Wednesday, September 16, 2009










VATICAN CITY, 16 SEP 2009 (VIS) - In today's general audience, which was held in the Paul VI Hall, the Pope focused his attention on Symeon the New Theologian, "an Eastern monk from Asia Minor whose writings exercised an important influence on theology and spirituality in the East, especially as regards the experience of mystical union with God". The Holy Father explained how Symeon was born in Galatai, Asia Minor. He began a civilian career in the imperial service but abandoned it in order "to follow the path of union with God" under the guidance of Symeon the Pious in a monastery in Constantinople. He died in the year 1022. "Symeon focused his reflections on the presence of the Holy Spirit in the baptised and on the awareness they must have of this spiritual truth. Christian life, he insists, is intimate and personal communion with God. ... True knowledge of God ... stems from a journey of inner purification". This journey must pass through "profound penitence and sincere suffering for ones sins in order to achieve union with Christ, the source of joy and peace". "This saintly Oriental monk reminds everyone to pay great attention to spiritual life. If, in fact, we are rightly concerned with tending to our physical, human and intellectual development, it is even more important not to overlook our inner development which consists in knowledge of God and communion with Him, so as to experience His help at all times and in all circumstances". Symeon the New Theologian "had certain proof that the source of Christ's presence and action in a person's soul is love", said Benedict XVI. "The love of God grows within us if we remain united to Him through prayer and listening to His Word. Only divine love makes us open our hearts to others and renders us sensitive to their needs, bringing us to consider everyone as our brothers and sisters and inviting us to respond to hatred with love and to offence with forgiveness". Recalling then how, as a young man, Symeon "found a spiritual director who helped him greatly and for whom he always maintained great respect", the Pope told his audience: "This remains valid even today, as everyone - priests, consecrated persons, lay people and especially the young - is invited to seek the counsel of a good spiritual father, one capable of accompanying each individual in a profound knowledge of self and leading him or her to intimate union with the Lord, that their lives may be increasingly moulded to the Gospel". "To advance towards the Lord we always have need of a guide, of some form of dialogue; we cannot do it just with our own reflections. And finding this guide is part of the ecclesial nature of our faith".AG/SYMEON THE NEW THEOLOGIAN/... VIS 090916 (480)

AUDIENCES VATICAN CITY, 16 SEP 2009 (VIS) - Following this morning's general audience, the Holy Father received in audience Emil Boc, prime minister of Romania, accompanied by an entourage.AP/.../... VIS 090916 (30)

OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS VATICAN CITY, 16 SEP 2009 (VIS) - The Holy Father: - Appointed Bishop Sergio Aparecido Colombo of Paranavai, Brazil, as bishop of Braganca Paulista (area 4,400, population 1,054,000, Catholics 789,000, priests 96, religious 196), Brazil. He succeeds Bishop Jose Maria Pinheiro, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, in accordance with canon 401 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law. - Appointed Bishop Jacinto Inacio Flach, auxiliary of Porto Alegre, Brazil, as bishop of Criciuma (area 5,093, population 539,000, Catholics 447,000, priests 66, permanent deacons 1, religious 163), Brazil.NER:RE/.../COLOMBO:PINHEIRO:FLACH VIS 090916 (100)



Catholic Online reports that the Cardinal Newman Society published a new, second edition of The Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College, a free online resource for parents and students seeking a faithful Catholic education. This comprehensive Guide recommends 21 Catholic colleges and universities in the United States plus eight international, online and unique programs based on the strength of their Catholic identity. In addition, the Guide includes several essays to help families better understand the search for a strong Catholic college. The culmination of four years of research and hundreds of interviews, this edition of The Newman Guide builds substantially on the successful first edition which was published on All Saints Day in 2007. All told more than 8,000 copies of that edition were distributed to Catholic leaders and families. “When we published the original Newman Guide in 2007 we did not know what to expect, but we found that families were eagerly searching for help in identifying Catholic colleges that truly embrace their Catholic mission in all facets of campus life,” said Patrick J. Reilly, President of The Cardinal Newman Society and one of the editors of the second edition of the Guide. “The mission of The Cardinal Newman Society is to help renew Catholic higher education, and we can think of no better way to do that than by offering this edition of The Newman Guide as a book but also as a free online resource. We are doing this so that as many Catholic families as possible are able to learn about the quality academics and faithful campus life available at the recommended colleges,” said Reilly. Every college or program recommended in the Guide includes a complete profile that examines academics, governance, spiritual life, student activities, and residence life. New additions to this edition’s profiles are a letter to families from each college president as well as information on financial aid packages. The online version of the college profiles include additional campus pictures and videos, open house and other event details, as well as a form to request admissions or financial aid information directly from the college. The recommended Catholic colleges are:

• Aquinas College, Nashville, Tenn. • Ave Maria University, Ave Maria, Fla. • Belmont Abbey College, Belmont, N.C. • Benedictine College, Atchison, Kan. • The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C. • Christendom College, Front Royal, Va. • The College of Saint Thomas More, Fort Worth, Tex. • DeSales University, Center Valley, Pa. • Franciscan University of Steubenville, Steubenville, Oh. • Holy Apostles College & Seminary, Cromwell, Conn. • John Paul the Great Catholic University, San Diego, Calif. • Magdalen College, Warner, N.H. • Mount St. Mary’s University, Emmitsburg, Md. • Providence College, Providence, R.I. • St. Gregory’s University, Shawnee, Okla. • Southern Catholic College, Dawsonville, Ga. • Thomas Aquinas College, Santa Paula, Calif. • The Thomas More College of Liberal Arts, Merrimack, N.H. • University of Dallas, Irving, Tex. • University of St. Thomas, Houston, Tex. • Wyoming Catholic College, Lander, Wyo. A new section in this edition of The Newman Guide recommends international, online and unique Catholic colleges and programs to help provide options to families looking for non-traditional ways to obtain a faithful Catholic education. The recommended international, online and unique programs are: • Angelicum Great Books Program, online • Campion College, Old Toongabbie, Australia • Catholic Distance University, online • Our Lady of Corpus Christi, Corpus Christi, Tex. • Our Lady Seat of Wisdom Academy, Barry’s Bay, Ontario, Canada • Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (“the Angelicum”), Rome, Italy • Redeemer Pacific University, Langley, British Columbia, Canada • St. Bede’s Hall, Oxford, England

The complete Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College is available at



CNA reports that in a ceremony today, the Grand Duke of Luxembourg was awarded the Van Thuan Prize, an award given to those who have distinguished themselves in the promotion and defense of human rights.
Grand Duke of Luxembourg Henry I made headlines last December for refusing to approve a decision by his country’s House of Representatives to legalize euthanasia due to reasons of conscience. In wake of the rejection, the country’s Parliament modified the Constitution to limit the Duke’s power before making Luxembourg the third country in the EU to legally allow euthanasia.Henry I received the award today at Palazzo Colonna in Rome on the seventh anniversary of the death of Cardinal Francois- Xavier Van Thuan, a Vietnamese cardinal who spent 13 years in a Vietnamese prison because of his faith.
Cardinal Van Thuan’s beautification cause was opened in 2007.
Also being presented are four Van Thuan Solidarity and Development Prizes.
The recipients of the prizes are: the Skills Development Centre for the Blind run by Fr. Carlo Velardo S.D.B. in Pakkred, Thailand; the ALAS project of the "Caminos de Libertad" Foundation in the archdiocese of Bogota, Colombia, for the building of a national center for pastoral care in penitentiaries; the non-profit organization, "Cooperazione Missionaria e Sviluppo" run by Msgr. Andrea Vece at the Our Lady of Fatima parish in Salerno, Italy; and finally “ROCHER L'oasis des cites", an association dedicated to educational and social projects at the service of inhabitants of "difficult" neighborhoods of French cities. (SOURCE:



CISA reports that a statement by the Synod of Bishops of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa: The Synod of Bishops of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa (ACSA) met in Midrand, Gauteng, from 7 to 9 September 2009, to share in prayer, fellowship and breaking bread together. We reflected on passages from the Gospel according to St Luke, guided by homilies from His Grace, the Archbishop of Cape Town. Conscious of the call to uphold our faith with justice and mercy, and in dependence upon Christ’s example, his leading, and his sustaining, we discussed a breadth of issues currently before our Church.The Synod was disturbed by various recent reports in the media to the effect that the world-wide Anglican Communion and the Anglican Church in Southern Africa are on the brink of schism. We want to assure the faithful that these reports are grossly exaggerated and, in some cases, a misrepresentation.Our worldwide Anglican Communion has for a number of years been struggling with the issue of human sexuality without, as yet, having reached any significant consensus. There are, indeed, broken and damaged relationships within the Communion, but there is still a deep desire among the bishops throughout the world to maintain the bonds of unity in obedience to the High Priestly prayer of our Lord that “they may be one as we are one” (Jn 17:21).To this end ACSA is committed to the Communion’s exploration of an Anglican Covenant, as a means of providing a basic statement of the common faith and mission that holds the Anglican Churches together in visible community. It is hoped this will make explicit what it means to live in interdependence, and will articulate more clearly the basis of the “bonds of affection” between us that we now enjoy.We, the Bishops and the Anglican Church of Southern Africa, have, on a number of occasions, spelt out our common mind at this stage of our journey with the world-wide Communion. We believe that we are called to love others with God’s unconditional, sacrificial love and do not believe sexual orientation is a barrier to leadership within the church. However, maintaining as we do, that Christian marriage is a lifelong union between one man and one woman, we hold that clergy unable to commit to another in a Christian marriage partnership are called to a life of celibacy.We have also received the resolution of the Diocese of Cape Town requesting us to provide guidelines for the pastoral care of those in committed same sex relationships. Despite the misconceptions created by media reports that Cape Town Diocese is intending to proceed with the blessing of same sex unions, we recognize the request to be pastoral in nature (reflecting the new situation created by the South African Government’s legislation allowing for civil unions between same sex couples) and not in any way in conflict with Resolution 1.10 of the Lambeth Conference of 1998. The task of responding to this request has been referred to a task team, which will prepare a preliminary paper building upon the resolutions and statements made thus far by ACSA.We remain committed to upholding the bonds of unity with one another, as we journey together through the difficult questions that confront the worldwide Anglican Communion. Differences of opinion are inevitable, schism is not.Alongside our consideration of matters of human sexuality and the life of the Anglican Communion, we were also mindful of the many urgent socio-political and economic needs that face the countries and people of our Province. It is these that are paramount in our hearts and minds, as we strive to fulfill our calling to mission and ministry, as God’s faithful people in this time and place.Now to him, who by the power at work within us is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, to him be glory in the Church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, for ever and ever. Amen (Ephesians 3:20-21)-Issued by the Office of the Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town



UCAN reports that a Communal tension is rising yet again in Punjab province, where crowds of Christians took to the streets following the death in custody of a Catholic man accused of blasphemy against Islam.
Christians in Lahore protest the death of Fanish Robert
Police say 24-year-old Fanish Masih, who used the surname Robert, hanged himself, but rights activists and Christians claim authorities tortured and killed him.
A group of 10 priests led about 2,000 Christians in a protest rally on Sept. 15 in Sialkot, where Robert reportedly was found dead in his cell that morning.
The protest march began at a cinema and ended five kilometers away at Catholic-run Bethania Hospital, where the body is being held.
"Stop religious extremism and the massacre of Christians," the crowd chanted.
One of the Catholic priests leading the rally, Father Shehzada Khurram, parish priest in Robert's hometown of Jatekhe, promised the crowd that the funeral would not be held until the police filed a case on the "murder."
Robert was arrested on Sept. 11 in Jatekhe on charges of blasphemy after allegedly throwing part of a Qur'an into a gutter.
Other accounts said he had pulled the hand of a Muslim girl, and the girl's parents were quoted in early reports as saying they had seen the pages from the Qur'an "soaked with dirty water."
Those comments sparked inflammatory speeches broadcast over the local mosque's loudspeakers, and that afternoon a mob set the nearby Calvary Church ablaze. It is now under heavy police guard.
Robert was shifted to a jail in Sialkot, where police claim he hanged himself during the night of Sept. 14 with the cord used to tie the pants Pakistani men usually wear. But family members claim Robert's body bore torture marks and his ribs were broken, according to media reports.
Those claims were backed up by at least one report, in the "Daily Times," which quoted Punjab Minister for Minority Affairs Kamran Michael as saying he had seen signs of torture. Other reports, however, cited police officials as saying an investigating team that included doctors found no such marks on the body.
Arshad Mahmood Malik, regional director for the government's Ministry of Human Rights, told UCA News the case was suspicious.
Calvary Church has beenclosed since the arson attack
"One cannot understand suicide in jail. It seems illiterate people are easy to exploit in the name of religion by those who then take the law into their own hands," he said.
Protests also erupted in Lahore, the Punjab capital, on the afternoon of Sept. 15. About 400 Christians gathered in front of the Lahore press club, blocking the road for a time.
Meanwhile, the Pakistan Catholic bishops' National Commission for Justice and Peace issued a press release.
"We demand a credible investigation and registration of a case under a murder charge," it said. "The persons responsible for the death of innocent youth ... should be brought to justice," Archbishop Lawrence John Saldanha of Lahore, the commission's chairperson, and Peter Jacob, its executive secretary, wrote in the release.
The Church officials pointed to the country's controversial blasphemy laws as part of the problem, reiterating a long-held Church concern. They urged once again that these be repealed.
"For religious minorities these laws have proven to be a catastrophe which can surface anytime anywhere," they said. "We consider this a failure on the part of the Punjab provincial government and Federal government."
The blasphemy laws, introduced in 1986 under a military-led government, make an insult to the Qur'an punishable by up to life imprisonment, while conviction for insulting Prophet Muhammad brings an automatic death sentence.
The arson of Calvary Church attracted the condemnation of President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani. Both leaders on Sept. 12 called for restraint and ordered authorities to investigate the matter.
Zardari promised the government would pay for the reconstruction of the damaged church.
Just a month earlier, 10 Catholics were killed in rioting in the Punjab city of Gojra and the nearby village of Korian. A Muslim mob vandalized and looted 113 Christian houses and damaged four Protestant churches in these areas.
That and an attack in January on a Catholic church in the Punjab village of Kot Lakha Singh are among at least seven incidents of anti-Christian violence in Pakistan this year.



