Fr John Zuhlsdorf On the new, improved version of the Creed PAGE 16
James Preece PAGE 12
Do we really need children’s liturgies?
April 8 2011 £1.50 (Republic of Ireland €1.80)
Church shelters 40,000 from Ivory Coast strife BY ANNA ARCO
OVER 40,000 people have taken refuge in a Salesian mission in the town of Duekoué in Ivory Coast to escape the violent armed conflict over the country’s leadership.
At the St Teresa of the Child Jesus mission two Italian Salesians are trying to give aid to the thousands of people from the nearby villages who have taken refuge there. The UN is helping with provisions for the mission, but the Salesians have said that they need more.
Duekoué is the site of the bloodiest incident of the armed conflict, in which between 800 to 1,000 people were reportedly massacred. Caritas Internationalis teams visiting Duekoué said that almost 1,000 people were killed or had “disappeared” and that the massacre took place in the Carrefour quarter of town. The UN could not confirm the total number of people killed, but said humanitarian workers had found a mass grave with over 200 bodies.
It is not clear whether those killed were victims of the forces loyal to Alassane Ouattara, the president-elect, or Laurent Gbagbo, the incumbent president. Before the massacre in Duekoué aid workers estimated that the four-month battle for the presidency of the West African country has cost about 500 lives.
Since November’s elections almost a million people have been displaced in Ivory Coast, with more than 100,000 fleeing to neighbouring Liberia in the last two weeks to avoid the conflict. Looting, rape and dwindling supplies have also caused civilians to flee urban areas. Aid workers have described a traumatised and frightened population caught in the crossfire between Mr Ouattara’s militia and the military, which remained loyal to Mr Gbabgo.
Conflict has raged in Ivory Coast since Mr Ouattara was declared the winner of the presidential election. Mr Gbagbo contested the validity of the vote and refused to cede power. Generals on the two sides were negotiating terms of a ceasefire as The Catholic Herald went to press. UN and French forces intervened in Abidjan on Monday night to end the use of heavy weapons. World leaders, including US President Barack Obama, called for Mr Gbagbo’s resignation, but the African Union and Russia criticised the UN intervention.
Speaking before Mr Ouattara’s forces took control of the presidential palace, Archbishop Jean-Pierre Kutwa of Abidjan said the situation was “calm in the sense that the shootings have reduced, but it is a disquieting calm, not at all reassuring. It is very tense. The people are barricaded in their homes. In some districts they have no water, electricity or food. We are awaiting the finale to the battle. It is an indescribable tragedy.”
Jean Djoman, the director of Caritas’s humanitarian efforts in Ivory Coast, said the situation was dramatic because of the number of displaced people.
He said: “Since fighting intensified it has not been possible to conduct any rescue operations because aid workers cannot move about. We also know that in the cities in the interior, central, west and south west there are many displaced people.”
Fr Richard Kissi, a member of the Caritas team, was kidnapped by an armed group last week while he was on his way to Anyama, a suburb of Abidjan, to evacuate the seminary after heavy violence in the area. He was subsequently released.
Church buildings in western parts of the country have been destroyed. Bishop Gaspard Béby Gnéba of Man said that although fighting in the region had stopped, “the humanitarian situation is very serious, because all the buildings have been destroyed and looted, even several belonging to the Church were destroyed”.
He said: “For example, [there is] an orphanage whose children are now refugees here in Man. In the last two weeks in our diocese, there has been some very violent fighting.”
Leader of ordinariate has papal audienceBYHUWTWISTONDAVIES
MGR KEITH NEWTON, the head of the personal ordinariate, met Pope Benedict XVI in a private audience last week during a visit to the Vatican.
Mgr Newton met the Holy Father and presented him with several gifts on behalf of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham.
Accompanying Mgr Newton were Auxiliary Bishop Alan Hopes of Westminster, the English bishop responsible for implementing Anglicanorum coetibus, and the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal William Levada. It was the first time the two men met since Mgr Newton’s appointment in January.
Mgr Newton also attended meetings in Rome relating to the establishment of the ordinariate. Editorial Comment: Page 13
Mgr Keith Newton, Cardinal William Levada and Bishop Alan Hopes meet the Pope at the Vatican last Friday
Photo courtesy of the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham
The Feast of Divine Mercy ‘Souls who spread the honour of My mercy I shield through their entire life as a tender mother her infant’ Diary 1075
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Don’t give up on God because of evil in Church, Pope urges young BY CAROL GLATZ IN ROME
POPE BENEDICT XVI has urged young people not to abandon their faith in God because of the “attacks of evil” within the Church.
“Carry intact the fire of your love in this Church every time that men have obscured her face,” he said in a foreword to a new catechism edited specifically for young people.
The new youth catechism, called YouCat, will be included in every pilgrim backpack for
World Youth Day 2011 in Madrid.
The Pope said he wanted to supplement the Catechism of the Catholic Church by translating it “into the language of young people and make its words penetrate their world”.
In the foreword the Pope urged everyone to study the catechism “with passion and perseverance” either alone, in study groups or in exchanges with others online.
Today’s Christians really need to understand their faith more than ever before in order to resist modern-day challenges and temptations, he wrote.
“You have need of divine help if you do not want your faith to dry up as a dewdrop in the sun, if you do not want to succumb to the temptations of consumerism, if you do not want your love to be drowned in pornography, if you do not want to betray the weak and the victims of abuse and violence,” he wrote.
“You must know what you believe; you must know your faith with the same precision with which a specialist in information technology knows the operating system of a computer; you must know it as a musician knows his piece,” the foreword said. While not specifically mentioning the clerical sex abuse crisis, the Pope acknowledged the impact it has had on the faithful and said “the community of believers has been wounded in recent times by the attacks of evil” and sin in the heart of the Church.
Official says WYD hymn is a nightmare BY STAFF REPORTER
THE ORGANISER of World Youth Day has said that the official hymn for the summer event has proved to be a “nightmare”.
Critics of the song chosen as the anthem challenged Yago de la Cierva during a press conference in Rome. Mr de la Cierva said: “The hymn is my nightmare.”
He added: “It’s very beautiful for the type of music it is, but maybe we made a mistake.”
Once it became clear that the song was not popular, especially in Spain, WYD launched an international contest for other song suggestions, he said.
Mr De la Cierva said more than 80 rival songs had been uploaded to the contest site.
Petition launched to save the Cardinal pub BY JO-ANNE ROWNEY
A PETITION to save the name of The Cardinal public house has been set up after it was confirmed that the pub would revert to its former name from 1897, The Windsor Castle.
The Samuel Smith’s pub, a popular meeting place for parishioners of Westminster Cathedral, has been closed since late 2010 for renovations.
An online petition, at www.ipetitions.com/petition/cardinal, says “the name The Cardinal is an important heritage of this part of London”.
Michael Elmer, head of the Christian People’s Alliance, talking to Independent Catholic News, said: “The Cardinal has been part of the social life of Westminster Cathedral for decades.”
Robert Hollingworth Bringing a 40-part Mass to life PAGE 7
Mary Kenny The plight of today’s grandparents PAGE 12
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