Anti-papal media reports on child abuse refuted
The priest who presided over the canonical trial of the late American priest Father Lawrence Murphy, whose case has prompted heavy media criticism of Pope Benedict XVI, has written a critique of the New York Times account of that case (the main basis for Australian media reports).
Father Thomas Brundage, judicial vicar for the Milwaukee Archdiocese at the time of the Murphy trial, revealed, contrary to the Times report, that the canonical trial was never halted - by the Vatican or archdiocese - and Father Murphy was a defendant at the time of his death.
Father Brundage said he was never contacted by reporters to verify details of the case, although his name appears on documents about the trial. Moreover, the statements attributed to him in the New York Times article were taken from handwritten notes - written not by himself but by someone else.
In his critique, Father Brundage explained that he had come forward with his account for these reasons:
To tell the back-story of what actually happened in the Father Murphy case on the local level.
To outline the sloppy and inaccurate reporting by the New York Times and other media outlets.
To assert that Pope Benedict XVI has done more than any other pope or bishop in history to rid the Catholic Church of the scourge of child sexual abuse and provide for those who have been injured.
To set the record straight with regard to the efforts made by the Church to heal the wounds caused by clergy sexual misconduct; and the fact that the Catholic Church is probably the safest place for children at this point in history.
Catholic World News
Benedict XVI: parents key to our identity
During his address to members of the Scandinavian episcopal conference on their ad limina visit in March Benedict XVI underlined the importance of the family and the need for children to discover their identity through parental relationships.
'Sadly', said the Pope, 'recent years have seen a weakening of the commitment to the institution of marriage and the Christian understanding of human sexuality that for so long served as the foundation of personal and social relations in European society.
'Children have the right to be conceived and carried in the womb, brought into the world and brought up within marriage. It is through the secure and recognised relationship to their own parents that they can discover their identity and achieve their proper human development.
'In societies with a noble tradition of defending the rights of all their members, one would expect this fundamental right of children to be given priority over any supposed right of adults to impose on them alternative models of family life and certainly over any supposed right to abortion.
'Since the family is the first and indispensable teacher of peace, the most reliable promoter of social cohesion and the best school of the virtues of good citizenship, it is in the interests of all, and especially of governments, to defend and promote stable family life.'
Zenit News Agency
Canadian Anglicans move towards Rome
On 12 March, leaders of the Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC) in Canada sent a letter to Benedict XVI formally requesting to become unified with the Catholic Church.
Bishop Peter Wilkinson of the TAC Diocese of British Columbia, who authored the 12 March letter, discussed the Pope's Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus in an interview.
He said that when the Pope's document first came out, 'I had Lutherans calling me saying, 'How do we get in on this?' And Orthodox (Christians) saying, 'How do we get in on this?'
'It is a worldwide movement largely brought about by the vision of John Paul II' and 'the wonderful, gentle, firm, intellectual vision of Pope Benedict, who is such an inspiration to us.'
The Canadian TAC's letter said, 'We have all read and studied with care the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus with the Complementary Norms and the accompanying Commentary, and now, in response to your invitation to contact your Dicastery to begin the process you lay out, we respectfully ask that the Apostolic Constitution be implemented in Canada ...'.
With approximately 60 bishops, the TAC has parishes in 13 provinces across Canada.
March for life in Spain
Almost one million Spaniards marched in cities across the country on 7 March defending the right to life of the unborn and demanding that the government revoke Spain's new law on abortion recently passed by the Senate and signed by King Juan Carlos. Over 300 pro-life organisations collaborated in the 'International March for Life 2010.'
The largest march took place in Madrid, where 600,000 people, including many families, dressed in red t-shirts and carrying signs and banners.
The event in Madrid concluded with the reading of a manifesto by journalist Sonsoles Calavera demanding the government revoke the new law on abortion - now the most liberal in all of Europe.
Bishop Juan Antonio Reig Pla of Alcala de Henares pointed out that by signing a bill into law that dramatically liberalises abortion in Spain, King Juan Carlos had actively cooperated with the evil of abortion.
Despite numerous requests that the Spanish monarch refuse to sign the bill, King Juan Carlos put his signature to the new measure during a private ceremony. The law will take effect on 5 July.
Catholic News Agency
Polish bishops on Catholic pro-abortion politicians
A document released by the Polish Episcopal Conference late last year emphasises the Church's teaching on marriage and the family, and gives a very clear and straightforward reminder to Catholic politicians that if they violate basic moral directives on life or family rights issues in the public sphere, they risk excommunication.
The document, titled, To Serve the Truth about Marriage and Family, affirms the need for politicians to defend human life, and emphasises the Church's teaching that supporting abortion entails automatic excommunication and that it is a sacrilege for pro-abortion Catholic politicians to receive Communion.
The document also strongly condemns such evils as abortion, in vitro fertilisation, embryonic experimentation, divorce and promiscuity.
'As John Paul II was saying just before he died, we are witnessing very strong, organised attacks on marriage and family, which could also serve to destroy the Christian spirit of Europe,' said Father Andrzej Rebacz, head of the Episcopate Council for Family Affairs and the National Chaplain for Families.