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RU 42/2006 - PORTUGAL, ITALY


- PORTUGAL: So that's where we are, the country of the Most Holy Virgin Mary of Fatima, Portugal, risks to become an abortion mill, like already so many other countries. On October 19th, the parliament ratified the proposition of the new socialist government of Jose Socrates to introduce by referendum abortion on simple demand until the 10th week of pregnancy. Voted in favour: the Socialists. Voted against: the Communists and the Green (!). Abstention: the Christian-Democrats (!). Until now abortion is tolerated only in case of rape, of congenital malformation of the baby, or a serious danger for the mom's life. Already in 1998 a referendum had been organized on abortion, with a very narrow majority of 50.07 % of voices against it, and with a record rate of abstention: 68.11%. The new referendum could be held as early as in January 2007, if the Constitutional Court and the Presidency pronounce themselves in its favor, what is maybe not quite certain. On the other hand, the Church is faltering in this fight: the cardinal patriarch of Lisbon Mgr Jose Policarpo has just recommended abstention to the undecided ones. The question of abortion would not be a religious question, but only of question of fundamental ethics (?). "I evidently don't make any recommendation for your vote", declared the cardinal. According to him, the Church shouldn't lead the campaign for this referendum: "It should be especially the physicians and family's fathers who lead the defense of the no". - It turns out, more and more, that the victory of abortion in Europe is very precisely the lacking courage of the shepherds of the Church who don't dare to defend the life of babies any more, even if some bishops try to protest. Abortion became actually an interior problem of the Church. If the Christians were standing up like one single man against the massacre of the babies, there would be no abortion in Europe. Will Benedict XVI find the courage to remedy to this catastrophic situation? - (ru; cf. AFP 3.10., WN 20.10.)

 

- ITALY: For the 5th centenary of the mysterial arrival of the veil "The Veronica" - or "the Manopello" - to Pescara in the Abruzzi, in the center of Italy, the Holy Father himself went there on September 1st for pilgrimage, by helicopter, while venerating this Relic about which tradition says that it's the veil which Saint Veronica presented to Christ during his path of the Cross while wiping off the blood and the sweat from his Holy Face. It's in that precise moment that the image of his Face would have printed itself on the veil, "made without the hand of man". The picture looks like the one on the Shroud of Turin, in measurements and many details, except that "The Veronica" presents a living Face. Researchers demonstrated that the two pictures are superimposable and should date of the same time. Rev. Fr. Heinrich Pfeiffer SJ discovered 20 years ago that this veil in silk of 24 x 17 cm is Christ's true picture, the "Vera Icona" (Veronica), the "Volto Santo" (Holy Face) that apparently disappeared during the Sacco di Roma (beginning of the 16th century) from the Basilica Saint Peter in Rome where it was very much venerated in the 14th and 15th centuries. Which fact implies, he says, that the "Veronica" which is shown today at Saint Peter's cathedral in Rome, can by no means be the famous "Veronica", since there is no (or no more?) picture on the relic in Rome. Fr. Pfeiffer teaches in the pontifical university Gregoriana in Rome and is highly appreciated. According to a very popular tradition - but not mentioned in the New Testament - Veronica was one of the saint women who came with Jesus to Mount Calvary. She offered him a cloth to wipe his Face, and the picture of Christ's Face. At the time of his visit, the Holy Father didn't touch the question of the authenticity of the picture of Manopello, according to the reserved habit of the Vatican in relation to scientific proceedings. On the other hand, he preached to the numerous pilgrims that it's necessary to see and contemplate Jesus' Holy Face, God who became man, in order to arrive to a regular personal intimacy with Him. "On His Holy Face we see who is God, and how He is !", he declared. And again: "We must try to know better God's Face, in order to find in it the strength of the love and the peace to show us the path." - (ru; cf. TD Sept. 15, IHT Sept. 2, M+V Sept. 2)

- - O.A.M.D.G. - -



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