IT’S A MIRACLE! The boy healed by Fulton Sheen p6 NO GREATER LOVE Catholics in the Great War p8-9 KICKING OFF How football stops violence p20
Bishop: we can’t shirk our biggest challenge
BY MADELEINE TEAHAN
THE BISHOP OF SHREWSBURY has said that fresh attempts to legalise assisted suicide represent the greatest battle of our generation.
In a pastoral letter that will be read out on Sunday, Bishop Mark Davies called on the faithful to fight the culture of death with “weapons of peace”.
Reflecting on the new assisted suicide Bill, which is due to be debated in the House of Lords next month, Bishop Davies said: “The recent commemorations of D-Day have reminded us of how an earlier generation was ready to face death in the defence of human life and dignity, in what Britain’s wartime Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, described as a battle for the survival of ‘Christian civilisation’.
“It is the Christian faith which has led us to recognise the sanctity of every human life, the value of every human person. In their quest for the elusive definition of ‘British values’, our political leaders need look no further for the foundations of our society. And while we recall the heroism of generations before us, we must not fail to recognise the great challenge for our own generation. We are now being called upon to defend the sanctity of human life amidst the growing threats against it.”
He continued: “Defending the value of the life and dignity of every human person, from their conception until their natural death, represents the great battle of our life-times, a battle we must fight with the weapons of peace. Together with Pope
Francis, the Successor of the Apostle Peter, may you and I be able finally to repeat the words of the Apostle Paul: ‘I have fought the good fight to the end; I have run the race to the finish; I have kept the faith...’ May it be so, for each one of us.”
On Wednesday the Supreme Court ruled that doctors should not be allowed to euthanise patients, who are paralysed or suffering from locked-in syndrome.
Lord Falconer of Thoroton’s Assisted Dying for the Terminally Ill Bill will receive its Second Reading on Friday
Bishop Mark Davies says Britain’s D-Day heroism should inspire the faithful to stand up for life
July 18 in the House of Lords. If it passes it is likely to reach the House of Commons where it will be debated.
The Bill would allow doctors to assist terminally ill patients with their suicide, with a prognosis of six months or less.
In his pastoral letter Bishop Davies said: “It is far from compassionate to remove the legal protections provided for some of the most vulnerable members of society. The proposed change to our laws will license doctors to supply lethal drugs to assist the deaths of those expected to live for six months or less.
“If Parliament allows exceptions to the laws which protect the very sanctity of human life it is impossible to predict where this will end.”
FRANCIS TAKES ON THE MOB IN CALABRIA
June 27 2014 £1.50 (Republic of Ireland €1.80)
Muslim leader rescues bishop from beheading
BY ED WEST
A BISHOP from the Central African Republic has said he was saved from being beheaded by Islamists in April after one of their number intervened to save him.
Bishop Nestor-Désiré Nongo-Aziagbia of Bossangoa had been kidnapped along with three priests by the Seleka militant group and told he would be executed.
He described the commanding officer who stepped in to stop their execution as “a good man with a good conscience”.
The Seleka group, which is comprised of members of the Muslim minority but also mercenaries from Chad and Sudan, seized power in the country in March last year, triggering a wave of violence. With the government and army unable to control the country the Seleka has been fighting a largely Christian militia, the Anti-Balaka, although religious leaders insist the conflict is not about religion.
Bishop Nongo-Aziagbia told The Catholic Herald: “I knew the people who kidnapped me, and as they led me to their base they gave me their reasons why I was kidnapped and they told me what they were going to do to me: they were going to kill me. I was with three of my priests and the feeling I had was guilt, not for myself but my priests who were willing to be killed.”
After the men had accused him of chronicling Seleka atrocities and organising the resistance, he was told he would be killed.
