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‘Churches ‘must cooperate to regain lost ground’ Report, page 32


Call for end to violence on 9/11 anniversary

Robert Mickens in Rome Michael Sean Winter in Washington

POPE BENEDICT XVIhas marked the tenth anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York by calling for an end of violence and hatred. “Today our thoughts go to that 11 September

of 10 years ago,” the Pope said at the end of an outdoor Mass on Sunday in the Adriatic port city of Ancona. “In commending to the Lord the lives of

the victims of the attacks carried out that day and their families, I ask leaders of nations and people of good will always to refuse vio- lence as a solution to problems, to resist the temptation of hatred and to work in society, drawing inspiration from the principles of solidarity, justice and peace,” he said at the liturgy, which concluded a national eucharistic congress in Italy. In a written message sent earlier to

Archbishop Timothy Dolan, the Archbishop of New York and president of the US episcopal conference, the Pope repeated the Vatican’s longstanding warning that “no circumstance can ever justify acts of terrorism”, especially when they are carried out in the name of reli- gion. “The tragedy of that day is compounded by the perpetrators’ claim to be acting in God’s name,” Pope Benedict wrote in the personally signed letter. He praised the people of the United States “for the courage and generosity

that they showed in the rescue operations and for their resilience in moving forward with hope and confidence”. He also prayed that “a firm commitment to justice and a global culture of solidarity will help rid the world of the grievances that so often give rise to acts of violence and will create the condi- tions for greater peace and prosperity, offering a brighter and more secure future”. Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York presided over a Mass commemorating the 9/11 attacks at St Patrick’s Cathedral. In his homily, Archbishop Dolan said, “They say there are no atheists in foxholes. I’ve heard it said as well that there were no atheists on 9/11 here in New York. That’s why we decided to gather for this greatest of all prayers, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, at these very moments when bells are ringing throughout the United States, when people are united in their parishes, churches, synagogues, and mosques, their heads bowed in reverent silence, recalling … the events of 10 years ago today at these very moments when the second of the Twin Towers was attacked.” In Washington, Cardinal Theodore

McCarrick led worshippers at a Mass at the National

Shrine of the Immaculate

Conception. He recalled presiding at Mass in that same sanctuary on the day of the attacks and repeated the call he made then for Americans not to single out any religious or ethnic group for blame.

Senator names accused senior priest AUSTRALIA

AN AUSTRALIAN senator has defied pleas by the Archdiocese of Adelaide and, under parliamentary privilege, named a senior Catholic priest who is alleged to have sexually abused the Primate of the Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC), Archbishop John Hepworth, more than 40 years ago, writes Mark Brolly. On Tuesday South Australian Independent Senator Nick Xenophon carried out a threat to name in the Senate in Canberra one of Archbishop Hepworth’s three alleged abusers when he was a seminarian and young priest in the archdiocese in the 1960s and early 1970s. Archbishop Hepworth, who still lives in the South Australian capital, joined the Anglican Church in the late 1970s, and

when Anglicans began ordaining women in the early 1990s, moved to the breakaway TAC, which he has led worldwide since 2002. He has been a key figure in developments that led to the Pope’s decision to offer former Anglicans their own ordinariate but his future under the new dispensation, as a former Catholic priest and divorcee, has been unclear. Two of his alleged abusers are now dead. Senator Xenophon named a former vicar gen- eral of Adelaide, Mgr Ian Dempsey, as the alleged surviving abuser. A statement from the archdiocese said, “The priest concerned has categorically denied the allegation and has been a person of good standing in the Archdiocese for a very long time.”


Court tells bishop to release papers in defamation case

THE DEFAMATIONlawsuit launched by Quebec priest and former MP Raymond Gravel against LifeSiteNews and Campaigne Quebec-Vie took a legal turn last week, which may drag Fr Gravel’s bishop and possibly even the Vatican into the lawsuit, writes Peter Kavanagh. Fr Gravel asserts that the two pro-life groups, which he is suing for Can$500,000, have besmirched his reputation by describing him as pro-abortion, a renegade priest and heretical. Fr Gravel denies the labels and insists in his statement of claim that he has “always been faithful to the teachings of the Magisterium”. He says he is pro-choice, not pro-abortion. Lawyers for the defendants asked the

court to compel Gilles Lussier, the Bishop of Joliette, to answer questions and produce documents, even ones originating in Rome, that relate to the decision to allow Fr Gravel to run for Parliament and then his subsequent stepping down. They insist that these questions and documents go to the heart of Fr Gravel’s contention about being faithful to the teachings of the Church. The Catholic Civil Rights League voiced concern about the order, which can be seen as the courts interfering unacceptably in the way the Church runs its affairs.


New crackdown on opposition

THE COMMUNISTGovernment of Raul Castro appears to be engaging in a new clampdown on dissent, writes Jon Stibbs. On 8 September at least six government opponents were arrested and held without charge in Havana, after chanting slogans for the release of political prisoners. The six were freed after a “few hours”. Two prominent activists, Angel Moya and José Daniel Ferrer, who had been freed following church-mediated talks, were detained from 9 until 12 September. The president of the Ladies in White, Laura Pollan, said at least 16 members of the organisation that campaigns for release of dissidents had been arrested in Santiago de Cuba on their way to Mass on 4 September.

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