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Canadian bishops: Abortion should not be 'core' of foreign policy

OTTAWA, Ontario (CNS) -- The Canadian bishops' conference has denounced a speech by the nation's foreign minister as "erroneous, confusing and misguided" for suggesting that sexual reproductive rights have become a cornerstone of the nation's foreign policy. In a June 29 letter to Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, Bishop Douglas Crosby of Hamilton, president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, expressed "profound concern" over a speech Freeland gave to the House of Commons June 6. He criticized Freeland for equating women's rights with a right to abortion and sexual reproductive rights and claiming these rights "are at the core of Canadian foreign policy." The bishops also criticized Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for committing $650 million to support abortion funding overseas when only $119.25 million was pledged to help 20 million who risk starvation in South Sudan, Yemen, eastern Nigeria and Somalia. Bishop Crosby's letter vehemently disagreed that abortion is "at the core" of Canada's foreign policy, which has focused on "international peace, just order, free trade, foreign aid and global stability." Bishop Crosby also claimed Freeland's policy on overseas abortion contradicted the position the minister took elsewhere in her speech, when she claimed it is not Canada's "role to impose our values around the world." There is no consensus on abortion both at home and abroad, the CCCB president stressed.
 

Catholic dioceses in South 'in a growth mode,' says Atlanta archbishop

CHARLESTON, S.C. (CNS) -- The Catholic dioceses of the Carolinas and Georgia are experiencing record growth, Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory of Atlanta said during a meeting of the U.S. Catholic Church's Atlanta province. "We realized that all five of the dioceses represented here have recently opened new chancery offices," Archbishop Gregory said in an interview with The Catholic Miscellany, newspaper of the statewide Diocese of Charleston. "We are all in a growth mode. That's a good thing," he said during the province's June 26-29 meeting in Charleston. "We are spending part of our time here talking about the need to establish new parishes, expand pastoral outreach and respond to growing numbers both from immigration and those moving here from other parts of the country. We all are sharing in this growth." Archbishop Gregory said the leaders realized the scope of growth in their province while touring the Diocese of Charleston's new pastoral center, which opened in 2016. That growth is the opposite of what is happening in some northern U.S. dioceses, where the number of people in the pews is declining in many areas, and parishes and schools are being closed or forced to consolidate.
 

Pope: Hunger caused by 'indifference of many, selfishness of a few'

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The international community must not remain resigned to the plight of those suffering hunger and malnutrition, which is often caused by indifference and selfishness, Pope Francis said. In a message to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization conference this month, the pope said wars, terrorism and forced displacements are not "inevitable but rather the consequence of concrete decisions" that have led to the lack of food and adequate nutrition to the helpless. "We are dealing with a complex mechanism that mainly burdens the most vulnerable, who are not only excluded from the processes of production, but frequently obliged to leave their lands in search of refuge and hope," the pope said in the message read to the conference by Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican secretary of state. Cardinal Parolin also told participants that Pope Francis would visit the FAO headquarters in Rome Oct. 16 to attend a conference on World Food Day on the theme "Changing the Future of Migration."
 

Beloved friar known for cures, wise counsel to be beatified Nov. 18

DETROIT (CNS) -- Father Solanus Casey, a Capuchin Franciscan "who would provide soup for the hungry, kind words for the troubled and a healing touch for the ill," will be beatified Nov. 18, the Capuchin Franciscan Province of St. Joseph in Detroit has announced. The ceremony will take place at Ford Field in Detroit, which the province said would be configured to accommodate 60,000 people. A member of the Detroit-based province and one of the co-founders of the city's Capuchin Soup Kitchen, Father Casey was born Nov. 25, 1870, and died July 31, 1957. He will be the second American-born male to be beatified, after Father Stanley Rother, a North American priest from Oklahoma who in 1981 was martyred while serving the people of a Guatemalan village and will be beatified Sept. 23. Father Casey also will be the first person from Michigan to achieve the designation. "We are filled with joy at receiving the final date of the beatification of Father Solanus," said Capuchin Franciscan Father Michael Sullivan, provincial minister of the Province of St. Joseph. "It is a beautiful way to celebrate the 60th anniversary of his passing."
 

