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Archive of October 14, 2004

Congregation of Liturgy releases suggestions for Year of the Eucharist

Vatican City, Oct 14, 2004 (CNA) - The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of Sacraments has released a document today with suggestions and proposals for living out the Year of the Eucharist.  The document, entitled "The Year of the Eucharist: Suggestions and Proposals," has been written in answer to instructions put forth by Pope John Paul II in his October 7 Apostolic Letter "Mane nobiscum Domine."

The text of the Congregation’s document (published in Italian, and expected to be available shortly in other major languages) consists of an Introduction, Summary of the five Chapters a list of documents and abbreviations used, the five Chapters (entitled, repectively: Frame of Reference, Worship Contexts, Lines of Eucharistic Spirituality, Pastoral Initiatives and Commitments and Cultural Paths),  and a Conclusion.

The introduction opens by pointing out that the integral link between the Pope’s initiatives of the Year of the Rosary which is ending and the Year of the Eucharist, which is beginning is that of “placing the face of Christ at the center of ecclesial commitments in the wake of Vatican Council II and the Great Jubilee,” and that “the Year of the Eucharist offers us an important pastoral occasion for the entire Christian community to be further sensitized to make this wonderful Sacrifice and Sacrament the heart of its life.”

Pointing out that the Holy Father asked particular dioceses to come up with pastoral initiatives, the document says “does not pretend to be exhaustive, but rather limits itself to give, with a simple style, some working suggestions."

The congregation therefore indicates a series of suggestions on the parochial and diocesan level in order to begin the Year of the Eucharist, including the following:

·      Preparation of documents - especially where the dioceses cannot do so - that emphasize the Year of the Eucharist and promote reflection by priests and faithful on the doctrinal and pastoral problems in their respective countries such as lack of priests, low Sunday Mass attendance, abandonment Eucharistic adoration;

·      Promoting national Eucharistic congresses and inviting universities, faculties and seminaries to explore this theme;

·      Encouraging knowledge of the saints who have a special relationship with the diocese and who have been distinguished by love for the Eucharist;

·      Increasing perpetual adoration of the Blessed Sacrament in churches and chapels, especially at a time when it is convenient for parishioners;

·      Organizing Eucharistic adoration for young people around Palm Sunday;

·      Dedicating space to the theme of the Eucharist in diocesan magazines, internet sites, as well as on local radio and television stations;

·      Responding to the Pope's invitation to make every effort to make sure that Sunday Mass occupies the central place in the parish;

·      Teaching the faithful the proper behavior when entering a church, helping them to prepare themselves interiorly during mass, especially in the most important moments and educating them on exterior participation as well;

·      Promotion, by parishes, of Eucharistic worship and personal and community prayer before the Blessed Sacrament, namely visiting the Blessed Sacrament, adoration and Eucharistic benediction and spiritual assistance for those who are in irregular situations, and who cannot receive communion although they participate in Mass.

·      Organization, by monasteries, religious communities and institutes, of mediation on the quality of Eucharistic celebration in community, fidelity to liturgical norms and personal Eucharistic devotion, as well as providing for the possibility of increasing adoration hours before the Blessed Sacrament.

"The success of this Year,” concludes the document, “undoubtedly depends on the depth of our prayer.  We are invited to celebrate the Eucharist, to receive it and to adore it with the faith of the saints. ... This special year must help us to encounter Jesus in the Eucharist and to live by Him."

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Vatican encourages recovering use of Latin, Gregorian chant

Vatican City, Oct 14, 2004 (CNA) - The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of Sacraments, in its new document, “The Year of the Eucharist: Suggestions and Proposals,” released today in Italian, has encouraged familiarity of Latin, indicating it’s necessity, especially in housed of formation and in seminaries, for prayer and singing in Latin, particularly Gregorian chant.

The document, which has been put together by the Vatican congregation with the purpose of giving guidelines towards making the Year of the Eucharist as success, also asks that the tabernacle be conveniently located in a place conducive to private prayer.

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Pope Appoints three new Bishops in the US

Vatican City, Oct 14, 2004 (CNA) - Pope John Paul II has appointed three new bishops to lead the U.S. dioceses of Columbus, Grand Island, and Harrisburg.

Bishop Frederick Francis Campell, auxiliary of St. Paul and Minneapolis, U.S.A., was appointed as bishop of Columbus. 

Bishop Campbell was born on August 5 1943 at Elmira (New York). He graduated in History at Ohio State University and joined the St. Paul Seminary at Saint Paul (Minnesota) in 1976.

He was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis on May 31, 1980. He has been Vicar of St. Charles Borromeo parish in Minneapolis (1980-1987); Pastor of St. John at Hopkins (1987-1994); Pastor of St. Joseph at West Saint Paul (1994-1999). He was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Saint Paul on March 2,1999.

He succeeds Bishop James Anthony Griffin whose resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Columbus was accepted in accordance with Canon 401, para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law.

Msgr. William J. Dendinger, pastor of St. Stephen the Martyr Parish in Omaha, U.S.A., was appointed bishop of Grand Island, U.S.A.

Msgr. Dendinger was born in Coleridge (Nebraska) on May 20, 1939. He studied at "Mount Michael High School" in Omaha, then at "Conception College Seminary" in Conception, Missouri,  and at "Aquinas Institute" in Iowa, where he obtained a "Masters of Arts" in Theology in 1965.

He was ordained a priest on May 29, 1965. From 1965 to 1968 was a Vicar at the Saint John the Baptist parish  in Petersburg and from 1968 to 1970, Vicar  of Saint Boniface Parish at Elgin.

In July 1970, Msgr.Dendinger became a chaplain at the US Air Force (USAF), where he served for 32 years becoming a Major General.  He has also been Head of Chaplains for the USAF, managing more than 1,000 chaplains around the world.

In 2002, after completing his ministry at the USAF, he was appointed pastor at Saint Stephen the Martyr parish in Omaha. Since 1994 he is a Prelate of Honor of His Holiness.

He succeeds Bishop Lawrence James McNamara whose resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Grand Island was accepted upon having reached the age limit.

Fr. Kevin Carl Rhoades, rector of Mount St. Mary's Seminary in Emmitsburg, Maryland, was appointed bishop of Harrisburg.

Msgr. Rhoades was born in Mahanoy City in the diocese of Allentown on November 26, 1957. After studying at Mount Saint Mary’s College, he joined the St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia and was later sent to the North American College in Rome. He completed his theological studies at the Gregorian University in Rome and was laureate in Cannon Law at the same university.

He was ordained  a priest on July 9,1983 for the diocese of Harrisburg. Fr. Rhoades was appointed vicar at Saint Patrick’s parish in York (1983-1985); then he was appointed Vice Chancellor and Secretary to the Bishop. From 1988 to 1989 he was the Director of Hispanic Ministry and latter apointed Pastor at Saint Francis of Assisi parish in Harrisburg (1990-1995). In 1995 became professor of Theology at Mount Saint Mary’s Seminary and Rector in 1997.

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Papal audiences were attended by 1.5 million faithful in 2004

Vatican City, Oct 14, 2004 (CNA) - The Prefecture of the Papal Household, on the annual publication of the figures relative to papal audiences, just before the anniversary of Pope John Paul II’s election to the papacy on October 16, 1978, has stated that the Pope has received 1,512,300 people in audiences in 2004.

Of the1,512,300 visitors, 387,100 were received in the weekly general audiences, 140,200 in special audiences, 368,000 in liturgical celebrations and 617,000 for the Sunday Angelus.

From October 16, 1978 to October 16, 2004, the Holy Father has welcomed 426 heads of State, kings and queens, 187 prime ministers, 190 foreign ministers, and he has received the Letters of Credence of 642 new ambassadors to the Holy See.

These figures do not take into account the great number of people welcomed by the Pope at the end of liturgical functions in the Vatican, in Italy, or abroad.

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Ferrari to make Pope special anniversary car

Rome, Italy, Oct 14, 2004 (CNA) - The president of Ferrari, Luca Montezemolo, has said that the Formula One team will build a special model car for Pope John Paul II to mark the 26th anniversary of his pontificate.

"We will make a Ferrari Formula One car especially for the pope," Montezemolo told reporters on a visit to the Vatican.

The planned car would be a scaled down model of the championship-winning F2004 Formula One car. Montezemolo said that the car will be red and not some other color because "the Pope would not be best pleased to see a Ferrari that wasn't a Ferrari.”

"I had the honour of meeting His Holiness on two occasions, first of all when I was involved in organising the (football) World Cup in 1990 and then on the testing track at Fiorano where he had a ride in a Ferrari," said the Ferrari president. "That was when Ferrari were not having great success and the least I can do to show my appreciation is construct a special Ferrari car for him."

Pope John Paul II will celebrate the 26th anniversary of his election to the papcy on Saturday, October 16.

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Attack on Catholic health care unwarranted, based on errors of fact

Washington D.C., Oct 14, 2004 (CNA) - A recent Boston Globe article, which targeted Catholic health care providers and laws that protect them from participating in abortion, is based on egregious errors of fact, says Maureen K. Bailey, public policy analyst for the U.S. bishops’ Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities.

In her article, Boston Globe columnist Ellen Goodman attacks “the ‘conscience clauses’ being pushed to let healthcare workers and whole institutions opt out of providing healthcare, especially reproductive care, on religious grounds.”

Goodman concludes: “At some point doesn’t religious practice become medical malpractice?”

Bailey explains that “it is not medical malpractice for healthcare providers to decline providing elective procedures.” She points out that the American medical, nursing and pharmaceutical associations all support the right of providers to decline participating in any procedure on the basis of conscience.

In fact, 47 states protect the right of health care providers to decline involvement in abortion.

Bailey says Goodman has used the Catholic Church as “a convenient target, to distract attention from the reality that few health care providers (religious or secular) are comfortable with destruction of human life as ‘medicine.’”

For more than two decades, Bailey points out, the federal government has not funded abortions except in rare circumstances, and 88 percent of all hospitals – religious and non-religious – do not participate in abortions.

In addition, Goodman’s suggestion that Catholic health care has always been on the margin of mainstream medicine ignores the fact that it was Catholic religious orders, particularly women’s orders, that helped build the U.S. health care system, says Bailey.

She adds that Catholic health care ethics is right in line with the Hippocratic oath in teaching that first of all we must do our patients no harm.

“Recently, however, pro-abortion groups have launched attacks on this right, exploiting loopholes in statutes and engaging in a new public relations strategy that Goodman exemplifies,” she continues. “In some states, pro-abortion groups have managed to force hospitals to open their doors for late-term abortions, and have blocked cost-saving mergers that would improve patient care when the resulting entity would not be performing abortions.”

The House of Representatives has passed the Hyde/Weldon Conscience Protection Amendment, to prohibit governmental discrimination against health care providers who object to participating in abortions.

The amendment is now part of the House-approved Labor/HHS appropriations bill, which awaits action by a Conference Committee to work out differences between House and Senate versions of the bill.

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Judge orders Church documents be made public in sex-abuse case

San Francisco, Calif., Oct 14, 2004 (CNA) - The files of Catholic priests, accused of sexual abuse, should be made public, a California judge said in a tentative ruling Oct. 12.

Alameda County Superior Court Judge Ronald M. Sabraw said the content of the employment files "is a matter of public concern and interest and outweighs privacy interests of the defendants," reported The Associated Press.

The names of the defendants and alleged victims, background information on the plaintiffs, and Church administrative records should be made public, but medical and psychiatric records would remain confidential, he said.

The order applies to the 160 consolidated civil cases, involving 40 priests, against Northern California dioceses.

The documents had been sought by media organizations, arguing for public access to the internal Church files of accused priests.

The plaintiffs’ attorneys had received internal documents earlier this year and turned over some of them to various media, but Sabraw ordered a temporary stop to the distribution this summer.

Last month, a Southern California judge ordered the Los Angeles Archdiocese to surrender the confidential records of two former priests.

Sabraw is expected to issue a final ruling after he hears further arguments by Church officials, media representatives and plaintiffs' attorneys.

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New Catholic University holds inaugural gala

San Diego, Calif., Oct 14, 2004 (CNA) - New Catholic University (NCU) held its inaugural gala Sept. 25 at the Hyatt Regency La Jolla.

More than 170 supporters and volunteers joined NCU founders Derry Connolly, Philippe Dardaine, Wes Fach, Scott McKenna and Ed Snow for a benefit dinner for the new private university.

The evening featured speeches by Auxiliary Bishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Diego; Fr. Darrin Merlino, CMF; and NCU co-founder Connolly, slated to be the university’s first president. Jerry Usher, program director for Catholic Answers Radio, served as the evening’s master of ceremonies. Fr. Leo Celano concluded the evening with a prayer and blessing.

NCU is scheduled to open in the fall of 2005. The university will offer degree programs in technology, business and mass media communications. In all academic disciplines, it hopes to foster an entrepreneurial spirit and encourage leadership and innovation, guided by Catholic ethical teachings.

“NCU’s academic model is very novel,” Connolly said. “It’s a niche school and it’s not for everyone. You have to like the idea of working in a business.”

He has placed the university’s ultimate success in the hands of God.

For more information, go to: http://www.newcatholicuniversity.com/

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Beatification process moving forward for German bishop who opposed Nazis

Berlin, Germany, Oct 14, 2004 (CNA) - The cause for beatification of Cardinal Clemens August von Galen, Bishop of Muenster during World War II and the Nazi regime could be completed next year, according to Archdiocesan sources.

A study of the heroic virtues of the prelate, who became Bishop of Muenster shortly before Hitler came to power in 1933, will be concluded before Christmas, said Karl Hagemann, spokesman for the Archdiocese.

Cardinal von Glalen was known for his fiery sermons against euthanasia, which was carried out by the Nazis on the homeless and the handicapped.  In 1941 he preached three historic sermons against the Nazis, who had taken the lives of more than 100,000 handicapped individuals.

“We have sacred obligations of conscience from which no one has the power to release us, and we must fulfill them even at the cost of our lives,” the Cardinal said in one of the sermons from the pulpit of the Cathedral of Muenster.

After revealing how the handicapped were being killed, he said the Nazis treated them “like an old machine that no longer works, like a cow that won’t produce anymore milk.”

“May humanity be damned, may our German nation be damned, if the holy commandment of God ‘Thou shall not kill’ is not only broken but the transgression is tolerated and is allowed to go on unpunished,” he also said.

His sermons forced the Nazi government to change tactics and devise more deceitful methods for doing away with the handicapped. 

Bishop Galen was born in 1878 and died in 1946, just a few weeks after Pope Pius XII named him Cardinal.

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Pro-life groups call for end to “abortion tourism” in wake of British investigative report

Madrid, Spain, Oct 14, 2004 (CNA) - In the wake of an investigative report by the UK’s The Sunday Telegraph uncovering illegal late-term abortions obtained by British women at a Barcelona clinic, several pro-life groups released information on other similar cases in Spain, calling for an end to “abortion tourism.”

According to Jose Maria Simon , president of the Christian Doctors of Catalonia (CDC), the report published in the British newspaper was the fruit of investigations by various Spanish organizations that defend “the culture of life.”

Simon did not specify the source of information published in The Sunday Telegraph on abortions performed at the Ginemedex clinic in Barcelona, but he said similar reports would be forthcoming in the US media.

Likewise, he lamented that lawsuits against abortion clinics in Barcelona and elsewhere in Spain have not been processed and have been archived.  “Sometimes, the prosecutor who is considering the lawsuit is one mood, and the judge in another,” Simon told the Spanish daily ABC.  “There is fraud taking place in Spain. You can get an abortion up to the ninth month, if you pay.”

While groups like the CDC are opposed to all abortions without exceptions, they are asking that “at least the law be obeyed, and that only those abortions that are permitted by law be allowed,” said Simon.

On the other hand, the Society for the Protection of "unborn" Children called for an end to “abortion tourism” this week.  “They bothered to find out that this service was taking place, but they failed in checking to see if it was legal.  This is hypocrisy upon hypocrisy,” said the group’s secretary, Paul Tully.

“Late-term abortions pose a high risk for the mother, and the British Pregnancy Advisory Service has not taken responsibility for the care of these women who have obtained abortions in Spain,” Tully denounced.

The Association of Abortion Victims denounced that women have the right to professional doctors who respect their health and the law.  The group’s president, Carmina García-Valdés, denounced that “women have the right to care by honest professionals who do not commit crimes like the falsification of documents or the performing of illegal abortions.”

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Morning after pill does not reduce abortions in general, and increases abortions among teenagers

Madrid, Spain, Oct 14, 2004 (CNA) - The head of the Department of Biopathology at La Fe Hospital in Valencia, Spain, Dr. Justo Aznar Lucea, reaffirmed this week the data on the abortifacient nature of the morning after pill, its failure to reduce the number of pregnancies, and its resulting in an increase in teenage pregnancy in countries where it is used.

In an interview with the newspaper La Razon, Aznar called the government proposal to distribute the drug free of charge in Spain “very wrong,” adding, “it will not have the supposed results of reducing the number of pregnancies and abortions among teenagers.”

According to Aznar, “the use of the pill will lead to a huge loss of human life.  It has been demonstrated in a significant number of cases that this pill prevents pregnancy by causing a change in the uterus, making implantation of the embryo impossible.  This is the taking of a human life, for which this pill should be categorized as abortifacient.”

Asked about the objections by some doctors who say the pill does not cause abortions, Aznar said, “It is true that some doctors claim pregnancy begins at implantation, and that therefore any action which prevents implantation cannot not be called abortifacient.  But the negative judgment this pill deserves is not because it terminates a pregnancy, but rather because it terminates a human life before it is implanted.”

Regarding the argument by defenders of the pill that it will help reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies and abortions, Aznar stated that “according to a recent article published in the magazine Contraception, it has been clearly demonstrated that the promotion of emergency contraception does not reduce the number of abortions.”

"This study, the most extensive such one to date, since it includes 17,800 women, compares the number of abortions in 1998 and 1999, when the pill was not being promoted, to the number of abortions in 2000 and 2001, when it was. Statistically it has been proven that there is no difference in the number of abortions between both periods,” Aznar said.

“Nor are there any differences between this group of women and other groups that were not encouraged to use the morning after pill.  What is more, during the time in which the use of the drug has begun to be consumed, in other countries and in Spain as well, teen pregnancies have not only not decreased, they have increased,” he added.

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