#ShortNews: French cardinal: ecology is a ‘question of life and death’

In a homily preached a week before the beginning of the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 21) in Paris, Cardinal André Vingt-Trois warned against two ecological temptations.

The first temptation is “to dream of an idyllic universe” without mankind, he preached on November 22 at the Cathedral of Notre Dame. “This is an earthly paradise without men. It is ecology against humanity, in other words a vision of the human being as an intruder and a destroyer.”

The second temptation, Cardinal Vingt-Trois continued, is a “partial ecology” in which we make better use of resources in order to “safeguard our way of life” and to “ensure that our prosperity will continue.”

Referring to Pope Francis’s encyclical Laudato Si’, Cardinal Vingt-Trois called ecology “a global project of life that must reach all sectors of human existence … Ecology is not a decorative luxury for developed societies, it is a question of life and death. It is a question of life and death for which we are called to revise our manner of living.”

Ecology should take into account “not only our business, our interests, our hopes, our ideologies,” but also “the totality of the universe of which Christ is the center,” he added.


#ShortNews: Priests should cultivate serenity, live for others, Pope says

A priest should be a “man of peace,” Pope Francis said in a November 20 address to a conference on priestly training, sponsored by the Vatican Congregation for Clergy.

A priest should live in serenity, and encourage others to do the same, the Pontiff said. “It is not normal for a priest to be often sad, nervous, or of a hard character. It is not good, and does not good—neither for the priest nor for his people.”

Strong formation in character is essential for priests, the Pope said. For that formation, he said, the “fundamental place” is the home, and healthy family life is the best way to foster priestly vocations.

The Holy Father went on to say that priests are called to serve others. “We are not priests for our own sake,” he said, “and our sanctification is closely linked to that of our people.” For that reason, he said, a priest cannot look upon his work as an ordinary job, in which he can finish his duties and then take time off for himself.

The priesthood is a vocation rather than a job, and priests should be driven by their love for their people, the Pope said. “They are not philanthropists or functionaries, but fathers and brothers.”


#ShortNews: Pope Francis: Jesus reveals himself as King on the Cross

Reflecting on the conversation between Pilate and Jesus in the day’s Gospel reading (Jn. 18:33-37), Pope Francis contrasted worldly kingship and Christ’s kingship in his November 22 Angelus address.

“We have here a contraposition of two types of logic,” the Pope told the crowds gathered in St. Peter’s Square. “The worldly logic bases itself on ambition, competition, combat with the weapons of fear, of bribery, of the manipulation of consciences. On the other hand, the logic of the Gospel, that is, the logic of Jesus, is expressed in humility and gratitude. It is affirmed silently but effectively with the force of truth.”

“Jesus has revealed himself as a king,” the Pope added. “When? In the event of the cross. One who looks at the cross cannot help but see the surprising gratuitousness of love. But someone could say, ‘But Father, that was a failure!’ It is precisely in the failure of sin that sin is a failure. In the failure of human ambitions, there is the triumph of the cross, there is the gratuitousness of love.”


Saint René Goupil

st rene groupilSaint René Goupil was a Jesuit missionary; born 1607, in Anjou; martyred in New York State, 23 September, 1642. He was baptized in St-Martin-du-Bois, near Angers, in the ancient Province of Anjou, on 15 May 1608, the son of Hipolite and Luce Provost Goupil. He was working as a surgeon in Orléans before entering the novitiate of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) in Paris on 16 March 1639. He had to leave the novitiate due to deafness.

Goupil volunteered to serve as a lay missionary working to assist the Jesuit Fathers. In 1640 he arrived in New France. From 1640 to 1642 he served at the Saint-Joseph de Sillery Mission, near Quebec, where he was charged with caring for the sick and wounded at the hospital. His work primarily involved wound dressings and bloodlettings.

In 1642 Goupil travelled to the Huron missions with about forty other persons, including several Huron chiefs and Jesuit Father Isaac Jogues. Goupil  and the group were captured by the Iroquois near Lake St. Peter for making the sign of the cross over a child‘s head, which was mistaken for some type of curse. Then taken to their easternmost village of Ossernenon (about 9 miles west of present-day Auriesville, New York), and tortured.

Like the other captives, he was beaten, his nails torn out, and his finger-joints cut off. On the thirteen days’ journey to the Iroquois country, he suffered from heat, hunger, and blows, his wounds festering and swarming with worms. Meeting half way a band of two hundred warriors, he was forced to march between their double ranks and almost beaten to death. Goupil might have escaped, but he stayed with Jogues.

Returning one evening to the village with Jogues whil reciting rosary with the group, one of the Iroquois drew out a hatchet he had been hiding under a cover and struck Groupil who was in front of him a blow on the head. Rene felt face down on the ground, uttering the holy name of Jesus. In a split second, the Iroquois struck twice more on Groupil’s the head. It was on the 29th of September, the feast of St. Michael.

Groupil was the first of the order in the Canadian missions to suffer martyrdom. He had previously bound himself to the Society by the religious vows pronounced in the presence of Father Jogues, who calls him in his letters “an angel of innocence and a martyr of Jesus Christ.”

Before being martyred, he had professed religious vows as a Jesuit lay brother before Fr. Jogues. Many of the 24 Huron accompanying Goupil were baptized Catholic converts. His death by hatchet in the head led to his patronage of people who work with or receive anasthesia.