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Archive of September 7, 2010

Papal Mass in Glasgow to use Latin, Vatican master of ceremonies says

Glasgow, United Kingdom, Sep 7, 2010 (CNA/EWTN News) - Pope Benedict XVI’s master of ceremonies has said that the Pontiff will recite significant parts of the papal Mass at Bellahouston Park in Glasgow in Latin.

“For all the Masses said in the UK the Preface and the Canon will be said in Latin,” Msgr. Guido Marini told The Herald. “What the Holy Father intends by using Latin is to emphasize the universality of the faith and the continuity of the Church.”

The Canon precedes and follows the Consecration in the liturgy. According to The Herald, Pope Benedict will use a Latin translation of the ordinary Roman Missal, also called the Novus Ordo.

Msgr. Marini also informed The Herald that some of the recently approved English translations of the Roman Missal will also be used for the first time at the Bellahouston Mass.

While controversy has resulted from claims that some Scottish bishops opposed returning to the old liturgy, Scottish composer James MacMillan dismissed the dispute.

“Vatican II was never intended to do away with mass in Latin,” he commented. “Contrary to what certain activists are trying to claim, neither Latin nor choral music have ever been banned.”

MacMillan has set parts of the English-language Mass to music for the Bellahouston Mass.

Archdiocese of Glasgow spokesman Ronnie Convery said it is possible that the Pope’s use of the Latin liturgy may “reawaken” interest in the traditional music of the Church.

“We are completely relaxed about it, and support it,” Convery said, according to The Herald.

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Popemobile routes for UK visit highlight Catholic Church's history and future

London, England, Sep 7, 2010 (CNA/EWTN News) - Organizers of the papal visit to England and Scotland have released a detailed itinerary for the Holy Father's journeys in the popemobile from September 16 to 18. Pope Benedict's routes will take him through Edinburgh and London, with several stops highlighting the rich Catholic heritage of Great Britain.

On Thursday, September 16, beginning around 12:30 p.m., Pope Benedict will travel in the popemobile through Edinburgh in Scotland, from Holyrood Palace along Abbeyhill, Regent Road, Princes Street, Lothian Road, Tollcross and Morningside. His destination on the first afternoon of his visit is the official residence of Cardinal Keith O'Brien.

On the evening of Friday, September 17, the Pope will ride in his vehicle from Lambeth Palace, beginning around 5 p.m. and crossing Lambeth Bridge, traveling along Millbank, to arrive at the Palace of Westminster around 5:15. Organizers say that there will be minimal space along this route, and limited vantage points available for those wishing to catch a glimpse of Benedict XVI.

A larger window of opportunity for those hoping to see the Holy Father will be available the next day, as he travels through London beginning at 6 p.m. That evening, he will travel in the popemobile along Horse Guards Road, The Mall, Constitution Hill and Hyde Park Corner. At Hyde Park he will lead a Prayer Vigil from around 6:30 p.m.

Archbishop Vincent Nichols described the historical and contemporary significance of stops planned during the papal visit, the first undertaken to England and Scotland by a Pontiff in his capacity as a head of state. “From this country's point of view,” the archbishop remarked, “there are profound historic and cultural implications and ramifications for the visit.”

Archbishop Nichols predicted that “the image of Her Majesty The Queen welcoming Pope Benedict” and of the two “formally greeting each other,” will “resonate through the story of this land.” Another unprecedented and historic moment, he said, will occur “when the Pope enters Westminster Hall on the Friday to address politicians, diplomats” and “leaders of this society.”

In addition to these important state functions, Pope Benedict XVI plans to mark some of the spots associated with the history of the English Church, including the tumultuous events of the last 500 years. According to the archbishop, “The Pope will pause at the spot at which Saint Thomas More, the Lord Chancellor of England, was condemned to death in 1535 for his Catholic faith.”

Benedict XVI will be accompanied by the Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, as they go to pray at the tomb of St. Edward the Confessor, the canonized King of England who built Westminster Abbey. This moment in the Pope's journey, Archbishop Nichols remarked, would likewise “enable us . . . to reach back into the deeper roots” of the English people and their historic Catholic faith.

Pilgrims and residents hoping to see the Holy Father as he passes by in the vehicle are advised by the Metropolitan Police to make their preparations early, and to aim for the large central London routes “to avoid disappointment.”

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Experts defend autonomy of Mexican states to protect life

Mexico City, Mexico, Sep 7, 2010 (CNA) - Two prominent experts in Mexico spoke out this week in defense of state autonomy, saying the 17 Mexican states that have enacted constitutional measures to defend human life are acting within their authority.

