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BISHOP PATRICK O’DONOGHUE ISSUES THE FINAL PART OF HIS GROUNDBREAKING SERIES PAGE 8 FIT FOR MISSION 3: MARRIAGE
Archbishop Nichols hits the ground running
ARCHBISHOPVINCENTNICHOLS , the newly appointed leader of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, has given robust backing to to traditional Catholic teaching on sexual morality and pledged his strong personal support for Pope Benedict XVI.
Archbishop Nichols, who will be installed at Westminster Cathedral on May 21, called on Catholics to protest against planned abortion adverts on television.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, he also said that Pope Benedict XVI’s views on condoms and Aids had been misrepresented by the media.
And he rebuffed the suggestion that he should endorse Tony Blair’s call for new Catholic teaching on homosexuality. “I think I will take my line from Pope Benedict, actually,” he said.
Plans to broadcast abortion adverts are being considered by the Advertising Standards Authority. The archbishop made it clear that he was appalled by the proposal.
“Surely you would not expect [abortion] to be advertised alongside a packet of crisps,” he said.
“I doubt that any intended adverts would tell the whole truth of the effects of abortion in a woman’s life.”
Archbishop Nichols said that existing adverts for contraception were demeaning to young people: “They depict two people having sex on a street corner and some more just in a drunken orgy, and that is not a fair representation of young people today. We really need to do an awful lot to raise expectations of each other and to humanise sexuality, to use the Holy Father’s phrase.”
Asked whether he would suggest condom use to a married faithful Catholic couple who came to him for advice where one of them had Aids, he said: “Obviously that’s a very sensitive point and there are different views on that.”
“We really do have to raise people’s expectations about themselves. Today is Good Friday. What do we celebrate today? We celebrate this enormous gift of God’s love to us, which teaches us how much dignity we have, and we have to encourage as a society people to live off their best instincts, their best generosity and not constantly be portraying our society as degraded and in need of Elastoplast all the time.”
The archbishop also defended the Pope on the Todayprogramme.
Asked whether he agreed with the Pope’s statement that condoms can make Aids worse, he said: “I am not sure that’s exactly what he said at all. What he actually talked about was the need to humanise sexuality. And I think to some extent he was speaking up in protection of African women.”
Archbishop Nichols also told the Press Association later that day: “One of the things I regret is that too often in our society a person’s whole identity is shaped by their sexuality, or by their sexual orientation. In good Catholic eyes a person’s sexual orientation does not matter.”
John Beyer of Mediawatch UK, the group founded by Mary Whitehouse to campaign for standards in the media, said: “Archbishop Nicholas feels that these adverts demean young people and that is a fair criticism. From a moral....
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April 172009£1.20 (Republic of Ireland €1.70)
Urbi et Orbi: Pope hails light and hope of Resurrection
Pope to visit quake region Victims mourned on Good Friday P6
Pope Benedict XVI urged Christians to conquer evil using the weapons of justice, truth, mercy, forgiveness and love
Jerusalem Donʼt be fooled by its charmsP16
THERESURRECTION is not a myth or fairy tale; it is the one and only event that has destroyed the root of evil and can fill the emptiness in people’s hearts, Pope Benedict XVI said in his Easter message.
But Christ still wants humanity to help affirm his victory by using his weapons of justice, truth, mercy and love to end the suffering in Africa, build peace in the Holy Land, and combat hunger and poverty worldwide, he said in his message Urbi et Orbi(to the city and the world).
“Africa suffers disproportionately from the cruel and unending conflicts, often forgotten, that are causing so much bloodshed and destruction in several of her nations,” and increasing numbers of Africans fall prey to hunger, poverty and disease, the Pope said.
He said when he visits the Holy Land in May he will “emphatically repeat the same message” of reconciliation and peace he brought to Africa during his March visit to Cameroon and Angola. While reconciliation is difficult, he said, it is an indispensable “precondition for a future of overall security and peaceful coexistence and it can only be achieved through renewed, persevering and sincere efforts to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict”.
Pope Benedict read his message and gave his solemn blessing after celebrating Easter morning Mass in St Peter’s Square, which was attended by about 100,000 people.
The Pope, who turned 82 yesterday, tripped without further incident when he climbed the dais where the papal throne sat in the central balcony.
He offered Easter greetings in 63
different languages and gave special encouragement to those struck by the April 6 earthquake and string of aftershocks in Italy’s L’Aquila province.
