Thursday, September 24, 2009



VATICAN CITY, 24 SEP 2009 (VIS) - Made public today was a transcription of the Pope's video message to participants in the UN summit on climate change, which was held in New York on 22 September. "I wish to reflect today upon the relationship between the Creator and ourselves as guardians of His creation", says Benedict XVI speaking English. "In so doing I also wish to offer my support to leaders of governments and international agencies who are meeting at the United Nations to discuss the urgent issue of climate change. "The Earth is indeed a precious gift of the Creator Who, in designing its intrinsic order, has given us guidelines that assist us as stewards of His creation. Precisely from within this framework, the Church considers that matters concerning the environment and its protection are intimately linked with integral human development. In my recent Encyclical, 'Caritas in Veritate', I referred to such questions recalling the 'pressing moral need for renewed solidarity' not only between countries but also between individuals, since the natural environment is given by God to everyone, and so our use of it entails a personal responsibility towards humanity as a whole, particularly towards the poor and towards future generations. "How important it is then, that the international community and individual governments send the right signals to their citizens and succeed in countering harmful ways of treating the environment! The economic and social costs of using up shared resources must be recognised with transparency and borne by those who incur them, and not by other peoples or future generations. The protection of the environment, and the safeguarding of resources and of the climate, oblige all leaders to act jointly, respecting the law and promoting solidarity with the weakest regions of the world. Together we can build an integral human development beneficial for all peoples, present and future, a development inspired by the values of charity in truth. For this to happen it is essential that the current model of global development be transformed through a greater, and shared, acceptance of responsibility for creation: this is demanded not only by environmental factors, but also by the scandal of hunger and human misery". The Holy Father concluded by inviting participants in the UN summit "to enter into their discussions constructively and with generous courage. Indeed, we are all called to exercise responsible stewardship of creation, to use resources in such a way that every individual and community can live with dignity, and to develop 'that covenant between human beings and the environment, which should mirror the creative love of God'".MESS/CLIMATE CHANGE/U.N. VIS 090924 (440)

AUDIENCES VATICAN CITY, 24 SEP 2009 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences six prelates from the National Conference of Bishops of Brazil, on their "ad limina" visit: - Bishop Joao Jose da Costa O. Carm. of Iguatu - Bishop Antonio Roberto Cavuto O.F.M. Cap. of Itapipoca. - Bishop Jose Haring O.F.M. of Limoeiro do Norte. - Bishop Angelo Pignoli of Quixada. - Bishop Francisco Javier Hernandez Arnedo O.A.R. of Tiangua. - Fr. Raimundo Nonato Timbo de Paiva, diocesan administrator of Sobral. This evening, the Holy Father is scheduled to receive in separate audiences three prelates from the National Conference of Bishops of Brazil, on their "ad limina" visit: - Archbishop Sergio da Rocha of Teresina - Bishop Ramon Lopez Carrozas O. de M. of Bom Jesus do Gurgeia. - Bishop Eduardo Zielski of Campo Maior.AL/.../... VIS 090924 (140)

OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS VATICAN CITY, 24 SEP 2009 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Archbishop Luciano Suriani, apostolic nuncio, as delegate for pontifical deputations.NN/.../SURIANI VIS 090924 (30)


CNA reports that the Catholic Church in Colombia is urging the militant group FARC to begin the process of releasing the hostages it is holding and reminded the rebel group that the entire country “is pleading for this step to be taken.” The secretary general of the Bishops’ Conference of Colombia, Bishop Juan Vicente Cordoba, revealed that conference's president, Archbishop Ruben Salazar, sent a letter to the leader of the FARC, Alfonso Cano, asking for details about the expected release of hostages. In recent statements, Bishop Cordoba explained this letter has not yet been answered and that the bishops are awaiting a prompt response. In comments directed to the FARC, Bishop Cordoba said, “Brothers of the FARC, we hope in you, we trust in you. We extend to you a gentle hand. Don’t leave us with our hand held out. Colombia is pleading for this step to be taken.” He went on to say, “You are fighting for very profound values such as equity, justice and equality. We agree about the principle but not about the method. You have embraced class warfare, we democracy. We are united in the principle; don’t sink to a lower level.” “We believe in your capacity to build a country in peace. If that is what you are seeking, then work together,” Bishop Cordoba told the rebels. “We accept you, and I can even say we love you, but take actions that will allow you to be loved by us,” he said. (SOURCE:


Thousands of Catholic faithful have flocked to venerate the relics of St Thérèse of Lisieux which have been on tour in England and Wales since last week.The relics, which were brought to Britain via the Channel Tunnel, have drawn over 20,000 pilgrims since they started touring just over a week ago.At their first stop at the Cathedral of St John the Evangelist, Portsmouth, more than 4,500 people came to venerate the relics. Bishop Crispian Hollis of Portsmouth said that the visit had been one of his proudest moments as bishop of the diocese. He said: "Over the years of the history of our diocese and our cathedral in Portsmouth we have witnessed many great events and occasions. But for sheer intensity of prayer and real devotion, I doubt whether any have matched what we have experienced during the hours of the visit to the cathedral of St Thérèse."The relics were then taken to Plymouth where they were met by Bishop Christopher Budd at the doors of his cathedral. Pilgrims travelled in coaches from Cornwall and Devon and the cathedral was packed to capacity, with 3,000 people passing through over the course of 20 hours. The relics drew their largest crowd so far at St Chad's Cathedral, Birmingham, with 11,000 people in two days. Bishop William Kenney, the administrator of the archdiocese, said: "The visit of the relics has been a time of grace for the diocese and in particular for the many thousands of pilgrims who came to venerate them in person." At Coleshill, Birmingham, where the relics stopped at the parish of St Teresa of the Child of Jesus, they were met by several hundred people and Fr Marcus Stock, the new general secretary of the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales, celebrated a welcome liturgy.Auxiliary Bishop David McGough of Birmingham preached about St Thérèse's humility and her resolve that everything in her life "would become an expression of Christ's presence in our world". There was also a celebration for the priests of the diocese held at Coleshill before St Thérèse was taken to Cardiff. The relics were then due to be taken to Salford, Manchester and Newcastle before stopping in York Minster, the Anglican cathedral. The Dean of York, Keith Jones, said: "I am thrilled that the relics of St Thérèse, the Little Flower, are coming to York minster ... she is a gift of God to us all and this is a chance for Christians of different traditions to us to pray for unity and renew our faith and our love." The relics will then head south via Middlesbrough, Leeds, Nottingham and Walsingham before stopping in Oxford, Buckinghamshire and Aylesford. They arrive in London in mid-October, stopping first at the Carmelite church in Kensington and then Westminster Cathedral. While reports in the secular press were initially positive a backlash soon followed. Matthew Parris of the Times said that the presence of the relics in England and Wales should be a "call to arms" for atheists. He criticised mainstream news coverage of the event for being uncritical. In the Sunday Times Minette Marrin attacked the Government for allowing the relics to stop at the Wormwood Scrubs prison in west London. She wrote: "There comes a time when even a peaceable agnostic feels roused to indignation. For me it was last week, at the news that the Home Office has seen fit to let the bones of the Little Flower into Wormwood Scrubs prison ... In so doing, it opens wide the gates of reason to let into any public place any and every fetish or juju that any religious group claims is part of its spiritual life."What the starry progress of the relics of the Little Flower has done for me is to remind me that we have in this country rather too much religious tolerance."Simon Jenkins, writing in the Guardian, was also critical of the decision to bring the relics to Wormwood Scrubs.But Fr Gerry McFlynn, the chaplain at the prison, said in a letter to the Guardian: "In venerating the relics of St Thérèse, Catholics and other Christians are not engaging in some ghoulish ritual, but rather seeking to draw inspiration from the life and spirituality of a remarkable woman." (SOURCE:


UCAN reports that two Catholic democrats in Macau, who won directly elected seats in the Fourth Legislative Assembly, have expressed hopes of bringing Church values to the legislature.

Antonio Ng Kwok-cheong
Chan Wai-chi, 52, who was elected for the first time, told UCA News he feels the burden of "the cross" on his shoulder, since legislators are meant to serve the public.
Residents of the former Portuguese colony, now ruled by China, chose candidates for only 12 of 29 seats. The other 17 legislators were chosen by special interest groups or appointed by Macau Chief Executive Fernando Chui Sai-on.
Chan and Antonio Ng Kwok-cheong, both Catholics, and Au Kam-sun were the three democrats -- one more than in the previous poll -- among the 12 legislators directly elected on Sept. 20 for a four-year term. Ng and Au were re-elected. It was the third election after the 1999 reversion to Chinese rule and had a record voter turnout.
Associacao de Macau Novo, the political group the three belong to, advocates democratic reforms.
Chan said his service and voice for the people would reflect the spirit of the Church. Democrats in the local legislature likely will remain a minority, but they will persevere and continue to fight for the rights and welfare of the society, he promised.
Legislators need to keep close contact with the people, Chan continued, saying people's livelihood is an important issue as well as the overall economy.
Veteran legislator Ng, also 52, said he and his two party mates would encourage people to fight for their welfare and assure them of legislators' support.
He also said that all three of them would continue to work on community development. Referring to himself and Chan, he added that "as Christ's followers, we have the responsibility to help people realize what rights they should have and what the society needs."
Ng does not expect that one more seat for democrats in the Legislative Assembly will make the democratization process in Macau any easier.Local pro-democracy advocates want all seats in the Legislative Assembly to be directly elected and are pressing for direct election of the Macau Chief Executive in 2019. Under the current system, a 300-member election committee formed by various sectors in Macau society selects the chief executive, who serves for a five-year term.
According to Ng, officials' corruption in recent years discredited the local government and prompted people to become aware of their rights and participate in the democratic movement.
Chan, director of "Observatorio de Macau," the local Catholic weekly, said he took leave from the publication when he began his election campaign, although he may continue to work for the paper as a volunteer.
The 59.9 percent voter turnout was a record for Macau. In terms of numbers, people cast about 148,000 votes, or 20,000 more than in the last election, in 2005.
Macau's Commission Against Corruption has received 56 complaints of election malpractice.
Bishop Jose Lai Hung-seng of Macau had issued a notice on Sept. 1 calling on all Catholics registered as voters to cast their votes "according to our conscience to select the best candidates who can serve and contribute to Macau's public welfare."


CISA reports that a bishop in Southern Sudan has begged the international community to intervene after the government failed to stop attacks on Christians in the region by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA).“Nobody is coming to our aid,” said Bishop Eduardo Hiiboro Kussala of Tombura-Yambio after a gang of LRA soldiers stormed a parish, desecrated the Host, kidnapped 17 young people, and mutilated one.“We are asking those who are responsible in the international community to do something about it,” Bishop Kussala urged, according to a report by Catholic World News.The LRA, which has wreaked havoc in Uganda and neighboring countries since its foundation in 1987, also killed six people by nailing them to wood, according to CWN.Government inaction prompted 20,000 Christians to walk barefoot for two miles in sackcloth and ashes.Two million lost their lives in the long Sudanese civil war (1983-2005) between the Muslim north and the largely animist and Christian south.The civil war ended when President Omar Hassan Ahmad Al-Bashir, indicted earlier this year by the International Criminal Court, granted the south limited autonomy.Since 2005, the nation’s five million Catholics have fallen under two sets of religion laws. In the north, all schools even Christian schools must offer instruction in Islam, and converts from Islam to Christianity face not only criminal charges but also death at the hands of their families. (SOURCE:

The Herald Sun reported it believes Father Bob Maguire is expected to keep his job, following overwhelming support from Victorians.
It cites unnamed sources saying the deadlock between Fr Bob and the Melbourne archdiocese over a request for his retirement is close to being resolved.
Fr Bob declined to confirm details of talks between himself, his advisers and representatives of Archbishop Denis Hart, the report said, except that discussions were continuing and that he was confident of a result that would please both parties.
"We are holding discussions to try to resolve the matter and we are close to agreement," he said. "I don't want people to worry about me."
He said he hoped for a swift decision on his future to put his supporters "out of their misery". (SOURCE:


St. Pacific of San Severino
Feast: September 24
Feast Day:
September 24
1 March 1653 at San Severino
24 September 1721 at San Severino
26 May 1839 by Pope Gregory IX

Born at San Severino, in the March of Ancona, 1 March, 1653; died there 24 September, 1721; the son of Antonio M. Divini and Mariangela Bruni. His parents died soon after his confirmation when three years old; he suffered many hardships until in December, 1670, he took the Franciscan habit in the Order of the Reformati, at Forano, in the March of Ancona, and was ordained on 4 June, 1678, subsequently becoming Lector or Professor of Philosophy (1680-83) for the younger members of the order, after which, for five or six years, he laboured as a missionary among the people of the surrounding country. He then suffered lameness, deafness, and blindness for nearly twenty-nine years. Unable to givemissions, he cultivated more the contemplative life. He bore his ills with angelic patience, worked several miracles, and was favoured by God with ecstasies. Though a constant sufferer, he held the post of guardian in the monastery of Maria delle Grazie in San Severino (1692-3), where he died. His cause for beatification was begun in 1740; he was beatified by Pius VI, 4 August, 1786, and solemnly canonized by Gregory XVI, 26 May, 1839. His feast is celebrated on 24 September.
Where there is charity and wisdom, there is neither fear nor ignorance. Where there is patience and humility, there is neither anger nor vexation. Where there is poverty and joy, there is neither greed nor avarice. Where there is peace and meditation, there is neither anxiety nor doubt. St. Francis of Assisi
Luke 9: 7 - 9
Now Herod the tetrarch heard of all that was done, and he was perplexed, because it was said by some that John had been raised from the dead,
by some that Eli'jah had appeared, and by others that one of the old prophets had risen.
Herod said, "John I beheaded; but who is this about whom I hear such things?" And he sought to see him.

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