Archive for the ‘Pontiff’ Category

At UN, Pope Stresses Human Rights

April 18, 2008

By ERIC GORSKI, AP
April 18, 2008

UNITED NATIONS — Pope Benedict XVI told diplomats at the United Nations on Friday that respect for human rights was the key to solving many of the world’s problems, while cautioning that international cooperation was threatened by “the decisions of a small number.”

The pontiff, addressing the U.N. General Assembly on his first papal trip to the U.S., said the organization’s work is vital. But he raised concerns that power is concentrated among just handful of players.

Pope Benedict XVI concludes his address to the 62nd United Nations ...
Pope Benedict XVI concludes his address to the 62nd United Nations General Assembly at the UN headquarters in New York April 18, 2008.(Shannon Stapleton/Reuters)

“Multilateral consensus,” he said, speaking in French, “continues to be in crisis because it is still subordinated to the decisions of a small number.”

The world’s problems call for collective interventions by the international community, he said.

“The promotion of human rights remains the most effective strategy for eliminating inequalities between countries and social groups, and increasing security,” the pope said.

Read the rest:
http://news.aol.com/story/_a/at-un-pope-stresses-human-rights/
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Pope Critical of American Culture

April 18, 2008

 By E. J. Dionne, Jr.
The Washington Post
Friday, April 18, 2008; Page A27 
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The most jarring word that Pope Benedict XVI is using during his visit to the United States is “countercultural.” The American sense of that term is shaped by the 1960s: free love, drugs, hippies, rock music and rebellion. Needless to say, that’s not what Benedict is preaching.
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That word is the key to understanding how Benedict’s message runs crosswise to conventional liberalism and conservatism. Benedict came to the United States as a quiet but forceful critic of “an increasingly secular and materialistic culture,” as he put it during yesterday’s Mass. Almost any American who paid attention to his sermon had to be uncomfortable because all of us are shaped by the very forces he was criticizing.
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Benedict directly challenged an assumption so many Americans make about religion: that it is a matter of private devotion with few public implications.
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Not true, said the pope. “Any tendency to treat religion as a private matter must be resisted,” he told the country’s Catholic bishops on Wednesday. “Only when their faith permeates every aspect of their lives do Christians become truly open to the transforming power of the Gospel.”
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That is a demanding and unsettling standard for the right and the left alike. Benedict asked a pointed question: “Is it consistent for practicing Catholics to ignore or exploit the poor and the marginalized, to promote sexual behavior contrary to Catholic moral teaching, or to adopt positions that contradict the right to life of every human being from conception to natural death?”
Pope Benedict XVI holds a Mass at Nationals Park in Washington ... 
From REUTERS/Jim Bourg
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Read the rest:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/04/17/AR2008041703168.html?hpid=opinionsbox1

Chinese Cardinal At Good Friday Rites

March 22, 2008

By John Phillips
The Washington Times
March 22, 2008

The Vatican yesterday was accused of currying favor with China by “censoring” the Easter reflections for last night’s solemn Good Friday service at the Colosseum that Cardinal Joseph Zen of Hong Kong wrote at the request of Pope Benedict XVI.
Pope Benedict XVI holds a wooden cross before the faithful during ... 
Pope Benedict XVI holds a wooden cross before the faithful during the Via Crucis (Way of the Cross) procession celebrated by the pontiff, at the ancient Colosseum in Rome, on Friday, March 21, 2008. Pope Benedict XVI recalled the martyrdom of early Christians thrown to hungry lions in the Colosseum as he presided over the Good Friday Way of the Cross procession at the ancient arena in a tradition which this year was dedicated to religious freedom.(AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

But many commentators insist the choice of the outspoken Shanghai-born bishop for the task reflects the full support he is getting from the pontiff.
 

The pope asked Cardinal Zen, 76, to write the reflections, or special prayers, for the Way of the Cross ceremony yesterday, which was beamed on live satellite television to millions of Christians around the world.
 

Benedict presided over the ceremony but did not carry the cross as planned, the Associated Press reported.
 

He stood sheltered from pelting rain under a canopy.
 

At the end of the procession, Italian Cardinal Camillo Ruini handed Benedict the lightweight cross. The pope gripped it briefly and then blessed the crowd.
 

Plans were for the pope to carry the cross for the final minutes of the procession.
 

But Vatican officials said that because of the storm, it was decided that Benedict, who turns 81 next month, should stay dry under the canopy.

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtontimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080322/FOREIGN/44619244/1003

China claims Vatican prepared to sever ties with Taiwan

February 20, 2008

By P. Parameswaran

WASHINGTON (AFP) – China said Wednesday it had learned that the Vatican was prepared to sever all relations with Taiwan in order to forge long-suspended diplomatic ties with Beijing.

The sun sets over St Peter's Basilica in the Vatican. China ...
The sun sets over St Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican. China said Wednesday it had learned that the Vatican was prepared to sever all relations with Taiwan in order to forge long-suspended diplomatic ties with Beijing.
(AFP/File/Christophe Simon)

Ye Xiaowen, China’s minister of state administration of religious affairs, said after talks with the Vatican’s envoy in Washington that Pope Benedict XVI was also prepared to discuss Beijing’s insistence that the administration of the Catholic Church in China is an internal matter.Beijing has imposed….

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http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20080220/wl_asia_afp/
uschinataiwanvaticanreligion_080220220136

Peace and Freedom comment: Sounds like state-controlled media hogwash or Beijing dream machine to us!

Papal trip to China “unthinkable”: Vatican official

February 20, 2008
By Phil Stewart

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – A trip by Pope Benedict to China would be “unthinkable” at the moment because there is not enough religious freedom there, a Vatican official said on Wednesday.

Benedict XVI

The Pontiff has made improving ties with Beijing a major goal of his pontificate and last year a senior figure in China’s state-controlled church said he hoped the German-born Pope would make a landmark visit there.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080220/ts_nm/
pope_china_dc_2

The Vatican and the government of communist Vietnam also have a well known dispute.