Friday, November 20, 2009





(VIS) - The Holy See Press Office released the following communique at midday today: "This morning in the Vatican Apostolic Palace Runaldo Ronald Venetiaan, president of the Republic of Suriname, was received in audience by His Holiness Benedict XVI. The president subsequently went on to meet with Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B. who was accompanied by Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States. "The cordial meetings provided an opportunity for a fruitful exchange of opinions on questions concerning the current international and regional situation. "Attention then focused on certain aspects of the situation in Suriname, in particular on the social policies being introduced by the government, on the defence of the environment and on fields of collaboration between Church and State".OP/AUDIENCE/PRESIDENT SURINAME VIS 091120 (140)

DEAF PEOPLE: RECIPIENTS AND ANNOUNCERS OF THE GOSPEL VATICAN CITY, 20 NOV 2009 (VIS) - This morning the Holy Father received 400 participants in the international conference "Effata! Deaf people in the life of the Church". The event is being promoted by the Pontifical Council for Health Pastoral Care, the president of which is Archbishop Zygmunt Zimowski. In his address to them the Pope explained the reason the theme of "effata" was chosen for the meeting. "It is", he said, "a paradigm of how the Lord works for people with hearing impairment", and he went on to refer to the passage from the Gospel of Mark in which "Jesus takes a deaf man aside and, having performed certain symbolic gestures, raises His eyes to heaven and says: 'effata', that is, 'be opened'. In that moment ... the man recovered his hearing, his tongue was loosened and he spoke plainly. "Jesus' actions are full of loving attention and express profound compassion for the man before Him", Benedict XVI added. "He expressed real concern, took him aside from the confusion of the crowds, and made him feel His closeness and understanding through certain highly significant gestures". But Jesus does not only cure physical deafness, "He also indicates the existence of another form of deafness from which humanity must be healed, or rather from which it must be saved. This is the deafness of the spirit which raises ever-higher barriers to the voice of God and of our fellow man, especially the cry for help of the poor and the suffering, and which encloses man in a profound and destructive selfishness". "Unfortunately experience has shown that hearing-impaired people do not always meet with ready acceptance, committed solidarity and affectionate communion. The many associations which have come into being to defend and promote their rights are evidence of the existence of an underlying culture marked by prejudice and discrimination", said the Pope. "Much more numerous, however, are the initiatives prompted by institutions and associations, both ecclesial and civil, which are inspired by authentic and generous solidarity and have improved the living conditions of many deaf people", the Holy Father went on. He also recalled how "the first schools for the education and religious formation of these our brothers and sisters came into being in Europe in the 1700s. Since then charitable initiatives have been multiplying within the Church, ... with the aim of offering the deaf, not only formation, but integral assistance for their complete self-realisation. "Yet we must not forget the serious situation in which deaf people still live in developing countries, both because of a lack of appropriate policies and legislation, and because of difficulty of access to basic healthcare. Deafness, indeed, is often the consequence of easily-curable diseases". In this context, the Pope launched an appeal "to the political and civil authorities, as well as to international organisations, to offer the support necessary to promote, also in those countries, due respect for the dignity and rights of deaf people, favouring ... their full social integration". "Dear hearing-impaired brothers and sisters", he concluded, "you are not only recipients of the announcement of the Gospel but, by virtue of your Baptism, also its announcers. Live every day, then, as witnesses of the Lord in the environments in which you live, making Christ and His Gospel known".AC/DEAF PEOPLE/ZIMOWSKI VIS 091120 (560)

AUDIENCES VATICAN CITY, 20 NOV 2009 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences: - Archbishop Luigi Ventura, apostolic nuncio to France. - Two prelates from the National Conference of Bishops of Brazil, on their "ad limina" visit: - Bishop Gorgonio Alves da Encarnacao Neto C.R. of Itapetininga. - Bishop Carmo Joao Rhoden S.C.I. of Taubate, Brazil. This evening he is scheduled to receive in audience Cardinal Ivan Dias, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples.AP:AL/.../... VIS 091120 (80)



