CATHOLIC WORLD NEWS: FRI. OCT. 9, 2009: HEADLINES-
VATICAN: GENERAL CONGREGATION-
AMERICAS: PRESIDENT OBAMA WINS THE NOBEL PEACE PRIZE-
EUROPE: SPAIN: CARDINAL CALLS ALL TO ATTEND MARCH FOR LIFE-
ASIA: PHILIPPINES: VICTIMS OF TYPHOON PARMA LIVE IN CHURCHES -
AFRICA: SOUTH AFRICA: VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN CONTINUES-
AUSTRALIA: NATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS CONSULTATION REPORT-
SEVENTH GENERAL CONGREGATION VATICAN CITY, 8 OCT 2009 (VIS) - The Seventh General Congregation of the Second Special Assembly for Africa of the Synod of Bishops began at 4.30 this afternoon. The session was attended by 212 Synod Fathers and the president delegate on duty was Cardinal Francis Arinze, prefect emeritus of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. The session ended at 5.30 p.m. in order to enable participants to attend the concert "Young people against war (1939-2009)", held in the Auditorium on Via della Conciliazione to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the outbreak of World War II. Extracts from some of the Synod Father's speeches are given below:
CARDINAL ANDRE VINGT-TROIS, ARCHBISHOP OF PARIS AND PRESIDENT OF THE FRENCH EPISCOPAL CONFERENCE. "Our European Churches have rejoiced in seeing the sub-Saharan African Churches reach maturity with their own hierarchy, clergy, religious communities and laity, so strongly involved in the life of the parishes and the proclamation of the Gospel on the African continent. For some years now, our relations have developed into an authentic exchange of gifts. Without a doubt many French dioceses and parishes are committed to giving concrete aid to the various African Churches, but today many of our parishes also receive important help from African dioceses. ... I would particularly like to emphasise one very important point: relations between the two bishops (the African bishop and the French bishop) must be as clear as possible. Each time we neglect these prerequisites, it is to the detriment of the mission and to the detriment of the priest. The difficulties we encounter must not hide the richness of the relationship between our Churches or prevent us from giving thanks for the exchange of gifts that we are experiencing".
CARDINAL ANTHONY OLUBUNMI OKOGIE, ARCHBISHOP OF LAGOS, NIGERIA. "Africans are generally known to be very religious people. The idea of God or the deity is innate in us. It is therefore not surprising that two of the world's most widespread religions, Christianity and Islam, have found a warm welcome in the continent. It is however saddening to note that often these religions have been misused and made a source of deadly conflicts in Africa. This notwithstanding, most parents can hardly fulfil their responsibilities to their families without an organised, conscious, consistent and serious family prayer life or, put simply, without referring to God in times of difficulties, joy and sorrow. They firmly know and believe that only God can change, bless and empower the family. ... No matter how bad things may seem to be, no matter what solutions we may seem to proffer, if these are not blessed by God, I wonder how durable our success if any, will be?"
BISHOP MATTHEW KWASI GYAMFI OF SUNYANI, GHANA. "In some parts of Africa because of the culture and tradition of the people before the Church was introduced, many African women find themselves in polygamous marriages through no fault of theirs. Because of this, many of the women attending church are denied the Sacraments of Initiation, Reconciliation and Marriage. ... In some parts of Africa many women attend church regularly and actively participate in all church activities, but are denied the Sacraments of Initiation, Reconciliation and Marriage, not counting the many denied fitting Christian burial for not being baptised. The Church needs to address this painful and unpleasant situation in Africa by giving some special privileges to women, who have been the first wives with children and through no fault of their own have become victims of polygamous marriages, to receive the Sacraments of Initiation and others. The reception of these sorely tried women to the Sacraments will enable them to share in the peace and reconciliation offered by the compassion and peace of Our Lord Jesus Christ Who came to call sinners and not the self righteous".
BISHOP JOHN ANTHONY RAWSTHORNE OF HALLAM, ENGLAND, PRESIDENT OF THE CATHOLIC AGENCY FOR OVERSEAS DEVELOPMENT (CAFOD) OF THE BISHOPS' CONFERENCE OF ENGLAND AND WALES. "With the support of international Catholic agencies, the Church in Africa has been confronting HIV and AIDS since well before the first Synod on Africa. Today concern seems to be waning, even if the problem remains acute for many Africans. Catholic solidarity should continue supporting the long‑term commitment of the Church in Africa to raise awareness, to accompany the infected and the affected, to form the youth, and to face this great challenge".
BISHOP EDWARD GABRIEL RISI O.M.I., OF KEIMOES-UPINGTON, SOUTH AFRICA. "The proclamation of the Gospel and the quest to deepen its meaning and practice in Africa faces the same challenges as does culture. The Church is therefore in a privileged position because in her quest to promote the values of the Gospel, she shares a similar struggle with Africa's peoples in their pursuit to preserve and advance those cherished values of their cultural heritage. Creating opportunities for dialogue offers the Church opportunities to understand those who experience alienation in an increasingly secularised and globalised Africa, with its brutal memories of colonisation and oppression. A commitment to open and honest dialogue is vital for forging the way forward so that the influence of the Gospel, like that of culture, is not lost in the emerging voices in Africa. In particular a re-commitment to SECAM can make it an important instrument for dialogue on our continent".SE/SEVENTH CONGREGATION/... VIS 091009 (900)
EIGHTH GENERAL CONGREGATION VATICAN CITY, 9 OCT 2009 (VIS) - In the Vatican's Synod Hall this morning, the Eighth General Congregation of the Second Special Assembly for Africa of the Synod of Bishops was held in the presence of the Pope and 219 Synod Fathers. The president delegate on duty was Cardinal Theodore-Adrien Sarr, archbishop of Dakar, Senegal. Extracts from some of the Synod Father's speeches are given below:
BISHOP JAN OZGA OF DOUME-ABONG' MBANG, CAMEROON. "I believe it is extremely important that this Second Synod for Africa should go through the African family to produce the desired fruits. Because the formation of a new culture of reconciliation, justice and peace is a task for the family before being a task for society. If these three values take root and find foundation and meaning within the family, their culture could spread to all levels of African society. ... Justice is the just appreciation, recognition and respect for the rights and merits of each person. The family is called to teach true justice which is the only way to achieve respect for individual human dignity".
BISHOP ALBERT VANBUEL S.D.B., OF KAGA-BANDORO, CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC. "In recent months we have deplored the divisive acts among priests themselves, between priests and bishops, between priests and the laity; this is certainly not the Gospel we must proclaim. We were sent to build a Church united in the Spirit of God Who guides us, and we cannot at the same time tear at the Body of Christ. The Year for Priests dedicated to us by the Holy Father should inspire us and offer us a new direction: faith in Christ, faith in priests and faith in every baptised person. There is a general expectation for a time of peace, justice and reconciliation. The events that we have experienced and continue to experience prove that there is always a reason for hope, and that every night we live through is followed by a dawn and a new day. Every one of us is weak, a sinner; but together we must listen to the Word of God, we must live it, to build our Church-Family in communion".
ARCHBISHOP JOSEPH KUMUONDALA MBIMBA OF MBANDAKA-BIKORO, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO. "Ever since the implantation of the Church in Africa and, more specifically, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, school education has benefited from her particular attention. Consequently, schools of all levels, as well as institutes of higher education and universities, are places for the apostolate. ... But the multiform crisis associated with the continual wars has brought deplorable consequences in the area of education. ... Poor education compromises the future for generations of young people and sacrifices their capacities, which should go to serve the entire nation. This is unjust and does not guarantee peace. Frustrated youth remains at the mercy of wrongdoers. In a climate of general complacency engendered by indecent practices, the quality of teaching is not guaranteed. Organisers, promoters and parents are aware that the diplomas handed out do not reflect the intellectual and moral level necessary for the world of science and of work".
EVARISTUS THATHO BITSOANE OF QACHA'S NEK, PRESIDENT OF THE EPSICOPAL CONFERENCE OF LESOTHO. "The Church in Lesotho, like many other local Churches of Africa is involved in the area of health, education and in the service of the poor. Lesotho is about fifty percent Catholic and the Church has the majority of schools in the country. From these numbers one would hope that Catholic principles would prevail in the running of the country. On the contrary, people embrace anything that will enable them to have bread on the table even if it is opposed to the teaching of the Church. Many countries of Africa have signed the Maputo Protocol and Lesotho is no exception to that. Even though the services of our Catholic hospitals are appreciated by many we are afraid that many abortions will be performed in private hospitals. What the Church of Lesotho needs urgently in order to continue her service to the poor is for the sister Churches of the developed world to influence their governments not to impose ideologies that are foreign to Africa. During this period of transition to financial self reliance, Africa still needs the support of its sister Churches of the developed world".
BISHOP FRANKLYN NUBUASAH, S.V.D., APOSTOLIC VICAR OF FRANCISTOWN, BOTSWANA. " Botswana is a small stable democratic country. ... We are a middle income country that attracts people from other places of Africa. ... There are a good number of refugees seeking asylum. We have peace because of our traditional mechanism of the 'kgotla', i.e. the court of the ruler where dialogue is respected. Our belief is that the greatest war is one of words. The Church has introduced this cultural practice to the parishes to help make and promote peace and understanding. Right now, there is a strain on our resources, job market and health facilities because of the influx of people due to the socio‑political situation of the region. We are concerned about xenophobia due to the present harsh economic downturn. The Church has been with the people promoting peace and brotherhood. There has been no need for minorities to use violence to make their concerns known. AIDS is a challenge for the countries in Southern Africa. Botswana is working hard through education to prevent new infections. Treatment is available for citizens but unfortunately not for refugees and foreigners living in the country. AIDS has ravaged the foundations of Botswana society. It has the potential to be used as a weapon of war and conflict. How do you forgive one who deliberately infects you with the killer virus?".
ARCHBISHOP JORGE ENRIQUE JIMENEZ CARVAJAL C.I.M. OF CARTAGENA EN COLOMBIA, COLOMBIA. "Thousands and thousands of black people were brought to America where they were auctioned and forced to work until they died. ... Peter Claver awaited the 'slave ships' with expectations different from those of the traders. ... For the apostle the new arrivals were 'children of God' who needed to know all the truth of the Gospel. ... Africa is the 'Great Motherland' of all our black peoples from Canada to the Tierra del Fuego, including all the marvels of their presence in the Antilles and the Caribbean. How many things that make the American continent great have only been possible with the contribution of black people, heirs to such still-hidden richness, to such a wealth of symbols that with the passage of time have enriched the Christian message, to such joy of believing in the faith even though life has been so hard to them. The history of Africa in America is not of yesterday, it is living today. For this reason I believe that this Synod should also include a reference to the black people of America (I hope you have noticed the use of the word 'American' to designate the whole of America: North, Central, Antillean, Caribbean and South). A large part of their heart still lives and will continue to live in Africa, they will appreciate what happens here and consider it as pertaining to them".SE/EIGHTH CONGREGATION/... VIS 091009 (1190)
POPE TO YOUNG PEOPLE: NEVER YIELD TO TEMPTATION OF WAR VATICAN CITY, 9 OCT 2009 (VIS) - Yesterday evening in the Auditorium on Rome's Via della Conciliazione Benedict XVI attended a concert entitled "Young people against war (1939-2009)", played by the "InterRegionales Jugendsinfonie Orchester" conducted by Jochem Hochstenbach. The programme included compositions by Gustav Mahler and Felix Mendelsshon-Bartholdy and texts by Johan Wolfgang Goethe, Heinrich Heine, Paul Celan and Berthold Brecht, as well as two poems by children imprisoned in the Theresienstadt concentration camp, read by Michelle Breedt and Klaus Maria Brandauer. The concert, called to commemorate the seventieth anniversary of the outbreak of World War II, was organised by the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, the Commission for Religious Relations with Judaism, the German embassy to the Holy See and the European "KulturForum" of Mainau. At the end of the concert the Holy Father made some brief remarks, expressing his joy at having been able participate in this initiative which, he said, "using the universal language of music, ... seeks to encourage young people to build the future of the world together, drawing inspiration from the values of peace and the brotherhood of man". "This evening the tragedy of World War II returns to our memory, a terrible page of history steeped in violence and inhumanity which caused the death of millions of people, leaving the winners divided and Europe to be rebuilt. The war, instigated by National Socialism, affected many innocent peoples in Europe and on other continents, while with the drama of the Shoah it particularly affected the Jewish people, who were victims of a planned extermination. Yet calls for reason and peace were not lacking from many sides. Here in Rome, the heartfelt cry of my venerated predecessor Pius XII rang out. In his radio message of 24 August 1939 - on the very eve of the outbreak of war - he decisively proclaimed: 'nothing is lost with peace. Everything may be lost with war'. ... May the recollection of those sad events be a warning, especially to the new generations, never to yield to the temptation of war". Pope Benedict then went on to mention the twentieth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, "an eloquent symbol of the end of the totalitarian Communist regimes of Eastern Europe", he said. "Europe and the entire world thirst for freedom and peace. Together we must build true civilisation, not founded on force but on the 'fruit of our victory over ourselves, over the powers of injustice, selfishness and hatred which can even go so far as to disfigure man'". "The ecumenical movement", he concluded, "can help to build [this civilisation], working together with the Jews and with all believers. May God bless us and grant humankind the gift of peace".BXVI-CONCERT/WORLD WAR II/... VIS 091009 (470)
OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS VATICAN CITY, 9 OCT 2009 (VIS) - The Holy Father accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Gurue, Mozambique, presented by Bishop Manuel Chuanguira Machado, in accordance with canon 401 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law.RE/.../CHUANGUIRA VIS 091009 (50)
PRESIDENT OBAMA WINS THE NOBEL PEACE PRIZE
Catholic Online reports that the news this morning is nothing less than extraordinary. President Barrack Obama has just been awarded the “Nobel Peace Prize”. The Associated Press was the first to break the story. In announcing the Award the committee said that it was being given to the President for "his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples." They specifically pointed to his efforts to reach out to the Muslim world and bring an end to the proliferation of nuclear weapons. What makes the giving of this globally prestigious award most astounding, and what, in the words of the AP release “shocked Nobel observers” is that this new President had only been in office for two weeks before the Feb.1 deadline for nominations. In its announcement the committee also said "Only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world's attention and given its people hope for a better future…. "His diplomacy is founded in the concept that those who are to lead the world must do so on the basis of values and attitudes that are shared by the majority of the world's population." In its effusive praise of the President the committee continued with these words "Only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world's attention and given its people hope for a better future… His diplomacy is founded in the concept that those who are to lead the world must do so on the basis of values and attitudes that are shared by the majority of the world's population." This announcement comes just as the debate concerning the funding of abortion in the current versions of “Health Care Reform” in the United States has roused all of the defenders of the first Human Right,the foundational human right, the “mother” of all rights, the Right to Life, out of various degrees of lethargy. In fact, the opposition to this huge piece of legislation is finding its strongest resistance now coming from the U.S. Catholic Bishops. They have made it clear that they will vigorously oppose this legislation unless it unequivocally EXCLUDES the taking of the lives of innocent children in the womb, and rightly so. There is a war on the womb in the United States of America and, sadly, this President fails to hear the cry of those whom Blessed Teresa of Calcutta rightly called the “poorest of the poor”, our first neighbors. Now, that dear woman of such small physical stature - but utterly huge heart - the one whom