Seeking a common position on social challenges through dialogue so as to show the European society and authorities the strength of unity which represents countless people. With this spirit Orthodox and Catholics will meet for the third Catholic-Orthodox Forum in Lisbon from tomorrow until 8 June. This years theme is The economic crisis and poverty: challenges for todays Europe. In an interview with SIR Europe, Mgr. Duarte da Cunha, General Secretary of the Council of the Bishops Conferences of Europe (CCEE), explained the reasons why Orthodox and Catholics have chosen this theme: It is a pressing need - he said -. It is important for Christians today to reflect together on the current economic and financial crisis, to understand the roots of this crisis and see how we, as united Christians, can work together to help people and our societies out of this situation. From a theological viewpoint, the Forum is not intended to achieve doctrinal dialogue but a dialogue on social and pastoral issues, on which Catholic and Orthodox Christians are called to reflect and make a joint proposal. We believe that Orthodox and Catholics together in Europe have a duty to say what they think and make concrete proposals to the authorities and to society in general.
(Sir Europe - Brussels) - Practical tips and protection of consumers who will attend, as supporters, the European Football Championship in Poland and Ukraine. This is the spirit underlying some initiatives, mostly for information, that the EU Commission is launching a few days before kick-off at the event taking place in Poland and Ukraine from 8th June to 1st July. There is, in particular, a website (accessible from the EU Commissions website, www.ec.europa.eu, or UEFAs or consumer organisations websites) providing all sorts of information about what documents are needed to go to Warsaw, Kiev and the other cities that will be hosting the matches, emergency telephone numbers, accident or illness insurance coverage, practical shopping tips, tourist and hotel information, legal assistance. The website is available in the 23 languages of the European Union. Europe Direct will provide an online service for information while an English-speaking telephone line will be run by the Polish organisation Federacja Konsumentów. For any emergency, the number is 112 from anywhere in Europe. I am glad Uefa and the EU Commission have joined forces and offer assistance and practical tips to consumers, Michel Platini, president of the European football organisation, stated. This initiative will help fans from any country make the most of their stay in Poland and Ukraine.
A marriage commitment is subject to release on the same ultimate grounds that any extremely serious, nearly unconditional, permanent commitment may cease to bind. Therefore, the obligation must be released, and the commitment can be justifiably changed. This is how in her book Sister Farley challenges the indissolubility of marriage, a key concept in the doctrine of the Church, according to which conjugal love requires the inviolable fidelity of the spouses. According to the Church, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith recalls, love seeks to be definitive and cannot be ‘until further notice. Finally, Sister Farley states she is in favour of remarriage: whatever ongoing obligation a residual bond entails, it need not include a prohibition of remarriage, she states. On the contrary, the Catholic teaching excludes the possibility of remarriage after divorce. Even if today there are numerous Catholics in many countries who have recourse to civil divorce and contract new civil unions, the Church states that a new union cannot be recognized as valid, if the first marriage was. So divorced people find themselves in a situation that objectively contravenes God‘s law and cannot have access to Eucharistic Communion.
According to Sister Farley, masturbation actually serves relationships rather than hindering them, while, in the magisterium of the Church, it is an intrinsically and gravely disordered action, because the deliberate use of the sexual faculty, for whatever reason, outside of marriage is essentially contrary to its purpose. According to Sister Farley, homosexual acts can be justified according to the same sexual ethic as heterosexual relationships and activities. This opinion is not acceptable. The Catholic Church, in fact, distinguishes between persons with homosexual tendencies and homosexual acts: the former must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity, and every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. Homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered and under no circumstances can they be approved. Sister Farley also supports the recognition of homosexual unions with a position that is opposed to that of the Church, according to which the respect for homosexual persons cannot lead in any way to approval of homosexual behavior or to legal recognition of homosexual unions. (continued)
The Notification written by card. William Levada states that the author does not present a correct understanding of the role of the Churchs Magisterium as the teaching authority of the Bishops united with the Successor of Peter. In addressing various moral issues, Sr. Farley either ignores the constant teaching of the Magisterium or, where it is occasionally mentioned, treats it as one opinion among others. Such an attitude is in no way justified, even within the ecumenical perspective that she wishes to promote. In addition, Sister Farley, according to the Holy See, also manifests a defective understanding of the objective nature of the natural moral law, choosing instead to argue on the basis of conclusions selected from certain philosophical currents or from her own understanding of contemporary experience, and this approach is not consistent with authentic Catholic theology. Among the many errors and ambiguities of this book are its positions on masturbation, homosexual acts, homosexual unions, the indissolubility of marriage and the problem of divorce and remarriage. (continued)
A book that does not conform to the Catholic teaching, and therefore cannot be used as a valid expression of Catholic teaching, either in counselling and formation, or in ecumenical and inter-religious dialogue. This is how the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith, in a Notification published today, defines the volume Just Love. A Framework for Christian Sexual Ethics by Sister Margaret A. Farley, that contains positions that are in direct contradiction with Catholic teaching in the field of sexual morality. Expressing profound regret about the Sister, who is a member of an institute of consecrated life, the Congregation mentions that, in a letter dated 29th March 2009 the doctrinal problems present in the text had already been pointed out, but the authors response did not clarify these problems in a satisfactory manner. Because the matter concerned doctrinal errors present in a book whose publication has been a cause of confusion among the faithful, the congregation decided to proceed to an examination in cases of urgency, which on 8th June 2011 confirmed that the book contained erroneous propositions, the dissemination of which risks grave harm to the faithful. Sister Farleys new response dated 3rd October 2011, did not adequately clarify the grave problems contained in her book. (continued)
The civil association offering help and professional counselling to women and girls in difficult situations wants to use its part of money to provide services to a wider range of clients. Finally the Adiuvare Foundation, established by Mons. Jan Graubner, archbishop of Olomouc, wants to contribute more effectively to the promotion of spiritual and moral values in youth education and the modernization of educational process, while helping students from socially disadvantaged families.
(Sir Europe - Bratislava) - Days of people of good will is the title of a money collection aimed at supporting the work of non-profit organizations in Czech Republic. The 13th edition of the project, which started on 1 June, offers the opportunity to make a donation via the SMS service. This year, the money raised will be allocated to four projects. Among them is the project of the Cyrilo-Methodian Church school in Brno which celebrates the 20th anniversary of its establishment this year. We need a well-equipped language cabinet. It should serve not only our pupils but also their relatives, because next year we want to offer parents the chance to study along with their children, explains its director, Pavlina Vojtechova. The second institution to be supported is the Center for Family Life in Olomouc, dealing with courses of preparation for marriage, communication and problem solving in partnerships. (continued)
We do not intend to carry out a purely economic-financial analysis of the current economic crisis, even though experts in these fields will be present for our reflections, said Cardinal Péter Erdő. We are aware that the current economic decline, which endangers our very own models of society, constitutes just the tip of the iceberg and has much deeper origins. He continued: Many people have evoked the start of a total economic collapse, which ultimately is none other than the decline of a cultural model, permeated by uncontrolled and unconstrained liberalism, which places economic profit above the good of the whole human person. According to the president of the European bishops, to get back on ones feet in this crisis there is no other solution than learning to love again. Yes, only an economy of love which places [at the centre] love for the human person, for work, for our societies can enable us to tackle this difficult situation. The meeting will be marked by moments of work and prayer. There will be an ecumenical prayer service on Wednesday 6 June at 1900 in the Colégio Bom Sucesso and the Solemn Mass on the Solemnity of Corpus Christi, Thursday 7 June at 1130 in Lisbon Cathedral. The First European Catholic-Orthodox Forum took place in 2008 (11-14 December) at Trent, in Italy, on the theme The family: a good for humanity; the 2nd European Catholic-Orthodox Forum took place on the island of Rhodes in Greece in 2010 (18-22 October) on the theme Church-State relations.
Metropolitan bishops of the Orthodox Churches ands Catholic bishops of Europe will be meeting in Lisbon to talk about Economic crisis and poverty. Challenges for todays Europe. Aa from tomorrow, the Portuguese capital will be hosting the Third European Catholic-Orthodox Forum, with two large delegations: the Orthodox delegation includes the Metropolitan bishop Gennadios of Sassima (Ecumenical Patriarchate), the Metropolitan bishop Policarpo of Spain and Portugal (Ecumenical Patriarchate), and delegates of the Patriarchates of Moscow, Serbia, Romania, Georgia, the Church of Cyprus, Poland and Albania. The Catholic delegation is led by card. Péter Erdő, archbishop of Esztergom-Budapest and president of the Council of European Bishops Conferences, with the participation, among others, of mgr. Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz, archbishop of Minsk (Belarus), mgr. Paolo Pezzi of the archdiocese of Mother of God at Moscow, and mgr. Mansueto Bianchi, bishop of Pistoia. The theme of the meeting -a release, posted by Ccee this morning, states - will be examined from three perspectives: the search for the origins of the current economic crisis; the search for common answers proper to the Churches, and, finally, the role the Churches are called to undertake at this particular moment of the life of the European continent. (continued)
I cannot find words to express my thanks for this celebration of God, for this communion of the family of God to which we belong. At the end of this celebration, we are deeply grateful to God for this great ecclesial experience. Benedict XVI said this during the Angelus, yesterday morning, at the end of the Mass for the VII World Meeting of Families at Bresso Park (Milan). I wish to extend my sincere thanks - the Pope said - to all who have contributed to the success of this event, particularly to Card. Ennio Antonelli, president of the Pontifical Council for the Family, and to Card. Angelo Scola, archbishop of Milan. I thank all members of the organising committee and volunteers. Finally the Pontiff announced that the next World Meeting of Families will take place in 2015 in Philadelphia in the United States of America. I send my warm greetings to the Archbishop of Philadelphia, Mgr. Charles Chaput, thanking him for his generous invitation, he concluded. At the end of the celebration the Pope also announced that he would donate €500,000 to the inhabitants of the regions hit by the earthquake.
According to Benedict XVI Gods plan, as well as experience, show that the one-sided logic of sheer utility and maximum profit are not conducive to harmonious development, to the good of the family or to building a just society, because it brings in its wake ferocious competition, strong inequalities, degradation of the environment, the race for consumer goods, family tensions. Indeed, the utilitarian mentality tends to take its toll on personal and family relationships, reducing them to a fragile convergence of individual interests and undermining the solidity of the social fabric. In his homily the Pope also made reference to Sunday, the Lords day, the weekly Easter but also the day of man and his values and the day of the family. Then the Pontiff invited everyone not to lose a sense of the Lords Day which is like an oasis in which to pause, so as to taste the joy of encounter and to quench our thirst for God.
Love between a man and a woman based on marriage is fruitful first and foremost for the couple itself in their generous and responsible procreation of children and for society, because family life is the first and irreplaceable school of social virtues, such as respect for persons, gratuitousness, trust, responsibility, solidarity, cooperation. Benedict XVI said this yesterday morning (click here) in his homily for the concluding Mass of the World Meeting of Families at Bresso Park (Milan). The Pontiff called on the spouses to watch over their children and, in a world dominated by technology, transmit to them reasons for living, the strength of faith. However, children too should always maintain a relationship of deep affection and attentive care for their parents. In the Book of Genesis, God entrusts his creation to the human couple and in this indication - the Pope observed - we may recognize the task of man and woman to collaborate with God in the process of transforming the world through work, science and technology. For the Pontiff, in modern economic theories, there is often a utilitarian concept of work, production and the market. (continued)