Archive for the ‘Catholic Church’ Category

Meaning of Obama Election: “America suffered a cultural earthquake.”

November 20, 2008

“America suffered a cultural earthquake.” That’s the point of view of some leaders…. 

A leader in the pro-life and anti-abortion Catholic Church cautioned of a decline in respect for human life and the need for Catholics to return to the values of marriage and human dignity.

Catholic News Agency

Cardinal James Francis Stafford, head of the Apostolic Penitentiary of the Holy See, delivered a lecture on Thursday saying that the future under President-elect Obama will echo Jesus’ agony in Gethsemane. Criticizing Obama as “aggressive, disruptive and apocalyptic,” he went on to speak about a decline in respect for human life and the need for Catholics to return to the values of marriage and human dignity.

Delivered at the Catholic University of America, the cardinal’s lecture was titled “Pope Paul VI and Pope John Paul II: Being True in Body and Soul,” the student university paper The Tower reports. Hosted by the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family, his words focused upon Paul VI’s encyclical Humanae Vitae, whose fortieth anniversary is marked this year.

Commenting on the results of the recent presidential election, Cardinal Stafford said on Election Day “America suffered a cultural earthquake.” The cardinal argued that President-elect Obama had campaigned on an “extremist anti-life platform” and predicted that the near future would be a time of trial.

Cardinal James Stafford / President-elect Barack Obama

“If 1968 was the year of America’s ‘suicide attempt,’ 2008 is the year of America’s exhaustion,” he said, contrasting the year of Humane Vitae’s promulgation with this election year.

“For the next few years, Gethsemane will not be marginal. We will know that garden,” Cardinal Stafford told his audience. Catholics who weep the “hot, angry tears of betrayal” should try to identify with Jesus, who during his agony in the garden was “sick because of love.”

The cardinal attributed America’s decline to the Supreme Court’s decisions such as the 1973 ruling in Roe v. Wade, which imposed permissive abortion laws nationwide.

“Its scrupulous meanness has had catastrophic effects upon the unity and integrity of the American republic,” Cardinal Stafford commented, according to The Tower.

His theological remarks centered upon man’s relationship with God and man’s place in society.

“Man is a sacred element of secular life,” he said, arguing that therefore “man should not be held to a supreme power of state, and a person’s life cannot ultimately be controlled by government.”

Cardinal Stafford also touched on the state of the family, saying that the truest reflection of the relationship between the believer and God is the relationship between husband and wife, and that contraceptive use does not fit within that relationship.

Read the rest:


Obama Will Once Again Make America A Fully Supporting Abortion Nation

November 17, 2008

Among a slew of executive orders Barack Obama is said to be drafting, observers believe one may lift a ban on US funding for overseas family planning groups that even dare mention abortion.

by Karin Zeitvogel, AFP

Among a slew of executive orders Barack Obama, pictured in October ... 
Among a slew of executive orders Barack Obama, pictured in October 2008, is said to be drafting, observers believe one may lift a ban on US funding for overseas family planning groups that even dare mention abortion.(AFP/File/Emmanuel Dunand)

“I think there’s a very good likelihood that he will lift the ‘global gag rule,'” said Steven Mosher, head of the pro-life, non-profit Population Research Institute.

“The previous Democratic president Bill Clinton just a couple of days after being sworn in signed a whole series of executive orders which undid the policies of the previous two administrations,” Mosher said.

First introduced by Republican president Ronald Reagan in 1984, the “global gag rule” cuts off US funding to overseas family planning clinics which provide any abortion services whatsoever, from the operation itself to counselling, referrals or post-abortion services.

When President George W. Bush came into office in 2000, he immediately reversed Clinton’s orders once again freezing funds to many family planning groups.

US funds to the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) have been blocked since 2002, with the State Department saying the UN agency supports China’s one-child policy, which is says amounts to coercive abortion.

A baby takes a drink as he waits outside a children's hospital ... 
A baby takes a drink as he waits outside a children’s hospital in Beijing in late September. China has a policy allowing parents to have only one child.  Some say this is coercive birth control and leads to forced abortions. AFP/File/Peter Parks

“The Bush administration has said the UNFPA supports coercive birth control methods and that’s why they’re blocking money to it,” said Tait Sye, a spokesman for the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA).

“The problem is that UNFPA money goes towards things like family planning and contraception, too,” vital services in developing countries, he added.

A World Bank report published in July said women in developing countries, where access to contraception is poor, often turn to abortion as a means of birth control.

Catholic Bishops Will Challenge Obama, Lawmakers, Nation on Abortion

Read the rest:

Catholic Church cuts off ACORN funding

November 13, 2008

The Roman Catholic Church is cutting off funds to the community organizing group ACORN, citing complaints over its voter registration drives in the November 4 election as part of the reason.

By Drew Griffin and Kathleen Johnston
CNN Special Investigations Unit

The Catholic Campaign for Human Development froze its contributions to the group in June amid allegations that Dale Rathke, the brother of ACORN founder Wade Rathke, had embezzled nearly $1 million.

This week, as the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops met in Baltimore, Maryland, the campaign’s chairman said it was cutting all ties with the group.

Authorities raid a Las Vegas, Nevada, ACORN office after allegations of voter fraud.

Above: Authorities raid a Las Vegas, Nevada, ACORN office after allegations of voter fraud.

“We simply had too many questions and concerns to permit further CCHD funding of ACORN groups,” Roger Morin, the auxiliary bishop of New Orleans, Louisiana, told his colleagues in a letter to the conference.

The CCHD has donated more than $7.3 million to ACORN-related projects over the past decade, including $40,000 to an ACORN chapter in Las Vegas, Nevada, that was raided before the election in an investigation into fraudulent voter registration forms. Among other questionable documents, the ACORN chapter submitted registration forms for members of the Dallas Cowboys football team.

Read the rest:

Vatican wants dialogue with China

March 13, 2008

VATICAN CITY – The Vatican and its high-ranking clergy in China want to have a “respectful and constructive” dialogue with Beijing authorities over the role of the Catholic church there, the Vatican said Thursday.
Pope Benedict XVI looks on during a penitential celebration ... 
Pope Benedict XVI looks on during a penitential celebration in St Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican March 13, 2008.REUTERS/Tony Gentile (VATICAN)
The call came this week during a meeting of a special commission on China created by Pope Benedict XVI.
Among the participants at the meeting was Hong Kong Cardinal Joseph Zen, an outspoken champion of religious freedom who at times has drawn the ire of Beijing authorities.
The Vatican said in a statement that participants focused on issues concerning the life of the Catholic Church in China. The pope, who has made improving relations with China a priority, is keen to restore diplomatic relations with Beijing.

Read the rest:

Vietnam Police Probe Church Land Dispute

January 29, 2008

HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — Police in Vietnam’s capital have launched a criminal investigation into Catholic Church protests over a land dispute, while state-run media accused church leaders Tuesday of abusing their power to incite followers to confront the Communist government.

Catholic parishioners and priests have been holding daily vigils for the past month at the disputed land, a block away from St. Joseph’s Cathedral in downtown Hanoi. They are praying, singing and holding candles while demanding the handing over of the land, which was taken by the government nearly four decades ago.Thousands of followers blocked the street Friday in the largest gathering, as many from outside Hanoi….

Read the rest:

People check decoration for Tet, the Vietnamese New Year, in ...
Tet decorations are all over in Vietnam despite the
church land dispute.

The old Vatican embassy, a former Hanoi church property is seen ...
The old Vatican embassy, a former Hanoi church property is seen Sunday, Jan. 13, 2008, in Hanoi, Vietnam. For several weeks, church leaders and their followers in Hanoi have been gathering daily to pray in front of the old Vatican embassy, one of many church properties taken over by the government after 1954. The church wants the government to return the one-hectare lot in central Hanoi, where such land is worth millions of dollars.

Vietnam’s Catholics keep pressure on communists to return land

January 27, 2008
by Aude Genet

HANOI (AFP) – Vietnam‘s Catholics have increased pressure on the authorities to return church land confiscated more than half a century ago in a rare challenge to the communist government.

Throughout the weekend, hundreds of protestors have maintained a prayer vigil in front of a house next to St Joseph’s Cathedral in Hanoi, the seat of the church in Vietnam until it was seized after the departure of the French and arrival of the communists in 1954.

Friday saw an even larger protest….

Read the rest:

China installs new Beijing bishop

September 21, 2007

BEIJING (AFP) – China‘s official Catholic church began Friday the ordination ceremony of Father Joseph Li Shan as the new bishop of Beijing in a move that has received the blessing of the Vatican.

“The ordination of Father Joseph Li Shan as the bishop of Beijing started at 0845 (0045 GMT),” Sister Yu Shuqin, a spokeswoman at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, told AFP.

Li, 42, will replace Fu Tieshan, who died in April, as head of the country’s highest-profile diocese.

Previous reports have said that while Li was named to the post without formal Vatican consent, the Holy See approved of the choice.

Read the rest at:

China to install new Vatican-approved Beijing bishop

September 17, 2007

BEIJING (AFP) – China‘s government-established Catholic church will install a new Vatican-approved bishop of Beijing possibly as early as this week, a top Chinese church official told AFP on Monday.

“Father Joseph Li Shan has been elected bishop of Beijing. I have heard there will be an ordination ceremony on September 21,” said Liu Bainian, vice chairman of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association.

The association represents the official state-approved Catholic church, set up by China decades ago following a rift between Beijing and the Vatican.

Read the rest at:

Saintood for an Asian Hero?

September 16, 2007

September 16, 2007

Word from the Vatican in Rome today is that Cardinal François Xavier Nguyen Van Thuan has been discussed with and by Pope Benedict XVI as a potential candidate for sainthood.

Cardinal Van Thuan was a newly appointed Bishop of Saigon in 1975 when the communists captured the city. Along with tens of thousands of Vietnamese people he was sent to communist re-education. He spent 13 years as a prisoner of the communist prison system; ultimately saying “I needed to stay where God wanted me” and “I have no animosity toward my captors.”

After his imprisonment he was selected by the Pope to serve in the Vatican. He was received by John Paul II into the Vatican, and ran the Pontifical Council of Justice and Peace, handling issues such as Third World debt.

During the Jubilee Year 2000, the John Paul II invited him to preach the annual retreat for the Pope and the members of the Roman Curia between March 12 and 18, 2000.The Pope asked Archbishop van Thuan to speak of his experience as one who could well be called a living martyr, a witness to the Faith.

The retreat talks were part of the daily e-mail dispatches of an international news agency.

Through this retreat, the world began to know Van Thuan and to hunger for his message of hope.His talks were later published under the title of Testimony of Hope. The title is appropriate, for his talks all speak of joy and hope, even in suffering and beyond the fear of death.


Van Thuan was born on April 17, 1928 at Hue, Viet Nam. Van Thuan came from a family of martyrs. From 1885 to 1888, tens of thousands of Catholics were killed by the van than militia, and among them were Van Thuan’s relatives from the village of Phu Cam. Warned of an imminent attatck, the Catholics of the village fled to their church to pray. Van than surrounded the church and set it ablaze and almost the entire community of Catholics died that night, including the family of Thuan’s grandfather. Among the survivors were Thuan’s great-grandmother, grandfather, who were not in Phu Cam that night, and one great aunt who escaped the inferno.

Cardinal Van Thuan’s mother played an important role in his formation. He said of her, “She taught me stories from the Bible every night, she told me the stories of our martyrs, especially of our ancestors; she taught me love for my country. She was the strong woman who buried her brothers massacred by traitors, whom she sincerely pardoned.”

In 1941, Thuan joined An Ninh Minor Seminary and was ordained on June 11, 1953. After six years of further studies in Rome, he was successively faculty member and rector of the Seminary of Nha Trang between the years 1959-1967.

He was appointed deputy archbishop of Saigon April 24, 1975. Within days of his appointment, Saigon fell to the communist Viet Cong and a few months later, the new bishop of Saigon was targeted for his faith as well as his family connection to Ngo Dinh Diem, the assassinated South Vietnamese president. He was jailed by the Communist government and spent 13 years in a communist ”re-education” camp, nine of them in solitary confinement.

He was never tried or sentenced. Speaking again of his mother, Van Thuan said, “When I was in prison, she was my great comfort. She said to all, ‘Pray that my son will be faithful to the Church and remain where God wants him.’”

During that time in prison, the bishop sought to console his people by smuggling out messages to his people on scraps of paper. These brief reflections, copied by hand and circulated within the Vietnamese community, have been printed in the book The Road of Hope. Another book, Prayers of Hope, contains his prayers written in prison. The bishop fashioned a tiny Bible out of scraps of paper. Sympathetic guards smuggled in a piece of wood and some wire from which he crafted a small crucifix. 

How he survived the horror of that time is described in a little book Five Loaves and Two Fish, made up of talks he gave to young people. He not only survived, but emerged as a man of transparent integrity, calm serenity and joyful hope. In his book The Way of Hope, Thoughts of Light from a Prison Cell, Thuan wrote: ”In our country there is a saying: ‘A day in prison is worth a thousand autumns of freedom.’ I myself experienced this. While in prison, everyone waits for freedom, every day, every minute. We must live each day, each minute of our life as though it is the last.”

Van Thuan was freed on November 21, 1988 and forced into exile. He was received by John Paul II into the Vatican.

Van Thuan was created a cardinal deacon on February 21, 2001 and received the red biretta and deaconry of S. Maria della Scala. Within a week, Viêt Nam’s Foreign Ministry eased restrictions and the Cardinal could enter his native country with only routine immigration procedures and was afforded all the privileges normally given to overseas citizens.

Nguyen Van Thuan died of cancer on September 16, 2002 in a clinic in Rome. He was 74.

Van Thuan had appeared on lists of possible successors to Pope John Paul II, particularly by those believing the next pontiff could come from a poor, non-European country. Vietnam still has the largest Roman Catholic community in Asia after the Philippines.

The funeral took place on September 20, 2002, at 5:30 p.m., in the altar of the Confession of the Vatican basilica. Pope John Paul II presided and preached the homily, the Ultima Commendatio and the Valedictio. Cardinal Angelo Sodano, secretary of State, concelebrated the mass together with other cardinals.

The first step in the process toward sainthood would be canonization. Canonization is the act by which a Catholic Church declares a deceased person to be a saint, inscribing that person in the canon, or list, of recognized saints.

In the Roman Catholic Church, the act of canonization is now reserved to the Holy See at the vatican and occurs at the conclusion of a long process requiring extensive proof that the person proposed for canonization lived, and died, in such a way that he or she is worthy to be recognized as a saint.

See more at:

China Awarded First Olympic Gold Medal (In Human Rights Abuse)

August 8, 2007

By Terence Jeffrey
August 8, 2008 

Tiananmen Square, where tanks mowed down pro-democracy demonstrators 18 years ago, was the scene this week of a celebration to mark the one-year countdown to next year’s summer Olympics, which will be held in Beijing.

The same communist regime that killed democracy advocates in 1989 will host the Olympics in 2008.

The first Gold Medal of these games should be awarded to the Chinese Politburo for its Olympian achievements in religious persecution.

Read it all at:

China certainly takes the GOLD in all HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSE categories.  Vietnam gets the Silver Medal…..

China: You Won’t Get The Truth

What Does Beijing’s Central Government Consider a “Threat”?

China Plans Happy Olympics But A Few “Small” Problems Remain

Human rights questions remain for China