Quotes and news
Evangelisation needed urgently, says Pope
Addressing leaders of the Pontifical Missionary Works recently, Pope Benedict gave two reasons why the need for evangelisation is urgent today: “because after two millennia, a major part of the human family still does not acknowledge Christ” and “also because the situation in which the Church and the world find themselves at the threshold of the new millennium is particularly challenging”.
The Pope reminded his listeners that evangelisation means bringing people into contact with Christ and his Church: “Jesus, the Word incarnate, is always the centre of our announcement, the point of reference for our evangelising mission and for its methodology, because he is the human face of God, who wishes to meet all men and women so as to bring them into communion with him, in his love.”
Christians honour suicide bishop
Bishop John Joseph, who took his own life in 1998 in a protest against Pakistan’s blasphemy laws, was commemorated by Christians in the town of Faisalabad.
The bishop committed suicide in an effort to draw attention to the suffering of Christians who are targeted for blasphemy prosecution.
He shot himself in the courtroom where a Christian man had recently been convicted and sentenced to death on questionable charges.
Congress could help heal Irish Church
Dublin’s Archbishop Diarmuid Martin described the Church in Ireland as “a Church which has faced and continues to face enormous challenges, but a Church which is alive, energetic and anxious to start a journey of renewal”. He added that the 50th International Eucharistic Congress, to be held in Dublin in June, will be an important moment for the Church in Ireland.
“Even in secularised Ireland there is recognition that this is an important event for the Catholic Church, that others should respect,” he said. “The crisis isn’t about child sexual abuse; it isn’t about one individual. It is a deeper challenge. They are just symptoms of an underlying cause.”
Church media expert Fr Pierre Babin dies
One of the giants of the Church’s apostolate with the media, oblate Fr Pierre Babin, died on May 9, aged 87.
Fr Babin was recognised internationally as a media expert particularly in the area of group media.
As founder and director of the Centre for Research and Education in Communication for more than 30 years, Fr Babin used what he called the “symbolic way” of communicating the faith through new styles of language and images.
More than 1,300 students from 120 countries, including a few from Malta, were trained as communicators at Fr Babin’s centre.
Mgr Schonborn seeks Austrian Church unity
June marks the first anniversary of when a group of Austrian priests issued a “Call to disobedience” as well as of Archbishop of Vienna Christoph Schonborn’s efforts to hold his Catholic Church together.
Mgr Schonborn has faced organised dissent from clergy and laity seeking Church reforms, including admitting women to the priesthood.
Both supporters and critics agree he has responded in a pastoral spirit.
During a recent homily, Pope Benedict criticised – without specifying the country – a group of priests who issued a call to disobey aspects of Church teaching. There is little doubt he was referring to this revolt.
(Compiled by Fr Joe Borg)