Issues Vol. 168‎ > ‎

Vol. 168 No. 27 - July 08 - July 14, 2017

01 Cover

posted Jul 5, 2017, 11:08 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Jul 6, 2017, 11:58 PM ]

03 Index

posted Jul 5, 2017, 11:07 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Jul 6, 2017, 11:59 PM ]

04 Official & Engagements

posted Jul 5, 2017, 11:06 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Jul 6, 2017, 11:57 PM ]

05 Editorial - Fanning the Flames of Faith - Fr Anthony Charanghat

posted Jul 5, 2017, 11:05 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Jul 7, 2017, 12:12 AM ]

Since July 10, 1850, The Examiner in India was deemed as the Bombay Diocesan Bulletin that served to fan the flames of faith of Catholics. It warmed the hearts of its readers to action for the good of all, in the light of Christian teachings on matters spiritual, moral and social. Over the years, it also developed as a means of spreading the Gospel, and connecting Catholics to one another and their Church.

This objective has been very much in alignment with the vision of Pope Francis on Catholic Communication. He affirmed that diocesan papers can represent significant places of encounter and attentive discernment for lay faithful involved in the social and political arena. This would promote 'dialogue', 'convergences' and 'objectives' for joint action in the service of the Gospel and the common good.

The Examiner, for over a century and six decades, has tried to play a vital role of Christian Communication in our local churches. Periodically, the publication has been a vehicle of evangelisation and accountability, offering a way for Catholics to make their faith relevant to their daily lives. The Examiner is a 'newspaper of the people and among the people', for a loyal exchange and debate among diverse opinions, promoting authentic dialogue, which is indispensable for the growth of the civic and Church communities.

Diocesan publications are often the first step for Catholics who are interested in reading and learning more about their faith. The Examiner News Weekly also helps its readers realise that they are part of a larger family that extends well beyond their parish to the rest of the diocese, and to the entire Catholic world.

The value of this diocesan newspaper is that it is edited for the needs of a local audience by personnel who live within the local Church and are sensitive to the information needs of their readers. It is learned that in many Catholic households, the diocesan newspaper may be the only Catholic reading material that comes into the home. This has been an underlying perspective that guides and directs the news weekly.

This age-old periodical of the Archdiocese has always striven to offer readers a reliable source of information about Church news from authentic sources, and well recognised and approved news agencies committed to exploring 'the full and richer story of the Church' often not covered in secular media.

We may add that The Examiner has always provided columns to be a forum for the exchange of ideas. Dialogue is a way to enrich the faith that has been evident in the Church from the very beginning. Exchange is even more important today, not as a means of attacking the Church, but as an enlightening tool and another way of evangelisation.

Catholics need their own voice to engage society and be heard in the public square, but first and foremost, they need a voice to inform Catholics themselves, helping them to see reality through Catholic eyes. It needs a voice to tell the stories that are not being told, or not being told well, and it needs a voice to mobilise Catholics.

To inform, to form and to inspire should be part of the DNA of any Catholic media organisation these days. This holistic approach of Catholic communication is a part of our vocation at The Examiner. Both the Church and media themselves need pews filled with those lay men and women that Newman described as people who "know their religion, know where they stand, and know what they hold and what they do not."

Print is not dead. Indeed, for The Examiner News Weekly in its 168th year, it remains for now the ultimate push technology and the surest way to provide content that will fulfil the three-fold task of Catholic Communication. Ultimately, the net result of our endeavour is to bring about a flowering of our faith in the Christian community.

06 The World of Social Media and its impact on Christians - Fr Nelson lobo, OFM Cap

posted Jul 5, 2017, 11:04 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Jul 5, 2017, 11:04 AM ]

Boy: "Daddy, how was I born?"

Dad: "Well, son, I guess one day you will find out anyway! Your Mom and I first got together in a chat room on Yahoo. Then I set up a date via e-mail with her, and we met at a cyber-café. We sneaked into a secluded room, and googled each other. There your mother agreed to a download from my hard drive. As soon as I was ready to upload, we discovered that neither of us had used a firewall, and since it was too late to hit the delete button, nine months later, a little Pop-Up appeared that said: "You got Male!"

The world is gripped with the social media technology. The number of Internet users in India is expected to reach 450-465 million in 2017. That is only 26 per cent of the Indian population. In spite of low percentage of internet users compared to other countries (China 50 per cent, USA 74 per cent), the buzz today is about uploading and downloading, online and offline, offers and recharges, MB and GB, I-pad and I-pod, Whatsapp and Facebook. So much so, someone said, in future, the symbols of English alphabets will also change. Instead of A for apple (fruit), it's going to be A for Apple computer. Instead of B for ball, it's going to be B for Blackberry; instead of C for cat, it's going to be C for cell phone etc. It seems a priest, realising that much unfaithfulness happens online, decided to paraphrase the questions during the marriage vows. He asked the bridal couple: "Will you be faithful to each other online and offline?"

From the Stone Age to the Modern Age, it has taken centuries. From the Modern age to Cyber age/internet age, it has taken only about 25 years. This Information explosion Age is relatively new. Humanity did not have enough time to sit back and evaluate what this internet age is doing to our brains, our hearts, our personhood, our families, our societies. Life is fast. Speed is the mantra. No time to cry over spilt milk. But feedback is a must. Some fundamental questions need to be looked at, especially for Christians, because it is a matter of not only avoiding sin, but saving our souls. "The Devil is prowling like a roaring lion. He uses innumerable tricks to deceive us," warned St Peter. (1 Pet 5:8) St Paul said, "Everything is permissible for us, but not everything is helpful." (1 Cor 6:12)

Questions to ponder are: Am I addicted to the internet? If so, what is my life? How has the smartphone changed my life? What happens to me when I am addicted to constant pictures and videos? As a Christian, how should I behave online? What does God expect of me while I am online? How can I love God with all my heart, soul, mind and strength while using Facebook, Twitter or Whatsapp? Is my use of the internet and social media leading me into sin? Have I made social media my god? Am I wasting my time on social media? Do I value my online friends more than real-life relationships? Do I use Facebook to augment my self-esteem? Am I looking to be popular by constantly posting on Facebook? Am I becoming discontented in life when there is no net connection? Do I feel sad when others get more likes on Facebook than me? Do I take part in unwholesome comments online? Do I use Facebook and Whatsapp to spoil someone's reputation? (Prov 10:19–21; 17:27) The Bible invites us to be the light of the world (Jn 8:12); do I present myself as the light of the world through what I post, tweet, text and e-mail?


08 Wake up the world with the Light of the Gospel! - Ladislaus L D'Souza, PC

posted Jul 5, 2017, 11:02 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Jul 5, 2017, 11:02 AM ]

Centenary of the Lay Pauline Cooperator - an Apostolate whose time has come

It was in the year 1917 that Blessed James Alberione established the Pauline Cooperators to give lay people an opportunity to participate in the Media mission of the Society of Saint Paul [priests and brothers] and the Daughters of Saint Paul by (in his own words) "going where priests and religious cannot go, and doing what priests and religious cannot do." In time, Alberione was to found no less than ten institutes or congregations, that would constitute what has come to be widely known as the 'Pauline Family'. But it is significant that the third entity he gave birth to was a lay institute, and this, long before the emergence of papal encyclicals urging lay involvement in the different areas of the Church's mission. As the central theme set for the centenary by the General Government of the Pauline Family in Rome succinctly suggests, the mission of the Pauline Cooperator is to 'Wake up the world with the light of the Gospel!'

Pauline Family in India

Of the ten institutes that Alberione founded, there are four that have branched out in India: Society of Saint Paul, Daughters of Saint Paul, Sister Disciples of the Divine Master and Pauline Cooperators. While the Pauline priests, brothers and sisters are specifically involved in the media apostolate, the Sister Disciples are in the Eucharistic/Liturgical apostolate and in intensive prayer before the Blessed Sacrament exposed. The Indian chapter of the Cooperators formally came into being when four lay persons, viz. Sarah Braganza, Margaret D'Souza, Livia D'Sa and Ladislaus L D'Souza, after an intensive two-year preparation, took the 'Pledge' as the first Indian Cooperators at the Chapel of the Daughters of Saint Paul, Bandra, on the Feast of the Conversion of Saint Paul, January 25, 2003. The group has grown since then, with branches in Borivli, Bangalore, Mangalore, Ahmedabad, Calcutta, Nagpur and Goa.

Cooperation from these lay groups extends from assistance in editorial work to folding of printed sheets, from Open House in schools to diffusion, organising annual book-fests and much else, apart from monthly Eucharistic Adoration. The focus of Saint Benedict's rule, Ora et labora, in action, so to say! While this assistance spells itself out in the work set-up of the Daughters of Saint Paul, the members are groomed to be of help to any of the other branches of the Pauline Family in India.

Interestingly, another group of 'cooperators' exercises its mission directly in collaboration with the Sister Disciples of the Divine Master. Named 'Friends of the Divine Master' [FDM], the members meet with the Sisters for prayer and work related to their particular apostolate. Roland Fernandes, Gretta Rebello, Victor Pereira, Alda Sequeira, Thelma Romelle, Collete D'Souza, Edocian Rebello, Agnes Patel, Juliet Alves, Madhavan Reddiar and Prabha Reddiar made their promise at Prarthanalaya, Bandra in 2002. The FDM Cooperators have their presence in Chennai, Bangalore, Goa, Kerala, Guwahati and Mumbai.


