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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

CATHOLIC WORLD NEWS: WED. MARCH 17, 2010








CATHOLIC WORLD NEWS: WED. MARCH 17, 2010: HEADLINES-
AMERICA: CANADA: TRADITIONAL ANGLICANS REQUEST TO UNITE-
EUROPE: MEDJUGORJE: COMMISSION TO INVESTIGATE VISIONS-
AFRICA: KENYA: AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL CALLS FOR INVESTIGATION-
ASIA: IRAQ: EXECUTION OF CHRISTIAN MAN-
AUSTRALIA: SPECIAL SCHOOLS TO CHALLENGE FUNDING CUTS-

AMERICA
CANADA: TRADITIONAL ANGLICANS REQUEST TO UNITE
CNA report: On March 12, leaders of the Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC) in Canada sent a letter to the Holy Father formally requesting to become unified with the Catholic Church. This initiative, says a leading bishop, is what he believes to be part of a “worldwide movement.”
Bishop Peter Wilkinson of the TAC Diocese of British Columbia, who authored the March 12 letter, discussed Pope Benedict XVI's publication of the Apostolic Constitution “Anglicanorum coetibus” with CNA in a phone interview on Monday. The document was released last year and addressed measures planned by the Vatican to allow Anglican communities to enter into communion with the Catholic Church.
When the Pope's document first came out, said Bishop Wilkinson, “I had Lutherans calling me saying, 'how do we get in on this?' And Orthodox (Christians) saying, 'how do we get in on this?'”
“It is a worldwide movement largely brought about by the vision of John Paul II” and “the wonderful, gentle firm, intellectual vision of Pope Benedict, who is such an inspiration to us,” noted the Anglican bishop.
Referencing a previous letter written to the Holy See which spoke of unifying with Rome, Bishop Wilkinson wrote to the Vatican on March 12. “Please allow the College of Bishops of the Anglican Catholic Church of Canada (Traditional Anglican Communion) to express our gratitude to you for your positive response of December 16th 2009 to our Letter to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith of October 5th 2007 in which we expressed our desire to 'seek a communal and ecclesial way of being Anglican Catholics in communion with the Holy See, at once treasuring the full expression of catholic faith and treasuring our tradition within which we have come to this moment,'” the letter said.
“We have all read and studied with care the Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus with the Complementary Norms and the accompanying Commentary,” the bishop added. “And now, in response to your invitation to contact your Dicastery to begin the process you lay out, we respectfully ask that the Apostolic Constitution be implemented in Canada; that we may establish an interim Governing Council of three priests (or bishops); and that this Council be given the task and authority to propose to His Holiness a terna for appointment of the initial Ordinary.”
“It is our hope and prayer that these proposals may be useful in setting in train the process set out in the most welcome, gracious, and generous response of the Holy Father to our Petition,” the letter concluded.
Other signatories of the letter were The Rt. Rev. Craig Botterill Suffragan Bishop for Atlantic Canada and The Rt. Rev. Carl Reid, Suffragan Bishop for Central Canada.
With approximately 60 bishops, the Traditional Anglican Communion has parishes in 13 ecclesial provinces across Canada. http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/canadian_anglican_church_move_toward_rome_part_of_worldwide_movement_says_bishop/


EUROPE
MEDJUGORJE: COMMISSION TO INVESTIGATE VISIONS
CNA report: A statement was released by the Holy See on Wednesday confirming the formation of a commission to investigate the “phenomenon” of Medjugorje.
The Vatican communique reads: “Under the auspices of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, under the presidency of Cardinal Camillo Ruini, an international commission of investigation on Medjugorje has been constituted. Said Commission, composed of cardinals, bishops and experts will work in a reserved manner, subjecting the results of their studies to the authority of the Dicastery.”
Vatican spokesman, Fr. Federico Lombardi, said that no other information was available at this point besides the role of Cardinal Ruini as president. However, he did say that the commission will be formed by “more or less” 20 members.
Responding to a question from a journalist about the possible inclusion of Bishop Ratko Peric of Mostar, whose diocese includes Medjugorje, Fr. Lombardi said that he is not in possession of a list of members.
The Vatican spokesman reviewed the history of investigations into the possible Marian apparitions of Medjugorje, noting that they began on a diocesan level. When it was seen that the “phenomenon was broader than the diocese,” it was passed on to the episcopal conference of the former Yugoslavia, which, he noted, no longer exists.
The commissions at those levels never came to a conclusion on the question of whether or not the alleged apparitions are supernatural, so the bishops of Bosnia and Herzegovina have asked the CDF to take over investigations, the Vatican spokesman explained.
As the commission carries out their activities, Fr. Lombardi continued, they will decide whether or not to communicate information regarding their findings. Nevertheless, it can be assumed that it will be a “very discreet” project “given the sensitivity of the subject,” he remarked.
Speaking in Italian, he said to expect that investigations will take “a good while” to reach their completion and emphasized that the results of the commission’s activities will be submitted to the CDF, under whose mandate they are operating. The commission will only offer their technical findings to the Congregation, which in turn will “make decisions on the case.”
For now, the composition of the commission is “reserved,” as is the method they will pursue in their investigations, Fr. Lombardi said in closing.http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/holy_see_confirms_formation_of_medjugorje_commission/



