February 5, 2001, will mark the tenth anniversary of the death of Fr Pedro Arrupe, 28th General of the Society of Jesus. The Province of Peru suggested an Arrupe Year, beginning on that date, and it has been adopted by all the Latin American Provinces.
The goals of the Arrupe Year will be:
[Source: News and Features]
Social justice ministry is not just another parish program but should permeate the life of a Catholic parish, said Fr Fred Kammer SJ, head of Catholic Charities USA.
Fr Kammer said parishes must try to "infuse social ministry into the life of the parish in all junctures and places—into the prayers of the faithful, the songs sung, the homily, the collections and offertory, and Scripture study."
Fr Kammer said the first step in building a foundation necessary for building effective social justice ministry is to take a look at one's parish and ask what are its strengths and weaknesses, opportunities and concerns.
Social ministry ought not be "just another program," he said. And it should complement rather than compete with other parish ministries, he added.
Fr Kammer also mentioned four elements of parish social ministry: service, advocacy, community organizing, and legislative advocacy.
He also emphasized that the parish social justice committee should not be an extra burden for the pastor, but should support him.
"Pastors are key; you need their support," he said. "But social justice shouldn't be another job the pastor has to do, another big piece of agenda on his plate." [Source: CNS. Do not repost electronically]
Fr Avery Dulles SJ said the teaching of Pope John Paul II and other bishops today against the death penalty is a "prudential conclusion" and does not change the principle that the state has the right to impose the penalty.
The priest said that he supported the pope's and bishops' position, but that Catholics were not bound in conscience to agree with it. Catholics should, however, be "attentive to the guidance of the pope and the bishops," he added.
"The pope and the bishops, using their prudential judgment, have concluded that in contemporary society, at least in countries like our own, the death penalty ought not to be invoked, because, on balance, it does more harm than good," Fr Dulles said.
However, that judgment does not change "the doctrine of the church" that the state can impose the death penalty "on persons convicted of very serious crimes," he said.
Surveying references to capital punishment in Scripture and tradition, Fr Dulles noted that "the Mosaic Law specifies no less than 36 capital offenses," and that in the New Testament the state's right to put criminals to death "seems to be taken for granted."
The death penalty was imposed in the Papal States, Fr Dulles said, adding that "Vatican City State from 1929 until 1969 had a penal code that included the death penalty for anyone who might attempt to assassinate the pope."
"The real question for Catholics is to determine the circumstances under which that penalty ought to be applied," Fr Dulles said. [Source: CNS. Do not repost electronically]
"Enemies of War," a one-hour documentary produced and directed by Esther Cassidy, will air January 18, 2001, at 10 PM EST [check local listing]. Narrated by Martin Sheen, the documentary will examine the 1989 murders of the six Jesuits and their housekeeper and her daughter in El Salvador as seen through the eyes of a Salvadoran family, a US congressman, an ex-ambassador, and Jesuit Dean Brackley (NYK). [Source: National Jesuit News]
An interreligious forum has been set up in Jakarta to investigate the Christmas Eve bomb blasts in several Indonesian cities that claimed at least 13 lives. Fr Franz Magnis-Suseno SJ, a member of the forum, said that the explosions were committed "in a very organized way by very skilled people" but "have nothing to do with interreligious abhorrence."
Fr Magnis-Suseno, who lectures at Jesuit-run Driyarkara School of Philosophy in Jakarta, explained that he joined the forum because he appreciates the seriousness of the repercussions of the bomb blasts.
"We do not want Java and Sumatra islands to become like" the Molucca Islands, he said. More than 3,000 people have died in Indonesia's Molucca Islands since Muslim-Christian clashes broke out in January 1999.
Fr Magnis-Suseno said he is optimistic that the forum's investigation will shed light on the nature of the Christmas Eve bomb blasts. [Source: CNS. Do not repost electronically]
Fr Robert F Drinan SJ, a professor of law at Georgetown University and former member of Congress, is among some 675 religious leaders who have asked President Clinton to commute the sentences of thousands of nonviolent low-level drug offenders in federal prisons.
Coming together as the Coalition for Jubilee Clemency, the religious leaders sent Clinton a letter in late November asking him "to grant clemency to and to release on supervised parole those federal prisoners who have served at least five years for low-level, nonviolent involvement in drug cases."
Because of mandatory sentencing laws, many such prisoners are serving sentences "grossly out of proportion to the nature and severity of their crimes," the group said.
Besides Fr Drinan, more than 40 Catholics signed the letter including Bishop Curtis J Guillory of Beaumont, Texas. [Source: CNS. Do not repost electronically]
The letter and a list of signers is posted on the Web at: www.cjpf.org/clemency/index.html
The Honduran Human Rights Commissioner awarded the annual Human Rights Prize to Peter Marchetti SJ and the parish of Tocoa in northern Honduras. Fr Marchetti is pastor in Tocoa and coordinator of social ministries in the Diocese of Trujillo. His human rights work is in three areas:
[Source: Ricardo Falla SJ, Headlines 2000]
Robert H Garvey PhD, associate professor of physics at Holy Cross, was named US Professor of the Year 2000 by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education.
Garvey received his undergraduate degree from Loyola College and received his masters and doctoral degrees from Pennsylvania State University. He has taught at Holy Cross since 1977 and has been a major catalyst in changing the school's undergraduate physics education program. [Source: AJCU Connections]
Fr James E Grummer is the newly appointed provincial of the Wisconsin Province. Fr Grummer entered the Society of Jesus in 1972 and has been socius under current provincial Fr Edward Mathie. His position becomes official in summer 2001. [Source: National Jesuit News]
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