Friday, January 22, 2010





Vatican Radio:
Yesterday afternoon L'Osservatore Romano newspaper published a Letter from the Holy Father, dated 15 January, in which he reiterates his confidence in Cardinal Tariciso Bertone S.D.B. as secretary of State. On 2 December 2009 Cardinal Bertone reached the age of 75 and presented his resignation from office, in accordance with the norms of Canon Law. In his Letter Benedict XVI expresses his thanks to the cardinal, recalling "the long course of our collaboration, which began with your work as consultor of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith”."My thoughts also go to the delicate work you undertook to establish dialogue with Msgr. Lefebvre", the Holy Father adds, before going on to recall how John Paul II called Cardinal Bertone to work in the Roman Curia, where he "competently and generously filled the position of secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Those were intense and demanding years during which important doctrinal and disciplinary documents were issued", he writes.The Holy Father also speaks of his admiration for the cardinal's "sensus fidei", his doctrinal and canonical knowledge and his "humanitas" which, writes the Pope, "helped us to experience a real family atmosphere in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, united to a firm and determined discipline in the workplace".And Benedict XVI concludes his Letter: "All these qualities were the motive that led me to decide, in the summer of 2006, to appoint you as my secretary of State, and they are the reasons why, also for the future, I do not wish to forgo your vital collaboration". (SOURCE:

Vatican Radio:
The Holy See's budget forecasts a slight improvement for 2010 despite continuing difficulties: this is according to a statement issued today by the Council of Cardinals for the Study of Organizational and Economic Affairs of the Holy See. The Council, led by Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, met for two days here at the Vatican, to discuss the consolidated budget of the Holy See and the State budget of the Governatorate of Vatican City for the year 2010. Archbishop De Paolis, president of the Prefecture for Economic Affairs, presented the consolidated budget for 2010 that covers the income and expenses of the Holy See. This encompasses all of the Roman Curia, with the exception of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, as well as the "media" institutions connected with the Holy See, namely Vatican Radio, The Vatican Press Office, the newspaper Osservatore Romano, the Vatican Television Center and the Vatican Printing Press. Among the costs, the largest item is payment of the Vatican’s 2668 employees, a financial burden that is also growing because of the adjustment of wages to the cost of living. Then there are the costs of Vatican Radio and other media institutions, which, however - says the statement - must be viewed in the context of missionary activity of the Holy See. The need to make Catholic faithful more sensitive to contributing to specific Church projects for pastoral care was also discussed. Bishop De Paolis then illustrated the budget for the year 2010 the Governorate of the State of Vatican City. This body manages the property belonging to the Holy See and supports the structures of the Holy See. "From the data submitted to the members of the Council - the statement - that the Administration in question has largely overcome the difficulties of previous years and regained a security that allows it to look with greater confidence to the future". The statement concludes that Pope Benedict met and spoke with the Council during proceedings “listening to their comments with great interest and thanking them all for their invaluable collaboration”.(SOURCE:


Catholic Online report:
On January 22, 2010 millions will march on our Nation’s Capital and in Cities around the Nation. We mourn the United States Supreme Court decision of January 22, 1973, Roe v Wade. The countless millions of children killed in the first home of the whole human race cry out for justice. Those who march stand in solidarity with our youngest neighbors whose cry cannot be heard without our voice. Children are being intentionally killed by surgical strikes and chemical weapons in an undeclared war on the womb in the United States of America. The Pro-Life cause is the great human and civil rights struggle of our age. In the “Gospel of Life” the Venerable John Paul II warned of what happens at the “…level of politics and government…” when “…the original and inalienable right to life is questioned or denied on the basis of a parliamentary vote or the will of one part of the people-even if it is the majority. … democracy, contradicting its own principles, effectively moves towards a form of totalitarianism. The State is no longer the "common home" where all can live together on the basis of principles of fundamental equality, but is transformed into a tyrant State, which arrogates to itself the right to dispose of the life of the weakest and most defenseless members, from the unborn child to the elderly, in the name of a public interest which is really nothing but the interest of one part”. He stripped the veneer of feigned civility off the barbaric practice, “The appearance of the strictest respect for legality is maintained, at least when the laws permitting abortion and euthanasia are the result of a ballot in accordance with what are generally seen as the rules of democracy. Really, what we have here is only the tragic caricature of legality; the democratic ideal, which is only truly such when it acknowledges and safeguards the dignity of every human person, is betrayed in its very foundations” He gave us the question which we must ask in the United States of America on January 22, 2010: "How is it still possible to speak of the dignity of every human person when the killing of the weakest and most innocent is permitted? In the name of what justice is the most unjust of discriminations practiced: some individuals are held to be deserving of defense and others are denied that dignity?" The Gospel story of the “Good Samaritan” came in response to a question posed to Jesus by a Lawyer: “There was a scholar of the law who stood up to test him and said, “Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus said to him, “What is written in the law? How do you read it?” He said in reply, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your being, with all your strength, with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” He replied to him, “You have answered correctly; do this and you will live.” But because he wished to justify himself, he said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” (Luke 10:25-29) During the Presidential campaign Barack Obama called us to become a Nation which recognizes our obligations to our “neighbors.” Throughout the campaign I did everything I could in my writings to try to get him to respond to the question posed by the lawyer in the Gospel passage “Who is My Neighbor?” (Luke 10: 25 – 37) I simply could not fathom how any candidate could call us to recognize our obligations in solidarity to one another as neighbors and fail to recognize that the baby in the first home of the whole human race is also our neighbor. Now he is our President and his failure to recognize the first right of our first neighbors is clear. The perverse idea that “freedom” allows one who is bigger to reach in the sanctuary of the womb and take the life of a vulnerable and innocent child is now killing us as a Nation. We would never make the argument about killing a one year old child outside of the womb. Yet, there is no moral distinction. The time thresholds of “viability” forced upon us by the Roe and Doe decisions keep getting pushed back as our technology confirms the truth about our smallest neighbors. Science has confirmed what our consciences have always known, abortion is morally wrong. We now reach within the womb and routinely operate upon them to save their lives. We prosecute the aggressor who, in the commission of another crime, kills them as well. We know the truth; abortion is the intentional killing of a human person. There is no other group of human persons whom we allow to be killed under the cover of “choice”. Our Civil “law” simply rejects the Natural Law prohibition against intentional homicide. We make an exception for children in the womb. There is never a “need for abortion”. There is a need for helping the mother carrying the child during pregnancy and care for the child throughout life. The father also needs our help. The child also needs our help upon birth and throughout the continuum of life. However, there is no moral justification for taking innocent human life in the womb. Abortion is our greatest National shame and it is corrupting us from within. On February 5, 2009, President Barack Obama spoke these words at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington D.C.: “But no matter what we choose to believe, let us remember that there is no religion whose central tenet is hate. There is no God who condones taking the life of an innocent human being. This much we know.” Yet, that is what we do in every procured abortion. We then protect the perpetrator of the bloody, violent act with the Police Power of the State. Now, as is evident in the fight against good people like Congressman Bart Stupak who are trying to protect our youngest neighbors from being killed under health care reform legislation, we want tax dollars to fund the executions. The parable of the “Good Samaritan” presents a litmus test for any Nation which boasts of having a concern for its neighbors. By relegating our youngest neighbors to the status of property to be disposed of in the United States of America we commit a continuing egregious evil. As we march and pray, remember our cause is just and we shall prevail. We are giving a voice to those who have none. As Blessed Teresa of Calcutta reminded us they are the “poorest of the poor. In the words of the Psalmist, the Lord hears the cry of the poor. (source:


Cath News report:
Prince William's visit (to Australia)reminds us that after his father, he is next in line to be our king. William will ascend to the pinnacle of our democracy not on the basis of his fitness for office or by winning the support of the people, but due solely to the good fortune of his birth.
The idea that someone should be born into the highest position in Australian Government is more than quaint; it is objectionable. It is inconsistent with what is otherwise a democratic and egalitarian system.
Selection by birth is not the only problem. Succession to the throne is determined by a 1701 English statute. It ranks men over women, and states that should Prince William convert to Catholicism or marry a Catholic, he will be ''for ever incapable to inherit, possess, or enjoy the Crown''.
As the head of the Catholic Church in England has said, ''he can marry by law a Hindu, a Buddhist, anyone, but not a Roman Catholic''.
Apart from our link to the monarchy, Australia has eliminated many examples of religious discrimination from its laws. We have moved past the bitter religious disagreements of earlier decades that split members of the Christian faiths. The fact many of our political leaders are Catholic is now nothing more than a point of note.
This is reflected in section 116 of the Australian constitution: ''no religious test shall be required as a qualification for any office or public trust under the Commonwealth''.
There is a glaring inconsistency between this and the fact our monarch is known as the ''Defender of the Faith'' as the Supreme Governor of the Church of England.
In person, Queen Elizabeth II professes religious toleration, but in law she represents a centuries old institution that maintains a special, privileged role for only one religion, and actively discriminates against another. (source:


CISA report:
The Bishop of Djibouti Giorgio Bertin says about 4 million people face crisis after World Food Programme (WFP) suspended aid distribution in Southern Somalia.Bishop Bertin who is also the Apostolic Administrator in Mogadishu told Fides, "I am very concerned about the humanitarian situation in south-central Somalia, where 3 to 4 million people depend on international aid for their survival.""Now that the World Food Program has decided to withdraw its personnel from the area, the situation of these people may become dramatic. I understand the motivations of the leadership of WFP, but we must find ways to continue to assist these people," said Bishop Bertin.In early January, the WFP decided to suspend operations in Somalia following an ultimatum by the fundamentalist Shaabab militia, which had previously attacked and looted the humanitarian organization's facilities several times."Also, the Somali refugees in some facilities in Kenya are in difficulty because of the floods that hit the country in recent weeks," said Bishop Bertin."Regarding the 10,000 Somali refugees in Djibouti, their situation is difficult, but overall stable. The Catholic Church has entered into an agreement with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), for a program of help and support for these people."On the political front, there have been new developments: autonomous groups of moderate Muslims, Sufi-inspired, independent allies of the legitimate government, are defeating the fundamentalist Shaabab militia, the cleric said."In Somalia, the Sufi confraternities, representing traditional Islam Somali, have lost much of their influence in comparison to over 30-40 years ago, but they are still a point of reference for part of the population," said Bishop Bertin."The call to traditional Islam, using the Sufi confraternities, could be part of a strategy to use the religious sentiment against those movements, such as the Shaabab, who use religion for political ends, a strategy promoted by foreign powers that have long been interfering in the affairs of Somalia.�In the northern part of Somalia, Somaliland, a region that declared independence from the rest of the country in 1991, though their independence is not recognized by the international community, the internal tensions related to the postponement of the elections are likely to cause an explosion of violence among different clans, which had so far, unlike the south of Somalia, secured a certain stability to the area.(SOURCE:


AsiaNews report:
The Philippine Church reaffirms its commitment to life and challenges the law on reproductive health. Bishops and priests invite the faithful to consider the best interests of society rather than individual interests and vote according to Christian values.
Manila (AsiaNews) - In view of the upcoming 2010 elections the Filipino bishops have reiterated their no to abortion, euthanasia and other policies against family values and invited the public to vote for candidates who fight for life. For this purpose they have published the guide "The Catechism on Family and Life for the 2010 elections”. It is the result of the meeting of the national commission of family and life of the Episcopal Conference on 30 November in Antipolo City (Manila).
"The catechism - said Fr Melvin Castro, secretary of the Episcopal Commission on Family and life - was created for the Catholic faithful and is intended to help in the choice of voting ".
The priest calls on Filipino Catholics to consider the best interests of society rather than individual interests, to vote according to Christian values and above all to boycott candidates who support the law on reproductive health. "It is not morally acceptable to vote for those candidates who promote abortion, euthanasia and the use of condoms – he adds - the candidates that the church wants to boycott reflect only their own vision of family and life."
The debate on Reproductive Health has been ongoing for four years. Despite UN support in favour of the law it has never reached the quorum of 120 votes needed for approval. This is due to the opposition of Catholic lawmakers and the support of Philippine President Gloria Arroyo, who has always been contrary to policies of family planning and abortion. The law rejects abortion clinics, but supports a program of family planning, which prevents couples from having more than two children, punishable by the payment of a penalty and in some cases prison. The program supports the spread to all schools and public places of birth control pills, which have been banned by law, condoms and the promotion of voluntary sterilization. The Church and Catholic pro - life organizations instead promote the Natural Family Program (NFP), which aims at providing the people a culture of responsibility and love based on Christian values.
According to a recent study conducted by the Social Weather Stations in Manila 78% of the population of Cebu City (Manila) would be in favour of Reproductive Health. 84% of young people want access to services available in schools and information centres. The bishops, however, dispute these figures defining them as partial and misleading and accuse politicians of wanting to take the issue of reproductive health outside of the electoral debate.


