postheadericon Pope issues new rules governing Church charitable agencies

Pope issues new rules governing Church charitable agencies

Pope Benedict XVI has issued a motu proprio governing Catholic charities, emphasizing that charitable agencies should operate in conformity with the teachings of the Church.
The motu proprio De Caritate Ministranda (“The Service of Charity”), formally dated November 11, provides guidance for diocesan bishops in supervising the charitable activities of the Church. The Pope describes the document as “an organic legislative framework for the better overall ordering of the various organized ecclesial forms of the service of charity, which are closely related to the diaconal nature of the Church and the episcopal ministry.”
“The Church's charitable activity at all levels must avoid the risk of becoming just another form of organized social assistance,” the Pope writes. He stresses that “practical activity will always be insufficient,” and insists that Church charities should be “helping people to appreciate the importance of sharing, respect and love in the spirit of the Gospel of Christ.”
In his introduction to the document, Pope Benedict notes although the Code of Canon Law clearly establishes the duties of bishops in teaching the faith and celebrating the sacraments, the Code “does not expressly mention charity as a specific sector of episcopal activity.” Because charitable action is an essential part of the Church’s ministry, the Pope explains, he has issued the motu proprio to address this gap in the Church’s law.
De Caritate Ministranda contains 15 articles governing the diocesan bishop’s duties regarding Catholic charitable agencies. The document instructs bishops to encourage private charitable ventures as well as official Church-sponsored efforts. But the motu proprio cautions that “to the extent that such activities are promoted by the Hierarchy itself, or are explicitly supported by the authority of the Church's Pastors, there is a need to ensure that they are managed in conformity with the demands of the Church’s teaching and the intentions of the faithful.”
A charitable agency may use the name “Catholic” only with the written consent of the competent ecclesiastical authority, the Pope writes. The bishop, for his part, “is to take care that those who work in the Church's charitable apostolate, along with due professional competence, give an example of Christian life and witness to a formation of heart which testifies to a faith working through charity.”
The motu proprio expressly states that the bishops should not allow “publicity being given through parish or diocesan structures to initiatives which, while presenting themselves as charitable, propose choices or methods at odds with the Church's teaching.” Article 10(3) of the document stipulates:
In particular, the diocesan Bishop is to ensure that charitable agencies dependent upon him do not receive financial support from groups or institutions that pursue ends contrary to Church's teaching. Similarly, lest scandal be given to the faithful, the diocesan Bishop is to ensure that these charitable agencies do not accept contributions for initiatives whose ends, or the means used to pursue them, are not in conformity with the Church's teaching.

postheadericon The recent shootings in Connecticut and Oregon reveal the good, the bad, and the unspoken inAmerica.

Left: Family members of victims grieve near Sandy Hook Elementary School. Right: People take part in a vigil outside St. Rose of Lima Church in Newtown, Conn. (CNS photos)
December 15, 2012
The recent shootings in Connecticut and Oregon reveal the good, the bad, and the unspoken in our nation.

I got a late start yesterday morning and didn't hear the news until a few hours after it broke. My wife had an appointment, and so I made breakfast for our three (home schooled) children, ages four, eight, and twelve. When I first read of the assault and massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, I felt ill. It was gut wrenching. I thought for a bit about our three children: “What if…?” I couldn't fathom the horrible news, and yet, honestly, it didn't shock me. Just a few days ago, a young man opened fire in the Clackamas Town Center in Portland, Oregon, just two hours north of us, where years ago my wife worked when we were first married. Three people were shot, two of them fatally; the 22-year-old murderer then took his own life.
I also thought back to May 1998, when a fifteen-year-old boy, Kip Kinkel, opened fire at Thurston High School, just a few short miles from where I lived and worked. Two students were killed, and many more injured, before Kinkel was subdued by seven of his fellow students. The evening prior, Kinkel had murdered his parents—both of them teachers—with guns his father had purchased for him, along with a stolen gun he had bought from a friend.
And then I thought back to another young boy, who had been raised around guns—lots of them. His father was a gunsmith, and there were numerous guns in his father's shop, as well as guns—mostly hunting rifles—in the house. The boy assumed everyone had guns and used them for hunting and target practice, in large part because nearly everyone he knew did exactly that. There were two fatal shootings in his hometown during his childhood, both of them suicides by men overwhelmed by alcoholism and other problems. He was never tempted to shoot anyone with a gun; in fact, the very thought was as revolting and it was ridiculous, as he and his friends took seriously the privilege of having and shooting a gun, just as they took seriously the injunction, “Thou shalt not murder.”
Yes, I was that young boy. And I thought of my childhood again when, just a few hours after the shootings in Connecticut, I received an e-mail from the lefty group, Catholics United, containing the following:
Catholics United Executive Director James Salt released the following statement in reaction to this morning’s mass shooting in Newtown, Conn.:
"Today’s shooting is yet another horrific marker in a seemingly endless cycle of gun violence in America. As we mourn the dead and send thoughts and prayers to the families of the victims of this senseless act, we know prayer alone is not enough.
"As Catholics who support the social justice achievements of this President, we are disappointed in his lack of action in working to prevent these heinous acts of violence. We call on President Obama to find the courage to lead our nation and help bring a true and lasting end to gun violence.
"We need an immediate national dialogue on preventing yet another American family from having to go through Christmas without the loved ones they lost to gun violence. When will we stop setting the price of our freedoms at the blood of innocent children? We pray our elected leaders have the courage to face up to intransigent special interests and engage in a serious discussion of how to end--permanently--the cycle of gun violence in America."
Yes, indeed—when we will have a serious discussion about the blood of innocent children? When will we face up to the violence that takes place on a regular basis against the youngest and most vulnerable among us? When will the cycle of daily violence against young boys and girls cease? When?
I’m not going to chastise or dismiss Catholics United for demanding stronger gun control laws. That is well within the group’s rights, and it is a legitimate position good Catholics are free to take, even if Catholics United also take a number of positions that are directly contrary to the clear and consistent teachings of the Church. What I do take exception to are the selective, perhaps even cynical, displays of concern by such groups.
To be fair, statements such as the one above are media-savvy mirrors of the broader culture and of the deeply engrained double-mindedness our nation has tolerated, then legalized, and now promotes with an irrational fervor.
Consider that when a man dressed in black comes into a room with unsuspecting children in it and takes their lives by violence and bloodshed, we are shocked, outraged, angered, saddened, confused, and deeply grieved. But when a man dressed in white comes into a room with an unsuspecting child in it and takes that child’s life by injecting him with poison, or ripping him to shreds, and removing him from his mother’s womb, we are usually one of three things: oblivious, apathetic, or supportive.
We recognize the actions of the man in black as a grave offense against life and goodness and the fiber of society. But we insist the actions of the man in white is a matter of choice and preference and even necessary for the good of—take your pick—the mother, the father, society at large, an overpopulated planet, or even the child! (“It would be cruel”, it is said with insane seriousness, “to bring a child into a life of poverty.” I suspect that our three children, all adopted, would disagree.)
We flirt with the angels and dance with the devil, and then insist that doing so is a sign of our courageous moral principles, our enlightened and sensitive souls, and our advanced rational state. The fact is, we are a nation with half a soul, embracing the good with one hand while clinging to evil with the other. The outpouring of grief, sympathy, and solidarity on Friday was a powerful display of America’s goodness, reminding me in many ways of the care and concern demonstrated by strangers and neighbors alike after the attacks on September 11, 2001.
But we are a deeply confused people, rightly denouncing the murder of innocents on one day while self-righteously defending (or even jubilantly celebrating) the murder of innocents the next. There are many reasons for our nation’s double-mindedness, beginning with the fundamental reality of sin, the age old and continual rebellion against moral order, justice, and truth. Another is that we often fail to comprehend how close we always live to the line separating civilization from chaos. False security has a way of breeding fuzzy thinking and flawed morality. “The barbarism of the new era”, wrote Abp. Fulton Sheen over sixty years ago, while World War II still raged, “will not be like that of the Huns of old; it will be technical, scientific, secular, and propagandized. It will not come from without, but from within, for barbarism is not outside us; it is underneath us. Older civilizations were destroyed by imported barbarism; modern civilization breeds its own.”
Our particular civilization also breeds choreographed political gestures and tightly constructed technocratic solutions. Sure, material solutions to social ills and spiritual crises have a place, but they only go so far. Sheen, again, is instructive: “Because the world assumes that evil is wholly external or social, it falsely believes that its remedy lies in the domain of politics and economics since they deal with the externals or with what a man has rather than what he is.” All of us are fallen creatures, possessing free will, capable of both great acts of love and stunning acts of evil. Which means that while practical steps can help limit some actions or contain certain consequences, they cannot eradicate the daunting mysteries of free will and evil.
Finally, Sheen’s statement that modern civilization breeds its own barbarism brings us to another fact often ignored or dismissed quickly, one that speaks directly to the crumbling of a civilization and the corrosion of spiritual life: the collapse of familial stability. After the Clackamas shooting, The Oregonian published a piece titled, “Mall gunman Jacob Roberts' short life included family betrayal, fragile home life.” The details are unique to Roberts, but the basic issues are as familiar as they are sad: a young man who “endured the death of his mother, a family betrayal, a fragile home life marked by mental illness and marijuana and a series of failed career plans that left his future unsettled.” But perhaps the most telling line was simply, “He never knew his father.” How often does such a background result in a young woman deciding to abort her child? How often does it conclude abruptly with a young man exploding in rage, or snuffing out his life with drugs or with suicide? Mental illness, divorce, and family strife also appear to be key factors in Lanza’s short and troubled life.
In the end, it comes full circle, back to the nature of man and the reality of sin, something Bl. John Paul II discussed at length in his “Gospel of Life”. “In fact,” he wrote,
while the climate of widespread moral uncertainty can in some way be explained by the multiplicity and gravity of today's social problems, and these can sometimes mitigate the subjective responsibility of individuals, it is no less true that we are confronted by an even larger reality, which can be described as a veritable structure of sin. This reality is characterized by the emergence of a culture which denies solidarity and in many cases takes the form of a veritable "culture of death". This culture is actively fostered by powerful cultural, economic and political currents which encourage an idea of society excessively concerned with efficiency.
Gun control advocates insist that those who deny the importance of limiting or outlawing certain guns aren’t willing to face facts. But those who would condemn (rightly, of course) the murders of children and adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School while declaring abortion and euthanasia matters of “choice”, fraught with complexity and moral ambiguity are (wittingly or not) selling their souls for a mess of politically-expedient porridge. They will talk constantly of “making sense of what happened”—and some will also refer in some way to “being efficient” in doing so— but they cannot make sense of it without taking the true measure of sin, which is, as Sheen observed, “the deliberate eviction of Love from the soul. Sin is in the enforced absence of Divinity.” And until we admit as much and are honest about the culture of death, our nation will continue to lose its soul, one innocent soul at a time.

postheadericon Caritas India launches project for tribal

Caritas India launches project for tribal

 Jhabua: Caritas India has launched a project to bring about a change in the life of tribal communities in Madhya Pradesh.

The project titled ‘Jeevika’ supported by Critas Spain was launched on Nov. 6 in Jhabua diocese of the state along with more than 200 community members, government officials and representative teams from the project partners.

“Jeevika is not mere a project and of period based, it’s a process to make change happen,” said Bishop Devprasad John Ganawa of Jhabua.

The project is community designed, community owned and community managed.

It would address issues of distress migration, food security and sustainable livelihood options through sustaining agriculture, promoting livestock, developing skills of youth and ensuring and securing entitlements of the deprived communities in 104 villages of the state.

JEEVIKA has designed based on the 100 per cent baseline survey and is being implemented in technical official collaboration with National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development, Krishi Vigyan Kendras and Panchayats.

“JEEVIKA will create impact in such a way that Madhya Pradesh will be known as Jeevika Pradesh,” said Veer Singh Bhuriya, Legislator from Jhabua.

Caritas India director Fr. Fr. Frederick D’souza along with other dignitaries took part in the launching ceremony.

The program was attended by 35 panchayat members, 150 villagers and project staff of Jeevika, LIFE (Rajasthan) and HARIT PRAYAS ( Bundelkhand region).
Sent by Agnelo Vaz sj

postheadericon US bishops endorse sainthood cause of Catholic Worker’s Dorothy Day

In the 1990s "Entertaining Angels":Dorthy Day, though, she went through a string of love affairs, a failed marriage, a suicide attempt and an abortion 

US bishops endorse sainthood cause of Catholic Worker’s Dorothy Day


By Mark Pattison
Catholic News Service

BALTIMORE (CNS) -- The U.S. bishops, on a voice vote, endorsed the sainthood cause of Dorothy Day, the co-founder of the Catholic Worker movement, who was famously quoted as saying, "Don't call me a saint. I don't want to be dismissed so easily."

The endorsement came at the end of a canonically required consultation that took place Nov. 13, the second day of the bishops' annual fall general assembly in Baltimore.

Under the terms of the 2007 Vatican document "Sanctorum Mater," the diocesan bishop promoting a sainthood cause must consult at least with the regional bishops' conference on the advisability of pursuing the cause.

In the case of Day, whose Catholic Worker ministry was based in New York City, the bishop promoting her cause is Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, president of the U.S. bishops' conference. The cause was first undertaken by one of Cardinal Dolan's predecessors in New York, Cardinal John O'Connor.

