Wednesday, March 24, 2010





(VIS) - At 6 p.m. on Monday 29 March, the Monday of Holy Week, Benedict XVI will preside at a celebration of the Eucharist in the Vatican Basilica to mark the fifth anniversary of the death of Venerable Servant of God John Paul II (2 April 2005).OCL/MASS JOHN PAUL II/... VIS 100323 (70)

INTERNATIONAL YOUTH FORUM TO BEGIN TOMORROW VATICAN CITY, 23 MAR 2010 (VIS) - As it does every three years, the Pontifical Council for the Laity has organised an International Youth Forum, to be held from 24 to 28 March at Rocca di Papa near Rome. The event is due to be attended by around three hundred young people delegated by episcopal conferences and the main international movements and associations. The theme chosen for this forum, the tenth in the series, is "Learning to Love" and its aim, according to a communique, is to reflect on human love in its various aspects: vocation, marriage, family, consecrated life and priesthood. The meeting is due to include lectures, round table discussions, witness and work groups. On Thursday 25 March, the delegates will participate in the Pope's meeting with young people of Rome and Lazio for the commemoration of the twenty-fifth anniversary of the first World Youth Day. The work of the forum will conclude with the Mass Benedict XVI is due to celebrate in St. Peter's Square on Palm Sunday 28 March, which is traditionally attended by thousands of young people from all over the world.CON-L/INTERNATIONAL YOUTH FORUM/... VIS 100323 (200)

OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS VATICAN CITY, 23 MAR 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Fr. Charles Kasonde of the clergy of Ndola, Zambia, director of the national office for pastoral care and vice secretary general of the Zambia Episcopal Conference, as bishop of Solwezi (area 88,300, population 750,000, Catholics 80,000, priests 40, religious 51), Zambia. The bishop-elect was born in Kalulushi, Zambia in 1968 and ordained a priest in 2001.NER/.../KASONDE VIS 100323 (70)

IN MEMORIAM VATICAN CITY, 23 MAR 2010 (VIS) - The following prelates died in recent weeks: - Cardinal Armand Gaetan Razafindratandra, archbishop emeritus of Antananarivo, Madagascar, on 9 January at the age of 84. - Bishop Christopher Shaman Abba of Yola, Nigeria, on 10 January at the age of 74. - Bishop Roger-Emile Aubry C.SS.R., former apostolic vicar of Reyes, Bolivia, on 17 February at the age of 86. - Bishop Juan Angel Belda Dardina, emeritus of Leon, Spain, on 22 February at the age of 83. - Archbishop Lawrence Aloysius Burke S.J., emeritus of Kingston in Jamaica, on 24 January at the age of 77. - Bishop Jose Eugenio Correa, emeritus of Caratinga, Brazil, on 28 January at the age of 95. - Bishop Alfredo Mario Esposito Castro C.M.F., emeritus of Zarate-Campana, Argentina, on 1 January at the age of 82. - Bishop Ignatius O. Lobo, emeritus of Belgaum, India, on 17 February at the age of 90. - Bishop John Bernard McDowell, former auxiliary of Pittsburgh, U.S.A., on 25 February at the age of 88. - Archbishop Joseph Serge Miot of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on 12 January at the age of 63. - Bishop John Francis Moore S.M.A. of Bauchi, Nigeria, on 20 January at the age of 68. - Bishop Rafael Munoz Nunez, emeritus of Aguascalientes, Mexico, on 19 February at the age of 85. - Bishop Donald Edmond Pelotte S.S.S., emeritus of Gallup, U.S.A., on 7 January at the age of 64. - Archbishop Ivan Prendja of Zadar, Croatia, on 25 January at the age of 70. - Bishop Joseph Ignace Randrianasolo, emeritus of Mahjanga, Madagascar, on 4 February at the age of 62. - Bishop Josephus Tethool M.S.C., former auxiliary of Amboina, Indonesia on 18 January at the age of 75. - Archbishop Paul Verdzekov, emeritus of Bamenda, Cameroon, on 26 January at the age of 79. - Bishop Antonio Vilaplana Molina, emeritus of Leon, Spain, on 14 January at the age of 83..../DEATHS/... VIS 100323 (330)



Asia News report: Arshed Masih, a 38 year-old Pakistani Christian, died yesterday evening at 7.45 from his very serious injuries. The family requests that an autopsy is performed before the funeral. Christian associations and human rights activists demonstrate outside the hospital. Catholic leaders: the federal and provincial government do not punish the guilty.
Islamabad (AsiaNews) - Arshed Masih died last night in hospital from the serious injuries - burns covering 80% of his body – which the 38 year old Pakistani Christian suffered when he was set on fire because he refused to convert to Islam. The funeral of man, who died after three days of agony, should take place in the late afternoon, but the family has asked that "before an autopsy is performed." The Christian community of Pakistan condemns "with firmness" the latest episode of violence and denounces the "slowness" of the federal and provincial government to punish those responsible.
On March 19 a group of Islamic extremists burned alive Arshed Masih, a driver employed by a wealthy Muslim businessman in Rawalpindi. His wife worked as a maid in the same estate, situated in front of a police station. Recently disagreements had arisen between the employer, Sheikh Mohammad Sultan, and the couple because of their Christian faith. The couple had suffered threats and intimidation to force them to convert to Islam.
Arshed Masih (pictured) died last night at 7.45 local time after three days of agony and suffering at the Holy Family Hospital in Rawalpindi, Punjab province. His wife Martha Arshed was raped by police en she sought to denounce the violence inflicted on her husband. The couple's three children - ages 7 to 12 years - were forced "to witness the torture inflicted on their parents.
Since 2005 Arshed Masih and his wife had worked and lived on the estate of the late Sheikh Mohammad Sultan. The pressure on them to renounce Christianity had lately become incessant. The owner had come so far as to threaten "dire consequences", to persuade them to embrace Islam. The couple were also accused of a recent theft by the owner who has promised to drop the complaint for their conversion.
Arshed Masih's funeral should be held in the late afternoon, although tension remains high in the area. Local witnesses tell AsiaNews that "the whole family is in shock and I s demanding an autopsy is carried out before burial." Several Christian associations and human rights activists - including Life for All, Christian Progressive Movement, Pakistan Christian Congress and Protect Foundation Pakistan - "protests are being stepped up outside the hospital."
Peter Jacob, executive secretary of the Justice and Peace Commission of the Catholic Church of Pakistan (NCJP), expresses to AsiaNews his "strongest condemnation" for the crime against the man and the rape of women perpetrated by police who should protect law and order . The Catholic organization has been active to ensure protection to the woman and children, of whom there are no immediate reports.
The Catholic activist notes with regret the silence of the Federal Minister for Minorities, the Catholic Shahbaz Bhatti, and denounces "the slow pace and the inaction of the federal and provincial government. "The executive - said Peter Jacob - has not yet taken concrete steps to prevent violence and abuse on minorities and punish the guilty."
The site adds that yesterday the provincial government of Punjab blocked a protest march of Christians, under the pretext of "terrorist threat". The local community wanted to demonstrate against the "refusal" of the police to arrest the perpetrators of the crime.,-Christian-community-calls-for-justice-17960.html



CNA report: The bishops of Antequera-Oaxaca in Mexico reminded political parties and candidates last week to improve upon the level of politics in the country because the Mexican people want representatives who are attentive to their needs.
“Citizens want parties and candidates who listen, who dialogue in the truth,” and “are always seeking the common good.” They added that it is necessary for political leaders to “propose real and feasible solutions to the challenges and fundamental necessities of our society, and to make commitments to fulfill their promises,” said the statement signed by Archbishop Jose Luis Chavez Botello of Antequera-Oaxaca and Auxiliary Bishop Oscar Campos.
They added that continuous broken promises have led many Mexicans to become disillusioned, which has only caused greater deterioration of the social fabric.
The bishops encouraged voters to become organized and make their voices heard, as otherwise “our leaders and political parties will never straighten up, and improve the level of politics.” If citizens do not grow in social participation and responsibility, they added, “the achievements and advances will be superficial and fleeting.”
The bishops asked those in Oaxaca to reflect on the needs of their region. “What does Oaxaca need most for peaceful coexistence, for its cultural, economic, political and social development?” What are the candidates and different sectors of society proposing? How can we put together the proposed solutions to the huge challenges and needs with the various proposals and keep society informed? How can we promote greater unity in society?” the bishops asked.



CNA report: The leader of the Holy See’s delegation to the United Nations in Geneva has advocated a form of religious freedom that does not require “complete secularization” but sees religion as a “bridge” to human rights. He also criticized laws against “defamation” as vague and open to abuse targeting religious minorities.
Archbishop Silvano M. Tomasi, Permanent Representative of the Holy See to the United Nations and Other International Organizations in Geneva, addressed the Human Rights Council on Monday. His remarks responded to the follow-up and implementation of the Durban Declaration.
“Increasing instances of ridiculing religion, of lack of respect for religious personalities and symbols, of discrimination and killings of followers of minority religions, and a generalized negative consideration of religion in the public arena damage peaceful coexistence and hurt the feelings of considerable segments of the human family,” he explained.
Religious freedom should protect the personal and collective exercise of faith and convictions, he continued. Furthermore, religious values are “a bridge for and to all human rights” by allowing a person to orient himself or herself to “what is true and real.”
Human dignity is “rooted in the unity of the spiritual and material components of the person,” Archbishop Tomasi added.
“The respect of everyone’s right to religious freedom does not require the complete secularization of the public sphere or the abandonment of all cultural traditions nor does the respect of freedom of expression authorize lack of respect for the values commonly shared by a particular society.”
He denied that the state can become “an arbiter of religious correctness” by deciding on theological or doctrinal issues, saying this itself would deny the right to religious freedom.
The prelate said the “vague concept of ‘defamation’” used to combat offensive attitudes towards religion moves way from the universality of humanity and is not a support for an effective and satisfactory solution.
“There is the additional real risk that the interpretation of what defamation entails may change according to the censor’s attitude towards religion or belief, often at the tragic expense of minorities,” he cautioned, stating that this is the unfortunate case in states that do not distinguish between civil and religious matters.
States that identify with a particular religion or a certain sect interpret defamation according to their own convictions and “inevitably” discriminate against citizens who do not share those convictions. The concept of “defamation of religion” will only lead to further oppression of religious minorities, he argued.
“The Holy See calls upon the member-countries of this respected Council to transform these unfortunate incidents of religious intolerance and the culture that underlies them into an opportunity for a new engagement to dialogue and for the reaffirmation of the right and value of belonging to a community of faith or belief,” Archbishop Tomasi concluded.


Cath News report: Only 43 of Queensland's 288 Catholic schools will be affected by a strike planned for today, according to the Queensland Catholic Education Commission.
News reports in the Sydney Morning Herald and the Nine News website said Catholic school teachers seeking better pay will strike at 85 schools across the state.
But QCEC Executive Director Mike Mr Byrne said that seven schools (five in the Cairns Diocese, one in the Toowoomba Diocese and one in Brisbane) would be closed, while a further 36 schools would operate with modified programs.
"I want to stress that it is only a small number of Catholic schools that will be affected by this action tomorrow.
"None of the 133 Catholic systemic schools in the Archdiocese of Brisbane or in the Dioceses of Rockhampton and Townsville will be affected," he added.
Mr Byrne detailed the pay offer that has been put in the table by Catholic school authorities, saying the salary and conditions package being offered is a responsible one.
"It needs to be understood that the resources we have available are limited," he said. Further details can be found in the statement, linked below.
The Queensland Independent Education Union (QIEU) called the package on offer "disappointing", said the AAP report in the Sydney Morning Herald.
The union claims that teachers working in Queensland's Catholic schools would be some of the lowest paid in Australia's non-government sector. A rally will be held in Brisbane's CBD from 10am, the report added.

All Africa report: Plans are underway to publish a book on the Second African Synod, held in Rome last October under the theme: The Church in Africa in Service to Reconciliation, Justice and Peace.
A three-day conference on the book project, to be published by Orbis Books in North America and in both English and French in Africa, was held at Hekima College of Theology, Nairobi, Kenya between March 17 and 19.
Over 20 Catholic scholars (practicing theologians) drawn from various universities, colleges and centres in Africa who comprise clergy, religious and lay, met under the banner: Second African Synod Orbis Books Project.
They spent time scrutinizing and critiquing the already submitted manuscripts on the themes of the proposed book on the synod.
Father Joseph Healey, MM said the conference was jointly organized by the Africa Representative of Orbis Books and Hekima College.
It was coordinated by him and Father Agbonkhianmeghe Orobator, SJ, Provincial Superior for the Jesuits in the Eastern African Region.
Fr Healey indicated that Fr. Orobator will be the general editor of the proposed book that will comprise 26 chapters.
He added that the proposed book will consider topics on the challenges of reconciliation, justice and peace such as the ethics, theology and politics of reconciliation, justice and peace; the scourge of corruption; and restorative justice/conflict resolution.
Other topics for special consideration include: good governance; war and armed conflict; integrity of the earth; environment, ecology and climate change; Church/State relations and the Catholic Church in the public sphere.
Also included are gender justice in the Church and in African society; social ethics/justice in the internal life of the Church; and solidarity between the Catholic Church in the Global South and the Catholic Church in the Global North.
The Paulines Publications Africa, a project of the Daughters of St Paul operating from Nairobi, Kenya, will publish the African English edition of the proposed book.
Sister Teresa Marcazzan, DSP, the Directress of Paulines Africa Publication said her publishing house looks forward to actively participating in the project.

St. Turibius de Mogrovejo
Feast: March 23
Feast Day:
March 23
16 November, 1538, Mayorga, Spain
23 March, 1606, SaƱa, Peru
Patron of:
Native rights; Latin American bishops; Peru

St Toribio, or Turibius Alphonsus Mogrobejo, was second son to the lord of Mogrobejo, and born in the kingdom of Leon, on the 16th of November, in 1538. From his infancy he discovered a strong inclination to piety; and in his childhood it was his delight, at times of recreation, to erect and adorn altars, and to serve the poor. He trembled at the very shadow of sin. One day, seeing a poor peddler woman angry because she had lost something out of her pack, he most movingly entreated and exhorted her that she would not offend God by passion; and, in order to appease her, gave her the value of her loss, which he had begged of his mother for that purpose. He was very devout to the Blessed Virgin, said every day her office and rosary, and fasted every Saturday in her honour. Whilst at school, he usually gave part of his slender dinner to the poor, and was so much addicted to fasting that his superiors were obliged, by strict commands, to compel him to moderate his austerities. He began his higher studies at Valladolid, but completed them at Salamanca. He was introduced early to the notice of King Philip II, honoured by him with several dignities, and made president or chief judge at Granada. This office he discharged during five years with so much integrity, prudence, and virtue that the eyes of the whole kingdom were fixed on him, and his life in the world was a holy noviceship to the pastoral charge. The pressing necessities of the infant church of Peru required a prelate who inherited, in a distinguished manner, the spirit of the apostles; and the archbishopric of Lima falling vacant, Turibius was unanimously judged the person of all others the best qualified to be an apostle of so large a country, and to remedy the scandals which obstructed the conversion of the infidels. The king readily nominated him to that dignity, and all parties concerned applauded the choice. Turibius was thunderstruck at this unexpected news, and had no sooner received the message but he cast himself on the ground at the foot of his crucifix, praying, with many tears, that God would deliver him from so heavy a burden, which he thought absolutely above his strength. He wrote the most urgent letters to the king's council, in which he pleaded his incapacity, and other impediments, and laid great stress on the canons, which forbid laymen to be promoted to such dignities in the church. This humility it was that obtained the succor of heaven by which he performed wonders in the service of souls. Being compelled by obedience to acquiesce, he at length testified his submission by falling on his knees and kissing the ground.
After a suitable preparation, he received the four minor orders on four successive Sundays, the better to dispose himself for the functions of each; and after passing through the other orders, he was consecrated bishop. Immediately after which he set out for Peru, and landed at Lima, in the year 1581, of his age the forty-third. That diocese is extended one hundred and thirty leagues along the coast, comprising three cities and many towns and villages, with innumerable cottages scattered over two ridges of the mountains of the Andes, esteemed the highest and the most rugged in the whole world. Some of the European generals, who first invaded that country were men who seemed to measure every thing by their insatiable avarice and ambition, and had so far lost all sentiments of humanity towards the poor savages, that they deserved the name rather of tyrants and plunderers than of conquerors. Civil wars and dissension completed the misfortune of that country; and covetousness, cruelty, treachery, fraud, and debauchery seemed triumphant. Nor were the repeated orders of the Spanish court able to redress these evils. The sight of these disorders moved the good pastor often to tears, but his prudence and zeal overcame all difficulties, extirpated public scandals, and made the kingdom a flourishing portion of the Christian church. Upon his arrival, he immediately began a visitation of his vast diocese- an undertaking of incredible fatigue, and attended with many dangers. He often crept over the steepest and most rugged mountains, covered with ice or snow, to visit some poor hut of Indians, and give them suitable comfort and instruction. He travelled often on foot, and sometimes barefoot, and by fasting and prayer never ceased to implore the divine mercy for the salvation of the souls committed to his charge. He placed everywhere able and zealous pastors, and took care that no one in the most remote corners of the rocks should be left destitute of the means of instruction and of the benefit of the sacraments. To settle and maintain discipline, he appointed diocesan synods to be held every two years, and provincial synods every seven; and was vigilant and severe in chastising the least scandal, especially of avarice, in the clergy. Without respect of persons, he reproved injustice and vice, and made use of all the means which his authority nut into his hands, to check the insolence of public sinners, and to protect the poor from oppression. Many of the first conquerors and governors of Peru, before the arrival of the most virtuous viceroy Francis of Toledo, were men who often sacrificed every thing to their passions, and for their private ends. From some of these the saint suffered many persecutions, and was often thwarted by them in the discharge of his duty. But by the arms of meekness and patience he overcame all affronts and injuries, and with an invincible constancy he maintained the rights of justice and truth. He showed that many sinners misconstrued the law of God to make it favour their passions; but that, as Tertullian observes, "Christ calls himself the truth, not custom," and will weigh our actions not in the false balance of the world, but in the true scales of the sanctuary. Thus he extirpated the most inveterate abuses, and established with so great fervour the pure maxims of the gospel, as to revive in many the primitive spirit of Christianity. To extend and perpetuate the advantages of religion, which by his zeal he had procured, he filled this country with seminaries, churches, and many hospitals; but would never suffer his own name to be recorded in any of his munificent charities or foundations. When he was at Lima, he every day visited several hospitals, comforted and exhorted the sick. and administered the sacraments. When a pestilence, though that calamity is seldom known in Peru, raged in some parts of his diocese, Turibius distributed his own necessaries in relieving the afflicted: he preached penance, because sins are the cause of chastisements, and infinitely the worst of evils. He walked in the processions, bathed in tears, with his eyes always fixed on a crucifix, and offering himself to God for his flock; fasted, watched, and prayed for them without intermission, till God was pleased to remove the scourge.
Nothing gave the saint so much pleasure as the greatest labours and dangers, to procure the least spiritual advantage to one soul. Burning with the most vehement desire of laying down his life for his flock, and of suffering all things for him who died for us, he feared no dangers. When he heard that poor Indians wandered in the mountains and deserts, he sought them out; and to comfort, instruct, or gain one of them he often suffered incredible fatigues and dangers in the wildernesses, and boldly travelled through the haunts of lions and tigers.1 He spent seven years in performing his first visitation; his second employed him four years, but the third was shorter. He converted innumerable infidels, and left everywhere monuments of his charity. In travelling, he either prayed or discoursed on heavenly things.. On his arrival at a place, it was his custom to repair first to the church to pray before the altar. To catechise the poor, he would sometimes stay two or three days in places where he had neither bed nor any kind of food. He visited every part of his vast diocese, and when others suggested to him the dangers that threatened him from rocks, precipices, marshes, rivers, robbers, and savages, his answer was that Christ came from heaven to save man, we ought not therefore to fear dangers for the sake of immortal glory. He preached and catechised without intermission, having for this purpose learned, in his old age, all the various languages of the barbarous nations of that country. Even on his journeys he said mass every day with wonderful fervour and devotion. He always made a long meditation before and after it, and usually went to confession every morning; though they who best knew his interior testified that they were persuaded he had never in his whole life forfeited his baptismal innocence by any mortal sin. He seemed to have God and the divine honor alone before his eyes in all his words and actions so as to give little or no attention to any thing else; by which means his prayer was perpetual. He retired in private to that exercise often in the day, and for a long time together. In it his countenance seemed often to shine with a divine light. The care with which he studied to disguise and conceal his great mortifications and works of piety, was the proof of his sincere humility. His munificence in relieving the poor of every class, especially those who were too bashful to make their necessities publicly known, always exhausted his revenues. The decrees of his provincial councils are monuments of his zeal, piety, learning, and discretion: they have been ever since esteemed, not only in the new world, but also in Europe, and at Rome itself, as oracles. The flourishing state of the church of Peru, the great numbers of saints and eminent pastors with which it abounded, and the establishment of innumerable seminaries of piety and learning, and hospitals for the poor, were the fruit of his zeal. If he did not originally plant the faith, he was at least the great propagator of it, and the chief instrument of God in removing scandals and advancing true piety in that vast country, which till then had been a land of abominations: whilst Francis of Toledo, the great viceroy, first settled the civil government in peace and tranquillity by salutary laws, which have procured him the title of the Legislator of Peru. St. Turibius, in the sixty-eighth year of his age, in 1606 during the visitation of his diocese, fell sick at Santa, a town one hundred and ten leagues distant from Lima. He foretold his death, and ordered him to be rewarded who should bring him the first account from his physician that his recovery was despaired of. The ardour of his faith, his hope, his love of his Creator and Redeemer, his resignation, and perfect sacrifice of himself, gathered strength in the fervent exercises and aspirations which he repeated almost without ceasing in his illness. By his last will he ordered what he had about him to be distributed among his servants, and whatever else he otherwise possessed to be given to the poor. He would be carried to the church, there to receive the holy Viaticum, but received extreme unction in his sick bed. He often repeated those words of St. Paul, ; and in his last moments he ordered to be sung by his bedside those of the Psalmist, He died on the 23rd of March, repeating those other words of the same prophet, His body being translated the year after to Lima, was found incorrupt, the joints flexible, and the skin soft. His historian, and the acts of the canonization, mention many sick restored to their health, and a girl raised to life by him whilst he was living; also many miracles wrought through his intercession after his death. He was beatified by Innocent XI in 1679,1 and solemnly canonized by Pope Benedict XIII in 1726. On the miracles wrought by his inter. cession, see Benedict XIV,2 and especially the acts of his canonization. SOURCE;


John 8: 31 - 42
Jesus then said to the Jews who had believed in him, "If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples,
and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free."
They answered him, "We are descendants of Abraham, and have never been in bondage to any one. How is it that you say, `You will be made free'?"
Jesus answered them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, every one who commits sin is a slave to sin.
The slave does not continue in the house for ever; the son continues for ever.
So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.
I know that you are descendants of Abraham; yet you seek to kill me, because my word finds no place in you.
I speak of what I have seen with my Father, and you do what you have heard from your father."
They answered him, "Abraham is our father." Jesus said to them, "If you were Abraham's children, you would do what Abraham did,
but now you seek to kill me, a man who has told you the truth which I heard from God; this is not what Abraham did.
You do what your father did." They said to him, "We were not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God."
Jesus said to them, "If God were your Father, you would love me, for I proceeded and came forth from God; I came not of my own accord, but he sent me.
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