Quotes and news
Global fight against child abuse
Mgr Charles Scicluna, in an interview with the Italian Catholic magazine Jesus, said that about half the world’s episcopal conferences have established policies for handling abuse problems.
The Vatican prosecutor said that due to a number of problems, dioceses in Africa have lagged behind, but in the rest of the world the situation is more positive, so much so that most episcopal conferences in other parts of the world have submitted their new guidelines to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which is expected to review the policies by the end of this year.
The Church in Malta had published such guidelines in 1999 and they have recently been revised.
EU Parliament condemns forced abortion in China
The European Parliament has passed a resolution condemning “the practice of forced abortions and sterilisations globally, especially in the context of the one-child policy”.
The resolution is a direct reference to China and comes a month after Feng Jianmei, a woman who was seven months pregnant was forced to undergo an abortion in China as her pregnancy was against the country’s one-child policy.
The Parliament also voted in favour of what it described as “the fundamental right of all women to access reproductive health care, including family planning and assisted childbirth”.
Amazon exploitation slammed
Bishop Jesus Maria Berdonces of Cameta, Brazil, said the government has allowed outside interests to exploit the Amazon’s resources and leave without considering their impact on the native population. The bishop said this showed a colonialist mentality and practice.
The bishop said “the profits of wealth (both mining and agriculture) should remain in the Amazon, and the people should be involved”. The Brazilian bishops are shortly expected to issue a statement on the region’s exploitation, arguing for an equitable role for local residents.
China defies Rome
Bishop Joseph Yue Fusheng, a vice-president of the government-backed Patriotic Association, was ordained in defiance to directives issued by the Vatican. The bishop will serve the Harbin diocese.
Five bishops – all of them recognised by the Vatican – participated in the ordination ceremony. Although the Vatican warned that bishops involved in these ordinations would be excommunicated, the practice has been that this penalty would not be incurred if the bishops were forced to join in the ceremony.
During the ordination, instead of the usual mandate given by the Vatican authorising the bishop’s consecration, officials read a letter of approval from the Chinese bishops’ council. The Vatican does not recognise this body, which includes other bishops ordained without approval from Rome.
Church has no problem with ‘God particle’ discovery
Fr Gabriele Gionti, a Jesuit theoretical physicist who works with the Vatican Observatory, said Catholics had no problem with the announcement of the discovery of the Higgs boson by scientists working at CERN. The particle, also known as the ‘God particle’, should not detract from belief in God, said Fr Gionti.
Describing the discovery as a sign of the “harmony in nature”, he said, “if you assume faith and believe in a good God who created the universe you do not see any conflict between science and religion”.
Physicists had called the Higgs boson the “God particle” because they had believed in it without physical evidence to prove its existence.
(Compiled by Fr Joe Borg)