Wednesday, December 30, 2009





(VIS) - The Pope focused his catechesis during today's general audience, the last of 2009, on the theologian Peter Lombard, author of the "Book of Sentences" which was used as a standard text by schools of theology for many centuries. Lombard, the son of a poor family, studied in Bologna, Reims and Paris where, in 1140, he became a professor at the prestigious school of Notre-Dame. In 1159, almost at the end of his life, he was appointed archbishop of Paris. The Pope explained how this theologian's particular merit was that of having drawn not only on biblical texts but also on those of the great Church Fathers and of other important Christian thinkers, arranging them into "a systematic and harmonious framework. "In fact", he added, "one of the characteristics of theology is that of organising the heritage of faith in a unitary and well-ordered fashion" so that "the individual truths of faith may illuminate one another" and thus "reveal the harmony of the plan of salvation of God and the centrality of the mystery of Christ". Benedict XVI continued his remarks by inviting theologians and priests "always to bear in mind the entire vision of Christian doctrine, so as to guard against the modern-day risks of fragmentation and undervaluation of individual truths. The Catechism of the Catholic Church, and the Compendium of the Catechism, supply us with precisely this complete picture of Christian revelation", he said. In the same vein, he encouraged "each member of the faithful and Christian communities to draw profit from these instruments in order to gain a deeper knowledge of the contents of our faith". Another fundamental aspect of Peter Lombard's work is his view of "the essence of the Sacraments" as being "the cause of grace and having the true capacity to communicate divine life. Later theologians never abandoned this view and utilised the distinction between material and formal elements introduced by the 'Master of the Sentences', as Peter Lombard was called", said the Holy Father. And he explained: "The material element is visible sensory reality. The formal element are the words pronounced by the minister. Both are essential for a complete and valid celebration of the Sacraments". "It is important to recognise how precious and how indispensable sacramental life is for each Christian", said the Holy Father. "In this Year for Priests, I exhort the clergy, especially those who minister to souls, to cultivate an intense sacramental life of their own in order to be able to help the faithful". Pope Benedict expressed the hope that "the celebration of the Sacraments may be dignified and decorous, that it may favour personal prayer and community participation, the sense of the presence of God and missionary zeal. "The Sacraments", he added in conclusion, "are the great treasure of the Church and it is up to each of us to celebrate them that they may bring forth spiritual fruit. In them, an ever new and surprising event touches our lives: Christ, through visible signs, comes to meet us, He purifies us, transforms us and allows us to participate in His divine friendship". At the end of the audience, the Holy Father wished people a happy New Year, expressing the hope that the friendship of Jesus Christ may be a daily "light and guide" for everyone.AG/PETER LOMBARD/... VIS 091230 (570)

BENEDICT XVI'S PRAYER INTENTIONS FOR JANUARY VATICAN CITY, 30 DEC 2009 (VIS) - Pope Benedict XVI's general prayer intention for January 2010 is: "That young people may learn to use modern means of social communication for their personal growth and to better prepare themselves to serve society". His mission intention is: "That every believer in Christ may be conscious that unity among all Christians is a condition for more effective proclamation of the Gospel".BXVI-PRAYER INTENTIONS/JANUARY/... VIS 091230 (80)

DEATH OF CARDINAL SHIRAYANAGI VATICAN CITY, 30 DEC 2009 (VIS) - Cardinal Peter Seiichi Shirayanagi, archbishop emeritus of Tokyo, died in Japan early this morning at the age of 81. His funeral is due to take place on 5 January 2010..../DEATH/SHIRAYANAGI VIS 091230 (50)

OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS VATICAN CITY, 30 DEC 2009 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed: - Archbishop Alberto Taveira Correa of Palmas, Brazil, as metropolitan archbishop of Belem do Para (area 2,082, population 2,043,537, Catholics 1,491,782, priests 144, permanent deacons 50, religious 512), Brazil. - Bishop Pedro Luiz Stringhini, auxiliary of Sao Paulo, Brazil, as bishop of Franca (area 6,721, population 800,000, Catholics 631,000, priests 71, permanent deacons 16, religious 94), Brazil. - Bishop Vicente Costa of Umuarama, Brazil, as bishop of Jundiai (area 2,299, population 1,102,000, Catholics 936,000, priests 107, permanent deacons 87, religious 233), Brazil. - Fr. Waldemar Passini Dalbello of the clergy of the archdiocese of Brasilia, Brazil, rector of the inter-diocesan seminary of Goiania, Brazil, as auxiliary of Goiania (area 13,342, population 1,902,000, Catholics 1,147,000, priests 176, permanent deacons 2, religious 592). The bishop-elect was born in Anapolis, Brazil in 1966 and ordained a priest in 1994. - Fr. Edmar Peron of the clergy of Maringa, Brazil, rector of the archdiocesan seminary "Santissima Trindade", as auxiliary of Sao Paulo (area 1,645, population 7,346,000, Catholics 5,363,000, priests 851, permanent deacons 40, religious 2,802), Brazil. The bishop-elect was born in Maringa in 1965 and ordained a priest in 1990.NER:NEA/.../... VIS 091230 (200)


