CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Saturday, 22 September 2018

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Around the Traps

Philippine president calls God stupid
MANILA (UCAN): Philippine president, Rodrigo Duterte, after spewing diatribes against Catholic bishops and priests in recent months, has turned the focus of his invectives on God.
 
Speaking during a technology summit in the southern city of Davao on June 22, Duterte said he found fault in the creation story and questioned the concept of original sin.
 
“Adam ate (the fruit), then malice was born. Who is this stupid God? This son of a bitch is stupid if that’s the case,” he said, adding, “You created something perfect and then you think of an event that would tempt and destroy the quality of your work.” 
 
Bishop Arturo Bastes of Sorsogon said Duterte’s vituperations revealed why he should not have been elected.
 
The bishop said the president’s statements and actions in recent months have become “intolerable to normal, well-minded people.”
 
Political leaders also condemned the president for running off at the mouth.
 
“May my God forgive him and make him atone for all his sins,” said a senator, Panfilo Lacson, who has supported Duterte on numerous issues.
 
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque, however, defended Duterte, saying the president is entitled to his own religious beliefs. 
 
Pope to meet abuse victims in Ireland
DUBLIN (SE): Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin, indicated that during his visit to Ireland at the end of August, Pope Francis will meet the victims of clergy sexual abuse when they were minors, the Vatican Insider reported the Irish press as saying.
 
“The pope will meet various groups,” the archbishop was reported as saying, adding, “In other visits across the world he has met with survivors. Generally speaking, he has met them quietly to respect their anonymity.”
 
Bishops must decide about mixed marriage Communion 
GENEVA (CNS): The question of allowing Protestants married to Catholics to receive Communion at Mass in special cases has to be decided by each individual bishop and cannot be decided by a bishops’ conference, Pope Francis told reporters after a one-day ecumenical journey to Geneva. 
 
During an in-flight news conference on June 21, the pope was asked about his recent decision requesting the German Bishop’s Conference not publish nationwide guidelines for allowing Communion for such couples. 
 
The pope said the guidelines went beyond what is foreseen by the Code of Canon law “and there is the problem.” 
 
He said the code does not provide for nationwide policies, but “provides for the bishop of the diocese (to make a decision on each case), not the bishops’ conference.” He added, “This was the difficulty of the debate. Not the content.” 
 
Peruvian organisation wins human rights award
LIMA (CNS): The Human Rights and Environment human rights organisation, has won the Letelier-Moffitt human rights award for its work with indigenous farmers high in the Andes Mountains of Peru.
 
Co-founded by 71-year-old Maryknoll Sister Patricia Ryan, the Puno-based organisation, known its Spanish acronym, DHUMA, teaches people to defend their rights under Peruvian and international law and provides legal defense in cases of rights violations.
 
Founded in 2007 by Sister Ryan and others who formerly worked in the human rights office of the Catholic Prelature of Juli, in Peru’s Puno region, DHUMA, recently won a landmark ruling that indigenous communities must be consulted before the government can grant mining concessions on their lands. 
 
Quechua and Aymara communities on the windswept, 3.2 kilometre high plain and hills around Lake Titicaca generally “are not taken into consideration on issues that affect their rights or territory,” Sister Ryan explained. 
 
Ex-Vatican diplomat guilty of distributing porn
VATICAN (CNS): Monsignor Carlo Alberto Capella, former staff member at the Vatican nunciature in Washington DC, the United States of America (US), was found guilty of possessing and distributing child pornography by Vatican City State’s criminal court on June 23.
 
Judge Giuseppe Della Torre, head of the tribunal, delivered the verdict and sentenced Monsignor Capella to five years in prison and fined him €5,000 ($45,600). 
 
Addressing the court on June 23, Monsignor Capella said,  “(The) mistakes I have made are evident as well as this period of weakness. I am sorry that my weakness has hurt the Church, the Holy See and my diocese. I also hurt my family and I am repentant.”

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