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Twentieth century Polish nurse among causes advancing toward sainthood

July 7, 2017 CNA Daily News 1

Vatican City, Jul 7, 2017 / 06:14 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis on Friday approved a miracle attributed to the intercession of the Venerable Hanna Chrzanowska, a Polish nurse and nursing instructor who died from cancer in 1973, paving the way for her beatification.

The Pope met July 7 with the prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, Cardinal Angelo Amato, giving his approval for the cause to move forward, along with the causes of five persons recognized for their heroic virtue.

He also recognized the martyrdom of two persons killed in hatred of the faith, Bishop Jesús Emilio Jaramillo Monsalve of Arauca, killed near Fortul, Colombia in 1989 and diocesan priest Fr. Pietro Maria Ramírez Ramos, killed on April 10, 1948 in Armero, Colombia.

Venerable Hanna Chrzanowska was born in Warsaw on October 7, 1902 to a family known for their charitable work. She finished high school at a school run by Ursuline sisters in Krakow and after graduating in 1922 attended nursing school in Warsaw.

She became an Oblate with the Ursuline Sisters of St. Benedict.

From 1926-1929 she worked as an instructor at the University School of Nurses and Hygienists in Krakow. For 10 years she held the position of editor of the monthly “Piel?gniarka Polska” (“Nurse Poland”), also publishing her own work in the field of nursing.

During this period, she also grew closer to God, joining in the work of the Catholic Association of Polish Nurses in 1937.

Poland saw the outbreak of World War II in 1939. After the war and after the opening of a university school of maternity and nursing in Krakow, she worked as the head of the department dedicated to home nursing.

She was especially dedicated to the proper formation and preparation of her students, including offering advice and assistance while accompanying her students on visits to patients confined at home.

In 1966 she contracted cancer. Despite operations, the disease spread and eventually led to her death on April 29, 1973 in Krakow.

With approval of the miracle, a date can be set for her beatification, likely to take place in Poland.

Another cause moving forward is that of Sister Maria Elisabetta Mazza. Born in 1886 in Martinengo, Italy, she was an elementary school teacher from 1911 onward and was a leading figure in the Catholic Teachers’ Association, called “Niccolò Tommaseo,” which helped to revive Catholic education after the war.

She also founded a religious institution of teachers, called the Congregation of the Little Apostles of the Christian School, which focused on working for the good of society, particularly in the area of education of young people.

After the Second World War, she supported the revival of the “Niccolò Tommaseo” organization, under the new name of the “Italian Association of Catholic Teachers.”

She died on Aug. 29, 1950 in Bergamo, Italy.

The other persons now declared ‘Venerable’ are: Archbishop Ismaele Perdomo of Bogota (1872-1950); Sister Paola of Jesus Gil Cano, foundress of the Congregation of Franciscan Sisters of the Most Pure Conception (1849-1913); Luigi Kosiba (Pietro), layman professed in the Order of Friars Minor (1855-1939); Sister Maria Crocifissa dell’Amore Divino (Maria Gargani), foundress of the Congregation of the Apostles of the Sacred Heart (1892-1973).


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Mexican priest found bound, stabbed to death in his room

July 6, 2017 CNA Daily News 0

Mexico City, Mexico, Jul 6, 2017 / 03:31 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Authorities are investigating the murder of another Catholic priest in Mexico who was bound and stabbed to death in his room.

According to local media, Father Luis López Villa, parish priest of San Isidro Labrador in Mexico State, was found dead in his room shortly after 8 p.m. on Wednesday.
The suspects, who entered the rectory after breaking into the church, made enough noise to raise the suspicions of neighbors, who alerted church staff to the incident.

When the staff arrived, they found the 71-year-old priest dead in his room with his hands and feet tied and a stab wound in his neck and chest.

The suspects have not yet been identified.

Fr. Villa is the 18th priest to be murdered in Mexico in the last six years, with many more having been assaulted or kidnapped. In May, a priest was stabbed at the conclusion of Mass in Mexico City’s Cathedral, though he survived the attack.  

Cardinal Norberto Rivera, Archbishop of Mexico, sent his condolences “of the Diocese of Nezahualcóyotl and of the whole Church in the country for the murder of the priest.”

Cardinal Rivera said he offered his prayers in solidarity with the other bishops of the country, and prayed “to God our Lord for the eternal rest of the priest and the conversion of those who perpetrated this damnable deed.”

The Mexican Cardinal also urged the authorities to ensure that “this heinous crime does not go unpunished.”



