Current Issue
September, 2019
Volume 45, Number 3
31 May 2019
Catholic News Service

In this image from March, Metropolitan-Archbishop Borys Gudziak is pictured in the Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Philadelphia.
(photo: CNS/courtesy Archeparchy of Philadelphia)

In what promises to be one of the most impressive liturgical ceremonies in recent Philadelphia memory, an estimated 50 bishops will be present 4 June in Philadelphia for the enthronement of Metropolitan-Archbishop Borys Gudziak as head of the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Philadelphia.

The Divine Liturgy and enthronement ceremony for the prelate will take place at the Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. He will be the seventh metropolitan-archbishop of the archeparchy and as such, he will be the spiritual leader of the Ukrainian Catholic Church in the United States.

He succeeds Metropolitan-Archbishop Stefan Soroka who resigned for health reasons in April 2018. Since then, the archeparchy has been led by Bishop Andriy Rabiy, an auxiliary of the archeparchy, as apostolic administrator.

The appointment of Archbishop Gudziak, the 58-year-old native of Syracuse, New York, by Pope Francis was announced 18 February following the recommendation by a synod of Ukrainian Catholic bishops held in September 2018.

The Ukrainian Catholic Church worldwide is the largest of the Eastern Catholic churches that have distinctly different liturgies than the Latin Catholic Church but are nevertheless in full communion with Rome.

The enthronement and the inauguration of Archbishop Gudziak’s ministry is really the centerpiece of a weeklong celebration, according to the Rev. John Fields, an archpriest of the archeparchy who is its communications director.

The celebration begins 2 June and centers on the theme “From Heart to Heart.” Participants will include clergy, religious and lay faithful and young people from the Philadelphia archeparchy and other U.S. and international eparchies.

Among the events is the opening that first day of an art exhibit titled “Icons on Ammo Boxes” at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. That evening, also at the cathedral, well-known book author, columnist and commentator George Weigel delivers a lecture “Twentieth and Twenty-First Century Mission: Eastern Catholics and the Universal Church.”

On 4 June. there will be a 10 a.m. liturgical procession, which will include bishops from the Ukrainian Catholic Church, other Eastern Catholic churches, the Latin Catholic Church and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, as well as 125 priests, 11 deacons and 70 members of religious orders.

In the cathedral, Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk, patriarch of the Ukrainian Catholic Church worldwide will preside at the Divine Liturgy, along with Archbishop Christophe Pierre, the papal nuncio to the United States.

Archbishop Pierre will also present greetings from the Holy Father and present the papal bull, the document confirming Archbishop Gudziak’s appointment.

Among the concelebrants of the liturgy will be Archbishop Gudziak, Philadelphia Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, New York Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, Archbishop Soroka and other archbishops and bishops.

Archbishop Gudziak, who is the son of immigrants to the United States from Ukraine, received his bachelor’s degree from Syracuse University in 1980 with further studies at the Pontifical Urban University in Rome, at Harvard University and the Pontifical Oriental Institute. He returned to Ukraine, his ancestral homeland, in 1992 where he served in various position, mostly in the field of theological education and he is credited as the founder of the Ukrainian Catholic University in Lviv. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1998.

He was ordained to the episcopacy in December 2012, and the following month appointed bishop for a newly formed eparchy covering France, Switzerland and Benelux, which is a region that includes Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg.

His work especially in his Ukraine years did not go unnoticed in the wider world. In early May, the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana, announced that Archbishop Gudziak will receive its prestigious Notre Dame Award at a ceremony in Lviv on 29 June.

He joins such other distinguished past recipients as former U.S. President Jimmy Carter with his wife, Rosalyn, St. Teresa of Kolkata and John Hume of Northern Ireland.

“In the face of innumerable challenges, Archbishop Gudziak has made the Ukrainian Catholic University a center for cultural thought, Christian witness and the formation of a Ukrainian society based on human dignity,” said Holy Cross Father John Jenkins, Notre Dame’s president, at the time of the announcement.

Tags: Ukrainian Catholic Church

31 May 2019
Greg Kandra

Pope Francis meets with Romanian Orthodox Patriarch Daniel at the patriarchal palace in Bucharest, Romania, 31 May 2019. The pope is making a three-day visit to Romania.
(photo: CNS/Vatican Media)

Pope Francis arrives in Romania, says he comes as a ‘pilgrim of brotherhood’ (Vatican News) In his address to the Permanent Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church, the Pope spoke of the Lord’s resurrection, as being at “the very heart of the apostolic preaching handed down and preserved by our Churches.” He noted that in Romania, as in so many other places nowadays, many had experienced the passover of death and resurrection in the form of persecution…

Wave of civilians flee bombing in Syria (The New York Times) Syrian doctors and humanitarian workers voiced growing alarm at the plight of civilians in northwestern Syria this week, as fighting intensified in the nation’s last rebel-held province and hundreds of thousands of people fled north toward the Turkish border…

How Ukraine’s Orthodox split threatens Russia (European Council on Foreign Relations) An average Westerner may well have overlooked the potentially seismic geopolitical event of 6 January 2019. On that snowy Sunday — Epiphany in western Christianity; Christmas Eve in Ukraine — the 39-year-old Metropolitan of Kiev, Epiphanius, received tomos from the Constantinople Patriarchate. This document bestowed autocephalous (self-governing) status on what was now the newly formed Orthodox Church of Ukraine. The event was historic not just for Ukraine, but for Russia and the whole Orthodox world too...

World ignores plight of Indian refugee boat lost at sea ( Somewhere in the Indian Ocean, a boat laden with asylum seekers has gone missing. All souls are feared lost and a sore point with those who have followed the plight of the Daya Mata is that barely no one outside the subcontinent has even noticed. The sad episode began last year when people smugglers set about touting their wares among refugee families living in India whose relatives had already been resettled in Australia…

Caritas elects Aloysius John new secretary general (Vatican News) Aloysius John’s election came at the end of the confederation’s 31st General Assembly during which Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle was reconfirmed as President. John succeeds Michel Roy who finishes his two-term mandate this year. He is no stranger to the Rome headquarters of Caritas Internationalis where he has been heading the Institutional Development and Capacity Strengthening of the network…

Tags: Syria India Pope Francis Romania

29 May 2019
Greg Kandra

A painting of the Virgin Mary hangs on the wall of Our Lady of Zion Church in Aksum, Ethiopia. May is the month traditionally dedicated to Mary. (photo: Sean Sprague)

Tags: Ethiopia Mary

29 May 2019
Greg Kandra

The United Nations yesterday denounced inaction that has led to more death and destruction in Syria — particularly among civilians. (video: Al Jazeera/YouTube)

Civilians killed in Syria attack (Al Jazeera) More than 20 civilians were killed on Tuesday as the Syrian government continued its relentless bombardment against the last rebel stronghold in the country’s northwest. The latest attacks came as the United Nations denounced world powers for doing nothing to halt the bloodshed and destruction…

Russian Orthodox official compares protests to Romanov executions (The Moscow Times) Recent mass protests against plans to replace a city park in central Russia with an Orthodox cathedral are akin to the execution of the country’s last royal family, the head of Yekaterinburg’s diocese said. Protests erupted in Russia’s fourth-largest city this month after fencing went up around a riverside park ahead of the church’s construction, resulting in arrests and clashes with vigilantes and riot police. Yekaterinburg is also the site of the 1918 shooting by Bolshevik revolutionaries of Tsar Nicholas II, his wife and five children. The church canonized them as martyrs in 2000...

Kerala police form anti-terror squad (The Hindu) The Kerala police will form an anti-terrorism squad (ATS) to crack down on extremist activity. The move comes against the backdrop of what the State police perceive as the rising danger of religious fundamentalism, Maoist insurgency and far-right fanaticism in south India…

Indian archbishop calls for action against cow vigilantes ( A fresh attack by so-called cow vigilantes has brought a call by a Catholic archbishop for stringent action to ensure peace in India’s multifaith society. Police in Seoni district of the central state of Madhya Pradesh detained five people on 25 May for assaulting three people including a woman who were suspected of transporting 140 kilograms of beef. The meat has been sent for laboratory verification…

Jerusalem sees rise in secular population (The Jewish Press) The Jerusalem Institute for Policy Research (JIPR) on Wednesday issued its annual report, ahead of Sunday’s Jerusalem Day, showing that Israel’s capital has crossed the 900,000-resident mark, with 62 percent Jews and 32 percent Arabs. Of the Jewish population, 22 percent are secular, which is more than back in 2009…

Tags: Syria India Jerusalem Russian Orthodox Church

28 May 2019
Carol Glatz, Catholic News Service

Pope Francis places a picture of his parents onto the “Share the Journey” photo mosaic during an audience with delegates attending the general assembly of Caritas Internationalis, at the Vatican on 27 May 2019. At right is Philippine Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila, president of Caritas Internationalis. The pope called for charity to be given with heart and soul.
(photo: CNS/Vatican Media)

Charity should be given freely and lived humbly with the poor, never letting it become hypocrisy, a slick business or a way to soothe a troubled conscience, Pope Francis said.

“Not only does charity that doesn’t ‘reach the wallet’ end up being fake charity, so does charity that doesn’t involve the heart, soul and our whole being,” he said on 27 May during an audience at the Vatican with delegates attending the general assembly of Caritas Internationalis.

The Vatican-based confederation of more than 160 Catholic national charities was holding its 21st general assembly in Rome, electing new officials, reviewing polices and focusing on the theme, “One Human Family, One Common Home.”

The pope thanked delegates for working to help those “left on the margins” and for building up in the world God’s kingdom where justice, love and peace reign.

He said charity, integral development and ecclesial communion were three key elements in Caritas’ mission.

“Charity is not a sterile service or a simple donation to hand over to put our conscience at ease,” he said.

“Charity is God our Father’s embrace of every person, particularly of the least and those who suffer.”

The church is not a humanitarian organization, the pope said. It is something so much bigger: “In Christ, it is the sign and instrument of God’s love for humanity and for creation.”

The pope urged the Caritas representatives to live out this charity freely, humbly and with a spirit of poverty.

“One cannot live charity without having a personal relationship with the poor — to live with the poor and for the poor” so as to learn from them how charity is sharing.

“It is necessary to always be careful not to fall into the temptation of living a hypocritical or deceptive charity, identified with almsgiving” or fundraising or used as a “sedative” to relieve an uneasy conscience, the pope said.

“This is why one must avoid equating charitable activity with philanthropic strength or with well-planned efficiency or with over-the-top and flamboyant organization,” he said.

Pope Francis told the delegates that of all the ways people could best imitate God, the most desirable virtue is charity.

This is why it is “scandalous” to see people working in charitable organizations become bureaucrats, executives or businessmen, he said. “They speak a lot about charity, but they live in luxury” or wasteful extravagance or else “they organize forums on charity and unnecessarily waste a lot of money.”

“That is why I would like to reemphasize that charity is not an idea or a pious sentiment,” but it is a real encounter with Christ, and it is wanting to live with the heart of God, the pope said.

Tags: Caritas

28 May 2019
Greg Kandra

In this image from 2017, people walk inside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. A new agreement between three churches will begin a multi-million dollar renovation of the foundations and flooring of the structure. (photo: CNS/Debbie Hill)

Churches strike deal to restore Jerusalem site (AP) The three churches in charge of Jerusalem’s holiest Christian site say they have reached an agreement to begin a multi-million dollar renovation of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Leaders of the Greek Orthodox, Catholic and Armenian churches issued a statement Monday announcing the project to restore the foundations and flooring of the church, where many Christians believe Jesus was crucified, entombed and resurrected…

Pope releases message on migrants, refugees (Vatican News) Pope Francis released his message on Monday for the 105th World Day of Migrants and Refugees, which will be commemorated on 29 September. As the Vatican’s Migrants and Refugees Section announced in March, the theme is “It is not just about migrants”…

Pope names new head of Council for Interreligious Dialogue (Vatican News) Bishop Miguel Ayuso Guixot succeeds the late Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, who died in July 2018, as the President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue. He has been serving as Secretary of the Vatican dicastery…

Catholic bishops lament setbacks for peace in Holy Land (CNA)Peace, mutual equality, and respect must be the foundation of progress in Israeli-Palestinian relations, despite continued setbacks, the Assembly of Catholic Ordinaries of the Holy Land said last week. Continuing difficulties in Palestine and Israel have caused many people to question “whether international diplomacy and the peace process were ever actually based on justice and good will,” the ordinaries said in a 20 May message...

Kerala on alert over ISIS warning (Economic Times) Kerala Coastal Police have been placed on alert after intelligence inputs about ISIS affiliates setting off towards Lakshadweep and Minicoy Island from Sri Lanka, police sources said on Sunday. According to highly-placed sources aware of the matter, as many as 15 ISIS affiliates have set-off in a white boat from Sri Lanka towards Indian islands of Lakshadweep and Minicoy….

Tags: India Pope Francis Jerusalem Migrants Holy Sepulchre

24 May 2019
Greg Kandra

Pope Francis talks with Archbishop Stefan of Skopje, spiritual head of the Macedonian Orthodox Church, at the Vatican on 24 May 2019. (photo: CNS/Andrew Medichini, pool via Reuters)

Tags: Macedonia

24 May 2019
Greg Kandra

In this image from 2017, Chaldean Catholic Archbishop Bashar Warda of Erbil, Iraq, celebrates a memorial liturgy for victims of ISIS at the St. John Paul II National Shrine in Washington. In a speech in London this week, the archbishop said Christians in Iraq are close to extinction.
(photo: CNS/Tyler Orsburn)

Archbishop: Iraq’s Christians close to extinction (BBC) The Archbishop of Erbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, has accused Britain’s Christian leaders of failing to do enough in defense of the vanishing Christian community in Iraq. In an impassioned address in London, the Archbishop Bashar Warda said Iraq’s Christians now faced extinction after 1,400 years of persecution…

The impossible future of Christians in the Middle East (The Atlantic) The precarious state of Christianity in Iraq is tragic on its own terms. The world may soon witness the permanent displacement of an ancient religion, and an ancient people. Those indigenous to this area share more than faith: They call themselves Suraye and claim a connection to the ancient peoples who inhabited this land long before the birth of Christ. But the fate of Christianity in places like the Nineveh Plain has a geopolitical significance as well…

Pope invites new ambassadors to support most vulnerable (Vatican News) Pope Francis accepted the Credential Letters presented by nine new Ambassadors to the Holy See on Thursday. The nations they represent include Thailand, New Zealand, Guinea, Ethiopia, Norway, Sierra Leone, Guinea-Bissau, Luxembourg, and Mozambique. In an address to mark the occasion, Pope Francis recognized the variety of positive contributions these States make to world’s common good. He also said all have “a high responsibility to protect the most vulnerable of our brothers and sisters…”

Unease among India’s minorities after Modi’s win ( Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) swept to power for a second five-year term on 23 May in an election fought largely on the plank of Hindu nationalism…

Tags: India Pope Francis Iraqi Christians Persecution

23 May 2019
Elias D. Mallon, S.A., Ph.D.

In this image from 2017, Pope Francis at the Vatican addresses participants at an encounter marking the 25th anniversary of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. The death penalty is "contrary to the Gospel," the pope said in his speech — echoing sentiments long expressed by Amnesty International. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

In CNEWA’s world, human rights are a constant concern. Freedom of religion, minority and women’s rights are constantly being challenged, if not violated, in one way or another throughout the world where we work and, indeed, the world in general.

Thus, an observance next week — which is fairly unheralded — is important for CNEWA and all people who are concerned with human rights. On Tuesday 28 May, the world observes Amnesty International Day. Most people have heard about Amnesty International and it is probably the largest and most active non-governmental human rights advocacy group in the world.

Amnesty, as it is commonly known, was founded in London in 1961 by Peter Benenson who had read about two students in Portugal who had been imprisoned for making a toast to freedom—something that did not sit well with the government of Antonio Salazar, Portugal’s dictator. Benenson and Eric Baker of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) published an article entitled “The Forgotten Prisoners” in The Observer in May of 1961 and Amnesty International was born.

From the outset, Amnesty has seen itself as advocate for the human rights enshrined in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948). Amnesty has been a particularly effective advocate for “prisoners of conscience,” i.e. those who are imprisoned for their faith or political beliefs. In 1977, Amnesty was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

Long before it became an important point of discussion, Amnesty opposed capital punishment, which is considered the ultimate violation of human rights. Dictatorships and authoritarian governments often used capital punishment as a way of permanently silencing their opponents. In far too many places in the world, people the government finds unacceptable are executed without even having had a trial. Amnesty is constantly calling out countries for extrajudicial executions. Opposed in principle to capital punishment, Amnesty is always alert for situations in which people are not even granted a fair trial before they are killed.

The developing social teaching of the Catholic Church under the last three popes — John Paul II, Benedict XVI and Francis — has evolved to a point where the Catholic Church’s position of capital punishment is similar to that of Amnesty. On 11 October 2017 Pope Francis declared the death penalty to be “contrary to the Gospel.” He added that, “However grave the crime that may be committed, the death penalty is inadmissible because it attacks the inviolability and the dignity of the person.” The following year, he revised the catechism to reflect that teaching. Using a slightly different theological hermeneutic, the pope closely approached the position of Amnesty.

After 50 years — and with over 7 million supporters —Amnesty International may very well be the largest and best- known human advocacy group in the world. However, its work is far from done. All over the world there remain prisoners of conscience and authoritarian governments who still find ways to kill people they find dangerous or inconvenient.

Amnesty Day may not be an observance of which many people are aware. However, for those working for peace and justice — not only in CNEWA’s world but in the entire world — it is a very important day.

Attention must be paid.

Tags: Pope Francis United Nations

23 May 2019
Chris Kennedy

Sister Emebet Mamo runs the Guder Catholic School in Ethiopia and lovingly looks after the children in her care. (photo: Chris Kennedy/CNEWA)

On a visit last week to Ethiopia, my colleague Haimdat Sawh and I had a chance to spend a morning with the students of Guder Catholic School, about eighty miles due west of Addis Ababa. Lovingly overseen by the Daughters of St. Anne, the school hosts 843 students in grades K-8. As the school’s director, Sister Emebet Mamo, explains, “What makes our school different is that we teach moral education — our students come to us to learn and grow morally.”

The school is held in great regard in the surrounding area, and graduates have gone on to be pilots, lawyers and doctors. One alumnus, who recently returned to speak at the school, is now an engineer for NASA.

Tags: Ethiopia

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