Friday, October 30, 2009


(VIS) - Today the Holy Father received the credential letters of the new ambassador of Panama, Delia Cardenas Christie. In his address, the Pope highlighted that "the identity of Panama, which for centuries has been forged as a mosaic of ethnicities, peoples, and cultures, presents itself as an eloquent sign to the human family that peaceful co-existence between persons of diverse origins in a climate of communion and cooperation is possible". In this sense, he encouraged all its citizens "to work toward greater social, economic, and cultural equality between the distinct sectors of society, renouncing selfish interests, strengthening solidarity, and reconciling wills, so that, in the words of Pope Paul VI, 'the scandal of glaring inequalities' might be uprooted." The Pope emphasized that "the Gospel message has played an essential and constructive role in shaping Panama's identity, forming part of the nation's spiritual patrimony and cultural heritage". "The Church's presence holds particular relevance in the area of education and in assisting the poor, the sick, the weak, the imprisoned, and immigrants, as well as in the defence of aspects as basic as the commitment to social justice, the fight against corruption, the work toward peace, the inviolability of the right to life from the moment of conception until natural death as well as in safeguarding the family based on marriage between a man and a woman. These are irreplaceable elements for creating a healthy social fabric and building a dynamic society, precisely because of the stability of the moral values sustaining, ennobling, and dignifying it". The Pope continually referred to the commitment of Panamanian authorities "in strengthening democratic institutions and public life rooted upon strong ethical pillars. In this respect they have spared no efforts to promote an efficient and independent juridical system and to act in all areas with honor, transparency in community activism, and professionalism and diligence in resolving the problems affecting the citizens. This will favor the development of a just and fraternal society in which no sector of the population is forgotten or doomed to violence or marginalization". "The valuable role Panama is playing in the political stability of Central America bears noting," he highlighted, "in moments where the current situation shows how the consistent and harmonic progress of the human community does not depend solely on economic development or technological discoveries". The Holy Father concluded by pointing out that "these aspects necessarily have to be carried out with those of an ethical and spiritual nature because a society advances primarily when in it abounds in persons with inner righteousness, faultless conduct, and the resolute will to work toward the common good, and who also impart to further generations a true humanism, sown within the family and cultivated at school so that the welfare of the nation be the fruit of the fundamental growth of the person and of all persons".CD/CREDENTIALS/PANAMA:CARDENAS VIS 091030 (470)
VATICAN CITY, 30 OCT 2009 (VIS) - This morning, Benedict XVI received participants in the conference sponsored by the Specola Vaticana (Vatican Observatory) for the International Year of Astronomy accompanied by Giovanni Cardinal Lajolo, President of the Governorate of Vatican City. The Pope recalled that the International Year of Astronomy coincides with the 400 year anniversary of Galileo's first observations of the heavens made with a telescope and added; "As you know, the history of the Observatory is in a very real way linked to the figure of Galileo, the controversies which surrounded his research, and the Church's attempt to attain a correct and fruitful understanding of the relationship between science and religion". "I take this occasion," he continued, "to express my gratitude not only for the careful studies which have clarified the precise historical context of Galileo's condemnation, but also for the efforts of all those committed to ongoing dialogue and reflection on the complementarity of faith and reason in the service of an integral understanding of man and his place in the universe". The pontiff observed that "the International Year of Astronomy is meant not least to recapture for people throughout our world the extraordinary wonder and amazement which characterized the great age of discovery in the sixteenth century. (...) Our own age, poised at the edge of perhaps even greater and more far-ranging scientific discoveries, would benefit from that same sense of awe and the desire to attain a truly humanistic synthesis of knowledge which inspired the fathers of modern science". "As we seek to respond to the challenge of this Year -- to lift up our eyes to the heavens in order to rediscover our place in the universe -- how can we not be caught up in the marvel expressed by the Psalmist so long ago? Contemplating the starry sky, he cried out with wonder to the Lord: 'When I see your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars which you set in place, what is man that you should be mindful of him, or the son of man, that you should care for him'?". "It is my hope," the Pope concluded, "that the wonder and exaltation which are meant to be the fruits of this International Year of Astronomy will lead beyond the contemplation of the marvels of creation to the contemplation of the Creator, and of that Love (...) which, in the words of Dante Alighieri, 'moves the sun and the other stars'".AC/INTERNATIONAL YEAR OF ASTRONOMY/LAJOLO VIS 091030 (400)
VATICAN CITY, 30 OCT 2009 (VIS) - Pope Benedict's general prayer intention for November is: "That all the men and women in the world, especially those who have responsibilities in the field of politics and economics, may never fail in their commitment to safeguard creation". His mission intention is: "That believers in the different religions, through the testimony of their lives and fraternal dialogue, may clearly demonstrate that the name of God is a bearer of peace".BXVI-PRAYER INTENTIONS/NOVEMBER/... VIS 091030 (90)
VATICAN CITY, 30 OCT 2009 (VIS) - The Holy Father received today in separate audiences: - Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, archbishop of Genoa, president of the Italian Episcopal Conference. - Professor Angelo Caloia. This evening he is scheduled to receive Cardinal William Joseph Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. AP/.../... VIS 091030 (50)
VATICAN CITY, 30 OCT 2009 (VIS) - The Holy Father: - Accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Kohima, India, presented by bishop Jose Mukala, in accordance with canon 401 para. 2 of the code of canon law. - Appointed Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, archbishop emeritus of Westminster, Great Britain, as member of the Congregation for Bishops and for the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.RE:NA/.../MUKALA:MURPHY-O'CONNOR VIS 091030 (70)



