LA CROSSE DIOCESE COUPLE GUEST ON “VATICAN INSIDER”
My guests this week on “Vatican Insider” are Jeff and Alice Heinzen of the diocese of La Crosse in Wisconsin who recently spent a hectic, work-filled two weeks in Rome as participants in the October synod on the family. Their talk introduced the afternoon session on Tuesday, October 7 during the first week of the synod. That session was dedicated to discussions on pastoral programs designed to meet the challenges facing families.
Alice is director of the diocesan Office for Marriage and Family Life and Jeff is president of McDonell Catholic Schools in Chippewa Falls. Listen to their fascinating take on the synod – their work, what they saw and heard.
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POPE FRANCIS IS NO. 5 ON FORBES LIST OF WORLD’S MOST POWERFUL PEOPLE
The Forbes article starts: THERE ARE 7.2 BILLION PEOPLE ON THE PLANET. THESE ARE THE 72 WHO RULE THE WORLD.
It then asks: “What do the president of Russia, the richest man in China and the first woman ever to head a Big 8 automaker have in common? They’re all featured on Forbes’ 2014 ranking of the World’s Most Powerful People – an annual snapshot of the heads of state, CEOs, financiers, philanthropists and entrepreneurs who truly run the world.
“The list represents the collective wisdom of FORBES editors and advisors, who consider hundreds of nominees before ranking the planet’s 72 power brokers — one for every 100 million on Earth. We measure their power along four dimensions.
“First, we ask whether the candidate has power over lots of people. Pope Francis is the spiritual leader of 1.2 billion Catholics, or about 1/6th of the world’s population. As another example, Doug McMillon, new CEO of Wal-Mart, employs 2.2 million people and is the top private employer on the planet.
To read the rest of the article, click here:
“GLOBALIZATION OF SOLIDARITY VS. GLOBALIZATION OF INDIFFERENCE”
Pope Francis this morning addressed the bishops, friends of the Focolare Movement from different countries around the world as they meet for their annual autumn event. Joining them were representatives from different churches and ecclesial communities. This year’s conference theme was “The Eucharist, mystery of communion.”
The Holy Father emphasized that today’s troubled world needs a “clear testimony of unity between Christians and an explicit declaration of esteem, respect and, more precisely, fraternity between us.” He added, “indeed, if we intend to endeavor as Christians, to respond incisively to the many problems and crises of our time, it is necessary to speak and act as brothers, so that everyone can easily recognize us as such. This too,” said Francis, “is a way – perhaps for us the first – of responding to the globalization of indifference with a globalization of solidarity and fraternity.”
In particular, the Holy Father underscored issues that call for a re-awakening of consciences, namely “the lack of freedom to publicly express one’s religion and to live openly in accordance with Christian ethics; the persecution of Christians and other minorities; the sad phenomenon of terrorism; the refugee crisis caused by wars and other reasons; the challenge of fundamentalism and, at the other extreme, exasperated secularism.”
The Pope said these issues challenge us to “seek with renewed effort, with constancy and patience, the ways that lead to unity, so that the world might believe, and so that we first may be filled with confidence and courage. Among these paths there is a special route, and it is the Eucharist as the mystery of communion. … There, in the Eucharist, we are clearly aware that unity is a gift, and at the same time it is a very serious responsibility.”
HOLY FATHER ADDRESSES ITALIAN MAJOR SUPERIORS
Pope Francis this morning addressed participants in the national assembly of the Italian Confederation of Major Superiors (CISM) and shared with them some points of reference for their path.
He pointed out that religious life helps the Church to achieve the “attraction” that enables her to grow. This is seen, he said, when the lay faithful witness a person who truly lives a religious life, and ask: “What is there here?” “What is it that leads this person beyond a worldly horizon?” The religious brother or sister thus “attracts.”
He urged religious to give prophetic witness of an evangelical life, saying “a prophetic witness coincides with sanctity. It is holiness that makes the Church grow. True prophecy is never ideological, it does not oppose the institution: it is institutional. …It does not follow fashion, but is always a sign of contradiction according to the Gospel, like Jesus was.”
“Please,” exhorted the Pope, “may there not be among you the terrorism of gossip, of small talk. Get rid of it! May there be fraternity! If you have something against your brother, tell him to his face. You might even end up in fisticuffs but that’s not a problem. That is better than the ‘terrorism’ of gossip.”
He said that charisms must be lived and made fruitful: “Charisms must not to be conserved like a bottle of distilled water, but must instead be made to bear fruit, with courage, placed at the service of current reality, of cultures, of history, as the great missionaries of our institutes teach us.”
”Fraternity,” said Francis, “is a sign that religious life must offer in our time, a time in which the dominant culture is individualistic and focused on subjective rights. Consecrated life can help the Church and society as a whole, offering witness of fraternity, that it is possible to live together as brothers in diversity, because in the community one does not put oneself first, but rather one finds oneself with people who are different in terms of character, age, formation, sensibility … and yet we seek to live as brothers. Of course we do not always succeed, but one recognizes one’s mistakes, asks for forgiveness and forgives others. This is good for the Church, …and for all of society.”
CARDINAL DENOUNCES KILLING OF YOUNG COUPLE IN PAKISTAN
(Vatican Radio) – Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue has denounced the assassination of a young couple in Pakistan, who had been accused of blasphemy. In an interview with Vatican Radio, the cardinal added that he was “shocked” by the “barbarous acts.”
According to the couple’s Christian lawyer, the young Shahzad and Shama Masih were beaten by an angry Muslim mob on Tuesday and then burned alive. Police instead report the young couple was beaten to death and then their bodies burned.
“Obviously, one remains speechless before such barbarous acts,” said Cardinal Tauran. “And what is worse is that religion is invoked in a specific way. A religion cannot justify such acts, such crimes. There is this law on blasphemy, the ‘blasphemy law’, which poses a problem.”
The cardinal noted that there have been about 60 executions under the blasphemy law since it was adopted. He called for some international intervention in the matter, saying that a minimum of humanity and solidarity is required and that dialogue is necessary.
Since direct intervention in Pakistan’s domestic affairs is not appropriate, said the cardinal, legislators must be helped to understand that laws must respect the dignity of the person.
Cardinal Tauran said the Church must denounce such violent acts publicly, with consistency and force. He said he hopes Muslim leaders will do the same, especially because Muslims are victimized by these acts of violence as well, as they give a very negative image of Islam.
“Therefore, it is in their interest to denounce such acts in a vigorous manner,” he said.
The cardinal said solidarity is the way to continue giving hope to Christians facing daily threats and violence. He also underlined some encouraging and well-received initiatives by the Church in the Middle East.
“We need to bet on fraternity,” he said, “which is the theme of the World Day of Peace.”