Tag Archives: Vatican

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

morning roundup

TODAY’S FORECAST 

Monday: Sunny to partly cloudy. High around 65. Winds N at 5 to 10 mph. Monday night: Mostly cloudy. Low 47. Winds ESE at 10 to 15 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Abdias Nascimento: Artist, Activist, Author

Author, playwright, senator and artist Abdias Nascimento was a critical political figure in Brazil and a founding force for the South American country’s black movement. Queens College will exhibit 40 large-scale, brilliantly colored digital prints of Nascimento’s art based on the theme of the forces of nature and mediators between heaven and earth, humans and the gods. Free. Through June 21. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Wake Monday for 2 4-year olds killed in Far Rockaway fire

Family and friends will gather Monday to say goodbye to two young children killed in a fire in Queens. Read more: ABC New York

NY bill would bar condoms as proof of prostitution

New York City spends more than a million dollars every year to distribute free condoms to combat unintended pregnancies and diseases such as AIDS. Yet police are allowed to confiscate those very condoms as evidence of prostitution. Read more: NBC New York

Lawmaker wants big businesses to offer commuter tax benefit

Big employers in the city may have to enroll in a federal commuter tax benefit program that transit groups say can help thousands of subway and bus riders save hundreds of dollars a year. Read more: am New York

Killer son played dumb at parents’ funeral: prosecutors

A spoiled brat killed his Queens parents because they cut him off financially, prosecutors say — and he even pretended to mourn them at their funeral. Read more: New York Post

Thousands pack St. Peter’s Square for canonization of John XXIII and John Paul II

Generations of church history have passed, but Catholicism has never seen a ceremony like the one that enrolled John XXIII and John Paul II as saints. Read more: CBS New York

Cardinal Bergoglio of Argentina elected as first pope from South America


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/Aibdescalzo

BY MAGGIE HAYES AND TERENCE M. CULLEN

The papal conclave elected Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina, the first South American and Jesuit pope, after one of the shortest conclaves in history. He selected the papal name Francis I.

The decision came just a day after the voting began on Tuesday, March 12, following the official end of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s reign at the end of February.

“Let us begin this journey together, this journey for the Roman Catholic Church,” said Pope Francis to a packed-tight crowd in St. Peter’s Square. “It’s a journey of friendship, of love, of trust and faith.”

Pope Francis, 76, was born in Buenos Aires, and was Archbishop of his native city from 1998 until last year. His career, thus far, has been spent solely in Argentina. He is the 266th pope and the first non-European choice in over 1,000 years.

“He’s a very holy and humble man,” said Monsignor Jamie Gigantiello of the Archdiocese of Brooklyn, which also serves Queens. “I think he’s a man who can bring a lot of trust back to the papalcy.”

In Catholic history, St. Francis was a man who came to serve the poor, and there has also never been a pope named Francis.

“It could mean that he’s not looking towards other papacies as inspiration,” said John Heyer, also of the Archdiocese.

Pamela Shea-Byrnes, head of Campus Ministry at St. John’s, said she was impressed by the new pontiff’s name choice – inspired by St. Francis of Assisi.

A champion of helping the poor, the new pope understood the message of Francis, which calls for those who can help to aid those in need, Shea-Byrnes said.

Much like St. Francis, Shea-Brynes said she believes the new pontiff will reinvigorate the church and help rebuild it.

During his first address as Pope, he requested that his followers “always pray for one another,” and asked for the crowd’s blessing, which evolved into a moment of silence throughout the previously rambunctious square.

As a Latin American, he represents nearly half of the world’s Catholic population, according to Heyer. Also as a Jesuit, Pope Francis could possibly bring a new open-mindedness to the church, as Jesuits are seen to be.

“[Jesuits] realize we live in a multifaceted, multicultural world,” said Heyer, who hopes Pope Francis can apply these attributes to the Catholic world.

According to the National Catholic Reporter, Pope Francis is against same-sex marriage, use of contraception and premarital sex. He has been, however, against clerical privilege, and criticized priests who refused to baptize children out of wedlock.

“The church needs to reconcile in many places and build back bridges,” said Heyer. “The Christian message is about love. If that’s the direction we can go in, then I think we’re going towards a good place.”

 

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Queens and the world bids farewell to Pope Benedict XVI as he leaves Vatican


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy The New York Daily News

It’s official: Pope Benedict XVI is now “Pope Emeritus.”

His holiness officially left his post, the first Pope to do so in nearly 600 years, on Thursday, February 28 — as Cardinals from around the world gather to find a replacement.

Catholics in the city, and Queens, will now wait as a new leader of nearly 1.2 million faithful is selected. One of those in the process, and a potential replacement, is Cardinal Timonthy Dolan.

At Saint Nicholas of Tolentine Parish, in Jamaica, Rev. Anthony Nzegwu prayed for the pope and the church during noon mass today.

“God made it possible for us to witness this historic moment,” he said. “He’s given us the opportunity to pray hard for the church. This is not a time to criticize the church.”

 

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Local Catholic leaders react to Pope Benedict’s resignation


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Catholic News Service

Catholic leaders around the city are reacting with surprise and well-wishes to the news that Pope Benedict XVI will resign as leader of the Catholic Church effective Thursday, February 28.

His holiness, elected to lead the Vatican in 2005, announced early on Monday, February 11 he no longer felt physically or mentally able to guide the church.

Benedict XVI is the first Pontiff to resign since Pope Gregory XII in 1415 — when the Catholic Church faced an internal rift. Traditionally, a pope is elected until his death, after which a new leader is elected by the College of Cardinals.

As Pope, Benedict XVI serves as the spiritual leader of roughly 1 billion Catholics worldwide, as well as the political leader of the Vatican — the epicenter for Catholicism and one of the world’s smallest nations.The Pontiff is also the second consecutive non-Italian pope. Pope John Paul II, who was Polish, became the first church leader who was not Italian elected in 455 years. The incumbent Pope was born as Joseph Ratzinger in the Bavarian region of Germany.

The Rev. Nicholas DiMarzio, Bishop of the Diocese of Brooklyn, said he found out about the Pope’s decision around 6 a.m. on February 11. DiMarzio said while he was surprised by the news, he was knew Benedict had considered the move for some time.

“Two years ago he indicated that if he could not carry out the responsibilities he would resign,” DiMarzio said. “He prepared us with the eventuality that he might resign.”

Benedict XVI, who will turn 86 this April, was tired by from a combination of his age and his schedule, DiMarzio said.

“I’m sure they’ll elect another Pope,” he added. “Hopefully one with emotional, physical and spiritual qualities necessary to lead the church.”

Parish leaders throughout Queens gave their comments on His Holiness’ decision to resign after succeeding Pope John Paul II almost 8 years ago.

Monsignor Michael J. Hardiman of St. Sebastian’s Roman Catholic Church in Woodside said the Pope’s move would breathe new life into the church and allow for new leadership to spark a revival in the church.

“Pope Benedict [is] going out and saying, ‘We’re a new church again,’ and it’s an opportunity for the church to have new leadership,” Hardiman said. “Personally I think he was probably one of the persons who was closest to Pope John II, and he saw the last months of  his life and how debilitated he became; he wasn’t in charge any longer.”

Father Thomas Brosnan, pastor of Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church in Bayside, said the news was not earth-shattering, but would set a new policy that Popes may be able to step down, should they feel unable to lead the church.

“It had to happen sooner than later with the lifespan of people now,” Brosnan said. “If the Pope gets debilitated, that always has to be faced. It sets a precedent in the future that it’s okay to have a retired Pope.”

Bill Donohue, president of the New York-based American Catholic League, released seven points that the Pope’s legacy would be strongly preserved. During the Pope’s tenure, Donohue said, he was tolerant and tried to strengthen bonds with the rest of the world and create a better understanding.

“The pope reached out to dissidents on the right and the left, seeking to bring them to communion,” Donohue said. “Not all his efforts succeeded, but his attempts were noble.”

President Barack Obama issued a statement a few hours after the Vatican confirmed the news:

“On behalf of Americans everywhere,” he said, “Michelle and I wish to extend our appreciation and prayers to His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI. Michelle and I warmly remember our meeting with the Holy Father in 2009, and I have appreciated our work together over these last four years. The Church plays a critical role in the United States and the world, and I wish the best to those who will soon gather to choose His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI’s successor.”

Additional reporting by Alexa Altman, Melissa Chan and Maggie Hayes 

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST

Monday: Overcast with rain. Fog early. High of 45. Winds from the South at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 100% with rainfall amounts near 0.3 in. possible. Monday Night: Partly cloudy with a chance of rain. Fog overnight. Low of 34. Breezy. Winds from the West at 10 to 20 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Forest Hills Celebrates 5,000 Years of Chinese Culture

Wenyi Wang will discuss Chinese history, culture and current events at the Central Queens Y. Light kosher Chinese refreshments will be served. Free with $6 suggested donation. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Pope Resigning on Feb. 28, Conclave in March

Pope Benedict XVI announced Monday he would resign Feb. 28, the first pontiff to do so in nearly 600 years. The decision sets the stage for a conclave to elect a new pope before the end of March. Read more: AP

Queens lawmaker seeks to curb pollution from freight locomotives with influx of state money

A Queens lawmaker is pushing the state to set aside money to alleviate the problem of train pollution that stretches across four counties. Read more: New York Daily News

Mass transit largely back on track following blizzard

Mass transit across the Tri-State Area is getting back to normal. Long Island Rail Road restored weekend service on its Far Rockaway, Long Beach, Hempstead and Oyster Bay branches in addition to the LIRR’s four busiest branches – Ronkonkoma, Huntington, Babylon and Port Washington. Read more: CBS New York

Long Island Expressway reopens after winter storm

Cars are travelling on both directions on the Long Island Expressway Monday, just in time for the morning commute. Read more: ABC New York

Middle Village man found strangled in his room at Queens Boulevard motel

A man was found strangled in his room at a Queens motel late Saturday night, police sources said. Read more: New York Daily News 

Former state Sen. Huntley bought clothes for her dog in taxpayer-funded shopping sprees: source

Looting lawmaker Shirley Huntley loaded up on fancy clothes and spa treatments — and that was just for her pet poodle. Read more: New York Post

Teen births continue to decline in U.S

The number of U.S. babies born to teen mothers dropped to record lows in 2011, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Read more: Reuters

 

Pope publishes first tweet


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Screenshot fromTwitter

Using the Twitter handle @Pontifex, Pope Benedict XVI sent out his first tweet Wednesday, saying “Dear friends, I am pleased to get in touch with you through Twitter. Thank you for your generous response. I bless all of you from my heart.”

As of noon, the pope already had around 834,000 followers.

According to the Vatican, the pope used an iPad to send the message, and it was published after the blessing that concluded Wednesday’s general audience and displayed on a screen installed in the Paul VI Hall.

After sending his first tweet around 6 a.m. EST, he has posted several other messages, using the popular social media dashboard application TweetDeck.

In addition to the English @Pontifex account, he has seven other handles that each translate his tweets to another language—Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, German, Polish and Arabic.

Including those accounts, the pope already has more than a million followers.

So far, his messages haven’t included hashtags or other Twitter handles.

He also won’t be following others, according to Greg Burke, a Vatican communications adviser.

Throughout the day, however, the pope will be responding to three questions from three different continents, said the Vatican.