Wednesday, February 10, 2010



COMMUNIQUE FROM THE SECRETARIAT OF STATE VATICAN CITY, 9 FEB 2010 (VIS) - Given below is the complete text of a communique released today by the Secretariat of State: "Since 23 January an increasing number of news items and reconstructions have been appearing, especially in many Italian news media, concerning the events surrounding the resignation of the editor of the Italian Catholic daily 'Avvenire', with the evident intention of demonstrating the involvement of the editor of the 'Osservatore Romano' in the affair, even going so far as to insinuate the responsibility of the Cardinal Secretary of State. These news items and reconstructions have no basis whatsoever in fact. "Specifically, it is false that officers of the Vatican Gendarmerie or the editor of the 'Osservatore Romano' passed on the documents which lay behind the resignation of the editor of 'Avvenire' on 3 September last year; it is false that the editor of the 'Osservatore Romano' gave - or in any way transmitted or endorsed - information about these documents; and it is false that he wrote under a pseudonym, or inspired, articles in other publications. "It seems clear from the proliferation of the most incredible assertions and hypotheses - repeated by the media with truly remarkable consonance - that everything rests on unfounded convictions, with the intention of gratuitously and calumniously attributing to the editor of 'Osservatore Romano' an unmotivated, unreasonable and malicious action. This is giving rise to a defamatory campaign against the Holy See, which even involves the Roman Pontiff. "The Holy Father Benedict XVI, who has been kept constantly informed, deplores these unjust and injurious attacks, renews his complete faith in his collaborators, and prays that those who truly have the good of the Church to heart may work with all means to ensure that truth and justice triumph".SS/COMMUNIQUE/... VIS 100209 (310)

INTERNATIONAL THEOLOGICAL CONGRESS ON 11 AND 12 MARCH VATICAN CITY, 9 FEB 2010 (VIS) - An international theological congress is due to be held on 11 and 12 March on the theme "Faithfulness of Christ, faithfulness of Priests". The initiative, which will take place at the Pontifical Lateran University, has been organised to mark the current Year for Priests. According to a communique from the Congregation for the Clergy, which is promoting the event, "invitees to the congress principally include bishops who preside commissions for the clergy, supreme moderators of clerical institutes and associations, formators of the clergy, and priests themselves who are primarily responsible for their own permanent formation". The congress be divided into three sessions, two focusing on priestly identity and its relationship with modern culture, and one on liturgy and celibacy. Apart from Cardinal Claudio Hummes O.F.M. and Archbishop Mauro Piacenza, respectively prefect and secretary of the Congregation for the Clergy, also participating in the event will be Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski, prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education, Cardinal William Joseph Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and Franc Rode C.M., prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life. Contributions to the congress will also be forthcoming from Cardinal Carlo Caffarra, archbishop of Bologna, Italy; Cardinal Antonio Canizares Llovera, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments; Archbishop Leo Burke, prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura; Archbishop Willem Eijk of Utrecht and primate of Holland; Bishop Filippo Santoro of Petropolis, Brazil; Bishop Gerhard Muller of Regensburg, Germany, and Bishop Francesco Moraglia of La Spezia-Sarzana-Brugnato, Italy. Benedict XVI is scheduled to receive the congress participants in audience on Friday 12 March.CPC/THEOLOGICAL CONGRESS/... VIS 100209 (300)



All Africa report:

PRESIDENT Yoweri Museveni has called upon churches to start income-generating projects as a way of improving people's lives.
He said church leaders have a role to play in encouraging people to fight poverty in their homes.
The President was speaking to Anglican bishops who conducted a service at the State House in Entebbe on Sunday.
Museveni, flanked by his wife, Janet, urged the bishops to initiate the projects to avoid relying on foreign aid.
"For churches to be stable, they need to have regular income. You should mobilise the youth and get them interested in initiating income-generating activities," he said.
According to a press release from State House, Museveni also asked the bishops to start a new strategy of evangelism by targeting the youth.
He said the youth were the next generation and needed to be nurtured and supported.
The Archbishop of the Church of Uganda, Henry Orombi, asked Ugandans to respect those in authority, saying authority comes from God.
"You have to fear those in authority and do good, for God will bless you if you do," he advised.
The Rt. Rev. Edward Muhima of North Kigezi Diocese, who gave the sermon, hailed the President and his wife for sparing time to intercede with God.(source;



