Archive for July, 2010

Papal and BBC boost for Mary’s Meals

July 30, 2010

Duncan Bannatyne

A CHARITY that provides school meals for hundreds of thousands of the world’s least fortunate children will benefit from the Pope’s visit to Glasgow.

Mary’s Meals have been chosen as one of two official charities for Pope Benedict XVI’s state visit to Scotland on September 16. The other charity to benefit will be the Marie Curie Cancer Care.

The work of Mary’s Meals will be the subject of an appeal on BBC Radio 4 on Sunday.

Glasgow-born entrepreneur and star of Dragon’s Den Duncan Bannatyne will present the three-minute broadcast, where he will talk about his experiences visiting the charity’s projects in Malawi and Romania.

During the broadcast, listeners will also be able to hear children singing and playing at a school in Malawi helped by Mary’s Meals.

The charity was set up in 2002 by Scottish International Relief co-founder Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow, after hearing the oldest son of a mother dying of AIDS say that he wanted ‘enough to eat and to go to school one day.’

Mary’s Meals now operates in 15 of the world’s poorest countries, providing free school meals for more than 400,000 children.

“We want to thank Duncan Bannatyne for giving his time and energies to help Mary’s Meals, and the Radio 4 appeal team for their advice and support,” said Magnus McFarlane-Barrow, chief executive of Mary’s Meals, “Mary’s Meals is growing rapidly and this BBC appeal is a wonderful opportunity for us to share our story with people across the UK.

Listeners across the UK will be able to hear the appeal at 07:55 this Sunday and Thursday afternoon at 15:27. The appeal will also be on BBC iPlayer for a week from Sunday.


Never mind Lady Gaga duet, Susan Boyle would like to sing for the Holy Father

July 29, 2010

Susan Boyle Pic: CNS

REPORTS this week that Susan Boyle may duet with controversial pop shock star Lady Gaga pale into insignificance in light of a more pressing engagement for the Catholic Scot—the possibility of performing during the Papal Visit to Scotland.

Ms Boyle is reported to be hoping to fulfil a more spiritual ambition—to sing for Pope Benedict XVI, who arrives in Scotland on September 16, perhaps as part of the Papal Mass at Bellahouston Park.

“The Pope is a very special person and singing for him within the Mass, it’s not just for him, it’s for everybody,”
 the Lothians lady said.

Earlier in the year a Church spokesman said discussions were underway to secure Ms Boyle, who would be a ‘great asset’ to Papal visit celebration plans.

A few weeks ago the further Church announcement was made that: “Negotiations are still under way but we expect Susan Boyle to perform as part of the Papal Mass at Bellahouston Park.”

On the Lady Gaga front, Irish Central reported that the American singer has asked Ms Boyle to sing a duet with her on her forthcoming single.

When previously asked for her opinion on Gaga, Ms Boyle said: “I think Lady Gaga is a wonderful artist and completely original and I like her costumes. Love it! Yes, I’d love to do a duet with her, complete with telephone hat too.”

Earlier this month Ms Boyle launched a YouTube talent search for a duet partner. The winner will sing with her on her new album.

“Last year my dream of becoming a recording artist came true after auditioning on Britain’s Got Talent,” she said. “Since then, I’ve had an absolutely fantastic time. It’s been a real gift to me and now I would like to pass on the gift to someone else.”

Thursday’s headlines: Pope and Cardinal Newman parallels; dress code crackdown at Vatican; Welsh parish fundraises to repatriate murdered Polish mother and son

July 29, 2010

Cardinal Newman and Pope Benedict share fight against relativism, writes Vatican expert

Vatican guards crack down on dress code. Those visiting St Peter’s Basilica have long been required to dress modestly, but from early this week the Swiss Guards appeared to have extended the rules to the entire Vatican City State.

A plan to form an independent association of Ireland’s 6,500 priests will aim to make church leadership more publicly accountable, its three leading movers said last night.

A Church and community in Wales is raising money so the bodies of a Polish woman and her 11-year-old son who died after an stabbing attack can be returned to their homeland for burial. Members of the St Mary’s Roman Catholic church in Flint have joined local members of the Polish community to launch the appeal.

The collection was organised by the parent teacher association (PTA) at St Mary’s RC Primary School in Flint where Patryk, who died at Alder Hey children’s hospital in Liverpool, was a pupil.

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard says she respects the Church and other religious groups in the wake of comments from a Catholic archbishop suggesting Christians might not vote for her.

Perth Archbishop Barry Hickey said Ms Gillard’s atheism could influence Christian voters not to vote Labor at the election on August 21. Campaigning ahead of elections, Ms Gillard pointed to the record government funding for school building projects that the Catholic church, the largest provider of private education in Australia, had received in her tenure as education minister.

Anglican Catholic Church of Canada votes overwhelmingly to unite with Rome. Full report wherein the vote was taken by the Anglican Catholic Church of Canada to formally requests an Anglican Ordinariate for Canada.

Cardinal Ivan Dias, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples and the Secretary of the same Congregation have addressed the following Letter to the Catholic Bishops and Priests of mainland China.

A top Vatican prelate has criticised Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero over a new law legalising abortion in his country.

Monsignor Ignacio Carrasco de Paula described the law was ‘senseless, absolutely senseless, and corresponds to Zapatero’s mindset”, in an interview with the religious monthly Il Consulente Re.

Holy Land: Bedouin village destroyed

Holy See sends first nuncio to Russian Federation

July 28, 2010

Archbishop Antonio Mennini

ARCHBISHOP Antonio Mennini, until now the Pope’s representative to the Russian Federation, is now the Holy See’s first apostolic nuncio to the country, the Vatican is reporting.

Last December, Pope Benedict XVI and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev agreed to upgrade relations between the two sides to full diplomatic ties, which raises the level of representation to apostolic nuncio and embassy.  The two sides have maintained representation below the rank of ambassador since 1990.

Archbishop Mennini was born in Rome in 1947.

Breaking news: Abuse cases fall; Pope publishes children’s book; move to establish Association of Catholic Priests in Ireland

July 28, 2010

Abuse allegations in the Catholic Church in England and Wales fell in 2009, according to a new report. And a senior Catholic priest in Wales said the figures, released in the annual report of the National Catholic Safeguarding Commission, showed the church was dealing robustly with issues of safeguarding young people.

National Catholic Safeguarding Commission calls for abolition of statute of limitations on prosecution of priests over child abuse

Vatican concedes painting was not by Caravaggio

Further details on the statue, which is sacred to Welsh Catholics, that is to be blessed by Pope Benedict XVI during his UK visit.

Archbishop Dolan of New York rips New York Times coverage of Pope

The Vatican press announced the children’s book Gli Amici di Gesu (The Friends of Jesus) has been published under Pope Benedict XVI’s name.

It might not be not the sort of attire you’d expect the Holy Father to sport but Pope Benedict XVI broke with tradition by wearing a baseball cap as he went for a stroll around his summer residence on Sunday.

Six months after a chaotic airlift to the United States, 12 Haitian children remain in a Catholic institution near Pittsburgh, their fate in limbo while US and Haitian authorities struggle to determine which nation should be their future home.

Cerebral palsy sufferer broke both legs on ‘healing pilgrimage’

Moves to establish an Association of Catholic Priests in Ireland have received substantial support from clergy, missionaries and members of religious orders, according to the group that has been taking soundings on the idea.

A newly formed group opposed to the proposed sale of Caritas Christi Health Care to a New York private equity firm wants the hospital chain to keep operating independently or merge with another Catholic health care provider.

Costs won’t exclude anyone from ‘once-in-a-generation Mass’ with Pope

July 27, 2010

BISHOP Philip Tartaglia has summed up well what many are thinking about the Papal Visit in spite of the tabloid headlines this week to the contrary.

The Paisley bishop, president of the Church’s communications commission, described Pope Benedict XVI’s Mass in Bellahouston Park on September 16 as ‘a once-in-a-generation Mass with the Holy Father on Scottish soil.’

He has also urged parishes to show innovation and imagination when it comes to raising funds to cover the considerable costs of the event so that they are spread across all parishioners in a way that will ensure that ‘all those who wish to attend can do so regardless of their means.’

The letters that have gone out to all parishes with details of ticket allocation say that ‘in order to cover costs of transport, a contribution towards the pilgrim pack’ parishes are asked to ‘contribute £20 per person.’

“The arrangements we are making are designed to address the security requirements which the police consider to be necessary,” according to Mgr Peter Smith who is involved in the Papal Visit planning. “I hope that working together we can ensure a memorable encounter with the Holy Father as he celebrates Mass here in Scotland.

“It is important to note that [parish groups] group must travel together under the direction of the pilgrim leader. Travel arrangements are being organised centrally and, because of the security arrangements, parishes will not be able to use their own transport.”

However, meeting the travel costs is the responsibility of the parish.

“Scottish pilgrims travelling to the papal Mass at Bellahouston Park will not be expected to pay a charge to attend,” a spokesman for the Catholic Church said.

“Instead, parishes will be asked to contribute to the overall cost of the event.”

Parishes can expect to be able to offer tickets to approximately half of their congregation. Tickets will not be distributed according to ability to pay.

Priests have been asked to send their ticket requests to the Papal Visit office in Airdrie by next Monday.

Papal Visit breaking news; Glasgow, Edinburgh, Birmingham

July 26, 2010

GLASGOW BELLAHOUSTON MASS: Pilgrims told: Pay to see Pope, says Herald newspaper headline, when story makes clear parishes have been asked to contribute to travel costs only

EDINBURGH ST NINIAN’S DAY PARADE: He is the man who led Scotland’s split with the Catholic Church but when the Pope returns to Scotland later this year, John Knox will usher him through the streets of Edinburgh.–

Papal Visit £9m boost from Pope’s visit to Glasgow

Pilgrims at Pope’s Birmingham Mass ‘decided by draw’

Stamps issue will mark Newman beatification <>

The Protest the Pope campaign has announced its large-scale march through London on Saturday 18 September – the day that the Pope will be holding his outdoor mass in Hyde Park.

International headlines: Pope laments music festival deaths; Church won’t give in to fear in Pakistan; pilgrims climb Ireland’s holiest mountain; thousands of altar servers to meet Pope

July 26, 2010

Pope Benedict XVI laments deaths at German music festival

Pakistan: Church will not give way to fear, despite new killings

Thousands of altar servers to meet Pope

Up to 20,000 pilgrims climbed Ireland’s holiest mountain – Croagh Patrick – on Sunday.

Italian bishop asks Mafia to stop using holy shrines for initiation ceremonies

Enclosed order of nuns sign record deal with firm behind Lady Gaga

Indian Catholics involved in the Synod of the Middle East
The Archdiocese of Boston has received official word from the Vatican, which has denied the appeals of nine churches shuttered by the archdiocese in 2004.

French nuns on the run to escape retirement home

Breaking news: Bishop Tartaglia says ‘not now, not ever’ to ‘gay marriage’; Tickets details for Bellahouston Papal Mass go out to parishes

July 23, 2010

IN ANSWER to fresh call from lobbyists and some religious leaders—including the Very Rev Kelvin Holdsworth, provost of St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral in Glasgow—for ‘gay marriages’ to be legalised, Bishop Philip Tartaglia, president of the Communication Commission of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland, says ‘not now, not in the future, not ever.’

Tickets to attend Pope’s Glasgow Mass to be sent to parishes this weekend

Glasgow to get 25,000 Pope tickets

70,000 pilgrims expected for Papal beatification

The British Government has moved to prevent the possibility of an arrest warrant being issued against the Pope during his state visit this autumn.

London buses to carry female ordination advert during Pope’s visit

Catholic gay priests should come out and leave, Vicar of Rome says

Euros featuring Pope begin circulating in Vatican City

Heart to Heart: Preparing for the Papal Visit

July 23, 2010

This column from the  committee of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland for pastoral planning for the Papal visit is based on Cardinal John Henry Newman’s motto ‘heart speaks to heart.’ Read Heart to Heart in the Scottish Catholic Observer every week.

By Fr Paul Murray

In today’s first reading we are asked the question: What does man gain for all his toil? In his Encyclical Caritas in Veritate, Pope Benedict addresses this question directly:

Among those who sometimes fail to respect the human rights of workers are large multinational companies as well as local producers. International aid has often been diverted from its proper ends, through irresponsible actions both within the chain of donors and within that of the beneficiaries. Similarly, in the context of immaterial or cultural causes of development and underdevelopment, we find these same patterns of responsibility reproduced. On the part of rich countries there is excessive zeal for protecting knowledge through an unduly rigid assertion of the right to intellectual property, especially in the field of health care. At the same time, in some poor countries, cultural models and social norms of behaviour persist which hinder the process of development.

The Gospel speaks of the danger of avarice. Frequently we see that rich countries become richer and have more than they need while poorer countries become poorer and lack the basic necessities of life. Again in Caritas in Veritate, Pope Benedict speaks of the need for human solidarity:

“The reality of human solidarity, which is a benefit for us, also imposes a duty”. Many people today would claim that they owe nothing to anyone, except to themselves. They are concerned only with their rights, and they often have great difficulty in taking responsibility for their own and other people’s integral development. …Hence it is important to call for a renewed reflection on how rights presuppose duties, if they are not to become mere licence. Nowadays we are witnessing a grave inconsistency. On the one hand, appeals are made to alleged rights, arbitrary and non-essential in nature, accompanied by the demand that they be recognized and promoted by public structures, while, on the other hand, elementary and basic rights remain unacknowledged and are violated in much of the world. A link has often been noted between claims to a ‘right to excess’, and even to transgression and vice, within affluent societies, and the lack of food, drinkable water, basic instruction and elementary health care in areas of the underdeveloped world and on the outskirts of large metropolitan centres. The link consists in this: individual rights, when detached from a framework of duties which grants them their full meaning, can run wild, leading to an escalation of demands which is effectively unlimited and indiscriminate. An overemphasis on rights leads to a disregard for duties…

Pope Benedict also points out that we need to go beyond a simple acceptance of our equality to a deeper understanding of fraternity as our human vocation.

As society becomes ever more globalised, it makes us neighbours but does not make us brothers. Reason, by itself, is capable of grasping the equality between men and of giving stability to their civic coexistence, but it cannot establish fraternity. This originates in a transcendent vocation from God the Father, who loved us first, teaching us through the Son what fraternal charity is.

—Resources for reflection, prayer and study are available from the website