Monday, November 9, 2009





(VIS) - At 9.30 a.m. today Benedict XVI arrived at the "Tenente Alfredo Fusco" military airport near the Italian city of Brescia. There he was welcomed by Bishop Luciano Monari of Brescia, by Gianni Letta, under secretary of the council of ministers who represented the Italian government, and by various other political, ecclesiastical and civil authorities. Following the welcome ceremony the Pope travelled to the parish church of Our Lady of the Assumption in Botticino Sera where he venerated the mortal remains of St. Arcangelo Tadini (1846-1912), pastor of that parish, who was canonised on 26 April this year. Having then arrived in Brescia, the Pope travelled by popemobile through the city's Piazza della Loggia where a plaque commemorates the eight victims of a bomb attack which took place there on 28 May 1974. At 10.15 a.m. the Holy Father visited the city's cathedral where he paused briefly before a monument dedicated to Paul VI, venerated the relics of St. Andrew and St. Benito, and prayed before the Blessed Sacrament. At 10.30 a.m., in the nearby square named after Paul VI, which was crowded with faithful, he presided at Mass and pronounced a homily. At the beginning of his homily the Pope expressed his joy at being able to celebrate the Eucharist "at the heart of the diocese of Brescia, which saw the birth and early education of Servant of God Giovanni Battista Montini (Pope Paul VI), ... who consecrated his entire life to the Church. "The Church", Pope Benedict added, "is a tangible spiritual organism which prolongs the oblation of the Son of God over time and space; an apparently insignificant sacrifice compared to the dimensions of the world and history, but decisive in the eyes of God. ... The Church, which is born ever and anew from the Eucharist, from the self-giving of Jesus, is the continuation of this gift, of this superabundance which finds expression in poverty, of this whole which offers itself in a fragment. It is the Body of Christ that incessantly gives of itself, a Body broken and shared, constantly adhering to the will of its Head". Quoting then from Paul VI's "A Thought about Death", Benedict XVI highlighted his predecessor's "vision of a 'poor and free' Church. ... This", he affirmed, "is how the ecclesial community must be in order to communicate with modern mankind. The Church's meeting and dialogue with mankind of our times was something particularly close to Giovanni Battista Montini's heart throughout his life". Paul VI "dedicated all his energies to serving a Church that was, as far as possible, conformed to her Lord Jesus Christ so that, encountering the Church, modern men and women may encounter Him, Christ, because it is of Him that they have most need", said Benedict XVI, who went on to ask: "How can we not see that the question of the Church - her importance in the plan of salvation and her relationship with the world - remains absolutely vital even today? And, indeed, that the growth of secularisation and globalisation have rendered this even more urgent in the face of the neglect of God, on the one hand, and of relations with non-Christian religions, on the other?" The Holy Father also referred to the Year for Priests, reminding the clergy present of the Encyclical "Sacerdotalis caelibatus" in which Paul VI wrote: "The consecrated celibacy of sacred ministers actually manifests the virginal love of Christ for the Church, and the virginal and supernatural fecundity of this marriage". "May the splendour of divine beauty shine out in each of our communities, and may the Church be a luminous sign of hope for humanity in the third millennium", the Pope concluded. After Mass and before praying the Angelus, the Pope recalled how Paul VI "placed his own priesthood under the maternal protection of the Mother of Jesus, and this bond accompanied him all his life". For this reason, during Vatican Council II, he proclaimed Mary Most Holy "as Mother of the Church, highlighting, with great ecumenical sensibility, that 'devotion to Mary ... is a means essentially ordained for guiding souls to Christ and so uniting them to the Father, in the love of the Holy Spirit'".PV-ITALY/MASS ANGELUS/BRESCIA VIS 091109 (720)