As consecrated virgins, three women promise lifelong fidelity to Christ

DETROIT (CNS) -- Three brides in long, white dresses stood before the altar of the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Detroit. There was not a single groom in sight. Like the 10 wise virgins from Matthew's Gospel, each carried a lighted lamp. Together, they joined their voices in an antiphon, "I am espoused to Him whom the angels serve." These women are "brides of Christ," and through this ceremony, they have sealed their intention to dedicate their lives to God in perpetual virginity. "It's a promise that we make to be faithful to Christ all our life," Theresa Jordan explained shortly after the June 24 ceremony. "(We) make Him a promise of our virginity as a gift back to Him." "Making a resolution to live in perfect chastity my whole life, I get to testify that God satisfies. He is enough," Karen Ervin added. This particular ceremony of consecration had never been performed before within the Archdiocese of Detroit.
 

U.N. must help limit weapons of mass destruction, Vatican diplomat says

UNITED NATIONS (CNS) -- Citing the words of Pope Francis, the Vatican's permanent observer to the United Nations said it is necessary to boost cooperation among nations to end the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, especially among terrorist organizations. Archbishop Bernardito Auza told an open debate during a meeting of the U.N. Security Council recently that efforts to increase coordination nationally, regionally and internationally must be strengthened so that the number of such weapons declines. "The proliferation of weapons, both conventional and of mass destruction, aggravates situations of conflict and results in huge human and material costs that profoundly undermine development and the search for lasting peace," Archbishop Auza told the council. He quoted Pope Francis' statements on the contradiction between efforts to seek peace and "at the same time, promote or permit the arms trade." The diplomat said nonproliferation, arms control and disarmament are key to global security and to achieving the world body's sustainable development goals.
 

‘A Single, United Creation’

By Father Thomas V. Mattison, pastor of Christ our Savior Parish in Manchester Center and Arlington
 
So, you will ask me — legitimately — how about the Crusades and the clashes between the papacy and the Holy Roman Empire etc.? Were these not instances of meddling in politics by the Catholic Church? As you can imagine, my answer will be, “No.”
 
The Middle Ages represent the vacuum created in the western world by the collapse of the old and totalitarian Roman Empire. Hostages to their political past, and lacking in political imagination, both sides of these conflicts claimed as their due the mantle of European supremacy. They called it “ius divinum” (divine right). They both claimed it — the emperor no less than the pope.
 
The collapse of the Holy Roman Empire and the rise of what we call the nation states of the modern world left the Church still claiming its ius divinum in the face of new claimants to the same right — the kings and parliaments of emerging countries. For background on this check out the internet’s treatment of such figures as Pope Pius VII and IX, Napoleon and Voltaire and Thomas Becket and Henry III.
 
Frankly, it took the absolute collapse of every semblance of European coherence in two world wars to make the Catholic Church realize that she was struggling for the cadaver of the Roman Empire, not its mantle. Awakening in a world where the prize was no more, the Church, under the leadership of St. John XXIII and some really brilliant (American) theologians came to the realization that politics and peace treaties are probably the best way to get humans to create wider and wider circles of mutual inclusion. But they are not all that humanity needs or all that it longs for.
 
The Church now defines her role keeping alive and living out the vision of a single united creation that must be the ultimate goal of all human interactions at whatever political level. This leads her, though, to the role of ever-vigilant critic of any “secular/godless” party or coalition to bring about the divine plan for the world — the ultimate stage of human history.
 
Do all Catholics at every level of the Catholic Church always practice this vision with utter purity of heart and deed? Probably not. But if you keep this insight in mind, you will notice that when the Church does seem to be a hostile participant in partisan or international politics it is always because she refuses to see the victory of one party over another or of one political system over another as “right.” And the hostility is not generated by the Church that seeks the overthrow of anyone else, but
by the “other” who wants only endorsement and brooks no demurral.
 
The Catholic Church is the oldest and most effective NGO in the world. It is truly universal and, as a rule, conducts her affairs with admirable non-discrimination and inclusiveness. This fact does not entitle her to run everything. Nor does she claim that right. But as the only really universal body on the ground in every place, it does give her a unique perspective on which to judge the “world wideness” of every other organization.
 
For more about Christ our Savior Parish, go to christoursaviorvt.com.
 

Ordination


Burlington Bishop Christopher J. Coyne stands with newly ordained Father Joseph J. Sanderson at St. Joseph Co-Cathedral in Burlington. (Photo by Cori Fugere Urban)
BURLINGTON—Burlington Bishop Christopher J. Coyne ordained the Vermont Catholic community’s newest priest at a special Mass June 17 at St. Joseph Co-Cathedral.
           
