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Europe' Smallest Countries: - THE VATICAN

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Author Topic: Europe' Smallest Countries: - THE VATICAN  (Read 3153 times)
Bianca
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« Reply #105 on: February 21, 2009, 05:55:54 pm »










                                            Priest who aided lepers in Hawaii to become saint






Nicole Winfield,
Associated Press Writer
Feb. 21, 2009
VATICAN CITY

A 19th-century Belgian priest who ministered to leprosy patients in Hawaii, and died of the disease, will be declared a saint this year at a Vatican ceremony presided over by Pope Benedict XVI.

The Rev. Damien de Veuster's canonization date of Oct. 11 was set Saturday.

Born Joseph de Veuster in 1840, he took the name Damien and went to Hawaii in 1864 to join other missionaries of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary. Nine years later, he began ministering to leprosy patients on the remote Kalaupapa peninsula of Molokai island, where some 8,000 people had been banished amid an epidemic in Hawaii in the 1850s.

The priest eventually contracted the disease, also known as Hansen's disease, and died in 1889 at age 49.

"He went there (to Hawaii) knowing that he could never return," The Rev. Alfred Bell, who spearheaded Damien's canonization cause, told Vatican Radio. "He suffered a lot, but he stayed."

De Veuster was beatified a step toward sainthood in 1995 by Pope John Paul II.

The Vatican's saint-making procedures require that a miracle attributed to the candidate's intercession be confirmed in order for him or her to be beatified. De Veuster was beatified after the Vatican declared that the 1987 recovery of a nun of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary was a miracle. The nun recovered after praying to Damien.

After beatification, a second miracle is needed for sainthood.

In July, Benedict declared that a Honolulu woman's recovery in 1999 from terminal lung cancer was the miracle needed for de Veuster to be made a saint.

The Vatican's Congregation for the Causes of Saints said Audrey Toguchi's 1999 recovery from lung cancer defied medical explanation. Toguchi, too, had prayed to Damien.

The Vatican announced the date for Damien's canonization and that of nine others. Five will be declared saints at a ceremony April 26, with the rest, including Damien, on Oct. 11.

Bell said Damien's concern for others was a model for all the faithful today, particularly the young.

"Father Damien's example helps us to not forget those who are forgettable in the world," he said.
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« Reply #106 on: February 27, 2009, 07:50:40 am »










                                  Vatican: bishop's apology on Holocaust not enough






Feb. 27, 2009
VATICAN CITY

The Vatican says the apology issued by a bishop who denied the Holocaust is not enough to admit him into the church as a clergyman.

Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi said Friday that Bishop Richard Williamson's statement "does not seem to respect the conditions" the Vatican set out for him.

Williamson apologized for his remarks Thursday. But he did not say his comments had been erroneous, or that he no longer believed them.

He had denied 6 million Jews were killed during the Holocaust, and maintained that no Jew was gassed.

The Vatican on Feb. 4 said Williamson must "absolutely and unequivocally distance himself" from his remarks if he wants to be admitted as a prelate in the church.
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« Reply #107 on: March 01, 2009, 11:38:27 am »









                                           Msgr Fellay rejects Vatican Council



                                Head of ultratraditionalist Society says no to reforms







(ANSA)
- Rome,
February 27

- The Society of Saint Pius X whose ultratraditionalist bishops were recently rehabilitated by Pope Benedict XVI will not accept the reforms introduced by the Second Vatican Council, the head of the order has told a Swiss paper.

Monsignor Bernard Fellay told the daily Le Courier on Thursday that the Council has caused the Catholic Church ''only damages''. ''The aftermath of the Council has been to empty seminaries, nunneries and churches. Thousands of priests have left their orders and millions of faithful have stopped being practicing Catholics and have joined sects''.

''If these are the fruits of the Council, they're strange indeed''. The Society, he said, is not willing to negotiate on the Council when it begins preliminary talks on rejoining the Church on a number of doctrinal issues.

