at ‘peace’ Mass
Letters: The real Church
The dilemma of determining what is authentic news of the Catholic Church in China is a vexing one.
The article from the Catholic News Service (Lay people in Chinese diocese will train at former seminary, CW 16/2) about the diocese of Chongqing rebuilding an old seminary raised in my mind suspicions that the story is about the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association and not the persecuted ‘underground’ Catholic Church in China.
There has been no Catholic bishop for that diocese for many years.
News reports for decades till now reveal a constant and brutal persecution of the Catholic Church with allegiance to the Papacy in spite of diplomatic overtures from the Vatican.
Valid internet sites will give readers better perspective on the severity of the persecution.
The Cardinal Kung Foundation (www.cardinalkungfoundation.org) has for several years published incidents of harassment, imprisonment and murder of Catholic clergy which are rarely mentioned by our secular press.
I always thought that Aussie Catholics were more sensible than us Brits on the matter of alleged apparitions.
With the recent so-called Marian “appearances” at Coogee, and the letters from Rita Attard and Helen Cramer on Medjugorje, I’m beginning to wonder about this!
I’d like to draw your readers’ attention to two excellent sources on Medjugorje - firstly, a book by the author Michael Davies called Medjugorje after Twenty-Two Years, the Definitive History.
The 1996 Vatican declaration on apparitions stated “alleged supernatural revelations and writings concerning them are submitted in first instance to the judgment of the diocesan bishop, and, in particular cases, to the judgment of the Episcopal Conference and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith”.
Michael Davies’ book is one of the few writings on Medjugorje that has approval from the diocesan bishop - the legitimate authority regarding this matter.
Writing to the author about the fourth edition of this book, the bishop said: “You write with Catholic conviction and Christian frankness ... it is quite clear that you are driven by a desire for the truth ... there are far too many inaccurate versions of events spread throughout the world.”
It will soon be available to download free from www.mdaviesonmedj.com
I would also strongly recommend the French bishops’ statement on Medjugorje, available as a link on the website www.christianorder.com
They blow away many of the misconceptions and misinformation regarding the Medjugorje phenomenon.
Did a photographer with a grudge against the Church take the photo on the Editorial and Letters page of The Catholic Weekly (CW 2/3) or was he just being creative, giving atmosphere to his shot?
The photo, showing pace (peace) flags on balconies in Campo di Fiori square in the centre of Rome, was dominated by the statue of a huge brooding, hooded figure.
It is a memorial to the former Dominican monk Giordano Bruno, who was burned at the stake in the square as an unrepentant heretic on February 14, 1600.
The new Italian republican government erected the statue in the square in 1889. Sceptics, rationalists and freethinkers from many countries subscribed to its cost. Pope Leo XIII condemned it as provocative.
As they say: ‘Every picture tells a story.’
Dr Joe Morley
John Owens (War against Saddam may be ‘just war’, CW 16/2) takes us back to the Gulf War 1990-91, and says that as that war was “unfinished business” the current situation may be “just war” to make right what he perceives is wrong.
So indeed, it is necessary to review the Iraq-Kuwait War and the Gulf War.
In the late 1980s Saddam Hussein complained to the US ambassador in Iraq, April Glaspie, that Kuwait was drilling oil inside Iraq and selling it cheaply.
She replied that the US had no defence or security treaties with Kuwait.
Saddam complained again and she assured him he had every right to take every effort to rebuild his country after the Iraq-Iran war and that the US had no opinion on the various conflicts between Arab nations, such as the border disagreement between Iraq and Kuwait.
Later on, she told the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee a completely different story about defending vital US interests and supporting America’s friends in the Gulf.
The first statement misled Iraq into believing that no harmful consequences would follow from preventing Kuwait’s theft of Iraqi oil.
ON THE MARCH
I would like to join Alice Larkin in her anticipation of seeing a large number of Australian bishops and priests join the march on the Day of the Unborn on March 22 (Letters CW 2/3). I would also like to see members of the Commission of Australian Catholic Women marching alongside their bishops and priests.
ACT Right to Life-organised protests did not attract huge numbers from either group. I saw three priests at a rally outside the ACT Legislative Assembly last year.
Since then, the commission seems to be making a habit of inviting pro-embryonic stem cell research politicians to their Canberra breakfasts.
Why do Catholic organisations prefer to treat pro-abortion politicians as guests of honour, rather than as ambassadors of the culture of death?
No wonder the churches are empty.