IMAGE: CNS photo/Gregory A. ShemitzBy Beth GriffinNEW
YORK (CNS) -- When Donald J. Trump stepped over yet another invisible line of the
contentious presidential race Oct. 20, many of the 1,500 people
at 71st annual dinner of the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation broke historic
precedent to boo him.
Trump and Hillary Clinton flanked the host, Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York, on
the five-tiered dais of the Grand Ballroom at the heavily secured Waldorf
Astoria hotel for the charitable gala.
event has been a traditional opportunity for speakers to poke good-natured fun
at themselves, one another, and prominent guests from the worlds of politics,
business and philanthropy without inflicting wounds.
In 1928, Alfred
E. Smith, former governor of New York who was raised in poverty, was the first
Catholic nominated by a major political party to run for president of the
an introductory warning delivered as a humor-coated reminder of the evening's ground
rules by emcee Alfred E. Smith IV, chairman of the dinner, Trump veered from the
safety of chuckle-inducing barbs and zings. He said she is "so corrupt" she was kicked off the Watergate commission. The room erupted
in a crescendo of boos and shoutouts, as he lobbed one accusation after
another that his opponent is deceptive and a Catholic-hater. "She
is here tonight ... pretending not to hate Catholics," he said.
was restored when the Republican nominee recalled past Al Smith dinners as a
special occasion to spend time with his father, developer Fred Trump.
Smith, a great-grandson of the foundation's namesake, aimed jokes equally at both
candidates and reflected the general discomfort of the electorate with them. He
told Trump to watch his language because "even though the man sitting next to
you is in a robe, you're not in a locker room." He advised Clinton to remain
stoic in the face of insults during the evening by considering it a fourth
the proximity on Fifth Avenue of St. Patrick's Cathedral to Trump Tower, Smith
said Trump's appearance was historic, marking the first time the Catholic Church
was not the largest tax-exempt landowner at the dinner.
was greeted warmly with applause. He quipped that the huge event was a small intimate dinner
with friends for him, but that it counted as his opponent's largest crowd of
gave a shoutout to politicians in the room who formerly loved him, but turned
on him when he sought the Republican nomination. He said the dinner gives
candidates an opportunity to meet one another's teams and those working hard to
get them elected.
he spoke, he pointed out chairmen of media corporations seated on the dais and
among the assembly. As an example that the media is biased against him, Trump
said Michelle Obama gave a speech that everyone loved, but when his wife,
Melania, delivered the exact same speech, "people got all over her case. I
don't get it."
said he knows Clinton is very gracious because, if elected, she wants him to be
her ambassador to either Iraq or Afghanistan.
said the presidential debates were the most vicious in the history of politics.
In a rare reflective moment, he turned to Clinton and asked, "Are we supposed
to be proud of it?"
need to stand up to anti-Catholic bias, defend religious liberty and create a
culture that celebrates life, Trump concluded.
sat down to mixed applause and boos. Retaking the microphone, Smith said, "As
Ronald Reagan would say, 'There you go again!'" He noted the dinner raised a
record $6 million.
Democratic nominee was introduced to a standing ovation. Clinton said the fiery
populist Al Smith would be proud of the money raised at the event, but if he
saw the "room full of plutocrats" gathered to celebrate his legacy, he'd be
said she was taking a break from her rigorous nap schedule to attend, but the
event was also treat for the guests because she usually charges a lot for a
speech. She said she was a little amazed at the opportunity to speak, because
she didn't think her opponent would be OK with a peaceful transition of
said, "Every year this dinner brings together a collection of sensible,
committed mainstream Republicans, or as we now like to call them, Hillary
said critics accuse her of saying only what listeners want to hear. "Tonight
that is true. This is exactly what you want to hear. This election will be over
very, very soon."
said when Trump wanted her to undergo a pre-debate drug test, "I was so flattered
he thought I used some sort of performance-enhancers. Actually I did. It's
has questioned her stamina, Clinton said, but over the course of three debates,
she has stood next to him for longer than any of his campaign managers. She
said Trump is so concerned about her health, he sent a car to bring her to the
dinner. "Actually it was a hearse."
Clinton said if elected, "I will be the healthiest and youngest woman ever to
said one of the things the candidates have in common is the Republican National
Committee "isn't spending a dime to help either one of us."
serious, Clinton said it's easy to forget how far the country has come. When Al
Smith ran for office, she said there were rumors that he would forbid
Bible-reading in schools, annul Protestant marriages and make the Holland
Tunnel into a secret passageway to the Vatican so the pope could rule the
country. "Those appeals to fear and division can cause us to treat each other
as 'the other.' Rhetoric like that makes it harder for us to respect each
other," she said.
need to get better at finding ways to disagree on matters of policy while
agreeing on questions of decency and civility," she said.
the candidates shook hands across Cardinal Dolan at the dinner, he jokingly
attributed his nascent cold at the benediction to having spent two hours seated
between them, which he said is "the iciest pace on the planet. Where is global
warming when you need it?"
noted the funds raised at the dinner would provide grants for thousands of
mothers and children who are most in need and least visible to society.
guests in formal attire sat elbow-to-elbow at gold-covered tables in the
ballroom and its two balconies. The $3,000-a plate meal included a seafood trio
appetizer, tournedos of beef and a chocolate dessert duet. Metropolitan Opera
soprano Nadine Sierra sang the national anthem from the dais, set against the backdrop
of a huge American flag.- - -Copyright © 2016 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
IMAGE: CNS photo/Erik De Castro, ReutersBy Alastair WanklynTOKYO (CNS) -- Heavy
damage was reported to homes and farm land in the northern Philippines Oct. 20
after the strongest storm in three years struck overnight.
barreled into northern Cagayan and Isabella provinces, ripping the roofs off
homes and flattening crops. By
late Oct. 21, 13 people had been reported dead, and Haima hit southern China.
building in the city of Tuguegarao was damaged, Philippine media quoted
officials as saying. The city's communication links were down Oct. 20, and phone calls
to the archdiocesan office in Tuguegarao did not connect.
Across the district,
many roads were flooded or blocked by fallen trees. Aid groups said the
disruption made it difficult to assess the extent of damage, with one aid
official calling it "a communications black hole."
Thousands of people
in neighboring Isabella province spent the night sheltering in public
evacuation centers such as schools and churches.
"Most of the
time, the churches serve as evacuation centers if the government evacuation
centers cannot accommodate some of the people," April Ann Abello-Bulanadi,
a spokeswoman for Catholic aid group Caritas Philippines, said by phone from
Caritas released a
summary of reports from parishes of how they had prepared for the storm.
Some of them
reported holding stocks of relief goods. One diocese said it had been giving
out disaster advice at Mass. And in one district, a church compound was designated
the local relief staging ground for emergency supplies, so that residents and
aid groups alike would know where to go.
are very important because they are the ones who are already present on the
ground," Bulanadi said.
There was no estimate
of the total damage to agriculture, but northern Luzon is a center of rice and
corn farming, and the storm was feared to have wiped out crops shortly before
The day after the
typhoon, Caritas officials were expected to monitor video from a drone flown
over the disaster zone by Philippine aerial imagery startup SkyEye Analytics
Inc. Such images can identify communities that are cut off and roads that may
be accessible for aid teams.
Haima is the 12th
typhoon to strike the Philippines this year. In November 2013, Typhoon Haiyan
killed at least 6,300 people and forced around 5 million from their homes.
disaster following Haiyan served as a wake-up call for authorities and
residents alike. Today, aid workers say, there is a higher alertness by state
agencies and greater willingness by residents to follow evacuation advisories.
Caritas said Haiyan
also highlighted the importance of community-led disaster risk reduction, such
as identifying safe houses and checking on neighbors.
In the three years
since that disaster, Caritas has worked to create a more coordinated readiness
by the church nationwide.
"Now we are
trying to include as many dioceses as possible, not just dioceses from the
provinces affected, but we are also capacitating dioceses from the other
provinces, so that they would also be prepared when such a typhoon like this
would happen again here in the Philippines," Bulanadi said.
Catholic Relief Services, the U.S. bishops' international relief and
development agency, is part of the Caritas network. Matthew McGarry, country
the "institutional knowledge" of responding and rebuilding structures and lives
since Typhoon Haiyan have helped shape its approach today.
In January 2015,
Pope Francis paid a short visit to Tacloban, one of the cities badly hit by Typhoon
At Mass in the city,
he paid tribute to church and lay workers who helped those left homeless.
"To those of
you who housed and fed people seeking safety, in churches, convents, rectories,
and who continue to assist those still struggling, I thank you," he said.
"You are a credit to the church. You are the pride of your nation.
you did for the least of Christ's brothers and sisters, you did for him."
But there was a
reminder of the Philippines' storm-prone nature when Pope Francis cut short his
visit. He said the pilots of his plane feared worsening conditions would
prevent it taking off safely.
- - -
to this story was Simone Orendain in Chicago.- - -Copyright © 2016 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 email@example.com.
IMAGE: CNS/Paul HaringBy Carol GlatzVATICAN CITY (CNS) -- When a choir director and parish priest
differ over liturgical music, the choir should follow in good faith the wishes
of the priest for the sake of unity, said the papal liturgist.
When it comes to celebrating the liturgy, "we should
never fight," Msgr. Guido Marini told choir members, directors and priests.
