Sunday, November 22, 2009



Pope Benedict on Sunday said the cross is the paradoxical sign of kingship of Christ. Speaking before reciting the Angelus in St. Peters Square, the Holy Father said the regal power of Christ is not that of the kings of this world, it is the divine power to give eternal life to free us from evil, and to defeat the dominion of death.The Solemnity of Christ the King concludes the Liturgical year. The Pope said Christs power of love can soften a hardened heart, bring peace to the most bitter conflict, and turn people to hope in the greatest darkness.The Pope said that it is a power that can not impose anything, and always respects our freedom.A (SOURCE:



Catholic Herald reports that Traditionalist Anglicans have failed to secure concessions over women bishops to help them to stay in the Church of England, which may lead them to entering into full communion with Rome.The General Synod’s revision committee did not approve an alternative structure which would safeguard those members of the Church of England who could not in good conscience accept women bishops. The move has prompted speculation that some traditionalists who had counted on staying in the Church of England might now consider the Personal Ordinariates offered by the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum coetibus. Anglo-Catholics have been waiting to see what sort of a solution to women bishops the Church of England would offer. At a meeting of Forward in Faith, a conservative group opposed to female clergy, to discuss Pope Benedict XVI’s proposals, a number of traditionally minded Anglicans said they would wait to see what the Church of England offered at its General Synod meeting this coming February before making a decision to stay or go. Entrusted with finding a solution for Anglican traditionalists after last February’s General Synod, the revision committee announced that proposals to have parishes served exclusively by male bishops had been defeated. Last month, the committee’s proposal to appoint male bishops for the care of traditionalists were criticised from those who argued that this might curtail the powers of women bishops. While some insiders believe the decision will only delay the process further, one senior traditionalist told the Sunday Telegraph that the move was “a great piece of wickedness”.Fr David Houlding, a member of the Archbishops’ Council, said: “The committee knew what was needed and have refused to provide something that will hold the church together.“This forces people out of the church who otherwise would have stayed. We didn’t want to go to Rome, but now have been left with no choice.” He also claimed that the move would destroy the “character and identity of the church”.Evangelicals within the Church of England have also expressed their dismay over the revision committee’s decision. The Rev Rod Thomas, the chairman of Reform, said the Church of England had “overturned the will of Synod, created the spectre of confrontation, and risks extending the controversy for another five years”.Mr Thomas suggested that while there had been a great deal of speculation over Anglo-Catholics leaving, there was just as high a danger of large evangelical churches making the same move. He said: “There has been much speculation about Anglo-Catholics leaving the Church of England for Rome. What has been overlooked is the number of large evangelical churches which the Church of England now risks losing – not to Rome, but to independence or alternative Anglican affiliations.”Last summer, General Synod voted in favour of ordaining women bishops and for a code of practice in the place of a separate legal structure to accommodate conservatives. The General Synod voted in favour of women priests in 1992 and large numbers of Anglican traditionalists left the Church of England for Rome. Alternative structures were provided for traditionalist parishes who chose to remain in the Church of England. They are ministered to by Provincial Episcopal Visitors known as “flying bishops”.The Rt Rev Andrew Burnham of Ebbsfleet, a flying bishop, said: “I think we have to stand back from the conflict a little and remain in the desert of prayer. Anglicanorum coetibus is either a gracious gift from God, whereby Catholic unity is possible for those Anglo-catholics who have longed and prayed for unity with the Holy See or it is a distraction from the task of bringing the whole of the Church of England and the Anglican Communion safely into the ambit of Catholic Faith and Order.“If this second possibility is ruled out by the Church of England’s own actions – and that seems to be an ever stronger interpretation – then we need to accept the Holy Father’s offer, not as Plan B but as Plan A++. But, if we accept the offer, we need to be careful not to damage our brothers and sisters in Christ in the Church of England and the mission of Reformed Christians in this country – a mission which God also enables and inspires. And we must make the journey in humble faith and trust.”While Anglicanorum coetibus has been widely welcomed by Anglo-Catholics, some prominent Catholics have criticised it. (SOURCE:



Asia News reports that the year long celebrations concluded today. Cardinals and bishops from the Philippines, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Macao present. For the pope, the memory of the past serves to encourage evangelization in the present.
Taipei (AsiaNews) - Card. Jozef Tomko, former prefect of Propaganda Fide, is the papal legate to attend the closing ceremony of the celebrations of 150 years of evangelization in Taiwan. This afternoon he presided over a Mass at Lin Kou National Stadium in the capital. At least 15 thousand faithful from all the dioceses in Taiwan are attended.
In addition to the bishops of Taiwan, the ceremony was also attended by several bishops and cardinals from East Asia: Card. Joseph Zen of Hong Kong;. Card. Rosalie Manila Gaudencio; Card. Jean-Baptiste Pham Minh Man of Ho Chi Minh City, Mgr. Jose Lai Hung-seng of Macau and Mgr. Nguyen Pham Kam, auxiliary bishop of Ho Chi Minh City. The program was broadcast live over the Internet. In addition to mass there will be a ceremony of "testimony and thanksgiving" with the narrative of some experiences of mission as well as awards.
The anniversary commemorates the evangelization that begun 150 years ago, in January 1859 with the Dominican fathers. In the mandate to card. Tomko, Benedict XVI said that the celebrations are a point of arrival and departure, that we need to remember the past but also to motivate the faithful to greater faith and mission among their neighbors.
During the year, which coincided in part with the Pauline Year, the bishops and the communities have organized activities, training programs and religious gatherings. On 19 January 2009, the bishops also issued a pastoral letter titled "Celebrating 150 years of evangelization, to imitate St. Paul in the mission of evangelization in every place."
According to the Statistical Yearbook of the Church, out of a population of almost 23 million, in Taiwan there are 299 thousand Catholics, divided into 8 dioceses. The church is distinguished for its contributions in education, pastoral care and assistance to children and the elderly. (SOURCE:



Cath News reports that Tony Windsor, the Federal MP for New England, wants Prime Minister Kevin Rudd to clamp down on the number of religious, not-for-profit and charitable organisations not paying tax in Australia.
Mr Windsor said a parliamentary inquiry is needed to investigate the tax status of these entities, ABC reports. He claimed that some 200,000 organisations are claiming tax exemptions as a charity, with many not entitled to do so.
"There's certain other areas where there's non-profit groups that are making profits partly from government subsidies and other things," he said.



CNA reports that ImmaculĂ©e Ilibagiza, survivor of the Rwanda genocide in 1994 addressed participants at the Diocese of Worcester's women's conference held last Saturday. The theme of the sold-out conference was, “The Triumph of Forgiveness – Sharing Stories of Compassion” and featured Ilbagiza as well as a woman whose husband and child were killed in a car wreck.
Forgiving freed keynote speaker Paula D’Arcy, who told of finding God’s love through the drunken driver she thought took love from her.
In 1975 she was happily married with a daughter almost two and a second on the way, she said. Then the accident killed her husband and toddler, sparing her life and that of her unborn child.
“I would ask God, ‘Why do you hate me?’” she said. “Nothing mattered… Not my education…success…” She had spent her life making small issues a matter of life and death, and now she faced life and death, she said. Now she felt God telling her to want him most, and she said a small “yes.”
In a conversation with Protestant minister Norman Vincent Peale she told him she lost life’s purpose when her family died.
“That was the purpose you wanted, but life has a different purpose and your challenge is to find it,” he responded. “What you’re looking for, you already have.”
She quoted a friend, Father Richard Rohr, who said, “No change begins with ‘no’” and “Pain that is not transformed will be transmitted.”
She took to heart the words of these counselors.
She prayed for the drunken driver, feeling nothing. She decided not to speak or think negatively about him, and eventually felt neutral. Then she met him.
“Something shifted,” she said. “I felt as if I had been suddenly overtaken by love … I was looking at something I was.”
She had to confront her sense of rightness, and surrender to God, and life as it was handed to her, because God was in that life, she said.
In court the driver lied, and, when asked about her suffering, replied, “Everybody’s got problems.” But as long as she looked at him, she felt God’s love revealed.
“What we open to today is what we’re opening to in life,” she said.
Ms. Ilibagiza, a Tutsi, said it is a joy to share lessons of the genocide Hutus inflicted on her tribe, so good can come from bad.
The Blessed Mother had appeared in Rwanda, saying something horrible would happen if people did not return to God, and they could prevent it by praying the rosary, but they didn’t listen, she said.
Ms. Ilibagiza said people were praying for the Rwandan president to die, rather than believing God could change him. When he died, the genocide began.
She hid with others in a bathroom as neighbors with weapons searched the house.
“They will kill you,” a voice in her head said.
“Ask God to help you,” said another voice. “He can do anything.”
Ms. Ilibagiza said she almost lost her faith, and begged God for a sign: Don’t let the killers find the bathroom door. They searched the house thoroughly, giving up just before entering the bathroom.
She read the Bible, prayed the rosary, pondered eternity and asked God to show her how to forgive the killers, she said. She realized that, like Jesus’ executioners, those killing in her country didn’t know what they were doing.
Emerging from hiding, she learned that her family members had been among one million people killed in three months, she said.
“I’m so sure there’s heaven,” she says now. God is there. If he doesn’t give you what you want, he gives you something better.
She wrote her story, “Left to Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust.” She said if she can forgive, anyone can, and urged: If forced to choose between being kind and being right, be kind.
Following her story she distributed gifts – her books, CD, a rosary – as women in the audience raised their hands to be chosen.
Alemattu Bility, from Guinea and Liberia, was given an “Our Lady of Kibeho” CD.
“I came from civil war too,” in Liberia, but didn’t lose all family members, the Rhode Island resident said. She said she cried when she heard Ms. Ilibagiza was coming here.“It just felt good to be in her presence,” she said, expressing gratitude that she inspires others to forgive, something she doesn’t know if she’s yet achieved.



CNS reports that Church-run reconciliation workshops in Zimbabwe that include lessons in political participation are drawing large crowds, say church officials in the southern African country. "It is very exciting; the fear in people is slowly going away and they want to participate in forming a new order," Father Edward Ndete, parliamentary liaison officer for the Zimbabwe bishops' conference, told Catholic News Service in an Oct. 30 telephone interview from the capital, Harare. Most Zimbabweans want a rift in the country's coalition government to be fixed, Father Ndete said, noting that President Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF party is "very afraid" of losing power. While the lives of ordinary Zimbabweans "have changed enormously for the better" since the government was formed by longtime rivals Mugabe and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai in February, "it is in Zanu-PF's interest for the unity government to fail because it doesn't like to share power," he said. Tsvangirai, the prime minister, withdrew from Cabinet meetings in mid-October to protest a crackdown on his supporters and a deadlock over key appointments. "People are fearful of losing the donor funding that has been trickling in since the unity government was set up" in the poverty-stricken country, said Joseph Buchena Nkatazo, Bulawayo coordinator of the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace in Zimbabwe, in an Oct. 30 telephone interview.Part of the reason for the huge turnout at church meetings around the country is to show support for the church after the bishops' Oct. 1 pastoral letter on national healing and reconciliation, Father Ndete said. In the letter, the bishops said the truth about the country's violence needs to be told for the "cycle of violence, humiliation, oppression and exploitation" in Zimbabwe to stop. They said "victims need to tell their stories in a free and supportive environment" and perpetrators "need to take responsibility for their sins." Several priests were "called for questioning" by police and asked to explain what the letter was about, Father Ndete said, noting that "wherever we go we are told by authorities, 'You people (Catholics) are a problem.'" More than 2,000 people attended an Oct. 24 meeting in Chegutu, Zimbabwe, hosted by the local justice and peace commission, Father Ndete said. "Vibrant discussions about human rights, how to put one's ideas forward about the constitution" and other matters "went on until I said Mass to conclude the meeting at 4 a.m." the next day, he said. Father Ndete is coordinating the church's participation in the constitution-making process. Zimbabwe is to draft a constitution that will go before voters for approval in a referendum in 2010, clearing the way for new government elections. At another justice and peace commission-run meeting in late October, in the town of Nyabira, the 600 participants had "mixed feelings" about the church's work in Zimbabwe, Father Ndete said, noting that "so many people were tortured and they felt they were not protected by the church." Brutal state-sponsored violence targeting the opposition after disputed March 2008 elections left more than 80 people dead and 200,000 displaced, human rights groups said. Nkatazo said the workshops, which combine themes of healing and reconciliation with how to report abductions, as well as how to participate in the formation of the constitution, are also "very popular" in the Bulawayo Archdiocese. "One topic opens the door for the next, and people show a lot of interest in taking part," he said. Nkatazo said Zimbabwe "has not seen the movement on drawing up the constitution that we hoped for," noting that "airwaves and newspapers" are still state-controlled and the state media encourage "hate language toward any opposition to Zanu-PF." This "does not augur well for national healing," he said. (SOURCE:


St. Cecilia
Feast: November 22
Feast Day:
November 22
Major Shrine:
Santa Cecilia in Trastevere, Rome, Italy
Patron of:
Church music,great musicians, poets

The name of St. Cecilia has always been most illustrious in the church, and ever since the primitive ages is mentioned with distinction in the canon of the mass, and in the sacramentaries and calendars of the church. Her spouse Valerian, Tiburtius, and Maximus, an officer, who were her companions in martyrdom, are also mentioned in the same authentic and venerable writings. St. Cecilia was a native of Rome, of a good family, and educated in the principles and perfect practice of the Christian religion. In her youth she by vow consecrated her virginity to God, yet was compelled by her parents to marry a nobleman named Valerian. Him she converted to the faith, and soon after gained to the same his brother Tiburtius. The men first suffered martyrdom, being beheaded for the faith. St. Cecilia finished her glorious triumph some days after them. Their acts, which are of very small authority, make them contemporary with Pope Urban I, and consequently place their martyrdom about the year 230, under Alexander Severus; others, however, place the triumph of these martyrs under Marcus Aurelius, between the years 176 and 180. Their sacred bodies were deposited in part of the cemetery of Calixtus, which part, from our saint, was called St. Cecilia's cemetery. Mention is made of an ancient Church of St. Cecilia in Rome in the fifth century, in which Pope Symmachus held a council in the year 500. This church being fallen to decay, Pope Paschal I began to rebuild it; but was in some pain how he should find the body of the saint, for it was thought that the Lombards had taken it away, as they had many others from the cemeteries of Rome, when they besieged that city under King Astulphus in 755. One Sunday, as this pope was assisting at matins as was his wont, at St. Peter's, he fell into a slumber, in which he was advertised by St. Cecilia herself that the Lombards had in vain sought for her body, and that he should find it; and he accordingly discovered it in the cemetery called by her name, clothed in a robe of gold tissue, with linen cloths at her feet, dipped in her blood. With her body was found that of Valerian, her husband; and the pope caused them to be translated to her church in the city; as also the bodies of Tiburtius and Maximus, martyrs, and of the popes Urban and Lucius, which lay in the adjoining cemetery of Praetextatus, on the same Appian road. This translation was made in 821. Pope Paschal founded a monastery in honour of these saints, near the Church of St. Cecilia, that the monks might perform the office day and night. He adorned that church with great magnificence, and gave to it silver plate to the amount of about nine hundred pounds—among other things a ciborium, or tabernacle, of five hundred pounds weight; and a great many pieces of rich stuffs for veils and such kinds of ornaments; in one of which was represented the angel crowning St. Cecilia, Valerian, and Tiburtius. This church, which gives title to a cardinal priest, was sumptuously rebuilt in 1599 by Cardinal Paul Emilius Sfondrati, nephew to Pope Gregory XIV, when Clement VIII caused the bodies of these saints to be removed under the high altar, and deposited in a most sumptuous vault in the same church called the Confession of St. Cecilia; it was enriched in such a manner by Cardinal Paul Emilius Sfondrati as to dazzle the eye and astonish the spectator. This church of St. Cecilia is called In Trastevere, or Beyond the Tiber, to distinguish it from two other churches in Rome which bear the name of this saint.
St. Cecilia, from her assiduity in singing the divine praises (in which, according to her Acts, she often joined instrumental music with vocal), is regarded as patroness of church music. The psalms, and many sacred canticles in many other parts of the holy scripture, and the universal practice both of the ancient Jewish and of the Christian church, recommend the religious custom of sometimes employing a decent and grave music in sounding forth the divine praises. By this homage of praise we join the heavenly spirits in their uninterrupted songs of adoration, love, and praise. And by such music we express the spiritual joy of our hearts in this heavenly function, and excite ourselves therein to holy jubilation and devotion. Divine love and praise are the work of the heart, without which all words or exterior signs are hypocrisy and mockery. Yet as we are bound to consecrate to God our voices and all our organs and faculties, and all creatures which we use, so we ought to employ them all in magnifying his sanctity, greatness, and glory, and sometimes to accompany our interior affections of devotion with the most expressive exterior signs. St. Chrysostom elegantly extols the good effects of sacred music, and shows how strongly the fire of divine love is kindled in the soul by devout psalmody. St. Austin teaches that "it is useful in moving piously the mind and kindling the affections of divine love." St. Charles Borromeo in his youth allowed himself no other amusement but that of grave music, with a view to that of the church. As to music as an amusement, too much time must never be given to it; and extreme care ought to be taken, as a judicious and experienced tutor observes, that children be not set to learn it very young, because it is a thing which bewitches the senses, dissipates the mind exceedingly, and alienates it from serious studies, as daily experience shows. Soft and effeminate music is to be always shunned with abhorrence, as the corrupter of the heart and the poison of virtue.


Daniel 7: 13 - 14
As the visions during the night continued, I saw One like a son of man coming, on the clouds of heaven; When he reached the Ancient One and was presented before him,
He received dominion, glory, and kingship; nations and peoples of every language serve him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that shall not be taken away, his kingship shall not be destroyed.

Psalms 93: 1 - 2, 5
The LORD reigns; he is robed in majesty; the LORD is robed, he is girded with strength. Yea, the world is established; it shall never be moved;
thy throne is established from of old; thou art from everlasting.
Thy decrees are very sure; holiness befits thy house, O LORD, for evermore.

Revelation 1: 5 - 8
and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the first-born of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood
and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, every one who pierced him; and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even so. Amen.
"I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.


John 18: 33 - 37
Pilate entered the praetorium again and called Jesus, and said to him, "Are you the King of the Jews?"
Jesus answered, "Do you say this of your own accord, or did others say it to you about me?"
Pilate answered, "Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have handed you over to me; what have you done?"
Jesus answered, "My kingship is not of this world; if my kingship were of this world, my servants would fight, that I might not be handed over to the Jews; but my kingship is not from the world."
Pilate said to him, "So you are a king?" Jesus answered, "You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth. Every one who is of the truth hears my voice."

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