Return to Rome

10/01/2008 Comment

Pope Benedict XVI today at St. Peter's Square. (CNS/Reuters)

Pope Benedict XVI held his weekly general audience at St. Peter’s Square in Rome for the first time since July.

The Pope returned this week to the Vatican from his summer residence at Castel Gandolfo outside of Rome.

In his weekly catechesis delivered at today’s general audience at St. Peter’s, the Holy Father continued his discussion of the words and actions of St. Paul.

Benedict discussed St. Paul’s argument at the Council of Jerusalem: that Gentiles who converted to Christianity should not be required to conform to the obligations of Jewish Mosaic law.

The Pope noted how the Council’s decision to support Paul was tied to the collection of alms from Gentiles and the...READ MORE

Filed under benedict xvi, general audience, st. paul

Cardinal: Politics Needs God

09/30/2008 Comments (1)

Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone. (CNS)

Exclusion of God and religion from public life has contributed to a host of contemporary social problems — including the current financial crisis.

That’s the assessment delivered by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican’s Secretary of State, in a Sept. 30 speech at a conference in Rome sponsored by the Aspen Institue.

Discussing the relationship of politics and religion in the age of globalization, Cardinal Bertone said, “I am convinced that politics is necessary, but I believe that, to communicate genuine values, it must respect the ‘bridge’ that unites each of these values with God.”

Without that bridge of transcendence, Cardinal Bertone said, politics loses sight of the...READ MORE

Filed under politics, vatican, wall street crisis

Da Vinci Boosts Opus Dei

09/30/2008 Comments (5)

Thanks for the help, Dan Brown.

Papal interviewer Vittorio Messori says the slurs leveled against Opus Dei in Brown’s lurid and historically inaccurate novel The Da Vinci Code actually have sparked a growth surge by the Catholic apostolate.

One of the characters featured in Brown’s fictional potboiler is an albino Opus Dei “monk-assassin,” and overall the novel paints a grim picture of the Catholic Church in general and Opus Dei in particular.

But according to Messori — the Italian Catholic journalist who collaborated with Pope John Paul II and then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger on book-length interviews — the “tsunami” of publicity generated by The Da Vinci Code has allowed...READ MORE

Filed under da vinci code, opus dei

Faith Can Be Strong Medicine

09/30/2008 Comment

The martyrdom of St. Stephen.

A team of Oxford University researchers reports that a Christian faith can help people deal better with pain.

The researchers gave electric shocks to 12 Catholic and 12 atheist volunteers as they studied a picture of the Virgin Mary.

The Catholics reported significantly less pain than the atheists, and brain-scan imagery revealed “neural patterns of pain modulation” had been activated in only the brains of the Catholics.

The researchers concluded some religious believers appear able to moderate pain by thinking about it more positively in the context of their faith.

Reporting on the findings, the U.K. Telegraph called the experiment “bizarre” but added it could provide an...READ MORE

Filed under faith, medicine, pain

Morals and the Markets

09/30/2008 Comment

President Bush speaks Sept. 30 about the financial crisis. (CNP)

There’s no quick end in sight for the Wall Street crisis.

But as Washington wrestles with approving a $700-million bailout package and stock prices see-saw dramatically, the U.S. bishops have offered prayers — and a call for a moral approach to resolving the mess.

In a letter to Congress and the White House, Bishop William Murphy of Rockville Centre, N.Y., has highlighted several areas to be addressed by any proposed solution.

Responsibility, accountability, awareness of advantages and limitations of the market, solidarity, subsidiarity and the common good are key principles to be considered, according to Bishop Murphy, the chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic...READ MORE

Filed under u.s. bishops, wall street crisis

The ‘Pro-Death’ Party?

09/30/2008 Comment

Pro-lifers in 2004. (CNS)

Archbishop Raymond Burke said in 2004 he would not give Communion to Democratic presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry.

The reason: Kerry’s pro-abortion political record.

Now the head of the Vatican’s highest court, Archbishop Burke said in a Sept. 27 interview the entire Democratic Party is becoming a “party of death.”

In the interview with the Italian bishops’ newspaper Avvenire, Archbishop Burke also criticized Democratic vice-presidential candidate Sen. Joe Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

The prominent pair of Catholic politicians, “while presenting themselves as good Catholics, have represented Church teaching on abortion in a false and tendentious manner,” the...READ MORE

Filed under archbishop burke, democratic party, joe biden, john kerry, nancy pelosi

Bailout Bill Stalls

09/29/2008 Comment

(KRT Illustrations)

Only hours after President Bush hailed a bipartisan agreement, the U.S. House of Representatives rejected a bill providing up to $700 billion to the battered U.S. financial system.

Speaking at the White House this morning, President George W. Bush called the bailout bill “an extraordinary agreement to deal with an extraordinary problem,” CNN reported.

Bush’s initial bailout proposal last week encountered heavy resistance from House Republicans, who objected to the use of taxpayer money to rescue Wall Street from its own mistakes.

But after the proposed bill was modified Sunday to address some of their concerns, House Republican leaders agreed to join in bipartisan support of the...READ MORE

Filed under congress, economy, george bush, wall street crisis

Prayers for Abortionists

09/29/2008 Comment

(CNS/Catholic Courier)

Human Life International has launched an international prayer campaign for the conversion of abortionists.

The international campaign promotes the praying of the St. Michael prayer following Mass.

It was announced Sept. 29, the feast day of the Archangels St. Michael, St. Gabriel and St. Raphael.

More information about Human Life International’s prayer campaign is available here.

A number of abortionists have converted to pro-life activism since the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion.

The most famous such convert is Dr. Bernard Nathanson, co-founder of the abortion lobby NARAL. Nathanson renounced his abortion practice in the 1970s and subsequently...READ MORE

Filed under abortion, human life international, south dakota

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