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Tribunal Side Info

Name Rev. Msgr. Barry Brinkman, JCL, JV 
E-Mail barry.brinkman
@salinadiocese.org
Phone (785) 827-8746

 

Name Corey Lyon, JCL
E-Mail corey.lyon
@salinadiocese.org
Phone (785) 827-8746

 

Name Sr. Carolyn Juenemann, CSJ
E-Mail carolyn.juenemann
@salinadiocese.org
Phone (785) 827-8746 Ext. 22
 

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  • IMAGE: CNS/Paul HaringBy Carol GlatzABOARD THE PAPAL FLIGHT FROM CAIRO (CNS) -- A diplomatic solution must be found to the escalating tension between North Korea and the United States, Pope Francis told journalists. "The path (to take) is the path of negotiation, the path of a diplomatic solution," he said when asked about U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to send Navy warships to the region in response to North Korea's continued missile tests and threats to launch nuclear strikes against South Korea, Japan and the United States. "What do you say to these leaders who hold responsibility for the future of humanity," the pope was asked, during a Q-and-A with journalists on the flight to Rome April 29 after a 27-hour trip to Cairo. "I will call on them. I'm going to call on them like I have called on the leaders of different places," he said. There are many facilitators and mediators around the world who are "always ready to help" with negotiations, the pope said. The situation in North Korea, he added, has been heated for a long time, "but now it seems it has heated up too much, no?" "I always call (for) resolving problems through the diplomatic path, negotiations" because the future of humanity depends on it, he said. Pope Francis said his contention that the Third World War already is underway and is being fought "piecemeal" also can be seen in places where there are internal conflicts like in the Middle East, Yemen and parts of Africa. "Let's stop. Let's look for a diplomatic solution," he said. "And there, I believe that the United Nations has a duty to regain its leadership (role) a bit because it has been watered down." When if he would want to meet with President Trump when the U.S. leader is in Italy in late May, the pope said, "I have not been informed yet by the (Vatican) secretary of state about a request being made." But he added, "I receive every head of state who asks for an audience." A journalist with German media asked the pope about the controversy he sparked April 22 for saying some refugee camps are like concentration camps. "For us Germans obviously that is a very, very serious term. People say it was a slip of the tongue. What did you want to say?" the reporter asked. "No, it was not a slip of the tongue," Pope Francis said, adding that there are some refugee camps in the world -- but definitely not in Germany -- that "are real concentration camps." When centers are built to lock people up, where there is nothing to do and they can't leave, that, he said, "is a lager." Another reporter asked how people should interpret his speeches to government officials when he calls on them to support peace, harmony and equality for all citizens, and whether it reflected him supporting that government. The pope said that with all 18 trips he has taken to various countries during his pontificate, he always hears the same concern. However, when it comes to local politics, "I do not get involved," he said. "I talk about values," he said, and then it is up to each individual to look and judge whether this particular government or nation or person is "delivering these values." When asked if he had had a chance to run off to see the pyramids, the pope said, "Well, you know that today at six in this morning two of my assistants went to see" them. When asked if he wished he had gone with them, too, the pope said, "Ah, yes."- - -Copyright © 2017 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. www.catholicnews.com. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at cns@catholicnews.com.

  • IMAGE: CNS/Paul HaringBy Carol GlatzCAIRO (CNS) -- The only kind of fanaticism that is acceptable to God is being fanatical about loving and helping others, Pope Francis said on his final day in Egypt. "True faith," he told Catholics, "makes us more charitable, more merciful, more honest and more humane. It moves our hearts to love everyone without counting the cost." The pope celebrated an open-air Mass April 29 in Cairo's Air Defense Stadium, built by the anti-aircraft branch of the Egyptian armed forces. The pope concelebrated with Coptic Catholic Patriarch Ibrahim Isaac Sedrak of Alexandria and leaders of the other Catholic rites in Egypt. After spending the first day of his visit in meetings with Muslim leaders, government officials, diplomats and members of the Coptic Orthodox Church, the pope dedicated the second day of his trip to Egypt's minority Catholic community. Arriving at the stadium in a blue Fiat, the pope was slowly driven around the stadium's red running track in a small and low golf cart, far from the estimated 15,000 people seated in the stands high above. Yellow balloons and a long chain of blue balloons tied together like a rosary were released into the sky as a military helicopter circled high above the venue. Helicopter gunships circled the perimeter of the stadium, while military jeeps patrolled Cairo's streets. Surrounded by security, the pope managed to personally greet only one small group of children who were dressed as pharaohs and other traditional figures. They hugged the pope affectionately as security tightly closed in on the group. In his homily, the pope used the day's Gospel reading of the two disciples' journey to Emmaus to highlight how easy it is to feel disappointment, despair and defeat when one is trapped by a false notion of who God really is. The disciples could not believe that the one who could raise others from the dead and heal the sick could "end up on hanging on the cross of shame," the pope said. Believing Jesus was dead, all their dreams died with him on the cross and were buried in the tomb. "How often do we paralyze ourselves by refusing to transcend our own ideas about God, a god created in the image and likeness of man," he said. "How often do we despair by refusing to believe that God's omnipotence is not one of power and authority, but rather of love, forgiveness and life." Like the disciples, he said, Christians will never recognize the true face of God until they let their mistaken ideas die on the cross, rise up from the tomb of their limited understanding and shatter their hardened hearts like the "breaking of the bread" in the Eucharist. "We cannot encounter God without first crucifying our narrow notions of a god who reflects only our own understanding of omnipotence and power," the pope said. True faith "makes us see the other not as an enemy to be overcome, but a brother or sister to be loved, served and helped," he said, and it leads to dialogue and respect and the courage to defend the rights and dignity of everyone, not just oneself. "God is pleased only by a faith that is proclaimed by our lives, for the only fanaticism believers can have is that of charity. Any other fanaticism does not come from God and is not pleasing to him," he said. At the end of the Mass, Patriarch Sedrak thanked the pope for his visit, which, though it was brief, "has overflowed our hearts with joy and our lives with blessing." The warm welcome Pope Francis received from so many political and religious components of Egyptian society "is a message to the world that confirms Egypt's nature" as a lover of peace that seeks to affirm peace in the Middle East and the world, the patriarch said. Later in the day, before his departure for Rome, the pope met with about 1,500 priests, seminarians and religious men and women for a prayer service on the sports field of a Coptic Catholic seminary in Cairo. He thanked the church workers for their witness and for the good they do in the midst of "many challenges and often few consolations." "Although there are many reasons to be discouraged, amid many prophets of destruction and condemnation, and so many negative and despairing voices, may you be a positive force, salt and light for this society," he told them. But to be builders of hope, dialogue and harmony, he said, they must not give in to the many temptations that come each day, including the temptation to expect gratitude from those they must serve and lead. A good shepherd, Pope Francis said, consoles even when he is broken-hearted and is always a father, even when his children are ungrateful. Don't become like Pharaoh either with a heart hardened by a sense of superiority, lording over others, expecting to be served and not serve, the pope said. "The more we are rooted in Christ, the more we are alive and fruitful," he said, and the more they will experience "renewed excitement and gratitude in our life with God and in our mission." - - -- Follow Glatz on Twitter: @CarolGlatz.- - -Copyright © 2017 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. www.catholicnews.com. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at cns@catholicnews.com.

  • By Carol ZimmermannWASHINGTON (CNS) -- After Arkansas executed its fourth death-row inmate in eight days April 27, Sister Helen Prejean, a longtime opponent of capital punishment, said "future generations will look back upon the events unfolding in Arkansas tonight with horror. The barbarity is overwhelming." Sister Prejean, a Sister of St. Joseph of Medaille, tweeted that message 30 minutes after Kenneth Williams was pronounced dead. His lawyers unsuccessfully petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court for a stay, saying the inmate should not be executed because three health care professionals had determined he was "intellectually disabled." Relatives of a man killed by Williams in a crash during his 1999 escape from prison also pleaded with the governor to call off his execution. "There is nothing pro-life about the state-sanctioned killing of an intellectually disabled man," was just one of the many messages Sister Prejean tweeted during Williams' final hours. Catholic Mobilizing Network in Washington, an advocacy group seeking to end the death penalty, similarly sent Twitter updates the night of the execution and each of the eight days when other inmates were executed, including two executions April 24. The social media messages urged people to pray for those facing execution, their families, the victim's families and even the prison guards. Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced the multiple executions months ago, saying they had to be carried out in quick succession in order to use the state's final batch of midazolam, a sedative used in lethal injections, before the state's supply expired at the end of April. Of the eight men scheduled to be executed, four were granted court-issued stays of execution. The quick succession of the executions prompted many to oppose them, including the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. In an April 13 statement, Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Florida, chairman of the bishops' Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, urged Hutchinson to reconsider reducing the sentences to life imprisonment. The bishop said the timing for the executions "was not set by the demands of justice, but by the arbitrary politics of punishment," referring to the state's supply of midazolam. "And so, in a dark irony, a safeguard that was intended to protect people is now being used as a reason to hasten their deaths," he said. Sister Prejean said opposition to these executions did not go unnoticed. She tweeted April 27 that the protests "put a spotlight" on the governor and the state and "awakened the world to what's happening." She also urged opponents to keep up the fight, telling them to "move from horror and outrage and sorrow into renewed passion for justice and compassion." "It is vital that now, more than ever, we recommit ourselves to working tirelessly for life," she added. In an April 28 statement, Sister Prejean said Williams' execution "did not go according to plan" because media witnesses reported that the inmate "coughed, convulsed, lurched and jerked during the lethal injection process." She said Hutchinson, who described the execution as "flawless," should launch a full investigation into what went wrong. One of Williams' attorneys, Shawn Nolan, requested a full investigation into the "problematic execution," saying the accounts of it were "horrifying." "This is very disturbing, but not at all surprising, given the history of the risky sedative midazolam, which has been used in many botched executions," he said in an April 27 statement. Williams was sentenced to death in 2000 for fatally shooting a former deputy warden during his 1999 escape from prison, where he was serving a life sentence for killing a college cheerleader the previous year. Media reports on his final words before he was executed included an apology to the victims' families saying his crimes were "senseless, extremely hurtful and inexcusable. I humbly beg your forgiveness and pray you find the peace, healing and closure you all deserve." "I am not the same person I was. I have been transformed," he added. "Some things can't be undone. I seek forgiveness." - - - Follow Zimmermann on Twitter: @carolmaczim.- - -Copyright © 2017 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. www.catholicnews.com. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at cns@catholicnews.com.

