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placeholder August 8, 2011   •   VOL. 49, NO. 14   •   Oakland, CA

Aug. 8-10: Seminarian Seminar, San Damiano

Aug. 11: (Morning) Bishop’s Administrative Council, Chancery

Aug. 13: Diocesan Pastoral Council

Aug. 14: 10 a.m. Stational Mass, Cathedral

Aug. 18: (Morning) Bishop’s Administrative Council, Chancery

             (Evening) Community Event, Cathedral Plaza

Aug. 19: 9 a.m., Mass with seminarians, St. Bede’s, Hayward

Aug. 22: 12:10 p.m. Queenship of Mary Mass, Cathedral

Aug. 25: (Morning) Bishop’s Administrative Council, Chancery

Aug. 26: (Afternoon) Knights of Columbus leadership team, Chancery

Aug. 27: 9 a.m. Mass, Confraternity of Eucharistic Devotion, Chancery

             (Morning) Talk, Pro-life High School Boot Camp, Events Center

Aug. 28: 10 a.m. Stational Mass, Cathedral

Sept 1: (Morning) Bishop’s Administrative Council, Chancery

             (Afternoon) Executive Committee, Presbyteral Council

Sept. 4: 10 a.m. Stational Mass, Cathedral

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Workshops on new music

Father Paul D. Minnihan, director of Diocesan Worship, says liturgical musicians, parish music directors, school music teachers, cantors, choir members and accompanists are invited to attend one of two workshops to welcome the new Roman missal from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 20 at the Catholic Community of Pleasanton (St. Augustine Church) or Sept. 10 at St. Bonaventure Church, Concord. Workshops for homilists on parish formation and for priest and deacon clergy and musicians will be announced later. Cost is $12 a person. For more information: www.oakdiocese.org/worship or contact the diocesan Worship Office, (510) 273-4980.

What’s not to ‘like’

The Cathedral Center is now on Facebook. Kim Bardakian, senior manager, marketing and public relations, says “With the Facebook presence, the Cathedral Center will now have another avenue to promote upcoming events, concerts, tours, the gift shop, café etc. It’s intended for the entire diocese and the general public to keep current on what’s happening here.”

To “like” the Cathedral Center, go to Facebook.com and search for The Cathedral of Christ the Light or go to www.facebook.com/pages/The-Cathedral-Center-of-Christ-the-Light/112093678889346.

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Cardinal criticizes mandate

WASHINGTON — The Department of Health and Human Services’ proposed “religious exemption” to the requirement that all health insurance plans cover contraceptives and sterilization for women is “so narrow as to exclude most Catholic social service agencies and health care providers,” according to the chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities. Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston criticized the Aug. 1 announcement by HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius that she had accepted the recommendations of the Institute of Medicine on eight “preventive services” that must be included in any health plan under the new Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. One of the mandated services is coverage of “all Food and Drug Administration-approved contraceptive methods, sterilization procedures, and patient education and counseling for all women with reproductive capacity.” In announcing her decision, Sebelius also released an “interim final rule” that HHS said would “give religious organizations the choice of buying or sponsoring group health insurance that does not cover contraception if that is inconsistent with their tenets.” But in a footnote to the list of mandated services, HHS defined a religious employer as “one that: (1) has the inculcation of religious values as its purpose; (2) primarily employs persons who share its religious tenets; (3) primarily serves persons who share its religious tenets; and (4) is a nonprofit organization under the Internal Revenue Code.”

Fewer priests doing more

WASHINGTON — More U.S. Catholics are attending Masses at fewer parishes staffed by a rapidly declining corps of priests, according to a new report on “The Changing Face of U.S. Catholic Parishes.” Produced by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate for the Emerging Models of Pastoral Leadership project of five national Catholic ministerial organizations, the report documents what it calls the “supersizing” of U.S. Catholic parish life. “Bigger parishes, more Masses and ministries in languages other than English are becoming the norm,” said a news release on the report released July 18.

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Pope visits newspaper
Pope Benedict XVI looks over a computer monitor during a visit to the offices of L’Osservatore Romano at the Vatican July 5. The pope made the visit to mark the 150th anniversary of the Vatican newspaper, which was first published July 1, 1861. The current editor, Giovanni Maria Vian, said media coverage of the clerical sex abuse scandal helped Catholics come to terms with the need to purify and renew the Church, although the coverage was not always fair. Unethical actions and questionable reporting styles “can explain, in part, the disaffection of an increasingly large number of readers, who are disgusted or disillusioned,” he said.
CNS photo/L’Osservatore Romano

Busy schedule in Germany

VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI will address the German parliament, meet with Jewish and Muslim groups, hold a prayer vigil with youths and celebrate Mass in Berlin’s Olympic Stadium during his Sept. 22-25 visit to his homeland. It’s a heavy schedule for the 84-year-old pope, who will preside over 28 events and deliver 17 talks during the visit. It will be Pope Benedict’s third trip to Germany since his election in 2005, but his first visit to Berlin, the German capital. After landing in Berlin Sept. 22, the pope will celebrate an evening Mass in the Olympic Stadium — the facility Adolf Hitler had built for the 1936 Summer Games.

Illicit bishop excommunicated

VATICAN CITY — The Vatican said a Chinese bishop ordained illegitimately in mid-July has been automatically excommunicated and lacks the authority to govern his diocese. At the same time, the Vatican praised bishops loyal to Rome who resisted participation in the ordination ceremony before being forced by authorities to do so. The Vatican was reacting to the ordination of Father Joseph Huang Bingzhang July 14 at St. Joseph’s Cathedral in Shantou, in southern China’s Guangdong province. Bishop Johan Fang Xingyao of Linyin, president of the government-sanctioned Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association, was reportedly the main celebrant; he was one of eight Vatican-approved bishops at the ordination. It was the second ordination of a Chinese bishop without papal mandate in the last month. The Vatican has expressed deepening concern and emphasized that willing participants in such ordinations face severe penalties under church law, including automatic excommunication for the ordained bishop and the consecrating bishops.

Malaysia diplomacy

CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy — After a meeting between Pope Benedict XVI and Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, the Vatican and Malaysia reached an agreement to establish diplomatic relations for the first time. The agreement appeared to signal an effort by the Malaysian government to improve ties with the country’s Christian minority, which in recent years has warned of Islamization in the Southeast Asian nation. Christians represent about 9 percent of the population, including nearly 1 million Catholics.

Economics root of hunger

VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI said persistent world hunger was a “tragedy” driven by selfish and profit-driven economic models, whose first victims are millions of children deprived of life or good health. In responding to the crisis, international agencies should rediscover the value of the family farm, promoting the movement of young people back into rural areas, the pope said July 1 in an address to participants in an annual conference on hunger organized by the Rome-based U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization.

Pope calls for compassion

CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy — Christians cannot be indifferent to the suffering of hundreds of thousands of people starving in the Horn of Africa, Pope Benedict XVI said. “It is inadmissible to be indifferent in the face of the tragedy of the hungry and thirsty,” the pope said, speaking in Polish after reciting the Angelus July 31 with pilgrims gathered in the courtyard of the papal villa at Castel Gandolfo. When Jesus fed the multitudes by miraculously multiplying loaves and fishes, he gave his disciples an example to follow, the pope said.

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