PRIEST BLAMED FOR BOMBING
Like in Northern Ireland the Roman Priests are at their bombing work in Asia
A priest’s car was set on fire earlier this month after he was accused of a bomb attack in a Muslim area of Ambon in eastern Indonesia.
The January 15 blast, which occurred during a meeting between the local government and visiting Cabinet ministers, sparked rioting that left at least one person dead.
Sacred Heart Father Eduardus Besembun said that he and a diocesan radio station employee were driving through the Muslim village of Batu Merah when someone threw a bomb from a public minibus.
The priest said the bomb exploded about 15ft behind his car and the impact injured the hand of the diocesan employee and shattered the car’s windows. He said he tried to avoid the impact by accelerating, but a tire puncture caused by the blast crippled the car and forced him to stop several yards past the point of explosion.
Bishop Petrus Canisius Mandagi of Ambon told UCA News that the bombing and the burning of the priest’s car were acts of terrorism, and that security officers should apprehend the culprits.
"I regret the accusation that Fr Edo threw the bomb. Catholic priests and the whole Catholic community are promoting humaneness," the bishop said.
Three years of intermittent Christian-Muslim communal clashes in the Moluccas and North Moluccas have claimed more than 6,000 lives and displace 700,000 people.
DEFROCKING WOMEN PRIESTS
PENALTY FOR MOCK ORDINATION
More action is taken by the Vatican against these women than against Rome’s paedophile priests!
The Vatican has published a decree confirming the excommunication of a group of women who participated in a mock priestly ordination last June.
The document of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith said the Vatican had rejected the appeal made by the women against the decree of excommunication published by the Vatican dicastery on August 5.
The CDF said the women’s "refusal to comply with the penal precept established by the Church" was "further aggravated by the fact that some of the … women have been gathering round them members of the faithful, in open and divisive disobedience to the Roman Pontiff and the diocesan bishops".
It added: "In view of the gravity of this contumacy, the penalty imposed is not only just, but also necessary, in order to protest true doctrine, to safeguard the communion and unity of the Church, and to guide consciences of the faithful."
The decree, dated December 2, was signed by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger and Archbishop Tarcisio Bertone. John Paul II approved the decree expressly and requested its publication.
The mock ordination was conducted by Argentine Romulo Antonie Braschi, a schismatic bishop and founder of a schismatic community.
The decree indicates that the women, of German, Austrian and American nationality, who participated in the simulated ordination, were Christine Mayr-Lumetzberger, Adelinde Theresia Riotinger, Gisela Forster, Iris Muller, Ida Raming, Pia Brunnera and Dagmar Braun Celeste. The latter used the name Angela White for the occasion.
ECUMENICAL HEALING FOR PAPIST SCHISM
Rome recognises these as churches, but even the Church of England she does not recognise. She says that she alone can give the accrediting of "CHURCH LABEL" – That accrediting really is the stamp of ANTICHRIST.
Talks to end ancient schism.
Hopes were raised this week of an end to a 1,500-year-old schism between the Catholic Church and the Oriental Orthodox churches.
Representatives of the Oriental Orthodox churches, separated both from Rome as well as from the Eastern Orthodox Church during the Council of Chalcedon in 451, visited the Vatican this week to re-launch a second phase of dialogue leading toward full unity.
In the first phase of dialogue, John Paul II and these Christian churches signed important joint declarations on the nature of Christ, overcoming one of the principal reasons for the fifth century schism.
THE POPE SHUTS DOWN IN JERUSALEM.
VATICAN CLOSES JERUSALEM CENTRE
The Vatican has announced it will not reopen the Ratisbonne Institute for Jewish studies in Jerusalem as scheduled in September, but will focus on strengthening the Judaic studies programme at Rome’s Gregorian University.
The announcement was published January 24 in the Vatican newspaper. L’Osservatore Romano. It was signed by Cardinals Zenon Grocholewski, prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education, and Walter Kasper, president of the Commission for Religious Relation with the Jews.
The statement was dated November 14, 2002; no explanation was given for its delayed publication.
"Severe, intractable and increasing financial problems," declining enrolment and "serious academic concerns" contributed to the decision, the cardinals said.
When Cardinal Grocholewski announced in June 2001 that the institute would close for a two-year reorganisation, Jewish professors published a letter expressing concern that it might never reopen. They said a permanent closure could be perceived as a sign of the Vatican distancing itself from Israel at a time of political tension.
HOW RIGHT THEY WERE!
PALESTINIAN STATE – ISLAMIC?
The Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem is looking at a draft Palestinian constitution that declares Islam the official religion of a future Palestinian state.
The patriarchate established a committee of lawyers to see if the language of the clause could be changed to include the existence of other religions within the established state, said a source at the Latin Patriarchate.
The source continued: "If we can have this opening toward another religion, it will be another sign of democracy. Now we are stuck because of the situation we are under."
Latin Patriarch Michel Sabbah of Jerusalem and other head of Christian churches were sent a draft of the proposed constitution by the Palestinian National Authority for review.
ORTHODOX CATHOLICS JOIN THE POPE’S ECUMENICAL PRAYER MEETING IN JERUSALEM.
