Sydney, Australia, Jun 19, 2010 (CNA) - For the third year running, “Convivio,” a Catholic youth conference which has been held annually around the world since 1977, will take place in Australia. Initiated the by the Christian Life Movement which was founded in Peru, “Convivio” is a congress for Catholic youth which seeks to help them deepen their relationship with the Lord Jesus, with themselves, and with others.
June 25 -27 conference, which has the theme, “What are you searching for?” will be held at the University of Notre Dame in Sydney and will play host to hundreds of young people seeking to deepen their faith.
Over the course of the weekend, 10th -12th graders will be able to reflect on issues impacting today's world through talks, discussion groups, Mass, reconciliation, theater, films and games.
Conference organizers explain that Convivio aims to produce leaders who are committed evangelizing society and building a civilization of love. It is their hope that participants will eave the congress knowing that God is their source of reference for all that they do.
Asunción, Paraguay, Jun 19, 2010 (CNA) - During his visit to the Seminary of St. Joseph in the Diocese of Ciudad del Este in Paraguay, the country's papal nuncio, Archbishop Eliseo Antonio Ariotti, reminded the seminarians that the Church needs “passionate priests who are faithful to the Gospel.”
The prelate thanked Bishop Rogelio Ricardo Livieres Plano and the other members of the seminary’s board of directors for the invitation and the welcome they extended to him.
“I send you the fraternal greetings of Pope Benedict XVI, who constantly prays to God that He will protect you with His grace in your journey to one day become pastors of God’s flock,” the nuncio said.
Archbishop Ariotti told the seminarians that the Church “needs priests who are passionate for the Lord and very close to their brother priests.” He added that they must “stand up for the Church's teachings” and “speak of God to others of the love He has for them.”
“The Church needs priests who are men of God,” he added, “who are faithful to the Gospel and have the missionary spirit in their hearts.”
Houston, Texas, Jun 19, 2010 (CNA) - Writing to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) about a new “emergency contraceptive” that may induce early abortions, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo said approval of “Ella” would endanger newly conceived life. Women who would never have a surgical abortion deserve to know about the drug’s possible abortifacient effects, he added.
The cardinal, who is the Archbishop of Houston-Galveston and chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Pro-Life Activities, voiced “grave concern” in his Thursday letter to FDA Commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg about Ulpristal, whose proposed market name is Ella or ellaOne.
He said the decision to hold an FDA advisory meeting on Ulpristal was held without “broad public input” and without a full record on the drug’s safety “for women or their unborn children.”
Concerns about other “emergency contraception drugs” focus on their potential not only to prevent ovulation but also implantation of a developing embryo in his or her mother’s womb, Cardinal DiNardo explained. While these drugs were thought to have no post-implantation effects, he warned that Ulpristal is “a close analogue” to the abortion drug RU-486.
“It can disrupt an established pregnancy weeks after conception has taken place,” he wrote.
Its proposed use is targeted at women “who may have already conceived,” he noted. “No existing pregnancy test can exclude the possibility that a new life has been conceived in this time frame. Indeed, advocates praise this drug as an advance precisely because it seems to retain its full efficacy five days after intercourse – that is, after the opportunity to prevent fertilization has passed.”
Women who oppose abortion but not contraception also deserve to know the effects of Ulpristal, the cardinal added.
“Millions of American women, even those willing to use a contraceptive to prevent fertilization in various circumstances, would personally never choose to have an abortion,” he commented, saying they would not be served by a “misleading campaign” to present the drug as only a contraceptive.
Further, he warned, FDA approval of the drug for contraceptive purposes would likely make it available for “off-label” use as an abortion drug, and for use by unscrupulous men who intend to cause an early abortion without a woman’s knowledge or consent.
Cardinal DiNardo noted the Obama Administration’s stated policy to promote access to contraception as a means to reduce abortions, charging that the approval of a “known abortion-causing drug” is not consistent with that policy.
The cardinal closed by reporting that he would continue to follow further discussion and action on Ulpristal with great interest.