CATHOLIC WORLD NEWS: SAT. NOV. 28, 2009: HEADLINES-
VATICAN: POPE: PEACE NEEDS OPEN HEARTS & MINDS & REQUIRES DEFENCE OF LIFE
EUROPE: ENGLAND: PRIME MINISTER ASKS TO REFORM RULE AGAINST CATHOLICS-
AMERICA: USA: NATIONAL CONFERENCE OF STUDENTS FOR LIFE SOLD OUT-
AFRICA: SUDAN: CHURCH APPEALS FOR SUPPORT IN CRISIS -
ASIA: SRI LANKA: CHURCH HELPS FORMER TAMIL TIGER REBELS-
AUSTRALIA: CIVIL PARTNERSHIPS CEREMONIES LEGAL-
POPE: PEACE NEEDS OPEN HEARTS & MINDS & REQUIRES DEFENCE OF LIFE
The peace treaty between Argentina and Chile, strongly desired by John Paul II and reached through the mediation of the Holy See was a historic event. On Saturday Benedict XVI commemorated the signing of the treaty exactly 25 years ago as he received the presidents of Argentina and Chile on visit to the Vatican. Peace, said the Pope, needs open hearts and minds, especially among politicians, and requires the defence of life and human dignity, protection of the family, efforts against poverty and corruption, economic growth , solidarity and democracy. Benedict XVI also recalled the words of Pius XII, that nothing is lost in peace, all can be lost with war.
ENGLAND: PRIME MINISTER ASKS TO REFORM RULE AGAINST CATHOLICS
Cath News reports that British Prime Minister Gordon Brown will ask Kevin Rudd for Australian approval to reform the 300 year old rule that discriminates against women and members of the Royal family who marry Catholics, reports The Australian.
He will not advocate complete equality for Catholics and is expected to retain rules that hold only non-Catholics can become the head of state of Australia, Britain and 14 other countries ruled by the House of Windsor.
All 16 realms of Queen Elizabeth would have to approve any changes so Mr Brown will use the meeting in Trinidad of Commonwealth Heads of Government to raise the issue in private discussions with his colleagues, the report said.
The decade old complaints about the sexism built into the rules of succession, which mean that Anne, the Princess Royal, is outranked by her younger brothers and their children, have gained a sense of urgency because of concerns that the future heir Prince William, 27, could marry and have children in the next few years, The Australian adds.
It was the overthrow of King James II in favour of the Protestant William of Orange in 1688 that led to the ban on Catholics in that year's Bill of Rights and the 1701 Act of Settlement.
Mr Brown said the Act of Settlement was "outdated" and had "to be looked at" but that could only happen "in the context of the whole Commonwealth and all countries where the Queen is the head of state."
The ban on Catholics becoming head of state is seen as untouchable by the Church of England because of the monarch's dual role as Supreme Governor of the Church of England.
USA: NATIONAL CONFERENCE OF STUDENTS FOR LIFE SOLD OUT
CNA reports that the National Conference of Students for Life of America, scheduled to be held on Jan 23, 2010, has already sold out.
“I was amazed to see our national conference sell out so quickly this year. It is a true reflection of what my staff has been witnessing on college campuses for the past several months,” Kristan Hawkins, the Executive Director of Students for Life of America, told CNA.
The conference will be an opportunity for students across the U.S. to receive training on how to be effective advocates for life, be educated on all of the current issues affecting the pro-life movement, and meet and network with other pro-life students from across the country. It will be held at the Catholic University of America on January 23, the day after the March for Life in Washington, D.C.
“Pro-life students are tired of the some old politics as usual in Washington, D.C. and on their campuses. They are activating like never before to provide resources to women facing unplanned pregnancies in their communities and are standing up to the culture of death policies of Congress and the current presidential administration,” Hawkins added.
The conference's website assures readers that next year's conference will be held in a larger venue. But for the 778 participants lucky enough to be registered, the day itself will feature talks on “Knowing Your Rights on Campus” and “How Abortion Affects Real Women and Men.”
The afternoon will host a number of breakout sessions aimed at helping students become better and more effective ambassadors to their campuses. The sessions will discuss a variety of topics ranging from stem cell research and bio-ethical reform to sidewalk counseling and breaking through apathy on their campuses.
More information on the conference and the host organization can be found at http://www.studentsforlife.org/ (SOURCE: http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/new.php?n=17839
SUDAN: CHURCH APPEALS FOR SUPPORT IN CRISIS
CISA reports that the Church in the Sudan has appealed to its counterparts elsewhere in the world to support it on the country’s Darfur crisis issue.Addressing a two day Darfur Regional Initiative for a lasting peace in Sudan, Chad and Central African Republic (CAR) today-November 24 here-Nairobi, Deputy Secretary General of the Sudan Council of Churches (SCC), Rev. Mark Alek Cien observed that “As we congregate here today, the Darfur crisis is on the rise”.The insecurity is still biting hard, food availability is quite an issue and peace negotiation on the issue is not making much progress, stressed Rev. Cien.He added that the humanitarian situation in Darfur has been worsened by an expulsion of 13 foreign-aided non-governmental organizations by Khartoum Government.“With the rain failure in some parts of the country, the food availability for the Darfur people is likely to be quite an issue”, stressed Rev. Cien.The two day consultation held between November 23-24, organized by the All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC), was attended by 13 participants-clergymen and lay people, Catholics and Protestants, drawn from in Sudan, CAR and Chad.The participants had converged to access the role of the Church and Christian organizations on the Darfur crisis issue.In response, the AACC General Secretary, Rev. Dr. Andrea Karagama assured the Church in the Sudan of the organization’s commitment to the Darfur issue.“We shall journey together on this issue as we have done on other issues in the past. We shall not abandon you. This you can rest be assured”, stressed Rev. Dr. Karamaga.Earlier the participants expressed the need for the Church in the three countries’ –Sudan, CAR and Chad to closely work together on the cross border issue for example, due to its impact on the people from the three countries in terms of refugees, for example.In an interview with CISA, Rev. Fr. Paolino Tipo, who serves the Catholic Church in Chad, as peace and justice coordinator said the country was currently facing a humanitarian crisis as she was housing thousands of refugees from Sudan, and CAR.“And apart from this, there are hundreds of internally displaced Chadians”, he added.Peace in Darfur, he observed would mean peace in Chad due to its impact- on the two countries and its people.(SOURCE: http://www.cisanewsafrica.org/story.asp?ID=4265
SRI LANKA: CHURCH HELPS FORMER TAMIL TIGER REBELS
UCAN reports that Church workers are trying to help former Tamil Tiger rebels, who are said to be living in the "blackest of despair," claiming many should be released.
A Catholic priest organizes a mealfor Tamil youths from a detention camp
Press-ganged into fighting as children, many are now living with injury, disability and mental trauma, cut off from their loved ones.
The rebels should not continue to be punished because many had no option when they were under the control of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) separatist army, says Oblate Father Paul Jayanthan Pachchek.
The former director of the Oblate Social Service (OSS), which is helping 2,000 inmates in five camps, says most rebel soldiers are little more than youths. They are depressed, cannot sleep and are plagued by discrimination and violence against ethnic Tamil minorities, he added.
The OSS swung into action soon after fighting ended in May. The International Committee of the Red Cross and other international aid organizations are banned from the camps where these former LTTE rebels are held.
In all, around 11,000 male and female former combatants are being held in 17 camps and are being interrogated by government forces.
New York-based Human Rights Watch on Nov. 24, raised concerns over the situation. It called upon the government to either bring charges against the detainees or release them.
The OSS gives these former combatants toiletries, newspapers and magazines and occasionally fresh fish, meat and vegetables. The Church also provides Hindu and Christian prayer books, bibles and rosaries.
Sri Lankan Human Rights Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe told media recently that the attorney general is considering an amnesty and rehabilitation plan for lower-ranking rebel soldiers.
The LTTE was branded a terrorist organization by the US and European Union. It has been accused of hundreds of suicide attacks, including the assassinations of former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, Sri Lankan President R. Premadasa and other politicians.
CIVIL PARTNERSHIPS CEREMONIES LEGAL
Cath News reports that the Federal Government will allow gay couples in the ACT to hold legally binding civil partnership ceremonies, adding a requirement that same sex partners must register their intention to hold a wedding.
The Australian Christian Lobby criticised the agreement, saying in a media statement that it contravenes Federal Labor's election promise "not to allow marriage to be mimicked."
"The ACT Labor government is proud of its record of achieving real and meaningful reform for gay, lesbian and transsexual people in the ACT," ACT Attorney-General Simon Corbell was qouted saying in an AAP report on News.com.au.
"The discussions between the Australian Government and the ACT Government about the Civil Partnerships Act were conducted in good faith, and the matter has been resolved satisfactorily," according to the office of the Federal Attorney-General Robert McClelland.
Registering before the ceremony was an essential amendment and consistent with the Commonwealth's framework for relationship recognition, the report said.
The two governments reached a compromise that will allow gay couples to continue holding ceremonies in front of a civil partnership notary, ABC reported.
"We have legal ceremonies and we have legal ceremony celebrants and that is a very important reform," Mr Corbell was quoted as saying by the ABC report.
"This now opens the door for other states and territories to follow the ACT's lead knowing the Commonwealth accepts ceremonies are now a legal part of the equation."
Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) Managing Director Jim Wallace said in a statement that he was not at all satisfied with the agreement.
