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Indian church groups 

CNS photo

THRISSUR, INDIA – Church char-

ity groups in India joined security personnel in rescue and relief work for hundreds of thousands      and massive landslides in India’s northeastern Uttarakhand state. “Now they are saying the number of those killed could be more than 1,000, but, seeing the devastation, I would say it will be several thousands more,â€? Bishop John Vadakel of Bijnor, whose diocese covers the disaster-struck area, told Catholic News Service (CNS). Bishop Vadakel spoke to CNS on June 25 from Bijnor, after he was stranded for two days at Srinagar because of roads blocked due to fresh landslides. A senior federal government   cue operations in the affected region was quoted by the Times of India on June 25 as saying he       death toll were “anywhere between 10,000 to 15,000â€?. “I could see many houses and buildings on the river banks covered with mud and silt,â€? said Bishop Vadakel. Incessant rains in mid-June in the mountainous region triggered   voir burst. Beginning on June 16,

     the Himalayas gathered momentum and washed away nearly everything in their paths. Government forces airlifted more than 80,000 people, including thousands of Hindu pilgrims, stranded on mountain slopes with the roads and buildings washed out along the path to popular Hindu pilgrim temples. “The situation is turning bad with more rains. Rescue workers are also getting stuck. Even our people are risking their lives in trying to save others,� said Bishop Vadakel. While the evacuation has been

VOL 63

NO. 14

INSIDE ASIA Religious restrictions in Vietnam A cardinal gives his views „ Page 11

WORLD ‘Genetically   British government’s plans spark alarm „ Page 12

Protests ahead of World Youth Day Brazilian bishops support peaceful demonstrations „ Page 13

POPE FRANCIS A woman carrying a child climbs up a hill with other survivors during rescue operations in India’s mountainous Uttarakhand state. All the priests, nuns and lay Church workers of Bijnor diocese are taking part in relief work.

centred around crowded pilgrim routes, Bishop Vadakel lamented that hundreds of villages had become inaccessible. “Nobody knows the fate of such remote villagers,� he said. Ms Rekha Shetty, CRS director for disaster management in India, said aid workers and agencies were concerned about the in     to the suffering of the local people while they focused on pilgrims from outside the state. Ms Shetty, who was in the re-

gion, told CNS that the agency is giving unconditional cash grants of US$82 (S$104) – more than a month’s wage to a labourer – to 500 families as an emergency measure. “Many houses have been not only washed away but even buried under mud,� she said. “Shelter will be our focus in long-term rehabilitation.� Fr Pius Philip, social service director of Bijnor diocese who had been travelling through the area, told CNS, “The situation is really awful.�


The situation is turning bad with more rains ... Our people are risking their lives in trying to save others.


– Bishop John Vadakel of Bijnor, whose diocese covers the disaster-struck area

Although the diocese has only limited presence in the mountain region, he said all the 70 priests, nuns and lay Church workers had been pressed into in relief work.     cluding schools, were being used as relief centres with the support of Caritas India, Fr Philip said other Church workers were moving out to remote villages. Fr Tomi Thomas, director of the Catholic Health Association of India, told CNS that Catholic hospitals had been asked to prepare relief teams and were awaiting government permission to enter the area. “Right now, mobility is a problem. The government is now relying on helicopters to rescue people. As soon as we get government clearance, our teams will proceed to Uttarakhand,â€? said Fr Thomas. „ CNS

    Pontiff speaks with Jewish delegation „ Page 14

OPINION Readers comment on church restoration issues „ Pages 16 & 17

BIBLE SUNDAY Interpreting Scripture Regional Biblical Commission issues message „ Pages 18 & 19


Sunday July 14, 2013 „ CatholicNews

1,000 learn Participants grapple with aspects of

Archbishop William Goh delivers the opening address.

Catholic charity goes beyond the humanistic motives behind social work. “It goes beyond ideology because we change the world through love,� said Archbishop William Goh at the Humanitarian Forum and Fair on June 22. In his opening address at the event organised by CHARIS (Caritas Humanitarian Aid and Relief Initiatives, Singapore), Archbishop Goh highlighted the importance of motivation and prayer which must necessarily reside at the heart of any form of social or humanitarian work. Elaborating on the event’s theme, Faith in Action, he told the participants at the Singapore Polytechnic Convention Centre that the only motivation for charitable work should be the desire to be sharers in the life and light of God. More than 1,000 people attended the biennial event which aimed to give full-time mission workers, experienced volunteers and those thinking about getting involved in mission work the opportunity


Mr Alistair Dutton, humanitarian director for Caritas Internationalis.

humanitarian work in the Catholic context. Those present also had the opportunity to discover and learn more about the work currently being done by CHARIS’      Mr Alistair Dutton, humanitarian director of Caritas Internationalis, the global confederation of Catholic charities, described

the parable of the Good Samaritan as the foundation of all humanitarian work. He also elaborated on trends

          humanitarian work, such as a consensus that such work is imperative. He noted that aid workers „ Continued on Page 3


Sunday July 14, 2013 „ CatholicNews

about mission work mission work at the Humanitarian Forum and Fair

Panellists speaking at a group discussion. „ From Page 2

increasingly face challenges such as balancing the scale and speed of humanitarian assistance with local and contextual needs, as well as funding. A plenary session followed, which allowed participants to hear from four aid volunteers and workers their experiences in conducting humanitarian work. Four group discussions were then held which delved into different aspects of humanitarian work such as the concerns of new volunteers about mission work, expanding one’s missionary experience and how to bring one’s missionary work to a higher level.

Cambodian dancers performing for participants.

You must go prepared to engage with ‘and respond to what is really needed.’

– Mr Tim Walsh, regional coordinator of Caritas Oceania

       ginning the Journey, panellists shared that it is important to trust God’s guidance in mission work. Ms Gloria Gurung from CHIJ St Nicholas Girls’ School shared her experience of bringing students on mission trips. Ms Zenn Tan, a Singaporean, and project coordinator with the !   "   

bang, Cambodia, spoke about how

Cultural show at parish

Msgr Figaredo seen here with Cambodian performers at Queen of Peace Church.


 3!rupe Tahen dance troupe thrilled Queen of Peace parishioners with traditional dances on June 23. Massgoers were treated to performances from handicapped and able-bodied performers before and after the 9 am Sunday Mass. The dancers were part of a group of some 70 Cambodians from Tahen parish and the Arrupe Welcome Center for the Disabled,

   9%?@  !  " 

  On June 23, Msgr Figaredo, #KX#[ brated the 10.30 am Mass at Queen of Peace Church with Archbishop %  \  ] "  the Mass, both watched a dance performance in the church canteen. The Cambodian visitors also performed at the Church of the Holy Spirit on June 30. „

     #    her well in her mission work in 

  Ms Tracy Ying shared her experiences of mission trips to Thailand and India when she was a teenager. She said she was amazed at the emotional and mental strength God gave her in her trips during which she served orphans some of whom were just a few years younger than her. In the second group, called    %&  '*gional Opportunities), panellists

discussed the issue of mission trips in different countries. Mr Tim Walsh, regional coordinator of Caritas Oceania, shared that a missionary journey is one “with unexpected outcomes‌.. you must go prepared to engage with and respond to what is really neededâ€?. In the third group, called + %& '/#3 based Missions), participants discussed how one encounters God through service to others. Mr Yong Teck Meng, director of Habitat for Humanity, said it is because he sees the face of Christ in the poor and disadvantaged that he builds houses for them. Mr Nicholas Lim said he

    *    he wants to show Indonesian children the face of Christ.

In the fourth group, called /   9 '/    : * ; 9 "  #<  Couples for Christ shared how his group deals with domestic violence in Timor Leste by holding classes on the sanctity of marriage. For Canossian Sr Angela, the language barrier in Myanmar posed a big challenge when fellow nuns started a teaching programme for educators there. Mr Chan Yew Wing of International Volunteer Association stressed the importance of good project and volunteer management. During the event, participants also visited 29 booths showcasing mission work and opportunities. The day culminated with a       +  *    featured performances from the 

 3! <   troupe, some of whom are landmine victims, and Singaporeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s School of Dance. The Cambodian dancers portrayed various aspects of traditional Cambodian life. Catholic singer-songwriter Corrinne May also performed and thrilled the crowd with songs from her albums. One participant, Ms Charmaine Oei, said she was inspired by what she had experienced during the forum. She had wanted to learn more about what mission work entails as she has not done such work before, she said. Â&#x201E; Compiled by CAROLYN OEI, ROSELINE LUM and JENNY PHUA



Sunday July 14, 2013 „ CatholicNews

Archbishop Chia’s interfaith work lauded by religious leaders Posing for a photo at the June 24 appreciation dinner organised by IRED: (from left): Mr Rustom Minocher Ghadiali (Zoroastrian); Seck Kwang Ping (Buddhist); Archbishop Emeritus Nicholas Chia; Shaikh Syed Isa Mohd Bin Semait (Muslim); Imam Syed Hassan Bin Mohd Al-Attas (Muslim); Sr Maria Lau, IJ; Mr Noor Mohd Marican (Muslim).

By Gerald Kong “As long as love exists, peace and harmony exist, and God will bless our work.” Shaikh Syed Isa Mohd Bin Semait, the former mufti of Singapore, made this comment at a dinner honouring Archbishop Emeritus Nicholas Chia. Some 40 representatives from various religions, including council members of the Inter-Religious Organisation (IRO), gathered at the Jesuit Novitiate for the June 24 event. The celebration, held on the premises of the Church of St Ignatius, was organised by IRED (Archdiocesan Council for InterReligious and Ecumenical Dialogue). During the dinner, Shaikh Isa expressed his gratitude to Archbishop Chia for promoting interreligious relations and for their close friendship. He also noted that the celebration was not only to show respect for Archbishop Chia but

also to one another present. Archbishop William Goh, who also attended the event, expressed his gratitude to his predecessor for his interfaith dialogue. He noted that as Archbishop Chia is now retired, he will be able to further develop the friendships he has established. Archbishop Goh added that as he wants to ensure the effectiveness of such dialogue, he had appointed Jesuit Msgr Philip Heng as a vicar general in charge of ecumenical and interreligious dialogue. Msgr Heng will work with members of IRED and IRO, said Archbishop Goh. “If we have no love, what we build will be in vain ... so we share in this love and see in each other the presence of the divine being,” said Archbishop Goh. Infant Jesus Sr Maria Lau, chairperson of IRED, noted that Archbishop Chia is “a man of deep faith with three loves”: love of God, love of the poor and a steadfast supporter of interfaith dialogue who strongly

believed in building trust and relationships among religious leaders. She said she hopes the trust and relationships will grow “from strength to strength under our new archbishop”. A slide-show featuring Archbishop Chia’s work in interreligious dialogue was also shown that evening. In his speech, Archbishop Chia said his years of involvement in interfaith dialogue have been fruitful and meaningful. He noted that “not many people know about other religions, so I’ve made talks available so that young people may learn about other religions”. He also stressed the need to help young people respect and understand other religions. Archbishop Chia shared that some religious leaders send him emails and that he always replies. “Although I’m retired now, I will do what I can to support interreligious harmony,” he said, adding that “it is love that binds us”. „

Hailstorm strikes St Mary of the Angels By Darren Boon The hailstorm that wreaked havoc in the western part of Singapore also damaged part of the roof of the Church of St Mary of the Angels. Parish priest Friar John-Paul Tan told CatholicNews that ceiling boards from the section of the roof protruding from the church into the piazza collapsed on June 25 afternoon. The boards were soaked with rainwater and the weight apparently caused the boards to collapse, he said. The strong winds could have also blown the boards off, said Fr John-Paul. The parish has cordoned off the area after the incident and is working to repair the damage, said Friar John-Paul. The cost of the damage is not yet known, he added. No one was injured in the incident. „

Ceiling boards from a section of the church’s roof collapsed on June 25 afternoon.


