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Archive of December 19, 2003

Lawyers from around the world greet the Pope as source of inspiration

Vatican City, Dec 19, 2003 (CNA) - 420 lawyers from around the world greeted on Friday Pope John Paul II and presented him with a book of essays inspired on his teachings.

The group, which includes experts in Judaism and Islam, presented the book entitled, “John Paul II: Paths of Justice.”

The Pope responded to the gift by saying that he joined them in their “conviction that, in order to promote man and his dignity, and to pursue the common good and understanding among peoples, the only road to take is that of making the 'force' of the law prevail, with due respect for people of every culture, language and religion.”

“This is what I wanted to emphasize in the Message for the upcoming World Day of Peace, recalling at the same time the importance and urgency of educating to peace. I hope very much,” he concluded, “that this work may contribute to better demonstrate the fundamental duty to safeguard human rights, merits and also the limits of globalization and the value of European integration and peace.”

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Vatican source confirms Pope’s positive reaction to Gibson film

Vatican City, Dec 19, 2003 (CNA) - A Vatican source confirmed yesterday that Pope John Paul II saw Mel Gibson's film, “The Passion of Christ”, and was moved by it, reported Reuters.

The source also confirmed that, after viewing the film about the last 12 hours of the life of Christ, the pope said: "It is as it was," indicating that he considered it an authentic portrayal of the Gospel accounts of Christ’s Passion.

Earlier this year, some scholars and Jewish groups criticized an earlier version of the film, saying it would increase anti-Semitism because it portrays Jews in a negative light.

However, the news service reported that Abraham H. Foxman, U.S. director of the Anti-Defamation League, said the group would respect the Pope's views.

"The pope has a record and history of sensitivity to the Jewish community and has a clear moral voice and understanding when it comes to anti-Semitism," Foxman told  Reuters.

In addition, many Vatican officials, who have seen the current cut of the film, have rejected charges of anti-Semitism. Fr. Augustine Di Noia, a senior official in the Vatican's doctrinal department, told Reuters: "I loved it and it is not anti-Semitic."

Vatican’s “Sala Stampa” celebrates 50 years

VATICAN – The Press Office of the Holy See is celebrating its 50 anniversary, and a special Christmas Mass will be celebrated in the Basilica of San Lorenzo for journalists.

The famous “Sala Stampa” was created by Pope Pious XII in 1953 to offer assistance to journalists who come from all over the world to cover the activities of the Holy Father and the events of the Holy See.

A round-table discussion will be held to mark the anniversary with the Prefect for the Congregation for Bishops, Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, the director of the Holy See Press Office, Joaquin Navarro-Valls and other distinguished journalists.

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Vatican’s “Sala Stampa” celebrates 50 years

Vatican City, Dec 19, 2003 (CNA) - The Press Office of the Holy See is celebrating its 50 anniversary, and a special Christmas Mass will be celebrated in the Basilica of San Lorenzo for journalists.

The famous “Sala Stampa” was created by Pope Pious XII in 1953 to offer assistance to journalists who come from all over the world to cover the activities of the Holy Father and the events of the Holy See.

A round-table discussion will be held to mark the anniversary with the Prefect for the Congregation for Bishops, Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, the director of the Holy See Press Office, Joaquin Navarro-Valls and other distinguished journalists.

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Federal court approves Ohio's ban of partial-birth abortions, USCCB pleased

Washington D.C., Dec 19, 2003 (CNA) - A federal court decision that upheld Ohio’s ban on partial-birth abortions was lauded by an official with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).

Yesterday’s decision, made by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in Women's Medical Professional Corporation v. Taft, stated that Ohio may constitutionally ban partial-birth abortions, including cases where the procedure is sought for negligible or transient “health” reasons.

Cathy Cleaver Ruse of the bishops’ Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities was pleased with the decision.

"The Sixth Circuit has given its stamp of approval to Ohio's effort to rein in this extreme and careless practice,” she said in a USCCB press release, adding that even  "abortionists admit that partial-birth abortions are usually done on healthy women with healthy pregnancies."

Dr. Martin Haskell, who claims to have created the partial-birth abortion technique, challenged Ohio’s ban. Unlike a previous Ohio law, this ban allows an exception "to preserve the life or health of the mother as a result of the mother's life or health being endangered by a serious risk of the substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function."

Ending partial-birth abortion has been a priority for the U.S. bishops for almost a decade. Two USCCB campaigns resulted in 40 million postcards being sent to Congress in favor of a federal ban.

In November, President Bush signed the ban into law. It is currently being challenged in federal courts. The new law against this practice contains an exception for danger to the mother’s life as well as extensive data as to why partial-birth abortion is never necessary to preserve or protect a woman’s health.

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Boston archbishop holds priest meeting for first time in 25 years

Boston, Mass., Dec 19, 2003 (CNA) - For the first time in about 25 years, a Boston archbishop met with all his diocesan priests this week. Archbishop Sean P. O'Malley met with 600 priests Dec. 16 to discuss key issues, such as parish closings, same-sex marriage and settlements with sex-abuse victims. 

"I want the Catholics to realize we are family and we must see ourselves as something bigger than our own parishes," the archbishop said in an Associated Press article.

O'Malley urged the priests to encourage their parishioners to lobby against he legalization of same-sex marriage in Massachusetts. In a ruling last month, the state’s Supreme Court gave the Legislature 180 days to rewrite the state's marriage laws to include access for homosexual couples.

The archbishop also announced plans to close parishes next year, reported the AP. Declining church attendance, a shortage of priests and a struggling financial condition led to the decision. Church closings are not new. In the past 20 years, about 50 churches have been closed in the archdiocese, O'Malley said. He does not yet know how many new closures there will be.

The archbishop insisted that churches are not being closed to help pay for the $85-million sex-abuse settlement. The settlement will be covered by bank loans and mortgages, which will be repaid by insurance money and sale of the bishop’s mansion. The archdiocese is expected to issue settlement checks next week.

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Priest says ELN should release hostages before Christmas

Bogotá, Colombia, Dec 19, 2003 (CNA) - A humanitarian commission, which is headed up by a Catholic priest and is negotiating the release of a group of tourists being held by the National Liberation Army (ELN) in Columbia, will meet with one of the group's leaders, Antonio García, to iron out details for the release of the tourists in the mountains region of Santa Marta.

Fr. Dario Echeverry said the government has met one of the requirements of ELN for the release of the hostages, because “it has shown the best of intentions in resolving the humanitarian problems in the region of Santa Marta that have been independently confirmed by third parties.  The ELN had requested an analysis of the human rights crisis in the area as a condition for releasing the five hostages.

The report recommends that the State protect the right to education and the health of the population in the region, and asks that the civil populations cease being the target of attacks by the ELN.

“If this goes forward I believe the release of the hostages will take place before Christmas, just as the ELN has promised,” said Fr. Echeverry.

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Church in Mexico says law on homosexual unions is “aberration”

Mexico City, Mexico, Dec 19, 2003 (CNA) - The Catholic Church in Mexico called a proposed bill to legalize homosexual unions in the capital an “aberration” and called on believers in the legislature to vote against the bill.  In its weekly newspaper, the Archdiocese of Mexico city warned that the bill being debated in congress could pave the way for the adoption of children by homosexuals.

The text says that the rights of homosexual persons should be respected, since they are based on human nature and not on one’s sexual orientation.  It also points out that the Church in Mexico has spoken out against the discrimination of persons who suffer from this tendency and has shown its diligent care for them.

“Marriage,” it points out, “that is, the stable union between one man and one woman sustained by love, with the purpose of mutually supporting each other and transmitting life, which is the pillar of the family, is not a mere human convention, it is written in the nature of the human person and it corresponds to the design of the Creator.”

If laws protect this natural institution, it is because marriage and the family are the foundation of society and provide an irreplaceable good to the begetting and formation of persons.

“It is not a private reality, but rather a social one and therefore the laws should guarantee its stability and its adequate development,” the text said.

“The rejection of this law is not an assault against their rights, which they can exercise with the laws that already exist without the necessity of simulating families for the adoption of children,” the texts adds.

The Cardinal Primate of Mexico, Archbishop Norberto Rivera Carrera, has expressed is complete rejection of the bill, which, he says is detrimental to families.  “The thinking of the Church is very clear; there is no institution that can be compared to marriage.  If this becomes law, it will be to the detriment of marriage,” he said.

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23

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November 23, 2014

OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, KING OF THE UNIVERSE

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Gospel of the Day

Mt 25:31-46

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Date
11/23/14
11/22/14
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Daily Readings


First Reading:: Ezek 34: 11-12, 15-17
Second Reading:: 1 Cor 15: 20-26, 28
Gospel:: Mt 25: 31-46

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »

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Date
11/23/14

Homily of the Day

Lk 19:45-48

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11/21/14
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