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placeholder April 11, 2011   •   VOL. 49, NO. 7   •   Oakland, CA

April 12-13: Spring meeting, California Catholic Conference, Sacramento

April 14: (Morning) Bishop’s Administrative Council, Chancery
          (Afternoon) Presbyteral Council, Chancery
          (Evening) Chrism Mass, Cathedral

April 15: (Morning) Catholic Charities briefing

April 16: (Morning) Diocesan Pastoral Council, Chancery

April 17: Palm Sunday Stational Mass, 10 a.m., Cathedral

April 19: (Evening) National Organization for Marriage reception, San Diego

April 21: (Morning) Bishop’s Administrative Council, Chancery
          (Afternoon) Diocesan Finance Council, Chancery
          (Evening) Holy Thursday Mass, Cathedral

April 22: Good Friday Liturgy, Noon, Cathedral

April 23: Vigil of Easter Mass, 8:15 p.m., Cathedral

April 24: Easter Stational Mass, 10 a.m., Cathedral
          (Evening) Welcome, Interfaith Easter Concert, Cathedral

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Chrism Mass

All members of the Oakland Diocese are invited to join Bishop Salvatore J. Cordileone and the priests of the diocese for the annual Chrism Mass which will be at 7 p.m. April 14 at The Cathedral of Christ the Light in Oakland.

The bishop will bless the Oil of the Sick and the Oil of Catechumens, and consecrate the Chrism. These holy oils will be used in the sacraments of baptism, confirmation, ordination and the anointing of the sick in the coming year. Catechumens are unbaptized persons learning the faith.

Representatives from each parish in the diocese will present vessels containing the oils to be blessed and returned to each parish. The blessed oils will be formally presented to the parishes during the Holy Thursday Mass, marking the start of the Easter Triduum.

During the liturgy, the priests will be invited to renew publicly their promises made at ordination.

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No changes urged in discrimination rules

WASHINGTON — Proposed changes in federal housing regulations to forbid discrimination based on “sexual orientation” or “gender identity” could violate existing federal law and force faith-based organizations to end their “long and successful track record in meeting housing needs,” according to comments filed by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Anthony R. Picarello Jr. and Michael F. Moses, USCCB general counsel and associate general counsel, respectively, said the proposal by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to add to the list of protected categories for which discrimination in HUD programs is prohibited “appears at odds” with the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which says marriage is the union of one man and one woman.

“HUD should not create a new protected classification where there is no statutory policy undergirding it and where the new classification flies in the face of a policy expressly adopted by Congress,” they said.

The two attorneys filed the comments on behalf of the USCCB late March 25, the final day of a 60-day comment period on the proposed changes.

When HUD first proposed the addition of the two new protected categories Jan. 20, HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan called it “a fundamental issue of fairness” and said the agency’s aim was to clarify that “a person’s eligibility for federal housing programs is, and should be, based on their need and not on their sexual orientation or gender identity.”

The proposed rule would clarify that the term “family,” as used to describe eligible beneficiaries of public housing and Housing Choice Voucher programs, would apply to any combination of adults and children regardless of marital status, sexual orientation or gender. HUD rules already prohibit discrimination based on marital status.

Commitment to deal with abuse remains firm

WASHINGTON — The U.S. bishops’ procedures for addressing child sex abuse remain “strongly in place” and the bishops remain “especially firm” in their commitment “to remove permanently from public ministry any priest who committed such an intolerable offense,” said the president of the U.S. bishops’ conference.
“This painful issue continues to receive our careful attention,” said Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan of New York.

“The protection of our children and young people is of highest priority,” the archbishop said in a statement released March 24. He added that the “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People” approved by the bishops in 2002 “remains strongly in place.”

He said the bishops who met in Washington for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Administrative Committee meeting March 22-23 asked him to offer reassurances about the church’s resolve to address sexual abuse and deal firmly with clergy who abuse children.

The charter mandates that safe environment programs be set up in dioceses and parishes.

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Pope visits site of massacre
Pope Benedict XVI prays during a visit to the Ardeatine Caves Memorial in Rome March 27. The site honors 335 Italian citizens who were killed there by the Nazis in 1944.
CNS photo/Grzegorz Galazka, pool

Sainthood causes advance

VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI advanced the sainthood causes of 35 candidates April 2, including Canadian Christian Brother Adolphe Chatillon. Before Brother Chatillon can be beatified, the pope would have to recognize a miracle attributed to his intercession. Pope Benedict also signed decrees that pave the way for several beatifications: He recognized the martyrdom of French Norbertine Father Pierre-Adrien Toulorge, who was guillotined in 1793 during the French Revolution; he recognized the martyrdom of 22 Oblate priests and a layman, Candido Castan San Jose, killed in 1936 during the Spanish Civil War; he formally recognized the miracles needed for the beatifications of two Italian priests, two Italian nuns and a Spanish nun.

Don’t abandon God

VATICAN CITY — Young people should not to abandon their faith in God because of the “attacks of evil” within the Church, Pope Benedict XVI urged. “Carry intact the fire of your love in this Church every time that men have obscured her face,” he said in a foreword to a new catechism edited specifically for young people. The new “Youth Catechism,” also called “YouCat,” will be included in each pilgrim backpack for World Youth Day 2011 in Madrid. The pope said he wanted to supplement the Catechism of the Catholic Church by translating it “into the language of young people and make its words penetrate their world.”

New saints come October

VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI will create three new saints Oct. 23, including the founder of the Xaverian missionaries, Blessed Guido Maria Conforti.
Blessed Conforti, founder of the Xaverian Foreign Missionary Society, was born in 1865 in Italy.

Blessed Bonifacia Rodriguez Castro

Vice rector of a seminary even before his priestly ordination, he was said to have filled seminarians with an awareness of their obligation to be missionaries.
The others to be canonized on World Mission Sunday:

Blessed Louis Guanella, an Italian priest who lived 1842-1915. He founded the Servants of Charity, the Daughters of St. Mary of Providence and the Confraternity of St. Joseph, whose members pledge to pray for the sick and dying.

Bonifacia Rodriguez Castro, who lived 1837-1905. She founded the Servants of St. Joseph, a congregation originally dedicated to providing a religious and technical education to poor women.

God no danger to society

VATICAN CITY — Asking questions about God is not a threat to individuals or society, just as a secular society that respects freedom of conscience is not a danger to religion, Pope Benedict XVI said. “If we are to build a world of liberty, equality and fraternity, then believers and nonbelievers must feel free to be just that: equal in their right to live as individuals and in community in accord with their convictions, and fraternal in their relations with one another,” he said. The pope’s remarks were broadcast in a video message to thousands of people on March 26 in Paris.

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