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The PopeExtracts - R.T.S. (Courtesy of the Catholic Times)

OTTAWA: The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops has invited dioceses to prepare for the worldwide Synod of Bishops with a set of questions on marriage and family life, but the conference said any questionnaire results will remain private. Mgr. Patrick Powers, conference general secretary, stressed that the questionnaire - slightly rearranged and reworded from a questionnaire put out by the Vatican - is not a survey or poll of Catholic opinion, but a way for bishops to share pastoral insights with Pope Francis and to help bishops plan for their dioceses. Mgr. Powers said individual dioceses could decide whom to consult and whether to focus on certain questions.

VATICAN CITY: Pope Francis, who has called for zero tolerance for the “despicable” crime of sexual abuse of minors, has praised new efforts aimed at helping the Church better protect children. In a letter to Jesuit Fr. Hans Zollner, president of the Centre for Child Protection at Rome’s Pontifical Gregorian University, the Pope said he was “happy about what you are doing and I sincerely congratulate you”. Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston read the letter aloud at a news conference inaugurating the official launch of the centre and its activities. The launch followed a three-year pilot project phase. The Pope wrote that he was confident “all this work will bear fruit”. The centre, which offers an onsite and online prevention and child protection programme and diploma, was established in 2012 as a way to help build awareness and train religious and lay leaders globally about the problem of abuse.

PHILADELPHIA: Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia praised the announcement by Pennsylvania’s Governor, Tom Wolf, that he is granting a reprieve for Death Row inmate Terrence Williams, who was scheduled to be executed on 4th March. In a memo, Wolf said he would extend the reprieve to each of the 186 inmates on the state’s Death Row as their scheduled executions approach, all pending the outcome of a study of the use of the death penalty in Pennsylvania. Archbishop Chaput said he was grateful to Wolf “for choosing to take a deeper look into these studies and I pray we can find a better way to punish those who are guilty of these crimes”. “Turning away from capital punishment does not diminish our support for the families of murder victims. They bear a terrible burden of grief and they rightly demand justice,” said the archbishop. “But killing the guilty does not honour the dead nor does it ennoble the living. When we take a guilty person’s life we only add to the violence in an already violent culture and we demean our own dignity in the process.”

Published Sat 28th Mar 2015 00:53:00
Last Modified on Sat 28th Mar 2015 02:51:05

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