CATHOLIC WORLD NEWS: SUN. MARCH 21, 2010: HEADLINES-
EUROPE: ENGLAND: POPE: TO PRESIDE AT CEREMONY FOR NEWMAN AT AIRPORT-
AUSTRALIA: ALTERNATIVE METHODS FOR DEALING WITH BULLYING-
Vatican City (AsiaNews) - Jesus teaches us "to be uncompromising with sin – starting with our own! - and lenient with people". The Gospel story of the adulteress and was raised today by Benedict XVI as a lesson on the sense of divine justice for the over 20 thousand people in St Peter's Square for the Sunday Angelus.
The scene described in the Gospel, the pope said, "is full of drama: the life of the woman but also this own depend on the words of Jesus. The hypocrite accusers, indeed, pretend to trust judgement to him, when in fact he is precisely the one they want to accuse and judge. Jesus, however, is 'full of grace and truth' (Jn 1:14) He knows what is in the heart of every man, he wants to condemn sin, but to save the sinner, and expose hypocrisy. St. John the Evangelist gives prominence to a particular detail: as the prosecutors question him insistently, Jesus bends down and begins to write with his finger on the ground. St. Augustine remarks that the gesture shows Christ as the divine legislator: in fact, God wrote the law with his finger on tablets of stone (cf. Comm on the Gospel of John., 33, 5). Jesus is the Legislator and Justice in person. And what is his verdict? 'He who is without sin cast the first stone at her'. "
"God wants only good and life for us: He ensures the health of our soul through his ministers, freeing us from evil with the Sacrament of Reconciliation, so that none perish but all to come to repentance".
"We learn from the Lord Jesus - he concluded - not to judge and not to condemn others, to be uncompromising with sin – starting from our own! - And lenient with people. "
"These words - said the Pope - are full of disarming force of truth, which brings down the wall of hypocrisy and opens minds to a greater justice, that of love, which is the fulfilment of every precept (cf. Romans 13:8-10). " http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Pope:-learn-to-be-uncompromising-with-sin-and-indulgent-with-people-17942.htmln-to-be-uncompromising-with-sin-and-indulgent-with-people-17942.html
Fathier Pipat Rungruangkanokkul, deputy secretary general of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Thailand (CBCT) told UCA News, “This is a very sensitive situation. The Church shouldn’t take any side and judge who is correct or wrong as this will create more conflict.”
He noted that individuals have the right to support any side, “but as Church we have to promote mutual understanding.”
Thousands of supporters of fugitive former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, known as “red shirts,” have descended on Bangkok, demanding that the government hold snap elections.
Grenades have also exploded in some areas.
Bishop John Bosco Panya Kritcharoen of Ratchaburi, CBCT secretary general, said the bishops’ conference “is very concerned about this current situation.”
“We released a formal letter to every church [on March 12] asking for intense prayers, special Masses, sacrifices and silent meditation for peace in the country.”
During the March 16-18 CBCT meeting, “we prepared guidelines on the Church’s stand on this current situation now,” he said.
Archbishop Francis Xavier Kriengsak Kovitvanit of Bangkok is working on these guidelines, and the bishops “hope to release them to schools and churches by next week,” the bishop said.
Achara Somsaengsuang from the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace told UCA News that even though Thailand is a Buddhist country, Buddhist organizations themselves are very careful not to take sides in the conflict.
Fr. Thomas Euteneuer, the current head of Human Life International, called LifeSiteNews today with the news of Fr. Marx's death and stated the following about his organization's founder:
"Because of Fr. Paul Marx, the world has a pro-life movement. He travelled 3 million miles to over 90 countries and was like the Johnney Appleseed of the pro-life movement planting pro-life groups everywhere he went. Pope John Paul II called him the apostle of life with good reason. We miss him terribly but we pray that he has entered into the fullness of life for which he worked so hard in this world."
Stephen Mosher of the Population Research Institute also mourned Fr. Marx' passing in a release today.
"It grieves me to tell you that Father Paul Marx, OSB, my mentor and spiritual Father, went to his reward this morning, March 20, at 8:30 a.m., said Mosher.
"Father Marx touched my life in many ways—he helped to bring me into the Catholic Church, he founded the Population Research Institute and served as its long-time Chairman, and he did me the honor of allowing me to work alongside him in defending Life."
In his statement Mosher also urged, "May we all, in honor of this great Apostle of Life, redouble our efforts on behalf of God's little ones."
Fr. Frank Pavone of Priests for Life also issued a statement about the passing of the great pro-life priest:
"I just learned with sorrow of the death of one of the world's greatest pro-life advocates, Fr. Paul Marx, OSB.
"Fr. Marx was, first and foremost, a priest who was not afraid to be a prophet. He knew that his mission in bearing witness to the Gospel and in fostering love of God and neighbor compelled him to speak up for our smallest neighbors, those in the first moments and weeks of life. He undertook countless initiatives, made seemingly endless trips, gave innumerable talks, wrote a warehouse of articles and books, and inspired countless people in the effort to build a Culture of Life.
"I first came to know Fr. Marx through his founding and leadership of Human Life International and the remarkable conferences he held for pro-life advocates around the world. He was always a clear reminder to his brother priests that we should never be afraid to speak about abortion, contraception, and the beauty of human sexuality as taught by the Church. All of us at Priests for Life are grateful for the strong encouragement he gave to our ministry. We will pray not only for the repose of his soul, but for the continued fruit of his labors in the minds and hearts of so many people and in the policies of so many nations."
Fr. Euteneuer stated that the wake service for Fr. Marx will take place on Thursday night, the Feast of the Annunciation, at 7 p.m. at St. John's Benedictine Abbey in Collegeville, Minnesota. The funeral will follow on Friday at 3:30 p.m. at the same location.
WASHINGTON—The U.S. bishops urged the House of Representatives to fix flaws in health care legislation or vote against its passage in a March 20 letter to House members. The letter was signed by Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, chair of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities, Bishop William Murphy of Rockville Centre, New York, chair of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, and Bishop John Wester of Salt Lake City, chair on the Committee on Migration. The letter follows.
Dear Representative:For decades, the United States Catholic bishops have supported universal health care. The Catholic Church teaches that health care is a basic human right, essential for human life and dignity. Our community of faith provides health care to millions, purchases health care for tens of thousands and addresses the failings of our health care system in our parishes, emergency rooms and shelters. This is why we as bishops continue to insist that health care reform which truly protects the life, dignity, consciences and health of all is a moral imperative and urgent national priority.We are convinced that the Senate legislation now presented to the House of Representatives on a “take it or leave it” basis sadly fails this test and ought to be opposed. Why do we take this position, when we have a long record of support for health care reform? Our fundamental objections can be summarized in two points:
Health care reform must protect life and conscience, not threaten them. The Senate bill extends abortion coverage, allows federal funds to pay for elective abortions (for example, through a new appropriation for services at Community Health Centers that bypasses the Hyde amendment), and denies adequate conscience protection to individuals and institutions. Needed health care reform must keep in place the longstanding and widely supported federal policy that neither elective abortion nor plans which include elective abortion can be paid for with federal funds. Simply put, health care reform ought to continue to apply both parts of the Hyde amendment, no more and no less. The House adopted this policy by a large bipartisan majority, establishing the same protections that govern Medicaid, SCHIP, the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program and other federal health programs. Despite claims to the contrary, the status quo prohibits the federal government from funding or facilitating plans that include elective abortion. The Senate bill clearly violates this prohibition by providing subsidies to purchase such plans. The House bill provided that no one has to pay for other people’s abortions, while this Senate bill does not. While the Senate provides for one plan without abortion coverage in each exchange, those who select another plan in an exchange to better meet the special needs of their families will be required to pay a separate mandatory abortion fee into a fund exclusively for abortions. This new federal requirement is a far more direct imposition on the consciences of those who do not wish to pay for the destruction of unborn human life than anything currently in federal law.It is not those who require that the Hyde Amendment be fully applied who are obstructing reform, since this is the law of the land and the will of the American people. Rather, those who insist on expanding federal participation in abortion, require people to pay for other people’s abortions, and refuse to incorporate essential conscience protections (both within and beyond the abortion context) are threatening genuine reform. With conscience protection as with abortion funding, our goal is simply to preserve the status quo.
Universal coverage should be truly universal. People should never be denied coverage because they can’t afford it, because of where they live or work, or because of where they come from and when they got here. The Senate bill would not only continue current law that denies legal immigrants access to Medicaid for five years, but also prohibit undocumented immigrants from buying insurance for their families in the exchanges using their own money. These provisions could leave immigrants and their families worse off, and also hurt the public health of our nation.
Now, after a year of divisive political combat, members of the House are told that they can advance health care reform only by adopting the Senate legislation as is, including these fundamental flaws. The House leadership is ignoring the pleas of pro-life members for essential changes in the legislation. Apparently they will not even try to address the serious problems on abortion funding, conscience protection and fair treatment of immigrants. We are bishops, not politicians, policy experts or legislative tacticians. We are also pastors, teachers, and citizens. At this point of decision, we cannot compromise on basic moral principles. We can only urge -- and hope and pray -- that the House of Representatives will still find the will and the means to adopt health care reform that protects the life, dignity, conscience and health of all. The legislation the House adopted, while not perfect, came closer to meeting these criteria. The Senate legislation simply does not meet them. With deep regret, but clear in our moral judgment, we are compelled to continue to urge House members to oppose the Senate bill unless these fundamental flaws are remedied. At this critical moment, we urge Representatives to take the steps necessary to ensure that health care reform respects the life and dignity of all, from conception to natural death. http://www.usccb.org/comm/archives/2010/10-051.shtml
The school, for grade five to senior boys, implemented the "RP" method in 2004, inspired by an Australian Story episode about a former policeman's restorative justice work, ABC reports.
Villanova says it no longer uses the term "bully", instead preferring "wrongdoer", "offender" or "the guy who did the wrong thing", and regularly holds a "Circle Time" of small groups of younger students talking about things that are worrying them.
In more serious cases of bullying, there is the "powerful and emotionally gruelling" Community Conference, where parents, teachers and other key stakeholders intervene.
"What's different about Villanova is it doesn't just see wrongdoing and then put the bully on detention or something," Villanova's vice-captain Sam McCall, 16, told ABC News Online.
"The attitude is that the bully is the end product of problems; so the meetings... involve students, teachers, parents sitting down, trying to work towards bringing out the source of the problem.
Villanova's principal Dennis Harvey left the school for 15 years and came back seven weeks ago to take up the top job. He says he has already noticed that students seem more "empowered", the report adds.
"More often than not, it seems to me that the perpetrator learns something from himself and for others. It seems to stay with them," he said.
Vice-principal Graeme George, who worked on initial research of the method for the school said it takes a lot of hard work to implement.
"If you're looking for a quick-fix tool kit .... it's not the way to go. It's not a lock-step and one-size-fits-all approach," said Mr George.
Ken Rigby, a founder of the National Centre Against Bullying, is cited saying that "a big step forward" would be if school anti-bullying policies include varied approaches to tackle the problem, but still retain the traditional punitive method where warranted.
"If something serious happens, like a student being stabbed, you always revert to the punitive method," Professor Rigby said. http://www.cathnews.com/article.aspx?aeid=20085
St. Nicholas of Flue
HERMIT AND SWISS POLITICAL FIGURE
Feast: March 21
21 March 1417 at Sachseln, Canton Obwalden, Lake Lucerne, Switzerland
21 March 1487
15 May 1947 by Pope Pius XII
councilmen, difficult marriages, large families, magistrates, parents of large families, Pontifical Swiss Guards, separated spouses, Switzerland
Had Nicholas not been a saint, or had he eaten and drunk like other saints, Switzerland with all it has meant for peace and humanity would probably not exist today. For Nicholas's entire life was ordained in view of his vocation to save his country.
Nicholas von Flue was born on March 21st, 1417 in the Canton of Unterwalden on the lake of Lucerne, a citizen of a peasant democracy and a farmer's son. As he grew up he proved himself a capable farmer, and the ability he displayed in the local parliament, of which every male citizen was a member, led to his election at an early age as councillor and judge. He also proved himself a capable commander of troops. In the war against the duke of Tirol he persuaded his compatriots to respect a convent of nuns. Though willing to perform his military service, Nicholas condemned as immoral, wars of aggression and the slaughter of non-combatants inevitable in any major modern war. About the age of thirty he married a farmer's daughter, Dorothy Wiss, and built a farmhouse to receive her. The couple had ten children and descendants survive to this day.
Nicholas had thus approved himself to his countrymen as a thoroughly capable man, as farmer, military leader, member of the assembly, councillor, judge and father of a family—also a man of complete moral integrity. All the while, however, he led a life of contemplative prayer and rigorous fasting. He was the subject of symbolic visions and a diabolic assault.
After some twenty years of married life, in 1467 Nicholas received a compelling call to abandon his home and the world and become a hermit. Though she had just borne his tenth child his wife heroically consented. His neighbors, however, even his older children, regarded his action as indefensible, unbalanced, immoral and irresponsible. He set out for Alsace, where he intended to live. Had he carried out his intention his vocation would have been missed. A storm, however, symbolically interpreted, and friendly advice not to settle where the Swiss were detested made him turn back from the border. At the same time he became incapable of eating or drinking—a condition which continued for the rest of his life. As an act of obedience to a bishop he once ate with acute agony a piece of soaked bread. (The problem of prolonged fasting is more fully discussed in the account of St. Lidwina of Schiedam.)
He resumed to his native canton, passing the first night undiscovered in the cow-shed of his farm and settled in a hermitage at Ranft within a few miles of his home. It was no temptation to return home, as he never felt the least desire for his former life. Symbolic visions continued to be a feature of his contemplation, and when, after a month's strict surveillance, his countrymen were convinced that his fast was genuine, they recognised his sanctity and vocation, and he became a spiritual guide whose advice was widely sought and followed. Pilgrims came from distant parts to consult him. He acquired influence with Duke Sigismund of the Tirol, whom he confirmed in his neutrality when the Swiss confederacy met and defeated Charles of Burgundy. Everything was ready for the climax of Nicholas's life: the accomplishment of his unique vocation.
The victorious cantons were at loggerheads. The rural cantons opposed inflexibly the demand of Zurich and Lucerne that Freiburg and Soleure be admitted to the confederacy. A conference held at Stans, December 1481, failed to reach agreement. Next day the delegates would disperse and a civil war ensue which would presumably have destroyed the confederacy. The parish priest, once Nicholas's confessor, hurried to Ranft and laid the matter before the hermit. During the night Nicholas dictated suggested terms of agreement. The priest resumed in time to persuade the delegates to give a hearing to the proposals of a man so widely respected for his well tried practical abilities and so widely venerated for his holiness. The terms suggested—the conditional admittance of Freiburg and Soleure—were unanimously accepted and embodied in the agreement of Stans. Switzerland had been saved.
Nicholas survived his achievement almost six years, universally revered, visited and consulted. On March 21st 1487, his seventieth birthday, he died, apparently of his first illness. One is glad to know that his wife and children attended his deathbed. After all, she had never lost her husband completely. Honored by Swiss Protestants, venerated by Swiss Catholics, Nicholas's cult, uninterrupted since his death, was officially sanctioned by Clement IX (1667-9). In 1947 he was canonized by Pope Pius XII.http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/N/stnicholasofflue.asp
Thus says the LORD, who makes a way in the sea, a path in the mighty waters,
who brings forth chariot and horse, army and warrior; they lie down, they cannot rise, they are extinguished, quenched like a wick:
"Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old.
Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.
The wild beasts will honor me, the jackals and the ostriches; for I give water in the wilderness, rivers in the desert, to give drink to my chosen people,
the people whom I formed for myself that they might declare my praise.
Psalms 126: 1 - 6
When the LORD restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dream.
Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy; then they said among the nations, "The LORD has done great things for them."
The LORD has done great things for us; we are glad.
Restore our fortunes, O LORD, like the watercourses in the Negeb!
May those who sow in tears reap with shouts of joy!
He that goes forth weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, bringing his sheaves with him.
Philippians 3: 8 - 14
Indeed I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as refuse, in order that I may gain Christ
and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own, based on law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith;
that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,
that if possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.
Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect; but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.
Brethren, I do not consider that I have made it my own; but one thing I do, forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead,
I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
John 8: 1 - 11
but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.
Early in the morning he came again to the temple; all the people came to him, and he sat down and taught them.
The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midst
they said to him, "Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery.
Now in the law Moses commanded us to stone such. What do you say about her?"
This they said to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground.
And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, "Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her."
And once more he bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground.
But when they heard it, they went away, one by one, beginning with the eldest, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him.
Jesus looked up and said to her, "Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?"
She said, "No one, Lord." And Jesus said, "Neither do I condemn you; go, and do not sin again."