Monday, April 23, 2012


by Nina Achmatova
After weeks of media scandals, the Patriarch of All Russia leads a procession and a prayer at the Cathedral of Christ the Savior: "Protect the Church from the anti-Russian forces."

Moscow (AsiaNews) - Thousands of people took part in the day in defense of the faith yesterday in Russia, organized by the Moscow Patriarchate to "protect the Church from the attacks of anti-Russian forces", as stated by the same Patriarch Kirill, center of a series of media scandals which are compromising his image.

At least 40 thousand people arrived for a prayer led by the patriarch at Christ the Saviour Cathedral in Moscow. The same church, where in late February the Pussy Riot group sang their "punk prayer", in which they condemned the close relations between the Patriarchate and the newly elected President Vladimir Putin. The gesture cost the band's three girls custody on charges of "hooliganism". The incident has raised a heated debate over the role of the Church in politics and exposed Kirill to harsh criticism. "We are under attack by anti-Russian force," said the head of the Russian Orthodox Church in front of the crowd of priests and faithful. "The danger is that blasphemy and mockery of religion are presented as a legitimate expression of human freedom, which must be protected in modern society," he added.

Media and internet criticism of Kirill intensified after his open support for the third nomination of Vladimir Putin to the Kremlin. The religious leader had called the 12-year reign of the politician and former KGB agent at the head of Russia as "a miracle of God", but shortly after he railed against the Pussy Riot, demanding exemplary punishment. On 20 April, Moscow's court ordered that the three girls, held since March, remain behind bars until at least June 24, to allow investigators to complete investigations. In fact, it is a case of detention without trial, note human rights activists, who point out that the three women face up to seven years in prison.

According to many believers, the "punk prayer " was nothing more than the beginning of a series of "acts of vandalism" against the Orthodox Church. Some of these have brought to light, in the Russian media, Kirill's life of luxury and privilege prompting the Patriarch to hold a Day of Prayer. "The reason for this hostility -, according to Pyatigorsk theology student Anastasia Pavlukhova - is that the Church now supports the state more explicitly and so they attack it to indirectly affect the authorities." On 6 March, as news agency Reuters recalls, a man with an ax lashed out against icons in Veliky Ustyug, north-east of Moscow. Two weeks later, an attacker armed with a knife, attacked and desecrated a priest at the altar in the Church of Nevynnomyssk, in the south-east of the country.

"I came here because there is a risk that Russia will return to its past without God," said Olga Golubeva, 54, a lawyer, who has participated in the procession and prayer led by Kirill yesterday. According to the Patriarchate, the participants were 50 thousand, 65 thousand for the Ministry of the Interior, and 40 thousand for the international press. Other similar events with thousands of people were held in Yaroslavl, Krasnodar and St. Petersburg.

"The Church needs this kind of events to prove it has more supporters than detractors - says Alexei Makarkin, an analyst with the Center for political technologies in Moscow - but also to consolidate the support of clergy and faithful." "Within the Church itself - he adds - opinions are divided on what was worse: the performance of Pussy Riot or the reaction of the Patriarchate, the scandal or the demand for punishment for the girls.",-tens-of-thousands-with-Kirill-in-defense-of-the-faith-24566.html


New Zealand: plans for cardboard church unveiled | Christchurch, New Zealand, earthquake,Shigeru Ban,cardboard

Takatori Catholic Church, Kobe, Wiki image
Anglicans in Christchurch, New Zealand have found an innovative solution to replace their Victorian Gothic cathedral which was destroyed in last February's earthquake. The new structure, designed by the award-winning Japanese architect Shigeru Ban, will be built of recycled cardboard. This temporary building will be made with cardboard tubes, wooden beams, structural steel and cement pad, and is expected to last more than 20 years.

Mr Ban has designed several cardboard buildings, including a Catholic church in Japan after the 1995 Kobe earthquake. One advantage of building with cardboard is that it is inexpensive and quick to assemble. It can also withstand earth tremours better than some more traditional materials and is more eco-friendly.

No decision has yet been made for the Catholic Cathedral which was badly damaged, but not destroyed by the quake. The diocese is still considering different options.


To be ordained with Vatican approval and government recognition this week reporter, Changsha
April 23, 2012
Catholic Church News Image of Hunan province to get new bishop
Cathedral of Immaculate Conception in Changsha
Father Methodius Qu Ailin will be ordained bishop of Hunan this week, according to local Church sources.
The 51-year-old priest has been approved by Pope Benedict XVI and recognized by the Chinese government, the sources said.
The ceremony is scheduled for April 25 at the Cathedral of Immaculate Conception in Changsha city, the capital of southern Hunan province.
Bishop Joseph Li Shan of Beijing, vice president of the government-sanctioned bishops’ conference and a participant in an illicit episcopal ordination in Chengde in 2010, will be the main celebrant, the sources said.
The ordination will coincide with the final day of a plenary meeting of the Vatican Commission on the China Church.
Bishop-elect Qu was born in 1961 and ordained a priest in Hengyang in 1995. He became a candidate for bishop in an election last year.
He is deputy director of the Hunan Provincial Catholic Patriotic Association and a member of Hengyang City People’s Political Consultative Conference.
About 20 priests serve 65,000 Catholics in the province, which has been without a bishop for more than a decade, following the death of Bishop Simon Qu Tianxi of Changsha in 2000.
Hunan has four dioceses and five apostolic prefectures, according to the Vatican.
The government-sanctioned “open” Church authorities restructured them into six dioceses in 1991 and later merged them into Hunan diocese in 1999.
Since these administrative changes were not recognized by the Vatican, the new prelate will be known officially in Rome as the bishop of Changsha.


NAIROBI, April 20, 2012 (CISA) -The Catholic Bishops in Kenya plan to undertake a major communication project between now and next year, which aims to improve effective communications and service in the Church.
Presenting a report during the launching of the Bishops’ Rapid Results Initiative (RRI) for 2012/2013 period on April 19, Executive Secretary for Social Communications and Managing Director of Waumini Communications Company, Mr David Omwoyo said this will involve media relations and visibility, the SMS (Short Message Services), revamping Catholic Media Projects and Trickling down the RRI to the dioceses.
Mr Omwoyo said the Church will undertake these communications projects under the banner: The Catholic Communications Campaign within the Church’s Media Apostolate Unit and under the national body of the Bishops, Kenya Episcopal Conference, KEC.
“The Bishops will pay attention to the communication needs of the Church with special attention to equipping its existing Communications centers, training of personnel within national and diocesan levels, equipping and modernizing its Communications offices, technologically, and building effective relations between the Church and the media on national and international levels,” emphasized Mr Omwoyo at a later telephone interview with CISA.
He added that on Sunday, May 20, 2012 during the marking of this year’s World Communications Day, the Church will launch the collection of signatures in all the 1977 Catholic parishes in the country.
“The aim is to get at least four million of the 10 million Catholics to subscribe to our bulk SMS service. Within that we will be able to speak to more than 4 million people every week,” explained Mr Omwoyo.
“We also need to set up 14 radio transmission sites to cover the whole country and a national TV station,” he added.


Agenzia Fides REPORT–Laying the foundation stone of a new facility for the care of children and deaf young people in the city of Cochabamba has recently taken place. The new facility will be called "Don Bosco Salesian Center for the Deaf" and will be built on land granted to the Salesian community and will be managed by Fr. Antonio Díez, a Spanish missionary of the local Salesian community who has been in Bolivia for more than 30 years. About 300 people with deafness, is what is read in the note by Ans sent to Fides will benefit from the new structure, built on land granted by the municipality over an area of 1,040 square meters, which will offer primary and secondary education and, for youth and adults, will include technical formation. Currently, some deaf students already attend traditional courses or evening classes taught at the Salesian facility; but with the construction of the center especially dedicated to their care it will be more specific and will cover a larger number of people. (AP) (Agenzia Fides


John 6: 22 - 29
22 On the next day the people who remained on the other side of the sea saw that there had been only one boat there, and that Jesus had not entered the boat with his disciples, but that his disciples had gone away alone.
23 However, boats from Tiber'i-as came near the place where they ate the bread after the Lord had given thanks.
24 So when the people saw that Jesus was not there, nor his disciples, they themselves got into the boats and went to Caper'na-um, seeking Jesus.
25 When they found him on the other side of the sea, they said to him, "Rabbi, when did you come here?"
26 Jesus answered them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves.
27 Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of man will give to you; for on him has God the Father set his seal."
28 Then they said to him, "What must we do, to be doing the works of God?"
29 Jesus answered them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent."