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Friday, May 15, 2015

Muslims disrupt Catholic procession with insults and threats

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"On Sunday morning, a group of young Muslim immigrants interrupted a Catholic procession in honor of the Virgin Mary with verbal insults, shouting, and threats as the group passed in front of the Islamic Cultural Center in Conselice, a small town in lower Romagna.

In predominantly Catholic Italy, the month of May is dedicated to the traditional processions carrying a statue or image of the Madonna, usually accompanied by the singing of hymns and praying of the rosary."



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Monday, May 11, 2015

Is it a ship? Is it a plane? No, its a Church!

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A small church for St. Mary which was under the control of pastors of Goa mission existed here. In course of time, in 1903, this church was converted into a school. On important occasions as per the wishes of the people, festivals were conducted and prayers were offered to her. There was a custom among the young maidens to go to the nunnery in the night and sleep there. On one such occasion they saw a bright light surrounding this Selvamatha statue even though nobody lit a candle. Many people of Uvari witnessed this light which was there for over an hour. This incident occurred on 18th September which is celebrated as a festival. People used to keep this statue in a chariot and come around this town to bestow the blessing of Mary to the people of Uvari. Due to sea erosion the old church got damaged. Therefore the people decided to construct a new church for which the foundation stone was laid down by Fr.Thomas in 1970, 25th January and the work was finished on 1974. This church designed as a ship, is called Kappal Matha church after its design. It is beautiful church facing the blue sea. The waves rolling near this church gives us an impression that this ship shaped church is sailing on the sea which is a feast to eyes

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Pope to leave Summer Residence. How long before he also forsakes Rome and the Vatican?

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The papal summer residence of Castel Gandolfo could soon be transformed into a museum and will be made accessible to the public who will pay an entrance fee. According to the Spanish news site, InfoVaticana Pope Francis has concrete plans in this direction. Shortly after his election as Pope, Francis announced that he did not intend to make use of Castel Gandolfo as a summer resort.



 In fact, the Argentine Pope has spent no night in the castle in the Alban Hills. Only three times has he visited the place. The first time, he visited his retired predecessor, Benedict XVI and the visit on the other two times each on August 15 was for the Solemnity of the Assumption. A festival that was celebrated in the city traditionally in the presence of the reigning Pope, who was at this time has a retreat there. In order not to disappoint the people of Castel Gandolfo too much, Pope Francis comes to this festival at least once a year in the city.



The area of the Castelli Romani in the Alban Hills is valued for its mild climate. Castel Gandolfo, one of those places liess majestically above the steep slope to a crater lake, the Lake Albano, an extinct volcano. Already in ancient Rome, the great families of the Empire built villas here to escape the summer heat of Rome. The villa of the emperor Domitian (81-96) forms the basis of the current Pope's summer palace. Built soon after 1100 by the Gandolfi, a noble family of Lombard descent, hence the name Castrum Gandulphi, it is a castle around which arose the present town.

The castle and land were given to the Holy See in 1596. In 1624, Pope Urban VIII created today's Palais des Papes. In the Lateran Treaty, it is recognized as the Papal Palace and thus an extraterritorial area. Several Popes, including Pope Pius XII and Paul VI have died there.



While Benedict XVI often appreciated the climate and the rest in Castel Gandolfo, Pope Francis has taken little pleasure in the magnificent baroque gardens and since 1936, the seat of the Specula, pleasure in the Vatican Observatory. He is of the opinion that the Vatican is "the last princely palace of Europe" which he wants to leave.

Castle and gardens include an area of 55 hectares. In March 2014, Francis made the gardens open to the public. Now he wants to also now unlock the doors and turn it into a tourist attraction and give the revenue to Vatican finances.

In the Vatican, there are some concerns. Future popes might see it differently to Francis and again might want to use Castel Gandolfo as a summer residence. A recovery would be difficult.


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Friday, February 27, 2015

Cardinal blames social media for changing church doctrine

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Cardinal Marx: "Social media force us to listen to people"

The Catholic Church in Germany will be more open to social media. "The world of social media is not a threat but a challenge," said the chairman of the German Catholic Bishops' Conference, Cardinal Reinhard Marx, on Thursday in Hildesheim.

Digital media such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube could help to bring people into a community. At the same time, however, the problems of data protection must remain in view.

"Social media force us to come down from the throne to listen to people and to be interactive", the Archbishop of Munich said at the end of the four-day Spring Plenary Assembly of Bishops. This could only be welcome for Christians, and therefore, the Catholic church wants to participate. "It's about telling personal stories, to take the other seriously and to share experiences with each other, rather than communicate a message only from the top down."

The "digital revolution" is irreversible, Cardinal Marx stressed: "We will not experience any return from the digital world, but an exponential growth there." The digital and the real world are no longer separate spheres, but belong together and are intertwined. What does not exist in the digital world, is practically non-existent.

The Bishops' Conference meeting in Hildesheim had dealt extensively with the topic of social media at a study day. The 66 members of the Episcopal Conference from 27 German dioceses met in Hildesheim starting on Monday. They had chosen the venue because the diocese of Hildesheim this year celebrates its 1,200th anniversary.