the whole world still lovingly calls “Mother”, speaks to us prophetically from the grave. In truth she is still alive, speaking from within the fullness of joy she most certainly has received in the communion of love which she now shares with the Lord of Life and the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ, whom she loves so completely. It was He, the Lord of Life and defender of all children, who came to us in the womb of a Holy Mother and from within that womb, where we now commit the most egregious war crimes, began His mission of true peace through real reconciliation. In His Incarnation, Jesus Christ, in His Sacred Humanity, shows us the utter evil of every procured abortion. Mother Teresa was a most deserved recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. She rightly accepted this prestigious award from the committee. In formally doing so she gave a speech on December 11, 1979 which speaks more loudly than anyone ever could to today’s news. It shines a spotlight of piercing truth on this rather incredible news. I have republished it in full underneath this article in our Related Stories. However, here are a selected few words from Mother: “…St. John says you are a liar if you say you love God and you don't love your neighbor. How can you love God whom you do not see, if you do not love your neighbor whom you see, whom you touch, with whom you live. And so this is very important for us to realize that love, to be true, has to hurt. It hurt Jesus to love us, it hurt him. And to make sure we remember his great love he made himself the bread of life to satisfy our hunger for his love. Our hunger for God, because we have been created for that love. We have been created in his image. We have been created to love and be loved, and then he has become man to make it possible for us to love as he loved us. He makes himself the hungry one - the naked one - the homeless one - the sick one - the one in prison - the lonely one - the unwanted one - and he says: You did it to me. Hungry for our love, and this is the hunger of our poor people. This is the hunger that you and I must find, it may be in our own home. “I (will) never forget an opportunity I had in visiting a home where they had all these old parents of sons and daughters who had just put them in an institution and forgotten maybe. And I went there, and I saw in that home they had everything, beautiful things, but everybody was looking towards the door. And I did not see a single one with their smile on their face. And I turned to the Sister and I asked: How is that? How is it that the people they have everything here, why are they all looking towards the door, why are they not smiling? I am so used to see the smile on our people, even the dying one smile, and she said: This is nearly every day, they are expecting, they are hoping that a son or daughter will come to visit them. They are hurt because they are forgotten, and see - this is where love comes. That poverty comes right there in our own home, even neglect to love. Maybe in our own family we have somebody who is feeling lonely, who is feeling sick, who is feeling worried, and these are difficult days for everybody. Are we there, are we there to receive them, is the mother there to receive the child? “I was surprised in the West to see so many young boys and girls given into drugs, and I tried to find out why - why is it like that, and the answer was: Because there is no one in the family to receive them. Father and mother are so busy they have no time. Young parents are in some institution and the child takes back to the street and gets involved in something. We are talking of peace. These are things that break peace, but I feel the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a direct war, a direct killing - direct murder by the mother herself. And we read in the Scripture, for God says very clearly: Even if a mother could forget her child - I will not forget you - I have carved you in the palm of my hand. We are carved in the palm of His hand, so close to Him that unborn child has been carved in the hand of God. And that is what strikes me most, the beginning of that sentence, that even if a mother could forget something impossible - but even if she could forget - I will not forget you. And today the greatest means - the greatest destroyer of peace is abortion. And we who are standing here - our parents wanted us. We would not be here if our parents would do that to us. Our children, we want them, we love them, but what of the millions. “Many people are very, very concerned with the children in India, with the children in Africa where quite a number die, maybe of malnutrition, of hunger and so on, but millions are dying deliberately by the will of the mother. And this (abortion) is what is the greatest destroyer of peace today. Because if a mother can kill her own child - what is left for me to kill you and you kill me - there is nothing between.” On this day when we have heard the news that President Barack Obama has received the Nobel Peace Prize, let us pray that the Lord would open his heart to see the TRUTH - confirmed by medical science, written on every human heart by the Natural Law and, yes, confirmed in the very Christian Revelation which he claims to profess as his own - that the Child in the womb is our neighbor. Sadly, I have concluded that this President who rode into office calling us to “love our neighbor” is a walking contradiction. It simply is always wrong to kill our innocent neighbor. It is not the path to peace. By failing to hear the cry of all of these children who are being killed daily under the violence unleashed by the public policy of abortion on demand in America, we have, in effect, turned an entire segment of our human family into property to be used, abused or killed at any time, while all the while calling these evil acts of war “choices”, as if true freedom could ever properly choose what is always wrong and always destroys peace. Mother Teresa is ABSOLUTELY right. The greatest destroyer of Peace is Abortion. The Living God spoke through the great Hebrew Prophet Jeremiah in warning to His people many centuries ago “"Peace, Peace!" they say, though there is no peace.” In this announcement of the Nobel Peace Prize Recipient today, October 9, 2009, I hear the echo of those sobering words. President Obama Receives the Nobel Peace prize while the War on the Womb Continues Unabated. (SOURCE: http://www.catholic.org/politics/story.php?id=34601
SPAIN: CARDINAL CALLS ALL TO ATTEND MARCH FOR LIFE
CNA reports that the Archbishop of Madrid, Cardinal Antonio Rouco, encouraged Spaniards this week to participate in the upcoming March for Life which more than 40 organizations are convening from all over the country. The October 17 march is being held as the Spanish government continues to push for a liberalization of the country's abortion laws. In Salamanca, where he attended the opening of the new school year for the Pontifical University, the cardinal explained that this important event “is very good, and so is exercising one’s right to protest.” After noting that he would not be able to attend the march, Cardinal Rouco said it will be very difficult to stop the government’s anti-life agenda but that Spaniards should not give up hope. “May our Lord resolve these problems. Because history is long and therefore the future of a society, of a people, is not controlled by men. And what is legislated today can change a chapter of history later on,” he told the COPE Radio Network.
The Spanish cardinal also touched on the issue of education and parent's right to object to the Education for the Citizenry course being required by the government.
Cardinal Rouco explained that the state “is not the monopolizing owner of education and must count on society. And not only through simple and pure political instruments, but also through social dialogue, social debate and a little bit of agreement among all of the realities of society involved in education.” Parents, who are the primary educator of their children, should be taken into consideration first and foremost, he said.(SOURCE: http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/new.php?n=17341
ASIAPHILIPPINES: VICTIMS OF TYPHOON PARMA LIVE IN CHURCHES
UCAN reports that Churches in the northern Philippines have opened their doors to evacuees from Typhoon Parma that moved westward from Cagayan province to the Ilocos region and to provinces south of these on Oct. 9.
Archbishop Oscar Cruz
Retired Archbishop Oscar Cruz of Lingayen-Dagupan, speaking on national television, reported that people had been flocking to churches for refuge from floods.
Some of those churches, however, have themselves been inundated after heavy rains broke two dikes and water was released from the San Roque Dam, the prelate said.
His archdiocese serves the capital of Pangasinan province near Lingayen Gulf, and two cities and 15 municipalities in the central part of the province.
Pangasinan was among places flooded by the tropical depression which hovered over Ilocos Sur province, north of Pangasinan, as of Oct. 9 morning, the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) reported.
Typhoon Parma, the second to hit the country in a week, struck on Oct. 1 and rains have continued ever since.
Flooding had reportedly submerged 32 towns and the cities of Dagupan and Urdaneta. Some 35,000 people had fled to evacuation centers, churches and a department store building, Archbishop Cruz and NDCC officials said.
In Benguet province, south of Ilocos, more than 100 people have been reported killed. More than 30 were reportedly missing in landslides that began the previous afternoon.
When Typhoon Parma hit the Philippines, hundreds had already died as a result of Typhoon Ketsana that hit Metro Manila and north central Philippines provinces Sept. 26.
The latest NDCC report on Ketsana casualties on Oct. 8 listed 337 people killed, 308 injured and 37 missing.
Twenty five more were listed dead on Oct. 9 from Typhoon Parma, 10 were reported injured and 39 missing. The figures do not include those affected by landslides.
SOUTH AFRICA: VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN CONTINUES
CISA reports that some 40,000 rape cases have been brought before the magistrates' courts of South Africa between June 2008 and July this year but only a tenth of that number ended in convictions, Justice and Constitutional Development Minister Jeff Radebe has said.�A total of 39,946 new rape cases were added to the rolls of magistrates' courts in all nine provinces in South Africa between July 1, 2008 and the end of June this year,� Justice Minister Radebe told parliament on Thursday in a written report.KwaZulu-Natal courts recorded the highest number with over 7 000 cases during the period under review, Radebe said.He said that this is an average of over 780 new cases nationally each working day.�Over the last year, the highest numbers of rape matters appearing in courts were in KwaZulu-Natal, which enrolled 7 278 cases, followed by Western Cape, which enrolled 6 411. Northern Cape enrolled the least number of cases at 1 462," Radebe said.Radebe said a breakdown of the cases by age showed the majority of rapes were perpetrated by young adults, aged 21 to 30.According to reports, South Africa has one of the highest rates of rape in the world. It is said that a woman born in South Africa has a greater chance of being raped than learning how to read. This country also is said to have the highest incidences of child and baby rape in the world.The latest crime statistics showed 71,500 sexual offences were reported to police between March 2008 and March 2009, a 12 percent increase on the previous year.The government said that increase could be partly attributed to the inclusion of attacks on men.The last police rape statistics, which date from 2008, showed 132 cases of rape were reported per day countrywide - a figure activists believe to be a fraction of the real number of rapes. South African President Jacob Zuma has taken a tough line on violent crime since being inaugurated in May. Zuma's new police commissioner Bheki Cele has vowed to crack down on robbers, but has not proposed any specific measures around gender violence. (SOURCE: http://www.cisanewsafrica.org/story.asp?ID=4174
NATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS CONSULTATION REPORT
Cath News reports that the Rudd government appointed National Human Rights Consultation committee's final report that was released yesterday recommended the country adopts a Human Rights Act.
It said Australia "has a patchwork quilt of protection for human rights" that could be improved through human rights legislation, the Brisbane Times cited an AAP report saying.
It also recommended a joint committee on human rights review all laws to ensure they protect human rights.
The Australian said there are 31 recommendations in the panel's report, from more modest proposals concerning education through to support for the model which operates in the ACT and Victoria.
The newspaper said Attorney-General Robert McClelland made no comment on any possible role for the courts, saying only that the consultation had "demonstrated that there are many views on how human rights and responsibilities should be protected, promoted and realised, including on the merits of a Human Rights Act."
"Importantly, it has also shown that there are many other important ways to protect and promote human rights including, for example, through enhanced education and improved parliamentary scrutiny," he said.
Opposition legal affairs spokesman George Brandis wants the Rudd government to reject the move, and if not, put any final decision to a referendum, AAP reported.
He said the consultation process was driven by only a small group of lawyers and political activists, including online group GetUp! which claims its members made up more than 10,000 submissions.
It would turn High Court judges into "overtly political figures" who can judge on politically sensitive issues and clog up the courts with claims.
Father Frank Brennan, who headed the government appointed committee said the proposed act would still leave Parliament as the final arbiter on controversial issues, according to The Age.
Feast: October 9
Third century, Italy
258 at Montmarte
Abbey of Saint-Denis, Saint Denis Basilica
France; Paris; against frenzy; against strife; headaches; hydrophobia; possessed people; rabies
Bishop of Paris, and martyr. Born in Italy, nothing is definitely known of the time or place, or of his early life. His feast is kept on 9 October. He is usually represented with his head in his hands because, according to the legend, after his execution the corpse rose again and carried the head for some distance. That, however, while still very young he was distinguished for hisvirtuous life, knowledge of sacred things, and firm faith, is proved by the fact that Pope Fabian (236-250) sent him with some other missionary bishops to Gaul on a difficult mission. The Church of Gaul had suffered terribly under the persecution of the Emperor Decius and the new messengers of Faith were to endeavour to restore it to its former flourishing condition. Denis with his inseparable companions, the priest Rusticus and the deacon Eleutherius, arrived in the neighbourhood of the present city of Paris and settled on the island in the Seine. The earliest document giving an account of his labours and of his martyrdom (Passio SS. Dionsyii, Rustici et Eleutherii), dating from the end of the sixth or the beginning of the seventh century and wrongly attributed to the poet Venantius Fortunatus, is interwoven with much legend, from which, however, the following facts can be gleaned.
On the island in the Seine Denis built a church and provided for a regular solemnization of the Divine service. His fearless and indefatigable preaching of the Gospel led to countless conversions. This aroused the envy, anger and hatred of the heathen priests. They incited the populace against the strangers and importuned the governor Fescenninus Sisinnius to put a stop by force to the new teaching. Denis with his two companions were seized and as they persevered in their faith were beheaded (about 275) after many tortures. Later accounts give a detailed description of the confessors' sufferings. They were scourged, imprisoned, racked, thrown to wild beasts, burnt at the stake, and finally beheaded. Gregory of Tours simply states: "Beatus Dionysius Parisiorum episcopus diversis pro Christi nomine adfectus poenis praesentem vitam gladio immente finivit" (Hist. Franc. I, 30). The bodies of the three holy martyrs received an honourable burial through the efforts of a pious matron named Catulla and a small shrine was erected over their graves. This was later on replaced by a beautiful basilica (egregium templum) which Venantius celebrated in verse (Carm. I, ii).
From the reign of King Dagobert (622-638) the church and the Benedictine monastery attached to it were more and more beautifully adorned; the veneration of St. Denis became by degrees a national devotion, rulers and princes vying with one another to promote it. This development is due in no small degree to an error prevailing throughout the Middle Ages, which identified St. Denis of Paris with St. Dionysius the Areopagite, and with the Pseudo-Dionysius, the composer of the Areopagitic writings. The combining of these three persons in one was doubtless effected as early as the eighth or perhaps the seventh century, but it was only through the "Areopagitica" written in 836 byHilduin, Abbot of Saint-Denis, at the request of Louis the Pious, that this serious error took deep root. The investigations of Launoy first threw doubt on the story and the Bollandist de Bye entirely rejected it. Hilduin was probably deceived by the same apocryphal Latin and Greek fictions. The possession of the Areopagitic writings (since 827 in Saint-Denis) strengthened his conviction of this truth. Historiographers of the present day do not dispute this point. All attempts of Darras, Vidieu, C. Schneider, and others to throw some light on the subject have proved fruitless.
Luke 11: 15 - 26
But some of them said, "He casts out demons by Be-el'zebul, the prince of demons";
while others, to test him, sought from him a sign from heaven.
But he, knowing their thoughts, said to them, "Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and a divided household falls.
And if Satan also is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? For you say that I cast out demons by Be-el'zebul.
And if I cast out demons by Be-el'zebul, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they shall be your judges.
But if it is by the finger of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.
When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are in peace;
but when one stronger than he assails him and overcomes him, he takes away his armor in which he trusted, and divides his spoil.
He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters.
"When the unclean spirit has gone out of a man, he passes through waterless places seeking rest; and finding none he says, `I will return to my house from which I came.'
And when he comes he finds it swept and put in order.
Then he goes and brings seven other spirits more evil than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man becomes worse than the first."