Catholic Transcript Magazine of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Hartford Connecticut

As we celebrate the 175th Anniversary of the Archdiocese, we look back… on July 19, 1915 when ground was broken for St. Stephen Church, Hamden.
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VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Benedict XVI said the Catholic press has an irreplaceable role in forming Christian consciences and reflecting the Church's viewpoint on contemporary issues.

Despite the crisis in print media today, the Catholic newspaper still has a vital role to play in diocesan communications, the Pope said. He made the remarks Nov. 26 to members of the Italian Federation of Italian Weeklies, which represents 188 Catholic newspapers.

The Pope said that while secular media often reflect a skeptical and relativistic attitude toward truth, the Church knows that people need the full truth brought by Christ.

"The mission of the Church consists in creating the conditions so that this meeting with Christ can be realized. Cooperating in this task, the communications media are called to serve the truth with courage, to help public opinion see and read reality from an evangelical viewpoint," he said.

A primary task of the Catholic newspaper, he said, is to "give voice to a point of view that reflects Catholic thinking on all ethical and social questions."

The Pope said the printed newspaper, because of its simplicity and widespread distribution, remains an effective way of spreading news about local diocesan events and developments, including charity initiatives.

As "newspapers of the people," he said, Catholic papers can also favor real dialogue between different social sectors and debate among people of different opinions.

"By doing this, Catholic newspapers not only fulfill the important task of providing information, but also perform an irreplaceable formative function" in the education of "critical and Christian consciences," he said.

The Pope said Catholic journalists should give witness to their faith in their work. Their success as Catholic communicators will depend above all on their personal relationship with Christ, he said.

alertAt the Spring Assembly of the U.S. bishops, Cardinal Joseph Tobin suggested that a delegation ofbishops go to the border to see for themselves what was happening to newly arrived immigrants, families and children. On July 1 and 2, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the U.S. bishops conference, and five other bishops conducted a pastoral visit to the diocese of Brownsville, Texas. Stops included Mass at the Shrine of Our Lady of San Juan del Valle with the community, a visit to anHHS/OBR Shelter and Mass for the families there, a visit to the Customs and Border Patrol processing center in McAllen, TX, and a press conference at the end of their visit. Catholic News Service accompanied the bishops on their border trip. 

  1. Backgrounder and analysis of the bishops’ trip to the border: Cardinal DiNardo told CNS, “You cannot look at immigration as an abstraction when you meet” the people behind the issue.
  2. At final press conference, Cardinal Daniel Dinardo said the church was willing to be part of any conversation to find humane solutions because even a policy of detaining families together in facilities caused “concern.”
  3. Bishops serve soup to immigrant families at a center run by Catholic Charities and listen to their stories. Scranton Bishop Joseph Bambera said he found hope in hearing the people in the room talk about what’s ahead. They didn’t speak of making money but of finding safety for their children, he said, driven by “the most basic instinct to protect your family.”
  4. At an opening Mass he Basilica of Our Lady of San Juan del Valle-National Shrine near McAllen, Texas, Bishop Daniel Flores of Brownsville told Massgoers, “The bishops are visiting here so they can stop and look and talk to people and understand, especially the suffering of many who are amongst us,”

A delegation of U.S. bishops goes on a fact-finding mission at the U.S.-Mexican border to learn more about Central American immigration detention.

Following their visit to an immigrant detention center, U.S. bishops said they are even more determined to call on Congress for comprehensive immigration reform.