UCAN reports that the head of the effort to rescue kidnapped Father Michael Sinnott has proposed that the rebel Islamic Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) set up a task force to help free the priest.
Father Michael Sinnott
Governor Aurora Cerilles of Zamboanga del Sur, chairman of the Crisis Management Committee (CMC), asked the MILF group not to pursue its plan to deploy a militia company to free the priest, fearing it could lead to clashes with government troops.
But the CMC countered with a proposal for a smaller group to gather information and help with negotiations, a source in the committee says.
The Philippine military had also earlier appealed to the MILF not to deploy a large armed contingent.
“One hundred plus (MILF) troops may be a problem and they would be passing through grounds of the military and the police and besides this could attract further attention,” the anonymous CMC source told UCA News.
The CMC had instead proposed that the MILF create a 20-man task force, including security personnel, he said.
The task force would have four functions: “to validate and provide information on the location of Sinnott; help facilitate negotiation for his release; facilitate the delivery of medicine for the ailing Sinnott, and identification of the perpetrators,” the source said, quoting from Cerilles’ communication with the MILF.
CMC spokesperson June Allan confirmed that the CMC welcomes the setting up of an MILF task force but declined to comment on its size.
The CMC sent the message to the MILF on Oct. 28 through the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Western Mindanao Command chief Major General Ben Dolorfino.
Father Sinnott was snatched by armed men from the Columban Fathers’ house in Pagadian City on Oct. 11. in Pagadian City in southern Philippines.
The military says the kidnappers belonged to a group of “pirates” led by one Guingona Samal and they had turned the priest over to a “rogue” MILF group. The CMC would not confirm this.
The 15,000-strong MILF formed in the mid-1970s to establish Islamic rule in claimed territories is negotiating a peace deal with the government.
Its vice chairman for political affairs Ghadzali Jaafar and MILF spokesman Eid Kabalu said they have yet to see Cerilles’ reported response to their offer to help free Father Sinnott.


The Catholic Herald reports that traditionalists in the Church of England have welcomed the news of a papal decree offering a new legal structure for Anglicans wishing to be in communion with Rome. Members of Forward in Faith - a group of conservative Anglo-Catholics within the Church of England - met for their annual National Assembly last weekend, only days after the news broke that the Holy See was welcoming Anglicans into communion with the Catholic Church with a new canonical structure. During the assembly members of the group, including some of its bishops, welcomed Pope Benedict XVI's gesture with "gratitude", calling it "mind-blowingly different", "generous" and the "answer to our prayers".But it was far from clear that a majority of its 1,000 clergy will accept the offer in the short term. They will wait to find out more about the "Personal Ordinariates" set out by the Apostolic Constitution, which is yet to be published. It is expected to provide details of a new structure similar to that of military dioceses. This would accommodate Anglicans who wished to be in full communion with Rome but to retain aspects of their liturgical and spiritual heritage. Most members of Forward in Faith are Anglo-Catholic and cannot in good conscience accept ordained women either as priests or bishops. The group was founded in 1992 after the General Synod of the Church of England voted to ordain women priests. The Rt Rev John Hind, Bishop of Chichester, said that it looked as though traditionalist Anglicans were on the brink of being offered two solutions to their problems, one coming from Rome in the shape of the Apostolic Constitution and the other possibly coming from the Church of England. During his address to the assembled members of Forward in Faith, Bishop Hind warned them against seeing Pope Benedict's offer as a "refuge for those opposed to the ordination to the episcopate".He said: "This is not a single issue. What is being offered is an identifiable entity for Anglicans wishing to enter into full communion with the Catholic Church while maintaining what Pope Paul VI described as the legitimate patrimony of the Anglican inheritance."Bishop Hind added that the "recognition by the Holy See that Anglicans have something to give to as well as to receive from the Catholic Church must be regarded as remarkable". The Sunday Telegraph reported that Bishop Hind had said he would accept the Vatican's offer. He later issued a carefully worded denial, reassuring his flock that he was not "about to become a Roman Catholic".He explained: "I stated that, in the event of union with the Roman Catholic Church, I would be willing to receive re-ordination into the Roman Catholic priesthood but that I would not be willing to deny the priesthood I have exercised hitherto."The so-called "flying bishops", Provincial Episcopal Visitors who minister to members of the Church of England who cannot accept women priests, also addressed the assembly. They are already in close touch with Rome.The Rt Rev Andrew Burnham, the Bishop of Ebbsfleet, who last year announced his willingness to become a Catholic, said that the Pope's provision answered prayers.He said that most of the clergy members of Forward in Faith had indicated after last year's General Synod vote on women bishops that they wanted a corporate solution for their objections and that many of them would become "Roman Catholics".Bishop Burnham added: "The message was clear. We are Western Christians, Catholics of the Latin rite separated from the Holy See. We are invited together in a kenotic, self-emptying way, without denying who we are, and what we have been, to re-enter the fullness of unity severed by act of state 500 years ago. "The irony is that the response from the Holy See provides far more than we asked for and hoped for. We were looking for a lifeboat to take us to the mother ship. We are being offered a galleon to sail proudly as part of the admiral's fleet, with some of our fixtures and furnishings, our customs and our traditions."Other speakers included Bishop John Broadhurst of Fulham, who said that the Vatican offer was "mind-blowingly different, though not without its questions". But he added: "I am staying to see whether we can sort this mess out once and for all together because the one thing I've always been committed to is that we are in this together."The former Bishop of Rochester, Dr Michael Nazir-Ali - who is more in line with conservative evangelicals in the Anglican Communion - also addressed the assembly. He did not rule out the possibility of taking advantage of Benedict XVI's offer. In other Church of England circles, the reactions were mixed. The former Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Carey of Clifton, said he was "appalled" by the Church's failure to give proper notice of the move to Dr Rowan Williams, the current Archbishop of Canterbury. Lord Carey said Dr Williams should complain to the Pope. Dr Williams was informed of the details of the Apostolic Constitution only days before he held a joint press conference announcing it with Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster. He made his displeasure clear in a letter to fellow Anglican bishops, saying that he only found out what was happening "at a very late stage".But Lord Carey also said: "I give it [the Pope's offer] a very cautious welcome. It is worth considering because there are a number of deeply worried, anxious Anglo-Catholics who do not believe they have a constructive future in the Church of England with the ordination of women as bishops. I was pastorally concerned for them when I was Archbishop of Canterbury. I know Rowan is as well. So this could go a long way to helping."The conservative Anglican bishops in the Global South group - which includes Nigeria, Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda - issued a statement welcoming the Pope's Apostolic Constitution.They made it clear, however, that most of them were unlikely to take advantage of it. Instead, they are backing an international "covenant" of mostly evangelical churches that reject theological liberalism, and especially the ordination of homosexuals.They said: "We believe that the proposed Anglican Covenant sets the necessary parameters in safeguarding the Catholic and apostolic faith and order of the Communion. "It gives Anglican churches worldwide a clear and principled way forward in pursuing God's divine purposes together in the one, holy, Catholic and apostolic church of Jesus Christ."


