Pope issues apostolic letter on mercy, extends faculties for abortion absolutions

Catholic Standard, Guyana, 4th December, 2016

Reflecting on the fruits of the extraordinary jubilee year of mercy, Pope Francis has issued Misericordia et Misera, an apostolic letter on mercy.

In the letter—dated November 20 and released the following day—Pope Francis said that mercy “must continue to be celebrated and lived out in our communities.

“The example of Christ’s mercy toward the woman caught in adultery is “an icon of what we have celebrated during the Holy Year,” the Pope stated. “Mercy cannot become a mere parenthesis in the life of the Church; it constitutes her very existence, through which the profound truths of the Gospel are made manifest and tangible.” Continue reading

As Year of Mercy ends Holy Door closed, but Mercy continues

Catholic Standard,Guyana, 18th November 2016

At the end of a special Mass at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Brickdam last Sunday to mark the end of the Year of Mercy, the congregation carrying candles lit from the Paschal Candle processed out of the cathedral through the cathedral’s Holy Door of Mercy for the last time. Outside they quietly gathered on the steps and in the courtyard facing the Door of Mercy. Bishop Francis Alleyne said a short prayer as the parish priest, Monsignor Terrence Montrose, slowly closed the door shut. Continue reading

Feed the Hunger for God with his Word: Cardinal Tagle to CBF Execs

From Mike James –Catholic Standard 18November 2016

Cardinal Luis Tagle of the Philippines, President of the Catholic Biblical Federation (CBF) has called on the Executive Committee and the Regional Coordinators from across the 5 continents of the only world-wide institution of the Roman Catholic Church dedicated primarily to Biblical Pastoral Ministry to help awake and “respond to the great hunger of people around the world for the Word of God in their lives” in a spirit of generous “sharing of gifts from the Lord”. Continue reading

Welcome Cardinal Hummes

From Catholic News – Guyana- 15th April 2016

We sincerely welcome Cardinal Claudio Hummes from Brazil to Guyana and we are sure our readers will join with us in praying for him, his delegation and the Church in Latin America.

Cardinal Claudio Hummes is a former archbishop of Sao Paulo and is currently the president of the Commission for Amazonia of the National Conference of Bishops of Brazil.

Named to the College of Cardinals in 2001 by Pope John Paul II, he has earned the respect and admiration of the Church in Brazil for the way he has stuck to his task of safeguarding the dignity of the human person by protecting the family and promoting employment which has been a constant theme of his pastoral work there. Continue reading

Highest-ranking Vatican official to ever visit Guyana due April 20

 

The highest-ranking Vatican official ever to visit Guyana will arrive here on April 20th for a three day visit. Cardinal Claudio Hummes from Brazil is a former archbishop of Sao Paulo and is currently the president of the Commission for Ama-onia of the National Conference of Bishops of Brazil.

Cardinals are the most senior clergymen in the Catholic Church below the Pope in the hierarchy. They are Bish-ops of important ‘sees’ (dioceses) and come from around the world reflecting the Catholic Church’s diversity. Some Cardinals may head departments of the Vatican. The title of Cardinal is given by the Pope as a personal decision.

The main purpose of the Cardinal’s visit to Guyana is to present the vision of REPAM, which is the Amazonian Church Network formed in 2014. This also includes discussing the relevance of Pope Francis’ recent encycli-cal Laudato Si (Praise Be To You) to conserving the Amazon and helping the poor in the area. Continue reading

This Church ‘is we own’…Bishop Francis at 60thAnniversary Mass of Diocese of Georgetown

Preaching at a special Mass last Monday February 29th to mark the 60th anniversary of the establishment of the diocese of Georgetown, Bishop Francis Alleyne said as Guyanese look to the next 60 years and beyond they should speak of and relate to the church here in spirit of the famous Dave Martin song “Is we own.”

He felt that the church can give to the rest of society a sure sign and sense of identity, of who we are. History has brought us to a certain place, he said, we are very proud of that and we can stand on that foundation for the way forward. More and more, every person must become involved in every aspect of church taking the owner-ship resoundingly in the words of the song, “This is who we are, this is ours”. Continue reading

Pope Francis challenges Bishops and Mexican Society

Catholic Standard, 26 February 2016

By Mike James mikejamesgy@gmail.com

 

Here are some highlights of Pope Francis’ recent Visit to Mexico:

ADDRESS TO BISHOPS IN CATHEDRAL OF MEXICO CITY

  1. Transparency. I ask you, therefore, to be bishops who have a pure vision, a transparent soul, and a joyful face. Do not fear transparency. The Church does not need darkness to carry out her work.
  2. Materialism. Be vigilant so that your vision will not be darkened by the gloomy mist of worldliness; do not allow yourselves to be corrupted by trivial materialism or by the seductive illusion of underhanded agreements; do not place your faith in the “chariots and horses” of today’s Pharaohs, for our strength is in “the pillar of fire” which divides the sea in two, without much fanfare (cf. Ex14:24-25).
  3. The Drug trade. I urge you not to underestimate the moral and anti-social challenge which the drug trade represents for Mexican society as a whole, as well as for the Church. The magnitude of this phenomenon, the complexity of its causes, its immensity and its scope which devours, and the gravity of the violence which divides with its distorted expressions, do not allow us as Pastors of the Church to hide behind bland denunciations. Rather they demand of us a prophetic courage as well as a reliable and effective pastoral plan, so that we can gradually help build that fragile net-work of human relationships with-out which all of us would be defeated from the outset in the face of such an insidious threat.
  4. Where to start. Only by starting with families, by drawing close and embracing the fringes of human existence in the ravaged areas of our cities and by seeking the involvement of parish communities, schools, community institutions, political communities and institutions responsible for security, will people finally escape the raging waters that drown so many, either victims of the drug trade or those who stand before God with their hands drenched in blood, though with pockets filled with sordid money and their consciences deadened.
  5. Complacency. How unfortunate you are if you sit on your laurels! It is important not to squander the in-heritance you have received by protecting it through constant work. You stand on the shoulders of giants: bishops, priests, religious and lay faithful “unto the end”, who have offered their lives so that the Church can fulfil her own mission. From those heights you are called to turn your gaze to the Lord’s vine-yard to plan the sowing and wait for the harvest.
  6. The Church of the poor. She should not fail to see herself as a “small home” in which her children can feel comfortable. We remain in God’s presence only when we are little ones, orphans and beggars
  7. No princes. We do not need bishops who are “princes”, but rather a com-munity of the Lord’s witnesses. Christ is the only light.
  8. Our Lady of Guadalupe. The gaze of tenderness. Above all, la Virgen Morenita (the brown-skinned Virgen) teaches us that the only power capable of conquering the hearts of men and women is the tenderness of God. That which de-lights and attracts, that which humbles and overcomes, that which opens and unleashes, is not the power of instruments or the force of law, but rather the omnipotent weakness of divine love, which is the irresistible force of its gentleness and the irrevocable pledge of its mercy.

Continue reading

FINALLY, WE ARE BROTHERS

From Catholic News – Guayana – 19th February 2016

A flight of almost 12 hours capped months of intense negotiations and more than two decades of Vatican overtures to bring a pope and a Russian patriarch together for the first time.

Cuban President Raul Castro played host to the pope and patriarch, who was on a visit to Russian Orthodox communities on the island-nation. Pope Francis had a pastoral visit to Mexico planned for months; the stop in Havana was announced only a week before the meeting.

They met for the first time ever at the entrance to a room with dark wood panelling in Havana airport in Cuba. The meeting took place a long way from Europe and its divisions, on an island that is both a crossroads and a symbol. Continue reading

‘Walk with sinners’: T&T Archbishop’s message to new diocesan priest

From Catholic Standard, Guyana, 12th February 2016

Do not be afraid of being identified as the friend of prostitutes, or of becoming unclean from touching the lepers in society.

Trinidad and Tobago’s Archbishop Joseph Harris offered this guidance to 32-year-old Rev Matthew Ragbir before he ordained him at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Port of Spain, on January 30.

In his homily, the Archbishop urged the elect Rev Ragbir, who would become the newest diocesan priest, to “walk” with persons enslaved by sin and give them encouragement until, with God’s grace, they have the strength to free themselves. Continue reading

‘First in history’ – Pope Francis meets Russian Patriarch in Cuba

 

Vatican CITY (CNS) — After almost three decades of tense Catholic-Russian Orthodox relations, Pope Francis was due to meet Patriarch Kirill of Moscow Feb. 12 in Cuba on the pope’s way to Mexico.

It was the first-ever meeting of a pope and Moscow patriarch, Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman, told reporters Feb. 5.

As Pope Francis travelled to Mexico and as Patriarch Kirill made an official visit to Cuba, the two were scheduled to meet at Havana’s Jose Marti International Airport planned to sign a joint declaration. The pope left Rome earlier than planned to allow time for the meeting without forcing any changes to his schedule in Mexico.

The meeting marked an important stage in relations between the two churches,” said a joint declaration. Continue reading