Saturday, January 16, 2010



(VIS) - Participants in the annual plenary assembly of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the president of which is Cardinal William Joseph Levada, were received this morning by the Holy Father. In his address to them he highlighted the fact that their dicastery "participates in the ministry of unity" which is primarily entrusted to the Pope through his "commitment to doctrinal fidelity. "Unity", he added, "is first and foremost unity of faith, upheld by the sacred tradition of which Peter's Successor is the primary custodian and defender. ... This is an indispensable service upon which depends the effectiveness of the Church's evangelising activity unto the end of time. "The Bishop of Rome", the Pope explained, "must constantly proclaim that ... Jesus is Lord". The Roman Pontiff's "potestas docendi" requires "obedience to the faith, so that the Truth that is Christ may continue to shine forth in all its grandeur, ... and that there may be a single flock gathered around a single Shepherd". The goal of a shared witness of faith among all Christians "represents, then, a priority for the Church in all periods of history. ... In this spirit, I trust particularly in your dicastery's commitment to overcoming the doctrinal problems that still persist in achieving the full communion of the Society of St. Pius X with the Church". Benedict XVI then went on to thank the members of the congregation for their efforts towards "the full integration of groups and individuals of former Anglican faithful into the life of the Catholic Church, in accordance with the provisions of the Apostolic Constitution 'Anglicanorum coetibus'. The faithful adherence of these groups to the truth received from Christ and presented in the Magisterium of the Church is in no way contrary to the ecumenical movement", he said, "rather, it reveals the ultimate aim thereof, which is the realisation of the full and visible communion of the disciples of the Lord". The Pope then turned his attention to the Instruction "Dignitas Personae" concerning certain bioethical questions, which was published by the congregation in 2008. "It represents", he said, "a new milestone in the announcement of the Gospel, in full continuity with the Instruction 'Donum vitae' published by the dicastery in 1987. In such delicate and pressing questions as those that concern procreation and the new therapeutic advances involving the manipulation of the embryo and the human genetic patrimony, ... the Magisterium of the Church seeks to offer its own contribution to the formation of consciences, not only the consciences of believers but of everyone who seeks the truth and is willing to listen to arguments that arise not only from the faith, but also from reason itself". "Christian faith also makes its truthful contribution in the field of ethics and philosophy, not supplying prefabricated solutions to real problems such as biomedical research and experimentation, put presenting moral standpoints within which human reason can seek and find appropriate solutions", said the Pope. And he went on: "There are, in fact, certain aspects of Christian revelation that throw light on the problems of bioethics. ... These aspects, inscribed in the heart of man, are also understandable in rational terms as elements of natural moral law, and may find acceptance even among people who do not recognise themselves in the Christian faith". "Rooted in human nature and accessible to all creatures possessing reason, natural moral law constitutes the foundation for opening a dialogue with all men and women who seek the truth and, more generally, with civil and secular society", said Pope Benedict. And he concluded: "This law, inscribed in the heart of all human beings, touches an essential aspect of legal theory and appeals to legislators' consciences and sense of responsibility".AC/CHRISTIAN UNITY/CDF VIS 100115 (640)
(VIS) - The following communique was released yesterday afternoon: "In the hours following the catastrophic earthquake in Haiti, the Holy Father made an appeal far the mobilisation of spiritual and material assistance, declaring that 'the Catholic Church will not fail to move immediately, through her charitable institutions, to meet the most immediate needs of the population'. "As with other tragedies, Catholics are already being zealous in providing tangible aid. Several Catholic agencies are at work and are sending manpower, which is especially urgent. The Pontifical Council 'Cor Unum', in direct contact with Catholic Relief Services (CRS), the international humanitarian agency of the bishops of the United States, has asked it to co-ordinate the relief efforts at this stage. The 300 plus on-the-ground personnel, who have long been active in Haiti, and the past experience, expertise and resources of CRS will enable prompt and effective co-ordination of the Church's efforts, which, in the words of Pope Benedict, must be generous and concrete to meet the pressing needs of our Haitian brothers and sisters".OP/AID EARTHQUAKE HAITI/COR UNUM VIS 100115 (190)

AUDIENCES VATICAN CITY, 15 JAN 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences: - Cardinal Christoph Schonborn O.P., archbishop of Vienna, Austria. - Archbishop Jean-Pierre Cattenoz of Avignon, France. - Bishop Gerhard Ludwig Muller of Regensburg, Germany. - Fr. Philippe Dupont O.S.B., abbot of the abbey of Saint-Pierre of Solesmes, France.AP/.../... VIS 100115 (60)


CNA report:
Teams from Caritas have arrived in Haiti to support local staff in relief work for survivors of Tuesday’s massive earthquake. The situation is “very bad,” they report.The United Nations estimates that about 45,000 to 50,000 people have died since the quake and 300,000 are homeless. Another 3.5 million Haitians are affected by the disaster, Caritas says.
Caritas Haiti reports a high level of destruction in the predominantly Catholic country. Churches have been particularly badly affected, with almost all main churches badly damaged, if not destroyed.
Fr. Antonio Sandoval, Caritas Latin America Regional Coordinator, arrived in the capital Port-au-Prince on Thursday with an eight-man relief team.
“The situation is very bad and the people are in need of water, food, and medicine. People are still on the streets and in parks, where they must sleep. A great part of the city is without electricity,” he reported.
Fr. Sandoval explained that Caritas is coordinating relief efforts with the bishops and the papal nuncio. They are also coordinating with the national Caritas and regional and international Caritas members, as well as with the United Nations and other humanitarian agencies.
In the neighboring Dominican Republic, Caritas USA and Catholic Relief Services staff and volunteers are preparing food boxes to feed 50,000 people. The first 500 boxes were scheduled to be delivered to Port-au-Prince on Friday.
More international staffers were to arrive Friday in Haiti to provide technical support on water, shelter and health care. The staff comes from Rome, Holland, the U.S., Germany, France, Switzerland and Austria.
Caritas has already provided tents, blankets and first aid to some of the most vulnerable families. It reports it has “a well established network of community workers” that will deliver further aid.
Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, the Caritas President, commented from Honduras on the relief work. He called for special prayers for the people of Haiti on Sunday and also asked for support for the work of Church and aid agencies in Haiti.
Caritas lists suggested prayers on its website and is accepting donations for Haitian relief.
Its website is


Catholic Herald report:
The former Anglican bishop of London who was received into Catholicism after the Church of England voted to ordain women priests has died.Mgr Graham Leonard, who was the highest-ranking Church of England clergyman to become a Catholic after the General Synod of 1992 vote, died on January 6, aged 88. He was "conditionally ordained" a priest in the Catholic Church in 1994. Most of Mgr Leonard's life was lived in the Church of England, where he was an Anglican bishop for almost 30 years. He was an outspoken and controversial figure, emerging as the leader of the Anglo-Catholic branch of the Church of England and in the battle against the ordination of women priests. He garnered criticism within his own ranks for agreeing to ordain women deacons, which many saw as the first step towards the ordination of women. Dr William Oddie, the former editor of The Catholic Herald, said: "Mgr Leonard was a great leader of the Anglo-Catholic Movement in the years leading up to the General Synod vote. He was very loyal to the Church of England, which he believed had a Catholic identity, and it was only when the Church of England decided it was a different institution that he became a Catholic. He felt that the Church of England didn't have the right to ordain women priests."After the vote of the Synod, he felt that Anglo-Catholics were left with three options, either to join the continuing churches, which had broken from the Anglican Communion, to become Eastern Orthodox or to join the Catholic Church. In an article for The Catholic Herald in 1992 he made it clear that joining the Catholic Church was the only choice for bishops. But he called for the "Roman Option", which was similar to the recent Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus, which provides a canonical structure for groups of Anglicans coming into full communion with Rome.He said: "This we would have to do as supplicants and without presumption, asking if a way can be found for us somehow to preserve our Anglican identity while being in communion with the see of Peter."As soon as the General Synod passed the vote on the ordination of women priests Mgr Leonard, then Bishop of London, met Cardinal Basil Hume, a friend, to discuss the situation. With the "Roman Option" he hoped that Anglo-Catholics could be received into the Church while retaining their own identity in terms of their heritage and their liturgy. He also visited Rome in November 1992 to discuss the plan with the then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, but plans for the Roman option were shelved.Fr Ian Ker, an expert on the 19th century's most famous Anglican convert, Cardinal John Henry Newman, prepared Mgr Leonard for reception into the Church. Cardinal Hume received him into the Church in his private chapel. Fr Ker celebrated the Mass. Born in 1921, the son of an evangelical vicar, he attended Monkton Combe school and was subsequently educated at Balliol College, Oxford, where he read Botany and took a shortened wartime degree, and moved from the evangelical to the Anglo-Catholic wing of the Church of England. He was also commissioned into the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry. In 1943 he married Priscilla Swann, a brilliant fellow student from the Oxford botany school. It was a marriage of great and enduring happiness.He trained for the Anglican priesthood at Westcott House in Cambridge and became a curate in 1947. Following two more curacies he became the vicar of Ardleigh, where he served for three years. In the mid-1950s he was appointed director of religious education of the diocese of St Albans and later became a residentiary canon of the cathedral. During this period he became known as a defender of church schools and rose to prominence. In 1964 he became suffragan Bishop of Willesden. While Mgr Leonard was at Willesden the Church of England and the Methodist Church were in the midst of negotiations for a reunion. Mgr Leonard was troubled by the theological problems such a reunion might have and opposed the proposals on those grounds. He was appointed Bishop of Truro in the early 1970s. He was a member of the Anglican Orthodox International Doctrine Commission, counselled the Archbishop of Canterbury on foreign relations and was chairman of the Board of Social Responsibility in 1976, Mgr Leonard became Bishop of London in 1981 amid controversy, where 70 per cent of parishes and clergy were in favour of his appointment but the suffragan bishops and the Dean and Chapter of St Paul's Cathedral opposed him. Margaret Thatcher chose him over the other candidate and he held the see of London for 10 years. He resigned when he was 70.Mgr Leonard's funeral will take place at the Oxford Oratory on Thursday. A Memorial Requiem will be held at Westminster Cathedral on February 16 at 11am. (source:


All Africa report:
A demonstration called to protest the arrest of controversial Jamaican Muslim cleric Sheikh Abdullah al-Faisal has been broken up by police.
One person died in the confrontation between the police and rowdy Muslim youths, and three others suffered injuries.
A General Service Unit officer was also injured.
The pro-Faisal demo, called by the Muslim Human Rights Forum, started peacefully at the Jamia Mosque in Nairobi's Banda Street.
Youths waving placards castigating the government's move to arrest the cleric, who is on an international terror watchlist, and his botched deportation took to the streets after their Friday prayers.
Some of the protesters were chanting "Allahu Akbar" (God is great) and others displayed what was thought to be the flag of Somali rebel group al Shabaab.
However, the demonstration soon turned ugly as a confrontation between the youths and police ensued.

Police fired teargas canisters to disperse the youth, who in turn pelted the officers with stones. A huge pall of smoke engulfed Banda Street as the two groups engaged in a cat-and -mouse chase.
Three youths were injured in the melee and were rushed to hospital by ambulance.
A contingent of GSU was called in to offer reinforcement as the back and forth battle intensified.
At one point, the GSU stormed the Mosque to flush out the youths, who had sought refuge inside.
The cleric, who was seized on New Year's Eve in Mombasa, was being held at the Industrial Area remand station as the government plotted his next destination.
He had been deported to The Gambia last week, but was returned on Sunday morning.


Asia News report:
For the Chinese government, the clash with the Mountain View giant will not affect trade relations with the United States. Washington announces a formal protest and demands explanations about hacking attacks. China censors the controversy and authorizes only state media reports.
Beijing (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Beijing wants to tone down the Google controversy and censor all information - online and in newspapers - on the dispute with the U.S. web giant. Washington has announced a formal protest and is asking for explanations for the "highly sophisticated" cyber attack from China, during which the e-mail account of human rights activists were violated. In the Asian country, meanwhile, the number of internet users continues to increase: by more than 28.9% in 2009.
Yesterday, the Chinese government tried to minimize the conflict with the Mountain View giant. In recent days, Google has threatened to pull out of the country if cases of piracy and the close censorship imposed by law continue. Yao Jian, spokesman of Chinese Ministry of Commerce, stresses that the United States and China "have multiple channels of communication" and have confidence in "the healthy development of economic and trade relations." He adds that neither the Ministry nor the Chamber of Commerce in Beijing have received indications that Google intends to leave China.
Washington contends that it is early to judge if economic ties between the two countries are affected. However, the dispute in recent days on censorship and attacks on the computer network adds to the controversy on the exchange rate of the Yuan, China’s protectionism and the United States arms sales to Taiwan.
The U.S. government has announced a "formal protest" to Beijing, which will be presented in coming days. After the attacks on Google, another U.S. network giant, Yahoo, also reported cases of software piracy from Chinese hackers. PJ Crowley states that the note "will express our concern" about the incidents and "ask for explanations from China."
Meanwhile, Chinese government propaganda has reinforced censorship to prevent the spreading of information on the case. Newspapers and web sites can not report comments or news and the official version is being broadcast through the state agencies Xinhua and People's Daily, who demand that Google "respect Chinese law."
In this regard, a survey published in recent days shows that 78% of Chinese support the internet censorship and do not want to give in to pressure from the American giant. However, on being posted online, the survey was subjected to a deluge of criticism votes inserted online overturned the result: China's internet users want freedom of information. The survey was hastily removed by the authorities. A recent survey carried out by China Internet Network Information Center ( shows that in 2009, the number of Internet users grew by 28.9%. 86 million used the web for the first time last year, for a total of 384 million users of the network in China. (source:


Cath News report:
Deacons in white robes and carrying staffs with bronze crosses from Melbourne's Coptic Orthodox Christians took part in a street protest yesterday, decrying violence against Coptic Christians in Egypt.
Protesters carried six black coffins, and placards with messages such as "Bloodshed is Not What I Wanted for Christmas", referring to the drive-by shooting of six Coptics in southern Egypt on January 7 as they left church after celebrating Coptic Christmas Eve, The Age reported.
Behind the some 6,000 protesters were priests and the head of the church in Melbourne, Bishop Suriel.
Liturgical singing resounded down Collins Street, and many in the march carried crosses or wore black armbands. Curious shoppers and lunch-goers who accepted leaflets from the protesters were asked "pray for us". Other placards said "Thousands slaughtered. No Convictions", "Egyptian Government Take A Stance" and "Enough", referring to other deaths including 21 Coptics killed at El-Kosheh when Muslims extremists went on a 2000 New Year's weekend rampage, looting and destroying 260 homes.
They were also highlighting their claim that the Egyptian Government has failed to prevent sectarian attacks by Muslim extremists.
A Mass was held earlier in St Paul's Cathedral for those killed. Attendees ranged from Bishop Paul White from the Anglican diocese of Melbourne, Reverend Bob Thomas of the Presbyterian Church, Reverend Jason Kioa, president of the Victorian Council of Churches, and Pastor Ken Vogel, general secretary of the Seventh Day Adventist Church. (source:


St. Ita
Feast: January 15
Feast Day:
January 15
475, County of Waterford, Ireland
15 January 570
Patron of:
Diocese of Limerick, Ireland

St. Ita was born of Christian parents towards the end of the fifth century. She belonged to the noble tribe of the Decii in County Waterford. All her early biographers favor the pleasant metaphor describing her as the 'Brigid of Munster'. Actually the differences were more striking than the resemblances between those two foremost women saints of the Celtic church (see St. Brigid). Brigid's effective life as a nun was spent in continual movement. When she had made a success of one convent settlement, she moved off to found another. Organization was her bent. Ita did just the opposite. Instead of entering one of Brigid's convents, she founded another in a district where there was none, at Killeedy, County Limerick. There she remained all her life, courting retirement. Again, there is an emphasis on austerity in Ita's life not found in Brigid's. Ita's mortifications were on a par with those of the greatest contemporary missionaries. A strongly individualistic character is glimpsed in the legends of Ita. When she decided to settle in Killeedy, a chieftain offered her a large grant of land to support the convent. But Ita would accept only four acres, which she cultivated intensively. The convent became known as a training school for little boys, many of whom later became famous churchmen. One of these was St. Brendan, whom Ita accepted in fosterage when he was a year old and kept until he was six. The great Navigator revisited her between his voyages and always deferred to her counsel. He once asked her what were the three clings which God most detested, and she replied: 'A scowling face, obstinacy in wrong-doing, and too great a confidence in the power of money'. St. Mochoemoc, whom because of his beauty she called 'Pulcherius', was another great personage of the Celtic church she fostered in infancy.
Ita died on January 15th, which is now kept as her feast, about the year 570. There is a strong local cult of her in Munster, particularly in Waterford and Limerick, and her name is a popular one for Irish girls. In the middle of the nineteenth century a new move was made in Ireland for the development of her cult, when Bishop Butler of Limerick obtained from Pope Pius IX a special office and mass for her feast

Mark 2: 1 - 12
And when he returned to Caper'na-um after some days, it was reported that he was at home.
And many were gathered together, so that there was no longer room for them, not even about the door; and he was preaching the word to them.
And they came, bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men.
And when they could not get near him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him; and when they had made an opening, they let down the pallet on which the paralytic lay.
And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "My son, your sins are forgiven."
Now some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts,
"Why does this man speak thus? It is blasphemy! Who can forgive sins but God alone?"
And immediately Jesus, perceiving in his spirit that they thus questioned within themselves, said to them, "Why do you question thus in your hearts?
Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, `Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, `Rise, take up your pallet and walk'?
But that you may know that the Son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins" -- he said to the paralytic --
"I say to you, rise, take up your pallet and go home."
And he rose, and immediately took up the pallet and went out before them all; so that they were all amazed and glorified God, saying, "We never saw anything like this!"

No comments: