14 Notes & Comments

posted Sep 11, 2018, 10:38 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Sep 11, 2018, 10:38 AM ]

The Church is worth fighting for: Bishop Barron


The Catholic Church is passing through a "terrible crisis", and a great number of people "seem to be calling for the abandonment of the Church", according to the celebrated US Bishop Robert Barron.

Bishop Barron has released a new YouTube video titled "Why Remain Catholic? (with so much scandal)."

In the video, he refers to the scandals of clerical abuse and ecclesiastical cover-up, and says that he shares the "feelings of anger and frustration" which motivate such calls to abandon the Church, but argues "this is precisely the wrong strategy at this moment in the Church's life."

He makes a historical reference to Abraham Lincoln, and by way of analogy, describes how, just as Lincoln wouldn't abandon the ideals of American democracy, but instead fought for them even against great opposition, so Catholics shouldn't abandon Catholicism, but instead should strive to uphold the ideals of Catholicism, despite the iniquities of those clerics and Church leaders who betray them.


Call to Ban Nuclear Testing


Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Apostolic Nuncio and Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, renewed on September 6, 2018, the Holy See's call for a total ban on nuclear testing. His appeal came on International Day Against Nuclear Tests at the United Nations in New York.

The Full Statement of Archbishop Auza:

Mr President,

The Holy See has called for a total ban on nuclear weapons since the dawn of the nuclear age. In February 1943, two-and-a-half years before the Trinity test, Pope Pius XII had already voiced deep concern regarding the violent use of atomic energy. After Hiroshima and Nagasaki, observing the totally uncontrollable and indiscriminate consequences of nuclear weapons, Pope Pius XII demanded the effective proscription of atomic warfare.

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Pope stresses 'Double Healing'


Healing requires the removal of sickness and fear, Pope Francis stressed on September 9, 2018. His comments came before praying the noonday Angelus with a crowd of some 15,000 pilgrims in St Peter's Square.

He referred to the gospel for the day, from the seventh chapter of Mark, on the healing of a deaf-mute.

"This account stresses the need of double healing: first of all, the healing of the sickness and of physical suffering, to restore the health of the body; even if this end isn't completely attainable in the earthly horizon, despite the many efforts of science and medicine," the Holy Father said. "However, there is a second healing, perhaps more difficult, and it is the healing of fear; the healing of fear that drives us to marginalise the sick, to marginalise the suffering, the disabled."

The Pope warned that we can be "deaf and dumb" in the face of suffering. But we can repeat the miracle by opening ourselves to others.


EU must 'put people' first


Members of the European Parliament are calling on the European Union "to put the people of the world before our financial and political interests", in a new freedom of religious beliefs report.

The Annual Report on Freedom of Religion or Belief 2017, presented by an MEP Intergroup on Freedom of Religion or Belief (FoRB) and Religious Tolerance, states that "much of the world's population is deprived of their right to freedom of religion or belief, thought or conscience, " and hope it will serve to highlight "practical ways in which the EU can use its influence in the wider world."

The report focuses on 34 countries, in 19 of which people face significant restrictions in living in accordance with their faith. It rates each country according to restrictions on freedom of religion and belief, along with citing suggested EU action plans.

For example, in Guinea - one of several countries rated highest on the report's FoRB restriction scale - the report says that "given the link between freedom of expression and FoRB", the EU should use funds to provide workshops in which journalists from Guinea and the EU can exchange ideas, and can work together on the benefits of Freedom of Expression and FoRB for their respective countries.

The report also urges the EU to "openly condemn" the anti-conversion laws in seven of India's states and "encourage the central government to push for their repeal."