Wednesday, January 20, 2010





(VIS) - The Pontifical Council "Cor Unum" released the following English-language communique late yesterday: "In light of the request of the Pontifical Council 'Cor Unum' that Catholic Relief Services (CRS), the international humanitarian agency of the Bishops of the United States, co-ordinate the Church's relief efforts in Haiti at this stage, CRS has been holding on-site meetings with the Haitian Episcopal Conference, the apostolic nuncio and several foreign Catholic charitable agencies, now operating in Port-au-Prince, to asses and respond to the disaster. "The group initiated immediately the provision of food, water, clothing, shelter and medical aid for the displaced survivors in informal camps. Twelve sites have now been jointly determined as distribution points for further provision with security and operational assessments already undertaken. Personnel and supplies from neighbouring Santo Domingo and other nations continue to arrive through a variety of Catholic aid organisations. "As with previous disasters, the concrete generosity of Churches, institutions and individuals worldwide is again being manifested. The needs and challenges remain significant, particularly on the level of movement of goods and people and security, and are likely to grow as the effects of the earthquake in and beyond Port-au-Prince become increasingly evident".CON-CU/EARTHQUAKE/HAITI VIS 100119 (210)

DRAFT GUIDELINES FOR OCTOBER'S MIDDLE EAST SYNOD VATICAN CITY, 19 JAN 2010 (VIS) - At midday today in the Holy See Press Office Archbishop Nikola Eterovic, secretary general of the Synod of Bishops, presented the "Lineamenta" of the Special Assembly for the Middle East of the Synod of Bishops. The synodal meeting is due to be held in the Vatican from 10 to 24 October on the theme: "The Catholic Church in the Middle East. Communion and Witness. Now the company of those who believed were of one heart and soul". The "Lineamenta" or draft guidelines on the theme of the Synod have been published in Italian, English, French and Arabic, and are made up of an introduction, three chapters and a conclusion. The text includes a general questionnaire concerning the topics covered, the answers to which (thirty-two in all) must be sent to the general secretariat of the Synod no later than Easter. A summary of the answers will then be compiled, and this will form the "Instrumentum laboris" or working document of the Synod, which the Pope will hand to representatives of the Eastern Catholic Churches during his apostolic trip to Cyprus scheduled for 4-6 June. Archbishop Eterovic explained how the first chapter of today's document, "The Catholic Churches in the Middle East", briefly reviews the history of the Eastern Churches and presents the current challenges, including: "political conflicts in the region (Israel-Palestine, Iraq, Lebanon); ... and freedom of worship and of conscience, lamenting the considerable number of obstacles to exercising this fundamental right of individuals and of all religious communities". "Ecclesial communion", the title of chapter two of the "Lineamenta", focuses on "the question of communion within the Catholic Church; that is, among the various Eastern Catholic Churches. ... Obviously, communion is also expressed in the relations between the bishops of the various Eastern Catholic Churches, as well as between them and the faithful", said the archbishop. He then went on to explain how chapter three, "Christian witness", turns the spotlight on "the witness of Catholics within the Church herself, especially by means of catechesis and works, as well as outside the Church. "Dialogue with other Churches and Christian communities exists", he added, "but it needs to be increased". The chapter also mentions Jewish-Christian dialogue "which exists in Palestine and in Israel thanks to various associations". On the subject of relations with Muslims, the archbishop noted the document's focus on the "need to promote dialogue, also in order to know one another better, ... and as the best way to resolve problems". The conclusion to the "Lineamenta" presents "the reasons - not so much political reasons as those of faith - why it is essential that Christians remain in the Middle East and continue to make their specific contribution for a more just, peaceful and prosperous society". For his part Msgr. Fortunato Frezza, under secretary of the Synod of Bishops, explained that what we call the Holy Land "is not simply a geographical entity. ... That small space wedged between sea and desert was the stage for nearly two thousand years of history of the Jewish people, from the coming of Abraham to the Hasmonean dynasty of the second century BC and, subsequently, for the human history of the Son of God made man, and that of His disciples and Apostles". He went on: "The Synod will concern itself with all the Middle East from Asia Minor to Iraq, and the Holy Land is a geographical part of that vast and heterogeneous area, a spiritually eminent part that is by no means historically inferior or insignificant for civilisation. There, and specifically in Jerusalem, the three monotheistic religions have vital roots and bonds, each in its own way". "These vital bonds directly concern the original stages of each of the historical religions, yet we must ask whether belonging to this portion of the Middle East can foment an awareness of the authenticity and purity of faith and of religious practice. We must also ask", he concluded, "whether a shared land of origin and coexistence can favour reciprocity of recognition and respect, going so far as to have a positive influence on relations in the entire area of the Middle East".SE/LINEAMENTA/MIDDLE EAST VIS 100119 (710)