"The clear commitment from the ALP prior to the Federal election in 2007 was to not allow marriage to be mimicked - a position reaffirmed by the Federal Attorney General's statement of opposition to civil unions at the ALP National Conference last July," Mr Wallace said.
"We expect that the Federal Government will put further demands on the ACT Government to remove references to ceremonies and celebrants from the Civil Partnerships Act and so honour their election promise."
St. James of the Marches
FRANCISCAN FRIAR AND MISSIONARY
Feast: November 28
1391, Monteprandone, Marche of Ancona, Italy
November 28, 1476
10 December 1726 by Pope Benedict XIII
Franciscan church of St. Maria la Nuova
Patron of the city of Naples, Italy
Franciscan, b. of a poor family named Gangala, at Monteprandone, March of Ancona, Italy, 1391; d. at Naples, 28 Nov., 1476. He is generally represented holding in his right hand a chalice, out of which a snake is escaping --an allusion to some endeavours of heretics to poison him or, less likely, to the controversy about the Precious Blood.
He began his studies at Offida under the guidance of his uncle, a priest, who soon afterwards put him to school at Ascoli. At the University of Perugia he took the degree of Doctor in Civil Law. After a short stay at Florence as tutor in a noble family, and as judge of sorcerers, James was received into the Order of the Friars Minor, in the chapel of the Portiuncula, Assisi, 26 July, 1416. Having finished his novitiate at the hermitage of the Carceri, near Assisi, he studied theology at Fiesole, near Florence, under St. Bernardine of Siena. On 13 June, 1420, be was ordained priest, and soon began to preach in Tuscany, in the Marches, and Umbria; for half a century he carried on his spiritual labours, remarkable for the miracles he performed and the numerous conversions he wrought. From 1427 James preached penance, combated heretic, and was on legations in Germany, Austria, Sweden, Denmark, Bohemia, Poland, Hungary, and Bosnia. In the last-mentioned country he was also commissary of the Friars Minor. At the time of the Council of Basle he promoted the union of the moderate Hussites with the Church, and that of the Greeks it the Council of Ferrara-Florence. Against the Turk, he preached several crusades, and at the death of St. John Capistran, in 1456, James was sent to Hungary as his successor. In Italy he fought the Fraticelli, instituted several montes pietatis, and preached in all the greater cities; Milan offered him the bishopric in 1460, which he declined. St. James belonged to the Observant branch of the Friars Minor, then rapidly spreading and exciting much envy. How much he suffered on this account is shown in a letter written by him to St. John Capistran, published by Nic. Dal-Gal, O.F.M., in "Archivum Franciscanum Historicum", I (1908), 94-97. Under Callistus III, in 1455, he was appointed an arbiter on the questions at issue between Conventuals and Observants. His decision was published 2 Feb., 1456, in a papal Bull, which pleased neither part . A few years later, on Easter Monday, 1462, St. James, preaching at Brescia, uttered the opinion of some theologians, that the Precious Blood shed during the Passion was not united with the Divinity of Christ during the three days of His burial. The Dominican James of Brescia, inquisitor, immediately cited him to his tribunal. James refused to appear, and after some troubles appealed to the Holy See. The question was discussed at Rome, Christmas, 1462 (not 1463, as some have it), before Pius II and the cardinals, but no decision was given. James spent the last three years of his life at Naples, and was buried there in the Franciscan church of S. Maria la Nuova, where his body is still to be seen. Beatified by Urban VIII, 1624, he was canonized by Benedict XIII, 1726. Naples venerates him as one of its patron saints (feast, 28 Nov.).
The works of St. James of the Marches have not as yet been collected. His library and autographs are preserved in part at the Municipio of Monteprandone (see Crivellucci, "I codici della libreria raccolta da S. Giacomo della Marca nel convento di S. Maria delle Grazie presso Monteprandone", Leghorn, 1889). He wrote "Dialogus contra Fraticellos" printed in Baluze-Mansi, "Miscellanea", II, Lucca, 1761, 595-610 (cf. Ehrle in "Archiv für Litt. u. Kirchengeschichte", IV, Freiburg im Br., 1888, 107-10). His numerous sermons are not edited. For some of them, and for his treatise on the "Miracles of the Name of Jesus", see Candido Mariotti, O.F.M., "Nome di Gesù ed i Francescani", Fano, 1909, 125-34. On his notebook, or "Itinerarium", See Luigi Tasso, O.F.M., in "Miscellanea Francescana", I (1886), 125-26: "Regula confitendi peccata" was several times edited in Latin and Italian during the fifteenth century. "De Sanguine Christi effuse" and some other treatises remained in manuscript.
Luke 21: 34 - 36
"But take heed to yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a snare;
for it will come upon all who dwell upon the face of the whole earth.
But watch at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that will take place, and to stand before the Son of man."