Sunday, July 8, 2012

VATICAN : POPE : MIRACLES SIGNS OF GOD'S LOVE


RADIO VATICANA REPORT: Speaking from his summer residence at Castel Gandolfo, Pope Benedict XVI spoke about Sunday’s Gospel, which tells how Jesus, when He had returned to His hometown of Nazareth, was rejected by His own people. “This fact is understandable,” the Pope said, “because familiarity at the human level makes it difficult to go beyond that and to be open to the divine dimension.”

Jesus was not able to work any miracles in Nazareth – “apart from curing a few sick people by laying His hands on them” – because the people were closed off to the spiritual dimension. The Holy Father explained “the miracles of Christ are not a display of power, but signs of the love of God, which is made present where it encounters the faith of man.”

And so, the Pope says, Jesus is “amazed” at the lack of faith among his own people: “How is it possible that they do not recognise the light of Truth? Why are they not open to the goodness of God, who has willed to share our humanity?” Pope Benedict says, “In fact, the man Jesus of Nazareth is God made visible; in Him, God dwells fully. And while we too always seek other signs, other wonders, we do not realize that the He is the real sign, God made flesh; He is the greatest miracle of the universe: all the love of God hidden in a human heart, in a human face.”

After his explanation of the Gospel, the Holy Father greeted pilgrims and visitors from around the world. In his remarks to English-speaking pilgrims, he said, “In today’s Gospel Jesus reminds us that if we live with an open and simple heart, nourished by true faith, we can recognize the presence of God in our lives and follow his holy will.”

Finally, speaking to pilgrims from Poland, Pope Benedict noted an inter-religious prayer service to be held Sunday evening at the former Nazi concentration camp at Majdanek. Representatives of the Greek and Latin Catholic Church, from the Orthodox Church, from the Protestant ecclesial communities and from the Jewish community will offer prayers for peace throughout the world. “I unite myself spiritually to these events,” the Pope said, “and I pray for goodness and peace for the world, for Poland, and for each of you.” He concluded his remarks with a heartfelt blessing. SHARED FROM VTICAN RADIO

EUROPE : RUSSIA : 150 KILLED - THOUSANDS DISPLACED IN FLOODS


FLOODS IN RUSSIA have killed over 150 people and displaced thousands. The worst damage occurred in the town of Krymsk. The rains began Friday till Saturday, July 7 and streams and rivers overflowed. The  waters rose over 7 meters. 12,000 are displaced and over 5,000 homes affected.
Electric currents in the waters from downed power lines have also killed some in the waters. Some people went through the streets in boats. Over 1,500 emergency personnel were on duty to help victims. (IMAGE SOURCE: GOOGLE)
 

AMERICA : WORLD'S BIGGEST TREEHOUSE CHURCH


Catholic Church News Image of The church that’s also the world’s biggest tree house
UCAN REPORT: This 10-storey structure has been built with no blueprints but a great deal of divine inspiration. BY: BILLY HALLOWELL   Churches come in many shapes and sizes. From inflatable houses of worship to churches that can be parachuted into areas of combat, the diversity of building design is certainly intriguing. And to add to the mix, today, we bring you the highly uncommon tree house chapel.The 100-foot building, called “The Minister’s Treehouse,” was built in Crossville, Tennessee, over a period of 11 years. Unlike other houses of worship that are meticulously plotted and blueprinted, this particular building was constructed without any solidified plans.
Rather than stain-glass windows and perfected structure, it features wooden panels and is built — you guessed it — around seven trees. Inside, the church is about 10,000 square feet, but its exact dimensions aren’t known.

