Skip to content
Catholic Online SHopping 20% off RE-Grand Opening SALE

RE-Grand Opening
FREE Shipping over $49 (lower 48)

Rome Notes: Ecumenism Inches Along; Help for AIDS Sufferers

Cardinal Kasper Assesses the State of Christian Unity

By Delia Gallagher

ROME, JAN. 29, 2004 (Zenit) - Cardinal Walter Kasper closed the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity on a hopeful yet sober note.

In an address Sunday in the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls, Cardinal Kasper said that despite occasional ecumenical exhaustion, great progress has been made in the last 10 years, and "we have become friends."

"My Peace I Give to You" was the theme of this year's week of prayer.

"Faced with the urgency of this message of peace," the cardinal said at the ecumenical celebration, "our hearts are filled with pain and shame because the image that our world and even our churches give us is very different."

"Our churches are separated; their witness throughout history has been antagonistic instead of unified, in favor of peace," he said.

The cardinal continued: "We cannot pretend that everything is perfect. Sometimes we note hints of ecumenical weariness, signs of a new confessionalism, attempts to threaten the journey toward unity. Having filled the fissures that once divided us, we note now that new ones open in the area of ethics."

"Certainly, from a merely human point of view, there are reasons to worry and lose heart," Cardinal Kasper said. But Christians are people of hope and so should not give in to despair, he added.

"The Second Vatican Council underlined that the ecumenical movement is born of the impulse of the Spirit of God. When the Spirit of God begins something, he always carries it out to fulfillment," said Cardinal Kasper.

The Vatican has officially participated in the Week of Christian Prayer since 1966, two years after Vatican II's decree on ecumenism and Pope Paul VI's ecumenical prayer in Jerusalem with Patriarch Athenagoras I, "that they all may be one" (John 17:22).

Since 1974, local church groups have participated in preparing the ecumenical prayer guidelines for the Week of Prayer.

This year, the Christian communities of Aleppo, Syria, prepared the booklet of prayer to be used by churches and ecclesial communities throughout the world.

"This year," said Cardinal Kasper, "a special bond links us to Christians in the Middle East and in a particular way, Syria, where -- in Aleppo -- the text for the Week of Prayer was prepared."

Aleppo boasts 11 Christian communities who live side by side with a majority Muslim population and a sizable Jewish one. In antiquity, Aleppo was the city in which Abraham is said to have milked his cows. The Arabic for Aleppo is "halab," from "halib": milk.

The Week of Prayer grew out of a Pentecostal tradition in Scotland in 1740 and was encouraged by Pope Leo XIII in 1894, who suggested a Prayer Octave for Unity at Pentecost.

The current observance of the week of Jan. 18-25 was proposed in 1908 to cover the feasts of St. Peter and St. Paul, but depending on local tradition, the Week of Prayer can also be observed at Pentecost.

At the conclusion of last year's Week of Prayer, John Paul II said: "It is my great desire that the Church of Rome which Providence has entrusted with unique "presidency in charity" may increasingly become a model of fraternal ecumenical relations."

* * *

Sant'Egidio's Dream Project

Wine for Life is the name of an initiative of the Community of Sant'Egidio in Rome to raise money for the treatment of those infected with AIDS in African countries, particularly mothers and children.

The program involves more than 50 Italian wine producers who donate 50 euro cents to Sant'Egidio's DREAM project for every bottle of their wine sold in Europe and the United States.

Sant'Egidio has been active on many fronts in Africa, helping to broker the peace that ended civil war in Mozambique in 1992.

DREAM is a project, already active in Mozambique, which seeks not only to assist African men and women infected with AIDS but to prevent the transmission of the HIV virus to the unborn children of infected pregnant women.

According to Mario Marazziti, spokesman for Sant'Egidio, the prevention of vertical transmission has been one of the successes of the program, as well as continued care for infected mothers after their children's birth, to ensure that the children do not become orphans.

Thirty million people are infected with the HIV virus in Africa, including 1 million children.

The nurses and doctors who work for the DREAM project in Mozambique are all unpaid volunteers.

Wine for Life opened its second year with a gala dinner, attended by DREAM project volunteers and donors, featuring wines from 50 Italian vineyards and a four-course meal, each course prepared by a famous chef.

Seated next to me at the dinner was a gentleman from Florence who told me that his family knew some people at the Vatican.

"Is your family involved in the Church?" I inquired.

"Well, yes -- we had a Pope," he said.

My dinner acquaintance was Duke Duccio Corsini, and the Pope he meant was Clement XII (1730-1740) -- Lorenzo Corsini -- who is best known for having erected famous monuments in Rome, such as the Trevi fountain.