CISA reports that the leader of Kenya’s murderous sect, Mungiki, was set free last week after five years in police custody after the government said they had insufficient evidence to link him with the murder of 29 villagers five months ago.Maina Njenga’s lawyers, however, said the government panicked after Maina announced he would release a dossier linking several senior government officials to the sect’s activities.And hours after gaining his freedom, Njenga, whose religious sect has been accused of massive killings of people and chilling oath taking ceremonies including human sacrifices trooped into a Nairobi evangelical church where he announced his conversion to Christianity and that he would be baptized soon.Addressing the congregation, which included several Mungiki ‘converts,’ Njenga, who did not take a Christian or saintly name, told the huge congregation that during his confinement, he had read the Bible.“I read the whole Bible because I had the time. That is why I said I will not be bitter with those who ordered my arrest because it has saved my soul,” said Mr. Njenga.Njenga was being held in custody in relation to the murder of 29 people in Mathira, central province in May this year.He called on followers of the sect, suspected to be close to a million, to abandon their activities and engage in development.He added that his priority would be to bury his wife who was killed by unknown people while on her way to Naivasha prison to visit him. Another former leader of the sect, Ibrahim Waruinge converted to Christianity, then Islam days after being released from custody.The outlawed sect is believed to have begun in the late 1980s as a local militia.(SOURCE:

CNA reports that the 40 Days for Life campaign says that its participants have now helped save at least 2,000 babies from abortion in the past five years.
The 40 Days for Life campaign began in Bryan/College Station, Texas in 2004. It presently organizes spring and fall events of prayer and fasting to end abortion, peaceful vigils outside abortion facilities, and grassroots community activism.
“We now have confirmed reports of at least 2,000 babies whose lives have been saved from the tragedy of abortion," David Bereit, national director of 40 Days for Life, said in a press release. "Who knows what wonders each of these children will bring to the world!"
“Through the grace and mercy of God -- and the faithful prayers of more than 200,000 volunteers standing vigil outside abortion facilities -- an incredible miracle has taken place,” he added.
The campaign estimated that two thousand children would fill at least 80 classrooms and make up 180 soccer teams.
“Just as importantly, this could represent 180 teams of soccer moms -- women who will enjoy watching their children run and jump and shout -- blessings they would have never known if they had fallen for the lies that are so often disguised by the rhetoric of 'choice,'" Bereit added.
He also discussed how the sight of people standing in prayer can convince a woman to turn away from abortion.
Bereit said he often tells those holding vigil to just pray and don’t worry about what to say.
“We have countless stories of women rejecting abortion and leaving the clinics even when not a single word was spoken," he explained. “Just last week, I heard about two little girls who were singing 'Jesus Loves Me' at a 40 Days for Life vigil. They sang as a woman went in for an abortion appointment -- then watched as she left the clinic in tears, read the number of a pregnancy resource hotline, and called for real assistance.”
The 40 Days for Life campaign says that it is the largest and longest coordinated pro-life mobilization in history. Its fall campaign began on Sept. 23 and will end on Nov. 1. It counts participants in 212 cities, spread out across 45 U.S. states, five Canadian provinces and Denmark.
Its website is

CATH NEWS reports that teaching staff from St Mary's College in Toowoomba who are facing redundancies joined in the strike action demanding pay parity on Wednesday.
The Toowoomba Chronicle said the school was set to cut the equivalent of four full time teachers by the end of the year, which would result in "unacceptable levels of stress and uncertainty about workloads in 2010", said one of the teachers, Samantha Parle.
The strike on Wednesday followed months of dispute over pay rates.