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In wake of North Korea threat, bishops call for elimination of nuclear weapons

July 6, 2017 CNA Daily News 0

Washington D.C., Jul 6, 2017 / 11:21 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Just days after North Korea tested an intercontinental ballistic missile that can reach Alaska, bishops in the United States and Europe have called for the “total elimination of nuclear weapons.”

“Even a limited nuclear exchange would have devastating consequences for people and the planet. Tragically, human error or miscalculation could lead to a humanitarian catastrophe,” the Bishops said in a joint declaration on Thursday.

“We call upon the United States and European nations to work with other nations to map out a credible, verifiable and enforceable strategy for the total elimination of nuclear weapons.”

Entitled “Nuclear Disarmament: Seeking Human Security,” the declaration was issued to coincide with the conclusion of a meeting hosted this week by the United Nations “to negotiate a legally binding treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination.”

While the United States and most European nations are not participating in the U.N. meeting, the bishops urged any country that is building up their nuclear arsenal to reconsider the effectiveness of this as a security strategy.

“…our world has become increasingly multipolar with a variety of threats reaching from terrorism, asymmetrical conflicts, cybersecurity to environmental degradation and poverty, which raises doubts about the adequacy of nuclear deterrence as an effective response to these challenges,” they said.

The also noted that building up a nuclear arms base is a waste of money, reiterating a point Pope Francis made in 2014, when he said that prioritizing spending on nuclear weapons “is a mistake and a misallocation of resources which would be far better invested in the areas of integral human development, education, health and the fight against extreme poverty.”

In another message in March 2017, Pope Francis said that peace and security were not built on a race to power and arms, but on “on justice, on integral human development, on respect for fundamental human rights, on the protection of creation, on the participation of all in public life, on trust between peoples, on the support of peaceful institutions, on access to education and health, on dialogue and solidarity.”

Francis is joined by numerous other Catholic leaders including Pope Benedict XVI, Pope John Paul II, Pope John XXIII and Pope Paul VI who all opposed the development of nuclear weapons.

The bishops closed their statement with another statement of Pope Francis, who said in 2014: “Nuclear deterrence and the threat of mutually assured destruction cannot be the basis for an ethics of fraternity and peaceful coexistence among peoples and states. The youth of today and tomorrow deserve far more. They deserve a peaceful world order based on the unity of the human family, grounded on respect, cooperation, solidarity and compassion. Now is the time to counter the logic of fear with the ethic of responsibility, and so foster a climate of trust and sincere dialogue.”

The statement was signed by Archbishop Jean-Claude Hollerich, president of the Conference of European Justice and Peace Commissions, and by Bishop Oscar Cantú, chairman of the committee on International Justice and Peace for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.



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Pope St. John Paul II’s Former Spokesman Navarro-Valls Dies at 80

July 6, 2017 CNA Daily News 0

Vatican City, Jul 6, 2017 / 08:23 am (National Catholic Register).- Pope St. John Paul II’s former spokesman, Dr. Joaquìn Navarro-Valls, has died at the age of 80.

A numerary of Opus Dei and a trained doctor, the Spanish journalist had been diagnosed with terminal cancer some weeks ago.

He passed away at 8:41 this evening at home after being discharged from the Opus Dei-run Campus Biomedico hospital in Rome.

His current successor, Holy See Press Office Director Greg Burke, announced the news yesterday with the following tweets:

Joaquin Navarro. RIP. Grace under pressure.

— Greg Burke (@GregBurkeRome) July 5, 2017

The Vatican’s chief spokesman from 1984 to 2006, Navarro-Valls had an influential role during John Paul II’s pontificate, helping the late Pontiff to communicate effectively and bringing the papacy into the modern age of social communications.

He resigned as spokesman on July 11, 2006 and was replaced by Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi.

Joaquin Navarro, 1936-2017.
Keep Smiling.

— Greg Burke (@GregBurkeRome) July 5, 2017


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Bishop responds: No, abortion isn’t a Canadian ‘core’ value

July 5, 2017 CNA Daily News 4

Ottawa, Canada, Jul 6, 2017 / 12:01 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Responding to a Canadian politician who called abortion a central aspect of the country’s human rights efforts, a local bishop said the procedure is in fact deeply harmful – especially to women.

“While the Catholic Bishops of Canada share your concern for advancing the respect and dignity of women…we feel the need to point out, with all due respect, that your statement above is erroneous, confusing, and misguided,” Bishop Douglas Crosby, president of the Canada’s Catholic Conference of Bishops, said in a June 29 letter.  

The letter comes in response to a recent speech given by Canada’s Minister in Foreign Affairs, Chrystia Freeland, to the House of Commons.

“Women’s rights are human rights,” she said June 6. “That includes sexual reproductive rights and the right to safe and accessible abortions. These rights are at the core of our foreign policy.”

Bishop Douglas Crosby cited other major issues involving women’s rights that Freeland failed to mention, such as Canada’s economic partnerships with countries that allow societal oppression and outright brutality against women.

“Female infants are murdered for not being male; (countries) in which women earn less than men for the same job or where they do not enjoy the same privileges under the law, including the right to education or protection from rape, physical violence.”

He then said that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s decision last year to pledge $650 million in support of abortion and reproductive rights globally showed misguided priority. He compared this to the nearly $120 million pledged in response to severe food shortages, striking heavily in many parts of Africa.

The bishop noted Freeland’s statement in her speech that “it is clearly not our role to impose our values around the world. No one appointed us the world’s policemen.”

Yet imposing the ‘value’ of abortion rights offends the views of many cultures around the world and domestically, he said. Belief in an unborn child’s right to life – held by Catholics, Jews, Protestants, Hindus, Muslims, and even non-believers of good will – should be respected, the bishop added.

In his letter, Archbishop Crosby agreed with Freeland’s emphasis on Canada’s vital role in global progress, but said it must respect the rest of the world’s opinions and be conducive to the human person, both woman and child.

“If Canada’s foreign policy needs a stable ground it cannot possibly be abortion advocacy and ‘sexual reproductive rights.’ And if the dignity of women is to have a universal moral foundation it cannot be based on principles that override the rights of the unborn child.”


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Vatican says it has worked to resolve past issues at Pope’s hospital

July 5, 2017 CNA Daily News 1

Vatican City, Jul 5, 2017 / 03:30 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- A Vatican official confirmed yesterday that Bambino Gesu hospital has had past problems that the Vatican has worked to resolve.
Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican Secretary of State, said at a Vatican press conference July 4 that a recently-released report on the hospital from the Associated Press contained some things that were “clearly unfounded” but also highlighted valid issues that the hospital has had in the past.
The AP report, which examined the hospital’s operations under its previous 2008-2015 administration, found among other things that the Vatican-owned hospital had shifted its focus from its patients to profits and had some subpar standards of care.  
“For what regards the problems that were found, there was serious attention and effort to resolve them,” Cardinal Parolin said.
In 2014, the Vatican conducted its own report on the hospital after fielding several complaints, and found many of the same things, including a focus on profits and breaches in accepted medical protocols including the reuse of disposable equipment, early awakening from surgery and risk of infection due to overcrowding.
After the report, a widespread overhaul of the hospital staff and administration was conducted, and a 2015 report found that many of the previous issues had been resolved.
The Hospital Bambino Gesù was founded in Rome in 1869 as the first pediatric hospital in Italy. In 1924 it was donated to the Holy See and became the “Pope’s Hospital”. While it receives funding from the Italian government, it does not fall under the jurisdiction of the Italian government’s health authorities.
Bambino Gesu fell under scrutiny again in 2016, when the Vatican reported that it was investigating whether former hospital president Giuseppe Profiti had allocated some $200,000 of hospital funds to refurbish the apartment where Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone lives.
In September 2016, Pope Francis warned the hospital’s new president and administration not to fall into corruption, which he called “the worst cancer” a hospital could have.
At the press conference yesterday, Cardinal Parolin and current hospital president Mariella Enoc also presented the hospital’s annual report for 2016.
Among other things, the report highlighted that the hospital had an increase of organ transplants and research projects that have identified 10 new “rare” diseases.
The Hospital Bambino Gesù is the only European pediatric hospital where all types of transplants are performed. In 2016, 339 organ and tissue transplants were performed, a four percent increase from the previous year.
In addition, 242 research projects and 423 clinical trials involving 5,300 patients were undertaken in the past year. In all, 750 physicians, biologists and other health professionals have been involved in hospital-driven scientific research projects. Bambino Gesù also reported a reduction in hospital infections from 7.6 percent in 2006 to 1.8 percent in 2016, or 76 percent less in 10 years.
Enoc said that while the problems in the AP report occurred before she was in charge, she urged anyone at the hospital who had issues in the future to come forward.
“I can say that the climate today is more serene, and I urge everyone when there is a problem … that we talk and talk and not keep it inside and then have it explode,” she said.