Vatican: Don’t Support Amnesty International

The Vatican is no longer providing aid to Amnesty International in light of the organization’s decision to support abortion, Agence France-Presse reported, following the story broken in the National Catholic Register.

Cardinal Renato Martino, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, said the Vatican’s move was the “inevitable consequence” of Amnesty’s decision. “Thanks be to God, there is no internationally-recognized right to abortion,” the cardinal said.

Cardinal Martino decried the methods of pro-abortion pressure groups, “which continue their propaganda in the framework of what (the late Pope) John Paul II called ‘the culture of death. It is extremely worrying that an organization as worthy as Amnesty International bends to the pressures of these groups. CNS photo

Archbishop: Philippines Too Dangerous for Papal Visit

Archbishop Oscar Cruz of Lingayen-Dagupan, the former head of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, said it would be “more prudent” for Pope Benedict to decline the invitation to visit the island nation, the Philippine Star newspaper reported.

In an entry on his blog ( entitled “Do not come, please,” Archbishop Cruz contended the Pope would not be safe in the country as there were many “killings and abductions, rallies and their violent dispersals, terrorist threats and syndicated crimes.”

He said, “There are travel advisories successively issued by a good number of foreign governments to their citizens advising them formally that the Philippines is not a safe place to go to.” Photo courtesy of

Benedict Prays for Eastern Church

Independent Catholic News reported that Pope Benedict prayed June 9 for the regions of the Eastern Catholic Church mired in a “vortex of inexorable violence.”

On the feast of St. Ephrem, a doctor of the Syrian Church, the Holy Father told representatives from the Congregation for the Oriental Churches: “As Father and Shepherd I feel the duty to raise up a fervent prayer to God and to make a heartfelt appeal to all those responsible so that everywhere, from the East to the West, Churches may profess the Christian faith in full freedom.”

“From my lips I raise a heartfelt invocation for the Holy Land, Iraq, Lebanon, all territories under the jurisdiction of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches and also for the other regions involved in a vortex of apparently inexorable violence.”

Pope and Patriarch to Meet?

Cardinal Walter Kasper said Pope Benedict and Russian Orthodox Patriarch Alexy II could meet within the next year, reported the Associated Press June 14.

Cardinal Kasper, head of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, was attending a ceremony awarding an honorary degree to Cypriot Orthodox Archbishop Chrysostomos II, who has offered himself as a mediator to help arrange the meeting.

“No one is against the meeting, even among the Orthodox,” the SIR agency quoted the cardinal as saying. “There is the hope that Benedict XVI and Alexy II can meet within a year.” CNS photo from Reuters