Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Catholic World News: Thurs. Aug. 13, 2009

Catholic world news: headlines:
Today's Saints

UCAN reports that Papal delegate Cardinal Francis Arinze opened the plenary assembly of Asian bishops today, stressing the Eucharist’s transforming power, and its role in building communion and solidarity among Church members and the people they live with.

It matters “a great deal for the life of the Church in Asia how the ineffable mystery of the Holy Eucharist is believed, celebrated and lived in this vast continent in which more than 60 percent of humanity lives,” the Nigerian cardinal said.
Noting that one-fourth of the world’s priests and seminarians are in Asia, he conveyed Pope Benedict XVI’s blessing on participants of the 9th Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences (FABC) Plenary Assembly, which has the theme, “Living the Eucharist in Asia.”
The cardinal was delivering his homily during the 8:30 a.m. Mass on Aug. 11. One hundred and twenty bishop delegates and priests, Religious and lay partners attended the event, together with other Vatican officials, bishops and guests from various regions and organizations.
Cardinal Arinze said one way the Eucharist transforms lives is by leading the faithful to help the poor live a more dignified life.
“God does not want a few people to grab most of the good things in this world and thus become an oasis of enjoyment and overspending, while the majority remain a desert of want and misery,” he said, quoting “Gaudium et Spes” ("Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World") from the Second Vatican Council.
Presidents of the Catholic bishops’ conferences of Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea, Laos and Cambodia, Malaysia-Singapore-Brunei, Myanmar, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam were among those who concelebrated at the Mass. The Philippine bishops’ conference’s president-elect, Bishop Nereo Odchimar of Tandag, was also present.
Other bishops came to represent countries where there are no bishops’ conferences. East Timor, Hong Kong, Macau, Mongolia, Uzbekistan and Nepal were among these. There were no bishops of the government-sanctioned Chinese patriotic Church or the underground Church present.

In his homily, Cardinal Arinze highlighted the missionary dimension of the Eucharist saying, “the love that we celebrate in the sacrament is not something we can keep for its very nature it demands to be shared with all.”
However, he stressed that evangelization is not proselytism and cited canon law forbidding the latter. Cardinal Arinze clarified that evangelization refers to sharing the Christian faith, bringing the Good News of salvation in Jesus Christ to people who freely and willingly welcome this proclamation.
Proselytism “seeks to influence people to embrace a certain religion by means that exploit their weak position or put some other pressure on them,” he said.
He also acknowledged that Catholics in Asia live among other Christians and people of various religions. “It is not possible to celebrate together the same Eucharistic liturgy” until the bonds of communion are fully re-established,” Cardinal Arinze stressed. He noted that other Christians “do not yet share with us full Catholic unity.”
For Archbishop Peter Fernando of Madurai, in India, Cardinal Arinze’s reflections on evangelization were relevant to the experiences of his local Church. “We are accused of trying to convert non-Catholics through our schools, our charity work, but we simply share blessings with the needy,” the prelate told UCA News later.
For the large population of Hindus in his region, he said, he feels “they appreciate what we do.”
He added, “A few radicals instigate persecution and killings of priests, Religious and lay people,” thinking their social services are used to convert others. “They are also angry that we are having some success among the tribals who are not Hindu.”
After Mass, the delegation went to the Pius XII center for their assembly.


UCAN reports that The Church in India is mourning the death of a layman, who, along with some priests, founded what has been billed as Asia’s largest lay organization. P.C. Abraham, popularly knownas ‘Kunjettan’ (little brother) Pallattukunnel Chemmalamattom Abraham, also known as P.C. Abraham and popularly known as “Kunjettan” (little brother), died on Aug. 11 in a hospital in Kerala, southern India, nine days after he was involved in a road accident. The funeral is scheduled for Aug. 13 at Chemmalamattam, his native parish in Palai diocese. Abraham was 84 and survived by his wife and seven children. “I mourn the death of a person who led such an ideal Christian life,” Cardinal Varkey Vithayathil of Ernakulam-Angamaly, president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India, said in his condolence message. The prelate recalled that Abraham had inspired thousands of young people to become missioners working in India and abroad. The cardinal said the Indian Church had honored Abraham for his contributions to the Cherupushpa (little flower) Mission League he founded 63 years ago. The league is a forum for young people in parishes that helps missions by raising funds and offering prayers. It conducts regular programs on the life and needs of missions in India and overseas. The league has some 1.7 million members and about 41,500 of its former members are now nuns and priests serving the Church throughout the world. Among them are 37 bishops. Three of Abraham’s four daughters are nuns. “Kunjettan’s death is a great loss for the Church in India,” said Archbishop Joseph Perumthottam of Changanasserry in his condolence message. The archbishop, a former Mission League member, hailed Abraham as a “unique” lay missioner who was the lifeblood of his lay organization. Archbishop Mathew Moolakkatt of Kottayam noted that the late lay missioner led a simple life and was inspired by the teachings of a local saint, Saint Alphonsa. Abraham’s home village was near Bharananganam where Saint Alphonsa, a nun, spent the last 10 years of her life. He was 21 when she died in 1946. In an interview with UCA News in 2008, Abraham recalled how the saint used to ask him to pray for missioners whenever he went to seek her blessings. He later joined a Capuchin seminary but was sent home because of his poor health. Retired Bishop Joseph Pallikaparampil of Palai, mourning Abraham’s death, noted the layman spent six decades nurturing the growth of the Mission League. “He met with his accident while on a League-related journey. The Church has lost a big missioner,” he said. Bishop Jacob Manathodath of Palghat said Abraham had sacrificed his entire life in selflessly serving the Indian Church’s missionary apostolate. Bishop Varghese Chakkalakal of Kannur said Abraham played a leading role in maintaining the mission spirit in Kerala. According to him, the Mission League has been most instrumental in producing religious vocations in Kerala. A sizeable number of priests and nuns working in India’s 160 dioceses come from this state. Chacko Sebastian, secretary of the Syro Malabar Church laity commission, told UCA News “Kunjettan” was instrumental in him joining the Mission league when he was only 11. “Like me, thousands of children joined the movement. He always encouraged people to serve the Church without looking for positions or profit. He was a role model to all of us,” the 46-year-old lay leader added. Joseph Thomas, a Catholic youth from Palai who had worked with Abraham, noted that the missioner had a positive approach to life. “His presence alone motivated people to serve people and the Church.” SOURCE:

CNA reports that Archbishop of San Antonio José H. Gomez is warning that those who break U.S. laws should not expect to escape punishment. However, instead of deportation, he is proposing community service as a “far more constructive solution” that would build communities rather than “tear them apart.”
In his latest column for the archdiocesean newspaper, which will be published on Friday, Archbishop Gomez will recount his personal history as both an American citizen and an immigrant. He was born and raised in Monterrey, Mexico and some of his ancestors have been in present-day Texas since the early 19th century.
“I’ve always had family and friends on both sides of the border. So I have many conflicting emotions about the way this debate has played out in recent years,” he says.
But it’s not his personal life that drives his efforts to push for immigration reform, rather Archbishop Gomez writes that it’s the need for Catholics to be true witnesses to the “generous love of Christ” in observing the “spiritual, emotional, social and economic deterioration” that the law is causing both for immigrants and their families and the entire United States.
Archbishop Gomez reiterates Cardinal Francis George’s comments that the U.S. immigration system clearly requires repair, and also his exhortation to respect and observe all just laws.
“From a humanitarian perspective,” the cardinal said at the U.S. bishops’ spring meeting, “our fellow human beings, who migrate to support their families, continue to suffer at the hands of immigration policies that separate them from family members and drive them into remote parts of the American desert, sometimes to their deaths. This suffering should not continue.”
Commenting further, Archbishop Gomez says bishops are not politicians but “pastors of souls” who believe the current immigration situation is “profoundly harmful to the soul of our country.”
“[W]e need a reform that will confront the issue in all its complexity that will reconcile the parties and overcome extreme positions,” the Archbishop of San Antonio urges, repeating Cardinal George’s call for a resolution to the legal status of immigrants lacking proper documentation.
“The Church has an important role to play in promoting forgiveness and reconciliation on this issue,” the archbishop adds. “We must work so that justice and mercy, not anger and resentment, are the motives behind our response to illegal immigration.”
He also notes that the millions of immigrants have violated U.S. immigration and that this makes law-abiding Americans angry.
“And it should,” he writes.
While punishment is necessary, Archbishop Gomez explains, deportation is “too severe a penalty.”
“Deportations are breaking up families, leaving wives without husbands, children without parents. That is not a situation that Catholics should want. The family is central not only to our faith, but to our society.”
Instead, Gomez re-introduces his proposal that he gave at a Missouri Catholic Conference meeting last October. There he said that illegal immigrants “can’t expect to escape punishment” but added that this punishment should be “some kind of community service.”
“This would build communities rather than tear them apart. And it would serve to better integrate the immigrants into the social and moral fabric of America,” Archbishop Gomez writes.
While this may or may not be the solution, it is possible for politicians to find “a just and honorable solution” that equally expresses compassion for the defenseless and respect for the law, he says.
“The lives of millions of undocumented workers and their families hang in the balance,” his column concludes. “With all my heart, I ask Catholics and people of good will to encourage our elected officials, with our prayers and our actions, to propose comprehensive immigration reform before the end of this year.”
Antonio. (SOURCE:

CNA reports that speakers at the Fifth World Congress of Families in Amsterdam on Tuesday discussed the place of the family in the developing world, emphasizing the potential for mutual learning between nations. One speaker lamented a new “cultural imperialism” which promotes a “culture of death” in less developed countries.
The World Congress of Families V (WCFV), which concluded on Wednesday, is the preeminent gathering of individuals and organizations from around the world who promote the natural family. It is inter-religious in nature.
The panel discussion for members of the media took place at Amsterdam’s RAI Center. It had as its theme “The Developing World is the First World of the Family.”
Larry Jacobs, Managing Director of the Congress’ projects, moderated the panel.
He noted that calling developing countries the “Third World” can be inaccurate. Though he acknowledged that many Western nations have more robust economies, he said the economy is only one measure of the wealth of a society. Concerning the strength of the family, he said, some countries in the so-called “third world” are actually the “first world.”
The King of Ghana, Drolor Basso Adamley I, was among the panelists. He stated that the developing world can make a significant contribution in promoting the natural family and has “a great deal to teach the West.”
Another panelist, Christine Vollmer of the Latin American Alliance for the Family, concurred and said that the underdeveloped world is beginning to teach “humanity” to the developed world. Dr. Farooq Hassan, a Senior Advocate of the Supreme Court of Pakistan, emphasized that both the East and the West can teach each other.
Yuri Mantilla, director of International Government Affairs for Focus on the Family, said that developing countries generally think that population is not the problem. The panelist decried a “neo-cultural imperialism” that promotes a “culture of death” through policies and values that affirm abortion, devalue the natural family and traditional marriage, and advocate population control at a time of worldwide population decline.
Moira Chimombo, the Executive Director of the African family group SAFE, discussed the fight against HIV/AIDS with reporters, saying that AIDS is not just a medical problem but a “behavioral problem” that should be combated with a “family approach.”
While the Amsterdam building of an organizer of the Congress was attacked on July 30 by anti-Christian vandals opposed to the event, Congress speaker James M. Kushiner reported on the blog of Touchstone Magazine that fewer than a dozen protesters turned out.
According to previous reports, Congress participants from the U.S. included Dr. Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission; Austin Ruse, president of the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute; President of the Population Research Institute Steven W. Mosher; and Dr. Allan Carlson, WCF founder and president of the Illinois-based Howard Center for Family, Religion and Society.
The Congress’ declaration on the family is reportedly forthcoming.
The World Congress of Families web site is at

Quadriplegic Perth man Christian Rossiter has asked The Brightwater Care Group, which cares for him, to stop feeding him through a tube, but would rather travel to Switzerland for assisted death.
Mr Rossiter, 49, is seeking to end his life. The Brightwater Care Group has lodged an application in the West Australian Supreme Court to see if it could legally keep feeding Mr Rossiter despite his requests, according to an AAP report in The Australian.
He was cited in the report saying, however, that he wants his feeding tube removed only if he cannot travel to Switzerland to die in an euthanasia clinic.
"Reports that I wish to have my feeding stopped immediately to bring about my death are not correct," he said.
"Where there is the chance that I can go to Switzerland to take advantage of that country's civilising legislation I want to pursue this.
"I do not want my feeding tube removed until all avenues have been exhausted."
Assisted suicide is legal in Switzerland and foreigners are allowed to use the service, but Mr Rossiter's lawyer John Hammond said his client faced financial difficulty to do so.
WA Chief Justice Wayne Martin is scheduled to hear the case in the Supreme Court today. Health Minister, Kim Hames hopes the hearing provides clarity.
"As he moves towards death and isn't able to verbally express that view then Brightwater in order to protect their patient should then have to give him food, bring him back again so he can refuse food again," Hames was quoted saying by the ABC.


CNS reports that a Zambian priest said the nation's information minister should resign for accusing the Catholic Church of complicity in the 1994 Rwandan genocide and comparing it to the current situation in Zambia.Father Augustine Mwewa, the Ndola Diocese's treasurer general, said Aug. 10 that the minister, Lt. Gen. Ronnie Shikapwasha, was wrong to tell the Zambian Parliament that events leading to the 1994 genocide in Rwanda should serve as an example for Zambia."He has shown us how shallow he (is)," Father Mwewa said. "He does not deserve to be where he is."Shikapwasha made his remarks during an Aug. 7 report to Parliament on recent acts of violence against journalists. The violence allegedly was perpetrated by supporters of the ruling Movement for Multiparty Democracy. The minister accused the church of promoting violence by siding with the media and opposition parties in criticizing the government.The minister's comments came after the Zambian bishops' conference challenged the government of President Rupiah Banda to stop persecuting and harassing journalists and media that disagree with it.Shikapwasha claimed the church's decision to "take sides with man rather than with God" could easily lead to widespread violence as happened in Rwanda when it "blindly sided with some newspapers and radio stations, which allegedly fanned out falsehoods and propaganda."But Father Mwewa questioned whether Shikapwasha understood the history of the Rwandan genocide because, he said, the violence was not promoted by the Catholic Church but by political leaders."It was politicians like him who manipulated the situation in Rwanda based on ethnic lines and, as a result, many Catholic priests and members were killed," the priest said.Father Mwewa said the way bands from the Movement for Multiparty Democracy were beating journalists and other Zambians is similar to what happened in Rwanda because the ruling party orchestrated the violence while the authorities did nothing.The priest said the Catholic Church and the media stood for justice and denounced evil, and that Shikapwasha could not stop them from addressing the truth."Gen. Shikapwasha is trying to curtail the voice of the Catholic Church and the media; he'll never succeed," Father Mwewa said.He also called on Banda, who is facing mounting pressure to institute political reforms, to discipline the minister.Father Mwewa's remarks were made just hours after the spokesman for the Zambian bishops' conference, Father Paul Samasumo, demanded an apology from Shikapwasha.During the Rwandan genocide Catholic churches were the scenes of several of the bloodiest massacres, including the killing of hundreds in Holy Family Church in Kigali, the Rwandan capital. Many church officials were questioned in front of Gacaca Tribunals, the traditional Rwandan courts established to try genocide cases.Nearly 60 percent of Rwandans are Catholic. The church in Rwanda has maintained that, institutionally, it bears no responsibility for the individual actions of a few of its leaders. Church officials have pointed out that individuals of all faiths have been charged with crimes committed during the genocide.(SOURCE:
St. John Berchmans
Feast: August 13
Feast Day:
August 13
13 March 1599 at Driest, Brabant, Belgium
12 August 1621 at Rome, Italy
1888 by Pope Leo XIII
Major Shrine:
Patron of:
altar boys, Oblate novices, young people

This young saint of the Society of Jesus was born in Flanders, the oldest of five children. He died peacefully on August 13, 1621, and numerous miracles were attributed to him at the time of his funeral.
His body lies in the church of St. Ignatius in Rome, where Aloysius of Gonzaga is also buried.
(Edited from:
St. Pontian
Feast Day:
August 13
Dates of birth and death unknown. Rome was his native city and calls his father Calpurnius. According to this account Pontian was made pope 21 July, 230, and reigned until 235. The schism of Hippolytus continued during his episcopate; towards the end of his pontificate there was a reconciliation between the schismatic party and its leader with the Roman bishop. After the condemnation of Origen at Alexandria (231-2), a synod was held at Rome, this synod was held by Pontian . In 235 in the reign of Maximinus the Thracian began a persecution directed chiefly against the heads of the Church. One of its first victims was Pontian, who with Hippolytus was banished to the unhealthy island of Sardinia. To make the election of a new pope possible, Pontian resigned 28 Sept., 235. Consequently Anteros was elected in his stead. Shortly before this or soon afterwards Hippolytus, who had been banished with Pontian, became reconciled to the Roman Church, and with this the schism he had caused came to an end. He died in consequence of the privations and inhuman treatment he had to bear.
(Edited from:

St. Hippolytus
Feast: August 13
236, Sardinia
Patron of:
horses; prison guards; prison officers; prison workers

Martyr, presbyter and antipope; date of birth unknown; d. about 236. * Eusebius says that he was bishop of a church somewhere and enumerates several of his writings .* St. Jerome likewise describes him as the bishop of an unknown see, gives a longer list of his writings, and says of one of his homilies that he delivered it in the presence of Origen, to whom he made direct reference .* Bishop Pontianus and the presbyter Hippolytus were banished to the island of Sardinia in the year 235.* He was a follower of the Novatian schism while a presbyter, but before his death exhorted his followers to become reconciled with the Catholic Church .*
Hippolytus was a presbyter of the Church of Rome at the beginning of the third century. In the reigh of Pope Zephyrinus (198-217) he came into conflict with that pontiff and with the majority of the Church of Rome, primarily on account of the christological opinions which for some time had been causing controversies in Rome. As the heresy in the doctrine of the Modalists was not at first clearly apparent, Pope Zephyrinus declined to give a decision. For this Hippolytus gravely censured him, representing him as an incompetent man, unworthy to rule the Church of Rome and as a tool in the hands of the ambitious and intriguing deacon Callistus, whose early life is maliciously depicted. Consequently when Callistus was elected pope (217-218) on the death of Zephyrinus, Hippolytus immediately left the communion of the Roman Church and had himself elected antipope by his small band of followers. These he calls the Catholic Church and himself successor to the Apostles, terming the great majority of Roman Christians the School of Callistus. He continued in opposition as antipope throughout the reigns of the two immediate successors of Callistus, Urban (222 or 223 to 230) and Pontius (230-35), and during this period, probably during the pontificate of Pontianus, he wrote the "Philosophumena". He was banished to the unhealthful island of Sardinia at the same time as Pontianus; and shortly before this, or soon afterward, he became reconciled with the legitimate bishop and the Church of Rome. For, after both exiles had died on the island of Sardinia, their mortal remains were brought back to Rome on the same day, 13 August (either 236 or one of the following years), and solemnly interred, Pontianus in the papal vault in the catacomb of Callistus and Hippolytus in a spot on the Via Tiburtina. Both were equally revered as martyrs by the Roman Church: certain proof that Hippolytus had made his peace with that Church before his death.
(Edited from:
Matthew 18: 21 - 35 & Matthew 19: 1
Then Peter came up and said to him, "Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?"
Jesus said to him, "I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven.
"Therefore the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his servants.
When he began the reckoning, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents;
and as he could not pay, his lord ordered him to be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and payment to be made.
So the servant fell on his knees, imploring him, `Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.'
And out of pity for him the lord of that servant released him and forgave him the debt.
But that same servant, as he went out, came upon one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii; and seizing him by the throat he said, `Pay what you owe.'
So his fellow servant fell down and besought him, `Have patience with me, and I will pay you.'
He refused and went and put him in prison till he should pay the debt.
When his fellow servants saw what had taken place, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their lord all that had taken place.
Then his lord summoned him and said to him, `You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you besought me;
and should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?'
And in anger his lord delivered him to the jailers, till he should pay all his debt.
So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart."
Now when Jesus had finished these sayings, he went away from Galilee and entered the region of Judea beyond the Jordan;

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