Sunday July 14, 2013 Â&#x201E; CatholicNews

Archbishop Goh warns of man claiming to raise money Archbishop William Goh has sent a message to parish priests warning about a Pakistani man who claims to be raising money for Caritas Pakistan. An email sent by his personal assistant on June 19 notes that the man has been â&#x20AC;&#x153;visiting our Church institutions hawking religious articles and claiming that he is from the Lahore Archdiocese and that he is raising money for Caritas Pakistan to support Pakistani families and migrants hereâ&#x20AC;?. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It appears that he has made his way down from Malaysia in pursuit of the same agenda,â&#x20AC;? says the email. The email notes that a number of well-meaning people, K      bers of our clergyâ&#x20AC;?, have been persuaded to support his cause because other â&#x20AC;&#x153;like-minded clergyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s names appearâ&#x20AC;? in the manâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s little note book. â&#x20AC;&#x153;His Grace wishes to alert all to be wary of this itinerant salesperson and to advise parishioners not to be taken in by this manâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s persistence and persuasiveness and most importantly, to ignore whatever names there are that appear in his book,â&#x20AC;? says the email. Â&#x201E;

St Vincent de Paul parish to stage musical By Darren Boon The parish of St Vincent de Paul will stage a musical on its patron saint in early September as part of the parishâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 50th anniversary celebrations. Monsieur Vincent â&#x20AC;&#x201C; The Saint for all Seasons, aims to celebrate the â&#x20AC;&#x153;life and spiritâ&#x20AC;? of St Vincent de Paul (1580-1660), and to inspire Christians to emulate the saintâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s humility and generosity in serving the poor. The musical will feature mostly original songs with some adapted and rearranged, says Rachel Nadia Goh, an executive committee member for the musical. It will trace the life of the French saint while paralleling â&#x20AC;&#x153;his spirit with the work of Fr Henri Saussardâ&#x20AC;?, the founder of the Singapore parish. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Key events are taken from the life of the saintâ&#x20AC;? and juxtaposed with the journey the parish has undergone, she added. The cast and crew are drawn from the parish as well as other parishes. Jonathan Lauw, one of two actors playing the saint, says he is â&#x20AC;&#x153;excitedâ&#x20AC;? about the project as he likes musicals. The Holy Spirit parishioner has read about the life of St Vincent and says he is deeply impressed with the saintâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s decision to leave a

Some of the cast of Monsieur Vincent â&#x20AC;&#x201C; The Saint for all Seasons.

comfortable life to serve the poor. Lauw says the challenge is â&#x20AC;&#x153;always trying to imagineâ&#x20AC;? what St Vincent was feeling and to bring

it across during the performance. Rachel Nonis, one of two directors, told CatholicNews she hopes to create awareness

about the saint in a â&#x20AC;&#x153;funâ&#x20AC;? way. She added that she is enjoying working with fellow St Vincent de Paul parishioners on the project. The musical is scheduled for Sept 6-8 at Republic Polytechnic Cultural Centre at 8pm. Tickets cost $20, $30 and $50. An additional show will be staged on Sept 7 at 2pm with tickets costing $15, $25 and $40. Tickets will go on sale from July 13 at the Church of St Vincent de Paul and at 10 other parishes the following weekend. Those interested may also email or SVDPtheMusical for tickets. Â&#x201E;


Sunday July 14, 2013 Â&#x201E; CatholicNews

Three newly ordained priests share their faith j

Attracted to Carmelitesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; reverence, sense of prayer Newly ordained Carmelite priest Bernard Wee says he has always had an inclination towards the priesthood and Religious life, and liked the idea of living in a supportive community. Fr Wee, who was ordained on June 21 by Archbishop William Goh at the Church of the Holy Trinity, told CatholicNews that he   K   [    K [     He had completed his undergraduate studies and was working in Canada when a friend urged him to enter the diocesan seminary in Vancouver. He decided to do so although  K  [`  later as he preferred the charism of a Religious life and community. Back in Singapore, he worked as a teacher and also with the Singapore Pastoral Institute (SPI) in the area of catechetics. It was through his work at SPI that he met a Carmelite priest who invited him to visit his Religious community. As he had â&#x20AC;&#x153;nothing to [ K [ # up the offer. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I was very much impressed with the prayerful atmosphere and the reverence. I felt at peace and thought that this was where I       [    46-year-old. He said that through the charism of the Carmelites, the struggles and sufferings in life began to

Carmelite Fr Bernard Wee (second from left) poses for a photo with (from left) Fr Edward Lim of Holy Trinity Church, Archbishop William Goh, Fr Weeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s parents, and Carmelite priests Thomas Lim and Joseph Koh. Photo: TONY PNG

make sense to him, and he found a certain â&#x20AC;&#x153;peace, a certain accept [ { | Nevertheless, he still felt hesitant about changing his lifestyle but after â&#x20AC;&#x153;getting certain assur [       #  plunge. His early years in Religious      -

culty. During his novitiate year in the Philippines, when his freedom was most restricted, he wanted to give up, Fr Wee recalled. He said he felt angry when the year-long formation period was extended by six months, and thought of returning to Singapore. `     tion, he decided to stay on as he felt

this was what God wanted of him. The additional six months      K       [     life as he â&#x20AC;&#x153;came to depend more

   [ He recalled that during moments when he felt like packing up and leaving, grace would always be given to him at the â&#x20AC;&#x153;last minute

      [ <    @ |  tion appear to have been planted early in his life. The former altar boy at the Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour remembered talking about becoming a priest with the other altar boys. This â&#x20AC;&#x153;seemed like a natural [    has grown up â&#x20AC;&#x153;around the sanctu [  He felt a stronger calling during his undergraduate days. Ex  { |     him wonder what he could do to express his gratitude to Him. Priesthood then became an option. Fr Wee said that he had not wanted to wait until he was a priest in order to serve the Catholic community. He thus gave talks and classes at SPI and elsewhere before he was ordained. He shared that he would like to teach and give retreats, but is open to other ministries too. He is currently the chaplain to Montfort Primary and Secondary schools where he provides support for teachers in curriculum planning and a spiritual presence for the boys. â&#x20AC;&#x153;At this point of time in my life, I am pretty certain that this |     |      [ said Fr Wee. Â&#x201E;

From the education ministry to Godâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ministry There is a joke about newly ordained Jesuit Fr Adrian Danker that he swapped his job with the Ministry of Education for the Ministry of God. Fr Danker was a school teacher who had received a local scholarship from the Public Service Commission (PSC) for his undergraduate studies. He later received another scholarship for post-graduate studies in Australia where he did        ory in English Literature. This earned him a doctorate. Fr Danker, 48, who had dreamed of becoming a school principal or working at the Min  %   |'9}%; quarters admitted that â&#x20AC;&#x153;as a schol#   [ Thus when Infant Jesus Sr Maria Lau, then principal of Catholic Junior College (CJC) where he was teaching, asked if he would consider the priesthood, he replied that while he had

thoughts about this in his younger days, this was no longer the case. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I aspired to go high in government service. The priesthood |  [@+#   However, the question kept K[  K   [        to consult Jesuit Fr Gerard Keane, who was then CJC chaplain. He began a discernment process with Fr Keane who did not speak to him about the Jesuits but only encouraged him to discover where God was leading him to, said Fr Danker. It was during an Ignatian retreat that everything fell into place. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It was that sense that everything I had was meant for God and I looked at my life and recognised it was something more...the spirituality of who I am and what I am searching for, how I was meant

 [ @+# It was not the great missionary activity of the Jesuits nor the scholarly pursuits associated with

Jesuit Fr Adrian Danker (left) seen here with Archbishop Goh and Jesuit Msgr Philip Heng. Photo: DOROTHY AND PETER KAY

them that drew him to the order, Fr Danker said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;but the spirituality    {  [ `     

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our state of holiness. The phrase, â&#x20AC;&#x153;A Jesuit is a sin    [     him, Fr Danker said. The new priest shared that he was never an altar boy nor active in church activities except when     ]~]| ]  

Activities Council as a student. He said his time in university was when he was â&#x20AC;&#x153;furthest away from the Church, a time when I

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 {   |      [ Fr Danker is expected to go to Boston, USA, to complete his Licentiate in Sacred Theology in

           theology. It would take him another year before he completes his research in theological aesthetics. Meanwhile, he does wonder what life would be like if he had not left the Education Ministry, as  K [   In retrospect, however, â&#x20AC;&#x153;I |  #   other than the Society of Jesus, not being anything but a Jesuit, a  [ Â&#x201E;


Sunday July 14, 2013 Â&#x201E; CatholicNews

journeys with Darren Boon

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Sunday July 14, 2013 Â&#x201E; CatholicNews


Late Jesuit was â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;man of few wordsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; By Darren Boon Friends, family members, former parishioners and fellow Jesuits say the late Fr Joseph Yao was a reserved, organised and focused man. The Jesuit priest passed away on June 22 after a battle with cancer. He was 57. His illness was diagnosed in January. Fellow Jesuit Fr Colin Tan said during a Mass on June 24 at St Ignatius Hall that Fr Yao was a man who was very clear about his purpose and direction in life. Fr Tan added that Fr Yao knew how he wanted to die, and Fr Tan quoted Fr Yao saying to his friends that â&#x20AC;&#x153;if we do not meet again in this life, we will meet again in Heaven. If we do not end up in Heaven, our lives here on earth are a total and absolute failureâ&#x20AC;?. Jesuit Msgr Philip Heng de-

Fr Joseph Yao passed away on June 22.

