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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

CATHOLIC WORLD NEWS: TUES. AUG. 18, 2009.










Catholic world news: Aug. 18: headlines:
VATICAN: PAPAL APPOINTMENT:
EUROPE: RUSSIA: 64 WORKERS TRAPPED-12 DEAD :
AMERICA: INMATE SCHEDULED TO DIE WHILE BISHOPS PLEAD FOR LIFE:
AFRICA: CENTRAL AFRICA: 1 MILLION IN NEED OF AID:
ASIA: KOREA: FORMER CATHOLIC PRESIDENT DIES:
AUSTRALIA: BROTHER HEAD OF TEACHING COLLEGE IN SUDAN:
TODAY'S SAINT: ST. HELENA




VATICAN
APPOINTMENT OF THE SPECIAL ENVOY TO THE CELEBRATIONS OF THE TRANSLATION OF THE RELICS



Pope Benedict XVI has appointed the Cardinal Franc Rodé, C.M., prefect of the Congregation for consecrated life institutes and societies of apostolic life, your sent special solemn celebrations of the 12th centenary of the translation of the relics of the martyr St Tryphon to Kotor (Montenegro), which will take place on 17 October 2009.




EUROPE
RUSSIA: 64 WORKERS TRAPPED: 12 DEAD


BBC news reports that Russian officials have warned it is unlikely any of the 64 workers trapped within Russia's largest hydro-electric power plant after a blast will survive.
Twelve people are already confirmed dead after the explosion at the Sayano-Shushenskaya power plant in Siberia.
Emergencies Minister Sergei Shoigu said groups of divers were searching for survivors in the flooded turbine hall.
The blast's cause is unknown but reports said investigators believed a transformer exploded during repairs.
Unfortunately we have no comforting news
Sergei ShoiguMinistry of Emergency Situations
The plant's owner said the flooding had occurred due to a pressure surge in water pipes.
"Unfortunately we have no comforting news. We still do not know the fate of over 60 people," Mr Shoigu told Russian state TV.
"The territory above water and under the water is being searched. We are awaiting a robot, which is able to work underwater," he said.
The plant's owners, RusHydro, said a detailed 3-D map of where its employees were at the time was being used during rescue efforts.
Oil slick
On Monday, two workers were rescued by divers from an area beneath the turbine hall.
But RusHydro's acting chairman said he did not hold out much hope of finding other workers alive.
"It is unlikely that survivors will be found where the flooding happened," Vasily Zubakin told Russian news agencies.
Wednesday has been designated as an official day of mourning in the remote mountain region of Khakassia where the plant - one of the country's largest - is located.
The accident has created a large oil slick that is now floating down the Yenisei river, which flows north through Siberia to the Arctic.

Officials said towns downstream of the plant were not thought to be at risk.
RusHydro said the damage would run into "billions of roubles" and would take several months to repair.
The power station is located in the Siberian region of Khakassia, some 3,000 km (1,875 miles) east of Moscow.
The dam above it is 245m (800ft) high and stretches 1km (0.6 miles) across the Yenisei river.
Opened in 1978, the station provides a quarter of RusHydro output and is a major supplier of power to at least two smelters owned by United Company RUSAL, the world's largest aluminium producer. (SOURCE: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8206998.stm



AMERICA
INMATE SCHEDULED TO DIE WHILE BISHOPS PLEAD FOR LIFE


CNA reports that a judge has denied a request to delay the execution of a Florida death row inmate convicted of rape and murder. The convict’s attorney claims his accomplice confessed to the murder instead, while the state’s Catholic bishops have appealed to the governor for a stay of execution.
John Richard Marek was convicted in the 1983 killing of Adela Marie Simmons. Despite the concerns of a friend, she accepted a ride from Marek and his co-defendant Raymond Wigley after her car had broken down. Her body was found raped and strangled near a lifeguard stand on a beach the next afternoon.
Wigley was sentenced to life in prison and was killed there in 2000. Marek was sentenced to death in 1984 at the age of 22.
Marek’s attorney Martin J. McClain asked Circuit Judge Jeffrey Levenson to hear the testimony of a prison inmate who claims Wigley once confessed to the killing. Six other inmates had testified last week that Wigley had confessed to the murder. The Palm Beach Post reports that Judge Levenson dismissed their claims and was upheld by the Florida Supreme Court.
Jean Trach, a friend of Simmons who had tried to persuade her not to leave with the men, said she has had persistent nightmares that Marek would leave prison and get her.
Sometimes she has wondered whether Marek should be executed, but she now wants the case to be over.
"He keeps getting chance after chance," she told the Palm Beach Post. "My friend didn't get any chances."
The Bishops of Florida on Monday released a copy of their letter to Republican Florida Gov. Charlie Crist asking him to stay the execution and commute the sentence to life in prison.
Marek’s execution is scheduled for Wednesday August 19.
“Even those who have done great harm are human beings with dignity, created in the image and likeness of God. Life in prison without possibility of parole satisfies the need for punishment and allows the inmate the opportunity to reflect on their offenses and feel sorrow for the pain they have caused others,” the bishops wrote.
Their letter said that executions do not make society safer and do not act as a deterrent but rather add to daily violence and numb people “to the truth that every human being has worth.”
“We express our genuine sympathy for the victim, Adella Marie Simmons, and her loved ones,” the bishops said. “The media attention surrounding executions brings back the pain experienced by victims through the recounting of the crime details. The death of the convicted does not heal the wounds of those grieving the loss of a family member or friend.”
Noting that many U.S. states are reconsidering the death penalty as a punishment, they implored Gov. Crist to commute Marek’s sentence and to declare a moratorium on executions in Florida.
(SOURCE:http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/new.php?n=16869

AFRICA
CENTRAL AFRICA: 1 MILLION IN NEED OF AID

CISA reports that over 1 million people in the Central African Republic are in need of humanitarian aid as continued fighting between rebels and government forces triggers delays in aid funds.According to United Nations Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator Catherine Braggs, who was in a five-day visit of the country, more than 1 million people - mostly in the north - were estimated to have been affected by the conflict. Of those, 137,000 refugees had fled to Chad and Cameroon, and 125,000 were internally displaced.Describing the humanitarian situation as unique, Braggs said the affected population had fled into the bush to protect themselves from armed elements. They all live in fear of government as well as rebel forces. The population is traumatized because some people have been displaced repeatedly in recent years and live in deplorable conditions, without food, water or medical services.“The Central African Republic is at a critical crossroads which could see a reversal of the modest gains made in 2008 or a consolidation of the progress towards national dialogue and agreement with rebel groups”, she said at a press conference in New York.Bragg, who is also UN Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, said she had met with the country’s leadership, members of the international community, local and international non-governmental organizations and key diplomats.While security and peace were critical to addressing those challenges, the need for a humanitarian response remained crucial, and the needs might be increasing, she said.A major concern is the lack of funding for humanitarian work, which has decreased significantly so far in 2009. The current appeal is for $97 million, down from $106 million - not because of reduced need, but because a lack of funding had resulted in some projects being taken off the list.The north-west is only partially covered by the United Nations Mission in the Central African Republic and Chad (MINURCAT), and only three non-governmental organizations were present. Other areas fall under peacekeeping missions in neighbouring countries.
(SOURCE: http://www.cisanewsafrica.org/story.asp?ID=4071


ASIA
KOREA: FORMER CATHOLIC PRESIDENT DIES

UCAN reports that religious leaders have expressed deep sorrow over the death of Thomas More Kim Dae-jung, the first Catholic president of South Korea.

Kim Dae-jung was hospitalized in Seoul on July 13 with pneumonia. He died from heart failure at around 2 p.m. on Aug. 18. He was 85.
Cardinal Nicholas Cheong Jin-suk of Seoul issued a condolence message soon after Kim's death was announced.
He said Kim, the first Korean Nobel Prize recipient, had dedicated his life to promoting human rights and the democratization of South Korea, and had worked for peace on the Korean peninsular.
Cardinal Cheong said Kim forgave his political foes despite the persecutions he suffered, during which he experienced threats to his life.
The cardinal also praised Kim's faith, quoting him as saying that, "With the knowledge that Jesus was crucified for humanity, I could overcome all hardships and trials."
Reverend Kwon Oh-sung, secretary of the National Council of Churches in Korea (NCCK), also issued a condolence message. He said that the former president had established human rights and peace as basic values in society.
Reverend Kwon said he hopes that the government, politicians, and the country's people would build on Kim's achievements.
Venerable Jikwan, chief executive of the Jogye Order, the largest Buddhist order in the country, also remembers the president as a "pioneer of democratization." In his Aug. 18 condolence message, he urged the whole nation to be unified on this occasion.
Kim was exiled twice in his life during military dictatorships in South Korea. He survived two assassination attempts in the 1970s and escaped a death sentence by a martial court in 1980. He was freed in 1982 after requests for a pardon from the international community and Pope John Paul II.
Kim was baptized in 1956 as a young politician and often spoke about his faith publicly.
In an interview with UCA News in 1993, he said that "all my hard trials in the past -- imprisonment, frequent detentions, torture and forced exiles -- happened in the process of God's redemptive work, and in this sense, I have also participated in God's salvation."
He said Christ saved his life when he was abducted by a South Korean spy agency in Tokyo in 1973, and faced the prospect of drowning.
Kim was elected as the country's 15th president in 1997 and took office from February 1998 to February 2003. In 2000 he won the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts toward reconciliation with North Korea.
Kim is survived by his second wife Lee Hee-ho, a Methodist, and three sons. (SOURCE:
http://www.ucanews.com/2009/08/18/first-catholic-president-kim-dae-jung-dies/

AUSTRALIA
BROTHER HEAD OF TEACHING COLLEGE IN SUDAN




CathNews Australia reports that Former Boystown CEO and Principal of the De La Salle College Malvern, Br Bill Firman has been appointed as head of a new teachers' training college in Sudan.
His move to the African nation follows a call for volunteers to assist the rebuilding of communities in the civil war torn country. The De La Salle Brothers are taking the lead role in the development of teacher education, in a rebuilding initiative called the Solidarity with Southern Sudan initiative that is supported by some 20 religious orders.
"To rebuild a society and a country the most important element is competent personnel," said Br Firman said in a press statement.
"I will assist with the development of a four year teacher training program based on a distance learning model. It will be a new challenge for me but it is one that I am ready for."
He expects the commitment to be a long one, between 5 to 10 years, because "it is important to stand with the Sudanese people in solidarity over a longer term and not just for a year or two."
"People have warned me about the potential danger (of going to Sudan) but there is something about getting older that liberates you from fear of the future," he said.
"I'm going to Sudan because I have something to offer there. I can use my talents and acquired skills to assist the Sudanese people in their efforts to build a new future," Br Firman added.
He leaves for Sudan on August 30. (SOURCE: http://www.cathnews.com/article.aspx?aeid=15819



TODAY'S SAINT
ST. HELENA
Bornca. 246/50, Diedca. 330,
Patroness of : archeologists, converts, difficult marriages, divorced people, empresses. Helena's birthplace is not known with certainty. A native of Drepnum, in the province of Bithynia in Asia Minor.. Her son Constantine renamed the city "Helenopolis". Helena Constantius' "wife", Helena gave birth to the future emperor Constantine I on the 27th of February of an uncertain year soon after 270. Helena never remarried and lived for a while in obscurity, though close to her only son, who had a deep regard and affection for her. During her life, she gave many presents to the poor, released prisoners and mingled with the ordinary worshipers in modest attire. Upon the request of the monks in the region, Helena ordered the construction of a church in Egypt to identify the Burning Bush of Sinai. The chapel, often referred to as the Chapel of Saint Helen, is dated to the year AD 330.
(Edited from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helena_of_Constantinople


SAINTLY QUOTE
Holy Scripture by the manner of its language transcends every science, because in one and the same sentence, while it describes a fact, it reveals a mystery. Pope St. Gregory

TODAY'S GOSPEL

Matthew 19: 23 - 30
23
And Jesus said to his disciples, "Truly, I say to you, it will be hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.
24
Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."
25
When the disciples heard this they were greatly astonished, saying, "Who then can be saved?"
26
But Jesus looked at them and said to them, "With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."
27
Then Peter said in reply, "Lo, we have left everything and followed you. What then shall we have?"
28
Jesus said to them, "Truly, I say to you, in the new world, when the Son of man shall sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
29
And every one who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name's sake, will receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life.
30
But many that are first will be last, and the last first.
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