09 Using the new media for the new Evangelisation - Bp John Wester

posted Jul 5, 2017, 11:00 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Jul 5, 2017, 11:01 AM ]

The past twenty years have been a dizzying series of breakthroughs and game-changing advances in communications. Our modern world is simply not the same.

Twenty years ago, there were fewer than 1000 Internet sites. Today, there are perhaps 650 million of them.

The truth of our faith has not changed. Our Tradition—with a capital T—has not changed. But the people of our dioceses are living in a new world. The communications future that we were promised long ago is here right now.

We've heard the statistics of how many people own smartphones and iPads and use social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. But do we realise how profoundly these new devices are changing HOW we communicate? For instance, many more people now check the news multiple times a day, instead of waiting for the evening broadcasts.

People are using the Internet not just for e-mail and searching for information. They use it to pay bills and make contributions, to find out what their relatives across the country and across town are doing, to make dinner reservations, to review movies and books, to buy almost anything, and to catch up with the grandchildren. But often they can't make donations to their parishes – or to our national collections. It's difficult to find a social network online to share their faith. And many of the Church documents, or such resource materials as the Catholic Encyclopedia, are difficult to find online.

We all acknowledge that communication in the digital world goes both ways. News articles or reflections or catechetical resources that are online are expected to have a place where people—potentially anyone—can offer their thoughts in a digital reply.

It's instantaneous, it's public, and it's personal.

The idea of 'best practices' also includes business models. As we have learned in the past few years, the world of newspapers has been turned upside down. A business model based on print circulation and advertising revenue, which worked for decades, is now barely relevant.


10 Prince of the Poor - Fr Joshan Rodrigues

posted Jul 5, 2017, 10:59 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Jul 5, 2017, 10:59 AM ]

In the days following his death and funeral, I am trying to think how the late Cardinal Ivan Dias impacted my life. Lots of eloquent and praise-worthy eulogies have poured in, but he impacted different people differently. After the enigmatic and towering Cardinal Valerian Gracias, Cardinal Ivan Dias must surely rank as one of the greatest sons that India has produced for the Church.

Cardinal Ivan's rise through the ecclesiastical hierarchy was stellar, and there is no need to go into that here, since a Google search will tell give you many details of his illustrious life spent in the service of the Universal Church. But Cardinal Ivan was more than just the positions he held; he was a man according to the heart of Christ. The many articles that have appeared in the online press fail to bring out the crux of his personality and the force of his character. Cardinal Oswald Gracias described him a 'martyr for mission'. But he was also a 'Prince of the Poor'.

He was Marian at heart, and his love for Mary was evident in his spirituality and the way he took care of his people as a mother. Catholic News Service says that in his preaching and teaching, Cardinal Dias liked to combine quotes from Scripture with everyday images.

"The bishop, like the donkey, must carry Jesus high on his shoulders for all the people to see and hear and follow. The hosannas and the alleluias, the palm and olive branches, the clothes strewn before it on the roadside are not for the donkey, but for his lord and master," he told an international conference for bishops in Rome in 2000.

During a visit to Vietnam in 2011, Cardinal Dias told government representatives that the government was like a mother and a father in a family, each having a specific role, but needing to work together "for the good of their children."

The Fraternity of Sisters who took care of Cardinal Ivan Dias evoke the man he was, in their recollections of him in Albania. He was appointed Apostolic Nuncio to Albania in 1991, just after the fall of communism in that country in 1990. He had the grim challenge of re-christianising Albania, after decades of communist rule, during which all forms of religion had been completely purged.

Cardinal Ivan took to the challenge as a fish to water. His missionary instincts shone. The cardinal invited foreign missionaries to the country, and worked with the Albanian government to recommission Catholic churches and schools. Food was in short supply, and hence he would stock up on supplies when he made visits to Rome every couple of months. He would also collect money and resources for rebuilding projects. However, the food would not last long, since he would readily give it away to any one who came knocking on his door.


11 The 'architect' of the Diocese of Vasai - Msgr Francis Correa

posted Jul 5, 2017, 10:57 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Jul 5, 2017, 10:58 AM ]

The late Cardinal Ivan Dias will, among other things, go down in history as the main architect of the Diocese of Vasai. He was the mentor of this diocese, when it was created in 1998. No wonder, His Lordship Dr Thomas Dabre, the first bishop of Vasai, flew all the way from Pune to Rome to pay his respects to his departed friend, philosopher and guide. The diocese of Vasai, and the first bishop of Vasai in particular, cannot afford to forget the brain behind the creation of the new diocese.

As the needs of Vasai were different from those of Bombay, for a long time a need was often expressed of forming Vasai as a separate diocese. The strengths and weaknesses of the Marathi-speaking rural area of Vasai were different from those of the English-speaking urban area of the Archdiocese of Bombay. Being a little reluctant to separate Vasai from Bombay, and looking at the resources that existed in the populace of Vasai, the late Valerian Cardinal Gracias often emphasised that Vasai needs Bombay and Bombay needs Vasai. It was Archbishop Simon Pimenta who really prepared the platform for the creation of the new diocese of Vasai. He got the stage, the backdrop curtain, the artists as well as the make-up room ready in such a way that the stage was absolutely set for the pastor who came all the way from Rome to take charge of the Archdiocese of Bombay. It appeared from the very beginning that he had received instructions from the Vatican to create Vasai as a new diocese on priority basis.

As soon as Archbishop Ivan came to Bombay, he started visiting the deaneries of Vasai and Dharavi Island on a regular basis. He also met the priests on either side of Vasai creek. Experienced as he was as the Apostolic Nuncio in different places in forming and creating new dioceses,the new Archbishop had almost made up his mind that Vasai creek would be the natural boundary between the two ecclesiastical units. Though all along, Bishop Thomas Dabre was in charge of the two deaneries of Vasai and Dharavi, a time came when Vasai, to the north of Bhayander was separated as a new diocese, and Dharavi was retained as a part of the Archdiocese of Bombay. This was a crucial decision, but the fearless architect stuck to his decision with firm hands, and the first Bishop of Vasai was installed in the newly established Cathedral at Papdy on August 15, 1998.

Separating a portion of any diocese and creating a new unit is one thing, and helping the new diocese to stand on its own feet is quite another thing. The bishop who takes initiative in the creation of the new diocese has to skillfully walk on a tight rope at the initial stage, till psychologically and financially, both the mother diocese as well as the daughter diocese are satisfied, and all their needs are met. Archbishop Ivan was firm – and very firm at times, when people made demands – sometimes legitimate, and at times not so legitimate. He was born in Bombay as an administrator; was formed as an administrator in Rome, and he was a fatherly figure when the new diocese had to be created, thereby fulfilling the mission the Lord had given him through the Vatican.


13 Cardinal George Pell - Michael Cook

posted Jul 5, 2017, 10:54 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Jul 5, 2017, 10:56 AM ]

The man ranked third in the Vatican, Australian Cardinal George Pell, has been informed that he will be charged with "historical sexual assault offences" which probably date back to the 1960s. Since Pell is the Prefect of the Vatican Secretariat for the Economy – the man in charge of cleaning up the Vatican's tangled finances – this is international news.

Cardinal Pell strenuously denies the allegations. He will not be sheltering behind his responsibilities in the Vatican, and plans to return to Australia to face the music. In a statement, he said, "These matters have been under investigation now for nearly two years. There have been leaks to the media, relentless character assassination, and for more than a month, claims that a decision on laying charges is "imminent". I am looking forward finally to having my day in court. I repeat that I am innocent of these charges. They are false. The whole idea of sexual abuse is abhorrent to me."

Understandably, the news of the charges has shocked people around the world, especially those who were unaware of the investigation by police in the state of Victoria. But Pell's complaint of "relentless character assassination" is not exaggerated.

The national broadcaster, the ABC, and the flagship newspapers of the Fairfax press, the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, have highlighted every rumour, no matter how implausible, and never wasted an opportunity to blacken Pell's name.

To any one who knows anything about Pell, the allegations are highly implausible. One of the first things that Pell did as Archbishop of Melbourne was to set up protocols for dealing with sex abuse. They were the first in the world. How likely is it that he would be an abuser himself? In 2001, Pell was transferred to Sydney as Archbishop. A few months later, he was accused of abuse. He stepped down while his own protocols were applied to him. The case was not proven.

Pope Francis describes Pell as an honest and energetic man, and the Archbishop of Sydney, Anthony Fisher, has insisted strongly that he is "a man of integrity in his dealings with others, a man of faith and high ideals, a thoroughly decent man." Despite the media's campaign, many Australians regard the allegations as preposterous. Amongst his supporters, there is no shame-faced sotto voce mumbling that "he might have gone too far, and after all these years, he had it coming."

George Pell's problem is his strength of character. He was born two generations before Mark Zuckerberg, but the motto of Facebook - "move fast and break things" - expresses something of his style. Even physically, at 6-foot-3-inches, he is an imposing figure. He is a blunt speaker, a tough and practical manager, a theological conservative, a supporter of the Pope, and an outspoken critic of contemporary social mores. He was the plumber of the Australian Catholic Church, the man who fearlessly waded into the sewer of its sex abuse scandal and cleared the blocked drains.


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