BENEDICT XVI TO PRESIDE AT VESPERS IN ST. PAUL'S BASILICA VATICAN CITY, 19 JAN 2010 (VIS) - A communique released today by the Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff announces that in the Roman basilica of St. Paul's Outside-the-Walls on Monday 25 January, the Holy Father will preside at the celebration of second Vespers of the Solemnity of the Conversion of St. Paul, for the closing of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, the theme of which this year is: "You are witnesses of these things". The celebration will be attended by representatives from other Churches and Christian communities present in Rome.OCL/VESPERS CHRISTIAN UNITY/... VIS 100119 (110)

OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS VATICAN CITY, 19 JAN 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father elevated the apostolic prefecture of Donkorkrom (area 4,285, population 160,000, Catholics 17,000, priests 12, religious 7), Ghana, to the rank of apostolic vicariate with the same name and territorial configuration as before. He appointed Fr. Gabriel Edoe Kumordji S.V.D., currently apostolic prefect of Donkorkrom, as first apostolic vicar of the new vicariate. The bishop-elect was born in Accra, Ghana in 1956 and ordained a priest in 1985.ECE:NER/.../KUMORDJI VIS 100119 (80)


Asia News report:
The Campaign for Free and Fair elections (CaFFE) releases its report. Head of Election Commission says he will quit right after the election, accuses media of giving in to political pressure. The race between Rajapaksa and Fonseka is played out on the two rivals’ personality and charisma. Colombo (AsiaNews) – The election campaign for Sri Lanka’s presidency, scheduled for 26 January, has been marred by a high number of incidents, many caused by supporters of incumbent President Mahinda Rajapaksa, the Campaign for Free and Fair elections (CaFFE) reported. Elections Commission Chairman Dayananda Dissanayake is said to resign because of the violence once the election is over.
The CaFFE report that was released today contains a detailed list of clashes, targeted attacks against political rivals and murders. The first death occurred on 12 January in Hungama (Hambantota district), Rajapaksa’s home area. An armed man opened fire against a bus carrying supporters of General Fonseka, leader of the opposition and the president’s main challenger. One person was killed and ten were wounded in the action, which was blamed on pro-government militias.
The following day, Rajapaksa supporters clashed with Fonseka sympathisers in Polonnaruwa, North-Central province. Thousands of people were involved, with many getting hurt.
On the same day, people close to the president attacked opposition leader supporters who were organising a rally in Kolonnawa, a Colombo district. On 15 January, also in Kolonnawa, pro-government militias attacked the headquarters of the United National Party (UNP), which, along with the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), backs General Fonseka.
Rajapaksa called early elections to take advantage of his high ratings following his victory over the Tamil Tigers (LTTE) last May. Opposition parties are behind General Fonseka, the “war hero” who masterminded the defeat of the northern separatist rebels.
However, the two candidates are not far apart at a policy level. The campaign is in fact based on differences in personality and charisma between the two leaders. This has poisoned the political atmosphere, and made it more violent. What is more, Rajapaksa is accused of using state media to promote his own electoral campaign.
Election Commissioner Dayananda Dissanayake expressed his displeasure and frustration at the violations of the recommendations made to ensure the fairness of the poll. In a meeting with party secretaries, he pointed the finger at the media for giving in to political pressure and not maintaining a balance among candidates. At the end of his address, he said he would resign after the election.
In the meantime, the Sunday Times released the findings of a poll of business leaders and academics. It found that 82.7 per cent of respondents believed that election violence was greater than during the 2005 presidential election. It also reported that 84.6 per cent felt that the 2010 election would not be free and fair.(SOURCE:’s-presidential-campaign-marred-by-deaths-and-violence-17397.html


CNA report:
The secretary general of the Congregation of the Redemptorists, Fr. Joseph P. Dorcey, told Fides news agency that the Church of St. Gerard in Port-au-Prince was completely destroyed by the January 12 earthquake, however no Redemptorists were killed. According to information provided by Fr. Mario Boies, C.Ss.R., Provincial Superior of the Province of Sainte-Anne de BeauprĂ©, of which Haiti is a part, “No Redemptorist has died from the earthquake. They are all alive.” He added that one Redemptorist was “slightly wounded” and another “lost his mother and sister.” Fr. Dorcey said the Church of St. Gerard was “reduced to rubble” and the “new part of the students’ house was also destroyed,” leaving the students to sleep in the yard.
Reconstruction will cost an estimated two million dollars. (source:


