(Sir Europe - Brussels) - Improving teachers knowledge and skills for teaching citizenship remains a challenge: this is one of the findings of the report Citizenship Education in Europe compiled for the European Commission by the Eurydice network. The report covers 31 European countries, that is, the 27 EU Member States plus Iceland, Norway, Croatia and Turkey. The study shows that in all Member States there is a subject related to citizenship education, which is however taught using different approaches and methods. There remains, however, the outstanding problem of the knowledge and skills for teaching the subject, since only two countries, namely the United Kingdom and Slovakia, offer specific training for prospective teachers. European Commissioner for Education Androulla Vassiliou said: Citizenship education endows pupils with the necessary knowledge, skills and values to actively engage in our society. We must encourage this because active participation is at the root of our democratic values. We also need to put more emphasis on teacher training in this area so that young people are inspired to become active citizens.
He spent almost 20 years in jail because he had been unjustly sentenced, and when he was finally released he was ordained bishop: he was 75 years old! On the occasion of his 80th birthday and 50th anniversary of priestly ordination, he wrote the following words: I have walked a hard path for eighty years. On the sunset of my life I was appointed Pastor of Luan. I have no more ambitions in the deep of my heart, apart from the divine light as boat for my route. That was Msgr. Ermenegildo Li Yi, bishop of Changzhi (Luan) in the Province of Shanxi (Continental China), who died last 24 May at the age of 88. The Bishop had been hospitalised in bad health condition and never recovered. Born in 1923, Msgr. Li Yi decided to dedicate himself to sacred life when he was a boy: in 1943 he joined the Ordine dei Frati Minori (Franciscans), issuing his first religious vows. When he finished his studies, he was ordained priest in Hankou on 6 February 1949. At the beginning of the Cultural Revolution in 1966, he was unjustly sentenced to prison, where he remained until 1985, when he was allowed to resume his pastoral work in the churches of An Yang and Machang. I have nothing to repay the immense grace I received - wrote the bishop - I am a weak old man but full of courage. With my strength, I will face humiliations and hard trials. Though unfit, Ill do everything with sincere heart.
About 12 thousand calls at the Helpline support service in 2011, the telephone psychological therapy and consultancy service started by the Catholic Church in Ireland last year, in February, for the people suffering from small physical, psychological or sexual abuses by religious personnel. President John Morgan and Executive Director Ian Elliott of the Service updated bishops on the work carried out by the Towards Healing organisation during the latest plenary assembly in Maynooth, finished yesterday. 28 thousand consultancy services were carried out, and 1,300 victims of abuses called the Service in one year. In the notice, the bishops say that the Towards Healing organisation reflects the commitment of the Catholic Church in Ireland to meet the needs of consultancy and support expressed by the victims. The service Towards Healing can be accessed through website www.towardshealing.ie or by calling toll-free numbers 1800 303416 (Republic of Ireland) or 0800 0963315 (Northern Ireland). The service is available regardless of the current residency of the survived, and is free. In 2011, consulting services were offered by 700 therapists, and the budget of the service was 2 million euros, financed by the Irish Bishops Conference, the Religious Conference in Ireland, and the Irish Missionary Union.
From 10 to 17 June, Dublin is to welcome 25,000 pilgrims for the 50th International Eucharistic Congress. The Irish bishops held a media briefing yesterday at the end of their general meeting to inform about the events and the state of preparations. The program of the Congress, which will involve 223 speakers, includes 160 workshops comprising round tables, group reflections and concerts. 7,000 international pilgrims representing 123 countries are expected to attend: there will be delegations from Japan and Tanzania, but also from the Arab Emirates and Taiwan. About 80,000 pilgrims will gather for the Statio Orbis, the closing ceremony on Sunday 17 June in Croke Park, which will be presided over by Cardinal Marc Ouellet, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, who was appointed by the Pope as Papal Legate for the celebration of the Eucharistic Congress. On Saturday 2 June, the Catholic Archbishop of Dublin, Mgr. Diarmuid Martin, and Anglican Archbishop Michael Jackson will lead the Dublin camino, a pilgrimage to the 7 oldest churches in the City of Dublin. The Eucharistic Congress will be preceded by an International Theology Symposium from 6 to 9 June which will be attended by some 320 participants. Speakers at the event will include Card. Kurt Koch (Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity) and Card. Rodriguez Maradiaga (Honduras).