An Argentine archbishop has been sentenced to an 8-year sentence after being convicted of molesting a seminary student. Archbishop Edgardo Storni was found guilty of aggravated sexual abuse. He had led the Archdiocese of Santa Fe de la Vera Cruz from 1984 to 2002, resigning at the age of 67 after a series of charges of sexual misconduct. The archbishop—who would probably be allowed to serve his sentence under house arrest-- has denied the charges and said that he will appeal the court’s verdict.


Asia news reports that the girl was abducted from the faculty of education. In the past, attacks have occurred against Christian university students because they wear make up or they refused to wear the veil. Attacks and kidnappings are a "warning" to force the mass exodus of Christians. Some people speak of "ethnic cleansing" on a religious basis.
Mosul (AsiaNews) - A Christian girl was kidnapped by an Islamic group while at university. The girl, Sarah Edmond Youhanna, attended the first year of the faculty of education at the University of Mosul. The kidnapping occurred on 28 December. The kidnappers had telephoned the family of the girl and said they were members of an Islamic group. The police have opened an investigation and arrested some students. The event has spread an atmosphere of panic among the many Christian girls who attend the university. In the past, Islamist groups have attacked Christian college girls throwing acid on them because they were wearing makeup or not wearing the veil. Over the past two months in Mosul four churches and a convent of Dominican nuns have been targeted in attacks, several Christian and Muslim homes have been destroyed. Five Christians have been murdered, others are victims of kidnappings. According to the Christian authorities such attacks are targeted and are part of a project of "ethnic cleansing" against the Christian community throughout Iraq.
AsiaNews sources in a city confirm that all these attacks and kidnappings are a "warning" to force the mass exodus of Christians. "The families who have fled to the north, Kurdistan - has confirmed the source – have no work, nor life perspectives. The Christian community is destined to die. " (source:


The London Telegraph reports that Peter Moore only took a lucrative IT contract to work at the Iraqi Finance Ministry to pay off debts accrued during an long stint doing community work in South America. Yet within two months he had been abducted by hostage takers, which marked the start of an ordeal lasting more than two and a half years. Mr Moore, 36, is the son of Graeme Moore, now 60, a delivery driver from Wigston, Leicestershire, and Avril Sweeney, 54, from Blackburn, Lancs. His parents split when he was six months old and soon divorced. His mother remarried but that relationship also ended and she moved out when he was 12. He chose to stay and live with his stepfather, Patrick Sweeney, and later Mr Sweeney's second wife, Pauline. Despite his family circumstances he excelled at school and with the scouts, winning a Chief Scout Award aged 15 and a Queen's Scout Award five years later. He was always keen to help others, according to family friends in his home city of Lincoln. Mike Martin, former leader of Washingborough Scout Group in the city, told a local newspaper last year: "The Pete I knew had no political or religious views at all. I'm looking forward to the day when news flashes around the world that he's free." Malcolm Moore, another former scout leader, said: "He did a lot to help the youngsters and helping others has continued into his adult life." After school he went on to study computing at university, while maintaining a keen interest in off-road motorbiking. From there a love of travel, computers and helping others saw him join the Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) programme in 2004. He was posted to Guyana in South America and tasked with helping the country's Land Commission draw up accurate maps to help sort out property disputes, and to teach computer studies. He stayed until March 2007. There he gained a repution for generosity and an unflappable nature. David Thomas, 36, an engineer from Oxford who met Mr Moore in Guyana, said he also had an ingenious side. "Pete made computers out of cardboard boxes, complete with return and delete keys, to teach his students," he said. He was "direct and modest", adding of the former hostage: "There is something very solid about Pete – you feel confident when he's there. A very genuine and kind man, and great company." While in Guyana Mr Moore was only paid an allowance of £140 a month. After returning, Mr Thomas said his friend could have taken better paid work in Africa but turned it down to work in Baghdad, despite the risks, because he believed he could "help Iraq’s government to help its people".