CNA report:
An estimated 25,000 pro-life advocates took part in the sixth Paris March for Life on Sunday to mark the 35th anniversary of the legalization of abortion in France and to protest its “blatant injustice” towards the unborn and the “unspeakable sufferings” it causes women.
The March for Life, called “Marche pour la Vie” in French, brought together 15 French pro-life groups for the non-sectarian and non-partisan event. Organizers said a majority of participants were families or under 25 years old.
Participation increased from last year’s attendance of 15,000 people. The 2010 event saw an unprecedented mobilization effort on social networks like Facebook, March organizers said.
CĂ©cile Edel, president of the group Choisir La Vie, called upon French citizens to reflect upon the “disastrous result” of 35 years of legal abortion and the “unspeakable sufferings” of millions of women.
She denounced the “blatant injustice” committed against millions of the unborn.
A dozen international delegations took part in the event, including a representative from the British group Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC).
Dolores Meehan, co-founder of San Francisco’s West Coast Walk for Life, also addressed the event.
“Future generations of Europeans will be able to bring about a culture of Life thanks to your courage to come and publicly say ‘No!’ to abortion,” she declared.
France has the second highest abortion rate in Western Europe and also one of the highest contraception rates. The 1975 abortion law’s sponsor, Simon Veil, herself has deemed the high abortion rate “distressing.”
“The way forward is one of compassion and justice: compassion by providing expectant mothers with the real choice, that of preserving their unborn life; and justice with the comprehensive abolition of abortion,” the Paris March for Life’s mission statement reads.(SOURCE:


CISA report:

The Catholic diocese of Rumbek is mourning the death of Fr. John Lee TaeSoak, a member of the Congregation of the Salesians of Don Bosco from South Korea, according to the Provincial of the Salesians, Fr. Ferrington.Until he was taken ill returning to South Korea for special treatment, Fr. John Lee was serving in Tonj Mission in Rumbek Diocese. He was described as one of the �most talented, self giving and totally consecrated soul united to Christ in suffering during the excruciating agony of the last few months.�Fr. John Lee was called to the Lord Wednesday night in South Korea surrounded by members of his family and two of his confreres after suffering of cancer for several months. Fr. Ferrington described the late Fr. John Lee as �a wonderful confrere and a dedicated and zealous missionary that Sudan can boast of.�In his message to the faithful of Rumbek diocese, Bishop Caesar �We offer him to the Lord, Pray for his eternal peace and the serenity of his family in Korea and his Salesian family and we turn to him as an example and intercessor before God for the People of the mission of Tonj, where he leaves an indelible memory of priestly zeal and dedicated professional service�Fr. John Lee was an accomplished musician, a medical doctor and a zealous and dedicated priest.Funeral arrangements and burial will take place according to the Korean custom. May his should rest in eternal peace!(source:


Cath News report:

The ACT Government says it will not appropriate the funds it needs to buy Calvary Public Hospital until the sale is approved by the Vatican, as the Little Company of Mary Health Care needs Rome's endorsement to proceed.
The Government wants to buy the hospital from Little Company of Mary Health Care (LCMHC) for $77 million and LCMHC will only sell the hospital if it can buy the Clare Holland House hospice in exchange for $9 million.
The deferment buys the Government time to win the Greens support for the plan, which has raised concerns about the two sales being linked. (SOURCE:


St. Canute IV
Feast: January 19
Feast Day:
January 19
1043, Denmark
July 10, 1086, Odense
Major Shrine:
Saint Canute's Cathedral, Odense
Patron of:

Martyr and King of Denmark, date of birth uncertain; d. 10 July 1086, the third of the thirteen natural sons of Sweyn II surnamed Estridsen. Elected king on the death of his brother Harold about 1080, he waged war on his barbarous enemies and brought Courland and Livonia to the faith. Having married Eltha, daughter of Robert, Count of Flanders, he had a son Charles, surnamed the good. He was a strong ruler, as is proved by his stern dealing with the pirate Eigill of Bornholm. The happiness of his people and the interests of the Church were the objects he had most at heart. To the cathedral of Roskilde, still the royal burying-place, he gave his own diadem. His austerity was equalled by his assiduity in prayer. An expedition to England, in favour of the Saxons against William the Conqueror, planned by him in 1085, failed through the treachery of his brother Olaf. His people having revolted on account of the cruelties of certain tax-collectors, Canute retired to the island of Funen. There, in the church of St. Alban, after due preparation for death, the king, his brother Benedict, and seventeen others were surrounded and slain, 10 July, 1086. His feast is 19 January, translation, 10 July; his emblems, a lance or arrows, in memory of the manner of his death.(SOURCE:


Mark 1: 23 - 28
And immediately there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit;
and he cried out, "What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are, the Holy One of God."
But Jesus rebuked him, saying, "Be silent, and come out of him!"
And the unclean spirit, convulsing him and crying with a loud voice, came out of him.
And they were all amazed, so that they questioned among themselves, saying, "What is this? A new teaching! With authority he commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him."
And at once his fame spread everywhere throughout all the surrounding region of Galilee.

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