The newly ordained Rev. Joseph J. Sanderson has been assigned to serve as parochial vicar at Christ the King-St. Anthony Parish in Burlington.
           
“The call to be a Christian is a call to a life of self-emptying sacrifice, which is deepened even further in the priestly ministry when through ordination one is configured even more deeply into the person of Christ as the great High Priest,” Coyne said during the ordination Mass.
 
Born in Middlebury in 1990, Sanderson is the eldest of the three children of Jennifer and John Sanderson. He grew up in Orwell and attended Fair Haven Union High School, Our Lady of Providence Seminary, Providence College and St. John's Seminary in Boston.
 
“I chose to be a priest for the Diocese of Burlington because Vermont has always been and will always be my home,” Sanderson said. “It will be a great honor, privilege and joy for me to serve the people of this great State of Vermont, to labor for souls in this little corner of our Lord's vineyard.”
 

Feast of St. Anne

ISLE LAMOTTE—On July 26 the Feast of St. Anne will be celebrated at St. Anne’s Shrine. Mass will be celebrated at 11:15 a.m. and 7 p.m., followed by a candlelight procession.
 

Safety First grants

By Cori Fugere Urban
BURLINGTON—Each year representatives of the Diocese of Burlington’s Office of Insurance and Facilities conduct risk improvement inspections at parish charitable trust locations throughout the Diocese – at churches, rectories, parish halls, schools and elder care homes.
 
If improvements are needed, applications may be made for Safety First grants from the Diocese to make safety-related improvements; grants are not to exceed $5,000 and can cover up to half of the improvement project cost.
 
For 2017-18 – the fifth year of the grants – the Diocese gave $75,000 in grants for projects throughout the state.
 
Last years grants totaled $60,000.
 
Funds come from the Diocese’s self-insurance account. “Because we are self insured, generally money we save by not having claims” can be used for the grants, explained Peter Wells, director of insurance and facilities.
 
Projects that have received these grants include ones for upgraded fire alarm systems, upgraded emergency lighting, repair of potholes, replacement of broken kneelers and upgraded playground equipment.
 
Wells estimated that the Diocese receives grant applications for about twice what is awarded, so “we have to vet applications every year and p ick the ones that are most safety related.”
 
The next application cycle begins in January with application deadline at the end of February.
 
For more information or applications, call 802-846-5821.
 

VCYS


Participants in the recent Vermont Catholic Youth Serve gather for a photograph.

BURLINGTON—Teens from throughout the Diocese of Burlington gathered for the second Vermont Catholic Youth Serve June 23-25 in the Burlington area.
 
They traveled to multiple locations to show Christ's love to others through fun and effective service projects that express the Christian works of mercy. Evenings featured music, worship and fellowship that focus on these works
 
Service projects totaled 10 hours of Christian service.
 
This year 35 youth participated along with eight adult chaperones and three volunteers. A group of Knights of Columbus from the DeGoesbriand Council in Burlington managed the barbecue and provided a monetary donation. The Knights of Columbus Gibbons Council in Derby provided a monetary donation too.
 
The youth participated in three sections of community service: Friday, 1 to p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. to noon; and Saturday, 1 to 4 p.m. They were placed into groups, and they served at the following organizations: St. Joseph’s Residence (cleaning, visiting with residents, participating in bingo); the Farm at Vermont Youth Conservation Corps (general harvesting, weeding, etc.); King Street Center (cleaning, organizing); Ronald McDonald House of Charities (making snacks and meals for visiting families); ReSource (cleaning, organizing); Spectrum (cleaning, organizing); and Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Cemetery, (weeding, general upkeep).
 
The weekend also included team-building skills and ice breakers. Patrick Jacobeen, a speaker, singer and youth ministry leader, spoke and played music. In addition participates joined in Eucharistic Adoration and Mass, listened to talks, went to  confession and had other opportunities for personal spiritual growth.
 

QUALITY DIOCESE AWARD--The Burlington Diocesan Catholic Committee on Scouting has earned the Quality Diocese Award from the National Catholic Committee on Scouting based in Texas for its work promoting the Catholic faith among the Vermont Scout program. Scouts in Vermont earned medals and attended events held by the committee. Burlington Bishop Christopher J. Coyne was presented with a patch and a certificate by Chairman David Ely. The certificate will hang on a wall at the diocesan offices in South Burlington for one year.
 

 
Bishop's Fund Annual Appeal