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Ireland, Slovakia, Germany, Spain
Ireland: about 12,000 calls at the call centre against paedophilia
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 on 30 May. 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.
Slovakia: catholic bishops met with prime minister
The current development of society, proposals for consolidation of public financing, and possible reduction in the number of state holidays were among the topics discussed yesterday during the meeting between prime minister of Slovakia Robert Fico and the delegation of the Bishops’ Conference of Slovakia led by its president, Mons. Stanislav Zvolensky. The premier informed representatives of the Catholic Church about the suggestion of employers to reduce the current number of state holidays in Slovakia. The prelates expressed their disagreement in regard to this matter, emphasizing the importance of holidays for the life of society. “We understand them as spiritual roots necessary to the actual existence of society, as a great opportunity to motivate people who gain spiritual energy during work-free days to be able to cope with the difficulties of everyday life”, explains Mons. Zvolensky. According to Robert Fico, the government is exploring the relation of an intrastate law with the Basic agreement between Slovakia and the Holy See, according to which several Catholic feast days have been established as regular public holidays. Decision about cancellation of some public holidays as work-free days is yet to be made. Another topic discussed was the issue of Church financing. Last proposal in this regard was made by former minister of culture Daniel Krajcer who suggested financing Churches and religious associations through the model of tax assignation, which was considered unacceptable by the representatives of the Catholic Church.
Germany: DBK, a new culture of the family
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.
Spain: preparations for st. John of Avila doctor
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.