''The Vatican has acknowledged the need for preliminary talks aimed at dealing with basic issues which stem from the Second Vatican Council. Making the acceptance of the Council a preliminary condition is putting the cart before the horse,'' he said.

There was no immediate comment from the Vatican nor from the Ecclesia Dei - the body tasked with negotiations with the Society - on Fellay's interview.

Earlier this month, Fellay said the negotiations with the Vatican would be ''a complex matter which cannot be settled in a brief time'' and especially ''not until the media hullabaloo is over''.

He was referring to Holocaust-denying bishop Richard Williamson, whose rehabilitation caused a rift between the Vatican and Jews.

He said the Society would continue to ordain priests as usual because the Church had not specifically ordered it to stop doing so when it lifted the excommunication on the four bishops on January 21.

The Society was set up by the late dissident French Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, an ultratraditionalist who rebelled against the reforms established by the Second Vatican Council of 1962-65.

The Council introduced reforms in liturgy, ecumenism, inter-religious dialogue and religious liberty.

Among the changes was the shift from the 'Tridentine' or Latin Mass towards ceremonies held in modern languages. This change particularly outraged Lefebvre, who saw it as a betrayal of the Catholic Church's identity.

Lefebvre, who died in 1991, was excommunicated in 1988 along with the four bishops he ordained without permission from the Vatican.

The Society of Saint Pius X was the only group to break away from the 1.1-billion strong Roman Catholic Church since the reforms of the early 1960s.

Despite its lack of official status the Fraternity is present in 59 countries and counts 453 priests and four bishops. It also runs seminaries in Switzerland, France, Australia, Argentina, the United States and Germany.
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« Reply #108 on: March 08, 2009, 10:57:59 am »









                                              Pope 'won't visit Shoah museum'




                                        Benedict to skip WWII 'silence' pope exhibit






 (ANSA)
- Vatican City,
March 6, 2009

- Pope Benedict XVI's trip to the Holy land in May will not take in Israel's Holocaust museum where WWII pope Pius XII is accused of silence on the Holocaust, the Israeli ambassador to the Holy See told ANSA Friday.

Speaking after reports that the Pius XII exhibit might be changed ahead of the May 8-15 trip, Ambassador Mordechai Levy said Benedict would attend a memorial ceremony at the Yad Vashem site but would not visit the museum itself.

Levy said the pope, accompanied by Israeli President Shimon Peres, would light a remembrance fire and make a speech. Earlier on Friday, Catholic sources in Jerusalem voiced hope the Pius 'silence' caption could be changed to avoid embarrassing Benedict.

They were speaking after the announcement of a debate on the controversial pope, who is on track to become a saint, at Yad Vashem on Sunday and Monday.

The symposium, which will take place largely behind closed doors, will look at Pius in the light of the latest historical evidence.

Organisers say the conference will see ''if there is something new or something which has to be completely revised'' in light of recent research by Jewish and Catholic scholars.

The Vatican has sought for years to persuade Yad Vashem to change or remove the caption which it considers defamatory. Pope John Paul II visited Yad Vashem in 2000 but the Pius caption was not an issue because it only appeared five years later when a new museum was unveiled.

In 2007, the Vatican ambassador to Israel, Archbishop Antonio Franco, refused to attend the annual Holocaust remembrance ceremony at Yad Vashem because of the caption.
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« Reply #109 on: March 08, 2009, 10:59:34 am »









NEW DOCUMENT LATEST IN VATICAN EFFORTS.



Vatican efforts to correct the record on Pius continued earlier this week when it publicised a newly discovered document urging Rome nuns to shelter anyone being sought by the Nazis in a bid to save his ''children,'' including Jews.

Father Peter Gumpel, the so-called 'postulator' of Pius's cause for beatification, told Vatican radio that a document uncovered by nuns in the Rome monastery of Santissimi Quattro Coronati urged that whoever was being ''persecuted'' be given hospitality.

The document, dated November 1943, lists 24 people who were given hospitality in the monastery of cloistered nuns in keeping ''with the wishes of the Holy Father''.

Gumpel said the document - together with a similar one sent to then bishop of Assisi, Monsignor Nicolini - proves beyond doubt that Pius did all he could to help Jews during the Nazi occupation of Italy.

The accusations by critics that he did nothing to prevent the infamous round-up of 1,022 Jews in the Rome Ghetto on October 16,1943 is ''an absolute falsehood,'' Gumpel said.

Referring to the beatification process - the final step towards sainthood - Gumpel said the paperwork was completed and was awaiting Pope Benedict XVI's signature.

Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone said recently that moves to make Pius a saint were the Vatican's business.

''The representation of Pius XII as indifferent towards the victims of the Nazis...or even as 'Hitler's Pope' (the title of a recent book) is outrageous and historically unsustainable,'' Bertone told a conference marking the recent 50th anniversary of Pius's death.

Bertone said the polemics - revived last October when a Jewish minister called plans to put Pius one step from sainthood ''unacceptable'' - were ''biased and ever less comprehensible''.
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« Reply #110 on: March 08, 2009, 11:01:18 am »









'DEFAMATORY LEGEND'.



Pius was the victim of ''a defamatory legend,'' Bertone said, reiterating a view expressed by Pius's supporters.

Jewish groups say the only way to settle the issue of Pius's wartime role is to open the Vatican's archives on the war years.

But officials have said it would take ''at least six to seven years'' to collate the thousands of files.

The International Jewish Committee for Interreligious Consultations met with Benedict in November to ask him to put off Pius's beatification until after the archives are available for study.

Benedict replied that he was ''seriously considering'' it, the Jewish group said.

Vatican sources later stressed the pope was answering a private question and not taking an official stance.

Benedict praised Pius at a Mass on the 50th anniversary of his death on October 9.

He reiterated that Pius saved the ''largest possible number of Jews'' by acting in silence to ''avert the worst''.

He told the mass that Pius's action had been recognised after the war by Jewish leaders including Golda Meir.
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« Reply #111 on: March 10, 2009, 08:23:30 am »









                                           Washing machine liberated women most
       





Mon Mar 9, 2009
VATICAN CITY
(Reuters)

Feminists of the world sit down before you read this. The Vatican newspaper says that perhaps
the washing machine did more to liberate women in the 20th century than the pill or the right to
work.

The submission was made in a lengthy article titled "The Washing Machine and the Liberation of
Women - Put in the Detergent, Close the Lid and Relax."

The article was printed at the weekend in l'Osservatore Romano, the semi-official Vatican newspaper,
to mark international Women's Day on Sunday.

"What in the 20th century did more to liberate Western women?," asks the article, which was written
by a woman.

"The debate is heated. Some say the pill, some say abortion rights and some the right to work outside the home. Some, however, dare to go further: the washing machine," it says.

It then goes on to talk about the history of washing machines, starting with a rudimentary model in 1767 in Germany and ending up with today's trendy launderettes where a woman can have a cappuccino with friends while the tumbler turns.



(Editing by Jon Boyle)
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« Reply #112 on: March 11, 2009, 07:43:44 am »









                                            Vatican daily slams stem cell move



                             Osservatore Romano against U. S. president's announcement






 (ANSA)
- Vatican City,
March 9, 2009

- Vatican daily Osservatore Romano on Monday slammed United States President Barack Obama's decision to lift strict limits on human embryonic stem cell research.

In an editorial, the daily stressed that ''recognition of personal dignity must be extended to all phases of existence'' and claimed that ''real democracy is founded on this maturity of thought''.

Following up on an election promise, Obama told researchers Monday that funds would be freed up for stem cell research, reversing a directive put into effect by his predecessor George W. Bush when he took office in 2001.

The Catholic Church is against such research, which currently results in the destruction of the embryo, because it considers foetuses human beings from the moment of conception.

On Monday the United States' Bishops' Conference described Obama's announcement as ''a sad victory of politics over science and ethics''.

''This action is morally wrong because it encourages the destruction of innocent human life, treating vulnerable human beings as mere products to be harvested,'' said Philadelphia Archbishop Cardinal Justin Rigali, who heads up the conference's pro-life activities committee.

Osservatore Romano on Saturday backed the bishops ahead of Obama's announcement by describing stem cell research as ''profoundly immoral and superfluous''.

Last month Pope Benedict XVI warned United States House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi that lawmakers have a special responsibility to protect the dignity of human life.

Speaking during Pelosi's six-day state visit to Italy, Benedict told her that the Church requires ''all Catholics, especially legislators, jurists and those responsible for the common good of society'' to promote human life from conception to death.

The Vatican's health pointman Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragan has repeatedly stressed the Holy See's opposition to the new president's stance.

Barragan argues that, ethical arguments aside, better research results are obtained from cells taken from the umbilical cord or from adult cells, while embryonic cells are ''useless''.

Some researchers into so-called adult stem cells have claimed they have the same potential as embryonic ones, but embryonic cell researchers have voiced scepticism.
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« Reply #113 on: March 11, 2009, 07:52:45 am »









                                             Pope in historic visit to city hall



                              Benedict XVI second pope ever to address Rome council






 (ANSA)
- Rome,
March 9, 2009

- Pope Benedict XVI on Monday made a historic visit to Rome city hall - the third pontiff ever to have done so after Paul VI and John Paul II.

In an extraordinary session in the Julius Caesar hall, Benedict became the second pope ever to have addressed the city council and assembly, eleven years after a speech by John Paul II.

In his address, Benedict - who is also bishop of Rome - called on the city to reject all forms of racism but also require its citizens to respect the law.

He said the city had become ''a multiethnic and multireligious metropolis'' where integration is ''sometimes arduous and complex''.

''I hope that Rome will find the strength to exact respect for the rules of civil cohabitation from everyone and to reject all forms of intolerance and discrimination,'' he said.

The pope acknowledged recent ''episodes of violence'' in the capital, referring to a string of rapes allegedly committed by immigrants which have resulted in a number of vigilante 'reprisals'.

Benedict said such acts of violence were born from ''spiritual poverty'' and said he hoped families and young people could reckon on a ''better future''.

The pope also noted the effects of the global economic crisis on the capital, saying that unemployment had led to families having difficulty in paying rent and mortgages and calling on individuals and institutions to redouble efforts to help those living in poverty.

Rome Mayor Gianni Alemanno said the pope's visit was ''a historic day for us all'' and said the council would institute an Observatory for Religious Freedom as well as a youth centre for troubled teenagers bearing the pope's name to mark the occasion.

During his visit to the city hall on Rome's Capitoline Hill, the pope stepped onto the balcony of the mayor's private office which overlooks the Roman Forum with Alemanno and the city's archaeology chief, Umberto Broccoli, but his view of the ancient ruins was hindered by strong winds, as a piece of his tunic repeatedly flapped in his face.

After addressing the assembly, the pope greeted members of the public who had turned out in smaller numbers than expected to watch the visit on a maxi-screen set up outside city hall in the historic square designed by Michelangelo.

''After living in Rome for so many years, I've become a little bit Roman,'' he told the crowd.

Following Benedict's visit, Alemanno rejected claims of an underwhelming public turn-out.

''There were actually a lot of people considering it was a Monday morning,'' he said.
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« Reply #114 on: March 11, 2009, 07:54:54 am »









                                               Pope to visit Dome of the Rock



                             Benedict XVI will be first pontiff to enter Jerusalem mosque






 (ANSA)
- Jerusalem,
March 10, 2009

- Pope Benedict XVI is to become the first head of the Roman Catholic Church to enter a mosque in Jerusalem when he visits the Holy Land in May.

