Papal Loyalty of New Cardinal Draws Fire from Press
ABC ONLINE (Australia), Sept. 30 — Cardinal-designate George Pell of Sydney, Australia, is one of the new cardinals named by Pope John Paul II.
The announcement led secular media to scrutinize the cardinal-to-be, whom ABC Online (Australia) characterized as a “conservative” with an “unwavering and strict interpretation of Church doctrine espoused by John Paul II.”
The network noted that Cardinal-designate Pell had in the past refused Communion to a homosexual activist group and said of him, “He's been called ambitious, conservative, divisive, even a bully.”
ABC Online then cited Bishop Patrick Power of Canberra, the Australian capital, who commented: “Many of the values that I think are dear to Australian Catholics, such as the dignity of the human person, the primacy of conscience, the theology of communion, the need for dialogue in our Church, reading the signs of the times, I don't think that they're values that are particularly clearly enunciated by Archbishop Pell.”
Cardinal-designate Pell replied simply, “I stand with the Church. I don't teach any of my own doctrines. I teach what Christ teaches. I'm a loyal son of the Second Vatican Council.”
New Center Opens for Chinese Catholics in Rome
FIDES, Sept. 26 — The Chinese Catholic community in Rome has a new center, Fides missionary news service reported.
The Agostino Chao Center and Library opened Sept. 28. Its chaplain, Conventual Franciscan Father John Chiu, called the opening an “an event of great joy for all the Chinese people in Rome, Catholics and non-[Catholics] as well as all our friends.”
The Chinese chaplaincy serves approximately 250 Catholics out of a total Chinese population in Rome of roughly 6,000 legal immigrants and some 25,000 other Chinese workers all over the capital.
Founded in 1968, the Agostino Chao Center apostolate helps immigrants settle into society, learn Italian and negotiate legal and medical issues, Fides reported. It also evangelizes among the Chinese community in Rome.
The center takes its name from the first of China's 120 martyrs canonized by John Paul on Oct. 1, 2000.
Pope Blesses Seafarers on World Maritime Day
INDEPENDENT CATHOLIC NEWS, Sept. 25 — To mark World Maritime Day, Pope John Paul II met Sept. 28 with seafaring visitors and representatives of sailing organizations at Castel Gandolfo, his summer residence near Rome.
The Pope offered the pilgrims a special blessing and praised the work of the Rome-based Apostleship of the Sea.
The apostleship is a welfare agency represented in 89 countries and operates Stella Maris centers for seafarers of every creed far from home, Independent Catholic News reported.
Commodore Chris York, the national director of the Apostleship of the Sea in England and Wales, said of the meeting: “We are delighted that the Pope has again shown that the welfare of seafarers is an important part of the Church's work.”
- October 12-18, 2003