A Mass for Fr Yao held at St Ignatius Hall, Church of St Ignatius.

scribed Fr Yao as â&#x20AC;&#x153;focused, serious, disciplined and organisedâ&#x20AC;?. He added that Fr Yao had even planned to check into a hospice if

he no longer responded to chemotherapy, so that he would not trouble his community. Fr Yao joined the Jesuits in

1995. He studied philosophy in the Ateneo De Manila and did his regency in Bantey Prieb Centre, Cambodia. He later studied theology in Taiwanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Fu Jen Catholic University. He was ordained a priest in 2005 and was assistant priest at the Church of St Ignatius from 2005-2009. Fr Yao did his tertianship, the         vows, in Australia in 2010. He later did his graduate Diploma in Spirituality and Spiritual Direction at the Melbourne College of Divinity. In 2012, he became director of

the Maranatha Retreat House in Pahang, Malaysia. Margaret, a parishioner of St Ignatius, told CatholicNews that Fr Yao taught her over email how to practise Lectio Divina. No matter how busy he was, Fr Yao â&#x20AC;&#x201C; â&#x20AC;&#x153;a man of very few wordsâ&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x201C; was always very encouraging of her efforts, she recalled. Mr Sundaresh Menon, also a parishioner of St Ignatius, described Fr Yao as a â&#x20AC;&#x153;very spiritual manâ&#x20AC;? who spoke to people with â&#x20AC;&#x153;tremendous honestyâ&#x20AC;? and â&#x20AC;&#x153;told you exactly what he thoughtâ&#x20AC;?. He also had a clear vision of the way to God and walked the path faithfully, said Mr Menon. Fr Yaoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s elder sister, Sr Veronica Yao from the Franciscan Missionaries of the Divine Motherhood, said her brother was a reserved person who was focused on his goals and was â&#x20AC;&#x153;careful with his words and actionsâ&#x20AC;?. He excelled in his studies and was a  She recalled that Fr Yao was in pain during his last days but did not complain as he was not someone to shed tears easily. He resisted taking morphine until the last two days of his life, she said. Fr Yaoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s funeral Mass was held on June 26. Â&#x201E;


Sunday July 14, 2013 Â&#x201E; CatholicNews

Learning to be â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Godâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s voiceâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;  

      Photo provided by Church of St Anthony

By Andrew Chng Be the Voice. That was the theme for the Church of St Anthonyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 4th Youth Conference held from June 24-28. Aimed at empowering young people to overcome their reluctance to be a voice for God, the conference encouraged participants to step out of their comfort zone to be a disciple of Christ. Over 100 young people, aged 13-30, gathered in the church auditorium to kickstart the event. Fr Terence Pereira, spiritual director of the Youth of Saint Anthony, reminded participants that the conference was a sharing of ideas and encouraged them to be open to the experience. There were prayer, sharing, activities, talks and workshops and participants were guided on topics such as hearing Godâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s voice and being Godâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s voice. In one activity, participants designed headgear with an emblem identifying the user as an ambassador of Christ. In another, participants learnt that talking about Christ should be done as frequently as they talk about their favourite band or food. Several speakers gave inspirational talks. Mr Edwyn de Souza from the ]   Â&#x2014;  }    with his wife, Karen, used mime, sharing and prayer to help participants understand how they need to be connected to God so as to truly walk in His ways. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m always surprised by youth,â&#x20AC;? he said, adding that par-

One activity the young people did was sharing about God with strangers.

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ticipants responded â&#x20AC;&#x153;freely and without hesitationâ&#x20AC;?. On the last day, participants were divided into groups and asked to head out of the church. Each group was given tasks that involved sharing with strangers about God. <        ticipants were able to complete

almost all the eight tasks. These included wishing a stranger the peace of Christ, performing an action song for a passing crowd, and even sharing with a total stranger their experiences of Christ. One participant, Natasha Chong, said that this activity taught her that â&#x20AC;&#x153;being a Catholic

PRIESTSâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; RETREAT: The priests of the archdiocese will be on retreat from July 15-19. For Masses, communion services and other pastoral services during this period, please check with your parish.

is special. Not everyone gets to experience God or talk to Him and we should appreciate that we have the chance toâ&#x20AC;?. A Mass was then celebrated

during which participants experienced a powerful outpouring of the Spirit. John Paul Tan, who was moved by the experience, said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;I feel that God is with me all the time now and I want to spend a longer time in prayer with Him and be a lot more attentive during the Eucharist.â&#x20AC;? In the evening, parents of the participants were invited to join the conference. After hearing a summary of the entire event, they were pleasantly surprised to see a        participants led by Br Nicholas Lye, a seminarian on attachment. The conference ended with a time of discussion between adults and teenagers. Many participants said the discussion helped them to understand their parents better, and several parents also said they learned something new about how to bring God into their families. Â&#x201E;


Sunday July 14, 2013 Â&#x201E; CatholicNews

Caritas to brainstorm outreach to China By Darren Boon SINGAPORE â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Caritas Internation-

alis (CI), the global confederation of Catholic charities, is planning a forum in November to brainstorm about working in China. The meeting, scheduled for end November, is to bring together Caritas organisations and church organisations working inside China â&#x20AC;&#x153;to exchange, discuss and to think of various strategiesâ&#x20AC;?, said CIâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s secretary general Michel Roy. Mr Roy made this announcement during the Caritas Asia and Caritas Oceania Joint Regional Conference Week held at Singaporeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Metropolitan YMCA from June 19-22. More than 80 delegates from various Caritas agencies in Asia, Oceania as well as Caritasâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; worldwide partner organisations with

Mr Michel Roy of Caritas Internationalis

programmes in the Asia-Oceania region, attended the conference. According to organisers, a main aim of the annual meeting was to foster solidarity among participants and provide sharing of

Delegates of the Caritas Asia and Caritas Oceania conference in a discussion. Caritas Internationalis plans to hold a forum to discuss working in China.

experiences for mutual learning. During the meeting, Mr Roy noted that Caritas is absent in China and that â&#x20AC;&#x153;it is a concern for the whole confederationâ&#x20AC;?. The planned forum is part of Caritas Asiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s action plans for 2013 which includes a farmersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; conference and continued action    # Mr Roy also encouraged Caritas Cambodia and Vietnam to be â&#x20AC;&#x153;openâ&#x20AC;? towards helping Laos, and to examine the possibility of providing training for Laotian people. The conference also saw CIâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s

policy and advocacy director Martina Liebsch present the confederationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s global anti-poverty campaign. The project, which aims â&#x20AC;&#x153;to uphold human dignityâ&#x20AC;? by reducing the number of hungry, malnourished people and poor people â&#x20AC;&#x153;on all continentsâ&#x20AC;? is to be launched tentatively on Dec 1. However, one activity is scheduled for World Youth Day in July so that young people can discuss the issue. There are also plans for a Joint Action Week in 2014 for all Caritas members to participate in. The

special week may also include the giving of an award for the promotion of practices that mitigate hunger and malnutrition for women. Ms Liebsch also invited Caritas member organisations to identify what they could achieve at the national level. Caritas Singapore told CatholicNews it will launch an initiative in the later part of the year focusing on the realities of poverty and attitudes surrounding it. The organisation would also look for opportunities to connect this initiative with CIâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s global campaign. Conference participants said the regional conference is a great way of networking. Ms Aine Ono, acting secretary for Caritas Japan, told CatholicNews it is â&#x20AC;&#x153;nice to see all the members from Asiaâ&#x20AC;? and learn about the work of other Caritas members in Asia-Oceania as well as partner organisations. Â&#x201E;


Sunday July 14, 2013 Â&#x201E; CatholicNews

Religious restrictions persist in Vietnam, say Church leaders HO CHI MINH CITY â&#x20AC;&#x201C; A joint press

release, issued after talks in Rome between the Vatican and Vietnam in June, stressed Hanoiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x153;respect and assurance of freedom of religion and religious beliefs, as well as continued encouragement of different religions, and the Vietnam Catholic Church in particularâ&#x20AC;?. However, in a recent interview with, Cardinal John Baptist Pham Minh Man of Ho Chi Minh City said the governmentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s religious policies â&#x20AC;&#x153;make people threat  

    [ Cardinal Man, 79, said the authorities state that their policies aim to ensure social order and security. But â&#x20AC;&#x153;they govern the country with self-defence instincts, fearing for their own interests, rather than searching for humanitarian goodwillâ&#x20AC;?. He cited the Assembly of the Federation of Asian Bishopsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Conferences in Vietnam in December 2012. He said the prepara       and government interference. The government demanded lists of participants and invitation letters from the Vietnamese bishops before entry visas were issued. According to the cardinal, few countries have such stringent procedures, especially when welcoming Church leaders. He added that all religious activities undergo the same intense government scrutiny. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Religious freedom is a basic human right. It is unfair that the government takes it from people or grants it to

  [  Fr Vincent Pham Trung Thanh, Redemptorist Provincial Superior, said authorities also require lists

Cardinal John Baptist Pham Minh Man of Ho Chi Minh City.

The government made several demands before issuing entry visas to participants of the December FABC meeting, says Cardinal Man. of priesthood candidates before ordination, as well as the names of the bishops who will ordain them. He is legally obliged to supply the candidatesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; names, but refuses to name the bishops in case efforts are made to prevent them from performing the ordinations. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Ordination is by the Church, not the government, so we do not ask for government permission,â&#x20AC;? said the priest, who has been barred from going abroad since 2011. He said authorities have also asked him not to ordain some priests, which again he refuses. <        price. In the past, several priests

from northern dioceses, ordained without government approval, had to attend two-year â&#x20AC;&#x153;theological refresher coursesâ&#x20AC;? before being ordained for a second time. The head of the Government Committee for Religious Affairs said in May that the 2004 Ordinance on Religion and Belief needs to be amended â&#x20AC;&#x153;to keep pace with rapid changes in societyâ&#x20AC;?. At the moment, religious organisations are only permitted by law to engage in humanitarian activities and preschool education to a limited extent. Some observers fear that any upcoming law amendment will further narrow the scope of Church activities. Cardinal Man said the government, to some extent, fears that religious groups may undermine its      #     on their involvement in areas such as education and healthcare. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Early this year, the premier promised to satisfy the local Churchâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s desire for providing education and healthcare services for people,â&#x20AC;? said the cardinal. â&#x20AC;&#x153;But he did not mention when.â&#x20AC;? However, he believes that, in         have seen that religious believers, especially Catholics, want to serve the common good and have no wish to struggle with the government for power. As a result, there has been some degree of compromise. Cardinal Man also noted that although religious activities are restricted, more are turning to them amidst the prevailing atmosphere of atheism, moral decline, materialism, consumerism and corruption. Â&#x201E; UCANEWS.COM

Canadian TV network sends Catholic programmes to China â&#x20AC;&#x201C; unblocked WASHINGTON â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Salt+Light TV, nese service. â&#x20AC;&#x153;But we never imthe Toronto-based Catholic tel- agined that our programming evision programmer, is using the produced in Canada would make Internet to send its Chinese-lan- its way so quickly into China,â&#x20AC;? he guage programming to mainland told CNS. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We began noticing this China. two years ago during Holy Week And, unlike some of the North and our transmission and comAmerican giants of online ser- mentary of the Vatican ceremovices, Salt+Lightâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s programming nies. We received word from lay is not getting blocked by Chinese catechists in China that they were censors. using our feed and broadcasting it â&#x20AC;&#x153;We have never experienced to large audiences in several Chiany government intervention nese provinces.â&#x20AC;? from China. We have done our Based on the reception so far, work quietly and have never tried â&#x20AC;&#x153;we are planning more Chineseto do things illegally,â&#x20AC;? said Basi- language programmes to address lian Fr Thomas Rosica, Salt+Lightâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s CEO. Salt+Light has produced programming in Cantonese and Mandarin for eight years, but only recently did it try to make an inroad in the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most populous nation. K}     to reach out to Chinese Catholics in Canada,â&#x20AC;? said Fr Rosica on June 19. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Little by little, several other networks in the USA started broad- Chinese website of Salt+Light TV. casting our Chinese programmes. It is a real blessing for the needs from Chinese in Canada us that in our 10th year, we have as well as around the world, inbeen able to penetrate China!â&#x20AC;? cluding those who are in Chinaâ&#x20AC;?, Chinese-language program- Fr Rosica said.  #      â&#x20AC;&#x153;We are producing regular cent of Salt+Lightâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s overall pro- programming on current events duction. Most of it â&#x20AC;&#x201C; newscasts, of the Church as well as topical documentaries, Canadian Chinese special programmes. Two examCatholic programming â&#x20AC;&#x201C; is pro- ples of topical programmes are duced in Canada. Salt+Light also our production on the election of has a partnership with the Hong Pope Francis entirely in Chinese Kong Catholic Audio Visual Cen- this year and the ordination of tre and acquires programmes from Bishop Daqin Ma of the Diocese it. Some of the Hong Kong mate- of Shanghai in 2012.â&#x20AC;? Â&#x201E; CNS rial focuses on Catholics on the Salt+Lightâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Chinese programming Chinese mainland. Fr Rosica said he had â&#x20AC;&#x153;never can be found at http://saltandlighttv. any trepidationâ&#x20AC;? about the Chi- org/chinese and

