VATICAN: BENEDICT XVI RECALLS THE FALL OF THE BERLIN WALL
AMERICAS: CANADA: ARCHBISHOP INVITES OLYMPIC ATHLETES TO MASS
EUROPE: SPAIN: BISHOP CALLS FOR RESPECT OF PARENTAL EDUCATION
AUSTRALIA: BOOK ABOUT REBEL PRIEST-
“Vancouver has been preparing for your arrival for many years!” began his Nov. 30 letter to the athletes of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games.
Archbishop Miller explained the archdiocese’s embrace of “radical hospitality” as a way to see Jesus as “both guest and host” at the Games.
“While you are here, we hope you will consider visiting one of the Archdiocese’s downtown hospitality centers for athletes,” the archbishop said.
One center is at Holy Rosary Cathedral on 646 Richards Street. The second is at the archdiocese’s offices on 150 Robson Street, across from the Olympic event venue BC Place Stadium.
“We think you will find these places to be ‘sanctuaries’ while you take a break from the rigors of competition, and we hope you will find a common language in the love of Jesus Christ,” Archbishop Miller said.
He invited Olympians to Ash Wednesday Mass on Feb. 17 and he also noted that the locations of churches and their Mass times can be found on the archdiocese’s website.
“We wish all of you who have come to our beautiful city a satisfying and rewarding competition during the 2010 Olympiad but, most of all, we hope you will experience the ‘radical hospitality’ of Vancouverites,” he added.
The archdiocese has set up a special Olympic Outreach section on its website at http://www.rcav.org/2010.
The bishop made his statements while presenting his new book, “Cards on the Table,” a 400 page collection of 150 pastoral letters on a variety of themes.
Bishop Munilla said the book was an expression of the awareness that “we are in an age of communication, and when Jesus said to lower your nets for a catch, I don’t know if he was also thinking about the internet, but I think this 'net' can be of use to us.”
“I have tried to be more succinct, more incisive, and even use humor to show that mysticism can and should have a place in the media in general,” he said.(SOURCE: http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/new.php?n=17968
INDIA: FR. JOSEF NEUNER DIES AGE 101
Jesuit Father Josef Neuner
The priest died at 11.15 pm on Dec. 3 at Sanjeevan Ashram (monastery of saintly life), the headquarters of the Pune Jesuit province, where he had lived for the past 15 years.
On Dec. 4, his body, draped in vestments, with a rosary and a wooden cross in his hands, lay in the ashram chapel as nuns, priests and laypeople, carrying flowers, came to pay their last respects.
His funeral was scheduled for later that day and he was to be buried in a cemetery in Pune's Jnana-Deepa Vidyapeeth, where he had taught for several years.
"He died peacefully in his sleep," Father Bertram Rosario, Jesuit provincial of Pune, told UCA News.
Jesuit Father Anil Soares, assistant to the provincial, said Father Neuner had been admitted to a private hospital with suspected pneumonia on Nov. 29. "He was put on a ventilator but responded to treatment and was brought home" on the evening of Dec. 3, he added.
"No one expected him to die. He didn't appear to be suffering from a major ailment. He seemed cheerful and alert to the core," Father Soares added.
Church people have hailed Father Neuner as a stalwart of Church renewal after the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965).
He was one of four periti (experts) from India at the council and contributed to its many documents, especially "Nostra Aetate" (Declaration on the Relation of the Church with Non-Christian Religions) and "Ad Gentes" (Decree on the Missionary Activity of the Church).
He had worked with Jesuit theologian Father Karl Rahner and helped codify the Church's decrees on priestly formation.
It was Father Neuner who drafted Pope Paul VI's speech to Hindus when the pontiff visited Mumbai (then Bombay) for the Eucharistic Congress in 1964.
Father Neuner had also acted as a bridge-builder between Religious and diocesan priests, between theology and spirituality, Christian theology and Indian religions, India and Europe, and the Church and the world.
Father Neuner was born on Aug. 9 1908, in Feldkirch, a small Austrian town near the Swiss border. He joined the South-German Jesuit province in 1926 and was ordained in 1936.
In 1938, he went to India where he taught theology for 60 years, mostly in the Pune seminary. As a theologian, the Jesuit collaborated in preparing the internationally known "The Christian Faith," a handbook of Christian teachings.
He was also known for his association with Blessed Teresa of Kolkata and was the first to write about her in German. He was retreat director for her Missionaries of Charity and helped her integrate some of the darkest spiritual moments of her life with her work for the poor.
In an interview, Father Neuner once said that Blessed Teresa was among those who had embodied the Vatican Council II spirit.
According to him, the council had reiterated that Jesus established not a religion but the Kingdom of God, in which everyone lives with dignity and in solidarity with one other.
CNN reports that the death toll rose to 23 on Friday in a suicide bombing attack at a Somali graduation ceremony, which killed three members of Somalia's U.N.-backed interim government, according to an independent media report.
The attack in Mogadishu on Thursday was carried out by a male suicide bomber dressed in women's clothing, witnesses said.
Government officials said Thursday that 19 people had been killed in the attack. A day later, Shabelle Media reported that the death toll had risen to 23.
Somali President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed has blamed the Islamist rebel group Al-Shabaab for the attack. A spokesman for the militant group denied any responsibility Friday.
Education Minister Abdullahi Wayel, Health Minister Qamar Aden and Higher Education Minister Ibrahim Hassan Adow were among the dead in the bombing at Banadir University's commencement, officials said.
Sports Minister Suleman Olad Roble was hospitalized in critical condition, his relatives told local media. The fatalities included nine students and two doctors, according to a professor at the university. Journalists said three colleagues died in the blast.
Al Shabaab is made up of former allies of Ahmed, once a leader of the Islamist movement that briefly held power in Mogadishu in 2006.
Ahmed and other former members accepted a U.N.-brokered peace agreement with the government they once fought. Al-Shabaab -- which the United States says has links to al Qaeda -- has rejected the peace agreement and has waged a bloody campaign against the transitional government. (SOURCE: http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/africa/12/04/somalia.attacks/index.html
Cath News reports that a book about rebel Catholic priest and self-proclaimed "media tart" Peter Kennedy was launched in Brisbane on the weekend, and a documentary is under way.
The book, Peter Kennedy - The Man Who Threatened Rome, is a compilation of stories about the sacked priest, according to The Sun Herald report published in the Brisbane Times.
Contributors include former Goanna frontman and songwriter, Shane Howard, journalist Martin Flanagan, and Ross Fitzgerald of Griffith University's history and politics department.
Fr Kennedy said he thought the book was important because it raised issues the church "must face if is to remain relevant and survive the 21st century."
Issues included women in the clergy and the church's "medieval doctrines and dogma" on subjects such as the Virgin Mary, the ascension and the resurrection, he said.
"The archbishop isn't demonised in the book and some people come out against me," he said. "I feel an enormous freedom now that I'm no longer part of the church. I can see how ruthless, one-eyed and elitist it is."
Peter Hegedus, an independent filmmaker from Brisbane is making a documentary about Kennedy and St Mary's for the ABC's religious program, Compass.
"I'm still hoping to shoot an interview with Archbishop Bathersby," he said. Funding body, Screen Australia, has granted funds for the program but Mr Hegedus declined to disclose the amount. (SOURCE: http://www.cathnews.com/article.aspx?aeid=18142
Feast: December 7
304 AD, Spoleto
THE cruel edicts of Diocletian and Maximin against the Christians being published in the year 303, Sabinus, Bishop of Assisium, and several of his clergy, were apprehended and kept in custody till Venustianus, the Governor of Etruria and Umbria, came thither. Upon his arrival in that city he caused the hands of Sabinus, who had made a glorious confession of his Faith before him, to be cut off; and his two deacons, Marcellus and Exuperantius, to be scourged, beaten with clubs, and torn with iron nails, under which torments they both expired. Sabinus is said to have cured a blind boy, and a weakness in the eyes of Venustianus himself, who was thereupon converted, and afterward beheaded for the Faith. Lucius, his successor, commanded Sabinus to be beaten to death with clubs at Spoleto. The martyr was buried a mile from that city, but his relics have been since translated to Faënza.
BISHOP, CONFESSOR, DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH
Feast: December 7
between 337 and 340 A.D., Trier, Germany
Basilica of Sant'Ambrogio, Milan, Italy where he is buried
Bee keepers, bees, candle makers, domestic animals, French Commissariat, learning, Milan, Italy, students, wax refiners
St. Ambrose was a small man with pale yellow hair like a nimbus. In the violence and confusion of his time, he stood out courageously resisting evil, strengthening the Church, and administering it with extraordinary ability. His learning gained for him the title of Doctor of the Church.When Ambrose had governed at Milan for two years, the bishop died, and the city was torn by strife over the election of a successor. When he stood up to protest a voice suddenly called out, "Ambrose, bishop! On December 7, 374, he was consecrated. The new bishop now gave his possessions to the poor and his lands to the Church, reserving only a small income for the use of his sister Marcellina. Conscious of his ignorance of theology, Ambrose began to study the Scriptures and the works of religious writers, particularly Origen and Basil. When Augustine of Hippo came to live at Milan, he called on the bishop, and in time the two became great friends. Augustine went often to hear Ambrose preach, and was at last baptized by him. One of Ambrose's topics was the blessing and virtue of virginity, when chosen for God's sake. At the request of Marcellina, he made a popular manual of his sermons on this subject. When Ambrose fell sick, he foretold his own death, saying he would live only until Easter. He busied himself writing a treatise called 'The Goodness of Death', and with an interpretation of the Forty-third Psalm.On Good Friday, 397, he partook of the Last Sacrament, and died soon after. He was then about fifty-seven and had been bishop for twenty-two years. His remains now rest under the high altar of his basilica, where they were placed in 835.Ambrose's varied writings influenced the development of the Church. He was the first of the Fathers to use Latin effectively, and as the Roman Empire declined in the West he helped to keep this great language alive by starting it on its new course in the service of Christianity. He enriched Church music, and seven of the hymns he wrote are still a part of the liturgy. His personality combined firmness where God's law was concerned with warmth, moderation, and generosity in all else. Trusted by sovereigns, loved by the people, Ambrose was-to quote Augustine's words after their first meeting—"a man affectionate and kind." (SOURCE: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/A/stambrose.asp
Luke 5: 17 - 26
On one of those days, as he was teaching, there were Pharisees and teachers of the law sitting by, who had come from every village of Galilee and Judea and from Jerusalem; and the power of the Lord was with him to heal.
And behold, men were bringing on a bed a man who was paralyzed, and they sought to bring him in and lay him before Jesus;
but finding no way to bring him in, because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and let him down with his bed through the tiles into the midst before Jesus.
And when he saw their faith he said, "Man, your sins are forgiven you."
And the scribes and the Pharisees began to question, saying, "Who is this that speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God only?"
When Jesus perceived their questionings, he answered them, "Why do you question in your hearts?
Which is easier, to say, `Your sins are forgiven you,' or to say, `Rise and walk'?
But that you may know that the Son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins" -- he said to the man who was paralyzed -- "I say to you, rise, take up your bed and go home."
And immediately he rose before them, and took up that on which he lay, and went home, glorifying God.
And amazement seized them all, and they glorified God and were filled with awe, saying, "We have seen strange things today