Tuesday, October 13, 2009



VATICAN CITY, 12 OCT 2009 (VIS) - In the Synod Hall at 4.30. p.m. today, the Twelfth General Congregation of the Second Special Assembly for Africa of the Synod of Bishops began in the presence of the Pope. The president delegate on duty was Cardinal Theodore-Adrien Sarr, archbishop of Dakar, Senegal, and 210 Synod Fathers were present. Extracts from some of the Synod Father's speeches are given below: BISHOP TESFASELASSIE MEDHIN OF ADIGRAT, ETHIOPIA. "I have not noticed enough attention accorded to formation, which is a fundamental subject for the Church in Africa. ... We must therefore ensure that the formation we give to our future priests and agents of evangelisation makes them aware of the challenges, self‑confident, balanced and mature ministers who could stand against and through the serious turbulence of the times. ... The formation programmes of the major seminaries and houses of religious formation should be given serious attention and evaluation, to determine their quality and effectiveness in producing members of the Church who can be true witness to reconciliation, justice and peace. We should use our higher learning institutes by establishing a faculty which develops and integrates into its modules the best practices and most effective African cultural ways of reconciliation". ARCHBISHOP LAURENT MONSENGWO PASINYA OF KINSHASA, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO. "Peace goes hand in hand with justice, justice with right, right with truth. ... Thus it is necessary, at all costs, to promote a rule of law in which primacy is truly given to law and especially to constitutional law; a rule of law in which arbitrary and subjective judgments do not create the law of the jungle; a rule of law in which national sovereignty is recognised and respected; a rule of law in which each individual is fairly given his due. ... In seeking peaceful solutions, all paths, especially the diplomatic and political paths, must aim at re-establishing truth, justice and peace. ... It is in by eliminating all barriers, exclusion, discriminatory laws in worship and society, and especially by suppressing hatred, that men are reconciled and peace is made". BISHOP KRIKOR-OKOSDINOS COUSSA OF ALEXANDRIA OF THE ARMENIANS, EGYPT. "In 1915, the Ottomans ... killed the Armenian people in Greater Armenia and Lesser Armenia (Turkey). One and a half million people perished during this genocide. The Armenians left and were dispersed, first in the Middle East then throughout the world. ... As this Synod takes place ninety-four years after the killings, following Christ's call to forgive one's enemies, the leaders of the Armenian State and the heads of the Armenian Churches (Catholic, Orthodox and Evangelical) are performing an act of public pardon towards the Turks. We do so while appealing to the Turks to recognise the genocide, to pay homage to the martyrs and to grant Armenians their civil, political and religious rights. The path of reconciliation between the two States has begun. For this, I appeal to political leaders that they may support our progress alongside the Turks, with the Universal Church and the African Church in distress". BARBARA PANDOLFI, PRESIDENT OF THE SECULAR INSTITUTE OF THE MISSIONARY SISTERS OF THE KINGSHIP OF CHRIST, ITALY. "Members of Secular Institutes are a hidden presence, accepting the precariousness of daily life alongside others without protection or privileges, searching for ways and solutions that sometimes exist only in the realm of possibility, and living with the longing for universal brotherhood. The vocation of secular institutes highlights the need for the promotion of a mature laity, one capable of contributing to the edification of a civil society based on the human values of Christianity. ... Since most secular institutes in Africa are female institutes, there is an urgent need to favour and promote the worth of women, not just as wives and mothers, but as people capable of responsibility and autonomy in different areas of social life, just as there is an urgent need for them to play a specific and not just a subordinate role in the Church. If the first fracture of mankind, caused by sin, was that between man and woman, one sign of peace and reconciliation would be the promotion of authentic joint responsibility and effective acknowledgment of equal dignity between men and women, over and above all domination and discrimination". Today's General Congregation concluded with an address by Jacques Diouf, director general of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), one of the three special guests who are participating in the Synod at the invitation of the Holy Father. Excerpts from his remarks are given below. "First and foremost, Africa means shared values of civilisation based on the historical awareness of belonging to the same people. ... Africa, martyred, exploited, despoiled by slavery and colonisation but now politically sovereign, must not fall back into rejection and negation, even if she has a duty to remember the past. She must have the greatness to forgive and continue to develop a cultural conscience based on her own identity which rejects alienating assimilation. She must study the operational concepts of Blackness and 'African-ness', including the diaspora. ... Africa has always been presented in the light of the difficulties she faces, but she is the land of the future which in the next forty years will experience strong demographic growth. ... With [her] resources, ... Africa cannot be ignored in the economic development of the planet. ... Food security is essential for the reduction of poverty, the education of children and the health of the people, but also for lasting economic growth. ... From this point of view, one essential factor is the contribution of African women to agricultural production and commerce, and their role in nourishing the entire family. In fact, any initiative aimed at facing the problem of food insecurity in Africa cannot hope to be successful without taking this economic and social fact into account. ... Of all the suffering the African continent experiences, hunger remains the most tragic and the most intolerable. Any commitment to justice and peace in Africa cannot be separated from the need for progress in achieving the right to food for all. ... The Church has always given herself the task of comforting the misery of the poorest and the motto of the FAO is 'Fiat Panis': 'Bread for all'. Most Holy Father, in your last Encyclical 'Caritas in Veritate' you highlight how all economic decisions have moral consequences. ... The vision of a world free of hunger is possible if there is political will at the highest level. ... The great spiritual and moral forces are an inestimable support for us in our activities. ... I would also like to praise the Church's action in the field, with the poorest of the poor. Missionaries and religious ... often undertake difficult tasks alongside inter-governmental organizations, NGOs and civil society, tasks that are at times ungrateful but always useful. ... I would like to underline the convergence of religious teachings, especially those of the Catholic Church and Islam, towards the need to oversee the rational use of resources on the basis of a strategy respectful of the persons and things of this world, without excess or waste. All these teachings underline the fundamental role of social responsibil­ity, recommending solicitude towards the poorest. From this point of view, the Church's social doctrine plays an essential role".SE/TWELFTH CONGREGATION/... VIS 091013 (1230)

THIRTEENTH GENERAL CONGREGATION VATICAN CITY, 13 OCT 2009 (VIS) - The Thirteenth General Congregation of the Second Special Assembly for Africa of the Synod of Bishops was held this morning in the Vatican's Synod Hall in the presence of 220 Synod Fathers. The president delegate on duty was Cardinal Francis Arinze, prefect emeritus of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. Extracts from some of the Synod Father's speeches are given below: BISHOP ERNESTO MAGUENGUE OF PEMBA, MOZAMBIQUE. "The principle source of wealth of the continent is its people, especially the young, adolescents and children. ... Many young people are drawn into violence, prostitution, the trafficking and consumption of drugs, organised crime, ethnic and tribal conflicts, religious fundamentalism and satanic sects, among other things. ... In such a context, I suggest that the synodal assembly: (1) Sends out a message of trust and encouragement to the young. ... (2) Denounces the marginalisation, manipulation and violation of children's rights as one of the most terrible forms of injustice. (3) Highlights the need for a serious study of African youth, ... and for the integral education and formation of the young. ... (4) Revises the content and method of catechesis and of the various catechisms".

BISHOP SERVILIEN NZAKAMWITA OF BYUMBA, RWANDA. "The Church in Rwanda, in her pastoral care of reconciliation, justice and peace following the terrible events of the genocide of the Tutsi and others - and in the wake of the challenges she has encountered and has partly overcome - is convinced that the work of reconciliation is God's initiative. ... The Justice and Peace Commission, in collaboration with other commissions and pastoral care agencies, has accompanied the process of reconciliation with various programmes aimed at educating people in values and at forming agents of reconciliation. ... In this pastoral care of reconciliation, the Catholic Church ... collaborates closely with other religious confessions and with public and private institutions that operate in the field of post-genocide reconciliation".

ARCHBISHOP EDWARD TAMBA CHARLES OF FREETOWN AND BO, SIERRA LEONE. "The multinational extractives are causing so much injustice in Africa that the Church can no longer remain silent about them. In their desire to exploit the continent's rich natural and mineral resources, these companies can do anything, including the fomenting of inter‑ethnic conflicts, sale of arms and ammunition, and the overthrow of legitimate governments. The oil‑rich Delta States in Nigeria and the eastern and southern regions of the Democratic Republic of Congo are clear examples of this. Confronted by such hostile forces, many local Churches cannot do much to ensure that the companies accept their corporate responsibility. Therefore I am appealing that local Churches and episcopal conferences of the affected regions intervene to ensure that just mining policies are established to ensure that African States and their populations benefit from their own natural and mineral resources. I am also appealing to local Churches of countries from which those multinationals come to intervene on behalf of Africa and its people. Those companies may be bringing home cheap oil and cheap tropical hard wood, but they are causing untold sufferings for our people in Africa. In the name of God and of our ecclesial communion, we appeal to you to help us to stop their injustices against our people".

FR. JAN GEERITS S.D.S., APOSTOLIC ADMINISTRATOR OF THE COMORES. "There are barriers and limitations in the work of evangelization in the Comores. ... As we are a minority, there is a real danger that our small Catholic communities become tired and discouraged. Nevertheless, the smallness of our Catholic communities spurs us to invest in the mission of being the salt of the earth and the light of the world. Not being allowed to evangelise with the mouth and the word, nothing stops us from speaking with our hands, that is: serving the population in all humility through works of charity. Each man is unique and has the ability to choose freely to be (or not to be) the image of his Creator. God constantly invites us to say yes with a patience that is beyond us, without ever obligating or forcing His creatures. ... Thus, it is an injustice to obligate one's fellow man to become a Muslim and to exclude salvation a priori to all those who do not follow Islam. This injustice can never lead to reconciliation and profound peace with Muslims and must be recognised one day as an ... error, both by their and by the simple faithful, so that this separating wall may finally fall as others fell in the past".

ARCHBISHOP LIBORIUS NDUMBUKUTI NASHENDA O.M.I., OF WINDHOEK, PRESIDENT OF THE NAMIBIAN CATHOLIC BISHOPS' CONFERENCE. "Namibia is basically enjoying political and economic stability, but the Church is nevertheless called upon to be a vigilant and prophetic watchdog with regard to the issues of reconciliation, justice and peace. ... We have tried to embark upon two projects which I would like share with you: (1) We have called upon the clergy, religious and faithful to encourage both the faithful and people of good will; to exercise their democratic right to vote in order to elect as their future leaders those who will be good servants and ... will fight against all forms of corruption. ... We have been meeting with all political parties to call upon them to uphold the principle of democracy in their campaigning in a spirit of tolerance and mutual respect in order to maintain our hard won peace, ... while affirming the fact that, in any race, there is always a winner and a loser, and that the latter should accept the result with dignity and humility. African leaders should therefore learn to relinquish power gracefully. (2) Special ministry to sex‑workers ‑ prostitution ‑ for which we have a priest with this charism. In many situations these sex‑workers, of whom 80 percent are infected by the HIV/AIDS virus, are forced into this life‑style by poverty and are sexually abused by well‑salaried people".

FR. ZEFERINO ZECA MARTINS S.V.D., PROVINCIAL FOR ANGOLA OF THE SOCIETY OF THE DIVINE WORD. "I wish to refer to the Chinese workers who are to be found all over Africa. Certainly for the Chinese State they are workers who are sent outside the borders to increase their hegemony in the worldwide economic panorama. For our States, they are no more than the manpower required for a speedy reconstruction of the infrastructures destroyed by war. I therefore propose that the episcopal conferences work with those dioceses in which the pastoral care of immigrants is a necessity in order to create a pastoral programme for bringing the Gospel of Christ to Chinese workers in African countries".SE/THIRTEENTH CONGREGATION/... VIS 091013 (1120)

PAPAL VISITS TO FAO AND TO SYNAGOGUE OF ROME VATICAN CITY, 13 OCT 2009 (VIS) - The Holy See Press Office released the following communiques this morning: "On the morning of Monday 16 November, the Holy Father Benedict XVI will visit the Rome headquarters of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), for the occasion of the opening of the World Summit on Food Security, due to take place as part of the FAO's thirty-sixth general conference (18 to 23 November)". "On the afternoon of Sunday 17 January 2010, the Holy Father Benedict XVI will visit the Synagogue of Rome to meet the local Jewish community for the occasion of the twenty-first Day for the study and development of dialogue between Catholics and Jews, and of the Feast of the 'Mo'ed di Piombo' which falls on the same day". The feast commemorates a miraculous event of 1793 when the Jews of Rome escaped an attack by the populace of the city thanks to a sudden storm which doused the fires that had been ignited against the gates of the ghetto".OP/VISITS FAO SYNAGOGUE/... VIS 091013 (190)



Unknown assailants fired 14 shots at the Seminary of Our Lady of Suyapa in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, on Sunday. Fortunately, there were no one was reported as injured in the drive-by shooting. According to the local police spokesman, Orlin Cerrato, the police do not have any suspects and have only discovered that the shots were fired from a passing vehicle. Cerrato also confirmed that no one was injured in the attack.
Seminary officials have called for an investigation by the police. The building is equipped with several security cameras that will be reviewed by police for possible clues.
Meanwhile, the seminary is continuing its normal operations.
The Seminary of Our Lady of Suyapa was the site where Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga met with the secretary general of the Organization of American States, Jose Miguel Insulza, about the situation regarding deposed President Manuel Zelaya.
During his visit July 3 visit to Honduras, Insulza called for Zelaya to be reinstated.(SOURCE:



CNA reports that a Congolese bishop participating in the Synod for Africa in Rome has had to return home after several of his priests were taken hostage in an attack on a church in his archdiocese.
Archbishop of Bukavu Fran├žois Xavier Rusengo told the Synod he had to return to the war-torn eastern Democratic Republic of Congo because last Friday uniformed men burnt down one of his parishes, attacked priests and took others hostage.
The archdiocese had to pay a huge ransom for the hostages’ release, the Catholic Information Service for Africa (CISA) reports.
“Through these acts, it is the Church, remaining the only support for a terrorized, humiliated, exploited and dominated people who they would reduce to silence. Lord, may your will be done, may your kingdom of peace arrive,” Archbishop Rusengo said on Tuesday.
The synod issued a statement of solidarity with the archbishop and the Christians of Bukavu. The statement expressed hope that “reconciliation and the Good News of the Gospel” may be welcomed as the path to achieve conditions of human life founded on justice and reinforced by peace, “a gift from God.”
According to CISA, the synod also called on the Congolese government to do everything possible to restore a just order and to guarantee the peace necessary for a normal life.The Second Special Assembly for Africa is taking place in Rome from Oct. 4 to Oct. 25. Over 200 bishops are attending the synod. (SOURCE:


CNA reports that the vice president and spokesman for the Institute for Family Policy in Spain, Mariano Martinez-Aedo, said last week the latest figures on homicides among couples show that marriage is the best antidote to violence.
“Marriage is where the least amount of violence among couples occurs, which makes it the best antidote to violence,” Martinez-Aedo remarked.
According to the Institute, in 2008, six out of every ten homicides took place between emotionally involved couples. While one homicide occurred for every 311,000 marriages, in the case of couples who are unmarried, it was one homicide for every 25,000.
This means that for every homicide among married couples, twelve take place among unmarried couples, he explained.
Martinez-Aedo said this was a confirmation of the importance of marriage and its role in society. For this reason, he added, the institute is urging the government to promote policies that support and uplift marriage. (SOURCE:

UCAN reports that even as the Vatican announced the theme for the next World Communications Day highlighting priests' use of digital media, Bangladeshi clergy say they face challenges using such technology.

Father Kamal Corraya
"Availability of electricity in the remote parishes is a major problem for priests," Father Kamal Corraya, director of the bishops' Christian Communications Center (CCC) in Dhaka told UCA News.
"It is hard for them to operate computers, television and other digital media. Their geographical locations and workloads also limit the time they can find to use such equipment," Father Corraya said.
The diocesan priest was speaking shortly after the Vatican Information Service (VIS) announced that Pope Benedict XVI's theme for the 44th World Day for Social Communications would be "The Priest and Pastoral Ministry in a Digital World: New Media at the Service of the Word."
VIS reported a Vatican communique as saying, "The new communications media, if adequately understood and exploited, can offer priests and all pastoral care workers a wealth of data which was difficult to access before, and facilitate forms of collaboration and increased communion that were previously unthinkable."
One priest who finds it difficult to fully harness the power of the new media is Holy Cross Father Thaddeus Hembrom, 35, who oversees Radhanagar sub-center of Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish. The parish comes under Dinajpur diocese.
"At the moment the only digital equipment I use is my mobile phone," he said. There are problems with electricity supply here, "so we cannot watch TV regularly and the use of the computer and email is far beyond our reach," Father Hembrom told UCA News.
He said that for much of the time he relies on solar power for electricity. He added that the elementary-level students of the hostel he runs can only watch TV on Saturday.
"If we had electricity here, I feel we would be able to use the computer and multimedia to show Church-related films and programs to children."
In the capital, there is more room to act on the Pope's World Communications Day theme.

Father Tapan Camillus De Rozarioat his computer in his office in Dhaka
Father Tapan Camillus De Rozario, parish priest of St. Christina Church in Dhaka, is able to use the Internet and has a printer attached to his computer.
The priest, who is also president of the Bangladesh Diocesan Priests' Fraternity, said he would love to use multimedia presentations in his parish but needs help in training and the provision of equipment.
He told UCA News that there is a lack of media production experts in the Bangladeshi Church and priests lack training even in computer skills.
Father Corraya is aware of the challenges to priests going fully digital in the country.
For priests and Religious who are able to use new technology, the CCC has been conducting training sessions on the role of media and the importance of the use of digital media in pastoral services. The sessions have also included how to give interviews to media.
Father Corraya said the CCC has also produced a documentary, "Pretty Brave Woman," which focuses on the plight of a physically disabled Catholic woman living in a nuns' convent. The documentary is to be shown during the upcoming SIGNIS World Congress to be held in Chiang Mai, Thailand from Oct. 17-21.
The Pope's World Communications Day message is expected to be published on Jan. 24, 2010, the feast of St. Francis of Sales, patron saint of journalists. In most countries, the Catholic Church celebrates World Communications Day on the Sunday before Pentecost. In 2010 it will be celebrated May 16.


Cath News reports that Catholic schools across Australia will be able to publish education content on iTunes U, with video and text files from Catholic schools free to anyone visiting the iTunes Store.
With the tool, Catholic schools will be able to share resources with the world's education community and enable anywhere, anytime learning, said a media statement.
Students, teachers and lifelong learners can download items of interest including tutorials, demonstrations, lectures and learning objects on range of subjects and educational issues.
As well as providing a platform for teachers to publish learning materials for their students, iTunes U will automatically publish the content worldwide
The Executive Director of Catholic schools in the Diocese of Parramatta and Chairperson of Catholic Education Network (CEnet), Mr Greg Whitby, said the initiative came at just the right time as schools continue to implement aspects of the Australian Government's Digital Education Revolution.
"Today's learners require anywhere, anytime access to a global library of learning tools," said Mr Whitby. "iTunes U will enhance the delivery of online learning and enable our students the flexibility to access these tools at school or at home."


St. Edward the Confessor
Feast: October 13
Feast Day:
October 13
1003 at Islip, Oxford, England
5 January 1066
Major Shrine:
Westminster Abbey
Patron of:
difficult marriages, kings. separated spouses

King of England, born in 1003; died 5 January, 1066. He was the son of Ethelred II and Emma, daughter of Duke Richard of Normandy, being thus half-brother to King Edmund Ironside, Ethelred's son by his first wife, and to King Hardicanute, Emma's son by her second marriage with Canute. When hardly ten years old he was sent with his brother Alfred into Normandy to be brought up at the court of the duke his uncle, the Danes having gained the mastery in England. Thus he spent the best years of his life in exile, the crown having been settled by Canute, with Emma's consent, upon his own offspring by her. Early misfortune thus taught Edward the folly of ambition, and he grew up in innocence, delighting chiefly in assisting at Mass and the church offices, and in association with religious, whilst not disdaining the pleasures of the chase, or recreations suited to his station. Upon Canute's death in 1035 his illegitimate son, Harold, seized the throne, Hardicanute being then in Denmark, and Edward and his brother Alfred were persuaded to make an attempt to gain the crown, which resulted in the cruel death of Alfred who had fallen into Harold's hands, whilst Edward was obliged to return to Normandy. On Hardicanute's sudden death in 1042, Edward was called by acclamation to the throne at the age of about forty, being welcomed even by the Danish settlers owing to his gentle saintly character. His reign was one of almost unbroken peace, the threatened invasion of Canute's son, Sweyn of Norway, being averted by the opportune attack on him by Sweyn of Denmark; and the internal difficulties occasioned by the ambition of Earl Godwin and his sons being settled without bloodshed by Edward's own gentleness and prudence. He undertook no wars except to repel an inroad of the Welsh, and to assist Malcolm III of Scotland against Macbeth, the usurper of his throne. Being devoid of personal ambition, Edward's one aim was the welfare of his people. He remitted the odious "Danegelt", which had needlessly continued to be levied; and though profuse in alms to the poor and for religious purposes, he made his own royal patrimony suffice without imposing taxes. Such was the contentment caused by "the good St. Edward's laws", that their enactment was repeatedly demanded by later generations, when they felt themselves oppressed.
Yielding to the entreaty of his nobles, he accepted as his consort the virtuous Editha, Earl Godwin's daughter. Having, however, made a vow of chastity, he first required her agreement to live with him only as a sister. As he could not leave his kingdom without injury to his people, the making of a pilgrimage to St. Peter's tomb, to which he had bound himself, was commuted by the pope into the rebuilding at Westminster of St. Peter's abbey, the dedication of which took place but a week before his death, and in which he was buried. St. Edward was the first King of England to touch for the "king's evil", many sufferers from the disease were cured by him. He was canonized by Alexander III in 1161. His feast is kept on the 13th of October, his incorrupt body having been solemnly translated on that day in 1163 by St. Thomas of Canterbury in the presence of King Henry II. (SOURCE:


Luke 11: 37 - 41
While he was speaking, a Pharisee asked him to dine with him; so he went in and sat at table.
The Pharisee was astonished to see that he did not first wash before dinner.
And the Lord said to him, "Now you Pharisees cleanse the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside you are full of extortion and wickedness.
You fools! Did not he who made the outside make the inside also?
But give for alms those things which are within; and behold, everything is clean for you.

No comments: