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'Be missionaries for the cause of life,' Irish bishop tells faithful

Limerick, Ireland, Feb 7, 2018 / 12:00 am (ACI Prensa).- Ahead of Ireland’s referendum on the country’s abortion laws, Bishop Brendan Leahy penned a letter to the diocese of Limerick promoting respect for human life.

“The possible repeal of the eighth amendment and introduction of a liberal regime of abortion in Ireland…is a pivotal moment for our society and how we cherish life in this country,” stated Bishop Leahy of Limerick in a pastoral letter, according to the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference.

“I invite you to be missionaries for the cause of life. It is a noble cause to uphold the sacredness of human life,” he continued.

The Irish government announced on Jan. 29 that a referendum will be held to decide the fate of the constitution’s Eighth Amendment, which classifies abortion as a criminal act. Repeal of the amendment could permit abortion throughout the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.

The vote is set for late May or early June.

In his letter, which was read at all of the Masses in the Diocese of Limerick over the Feb. 3-4 weekend, Bishop Leahy acknowledged the difficult task in speaking about the upcoming referendum.

“While I too find it difficult to talk about it, nevertheless the Gospel and my conscience convince me that I am obliged to speak,” Leahy said.

The Irish bishop also asked the faithful to not become distracted with the politics and discussions surrounding the amendment and legislation, saying the top priority should instead be the mothers and their babies.

“It is right to attend with empathy and care to the difficult situations of women faced with challenging circumstances around pregnancy,” Leahy said.  

“We do indeed need to love both mother and baby in pregnancy, but I believe that in our public commentary at the moment we are often forgetting the unborn baby,” Leahy continued, saying “make no mistake about it. It is a baby.”

Leahy continued to encourage the faithful in the Diocese of Limerick to champion the cause of life within Ireland and pray for overall respect of human life.

“It really is important for us to affirm that what’s in the womb are babies that are just not born yet. They are not potential persons but persons with potentials; they are developing humans,” Leahy said.

“Let’s continue to pray for one another.”

 

New Cooking Show: Eastern Hospitality

This is an Easter Catholic online cooking show hosted by Fr. Moses and Mother Gabriella. It follows the Traditional cycle of the Liturgical Year which takes us through periods of preparation (fasting) and celebrating (feasting). New episodes will be released this coming Great Lent. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/easternhospitality/ Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/channels/easternhospitality Website: http://www.easternhospitality.org  

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Neocatechumenal Way: Kiko Argüello announces successor to Carmen Hernandez

Rome, Italy, Feb 6, 2018 / 12:00 am (CNA).- During an international retreat of the Neocatechumenal Way held in Porto San Giorgio, Italy, Kiko Argüello announced Feb. 2 that Maria Ascensión Romero will be a new international member of the movement, replacing Carmen Hernandez, who died July 19, 2016. Argüello and Hernandez were the ecclesial movement's co-founders.

Romero joins Fr.Mario Pezzi and Argüello to make up the international team, which according to the the movement’s statutes is to be comprised of three members. Romero was an itinerant missionary for years in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

The Neocatechumenal Way was founded in 1964 in Spain. It draws its inspiration from the practices of the early Catholic Church, providing “post-baptismal” Christian formation in some 40,000 small, parish-based communities.  The movement is present all over the world, and says it has an estimated membership of more than 1 million people.

This article was originally published by our sister agency, ACI Prensa. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.

Slain Maltese journalist fought for her convictions, priest says

Valletta, Malta, Feb 2, 2018 / 12:00 am (CNA/EWTN News).- A close friend of slain Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia says the reporter’s life and death is a reminder that “one should have the courage to stand for one's convictions.”

Maltese priest Fr. Joseph Borg spoke with CNA about Galizia’s legacy.

A well-known Maltese journalist famous for her shocking, in-depth stories exposing government corruption, Galizia was assassinated in October 2017 when a rental car she was driving exploded as she left her home in Bidnija. Three people have been arrested in connection with the bombing.

She was frequently threatened because of her work, and was best known for her investigations into corruption among the Mediterranean nation's politicians.

Shortly before her death, Galizia had suggested on her blog that Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and his wife had used offshore bank accounts to hide payments from the Azerbaijani ruling family.

Galizia's claims about the Maltese minister triggered early elections in the country, from which Muscat's Labour Party managed to come out victorious.

Fr. Borg, Director of the Maltese Catholic radio RTK, was familiar with Galizia and wrote an obituary for her in The Guardian after her death. The two had a friendly relationship and were familiar with each others' work. He had defended her work publicly, and at one point gave evidence in her defense during a court case against her.

In an interview with CNA, Borg said Galizia, who investigated Maltese connections in the 2015 Panama Papers leak on her blog “Running Commentary,” was aware that her work was unlikely to make an impact, but she was nonetheless committed to telling the truth.

When it came time for the elections after the leak, he said Galizia told him “I know that what I'm writing will not make a difference for the election result, people don't care, but I have to write it because someone has to write it. We have to document what's happening.”

Journalists have a responsibility to pursue stories like this, Borg said, stressing that “we can't be consequentialists. We can't say, 'what will be the effect if it's true?'”

“If it's public interest we have to write it,” he said, explaining that while it is unethical to publish false information, “you can also be unethical by not writing something that you should write, not writing something that is of public interest...(this) is unethical.”

He said Galizia first got involved with investigative stories on corruption scandals during Malta's election in 1981, two years after Britain pulled troops off the island in 1979. A constitutional crisis emerged when the Labour Party, despite taking in less votes that the opposing Nationalist Party, managed to end up with more seats in parliament.

Protests erupted, rapidly turning violent. Galizia became active in covering the story, writing for both the The Sunday Times of Malta and the Malta Independent, where she had a regular column, until her death.

In 2008 she launched her blog, which quickly became one of the most popular websites in Malta, as she could publish stories and commentary that weren't able to be printed in the papers.

In this sense, Borg said one of Galizia's greatest contributions to journalism is that “she gave hope to people. You go to her with a story and it gets published. She takes risks if she believes in people.”

Despite her high readership and Galizia's efforts to unveil the shadowy misdeeds of those in power – including a Maltese politician who reportedly visited a brothel during a trip to Germany – Borg said the public was largely indifferent.

“The irony is that the economy was good and it became better, so people didn't care,” he said.

“Even if you look at the demonstrations that were done after her funeral, one was very great, but then people dwindled. This is the situation. Most people reason out and say 'I'm okay, what's the big fuss? All of them are corrupt, so who cares?’”

Borg said if reporters stop covering difficult stories because of indifference, “what use is journalism?”

Using a colloquial Maltese phrase, he said it would be like “'a sun that does not heat' – is it better that it's cold?”

Galizia was able to raise the bar for journalism in Malta, Borg said, explaining that many Maltese journalists were in some sense “offended” that people went to her with the good stories, instead of them.  

Because of this, “now we have many people in mainstream journalism who have been trained to compete with her to get better stories,” Borg said, so “that was another contribution.”

He also pointed to Galizia's “total disregard of a consequentialist approach to journalism,” and her attitude that “you have to do what you have to do” for the sake of public interest.

“She was not perfect, sometimes she got stories wrong, sometimes she also had gossipy parts, [but] most of the time she was incredible,” he said. “The main stories, what she wrote about corruption in Malta, incredible.”

“Her courage has inspired other journalists to go after more stories and we are getting more stories,” he said. And while some of this can be attributed to the fact that people simply need to find someone else to run their story, “journalists feel a bit ashamed if they don't sort-of take risks like her.”

This is one of Galizia's “best contributions to journalism in Malta,” Borg said, adding that other people and organizations should have the same courage to stand up for the truth, because “if someone who is alone does it, if you are part of an organization or institution, why shouldn't you?”

 

In Thanksgiving for Years of Service

by Alex Pankiw On Saturday, December 30, 2017, Ukrainian Catholic Youth and Young Adults of the Archeparchy of Winnipeg came together to extend a bittersweet farewell to Tamara Lisowski, the Youth Director for the Archeparchy of Winnipeg. Tamara served the Archeparchy of Winnipeg’s Youth and Young Adults for 17 years, touching many lives throughout the […]

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Sharing Jordan

by Brent Kostyniuk Today the darkness of the world vanishes with the appearance of our God. Today the celestials celebrate with the terrestrials, and the terrestrials commune with the celestials. The Great Service for the Sanctification of the Water Christians both East and West are united in their celebration of feast days, or holy days, […]

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2017 Nativity Greeting from UGCC Bishops of Canada

To the Very Reverend Clergy, Monastics and Religious Sisters, Seminarians and Laity of the Ukrainian Catholic Church in Canada And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14) Christ is Born! Glorify Him! […]

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2017 Nativity Greeting from Patriarch Sviatoslav

CHRISTMAS PASTORAL LETTER OF HIS BEATITUDE SVIATOSLAV Most Reverend Archbishops and Metropolitans, God-loving Bishops, Very Reverend Clergy, Venerable Monastics, Dearly Beloved Brothers and Sisters, in Ukraine and throughout the world For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you […]

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Holodomor

by Brent Kostyniuk During 1932 and 1933, an estimated seven to ten million people starved to death in Soviet controlled Ukraine because of a man-made famine, the Holodomor—death by starvation—even though the country was producing bumper crops of grain. Recently, 340 elementary children at St. Theresa of Calcutta Catholic School in Edmonton gathered for a […]

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The 2017 New Testament Challenge

Beginning Nov. 15th (the beginning of the Advent/Nativity Fast), we will once again be embarking on our annual challenge event to read through the entire New Testament (aloud) by Christmas! This is a great endeavor and exercise and you should join it! Read with your spouse as an Advent discipline! Even children can do this, […]

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