St. Alphonsus Rodriguez
Feast: October 30
Feast Day:
October 30
July 25, 1532, Segovia
October 31, 1617
6 September, 1887
Major Shrine:

Born at Segovia in Spain, 25 July, 1532; died at Majorca, 31 October, 1617. On account of the similarity of names he is often confounded with Father Rodriguez the author of "Christian Perfection", who though eminent in his holiness was never canonized. The Saint was a Jesuit lay-brother who entered the Society at the age of forty. He was the son of a wool merchant who had been reduced to poverty when Alfonso was still young. At the age of twenty-six he married Mary Francisco Suárez, a woman of his own station, and at thirty-one found himself a widower with one surviving child, the other two having died previously. From thattime he began a life of prayer and mortification, although separated from the world around him. On the death of his third child his thoughts turned to a life in some religious order. Previous associations had brought him into contact with the first Jesuits who had come to Spain, Bl. Peter Faber among others, but it was apparently impossible to carry out his purpose of entering the Society, as he was without education, having only had an incomplete year at a new college begun at Alcalá by Francis Villanueva. At the age of thirty-nine he attempted to make up this deficiency by following the course at the College of Barcelona, but without success. His austerities had also undermined his health. After considerable delay he was finally admitted into the Society of Jesus as a lay-brother, 31 January, 1571. Distinct novitiates had not as yet been established in Spain, and Alfonso began his term of probation at Valencia or Gandia -- this point is a subject of dispute -- and after six months was sent to the recently-founded college at Majorca, where he remained in the humble position of porter for forty-six years, exercising a marvelous influence on the sanctification not only of the members of the household, but upon a great number of people who came to theporter's lodge for advice and direction. Among the distinguished Jesuits who came under his influence was St. Peter Clavier, who lived with him for some time at Majorca, and who followed his advice in asking for the missions of South America. The bodily mortifications which he imposed on himself were extreme, the scruples and mental agitation to which he was subject were of frequent occurrence, his obedience absolute, and his absorption in spiritual things even when engaged on most distracting employments, continual. It has often been said that he was the author of the well known "Little Office of the Immaculate Conception", and the claim is made by Alegambe, Southwell, and even by the Fathers de Backer in their Bibliothèque de la Compagnie de Jésus. Apart from the fact that the brother did not have the requisite education for such a task, Father Costurer says positively that the office he used was taken from an old copy printed out of Spain, and Father Colin asserts that it existed before the Saint's time. It may be admitted, however, that through him it was popularized. He left a considerable number of manuscripts after him, some of which have been published as "Obras Espirituales del B. Alonso Rodriguez" (Barcelona, 1885, 3 vols., octavo, complete edition, 8 vols. in quarto). They have no pretense to style; they are sometimes only reminiscences of domestic exhortations; the texts are often repeated; the illustrations are from every-daylife; the treatment of one virtue occasionally trenches on another; but they are remarkable for the correctness and soundness of their doctrine and the profound spiritual knowledge which they reveal. They were not written with a view to publication, but put down by the Saint himself, or dictated to others, in obedience to a positive command of his superiors. He was declared Venerable in 1626. In 1633 he was chosen by the Council General of Majorca as one of the special patrons of the city and island. In 1760 Clement XIII decreed that "the virtues of the Venerable Alonso were proved to be of a heroic degree"; but the expulsion of the Society from Spain in 1773, and its suppression, delayed his beatification until 1825. His canonization took place 6 September, 1887. His remains are enshrined at Majorca.(SOURCE:


Luke 14: 1 - 6
One sabbath when he went to dine at the house of a ruler who belonged to the Pharisees, they were watching him.
And behold, there was a man before him who had dropsy.
And Jesus spoke to the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, "Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath, or not?"
But they were silent. Then he took him and healed him, and let him go.
And he said to them, "Which of you, having a son or an ox that has fallen into a well, will not immediately pull him out on a sabbath day?"
And they could not reply to this.

No comments: