News/International

{mosimage}COLOGNE, Germany  - As Europe marks the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, a German cardinal said ceremonies are ignoring the role played by the Catholic Church in re-uniting Germany.

Germans are commemorating the 1989 fall of the wall, which divided West Germany from the communist-ruled East Germany for 28 years. The Nov. 9 anniversary was to include a "Festival of Freedom" in Berlin, during which 1,000 giant foam dominos will be toppled along the route of the wall.

Many questions to be answered in Catholic-Anglican union

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{mosimage}Bringing a small fraction of Anglicans into the Catholic Church will not advance the cause of full communion between Catholics and the larger Anglican Communion of 77 million believers worldwide, according to Catholic and Anglican theologians with experience in ecumenical dialogue.

Meanwhile the dissident, disaffected Anglicans who are being invited to enter the Catholic Church are taking a wait-and-see attitude.

African synod closes with calls for a fairer global order 

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{mosimage}VATICAN CITY  - After three weeks of discussion and strategizing, the Synod of Bishops for Africa ended with calls for spiritual conversion and social reforms on the African continent.

The more than 200 participating bishops published a message to the world Oct. 23, appealing for a fairer global order based on Gospel values and telling corrupt Catholic politicians in Africa to "repent or resign" in the name of the common good.

Structure established to unite Anglicans with Roman Catholic Church

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{mosimage}Pope Benedict XVI has established a special structure for Anglicans who want to be in full communion with the Roman Catholic Church while preserving aspects of their Anglican spiritual and liturgical heritage, said Cardinal William Levada.

The cardinal, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, said a new apostolic constitution would establish “personal ordinariates” — similar to dioceses — to oversee the pastoral care of those who want to bring elements of their Anglican identity into the Catholic Church with them.

African bishops criticize aid with strings attached as 'cultural imperialism' 

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{mosimage}VATICAN CITY - Development aid that is tied to promoting abortion, contraception and cutbacks in social and educational programs represents a form of "cultural imperialism" from the West that must end, said some African bishops.

Nations and institutions, especially in the West, must stop trying to impose on Africa policies and ideas that fail to respect human dignity and life, said Cardinal Theodore-Adrien Sarr of Dakar, Senegal. These foreign concepts represent "a kind of cultural imperialism," he said.

Obama's Nobel Prize good news at Vatican

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{mosimage}VATICAN CITY - U.S. President Barack Obama being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize was met with high hopes from the Vatican spokesman.

Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi told journalists Oct. 9 that the news "was greeted with appreciation at the Vatican in light of the president's demonstrated commitment to promoting peace on an international level and, in particular, in recently promoting nuclear disarmament."

Partisan politics undermining U.S. health care reform

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{mosimage}TORONTO - American Catholics who care about abortion and end-of-life issues are being cynically used in the bitter health care debate in the United States, one of the U.S.’s leading experts on Catholic health care has told The Catholic Register.

“It has partly to do with just political polarization between Democrats and Republicans in this country in the wake of the election of President (Barack) Obama,” said Dominican Father Charles Bouchard, vice president of theological education at Ascension Health in St. Louis.

Canadian aid flows to Pacific nations

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{mosimage}TORONTO - It’s been a harrowing week for Faye Arellano as she worried about relatives in the Philippines hit by Typhoon Ketsana, the “Katrina of the Philippines.”

Close to 300 people died in and around Manila from the typhoon which struck on Sept. 26.

It dumped an average month’s worth of rain in one day in Greater Manila and displaced about half a million people. A week later, at least 22 people were killed by tropical storm Parma.

Pope  says African church must oppose 'toxic waste' of materialism 

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{mosimage}VATICAN CITY - Africans must tap into the strengths of their cultural and religious values to promote reconciliation on the continent and to resist the "spiritual toxic waste" spread by the West, Pope Benedict XVI said.

Presiding Oct. 4 over the opening Mass for the special Synod of Bishops for Africa, Pope Benedict said the vocation of the Catholic Church on the continent is to work for peace and to promote the holiness that will lead to justice, strong families and care for the weakest members of African societies.

Knights founder’s sainthood cause moving forward

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{mosimage}HARTFORD, Conn.- The cause for sainthood of Fr. Michael McGivney has been moved forward by completion of a supplemental report on a possible miracle attributed to the founder of the
Knights of Columbus.

On Sept. 22 officials of a supplemental tribunal of the archdiocese of Hartford sent the new report to the Vatican’s Congregation for the Causes of Saints. The contents of the report remain secret. The tribunal gathered more testimony from additional witnesses, including several medical doctors, about the circumstances of a reported miracle.

Catholic leaders at UN summit urge immediate action on climate change 

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{mosimage}UNITED NATIONS - Climate change is more than an environmental concern; it is an issue of justice that merits immediate attention by world leaders. This was the message delivered repeatedly by Catholic participants in the Sept. 22 UN Summit on Climate Change in New York.

"It is unfair that people in developing countries pay the consequences for problems that rich countries have created," said Elyzabeth Peredo, director of the Solon Foundation in Bolivia, at a Sept. 22 press conference. As an example, she said Bolivia generates only 0.1 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, but melting glaciers caused by the warming effect of emissions worldwide endanger crops for small-scale farmers in communities throughout the country's Andes mountains.