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Archive of August 25, 2010

New Orleans archbishop launches video blog to reach Louisiana Catholics

New Orleans, La., Aug 25, 2010 (CNA) - Archbishop of New Orleans Gregory Aymond has launched a video blog to deliver weekly messages to area Catholics. His first message reflects on his hopes for the future and what he has learned in his first year an archbishop. His next video will mark the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

"On most days it's hard to believe it's been a year already," Archbishop Aymond says in his first video. He added that it was his “humble privilege” to serve as archbishop, especially since he is the first native son of New Orleans to hold the office in over 200 years.

He also admitted that he has not been to all the parishes of the archdiocese as he had hoped he would, but he intends to fulfill the promise he made.

Speaking of the state of the archdiocese, he said “the Catholic Church is alive and well” and continues to be a “strong, strong presence” in New Orleans and beyond.

The archbishop has said he has been “overwhelmed” by the fraternity of the priests and by the “wonderful welcome” he has received from the priests, religious and laity.

Turning to the challenges facing the Archdiocese of New Orleans, Archbishop Aymond cited rebuilding from Hurricane Katrina, responding to the effects of the Gulf oil spill, and addressing those hurt by the archdiocese’s pastoral plan to reorganize its churches.

Discussing his goals for the future, the archbishop said he would like to “tweak” the pastoral governance structure better to serve parishes and Catholic institutions and would like to build on the “wonderful relationships” he has formed.

He added that he would like the archdiocese to have a local synod.

The archbishop also advocated continued outreach to those who are away from the Church, noting the “Catholics Come Home” campaign planned for Lent 2011. In the archbishop’s words, this campaign provides the opportunity to say to absent Catholics “We’re sorry the Church hurt you. How can we welcome you back?”

Discussing young adults and youth, the archbishop said he was “very impressed” with these “leaders of tomorrow.” Noting how many young people want to combine their faith with their professional lives, he said they make him “very, very hopeful” about the future.

A new video blog entry from Archbishop Aymond will be published weekly at the Archdiocese of New Orleans’ web site, the archdiocese said. The website is located at http://www.arch-no.org

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Archbishop Chaput calls for resistance to intolerance of Christianity

Spisske Podhradie, Slovakia, Aug 25, 2010 (CNA/EWTN News) - Addressing the first session of the 15th symposium for the Canon Law Association of Slovakia on Tuesday, Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver called for Catholics in America and Europe to oppose the rise of a “state-encouraged atheism” which reduces religion to “an individual lifestyle accessory” incapable of influencing the world. The archbishop exhorted Christians to respond to these trends by rediscovering their historic faith as the only sound basis for a just society.

Recalling the historical experience of the Slovakian Church under Communism, Archbishop Chaput told the assembly of Central European bishops and canon lawyers that Christians are being called today to defend the Church's own rights, and the rights of all people, against the “civil religion” of relativism.

Like Communism, he explained, today's secularist ideology envisions “a society apart from God” where “men and women might live wholly sufficient unto themselves,” sharing no higher guiding principle than “satisfying their needs and desires.”

This seemingly benign vision, he warned, leaves no place for the Church's work of evangelism, teaching, and activism.

The Denver archbishop also underscored the difference between “freedom of worship” and the “freedom of religion,” noting that the former is a “much smaller and more restrictive idea” in which  religion has a place “but only as an individual lifestyle accessory.” On the other hand, “freedom of religion” includes “the right to preach, teach, assemble, organize, and to engage society and its issues publicly, both as individuals and joined together as communities of faith.”

Citing legislation and court decisions in America and Europe, the archbishop detailed an ongoing shift in western societies, from a non-sectarian public policy of broad religious tolerance, to an overtly anti-religious form of government which attacks religion in the name of tolerance.

A comprehensive attack on religious freedom, and specifically upon Christianity, the archbishop explained, has already begun. He told the Slovakian audience that this attack promotes an “aggressively secular political vision and a consumerist economic model.” Its end goal, he said, is to replace God and the Church with technology and social engineering.

According to Archbishop Chaput, one example of this increasing official hostility against the Church could be seen in the June 2010 raid on the Palace of the Archbishop of Brussels, in which bishops were detained without due process and tombs belonging to two cardinals were desecrated.

In light of such events, he warned, “the Church's religious liberty is under assault today in ways not seen since the Nazi and Communist eras.”

