Friday, May 18, 2007

Testing... Testing... Clarifying... Clarifying...

The youth ministers may be on Staten Island at next week's start, but with their departure, the reporters take Brooklyn: the Catholic Media Convention will be meeting there in the run-up to Memorial Weekend. The gathering is the annual mash-up of the Catholic Press Association and the Catholic Academy of Communication Arts Professionals.

Speaking of the (official) Catholic press, Catholic News Service is fielding a test-blog; at least, it says it's a test-blog, but looks like it's been up and running for a good bit now. Check it out.

On the church-wire's main page, Cardinal Rodriguez of Tegucigalpa returns to the well -- this time on responding to the "new situations" facing the church in Latin America:
One common theme, Cardinal Rodriguez said, was the need for better formation for Catholics as disciples of Christ who can spread the faith with reinforcement from the Scriptures.

The church needs "a new pastoral model that can respond to the longing for the word of God. We need more biblical impetus" to pastoral work, he said.

Several bishops also asked the gathering to develop a profile of the kind of priest needed today and the type of theological, sociological and technological formation seminarians should receive in order to respond to the new challenges.

The bishops expressed concern that the church's "missionary spirit" has become "a bit passive, a bit tired," said Cardinal Rodriguez. The church leaders hope that the conference will lead to "a renewal of mission" in the region, he added.

In analyzing their countries' political, economic and social problems, the bishops described problems related to a lack of decent health care, education and housing in their countries, as well as persistent unemployment.
...and as for the Honduran red-hat's comments to TIME the other day on the million-dollar question of abortion-and-communion, they've been -- surprise! -- clarified. But not to TIME. And, in a refreshing change from the usual, not in a manner of backtracking.
[I]n statements to Carlos Polo, reproduced exclusively by the Catholic News Agency, Cardinal Maradiaga, who is in Aparecida participating in the V General Conference of the Latin American Bishops’ Council, said his comments to Time magazine should be reformulated “in light of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith teaches in its document, ‘Worthiness to Receive Communion’.”

“A politician who publicly supports abortion, he excommunicates himself. It’s not question of receiving Communion or not; he has already done serious harm to the communion of faith of the Church, to the communion of moral life, and therefore that person himself is doing an act that is inconsistent with what he says he believes,” the cardinal said.

“That is, we’re talking about a person who has become a broken-off branch of the tree of life of the Church, a dry branch that has lost its vital sap and is doing something that is a lie. One who is against life and who is clearly opposed to the message of the Lord Jesus, as is an abortion supporter, cannot be in Communion with Holy Mother Church,” he stated.

“Therefore, if one uses the desire to receive Communion as a justification, it is the worst manner of doing so, because one is doing an act that contradicts what one says he believes,” the cardinal said.

“In addition,” he continued, “a recent declaration of the Holy See clearly states that when all precautionary measures have not had their effect or in which they were not possible, and the person in question, with obstinate persistence, still presents himself to receive the Holy Eucharist, the minister of Holy Communion must refuse to distribute it.”

“This is the current law of the Church and it would be best if these people who know it do not try to receive Holy Communion because they are committing an act that is completely immoral and inconsistent with truth,” he said in conclusion.