Damian Thompson The Pope confronts the age of addiction
COMMENT, PAGE 12
Peter Hutley My plays can lift up downcast Christians
INTERVIEW, PAGE 7
Freddy Gray Patriotism at Mass makes me uneasy
NOTEBOOK, PAGE 12
June 8 2012 £1.50 (Republic of Ireland €1.80)
Pope reaches out to the divorced Benedict XVI urges world’s parishes to make divorced and remarried Catholics feel welcome
BY MADELEINE TEAHAN
POPE BENEDICT XVI has urged parishes to make sure that divorced Catholics feel loved and welcomed.
Addressing half a million people during the Seventh World Meeting of Families in Milan, the Pope said: “In regard to divorced persons, we must tell them... that the Church loves them, but they must see and feel this love.
“It seems to me that it is a major task of a parish, of a Catholic community, really to do what is possible so that they really feel that they are loved, accepted, that they are not ‘outside’ even if they cannot receive absolution and the Eucharist: they must see that even in this way they live fully in the Church.”
The Pope was responding to a lay family from Brazil, who, along with several others, asked him questions about family life during a “Celebration of Witnesses” on Saturday evening in Bresso Park.
The Brazilian family asked about divorced couples who have re-married and cannot receive the sacraments. Pope Benedict said that although some divorced Catholics may not be able to “receive absolution in Confession, nevertheless, permanent contact with a priest, with a spiritual director, is very important so that they can see that someone is there for them, helping them”.
He said: “Then it is also very important that they sense that the Eucharist is real and participated in if they truly enter into communion with the Body of Christ. Even without the ‘bodily’ reception of the Sacrament, we can be spiritually united to Christ in his Body. And making this understood is important so that they really discover the possibility of living a life of faith, with the Word of God, with the communion of the Church and are able to see that
Pope Benedict XVI is surrounded by balloons as he greets families at the San Siro stadium in Milan their suffering is a gift for the Church, that they serve everyone in this way even for defending the stability of love, of marriage that they also see that this suffering is not only a physical and psychological torment, but that it is also a suffering in the community of the Church for the great values of our faith. I think that their suffering, if it is truly accepted interiorly, is a gift for the Church. They must know this, that precisely in this way they serve the Church, they are in the Church’s heart.”
Vince Frese, a divorced Catholic who runs workshops for the faithful recovering from divorce, said the Pope’s words were to be “applauded”. He said: “Any attention from the Church, particularly by the Pope, that clarifies the Church’s position and promotes hope and healing is welcome.
“The Pope brings much-needed attention to the fact that divorced Catholics are made to feel like outsiders. Because of incorrect teachings perpetuated by misinformed priests and religious, Catholics are led to believe they either can’t be Catholic, or can’t receive the Sacraments, because they are divorced. Neither of which is true.
“This ignorance highlights the need for programmes and ministries for divorced Catholics.
With such programmes Catholics would have a place to turn to in their time of great need to get the truth of their faith.” He added that programmes kept divorcees close to the sacraments. Vatican Notebook: Page 4 More reports: Page 5 Editorial comment: Page 13
Pontiff asks rich families to sponsor poorer ones
BY MADELEINE TEAHAN
POPE BENEDICT XVI suggested that families from rich countries should sponsor families from poorer ones during his visit to Milan last weekend.
Speaking in front of half a million people at the Seventh World Meeting of Families, the Pope said: “We have in Europe right now a network of twinning, but they are culture exchanges, which are in a certain way good and useful, but maybe we need twinning in another sense: a family in the West, from Italy, from Germany, from France… might truly take on the responsibility of helping another family. Parishes, cities too could do this, really assuming responsibility, helping in a concrete manner.
“And be certain: I and many others are praying for you, and this praying is not only words, but opening up the heart to God.”
The Pope responded to several questions during the “Celebration of Witnesses” at Milan’s Bresso Park from different lay families. Along with economic hardship, Pope Benedict, without notes, answered questions on childhood, divorce and the sacraments.
Responding to an engaged couple from Madagascar concerned about marriage’s lifelong commitment, the Pope said the emotion of falling in love was not eternal. He said: “The emotion of love must be purified, it must undertake a journey of discernment.”
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BY ED WEST
BISHOP Mark Davies of Shrewsbury has said that the Curé d’Ars should be a model for everyone seeking holiness, ahead of the visit of the saint’s relics to England next month.
In a video uploaded on to file-sharing website YouTube the bishop said the decision to bring the heart of St John Vianney to his diocese was inspired by Pope Benedict XVI and Blessed John Paul II. He said he wanted to “follow the inspiration of the popes” by “raising up the figure of St John Vianney to the people of our country”.
Bishop Davies said the fourday visit of the saint’s relics would be “very similar to the visit of the relic of St Thérèse of Lisieux” but on a smaller scale. It would be an “invitation to prayer and reawakening that desire for holiness that we are called to amidst all our own human frailty”.
Bishop Davies said of St John: “He was a simple man who in his desire to be truly authentic spoke about his own human poverty very often but he also saw the greatness of his calling here on earth. A saint for troubled times, a saint for priests, a saint for parishes.” He is “a model for priests and for all of us in seeking out holiness”, the bishop said.
St John Vianney, patron saint of priests, was born in 1786, and his family were forced to pray in secret during the revolutionary period. He was appointed a parish priest in Ars at the age of 32, and founded an orphanage. His fame grew from 1827 and by 1855 20,000 pilgrims a year were coming to see him, and he spent up to 16 hours a day hearing Confessions. He died in 1859 and was canonised in 1925.
Bishop Davies said: “In the midst of the upheavals in revolutionary France he began in a place where there was little practice, and indifference. God can make all things possible.”
Priests ordered not to use iPads at Mass BY MARK GREAVES
NEW ZEALAND’S Catholic bishops have said that priests may not use iPads, e-readers or other devices instead of the Roman Missal during Mass.
A letter signed by seven bishops including Archbishop John Dew of Wellington, president of the bishops’ conference, said that all faiths had sacred books and the Catholic
Church was “no different.” “The Roman Missal is one of our sacred books,” the bishops explained. “The Missal is reserved for use during the Church’s liturgy. IPads and other electronic devices have a variety of uses eg for playing games, using the internet, watching videos and checking email. This alone makes their use in the liturgy inappropriate.”
World’s youth to join Pope on Rio beach BY STAFF REPORTER
POPE BENEDICT XVI will visit Rio de Janeiro for World Youth Day next year and will be welcomed at an event on Copacabana beach, it was announced this week.
Fr Arnaldo Rodrigues, a World Youth Day organiser, said: “The welcome of Pope Benedict XVI by young people from around the world will take place at Copacabana, as well as the opening Mass with Rio Archbishop Orani João Tempesta and the Stations of the Cross.”
Rio’s famous beach has been used as a concert venue for rock stars such as Rod Stewart and the Rolling Stones and can fit a million people. World Youth Day will be held from July 23 to July 28 next year.
George Pitcher The Queen has helped all faiths to prosper PAGE 20
Fr Julian Large If you see an open church, go inside and pray PAGE 9
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