The Pope urged Christians to spread the hope the world so desperately needs. “At a time of world food shortage, of financial turmoil, of old and new forms of poverty, of disturbing climate change, of violence and deprivation which force many to leave their homelands in search of a less precarious form of existence, of the ever present threat of terrorism (and) of growing fears over the future, it is urgent to rediscover grounds for hope,” he said in his Easter message.
Christ’s Resurrection “is neither a myth nor a dream, it is not a vision or a utopia, it is not a fairy tale, but is a singular and unrepeatable event” that brings light to the dark regions of the world, he said.
The “sense of emptiness, which tends to intoxicate humanity, has been overcome by the light and the hope that emanate from the Resurrection”, he said.
But while the resurrected Christ vanquished death, “there still remain very many, in fact, too many signs of its former dominion,” said the Pope. Christ wants today’s men and women to help him “affirm his victory using his own weapons: the weapons of justice and truth, mercy, forgiveness and love” and spread the kind of hope that inspires courage to do good even when it costs dearly, he said.
The earthquake in central Italy was never far from the Pope’s mind during Holy Week and Easter services. At the end of the candlelit Way of the Cross at Rome’s Colosseum on Good Friday, Pope Benedict again asked for prayers for those affected by the earthquake.
Bad Attitude The banality of BlairP20
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Shroud of Turin could date to time of Jesus, scientist claims
THETURINSHROUD could date to the time of Jesus after all, despite exhaustive scientific tests in 1988 which concluded that it was no more than 1,000 years old.
In a video made shortly before his death in 2005 one of the scientists who examined the shroud in 1978 and pronounced it an early medieval work admits such a conclusion was wrong. “I don’t believe in miracles that defy the
laws of nature,” Dr Raymond Rogers said in the video. “After the 1988 investigation I’d given up on the Shroud. But now I am coming to the conclusion that it has a very good chance of being the piece of cloth that was used to bury the historic Jesus.”
The reason for Dr Rogers’s turnaround is that the postagestamp-sized fragment which was carbon-dated in 1988 came from a piece of material woven into the Shroud at some point to repair it after
one of several instances of serious fire damage. Chemical analysis of the fragment showed not only that it had been dyed to match the Shroud, but that it contained cotton fibres; the Shroud is linen.
The knowledge that the fragment was not from the main body of the Shroud is not in itself new, but Dr Rogers’s video-recorded comments were shown for the first time in a Discovery Channel documentary, The Turin Shroud:
New Evidence , last Sunday. The Church has no official position on whether the Shroud was the burial cloth of Jesus, but the carbon-dating findings in 1988 were a hard blow to many in the Church who believed that it was an authentic relic. There have been many theories about the origin of the Shroud, with varying levels of credibility. Some speculative historians, for example, have claimed that it was an early type of photographic self-portrait by Leonardo da Vinci.
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Spider-Man ‘the Catholic parable’
Reality star sensation applauded in church
THECOMIC -BOOKhero SpiderMan was held up as a Catholic parable by Lentfest, “an imaginative fusion of faith and the arts” run by the Archdiocese of Glasgow.
In previous years as part of Lentfest Catholic schoolchildren have been shown films of a religious nature, including Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ and Karol, a biopic
of Pope John Paul II. But this year, under the title Search for the Hero , they watched a Hollywood adaptation of the famous comic series, described as a “parable for our times”.
Spider-Man first appeared as a character in Amazing Stories magazine in 1962 and featured in movies of 2002, 2004 and 2007, directed by Sam Raimi.
Lentfest director Stephen Callaghan said: “As a trilogy there is absolutely no doubt that it explores Catholicism. It has got a very profound Christology and Catholic iconography appears throughout.”
IT ’SACASEof life imitating art. Before belting out West End hit “I Dreamed a Dream”, Catholic church worker and Britain’s Got Talent contestant Susan Boyle would not have dared consign her wildest reveries to being a star.
Now she is an overnight celebrity, wowing judges Simon Cowell and Piers Morgan with her on-key solo, getting over
2.5 million YouTube viewings of her clip singing the song from Les Misérables, and receiving a standing ovation when she walked into her
local Catholic church
for Easter Mass.
Miss Boyle is an unemployed church volunteer from West Lothian who lives with her cat Pebbles. The
but were soon impressed.
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