RoadsideAmerica.com has the backstory:
In the early 1990s, landscaper Horace Burgess bought some wooded land on the outskirts of Crossville, Tennessee. One of the bigger trees, next to a dirt road, caught his eye. He decided to build the world’s largest tree house in its branches.
But Horace had a job and a family. After spending a couple of years on the project, he ran out of lumber and enthusiasm.
“Then I turned my life over to God,” Horace recalled. “And the spirit of God said, ‘If you build Me a tree house, I’ll never let you run out of material.’”
God doesn’t make housing offers every day. Horace got himself ordained as a minister and went back to work. God showed Horace what the tree house would look like (“It was like a vision”) but didn’t tell Horace how big it would be. “If He had,” Horace said, “I would’ve tried to talk Him out of it.”
SHARED FROM UCAN NEWS

AFRICA : SOUTH SUDAN BISHOPS CALL FOR PEACE

CISA NEWS REPORT:
Religious-Leaders-Call-for-Peace-on-Anniversary
JUBA, July 6, 2012 (CISA) -The Catholic Archbishop of Juba, His Grace Paulino Lukudu Loro and the Archbishop of the Episcopal Church of Sudan, Most Reverend Daniel Deng Bul, have published a joint pastoral letter praising the positive developments they have occurred over the past year and expressed their fears over the deterioration of relations between Sudan and South Sudan, inter-ethnic conflicts in South Sudan, and the three on-going civil wars still raging in Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile.
The Archbishops acknowledge that there has been progress made in attempts to improve South Sudan’s infrastructure over the last year, but point out that more needs to be done to ensure that the majority of South Sudanese have access to basic services.
“The delivery of basic services such as roads, health, education and water has not met the high expectations of our people,” they said.
The Archbishops strongly appealed for several critical issues set out in the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement to be resolved rapidly, fearing that the two countries are at risk of reverting back to the bloody civil war.
“Relations between the governments of Sudan and South Sudan have deteriorated to unacceptable levels. We reject war as an option to resolve disputes, and call upon all parties to implement a meaningful cease-fire and withdrawal of forces from the border region,” they stated.
The religious leaders also pleaded for more action to be taken to help end the continuing conflicts in the border areas, and for instant humanitarian access to be provided.
“We are also concerned that there is no end in sight to Sudan’s three civil wars, in Darfur, the Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile. There is no military solution. We call on all parties to enter meaningful negotiations. We also call for immediate international humanitarian access to all these areas.”
As well as the threat of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) in the west of the country, where approximately 1,000 people have been murdered in brutal inter-ethnic clashes in the east in Jonglei state according to the UN, the Archbishops praised Churches for playing a central role in post-conflict peace building amongst the communities worst affected by violence.
“The nation has addressed some of its internal problems, most notably the inter-ethnic conflict in Jonglei State, in which the Church is grateful to God for having had the opportunity to play a leading role in the peace process.
The archbishops concluded by calling for South Sudan and Sudan to put the well-being of their people first and work towards a future of development that benefits all.
“We reiterate the dream expressed by the bishops of our two churches when they met in Yei in May 2012: a dream of two nations which are democratic and free, where people of all religions, all ethnic groups, all cultures and all languages enjoy equal human rights based on citizenship,” they remarked.
Meanwhile the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, in a press statement released on July 5 declared that “peace is the only option” for Sudan and South Sudan and called for urgent humanitarian assistance in conflict areas.”
“Peace is the only option which can allow the flourishing of South Sudan and its neighbour Sudan,” the Archbishop of Canterbury warned. He strongly endorsed the joint appeal by the Anglican and Roman Catholic Archbishops of Juba on the independence anniversary.
“I welcome the vision which the Sudanese Church has set before us of “two nations at peace with each other, co-operating to make best use of their God-given resources, promoting free interaction between their citizens, living side by side in solidarity and mutual respect,” he declared.
SHARED FROM CISA NEWS AFRICA

ASIA : CHINA : CHILD TRAFFICKING OPERATION CAUGHT

ASIA NEWS REPORT
Launched in recent days, the operation involved over 10 thousand agents in 15 provinces. Involved in the traffic: surgeries, clinics and hospitals. Officials lured pregnant women and families, promising up to 8 thousand Euros for the sale of their child. Children older than two years were sold at auction in the provinces with most requests. In case of illness the children were thrown out during the trip and left to die in the street.


Beijing (AsiaNews / Agencies) - With a huge operation in 15 provinces, the Chinese police arrested 802 people involved in illegal trafficking of babies and children below six years. The intervention of the police involved over 10 thousand agents inraids on several hospitals in the provinces of Hebei, Shandong, Sichuan, Fujian, Henan and Yunnan, where for several years a veritable "consortium "for the sale of babies to be auctioned had formed. Many of them came from families that had violated the one-child rule, which forces mothers to forced abortions and sterilizations. In total, the agents have rescued 181 children who were to be delivered in the coming days to Chinese and foreign families.

A note from the Ministry of Public Security said that the operation began in December in Henan with the arrest of four people aboard a bus carrying a group of children to be auctioned. Questioned by police, they revealed the names of the bosses of the local trafficking ring. In April, the investigations were extended to 15 other provinces, from the courier firms to clinics and hospitals.

From the information gathered by the agents, the trafficking took place thanks to the complicity of officials who signaled wealthy families of the opportunity to buy a child from women with financial problems. Before agreeing, those interested visited the clinics where they controlled the conditions of the unborn, sex, and in some cases the health of parents. Children under the age of six years were instead sold at auction. To avoid attracting attention while traveling, including several long days, traffickers would forces the infants to take heavy doses of sleeping pills. Those who fell ill during the journey were simply abandoned on the street in the bushes and left to die.

Sun Jinli, head of Public Security Zaozhuanf, Shandong, said doctors pocketed about 700 euros for each child sold. Trafficking bosses got up to 2 thousand Euros. The tariff for the families could reach figures in excess of 8 thousand Euros, especially for boys and in good health.

SHARED FROM ASIA NEWS IT

AUSTRALIA : ARTISTS IN LIFE OF FAITH WORKSHOPS AT SCENE

ARCHDIOCESE OF SYDNEY REPORT
Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
6 Jul 2012


Paul Newton and Cardinal Pell with his
painting of Mary MacKillop
The relationship between art and faith will feature in creative ways this year at the SCENE event in Sydney with pop-up galleries, impromptu performances and panel discussions with professional artists.
Award-winning portrait painter, Paul Newton will be joined by Catholic artists including a multi-media designer and professional musicians to discuss art, spirituality and mission on a panel as part of one of the afternoon workshops on Friday 13 July at St Mary's Cathedral.
Many of Paul Newton's works presently hang in the recently opened Domus Australia pilgrim centre in Rome, and he has been commissioned by the Archdiocese of Sydney to complete 32 portraits for the centre that will chart the Australian Catholic experience.
These will include portraits of pioneers of the Church such as St Mary of the Cross MacKillop, Caroline Chisholm, Fr John Therry and the founder of the Archdiocese of Sydney, Archbishop Bede Polding.
An Archibald Prize finalist, Paul has also completed a magnificent, large canvas featuring the colony's early Catholics who gathered in secret in 1818, which currently hangs in the beautifully restored St Peter Chanel Chapel.
Newton has nine times been selected a finalist in the Art Gallery of NSW Archibald Prize competition with portraits of such notables as Maggie Tabberer, John Laws, Fred Street, Donald McDonald AC and Kate Fischer. His 2001 entry, a portrait of Sydney Olympic Games commentators Roy and HG, won The Peoples Choice Awards in Melbourne and Sydney as well as the Packers Prize.
He will be joined on the workshop panel by artists working in a Catholic context and include singer/composer Stephen Kirk from Canberra, professional musician Bernie Quinn and Clayton Diack, multimedia designer and illustrator from Catholic Communications in Sydney.

The workshop entitled The Spirituality and Mission of the Catholic Artist will break open the affirmation of Pope Paul VI, that artists are "the custodians of beauty". The panel members will speak and take questions on how they live the call of the Catholic artist in a contemporary context.
An 'Artists for Life' evening will help kick of the SCENE festivities with a pop up art gallery in a pub on Castlereagh St featuring 'meet the artist' opportunities. Artists will display samples of their work and over a drink or two participants can enjoy the creative space and join in discussions about art and life.
Following performances by some of the actors and musicians Bishop Julian Porteous will speak about the role of the artist in the life of faith.
Paul Newton says he is delighted with this year's artistic focus of SCENE and is pleased to be taking part in an event that offers such positive experiences of Catholic culture. "The beauty, spirituality and enthusiasm of the city events are in stark contrast to the competing interests of our busy commercial centre" he says.
Remembering the way the city came alive during World Youth Day 2008 he says, "It was such a positive time in the city. I hope that SCENE will recapture some of that."
He says that SCENE's focus on art and the role it has to play in the life of faith is very important.
"I hope that Friday's workshop will serve to inspire others to think about the arts in terms of spirituality and mission."
To register for SCENE workshops see www.credosydney.org/our-works/scene/scene-2012
SHARED FROM ARCHDIOCESE OF SYDNEY

TODAY'S MASS ONLINE -ORDINARY TIME 14TH SUNDAY JULY 8, 2012 - YEAR B


Ezekiel 2: 2 - 5
2 And when he spoke to me, the Spirit entered into me and set me upon my feet; and I heard him speaking to me.
3 And he said to me, "Son of man, I send you to the people of Israel, to a nation of rebels, who have rebelled against me; they and their fathers have transgressed against me to this very day.
4 The people also are impudent and stubborn: I send you to them; and you shall say to them, `Thus says the Lord GOD.'
5 And whether they hear or refuse to hear (for they are a rebellious house) they will know that there has been a prophet among them.
Psalms 123: 1 - 4
1 To thee I lift up my eyes, O thou who art enthroned in the heavens!
2 Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the LORD our God, till he have mercy upon us.
3 Have mercy upon us, O LORD, have mercy upon us, for we have had more than enough of contempt.
4 Too long our soul has been sated with the scorn of those who are at ease, the contempt of the proud
2 Corinthians 12: 7 - 10
7 And to keep me from being too elated by the abundance of revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan, to harass me, to keep me from being too elated.
8 Three times I besought the Lord about this, that it should leave me;
9 but he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." I will all the more gladly boast of my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities; for when I am weak, then I am strong.
Mark 6: 1 - 6
1 He went away from there and came to his own country; and his disciples followed him.
2 And on the sabbath he began to teach in the synagogue; and many who heard him were astonished, saying, "Where did this man get all this? What is the wisdom given to him? What mighty works are wrought by his hands!
3 Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon, and are not his sisters here with us?" And they took offense at him.
4 And Jesus said to them, "A prophet is not without honor, except in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house."
5 And he could do no mighty work there, except that he laid his hands upon a few sick people and healed them.
6 And he marveled because of their unbelief. And he went about among the villages teaching.

TODAY'S SAINT: JULY 8: ST. RAYMOND OF TOULOUSE


St. Raymond of Toulouse
CHANTER AND CANON
Feast: July 8


Information:
Feast Day:July 8
Born:Toulouse, France
Died:3 July 1118
A chanter and canon renowned for generosity. A native of Toulouse, France, he was known originally as Raymond Gayrard. After the death of his wife, he became a canon of St. Sernin, Toulouse, helping to rebuild the church that became a popular place for pilgrims. After his death on July 3, many miracles were reported at his tomb.


SOURCE: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/R/straymondoftoulouse.asp#ixzz1RVx6uPlN

VATICAN IMPORTANCE OF RELIGIOUS FREEDOM AT UN

Vatican Radio REPORT The UN Human Rights Council concluded its 20th regular session on Friday, adopting 22 resolutions and a presidential statement on a wide range of issues including the human rights situations in Belarus, Eritrea, Syria, Ivory Coast, Mali and Somalia.

Other issues discussed included arbitrary detention, the right to peace, the effects of foreign debt on human rights, freedom of expression on the Internet and religious freedom.

Speaking at the session earlier this week, Archbishop Silvano M. Tomasi, the Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations and Other International Organizations in Geneva, stressed the importance of protecting religious freedom.

“If there is respect in a country for freedom of religion, then other human rights are respected and an environment is created that facilitates progress for both developing and developed countries,” Archbishop Tomasi later told Vatican Radio.

“It establishes a climates of confidence, mutual acceptance and respect that becomes the right terrain on which the common good flourishes.”


You can find the full text of Archbishop Silvano Tomasi's statement below:
Madam President,

With deep concern, the Holy See delegation calls attention to the widening gap between the commitment and the stated principles of the international community regarding freedom of religion, conscience, and belief and the right to freedom of assembly, and the implementation of these fundamental human rights. The use of bombs and violent attacks against houses of worship and Christian communities at prayer have recently killed hundreds of innocent people in several countries. The persistence of such crimes and their geographical spread, the support in personnel and resources that fundamentalist groups provide them, their objective of destabilization of peaceful coexistence in mutual respect and collaboration, are as many reasons that should prompt a more effective response both in terms of public awareness and of preventive action.

Religious strife is a danger to social, political, and economic development. Religious conflict in a polarized society breaks the ties that are necessary for social life and commerce to flourish. It produces violence which robs people of the most fundamental right of all: the right to life. It sows the seeds of distrust and bitterness that can be passed down through generations. Strife in one country can spill over and cause serious difficulties in other countries.

In a similar way, disappearances, arrests, detention, death threats and discrimination against converts and against individuals belonging to religious minorities or other faith communities are not uncommon all around the world. Violent attacks, statements and even school manuals inciting violence and killings of members of religious communities and religious minorities are on the news very often. Such threats to religious freedom profoundly affect human dignity. Limitations on the exercise of this right jeopardize personal identity, conscience, and fundamental life choices, and they impair the enjoyment of other human rights.

Pope Benedict XVI has expressed his grave concern about such disturbing situations in various parts of the world as a result of which “it is impossible to profess one’s religion freely except at the risk of life and personal liberty. In other areas, we see more subtle and sophisticated forms of prejudice and hostility towards believers and religious symbols.” Christians represent the religious group that is subjected to religious persecution in the greatest numbers.

The transversal nature of religious freedom demands equal and effective protection under the law without discrimination for any person, but most especially for members of minority groups or persons who might be vulnerable to prejudice or discrimination for a variety of reasons. Thus the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action proclaimed that “… persons belonging to minorities have the right to enjoy their own culture, to profess and practice their own religion … in private and in public, freely and without interference or any form of discrimination”.

Several other international human rights texts, General Assembly and Human Rights Council Resolutions unambiguously state that “everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion or belief.” The freedom to manifest one’s religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance is also guaranteed. “It is inconceivable that believers should have to suppress a part of themselves – their faith – in order to be active citizens. It should never be necessary to deny God in order to enjoy one’s rights.”

The ideals of religious freedom – in worship, practice, and expression – are enshrined in the constitutions of most democratic States throughout the world. Such freedom is, moreover, a multi-faceted right, related, among others, to the rights to life and liberty.

In accord with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Holy See Delegation recognizes that States are obligated to create and support infrastructural measures and favorable conditions to facilitate free and non-discriminatory development of religious communities and their members. Thus the right to religious freedom is not only an individual right but also constitutes a collective right for religious communities. Madam President,

My delegation acknowledges the correlation between social stability and recognition of human rights. Due to the unstable economic and political contexts in States throughout the world, it is essential that all human rights, and most especially the right to religious freedom, be protected. States must encourage the formation of collaborative networks that aim toward mutual understanding, promote inter-religious dialogue, and strengthen protection of religious groups through adequate and effective guarantees of religious freedom through access to legal systems that provide proportionate and adequate remediation and, when necessary, redress.

In the view of my delegation, religious freedom cannot be restricted merely to freedom of worship. Also included in this fundamental freedom should be the right to preach, educate, receive new adherents, contribute to political discourse, as well as participate in public activities. Most importantly, the right to freedom of conscience must be upheld and protected. Believers should not be forced by governments to choose between conformity to governmental policies or legislation and faithfulness to religious tenets and beliefs. It also is important to respect the right of parents to a send their children to schools that reflect their beliefs. Compulsory, “one-size-fits-all” educational systems can constitute a direct attack on the rights and duties of parents to assure the religious and ethical formation of their children. At the same time, all educational systems should promote respect and protection of people without any prejudice toward their respective religious beliefs or practices.

Madam President,

The Holy See Delegation would like to conclude by citing the Vienna Declaration, which calls “upon all Governments to take all appropriate measures in compliance with their international obligations and with due regard to their respective legal systems to counter intolerance and related violence based on religion or belief…”

Finally, we encourage every State to ensure, protect and promote the legitimate right of people to have, practice and to express their own religion or belief freely and without any type of coercion and violence and without the constant fear of becoming victims of anti-religious attacks that destroy their fundamental human rights.
Thank you, Madam President.

SHARED FROM RADIO VATICANA

AMERICA : USA : CATHOLIC - JEWISH DIALOGUE ON FREEDOM AND OTHER TOPICS

USCCB REPORT:
July 6, 2012
WASHINGTON—Gatherings of two different Catholic-Jewish dialogues explored topics including economics, education, religious freedom and even a Jewish commentary on the New Testament.
The semi-annual consultation of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops/National Council of Synagogues (USCCB/NCS) discussed the publication of Amy Jill Levine and Mark Zvi Brettler's book, The Jewish Annotated New Testament(Oxford, 2012) at their May 22 meeting in New York City. Bishop Denis Madden, auxiliary of Baltimore, and Rabbi David Straus of the Main Line Reform Temple in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania co-chaired the meeting.
"The publication of Levine's and Brettler's comprehensive work on the New Testament represents an important milestone in Catholic-Jewish relations," said Bishop Denis Madden, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs. "Never before has a group of Jewish scholars made so learned and technical a reading of the New Testament. Clearly, this new effort reflects the progress we have made since the Second Vatican Council in mutual respect for each other's sacred Scriptures."
Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, president of USCCB, joined the meeting to extend his greetings and welcome to all the participants. He made brief remarks on the central importance of Catholic-Jewish dialogue and, in particular, of the work done between the USCCB and National Council of Synagogues. He thanked all of the members present for their continued dedication.
Professor Amy Jill Levine of Vanderbilt University gave a brief overview of her work, co-edited with Professor Marc Brettler of Brandeis University, while Jesuit Father John Donahue, professor of New Testament at Loyola University, Baltimore, offered a Catholic response. Dialogue members then discussed various aspects of biblical studies, as well as how the publication of The Jewish Annotated New Testament marked a deepening of understanding in Catholic-Jewish relations. Levine stressed that it is vital for Jews to study the New Testament to gain respect for their Christian neighbors, even as Christians must do the same with the Hebrew Scriptures.
Rabbi Gil Rosenthal, executive director of the National Council of Synagogues, remarked: "This important volume is testimony not only to the enormous competence of its editors and authors, but to the spirit of dialogue that can allow Jews to read and appreciate the Jewish context of Christian scriptures."
Reports on other dialogue issues, such as continued progress in the implementation of practical aspects of the Vatican-Israeli accord, and updates on the reconciliation of the Society of St. Pius X with the Vatican filled the second half of the meeting. Plans for a two-day October dialogue were considered, centered around the topic of the role of religion in the public square.
On May 25, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops/Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America/Rabbinical Council of America (USCCB/OU/RCA) met for their semi-annual consultation to discuss global economics, religious education, religious freedom and the state of Israel. Bishop William Murphy of Rockville Centre, New York, and Rabbi David Berger, Ph.D., of Yeshiva University co-chaired the meeting.
The meeting began with a discussion of a religious perspective on financial reform and a vision for a just economic order. The group review of the full text of the Bilateral Commission Meeting of the Delegations for the Chief Rabbinate of Israel and the Holy See's Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews, which took place March 27-29, at the Vatican. Both traditions underscored the need for the moral leadership of religious groups to shed light on ethical considerations in economic systems, their failures and possible reforms.
James Cultrara, director of education for the New York Catholic Conference, and Michael Cohen, New York State political director for the Orthodox Union, updated the group on the funding of religious schools in the state of New York, a topic of shared concerns for both communities. "There is a tuition crisis in both of our communities," Cohen told the group. "The escalating cost of tuition, in some communities it has doubled within six or seven years. We need to find the solution that works."
Thomas Renker, legal counsel for the Diocese of Rockville Centre, updated the group on developments in the federal HHS contraception mandate and the response of the Catholic community. The group discussed the situation at some length with several noting the inherent threat to religious freedom for all faith traditions which the situation presents.
Rabbi Tzvi H. Weinreb, executive vice president emeritus of the Orthodox Union, gave a brief presentation on current cultural and domestic policy issues in Israel. Bishop Murphy gave a brief report on the new Catholic Catechism for Youth titled "YouCAT." Of specific interest to the group were sections dealing with Jewish people. Some concerns had previously been voiced surrounding the formulation of some parts of the text, initiating a revision.
Additional Jewish participants in the USCCB/OU/ RCA consultation included: Maury Litwack, director of political affairs, OU; Betty Ehrenberg, executive director of the World Jewish Congress North America; Nathan Diament, director of public affairs, OU; Rabbi Basil Herring, executive vice president, RCA; Rabbi Aaron Glatt, Young Israel of Woodmere; andMr. Avi Schick, an attorney with experience in both government work and interfaith relations.Additional Catholic included: Msgr. Donald Beckman, ecumenical officer of the Diocese of Rockville Centre; Father Robert Robbins, pastor of the United Nations Parish Church of the Holy Family and New York archdiocesan director for ecumenical and interreligious affairs; Msgr. Robert Stern, Catholic Near East Welfare Association; Father John Crossin, executive director, USCCB Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs (SEIA); Kirsten Evans, program and research specialist, USCCB SEIA.
Jewish participants at the USCCB/NCS consultation included Rabbi Lewis Eron, Cherry Hill, New Jersey; Rabbi Joel Meyers, executive vice-president emeritus of the (Conservative) Rabbinical Assembly; Rabbi Jonathan Waxman, Temple Beth Sholom, Smitonthtown, New York; Rabbi David Straus, Central Conference of American Rabbis; Rabbi Gilbert Rosenthal, National Council of Synagogues; Rabbi Daniel F. Polish of La Grangeville, New York; Ruth Langer, Ph.D., of Boston College; Rabbi David Sandmel, Ph.D. of The Catholic Theological Union, Chicago; Rabbi Alvin Berkin of The Tree of Life Congregation, Pittsburgh; Rabbi Jeffrey A. Wohlberg of Adas Israel, Washington; Rabbi Jerome Davidson of Temple Beth-El, Great Neck, New York; Judith Hertz of the International Council of Presidents of the World Conferences of Religions for Peace and Betty Ehrenberg, executive director of the North American Division of the World Jewish Congress. Catholic participants at the consultation included Bishop Basil H. Losten, former bishop of Stamford for Ukrainians; Brother of the Christians Schools David Carroll, former associate director at Catholic Near East Welfare Association; Msgr. Robert Stern, former director of the Catholic Near East Welfare Association; Father Dennis McManus, USCCB consultant for Jewish Affairs and Jesuit Father Drew Christiansen, editor of America Magazine.
SHARED FROM USCCB