AFRICA

KENYA: AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL CALLS FOR INVESTIGATION
CISA report: Amnesty International has called for the promised investigation into the alleged killing by Kenyan police of seven men to be impartial, independent and for the results to be made public.On Wednesday night eye witnesses reported that seven men were shot dead by a group of administration police, during a police operation in Kawangware, an informal settlement in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi. Police officers claimed the men were part of a criminal gang, but witnesses say they were taxi drivers.In a press conference on Monday, police spokesman Eric Kiraithe promised investigations into the shootings adding that any police officer found to have breached the law would be punished.“The promise of a police investigation is a step in the right direction,” said Godfrey Odongo, Amnesty International’s East Africa researcher. “But unlike many previous investigations, this one must be impartial and independent and its findings must be made public and acted upon.”In March 2009, two human rights activists were shot dead in their car while stopped in traffic in central Nairobi. The two had been campaigning against illegal killings by the police. An investigation into the murders has failed to bring anyone to trial.Similarly, a taskforce set up to investigate alleged rapes by police during the post-election violence in late 2007 has failed to yield any results. Under international law, Kenya is obliged to respect and protect the right to life of all its citizens. This includes taking effective measures to protect people against acts of violence and to bring perpetrators to justice.“Police should be the enforcers of law and must not be allowed to rise above it,” said Godfrey Odongo. “Anyone identified by the inquiry as having been responsible for extra-judicial killings should be brought to justice in a trial and the families of those killed should be compensated.”http://www.cisanewsafrica.org/story.asp?ID=4476



ASIA

IRAQ: EXECUTION OF CHRISTIAN MAN

Asia News report: Sabah Yacoub Adam, 55, married and father of a child, was killed in cold blood. He owned a glass factory and lived in the Arab area of the city. Head to head between Allawi and al-Maliki looming in parliamentary elections. 80% of the ballots Counted so far.
Baghdad (AsiaNews) – Another targeted execution of an Iraqi Christians in Mosu, northern Iraq. This morning, an armed commando killed a businessman aged 55, married and father of a child. Meanwhile, the Iraqi Electoral Commission has scrutinized the 80% of the votes. According to an AFP projection it will be a head-to-head between Allawi and al-Maliki, with a slight margin of advantage for the former premier, who came to power after the fall of Saddam Hussein.
The murder took place this morning in the neighbourhood of al Saa, near the monastery of the Dominican fathers. Sabah Yacoub Adam, 55, married and father of a child, was shot down in cold blood. Sources for AsiaNews in Mosul report that he was a Chaldean Catholic, owner of a glass factory and lived in the Arab area of the city, to the left of the river Tigris.
Today’s shooting is just the latest in a long trail of blood that has forced hundreds of Christian families to flee the city toward the plain of Nineveh or abroad. A spiral of violence that grew in the weeks preceding the parliamentary elections of 7 March, so much so that Msgr. Emil Shimoun Nona, Chaldean archbishop of Mosul, spoke of an "Endless Via Crucis".
Meanwhile, the Iraqi Electoral Commission continues to scrutinise votes with now 80% of the ballots counted. An Afp a projection released yesterday shows a head to head between the current Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and former interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawy, head of the government between May 2004 and April 2005.
The projection assigns 87 seats to two lists of candidates, about 310 of which make up the Iraqi parliament. The Iraqi National Alliance, which brings together the Shia religious parties, follows in third place with 67 seats and the list that combines the two major Kurdish parties is at 38 seats. Of the 310, 15 will be reserved for religious minorities in the country, including Christians.
Based on the number of votes obtained, which supports Allawi's secular bloc - the list al-Iraqiya - has collected 2,102,981 votes, with a margin of 8984 votes ahead of the coalition led by al-Maliki, the State of Law (2039 .997). The Shiite religious parties have obtained 1,597,937 votes and the Kurdish bloc 1,132,154.
The current Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has the greater consensus in Baghdad, the largest basin in the allocation of seats, and six Shiite-majority areas. Allawi, however, despite being a Shia Muslim has a wide margin of advantage in four Sunni-majority areas. The secular vision and the support of Sunnis and Shiites have rewarded the program proposed by the former Prime Minister. (DS) http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Mosul,-another-targeted-execution-of-Iraqi-Christian-17904.html