CNA report:

The more than 80 organizations that have joined together for the March for Life in Spain have released a statement calling on the government to withdrawal its new law on abortion, to support mothers and also to respect conscientious objection.
“Scientific evidence exists that from the moment of conception, a new human life is present and is worthy of respect and protection. This is ratified in the Madrid Manifesto, which was presented in March of 2009 and was signed by more than 3,000 Spanish scientists,” the document states.
Thus it can be understood that “abortion constitutes the violent death of a human being and a terrible tragedy for the woman who suffers it.”
Consequently, the pro-life organizations are demanding that “the government listen to Spanish society and withdraw the abortion law it intends to adopt.”
The statement then calls on politicians to “promote laws that protect the right to life...and help pregnant women overcome any problem that an unwanted pregnancy might cause.”
“The right of parents to educate their children in the area of sexuality according to their own convictions must also be respected,” the statement continues.
The pro-life organizations conclude by urging respect for “the right to the conscientious objection of health care workers so that they can carry out their commitment to defend and care for life and health from the very moment of conception.”(source:



CNA report:

Responding to a call by Archbishop Cristian Caro of Puerto Montt in Chile, numerous family organizations are urging a campaign to halt the distribution of pro-homosexual material in public schools.
Recently the “Movement for Homosexual Integration and Liberation” (MHIL), which drives one of the most anti-Catholic agendas in Chile, began a campaign financed by same-sex groups in Spain and the Socialist government in Holland to introduce manuals into public schools that present homosexual conduct as normal.
Portrayed as an “anti-discrimination” text, the manual describes homosexual acts as totally acceptable for minors. Public schools in various parts of Chile are already distributing them, most recently in Puerto Montt.
However, Archbishop Cristian Caro said recently that the manuals produced by the MHIL promote “a ideology-based vision of sexuality that is completely foreign to the humanist and Christian understanding, which is based on divine revelation and contained in Scripture.”
For this reason, he said, the manual “should not be distributed to children and young people” because it will only further deteriorate the quality of sexual education students are receiving, which is already deficient.
Pro-family groups are calling on the mayor of Puerto Pontt and city council members to revoke a norm allowing the manuals to be distributed in public schools.(source:



Strong protest Mgr. Pujasumarta, secretary of the local bishops' conference, during a meeting between members of parliament and religious leaders. Complaints of frequent violations of religious freedom, with threats and churches closed by Islamist groups which go unchecked by local authorities.
Jakarta (AsiaNews) - Indonesia has failed to ensure its people religious freedom, as also envisaged by the Ministerial Decrees numbers 8 and 9 of 2006 on the duty of local authorities to secure the right and freedom to adopt any religion. In reality, the Muslim majority tyrannize the minority religions. This is the stark reminder of Msgr. Johannes Pujasumarta, Bishop of West Java and secretary general of the Indonesian Bishops' Conference.
Yesterday evening the bishop, with leaders of other minority groups, met with the Indonesian Parliament to present them with this difficult situation. Mons. Pujasumarta reminded the lawmakers of the many Christian and Catholic churches that have been burned or closed down by force from Islamic extremist groups and how the Muslim majority "exerts its pressure to create serious problems for minority groups to implement the right to practice of their religious faith”. He mentioned the most recent "incidents" in Belasi and Purwakarta in West Java and Sumatra Padang Lawas in northern Sumatra, where churches have been forcibly closed by from Islamic extremist groups and local authorities together with the pretext that the buildings were built without authorization (called: izin Mendirikan Bangunan, IMB).
Ministerial decrees numbers 8 and 9 of 2006 instruct local authorities to ensure interfaith harmony. But the bishop stresses that "many local authorities are easy targets for extremist groups ... they asily succumb to their pressure and accommodate their demands". How in October the chief regent Dedi Mulyadi revoked the previous IMB from Saint Mary parish church in the District of Purwakarta, , yielding to strong pressure from the Islamic Defender Front group.
The approval of two decrees in 2006 had been greeted, especially in Catholic circles, as a happy solution to the problem of religious intolerance. Years later, the bishop noted, "their non-application".
The meeting was attended by Protestant groups, including the Synod of Christian Churches in Indonesia and the Synod of Protestant Churches Huria Batak, who have also witnessed frequent attacks by radical Islamic groups and a boycott of the authorities who do not protect them and sometimes do not even respond to requests for the release of the IMB. Their churches have also been closed, forcing the faithful to gather on the street.
Speaking to AsiaNews, Mgr. Pujasumarta insists that the country has the legal means to protect the rights of minorities, but that "in reality the norm is sometimes forgotten or even denied" by local authorities. "If I think of the latest violence against churches, I am concerned that this will increase sectarian spirit ", unhindered by weak and easily influenced local authorities.
Sugiarto, a member of the group that defends the rights of the church St. Mary of Purwakarta, noted that now the Christians are waiting for Parliament to concretely sees their rights are upheld.(source:,-religious-freedom-only-exists-on-paper-17595.html



