OCTOBER 24, 2010, Vol 60, No 21

WASHINGTON – In their 2008 book, “The Sexual Person”, theologians Todd A. Salzman (photo) and Michael G. Lawler “reach a whole range of conclusions that are contrary to Catholic teaching” the US bishops’ Committee on Doctrine said in a 24-page critique.

The document, dated Sep 15 and made public Sep 22, said the theologians’ methodology “marks a radical departure from Catholic theological tradition” and their conclusions “cannot provide a true norm for moral action and in fact are harmful to one’s moral and spiritual life”.

The committee specifically cited errors in the book’s conclusions that homosexual acts, premarital sex, contraception and artificial insemination can be morally acceptable, in contrast to church teachings.
I REFER TO Ian De Cotta’s letter (CN Oct 10), on the “need to correct the impression ... that Catholics are not Christians”.

As a Catholic who supports the practice of ecumenism, I have experienced fellowship and Christian unity with Protestants through prayer and singing or music ministry during Taize. It is through such shared experiences that new friendships are formed, based on our common love for Christ that makes us proud to be called “Christians” in today’s world. When someone, who regardless of being identified as Protestant or Catholic, becomes your friend, it is much easier to understand differences in the other. This is also what is meant by undestanding with the heart, and achieving the “peace that passes all understanding”.
(Left ) Regina Marini (on the right) demonstrating how to make detergent out of fruit enzymes, sugar and water. (Below) IHM parishioners in small group discussions on their role in saving the environment. Photos by Darren Boon

They are told that Catholics can do something in Singapore to help save the environment

SINGAPORE – Catholics are called to be prophets and be courageous witnesses to and for change, and hence Catholics can do something in Singapore to help save the environment, said Franciscan Missionaries of Mary (FMM) Sister Assunta Cheng.

Sister Assunta, a Taiwanese, was sharing with more than 50 parishioners from the Church of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (IHM) Oct 1 on how Taiwan encourages a culture of caring for and saving the environment.

She said that a bottoms-up approach was taken by the people and religious groups to persuade people to bring their own cutlery such as chopsticks. As for herself, Sister Assunta carries her own fork and spoon and a container when she goes out. She acknowledged that while initially people might feel shy carrying their own cutlery and utensils, Catholics, she said, should “be courageous to witness to change”, and that each member in the Catholic community can inspire another to change.
Education is the key to the future of child. It will empower him to be of service to his family and society. We offer bursaries, and not scholarships, because we view that the poor will need a greater help from us. Our resources are limited, and a priority has to be made,’ – Father Siew

The bursary scheme is open to Catholic students studying in Singapore schools, regardless of whether they are Singaporeans or foreigners

SINGAPORE – Twenty-four-year-old Terence (not his real name) does not come from an affluent family. His father, the sole breadwinner of the family of four, works as a supervisor for a cleaning company, and earns about $1,600 to $1,800 a month. His mother does not work due to health problems. Terence also has a younger brother who attends a special needs school. Terence is unable to commit to a full-time job as his school hours are irregular and his timetable rather packed. He could only do odd jobs, like distributing flyers, to earn some additional pocket money. The family lives in a three-room flat.

Terence, a Catholic, is currently pursuing a diploma at the Singapore Institute of Management. The diploma programme is 15 months long and costs about $10,000, which he admits is quite hard on his parents’ pockets.

Private education is the only route to higher education for Terence as he did not do well in his GCE ‘O’ Level Examinations. Fortunately for Terence, Carlo Catholic Society has provided some relief for him and his family in the form of a $2,000 bursary for his school fees.

The couples after a Marriage Retorno weekend.
Photo provided by Marriage Retorno Singapore

“We have encouraged our Marriage Encounter couples to attend Retorno after Marriage Encounter especially our team couples. It’s a good follow-up to Marriage Encounter,” –  Daniel and Shelley Ee

“...we would invite God to be our decision maker. We want His approval, not what we want, but whether he is okay when we request for something … what He wants.” – Stanley Yeo

SINGAPORE – When Esme Yeo, discovered in 2006 that she had cancer, she found it difficult to accept her condition. But her husband, Stanley, was a pillar of strength.

“He has helped me pull through. He is able to use scripture passages to encourage me, to remind me, to tell me, to assure me and to affirm me that God is good and faithful,” she said. “He was always giving me a sermon in a sense … so basically whatever he said was God’s reassurances.”

The couple credit the Marriage Retorno weekend that they attended in 1999 for building up their foundation of faith.