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Archive of January 9, 2004

It’s official: Pro-abortion legislators can't receive Eucharist in Diocese of Lacrosse

Lacrosse, Wis., Jan 9, 2004 (CNA) - In an unprecedented action, La Crosse Bishop Raymond L. Burke has issued a document clearly stating that Catholic legislators who support abortion rights or euthanasia should not present themselves to receive Communion and should be refused if they do so.

The four-paragraph Notification was published in the weekly diocesan newspaper Thursday and was posted on the diocesan Web site, along with a 10-page pastoral letter titled "On the Dignity of Human Life and Civic Responsibility."

Citing Vatican doctrine, canon law and teachings of the U.S. bishops, Burke says in the notice that it is his duty as bishop "to explain, persuade, correct and admonish those in leadership positions who contradict the Gospel of life through their action and policies."

The notice says: "Catholic legislators who are members of the faithful of the Diocese of La Crosse and who continue to support procured abortion or euthanasia may not present themselves to receive Holy Communion. They are not to be admitted to Holy Communion, should they present themselves, until such time as they publicly renounce their support of these most unjust practices."

Burke's pastoral letter says Catholic politicians cannot defend voting for an unjust law, whether it supports abortion rights or an action such as racial discrimination, "on the grounds that they are following their constituency or the will of the 'majority.' "

In December, Bishop Burke sent private letters to three unidentified Catholic officials from Wisconsin: a member of Congress and two state legislators. The letters warned them that they risked their spiritual well-being if they continued to support anti-life legislation.

When legislators made public the bishop’s private letters, Burke said in reply to a question that Catholic politicians in the diocese who refused to mend their ways would be told not to present themselves to receive Communion.

Pope John Paul II named Burke Archbishop-elect of St. Louis on December 2, and his installation at the Missouri Archdiocese is scheduled for January 26.  But both the private letters and the notification were signed on November 23 -Solemnity of Christ the King- before his new papal appointment limited his role in La Crosse to that of diocesan administrator, so both carry his full weight as head of the diocese.

In fact, the diocesan newspaper reported Thursday that “Bishop Burke affirmed that both the letter and the notification carry the full weight of his authority as bishop of the diocese.”

Father Richard Gilles, a canon lawyer and Burke's chief of staff, said: “That is a direct statement to the priests. They have an obligation to not give them (politicians) Holy Communion. But I think any pastor who has any sensitivity or common sense would sit down in private with these people and dialogue and talk to them and ask them not to come to Holy Communion.”

Judie Brown, president of the American Life League in Stafford, Virginia., said of Burke's broad ban, "This is the first time this has ever happened in the history of the pro-life movement, and I am so grateful to Bishop Burke."

The notification is available in PDF format at the diocesan website: http://www.dioceseoflacrosse.com/whats_new/notification.pdf

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Family cannot be equated to other unions, Pope tells Italian Ambassador

Vatican City, Jan 9, 2004 (CNA) - During the welcoming ceremony of Italy's new ambassador to the Holy See, Giuseppe Balboni Acqua, Pope John Paul II recalled that civil unions cannot be legally equated to families based on marriage.

The Pope dedicated the closing remarks of his speech to highlight “the cardinal role of the family, attacked as it is today, in the opinion of many, by a badly understood sense of rights.”

“The Italian constitution calls for and cares for the centrality of this ‘natural society based on marriage’,” recalled the Pontiff.  “It is therefore the duty of governments to promote laws that favor its vitality,” he added.

“It is important that the State take care of the family, without ever suffocating the freedom of the educational choice of parents and sustaining them in their inalienable rights and in their efforts to consolidate the family nucleus,” the Pope concluded.

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Italy has a role in keeping Europe Christian, Pope says

Vatican City, Jan 9, 2004 (CNA) - Pope John Paul II on Friday told Italy’s new ambassador to the Holy See, Giuseppe Balboni Acqua, that Italy's rich patrimony of religious and spiritual values givers the nation a responsibility in keeping Europe Christian.

The Holy Father underlined “the millennia-old ties that link the See of Peter to the inhabitants of the peninsula, whose rich patrimony of Christian values is a vigorous source of inspiration and identity.”

The Pontiff also recalled that the February 18, 1984, accord between the Italian state and the Vatican “asserts that the Italian Republic ‘recognizes the value of religious culture’, bearing in mind that 'the principles of Catholicism are part of the historical patrimony of the Italian people’.”

“Italy, therefore,” he pointed out, “has a special role to play in working so that Europe, through the competent authorities, recognizes its own Christian roots which are in a position to assure the citizens of the Continent an identity that is not ephemeral or merely based on political-economic interests, but rather on deep and everlasting values”.

“The ethical foundations and ideals which were at the basis of efforts for European unity are even more necessary today if one wishes to offer stability to the institutional profile of the European Union,” he says.

“I wish to encourage the government and all Italian political representatives to pursue the efforts undertaken up to now in this field. May Italy continue to remind her sister nations of the extraordinary religious, cultural and civil heritage that has allowed Europe to be great throughout the centuries,” he added.

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Slained Nuncio was “son of the noble land of Ireland”, Cardinal Sodano says

Vatican City, Jan 9, 2004 (CNA) - On Thursday afternoon, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, celebrated a Mass for the repose of the soul of the late Archbishop Michael Courtney, Apostolic Nuncio in Burundi.

Archbishop Courtney was murdered on December 29 by Hutu rebels, and his funeral was held in the cathedral of the capital city of Bujumbura on December 31.

In his homily, Cardinal Sodano read part of the message that Burundi's seven bishops wrote after the nuncio's death. “Day and night, without ceasing, Archbishop Michael Courtney helped the people of Burundi to re-establish understanding and harmony among themselves through dialogue.”

“In this time of trial,” said Cardinal Sodano, “I would like to repeat Cardinal Arinze's words to the faithful who filled the church in Nenagh in Killaloe, Ireland, where Archbishop Courtney was born: ‘Our faith guides us, especially in painful moments such as this one. This faith is our faith in the Resurrection, it is faith in Divine Providence, it is faith in the eternal reward which awaits us in Paradise.”

The secretary of State emphasized how the late archbishop "taught us this art of Christian living. A son of the noble land of Ireland, he bore witness to his solid faith on the pathways of the world. In the footsteps of Christ, the Good Shepherd, he sacrificed himself for the people of Burundi, where the Pope had sent him as an apostle of peace.”

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Religious orders in the US to conduct audit on sexual misconduct

Vatican City, Jan 9, 2004 (CNA) - Pope John Paul II on Friday told Italy’s new ambassador to the Holy See, Giuseppe Balboni Acqua, that Italy's rich patrimony of religious and spiritual values givers the nation a responsibility in keeping Europe Christian.

The Holy Father underlined “the millennia-old ties that link the See of Peter to the inhabitants of the peninsula, whose rich patrimony of Christian values is a vigorous source of inspiration and identity.”

The Pontiff also recalled that the February 18, 1984, accord between the Italian state and the Vatican “asserts that the Italian Republic ‘recognizes the value of religious culture’, bearing in mind that 'the principles of Catholicism are part of the historical patrimony of the Italian people’.”

“Italy, therefore,” he pointed out, “has a special role to play in working so that Europe, through the competent authorities, recognizes its own Christian roots which are in a position to assure the citizens of the Continent an identity that is not ephemeral or merely based on political-economic interests, but rather on deep and everlasting values”.

“The ethical foundations and ideals which were at the basis of efforts for European unity are even more necessary today if one wishes to offer stability to the institutional profile of the European Union,” he says.

“I wish to encourage the government and all Italian political representatives to pursue the efforts undertaken up to now in this field. May Italy continue to remind her sister nations of the extraordinary religious, cultural and civil heritage that has allowed Europe to be great throughout the centuries,” he added.

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Poll reveals most Massachusetts voters want to vote on traditional marriage

, Jan 9, 2004 (CNA) - According to a recent Zogby International poll, 69 percent of Massachusetts voters want to vote on a constitutional amendment to keep the traditional definition of marriage, the Coalition for Marriage announced Jan. 8.

Though only a state-wide survey, the Zogby poll results confirm other surveys in the United States in which the majority of Americans said they want marriage to remain as the union of one man and one woman.

A New York Times/CBS News national poll, conducted Dec. 10-13, indicated that 61 percent of Americans opposed same-sex marriage, and 55 percent favored an amendment to the United States Constitution that would allow marriage only between a man and a woman.

Less than one week later, a USA Today/CNN poll, conducted Dec. 15-16, showed that 65 percent of Americans think marriages between homosexuals should not be legal.

"It seems the more people consider the long-term impact of homosexual marriage on the family and society, the more they oppose homosexual marriage," said Ron Crews, spokesman for the Coalition for Marriage.

The broad-based Coalition supports an amendment to the state constitution to define marriage as only between one man and one woman. The amendment will be taken up by the state legislature Feb. 11.

The Zogby poll, conducted Dec. 16-18, also indicated that 52 percent of Massachusetts voters agreed that only marriage between one man and one woman should be legal and binding in America. More than two-thirds, or 69 percent, believed it is better for children to be raised in a household with a married mother and father.

