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Archive of October 15, 2008

Vatican bank safe from crisis, bank president says

Vatican City, Oct 15, 2008 (CNA) - The President of the Vatican bank Angelo Caloia has stated that its deposits are safe from the global financial crisis.

Speaking in an interview released Monday by Famiglia Cristiana magazine, Caloia said that the bank only makes safe investments.

"Our assets are solid and we have no lack of liquidity,” he said.

Caloia is president of the supervisory council of the Institute for the Works of Religion, the bank’s official name. Its depositors are religious orders, dioceses, Catholic charities, other religious organizations, and the Vatican itself.

In his interview he said that the bank avoided derivatives, the financial instruments blamed for many of the severe losses. He added that the bank makes no loans and therefore “we have no uncollectable losses.”

Caloia, an Italian economist and banker, took charge of the bank in the 1980s after the collapse of Banco Ambrosiano, of which the Vatican Bank was the main shareholder. The collapse resulted in one of Italy’s largest fraud cases, the Associated Press reports.

While the Vatican denied any wrongdoing, it agreed to pay $250 million to Ambrosiano’s creditors.

Reportedly 80 percent of Vatican investments are in low-yield government bonds and 20 percent are in stocks.

In its annual financial statement in July, the Vatican listed a 2007 deficit of about $14 million, reporting the weakening of the dollar had affected the worth of its many contributions from the United States.

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New Down syndrome test could increase ‘eugenic’ abortions

CNA STAFF, Oct 15, 2008 (CNA) - Pro-life advocates have warned that a new non-invasive pre-natal test for Down syndrome could increase ‘eugenic’ abortions. The new test, which checks a baby’s DNA, has been developed by researcher Dr. Stephen Quake and his team at Stanford University.

Studies in the United States and the United Kingdom have claimed that as many as 9 in 10 unborn children diagnosed with Down syndrome are aborted.

Carol Boys, chief executive of the Down’s Syndrome Association in Great Britain, recently told the BBC that the less invasive blood test will make pre-natal testing safer and more common.

“There is no question that these non-invasive tests will be introduced in the next few years,” she said. “It’s therefore incredibly important that potential parents are given accurate information on Down’s syndrome before they make a choice about whether to terminate or not.”

Allison Davis, a member of the No Less Human group associated with the British Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, argued that the new test was not a positive development.

“The new non-invasive test for Down's syndrome will inevitably mean more pre-natal testing, leading to more abortions of babies with the condition. Describing this as a 'breakthrough' is offensive to people who live with Down's syndrome, and to all who recognize the equal right to life of disabled people,” she said to LifeSiteNews.com.

All pregnant women who seek pre-natal care with an obstetrician are offered screenings that can estimate the risk they are carrying a baby with Down syndrome, Cybercast News Service says. Blood tests search for “markers” associated with the genetic condition, in which a third copy of the 21st chromosome causes mild to severe mental retardation and distinct physical characteristics such as low muscle tone and upward slanting eyes.

Uncertainty about the effectiveness of such tests was found in a Norwegian study conducted by the Norwegian National Center for Fetal Medicine and released in August of 2008. The researchers found that prenatal testing was highly inaccurate, estimating the prenatal detection rate at only 43 percent.

Another study published in 2006 in the journal Nature found that prenatal screening may have incorrectly diagnosed genetic variations as defects, possibly leading to selective abortion based on inaccurate reports of genetic abnormality.

In January 2007 ACOG endorsed increased prenatal screening for all women, prompting Dr. Will Johnston, president of Canadian Physicians for Life, to argue the move is another step towards eugenics.

“The progress of eugenic abortion into the heart of our society is a classic example of ‘mission creep,’” Johnson said in an article posted on the group’s Web site in February 2007, Cybercast News Service reports.  

