Archbishop Nichols The Church’s vision for homosexual people
COMMENT, PAGE 12
Dion DiMucci The rock star who loves the Church
INTERVIEW, PAGE 6
Bess Twiston-Davies The Pope takes on Mexico’s drug lords
FEATURES, PAGE 8
Bishop to defy critics by joining clinic vigil
BY ED WEST
BISHOP Alan Hopes will join the 40 Days for Life vigil outside the central London BPAS clinic next Friday despite an increasingly aggressive campaign by pro-abortion campaigners.
The auxiliary bishop of Westminster said: “Together with Catholics, priests and laymen, and with other Christians, I will be offering my prayers for those women who are considering an abortion and I will also be praying that our society will come to respect the sanctity of the life of the unborn child.
“Many priests and lay people have already spent time in prayer outside the BPAS clinic and I am glad to be able to join them for what is a principled and peaceful statement of opposition to our society’s ‘culture of death’.”
Campaigners accused 40 Days for Life of “haranguing and intimidating” women seeking abortions, with the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) calling it a “new era” of protests.
BPAS also said there was “no moral justification” for bishops to get involved in such a campaign.
Robert Colquhoun, a spokesman for 40 Days for Life, rejected the criticisms and said that the group’s presence outside the clinic was “peaceful, prayerful and within the law”.
He said: “Since our campaign started in September 2010, we estimate that more than 30 women have chosen life for their unborn children as a result of our campaign through prayer and also through an offer of love, help and support during a difficult time.”
Contrary to reports, he said that members never filmed women going into the clinic and only filmed themselves for protection, often facing threats and profanities from members of the public.
Mr Colquhoun said that the media campaign against 40 Days for Life was a sign that the abortion industry was “rattled”. Editorial Comment: Page 13
Cubans and Mexicans welcome Benedict XVI
BENEDICT XVI will set off today on one of the most challenging foreign trips of his pontificate.
The Pope, who is 85 next month, will spend six days in Mexico and Cuba amid severe social tensions in both countries.
Fr Federico Lombardi said that during his visit to
Mexico and Cuba, Pope Benedict would meet political leaders, who may include Fidel Castro, though this is yet to be confirmed.
Shortly before Benedict XVI was due to leave Rome, Mexican police discovered the severed heads of 10 people apparently murdered by drug traffickers, while
Cuba’s government arrested dissidents who had hoped to meet the Pope.
Pope Benedict will also mark the 400th anniversary of the discovery of the image of the Virgin of Charity of El Cobre, Cuba’s patron saint, pictured above. Editorial Comment: Page 13
March 23 2012 £1.50 (Republic of Ireland €1.80)
Vatican report hails progress in reform of Irish Church
BY CAROL GLATZ
A VATICAN investigation of the Church in Ireland has concluded that bishops, clergy and lay faithful are doing an “excellent” job in creating safe environments for children today.
The investigators said there had been serious shortcomings in the handling of clerical abuse in the past but that they had been “struck” by efforts across the country to implement stricter child protection guidelines.
“In the four archdioceses, the results of these efforts were judged to be excellent,” they said, adding that safeguarding staff had brought “the highest level of professionalism” to the Church.
But the investigators also called for regular updating of child protection guidelines, the establishment of “more consistent admission criteria” for seminarians, and the formulation of policies on how best to deal with clergy and religious accused of abuse.
In a summary of findings published on Tuesday, the investigators spoken of a “fairly widespread” tendency among priests, religious and laity to hold unorthodox views.
“This serious situation requires particular attention, directed principally toward improved theological formation,” the visitors found, stressing that dissent from the Church’s teaching authority would only hinder its renewal.
The eight-page summary consisted of findings and recommendations to four archdioceses, religious institutes and seminaries in Ireland. Fr Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, said there was “no large, more extensive document” giving details of the visitation.
In the four archdioceses the results of these efforts were judged to be
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Rather, he said, “the summary is a synthesis of all the reports, materials”, observations and recommendations made by the visitors as well as further observations made by the Holy See and relevant Vatican offices.
“The Holy See re-echoes the sense of dismay and betrayal which the Holy Father expressed in his Letter to the Catholics of Ireland,” the summary said.
Through their many face-to-face meetings with members of the Church, including victims of abuse, the visitors saw “just how much the shortcomings of the past gave rise to an inadequate understanding of and reaction to the terrible phenomenon of the abuse of minors, not least on the part of various bishops and religious superiors”, the summary said.
But investigators said they were able “to verify that, beginning in the 1990s, progressive steps had been taken toward a greater awareness of how serious is the problem of abuse”.
The report said that abuse guidelines must be updated in accordance with the doctrinal congregation’s 2011 mandate, that regular audits be carried out, and that the guidelines be re-examined periodically to make sure they stay effective.
The report said that a shortage of canon lawyers in Ireland called for a reorganisation of Church tribunals to speed up cases of abuse still waiting for a resolution. In addition, the National Board for Safeguarding Children should be supported by Church authorities and continue to receive adequate funding, it said.
Aspects of seminary life that still require improvement included: formation “rooted in authentic priestly identity” to prepare men for a life of celibacy, “better governance of seminaries by bishops”,
Continued on Page 2
CONFERENCE 25-26TH JUNE 2012
St Edmund’s College, Cambridge CATHOLIC SOCIAL TEACHING
AND THE ‘BIG SOCIETY’
Speakers include: Rt. Hon. John Battle Former Labour MP and government minister
Prof. Philip Booth Editorial and Programme Director, IEA
Lord Glasman Labour peer and lecturer in political theory,
London Metropolitan University
Stuart Hoggan Department for Communities and
Local Government Dr Austen Ivereigh
Catholic Voices Prof. Bill Jordan Author, ‘Why the Third Way Failed: Economics,
Morality and the Origins of the “Big Society”’ Clifford Longley Author and Catholic commentator
Prof. John Loughlin Director of the Von Hügel Institute
Helen O’Brien Chief Executive, Caritas Social Action Network
Residential: £250 Non-residential: £150 For further information and a booking form visit: www.vonhugel.org.uk or email email@example.com
Married couple asked to write Pope’s Good Friday meditation BY CINDY WOODEN
POPE BENEDICT XVI has asked an Italian married couple, founders of the Focolare movement’s New Families initiative, to write the meditations for his Way of the Cross service on Good Friday.
The Vatican announced last week that the Pope had asked Danilo and Annamaria Zanzucchi to write the meditations, which are read over loudspeakers as a cross is carried through and around Rome’s Colosseum.
The Zanzucchis are the first married couple to be asked to compose the texts.
Along with Chiara Lubich, the late founder of the Focolare movement, the Zanzucchis launched the New Famil ies project in 1967 to s t rengthen families and encourage their spiritual growth and social commitment.
New Families now claims some 300,000 members around the world. The Zanzucchis’ meditations will offer commentary and prayers on the 14 Stations of the Cross, the Vatican said. In some years, the Vatican has gone with strictly biblical stations marking steps in Jesus’s Passion and death. The t raditional stations, for example, include Veronica wiping Jesus’s face, which is not mentioned in the Bible.
In 1985 Blessed John Paul II began asking people to compose meditations for his Good Friday prayer service rather than using traditional texts. Over the years, he asked bishops and theologians, priests and religious women and – in 2002 – an international group of journalists who were covering the Vatican.
The 2005 meditations, used just a few days before Blessed John Paul II’s death, were written by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict.
Stations of the Cross adapted to Tube line BY MIGUEL CULLEN
COMMUTERS forced to ponder the inscrutable workings of London Underground’s Circle Line were this week offered a new diversion. An anonymous artist has designed a pamphlet depicting the 14 Stations of the Cross and has arranged them so they sit alongside stations of the Tube line.
“Jesus is Condemned to Death” occurs at Westminster and St James Park, and “Jesus Falls For the Second Time” at Monument and Notting Hill Gate. The skilful and intriguing paper-cut illustrations are collected in a pamphlet called Stations of the King’s Cross. The pictures will be exhibited in St Mary’s Church, Somers Town, in north London.
Broadway tap dancer studies for priesthood BY CINDY WOODEN
A TAP DANCER who starred in the Broadway show 42nd Street is studying to become a priest at the Pontifical North American College in Rome.
David Rider, 27, said he was strongly influenced by two heroes: Gene Kelly and Blessed Pope John Paul II.
He started dancing at the age of three and opened a studio at 15. But he said that when he was touring with 42nd Street he watched John Paul II’s funeral on television and had “this desire to emulate him, to follow in his footsteps and to say ‘yes’ to the priesthood, so as to have a similar effect on the world”.
Mr Rider said that he was not seeking to become a “tapdancing priest... just a good, holy parish priest”.
Fr Alexander Lucie-Smith One day we’ll realise Rowan Williams is a great man PAGE 20
Mary Kenny ‘Deadbeat dads’ must look to St Joseph PAGE 12
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