Archive for the ‘Catholic World News’ Category

Detroit mourns loss of retired cardinal Edmund Szoka

Detroit, Mich., Aug 22, 2014 / 12:01 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Cardinal Edmund Casimir Szoka, who had served as Archbishop of Detroit and president of the Vatican City State, died of natural causes at the age of 86 at the local Providence Park Hospital.

“We mourn the loss of a dedicated shepherd. For sixty years, Cardinal Szoka gave himself totally to his priestly service of Christ and his Church.”

“He has gone home to the Heavenly Father with our prayers. May the Lord give him the reward of his labors,” said Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron, current archbishop of Detroit.

Born on Sept.14, 1927, Edmund Casimir Szoka grew up in Grand Rapids as the child of Polish immigrants. He attended St. Joseph Seminary and was ordained a priest on June 5, 1954 in Marquette. He served his first years as an assistant priest at St. Francis in Manistique, Michigan.

Cardinal Szoka attended the Faculty of Canon Law at the Pontifical Urban University at Rome from 1957-1959. After returning to the states, he served again in the diocese of Marquette until 1971.

On June 11, 1971 he became the first bishop of the newly created diocese of Gaylord in Michigan. Ten years later, in May 1981, he was named Archbishop of Detroit, where he closed and merged many parishes within the diocese.

Cardinal Szoka served on the administrative council of the provincial seminary at St. John in Plymouth, as well as St. Cyril and Methodius seminary near Orchard Lake. During this time, he was also elected president of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Pope John Paul II appointed Archbishop Szoka as cardinal in 1988, after which he was selected to oversee the economic affairs at Vatican City State.

He was also appointed President of the Governatorate of Vatican City State and of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State by Pope John Paul II, where he served until 2006.

Just after he turned seventy-nine, Cardinal Szoka resigned and officially retired from active ministry on Sept.15, 2006 with Pope Benedict XVI’s approval. Following his retirement, he lived in Northville, Michigan until his death o n Aug. 20, 2014.

This year he celebrated the 60th anniversary of his priesthood.

Archbishop Szoka’s funeral will take place at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Detroit, where mass will be celebrated on Tuesday morning at 11:00 am. He will be buried at the Holy Sepulcher Cemetery in Southfield.

Pope Francis Calls Parents of James Foley

Pope Francis has called the parents of James Foley, the American journalist who was killed by the Islamic State (ISIS). In an email to ZENIT, Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi confirmed that the Holy Father telephoned John and Diane Foley. Alt…

Pope calls family of US journalist James Foley

Vatican City, Aug 21, 2014 / 03:01 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis has called the family of U.S. journalist James Foley, who was beheaded by ISIS militants earlier this week, a Vatican spokesman has confirmed.

Fr. Federico Lombardi, director of the Holy See press office, confirmed to CNA in an Aug. 21 email that Pope called the Foley family about the death of James.

On Aug. 19, the Islamic State (ISIS), a militant group that controls territory in Syria and Iraq, released a graphic video titled “A Message to America” which shows the beheading of Foley, who had gone missing in Syria in 2012. U.S. officials have now confirmed the authenticity of the video.

The insurgents said that Foley’s execution was in retaliation for U.S. airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Iraq. They warned that they have another missing American journalist, Steven Joel Sotloff, in captivity, saying that his life depends on U.S. President Barack Obama’s actions.

Foley’s parents, John and Diane, had said Aug. 20 that the Pope was due to call them soon, according to The Daily Mail.

They have voiced gratitude for the prayers offered for their son and the entire family.

“We thank God for the gift of Jim. We are so, so proud of him,” said Diane. She added that they prayed to God for strength and were grateful that “God has given us so many prayers” throughout James’ captivity.

“Jim would never want us to hate or be bitter. We’re praying for the strength to love like he did,” she said.

“It’s not difficult to find solace in this point in time,” John stated. “We know he is in God’s hands, and we know he’s done God’s work.”

“We need the courage and prayers now to continue without him.”

Next World Day of Peace to address slavery, Vatican announces

Vatican City, Aug 21, 2014 / 02:07 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- “Slaves no more, but brothers and sisters” is the title of the message Pope Francis will deliver for the 2015 World Day of Peace, the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace stated Thursday.

