Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Holy Mass Online - Readings and Video : Thursday, October 22, 2020 - In Your Virtual Church



Thursday of the Twenty-ninth Week in Ordinary Time 
Lectionary: 476

Reading 
1 EPH 3:14-21
Brothers and sisters: 
I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that he may grant you in accord with the riches of his glory to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in the inner self, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the holy ones what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
Now to him who is able to accomplish far more than all we ask or imagine, by the power at work within us, to him be glory in the Church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
Responsorial Psalm
PS 33:1-2, 4-5, 11-12, 18-19
R. (5b) The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord. Exult, you just, in the LORD; praise from the upright is fitting. Give thanks to the LORD on the harp; with the ten-stringed lyre chant his praises. R. The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord. For upright is the word of the LORD, and all his works are trustworthy. He loves justice and right; of the kindness of the LORD the earth is full. R. The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord. But the plan of the LORD stands forever;
the design of his heart, through all generations. Blessed the nation whose God is the LORD, the people he has chosen for his own inheritance.
R. The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord. But see, the eyes of the LORD are upon those who fear him, upon those who hope for his kindness, To deliver them from death and preserve them in spite of famine. R. The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord.
Alleluia
PHIL 3:8-9
R. Alleluia, alleluia. I consider all things so much rubbish that I may gain Christ and be found in him.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel
LK 12:49-53
Jesus said to his disciples: “I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing! There is a baptism with which I must be baptized, and how great is my anguish until it is accomplished! Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. From now on a household of five will be divided, three against two and two against three; a father will be divided against his son and a son against his father, a mother against her daughter and a daughter against her mother, a mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.”
Prayer to Make a Spiritual Communion-
People who cannot communicate now make spiritual communion.
At your feet, O my Jesus I bow down and offer you the repentance of my contrite heart, which abysses itself into its nothingness and Your holy presence. I adore you in the Sacrament of Your love, the ineffable Eucharist. I wish to receive you in the poor home that my heart offers you. In anticipation of the happiness of sacramental communion, I want to possess you in spirit. Come to me, oh my Jesus, that I may come to you. May Your love inflame my whole being, for life and death. I believe in you, I hope in you, I love you. So be it. Amen

Saint October 22 : St. Pope John Paul II - Born as Karol Jozef Wojtyla the 1st non-Italian Pope in 400 years - #JPII


Saint Pope John Paul II was born and named Karol Jozef Wojtyla on May 18, 1920. He died on April 2, 2005 at the age of 84 years. John Paul II reigned as Pope of the Roman Catholic Church from October 16, 1978 until his death. He was the only Polish Pontiff to reign. The Pontiff was influencial in the downfall of Communism. He traveled more than any other Pope in history, visiting 129 countries. The Holy Father spoke many languages including: Polish, Italian, Spanish, German, English, Portuguese, Russian, French, Croatian and Latin.He beatified 1, 340 people and canonised 483 Saints. John Paul II was beatified on May 1, 2011 and his memorial is celebrated on Oct. 22.
Karol Wojtyla was born in Poland in Wadowice. He was the youngest of 3 children to Karol Wojtyla and Emilia Kaczorowska. When Karol was 8 years old his mother(April 13, 1929) died. Olga, Karol's elder sister died in infancy. His only remaining sibling, a brother Edmund, was a physician. Edmund, 14 years older than Karol, died from scarlet fever. (image source:

In 1938, Karol and his father moved to Krakow. He then studied at Jagiellonian University. Here Karol engaged in theatrical works and hard labour. His father died of a heart attack in 1941. Wojtyla began priestly studies in 1942 at an underground seminary. He was ordained a priest on November 1, 1946 by Archbishop Cardinal Sapieha.
Karol then went to Rome to study at the Pontifical International Athenaeum Angelicum. Here he received a licentiate and a doctorate in Sacred Theology. In 1948, he returned to Poland and was head of a local Parish.

Fr. Wojtyla began to teach ethics at the Jagiellonian University. In 1954, he received another doctorate in philosophy. He was appointed auxiliary bishop of Krakow in 1958.
Bishop Wojtyla was an active participant of the Second Vatican Council, which occurred in 1962-1965. In 1964, Karol was appointed Archbishop of Krakow. In 1967, Karol was promoted to Cardinal. He was inaugurated Pontiff on October, 22, 1978. Karol took the name John Paul II after the preceding Pope John Paul I who died early in his reign.
He became the 264th Pope to reign at the age of 58. He wrote 14 Papal Encyclicals. He took the motto Totus Tuus in reference to the Blessed Virgin Mary. He had a special devotion to the Mother of God.
As Pope, John Paul established "World Youth Days", these gathered young Catholics from around the world for a week of prayer and activities. The largest gathering of people, in history, occurred in Manila, Phillipines at the World Youth Day with JPII. Here around 5 million gathered to celebrate the Catholic Faith.



On May 13, 1981 JPII was shot and wounded by Mehmet Ali Agca. This was an assassination attempt by this Turkish man as a member of a fascist group. He underwent extensive surgery and narrowly survived. He thanked Our Lady of Fatima for his survival. In 1983, JPII visited his assassin in prison. (image sources: google)


Pope John Paul II was very influential in ecumenism and met with many religious and political leaders. He is thought to have aided in the fall of Communism.
"True holiness does not mean a flight from the world; rather, it lies in the effort to incarnate the Gospel in everyday life, in the family, at school and at work, and in social and political involvement." Blessed Pope John Paul II..

Wow - LISTEN to the Beautiful Hymn with Choir - Composed for the Beatification of Saint Pope John Paul II - "Open the Doors to Christ" by Mgsr. Marco Frisina



Aprite le porte a Cristo - Open the Doors to Christ was written in tribute to St. John Paul II  on the occasion of his feast which was celebrated for the first time in the Roman Catholic Church on October 22, 2014. He was canonized on April 27, 2014. The hymn was composed by Msgr. Marco Frisina, the director of Liturgy for the diocese of Rome, and sung by the Sistine Chapel Choir on the occasion of the beatification of Pope John Paul II on May 01, 2011.

In New Documentary Film "Francesco" by Evgeny Afineevsky - the Pope explains that Homosexuals are "Children of God" and need a "...civil union law; that way they are legally covered.” - Watch Official Trailer



The new documentary “Francesco”, by Oscar nominated director Evgeny Afineevsky, includes exclusive interviews with Pope Francis himself, with Pope emeritus Benedict XVI, and many others. 
At one point during the film, the Pope explains, “Homosexual people have the right to be in a family. They are children of God,” He further clarifies, “You can’t kick someone out of a family, nor make their life miserable for this. What we have to have is a civil union law; that way they are legally covered.”

Pope Francis, had never come out publicly in favor of civil unions. The Catholic Church still bans same-sex marriage and explains homosexual acts as "disordered," a teaching that has not altered. Argentina legalized same-sex marriage in 2010, which then-Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio called a “destructive attack on God's plan.

 According to Vatican News, the film premiered on Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020, at the Rome Film Festival in the Special Events Section. Then on Thursday, in the Vatican Gardens, it will receive the 18th Kinéo Prize. The "Kinéo Movie for Humanity Award" is awarded to those who promote social and humanitarian themes. This year, it will be personally awarded by Rosetta Sannelli, the creator of the award, who underlined the film's historic value. "Every one of Pope Francis' journeys to various parts of the world," she said, "is documented in Afineevsky's work through images and news footage, and reveals an authentic glimpse into the events of our time." 
Evgeny Afineevsky finished shooting "Francesco" last June, in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic. 
He highlights images exploring various themes such as the pandemic, racism and sexual abuse. 
The premiere of "Francesco" in the United States is scheduled for October 25 at the Savannah Film Festival. The film is produced in part with the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television. Director Evgeny Afineevsky was nominated for an Oscar and Emmy in 2016 for his film "Winter on Fire" and in 2018 received 3 Emmy nominations for "Cries from Syria". 
 FRANCESCO is the latest film from Oscar and Emmy-nominated Director Evgeny Afineevsky, featuring exclusive interviews with His Holiness Pope Francis, His Holiness Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, Mark Kennedy Shriver, Sister Norma Pimentel, and Juan Carlos Cruz, among others. FRANCESCO is not a biographical film about Pope Francis in the traditional sense. Rather it is a film that shows us the world as it is today and a path to understanding what a better future can be for tomorrow as seen through the remarkable work of the Pope in the areas of climate change, migration, refugees, peace and religious tolerance, gender and identity justice, health and economic equality, and, by example, the meaning of inspired leadership.
Source: https://www.francescofilm.com/ and VaticanNews.va

Quote to SHARE by St. Pope John Paul II - "Where, if not in the Divine Mercy, can the World find Refuge and the Light of Hope?" #JP2


"Where, if not in the Divine Mercy, can the world find refuge and the light of hope?" 
Saint Pope John Paul II
(Homily April 18, 1993)

Pope Francis Explains "Prayer is the centre of life." at Catechesis during Audience in Vatican - FULL TEXT + Video


 
GENERAL AUDIENCE

Paul VI Audience Hall
Wednesday, 21 October 2020

 Catechesis: 11. The prayer of the Psalms. 2

Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!

Today, we need to change a bit the way the audience is conducted because of the coronavirus. You are separated, with the protection of masks as well, and I am here, a bit distant and I cannot do what I always do, coming near you, because every time I do that all of you come together and do not maintain distance and there is the danger of contagion for you. I apologize for this, but it is for your safety. Instead of coming near you and shaking your hands and greeting you, we have to greet each other from a distance, but know that I am near you with my heart. I hope that you understand why I am doing this. Also, while the readers were reading the biblical passage, my attention was caught by that baby boy or girl over there who was crying, and I was watching the mamma who was cuddling and nursing the baby and I said: this is what God does with us, like that mamma. With what tenderness she was trying to comfort and nurse the baby. They are beautiful images. And when it happens that a baby cries in Church, listening to that and feeling that tenderness of a mamma there, like today, and thanks for your witnesses, and there is the tenderness of a mamma which is the symbol of God’s tenderness with us. Never silence a crying baby in Church, never, because it is the voice that attracts God’s tenderness. Thank you for your witness.

Today we will complete the catechesis on the prayer of the Psalms. Above all, we see how there often appears a negative figure in the Psalms, called the “wicked” person, that is, he or she who lives as if God does not exist. This is the person without any transcendent referent, whose arrogance has no limits, who fears no judgment regarding what he or she thinks or does.

For this reason, the Psalter presents prayer as the fundamental reality of life. The reference to the absolute and to the transcendent – which the spiritual masters call the “holy fear of God” – and which makes us completely human, is the boundary that saves us from ourselves, preventing us from venturing into life in a predatory and voracious manner. Prayer is the salvation of the human being.

There certainly also exists a false prayer, a prayer said only for the admiration of others. The person or those persons who go to Mass only to make it seen that they are Catholics or to show off the latest fashion that they acquired, or to make a good impression in society. They are moving toward false prayer. Jesus strongly admonished against such prayer (see Mt 6:5-6; Lk 9:14). But when the true spirit of prayer is sincerely received and enters the heart, it then allows us to contemplate reality with God’s very eyes.

When one prays, everything acquires “depth”. This is interesting in prayer, perhaps something subtle begins but in prayer that thing acquires depth, it becomes weighty, as if God takes it in hand and transforms it. The worst service someone can give God, and others as well, is to pray tiredly, by rote. To pray like parrots.  No, one prays with the heart. Prayer is the centre of life. If there is prayer, even a brother, a sister, even an enemy becomes important. An old saying from the first Christian monks reads: “Blessed the monk who regards every human being as God, after God” (Evagrius Ponticus, Trattato sulla preghiera, n. 122). Those who adore God, love His children. Those who respect God, respect human beings.

And so, prayer is not a sedative to alleviate life’s anxieties; or, in any case, this type of prayer is certainly not Christian. Rather, prayer makes each of us responsible. We see this clearly in the “Our Father” that Jesus taught His disciples.

To learn how to pray this way, the Psalter is a tremendous school. We saw how the Psalms do not always use refined and gentle language, and how they often bring out the scars of existence. And yet, all these prayers were first used in the Temple of Jerusalem and then in the synagogues; even the most intimate and personal ones. The Catechism of the Catholic Church puts it this way: “The Psalter’s many forms of prayer take shape both in the liturgy of the Temple and in the human heart” (n. 2588). And thus, personal prayer draws from and is nourished first by the prayer of the people of Israel, then by the prayer of the Church.

Even the Psalms in the first person singular, which confide the most intimate thoughts and problems of an individual, are a collective patrimony, to the point of being prayed by everyone and for everyone. The prayer of the Christian has this “breath”, this spiritual “tension” holding the temple and the world together. Prayer can begin in the penumbra of a church’s nave, but come to an end on the city streets. And vice versa, it can blossom during the day’s activities and reach its fulfillment in the liturgy. The church doors are not barriers, but permeable “membranes”, willing to allow everyone’s groans in.

The world is always present in the prayer found in the Psalter. The Psalms, for example, voice the divine promise of salvation for the weakest:.. “ ‘Because the poor are despoiled, because the needy groan I will now arise,’ says the Lord;  ‘I will place him in the safety for which he longs’ ” (12:5). Or again, they warn about the danger of worldly riches because... “Man cannot abide in his pomp, he is like the beasts that perish” (49:20). Or still, they open the horizon to God’s view of history: “The Lord brings the counsel of the nations to nought; he frustrates the plans of the peoples. The counsel of the Lord stands for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations” (33:10-11).

In short, where there is God, the human person must be there as well. Sacred Scripture is categorical: “We love, because he first loved us”. He always goes ahead of us. He always awaits us because He loves us first, He looks at us first, He understands us first. He always awaits us. “If any one says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen”. If you pray many rosaries each day but then gossip about others, and nourish grudges inside, if you hate others, this is truly artificial, it is not true. “And this commandment we have from him, that he who loves God should love his brother also” (1 Jn 4:19-21). Scripture acknowledges the case of the person who, even though he or she sincerely searches for God, never succeeds to encounter Him; but it also affirms that the tears of the poor can never be repudiated on pain of not encountering God. God does not support the “atheism” of those who repudiate the divine image that is imprinted in every human being. That everyday atheism: I believe in God but I keep my distance from others and I allow myself to hate others. This is practical atheism. Not to recognize the human person as the image of God is a sacrilege, an abomination, the worst offense that can be directed toward the temple and the altar.

Dear brothers and sisters, the prayers of the Psalms help us not to fall into the temptation of the “wicked”, that is, of living, and perhaps also of praying, as if God does not exist, and as if the poor do not exist.


Special greetings:

I welcome all the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors who join us for today’s Audience. Upon you and your families I invoke the joy and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ. God bless you


Summary of the Holy Father's words:

Dear Brothers and Sisters, today we conclude our catechesis on prayer by turning once more to the Psalms. In the Psalter, prayer appears as essential to a good and truly human life, guiding our steps according to God’s will and teaching us to avoid the snares of evil. Genuine prayer enables us, even at times of great distress, to see reality with God’s eyes and to look upon our brothers and sisters with compassion and respect. In the Psalms, personal and communal prayer merge, and praise of God is joined to concern for others, especially the poor and those in need. Even the Psalms that seem most personal and private were prayed in the liturgy of the Temple and in the synagogues, and then in the assemblies of the earliest Christian community. They remind us that prayer must embrace every aspect of our lives in this world. Sometimes, prayer begins in our churches but then leads us to serve others in the streets of our cities. At other times prayer originates in the midst of our daily work, and then finds its completion in the Church’s liturgy. May we learn to pray the Psalms more consciously, letting their voice become our own, as we seek to grow in love for God, trust in the fulfilment of his saving plan, and charity towards all our brothers and sisters.

FULL TEXT Source: Vatican.va - official Translation from Italian - Image Source: Screenshot Vatican.va

#BreakingNews 13-year-old Catholic Girl is Kidnapped and Forcibly Married and Converted to Islam - Please Pray for Fatima Arzoo!



ASIA/PAKISTAN - Call for firm government action after 13-year-old Catholic girl is kidnapped and converted to Islam

Wednesday, 21 October 2020
(Image - Fatima Arzoo the day of her first Holy Communion)
PAKISTAN

