Archive of October 21, 2003

Young People Bring Beatification Of Teresa Of Calcutta To The "Poorest Of The Poor"

Rome, Italy, Oct 21, 2003 (CNA) - A group of young people from the Don Bosco Oratories in Calcutta are bringing the images of Mother Teresa's Beatification to the poor, those suffering from leprosy and other terminally ill patients who are cared for in the Missionary of Charity houses of Calcutta.  

Organizers said this was a way to enable the poorest of the poor, whom Mother Teresa loved and served, to participate in the great celebration which took place in St. Peter's Square.  

Fr. Joseph Manipadam, director of Don Bosco Youth Service and organizer of the project, told the Vatican news agency Fides the young people wishto bring to shut-ins "the unique opportunity to be in communion with Mother Teresa and with the universal Church."  

The students will be visiting 15 houses of the Missionaries of Charity in Calcutta with a video presentation of Sunday's beatification and a documentary on the live of Mother Teresa.

"For many of the young people this will be the first time visiting a home of Mother Teresa's sisters, where they will enter into direct contact with suffering, sickness and poverty.  It will be a wonderful experience for their formation, as well as a way of expressing solidarity," Father Manipadam said.

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Irish Government Pulls Funding From Sex-Abuse Counselling Service

Dublin, Ireland, Oct 21, 2003 (CNA) - The Irish government refused to give an abuse-survivors group further funding this week after deciding that its projected costs were "exorbitant," reported The Irish Catholic.

The group, One in Four, offers advocacy and counselling services to victims of sexual abuse; it has counselled 156 people since March 2003. The government's decision follows evidence published last week that false-abuse claims were made against two Christian Brothers.

The organization has already received Euro425,000 from the Department of Health and Children and had projected costs of Euro1.7 million over the next three years. It has also already received Euro16,000 from the Catholic Church's counselling service.

One in Four director Colm O'Gorman said the decision would force the organization to close. However, the health minister said he was willing to meet with the group to discuss financial support within the context of the professional National Counselling Service.

The founder of LOVE, a group which provides a forum for people who had positive experiences of Church-run institutions, is "very worried" by the large amount of false claims that are emerging. Florence Horsman-Hogan also told The Irish Catholic that she objects to the falsely accused paying their own legal fees, "often out of their own pocket, while their accusers get state support to make unsubstantiated claims."

O'Gorman said people who have made false allegations should be prosecuted by the state.

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Parents Of Dying Florida Woman Pray To Mother Teresa For Miracle

Washington D.C., Oct 21, 2003 (CNA) - The parents of Terri Schiavo, the Florida woman being starved to death under court order at the request of her husband, together with a local parish priest are praying to Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta for a miracle for their daughter.  

Father Thaddeus Malanowski brought a relic of Mother Teresa to the bedside of Schiavo, who suffered an unexplained heart attack more than ten years ago that left her paralyzed and unable to speak.

Her husband Michael Schiavo convinced a Florida judge to grant his request to withdraw the feeding tube from Terri despite intense opposition from her parents, Bob and Mary Schindler.  While the husband still retains legal custody of Terri, he is now living with another woman with whom he has had one child and is expecting a second.   

Terri's parents were granted permission to visit their daughter, who is starving to death, asking Fr. Malanowski to accompany them.   

The New York Times reports the priest carried with him a piece of Mother Teresa's habit soaked with her blood, blessing Terri with it and praying that she be allowed to live despite the order to die by starvation.   Since last Wednesday, when the feeding tube was removed, nurses have been administering Terri doses of morphine to combat the hunger pains in her body. 

There is concern that the high doses will accelerate her death.  Doctors predict she will die within 8-10 days.    The family's hope rests in Florida Governor Jeb Bush, who has expressed his support for the Schindlers but says he has not found a legal basis for intervening to stop the starvation.   

However, lawyers from the Thomas More Legal Center have written two letters to Governor Bush outlining a legal case for intervention in favor of Terri Schiavo. 

Richard Thompson, president of the Center, has reviewed the case and says Michael Schiavo should be investigated for conflict of interests and because facts point to possible criminal behavior including physical abuse of Terri prior to the heart attack that left her practically comatose.

