Today’s papal tweet: When something makes us suffer, let us listen to the voice of Jesus in our hearts: “Do not fear! Go ahead! I am with you!”
VATICAN INSIDER: VICKI THORN AND PROJECT RACHEL
My guest this week on Vatican Insider is Vicki Thorn, founder of Project Rachel and the Executive Director of the National office of Post-Abortion Reconciliation & Healing in Milwaukee. Since we taped this in Rome, I have also learned that Vicki has been named as a corresponding member of the Pontifical academy for Life. She was a member in the academy previously but its strategies, membership and statutes have been reformed under Pope Francis…another topic for another time.
In the United States, you can listen to Vatican Insider (VI) on a Catholic radio station near you (there is a list of U.S. stations at www.ewtn.com) or on channel 130 Sirius-XM satellite radio. Outside the U.S., you can listen to EWTN radio on our website home page by clicking on the right side where you see “LISTEN TO EWTN.” Vatican Insider airs Saturday mornings at 9:00am (ET). On the SKY satellite feed to the UK and parts of Europe, VI airs on audio channel 0147 at 11:30 am CET on Saturdays, and 5:30am and 10pm CET on Sundays. It’s also available on demand on the EWTN app and on the website. CHECK YOUR TIME ZONE. Here’s a link to download VI to your iTunes library: http://www.ewtn.com/se/pg/DatService.svc/feed/~LE.xml For VI archives: http://www.ewtn.com/vondemand/audio/file_index.asp?SeriesId=7096&pgnu=
POPE ORDERS BROTHERS OF CHARITY TO STOP OFFERING EUTHANASIA
(A follow up to my FB post of yesterday)
(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has ordered the Belgian arm of the Brothers of Charity religious order to stop offering euthanasia in its psychiatric hospitals.
The Holy See Press Office confirmed that the Pope gave his personal approval to a Vatican letter sent at the beginning of August, which gives the Catholic charity until the end of August to stop the practice at all of its 15 centers in Belgium.
Euthanasia is legal in the country, and in May the Brothers of Charity Group which administers the Belgian hospitals announced it would allow doctors to perform euthanasia on psychiatric patients.
The charity said in a statement it would be performed only if there were “no reasonable treatment alternatives”.
Joint letter affirming magisterium
Pope Francis also ordered Brothers of Charity who serve on the group’s board to sign a joint letter to their Superior General declaring that they “fully support the vision of the magisterium of the Catholic Church, which has always confirmed that human life must be respected and protected in absolute terms, from the moment of conception till its natural end.”
Brothers who refuse to sign the joint letter renouncing the practice of euthanasia will face sanctions under canon law, while the Catholic charity group can expect to face legal action and even expulsion from the Church if it fails to change its policy.
Brothers of Charity statement
Bro. René Stockman, General Superior of the Brothers of Charity, released a statement in response to the position of his Belgian brothers.
“The central point and the foundation within Christian ethics is that life is absolute, which cannot be touched. Life is a gift from God and entails an assignment. And because life is absolute, it is a state worthy of protection,” he wrote.
Mattias De Vriendt, a spokesman for the Belgium charity, said it had received the Vatican’s request but had not yet responded.
He confirmed the charity’s hospitals had received requests from patients seeking euthanasia recently but could not say whether any procedures had been performed.
KOREAN CATHOLICS TO PRAY ROSARY FOR PEACE ON AUGUST 15
Expressing great concern over mounting tension in the Korean peninsula and beyond over North Korea’s missile and nuclear bravado, South Korean bishops are seeking spiritual aid to diffuse the situation. The bishops are urging their faithful to seek the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary for peace in their land, in view of the upcoming solemn feast of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, Aug. 15.
In a message, Cardinal Andrew Yeom Soo-jung of Seoul asked Catholics to pray the rosary in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Marian apparition in Fatima. “The Virgin Mary urged us to pray the rosary for the conversion of sinners and for peace in the world,” said Cardinal Yeom. “The rosary is our spiritual weapon to defeat evil effectively and it will help us overcome challenges in our faith and transfigure us to become workers for world peace,” he said.
The August 15 feast of the Assumption is profoundly linked with Korean history. The National Liberation Day of Korea is marked in commemoration of that day in 1945 when Korea was liberated from Japanese colonial rule. The Catholic Church in South Korea is also dedicated to the Blessed Mother and it considers its liberation as a “gift from Mary.”
“For the safety and the future of all Koreans, North Korea should come to the discussion table and abandon their nuclear weapons,” said Cardinal Yeom expressing grave concern over North Korea’s nuclear weapon and missile programmes. (Vatican Radio)