The bishop said: “Thanks be to God, on the way one of the commanding officers did not agree with that plan. He was the one who stopped our car and watched over me and our priests over the night and made sure we were released the following day. What I understood from what he told me was that his elder brother is from the town where I was kidnapped and he called him and told him not to harm
Continued on Page 4
The Pope described ’Ndrangheta members as ‘adorers of evil’ during a visit to the organised crime network’s heartland in southern Italy last Saturday Report: p5, Adams cartoon: p12
Thousands of Vatican staff to learn Spanish
BY STAFF REPORTER
THE FIRST Spanish-speaking Pope since the 16th century has inspired a boom in Spanish lessons at the Vatican.
To respond to rising demand the Holy See has signed a deal with the Cervantes Institute to offer courses to about 5,000 Vatican employees.
Sergio Rodríguez LópezRos, director of the institute, said officials were keen to hear the Pope talk “in his native language, so that they don’t miss out on anything he’s trying to convey”.
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Priest who was nearly beaten to death says he forgives attacker BY MADELEINE TEAHAN
AN AMERICAN PRIEST who survived a violent assault in which a fellow priest was murdered has said that he forgives their attacker.
Fr Joseph Terra was left in a critical condition and his colleague was shot dead after a burglary at his parish in Arizona on June 11. When Fr Terra was asked about the man who attacked him and killed his friend, he simply replied: “I have forgiven him.” Fr Terra was able to administer the Last Rites to 28-year-old Fr Kenneth Walker after the shooting at Mater Misericordiae Mission in Phoenix.
Despite his injuries Fr Terra was also able to call the police.
After the requiem Mass for Fr Walker, Fr Carl Gismondi, a fellow member of the Priestly Fraternity of St Peter, said: “There is always forgiveness. It’s important for us to remember the man who committed this act . . . We should pray for him ... The hardest part of Catholicism is to pray for those who persecute us.”
Police have arrested Gary Michael Moran on suspicion of breaking into the rectory and attacking the priests after the burglary seemingly went wrong.
The police said Moran had just completed a five-year prison sentence for breaking and entering in 2005 when he stabbed the home owner with a knife. Following Fr Walker’s death, the Diocese of Phoenix released a statement that said: “We are stunned and deeply saddened to learn of the tragic assault perpetrated . . . against Fr Joseph Terra and Fr Kenneth Walker, two religious order priests who belong to the Priestly Fraternity of St Peter.”
Greg Stanton, the mayor of Phoenix, said: “Every American should feel safe in a house of worship.”
Cathedral wins top TripAdvisor award BY MADELEINE TEAHAN
WESTMINSTER CATHEDRAL has earned the top award from the popular website Trip Advisor.
The website, which rates sights and places based on online reviews, awarded the cathedral a certificate of excellence for 2014.
The award is based on the quality of reviews and opinions that tourists have submitted to the website in the last year. The Cathedral is currently rated 4.5 out of a possible 5, based on more than 300 reviews. Reviewers cited the Cathedral’s tranquillity. Hugh Mackay from Oxford wrote: “I visited the Cathedral several times recently and have been struck by the peacefulness of the place. You are never rushed and you can just sit down and take it all in.”
Network is accused of ‘fat-shaming’ Francis BY MADELEINE TEAHAN
THE AMERICAN television network CNN has been criticised for “fat-shaming” Pope Francis.
Last week presenters discussed the number of recent appearances the Pope has cancelled, possibly due to health problems.
CNN then ran the headline “Pope has gained weight in office”, prompting incredulity from viewers commenting on Twitter. Following a backlash, CNN promptly changed its headline to “Pope reduces schedule, cancels meetings”.
A 2009 profile in La Nacion said the then Cardinal Bergoglio enjoyed healthy meals of skinless chicken. Editorial comment: Page 13
QUENTIN DE LA BÉDOYÈRE MY NEAR-DEATH EXPERIENCE PAGE 6
FR RONALD ROLHEISER HOW TO STAY FREE IN THE DIGITAL AGE PAGE 20
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