The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops urged the Senate to make essential changes its health reform bill in order to keep in place federal law on abortion funding and conscience protection on abortion, protect access to health care for immigrants and include strong provisions for adequate affordability.
The bishops called the Senate health care bill an “enormous disappointment” that creates new and unacceptable federal policy for funding and coverage of abortions, as well as rights of conscience. Bishop William Murphy, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo and Bishop John Wester voiced their wish for better health care reform legislation in a November 20 letter to the Senate. They chair the bishops’ Committees on Domestic Justice and Human Development, Pro-Life Activities and Migration, respectively.
The letter, which was accompanied with a fact sheet on the House Stupak Amendment (, urged Senators to improve the Senate health care bill in the key areas of affordability, immigration, federal funding and coverage of abortion and conscience rights.
According to the bishops, the bill “does not live up to President Obama’s commitment of barring the use of federal dollars for abortion and maintaining current conscience laws.” They cited an “abortion surcharge” that would force insurance purchasers to pay for other people’s abortions, provisions that would allow the HHS Secretary to mandate unlimited abortion coverage nationwide, and that the bill does not even allow for religious institutions to offer their own employees coverage that conforms to their institution’s teaching.
“The Catholic bishops have advocated for decades for affordable and accessible health care for all, especially the poor and marginalized,” the bishops said. “The Senate bill makes great progress in covering people in our nation. However, the Senate bill would still leave over 24 million people in our nation without health insurance. This is not acceptable.”
The bishops encouraged expanding Medicaid eligibility for those living at 133 percent or lower of the federal policy level. They also urged an end to the five-year ban on legal immigrants for accessing federal health benefits programs and said that undocumented persons should not be barred from purchasing insurance plans with their own money.
“Providing affordable and accessible health care that clearly reflects these fundamental principles is a public good, moral imperative and urgent national priority,” said the bishops.
The text of the letter can be found online at and in Spanish at



CNA reports that the 95-year old Patriarch Pavle was laid to rest today in Belgrade, Serbia, after having led the Serbian Orthodox Church through its revival after the fall of the iron curtain and the bloody conflicts in the Balkans during the 1990's.
The Serbian police reported that over 600,000 people attended the funeral service and procession today in Belgrade, said The funeral was held in St. Sava’s Church in Belgrade, and the patriarch was buried in the Rakovica monastery in a Belgrade suburb seven miles away.
The Catholic Archbishop of Belgrade Stanislav Hocevar attended the funeral, as well as Cardinal Angelo Sodano who was appointed to be the Pope's representative at the funeral. Also in attendance was the apostolic nuncio in Serbia Orlando Antonini as well as Father Milan Zust from the Secretariat of the Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity, reported Radio Srbija.
The Pope also sent a telegram expressing his condolences to the Metropolitan of Montenegro, via his representative Cardinal Sodano. Though Pope Benedict's meeting last Saturday expressed hope for an increased dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Serbian Orthodox Church, Serbia remains one of the few European countries to never have received a Papal Visit, said the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
Patriarch Pavle is famed for his defense of Kosovo, which is esteemed as the epicenter of Serbian culture and the Serbian Orthodox faith. When Orthodox churches and monasteries were under attack by the mostly-Muslim ethnic Albanians during the Balkan conflict, Pavle rallied international support. However, the Manila Bulletin reported that critics condone the fact that various Serbian bishops gave their blessing to Serbian troops who then went out and committed atrocities in Bosnia and Croatia during Pavle's patriarchy.
Nevertheless, the Patriarch is revered as a simple and humble man, and a “saint who walks” because of the work he did to bring the faith back to the forefront of Serbian society and religion back to the classroom after the fall of communism.
Serbian president Boris Tadić said that Pavle's death was a “huge loss” for Serbia, because Pavle's was “one of those people who by their very existence bring together the entire nation.” The nation of Serbia has declared three days or mourning for the deceased patriarch. (SOURCE:



CISA reports that hopes for a new constitution in Kenya were high today November 17, as the country launched the harmonized draft that will be reviewed by the Kenyans in the next thirty days.The draft proposes a ceremonial president and an executive prime minister with powers to appoint professionals to the cabinet unlike in the current scenario where all members of the cabinet are Members of Parliament.The draft is a culmination of over two decades of deliberations. This is the fourth draft since the 2002 when Kenyans had the Constitution of Kenya review commission (CKRC) draft, the Bomas Draft of 2004 and the Wako Draft of 2005. Among the issues that have been contentious are: the executive, legislation and devolution.The launch was attended by Prime Minister Raila Odinga, the Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka and the Chairman of the Constitution Committee of Experts (CoE), Nzamba Kitonga.Addressing the congregation, Odinga said the Kadhi Courts issue was not as contentious as some people had taken it. He urged Kenyans to be sober and considerate as they addressed the issue.“Let’s us be as constructive as possible when we address ourselves to the issue on the table-the constitution- making”, stressed the country’s Prime minister.Addressing a press conference after the launch, the Chairman of CoE, urged the Church to assist the committee to harmonize issues around the Kadhi Courts.“Please I urge you to continue to journey with us on the issue. We should be able to reach a smooth conclusion on the issue without much a do,” he stressed.The Kadhi Courts have been quite “controversial” in the current constitution-making in the country.Some Christians are of the opinion that the new constitution should do away with Kadhi Courts and that the State should remain secular.On the contrary, the Muslims hold that the Kadhi Courts should be upheld as the case has been in the history of this country.“Our position on the issue-Kadhi Courts has not changed. We are still against its inclusion in the new constitution,” remarked a church minister during the launching of the constitution review exercise, Kenyans have been presented with an opportunity to offer their suggestions in the next one month. “Let Kenyans offer constructive suggestions to build an acceptable constitution that will, have meaning for all of us,” said Odinga. (SOURCE:



Cath News reports that family and friends gathered to mourn murdered Sydney woman Chloe Waterlow during a solemn service in St Canice's parish at Rushcutters Bay yesterday.
Ms Waterlow, 36, and her father, Nick Waterlow, 68, were found dead with stab wounds in her Randwick home in eastern Sydney on November 9, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.
Her three children, William, 4, Ruby, 2, and James, four months, were allegedly at the property at the time of the killings. The girl suffered a cut to her throat.
Her husband, Ben Heuston, paid tribute to his wife in a letter, which was read to mourners by her childhood friend Alix Johnson.

"The Chloe I knew was a great friend, mother and partner and I love and loved you," Mr Heuston wrote.
"The Chloe I hold in my heart always had a smile, a laugh, a cupcake or a quiche for others. Her generosity was legendary."
Mr Heuston said his wife lives on in their daughter, Ruby, who is "clearly her mother's daughter."
"Ruby is clearly her mother's daughter and we are all in for a lot more of Chloe ahead."
Several school friends offered prayers and celebrated Ms Waterlow as a "warm hearted and loving friend" who had "a richness of spirit".
Presiding priest, Father Stephen Sinn also read a eulogy made up of memories from lifelong friends and neighbours who remembered her as a lively, compassionate friend and mentor to others.
Prayers were also offered for all those suffering from mental illness, a reference perhaps to Ms Waterlow's brother Antony, 42, who suffers from schizophrenia and who is being sought by police in relation to both deaths, the report added. (SOURCE:



UCAN reports that Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao thanks God for his historic win against Puerto Rican Miguel Cotto on Nov. 15.
The seven-time world boxing champion in as many divisions addressed a cheering congregation at a Nov. 20 thanksgiving Mass in Manila after returning from the title fight in Las Vegas, the United States.

Manny Pacquiao holds up his trophies after being greeted by Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo (right) in Manila on Nov. 20, as wife Jinkee (left) looks on
"All my strength came from God," the world welterweight champion declared as he urged Filipinos: "Trust God, and he won't fail you."
The 30-year-old boxer from General Santos City, southern Philippines, dedicated most of his brief message to speaking about how faith can strengthen a person and help him achieve his goals.
"I surrendered myself completely to (God) in this fight," Pacquiao said, shifting from English to Tagalog during his speech. He said he did the same in previous fights and won against fighters heavier than himself.
"If you wonder why I was smiling entering the ring, it was because my faith in the Lord was 100 percent."
The Mass at the popular Shrine of the Black Nazarene was packed with fans including politicians and government officials.
Pacquiao told them his victory last weekend was historic not only for himself, but also for the Filipino people. "We got it!" he told the cheering crowd. "Doesn't that make you proud to be Filipino?"
He continued: "I don't say idolize me. I am saying idolize my faith in prayer and my belief it is because of God that I succeed in my boxing."
Why should he worry, he asked them, "knowing millions of Filipinos are praying for my success?"
In defeating Cotto by technical knockout, Pacquiao added the welterweight championship to his world titles in the flyweight, super-bantamweight, featherweight, super-featherweight, lightweight and junior welterweight divisions.


St. Edmund the Martyr
Feast: November 20
Feast Day:
November 20
841 probably at Nuremburg, Germany
Hoxne, Suffolk, England 20 November 870
Patron of:
against plague, kings, torture victims, wolves

Though from the time of King Egbert, in 802, the Kings of the West-Saxons were monarchs of all England, yet several kings reigned in certain parts after that time, in some measure subordinate to them. One Offa was King of the East-Angles, who, being desirous to end his days in penance and devotion to Rome, resigned his crown to St. Edmund, at that time only fifteen years of age, but a most virtuous prince, and descended from the old English-Saxon kings of this isle. The saint was placed on the throne of his ancestors, as Lydgate, Abbo, and others express themselves, and was crowned by Humbert, Bishop of Elman, on Christmas Day, in 855, at Burum, a royal villa on the Stour, now called Bures, or Buers. Though very young, he was by his piety, goodness, humility, and all other virtues, the model of good princes. He was a declared enemy of flatterers and informers, and would see with his own eyes and hear with his own ears, to avoid being surprised into a wrong judgment, or imposed upon by the passions or ill designs of others. The peace and happiness of his people were his whole concern, which he endeavoured to establish by an impartial administration of justice and religious regulations in his dominions. He was the father of his subjects, particularly of the poor, the protector of widows and orphans, and the support of the weak. Religion and piety were the most distinguishing part of his character. Monks and devout persons used to know the psalter without book, that they might recite the psalms at work, in travelling, and on every other occasion. To get it by heart St. Edmund lived in retirement a whole year in his royal tower at Hunstanton (which he had built for a country solitude), which place is now a village in Norfolk. The book which the saint used for that purpose was religiously kept at St. Edmundsbury till the dissolution of abbeys.

The holy king had reigned fifteen years when the Danes infested his dominions. Hinguar and Hubba, two brothers, the most barbarous of all the Danish plunderers landing in England, wintered among the East-Angles; then, having made a truce with that nation, they in summer sailed to the north, and landing at the mouth of the Tweed, plundered with fire and sword Northumberland, and afterwards Mercia, directing their march through Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, and Cambridgeshire. Out of a lust of rage and cruelty, and the most implacable aversion to the Christian name, they everywhere destroyed the churches and monasteries; and, as it were in barbarous sport, massacred all priests and religious persons whom they met with. In the great monastery of Coldingham, beyond Berwick, the nuns, fearing not death but insults which might be offered to their chastity, at the instigation of St. Ebba, the holy abbess, cut off their noses and upper lips, that appearing to the barbarians frightful spectacles of horror, they might preserve their virtue from danger; the infidels accordingly were disconcerted at such a sight, and spared their virtue, but put them all to the sword. In their march, amongst other monasteries, those of Bardney, Crowland, Peterborough, Ely, and Huntingdon were levelled with the ground, and the religious inhabitants murdered. In the Cathedral of Peterborough is shown a monument (removed thither from a place without the building) called Monks'-Stone, on which are the effigies of an abbot and several monks. It stood over the pit in which fourscore monks of this house were interred, whom Hinguar and Hubba massacred in 870. The barbarians, reeking with blood, poured down upon St. Edmund's dominions, burning Thetford, the first town they met with, and laying waste all before them. The people, relying upon the faith of treaties, thought themselves secure, and were unprepared. However, the good king raised what forces he could, met the infidels, or at least a part of their army near Thetford, and discomfited them. But seeing them soon after reinforced with fresh numbers, against which his small body was not able to make any stand, and being unwilling to sacrifice the lives of his soldiers in vain, and grieving for the eternal loss of the souls of his enemies, who would be slain in a fruitless engagement, he disbanded his troops and retired himself towards his castle of Framlingham, in Suffolk. The barbarian had sent him proposals which were inconsistent both with religion and with the justice which he owed to his people. These the saint rejected, being resolved rather to die a victim of his faith and duty to God, than to do anything against his conscience and religion. In his flight he was over taken and surrounded by infidels at Oxon, upon the Waveney: he concealed himself for some short time, but, being discovered, was bound with heavy chains and conducted to the general's tent. Terms were again offered him equally prejudicial to religion and to his people, which the holy Icing refused to confirm, declaring that religion was dearer to him than his life, which he would never purchase by offending God. Hinguar, exasperated at this answer, in his barbarous rage caused him to be cruelly beaten with cudgels, then to be tied to a tree and torn a long time together with whips. All this he bore with invincible meekness and patience, never ceasing to call upon the name of Jesus. The infidels were the more exasperated, and as he stood bound to the tree, they made him a mark wantonly to shoot at, till his body was covered with arrows like a porcupine. Hinguar at length, in order to put an end to the butchery, commanded his head to be struck off. Thus the saint finished his martyrdom on the 20th of November, in 870, the fifteenth of his reign, and twenty-ninth of his age; the circumstances of which St. Dunstan learned from one who was armour-bearer to the saint and an eye-witness. The place was then called Henglesdun, now Hoxon, or Hoxne; a priory of monks was afterwards built there which bore the name of the martyr.
The saint's head was carried by the infidels into a wood and thrown into a brake of bushes; but miraculously found by a pillar of light and deposited with the body at Hoxdon. These sacred remains were very soon after conveyed to Bedricsworth, or Kingston, since called St. Edmundsbury, because this place was St. Edmund's own town and private patrimony; not on account of his burial, for in the English-Saxon language signified a court or palace. A church of timber was erected over the place where he was interred, which was thus built according to the fashion of those times. Trunks of large trees were sawn lengthways in the middle and reared up with one end fixed in the ground, with the bark or rough side outermost. These trunks being made of an equal height and set up close to one another, and the interstices filled up with mud or mortar, formed the four walls, upon which was raised a thatched roof. Nor can we be surprised at the homeliness of this structure, since the same was the fabric of the royal rich abbey of Glastonbury, the work of the most munificent and powerful West-Saxon kings, till in latter ages it was built in a stately manner of stone. The precious remains of St. Edmund were honoured with many miracles. In 920, for fear of the barbarians under Turkil the Dane, in the reign of King Ethelred, they were conveyed to London by Alfun, bishop of that city, and the monk Egelwin, or Ailwin, the keeper of this sacred treasure, who never abandoned it. After remaining three years in the Church of St. Gregory, in London, it was translated again with honour to St. Edmundsbury in 923. The great church of timberwork stood till King Knute, or Canutus, to make reparation for the injuries his father Swein, or Sweno, had done to this place and to the relics of the martyr, built and founded there, in 1020, a new most magnificent church and abbey in honour of this holy martyr. The unparalleled piety, humility, meekness, and other virtues of St. Edmund are admirably set forth by our historians. This incomparable prince and holy martyr was considered by succeeding English kings as their special patron, and as an accomplished model of all royal virtues. The feast of St. Edmund is reckoned among the holidays of precept in this kingdom by the national council of Oxford in 1222; but is omitted in the constitutions of Archbishop Simon Islep, who retrenched certain holidays in 1362.
No Christian can be surprised that innocence should suffer. Prosperity is often the most grievous judgment that God exercises upon a wicked man, who by it is suffered, in punishment of his impiety, to blind and harden himself in his evil courses, and to plunge himself deeper in iniquity. On the other hand God, in his merciful providence, conducts second causes so that afflictions fall to the share of those souls whose sanctification he has particularly in view. By tribulation a man learns perfectly to die to the world and himself, a work which, without its aid, even the severest self-denial and the most perfect obedience, leave imperfect. By tribulation we learn the perfect exercise of humility, patience, meekness, resignation, and pure love of God; which are neither practiced nor learned without such occasions. By a good use of tribulation a person becomes a saint in a very short time, and at a cheap rate. The opportunity and grace of suffering well is a mercy in favour of chosen souls; and a mercy to which every saint, from Abel to the last of the elect, is indebted for his crown. We meet with sufferings from ourselves, from disappointments, from friends, and from enemies. We are on every side beset with crosses. But we bear them with impatience and complaints. Thus we cherish our passions, and multiply sins by the very means which are given us to crucify and overcome them. To learn to bear crosses well is one of the most essential and most important duties of a Christian life. To make a good use of the little crosses which we continually meet with is the means of making the greatest progress in all virtue, and of obtaining strength to stand our ground under great trials. St. Edmund's whole life was a preparation for martyrdom.


Luke 19: 45 - 48
And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold,
saying to them, "It is written, `My house shall be a house of prayer'; but you have made it a den of robbers."
And he was teaching daily in the temple. The chief priests and the scribes and the principal men of the people sought to destroy him;
but they did not find anything they could do, for all the people hung upon his words

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