Archive of January 6, 2006

New Book studies dramatic consequences of divorce among children and damage in children’s religious identity.

Washington D.C., Jan 6, 2006 (CNA) - Between two Worlds: The Inner Lives of Children of Divorce, a new publishing tackling the eminent question of divorce and its consequences, reveals for the first time ever a national study, in shocking details, the dramatic moral, spiritual, and religious impact of divorce on children

With almost one in two first marriages now ending in divorce, Elizabeth Marquardt, a thirty-four year old graduate of the University of Chicago Divinity School, draws on exclusive access to the first such study and personal experience to report on the first generation of young people to grow up in an era of widespread divorce.

Breaking the myth about a “good” and a “bad” divorce, she says  “good” divorces often compare poorly even to children of unhappy marriages, and look much worse than children raised in happy marriages. Divorce confronts the child with the monumental task of having to make sense, alone, of the parents’ very different beliefs, values, and ways of living – a job the parents are no longer required to do.
These children come to feel like divided selves. They lead a wholly separate life in each parent’s world, leading over time to a troubling inner division that goes to the heart of their identity, they are less protected from their parents’ worries, feel less emotionally safe, are far less able to go to their parents for comfort, and are much more often left alone, and are forced to figure out the big questions in life alone because divorced parents often hold different moral views and no longer talk about those views together.

Concerning their religious education, they experience a loss of trust that affects their belief in God—making them overall much less religious than their peers from intact families, but for some dramatically strengthening their faith. They are less likely to have strong religious bases as prayer life, they Feel pain and loss evoked by the idea of God as a father or parent.

Elizabeth Marquardt is an affiliate scholar at the Institute for American Values, a nonpartisan think tank focused on marriage, children, and civil society. She regularly appears on National Television Networks, and has published her articles in countless papers and magazines.

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Cleveland bishop asks pope for permission to retire

Cleveland, Ohio, Jan 6, 2006 (CNA) - Cleveland  Bishop Anthony M. Pilla, 73, has asked Pope Benedict XVI for permission to retire as head of the Cleveland Diocese.

Pilla is the former president of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops and a proponent of suburban alliances with shrinking city parishes, has asked Pope Benedict XVI for permission to retire as head of the Cleveland Diocese.

Pilla went through bypass surgery in 1997 and prostate surgery in 1999,  he submitted the request in a personal letter, Rev. Ralph E. Wiatrowski, a top Pilla aide as diocese chancellor, said Thursday.

No timetable was disclosed on when the pope might act on the retirement request or appoint a replacement. It could take up to 1 1/2 years to name a replacement, according to Wiatrowski, who said Pilla had not disclosed the specific reason for wanting to retire at this point.
Bishops must submit their resignations at age 75, but can stay on at the pope's request.
Pilla, who marks his 25th anniversary as bishop on Friday, told the diocesan newspaper that he was ready to retire.
"I'm looking forward to it in the sense that it's time. It's time for a change," he said. Pilla said he might teach, lecture or help out in a parish in retirement.

He was the first Cleveland priest to lead the diocese, the nation's 15th largest with 800,000 Catholics in eight northeast Ohio counties.
Pilla served as president of the national bishops' conference from 1995-98 and his pioneering "Church in the City" program encouraged cooperative efforts between shrinking urban congregations and wealthier, fast-growing suburban parishes.
Unlike some U.S. cities where numerous churches were closed, only 12 were shut down in Cleveland during Pilla's tenure.

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Catholic Priest Advises: “Democrats…must abandon their Catholic bashing strategy.”

Front Royal, Va., Jan 6, 2006 (CNA) - Catholic Priest and president of Human Life International,Rev. Thomas J. Euteneuer, advised Democrats to refrain from “Catholic bashing” of Supreme Court nominee Judge Samuel Alito.

“The unrelenting campaign waged by many Senate Democrats, some who claim to be Catholics themselves, against Catholic judicial nominees who embrace and practice their Catholic faith is disgraceful at best and at worst is a blatant form of religious bigotry reminiscent of a less civil period of history,” said Fr. Euteneuer.

“If these senators continue to Catholic bash in the upcoming nomination hearing for Supreme Court nominee Judge Samuel Alito they will only continue to alienate Roman Catholics who are increasingly frustrated over attacks on those beliefs they hold most dear.

“Religion should never be used as a weapon of discrimination. Democrats and their anti-Catholic allies such as People for the American Way, and Alliance for Justice must abandon their Catholic bashing strategy.

It is time for these Senators—lead by the likes of Sen. Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.)—to put an end to this shameful behavior and offer their ‘advice and consent’ based upon a nominee’s proper understanding of our Constitutional law.

“It is in the best interest of all Americans that the Democrat Party stops its relentless attacks on Roman Catholic judicial nominees.

Founded in 1981, Human Life International is the world's largest pro-life, pro-family organization that is dedicated to defending life, faith and the family, with branches and affiliates around the world.

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United States Bishops launch New Media Campaign Focusing on Solutions to Poverty

Washington D.C., Jan 6, 2006 (CNA) - The Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) this month launched a new national awareness campaign that calls attention to the 37 million Americans now living in poverty, in “Poverty in America Awareness Month.”

Timed to coincide with the beginning of Poverty in America Awareness Month, the new CCHD-sponsored campaign uses television, radio and print ads to attract The poverty rate rose from 12.5 percent in 2003 to 12.7 percent in 2004, representing an increase of 1.1 million more poor people.  This is the fourth year in a row that the poverty rate in America has risen.

According to Timothy Collins, Executive Director of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, "Not only does CCHD work to raise awareness of the alarming incidence of poverty in the United States; it spreads the 'good news' as well. The success stories in this year’s public service ads are all the result of the community-based, self-help projects that are funded by CCHD.”

This year’s ad campaign offers a message of hope by showing children in Los Angeles who once walked in fear after school and now arrive safely home as they are protected from street violence by a dedicated group of volunteers. It also visits Wisconsin where a group of family dairy farmers joined together to start their own cooperative in order to pool production and get a better price for their milk. And, finally, the new campaign features young people in New Orleans who are learning from experts in the food service industry the skills they need to find better jobs and build a better future.

Since its inception, the Campaign has provided seed money to train leaders in the community for projects that are initiated and led by low-income people themselves. Over the years, CCHD has offered a total of $280 million to more than 4,000 such projects. During this current year, the Campaign is supporting 315 local projects in 47 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

Established in 1970 by the U.S. Catholic Bishops, the Catholic Campaign for Human Development is one of the largest private funders of self-help programs initiated and led by poor people in the United States.

Editors: For further information, contact Barbara Stephenson at CCHD, 202-541-3364 or [email protected]

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Archbishop, church offices return to New Orleans

New Orleans, La., Jan 6, 2006 (CNA) - Four months after Hurricane Katrina ravaged the U.S. Gulf Coast, forcing residents and businesses out of the city of New Orleans, the local Archdiocese is reporting that most of its major offices and personnel are up and running within the city.

While the Archdiocese’s administrative offices won’t be habitable until at least mid-February, the offices of Incarnate Word Parish in Carrollton have become a meeting point for many of the displaced church services.

Archbishop Alfred Hughes, along with auxiliary bishop Robert Morin, have been operating out of residences on the grounds of Notre Dame Seminary.

Immediately following the hurricane, the Archdiocese of New Orleans was forced to temporarily move its offices to nearby Baton Rouge.

Many breathed a sigh of relief, following the disaster, when Katrina’s wrath failed to seriously damage the city’s historic St. Louis Cathedral--located near the French Quarter.

Mass has been celebrated in the church since October 2nd.

With administrative offices scheduled to open in February and the chancery in April, officials are confident--and faithful relieved--that the Archdiocese has firmly rooted its presence back in the heart of a still broken city.

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Church must shine the light of Christ to the World says Pope Benedict XVI

Vatican City, Jan 6, 2006 (CNA) - Presiding  today over the Eucharistic celebration for the celebration of the Solemnity of the Epiphany, Pope Benedict  remarked that the Church has for mission to shine the light of Christ to the World.

Pope Benedict defined the Epiphany as a mystery of light”, this light, “is the love of God, revealed in the Person of the Word incarnated”.
He reflected upon the words of Saint John the Apostle in his first Letter: “God is light and in Him, there is no darkness.” The light that emerges from Christmas, that is manifested today to the people, is the Love of God, revealed in the Peson ot the Word made flesh.”

Benedict XVI defined the Epiphany as “a mystery of light” that of Christ, which “radiates on earth, spreading as though in concentric circles”: to the Virgin Mary and to Joseph; to the “shepherds of Bethlehem”, representative of the “rest of Israel, the poor, the anawim”; and “finally reaching the Magi, who constitute the first fruits of the pagan people”.

“The palaces of power of Jerusalem remain in the shadows,” continues the pope. “Paradoxically, the news of the Messiah’s birth is delivered there by the very Magi, provoking not joy but fear and hostile reactions. A mysterious divine plan: “The light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil” (Jn 3:19)

Christ, “beginning of universal reconciliation and recapitulation,”  God reveals himself as “a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to his people Israel” (Lk 2:32), a response to the anticipation of the chosen people of Israel and all the peoples on earth

The mystery of the Church and its missionary dimension is also manifested in the liturgical context of the Epiphany,” continued the Pope. “She is called to make Christ’s light shine in the world and to reflect it herself, as the moon reflects the light of the sun.” Christians, trained by Christ to live in the way of the Beatitudes, are called to draw, “through the witness of love”, all mankind to God. But this great mission of the Church is marked by sin and by errors. “

The Pope ended his homily inviting the faithful to follow Mary, “With her example of total availability to the will of God she teaches us to be ‘epiphany’ of the Lord, through the opening of her heart to the strength of grace and faithful adherence to the word of her Son, the light of the world and the ultimate aspiration of history.”

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Bishop calls for respect for dignity of immigrants

Madrid, Spain, Jan 6, 2006 (CNA) - Bishop Antonio Ceballos of Cadiz and Ceuta, Spain, has issued a pastoral letter marking the World Day of Immigrants and Refugees scheduled for January 15 in which he calls for greater respect for the dignity of immigrants in order to help keep them from “becoming isolated, which is the worst thing that can happen to them.”

In his pastoral letter the bishop noted that frequently immigrants “feel alone and lost in an unknown, almost hostile world.”  As a result, he explained, they stay together and lose interest in the values, culture and beliefs of the society that surrounds them and end up being marginalized as strangers and foreigners.

Bishop Ceballos, whose diocese includes territory both on the Iberian Peninsula and Africa, said a greater effort needs to be made to understand the “complex and diverse” situation of immigrants, to discover their “sufferings and difficulties,” and to ensure that integration “is not understood to mean a type of assimilation that suppresses or discounts one’s own cultural identity.”

May contact with immigrants “lead us to discover their secret and their mystery and to open ourselves to them to accept their valid qualities and contribute thus to a greater understanding of each of them and a mutual enrichment of all,” the bishop said.

Immigrants, he continued, should strive to integrate into their new societies and avoid isolation: they should learn the national language, understand and adapt to laws and to the norms of society and the workplace.

Bishop Ceballos added that it is important that people fully understand the immigration phenomenon and all of its aspects and consequences, “without falling into superficial analysis or being influenced by current fads and clichés.”

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Hockey star’s mom says unborn son saved her from suicide

Vancouver, Canada, Jan 6, 2006 (CNA) - Nineteen years ago Annet Pogge was about to throw herself over a bridge to commit suicide but was detained at the last second by the sudden, gentle stirrings in her womb.  Annet is Toronto Maple Leafs’ hockey star Justin Pogge’s mother.

In an interview with Globe and Mail, Annet said she was 22 years old and four months pregnant when Justin’s father walked out on her and 126 guests gathered for their engagement party, after learning of the pregnancy.

That night Annet walked onto a bridge and decided to commit suicide.  “Just when I was thinking of doing it,” she said, “when I was thinking of terminating everything, not just the pregnancy, but me, I felt a kick. It was light but I felt it. “

That tiny motion of her baby shocked her out of her despair.  “It was the first real sign of life,” she said. “I remember thinking, ‘Oh, my God. This is a sign. God wants me to live.’ I couldn’t end my life then. I couldn’t.”

Ms. Pogge underwent financial hardship and sacrifice to raise her son and keep him in hockey. She told him the story of that moment on the bridge, years before anyone else heard about it. She wanted him to know he was born out of love, she told the Edmonton Sun, and that it was his action that had saved her from ending their lives.

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Poll reveals German Catholics want more active presentation of the faith

Paderborn, Germany, Jan 6, 2006 (CNA) - The great majority of German Catholics believe it is important that children and young people be given a more active and intense presentation of the faith, according to a poll carried out among some three thousand German Catholics.

The results of the poll, revealed by the Work of St. Boniface, show 86% consider instruction in the faith to be urgently needed, and 71% complained about the lack of formation in the faith.

Asked about the persons most responsible for their faith, 97% said credited their parents or some relative, 73% credited a priest or religious, 43% said a religion teacher, and 18% credited others.

64% said society makes it difficult for young people to become interested in the faith.  Asked about the message they would send to people today, 68% said, “God welcomes you without buts or conditions,” 33% said, “Seek peace among people,” and 62% said, “Life after death.” 

The majority of those surveyed said passing on the faith to one’s children is extremely important.

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New report provides periscope into Planned Parenthood business practices

Washington D.C., Jan 6, 2006 (CNA) - A new report released by the American Life League’s STOPP organization, strongly criticizes Planned Parenthood’s nationwide business practices and accuses the group of “making millions of dollars by selling sex and killing children.”

Jim Sedlak, STOPP’s executive director, called Planned Parenthood “America's largest abortion chain,” and said that it continues “to push its abortion agenda through a network of more than 800 facilities nationwide."

The new survey of all Planned Parenthood facilities in the United States, he said, “reveals that the controversial abortion organization now operates 173 surgical abortion centers, 57 additional medical abortion facilities, and 595 other locations that distribute products that cause early chemical abortions."

He noted that a large number--30 percent-- of the group’s clinics are located in areas with high Hispanic populations.

This, he said, "gives a clear picture of Planned Parenthood's current target market…Since its founding in 1916, Planned Parenthood has focused its efforts and programs on minorities.”

One of the more surprising aspects of the survey, according to Sedlak, was Planned Parenthood’s "express clinics."

Planned Parenthood’s websites say that, "At an express health center, clients who are short on time and do not require a table examination can quickly pick up their birth control medication or get contraceptive advice."

"It appears”, Sedlak said, “that these express clinics serve as storefront operations where Planned Parenthood can sell its most profitable items with the least amount of overhead." 

He added that, “Our research shows that Planned Parenthood sells a monthly supply of birth control pills for anywhere from $16 to $25, but pays just $1.50 for them. That's killer profit.”

The survey was conducted between September 15th and December 5th of 2005.

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