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Tyburn Nuns to open chapel at foundress' birthplace

London, England, Aug 3, 2018 / 10:30 am (CNA/EWTN News).- An order of Benedictine nuns based near the site in London where Catholics were martyred during the Reformation announced Friday they will soon open a house at the childhood home of their foundress, whose cause for canonization was opened in 2016.

The Adorers of the Sacred Heart of Jesus of Montmartre, OSB, will formally open a chapel in Grancey-le-Chateau, 25 miles southest of Langres, France, Aug. 15, at the property where their foundress, Mother Marie-Adèle Garnier, was born in 1838.

“We give thanks to the Sacred Heart for this historic moment for our Congregation. Our sisters from all over the world are gathered here together to remember the birth of our foundress - the birth of our Monastic Family,” Mother Marilla Aw, OSB, superior general of the order, said Aug. 3.

“We hope that the opening of this house will be an impetus for many people to come to know the charism of our Mother Foundress who is now a Servant of God. Her teachings are profound, and she has already led many souls to the adoration of the Heart of Jesus hidden in the Eucharist.”

The chapel at the site, Maison Garnier, is dedicated to Our Lady of the Assumption. The nuns hope the site will become a pilgrimage destination for those devoted to Mother Marie-Adèle. The property includes a museum and a conference and retreat center.

Mother Marie-Adèle founded the Adorers of the Sacred Heart of Jesus of Montmartre in 1898. The order is dedicated to perpetual adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.

In 1901, the anti-clerical French government passed the Law of Associations, which greatly expanded the state's authority over religious orders and regulated their educational work. As a result, the sisters went into exile in London, where they were able to freely wear a habit for the first time.

They eventually settled at Tyburn, the London site where in the 16th and 17th centuries several hundred martyrs – priests, religious, and lay men and women – were executed by the Protestant state for their refusal to give up their Catholic faith.

Throughout her life as a religious, Mother Garnier, who now went by Mother Mary of St. Peter, experienced intense physical suffering, so much so that when she went more than two hours without suffering, she wondered if Christ had forgotten her.

Despite her sufferings, which included debilitating migraines, her sisters say she remained cheerful and gentle with everyone, and counseled other sisters through their trials.

The order as a whole also suffered financial problems and strange demonic attacks, including instances of possession or objects being picked up and thrown across the room. But Christ promised Mother Mary of St. Peter that he would not let the order dissolve.

In 1922, Christ appeared to Mother Mary of St. Peter and told her that she would suffer and die soon. For the next two years, she suffered intense chest pains and congestion problems, until she became bedridden.

On November 15, 1923, on a Host a priest brought her, she saw the Heart of Jesus, alive in the Eucharist. She died June 17, 1924 at the Tyburn convent.

Her cause for canonization was opened Dec. 3, 2016 by Bishop Joseph-Marie-Edouard de Metz-Noblat of Langres.

Today, the contemplative order has spread throughout the world, with convents in England, Scotland, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Italy, and France.

Catholic church in Northern Ireland hit with sectarian graffiti

Derry, Northern Ireland, Aug 1, 2018 / 04:01 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- A Catholic church in Northern Ireland was vandalized Tuesday morning with sectarian graffiti, upsetting parishioners and local leaders.

"We never had a problem like this before. There was something very minor about five or six years ago but this is completely new to us,” Msgr. Bryan McCanny, pastor of St. Mary's in Limavady, fewer than 20 miles east of Derry, told BBC News NI.

"Parishioners are very upset about it. It's depressing that things like this should happen when we are enjoying peace.”

“The two police officers who arrived this morning helped to clean the paint off the door,” he added.

Paramilitary slogans from an anti-Catholic group marked a door and some of the walls of St Mary’s July 31. A large crucifix outside of the church was also painted on.

The graffiti read UDA and UFF. The Ulster Defence Association is an Ulster loyalist vigilante group founded in 1971 whose paramilitary front organization is the Ulster Freedom Fighters.

The UDA is considered a terrorist organization by the United Kingdom, and between the late 1960s and 2007 it carried out more than 250 killings, with most of the victims Catholic civilians.

Msgr. McCanny said recent weeks have seen an increase in graffiti, and that “it needs nipped in the bud. Limavady has always been a respectful town. We don't want the peace disturbed.”

The Northern Irish police are treating the incident as a sectarian hate crime.

Caoimhe Archibald, Member of the Legislative Assembly for East Londonderry, called the incident a “disgraceful attack.”

Archibald, a member of the Irish republican party Sinn Féin, said the attack “ comes after an increase in the number of paramilitary flags being flown and a surge in kerb painting in the town.”

"I would urge all elected and community leaders within unionism to show leadership in order to bring an end to the tensions in the area caused by marking territory in this way."

Aaron Callan, a concillor of the Democratic Unionist Party, said the incident was “disgusting and vile and should be rightly condemned by everyone. There is no place for this kind of behaviour in our society, be it an attack on a chapel, church or an orange hall."

And Ulster Unionist Party councillor Darryl Wilson told BBC News NI that “I'm saddened and angered to see another attack on a community building within my borough.”

Religious disputes have long been part of the history of Northern Ireland, which is predominantly Protestant and is part of the United Kingdom, while the majority-Catholic Republic of Ireland gained its independence in 1916.

The region has had ongoing religiously and politically based conflicts, most notably “the Troubles”, which included violent clashes that lasted from the late ‘60s until 1998, when the Good Friday Agreement was struck.

Since 1998, there has been only sporadic sectarian violence in Northern Ireland.

In October 2017, the loyalist paramilitary Ulster Volunteer Force made threats which forced four Catholic families to flee their homes at a social housing project in Belfast.

Recent demographic figures have suggested that Catholics will likely outnumber Protestants in Northern Ireland by 2021. According to the last census, in 2011, Protestants outnumbered Catholics in Northern Ireland by just three percent.

Pope visits elderly woman in Rome

Rome, Italy, Jul 31, 2018 / 11:40 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis made a surprise trip Saturday to visit an elderly woman in a central district of Rome, drawing attention from local residents as they spotted his blue car.

The pope made the July 28 visit to the woman who is bedridden and has repeatedly invited him to visit her at her home  in the Salario neighborhood.

He spent about an hour with the woman, while a few Vatican Gendarmes and Italian police officers waited outside the house.

Pope Francis affectionately greeted local residents, shaking hands, offering hugs, and playing with a young child. Pope Francis also blessed religious articles which had been brought to him.

Before the Pope got into his vehicle, another resident who was sick raced down the stairs to greet the Pope and receive a blessing.   

Pope Francis has instigated surprise papal visits in the past. During the Jubilee Year of Mercy in 2016, the Pope would participate in a monthly work of mercy, often on the month’s first Friday.

Among other acts of charity, the Holy Father has visited homeless shelters, nursing homes, and hospitals. On separate occasions, Pope Francis has invited blue-collar employees and prison inmates to lunch.

UK court decision will mean vulnerable patients' starvation, critic says

London, England, Jul 30, 2018 / 05:01 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Brain-damaged patients will be endangered by a U.K. Supreme Court decision making it easier to end their assisted nutrition and hydration, critics have said.

“This is concerning and disappointing news, because it removes an important safeguard from those without a voice,” Dr. Peter Saunders, campaign director of Care Not Killing, said in response to the July 30 ruling.

“It will make it more likely that severely brain-damaged patients will be starved or dehydrated to death in their supposed ‘best interests’ and that these decisions will be more influenced by those who have ideological or financial vested interests in this course of action.”

The ruling means that when the patient’s family and doctors agree, medical staff will be able to remove feeding tubes without applying to the Court of Protection, which has ruled on these cases for 25 years, BBC News reports.

The ruling could affect up to 24,000 U.K. patients who are in so-called permanent vegetative states or minimally conscious states. While such patients can breathe without assistance, they need clinically assisted nutrition and hydration by tube to continue to live.

“The Supreme Court has set a dangerous precedent,” Saunders said. “Taking these decisions away from the Court of Protection removes an important layer of legislative scrutiny and accountability and effectively weakens the law.”

Supreme Court Justice Lady Black said agreement between families and doctors provided sufficient safeguards for public confidence in the process, BBC News reports. She said families should still apply to court where there are “differences of view” between a patient’s relatives or medical professionals.

The ruling concerned the case of a patient known only as Mr. Y, a banker in his 50s who suffered a heart attack that caused severe brain damage. He was believed to have no chance of recovery.

Both his family and his doctors agreed that it was in his best interests to withdraw his feeding tube, which would cause his death.

The National Health Services trust had asked the High Court to rule that it was not necessary to apply to the Court of Protection when the doctors and the family agree withdrawal of nutrition and hydration is in a patient’s best interest. The High Court judge sided with the trust.

The Supreme Court’s decision rejected the appeal that an official solicitor filed on behalf of Mr. Y, letting the decision stand.

“In making these declarations Lady Black and the Supreme Court has dramatically moved the goalposts on end of life decision-making,” Saunders added. “Once we accept that death by dehydration is in some brain-damaged people’s ‘best interests’ we are on a very slippery slope indeed.”

“There is a clear difference between turning off a ventilator on a brain-dead patient and removing (nutrition and hyrdration) from a brain-damaged patient,” he said.

Contending that patients in vegetative states or minimal conscious states differ from patients with a “downward trajectory,” he said these patients’ conditions “do not in themselves lead inevitably to death.”

The Court of Protection ensured “independent scrutiny” of any application to remove care, according to Saunders. Under the old rules, implemented after a 1993 case, the court did not prevent clinically assisted nutrition and hydration from being removed in over 100 cases.

“It did this because it recognized the emotional and financial pressure that families and clinicians can fell under,” he said.

Saunders’ group, Care Not Killing, has cautioned that changes in legal protocols should take into account advances in treatment of severe brain injuries, in areas like brain cooling techniques, intracranial pressure monitoring and neurosurgery.

There are “real, demonstrable and significant uncertainties about diagnosis and prognosis” in such cases, Saunders said.

“These have increased rather than decreased in the last 20 years and this is why continued court oversight is necessary,” he added.

Care Not Killing is a U.K.-based coalition of about 50 human rights and disability rights organizations, health care and palliative care groups and faith-based groups, plus thousands of individual supporters. It advocates for better palliative care and against any weakening or repeal of existing laws against euthanasia and assisted suicide.

BBC legal correspondent Clive Coleman said that some experts believe the current legal practice had resulted in “individuals spending longer on life support in a vegetative state than was necessary because hospitals have shied away from going to court due to the expense and bureaucracy involved.”

Coleman said the ruling makes clear that courts don’t need to be involved in these cases, if doctors and families agree to withdraw nutrition and hydration and it is in “the best interests of the patient.”

“However, the judgement cuts across ethical and religious beliefs and will divide opinion,” he continued. “Some will see it as compassionate and humane, others the removing of a vital legal safeguard for a highly vulnerable group.”

Doctors have not needed court permission to withdraw other forms of life-sustaining treatment, such as life-saving dialysis.

Saunders, however, warned of the pressures patients’ families and doctors will face.

“Given the huge and growing financial pressure the health service is under is this really an additional pressure, no matter how subtle we want to put medical staff and administrators under,” he said.

It costs about $131,000 per year to care for patients in vegetative or minimally conscious states. Encouraging most patients down this path could result in $3.1 billion in savings for the National Health Service, said Saunders.

The Court of Protection process also costs health authorities over $65,000 in legal fees for each appeal, BBC News reports.

Learning to 'love your enemy' in a Soviet labor camp

Lviv, Ukraine, Jul 29, 2018 / 04:02 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- “I can honestly say that the labor camp was the best place to understand what ‘love your enemy’ really means,” said Myroslav Marynovych, a Ukrainian Catholic who spent seven years in a Soviet gulag in the Perm region of Russia.

After receiving the 2018 Charles J. Chaput Award at the Napa Institute conference this month, Marynoych explained to CNA how the gospel came to life for him in the gulag, and how a stint in solitary confinement led him to write a letter to St. John Paul II.

Marynovych is vice-rector for university mission at the Ukrainian Catholic University in Lviv.

Marynovych was sent to the labor camp in 1977, one year before Karol Wojtyła was elected Bishop of Rome. He was arrested for leading the Ukrainian Helsinki Group, the first non-underground group in Ukraine tasked with documenting human rights abuses and monitoring the implementation of the Helsinki Accords.

He spent 1977-1984 in forced labor camps in Perm, and then three years of exile in Kazakhstan.

Marynovych learned early on in his gulag experience that he needed to guard against an unchristian contempt for the KGB officers and guards.

After an outburst while interacting with a guard when he was in solitary confinement, Marynovych reflected on his actions in his cell.

“This incarnation of anger – is it me? What about my Christianity? I didn't want to transform myself into a 'man of hatred.’”

“I started to pray. I started to walk in the cell back and forth, and...I decided, 'No, I don’t want hatred to overcome my heart.’”

After that realization, “I behaved in a way that is acceptable as a Christian. I don't need to hate people to say something that they have to hear,” said Marynovych.

The Catholics in his labor camp celebrated Easter twice in a sign of solidarity with their Orthodox brethren, who follow a different liturgical calendar. “That was a sort of prison ecumenism,” Marynovych explained. It also made it more difficult for the KGB officers to pit the two groups against each other.

Any sort of religious practice was strictly forbidden in the Soviet camps. In 1982, the camp administration issued a warning on Holy Saturday that anyone gathering to celebrate Easter would be punished.

“And, for us Christians, to be punished for celebrating the Easter is okay. So of course we ignored these warnings,” said Marynovych.

“We gathered and we prayed. There were people of different confessions. We started to eat some simple food that we had at that moment, and the guards arrived and took all of us to the penal isolation cell for 15 days,” he continued.

“That was the time when in Europe Christian peace marches were very popular, and the Soviet Union supported these Christian peace marches because they stood for disarmament etc. It was useful for the Soviet propaganda.”

“The Soviet Union supported Christian movements in Europe, on one hand, and punished Christians for just celebrating Easter on the other hand. We had to inform the world about that.”

The prisoners decided to write a letter to the pope.

When the news that Wojtyła had been elected reached the gulag, there was “total enthusiasm in the labor camp,” explained Marynovych.

“We all understood that as a Polish citizen, he knew the nature of communism from within, not as some Italian bishops-cardinal from outside. They knew communism as a grassroots activity of Italian communists, but he knew communist crimes from within.”

Marynovych was the man selected by the prisoners to pen the letter.

“We described the situation and asked John Paul II to make this moment known for Christians in the world – that we were punished simply for celebrating the Easter. We shared the text of this letter later when we were released from this punishment cell, and the text was agreed upon by the other prisoners.”

“We smuggled this letter secretly to Moscow, and then from Moscow to Rome.”

“After several months, we received a secret information from our relatives that John Paul II had received this letter and prayed a Mass for the signatories of this letter, including me.”

“There was a storm of positive emotion, and gratitude to John Paul II for that because this support was very important for us.”

“It was suggested that the election of the John Paul II as pope was the end of communism. And actually it happened during his papacy. The Soviet Union fell down.”

After the fall of the Berlin Wall, Marynovych had a chance to meet the pope and thank him personally, more than ten years later after he had written the letter.

“Of course, I was deprived of many joys of life – just imagine, I was arrested when I was 28 and released at 38. And yet, I am an illustration of the very important truth: God never takes anything away from a human being without compensating him or her even more abundantly. That’s why I have never considered my imprisonment as a curse,” Marynovych said in this remarks that the Napa Institute conference July 14.

“Yes, the Soviet regime did want to make my life hell. However, it was God who transformed the camp experience into a blessing.”

Cathedral ‘built on perogies’ embraces its heritage

By Agnieszka Krawczynski NEW WESTMINSTER—A small Byzantine community in New Westminster is embracing its culture after decades of masking itself as just another Roman Catholic church. “Our Byzantine rite was not appreciated as much, so we were trying to look more like Roman Catholics – ‘Let’s just have two little icons, maybe one big icon, […]

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The Pope Thanks the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church for Its Witness to Unity

His Beatitude Sviatoslav has told the Pope that the road travelled by the UGCC was a path of martyrdom, a “testimony of the unity that Christ’s Church enjoyed in the First Millennium, at the time of the Baptism of Saint Volodymyr, and a particular witness of martyrs and confessors for Church unity, – in the […]

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Statement of Bishop Stephen on the Canada Summer Job Grant

May 1, 2018 Христос Воскрес! [Christ is risen] Дорогі в Христі, Вітаю вас всіх Воскресінням нашого Спаса Ісуса Христа! [Beloved in Christ, Greetings in the Resurrection of our Saviour Jesus Christ!] As you may be aware, in 2018 the Government of Canada has imposed a new requirement to support so-called reproductive rights in order to […]

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A Journey Together

by Brent Kostyniuk When you are on a journey, it’s good to stop once in a while to check not only where you are going, but where you have been. Not that long ago every car had a glove compartment full of road maps, now replaced by GPS . However, there was something intriguing about […]

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New Particular Law for the UGCC

( The newest version of ecclesial laws for Ukrainian Catholic faithful was officially promulgated on 4 April 2018 and will take effect on 7 April 2018. This was accomplished by the publishing of both the Decree of Promulgation and the text of the updated version of Particular Law on the Church’s official website for this […]

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