CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Saturday, 23 June 2018

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Pope names apostolic visitor to Medjugorje
VATICAN (CNS): Pope Francis named Polish Archbishop Henryk Hoser as apostolic visitor to Medjugorje, Bosnia-Herzegovina, for an indefinite period, the Vatican announced on May 31.
 
The retired archbishop of Warsaw-Praga, Poland, had initially sent to the town as the pope personal envoy to study the pastoral needs of the townspeople and of the thousands of pilgrims who flock to the site of the alleged Marian apparitions.
 
“The mission of the apostolic visitor has the aim of assuring a stable and continuous accompaniment of the parish community of Medjugorje and of the faithful who go there in pilgrimage, whose needs require special attention,” the Vatican announcement said. 
 
Greg Burke, director of the Vatican press office, told journalists that Archbishop Hoser “will reside in Medjugorje” and that his mission does not involve investigating the authenticity of the alleged apparitions. Archbishop Hoser’s mission “is strictly pastoral and not doctrinal,” Burke said. 
 
The Polish archbishop was appointed in February 2017 as the pope’s special envoy to study the pastoral situation in Medjugorje. After his first visit, Archbishop Hoser said that while he has no authority or expertise to discuss the authenticity of the alleged apparitions, it was clear that “there is a special spiritual climate” in Medjugorje.
 
Teaching on all-male priesthood is definitive
VATICAN (CNS): Cardinal-designate, Archbishop Luis Ladaria, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, said that the doctrine that only men can be validly ordained to the priesthood is a truth that is part of the Catholic faith and will not and cannot change.
 
“It gives rise to serious concern to see that in some countries there still are voices that put in doubt the definitive nature of this doctrine,” he wrote in May 29 edition of L’Osservatore Romano. 
 
Pope St. John Paul II, confirming the constant teaching and practice of the Church, formally declared in 1994 that “the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church’s faithful.” 
 
Archbishop Ladaria said some people continue to question the infallibility of St. John Paul’s declaration in the document, Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, because “it was not defined ex cathedra”—or formally, solemnly proclaimed as infallible. 
 
The argument, the archbishop wrote, is that “a later decision by a future pope or council could overturn it.” 
 
But “sowing these doubts creates serious confusion among the faithful not only about the sacrament of orders as part of the divine constitution of the Church, but also about how the ordinary magisterium can teach Catholic doctrine in an infallible way,” he wrote.
 
Controversial Hindu leader tramples image of pope
Bhopal (UCAN): Hindu leader, Om Swami Maharaj, called on Christians to be thrown out of India and trampled on images of Pope Francis while accusing him of promoting terrorism in a video that has been circulating on social media since May 25.
 
The video shows controversial Maharaj with a group of about 20 people carrying placards and banners with pictures of Pope Francis not far from Sacred Heart Cathedral in New Delhi.
 
Maharaj accused Indian Christians of promoting terrorism and Maoism in the country and demanded they should leave India, after which members of the group began stamping on the pope’s image. 
 
If Christians don’t leave India, Maharaj said, they will use force to expel them.
The video has caught the attention of Christian groups in central India, prompting them to approach the police to stop the video’s circulation.
 
Richard James, spokesperson for the Rashtriya Isai Mahasangh, the ecumenical national Christian forum based in Madhya Pradesh, said the police have been alerted to the video.
 
“This kind of public display of hate toward any religious group or leader would not be allowed in a civilized society,” James said.
 
Jaideep Prasad, inspector general of police in state capital Bhopal, said that his officers “will not allow anyone to spread discord among people with such videos.”
 
Bishop Theodore Mascarenhas, secretary-general of the Indian Bishops’ Conference, believes the timing of the video is connected to a pastoral letter issued by Archbishop Anil Couto of Delhi, exhorting Catholics to pray ahead of the 2019 general elections.
 
“The video is an aberration and not expected,” said Bishop Mascarenhas, who asserted that it in no way does it represent the opinion of the majority of India’s Hindus.

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