  • IMAGE: CNS/Paul HaringBy Carol GlatzCAIRO (CNS) -- Placing flowers, lighting a candle and praying at the site where dozens of Coptic Orthodox Christians were killed by an Islamic State militant last year, Pope Francis and Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawadros II paid homage to those who were killed for their faith. Pope Francis and Pope Tawadros walked in a short procession to the Church of St. Peter, where 29 people died and 31 were wounded Dec. 11. The faithful chanted a song of martyrs, and some clashed cymbals under the darkened evening sky. Inside the small church, the leaders of several other Christian communities in Egypt as well as Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople sat before the congregation, which included family members of the victims. A portion of one wall of the complex was splattered with blood, and pictures of those killed -- many with bright smiles to the camera -- were hung above. Some of the church's stone columns were pock-marked from the debris or shrapnel sent flying from the explosion. Each of the eight Christian leaders seated before the congregation, beginning with Pope Francis, read a verse from the beatitudes in the Gospel of St. Matthew. Pope Francis and Pope Tawadros then each said a few words in prayer, and everyone shared a sign of peace. Led by Pope Francis, the eight leaders went to the back of the church, where each lit a small candle and placed white flowers beneath the photos of the martyrs. Pope Francis leaned low to touch the blood-stained wall and made the sign of the cross. Earlier, in a historic and significant move toward greater Christian unity, Pope Tawadros and Pope Francis signed an agreement to end a longtime disagreement between the two churches over the sacrament of baptism. The Coptic Orthodox Church had required new members joining from most non-Coptic churches -- including those who had previously been baptized as Catholic -- to be baptized again. The Catholic Church recognizes all Christian baptisms performed with water and in "the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit." Orthodox who enter the Catholic Church are received as full members, but not baptized again. In the joint declaration, the two leaders "mutually declare that we, with one mind and heart, will seek sincerely not to repeat the baptism that has been administered in either of our churches for any person who wishes to join the other." The document was signed during a courtesy visit with Pope Tawadros at the Coptic Orthodox Cathedral April 28. In his speech to Pope Tawadros and other Coptic Orthodox leaders, Pope Francis said, "The innocent blood of defenseless Christians was cruelly shed." He told them it was that innocent blood "that united us." "Your sufferings are also our sufferings," he said, the first day of a two-day visit to Egypt's capital. "How many martyrs in this land, from the first centuries of Christianity, have lived their faith heroically to the end, shedding their blood rather than denying the Lord and yielding to the enticements of evil or merely to the temptation of repaying evil with evil?" "How many martyrs in this land, from the first centuries of Christianity, have lived their faith heroically to the end, shedding their blood rather than denying the Lord and yielding to the enticements of evil or merely to the temptation of repaying evil with evil," he said. He encouraged Catholic and Orthodox to work hard to "oppose violence by preaching and sowing goodness, fostering concord and preserving unity, praying that all these sacrifices may open the way to a future of full communion between us and peace for all." Pope Tawadros, in his speech, said Pope Francis was following in the footsteps of his namesake, St. Francis of Assisi, who came to Egypt nearly 1,000 years ago to meet Sultan al-Kamel and engage in "one of the most important experiences of intercultural dialogue in history -- a dialogue that is renewed today with your visit." Calling Pope Francis one of the symbols of peace "in a world tormented by conflicts and wars," the Orthodox leader underlined that the world was thirsting for sincere efforts of spreading peace and love, and stopping violence and extremism. Pope Tawadros said Pope Francis' visit "is a message for the rest of the world," showing Egypt as a model of mutual respect and understanding. Despite Christianity's deep roots in Egypt, which was evangelized by St. Mark, Christians have lived through some difficult and turbulent periods, he said. But that only made people's desire to love even greater, showing that "love and tolerance are stronger than hatred and revenge and that the light of hope is stronger than the darkness of desperation." "The criminal minds" behind all the violence and threats hurting Egypt will never be able to break or weaken the hearts of its citizens who are united and showing an example for future generations. Later in the evening, Pope Francis was scheduled to go to the apostolic nunciature, where he was staying, and greet a group of children who attend a Comboni-run school in Cairo. After dinner, he was expected to greet some 300 young people who came from outside Cairo to see him. The majority of the 82.5 million Egyptians are Sunni Muslims. Most estimates say 10-15 percent of the Egyptian population are Christians, most of them Coptic Orthodox, but there are Catholics, Protestants and other various Christian communities in the country as well.  - - -Copyright © 2017 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. www.catholicnews.com. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at cns@catholicnews.com.

  • IMAGE: CNS/Paul HaringBy Carol GlatzCAIRO (CNS) -- Calling his visit to Egypt a journey of "unity and fraternity," Pope Francis launched a powerful call to the nation's religious leaders to expose violence masquerading as holy and condemn religiously inspired hatred as an idolatrous caricature of God. "Peace alone, therefore, is holy, and no act of violence can be perpetrated in the name of God, for it would profane his name," the pope told Muslim and Christian leaders at an international peace conference April 28. Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople was in attendance. Pope Francis also warned of attempts to fight violence with violence, saying "every unilateral action that does not promote constructive and shared processes is, in reality, a gift to the proponents of radicalism and violence." The pope began a two-day visit to Cairo by speaking at a gathering organized by Egypt's al-Azhar University, Sunni Islam's highest institute of learning. He told reporters on the papal flight from Rome that the trip was significant for the fact that he was invited by the grand imam of al-Azhar, Sheik Ahmad el-Tayeb; Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi; Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawadros II; and Coptic Catholic Patriarch Ibrahim Isaac Sedrak of Alexandria. Having these four leaders invite him for the trip shows it is "a trip of unity and fraternity" that will be "quite, quite intense" over the next two days, he said. Greeted with a standing ovation and a few scattered shouts of "viva il papa" (long live the pope), the pope later greeted conference participants saying, "Peace be with you" in Arabic. He gave a 23-minute talk highlighting Egypt's great and "glorious history" as a land of civilization, wisdom and faith in God. Small olive branches symbolizing peace were among the greenery adorning the podium. Religious leaders have a duty to respect everyone's religious identity and have "the courage to accept differences," he said in the talk that was interrupted by applause several times. Those who belong to a different culture or religion "should not be seen or treated as enemies, but rather welcomed as fellow-travelers," he said. Religion needs to take its sacred and essential place in the world as a reminder of the "great questions about the meaning of life" and humanity's ultimate calling. "We are not meant to spend all of our energies on the uncertain and shifting affairs of this world, but to journey toward the absolute," he said. He emphasized that religion "is not a problem, but a part of the solution" because it helps people lift their hearts toward God "in order to learn how to build the city of man." Egypt is the land where God gave Moses the Ten Commandments, which include "Thou shalt not kill," the pope said. God "exhorts us to reject the way of violence as the necessary condition for every earthly covenant." "Violence is the negation of every authentic religious expression," he said. "As religious leaders, we are called, therefore, to unmask the violence that masquerades as purported sanctity and is based more on the 'absolutizing' of selfishness than on authentic openness to the absolute." "We have an obligation to denounce violations of human dignity and human rights, to expose attempts to justify every form of hatred in the name of religion and to condemn these attempts as idolatrous caricatures of God." God is holy, the pope said, and "he is the God of peace." He asked everyone at the al-Azhar conference to say "once more, a firm and clear 'No!' to every form of violence, vengeance and hatred carried out in the name of religion or in the name of God." Not only are faith and violence, belief and hatred incompatible, he said, faith that is not "born of sincere heart and authentic love toward the merciful God" is nothing more than a social construct "that does not liberate man, but crushes him." Christians, too, must treat everyone as brother and sister if they are to truly pray to God, the father of all humanity, the pope said. "It is of little or no use to raise our voices and run about to find weapons for our protection," he said. "What is needed today are peacemakers, not fomenters of conflict; firefighters, not arsonists; preachers of reconciliation and not instigators of destruction." The pope again appealed for people to address the root causes of terrorism, like poverty and exploitation, and stopping the flow of weapons and money to those who provoke violence. "Only by bringing into the light of day the murky maneuverings that feed the cancer of war can its real causes be prevented," he said. Education and a wisdom that is open, curious and humble are key, he said, saying properly formed young people can grow tall like strong trees turning "the polluted air of hatred into the oxygen of fraternity." He called on all of Egypt to continue its legacy of being a land of civilization and covenant so it can contribute to peace for its own people and the whole Middle East. The challenge of turning today's "incivility of conflict" into a "civility of encounter" demands that "we, Christians, Muslims and all believers, are called to offer our specific contribution" as brothers and sisters living all under the one and same sun of a merciful God. The pope and Sheik el-Tayeb embraced after the sheik gave his introductory address, which emphasized that only false notions of religion, including Islam, lead to violence. The grand imam expressed gratitude for the pope's remarks in which he rejected the association of Islam with terror. The sheik began his speech by requesting the audience stand for a minute's silence to commemorate the victims of terrorism in Egypt and globally, regardless of their religions. "We should not hold religion accountable for the crimes of any small group of followers," he said. "For example, Islam is not a religion of terrorism" just because a small group of fanatics "ignorantly" misinterpret texts of the Quran to support their hatred. The security surrounding the pope's arrival seemed typical of many papal trips even though the country was also in the midst of a government-declared three-month state of emergency following the bombing of two Coptic Orthodox churches on Palm Sunday. The attacks, for which Islamic State claimed responsibility, left 44 people dead and 70 more injured. Egypt Prime Minister Sherif Ismail and other Egyptian officials warmly greeted Pope Francis on the airport red carpet after the pope disembarked from the plane. They walked together, chatting animatedly, to the VIP hall of Cairo International Airport, then the pontiff was whisked off to the presidential palace to meet el-Sissi at the start of his brief 27-hour visit. Pope Francis repeated his calls for strengthening peace in his speech to hundreds of officials representing government, the diplomatic corps, civil society and culture. "No civilized society can be built without repudiating every ideology of evil, violence and extremism that presumes to suppress others and to annihilate diversity by manipulating and profaning the sacred name of God," he said. History does not forgive those who talk about justice and equality, and then practice the opposite, he said. It is a duty to "unmask the peddlers of illusions about the afterlife" and who rob people of their lives and take away their ability to "choose freely and believe responsibly." - - - Contributing to this story was Dale Gavlak in Amman, Jordan. - - -Copyright © 2017 Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. www.catholicnews.com. All rights reserved. Republishing or redistributing of CNS content, including by framing or similar means without prior permission, is prohibited. You may link to stories on our public site. This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. To request permission for republishing or redistributing of CNS content, please contact permissions at cns@catholicnews.com.