21st of September 2019.
Saint Matthew the Evangelist, Apostle, Evangelist
Liturgical colour: red    (more...)
Today (Saturday)11:00 amKathleen Taylor RIP (Funeral Mass)
Sat. Vigil6:45 pmBelinda & Peter Leonard (Anniversary)
Geraldine O Dowd (Anniversary)
Paraic O'Ciaruain (Anniversary)
Denis Farrington (1st Anniversary)
Vincent Doyle (Anniversary)
Nuala Molloy (Month's Mind)
Tomorrow (Sunday)8:30 amCait Flanagan (Anniversary)
9:30 amBaby Cillian Stokes- Smyth (3rd Anniversary)
10:45 amStephen Byrne (Anniversary)
12:00 pmMary Smith (Anniversary)
Betty McNally (Anniversary)
Seamus Kavanagh (Anniversary)
Ronan Tarrant (Anniversary)
Alberta Tarrant (Anniversary)
We remember all those who have died recently:
Kathleen Taylor Funeral Notice...
Terri Geoghegan Funeral Notice...
Deirdre O'Flanagan Funeral Notice...
Cormac Duffy Funeral Notice...
Shirley Clare Funeral Notice...
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a n-anamacha
Ephesians 4:1-7,11-13
We are all to come to unity, fully mature in the knowledge of the Son of God
I, the prisoner in the Lord, implore you to lead a life worthy of your vocation. Bear with one another charitably, in complete selflessness, gentleness and patience. Do all you can to preserve the unity of the Spirit by the peace that binds you together. There is one Body, one Spirit, just as you were all called into one and the same hope when you were called.

...Full Reading

I, the prisoner in the Lord, implore you to lead a life worthy of your vocation. Bear with one another charitably, in complete selflessness, gentleness and patience. Do all you can to preserve the unity of the Spirit by the peace that binds you together. There is one Body, one Spirit, just as you were all called into one and the same hope when you were called. There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, and one God who is Father of all, over all, through all and within all.
  Each one of us, however, has been given his own share of grace, given as Christ allotted it. To some, his gift was that they should be apostles; to some, prophets; to some, evangelists; to some, pastors and teachers; so that the saints together make a unity in the work of service, building up the body of Christ. In this way we are all to come to unity in our faith and in our knowledge of the Son of God, until we become the perfect Man, fully mature with the fullness of Christ himself.

...Show Summary

Psalm 18(19):2-5
Their word goes forth through all the earth.
The heavens proclaim the glory of God,
  and the firmament shows forth the work of his hands.
Day unto day takes up the story
  and night unto night makes known the message.
...Full Responsorial Psalm
Their word goes forth through all the earth.
The heavens proclaim the glory of God,
  and the firmament shows forth the work of his hands.
Day unto day takes up the story
  and night unto night makes known the message.
Their word goes forth through all the earth.

No speech, no word, no voice is heard
  yet their span extends through all the earth,
  their words to the utmost bounds of the world.
Their word goes forth through all the earth.

...Show Summary

cfTe Deum
Alleluia, alleluia!
We praise you, O God,
we acknowledge you to be the Lord.
The glorious company of the apostles praise you, O Lord.
Matthew 9:9-13
It is not the healthy who need the doctor, but the sick
As Jesus was walking on, he saw a man named Matthew sitting by the customs house, and he said to him, ‘Follow me.’ And he got up and followed him.
  While he was at dinner in the house it happened that a number of tax collectors and sinners came to sit at the table with Jesus and his disciples.
...Full Gospel
As Jesus was walking on, he saw a man named Matthew sitting by the customs house, and he said to him, ‘Follow me.’ And he got up and followed him.
  While he was at dinner in the house it happened that a number of tax collectors and sinners came to sit at the table with Jesus and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, ‘Why does your master eat with tax collectors and sinners?’ When he heard this he replied, ‘It is not the healthy who need the doctor, but the sick. Go and learn the meaning of the words: What I want is mercy, not sacrifice. And indeed I did not come to call the virtuous, but sinners.’
...Show Summary


(New American Bible.)

Jesus Forgives Sins and Heals a Man Stricken with Palsy
Matthew 9:1-8
Matthew 9:9-13 )


I have a framed print of the call of Matthew by the artist Caravaggio c/f above. It is a painting that appeals to me very much. Jesus is depicted on the right side of the painting pointing towards Matthew. Matthew is seated at his tax booth with one hand on his money and the other pointing towards himself, as if to ask, ‘Are you calling me?’ Tax collectors were considered sinners in the time of Jesus. ...Full Reflection

I have a framed print of the call of Matthew by the artist Caravaggio c/f above. It is a painting that appeals to me very much. Jesus is depicted on the right side of the painting pointing towards Matthew. Matthew is seated at his tax booth with one hand on his money and the other pointing towards himself, as if to ask, ‘Are you calling me?’ Tax collectors were considered sinners in the time of Jesus. Apart from being in the pay of the Romans, it was presumed that they were taking more than their share of people’s money. The professionally religious people of the time were aghast at Jesus, a religious teacher, calling such a person and, then, to compound matters further, going on to share table with Matthew and his associates, more tax collectors and sinners. Yet Jesus was celebrating the mercy of God with those who desperately needed to be assured that God loved them and forgave them their sins. Jesus did not come to stand in judgement on people; he came to invite them to celebrate the gift of God’s unconditional love and mercy. He was the Physician who came for those in need of healing, which is everyone, including those who had no awareness of their need for healing, for God’s mercy. Later in the Gospel of Matthew, Matthew, the tax collector, will be called by Jesus to become one of the Twelve. The foundation pillars of the Church included those who by reason of their profession were considered outcasts and ‘sinners’. Every Eucharist shares something of the quality of the meal in today’s gospel reading; it is a celebration of God’s forgiveness. The Church is a community of forgiven sinners who are aware of their need for forgiveness and healing. Having celebrated the Lord’s mercy at the Eucharist, we are sent out from the Eucharist as instruments of God’s mercy to others.

...Show Summary


Old Calendar: St. Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist ; Other Titles: Levi

At the time that Jesus summoned him to follow Him, Matthew was a publican, that is, a tax-collector for the Romans. His profession was hateful to the Jews because it reminded them of their subjection; the publican, also, was regarded by the pharisees as the typical sinner. St.

...Full Version

Old Calendar: St. Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist ; Other Titles: Levi

At the time that Jesus summoned him to follow Him, Matthew was a publican, that is, a tax-collector for the Romans. His profession was hateful to the Jews because it reminded them of their subjection; the publican, also, was regarded by the pharisees as the typical sinner. St. Matthew is known to us principally as an Evangelist. He was the first to put down in writing our Lord's teaching and the account of His life. His Gospel was written in Aramaic, the language that our Lord Himself spoke.

...Show Summary

St. Matthew
No one was more shunned by the Jews than a publican, who was a Jew working for the Roman enemy by robbing his own people and making a large personal profit. Publicans were not allowed to trade, eat, or even pray with others Jews.

One day, while seated at his table of books and money, Jesus looked at Matthew and said two words: "Follow me." This was all that was needed to make Matthew rise, leaving his pieces of silver to follow Christ.

...Full Version

St. Matthew
No one was more shunned by the Jews than a publican, who was a Jew working for the Roman enemy by robbing his own people and making a large personal profit. Publicans were not allowed to trade, eat, or even pray with others Jews.

One day, while seated at his table of books and money, Jesus looked at Matthew and said two words: "Follow me." This was all that was needed to make Matthew rise, leaving his pieces of silver to follow Christ. His original name, "Levi," in Hebrew signifies "Adhesion" while his new name in Christ, Matthew, means "Gift of God." The only other outstanding mention of Matthew in the Gospels is the dinner party for Christ and His companions to which he invited his fellow tax-collectors. The Jews were surprised to see Jesus with a publican, but Jesus explained that he had come "not to call the just, but sinners."

St. Matthew is known to us principally as an Evangelist, with his Gospel being the first in the New Testament. His Gospel was written in Aramaic, the language that our Lord Himself spoke and was written to convince the Jews that their anticipated Messiah had come in the person of Jesus.

Not much else is known about Matthew. According to tradition, he preached in Egypt and Ethiopia and further places East. Some legends say he lived until his nineties, dying a peaceful death, others say he died a martyr's death.

In the traditional symbolization of the evangelists, based on Ezech. 1:5-10 and Rev. 4:6-7, the image of the winged man is accorded to Matthew because his Gospel begins with the human genealogy of Christ.

Patron: Accountants; bankers; bookkeepers; customs officers; security guards; stock brokers; tax collectors; Salerno, Italy.

Symbols: Angel holding a pen or inkwell; bag of coins; loose coins; halberd; inkwell; king; lance; man holding money; man holding money box and/or glasses; money bag; money box; purse; spear; sword; winged man; young man; book; man sitting at a desk.

Things to Do:

  • Do something for the needy: money for missions, donations of clothing or toys, canned goods drive, etc.

  • Take time to read St. Matthew's Gospel, keeping in mind that St. Matthew depicts the humanity of Christ and emphasizes His physical sufferings. He makes frequent reference to the fulfillment of prophecies because he wrote to Jews and to Jewish Christians.

  • Discuss St. Matthew's call from Christ "Follow me" with your children and how we are all called to belong to the family of God.

  • Pray for people who work for financial institutions.

  • Make Silver Dollar Pancakes, you can use this recipe on Catholic Cuisine's website or one of the suggestions we offer under recipes.

...Show Summary


SJYP Meeting

24th September 201911:00 am - 12:00 pm
Info and Directions


24th September 20197:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Info and Directions

CONTACT TERRY: 086-3822933

CONTACT TERRY: 086-3822933


28th September 2019All Day
Info and Directions

RARA (Com Meeting)

1st October 20199:30 am
Info and Directions


1st October 201910:30 am
Info and Directions



What will be studied: ST.PAUL’S Epistle to the Ephesians Commencing: Thursday 26th September 2019 to Thursday 12th December 2019 running from 7.30pm to 9.30pm in the Parish hall, Church of the Good Shepherd, Churchtown. Enquires: See the notice in the Annunciation Times Bookings must be made by this Monday, September 15th 2019
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Fr. Hyacinth

Fr. Hyacinth The Archbishop as part of the Diocesan changes for this year has appointed Fr. Hyacinth Nwakuna as Curate in the Bray Grouping of Parishes. The change will take effect later this month. Naturally we will have an opportunity to say thank you to Fr. Hyacinth before he leaves us to take up his new position.
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Best You Can Be: Ballyroan

Parishioners from Ballyroan, Churchtown and Rathfarnham parishes are invited to take part in a reflective day entitled Best You Can Be next Saturday 21st September 2019 in The Ruah Pastoral Centre, Ballyroan. The day begins at 10.00a.m. and finishes at 4.30p.m. Please bring a packed lunch. If you would like to register you must give your name and phone number to Jason in the Parish
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Best You Can Be: Ballyroan

Best You Can Be Parishioners from Ballyroan, Churchtown and Rathfarnham parishes are invited to take part in a reflective day entitled Best You Can Be on Saturday 21st September 2019 in The Ruah Pastoral Centre, Ballyroan. The day begins at 10.00a.m. and finishes at 4.30p.m. Please bring a packed lunch. If you would like to register you must give your name and phone number to
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Heritage Talk with Local Historian Tony Duffy

Due to overwhelming demand from those who missed the Heritage walk on August 20th local historian Tony Duffy will present a talk on local places of interest in Rathfarnham. You will learn about the 1798 Rebellion and the many famous people who have visited the area. The talk takes place on Tuesday September 10th, in the Parish Centre on Willbrook Road at 7pm. All are
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See more in the Catholic World section. News, Opinion, Reviews, Catholic Teaching, Living the Life.
Catholic hospital in Nova Scotia required to offer assisted suicide, euthanasia
Antigonish, Canada, Sep 20, 2019 / 05:01 pm (CNA).- A Catholic hospital in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia will now be required to offer assisted suicide and euthanasia on site, after an assisted suicide advocacy group threatened legal action in January. The Canadian Senate legalized assisted suicide and euthanasia in June 2016. Both practices are fully funded in the Canadian healthcare system. The Candian Press reports that St. Martha’s Regional Hospital in Antigonish was formerly run by the Sisters of St. Martha, which signed an agreement in 1996 with the provincial health authority when it took control of the facility. The agreement was meant to ensure the hospital’s Catholic identity and values would be preserved. However, the Canadian Press reports, the Nova Scotia Health Authority last month “quietly instituted” a policy change to require St. Martha’s to offer assisted suicide. “This approach respects the 1996 Mission Assurance Agreement with the Sisters of St. Martha that lays out the philosophy, mission and values of St. Martha’s in accordance with its faith-based identity, while also meeting the legislated obligation to ensure that [assisted suicide and euthanasia] is available in the Antigonish area for those who request and meet the criteria to access that service,” said Tim Guest, the health authority’s vice-president of health services, as quoted by the Canadian Press. Dying With Dignity Canada, a group advocating for assisted suicide and euthanasia, said that many hospitals across Canada ban the practice on the premises, particularly in the provinces of Ontario, Alberta, and British Columbia. The group’s leadership has said that they hope the province’s proactive approach will be “used as a model in other jurisdictions across the country.” Canadian lawmakers have raised concerns about the country’s assisted suicide legislation since its passage, over problems such as conscience protections and whether minors should be able to avail themselves of assisted suicide. Some of these concerns were raised again in the recent case of a Canadian man, Roger Foley, who suffers from an incurable disease and claims that despite asking for home care, the medical team at an Ontario hospital would only offer him assisted suicide. The bishops of Canada have recently reiterated their support for palliative care as a distinct form of care that attends to the needs and dignity of the whole person at the natural end of their life. The bishops’ statement clarified that patients and doctors are not required to do everything possible to avoid death if a life has reached its natural conclusion and medical intervention would not be beneficial. “So while life is a penultimate good, requiring us to take reasonable care of our lives, we are not morally obligated to seek or undergo burdensome therapies ‘at all costs’ that provide no benefit. Nor at the same time are clinicians morally obligated to ‘do everything possible’ if life has reached its natural conclusion and it is no longer medically appropriate. Such a stance is known as vitalism and is rejected by the Catholic moral tradition,” according to Covenant Health’s definition of palliative care included in the bishops’ statement. A Catholic approach to palliative care is a “person-centered approach,” the bishops said, “which draws deeply from the scriptural understanding of healing, compassion and love.” This approach takes account of a patient’s “body, mind and spirit” and tries to relieve human suffering while also attending to “the transcendent needs of the dying person and his/her loved ones, with special solicitude for the poor and disadvantaged.” There also needs to be more and better information available about palliative care resources for patients and their families in Canada, the bishops said. They advocated for public awareness campaigns about palliative care implemented in the country’s health care systems, including resources that would take into account the needs of different cultures or of disadvantaged and vulnerable groups.
Msgr. Rossi takes leave of absence from CUA board of trustees
Washington D.C., Sep 20, 2019 / 03:12 pm (CNA).- Msgr. Walter Rossi has taken a leave of absence from the board of trustees at The Catholic University of America, while the priest is the subject of a canonical investigation for unspecified allegations of misconduct. “Last month the chairman of the Board of Trustees approved Msgr. Rossi’s request to take a voluntary leave of absence pending the resolution of the investigation launched jointly by the Archdiocese of Washington and the Diocese of Scranton. During the leave of absence Msgr Rossi will not participate in any board activities,” Karna Lozoya, spokesperson for the university told CUA Sept. 20. Lozoya told CNA that the university is “in contact with the Diocese of Scranton and the Archdiocese of Washington, who have jointly launched an investigation. We will cooperate with them as needed. We don’t have any information at this point to warrant our own investigation.” In August, the Diocese of Scranton told CNA that it had commenced “the process of launching a full forensic investigation into the concerns that have been raised,” about Rossi, who is rector of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, which is adjacent to the campus of The Catholic University of America. Rossi is a priest of the Diocese of Scranton. “The Diocese of Scranton and Archdiocese of Washington will work jointly and cooperatively on undertaking a comprehensive investigation,” the diocese told CNA. Concerns were raised about Rossi to Archbishop Gregory Aug. 13, during a question-and-answer session at a Theology on Tap, held at the Public Bar Live in the Dupont area of Washington. The event was broadcast live on Facebook. During that session, Gregory called for an independent, forensic investigation of some allegations against Rossi. Rossi has been accused of directing young men to Fr. Matthew Reidlinger, a priest friend of Rossi’s who is alleged to have sexually harassed them in phone calls and text messages. That accusation was made in 2013. In August, Gregory said he was unfamiliar with the allegation.   “That’s news to me. And I am not doubting it, but I have not heard about [this situation].”   “I suspect – I hope – that there is a forensic investigation. But in today’s environment, even a forensic investigation that either proves or disproves, will not satisfy the people. But I would like to see that, I would like to see a forensic investigation of those allegations.” Rossi “is not an employee of Catholic University, nor does he have regular duties or responsibilities to fulfill on our campus. We do have students who are active either as part-time employees or volunteers at the Shrine. We have not received any complaints from our students regarding Msgr. Rossi,” Lozoya told CNA Friday. “The safety of our students is our first priority. If we ever have good reason to believe the safety of our students is in danger, we will take the necessary action,” she added. While Rossi is the subject of a canonical investigation, he has not been removed from his post at the National Shrine, and neither the scope nor the timeline of the investigation have been delineated by the Archdiocese of Washington or the Diocese of Scranton. “If anyone harms a student at The Catholic University of America, we want to know about it. If any member of our community has experienced sexual abuse or assault, or has first hand knowledge of an incident, please contact our Department of Public Safety, the Metropolitan Police Department, our Dean of Students, or our Title IX coordinator,” Lozoya told CNA.
UK rabbi: secular humanists are 'ever-more combative' against religious groups
Madrid, Spain, Sep 20, 2019 / 03:07 pm (CNA).- A top UK rabbi has criticized secular groups in Britain for their remarks against religious practices and faith-based schools. Ephraim Mirvis, Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Great Britain and the Commonwealth, spoke at an international interreligious conference held in Madrid this week, addressing comments from groups such as Humanists UK and the National Secular Society. Mirvis said that “humanism, with a small ‘h’, sits at the centre of what it means to be a Jew. But there is a different Humanism, with a capital ‘H’, which I fear is becoming ever-more combative in the way in which it regards faith communities.” “We are finding that, often, Humanism, and other secularist approaches, seek out opportunities to attack faith,” said Mirvis, the Jewish News reported. According to the website for Humanists UK, he said, there has been a campaign against faith-based schools. The charity, which advocates for the rights of non-religious people, is opposed to state-funded religious schools. “Do I not have the right to educate my children in accordance with the values that I hold dear?” asked Mirvis. “Those Humanists who campaign against the existence of faith schools are in effect campaigning against my freedom to raise my children in accordance with the tenets of my faith,” he added. Humanists UK Chief Executive Andrew Copson said Mirvis’ reaction was unfair, the Jewish News reported. He said the organization has worked with numerous faith groups in the past to ensure “liberal social values.” He expressed a desire to have a similar dialogue with the rabbi. “We are ready to engage likewise with the Rabbi Mirvis at any time to explore what we share and how we can work together towards any shared goals and in the cause of greater mutual understanding,” said Copson.According to The Jewish Chronicle, Mirvis also criticized the National Secular Society’s remarks on circumcision. In the past, the group has petitioned to end non-consensual religious surgery, claiming it is genital mutilation forced upon infants. Mirvis said circumcision is an “essential part” of the Jewish faith and a sign of God’s covenant with his people. “An attack against our right to perform circumcision is an attack against a most fundamental element of our belief,” he added. He was particularly critical of the organization’s Chief Executive Stephen Evans, who claimed that religious liberty movements were often a demand for “the state to turn a blind eye to the violation of other’s rights.” Evans’ comment was in regards to circumcision. "Religious practices aren’t beyond reproach and religious groups shouldn’t be given a free pass to carry out harmful practices,” Evans later added, according to the Jewish Chronicle. “Secularists seek to ensure that the right to religious freedom is always balanced against other considerations, including the protection of children.” According to the Jewish News, Mirvis respectfully encouraged the group to pursue their convictions, but not to obstruct other pursuits of faith. He said an organization should be defined by “what they live for” instead of identifying themselves by their opposition to other belief systems. “If it is freedom you seek, please do not campaign against our freedom to practice our faith. If you are calling for tolerance, please do not stoop to intolerance of faith communities and religious practice,” he said. "If you wish to prevent religion from imposing its values on our society, please don’t do just that, by seeking to impose Humanism on our society.”
After Chaput warning, more bishops weigh in on Fr James Martin
Bishops Thomas Paprocki and Rick Stika backed the archbishop's comments
Cardinal Marx holds ‘constructive dialogue’ with Pope Francis on synodal plans
However, the cardinal offered no further details of any instructions given by the Pope or Curia
Pope Francis to doctors: Assisted suicide is ‘false compassion’
Euthanasia or assisted suicide are 'hasty paths,' and not an expression of a person's freedom, Pope Francis said
Vatican department heads meet to discuss budget deficit
Vatican City, Sep 20, 2019 / 11:50 am (CNA).- The heads of dicasteries and Vatican City State institutions met Friday to discuss finances and how to reverse a reportedly rapidly growing deficit in the Holy See’s budget. Matteo Bruni, Holy See press office director, confirmed to CNA that the meeting took place Sept. 20 among heads of dicasteries of the Roman Curia and of institutions connected to the Holy See and Vatican City State. According to the Wall Street Journal, in May Pope Francis asked Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich and Freising, coordinator of the Council for the Economy, which oversees Vatican finances, to convoke the meeting to consider solutions and to “inform the respective heads about the gravity of the situation.” The Holy See sustained a deficit of roughly 70 million euros ($77 million) in 2018, doubled from the previous year, according to Vatican officials, The Wall Street Journal reports. The Sept. 20 meeting was intended to increase awareness of the issue among Vatican officials, many of whom are unaware of the gravity of the situation, according to Joseph Zahra, a Maltese economist who is a member of the Council for the Economy. Zahra also said the Vatican will be releasing a financial report this fall, the first since 2015. Vatican finances have been one of the major focuses of Pope Francis’ reform efforts, though he has faced serious setbacks. Efforts began in 2013, with the creation of an investigatory commission to examine the Holy See's administrative structures. Consisting of seven lay experts, one clerical secretary, and external consultants, the commission met from August 2013 to May 2014. This work was later overshadowed when, in 2015, two former members of the commission were arrested for stealing and leaking confidential information about Francis’ papacy. In February 2014, Pope Francis made his first major structural changes to the Roman Curia, establishing the Council for the Economy and the Office of Auditor General, an autonomous office with the power to conduct special investigations. He also created the Secretariat for the Economy, appointing Cardinal George Pell as prefect, but that office is now vacant, as Pell returend to his home country to defend himself against charges of child sex abuse, of which he was convicted. The cardinal is appealing his conviction.
Master of Holles Street objects to pro-life vigil outside hospital
The Master of the National Maternity Hospital has said the hospital is not an abortion clinic. He was speaking as a voluntary group, 40 Days for Life, are set to begin a focused 40 day campaign of prayer, fasting and peaceful witness from next Wednesday. Abortions are taking place in the hospital under the terms of the new abortion law. Earlier this year, a healthy baby was aborted late in the second trimester when the parents were wrongly told the child had a fatal abnormality. Writing in the Irish Catholic, 40 Days for Life member Marie Cummins said the purpose of the vigil is to turn hearts and minds from a culture of death to a culture of life and thus bring an end to abortion. The campaign is a cross-denominational, faith-based effort involving prayer and fasting, and standing for life through a 40-day peaceful, prayerful, public witness across the road from the National Maternity hospital from 7am until 7pm. She said that “all participants are asked to sign a statement of peace in which they pledge to conduct themselves in a Christ-like manner. Only signs provided by 40 Days for Life will be permitted during the campaign.” However, the Master of Holles Street has objected to the planned pro-life witness. “This isn’t an abortion clinic, this is a maternity hospital and the vast, vast majority of patients who are accessing the hospital from one day to the next are giving birth, having joyful occasions,” said Professor Higgins. The campaign has also sparked renewed calls from the National Women’s Council for exclusion or ‘censorship’ zones outside GP clinics and hospitals facilitating abortion, and a new commitment from Minister for Health Simon Harris to bring forward proposals for ‘safe access zones’. Very few countries operate such zones on freedom of protest grounds.
Arizona Supreme Court issues huge win for religious freedom
The Arizona Supreme Court has ruled that the city of Phoenix cannot use a criminal law to force two Christian artists to design and create custom wedding invitations expressing messages that conflict with their core beliefs, including same-sex weddings. Such coercion, the court held, would violate the fundamental principle that “an individual has autonomy over his or her speech and thus may not be forced to speak a message he or she does not wish to say.” The court ruled in favor of Joanna Duka and Breanna Koski, owners of Brush & Nib Studio, who were under threat of up to six months of jail time, $2,500 in fines, and three years of probation for each day the city would find them in violation of the law. Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys representing Duka and Koski filed suit against Phoenix because it interprets its law in a way that illegally controls artistic expression and disregards religious liberty. The court agreed and found that the law violates the freedom of Duka and Koski to express messages consistent with their religious beliefs through their custom wedding invitations.
After Chaput warning, bishops weigh in on Fr. James Martin
Philadelphia, Pa., Sep 20, 2019 / 10:40 am (CNA).- After the Archbishop of Philadelphia urged caution regarding the message Fr. James Martin, SJ, other bishops have weighed in on Martin’s message regarding homosexuality and Catholicism, as Martin and the archbishop have continued to exchange views on the matter. “Father Martin’s public messages create confusion among the faithful and disrupt the unity of the Church by promoting a false sense that immoral sexual behavior is acceptable under God’s law,” Bishop Thomas Paprocki of Springfield, Illinois, wrote Sept. 19. “People with same-sex attraction are indeed created and loved by God and are welcome in the Catholic Church. But the Church’s mission to these brothers and sisters is the same as to all her faithful: to guide, encourage, and support each of us in the Christian struggle for virtue, sanctification, and purity,” the bishop added.Paprocki’s statement came in response to a Sept. 19 column from Archbishop Charles Chaput, that urged caution about “a pattern of ambiguity” in the writing and teaching of Martin. Chaput’s column raised his concern that “Father Martin – no doubt unintentionally -- inspires hope that the Church’s teachings on human sexuality can be changed.” Martin is the author of “Building a Bridge: How the Catholic Church and the LGBT Community Can Enter into a Relationship of Respect, Compassion, and Sensitivity,” and speaks frequently on issues pertaining to homosexuality and Catholicism. He spoke Sept. 17 at Philadelphia's St. Joseph's University. “Due to the confusion caused by his statements and activities regarding same-sex related (LGBT) issues, I find it necessary to emphasize that Father Martin does not speak with authority on behalf of the Church, and to caution the faithful about some of his claims,” Chaput wrote. “Archbishop Chaput has provided a helpful caution to Catholics about Father James Martin. On the one hand, Father Martin correctly expresses God’s love for all people, while on the other, he either encourages or fails to correct behavior that separates a person from that very love. This is deeply scandalous in the sense of leading people to believe that wrongful behavior is not sinful,” Paprocki’s statement said. “This matter is not one of opinion, it is our Lord’s own teaching, as we hear in Luke’s Gospel: ‘Take heed to yourselves; if your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him,’” the bishop added. Bishop Rick Stika of Knoxville also weighed in Chaput’s column.On Twiter, Stika praised Chaput’s “column on the theological and moral errors of Fr Martin. He praises his outreach but challenges his moral and theological thoughts. He also states clearly that this is a great error. I would add the pain it causes by setting people for pain as morally it can never be accepted by the Church. The Archbishop also adds that the vicious attacks on Father is wrong and sinful. It is one thing to disagree but another to be vicious and hide behind a handle.”   Martin himself responded to Chaput’s column in an op-ed at CatholicPhilly, the news portal of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. “I think my main response to his column is that it’s difficult to respond to critiques that I am ‘implying’ things about church teaching, when I am assiduous in my writings and talks about not challenging church teaching on matters of sexual morality (or anything, for that matter).” “One of the reasons that I don’t focus on same-sex relations and same-sex marriage, which I know are both impermissible (and immoral) under church teaching, is that LGBT Catholics have heard this repeatedly. Indeed, often that is the only thing that they hear from their church,” Martin wrote. “What I am trying to do instead is encourage Catholics to see LGBT people as more than just sexual beings, to see them in their totality, much as Jesus saw people on the margins, people who were also seen as ‘other’ in his time,” the priest added. “I remain grateful for the Archbishop’s asking people not to engage in ‘ad hominem’ attacks, and I appreciate the careful tone of his letter and have always appreciated his kind communications with me,” Martin concluded. Chaput responded Martin’s column. “I appreciate Father Martin’s typically gracious comments, which are consistent with the man,” Chaput wrote. “They do not, however, change the need for my column. I’m sure Father Martin would agree that ‘official’ Church teaching (as opposed to some alternative, imagined, unofficial system of belief and practice) is simply what the Church believes based on the Word of God and centuries of experience with the human condition.” “Moreover, the point is not to ‘not challenge’ what the Church believes about human sexuality, but to preach and teach it with confidence, joy, and zeal. Biblical truth liberates; it is never a cause for embarrassment,” Chaput added. The archbishop noted that he and Martin agree that “persons with same-sex attraction are children of God and well loved by him. Thus they deserve to be treated with respect and dignity. The Church must earnestly seek to do that while remaining true to her convictions.” “But it is clearly not true that the ‘only thing’ Catholics with same-sex attraction hear from their Church is a message of rejection. Or if it is, perhaps the responsibility can lie as much with the listener as it does with the Church. We each have the freedom to choose. Listening, like teaching, is an act of the will.”  
Pro-lifers condemn testing of 'chemical coat hanger' on African women
Washington D.C., Sep 20, 2019 / 09:00 am (CNA).- Pro-life advocates have condemend clinical testing of second trimester chemical abortions on women in a developing country in West Africa. The tests are being conducted by Gynuity Health Projects, a U.S.-based research company, in Burkina Faso. The trials involve drugs which cause accelerated second trimester chemical abortions. Since 2017, Gynuity has been conducting a clinical trial of second trimester abortions on pregnant women at 13 to 22 weeks gestation, “to examine the effectiveness and feasibility of a mifepristone-misoprostol medical abortion regimen.” The trial, currently in the “Recruiting” phase, is expected to be finished by the end of 2019. “That’s such a horrible way to use women in Africa,” Dr. Grazie Pozo Christie, policy advisor for The Catholic Association, told CNA. “These expecting moms are given dangerous abortion drugs and then literally sent off to pass the body of her aborted child in isolation. How is that not a back-alley abortion?” said Mallory Quigley, vice president of communications for the Susan B. Anthony List. “It’s unthinkable that the abortion lobby is testing this chemical coat hanger on mothers in the second trimester of their pregnancy in Burkina Faso,” she said. Gynuity conducts research to influence global reproductive and maternal health policies, and advocates for greater access to chemical abortions around the world. It has conducted clinical trials of second trimester chemical abortions in a number of other countries including Armenia, Nepal, Vietnam, Moldova, Uzbekistan, and Ukraine. The abortions in Burkina Faso are, according to the trial’s description, to be conducted in accordance with “legal indications.”  According to the Guttmacher Institute, the research arm of Planned Parenthood, abortion is outlawed in Burkina Faso except in cases of rape, incest, severe impairment of the child, or to save the life or protect the health of the mother. Officials with Gynuity Health Projects did not respond to CNA’s repeated inquiries. Pro-life criticism of the Africa trials has focused on two objections: that the abortions would be conducted in the second trimester of pregnancy where there is a higher probability of complications, and that they would be conducted in a country with relatively high maternal mortality rates compared to the rest of the world. Chemical abortions involve a two-step procedure: administration of the drug mifepristone, which stops the mother’s supply of blood to the placenta and cuts off nourishment to the child; followed by misoprostol, which induces contractions and results in the expelling of the child and the placenta from the mother. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a mifepristone-misoprostol regimen in 2000 but has regulations on its use, including a ban on use after 70 days past the first day of the last menstrual cycle of the mother.   The FDA lists mifeprex on its REMS list, or “Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy” that are applied to certain drugs considered to be of special concern. “Drugs are kept on that list because the way they have to be used is so specific,” Christie said. Side effects of mifeprex include cramping and bleeding—which, in some cases, requires surgical intervention—as well as nausea, fever, vomiting, headache, diarrhea, and dizziness. Medical supervision is critical because some of the complications of chemical abortions can be lethal, Christie said. “Any fever during this process can be a sign of fatal sepsis,” Christie said. Previous attempts at studying the viability and effects of second trimester chemical abortions in the United States failed due to lack of enrollment. Researchers concluded that future studies would be better conducted in a different part of the world. According to the practice bulletin of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, there was a previous trial at University of North Carolina Hospitals was ended because of “slow enrollment.”  “We believe that such a trial will need to be done in Europe or Asia, in settings where labour‐induction abortion is standard,” the report concluded. Gynuity has conducted second trimester chemical abortion tests in other foreign countries, including Armenia, Nepal, Vietnam, Moldova, Uzbekistan, and Ukraine. “They clearly are trying to conduct studies in other places that might not be as popular here,” Mary Harned, associate scholar at the Charlotte Lozier Institute, told CNA. Another controversial aspect of the Gynuity trials in Burkina Faso is the “accelerated” pace of chemical abortions. The FDA-approved regimen can last up to two weeks, yet the trials in Burkina Faso are measuring the rates of a successful second trimester abortion—complete evacuation of the unborn child and the placenta—within 24 hours of the first administration of misoprostol. The FDA guidelines for the two-drug procedure state that 800mcg of misoprostol should be administered 24-48 hours after 200mg of mifepristone, with a follow-up seven to 14 days afterward with the health care provider. The trials in Burkina Faso involve administration of 200mg of mifepristone followed by repeat doses of 400mcg of misopristol for every three hours until abortion is achieved. “They’re super-accelerating and making it a much harder thing for the woman,” Christie told CNA. “They’re basically causing severe uterine contractions and they’re precipitating a labor of a very big child.” The further along in a woman’s pregnancy, the more complicated the chemical abortion process become, she said. “The complication rate would be huge—will be huge—in these poor women in Africa,” Christie said. By the second trimester of a woman’s pregnancy, when chemical abortions are not approved by the FDA, “you’re inducing the labor of a perfectly-formed baby,” Christie said. “Here in the United States, we wouldn’t even contemplate it.” It is unclear from the description of the Gynuity study if the abortions are being conducted in highly-supervised settings in medical clinics, with proximity to a local hospital in case of an emergency. Burkina Faso has a life expectancy of 60 for males and 61 for females, according to the World Health Organization, and its maternal mortality rate of 371 deaths per 100,000 live births is in the top half of African nations according to a 2018 WHO report, but higher than almost all countries on other continents. The trials being conducted so late in a woman’s pregnancy in a developing country speak volumes about the abortion movement, pro-lifers told CNA. “The abortion lobby has been sounding the alarm since the beginning of the push for legal abortion that women’s safety is the issue, that women have to have legal places that they can go to without shame to have these procedures,” Christie said. Now, they are pushing for “chemical abortion outside of safety ranges.” “It just shows that it was never about women’s safety in the first place,” she said. Furthermore, the test is being conducted in Africa in a developing country with poor health infrastructure. “That’s pure racism,” she said, “that’s just pure abuse.”
Cardinal Marx holds 'constructive dialogue' with Pope Francis on synodal plans
Vatican City, Sep 20, 2019 / 08:25 am (CNA).- Cardinal Reinhard Marx, president of the German Episcopal Conference, has held talks with Pope Francis and Cardinal Marc Ouellet, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, about the German bishops’ plans for a “binding synodal path.” The meetings, held in Rome Sept. 19, followed a public exchange between the German hierarchy and the Vatican over the draft statutes for a “Synodal Assembly” to be formed by the bishops in partnership with the Central Committee of German Catholics. In a media release issued by the German bishops’ conference on Friday, Marx called the meetings “constructive,” but offered no details about any further instructions given by the pope or the Curia concerning the synodal plans. “In both talks, a constructive dialogue took place, which will feed into the deliberations of the general assembly of the German Episcopal Conference next week.” The release noted that Marx was in Rome for meetings of the pope’s Council of Cardinal Advisors, and the Vatican Council for the Economy, both of which Marx is a member. The German bishops will meet in plenary session on Sept. 23-26 and are expected to formally adopt a set of statutes for the synodal process. Pope Francis wrote to the German bishops in June, expressing a series of concerns with the German proposals, and warning them to proceed in communion with Rome and the whole Church. That letter was, according to Cardinal Walter Kasper, “set aside” by the executive committee of the German bishops’ conference, who voted in August to endorse a set of statues codifying their previous plans, while rejecting an alternative proposal drafted to accommodate the pope’s concerns. Earlier this month, Cardinal Ouellet wrote to Marx, presenting a four-page legal assessment of the synodal plans. That document, issued by the Pontifical Commission for Legislative Texts, concluded that the proposed synodal assembly was “not ecclesiologically valid,” and set out to treat matters of universal Church teaching and discipline which “cannot be the object of the deliberations or decisions of a particular Church without contravening what is expressed by the Holy Father in his letter.” The most recent version of the synodal statues, approved in August and unchanged through September, were due to be adopted by the German bishops at their plenary assembly next week. In response to Ouellet’s intervention, Marx indicated that the synodal plans would proceed as planned, saying that Rome could not apply a canonical criticism to what he called a “sui generis process” that would be “helpful for the guidance of the universal Church and for other episcopal conferences.” It is unclear if any changes will be made to that document following Marx’s “constructive dialogue” with the pope and Cardinal Ouellet. It is also unclear if the alternative statutes for a “Francis-model” of the synodal process will be given new consideration by the bishops, despite their rejection by the executive committee last month. The German synodal process is scheduled to begin on the first day of Advent.
Pope Francis to doctors: Assisted suicide is 'false compassion'
Vatican City, Sep 20, 2019 / 08:02 am (CNA).- Pope Francis told a group of Italian doctors Friday they must resist the temptation to participate in assisted suicide or euthanasia, which trades the dignity of the patient for a “false compassion.” “It is important that the doctor does not lose sight of the singularity of each patient, with his dignity and fragility. A man or a woman to accompany with conscience, with intelligence and heart, especially in the most serious situations,” the pope said Sept. 20. “With this attitude, one can and must reject the temptation – induced also by legislative changes – to use medicine to support a possible desire for death by the patient, providing assistance to suicide or causing death directly with euthanasia.” Euthanasia or assisted suicide are “hasty paths,” and not an expression of a person’s freedom, as they might seem, he continued, adding that to be asked to help cause the premature death of a patient is a “discarding of the patient” and “false compassion.”   Quoting the New Charter for Health Care Workers, published in 2017 by the Pontifical Council for Health Care Workers, he said: “There is no right to arbitrarily dispose of one’s life, so that no doctor can be the executive guardian of a non-existent right.” The pope’s audience took place with around 350 members of the Italian National Federation of Orders of Surgical Doctors and Dentists. The president of the organization, Filippo Anelli, gave a signed message to Pope Francis talking about the “profound unease” with which Italian doctors live their profession today, “the result of a distortion of the values that sustain our society.” “This is why the crisis that affects the profession today requires a special awareness and effort not only from doctors but also from all civil society in order to restore the right gradation of values, recognizing the citizen’s right to health and the doctor’s role as a professional who protects that right to the health of the citizen and his community,” the message states. Pope Francis said medicine, by definition, “is service to human life, and as such it involves an essential and inalienable reference to the person in his spiritual and material integrity, in his individual and social dimension.” It is not just about the illness, he continued, adding that it is a person with a disease, not a disease with a person. “It is with this integrally human vision that doctors are called to relate to the patient.”   “It is for the doctors to possess, together with the due technical and professional competence, a code of values and meanings with which to give meaning to the illness and to one’s work and to make every single clinical case a human encounter.” Quoting St. John Paul II’s encyclical Evangelium vitae, Pope Francis said: “the responsibility of health workers ‘is today enormously increased and finds its deepest inspiration and its strongest support precisely in the intrinsic and unavoidable ethical dimension of the health profession, as the ancient and ever current Hippocratic oath, according to which every doctor is asked to commit himself to absolute respect for human life and its sacredness.’”  
Sister Of Mercy Behind Bars
While nuns are usually portrayed in films as hidden away and sheltered from the outside world in convents, an Irish-born Mercy Sister has instead dedicated her life to those locked-up behind prison bars. Earlier this year Galway woman Sr. Moira Keane, who has been working with Irish prisoners through the Irish Chaplaincy in Britain, won the ‘Irish in Britain’s Individual Volunteer Award.’ Moira, busy at work It celebrated the life-changing work she has made in the prison system, whether it be carrying out administrative tasks or supporting staff and families. To read the rest of this article, please click here.  
Novena of thanksgiving to precede Newman’s canonization
Each day of the novena includes an intention, an extract from his writings, a decade of the rosary, and a prayer
How Padre Pio overcame suffering with hope
Renzo Allegri said he witnessed an 'extraordinary moral strength that emanated from [Pio’s] whole being'
Join The Global Climate Strike
Today, 20th September 2019, the Sisters of Mercy join with people all over the world to support immediate and decisive action for climate justice. We have no Choice. Extinction is a growing reality We do have a Voice. Together we end the Degradation of Earth and join the revolution for a fair and just society. The continuation of our civilization and of the natural world is in our hands.   Sacred the land, sacred the water, sacred the sky, holy and true. Sacred all life, sacred each other; all reflect God who is good.    (Rufino Zaragoza)
Novena of thanksgiving to precede Newman's canonization
Birmingham, England, Sep 20, 2019 / 03:01 am (CNA).- The Oratories of England are organizing a novena next month leading up to the canonization of Blessed John Henry Newman, in thanksgiving for his life and holiness and asking his intercession. “This is a time of special grace for us to join together and form links in a great chain of prayer, where we call upon the soon-to-be-Saint to crown our prayers with his intercession in heaven,” Newman Canonisation said on its website. “We encourage you to form links in that chain by joining in our Novena with Newman.” The Oct. 4-12 novena will precede Newman's Oct. 13 canonization. Newman was a 19th century theologian, poet, priest, and cardinal. Originally an Anglican priest, he converted to the Catholic Church in 1845. He was ordained a priest in 1847, and was made a cardinal in 1879. His works are considered among the most important contributions to the thought of the Church in recent centuries. Among his writings are The Idea of a University, Loss and Gain, and a Letter to the Duke of Norfolk. He founded in England the Oratory of St. Philip Neri; the confederation now has three houses in the country, at Birmingham, London, and Oxford. The novena highlights each day an aspect of Newman's character: an example of humility, child of Mary, priest of God's altar, man of prayer, guardian of conscience, counsellor of converts, educator of the laity, servant of the Church, and model of friendship. Each day of the novena includes an intention, an extract from his writings, a decade of the rosary, and this prayer: “O God our heavenly Father, we offer you heartfelt thanks for the life and holiness of John Henry Newman. In him you give us an inspiring example of priest and teacher, heroic and humble in his labour for the salvation of souls and the pursuit of holiness. Through his intercession we ask you to lead us by the kindly light of the Holy Spirit, and so grant us peace and joy, in the one fold of the Redeemer. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.” Father Ignatius Harrison, provost of the Birmingham Oratory, said that “Newman's lifelong success in bringing others to Christ shows us that the apostolate of Christian friendship achieves much more by attracting people to the Lord than by aggressive polemic. Newman's long and incremental spiritual pilgrimage shows us that God leads us to Himself step by step, in ways that He customises to our individual needs, and in His own good time.” Newman was beatified in Birmingham by Benedict XVI in 2010. At the Mass of beatification, Benedict said that Newman’s “insights into the relationship between faith and reason, into the vital place of revealed religion in civilized society, and into the need for a broadly-based and wide-ranging approach to education were not only of profound importance for Victorian England, but continue today to inspire and enlighten many all over the world.” The first miracle attributed to Newman’s intercession involved the complete and inexplicable healing of a deacon from a disabling spinal condition. His second miracle concerned the healing of a pregnant American woman. The woman prayed for the intercession of Cardinal Newman at the time of a life-threatening diagnosis, and her doctors have been unable to explain how or why she was able to suddenly recover.
Scottish Church condemns ‘staggeringly intolerant’ attack on Catholic schools
A former police chief suggested the schools should be closed for causing sectarianism
Indiana bishop offers cemetery for burial of aborted remains
Bishop Kevin Rhoades offered the land after the discovery of over 2,000 remains of unborn babies in the home of a late-term abortionist