Archive of October 5, 2008

Medical report confirms India nun’s rape by anti-Christian mob

Bhubneshwar, India, Oct 5, 2008 (CNA) - A recently publicized medical report supports the claim of a Catholic nun who said she was raped and then paraded naked in an anti-Christian attack by a Hindu mob in August in eastern India.

"The doctors say there are signs and symptoms of rape," said police inspector K.N. Rao, adding that he had not read the entire medical report.

Friday news reports said the medical report had confirmed the rape, the Canadian Press says.

Doctors conducted the medical examination after the nun filed the complaint on August 25, but the police said that they did not receive the report until this past Thursday. Inspector Rao instead pointed his finger at the doctors, but they insisted that the police didn’t respond to a reminder to collect the medical report.

The nun said in her police complaint that she was raped when a large Hindu mob attacked a prayer hall in Orissa state’s Kandhamal district, where she worked.

She told the police she was paraded naked after the rape, Rao said.

Clashes between Hindu extremists and Christians in Kandhamal began August 24 following the killing of a Hindu religious leader. Police blamed Maoist rebels, but some Hindu groups blamed Christians and set fire to a Christian orphanage.

The violence escalated as mobs of Hindus attacked churches, shops, and homes. According to SIR, at least 60 have been killed.

The Canadian Press reports that the violence continued early Thursday morning in Khandamal’s neighboring district of Boudh. There a group of nearly 150 people torched over 100 houses, though no casualties or injuries were reported.

Anti-Christian attacks have also spread to the southern states of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala in addition to the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh.

Christians make up about 2.5 percent of India’s 1.1 billion people, while Hindus account for 80 percent.

Relations between the religions are normally peaceful, but hard-line Hindu groups claim Christian missionaries are forcing or bribing people to convert to Christianity. Christian leaders deny the charges.

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Catholic Charities in San Francisco severs links to homosexual adoptions

San Francisco, Calif., Oct 5, 2008 (CNA) - The cultural battle over the identity of the family is taking another turn in California as the Archdiocese of San Francisco's Catholic Charities plans to cut its relationship with an adoption agency that works to place children with homosexuals.


Jill Jacobs, the executive director of Family Builders by Adoption, told Our Sunday Visitor that, “the funding from Catholic Charities is ending this [budget] year." The funding, which has been in place for two years, involved Catholic Charities CYO providing close to $250,000 each year for two staff members at Family Builders by Adoption.


The situation which led to Catholic Charities being involved with Family Builders by Adoption is one that is complicated.


Catholic Charities San Francisco made the decision in July of 2006 to close its adoption services after receiving clarification from the Vatican that Catholic organizations should not take part in the adoption of children to homosexual couples. The archdiocese was then attacked by San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom, who threatened to pull public funding from Catholic Charities and questioned its status as a non-profit.


However, rather than removing itself completely from the adoption business, as its counterpart in Boston did a few months earlier, Catholic Charities San Francisco struck an agreement in which it would pay workers who worked for California Kids Connection, a web-referral service for the pro-homosexual-adoption company Family Builders by Adoption.


In February of 2007, Archbishop George Niederauer offered his thoughts on the arrangement to San Francisco’s radio station KCBS. He said that he respected the opinion of “those within the Church…who feel that even that is too much of an involvement, but I believe we have examined what we’re doing and vetted it very carefully, and what we’re really doing is putting potential adoptive parents in touch with adoption agencies that can help them.”

“The most important person in the adoption is the child,” Niederauer insisted. “Important as it is for couples to be able to adopt a child if they want to, it’s most important of all that the child have a home.” Archbishop Niederauer also noted that the Church’s teaching is that the child should have a mother and a father.


Although the reason for the severing of ties with Family Builders by Adoption was not made explicit by the archdiocese, it could be due to the adoption agency’s success at placing children with homosexual couples.


Just this year, Mayor Newsom’s office issued a report in which it said the agency was meeting its goal of promoting homosexual adoptions. The San Francisco Chronicle reports that 88 percent of the 16 children placed with non-relatives were adopted by homosexuals.

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Bishops' synod will pave the way for Biblical studies, says Benedict XVI

Vatican City, Oct 5, 2008 (CNA) - After celebrating the opening Mass for the 12th general assembly of the Synod of Bishops at the Basilica of St. Paul's Outside the Walls, Pope Benedict XVI made the synod the focus of his words before the recitation of the Angelus. The Holy Father invited his audience to support the work of the synod on the Bible with their prayers, invoking in a special way "the maternal intercession of the Virgin Mary, the perfect Disciple of the Divine Word."

Speaking to 20,000 faithful present in St. Peter's Square, Pope Benedict recalled morning Mass at the Roman basilica and reflected on the origins of bishops’ synods.


"This is an important body, instituted in September of 1965 by my venerable predecessor, the servant of God Paul VI, during the final phase of Vatican Council II, to carry out an order contained in the Decree on the Pastoral Office of Bishops in the Church, 'Christus Dominus'. These are the ends of the synod: foster close union and collaboration between the Pope and the bishops of the entire world; to provide direct and precise information on the situation and problems of the Church; to foster agreement on doctrine and pastoral actions; and to address topics of great importance and relevance."


The Pope said that the Greek word sýnodos, composed from the preposition syn, that is "with," and from odòs, which means "way” or “street," "suggests the idea of 'paving the way together.'"


The current synod on the Bible will last for three weeks and includes 253 "synod fathers": 51 from Africa, 62 from the Americas, 41 from Asia, 90 from Europe and 9 from Oceania, who will study and discuss the “working document” alongside numerous experts and auditors, men and women. There will also be "fraternal delegates" from other Churches and ecclesial communities present.

After the Angelus, Pope Benedict directed these words towards the English-speaking pilgrims: "I am happy to greet all the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors present for this Sunday Angelus prayer. In today's Gospel Jesus speaks of his death at the hands of those who did not heed the voice of God and progressively closed their hearts to truth, justice and love. Let us pray with confidence that the Lord will guide our steps and grant us patience and constancy in doing God's holy will! I wish you all a pleasant stay in Rome, and a blessed Sunday!"

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