Wednesday, November 18, 2009





18 NOV 2009 (VIS) - The Holy See Press Office released the following communique yesterday evening. "This evening in the Vatican's Apostolic Palace, His Holiness Benedict XVI received in audience Pierre Nkurunziza, president of the Republic of Burundi. The president subsequently went on to meet Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B., who was accompanied by Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States. "In the course of the meetings, which took place in a cordial atmosphere, questions of mutual interest were considered, such as the importance of dialogue and of respect for human rights, as fundamental elements in the creation of a stable society oriented towards the good of all its members. Emphasis was likewise given to the Church's commitment to contributing to the integral development of the nation of Burundi in the fields of spiritual assistance, education, healthcare and social-humanitarian work. "In this context, the hope was expressed for a framework agreement to define and guarantee the juridical status of the Church and her activities in the country".OP/AUDIENCE/PRESIDENT BURUNDI VIS 091118 (180)

MEDIAEVAL CATHEDRALS: HARMONIOUS BLEND OF FAITH AND ART VATICAN CITY, 18 NOV 2009 (VIS) - "The Christian faith, profoundly rooted in the men and women of the Middle Ages", said the Pope in his catechesis during this morning's general audience, "not only gave rise to masterpieces of theological literature, it also inspired some of the most exalted artistic creations of all civilisation: the cathedrals". Apart from the more favourable historical conditions, such as greater political stability, the artistic fervour Europe witnessed over three centuries from the year 1000 was due also to "the ardour and spiritual zeal of monasticism", thanks to which the abbeys were built. There "the faithful could remain in prayer, drawn by the idea of venerating the relics of saints, which led to incessant pilgrimages", said Holy Father to the 8,000 faithful gathered in the Paul VI Hall. Thus the Romanesque churches and cathedrals came into being, one of the novelties of which was the introduction of sculptures which, more than seeking technical perfection, "had an educational aim. ... Their recurring theme was the representation of Christ as Judge, surrounded by the figures of the Apocalypse. In general it is the portals of Romanesque churches that present this image, underlining the fact that Christ is the Door that leads to heaven". Benedict XVI then turned his attention to the Gothic cathedrals of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries characterised, he said, by "their vertical thrust and luminosity". They "reveal a synthesis of faith and art, harmoniously expressed through the universal and captivating language of beauty. ... The Gothic cathedrals thus sought to translate - in their architectural lines - the longing of the soul for God", while their stained glass windows caused "a cascade of light to fall upon the faithful, recounting the story of salvation". "Gothic sculpture made cathedrals 'Bibles of stone', depicting the episodes of the Gospel and illustrating the passages of the liturgical year, from the Nativity to the Glorification of the Lord. ... Nor were the figures of the Old Testament overlooked, whose story thus became familiar to the faithful". Yet "the artistic masterpieces created in Europe over previous centuries are incomprehensible is we do not take account of the religious spirit that inspired them", said Pope Benedict. "When faith, especially as celebrated in the liturgy, encounters art, a profound harmony is created because both wish to speak of God, to make the Invisible visible". He also indicated that during his forthcoming meeting with artists, scheduled for 21 November, he will renew his "proposal of friendship between Christian spirituality and art, as expressed by my predecessors, especially ... Paul VI and John Paul II". "The force of the Romanesque and the splendour of Gothic cathedrals remind us that the 'via pulchritudinis', the way of beauty, is a privileged and fascinating way to approach the Mystery of God", said the Holy Father. "May the Lord help us", he concluded, "to rediscover this way of beauty as one of the paths, perhaps the most attractive and captivating, to encounter and to love God".AG/CATHEDRALS/... VIS 091118 (510)

APPEAL TO RESPECT THE RIGHTS AND DIGNITY OF CHILDREN VATICAN CITY, 18 NOV 2009 (VIS) - At the end of today's general audience, the Holy Father recalled the fact that Friday 20 November marks the United Nations Day of Prayer and Action for Children, called to mark the 20th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. "My thoughts go", said Benedict XVI, "to all the children of the world, especially those who live in difficult conditions, and suffer because of violence, abuse, sickness, war or hunger. "I invite you to join my prayers. At the same time I make an appeal to the international community to increase its efforts to offer an adequate response to the dramatic problems of infancy. May a generous commitment on everyone's part not be lacking, so that the rights of children may be recognised and their dignity given ever greater respect".AG/APPEAL CHILDREN/... VIS 091118 (150)

BENEDICT XVI RECEIVES PRIME MINISTER OF BANGLADESH VATICAN CITY, 18 NOV 2009 (VIS) - The Holy See Press Office released the following communique at midday today: "At the end of his general audience today, the Holy Father Benedict XVI received Sheikh Hasina, prime minister of the People's Republic of Bangladesh. She subsequently went on to meet with Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone who was accompanied by Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States. "During the cordial discussions, opinions were exchanged concerning the current situation in Bangladesh, the principal challenges facing the country, and the efforts to promote a society that is ever more open to, and respectful of, the human rights of all its citizens. Furthermore, with reference to the regular contacts between the civil and ecclesiastical authorities, attention also focused on the positive and much-appreciated contribution the Catholic Church makes to human promotion and social life in the country, through her activities of education, healthcare and assistance".OP/AUDIENCE/BANGLADESH VIS 091118 (160)

AUDIENCES VATICAN CITY, 18 NOV 2009 (VIS) - This evening the Holy Father is scheduled to receive in separate audiences four prelates from the National Conference of Bishops of Brazil, on their "ad limina" visit: - Bishop Luiz Antonio Guedes of Campo Limpo, accompanied by Bishop emeritus Emilio Pignoli. - Bishop Jose Moreira de Melo of Itapeva. - Bishop Francisco Jose Zugliani of Amparo.AL/.../... VIS 091118 (70)

OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS VATICAN CITY, 18 NOV 2009 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Fr. Jean (John) Bosco Baremes S.M., former provincial counsellor of the province of Oceania of the Marist Fathers, as bishop of Port-Vila (area 11,870, population 230,000, Catholics 32,500, priests 24, permanent deacons 1, religious 86), Vanuatu. The bishop-elect was born in Han, Papua New Guinea in 1960 and ordained a priest in 1987.NER/.../BAREMES VIS 091118 (70)



The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) voted to approve the last five pieces of the English translation of the Roman Missal during the November 17 session of the annual Fall General Assembly. Bishop Arthur Serratelli of Paterson, NJ, Chairman of the USCCB Committee on Divine Worship, called the bishops’ completion of their years-long work on the Missal “historic.”
The bishops approved the Proper of Saints with 195 in favor, 23 opposed and 4 bishops abstaining. The bishops approved the Commons with 200 bishops in favor and 19 opposed. They approved the Roman Missal Supplement with 203 in favor, 15 opposed and 3 abstaining. They approved the U.S. Propers with 199 in favor, 20 opposed and 1 abstaining. They approved the U.S. Adaptation to the Roman Missal with 199 in favor, 17 opposed and 1 abstaining.
These items will now go to the Vatican for recognitio, or approval, which Bishop Serratelli said is expected sometime in 2010. Once the new translation is approved in its entirety, the materials for its implementation at the parish level will be ready in approximately a year.---(SOURCE:



CNA reports that at the conclusion of their Plenary Assembly at the Shrine of Fatima, the bishops of Portugal stated that any form of euthanasia, or any “action or omission that, by its nature or intentions, provokes death,” is unacceptable.
In response to efforts to promote euthanasia in Portugal, the bishops issued a pastoral letter entitled, “Caring For Life Until Death.” “Nobody is the absolute owner of his or her own life and much less of the lives of others. Therefore,” they said, “assisted suicide of any kind is ethically equivalent to euthanasia.”
The prelates stressed that palliative care and attention are the best answers to alleviating suffering, but noted that it is ethically permissible to avoid extraordinary measures of care.
The legalization of euthanasia or assisted suicide would inevitably lead to pressure on those whose health is not up to society’s standards, “making them feel like an unwanted burden or inconvenience,” the bishops stated. (SOURCE:



UCAN reports that Priests in mainland China say they appreciate the Vatican's recent letter to them, while pointing out at the same time the challenges faced by the "underground" and government-approved Church communities.

A procession of deacons before their priestlyordination Mass in Jilin, China (File photo)
Vatican secretary of state Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone's letter, written for the Year for Priests, was published in the Vatican's Fides Service and Vatican Radio websites on Nov. 16. It was believed to be a result of the meeting of the Holy See's Commission for the Catholic Church in China in late March.
Half of the meeting was devoted to the formation of seminarians, priests and Religious.
The document, dated Nov. 10, reiterates the importance of reconciliation within the Catholic community and reminded the clergy to find strength from the Eucharist. It also advised bishops to ensure adequate formation for their priests.
Father John Li Hongwei of Changsha, from the "open" Church community, said the letter was timely and useful in helping priests learn how to act according to the Gospel.
Since Changsha diocese has had no bishop for nine years, his fellow priests have tended to work independently with little cooperation among themselves. Such lack of unity has caused many problems, he said.
Father Paul Bai Chunlong of Jilin, also from the open Church community, appreciated the cardinal's reminder to bishops to pay "particular attention" to young priests working alone soon after ordination.
"Sometimes when attention and care are inadequate, priests can face many temptations," said Father Bai, who teaches at the diocesan seminary in northeastern China.
The priest, who is in his 30s, said he welcomed the section in the letter asking priests to emulate the dedication of Saint John Mary Vianney, patron of parish priests, to his priestly ministry.
Commenting on the letter's emphasis on "reconciliation within the Catholic community" in China, he believes bishops from both Church communities should take the lead by contacting and accepting one other. "Three of my primary schoolmates became underground priests and we lost contact. But now we phone each other and meet up regularly," he said.
Father John Baptist of Mindong diocese's underground community said he was touched by the cardinal's concerns for priests in China.
He observed that both clergy and laypeople have become very secular in outlook, thus they especially need spiritual formation. Most mainland priests are also not well educated and some even lack proper seminary training.
However, he noted that the older bishops lack the energy to mentor the younger priests, while the younger bishops find it hard to command the same kind of respect from priests in the same age group.


CISA reports that the Kenyan Government has refuted claims that the evictions of settlers from the Mau Forest are inhuman. The government has not gone back on its word and those leaving the forest were provided with transport and food, Forestry and Wildlife Minister, Dr Noah Wekesa said in a statement on November 16.He also accused leaders from the region of politicising the process saying, "The people who moved out have been provided with transport to take them where they would like to go. Livelihood support is already on ground to cater for all encroachers for at least one month," He made the remarks as the Kenya Forest Services (KFS) started evicting squatters still lingering in the Mau Forest.Those ejected joined nearly 2,000 now camping in three temporary camps after moving out of the dwellings in the South Western Mau. A team of forest service rangers moved deeper into the forest at Tinet where the settlers were persuaded to move out.The armed officers did not use any force but talked to the concerned families and even helped them transport their belonging in their trucks. KFS trucks streamed out of the forest, carrying mainly women and children as men drove their animals and others carted households on donkey backs.The operation got under way as the first form of humanitarian assistance started trickling in for the families staying in the cold in the temporary structures. A team of Red Cross personnel arrived at Kapkembu on Monday afternoon and proceeded to distribute what they termed "non-food items" - blankets, soaps and mosquito nets to the families.However, the plight of the displaced families was worsened by heavy rains the whole afternoon. According to reports by the Daily Nation from camps in Kapkembu, Saino, Ndoinet, Tiriita and Kipkongor last week found that none of the arrangements promised by Forestry minister was in place.Dr Wekesa said the eviction of settlers would continue as similar evictions had been undertaken in Mt Kenya, Mt Elgon, Cherangany and Aberdares. "People have been removed from Embobut Forest in Marakwet and Marmanet Forest in Nyahururu... Our appeal to all Kenyans is to support the government's conservation efforts as they are not targeted to any community," said Dr Wekesa.So far more than 2, 000 squatters have left the forest in Chematich, Olenguruone, Kapkembu and Saino. The situation in Mau has been described as grave and it is imperative that the government urgently assists the families who are camped by the roadside.Mau Forest is a forest complex in the Rift Valley of Kenya. It is the largest indigenous Montane forest in East Africa. The Mau Forest complex has an area of more than 27,000. Over the last two decades, the Mau Complex has lost approximately 25 percent of its forest cover - around 107,000 hectares (413 square miles) - due to irregular and unplanned settlements, illegal resources extraction, in particular logging and charcoal burning, the change of land use from forest to unsustainable agriculture and change in ownership from public to private.The forest area has some of the highest rainfall rates in Kenya. Mau Forest is the largest water catchment area in Kenya. Numerous rivers originate from the forest, including Ewaso Ng'iro River (southern), Sondu River, Mara River and Njoro River. These rivers feed Lake Victoria, Lake Nakuru and Lake Natron. Westerns slopes of the Mau Escarpment are covered by Mau Forest. The strategic importance of the Mau Forest lies in the ecosystem services it provides to Kenya and the region - river flow regulation, flood mitigation, water storage, reduced soil erosion, biodiversity, carbon sequestration, carbon reservoir and microclimate regulation. (SOURCE:


Cath News reports that Adelaide City Council said it is "disrespectful" of the Church to propose the demolition of buildings surrounding St Francis Xavier Cathedral to make way for a nine storey glass office building.
The council's Development Assessment Panel said the Catholic Church Endowment Society $50 million plan was unsympathetic and deputy presiding member Rob Cheesman cast doubt on whether it was genuine, The Advertiser reported.
"I'm not sure if this proposal is serious or not. I'm not being flippant," he said, citing a lack of documentation and forethought.
Adelaide City councillor Michael Henningsen, who is a member of St Francis Xavier's parish, also had grave concerns about the plan.
"I find this to be an absolutely schizoid proposal," Cr Henningsen said.
"The current Catholic diocesean offices respect everything around it; they are extremely sympathetic to the heritage neighbours.
"Now we have this proposal. I find them incredibly anal in some ways, but in other ways very disrespectful."
The Catholic Church Endowment Society was not available for comment, the report said.


St. Rose Philippine Duchesne
Feast: November 18
Feast Day:
November 18
29 August 1769 at Grenoble, France
18 November 1852 at Saint Charles, Missouri, USA
July 3, 1988 by Pope John Paul II

Rose Philippine Duchesne came to the wilds of North America when anything west of Pittsburgh was considered uncharted wilderness. She came up the Mississippi to Missouri and established a school at St. Charles as early as 1818, while St. Elizabeth Seton was doing her work in the eastern United States. She is the foundress of the American branch of the Society of the Sacred Heart.
She was born in Grenoble, France, in 1769, her father a successful businessman. She was educated by the Visitation nuns and, although her father opposed her decision, she entered the Visitation Order in 1788, in the middle of the French Revolution. She was not able to make her profession because of the disruption of the Revolution and had to return home when the Visitation sisters were expelled from their convents.
During the Revolution, she cared for the sick and poor, helped fugitive priests, visited prisons, and taught children. After the Revolution, she tried to reorganize the Visitation community but was unsuccessful, so she offered the empty convent to St. Madeleine Sophie Barat, foundress of the Society of the Sacred Heart, and entered the Sacred Heart Order herself. When the bishop of New Orleans, William Du Bourg, requested nuns for his huge Louisiana diocese, St. Rose Philippine Duchesne came to the United States, arriving in New Orleans in 1818.
She and her four nuns were sent to St. Charles, Missouri, where she immediately opened a school; then at Florissant, she built a convent, an orphanage, a parish school, a school for Indians, a boarding academy, and a novitiate for her order. In 1827, she was in St. Louis where she founded an orphanage, a convent, and a parish school. Her energy and ideas were prodigious. When she was seventy-two years old, she founded a mission school for Indian girls in Kansas and spent much of her time there nursing the sick.
Her last years were spent at St. Charles, a model and inspiration to those around her, facing all the hardships of pioneer work. She died on November 18, 1852, at the age of eighty-three and was canonized in 1988. She was truly the "missionary of the American frontier," one that her beloved Potawatomi Indians called , "Woman-who-prays-always."

Dedication of the Basilicas of Sts. Peter & Paul
Feast: November 18
Feast Day:
November 18

The Vatican Church, dedicated in honour of St. Peter, is the second patriarchal church at Rome, and in it reposes one half of the precious remains of the bodies of SS. Peter and Paul. The tombs of the great conquerors and lords of the world have been long since destroyed and forgotten; but those of the martyrs are glorious by the veneration which the faithful pay to their memory.
The body of St. Peter is said to have been buried immediately after his martyrdom, upon this spot, on the Vatican hill, which was then without the walls and near the suburb inhabited by the Jews. The remains of this apostle were removed hence into the cemetery of Calixtus, but brought back to the Vatican. Those of St. Paul were deposited on the Ostian Way, where his church now stands. The tombs of the two princes of the apostles, from the beginning, were visited by Christians with extraordinary devotion above those of other martyrs. Caius, the learned and eloquent priest of Rome, in 210, in his dialogue with Proclus the Montanist, speaks thus of them: "I can show you the trophies of the apostles. For, whether you go to the Vatican hill, or to the Ostian road, you will meet with the monuments of them who by their preaching and miracles founded this church."
The Christians, even in the times of persecution, adorned the tombs of the martyrs and the oratories which they erected over them, where they frequently prayed. Constantine the Great, after founding the Lateran Church, built seven other churches at Rome and many more in other parts of Italy. The first of these were the churches of St. Peter on the Vatican hill (where a temple of Apollo and another of Idaea, mother of the gods, before stood) in honour of the place where the prince of the apostles had suffered martyrdom and was buried and that of St. Paul, at his tomb on the Ostian road. The yearly revenues which Constantine granted to all these churches, amounted to seventeen thousand seven hundred and seventy golden pence, which is above thirteen thousand pounds sterling, counting the prices, gold for gold; but, as the value of gold and silver was then much higher than at present, the sum in our money at this day would be much greater. These churches were built by Constantine in so stately and magnificent a manner as to vie with the finest structures in the empire, as appears from the description which Eusebius gives us of the Church of Tyre; for we find that the rest were erected upon the same model, which was consequently of great antiquity. St. Peter's Church on the Vatican, being fallen to decay, it was begun to be rebuilt under Julius II in 1506, and was dedicated by Urban VIII in 1626, on this day; the same on which the dedication of the old church was celebrated The precious remains of many popes, martyrs, and other saints, are deposited partly under the altars of this vast and beautiful church, and partly in a spacious subterraneous church under the other. But the richest treasure of this venerable place consists in the relics of SS. Peter and Paul, which lie in a sumptuous vault beyond the middle of the church, towards the upper end, under a magnificent altar at which only the pope says mass, unless he commissions another to officiate there. This sacred vault is called The confession of St. Peter, or The threshold of the Apostles (



Luke 14: 22 - 33
And the servant said, `Sir, what you commanded has been done, and still there is room.'
And the master said to the servant, `Go out to the highways and hedges, and compel people to come in, that my house may be filled.
For I tell you, none of those men who were invited shall taste my banquet.'"
Now great multitudes accompanied him; and he turned and said to them,
"If any one comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.
Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me, cannot be my disciple.
For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it?
Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him,
saying, `This man began to build, and was not able to finish.'
Or what king, going to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and take counsel whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand?
And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends an embassy and asks terms of peace.
So therefore, whoever of you does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.





