Kevin Myers My battle for Ireland’s forgotten war heroes
FEATURE, PAGE 8
Michael Warsaw The secret formula for running EWTN
INTERVIEW, PAGE 7
Real-life superheroes Fr Alexander Lucie-Smith on the new vigilantism PAGE 8
Bishop asks for hour of Confession every week
Pope baptises 16 babies in Sistine Chapel
BY MADELEINE TEAHAN
THE BISHOP of Lancaster has launched a Lenten initiative to encourage Catholics to return to Confession.
Bishop Michael Campbell has written to all Catholic schools and parishes to announce the introduction of a coordinated weekly Confession on the same day, at the same hour in every church across the diocese.
From February 29 until the Wednesday of Holy Week, every Catholic church in the Diocese of Lancaster will be open from 7pm until 8pm in order for the faithful to go to Confession.
Bishop Campbell said: “During the Lenten season we will invite those who seek to strengthen their relationship with the Lord to join us in this celebration of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Our priests are here to welcome you home, to pray with you, to be of service in the name of Jesus Christ, who offers all of us forgiveness for our sins and the gift of His mercy and love.
“Confession gives us the chance to start over, to hit the ‘reset’ button of our lives. It shows how forgiving and compassionate our God is and it helps us to grow in concern and love for others. Come to Confession this Lent and receive God’s mercy, for peace of mind and to deepen your friendship with Jesus, to receive spiritual healing and to increase your sense of joy and to experience Christ’s saving grace.”
Responding to the concern that many people feel too unworthy to return to Confession, the Bishop of Lancaster said: “God’s love for you is greater than all the sins you’ve committed or could ever commit. Now is the time to come and have God take away the burdens of guilt that can often weigh us down. If you’ve been waiting for a sign to return to the Church or to the Sacrament of Reconciliation, this is your chance to re-establish and strengthen a relationship with God that will last forever”.
A statement from the diocese explains that the “Light is On” programme is a preliminary to the forthcoming Year of Faith, announced by Pope Benedict XVI, which begins in October.
BY CAROL GLATZ
POPE BENEDICT XVI has baptised 16 infants and told their parents and godparents that prayer and the sacraments will give them the strength and guidance they need to promote a child’s true well-being. Presiding over the annual liturgy in the Sistine Chapel on January 8, the feast of the Baptism of the Lord, the Pope said the sacraments and putting one’s trust in God through prayer offer “that light of truth” that illuminates the right path to take in their child’s upbringing.
The Holy Spirit “enlightens the mind, warms the heart of the educator so that he will know how to pass on an awareness of Jesus and his love”, the Pope said in his homily.
January 13 2012 £1.50 (Republic of Ireland €1.80)
Rome calls for major review of catechesis in Year of Faith
BY MADELEINE TEAHAN
THE VATICAN has called on bishops around the world to re-examine catechetical materials in a document which helps to prepare Catholics for the Year of Faith.
In anticipation of the Year of Faith, which will begin in October, the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith (CDF) has issued a list of pastoral recommendations which express its hope that “local catechisms and various catechetical supplements in use in the particular churches would be examined to ensure their complete conformity with the Catechism of the Catholic Church”.
At a diocesan level the CDF recommends that “each particular Church review the reception of Vatican Council II and the Catechism of the Catholic Church in its own life and mission, particularly in the realm of catechesis”.
“This would provide the opportunity for a renewal of commitment on the part of the catechetical offices of the dioceses which – supported by the commissions for catechesis of the episcopal conference – have the duty to care for the theological formation of catechists,” it explains.
The document calls on “pastors, consecrated persons and the lay faithful” to “renew their efforts in effective and heartfelt adherence to the teaching of the Successor of Peter”.
The Year of Faith was announced by Pope Benedict XVI at a Mass last October as a means of giving “renewed energy to the mission of the whole Church to lead men and women out of the desert they often are in and toward the place of life: friendship with Christ who gives us fullness of life”.
The new document, which is aimed at
It is hoped that local catechisms and various catechetical supplements would be examined
For the latest Catholic news, visit CatholicHerald.co.uk bishops, priests and parishioners, also highlights the importance of communicating the significance of the Second Vatican Council in the mass media. It calls for more dialogue between academics and the clergy concerning faith and reason, the offering of penitential celebrations and a renewed emphasis on liturgy, specifically the Eucharist.
The document says: “In the Eucharist, mystery of faith and source of the new evangelisation, the faith of the Church is proclaimed, celebrated and strengthened. All of the faithful are invited to participate in the Eucharist actively, fruitfully and with awareness, in order to be authentic witnesses of the Lord.”
The Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales welcomed the pastoral recommendations. Fr Timothy Gardner, the secretary of the bishops’ Department for Evangelisation and Catechesis, said that there are plans to publish a local catechism, although the time scale is not yet known.
He said: “We very much welcome the Year of Faith as a great opportunity. The visit of the Holy Father to Britain and the very successful World Youth Day in Madrid have both been a real injection of energy into the Church.”
A spokeswoman for the bishops’ conference said that planning for the Year of Faith in England and Wales was underway. She said: “[We] will invite schools to engage in a week of service under the patronage of St Thérèse of Lisieux. This will provide a public way of giving expression to faith and also of love of neighbour. There will also be a public lecture to highlight what we can learn from Blessed John Henry Newman about sharing faith.” Editorial Comment: Page 13
New nuncio heads to Ireland with ‘total confidence’ after ordination BY CINDY WOODEN
CELEBRATING the feast of the Epiphany, Pope Benedict XVI has ordained two new nuncios as bishops.
The two men are US Archbishop Charles Brown, a veteran official at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, who is the nuncio to Ireland, and Polish Archbishop Marek Solczynski, who is nuncio to Georgia and Armenia.
They swore their fidelity to the Gospel and to the Church and lay prostrate on the floor of St Peter’s Basilica as the Litany of Saints was chanted. Then they knelt before Pope Benedict, who laid his hands on their heads and ordained them bishops.
He anointed their heads with chrism oil, gave them the book of the gospels, slipped a ring on their fingers and gave each a mitre and pastoral staff.
After the Mass Archbishop Brown told the American Catholic News Service: “The entire experience was one of great joy and consolation for me. I was certainly aware of my unworthiness for the episcopate and my limitations but especially when the Pope laid his hands on my head, I had a tremendous sense of the strength of the Holy Spirit and the presence of the saints.”
The experience, he said, “gives me total confidence that I can do something beautiful for God”. In his homily at the Mass the Pope looked at the figure of the Three Kings,
the wise men who set out from the East in search of Jesus, and drew comparisons between them and the mission to which the new bishops are called.
Like the Magi, he said, “the bishop, too, must be a man of restless heart, not satisfied with the ordinary things of this world, but inwardly driven by his heart’s unrest to draw ever closer to God, to seek his face, to recognise him more and more, to be able to love him more and more.”
Vatican office admits copying Wikipedia BY CINDY WOODEN
THE VATICAN press office has admitted that the short biographies of 22 new cardinals that it handed out to journalists last week were mainly drawn from Wikipedia.
Fr Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman, said: “If we’d had a week we would have prepared official biographies.”
The majority of profiles were brief and factual. But the biography of Cardinaldesignate Willem Eijk of Utrecht described him as a social conservative, “especially in matters of abortion and homosexuality, which have made him one of the most controversial religious leaders in the country”. Editorial Comment: Page 13
My parish priest was ‘very cool’, says actor BY ED WEST
ACTOR Michael Fassbender has spoken about the positive influence of the Church on his life.
The Irish-born actor, who stars in the Steve McQueendirected Shame, and will play Carl Jung in the forthcoming biopic of Sigmund Freud, A Dangerous Method, described his childhood priest, Fr Galvin,
as “very cool”. He said: “A lot of people relied on him. He would be there to listen. Obviously the idea of hell and suffering is kind of heavy duty, but there was a lot of positivity.”
The 34-year-old, who grew up in Killarney, Co Kerry, says that although he has drifted from Catholicism he still goes into a church and lights a candle whenever he is on tour.
George Pitcher Lord Falconer’s little surprises PAGE 12
Felipe Fernández-Armesto Why American Catholics are embracing the Right PAGE 20
! ! ! ! " " " ! ! "
"*%&(( 1"*0" 0//+* 0--"2 -"$&./"-"! % -&/2 &* *$( *! *! (". *! +/( *!
, ( ( () )) ( )) %)* % $ "%) 0 0 0 * ( 0 *% "& # $ ( $) )+&&%(* / $ "%) '+ *% *% * +( $ &" ) * #/ )* ( ( # . )*(% $ *+( )*( & % " )* "% ! % *) .& (/ * " (%# * ))+ % )*(% $ *+( % $%* - ) *% ( , $ %(# * %$ %+* *% * +( $