“In the 1960s, we were told that legal abortion would be a rare tragic act in cases of exceptional hardship. In the ‘70s abortion began to be both decried and accepted as birth control. In the ‘80s respected geneticists pointed out that it was cheaper to hunt for and abort Down’s babies than to raise them. By the ‘90s that observation had been widely put into action. Now we are refining and extending our eugenic vision, with new tests and abortion as our central tools.” 

Surveys of primary care physicians indicate that very few doctors encourage women whose unborn babies are diagnosed with Down syndrome to continue their pregnancies. 

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Cardinal George asks President Bush to help Haiti recover from disasters

Washington D.C., Oct 15, 2008 (CNA) - Citing humanitarian concerns caused by four hurricane strikes, political unrest, and food shortages in the Caribbean nation of Haiti, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has asked President George W. Bush to grant the country Temporary Protected Status (TPS).

A TPS designation for a country permits nationals to reside in the U.S. legally and to qualify for work authorization.

Cardinal Francis George of Chicago, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, made the request in a letter dated October 8.

“The United States Catholic Bishops Conference has a long history of serving the Haitian community, both in the United States and in Haiti, and has first-hand knowledge of the great humanitarian challenges facing the Haitian people,” Cardinal George began.

“Haiti meets the standard for TPS because it has experienced political tumult, four natural disasters, and severe food shortages in the last eight months alone, not to mention the devastation of Hurricane Jeanne in 2004,” he argued.

The cardinal cited protests of food prices in April, as well as the August and September passages of Hurricanes Gustav and Ike and Tropical Storms Fay and Hanna. The storms caused severe damage and killed almost 700 people while flooding homes, cropland, roads, and bridges.

“Over 90 percent of Haiti has been impacted,” Cardinal George emphasized. “Tens of thousands have been displaced, and the fate of thousands more is unknown. More than 300,000 children have been affected.”

The cardinal asserted that conditions in Haiti are at least as bad as other countries given TPS designation, such as El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Honduras.

He also countered claims that a TPS designation would cause a “boatlift” which would bring thousands of Haitians to the United States. Arguing that no such boatlift occurred in recent episodes of political unrest, he added that most Haitian water craft have been destroyed by the recent storms.

Cardinal George commented that TPS status for Haiti would allow Haitian nationals already in the U.S. to send “much-needed” remittances to their homeland, noting that the $1.83 billion in remittances received in Haiti last year amounted to about 35 percent of the country’s gross domestic product.

“It is critical that this life-blood of the fragile Haitian economy be sustained,” he urged, concluding:

“Extending this mantle of protection to struggling Haiti is a just, compassionate, and concrete step the United States can take toward alleviating the human suffering of the Haitian people.”

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Pope Benedict appoints Bishop John Quinn to head Diocese of Winona

Vatican City, Oct 15, 2008 (CNA) - This morning Pope Benedict XVI appointed Bishop John M. Quinn, currently an auxiliary bishop of Detroit, to succeed Bishop Bernard Harrington as the Bishop of Winona, Minnesota.

Last month, Bishop Harrington submitted his retirement to the Holy Father upon having reached the age limit of 75. While the Holy Father has not yet accepted Bishop Harrington´s retirement, the appointment of Bishop Quinn as his successor makes evident the fact that it will be accepted.

Bishop Quinn reacted to news of his new post by saying  he was “humbled by the Holy Father’s appointment, and delighted for the opportunity to serve the faithful of Winona.”  The newly appointed coadjutor bishop for Winona also praised his friend Bishop Harrington for doing a “phenomenal job¨ in leading the Church in Winona.  “It will be a pleasure to serve with him again,” said Bishop Quinn, who worked with him in Detroit.

Bishop Harrington said that he looks forward to working with Bishop Quinn, who
brings “magnificent pastoral skills,” and is a “joy-filled person.” “The Diocese of Winona is blessed to have Bishop Quinn as the new coadjutor bishop,” said Bishop Harrington. “He brings with him many talents. He is committed to Catholic education. He is a strong supporter of the rights of the poor. He is a jovial, fun-filled person who will fit in very well here in the Diocese of Winona. God has blessed us with a great bishop of faith and humility.”

