March 18, 2009
Explaining that he is determined to “prevent scandal,” Bishop of Scranton, Joseph Martino, has said that he will cancel Masses for St. Patrick’s Day or for the St. Patrick’s Day Parade if any pro-abortion officials are honored at the holiday events.
The bishop said that scandal could arise if the Catholic Church is seen to be involved in honoring such officials.
John M. Dougherty, the Auxiliary Bishop of Scranton, explained Bishop Martino’s views in a Feb. 6 letter to John Keeler, President of the Friendly Sons of Saint Patrick of Lackawanna County.
Saying that St. Peter’s Cathedral plays “no small role” in the local observance of St. Patrick’s Day, Bishop Dougherty noted that local celebrations often honor elected public officials. This honoring takes place when they are given parade positions or dais opportunities.
“While some of the officials have merited the pride our local people take in them, others have positions and voting records that have contributed to the daily killing of the unborn by abortion,” Bishop Dougherty wrote. . . . (source)
Contrary to comments attributed to an Israeli rabbi, Pope Benedict XVI will not be barred from entering the holy area of Jerusalem’s Western Wall while wearing a cross.
On Tuesday the Jerusalem Post quoted Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovitch, who oversees worship matters at the Western Wall, as saying that the Pope should not wear a cross during his visit to the area.
“It is not fitting to enter the Western Wall area with religious symbols, including a cross,” the rabbi reportedly said, according to SIR.
Mordechay Lewy, Israel’s Ambassador to the Holy See, issued a clarifying statement saying that the Jerusalem Post’s quotation was “misleading.”
Ambassador Lewy said that Israel will “respect, as a matter of course, the religious symbols of the Holy Father and of his entourage, as expected in accordance with rules of hospitality and dignity,” following the same procedure applied in Pope John Paul II’s papal visit to Israel in 2000.
Catholic Church in Spain joins academics in protest against proposed abortion reforms.
More than 300 scientists, professors, and scholars signed a manifesto in Madrid yesterday, opposing proposed reforms to Spain's abortion laws. The Church has also launched a campaign against the proposed laws, using billboards depicting a toddler beside an Iberian Lynx - one of the most highly protected species in Spain. The caption reads: "What about me? Protect my life."
The current law allows abortion up to 12 weeks in cases of rape and 22 weeks in cases of foetal malformation. The proposed law would allow abortion up to 22 weeks if a doctor certified a serious threat to the health of the mother or foetal malformation.
Defending the right to life, beginning at conception, the manifesto says: "neither the embryo nor the foetus form a part of a organ of the mother," "an abortion is a simple and cruel act of terminating a human life," that mothers should be made aware of the psychological damages of post-abortion syndrome and that "the zygote is the initial corporeal reality of the human being."
Among the 12 points mentioned in the manifesto, they defend "human life in its initial stage, as an embryo and as a foetus" and they reject "the use of abortion for economic or ideological lucrative interests."
They call for a written and "correct interpretation of the scientific facts on human life in all its stages." They also mention the social consequences of abortion, which they call "tragic" and regret the fact that "a society that remains indifferent to the slaughter of nearly 120,000 babies each year, is a society that is unwell and a failure."
They reject the possibility that at 16 years of age, a girl can abort without parental consent and claim that "an abortion law without restrictions would make the woman the only one responsible for a violent act against the life of her own son."
Among the signatories are Professors Nicolás Jouve, Dean of Genetics; César Nombela, Dean of Microbiology; Francisco Abadía Fenoll, retired Dean of Cellular Biology; and Julio Navascués Martínez, Dean of Cellular Biology.