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Cathcon: the Pope is the Vicar of Christ, he has the plenitude of power in this world- power within the Church derives from him not the laity- especially not the laity in national churches who inevitably come to dominate episcopal conferences.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

German bishops proclaim their revolution- they are not just a subsidiary of Rome

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The German Bishops Conference addressed itself to a long process of talks about marriage and family by giving plenty of room for the local church. The chairman of the German Bishops' Conference, Cardinal Reinhard Marx (Munich-Freising) underlined in the context of the Family Synod in autumn the efforts of the bishops for "new approaches" and to "help ensure that doors are opened". In the universal Church, there is "a certain expectation" of Germany. He hoped that some issues would be addressed before the Synod, Marx told journalists n Hildesheim on Tuesday. 

The Archbishop of Munich and Freising assumes after the Synod that a Commission would be further concerned with the relevant issues. Theological questions about marriage and family as well as on sexual morality could not be answered in a mere three weeks. "My hope is that then this results in a further discussion." The Synod must find a text that "would lead to further progress" in the discussion and also find a common position on fundamental issues. As far as teaching is concerned, one remains in communion with the Church, in individual issues of pastoral care, "the Synod cannot prescribe in detail of what we have to do in Germany". Therefore, the bishops wanted to publish their own pastoral letter on marriage and family after the Synod. The office of the bishops is not to wait for permits. "We are not just a subsidiary of Rome. Each Episcopal Conference is responsible for the pastoral care in their culture, and has to proclaim the Gospel as their very own office. We cannot wait until a synod state something, as we have here to undertake in this place marriage and family ministry. " 

The reality of life is according to the German bishops an important factor for the teaching of the Church: "We learn indeed in the teaching of life", underlined Cardinal Marx. The Osnabrück Bishop Franz-Josef Bode described the Synod in this context as "historically important". In his view, the participants discuss not only marriage and family relations, but the possibility of a paradigm shift: 

The basic question is whether not only Scripture and Tradition are sources of theological knowledge are, "but also the reality of human being and the world". The chairman of the Pastoral Commission of the German Bishops' Conference recalled in this context the "dialogical structure" of reality, which is mentioned in the Pastoral Constitution of the Second Vatican Council, "Gaudium et Spes" and he cited the conciliar document: "There is nothing genuinely human that is not echoed in their hearts (those of the disciples- ed comment) is echoed ". Bode concluded: "Not only the Christian message must find resonance in the people, but people need to strike a chord with us." Bode said, it is important that there are intra-theological reasons that the sacrament is not only a representation of unity but also a means of unity and could contribute to healing. 

Cardinal Marx announced a paper of the bishops to the synod, which should be released in the coming weeks. On Tuesday morning, the pastors discussed in detail at the Spring General Assembly the Lineamenta for the Extraordinary Synod.

When asked whether the Episcopal Conference will also take initiatives in order to bring back to the consciousness of the faithful the sacrament of confession, Cardinal Marx answered that confession and reconciliation are "key issues". In what form the Bishops' Conference would wish to revive the practice of confession, remains open.

Pastoral practice and dogma are mutually reinforcing 

The locally elected officials who will represent the German bishops during the Family Synod in autumn were presented to journalists at midday on Tuesday afternoon: In addition to Cardinal Marx, the Chairman of the Marriage and Family Commission take Bishop Heiner Koch (Dresden-Meissen) and the chairman of the Pastoral Commission Franz-Josef Bode to part in the deliberations. As deputies, the young Bishop Karl-Heinz Wiesemann (Speyer) and the deputy chairman of the Family Commission, the Auxiliary Bishop of Münster, Wilfried Theising were selected.

The Bishop responsible for family matters, Koch emphasized the need to "enter theologically into the depth" of the Sacraments. He hoped "that it is not only the issues hotly debated in Germany" but the transmission of the faith in the family or the subject of assisted suicide will come into view. Bishop Bode expressed concern that truth and life should not fall apart. Pastoral care and dogmatic truth should benefit from each other. He hoped that in view of the divorced and remarried some matters will resolved prior to the Synod. On the question of what theologians were heading in the right direction in the eyes of the bishops, Bishop Bode cited the Freiburg moral theologian, Eberhard Eberhard Schockenhoff. 

This year's Spring Plenary Assembly of the German bishops in Hildesheim had begun with a sober picture of the situation of faith in Germany. The apostolic nuncio in Berlin, Archbishop Nikola Eteroviæ, pointed out in his address the dramatic decline in the number of believers in East Germany. It made him concerned that in the first two decades after the fall of the Berlin Wall that nowhere in the former Eastern Bloc had the number of Christians had declined so much as in the former GDR. Eteroviæ cited a study by the University of Münster, according to which the number of believers in God between 1990 and 2008 had more than halved. Meanwhile only fourteen percent of East Germans believed in God, according to Eteroviæ. In other countries of the former Eastern Bloc, however, the number of professing Christians increased in the same period or only slightly decreased. 

 Cardinal Reinhard Marx had highlighted the need for discussion about faith in his homily at the opening Mass on Monday. The Faith and the Church's life always come new to the debate and should always be re-tried, the Archbishop of Munich said and made a comparison to newborns who need to learn a new language.  Source