|Exorcist says there's a demon that targets the family
Rome, Italy, May 26 (CNA/EWTN News) .- There's a demon that specializes in attacking the family, said exorcist César Truqui, a priest who participated in a course on exorcism held in Rome last year.
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VATICAN CITY, May 25 (CNA/EWTN News) .- “The Gospel of family, joy for the world.” This is the theme for the 2018 World Meeting of Families in Dublin, Ireland, and it is meant to emphasize the family's role as a stabilizing force in society, said the local archbishop.
“The family is not just the object of the attention of the Church,” Archbishop Diarmuid Martin told journalists at a Vatican press briefing Tuesday.
Rather, he said, families have a “vital role” as “real protagonists of renewal and of the transmission of the faith to the coming generations.”
This was stressed at the recent Synods of Bishops on the Family, the archbishop said. Families are “active participants in the ministry of the Church,” through “the authenticity of their daily life in the family and in the home.”
He continued: “The World Meeting of Families must be an occasion to encourage and sustain families in this task.”
“The theme chosen for the World Meeting of Families,” Archbishop Martin explained, “wishes to stress the role of the family within society and the contribution of families to the overall health and stability of society.”
The theme for the 9th World Meeting of Families, which will take place in Dublin on August 22-26, 2018, was revealed by the Vatican at a May 24 press briefing. The Irish capital was announced as the site for the international gathering at the most recent World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia last September.
Tuesday's announcement comes less than a year after the October 2015 Synod on the Family, which had been preceded by an extraordinary synod a year earlier on the same topic.
Archbishop Martin recounted to journalists what Pope Francis said to him as he entered the Synod Hall last October, on the first day of the gathering of bishops: “Remember, Dublin begins today.”
The Irish prelate went on to observe the significance that both Pope Francis and Pope John Paul II chose the family as the topic for the first synods of their papacies, adding that he had attended both gatherings.
The new methodology that Pope Francis introduced for the Synod, which involved consultation with families, is an “on-going” process, he remarked.
Pope Francis does not consider the World Meeting of Families to be an “isolated event,” Archbishop Martin said, but rather “an event for the entire Church.”
The gathering, he said, “belongs within a process of discernment and encouragement, of accompaniment and animation of families,” and “renewal of the Church’s pastoral concern and pastoral care for the family and for families.”
The archbishop expressed his hope that the event would also be an “important milestone” in applying the “fruits of the Synodal process and of the Apostolic Exhortation ‘Amoris Letitia’.”
Although an international event, he said, the World Meeting of Families will be important for the Irish Church and its “strong family culture,” which is nonetheless susceptible to “all the pressures of Western secular culture regarding marriage and the family.” He spoke of the challenges many Irish families face, including “precarious economic situations” and the housing crisis.
Archbishop Martin said preparations for the Meeting will be made in Ireland through a “process of catechesis,” based on the Pope's exhortation on the family, beginning 2017.
“The Church’s catechetical programs regarding marriage and the family need a complete overhaul in line with what ‘Amoris Laetitia’ sets out,” he said.
The 2018 World Meeting of Families will not be Dublin's first international Catholic event in recent years. In 2012, the city was the site of the 50th International Eucharistic Congress.
Cardinal Vincenzo Paglia, president of the Pontifical Council for the Family, was also present at Tuesday's press briefing.
“To celebrate the family – which in Europe is suffering in a particularly acute way – is an extraordinary occasion, so that all realities – civil, social, religious, political, economic – can rediscover the centrality and the strength of being the first pillar of peaceful coexistence among diverse (people).”
He told journalists that “Christian churches, the great world religions, civil and political society, can rediscover in the 'familial spirit' that common thread which permits them to confront that individualistic dimension which, unfortunately, is involving ever more the religious and civil realities in the world.”
ST. PAUL, MINN., May 25 (CNA/EWTN News) .- The Archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis says his archdiocese has followed the law in its bankruptcy process, responding to claims by abuse victims that some assets were not made public.
“The Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis has been fully cooperating with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court since filing in January of 2015,” Archbishop Bernard A. Hebda of St. Paul and Minneapolis stated on Tuesday.
“Let me be clear: The Archdiocese has disclosed all of its assets and has followed all the rules set forth by the Court and all directives from the judge,” he continued.
An “unsecured creditors committee” and attorney Jeff Anderson, who represents hundreds of alleged Minnesota abuse victims, filed a motion on Monday claiming the archdiocese actually should have reported $1.7 billion in assets rather than the $49 million it reported in bankruptcy filings, according to the Associated Press.
They accused the archdiocese of hiding assets to protect them from payouts to abuse victims. The assets that should have been consolidated and included in the process included parishes, schools, cemeteries, and charitable organizations that consolidated together would have been worth $1.4 billion, they said. In addition, two other entities “controlled by the Archbishop” would be worth over $300 million.
