Italy, England, The Netherlands

Italy: the 61st CEI assemblyA “debated” sentence, received with “incredulity”, as it is the product of a “misunderstood understanding of laicity”. In the opening address (on 24 May) of the 61st Assembly of the Italian Bishops’ Conference Cardinal Bagnasco thus referred to the judgement issued by the European Court for the Rights of Man arguing against the presence of Crucifixes in Italian classrooms. His Eminence called for a “comprehensive” rectification in next June’s recourse, “also in view of the motivations authoritatively and appropriately conveyed on various occasions, as the sentence contradicts not only the consolidated jurisprudence of the same Court, it also neglects – to the point of denying – the roots inscribed in the constitutions, in the fundamental laws on religious freedom and in the concordats of the great majority of Member States”. In the prolusion the Cardinal also addressed “the tragedy of paedophilia”. The Italian Church – the Cardinal assured – has addressed and continues to address the question of paedophilia through her nonnegotiable commitment of establishing justice in truth, in the awareness that even a single case is already too much, especially if a priest is the offender”. “In no circumstance”, His Eminence said, “did the Church intend to underestimate” the “tragedy of paedophilia”. The Italian episcopate has “readily received” the “clear and pressing statements by the Holy See”, with the aim of “establishing the truth until the necessary provisions are undertaken once the facts are ascertained”. “The public opinions along with the families – is the central message of Cardinal Bagnasco – must be aware that us, as a Church, will do our utmost to always be worthy, more and more, the trust that is given to us also by non-believing parents or non-attendants. Our attention, verifications and provisions will not be retained. We will not overlook signs or doubts; we shall not renounce the fulfilment of our educational role with all the necessary care and scrutiny”. The central theme of the assembly of the Italian Bishops were the Pastoral Guidelines for the decade 2011-2020, focused on the educational dimension. England: “no” to pro-abortion adsIn a statement regarding the BCAP (Broadcast committee of advertising practice) consultation the Catholic Bishops’ Conference in England and Wales said that products or ads that encourage or refer to abortion services, whether commercial or not-for-profit organizations – should not be allowed to advertise on broadcast media. “Abortion is not a consumer service,” stated a spokesperson of the Bishops’ Conference a few days ago. “To present it as such erodes respect for life and is highly misleading and damaging to women, who may feel pressured into making a quick decision, which can never be revoked. To allow the exploitative promotion of these services is not in the interests of the health or psychological well-being of women”. The Bishops “encourage and support women to make informed choices about their emotional, psychological and physical well-being”, the statement continues. “The Bishops support a number of charities which do this, in particular the organization called ‘LIFE’ which offers confidential information, counseling and practical help and support for women contemplating abortion, suffering after pregnancy loss or struggling to cope after abortion”.The Netherlands: a website for Chaldeans in is the new website of the chaldean community in Europe, consisting of 100 thousand Catholics, most of whom live in Sweden, Germany and France. The news was released by the baghdadhope website that posted the statement of Msgr. Philip Najim, apostolic visitor for the Chaldean Church in Europe and Chaldean procurer to the Holy See. “The website, active since May 18, is addressed to old and new Chaldean immigrants in Europe – said Msgr. Najim – and is aimed at becoming the information centre and of our faithful in Europe. Dedicating a website to them means to underline the phenomenon of the diaspora that in most cases – especially for the new arrivals – originated from plight in the Countries of origin, primarily Iraq and Turkey”. The idea of the website was launched in September 2009 by Najim in the meeting of the Chaldean priests in Europe. The website is run by father Firaz Ghazi, parish priest in The Netherlands, who coordinates a committee on the contents. For the moment the website is in English and in Arabic and its primary goals include networking with all European Catholic information services. The Chaldean Church is headed by Cardinal Emmanuel III Delly. It includes 8 archdioceses, 9 dioceses and 20 bishops, 112 parishes and 3 missions served by 150 priests across the world. It has a monastic order, the Antoniano of Saint Hormizda with 40 monks, a major seminary in Iraq and one in the USA, 3 orders of nuns, 2 in Iraq and one in San Diego (California).

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