Relief workers in Pakistan under threat of violence

August 27, 2010

The UN is reviewing security after the Taliban issued a chilling threat to attack foreigners delivering aid to Pakistan flood victims.

“The Pakistani militant group Tehrik-e Taliban plans to conduct attacks against foreigners participating in the ongoing flood relief operations in Pakistan,” according to a UN official.

This follows news that three humanitarian workers operating in the Swat Valley, in the northern part of the country, have been killed by Pakistani Taliban while working to bring aid to flood victims, according to Fides News Agency today.

The tragic news was communicated to Fides by Fr Robert McCulloch, a priest of the Columban Fathers, a missionary in Pakistan for over 32 years, and was confirmed by local humanitarian organisations.

In a country where religious tensions run high, it is sad but perhaps not altogether unexpected that factions have been unable to put their difference behind them to unite behind the common cause, the relief effort after the worst flooding in history.

“The purpose of these attacks is an attempt to maintain absolute control of the territory in the Swat Valley, where even prior to the flooding there were clashes between the Pakistani army and the fundamentalist militia,” Fr McCulloch said.

Christians and other religious minorities are among the main victims. Last March, six workers from the Christian-based humanitarian NGO World Vision were killed by an explosion in the Mansehra district.

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/top-stories/2010/08/27/taliban-death-threat-to-pakistan-flood-aid-workers-115875-22516942/#ixzz0xoKaMe9U

http://www.fides.org/aree/news/newsdet.php?idnews=27286&lan=eng

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Breaking news: Slum dwellers mark centenary of Mother Teresa’s birth; Prince Philip to meet Pope at airport; Scotsman probe case of Fr Bartholomew Burns

August 26, 2010

Hundreds of Catholic nuns and slum dwellers in the Indian city of Calcutta have marked the 100th anniversary of the birth of Mother Teresa.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-11094232

Pope Benedict XVI describes Mother Teresa as an ‘exemplary model of Christian virtue’

http://sify.com/news/pope-sends-blessings-on-mother-teresa-s-birth-centenary-news-national-ki0l4cajdgi.html

Prince Philip to greet Holy Father on arrival at Edinburgh airport

http://news.scotsman.com/news/Prince-Philip-to-greet-Pope.6493374.jp

Thousands of Scottish Catholic pupils and teachers will get a half-day off to celebrate the Pope’s Scots visit.

http://www.thesun.co.uk/scotsol/homepage/news/3111888/Were-off-to-see-Pope-as-schools-get-half-day.html#ixzz0xhXpGMye

Pope Congratulates Prime Minister David Cameron on birth of fourth child Florence

http://www.catholic.net/index.php?option=zenit&id=30149

London bus adverts with a ‘Ordain women,’  message timed for Pope’s visit

http://uk.reuters.com/article/idUKTRE67P14V20100826

The Daily Mail reports that the reputation of former Tory Home Secretary Willie Whitelaw is ruined by the story that he conspired with the Catholic Church to cover up the involvement of an Irish priest, Fr James Chesney, in the 1972 Claudy bomb blast which killed nine people, including an eight-year-old girl.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-1306293/Claudy-Bombings-Willie-Whitelaws-reputation-ruined.html#ixzz0xhVW2Oa1

The revelation this week that a Catholic priest in Northern Ireland, Fr James Chesney, got away with the murder of nine people as the architect behind the bombing in Claudy in 1972, finds an echo in the case of Fr Bartholomew Burns in Scotland, according to the Scotsman.

http://news.scotsman.com/news/Scotland39s-own-39IRA-priest39-who.6495262.jp

Informed sources say that the Pope decided last May not to accept the resignations of Dublin auxiliary bishops Eamonn Walsh and Raymond Field, which were offered on Christmas Eve.

http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/local-national/republic-of-ireland/archbishop-diarmuid-martin-knew-of-popes-call-on-bishops-since-may-14923872.html#ixzz0xhWdgZaj

Pope Benedict XVI yesterday appealed to the international community to work to protect human life and rights in Somalia after some 65 civilians were killed in the latest wave of violence.

http://www.news24.com/Africa/News/Pope-decries-Somali-atrocities-20100825

Catholic social workers in Hong Kong have set up telephone hotlines to offer trauma counselling for residents who felt disturbed over Monday’s deadly hostage crisis in Manila.

http://www.gmanews.tv/story/199485/after-hostage-crisis-caritas-offers-counseling-for-hk-residents

Catholic council encourages boycott over same-sex ‘marriages’ in Mexico

http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/catholic-council-encourages-boycott-over-same-sex-marriages-in-mexico/

Susan Boyle: Singing for the Pope is ‘greatest dream come true’

August 25, 2010

TODAY’S announcement that internationally renowned Scottish singer Susan Boyle will play a key role in the Papal visit celebrations at Bellahouston Park tops an exciting week for Scottish Catholics eagerly awaiting the arrival of Pope Benedict XVI.

Excitement increased among parishioners on Monday when the Church unveiled details of the altar, chair and lectern that will be used by the Holy Father when he celebrates Mass in Glasgow on September 16. The marble structures have been designed by Glasgow artist Niamh Quail with assistance from Strathclyde University.

This was followed by the announcement that Britain’s Got Talent finalist Susan Boyle, from Blackburn in the Lothians, will perform three times at Bellahouston Park in Glasgow on September 16 as well as singing with the 800 strong choir at the open air Mass which will be celebrated by Pope Benedict XVI during his visit to Scotland.

Ms Boyle, a member of the Legion of Mary, has described the opportunity to sing for the Pope as ‘her greatest dream come true.’ Speaking in a television interview recorded by the Scottish Catholic Media Office, the global singing sensation spoke of being ‘honoured and humbled’ by the invitation.

For full interview with Ms Boyle, including what her performance for the Pope would have meant to her late mother,  see this Friday’s Scottish Catholic Observer.

Latest news: Society of St Pius X bishop warns against ‘political deal,’ Catholic adoption agency considers appeal, mourners gather for bishop’s funeral, Italian priest shot by hunter

August 24, 2010

Bishop Richard Williamson

Bishop Richard Williamson of the Society of St Pius X (SSPX), one of the four bishops illicitly ordained by the late Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre in 1988, is warning against a possible ‘political deal’ between the society and the Holy See that would simply sideline doctrinal differences.

http://www.catholicculture.org/news/headlines/index.cfm?storyid=7301

Catholic Care considers appeal against Charity Commission over gay adoption

http://www.thirdsector.co.uk/channels/Governance/Article/1023622/Catholic-Care-considers-appeal-against-Charity-Commission-gay-adoption/

More than 2000 people are expected to attend the funeral of the former Bishop of Clifton in Bristol.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-bristol-11068351

Fr Francesco Cassol, 55, an Italian priest, was shot dead while on a spiritual retreat in the countryside after apparently being mistaken by a hunter for a wild boar.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/italy/7960132/Italian-priest-shot-dead-after-being-mistaken-for-wild-boar.html

Top Vatican abuse prosecutor Mgr Charles Scicluna recalls Pope’s anger, determination. For article and video visit:

http://liveshots.blogs.foxnews.com/2010/08/23/vatican-sex-abuse-prosecutor-talks-to-fox/

The BBC has been given unprecedented access to China’s state-sanctioned Protestant and Catholic churches, to examine why the government seems so keen to invest in religion.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-11020947

Noting the importance of grandparents for family life, Irish Bishop John McAreavey said: “At a time when many parents are as some say ‘money-rich but time-poor,’ the one thing that grandparents can do is offer time and interest and attention.”

http://www.zenit.org/article-30131?l=english

Mother Teresa—a miracle for the world and humanity

August 23, 2010

THIS week marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Mother Teresa. Sister Mary, Superior General of the Missionaries of Charity, tells Fides News: “Everyone talks of an acceleration on the path to canonisation, for the 100th anniversary of his birth (August 26, 2010). But I do not think this is so important. Everyone knows that she is a saint—both Hindus and Christians here in Calcutta and in most places where we are present—this is beyond doubt. Everyone expects a miracle…but Mother Teresa was the same miracle for the world and humanity.”

To read the interview in full visit http://www.fides.org/aree/news/newsdet.php?idnews=27262&lan=eng

Monday’s headlines

August 23, 2010

Church in Scotland unveils details of the altar, chair and lectern which will be used by Pope Benedict XVI

http://www.scmo.org/tempsite/articles/579/1/Church-to-unveil-details-of-the-altar-chair-and-lectern-which-will-be-used-by-Pope-Benedict-XVI/Page1.html

The Catholic Church has issued a list of dos and don’ts to pilgrims hoping to attend public events during the Pope’s visit to Britain next month. No barbecues, alcohol, bulky hampers or blowing whistles but people are welcome to bring a ‘pilgrim picnic.’

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/aug/22/papal-visit-banned-items

Pope offers Prayer to Mary Queen of Peace, anywhere the absurd logic of violence rages

http://www.speroforum.com/site/article.asp?idCategory=33&idsub=128&id=38548&t=Vatican%3A+++Pope%3A+Prayer+to+Mary+Queen+of+Peace%2C+where+the+absurd+logic+of+violence+rages

Irish President McAleese hails Archbishop Diarmuid Martin as a ‘symbol of change’

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2010/0823/1224277379699.html

Difference of opinion in US over homage to Mother Teresa

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704504204575445743849978142.html

Catholic bishops and rights groups have vehemently criticized Italian Interior Minister Roberto Maroni’s proposal to expel all European Union citizens from the country for violating basic living requirements in a member state.

http://www.allheadlinenews.com/articles/7019665185?Rights%20Groups,%20Catholic%20Bishops%20Oppose%20Italy’s%20Call%20To%20Expel%20EU%20Nationals

Friday headlines: Scots Catholic snap up 75,000 tickets for Bellahouston Mass

August 20, 2010

Scottish Catholics snap up 75,000 tickets to see The Pope in Glasgow, expectations are that the congregration will swell to 100,000 on the day

http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/2010/08/20/scots-catholics-snap-up-75-000-tickets-to-see-the-pope-in-glasgow-86908-22500619/

A revolution ‘may already have started’ in the Catholic Church in Ireland, US religion commentator Robert Blair Kaiser said in Castlebar, Co Mayo, Ireland last night.

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2010/0820/1224277229226.html

Vietnam criticises US Congress hearings on Catholic protests‎ http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/news/340202,congress-hearings-catholic-protests.html

Catholic bishops have demanded for amendments of Kenya’s new Constitution immediately after it is proclaimed next week, citing sections on life, family, reproduction health, equity and justice as those that should be amended immediately.

http://www.nation.co.ke/News/Catholics%20demand%20immediate%20law%20amendments/-/1056/980892/-/cvlbqsz/-/

Catholic schools in £47m plan to transform primary schools before by Leeds City Council.

http://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/localnews/47m-plan-to-transform-primary.6485716.jp

First Mass in 88 years celebrated at Turkish monastery but analyst continues to doubt country’s commitment to religious freedom

http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/first-mass-in-88-years-celebrated-at-turkish-monastery-but-religious-freedom-in-doubt/


Thursday update: Catholic adoption appeal fails; Holy Father renews appeal for Pakistan; US archbishop offers to mediate Ground Zero controversy

August 19, 2010

The last remaining Catholic adoption agency in England to resist Labour’s equality laws is facing closure, after the charity watchdog ruled that it could not avoid considering same-sex couples as potential parents.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/religion/7952526/Last-Catholic-adoption-agency-faces-closure-after-Charity-Commission-ruling.html

One month until the beatification of Cardinal Newman

Watch Rome Reports video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xKS2pBzkG5s

Holy Father makes freash appeal for flood victims in Pakistan

To read more http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/pope-makes-appeal-for-flood-victims-in-pakistan/

To watch video visit http://www.euronews.net/nocomment/2010/08/19/pope-calls-for-aid-to-pakistan/

Archbishop Timothy Dolan offers to mediate Islamic Center controversy at Ground Zero in New York

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/19/nyregion/19dolan.html?src=me

The new head of the Catholic Congregation of Bishops, Canadian Cardinal Marc Ouellet, said a combination of secrecy in certain corners of the Church and a general degeneration of mores in society at large combined to cause and aggravate the sexual abuse scandal from which the Church is still recovering.

http://life.nationalpost.com/2010/08/19/canadian-cardinal-to-set-tone-for-church/#ixzz0x3h3mUQp

Holy Father sends message to funeral of Italian physicist

http://www.zenit.org/article-30095?l=english

Thursday headlines: Catholic adoption appeal fails; Holy Father makes fresh appeal for Pakistan; US archbishop to mediate in Ground Zero mosque controversy

August 19, 2010

The last remaining Catholic adoption agency in England to resist Labour’s equality laws is facing closure, after the charity watchdog ruled that it could not avoid considering same-sex couples as potential parents.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/religion/7952526/Last-Catholic-adoption-agency-faces-closure-after-Charity-Commission-ruling.html

One month until the beatification of Cardinal Newman

Watch Rome Reports video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xKS2pBzkG5s

Holy Father makes freash appeal for flood victims in Pakistan

To read more http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/pope-makes-appeal-for-flood-victims-in-pakistan/

To watch video visit http://www.euronews.net/nocomment/2010/08/19/pope-calls-for-aid-to-pakistan/

Archbishop Timothy Dolan offers to mediate Islamic Center controversy at Ground Zero in New York

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/19/nyregion/19dolan.html?src=me

The new head of the Catholic Congregation of Bishops, Canadian Cardinal Marc Ouellet, said a combination of secrecy in certain corners of the Church and a general degeneration of mores in society at large combined to cause and aggravate the sexual abuse scandal from which the Church is still recovering.

http://life.nationalpost.com/2010/08/19/canadian-cardinal-to-set-tone-for-church/#ixzz0x3h3mUQp

Holy Father sends message to funeral of Italian physicist

http://www.zenit.org/article-30095?l=english

‘Great expectations’ for Papal itinerary: Pope to speak in Edinburgh, Cardinal in Birmingham

August 18, 2010

THE finalised itinerary for Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to Britain released on the official website for the Papal Visit today confirms that the Holy Father will speak at the state reception hosted by the Queen in the grounds of the Palace of Holyrood House in Edinburgh on Thursday September 16 before the Papal Mass at Bellahouston Park in Glasgow.

Further details have emerged confirming that following the Mass for the beatification of Cardinal John Henry Newman and prior to the Holy Father’s departure on Sunday September 19 he will meet the Bishops of England, Scotland and Wales at the Seminary Chapel, Oscott College. At this meeting Cardinal Keith O’Brien, Archbishop Vincent Nichols and the Holy Father all expected to give addresses.

Cardinal O’Brien said today that he was delighted at how Papal visit preparations were progressing and was ‘greatly encouraged’ by the uptake of tickets so far for the Mass in Glasgow.

Vatican spokesman Fr Federico Lombardi told Vatican Radio he has great expectations for the Papal visit.

“It is a very rich, intense and articulate program,” he said.  “Of course there is great expectation and excitement in the lead up to the first day, which immediately sees the Pope’s meeting with Her Majesty, the Queen. It is also the day when he will meet with Scotland, which is a very important part of this journey. I would like to remind people that the Pope’s visit to Scotland coincides with the Feast of St Ninian, who is the patron saint and evangeliser of Scotland. As such it is a very important day for Scottish people. We think it will be a great celebration, a very beautiful moment.”

On the second day of the four-day visit Pope Benedict will meet Catholic educators at St Mary’s University College before participating in an interfaith assembly. In the afternoon he will visit the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr  Rowan Williams, and then lead an ecumenical assembly at Westminster Abbey.

On the Saturday the Pope will meet with Prime Minister David Cameron and with opposition leader Harriet Harman prior to presiding at Mass in the cathedral at Westminster. In the evening he will lead a prayer vigil in Hyde Park.

Ahead of the Pope’s arrival in Scotland, a number of civic functions and receptions in Edinburgh and Glasgow are being planned to begin the celebrations.

For more information on the visit http://www.thepapalvisit.org.uk/2010-Visit/Events-Timeline

For Fr Lombardi’s reaction in full visit http://www.oecumene.radiovaticana.org/en1/Articolo.asp?c=416275