Vol. 16 No. 25
December 3 - 30, 2012
Catholics strongly support new Mass translation after rst year
WASHINGTON D.C., Nov.30, 2012—One year after theChurch introduced revisions tothe English-language liturgy,an overwhelming majority ofCatholics continue to view thechanges in a positive light.
A new poll nds that 70 per
cent of U.S. adult self-identied
Catholics agree with the state-ment, “Overall, I think the newtranslation of the Mass is a goodthing.”The poll, conducted in Sep-tember 2012 by the Center forApplied Research in the Apos-tolate at Georgetown University,sought to gain an understandingof how adult Catholics perceivedthe third edition of the RomanMissal that went into use onNov. 27, 2011.The overwhelming majority ofrespondents either agreed—50percent—or strongly agreed, 20percent, that the new translationis a good thing.Catholics who attend Massat least once a week were mostlikely to approve of the revisedliturgy, with more than 80 per-cent agreeing that it was a goodthing. However, even amongthose who rarely attend Mass,more than 60 percent approvedof the new translation.Respondents who said thatthey had noticed great changesin the Mass were more likelyto view the new translation ina negative light, compared tothose who had noticed moder-ate changes, small changes ornone at all.Commissioned by the Institutefor Policy Research and CatholicStudies at The Catholic Univer-sity of America, the survey askedparticipants whether they havea good understanding of themeaning of the prayers recitedby the priest and people at Mass,and if the words of those prayersmake it easier for them to partici-pate in the Mass.They were also asked whetherthose prayers of the Mass helpthem feel closer to God and in-spire them to be a more faithfulCatholic in their daily lives.In each case, at least three-quarters of respondents eitheragreed or strongly agreed. Cath-olics who attend Mass moreregularly were more likely thanothers to strongly agree witheach statement.Among weekly church-goers,
there were no signicant differ
-ences between the responses tothese questions in the September2012 survey and a similar studyconducted by the Center forApplied Research in the Apos-tolate in 2011, before the revisedliturgy was in use.The results of the new survey
were rst presented by Fr. An
-thony J. Pogorelc of The CatholicUniversity of America at a Nov.9 meeting of the Society for the
Scientic Study of Religion and
the Religious Research Associa-tion in Phoenix, Ariz.“This is a preliminary study,”Fr. Pogorelc told CNA, addingthat various follow up projectscould be conducted to explorewhy people have responded invarious ways.Those who do not see thechanges to the Mass as a goodthing may have a poor under-standing of the new texts, heexplained, or they may think thatit is better to translate the liturgyusing a method of “dynamicequivalence.”This method, which was usedin the previous edition, sought totranslate the Latin into the ordi-nary “language of the people.”However, it was replaced with amore literal and accurate trans-lation in the third edition of theRoman Missal in order to restoresome of the theological meaningthat may have been lost.While every generation in-cluded in the survey demon-strated a positive view of thenew translation, Fr. Pogorelcsaid that age difference couldhave an impact on how differ-ent groups are reacting to thechanges.For example, while they over-whelmingly believe the changesto be a good thing, members ofthe pre-Vatican II generation,
born before 1943, may nd the
new liturgy challenging, strug-gling to remember the new re-sponses due to their age, he said.The millennial generation,born in 1982 or later, shows thehighest rate of dissatisfactionwith the new translation, al-though even among this group,nearly 60 percent approve of thechanges.While the reasons for this arenot clear, Fr. Pogorelc suggested
that it may be tied to ndings in
other studies that this younger
generation is less afliated with
religion and churches in general.In addition, he said, social fac-
tors could inuence this group
of Catholics. For example, thedecline of the family meal couldbe leading to a weaker under-standing of “ritual” in connec-tion with the Mass.“It would be interesting toexplore this a bit more, nowthat we have this basic data,”Fr. Pogorelc said, observing thatperhaps focus groups could beassembled in the future to betterassess people’s understanding ofthe liturgical changes at a deeperand more thorough level.In the meantime, he suggest-ed, it is good for priests to con-tinue preaching on the texts ofthe Mass, particularly when they
t in closely with the readings.
Much of the Mass referencesScripture, he observed, and“integrating some of the texts ofthe Mass into the preaching” canshow the people the close con-nection between the two.“I think that kind of thing canbe very helpful,” he said.
UK bishops’ conference tweeting for Year of Faith
LONDON, England, Dec. 1, 2012—Theevangelization office of the Englishand Welsh bishops' conference haslaunched a program of daily tweets toteach the faith to Catholics throughoutthe countries.“This is within the spirit of the newevangelization, using new means andmethods of communication to sharethe Gospel,” Clare Ward, home missionadviser for the bishop's conference, toldCNA Nov. 28.
“The great benet of something like
Twitter, is that it offers bite-sized piecesof information that are immediatelydigestible, immediately accessible, anddon't pose too many demands uponpeople during a very busy day.”The service, @YoFtweets, leads itsfollowers through the documents of theSecond Vatican Council, the Catechismof the Catholic Church, and books ofScripture.“We think it's the first time that
Twitter is being used with a specic
catechetical theme in mind; it's not justrandom tweets, there's a catecheticalscheme behind each tweet that's pro-vided every day,” Ward said.“They are being offered as a resource tothe Christian community...to help them doprecisely what the Holy Father has askedfor, which is to re- read the documents ofVatican II, to re-read the Catechism andto study it, to know the scriptures and togenerally know the faith.”Ward said that to cover each day ofthe Year of Faith, more than 400 tweetshad to be prepared by the Home Mis-sion Desk, “which as one can imaginewas a ginormous task.”“Even though they're just bite-sizedextracts, trying to put together mate-rial...that has some sense of coherencywas an enormous challenge.”Bishop Kieran T. Conry of the Arun-del and Brighton diocese, and who ischair of the English bishops' depart-ment for evangelization and catechesis,stated Nov. 27 the department hopes“that by reading the material on Twit-ter people might be inspired to readmore of the documents, the Bible andthe Catechism. The Twitter initiativeis, we hope, a helpful starting point forpeople.”Ward added, “It's important to seethe Twitter initiative as part of a big-ger picture which stems from, goingright back to the visit of the relics ofSt. Therese of Lisieux to England andWales that few would have predicted,in 2009.”“Then again, the great joy of welcom-ing the Pope in 2010 and then all thelegacy initiatives that come from that,and now the Year of Faith. Its really agood time, we've had so many positivenational events that have gone on, itscreated a sense of buoyancy.”The Pope's 2010 visit to England iswhat has “set the tone for the CatholicChurch” in the country in recent years,Ward said.“The bishops have done a hugeamount of work since then to sup-port the legacy of that visit, througha vast array of new initiatives andrejuvenating existing initiatives, sothe feel here at the Conference is oneof great enthusiasm and buoyancy atthe moment.”She said the Twitter enterprise shouldbe seen in context with other initiatives,including those reaching out to lapsedCatholics and to non-Catholics.Bishop Conry's evangelization de-partment, she added, will have a “Come
Advent calendar to promote work of Bethlehem hospital
WASHINGTON D.C., Nov. 29, 2012—Supporters of Holy Family Hospitalof Bethlehem will launch an internetAdvent calendar to help the worldlearn more about the patients and staffat the maternity hospital located only500 yards from what is traditionallyconsidered the birthplace of Jesus.“So many families have come to knowHoly Family Hospital as the birthplaceof hope because they know that no oneever arrives at its doors to hear, ‘there isno room,’” Colleen Marrotta, executivedirector of the Holy Family Hospital ofBethlehem Foundation, said Nov. 28.“We hope visitors will use the calen-dar as they prepare for Christmas. Inthe process, they will learn about theimportant work of the hospital,” shesaid. “Doctors and staff save the livesof thousands of mothers and babiesannually. And they provide the highest-quality medical care without regard torace, religion or ability to pay.”The U.S.-based foundation’s websitewill launch the Advent calendar Dec. 2and unlock new content daily throughChristmas. It will offer videos that intro-duce internet visitors to the hospital, itsstaff, its patients and its mobile medicaloutreach. The calendar will also feature
reections from Catholic priests, vowed
religious, writers and bloggers.The calendar’s photos aim to showhow the hospital helps one of the poor-est, most war-torn areas of the world.The French Daughters of Charityopened the hospital in 1885 with anaccompanying orphanage. They wereforced to close in 1985 because of eco-nomic, social and political pressures.Pope John Paul II asked the SovereignMilitary Order of Malta to reopen the hos-pital. The hospital has delivered over 55,000babies since it reopened as a maternity andgynecological hospital in 1990. It has the onlyneonatal intensive care unit in the West Bank.The 150-employee hospital recruitsand trains native-born medical pro-fessionals and midwives to meet its
stafng needs. It also operates a mobile
medical clinic to care for women andtheir families, many of whom lack ac-cess to running water and sanitation.The website for hospital’s foundationand the Advent calendar can be foundat: birthplaceofhope.org.
Mother Teresa Award given to two women targeted by the Taliban
MUMBAI, India, Nov. 29,2012—The 2012 edition ofthe Mother Teresa Memo-rial International Award forSocial Justice conferred bythe Harmony Foundationwent to Sima Samar, a formerAfghan vice president, andMala Yousufzai, the 15-year-old Pakistani girl attackedby the Taliban for her com-mitment to women's rights.The teenager is presentlyhospitalised in Birmingham,Great Britain, after she wasshot in the head on 9 Octoberby Muslim extremist.Harmony FoundationPresident Abraham Mathaisaid the two women werechosen for their courage, forputting their lives on the linefor an ideal.Sima Samar was recog-
nised for her work in the eld
of women's rights, educationand emancipation. Afterthe Taliban's takeover of
Afghanistan, she ed to Paki
-stan where she worked for20 years to raise awarenessabout the plight of Afghanwomen. After the theocraticregime was overthrown, shebecame the most prominentwoman in the country. Cur-rently, she is in charge ofthe Afghan IndependentHuman Rights Commission(AIHRC).Malala Yousufzai is ateenager who was chosenfor a special jury award inrecognition of her courageand her determination tofight against discrimina-tion against Pakistani girlsin the Swat Valley, wherethe Taliban have imposedSharia.From Great Britain, Ma-lala's father, Ziauddin You-sufzai, sent a touching letteron his daughter's behalfthanking the Harmony Foun-dation for the award. "Thismeans a lot to us," he writes,"especially during our timeof crisis. Honouring Malalawith this award sends out astrong message of supportto those whose daughters
have to ght and speak out
for their basic right to edu-cation."A special national awardswere given to Nayyar Kul-deep, a famous Indian writer,for his contribution to India-Pakistan peace efforts; toVinay Shetty, for furtheringthe cause of blood donation;Flavia Agnes, a lawyer, forher commitment to wom-
en's rights and ght against
domestic violence; Gujarat
police ofcer Sanjeev Bhatt,
for his efforts in favour ofcommunal dialogue; and theShillong Chamber Choir forpromoting national integra-tion through music. The Pan-dita Ramabai Mukti Missionwas also recognised for itswork towards empowermentof women.In October 2005, AbrahamMathai founded the Harmo-ny Foundation to promotethe idea of peace, dialogueand help for all communi-ties without distinction ofreligion, caste, creed, genderor region.In 2007, the Foundationestablished the Mother Te-resa Memorial InternationalAwards for Social Justice inhonour of Mother Teresa ofCalcutta.
Sudanese Prelate: ‘At least remember us in prayer’
KHARTOUM, Sudan, Nov. 29, 2012—”The bombings are carried out on dailybasis and what saddens me most isthat even the universal Church seemsto have forgotten us, the people of theNuba Mountains. At least rememberus in the prayers of the faithful duringSunday Masses!” said Bishop MacramMax Gassis of El Obeid in Sudan toFides Agency.The Nuba Mountains has been thesite of a continuing war between theSudanese government and the Sudan’sPeople’s Liberation Army (SPLA). “The
rst victims of this war are civilians,
especially women, children and theelderly,” said Bishop Gassis.“Just the other day the church of He-ban was bombed, which thankfully hasreported limited damage. In the month
of November, which has not nished
yet, the aviation of Khartoum launched330 bombs, which caused 36 deaths,mostly women and children, and 22injuries. Only in this month 30 homeswere destroyed and 92 crops.”The Sudanese prelate also cited thelack any humanitarian or relief organi-zation in the region. “The Church is theonly presence of hope for these people,with our sisters and four doctors andsurgeons (2 Americans, a German andan Englishman),” he said.Bishop Gassis recounted the courageof priest and religious who brave theviolence to aid the needy:“My priests walk the paths that leadfrom the Nuba Mountains to our structurethat we created in South Sudan in Yida inUnity State, to take supplies and medi-cines. The journey takes 8 hours to go and8 to return, under the threat of Sudanesebombers. Only thanks to the courage of anAustralian Sister of Mercy, of Italian origin,
who has returned specically, the forma
-tion and primary schools are still open.”The Bishop of El Obeid had recentlyreturned from a world tour to plead thecause of those suffering in the NubaMountains. The prelate visited Londonwhere he addressed the House of Com-mons and Lords as well as addressingthe Episcopal Conference. The bishopalso visit Brussels, Paris, Berlin, Wash-ington, New York, Oslo, Luxembourgand Geneva where he addressed theCommission for Human Rights.“To all I asked for the internationalcommunity to impose on the regime inKhartoum to stop the bombing on civil-ians and to allow food and medicine tobe brought to the exhausted people,”Bishop Gassis told Fides Agency.
Home for Christmas” campaign thiswinter, similar to the American “Catho-lics Come Home.”And on the eve of the Year of Faith,Ward reported, the Faith Departmentprinted some 1 million “faith cards” anddistributed them across the dioceses ofEngland and Wales.“They are to support to Catholicidentity, to give people something to
carry to give them Catholic condence,
and secondly to be used as a tool ofevangelization, to have that in yourwallet,” so that others can see that yourCatholic faith is just as important toyou as the photos of family kept also inyour wallet.“It would be used to give to someonewho expresses interest in the Catholicfaith.”The Twitter initiative is of particularimportance, Ward suggested, becauseit shows that the Church is “connectedwith contemporary culture and is em-bracing new means and methods tocommunicated and to dialogue withpeople.”“We hope that, especially for verybusy people, it will provide an easilyaccessible daily encouragement to growin faith and to share it. Please do 'follow'and share it with your friends,” BishopConry requested.
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Pope names new bishop for Cloyne
Pope Benedict XVI appointed a new bishop of the diocese of Cloyne, Irelandon Nov. 24. Bishop-elect William Crean was up until now the parish priestof the Daniel O'Connell Memorial Church in Cahirciveen, Diocese of Kerry.He will replace Archbishop Dermot Clifford, who has been the ApostolicAdministrator of the diocese since March 2009. He was appointed as theadministrator following the resignation of Bishop John Magee who left ow-ing to controversy about his handling of sex abuse allegations in the diocese.Bishop Magee stepped aside in 2009 and later resigned in 2010.
Vatican judges nd computer tech's testimony not credible
The Vatican court said in a detailed sentence issued Dec. 1 that the testimonygiven by the computer technician Claudio Sciarpelletti was neither “cred-
ible” nor “truthful.” The sentence was handed down Nov. 10, and was ledDec. 1, as the nal installment of the “Vatileaks” saga. It is not unusual for
Italian courts to deposit sentences weeks after the handing down of a ver-dict. The court found the computer technician guilty of aiding and abettingformer butler to the Pope, Paolo Gabriele, in his theft of sensitive documents.Sciarpelletti was originally sentenced to four months in prison, but his sen-tence was reduced two months due to extenuating circumstances.
Pope Benedict will make Twitter debut with @pontifex
The Pope's Twitter account will be @pontifex and will start on Dec. 12, thefeast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Vatican representatives announced. The
news of the 85-year-old tweeting came out weeks ago, but ofcials nally
revealed the account's name and that it will be launched on the Marian feastday, which they said was a coincidence. But instead of informing people ofhis favorite band and other trivia, the Pope’s goal will be to impart spiritual
messages to people around the globe. The ofcial announcement of the ac
-count was made at a Dec. 3 news conference.
Holy See welcomes UN recognition of Palestine
The Vatican "welcomed with favor" the U.N.'s vote to allow Palestine to becomea non-member Observer State, and pressed for a permanent two-state solution.The statement came one day after the U.N.'s General Assembly voted resound-ingly for the change on Nov. 29. "The vote manifests the sentiment of the majority
of the international community and recognizes a more signicant presence for
Palestinians within the United Nations," said the Holy See. "But this doesn't
constitute a sufcient solution to the region's existing problems," it added in aNov. 30 press release. "They can only nd an adequate response through an ef
-fective commitment to building peace and stability, in justice and in the respectfor legitimate aspirations, both of the Israelis and of the Palestinians," the Vaticansaid. The decision means Palestinians will be able to participate in U.N. debatesand possibly join some of its bodies like the International Criminal Court.
Fixing economic crisis requires nancial and moral truth, priest says
The solution to the ongoing economic troubles is to adopt a worldview thatcombines both economic and moral truths, Father Robert Sirico said as he pre-sented his new book. Fr. Robert Sirico, co-founder of the Acton Institute thinktank, introduced his book titled "Defending the Free Market: the Moral Casefor a Free Economy" on Nov. 28 in Rome. Fr. Sirico, originally from Brooklyn,said that his approach to economics is anthropological and combines economictruths with moral ones. When it comes to the current economic crisis, Fr. Siricofaults regulations that were based only on good intentions.