Today (07.12.07)

No diocesan-wide events

Today’s Readings

Genesis 44:18-21, 23-29; 45:1-5
Psalm 105:16-21
Matthew 10:7-15

Today’s Headlines from CNS

Church leaders seeking ways to ‘effectively implement’ directive

WASHINGTON (CNS) — In the days immediately following the July 7 issuance of the apostolic letter “Summorum Pontificum,” which allows for greater use of the Tridentine Mass, many questions have been asked about how to apply it when the norms outlined in the letter take effect Sept. 14. “The apostolic letter is only four days old,” said Msgr. James P. Moroney, executive director of the U.S. bishops’ Secretariat for the Liturgy, in a July 10 telephone interview with Catholic News Service. Still, “bishops and liturgical directors who are seeking ways to effectively implement the apostolic letter” have called and “asked for clarifications and raised questions,” the priest added. “Fortunately, we hope to be able to address them in the near future.” The U.S. bishops’ Committee on the Liturgy had already scheduled a meeting Aug. 13 on other issues, but will add matters surrounding “Summorum Pontificum” to the agenda, Msgr. Moroney said.

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Diocese of Biloxi exceeds $14 million education-campaign goal

BILOXI, Miss. (CNS) — The Biloxi Diocese’s campaign for Catholic education has exceeded its $14.2 million goal with $16.2 million in pledges, Bishop Thomas J. Rodi announced in June. “This is a powerful sign of recovery for the entire community,” he said. The pilot phase of the campaign, “Catholic Faith for Tomorrow … A Future With Promise,” ran from April through June 2005. Parish campaigns were scheduled to continue to take place from September through December of that year, but were set aside after Hurricane Katrina hit the coastal counties of south Mississippi that August and pushed diocesan efforts to focus on recovery and rebuilding. Pre-Katrina, the campaign’s goal of $14 million was based on the economy of south Mississippi and the amount of money Catholics gave to their parishes each Sunday, said Paul Barsi, of Community Counseling Service, who coordinated the campaign. Immediately after Katrina, the people of the Biloxi Diocese received help from across the country with prayers, materials, money and volunteers. Bishop Rodi said they were grateful for the assistance they received and also wanted to be part of their own recovery.

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New report shows Latino churches key partner in fight against AIDS

WASHINGTON (CNS) — A new study shows that Latino congregations and their ministers can play an instrumental role in halting the spread of HIV/AIDS in the Latino population. The study, which focused on Chicago, also shows that congregations can, and do, play an important role in ministering to members who are living with HIV/AIDS, said Edwin I. Hernandez, co-author of the report “Answering the Call: How Latino Churches Can Respond to the HIV/AIDS Epidemic.” “The study clearly shows that there is a role that parishes can play,” Hernandez said in a phone interview with Catholic News Service July 10. “And that role involves preventative efforts, educating parishioners about the dangers, about risks. It involves putting out messages of hope and reassurance. It involves supporting both individuals affected as well as families that have been impacted by this disease,” he said. The report — released by the Center for the Study of Latino Religion in the University of Notre Dame’s Institute for Latino Studies and the nonprofit organization Esperanza — was based on a study completed in 2007 of Latino congregations in the Chicago area.

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Protestant groups dismayed at new document on identity of ‘church’

ROME (CNS) — Several Protestant organizations reacted with dismay to the Vatican’s recent document on the identity of the church, but the Vatican’s chief ecumenist, an Orthodox leader and a Swiss bishop said that, by clarifying its position, the Vatican actually is helping ecumenical dialogue. The document from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, “Responses to Some Questions Regarding Certain Aspects of the Doctrine on the Church,” was released July 10 at the Vatican. It reaffirmed Catholic teaching that the Catholic Church is the one, true church of Christ, even if elements of truth and Christ’s saving grace can be found in separated churches and communities. The most ecumenically sensitive part of the new document was its assertion that while the term “sister church” can be used to refer to any of the Orthodox churches, a Christian community born out of the Protestant Reformation cannot be called “church” in the way Catholic theology defines the term. The text said the Orthodox churches, although separated from the Catholic Church, have preserved apostolic succession, the ordained priesthood and the Eucharist. Nevertheless, they “lack something in their condition as particular churches” because they are not in union with the pope.

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Catholics urge Mexico to allow prelates to preach about politics

GUADALAJARA, Mexico (CNS) — Mexican Catholics are urging the federal government to amend the country’s constitution to allow bishops and priests the right to preach about political and social affairs without running afoul of the law. They also are asking that the Catholic Church be permitted to run mass media outlets and that religious education be allowed in Mexico’s public schools, which by law are secular. Cardinal Norberto Rivera Carrera of Mexico City said the proposed changes would allow prelates to stop being “pseudo citizens.” Armando Martinez Gomez, president of the College of Catholic Lawyers of Mexico, outlined the church’s proposals July 8 in Mexico City. He told Catholic News Service by telephone, “We need to achieve reforms so that we have true religious liberty in Mexico, which is something we currently don’t have.” Although the vast majority of Mexicans are Catholic, Article 29 of the country’s Law of Religious Associations forbids priests from preaching in favor of any political association, party or candidate.

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Church looks for food for Zimbabweans booted from university housing

CAPE TOWN, South Africa (CNS) — The Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace in Zimbabwe is battling to find food to give university students a meal a day while they take exams. Officials at the University of Zimbabwe ordered up to 5,000 students out of university housing July 9 just as they were to begin two weeks of written exams. Alouis Chaumba, head of the Harare-based justice and peace commission, told Catholic News Service in a July 10 telephone interview that the students had been asked to pay additional housing fees of more than a million Zimbabwean dollars (US$4,000), “and most were unable to do that.” The students’ failure to pay the fee, and July 7 incidents of vandalism on campus that authorities blamed on students, prompted the authorities to order “all students to move off campus,” he said. Chaumba said the shortage of accommodations in Harare — even for those students who have friends to put them up while they take their exams — and “the scarcity of food makes this a crisis.”

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Archbishop backs regional efforts to mediate in Zimbabwe

CAPE TOWN, South Africa (CNS) — Archbishop Pius Ncube of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, has expressed support for regional efforts to mediate in his country’s political and economic crisis. At a July 10 news conference in Johannesburg, South Africa, to launch the Solidarity Peace Trust’s latest report on human rights abuses in Zimbabwe, Archbishop Ncube, trust chairman, called African mediation efforts hopeful and urged the international community to support them. In March the Southern African Development Community appointed South African President Thabo Mbeki to act as mediator between Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe’s ruling Zanu-PF party and the Movement for Democratic Change, the main opposition party. The community hoped Mbeki could help pressure Mugabe to enact democratic reforms. In the past, Mugabe has treated Mbeki and other southern African leaders “with a certain amount of disdain” and has “shown us all that he doesn’t listen to anyone,” Bishop Kevin Dowling of Rustenburg, South Africa, said in a July 10 telephone interview.

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Toronto archbishop says wider use of Tridentine Mass enhances church

TORONTO (CNS) — Archbishop Thomas Collins of Toronto said wider use of the Tridentine Mass enhances the diverse Catholic Church in Canada. “We celebrate Toronto as the most diverse diocese in the world. We’ve just been enriched. I think the whole church has,” Archbishop Collins said, referring to the release of Pope Benedict XVI’s July 7 letter allowing wider use of the Tridentine Mass, the liturgy that predates the Second Vatican Council. “This is a great thing, and it solves all of this disputing and all this stuff.” Noting that before the papal letter’s release there had been rumors and gossip about its contents, he said, “Now we have this wonderful document, and now we can move onto other things.” For Toronto’s 1.7 million Catholics, Mass already is celebrated regularly in 34 languages. The Tridentine Mass, celebrated in Latin, is offered at five parishes. In the apostolic letter, “Summorum Pontificum,” Pope Benedict eased restrictions on the use of the 1962 Roman Missal, which was standard before the new Order of the Mass was introduced in 1970. The papal decree was issued “motu proprio,” a term that reflects the pope’s personal initiative in the matter.

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In Havana, Latin American bishops’ council elects new officers

HAVANA (CNS) — The Latin American bishops’ council, meeting in Havana, elected new officers, among whose jobs will be overseeing the implementation of the guidelines in the final document of the Fifth General Conference of the Bishops of Latin America and the Caribbean. Archbishop Raymundo Damasceno Assis of Aparecida, Brazil, where the general conference met in May, was elected president of the bishops’ council, known by its Spanish acronym as CELAM. Archbishop Assis will lead the council, which represents 22 bishops’ conferences from Latin America and the Caribbean, until 2011. Archbishop Baltazar Porras Cardoza of Merida, Venezuela, was elected first vice president, and Bishop Andres Stanovnik of Reconquista, Argentina, was elected second vice president. Some 70 delegates, including five cardinals, were representing their bishops’ conferences at the July 10-13 meeting at San Juan Maria Vianney house in Havana.

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This year July 7 weddings outshine traditional June nuptials

PEKIN, Ill. (CNS) — This summer the traditional June wedding was outshone by another date that new brides and grooms especially preferred for tying the knot: July 7. Many couples were attracted this year by the threefold alignment of “lucky number seven” on that date: 7/7/07. But Jamie Funderburk, now Mrs. Jamie O’Brien, had a much simpler reason for choosing July 7 for her nuptials at St. Joseph’s Church in Pekin: The date was convenient and available. “Actually it was kind of funny, because all my life I’ve known girls who’d wanted to be married on July 7, 2007. Some women picked out that date when they were little girls,” she told The Catholic Post, Peoria’s diocesan newspaper, in an interview the day before her wedding. After Jamie and her fiance, Zachary O’Brien, formerly of Harvard, Ill., announced the date they planned for their wedding, many of her friends began telling her that they had always hoped they would get married then. “I just thought it would be easy to remember, that it was kind of a cute date,” she said. “Little did I realize that the whole world would be interested in that date.”

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Women team up to bring prayers, laptops to military in Texas hospitals

SAN ANTONIO (CNS) — Two “angels” — one from the East Coast, one from the West — flew into San Antonio together in June bearing gifts to boost the morale of hospitalized military personnel and their families at Brooke Army Medical Center, Wilford Hall Medical Center and the Audie Murphy Veterans Memorial Hospital. Patricia Gallagher of Royersford, Pa., creator of the Team of Angels project, brought with her a thousand angel pins attached to messages of hope and gratitude. Laura Brown of Cody, Wyo., organizer of Laptops for the Wounded, came with four laptop computers with webcams to enable those who have been hospitalized to stay in touch with their families and others. Both Brown and Gallagher were clearly moved by their visit. “I had to step away several times and ‘regroup,'” Brown told Today’s Catholic, newspaper of the San Antonio Archdiocese. “I would start crying.” Said Gallagher: “To everybody we saw, we kept saying, ‘We just want to thank you — from our family, from everybody.'” Brown and Gallagher met via the Internet earlier this year. More information about their angels and laptop projects are available online at: and


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