January 2012

Around the Traps
(Friday, 13 January 2012 )

Blessed John Paul II’s childhood Jewish friend dies in Rome at 90 

ROME (CNS): Jerzy Kluger, Blessed Pope John Paul II’s lifelong Jewish friend, who had a deep impact on the pope’s commitment to improved Catholic-Jewish relations, died in Rome on December 31 at the age of 90. 

Both Kluger and Karol Wojtyla grew up in in Wadowice, Poland, and...

Pope John Paul II tried to end 1981 Irish hunger strike
(Friday, 13 January 2012 )

DUBLIN (CNS): Declassified British documents reveal the extent to which Pope John Paul II offered to intervene and bring and end to the 1981 hunger strike by Provisional Irish Republican Army prisoners in a British jail in Northern Ireland. 

The documents claim that the leader, Bobby Sands, was willing to suspend the fast just days before he died. The offer was conveyed to the British authorities by the pope...

Extremists issue more threats against Christians in Nigeria
(Friday, 13 January 2012 )

MAIDUGURI and VATICAN CITY (CNS/agencies): In the wake of the Christmas Day bombings of churches and other targets in Nigeria by Boko Haram, a Nigerian group that purports to be inspired by Islam, the country’s president, Goodluck Jonathan, declared a state of emergency in parts of four states hard hit by violence. 

The bombings killed more than 40 people, including Muslim passersby (Sunday Examiner,...

May they all be one!
(Friday, 13 January 2012 )

“May they all be one!” (John 17:21) This what the Lord Jesus prayed during the Last Supper. With the perspective of later historical developments, he had good reason to make this prayer. The Second Vatican Council noted that the Christian denominations “differ in mind and go their different ways, as if Christ himself were divided. Such division openly contradicts the will of Christ, scandalises the world and damages the holy cause of...

Pope names new major penitentiary
(Friday, 13 January 2012 )

VATICAN CITY (CNS): Pope Benedict XVI has named Portuguese Archbishop Manuel Monteiro de Castro, the 73-year-old secretary of the Congregation for Bishops, to head the Apostolic Penitentiary, a Church court dealing with indulgences, serious sins and matters of conscience. The Vatican announced the appointment January 5.

Archbishop Monteiro de Castro was born 29 March 1938, and was ordained to the priesthood in 1961...

Keep vigilant says Boston cardinal on abuse scandal
(Friday, 13 January 2012 )

BOSTON (CNS): “Our Church will never forget the clergy sexual abuse crisis,” said Sean Cardinal O’Malley of Boston, in a document marking the 10th anniversary of the scandal that first rocked the archdiocese in January 2002, the reverberations of which continue to be felt. 

“The traumatic and painful days we experienced 10 years ago rightfully forced us to address the issue honestly and...

Koreans protest lack of radiation safety measures
(Friday, 13 January 2012 )

SEouL (UCAN): Following a recent radiation leak at a factory at the Noksan Industrial Complex in Busan, South Korea, the Anti-Nuclear Association, accused local government officials of failing to implement effective safety measures.

The association was responding to a report, issued by the Korea Institute of Nuclear Safety on January 3, which said that on December 30, radioactive material had leaked from a...

Xu Guangqi did not compromise his faith says bishop of Shanghai
(Friday, 13 January 2012 )


Shanghai (UCAN): Bishop Aloysius Jin Luxian of Shanghai, issued a pastoral letter over the Christmas weekend for the upcoming Chinese New Year urging his flock to respect, commemorate, propagate and learn from Paul Xu Guangqi (1562 to 1633). Xu was the first local Catholic convert and the diocese is promoting his cause for sainthood.

The letter, Xu Guangqi: A Man for All Seasons, comes days after the 95-year-...

Vatican delegation heading to Vietnam for cardinal’s beatification cause
(Friday, 13 January 2012 )


Ho Chi Minh City (UCAN): Jean Baptiste Cardinal Pham Minh Man of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, announced on January 1 that a delegation from the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace plans to visit the country from March 23 to April 9 to meet and listen to witnesses in connection with the beatification cause of Francis Xavier Cardinal Nguyen Van Thuan, which was officially launched by the council on 22 October 2010

Hundreds gather for first anniversary of assassination of Punjab governor
(Friday, 13 January 2012 )

Lahore (UCAN/Agencies): Hundreds of people gathered on January 4 to remember the late governor of Punjab province, Pakistan, Salman Taseer, on the first anniversary of his assassination by his bodyguard for speaking out against the country’s controversial blasphemy laws.

Around 300 students, lawyers and human rights activists joined the slain governor’s family in a candlelight vigil, organized by the...