The cornerstone of a Catholic and Christian response to these assaults should begin with personally trusting in Christ, he advised. “A Catholicism of resistance,” he added, “must be based on trust in Christ's words: 'The truth will make you free'.”

Trust in the power of truth gave many Eastern European dissidents their unique “insight into the nature of totalitarian regimes,” he reminded his listeners, drawing special attention to the words of the Czech leader Vaclav Havel, who maintained the key to resistance was in “living in the truth.”

When it comes to how Catholics today should view their “discipleship and mission,” the Denver prelate said they should see it precisely as 'Living in the truth.'

A truthful way of life, according to Archbishop Chaput, rejects attempts to hide unacceptable realities behind acceptable words: “Living within the truth also means telling the truth and calling things by their right names.” It also requires Christians to expose falsehoods foisted upon the public, “exposing the lies by which some men try to force others to live.”

The greatest falsehood of contemporary times, the archbishop argued, is that civilization can exist on a completely autonomous, agnostic basis, “as if God does not matter and as if the Son of God never walked this earth.”

Forms of humanism which exclude God from public life, he asserted, cannot protect the dignity of human beings. “Our most cherished values cannot be defended by reason alone, or simply for their own sake.”

He explained that human dignity and rights must be understood as God-given personal attributes, according to the dictates of Christian revelation. Otherwise, human rights become merely the “arbitrary conventions of men and women,” which the state can take away at will.

In this context, Archbishop Chaput explained, the legality of abortion can be understood as an indicator of secular society's deepest contradictions. What began as an unassuming philosophy of “live and let live” becomes warped into a license to kill: “The will to power of the strong is given the force of law to kill the weak.”

Such contradictions, according to the archbishop, display “a kind of 'inner logic' that leads relativism to repression.” “The dogma of tolerance,” he explained, “cannot tolerate the Church's belief that some ideas and behaviors should not be tolerated.”

Archbishop Chaput warned that when societies forbid the public proclamation and active expression of religious truths, they inevitably end up exalting the power of the state. “A society where faith is prevented from vigorous public expression,” he said, “is a society that has fashioned the state into an idol. And when the state becomes an idol, men and women become the sacrificial offering.”

Drawing his words to a close, Archbishop Chaput told his Slovak listeners, only a “believing community of resistance” can present and defend the truth in a world of enforced public nihlism.

“We are ambassadors of the living God to a world that is on the verge of forgetting him,” the archbishop recalled. “Our work is to make God real; to be the face of his love; to propose once more to the men and women of our day, the dialogue of salvation.”

Archbishop Chaput's full talk can be read at: http://www.archden.org/index.cfm/ID/4396.

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Catholic prelates in N. Ireland react to report on priest linked to 1970s IRA bombing

Belfast, UK, Aug 25, 2010 (CNA) - Two bishops responded Tuesday to claims that a Catholic priest was never questioned for his suspected role in a Northern Ireland bombing during the 1970s. The prelates remarked that the suspicions are “shocking” and commented that the case should have been properly investigated during the priest’s lifetime.

On July 31, 1972 a triple car bombing killed nine, including an eight-year-old girl, and injured 30 in the village of Claudy. Among those who died were five Catholics and four Protestants.

The Irish Republican Army (IRA) never claimed responsibility for the attacks, the Daily Telegraph reports. The bombers had allegedly tried to make warning calls but telephone lines were down from earlier bomb damage.

Fr. James Chesney, reported to be an IRA sympathizer, was suspected of planning the attack. He was later transferred to a parish in the Republic of Ireland outside of the United Kingdom’s jurisdiction.

The priest died of cancer in 1980 at the age of 46 and was never questioned by police.

Al Hutchinson, the Northern Ireland police ombudsman, recently issued a report which charged that a Royal Union Constabulary (RUC) official refused a detective’s request to arrest the cleric. The same official asked whether the matter could be raised within the Church hierarchy.

Hutchinson found that when the Church was informed about “the level of concerns others had” about Fr. Chesney, officials challenged the priest about his alleged activities “which he denied.”

“In the course of this enquiry the Police Ombudsman’s investigation found no evidence of any criminal intent on the part of any Church official,” stated the report.

Archbishop of Armagh Cardinal Seán Brady and Bishop of Derry Séamus Hegarty issued a joint statement Tuesday on the investigation. They accepted the ombudsman’s findings and conclusions.

“All known material in the possession of the Catholic Church has been made available to the Ombudsman,” the statement said.

“This case should have been properly investigated and resolved during Father Chesney’s lifetime. If there was sufficient evidence to link him to criminal activity, he should have been arrested and questioned at the earliest opportunity, like anyone else. We agree with the Police Ombudsman that the fact this did not happen failed those who were murdered, injured and bereaved in the bombings.”

According to the prelates, the Catholic Church was “constant” in its condemnation of the violence during the conflict known as the “Troubles.”

“The Catholic Church did not engage in a cover-up of this matter,” Cardinal Brady and Bishop Hegarty wrote. They noted that the Church was approached by the then-Secretary of State at the instigation of senior members of the RUC.

According to the bishops, the actions of Cardinal William Conway or any other Church authority did not prevent the possibility of the future arrest and questioning of Fr. Chesney, as the priest was known to have regularly traveled across the border.

“Fr. Chesney is dead and, as a suspect in the Claudy bombing, he is beyond the justice of earthly courts,” the bishops’ statement continued, saying that the bereaved and injured “deserve to know the truth.”

Urging that the “human cost of this atrocity” be remembered, Cardinal Brady and Bishop Hegarty assured the bombing victims of their prayers.

“It is only with honesty and bravery that we as a community can address these painful issues and do our best to ensure that the dreadful lessons of the past are learned and never repeated,” the bishops’ statement concluded.

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Catholic researcher clarifies facts surrounding life of Galileo

Lima, Peru, Aug 25, 2010 (CNA) - In an interview this week with the Peruvian daily El Comercio, physics expert Fr. Manuel Carreira clarified numerous and often misunderstood details about the life of Galileo, also touching on the relationship between faith and science.

The priest confirmed to El Comercio that Galileo “was a believer” and that, despite assumptions to the contrary, “he did not spend one minute behind bars … nor was he excommunicated.” Fr. Carreira added that Galileo “died professing the faith under the care of a religious sister and with a papal blessing.”

Fr. Carreira, who was in Lima for the Second Congress on the Holy Shroud of Turin, said that during Galileo’s time, there was no proof  that the Earth moved around the sun. “His supposed evidence was invalid,” the physicist noted, as well as dismissed by other astronomers.

Galileo’s correct idea, he explained, was that “the Bible does not teach science.” However, the famed astronomer “also wanted theologians to change their interpretation of the text according to his theory.” Although the theologians of his day “were mistaken in thinking that the Bible teaches astronomy,” the priest added, “they were correct in saying that as long as there was no evidence, Galileo should have presented his ideas as a theory and not ask them to change their opinions.”

“In both cases,” Fr. Carreira said, “they went outside their fields and entered that of the other. From this lesson, we have learned that there must be mutual respect.”

Fr. Carreira then addressed the topic of creation, noting that “science is limited.” He explained that while there are many theories about the creation of the world, “to speak of nothing turning into something is a concept of creation that goes beyond what science can handle: a non-material Creator is necessary.”

Philosophy and theology respond to this, he said, “but the details about the beginning are not told to us by the faith nor should they be taken from Genesis, which,” he noted, is “not an astronomy text.”

“To deny the beginning is unscientific and to say that the universe exists ‘because it does’ is ridiculous and naïve,” Fr. Carreira underscored.

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Archbishop Dolan and Gov. Paterson have 'productive conversation' about NYC mosque

New York City, N.Y., Aug 25, 2010 (CNA/EWTN News) - Days after Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York offered to moderate discussions in the heated debate over a planned mosque near Ground Zero in New York City, Gov. David Paterson met with the prelate on Tuesday for a “productive conversation,” according to a spokesman for the governor.

The proposed mosque and Islamic center near the site of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks have drawn numerous criticisms from citizens across the U.S. as well as from politicians of both parties. President Obama added to the national debate on Aug. 13 when he appeared to condone the planned complex, known as Park51, in remarks to Muslims at the White House during a Ramadan celebration.

Commenting briefly to reporters during an impromptu news conference on Aug. 18 at a Catholic facility in Manhattan for homeless youth, the archbishop said “My major prayer is that what has turned into somewhat of a divisive issue might develop into an occasion of very civil, rational, loving, respectful discussion.” Archbishop Dolan then praised both New York Mayor Bloomberg and Gov. David Paterson for their contributions to the debate, though both are on different sides of the issue.

Bloomberg supports the plans for the mosque and Islamic center, and according to ABC News, has said it would be a  "sad day" if the project is canceled. Governor Paterson, however, has offered to hold discussions with the imam and mosque developers in order to find another suitable location.

After reports from the Associated Press and other media outlets announced a planned meeting between Gov. Paterson and Archbishop Dolan on Aug. 24, CNA contacted the Archdiocese of New York for information on the meeting but none was forthcoming.

At the New York governor's office, Morgan Hook, director of communications, confirmed that the meeting took place on Tuesday.

“Yesterday, Governor Paterson met with Archbishop Timothy Dolan to discuss a variety of topics, including the proposed building of an Islamic community center near the World Trade Center site,” Hook said in an e-mail to CNA. “The Governor and the Archbishop had a very productive conversation and will continue to do everything in their power to facilitate and promote a positive public dialogue that unites New Yorkers.”

“Both the Governor and Archbishop agreed that fostering this respectful dialogue could be achieved by involving the leaders of other faiths,” Hook added. “As the Governor has said, he fully supports the rights of the Park51 developers and he will only engage in a discussion of relocating the proposed site if the developers seek the Governor's assistance in this matter.”

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Pope's cobbler uses shoes to improve Christian unity

Vatican City, Aug 25, 2010 (CNA/EWTN News) - The Pope's cobbler delivered him two new pairs of shoes in person on Wednesday, one white and one in the traditional red. Making a personal effort to improve Christian unity, the shoemaker also sent a pair to the Russian Orthodox Patriarch in the mail.

Adriano Stefanelli, the craftsman who designs and makes the custom footwear, first began delivering shoes to the Vatican when he saw John Paul II suffering in 2003.

He described to L'Osservatore Romano (LOR) after this Wednesday's general audience how back in 2003, he saw John Paul II on television and asked himself "instinctively" what he could do personally to alleviate the Pope's pain. Stefanelli's thoughts went to the shoes, and he quickly produced four pairs for him.

He has produced shoes for Pope Benedict XVI in each of the five years of his pontificate, also making him slippers for around the house and some hiking shoes for the summer he spent in northern Italy in 2008.

Each pair of shoes takes about a month for Stefanelli to complete using the traditional methods, he told LOR.

In addition to the Popes, the shoemaker also has a history of supplying Orthodox Patriarchs with footware.

Russian Orthodox Patriarch Alexy II received them, and most recently, Patriarch Kirill I received a black pair of the handmade masterpieces through the mail. Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew I also owns some of Stefanelli's shoes.

Commenting about giving the footwear to various Church leaders, Stefanelli told LOR, "It's a little sign to reinforce the desire for the unity of Christians."

Concluding the interview with the Vatican newspaper, he said, "the greatest satisfaction is to see, looking at the photos and images of Benedict XVI, that the shoe is, as they say informally, well 'used and carried,' (and) therefore comfortable."

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Pope exhorts world to follow St. Augustine in not fearing the Truth

Castel Gandolfo, Italy, Aug 25, 2010 (CNA/EWTN News) - Addressing all people on their "walk" on Earth, the Holy Father called on Wednesday for a continued search for the "profound truth,"after the example of St. Augustine. Referring to the example of this Church Father, he said that no one should be afraid to encounter the Truth, which could "find us, get hold of us and change our lives."

Pope Benedict addressed around 3,500 people between those gathered in the outer square and those in the inner courtyard of the Pontifical Villa at Castel Gandolfo for Wednesday's general audience.

He spoke of the importance of the saints being "travel companions" for all people on their earthly pilgrimage, saying that "everyone should have a saint that is familiar to them, to feel their proximity with prayer and intercession, but also to imitate them."

The saints can be of great help as guides to loving the Lord and aiding human and Christian growth, the Pope said, pointing out his own personal links to Sts. Joseph and Benedict. He explained that he has also had the "great gift of closely knowing" St. Augustine through study and prayer.

Referring to this 5th-century saint as "a good 'travel companion'" in his ministry and life, the Pope said that St. Augustine's "restless and constant search for Truth" is "still current in our age when it seems like relativism is paradoxically the 'truth' that must guide thoughts, choices and behaviors."

Pointing out the lack of superficiality in the saint's life, Benedict XVI explained that he did not seek "pseudo-truths incapable of giving lasting peace to the heart," but rather, he looked for "that Truth that gives meaning to existence and is 'the shelter' in which the heart finds serenity and joy."

While St. Augustine's route was a difficult one, the Pope recalled, an important element of his life was that "he never stopped, he was never contented with that which gave him just a glimmer of light.

"He knew how to look into the intimacy of himself and he realized ... that that Truth, that God that he sought with his strength was more intimate to him than himself, He was always beside him, He had never abandoned him, He was waiting to be able to enter in a definitive way in his life."

Augustine understood that he did not find the truth, but it was "the very Truth, that is God, that sought and found him," the Holy Father specified.

Reaching the core his message, Pope Benedict said, "often we prefer to live just a passing moment, deceiving ourselves that it brings lasting happiness; we prefer to live - because it seems easier - with superficiality, without thinking; indeed, we are scared to seek the truth or maybe we are scared that the Truth might find us, get hold of us and change our lives, as happened for St. Augustine.

"Dear brothers and sisters, I would like to say to everyone, also to those who are in a moment of difficulty on their walk of faith, or also to those who participate little in the life of the Church or to those who live 'as if God didn't exist,' not to be afraid of the Truth, not to ever interrupt the walk towards it, not to ever cease searching for the profound truth about themselves and about the things with 'the interior eye' of the heart."

Concluding his address, he said, "God will not fail to give the Light to show and the Heat to make the heart feel that He loves us and that He desires to be loved."

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Pope expresses support for victims of 'hate and instability' in Somalia

Castel Gandolfo, Italy, Aug 25, 2010 (CNA/EWTN News) - The Holy Father expressed his closeness to those in Somalia suffering from attacks by the militant Islamist group Al-Shabaab in the country's capital. Three days of fighting between government forces and the al-Qaeda inspired insurgents have left many dead and injured.

From Castel Gandolfo, the Pope said at the general audience that he is "close to all the families of the victims and all of those who, in Somalia, suffer due to hate and instability."

AFP reported early on Wednesday that "heavy clashes" continue in the capital city of Mogadishu between government forces allied with African peacekeepers and members of the "Al-Qaeda inspired" Islamist Al-Shabaab movement.

Numbers vary on exactly how many casualties there have been, but many news sources agree that at least six members of parliament were among the more than 30 people killed in a Tuesday attack at a Mogadishu hotel. The militants' strike also injured around 140 people.

According to a Wednesday report from the AFP, officials from both sides have claimed to have the "upper hand" in the city.

U.S. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said at a Tuesday press briefing that Al-Shabaab militants "appear to have been targeting Somali parliamentarians and other members of the Transitional Federal Government – further evidence that they are bent on depriving Somalia of security, peace, and stability."

Crowley added that the timing of the attack, during Ramadan, "highlights al-Shabaab’s complete disregard for human life, Somali culture, and Islamic values."

Pope Benedict XVI hoped that, "with the help of the international community, no efforts are held back to reestablish respect for life and human rights."

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Salesians in Pakistan assisting 150,000 impacted by flooding

Madrid, Spain, Aug 25, 2010 (CNA) - The press office for the Salesians reported this week that the congregation is helping more than 150,000 people in Pakistan affected by the severe flooding that has already taken the lives of 1,500. An additional 20 million Pakistanis are suffering from shortages of drinking water and food.

Fr. Peter Zago, director of the Salesian operations in the city of Quetta, recently told Vatican Radio that while they have been able to assist many families, international aid still has not been able to reach the area. “This morning we received around 100 families and gave them what is essential for at least a month: flour and oil, … some beans and medicine.” The priest added that several of the children they have seen are “presenting symptoms of cholera and other deceases due to non-treated drinking water.”

“Here the U.N. is not yet present,” he continued. “We are a private institution at work. We have 80,000 euros ($101,500) and we are the only ones helping around here, looking after the families most in need.”

Fr. Zago said he realizes that when the funds run out he will have to stop the humanitarian help.

Disease has also become a problem. “The north of the country has been hit by cholera. To my knowledge there are more than 10,000 who have died of cholera, but no one wants to count them as casualties.

There are “25,000 soldiers, who could easily give a helping hand, but are kept in the Swat valley, to stop the Taliban and therefore there are no personnel to help.”

Bishop Joseph Coutts of Faisalabad set aside August 24 as a day of prayer among Catholics for the 1,500 victims and the more than 20 million Pakistanis who have had to evacuate.

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Catholic council encourages boycott over same-sex 'marriages' in Mexico

Mexico City, Mexico, Aug 25, 2010 (CNA) - The Council of Catholic Analysts of Mexico issued a statement yesterday rejecting same-sex “marriage” and the ruling by the Supreme Court allowing gay couples to adopt children in Mexico City.  The council also demanded that civil registration officials who oppose the “marriages” be allowed to exercise conscientious objection.

