CATHOLIC NEWS: AUG 3, 2009: HEADLINES
POPE: HEARS A BAVARIAN CONCERT IN VC
BENEDICT XVI OFFERS CONDOLENCES TO PAKISTAN BURN VICTIMS
ASIA: 7 CATHOLICS BURNT ALIVE IN PAKISTAN
AFRICA: NIGERIA: SECT MEMBERS KILLED IN CUSTODY
AMERICA: CONGRESSMAN UPHOLDS HIS BELIEFS IN VOTE
EUROPE: IMMIGRANTS FILL THE POPULATION OF EUROPE
AUSTRALIA: CAPUCHINS IN AUSTRALIA
Pope Benedict attended a private concert at Castel Gandolfo, his summer residence. It was a Chamber Orchestra from Bavaria, Germany. They performed works of Bach & Mozart. The Pope thanked everyone involved in the performance. He then reflected on the role of music in uniting a divided humanity, saying music is the language we can all understand and a language which stricks the hearts of us all. This is not only a guarantee that the beauty of goodness of God's creation is not destroyed and that we are called to work and able to for goodness and beauty are a promise of what future world shall be. God is the victor and beauty & goodness shall triumph. (edited from Vatican Radio)
Vatican Radio reports that Pope Benedict XVI sent a telegram to the Bishop of Faisalabad (via Card. Bertone), Pakistan, the Most Reverend Joseph Coutts, in the wake of deadly anti-Christian violence.
Here is the full text:
The Most Reverend Joseph CouttsBishop of Faisalabad
The Holy Father was deeply grieved to learn of the senseless attack on the Christian community of Gojra City which resulted in the tragic killing of innocent men, women and children, and immense destruction. He asks you to convey his heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims and to express his solidarity with all who have experienced this wanton act. At the same time His Holiness charges you strongly to encourage the whole diocesan community, and all Christians in Pakistan, not to be deterred in their efforts to help build a society which, with a profound sense of trust in religious and human values, is marked by mutual respect among all its members. In the name of God he appeals to everyone to renounce the way of violence which causes so much suffering and to embrace the way of peace. To the families and to all who mourn their dead in faith and in the hope which draws its certainty from the resurrection, the Holy Father cordially imparts his Apostolic Blessing as a pledge of consolation and strength in the Lord.Cardinal Tarcisio BertoneSecretary of State. (Edited from: http://www.radiovaticana.org/en1/Articolo.asp?c=307109
7 CATHOLICS BURNT ALIVE IN PAKISTAN
UCAN reports that Church people have formed a committee to bring peace to a troubled district in Punjab province after seven Catholics were burnt alive and 19 others injured in anti-Christian rioting. According to news reports and eye witness accounts, more than 800 Muslims carrying sticks and guns raided a Christian settlement in Gojra, Punjab province, on Aug. 1, vandalizing and looting houses. The attack followed an exchange of gunfire between Christians and Muslims for two hours. The violence came in the wake of an attack on the nearby Christian village of Korian on July 30. Tension between the Christian and Muslim communities in the Korian area arose after pages containing Islamic inscriptions were found in front of a Christian home on July 26 following a wedding. Muslims then accused a family there of blasphemy against Islam. About 60 houses and two churches belonging to the Church of Pakistan and the New Apostolic Church were destroyed and livestock stolen. In the latest incident, families of the deceased, who included two children and three women, placed the coffins on railway tracks in protest, disrupting traffic for four hours on Aug. 2. Hundreds of Christians also staged protests led by Bishop Joseph Coutts of Faisalabad. He and a Protestant bishop later presided at the funerals. The Catholic Church has formed a committee comprising two bishops, three Catholic priests and several councilors, who are meeting politicians and Muslim clerics to stop any further violence. "Christians in many surrounding villages and towns (near Korian) began receiving threats as mullah (Muslim clerics) began preaching hatred and revenge," wrote Bishop Coutts in an Aug. 3 email to Church people across the world. "There are indications that the attack on Korian as well as on Gojra was planned and the people instigated by a banned Islamic group which wants to 'purify' Pakistan by making it a strictly Islamic, theocratic state. Democracy is rejected as something Western and un-Islamic," the bishop said. He also stated that the group wanted non-Muslims to "either convert to Islam or leave the place." He added, "They want a sort of religious cleansing." Archbishop Lawrence John Saldanha, head of the Catholic Church in Pakistan and chairperson of the National Commission for Justice and Peace (NCJP) has also called upon all Christian institutions in Punjab to close for three days to mourn the killings. A statement by the archbishop and Peter Jacob, NCJP's executive secretary, demanded that the government address the root causes of religious intolerance in Pakistan. "This is not a solitary incident but a phenomenon that has been there for quite some time," it said. Meanwhile, Rana Sanaullah, law minister in Punjab, told news media that initial investigations showed no desecration of the Qur'an. "We shall bring the miscreants and extremists to justice," he said. Police have charged 816 people, including the Toba Tek Singh district coordination officer and the district police officer, with murder, attempted murder and terrorism. Rangers are presently in the area where Sharif is expected to address Christians later on Aug. 3 and distribute 500,000 rupees (US$ 6,250) as compensation to families of the murdered Christians. (Edited from:http://www.ucanews.com/2009/08/03/christian-leaders-seek-peace-following-deadly-rioting/
NIGERIA: SECT MEMBERS KILLED IN CUSTODY
AllAfrica.com reports that the leader of the Islamic fundamentalist group, Boko Haram, Mohammed Yusuf, was captured alive last Thursday before the police later allegedly killed him.
The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) at the weekend obtained a photograph, which showed that the leader of the Boko Haram sect was alive when captured by the army.
THISDAY also learnt that Yusuf's deputy, who hails from Niger Republic, and a former commissioner in the Borno State Governor Ali Modu Sheriff's administration, Alhaji Buji Fai, were killed in similar fashion.
The capture and eventual elimination of Yusuf has, however, drawn the ire of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), opposition groups like the Action Congress (AC) and Congress of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP) as well as Human Rights Watch.
According to the BBC, after his capture, the army handed over Boko Haram's leader to the police but only a few hours later journalists were shown his bullet-ridden body.
The police said he had been fatally wounded while trying to evade capture.
Yusuf's Islamic sect is blamed for days of violent clashes with security forces across some parts of Northern Nigeria, which had left up to 700 people dead.
Col. Ben Ahanotu, said he had personally captured the sect leader and handed him over to the Commissioner of Police in Maiduguri.
He said Yusuf had a wound in his arm, which is clearly shown in the photograph and which had already been treated.
The police, however, insisted he was killed in a shoot-out.
The state commissioner of police, Christopher Dega, said Yusuf "was in a hideout, and the forces went there and there was an exchange of fire.
"In the course of that confrontation, he sustained his own injury. He was picked up and he later couldn't make it."
In a statement at the weekend, the NBA president said: "We must however, hasten to equally condemn the reported extra judicial killings of some of those captured by the security operatives. It was widely reported that the leader of the Islamic extremist group, one Yusuf, was captured alive. The killing of this man in the police custody, however, reprehensible his deeds must have been, must not be encouraged in a civilized society."
"Anyone suspected of committing an offence must be given adequate opportunities to defend himself. This is a fundamental right that must be protected by all civilized people. The resort to extra-judicial killing by our security operatives is condemnable and we join all other human right groups in calling for an investigation of this repulsive barbarity."
Also, Human Rights Watch has called for an immediate investigation into Yusuf's killing, which it described as "extrajudicial" and "illegal".
(Edited from: http://allafrica.com/stories/200908030001.html
CONGRESSMAN UPHOLDS HIS BELIEFS IN VOTE
CNA reports that Rep. Anh “Joseph” Cao, (R-New Orleans), the first Vietnamese-American congressman and a Catholic, announced this past weekend that, because of the “stealth mandate” for abortion still present in the Health Care bill, he prefers to “save his soul” rather than vote in favor of it.
Cao, the only member of the Louisiana House delegation who had not weighed in on where he stands on the health reform bill, told the Times-Picayune on Saturday that he cannot support any bill that permits public money to be spent on abortion.
“At the end of the day if the health care reform bill does not have strong language prohibiting the use of federal funding for abortion, then the bill is really a no-go for me,” said Cao, who spent time in formation to be a Jesuit priest.
“Being a Jesuit, I very much adhere to the notion of social justice,” Cao said. “I do fully understand the need of providing everyone with access to health care, but to me personally, I cannot be privy to a law that will allow the potential of destroying thousands of innocent lives,” he explained to the Louisiana newspaper.
