Tuesday, December 15, 2009






(VIS) - Today in the Holy See Press Office Cardinal Renato Martino, president emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, and Bishop Mario Toso S.D.B., secretary of the same dicastery, presented the Pope's Message for the forty-third World Day of Peace, which is due to be celebrated on 1 January 2010. The Message has as its theme: "If You Want To Cultivate Peace, Protect Creation". In his remarks the cardinal recalled how, in previous Messages, Benedict XVI had spoken of peace as "a gift of God in Truth" (2006), as "the fruit of respect for the human person" (2007), as "an expression of the communion of the human family" and as "a call to eliminate all forms of poverty, material and immaterial" (2009). Thus, he went on, "following this ideal 'itinerary of peace', the Pope comes to the context in which humanity receives its vocation to peace: the creation". In his Message this year the Pope presents "a cosmic vision of peace" a peace which "comes about in a state of harmony between God, humankind and the creation. In this perspective, environmental degradation is an expression not only of a break in the harmony between humankind and the creation, but of a profound deterioration in the unity between humankind and God", said the cardinal. The Holy Father highlights the "urgent need for action", although he "does not propose technical solutions and does not seek to interfere in the policy of governments. Rather, he recalls the Church's commitment to defending the earth" and enumerates a series of "perspectives for the shared progress of humankind". This series includes "a non-reductive vision of the nature of human beings", a call to collective responsibility, and "a profound revision of development models". Cardinal Martino also explained how the text of the papal Message calls for a coherent approach to "the universal destination of the goods of creation" and underlines "the need for renewed solidarity, extended over space and time, between generations" and "between developed and developing countries, while at the same time avoiding partial viewpoints that tend to exaggerate certain responsibilities more than others". Finally, the cardinal noted, the Pope calls "for a balanced use of energy resources". Benedict XVI concludes his message with an "expression of hope in the intelligence and dignity of man" tracing "a path of profound harmony, both interior and exterior, between the Creator, humankind and the creation", said Cardinal Martino. In conclusion, the president emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace noted the Pope's deliberate decision to dedicate his Message this year to the theme of ecology, as it coincides with the thirtieth anniversary of the proclamation of St. Francis of Assisi, author of the 'Laudes Creaturarum', as patron saint of the environment. "Love for the creation, if projected onto a spiritual horizon, can lead mankind to brotherhood with his fellows and to union with God", he said.OP/MESSAGE PEACE/MARTINO VIS 091215 (500)

MESSAGE FOR WORLD DAY OF PEACE VATICAN CITY, 15 DEC 2009 (VIS) - The Message of Pope Benedict XVI for the celebration of the forty-third World Day of Peace was made public today. the Day is due to be celebrated on 1 January 2010 and has as its theme: "If You Want To Cultivate Peace, Protect Creation". Extracts from the English-language translation of the Message are given below: Man's inhumanity to man has given rise to numerous threats to peace and to authentic and integral human development - wars, international and regional conflicts, acts of terrorism, and violations of human rights. Yet no less troubling are the threats arising from the neglect - if not downright misuse - of the earth and the natural goods that God has given us. For this reason, it is imperative that mankind renew and strengthen "that covenant between human beings and the environment, which should mirror the creative love of God, from whom we come and towards whom we are journeying". In 1990 John Paul II had spoken of an "ecological crisis" and ... pointed to the "urgent moral need for a new solidarity". His appeal is all the more pressing today, in the face of signs of a growing crisis which it would be irresponsible not to take seriously. Can we remain indifferent before the problems associated with such realities as climate change, desertification, the deterioration and loss of productivity in vast agricultural areas, the pollution of rivers and aquifers, the loss of biodiversity, the increase of natural catastrophes and the deforestation of equatorial and tropical regions? Can we disregard the growing phenomenon of "environmental refugees", people who are forced by the degradation of their natural habitat to forsake it - and often their possessions as well - in order to face the dangers and uncertainties of forced displacement? Can we remain impassive in the face of actual and potential conflicts involving access to natural resources? All these are issues with a profound impact on the exercise of human rights, such as the right to life, food, health and development. The ecological crisis cannot be viewed in isolation from ... the notion of development itself and our understanding of man in his relationship to others and to the rest of creation. Prudence would thus dictate a profound, long-term review of our model of development, one which would take into consideration the meaning of the economy and its goals with an eye to correcting its malfunctions and misapplications. The ecological health of the planet calls for this, but it is also demanded by the cultural and moral crisis of humanity whose symptoms have for some time been evident in every part of the world. Our present crises ... are ultimately also moral crises, and all of them are interrelated. They require us to rethink the path which we are travelling together. Specifically, they call for a lifestyle marked by sobriety and solidarity, with new rules and forms of engagement, one which focuses confidently and courageously on strategies that actually work, while decisively rejecting those that have failed. Only in this way can the current crisis become an opportunity for discernment and new strategic planning. Environmental degradation is often due to the lack of far-sighted official policies or to the pursuit of myopic economic interests, which then, tragically, become a serious threat to creation. ... When making use of natural resources, we should be concerned for their protection and consider the cost entailed - environmentally and socially - as an essential part of the overall expenses incurred. The international community and national governments are responsible for sending the right signals in order to combat effectively the misuse of the environment. To protect the environment, and to safeguard natural resources and the climate, there is a need to act in accordance with clearly-defined rules, also from the juridical and economic standpoint, while at the same time taking into due account the solidarity we owe to those living in the poorer areas of our world and to future generations. A greater sense of inter-generational solidarity is urgently needed. ... Natural resources should be used in such a way that immediate benefits do not have a negative impact on living creatures, human and not, present and future; that the protection of private property does not conflict with the universal destination of goods; that human activity does not compromise the fruitfulness of the earth, for the benefit of people now and in the future. There is an urgent moral need for a renewed sense of intra-generational solidarity, especially in relationships between developing countries and highly-industrialised countries. ... The ecological crisis shows the urgency of a solidarity which embraces time and space. It is important to acknowledge that among the causes of the present ecological crisis is the historical responsibility of the industrialised countries. Yet the less-developed countries, and emerging countries in particular, are not exempt from their own responsibilities with regard to creation, for the duty of gradually adopting effective environmental measures and policies is incumbent upon all. This would be accomplished more easily if self-interest played a lesser role in the granting of aid and the sharing of knowledge and cleaner technologies. To be sure, among the basic problems which the international community has to address is that of energy resources and the development of joint and sustainable strategies to satisfy the energy needs of the present and future generations. This means that technologically advanced societies must be prepared to encourage more sober lifestyles, while reducing their energy consumption and improving its efficiency. At the same time there is a need to encourage research into, and utilisation of, forms of energy with lower impact on the environment and "a worldwide redistribution of energy resources, so that countries lacking those resources can have access to them". A sustainable comprehensive management of the environment and the resources of the planet demands that human intelligence be directed to technological and scientific research and its practical applications. The "new solidarity" for which John Paul II called ... and the "global solidarity" for which I myself appealed in my Message for the 2009 World Day of Peace are essential attitudes in shaping our efforts to protect creation through a better internationally-coordinated management of the earth's resources, particularly today, when there is an increasingly clear link between combating environmental degradation and promoting integral human development. There is a need, in effect, to move beyond a purely consumerist mentality in order to promote forms of agricultural and industrial production capable of respecting creation and satisfying the primary needs of all. The ecological problem must be dealt with not only because of the chilling prospects of environmental degradation on the horizon; the real motivation must be the quest for authentic worldwide solidarity inspired by the values of charity, justice and the common good. It is becoming more and more evident that the issue of environmental degradation challenges us to examine our lifestyle and the prevailing models of consumption and production, which are often unsustainable from a social, environmental and even economic point of view. ... We are all responsible for the protection and care of the environment. This responsibility knows no boundaries. In accordance with the principle of subsidiarity it is important for everyone to be committed at his or her proper level, working to overcome the prevalence of particular interests. A special role in raising awareness and in formation belongs to the different groups present in civil society and to the non-governmental organisations which work with determination and generosity for the spread of ecological responsibility, responsibility which should be ever more deeply anchored in respect for "human ecology". The Church has a responsibility towards creation, and she considers it her duty to exercise that responsibility in public life, in order to protect earth, water and air as gifts of God the Creator meant for everyone, and above all to save mankind from the danger of self-destruction. ... Our duties towards the environment flow from our duties towards the person, considered both individually and in relation to others. Hence I readily encourage efforts to promote a greater sense of ecological responsibility which, as I indicated in my Encyclical "Caritas in Veritate", would safeguard an authentic "human ecology" and thus forcefully reaffirm the inviolability of human life at every stage and in every condition, the dignity of the person and the unique mission of the family, where one is trained in love of neighbour and respect for nature. On the other hand, a correct understanding of the relationship between man and the environment will not end by absolutising nature or by considering it more important than the human person. If the Church's Magisterium expresses grave misgivings about notions of the environment inspired by eco-centrism and bio-centrism, it is because such notions eliminate the difference of identity and worth between the human person and other living things. In the name of a supposedly egalitarian vision of the "dignity" of all living creatures, such notions end up abolishing the distinctiveness and superior role of human beings. They also open the way to a new pantheism tinged with neo-paganism, which would see the source of man's salvation in nature alone, understood in purely naturalistic terms. If you want to cultivate peace, protect creation. The quest for peace by people of good will surely would become easier if all acknowledge the indivisible relationship between God, human beings and the whole of creation. In the light of divine Revelation and in fidelity to the Church's Tradition, Christians have their own contribution to make. They contemplate the cosmos and its marvels in light of the creative work of the Father and the redemptive work of Christ, who by His death and resurrection has reconciled with God "all things, whether on earth or in heaven".MESS/WORLD PEACE DAY 2010/... VIS 091215 (1640)

MOTU PROPRIO: VARIATIONS TO THE CODE OF CANON LAW VATICAN CITY, 15 DEC 2009 (VIS) - Made public today was Benedict XVI's Motu Proprio, "Omnium in mentem". The document is dated 26 October 2009 and contains two variations to the Code of Canon Law (CIC), variations which have long been the object of study by dicasteries of the Roman Curia and by national episcopal conferences. The document published today contains five articles modifying canons 1008, 1009, 1086, 1117 and 1124. According to an explanatory note by Archbishop Francesco Coccopalmerio, president of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, these variations "concern two separate questions: adapting the text of the canons that define the ministerial function of deacons to the relative text in the Catechism of the Catholic church (1581), and suppressing a subordinate clause in three canons concerning marriage, which experience has shown to be inappropriate". The variation to the text of canon 1008 will now limit itself to affirming that "those who receive the Sacrament of Orders are destined to serve the People of God with a new and specific title", while canon 1009 "will be given an additional third paragraph in which it is specified that the minister constituted into the Order of the episcopate or the priesthood receives the mission and power to act in the person of Christ the Head, while deacons receive the faculty to serve the People of God in the diaconates of the liturgy, of the Word and of charity". Archbishop Coccopalmerio's note then goes on to explain that the other changes contained in the Motu Proprio all concern the elimination of the clause "actus formalis defectionis ab Ecclesia Catholica" contained in canons 1086 para. 1, 1117 and 1124. This clause, "following much study, was held to be unnecessary and inappropriate", he writes. "From the time the Code of Canon Law came into effect in the year 1983 until the moment of the coming into effect of this Motu Proprio, Catholics who had abandoned the Catholic Church by means of a formal act were not obliged to follow the canonical form of celebration for the validity of marriage (canon 1117), nor were they bound by the impediment concerning marriage to the non-baptised (canon 1086 para. 1), nor did they suffer the prohibition on marrying non-Catholic Christians (canon 1124). The abovementioned clause contained in these three canons represented an exception ... to another more general norm of ecclesiastical legislation according to which all those baptised in the Catholic Church or received into her are bound to observe ecclesiastical laws (canon 11). "With the coming into effect of the new Motu Proprio", Archbishop Coccopalmerio adds, "canon 11 of the Code of Canon Law reacquires its full force as concerns the contents of the canons thus modified, even in cases were there has been a formal abandonment. Hence, in order to regularise any unions that may have been made in the non-observance of these rules it will be necessary to have recourse, if possible, to the ordinary means Canon Law offers for such cases: dispensation from the impediment, sanation, etc".MP/OMNIUM IN MENTEM/COCCOPALMERIO VIS 091215 (520)

OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS VATICAN CITY, 15 DEC 2009 (VIS) - The Holy Father: - Accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the archdiocese of Pretoria, South Africa, and from the office of military ordinary for South Africa, presented by Archbishop Paul Mandla Khumalo C.M.M., in accordance with canon 401 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law. - Appointed Bishop Bernard Unabali, auxiliary of Bougainville, Papua New Guinea, as bishop of the same diocese (area 10,660, population 195,600, Catholics 158,000, priests 27, religious 86). He succeeds Bishop Henk Kronenberg S.M., whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit. - Appointed Fr. William F. Medley of the clergy of the archdiocese of Louisville, U.S.A., pastor of the parish of St. Bernadette, as bishop of Owensboro (area 32,380, population 851,697, Catholics 51,781, priests 104, permanent deacons 4, religious 213), U.S.A. The bishop-elect was born in Loretto, U.S.A. in 1952 and ordained a priest in 1982. - Accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Kimberley, South Africa, presented by Bishop Erwin Hecht O.M.I., upon having reached the age limit.RE:NER/.../... VIS 091215 (200)



The USCCB reports that the mission and the Trinitarian nature of the Church were discussed at the Fall meeting of the Faith and Order Commission of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA (NCC), at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois, October 15-17.
The Commission was hosted by the Rev. Dr. Stephen Ray, a Faith and Order commissioner and the Neal F. and Ila A. Fisher Professor of Systematic Theology at Garrett-Evangelical Seminary. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has participated in the Commission since 1968.
Commissioners heard reports on the work of the Commission and the NCC from Dr. Anton Vrame, Chair of Faith and Order’s Executive Committee; Dr. Antonios Kireopoulos, NCC senior program director for the Faith and Order Commission; and the Rev. Dr. Michael Kinnamon, general secretary of the National Council of Churches.
Dr. Kireopoulos presented the Faith and Order’s 2009 Annual Report and noted the forthcoming publication of two books of ecumenical note: The Ecumenical Movement: Anthology of Key Texts, edited by Michael Kinnamon and Kireopoulos (WCC/Eerdmans, 2010); and Theology in the United States Today: Churches on the Journey, edited by Kireopoulos (Paulist Press, 2010). ,/
Kinnamon noted in his address NCC’s success in renewing its identity as an ecclesial, conciliar reality: a communion of communions, a council of churches. He challenged sending bodies to consider whether ecumenism is integral to their self-identity or merely an appendix. He also spoke about the shape of the NCC’s upcoming 2010 General Assembly in New Orleans.
The Commission also discussed the October, 2009 meeting in Crete of the World Council of Churches’ Faith and Order Commission and possible revisions to study group methodologies for the 2012-2015 quadrennium.
The Commission conducts its work principally in the three study groups for each quadrennium. At the Evanston meeting, “Nature and Mission of the Church,” chaired by Dr. Peter Bouteneff (Orthodox Church in America) of St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary and the Rev. Sophie Mathonnet-VanderWell (Reformed Church in America) of the Second Reformed Church in Pella, Iowa, took up two tasks. The first was a discussion of study group members’ papers on “Church of the Triune God,” the first part of the document, The Nature and Mission of the Church [NMC]. The second was a discussion of a paper prepared by comissioner Brian Paulson, Pastor of First Presbyterian Church, Libertyville, Illinois, on how the study group’s North American context might shape its final quadrennial response. For the March 2010 meeting, the study group will prepare discussion papers on “The Church in History,” the second part of NMC.
“Unity in Mission,” chaired by Dr. Mitzi Budde of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and Virginia Theological Seminary and Dr. Don Thorsen,Wesleyan Theological Society and the Haggard School of Theology at Azusa Pacific University, discussed eight papers of study group members. Members will present another six to eight papers in March 2010. An academic journal has agreed to publish many of these papers. The study group is planning an anthology of papers for seminarians and parish communities.
The “Justice and Salvation” group, chaired by Dr. Terry Cross, Society for Pentecostal Studies, of Lee University, and Immaculate Heart of Mary Sister Theresa Koernke, of the Catholic Washington Theological Union, continued to prepare work for study guides and other literature to help parishes and other church communities reflect on the relationship of justice and salvation. The October meeting included the fourth session of the consultation, “Ecumenism from the Margins: Christian Unity in the Quest for Justice.” The presenters came from the faculty of Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary and included the Rev. Dr. Pamela Lightsey, Associate Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students, and Dr. Anne Joh, Associate Professor of Systematic Theology.
The Faith and Order Commission meets every March and October. Its next meeting will be on March 18-20, in New York City, where it will celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the 1910 Edinburgh World Missionary Conference, which marks the beginning of the modern ecumenical movement.
The members of the USCCB delegation present in Evanston were: Dr. Christopher Ruddy of The Catholic University of America, and USCCB field representative; Holy Cross Father John Ford of The Catholic University of America; and Dr. Barbara Sain of Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin



Catholic Herald reports that more than 30 primary school children held a candlelight vigil on Thursday December 3 for people in developing nations affected by climate change.The vigil near the Houses of Parliament aimed to raise awareness that climate change is happening already in some of the poorest countries, endangering people’s lives and ways of life. Zak Rodrigues, 10, who attended the vigil and is chairman of the school council, said: “It’s so important for us to remember climate change is happening. Families like yours can’t keep going. They are having more storms, more floods, more hot weather and it is making life very hard.“I have a picture of a man from Kenya: he’s a nomad but his cows are dying because of no water. What is he supposed to do? We have come to Parliament today because we want the Prime Minister to know about these people and do everything he can to prevent climate change.”The vigil by pupils, aged between 8 and 10, of Notre Dame Primary School in Plumstead, London, was organised by Cafod in the run-up to the Wave march on Saturday December 5 through the capital. The protest march hoped to put pressure on the British Government and others to make a fair and binding agreement at UN climate change talks in Copenhagen next week.Lucy Hurn, Cafod climate campaigner, said: “It’s amazing that children care so much about what’s happening to people in other parts of the world. Climate change will affect all of us everywhere, but it hits the poorest first.” (SOURCE:



CISA reports that Dominican Catholic priest, Fr. David Adiletta is the new Chairman of the Religious Superiors Conference of Kenya (RSCK).
RSCK was founded in the country over thirty years ago and is currently grouping together 65 religious men congregations.The new Chairman has taken over from Fr. Patrick Devine of the Society of Missionaries for Africa (SMA), who had served the mandatory two year term of four years each.
Fr. Adiletta, who is currently the regional superior for his congregation for Eastern African Region, was elected to the post at the RSCK annual general meeting, held at Dimesse Sisters Conference Centre at Karen in Nairobi at the end of November
Also elected as members of the RSCK executive committee were: Fr. Cellana Franco-Consolata; Fr. James Wanjau of Camillian; Brother Leonard Akuir Agunda of Brothers of Our Lady of Perpetual Help and Rev. Fr. Ricardo Gomez, Guadalupe.
Speaking at the occasion, Bishop David Kamau, Auxiliary Bishop for the metropolitan archdiocese of Nairobi said the outgoing Chairman, Fr Devine had made major contributions to establishing a closer collaboration and cooperation between RSCK and Kenya Episcopal Conference (KEC).
He also observed that the Catholic priest had made substantial impact to the structural development of the Liaison Commission for Clergy and Religious and its impact on current issues.In his acceptance speech, the newly elected Chairman, Fr. Adiletta said the outgoing Chairman was instrumental in purchasing the RSCK office in order to facilitate meeting and implementing the policies of the group.He assured RSCK of his readiness to serve.(SOURCE;



UCAN reports that the disaster management team of Legazpi diocese's social action center has swung into action in support of a government-ordered evacuation of the area around the Philippines' most active volcano.

Mayon, one of the most activevolcanoes in the Philippines
The government has evacuated more than 11,000 people living within six to eight kilometers from Mayon Volcano in Albay province which had begun to shoot plumes of ash and ooze lava.
Social action director Father Ramoncito Segubiense told UCA News that the diocese did not have the expertise to handle the evacuation but was ready to help care for the evacuees.
"We take charge of collecting, packing and distributing relief goods," Father Segubiense told UCA News from Legazpi City, the provincial capital.
The priest's disaster management team supervises volunteers dispatched to affected communities. It is ready to work with partners among NGOs and has begun contacting parishes and other community partners to assess the needs of people living near the volcano.
Father Segubiense said people affected are mostly farmers and farm workers who have been sent to designated evacuation centers, mostly public schools.
The regional Office of Civil Defense (OCD) raised the alert to level three -- two below eruption -- around Mayon and aims to evacuate about 47,000 people in the three days from Dec. 14 due to increased volcano activity, regional director Rafael Alejandro said.
Mayon last erupted in 2006. Its most violent eruption, in 1814, killed more than 1,200 people and buried a town in mud, while an eruption in 1993 killed 79 people.(SOURCE:


Cath News reports that Toowoomba's Bishop William Morris said the situation surrounding the sex abuse case at one of the Catholic primary schools in his diocese shows that stricter protocols are needed.
"I believed our systems, our protocols, were strong and what we have in place protects our children," Bishop Morris, who co-chairs the Catholic Church's National Committee for Professional Standards, reportedly told The Australian.
"But after this case we will have to look at how our procedures across Australia can be tightened so that this doesn't happen again."
Already, the Queensland Government, police and even the magistrate who heard the case against the principal are looking at toughening five year old laws mandating the reporting to police of suspicions of child abuse.
In the Toowoomba case, magistrate Haydn Stjernqvist acquitted the principal, but said that "a person in the school or the school's governing body" has clearly committed an offence. (SOURCE:


St. Mary di Rosa
Feast: December 15
Feast Day:
December 15
November 6, 1813, Brescia, Italy
1855, Brescia, Italy
12 June 1954 by Pope Pius XII

Foundress of the Handmaids of Charity of Brescia, also called the Servants of Charity. Born into a wealthy family in Brescia, Italy, on November 6, 1813, by age seventeen she was running her father's household and caring for the girls in her father's mill and estate. In the cholera epidemic of 1836, she became well-known as she directed a home for girls and begame another residence for deaf and mute young ladies. In 1840, she became superior of a community that evolved into her congregation. The women of the Servants of Charity ministered to the wounded on the battlefields of northern Italy and in hospitals. Maria died at Brescia on December 15. She was canonized in 1954. (SOURCE:


Matthew 21: 28 - 32
"What do you think? A man had two sons; and he went to the first and said, `Son, go and work in the vineyard today.'
And he answered, `I will not'; but afterward he repented and went.
And he went to the second and said the same; and he answered, `I go, sir,' but did not go.
Which of the two did the will of his father?" They said, "The first." Jesus said to them, "Truly, I say to you, the tax collectors and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you.
For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the harlots believed him; and even when you saw it, you did not afterward repent and believe him.

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