17 NOV 2009 (VIS) - Made public yesterday was a letter from Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B. to priests of the Catholic Church in the People's Republic of China, for the occasion of the Year for Priests which was called to mark the 150th anniversary of the death of St. John Mary Vianney, the saintly "Cure of Ars". "In the Letter that the Holy Father addressed to the bishops, priests, consecrated persons and lay faithful in the People's Republic of China on 27 May 2007, a number of guidelines are indicated for the future journey of the Church", explains the cardinal in his letter which was published in Chinese, English and Italian. "Among those I wish to emphasise reconciliation within the Catholic community and a respectful and constructive dialogue with the civil authorities, without renouncing the principles of the Catholic faith. In this regard, despite the persisting difficulties, the information that has come from different parts of China points also to signs of hope". Cardinal Bertone also expresses the view that, "at a distance of only two years since the publication of the papal Letter, it does not seem that the time has come to make definitive evaluations. Using the words of the great missionary of China, Fr. Matteo Ricci, I believe we can say that it is still more a time of sowing than of reaping". "There are", the secretary of State tells Chinese clergy, "various practical ways in which you can make your valuable contribution: for example, by visiting Catholic and non-Catholic families frequently; ... increasing efforts to prepare and train good catechists; fostering greater use of charitable services directed especially to children and to sick and old people; ... organising special gatherings where Catholics could invite their non-Catholic relatives and friends in order to become better acquainted with the Catholic Church and Christian faith; distributing Catholic literature to non-Catholics". "In this Year of the Priesthood, I wish to remind you of the source where you can find the strength to be faithful to your important mission, ... the Eucharist. ... A truly Eucharistic community cannot retreat into itself, as though it were self-sufficient, but must stay in communion with every other Catholic community". Addressing bishops, Cardinal Bertone says: "Your paternal solicitude will suggest to you, according to the possibilities and conditions of each diocese, suitable initiatives for promoting vocations to the priesthood, such as prayer days and meetings or the opening of places where priests and faithful, especially the young, can come to pray together under the guidance of expert and good priests acting as spiritual directors". "The Holy Father Benedict XVI realises that 'in China too, as in the rest of the Church, the need for an adequate ongoing formation of the clergy is emerging. Hence the invitation, addressed to you bishops as leaders of ecclesial communities, to think especially of the young clergy who are increasingly subject to new pastoral challenges, linked to the demands of the task of evangelising a society as complex as that of present-day China'". "The saintly 'Cure of Ars' teaches us that the worship given to the Eucharist outside of Mass is of inestimable value in the life of every priest. This worship is closely joined to the celebration of the Eucharist". After then highlighting how, "if we are united in the Eucharistic Christ, all of the miseries of the world echo in our hearts to implore the mercy of God", the cardinal secretary of State emphasises the need "to seek reconciliation with concrete gestures. ... In order to obtain it, there is an urgent need to pay attention also to the human formation of all the faithful, priests and sisters included, because the lack of human maturity, self-control and inner harmony is the most frequent source of misunderstandings, lack of co-operation and conflicts within Catholic communities". Finally, Cardinal Bertone concludes by "entrusting to the Most Blessed Virgin the wish that your priestly life may be guided more and more by those ideals of the total giving of oneself to Christ and to the Church which inspired the thought and action of the saintly 'Cure of Ars'".SS/.../CHINESE PRIESTS VIS 091117 (710)

CONFERENCE ON DEAF PEOPLE IN THE LIFE OF THE CHURCH VATICAN CITY, 17 NOV 2009 (VIS) - This morning in the Holy See Press Office, the presentation took place of the 24th international conference promoted by the Pontifical Council for Health Pastoral Care. The theme of this year's gathering is "Effata! Deaf people in the life of the Church", and the event is due to be held in the Vatican's New Synod Hall from 19 to 21 November. Participating in today's press conference were Archbishop Zygmunt Zimowski, Bishop Jose L. Redrado O.H. and Msgr. Jean-Marie Mpendawatu, respectively president, secretary and under secretary of the Pontifical Council for Health Pastoral Care; Fr. Savino Castiglione of the Congregation "Little Mission for the Deaf", and Marco Radici, director of the ENT unit of the Hospital of St. John of God "Fatebenefratelli" in Rome. There are 278 million people in the world who suffer from hearing impairment, of whom 59 million are profoundly deaf. Eighty percent of deaf people live in the less-developed areas of the planet. It is also estimated that there are around 1.3 million deaf people in the Catholic Church who, Archbishop Zimowski explained, "face particular difficulties in participating fully in religious practices". The forthcoming conference - which will be attended by 498 people, 89 of whom are deaf - arises from the need to promote and improve commitment in this field of disability in order "to achieve true integration for deaf people", he said. "According to the timetable", the archbishop continued, "the three days of the meeting will be subdivided into sections focusing on various aspects of deafness. The first day will examine the themes of: 'deaf people in the world, past and present'; 'the psychological world of deaf people'; the 'medical aspects of deafness', and 'experiences from the world of deafness'". The second day, during which the participants will also be received by the Pope, will consider such themes as "the family and deaf people" and "pastoral care of the deaf". The conference will come to an end on 21 November with a summarisation of the subjects discussed, roundtable discussions and the presentation of a final report. Among those attending the conference will be Archbishop Patrick A. Kelly of Liverpool, England, and Terry O'Meara, respectively president and director of the International Catholic Foundation for the Service of Deaf Persons; Silvio P. Mariotti, an expert of the World Health Organisation, and Fr. Cyril Axelrod, a blind and deaf priest. Also participating in the event will be Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragan and Cardinal Fiorenzo Angelini, presidents emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Health Pastoral Care, which is due to celebrate the 25th anniversary of its foundation on 11 February 2010.OP/EFFATA/ZIMOWSKI VIS 091117 (450)

AUDIENCES VATICAN CITY, 17 NOV 2009 (VIS) - This evening Holy Father is due to receive in audience Pierre Nkurunziza, president of the Republic of Burundi, accompanied by an entourage.AP/.../... VIS 091117 (30)

OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS VATICAN CITY, 17 NOV 2009 (VIS) - The Holy Father accepted: - The resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Sapporo, Japan, presented by Bishop Peter Toshio Jinushi, upon having reached the age limit. - The resignation from the pastoral care of the archdiocese of Douala, Cameroon, presented by Cardinal Christian Wiyghan Tumi, upon having reached the age limit. He is succeeded by Coadjutor Archbishop Samuel Kleda.RE/.../JINUSHI:TUMI:KLEDA VIS 091117 (80)