"Otherwise, we distort the very nature" of what the people of God should
be doing during the Mass, which is seeking to be "one body before the
The papal master of liturgical ceremonies spoke Oct. 21 at a conference opening
a three-day jubilee for choirs. Hundreds of people involved in providing
music for the liturgical celebrations in Italian dioceses and parishes -- such
as singers, organists and musicians -- attended, as did directors of diocesan liturgy offices and
schools of sacred music.
During a brief question-and-answer period after his talk on the role of the
choir, a participant asked Msgr. Marini what she termed "an uncomfortable,
"Many times, in our parishes, the priest wants the
choir to perform songs that
are inappropriate, both because of the text" and because of the
moment the song is to be performed during the service, she said.
"In these situations, must the choir master follow
the wishes of the priest even with the knowledge that by doing so, the choir is
no longer serving the liturgy, but the priest?" she said to applause.
for his advice, Msgr. Marini smiled, cast his eyes upward and rubbed his
chin signaling his awareness that it was a hot-button topic. He said he felt "sandwiched"
"between two fires, between priests and choirs."
Acknowledging the difficulty of such a situation, he said
he sided with the priest.
There are situations where priests may not be giving completely
correct guidance, he said, and there are directors that could be doing better. But in either case, conflict
and division should be avoided and "humility and communion be truly
safeguarded," he said.
This, like with all disagreements, he said, requires that
all sides be very patient with each other, sit down and talk, and explain the
reasons behind their positions.
But if no conclusion or final point is reached, then "perhaps
it is better also to come out of it momentarily defeated and wait for a better
time rather than generate divisions and conflict that do no good," he said
Live the path of communion and unity in the parish "with
lots of goodness, cordiality and sometimes the ability to sacrifice something
of oneself, too," Msgr.
Just like the grain of wheat, he said, "sometimes
all of us must die in something" knowing that it will bear future fruit.
Msgr. Marini responded to the question after delivering a
50-minute speech, in which he received a standing ovation.
Titled, "The Role of the Choir in Liturgical
Celebrations," the monsignor outlined five fundamental elements of the
liturgy and how choirs should help serve each of those aspects.
The liturgy is the work of Christ and it should express
the Savior's living presence, he said. Choir members, therefore, must be people
who have Christ present in their hearts.
While much care must be given to the artistic and technical
aspects of liturgical music's performance, the hearts of those who perform must
be cared for as well so that they are men and women of faith who feel "a
burning love for Christ" and find their life's meaning in him, he said.
The liturgy also must evoke the church's universality,
where there is a harmonious union of diversity and continuity between tradition
and newness, he said. This means that the choir must never be "front and
center" or seem separate from the faithful because they are part of the
Pope Francis has insisted that liturgical music for papal
liturgies "never go beyond the rite" and force celebrants and the assembly
to wait for the singing to finish before proceeding on to the next moment of
the Mass, he said. "Song integrates itself into the rite," serving
the ceremony and not itself.
He also asked that choirs help the liturgy in its purpose
of gathering everyone together to conform themselves more closely to God and
The Mass is about overcoming individual distinctions so
that "it is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me," he
said. That means the choir should help everyone in the assembly be an active
participant during the moments of song including by stirring people's emotional
or spiritual feelings.
Choirs must help the liturgy by inviting all of creation
to lift its gaze toward God on high, he said. People should feel elevated and pulled
out of the mundanity of the ordinary and everyday -- not to escape from it, but
so as to return renewed to one's everyday life after Mass.
If song is not "a bridge over eternity" then it
is not doing its job, he said. Song must not be worldly and unworthy, but must
in some way be the "song of angels."
Lastly, he said, choirs must be missionary like the
church and the liturgy by way of attraction, which it does by revealing God's beauty,
wonder and infinite mercy.- - -Copyright © 2016 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
IMAGE: CNS/Paul HaringBy Junno Arocho EstevesCASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy (CNS) -- Pope Francis is throwing
open the doors to the papal apartment -- including the bedroom where popes have
slept -- in the Apostolic Palace at Castel Gandolfo.
The palace was for centuries the summer residence of the
Roman pontiffs, but Pope Francis has decided not to use it. Instead in 2014, he
opened the palace gardens to the public and last year opened a portion of the
Apostolic Palace as a portrait gallery.
Pope Francis "wanted this place -- so rich in history
and so significant -- to be a gift for the people," Antonio Paolucci,
director of the Vatican Museums, said Oct. 20 at the grand opening of the papal
"Whoever passes through the gate of the Apostolic
Palace of Castel Gandolfo will find pure beauty," Paolucci said.
Among the rooms open now to the public are the Room of the Throne,
the Consistory Room, the pope's bedroom and private study.
Unlike his predecessors, Pope Francis spends his summers in
Rome rather than at the peaceful residence 20 miles away in the cooler hills.
However, Sandro Barbagallo, curator of historical collections at the Vatican
Museums, said that the "non-presence of the pope fits perfectly within the
"Thirty-three popes have reigned since the Apostolic Palace
was first acquired. Of those 33 popes, only 15 have actually resided here at
Castel Gandolfo," he noted.
To celebrate the papal apartment's grand opening to the
public and its historical significance, artists from the Guangzhou Opera House
in Beijing performed a short concert titled, "Beauty unites us."
Playing both classical and traditional instruments, the
eight female artists filled the palace courtyard with the sounds of China while
famed calligrapher, Cui Zimo, painted an artistic representation in honor of
the Year of Mercy titled "Anima Mundi" ("The Soul of the World").
Zimo said his artwork, as well as the presence of the musicians
from the Guangzhou Opera House, was "an artistic contribution to the
pope's Year of Mercy," and he hoped that it would be "a new start to
the relationship between China and the Vatican."
The artwork, he said, was inspired by Michelangelo's
"Creation of Adam," in which God is depicted reaching his finger
toward Adam, "yet their fingers are barely touching."
Zimo said he suddenly realized "what those hands
mean" when he had a chance to meet Pope Francis and shake his hand. "It
is love that allows those hands to be together and that small distance (between
them) can disappear," he said.
"This merciful love not only means the coming together
of two persons but also (the coming together of) different peoples and
different nations,"Zimo said.
Visitors can purchase tickets to the Apostolic Palace and
the papal apartment in Castel Gandolfo through the Vatican Museums' website
- - -
Follow Arocho on Twitter: @arochoju.- - -Copyright © 2016 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 email@example.com.
By Cindy WoodenVATICAN CITY (CNS) -- In its ministry to young people, and
especially in vocations promotion work, church workers must step out of the
sacristy and take seriously the questions and concerns of the young, Pope
Young people are searching for meaning, and the best response
is to go out to where they are, stop and listen to them and then call them to
follow Jesus, the pope said Oct. 21.
Meeting participants at a vocations promotion conference
sponsored by the Congregation for Clergy, Pope Francis emphasized the need for
church workers to be on the move and to echo the vocations call Jesus used with
the disciples, "Follow me."
"Jesus' desire is to set people out on a journey,
moving them from a lethal sedentary lifestyle and breaking through the illusion
that they can live happily while remaining comfortably seated amid their
certainties," Pope Francis said.
The seeking and desire to explore that comes naturally to
most young people "is the treasure that the Lord puts in our hands and
that we must care for, cultivate and make blossom," the pope said.
Care is key, he said. It requires an ability for
"discernment, which accompanies the person without ever taking over his or
her conscience or pretending to control the grace of God."
Vocations promotion, which is the responsibility of every
Catholic, the pope said, must follow the same steps Jesus used when interacting
"Jesus stopped and met the gaze of the other, without
rushing," he said. "This is what makes his call attractive and
Jesus did not stay in "the secure fortress of the
rectory," the pope said, but set out into the cities and villages, pausing
to listen to the people he came across, "taking in the desire of those who
sought him out, the delusion of a failed night of fishing, the burning thirst
of a woman who went to the well to get water or the strong need to change one's
"In the same way, instead of reducing faith to a book
of recipes or a collection of norms to observe, we can help young people ask
the right questions, set out on their journey and discover the joy of the
Gospel," he said.
Every pastor and, particularly, everyone involved with
helping young Catholics discern their vocations, he said, must have a pastoral
style that is "attentive, not rushed, able to stop and decipher in depth,
to enter into the life of the other without making him or her ever feel threatened
Pope Francis told conference participants that he has never
liked speaking about vocations ministry as an office in the diocesan chancery
or headquarters of a religious order. It's not an office or a project
because it is all about helping someone meet the Lord and answer the Lord's
"Learn from the style of Jesus, who went to the places
of daily life, stopped without rushing and, looking upon his brothers and
sisters with mercy, led them to an encounter with God the father," the
While looking at the young with mercy, vocations directors
and bishops also must evaluate candidates for the priesthood with "caution
(and) without lightness or superficiality," he said. "Especially to
my brother bishops, I say: Vigilance and prudence. The church and the world
need mature and balanced priests, pastors who are intrepid and generous,
capable of closeness, listening and mercy."
Vocations promotion work can be frustrating and discouraging
at times, Pope Francis said, "but if we don't close ourselves up in
whining and we keep going out to proclaim the Gospel, the Lord will stay with
us and give us the courage to cast the nets again even when we are tired and
disappointed at having caught nothing."- - -Copyright © 2016 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.