Duke Corsini has participated in DREAM for two years. His wines come from two vineyards in Tuscany; we tasted the delicious Maremma, 2000, from the Marsiliana Estate and the Don Tommaso, 2000, from Fattoria le Corti.

Last year the proceeds from the sales of the Wine for Life bottles from the Corsini vineyards raised around $27,000 for the DREAM project.

Sant'Egidio estimates that it costs $330,000 to equip one molecular biology lab in Mozambique. The cost of analysis and follow-up for a mother and child in the first year is around $400 and the annual cost per person for antiviral drugs around $330.

Duke Corsini also introduced the project to 104 other wine producers of Tuscany at their annual gathering, "a la Corte del Vino" at his estate.

"There is no fiscal advantage from the government for Italian producers who participate," said Duke Corsini, "not like in the United States."

"We do it for our children. To help the DREAM project in Africa is to help our children and their children, to find a solution for AIDS," he said.

The wines are sold throughout Italy and the United States. Look for the Wine for Life sticker on individual bottles to be sure the proceeds from your purchase go to DREAM.

Contact

Catholic Online
http://www.catholic.org CA, US
Catholic Online - Publisher, 661 869-1000

Email

info@yourcatholicvoice.org

Keywords

AIDS, Christian, Unity

More Catholic PRWire

Showing 1 - 50 of 4,718

A Recession Antidote
Randy Hain

Monaco & The Vatican: Monaco's Grace Kelly Exhibit to Rome--A Review of Monegasque-Holy See Diplomatic History
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.

The Why of Jesus' Death: A Pauline Perspective
Jerom Paul

A Royal Betrayal: Catholic Monaco Liberalizes Abortion
Dna. Maria St.Catherine De Grace Sharpe, t.o.s.m., T.O.SS.T.

Embrace every moment as sacred time
Mary Regina Morrell

My Dad
JoMarie Grinkiewicz

Letting go is simple wisdom with divine potential
Mary Regina Morrell

Father Lombardi's Address on Catholic Media
Catholic Online

Pope's Words to Pontifical Latin American College
Catholic Online

Prelate: Genetics Needs a Conscience
Catholic Online

State Aid for Catholic Schools: Help or Hindrance?
Catholic Online

Scorsese Planning Movie on Japanese Martyrs
Catholic Online

2 Nuns Kidnapped in Kenya Set Free
Catholic Online

Holy See-Israel Negotiation Moves Forward
Catholic Online

Franchising to Evangelize
Catholic Online

Catholics Decry Anti-Christianity in Israel
Catholic Online

Pope and Gordon Brown Meet About Development Aid
Catholic Online

Pontiff Backs Latin America's Continental Mission
Catholic Online

Cardinal Warns Against Anti-Catholic Education
Catholic Online

Full Circle
Robert Gieb

Three words to a deeper faith
Paul Sposite

Relections for Lent 2009
chris anthony

Wisdom lies beyond the surface of life
Mary Regina Morrell

World Food Program Director on Lent
Catholic Online

Moral Clarity
DAN SHEA

Pope's Lenten Message for 2009
Catholic Online

A Prayer for Monaco: Remembering the Faith Legacy of Prince Rainier III & Princess Grace and Contemplating the Moral Challenges of Prince Albert II
Dna. Maria St. Catherine Sharpe

Keeping a Lid on Permissiveness
Sally Connolly

Glimpse of Me
Sarah Reinhard

The 3 stages of life
Michele Szekely

Sex and the Married Woman
Cheryl Dickow

A Catholic Woman Returns to the Church
Cheryl Dickow

Modernity & Morality
Dan Shea

Just a Minute
Sarah Reinhard

Catholic identity ... triumphant reemergence!
Hugh McNichol

Edging God Out
Paul Sposite

Burying a St. Joseph Statue
Cheryl Dickow

George Bush Speaks on Papal Visit
Catholic Online

Sometimes moving forward means moving the canoe
Mary Regina Morrell

Action Changes Things: Teaching our Kids about Community Service
Lisa Hendey

Easter... A Way of Life
Paul Spoisite

Papal initiative...peace and harmony!
Hugh McNichol

Proclaim the mysteries of the Resurrection!
Hugh McNichol

Jerusalem Patriarch's Easter Message
Catholic Online

Good Friday Sermon of Father Cantalamessa
Catholic Online

Papal Address at the End of the Way of the Cross
Catholic Online

Cardinal Zen's Meditations for Via Crucis
Catholic Online

Interview With Vatican Aide on Jewish-Catholic Relations
Catholic Online

Pope Benedict XVI On the Easter Triduum
Catholic Online

Holy Saturday...anticipation!
Hugh McNichol

Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.