Hiroshima and Nagasaki are the fruits of modern man who, like Prometheus, stole fire from the gods to prove himself “adult”, but risks carrying out acts against humanity. The need for ecology for nature and against the poison that pollutes the spirit. The need for a Church that is “less anxious” for action and more dedicated to prayer so it may “prolong” Christ’s work.
Vatican City (AsiaNews) – In a St Peter’s Basilica, draped in red – flowers, vestments, altar – Benedict XVI celebrated mass for the feat of Pentecost, which commemorates the gift of the Holy Spirit to the apostles and May gathered in the Upper Room. Lending greater solemnity to proceedings was the presence of the choir from Cologne Cathedral and the city’s Kammerorchester, whose 200 members, together with the Sistine Chapel choir, preformed the Harmoniemesse, one of Joseph Haydn’s last masses, marking two hundred years since the composers’ death.
In thanking them, the Pope described the work as “a sublime symphony of God’s glory”.
Of all liturgical feasts, said the Pope, Pentecost “distinguishes itself for it’s’ importance, because it represents the realisation of what Christ had announced as the aim of his earthly mission”: “"I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing!” (Lk 12,49). “The true fire – he explained - the Holy Spirit was brought to earth by Christ. He did not steal it from the gods, as Prometheus did in the Greek myth, but he made himself the mediator of “God’s gift” by carrying out the greatest act of love in history: his death on the cross”. more...
VATICAN CITY (AP) - The Vatican says the pope will make a pilgrimage to the Czech Republic this fall.
Benedict met with the Czech president today to discuss Catholic Church relations and Europe's future. The two also discussed the pope's planned 3-day trip to Prague and a couple of other cities in late September.
The president says it's a "great pleasure" to have the pontiff visiting his country. Both Benedict and his predecessor, John Paul II, have been concerned with what the Vatican sees as signs that Europe's Christian roots are weakening amid growing consumerism and moral relativism.
In the Vatican this morning the President of the Czech Republic, Vaclav Klaus was received in private audience by Benedict XVI. The pope welcomed the President in the Clementine Hall. Following this audience, the Vatican Press Office officially announced the Holy Father would go on a pastoral visit to the Czech Republic from the 26th to the 28th of September, visiting Prague, Brno and Stara Boleslav.
See also Pope Benedict's audience with children from the Pontifical Society for Missionary Childhood. We are all called to witness to the gospel, even the smallest child.
A young girl representing the children of the Pontifical Society for Missionary Childhood addressed Benedict XVI in the Paul VI Audience Hall this morning. The Pope's message to her and to all the children gathered around him was that they accept each other, seek the path to peace and live well. I accept my ministry from the hands of the Lord, he told them while answering a question put to him. To announce the gospel message, he added, belonging to a network like yours is important. But it is also necessary to pray a lot, listen to Jesus and practice concrete solidarity and this way you can be missionaries and contribute to the growth of the Church across the world.
Vatican City, May 29, 2009 / 10:31 am (CNA).- Pope Benedict XVI received eight ambassadors hailing from countries ranging from Mongolia to Norway on Friday. Assuring the diplomats that the Catholic Church will work with them, the Pope called for a renewed effort to establish true peace, especially since the world is undergoing an economic and social crisis.
The Holy Father first addressed the diplomats as a group, then gave each of them a speech in written form concerning issues specific to his or her own country.
After telling the ambassadors that the Church stands ready and willing to offer her Gospel-based contribution, Benedict XVI turned his attention to how he believes the diplomats can create peace in their countries and the world.
"Today, in the midst of a worldwide social and economic crisis, people must regain an awareness of the need to struggle ... in order to establish true peace, with the aim of constructing a more just and prosperous world." more...
Vatican City, May 28, 2009 / 02:32 pm (CNA).- The bishops of Italy met this afternoon with Pope Benedict, who spoke to them about the “urgent task” of education in Christian values, the upcoming Year for Priests, the earthquake that struck the Abruzzo region and the impact of the financial crisis.
The meeting of the Italian Episcopal Conference (CEI), which began on May 25 and will last until the 29th, is examining the theme: "The educational question: the urgent task of education."
Addressing the bishops, the Pope began by highlighting their effort to establish "an educational project that stems from a coherent and complete vision of man, which can arise only from the perfect image and realization of him we have in Jesus Christ."
This kind of education is particularly necessary since modern society is filled with “relativistic and nihilistic concepts of life” that “exercise a powerful enticement,” the Pope said.
The principal contribution that the Church can make at a time when the legitimacy of education is in doubt is that of “bearing witness to our trust in life and in man, in his reason and in his capacity to love," said the Holy Father. more...
Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments on President Obama’s choice of Miguel H. Diaz, a Catholic theologian, to be his ambassador to the Vatican:
In choosing professor Miguel H. Diaz to be the U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican, President Obama has selected a man whose writings do not address such hot-button issues as abortion, embryonic stem cell research, doctor-assisted suicide and gay marriage. In that regard, it appears this is a safe choice.
It is disconcerting, nonetheless, to learn that Diaz supported Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius for the position of Secretary of Health and Human Services. Sebelius is so extreme on abortion that she has been publicly criticized by the last three archbishops in Kansas City, Kansas. Moreover, when the current archbishop, Joseph F. Naumann, asked her to name a single instance in 30 years of public service where she supported restrictions on abortion, she could not name one. Thus, his decision to request that she not present herself for Communion.
It is a lame argument to say that it is morally acceptable to promote abortion-reducing public policies while jettisoning all legal remedies. If we applied this same logic to racial discrimination, no one would regard someone who worked to reduce the incidence of discrimination while abandoning all legal strategies as a bona-fide opponent of racism. Both approaches would be demanded.
It is a sad commentary on the Democratic party that out of the entire country they can’t field a candidate to represent the U.S. to the Vatican who is unequivocally opposed to abortion-on-demand.
The 2012 Obama campaign message to Catholics has already been written. Here it is, conveniently laid out by the official Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, and its editor, Giovanni Maria Vian:
"[President Obama] is not a pro-abortion president." -- Giovanni Maria Vian, in an interview with a Vatican analyst from the Italian daily Il Riformista
"The president invited Americans of every faith and ideological conviction to 'work in common effort' to reduce the number of abortions." -- L'Osservatore Romano, on President Obama's May 13, 2009, speech at the University of Notre Dame
For President Obama's Catholic outreach effort, this is a dream come true. Obama's Catholic advisers have received a virtual Vatican imprimatur on his abortion reduction message to Catholics. The Obama campaign, the Democratic National Committee, Catholics United, and Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good will trumpet this message loudly and in unison.
