|January 7, 2013 • VOL. 51, NO. 1 • Oakland, CA|
Jan. 10: 10 a.m., Bishop's Advisory Council meeting
Focus on gun control
WASHINGTON — As momentum builds to implement new limits on assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition clips, the Catholic bishops of the United States remain focused on seeking "reasonable restrictions" on gun ownership without infringing upon Second Amendment rights. "The bishops continue to support measures that control the sale and use of firearms and continue to call for sensible regulations on handguns," Kathy Saile, the bishops' director of domestic social development, said. "In addition to that, we need to make a serious commitment to address the pervasive role that addiction and mental illness have in crime," she said in the wake of the horrendous events of Dec. 14 at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., that left 20 children, six educators and the heavily armed gunman who attacked the school dead. Police identified the shooter as Adam Lanza, 20, who killed himself as first responders arrived on the scene. Before he arrived at the school, he shot and killed his mother, Nancy Lanza. If gun control measures are introduced in the new Congress, the bishops will discuss whether a public statement is appropriate and how active to become involved in the legislative process, Saile added. In a Dec. 21 statement on the shooting, the chairmen of three U.S. bishops' committees — domestic policy, communications, and marriage and family life — reiterated points from the bishops' 2000 statement on crime and criminal justice. In it they called for "measures that control the sale and use of firearms ... that make guns safer" and for "sensible regulations of handguns."
Pope visits butler
VATICAN CITY — During a 15-minute meeting in the Vatican police barracks, Pope Benedict XVI visited with his former butler, Paolo Gabriele, and told him he was forgiven and was being pardoned. Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman, said the pope had wanted "to confirm his forgiveness and to inform him personally of his acceptance of Mr. Gabriele's request for pardon."
VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI urged people to think seriously about their faith at Christmas, and he urged them to recognize the connection between believing in God and helping others through acts of charity and by praying and working for peace. The birth of Jesus is a source of hope for the world, "a hope in which we can trust, even at the most difficult times and in the most difficult situations," the pope said Dec. 25 before giving his solemn blessing "urbi et orbi" (to the city of Rome and the world).
VATICAN CITY — Mary's role in the birth and life of Jesus shows all Christians that the strength of faith lies in trusting God, even when his will is mysterious and life seems dark, Pope Benedict XVI said. "The power of God, in our lives as well, works with the often silent power of truth and love," the pope said Dec. 19 at his weekly general audience. Preparing for Christmas and continuing his Year of Faith series of audience talks, the pope focused on what Christians can learn about faith from Mary.
Iraqi cardinal retires
VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI has accepted the resignation of 85-year-old Cardinal Emmanuel-Karim Delly of Baghdad and has called for a late January meeting of the Chaldean synod of bishops to elect a new patriarch for the Chaldean Catholic Church.
VATICAN CITY — The Vatican obviously needs money to pay its personnel and coordinate worship, education, health care and charity around the world, but it also has a serious obligation to ensure it is using the donations it receives carefully and for the Lord's work, said Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone. The cardinal, who as Vatican secretary of state is the pope's top aide, met Dec. 18 with the heads of Vatican congregations, councils and offices at the beginning of a workshop designed to familiarize them with new regulations of the Prefecture of the Economic Affairs of the Holy See.
Pope Benedict XVI advanced the sainthood cause of Pope Paul VI, Giovanni Battista Montini, by recognizing the Italian pope as having lived the Christian virtues in a heroic way. He also recognized a miracle attributed to the intercession of an Italian martyr who, with an estimated 800 other people, died at the hands of Ottoman invaders in the 15th century, and he recognized a miracle attributed to the first blessed to be born, live and die in Colombia, Blessed Mother Laura Montoya. They now can be declared saints. The pope also formally recognized the martyrdom of 33 victims of the Spanish Civil War and advanced the causes of 18 other men and women.
Pope expresses grief
VATICAN CITY — After 20 children and six adults were shot dead in Connecticut, Pope Benedict XVI offered his condolences and prayers, urging all to dedicate themselves to acts of peace in the face of such "senseless violence." After reciting the Angelus Dec. 17, the pope, speaking in English, said he was "deeply saddened" by the Dec. 14 shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn.
— Catholic News Service back to top
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