'Church teaching on contraception often wrongly understood'
USING artificial contraception is a sign of "moral degradation", the pope said recently. Defending the Church's ban on artificial birth control, he said contraception "deformed" married love.
The pope was speaking to Italian natural family planning instructors at the Vatican. He said the Church would continue to propose a combination of selfcontrol and natural methods when couples have good reason to limit family size.
Father Joseph Chang Shouyi, CICM (Scheut Mission), who was incarcerated for almost 20 years because of his strong faith, and love for the Chinese Catholic Church died in Meiguiyinzi (Jining), Nov 25,1991. The 88-year-old priest died after a long illness in his room in the presence of two priests and a few friends. Fr Chang was arrested by the communist regime in the late 50s. He spent seven years in prison and another 12 years in a labour camp. Although he could have left China for Europe during the communist takeover he opted to stay to take care of his flock.
In 1979 he was freed. Then, all he wanted to do was to make the best use of the rest of his life and work for the reconstruction of the Chinese Catholic Church by offering his services to the official church of Suiyuan (Hohhot). His offer was refused. This prevented him from ministering to the people. He was left to celebrate Mass alone at home. Gradually other Catholics joined him. But in 1982 he was picked up at the home of a friend and brought to Jining where he was kept under close supervision in the Catholic village of Meiguiyingzi. There his mental and physical health slowly deteriorated For over 35 years his CICM confreres did not contact him for fear that the communists would use it to bring unjust the communists would use it to bring unjust accusations against him.
Catholic school withdraws from vaccination programme
LONDON, ENGLAND - A leading Catholic high school has withdrawn from a nationwide vaccination programme because part of the vaccine was derived 30 years ago from the tissue of an aborted foetus. But a national health care ethics centre has told the British bishops that Catholic parents should feel free to choose whether their children take part in the measles-rubella national vaccination campaign.
The high school, Ampleforth College, North Yorkshire, announced in mid-October that it would not allow its students — all boys — to receive the rubella vaccine. A statement by Benedictine Father Leo Chamberlain, Ampleforth headmaster, said that "an absolute respect for human life requires the condemnation of direct abortion and a refusal to benefit from the products of an evil action."
"Alternative forms of vaccination against measles, which is the main object of the present campaign, are available, and we will seek to make an alternative available," said Father Chamberlain.
He urged drug companies to produce a vaccine from cultures that were universally acceptable. "We believe that now is the time to ensure that the products of abortion are never again used for medical Purposes," he said.
One of the earliest reflections of my father was walking with him and mother to Mass. We were going to the Sacred Heart Church along Oxley Rise and he stopped to pluck some flowers for me.
While he was a boy in school, he would win prizes for Bible knowledge and for Catechism. I loved looking at lavishly illustrated Bible he won as a prize, full of line drawings of Biblical figures.
He learned his faith to some depth - knowing doctrine, the bible and some of the encyclicals and Thomistic philosophy. He loved teasing us questions like, "How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?" Like all good Catholics, there was a time when he seriously considered a religious vocation, he told me he wanted to be a Christian brother.
POPE John Paul arrived in New Delhi, India, Feb 1 for a 10-day, 14-city visit amidst very tight security and controversy.
Weeks before the Pope arrived, fundamentalist Hindu groups opposed the visit alleging the Pope planned to convert 200,000 people during his visit.
The Pope quickly allayed such fears in his arrival speech after a 21-gun salute and a warm welcome from the Indian government.
"My purpose in coming to India has both religious and human dimension. I come to pay a pastoral visit to the Catholics of India and I come in friendship with a deep desire to pay honour to all your people and to your different cultures' the Pope said after greeting the crowd of dignitaries with the traditional Hindu greeting: "namaskar".
Some 300 militant Hindus were arrested for trying to block the Pope's motorcade as it travelled from the airport to the Sacred Heart Cathedral in the city centre.
The expected muted welcome in New Delhi, where Catholics are a very small minority, was marred by anti-papal demonstrations and the burning of an effigy of the Pontiff by Hindu militants who carried placards and chanted: "Pope, go back to Rome."
MOTHER Teresa's faithful followers have opened up a home for the chronically ill in Singapore.
Five Missionaries of Charity Sisters who arrived in Singapore almost a year ago have been working quietly to set up the home in Irving Road, Paya Lebar. The Madonna Home which was blessed by Archbishop Gregory Yong, June 7, in a special ceremony, will house about 30 chronically ill patients who will move in probably in July when renovations in the building are completed, said Sister Mary Regine.
The home will not discriminate residents by race, creed or sex. It will take any chronically ill patient without any charge, said Sr Regine.
FUNCTIONING Catholic churches cannot be used for concerts featuring secular music, said a new Vatican ruling.
The ruling, after controversies emerged in several Italian dioceses over concerts in churches, came in a letter to the world's bishops.
The letter said churches can be used on a limited basis for sacred or religious music shows. It also said approved musical programmes in churches must be free to the general public.
"The increased number of concerts held in churches has given rise to doubts in the minds of pastors and rectors of churches as to the extent to which such events are really necessary," said the letter issued by the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship.
POPE John Paul II said abortion was "one of the most dramatic problems of our age" which, combined with declining births and an aging of the population, threatens the very future of some nations.
The Pope spoke in St Peter's Square Feb 5 to several thousand banner-waving Italians, who had marched through Rome to celebrate the Italian Right to Life Day. His remarks came during renewed debate over the practice of abortion in Italy, where Catholic leaders are pushing for a more strict application of the existing law in order to limit the number of abortions.
THE Missionaries of Charity's "Gift of Love" Home for the aged sick and destitute was officially blessed and opened, promptly on Mar 25, as instructed by Mother Teresa.
Before she left Singapore after her four-day visit in January, Mother Teresa had left specific instructions that her Sisters should move out of their smaller Irving Road quarters, known as the Madonna Home, and into the Ponggol Home by Mar 25. Mother had wanted the opening to coincide with the feast of the Annunciation of Our Lady.
Vatican issues moral guidelines for health-care workers
(Nov 23, 1994)Health workers have a "grave moral duty" to refuse to cooperate with laws that allow abortion, it said. Moreover, the document pointed out that modern methods of abortion include the use of drugs or other means that interfere with the implantation of the fertilised egg. The doctor who is aware of this and prescribes such drugs "cooperates in abortive action," it said. It said health care workers have particular obligations regarding aborted foetuses. If still living, the foetus should be baptized when possible, it said. When the foetus has died, it should be treated with respect and, if possible, given a decent burial.Jan 8, 1995,
VATICAN CITY - In a document outlining moral guidelines for health care workers, the Vatican called on doctors and nurses to refuse to go along with laws that allow abortion. Health care personnel "are obligated to raise objections of conscience" to such laws and make clear their "civil but firm refusal," said the 122-page document. Titled, "Charter for Health Care Workers," the text was prepared by the Pontifical Council for Pastoral Assistance to Health Care Workers and released at the Vatican Nov 23.
The pope offers a theology on the meaning of weeping Marian images
Jan 8, 1995.
SYRACUSE, SIVILY - In the middle of the ancient Sicilian seaport of Syracuse is a recently completed 250- foot-tall cement church shaped like a tear. Pope John Paul I I used it to outline his theology of cosmic crying. The inverted conical structure houses the latest Marian shrine inaugurated by Pope John Paul. It was the dedication ceremony that gave him the chance to express his views on the spiritual meaning of weeping. Briefly, the theology goes like this: tears are generally expressions of personal joy or sorrow, love or pain. But when tears shed by Marian images are declared miraculous by the church, they take on an atmost cosmic significance. They show concern for events past and forewarn of dangers to come. They are tears of prayer and hope.
The pope offered the view on Nov 6 when he dedicated the Shrine of Our Lady of Tears in Syracuse. The Shrine is the home of a small, framed plaster image of Mary which witnesses said shed tears between Aug 29 and Sept 1, 1953. Several cotton swabs containing the tears are also held in the shrine. The alleged phenomenon occurred in the small apartment of a young couple, Antonietta and Angelo Iannuso, while they were expecting their first child. News spread quickly, drawing people to the apartment.
Jan 8, 1995.
ROME - Two leaders of a Sudanese clan that converted to Catholicism in the 1970s were crucified for refusing to renounce their faith and return to Islam, said the head of a Sudanese diocese.
Msgr Cesare Mazolari, a Comboni missionary and apostolic administrator of the Diocese of Rumbek, said the mid-August crucifixions were reported in a letter from the vicar general of the Archdiocese of Khartoum. "Death is implied (in the letter), but not stated," Msgr Mazzolari told Catholic News Service in a Dec 7 interview from Brescia, Italy.
Crucifixion victims are tied to a cross and left without food or drink under the hot sun, he said. Even if they are taken down before they die, "it is torture and a violation of human rights." "I tell my people of instances of crucifixion and they say this goes on all the time," Msgr Mazolari said, although religious and human rights experts have not been able to verify the extent of the practice. The missionary was preparing to return to Nairobi, Kenya, where he is based, when fighting between the Sudanese government and members of the Sudanese People's Liberation Army made it impossible for him to stay in southem Sudan.
Excerpts by Very Rev. E. Bourke, S.J. at the RED MASS in the Good Shepherd Cathedral, on the opening day of the Law Courts, Jan. 14.1959
There were four boys who had caught fish. The first boy put his in a bowl full of water. He was surprised when later he found them dead. He thought fish lived just on water. and required nothing more. The second boy gave his fish fresh water. His lived longer, but also died. The third boy realised that fish required fresh water AND food . He himself liked chocolate, so he gave the fish chocolate. They lived awhile. but they also died. The fourth boy knew the nature of his fish. He gave them the food their natures required, and they lived. All loved their fish but the first three liquidated them.
The primary essential for statesmen, legislators, teachers, welfare workers, rulers, is to know the nature of man - what he is, and what is the purpose of his existence. If they do not know, they should not presume to prescribe for his welfare. If they err in essentials concerning man's nature. how can they work for his welfare, no matter how sincere and devoted they may be?
The four types in the parable are here in Singapore, as elsewhere. We have those who are ignorant of the very nature of man. They consider that he is a mere material being, just a clever animal, and he is to be given an education by those in power. Such a theory, ignoring man's nature, cannot help him in the purpose of his existence. Man has a right to be protected from those who would treat him as an animal, a right to be treated for what he is.
The prayer to St. Francis de Sales, patron of newsmen, was recently quoted in Ray Erwin's Column in "Editor and Publisher." It originally appeared in the Journal of the British Institute of Journalists. As this is Catholic Press month, it' is reprinted here.
St. Francis, dear patron of a harrowed tribe, grant us thy protection.
Bestow on us, thy servants, a little more of thy critical spirit, and a little less on our readers. Confer on our subscribers the grace of condescension in overlooking our faults and the grace of promptitude in paying our bills.
It was previously announced that General Plutarco Elias Calles, the Mexican dictator and intensifier of the persecution of the Church, had been operated upon in a Catholic hospital in Los Angeles conducted by nuns. Now, another message from Los Angeles informs us, Rodolfo Elias Calles, one of the arch-persecutors and Secretary of Communications in the Mexican Cabinet, has entered the same hospital to receive treatment for the recurrence of an old disorder for which he once underwent an operation.
There are many indications of the breaking down of prejudice against the Catholic Church and priests in the South of U.S.A. Among the striking instances reported recently here an invitation from the minister and deacons of a Methodist church to use that structure for a Catholic mission, a call to a priest to be a "part-time pastor" of a coloured Protestant church, and the closing of all local Protestant churches so that the congregation might attend a mission.
This course of action implies a different attitude from that which prevailed in the days when Catholic priests were more hated than the devil and more feared than poison.
In a, previous article we have stated that authority in the Church is a positive, divine institution. The Church is the Society established by Christ to teach us His doctrine and guide our lives. Nor did Christ confine Himself to determining the broad, general lines of this organisation; He designed the chiefs and designated them by name—Peter, and the eleven.
It was to Peter He said, "Feed my sheep." It was to the apostles that He said, "Go and teach," and "do this in remembrance of me." The divine constitution of the Church implies therefore the duty of obedience. The Church remains the supreme power on earth in the moral order. The Church is commissioned to speak in the name of God and no one, therefore has any right or any mission to sit in judgment on the Church itself. The Church by its magisterial authority in faith and morals is above every temporal power and above the Church there is only God.
It is somewhat heartening to Catholics to see the tendency in a certain section of the lay press to give credit where credit is due, in cases where Catholics are concerned. Hitherto there appeared to be a tendency to give publicity only to matters that placed Catholics in an unfavourable light. We refer to the publication, recently, of news regarding the achievement of two Malay notables who had received their earlier education in a Catholic school, St. Paul's Institution at Seremban.
Lay ApostolateWhat An Apostle Is.
Christ chose the twelve for a special purpose and gave them special powers and functions. An apostle is one invested by Christ with the power of governing His Church, of offering the Eucharistic Sacrifice, of remitting sins, of teaching and baptising. We see the twelve apostles, in the Acts and in the Letters, administering sacraments, preaching the word of God, judging in all questions of Christian Doctrine, inflicting penalties where necessary and acting as the administrators of church property.
And what is of supreme importance, they can transmit their powers to others by the imposition of hands. Such are the functions of the twelve apostles as described in the New Testament. Were They All Equal in Power and Dignity?
From the " Flowers of Avron," journal of the Young Girls' Society of the Diocese of Rennes, France).Hail Mary.
Who, Mother, pays you this respectful homage?
It is Heaven itself, an angel, one of the greatest in the court of Heaven, who comes down and Humbles himself before you, an humble young girl, a little flower of Judea.
CATHOLICS to-day are surely living in the most stirring and adventurous times that the Church has ever been through," declares the Archbishop of Birmingham in his Advent letter.
"Great events happen almost every day, each having some bearing on Catholic destinies, vast changes and revolutions not only in outward affairs, but in habits of thought and ideals of conduct. "A new age is beginning, whether we like it or not, bringing with it many difficulties and perplexities. "To be a real Catholic now is to live dangerously, to shoulder burdens and undertake responsibilities undreamt of in more tranquil times, to experience struggles and rewards, joy and griefs that the ordinary commonplace paganism knows nothing of "Life is full of difficulties.
Rome. The prediction of a native prophetess of the Gambier Islands, who at the beginning of the 19th century announced the coming of Catholic priests was recalled at the recent celebrations in the Vicariate of Tahiti commemorating the arrival of the first two missionaries. Father Caret and Laval, of the Picpus Society, reached Gambier August 7, 1834.
The people of the islands had been cannibals and were notorious for their cruel savage habits. Before their battles, which were frequent, the pagan priest invoked the idols with a prayer like this: "O Protecting Deities deliver into our hands the eyes of our enemies that we may fill our stomachs." If they were victorious they dug long pits on the battle field in which the vanquished dead were roasted.
Catholics have been falsely accused of believing the following errors, which the ignorance or malice of their fellow men has attributed to them. Catholics do not believe that—
1. There is any other mediator of Redemption than our Saviour, Jesus Christ.
2. Adoration of the Virgin Mary, the angels and saints, their relics and images is lawful.
3. God still makes new revelations to mankind.
4. Any one can by his own unaided efforts satisfy for his sins and earn heaven.
5. It is allowable to tell a lie, to break a lawful oath or vow—the end justifies the means.
6. All non-Catholics go to hell.
7. Catholics submit their minds to a human institution.
8. The Church enslaves reason by keeping from it the means of forming a judgment.
9. The Church enslaves the human intellect by her magnificent ceremonial.
10. The Church can grant permission to commit sin.
11. The Confessional demoralizes the individual and national conscience.
- Malaya Catholic Leader, January 19th, 1935 (1935.pdf pp47)
PROPAGATION OF FAITH
OFFICIAL MAKES 52 000 MILE TRIP AND REPORTS FINANCIAL STATE OF MISSIONS IN THE ORIENT DEPLORABLE (By N.C.W.C. News Service).
Washington, Dec 14.—Lack of catehists is preventing large mass conversions to the Catholic Church in Missions jf the Orient, the Rev. James Troy, Field Secretary of the Pontifical Society for the Propagation of the Faith, revealed in an interview given here this week. Father Troy has just returned from a year's tour of Missions in the Orient, in the course of which he traveled 52,000 miles.
A word of caution needs to be given to Catholic parents concerning Charles Dickens' Posthumous Life of Our Lord, .which is published not only in book form but which is run serially in many periodicals intended for young people. The view of Our Lord taken* by Dickens is dearly opposed to Catholic teaching.
Rights, Recounting Official Promises by Mandate Power.
(Jerusalem Correspondent, N.C.W.C. NEWS SERVICE.)
By Dr. Alexander Mombelli, Jerusalem, Dec, 7. 1935
A statement of principle with regard to the rights, franchises and privileges granted to, and enjoyed by, Catholics in Palestine has been set forth by the Superiors of the various religious communities in the Holy Land following a meeting in which the whole subject of Catholic rights in the Holy Land was discussed.
The Microbiology Department, or anti-typhus laboratory directed by Father Rutten of the Scheut Fathers, at the Catholic University of Peking, has received a grant of $10,000 from the Chinese Government. The subsidy is part of the surplus funds of the Boxer Indemnity which are being distributed among 40 private universities in China.
It had been objected that the Chinese as a rule do not die from exanthematic typhus, and hence this aid would benefit Europeans more than Chinese, but several recent deaths in higher Chinese circles caused by this disease, are sufficient to refute the objection.
Since 1931 when Father Rutten began his campaign against this dread disease in Mongolia, there has not been a single death among the missionary personnel, whereas during the 20 year period proceeding, 84 missionaries died of the disease, 46 of whom were under the age of 35. (Fides)
- Malaya Catholic Leader, Saturday, January 12th, 1935 (1935.pdf pp12)
Every town in Malaya has its dog'* paradise, and in some districts the whole town is given over to the dogs. Greater Singapore is not yet so densely populated as to constitute a single connected area from the point of view of dogs, thus it cannot yet come under the "howl of a single dog, like an united chorus under the single baton of a Meecham.
But, speaking of the metropolis, there is one area that any conductor miw envy from the point of view of a continuous cacophony of sound, and the area is Cairn Hill, Emerald Hill, anfi Oxley Rise. In this area, the nightly ululations, of the growing population of canine substitutes for children is something to wonder at. This area, should furnish a record bag within the next few weeks, when licensing time comes round again. Would-be sleeeprs at night.
whose avocations during the day do not permit of their wasting the saved daylight in somnolence, should prepare a great reception for the dog shooter. "He should be regarded as Singapore's most prized artist during January.
- Malaya Catholic Leader, Saturday, January 5th, 1935 (1935.pdf pp6)
The most finely balanced of all God's creatures is man. He is able to stand upright, to sit, to lie, to kneel and to crouch. He is able to walk backwards, forwards, and sideways to every point of the compass. He is able to hop or stand on one leg. He can walk, run, leap, dance, jump, take short or long strides, balance on his toes, swing himself by his arms and climb a height. He can crawl or creep like an insect, turn a somersault like a porpoise, spin 'round like a teetotum and stand on his> head! He can swim like a frog and float on his back.
By Mary Sutherland, 16 yrs. of age. Mary won first prize for this essay in an Australian Magazine
The reason why I receive Holy Communion is that I need it so vitally. It is the essential spiritual food. It is just as important to the well-being of the soul as ordinary food is to that of the body, and if the soul is deprived of It the result is spiritual starvation and ultimately death.
Our Lord Himself brought this home to us very strongly when He said: "Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you shall not have Life in you."
Holy Communion is the best assurance we have of going to heaven, for when speaking of It. Our Lord made the promise that "he who eats My flesh and drinks My blood lives in Me and I in him and I will raise him up on the Last Day." It is no wonder, then, that St. Pius X, the Pope of the Blessed Eucharist, said that "Holy Communion is the shortest and surest way to heaven."