HOLY FATHER VISITS BIRTHPLACE OF PAUL VI VATICAN CITY, 8 NOV 2009 (VIS) - Early this afternoon the Pope travelled to Concesio, near the Italian city of Brescia, where he visited the house in which Paul VI was born on 26 September 1897 and greeted some relatives of the late Pontiff. Subsequently, in the "Vittorio Montini" Auditorium, he inaugurated the new headquarters of the Paul VI Institute, and assigned the International Paul VI Prize, which was awarded to Bernard Meunier, director of a series of books published in Paris entitled "Sources Chretiennes". In his address the Holy Father explained that the prize was being awarded for "the commitment shown by this historic series - founded in 1942 by, among others, Henri de Lubac and Jean Danielou - to a renewed discovery of ancient and mediaeval Christian sources". Going on then to speak about one particular aspect of Giovanni Battista Montini's personality, his commitment to education, Benedict XVI recalled how "the educator Montini, student and priest, bishop and Pope, was always aware of the need for a qualified Christian presence in the world of culture, art and civil society, a presence rooted in the truth of Christ and, at the same time, attentive to man and his vital needs". Pope Paul VI's concern for education "was shown buy his many initiatives dedicated to the new generations, in turbulent and difficult times such as the events of 1968. Courageously he indicated the way that leads to the meeting with Christ, as a liberating educational experience and the only true response to the desires and aspirations of the young, who had fallen victims to an ideology". "Paul VI defined himself as an 'elderly friend of the young'. He was able to recognise and share their torment as they were torn between the desire to live, the need for certainty, the longing for love, the sense of being lost, the temptation to scepticism and the experience of disillusionment. He learned to understand their hearts, and recalled that the agnostic indifference of modern thought, critical pessimism and the materialist ideology of social progress are not enough for the spirit, which is open to completely different horizons of truth and life". After then expressing the view that Paul VI was "a master of life and courageous witness of hope", the Holy Father explained that his predecessor "was not always understood; on the contrary, on more than a few occasions he was assailed and isolated by the then-dominant cultural movements. Nonetheless, firm even though physically frail, he led the Church without faltering. He never lost faith in the young, renewing in them, and not only in them, the invitation to trust in Christ and to follow Him along the path of the Gospel". Benedict XVI concluded by expressing the hope that "the love of this Pope for the young, his constant encouragement to trust in Jesus Christ - an invitation reiterated by John Paul II and which I too renewed at the very beginning of my Pontificate - may be perceived by the new generations".PV-ITALY/PAUL VI PRIZE/CONCESIO VIS 091109 (510)

LIVING OUR BAPTISM MEANS REMAINING UNITED TO THE CHURCH VATICAN CITY, 8 NOV 2009 (VIS) - At 6.15 p.m. today, the Pope visited the parish of St. Anthony in Concesio, near the Italian city of Brescia, where Paul VI was baptised. Speaking of the importance of the Sacrament of Baptism, the Holy Father recalled words used by Paul VI in 1959 when he was still archbishop of Milan: "In the world in which we live there is often 'a cloud marring the pleasure of calmly contemplating the divine sky, ... there is a temptation to believe that the faith is a tie, a chain to be thrown off, something old and outdated which serves no purpose'. And thus man comes to think that 'economic and social life is enough to respond to all the aspirations of the human heart'". In this context the Pope mentioned St. Augustine's "Confessions" where the saint writes that "our hearts are restless until they find rest in the Lord. Only if we find the light that illuminates and gives fullness of meaning can human beings be truly happy", said the Holy Father. "That light is faith in Christ, a gift received at Baptism that must be constantly rediscovered in order to pass it on to others". Benedict XVI encouraged people not to forget "the immense gift received the day on which we were baptised. At that moment Christ bound us to Himself forever. Yet do we, for our part, remain united to Him through choices coherent with the Gospel? It is not easy being Christian. It takes courage and tenacity not to conform oneself to the mentality of the world, not to allow oneself to be seduced by the temptations ... of hedonism and consumerism; to face, if necessary, misunderstandings and sometimes even persecution. Living our Baptism means remaining firmly united to the Church, even when we see her face darkened by certain shadows and stains". It is the Church "that has regenerated us for divine life and accompanies us throughout our journey. Let us love her, let us love her as a true mother. Let us love and serve her with a faithful love which translates into tangible acts within our communities, not surrendering to the temptation to individualism and prejudice, and overcoming all rivalries and divisions. Thus will we be true disciples of Christ". At the end of his visit, the Pope travelled to the military airport of Ghedi, whence he departed by plane for Rome where he arrived at 8.15 p.m.PV-ITALY/PARISH VISIT/CONCESIO VIS 091109 (420)

