Religious freedom, euthanasia, rich-poor gap dealt with in Pope Benedict XVI’s annual World Day of Peace message
VATICAN CITY – True peacemakers defend human life at every stage of its existence and promote the common good through their economic policies and activities, Pope Benedict XVI said.
In his annual message for the World Day of Peace on Jan 1, Pope Benedict said attacks on human dignity and human rights – from abortion and euthanasia to limits on religious freedom, and from religious fanaticism to “unregulated financial capitalism” – undermine efforts to bring peace to the world.
The pope’s message was released on Dec 14 at a Vatican news conference led by Cardinal Peter Turkson, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.
While reiterating Catholic teaching about the sacredness of every human life and about the dangers of an unregulated free-market economy, the pope’s message explained those teachings as logical, natural principles needed for a life marked by dignity and peaceful coexistence.
The modest relief efforts benefited five families, each of which received about 50,000 rupees (S$626), and comprises part of a larger programme that aims to provide jobs and education for families of victims.
“It is very depressing that about 10 to 12 people die here on a daily basis [due to terrorism and sectarian violence].
During a confrontational meeting on Dec 13, 15 priests and several nuns were escorted to the office of the provincial Religious Affairs Bureau where officials announced a reshuffle of leading clergy positions, said sources who declined to be identified.
Fr Joseph Shen Guo’an, who was temporarily in charge of Wuhan diocese and who has defied authorities in recent weeks, together with another priest were dismissed from the government-sanctioned Catholic Patriotic Association.
Msgr William Goh, who has been appointed coadjutor archbishop, shares his dreams
“I feel humbled … to assume this office,” said Msgr William Goh after it was announced that Pope Benedict XVI had appointed him Coadjutor Archbishop of Singapore.
However, the rector of the St Francis Xavier Major Seminary said he is “happy” God has considered him “worthy to be an instrument to renew the faith of the people in Singapore, to give life, to give hope to humanity”.
The Vatican made the announcement of Msgr Goh’s appointment on Dec 29. As of press time, no date has yet been set for his episcopal ordination.