Brazil: the bishops host a tv debate among presidential candidates

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The Conference of Bishops has announced that it will host a debate among the aspiring presidents. Cardinal Damasceno Assis and the other bishops will ask the questions

Giorgio Bernardelli Taken from Vatican Insider


The bishops will ask questions to the presidential candidates in person. And in a very particular place: the building of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida. It is an initiative announced in these days by the National Conference of Bishops of Brazil in view of the elections that will take place on the 5th of October.


The debate will take place on Tuesday 16th of September at 9.30pm and will last two hours; it will be broadcast live by eight Catholic networks and at least 230 radios and Internet portals. Together with the outgoing president, Dilma Rousseff, who is running for reelection, the other six main candidates will also be present, among whom the economist Aécio Neves da Cunha and the environmentalist Marina Silva are the most substantial challengers according to the polls.


Television debates are common in many of the world’s democratic countries, but the standout aspect of the initiative is the direct involvement of the Conference of Bishops of Brazil. It was its president himself, the cardinal archbishop of Aparecida Raymundo Damasceno Assis, who met the representatives of the different parties to determine the rules of the debate. And he will be the one to introduce the debate and ask the first question in the name of all Brazilian bishops. The debate will be moderated by the director of Tele Aparecida, Father Josafá de Jesus Moraes, and will take place in an auditorium that sits 8 thousand people; all 350 Brazilian bishops have been invited to attend. Some of them, explains a note from the Conference of Bishops, will also ask the  aspiring presidents some questions “on the themes of health, education, housing, agricultural and political reforms and the abortion law”. They will then pass the baton to the journalists of Catholic media for the third part of the debate.


“We want our electors to exercise their right to citizenship with freedom, responsibility and consciousness, thinking of the good of the country, starting from the knowledge and proposals that the candidates will exhibit” explained Cardinal Damasceno Assis about the point of the initiative. “In this way, the debate will offer elements, so that the electors can discern who to vote for, thinking not only of their own advantage but of the common good”.


The Archbishop of Aparecida has also explicitly asked all bishops to invite the priests and the religious and lay people in their dioceses to follow the event. In many local Churches, similar debates are being organised, among the candidates running for a seat in parliament.

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Archbishop drops legal threat after Satanists return consecrated Host

Archbishop Paul Coakley, right, concelebrates Mass in Rome in 2012 (CNS)

Archbishop Paul Coakley, right, concelebrates Mass in Rome in 2012 (CNS)

An American archbishop has dropped the threat of legal action after Satanists returned a consecrated Host they had planned to use in a “black Mass”.

According to the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City, an attorney representing the head of the satanic group presented the host to a Catholic priest last Thursday.

With the return of the Host and an accompanying signed statement from the satanic group leader that the group no longer possesses a consecrated Host, nor will they use a consecrated Host in their rituals, Archbishop Paul Coakley of Oklahoma City agreed to dismiss the lawsuit.

Archbishop Coakley filed suit to get the host returned after the Satanic group’s leader made several public statements that its members planned “to defile and desecrate” it during a “black Mass” on September 21 at the Civic Center Music Hall in Oklahoma City.

“I am relieved that we have been able to secure the return of the sacred Host, and that we have prevented its desecration as part of a planned Satanic ritual,” the archbishop said in a statement. “I remain concerned about the dark powers that this Satanic worship invites into our community and the spiritual danger that this poses to all who are involved in it, directly or indirectly.”

In early August, Archbishop Coakley asked Catholics to offer prayer and penance to prevent the Satanic group Dakhma of Angra Mainyu from holding a “black mass.”

“Even though tickets are being sold for this event as if it were merely some sort of dark entertainment, this Satanic ritual is deadly serious. It is a blasphemous and obscene inversion of the Catholic Mass,” he said.

The lawsuit named Adam Daniel, the head of Dakhma of Angra Mainyu, and the Satanic group itself as plaintiffs.

Mr Daniel told news outlets he had received the host by mail from a priest in Turkey. Rituals during a “black mass” include having attendees throw Communion wafers on the floor and stomp on them. In addition a Satanic “nun” urinates in a chamber pot.

Mr Daniel said his group should be able to practice its religion freely. He considers Catholic dogma “enslavement”.

“All I’m trying to do is free people’s minds and allow them to live as they want,” he was quoted as saying.

In his letter to priests and parishioners at the beginning of August, Archbishop Coakley called for a united campaign of prayer, procession and benediction in response to the “black Mass”. He specifically asked that the prayer to St Michael the Archangel be included at the conclusion of every Mass, from the feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord, which was on August 6, and continue through to the feast of the Archangels on September 29.

“I invite all Catholics to pray daily for divine protection through the intercession of this heavenly patron who once defeated Lucifer in his rebellion against the Almighty and who stands ready to assist us in this hour of need,” he said in the letter.

He also encouraged parishioners to write to Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett “to express your outrage over this offensive and blasphemous sacrilege and this misuse of a tax-supported public space”.

Archbishop Coakley said he would lead a Holy Hour, an outdoor eucharistic procession and Benediction the afternoon of September 21 at St Francis of Assisi church in Oklahoma City.

On “the day of the proposed sacrilege”, he said, “we will pray to avert this sacrilege and publicly manifest our faith in the Lord and our loving gratitude for the gift of the holy Eucharist, the source and summit of our lives.”

Archbishop Coakley has said that despite “repeated requests” and telling city officials how offense the “black mass” will be to Oklahoma’s more than 250,000 Catholics, there was no indication “the city intends to prevent this event from taking place.”

City officials said the event is protected by the First Amendment and there were no plans to cancel it.

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Clubs take on members who have the guts to complain

It is very say that certain clubs which were built to cater to the needs of catholics have today started treating them as second class citizens.

Members who complaint are made to toe the line with the threats of expulsion.

Few people are aware  it is mandatory that clubs should be  registered  under the Bombay Trust Act .

Today membership fees have been made so high that it is simply out of the reach of middle class catholics.

In fact there is a move to increase the fees of one such club from 1,50,000/- to 4,50,000/-.How many catholics can afford such high fees?

Rules are made in such a way that if membership facilities are not availed of at a particular time by members children they lose the rights of discounted membership fees.Why should this be so?

Certain clubs are controlled by a coterie of persons who run it like their personal property.These clubs were build by catholics for the welfare of catholics, but the sad part of it, is that today catholics are being deprived of these club facilites due to high and unreasonable fees and others are being pampered.

In fact if clubs increase membership fees the general catholic community should not remain silent spectators  .

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Rs.550 crores scam in Marinagar. FSI of Bldgs.still owned by church consumed

 FSI violations and bogus tenants list, false affidavits in File no. 645 of FP No. 557 in Mahim Division in league with MHADA OFFICIALS also known as Marinagar opp.Mahim Rly. Station West, Mumbai-16 in order to grab FSI of over 1,81,000 sq. feet add 40% loading so total FSI would be 2,50,000 sq. feet amounting to Rs.550 crores at todays rates.

1.That in the year 1993/1994 a plan was passed by St. Michaels Church Mahim to build 3 buildings A, B and C on the said above plot. As per the permissions given to the Church / builder all the tenants would have to be re-housed first and then only could excess flats be sold.There were 12 outhouses and another structure called Quinny House. Quinny House came to be demolished some time in the year 1993-94 and Our Lady of Lourdes ie Building C came to be constructed on the same spot. The said building was given occupation certificate in the year 1996 and 48 tenants came to be accommodated as per the documents collected under RTI.

2.While building no. “C” came to be granted OC in the year 1996, building no. “A” was granted part OC in the year 2002 and complete OC in the year 2003.In building A 30 tenants were supposed to be rehabilitated , however the flats of 5 tenants were not given.The balance extra flats came to be sold which numbered around 80. As per the letter dated September 15th, 1999 given by the developer to MHADA “ We have already rehoused 48 tenants who earlier resided in cessed structures standing on the above property and the balance 30 tenants are being accommodated in another building presently under advance stage of construction”  All the tenants displaced by the said project came to be re-housed and are members of co-operative housing societies. That two co-operative housing societies have already been formed in the year 1998 and 2004.

  1. That recently MHADA filed a chamber summons in suit 875 of 2011 dated 23 April 2014 at the instance of the builder and consequent to the said chamber summons, the certified copies of the said above file were collected and it has been observed that tenants of QUINNY HOUSE who are already re-housed and given permanent alternate accommodation and are members of Our Lady of Lourdes Co-op. Housing Society are being shown fraudulently by various officials of MHADA as yet to be re-housed.

4.Clause 10A of MHADA’s letter reads as “In the case of redevelopment scheme in progress and such schemes where LOI has been issued and if the construction of rehab building is not completed upto plinth level, then owner / developer / co-operative Housing Societies with the prior approval of the government may convert the proposal in accordance with modified regulations only regarding size of tenements and loading of FSI in situ. However such conversion is optional and shall not be binding.” This would mean that increase in FSI can only be given if the rehab building construction is yet to start or has reached plinth stage only. In this case the rehab building has already been constructed and OCCUPATION CERTIFICATE given in the year 1996 to the building in which the so called yet to be housed tenants , are already rehoused in the year 1996/97 and hence there is no question of any increase in FSI being given to any person in the year 2008.

5.Further all the tenants of Quinny House have been rehabilitated in the year 1996/97 itself and hence no benefit can be given. Copies of letters given by the builder to the tenants which bear the signatures of the tenants to show that they have been permanently rehoused in lieu of Quinny House are in our possession. Further all the photographs given to MHADA and shown as open plots are actually recreational gardens as per the existing plan on the day the report has been given. Further the video shot of the 4 tenants of Quinny House has been taken in their new permanent alternate accommodation which clearly shows that they are rehoused.Further the affidavits signed by them are pre signed by the Notary which is also caught on the video. The said affidavit does not bear any date and the said affidavit makes a bogus claim that they are yet to be rehoused knowing fully well that they are already housed .

6.One of the tenants Mrs. Anna Clara Meares of Quinny House through her legal heir, was having a dispute with of Suraj Estate Developers Pvt. Ltd and had filed a case in the Small causes court which went up to the Bombay High Court and the court vide judgment dated 2nd August 2005 ordered a court receiver to be appointed to take possession of the ready flat in the rehab building being given as alternate accommodation in lieu of the original Quinny House residence.An extract of the judgement of the Bombay High Court reads as follows ” I am of the prima facie opinion that the manner in which the proceedings before the Small Causes Court is conducted without bringing the legal heirs of the said deceased as party to the said proceedings who are entitled to the estate under the will the respondent no.1 has in collusion with the said Kudal who was claiming tenancy in the said properties have committed fraud and abuse of the process of law to acquire so called title as owner in respect of the said flat. In my opinion the respondent no. who is the builder and being aware of the facts ought not to have and could not have entered into such surreptitious arrangement by which rights of the deceased Anna Clara Mears which is now vested in the petitioner and the legal heirs of the deceased could have been parted with

That the Court Receiver , High Court Bombay is appointed as Receiver in respect of the said flat being residential premises admeasuring about 180 sq. fts ( carpet area)situated at 463,Marinagar, Final Plot No.557 of Town Planning Scheme, Bombay City No.III, M.M.Chotani Road, Mahim, Mumbai 400 016 with direction to take, recover physical possession thereof since the respondent no.1 is prima facie claiming rights therein fraudulently

7. As per  the registered Bye-laws of Our Lady Of Lourdes Co-op Hsg. Soc. Ltd. the rehab building which shows 43 members which include Matilda Quinny, Peter Quinny, Marshall Francis Fernandes, Peter Cajetan Pinero, Ida D’souza and Thomas Rajan. The rehab building has in fact 48 flats .These are the persons who have given affidavits saying that they are yet to be rehoused.

8.I further state that two Power of Attorney’s in the file pertain to one Fr. Nelson Mascarenhas who has expired and Fr. Micheal D’Souza who is no longer the sole trustee of St. Michaels Church and hence not valid.

9.I further state that benefits of increased FSI cannot be given to any person when all the tenants have already been rehoused and rehabilitated.

10.I further state that the builder was having excess flats in building “C” namely Our Lady of Lourdes Co-op Hsg Society and building “A” Our Lady of Vailankanni and Perpetual Succour co-op Hsg. Society. and hence he has sold the excess flats to various persons.

11.I further state that the builder himself vide his duly Notarised undertaking dated 15 Feb 1994 given to MHADA has admitted “That we shall not approach the BMC for issue of part or full completion certificate and Occupation Certificate unless arrangements are made to accommodate all the occupants of old cessed building.”

12.That the builder has now got sanctioned plans some where in the year 2010 to build two buildings one of which is 17 storied and the other a15 storied building on plots earmarked as gardens for use of residents of the layout by fraudulently showing that 6 already rehoused tenants of Quinny House are yet to be re-housed.

13. I further state that 5 buildings which are still owned by the Church and have not been given to the builder and yet he has shown in league with MHADA officials and included the said 5 buildings in the MHADA calculation without there being any charity commissioner sanction and without the sanction of the owners St. Michael’s Church Trust , Mahim. However no official complaint has been lodged till date and the church authorities have chosen to remain silent.In fact the Parish Priest who had been served chamber summons regarding the 100 flats which Mhada claimed it  had to get remained silent and did not oppose it knowing fully well that the FSI of the 5 buildings owned by the Church have been included. What could be the reason for him remaining silent? The Parish Priest was represented by an advocate and hence it can be safely presumed that he had studied the deal fully.

14. Such type of ADARSH building scams should not be repeated, as this scam will be amounting to crores of Rupees as hundreds of flats are sought to be constructed based on the additional bogus FSI amounting to over 1,81,000 sq. feet add 40% loading as per the normal market practice so total FSI would be 2,50,000 sq. feet amounting to Rs.550 crores at todays rates( @ Rs.30,000/- a sq.foot after deducting  construction costs)

15.Such bogus redevelopment will lead to haphazard planning in Mumbai and will also put undue strain and burden on the infrastructure in terms of water, open spaces, electricity, public transport , roads space as more cars will come and will lead to further corruption.

16. All plans are put up by the Church which means that the church cannot afford to remain silent.What has the Archdiocese Finance Committee have to say? What has the Most Trusted Lay Representative who visited the site many times have to say?



Hon.Secretary Our Lady of Vailankanni and Perpetual Succour Co-op. Hsg. Society Ltd.

Mobile: 9869078497

Posted in Church in India, Church News in Mumbai/Thane/Navi Mumbai | 2 Comments

Spanish priest known for working with gangs jailed in El Salvador

By   Taken from Catholic

Spanish Father Antonio Rodriguez sits during a court hearing in San Salvador (CNS)

Spanish Father Antonio Rodriguez sits during a court hearing in San Salvador (CNS)

A Salvadoran judge ruled that Spanish Passionist Father Antonio Rodriguez, known for his work in rehabilitating gang members, should remain in jail, accused of various crimes regarding gang activities.

Father Rodriguez, known as Padre Tono, was arrested on July 29 and charged with several offenses, including illicit associations, influence peddling and introducing prohibited items — including mobile phones — into prisons where members of the Barrio 18 or Calle 18 gang are held. He was arrested in connection with a huge police raid against 127 gang members on charges of extortion, among other crimes.

On August 4 he was granted parole, but he was arrested again after the attorney general’s office added new charges on August 5. He is being held by the national civil police.

“I do not understand why (the attorney general) has arrested me, and not Francisco Flores”, he said to local media, talking about the former Salvadoran president accused of various corruption charges. Father Tono rejects the accusations and says he is the victim of political persecution by El Salvador’s government.

“Father Tono’s attitude has been always controversial, and to the eyes of many people, it is normal to regard these things as politics,” Passionist Father Gerardo Mendez told local media. “This is a form of persecution.”

“Tono knew the risks” of criticising Salvadoran authorities, he added.

For years, Father Rodriguez has run rehabilitation projects for gangs in Mejicanos, a suburb of San Salvador. He was critical of a gang truce brokered in March 2012, but supported government plans to bring about peace in the streets.

On August 3, hundreds of people marched in the Spanish town of Daimiel, where Father Rodriguez was born, to show support for him.

El Salvador is one of the most violent countries in the hemisphere, with 69.2 murders per 100,000 inhabitants, according to figures from the World Health Organisation. The authorities attribute many of these deaths to gangs.

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Pope Francis meets family of Jesuit kidnapped in Syria

A vigil calling for the release of Fr Dall'Oglio in Beirut, Lebanon (Photo: PA)

A vigil calling for the release of Fr Dall’Oglio in Beirut, Lebanon

Pope Francis celebrated the feast of St Ignatius of Loyola by meeting the family of a Jesuit kidnapped in Syria a year ago and joining them and priests at the Jesuit headquarters for lunch.

Fr Giuseppe Bellucci said the Pope had “communicated at the last minute” his desire to join the community at the Jesuit headquarters for lunch on July 31, the feast day of the founder of the Society of Jesus.

“It was a private and simple visit,” Fr Bellucci said.

Among those present in the community’s refectory were the four sisters and three brothers of Italian Jesuit Fr Paolo Dall’Oglio, who was believed to have been kidnapped in northern Syria on July 29, 2013. He has not been heard from since.

On the first anniversary of his disappearance, one of his brothers and one of his sisters – speaking on behalf of the family – posted a video on YouTube asking those responsible for Fr Dall’Oglio’s disappearance to let the family know if he was alive or if they should be in mourning.

Pope Francis offered them “words of appreciation and comfort,” Fr Bellucci said.

After lunch the Pope visited one of the chapels in the Jesuit headquarters that had been remodelled with mosaics by Fr Marko Rupnik and joined the community for a quick espresso, served in little plastic cups.

In their video the Dall’Oglio family said: “We would like to once again hold him in our arms; however, we also are prepared to mourn for him.”

Archbishop Mario Zenari, the Vatican nuncio to Syria, told Vatican Radio: “Unfortunately, there is still no concrete, certain and trustworthy element” to help the Church, the Italian government, the Jesuits or his family know whether he was still being held or had been killed.

“I, too, would like to make a heartfelt appeal to those responsible for his kidnapping,” the archbishop said. “Have pity for the deep pain of his family and all those who knew and held him in esteem; give us news about his fate.”

Archbishop Zenari said his appeal also went to those who kidnapped two Orthodox bishops, an Orthodox priest and a Catholic priest – all of whom are still missing.

In their video, the Dall’Oglio family also remembered the other victims of kidnapping in Syria. On the anniversary of the Jesuit’s disappearance, they said: “Many of us will be praying for him and standing by him, as we will be doing for those who have been kidnapped, unjustly detained, and for the many who are suffering because of this war.”

Fr Dall’Oglio had been based in Syria for 30 years, and since 1982 had been restoring an ancient monastery in the desert and forming a religious community dedicated to Christian-Muslim dialogue and harmony.

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Dear Reverend Fathers, Reverend Sisters, and Catholic friends,
Kindly excuse this common enquiry under Bcc to all. Please treat it as a most important individual communication from me.
If you share my concern, please circulate this letter to all your contacts. I will greatly appreciate any feedback/information and I give you my assurance that I will not use your name or email address in the present report that I am preparing.
The extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the Family will meet at the Vatican October 5-19, 2014.
It will include a dozen or more voting members named by the pope, three priests chosen by the Union of Superiors General, a dozen or more expert advisers, about a dozen representatives of other Christian churches and up to 30 observers, more than half comprised of married couples -- who will be encouraged to address the assembly
A preparatory questionnaire was distributed in October 2013 and summarized in the synod working document that was published in June 2013 demonstrated a desire to hear from the grassroots. The topics raised in the questionnaire included contraception, divorce and remarriage, same-sex marriage, premarital sex and in vitro fertilization. (cf.
I have been closely following developments on this issue and have been preparing a sort of "study" as I am greatly concerned about a number of statements attributed to Pope Francis and then denied or "explained" by Vatican sources and manipulated by the secular media as well as extreme liberal Catholic groups. While just a couple of important and senior individuals in the Church appear to be defending the traditional positions of the Church against compromise and change, there is a lot of speculation even in the Catholic media about which side will prevail at the Synod, and whose side the Pope will come down on (seeing that popular opinion, surveys and polls indicate that "Catholics" want revolutionary changes in the traditional moral teachings of the Church).
Unfortunately, many statements (and actions) by Pope Francis have not been very reassuring and have drawn criticism from faithful Catholics, including many in ministry. It is not possible for me to provide documentation in this letter but the interested reader may examine just two (of a total of seven in the Quo Vadis series) reports at this ministry's web site:
While conservative, traditional and faithful Catholics are apparently ignorant or unconcerned about the Synod, dissenting, dissident and leftwing groups have galvanized themselves into action and have been garnering support for their agendae worldwide. Just one example: They have had regional and national level meetings, organized their own questionnaires and signature campaigns and are busy submitting their findings and proposals to Catholic Bishops' Conferences and to Rome. Their agendae include, but naturally, pro-choice and anti-life programs, lifting of the ban on use of contraceptives, recognition of the LGBT (same-sex) lobby, Holy Communion for divorced and remarried individuals, optional celibacy for priests, the ordination of women, and much more. They are displaying a purpose and unity that appears to be totally missing among Indian Catholics. I hope I am utterly wrong in my presumption. Still, I assure you that my
 findings give me serious reasons for concern. If you are presently unaware of the details, you will be provided them in my report in a couple of weeks.
What I need to have or need to know to help me in the preparation of my report that I intend to send to the CBCI and to Rome:
-Any information whatsoever about the Synod, irrespective of date and source. Please give me the URLs only.
-To what extent and manner was the Vatican questionnaire/survey circulated/announced/discussed with the laity in your diocese/city and approximately when?
-Your personal opinions, if any.
-Do you have any idea of who the Indian priests and lay persons are who have been deputed by the Indian Church to attend the Extraordinary Synod on our behalf? If not, can you please find out and let me know?
Please do not dismiss this letter lightly. If you will not reply, please circulate it to other Catholics; if you cannot do that either, pray.
If in the future, God forbid, we are burdened with unacceptable changes to Catholic morality and the Faith of our Fathers, it may be too late for us to regret. Our children and theirs will hold us responsible. Remember that the forces of evil in the opposite camp are extremely well organized and pro-active; see the web pages of which alone has dozens of allied support groups worldwide. is a lobby that is promoting every type of perversion such as homosexuality and women priests to name just two in the name of "Catholic Church Reform".
Michael Prabhu
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