All those entities should have been included in the reported assets of the archdiocese under “substantive consolidation,” the committee claimed.
In January of 2015, the archdiocese had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy as more accusations of past sexual abuse of minors by clergy in the archdiocese had surfaced.
Then-Archbishop John C. Nienstedt had announced that “reorganization will allow the finite resources of the Archdiocese to be distributed equitably among all victims/ survivors.”
The archdiocese has worked to help ensure this distribution, Archbishop Hebda continued in his Monday statement. “I know that for at least the last 11 months we have been working extremely hard to marshal and maximize our assets with the hope of providing the most for the most,” he stated.
He added that the archdiocese will move forward with the bankruptcy proceedings. “Please continue to pray for all of those who have been sexually abused and for their families and for a quick resolution to these proceedings,” he insisted.
Archbishop Hebda was appointed to his position by Pope Francis in March after serving as apostolic administrator for the archdiocese since July of 2015. Then-Archbishop Nienstadt had resigned after the archdiocese was charged on six counts of failure to protect minors.
Those charges stemmed from the cases of one former priest Curtis Wehmeyer who was sentenced to five years in prison after he pled guilty to sexually abusing two boys and possessing child pornography. The archdiocese “turned a blind eye” to the situation, the prosecutor stated at the time.
Attorney Jeff Anderson, who has made millions off of suing the Catholic Church in the United States, has also represented abuse victims in several other states like Wisconsin, California, Iowa, and Delaware. His 2013 settlement with the archdiocese resulted in them making public additional names of priests “with substantiated claims of child sexual abuse”; ultimately they released 68 names of priests “with substantiated claims of sexual abuse of minors,” his website claimed.
ROME, ITALY, May 26 (CNA/EWTN News) .- There's a demon that specializes in attacking the family, said exorcist César Truqui, a priest who participated in a course on exorcism held in Rome last year.
Fr. Truqui warned that everything that is harming the family, including divorce, pleases the devil.
Speaking to the Italian weekly Tempi in 2015, the priest said that there is “a demon who specializes in the attack on the family, also cited in the story of Tobias, called 'Asmodeus.'”
In the Old Testament book, the demon is known to have killed seven of Sarah's husbands and was chained in the desert by Saint Rafael. The demon “is present” in many exorcisms, Fr. Truqui said.
The priest recalled encountering the demon “in exorcisms by Father Gabriele Amorth and Father Francisco Bamonte, whom I assisted.” The 90-year-old Fr. Amorth is a renowned exorcist in Rome who has performed an estimated 70,000 exorcisms over the course of 29 years. Carrying out an exorcism can require multiple sessions and each time the rite is administered it is counted as one instance.
“I remember a young couple, very united, who wanted to get married, however, the woman had to undergo an exorcism to be set free,” Fr. Truqi said.
During the exorcism “the demon was furious and threatened Fr. Amorth in order to prevent the marriage, otherwise he would kill the young woman. Obviously, it was a threat from the Liar which in fact did not happen.”
In that regard, the priest added that the devil also seeks to attack the family through ideologies and lifestyles, as well as individualistic thinking and the spread of divorce.
“They think 'if I don't like my husband anymore, I would be better off divorcing' but they forget about the consequences to the children and society,” he said. “This mentality that works against the family pleases the devil – he knows that a man who is alone without any points of reference is manipulable and unstable.”
“Even today, and I'm more than 50 years old, just thinking that my mother and father love each other forever, I find comfort and courage. In contrast, the children of separated parents are more fragile and wavering,” he said.
In 2014, Pope Francis gave an address to the Charismatic Renewal, in which he pointed out that the devil seeks to destroy families because that is where Jesus grows, in the midst of the love of the spouses and in the lives of their children.
“He grows in the love of the spouses, he grows in the lives of the children. And that's why the enemy attacks the family so much. The devil does not love the family. He seeks to destroy it, he wants to eliminate love there,” he warned at Rome's Olympic stadium before 52,000 people.
On that day Francis reminded that “families are these domestic churches. The spouses are sinners, like everyone, but they want to progress in the faith, in their fruitfulness, in the children and their children's faith.”
And so he asked the Lord to “bless the family, make it strong, in this crisis in which the devil wants to destroy it.”
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LONDON, ENGLAND, May 26 (CNA/EWTN News) .- The Catholic bishops of England and Wales are ready to support the government’s proposed prison reforms outlined in Queen Elizabeth II’s speech to Parliament.
“The Church has a strong practical contribution to make. Our chaplains work in every prison throughout England and Wales, and are often at the forefront of supporting prisoners in their rehabilitation,” Bishop Richard Moth of Arundel and Brighton said.
