IMAGE: CNS photo/courtesy Archdiocese oBy SEOUL, South Korea (CNS) -- To
mark the 70th anniversary of the division of Korea and the Year of Mercy, the
Archdiocese of Seoul launched a prayer movement, "North Korean Church in
Seoul Cardinal Andrew Yeom
Soo-jung, who serves as apostolic administrator of Pyongyang, North Korea, said
the people there "have always been in my prayers."
Before a Mass at Myongdong
Cathedral Nov. 24, the cardinal said: "Pope Francis has announced the Jubilee
of Mercy; I believe the Korean Peninsula is one of the regions that need most
the mercy of God. I invite everyone to join me in this prayer movement, to bear
in mind the Catholic Church of North Korea, and to show our love and concern
with continuous prayers," he said ahead of the opening Mass for the
After the liberation of Korea,
there were 57 parishes and about 5,200 Catholics in North Korea. After the
Korean War, however, the Catholic Church of North Korea underwent persecutions by
the government. Only a few hidden Catholics are believed to be in North Korea
The archdiocese said "North
Korean Church in My Heart " is open to anyone who wants to pray for the
North Korean Church.- - -Copyright © 2015 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/courtesy Mission of Life, LebanonBy Doreen Abi RaadBEIRUT (CNS) -- Archbishop Gabriele Caccia, the
Vatican nuncio to Lebanon, visited hospitalized victims of twin suicide
bombings in Beirut and said Lebanon's "message of coexistence" needs
to be preserved, despite the crises the country is enduring.
The Nov. 12 bombings in Beirut's southern suburbs killed
at least 46 people and wounded more than 200. The attacks, for which Islamic
State claimed credit, occurred a day before the terror attacks in Paris.
"We came here today to
express our friendship and brotherhood to the injured in Beirut's bombing,"
Archbishop Caccia said Nov. 23, while visiting the wounded, all Muslim, in two
The tour was part of an outreach
of union and solidarity with those injured in the attack, organized by the Lebanese
religious order Mission de Vie
(Mission of Life), devoted to serving the poorest of the poor in Lebanon.
The nuncio was accompanied by Maronite Archbishop Paul Matar of
Beirut; Father Wissam
Maalouf, founder and superior of Mission of Life; men and women
religious members of the order as well as volunteers.
"God loves tolerance, and he
is bigger than any desire for vengeance," Archbishop Caccia said during
the visit. "Lebanon's message of diversity should be preserved" and
it should prevail "despite all crises."
The nuncio said Pope Francis
"is close to all the oppressed and the needy in the world."
Mission of Life missionaries are
easily recognized throughout Lebanon by their royal blue habits, with
volunteers wearing T-shirts in the same color, affixed with the order's logo
depicting helping hands. Archbishop Caccia recently participated in one the group's
Visiting the victims in a
hospital, Father Maalouf said: "Faced with the evil and injustice
affecting our country, we are called to spread the culture of love and
nonviolence. Thus, we can overcome all barriers and deal with any
injustice."- - -Copyright © 2015 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 photo/Sean Gallagher, The CrBy Sean GallagherINDIANAPOLIS (CNS) -- As 23,000
youths from across the country worshipped together during the closing Mass of
the National Catholic Youth Conference in Indianapolis, Leanna Long felt "amazingly
overwhelmed" to be in the midst of so many people who shared her faith.
She attended the conference from
her home in North Carolina, where Catholics are a small minority of the overall
"We know the church is
large," said Long, a member of St. Thomas More Parish in Chapel Hill, in the
Raleigh Diocese. "But to be able to see it and know that I'm not alone (is
"We're told that where two
or three are gathered, (Jesus) is in your presence. Well, I'm one of one in my
school. Is God with me still? The answer is, 'Yes.' Even though I'm in North
Carolina and someone else is in New Hampshire, we're still ... praying together,"
she told The Criterion, newspaper of the Indianapolis Archdiocese. "We're
still gathered together, and he's there."
In her words, Long captured the church's
youthful vitality and diverse universality. Both were on display Nov. 21 as
conference attendees were led in worship on the feast of Christ the King by
Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga of Tegucigalpa, Honduras, who was the principal celebrant.
During his opening remarks at
the Mass, Cardinal Rodriguez shared with his young listeners the mission they
were being given as they returned to their homes.
"This is not the end,"
he said. "This is the beginning of another stage when you will go back to
your places in order to spread the kingdom of Jesus Christ."
In his homily, Cardinal
Rodriguez reflected on the feast of Christ the King that the church was
celebrating that weekend.
"Today, we want to
celebrate all his triumphs in one single feast, especially established to show
Jesus as the only sovereign (in) a society that seems to want to turn its back
on God and not acknowledge any of this," said the cardinal, who is a close
adviser of Pope Francis.
Cardinal Rodriguez later
exhorted his "young brothers and sisters" "to spread out his
reign of love, with all the values of the kingdom."
The kingdom of Christ, he said,
is "the salt of the earth, the light of the world, the leaven of the
dough, a sign of salvation in order to build a more just world, more brotherly,
one based on Gospel values, the hope and eternal joy to which we are all
The feast of Christ the King
also leads the Catholic Church to consider its ultimate fulfillment at the end
of time, and the relevance of that future event to the world here and now, he
"Today's feast is like
experiencing an anticipation of the second coming of Christ in power and
majesty, the glorious coming which will fill the hearts and will dry forever
the tears of unhappiness," Cardinal Rodriguez said. "And, at the same
time, it is an encouragement to make real this experience of the second coming
by our good works, because the hope of a new earth should not scare us.
"Rather, it should
strengthen our commitment to cultivate the earth, where that body of a new
human family grows and can give us an advance taste of the new world."
In addition to the 23,000 youths
participating in the Mass, approximately 250 priests concelebrated. The liturgy
also featured 18 bishops, 50 deacons and 50 seminarians.
The NCYC closing Mass capped the
conference that began Nov. 19 and took place in the Indiana Convention Center
and Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
The Archdiocese of Indianapolis
has hosted the last three conferences, which are held every two years. It is
scheduled to host the next one in 2017. The conference is sponsored by the
National Federation of Catholic Youth Ministry.
While many Catholic youths
traveled thousands of miles to attend the National Catholic Youth Conference,
Frankie Auriemma's trip to the event only took about 20 minutes.
A member of St. Susanna Parish
in Plainfield, a suburb of Indianapolis, Auriemma was proud that the
archdiocese was hosting so many Catholic youths from across the country as she
looked upon the attendees in the stadium prior to the start of the closing
"It's here in our hometown.
That's crazy," she said. "We get to be the hometown. I can say, 'Yeah,
I'm from Indianapolis. It's cool. This is my home turf.' It makes me really
proud. This is where I grew up. I've been here my whole life."
Indianapolis Archbishop Joseph
W. Tobin expressed his pride in the Catholic Church in central and southern
Indiana for working hard to host the youth conference by telling the story of St.
Mary Parish in Lanesville, which sent 20 youths to the conference and also 40
"Young people face
particular challenges today," Archbishop Tobin said. "In the heart,
we know what it means to be young. And we can serve them. I'm so pleased that
so many people in the archdiocese believe in the young people."
- - -
Gallagher is a reporter at The
Criterion, newspaper of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis.- - -Copyright © 2015 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/L'Osservatore Romano via ReutersBy Junno Arocho EstevesVATICAN
CITY (CNS) -- Italian journalists standing trial in a Vatican court defended
their right to freedom of the press, while the Vatican prosecution said the way
they acquired confidential information was illegal.
five people accused of involvement in leaking and publishing confidential
documents about Vatican finances were present at the opening of the criminal
trial in a Vatican courtroom Nov. 24.
accused are: Spanish Msgr. Lucio Angel Vallejo Balda, secretary of the
Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See; Francesca Chaouqui, a
member of the former Pontifical Commission for Reference on the Organization of
the Economic-Administrative Structure of the Holy See; Nicola Maio, who served
as personal assistant to Msgr. Vallejo Balda when he worked on the commission; and
the journalists, Gianluigi Nuzzi, author of "Merchants in the Temple,"
and Emiliano Fittipaldi, author of "Avarice."
Vallejo Balda, Chaouqui and Maio were accused of "committing several
illegal acts of divulging news and documents concerning fundamental interests
of the Holy See and (Vatican City) State." Nuzzi and Fittipaldi were
accused of "soliciting and exercising pressure, especially on (Msgr.) Vallejo
Balda, in order to obtain confidential documents and news."
Vatican court granted Fittipaldi's request to address the courtroom at the
trial's opening session. He expressed his "disbelief" at finding
himself being tried by a non-Italian court system when he wrote and published a
book in Italy.
said the charges against him were not "for publishing false or defamatory
news, but simply for publishing news, an act protected by the Italian
Constitution," as well as European and universal human rights conventions.
10 of the Vatican criminal code states that whoever "illegitimately
obtains or reveals news or documents" that are confidential can face a
fine between 1,000 and 5,000 euros and possible imprisonment from six months to
two years. Classified information dealing with diplomatic relations or "fundamental
interests" of the Holy See or Vatican City State carry more severe
penalties, including a maximum eight-year prison sentence.
Vatican criminalized the release of "news and documents" in July 2013.
The move came in the wake of the first so-called "VatiLeaks" trial in
2012 when Pope Benedict XVI's butler was charged with "aggravated theft"
for giving Vatican documents and papal correspondence to Nuzzi.
updated criminal laws were approved by Pope Francis.
the first session of the trial, Emanuela
Vallejo Balda's court-appointed attorney, objected that there was not enough
time to examine and prepare a proper defense.
and his Vatican-appointed defense lawyer argued that the court summons did not
specify the documents he stands accused of releasing and therefore makes his
The Vatican's assistant prosecutor, Roberto Zannotti, responded
to Fittipaldi's objection, arguing that the trial is not meant to infringe on
freedom of the press and is not about the
publication of documents, but that he was to "be held accountable"
for the illegal way he allegedly obtained the documents published in his book "Avarice."
five defendants were represented by Vatican court-appointed attorneys. Msgr.
Vallejo Balda, Chaouqui, and Nuzzi requested the Vatican's appellate court to
allow them to be represented by their own lawyers. However, shortly after the
proceedings, Nuzzi tweeted that the appellate court denied his request.
told the pool reporters present in the courtroom, "We are not martyrs, we
are journalists," who were just doing their job and that certain
principles needed to be upheld.
Dalla Torre, head of the tribunal for the Vatican City State, along with three
Vatican judges deliberated about the introductory motions privately for 45
minutes. The judges overruled Fittipaldi and Bellardini's objections and
scheduled the next trial date for Nov. 30.
Vatican judges said Msgr. Vallejo Balda would be the first to take the stand,
followed by Chaouqui and the other defendants over the course of a week.
- - -
Contributing to this story was Carol
Glatz at the Vatican.- - -Copyright © 2015 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 photo/courtesy Personal OrdiBy Cindy WoodenVATICAN CITY (CNS) -- After consultation with the governing
council of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter, Pope Francis
named Msgr. Steven J. Lopes to be the first bishop of the ordinariate, which
serves former Anglicans living in full communion with the Roman Catholic
The appointment of Bishop-designate Lopes, 40, was announced
by the Vatican Nov. 24 along with the announcement that Pope Francis had
accepted the resignation of Msgr. Jeffrey N. Steenson, 63, who had led the
ordinariate since its establishment by Pope Benedict XVI Jan. 1, 2012.
"This is the happy outcome of much careful consultation
with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, to whom I first made this
request almost a year ago," Msgr. Steenson said in a statement posted on
the ordinariate's website. "I welcome this news with all my heart, for the
ordinariate has now progressed to the point where a bishop is much needed for
our life and mission."The personal ordinariate, similar to a diocese, serves
parishes in the United States and Canada. Its offices are in Houston, Texas.Msgr. Steenson was ineligible to become a bishop because he
is married. After 28 years of ministry in the Church of England and in the
Episcopal Church in the United States, he and his wife were received into the
Catholic Church in 2007. He was ordained a Roman Catholic priest two years
Bishop-designate Lopes, who was ordained a priest for the
Archdiocese of San Francisco in 2001, has worked at the Congregation for the
Doctrine of the Faith since 2005. And since 2012 he has served as secretary of
the Vatican's "Anglicanae Traditiones" commission, which was
responsible for developing "Divine Worship," the new missal for use
in the personal ordinariates. The missal combines elements of the Catholic and
Anglican liturgical traditions.
Although Bishop-designate Lopes was not raised in the
Anglican tradition, Msgr. Steenson said he had worked so closely with former
Anglicans and with the establishment of the ordinariates for them that "there
is no one who knows better" the personal stories of those who joined the
Catholic Church and the history of the creation of the ordinariates for
Anglicans who wanted to enter into full communion with the Roman Catholic
Church while maintaining elements of their Anglican heritage and liturgy.
Bishop-designate Lopes was born April 22, 1975, in Fremont,
California. He studied philosophy at the University of San Francisco and at
Leopold-Franzens University in Innsbruck. He did his seminary studies at St.
Patrick's Seminary in Menlo Park, California, and in Rome at the Pontifical
North American College. He holds a doctorate in theology from the Pontifical
Gregorian University.- - -Copyright © 2015 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.