IN MEMORIAM VATICAN CITY, 17 NOV 2009 (VIS) - The following prelates died in recent weeks: - Bishop Roque Antonio Adames Rodriguez, emeritus of Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic, on 31 October at the age of 80. - Bishop Jose Afonso Ribeiro T.O.R., prelate of emeritus of Borba, Brazil, on 11 November at the age of 80. - Bishop Hubertus Brandenburg, emeritus of Stockholm, Sweden, on 4 November at the age of 85. - Bishop Abraham Escudero Montoya of Palmira, Colombia, on 6 November at the age of 69. - Bishop Antonio Rosario Mennonna, emeritus of Nardo, Italy, on 6 November at the age of 103. - Bishop Manuel Romero Arvizu O.F.M., prelate emeritus of Jesus Maria, Mexico, on 6 November at the age of 90. - Bishop Arturo Salazar Mejia O.A.R., emeritus of Pasto, Colombia, on 1 November at the age of 88..../DEATHS/... VIS 091117 (150)



CNA reports that Monday, Nov. 16 marked the 20th anniversary of the murder of six Jesuit priests, their housekeeper and her daughter in El Salvador. The massacre took place in 1989 and was perpetrated by members of an army battalion during El Salvador's civil war.
Speaking on behalf of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Bishop Howard Hubbard of Albany, New York said that the USCCB joins in “commemorating the lives and the work of the six Jesuits and their collaborators.”
Bishop Hubbard, Chairman of the USCCB's Committee on International Justice and Peace, has also thanked the members of Congress who have sponsored and co-sponsored House and Senate resolutions (H.R. 761 and S. 321) which have honored the lives of the six priests.
In his letter to Congress, Bishop Hubbard quoted Pope Benedict XVI's recent encyclical, “Caritas in Veritate,” saying, “charity is at the heart of the Church's social doctrine … (and) gives real substance to the personal relationship with God and with neighbor.”
The Bishop continued by saying that “it is precisely this kind of charity that was exemplified by the Jesuits in El Salvador - a commitment to a more just and peaceful society where the human needs and rights of people are acknowledged and respected.”
Bishop Hubbard concluded that “their legacy continues to be embodied in the many women and men who still seek a more just, peaceful and secure world where the life and dignity of all persons is defended.” (SOURCE:



CNA reports that during the presentation of his book, “The Contribution of Christians for a New Europe,” the Dean of the College of Cardinals, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, said Europe, “more than a geographic reality, is a spiritual reality, which distinguishes it from other continents,” and that it has profound Christian roots which cannot be ignored in the face of secularist threats to banish them.
In the introduction to the book, Cardinal Sodano recalls first the great work of Pope John Paul II and his contribution to the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of Communism in Europe. He also noted the late Pope's untiring work in support of the “European Community of the Spirit,” a task also important to Pope Benedict XVI.
Benedict XVI, says Cardinal Sodano, “from the outset of his pontificate, has always recalled the Christian roots of Europe, which are capable of assuring a new and harmonious development of social life on the continent.”
He said these statements by the Holy Father conflict with “a secular current that seeks to hide the religious and moral aspect of the lives of the European people. Some have even spoken of a time of historical amnesia, others of Christ-phobia. What is certain is that there are attempts to dissolve the Christian identity of Europe,” the cardinal said.
“Many people of good will, in particular the Christians of Europe, who are the guardians of that spiritual patrimony that has always characterized them throughout the centuries,” have fought against these attempts, he added.
Cardinal Sodano noted that in his recent encyclical, “Caritas in Veritate,” Pope Benedict XVI called on Christians in Europe to make the Gospel present in the lives of their communities and to thus transform society.
“Christians are only demanding the right to concur in the formation of a civilization that respects and promotes the rights of all, that is, of believers and their institutions,” the cardinal said.
“The new Europe that Christians, particularly Catholics, want to strengthen is not a sectarian Europe. But neither do they want Europe to be a secular institution that disregards the spiritual values that have given it life throughout the centuries,” he added.
Christians “understand well the duty to give unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s, but they also legitimately demand Caesar to give to God that which is God’s,” the cardinal concluded.(SOURCE:



UCAN reports that the bishop of Macau is rallying Catholic government officials to tackle corruption, which emerged as the key concern in a recent poll.

The Catholic-run Macau Inter-University Institute (IIUM) survey found that nearly a third of respondents thought corruption had worsened in the past 10 years.
It was the chief concern among the 15 topics that people were asked to respond to in the survey, which aimed to measure Macau residents' quality of life. The second highest concern was unemployment with 26 percent believing it was a worse problem now than a decade ago.
Bishop Jose Lai Hung-seng told UCA News he would contact high-ranking officials who are Catholics to express his concerns, noting that as officials, they are involved in public decision-making and formulating government policies.
He said he will also instruct parishes, catechism classes and Catholic schools to strengthen their teaching of Catholic social principles.
Richard Whitfield, principal researcher of the "Quality of Life Report" survey, told UCA News that the Macau government needs to heed community demands for open and transparent governance.
The authorities should investigate allegations that government officials take advantage of their positions for monetary gain and launch an education program for them.
There have been a series of high-profile corruption cases recently.
In April this year, the former secretary for transportation Ao Man-long was sentenced to 27 years' imprisonment for taking bribes amounting to 804 million patacas (US$102 million) while in office.
Media also reported on several other allegations of government officials transferring benefits to business companies in public projects and through land selling in recent years.
The "Observatorio De Macau", a weekly newspaper published by the Lay Catholic Association of Macau, in its Nov. 8 issue drew attention to a controversial land transaction.
A 442,200-square-meter plot of land in Taipa was sold to an affiliate of a casino operator for 2.92 billion patacas without going through the process of public bidding in October.
In comparison, the weekly reported that two pieces of land, totaling just 4,700 square meters and located in less prime areas, were sold for a total of 1.41 billion patacas last year.
Legislator Paul Chan Wai-chi, director of the weekly, together with other legislators submitted a motion on Nov. 12 to hear the controversial case. This was rejected.
Chan told UCA News he will hold a rally against corruption on Dec. 20, the 10th anniversary of Macau's handover by Portugal to China.



CISA reports that civil rights groups are calling on governments and donors to implement the existing commitments on water and sanitation saying that Africa is off-track on Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).Speaking during a meeting on the Africa Water Week in Midrand, South Africa the civil societies also called for allocation of half the percent of the national Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for sanitation and also an increase in the political profile of sanitation.According to IPS they again called for investment in infrastructure to mitigate floods, droughts and other threats and to involve citizens in the monitoring and management of rivers and lake basins in order to build climate resilience.According to the civil rights groups, governments have repeatedly committed to increase support for water and sanitation most recently in July 2008, at the African Union (AU) Summit in Egypt however, they say implementation has failed due to a lack of funds and political will.Jamillah Mwanjisi, executive secretary for the African Civil Society Network on Water and Sanitation said during the meeting, “In certain countries, one in eight people have access to safe sanitation. In terms of water supply, it is mostly rich people in urban areas who have access, while the rural community still has to walk four to eight kilometers to get water.”She said that donor aid is not sufficient for Africa and until recently sanitation was not on the political agenda.Fatima Zohra Zerouati, chairperson of the National Federation for Environment Protection in Algeria added that Africa running late in terms of achieving goals on water and sanitation and there is need for swift action.She emphasized that leaders should understand that water and sanitation are more important than the army, which receives far more resources in almost every country.Ada-Oko Williams, the Regional Learning Centre Co-ordinator for Water Aid, an international NGO, says the way forward is prioritization of water and sanitation issues, the designation of responsible agencies and drawing up clear national plans for sanitation using MDG targets as benchmarks.Rose Kaggwa, manager of external services for the National Water and Sewerage Corporation of Uganda, said that to move from talk to action, it is important to bring partners together to focus in one direction; otherwise, there would be too many people doing too many things in different direction.Switzerland-based NGO International Rainwater Harvesting Alliance (IHRA) is also working on sustainable solutions to water and sanitation problems in West Africa. One project, at a school in the village of Luwasa in the southern Nigerian state of Lagos, replaced four poorly-maintained pit latrines with new toilets and a rainwater harvesting system.The schools nearly 2,000 pupils had stopped using the overflowing pit latrines, instead defecating in the bushes near the school compound. The school had a borehole, but it had dried up. The lack of water and private toilet facilities at the school had been linked to absenteeism among girls in particular.



Cath News reports that a Toowoomba Catholic primary school principal charged with failing to report a student's complaint of sexual assault by a teacher claimed he had followed the instructions of his superiors.
The principal, who cannot be named so as to protect the identity of the school and complainant children, told Toowoomba Magistrates Court he had sought the advice of his immediate superiors when told of the Year 4 student's allegations in September 2007, according to the Toowoomba Chronicle.
He told a packed courtroom that it was his understanding under the legislation that he was obliged to inform his employer of any such allegation and that is what he had done. He had followed their advice on how to proceed, he said.
Police say the defendant's actions in reporting the incident did not comply with that set out under the legislation and claim he could have contacted police in the first instance.


St. Elizabeth of Hungary
Feast: November 17
Feast Day:
November 17
1207 at Presburg, Hungary
17 November 1231, Marburg, Germany
1235, Perugia, Italy
Major Shrine:
Elisabeth Church (Marburg)
Patron of:
hospitals, nurses, bakers, brides, countesses, dying children, exiles, homeless people, lacemakers, tertiaries and widows

Also called St. Elizabeth of Thuringia, born in Hungary, probably at Pressburg, 1207; died at Marburg, Hesse, 17 November (not 19 November), 1231. She was a daughter of King Andrew II of Hungary (1205-35) and his wife Gertrude, a member of the family of the Counts of Andechs-Meran; Elizabeth's brother succeeded his father on the throne of Hungary as Bela IV; the sister of her mother, Gertrude, was St. Hedwig, wife of Duke Heinrich I, the Bearded, of Silesia, while another saint, St. Elizabeth (Isabel) of Portugal (d. 1336), the wife of the tyrannical King Diniz of that country, was her great-niece. In 1211 a formal embassy was sent by Landgrave Hermann I of Thuringia to Hungary to arrange, as was customary in that age, a marriage between his eldest son Hermann and Elizabeth, who was then four years old. This plan of a marriage was the result of political considerations and was intended to be the ratification of a great alliance which in the political schemes of the time it was sought to form against the German Emperor Otto IV, a member of the house of Guelph, who had quarrelled with the Church. Not long after this the little girl was taken to the Thuringian court to be brought up with her future husband and, in the course of time, to be betrothed to him. The court of Thuringia was at this period famous for its magnificence. Its centre was the stately castle of the Wartburg, splendidly placed on a hill in the Thuringian Forest near Eisenach, where the Landgrave Hermann lived surrounded by poets and minnesingers, to whom he was a generous patron. Notwithstanding the turbulence and purely secular life of the court and the pomp of her surroundings, the little girl grew up a very religious child with an evident inclination to prayer and pious observances and small acts of self-mortification. These religious impulses were undoubtedly strengthened by the sorrowful experiences of her life. In 1213 Elizabeth's mother, Gertrude, was murdered by Hungarian nobles, probably out of hatred of the Germans. On 31 December, 1216, the oldest son of the landgrave, Hermann, who Elizabeth was to marry, died; after this she was betrothed to Ludwig, the second son. It was probably in these years that Elizabeth had to suffer the hostility of the more frivolous members of the Thuringian court, to whom the contemplative and pious child was a constant rebuke. Ludwig, however, must have soon come to her protection against any ill-treatment. The legend that arose later is incorrect in making Elizabeth's mother-in-law, the Landgravine Sophia, a member of the reigning family of Bavaria, the leader of this court party. On the contrary, Sophia was a very religious and charitable woman and a kindly mother to the little Elizabeth. The political plans of the old Landgrave Hermann involved him in great difficulties and reverses; he was excommunicated, lost his mind towards the end of his life, and died, 25 April, 1217, unreconciled with the Church. He was succeeded by his son Ludwig IV, who, in 1221, was also made regent of Meissen and the East Mark. The same year (1221) Ludwig and Elizabeth were married, the groom being twenty-one years old and the bride fourteen. The marriage was in every regard a happy and exemplary one, and the couple were devotedly attached to each other. Ludwig proved himself worthy of his wife. He gave his protection to her acts of charity, penance, and her vigils and often held Elizabeth's hands as she knelt praying at night beside his bed. He was also a capable ruler and brave soldier. The Germans call him St. Ludwig, an appellation given to him as one of the best men of his age and the pious husband of St. Elizabeth. They had three children: Hermann II (1222-41), who died young; Sophia (1224-84), who married Henry II, Duke of Brabant, and was the ancestress of the Landgraves of Hesse, as in the war of the Thuringian succession she won Hesse for her son Heinrich I, called the Child; Gertrude (1227-97), Elizabeth's third child, was born several weeks after the death of her father; in after-life she became abbess of the convent of Aldenburg near Wetzlar.
Shortly after their marriage, Elizabeth and Ludwig made a journey to Hungary; Ludwig was often after this employed by the Emperor Frederick II, to whom he was much attached, in the affairs of the empire. In the spring of 1226, when floods, famine, and the pest wrought havoc in Thuringia, Ludwig was in Italy attending the Diet at Cremona on behalf of the emperor and the empire. Under these circumstances Elizabeth assumed control of affairs, distributed alms in all parts of the territory of her husband, giving even state robes and ornaments to the poor. In order to care personally for the unfortunate she built below the Wartburg a hospital with twenty-eight beds and visited the inmates daily to attend to their wants; at the same time she aided nine hundred poor daily. It is this period of her life that has preserved Elizabeth's fame to posterity as the gentle and charitable Cheatelaine of the Wartburg. Ludwig on his return confirmed all she had done. The next year (1227) he started with the Emperor Frederick II on a crusade to Palestine but died, 11 September of the same year at Otranto, from the pest. The news did not reach Elizabeth until October, just after she had given birth to her third child. On hearing the tidings Elizabeth, who was only twenty years old, cried out: "The world with all its joys is now dead to me."The fact that in 1221 the followers of St. Francis of Assisi (d. 1226) made their first permanent settlement in Germany was one of great importance in the later career of Elizabeth. Brother Rodeger, one of the first Germans whom the provincial for Germany, Caesarius of Speier, received into the order, was for a time the spiritual instructor of Elizabeth at the Wartburg; in his teachings he unfolded to her the ideals of St. Francis, and these strongly appealed to her. With the aid of Elizabeth the Franciscans in 1225 founded a monastery in Eisenach; Brother Rodeger, as his fellow-companion in the order, Jordanus, reports, instructed Elizabeth, to observe, according to her state of life, chastity, humility, patience, the exercise of prayer, and charity. Her position prevented the attainment of the other ideal of St. Francis, voluntary and complete poverty. Various remarks of Elizabeth to her female attendants make it clear how ardently she desired the life of poverty. After a while the post Brother Rodeger had filled was assumed by Master Conrad of Marburg, who belonged to no order, but was a very ascetic and, it must be acknowledged, a somewhat rough and very severe man. He was well known as a preacher of the crusade and also as an inquisitor or judge in cases of heresy. On account of the latter activity he has been more severely judged than is just; at the present day, however, the estimate of him is a fairer one. Pope Gregory IX, who wrote at times to Elizabeth, recommended her himself to the God-fearing preacher. Conrad treated Elizabeth with inexorable severity, even using corporal means of correction; nevertheless, he brought her with a firm hand by the road of self-mortification to sanctity, and after her death was very active in her canonization. Although he forbade her to follow St. Francis in complete poverty as a beggar, yet, on the other hand, by the command to keep her dower she was enabled to perform works of charity and tenderness.(SOURCE:


Matthew 25: 31 - 40
"When the Son of man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne.
Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate them one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats,
and he will place the sheep at his right hand, but the goats at the left.
Then the King will say to those at his right hand, `Come, O blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world;
for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me,
I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.'
Then the righteous will answer him, `Lord, when did we see thee hungry and feed thee, or thirsty and give thee drink?
And when did we see thee a stranger and welcome thee, or naked and clothe thee?
And when did we see thee sick or in prison and visit thee?'
And the King will answer them, `Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.'