Pope Blesses Ireland on Anniversary of His Visit
Archbishop Sean Brady of Armagh read the blessing at a remembrance ceremony attended by 2,000 people in Clonmacnois in County Offaly, The Mirror newspaper reported.
“The Holy Father prays for renewed vigor and a fresh dedication to the faith,” the blessing said. “He prays especially that, through the intercession of St. Patrick, the people of Ireland will set an example to others of Christian life in this new millennium.”
The ceremony in Clonmacnois isn't the only event marking the anniversary of John Paul's visit. A Mass was scheduled for Oct. 3, when a statue of the Holy Father will also be blessed, according to the Galway Advertiser.
Archbishop Giuseppe Lazzarotto, apostolic nuncio, was scheduled to attend the Mass, along with the bishops of Ireland.
Rwandan Priest Boycotts His Own Trial
Father Athanase Seromba was among 44 detainees at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, located in Tanzania, who planned to boycott their trials to protest plans to move detainees and case files to Rwanda, The Australian reported.
The priest turned himself in two years ago and has pleaded not guilty to the charges brought against him, the paper said. He is alleged to have prepared and supervised, along with local authorities, the April 1994 massacre of more than 2,000 Tutsis who had sought refuge in his church from Hutu killers.
His lawyers will argue that although he was present at the time of the killings, he was powerless to intervene.
The Vatican stands behind the priest, saying there is no evidence of Father Seromba's guilt.
Spain Set to Approve Homosexual ‘Marriage’
REUTERS, Sept. 19 — Saying “people have to be in charge of their own destiny,” a leader of Spain's Socialist Party said the government planned to approve homosexual “marriage” at an Oct. 1 cabinet meeting.
The reform would then have to be approved by the country's Parliament, Reuters reported. According to a recent survey cited by the wire service, about 70% of the Spanish people approve of homosexual “marriage.” About 95% of the country is Catholic.
Church officials in Spain and Pope John Paul II have criticized the agenda of the new Socialist government, which was installed earlier this year. Church officials have called the new homosexual “marriage” law “dangerous,” according to Reuters, and the Holy Father warned the country's prime minister earlier this year of the decline in morality in Spain.
On Sept. 17, the Spanish government approved a law to make divorce quicker and easier. The government also has said that sometime in the four-year term, it plans to look at making abortion more accessible.
- October 3-9, 2004