It is with great joy that the diocese of Córdoba is preparing for the proclamation of St. John of Avila as Doctor of the Universal Church. He will be proclaimed a Doctor of the Church on 7 October, together with St. Hildegard of Bingen, as Benedict XVI announced on Sunday 27 May, Solemnity of Pentecost, during the Regina Caeli. This event is a cause of deep joy for our diocese, said Mgr. Demetrio Fernandez, bishop of Córdoba. By proclaiming this priest of Córdoba a Doctor of the Church the Church recognises his holiness, his example of Christian life, as well as his doctrine which is excellent and remarkable in the firmament of the Universal Church, Mgr. Fernandez observed, recalling the influence of St. John of Avila on spirituality, culture and evangelisation. His proclamation as Doctor of the Church coincides with the beginning of the Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops. Mgr. Fernandez announced that in the run-up to the event, between June and July, the Shrine of St. John of Avila - formerly known as church of the Incarnation in Montilla - where the saint is buried, will be declared minor basilica. After the proclamation, a Jubilee will begin in Montilla which will attract thousands of pilgrims to the city. A diocesan pilgrimage to Rome is also being organised from 5 to 8 October to participate in the scheduled events: the vigil, the ceremony in which St. John of Avila will be proclaimed a Doctor, and the thanksgiving Mass.
In the current socio-cultural context, we should rediscover and relaunch with new awareness and strength the essential family dimension of human work: that is the warning made by Card. Dionigi Tettamanzi, archbishop emeritus of Milan, who proposed a report on The family and work today, in the perspective of faith at the World Theological Pastoral Congress in progress at the MiCo Fieramilanocity, within the VII World Family Meeting. Card. Tettamanzi recalled that today work is the main reason for very serious concern, and should be reviewed, interpreted, and its value should be increased in the light of its intrinsic connection with the working person, as well as, or first of all, with the whole family subject. In this sense, we should acknowledge, in the concreteness of our life, that the family, the work and the holiday are linked to an original fact, which no-one can deny: we were conceived, wanted and created for loving, above all and for this reason even our working or relaxing should be part of the dynamic relations of love. If we do not frame work in this perspective, we shall run the risk of neglecting the search of that common and mutual good possibly sustaining positive relations effectively.
Committing oneself to a new culture of the family: it is the exhortation of Msgr. Franz Peter Tebartz-van Elst, president of the Commission for marriage and the family of the German Bishops Conference (DBK), in Milan for the World Family Meeting. The bishop of Limburg, taking part in the event together with the auxiliary bishop of Colonia Msgr. Heiner Koch and the one of Fulda, Msgr. Karlheinz Diez, hoped for the strengthening of the economic condition fostering family life: The family is subject to more and more spreading economizing laws, and thus the meaning of the family within society is affected by relativism. According to Msgr. Tebartz-van Elst, work processes should be more strictly connected to family life. However, the consequences of economic life for the family cannot be ignored. Work must not hinder family life, it should foster it, warned the bishop, who said to be amazed how the Meeting of the Families in Milan is pointing out the importance of the Christian culture of the family in the world: an aspect on which we should also work, in Germany, to convey faith, concluded Msgr. Tebartz-van Elst.
Card. Bagnasco went on to reflect on the issue of work, the focus of the second day of conference, recalling that work is marked by success and disappointment. Man is called to show serious commitment to work, bearing in mind that there are limitations and goals that are beyond mans reach. The loss of the sense of limit has often resulted in man taking wrong and harmful paths. We have to be careful to avoid a serious risk: sooner or later, unbridled consumerism and competitiveness may backfire against man.
A society which does not care for the family is a society which turns against itself. Card. Angelo Bagnasco, president of the Italian Bishops Conference (CEI), recalled this today as he opened the second day of the International Theological Pastoral Congress, which is taking place in the context of the 7th World Meeting of Families (Milan, 30 May - 3 June). The cardinal called on society to take charge of the family as a whole: There is a need to guarantee not only stability but also a healthy culture of the family, where the beauty of the natural family is seen as the foundation of living together. CEI president went on to stress that the family founded on marriage as its deep and vital origin is rooted in the one and triune heart of God. Men and women are marked by this origin and the family is the first basic form of social life. (continued)
(Sir Europe - Bratislava) - The All-Ukrainian scientific-historical conference on Radomyshl in the History of the Ukrainian Church 1682-1840, marking the 250th anniversary of the inauguration of Pylyp Volodkevych as a metropolitan of Kyiv, Halych and All-Rus, will take place on 8 June in Radomyshl, Ukraine. The program will include presentations by the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church representatives - His Beatitude archbishop Lubomyr Husar and Yosef Milian, auxiliary bishop of the Kyiv Archeparchy; Leonid Tymoshenko, dean of the History Department and Chair of Ancient Ukrainian History and Special Disciplines Faculty at Drohobych Ivan Franko State Pedagogical University; Ihor Skochylas from the Institute of Ukrainian Archeography and Source Studies of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine; Nadiya Stokolos from the Department of Philosophy and Social Studies at the Rivne Institute of Slavonic Studies. Apart from lectures, the conference will include presentation of two publications: The Archive of the Ukrainian Church by Mykhailo Dovbyschchenko and The drama of the Church by Nadiya Stokolos and Ruslan Sheretiuk.