Cath News report:
De La Salle Brother Denis Loft has joined fellow De La Salle Brother Bill Firman in Southern Sudan to assist with the Solidarity with Southern Sudan (SSS) initiative to rebuild the war-devastated region.
SSS has been developed through the combined efforts of leaders of more than 20 religious Orders to help develop a pastoral institute and a teaching hospital, with the De La Salle Brothers taking the lead role in the development of teacher education, the Brothers said in a press statement.
"We are here because the Teachers' College which we are working to set up will be based in Malakal, but will operate from quite a number of different centres. So it's not like a big institution, it's more like a correspondence and in-service program," Br Denis said.
Br Denis (in blue) and Br Bill with local kids
Br Denis has taught in Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea. He was also the founder and program coordinator of the popular program, Coolies, which gives high school graduates an opportunity to undertake volunteer work in India, as an alternative to Schoolies.
This new appointment in Southern Sudan differs greatly from the life he had as a maths teacher at De La Salle College Malvern since 2004. But he is confident about adjusting.
"For some reason, I always wanted to work in Africa. I've had 20 years in Papua New Guinea and I have enjoyed working in parts of India. But I had always wanted to work in Africa so this was my chance," he said.
He joins Br Bill, who moved there in August.


St. Vincent Pallotti
Feast: January 22
Feast Day:
January 22
1798 in Rome, Italy
1963 by Pope John XXIII

A contemporary of Cardinal Newman's and the Cure of Ars', St. Vincent Pallotti was a very modern saint who organized so many remarkable pastoral programs that he is considered the forerunner of Catholic Action. He was a man of great ideas and great vision and was able to inspire others to tackle great things. He is the founder of the Pallottine Fathers and the Pallottine Missionary Sisters; however, this was but the tip of the iceberg of his accomplishments. He left behind schools, guilds, and institutes that carried the Catholic mission into the very heart of contemporary society. He was born in Rome in 1795 and began studies for the priesthood very early. Although he was very bright, he was not attracted by studies, even though he was ordained a priest at twenty-three and earned a doctorate in theology soon afterward. He was given an assistant professorship at the Sapienza University but resigned it soon after to devote himself to pastoral work.
Before long, his zeal was known all over Rome. He organized schools for shoemakers, tailors, coachmen, carpenters, and gardeners so that they could better work at their trade, as well as evening classes for young farmers and unskilled workers. He soon became known as a "second St. Philip Neri." He gave away his books, his possessions, and even his clothes to the poor, and once dressed up as an old woman to hear the confession of a man who threatened "to kill the first priest who came through the door."
In 1835, he founded his two congregations and was instrumental in the founding of a missionary order in England and several colleges for the training of missionaries.
He died at the age of fifty-five and his body lies incorrupt in the church of San Salvatore in Rome. He was canonized by Pope John XXIII in 1963.


Mark 3: 13 - 19
And he went up on the mountain, and called to him those whom he desired; and they came to him.
And he appointed twelve, to be with him, and to be sent out to preach
and have authority to cast out demons:
Simon whom he surnamed Peter;
James the son of Zeb'edee and John the brother of James, whom he surnamed Bo-aner'ges, that is, sons of thunder;
Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Cananaean,
and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.

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