Print Version    Email to Friend
Around the Traps

New document on Roman Curia imminent
VATICAN CITY (CNS): Pope Francis and his international Council of Cardinals have reviewed a complete draft of the apostolic constitution that would govern the Roman Curia, Greg Burke, director of the Vatican press office, said. 
The cardinals still need to finalise the draft, approve it and present it formally to the pope for “further consultation and final approval,” Burke said on April 25, adding that even the title of the document has not been finalised, although the entire project revolves around the idea of a “Church that goes out.” 
Much of the Council of Cardinals’ work between April 23 and 25 was dedicated to “re-reading the draft of the new apostolic constitution on the Roman Curia,” Burke said. 
He explained that the draft document emphasises four points: the Roman Curia is at the service of the pope and the local Churches throughout the world; the work of the Curia must have a pastoral character; particulars on the role and functioning of the new section in the Vatican Secretariat of State to oversee the training, assigning and ministry of Vatican nuncios and diplomats around the world; and the proclamation of the Gospel and a missionary spirit must characterise the activity of the Curia.
Denial of life-support for ill baby called medical tyranny
LIVERPOOL (CNS):  A group of doctors has criticised the refusal of some of their colleagues and a court to allow the critically ill Alfie Evans to travel to Italy for treatment as “medical tyranny.”
Anthony Cole, a Catholic physician and the chairperson of the Medical Ethics Alliance, wrote an open letter saying that the treatment of Alfie and his parents, Tom Evans and Kate James, brought the medical profession in the United Kingdom into disrepute.
“The parents are being tortured as they watch the hospital take actions expected to lead to his death,” said the April 24 letter, which was co-signed by nearly 60 others, including a number of prominent Catholic doctors.
“Despite a viable alternative being available (namely transfer by air ambulance for further assessment to a specialist hospital in Rome), the hospital and doctors responsible for his care insist that he remains under their care and on a pathway toward death,” the letter said.
“While he now has some oxygen and some fluid, this has taken huge effort to obtain for him,” it said.
The letter continued: “Actions such as these have now brought the Alder Hey (Children’s) Hospital to worldwide attention and, by extension, bring our whole profession into disrepute.”
“Medical tyranny must stop,” it said. “Poor Alfie must not be killed in this way,” it said, demanding his safe passage to Rome.
More Americans believe in a higher power than in God
WASHINGTON (CNS): A new Pew Research Centre survey has found that while the majority of Americans say they believe in a higher power, they aren’t necessarily talking God “as described in the bible.” 
Recent studies have shown a decline in the number of Americans who believe in God with absolute certainty and a growing number conversely having doubts in God’s existence. This led researchers to question what exactly people are rejecting: a higher power or spiritual force, or the Christian idea of God. 
In a survey from last December it found that of more than 4,700 adults in the United States, 90 per cent believe in some kind of higher power. Fifty-six percent profess faith in God as described in the bible and 33 per cent say they believe in another type of higher power or spiritual force. One in 10 Americans say they don’t believe in God or a higher power of any kind.
Heart of Dublin’s patron saint found
DUBLIN (CNS): nearly six years after it was stolen from Christ Church Cathedral in Dublin, Ireland, police have recovered the preserved heart of St. Laurence O’Toole, the patron saint of the city.
The relic—which has been venerated for 800 years—was stolen in October 2012. 
A long-running investigation led to its recovery in a park on the outskirts of Dublin. A police spokesperson said the investigation was ongoing and that the relic was recovered following an “intelligence-led operation.” 
The heart was found undamaged and was scheduled to be returned to the Anglican archbishop of Dublin in a ceremony on April 26. 
While St. Laurence was elected archbishop of Dublin in 1162 during time of Pope Alexander III, at the time of the Reformation. In 1539, the English king, Henry VIII, switched the cathedral to the state-sanctioned Anglican Church of Ireland, as Catholicism was outlawed. 
After the end of the Penal Laws and Catholic Emancipation in the 19th century, the relic remained in Christ Church, but has been an object of pious devotion for Catholics.

More from this section