Cath News report:

Father Frank Brennan has been appointed as "Catholic Advocate in Residence" in a move to to drive change on the health and welfare of disadvantaged Australians.
The appointment covers four bodies: the St Vincent de Paul Society, Catholic Health Australia (CHA), Catholic Social Services Australia (CSSA), and the Australian Catholic University's Public Policy Institute (PPI).
In a speech yesterday that coincided with the appointment, Fr Brennan also called on the nation's churches to band together to support a federal charter of rights, according to AAP.
"I could not see the charter itself, and its faithful implementation, working any harm to the freedom of religion," he told the Catholic Social Services' national conference.
"We as a church can do better in promoting justice for all in our land."
St Vincent de Paul Society, Catholic Health Australia (CHA), Catholic Social Services Australia (CSSA), and the Australian Catholic University's Public Policy Institute (PPI) have also signed a Memorandum of Understanding committing to work together to improve the lives of the disadvantaged and marginalised, the groups said in their statement. (source:


Bl. Marianus Scotus
Feast: February 9
Feast Day:
February 9
early 11th century in County Donegal, Ireland
9 February 1098 at Ratisbon (Regensburg), Germany

Marianus Scotus was one of those rare Irish monks who migrated to the continent and influenced the spread of a Christian culture throughout Europe. He was a scribe and calligrapher of great skill. He became a monk at a very early age and in 1067 he set out with a few companions on a pilgrimage to Rome. En route, they stopped in Germany, and were invited by the bishop of Regensburg to settle there. Marianus and his companions had brought with them that marvelous love of learning and beauty so distinctive of Irish monasticism, and their monastery became a center for the creation of beautiful manuscripts and commentaries on the Scriptures, done with consummate skill and artistry. The fame of their monastery, named St. Peter's, soon spread throughout the whole of Europe. Like Bobbio in Italy and St. Gall in Switzerland, their monastery became a center of Christian learning and culture.
St. Peter's and a companion monastery dedicated to St. James became the headquarters of a renaissance of Irish monasticism on the continent. In time, their congregation numbered twelve monasteries, and the monks were highly regarded for their holiness, their devotion to learning, and for the beautiful manuscripts that came forth from their hands. In their scriptoria, they carried on the tradition of the Book of Kells and the Book of Durrow. For almost four centuries, all of the monks were recruits from Ireland, and Ireland continued to supply monks, funds, and other resources for the growth of the abbey and its foundations.
The significance of the work of Marianus Scotus is indicated in by Arnold Toynbee: "The period of Irish cultural superiority over the continent and over Britain may be conveniently dated from the foundation of the monastic university of Clonmacnoise in Ireland A.D. 548 to the foundation of the Irish Monastery of St. James at Ratisbon, circa A.D. 1090. Throughout those five and a half centuries, it was the Irish who imparted culture and the English and the continentals who received it."
Blessed Marianus Scotus died on February 9, 1098.(

St Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin (1474-1548). Little is known about the life of Juan Diego before his conversion, but tradition and archaeological and iconographical sources, along with the most important and oldest indigenous document on the event of Guadalupe, "El Nican Mopohua" (written in Náhuatl with Latin characters, 1556, by the Indigenous writer Antonio Valeriano), give some information on the life of the saint and the apparitions.Juan Diego was born in 1474 with the name "Cuauhtlatoatzin" ("the talking eagle") in Cuautlitlán, today part of Mexico City, Mexico. He was a gifted member of the Chichimeca people, one of the more culturally advanced groups living in the Anáhuac Valley.When he was 50 years old he was baptized by a Franciscan priest, Fr Peter da Gand, one of the first Franciscan missionaries. On 9 December 1531, when Juan Diego was on his way to morning Mass, the Blessed Mother appeared to him on Tepeyac Hill, the outskirts of what is now Mexico City. She asked him to go to the Bishop and to request in her name that a shrine be built at Tepeyac, where she promised to pour out her grace upon those who invoked her. The Bishop, who did not believe Juan Diego, asked for a sign to prove that the apparition was true. On 12 December, Juan Diego returned to Tepeyac. Here, the Blessed Mother told him to climb the hill and to pick the flowers that he would find in bloom. He obeyed, and although it was winter time, he found roses flowering. He gathered the flowers and took them to Our Lady who carefully placed them in his mantle and told him to take them to the Bishop as "proof". When he opened his mantle, the flowers fell on the ground and there remained impressed, in place of the flowers, an image of the Blessed Mother, the apparition at Tepeyac.With the Bishop's permission, Juan Diego lived the rest of his life as a hermit in a small hut near the chapel where the miraculous image was placed for veneration. Here he cared for the church and the first pilgrims who came to pray to the Mother of Jesus.Much deeper than the "exterior grace" of having been "chosen" as Our Lady's "messenger", Juan Diego received the grace of interior enlightenment and from that moment, he began a life dedicated to prayer and the practice of virtue and boundless love of God and neighbour. He died in 1548 and was buried in the first chapel dedicated to the Virgin of Guadalupe. He was beatified on 6 May 1990 byPope John Paul II in the Basilica of Santa Maria di Guadalupe, Mexico City.The miraculous image, which is preserved in the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, shows a woman with native features and dress. She is supported by an angel whose wings are reminiscent of one of the major gods of the traditional religion of that area. The moon is beneath her feet and her blue mantle is covered with gold stars. The black girdle about her waist signifies that she is pregnant. Thus, the image graphically depicts the fact that Christ is to be "born" again among the peoples of the New World, and is a message as relevant to the "New World" today as it was during the lifetime of Juan Diego.



Mark 7: 1 - 13
Now when the Pharisees gathered together to him, with some of the scribes, who had come from Jerusalem,
they saw that some of his disciples ate with hands defiled, that is, unwashed.
(For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, do not eat unless they wash their hands, observing the tradition of the elders;
and when they come from the market place, they do not eat unless they purify themselves; and there are many other traditions which they observe, the washing of cups and pots and vessels of bronze.)
And the Pharisees and the scribes asked him, "Why do your disciples not live according to the tradition of the elders, but eat with hands defiled?"
And he said to them, "Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written, `This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me;
in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.'
You leave the commandment of God, and hold fast the tradition of men."
And he said to them, "You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God, in order to keep your tradition!
For Moses said, `Honor your father and your mother'; and, `He who speaks evil of father or mother, let him surely die';
but you say, `If a man tells his father or his mother, What you would have gained from me is Corban' (that is, given to God) --
then you no longer permit him to do anything for his father or mother,
thus making void the word of God through your tradition which you hand on. And many such things you do."

No comments: