Re­li­gion Briefs Catholic bish­ops cre­ate bless­ing for Quincean­era

The Covington News - - Religion -

WASH­ING­TON — The U. S. Con­fer­ence of Catholic Bish­ops is pub­lish­ing a rit­ual bless­ing for the Quincean­era, the com­ing- ofage cel­e­bra­tion for His­panic girls on their 15th birth­day.

The Rev. Al­lan Deck, head of the bish­ops’ cul­tural di­ver­sity of­fice, said the rit­ual aims to help “ Latino Catholics cel­e­brate their cul­tural her­itage and build new bridges to other Catholics.”

About one- third of U. S. Catholics are Latino, and the per­cent­age of His­panic Catholics in the coun­try is ex­pected to in­crease, ac­cord­ing to sur­veys.

The rit­ual can in­clude a Mass and a pre­sen­ta­tion of re­li­gious ar­ti­cles to the teenager from her bap­tismal god­par­ents or oth­ers. The teenager will also be asked to make a com­mit­ment to God and the Vir­gin Mary to live out the rest of her life ac­cord­ing to Catholic teach­ing.

Many dio­ce­ses al­ready mark the Quincean­era with a bless­ing. Bish­ops had re­quested an ap­proved rit­ual for use in all U. S. dio­ce­ses, lead­ing to the new book­let.

It will be pub­lished Sept. 19.

Ten­sion mounts as Bos­nian imams protest gay fes­ti­val

SARA­JEVO, Bos­nia- Herze­gov­ina — Posters con­demn­ing gays have ap­peared in Sara­jevo ahead of this month’s first- ever gay fes­ti­val in Bos­nia.

Two Mus­lim imams have been quoted as crit­i­ciz­ing the tim­ing of the five- day fes­ti­val, which opens Sept. 24 and will oc­cur dur­ing the holy month of Ra­madan.

Is­lam pro­hibits gay re­la­tion­ships, and Sara­jevo is at least 85 per­cent Mus­lim.

Nei­ther the head of the Is­lamic Com­mu­nity in Bos­nia, Mustafa Ceric, nor his in­sti­tu­tion has of­fi­cially re­acted to the fes­ti­val, which will in­clude films and art ex­hi­bi­tions. But two lo­cal imams in Bos­nia have con­demned it.

“ We will not grab them by the neck on the street, but we have to say: This is im­moral ... a pro­mo­tion of ideas that are in vi­o­la­tion with re­li­gion,” Seid Sma­j­kic, an imam from the south­ern city of Mostar, told Dnevni Avaz, a daily news­pa­per.

An­other lo­cal imam, Sulejman Bulgari, said in a TV in­ter­view that the Quran, the Mus­lim holy book, for­bids same- sex re­la­tion­ships.

Sev­eral posters have ap­peared in the streets of Sara­jevo this week, say­ing “ Death to Gays.” Po­lice quickly re­moved them.

The Bos­nia mis­sion of the Or­ga­ni­za­tion for Se­cu­rity and Co­op­er­a­tion in Europe said it is con­cerned that politi­cians have not re­minded the pub­lic that lo­cal laws for­bid dis­crim­i­na­tion re­gard­ing sex­ual ori­en­ta­tion.

Slo­bo­danka Da­kic, an ac­tivist of the Bos­nian Q As­so­ci­a­tion, a fes­ti­val or­ga­nizer that pro­motes gay, les­bian, bi­sex­ual and trans­sex­ual rights, said there was no plan to an­tag­o­nize any­one. But she also said the event will not be can­celed or resched­uled be­cause of Ra­madan.

Bos­nia is sup­posed to be a sec­u­lar so­ci­ety in which events are not planned ac­cord­ing to re­li­gious cal­en­dars, she said at a news con­fer­ence in Mostar.

Spike in en­roll­ment at top U.S. Catholic sem­i­nary

ROME — The Rome sem­i­nary con­sid­ered the West Point for U. S. priests has its largest in­com­ing class in 40 years.

The Pon­tif­i­cal North Amer­i­can Col­lege is wel­com­ing 61 sem­i­nar­i­ans in its fall classes beginning in mid- Oc­to­ber, ac­cord­ing to Catholic News Ser­vice.

The school, on a hill over­look­ing the Vat­i­can, opened in 1954 with room for more than 200 stu­dents, but has not been full in re­cent years.

Mon­signor Robert Gruss, vice rec­tor for stu­dent life, told CNS that the col­lege, which is spon­sored by the U. S. bish­ops, will have 208 sem­i­nar­i­ans to­tal this year.

Jewish group con­demns evan­gel­i­cal doc­u­ment

NEW YORK — The Anti- Defama­tion League has called an evan­gel­i­cal move to pro­mote evan­ge­liz­ing Jews in Europe an “ af­front to the Jewish peo­ple.”

The Jewish civil rights group urged the World Evan­gel­i­cal Al­liance to with­draw the state­ment is­sued last month. The ADL wants the al­liance to talk with Jewish groups about the is­sue.

The doc­u­ment, called “ The Berlin Dec­la­ra­tion on the Unique­ness of Christ and Jewish Evan­ge­lism in Europe To­day,” urged “ re­newed com­mit­ment to the task of Jewish evan­ge­lism” and recog­ni­tion that only Christ “ can save from death and bring eter­nal life.”

The state­ment, re­leased last month by a the­ol­ogy task force of the World Evan­gel­i­cal Al­liance, also con­demns anti- Semitism and all re­li­gious dis­crim­i­na­tion.

The Anti- Defama­tion League said is­su­ing the state­ment from Berlin was es­pe­cially in­sen­si­tive.

“ Pro­mot­ing a cam­paign to con­vert Jews away from their faith is a se­ri­ous af­front to the Jewish peo­ple and dis­re­spect­ful to Ju­daism’s own teach­ings,” the New York- based group said in a state­ment last Fri­day. “As long as the WEA teaches that Ju­daism is in­com­plete or mis­guided, an­tiSemitism will con­tinue.”

The World Evan­gel­i­cal Al­liance is a net­work of churches in 128 na­tions rep­re­sent­ing mil­lions of Chris­tians.

In­mate says Na­tive Amer­i­can re­li­gious rights de­nied

CHARLESTON, W. Va. — West Vir­ginia’s Supreme Court jus­tices have de­clined to take up a case filed by an in­mate who says he’s be­ing de­nied the right to freely prac­tice his Na­tive Amer­i­can re­li­gion.

Among other things, Bobby Eu­gene Roddy wanted the court to or­der the Divi­sion of Cor­rec­tions to pro­vide him with a sweat lodge to use one day a week for a cer­e­mony.

The Mount Olive Cor­rec­tional Com­plex in­mate also wanted two prayer pipe cer­e­monies per week and to be al­lowed to grow his hair long.

The 42- year- old Roddy goes by the spir­i­tual name “ Run­ning Cougar.”

Cor­rec­tions Com­mis­sioner Jim Ruben­stein says no in­mate is pro­hib­ited from prac­tic­ing re­li­gion. But he says some re­quests must be de­nied for se­cu­rity con­cerns.

Jus­tices voted against hear­ing the case last week.

Mayor pre­par­ing hol­i­day dis­play pol­icy be­fore fed­eral case

GREEN BAY, Wis. — The city of Green Bay could have a pol­icy in place for Christ­mas dis­plays even be­fore a fed­eral judge rules on whether the city vi­o­lated the Con­sti­tu­tion.

Mayor Jim Sch­mitt has met with clergy to get their ideas on a city pol­icy. They agreed that the city should stick with sec­u­lar dec­o­ra­tions and leave the re­li­gious dis­plays to area churches and syn­a­gogues.

Sch­mitt said he hopes to present a pol­icy to the city coun­cil in Oc­to­ber.

That means new rules could be in place be­fore U. S. Judge William Gries­bach rules on a law­suit filed against the city by the Madi­son- based Free­dom From Re­li­gion Foun­da­tion over the city na­tiv­ity scene in­stalled last Christ­mas.

Oral ar­gu­ments in the law­suit are set to be­gin Sept. 15.

St. Wille­brord Parish

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