The statement warned that the court’s ruling has “altered the essence of the institution of marriage in Mexico City law,” making gay unions equal to marriage between a man and a woman. It added that such unions “must not be accepted in civil legislation.”

For this reason, the council encouraged all states in Mexico to protect marriage as the union between one man and one woman. It also called on the Legislative Assembly of Mexico City to ensure that conscientious objection be recognized, “so that nobody is forced to act against his conscience …  or is subjected to pressure when refusing to participate in the celebration of these ‘marriages’.”

The council called for legislation establishing the right of children to have a father and a mother, and it called for a boycott of Mexico City for its attack on marriage, urging those who are engaged to be married to celebrate their weddings in other states as a protest against the new law in the Mexican capital.

“We are not against homosexuals,” the council said. “On the contrary, we respect them as people and the Church is not against them. Nevertheless, we assert that these reforms do not mean progress towards full freedom, but rather constitute an obvious step backwards that relativizes fundamental human rights.”

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Susan Boyle's chance to sing for Benedict XVI is 'greatest dream come true'

Glasgow, United Kingdom, Aug 25, 2010 (CNA/EWTN News) - Susan Boyle said in an interview on Wednesday that she is "honored and humbled" for the invitation to sing for the Pope in her homeland of Scotland next month. The performances she will make during the Pope's visit are "her greatest dream come true."

Ms. Boyle entered the world music scene in 2009 when she appeared on Britain's Got Talent, a program in which contestants vie for the opportunity to perform for members of the British Monarchy. She blew the judges away with her rendition of "I dreamed a dream" from Les Miserables and, although she didn't win the contest, she became world-famous. Her album, fittingly called “I dreamed a dream,” was the world's best-selling album of 2009.

In a television interview with the Scottish Bishops' communications office which aired on Wednesday, she revealed that she will be singing the song that made her internationally famous, as well as "How great thou art," before the Pope's Mass at Glasgow's Bellahouston Park on Sept. 16.

Then, after joining an 800-member choir to sing the hymns at Mass, she will send Pope Benedict XVI off to the airport with a farewell song.

"To be able to sing for the Pope is a great honor and something I've always dreamed of," she said, adding, "it's indescribable.”

"I think the 16th of September will stand out in my memory as something I've always wanted to do. I've always wanted to sing for his Holiness and I can't really put into words my happiness, that this wish has come true at last."

Boyle, who prays the Rosary daily, explained that her faith is the "backbone" of her life.

Of singing at Bellahouston Park, she said, "I am humbled and honored by this invitation and I hope I can do my best."

An estimated 100,000 people will be in attendance for the occasion.

The president of the Bishops' Conference of Scotland, Cardinal Keith O'Brien, was "delighted" at Boyle's inclusion in the program. "I think it is wonderful that she will have this once in a lifetime opportunity," he said, "and as her Bishop I am hugely proud of her."

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Evangelicals in Mexico defend life and family

Mexico City, Mexico, Aug 25, 2010 (CNA) - In a letter sent to the spokesman of the Archdiocese of Mexico City, Father Hugo Valdemar, evangelical leaders of the World Network of Family Ministries offered their unconditional support for the defense of life and the family founded upon marriage between one man and one woman.

“Since the year 2000, evangelical churches began to be aware that we should defend life from conception to natural death and that we are obliged to protect the family based on marriage between man and woman,” the letter stated.

Now, it continued, “in the Federal District we have both the legalization of abortion and gay marriage, in addition to homosexual adoption. This makes us more conscious that we must continue in the battle against this culture of death.”

After noting that they were involved in the debates at the Mexico City Legislative Assembly, the evangelicals said, “We also fought the battle at the Supreme Court, where we met with almost all of the justices to express our point of view in support of life.  All of this helped to open the public debate.”

For these reasons, they explained, “We express our solidarity and support for the bishops of the Catholic Church, who have manifested their rejection of abortion and gay marriage.”

“We must not allow the Federal District mayor,” Marcelo Ebrard, “to continue placing limits on the clergy and all Christians for expressing their points of view regarding issues of life and the family. These intolerant attitudes of the governor are only seen in authoritarian governments,” the leaders said.

“There is no question,” they added, “that in issues related to life and the family the Catholic Church and evangelicals agree, and this should make us more united.”

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September 18, 2014

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Lk 7:36-50

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