Help for forgotten Australians Australian Catholic University researchers have received a share in more than A$3 million (£2m)) from the Australian Government to help reconnect former child residents of government, church and voluntary institutions, including child migrants, with their families. More than 500,000 children, including 7,000 mainly British child migrants, grew up in such institutions in the last century, many suf- fering abuse and neglect. The national Find and Connect campaign is designed to help the “Forgotten Australians” access professional counselling services, trace personal and family histories and, if pos- sible, reunite with family members.
Plea to UN over forced conversion Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, head of the Vatican’s permanent observer mission to the UN in Geneva, has urged the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to inter- vene in the case of Farah Hatim, a Pakistani Christian whose family say she was kidnapped and forced to marry and convert to Islam two months ago. Ms Hatim, a 24-year-old student nurse, was abducted from the hospital where she worked in South Punjab on 7 May.
Total abortion ban demanded Poland’s Catholic bishops have urged MPs to vote for a total ban on abortion, scrap- ping clauses in a 1993 law which allowed it in cases of rape and foetal damage. The church leaders were responding to a peti- tion by 600,000 Poles in support of the bill, which received its first reading in the Sejm lower house on Tuesday.
Chinese seminarians graduate At the close of the academic year in China’s major seminaries, 110 seminarians from seven seminaries have completed their studies in philosophy and theology. On 21 June, the Rector of He Bei Seminary, Bishop Peter Feng Xinmao of Hengshui Diocese, presented the Baccalaureate cer- tificate to 26 seminarians. In January he replaced an illegitimate bishop and rector after seminarians went on strike to change the seminary management, which included a local Communist politician.
Papal tweet launches news.va
Pope Benedict XVI tweeted for the first time on Tuesday, launching a Vatican news information website. The site www.news.va
pulls together information from the Vatican’s print, online, radio and television media outlets. The tweet read: “Dear Friends, I just launched News.va
. Praised be our Lord Jesus Christ! With my prayers and blessings, Benedictus XVI.”
For daily news updates visit www.thetablet.co.uk
Letter from Rome T
he Church of Rome’s patronal feast of Sts Peter & Paul on Wednesday marked the climax of the Vatican’s normal working year and the beginning of the somewhat more relaxed summer period. The 29 June holiday was also the sixtieth anniversary of Pope Benedict XVI’s ordination to the priesthood. He celebrated his diamond jubilee with a Mass in Latin in St Peter’s Basilica that featured a full orchestra and polyphonic chant, specially donated red vestments from a designer in Naples and the presence of 40 metropolitan- archbishops who came to receive the pallium. This ivory-coloured band of wool, which
metropolitans wear over their chasubles at Mass, denotes a special bond of unity with the Bishop of Rome. But Pope Benedict spoke only briefly about the pallium during his homily and focused more onn his anniversary. “Perhaps I have dwelled for too long on my inner recollections of 60 years of priestly ministry,” he said. “But I felt prompted at this moment to look back on the things that have left their mark on the last six decades.” However, he did not share any personal memories or recount any specific events of his life. Rather, he spoke of the notion of priesthood itself and how the ordained were welcomed into Christ’s “inner circle” of friends. This demanded “faithfulness to Christ and to his Church”, he said, something that entailed suffering as part of the price one paid to experience true joy. The Pope said this was like the long maturation process for producing a really “noble wine”. The College of Cardinals were due to raise their glasses to Benedict XVI two days later at a festive pranzo they arranged to honour him.
eventeen of the 40 metropolitan- archbishops that came to Rome last week to get the pallium were from
Latin America – with seven from Brazil alone and four others from Colombia. Another five came from North America. There were only six Europeans in the group, including Archbishop George Stack of Cardiff, and two Italians. The list was rounded out with eight men from Africa and four from Asia. Several of these senior churchmen are all but assured of eventually becoming cardinals. They include Archbishops Gérald Lacroix of Quebec, Ricardo Ezzati Andrello SDB of Santiago de Chile, Jesús Rubén Salazar Gómez of Bogotá, Cesare Nosiglia of Turin and Jose Serofia Palma of Cebu (Philippines). Add to that list Opus Dei Archbishop José Horacio Gómez of Los Angeles and Archbishop Murilo Sabastião Ramos Krieger SCI of São Salvador di Bahia (Brazil). The LA archbishop is one of six
metropolitans in this year’s group that received the pallium for the second time, while the São Salvador prelate got one for the third time. What this means is that all these men served previously as metropolitans in other archdioceses before being appointed to their current posts. At next year’s ceremony, Cardinal Angelo Scola, who was transferred on Tuesday from Venice to Milan, will also be given his second pallium. And there will probably be others. Ecclesiologists scratch their heads over the
lateral moves of metropolitan-archbishops. When a man who has received two palliums dies, he is buried with the most recent one draped about his neck. The earlier one is folded up and placed under his head. But as far as I know there is no protocol for someone who has received the pallium three times.
Evangelisation and appointed Archbishop Rino Fisichella as its founding president. The archbishop, who turns 60 next
month, has moved diligently to assemble his office staff and select members and consultants for the fledgling council. Things have been going on mainly behind the scenes in his dicastery up to now. But there should be more public activity beginning in the coming autumn and in the immediate run-up to the 2012 Synod, which will focus on the new evangelisation. In the meantime, Archbishop Fisichella is not hiding behind his desk. Last Saturday he ordained two men for the Priestly Fraternity of St Charles Borromeo (FSCB), the clerical-missionary wing of the ecclesial movement Comunione e Liberazione (CL). The ordination of the new priests – one
from Germany, the other from Chile – took place at Sta Maria Maggiore in Rome. The new ordinandi join some 105 other FSCB priests who are present in 16 countries around the world. Most prominent among them is Archbishop Paolo Pezzi, whom Pope Benedict appointed head of Catholics in Russia in 2007. The FSCB was begun in 1985 to spread the CL charism and it earned the Vatican’s full recognition in 1999. It currently has over 40 seminarians and is present in dioceses headed by some of the Church’s more dynamically conservative bishops, such as Denver, Vienna, Cologne, Budapest, São Paulo and Nairobi. The fact that Archbishop Fisichella
presided at last week’s ordinations is significant. It shows that the future cardinal will be relying on the FSCB, and other ecclesial movements, to be key players in the new evangelisation.
Robert Mickens 2 July 2011 | THE TABLET | 31
t is now a year since Pope Benedict announced the establishment of the Pontifical Council for the New
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