EXPLOITING THE POSITIVE ASPECTS OF SPORT VATICAN CITY, 7 NOV 2009 (VIS) - Made public today was a Message from the Pope to Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko, president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, and to participants in a study seminar on the theme: "Sport, education and faith: a new season for Catholic sport associations", being held in Rome on 6 and 7 November. "Through sporting activities", writes the Holy Father, "the ecclesial community contributes to the formation of young people, providing an environment appropriate for their human and spiritual growth. Indeed, sporting initiatives - when aimed at the integral development of the individual and administered by qualified and competent personnel - represent a fruitful opportunity for priests, religious and lay people to become real educators and life-teachers for the young. "Thus it is necessary", the Pope adds, "that in our own time - when there is a pressing need to educate the new generations - the Church should continue to support sport for the young, making full use of sporting activity in its positive aspects such as, for example, the capacity to simulate competitiveness, courage and tenacity in pursuing goals, while avoiding, however, any tendency that disfigures its nature with practices that can even damage the body, as in the case of doping". Benedict XVI highlights how, "through co-ordinated educational activities, mangers, trainers and Catholic workers must present themselves as experienced guides for adolescents, helping them to develop their sporting potential without overlooking those human qualities and Christian virtues that bring the individual to full maturity".MESS/SPORT EDUCATION/RYLKO VIS 091109 (260)

AUDIENCES VATICAN CITY, 7 NOV 2009 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences five prelates from the National Conference of Bishops of Brazil, on their "ad limina" visit: - Bishop Nelson Westrupp S.C.I. of Santo Andre. - Archbishop Raymundo Damasceno Assis of Aparecida. - Bishop Edmilson Amador Caetano O.Cist of Barretos. - Bishop Moacir Silva of Sao Jose dos Campos. - Bishop Salvatore Paruzzo of Ourinhos.AL/.../...



CNA reports that the secretary general of the Spanish bishops' conference, Auxiliary Bishop Juan Antonio Martinez Camino of Madrid, lamented the recent ruling by the EU Court in Strasburg, Germany that ordered Italy to remove crucifixes from school classrooms. The crucifix is “a symbol of freedom,” he explained.
According to the COPE Radio Network, Bishop Martinez Camino said it is “unjust and discriminatory to want to confine the crucifix to the private sphere.”
“The crucifix is a symbol of freedom and of the distinction between civil and religious power,” he said. “If it disappears from public life, we will lose all the achievements of Western culture linked with our values.”
Bishop Martinez Camino also discussed the recent statistics on abortion in Spain, which number now almost 120,000 per year. The high rate of abortion is a “reflection of the dramatic situation our society is experiencing when thousands of children are being eliminated,” he said.
The bishop urged that new laws be passed that “support women.”



The USCCB reports that United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) will work in conjunction with Telecare, the television station of the Diocese of Rockville Centre, NY, to provide live coverage of the U.S. Bishops’ Fall General Assembly, November 16-19, in Baltimore. This coverage will be “free to air” via satellite.
Telecare will cover the public sessions of the U.S. Bishops’ meeting, airing coverage Monday, November 16, from 1-6 p.m., Tuesday, November 17, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Wednesday, November 18, 9-11 a.m.
The hosts of the event will be Msgr. Jim Vlaun, CEO and President of Telecare, Sister Mary Alice Piil, C.S.J., a noted national speaker in liturgical formation and Director of Faith Formation for the Rockville Centre Diocese, and Msgr. Robert Brennan, Vicar General of the Rockville Centre Diocese.
Television stations wishing to air this telecast are asked to contact the office of Joseph Perrone, Telecare General Manager at 516 538-8704 x 145 for transmission details and satellite coordinates. All requests must be submitted by Thursday, November 12.Along with Telecare’s coverage, the USCCB Web page will post document, vote tallies and link to live streaming at USCCB Office of Media Relations will provide Web coverage of the meeting via Twitter ( on Facebook ( and on the USCCB Media Blog ( The Twitter handle will provide updates of the meeting’s proceedings in real time, while the blog and Facebook posts will include longer reports and photos.



UCAN reports that Malaysian Christians are demanding the release of 15,000 Malay-language bibles, confiscated by the government because they use the word "Allah" for God.

Bishop Ng Moon Hing
The Christian Federation of Malaysia (CFM) says everyone has the constitutional right to use the national language to practice his or her religion.
"It is baseless to withhold the bibles in Bahasa Malaysia (the national language) on the grounds that they are 'prejudicial to public order,'" the CFM said in a Nov. 4 statement.
The use of the word "Allah" in Christian publications is also likely to confuse Muslims and draw them to Christianity, the government has said, although repeated media requests for further comment have failed.
"Bibles in Bahasa Malaysia have been used since before independence ... and have never been the cause of any public disorder," the CFM statement says.
Despite the government ban, "Allah" remains the commonly used word for God in the Malay language.
The constitution "gives every Malaysian the right to profess his or her faith as well as to practice it," says the CFM statement, signed by its chairman, Bishop Ng Moon Hing. The bishop is head of the Anglican Diocese of West Malaysia.
Most of the seized bibles are destined for the eastern states of Sabah and Sarawak, where Malay is the most widely used language.
The CFM, based in Petaling Jaya, just outside Kuala Lumpur, represents the Catholic Church, the Council of Churches of Malaysia, and the National Evangelical Christian Fellowship Malaysia.
It demands the authorities "resolve this matter promptly and release these bibles for the use of Christians without further delay or excuse."
The CFM also raised the ban issue at an Oct. 29 meeting with the Sabah Council of Churches in Kota Kinabalu, capital of the easternmost state.
The seizures have added to fears among minority groups that Islamic fundamentalism is gaining a grip in the predominantly Muslim but multi-racial country.
There are around 2 million Christians -- 9 percent of the population -- in Malaysia. Around a third of them live in Sabah, another third in Sarawak and another third in peninsular Malaysia.
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CISA reports that it has been revealed that after 20 years of trials, scientists are on the threshold of discovering a malaria vaccine. Researchers warn that Africa may not be ready to make use of the vaccine should it be approved as expected within five years.RTS, S of GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals is the first malaria vaccine candidate to demonstrate efficacy during early development to warrant phase-III testing. It is the leading vaccine candidate in the global effort by the PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative (MVI) to develop a malaria vaccine. The vaccine is presently negotiating what will be the final hurdle before release as it enters Phase III trials in seven African countries. RTS,S was specifically developed for use in Africa but Prof Wilfred Mbacham, a public health biotechnologist from the University of Yaoundé in Cameroon, says a failure by African governments to prepare adequately may rob millions of people access to the vaccine.“As we pursue a breakthrough in the development of the vaccine, we need to begin speaking to African governments telling them how they should prepare to receive the vaccine. They need to prepare policy which will facilitate the inclusion of this vaccine into the Expanded Programme on Immunisation,” Mbacham says.Regulatory systems in African countries which would be responsible for approving use of the vaccine are weak. Governments will also need to think how they will pay to inoculate populations, and master the details of where, how often, and in which groups of people malaria occurs in each country. “African States will have to begin thinking about financing and how they will access the vaccine. While it is a possibility the Global Health Fund will provide money for this, governments need to explore other innovative financing methods,” Mbacham adds.The RTS,S vaccine is intended primarily for infants; children under the age of five are the most vulnerable to malaria. After almost two decades of research and 10 years of trials, it is the first to reach Phase III, the final phase of testing.“Phase II studies showed that RTSS reduced clinical episodes of malaria by 53 percent over an eight-month follow-up period. And findings from the Phase II trial in southern Mozambique on children showed RTSS was efficacious for at least 18 months in reducing clinical malaria by 35 percent and severe malaria by 49 percent.“The vaccine has also shown a promising safety and tolerability profile when used alongside other WHO standard infant vaccines,” says Dr Joe Cohen a co-inventor of RTSS.The Phase III trial will evaluate the vaccine's efficacy in two groups of children, one cohort aged six to 12 weeks and the other aged five to 17 months.Sixteen thousand children will take part in the trials; five thousand have already been recruited. The trials are being conducted in seven African countries, including Kenya, Burkina Faso, Tanzania, Mozambique, Ghana, Malawi and Gabon.Health experts warn the news of the impending approval of the vaccine does not mean people can discard the current malaria prevention measures including use of insecticide treated mosquito nets (ITNs) and indoor residual spraying.“These technologies have worked so far and communities need to continue using them. Should the vaccine be approved, these measures will continue to be used. Indeed, research is ongoing on strengthening the insecticides and making the ITNs longer lasting,” says Michael MacDonald from the malaria programme of the U.S. Agency for International Development.



Cath News reports a decline is happening in the Christian faith from a literal interpretation of the Bible, according to shadow treasurer Joe Hockey. In a speech to the Sydney Institute tonight, he will also urge for religious tolerance and understanding.

"It always perplexes me that so many people worry about Muslim women wearing the hijab when for centuries and even in some places today, Catholic nuns dress in similar attire," said his speech notes, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.
One aim of the speech, titled "In Defence of God" is to broaden Mr Hockey's image beyond his portfolio duties, the report said.
Mr Hockey, who was raised a Catholic, will say a literal reading of the testament by church leaders has tangled the Christian faith in a confusion of contradictions.
"One of the reasons why Christian faith has declined in the Western world is because of the reliance placed on a literal reading of the testaments by church leaders," cites The Age from his speech.
"By encouraging literalist analysis of the Bible, many churches have inadvertently invited people to question the validity of a faith that seems to be based on questionable facts or outdated prescription.
"And while debate rages about such matters, the true message of the scriptures - of compassion, justice, equality, dignity, forgiveness, charity and respect for other people - inevitably takes a back seat."
While urging tolerance, Mr Hockey chastises Christians who attack Muslims because of the acts of Islamic terrorists.
"To judge Islam based on the actions of extremists and terrorists would be no different than judging Christianity on the actions of those who have over the centuries committed atrocities in the name of God and Christ." (SOURCE:


Dedication of the Lateran Basilica in Rome
Feast: November 9
Feast Day:
November 9

This is the oldest, and ranks first among the four great "patriarchal" basilicas of Rome. The site was, in ancient times, occupied by the palace of the family of the Laterani. A member of this family, P. Sextius Lateranus, was the first plebian to attain the rank of consul. In the time of Nero, another member of the family, Plautius Lateranus, at the time consul designatus was accused of conspiracy against the emperor, and his goods were confiscated. Juvenal mentions the palace, and speaks of it as being of some magnificence, "regiæ ædes Lateranorum". Some few remains of the original buildings may still be traced in the city walls outside the Gate of St. John, and a large hall decorated with paintings was uncovered in the eighteenth century within the basilica itself, behind the Lancellotti Chapel. A few traces of older buildings also came to light during the excavations made in 1880, when the work of extending the apse was in progress, but nothing was then discovered of real value or importance. The palace came eventually into the hands of Constantine, the first Christian emperor, through his wife Fausta, and it is from her that it derived the name by which it was then sometimes called, "Domus Faustæ". Constantine must have given it to the Church in the time of Miltiades, not later than about 311, for we find a council against the Donatists meeting within its walls as early as 313. From that time onwards it was always the centre of Christian life within the city; the residence of the popes and the cathedral of Rome. The latter distinction it still holds, though it has long lost the former. Hence the proud title which may be read upon its walls, that it is "Omnium urbis et orbis ecclesiarum mater, et caput".
It seems probable, in spite of the tradition that Constantine helped in the work of building with his own hands, that there was not a new basilica erected at the Lateran, but that the work carried out at this period was limited to the adaptation, which perhaps involved the enlargement, of the already existing basilica or great hall of the palace. The words of St. Jerome "basilica quondam Laterani" (Ep. lxxiii, P.L., XXII, col. 692) seem to point in this direction, and it is also probable on other grounds. This original church was probably not of very large dimensions, but we have no reliable information on the subject. It was dedicated to the Saviour, "Basilica Salvatoris", the dedication to St. John being of later date, and due to a Benedictine monastery of St. John the Baptist and St. John the Evangelist which adjoined the basilica and where members were charged at one period with the duty of maintaining the services in the church. This later dedication to St. John has now in popular usage altogether superseded the original one. A great many donations from the popes and other benefactors to the basilica are recorded in the "Liber Pontificalis", and its splendour at an early period was such that it became known as the "Basilica Aurea", or Golden Church. This splendour drew upon it the attack of the Vandals, who stripped it of all its treasures. St. Leo the Great restored it about 460, and it was again restored by Hadrian I, but in 896 it was almost totally destroyed by an earthquake ("ab altari usque ad portas cecidit"). The damage was so extensive that it was difficult to trace in every case the lines of the old building, but these were in the main respected and the new building was of the same dimensions as the old. This secondchurch lasted for four hundred years and was then burnt down. It was rebuilt by Clement V and John XXII, only to be burnt down once more in 1360, but again rebuilt by Urban V.
Through these various vicissitudes the basilica retained its ancient form, being divided by rows of columns into aisles, and having in front an atrium surrounded by colonnades with a fountain in the middle. The façade had three windows, and was embellished with a mosaic representing Christ as the Saviour of the world. The porticoes of the atrium were decorated with frescoes, probably not dating further back than the twelfth century, which commemorated the Roman fleet under Vespasian, the taking of Jerusalem, the Baptism of the Emperor Constantine and his "Donation" to the Church. Inside the basilica the columns no doubt ran, as in all other basilicas of the same date, the whole length of the church from east to west, but at one of the rebuildings, probably that which was carried out by Clement V, the feature of a transverse nave was introduced, imitated no doubt from the one which had been, long before this, added at S. Paolo fuori le Mura. It was probably at this time also that the church was enlarged. When the popes returned to Rome from their long absence at Avignon they found the city deserted and the churches almost in ruins. Great works were begun at the Lateran by Martin V and his successors. The palace, however, was never again used by them as a residence, the Vatican, which stands in a much drier and healthier position, being chosen in its place. It was not until the latter part of the seventeenth century that thechurch took its present appearance, in the tasteless restoration carried out by Innocent X, with Borromini for his architect. The ancient columns were now enclosed in huge pilasters, with gigantic statues in front. In consequence of this the church has entirely lost the appearance of an ancient basilica, and is completely altered in character.
Some portions of the older buildings still survive. Among these we may notice the pavement of medieval Cosmatesque work, and the statues of St. Peter and St. Paul, now in the cloisters. The graceful baldacchino over the high altar, which looks so utterly out of place in its present surroundings, dates from 1369. The stercoraria, or throne of red marble on which the popes sat, is now in the Vatican Museum. It owes its unsavoury name to the anthem sung at the ceremony of the papal enthronization, "De stercore erigeus pauperem". From the fifth century there were seven oratories surrounding the basilica. These before long were thrown into the actual church. The devotion of visiting these oratories, which held its ground all through the medieval period, gave rise to the similar devotion of the seven altars, still common in many churches of Rome and elsewhere. Between the basilica and the city wall there was in former times the great monastery, in which dwelt the community of monks whose duty it was to provide the services in the basilica. The only part of it which still survives is the cloister, surrounded by graceful columns of inlaid marble. They are of a style intermediate between the Romanesque proper and the Gothic, and are the work of Vassellectus and the Cosmati. The date of these beautiful cloisters is the early part of the thirteenth century.


John 2: 13 - 22
The Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
In the temple he found those who were selling oxen and sheep and pigeons, and the money-changers at their business.
And making a whip of cords, he drove them all, with the sheep and oxen, out of the temple; and he poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables.
And he told those who sold the pigeons, "Take these things away; you shall not make my Father's house a house of trade."
His disciples remembered that it was written, "Zeal for thy house will consume me."
The Jews then said to him, "What sign have you to show us for doing this?"
Jesus answered them, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up."
The Jews then said, "It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?"
But he spoke of the temple of his body.
When therefore he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this; and they believed the scripture and the word which Jesus had spoken.

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