Pope calls for solidarity, walks Corpus Christi procession

(Vatican Radio) A crowd of about 20,000 gathered for an outdoor mass with Pope Francis on Thursday at the Basilica of Saint John Lateran to celebrate the Feast of Corpus Christi.
In his homily, the Pope commented on the day’s reading from the Gospel of St. Luke, which recounts how Jesus fed 5,000 people with five loaves of bread and two fish. The Gospel, he said, recalls three key words—discipleship, fellowship and sharing—and calls us to solidarity.

An Invitation from Bishop Treanor

Ever since taking up my appointment as your Bishop in 2008 I have been keen to work with you to establish a united vision for the Diocese. A vision that would enable each of us in the Diocese of Down and Connor through the use of our individual gifts to participate in our Church Community, to deepen our faith and to share that faith with others.

Catholic TDs should resign, not support abortion – Vatican

The Irish Catholic

EXCLUSIVE by Garry O’Sullivan in Rome

A senior Vatican official has said that Catholic politicians should resign rather than be part of a Government move to legalise abortion.

As Taoiseach Enda Kenny, a self-described practising Catholic, pushes ahead with plans to legalise abortion before the summer, a senior Vatican official told The Irish Catholic that Catholic politicians in these circumstances should quit rather than legislate for abortion.

For love of Louise

The Irish Catholic

A visit to the website of the international group the Dandy-Walker Alliance offers full information to the visitor about a syndrome which typically affects the brain’s cerebellum and therefore coordination and movement (www.dandy-walker.org). The site also informs that one in 2,500 children is born with Dandy-Walker.

Perhaps of most interest to the online visitor, however, is the scrolling bar on the site’s homepage where child after child is pictured smiling alongside brief testimonies from their parents as to the value of their child, and in a number of cases, how defiance of advice to terminate pregnancy has led to the joy brought by individual children.

For Jennifer Kehoe, a Kildare-based mother, her joy amid Dandy-Walker is her now three-year-old daughter Louise, while her story directly echoes those experienced by others for whom Dandy-Walker is an everyday reality.

Catholic politicians should oppose abortion legislation

The Irish Catholic

There has been much confusion in recent weeks over the issue of excommunicating Catholic politicians who support legislating for abortion. Similar media hysteria has surrounded whether or not Catholic TDs who knowingly introduce abortion legislation should receive the Eucharist.

The Coadjutor Archbishop of Armagh and future leader of the Catholic Church in Ireland Eamon Martin threw much fuel on the fire when he said: “If a legislator comes to me and says, ‘Can I be a faithful Catholic and support abortion?’ I would say: ‘No’. Your communion is ruptured if you support abortion. You are excommunicating yourself. Any legislator who clearly and publicly states this should not approach [a priest] looking for Communion.”

When does human personhood begin?

The Irish Catholic

The pro-choice side of the abortion debate argues that killing the foetus before it becomes a person is allowable under certain circumstances. I argue that the human person exists right from the moment of conception and that, consequently, deliberate direct abortion is never morally permissible.

An individual human life begins at conception when a sperm cell from the father unites with an egg cell from the mother to form a new cell, a zygote. The zygote divides into two daughter cells, each daughter cell divides into two and so the process goes on and on. After about seven days the developing entity, now comprising about 100 cells, implants in the mother’s womb where it continues to grow and develop for nine months before emerging into the outside world as a baby. The first three month’s development in the womb is called the embryonic stage, after which the terminology changes and the developing embryo is called the foetus.

We cannot simply roll over and legislate for abortion

The Irish Catholic

We need a referendum with an option to exclude abortion altogether, writes Fr Kevin Doran

The National Car Test (NCT) is all about safety. That’s why there are so many different ways to fail. It could be the lights, the brakes, the steering or the tyres. If any one of those is defective, then the car is defective. There’s no point in trying to tell the tester that two out of three is a good score and, after all, the lights and the brakes are fine.

Long before the NCT, St Thomas Aquinas used a similar method to describe how human actions are good or evil (moral or immoral). He explained that there are three essential ingredients in every human action.

They are the object (what I am doing), the end (my intention in doing it) and finally the circumstances in which I do it. For a human action to be morally good, all three of these elements must be good (just like in the NCT). If any one of those elements is defective, then the action is immoral. This basic principle can be very helpful to us when it comes to evaluating our decisions about the care of expectant mothers and their unborn children.

UNICEF report: See the child before the disability

(Vatican Radio) See the child before the disability. That’s what the UN Children’s charity UNICEF is urging people to do in its new report published on Thursday. The flagship document entitled: The State of the World’s Children 2013: Children with disabilities, highlights the contributions young people with disabilities can make if allowed flourish and achieve their goals.

Lombardi: Note on daily Mass Homilies

(Vatican Radio) On account of the great interest expressed in Pope Francis’ homilies at morning Mass, many people have asked about the possibility of receiving the full text of those homilies, and not just the summaries published by L’Osservatore Romano and Vatican Radio.
In a brief note, Father Lombardi, the Director of the Holy See Press Office, has explained the decision to publish partial syntheses of the Holy Father’s homily, rather than the full text.