From Rome and the World
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Extracts - R.T.S. (Courtesy of the Catholic Times)
Although sand castles and sculptures usually conjure up images of hot summers on the beach, the Vatican will unveil a massive Nativity scene made entirely of sand during the cold Roman winter. According to the Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, the Nativity scene displayed in St. Peter's Square will feature a 52-foot wide sand sculpture from Jesolo, an Italian seaside resort town 40 miles north of Venice. The intricate sculpture, along with a 42-foot-tall red spruce tree donated by the Diocese of Concordia-Pordenone in the northern Italian region of Veneto, will be unveiled at the Vatican's annual tree lighting ceremony on 7th December.
For every Christian, but especially for those called to ministry, God's gift of life is a call to serve others, Pope Francis said at a memorial Mass for bishops and cardinals who have died in the past year. "The meaning of life is found in our response to God's offer of love. And that response is made up of true love, self-giving and service," the Pope said during the Mass at the Altar of the Chair in St. Peter's Basilica. The memorial Mass is an annual fixture on the Pope's calendar for November, the month the Catholic Church dedicates particularly to remembering the dead. The Vatican said that in the past year 154 bishops and nine cardinals died. "As we pray for the cardinals and bishops who have passed away in this last year," the Pope said in his homily, "let us beg the intercession of all those who lived unassuming lives, content to prepare daily to meet the Lord."
The two international bodies that had been supporting and co-ordinating the international activities of charismatic Catholics will become one new organisation. â€˜Charis' will take over the roles previously played by the International Catholic Charismatic Renewal Service and the Catholic Fraternity of Charismatic Covenant Communities and Fellowships, the Vatican announced. The Dicastery for Laity, the Family and Life, which certifies international Catholic lay organisations, said Charis will begin operating on 8th December. The two previous organisations will cease to exist on 9th June, Pentecost Sunday. "As a body in the service of all the realities of Catholic charismatic renewal," the Vatican said, "Charis will not exercise any authority over these realities. Each single charismatic reality will remain as it is, fully respected in its own identity and under the jurisdiction of the ecclesiastical authority upon which it currently depends."
The Brothers of Charity, a Belgian religious congregation, did not renew the terms for two board members of the organisation that controls their hospitals in Belgium. The former board members had accepted a protocol that allowed the hospitals of the congregation to perform euthanasia in limited circumstances. Luc Lemmens, 61, and Veron Raes, 57, were informed at the end of September, that their mandate was not going to be renewed.
Published Sat 22nd Dec 2018 02:28:43
Last Modified on Sun 23rd Dec 2018 23:25:49