events this month
1 Pope Benedict to visit U.S.
The pope is visiting from April 15-21.
2 Lent is a time for silence
Benedict XVI proposed that Lent be a time to fast from words and
images, and to create a space for silence.
3 Stolen again
For the second time, the incorrupt heart of Servant of God
Bishop Mamerto Esquiú has been stolen from the church where itâ€™s
4 Good Friday prayer changes
Benedict XVI modified the prayer for the Jewish people prayed in
the Good Friday liturgy according to the 1962 Roman Missal.
5 Poor as priority number one
The U.S. bishops have asked President Bush and Congress to make
the needs of the poor their number-one priority as they debate
and pass an economic stimulus package.
6 Message to the media
May 4 marks the 42nd World Day of Social Communications.
Benedict XVIâ€™s message for the day is a reminder that media
professionals are called to defend the human person and his
7 Promoting dignity despite obstacles
The Colombian bishopsâ€™ conference wants to promote the dignity
of the woman. The obstacles they see are the “feminization of
poverty” and the promotion of abortion.
8 Vietnamâ€™s religious freedom
Although religious freedom in Vietnam is moving in the right
direction, overall the situation remains poor, according to the
U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom.
9 Ministry without boundaries
A Catholic priest was sentenced by the tribunal of Oran, a city
in northwestern Algeria, to a year in prison for having
“directed a religious ceremony in a place which has not been
recognized by the government.”
10 NAFTA hurts Mexican farmers
Martínez Zepeda said too little has been done to prepare farmers
within his country for the latest NAFTA treaty causing a risk of
greater impoverishment and the forcing of many peasants to
abandon the countryside and to emigrate to cities, which are
unprepared to receive them.
Educational crisis in Catholic schools
In the midst of what Pope Benedict XVI calls an “educational
crisis,” it is important for Catholic schools to maintain their
The pope affirmed this when he received in audience
participants in the plenary assembly of the Congregation for
The ecclesiastical disciplines,” the Holy Father said,
“especially theology, are today subjected to new interrogations
in a world tempted, on the one hand, by a rationalism which
follows a false idea of freedom unfettered by any religious
references and, on the other, by various forms of fundamentalism
which, with their incitement to violence and fanaticism, falsify
the true essence of religion.”
Faced with the educational crisis, Pope Benedict XVI continued,
“schools must ask themselves about the mission they are called
to undertake in the modern social environment.”
Catholic schools, he said, “though open to everyone and
respecting the identity of each, cannot but present their own
educational, human and Christian perspective.”
The pope contended that schools face a new challenge, that of
“the coming together of religions and cultures in the joint
search for truth.” This means, he said, on the one hand, “not
excluding anyone in the name of their cultural or religious
background,” and on the other “not stopping at the mere
recognition” of this cultural or religious difference.
The pope concluded by highlighting the need for “adequate
formation in the spiritual life so as to make Christian
communities, particularly in parishes, ever more aware of their
vocation, and capable of providing adequate responses to
questions of spirituality, especially as posed by the young. For
this to happen, the church must not lack qualified and
responsible apostles and evangelizers.”