Issues Vol. 169‎ > ‎

Vol. 169 No. 27 • JUL 07 - 13, 2018

01 Cover

posted Jul 5, 2018, 10:59 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Jul 5, 2018, 10:59 AM ]


03 Index

posted Jul 5, 2018, 10:58 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Jul 5, 2018, 10:58 AM ]


04 Engagements

posted Jul 5, 2018, 10:56 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Jul 5, 2018, 10:56 AM ]


05 Editorial - Evolving Examiner - Fr. Anthony Charanghat

posted Jul 5, 2018, 10:51 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Jul 6, 2018, 4:18 AM ]

Since July 10, 169 years ago, the Archdiocesan The Examiner News Weekly has left no stone unturned to faithfully producing this genre of print religious predominantly focussed on faith. We are beholden to God for giving the present dispensation along with the freelance erudite and scholarly writers and its supportive readers, the opportunity to contribute to carrying on the baton of its uninterrupted publication, which completes 25 years this year. Examining issues in the light of faith has been the mark of this dynamic and ever evolving Examiner, unlike media that has other agenda, in the culture of fake news.

A vibrant Catholic religious media¬ - is needed more than ever, because it is still the most widespread means of ongoing adult faith education and formation we have today. This has become inevitable in the wake of the decline of the Catholic school system and weakening of Catholic family life with parents too busy to assume their role as ‘primary faith givers’. As the Church and the parishes face a tsunami of challenges from evangelicals and a secular world that is either indifferent to faith or question faith in God- the ministry of the media – becomes invaluable.

This has become the primary mission and task of The Examiner to make up for this lacunae and provide the missing faith input and information to many who are deprived of it. At a time when Catholics must seek to engage the great issues of the day, their voices barely rise above a whisper in the mainstream press. It needs an authentic voice of enlightened information to see reality through the eyes of God’s revelation to tell the news stories that are not being told or not being told well by the vested secular press.

We believe that being informed, seeing the world through Catholic eyes, is to increase understanding of one’s own faith. Our reportage is not restricted to just the who, what, where and when, but also the why. The regular appearance of a Catholic publication in print with news, features, comments, steeped in rich Catholic tradition from all over the globe, in-depth analysis and research by trained professional scribes, does more to help adult Catholic education and deepen mature faith formation. This is all the more so, given the number of those who admit print to be the preferred choice for ongoing faith education.

The Examiner rarely presents the faith in a systematic way, it is very much a presentation rooted in the world. It shows the faith alive and relevant in our society today. It always underlines faith as a living reality impacting the world and responsive to the exigencies of people today in a professional and pastoral way. The formation provided is not the same as catechetics. It is not narrowly pedantic in intent, nor is it propagandistic. It chooses to be intentional in this role, to be more effectively formative.

The model for its tone and content is deliberately selective. The writers and articles avoid any trace of arrogance, rashness in speech and being disputatious in tone, but men who know their religion. The contributors, in the words of Newman, "are persons who know their religion, who know what they hold and what they do not, who know their creed so well that they can give an account of it, who know so much of history that they can defend it."

The Examiner lays premium on inspirational stories about ordinary Catholics doing extraordinary things, from founding a center for addiction, unwed mothers, the concept of Marriage according to God’s plan and showing concern for refugees and care for creation. Themes on the defense of the dignity of life - great lessons in moral formation and on Holiness in the rank and file also form the grist of the media mill of The Examiner. This is the silver legacy it hopes to pass on to posterity.

06 Pope Francis creates 14 new Cardinals

posted Jul 5, 2018, 10:49 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Jul 5, 2018, 10:49 AM ]

Pope Francis created 14 new cardinals at a consistory ceremony at the Vatican on June 29, the feast of Sts Peter and Paul.

Pope Francis said these new cardinals, who hail from 11 countries - Iraq, Poland, Pakistan, Portugal, Peru, Madagascar, Japan, Mexico, Bolivia, Spain and Italy - express "the universality of the Church."

Cardinals under the age of 80 are eligible to take part in a conclave when the time comes to elect a new pope. Eleven of the 14 who received their distinctive red biretta, ring and title are under the age of 80. With this latest batch of new cardinals, Francis created 59 of the 125 voting cardinals. His predecessors, St John Paul II and retired Pope Benedict XVI, created 19 and 47 cardinals, respectively.

Pope Francis normally does not alert his chosen bishops before the official announcement. His previous choices for cardinals have surprised Vatican watchers in the past. This group, however, includes some bishops who hold high-profile Church positions, like Luis F. Ladaria and Angelo De Donatis.

The 11 new cardinals under the age of 80, who will be active participants in a future conclave, are: Iraqi Chaldean Catholic patriarch Louis Raphael I Sako who has continued to stand by the dwindling Christian population in his war-torn country; Pakistan's Joseph Coutts, known for his efforts in promoting Christian-Muslim dialogue in his country where less than 2 per cent of the population is Christian; Pedro Barreto of Huancayo who has continuously called for responsible mining practices in Peru and warned against the harmful effects of pollution on the poor and the environment; and Polish cardinal Konrad Krajewski, who has worked tirelessly to distribute papal aid to help the poor and homeless in Rome.

The total number of cardinals are 227, of whom 125 are under 80, meaning able to vote for a new pope. That's well above the traditional ceiling of 120 electors established under Blessed Pope Paul VI. This is Pope Francis' fifth consistory.

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07 Pope tells youth to evangelize through the ‘Digital World’ - Hannah Brockhaus

posted Jul 5, 2018, 10:47 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Jul 5, 2018, 10:48 AM ]

Sharing the Gospel with people at the peripheries might not even require stepping outside the door, Pope Francis said, encouraging Christians to evangelize through encounters in the "digital world."

Especially for young people, "the ends of the earth...are quite relative and always easily 'navigable'. The digital world - the social networks that are so pervasive and readily available - dissolves borders, eliminates distances, and reduces differences."

But if we lack a "sincere gift of our lives," he continued, "we could well have countless contacts, but never share in a true communion of life. To share in the mission to the ends of the earth demands a gift of oneself in the vocation that God, who has placed us on this earth, chooses to give us."

The Pope's words were published in a message on the theme, 'Together with young people, let us bring the Gospel to all,' published ahead of the 92nd World Missionary Day, which will take place Oct. 21.

Pope Francis explained that the Synod of Bishops on young people, the faith, and vocational discernment will also take place in October, which is the "month of the Missions," and that the Synod "will prove to be one more occasion to help us become missionary disciples, ever more passionately devoted to Jesus and His mission, to the ends of the earth."

While the pope's message was for "all Christians who live out in the Church the adventure of their life as children of God," he reflected specifically on the missionary role of young people.

Addressing youth, he said, "What leads me to speak to everyone through this conversation with you is the certainty that the Christian faith remains ever young when it is open to the mission that Christ entrusts to us."

Quoting the words of St John Paul II in Redemptoris Missio, Pope Francis said: "Mission revitalises faith," and emphasised that young men and women who want to follow Christ need "to seek, to discover, and to persevere" in their God-given vocations, which will lead to joy.

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08 Quest of Faith - Vincent J Pereira

posted Jul 5, 2018, 10:45 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Jul 5, 2018, 10:46 AM ]

Historical review of a well at Dahisar West

Much before the stone-throwing incident on the Immaculate Conception Church at Borivli West, on the feast night of December 1971, there already existed a well in the area of Kandarpada , Dahisar West, Mumbai. A well that was a source of water to all the neighbouring hamlets and clans that resided in its vicinity; even through the scorching heat of those summers, the water never ran dry in this well. This certainly was a "Good Samaritan Well" to its surroundings.

Not only were the residents provided by water from this well, but it was also a watering hole for thirsty animals drawing different carriages, carts, tongas, even "Victorias" that came from the island city of Bombay (now Mumbai) and from Esplanade House near Colaba who often visited the military guesthouse in Ghodbunder village, used mainly by the glamorous sections of the city and by soldiers of the Royal Armed forces as they rode past this well. This was because the next watering hole was seven miles further North, near the Ghodbunder Army Barracks, a place called Padmali. To this day, this much neglected pond exists along with a wayside Cross, stating historical evidence of the use and grandeur of its time. The "Good Samaritan Well" had great significance, even connecting the existing Portuguese fort at Ghodbunder (presumed to be a strategic navigation station in its time) and the existing Portuguese Watchtower at the Franciscan brothers' monastery at Borivli (West), both points vital for the Portuguese Administration.

There used to be a triangular milestone on the bank of the Dahisar river along this road stating "Borivli - 3 miles" which was very near to this Good Samaritan well, that tells us that this was an intercity road, for sure a major road in status.

The road later got isolated after the Bombay, Baroda and Central India Railway (BB&CI) (now Western Railway) laid the railway lines, and created a level crossing after the Borivli Railway Station and the Dahisar subway in 1856. All traffic to Ghodbunder got diverted through this level crossing for convenience, as there also used to be a watering hole opposite Borivli railway station at Chikalwadi, along the now L.T. Road. However, this Good Samaritan well continued to be a source of water supply to the locals, until the neighbouring areas were connected by municipal water lines which was the final blow to its fall in popularity.

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10 Is Heaven for Everyone? - Eddy D’sa

posted Jul 5, 2018, 10:42 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Jul 5, 2018, 10:42 AM ]

At the end of it all, after all the cynicism, hypocrisy and suffering, what will be our final destination? We start with this question—will everyone ultimately end up in heaven? Now the belief that everyone will ultimately be in heaven is what theologians call “Universalism”. It’s popular in our culture today to believe that all roads ultimately lead to heaven. The spiritual life is often pictured as a mountain, with heaven on top of the mountain, and every religion taking its own unique path up the mountain, but all paths end up at the same destination. But if that’s true, then it must be true that all religions without distinction ultimately end in heaven. When we think about that, it poses a problem, because Satanism is also a religion, as well as some religions that practise human sacrifice. These religions must also be equally valid ways of approaching God, if every road leads to heaven. In fact, we’d also have to include cultic groups like David Koresh’s Branch Davidians and the UFO cult Heaven’s Gate as equally valid ways to heaven. You see, if we can’t make distinctions between truth and error when it comes to religion, then we must include all religions, including ones that have practices that we find repulsive and immoral. Our spiritual beliefs end up being no more significant than ice cream flavours; they become strictly a matter of personal preference. In fact, even the road of non-religion must be an equally valid road.

Universalism also has another major problem. God has given us the freedom to reject His plan, the freedom to spurn His love, the freedom to reject His offer of heaven. So if everyone ultimately ends up in heaven, God must overpower some people’s will and force them to be there, even though they’d choose not to be. Oxford theologian Alister McGrath is exactly right when he says, "Universalism denies humanity the right to say NO to God."

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11 Book Reading: A declining habit?

posted Jul 5, 2018, 10:39 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Jul 5, 2018, 10:40 AM ]

Youth these days are seemingly avoiding reading books, compared to the previous generation. The book reading habit has been brutally replaced by the advancements of modern technology.

This feature is about the other portion of the population, who has developed, unfortunately, a habit of keeping away from books. A staggering amount of young people, mainly millennials, have a sharp dislike to reading. This surely is a warning sign, as this generation will become citizens, perhaps without reading a single book outside of their textbooks. There are different factors behind this scenario, not to mention the ‘omnipresence’ of the ‘omnipotent’ technology, especially smart devices.

The importance or necessity of reading books is not the primary focus; rather, the declining reading habit among the younger generations is the major concern. However, some information never hurts. The Library of Alexandria, Egypt was one of the largest and greatest libraries of the ancient world. It was constructed under the patronage of Ptolemy dynasty during 300 BCE, and was destroyed by Roman invasion in the first century. A little story would illustrate their obsession about books. Alexandria was one of the most important ports of the eastern hemisphere, so a lot of ships used to travel through it. What the library did was fascinating; they confiscated each and every book on any ship, and copied it. During the ships’ return journey, the books were returned. This smart move added thousands of scrolls to the library. The library authority was also notorious for sending troops around, who used to copy books, and forcefully capture the original copies for the library. However questionable the practice may be, such has been the importance of books or written knowledge to some civilisations.

The good old days saw a different kind of culture, where reading books was regarded mostly in two ways. On the one hand, parents were very sceptical about books outside the school syllabus, and on the other hand, this same practice was regarded as something very constructive. Parents, apparently, were not very willing to admit the importance of reading books. However, the culture of reading was very much in practice. In one way or other, it was appreciated; students with a story book hidden inside a text book were not unusual to find. There were parents too, who had a library in their house, or who took their children to book fairs and ‘wasted’ money till their kids’ satisfaction was met. Thus, a contradictory culture has remained in this society; reading books was good, then again it was considered harmful and not encouraged.

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13 NUTS and BOLTS of getting articles published - Amanda Bennett

posted Jul 5, 2018, 10:36 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Jul 5, 2018, 10:37 AM ]

Here are ten ways to assess a story idea before you try selling it to an editor:

1. Where did your idea come from?

If it came off reporting, it's probably a stronger idea than one you just got out of your head. Did your reporting suggest a trend? Did it turn up a fascinating person? Did something just not seem right? Did something about your reporting puzzle you, or intrigue you, or surprise you?

2. Is the idea original?

Have you done your library research to see what else has been written on the topic? If something has been written about your idea already, look for opportunities to take an intensely local perspective or a particular new angle on the subject.

3. Does the idea surprise you?

If it doesn't surprise you, will it surprise your readers? Will they invest the time to read fifty inches of a story, if it is so predictable that they already know pretty much everything about the story's main idea by reading the headline?

4. Does the idea have movement to it?

What's movement? It's something that's new, something that people are suddenly developing interest in or losing interest in, something they're starting to talk about, or think about, or plan for.

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