Officials of the Russian tax police searched the Jesuit Catholic Center of Novosibirsk, in Siberia in late May. All the religious and lay workers were held for four hours.
Policemen searched every room, and seized documents, videocassettes, a personal computer, and a video recorder, which have not been given back yet.
A lawyer for the Center pointed out that the search was illegal, due to the fact that the police had no right to enter the premises belonging to a religious organization.
The apostolic administrator of Western Siberia, bishop Joseph Werth, a
Jesuit, sent a letter asking for clarifications on the event. The director
of the center, Fr Jozef Macha, submitted a protest to the public attorney's
office. [Source: Vidimus Dominum]
A German Jesuit, Wolfgang Seibel, has criticized the way the Vatican
appoints professors of theology in German universities. Seibel, former
editor-in-chief of the Jesuit magazine Stimmen der Zeit, said that after
episcopal evaluation the Vatican's approval should be a mere formality. He
described the Vatican's evaluation of candidates as "a huge mistrust of the
abilities of a local bishop." The procedures applied by the Vatican lacked
all fairness and justice in so far as the Vatican never justified its
decisions nor gave candidates an opportunity to defend themselves, he said.
[Source: The Tablet]
A manifesto issued by 16 US female Catholic thinkers have urged Catholic women to "re-imagine what it means to be the whole body of Christ." They added, "The way things are now is not the design of God. Carry forward the cause of Gospel feminism."
Titled "The Madeleva Manifesto: A Message of Hope and Courage," the statement was composed during a retreat at St Mary's College in Notre Dame by 15 women who, over the past 16 years, have been part of the Madeleva Lecture series at St Mary's. The only former lecturer not present also signed the statement.
The statement called especially on young women in the Church to "join us in a commitment to far-reaching transformation of Church and society in nonviolent ways."
Those who signed it from Jesuit colleges and universities were: Lisa Sowle
Cahill, a theology professor at Boston College; Denise L Carmody, a
theology professor at Santa Clara University; Elizabeth A Dreyer, a
professor of religious studies at Fairfield University; Diana L Hayes, a
professor of theology at Georgetown University; St Joseph Sister Elizabeth
Johnson, a theology professor at Fordham University; and Jeanette
Rodriguez, chairwoman of the theology and religious studies department at
Seattle University. [Source: CNS. Do not repost electronically]
Fr James D Erps SJ, director of campus ministry at Loyola Law School in Los
Angeles has been named the new campus minister at Boston College. He begins
August 1, succeeding Fr Richard Cleary SJ, who is retiring after 11 years
as University Chaplain. [Source: Boston College]
Catholics must react with clear and well-documented facts to "the campaign to denigrate" Pope Pius XII, said Fr Peter Gumpel SJ, who is promoting his beatification. "The Holy See, and specifically the supreme pontiff Pius XII, made every possible effort to stop the crimes of the Nazis and to help those whom the Nazis were persecuting," said Fr Gumpel.
The priest, the relator of Pope Pius's beatification cause, said Communists, Masons, and "some Jewish circles" had mounted a campaign against the pope, who reigned during World War II.
"In some cases the campaign is the fruit of a crass and culpable ignorance, while in others it is the result of a systematically organized and orchestrated campaign with the sole intent of discrediting the Catholic Church," Fr Gumpel said.
The fact that the Nazis persecuted the Catholic Church and individual Catholics, that Catholic parishes, publications, and schools were closed and that hundreds of Catholic priests were sent to Nazi concentration camps often is ignored today, Fr Gumpel continued.
For the sake of historical accuracy, the full story about the church and the pope during the war must be known, he said.
Although some Jewish leaders have asked Pope John Paul II to condemn Pope Pius's alleged silence regarding the Holocaust and the persecution of the Jews, "this pope has categorically and resolutely refused," the priest said.
"I cannot say when he will be beatified -- there is still much to study --
but I am certain that sooner or later the beatification will take place,"
he said. [Source: CNS. Do not repost electronically]
The John Paul II Symposium is sponsoring its sixth biennial conference devoted to the thought of Pope John Paul II. This conference will be held on August 4-6, 2000, on the campus of Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio. The theme of this year's conference is "Pope John Paul II on Faith, Culture, and the New Evangelization."
Major papers will study the pope's theory of the relationship between religion and the various facets of human culture. Discussion groups will focus on recent papal documents dealing with families, vowed religious, the elderly, and ecumenism. A special roundtable will debate the recent encyclical Fides et Ratio. Major speakers include Revs. Avery Dulles (Fordham), Joseph Bracken (Xavier), Arthur Madigan (Boston College), and John Conley (Fordham).
All Jesuits are cordially invited to attend the conference.
For further information, contact Rev Matthew Gamber SJ: [email protected]
Flooding in Timor's southern Belu region in May claimed the lives of at least 53 people. The flooding--a combination of unseasonal heavy rain and high tides--occurred particularly in the Suai (East Timor) and Betun (West Timor) areas. Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) East Timor workers, Vanessa Van Schoor and Bryan Pipins SJ write:
"Until the water has fully receded, the extent of loss of life will be unknown. One priest told us that up to 100 people may have been killed . . . In the Betun area there were many refugees from East Timor living in low-lying areas with poor drainage. These refugees are once again homeless. UN High Commissioner for Refugees in conjunction with the International Organization for Migration and NGOs are evacuating most of the refugees to safer areas.
In the new camps, shelter is severely limited, and there appears to be overcrowding. Of greatest fear at the moment is the health of these people. There is no clean water for the people in Betun and in the temporary camps there is no water source available."
After visiting the Betun area in West Timor, Vanessa Van Schoor and Bryan
Pipins SJ report: "Two JRS workers with one vehicle have made a major
difference. They have been visiting the camps and the families of refugees.
Through this personal contact they have been able to direct aid and assets
to the most needy. The presence they are offering to the refugees from East
Timor and the displaced people of Betun is being well received. Religious
have come from throughout West Timor to lend support and contact family
members." [Source: JRS Dispatches]
By a 214 to 204 margin, the US House of Representatives voted on May 18 to close the Army School of the Americas (SOA) at Ft Benning, Ga. But in the same vote Congress approved the Pentagon proposal to open a new school at Ft Benning called the Defense Institute for Hemispheric Security Cooperation, which will be a combat training school for Latin American soldiers.
Rep Joseph Moakley (D-MA) tried to defeat the Pentagon proposal, along with Joseph Scarborough (R-FL), Tom Campbell (R-CA), and James McGovern (D-MA), as co-sponsors of a measure that would have closed the SOA and halted opening the proposed institute until a congressional task force reported it recommendations. The House rejected the bipartisan amendment.
Critics call the Pentagon plan cosmetic -� a name change with no attempt to address the growing public outcry over the SOA's link to human rights abuses in Latin America.
The bipartisan task force called for in the Moakley amendment would have evaluated the effect of US military training on the human rights performance of Latin American soldiers. Commando and combat courses have been core curricula at the SOA, and critics believe that the training contributes to human rights abuses. Salvadoran soldiers, cited by a United Nations Truth Commission for the commando-style massacre of six Jesuit priests and their two women co-workers, had completed the SOA commando course.
"Congress may have been fooled, but the people are not. The SOA has a new
name, but the same shame. We will be at Ft Benning by the thousands again
this November, and we will be in the halls of the new Congress in January,"
said Fr Roy Bourgeois and Carol Richardson, who head up the ten year effort
to close the SOA. [Source: www.soaw.org]
"It is wrong to consider overpopulation as if it were a problem," said Fr Ambrose Pinto SJ, director of the Indian Social Institute in New Delhi.
Fr Pinto explained his point of view on May 11, when the country's population reached the one billion mark.
According to the Fr Pinto, the true problem is poverty and lack of jobs,
which is quite often associated with overpopulation. Consequently the
government should establish effective social policies and not interfere
with the free choice of the number of children families have, he says.
[Source: Vidimus Dominum]
May 29, 1815: Restoration of the Society in Spain proclaimed by royal decree.
May 30, 1582: At Tyburn, the martyrdom of Thomas Cottam with three other priests. On the way they recited the Te Deum. His dying words were: "O Domine, tu plura pro me passus es, plura, plura, plura."
May 31, 1653: Publication of the bull of Pope Innocent X declaring the Five Heretical Propositions were really contained in Jansenius's Augustinus. The Jansenists retaliated with violent calumnies against the Society.
June 1, 1566: At Murcia, the death of Fr James Suarez, over whose room a bright light was seen shining in the night. He was occasionally found raised from the ground during prayer.
June 2, 1987: The death of Anthony de Mello, author and retreat master, who enriched Ignatian spirituality with insights from Eastern spirituality.
June 3, 1558: Francisco de Toledo entered the Society of Jesus. He was later the first Jesuit to become a cardinal.
June 4, 1585: Disturbances arose against the Society at Riga in Latvia. Cardinal Radzivil undertook its defense. This cardinal is buried in the Gesú at the foot of St Francis Xavier's altar.
June 5, 1564: At Lima, the death of Francis Lopez, who had resigned the high office of Visitor General of the Kingdom of Peru to become a brother in the Society.
June 6, 1907: The New Orleans province was established.
June 7, 1661: Since Father General Goswin Nickel was in ill health due to old age, the Eleventh General Congregation named Father Paul Oliva vicar with the right of succession. He had been rector of the German College, master of novices, and a most famous orator. He had preached in the Apostolic Palace under four popes.
June 8, 1649: Vincenzo Caraffa, seventh general of the
Society, died. In a season of great scarcity in Rome, he fed poor persons daily for two months at the door of the Gesu. He was general for only three and a half years.
June 8, 1889: Poet Gerard Manley Hopkins died at the age of 45 in Dublin. His final words were "I am so happy, so happy." He had written "I wish that my pieces could at some time become known but in some spontaneous way ... and without my forcing."
June 9, 1553: Manuel da Nobrega was named provincial of the Jesuits in Brazil.
June 10, 1587: King Henry III of France, yielding to the request of Father General Acquaviva, allowed Fr Edmund Auger to withdraw from the court. The king demanded, however, that only Frenchmen should be appointed superiors over French houses.
June 11, 1612: At Quito, the death of Mark Antonio, an Italian brother known as "the Saint." To the age of 80, he macerated his body with fasts, disciplines, and hair shirts. Once during Mass he was seen raised in the air, his face shining with light.
June 12, 1845: Pope Gregory XVI refuses the demand of the French government that the French Jesuits should be secularized and their houses closed.
June 13, 1557: The death of King John III of Portugal, at whose request Francis Xavier and others were sent to India.
June 14, 1670: The death of Francis Annat, confessor of Louis XIV for 16 years. He introduced quinine, which at that time was known as "Jesuit's bark," in France and was instrumental in saving Louis XIV's life.
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The editor of this Newsletter is Richard VandeVelde SJ who is ably assisted by Ms Rebecca Troha, Assistant Editor. They would both like to remind you of the following useful WWW links for items of Jesuit interest. Many of these links will lead you to others.
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