Joan 1, Technology 0

Just a line to share the news that, while I have a new computer and the improved technology has made my life better, there are still wrinkles to iron out. I am winning the technology battle but one of the still-to-be-resolved issues is that I can access my blog on WordPress but I cannot enter to add, correct, or change a text or add photos. For now,I can post via iPad, but with some limitations….thanks for understanding! I am posting on Facebook so pay a visit! Grazie!

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JOAN 1, TECHNOLOGY 0

My new computer is up and running but there are many wrinkles yet to be ironed out, programs installed, etc. In any case, i am in better shape than yesterday and trying to conquer all that is new in technology.

Of the many things I cannot do as I have done on my previous computer, one is posting a column on Joan’s Rome….I can access my blog on WordPress but cannot enter to write, correct, post photos, etc. thus, these few words, posted via my iPad, with its various limitations, are an alert that this column may not always be be updated daily.

I am keeping up with people and news and events on Facebook so you can go there daily….thanks for understanding!

TECHNOLOGY 1, JOAN 0

After multiple attempts to post even a brief line on my blog, using my near-death computer and an auxiliary notebook that I have, both of which have failed me ignominiously in the last 48 hours, i have turned to my iPad which has proved to be a more faithful companion in these difficult days. This brief note is to explain my absence Friday and my likely absence tomorrow in this column. I have been able to post ….to re-post, actually….some news stories on Facebook to keep you informed but have not been able to post my Joan’s Rome column, photos, etc.

And that has been a shame because, for example, I had an amazing day yesterday in my home, sharing coffee, a Christmas panettone and great conversation with Alveda King! I will get those photos to you as soon as my new computer is up and running with all the new programs installed, etc. Alveda and I first met a few years ago through Priests for Life when Father Frank Pavone was marking the 20th anniversary of that organization he founded. Joining Alveda and me were Bob LaLonde of PFL and Geoffrey Stickland who helps the PFL Rome office and is one of the organizers of a conference Alveda is in town to attend, the Forum of Catholic-inspired NGOs.

She did a Facebook live in my office where I interviewed her for Vatican Insider and I did share that on Facebook today. She also posted a great blog about her trip to Rome…..her first time!…. and I will post a link to that as soon as possible.

In late afternoon yesterday, I interviewed Msgr. Robert Vitillo, director general of ICMC, the International Catholic Migration Commission. We had a truly amazing conversation about the work ICMC does throughout the world with millions of refugees, migrants and internally displaced peoples. (IDP)

Tuesday should be a thumbs-up day for the new computer, although I fully realize there will be many new things I will have to learn and that may take some additional time. I have a wonderfully talented friend, Alessandro, who works for SKY Italia and he has been a genius in assisting me technically over the years. I am counting on Alessandro….and St. Gabriel and St. Francis de Sales!

Hope you are having a fruitful Advent, a wonderful weekend and that December 8, Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception was an especially meaningful feast for you.

THE BEST LAID PLANS OF MICE AND MEN……

…….sometimes go astray!

I have never used the WordPress.com app in my iPad so this is just a test. As I wait for my laptop to reboot and start functioning (I have been trying for well over an hour since my return from the EWTN offices where I looked at new computers online), i just want to announce possible delays of a day, or even more, in posting blog columns if these issues persist. It is easy to post on Facebook but some blog readers have access to only wordpress, not FB, so this announcement is for you.
Well, let’s see what haspens when I hit POST!

CHILD DIGNITY IN THE DIGITAL WORLD

CHILD DIGNITY IN THE DIGITAL WORLD

World Congress – October 3-6, 2017 – Rome

From the Congress website https://www.childdignity2017.org/:

Children and adolescents make up over a quarter of the more than 3.2 billion Internet users worldwide. This generation of over 800 million young users is in danger of becoming victims of sextortion, sexting, cyberbullying and harassment.

This global problem calls for a global solution. We need an open and thorough discussion to build awareness, and to mobilize action for a better protection of minors online.

‘Child Dignity in the Digital World’ is the first world congress of its kind that brings together key stakeholders and international leaders from all relevant areas.

This pioneering congress hosted by the Centre for Child Protection at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome sets a milestone in the international fight against digital sexual child abuse.

The invitation-only congress brings together distinguished academic experts, business leaders, leaders of civil society, high-level politicians and religious representatives from across the globe. This provides a historic opportunity to set the global agenda for the fight against online sexual child abuse and for child protection in the digital world.

Follow #ChildDignity to receive the latest tweets about the congress

Father Hans Zollner, president of the Gregorian University’s Child Protection Centre, gave a pre-conference interview to SIR, religious news service:

Father Zollner, what are the most worrying aspects of this phenomenon?

Sexual abuse of minors exists in all societies, cultures and countries in the world; this evil is much more widespread than one imagines. A few years ago the European Union launched an initiative titled “One in Five”, based on data showing that one in five boys or girls, that is, 20% of all minors in Europe, are victims of some form of sexual violence. These are horrifying figures. From this perspective, the Internet – a wonderful communication tool – can become a dangerous place, triggering a spiral of danger. Let us consider for example the phenomenon of “sexting”: mostly against girls who are forced by their peers to post pictures of themselves naked, but once the image is online it remains in the web forever and it is constantly re-launched into a system that spirals out of control. There is also the phenomenon of sexual violence committed against very small children filmed “live” in a given world country, seen “live” and paid from anywhere in the world.

Are you referring to the Periscope phenomenon?

This phenomenon circulates very easily also on Skype. What is most surprising is that so many people talk about these situations, yet governments and businesses have failed to adopt targeted, determined actions to counteract them. Something has been done, but it remains a drop in the ocean. Thus we decided to organize this Conference to bring all those in positions of responsibility around the same table and find ways whereby each and everyone together can do their share.

Which enforcement actions can be adopted to counter such a devious and widespread phenomenon?

Focusing on education will be extremely important. Youths today know how to bypass programs that block online access to certain websites. Thus it will be increasingly important to educate youths on the responsible use of the Internet, without forgetting social media, which ranges from Snapchat to Facebook, where youths establish connections, and befriend strangers with the risk of becoming victims of dangerous circles. Businesses should thus declare what they want and can do to avoid “grooming”, which is the process by which an adult befriends a child with the intention of committing sexual abuse. We call upon government authorities to contact businesses, ensure that they fulfil their responsibilities and then – with dedicated legislation – reach an agreement to prevent the perpetrators of abuses to seek their victims on the web.

The world of child molesters unfortunately also sees the presence of priests and religious. Sadly the scandals are ongoing.

Our goal is to give a clear sign that the Church is the first to assume her responsibilities, and that we want and must cooperate with law-enforcement authorities. We are not a separate reality, thus not only must we comply with the law, we must also actively cooperate with the State. Obviously, child sexual abuse , that includes child pornography images, is a serious crime. This crime is even more serious when it is committed by a priest or a religious. That’s why the Pope, during the audience he granted to us last Thursday as representatives of the Pontifical Commission for Child Protection, reiterated his zero tolerance approach towards all forms of abuse inside the Church. Unquestionably, a clear line has been adopted by the Holy See and by Bishops’ Conference worldwide. But this approach won’t solve the problem: there will always be people who will continue doing harm and committing these crimes. Our commitment is thus to persevere in our endeavor to do our utmost to stop this evil and offer this platform of discussion and action to all involved parties.

Speaking to the members of the Pontifical Commission the Pope said that the Church addressed these crimes with considerable delay, while a few months ago Marie Collins denounced what she believed to be excessive inactivity. Unfortunately the issue was addressed too late and with poor efforts. What is your reply to this criticism?

Many people are engaged in addressing this situation at length. In those places where the Church has put her greatest efforts – as in the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Ireland, Germany, Austria and Australia – prevention activity has delivered positive results. This is out of question. Often courage is what is lacking. In my journeys to 50 world countries I noticed that the phenomenon is not fully acknowledged. It should be said that the phenomenon was seriously addressed in Italy no later than eight years ago. The issue was swept under the carpet and nobody wanted to talk about it.

It was an uncomfortable, painful theme that is hard to cope with, in some cases the will to address it is lacking: this is true not only inside the Church but also across society,

There is no other explanation to the fact that nobody acknowledges that the European Union launched a campaign because one in five European youths was sexually abused. Is the phenomenon too horrendous to speak of? Indeed, it is. And that is why we must discuss it.

 

THE MYSTERY OF CHRISTIAN PRAYER IS SUMMED UP IN “OUR FATHER” – HOLY SEE TO HAVE PAVILION AT EXPO 2017 “FUTURE ENERGY”

THE MYSTERY OF CHRISTIAN PRAYER IS SUMMED UP IN “OUR FATHER”

Pope Francis today, in yet another picture perfect St. Peter’s Square, in his catechesis, explained the prayer Jesus gave us – the Our Father – centering on “The Fatherhood of God, wellspring of our Hope.”

“Dear Brothers and Sisters,” he began, “In our continuing catechesis on Christian hope, we now consider the source of that hope in the fatherhood of God.  When the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray, he taught them to call God Our Father. “in fact, said, Francis, “the whole mystery of Christian prayer is summed up here, in having the courage to call God Father.”

The Holy Father said that, “God is a Father but he is not like human fathers; instead, Jesus offers the parable of the prodigal son, where the father welcomes his child with supreme forgiveness and unconditional love. That is perhaps why St Paul, when referring to this mystery, prefers not to translate the term ‘abba,’ which is more intimate than father, and might better be translated as ‘papa’ or ‘daddy’.”

“Here we see the great religious revolution introduced by Christianity: taught by the Saviour’s command, we dare to speak to the transcendent and all-holy God as children speak, with complete trust, to a loving father.

“As God’s adoptive sons and daughters in the Holy Spirit,” explained Francis, “we share in the intimate relationship between Jesus and the Father, and this is the basis of our sure hope in God’s saving help.  Each day, as we pray the Lord’s Prayer, may we be confirmed in the knowledge that, in his merciful love, our heavenly Father will watch over us, respond to our petitions, and never abandon us.

Speaking of prayer: Pope Francis asked the faithful present in the square and those around the world to pray “One Minute for Peace” tomorrow, June 8, at 1 pm. He said, “this represents a short moment of prayer on the recurrence of the meeting in the Vatican between me, the late Israeli President Peres, and the Palestinian President Abbas.”

That meeting occurred in the Vatican Gardens on June 8, 2014, during which the three men prayed together for peace. That meeting followed the Pope’s visit to Jordan, Bethlehem and Jerusalem over a three-day period in May 2014

The Holy Father said this morning that, “in our days, there is a great need to pray – Christians, Jews, and Muslims – for peace.”

Vatican Radio reported that Pope Francis on Wednesday blessed an altar destined for a Marian sanctuary in South Korea during his general audience. The “Adoratio Domini in unitate et pace” will be placed in the Sanctuary of Our Lady of the Rosary in Namyang, South Korea. Francis mentioned the altar in his greetings to Polish pilgrims, noting that the request for his blessing of the altar was made by the Queen of Peace Community Association in Radom, Poland.

The association is setting up 12 centers for Eucharistic Adoration and perpetual prayer for peace in “hotspots” around the world. The Pope said the group drew its inspiration for the Adoration centers from the “12 stars in the crown of Mary, Queen of Peace..

HOLY SEE TO HAVE PAVILION AT EXPO 2017 “FUTURE ENERGY”

The Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development announced today that, from June 8 to 11, Cardinal Peter Turkson, prefect of this Dicastery, will visit Astana, Kazakhstan, as the “Commissioner for participation of the Holy See” at the inauguration of the EXPO 2017 Exposition, “ Future Energy.”

The Holy See, which has participated in the Universal Expositions since 1851, will be present with its own pavilion, entitled “ Energy for the Common Good: Caring for our Common Home,” realized with the contribution from the local Church. It explores the theme of energy for the future, interpreted as an opportunity for the promotion of humanity and the improvement of the “common home” on the basis of an equitable and sustainable use of natural resources.

The display structure of the Holy See makes use of digital installations, and will enable visitors to be accompanied along photographic, artistic, cultural and spiritual itineraries, develops four thematic areas: the love of God as the origin of the creation of man and of the earth; energy as a tool placed in the hands of man, who has not always made adequate use of it; energy directed towards the development of the person and the care of the common home; and the strength of spirituality, with particular reference to prayer, the search for meaning, and interreligious dialogue.

The inauguration of EXPO 2017 will take place on June 9, and that of the Holy See pavilion in the morning of the following day. Cardinal Turkson will be accompanied by Archbishop Francis Assisi Chullikatt, apostolic nuncio in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, and by representatives of the local Church. The Holy See National Day is scheduled to take place on September 2.