Friday, September 25, 2009





(VIS) - The family, "founded on marriage as a conjugal alliance in which man and woman mutually give and receive", was the central theme of the Holy Father's meeting today with prelates from the National Conference of Bishops of Brazil (Northeast 1-4), who have just completed their "ad limina" visit. In his remarks the Pope noted how, in their reports to him, the bishops had highlighted the fact that "families are beleaguered and under siege". Yet, he pointed out, "despite all negative influences", the people of north-eastern Brazil "remain open to the Gospel of life". "The Church", Benedict XVI went on, "tirelessly teaches that the family has its foundation in marriage and in God's plan". Yet "the secularised world is dominated by profound uncertainty on this matter, especially since western societies legalised divorce. The only recognised foundation seems to be individual subjectivity, expressed in a desire to live together". "In this situation the number of marriages is falling because no-one wants to commit themselves on such fragile and unpredictable grounds, the number of 'de facto' unions is increasing and divorces are on the rise. It is in this fragile scenario that the drama of so many children is played out - deprived of the support of their parents, victims of apprehension and abandonment - and social disorder grows". "The Church cannot remain indifferent before the separation and divorce of couples", Pope Benedict cried, "before the break-up of homes and the repercussions on children, who need extremely precise points of reference for their instruction and education: in other words determined and confident parents who participate in their upbringing". "This is the principle that is being undermined and compromised by the practice of divorce, through the so-called extended and mobile family which increases the number of 'fathers' and 'mothers' and leads to a situation today in which the majority of those who feel orphaned are not children without parents but children with a surplus of parents. This situation, with its inevitable ... crisscross relationships cannot but generate internal conflict and confusion that contributes to giving children a distorted idea of the family". "The firm conviction of the Church is that the true solution to the problems which married couples currently face and which weaken their union is a return to the solidity of the Christian family, a place of mutual trust, of reciprocal giving, of respect for freedom and of education to social life". "With all the understanding the Church feels towards certain situations, couples in their second marriage are not like those in their first; theirs is an irregular and dangerous situation which must be resolved, in faithfulness to Christ, finding, with the help of the priest, a way possible to rehabilitate everyone involved", the Holy Father said. He then invited the prelates to encourage priests and pastoral care centres "to accompany families so as to ensure they are not seduced by the relativist lifestyles promoted by cinema, television and other communications media". And the Pope concluded: "I trust in the witness of families who draw the strength to overcome trials from the Sacrament of Marriage. ... It is on the foundation of families such as these that the social fabric must be recreated".AL/.../BRAZIL VIS 090925 (550)


- On 22 September Archbishop Silvano M. Tomasi C.S., Holy See permanent observer to the United Nations at Geneva, addressed the twelfth ordinary session of the Human Rights Council. Speaking English Archbishop Tomasi affirmed that "achieving development is not only a matter of eliminating material poverty, but also of principles and values guiding economies and societies in all countries irrespective of their per-capita income level". "My delegation", he went on, "notes with interest the work that is being accomplished by the Task Force aiming at creating a list of right-to-development criteria and operational sub-criteria around three main components: human-centred development, an enabling environment, and social justice and equity". The Holy See permanent observer also highlighted how, "in the context of the development process, the human person is not only a receiver of aid but also the real actor of his or her integral development and of the relations among peoples and persons. As restated in the recent Encyclical Caritas in Veritate: 'Man is the source, the focus and the aim of all economic and social life'". "The cultural component of the right to development ... cannot be complete without including the ethical and spiritual dimensions of the person", he said. "These qualitative dimensions should be reflected among the human-centred criteria of this right that are being elaborated by the Task Force". "States therefore are called to remove obstacles to development due to the violation of human rights, and the international community to support the development process, especially in the poorest countries. In this context the principle of subsidiarity is particularly relevant. Solidarity and subsidiarity can be viewed as complementary". Archbishop Tomasi concluded by assuring his delegation's support for "the adoption of criteria of social justice and equity that imply moral imperatives prompting action for the protection of human rights and for an equitable sharing of benefits from development, including, among others, access to food, housing education, health and employment".DELSS/DEVELOPMENT/UN:TOMASI VIS 090925 (340)


(VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences five prelates from the National Conference of Bishops of Brazil, on their "ad limina" visit: - Bishop Augusto Alves da Rocha of Floriano. - Bishop Juarez Sousa da Silva of Oeiras. - Bishop Alfredo Schaffler of Parnaiba. - Bishop Plinio Jose Luz da Silva of Picos. - Bishop Pedro Brito Guimaraes of Sao Raimundo Nonato.AL/.../... VIS 090925 (80)



Catholic Online reports that Catholic League President Bill Donohue made public a letter he sent to Patrick W. Hayes, Legal Director, City of Rockford, Illinois.
One of many signs which taunt the Pro-Life Defenders displayed in the windows of the abortion facility.
We reported this week on the house of horrors which is called the “Northern Illinois Women’s Center”. In addition to the evils committed inside, the staff has taken to placing blasphemous, sacrilegious and intentionally provocative signs and symbols in its windows in order to mock, taunt and cause injury to the brave Christian defenders of life who stand outside exercising their First Amendment rights. William A. “Bill” Donohue, Ph.D. is well known to our readers. He is the President of the Catholic League. I call him a pugilist who uses his words not his fists. He is the kind of man you want on your side in a real fight. And with the advance of the Culture of Death, all who are engaged in building a new culture of life are in such a fight. Certainly our friends in Rockford, Illinois are in a real fight.They need our prayers and our action. St. Paul reminded the early Christians in Ephesus: “Put on the armor of God so that you may be able to stand firm against the tactics of the devil. For our struggle is not with flesh and blood but with the principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits in the heavens.”(Eph.:12) They lived, as do we , in a hostile culture. They were called, as are we, to transform it through the witness of both their words and their lives. St. Paul used the protections of the positive law of his own age to defend the right to proclaim the only message which liberates all men and women. So must we. St. Paul used his Roman citizenship to further his ability to continue to preach the Gospel which itself brought about the very conversion of that empire. (See, Acts 25). We must use our American citizenship to effectively protect our work in the culture. We should use the positive law and the protections it offers to us to protect the right to proclaim the truth and be free from harassment while doing so.The Catholic League helps us to do this. Bill Donohue is a Champion of the Rights of Catholics and the Catholic Church and he understands how to use such legal and public interest strategy. He is to be applauded and supported for the effort he has undertaken to seek assistance from the Legal Director of the City of Rockford, Illinois for the Christians defending children in Rockford. The following release has been issued by the Catholic League: CHRISTIANS PROVOKED IN ROCKFORD, ILLINOIS Catholic League president Bill Donohue is making public a letter he sent today to Patrick W. Hayes, Legal Director, City of Rockford, Illinois. Here is the text of that letter: “I am aware that the Northern Illinois Women’s Center has long been the subject of controversy in Rockford; the rights of pro-life demonstrators have allegedly been violated. That is an important issue, but that is not the reason why I am contacting you. “My concern rests with the egregious provocation of Christians attendant to the enclosed graphic of Jesus Christ extending his middle finger; the inscription, “Even Jesus Hates You,” appears below it. This graphic is currently being displayed in the window of the Center, in full view of adults and children; it has also been displayed, at various times, in the past. “Under Part I, Chapters 19-3 and 19-4, “Offensive Uses of Property” and “Permitting Offensive Use of Property,” respectively, of the City of Rockford’s Code of Ordinance, it is illegal to “disturb or destroy the peace of the neighborhood in which such building or premises are situated, or be dangerous or detrimental to health.” “This incendiary picture, designed to inflame Christian passions by assaulting their sensibilities and denigrating their religion—in a vile and obscene manner—constitutes such an infraction. As such, I am requesting that you take appropriate action against the Center to put an end to such needless provocation. Thank you for your consideration.” ***** Certainly, placing a poster of Jesus Christ engaging in an obscene gesture allegedly directed toward Christians outside with the inscription, “Even Jesus Hates You,” is an “offensive use of property”. Certainly placing a rubber chicken over the Body of Christ on a Cross is blasphemy and sacrilege. Bill Donohue and the Catholic League have asked the City to intervene citing a City Ordinance, a positive law, which gives them the authority to act. We applaud Bill Donohue and the Catholic League for coming to the defense of the pro-Life heroes of Rockford. We also affirm his effort to seek assistance from the Legal Director of the City, Patrick W. Hayes. We ask our readers to stand with him. Our motto at Catholic Online is “inform”, “inspire”, and “ignite”. It is time to ignite a flame of indignation against such egregious behavior against Christians who are defending children in the womb against being killed in Rockford. Mr. Hayes, according to their web site: “Acts as chief legal counsel to all City departments, the City Council and the Finance and Personnel Committee.” He needs to hear from our readers. His E-Mail address is: His mailing address: Legal Director, Patrick W. Hayes, 425 East State Street, Rockford, IL 61104. His phone number: (815) 987-5785 His fax: (815) 987-8066 (SOURCE:



CNA reports that a civil rights organization in Spain is praising two rulings by the Supreme Court of Castilla y Leon exempting three students from taking the Education for the Citizenry course. The group said it hopes that the other 285 cases still pending will be similarly decided. Salamanca For Freedom in Education praised the court for allowing the three students to opt out of the controversial school course, with no negative effect on their grades. In the Spanish province of Castilla y Leno, some 3,395 cases of conscientious objection to the course have been filed, making it the province with the highest number of cases. Francisco Jose Ramos Vega, who represents most of the students and their parents, said the rulings show that Spain’s Supreme Court has not settled the question of conscientious objection to the course Education for the Citizenry. He also said the rulings could be applied in other autonomous communities where there are cases pending. A spokesperson for Salamanca for Freedom in Education explained that the rulings constitute “a victory for parents in the defense of their freedom and in their struggle for the education of their children according to their convictions.” (SOURCE:


CISA reports that Sr. Mary Agatha Osarenkhoe has been elected the new superior general of the Sisters of the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus, a congregation started in Nigeria 66 years ago.The election took place during the 8th General Chapter of the sisters held from September 3 to 16 at the EHJ Generalate in Ikeja, Lagos.The General Chapter is the highest authority of an institute when in session. Its foremost duty is to protect the patrimony of the institute and promote suitable renewal in accord with this, to elect the Superior General, to treat major business matters and publish norms which all are bound to obey.At the opening Mass of the Chapter, Anthony Cardinal Okogie, the Archbishop of Lagos, exhorted the sisters to give thanks to God for the gift of their togetherness as a family. “During this Chapter, you will have ample opportunity to journey along the path of faith, hope and love, deliberating about the affairs of your congregation, confessing and admitting your faults while at the same time re-examining the charism of your founder, Archbishop Leo Hale Taylor, in line with your present apostolate,” the cardinal said.The new superior general will be working with Sr. Fausta Manafa, Sr. Juliana Osiyemi, Sr. Fidelia Alao and Sr. Cecilia Omeife as council members for the next six years.At the thanksgiving mass to celebrate the end of the 8th General Chapter on Wednesday, Monsignor Bernard Okodua thanked the outgoing administration for the work they did in the last six years.He advised the new administration to work as a team and to render service in love. He told them to shun gossip. He assured the sisters of the love and interest of the cardinal, priests and laity of the Archdiocese of Lagos. He encouraged them to learn lessons of forgiveness and pastoral zeal from the lives of Sts. Cornelius and Cyprian whose feast day occurred was Wednesday.Archbishop Leo Hale Taylor SMA started the Congregation of the Sisters of the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus in January 1943 with five young ladies in order to promote the glory of God and the sanctification of the members.The spirit/charism of the congregation is one of sharing the sentiment of Christ when he gave the Eucharist. The mission of the EHJ sisters is to be a great missionary power, making Christ’s presence meaningful to the people by being engaged in educational, medical, social and pastoral apostolic activities.The sisters carry out their mission of grass root evangelization among the poor and disadvantaged in many dioceses within Nigeria. The Sisters are also working in Canada and USA.(SOURCE:


UCAN reports that Caritas Manila has launched a consumer goods brand and plans to use profits from the sales to support Church social-action programs to help poor Filipinos.

Father Mario Castillo (left) and Father Anton Pascualpresent some Caritas Manna products during the launch
The goods, which range from soap to rice, soy sauce and vinegar, carry the "Caritas Manna" brand. The merchandise is produced or packaged by five impoverished communities in the city.
Four companies also have asked to join the program as suppliers, says Father Mario Castillo, Caritas director of livelihood projects. These companies will offer products including coffee, canned sardines, seasoning and fruit juice at cost.
The consumer goods program is part of Caritas Manila's multi-faceted approach to poverty alleviation, Caritas executive director Father Anton Pascual announced at the Sept. 24 launch.
More than 100 guests and cooperative members attended the event.
Anyone who buys "Caritas Manna" brand products will know they are helping Caritas programs aimed at helping the poor, Father Pascual added. He said these programs include scholarships and leadership formation.
Caritas Manila, the lead Catholic agency for social services and development in the archdiocese, also provides technical assistance to social service and development ministries in the five other dioceses in Metro Manila.
Customer purchases will also support livelihood ventures, health and nutrition programs in parishes, prisoners' programs and programs for crisis and disaster responses.

Caritas Manna products displayed at the launch
Father Castillo said the goods would be sold in some of the 20 parish cooperatives that offer goods to poor families at low prices.
"The basic goods will carry the Caritas Manna label to show that we stand behind the quality of the products," the Vincentian priest told UCA News.
Caritas also offers inducements to cooperatives and customers to stock and buy the goods. "We offer a 1 percent refund on the product to the customer and a 5 percent incentive bonus to the cooperative," Father Castillo said.
Other products that carry the Caritas Manna brand include bread, noodles, sugar, salt, bottled water, laundry detergent, bath soap, shampoo and hair conditioner.
Plans are underway add small household goods such as pillows and sponges to the list.
Caritas Manna is the agency's fourth program in three years aimed at alleviating poverty among Metro Manila residents. Others include Segunda Mana (secondhand) stores, where 20 percent of the products are old stock donated by department stores to Caritas and the rest are used or unused goods from private donations.
Two years ago Caritas started programs in microfinance for urban poor people and Caritas Labora, a job placement data bank to help them get full-time and temporary service jobs.

CathNews reports that the Broken Bay Institute (BBI) and the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference are planning to follow up the success of the Year of St Paul eConference with a new St Luke eConference in November.
The "St Luke: Come to the Table" conference will have as keynote speakers Archbishop Mark Coleridge and Dr Elizabeth Dowling RSM, the BBI and ACBC said.
The success of the St Paul eConference had demonstrated a thirst for this style of delivery for quality adult faith education, said Archbishop John Bathersby, Chairman of the Bishops Commission for Mission and Faith Formation.
"We are delighted to tap into this enthusiasm and to offer a new eConference on St Luke," he said.
The Director of The Broken Bay Institute, Dr Gerard Goldman said the St Paul eConference had proven to be much more than a one-day experience, with 2,500 new groups logging on in Australia alone in the weeks after the event and hundreds from across the globe.
He said more than 90 percent of those who responded to the feedback form agreed that all sessionsof the eConference were informative and engaging and 96 per cent said they would participate in further eConferences and would encourage others to take part as well.
"In light of that, we are very excited to be presenting the second National eConference on St Luke and we look forward to continuing to serve the Church in Australia with a range of similar initiatives into the future, with already two further eConferences in the pipeline for next year."


St. Finbarr
Feast: September 25
Feast Day:
September 25
550 AD, near Bandon, Ireland
620 AD, Cloyne, County Cork, Ireland
Patron of:

Bishop and patron of Cork, born near Bandon, about 550, died at Cloyne, 25 September, 623, was son of Amergin. He evangelized Gowran, Coolcashin, and Aghaboe, and founded a school at Eirce. For some years he dwelt in a hermitage at Gougane Barra, where a beautiful replica of Cormac's chapel has recently been erected in his honour. Finbarr was buried in the cathedral he built where Cork city now stands. He was specially honoured also at Dornoch and Barra, in Scotland. There are five Irish saints of this name.

May we never risk the life of our souls by being resentful or by bearing grudges. St. Gregory of Nyssa


Luke 9: 18 - 22
Now it happened that as he was praying alone the disciples were with him; and he asked them, "Who do the people say that I am?"
And they answered, "John the Baptist; but others say, Eli'jah; and others, that one of the old prophets has risen."
And he said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" And Peter answered, "The Christ of God."
But he charged and commanded them to tell this to no one,
saying, "The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised."

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