Jamaican archbishop calms fears, encourages St. Michael prayer

May 27, 2010

Kingston, Jamaica, May 27, 2010 / 03:20 am (CNA).- Reacting to deadly violence between security forces and armed supporters of a local drug lord in Jamaica, the Archbishop of Kingston has said most of the country is calm but well-paid gunmen will continue to skirmish with authorities. He noted in an interview that he has asked all priests and religious in the archdiocese to pray the traditional St. Michael the Archangel prayer.

At least 49 have died in Jamaica’s capital after a Monday police assault on an alleged drug lord’s stronghold in the Tivoli Gardens neighborhood resulted in gun battles in the streets. According to Vatican Radio, soldiers and police stormed the slum in search of Christopher “Dudus” Coke.

Coke’s extradition is sought by the United States on charges of cocaine trafficking and gun-running.

“This country is under siege, and the time has come where it is going to be dealt with and this government is ready to deal with it,” Information Minister Daryl Vaz said in a nationwide address, according to the Miami Herald.

Archbishop Donald James Reece told Vatican Radio that there is much tension in the area under attack but the rest of the country is “relatively calm.” He voiced concern that the violence could spread to other areas.

“I have communicated to all of our priests, religious and deacons to try and maintain calm, to pray the traditional St. Michael the Archangel prayer,” he reported.

According to the archbishop, the Council of Churches has come out with a statement that the prime minister is no longer able to lead because his credibility has been damaged by “untruths” surrounding the United States’ extradition request for the known drug dealer.

The Jamaican government had claimed for months that the wiretaps cited by the U.S. were illegal, but Prime Minister Bruce Golding abruptly changed his mind on the issue last week.

Vatican Radio asked the archbishop how the Church is involved in helping those affected by drug abuse and drug-related crime.

“We are the only Church that has residence in the conflict area. As a result our men are respected there. We have programs for the ordinary people who live there. The priests who live there are the safest because the gunmen will not bother them, because they identify them as people from their area who give service to them at all times,” he answered.

Archbishop Reece said he has heard that the young men involved in the violence are being paid as much as 100,000 Jamaican dollars ($1,100) per day. He called this “a tidy sum” for them to fight “to the end.”

“That means that they will not capitulate to the security forces, so it could drag on to the bitter end for another week or so,” he lamented.

The security forces are concerned about garrisons in other areas that “tend to be a law unto themselves.” Security forces will target these after the present violence is ended, the archbishop believed

Wisconsin Right to Life Announces Campaign to Opt-Out of Obamacare Abortion Coverage

May 27, 2010

Milwaukee, WI (MetroCatholic) -  Wisconsin Right to Life is announcing today a massive campaign aimed at allowing Wisconsin to opt-out of abortion coverage in the state-based insurance “exchanges” created by the federal health care law known as Obamacare.

According to Susan Armacost, Wisconsin Right to Life Legislative Director, the organization has been working with legislators for some time on this issue.  “Polling has consistently shown that citizens do not want to subsidize abortion coverage or pay for abortions,” said Armacost.  “Obamacare requires federal agencies to subsidize and administer health plans that will pay for elective abortions.  The law also opens the door to direct federal funding of abortion in Community Health Centers, hundreds of which are operated by Planned Parenthood - the nation’s largest abortion provider,” Armacost said.

“While state legislation cannot correct all of the abhorrent federal abortion provisions, we do have the ability to make sure that the state-based insurance exchanges are not spending tax dollars to subsidize abortion.”

The Executive Order signed by President Obama, widely and inaccurately reported as prohibiting taxpayer abortion funding under the law, cannot overrule the abortion impact of the law.

Opt-out legislation cannot be introduced until January of 2011.  As a first step in the campaign to enact opt-out legislation, Wisconsin Right to Life is promoting a petition to our new Governor, who will take office then, letting him know that hundreds of thousands of Wisconsin citizens want our state to opt-out of subsidizing abortions through health insurance.  The petition can be found online at www.wrtl.org/petition.

Pope Names Baltimore Priest as Auxiliary Bishop of Archdiocese of Military Services

May 27, 2010

WASHINGTON DC (MetroCatholic) - Pope Benedict XVI has appointed Father F. Richard Spencer, 58, a priest of the Archdiocese of Baltimore and up until now vice commandant of the military chaplains of the U.S. Forces in Europe, as Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese for Military Services, USA, and Titular Bishop of Auzia.
           
The announcement was made public in Washington May 22, by Archbishop Pietro Sambi, apostolic nuncio to the United States.
           
F. Richard Spencer was born in Sylacauga, Alabama, in 1951. Before entering the seminary, he served as an active duty officer in the U.S. Army from 1974-1980. He completed his studies for the priesthood at St. Mary’s Seminary in Roland Park, Maryland, and was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Baltimore by the late Archbishop William D. Borders in 1988. In 1991 he became a U.S. Army chaplain.
           
Father Spencer was promoted to the rank of Lt. Colonel in the U.S. Army in 2005, and was appointed an Episcopal Vicar for the Archdiocese for the Military Services in 2006. He is currently serving in Germany.
           
Bishop-elect Spencer earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from Jackson State University, Alabama; a Master in Educational Administration from the University of Wisconsin at LaCrosse; and a Masters of Divinity from St. Mary’s Seminary and University in Baltimore.
           
Bishop-elect Spencer will join Archbishop Timothy Broglio and two other auxiliaries at the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA, which encompasses every U.S. military installation at home and abroad. The date of his episcopal ordination has not been set.

CatholicTV Papal Programming For June Will Include Visit To Cyprus, Closing Mass For Year For Priest

May 27, 2010

WATERTOWN, MA (MetroCatholic) - CatholicTV Papal Programming For June Will Include Visit To Cyprus, Closing Mass For Year For Priests, and Pallium Mass

During the month of June, CatholicTV will broadcast several Vatican events and Pope Benedict’s visit to Cyprus. This programming will begin with the Solemnity of Corpus Christi on June 3rd and will end with the Pallium Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica.

Papal programming can be viewed at CatholicTV.com and on CatholicTV. Archived Papal Programming can be accessed now at http://www.catholictv.com/pope-benedict-xvi.aspx (including Fatima visit, Pentecost, and more).

The CatholicTV Papal Programming schedule for the month of June is as follows (all times Eastern):

June 3-Solemnity of Corpus Christi in the Basilica of St. John Lateran 8 p.m.

June 4-Arrival in Cyprus and ecumenical celebration Noon and 8 p.m.

June 5-Visit to the president and Mass in Cyprus Noon and 8 p.m.

June 6-Mass in Nicosia and farewell ceremonies Noon and 8 p.m.

June 10-St. Peter’s Square prayer vigil with priests 8 p.m.

June 11-Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus; Mass for the close of the Year for Priests
Noon and 8 p.m.

June 28-Basilica of St. Paul’s Outside-the-Walls Vespers for the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul 8 p.m.

June 29-Pallium Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica Noon and 8 p.m.

CatholicTV is a nationally-broadcasted television network streaming a live feed 24 hours a day at CatholicTV.com. Heeding Pope Benedict XVI’s call to greater utilize the power of television and new media, the CatholicTV Network features its cable TV station, Catholic web site, mobile apps and widget. Celebrate Mass online; pray The Rosary; enjoy programs on prayer, the saints, the Scriptures and the Catholic Church on America’s Catholic Television Network.

PAPAL GIFT TO VICTIMS OF FLOODING IN POLAND

May 27, 2010

VATICAN CITY, 26 MAY 2010 (VIS) - The Pontifical Council “Cor Unum” released the following English-language communique:

“In the wake of the floods provoked by torrential rains in Poland, a disaster on an unprecedented scale that has led to many victims and massive evacuations, the Pontifical Council ‘Cor Unum’ has sent Archbishop Jozef Michalik, president of the Polish Episcopal Conference, a papal gift to assist the flood victims and evacuees in the worst hit ecclesiastical areas.

“The Holy Father’s gesture through ‘Cor Unum’ is intended to show his closeness and his paternal encouragement to those who are generously offering aid relief”.

Summer Internship Opportunity

May 26, 2010

The Texas Catholic Conference is pleased to offer a small number of unpaid internships this summer. Internship areas include graphic design, public policy, and public relations/marketing. Tasks can include:

  • Update Conference policy paper information
  • Assist in planning for 2010 Scripture Seminar, General Assembly, and Legislative Advocacy days
  • Gather contact information for Conference internal communication
  • Work on graphic and web design for the Conference web site
  • Attend policy strategy meeting
  • Market and promote Conference web site, newsletter, and social media

We will gladly work with students who are interested in receiving academic credit for the internship.

What is the standard intern work schedule?

The Texas Catholic Conference hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. An intern’s specific hours will be determined after the interview process is complete, and is flexible depending on the needs of the Conference and the intern.

What are the requirements?

Ideal candidates possess a commitment to Catholic moral and social teaching, a strong grade point average as well as writing and research skills, and a commitment to work at least 12 weeks.

Who do I contact if I have questions?

If you have any questions, or to learn more about available TCC internship opportunities, please contact Maria Huemmer at 512-339-9882 or at [email protected].

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To go back to the blog home page, click here

To go back to the TCC home page, click here

For more information on the Texas Catholic Conference, visit www.TXcatholic.org.

Marie Stopes’ Abortion Commercials Called ‘Heinous’ by Pro-Life Priest

May 26, 2010

FRONT ROYAL, Va., (MetroCatholic)

HLI President Reverend Thomas J. Euteneuer today responded to news that Marie Stopes, the largest abortion provider in England and in much of the world, will be allowed to run commercials advertising abortion as a solution for women in crisis pregnancies.

“Pro-lifers have been saying this for decades — these are abortion profiteers,” said Rev. Euteneuer. “They literally have no shame. These profit-seeking commercials point out the lie that abortion is a ‘choice’ or an act of compassion. No, abortion is a grubby business, pure and simple.”

“Marie Stopes shows us that the abortion industry targets women in their most vulnerable moments and offers them one solution-the killing of a baby,” said Rev. Euteneuer. “These women need loving concern. They need to be shown true, life-affirming options, not a false way out that not only results in the death of the child, but in multiple health and emotional problems for the mother.”

Several years ago an official of Marie Stopes caused a scandal by admitting in a public conference that their clinics perform illegal abortions in the Third World. “Whether they are aborting babies in the UK or in the poorest countries of the world they make profit off the killing of God’s most precious children,” said Rev. Euteneuer. “The sad part is that now they are given space on prime time for these heinous ads. We will be working with our friends in the UK to oppose this offense to life and dignity. This cannot go unanswered.”

Human Life International: Creating effective opposition to the culture of death around the world. Founded in 1981, HLI is the world’s largest pro-life organization and has affiliates in over 100 countries on six continents.

THE PRIEST MUST GOVERN WITH THE AUTHORITY OF CHRIST

May 26, 2010

VATICAN CITY,  (VIS) - In today’s general audience, celebrated in St. Peter’s Square, the Pope focused his remarks on the duty of the priest to “govern and guide - with the authority of Christ, not with his own - that portion of the people which God has entrusted to his care”.

In the last of three catechesis on the essential tasks of priestly ministry, the Holy Father asked: “how, within contemporary culture, can we understand this dimension which implicates the concept of authority and has its origin in the Lord’s command to feed His sheep?”

“The regimes which spread death and terror last century are a powerful reminder that authority, in all fields, when exercised without reference to the transcendent, when it ignores the supreme authority that is God Himself, inevitably ends up by turning against man. It is important, then, to recognise that human authority is never an end but always and only a means, and that, necessarily and at all times, the end is always the person”.

“In order to be pastors after God’s heart, we need to be profoundly rooted in a living friendship with Christ (not only of our minds, but also of our freedom and will), clearly aware of the identity we received at priestly ordination, and unconditionally ready to lead our flock where the Lord wills, not in the direction which seems most convenient and easy. This requires, first and foremost, a continuous and progressive willingness to allow Christ Himself to govern the priestly lives of clergy. No-one, in fact, is truly capable of feeding the flock if they do not live in profound and authentic obedience to Christ and the Church; and the docility of the people towards their priests depends on the docility of priests towards Christ”.

Referring then to the concept of “hierarchy” in the Church, the Pope noted how a prevalent idea among the public is of “an element of subordination, … and for many people this contrasts with the flexibility and vitality of pastoral service. … This is an erroneous interpretation which has its origins in the abuses of history”, he explained. “The true meaning is of a sacred origin, it is an authority that comes from another, and subjects the person to the mystery of Christ, making him His servant. Only as His servant can he govern and guide, for Christ and with Christ”.

Thus “the Pope, who is a point of reference for the communion of all the pastors of the Church, cannot do as he pleases; quite the contrary, he is the custodian of obedience to Christ and His word”.

“Without this clear and explicit supernatural vision, priests’ duty to govern cannot be understood. It is however, when supported by true concern for the salvation of each member of the faithful, a particularly important and necessary duty, also in our own time”.

“Where”, the Pope asked, “can a priest today draw the strength to exercise his ministry in complete faithfulness to Christ and to the Church, with total dedication to his flock? There is”, he said, “only one answer: in Christ the Lord”.

Benedict XVI told priests: “Do not be afraid to guide to Christ each of the brothers and sisters He has entrusted to you, certain that each word, each action, if they come from obedience to God’s will, will bear fruit. Appreciate the advantages and recognise the limits of the culture in which we live, in the firm certainty that announcing the Gospel is the greatest service we can do mankind. In fact, there is no greater good in this earthly life than to lead man to God, to reawaken the faith, to raise mankind from inertia and desperation, and infuse the hope that God is close and guides the history of individuals and of the world. This is the profound and ultimate meaning of the task of government the Lord has entrusted to us”.

The Pope concluded by inviting priests to participate in the closing celebrations of the Year for Priests, due to take place in Rome from 9 to 11 June when, he said, “we will meditate on conversion and mission, on the gift of the Holy Spirit and on our relationship with the Blessed Virgin; and we will renew our priestly promises, supported by the entire People of God”.