John M. Quinn was born on December 17, 1945 in Detroit, Michigan. He studied philosophy at the Sacred Heart Seminary and theology at Saint John Seminary in Plymouth, also in Detroit.

He was ordained a priest on March 17, 1972. He later served as a pastor at several parishes, including  Saint Luke´s Parish from 1982-1996.  Bishop Quinn has also served as the Director of Education, and as a faculty member at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit.  He was named an auxiliary bishop in 2003.

According to the Diocese of Winona, Bishop Quinn will be installed as coadjutor at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Winona on December 11.


 

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Bishops from Russia and Armenia speak on the importance of Scripture in their countries

Vatican City, Oct 15, 2008 (CNA) - Yesterday during their interventions at the Synod of Bishops at the Vatican, prelates from Russia and Armenia spoke on the importance of the Word of God to Catholics in their respective countries.

 

Bishop of Yegorievsk, Russia, H.E. Mark Segej Golokov addressed the Synod, stating that the Orthodox Church realizes it is necessary for the Word of God to be available to everyone in order to fulfill tradition.  "Reading the Bible in the Church during liturgical functions, however, represents the most valid way of hearing it. Together with the availability of biblical texts, one basic principle for understanding them is fulfillment of tradition. Orthodox theology does not deny new studies concerning the sacred texts, yet despite this we believe that the interpretation of biblical texts is closely connected to explanations left us by the Church Fathers. Faithfulness to tradition is the sure path that helps one from losing one's way among many opinions," he said.

 

The Russian bishop is also the vice president of the Department for Foreign Ecclesiastical Relations of the Patriarchate of Moscow.

 

Also, from the same region, H.E. Armash Hagop Nalbandian, the first bishop of Damascus, Syria recalled that in Armenia, the Word of God "had already been proclaimed in the first century by the Apostles Thaddeus and Bartholomew who, following their missionary activity, died as martyrs. The proclamation of the Word of God in the following three centuries bore fruit to the extent that, in 301, Armenia proclaimed Christianity as its State religion, the first nation in the world to do so."

 

"The Armenian people," the prelate continued, "bore a witness which still today forges the Christian identity of each Armenian. The Word of God has been and is the source of hope and survival."

 

Looking at the present situation of the proclamation of the Gospel in Armenia, the bishop explained that "Armenia is a post-Soviet country."  Since the fall of the Soviet Union, there has been a "spiritual awakening and a deep interest in listening to the Word of God."  Additionally, "the number of Bible groups and of persons who attend Church is increasing," he noted.

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God 'creates the unity of the Church,' teaches the Holy Father

Vatican City, Oct 15, 2008 (CNA) - Continuing his catechesis on St. Paul, Pope Benedict XVI dedicated today's audience to Paul's teachings on the Church. The Holy Father recalled Paul’s invitation to understand and love the Church ever more deeply, and to work to build her in faith and charity.

 

Speaking to thousands of faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square, Pope Benedict began his address by noting that the word "Church" in Greek, " ekklesia," comes from the Old Testament and means "assembly of the people of Israel," "summoned by God."

 

In his First Letter to the Thessalonians, Paul addresses the new Thessalonian community of believers in Christ as the "Church of the Thessalonians." In addition to local Christian communities, the word "Church" refers to the Church as a whole. "The Church of God" precedes the local Christian communities.

 

The Pope observed that the word "Church" almost always appears with the qualifier "of God." "The unity of God," he continued, "creates the unity of the Church wherever She is." In his Letter to the Ephesians, Paul elaborates on the unity of the Church and presents it as the one Church of God as "spouse of Christ."

 

In his youth, Paul was an adversary of the Church of Christ because he saw the new movement as a threat to the tradition of the people of God. However, after his encounter with the Risen Christ, Paul understood that the God of Israel had expanded His call to all nations. All were called to be part of the one people of God of the "Church of God" in Christ.

 

Pope Benedict explained that the fundamental value of Christ and of the "word" that he was proclaiming became suddenly clear for Paul. The Apostle to the Gentiles knew that one was not Christian by coercion. The institutional component was tied to the "living" word, to the proclamation of the living Christ, in which God opens Himself to all peoples.

 

The Paschal Mystery is at the center of Paul's preaching. This Mystery, the Holy Father expounded, "is realized in the sacraments of Baptism and of the Eucharist and then, becomes reality in Christian charity."

 

Paul's work of evangelization was aimed at establishing communities of believers in Christ. Paul preferred the word "ekklesia" because it implied directly the idea of a call "ab extra" (from the outside).  Believers are called by God, who gathers them in a community, His Church.

 

The Pauline concept of the Church as "Body of Christ" has two dimensions. Firstly, there is the sociological character, which appears in Paul's Letter to the Romans and his First Letter to the Corinthians. All members, even the smallest and apparently insignificant, are necessary for the body to be able to live and to realize its proper functions. The Apostle observes that in the Church there are many vocations, "all necessary to build the living unity of this spiritual organism."

 

Secondly, the Church is not only an organism, but truly becomes the body of Christ in the Eucharist. There is the realization of the spousal mystery, where all become one body and one spirit in Christ.

 

Paul demonstrates that the Church is the body of Christ, the "Church of God" and "temple of God." The Pope said that the relationship between Church and temple has two dimensions: those of a sacred building and physical space. Pope Benedict stated, "If before temples were considered places of the presence of God, now one knows and sees that God does not live in buildings made of stone. The place of the presence of God in the world is the living community of believers."

 

The Holy Father concluded by recalling Paul's Letter to Timothy, in which Paul describes the Church as "house of God." This definition refers to the Church as a community structure, in which there are warm interpersonal relations of a familiar character. The greatness of the Church and of a Christian's calling is that Christians are a temple of God in the world, a place where God is truly present, as well as a family of God, which must realize God's love in the world.

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Beleagured Vietnamese Church receives two new bishops

Hanoi, Vietnam, Oct 15, 2008 (CNA) - The Church in Vietnam received two new bishops today from Pope Benedict XVI. Elevated to the office of bishop are Fr. Laurent Chu Van Minh for the Archdiocese of Hanoi and Fr. Pierre Nguyen Van Kham for the Archdiocese of Ho Chi Minh City.

Bishop-elect Chu is currently the rector of the major seminary in Hanoi, Vietnam and has been appointed as an auxiliary bishop for the 328,725 Catholics of the Archdiocese of Hanoi. Although Fr. Chu is 65 years old, he was not ordained to the priesthood until 1994 because his family was persecuted by the Vietnam´s Communist government.

Even though he completed his philosophy studies for the priesthood in 1967, Fr. Chu was prevented from continuing his priestly education by the communist government. Meanwhile, he lived with his family and worked as a hairdresser as well as serving as a catechist in his parish. In 1992, he was allowed to study theology, which he completed in 1994. Finally, on June 10, 1994 Laurent Chu was ordained a priest at the age of 51.

Fr. Pierre Nguyen Van Kham, who was previously the executive secretary of the Vietnamese bishops´ conference, will serve the Archdiocese of Ho Chi Minh City´s 640,437 Catholics as an auxiliary bishop.

Born in Ha Dong, Vietnam in 1952, Bishop-elect Nguyen´s family became refugees in Saigon when he was two years old, due to the turmoil roiling the country at that time.

Fr. Nguyen studied philosophy at Saint Thomas Seminary in Long Yuen and then theology at Saint Joseph´s Seminary in Saigon. Ordained a priest in 1980, Fr. Nguyen also received his doctorate in pastoral theology from the Catholic University of America (2001-2004).