Half of all respondents believed that the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court overstepped its bounds in its decision to redefine marriage Nov. 18, and 64 percent would support an amendment to require that the Judicial Court judges be subject to re-election.

As well, 73 percent of respondents felt that if homosexual couples want to provide for each other, they can continue do so through private arrangements already allowed under the law.

"The institution of marriage does not need to be redefined for people to provide for each other, and when it comes to changing the institution of marriage, voters are saying, ‘enough is enough'," said Crews.

The Zogby International poll was a random survey of 601 Massachusetts voters and has a margin of error +/- 4.1 percentage points.

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John Paul II exhorts Catholic Cubans to enlighten society with peaceful dialogue

Havana, Cuba, Jan 9, 2004 (CNA) - Pope John Paul II sent a message to mark the 200th anniversary of the Archdiocese of Santiago, Cuba, in which he encourages Catholics on the island to “serenely enlighten” the national society with a peaceful dialogue dominated by “liberty, justice, truth and love.”

In the message, which was addressed to Archbishop Pedro Meurice Estiú of Santiago, the Holy Father “encourages each parish to foster through civic and religious formation the integral education of those who approach the Church with the desire to grow in humanity.”

The message, which was signed by Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, says the Pope is counting on the collaboration of missionaries, catechists and the laity to foster “human promotion and social assistance to those most in need.”  The Pope likewise invites “the pilgrim People of God of Santiago, Cuba, under the protection of the Our Lady of Charity,” to be witnesses of “the unity and fidelity of the message of Christ.”

Celebrations began in Santiago with a Mass concelebrated by 10 Cuban bishops.  An art exposition entitled Glorious Anniversary was also inaugurated, with more than 100 historical, religious and cultural works of art on display.

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Chilean authorities stop distribution of condoms at beaches

Santiago, Chile, Jan 9, 2004 (CNA) - In response to public outcry, government officials in Chile moved to prohibit the distribution of condoms to summer vacations at beaches in the country’s central region.

Luis Guastavino, administrator of Chile’s central region, said he was personally in favor of the distribution, but he said the regional government would not participate in a controversial campaign organized by Chilean AIDS activists, which includes parading “promoters” dressed up as condoms who will distribute flyers, condoms as well as balloons for children and young people.

“Each group can organize its own activities, as long as they are permitted by law, and whether I like it or not, I cannot intervene.  What I will not do is allow the regional health department to be present and to sponsor these kinds of initiatives that are not accepted by a significant part of the population,” Guastavino said.

Local residents and business owners demanded government officials stop the condom distribution and prevent disturbance of the peace, which last year included a volunteer dressed up as condom passing out prophylactics in front of the Cathedral of Valparaíso.

“I do not agree with standing in the doorway of a church with a giant condom.  This is extremely crude,” said Guastavino, adding that he had been informed of the incident by the local bishop.

AIDS activists promise to go forward with their plans, and local business owners have promised to call the police if any “volunteers” show up.

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New Auxiliary Bishop of Miami says sun will rise on Cuba

Miami, Fla., Jan 9, 2004 (CNA) - During his ceremony of ordination as Auxiliary Bishop of Miami, Bishop Felipe de Jesús Estévez, addressed his fellow Cubans and expressed his desire that the country might enjoy “more justice, more freedom, with all and for all, especially those who suffer.”

Bishop Estévez, who came to Miami from Cuba when he was 14 years old to be reunited with his parents thanks to the Peter Pan movement, said “the sun also rises for our beloved country,” and he asked God that “we not forget the message of John Paul II: be strong in hope.”

The new bishop’s 80 year-old parents, more than 50 bishops, including Archbishop Pedro Meurice of Santiago, Cuba, 2 cardinals and 400 priests all participated in the Mass which took place in St. Mary’s Cathedral.  Bishop Estévez has been a symbol of the Archdiocese’s work with refugees, political exiles and immigrants.

Bishop Estévez said he was indebted to the legacies of Auxiliary Bishop Agustín Román, who retired last year, and Cuban Bishop Eduardo Boza Masvidal, who was exiled from Cuba, and he expressed his affection for all of the Church in Cuba.

In his homily, Archbishop John Favarola said now “we have another successor of the apostles among us in order to continue passing on the Gospel to believers,” and he thanked Bishop’s parents for raising their son in the faith.

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October 22, 2014

Wednesday of the Twenty-Ninth Week in Ordinary Time

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Gospel of the Day

Lk 12:39-48

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First Reading:: Eph 3: 2-12
Gospel:: Lk 12: 39-48
Gospel:: Lk 12: 39-48

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St. Romuald »

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10/22/14

Homily of the Day

Lk 12:39-48

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