It doesn't matter that not everything published in L'Osservatore Romano represents the official position of the Vatican. That is a distinction that 99.9 percent of Catholic voters will neither know nor grasp. All that will matter on the ground is that the Vatican newspaper and its editor have confirmed what Obama's Catholic supporters have claimed all along: Obama seeks a "common ground on abortion," avoids harsh polemics, prudently seeks to "reduce abortions," and cannot therefore be called "pro-abortion."
The subliminal suggestion will be: The Vatican believes this, so why not you? This is how smart political campaigns use the media -- especially media with an authoritative and respected voice. And what's more authoritative and trustworthy to Catholics than the Vatican newspaper?
Thus far, there have been no statements from any Vatican official explaining that neither its newspaper commentary on Obama nor its editors should be treated as the official voice of the Vatican or the Holy Father.
Meanwhile, there have been twoarticles in L'Osservatore Romano over the past few days that acknowledge, for the first time, the U.S. bishops' criticism of Obama's appearance at Notre Dame. The second article also contained criticism from Francis Cardinal George of Obama's decision to rescind the conscience protection laws for medical care personnel, and from Msgr. David Malloy, General Secretary of the USCCB, on Obama's move to enlarge the scope of federally funded fetal stem cell research. more...
Vatican City, May 27, 2009 / 09:56 am (CNA).- In Wednesday's general audience, Pope Benedict XVI continued with his series of teachings on the great writers of the Eastern and Western Church by turning his attention today to St. Theodore the Studite, a Byzantine monk from the eighth century. Pope Benedict urged modern day Christians to follow the saint's example to combat poverty and to avoid spiritual self-centeredness.
Pope Benedict XVI began his weekly catechesis by telling the more than 15,000 pilgrims in St. Peter’s Square about the early life of the great reformer of monastic life.
St. Theodore, the Pope recounted, was born in 759 to a noble and pious family and entered the monastery at the age of twenty-two. But his life was far from a quiet one.
He vigorously opposed the iconoclastic movement and as a result, was put on trial and imprisoned. He died on November 11, 826 and is a saint both for the Catholic and Orthodox Churches.
Theodore, the Holy Father said, “characteristically insisted on the necessity of order and the monks submission more...
It's a small point, perhaps, but what's up with the Vatican newspaper? The editor of L'Osservatore Romano seems to be in love with Barrack Obama. The result is predictable: "L'Osservatore è cieco"--the observer is blind.
Consider these recent Catholic World News briefs which chronicle the newspaper's slide from reality with respect to American affairs:
Jerusalem, Israel, May 25, 2009 / 06:32 pm (CNA).- A new webcasting endeavor inspired by St. Francis and Venerable Gabriele Allegra is producing Catholic content in both English and Mandarin Chinese to proclaim and celebrate the “life-giving Word of God.”
Based in the Holy Land, the Eternal Light Webcast takes its name from Venerable Gabriele Allegra, a twentieth-century missionary to China whose Chinese name means “eternal light.” The webcast’s internet site quotes Allegra’s 1975 autobiography, in which he said St. Francis of Assisi could not have thought of the possibilities of the printing press, yet the friars should nonetheless study, preach, write and speak through the radio and television today in proclaiming the Word of God.
Venerable Gabriela Allegra himself translated the Bible into Chinese.
At present the webcast effort reproduces several English-language videos of Pope Benedict XVI’s Holy Land visit and presents some written Chinese-language commentary.
The persecuted Church in China needs our prayers: "Please Lord, no matter how intense the persecution, bring life and it abundantly (John 10:10) to your suffering servants in China."
» 05/25/2009 14:22 CHINA – VATICAN
No diocesan pilgrimages to the Sanctuary of Sheshan because of bans. Little publicity even in the diocese of Shanghai. In Hebei the Catholics go without mass because the priests are under arrest. Access to the Vatican website with Benedict XVI’s Letter (in Chinese) is still blocked.
Rome (AsiaNews) – The Day of Prayer for the Church in China passed almost unnoticed in many diocese of the Peoples Republic. In Hebei, where there are strict controls, the faithful of the underground community couldn’t even hold masses because of the lack of priests.
In his 2007 Letter to Chinese Catholics Benedict XVI had launched the idea of a World Day of Prayer for the Church in China, to be held each May 24th the feast of Mary Help of Christians, who is particularly venerated in the Marian Sanctuary of Sheshan, a few kilometres distance from Shanghai. The Pope’s intention is that through prayer unity may grow within the Church in China, as well as its bond with St Peter’s Successor. The Sheshan Sanctuary, a site of pilgrimage for over a century, is the ideal place given that draws Catholics from the Official and Underground Church. But since the Pope instituted the day of prayer it has become increasingly difficult for Catholics to access Sheshan. This year, like the previous year, police enforced strict traffic rules for the entire Month of May and diocese advised the faithful against making the pilgrimage to Sheshan. This year even the diocese of Shanghai – the only diocese with unlimited access – promoted the pilgrimage for May 23rd, but in a very subdued manner, without even advertising it. In the years beforehand, up to 20 thousand pilgrims visited the sanctuary. To date only a few thousand have arrived.
Other diocese chose to organise pilgrimages to local Marian sanctuaries. AsiaNews sources report that in Hebei, the region with the highest number of Catholics, underground communities had to go without mass because of a lack of priests. This is due to a strict control across the region that forbids public gatherings and to the fact that at least 10 underground priests are already in prison for having celebrated masses outside locations approved by the Office for Religious Affairs.
Yesterday the Holy See issued the Compendium of the Pope’s Letter to Chinese Catholics, which readdresses the themes of the Letter in a question and answer format, to aid better understanding. The Compendium is published in simplified and traditional Chinese and English. Still today however access to the Vatican’s website in Chinese is blocked and it is impossible to decipher or download the website’s contents, including the Pope’s Letter in Chinese.
Pope Benedict XVI prays during his visit to the Polish war cemetery in Cassino, central Italy, Sunday, May 24, 2009. Benedict XVI paid homage Sunday to the victims of World War II, visiting a Polish military cemetery at the site of a decisive battle in southern Italy and praying that peace may prevail over war today.(AP Photo/Pier Paolo Cito) Enlarge photo...
Pope Benedict XVI called for a unified Europe during a visit to Cassino, central Italy, near a World War II battleground in which thousands of soldiers were killed.
“Here, where so many men lost their life in the battles fought during World War II, say a special prayer for the souls of the dead,” the German Pontiff said before thousands of believers after a mass.
Benedict said that he particularly wanted to visit the Polish cemetery, “to pay homage to the memory of all the soldiers of diverse nationality who ... lost their life”.
The Allied assault on Monte Cassino, a key stage in the battle to take nearby Rome, started in December 1943 and ran into the summer of the following year. The fierce fighting left tens of thousands of dead on both sides.
Benedict called for prayers for the end of the wars, which continued to afflict the planet.
The Pope also spoke of St Benedict, the founder of the Benedictine order, whose remains are buried at Cassino.
He called for St Benedict’s spiritual example “to help people who live on this continent to remain true to their Christian foots” and to work towards a Europe of unity and solidarity, “founded on the search for justice and peace”.
During the mass, the Pope also spoke out for all those people who had lost their jobs or who were otherwise suffering from the current economic crisis.
“I express my solidarity with all those who live in a worrying position of precarity, to the workers who have been put on half-time or laid off,” he said, to applause.
He called on the public authorities and business leaders to find a solution to the blight of unemployment, and urged young people struggling to find their first job not to lose hope.
The Pope later visited the monastery that overlooks the city, which houses St Benedict’s tomb.
It is this saint who inspired the then-cardinal Joseph Ratzinger to take the name of Benedict as pope.
Marking the World Day of Prayer for the Church in China and Our Lady of Sheshan (Shanghai). Saint Benedict, witness of peace, gift of God and duty of all.
Cassino (AsiaNews) – Before reciting the Regina Caeli today Benedict XVI’s “thoughts” went to the people of China and his “affection” to the Catholics of China. This is how the pontiff marked the World Day of Prayer for the Church in China, launched by him with the 2007 Letter to China’s Catholics, which takes place each year on May 24th, the Feast of Our Lady Help of Christians, which is celebrated in a special way in the Marian Sanctuary of Sheshan in the foothills of Shanghai.
“Today May 24th – he said – the liturgical memory of the Blessed Virgin Help of Christians - who is venerated with great devotion in the Sanctuary of Sheshan Shangahi - , the World Day of Prayer for the Church in China is celebrate. My thoughts go to all the people of China, In particular I greet with great affection the Catholics in China, and I urge them on this day to renew their communion of faith in Christ and fidelity to the Successor of Saint Peter. May our common prayer obtain a spreading of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, so that unity between all Christians, the Catholicity and universality of the Church be ever deeper and more visible”.
Today’s Regina Caeli was proclaimed from Cassino (intoned and sung by the pope), beneath the Benedictine Abbey of Montescassino, where the pope travelled for a visit and where he celebrated mass marking the feast of Our Lord’s Ascension. During his homily the Pope underlined the contribution of Benedictine monasticism to the dignity of prayer, in the lectio divina, and to work. Before the marina prayer he underlined the “wealth” and “power of the peace of Christ”. “Saint Benedict was a great witness of this – he said – because he gathered it into his existence and saw it fruitfully multiply through works of authentic spiritual and cultural renewal. This is why, on the entrance to the Abbey of Montecassino, indeed on the entrance to every Benedictine monastery, the word “PAX” is emblazoned as a motto: the monastic community is indeed called to live according to this peace, which is the greatest gift of Easter”. more...
The publication two years on from the Letter on the World Day of Prayer for the Church in China. The Letter is furthering unity between the official and underground Church, but the Patriotic Association pounces on their divisions with controls and arrests.
Vatican City (AsiaNews) – Two years on from the publication of his Letter to the Catholics of China, Benedict XVI has approved a “Compendium” of the document that will be available as of Tomorrow on the Vatican website in Chinese and English. Tomorrow is also the World Day of Prayer for the Church in China, called for by the Pope in the concluding part of his Letter.
According to a statement released by the Holy See press office, the Compendium “reproduces, the basic elements” of the original Letter, but “following the catechetical literary genre of questions and answers”. The Compendium was forcefully called for by card. Zen, former Archbishop of Hong Kong, and great defender of religious freedom in China.
It “faithfully reproduces, both in structure and language, the content of the original Letter, quoting extended passages from it. With the addition of some footnotes and two short Appendices, the “Compendium” is presented as an authoritative tool facilitating a deeper understanding of His Holiness’ thought on some particularly delicate points”. more...
VATICAN CITY, MAY 21, 2009 (Zenit.org).- The Pope will be visiting the monastery founded by the saint he chose as his patron upon taking the name Benedict XVI.
The Holy Father will travel Sunday to Monte Cassino, the monastery St. Benedict founded that is the cradle of the Benedictine order.
The visit will begin with a Mass in the plaza of Cassino, the city just east of the monastery. The site of the Mass will be renamed after Benedict XVI.
After Mass, the Pontiff will inaugurate a "House of Charity" for homeless immigrants. The project is being carried out in a former hospital under the sponsorship of the abbot of Monte Cassino.
The second part of the day will be dedicated to the Benedictines, as the Bishop of Rome will meet with abbots and abbesses from around the world, as well as a large number of monks and nuns.
Finally, before his return to Rome, the Holy Father will visit the Polish cemetery, one of the cemeteries from World War II. This year marks 65 years since the bombing of the monastery in the Battle of Monte Cassino, also known as the Battle for Rome.
Bulgaria has contributed to the constructing of a united Europe with Christian roots, according to Pope Benedict XVI.
The Pope made this statement during his speech before the Bulgarian delegation in the Vatican, which is led by Bulgaria's President Georgi Parvanov.
Pope Benedict XVI accepted the Bulgarian delegation and blessed the Bulgarian people on the occasion of May 24, the Day of the Slavic Script and Bulgarian Culture, also known as the day of St. Cyril and St. Methodius.
During the papal audience, Bulgaria's President Parvanov has invited Pope Benedict XVI to visit Bulgaria saying his visit would make happy not just the 70 000 Bulgarian Catholics, and the Bulgarian Orthodox Christians but all Bulgarian citizens.
Pope Benedict XVI responded to the invitation by saying that he would visit Bulgaria but has not specified when.
President Parvanov explicitly thanked the Pope for the gesture of the Catholic Church, which in 2002 gave the San Vincenzo e Anastasio temple to the Bulgarian Orthodox Church.
After the papal audience, at a service in the same church, priests dedicated a model of a special installation that Bulgarian intellectuals intend to present to the Museum of Nations in Brussels, Darik Radio reported.
The installation is similar to a Faberge egg. It is made of steel, and contains an incrustation of the letters of the Bulgarian Cyrillic alphabet. The idea of the present is to respond to the controversial Entropa exhibit in Brussels where Bulgaria was presented as a squat toilet.
A view of the the Pope2You web site, on a computer screen in Rome, Friday May 22, 2009. Pope Benedict XVI, at the center of the home page, has entered the world of social networking sites and smartphones with a Vatican portal that includes Facebook and iPhone applications. The Pope2You Web site was launched Thursday and allows Facebook users to send virtual postcards with photos of Benedict. An application for iPhone and iPod Touch gives surfers video and audio news on his travels and speeches, as well as on Catholic events worldwide. The new portal is the latest update in the Vatican's efforts to broaden the pope's audience and reach out to young people. Earlier this year, Benedict got his own YouTube channel. While wary of the potential pitfalls of new media, Benedict has also encouraged young Catholics to use the Internet to spread the church's message. (AP Photo/Pier Paolo Cito)
The Vatican is linking one of its websites to the popular social networking site Facebook as part of a drive to harness internet technology in reaching the world’s one billion Catholics.
The website, www.pope2you.net, was launched this week to allow Catholics, particularly those of the younger generation, to meet Pope Benedict XVI on Facebook by listening to his messages and viewing his pictures.
iPhone applications are also being featured on the website, ahead of World Communications Day on Sunday.
World Communications Day was established by the Roman Catholic Church in 1963. This year, it will focus on the role of new technologies in building relationships and promoting a culture of respect, dialogue and friendship.
Speaking to around 20,000 pilgrims in his general audience in St. Peter’s Square on Wednesday, the pope encouraged young people to use the internet to share their faith.
"Young people in particular, I appeal to you [to] bear witness to your faith through the digital world," the pope said.
"Employ these new technologies to make the Gospel known, so that the Good News of God's infinite love for all people will resound in new ways across our increasingly technological world.”
The Facebook link follows the launch of a Vatican channel on YouTube. The Holy See set a new YouTube record when it broadcast the pope’s Easter message with subtitles in 27 languages. more...
Vatican City, May 20, 2009 / 10:02 am (CNA).- At his Wednesday general audience, Pope Benedict XVI recalled his recent trip to the Holy Land. He told the 20,000 pilgrims present in St. Peter’s Square that peace is possible in the Holy Land, with the help of faith.
“I will never cease to thank the Lord because it revealed itself to be an immense gift for St Peter’s Successor and for the entire Church,” the Holy Father said of his visit.
After having thanked the bishops, governments and all those who collaborated in the success of the visit, Benedict XVI then recalled the first stage of the voyage: Jordan, and his visits to Monte Nebo and then Bethany Beyond Jordan, where Christ was baptized. Monte Nebo, he explained, is “a site of strong symbolic significance, its speaks of our condition as pilgrims, between what was and what has yet to be, between a beautiful hope and the fulfillment that goes beyond us.” more...
SOUTH BEND, Ind., May 19 /Christian Newswire/ -- While Obama addressed Notre Dame's commencement, urging pro-lifers to surrender the rhetoric and actions of political and cultural conflict, over 40 brave souls were in jail or police custody for walking on campus and praying. Those arrested were holding an image of Mary, or an image of an unborn child.
Two of those arrested are still in jail; Arnold Matheson, age 82, of Poughkeepsie NY; and Robert Buchta, age 56 of Center Reach, Long Island. (Jail addresses below.)
Among those arrested was Miss Norma McCorvey, the "Jane Roe" of Roe vs. Wade, and Fr. Norman Weslin, the Founder of Lambs of Christ.
Miss McCorvey stated:
"I have never been arrested at a pro-life event, but I knew in my heart that God wanted me to bear witness against what was happening at Notre Dame. My request to Mr. Obama is this: stop the killing; overturn Roe vs. Wade."
The irony of Ms. McCorvey's and the other pro-lifers arrests will be a part of the discussion for years to come; Catholics and Evangelicals were behind bars for defending Life and Justice; while President Obama was honored even though he betrays justice and slays the innocent through his national and international policies.
As of 5:00 PM, May 19, everyone has been bailed out except for two courageous prisoners of conscience. As stated, they are: Arnold Matheson, age 82, of Poughkeepsie NY; and Robert Buchta, age 56 of Center Reach, Long Island.
Mr. Matheson and Mr. Buchta, have decided to stay in jail rather than post bail as a further witness for the innocent, and a witness against Notre Dame's betrayal of Church teaching and the innocent babies they are charged to defend.
They will remain in custody at least until their hearing on June 8th...nearly three weeks from now.
Christians are asked for three things:
1) Please pray for Mr. Matheson and Mr. Buchta. Pray for their safety, and that their witness would reach Pope Benedict, and millions of the faithful around the world.
2) Please call Fr. Jenkins' office, and politely ask that the charges against these brave men be dismissed. It is an OUTRAGE and a SCANDAL that these men are behind bars at the behest of Notre Dame.
The Main switchboard is: 574-631-5000
Fr. Jenkins office phone number is: 574-631-3903
3) Please write these brave men a note of encouragement. Let them know that they are heroes, that you are praying for them, and that you have called Fr. Jenkins to ask that the charges against them be dropped.
Arnold Matheson C/o St. Joseph County Jail 401 W. Sample St. South Bend, IN 46601
Robert Buchta C/o St. Joseph County Jail 401 W. Sample St. South Bend, IN 46601
Carla Bruni, wife of French president Nicolas Sarkozy, is angry that Pope Benedict XVI casts serious doubt on the efficacy of condoms to stop AIDS. She said that such teachings left her “profoundly secular,” and she called upon the Church to “evolve.”
Catholic League president Bill Donohue doesn’t agree:
When the pope was in France, he urged the people to acknowledge the “irreplaceable” role of religion in society, gently nudging the French to rethink their fondness for secularism. President Sarkozy responded by saying it would be “madness” for his country, which “accepts its Christian roots,” to “deprive ourselves” of religion. Perhaps he should have addressed his remarks to his wife.
It is really saying something when Bruni, who lives in one of the most secular societies in the world, concludes that the pope’s position on condoms is making her “profoundly secular.” In other words, when the pope calls on rational human beings to put the brakes on their libido—so that they may actually live long and healthy lives—he is pushing people like Bruni right over the edge. What a confession this is.
It used to be that European elites did not talk disparagingly about the pope in public. But now that they have embraced the amorality that is the mark of secularism, common decency has been thrown overboard.
LONDON - The Vatican is releasing Facebook and iPhone apps to encourage communication and the spreading of the Gospel among technology-savvy youngsters.
The Catholic Church is aiming to find new followers on Facebook
The Pope Meets You on Facebook app allows people to send and receive 'virtual postcards' of Pope Benedict XVI along with inspiring text from his various speeches and messages.
Users will also be able to receive news and audio reports about the Vatican and the Pope's activities through the iPhone or iPod touch, with video and audio reports in eight different languages.
The apps have been developed as part of a new Vatican website, www.pope2you.net, which will launch to mark the Catholic Church's World Communications day later this week.
Earlier this year, The Vatican created a dedicated YouTube channel, which hosts video clips of the pope, and the iBreviary iPhone app, which gives users access to the Church liturgy.
"The Pope is inviting us to promote a culture of dialogue, of respect and friendship, especially among young people," said Archbishop Claudio Celli, head of the Vatican's Pontifical Council for Social Communications.
See also, "Pope2you," which, according to its web site, will be launched on May 24.
Vatican City, May 18, 2009 / 10:41 am (CNA).- Reflecting on his trip to the Holy Land, Pope Benedict XVI praised the openness of the people to inter-religious dialogue, the ecumenical atmosphere and the desire for peace in the region.
The Holy Father focused on three main impressions of his trip. The first was the openness of the people "to inter-religious dialogue, to encounter, to collaboration among religions. It is important that everyone should see this not just as an action, let us say, inspired by political motives in the particular situation, but as the fruit of a shared nucleus of faith; because to believe in the one God Who created us all and is Father of us all, to believe in this God Who created humankind as a family, to believe that God is love and wants love to be the dominant force in the world, implicates this coming together, this need for encounter, for dialogue, for collaboration as a requirement of faith itself." more...
The University of Notre Dame is taking a hit with President Obama's commencement invitation, not just to its reputation but its wallet.
The 44th president delivered the school's commencement address Sunday afternoon, as anti-abortion protesters demonstrated outside and inside the main event. The scrum attracted widespread media attention and threatened to overshadow other aspects of the Catholic institution's graduation ceremonies.
But long after Obama leaves South Bend, Catholics and members of the Notre Dame community will debate the president's 2009 commencement address and the university's awarding of an honorary law degree.
And the appearance could have a lasting effect on the school's standing in the Catholic community.
According to organizers of ReplaceJenkins.com, a Web site critical of Notre Dame President Rev. John Jenkins' decision to host President Obama, more than 1,400 pledges have been received from alumni and donors promising to withhold future donations, a tally of nearly $14 million.
"Most of the donors were at least loosely aware of the university's trend away from its Catholic identity," spokesman David DiFranco said in a press release issued on Tuesday. "But the invitation of President Obama to speak and to receive an honorary degree, combined with the weak responses presented by Father Jenkins as a defense to those (who) have criticized the decision, is what drives most alumni to our site."
In "nearly all cases," DiFranco said, alumni who contacted the group had already decided to cease donating. more...
President Barack Obama arrives to deliver the commencement speech during the 2009 graduation ceremony at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind. Sunday, May 17, 2009. Left is Notre Dame President the Rev. John Jenkins. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert) Enlarge photo...
It's a sad day in the U.S. of A.
Breitbart.com May 17 03:02 PM US/Eastern By JULIE PACE Associated Press Writer
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) - President Barack Obama strode head-on Sunday into the stormy abortion debate and told graduates at America's leading Roman Catholic university that both sides must stop demonizing one another.
Obama acknowledged that "no matter how much we want to fudge it ... the fact is that at some level, the views of the two camps are irreconcilable." But he still implored the University of Notre Dame's graduating class and all in the U.S. to stop "reducing those with differing views to caricature. Open hearts. Open minds. Fair-minded words. It's a way of life that always has been the Notre Dame tradition."
One of the noisiest controversies of his young presidency flared after Obama, who supports abortion rights but says the procedure should be rare, was invited to speak at the school and receive an honorary degree. "I do not suggest that the debate surrounding abortion can or should go away," the president said.
The Rev. John Jenkins, Notre Dame's president, introduced Obama and praised the president for not being "someone who stops talking to those who disagree with him." Jenkins said too little attention has been paid to Obama's decision to speak at an institution that opposes his abortion policy.
Ahead of Obama's address, at least 27 people were arrested on trespassing charges. They included Norma McCorvey, the plaintiff identified as "Roe" in the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion. She now opposes abortion and joined more than 300 anti-abortion demonstrators at the school's front gate.
More than half held signs, some declaring "Shame on Notre Dame" and "Stop Abortion Now" to express their anger over Notre Dame's invitation to Obama.
Obama entered the arena to thunderous applause and a standing ovation from many in the crowd of 12,000. But as the president began his commencement address, at least three protesters interrupted it. One yelled, "Stop killing our children."
The graduates responded by chanting "Yes we can," the slogan that became synonymous with Obama's presidential campaign. Obama seem unfazed, saying Americans must be able to deal with things that make them "uncomfortable." more...
Anti-abortion activists from Virginia demonstrate near the campus of Notre Dame University in South Bend, Indiana. US President Barack Obama sought "common ground" in the decades-long culture war over abortion during a controversial address Sunday at one of America's most prestigious Catholic universities. (AFP/Getty Images/Scott Olson) Enlarge photo...
San Diego, Calif., May 17, 2009 / 02:40 pm (CNA).- As President Obama is honored at the University of Notre Dame, hundreds of San Diego Christians are holding a pro-life rally today in defense of the unborn.
The rally, titled "Choose Life!" will be held this afternoon at the San Diego County Administrative Building.
In a press release, Dr. Jim Garlow, Pastor of Skyline Church in San Diego said of the event: "Never before have area mega pastors united as one with such magnitude to defend life, representing tens of thousands of San Diego Christians, creating a powerful revival and new face to the pro-life movement."
The speakers scheduled for the rally are: Pastor Jim Garlow, Pastor David Jeremiah of Shadow Mountain Community Church and Host of The Turning Point, Pastor Miles McPherson of the Rock Church, Pastor Mike MacIntosh of Horizon Christian Fellowship, Pastor Shawn Mitchell of New Venture Christian Fellowship, and Pastor Chris Clark of East Clairemont Southern Baptist Church..
UCLA student Lila Rose whose undercover filming and expose' of Planned Parenthood has brought national attention to the abortion industry will also be speaking.
McCorvey, 61, threw her support Friday behind those protesting President Barack Obama’s invitation to speak here today.
A crowd of protesters is descending on South Bend for Obama’s commencement visit.
By 9 a.m., the now-familiar sight of anti-abortion and anti-Obama protesters with graphic signs was visible at Notre Dame’s main gate.
Paul Lash, 41, said he drove to South Bend with about 10 others from two Catholic churches in Dayton, Ohio. He was standing next to a graphic abortion sign. Because of Obama’s support of abortion rights, Lash said he disagrees with Notre Dame’s decision to invite and honor the president. Lash said he used to support Notre Dame but will no longer. more...
This story was originally posted at 9:17 p.m. May 16, 2009.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ SOUTH BEND — There were two new developments Saturday regarding the arrests of anti-abortion protesters at the University of Notre Dame.
It turns out six people arrested Friday will not have to spend the whole weekend in jail as officials originally thought.
And 19 people were arrested Saturday.
Bonds were set for six people, including conservative politician Alan Keyes, who were arrested a second time Friday for trespassing on campus.
Keyes bonded out at 7 p.m. Saturday. His bond, as for the other five, was $1,000.
All the people involved were protesting Notre Dame’s invitation to President Barack Obama to speak at commencement today and the decision to award him an honorary degree. The protesters say Obama should not have been invited to the Catholic university because he is pro-choice on the issue of abortion and supports fetal stem-cell research.
An emergency rule was signed Thursday by the judges of St. Joseph Superior Court requiring that people arrested a second time on a misdemeanor charge not be able to bond out of jail until a hearing before a judge.
Officials initially thought Keyes and the five others would not be able to bond out until they appeared in court Monday.
However, the St. Joseph County prosecutor’s office and St. Joseph Superior Court Judge Jerome Frese reviewed the cases Saturday and Frese set the bonds, allowing the six to be released, St. Joseph County Police Sgt. Bill Redman said.
The only person arrested for a second time Saturday was the Rev. Norman Weslin, 78, of Council Bluff, Iowa.
Redman did not know if Weslin’s case will be reviewed today or if the priest will have to stay in jail until Monday.
Weslin was one of four people arrested Saturday on charges of trespassing and resisting arrest. Another 15 were arrested only on trespassing charges.
A 74-year-old man arrested Saturday is from South Bend. The rest of those arrested Saturday are from out of state.
Anti-abortion activist Randall Terry, founder of Operation Rescue, spoke to the protesters Saturday before they walked onto campus. But he did not go himself.
Norma McCorvey, “Jane Roe” in the Roe v. Wade lawsuit that led to the legalization of abortion across the country, walked onto campus with the other protesters Saturday. She left when police told them the demonstration was not authorized and they would have to leave or face arrest.
Benedict XVI turns his thoughts to his recently concluded trip. The Holy Land has become a “symbol of the opposite,” a place of divisions and conflicts, but is also the “Fifth Gospel,” “a microcosm that sums up humanity’s tiring journey towards the Kingdom of justice, love and peace.” Pontiff appeals to combatants in Sri Lanka to protect the lives of civilians caught in the war zone.
Vatican City (AsiaNews) – In expressing his thoughts before today’s Regina Caeli prayer in front of tens of thousand of the faithful who were gathered in St Peter’s Square, Pope Benedict XVI focused on two topics, on thanking the Lord and all those who worked on his recently concluded pilgrimage to the Holy Land and on praying for the civilians caught up in the fighting in Sri Lanka. In speaking about his trip to Jordan, Israel and Palestine, the Pontiff also said he would say more next Wednesday during the general audience.
After thanking the civil and religious authorities in the Holy Land, the faithful and all those “who accompanied and supported me in their prayer,” Benedict XVI explained that “this land, symbol of God’s love for his people and for the whole of humanity, is also a symbol of freedom and peace as God wills it for everyone of his children. However, yesterday’s and today’s history show that this land has become a symbol of the opposite, of divisions and never-ending conflicts among brothers. How can this be? Our heart is rightfully asked such a question, even if we know that God has a mysterious design with regards to the Earth, where, as Saint John wrote, he “sent his Son as expiation for our sins (1 Jh, 4:10). And so the Holy Land has itself become almost a metaphor of revelation a “Fifth Gospel”, as some have called it, which by virtue of its history can be considered a microcosm that sums up humanity’s tiring journey towards the Kingdom of justice, love and peace.” more...
SOUTH BEND, Ind., May 16 /Christian Newswire/ -- At approximately 12:00 Noon, over 40 pro-life activist walked on Notre Dame's campus, praying the Rosary.
They were led by Pro-life icons Norma McCorvey, Joan Andrews Bell, and Father Norman Weslin.
Five women and thirteen men were arrested, while they carried images of Our Lady of Guadalupe, and prayed the Rosary. Those arrested included Fr. Weslin and Joan Andrews Bell. Norma McCorvey was not arrested.
Over one hundred pro-lifers gathered on all 4 corners of the main entrance block of Notre Dame, holding signs and praying.
Other news: A Local attorney requested an emergency hearing, in order to request bond for the seven pro-lifers who were being held without bond. The judge granted the request, but placed a high bond on those in custody. Pro-lifers are currently seeking people to bond them out.
Other news: A journalist told a StopObamNotreDame official that the University threatened to "cut the feed" of any network that covers disruptions during Obama's address.
Randall Terry states: "Notre Dame is so desperate to hide the fruit of their sin, that they will cover up the truth of what happens inside the auditorium. We pray for the success of those who are committed to bearing witness during Obama's address."
To Schedule an interview with Dr. Alan Keyes after his release from jail, contact Kathy Veritas at 904-687-9804.
The time is nigh in South Bend and the last 48 hours have been tempestuous, a non-violent tempestuousness but nevertheless a tempest in that Indiana college town.
On Sunday, May 17th, President Barack Hussein Obama will be introduced to the 2009 commencement audience at Notre Dame to address the graduates and those gathered to honor them. It will be the 164th commencement in the history of that iconic institution and Obama will also be presented with an honorary Doctor of Laws degree by Notre Dame President, Rev. John Jenkins.
Most of us who take strong issue with that choice of commencement speaker and the conferral of an award on an active advocate for aborting innocent, pre-born babies have taken little or no action to demonstrate our objections. The time for signing protest petitions which have registered those objections is past. The time for action is now.
Recent convert to Catholicism and long-time pro-life activist Randall Terry has been on the protest and action frontlines for weeks and in the waning hours before Notre Dame commits its acts of apostasy now requests backup.
That assistance can be in the form joining him and Dr. Alan Keyes and others voicing pro-life opinions outside the hallowed walls of the university. Or, it can be in the form of contributions to help defray the costs of the demonstrations and of bail for those arrested, including Terry and Keyes, who have surrendered their freedom in the cause of the constitutional right to life of the pre-born.
Notre Dame students have been granted permission by school authorities to stage protests, “starting with an all-night prayer vigil starting Saturday night, a rally Sunday afternoon and another prayer vigil for students choosing not to attend the commencement,” http://www.cnsnews.com/public/content/article.aspx?RsrcID=48138.
Hopefully, the South Quad will overfloweth.
The time is short, the cause is great, and the risks are many this Sunday. May God bless and save America, may He bless Notre Dame, and may He save Reverend Father John Jenkins, C.S.C.
As some Notre Dame students prepare to protest the university's recognition of President Obama with an honorary law degree on Sunday, the on-campus message is clear: Keep it respectful.
"We're committed to a prayerful, peaceful protest," senior Emily Toates told FOXNews.com. "We will not be showing any graphic images. There is a place for them, but it can dilute your message, and we want to make sure our message is heard."
Toates, 21, is one of up to 40 graduating seniors expected to skip Notre Dame's commencement on Sunday in opposition of Obama's commencement speech, due to his pro-choice abortion stance and his support of embryonic stem-cell research. Notre Dame will confer degrees on roughly 2,000 undergrads, 420 MBA students and 200 law school students.
Instead of tossing her mortarboard with fellow classmates, Toates will take part in a meditation to be held at the university's grotto -- an event organized by ND Response, a coalition of student groups that is holding a series of events throughout the weekend, including an all-night prayer vigil to begin at 9:30 p.m. Saturday and a rally on Sunday.
"I'm really excited about it because the grotto is a special place for me and a lot of students," she said. "It'll prayerfully unite those of us who aren't attending commencement." more...
Police violate rights of peaceful praying people, refuse to allow Dr. Keyes and others to bond out of jail.
Norma McCorvey, AKA "Jane Roe" of Roe vs. Wade, to pray and risk arrest with others at Notre Dame at Saturday, May 16, at 12 noon.
SOUTH BEND, Ind., May 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is a statement by Randall Terry, founder of Operation Rescue:
"Is there one - just one - Catholic Bishop in all of America who will walk on campus and pray with us?
"St. John Fisher - the only Catholic Bishop who stood against Henry III, stands in stark contrast with the Bishops of his day. We are praying for one Bishop with the fiber of St. John Fisher to join us at the epicenter of this 'clash' between the culture of life and the culture of death. Such a witness would resound throughout the earth.
"Would Notre Dame really arrest an American Bishop who walked quietly on campus, praying, and holding an image of Mary? We need to find out.
"We are pleading with Bishop D'Arcy to use his authority to grant emergency relief from the deeds of Notre Dame's administration."
Also Breaking News: Police are refusing to set bail for Dr. Keyes and others who have been arrested for a second time. More details to follow.
Father Weslin arrested on May 15 at Notre Dame for protesting abortion
We, as a nation, are in dire spiritual distress. We can no longer discern what is morally true. The first right mandated by God, is the right to life. Without life, no other right exists...neither liberty nor happiness. Notre Dame, supposedly a Catholic University, is conferring an honorary doctorate on Obama on May 17th. Obama is the most pro-abortion President ever elected in America. He supports partial birth abortion. He supports killing children born after a botched abortion. My heart weeps. I pray for us all.
President Peres, the Pope and Prime Minister Netanyahu listen to the anthems of the Vatican and Israel
Tel Aviv, Israel, May 15, 2009 / 06:46 am (CNA).- Pope Benedict made the strongest appeal for peace of his entire trip as he prepared to depart for Rome on Friday. During his farewell speech at the Ben Gurion International Airport, the Pope stressed the need for universal recognition of Israel's right to exist and the Palestinians' “right to a sovereign independent homeland.”
President Shimon Peres, who delivered a speech before the Pope, said the trip “constituted a significant contribution to the new relations between the Vatican and Jerusalem.”
“I hope that your visit enabled you and your delegation to experience the traits of our land... above all the sincere aspiration for peace shared by all Israelis—peace with our neighbors, peace with distant enemies, peace for all,” Peres said.
The Israeli president also added that “today's political and spiritual leaders face a profound challenge: how to divorce religion from terror. How to prevent terrorists from hijacking the religious conscience by cloaking an act of terrorism in the false guise of a religious mission.”
Peres argued that because of Pope Benedict's “great spiritual leadership” he can “help people to recognize that God is not in the hearts of terrorists.” more...
Alan Keyes, former Republican presidential candidate, is arrested during an anti-abortion protest Friday, May 15, 2009 in South Bend, Indiana. The protestors object to the selection of President Barack Obama as the Notre Dame commencement speaker. (AP Photo/Joe Raymond)
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — Former Republican presidential hopeful Alan Keyes and 17 others have been arrested after marching to the University of Notre Dame to protest President Barack Obama's commencement speech Sunday.
About 35 people were standing outside the school's front gate Friday when a group of about 40 people led by Keyes and anti-abortion activist Randall Terry marched up.
The marchers stopped briefly to say some prayers and hear Keyes speak, then a smaller group walked on to the campus. They made it about 100 yards before they were stopped by security officers.
It was the second time in eight days Keyes was arrested for trespassing at Notre Dame in response to Obama's support of abortion rights and embryonic stem-cell research.
Also, Randall Terry sent out the following e-mail alert, requesting support:
StopObamaNotreDame.com May 15, 2009
Friend, we need your help immediately.
Today, Friday May 15, Dr. Alan Keyes, two Catholic Priests, and aprox. 20 other pro-lifers were arrested for walking on Notre Dame's campus with posters of the Mary. (Watch for it on Fox News or CNN - Fox was covering it live, as well as Stan Solomon on line with Web streaming.)
The authorities have suddenly - without legal right - decided to not set bail for Dr. Keyes, and anyone else who was arrested last Friday. (This is around 10 of those arrested today.)
Here is what I want you to do:
1) Call Bp. D'Arcy in Fort Wayne, and beg him to intervene in this injustice. He has the authority to intervene, and tell Fr. Jenkins of Notre Dame to stop arresting fellow Catholics.
And ask Bp. D'Arcy to come and pray with us on Saturday at 12:00 noon. Is Notre Dame going to arrest Bp. D'Arcy?
His number is: 260-422-4611. His secretary, Moreen Shot, extension is 3321, or leave your message with another office.
