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Posted on 10/15/2019 16:44 PM (CNA Daily News)
Vatican City, Oct 15, 2019 / 09:44 am (CNA).- The Vatican promoted the launch of a ‘smart rosary’ bracelet Tuesday compatible with an iOS and Android app, which costs over $100.
“In a world of indifference and in the face of so many injustices, poverty, elementary rights denied, praying for peace in the world means reconciling ourselves in our daily relationships, with the poorest, with the stranger, with different cultures and spiritual and religious traditions, but also with our land, our forests, our rivers and oceans,” Fr. Frédéric Fornos, SJ said in a press release sent by the Holy See Press Office Oct. 14.
“The rosary is a beautiful spiritual tradition for contemplating the Gospel with Mary, it is a simple and humble prayer,” he said.
The “eRosary” bracelet is activated by making the sign of the cross, and is synced to an app, “Click to Pray eRosary” that tracks the user’s progress and contains visual aids and audio reflections on the mysteries of the rosary.
The bluetooth and water-resistant digital rosary is currently available for pre-order sale on Amazon.it for 99 euros, roughly $109. It is sold by “Click to Pray” -- an initiative of the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network.
Taiwan-based tech company GadgTek Inc (GTI) developed the “smart rosary” for the pontifical work.
Pope Francis launched the “Click to Pray” smartphone app in an Angelus address in January 2019, encouraging young people to download the app to pray the “Rosary of Peace.”
Among the “exclusive images and personalized content about the praying of the Rosary” contained in the app is a “themed” rosary option. Themes will include Laudato Si, migrants and refugees, vocations, and young people.
“Aimed at the peripheral frontiers of the digital world where the young people dwell, the Click To Pray eRosary serves as a technology-based pedagogy to teach the young how to pray the Rosary, how to pray it for peace, how to contemplate the Gospel,” according to Click to Pray.
Posted on 10/15/2019 11:39 AM (CNA Daily News)
Vatican City, Oct 15, 2019 / 04:39 am (CNA).- Pope Francis Tuesday appointed the second-in-command of Vatican security to head the City State's national police force, after the resignation of the former chief Oct. 14.
The pope named Oct. 15, Gianluca Gauzzi Broccoletti, who has worked as part of the Vatican's gendarmerie since 1995, and has been vice director and vice commander of the Vatican security and civil protection services since 2018.
Broccoletti's nomination follows the resignation of Domenico Giani, who resigned after a confidential internal memo was leaked to the press that announced the suspension of some Vatican officials and employees and restricted their access to the Vatican.
The suspended officials were connected to an Oct. 1 raid of some Vatican offices, part an unspecified investigation overseen by a prosecutor, called the “promoter of justice” in the Vatican City court system.
The Vatican press office said Giani was not personally responsible for the leak.
Giani was Commander of the Vatican Gendarmerie, and had been a part of the Vatican’s security and police force for more than 20 years. The leaked memo, issued Oct 2, was signed by Giani and published by L’Espresso.
The memo was issued after the Oct. 1 raid of offices within the offices of the Vatican’s Secretariat of State. Among the suspended employees is Msgr. Mauro Carlino, who oversees documentation at the Secretariat of State, along with layman Tomasso Di Ruzza, director of the Vatican’s Financial Intelligence Authority.
Two other men and one woman were also listed as suspended in the memo. During the raid, documents and devices were taken in connection to an investigation following complaints made last summer by the Institute for Religious Works - commonly called the Vatican Bank - and the Office of the Auditor General, concerning a series of financial transactions "carried out over time," an Oct. 1 Vatican statement said.
Broccoletti, 45, has worked as part of the Vatican gendarmerie and in Vatican security since 1995. Since 1999, he was responsible for the City State's cyber security and technological infrastructure. He is married with two children.
The Secretariat of State is the central governing office of the Catholic Church and the department of the Roman Curia which works most closely with the pope. It is also responsible for the governance of the Vatican City state. The Vatican’s Financial Intelligence Authority oversees suspicious financial transactions, and is charged with ensuring that Vatican banking policies comply with international financial standards.
The Vatican Gendarmerie collaborates with the Pontifical Swiss Guard, which is responsible for the personal protection of Pope Francis. The Gendarmerie oversee general security operations in the Vatican City State, along with criminal investigations and counterterrorism operations.
Details about the nature of the investigation at the Secretariat of State have not yet been forthcoming.
Posted on 10/15/2019 11:30 AM (CNA Daily News)
Wilbur Springs, Calif., Oct 15, 2019 / 04:30 am (CNA).- Archbishop Dominic Jala of Shillong, India and Fr. Mathew Vellankal died in a car crash Oct. 10 during a visit to the Diocese of Oakland.
The visiting archbishop and two local priests’ Toyota Prius was hit by a tractor-trailer truck on a California highway in Wilbur Springs at 2:20pm on Oct. 10, according to California Highway Patrol.
Fr. Joseph Parekkatt, pastor of St. Anne Parish, survived the crash with injuries and is in stable condition at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital. Fr. Vellankal, pastor of St. Bonaventure in Concord, and Archbishop Jala, both died at the scene of the accident.
“Father Vellankal’s joyous spirit and faith will be deeply missed,” Bishop Michael C. Barber of Oakland said in the diocese announcement Oct. 12. “May his soul and the soul of Archbishop Jala rest in the peace of Christ.”
Jala, 68, served as the archbishop of Shillong, India for the past 19 years and was apostolic administrator of Nongstoin, India since 2016.
The Indian archbishop was visiting the U.S. to attend the meeting of the International Commission for English Liturgy, according to the Archdiocese of Shillong. He had previously visited Rome Sept. 17-28 for the ad limina visit at the Vatican.
Born in Meghalaya in northeastern India in 1951, Jala went on to be ordained a priest in the Salesians of Don Bosco in 1977. He authored the book, “Liturgy and Mission” in 1987, and served as head of the Liturgy Commission of the north East India Regional Bishops’ Council.
The Shillong Archdiocese elected Fr. John Madur, former chancellor of Shillong, to serve as the diocesan administrator.
Fr. Vellankal, 58, was a Salesian priest born from Kerala, India, who had served as a parish priest in the Diocese of Oakland since 2001. He wrote a book in 2005, “From Humor to Inspiration: Jokes, Reflections and Quotes to Enliven Your Day.”
Funeral arrangements for Archbishop Jala and Fr. Vellankal are pending. Catholics in Shillong are praying each day at 5:30pm at the Cathedral of Mary Help of Christians as they await the return of their late archbishop’s mortal remains.
Posted on 10/15/2019 10:01 AM (CNA Daily News)
St. Augustine, Fla., Oct 15, 2019 / 03:01 am (CNA).- Bishop Felipe Estévez of St. Augustine announced Friday that the Shrine of Our Lady of La Leche has been elevated as a National Shrine by the US bishops' conference.
The shrine is located at the Nombre de Dios mission in St. Augustine, founded in 1587. According to the Diocese of St. Augustine, it is America's oldest Marian shrine.
It is dedicated to the nursing Mother of God, and is a site of pilgrimage particularly for those hoping to become pregnant or to have a safe delivery.
Bishop Estévez made the announcement at an Oct. 11 Mass for the feast of Our Lady of La Leche.
“Mary recognizes the living God who closes the door to the mighty of this world and raises up the little ones, the poor in spirit, who are blessed by God,” he said. “She praises God in his great mercy towards those who obey him and open their hearts to him.”
“When we look at the image of Our Lady of La Leche, in pure beauty, we see the whole mystery of Incarnation,” he reflected. “If Mary has a message for us today, I find it in the only words that appear in the Gospel of St. John, attributed to her: 'Do what He tells you.'”
Some 200 people attended the Mass, including benefactors, members of the Confraternity of Our Lady of La Leche, and Knights and Dames of Malta.
The first Mass at the site of the Nombre de Dios mission was said in 1565, and the mission itself was founded 22 years later by Franciscans. A chapel dedicated to Our Lady of La Leche was established on the grounds of the mission in 1609.
The statue of Our Lady of La Leche will be crowned Oct. 11, 2020, as part of the celebration of the 150th anniversary of the erection of the Diocese of St. Augustine.
Posted on 10/15/2019 07:02 AM (CNA Daily News)
Sacramento, Calif., Oct 15, 2019 / 12:02 am (CNA).- California Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law on Sunday a measure extending the statute of limitations for childhood sex abuse victims.
The law allows civil claims of childhood sexual abuse to be filed by victims until age 40, or five years after discovering the damages from the abuse.
Previously, claims had to be filed by age 26, or within three years of discovering damages from the abuse.
The new law also opens up a three-year window to revive past claims that would have expired under the previous statute of limitations. That window begins Jan. 1, 2020.
Andy Rivas, executive director of the California Catholic Conference of Bishops, responded in an Oct. 14 statement, saying, “Ultimately, our hope is that all victim-survivors of childhood sexual abuse in all institutional settings will be able to have their pain and suffering addressed and resolved and so our prayers are that AB 218 will be a step forward in that direction.”
“The Catholic Church has confronted this issue of child sexual abuse for more than two decades now,” Rivas said. “It is a legacy of shame for all of us in the Church, and we are aware that nothing can undo the violence done to victim-survivors or restore the innocence and trust that was taken from them.”
He noted the reforms made by the Church to protect children and that new reports of abuse in the Church in California are rare. He also pointed to efforts by dioceses in the state to devote hundreds of millions of dollars to therapy and pastoral care to abuse victims.
“The Church cooperated with then-Governor Gray Davis and the legislature during the opening of the statute of limitations in 2003. The Church paid more than $1.2 billion to settle claims filed by hundreds of victim-survivors,” he said.
Rivas noted that earlier this year, six of California’s 12 Catholic dioceses established an independently managed compensation program, which would provide compensatory payment to those alleging to be victims of priestly sexual abuse, regardless of what that abuse is alleged to have happened.
The programs covers Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Bernardino, San Diego, Orange, and Fresno. These six dioceses represent 80% of California’s Catholics, according to an announcement about the compensation program.
Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego), who authored the California bill, said in a statement, “The idea that someone who is assaulted as a child can actually run out of time to report that abuse is outrageous.”
“More and more, we’re hearing about people who were victims years ago but were not ready to come forward to tell their story until now,” she said. “We shouldn’t be telling victims their time is up when in reality we need them to come forward to protect the community from future abuse.”
However, critics argue that the law goes too far, opening the door to cases with little evidence and allowing damages to be tripled if cover-up of abuse was involved.
Rivas also noted with disappointment that the law does not cover sexual abuse victims of state employees.
According to the Associated Press, school districts in the state showed heavy opposition to the legislation, arguing that reliable evidence and witnesses are more difficult to collect 40 years after an alleged act of abuse.
Troy Flint, spokesman for the California School Boards Association, said the bill “has a very real chance of bankrupting or impoverishing many districts,” the AP reported.
“We don't want to minimize or trivialize the trauma that's associated with inappropriate sexual conduct in schools,” Flint said, but added that the financial impact on school districts in the state could “inhibit our ability to properly serve today's students and students in years to come.”
The Boy Scouts of America - which has faced millions of dollars in damages to child abuse victims, said it is considering “all available options,” including declaring bankruptcy, the AP reported.
In a statement the organization said it cares “deeply about all victims of child abuse and sincerely apologize(s) to anyone who was harmed during their time in Scouting.” It noted the procedures put in place to avoid individual youth and adult interactions and ensure respect for privacy.
According to the Associated Press, Michael Pfau, an attorney based in Seattle, says his firm has approximately 100 abuse victims who are ready to file suits against California schools, Catholic dioceses, foster homes, the Boy Scouts when the extended window opens.
California is among several states to consider expanding the statute of limitations for childhood sexual abuse.
Earlier this year, New York widened the statute of limitations for both criminal and civil claims, and opened a one-year window for abuse survivors to files suits against their abuser or the institution where the abuse occurred.
More than 400 lawsuits were filed in the state on the first day of the expanded window, including claims against members of the Catholic clergy, the Boy Scouts, and the state’s public schools.
The governor of New Jersey signed a similar law in May. North Carolina, Maryland, and Pennsylvania have also considered similar legislation in the last year.
Posted on 10/15/2019 01:52 AM (CNA Daily News)
Cincinnati, Ohio, Oct 14, 2019 / 06:52 pm (CNA).- A federal appeals court on Friday upheld a block on an Ohio law banning abortions on the grounds of a diagnosis of Down syndrome. Former Governor John Kasich signed the law nearly two years ago, but it has not yet been able to come into effect.
The court’s decision comes amid Down Syndrome Awareness Month, which advocacy organizations observe in October.
The law outlawed abortions in cases where there was a positive test result or prenatal diagnosis indicating Down syndrome, the Associated Press reports. Physicians convicted of performing an abortion under such circumstances could be charged with a fourth-degree felony, stripped of their medical license and held liable for legal damages. The pregnant women would not be held liable.
The office of Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost has said the state will seek a review by the full 6th Circuit, as Friday’s decision was handed down 2-1 by a U.S. Court of Appeals panel.
Federal Judge Timothy Black first blocked the law from taking effect in March 2018. It was set to go into effect the 23rd of that month.
Supporters of the law have questioned Black’s impartiality. He had served as president of Cincinnati’s Planned Parenthood in 1988 and as its director from 1986-1989. He recused himself from a case involving Planned Parenthood in 2014.
Former Governor John Kasich first signed the law in December 2017, and the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit on behalf of Planned Parenthood the subsequent February against the Ohio Department of Health, county prosecutors, and members of the state medical board.
Current Ohio Governor Mike Dewine has not yet commented publicly on the law’s most recent blockage, but on Monday tweeted his support for Down Syndrome Awareness Month. As attorney general, DeWine had set the state’s appeal against the judge’s decision into motion.
Posted on 10/14/2019 22:00 PM (CNA Daily News)
South Bend, Ind., Oct 14, 2019 / 03:00 pm (CNA).- Education is “ground zero” in the fight for religious freedom, the U.S. Attorney General told an audience at the Notre Dame Law School on Friday.
While speaking on the threats posed to freedom of religion in the U.S. by aggressive secularism, Attorney General William Barr told law students that nowhere is the threat to religious freedom so great as in education.
Education, he said, should lead students to the truth and teach them to “love the truth” and to develop the “discipline to live by it.” However, he added, “the times are hostile to this.”
Barr addressed law students at Notre Dame on religious freedom Oct. 11, while a crowd of protesters had gathered outside the law school reportedly blowing whistles and holding signs that included asking the Trump administration to end the practice of separations of immigrant families at the border.
The protest of blowing whistles was in reference to a whistleblower complaint that President Donald Trump, on an official phone call with the Ukrainian president, had offered Barr’s services to help investigate the son of opposing presidential candidate Joe Biden and his business dealings in the Ukraine.
A Catholic, Barr was previously the U.S. attorney general from 1991 to 1993 under President George H.W. Bush. He was confirmed as the 85th attorney general of the U.S. on February 14, after former attorney general Jeff Sessions resigned in November of 2018 at the request of President Trump.
He recently drew criticism for his decision to resume federal executions of some prisoners on death row, after Pope Francis had declared the death penalty “inadmissible” in 2018 and the U.S. bishops had long pushed for its abolition.
In his Friday remarks, Barr warned of a rise in secularism that is intent upon the “organized destruction” of the Judeo-Christian ethic, which he said the U.S. was founded upon.
This secular effort, he said, marshals the resources of academia and the entertainment and communications industries to promote a vision of life and morality that is fundamentally at odds with Christianity; it uses social ostracization, lawsuits, and other threats to push compliance, and even functions as a religion of sorts, he said.
Education, Barr said, is “ground zero” in this fight where secularism seeks to impose itself on the populace even in violation of religious freedom.
Public school curricula are being pushed by states and local boards of education that are “incompatible with Judeo-Christian principles,” he said, with no opt-outs being offered to parents with religious objections. Barr referenced the states of Illinois, California, New Jersey and Colorado which require by law that public schools teach “LGBT history.”
The right of parents to transmit faith to their children is paramount, he said, and “for the government to interfere in that process is a monstrous invasion of religious liberty.”
For instance, the New Jersey law was passed without any opt-out for parents when the policy takes effect in middle and high schools in 2020-2021.
The Orange County Department of Education in California issued a memo in 2018 stating that parents who objected to comprehensive sexual education could not withdraw their children from instruction on gender, gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation.
These cases are part of an effort of the “state requiring local public schools to insert themselves into contentious social debates without regard to the religious views of their students or parents,” Barr said. “Those families are implicitly told that they should conform or leave.”
In other cases, religious schools are being singled out and marginalized simply because of their religious status when they are being considered for public benefits, he said.
Long-standing laws such as Blaine Amendment statutes—once passed in many states as anti-Catholic measures—are now being used to “starve religious schools of generally available funds” such as tax credits to help underprivileged students attend the school of their choice, Barr said, pointing to a Montana case, currently before the Supreme Court in Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue.
In Indiana, a lawsuit brought by a former teacher at Cathedral Catholic High School is challenging the authority of the Archbishop of Indianapolis to determine the Catholic identity of a school in his archdiocese, Barr said, saying that the situation painted “ a disturbing picture.”
Barr encouraged Catholics to “do all we can to promote and support authentic Catholic education at all levels,” while promising that the Department of Justice would “fight” for religious freedom, “the most cherished of all American liberties.”
In 2018, a religious liberty task force was created at the Department of Justice to implement a 2017 religious liberty executive order. Barr said that the task force involves the Solicitor General, the Office of Legal Counsel and others to meet regularly and discuss cases where the Establishment Clause is misapplied or abused by states against people of faith, or where the free exercise of religion is being violated.
In his remarks on Friday, Barr blamed the “erosion” of traditional morality for the subsequent rise in secularism that now threatens religious freedom, and represents a break with the founding values which underpin the American constitutional order.
The Constitution, he said, was created for people who could govern themselves and practice “moral discipline,” but in the last several decades there has been a decline in the common understanding and adaptation of Judeo-Christian principles and adherence to the natural law.
“The campaign to destroy the traditional moral order,” he said, “I believe has brought with it immense suffering and misery,” Barr said, while noting that the rise of secularism had come with an attack on organized religion brought with “force, fervor, and comprehensiveness.”
Posted on 10/14/2019 21:00 PM (CNA Daily News)
Vatican City, Oct 14, 2019 / 02:00 pm (CNA).- Cardinal John Henry Newman would be surprised by his own canonization as a saint, an English bishop said Monday, adding that Newman’s life offers an important witness of holiness for contemporary Catholics.
“I am sure that no one would be more surprised than Newman to find himself a canonized saint. In his own life time it was suggested that he led a saintly life – his response was typical. ‘I have nothing of the saint about me as everyone knows and it is a severe and salutary mortification to be thought next door to one,’” Bishop Robert Byrne said Oct. 14, during a Mass of Thanksgiving for Newman’s canonization, celebrated at the Basilica of St. John Lateran.
“Nonetheless the Church thinks otherwise after due deliberation and the approval of two miracles brought about by the intercession of the saint, John Henry Newman, the Londoner born in 1801 and who died a Cardinal of the Holy Roman Church in Birmingham in 1890 is now raised to the honours of the altar,” Byrne added.
“He is held up to us as a model of Christian life and virtue and as our intercessor in heaven.” Newman was a 19th century theologian, poet, Catholic priest and cardinal. Born in 1801, he was before his conversion a well-known and well-respected Oxford academic, Anglican preacher, and public intellectual.
Newman’s 1845 conversion to the Catholic faith was controversial in England, and resulted in the loss of many friends, including his own sister, who never spoke to him again.
He became a priest in 1847 and founded the Oratory of St. Philip Neri in England. He was particularly dedicated to education, founding two schools for boys and the Catholic University of Ireland. His “Idea is a University” became a foundational text on Catholic higher education. He was a prolific author and letter writer. Newman died in Birmingham in 1890 at 89.
Pope Francis declared Newman a saint at Sunday Mass Oct. 13 in St. Peter’s Square.
Byrne celebrated Mass in thanksgiving for the canonization, invoking the intercession of Newman in his prayers. The Mass was attended by an international congregation of scholars, devotees, and admirers of Newman, concelebrated by priests and bishops who have been influenced by the man.
Among those in attendance at St. John Lateran were members of the Oratorian religious congregation, of which Byrne is a member, and which Newman famously brought to England. Also there were priests and sisters of the Spiritual Family of the Work, an ecclesial movement of priests and religious sisters devoted to the spirituality and intellectual legacy of Newman. Worshipping too were pilgrims who had come to Rome for Newman’s canonization, including some who had found the Catholic Church through the saint.
Byrne said that it was “the saintly Cardinal’s relentless and heroic search for truth and holiness which brings us to this morning’s celebration.”
“The pursuit of holiness and truth were for St John Henry the driving force of his life. We see throughout his long life how he championed the cause of revealed truth and was fearless in proclaiming it not only by his many writings but also by the institutions he established. He did much to promote the Christian cause in bringing the Congregation of the Oratory to England, founding a University in Ireland and a school in Edgbaston. He worked tirelessly as a Parish Priest and had a fatherly care for his Oratorian community. He guided countless people with letters of spiritual direction and counsel.”
“He gave light to those who were searching for the truth and continues to do so through his published works of theology, philosophy, sermons and prayers.”
“Newman speaks to us in different ways as preacher, writer, theologian and pastor. But however he speaks to us we are united in giving thanks that his life and legacy is now a gift to the Universal Church,” the bishop concluded.
Posted on 10/14/2019 20:00 PM (CNA Daily News)
London, England, Oct 14, 2019 / 01:00 pm (CNA).- A court in the United Kingdom ruled last week that it is in the best interest of a pregnant woman with severe learning disabilities that she undergo an abortion. A British court made the same decision in a similar case earlier this year, though that decision was overturned after it was issued.
The unidentified woman in this case is estimated to be 12 weeks pregnant. She, along with her NHS trust and local council, have not been identified by the court or in media reports, in order to protect her privacy.
The court’s ruling was issued Friday, Oct. 11, after a hearing in the U.K.’s Court of Protection which handles cases brought concerning care and decision making for people judged not to be able to act for themselves. The NHS trust responsible for the woman’s care petitioned the court for permission to carry out an abortion. In its petition, the trust argued that continuing her pregnancy would be harmful to the woman.
Eloise Power, the lawyer representing the NHS trust, testified that the woman’s doctors and caregivers support ending her pregnancy.
The woman lives in the north of England and has spent most of her life in foster care. Her caretakers, who are described as “Christians and churchgoers,” support the abortion, according to PA Media, a wire service in the UK.
An additional 30 medical professionals, including doctors and social workers, who were consulted for this case also agreed that an abortion is in the woman’s best interests, according to PA Media.
Justice David Basil Williams wrote in his ruling that the abortion would be a “significant interference” in the woman’s bodily autonomy, but also said he agreed it to be in her best interest, and that continuing the pregnancy could harm her mental and physical health. He also authorised medical staff to restrain the woman and administer a general anesthetic during the abortion if necessary
The Court of Protection has jurisdiction over cases involving Britons who are deemed to not possess the mental capacity to make decisions for themselves. The pregnant woman is in her 20s, but functions intellectually with a severely diminished capacity, British media has reported.
Police are investigating whether the woman’s pregnancy was caused by an act of sexual assault. Because her medical caregivers and foster family are in favor of the abortion, no appeal of the decision is expected.
This case is similar to one that made headlines in June, when the Court of Protection ruled that an intellectually disabled woman should undergo an abortion at the 22nd week of pregnancy. That case sparked international outrage, as the woman and her mother were both opposed to abortion on religious grounds.
The decision in that case was opposed by the woman’s family and social workers and was overturned three days after it was issued.
Posted on 10/14/2019 19:00 PM (CNA Daily News)
Vatican City, Oct 14, 2019 / 12:00 pm (CNA).- While the Vatican’s Synod of Bishop on the Amazon discusses the idea of “inculturating” the Gospel’s proclamation with local culture, one bishop shared that the Gospel called one tribe in southern Venezuela to a difficult cultural concept: forgiveness.
“The Gospel helps cultures maintain all the good they have and at the same time brings new things that helps them grow,” José Ángel Divassón Cilveti, former head of the apostolic vicariate of Puerto Ayacucho, Venezuela, said at a Vatican press conference Oct. 14.
Cilventi, a Salesian who served as apostolic vicar of Puerto Ayacucho from 1996-2015, explained how his religious order has carried out missionary work among the Yanomami people in the Amazon rainforest along the Venezuelan-Brazilian border for more than 60 years.
He said that in the past there was much violence among the Yanomami people. “In the past, if you killed others, you were killed,” he said. “And then started the continuous fights and struggles that made their lives difficult.”
The bishop explained that Salesian missionaries who taught newly converted Yanomami Catholics “Jesus said you have to forgive,” spurred a broad cultural change within their community, while “not taking away from being Yanomami at all.”
“In that culture, forgiveness was difficult, and yet these people as they were learning this ability … realized that having the ability to forgive solved so many problems,” Cilventi said.
Another synod participant, Bishop Carlo Verzeletti of Castanhal, Brazil, spoke of the need for change at the press conference.
In particular, Verzeletti called for is a change in the church’s discipline of priestly celibacy.
“In the synod I support and continue to support the importance of being able to ordain married men for the priesthood, so the Eucharist may become a reality that is closer to people and communities, so that these married men can, in fact, accompany the lives of the peoples, the lives of their communities” Verzeletti said Oct. 14.
“I would already know who I would choose to ordain as priests,” the Bishop of Castanhal added.
The Vatican’s Synod of Bishops on the Amazon is an Oct. 6-27 meeting on the Church’s life and ministry in the Pan-Amazonian region.
The working document for the synod proposed the possibility of ordaining elder married men -- viri probati -- in response to a shortage of priestly vocations in the Amazon region of South America.
Verzeletti, an Italian who served the Brazilian state of Para since 1996, said that because of colonization, the region suffered 400 years in which the values of native people were “destroyed,” and now suffers from the negative aspects of globalization.
He noted that in recent years the region’s Pentecostal churches have grown much more rapidly than the Catholic Church, saying that there are 750 Pentecostal churches and only 50 Catholic churches in his city.
179 synod fathers attended the morning assembly in the Synod Hall Oct. 14 in which the discussion included: protecting indigenous peoples’ rights, environmental protection, how to inculturate the liturgy, and how to respond better to the needs and cultures of the people, according to Fr Giacomo Costa, Secretary of the Information Commission