Cardinal Dolan had earlier conducted a consultation with bishops in his region, and subsequently chose to seek a consultation with the full body of U.S. bishops.

He and the other bishops who spoke during the consultation, some of whom had met Day, called her sainthood cause an opportune moment in the life of the U.S. church.

Cardinal Dolan called Day's journey "Augustinian," saying that "she was the first to admit it: sexual immorality, there was a religious search, there was a pregnancy out of wedlock, and an abortion. Like Saul on the way to Damascus, she was radically changed" and has become "a saint for our time."

"Of all the people we need to reach out to, all the people that are hard to get at, the street people, the ones who are on drugs, the ones who have had abortions, she was one of them," Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick said of Day. The retired archbishop of Washington is a native New Yorker.

"What a tremendous opportunity to say to them you can not only be brought back into society, you can not only be brought back into the church, you can be a saint!" he added.

"She was a very great personal friend to me when I was a young priest," said Bishop William F. Murphy of Rockville Centre, N.Y. "To be able to stand here and say yes to this means a great deal to me."

Bishop Alvaro Corrada del Rio of Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, recalled being assigned to Nativity Parish in New York City in the 1970s. "I had the privilege of being in that parish for the last years of her life. ... her final days and suffering" and her 1980 funeral.

The work of the Catholic Worker movement is still active 80 years after Day co-founded the movement with Peter Maurin.

There are many Catholic Worker houses in the United States, some in rural areas but more in some of the most desperately poor areas of the nation's biggest cities. They follow the Catholic Worker movement's charism of voluntary poverty, the works of mercy, and working for peace and justice.

The Catholic Worker, the newspaper established by Day, is still published regularly, and still charges what it did at its founding: one penny.

"I read the Catholic Worker when I was in high school and I've read it ever since," said Cardinal Francis E. George of Chicago. He recalled meeting Day soon after the 1960 presidential election.

"I had just voted for the first time, for John F. Kennedy. I listened to her critique of our economic and political structures. I asked her, 'Do you think it will help having a Catholic in the White House who can fight for social justice?'

"She was very acerbic. She said, 'Young man' -- I was young at that time -- 'young man, I believe Mr. Kennedy has chosen very badly. No serious Catholic would want to be president of the United States.' I didn't agree with her at that time. And I'm not sure I agree with her now."

Day's early life was turbulent and unsettled. She was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., in 1897, but her family soon moved to San Francisco, where she was baptized an Episcopalian. Her family later moved to Chicago, and Day attended the University of Illinois in Urbana.

However, she left college to go to New York City to work as a journalist. While in New York, she got involved in the causes of her day, such as women's suffrage and peace, and was part of a circle of top literary and artistic figures of the era.

In Day's personal life, though, she went through a string of love affairs, a failed marriage, a suicide attempt and an abortion.

But with the birth of her daughter, Tamar, in 1926, Day embraced Catholicism. She had Tamar baptized Catholic, which ended her common-law marriage and brought dismay to her friends.

As she sought to fuse her life and her faith, she wrote for such Catholic publications as America and Commonweal. In 1932, she met Maurin, a French immigrant and former Christian Brother. Together they started the Catholic Worker newspaper -- and later, several houses of hospitality and farm communities in the United States and elsewhere.

While working for integration, Day was shot at. She prayed and fasted for peace at the Second Vatican Council. She died in 1980 in Maryhouse, one of the Catholic Worker houses she established in New York City.

She has been the focus of a number of biographies. Other books featuring her prayers and writings have been published. In the 1990s, a film biography "Entertaining Angels: The Dorothy Day Story" starring Moira Kelly and Martin Sheen, made its way to theaters.

Sent by Agnelo Vaz sj


postheadericon ખોટા સરનામાંથી સાવધ રહીએ !

ખોટા સરનામાંથી સાવધ રહીએ !

                     ૧૪ મી ઓક્ટોબરે "શ્રદ્ધાનું વર્ષનો આરંભ કરાયો. વિવિધ પેરીશોમાં તેનું ઉદઘાટન કરાયું એક વધુ પ્રકારના વર્ષની અન્ય ઉજવણીઓમાં ઉમેરાઈસરસ !

                 અગાઉ નડીઆદમાં મીરીયમ વર્ષની પૂર્ણઆહૂતીનો વિધિ રાખવામાં આવ્યો હતો જેમાં માં બીશપ તથા ફાધરો-સિસ્ત્તરો તથા વિશાલ કેથોલિક મતવલમ્બિઓન સમૂહોએ ભાગ લીધો. સરસ !

હવે થોડા દિવસો બાદ આણંદખાતે અને .ગુજરાતમાં બાઈબલ અધિવેશનો ની ઉજવણીઓ થશે. સરસ !

ફાધર ઇગ્નાસની કથાના કાર્યક્રમો પણ ચાલુ છે. સરસ !

ભક્તિ કાર્યક્રમોમાં જનાર એટલા માટે જાયછે કારણ તેમને કહેવામાં આવે છે ને તેઓ બધા   દ્રદ્ધપણે   માને છે  કે અહી ભગવાન હાજર હોય છે ને તેમને આશીર્વાદ આપશે ને તેમની બધી માગણીઓ ને અરજો સ્વીકારશે વગેરે વગેરે

પ્રસંગે મને એક ઘટના યાદ આવી જાય છે ને તે કહ્યા વગર ચેન પડશે નહિ. હકીકતે ભગવાન ઈસુના ઉપદેશ તથા તેમના શિક્ષણની સાચી સમજ વિસારે નાં પડે માટે ઘટના (અને જોક માનો તો જોક) જાણવી જરૂરી લાગે છે. તો સાંભળો ત્યારે ...

એક ભૂખ્યો તરસ્યો, માંદો ને નિરાધાર ભિખારી રસ્તા પર બેસીને ભીખ માંગતો હતો પણ તેના હાથમાં કોઈ કશું મૂકતું નહોતું એટલે કોઈએ તેને કહ્યું કે સામે મંદિર છે ત્યાં જા. ત્યાં ભગવાન હાજર છે ને તને ભગવાન કંઈ આપશે. તો ત્યાં ગયો કથા-કીર્તન, ભજન-મંડળી, આરતી બધામાં ભક્તિ પૂર્વક ને શ્રદ્ધાથી ભાગ લીધો.પણ તેને કોઈએ કશું આપ્યું નહિ. તો નિરાશ થઇ ગયો ને બહાર નીકળીને ચાલવા લાગ્યો. એટલામાં રસ્તામાં દારૂનું એક પીઠું આવ્યું. દારૂડિયા લથડીયા ખાતા ખાતા એમાં જતા આવતા હતા એક દારૂડિયાની નજર ભિખારી પર પડી. એને દયા આવી એને ગજવામાં હાથ નાખી સો સોની બે નોટો કાઢી ને ભિખારીના હાથમાં મૂકી દીધી ને ચાલવા માંડ્યો.ભિખારીને તો ભારે આશ્ચર્ય થયું ને સાહજિકપણે બોલી  ઉઠ્યો "ભગવાન tએક ભૂખ્યો તરસ્યો, માંદો ને નિરાધાર ભિખારી રસ્તા પર બેસીને ભીખ માંગતો હતો પણ તેના હાથમાં કોઈ કશું મૂકતું નહોતું એટલે કોઈએ તેને કહ્યું કે સામે મંદિર છે ત્યાં જા. ત્યાં ભગવાન હાજર છે ને તને ભગવાન કંઈ આપશે. તો ત્યાં ગયો કથા-કીર્તન, ભજન-મંડળી, આરતી બધામાં ભક્તિ પૂર્વક ને શ્રદ્ધાથી ભાગ લીધો.પણ તેને કોઈએ કશું આપ્યું નહિ. તો નિરાશ થઇ ગયો ને બહાર નીકળીને ચાલવા લાગ્યો. એટલામાં રસ્તામાં દારૂનું એક પીઠું આવ્યું. દારૂડિયા લથડીયા ખાતા ખાતા એમાં જતા આવતા હતા એક દારૂડિયાની નજર ભિખારી પર પડી. એને દયા આવી એને ગજવામાં હાથ નાખી સો સોની બે નોટો કાઢી ને ભિખારીના હાથમાં મૂકી દીધી ને ચાલવા માંડ્યો.ભિખારીને તો ભારે આશ્ચર્ય થયું ને સાહજિકપણે બોલી  ઉઠ્યો "ભગવાન તું તો ખરો  છેતું  રહે  છે ક્યાં ને એડ્રસ  આપે  છે ક્યાંનું !   

   તો ચાલો ફરીથી યાદ કરી લઈએ

 " જ્યાં પ્રેમને રહેમ ત્યાં () આપણા પ્રભુજીનો વાસ રે! બીજે ક્યાંય નહિ.

 ફાધર વિલિયમ (રિશ્તા)