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June 10 2011 £1.50 (Republic of Ireland €1.80)
Pope offers tips to Catholic parents
During his two-day visit to Croatia Benedict XVI encourages parents to adopt three habits
BY MARK GREAVES
POPE BENEDICT XVI has offered three practical tips for parents to help them pass on the faith to their children.
During a two-day trip to Croatia he suggested that parents pray with their children, “draw them close” to the sacraments and read the Bible with them at home.
He was speaking in front of 400,000 people gathered on a grassy racetrack outside Zagreb on the National Day of Croatian Catholic Families. The Pope urged families to be like Mary and the Apostles in the Upper Room, praying and preparing to receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit together.
He said: “Dear parents, commit yourselves always to teach your children to pray, and pray with them; draw them close to the sacraments, especially to the Eucharist... in the intimacy of the home do not be afraid to read the sacred scriptures, illuminating family life with the light of faith and praising God as Father. Be like a little Upper Room, like that of Mary and the disciples, in which to live unity, communion and prayer.”
In his homily the Pope said the spread of secularism was leading to the “disintegration of the family”, especially in Europe. As a result, he said, “exemplary Christian families [are] more necessary and urgent than ever”.
The Pope called on young couples to “be courageous”, saying: “Do not give into that secularised mentality which proposes living together as a preparation, or even a substitute, for marriage.” He told priests, meanwhile, that their work in forming faith and supporting families was “the fundamental path for regenerating the Church anew”.
His comments were welcomed by Sarah Johnson, author of The Christian Parent’s Toolkit. She said it was “wonderful” that Benedict XVI was supporting parents as families, where jubilant crowds squelched through muddy fields waving Vatican and Croatian flags, was the primary reason for the visit.
The day before Benedict XVI had told Croatian dignitaries that Europe would “collapse in on itself” unless the true meaning of conscience was rediscovered. In an address to political, cultural and business figures at Zagreb’s ornate Croatian National Theatre, the Pope said: “If, in keeping with the prevailing modern idea, conscience is reduced to the subjective field to which religion and morality have been banished, then the crisis of the West has no remedy and Europe is destined to collapse in on itself.
“If, on the other hand, conscience is rediscovered as the place in which to listen to truth and good, the place of responsibility before God and before fellow human beings – in other words, the bulwark against all forms of tyranny – then there is hope for the future.”
That evening the Pope prayed at the tomb of Blessed Cardinal Alojzije Stepinac, a national hero for Croats who was imprisoned under the Communists and believed to have been poisoned in 1960. Pope Benedict praised him as a martyr, saying that he became “a living image of Christ” who defended Jews, the Orthodox and Gypsies who were targeted by the World War II-era Ustaša regime.
He said the cardinal was a rolemodel for all people, not just Croatians, because he courageously defended “the truth and man’s right to live with God”.
Young Croatians in national costume watch as Pope Benedict XVI arrives at a prayer vigil in Ban Josip Jelačić Square in Zagreb on Saturday
primary educators in faith. She said that praying with children and reading the Bible to them when they were very young would “allow space for a conversation with God” when they were older.
Mrs Johnson said: “The ‘small domestic church’ the Holy Father speaks of is not easy to create and I would not say my home was a particularly holy place – but starting when they are young helps. Habits such as praying with your children can become part of daily life. A bit of perseverance at the beginning pays off in the end. Reading the Bible together can start as bedtime reading with small children, using picture-book re-tellings of Bible tales.
“I have to admit I can’t get my teenagers to read the Bible with me but doing this when they are young may help to allow space for conversation about God later on.” Joanna Bogle, Catholic author and blogger, said she was “particularly impressed” by Benedict XVI’s emphasis on family prayer. She said: “Lots of families know that even something quite simple, like saying grace at meals, or saying a prayer when you set off together on a family journey in the car, binds you together in God and also builds up a sort of family heritage and tradition.”
At vespers in Zagreb’s neoGothic cathedral, the Pope urged Church leaders “to strive for reconciliation among separated Christians and between Christians and Muslims”, in reference to tensions between Croats, Serbian Orthodox and Muslims. Edward Pentin: Page 4 Editorial comment: Page 13
The Pope’s trip to Croatia was his 19th outside Italy and his 13th to a European country. The Mass for
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There is no competition between faith and reason, says cardinal BY ED WEST
FAITH and reason are in harmony and are not in competition, Cardinal Peter Turkson has said at the annual Cardinal John Henry Newman Lecture at St John’s College, Oxford.
Speaking at the event, which was sponsored by The Catholic Herald, Cardinal Turkson, the head of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, cited Tony Blair’s statement that “we cannot try to run the world without understanding what touches people’s hearts”. “Man has made progress in the technical sciences. Man has had noteworthy success in the domain of the material world,” he said. “But a being who asks questions and searches for the truth also lives by faith. The fact that human reason cannot grasp every reality does not imply the non-existence of such a reality. It would be absurd for a physicist to deny the existence of psychic phenomena, just because they could not be observed by the methodology of physics. Observing this requires a different methodology.
“The truth of faith cannot be opposed to the truth of reason, but neither can truth be arrived at by reason alone. Faith and reason are attracted to each other. There is a harmony between the two. There is therefore no competition between reason and faith. The service of faith and reason in public life is the establishment of truth.” The cardinal also spoke about the need for religion, saying: “A coercive external system is not enough for the creation of a good society. There needs to be an internalisation.”
The cardinal, who was recently in the Ivory Coast to broker peace, also paid tribute to the crowds who came to see Pope Benedict XVI in Britain last September and praised the Hyde Park crowd for its support for the Church’s antipoverty pledge. Science and Faith: Page 9
Filipino bishops back smoking ban BY RACHEL OBORDO
TWO BISHOPS have joined an anti-smoking drive in Manila, the capital of the Philippines, saying that a smoking ban in public areas should be applied nationwide.
Bishop Jose Oliveros of Malolos and Bishop Honesto Ongtioco of Cubao said smoking is harmful to both smokers and non-smokers and should be banned. “I am in favour of the smoking ban because we have to protect the health of the public,” said Bishop Oliveros.
Both bishops also suggested additional taxes on “sin products” such as cigarettes and alcohol.
The law banning smoking in public was first introduced in 2003, but is widely ignored.
Twin Franciscans die an hour apart, aged 92 BY DAVID V BARRETT
TWIN Franciscan friars, who were rarely apart throughout their lives, died within hours of each other last week.
Julian and Adrian Reister were 92. They joined the Franciscans together 65 years ago. They had brief assignments apart from each other, but spent the early 1950s at St Bonaventure University in New York,
then 17 years working at parishes in Buffalo. They returned to St Bonaventure in 1973 and spent the next 35 years together there, doing manual work such as gardening and carpentry.
In 2008 they both became ill, and moved to a nursing home in Florida. “It really is almost a poetic ending to the remarkable story of their lives,” said spokesman Tom Missel.
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