Media Watch

Europeans Want God in Their Constitution

LONDON DAILY TELEGRAPH, Nov. 25 — Some 1.2 million people from across Europe have signed a petition requesting that the new European Union Constitution formally recognize the importance of Europe's Christian heritage.

The petition, which is to be delivered to European leaders, asks that each country be given the right to publish its own preamble to the constitution, including Christian references. The petition is supported by the European Parliament and the Pope, who has said, “One does not cut the roots to one's birthright.”

The constitution's author, former French President Valéry Giscard d'Estaing, deliberately excluded Christianity from the preamble, but welcomes the petition as a means to determine the depth of European commitment to the faith, the Telegraph reported. But other officials, giving credence to the claim the union has become actively anti-Christian, say it is too late to change it. According to one official, “These Christians could at least have the good grace to accept that they lost the argument.”

Cuba: Bishop Sí, Rosaries No

THE MIAMI HERALD, Nov. 30 — While Miami Archbishop John Favalora was welcomed into Fidel Castro's Cuba to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the Archdiocese of Santiago, communist officials refused to allow the American donation of 21 suitcases containing rosaries and medicine.

Archbishop Favalora led a delegation of 12 American Church leaders to Santiago, where a bicentennial Mass was celebrated Nov. 28 by Archbishop Pedro Meurice Estiu.

The next day, the Americans were told their gifts were illegal. “We will try to deliver them later, by different means,” Archbishop Favalora said.

Despite this unpleasantness, the Miami archbishop was impressed by the fervor of the Cuban believers. “The Church was filled by people of every age,” he said. “You might expect that, 40 years after the revolution, it might not have many young people. But they were there … The grace of God is abounding because of it.”

No Christmas for Britain's Red Cross

LONDON MAIL ON SUNDAY, Nov. 28 — Conservative commentator Peter Hitchens has castigated the British Red Cross for banning the Nativity from its Christmas cards. “When I call them for an explanation, I get some piffle about being ‘understood as being religiously neutral,’” he wrote. “Frankly, if they are so convinced they must upset unhinged, Christianity-hating fanatics, I'm surprised they dare sell Christmas cards at all.”

Hitchens contrasted the “cowardice” of the British Red Cross with its Irish counterpart, whose “website advertises packs of Christmas cards which ‘contain a selection of traditional, modern and religious images.’”

St. Francis Xavier's Body on Display

THE WASHINGTON POST, Nov. 27 — Pilgrims are converging on Se Cathedral in Goa, India, to witness the decennial display of the miraculously uncorrupt body of St. Francis Xavier. The display began Nov. 28.

St. Francis Xavier, a Spanish nobleman and one of the founders of the Society of Jesus, lived from 1506 to 1552. He is regarded as the greatest missionary of modern times and is known as the “Apostle to the Indies.” Every 10 years since 1964, his body has been displayed for 40 days in a glass-topped silver casket.

Cistercian Father Thomas Esposito says of discerning one’s college choice, ‘There has to be something that tugs at you and makes you want to investigate it further. And then the personal encounter comes in the form of a visit or a chat with a student or alumnus who communicates with the same enthusiasm or energy about the place. And then that love of a place can be a seed which germinates in your own heart through prayer.’

Choose a College With a Discerning Mind and Heart

Cistercian Father Thomas Esposito, assistant professor of theology at the University of Dallas (UD) and subprior (and former vocations director) of the Cistercian Abbey of Our Lady of Dallas, drew from his experience as both a student and now monastic religious to help those discerning understand the parallels between religious and college discernment.