Abril 2021
WASHINGTON— As chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Migration, Bishop John C. Wester of Salt Lake City applauded the July 28 decision by U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton to halt some of the most controversial provisions of Arizona SB 1070 from going into effect the next day. Bishop Wester lamented the status quo on immigration as “unacceptable” and called for the Federal government to act immediately on immigration reform.
WASHINGTON—As schools launch a new academic year, millions of children also are set to learn the ABC’s of child protection. In Catholic schools and parishes nationwide, safe environment training gives children the skills necessary to protect themselves from would be-offenders. Mary Jane Doerr, associate director of the Secretariat for Child and Youth Protection of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), has listed here some of the messages children hear in safe environment programs.
  1. Abuse is never a child’s fault, a point that children need to hear over and over again. Offenders try hard to make children feel complicit in the abuse or to blame them for the abuse.  Children learn that that is never true! The blame always belongs to the adult who is taking advantage of a child’s trust and vulnerabilities.
  2. God loves children forever and wants them to live holy and happy lives. If a child has been abused, that child learns they are still innocent and loved by God and their families. The shame of child sexual abuse needs to be put where it belongs: on the abuser.
  3. Abuse that has happened should be reported. Children learn to tell a parent or another trusted adult if someone is hurting them and to keep telling until they are believed. One study shows that children tell of their abuse an average of nine times before someone believes them. Parents can help children learn whom they can trust by pointing out the adults who can be trusted. Parents can also teach children the correct names of private body parts. This simple step gives children the vocabulary to tell others what happened to them.
  4. You can recognize abuse when it happens. Children learn to trust that feeling that says something isn’t right and to tell a parent or other trusted adult when something happens that makes them feel uneasy. Children learn to question if someone is telling them to do what the child doesn’t like but says it is because he loves the child. Children learn to tell parents or trusted adult if another person makes them sad or confused or tries to get them to break rules. This can stop the process of grooming by which an abuser lures a child toward danger. A child who questions another’s inappropriate behavior can send a message to the offender that this child is not an easy target, but one that will tell what is being done to him/her.

DAVENPORT, Iowa (CNS) -- Boosting morale in a diocese deeply wounded because of the abuse of children by some clergy in past decades, Catholics in the Davenport Diocese pledged $22 million in a capital campaign that succeeded despite the worst economic conditions in decades.

The campaign was the first in more than 20 years for the diocese and came at a time of rebuilding following bankruptcy.

All 80 parishes and the Newman Catholic Student Center in Iowa City participated in the fundraising effort that will cover the purchase and renovation of diocesan headquarters in Davenport as well as support clergy, seminarians, schools, parishes and diocesan ministries. More than 9,700 donors contributed, with an average gift of $2,265.

"I am absolutely overwhelmed at the response of people for their church," Davenport Bishop Martin J. Amos said. "The initial need was prompted by the bankruptcy, but the success of the campaign has truly moved us forward in faith and hope."

Bishop Amos said campaign volunteers "were absolutely super in listening to fellow parishioners. I think that was a real benefit to the campaign. For me, personally, I met some absolutely wonderful people in the diocese that I wouldn't otherwise have had the opportunity to sit down with and have a conversation.


WASHINGTON— As chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Migration, Bishop John C. Wester of Salt Lake City applauded the July 28 decision by U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton to halt some of the most controversial provisions of Arizona SB 1070 from going into effect the next day. Bishop Wester lamented the status quo on immigration as “unacceptable” and called for the Federal government to act immediately on immigration reform.           

 "It is the right decision,” Bishop Wester said.  “Any law that provides legal cover to profiling affects all members of our communities, including legal residents and citizens.  It is a very slippery slope. What is needed now is for Congress and the Administration to live up to their responsibilities and address this issue by passing immigration reform."            

The U.S. Catholic bishops believe that any comprehensive immigration reform bill should contain the following elements: a legalization program that gives migrant workers and their families an opportunity to earn legal permanent residency and eventual citizenship;  a new worker visa program that protects the labor rights of both U.S. and foreign workers and gives participants the option to earn permanent residency; reform of the U.S. family-based immigration system to reduce waiting times for family reunification; and restoration of due process protections for immigrants, including asylum-seekers.

In the longer term, policies that address the root causes of migration, such as the lack of sustainable development in sending nations, should also be part of the equation.

195314498_13af4a25b8PAPHOS, Cyprus (CNS) -- As tensions swirled just to the north in Turkey and to the south in Gaza, Pope Benedict XVI landed in Cyprus praying for peace.

The pope began his June 4-6 visit to Cyprus, in the far eastern Mediterranean Sea, by blessing an olive tree. The trip began one day after the president of the Turkish bishops' conference was killed by his driver, who had been experiencing psychiatric problems.

And even as the pope was flying from Rome, international tensions were simmering over Israel's raid on a flotilla of boats trying to run the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip.

Cyprus itself is not a stranger to tension; the bishops-murder-clouds-papal-trip-to-cyprus-2010-06-04_lisland has been divided between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots since 1974. U.N. peacekeepers patrol a buffer zone between the two sides, and the Vatican nuncio's residence, where the pope was staying, is in the zone.

Arriving at the airport in Paphos, Pope Benedict told President Demetris Christofias and the Cypriot people, "May the love of your homeland and of your families and the desire to live in harmony with your neighbors under the compassionate protection of almighty God inspire you patiently to resolve the remaining concerns that you share with the international community for the future of your island."

Christofias told the pope, "Your presence here conveys a strong message of peace over hatred and war. We share with you the same vision for peace and social justice."

assembleiapopularNa tarde desta terça-feira, 25, tem início em Luziânia (GO), a 40 km de Brasília, a 2ª Assembleia Popular Nacional. O evento é fruto da 4ª Semana Social Brasileira, evento organizado pelas Pastorais Sociais, da Conferência Nacional dos Bispos do Brasil (CNBB) e também pelo Jubileu Sul, movimento social que nasceu no ano 2000, com o objetivo de discutir a dívida pública, externa e ecológica – além de outros temas, que deverão ser tratados até a sexta-feira, 28, na Assembleia. O encontro terá início com uma análise de conjuntura feita pela assessora das Pastorais Sociais da CNBB, irmã Delci Franzen, e pelo economista e ativista social, membro da direção nacional do Movimento Sem Terra (MST), João Pedro Stédile. Cinco anos depois da 1ª Assembleia, este segundo encontro, que começa amanhã, deverá reunir 600 pessoas vindas de todos os estados do Brasil, para dar continuidade às discussões em torno do documento “O Brasil que Queremos” – texto que foi aprovado na primeira Assembleia Popular, que aconteceu em outubro de 2005, em Brasília. Segundo irmã Delci Franzen, o evento é um passo no fortalecimento dos movimentos sociais brasileiros. “A Assembleia Popular Nacional é uma resistência das forças sociais do Brasil que nasce para superar os dissensos que esses movimentos vêm sofrendo nos últimos anos em nosso país. A Assembleia é um instrumento muito importante na busca do método popular que sistematiza o Brasil que queremos”, disse. Ainda de acordo com irmã Delci, a Assembleia criou força política no Brasil porque conseguiu reunir vários movimentos e pastorais sociais em torno da causa do cidadão brasileiro. “A luta da Assembleia Popular é válida porque se trata de uma grande reunião das pastorais e movimentos sociais brasileiros. Com isso, conseguimos firmar uma grande força política que discute sua pauta com o povo e para o povo – a partir de temas relevantes que dizem respeito aos direitos e deveres desse mesmo povo”, frisou.LEIA MAIS
domodilopedroschererDia 20 de Maio, na escadaria da Catedral da Sé, em São Paulo, o Movimento Nacional da População de Rua, com apoio do Vicariato do Povo da Rua da arquidiocese de São Paulo, realizou um “Ato pela vida”, para manifestar-se contra todas as formas de violência praticadas a pessoas em situação de rua.

O arcebispo de São Paulo, cardeal dom Odilo Pedro Scherer, participou da manifestação para reiterar seu repúdio a qualquer violência praticada contra a pessoa humana.

No último dia 11 de maio, o cardeal Scherer já havia se manifestado, através de nota, desejando apuração rápida da chacina que vitimou seis moradores de rua, na zona norte da capital paulista. Da Praça da Sé, os manifestantes foram em caminhada até a Câmara Municipal, onde foram recebidos pela Frente Parlamentares em Defesa da População de Rua.

Entre as violências praticadas contra a população de rua nos últimos tempos, destacam-se, em 2004 o assassinato de sete moradores de rua em São Paulo. Os criminosos ainda não foram identificados; em 2010, o assassinato de três moradores de rua em Salvador; assassinato de dois moradores de rua na zona leste de São Paulo; assassinato de seis moradores de rua em Guarulhos; assassinato de seis moradores de rua na zona norte da capital paulista. No Rio Grande do Sul, um homem em situação de rua foi pintado de prata.
A Semana do Migrante 2010, de 13 a 20 de junho, está fazendo Jubileu de Prata: 25 anos de heróico esforço para entrar na agenda pastoral das comunidades, paróquias e dioceses; tentando chamar a atenção para a realidade dos que vão e vem, dos que partem e chegam; pesquisando e trabalhando as causas e conseqüências de uma migração muitas vezes cercada de angústias, injustiças e tragédias como acontecem principalmente com as vítimas do tráfico de seres humanos para exploração sexual e trabalho escravo de todo tipo.

Por trás e para além da Semana do Migrante está o Serviço Pastoral dos Migrantes – SPM, também completando 25 anos de existência profética e persistência no amparo e apoio a todo tipo de migrante, sobretudo os mais pobres e desamparados. A Semana do Migrante retoma o tema da Campanha da Fraternidade de cada ano e procura aplicá-lo (ver-julgar-agir) à realidade vivida pelos migrantes, itinerantes e refugiados.

De fato, esta realidade constitui um fenômeno cada vez mais complexo do ponto de vista social, cultural, político, religioso econômico e pastoral. “[...]Milhões de pessoas migram, ou se vêem forçadas a migrar dentro e fora de seus respectivos países. As causas são diversas e estão relacionadas com a situação econômica, as várias formas de violência, a pobreza que afeta as pessoas e a falta de oportunidades para pesquisa e o desenvolvimento profissional.[...] A exploração do trabalho chega, em alguns casos, a gerar condições de verdadeira escravidão.  Acontece também um vergonhoso tráfico de pessoas, que inclui a prostituição, inclusive de menores.[...]” (Cf. Documento de Aparecida n. 73).

Ano após ano, a Campanha da Fraternidade tem estado presente na Semana do Migrante. Penso que é chegado o momento do mundo do migrante se fazer presente numa Campanha da Fraternidade. É preciso reconhecer que poucas paróquias e/ou dioceses realizam a Semana do Migrante. Mesmo que todas a promovessem, uma Semana dedicada ao Migrante é muito pouco. É chegada a hora de uma CF inteira, toda voltada para o vasto e complexo mundo da mobilidade humana.

Dom Maurício Grotto de Camargo
Responsável pelo Setor Pastorais da Mobilidade Humana da CNBB
WASHINGTON—The Office of Media Relations of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops offers the following Q&A on Canon Law as it relates to sexual abuse of minors. This resource also can be found at: www.usccb.org/comm/q&a-canonical-process-sexual-abuse.pdf

The Media Relations Office and the Canon Law Society of America also will offer a one-day program on canonical issues for media, May 25, in Washington. Anyone seeking to attend should contact mwalsh@usccb.org. Cost is $50 for food and materials. Space is limited.

Questions and Answers Regarding the Canonical Process for the Resolution of Allegations of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Priests and Deacons

Q: Does the Church have its own laws against the sexual abuse of minors by members of the clergy?
A: Yes, the Church has long had laws on the books that address this crime. Even before the majority of the Church laws were collected into a single code of laws (in 1917 and in 1983), sins against the Sixth Commandment with a minor were also considered criminal acts. From 1917 onwards, the Church promulgated concise legal norms that stated this and that imposed penalties on clergy that offended in this terrible way.

Q: Which Church authority is responsible for addressing these offenses?
A: In April 2001, Pope John Paul II issued a law stating that, from then on, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) in Rome, headed at the time by Cardinal Ratzinger, the future Pope Benedict XVI, would have sole Church authority over this crime. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is one of the offices that assist the Pope in fulfilling his mission as Supreme Pastor of the Catholic Church. Prior to 2001, the crime was generally to be dealt with on the local level by the diocesan bishop. The CDF would have been involved if the offense had occurred on the occasion of the celebration of the Sacrament of Penance (confession). Otherwise, the case would have gone for a second hearing (appeal from the diocese) to the Congregation for Clergy or the Tribunal of the Roman Rota, offices that assist the Pope, depending on how the allegation had been resolved on the local level.

NOTRE DAME, Ind.—Catholic leaders from across the United States participating in the Catholic Cultural Diversity Network Convocation at the University of Notre Dame, Indiana, on the last day of their meeting, sent an open letter to the Catholic bishops of Arizona, expressing their support for the bishops’ leadership in raising opposition to Arizona Law SB 1070.

“We write in order to express our solidarity with you and the Catholic community under your care and all the people of Arizona and throughout the United States who have raised their voices in opposition to Arizona Law SB1070,” the letter read. “This is a law which undermines the fabric of society by creating an atmosphere of discrimination against certain members of the community, profiling minorities and creating fear among persons of color regardless of their immigration status.”

In their letter, the leaders also lamented the lack of leadership in both parties at the federal level and called for immediate action on comprehensive immigration reform so that “we may find the way forward so that the rights and dignity of human beings including the undocumented as well as the integrity of our borders will be safeguarded and preserved.”

Participants in the Convocation came from every region in the country and represented the many cultures, races and ethnicities that make up the Catholic Church in the United States, including those of European American, African American, Native American, Asian and Latin origin, as well as refugees, migrants and itinerant peoples.

Full text of letter follows.

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