Vol. 167 No. 43 - October 22 - October 28, 2016
The world has hailed Pope Francis for including environmental violations among the many transgressions which humankind will have to answer for. It is true that we are threatened by many things today, from environmental degradation to nuclear war. But the greatest threat to human beings today is humankind itself—which, of course, encompasses every human being who, by their own individual and societal immoral actions bring about unprecedented environmental and total disaster upon the world.
Pope Francis stated in Laudato Si' (48) that “the human environment, and the natural environment, deteriorate together; we cannot adequately combat environmental degradation unless we attend to causes related to human and social degradation.” This linkage can be deduced from scripture, wherein it is stated that ‘God holds all creation together in himself, all creation is one with the Creator’ (Col 1:17). Consequently, when man rebels against God, nature rebels against man.
We have all heard about ‘global warming,’ and the effects of man’s actions upon the environment. It is difficult to ignore today’s history-making floods and ravaging forest wildfires and other climate-change warnings that include rising seas, and wild weather shifts, which are both global and ominous without perceiving the connect to human responsibility. Man’s physical actions, like the use of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) are in some way a partial cause of global warming.
Clearly, the world is heating up and disintegrating, but not just physically. The moral and social temperature and deterioration are also rapidly increasing. The increasing downslide in physical degradation, is often preceded by the spiralling rise in moral and social degradation. We could argue that long before environmental disaster, it was moral concerns that produced almost instant, easily seen changes. There was a sudden worldwide explosion and acceptance of pornography, contraception, adultery, homosexual lifestyles, abortion and euthanasia that has led to the prevailing widespread human, social, and environmental degradation of the world.
It is evident the immorality spawned by the deviant sexual practices is surely related to the social degradation we see today. There is a universal plague of drug and human sex trafficking, abortion-on-demand and the right to Euthanasia causing senseless violence and massacres in our homes, schools, and streets and throughout the world. This can also be a rational explanation of the escalation of the stubbornly resistant, and still growing, deadly diseases, like AIDS,ever-reoccurring EBOLA and the more recent ZIKA virus. Experts on medical diseases say that the spread of AIDS and Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS) are still rising with more virulence than the world previously experienced.
While the Pope did not directly say that immorality, or human degradation, caused today’s social, physical and environmental degradation, but the correlation cannot be missed. We all live in a world affected by the ‘Fall’ - an order less than the glory and beauty God intended for each of his creatures, which is of our own making.
Countries are vying with each other to acquire nuclear capabilities as a strategic deterrent to be used in a limited warfare. But in every likelihood,it could easily blow up into a global nuclear holocaust. When one considers: the political instability of nations, like North Korea and Iran, India and Pakistan, other inimical countries and rogue groups like ISIS; their readiness to commit suicide for political purposes and the jingoistic cry for the use of nuclear weapons,it has been recognized as the presence of diabolical evil that could lead to the threat of annihilation.
Unlike natural disasters, in which survivors could start anew, the possibility of a nuclear war could decimate the entire earth and make it unliveable. It demonstrates that it could be an irreparable sanction for our human wrongdoings that strike at the heart of natural law and the fundamental integrity of human beings. It is imperative that these concerns need to be addressed by all people of goodwill.
Abortion is a grave sin, because it is the taking of an innocent human life. The Church received the tradition opposing abortion from Judaism. In the Greco-Roman world, early Christians were identifiable by their rejection of the common practices of abortion and infanticide.
The Didache, probably the earliest Christian writing apart from the New Testament, explicitly condemns abortion, without exception. It tells us there is a “way of life” and a “way of death” and abortion is a part of the way of death. This has been the consistent teaching of the Church ever since.
Abortions take innocent human lives, no matter when they occur. Since there is no gradation in the Church’s teaching on abortion, there is no way the medically obsolete division of pregnancy into three trimesters (Roe v/s Wade) can have any bearing on the rightness or wrongness of abortion. Taking an innocent life in the womb is wrong at any stage of pregnancy.
Life is listed first, and it is the principal function of the state to protect the lives of citizens. This understanding of the state’s primary obligation to protect human life is also fundamental to Catholic social doctrine. Without life, all other rights are meaningless. Today, many nations have already legalised abortion. They are saying through their laws which have no scientific basis that something less than a human person is in the womb of a pregnant mother. But God says to the prophet Jeremiah: “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you; before you were born, I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” (Jer 1:5) And after God speaks to the prophet Isaiah, Isaiah says: “For now the Lord has spoken, who formed me as his servant from the womb.” (Is 49:5) If God the Creator says, through His prophets, that the persons of Jeremiah and Isaiah were in the womb of their mothers, who are we, puny, arrogant creatures to contradict this revelation?
When Samuel Huntington wrote his very provocative essay on the Clash of Civilizations, he had in mind two very discernable and distinguishable groups - both deriving their deepest inspiration from religious sources. At many points, these religions coincided, but in many other important points, they differed rather radically. It was the classic ‘we against them’ syndrome. One over-emphasised the ultimate sovereignty of God and demanded unquestionable obedience to His commandments. The other emphasised a merciful God who sent His only begotten Son to become man and to redeem humanity. Already, the clash was discernable – unquestioning obedience on the one hand, and a free access to reason and persuasion on the other hand, enabling humankind to arrive at a fuller knowledge of the truth. It was an incarnational religion which required persuasion and preaching against a rigid implementation of the word of a prophet which brooked no questioning. Pope Benedict XVI, in his now famous ‘Regensburg Address’, also approached the different pedagogies involved with a view to see if there could be some meeting point for a dialogue between these two differing world views. Pope Benedict XVI argued that faith is reasonable, and that only rational beings can have faith. Faith, as we understand it, in fact demands that we rationally put our trust in a transcendent God who can neither deceive nor be deceived. In his professorial address, Pope Benedict convincingly proves that it is not against reason to have faith, and that there is no actual conflict between reason and faith, as is often sought to be made out.“Whoever would lead someone to faith needs the ability to speak well and to reason properly, without violence and threats… To convince a reasonable soul, one does not need a strong arm, or weapons of any kind, or any other means of threatening a person with death…”He made reference to the Byzantine Emperor Manuel II and the dialogue which he initiated with an educated Persian in 1391 regarding the reasonableness of faith. Benedict cited Professor Khoury of the University of Münster’s view that Surah 2,256 reads: “There is no compulsion in religion.”
Euthanasia is derived from the Greek word eu, meaning ‘good’ and thanatos meaning ‘death’, and signifies a ‘good’ or ‘easy’ death. Euthanasia allows one to aid and expedite the dying process for the purpose of relieving the patient's intolerable and incurable suffering. The motive is supposed to be merciful and intended to end suffering or emotional distress.
The Slippery Slope
Society has moved from protecting life to allowing the vulnerable to seek the easy and painless way out to active measures to end the lives of such human beings deemed to be a burden. We begin at the time of conception with abortions, IVF, genetic manipulations and end with those having incurable diseases or suffering great pain. To stop this degenerative thinking, we need to re-focus on the meaning of life and death.
In the Catechism of the Catholic Church(CCC), euthanasia is defined as “an act or omission which, of itself or by intention, causes the death of handicapped, sick or dying persons—sometimes with an attempt to justify the act as a means of eliminating suffering.”
Euthanasia is a form of murder, and is prohibited by the Fifth Commandment which says “Thou shalt not kill”. It is a grave offence against the dignity of the human person, and also against God, the Author of human life. While motives and circumstances can mitigate one’s culpability, they do not change the nature of this murderous act, which must be forbidden (CCC, no. 2277).
Catholic meaning of suffering and Death
Death is a reality that none of us can escape. As death approaches, we suddenly begin to ponder on the meaning of life, of suffering, and of what is to come next. A terminal illness gives us time for introspection and reflection and brings to the forefront questions regarding our faith that we did not dare address before. How we approach and accept this reality is of utmost importance to the individual, the family and to the community.
Can you imagine a musician who can play Chopin, Beethoven, Bach and Palestrina, from memory, on a simple piano? An organist who is as comfortable with a medieval pipe organ as with the latest Korg? A composer whose music is sung in churches around the world, and who has been invited by reputed international publishers to create music for the former Roman Missal and the Funeral Rite among others? A Choir Director who never fails to surprise you with the brilliance of his arrangements? A liturgist and post-graduate of the famed Anselmo, Rome? A humorist who can bring the house down, even when teaching a serious subject like Liturgy!
‘The Proclaimers’(as his choir was called) were privileged to learn from the ‘master’ – Fr Aniceto Nazareth himself.
The Proclaimers? A choir with a mission – to proclaim Christ’s death-resurrection.
