Saturday, 11 March 2017

Angelleli cause combined with priests and lay person

The diocesan process for the canonization of Argentinian JOC chaplain, Bishop Enrique Angelelli, who was assassinated during the 1970s military dictatorship, is already in the Vatican and has been combined with that of two priests and a lay person who were also killed in the same period.

The process was linked to the killings of two priests and a layman, victims of the same military regime

"The Church needs to verbalize many things of the dictatorship," Fr Luis Liberti, an expert in the cause of beatification of the bishop of La Rioja between 1968 and 1976 told Vatican Insider. 

Fr Liberti also now speaks of "Bishop Angelelli and his fellow martyrs."

"In October 2016 the diocesan process was closed, which lasted for one year and eight months, since then the cause was brought to the Vatican," Fr Liberti said. 

"It is important to note that his cause is linked to that of three others killed before him, two priests (Gabriel Longueville, Carlos Murias) and a layman (Wenceslao Pedernera). 

"Now this is a single cause. 

"The 22 July of 1976 was the birthday of Angelelli. That same day they killed the priests, which was his (birthday) gift. On 26 July they killed the lay person and 4 August they killed the bishop," Fr Liberti said.


Monday, 20 February 2017

Disrupt and rebuild with the SJA: San Diego Bishop Robert McElroy

Addressing a U.S. Regional World Meeting of Popular Movements, San Diego Bishop Robert McElroy called on participants to "see, judge, act" in order "to disrupt and rebuild."

He also recalled the "worker movements of Catholic action in France, Belgium and Italy to Pope John XXXIII’s call to re-structure the economies of the world in 'Mater et Magistra'."

"The words 'see,' 'judge' and 'act' have provided a powerful pathway for those who seek to renew the temporal order, in the light of the Gospel and justice" to "piercing missionary message of the Latin American Church," he added.

Reproduced below is the full text of his speech.

For the past century, from the worker movements of Catholic action in France, Belgium and Italy to Pope John XXXIII’s call to re-structure the economies of the world in “Mater et Magistra,” to the piercing missionary message of the Latin American Church, the words “see,” “judge” and “act” have provided a powerful pathway for those who seek to renew the temporal order, in the light of the Gospel and justice.

As the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace described this pathway, it lies in “seeing clearly the situation, judging with principles that foster the integral development of people and acting in a way which implements these principles in the light of everyone’s unique situation.”

There is no greater charter for this gathering taking place here in Modesto in these days than the simple but rich architecture of these three words: “see,” “judge” and “act.” Yet these words -- which carry with them such a powerful history of social transformation around the world in service to the dignity of the human person -- must be renewed and re-examined at every age and seen against the background of those social, economic and political forces in each historical moment.

In the United States we stand at a pivotal moment as a people and a nation, in which bitter divisions cleave our country and pollute our national dialogue.

In our reflections in these days, here, we must identify the ways in which our very ability to see, judge and act on behalf of justice is being endangered by cultural currents which leave us isolated, embittered and angry. We must make the issues of jobs, housing, immigration, economic disparities and the environment, foundations for common efforts rather than of division. We must see prophetic words and prophetic actions which produce unity and cohesion and we must do so in the spirit of hope which is realistic. For as Pope Francis stated to the meeting in Bolivia: “You are sowers of change,” and sowers never lose hope.

First, “see clearly the situation.” One of the most striking elements of “Laudato Si” is his clear and bold analysis of the empirical realities that threaten the Earth which is our common home. “Seeing the situation clearly” is the whole foundation for that encyclical. It is the starting point for transformative justice. Pope Francis was unafraid to venture into this controversial set of questions about climate change and the environment despite the fact that massive social and economic forces, especially within our own country, have conspired to obscure the scientific realities of climate change and environmental degradation, in the very same way that the tobacco companies obscured for decades the medical science pertaining to smoking.

There is a lesson for us here, as agents of change and justice. Never be afraid to speak the truth. Always find your foundation for reflection and action in the fullness of empirical reality. Design strategies for change upon ever fuller dissemination of truths, even when they seem inconvenient to the cause.

This is an especially important anchor for us, in an age in which truth itself is under attack.

Pope Benedict lamented the diminishment of attention to the importance of objective truth in public life and discourse. Now we come to a time when alternate facts compete with real facts, and whole industries have arisen to shape public opinion in destructively isolated and dishonest patterns. The dictum “see clearly the situation” has seldom been more difficult in our society in the United States.

Yet the very realities which our speakers this morning have all pointed to in capturing the depth of marginalization in housing, work and economic equality within the United States point us toward the clarification and the humanization of truth, which leads to a deeper grasp of the realities of injustice and marginalization that confront our nation.

As Pope Francis underscored in his words to the Popular Movements in Bolivia, “When we look into the eyes of the suffering, when they see the faces of the endangered campesino, the poor laborer, the downtrodden native, the homeless family, the persecuted migrant, the unemployed young person and the exploited child, we have seen and heard not a cold statistic but the pain of a suffering humanity, our own pain, our own flesh.”

One of the most important elements of your work as agents of justice in our midst in this country in this day in this moment, is to help our society as a whole become more attuned to this reality of humanized truth, through narrative and witness, listening and solidarity. In this way, you not only witness to the truth through the lives and experiences of the marginalized, you help us all to see the most powerful realities of our world in greater depth.

Those realities embrace both scientific findings and stories of tragedy, economic analysis and the tears of the human heart. “See clearly the situation” is not merely a step in your work on behalf of justice, it shapes everything that you do to transform our world.

Secondly, “judging with principles to foster integral development.” The fundamental political question of our age is whether our economic structures and systems in the United States will enjoy ever greater freedom or whether they will be located effectively within a juridical structure which seeks to safeguard the dignity of the human person and the common good of our nation.

In that battle, the tradition of Catholic social teaching is unequivocally on the side of strong governmental and societal protections for the powerless, the worker, the homeless, the hungry, those without decent medical care, the unemployed. This stance of the Church’s teaching flows from the teaching of the Book of Genesis: The creation is the gift of God to all of humanity. Thus in the most fundamental way, there is a universal destination for all of the material goods that exist in this world. Wealth is a common heritage, not at its core a right of lineage or acquisition.

For this reason, free markets do not constitute a first principle of economic justice. Their moral worth is instrumental in nature and must be structured by government to accomplish the common good.

In Catholic teaching, the very rights which are being denied in our society to large numbers of those who live in our nation are intrinsic human rights in Catholic teaching: The right to medical care; to decent housing; to the protection of human life, from conception to natural death; of the right to food; of the right to work. Catholic teaching sees these rights not merely as points for negotiation, provided only if there is excess in society after the workings of the free market system accomplished their distribution of the nation’s wealth. Rather, these rights are basic claims which every man, woman and family has upon our nation as a whole.

These are the fundamental principles which the Church points to as the basis for judgement for every political and social program that structures economic life within the United States. And they are supplemented in Catholic teaching by a grave suspicion about enormous levels of economic inequality in society. Pope Francis made clear the depth of this suspicion two years ago. “Inequality,” he said, “is the root of social evil.”

In his encyclical “The Joy of the Gospel,” Francis unmasked inequality as the foundation for a process of exclusion that cuts immense segments of society off from meaningful participation in social, political and economic life, as we have all heard this morning. It gives rise to a financial system that rules rather than serves humanity and a capitalism that literally kills those who have no utility as consumers.

Now, when I quote the Pope that “this economy kills,” people very often say to me, “Oh come on, that’s just an exaggeration; it’s a form of speech.”

I want to do an experiment with you. I want you to sit back in your chair for a moment. And close your eyes, and I want you to think of someone you have known that our economy has killed: A senior who can’t afford medicine or rent; a mother or father who is dying, working two and three jobs, really dying because even then they can’t provide for their kids; young people who can’t find their way in the world in which there is no job for them, and they turn to drugs, and gangs and suicide. Think of one person you know that this economy has killed.

Now mourn them.

And now call out their name; let all the world know that this economy kills.

For Catholic social teaching, the surest pathway to economic justice is the provision of meaningful and sustainable work for all men and women capable of work. The “Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church” states, “Economic and social imbalances in the world of work must be addressed by restoring a just hierarchy of values and placing the dignity of workers before all else.”

