AUSTRALIA:CHILD WELFARE ADVOCATES SUGGEST IDENTIFICATION OF PERPETRATORS
The list of the Irish delegation to this conference is:
Bishop Noel Treanor, Bishop of Down and Connor
Bishop Alan Abernethy, Church of Ireland Bishop of Connor
Ms Sylvia Thompson, Irish Commission for Justice and Social Affairs (ICJSA)
Senator Rónán Mullen
Professor John Monaghan, Vice-President of the St Vincent de Paul
Professor Eamonn Conway, Mary Immaculate College, Limerick
Dr Julia Hynes, Queen's University Belfast
Ms Orla Mc Carthy, Little Flower Secondary School, Belfast
Ms Kate McQuillan, Church Relations Officer for Trócaire, the overseas development agency of the Catholic Church in Ireland
Ms Nicola Rooney, Research Coordinator ICJSA Ends
Martin Long, Director of Communications 086 172 7678
Brenda Drumm, Communications Officer 087 2337797
PHILLIPINES: ON-LINE PARISH ATTRACTS THOUSANDS
Father Roberto Reyes listens to his guests at a gathering of bloggers in a Quezon City bar. The screen presents Parokya sa Web (parish on the web).
Parokya sa Web (parish on the web) is a “virtual parish” where devotions and spiritual matters are discussed online, and which its organizer says demonstrates the potential and power of new technologies that have revolutionized the world.
Parokya sa Web (parish on the web), http://www.thepoc.net/poc-presents/parokya-sa-web.html, is hosted by the Philippine Online Chronicles (POC), and is the name of Father Roberto Reyes’ blog.
In it the priest of Cubao diocese, well-known as the “Running Priest” for his social activism, shares daily reflections on the Gospel, his online homilies, news reports, photos and multimedia commentaries, and images on spiritual matters and social issues.
Some 13,000-15,000 visitors a month discuss or comment on Parokya material that deals mostly with spiritual reflections on life in a troubled world.
While some of these people from around the world seek advice, others put in prayer requests, reflections on the Bible and comments.
For example, one Parokya blog visitor identified as “Maribel of Hong Kong” wrote that the blog has been her companion in her journey through life.
Another blogger, Noemi Lardizabal-Dado, 52, who has 10 blog sites of her own, said the virtual parish gives much-needed “food for the soul.”
She spoke with UCA News at a recent gathering of 40 bloggers in a Quezon City bar a year after Parokya was launched. At last these bloggers were able to meet in person the priest they had been talking with online for so long.
Most of them are “mom bloggers” -- mothers who blog about motherhood and issues they face. One is an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW).
Father Reyes’ reflections are relevant to current conditions especially for OFWs who have no access to the Church, Dado noted.
She described the priest as a good blogger, noting his writings are “brief, but relevant” to the situation of OFW and other people who “hunger for spirituality online.”
POC publisher Gaspar Vibal was among guests at the anniversary gathering. He told UCA News he supports Parokya because “we love this kind of advocacy.” It is fruitful to “gather as a virtual community, as part of social networking,” he said.
In his view, Father Reyes’ blog, like a real parish, “connects thousands of people” even though they are not part of a physical church.”
“It’s a very powerful tool for OFWs because they can share things happening in places like Saudi Arabia, where they are not allowed to go to Mass,” Vibal said.
Another guest, Edicio de la Torre, 66, and a former Society of the Divine World (SVD) priest, has his own blog dealing with socio-political and spiritual issues. “Father Reyes is very good because he touches many people” who want to discuss various issues but cannot meet physically, he told UCA News.
After the anniversary celebration, Father Reyes said that through the Internet and email, he is able to share what he thinks, feels, and plans, with a very wide spectrum of people. “I think this is what evangelization is all about,” the priest told UCA News.
He said when he was a parish priest he did not spend a lot of time in a church but in the parokya sa kalye (parish in the street). He was referring to his prayer rallies, hunger strikes and other movements with farmers, urban poor and other sectors, to call attention to corruption, environmental degradation and various “social evils.”
“The Church was defined by Vatican II as the ‘people of God,’ and where you find people then that is where the Church is, so I now use the Internet,” Father Reyes said.
He believes Jesus is finding a way to talk to people today. “The Holy Spirit is working through cyberspace so we cannot say, ‘No, that is not for me.”
In his view, a cyber parish is no longer an option but an evolving reality.
He expressed hope that face-to-face meetings of Parokya sa Web bloggers would help in some way to improve the nation’s moral values.
GHANA: CALLS FOR CHEAPER HIV MEDICATIONS
CISA reports that the money used on condoms in Africa would be better spent providing anti-retroviral drugs to those already infected, Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson of Ghana has said.Cardinal Turkson who is the relator-general of the Second Africa said at a conference that the quality of condoms in Africa is poor and could engender false confidence.“I would basically wish that the amount of resources which are available to put into the production of condoms, if they were spent to subsidize the anti-retroviral drugs, now I think we would be happier, in Africa, for the availability of the retroviral drugs then,” said Cardinal Turkson.The 60 year old archbishop of Cape Coast said that condoms are effective only in families where they resolve also to be faithful. “The ordinary use of condoms, just as a stop of Aids, is not the given, appreciable resort in our case,” the cardinal said.“We are talking about a product of a factory and there are different qualities. There are condoms which arrive in Ghana where in the heat they burst during sex and when that is the case, then it gives the poor a false sense of security which rather facilitates the spread of HIV/Aids,” he added.He called for abstinence and fidelity saying they are the key to fighting the HIV/AIDS epidemic, along with refraining from sex if infected.(SOURCE: http://www.cisanewsafrica.org/story.asp?ID=4169
CHILD WELFARE ADVOCATES SUGGEST IDENTIFICATION OF PERPETRATORS
Cath News reports that Australian Catholic University academic Patricia Hansen and child welfare advocate Frank Ainsworth have come out strongly against protecting the anonymity of children killed by their parents, saying it protects the perpetrators.
Dr Hansen, who is also a children's court lawyer and Dr Ainsworth, who is guardian ad litem in the NSW Children's Court, representing the interests of children and their parents, have written a paper titled "Confidentiality in Child Protection: Who Benefits?" on the public's right to know more about what happens in the children's court and child welfare systems, The Australian reported.
The law that prevents the public from identifying child murderers and their victims was on display in NSW this week, the newspaper said, when media organisations were banned from showing the face of a little girl who starved to death in her family home at Hawks Nest in November 2007.
By contrast, the public have this week been able to see the face of Darcey Freeman, whose father Arthur Freeman is to stand trial charged with throwing her to her death from Melbourne's Westgate Bridge, because the law in Victoria covering the identification of minors differs from that in NSW.
Dr Ainsworth said his paper would argue that confidentiality mostly benefits "organisations like the NSW Department of Community Services who benefit from the secrecy and the lack of transparency." (SOURCE: http://www.cathnews.com/article.aspx?aeid=16965
Feast: October 8
She was a tender virgin at Antioch, only fifteen years of age when she was apprehended by the persecutors in 311. Being alone in the house, and understanding that their errand was to carry her before the judge, where her chastity might be in danger, she desired leave of the soldiers to go up stairs and dress herself. But fearing to be an innocent occasion to others' sin, threw herself from the top of the house, and died on the spot by her fall: in which action, says St. Chrysostom, she had Jesus in her breast inspiring and exhorting her. She probably hoped to escape by that means; and might lawfully expose her life to some danger for the preservation of her chastity; but nothing will ever make it lawful for any one directly to procure his own death.
Whoever deliberately lays violent hands upon himself is guilty of a heinous injury against God, the Lord of his life, against the commonwealth, which he robs of a member, and of that comfort and assistance which he owes to it; also against his friends, children, and lastly against himself, both by destroying his corporeal life, and by the spiritual and eternal death of his soul; this crime being usually connected with final impenitence, and eternal enmity with God, and everlasting damnation. Nor can a name be found sufficiently to express the baseness of soul, and utmost excess of pusillanimity, impatience, and cowardice, which suicide implies. Strange that any nation should, by false prejudices, be able so far to extinguish the most evident principles of reason and the voice of nature, as to deem that an action of courage which springs from a total want of that heroic virtue of the soul. The same is to be said of the detestable practice of duels. True fortitude incites and enables a man to bear all manner of affronts, and to undergo all humiliations, dangers, hardships, and torments, for the sake of virtue and duty. What is more contrary to this heroic disposition, what can be imagined more dastardly, than not to be able to put up a petty affront and rather to offend against all laws divine and human, than to brook an injury or bear a misfortune with patience and constancy, than to observe the holy precept of Christ, who declares this to be his favorite commandment, the distinguishing mark of his followers, and the very soul of the divine law! Mention is made of a church at Antioch, and another at Constantinople, which bore the name of this saint in the fifth century. (SOURCE: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/P/stpelagia.asp
Luke 11: 5 - 13
And he said to them, "Which of you who has a friend will go to him at midnight and say to him, `Friend, lend me three loaves;
for a friend of mine has arrived on a journey, and I have nothing to set before him';
and he will answer from within, `Do not bother me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot get up and give you anything'?
I tell you, though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him whatever he needs.
And I tell you, Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.
For every one who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.
What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent;
or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion?
If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!"