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Suspect In Murder Of Columbian Priest Captured By Police

Bogotá, Colombia, Oct 21, 2003 (CNA) - As part of what is being called "Operation Coffee," Columbian police officers detained a militia group that cooperates with the revolutionary forces, FARC and EPL, in the western region of Caldas, after learning the suspected assassin of Father Gabriel Arias Posada, vicar general of the Diocese of Armenia, was among the militants.   

The director of the National Police Forces, Agent Luis Alfredo Rodríguez Pérez, who commanded the operation, explained the date of the capture coincided with the anniversary of the murder, which took place on October 17, 2002, and he said police "have identified the suspect responsible for priest's assassination." 66 year-old Fr. Posada was killed while attempting to secure the release of the ex-governor of Quindío, Ancízar López, who had been kidnapped 6 months earlier. 

The attack also claimed the live of the priest's driver, 42 year-old Fernando Tamayo Duque.

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Catholic And Evangelical Leaders Propose Marriage Week In Canada

Toronto, Canada, Oct 21, 2003 (CNA) - The Ontario Conference of Catholic Bishops has joined other Evangelical and Catholic groups in proclaiming Feb. 8-15 national marriage week. The event will be organized under the theme "Marriage on the Rock."

Marriage has been a hot topic in Canada since the debate to legalize same-sex marriage began early this year. In a vote in Parliament last month, the majority of Canada's federally elected politicians demonstrated that they are in favor of redefining marriage to include same-sex unions. In fact, the government had already drafted a bill to legalize same-sex marriage in July and sent it to the Supreme Court of Canada for judicial review. 

"Biblical marriage is important to us all - singles, couples, children, families, communities and society as a whole," reads the joint release, issued by a number of collaborating organizations, including the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, the Ontario bishops, Focus on the Family and The Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada.

"Marriage on the Rock" will be a week for congregations to highlight the contribution of marriage to the common good of society and to uphold and affirm biblical marriage in their communities.

"Since marriage is more than a romance relationship, this event recognizes the need for marriage support from the broader Christian community," says the release.

Churches, intending to hold only one event that week, are encouraged to do so Feb. 15. A special resource kit will be available from

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Pope to 31 New Cardinals: I Count on your Collaboration

Vatican City, Oct 21, 2003 (CNA) - Pope John Paul II told the Church's new cardinals that he counts on them for their faithful collaboration and their prayers. Thirty-one bishops became cardinals this morning during the Ninth Consistory in St. Peter's Square.   

The Consistory, which is held as a public Liturgy of the Word, is the ceremony where the Pope proclaims the names new cardinals, confers to them their red caps and bestows a blessing upon them. Only 30 of the cardinals were present - one is "in pectore." "The Successor of the Fisherman of Galilee counts on your faithful collaboration," said the ailing pope. "He asks you to accompany him in prayer."   

In his message, the 83-year-old pontiff said it is necessary for them to preach with words and examples. He noted that the new cardinals reflect multiple races and cultures, representing the unity and universality of the Church.  

"The red in the cardinal's garments evokes the color of blood and recalls the heroism of the martyrs," he told the cardinals. "It is a symbol of a love for Jesus and his Church that knows no limits: love even up to the sacrifice of one's life. Big is the gift that has been given you, but bigger still is the responsibility that it requires.  

"Only if you makes yourselves servants of all will you be able to complete your mission and help the Successor of Peter to be 'the servant of the servants of God'," he said.   

"It is certainly a difficult ideal to realize, but the Good Shepherd assures us of his support," he encouraged the cardinals. "We can also count on the protection of Mary, Mother of the Church, and on the holy apostles Peter and Paul, the pillars and foundations of the Christian people."   

The cardinals professed their faith before the Church and made a pledge of fidelity and obedience to the Pope and his successors. The Pope also each assigned each cardinal a different church in Rome, symbol of their participation in the Holy Father's pastoral ministry (the new title also makes the cardinals clerics of Rome).  

John Paul then told the cardinals that they are constantly remembered in his prayers and he bestowed upon them his final benediction.

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