Thursday, January 31, 2013

Catholic Press Collection to be taken up Feb. 3

Many parishes recover as much as '70 per cent' of distribution cost

Bishop Joseph Dang Duc Ngan of Lang Son – Cao Bang, Vietnam, (left) proudly displays The B.C. Catholic's supplement on his home diocese alongside Archbishop J. Michael Miller, CSB, Jan. 16.
The annual Catholic press collection at every parish in the Archdiocese of Vancouver is taken up the first Sunday every February. The purpose of this collection is to help support the parishes as they continue to deliver The B.C. Catholic to parishioners throughout the archdiocese.

"Every parish takes it up, and unlike most collections, this collection stays within the parish," said Paul Schratz, the archdiocese's director of communications. "It doesn't go anywhere else."

Schratz noted that the press collection is becoming even more important because of Archbishop Miller's plan to get the paper out to half of the households in the Archdiocese of Vancouver, or about 38,000 homes.

"Now that we are on this increased circulation program, where the archbishop eventually wants all parishioners to be receiving the paper," Schratz explained, "we're trying to help the pastors to recover more and more expenses."
Read the full article here. 

Pornography epidemic

Mountains of clinical evidence: 'Yes, it is an addiction'
Jake Khym, an Abbotsford counsellor, helps people with
pornography addictions. (Photo:
Last week, we posted Nathan Rumohr's article on pornography's destructive effect on marriages. Here's the second half of his article, which deals with the addiction and Church stigma.
"Men become imprisoned within a process that they find themselves unable to escape from," said Abbotsford counsellor Peter White. "These desires become heightened, and this isn't something we see plateau; it's something we see increasing."

According to Dr. Randall F. Hyde and Mark B. Kastleman, pornography is indeed an addiction. The pair authored a white paper that explains how pornography addicts have similar actions to those of addicts of drugs or alcohol.

"The mountains of clinical data and visual evidence as millions continue their out-of-control porn use despite the consequences of divorce, loss of employment, destroyed reputations, prison time, etc., shouts the obvious: "Yes, pornography is addictive!" they wrote in the paper, "Is Pornography a 'Drug Addiction?'"
Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website.

Christ's birthplace to get a boost

Church of the Nativity gets large Vatican donation
Children pose with a snowman outside the Church of the Nativity in the West Bank town of Bethlehem Jan. 9 during a rare cold spell. CNS photo / Marcin Mazur, Bishops' Conference of England and Wales.
Catholic News Agency is reporting that the Vatican promised to donate 100,000 Euros, worth about $135,500, to the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem during a recent visit by Church officials to the Holy Land.

The Vatican delegation, which included Undersecretary for Relations with States Bishop Ettore Balestrero, made the pledge to repair the world's oldest church after meeting with the Palestinian Authority's Foreign Minister, Riyad al-Maliki, according to Ma'an news outlet.

The talks on the 1,700 year-old church also included Palestinian Authority adviser on Christian Affairs, Ziad Bandak. It was built in 399 over a cave, is believed to be the true birthplace of Jesus, and was rebuilt after a fire in the sixth century. Over 2 million people visit the Church of the Nativity every year.

For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Vatican continues tenuous diplomacy with China

More dialogue between communists and legitimate cardinals
Bishop Joseph Wu Qinjing of Zhouzhi was ordained a bishop with approval from the Vatican, but is only recognized as a priest by the Chinese government. (Catholic News Service)

Diplomatic contact between the Vatican and the People's Republic of China has been cool for the past 50 years. The B.C. Catholic columnist Msgr. Pedro Lopez-Gallo explains why he believes China could one day become a great Catholic nation.
During the last few years there has been a slight improvement in relations between the two, despite the continuing support the Chinese government gives to the Patriotic Catholic Church.

The government favours the expansion of the Patriotic National Church and has permitted four legitimate bishops to consecrate several priests. However, this was performed without the consent of the Holy See, and therefore the ordinations are valid but illicit.

By 1995 the Patriotic Association claimed to have a membership of 3.6 million, but the number has not been confirmed.

On Oct. 6, 2012, Hu Jintao gave up supreme command, and was replaced by Xi Jinping, who seems more inclined to adopt a new style of public life. Will he recognize the Vatican and withdraw favour from the Patriotic Association?

Read the full article here. 

Publication condemned for 44 years

U.S. National Reporter paper says it's 'proud' to identify as Catholic
Dennis Coday of the National Catholic Reporter listens as a panel of bishops give their views on the role of the Catholic media at the annual Catholic Media Convention in New Orleans in 2010. CNS photo / Nancy Wiechec.
Catholic News Agency tells of a response, by the editor of an American National Reporter newspaper told not to call itself Catholic, to a bishop's warning that the publication undermines the faith.

"NCR is proud to call itself a Catholic publication. We report and comment on Church matters, including official teachings," Thomas Fox wrote Jan. 27 on the paper's website. "We also report and comment on those who call into question some of these official teachings," he said.

In a Jan. 25 column for his diocesan paper, "The Catholic Key," Bishop Finn wrote that "in light of the number of recent expressions of concern, I have a responsibility as the local bishop to instruct the Faithful about the problematic nature of this media source which bears the name 'Catholic.'"

For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Catholics can share 'A Moment with Mary' in daily prayer

Vatican broadcasts rosary each weekday at 7 a.m. Pacific Time.

Minnesotan seminarians pray the rosary at St. Peter's Basilica (Alan Holdren / CNA)

The Vatican, as a part of promulgating the Year of Faith, is now broadcasting the rosary from St. Peter’s Square. The Vatican Television Centre will broadcast “A Moment with Mary” from Monday to Friday at 4 p.m. in Vatican City (7 a.m. Pacific Time).

Estefania Aguirre at Catholic News Agency (CNA) writes:

The broadcast is meant to be a response to the Pope asking that the Year of Faith be a time of entrusting people to the Blessed Virgin by praying the Rosary every day.

You can read more at CNA here and view live broadcasts from the television centre at this link.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Christmas in January

VCC reaches out to Downtown Eastside residents

Seventy turkeys, 450 pounds of mashed potatoes, 55 pounds of vegetables, 80 litres of cranberry sauce, and more than 300 litres of ice cream were fed to homeless people Jan. 19.

Vancouver Community College’s 15th annual Christmas in January dinner saw 150 volunteers serve roughly 1,700 guests full Christmas dinners.

"Christmas in January is a way for the Vancouver Community College community to connect with, and to support, the residents of the Downtown Eastside, many of whom live in challenging situations," Rachel Des Lauriers wrote in an email thanking volunteers.

For more photos, click here.

Morgentaler decision reaches 25th anniversary

Canada remains only Western country without law that restricts abortion
The annual March for Life in Ottawa is one way pro-lifers protest against the 1988 Supreme Court case. (Deborah Gyapong / CCN)
R. v. Morgentaler, a decision by the Supreme Court that struck down all existing laws regulating abortion, was handed down Jan. 28, 1988. Deborah Gyapong reports from Ottawa:
Since that Supreme Court decision, Canada has been the only country in the Western world that has no laws restricting the killing of children before the moment of complete birth, leading to the abortion of more than 100,000 children a year.
Justice Bertha Wilson, who wrote the majority decision, left it to Parliament to consult all relevant disciplines, then determine the point in an unborn child's development when it should be protected.
Unfortunately, that has not happened.
"The courts never took the extremist position advanced by some people today that rights of a mother mean we must pretend a child is not a human being before birth," said Conservative MP Stephen Woodworth.
Read the full article here. 

'Old celestial empire' still surprises Westerners

China-Vatican relations in state of flux since 1949

Women pray during Mass in a chapel reserved for unregistered Catholics in Shenyang, China.
(Nancy Wiechec / CNS)
As capitalism becomes the norm in Chinese daily lives, can we still call China a communist country? The B.C. Catholic columnist Msgr. Pedro Lopez-Gallo explained why he thinks China could still become a Christian country:
What about the religiosity of the Chinese people, whose Confucian pagodas, Buddhist shrines, Taoist temples, and even Catholic cathedrals are full of worshippers, despite the move to implant a national atheism by Mao Zedong, who did not hesitate to kill millions who did not accept his cultural revolution and Red Book?

As western powers pried open China for their commercial and political interests, Catholic and Protestant missionaries seized the opportunity to preach the Christian faith freely, and by the start of the 20th century, Chinese Catholics numbered about half a million.
The Church prospered despite the civil wars, the fall of the Manchu dynasty in 1911, and the anti-Christian purges launched by warlords, and in 1926 Pope Pius XI permitted the ordination of several Chinese bishops.
Read the full article here.

Contemporary culture challenges the family

Pope examines society's acceptance of unstable relationships
Pope Benedict XVI shakes hands with a member of the Roman Rota to mark the start of the judicial year at the Vatican Jan. 26. CNS photo / L'Osservatore Romano via Reuters.
Catholic News Agency has a story about Pope Benedict speaking about the growing acceptance of instability in relationships as he spoke to the Church's highest court, which often deals with issues related to marriage.

Contemporary culture "poses serious challenges to the person and the family," he began, underscoring that it calls into question "the very capacity of human beings to bond themselves to another and whether a union that lasts an entire life is truly possible."

Modern culture, Pope Benedict XVI told the members of the Tribunal of the Roman Rota, promotes the idea that people can "become themselves while remaining 'autonomous,'" leading to the "widespread mentality" that relationships "can be interrupted at any time."

For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Migrants meet at Holy Rosary Cathedral

Archbishop Miller says those who welcome them 'welcome Christ Himself'
Many people from a variety of cultures came to Holy Rosary
Cathedral to celebrate the 99th World Day of Migrants and Refugees.
(Photo credit: T. Barbou / Special to The B.C. Catholic)
It's not easy to move to another country, especially if that country speaks a different language, eats different food, and wears different clothes. According to Archbishop J. Michael Miller, CSB, helping migrants integrate is like 'welcoming Christ Himself.'
Archbishop J. Michael Miller, CSB, described the importance of welcoming newcomers and understanding their situation. "On one hand, they remain attached to their country of origin and do not want to lose it. On the other hand, because they are here, they wish to be inserted into Canadian society without being assimilated."

"We must be on guard against attempting to assimilate those recently arrived in a way which would destroy their particular culture and religious traditions."

The archbishop explained that the role of the parish is key for the process of integration. "The parish is meant to be a community home where everyone feels welcome and at ease," he said.
Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website.

Anglican bishop now Catholic priest

Carl Reid welcomed to Catholic priesthood
Ottawa Archbishop Terrence Prendergast, SJ, lays hands on Carl Reid at
Reid's ordination to the Catholic priesthood on Jan. 26. (Photo: CNN)
Saturday of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity was an important day for former Anglican bishop Carl Reid.
“Carl, my son, your life up to now has been one of profound commitment and witness,” said Archbishop Terrence Prendergast, SJ, at the opening of the ordination Mass at Notre Dame Cathedral Jan. 26. “Your formation and ministry within the Anglican tradition have provided you solid spiritual bedrock.”

“You have been a bold witness to Christ and to the truths of Catholic Christianity–often at great cost to yourself,” the archbishop said.

Father Reid is the second bishop from the small traditional Anglican denomination to be ordained to serve as a priest in the Canadian Deanery of St. John the Baptist of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter, a structure for former Anglicans erected Jan. 1, 2012.
Read the full story on The B.C. Catholic website.

St. Francis, pray for NCR

Bishop: National Catholic Reporter undermines Church teaching
Thomas Fox, publisher of National Catholic Reporter, addresses the Leadership Conference of Women Religious assembly in St. Louis Aug. 9. CNS photo / Sid Hastings.
Catholic News Agency has a story explaining why Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City -- Saint Joseph is saying the National Catholic Reporter newspaper has failed to live up to the "Catholic" portion of its name.

"In light of the number of recent expressions of concern, I have a responsibility as the local bishop to instruct the faithful about the problematic nature of this media source which bears the name 'Catholic,'" he wrote in his Jan. 25 column for his diocesan paper, "The Catholic Key".

His comments on the National Catholic Reporter came in the context of World Communications Day, held on Jan. 24. He noted that the day is celebrated then as it is the the feast of Saint Francis de Sales, patron of journalists and the Catholic press.

For full story see The B.C. Catholic website.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Deaf Catholics seek inclusion

Sign language interpreters would bring in Church's 'lost sheep'
Caption: Dr. Joe McLaughlin (second from right) who was born deaf, believes
the Church has "lost a large number of the deaf to other religious groups which
offer interpreters." (Photo credit: Liette Gervais / Special to The B.C. Catholic)
Deaf Catholics will benefit from programs that help them more actively participate in Mass.
"There is a joy in being Catholic, and being part of a vibrant community," commented Richard Csabi to Canadian Catholic News at the International Catholic Deaf Association's 11th National Conference in Ottawa in July 2012.

He agreed with McLaughlin that the Church could do more to make the deaf feel welcome. Csabi did admit that Archbishop Richard Smith of Edmonton knows sign language, and Archbishop Terrence Prendergast, SJ, of Ottawa, "is very supportive."

"We (the deaf) can be deacons, priests, lectors, and extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion," Csabi pointed out.
Read the full story at The B.C. Catholic website.

New sign at men’s hostel energy efficient

First major sign repair since the 1980s

The Catholic Charities Hostel for Men, located at the corner of Robson and Cambie Street, put up a new sign last December. The repair to the sign makes it energy efficient, rewiring it to use 40% less power than before and using a photo cell instead of a timer to conserve more energy. The sign features an image of Jesus as the Good Shepherd in reference to the Gospel of John.

The hostel began its mission in October 1958 under Archbishop Martin Michael Johnson and officially opened its doors in November 1959. It is one of four social services that the Archdiocese of Vancouver’s Catholic Charities provides.

Catholic Charities was established in Vancouver in the 1930s under Archbishop William Mark Duke. In addition to the men’s hostel, the Charities provide justice services (prison ministry), a refugee sponsorship program, and a drop-in centre in the Downtown Eastside called The Door is Open. 

More information about the Catholic Charities Hostel for Men, which is open 365 days a year, can be found here.

Holy Land Christians resilient

Archbishop Richard Smith praises the efforts of Christians in the Holy Land

Archbishop Richard Smith visited the Holy Land this January
as part of an annual meeting in support of its Christians.
His trip to the Holy Land has Archbishop Richard Smith of Edmonton impressed. Deborah Gyapong from Canadian Catholic News writes about his reaction to the "hope and resilience" of the Christians there:
Despite “overwhelming difficulties,” and a “reigning pessimism on the real prospects for peace” between Israel and the Palestinians, Archbishop Smith said he found the Christian parishioners and young people remain resilient and “want to continue to work for peace, to speak up for the rights of all,” while “upholding human dignity.”

The president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops participated in an annual meeting of the International Coordination of Episcopal Conferences in Support of the Church in the Holy Land.

The reason for their hope, they say, is their Christian identity, said Archbishop Smith. “Darkness does not have the last word. That belongs to God, who is light. We in our lifetime might not see substantial changes but we know there will be a better day.”
Read the full story on The B.C. Catholic website.

Thousands take to streets, Twitter at American March for Life

Pro-lifers march in Washington to rally against abortion

The 40th annual March for Life began today in Washington, D.C. at 12:00 p.m. Eastern Time. The march will continue until about 1:30 p.m. and is expected to draw over 400,000 people.

The pro-life presence is also being felt on social media with attendees live-tweeting and documenting their experience. Both laity and clergy alike have utilised Twitter to promote the march. His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI tweeted this morning in solidarity with the event, offering his prayers.

Organised by the March for Life Education and Defense Fund, its goal is to overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade court decision which abolished restrictive abortion laws in the United States.

You can follow the March for Life on Twitter throughout the day with the hashtags #MarchForLife and #MFL. Their website can be found here.

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