“I know that voting against the health care bill will probably be the death of my political career,” Cao said, “but I have to live with myself, and I always reflect on the phrase of the New Testament, ‘How does it profit a man's life to gain the world but to lose his soul.’”
Cao is the first native of Vietnam to serve in Congress and the first Republican to serve in his district since 1890. He won in a district that usually votes overwhelmingly Democratic.
The poorest member of Louisiana's delegation, and a devout Roman Catholic, Cao served as a board member for Mary Queen of Vietnam Catholic Church's Community Development Corporation which assists Vietnamese-Americans with hurricane relief, and is a member of the National Advisory Council of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Cao also told the Times-Picayune that he is still undecided about the merits of including a public option in any health reform redesign. (Edited from: http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/new.php?n=16738
IMMIGRANTS FILL THE POPULATION OF EUROPE
CNA reports that the president of the Institute for Family Policy in Spain, Eduardo Hertfelder, noted last week that the population in the European Union has reached 500 million, but he warned that this is due more to immigration than to the number of births, as 8 out of every 10 inhabitants of the EU are immigrants. “It has been a population increase due almost exclusively to immigration and in addition, it has been a population increase among adults that has led to the average age of the European population increasing almost two years in this decade,” Hertfelder said, referring to the fact that Europe has “775,000 less births per year than 25 years ago.” He pointed out that Spain is the country that has most contributed to the increase in the number of inhabitants of Europe, followed by France and Italy, but he noted that of the 6.8 million new inhabitants in Spain, “more than 4.8 million were immigrants, which comprises 72% of the growth.” “In fact, more than four fifths of the growth is due to immigration. Without this contribution from immigration, the population growth both in Spain and the rest of the EU would have almost been insignificant,” he explained. However, he warned, what is most troubling is that in depending almost exclusively on immigration because of the low birthrates in the EU, the average age among Europeans is now 40.3, “that is, the average age in Europe has increased two years in just five years.” (Edited from: http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/new.php?n=16737
CAPUCHINS IN AUSTRALIA
*This summary is from the Web site of the Capuchins in Australia.
After making a contribution to the pioneering days of the Church mainly in the Diocese of Armidale, the Capuchins came to Australia following the Second World War to establish the Order.They took up work among the post-war European migrants and began the formation of those who came to join the Capuchins.Today the Capuchins live in fraternities in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide. They undertake various works of evangelization (proclaiming the Gospel) including parish activity, assistance to migrants and other apostolates.While the talents of the individual are respected as gifts of God, a high priority is placed upon fraternity in prayer, in work and in daily living.Today, there are more than forty Capuchins in six communities around Australia, including eleven young friars in Capuchin formation. The friars of Australia were officially classified as the Province of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary by the global Capuchin fraternity on 17th September, 1981. Since then growth in membership has been promoted and cultivated here in Australia. Also implied was self autonomy and local responsibility for future directions, goals and forms of apostolate.Quite a number of the founding friars have either died or returned to their home provinces since. The number of Australian-born and home-trained Capuchins has been increasing.
Today the Capuchins live in fraternities in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide. They undertake various works of evangelization (proclaiming the Gospel) including parish activity, assistance to migrants and other apostolates.
ST. PETER JULIAN EYMARD
In 1811, Peter was born in the diocese of Grenoble, France. He became a priest in 1834. In 1856, he started a religious order of the Priests of the Blessed Sacrament. He died on August 1, 1868.
The devil is afraid of us when we pray and make sacrifices. He is also afraid when we are humble and good. He is especially afraid when we love Jesus very much. He runs away when we make the Sign of the Cross. St. Anthony of the Desert
Matthew 14: 13 - 21
Now when Jesus heard this, he withdrew from there in a boat to a lonely place apart. But when the crowds heard it, they followed him on foot from the towns.
As he went ashore he saw a great throng; and he had compassion on them, and healed their sick.
When it was evening, the disciples came to him and said, "This is a lonely place, and the day is now over; send the crowds away to go into the villages and buy food for themselves."
Jesus said, "They need not go away; you give them something to eat."
They said to him, "We have only five loaves here and two fish."
And he said, "Bring them here to me."
Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass; and taking the five loaves and the two fish he looked up to heaven, and blessed, and broke and gave the loaves to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds.
And they all ate and were satisfied. And they took up twelve baskets full of the broken pieces left over.
And those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children.