Daily Archives:August 3rd, 2018

Butterworth pastoral centre piling works begin with groundbreaking

Prayer to commence the piling works of the pastoral centre behind the Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, 9 July 2018.

BUTTERWORTH – With the commencement of the piling works behind the Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (NBVM) on 9 July 2018, the RM6 million NBVM Pastoral Centre moved one step closer to reality.

Father Dominic Santhiyagu, parish priest, and Father Victor Louis, Asst parish priest, concelebrated the Eucharist on Saturday, July 7, to ask for God’s blessings for the ground breaking ceremony.

At the site to officiate and witness the ceremony were Fr Victor Louis (former parish priest who initiated the fund raising for the project), Fr Dominic, Father Louis Loi, Tony Edwards (the chairman of the NBVM Building Committee), Bro Jason Raj OFMCap, the parish staff and about 40 parishioners.

Tony Edwards thanked Fr Victor for initiating the fund-building efforts and Fr Dominic for his support and patience with the Building Committee.

Fr Dominic commented that it was Fr Edmund Woon who first mooted the idea of a Pastoral Centre but then he left for further studies. Fr Victor carried on the project with several fund raising activities. Fr Dominic reminded the people to be thankful to God. He reiterated that God is the master planner and Christ is the Divine Architect. So, “unless the Lord builds, in vain will the builders labour.”

He reminded the people of the need for continuous support. Owing to the hard work of the Building Committee and the generosity of the parishioners and well-wishers, the parish building fund stands at about 2.1 million. There is still a shortfall of about 3.9 million. Bishop Sebastian Francis  has promised to give RM 3 million from the diocese as contribution and an additional 1 million as a soft loan. Fr Dominic hopes that the parishioners will continue to be generous in their donations so that the building will be completed.

Then Fr Dominic led the small congregation in prayers, asking the Lord to bless the construction site and to protect all the workers from harm and injury.

After that, the priests sprinkled holy water all over the construction site while those present said the rosary and sang the hymn On this day, O beautiful Mother. Then the three priests and Tony mounted the pile driver and drove in the cornerstone, symbolically signalling the beginning of the piling works, to the applause of all present. Piling work is estimated to take two and half months according to Fr Dominic. There will then be another ceremony for the construction of the Pastoral Centre, to which  Bp Sebastian Francis and some dignitaries will be invited to officiate. – Anne Marie Yap, Herald Malaysia

Pope Francis: ‘death penalty inadmissible’

VATICAN CITY – After an audience with Pope Francis earlier this year, and following his approval, the Vatican’s CDF says it has made changes to the CCC on the death penalty according to which capital punishment is inadmissible.

Pope Francis has approved a new revision of paragraph number 2267 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, according to which “a new understanding has emerged of the significance of penal sanctions imposed by the state,”  thus “the death penalty is inadmissible.”

The decision was announced by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in a ‘Letter to the Bishops’ dated 1 August 2018 and signed by the Prefect, Cardinal Luis Francisco Ladaria.

2267. Recourse to the death penalty on the part of legitimate authority, following a fair trial, was long considered an appropriate response to the gravity of certain crimes and an acceptable, albeit extreme, means of safeguarding the common good.

Today, however, there is an increasing awareness that the dignity of the person is not lost even after the commission of very serious crimes.  In addition, a new understanding has emerged of the significance of penal sanctions imposed by the state.  Lastly, more effective systems of detention have been developed, which ensure the due protection of citizens but, at the same time, do not definitively deprive the guilty of the possibility of redemption.

Consequently, the Church teaches, in the light of the Gospel, that “the death penalty is inadmissible because it is an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person”,[1] and she works with determination for its abolition worldwide”. (FRANCIS, Address to Participants in the Meeting organized by the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelisation, 11 October 2017: L’Osservatore Romano, 13 October 2017.)

According to the previous text of paragraph 2267, the Church did not exclude recourse to the death penalty in “very rare, if not practically nonexistent” circumstances:

2267. Assuming that the guilty party’s identity and responsibility have been fully determined, the traditional teaching of the Church does not exclude recourse to the death penalty, if this is the only possible way of effectively defending human lives against the unjust aggressor.

If, however, non-lethal means are sufficient to defend and protect people’s safety from the aggressor, authority will limit itself to such means, as these are more in keeping with the concrete conditions of the common good and more in conformity to the dignity of the human person.

Today, in fact, as a consequence of the possibilities which the state has for effectively preventing crime, by rendering one who has committed an offense incapable of doing harm – without definitely taking away from him the possibility of redeeming himself – the cases in which the execution of the offender is an absolute necessity “are very rare, if not practically nonexistent.”68

In the Letter to the Bishops  Cardinal Ladaria explained that the revision of n. 2267 of the CCC   “expresses an authentic development of doctrine that is not in contradiction with the prior teachings of the Magisterium” and said “these teachings, in fact, can be explained in the light of the primary responsibility of the public authority to protect the common good in a social context in which the penal sanctions were understood differently, and had developed in an environment in which it was more difficult to guarantee that the criminal could not repeat his crime.”

Ladaria recalled that John Paul II asked that  the teaching on the death penalty be reformulated to better reflect the development of the doctrine that centres on the clearer awareness of the Church for the respect due to every human life affirming that  “Not even a murderer loses his personal dignity, and God himself pledges to guarantee this.” Ladaria said that in many occasions John Paul II intervened for the elimination of capital punishment describing it as “cruel and unnecessary.”

In the letter Cardinal Ladaria also recalled Benedict XVI who appealed for “the attention of society’s leaders to the need to make every effort to eliminate the death penalty” and encouraged  “political and legislative initiatives being promoted in a growing number of countries to eliminate the death penalty and to continue the substantive progress made in conforming penal law both to the human dignity of prisoners and the effective maintenance of public order.”

The new revision of number 2267 of CCC  approved by Pope Francis, Ladaria said, “situates itself in continuity with the preceding Magisterium while bringing forth a coherent development of Catholic doctrine” taking into account the new understanding of penal sanctions applied by the modern State.”

Its new revision, he continued, “desires to give energy to a movement towards a decisive commitment to favour a mentality that recognises the dignity of every human life and, in respectful dialogue with civil authorities, to encourage the creation of conditions that allow for the elimination of the death penalty where it is still in effect”. – Linda Bordoni, Vatican News

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