awareness to poverty and persecutions, and to the need to respect human dignity and the right to religious freedom".
He also noted that the Italian Church is today celebrating the Day of Thanksgiving. "Looking at the fruits of the earth, which this year too the Lord has given us, we recognise that the work of man would be in vain if He did not make it fruitful. ... Let us give thanks and undertake to respect the earth, which the Lord has entrusted to our care".
VATICAN CITY, 14 NOV 2011 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in audience:
- Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches.
- Archbishop Giuseppe Bertello, president of the Pontifical Commission forVatican City State and of the Governorate of Vatican City State.
- Alfonso Rivero Monsalve, ambassador of Peru, accompanied by his wife, on a farewell visit.
On Saturday 12 November he received in audience Cardinal Marc Ouellet P.S.S., prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.
VATICAN CITY, 14 NOV 2011 (VIS) - The Holy Father:
- Accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the archdiocese of Brisbane,Australia, presented by Archbishop John A. Bathersby, upon having reached the age limit.
- Appointed Msgr. Francesco Cavina of the clergy of the diocese of Imola, Italy, official of the Secretariat of State, as bishop of Carpi (area 415, population 127,808, Catholics 117,785, priests 56, permanent deacons 13, religious 62), Italy. The bishop-elect was born in Faenza, Italy in 1955 and ordained a priest in 1980. He has worked as vice rector of the regional seminary of Bologna, defender of the bond and later judge in the Tribunal of the same archdiocese, and canon of the cathedral of Imola. He succeeds Bishop Elio Tinti, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.
Archbishop Dolan addresses the bishops. (CNS//Nancy Phelan Wiechec)
Catholic News Service
BALTIMORE (CNS) -- Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan of New York called on his fellow bishops Nov. 14 to communicate to the world that the sinfulness of the church's members is not "a reason to dismiss the church or her eternal truths, but to embrace her all the more."
In his first presidential address since election as president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops last November, Archbishop Dolan opened and closed with the words: "Love for Jesus and his church must be the passion of our lives."
Describing the church as a spiritual family that "to use the talk show vocabulary ... has some 'dysfunction,'" he said the bishops' "most pressing pastoral challenge today is to reclaim that truth, to restore the luster, the credibility, the beauty of the church."
But he cited "chilling statistics we cannot ignore" that "fewer and fewer of our beloved people -- to say nothing about those outside the household of the faith -- are convinced that Jesus and his church are one."
"So they drift from her, get mad at the church, grow lax, join another or just give it all up," Archbishop Dolan said. "If this does not cause us pastors to shudder, I do not know what will."
He also acknowledged the enthusiasm of "young people, new converts and recent arrivals" as well as "the wonderfully deep and radiant faith of Catholic immigrants who are still a most welcome -- while sadly harassed -- gift to the church and the land we love."
Shortly after he spoke, the USCCB issued a statement announcing that Archbishop Dolan had met privately with President Barack Obama at the White House Nov. 8.
The statement described the meeting as "very cordial" and said it "included discussion of pertinent moral concerns arising in foreign and domestic policy, issues of both agreement and disagreement."
"Both President Obama and Archbishop Dolan agreed that this was a private meeting, so no further details will be discussed," it added.
In his talk, the archbishop said "our world would often have us believe that culture is light years ahead of a languishing, moribund church."
But rather, "the church invites the world to a fresh original place, not a musty or outdated one," he said. "She dares the world ... to foster and protect the inviolable dignity of the human person and human life; ... to protect marriage and family; to embrace those suffering and struggling; to prefer service to selfishness; and never, ever to stifle the liberty to quench the deep-down thirst for the divine."
Archbishop Dolan urged the bishops to "resist the temptation to approach the church as merely a system of organizational energy and support that requires maintenance."
"The church we passionately love is hardly some cumbersome, outmoded club of sticklers, with a medieval bureaucracy, silly human rules on fancy letterhead, one more movement rife with squabbles, opinions and disagreement," he added.
"Our urgent task to reclaim 'love of Jesus and his church as the passion of our lives' summons us not into ourselves but to Our Lord," Archbishop Dolan said. "Jesus prefers prophets, not programs; saints, not solutions; conversion of hearts, not calls to action; prayer, not protests; 'Verbum Dei' rather than our verbiage."
But like Jesus on Calvary, the church has wounds, the archbishop said.
"Instead of running from them, or hiding them, or denying them, she may be best showing them, like he did that first Easter night," he said
Bishop Geoffrey Jarrett
CATH NEWS REPORT: Pope Benedict has approved the retirement of Archbishop John Bathersby of Brisbane and appointed Lismore's Bishop Geoffrey Jarrett as Apostolic Administrator for the archdiocese, said a report on the Courier-Mail and media statements from the archdiocese.
The appointment was last night met with surprise by some Catholics, who had expected a permanent replacement or an administrator to be appointed from within the state, said the Courier-Mailreport.Bishop Jarrett, who turns 74 this year, will administer the archdiocese until the Pope appoints a permanent replacement. He practised as an Anglican priest before moving to the Catholic Church in 1965.
"After 25 years as Bishop and 20 as Archbishop I am not as active as I used to be,'' Archbishop Bathersby said in a statement.
"It has been a privilege and a lasting joy to have been Archbishop in Brisbane with so many excellent bishops, priests, deacons, religious, friends and lay people.
"I thank in a special way the auxiliary bishops when I came to Brisbane, and the hard working auxiliaries of the present. I welcome my replacement Apostolic Administrator of Brisbane, Most Rev Geoffrey Jarrett, Bishop of Lismore, and assure him of my support and assistance, if needed.''
Archbishop Bathersby will leave Brisbane for his hometown of Stanthorpe in the coming weeks, where his brother Michael and sister Carmel live.
"I have no doubt my friendships over many years in Brisbane and Stanthorpe will remain strong,'' he said.
"I will ensure that my prayers and good wishes will be directed at the huge number of people I have met over many years in Australia and the world. I am a lucky person indeed. I thank all those people in the archdiocese who helped me enormously. May God bless them forever.''http://www.cathnews.com/article.aspx?aeid=29086
Japanese and South Korean bishops met in tsunami-ravaged Sendai City recently in what has become a regular gathering between Catholic leaders of the two countries.
Also present at the three-day meeting about 300km northeast of Tokyo was the new Apostolic Nuncio to Japan, who only arrived in the country a few days before the meeting began.
The annual event, which started in 1996, alternates between the two countries. At this year’s gathering, 20 bishops attended from South Korea while 17 were from Japan.
This year’s meeting was originally scheduled to be held in Kanazawa City in Nagoya diocese. However, after the Great East Japan Earthquake in March, it was decided it would be more symbolic to move the event to Sendai, especially given the support the Church in South Korea has offered since the disaster.
Topics at the meeting included the work the Church is doing on behalf of disaster victims and the problems associated with nuclear energy production.
Also discussed was the South Korean government’s controversial Four Rivers Project, which has substantially changed the course and character of the nation’s largest rivers and has come under fire for a variety of environmental and social reasons.
The Japanese participants learned about the Korean bishops’ response to the project and the environmental problems associated with it and expressed a desire to continue studying such environmental issues at next year’s meeting.
The bishops, along with Archbishop Joseph Chennoth, the newly-arrived Apostolic Nuncio to Japan later visited tsunami-devastated Ishinomaki City, about 40km northeast of Sendai.
On a hill overlooking the devastated town, they said a communal prayer before heading to Ishinomaki Church for a special Mass.
On the second day of the meeting, the Nuncio went to Sendai City Hall where he met Mayor Emiko Okuyama and handed him a check for 1 million yen (US$13,000).http://www.ucanews.com/2011/11/14/japanese-korean-bishops-meet/
This is a meeting which is usually held twice a year, alternately in Rwanda and Burundi. On this occasion, the Bishops were able to discuss various issues concerning the pastoral care of the two Countries, in particular on the formation of future priests
According to a statement sent to Agenzia Fides, each Episcopal Conference had the opportunity to explain how the formation is organized at the Major Seminary. "The overall result is that in both Countries there is a flowering of vocations. But given the context in which we live, and especially the context of globalization, it is urgent to review the formation given in the seminars, so that the priests are able to be adequately prepared for their ministry, and the challenges that the Church has to face" says the note.
The Bishops agreed on the need to increase the number of priests who accompany the seminarians in their higher education, and stressed that the formation of seminarians is not just about the seminar, but it is a matter that affects the entire Christian community. The Christian community must participate in the selection of candidates for the priestly life. Even after his ordination, the priest must be accompanied in the process of continuous formation.
The Bishops focused on the difficulties priests face in the two countries. In addition to poverty, the socio-political crisis in Rwanda and Burundi have not spared priests. Some of them have suffered deep wounds, which strongly influence their lives and presents difficulty in exercising their ministry. These priests need to be helped to heal and overcome the crisis.
In the light of these considerations, the Bishops are considering the revision of the program of priestly formation in the two Countries and agreed to establish a joint committee to prepare a document on priestly formation. A Committee on Global Ethics was established, may it be illuminated by Christian light.
During the ACOREB Plenary Assembly the Bishops met Mrs Ute-Koite Herschel of Missio Aachen, who took stock of the cooperation between the German missionary organization and the Church of Rwanda and Burundi. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 14/11/2011)http://www.fides.org/aree/news/newsdet.php?idnews=30321&lan=eng
St. Lawrence O'Toole
Feast: November 14
1128, Castledermot, Kildare, Ireland
November 14, 1180, Normandy, France
1225 by Pope Honorius III
St Lawrence's church in Chorley, England
Confessor, born about 1128, in the present County Kildare; died 14 November, 1180, at Eu in Normandy; canonized in 1225 by Honorius III.
His father was chief of Hy Murray, and his mother one of the Clan O'Byrne. At the age of ten he was taken as a hostage by Dermot McMurrogh, King of Leinster. In 1140 the boy obtained permission to enter the monastic school of Glendalough; in that valley-sanctuary he studied for thirteen years, conspicuous for his piety and learning. So great was his reputation in the eyes of the community that on the death of Abbot Dunlaing, early in 1154, he was unanimously called to preside over the Abbey of St. Kevin. Dermot, King of Leinster, married Mor, sister of St. Lawrence, and, though his character has been painted in dark colours by the native annalists, he was a great friend to the Church. He founded an Austin nunnery, of the reform of Aroaise, in Dublin, with two dependent cells at Kilculliheen (County Kilkenny) and at Aghade (County Carlow), in 1151. He also founded an abbey for Cistercian monks at Baltinglass, and an abbey for Austin canons at Ferns.
St. Lawrence, through humility, declined the See of Glendalough in 1160, but on the death of Gregory, Archbishop of Dublin (8 October, 1161), he was chosen to the vacant see, and was consecrated in Christ Church cathedral by Gilla Isu (Gelasius), Primate of Armagh, early in the following year. This appointment of a native-born Irishman and his consecration by the successor of St. Patrick marks the passing of Scandinavian supremacy in the Irish capital, and the emancipation from canonical obedience to Canterbury which had obtained under the Danish bishops of Dublin. St. Lawrence soon set himself to effect numerous reforms, commencing by converting the secular canons of Christ Church cathedral into Aroasian canons (1163). Three years later he subscribed to the foundation charter of All Hallows priory, Dublin (founded by King Dermot), for the same order of Austin canons. Not content with the strictest observance of rules, he wore a hair shirt underneath his episcopal dress, and practised the greatest austerity, retiring for an annual retreat of forty days to St. Kevin's cave, near Glendalough. At the second siege of Dublin (1170) St. Lawrence was active in ministration, and he showed his political foresight by paying due deference to Henry II of England, during that monarch's stay in Dublin. In April, 1178, he entertained the papal legate, Cardinal Vivian, who presided at the Synod of Dublin. He successfully negotiated the Treaty of Windsor, and secured good terms for Roderic, King of Connacht. He attended the Lateran Council in 1179, and returned as legate for Ireland. The holy prelate was not long in Dublin till he deemed it necessary again to visit King Henry II (impelled by a burning charity in the cause of King Roderic), and he crossed to England in September of that year. After three weeks of detention at Abingdon Abbey, St. Lawrence followed the English King to Normandy. Taken ill at the Augustinian Abbey of Eu, he was tended by Abbot Osbert and the canons of St. Victor; before he breathed his last he had the consolation of learning that King Henry had acceded to his request.