Feds Demand Court Toss Virginia Lawsuit Against Health Care Law

May 26, 2010

By Peter J. Smith

RICHMOND, Virginia (LifeSiteNews.com) – The federal government has requested a U.S. District Court toss out Virginia’s lawsuit against the health care reform law, which the state says conflicts with a statute declaring Virginia residents will not be forced to carry health insurance, saying that the state lacked standing to invoke federal jurisdiction.

The Associated Press reports that the Justice Department filed the motion to dismiss on Monday just hours before the midnight deadline to respond to Virginia’s legal challenge.

U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius argued that Congress was well within its rights to impose a national health insurance mandate under the interstate Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution, and said Virginia and other states could not “manufacture its own standing to challenge a federal law by simple expedient of passing a statute purporting to nullify it.”

The new law mandates that all U.S. citizens must purchase health insurance or face a fine starting in 2014.

The federal government further claimed that, because the mandate applies “only to individuals, not the state government,” the commonwealth has no standing to pursue the case. Officials also insisted that Congress had broad authority to issue the mandate, which it called “essential” to the whole scheme of the health care reform law.

In a statement following the filing of the motion, Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli stated: “We are still looking through the motion and 39-page brief that we received late Monday, but at initial glance, this is pretty close to what we expected.” Cuccinelli has until June 7 to respond to the motion.

Virginia had been the first state to fire a warning shot against the federal government over constitutional overreach as the health care bill was impending, by passing a bill declaring any federal mandate to require individuals to purchase health insurance null and void in the commonwealth.

The law states that, within Virginia, “No law shall restrict a person’s natural right and power of contract to secure the blessings of liberty to choose private health care systems or private plans.”

Within eight hours of the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Cuccinelli filed suit in U.S. District Court in Richmond alleging that the Constitution does not permit the federal government to force citizens to buy a product.

“At no time in our history has the government mandated its citizens buy a good or service,” said Cuccinelli at the time of the filing. “We believe the federal law is unconstitutional as it is based on the commerce clause. Simply put, not buying insurance is not engaging in commerce.”

Well over a dozen attorneys general have followed Virginia’s lead by filing their own group lawsuit with the U.S. District Court in Pensacola, Florida, contending that the insurance mandate exceeds the limited scope of the powers granted to the federal government under Article I of the US Constitution.

Furthermore, they assert that the mandate violates the prohibition against the direct taxation of individuals outlined in Article I, sections 2 and 9 of the Constitution, and also invoke the Tenth Amendment reserving to states all powers not delegated to the federal government.

Randall DeBruyn’s Mass of the Resurrection Selected for OCP Worship Resources

May 26, 2010

ORTLAND, Ore., (MetroCatholic) -

In anticipation of the new translation of the Roman Missal, OCP has chosen five new and four revised Mass settings for publication in the company’s missal and hymnal products. One of the new settings selected is Randall DeBruyn’s Mass of the Resurrection.

“Mass of the Resurrection was founded on the tune ‘Duke Street,’ often associated with the hymn ‘I Know That My Redeemer Lives,’” says DeBruyn. “Thus, it is intended to evoke the joy of Christ’s resurrection and the certainty of our salvation through our faith in him. The melodies are sturdy and joyful, and set in a basic harmonic and rhythmic language accessible to everyone.”

This parish-tested setting from DeBruyn will be included in an Order of Mass supplement, which will be made available to OCP customers using resources affected by the new translation.

“This Mass was written for the typical parish cantor or choir, to be sung with the assembly,” DeBruyn continued. “Many parishes have limited resources with which to lead singing at Mass, so the music must sound just as good when led by only a cantor as when led by a choir. The melodies used need to be both simple and strong, but able to stand the test of time. The accompaniment must not be difficult, but playable for most keyboardists.”

More information on DeBruyn’s Mass of the Resurrection and the other new and revised settings is available on OCP’s new Roman Missal online resource page: www.OCP.org/NewMassSettings. This web page was developed to answer concerns church leaders may have regarding the implementation of the new Roman Missal. Visitors to the page will find what they need conveniently located in one place: practical resources, catechetical articles related to the new translation, links to useful websites, frequently asked questions and more.

Because the page will be updated as new information and resources become available, visitors are encouraged to bookmark the address — www.OCP.org/NewMassSettings — and check back regularly.

About OCP
OCP, a not-for-profit publisher of liturgical music and worship resources based in Portland, Oregon, has been in operation for more than 80 years. Worship programs produced by OCP are used in two-thirds of Catholic churches in the United States and are distributed worldwide. More information is available at 1-800- LITURGY (548-8749) and www.ocp.org.

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