 

The Catholic Church in Vietnam is currently being persecuted by the Communist government because it has been peacefully protesting the illegal seizure of its land in numerous locations throughout the country. The campaign of persecution has included the interrogation and imprisonment of journalists, the distortion of the Archbishop of Hanoi´s statements, the fabrication of Church dissenters in the state media and the forceful use of intimidation by state police against peaceful parishioners.

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Judge in Brazil allows gay couple to adopt two girls

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Oct 15, 2008 (CNA) - A judge in the Brazilian city of Recife has ruled that a gay couple can adopt two underage girls.  Although some experts have questioned the constitutionality of the ruling, the case creates a legal precedent that would give a green light to future cases.
 
Judge Elio Braz ruled the two homosexual men could adopt two sisters aged 5 and 7 after their parents lost custody due to child abuse.  Local reporters said government officials have stated the ruling cannot be appealed.
 
Judge Braz said he hopes his ruling would establish a precedent “so that homosexual couples in the country could adopt children through a normal process.”

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Pope calls for theologians and Bible scholars to work together more closely

Vatican City, Oct 15, 2008 (CNA) - Pope Benedict XVI surprised the Synod of Bishops this week by taking the microphone and addressing the prelates about issues related to the study of the Bible  and encouraging theologians and biblical scholars to work together more closely.
 
Speaking in Italian, the Holy Father explained that in order to understand the Bible better, historical-critical scholarship must be united with a sound theological understanding in order to grasp the true meaning of the Scriptures.
 
The L’Osservatore Romano reported that the Pontiff made reference to the document on Biblical Interpretation which the Pontifical biblical Commission issued in 1993 under his guidance as prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
 
“We have heard about all of the good that can be derived from exegesis with this method,” the Pope said, “but we must consider its risks as well.  The historical-critical method helps to understand that the sacred text is not mythology, but rather true history, and it helps to capture the profound unity of all Scripture.  With contributions of an often very high academic level, it also helps us perceive the full reality of the event, but it also can lead us to think of the Bible as a book that only has to do with the past,” Benedict XVI said.
 
Speaking later about Vatican II’s dogmatic constitution on Divine revelation, “Dei Verbum,” the Pope said, “If the hermeneutic of the faith disappears, in its place the positivistic or secularist hermeneutic is affirmed, according to which the divine does not appear in history.”
 
“And the human aspect is reduced,” as in the case of some exegesis in Germany, which denies “the resurrection of Christ and the institution of the Eucharist by the Son of God.”
 
The Holy Father said there is no reason for the dualism that current separates theology from exegesis to exist.  A theology that is not based on the interpretation of Scripture is a theology without foundation, as an exegesis that is not theological has no foundation as well, he said.

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Church in Mexico calls on public officials to reduce expenditures in response to crisis

Mexico City, Mexico, Oct 15, 2008 (CNA) - In an editorial published by its weekly magazine, the Archdiocese of Mexico has called on government officials to “tighten their belts” and reduce expenditures in response to the global economic crisis.

 

The editorial called on the government to make cuts in the 2009 budget and eliminate wasteful spending.  “The spending on so many frivolous and sumptuous things by public officials is an insult to a country steeped in poverty,” it stated. 

 

The archdiocese also called on officials of the Judicial branch to renounce “the huge salaries and unimaginable loans that their counterparts in the first world couldn’t even fathom,” and urged them to make a commitment to confronting the crisis in unity and solidarity.

 

“Mexico needs the determination of us all and our best minds to find a solution to our problems,” the article said. “Now is not the time to set fallen trees ablaze, but rather to rebuild our country and put forth our best,” the archdiocese stated.

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New survey examines political differences between practicing and non-practicing Catholics

Washington D.C., Oct 15, 2008 (CNA) - A recent survey sponsored by the Knights of Columbus sheds new light on the Catholic vote by examining the differences between the 65 percent of Catholics who regularly practice their faith and the 35 percent who do not. The survey finds that while a narrow majority of practicing Catholics is pro-life, a majority of non-practicing Catholics favors abortion rights.

Additionally, a supermajority of practicing Catholics opposes same-sex marriage, but non-practicing Catholics, while still largely in opposition to the proposal, favor same-sex marriage at a rate higher than the American population as a whole.

The survey, titled “Moral Issues and Catholic Values,” was conducted by the Marist College Institute of Public Opinion between September 24 and October 3, 2008. Surveying 1,733 Americans among whom 813 were Catholics, it claims a margin of error of plus or minus 2.5 percent for all Americans and 3.5 percent for Catholics specifically.

The poll results show 59 percent of practicing Catholics are pro-life while 65 percent of non-practicing Catholics are pro-choice. This compares to the 50 percent of Americans who describe themselves as pro-choice. About 75 percent of practicing Catholics oppose same-sex marriage. While only 30 percent of the American population favors same-sex marriage, 46 percent of non-practicing Catholics do.

The poll finds that Catholic voters’ views are similar to those of the general population on issues like government funding for the poor, amnesty for illegal immigrants, and global warming. Both groups believe that the economy is the nation’s number one problem. About 70 percent of all registered voters and 70 percent of all registered practicing Catholics say they would vote for a candidate who believes marriage should only be between a man and a woman. About 71 percent of all U.S. residents and 73 percent of all Catholics say they believe the country is in need of a “moral makeover.”

Catholics differ from the electorate as a whole in being less likely to vote for a candidate who favors the death penalty and more likely to favor a candidate who is “committed to success in Iraq.”

According to the survey, about 45 percent of registered practicing Catholics said they would definitely vote for a candidate who supports embryonic stem cell research. Close to 38 percent said they would definitely vote for a candidate who would “leave the economy to market forces,” while only 27 percent said they would definitely vote for a candidate who provided amnesty to illegal immigrants currently working in the U.S.

The survey also shows specific demographic divisions of the Catholic population. Seventy percent of Catholics are white, while 25 percent are Latino. Among practicing Catholics, 72 percent are white and 24 are Latino, while among non-practicing Catholics 65 percent are white and 26 percent Latino. While within the poll’s margin of error, only one percent of practicing Catholics and four percent of non-practicing Catholics are African American.

About 64 percent of practicing Catholics above the age of 18 are married, compared to 49 percent of non-practicing Catholics and 57 percent of the general population. Close to 57 percent of practicing Catholics earn $50,000 or more, though only 50 percent of non-practicing Catholics and 49 percent of Americans overall earn as much. About 41 percent of practicing Catholics are college graduates, but only 25 percent of non-practicing Catholics and 34 percent of Americans overall are so educated.

Like the American population overall, 59 percent of practicing Catholics are age 45 or older, compared to 56 percent of non-practicing Catholics. Slightly more Catholics under the age of 45 are non-practicing Catholics than practicing.

About 36 percent of Catholics say they attend religious services weekly, compared to 8 percent who attend more than once a week, 21 percent who attend once or twice a month, 19 percent who attend a few times a year, 10 percent who seldom attend services and 6 percent who never do.

Full details of the poll results can be found at www.kofc.org.

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Attack outside of Catholic church part of 'wave of intimidation,' says Yes on 8

Sacramento, Calif., Oct 15, 2008 (CNA) - This past Sunday, a parishioner at St. Stanislaus Catholic Church in Modesto, California was attacked while helping promote Proposition 8, which will define marriage as only between a man and a woman in California. According to promoters of the initiative, the assault is part of a “wave of violence” throughout the state.

 

Jose Nunez, 37, was waiting outside of St. Stanislaus for Mass to finish so he could distribute yard signs to Prop. 8 supporters when he was approached by an opponent of the initiative.

 

The unidentified man grabbed about 75 of the “Vote Yes on 8” signs and ran. Nunez then spotted the man trying to throw the signs over a wall and approached him.

 

When he got nearer, the man shouted, "What do you have against gays!" to which Nunez replied that he had nothing against gays.

 

When Nunez attempted to take the stolen signs from the assailant, the man punched him. The blow sent Nunez to the hospital, where he received 16 stitches for the wound below his left eye.

 

“Yes on 8” press secretary Chip White told CNA that the irony of the whole episode is that, the opponents of Prop. 8 “are the ones who are claiming to be tolerant and open-minded.”

"It's outrageous that the ‘No’ campaign calls themselves the voice of tolerance and moderation and wants people to feel bad for supporting Prop. 8. There was nothing tolerant or moderate about beating up Jose," said White. "Clearly the man who attacked Jose is intolerant of those who support traditional marriage," he added.

Following the altercation between Nunez and the anti-Proposition 8 assailant, the “No on Prop. 8” campaign director Patrick Guerrier released a statement condemning the violent attack and saying that such actions “should not be tolerated in any campaign."

In an interesting twist, Jose Nunez is originally from Mexico but just became a U.S. citizen two months ago. He will be voting for the first time in November. Nunez is also active in his parish as the Grand Knight of the St. Stanislaus Council Knights of Columbus, an organization that has contributed more than $1 million to the campaign for Prop. 8.

The attack has not lessened Nunez´s support for Proposition 8.

 

"The other side wants to intimidate us, but we can't stop standing up for traditional marriage,” he said. “I may be bloody and bruised, but I'm not giving up. Protecting traditional marriage is just too important for our kids," added Nunez, who is the father of three children, ages 9, 5, and 3.

 

According to Chip White, Californians from around the state have reported being harassed by people who are against Prop. 8. Among the incidents he related were: verbal harassment of Prop.8 supporters on the freeway, including obscene gestures; the theft of yard signs; and a woman in Riverside, California who had her garage sprayed with graffiti.

 

White characterized the incidents as “a whole wave of intimidation and violence up and down the state.”

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Active silence with the Word opens one to conversion, says Peruvian founder

Vatican City, Oct 15, 2008 (CNA) - During the Synod of Bishops on Tuesday, the Peruvian founder of the Sodalitium Christianae Vitae, Luis Fernando Figari Rodrigo, said “active silence,” which makes us open to reverent attentiveness to the Word of God, is the path towards a personal and sanctifying encounter with the Lord.

 

During the session in which various founders and general superiors addressed the bishops, Luis Fernando Figari recalled how “Pope Paul VI emphasized the communicative dimension of divine revelation in Ecclesiam Suam,” something that is expressed “in that beautiful passage of Exodus in which we are told that ‘God spoke with Moses face to face, as with a friend’.”

 

“With the arrival of the fullness of time, God pronounced his Word, who is in God from the beginning and who is God, and He was born of the Immaculate Virgin Mary, by the power of the Holy Spirit,” the Peruvian founder said. 

 

“The Eternal Word incarnate speaks in human language and manifests the mystery of God and his Plan, as well as the mystery of the human being, the grandeur of his vocation and the horizon of his personal fulfillment,” he added.

 

“The Word of God written through the inspiration of the Spirit,” he continued, “questions the deepest part of the human being and invites him to the passionate and indescribable encounter with the Lord Jesus.”

 

Therefore, “the mastery of active silence that implies not only attentiveness but also doing so in the Ecclesia (Church), opening the heart to the interiorizing and adhering to the Word of God.”

 

“In listening and receiving the Word, it nourishes the faith in our minds, transforming our way of thinking until we have ‘the mind of Christ;’ it awakens the faith in our hearts until we have ‘among us the very sentiments that Jesus Christ had’; and it drives us to put our faith in action, conscious that those who ‘hear the word and put it into practice’ are blessed,” Figari said.  “The Virgin Mary is the model of listening and responding to the Word of God,” he said in conclusion.

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April 18, 2014

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Gospel of the Day

Jn 18:1 - 19:42

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First Reading:: Is 52:13-53:12
Second Reading:: Heb 4:14-16; 5:7-9
Gospel:: Jn 18:1-19:42

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Jn 18:1 - 19:42

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