Philippines: New Floods Hinder Recovery in Wake of Typhoon Haiyan

Posted: Friday, January 24, 2014
Independent Catholic News

Massive flooding in the Philippines is hindering the efforts of people to rebuild their lives in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan, says Christian Aid. Tropical Depression Agaton has brought heavy rain and fierce winds, causing widespread flooding and landfalls which are affecting more than 900,000 people across southern and central parts of the island chain.
Many were already living in temporary shelters and struggling to earn a living following Haiyan, which displaced 4.1million and left over 6,000 dead in November.

Church wants to be ‘Example of Best Practice’ in Combating Abuse

The Tablet

16 January 2014 12:54 by Liz Dodd and Robert Mickens

The Catholic Church wants to be “an example of best practice” in the prevention of child abuse and the defence of childhood, a Vatican official told a UN committee in an unprecedented encounter in Geneva today.

Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Vatican’s envoy to the UN, made the statement in response to questions put to him and a delegation of four others, including Bishop Charles Scicluna, the Vatican’s former chief prosecutor of sexual abuse.

It was the first time that the Vatican has been confronted publicly about the Holy See’s record on tackling child sex abuse by clergy.

What difference will the Vatican’s grilling at the UN make?

The Tablet
16 January 2014 by Abigail Frymann

Today was a first in some ways – but not in as many as some would have hoped. It was the first time the Vatican has publicly had to account for its handling of waves of allegations of abuse by priests. Campaigners such as Barbara Blaine the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests hailed it as a huge milestone.

But as Bishop Charles Scicluna, for ten years the Vatican official in charge of prosecuting abuse cases, and Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, the Vatican’s man in Geneva, appeared before the UN committee on Protection on Rights of the Child, some lines were all to familiar.

Archbishop Tomasi said that the Vatican could not be held responsible for the actions of priests in the way that an employer is, because priests aren’t employees as such; thus Vatican City State can’t be held to account for what’s done outside its borders.

O’Brien should be forgiven, says incoming Bishop of Dunkeld

The Tablet
17 January 2014 14:51 by Brian Morton

The new Bishop of Dunkeld says that not to forgive Cardinal Keith O’Brien would be “gravely wrong” but that the disgraced archbishop needs to make reparation for the harm he has done.
Speaking after his installation at St Andrew’s Cathedral, Dundee, last week, Bishop Stephen Robson acknowledged that “hypocrisy” was the greatest criticism facing the Church in Scotland.

Cardinal O’Brien, who resigned following allegations of sexual misconduct made by priests, had been an outspoken opponent of gay marriage.

Bishop Robson worked with Cardinal O’Brien for 35 years.

Church Leaders Pin Hopes on Syria Peace Talks in Geneva

The Tablet – 20 January 2014 15:02 by Liz Dodd

Catholic leaders have called for a global campaign of prayer for an end to Syria’s bloody conflict as world leaders prepare to take part in an international UN-backed peace conference in Switzerland.

Today Cardinal-designate Vincent Nichols, the Archbishop of Westminster, called for prayers for those attending this week’s Geneva II Middle East peace conference which is due to start on Wednesday in Montreux.

He described Syria as a “vale of tears”.

“We pray that those attending the talks will focus all their efforts on creating peace and respect for the dignity of every Syrian so that families may again flourish within their own land.”

Statement from Vatican Workshop on Syria

(Vatican Radio) A day-long, closed-door workshop took place on Monday at the Pontificcal Academy of Sciences to examine the civil war in Syria and look for ways to end the conflict. Participants included Churchmen and leading figures from the fields of politics, diplomacy, culture and economics. The president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, Cardinal Jean Louis Tauran, addressed the participants.

Below, please find the full text of the statement released at the end of the deliberations.

What the New Cardinals tell us About the Future

The Irish Catholic 16th January 2014
Unsurprisingly, Ireland didn’t get a new cardinal when Pope Francis announced the latest clerics to be preferred at the weekend. Nor did the Pope appoint a female cardinal, despite confident predictions from people who should know better that two middle class Irishwomen were poised to be appointed to the College of Cardinals. Ireland is unlikely to get a new red hat until Cardinal Seán Brady turns 80 in 2019.

Pope Francis’ first biglietto of new cardinals represents a long-term vision for change rather than a dramatic seismic shift. There is a decisive geographical shift towards Latin America, Africa and Asia, but, the Pope has also shown himself to be a respecter of convention and tradition by appointing four senior members of the Roman Curia to the College of Cardinals.

Catholic higher education in North under threat – University Head

The Irish Catholic – by Cathal Barry 16th January 2014The principal of the North’s only Catholic higher education institution has expressed concern that an education review could pose a threat to the future of his college.

Prof. Peter Finn, head of St Mary’s University College, Belfast, has also accused the North’s Higher Education Minister Stephen Farry of being “on a mission” to shut the teacher training facility.

Minister Farry has said the existing system of five separate teacher training providers in the North is unsustainable and has appointed an expert panel to examine the case for reform.