CathNews reports that the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle is holding its first Open Day today as part of the NSW ecumenical "Jesus. All about life" campaign.
"We are inviting the community to come in, to see and explore what the Catholic Church does throughout our local area," said Mrs Teresa Brierley, Vice Chancellor for Pastoral Ministries.
"The Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle is really pleased to be taking part in the campaign," said Mrs Brierley. "Many of our parishes are working with other local Christian churches in an attempt to get our communities talking about Jesus.
"This campaign is different from anything else we've ever been a part of. It takes the focus off religion and institutional church and places it squarely on the person and life of Jesus.

"We thought it was important that the offices of the diocese joined with our parishes in doing something special to recognise and celebrate the campaign."
Visitors are invited to visit to the diocese's offices at 841 Hunter Street in Newcastle, next to the Sacred Heart Cathedral, to find out more about the diocese, tour parts of the buildings, visit other nearby diocesan services and enjoy a barbecue.


St. Cyprian
Feast: September 16
Feast Day:
September 16
3rd century AD, North Africa
September 14, 258, Carthage, Africa Province, Roman Empire
Patron of:
Algeria, North Africa

CYPRIAN was an African of noble birth, but of evil life, a pagan, and a teacher of rhetoric. In middle life he was converted to Christianity, and shortly after his baptism was ordained priest, and made Bishop of Carthage, notwithstanding his resistance. When the persecution of Decius broke out, he fled from his episcopal city, that he might be the better able to minister to the wants of his flock, but returned on occasion of a pestilence. Later on he was banished, and saw in a vision his future martyrdom. Being recalled from exile, sentence of death was pronounced against him, which he received with the words "Thanks be to God." His great desire was to die whilst in the act of preaching the faith of Christ, and he had the consolation of being surrounded at his martyrdom by crowds of his faithful children. He was beheaded on the 14th of September, 258, and was buried with great solemnity. Even the pagans respected his memory. (SOURCE

St. Cornelius
Feast: September 16
Feast Day:
September 16
Patron of:
against earache, against epilepsy, against fever, against twitching, cattle, domestic animals, earache sufferers

Martyr (251 to 253).
We may accept the statement of the Liberian catalogue that he reigned two years, three months, and ten days, for Lipsius, Lightfoot, and Harnack have shown that this list is a first-rate authority for this date. His predecessor, Fabian, was put to death by Decius, 20 January, 250. About the beginning of March, 251 the persecution slackened, owing to the absence of the emperor, against whom two rivals had arisen. It was possible to assemble sixteen bishops at Rome, and Cornelius was elected though against his will (Cyprian, Ep. lv, 24), "by the judgment of God and of Christ, by the testimony of almost all the clergy, by the vote of the people then present, by the consent of aged priests and of good men, at a time when no one had been made before him, when the place of Fabian, that is the place of Peter, and the step of the sacerdotal chair were vacant". "What fortitude in his acceptance of the episcopate, what strength of mind, what firmness of faith, that he took his seat intrepid in the sacerdotal chair, at a time when the tyrant in his hatred of bishops was making unspeakable threats, when he heard with far more patience that a rival prince was arising against him, than that a bishop of God was appointed at Rome" (ibid., 9). Is he not, asks St. Cyprian, to be numbered among the glorious confessors and martyrs who sat so long awaiting the sword or the cross or the stake and every other torture?
A few weeks later the Roman priest Novatian made himself antipope, and the whole Christian world was convulsed by the schism at Rome. But the adhesion of St. Cyprian secured to Cornelius the hundred bishops of Africa, and the influence of St. Dionysius the Great, Bishop of Alexandria, brought the East within a few months to a right decision. In Italy itself the pope got together a synod of sixty bishops. (See NOVATIAN.) Fabius, Bishop of Antioch, seems to have wavered. Three letters to him from Cornelius were known to Eusebius, who gives extracts from one of them (Church History VI.43), in which the pope details the faults in Novatian's election and conduct with considerable bitterness. We incidentally learn that in the Roman Church there were forty-six priests, seven deacons, seven subdeacons, forty-two acolytes, fifty-two ostiarii, and over one thousand five hundred widows and persons in distress. From this Burnet estimated the number of Christians in Rome at fifty thousand, so also Gibbon; but Benson and Harnack think this figure possibly too large. Pope Fabian had made seven regions; it appears that each had one deacon, one subdeacon and six acolytes. Of the letters of Cornelius to Cyprian two have come down to us, together with nine from Cyprian to the pope. Mgr. Merrati has shown that in the true text the letters of Cornelius are in the colloquial "vulgar-Latin" of the day, and not in the more classical style affected by the ex-orator Cyprian and the learned philosopher Novatian. Cornelius sanctioned the milder measures proposed by St. Cyprian and accepted by his Carthaginian council of 251 for the restoration to communion, after varying forms of penance, of those who had fallen during the Decian persecution.
At the beginning of 252 a new persecution suddenly broke out. Cornelius was exiled to Centumcellæ (Civita Vecchia). There were no defections among the Roman Christians; all were confessors. The pope "led his brethren in confession", writes Cyprian (Ep. lx, ad Corn.), with a manifest reference to the confession of St. Peter. "With one heart and one voice the whole Roman Church confessed. Then was seen, dearest Brother, that faith which the blessed Apostle praised in you (Romans 1:8); even then he foresaw in spirit your glorious fortitude and firm strength." In June Cornelius died a martyr, as St. Cyprian repeatedly calls him. The Liberian catalogue has ibi cum gloriâ dormicionem accepit, and this may mean that he died of the rigours of his banishment, though later accounts say that he was beheaded. St. Jerome says that Cornelius and Cyprian suffered on the same day in different years, and his careless statement has been generally followed. The feast of St. Cyprian was in fact kept at Rome at the tomb of Cornelius, for the fourth century "Depositio Martirum" has "XVIII kl octob Cypriani Africæ Romæ celebratur in Callisti". St. Cornelius was not buried in the chapel of the popes, but in an adjoining catacomb, perhaps that of a branch of the noble Cornelii. His inscription is in Latin: CORNELIUS* MARTYR* whereas those of Fabian and Lucius are in Greek (Northcote and Brownlow, "Roma sotteranea", I, vi).


We believe in the love of God for us. To believe in love is everything. It is not enough to believe in the Truth. We must believe in Love and Love is our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. That is the faith that makes our Lord loved. Ask for this pure and simple faith in the Eucharist. Men will teach you; but only Jesus will give you the grace to believe in Him. You have the Eucharist. What more do you want?
-- St. Peter Julian Eymard


Luke 7: 31 - 35
"To what then shall I compare the men of this generation, and what are they like?
They are like children sitting in the market place and calling to one another, `We piped to you, and you did not dance; we wailed, and you did not weep.'
For John the Baptist has come eating no bread and drinking no wine; and you say, `He has a demon.'
The Son of man has come eating and drinking; and you say, `Behold, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!'
Yet wisdom is justified by all her children."

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