ASIA: CHINA: DROUGHT CONTINUES IN CENTRAL & SOUTHERN CHINA -
EUROPE: SWEDEN: CHURCHES EXPRESS SADNESS OVER RULE -
AMERICA: USCCB: ARCHBISHOP DOLAN NAMED MODERATOR OF JEWISH AFFAIRS-
CHINA: DROUGHT CONTINUES IN CENTRAL & SOUTHERN CHINA
Beijing (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The plight of drought in central and southern China is worsening, leaving millions of people and animals without water to drink, the fields without irrigation. The government lays the blame on climate change, but problems also arise from the dams built by man, especially the Three Gorges.
According to the China Meteorological Bureau, the most affected regions are Guangdong, Jiangxi, Anhui, Shandong for which there is little or no rain forecast over the next 10 days. Xinhua reports that at least 1.34 million people and over 320 thousand livestock are suffering from lack of water and more than 600 thousand hectares of crops are at risk. In Guangdong alone, the rainfall has decreased by 20% putting at risk the irrigation of fields. Over the last 10 days the victims of drought have increased from 54 thousand to 240 thousand.
Added to these are at least 3 million people affected by drought in Hunan, where the rains have decreased by 80%. Similar problems are recorded in Inner Mongolia, in Helongjiang, Liaoning, Shanxi. The water levels of rivers and lakes have reduced so much that local fishing boats often run aground in the sand and remain there for months. In the area of Zhuhai, near the mouth of the Pearl River, salt water of the sea is invading the bed of the river, destroying the crops.
The government is laying the blame for scarce rainfall on severe climate change. But it is also the result of pollution caused by industrial development and urban planning, as well as deforestation of entire areas that has fostered desertification. The population also accuses all the dams and hydroelectric projects implemented in recent years. All provinces downstream of the Three Gorges Dam, for example, have been suffering the most severe drought in several years. They accuse the authorities of wanting to fill up the reservoir of the dam, without worrying about the needs of those living downstream in the valley.
Fr. Fredrik Emanuelson, head of ecumenical efforts in the Swedish Catholic Church, joined Orthodox representative Fr. Misha Jaksic in a statement that said the churches learned of the Lutherans’ decision “with sadness.”
“It is a swing away not only from Christian tradition but also from the point of view on the nature of marriage which is typical of all religions,” they said, according to SIR News.
The Lutherans’ General Synod expresses a “radically different vision” from the way in which the Church and Christians understand marriage, they added.
The spokesmen said they were not surprised by the decision because it had been preceded by a long debate.
According to SIR, the church debate started at the beginning of 2009 after a Swedish law that granted civil marriage to homosexuals took effect.
“None of us want to annul ecumenical dialogue with the Swedish church,” the joint Catholic-Orthodox statement continued. “However, this decision of the Church of Sweden widens the gap.”
The statement concluded by saying that talks are “more important than ever” to fulfill Christ’s desire for Christian unity.
The Church of Sweden is the largest Christian denomination in the Nordic country. (Source:
EDUCATION MINISTER INVITES PRINCIPALS FOR NATIONAL CONVERSATION
CATH NEWS reports that Federal Education Minister Julia Gillard is set to invite 150 school principals from across the country for a "national conversation" on problems they are facing and for feedback on the next steps in her "Education Revolution".
The principals from the public, independent and Catholic school sectors in each state and territory will be asked this week to a two day forum on November 10 and 11, various news reports said.
She said the forum would focus on "how the Government can help principals lift educational outcomes for all students," according to the Adelaide Advertiser.
Those gathered would discuss the new national curriculum, assessment, reporting, literacy and numeracy, school infrastructure, Indigenous education and student wellbeing, AAP and Nine News adds.
"I want to have a national conversation with school principals about the challenges they are facing on the ground," Ms Gillard said in a statement.
"It also gives me the opportunity to speak directly to principals about the reforms the government is pursuing in education and the difference they will make for their schools and their students." (SOURCE: http://www.cathnews.com/article.aspx?aeid=17277
Feast: October 25
Bishop of Brescia from about 387 until about 410; he was the successor of the writer on heresies, St. Philastrius. At the time of that saint's death Gaudentius was making a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. The people of Brescia bound themselves by an oath that they would accept no other bishop than Gaudentius; and St. Ambrose and other neighbouring prelates, in consequence, obliged him to return, though against his will. The Eastern bishops also threatened to refuse him Communion if he did not obey. We possess the discourse which he made before St. Ambrose and other bishops on the occasion of his consecration, in which he excuses, on the plea of obedience, his youth and his presumption in speaking. He had brought back with him from the East many precious relics of St. John Baptist and of the Apostles, and especially of the Forty Martyrs of Sebaste, relics of whom he had received at Caesarea in Cappadocia from nieces of St. Basil. These and other relics from Milan and elsewhere he deposited in a basilica which he named Concilium Sanctorum. His sermon on its dedication is extant. From a letter of St. Chrysostom (Ep. clxxxiv) to Gaudentius it may be gathered that the two saints had met at Antioch. When St. Chrysostom had been condemned to exile and had appealed to Pope Innocent and the West in 405, Gaudentius warmly took his part. An embassy to the Eastern Emperor Arcadius from his brother Honorius and from the pope, bearing letters frorn both and from Italian bishops, consisted of Gaudentius and two other bishops. The envoys were seized at Athens and sent to Constantinople, being three days on a ship without food. They were not admitted into the city, but were shut up in a fortress called Athyra, on the coast of Thrace. Their credentials were seized by force, so that the thumb of one of the bishops was broken, and they were offered a large sum of money if they would communicate with Atticus, who had supplanted St. Chrysostom. They were consoled by God, and St. Paul appeared to a deacon amongst them. They were eventually put on board an unseaworthy vessel, and it was said that the captain had orders to wreck them. However, they arrived safe at Lampsacus, where they took ship for Italy, and arrived in twenty days at Otranto. Their own account of their four months' adventures has been preserved to us by Palladius (Dialogus, 4). St. Chrysostom wrote them several grateful letters.
We possess twenty-one genuine tractates by Gaudentius. The first ten are a series of Easter sermons, written down after delivery at the request of Benivolus, the chief of the Brescian nobility, who had been prevented by ill health from hearing them delivered. In the preface Gaudentius takes occasion to disown all unauthorized copies of his sermons published by shorthand writers. These pirated editions seem to have been known to Rufinus, who, in the dedication to St. Gaudentius of his translation of the pseudo-Clementine "Recognitions", praises the intellectual gifts of thne Bishop of Brescia, saying that even his extempore speaking is worthy of publication and of preservation by posterity. The style of Gaudentius is simple, and his matter is good. His body lies at Brescia in the Church of St. John Baptist, on the site of the Concilium Sanctorum. His figure is frequently seen in the altar-pieces of the great Brescian painters, Moretto, Savoldo, and Romanino. The best edition of his works is by Galeardi (Padua, 1720, and in P.L., XX). (SOURCE: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/G/stgaudentius.asp
TODAY'S MASS READINGS:
Jeremiah 31: 7 - 9
For thus says the LORD: "Sing aloud with gladness for Jacob, and raise shouts for the chief of the nations; proclaim, give praise, and say, `The LORD has saved his people, the remnant of Israel.'
Behold, I will bring them from the north country, and gather them from the farthest parts of the earth, among them the blind and the lame, the woman with child and her who is in travail, together; a great company, they shall return here.
With weeping they shall come, and with consolations I will lead them back, I will make them walk by brooks of water, in a straight path in which they shall not stumble; for I am a father to Israel, and E'phraim is my first-born.
Psalms 126: 1 - 6
When the LORD restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dream.
Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy; then they said among the nations, "The LORD has done great things for them."
The LORD has done great things for us; we are glad.
Restore our fortunes, O LORD, like the watercourses in the Negeb!
May those who sow in tears reap with shouts of joy!
He that goes forth weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, bringing his sheaves with him.
For every high priest chosen from among men is appointed to act on behalf of men in relation to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins.
He can deal gently with the ignorant and wayward, since he himself is beset with weakness.
Because of this he is bound to offer sacrifice for his own sins as well as for those of the people.
And one does not take the honor upon himself, but he is called by God, just as Aaron was.
So also Christ did not exalt himself to be made a high priest, but was appointed by him who said to him, "Thou art my Son, today I have begotten thee";
as he says also in another place, "Thou art a priest for ever, after the order of Melchiz'edek."
And they came to Jericho; and as he was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a great multitude, Bartimae'us, a blind beggar, the son of Timae'us, was sitting by the roadside.
And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!"
And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent; but he cried out all the more, "Son of David, have mercy on me!"
And Jesus stopped and said, "Call him." And they called the blind man, saying to him, "Take heart; rise, he is calling you."
And throwing off his mantle he sprang up and came to Jesus.
And Jesus said to him, "What do you want me to do for you?" And the blind man said to him, "Master, let me receive my sight."
And Jesus said to him, "Go your way; your faith has made you well." And immediately he received his sight and followed him on the way.