The papal nuncio to the Holy Land, Msgr Antonio Franco, said the pontiff will visit the 7th-century Dome of the Rock, which is one of the oldest extant Islamic buildings in the world and houses a rock in which the Prophet Muhammad is thought to have left his foot print as he ascended to heaven accompanied by the angel Gabriel. ''The visit inside the Dome of the Rock has been agreed in principle,'' said Msgr Franco, who added that the pontiff would be accompanied by the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and other Islamic figures. Franco played down reports that Benedict may also visit the nearby al-Aqsa Mosque, saying this ''had not been spoken about''. Earlier on Tuesday the Custodian of the Holy Land, Father Pierbattista Pizzaballa, told the Italian bishops' news agency SIR that the pope would go to al-Aqsa, ''but we do not yet know with certainty if he can go in''. Benedict's predecessor, John Paul II, visited the Temple Mount where the two mosques stand in 2000 but did not enter either of the buildings. The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday cited church sources as saying that the pope was primarily coming to the Holy Land ''to pray''.

The pope confirmed on Sunday that he will be travelling to the Holy Land with stops in Jordan and Israel. In his role as head of state as well as head of the church, the pope will meet with King Abdullah of Jordan, Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas during his May 8-15 visit. Benedict will also celebrate masses in Amman, Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Nazareth.

While in Israel the pope will visit the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial but, like John Paul II, will not enter the museum where a photograph of Pope Pius XII is displayed with a caption criticising his failure to save the Jews from the Holocaust, the Jerusalem Post said. The Vatican disputes this claim and the issue remains a volatile one between Israel and Rome, especially in light of efforts to have Pius proclaimed a saint. The Vatican and Israel formally established diplomatic relations in 1994, when John Paul was pope.
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« Reply #115 on: March 14, 2009, 08:09:56 am »










                                            Pope 'suffered' over bishop's row



                                  Benedict's letter an 'unusual' document, Vatican says






 (ANSA)
- Vatican City,
March 12, 2009

- A personal letter from Pope Benedict XVI to the world's Catholic bishops shows how the pontiff has ''suffered'' over a row following the rehabilitation of a Holocaust denier and three other ultra-traditionalist bishops, Vatican Spokesman Federico Lombardi said Thursday.

The Vatican on Thursday officially released the four-page letter in six languages, confirming leaks of the text published in the Italian media Wednesday.

The text focuses on the tensions within the Catholic Church, rather than with Jews, caused by the affair, and Benedict thanks his ''Jewish friends'' who he says ''quickly helped to clear up the misunderstanding and to restore the atmosphere of friendship and trust''.

In the letter Benedict admits to ''mistakes'' over the handling of the affair, including the Holy See's failure to learn that British bishop Richard Williamson was a Holocaust denier by not checking the Internet, where the information was posted.

The pope also expresses ''regret'' for not having explained the ramifications of the rehabilitation of the four bishops, who belong to the ultra-conservative Society of Saint Pius X (SSPX) which broke with Rome over the liberal reforms fo the Second Vatican Council.

Benedict says that as a result of the breakaway bishops' rehabilitation he was ''openly accused'' of ''wanting to turn back the clock to before the Council'' and speaks of an ''avalanche of protests''.

The pope stressed that the rehabilitation of the bishops in January was a gesture towards reconciliation but did not mean that SSPX now possesses canonical status in the Church nor that its ministers can legitimately work within the Church.

Benedict defends his decision to rehabilitate the bishops within a context of Christian unity in a world where ''God is disappearing from the human horizon'' but stresses that SSPX will not be recognised until it accepts the Second Vatican Council reforms. The pope hits out at other Catholics for his treatment over the affair, saying that he felt his attempts to reach out to the breakaway group resulted in him ''losing any right to tolerance'' and being ''treated hatefully, without misgiving or restraint''.
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« Reply #116 on: March 14, 2009, 08:11:37 am »









'VERY UNUSUAL DOCUMENT'.



Father Lombardi said Thursday that there should be ''no doubt that the letter is (Benedict's) from the first word to the last'', describing it as ''personal and intense''.

''It's a very unusual document and worthy of the greatest attention,'' Lombardi said, adding that it revealed the pope's ''clear participation and suffering'' in the affair.

He stresses that the pope ''does not want to block dialogue within the church'', but wants this to go ahead ''in a respectful manner''.

''Saying that the pope wants to go back on the Council is not something to be taken lightly,'' he said.

The Second Vatican Council of 1962-65 tried to equip the Church for life in the modern world and introduced reforms in liturgy, ecumenism, inter-religious dialogue and religious liberty.

Among the changes was the shift from the 'Tridentine' or Latin Mass towards ceremonies held in modern languages.

Benedict, then Joseph Ratzinger, has been working to reunite SSPX with the Catholic Church since 1988. The German-born pope is himself an admirer of the traditional rites in Latin and his initiative to allow its return - as an option alongside the modern mass - had been expected almost since he was elected in April 2005.

SSPX is the only group to break away from the 1.1-billion strong Roman Catholic Church since the reforms of the early 1960s.
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« Reply #117 on: March 17, 2009, 07:43:51 am »









                                              Pope takes off on first trip to Africa






March 17, 2009
Martine Nouaille
ROME
(AFP)

Pope Benedict XVI left Rome on Tuesday for Cameroon, the first leg of a week-long trip to Africa that will also take the octogenarian pontiff to Angola.

In a courtesy telegram to Italian President Giorgio Napolitano on his departure, the pope said he was "moved by the strong desire to meet my brothers in faith and the inhabitants of these dear nations."

The trip is Benedict's first as pontiff to Africa, and during his Sunday Angelus blessing he said he wanted to wrap his arms around the entire continent, with "its painful wounds, its enormous potential and hopes."

He also said he intended to "confirm the faith of Catholics, encourage Christians in their ecumenical engagement and transmit to all the announcement of peace given to the Church by Christ resurrected."

The pope, who will turn 82 on April 16, last month said he wanted 2009 to be the "Year of Africa," to include the trip to Cameroon and Angola, a conference of African bishops in Rome in September and an African synod at the Vatican in October.

The pope was expected to land in the Cameroonian capital Yaounde around 4:00 pm.

The stop in Yaounde, where Benedict will stay until Friday, will include a meeting with the representatives of 52 African states preparing the October synod on the theme of "The Church in Africa at the Service of Reconciliation, Justice and Peace."

Benedict, who is due to celebrate an open-air mass in Yaounde on Thursday, will also meet with representatives of the Muslim community and associations serving the handicapped.

Cameroon enjoys harmonious relations between Christians and members of other faiths, in contrast with neighbouring Nigeria where conflicts persist between Christians and Muslims.

In December, at least 200 people were killed in such violence in Jos, a city in central Nigeria.

Imam Ibrahim Moubarak Mbombo, head of the Islamic Union of Cameroon, has said that the two groups -- each numbering around eight million in a population of some 18.5 million -- stress their solidarity with each other.

He pointed to Cameroon's diverse makeup, with some 250 ethnic groups, as a factor contributing to peaceful coexistence, and noted that inter-faith marriages were commonplace.

"When disadvantaged Christians come to us, we help them," he told AFP in Yaounde, and cited the example of a Christian who donated funds to enable the construction of a mosque in the southwestern city of Buea.

Inter-faith working groups meet to discuss "the fight against corruption, violence on women and to try to find solutions together," said Catholic sociologist Pierre Titi Nwel.

In Angola, which is still recovering from 27 years of civil war, Benedict will meet with diplomats posted in Luanda and urge the international community not to abandon Africa.

The world's poorest continent today is torn by many other conflicts, notably in Sudan's western Darfur state, often cited by the pope in his public speeches and prayers, as well as in the DR Congo, Ivory Coast and elsewhere.

Benedict will celebrate an open-air mass in Luanda on Sunday.

The trip is Benedict's 11th outside Italy in his four years as the head of the world's 1.1 billion Catholics and his first to Africa.

While it is his first trip to Africa as pope, Benedict has travelled to the continent once before, as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger in 1987 when he visited the DR Congo (then Zaire).
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« Reply #118 on: March 18, 2009, 05:41:30 pm »










                                                FRANCE CHASTISES POPE ON CONDOMS






The French foreign ministry has voiced "sharp concern" following the Pope's rejection of condom use
to fight Aids.

Benedict XVI, who is on a tour of Africa, said handing out condoms only increased the problem of HIV/Aids.

The Roman Catholic Church says marital fidelity and sexual abstinence are the best way to prevent the spread of HIV.

But France, echoing the reaction of some aid agencies, said it "voices extremely sharp concern over the consequences of [the Pope's comments]".

"While it is not up to us to pass judgment on Church doctrine, we consider that such comments are a threat to public health policies and the duty to protect human life," foreign ministry spokesman Eric Chevallier said.





'HIV tragedy'

 
The Pope arrived in Cameroon on Tuesday at the start of his week-long African tour.

He urged Christians everywhere to speak out against corruption and abuses of power.

"A Christian can never remain silent," he said, after being greeted by President Paul Biya, Cameroon's ruler for the past 26 years.

But he sparked controversy by telling reporters that HIV/Aids was "a tragedy that cannot be overcome by money alone, that cannot be overcome through the distribution of condoms, which can even increase the problem".

The solution lay, he said, in a "spiritual and human awakening" and "friendship for those who suffer".

Some activists were dismayed by the approach, saying condoms were one of the few methods proved to stop the spread of HIV.

Rebecca Hodes, of the Treatment Action Campaign in South Africa said:



"His opposition to condoms conveys that religious dogma is more important to him

than the lives of Africans."



Some 22 million people are infected with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa, according to UN figures for 2007.

This amounts to about two-thirds of the global total.





Private meeting

 
The Pope said Catholicism faced a threat from superstition
On Wednesday, the Pope attended a gathering of more than 30 Cameroonian bishops in the capital, Yaounde.

He told the bishops they had to preserve traditional African families and protect the country's poor.

"In the context of globalisation with which we are all familiar, the church takes a particular interest in those who are most deprived," he said.

He said it was the duty of Christians to help to build "a more just world where everyone can live with dignity", the Associated Press reported.

The Pope also warned of a threat to the Catholic Church in Cameroon from evangelical movements and from the "growing influence of superstitious forms of religion".

Earlier on Wednesday, he held a private meeting with Mr Biya at the presidential palace.

The BBC's Caroline Duffield in Yaounde says Mr Biya's consistent electoral victories have been widely condemned as fraudulent.

Having spoken out publically against corruption, many Cameroonians will be hoping that the Pope delivered his message in private as well, says our correspondent.
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« Reply #119 on: March 19, 2009, 10:33:20 am »










                                                      Why the Pope opposes condoms 




 


By Robert Pigott
BBC Religious Affairs Correspondent 
March 18, 2009


Pope Benedict XVI is a man of enormous authority.

When he says "don't use condoms - even to prevent the spread of Aids" it has a significant impact among tens, even hundreds of millions of people.

Getting on for a fifth of Africans are Roman Catholic.

The Church has been growing more quickly in Africa than anywhere else, and this is the Pope's first visit there in the four years he has been the spiritual leader of the world's approximately one billion Catholics.

With Africans - 22 million of whom are infected with HIV - hanging on his every word, that made his statement aboard the plane heading to Cameroon this week all the more significant.






There is something at stake that is greater even than the fight against Aids



The Pope said the "cruel epidemic" should be tackled through fidelity and abstinence rather than condoms, and that



"the traditional teaching of the Church has proven to be the only failsafe way to prevent

the spread of HIV/Aids".



An awareness of the Pope's huge position of strength has sharpened the criticism of his remarks, by others with a more liberal approach to preventing the transmission of HIV.

Rebecca Hodes, working in South Africa for the Treatment Action Campaign, was among the most trenchant critics.

She described Pope Benedict's remarks as



                                               "alienating", "ignorant" and "pernicious".
« Last Edit: March 19, 2009, 10:37:02 am by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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