In the initially 100-strong choir, I met singers from Borivli, Bandra, Jacob Circle, Marine Lines, Mira Road, Marol, Mulund and Vashi. If there was one thing that bound us all together, it was the knowledge that we were proclaiming the Paschal Mystery. That’s why we were never performers, mere instruments of the liturgy. With them, my journey of discovery began - of liturgy, of music, of choirs and of this maestro par excellence.
Unison singing for congregational participation? Or choral recitals? Post Vatican II, choirs were changing rapidly. The new mantra was people’s participation, and choirs that sang old Latin masses were challenged to get the congregation to sing along. Did that mean we had to give up singing in harmony, I wondered? Not necessarily, explained Fr Aniceto, as he arranged music to allow the ‘fifth voice’ – the voice of the people in a simple, easy-to-sing melody. The Proclaimers gave over a hundred programmes, not only in Bombay, but also in Belgaum, Hubli, Dharwar, Hyderabad, Secunderabad, Baroda, Jhansi, Jabalpur, Pune, Lonavla, Agra and Shimla. Everywhere, the melody line was the fifth voice, and it didn’t matter that there were few singers in this group. We knew the people would sing with us. In truth, we weren’t at our best without the congregations we sang with.
Bob Dylan's Biblical imagination
When the Noble Prize for Literature was about to be announced, I was watching the DW Channel, and then it happened. It took us all by surprise, a pop star? A lyricist? But it happened.
Most of the conversation that followed Bob Dylan winning the Nobel Prize for Literature missed perhaps the most important window into the work of the great poet (since, yes, he is a poet, and thus eligible for a prize in literature). And that is that Bob Dylan's poetry is deeply, profoundly shaped by the Bible.
On the eve of the Day of Prayer for Peace (Oct 16), Msgr Menamparampil remembers the violence and the feeling of helplessness. From Europe to Asia, there are many sources of tension. "No one really comes out winner” in a war. But prayer, has great power and “it can give a direction to the course of events”.
The history of war teaches that "no one really comes out a winner" from conflict, and those who gain "are only the manufacturers of weapons." For this, it is necessary to renew the call for peace and prayer." So saidan appeal sent to AsiaNews, by Archbishop Thomas Menamparampil, apostolic administrator of Jowai (in Meghalaya) and former Archbishop of Guwahati (Assam).
BRICS nations on Sunday Oct 16 unanimously condemned terrorism in all its forms, including the terror attacks on India, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi called for a comprehensive response to this global scourge.
“We strongly condemn the recent several attacks against some BRICS countries, including that in India,” the Goa Declaration adopted at the conclusion of the Eighth BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) Summit stated.
“We strongly condemn terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, and stress that there can be no justification whatsoever for any acts of terrorism, whether based upon ideological, religious, political, racial, ethnic or any other reasons,” it said.
“We agreed to strengthen cooperation in combating international terrorism, both at the bilateral level and at international fora.”
The statement comes after last month’s cross-border terror attack on an Indian Army camp at Uri in Jammu and Kashmir that claimed the lives of 19 Indian soldiers.
Elvis D’Souza — Respondent
Since the present whereabouts of Elvis D’Souza, the Respondent, in the above mentioned marriage case are not known, he is, hereby, summoned by this Edict to appear in person before the undersigned Judge in the Office of the Metropolitan Tribunal of the Archdiocese of Bombay, Archbishop’s House, Fort, Mumbai 400 001, on Friday, October 28, 2016 at 9:30 a.m. to give evidence in the above case presently being heard before The Metropolitan Tribunal of the Archdiocese of Bombay. Anyone knowing of the whereabouts of Elvis D’Souza in the measure possible should duly apprise him of this summons.
Similarly, anyone knowing the present address of Elvis D’Souza is kindly requested to inform this Office of the same. Elvis D’Souza was last known to have been residing at: Dr Fernandes Chawl, Room No. 4, P. N. Kotnis Marg, Mahim, Mumbai 400 016
Fr. Neil dos Santos
Mrs. Juliet D’Souza
October 18, 2016
Joy Hubert— Respondent
Since the present whereabouts of Joy Hubert, the Respondent, in the above mentioned marriage case are not known, he is, hereby, summoned by this Edict to appear in person before the undersigned Judge in the Office of the Metropolitan Tribunal of the Archdiocese of Bombay, Archbishop’s House, Fort, Mumbai 400 001, on Thursday, October 27, 2016 at 9:30 a.m. to give evidence in the above case presently being heard before The Metropolitan Tribunal of the Archdiocese of Bombay. Anyone knowing of the whereabouts of Joy Hubert in the measure possible should duly apprise him of this summons.
