Tuesday, November 24, 2009





(VIS) - After praying the Angelus at midday today, the Pope recalled today's ceremony in Nazareth, Israel, for the beatification of Sr. Maria Alfonsina Danil Ghattas, born in Jerusalem in 1843 to a Christian family of nineteen children. "To her", said the Holy Father, "goes the merit of having founded a congregation formed exclusively of local women with the aim of teaching religion, combating illiteracy and improving the condition of women in that time, in the same land where Jesus Himself had exalted their dignity". "The beatification of such a significant female figure is of particular comfort to the Catholic community in the Holy Land, and is an invitation for them always to entrust themselves, with firm hope, to Divine Providence and to the maternal protection of the Virgin Mary", he concluded. Benedict XVI then went on to refer to yesterday's Feast of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin in the Temple, which also marks "'pro orantibus' Day, in support of cloistered religious communities". He invited everyone to support such communities and publicly thanked the nuns who successively occupy the small cloistered convent founded by John Paul II in the Vatican: Poor Clares, Carmelites, Benedictines and, most recently, Visitandines. "Your prayer, dear sisters, is very valuable for my ministry", he told them.ANG/BEATIFICATION NUNS/... VIS 091123 (230)

PONTIFICAL ACTS VATICAN CITY, 21 NOV 2009 (VIS) - The Holy Father: - Appointed Bishop Jose Ignacio Munilla Aguirre of Palencia, Spain as bishop of San Sebastian (area 1,977, population 694,944, Catholics 641,515, priests 523, religious 2,136), Spain. He succeeds Bishop Juan Maria Uriarte Goiricelaya, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit. - Appointed Bishop Jesus Sanz Montes O.F.M. of Huesca and of Jaca, Spain, as metropolitan archbishop of Oviedo (area 10,565, population 1,059,136, Catholics 1,006,179, priests 565, religious 1,096), Spain. The archbishop-elect was born in Madrid, Spain in 1955, he was ordained a priest in 1986 and consecrated a bishop in 2003. - Conferred the "ad personam" title of archbishop on Bishop Peter Liu Cheung-chung of Kaohsiung, Taiwan. - Appointed Bishop Brian Joseph Dunn, auxiliary of Sault Sainte Marie, Canada, as bishop of Antigonish (area 18,800, population 226,000, Catholics 130,600, priests 124, permanent deacons 1, religious 279), Canada.NER:RE:NA/.../... VIS 091123 (170)

HOLY FATHER RECEIVES PRIME MINISTER OF KUWAIT VATICAN CITY, 23 NOV 2009 (VIS) - The Holy See Press Office released the following communique at midday today: "Today, 23 November, the Holy Father Benedict XVI received in audience Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, prime minister of the State of Kuwait. The prime minister subsequently went on to meet Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B. who was accompanied by Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States. "During the cordial discussions mention was made of the excellent bilateral relations, which have existed for more than forty years, between the Holy See and Kuwait. Likewise, consideration was given to certain questions of mutual interest, with particular reference to the promotion of peace and inter-religious dialogue in the Middle East. Subsequently, emphasis was given to the positive contribution that the significant Christian minority makes to Kuwaiti society, underlining the need for pastoral assistance to that community".OP/AUDIENCE/PRIME MINISTER KUWAIT VIS 091123 (160)

CARDINAL CORDES TO MEET WITH AUSTRALIAN BISHOPS VATICAN CITY, 23 NOV 2009 (VIS) - Cardinal Paul Josef Cordes, president of the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum", the Holy See dicastery responsible for the Church's charitable agencies, is due to travel to Australia at the invitation of the Australian Catholic Bishops' Conference. During his visit, scheduled to last from 22 to 29 November he will meet with the bishops gathered at their plenary assembly in Sydney. "The aim of the visit", according to an English-language communique announcing the event, "is to strengthen the Catholic Church's witness in the field of charity. Benedict XVI has made the mission of 'diakonia' a focal point of his teaching, which together with the proclamation of the Word of God and the celebration of the Sacraments, expresses the Church's deepest nature. Cardinal Cordes will reflect together with the pastors on the teaching of 'Deus Caritas Est' in the light of the experience of the local Churches. "In the course of his trip, Cardinal Cordes will discuss the different facets of charity with priests, seminarians, charity workers and various lay groups. He will also deliver a lecture at the Australian Catholic University on the Encyclical 'Caritas in veritate'".CON-CU/TRIP/CORDES:SYDNEY VIS 091123 (200)

CELEBRATION OF VESPERS FOR BEGINNING OF ADVENT VATICAN CITY, 23 NOV 2009 (VIS) - The Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff today announced that in the Vatican Basilica at 5 p.m. on Saturday 28 November, Benedict XVI will preside at the celebration of first Vespers for the first Sunday of Advent.OCL/VESPERS ADVENT/... VIS 091123 (60)

AUDIENCES VATICAN CITY, 23 NOV 2009 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences six prelates from the National Conference of Bishops of Brazil, on their "ad limina" visit: - Bishop Fernando Mason O.F.M. Conv. of Piracicaba. - Bishop Irineu Danelon S.D.B. of Lins. - Bishop Paulo Mendes Peixoto of Sao Jose do Rio Preto. - Bishop Osvaldo Giuntini of Marilia. - Archbishop MaurĂ­cio Grotto de Camargo of Botucatu. On Saturday 21 November he received in audience Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.AL:AP/.../... VIS 091123 (90)



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 Catholic Bishops of England and Wales have set up a commission to help as many as 200 Anglican congregations join the Catholic Church under the new Apostolic Constitution.
John Broadhurst, the Anglican Bishop of Fulham and chairman of the Anglo-Catholic group Forward in Faith, said mass conversion was a real prospect, the Daily Mail reports.
“We have a thousand priest members in my organization and there are many others who agree with us,” Bishop Broadhurst said. “The main issue for many Anglican priests is now the ownership of parish churches.”
The commission may consider the possibility of church sharing or making 100-year leases of some Anglican buildings.
Apparently in response to news of Pope Benedict XVI’s provision for Anglicans who want to become Catholic, one Anglo-Catholic parish has been vandalized and its vicar has received a threatening phone call.
Fr. David Waller of St. Saviour’s Church in Walthamstow in North East London discovered the church sign defaced with the words “C of E No Pope” painted in white.
According to the Telegraph blogger Damien Thompson, the priest found a message on his answering machine threatening him with physical violence.
However, the message was distorted and “sounded drunken,” the Anglican priest reported, saying he didn’t want to “make too much of it.”
The parish is part of Forward in Faith.
Fr. Waller said that the parish has not made a decision about its future, but he is encouraged by the Pope’s offer of a Personal Ordinariate for Anglicans.
“The key players in the parish, including the churchwardens, are completely disillusioned with the Church of England and see the Ordinariate as the solution,” the priest told Thompson. “I can’t speak for all the silent folk in the pews, but a significant number of them are Eastern European Roman Catholics, so I don’t think it would be a problem for them.”(SOURCE:



UCAN reports that retired bishop of Hong Kong, Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun, has published a guide for Chinese Catholics to further explain Pope Benedict XVI's pastoral letter to them in 2007.

Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun
Five hundred copies of the 22-page booklet in Chinese will be distributed to all parishes here before the Sunday of Nov. 29. The text is also expected to be available soon on the diocese's website.
The guide highlights several main points of the papal letter and provides remarks and explanations by the 77-year-old cardinal.
The Pope's letter to Chinese Catholics was released on June 30, 2007. It deals with theological points concerning the Church in China including episcopal appointments, and provides practical guidelines for Church life and evangelization.
Cardinal Zen told UCA News that his guide, entitled "An aid for reading the Holy Father's letter to the Church in China" has been approved by the Vatican.
He said that while the guide did not have the same kind of authority as the Vatican-published compendium to the Pope's letter, released in May, it was a personal attempt to "help my brothers understand the Pope's letter accurately."
"There are still many questions the compendium has not solved," he noted.
Cardinal Zen's guide deals at length with issues regarding the government-approved and "underground" Church communities.
The guide notes that many Chinese Catholics found the Pope's letter contradictory as it asked the "underground" Catholics not to join the government-sanctioned Catholic Patriotic Association (CPA). At the same time it did not demand that "open" or government-approved bishops who are in communion with the Pope leave the CPA despite the fact that the agency interferes in local Church affairs.
"There is no contradiction" in the letter, Cardinal Zen told UCA News.
The hope is that the government-approved bishops would "strive to get away from the state agency and change the current structure eventually," he said.
According to the guide, contradiction lies in the fact that some government-approved bishops, who have been given papal approval, do not act in accordance with their legitimacy.
"How can they be in communion with the Holy See if they openly and repeatedly declare that they support the independent Church?" asked the cardinal.
The guide notes the Pope's letter says there would not be a problem with Catholics receiving official recognition by civil authorities, provided this does not involve the "denial of unrenounceable principles of faith."
However, the cardinal doubted if there is any way underground priests can obtain government recognition and still work freely without compromising these principles.
Reiterating a point made in the compendium, Cardinal Zen said that spiritual reconciliation between underground and government-approved Church communities and a structural merger of the two groups are separate issues which should not be confused.(SOURCE:



CISA reports that a UN court, the ICTR has acquitted a Catholic priest charged with genocide and crimes against humanity during the 1994 Rwandan genocide.The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) ordered the immediate release of Fr. Hormisdas Nsengimana, 55, who was a priest at a Catholic secondary school during the three months of slaughter of some 800,000 Tutsi and moderate Hutus in 1994.Judges reversed an earlier conviction, citing several serious factual and legal errors. They said they could not conclude that Fr. Nsengimana, was guilty of any of the crimes, which included killing Tutsi priests, a judge and other Tutsi victims."The Chamber did not find a sufficient factual and legal basis for concluding that Nsengimana was guilty of any of the crimes," the tribunal said.Father Nsengimana, had been imprisoned for seven years since his 2002 arrest in Cameroon. Judge Erik Mose ordered his immediate release from the UN detention facility in Arusha."I wish for peace and reconciliation in Rwanda ... I thank God for this release," Fr Nsengimana told the press after his acquittal.The tribunal, set up by the UN to try key suspects of the genocide, has now convicted 39 people and acquitted eight.Fr Nsengimana is one of the four Catholic priests indicted by the ICTR. Athanase Seromba, a former vicar in western Rwanda, is serving a life sentence. Emmanuel Rukundo, a former military chaplain, was sentenced in February to 25 years in prison. Fr Wenceslas Munyeshyaka, a former priest at the Parish of the Holy Family in Kigali, is awaiting trial.At least 500,000 ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed during Rwanda's genocide, which began after President Juvenal Habyarimana's plane was brought down in April 1994.(SOURCE:



Cath News reports that the Broken Bay Institute is partnering with the University of Newcastle to offer undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications in the study of theology, delivering a "comprehensive theological education," the body said.
BBI students will be able to study the existing Bachelor of Theology degree program or one of four new programs; for a Graduate Certificate in Theology, a Diploma in Theology, a Bachelor of Theology (Honours) or a Master of Theology, according to a media release by the institute and the university.
"This partnership provides an essential boost to theological education, which has sadly not been a recognised part of the regular higher education sector," said Professor Terry Lovat, Pro Vice-Chancellor of the Faculty of Education and Arts at the University of Newcastle.
"This is a very exciting time for BBI, as we work with the University of Newcastle in delivering through online, distance and regional face-to-face modes, the highest quality and comprehensive theological education programs in Australia," said Dr Gerard Goldman, Director/Principal of the Broken Bay Institute. (SOURCE:


St. Columban
Feast: November 23
Feast Day:
November 23
540, Leinster, Ireland
23 November 615
Major Shrine:
Abbey church at Bobbio

This great missionary abbot founded monastic centers in France, Switzerland, and Italy that became centers of evangelization and learning for the whole area. He was a monk of the monastery of Bangor in north Ireland, founded by St. Comgall, one of the notable monastic founders of Ireland.
At Bangor, sanctity and scholarship were prized, and St. Columban became a teacher in the monastic school there. He was born in Leinster, and after a youthful struggle he lived at Cluain Inis for a time. After thirty years at Bangor, he received Comgall's permission to spread the Gospel on the continent of Europe, and taking twelve companions with him he settled in Gaul where the devastation of the barbarian invasions had completely disrupted civil and religious life. Invited by the Merovingian King Childebert, he founded a monastic center in Burgundy at Annegray and two others at Luxeuil and Fontaines. From these three monasteries over two hundred foundations were made, and Columban composed for these monasteries two monastic rules.
With the zeal of a prophet, he attacked the immoral court life of the Merovingian kings, the lax local clergy, and introduced to the continent the Irish penitential system, which became the basis for private confession. Reproving a local king for his immoral life, Columban was expelled from Burgundy, traversed France and Germany, leaving disciples behind to found monasteries, and crossed the Alps to found his most famous monastery at Bobbio in Italy.
He was a firm opponent of Arianism, wrote letters to popes on the religious issues of the day, and left a legacy of writings that deeply influenced the monasticism that came after him.
He impressed his contemporaries as a giant of a man in mind and spirit, who revived religion on the continent and prepared the way for the Carolingian renaissance. He died at Bobbio on November 23, 615, and is buried in the crypt of St. Columban's Church there.
The St. Columban's Missionary Society took its name from him, recognizing in him a missionary genius with a uniquely Irish spirit.

St. Clement I
Feast: November 23
Feast Day:
November 23
Rome, Italy
Patron of:
boatmen, marble workers, mariners, sailors, sick children, stonecutters, watermen

According to Tertullian, writing c. 199, the Roman Church claimed that Clement was ordained by St. Peter (De Praescript., xxxii), and St. Jerome tells us that in his time "most of the Latins" held that Clement was the immediate successor of the Apostle (De viris illustr., xv). St. Jerome himself in several other places follows this opinion, but here he correctly states that Clement was the fourth pope. The early evidence shows great variety. The most ancient list of popes is one made by Hegesippus in the time of Pope Anicetus, c. 160 (Harnack ascribes it to an unknown author under Soter, c. 170), cited by St. Epiphanius (Haer., xxvii, 6). It seems to have been used by St. Irenaeus (Haer., III, iii), by Julius Africanus, who composed a chronography in 222, by the third—or fourth-century author of a Latin poem against Marcion, and by Hippolytus, who see chronology extends to 234 and is probably found in the "Liberian Catalogue" of 354. That catalogue was itself adopted in the " Liber Pontificalis ". Eusebius in his chronicle and history used Africanus; in the latter he slightly corrected the dates. St. Jerome's chronicle is a translation of Eusebius's, and is our principal means for restoring the lost Greek of the latter; the Armenian version and Coptic epitomes of it are not to be depended on. The varieties of order are as follows: Linus, Cletus, Clemens (Hegesippus, ap. Epiphanium, Canon of Mass). Linus, Anencletus, Clemens (Irenaeus, Africanus ap. Eusebium). Linus, Anacletus, Clemens (Jerome). Linus, Cletus, Anacletus, Clemens (Poem against Marcion), Linus, Clemens, Cletus, Anacletus [Hippolytus (?), "Liberian Catal."—"Liber. Pont."]. Linus, Clemens, Anacletus (Optatus, Augustine).
At the present time no critic doubts that Cletus, Anacletus, Anencletus, are the same person. Anacletus is a Latin error; Cletus is a shortened (and more Christian) form of Anencletus. Lightfoot thought that the transposition of Clement in the "Liberian Catalogue" was a mere accident, like the similar error "Anicetus, Pius" for "Pius Anicetus", further on in the same list. But it may have been a deliberate alteration by Hippolytus, on the ground of the tradition mentioned by Tertullian. St. Irenaeus (III, iii) tells us that Clement "saw the blessed Apostles and conversed with them, and had yet ringing in his ears the preaching of the Apostles and had their tradition before his eyes, and not he only for many were then surviving who had been taught y the Apostles ". Similarly Epiphanius tells us (from Hegesippus) that Clement was a contemporary of Peter and Paul. Now Linus and Cletus had each twelve years attributed to them in the list. If Hippolytus found Cletus doubled by an error.(Cletus XII, Anacletus XII), the accession of Clement would appear to be thirty-six years after the death of the Apostles. As this would make it almost impossible for Clement to have been their contemporary, it may have caused Hippolytus to shift him to an earlier position. Further, St. Epiphanius says (loc. cit. ): " Whether he received episcopal ordination from Peter in the life-time of the Apostles, and declined the office, for he says in one of his epistles 'I retire, I depart, let the people of God be in peace', (for we have found this set down in certain Memoirs), or whether he was appointed by the Bishop Cletus after he had succeeded the Apostles, we do not clearly know." The "Memoirs" were certainly those of Hegesippus. It seems unlikely that he is appealed to only for the quotation from the Epistle, c. liv; probably Epiphanius means that Hegesippus stated that Clement had been ordained by Peter and declined to be bishop, but twenty-four years later really exercised the office for nine years. Epiphanius could not reconcile these two facts; Hippolytus seems to have rejected the latter.(SOURCE;


Luke 21: 1 - 4
He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury;
and he saw a poor widow put in two copper coins.
And he said, "Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them;
for they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all the living that she had."

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