The week of Prayer for Christian Unity took a decisive step in Jerusalem this year: the end of the Greek-Orthodox Patriarchate’s opposition to participation in these prayer meetings.
Archimandrite Alexandros of the Greek-Orthodox Patriarchate participated in all the meetings, Vatican Radio reported.
The archimandrite addressed the ecumenical celebration, held in the Cenacle last Thursday afternoon, to profess the common faith and proclaim the reconciliation of Christians in Christ.
"Christ is among us," he said.
Archbishop Aristarchos of the Greek-Orthodox Patriarchate told a Jerusalem newspaper that the Orthodox participated in this Week of Prayer "with reservation, but perhaps this is already a positive change in our attitude".
HELPING TO REBUILD A CORRUPTED CHURCH
LAY GROUP FIGHTS CHANGES
An American lay Catholic group has warned against structural reforms that it says would undermine the Church’s hierarchical nature and introduce a "subversive agenda".
In a book-length response to the clerical sex abuse crisis, the American Society for the Defence of Tradition, Family and Property said I hoped to counter what it said were efforts to manipulate the crisis and use it to "democratise" the Church.
Copies of the book, I Have Weathered Other Storms: A Response to the Scandals and Democratic Reforms That Threaten the Catholic Church, were dropped off at various Vatican offices in mid-January by Thomas McKenna, vice president of the Tradition, Family and Property society.
In an interview, Mr McKenna said his organisation was particularly concerned about the emergence of groups like Voice of the Faithful, which have called for deep structural changes in the Church in the wake of the abuse crisis.
"We want people here to know that there is another voice on this," he said.
"Yes, there is a crisis and there is abuse, and all that has to be addressed. But reform of the Church cannot mean restructuring of the hierarchy, which is divinely inspired," he said.
ROME COUGHS UP 16.8 MILLION BY THE CORRUPT CHURCH IN CHICAGO WITH ITS SEX SCANDALS
An American diocese has revealed the financial cost of clergy sexual abuse cases.
The Chicago archdiocese said the cost over the past decade has amounted to $16.8 million, of which $2.8 million was covered by insurance.
Its review board, formed in January 1993, found 55 allegations against 36 priests credible, but none of the incidents happened after 1991. Of the accused priests, eight are dead, nine have resigned and 19 have been removed.
From 1993 through to the fiscal year 2002, the archdiocese spent $4.6 million for the treatment, monitoring and transition of priests, and $4.3 million in legal expenses.
ROME STOPS TRIBUTES TO THE DEAD TO STIFFLE PROTESTS AGAINST SEX SCANDALS
An American Archbishop has banned friends and relatives from delivering eulogies at their loved ones’ funerals.
New Jersey Archbishop John Myers said the tributes were "getting out of hand" and could distract from the purpose of the Mass.
He said tributes should be read before or afterwards in a side chapel or at the graveside.
In a directive sent to Newark Archdiocese priests last week, Archbishop Myers said clerics could still talk about the deceased during the funeral Mass homily.
Jim Goodness, a spokesman for the archdiocese, told The Record newspaper: "We have been getting more and more requests for eulogies, and this is not something that has been traditionally a part of Catholic funeral rites."
The decision affects 1.3 million Catholics in the New York City and has angered many families.
Mary Jo Dervos, whose family wasn’t allowed to deliver eulogies during her grandmother’s funeral, said: "We felt it really wasn’t asking a lot for family members to speak."
R.C. PRIESTS EXPELLED FROM RUSSIA
HOPES FOR UNITY!
A Vatican aide has said he sees signs of hope for stronger ties with the Moscow patriarchate.
Fr Joseph Mal, an official of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, who is in charge of the section for relations with the Orthodox, expressed this hope on Vatican Radio.
He said: "Over the past year, relations have been difficult, not so much as regards the contents, but rather because of the interpretations that have been given to events. I am convinced that we are already in a process of clarification that will continue over the next few months."
The Pope’s decision last February to create four dioceses in the territory of the Russian Federation was openly criticised by the Moscow Patriarchate. It led also to the expulsion of five priests and a bishop.
SILVER ALTAR - BUT STARVING CONGREGATIONS!
A Polish priest has defended his decision to build a giant silver and amber altar in his church in the face of widespread criticism from Church leaders, who have called for the money to be given to the poor instead.
Fr Henryk Jankowski, of Gdansk, said: "When a nation is very poor, it can still achieve great works to remind itself of its history.
Some people think its better to give handouts, to eat and drink, and this is certainly easier. But this altar, a creation of our faith, will signal that other things matter."
The altar, featuring 10.5 tons of precious stones, will include an image of Our Lady of Jasna Gora with a 10ft white dress and diamond-encrusted silver crown.
Several other expensive Church projects have faced criticism in Poland, where unemployment is expected to rise this year, after reaching 18.1 per cent in mid-January.
Archbishop Damian Zimon of Katowice, head of the Polish bishops’ social affairs commission, said care for the poor and jobless should be a church priority during 2003.
The Tarnow diocese in southern Poland has distanced itself from plans by American Polish émigrés to erect a $20 million statue of Christ in thanksgiving for the pontificate of John Paul II.