“This is a remarkable opportunity to place reform and redemption at the heart of our prisons,” he added. “It is only through a properly resourced system focused on genuinely helping people to turn their lives around that we will create a safer and more civilized society.”
Bishop Moth is the bishops’ liaison for prisons. He said recent conversations with the Minister for Prisons and his staff have been “extremely helpful.”
The bishop’s comments were a response to the queen’s May 18 speech to Parliament which summarized the legislative agenda.
“My government will legislate to reform prisons and courts to give individuals a second chance,” she said.
“Prison governors will be given unprecedented freedom and they will be able to ensure prisoners receive better education,” she added. “Old and inefficient prisons will be closed and new institutions built where prisoners can be put more effectively to work.”
She said there will be better mental health care for individuals in the criminal justice system.
Prisons will be required to publish statistics on education, reoffending, and inmates’ employment when they are released, BBC News reports.
There are pilot programs planned that will allow prisoners to become weekend inmates. The prisoners will spend weekdays at home and at work. Their movement will be monitored with GPS technology and satellite tracking tags.
Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron, in his comments on the queen’s speech, said that institutions for young offenders have not been working.
“They give the public the security of knowing that offenders are locked in but they're not doing enough to turn around the lives of people who will one day be let out,” he said.
He explained that prison reforms would draw on practices from other public service reforms like publishing results, giving proper control to administrators and “encouraging innovation, rewarding success and not tolerating persistent failure.”
Green MP Caroline Lucas has criticized the reform proposals, saying progress would be undermined by big cuts to prison budgets and overcrowding.
The queen’s speech also touched on anti-extremism measures.
“Legislation will be introduced to prevent radicalization, tackle extremism in all its forms, and promote community integration,” she said.
A spokesperson for the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales said Parliament’s expected anti-extremism legislation must be produced “with diligence and careful consideration.”
“It is vital that measures to keep the public safe do not inadvertently curtail free speech or alienate communities. The best way in which to undermine extremist beliefs will always be through the promotion of effective integration.”
Some Catholics and other commentators have voiced concern that measures apparently meant to counter Islamist extremism, such as the government’s push to teach “British values” in schools, could harm sincere religious believers and burden Catholic schools.
In 2014, government officials downgraded the high-performing St. Benedict's Catholic School in Suffolk because its students allegedly were not aware of the dangers of extremism and were not prepared for contemporary British life. The school said parents complained that the inspectors asked children as young as 10 about homosexual acts and transsexualism.
The Catholic Education Service demanded an apology for the action.
MAMFE, CAMEROON, May 25 (CNA/EWTN News) .- Father William Cañón is a Colombian missionary in Cameroon who transforms into a soccer coach every Sunday, helping to bring joy to some 60 local children through sport and camaraderie.
“After going to the Eucharist, we gather and provide a time of Christian formation; then, with my limited knowledge of sports, we play soccer,” Father Cañón told Pablo Romero of El Tiempo, a Colombian daily.
The missionary is a fan of Independiente Santa Fe, the Bogota football team which won the Copa Sudamericana last year. He has been a missionary to Mamfe, in southwestern Cameroon, since 2014.
Por intermedio del Padre William Cañón los niños de Fontem, Camerún aprenden a jugar al fútbol con la piel del León pic.twitter.com/KSA7uX94XI
— Ind. Santa Fe (@SantaFe) April 4, 2016 When he arrived in Cameroon he was assigned to a parish where the first evangelization has yet to be done: he found a people who still have customs such as polygamy, and a culture of machismo. They face disease, a shortage of food, and a lack of electricity and safe water.
But Father Cañón noticed the boys in Mamfe had a special love for soccer, and so he decided to take advantage of this opportunity to bring them closer to God. Every Sunday, he says Mass before roughtly 60 boys play soccer. Many of the children walk for up to three hours to get there, and the matches are held on a dirt field with makeshift goals, and they always begin with a prayer.
“Seeing them arrive is an unimaginable sight. Some come barefoot, but with great joy on their faces. Most of them are spontaneous and sincere boys. And, above all, they're grateful, because it's the only time they have to have fun and dream. Despite the circumstances and difficulties, they're always there,” the priest told El Tiempo.
“Here the children are happy with little, and with the lives they have,” he added.
During the week, the priest says Mass every day at 6 am. Then he heads off to the local hospital where he spends almost the entire day as the chaplain.
Independiente Santa Fe was moved hearing about the missionary's work. During a trip to Colombia, he asked for donations for his Cameroon team and they gave him soccer balls and Santa Fe uniforms for the boys.
“I'm very grateful to God for this beautiful opportunity that he's given me. And to Santa Fe, for the uniforms. From here, I continue to support my team,” he told El Tiempo.
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