Thursday, September 3, 2009

Catholic World News: Thurs. Sept. 3, 2009

Catholic World News: Thurs. Sept, 3, 2009: headlines-
(VIS) - Yesterday afternoon in the "Sala degli Svizzeri" of the Apostolic Palace at Castelgandolfo, Benedict XVI attended the screening of an abbreviated version of the film "St. Augustine", an Italian, German, Polish co-production. The film was made by Lux Vide/Rai Fiction, Bayerischer Rundfunk/Tellux Film, Eos Entertainment Rai Trade and Grupa Filmova Baltmedia. It was directed by Christian Duguay. At the end of the screening, the Holy Father expressed his thanks to everyone involved in the project and pronounced some brief remarks. "I feel this film to be a spiritual journey in a spiritual continent, far distant from us yet at the same time very near because the human drama remains the same", he said. "We have seen how, in a context far removed from our own, the reality of human life is represented with all its problems, sadness and failures, just as we have seen how, in the end, Truth is stronger than any obstacle and seeks out man. This is the great hope that remains at the end: we alone cannot seek out Truth, but Truth, which is a Person, seeks out us. Seen from the outside, the life of St. Augustine seems to finish tragically as the world for which and in which he lived comes to an end. But as was made clear in this film, his message remains and, even as the world changes, it endures because it comes from Truth and guides us to Charity, which is our shared destination. "Thank you to everyone", he added in conclusion. "Let us hope that many people, watching this human drama, may be sought out by Truth and so discover Charity".OP/ST. AUGUSTINE FILM/... VIS 090903 (300)

PASTORAL VISIT TO VITERBO AND BAGNOREGIO ON SUNDAY VATICAN CITY, 3 SEP 2009 (VIS) - On Sunday 6 September Benedict XVI will make a pastoral visit to the towns of Viterbo and Bagnoregio, in the Italian region of Lazio. The Pope will depart from the Apostolic Palace of Castelgandolfo at 8.30 a.m., arriving in Viterbo half an hour later. Following the welcome ceremony on the steps of the Palazzo dei Papi in Piazza San Lorenzo, the Holy Father will make a brief private visit to the Hall of the Conclave. At 10.15 a.m. he will preside at a Eucharistic concelebration in Viterbo's Valle Faul. At midday he will pray the Angelus. In the afternoon, the Holy Father will visit the Marian Shrine of Our Lady of the Oak. On his way there he will pause briefly at the Shrine of Santa Rosa. At 5 p.m. he will travel by helicopter to Bagnoregio to visit the cathedral of St. Nicholas where he will venerate the relics of St. Bonaventure. At 5.45 p.m., Pope Benedict will meet with local citizens in Bagnoregio's Piazza Sant'Agostino, before returning to Castelgandolfo by helicopter.OP/PASTORAL VISIT/VITERBO:BAGNOREGIO VIS 090903 (190)

AUDIENCES VATICAN CITY, 3 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: - Archbishop Vitorio Pavanello S.D.B. of Campo Grande, accompanied by Auxiliary Bishop Eduardo Pinheiro da Silva S.D.B. - Bishop Segismundo Martinez Alvarez S.D.B. of Corumba. - Bishop Antonino Migliore of Coxim. - Bishop Redovino Rizzardo C.S. of Dourados. - Bishop Jorge Alves Bezerra S.S.S. of Jardim.AL/.../... VIS 090903 (80)

