Monday, August 24, 2009
Catholic world news: Aug. 24, 2009: headlines
VATICAN: POPE SENDS MESSAGE TO THE RIMINI MEETING-
AFRICA: UN DONATES TO WOMEN'S PRISON IN DARFUR-
AMERICAS: VENEZUELA: LAW ON EDUCATION DENOUNCED-
ASIA: INDIA: GOVERNMENT RELEASES COINS IN HONOUR OF ST. ALPHONSA-
EUROPE: LETTER RELEASED BY BISHOPS RE: "BACK TO SCHOOL"-
AUSTRALIA: MONKS ESTABLISH A SCHOLARSHIP-
TODAY'S SAINT: ST. BARTHOLOMEW
POPE SENDS MESSAGE TO THE RIMINI MEETING-
The 2009 edition of the Rimini meeting opened in the Italian seaside resort, with the theme for this year being "knowledge is always an event". Deligates scheduled to talk include former British Prime Minister Tony Blair.
700, 000 are attending 29th edition of the group
"Communion & Liberation" founded byMons. Luigi Giussani. The Papal message was read by Cardinal Bertone. Pope Benedict wrote "The Fathers of the Church insisted on the need to purify the eyes of the soul to be able to see God. Man's reason can only be exercised and thus reach its true goal knowledge of the truth and of God. Thanks to a purified heart that sincerely loves the truth it seeks. The mandate of the meeting is to create and promote dialogue between people of different faiths and cultures who share a positive desire for knowledge and reciprical enhancement. Speakers: Jeb Bush former governer of Florida, Tony Blair, Carl Anderson Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus.
UN DONATES TO WOMEN'S PRISON IN DARFUR
The UN reports that the joint African Union-United Nations peacekeeping mission in Darfur today donated supplies to a women’s prison in the western Sudanese region.
Following a request made last month for support by the detention centre in Khanaga, the operation, known as UNAMID, has contributed items, including cooking utensils and bedding. It also has approved the construction of accommodations for female prisoners.
Today’s donation to the prison in North Darfur state is a manifestation of UNAMID’s commitment to bolstering national institutions to allow them to better respond to people’s needs, the mission said in a press release.
Earlier this month, staff from UNAMID’s human rights and rule of law sections completed a four-day training course on human rights standards and prison management for 30 corrections officials working in North Darfur.
The training, the first of its kind in North Darfur, included such topics as the humane treatment of prisoners, particularly minors, pre-trial detainees and female prisoners.
The course, held in El Fasher, was funded by Switzerland through the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights .
VENEZUELA: LAW ON EDUCATION DENOUNCED
CNA reports that national Council of the Laity in Venezuela has rejected the recently passed reform of the country’s educational laws, not only because of the “illegitimate and illegal way in which this law has been imposed on us,” but also because it is an attack against Venezuelans' constitutional rights.
The Council’s statement denounced the country’s National Assembly for how it handled the measure and said the legislative body adopts a position that puts the State before society and identifies the interests of the State with the opinion of those who are in power at a given moment. The behavior of the lawmakers shows scorn and contempt for the families the State ought to be serving, they added.
“We reject, therefore, the illegitimate and illegal way in which this law has been imposed on us,” the Council said.
The new law on education prohibits state-run schools from offering religion classes of any kind.
The law was passed while teachers and school administrators were on vacation. After noting that education is a human right, which includes the right to religious education, the Venezuelan lay organization said the approved law “has a clear collectivist orientation that dissolves the person into a social entity to which he is subordinate, instead of serving as a sphere for his realization.” The Council also said the new law attacks the academic freedom of universities, as well as the right of parents to have their children receive religious education according to their own beliefs. “For this reason we reject his law, which does not comprehensively promote the human person in his dignity and freedom, nor adapt to the plural reality of today’s world, and which disrespects our Constitution and does not provide the kind of education Venezuela needs,” the Council stated. It called on Venezuelans to become familiar with the new law and to become involved at the local and national levels to lessen its impact and work to overturn it.(SOURCE: http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/new.php?n=16917
INDIA: GOVERNMENT RELEASES COINS IN HONOUR OF ST. ALPHONSA
UCAN reports that Saint Alphonsa has become the first Christian in India to have commemorative coins issued in her honor.
The commemorative coins
Federal Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee released the coins on Aug. 23 as part of centenary celebrations for the birth of India's first Catholic woman saint.
About 1,000 people including Church and political leaders attended the ceremony in Bharananganam, the village near Kerala state's Palai town where the saint's tomb lies and where she spent her final years.
Mukherjee hailed the saint as someone who triumphed over suffering and whose intercession has brought relief for many distressed people in India. Saint Alphonsa made suffering part of her "noble life," he said.
"Saint Alphonsa taught us to transcend the barriers of language, culture and geography to live together," the minister added, alluding to the fact that people from various religions seek the saint's help.
Mukherjee ceremonially handed the new coins to retired Bishop Joseph Pallikaparampil of Palai. By releasing the coins in Saint Alphonsa's name, he said, India has once again shown itself a shining example of secular democracy.
Federal Minister of State for Home Affairs Ramachandran Mullappally, who also attended the ceremony, noted that Saint Alphonsa was the first Christian to be thus honored. He added that she now belongs not to a particular community but to the whole nation.
Federal Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee(extreme left) ceremonially hands over thecoins to retired Bishop Joseph Pallikaparampil
The coins, with the saint's face engraved on them, come in denominations of 100 rupees (about US$2) and 5 rupees.
Around 1,000 people ordered the coins on the first day of their release.
In November 2008, the Indian government issued a postal stamp to mark Saint Alphonsa's canonization the previous month.
Bishop Pallikaparampil said the issuing of the commemorative coins shows India's greatness as a nation that treats all religions equally.
His successor, Bishop Joseph Kallarangatt of Palai, who presided at the function, urged the federal government to declare Bharananganam as an international pilgrimage center. The diocese launched a yearlong centenary program to honor the saint on Aug. 19, her birth anniversary.
Saint Alphonsa was born in 1910 at Kudamaloor, another village in Palai diocese. She died on July 28, 1946. (SOURCE:
LETTER RELEASED BY BISHOPS RE: "BACK TO SCHOOL"
The Catholic Church of England released the following today:
New Bishop for Education’s ‘Back to School’ Letter
To coincide with the start of the new academic year, the new Chairman of the Bishops’ Conference Department of Catholic Education and Formation, the Right Reverend Malcolm McMahon has written to all those involved in Catholic Education in England and Wales to thank them for their hard work, commitment and achievement.
In his letter, the Bishop tells school staff, governors and diocesan officers that: “The Catholic community is rightly proud of its schools and colleges for their high standards, good results and the part which they play in the wider community.”
He also circulates within the electronic mailing, a recent letter from the Vatican’s Congregation for Education which looks at the nature and role of religious education in schools.
Within the Vatican’s congregation letter, the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI’s recent address to Catholic religion teachers is quoted, in which he says that “(the religious dimension) contributes to the overall formation of the person and makes it possible to transform knowledge into wisdom of life.“
This fully rounded education means that: “The person is equipped to discover goodness and to grow in responsibility, to seek comparisons and to refine his or her critical sense, to draw from the gifts of the past to understand the present better and to be able to plan wisely for the future.“
Bishop McMahon concludes that: “these ideals are offered to all who are educated in Catholic schools and colleges. It is clear that such an education based on these principles offers a clear vision for the education of children and young people, and for their lives as future citizens.“
To read Bishop Malcolm McMahon’s full letter:
180809 Pastoral letter to Catholic schools and colleges.pdf 138.16 kB
To read the recent letter from the Vatican’s Congregation for Education:
050509 Letter from Congregation for Catholic Education.pdf 546.30 kB
Notes to Editors:
The Right Reverend Malcolm McMahon, the Bishop of Nottingham became the new Chairman of the Bishops’ Conference Department of Catholic Education and Formation in April 2009. He took over from the Most Reverend Vincent Nichols who had chaired the department since 1998.
MONKS ESTABLISH A SCHOLARSHIP
The monks of Australia's only monastic town, New Norcia, have established a scholarship in honour of their late Abbot, Placid Spearritt (photo), to bring a scholar on an annual basis to work in the monastery's extensive archives.
The archives held "a particular place in Dom Placid's mind and heart," Catholic Religious Australia's Pathways reported.
The records address some of the great themes in Australian history namely Aborigines, immigration, agriculture, education, religion and had the potential to make a contribution to the national story, said the new Abbot, John Herbert.
"And perhaps a unique contribution," Abbot Herbert said, "for while most Australian archives speak with an Anglo-Saxon voice, the records at New Norcia speak with a different one, a Continental European voice.
"However, for all its importance, the archives at New Norcia at the time of (Dom Placid's) arrival was more like an accumulation than a collection. And so he got to work."
Dom Placid employed the first professional archivist, set up a computerised data base, founded the Archives Research and Publication Committee, introduced New Norcia studies days, created the New Norcia Journal and encouraged the physical expansion and refurbishment of the archives.
In founding the scholarship, Abbot Herbert and the monks of New Norcia hope to realise Dom Placid's vision for the archives.
The original target was to raise a minimum of $500,000 as an investment and fund the scholar from the annual interest, but the monks now have raised their aim for The Abbot Placid Memorial Scholarship, leaving the figure open, as a larger investment fund would enable them to employ a scholar for longer and therefore produce more substantial results.
Some $460,000 has been raised in cash and pledges. "Already this is a wonderful result - a tribute both to the stature of the man and the importance of the cause," Abbot Herbert said.
Feast: August 24
1st century AD, Iudaea Province (Palaestina)
1st century AD, Armenia
Bartholomew-on-the-Tiber Church, Rome, the Canterbury Cathedral, cathedral in Frankfurt, and the San Bartolomeo Cathedral in Lipari
Armenia; bookbinders; butchers; cobblers; Florentine cheese merchants; Florentine salt merchants; leather workers; nervous diseases; neurological diseases; plasterers; shoemakers; tanners; trappers; twitching; whiteners
One of the Twelve Apostles, mentioned sixth in the three Gospel lists (Matthew 10:3; Mark 3:18; Luke 6:14), and seventh in the list of Acts (1:13).
The name (Bartholomaios) means "son of Talmai" (or Tholmai) which was an ancient Hebrew name, borne, e.g. by the King of Gessur whose daughter was a wife of David (2 Samuel 3:3). Many scholars, however, identify him with Nathaniel (John 1:45-51; 21:2). The reasons for this are that Bartholomew is not the proper name of the Apostle; that the name never occurs in the Fourth Gospel, while Nathaniel is not mentioned in the synoptics; that Bartholomew's name is coupled with Philip's in the lists of Matthew and Luke, and found next to it in Mark, which agrees well with the fact shown by St. John that Philip was an old friend of Nathaniel's and brought him to Jesus; that the call of Nathaniel, mentioned with the call of several Apostles, seems to mark him for the apostolate, especially since the rather full and beautiful narrative leads one to expect some important development; that Nathaniel was of Galilee where Jesus found most, if not all, of the Twelve; finally, that on the occasion of the appearance of the risen Savior on the shore of the Sea of Tiberias, Nathaniel is found present, together with several Apostles who are named and two unnamed Disciples who were, almost certainly, likewise Apostles (the word "apostle" not occurring in the Fourth Gospel and "disciple" of Jesus ordinarily meaning Apostle) and so, presumably, was one of the Twelve. The Apostle had preached in India and had given to his converts the Gospel of St. Matthew written in Hebrew, which was still treasured by the Church. "India" was a name covering a very wide area, including even Arabia Felix. Other traditions represent St. Bartholomew as preaching in Mesopotamia, Persia, Egypt, Armenia, Lycaonia, Phrygia, and on the shores of the Black Sea.
The manner of his death, said to have occurred at Albanopolis in Armenia; according to some, he was beheaded, according to others, flayed alive and crucified, head downward, by order of Astyages, for having converted his brother, Polymius, King of Armenia. On account of this latter legend, he is often represented in art (e.g. in Michelangelo's Last Judgment) as flayed and holding in his hand his own skin. His relics are thought by some to be preserved in the church of St. Bartholomew-in-the-Island, at Rome. An apocryphal gospel of Bartholomew existed in the early ages.
(Edited from http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/B/stbartholomew.asp)
John 1: 45 - 51
Philip found Nathan'a-el, and said to him, "We have found him of whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph."
Nathan'a-el said to him, "Can anything good come out of Nazareth?" Philip said to him, "Come and see."
Jesus saw Nathan'a-el coming to him, and said of him, "Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!"
Nathan'a-el said to him, "How do you know me?" Jesus answered him, "Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you."
Nathan'a-el answered him, "Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!"
Jesus answered him, "Because I said to you, I saw you under the fig tree, do you believe? You shall see greater things than these."
And he said to him, "Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man."