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Vatican City, Oct 5, 2015 / 05:08 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- There are no “spectacular revolutions” in the offing at the Synod of Bishops, and those expecting one will be disappointed, one of the three president delegates of Synod of Bishops said Monday in a press briefing.

Cardinal André Vingt-Trois of Paris underscored that the “discussion at the synod was coloured, even filtered, by inaccurate media reports” but that “the Pope and the synod do not want to listen to what is floating in the air, and fashionable, today.”

The Pope and the synod want rather to listen to “the signs of times, that is, the discernment we have learned from the Second Vatican Council.”

The cardinal rejected the notion of a Church divided into two parties, as did Archbishop Bruno Forte of Chieti-Vasto, who is serving as special secretary of the Synod of Bishops.

“The media depicted a Church divided into two poles… but this is not the perception we have from inside the synod hall,” Archbishop Forte said.

In the morning, Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga of Tegucigalpa made the same remarks.

Cardinal Rodriguez said the synod fathers have been “sometimes saddened by the way the world has ignited this synod, thinking that we have come has two opposite gangs in order to defend irreducible positions.”

Cardinal Rodriguez stressed that instead, “each of us is looking for a unanimity that comes from dialogue, not from ideas to be defended with a vengeance.” And he underscored that the Church “is not a Church endangered,” and nor “is the family, though it is under threat.”

Cardinal Vingt-Trois had also given an initial address to the synod assembly.

Speaking shortly before Pope Francis, Cardinal Vingt-Trois identified in the reform for the procedures of declaration of nullity and in the Jubilee of Mercy two guidelines for the spirit of the synod.

The motu proprio that reformed the procedures for the declaration of nullity is – according to Cardinal Vingt-Trois – “a precious indication of the spirit in which we should approach” the synod’s work.

“Without questioning the sacramental tradition of our Church or her doctrine on the indissolubility of marriage, you invite us to share our pastoral experiences and to better implement the paths of mercy by which the Lord invites those who so wish and who are able to enter a process of conversion with a view to receiving pardon,” he said.

The year of mercy is – in Cardinal Vingt-Trois’ words – a “sign of hope for those who are overcome in the path (of life) and hope to know a real liberation.”

Cardinal Vingt-Trois also hoped that “these three weeks of intense work will be an important experience of the Church.”

“Despite the differences among ourselves, we do not want to live these times as a showdown between a few people, whose judges are microphones and cameras. We want to live this as a time of common conversion, with the strength of Communion under you, Holy Father, Guardian and Servant,” concluded Cardinal Vingt-Trois.


Los Angeles, Calif., Oct 5, 2015 / 04:08 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- After months of debate and strong opposition, California governor Jerry Brown on Monday signed into a law a bill enabling doctors to prescribe drugs that will end the lives of terminally ill patients.

“This is a dark day for California and for the Brown legacy,” said Californians against Assisted Suicide. The group warned in an Oct. 5 statement that people and families in the state could be harmed “by giving doctors the power to prescribe lethal overdoses to patients.”

With the passage of the law, California will become the fifth state allowing ill patients to end their lives. Montana, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington also allow assisted suicide, while similar bills have been defeated in several states, including Colorado and Massachusetts.  

The California law, based on similar legislation in Oregon, allows doctors to give lethal drugs to adults with a terminal illness if they are deemed medically competent and expected to die within six months. It will not take effect until 90 days after the end of the legislature’s special healthcare session, which will likely be next year.

The controversial bill had drawn criticism for months. It was temporarily withdrawn from the State Senate in July, but resurfaced and was passed Sept. 11 by a vote of 23-14.

Local Catholic leaders had decried the measure as a violation of human dignity.

“Death will always be a mystery and death will never be easy – for those who are dying or for those who love them. But we can make death less painful, less frightening and we can even make it a time of beauty, mercy and reconciliation,” Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez had written in a letter to state lawmakers.

“Once we start down this path – once we establish in law that some lives are not as valuable as others, not worth ‘paying for’ – there will be no turning back,” he warned. “The logic of doctor-assisted suicide does not stop with the terminally ill.”

Health care and civil rights groups also opposed the bill, along with disabilities rights groups, who say that the legislation discriminates against the disabled and could lead to pressure on them to end their own lives.

Opponents argued that assisted suicide sends a dangerous societal message that suicide is an acceptable way to handle pain and difficulty. They pointed to abuses in other states where the practice has been legalized and lethal prescriptions have changed hands – either knowingly or unknowingly – with deadly results.

In addition, those fighting the bill noted that terminal diagnoses are not always correct, and assisted suicide may end the life of patients who may have gone on to live longer than anticipated or lived to see medical advances that could have cured or eased their condition.



St. Bruno, founder
10/6/2015 12:00:00 AM
 On Oct. 6, the Catholic Church commemorates Saint Bruno of Cologne, founder of the Carthusian order of monks who remain notable for their strictly traditional and austere rule of contemplative life. Born in 1030, Bruno is said to have belonged to a prominent family in the city of Cologne. Little is known of his early years, except that he studied theology in the present-day French city of Reims before returning to his native land, where he was most likely ordained a priest in approximately 1055. Returning to Reims the following year, he soon became head of the school he had attended there, after its director Heriman left to enter consecrated religious life in 1057. Bruno led and taught at the school for nearly two decades, acquiring an excellent reputation as a philosopher and theologian, until he was named chancellor of the local diocese in 1075. Bruno's time as chancellor coincided with an uproar in Reims over the behavior of its new bishop Manasses de Gournai. Suspended by the decision of a local council, the bishop appealed to Rome while attacking and robbing the houses of his opponents. Bruno left the diocese during this period, though he was considered as a possible successor to Manasses after the bishop's final deposition in 1080. The chancellor, however, was not interested in leading the Church of Reims. Bruno and two of his friends had resolved to renounce their worldly goods and positions and enter religious life. Inspired by a dream to seek guidance from the bishop later canonized as Saint Hugh of Grenoble, Bruno settled in the Chartreuse Mountains in 1084, joined by a small group of scholars looking to become monks. In 1088, one of Bruno's former students was elected as Pope Urban II. Six years into his life as an alpine monk, Bruno was called to leave his remote monastery to assist the Pope in his struggle against a rival papal claimant as well as the hostile Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV. Bruno served as a close adviser to the Pope during a critical period of reform. Around this time, he also rejected another chance to become a bishop, this time in the Italian region of Calabria. While he obtained the Pope's permission to return to monastic life, Bruno was required to remain in Italy to help the Pope periodically, rather than returning to his monastery in France. During the 1090s Bruno befriended Count Roger of Sicily and Calabria, who granted land to his group of monks and enabled the founding of a major monastery in 1095. The monks were known, then as now, for their strict practice of asceticism, poverty, and prayer; and for their unique organizational form, combining the solitary life of hermits with the collective life of more conventional monks. St. Bruno died on October 6, 1101, after making a notable profession of faith which was preserved for posterity. In this final testimony, he gave particular emphasis to the doctrine of Christ's Eucharistic presence, which had already begun to be questioned in parts of the Western Church.“I believe,â€� he attested, “in the sacraments that the Church believes and holds in reverence, and especially that what has been consecrated on the altar is the true Flesh and the true Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, which we receive for the forgiveness of our sins and in the hope of eternal salvation.â€�Veneration of St. Bruno was given formal approval in 1514, and extended throughout the Latin Rite in 1623. More recently, his Carthusian Order was the subject of the 2006 documentary film “Into Great Silence,â€� chronicling the life of monks in the Grand Chartreuse monastery. 

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