In work, the Church proclaims, men and women find not only the most sustainable avenue to economic security but also become co-creators with God in the world in which we live. Work is thus profoundly a sacred reality. It protects human dignity even as it spiritually enriches that dignity. If we truly are in our work co-creators with God, don’t we think that deserves at least $15 an hour?

Number three: Acting. After the panel yesterday, when the panelists were asked in one word how they would summarize their message, I tried to think, what is the “act” that summarizes how we must act in this moment?

And I came up with two words. The first, sadly, has been provided by our past election. President Trump was the candidate of “disruption.” He was “the disruptor,” he said.

Well now, we must all become disruptors. We must disrupt those who would seek to send troops into our streets to deport the undocumented, to rip mothers and fathers from their families. We must disrupt those who portray refugees as enemies rather than our brothers and sisters in terrible need. We must disrupt those who train us to see Muslim men, women and children as forces of fear rather than as children of God. We must disrupt those who seek to rob our medical care, especially from the poor. We must disrupt those who would take even food stamps and nutrition assistance from the mouths of children.

But we, as people of faith, as disciples of Jesus Christ, as children of Abraham, as followers of the Prophet Muhammad, of people of all faiths and no faith, we cannot merely be disruptors, we also have to be rebuilders.

We have to rebuild this nation so that we place at its heart the service to the dignity of the human person and assert what that flag behinds us asserts is our heritage: Every man, woman and child is equal in this nation and called to be equal.

We must rebuild a nation in solidarity, what Catholic teaching calls the sense that all of us are the children of the one God, there are no children of a lesser god in our midst. That all of us are called to be cohesive and embrace one another and see ourselves as graced by God. We are called to rebuild our nation which does pay $15 an hour in wages, and provides decent housing, clothing and food for those who are poorest. And we need to rebuild our Earth, which is so much in danger by our own industries.

So let us see and judge and act.

Let us disrupt and rebuild.

And let us do God’s work.

Bishop Robert McElroy, Diocese of San Diego


Sunday, 12 February 2017

Stop Poverty campaign launched to mark Fr Wresinski centenary

Former French jocist leader, Fr Joseph Wresinski, founder of ATD Fourth World, was born 100 years ago today.

ATD is launching the 2017 STOP Poverty campaign on this day to mobilize people around the world to join its efforts to overcome poverty.

The campaign begins with events in Angers, France, where Wresinski was born; at the United Nations headquarters in New York City; and in many other places around the world.

Wresinski had a deep empathy for families in poverty because he was born into an immigrant family in a poor neighbourhood. In the excerpt below he talks about the difficulties he experienced as a young boy, and how living and working as a priest in a homeless camp helped him finally understand his troubled parents.

The violence and scorn Wresinski experienced as a child gave him a keen insight into what people in impoverished communities need and want. A man of extraordinary determination and tenacity, 

Wresinski fought his whole life to defend people in poverty from the charity that humiliated them. 

Wresinski’s genius was seeing that we must listen to people in poverty, whom he called “my people”, and follow their lead. At the end of this article is information on how to join ATD’s work and become involved in the 2017 STOP Poverty Campaign.


Friday, 16 December 2016

From hope to hope: Cardinal Evaristo Arns

Former IYCW and Brazilian JOC chaplain, Dom Reginaldo Andrietta, recalls the support of the late Cardinal Evaristo Arns for the movement.

The death of Cardinal Dom. Evaristo Arns, Archbishop Emeritus of São Paulo, revived the historical memory of five decades of the relationship between Church and society in Brazil, helping us to rethink this relationship today. Much of his episcopal ministry was exercised in the context of the long military dictatorship, set up in 1964. Would we now be facing similar challenges? Certainly, because working-class militants, especially young people, express a renewed cry for support of their struggles for a new democratization.

In addition to being an icon of the pastoral development of the Church in the post-Second Vatican Council, Dom Paulo became one of the protagonists of the Church's engagement in the struggle for the redemocratization of Brazil and Latin America: it stimulated Liberation Theology; Favored the development of Basic Ecclesial Communities and Social Pastoralists, from realities of poverty; Encouraged social, union and democratic political movements; Bravely faced the repressive regime; Fought against torture; And persistently defended human rights in an ecumenical spirit.

I am a witness to his encouragement to the militancy of the workers, especially young people, when he opened the 3rd National Congress of Young Workers at PUC in São Paulo in 1983, he said in his charming tone: "Your enthusiasm is The guarantee that Brazil will find the path of justice and fraternity. " He wanted the Catholic Worker Youth (JOC), the organizer of this Congress, strongly suppressed by the dictatorship, to continue rebuilding and acting with ecclesial support.

For this reason, Dom Paulo referred in that Congress to "a document that the JOC promulgated in times of freedom in 1963, when it could still meet", which says: "The promotion of workers is, for the Christian, an inevitable fact . This is because it is wanted by God, and the will of God is creative. The misery of our people is not wanted by God, for it is a blasphemy against the love of God, in a world that dares to call itself Christian "; And said: "That's how our comrades spoke in 1963 and soon their voices were silenced by repression. Today, you take up the great journey and a great responsibility, and we want to be with you. "

These encouraging words of Dom Paulo resonate today in the hearts of many militants who continue the historic task of forming and organizing new working class militants. This same encouragement was given by Pope Francis in a letter addressed to the International Christian Worker Youth on the occasion of his 14th World Council held in Germany this year. Present at the opening Mass of this Council, I emphasized the current importance of this working class youth organization and its challenges throughout the world, and I said: "Let us take these challenges as a call from God!"

Working-class militants, especially Christian-inspired young people, are clamoring for renewed support for their just action initiatives, as dictatorial styles of government resurgent in democracy. Let us take the initiative to show, like Dom Paulo, that these militants who are fighting for a permanent and progressive democratization are not alone. Let us take up this commitment with deep trust in God, inspired by the testimony of Dom Paul and his episcopal motto "Ex Spe in Spem", that is, "From Hope in Hope".

Don Reginaldo Andrietta
Diocesan Bishop of Jales, SP


Dom Reginaldo Andrietta, De esperança em esperança (CNBB)

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Korean trade union solidarity award for Somyot

Photo: Prakaidao Prueksakasemsuk
The Korean Jeon Tae-il Foundatoin has awarded its trade union solidarity award to former Thailand YCW fulltimer, Somyot Prueksakasemsuk for his long-term support for unions in the Asian region.

Somyot's daughter, Prakaidao, traveled to Korea this month for the presentation ceremony at Masuk, north of Seoul.

Three hundred people attended the ceremony including a current opposition leader from South Korea's Justice Party, members of various NGOs, unionists and former lawmakers, the Bangkok Post reports. 

The prize is named after Jeon Tae-il, a 22-year-old worker, who set himself on fire on Nov 13, 1970 to protest against poor working conditions in Korea's sweatshop factories. His younger brother and sister attended the prize-giving ceremony. Jeon's death brought public attention to substandard labour conditions and helped set the stage for the Korean labour movement.

Ms Prakaidao said she was touched by the show of solidarity towards her father. "They see how my father has strived for the betterment of workers and joined hands with workers in other countries,
especially here. But some Thais still see only one thing in him -- committing a lese majeste offence," said Ms Prakaidao.

"These people were standing side by side my father in campaigning for regional and international issues long before my father was imprisoned. So it's quite a great honour to the family -- like a big thank-you.... They have also called for the release of other political prisoners in Thailand," she said. Her father thought about others so much, he didn't have much time for personal or family matters.

Somyot is currently imprisoned at the Bangkok Remand Prison where he is serving an 11 year sentence for lese majeste for publishing an article that was allegedly insulting to Thailand's late king.

"Unlike many other lèse majesté suspects who choose to plead guilty to end their trial and have their jail sentence reduced, Somyot has always stood firm and maintained his innocence," the Prachatai website notes.

Photo: Korean Health and Medical Union


Thursday, 10 November 2016

Cardijn Pilgrimage 2017

The much awaited plan for Cardijn Pilgrimage 2017 is finally unveiled.

