AUGUST 12, 2012, Vol 62, No 16

Franciscan Sr Pat Farrell, head of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious in the USFranciscan Sr Pat Farrell, head of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious in the USIs this possible, asks a US nun in a radio interview

WASHINGTON – Conflict between the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) in the US and the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith boils down to whether one can “be a Catholic and have a questioning mind”, the conference’s president said in a radio interview.

Franciscan Sr Pat Farrell also told National Public Radio’s Fresh Air programme host Terry Gross in the July 17 interview that she would like to see discussion about whether “freedom of conscience in the Church [is] genuinely honoured”.

“One of our deepest hopes is that in the way we manage the balancing beam of this position we’re in, if we can make any headway in helping to create a safe and respectful environment where Church leaders, together with rank-and-file Catholics, can raise questions openly and search for truth freely with very complex and swiftly changing issues that we face in our day,” she said.
ARCHBISHOP’S NATIONAL DAY MESSAGE: ‘Freely you have received, freely give’

Archbishop's National Day Message

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Years ago, our forefathers pulled together and worked hard to build this country. As our nation celebrates its 47th birthday, it is an opportune time to reflect how far we have come together as a nation.

We have certainly enjoyed many good years of economic boom and low unemployment. Today we live in a modern city-state, a vibrant City in a Garden where we enjoy the fruits of our labour!

However, there are poor and needy who fall below the radar. While Government schemes and assistance programmes help, there are those who fall through the social safety nets. The poor and needy may not be very visible in our society but they do exist. These individuals and their families depend heavily on donations.

Blessed Pope John Paul II’s Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Consortio “On the Role of the Christian Family in the Modern World” is a call to Catholic families to become what they are. It is a call for them fulfill their important role in spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the rest of the world.

The Holy Father begins his exhortation by noting that there are many obstacles to this work. One of them is when the husband and wife see themselves as individuals under a legal contract instead of part of a sacrament. This individualism in marriage causes the husband and wife to be more concerned with their own wants and desires rather than with the needs of the other.

Of course, this means that as their family grows, the children become obstacles to their will not blessings to their union. Thus “the scourge of abortion; the ever more frequent recourse to sterilization; the appearance of a truly contraceptive mentality” increases throughout the world. Even “authority between parents and children” and the “transmission of values,” says the Holy Father, is harmed by this individualism.

HARBIN, CHINA – Chinese government officials have forced seven priests in Heilongjiang province, who resisted the illicit episcopal ordination of Fr Joseph Yue Fusheng of Harbin to leave their parishes, local Catholic Church sources said.

The action was taken, the sources said, to force the priests to “repent for their wrongdoing”, reported the Asian Church news agency UCA News.

The priests are either staying with parishioners, have returned to their hometowns or have fled to other provinces, according to the sources.

Prior to the July 6 ordination, religious officials within the Chinese government warned that disobedient priests would face dire consequences.

In recent weeks, they ordered priests with “dissatisfactory performances” to take three months of leave for self-examination, sources said.