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DECEMBER 9 2011 THE CATHOLIC HERALD
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Sister asks priests to help fight trafficking
ITALY’S leading voice against human trafficking has called on priests to talk to men about sexual relationships in an attempt to tackle demand for trafficked women.
Sister Eugenia Bonetti, who established a network of 250 Sisters to help victims of trafficking, said priests had a “great responsibility”.
During a visit to London she said: “They have to start with young people, to give the right guidance about the use of their bodies, to help them understand what it means to respect a human being.
“Relationships are not about getting what you want, or using the other person. It’s about being able to relate, to communicate.
“Women need to be appreciated for what they are, not only for the beauty of their body but the beauty of their inner self, their capacity to love.”
Sister Eugenia added: “If attention is not paid to the demand side, it does not matter what we are doing: the demand in human beings will continue.”
She was speaking at a seminar on human trafficking in south London organised by the migration office of the bishops’ conference.
The seminar, attended by priests, religious and antitrafficking campaigners, comes ahead of a major trafficking conference at the Vatican next spring.
Other speakers included Detective Inspector Kevin Hyland, the Catholic head of Scotland Yard’s Trafficking and Prostitution Unit, Auxiliary Bishop Patrick Lynch of Southwark, chairman of the bishops’ migration office, and Baroness Scotland of Asthal.
Bishop Lynch said that priests talking to men about prostitution should draw on Pope John Paul II’s Theology of the Body. “That is the framework in which we can have these conversations,” he said.
He said that homilies might be “one way” of addressing the issue, if the occasion was appropriate.
Sister Eugenia Bonetti and Baroness Scotland at a seminar on human trafficking in London Photo: Mazur
Sister Eugenia, a Consolata Missionary Sister, established a Counter-Trafficking Office in Rome in 2000 which coordinates the ministry of 250 women religious who help trafficking victims.
In 2007 she organised a global conference in Rome which led to the creation of the International Network of Religious Against Trafficking in Persons.
In her address she pointed out that trafficking generated an estimated £17.7bn a year and is the third most profitable illegal activity behind the sale of arms and drugs.
She spoke about how trafficked women from Nigeria – about half of all trafficked women in Italy – were forced to undergo “voodoo rituals” that aimed to ensure they paid back their debt.
“Among African victims,” she said, “cases of mental illness are frequent because they are obsessed by the ‘voodoo’ used against them.”
Detective Inspector Kevin Hyland emphasised how important parishes and priests could be for trafficked victims needing help. “Priests are trusted and congregations can be points of contact,” he said.
He has also praised the work of two organisations run by women religious that help trafficking victims build their lives again. They are the Medaille Trust, which provides three safe houses for trafficked men and women, and Women@theWell, a drop-in centre for prostitutes but also women who are homeless or struggling with drugs or alcohol.
THE MARTYRDOM of St Edmund Campion should remind Catholics that their faith must have a public dimension, the apostolic nuncio has said.
Celebrating a Campion Day Mass at Stonyhurst College last week, Archbishop Antonio Mennini said that he felt “at home” at the school, having been educated at a Catholic Jesuit school.
He quoted Fr Clement Tigar, a Jesuit priest who was involved in the canonisation of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales, who wrote of St Edmund Campion: “In June fifteen-eighty (1580), when Campion landed on
Nuncio: martyr teaches that faith is not private BY ED WEST
these shores, in disguise, he brought with him the spirit of chivalry in defence of the ancient Faith. By his holiness of life, his unquenchable good humour, his charm of manner, his burning eloquence, he put new heart, new courage, new enthusiasm, into the persecuted, dejected Catholics of England.”
The saint, was the son of a London bookseller who in 1571, as a deacon in Elizabeth’s church, rejoined the Catholic Church at the English College, Douai.
On returning to England he wrote pamphlets critical of the Privy Council and after travelling around the country in disguise, until his arrest in Berkshire and imprisonment in the Tower of London.
“At his trial, and in spite of an extremely effective defence, he was condemned to death. His loyalty to the Queen was clear throughout. His only offence was his religion. On this day in 1581 along with Saints Alexander Bryant and Ralph Sherwin, Edmund Campion was hanged, drawn and quartered at Tyburn in London.
“Perhaps the lesson which his life offers us is that our private faith cannot fail, rightly understood, to have its effect in our public lives.
“Nowadays, when we face an aggressive secularistic and relativistic society, St Edmund reminds us that our relationship with the Lord should shape and enlighten our words and actions, not only in chapel but in the marketplace too. “The challenge we all face is to live our faith in the concrete circumstances of our personal, social and business lives. To act morally and with integrity.
“Unlike St Edmund Campion, we will probably not be called to the shedding of our blood, nonetheless, our words and actions are important for our families, friends and those persons whom we encounter each day.
“As we know this is at times difficult. It will call for us to find a spirit of generosity and unselfishness, not just to make this world a better place, but to prepare ourselves for that fullness of love for which we are made, which we call ‘heaven’ or ‘the vision of God.’”
The nuncio, who was appointed last December, echoed what Pope Benedict XVI said when he addressed British society at Westminster Hall last year, when he said that “fundamental questions at stake in Thomas More’s trial continue to present themselves in everchanging terms as new social conditions emerge. Each generation, as it seeks to advance the common good, must ask anew: what are the requirements that governments may reasonably impose upon citizens, and how far do they extend?”
The nuncio also called on the pupils to encourage and help others in their vocations, and said that good priests came from good families:
“Good families, in turn, are supported and sustained by the example and lives of good Religious and Priests. Perhaps too, even at this moment, some of you may, like St Edmund Campion, be wondering if God is calling you to the priesthood or religious life. If this call is not for you, it may possibly be made to your children. When and if that time comes, please do encourage them in their turn to be generous.” Catholic Life: Page 13
FARM STREET CHURCH
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Tuesday December 20th, 7pm CHRISTMAS MASS TIMES
Christmas Eve Saturday December 24th
6pm Children’s Mass
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11.30pm Carols 12 Midnight Mass Christmas Day Sunday December 25th 8am, 9.30am (Family Mass)
11am Sung Latin 12.30pm, 4:15pm, 6:15pm (with Soul Choir) Monday December 26th:
Report: Ireland’s handling of abuse has improved Boy saves lives of four people in need of organs
BY MICHAEL KELLY
AUDITS of six Irish Catholic dioceses have showed “a marked improvement” in how the Church is handling clerical abuse allegations.
The reviews, carried out by the independent National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church, also show that in the past too much emphasis was put on the rights of accused priests and protecting the reputation of the Church. Each review found evidence that insufficient attention was paid to the suffering of victims and the long-term consequences of abuse.
Ian Elliott, chief executive of the safeguarding children board, said the audits showed that “reporting allegations to the statutory authorities [now] occurs promptly and comprehensively.” He said that “represents a major development, as past practice did not always reflect this commitment”.
He also said that “the need to create and maintain a safe environment for children in the Church is comprehensively accepted and implemented”.
“There is greater awareness and much greater commitment to safeguarding children than was once the case. Individuals that are seen as being a risk to children are reported quickly to the authorities and steps are taken to eliminate their access to children,” he said. The audits recommend that the practice of a priest acting as the designated person to whom abuse allegations are made be discontinued.
“It would be our view that it is significantly more difficult for a member of the clergy to perform all of the tasks that are involved in the successful discharge of their responsibilities,” it said.
John O’Donnell, an abuse victim, dismissed the report as “an exercise in going through Church paperwork”.
“The real story of what happened in Raphoe to hundreds and hundreds of victims will, in my opinion, only come out when there is a full garda [police] investigation or judicial inquiry,” he said.
Retired detective Martin Ridge, who investigated a prominent clerical abuse case, said: “This audit will do nothing for the victims, as far as I can see.”
Of the 85 priests accused of abuse from 1975 to 2010 only eight have been convicted.
Overall the six audits, which cover the dioceses of Ardagh, Raphoe, Derry, Dromore, Tuam and Kilmore, confirm the findings of previous judicial reports in Ireland, which said priests that accused of abuse were not robustly challenged or adequately managed and problems were often “handled” by moving the accused to positions elsewhere.
BY MADELEINE TEAHAN
A FIVE-YEAR-OLD Catholic schoolboy who died suddenly has saved the lives of four people, including two adults, after his parents agreed to donate his organs.
Luca Giovannini was from Stockport, Greater Manchester, and attended St Hugh’s Roman Catholic primary school in Timperley.
He died suddenly on November 15, just 24 hours after complaining that he felt sick.
Doctors suspect that the cause of death was a swelling of the brain from a viral infection.
Luca’s organs have been donated to a 35-year-old mother, a 34-year-old man, a two-year-old boy and a twoyear-old girl who now should be at home in time for Christmas.
Luca had complained that he felt ill at 4am on November 14.
He was admitted to Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital and by 7am the following day had died.
Luca’s father Renzo Giovannini said: “When the medics were trying to save Luca’s life, I asked a doctor what his chances were of surviving, and he said we were looking at the worstcase scenario.
“It’s a scenario which no parent wants to be faced with, but it was at that stage that we discussed organ donation.
“We mentioned it to the ward matron that we would like him considered for donation because we wanted something positive to come out of this.
“We send Luca’s organs with love to all these people, especially to the little girl who they told us was just days away from dying.”
Luca’s funeral took place on November 30 at St Hugh of Lincoln church in Timperley.
His parents, who have a two-year-old son named Leo, published a notice of the funeral in the Manchester Evening News which said: “On November 15 2011, our precious little angel was taken suddenly but peacefully in hospital.
“Luca, aged five years, was very much loved and is sadly missed. Luca, you will be forever in our hearts. Love always Mummy, Daddy and Leo xxxxx.”
Luca’s parents requested that no one wore black to the funeral.
Janet Ayling Luca’s teacher at St Hugh’s Roman Catholic primary school said: “Somehow Luca’s love of life and his spirit will live on in all of us. He will leave a legacy for all of us to follow – his beautiful smile, his gentle nature and his whole happy being will never be forgotten.”
NEWSBULLETIN Over 50 Catholic schools have become academies FOUR more Catholic schools have converted to academy status, bringing the total number of open Catholic academies to 51.
The newly converted academies are Sacred Heart in Newcastle upon Tyne St Catherine’s in Bexley, St John’s Catholic School and Sixth Form Academy in Durham, and St Thomas More Academy in North Tyneside.
Over 40 more Catholic schools have registered an interest in converting after the passing of the Academies Act. Since the Coalition came to power some 1,200 schools have converted, joining 200 that converted under Labour.
Becoming an academy means schools are no longer under the rule of the local authority.
Morning-after pill offered by phone THE BRITISH Pregnancy Advisory Service has launched a scheme to enable to distribution of the morning-after pill over the telephone for free.
The BPAS campaign, which encourages girls to stock-up on the “emergency contraceptive” before the Christmas party season, will run a poster with the word “Sex” spelt out in Christmas lights and the slogan “Getting turned on this Christmas?”
Girls will have to register their details on a website and will then receive a 15-minute phone call from a nurse to ascertain the applicant’s suitability and age.
A BPAS spokesman has admitted that girls might not be honest about their age which might mean girls under 16 obtaining the abortifacient without parental knowledge. The Society for the Protection of Unborn Children have called upon the Government to end its association with BPAS.
Share parishes, Catholics urged BISHOP Seamus Cunningham of Hexham and Newcastle has urged Catholic parishes which are struggling financially to use Anglican and Methodist churches if they cannot afford to run their own church building. He made the comment in an article in the diocesan newspaper Northern Cross, saying that several churches had to be closed for health and safety reasons.
Film released about saint A FILM has been made about the Lancashire saint who was hung, drawn and quartered at Tyburn in the 17th century.
The film, entitled In Search of St John Southworth, follows four pupils from Douay Martys School in Hillingdon on a pilgrimage around London as they find out more about the saint’s life. St John Southworth’s remains are kept at Westminster Cathedral.
CTS to offer more chapel missals MORE copies of the new chapel missal will be available from February, the Catholic Truth Society has said. Supplies of the missal ran out a few weeks ago.
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