Quotes and news
Sister answers back
Sister Pat Farrell, president of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, the main organisation of Catholic nuns in the US, defended her organisation which is in conflict with the Vatican.
During a radio interview, Sr Farrell insisted that “there’s a need for genuine dialogue and there doesn’t seem to be a climate of that in the Church right now”.
“Imposing a silence doesn’t necessarily change people’s thinking but we continue to be very concerned that the position of women in the Church be recognised.”
Sr Farrell said the nuns represented by the organisation are very close to emarginated people who live in very painful and difficult situations. This is why they have a different perspective from that of the American bishops, she said.
World Day of Peace
‘Blessed are the peacemakers’ is the theme and title for the annual World Day of Peace message that Pope Benedict will give in January 2013.
The Pope’s message will take note of the 50th anniversary of Vatican Council II and also of the encyclical letter Pacem in Terris by Pope John XXIII, the Vatican said.
A Vatican statement said the Pope’s message will stress that “the primacy is always for human dignity and freedom, for the building of an earthly city to the service of every person, without any discrimination, and directed to the common good which is based on justice and true peace”.
The full text of the Pope’s message will be released nearer the date of the World Day of Peace.
Chinese bishop praised
Several news agencies have reported that Auxiliary Bishop Ma Daqin of Shanghai, China, is under investigation after his ordination during which he announced that he was resigning from China’s state-sanctioned Patriotic Catholic Association.
In an interview with the Asian Catholic news agency, UCA News, Cardinal John Tong Hon, Archbishop of Guangzhou in Hong Kong, expressed his support for Bishop Ma Daqin and criticised the Chinese authorities for their interference in the Church’s internal matters.
“Dialogue between China and the Vatican is a must. It is very urgent now to resolve the dramatic case of Bishop Ma Daqin,” Cardinal John Tong Hon said. “Only with dialogue will a ‘win-win’ result eventually be achieved.”
The Cardinal appealed to the government not to proceed with illicit ordinations, more so because Catholics are staying away from the bishops ordained without the approval of the Vatican.
Traditionalist leader sets parameters
Bishop Bernard Fellay, superior general of the traditionalist Society of St Pius X said the society would soon be answering the Vatican about the latter’s attempt to reconcile the society with the Church.
The society was set up in 1970 by the French archbishop Marcel Levebvre.
Fellay said they would insist on keeping their own identity. The bishop was commenting on a document called the ‘Doctrinal preamble’ which the Vatican came up with in its reconciliatory moves.
The document, which has not been made public, outlined what the Vatican said were “doctrinal principles and criteria for the interpretation of Catholic doctrine necessary to guarantee fidelity” to the formal teaching of the Church.
Mgr Lefebvre founded the society out of opposition to changes in the Catholic Church that followed Vatican Council II. He was excommunicated after ordaining bishops without the Vatican’s authorisation.
(Compiled by Fr Joe Borg)