Cardijn Community International (CCI) is organising the Cardijn Pilgrimage in August 2017 to commemorate the 50th death anniversary of Cardinal Cardijn and also the 60th anniversary of IYCW Rome pilgrimage 1957 in which more than 30,000 young people from around the world participated. Pope Pius XII participated in this historic event spearheaded by Cardijn.

According to a notification issued by the CCI International Team, the pilgrimage commences at 10.00 a.m. on Monday, the 14th August 2017 in Brussels, Belgium and concludes by 04.00 p.m. on Friday, the 25th August 2017 in Rome, Italy.

50th anniversary Memorial Service
It is proposed to have the 50th anniversary Memorial Service for Cardijn on Monday, 14 August 2017 at the Church of Our Lady of Laeken followed by an informal gathering. Current and former members and animators of Cardijn movements from Europe are expected to be present along with the pilgrims. [Inset: Our Lady of Laeken]

Places to be covered by the pilgrimage:

The pilgrims will visit among other places, Halle, Cardijn’s birthplace and have a review of life session there. A ‘Cardijn Walk’ in Halle is also planned.

The pilgrimage will also cover Bergamo, the birthplace of Cardijn’s friend Pope St. John XXIII who convened the historic Second Vatican Council in 1962.  

Pope John XXIII’s encyclical Mater et magistra on Christianity and social progress was born out of a suggestion by Cardijn to commemorate the 70th anniversary of Rerum novarum 
[Inset: Pope St. John XXIII]

Audience with Pope Francis
Efforts are on to seek an audience with Pope Francis to appeal to the Holy Father to speed up the process of canonization of Joseph Cardinal Cardijn and also to thank him for his initiative in speeding up the process of canonization of Bishop Angelelli of Argentina, the former chaplain of JOC Argentina. We also plan to present to the  Pope the need to recognize numerous martyrs of Cardijn movements including José Serapio Palacio of Argentina.

International Symposium
Another highlight of the pilgrimage will be an international symposium on ‘Cardijn 1967-2017: Cry of the Poor and Cry of the Earth’ to commemorate the 60th anniversary of IYCW Rome Pilgrimage 1957.

The pilgrimage will conclude on the evening of 25th August 2017 in Rome. For more details visit this website from time to time. We are also on Facebook.

Tomb of Cardijn at the Church of Our Lady of Laeken








Wednesday, 19 October 2016

New YCS bishop for India

Pope Francis has appointed former YCS chaplain Fr Thomass Thennatt SAC as the new bishop for the Indian diocese of Gwalior. He is also the world's first Pallotine bishop, Matters India reports.

A press note from the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India headquarters in New Delhi said the Pope has accepted the resignation of Bishop Joseph Kaithathara of Gwalior and appointed Father Thomas Thennatt as his successor.

Fr Thomas Thennatt is the first prelate from the Society of the Catholic Apostolate, popularly known as Pallotines, to become a bishop in the world, said Archbishop Abraham Viruthakulangara of Nagpur while announcing the appointment.

"It is recognition for the Pallottines as they contribute much to the Church through laity formation, Small Christian Communities, formation of seminarian, and pastoral council," Archbishop Viruthakulangara told Matters India.

Bishop-elect Thennat has served as pastor in states such as the undivided Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.

He has served as the parish priest of St. Pius X Church Mankapur in Nagpur diocese since 2012. He is also the president for the pastoral commission of the Prabhu Prakash province of the Pallotines at Nagpur.

He has also served as director of family apostolate, youth ministry, small Christian Communities, as well as member of many commissions of his congregation.

From 1987 to 1991, he was also Director of the Commission on Youth and Young Catholic Student / Young Students' Movement (YCS / YSM), families and the laity of the Archdiocese of Hyderabad

Later he was also rector of the Regional Theologate at Ashta, Bhopal, for ten years.

Pallotine provincial Father Thomas Pullan says the bishop-elect is known for simplicity, humility and detachment from worldly things. Father Thennatt’s unassuming nature will help his duty as a bishop in Gwalior, the provincial told a function at the provincial house in Nagpur to vest the bishop-elect.

Father Thennatt was born in a family of six on November 26, 1953, at Koodallor in the Archdiocese of Kottayam in Kerala.