“Slavery is a terrible open wound on the contemporary social body, a fatal running sore on the flesh of Christ,” the pontifical council said in an Aug. 21 statement.

The World Day of Peace is observed annually on Jan. 1, and was initiated by Paul VI. It’s celebration in 2015 will be the 48th iteration of the event.

Pope Francis chose the theme of slavery from a set of three proposed by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, but himself added the reference to fraternity to the title.

This is in continuity with his message for this year’s World Day of Peace, “Fraternity, the Foundation and Pathway to Peace.”

And by choosing the theme of slavery, Pope Francis confirms his focus on human trafficking, which has surfaced throughout his pontificate.

“Many people think that slavery is a thing of the past. In fact, this social plague remains all too real in today’s world,” the statement of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace noted.

“Slavery deals a murderous blow to … fraternity, and so to peace as well. Peace can only exist when each human being recognizes every other person as a brother or sister with the same dignity.”

The note anticipates some of the main issues with which the papal message will deal: human trafficking, trade in migrants and prostitutes, exploitation, slave labour, and the enslavement of women and children.

The note reads that “shamefully, individuals and groups around the world profit from this slavery. They take advantage of the world’s many conflicts, of the economic crisis and of corruption in order to carry out their evil.”

The pontifical council stressed that to effectively counter slavery, “the inviolable dignity of every person must be recognized above all … being children of God gives all human beings equal dignity as brothers and sisters.”

“Fraternity requires us to reject any inequality which would allow one person to enslave another. It demands instead that we act everywhere with proximity and generosity, thus leading to liberation and inclusion for everyone.”

In addition, achieving a civilization “based on the equal dignity of every person without discrimination” will require the commitment of the media, education, and culture to a society pledged to freedom and justice, the dicastery stated.

The message will be sent to the foreign ministers of all the world, and is an indication of the Holy See’s diplomatic line throughout the year, the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace noted. This year is the first time that slavery will be the theme of the day.

According to an official of the pontifical council who spoke to CNA, the 2015 message should be shorter than those of recent years.

Over time, the length of papal messages for World Days of Peace has ballooned: Paul VI’s last, for 1978, was around 2,900 words; St. John Paul II’s, for 2005, was 3,500; Benedict XVI’s for 2013 was 3,800; and Pope Francis’ message for 2014 was nearly 5,000 words.

Black Mass Leaders Turn in Host to Oklahoma Priest

Archbishop Paul Coakley of Oklahoma City announced Thursday that the consecrated Host at the center of a lawsuit filed Wednesday in Oklahoma County District Court has been returned. The archbishop leveled a suit against the head of the satanic group, which has scheduled a black mass in the city for Sept. 21. The …

Supreme Court halts marriage redefinition in Virginia

Washington D.C., Aug 21, 2014 / 11:11 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The U.S. Supreme Court put a hold on same-sex “marriage” licenses in Virginia on Wednesday after a federal appeals court struck down the state’s marriage defense amendment in …

US Bishops Reaffirm Commitment to Dialogue With Muslims

The Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) reasserted their commitment to dialogue with other religions and Muslims in particular in a statement developed between October 2013 and its rele…

Leader of US Bishops Sets Special Collection for Mideast Victims

The president of the US episcopal conference has called on the bishops to consider taking up a special collection “to provide humanitarian relief and pastoral support for our affected brothers and sisters in the Middle East.” In an August 19 letter, Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, requested that …

Judge Gives Restraining Order to Black Mass Leaders

Archbishop Paul Coakley of Oklahoma City on Wednesday filed a lawsuit asking a judge to halt the desecration of a Eucharistic Host as part of a planned satanic black mass scheduled for September in the city’s Civic Center. District Court Judge Bryan…

Pope Benedict XVI’s other ‘family’ (Video)

Very few people can say that they personally know Benedict XVI. But his former students are definitely part of that select group. They’re hoping the Pope emeritus will join them this year, for their annual theological meeting in Castel Gandolfo from August 21st to the 24th.   To view the video click here URL: htt…

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