Nancy Moreno, director of the Institute for Formation in Family Values, and Clara Perez Esparza, director of the organization Code Woman, said Mexican states are autonomous and have full freedom to pass and implement the laws they consider most fit for society.

They also noted that a majority of Mexicans support the defense of human life, which is reflected in the actions of the 17 state congresses to enact pro-life legislation.

“It is a tangible fact that the Congresses of almost two-thirds of the country’s states have freely, legitimately, legally and democratically ratified their conviction to enshrine the defense of the right to life, especially for the unborn children of pregnant women.  For this reason, the 17 constitutional reforms that have been approved in Mexico in support of the right to life in Mexico are legal, in force and have the support of the majority of civil society,” Moreno said.

Esparza noted that from the legal point of view, the sovereign nature of the 17 states that have modified their laws to elevate the defense of life to the constitutional level cannot be ignored. She pointed out that the reforms passed do not criminalize women or punish them with imprisonment, but rather are intended to promote Constitutional change in support of human dignity and the protection of women and children.

No other human right can be guaranteed or respected without the right to life being guaranteed first, she said.

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Lay Catholics in Korea express commitment to evangelizing Asia

Rome, Italy, Sep 7, 2010 (CNA) - Participants of the laity congress taking place in Seoul, South Korea this week sent a letter to Pope Benedict XVI offering their commitment as a “small flock” in a vast continent of millions to “proclaim Christ in Asia today.”

“Dear Holy Father, we are your ‘small flock,’ a flock that at times may appear small and insufficient in a vast continent of millions of inhabitants and age-old cultural and religious traditions, which contrast with a new economic and social, chaotic and rapid growth that puts Asia on the forefront of the world stage with greater weight,” the letter states.

According to Vatican Radio, the Asian faithful thanked the Holy Father for his closeness and affection and recalled his recent statement that “the greatest witness Christians in Asia can give today is to show the joy and beauty of Christian life.”

They told the Pope that despite their small numbers, they keep ever present in their minds the words of Pope John Paul II in the Apostolic Exhortation Ecclesia in Asia, underscoring that “the Peoples of Asia need Jesus Christ and his Gospel. Asia thirsts for the living water that only Jesus can give.”

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Archbishop Gomez celebrates God's gift of work on Labor Day

Los Angeles, Calif., Sep 7, 2010 (CNA) - In his Labor Day homily at Our Lady of the Angels Cathedral on Monday, Los Angeles Coadjutor Archbishop Jose Gomez spoke of the “gift of labor” as a participation in the “work of God.” He urged all of the faithful to work for a world in which the Christian vision of humanity prevails, and “in which our talents are employed to serve our brothers and sisters for the love of God.”

Human labor, the archbishop said, allows men and women to become a part of God's creative activity, and “to rejoice in the harvest of his bounty.” Thus, it belongs to man's nature both to work, and to give thanks to God for the fruits of human labor. Both the work and the fruits, the archbishop taught, are a “gift from above.”

Archbishop Gomez also called attention to the world's ongoing need for a just distribution of God's gifts, which he said should be achieved through acts of social responsibility and charity.

“In this celebration of the Holy Eucharist on this Labor Day,” he noted, “it is fitting that we pray with hearts open for all those who are prevented from knowing God's gifts,” including “all those who are deprived of an honest day's work or fair wages” or who “live under conditions in which their dignity is not respected.”

The word of the Gospel, Archbishop Gomez indicated, is essential to the uplifting of all persons and societies, in accordance with the spiritual and material needs of humanity. He told the congregation, “Our mission is to proclaim Christ and his salvation. All our work for dignity and justice must be rooted in this proclamation.”

“To know Jesus is to know that God is alive, that his love is stronger than sin, injustice, and death,” he stated. “To know Jesus is to know that we are children of God, created in his image and likeness, filled with the breath of his Spirit ... We are beloved children of God. This is the great dignity and destiny of the human person, revealed to us by God's word.”

The Gospel's vision of human dignity, according to the archbishop, inspires Christians to work for many important social causes, such as the rights of the unborn and elderly, justice for workers and immigrants, and humane treatment of prisoners and the poor. This same vision, he said, inspires Christians to work for the preservation of marriage as the bedrock of society.

As an outstanding example of the importance of work and courageous witness, Archbishop Gomez pointed to the life of Blessed Salvador Huerta Gutierrez, who “may be the only auto mechanic the Church has ever recognized in the communion of saints.”

Bl. Gutierrez was known in Guadalajara as the “Magician of Cars,” but “his customers and employees also knew that he was a devout Catholic man, a good husband and a good father to his twelve children.” The archbishop recounted that in 1927, “during the Mexican government's persecution of the Church, this ordinary businessman was called to die for the faith he had lived for.”

After hours of torture, Salvador was brought before a firing squad. Archbishop Gomez recalled the moving last words of the auto mechanic and martyr, as he gripped a candle to his chest: “I put this light on my chest so that you won't fail to hit my heart. I am ready to die for Christ.”

“My friends,” Archbishop Gomez proclaimed, “we may not all be called to martyrdom. But we are all called to give our lives to Christ.” Through daily work and Christian witness, “we are called to 'sow' our lives as seed in the service of his Kingdom.”

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Bolivian archbishop urges protection of children's rights

La Paz, Bolivia, Sep 7, 2010 (CNA) - Archbishop Tito Solari of Cochabamba in Bolivia has called on Bolivians to safeguard the rights of children – especially children of migrants and refugees - to ensure they are respected.

The archbishop noted that this year, Pope Benedict XVI chose the theme for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees to be: “Minor Migrants and Refugees.”  He added that the Holy Father's emphasis on the youth, “touches upon an aspect we must pay greater attention to, taking into account Christ’s warning, ‘What you do to the least of these, you do to me’.”

“How can we fail to consider underage migrants and refugees among ‘the least of these?’” the prelate asked.

Children have a right to a name, to know their parents, to live with them, to a nationality and to “grow up within a family, in an atmosphere of happiness, love and understanding,” he continued.

“The family is the privileged environment where each person learns to give and to receive.” For this reason, parents must work untiringly to educate their children, the archbishop explained. “Sometimes it is difficult, but never give up and do not neglect to educate them in moral and religious values,” he added.

“In a few short years, the children of today will be the leaders of family life and society,” Archbishop Solari concluded, “and will themselves be caring for the children of tomorrow.”

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Archbishop encourages faithful to ask Blessed Mother's intercession

Barcelona, Spain, Sep 7, 2010 (CNA) - The Archbishop of Barcelona, Cardinal Lluis Martinez Sistach, encouraged the Spanish faithful this week to turn to the intercession of Mary in the difficulties of daily life, especially by visiting Marian shrines. He noted that these shrines are not tokens of the past, but are places filled with life.

In a letter to mark the Birth of Mary on September 8, the cardinal wrote that Marian shrines are also places of evangelization, as they are often visited by non-believers.

“These Marian shrines are not only vestiges of the past, they are filled with life.  People visit them because they have a sense that they are a spiritual reality that belongs very much to them, as they belonged to their ancestors, their grandparents and parents.”

He continued, “Christians visit these sacred places and celebrate their faith and the most important events of their Christian lives there.”

Cardinal Sistach noted that the Gospel passage on the wedding feast at Cana teaches us that the Blessed Mother is man’s intercessor before her Son, and thus Marian shrines are places where people bring their spiritual and material needs to her. 

Cardinal Sistach invited the Spanish faithful to “rediscover the human and Christian meaning of the Marian shrines of our land, so that we will visit them and seek out moments of silence, reflection, prayer, and all that which modern man has difficulty finding amidst the stressing rhythm of life.”

“The Nativity of Mary proclaims to us the birth of the Savior, the joy of Christmas … The heart and the loving gaze of Mary, the heart and the loving gaze that welcomed the Son of God into this world, and who also welcomes us,” he concluded.

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Stats on Catholic Church in Britain published ahead of papal visit

Vatican City, Sep 7, 2010 (CNA/EWTN News) - As the United Kingdom prepares for Pope Benedict XVI's September 16-19 visit, the Vatican has released the current statistics on the Catholic Church in Great Britain.

The Holy Father will beatify theologian Cardinal John Henry Newman and will meet with Queen Elizabeth II during his trip.

Taken from the Central Statistical Office of the Church, the Vatican notes that Great Britain has a total population of 59,381,000 people, with 5,264,000 (8.87%) of them describing themselves as Catholic.

Serving the faithful in 32 different dioceses and 2,977 parishes in Britain are 59 bishops, 5,225 priests, 6,497 religious and 34,669 catechists. Additionally, the country has two minor seminarians and 245 major seminarians.

A total of 806,334 students attend 2,828 Catholic schools ranging from kindergarten to college. Great Britain also has several other Church-run institutions including: eight hospitals, 171 homes for the elderly or disabled, 79 orphanages, 94 family counseling and pro-life centers, and 147 centers for education and social rehabilitation.

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