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Rome, May 10, 2013 (Zenit.org)
On the occasion of the this year's World Communications Day, the Pontifical Council for Social Communications is inviting people from around the world to partake in the "Mesa Comun" (Shared Table). The initiative allows the faithful of the Catholic Church to share their audio/visual pastoral resources online.
The theme of this year's Communications day is "Social Networks: portals of truth and faith; new spaces for evangelization", will highlight the use of social media sites, such as YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter, as a means to evangelize around the world.
The Pontifical Council is continuing to extend the invitation to media offices of Episcopal Conferences, Dioceses and religious communities to send their material before May 12th, which will then be shared on their official site.
The initiative, the Pontifical Council for Social Communications stated, is "a new frontier of communion and participation.
Washington D.C., May 11, 2013 / 01:04 pm (CNA).- The latest report on child protection in the U.S. Catholic Church found a total of 11 credible allegations of abuse of minors by diocesan clergy in 2012, with a 20 percent decrease in the numbers of new credible abuse allegations about incidents in the past 60 years.
Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, the U.S. bishops' conference president, said in reaction to the report that Catholic bishops renew their "steadfast resolution" not to lessen their commitment to protect children and young people.
"We seek with equal determination to promote healing and reconciliation for those harmed in the past, and to assure that our audits continue to be credible and maintain accountability in our shared promise to protect and our pledge to heal," Cardinal Dolan said May 10, the U.S. bishops' conference reports.
The 2012 report on the implementation of the U.S. bishops' Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People was authored for the National Review Board and for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops by the bishops' Secretariat of Child and Youth Protection.
The report, drawing from the Georgetown University-based Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate, found 11 credible allegations that diocesan clergy and one credible accusation that a member of a religious order or institute committed offenses against minors in 2012. This represents a slight increase from the seven credible abuse allegations concerning the years 2010-2011.
There are over 38,000 diocesan and religious Catholic priests and over 15,000 deacons in the reporting dioceses and eparchies.
Overall, there were...
A society that "does not pay a just wage", that "does not give work" to people and that "only looks to its balance books, that only seeks profit" is unjust and goes against God, Pope Francis said in a homily this morning, the Feast of St Joseph the Worker (Guardian report here).
Pope Francis at today's General Audience
Speaking at a Mass in the Domus Sanctae Marthae in the Vatican which he concelebrated with Fr. Egidio Smacchia, founder of the Il Ponte project helping single mothers, Pope Francis said that work, rather than power and money, gives people dignity. When people are stripped of work, he said, they are stripped of dignity:
Work gives us dignity! Those who work have dignity, a special dignity, a personal dignity: men and women who work are dignified. Instead, those who do not work do not have this dignity. But there are many who want to work and cannot. This is a burden on our conscience, because when society is organised in such a way that not everyone has the opportunity to work, to be anointed with the dignity of work, then there is something wrong with that society: it is not right! It goes against God himself, who wanted our dignity, starting from here.
This evening, Pope Benedict is set to return to the Vatican, and to be welcomed personally by Pope Francis.
Whispers in the Loggia (another great site, which frankly does my job for me) has a great video collection giving some highlights of the last few months, since Pope Benedict resigned on February 11th. Take a look...
A fascinating piece from Catholic Voices. Here's a slice...
In his first major move towards structural reform of the Vatican, Pope Francis has announced the formation of a group of cardinals drawn from across the world to advise him on church governance. The Vatican said Saturday the Pope is acting on suggestions made to him during the pre-conclave gatherings of cardinals, when curial reform was a major topic of discussion.
The veteran Vatican-watcher John Thavis described the move as "a giant step toward reforming the Roman Curia and cleaning up the missteps and power struggles that have embarrassed the Vatican in recent years."
The eight cardinals are mostly presidents of bishops' conferences from all seven continents, hailing from Chile, India, Germany, Democratic Republic of Congo, the United States, Australia, and Honduras. The appointments show that Pope Francis has taken to heart calls by bishops from around the world to have more say in Vatican decisions that affect their areas.
An Italian archbishop will act as secretary of the group, which will hold its first formal meeting in October in Rome. Pope Francis has already been in contact with each of them, the statement said.
Go, read the rest...
Omaha, Neb., Apr 28, 2013 / 04:05 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- A new documentary tracks the gripping journey of how a priest and his community - through fidelity to Church tradition and Vatican II - turned a church with dwindling numbers into a thriving parish.
"We're trying to do everything as faithfully as we can, as beautifully as we can, to what the Church has given us," Father Damien Cook, pastor of St. Peter Catholic Church in Omaha, told CNA April 24.
St. Peter's is "dedicated to the restoration of the sacred," he said, with Masses sung with Latin and chant, liturgies celebrated both facing the people and facing the altar, altar boys, Eucharistic adoration, evening prayer sung every day, processions, and distribution of Communion at the altar rail.
"This is what we should do, if we're going to be a fully faithful church according to Vatican II and the whole tradition of the Church," said Fr. Cook.
"Where Heaven Meets Earth" is a 30 minute documentary produced by the StoryTel Foundation, which will be premiered on EWTN on Tuesday, April 30. A DVD of the documentary is also available for pre-order at the foundation's website.
Don Carney, the director of StoryTel Foundation, told CNA that his family began attending St. Peter's in 2006 because "we were completely blown away by Fr. Cook and his approach to the liturgy...the music really grabbed us."
"I had no plans to do a story on this place, but as we attended Mass, and then they had their annual Corpus Christi procession, I was so amazed by this huge outpouring of people...it's a really beautiful thing," Carney said.
If there's one thing we love on this site, it's TED videos, and last week the TEDx conference in Rome was addressed by a Cardinal. Specifically, Cardinal Ravasi. TEDx, in case you're wondering is the name given to independently organised TED conferences. Anyway, there's no video available yet for this, but Zenit have the full text. Here ya go...
ADDRESS OF HIS EMINENCE CARDINAL GIANFRANCO RAVASI,
PRESIDENT OF THE PONTIFICAL COUNCIL FOR CULTURE
THE TEDx CONFERENCE ON RELIGIOUS LIBERTY
APRIL 19, 2013
"We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools." This word of warning from Martin Luther King Jr. is of greater relevance today than ever before. For in our times religious liberty is not an option but a necessity. In our highly globalized world, where cultures are intermingled and adherents of different religions are constrained to live side by side, religious liberty is not a luxury of which we can avail ourselves or discard according to our whims and fancies, but an imperative imposed on modern society for congenial living and progress. In this connection, I would like to focus on three reflections this morning:
First, the Catholic Church believes in religious liberty, not just for...
I really like this...
it has been reported, fairly authentically, in the last few days that a second miracle attributable to the late Pope John Paul II has passed the initial stages of scrutiny.
Speculation suggests that if everything goes smoothly from this point on then Pope John Paul could be Saint John Paul sometime this autumn. This would make his canonisation even quicker than the rumoured date currently doing the rounds in the Youth Ministry community putting the date during the supposed (and probably) Krakow World Youth Day in 2015.
These reports seem fairly accurate authentic, although whether or not they actually lead to a quick canonisation remains to be seen. One thing is sure though… When JP2 finally is canonised there will be a massive party. Especially among youth ministers and young people.As I'm so fond of saying… Pope St John Paul the Great… Pray for us!
[image hotlinked from lastampa.it]
I've just been watching a programme on the iPlayer. A documentary about US TV programmes from the 50s up until the present day. The program starts with very very cheesy shows like 'Father knows Best' and then leads all the way up to modern shows like 'Breaking Bad' and looks at the social currents that have informed them.
Art and real life have always been forming each other. But I suppose what has changed on TV over the years is that art has allowed the darker side of life to inform it and to shape it more and more as time has gone on. For those of us concerned with the social currents that affect the world, this is fascinating watching.
The program is the first in a series and it's available here on the iPlayer until mid-May
This is a fascinating video for getting youth ministers thinking.
Rome, April 19, 2013 (Zenit.org) Father John Flynn, LC
With barely a month as the Church's new leader, Pope Francis has made clear his concern for the poor and his desire for a simpler approach.
Questions related to the social teaching of the Church, such as poverty, the distribution of wealth, and the management of financial institutions, have certainly been at the forefront in these last few years of turbulent economic times.
Jerry Z. Muller, professor of History at the Catholic University of America, published a reflection on this topic in the March/April issue of the magazine Foreign Affairs.
In "Capitalism and Inequality: What the Right and the Left Get Wrong" he observed that inequality is increasing almost everywhere in the post-industrial capitalist world. He commented that if this continues then it could generate a backlash against the capitalist system in general.
Mullor gave credit to capitalism and how it has "generated a phenomenal leap in human progress," but he also noted that it has brought with it insecurity and with the latest developments in financial and international markets growing risks for not only the lower classes but also the middle class.
Barriers to equality of opportunity have been very much reduced, he acknowledged, but not everyone has an equal opportunity to exploit this opportunity. One factor Mullor cited was the role of the family. Children raised by two parents in a stable union are more likely to develop the qualities needed for success in life.
After analyzing various factors Mullor concluded that "inequality in advanced capitalist societies seems to be both growing and ineluctable."
What to do
What can be done, he asked. Redistribution or government subsidies seem attractive at first glance, but both have substantial drawbacks. He recommended encouraging innovation, maintaining government safety nets and improving access to education.
The number of men and women entering the religious life in England and Wales has risen for the third year in a row, according to figures released by the National Office for Vocation, in a report published by the Catholic media organisation Catholic Voices.
Ordinations to the priesthood have also reached a 10-year high, according to the report, which admits that it does not include the number of ordinations to the Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, established by Pope Benedict XVI in 2011 to accommodate entire communities of Anglicans wishing to enter into full communion with the Catholic Church while still retaining their distinct liturgical tradition.
In total, there were 21 ordinations to the ordinariate in 2012, more than half of the 31 diocesan ordinations from the same year. The figures for the ordination of priests also do not include the number of lay brothers ordained to the priesthood within their religious orders, of whom many serve as priests in Catholic parishes throughout England and Wales.
The number of ordinations has also risen year on year in England and Wales since 2008, and notwithstanding the possibility of natural disaster or mass apostasy in English and Welsh seminaries over the next eight months, in 2013 the predicted total number of ordinations is 41, the highest number since 2002, when 42 men were ordained to the priesthood.
Read the rest of this piece on the Catholic Herald site... (as ever, ignore the comments!)
Okay, I have to admit that I think space stuff is rather cool. Not sure why, it just is, and this week there will be a Lunar Eclipse, which will be visible in the UK and throughout Europe. Aussies and Africans will also be able to see it.
You can read all about it here.
The Wikipedia page linked above gives full details, but the thing to know is that it will reach it's height (or whatever the term is) at 20:07 UTC.
That's 21:07 in the UK, 22:07 in Johannesburg and 12:07 in Sydney Australia.
I admit there isn't much of a Youth development angle here, but if you're youth group is meeting on Wednesday, it might make a nice activity...
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Our complete, 40 session curriculum for Catholic parish youth groups. Ideal for Bible Study, Catholic Prayers, Youth Activities...
The CYW.com Dropbox Folder...
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