Nation and World News

Papal Message

Pope Benedict XVI said parents worried about the waywardness of their children should take heart in the circuitous spiritual path of St. Augustine.

Pope preparing for prayer at historic site in Munich

Pope Benedict XVI was to stop and pray Saturday, Sept. 9, at St. Mary

Pope: Christ seen in faces of the poor

All Christians should be on a never-ending search for Christ, who can be seen in the faces of all people, especially the poor and needy, Pope Benedict XVI said.

Humanitarian crisis looms in Darfur

Despite a May peace agreement meant to end the conflict in the Sudanese region of Darfur, refugees who fled into neighboring Chad are not returning to Sudan, said aid workers.

World and National News Briefs

Protecting aid workers is a challenge

WASHINGTON (CNS) — Michael O’Neill’s education in the security needs of international aid organizations came, literally, at the point of a gun. "Well, guns," elaborated the security director for Save the Children. "Many guns." As an employee of a Red Cross affiliate in Sierra Leone in 1993, O’Neill learned when he was kidnapped by rebel soldiers that there was no protocol in the local organization for protecting employees or dealing with a security crisis. Since then, he’s made a career of helping aid groups working in the world’s most troubled regions keep their own employees safe, whether from traffic accidents or missile attacks. The question of how well prepared the world’s nongovernmental aid organizations are for handling their own security came to the headlines in early August when 17 employees of Paris-based Action Against Hunger were kidnapped and killed in Muttur, Sri Lanka. The government and the Tamil Tigers rebel group each blamed the other for the attack. Since 2000, more than 50 aid workers in Afghanistan, Iraq, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Indonesia and Sudan have been killed in attacks on their vehicles or offices.

New order to minister to deaf Catholics

HONOLULU (CNS) — Father Thomas Coughlin’s lifelong dream to start a religious community where sign language is the primary means of expression at both the eucharistic table and the dinner table is finally becoming a reality. Deaf since birth, Father Coughlin has founded the new order, the Dominican Missionaries for the Deaf Apostolate. The priest of the Diocese of Honolulu was one of five men who made their first profession of vows as Dominican Missionaries for the Deaf Apostolate Aug. 27 at St. Albert’s Priory in Oakland, Calif. "Necessity is the mother of invention," he told the Hawaii Catholic Herald, newspaper of the Honolulu Diocese, in an interview by e-mail. "I saw how badly we need a religious community of deaf priests and brothers dedicated to a deeper spiritual life and the deaf apostolate in the language of signs and the deaf culture milieu."

Cardinal discusses all-male priesthood

PHILADELPHIA (CNS) — The Church’s prohibition against women priests is not culturally conditioned by the "patriarchal society" in which Jesus lived and taught, said Philadelphia Cardinal Justin Rigali. "Jesus treated women in a manner highly unusual for his culture," he said, noting that Christ "forgave the woman caught in adultery." The cardinal described as an "unfortunate incident" the July 31 riverboat ceremony near Pittsburgh at which eight women said they were ordained to the Catholic priesthood. But the event provides an opportunity to discuss Catholic teaching, he said. Some critics of the all-male priesthood "have attempted to dismiss this teaching by stating that Jesus lived in a patriarchal society and that, because he was limited by the culture of his time, he chose only men to be priests," the cardinal said in his weekly column appearing in the Aug. 17 archdiocesan newspaper, The Catholic Standard & Times. Christ "could hardly be limited by culture," he said.

Neighbor plans papal homecoming

PENTLING, Germany (CNS) — The neighbor who cares for Pope Benedict XVI’s home in Pentling has planned the pontiff’s Sept. 13 homecoming in great detail. "Waiting for him on the dining table in his house will be a very special surprise from me," said the neighbor, Rupert Hofbauer. "There will be several jars of honey from his own bees, from his own garden, and I am sure he is going to love this." For many years Hofbauer, a part-time beekeeper, has been keeping his bees in Pope Benedict’s garden — with the approval of the pope. "I know he misses his house dearly, and he told me so when I visited him in Rome" last year, Hofbauer told CNS Aug. 31. "He asked after his garden, the flowers, even the bees, and after our two animals: Chico, the cat, and Igor, the golden retriever."

New secretary of state starts Sept. 15

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Benedict XVI’s papacy opens a new chapter Sept. 15 when Italian Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone takes over as secretary of state. It’s arguably the pope’s biggest appointment to date, and it reunites him with a man who for many years was his No. 2 at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Does that mean the Vatican is about to turn into one great big doctrinal congregation? An Italian journalist dared to pose that question to Cardinal Bertone in August. The cardinal didn’t really answer, but he suggested the doctrinal experience wouldn’t hurt in the great task of announcing the Gospel "in its entirety" in every country of the world. Cardinal Bertone, 71, is at the center of what might be the longest and most scrutinized transition in Vatican history. The pope offered him the position last December, he mulled it over and accepted earlier this year, and the pope announced the appointment in June — three months before it took effect.

Papal Message

Here is the Vatican text of Pope Benedict XVI

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