Here's some more contacts at Fort Wayne Diocese. Bishop D'Arcy's secretary Moreen Shot 260-422-4611 Ex. 3321 Communication Department 260-744-0012 Director: Vince LaBarbera Communication Assistant: Chris Hawkins Chancellor and Vicar General: Fr. Robert Schulte 260-422-4611 Assistant for Victims: Mary Glowaski 260-744-3682 Today's Catholic newspaper 260-456-2824 Editor Tim Johnson Editor@fw.diocesefwsb.org
2) Call your local Bishop - NOW - before the close of business on Friday, and ask him to come here to Notre Dame on Saturday, at 12 noon, to walk on campus with us.
Is Notre Dame going to arrest a Bishop?
Please, move quickly.
3) If at all possible, get in your car, or get on a plane, and come and join us right now.
Norma McCorvey, the "Jane Roe" of Roe vs. Wade, is coming in tonight to walk and pray and risk arrest tomorrow.
Come and join her.
Finally, if you can help with funds, it would be a blessing. There are bails to pay, and a lot of expenses. (The signs you will see on TV cost us nearly $1,500.) We can use help, if you are so moved.
No matter what, pray, and call your bishop, and Bp. D'Arcy's office, and beg them to intervene.
Pope Benedict XVI kisses the stone where Jesus was laid
Jerusalem, Israel, May 15, 2009 / 04:26 am (CNA).- Before he departs for Rome later this afternoon, Pope Benedict made sure to visit Christianity's holiest site—the Church of the Holy Sepulchre—where Jesus died, was buried and rose from the dead. The Pope urged the people of the Holy Land to bury their sufferings in the empty tomb, since their “strife-torn land” can find the peace it yearns for in Jesus, the person who rose from it.
A delegation comprised of the numerous Christian traditions that care for the church accompanied Pope Benedict as he stopped at the place where Jesus was prepared for burial (Stone of the Unction) and the tomb in which Jesus was buried. As he paused at each place, he kissed the stone and then prayed for several minutes.
Upon leaving the Tomb of Christ, the Pope was welcomed by the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Archbishop Fouad Twal, who gave thanks for Benedict XVI's visit. The patriarch noted that the congregation had just sung the “Te Deum”--a hymn of thanks to God—and that they sang it “first of all for your presence in our midst, during these days.”
“We sing this 'Te Deum' in joy, despite the complications of the situation today,” said Twal referencing the tensions in the Holy Land. more...
The hymn of praise which we have just sung unites us with the angelic hosts and the Church of every time and place – “the glorious company of the apostles, the noble fellowship of the prophets and the white-robed army of martyrs” – as we give glory to God for the work of our redemption, accomplished in the passion,death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Before this Holy Sepulchre, where the Lord “overcame the sting of death and opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers”, I greet all of you in the joy of the Easter season. I thank Patriarch Fouad Twal and the Custos, Father Pierbattista Pizzaballa, for their kind greeting. I likewise express my appreciation for the reception accorded me by the Hierarchs of the Greek Orthodox Church and the Armenian Apostolic Church. I gratefully acknowledge the presence of representatives of the other Christian communities in the Holy Land. I also greet the Knights and Ladies of the Holy Sepulchre here present, with gratitude for their Order’s unfailing commitment to the support of the Church’s mission in these lands made holy by the Lord’s earthly presence. more...
Pope Benedict (C) celebrates mass in the Church of the Annunciation in the northern Israeli city of Nazareth May 14, 2009. The Church, built over the remains of Byzantine and Crusader churches in the town where Jesus grew up, contains a grotto in which, tradition says, the Virgin Mary was told by the angel Gabriel that she would give birth to the Son of God.REUTERS/Jonathan Nackstrand/Pool (ISRAEL POLITICS RELIGION SOCIETY) Enlarge photo...
It is profoundly moving for me to be present with you today in the very place where the Word of God was made flesh and came to dwell among us.
Pope celebrates Vespers in the Basilica of the Annunciation, Nazareth (Photo: Reuters)
Brother Bishops, Father Custos, Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
It is profoundly moving for me to be present with you today in the very place where the Word of God was made flesh and came to dwell among us. How fitting that we should gather here to sing the Evening Prayer of the Church, giving praise and thanks to God for the marvels he has done for us! I thank Archbishop Sayah for his words of welcome and through him I greet all the members of the Maronite community here in the Holy Land. I greet the priests, religious, members of ecclesial movements and pastoral workers from all over Galilee. Once again I pay tribute to the care shown by the Friars of the Custody, over many centuries, in maintaining holy places such as this. I greet the Latin Patriarch Emeritus, His Beatitude Michel Sabbah, who for more than twenty years presided over his flock in these lands. I greet the faithful of the Latin Patriarchate and their current Patriarch, His Beatitude Fouad Twal, as well as the members of the Greek-Melkite community, represented here by Archbishop Elias Chacour. And in this place where Jesus himself grew to maturity and learned the Hebrew tongue, I greet the Hebrew-speaking Christians, a reminder to us of the Jewish roots of our faith. more...
Pope Benedict together with numerous religious leaders in Nazareth
Nazareth, Israel, May 14, 2009 / 10:41 am (CNA).- Muslims, Christians, Jewish and Druze leaders met with Pope Benedict XVI in the auditorium of the Shrine of the Annunciation this afternoon. Thanking the leaders for their efforts to help form younger generations dedicated to peace, the Pope appealed for their cooperation in easing tensions over religious places of worship in Galilee.
Benedict XVI began by noting that it is a blessing to be able to visit Nazareth, the place where the angel Gabriel announced Jesus' birth and where Jesus was raised.
Recalling these historical events led the Pope to reflect on the conviction that “the world is a gift of God, and that God has entered the twists and turns of human history.” This perspective is the source of Christians' belief that creation has “a reason and a purpose,” he explained.
Peace, the Pope noted, is “a gift of God, yet it cannot be achieved without human endeavor.” However, he said, “We cannot do whatever we please with the world; rather, we are called to conform our choices to the subtle yet nonetheless perceptible laws inscribed by the Creator upon the universe... .”
The fact that the Pope is in Galilee, a religiously diverse region of Israel, gave him the opportunity to call for the numerous religions to “promote a culture of peace.” This can be done, he asserted, through educating the younger generations in “the deeper spiritual values of our common humanity.”
The Holy Father pledged Christians' eager participation in joining “Jews, Muslims, Druze and people of other religions in wishing to safeguard children from fanaticism and violence while preparing them to be builders of a better world.” more...