CNN reports that twenty-two people, mainly children below the age of 5, have died of measles in Zimbabwe, the country's state media reported.
The World Health Organization (WHO) said two weeks ago it was "deeply frustrated" by the measles outbreak, which came after it sponsored a vaccination program in the African nation.
WHO's head in Zimbabwe, Dr. Custodia Mandlhate, told journalists in Harare the outbreak has totaled more than 340 suspected cases this year, and "this is not acceptable." She said the outbreak came about "mainly because of people who have denied their children vaccination."
The Herald on Tuesday reported the 22 victims had not been vaccinated, quoting health officials in the troubled country. Ninety cases have been confirmed nationwide, Zimbabwe's Health and Child Welfare Minister Henry Madzorera told the newspaper.
"This is an unwarranted loss of lives given the fact that measles is a preventable disease," he said, according to the state-owned Herald. "In Zimbabwe, outbreaks of measles were rare because of sustained high vaccination coverage among all children. It is therefore important for parents to realize that vaccinating their children protects the individual children" from the disease and its complications," he said.
The outbreak has hit five districts in Zimbabwe, Madzorera said.
It is likely to further strain Zimbabwe's health system, which last year linked nearly 5,000 deaths to a cholera epidemic. In the past three months, five people have died from cholera, but the WHO said the situation will not be as bad as last year. (SOURCE:


The Australian reports that the allegedly drug-affected driver who crashed into a pregnant woman on Christmas Day, killing her unborn child, may face a manslaughter charge -- a NSW first.
The 39-year-old female driver would be the first in NSW to be charged under legislation unofficially known as Byron's Law.
Passed in 2005 after a three-year campaign by The Daily Telegraph, the legislation allows for manslaughter charges to be brought against those responsible for killing a foetus.
It was prompted by the road rage death of Byron Shields who died in his mother's womb after his parent's car was rammed into a power pole at Milperra in 2001.
The driver was jailed for six years for road rage but avoided manslaughter charges because the foetus had never taken a breath and was technically not human.
Distraught relatives of the woman struck on Christmas Day said the 29-year-old went for walk about 10.30am at Ourimbah on the NSW Central Coast, to ease pressure on her back before lunch with family an hour's drive away.
"She said `I will just go for a walk around the block to get my blood flowing before I sit in the car'," one relative said.
Eight-months pregnant, the woman had told her first child, aged two, to "help Daddy" as she headed down their driveway.
She was just 50m from home when she was allegedly struck by a mini-van which had veered across the wrong side of the road.
"[Her first child] was crying because she wasn't allowed to go on the walk," a relative said.
"Thank God she said to wait, otherwise it would have been a double fatality."
The woman was flown to Royal North Shore Hospital where she underwent an emergency Caesarean but her baby girl died the next day.
Doctors said the woman would remain in hospital for six weeks following multiple surgeries to her leg, pelvis and abdomen.
It will be another six months of rehabilitation before the former "fitness fanatic" can walk or drive.
She worked at the nearby university while her de facto had just started his own building company.
Neighbours set up a trust fund for donations to help with the couple's mounting bills.
Police yesterday renewed their appeal for information about the crash, particularly from the driver of a car seen swerving to avoid the mini-van moments before it slammed into the woman and a tree.
The 39-year-old driver of the mini-van was arrested and taken to hospital for blood and urine samples. (source:

St. Peter Chrysologus
Feast: July 30
Feast Day:
July 30
406 at Imola, Italy
2 December 450 at Imola, Italy

Born at Imola, 406; died there, 450. His biography, first written by Agnellus (Liber pontificalis ecclesiæ Ravennatis) in the ninth century, gives but scanty information about him. He was baptised, educated, and ordained deacon by Cornelius, Bishop of Imola, and was elevated to the Bishopric of Ravenna in 433. There are indications that Ravenna held the rank of metropolitan before this time. His piety and zeal won for him universal admiration, and his oratory merited for him the name Chrysologus. He shared the confidence of Leo the Great and enjoyed the patronage of the Empress Galla Placidia. After his condemnation by the Synod of Constantinople (448), the Monophysite Eutyches endeavoured to win the support of Peter, but without success.
A collection of his homilies, numbering 176, was made by Felix, Bishop of Ravenna (707-17). Some are interpolations, and several other homilies known to be written by the saint are included in other collections under different names. They are in a great measure explanatory of Biblical texts and are brief and concise. He has explained beautifully the mystery of the Incarnation, the heresies of Arius and Eutyches, and the Apostles' Creed, and he dedicated a series of homilies to the Blessed Virgin and St. John the Baptist. His works were first edited by Agapitus Vicentinus (Bologna, 1534), and later by D. Mita (Bolonga, 1634), and S. Pauli (Venice, 1775) — the latter collection having been reprinted in P.L., LII. Fr. Liverani ("Spicilegium Liberianum"), Florence, 1863, 125 seq.) edited nine new homilies and published from manuscripts in Italian libraries different readings of several other sermons. Several homilies were translated into German by M. Held (Kempten, 1874).(source:


Luke 2: 36 - 40
And there was a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phan'u-el, of the tribe of Asher; she was of a great age, having lived with her husband seven years from her virginity,
and as a widow till she was eighty-four. She did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day.
And coming up at that very hour she gave thanks to God, and spoke of him to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.
And when they had performed everything according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city, Nazareth.
And the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him.

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