Similarly, anyone knowing the present address of Joy Hubert is kindly requested to inform this Office of the same. Joy Hubert was last known to have been residing at: Opp. Campco Chocolate Factory, Puttur, Mangalore – 574 203.
Fr. Neil dos Santos
Mrs. Juliet D’Souza
October 14, 2016
Venue: St. Pius X Seminary, Goregaon, Mumbai, For registration and further details contact: email@example.com. Or SMS/call: Aelred Monteiro, 9833830739
1. Twinning with Jan Kalyan Trust,Mahad. As an initial step, the parish will buy ten cows, so that the Trust will slowly be self-sufficient and help the other Centres in Raigad. Besides, the Parish intends to buy milk from their dairy for the parishioners of Thane. 2. The parish intends to adopt families in Thane, so that they can be self-sufficient 3. Snehalaya (Family Service Centre) will have an extension in St John the Baptist, Thane to reach out to families in distress. The following services will be rendered: Counselling on Tuesday and Friday from 4 pm to 7 pm which will also include the services of a psychiatrist. Legal Aid on Monday and Friday from 6 pm to 7.30 pm. Marriage Preparation Course and other services conducted by Snehalaya.
Our visit to the Home will be combined with a session on Meditation and Health Advice by Scientist and President (DCCW) Dr Priya Alphonso, and Dr Narayan Rao, Preventive Cardiologist. Mass will be celebrated at 12 noon. The charges are Rs500/- including transport, lunch, tea and snacks. The bus will leave from: Holy Name Church, Colaba at7 am sharp, and from St Andrew Church, Bandra at 7:30 am sharp. We will return by 8pm.
Those interested may register with the following, by Wednesday, November 2: Sandra Francis (Colaba) 9773187462, Lynette Fernandes 9820845910, Liz Carvalho (Chembur) 98206 25901, Rayna D'Souza (Mahim) 9833276956, Bernadine Rodrigues (Vasai) 9820607309, Beryl Demonte (Bandra) 9869087624.
Fr Barthol S Machado, Parish Priest,was the Chief Guest at the inaugural event; he said that the long time dream of the parishioners to have a Legal Aid Cell has been accomplished. The inauguration began with the traditional lighting of the lamp by the Parish Priest, the RELACE Team and the parishioners present.
Those community members who do not want or wish to take the matter/dispute to court are the ones who may come to RELACE for guidance. RELACE will focus on the Reconciliation process, which is part of our Catholic faith to find out the best solution in resolving the issues / problems by hearing ALL the parties in the dispute. Apart from the above, RELACE will provide FREE Legal Aid, i.e. Advice and Guidance.
Community members who need legal advice can avail of these services between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. on the second and fourth Saturday of every month. They can gather at the Room on the ground floor and will be advised on their individual problems without any fees being charged.
Titled ‘The Teachings of Pope Francis on Ecology and the Care for Nature with its Parallels in Hinduism’, “the seminar is a means of contributing to the awareness of the problem from a perspective of three of the main religions of the world,” Argentina’s Consul General Alejandro Zothner Meyer said. “This purpose implies that we consider interreligious dialogue as a very important way to solve some of the main problems of humanity.”
The conference was opened at SIMSR Building Somaiya Vidyavihar Campus by Bishop John Rodrigues. Speakers included Prof.Dilip Kulkarni, environmentalist who spoke about the living green in Hindu philosophy, Prof. Mohammad Sanaullah from Aligarh Muslim University who addressed ecology from an Islamic perspective, Prof. Mariano Iturbe who offered a Christian perspective, and Swami Sarvalokanandaji, who gave a Hindu point of view.
For the consul, “organising an event like this one in India is an important landmark. The aim is to focus on a major document” based on “the social teaching of the Catholic Church that talks about the protection of the environment and to find out its parallelism with the teachings of Hinduism” and Islam.
WTL Programme: Shrine of Infant Jesus, Nashik Road invites you to a WTL Programme (Way, Truth &Life)
29 – 30 October 2016, 19 – 20 November 2016, 21 – 22 January 2017
(Arrival Friday night. WTL begins Saturday morning, ends Sunday noon) Call 91-7350374138 to confirm
Please note: Novena to Infant Jesus begins on 2nd February 2017
Feast of The Infant Jesus will be celebrated on Saturday 11th February 2017
The Shrine has now a few AC rooms, well equipped Conference Hall for Prayer meetings / Seminars / Retreats
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