â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Pope expressed love for Filipino Catholicsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Catholic entrepreneur Pope Francis has â&#x20AC;&#x153;high builds future for Indian kids hopesâ&#x20AC;? for the Catholic Church MANILA â&#x20AC;&#x201C;

in the Philippines, â&#x20AC;&#x153;and asks all the faithful to pray for himâ&#x20AC;?, says Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, Archbishop of Manila. Speaking on June 23 at the 8th General Assembly of the Family Rosary Crusade in Manila, the cardinal stressed Pope Francisâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s great love for Asia and the Philippines, which along with Timor Leste, is the only Asian country with a Catholic majority. K}      " Francis said right after his election as pope, when we approached him individually, was: â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;I have high hopes for the Church in the Philippinesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;,â&#x20AC;? Cardinal Tagle noted. On that same occasion, he also encouraged Filipinos to intensify their faith and deepen their devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. â&#x20AC;&#x153;For the Holy Father, advancing in faith is connected to our

Cardinal Tagle of Manila greets wellwishers in Rome on June 15.

true devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, which leads to zeal in our mission,â&#x20AC;? he added. The cardinal was speaking on his return from Rome, where on 15 June, he took possession of his titular church, San Felice da Cantalice Parish Church, on the outskirts of the Italian capital. The cardinal explained that

in his recent meeting with Pope @       once again his high esteem for Filipino Catholics. He also urged people to remember him in their daily prayers, and support him as pastor of the universal Church. â&#x20AC;&#x153;These words,â&#x20AC;? the archbishop said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;show his great faith and humility.â&#x20AC;? Â&#x201E; ASIANEWS

MUMBAI, INDIA â&#x20AC;&#x201C; An Indian Catholic entrepreneur, who has helped children create a future for themselves through computer science for 20 years, has won an award for his services. Mr Agnelo Rajesh Athaide, set up the St Angelo Professional Education (SAPE), the oldest computer education company in Mumbai in 1993. SAPE has offered courses and scholarships to young people who want to succeed in this line of work. On June 24, the Social Reformer Award was conferred on him for his contribution to technology and management education at the India Leadership Conclave and Indian Affairs Business Leadership Award ceremony. Mr Athaideâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s company has helped more than 300,000 stu-

dents graduate in computer science and enter the workforce. â&#x20AC;&#x153;A statement of professional quality is the only way to allow poor children to make progress and realise themselves in the world,â&#x20AC;? said Mr Athaide. â&#x20AC;&#x153;When I started,â&#x20AC;? the entrepreneur said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;computer education was a luxury. Costs were prohibitive and a deterrent to a diploma for many young students who could not afford the fees of certain schools.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;I applied to St Angelo the concept of corporate social responsibility,â&#x20AC;? he explained, â&#x20AC;&#x153;to give quality computer education to groups of lower and middle class students. I made the social improvement [of others] the goal of my life and company. Not only is it possible, [it is] also very rewarding to marry commercial interests to community development.â&#x20AC;? Â&#x201E; ASIANEWS


Sunday July 14, 2013 Â&#x201E; CatholicNews

UKâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s plans for â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;genetically  worries Church institute MANCHESTER, ENGLAND â&#x20AC;&#x201C; A

Catholic bioethics institute criticised plans by the British government to create â&#x20AC;&#x153;genetically modi   [       disease and said the treatment could affect the childâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s descendants in unknown ways. The Department of Health announced on June 28 that, later this year, it will publish draft regulations on two mitochondrial replacement techniques. The techniques can result in the creation of a single baby by several genetic parents, and one of the processes has been nicknamed K 3 Â&#x2039;@[    media. No country in the world so far permits the procedure, mean       

        technique, probably by 2015. The government has said there is general support for the techniques among the public, but the Anscombe Bioethics Centre, an Oxford-based institute serving the Catholic Church in the UK and Ireland, said it was disturbed by the proposals. A statement on the centreâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s website said the technique would genetically alter not only the baby but also the childâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s descendants. Government proponents say descendants would also be free of the genetic disease because of the altered DNA. However, Ms Helen Watt, senior research fellow at the Anscombe centre, says, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Mitochondrial replacement treats no one â&#x20AC;&#x201C; it merely manufactures a new child, who will then be at risk of unknown harms of various kinds,     [ Two methods are being proposed, one of which â&#x20AC;&#x201C; pronuclear transfer â&#x20AC;&#x201C; is â&#x20AC;&#x153;particularly objec-

 [    !   statement. Potential parents would go through the procedure for in vitro fertilisation, and part of the embryo would be combined with parts of a donor embryo â&#x20AC;&#x201C; which actually could involve four parents, not just three. Both embryos are destroyed in the process, and the motherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s embryo is effectively cloned and repackaged before the cells begin to multiply and grow into a baby. !    pared by Anscombe and posted on its website also noted that â&#x20AC;&#x153;if alteration of the germline is allowed for mitochondrial disease, then it will certainly be requested for   [

Britain could be                â&#x20AC;&#x153;Do we want genetically mod   Â&#x2022;[ #  The other technique is maternal spindle transfer, which involves the extraction of the genetic material from a motherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ovum, which is then inserted into an eviscerated healthy donor ovum before fertilisation by the father. Because this involves three parties â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the mother, an ovum donor and the father â&#x20AC;&#x201C; this process has become known as â&#x20AC;&#x153;three-par Â&#x2039;@[ Mitochondria are the biological power packs that give energy to nearly every cell of the body. The British government estimates that defective mitochondria affect one in every 6,500 babies. Â&#x201E; CNS

John Paul IIâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sainthood cause advances: reports VATICAN CITY â&#x20AC;&#x201C; The cardinals and

archbishops who are members of the Vaticanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Congregation for Saintsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Causes met on July 2 and, according to Italian news reports, took steps to advance the sainthood causes of Blessed John Paul II and Blessed John XXIII. <Â&#x2039;                 all deliberations in sainthood causes are secret until the pope issues the relevant decrees. The Italian news agency ANSA reported that the cardinals approved the miracle needed for Blessed John Paulâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s canonisation. Previously, a panel of physicians said there was no medical explanation for the healing that occurred, and a panel of theologians said there was evidence that prayers asking God to heal

the person in question were addressed through the intercession of Blessed John Paul. The canonisation would be scheduled after Pope Francis approves the publication of a decree recognising the miracle and after he consults with members of the College of Cardinals. Although early reports had expressed optimism about a canonisation ceremony in October to coincide with the 35th anniversary of Blessed John Paulâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s election, news reports on July 2 said there was not enough time to organise the event. Instead, the dates under discussion were November or December, or even spring 2014. Apparently, the idea would be to canonise the two popes at the same ceremony. Â&#x201E; CNS

Vatican bank chiefs resign amidst papal investigation Move comes after arrest of monsignor VATICAN CITY â&#x20AC;&#x201C; The director and the deputy director of the Vatican bank, which is being investigated by a special papal commission, resigned on July 1. A statement from the Vatican        " Cipriani and deputy director Massimo Tulli offered their resignations â&#x20AC;&#x153;in the best interest of

        `  /[ The bank has been working to revamp a marred image of secrecy and scandal with greater transparency. The resignations came two days after the arrest of Msgr Nunzio Scarano, an accountant in the Administration of the Patrimony of the Holy See, the Vatican of     Â&#x2039;   erty and investments (see story below). The administration is not part of the Vatican bank, although Msgr Scarano â&#x20AC;&#x201C; who is accused of fraud, corruption and slander â&#x20AC;&#x201C; was believed to have at least one personal account at the bank, and Italian investigators claim they have wiretaps of him speaking to Mr Tulli on several occasions. The Vaticanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s July 1 statement said Mr Ernst von Freyberg, the Vatican bank president, would assume the function of interim general director, effective immediately. The Vatican said Rolando Marranci, formerly chief oper          

Left: The main entrance of the Institute for the Works of Religion, known colloquially as the Vatican bank. Below: Mr Ernst von Freyberg has assumed the function of interim general director of the Vatican bank.   

bank in London, would serve as acting deputy director. It said Antonio Montaresi, who has served as chief risk and chief compliance      #   United States, would serve in the newly created position as acting #  pliance and special projects. <     days after the Vatican announced that Pope Francis had established 3   view the mission and activities of the Vatican bank, including if and           mission of the Church. The commission, which has al-

ready begun its work, is part of the popeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s larger efforts to reform the    ]   a June 26 Vatican statement. Â&#x201E; CNS

Vatican to cooperate in investigation of arrested Italian monsignor VATICAN CITY â&#x20AC;&#x201C; An Italian mon-

signor, already suspended from his Vatican accounting job while under investigation for money laundering, was arrested on June 28 on charges of fraud, corruption and slander in a separate case. Msgr Nunzio Scarano, a priest of the Archdiocese of SalernoCampagna-Acero, was head of the analytical accounting service at the Administration of the Patrimony of the Holy See, the Vatican    Â&#x2039;  erty and investments. Jesuit Fr Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman, said Msgr Scarano was suspended in May â&#x20AC;&#x153;as soon as his superiors were informed

        [ Vatican rules call for the suspension of any employee who is the subject of a criminal investigation, he said. The spokesman also said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Holy See has not yet received any request on this matter from the prop-

              [ The Vaticanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Financial Intelligence Authority (FIA), which monitors the legality and trans Â&#x2039;    ity and of Vatican bank accounts, â&#x20AC;&#x153;is following the problem in order to take, if necessary, appropriate [@Â&#x160;    He would not say if Msgr Scarano was already under investigation by the FIA. !    and a former Italian secret service agent, Msgr Scarano was arrested as part of the Rome district attorneyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s investigations into an alleged plot to bring 20 million euros (S$33 million) from Switzerland to Italy aboard an Italian government plane without declaring the money to Italian authorities. News reports said the monsignor claimed he was trying to help Italian friends recover money they

         and that he had promised to pay the secret service agent to arrange

  The arrest came just a few days after news broke that Msgr Scarano also was under investigation by

/    nance police on suspicion of money laundering after several claims that he gave people cash in exchange for cheques marked as donations. The monsignor has said he didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want to deposit his own money because he didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want bank employees to know how much money he had. In addition to an account at an Italian bank, Msgr Scarano also reportedly has an account at the Vatican bank, formally called the Institute for the Works of Religion. Fr Lombardi said that as a Vatican employee, the monsignor had the right to have an account there. Â&#x201E; CNS


Sunday July 14, 2013 Â&#x201E; CatholicNews

Brazilian bishops support US bishops slam courtâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ruling on peaceful protests as same-sex marriage World Youth Day nears SAO PAULO, BRAZIL â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Leaders of

the Brazilian bishopsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; conference announced their support for the massive demonstrations sweeping across South Americaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s largest nation, but declined to say how they might affect World Youth Day activities and the visit of Pope Francis in July. The support was expressed in a document distributed to journalists in Brasilia by Archbishop Raymundo Damasceno Assis of Aparecida, the bishopsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; conference president. The document said the conference â&#x20AC;&#x153;declares its solidarity and support to these demonstrations, as long as they are peaceful, and which have taken to the streets persons of all ages, especially the youthâ&#x20AC;?. Missing from the document was any mention of World Youth Day, set for Rio de Janeiro from July 23-28. But Archbishop Assis told reporters it was the governmentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s responsibility to guarantee the safety of the pilgrims. He conceded that recent events may discourage foreign pilgrims from attending World Youth Day (WYD). Earlier, Archbishop Orani Joao Tempesta of Rio de Janeiro said in a separate statement that the protests would not affect World Youth Day, nor the planned visit of Pope Francis. The demonstrations are, he said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;in some ways similar to the spirit of WYD â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the desire to work together for a new world, for a new life, a new societyâ&#x20AC;?. The archbishop said the local committee planning World Youth Day events continues â&#x20AC;&#x153;to focus on the safety of pilgrims as well as

Cardinal Dolan WASHINGTON â&#x20AC;&#x201C;

Demonstrators in Recife City. Brazilian bishops have declined to say how such protests might affect World Youth Day and Pope Francisâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; visit. CNS photo

the general population during the eventâ&#x20AC;?. He added that the military police and municipal guard will closely monitor the situation. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I think that there will not be any safety issues, whether for the pope or for those in attendance as we are studying everything down to the smallest details, to all of the minutiae,â&#x20AC;? he said. The protests have expanded     marily by student groups in midJune to protest an increase in public transportation fares. Protesters have since expand-

ed the list of grievances with the government to include high taxation rates, decreased government services and attention to massive public projects such as stadium construction while vital social needs go unmet. â&#x20AC;&#x153;These demonstrations show us that it is not possible to live in a country with such inequalities,â&#x20AC;? said the bishopsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; document. The document also emphasised that the Church strongly opposes the violence that has erupted and the destruction of private property as the protests grew. Â&#x201E; CNS

US Catholic bishops said the US Supreme Courtâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s June 26 rulings on samesex marriage were a â&#x20AC;&#x153;tragic day for marriage and our nationâ&#x20AC;?. The court, in separate 5-4 rulings struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA),    man and one woman, and also refused to rule on the merits of a challenge to Californiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Proposition 8, the voter-approved initiative barring same-sex marriage. In the rulings, the court said DOMA was unconstitutional under the Equal Protection Clause and they sent back to lower courts a challenge to Prop 8, saying the individuals who defended the law in court lacked the legal standing to do so. A statement by Cardinal Timothy M Dolan of New York, head of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, and Archbishop Salvatore J Cordileone of San Francisco, chairman of the US bishopsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, said the court â&#x20AC;&#x153;has dealt a profound injus-

Archbishop Cordileone

tice to the American people by striking down in part the federal Defense of Marriage Actâ&#x20AC;?. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The court got it wrong,â&#x20AC;? they continued. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The federal government ought to respect the truth that marriage is the union of one man and one woman, even where states fail to do so. The preservation of liberty and justice requires that all laws, federal and state, respect the truth, including the truth about marriage.â&#x20AC;? The bishops also said it was â&#x20AC;&#x153;unfortunate that the court did not take the opportunity to uphold Californiaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Proposition 8 but instead decided not to rule on the matter. The common good of all, especially our children, depends upon a society that strives to uphold the truth of marriage. Now is the time to redouble our efforts in witness to this truthâ&#x20AC;?. They urged people to â&#x20AC;&#x153;stand steadfastly together in promoting and defending the unique meaning of marriage: one man, one woman, for lifeâ&#x20AC;?. They also asked for prayers â&#x20AC;&#x153;as the courtâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s decisions are reviewed and their im     [Â&#x201E; CNS


Look for meek, merciful bishops, pope tells nuncios VATICAN CITY â&#x20AC;&#x201C; <   -

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St Josephâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s name in Mass texts VATICAN CITY â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Pope Francis has


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Sunday July 14, 2013 Â&#x201E; CatholicNews

A Christian canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be anti-Semitic, says Pope Francis

Pope Francis attends a private audience with the International Jewish Committee on Interreligious Consultations at the Vatican. CNS photo VATICAN CITY â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Pope Francis

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EU move linking aid to religious freedom hailed OXFORD, ENGLAND â&#x20AC;&#x201C; ] 


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Sunday July 14, 2013 Â&#x201E; CatholicNews

Equality, paternal priests   Pope gives his views on these and other issues VATICAN CITY

â&#x20AC;&#x201C; The stability of the Church requires that it be built on Jesus, but its beauty and strength also rely on the contributions of each and every Christian, Pope Francis said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;If someone tells you, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Go home, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re not needed,â&#x20AC;&#x2122; thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not true,â&#x20AC;? the pope told an estimated 50,000 people at his weekly general audience on June 26. â&#x20AC;&#x153;No one is useless in the Church. We are all needed to build this temple.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;We are all equal in the eyes of God â&#x20AC;&#x201C; everyone,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;One of you may say, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;But listen, pope sir, we are not your equals.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; But, yes, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m like all of you, all of us are equal. All of us. We are brothers and sisters.... We all form and build the Church.â&#x20AC;? At a morning Mass that day, the pope said the desire to be a father is ingrained in all men, even priests, who are called to give spiritual life, care and protection to others. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Something is wrongâ&#x20AC;? if a man does not have the drive to be paternal, â&#x20AC;&#x153;something is missing in this manâ&#x20AC;?, the pope said in his homily in the chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae where he lives. â&#x20AC;&#x153;All  &       and to be mature have to feel the joy of paternity, even those of us who are celibate,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Paternity is giving life to others,â&#x20AC;? he said. For priests, â&#x20AC;&#x153;it will be pastoral paternity, spiritual paternity, but it is giving life, becoming fathers.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;People want us to be like that â&#x20AC;&#x201C; fathers â&#x20AC;&#x201C; with the grace of pastoral paternity,â&#x20AC;? he said. In his June 27 morning Mass, the pope noted that Christianity isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t a school for teaching a super     one, but itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s also not a boot camp

' #   *'/*<CNS photo

where everything is rigidity, rules and long faces. According to a report by Vatican Radio, the pope warned in his homily that too many people today â&#x20AC;&#x153;masquerade as Christiansâ&#x20AC;?, rejecting either the challenging teachings of Christ and His Gospel or rejecting the joy and freedom the Holy Spirit brings. â&#x20AC;&#x153;In the history of the Church there have been two classes of Christians: Christians of words â&#x20AC;&#x201C; those who say, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Lord, Lord,

Lordâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; â&#x20AC;&#x201C; and Christians of action, in truth,â&#x20AC;? the pope said. The Christians who are all talk, he said, fall into two oppos  ¢    â&#x20AC;&#x153;gnosticsâ&#x20AC;?, who â&#x20AC;&#x153;instead of loving the Rock, love pretty wordsâ&#x20AC;? and follow a â&#x20AC;&#x153;liquid Christianityâ&#x20AC;? without substance; and those he    K"[  K lieve that the Christian life must be taken so seriously that they end      with rigidity. They are rigid! They

We are all equal in the eyes of God â&#x20AC;&#x201C; everyone. â&#x20AC;&#x153;One of you may say, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;But listen, pope sir, we are not your equals.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; But, yes, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m like all of you.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Pope Francis

â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Pope Benedictâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s conscience told him to resignâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; VATICAN CITY â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Pope Benedict

XVIâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s resignation was â&#x20AC;&#x153;a great exampleâ&#x20AC;? of what it means to follow oneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s conscience through prayer, Pope Francis said during his Sunday Angelus address on June 30 to pilgrims in St Peterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Square. Following oneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s conscience doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t mean chasing after oneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s own self-interests; it calls for listening to God, understanding His will and carrying out His plan with determination, Pope Francis said. Pope Benedict provided a â&#x20AC;&#x153;recent marvellous exampleâ&#x20AC;? of following oneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s conscience, Pope Francis said, evidently referring to the retired popeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s decision to  

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Pope Benedict XVI gave us this great example when the Lord led him to understand, in prayer, what was the step he should take,â&#x20AC;? Pope Francis said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;He followed, with a great sense of discernment and courage, his conscience, that is, the will of God, who spoke to his heart.â&#x20AC;? References to the retired pope drew applause from the crowd, which Pope Francis urged on with encouraging gestures. Jesus provides many examples of how important it is to follow oneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s conscience by â&#x20AC;&#x153;listening to His Fatherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s voice in his heart and following itâ&#x20AC;?, said the pope. Â&#x201E; CNS

Pope Benedict XVI walks with his & 

think that being Christian means being in perpetual mourning.â&#x20AC;? Both groups, he said, are missing the key connection to Christ. â&#x20AC;&#x153;They do not know how to enjoy the life that Jesus gives us because they do not know how to talk to Jesus,â&#x20AC;? the pope said. Because they have no joy, they have no freedom either. They are K    [  K  slaves of rigidityâ&#x20AC;?. The pope also spoke about

   ]   June 19 general audience. The Church is the body of ]     ]     among themselves or Catholics and  ]     one another, they make Christâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s body suffer, Pope Francis said. He said that â&#x20AC;&#x153;today, before leaving homeâ&#x20AC;?, he had spent more than half an hour with an â&#x20AC;&#x153;evangelical pastorâ&#x20AC;? and they prayed together for Christian unity. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Unity is a grace we must ask from the Lord so that He would free us from the temptation of  ness and complaining about each other â&#x20AC;&#x201C; how much damage, how much evil that chatter creates,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;How much damage is created by divisions among Catholics and between Christian communities. Evangelical Christians, Orthodox Christians, Catholic Christians â&#x20AC;&#x201C; why are we divided? We must try to bring unity.â&#x20AC;? The problem, though, isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t only a matter of differences between Christian denominations, he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;How can we have Christian     ty among us Catholics? To have unity in our families? How many  Â&#x2022;/# [ â&#x20AC;&#x153;Let us pray to the Lord to make us members of the body of Christ, ever more united to Christ, help us not to make the body of ]        our divisions,â&#x20AC;? he said. Â&#x201E; CNS


Sunday July 14, 2013 Â&#x201E; CatholicNews

Fortnightly newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Singapore

2 Highland Road, #01-03 Singapore 549102. Telephone: 6858 3055. Fax: 6858 2055. Website: Facebook: MANAGING EDITOR: Father Johnson Fernandez:


ASSISTANT EDITOR: Christopher Khoo:



WEBMASTER: Medona Walter:

Please include your full name, address and phone no. for all letters to the editor. Published submissions will be edited.

DESIGN / LAYOUT: Christopher Wong: Elaine Ong:


On church restoration I refer to the very interesting article by Mr Thaddeus Loo (About Restoring Our Old Churches, CN, June 30). It would be remiss of me not to set the historical record straight. Firstly, St Joseph Church at Upper Bukit Timah is 17 years older than the 150 years mentioned in Mr Thaddeusâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; article. Whilst the church was founded 167 years ago '     Â&#x2018;Â&#x2019;Â&#x2020;Â&#x2C6;;  &  church building certainly is not. For those of us who have the memories, the church was constructed on a low budget in the 1960s by Fr Joachim Teng. Having served the parish faithfully, many of the building elements such as the roof (despite being replaced once before) had reached the end of their economic life. Contrary to what was reported in the said article, the building was never designed with vaulted Â&#x152;           of the beam at the sanctuary. The â&#x20AC;&#x153;cross-shaped portholesâ&#x20AC;? at the top portion of the building         glass bricks as we were told it was to prevent birds from roosting. The glass bricks were removed and sealed but the â&#x20AC;&#x153;portholesâ&#x20AC;? remained in their original form. The pews were made of timber with metal legs screwed onto

<              '  Â Â    ed), which has also suffered years of wear and tear. Recognising the need to keep cost manageable and since the timber was in relatively good condition and must be kept, the main pieces were salvaged and re-used in the â&#x20AC;&#x153;newâ&#x20AC;? pews. With sadness, we had also to change the mono                condition and had to be replaced. A survey of our parishioners in January saw the majority requesting for air-conditioning, and we were encouraged by the fact that the congregation has grown since the renovation was completed. In addition, with air-condition          improve the acoustics of the church

thereby improving the clarity of speech, especially during the homily. Also, the ornamental railing removed after Vatican II was deliberately retrieved from storage, refurbished and re-installed in the sanctuary as part of our efforts to preserve as much of the heritage as possible. Another noteworthy effort is the addition of stained glass windows, symbolic icons, statues etc. (most of which were generously donated by parishioners) to enhance and complete the liturgical requirements as much as possible. Other areas which were restored and preserved include inter alia the paintings of the Holy Family, the Family of St Joachim and St Anne, and the Stations of the Cross, which were profession-

And they volunteered their time and expertise in week after week of gruelling meetings with external consultants such as the architect, quantity surveyor, structural and mechanical and electrical engineers etc. to bring the renovation to fruition. The Parish Pastoral Council Executive Committee and members of the various ministries are very much heartened and encouraged by the positive response from our parishioners and others who have since visited the renovated St Joseph Church. Constructive feedback, even after the fact, is still very much welcome to enhance the church further. With the impending extensive renovations of the Cathe-

St Joseph Church (Bukit Timah)

ally restored by a specialist. The wooden tablet with Chinese characters (meaning â&#x20AC;&#x153;God is the true source of all existenceâ&#x20AC;?) was also preserved but relocated to a more suitable position. A team of building professionals comprising development manager, property manager, mechanical and electrical engineer, civil and structural engineer, quantity surveyor, building materials specialist, landscape experts, pest control specialist etc. all members of our parish, (with the exception of the quantity surveyor who is from Our Lady of Perpetual Succour parish, and who had so graciously offered her help) responded to the parishâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s call to serve.

dral of Good Shepherd, Novena Church and Church of Sts Peter & Paul, we ardently pray that  #     of restoration of old churches offer their helpful advice and more importantly their time to work the projects to successful conclusions. We also pray that caring parishioners, with or without specialised skills, come forward and serve in any capacity, or alternatively contribute generously in         support to the renovations. Lawrence Lim Chairman, St Joseph Church (Bukit Timah) Building Committee

Â&#x201E; See letter on Page 17

Struggling for fatherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s blessing WHEN I was in elementary school, we were made to memorise a number of poems by William Blake. We didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t understand them, but they had a wonderful jingle to them, were easy to commit to memory, and remain branded inside me to this day. One of those was a piece entitled, Infant Sorrow: My mother groaned! my father wept. Into this dangerous world I leapt: Helpless, naked, piping loud:  ""   " Struggling in my fatherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hands, Striving against my swaddling bands, Bound and weary I thought it best To sulk upon my motherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s breast. Whole books on anthropology, psychology and spirituality could be written on this poem: our struggle for our fatherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s blessing, our ambivalence in separating from our mothers, the constriction this creates in our hearts, our inevitable slide into depression as adults, and the impact this has on our spiritual lives. Blake captures a lot in very few words, hidden inside some simple rhymes; but, as already confessed, I didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have a clue about any of this when I memorised this poem as a child. The poem came back to me several years ago, after preaching a homily in a church. The Gospel for that Sunday was the story of Jesusâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; baptism. The text runs like this: Jesus goes to the Jordan River to be baptised by John. John immerses Him in the water. As Jesus re-emerges, His head breaks the water (an image of birth), the heavens open, and the Fatherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s voice is heard to say: â&#x20AC;&#x153;This is my beloved, in whom I am well-pleased!â&#x20AC;? The point I made in my homily was pretty straightforward: I simply told the congregation that when we were baptised, the Father spoke the same words over each of us: â&#x20AC;&#x153;This is my beloved, in whom I am wellpleased!â&#x20AC;? Those should have been safe words; they werenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t. Immediately after the service, a young man affronted me, agitated and upset about my homily. He shared that he was out of prison on bail, awaiting sentencing. He had come to Mass that Sunday to try to ready himself to face what awaited him, but the service had the opposite effect. It had increased his anger and agitation, particularly so my homily. Hereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s how he expressed his frustration: â&#x20AC;&#x153;I hated your homily because it wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t true! Nobody has ever been pleased by what I have done â&#x20AC;&#x201C; least of all my own father!â&#x20AC;? Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no accident that this young man was going to prison; he had not been blessed by his own father. Like the narrator in the Blake poem, he was â&#x20AC;&#x153;strugglingâ&#x20AC;? in his fatherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hands. His own father, unlike God, the Father, had never blessed him â&#x20AC;&#x201C; that is, either his father had never been present enough to him and truly interested in him or he had been unable to take delight in his sonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s person and energy so as to give him the assurance that he was neither a threat nor a disappointment to his father. In essence, this son had never been a major source of joy to his father, and that is a real absence that wounds. Hunger for our fatherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s blessing is perhaps the deepest hunger in our world today. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s an adage inside certain spirituality and anthropological circles today and the evidence for its truth is found in the body language in a room whenever the phrase is spoken aloud to a group, especially to a group of men. !  |        fathers? Mostly the effects are under the surface and not attributed to our fathers, unless we reach a certain level of conscious realisation of how we are wounded. The absence of the fatherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s blessing is mostly felt inchoately, a thirst, a constriction of the heart, an absence of delight, and a sense of never quite measuring up. <  &       low-grade depression that often drives persons into various combinations of acedia, obsession for achievement, and sex as a panacea. It can also have a very negative impact on people religiously. Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s an axiom in Freudian thought that suggests that most anger directed at institutionalised religion is anger directed at your own father    < &   who have had little or no meaningful relationship to organised religion are angry at religion and the churches. Whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the solution? How do we get this constriction off our hearts if |         Â&#x2022; Christian spirituality teaches us that we receive by giving. We attain things by giving them away, as the famous Prayer of St Francis puts it. We cannot make ourselves happy, but we can help make others happy. Thus, we cannot force anyone to bless us but we can bless others. Wholeness and happiness lie there. Simply put, when we act like God, we get to feel like God ... and God never suffers from anger and low-grade depression. Â&#x201E;


Sunday July 14, 2013 Â&#x201E; CatholicNews

Guantanamo Bay prison poses ethical dilemma for US US bishops join a growing number of groups urging Obama to close the facility as inmates go on hunger strike WASHINGTON â&#x20AC;&#x201C; A growing chorus of voices â&#x20AC;&#x201C; from international human rights groups to faith-based organisations â&#x20AC;&#x201C; are pressuring US "    # }    his pledge to close the militaryrun prison at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba. The bottom line for the organisations is that the basic human rights and dignity of the 166 men who continue to be detained have been violated for years. They say the time has come for justice to be served, especially for the 86 men who have been cleared of any wrongdoing but who remain behind bars. Mr Obama has acknowledged as much. Speaking at the National Defense University in Washington on May 23, he pledged for the second time since he took       fer the 86 and to use diplomacy to address the issues that lead to terrorism. The renewed offer came as more than 100 Guantanamo detainees took part in a more than 100-day hunger strike to protest their detention. In response, military doctors at the prison early on turned to force feeding the strikers. The Miami Herald reported on June 26 that 105 detainees have joined the strike with the number of men being force fed daily standing at 44. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The hunger strike represents and acknowledges that the pro-

â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;% "  " 

 & " ' " (  



â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Bishop Richard G Pates, chairman of the US bishopsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Committee on International Justice and Peace

+\"/&  7    

cess [to assert the human rights of detainees] in the courts has become entirely futile,â&#x20AC;? said Mr Shayana Kadidal, an attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights who has represented several Guantanamo inmates. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s what they perceive as their only chance of getting out and having a normal, real life with their families again,â&#x20AC;? he said. The events in Guantanamo have not gone unnoticed by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).

Bishop Richard G Pates of Des Moines, Iowa, chairman of the bishopsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Committee on International Justice and Peace, sent a letter on June 25 to Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel calling for a review of conditions for detainees and for closing the prison. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The desperation that the people are being forcibly fed has reached a point that it calls for action,â&#x20AC;? Bishop Pates told Catholic News Service. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Obama said he would close Guantanamo. This letter says â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Please do itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; in the in-

terest of justice and the basic legal rights that everybody has.â&#x20AC;? Bishop Patesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; letter raised questions about the practice of â&#x20AC;&#x153;shackling and strapping downâ&#x20AC;? the strikers to force feed them through a nose tube. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Rather than resorting to such measures, our          it can to address the conditions of despair that led to this protest,â&#x20AC;? he wrote. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Detainees have a right to a just and fair trial held in a timely manner. For at least 86 detainees,

Â&#x17E;    | `          detention of detainees is not only â&#x20AC;&#x153;injurious to those individuals, it also wounds the moral reputation of our nation, compromises our commitment to the rule of law and undermines our struggle against terrorismâ&#x20AC;?. At a rally in front of the White House on June 26, UN International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, about 250 people from human rights and political organisations urged Mr Obama to follow through on his pledge if for no other reason than to uphold the dignity of the detainees. Bishop Pates has also stressed repeatedly in an interview from South America, where he was travelling on a USCCB fact          individual to face trial on charges must be upheld for the remaining 86 detainees. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re not trying to justify terrorism,â&#x20AC;? he said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The rule of law has to prevail.â&#x20AC;? Â&#x201E; CNS


Renovated St Joseph Church a blessing for all I refer to the article, About Restoring Our Old Churches by Thaddeus Loo (CN, June 30). I quote from a book by a Catholic Church mystic, Maria Simma, who said: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Churches are ONLY for praying and for meeting with Jesus and Mary. The churches are there for you and Jesus to be alone together. Decorations that serve no other function but to decorate have to go ...â&#x20AC;? What the psalmist says,â&#x20AC;?Desire the things that are in heaven, not the things that are on earth,â&#x20AC;? serves to remind us what the churches are for us, and what are needed in them. Credit must be given to St Joseph Churchâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s team of architects, engineers, managers, volunteers and interested parishioners who answered the call to participate, assist and serve, and they did it correctly â&#x20AC;&#x201C; this time!

The tabernacle, being more important than anything else, is now in the CENTRE of the church and not off to the side; Jesus Christ being the centre of all things! This is what God wants. I am glad St Joseph Church (Bukit Timah) is now air-conditioned. Without which, we are at the mercy of the thick haze and heat. Way back before the upgrading and renovation work, when the church remained opened throughout the day, there were numerous incidents that would make most of us appalled. !         church beneath the ceiling during a Sunday Mass. Its dropping could be found on the pews and

}#  9 saw a squirrel running across the sanctuary behind the altar table searching for something. On an-

Interior of St Joseph Church (Bukit Timah) after renovations.

other day, we saw a cat going up the sanctuary and hiding underneath the altar table. One Christmas, a brood of small kittens was found beneath the crib.

\       house lizards plagued the churchâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s interior walls and dirtied the paint   

 The church was also not spared

       ing and night time especially when a nearby chiku tree bore fruit. In short, the most holy place in the church was compromised. With the existing upgrading and renovation work completed, most of our parishioners I spoke to agree that it is a beautiful church, remarkably transformed from the old, and indeed we are glad. No more were the days when we have to bear with the noisy wall fans and distractions from the outside. Holiness has returned to the church and is proven, as many parishioners who left are returning in good numbers. We thank God that we now have a church where we can worship Him in good comfort. John Chng Singapore 669609


Sunday July 14, 2013 Â&#x201E; CatholicNews

THE Apostolic Exhortation of Pope Benedict XVI â&#x20AC;&#x153;Verbum Dominiâ&#x20AC;? (The Word of God in the Life and Mission of the Church), written after the XII Ordinary Assembly of

 /        the Word of the God who speaks and our response, the interpretation of Scripture in the Church, the Word of God in liturgy and in the life of the Church culminating in the Word of God proclaimed to the world. The Regional Biblical Commission (RBC) had decided to dedicate the Bible Sunday Messages to

   The RBC dedicated its Bible Sunday message of 2011 to the primacy of Godâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s word to man in different forms, culminating in Jesus Christ, the incarnate Word of God. In 2012, the Bible Sunday Message highlighted Godâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s intervention in human history in terms of the covenant relationship between God and His people. This yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Bible Sunday falls within the Year of Faith, and appropriately, the message will look at the senses of Scripture in the context of the faith and life of the Church.

Some common false or incomplete approaches The Bible is the written word of God and those who read it come to it with their own preconceived ideas. Many approach the word of God in different ways. Some of these approaches are erroneous and the RBC thought it necessary to throw some light on the right approaches by taking a closer look at the so-called senses of sacred Scripture. Many approach the Bible without paying any attention to the context in which the passage is found. This leads to a very literal understanding of the text, be it word, verse or passage. They do not consider the historical or cultural background of the passage. Sometimes a text is considered only for its moral teaching. Violent and unjust commands are just taken at their face value, as seen from interpretations of the â&#x20AC;&#x153;banâ&#x20AC;? in the book of Joshua (cf. e.g. Jos. 6:16-19). Consequently an individualist and fundamentalist reading of Scripture prevails in such approaches. The proponents of these false or incomplete approaches maintain that God dictated the sacred word to the author who just recorded whatever was said. They uphold that because all Scripture is in-

The Bible was written by the People of God for the People of God under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

spired, it cannot hold errors or inconsistencies. The unity of the Bible as containing the Old and New testaments is sometimes ignored. The two testaments are sometimes even put in opposition to each other. Proponents of these incomplete approaches could hinder dialogue and evangelisation. Wherefore, the meaning of Godâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s word is to be clearly propounded so that people could be exposed to the truth that is found in sacred Scripture.

Interpretation of sacred Scripture in the Church Since one can be led astray by false or incomplete approaches, the question then arises: What is the proper approach to the word of Scripture? How does one read it? We know from Scripture itself that explanations are needed for many passages such as when the Ethiopian asked Philip to explain in Acts 8:30-35. Verbum Domini says that interpretation of Scripture should be done in the context of faith: â&#x20AC;&#x153;The primary setting for scriptural interpretation is the life of the Church.â&#x20AC;? And again, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Faith traditions formed the living context for the literary activity of the authors of sacred Scriptureâ&#x20AC;Ś.In like manner, the interpretation of sacred Scripture requires full participation on

the part of exegetes in the life and faith of the believing community of their own time.â&#x20AC;? (VD 29) Consequently, St Jerome says that we can never read Scripture simply on our own. The Bible was written by the People of God for the People of God and this was done under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, when one interprets sacred Scripture, he must do it in harmony with the faith of the Catholic Church. This Church dimension means that we read as a community of faith and so grasp the truth that God wished to convey to us believers. (VD 30)

Two levels of search for meaning What has been said above leads us

        that the interpreter must work on in his search for meaning in sacred Scripture. On the one hand, the interpreter          studying the literary forms and the historical context of the text. And on the other hand, the text needs to be read in the context of the faith and the life of the Church. Otherwise, it will just remain a text for history. One may draw

moral consequences from it or treat it then as historical literature. In other words, the person who tries to delve into the meaning of a passage must ultimately ask himself, â&#x20AC;&#x153;How was this text understood in the Church? What meaning did the Fathers of the Church in the early centuries give to this passage? How does the teaching of the Church through the Magisterium (i.e. the teaching authority of the Church) read the meaning of what is written here?â&#x20AC;? This is because the same Spirit who inspired the writing of sacred Scripture is still alive in the Church today. In fact, the interpreter is reading the text as Godâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s word for today. As the reader follows the history of the chosen people through the centuries, he learns of their struggles and challenges in living out their faith. He tries to understand from Bible scholars the original context and meaning of these. But he does not stop there. He begins to see what the Church says in these contexts. Parallels with the experience of the Church and individual history seem so striking. In fact, the Christian reader is taking the word as Godâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s word for today.

`          tion and deepening of his faith. That is why St Gregory the Great said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;The divine words grow together with the one who reads them.â&#x20AC;?

Fourfold sense of Scripture What is the meaning of â&#x20AC;&#x153;sense of Scriptureâ&#x20AC;?? The sense of Scripture refers to the meaning (sensus in Latin) of a particular text. It refers to the meaning that is attributed to a text of Scripture by the interpreter. While the Middle Ages came to understand that there are mainly four senses of Scripture, we must remember that both the Fathers of the Church and the medieval tradition always brought a religious approach to the reading of the word of God. The Catechism of the Catholic Church mentions the couplet from the Middle Ages which speaks of the relationship of the literal sense and the spiritual senses of Scripture: The letter speaks of deeds; allegory about the faith; The moral about our actions; anagogy about our destiny. (CCC 118) They thus speak of a literal sense, an allegorical sense, a moral sense and an anagogical sense in the reading of Scripture. St Thomas says that all senses are based on the literal sense. The spiritual senses show that we must not remain only on the level of the literal sense, but link to the experience of the Church in the world today.

Literal sense The literal sense is the meaning that is attached to the â&#x20AC;&#x153;letterâ&#x20AC;?, which is the actual text. It is the meaning that is conveyed by the words of Scripture and discovered by sound interpretation. One can arrive at the literal sense by taking an objective look at the passage paying attention to the people acting, references to places, time, etc. One may ask six questions about the text: who, what, when, where, how and why. The how and why questions help us to get deeper into the texts. With this process and the aid of footnotes in the Bible, cross-references, maps and dictionaries, one can discover the original meaning of a passage. This helps us to see the text as a text from the past. Â&#x201E; Continued on Page 19


Sunday July 14, 2013 Â&#x201E; CatholicNews

Â&#x201E; From Page 18

Allegorical sense According to the Oxford Advanced Learnerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Dictionary, allegory is                    and events are meant as symbols of                        #             #     &         }  \<   < \ <                }  <   "    }  <        


  { |# ] |# <  #     


       <      ]     &       &  ! &      ¢ K<      Â&#x160;           

~     ['Â&#x2021;; \<   ~#   vineyard as a symbol of the King {  Â&#x160;{  ' Â&#x2C6;;        ] 

Moral sense < ]     ]   ]            /     

   / "   /  

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Sunday July 14, 2013 Â&#x201E; CatholicNews

By Joe Sarnicola

Jesus answered this question with a story. He said there was a man who On a certain day when Jesus was was beaten and robbed while on his teaching, a scholar who was an expert way to Jerusalem. He was injured and in the law wanted to test Jesus, so he left to die in the road. First a priest asked him, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Teacher, what must I do travelled on the same road, but when to inherit eternal life?â&#x20AC;? he saw the man, he crossed over to the Jesus replied with a question of other side of the road and continued His own. â&#x20AC;&#x153;What is written in the law? walking. Next a Levite came along, How do you read it?â&#x20AC;? but he also crossed the road and kept The man answered with words going. Finally a Samaritan walked by. from the Scriptures, â&#x20AC;&#x153;You shall love The Samaritan showed compasthe Lord, your God, with all your sion for the injured man. He tended heart, with all your being, with all to his wounds, put the man up on his your strength, and with all your mind, own animal and brought him to an and your neighbour as yourself.â&#x20AC;? inn. He paid the innkeeper for the cost Jesus told the man, â&#x20AC;&#x153;You have an- of the room and the manâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s care. swered correctly; do this and you will At the end of his story Jesus asked live.â&#x20AC;? the man, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Which of these three, in But the man was not totally satis- your opinion, was neighbour to the    ~  robbersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; victim?â&#x20AC;? to him, so he asked, â&#x20AC;&#x153;And who is my The man answered, â&#x20AC;&#x153;The one who neighbour?â&#x20AC;? treated him with mercy.â&#x20AC;?

Jesus then said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Go and do likewise.â&#x20AC;? Later, as Jesus was travelling with His apostles, He reached a village where He was greeted by a woman named Martha. Mary, Marthaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sister, sat and listened to Jesus speak while Martha served Jesus and His followers. Feeling frustrated, Martha said to Jesus, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me by myself to do the serving? Tell her to help me.â&#x20AC;? Jesus said to her, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Martha, Martha,



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Bible Accent: Although both the Jews and the Samaritans trace their common ancestry back to Jacob, they had very different beliefs as to how to follow Godâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s laws. As a result they did not have very high opinions of each other, and they tried to avoid contact with one another. Knowing this, Jesus used Samaritans in some of his parables, such as the good Samaritan (Luke 10) and the thankful leper (Luke 17), and he asked a Samaritan woman for water in John 4. It was no coincidence that Jesus used a Samaritan as an example of being a good neighbour. He wanted people to know that a good neighbour is anyone who shows compassion to others. Â&#x201E;

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Answer to Wordsearch

1. Lector

1. What must we do to inherit eternal life? 2. Who was the wounded manâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s neighbour?

Answers to Puzzle: 1. f, 2. b, 3. g, 4. e, 5. a, 6. c, 7. d

Match the people with one of the roles they perform during Mass.


Answers to Bible Trivia: Matthew and John


Read more about it: Luke 10

Answers to word scramble: great love dying, cross love, return

Bruno (1048-1123) was born near Piedmont, Italy, but studied at the University of Bologna. After being named a canon of Siena, he was summoned to Rome, where he spoke at the Council of 1079 in support of the Church doctrine about the Blessed Sacrament. One year later, he was named Bishop of Segni but said no to being named a cardinal. Although he served the parishioners of his region cheerfully, he longed for a more solitary Religious life. He went to Monte Cassino and joined a monastery as a monk. The people of Segni asked Bruno to return to them, but he remained at the monastery and was appointed abbot. He gained a reputation as a commentator of the Scriptures, and we honour him on July 18. Â&#x201E;

Â&#x201E; MERCY Â&#x201E; ANXIOUS Â&#x201E;$Â&#x201A;'$!x

you are anxious and worried about many things. There is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her.â&#x20AC;? Â&#x201E;

WHATâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S ON 21

Sunday July 14, 2013 Â&#x201E; CatholicNews

EVENT SUBMISSIONS We welcome information of events happening in our local Church. Please send your submission at least one month before the event. Online submissions can be made at www. JULY 7 PRISONS WEEK MASS 12-1pm: We gather to pray for prisoners, ex-offenders, victims of crime, all their families and the many people who are involved in this ministry. Main celebrant is Archbishop William Goh. All are welcome. By Roman Catholic Prison Ministry. At Church of St Ignatius. TUESDAYS JULY 9 TO AUGUST 20 PERSONAL COMPASS: ETHICS OF LOVE SEX AND MARRIAGE 7.30-9.30pm: Understand the ethics of love, sex and marriage with Fr David Garcia, OP. By SPI. At CAEC (2 Highland Road). Register T: 6858 7012 (Janice); E: FRIDAY JULY 12 TO SUNDAY JULY 14 SACCRE ABLAZE WEEKEND Fri (7.30-9.30pm), Sat (1-9.30pm), /'Â&#x2018;3Â&#x2C6;Â?Â&#x2030;;¢]   of Pentecost in your life. Programme includes talks on renewal, faith, intercessory, healing, repentance and 3 ` /   Emmanuel, Fr James Yeo, Philip Kok, Anne Marie Gatenby, Gerard and Jessica Francisco, Sr Christine Santhou. Closing Mass celebrated by Fr Tom Curran. By SACCRE City district. Register T: 9459 9804 (Diane); E: JULY 13 MEDITATIVE PRAYER WITH THE SONGS OF TAIZE 8-9.30pm: At the Armenian Church of St Gregory the Illuminator (60, Hill Street). T: 9837 7256; E: JULY 16 FEAST OF OUR LADY OF MT CARMEL Mass Timings: 6.30am, 4.30pm, 6.30pm (all in English), 2.30pm (Mandarin). At Carmelite Monastery (98 Bt Teresa Rd). JULY 17 RELAXATION EXERCISE IN CHINESE 10-11am: Therapeutic breathing and guided imagery exercises to release tension, boost energy and mood to help one stay calm and stable in midst of the stresses of life. Love offering. By Clarity Singapore. At Block 854 #01-3511, Yishun Ring Road. Register: 67577 990, 9710 3733; E:

FRIDAY JULY 19 TO SUNDAY JULY 28 ST ANNEâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S CHURCH GOLDEN JUBILEE 7.30pm (Jul 19-Jul 27): 9 days Novena with Mass celebrated by the Redemptorists. 8am-1.30pm (Jul 28): Carnival with 60 stalls. Coupons on sale. Mass timings on Jul 28: 7.15am, 9am, 11am (celebrated by Archbishop Emeritus Nicholas Chia) and 6pm (with procession of St Anneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s statue. E: JULY 21 CATHOLIC SINGLES POTLUCK AND MASS 10am-2pm: Meet Catholic singles from all over Singapore. Meet at Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour canteen at 10am. Please bring some food to share with others. Faith-based activities available after Mass. Register E:; FB: CatholicSinglesSingapore JULY 25 RELAXING WITH ARTS FOR ADULTS 3-5pm: Enjoy a healthy time and space for your creative enjoyment and expression through art-making activities so as to feel relaxed and refreshed. No prior art experience is necessary Conducted by art therapist Alvin George Khoo. Cost: $10. By Clarity Singapore. At Block 854 #01-3511, Yishun Ring Road. Register: 67577 990, 9710 3733; E: JULY 27 SJI-SJIOBA CHARITY MOVIE â&#x20AC;&#x201C; THE WOLVERINE IN 3D 2.30pm: In support of the SJI School Development Building Fund. By SJI and the SJI Old Boys Association. Cost: $50 per ticket. Seat allocation      Reservations before July 15. E:; thereafter direct purchase from Cathay

&    JULY 27 CELEBRATING INNER FREEDOM 9am-4pm: Learn how to explore,       and relationships in order to journey towards celebrating inner freedom. By LifeSprings Spirituality Centre. At 100 Jalan Merbok. Register T: 64662178 (Brenda);

FRIDAY AUGUST 2 TO SUNDAY AUGUST 4 MARRIAGE ENCOUNTER WEEKEND Fri (8pm)-Sun (6pm): A live-in marriage enrichment programme for happily married couples. Equip yourselves on this journey of love. By ME Singapore. At 201-B Punggol 17th Avenue. Register: T: 9670 5390; E: AUGUST 3 FINDING GOD IN CREATION 2-6pm: An afternoon of prayer and  ~ &  of Godâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s gift of creation. Facilitated by Sr Molly Lim, FMM. By Kingsmead CISC. Cost: $20. At 8 Victoria Park Rd. Register by July 22. T: 6467 6072; E: THURSDAY AUGUST 8 TO SATURDAY AUGUST 10 PROCLAIM! YOUTH CONFERENCE Thu (8am)-Sat (10pm): For young people 17 to 25 years old. Evangelisation      ]  Â&#x2014; }  (CYO). Speakers include Archbishop William Goh, Fr Erbin Fernandez and Fr Gino Henriques. For further information T: 6285 2571; E: events@cayconline. org; Register W:

15 16 17 18

Wading bird Angry Sweetheart Birth month of Mary (abbr.) 19 Slatted wooden box 20 Adhesive strips 22 Mythical ruler of the winds

Solution to Crossword Puzzle No. 1087 H A M A N A C T S S A K E

















23 Invertebrate creature 24 Jeremiahâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s description of himself 26 Native of Glasgow 28 Imagined 32 This was established under Prime Minister King (abbr.) 35 Paul went here when he left Damascus (Gal 1:17) 37 St. Philipâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s surname 38 Possessive pronoun Â&#x2020;Â&#x2030; "   century 41 US state in which the Diocese of Nashville is found 42 Prepare for publication 43 Stupefy

AUGUST 24 OVERCOMING DEPRESSION 12.30-2pm: The talk focuses on the symptoms and causes of depression while also discussing on current treatment options that are available to overcome depression. Cost: $20. By Clarity Singapore. At Khoo Teck Puat Hospital Auditorium, Tower B Learning Centre, Ground Floor (90 Yishun Central). Register: 67577 990, 9710 3733; E:

SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 28 TO SATURDAY OCTOBER 5 MISSION TRIP TO PHILIPPINES Calling Young Adults for mission trip to Tagaytay, Philippines. Register early as limited space available. ]      Â&#x2039; + Missionaries. Register T: 6274 0251; E:

TUESDAYS AUGUST 13 THE BIBLE TIMELINE: THE STORY OF SALVATION BY JEFF CAVINS 9-11.45am or 7.15-9.45pm: Read 14 narrative books of the Bible and discover the amazing story woven throughout scripture over 24 weeks. See how the events in the Old Testament are   \<  { greater appreciation for the scripture readings during Mass. Cost: $58. At Church of Our Lady Queen of Peace (4 Sandy Lane). Register T: 6744 2879; E:

6 Father of Jesse 7 Slightly intoxicated Â&#x2019; /  9 _____ Creed 10 Imperious 11 Alien god of the Exodus 12 Aleutian island 13 Robert E. and family 21 Bishop saint whose feast day is October 20 22 Certain something 25 Detestable 27 Biblical money 29 They will inherit the earth 30 Sea eagle DOWN 31 Fender concern 1 Title for Jesus 32 In the home of 2 Body of salt water (Fr) 3 Averages 33 Monk called 4 Escapes from â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Father of 5 Our Sunday ____ English Historyâ&#x20AC;? newspaper 46 Small cask 47 Son of Jacob and Leah 49 Magi leader 51 Joy 53 Scoffs 57 Run-down 60 Eastern 62 Johnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s symbol 63 Undoing 64 Sand hill 65 Porridge 66 Way to travel 67 Verge 68 Stock up on 69 Father of Joseph (Lk 3:23) 70 Unpleasant smell

FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 6 TO SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 8 MONSIEUR VINCENT THE MUSICAL 8pm (daily) with extra show on Sep 7 at 2pm: The Church of St Vincent de Paul is celebrating its 50th anniversary with a musical performance depicting the life of St Vincent, how his spirit of humility and patience leads him to overcome his challenges to become the symbol of love and strength for the poor all over the world, and an example for all Christians to follow. At Republic Polytechnic Cultural Centre. Cost of tickets: $20, $30, $50 (all 8pm shows); $15, $25, $40 (2pm show). Tickets purchase: T: 9687 1942 (Anne-Marie Lai); E:

THURSDAY AUGUST 8 TO SUNDAY AUGUST 11 OUR SPIRITUAL JOURNEY: FROM FEAR TO CREATIVITY, DARKNESS TO LIGHT 9.30am-5pm (daily): A non-stay-in workshop with Fr Monty Williams, SJ. Our life is a journey of becoming increasingly aware of how God is always present in our lives and what God and we commit to do to make this relationship more real. This involves discernment, putting the context of decision-making in terms of our relationship with God.By Kingsmead ]/]] ¢¨Â&#x2020;Â&#x2030;Â&#x2030;'@   20 paid-up registrants). At 8 Victoria Park Rd. Register T: 6467 6072; E:

Crossword Puzzle 1088 ACROSS 1 Priscilla and Aquila left here because the Jews were ordered out (Acts 18:2) 5 Ballot choice 9 David married his widow 14 Australian teacherâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s org.

AUGUST 18 TO OCTOBER 6 COUPLE EMPOWERMENT PROGRAMME Learn the latest life skills and apply them to build a more emotionally intelligent marriage. Ideal for young marrieds and helpful for all couples who are open to re-discovering one another. Child-minding services available. At Church o St Mary of the Angels (5 Bt Batok East Ave 2). T: 9105 9921 (Victor), 9674 4711 (Jason); E:


34 Creche 36 â&#x20AC;&#x153;Son ofâ&#x20AC;? in Hebrew 39 Trips 43 â&#x20AC;&#x153;Let the dead _____ their deadâ&#x20AC;Śâ&#x20AC;? (Lk 9:60) 44 Peak in Exodus 45 Ruin 48 Defames 50 Pay as due 52 In Mt 12:25, Jesus said this divided could not stand 54 Liszt work 55 Extent 56 Aerodynamic 57 Dreamcast maker 58 Injury 59 Water, to Pedro 61 Cambodian cash 63 Encouraging word
















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Sunday July 14, 2013 „ CatholicNews


JULY 14, 2013, Vol 63, No 14  
JULY 14, 2013, Vol 63, No 14  

Indian church groups join flood relief efforts