CNS reports that Churches, the South African government and other agencies need to step up their help to Zimbabweans crossing the border into South Africa as the numbers increase, said members of a U.S. Catholic delegation.Without church and other groups helping Zimbabwean refugees in South Africa's Limpopo province, "many people wouldn't survive" after crossing the border from Zimbabwe, said Kevin Appleby, director of migration and refugee policy for the U.S. bishops in Washington. He told Catholic News Service "the most vulnerable are women, victims of violence and unaccompanied minors."Appleby, Bishop John C. Wester of Salt Lake City and Anastasia Brown, director of refugee programs for the U.S. bishops' Migration and Refugee Services, visited Limpopo Aug. 31-Sept. 2 as part of a larger U.S. Catholic delegation's Aug. 28-Sept. 6 visit to South Africa.For some Zimbabweans, resettlement in another country is their "only hope," Appleby said, noting that they "are targets at home and in South Africa" with its high level of xenophobia.Brown said many Zimbabwean women "told me of their persecution." Some were victims of "sexual violence for political purposes, one had seen her husband beaten to death and another had seen two people shot" in Zimbabwe, she said, noting that "political violence is continuing in Zimbabwe" despite the formation of a coalition government there in February.Thandi Hadebe, project director with Jesuit Relief Service in Makhado, about 120 miles from the Zimbabwean border, said agency workers see "fewer people coming with stories of beatings" than in 2008, but added she has heard stories of intimidation and violence from Zimbabweans who fled recently.Hadebe said JRS staffers counsel victims of torture and people who have been traumatized."A lot of people come (to South Africa) with high hopes," she said, "but they can't find a place to live and find that the grass is not so green on the other side of the fence."The trafficking of girls is a problem, Hadebe said, noting that "some parents pay people to bring their daughters to join them in South Africa and they never see them again."Young Zimbabwean girls in Limpopo's towns "need an intervention so that they don't end up in prostitution," Brown said, noting that she "heard stories of trafficking of girls for sexual and labor purposes."Brown said South Africa needs a "robust education campaign" so its citizens "understand the vulnerabilities of Zimbabweans coming into their country, even in the face of their own difficulties" of high unemployment and poverty.The Zimbabweans the U.S. group saw coming through the official border post at Beitbridge Sept. 1 were "not in the same condition as those we saw in the shelters" run by churches in Musina and Makhado, Brown said. Refugees in shelters had climbed through a barbed-wire fence and walked miles to get to South Africa, Brown said, noting that those crossing officially were "dressed fairly well and looked healthier."The children in the shelters are "particularly vulnerable" and need a "much larger-scale response" from South African authorities as well as the international community, Brown said.Bishop Wester said he was "impressed with the work" he saw being done by the churches, nongovernmental organizations and the South African government.The group saw three South African soldiers patrolling the three-layer barbed-wire fence that marks the border between South Africa and Zimbabwe."I could tell that the soldier I spoke to was genuinely troubled by what he saw, the evidence of women being raped and beaten up" as they made their way across the Limpopo River and through the African bush, Bishop Wester said. The soldier "kept shaking his head and touching his heart," he said.The river bed was dry when the delegation saw it Sept. 1. At its fullest, there are still places where people can cross the river on foot, but there are dangers of being eaten by crocodiles or washed away, Tobias Hlambelo, a Zimbabwean who works for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees in Musina, told the delegation Sept. 1.Hlambelo said the gangs at the border that rape and steal from Zimbabweans are fellow Zimbabweans "preying on our own people."Speaking the local language, the thieves "lure those trying to flee and take their money," said Hlambelo, who was an opposition activist in Zimbabwe when he fled in 2004 after being captured and tortured by President Robert Mugabe's forces.Bishop Wester said South Africa seems to have "positioned itself as a welcoming country" for Zimbabwean refugees, noting that he has "seen other governments that are not as open."The police-run detention center in Musina that the delegation visited Sept. 1 takes Zimbabweans who have crossed the border without documentation to the local South African Home Affairs office to fill out asylum papers, then releases them."This gives them a chance to establish themselves as asylum seekers," Bishop Wester said.He said the Zimbabweans he spoke to during the Limpopo visit "seem very patient, very long-suffering. There is a graciousness about them."Bishop Wester said that, at a night shelter for boys in Musina, a 13-year-old who "had faced great dangers in crossing the border" told him he "wants to work to support his family back home."A Zimbabwean mother told him "she had left her children with her parents and came alone" to try to earn money to send back to them, Bishop Wester said."They make great sacrifices for their families," he said. (SOURCE:



CNA reports that the Queretaro State Congress in Mexico reformed its constitution Tuesday with a 21-0 vote guaranteeing protection for human life from conception to natural death. The decision makes it the fifteenth Mexican state to enact such legislation. The new law, which was supported by some 60,000 signatures from Queretaro voters,establishes the right to life as “the first of all fundamental rights” and declares that the State has the duty protect human life from all attacks. State representatives said the reform was in accord with the Mexican Constitution and with the international treaties ratified by Mexico. In response to protests from some feminist and pro-abortion groups who called the reform an “attack” on the rights of women, several representatives dismissed the claims as completely false and said the reform would lead to policies that benefit both women and the unborn. They also pointed out that the changes in the law are not intended to “criminalize women” and that the law allows for abortion in cases of rape, life of the mother or fetal deformation. Queretaro is now the fifteenth state to enact pro-life changes to its constitution. The other states are Baja California, Chihuahua, Campeche, Colima , Puebla, Durango, Jalisco, Nayarit, Quintana Roo, Guanajuato, Yucatan, Sonora, Morelos and San Luis Potosi.


Catholic Herald reports that a well-known Scottish actor is starring in a new film about the founder of Opus Dei, St Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer. Dougray Scott - who starred in Mission Impossible II - is in Argentina filming There Be Dragons, a feature film about the life of St Josemaria. The Glenrothes-born actor plays a young journalist, estranged from his father, who begins to investigate the life of one of his father's friends, Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer. The journalist, played by Mr Scott, follows their uneasy relationship from their childhood to their time during the Spanish Civil War. St Josemaria is played by the English actor Charlie Cox, who is a Catholic. His previous films include Stardust and Casanova. Mr Cox said: "I've been to many Opus Dei centres, and met many Opus Dei members [in doing research for the movie]. And I've yet to encounter anything odd- seeming."I've been brought up a Catholic. I'm not a great practising Christian. I've been to church infrequently, but I've never stopped going."He also said that there was "an inner journey I've been going on during this film. I don't know where it will lead. My relationship with the Catholic Church and with God has certainly been profoundly affected for the better throughout this process," he added.When Mr Cox was asked whether St Josemaría was really a saint, he replied: "It's an impossible question to answer ... I have to leave that up to the Catholic Church and not to myself."Roland Joffe, the Oscar-winning director of The Mission and The Killing Fields, is directing the Opus Dei-funded film, despite criticism from mainstream cinema critics. After rejecting the offer to do the film with a screenplay provided by the Opus Dei, Mr Joffe wrote the screenplay for There Be Dragons. He said that the group had not interfered with the film, that he had not been told how to write the screenplay nor had he been directed on how to present either Opus Dei or St Josemaria.Mr Joffe said St Josemaría had "made no attempt to influence the people he worked with in terms of their politics". "At that time, that's pretty heroic. That's a time when almost all human beings were faced with making extraordinary choices," he said.He added: "We found ourselves making a film about love - human love and divine love. About hate - which I guess is human - about betrayal and mistakes."I don't know if there's anybody who wants to live his life without meaning. So it's also a story about people trying to find meaning about their lives, and that's a powerful kind of story."Mr Joffe said he has researched as much as he could on St Josemaría but said that history could only be attempted. He said: "There were certain liberties I could take if those liberties could take us to the personal issues that people felt." One thing that struck Mr Joffe was St Josemaría's idea that "a way to God is found through everyday life. And that life is also found through the Spanish Civil War." "That is still felt by Spaniards very much today," he said.During the making of The Mission, which dealt with Jesuit missionaries in 17th-century Latin America, Mr Joffe used two Jesuits as advisers. One was very "Right-wing" and the other was the famous left-wing Jesuit, Fr Daniel Berrigan. Fr John Wauck, an Opus Dei priest who is a professor of literature and communication of the faith at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross in Rome was asked "whether he'd serve the same purpose as Daniel Berrigan - explain to Charlie (Cox) what he knew about Josemaria ... in as open and honest way as he could, what it means to be a priest. That's what he gave up his rather precious time to do, and I'm grateful for it."There Be Dragons cost an estimated £20 million and is expected to come out in the summer or autumn of next year.


UCAN reports that Hue archdiocesan leaders have asked local priests to pray for jailed priest Father Thadeus Nguyen Van Ly who was denied a presidential pardon recently.
"Father Ly is reportedly in bad health," Auxiliary Bishop Francis Xavier Le Van Hong of Hue reportedly told priests during their Sept. 1 retreat at the archdiocesan pastoral center.
Bishop Hong asked the priests to pray for Father Ly to be in good health and be freed soon. Some 100 priests attended the retreat where they concelebrated Mass together with Archbishop Etienne Nguyen Nhu The of Hue.
Some of the priests told UCA News that two of Father Ly's relatives had told Bishop Hong about Father Ly's health on Aug. 27. The relatives had visited him at his detention camp three days earlier and gave him food and medicine.
The 63-year-old priest of Hue archdiocese has been held in a special ward of Ba Sao camp in the northern Ha Nam province since 2007.
One of the priests reported the relatives as saying that "Father Ly suffers severely from heart ailments." His relatives are allowed to visit him every other month.
Father Ly was sentenced to 10 years' imprisonment in December 1983 for undermining national unity and causing public disorder and then in 2001 was sentenced to 15 years for disseminating anti-government propaganda.
He was released from prison in February 2005, but remained under house arrest in the Hue archbishop's residence. He was arrested again on Feb. 18, 2007 and sentenced to eight years in March that year for anti-government activities after he helped organize a pro-democracy party.
He was refused a presidential pardon on Aug. 31 this year, when the government announced a list of 5,459 prisoners who would be released to mark Vietnam's National Day on Sept 2.
State-run media quoted Vice Minister of Public Security Le The Tiem as saying Father Ly would not be released for lack of sincere repentance.
The priest "is still in good enough health to serve his sentence," Tiem reportedly said.
A Church source told UCA News local Church leaders plan to petition government authorities to allow priests to visit Father Ly. The source said so far two priests have been allowed to visit him once year for less than an hour. These priests also gave him food.
Father Ly, who was ordained in 1974, is the former pastor of An Truyen parish.

CathNews reports that author Mary Ryllis Clark's book on the Loreto sisters, Loreto in Australia, chronicling the founding and development of the order in the country, has been launched.
The book follows the tale of the small band of Irish nuns who arrived in Ballarat in 1875, with their charismatic leader Mother Gonzaga Barry. It explores the women's influence on Catholic education in Australia and follows the growth of the order's work, which has now expanded into indigenous and other disadvantaged communities, as well as into tertiary institutions and other positions in public life.
"Its original founder, the seventeenth century Yorkshire woman Mary Ward, links them to one of the bloodiest periods in British history when being Catholic was tantamount to treachery," according to a media release.
"Mary Ward established a community of women in Europe who followed a rule based on that of the Jesuits. They did not observe enclosure or wear habits and governed themselves, which was unacceptable to the Church at the time. Ward was eventually imprisoned for heresy and her work suppressed, but her Institute survived."
"Loreto in Australia is the story of women of great strength, charm and deep spirituality fulfilling Mary Ward's prediction that 'women in time to come will do great matters'."


St. Gregory the Great
Feast: September 3
540 at Rome, Italy
12 March 604 at Rome, Italy
Patron of:
against plague, choir boys, educators, England, gout, masons, musicians, papacy, Popes, schoolchildren, singers, stone masons, stonecutters, students, teachers, West Indies

Doctor of the Church; b. at Rome about 540; d. 12 March 604.
Gregory's father was Gordianus, a wealthy patrician, probably of the famous gens Amicia, who owned large estates in Sicily and a mansion on the Caelian Hill in Rome, the ruins of which, apparently in a wonderful state of preservation, still await excavation beneath the Church of St. Andrew and St. Gregory. His mother Silvia appears also to have been of good family, but very little is known of her life. She is honoured as a saint, her feast being kept on 3 November (see SILVIA, SAINT). Besides his mother, two of Gregory's aunts have been canonised, Gordianus's two sisters, Tarsilla and Æmilians, so that John the Deacon speaks of his education as being that of a saint among saints. In 573, when little more than thirty years old, Gregory decided to abandon everything and become a monk. This event took place most probably in 574. His decision once taken, he devoted himself to the work and austerities of his new life with all the natural energy of his character. His Sicilian estates were given up to found six monasteries there, and his home on the Caelian Hill was converted into another under the patronage of St. Andrew. However, he was soon drawn out of his seclusion, when, in 578, the pope ordained him, much against his will, as one of the seven deacons (regionarii) of Rome. Popo Pelagius II accordingly dispatched a special embassy to Tiberius, and sent Gregory along with it as his apocrisiarius, or permanent ambassador to the Court of Byzantium. The date of this new appointment seems to have been the spring of 579, and it lasted apparently for about six years. In the year 586, or possibly 585, he was recalled to Rome, and with the greatest joy returned to St. Andrew's, of which he became abbot soon afterwards. The monastery grew famous under his energetic rule, producing many monks who won renown later. Then, in February, 590, as if to fill the cup of misery to the brim, Pelagius II died. The choice of a successor lay with the clergy and people of Rome, and without any hesitation they elected Gregory, Abbot of St. Andrew's. As the plague still continued unabated, Gregory called upon the people to join in a vast sevenfold procession which was to start from each of the seven regions of the city and meet at the Basilica of the Blessed Virgin, all praying the while for pardon and the withdrawal of the pestilence. This was accordingly done, and the memory of the event is still preserved by the name "Sant' Angelo" given to the mausoleum of Hadrian from the legend that the Archangel St. Michael was seen upon its summit in the act of sheathing his sword as a sign that the plague was over. At length, after six months of waiting, came the emperor's confirmation of Gregory's election. The saint was terrified at the news and even meditated flight. He was seized, however, carried to the Basilica of St. Peter, and there consecrated pope on 3 September, 590. The story that Gregory actually fled the city and remained hidden in a forest for three days, when his whereabouts was revealed by a supernatural light, seems to be pure invention.
As pope Gregory still lived with monastic simplicity. (Edited from


Whether, therefore, we receive what we ask for, or do not receive it, let us still continue steadfast in prayer. For to fail in obtaining the desires of our heart, when God so wills it, is not worse than to receive it; for we know not as He does, what is profitable to us.
St. John Chrysostom:

Luke 5: 1 - 11
While the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he was standing by the lake of Gennes'aret.
And he saw two boats by the lake; but the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets.
Getting into one of the boats, which was Simon's, he asked him to put out a little from the land. And he sat down and taught the people from the boat.
And when he had ceased speaking, he said to Simon, "Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch."
And Simon answered, "Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets."
And when they had done this, they enclosed a great shoal of fish; and as their nets were breaking,
they beckoned to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink.
But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, "Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord."
For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the catch of fish which they had taken;
and so also were James and John, sons of Zeb'edee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, "Do not be afraid; henceforth you will be catching men."
And when they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed him.

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