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Sunday, October 25, 2009

CATHOLIC WORLD NEWS: SUN. OCT. 25, 2009



CATHOLIC WORLD NEWS: SUN. OCT. 25, 2009: HEADLINES-
VATICAN: POPE: CLOSES THE SYNOD OF BISHOPS FOR AFRICA -
ASIA: CHINA: DROUGHT CONTINUES IN CENTRAL & SOUTHERN CHINA -
EUROPE: SWEDEN: CHURCHES EXPRESS SADNESS OVER RULE -
AMERICA: USCCB: ARCHBISHOP DOLAN NAMED MODERATOR OF JEWISH AFFAIRS-
AFRICA: NAIROIBI: VULNERABLE COMMUNITIES BRACE FOR FLOODS-
AUSTRALIA: ED. MINISTER INVITES PRINCIPALS FOR NATIONAL CONVERSATION-


VATICAN

POPE: CLOSES THE SYNOD OF BISHOPS FOR AFRICA


Pope Benedict XVI closed the Second Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for Africa today with Mass in St. Peters Basilica.In his Homily, the Holy Father said the global development model should be renewed so that it is able "to include all peoples and not only those already adequately equipped."The Pope said globalization "is a human reality" that may be modified, and that the Church "works with its personalist and communitarian vision to guide the process in terms of real authentically human relations, of fraternity and sharing."The Church, said Pope Benedict, is also committed to working with all available means to see that no African goes without his daily bread. (SOURCE: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YpDfjIPtkUo



ASIA

CHINA: DROUGHT CONTINUES IN CENTRAL & SOUTHERN CHINA

ASIA News reports that more than 600 thousand hectares of crops at risk. The mouth of the Pearl River flooded by sea water that destroys crops. Lack of rain due to pollution, urban development and deforestation. The drought in the valley due to Three Gorges Dam.
Beijing (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The plight of drought in central and southern China is worsening, leaving millions of people and animals without water to drink, the fields without irrigation. The government lays the blame on climate change, but problems also arise from the dams built by man, especially the Three Gorges.
According to the China Meteorological Bureau, the most affected regions are Guangdong, Jiangxi, Anhui, Shandong for which there is little or no rain forecast over the next 10 days. Xinhua reports that at least 1.34 million people and over 320 thousand livestock are suffering from lack of water and more than 600 thousand hectares of crops are at risk. In Guangdong alone, the rainfall has decreased by 20% putting at risk the irrigation of fields. Over the last 10 days the victims of drought have increased from 54 thousand to 240 thousand.
Added to these are at least 3 million people affected by drought in Hunan, where the rains have decreased by 80%. Similar problems are recorded in Inner Mongolia, in Helongjiang, Liaoning, Shanxi. The water levels of rivers and lakes have reduced so much that local fishing boats often run aground in the sand and remain there for months. In the area of Zhuhai, near the mouth of the Pearl River, salt water of the sea is invading the bed of the river, destroying the crops.
The government is laying the blame for scarce rainfall on severe climate change. But it is also the result of pollution caused by industrial development and urban planning, as well as deforestation of entire areas that has fostered desertification. The population also accuses all the dams and hydroelectric projects implemented in recent years. All provinces downstream of the Three Gorges Dam, for example, have been suffering the most severe drought in several years. They accuse the authorities of wanting to fill up the reservoir of the dam, without worrying about the needs of those living downstream in the valley.
(SOURCE: http://www.asianews.it/index.php?l=en&art=16677&size=A


EUROPE
SWEDEN: CATHOLIC & ORTHODOX CHURCHES EXPRESS SADNESS OVER RULE

CNA reports that the Catholic and Orthodox Churches of Sweden have responded with “sadness” to the Swedish Lutheran Church General Synod’s decision to hold homosexual “weddings” in churches, saying the move departs from the Christian tradition and will widen the gap between the churches.
Fr. Fredrik Emanuelson, head of ecumenical efforts in the Swedish Catholic Church, joined Orthodox representative Fr. Misha Jaksic in a statement that said the churches learned of the Lutherans’ decision “with sadness.”
“It is a swing away not only from Christian tradition but also from the point of view on the nature of marriage which is typical of all religions,” they said, according to SIR News.
The Lutherans’ General Synod expresses a “radically different vision” from the way in which the Church and Christians understand marriage, they added.
The spokesmen said they were not surprised by the decision because it had been preceded by a long debate.
According to SIR, the church debate started at the beginning of 2009 after a Swedish law that granted civil marriage to homosexuals took effect.
“None of us want to annul ecumenical dialogue with the Swedish church,” the joint Catholic-Orthodox statement continued. “However, this decision of the Church of Sweden widens the gap.”
The statement concluded by saying that talks are “more important than ever” to fulfill Christ’s desire for Christian unity.
The Church of Sweden is the largest Christian denomination in the Nordic country. (Source:


AMERICA
USCCB: ARCHBISHOP DOLAN NAMED MODERATOR OF JEWISH AFFAIRS

USCCB reports that Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan of New York has been named Moderator of Jewish Affairs for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), succeeding Cardinal William H. Keeler, Archbishop-emeritus of Baltimore, in that role.Cardinal Francis George, USCCB president, made the appointment, which is effective November 11, and is for five years.In announcing the appointment, Cardinal George noted the New York Archdiocese’s "long history of cooperation and friendship between Catholics and Jews.""Since the Second Vatican Council, important strides in this relationship have been made through dialogue and collaboration in countering racism, anti-Semitism and other offenses against human dignity," Cardinal George said in the letter of appointment. "Our Episcopal Conference, through the leadership of your predecessors in New York, and especially through the tireless and generous service of Cardinal William Keeler, has sought to contribute to the work of reconciliation between the Church and the Jewish people after centuries of mutual estrangement. While we look back with gratitude on nearly a half century of progress in these efforts at healing and renewal, we also know that important and pressing challenges lie ahead for us."Cardinal George said news of this appointment will be appreciated by the Bishops of the United States, as well as by friends and colleagues in the Jewish community who have come to know Archbishop Dolan as a good listener and faithful interpreter of the historic ties that bind the two communities together."Above all else," Cardinal George said, the Jewish community will find Archbishop Dolan to be "a friend who communicates the joy of his own faith, while at the same time conveying profound respect for the spiritual gifts of the other."Archbishop Dolan will join Cardinal Keeler on November 11 for the semi-annual USCCB’s consultation with the National Council of Synagogues. This will be the last Catholic-Jewish meeting at which Cardinal Keeler serves as co-chair. -----


AFRICA

NAIROIBI: VULNERABLE COMMUNITIES BRACE FOR FLOODS

CISA reports that vulnerable communities in the Horn of Africa, in the midst of one of the worst droughts in a decade, are bracing for yet another potential huge challenge in coming months, floods!“The El Niño Floods triggered by climatic change is expected to cause mudslides, crop destruction, water-borne diseases and disrupted road networks,” United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in a report released Tuesday.According to the statement, countries most at risk of flash floods are Kenya, Somalia, Tanzania and Uganda, but Djibouti, Eritrea and Ethiopia could also be affected.“More than 23 million people in pastoral, agricultural and sub-urban communities as well internally displaced people and refugees in the region are reeling from the impact of water and food shortages, pasture scarcity, conflict and insecurity,” the statement said.The United Nations and non-governmental humanitarian organizations are working in support of governments across the region on an urgent footing to develop or fine tune contingency plans in anticipation of the impact of El Niño on vulnerable communities already stretched to the breaking point.The statement said that although the humanitarian community is undertaking flood contingency planning, funding and humanitarian access remain the most significant constraints. It is expected that the widespread food insecurity in the region will not improve until the harvesting season in early 2010.In Kenya, some 750,000 persons could be affected by floods and mudslides. Of these, 150,000 are refugees who could be forced to relocate to higher ground. In Somalia, some 450,000 persons in the Juba and Shabelle river basins could be affected.Uganda has elaborated flood contingency and evacuation plans, and UNICEF is preparing to give immediate support to 25,000 persons. In Tanzania, an estimated 50,000 persons could be directly affected if flood patterns mirror those of 2006-2007.Potentially, flood affected people in Djibouti might be exposed to new water-borne diseases or experience a deterioration of the ongoing cholera outbreak. (SOURCE: http://www.cisanewsafrica.org/story.asp?ID=4197



AUSTRALIA

EDUCATION MINISTER INVITES PRINCIPALS FOR NATIONAL CONVERSATION

CATH NEWS reports that Federal Education Minister Julia Gillard is set to invite 150 school principals from across the country for a "national conversation" on problems they are facing and for feedback on the next steps in her "Education Revolution".

The principals from the public, independent and Catholic school sectors in each state and territory will be asked this week to a two day forum on November 10 and 11, various news reports said.
She said the forum would focus on "how the Government can help principals lift educational outcomes for all students," according to the Adelaide Advertiser.
Those gathered would discuss the new national curriculum, assessment, reporting, literacy and numeracy, school infrastructure, Indigenous education and student wellbeing, AAP and Nine News adds.
"I want to have a national conversation with school principals about the challenges they are facing on the ground," Ms Gillard said in a statement.
"It also gives me the opportunity to speak directly to principals about the reforms the government is pursuing in education and the difference they will make for their schools and their students." (SOURCE: http://www.cathnews.com/article.aspx?aeid=17277


TODAY'S SAINT

St. Gaudentius
BISHOP
Feast: October 25
Information:
Feast Day:
October 25
Born:
Brescia, Italy
Died:
410

Bishop of Brescia from about 387 until about 410; he was the successor of the writer on heresies, St. Philastrius. At the time of that saint's death Gaudentius was making a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. The people of Brescia bound themselves by an oath that they would accept no other bishop than Gaudentius; and St. Ambrose and other neighbouring prelates, in consequence, obliged him to return, though against his will. The Eastern bishops also threatened to refuse him Communion if he did not obey. We possess the discourse which he made before St. Ambrose and other bishops on the occasion of his consecration, in which he excuses, on the plea of obedience, his youth and his presumption in speaking. He had brought back with him from the East many precious relics of St. John Baptist and of the Apostles, and especially of the Forty Martyrs of Sebaste, relics of whom he had received at Caesarea in Cappadocia from nieces of St. Basil. These and other relics from Milan and elsewhere he deposited in a basilica which he named Concilium Sanctorum. His sermon on its dedication is extant. From a letter of St. Chrysostom (Ep. clxxxiv) to Gaudentius it may be gathered that the two saints had met at Antioch. When St. Chrysostom had been condemned to exile and had appealed to Pope Innocent and the West in 405, Gaudentius warmly took his part. An embassy to the Eastern Emperor Arcadius from his brother Honorius and from the pope, bearing letters frorn both and from Italian bishops, consisted of Gaudentius and two other bishops. The envoys were seized at Athens and sent to Constantinople, being three days on a ship without food. They were not admitted into the city, but were shut up in a fortress called Athyra, on the coast of Thrace. Their credentials were seized by force, so that the thumb of one of the bishops was broken, and they were offered a large sum of money if they would communicate with Atticus, who had supplanted St. Chrysostom. They were consoled by God, and St. Paul appeared to a deacon amongst them. They were eventually put on board an unseaworthy vessel, and it was said that the captain had orders to wreck them. However, they arrived safe at Lampsacus, where they took ship for Italy, and arrived in twenty days at Otranto. Their own account of their four months' adventures has been preserved to us by Palladius (Dialogus, 4). St. Chrysostom wrote them several grateful letters.
We possess twenty-one genuine tractates by Gaudentius. The first ten are a series of Easter sermons, written down after delivery at the request of Benivolus, the chief of the Brescian nobility, who had been prevented by ill health from hearing them delivered. In the preface Gaudentius takes occasion to disown all unauthorized copies of his sermons published by shorthand writers. These pirated editions seem to have been known to Rufinus, who, in the dedication to St. Gaudentius of his translation of the pseudo-Clementine "Recognitions", praises the intellectual gifts of thne Bishop of Brescia, saying that even his extempore speaking is worthy of publication and of preservation by posterity. The style of Gaudentius is simple, and his matter is good. His body lies at Brescia in the Church of St. John Baptist, on the site of the Concilium Sanctorum. His figure is frequently seen in the altar-pieces of the great Brescian painters, Moretto, Savoldo, and Romanino. The best edition of his works is by Galeardi (Padua, 1720, and in P.L., XX). (SOURCE: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/G/stgaudentius.asp

TODAY'S MASS READINGS:

30TH SUN. IN ORD. TIME/YEAR B
Jeremiah 31: 7 - 9
7
For thus says the LORD: "Sing aloud with gladness for Jacob, and raise shouts for the chief of the nations; proclaim, give praise, and say, `The LORD has saved his people, the remnant of Israel.'
8
Behold, I will bring them from the north country, and gather them from the farthest parts of the earth, among them the blind and the lame, the woman with child and her who is in travail, together; a great company, they shall return here.
9
With weeping they shall come, and with consolations I will lead them back, I will make them walk by brooks of water, in a straight path in which they shall not stumble; for I am a father to Israel, and E'phraim is my first-born.

Psalms 126: 1 - 6
1
When the LORD restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dream.
2
Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy; then they said among the nations, "The LORD has done great things for them."
3
The LORD has done great things for us; we are glad.
4
Restore our fortunes, O LORD, like the watercourses in the Negeb!
5
May those who sow in tears reap with shouts of joy!
6
He that goes forth weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, bringing his sheaves with him.

Hebrews 5: 1 - 6
1
For every high priest chosen from among men is appointed to act on behalf of men in relation to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins.
2
He can deal gently with the ignorant and wayward, since he himself is beset with weakness.
3
Because of this he is bound to offer sacrifice for his own sins as well as for those of the people.
4
And one does not take the honor upon himself, but he is called by God, just as Aaron was.
5
So also Christ did not exalt himself to be made a high priest, but was appointed by him who said to him, "Thou art my Son, today I have begotten thee";
6
as he says also in another place, "Thou art a priest for ever, after the order of Melchiz'edek."

GOSPEL

Mark 10: 46 - 52
46
And they came to Jericho; and as he was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a great multitude, Bartimae'us, a blind beggar, the son of Timae'us, was sitting by the roadside.
47
And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!"
48
And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent; but he cried out all the more, "Son of David, have mercy on me!"
49
And Jesus stopped and said, "Call him." And they called the blind man, saying to him, "Take heart; rise, he is calling you."
50
And throwing off his mantle he sprang up and came to Jesus.
51
And Jesus said to him, "What do you want me to do for you?" And the blind man said to him, "Master, let me receive my sight."
52
And Jesus said to him, "Go your way; your faith has made you well." And immediately he received his sight and followed him on the way.
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