Karachi (Agenzia Fides) - Arzoo Raja, a 13-year-old Catholic from Karachi, was kidnapped, forcibly converted to Islam and then forced to marry a 44-year-old Muslim man, named Ali Azhar, who kidnapped her on the morning of 13 October. As confirmed to Agenzia Fides, this is the latest in a series of cases that has shaken the Catholic community in Pakistan.
Nasir Raza, human rights activist who assists Raja's Catholic family in this delicate situation, declares in an interview with Agenzia Fides: "This is umpteenth case, a story that repeats itself: on 13 October, the girl was kidnapped, and on the same day she was forcibly converted to Islam and forced into an Islamic marriage with impunity. She was playing at home. She went out to go to a shop and never came back. After her disappearance, the family filed a First Information Report against unknown persons around 5 pm".
Nasir Raza explains: "Arzoo is a 7th grade student and, as evidenced by her birth certificate from the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA), she was born on July 31, 2007", and adds: "The girl's family is in shock and very tense. The inappropriate behavior of the police at the police station is another challenge for the family, in the throes of suffering and despair".
In fact, the police dismissed the case because, on the evening of October 14, the kidnapper's lawyer appeared at the police station, presenting the documents that, according to him, would grant full legitimacy to the abductor: an "Affidavit", signed by Arzoo, who attests her free will for her conversion to Islam and for marriage; a "certificate of conversion to Islam" and a marriage certificate. The girl's parents were unable to do anything, even though they provided the girl's birth certificate and referred to the law that prohibits marriage under 18 years of age (according to Islamic law, it si allowed).
Anthony Naveed, a Catholic politician and member of the Provincial Assembly of Sindh Province, is currently dealing with the case and has visited the family. Speaking to Fides, Naveed said: "I offered the family legal assistance and I also spoke with the police officers for the analysis and review of the case". Anthony Naveed remarks: "The complaint filed now is weak because it is filed against unknown persons, but now that more details are known, correct information must be added, and the laws on child protection and child marriage must be recalled". Naveed concluded: "The increase in the number of kidnappings and forced conversions of Christian and Hindu girls is a very serious phenomenon. The increase in these cases is worrying, even though it is due to the narrow and sick mentality of very few people in Pakistani society. In the current context of social and political status, religious minorities constitute weaker elements and consequently minority women and girls become an easy targets for kidnappers and men who carry out forced conversions".
According to Anjum James Paul, a Pakistani Catholic, President of the Association of Teachers of Religious Minorities in Pakistan, "these kidnappings are against the law and constitute a pedophilia offense that the whole of Pakistani society, primarily the civil authorities, must fight with all their might. We ask for a strong and decisive government intervention to put an end to this criminal phenomenon against girls, the most vulnerable in society, and which gives Pakistan a very bad image".
As the NGO Human Rights Commission of Pakistan noted in a note sent to Agenzia Fides, every year at least 1,000 Christian and Hindu women are kidnapped and forced to convert and marry their aggressor. Many families do not report the crime or withdraw their complaints, in the face of threats against other family members. (AG-PA) (Source: Agenzia Fides, 21/10/2020)

Canadian Bishops Speak Against Government Act to Amend the Criminal Code (Conversion Therapy) Saying "There is a real danger that Christian and other religious and ethical teaching...would be interpreted as criminal acts."



Statement by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops on Bill C-6: “An Act to Amend the Criminal Code (conversion therapy)” Wednesday, October 7, 2020Today, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) issues its response to Bill C-6: “An Act to Amend the Criminal Code (conversion therapy)” which was reintroduced by the federal government on Thursday 1 October 2020.
In a statement on the proposed legislation, the Bishops of Canada emphasize that: “The Catholic Church, like many Canadians, is opposed to any form of coercive and manipulative activities because they do not respect the sacred dignity of the human person and the freedoms inherent with that dignity.” In so far as it seeks to outlaw coercive actions against individuals, the intention behind Bill C-6 is commendable. However, following consultations with professional associations, other faith groups, and legal experts, the Bishops note significant concern with the content of Bill C-6, especially its ambiguities, which they fear could render currently lawful actions as criminal offences.
These ambiguities include, for example, the absence of a provision for legitimate, differing viewpoints on human sexuality arising from religious beliefs, philosophical debate, or scientific and medical study; the lack of provision for conscientious dissent in such matters, including teaching or public presentations; or the possibility that conversations within families, including private conversations between parents and their children on matters of human sexuality, could be deemed public and subject to prosecution, thus restricting the right of parents to raise their children in accordance with their religious and ethical convictions.
In their statement, the Bishops reiterate the Church’s firm rejection of every and any coercive action and they clearly affirm the perennial teaching regarding the inherent dignity of every human person. However, the need to uphold and respect human dignity as well as to protect freedom of conscience, religion, thought, belief, opinion and expression also means Bill C-6 should not be allowed to proceed in its current form.
SOURCE: CCCB.ca
Statement by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops on Bill C-6: “An Act to Amend the Criminal Code (conversion therapy)”
Statement by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops on Bill C-6,
‘An Act to Amend the Criminal Code (conversion therapy)’
The Catholic Church, like many Canadians, is opposed to all forms of coercive and manipulative activities because they do not respect the sacred dignity of the human person
and the freedoms inherent with that dignity. The protection of vulnerable Canadians from harmful acts is a necessary and important goal and one which the Bishops irrevocably support. However, upon careful reading of Bill C-6, after discussions with professional associations and other faith groups and in consultation with legal experts, it is apparent that
Bill C-6 has some serious lacunae and shortcomings in its present form. It is generic in its scope and ambiguous in its language, and thus its application could be overextended and
interpreted to include what are and should remain lawful activities. This is mainly because of its problematic definition of conversion therapy which reads: “a practice, treatment or service designed to change a person’s sexual orientation to heterosexual or gender identity
to cisgender, or to repress or reduce non-heterosexual attraction or sexual behaviour.”1
Actions now lawful could be subject to the Criminal Code
In the Bill’s current form, a range of activity and well-intended actions, hitherto legitimate
and lawful, that are also beneficial goals in support of individuals, could become subject to
prosecution under the Criminal Code, despite the apparent claims to the contrary on the
website of the Department of Justice.2 Without attempting to provide an exhaustive list, the
following are among the serious concerns that need to be addressed through further
discussion, consultation and democratic debate:
• The Bill makes no provision for legitimate diversity concerning viewpoints on human
sexuality arising from religious beliefs, from philosophical debate, or from scientific
and medical study; nor does it make any provision for conscientious dissent related to
such matters in forums of teaching or public presentations.
1 On 1 October 2020, the Federal Government tabled Bill C-6, An Act to Amend the Criminal Code (conversion
therapy). This Bill is identical to Bill C-8 that was introduced 9 March 2020 and which the Canadian Conference of
Catholic Bishops (CCCB) had already studied carefully. Bill C-6 goes on to state that the definition does not include
“a practice, treatment or service that relates (a) to a person’s gender transition; or (b) to a person’s exploration of
their identity or to its development.”
2 These claims are also often repeated by media. For example, while not included in the wording of the Bill, the
Department of Justice states in its news release on the legislation, Federal Government reintroduces legislation to
criminalize conversion therapy-related conduct in Canada: “These new offences would not apply to those who
provide support to persons questioning their sexual orientation, sexual feelings or gender identity (such as teachers,
school counsellors, pastoral counsellors, faith leaders, doctors, mental health professionals, friends or family
members).”
https://www.canada.ca/en/department-justice/news/2020/09/federal-government-reintroduces-legislation-tocriminalize-conversion-therapy-related-conduct-in-canada.html
- 2 -
• There is the possibility that within families, private conversations between parents
and their children on matters of human sexuality will be deemed public and subject to
criminal prosecution – which in turn raises serious questions regarding the legitimacy
of government surveillance, professional confidentiality, and infringement of privacy.
As principal educators of their children, parents have a right to raise them in accordance with their legitimate and ethical religious beliefs. Any state intervention should not override the primary parental right to care for their children and make
decisions for their well-being.
• There is a real danger that Christian and other religious and ethical teaching with
respect to human sexuality would be interpreted as criminal acts.
• The Bill could even criminalize Catholic ministries and groups, religious leaders, or
pastors who encourage individuals with same-sex attraction to live chastely and in
conformity with the teachings of the Gospel, the moral principles of the Catholic
Church, and the dictates of their own conscience.
• The Bill’s current wording can also be interpreted as compelling competent
professionals, including psychiatrists, psychologists, other medical practitioners and
social workers to withhold legitimate services and, as a corollary, prevent their
patients or clients from accessing necessary medical treatment. For example, transgender persons who freely wish to de-transition could be unable to access the
necessary professional assistance to explore this option. Similarly, medical
practitioners could be inhibited from advocating a prudent and professionally
supported approach towards young children with gender dysphoria.
• The Bill would appear to set arbitrary restrictions on available treatment options in a
clinical setting as per the ambiguous wording found therein: “repress or reduce nonheterosexual attraction or sexual behaviour”.
• The Bill, drafted broadly in its current form and wording, would infringe on the
jurisdiction of provincial regulatory Colleges with respect to what constitutes
appropriate medical or psychological treatment.
• Bill C-6’s prohibition of any “treatment . . . to . . . reduce non-heterosexual attraction
or sexual behaviour” could potentially have serious consequences for the ongoing
efforts in clinical counselling to address various forms of destructive sexual
behaviour.
The problematic lack of clarity between government assurances and the Bill’s wording
The Department of Justice website appears to envision a somewhat narrower application of
this proposed law.3 The official news release states: “These new offences would not apply to
those who provide support to persons questioning their sexual orientation, sexual feelings or
gender identity (such as teachers, school counsellors, pastoral counsellors, faith leaders,
doctors, mental health professionals, friends or family members).” It remains ambiguous and
3 News release, 1 October 2020, Federal Government reintroduces legislation to criminalize conversion therapyrelated conduct in Canada.
https://www.canada.ca/en/department-justice/news/2020/09/federal-government-reintroduces-legislation-tocriminalize-conversion-therapy-related-conduct-in-canada.html
- 3 -
unclear as to whether the kind of “support” invoked in the news release would even allow for
the moral teachings of the Catholic Church to be presented as an alternative moral approach
and vision of the human person and human sexuality. However, if the intent of the Bill is not
to restrict such teachings from being presented by whomever, including parents, then this
protection is absent from the Bill’s wording.
Bill C-6 contains broad and overreaching language with no explicit exceptions that would
protect freedom of conscience, religion, or expression as guaranteed by section 2 of the
Charter of Rights and Freedoms. There remains, then, a wide and very disconcerting
ambiguity and a lack of clarity and transparency between the explanation of the Bill’s
apparent scope in the Department of Justice’s official news release and what lawful activity
might become prosecutable in a criminal court based on the actual and ambiguous wording
of the Bill if it passes into law.
Threats to freedom of religion and conscience, to the rights of the family and to society
From a Catholic perspective and its teaching on religious freedom, every person is to “be
immune from coercion on the part of individuals or of social groups and of any human
power, in such wise that no one is to be forced to act in a manner contrary to his own beliefs,
whether privately or publicly, whether alone or in association with others, within due
limits.”
4 Thus regarding “conversion therapy”, the Catholic Bishops of Canada are opposed
to any coercive behaviour which seeks to manipulate or endanger the free will of the human
person. Only in freedom can a person choose to love or to enter into a life-changing
relationship with God or with others, in meaningful and authentically human ways that
respects the inherent dignity of the human person. The Catholic Bishops are deeply saddened
that individuals have suffered at the hands of any groups or communities that have
undertaken actions which undermined the free-will of the human person. It is the desire of
the Church to accompany, guide and walk with all persons and to offer them pathways of
healing which are respectful of their conscience, faith and religious beliefs.
In that same spirit of serving humanity and inspired by the leadership and the teaching office
of Pope Francis, the CCCB also wishes to note, clearly and respectfully, the complexities and
the dangers of current ideologies and practices which it deems disrespectful and harmful to
individuals, families and communities. At the same time, we acknowledge the societal
benefits that come with human sexuality being lived and expressed in a responsible, ethical
and integral manner. In the Pope’s own words:
Yet another challenge is posed by the various forms of an ideology of gender
that ‘denies the difference and reciprocity in nature of a man and a woman
and envisages a society without sexual differences, thereby eliminating the
4 Second Vatican Council, Dignitatis Humanae, Declaration on Religious Freedom -- On the Right of the Person and
of Communities to Social and Civil Freedom in Matters Religious, no. 22,
http://www.vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/documents/vat-ii_decl_19651207_dignitatishumanae_en.html
- 4 -
anthropological basis of the family. This ideology leads to educational
programs and legislative enactments that promote a personal identity and
emotional intimacy radically separated from the biological difference between
male and female. Consequently, human identity becomes the choice of the
individual, one which can also change over time.’ It is a source of concern
that some ideologies of this sort, which seek to respond to what are at times
understandable aspirations, manage to assert themselves as absolute and
unquestionable, even dictating how children should be raised.5
In outlining some of the serious problems presented by the wording of Bill C-6, we believe it
is of the utmost importance that the Government re-examine the Bill with a view to assuring
that the appropriate and indeed necessary amendments be considered and undertaken. This
ought to be done in a spirit of true dialogue with faith communities, as well as with a broad
range of healthcare professionals, social workers and legal experts across the country. We
conclude by reiterating the commendable purpose of the Bill in as much as it intends to
prohibit coercive actions against the inherent dignity of any person; however, the lacunae,
ambiguities in language and the potential overreach in its application to current lawful
activities are regrettably present and thus need to be addressed.
In this statement, the Catholic Church, in truth and charity, remains open to dialogue with all
members of society and desires to advance the fulfilment of every human person and the
common good for all people in our country.
7 October 2020
The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops is the national assembly of the Catholic Bishops of Canada.
5 Pope Francis, Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia, On Love in the Family, no. 56,
http://www.vatican.va/content/dam/francesco/pdf/apost_exhortations/documents/papa-francesco_esortazioneap_20160319_amoris-laetitia_en.pdf

Pope Francis Signs Appeal for Peace in Rome with Religious Leaders "May God... touch every heart and make us heralds of peace."



According to Vatican News the Pope signed a Rome 2020 Appeal for Peace.

An Appeal for Peace is signed in Rome by Pope Francis and by leaders of world religions gathered at the International Prayer Meeting for Peace "No one is saved alone - Peace and Fraternity".

By Vatican News staff writer

Pope Francis and religious leaders of the major world religions gathered in Rome on Tuesday 20 October for an international and interreligious Meeting for Peace organized by the Community of Saint Egidio.

Present at the Meeting in Rome’s Capitoline Square, were also political leaders who symbolically received a text of the 2020 Appeal for Peace.

The 2020 Appeal for Peace

Gathered in Rome, in “the spirit of Assisi”, and spiritually united to believers worldwide and to all men and women of good will, we have prayed alongside one another to invoke upon our world the gift of peace.  We have called to mind the wounds of humanity, we are united with the silent prayers of so many of our suffering brothers and sisters, all too often nameless and unheard.  We now solemnly commit ourselves to make our own and to propose to the leaders of nations and the citizens of the world this Appeal for Peace.


On this Capitoline Hill, in the wake of the greatest conflict in history, the nations that had been at war made a pact based on a dream of unity that later came true: the dream of a united Europe.  Today, in these uncertain times, as we feel the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic that threatens peace by aggravating inequalities and fear, we firmly state that no one can be saved alone: no people, no single individual!


Wars and peace, pandemics and health care, hunger and access to food, global warming and sustainable development, the displacement of populations, the elimination of nuclear threats and the reduction of inequalities: these are not matters that concern individual nations alone.  We understand this better nowadays, in a world that is amply connected, yet often lacks a sense of fraternity.  All of us are brothers and sisters!  Let us pray to the Most High that, after this time of trial, there may no longer be “others”, but rather, a great “we”, rich in diversity.  The time has come to boldly dream anew that peace is possible, that it is necessary, that a world without war is not utopian.  This is why we want to say once more: “No more war”!


Tragically, for many, war once again seems to be one possible means of resolving international disputes.  It is not.  Before it is too late, we would remind everyone that war always leaves the world worse than it was.  War is a failure of politics and of humanity.


We appeal to government leaders to reject the language of division, often based on fear and mistrust, and to avoid embarking on paths of no return.  Together let us look at the victims.  All too many conflicts are presently in course.


To leaders of nations we say: let us work together to create a new architecture of peace.  Let us join forces to promote life, health, education and peace.  The time has come to divert the resources employed in producing ever more destructive and deadly weapons to choosing life and to caring for humanity and our common home.  Let us waste no time!  Let us start with achievable goals: may we immediately unite our efforts to contain the spread of the virus until there is a vaccine that is suitable and available to all.  The pandemic is reminding us that we are blood brothers and sisters.


To all believers, and to men and women of good will, we say: let us become creative artisans of peace, let us build social friendship, let us make our own the culture of dialogue.  Honest, persistent and courageous dialogue is the antidote to distrust, division and violence.  Dialogue dismantles at the outset the arguments for wars that destroy the fraternity to which our human family is called.


No one can feel exempted from this.  All of us have a shared responsibility.  All of us need to forgive and to be forgiven.  The injustices of the world and of history are not healed by hatred and revenge, but by dialogue and forgiveness.


May God inspire in us a commitment to these ideals and to the journey that we are making together.  May he touch every heart and make us heralds of peace.


Rome, Capitoline Hill, 20 October 2020

Source: VaticanNews.va