Vatican City, Dec.06, 2008 (vaticans.org) - Cardinal Caludio Hummes, head of the Congregation for the Clergy which oversees the world's Four hundred thousand Catholic Priests, told L'Osservatore Romano that he had already urged the Bishops to form a prayer cell in which the faithful and Priests could gather to pray together. This proposal for a prayer group was suggested by him in an effort to help the victims of sexual abuse by Priests that have rocked the Catholic Church in recent years.
Since we all are sinners there have always been problems but in recent days very grave issues have been revealed, he told the Vatican official newspaper. After budding first in Boston in 2002 the Priest scandal started spreading to almost all Catholic diocese in U.S. Sexual abuse have also knocked most of the Roman Catholic Churches in Ireland and other countries. “Only very few clergymen were involved in serious scandals” told Cardinal Hummes.
Vatican City, Dec.29,2007 (CINS/CNS) - The Vatican official in charge of interreligious dialogue said he is confident a new level of dialogue with Muslims will take place in 2008.
"There is good will on both sides," said Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue.
After 138 Muslim scholars sent a letter to Pope Benedict XVI and other Christian leaders in October outlining a proposal for a new dialogue and greater understanding, the pope invited a representative group of the scholars to meet with him at the Vatican. At the same time, the pope suggested the scholars hold a working session with officials from Cardinal Tauran's office, the Pontifical Institute for Arabic and Islamic Studies and the Pontifical Gregorian University.
Jordan's Prince Ghazi bin Muhammad bin Talal, the architect of the Muslim scholars' project, wrote back to the Vatican in December suggesting that representatives meet in February or March to work out the details of the dialogue.
He said he expected the meeting to deal with "the dignity of the human person and his rights, first of all the right to freedom of conscience and religion," with the need for believers to "have an objective knowledge of the religion of the other," and with the need to educate young people in tolerance and respect for the beliefs of others.
Vatican City, Dec.13, 2007 (CINS/VIS) - Pope Benedict XVI has sent two telegrams of condolence for the death, at the age of 97, of Cardinal Alfons Maria Stickler S.D.B., archivist and librarian emeritus of Holy Roman Church: one to the late cardinal's brother and sisters, and another to Fr. Pascual Chavez Villanueva, major rector of the Salesian Society of St. John Bosco.
The Holy Father describes the cardinal as a "sincere and zealous collaborator of the Holy See" who in all his duties "provided precious testimony of fervent faithfulness to Christ and to the Church." He also mentions the "cultural and ecclesial industriousness of the distinguished jurist and illustrious cardinal."
The Holy Father has also sent a telegram to Cardinal Severino Poletto, archbishop of Turin, Italy, for a recent industrial accident in the city's Thyseen-Krupp factory in which four workers lost their lives. The funerals of the victims are being held today.
In the telegram, the Pope expresses the hope "that all means be used to safeguard the dignity and safety of workers," and unites himself to the suffering of the victims' families.
Lourdes,France, Dec 11, 2007 (CINS/CNA).- Presiding at celebrations marking the 150th anniversary of the Marian apparitions of Lourdes, the president of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, Cardinal Paul Joseph Cordes, lamented that modernity has destroyed the reality of bad morality and the awareness of sin, with myths packaged as psycho-pathological considerations and biological explanations.
Speaking about the value of reconciliation, the cardinal explained, “The insatiable aspiration of humanity for peace and reconciliation is often frustrated in Darfur, Kosovo, Iraq, as well as in the home, in sports and among neighbors. Aggressiveness persists, despite all calls to reconciliation,” he said.
“Those who deliberately reach out to their brothers and sisters, who live in a correct way and who foster forgiveness, are undoubtedly working for peace,” but “the root of the discord between men is discord with God. Only when man gives himself to God is peace born in the world. Only the man who has made peace with God can make peace reign around him,” he said.
Cardinal Cordes emphasized, therefore, the importance of the sacrament of Reconciliation. “My aversion, my hatred, should be acknowledged and confessed. Reconciliation with God is not fictitious; it’s not a simulation or a trivialization of evil. It allows man to have an idea of the importance of the forgiveness of God,” he said.
Milan, Dec. 7, 2007 (CINS /CWN) - Cardinal Dionigi Tettamanzi of Milan was scheduled to meet with the Dalai Lama on Thursday afternoon, December 6, according to Italian media reports. A spokesman for the cardinal refused to confirm plans for the meeting, thus underlining the diplomatic delicacy of the Buddhist leader's visit.
The Dalai Lama was in Milan at the beginning of a visit to Italy. He will be in Rome next week, and rumors had circulated in November that he would meet with Pope Benedict XVI during his stay. The Vatican has announced that no papal audience is planned-- leaving open the possibility that an unannounced "private" meeting could take place.
The Chinese government strongly protested the reports that the Pope would meet with the Dalai Lama. Beijing has lodged formal complaints in the past when other world leaders have met with the Tibetan exile-- who is regarded as a symbol of his country's desire for independence from Chinese rule.
The Hong Kong-based South China Post has theorized that the Vatican decision to abort plans for a papal audience with the Dalai Lama may have been related to the installation of Archbishop Joseph Gan Junqiu in the Guangzhou archdiocese. The new archbishop had the approval of the Vatican, but his installation had been postponed for months, apparently because of opposition from the Catholic Patriotic Association. In November Msgr. Pietro Parolin, the Vatican's equivalent of a deputy foreign minister, led a delegation from the Holy See in talks with Beijing officials. Those negotiations apparently removed the block to the installation of Archbishop Gan.
During his stay in Milan the Dalai Lama will lead an inter-religious prayer service, deliver a lecture, and meet with Mayor Letizia Moratti, who had braved Chinese objections to schedule a formal meeting with the Nobel Peace Prize laureate.