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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
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Tuesday December 20th, 7pm CHRISTMAS MASS TIMES
Christmas Eve Saturday December 24th
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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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Cardinal: same-sex marriage is ‘grotesque subversion’
BY ED WEST
SAME-SEX marriage would represent a “grotesque subversion of a universally accepted human right”, Cardinal Keith O’Brien has said, saying that it would have “huge implications” for society.
The Archbishop of Edinburgh and St Andrews also accused government ministers of being “disingenuous” and of “staggering arrogance” over suggestions that churches would not be obliged to solemnise gay marriages.
In his article for the Scottish Mail on Sunday the leader of Scotland’s Catholics said the Church would do everything it could to “protect” marriage after the Scottish government recently revealed it has begun gathering views on whether same-sex marriage should be made legal. A 14-week consultation asks if marriage in Scotland should be allowed for gay people through a civil or religious ceremony, whereas at the moment same-sex ceremonies cannot be conducted in a church or other religious premises.
Ministers and officials say they intend to meet key groups to discuss the proposals, which would ensure that religious organisations do not have to register same-sex marriages against their will.
But in his article the cardinal said that while “this may seem to be an innocuous proposition”, in fact i t fulfilled what he had warned the public about when civil partnerships were introduced.
He said: “Since all the legal rights of marriage are already available to homosexual couples through civil partnership and since the number of civil partnerships entered into has been falling steadily for the last three years, it is clear that this proposal is not about rights, but is an attempt to redefine marriage for the whole of society at the behest of a small minority of activists.”
The cardinal, who has been an outspoken critic of the Scottish government in the past, also pointed out that marriage had always been defined as being between a man and a woman, and that what was being proposed was a revolutionary step.
He said: “We should be clear that redefining marriage will have huge implications for what is taught in our schools and for wider society. But can we simply redefine terms at a whim? Can a word whose meaning has been clearly understood in every society throughout history suddenly be changed to mean something else?”
He said that when “Scotland’s politicians suggest that they might jettison the established understanding of marriage and subvert the meaning set out in Article 16 of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights as a relationship between men and women, the response seems meek and muted. Their madness is indulged.”
The Cardinal added: “The Universal Declaration on Human Rights is crystal clear when it says that marriage is a right which applies to men and women, it goes on to state, that ‘the family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State’. This universal truth is so self-evident that it shouldn’t need to be repeated.
“If the Scottish government attempts to demolish a universally recognised human right, it will have forfeited the trust which the nation, including many in the Catholic community, have placed in i t , and i ts intolerance will shame Scotland in the eyes of the world.
“As an institution, marriage long pre-dates the existence of any state or government. It was not created by government and should not be changed by them, instead recognising the innumerable benefits which marriage brings to society they should act to protect and uphold it not attack or dismantle it.”
The Church of Scotland has also expressed opposition to a change in the law and said that it was worried about the “speed with which the government is proceeding on this issue” believing the debate to be “patchy, underdeveloped and exclusive of both ordinary people and the religious community”.
Muslim leaders are also opposed, although five small religious communities are in favour.
Deputy Scottish prime minister Nicola Sturgeon has said all views would be listened to, but added that ministers “tended towards the initial view” that same-sex marriage should be introduced.
The government’s consultation closed this week. Although opinion polls show moderate support for legalising gay marriage, critics argue that polls have tended to use loaded questions.
Cardinal O’Brien and Ann Allen of the Church of Scotland spoke at a rally last week organised by a campaign group opposed to same-sex marriage. It followed the delivery of about 20,000 postcards to the parliament signed by those who do not want same-sex marriage to be legalised.
Adverts will also appear in advertisements and a poster van advertising the campaign group will drive around the streets of Edinburgh.
The petition calls for a referendum on the issue and expresses concerns about the wider implications of redefining marriage.
Archbishop: let’s focus on positive side of marriage
BY MADELEINE TEAHAN
THE ARCHBISHOP of Westminster has clarified comments that were interpreted by some Catholics as an endorsement of civil partnerships.
Speaking at a press conference on behalf of the bishops’ conference of England and Wales last month, Archbishop Vincent Nichols said: “We would want to emphasise that civil partnerships actually provide a structure in which people of the same sex who want a lifelong relationship [and] a lifelong partnership can find their place and protection and legal provision... “as a Church we are very committed to the notion of equality so that people are treated the same across all the activities of life. The Church holds great store by the value of commitment in relationships and undertakings that people give.”
But Archbishop Nichols has clarified his comments in an interview with the Catholic News Agency (CNA), saying that he is trying to defend the “profound good of marriage”.
He said: “We’ve got to find the ways of speaking to people about the positive values of marriage as it’s always been understood,
while not getting boxed off by somehow being accused of being homophobic.”
In 2003 the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issued guidelines that made clear that “respect for homosexual persons cannot lead in any way to approval of homosexual behaviour or to legal recognition of homosexual unions”. It also said: “All Catholics are obliged to oppose the legal recognition of homosexual unions.”
Archbishop Nichols was asked by CNA if the bishops of England were contradicting the Vatican’s guidelines and explained that the bishops have tried “to recognise the reality of the legal provision in our country of an agreement, a partnership, with many of the same legal safeguards as in marriage”.
He also explained that while the bishops recognise the existence of civil partnerships, they also “believe that that is sufficient”, and that same-sex relationships should not be placed on a par with marriage.
The archbishop’s latest comments are an indication of the strategy that the bishops’ conference might employ as they resist attempts to legalise gay marriage. The bishops are expected to argue in a formal submission to the Government that gay marriage legislation is unnecessary given that civil partnerships legislation is already in place.
The Civil Partnerships Act was introduced by the Labour government in 2004 granting gay couples equal rights to married men and women. The Coalition Government has since lifted the ban on civil partnerships taking place on religious premises, prompting anger from some religious groups.
The contention surrounding gay unions has intensified since the Government’s announcement in September that it plans to introduce gay marriage before the next election.
The Archbishop of Westminster said at the press conference last month that opposing this legislation was the central focus of the bishops’ plenary meeting in November.
The Government will host a formal consultation on the gay marriage proposals in March which is expected to last 12 weeks. During this period the bishops will have an opportunity to argue against the introduction of gay marriage.
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Archbishops interviewed by rabbi during London synagogue visit
Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster has met Rabbi Shlomo Levin of South Hampstead Synagogue as part of Inter Faith Week.
The north London community invited Archbishop Nichols and Archbishop Emeritus Kevin Mc
Donald of Southwark to speak to the local rabbi about a range of issues affecting the Catholic and Jewish communities.
Rabbi Levin interviewed the two prelates in front of an audience of 100, including representatives from the Board of Deputies
Report: relatives kept in dark over ‘care pathway’ BY MADELEINE TEAHAN
RELATIVES are not always informed when a loved one is placed on a controversial endof-life programme, according to a new report by the Royal College of Physicians and Marie Curie Cancer Trust.
The report found that although end-of-life care had improved, families were not always told that their loved ones had been placed on the Liverpool Care Pathway.
The Liverpool Care Pathway (LCP) is a clinical template specifically designed for patients in the last days of their lives in order to avoid unnecessary or invasive treatment. The pathway has come under scrutiny from some doctors and pro-life groups who are concerned about its ethical status.
The latest report found that although in 94 per cent of cases doctors discussed plans with relatives, there was a worrying gap in communication in some instances. For example, in one hospital trust, doctors had conversations with fewer than half of families about the care of their loved one.
Dr Patrick Pullicino, a consultant neurologist at East Kent University, told the Daily Telegraph that it was vital that more information about the LCP was made available following the latest finding on a lack of communication with patients’ relatives.
He said: “We need to know how frequently it is being used.
Data should be released showing the proportion of patients who die in hospital who were on the Liverpool Care Pathway and how many were on it against their will or that of their family.”
But a spokesman for Marie Cure Cancer Trust said that the Liverpool Care Pathway was too often presented as a pathway from which patients could never be withdrawn, and there was a common misconception that once doctors started to use the clinical template the patient’s death was inevitable.
She said: “The issue is that the LCP is only as good as the training of the staff who are using it... Marie Curie absolutely support the recommendations in the report that families can be better communicated with through better training... It isn’t the LCP guidelines which are at fault. It is the way in which they are implemented.”
Dr David Jones of the Anscombe Bioethics Centre, a Catholic institute, said: “In my own view there is nothing in the most recent version of the Liverpool Care Pathway that is contrary to Catholic teaching, and if done well I firmly believe that this pathway can enhance patient care.
“I think already it has had a positive effect on improving communication with patients and with relatives and carers and has drawn much-needed attention to the spiritual care of the dying.”
of British Jews. The conversation covered many topics, including Catholic-Jewish relations, Vatican-Jewish relations, the clash between faith and secularism, and other challengers to believers.
The meeting came towards the end of a successful 2011 Inter
Faith Week, the third such event. The Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks is to meet Pope Benedict on Sunday in Rome, the first such meeting since the papal visit last year, when Lord Sacks gave the introductory speech at St Mary’s College, Twickenham.