|August 12, 2013 • VOL. 51, NO. 14 • Oakland, CA|
Aug. 15: 12:10 p.m. Mass, cathedral
CATHEDRAL OF CHRIST THE LIGHT
Twilight by the Lake
Exhale, relax and mingle on the Cathedral Plaza while enjoying live music, a beautiful lake view and complimentary appetizers. This free event takes place from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. the third Thursdays of August, September and October and everyone is welcome.
Call to reduce inequality
WASHINGTON — The growing disparity in the income of U.S. workers is the focus of the 2013 Labor Day Statement of Bishop Stephen E. Blaire of Stockton, chairman of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
In the statement, dated Sept. 2, Bishop Blaire said that most people want to live in a more equal society that provides opportunities for everyone. "The current imbalances do not have to be inevitable," Bishop Blaire wrote. "We must be bold in promoting a just economy that reduces inequality by creating jobs that pay a living wage and share with workers some profits of the company, as well as ensuring a strong safety net for jobless workers and their families and those who are incapable of work."
Bishop Blaire echoed the words of Pope Francis, that "work is fundamental to the dignity of a person. … It gives us the ability to maintain oneself, one's family, to contribute to the growth of one's own nation." Bishop Blaire said millions of workers are "denied this honor and respect as a result of unemployment, underemployment, unjust wages, wage theft, abuse or exploitation."
Even amid a modest economic recovery, he said, "Over 4 million people have been jobless for over six months, and that does not include the millions more who have simply lost hope; for every available job, there are as many as five unemployed and underemployed people actively vying for it. This gap pushes wages down — half of the jobs in this country pay less than $27,000. Over 46 million people live in poverty, 16 million of them children," he wrote.
He noted that individuals, the Church, businesses, government and community organizations, all share the responsibility to create jobs that allow workers to support themselves and their families.
"Ethical and moral business leaders know that it is wrong to chase profits and success at the expense of workers' dignity," he wrote. "They know they have a vocation to build the kind of solidarity that honors the worker and the least among us. They remember that the economy is 'for people.'"
Bishop Blaire cited the importance of unions in helping workers participate in company decisions that affect them and noted that the rise in income inequality has paralleled the decline of unions in the United States. He urged unions to continually improve themselves and focus on issues including "raising the minimum wage, stopping wage theft," and "standing up for safe and healthy working conditions."
Bishop Blaire also voiced support for immigrants, calling for policies that "bring immigrant workers out of the shadows to a legal status and offer them a just and fair path to citizenship, so that their human rights are protected and the wages for all workers rise."
The 2013 Labor Day Statement is available online at www.usccb.org. back to top
VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis denounced consumerism as a poison that threatens true happiness, which comes from membership in the church. The pope made his remarks Aug. 4, before praying the Angelus with a noontime crowd in St. Peter's Square. "Young people are particularly sensitive to the emptiness of meaning and values that surrounds them," he said. "And they, unfortunately, pay the consequences."
Speaking of divorce
VATICAN CITY — When Pope Francis spoke to journalists about the need for a stronger Catholic pastoral approach to marriage and to divorced people, he made a parenthetical reference to how the Orthodox churches handle the breakup of marriages differently. "The Orthodox have a different practice," he told reporters July 28 during his flight back to Rome from Rio de Janeiro. The Orthodox "follow the theology of 'oikonomia' (economy or stewardship), as they call it, and give a second possibility; they permit" a second marriage. While the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America and the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Thyateira and Great Britain both use the English term "ecclesiastical divorce" when referring to the use of "oikonomia" to permit a second marriage, Orthodox scholars and the websites of both archdioceses make clear that the Orthodox practice differs from both a Catholic annulment and a civil divorce. Unlike an annulment, which declares that a union was invalid from the beginning, the Orthodox decree does not question the initial validity of a sacramental marriage and unlike a civil divorce it does not dissolve a marriage. Rather, the Orthodox describe it as a recognition that a marriage has ended because of the failure or sin of one or both spouses.
Muslims, mutual respect
VATICAN CITY — As a sign of his "esteem and friendship," Pope Francis said he personally wanted to write this year's Vatican message to Muslims about to celebrate the end of their monthlong Ramadan fast. The pope's message, released by the Vatican Aug. 2, focused on the need for Catholics and Muslims to promote respect for one another, especially through the way they educate their youth. Catholics and Muslims must respect "the religion of the other, its teachings, its symbols, its values," he said.
Mirror God's mercy
VATICAN CITY — Mercy is a word Pope Francis uses often, and an attitude he believes the Catholic Church must embody and all Catholics must mirror. "This is the time for mercy," Pope Francis told reporters July 28 during his flight back to Rome from Brazil. "The church is mother and must follow the path of mercy, and find mercy for everyone. This age is a 'kairos' of mercy," he said, using the Greek word for a special or particularly opportune moment.
Website for bank
VATICAN CITY — In an effort to shake its image as a secretive, scandal-ridden institute and improve its relationship with the media, the Vatican bank has launched its own website. "It is an important part of transparency to launch a website," said Ernst von Freyberg, president of the Vatican bank. The site for the bank — formally known as the Institute for the Works of Religion — went live July 31 at ior.va.
Pope, Jesuits pray
ROME — Celebrating the feast of St. Ignatius with more than 200 of his Jesuit confreres, Pope Francis prayed that he and all of them would receive "the grace of shame" for their failures and the humility to recognize that whatever good they accomplish is really done by the Lord. Jesus told his disciples never to be ashamed of following him, but Jesuits are taught to look upon the crucifix and "feel that very human and very noble sentiment which is shame for not measuring up," the pope said July 31 during his homily at the Mass in Rome's Church of the Gesu, where St. Ignatius is buried.
VATICAN CITY — Two Slovenian archbishops, including the president of the Slovenian bishops' conference, resigned because of their connection to multimillion-dollar financial losses by the Archdiocese of Maribor. Pope Francis accepted the resignations of Archbishops Anton Stres, 70, of Ljubljana, who also resigned as president of the bishops' conference, and Marjan Turnsek, 58, of Maribor, under the terms of canon law that cover "ill health or some other grave cause."
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