AUSTRALIA

SPECIAL SCHOOLS TO CHALLENGE FUNDING CUTS
Cath News report: Special Schools from around the country will do a walk from Old to New Parliament House in Canberra today to challenge funding cuts to disability education.
The walk is being coordinated by Principal of St Lucy's School (Wahroonga), Jo Karaolis, to raise awareness of recent funding cuts to educational institutions that provide for people with intellectual disabilities, according to a statement by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference.
"We are doing this because a recent cut in our funding made us realise how vulnerable we are. Non-government special schools need stability of funding that addresses their chronic operating deficits," Mrs Karaolis said.
"It is essential that we place as much emphasis and value on Catholic education for students with disabilities as those in the mainstream," she said.
Meetings have been organised with politicians, including Education Minister Julia Gillard and Labor MP Maxine McKew, Shadow ministers Christopher Pyne and Mitch Fifield.
The walk will begin at Old Parliament House and will conclude at New Parliament House, where the students will sing "We are Australian".
Members of the media are invited to gather at noon to meet the group. http://www.cathnews.com/article.aspx?aeid=20086


TODAY'S SAINT

St. Patrick
PATRON SAINT OF IRELAND
Feast: March 17
Information:
Feast Day:
March 17
Born:
between 387 and 390 at Scotland
Died:
between 461 and 464 at Saul, County Down, Ireland
Patron of:
Ireland, Nigeria, Montserrat, New York, Boston, Engineers, against snakes

The field of St. Patrick's labors was the most remote part of the then known world. The seed he planted in faraway Ireland, which before his time was largely pagan, bore a rich harvest: whole colonies of saints and missionaries were to rise up after him to serve the Irish Church and to carry Christianity to other lands. Whether his birthplace, a village called Bannavem Taberniae, was near Dunbarton-on-the-Clyde, or in Cumberland, or at the mouth of the Severn, or even in Gaul near Boulogne, has never been determined, and indeed the matter is of no great moment. We know of a certainty that Patrick was of Romano-British origin, and born about the year 389. His father, Calpurnius, was a deacon, his grandfather a priest, for at this time no strict law of celibacy had been imposed on the Christian clergy. Patrick's own full name was probably Patricius Magonus Sucatus.
His brief gives us a few details of his early years. At the age of fifteen he committed some fault—what it was we are not told—which caused him much suffering for the rest of his life. At sixteen, he tells us, he still "knew not the true God." Since he was born into a Christian family, we may take this to mean that he gave little heed to religion or to the priests. That same year Patrick and some others were seized and carried off by sea raiders to become slaves among the inhabitants of Ireland. Formerly it was believed that his six years of captivity were spent near Ballymena in County Antrim, on the slopes of the mountain now called Slemish, but later opinion names Fochlad, or Focluth, on the coast of Mayo. If the latter view is correct, then Croachan Aigli or Croag Patrick, the scene of his prolonged fast, was also the mountain on which in his youth he lived alone with God, tending his master's herds of swine or cattle. Wherever it was, he tells us him self that "constantly I used to pray in the daytime. Love of God and His fear increased more and more, and my faith grew and my spirit was stirred up, so that in a single day I said as many as a hundred prayers and at night nearly as many, and I used to stay out in the woods and on the mountain. Before the dawn I used to wake up to prayer, in snow and frost and rain, nor was there any such lukewarmness in me as now I feel, because then my spirit was fervent within."
At length he heard a voice in his sleep bidding him to get back to freedom and the land of his birth. Thus prompted, he ran away from his master and traveled to a harbor where a ship was about to depart. The captain at first refused his request for passage, but after Patrick had silently prayed to God, the pagan sailors called him back, and with them he made an adventurous journey. They were three days at sea, and when they reached land they traveled for a month through an uninhabited tract of country, where food was scarce. Patrick writes:
"And one day the shipmaster said to me: 'How is this, O Christian? Thou sayest that thy God is great and almighty; wherefore then canst thou not pray for us, for we are in danger of starvation? Likely we shall never see a human being again.' Then I said plainly to them: 'Turn in good faith and with all your heart to the Lord my God, to whom nothing is impossible, that this day He may send you food for your journey, until ye be satisfied, for He has abundance everywhere.' And, by the help of God, so it came to pass. Lo, a herd of swine appeared in the way before our eyes, and they killed many of them. And in that place they remained two nights; and they were well refreshed and their dogs were sated, for many of them had fainted and been left half- dead by the way. After this they rendered hearty thanks to God, and I became honorable in their eyes; and from that day they had food in abundance."
At length they arrived at human habitations, whether in Britain or Gaul we do not know. When Patrick was again restored to his kinfolk, they gave him a warm welcome and urged him to stay. But he felt he must leave them. Although there is no certainty as to the order of events which followed, it seems likely that Patrick now spent many years in Gaul. Professor Bury, author of the well-known , thinks that the saint stayed for three years at the monastery of Lerins, on a small islet off the coast of modern Cannes, France, and that about fifteen years were passed at the monastery of Auxerre, where he was ordained. Patrick's later prestige and authority indicate that he was prepared for his task with great thoroughness.
We now come to Patrick's apostolate. At this time Pelagianism[1] was spreading among the weak and scattered Christian communities of Britain and Ireland, and Pope Celestine I had sent Bishop Palladius there to combat it. This missionary was killed among the Scots in North Britain, and Bishop Germanus of Auxerre recommended the appointment of Patrick to replace him. Patrick was consecrated in 432, and departed forthwith for Ireland. When we try to trace the course of his labors in the land of his former captivity, we are confused by the contradictory accounts of his biographers; all are marked by a great deal of vagueness as to geography and chronology. According to tradition, he landed at Inverdea, at the mouth of the river Vautry, and immediately proceeded northwards. One chronicler relates that when he was again in the vicinity of the place where he had been a herdboy, the master who had held him captive, on hearing of Patrick's return, set fire to his house and perished in the flames. There is historical basis for the tradition of Patrick's preliminary stay in Ulster, and his founding of a monastic center there. It was at this time that he set out to gain the support and favor of the powerful pagan King Laeghaire, who was holding court at Tara. The stories of Patrick's encounter with the king's Druid priests are probably an accretion of later years; we are told of trials of skill and strength in which the saint gained a great victory over his pagan opponents. The outcome was royal toleration for his preaching. The text of the Senchus More, the old Irish code of laws, though in its existing form it is of later date, mentions an understanding reached at Tara. Patrick was allowed to preach to the gathering, "and when they saw Laeghaire with his Druids overcome by the great signs and miracles wrought in the presence of the men of Erin, they bowed down in obedience to God and Patrick."
King Laeghaire seems not to have become a Christian, but his chief bard and his two daughters were converted, as was a brother, who, we are told, gave his estate to Patrick for the founding of a church. From this time on, Patrick's apostolate, though carried on amid hardships and often at great risk, was favored by many powerful chieftains. The Druids, by and large, opposed him, for they felt their own power and position threatened. They combined many functions; they were prophets, philosophers, and priests; they served as councilors of kings, as judges, and teachers; they knew the courses of the stars and the properties of plants. Now they began to realize that the religion they represented was doomed. Even before the Christian missionaries came in strength, a curious prophecy was current among them. It was written in one of their ancient texts: "Adze-head (a name that the shape of the monk's tonsure might suggest) will come, with his crook-headed staff and his house (the word chasuble means also a little house) holed for his head. He will chant impiety from the table in the east of his house. All his household shall answer: Amen, Amen. When, therefore, all these things come to pass, our kingdom, which is a heathen one, will not stand." As a matter of fact, the Druids continued to exist in Christian Ireland, though with a change of name and a limited scope of activity. They subjected Patrick to imprisonment many times, but he always managed to escape.
In 439 three bishops, Secundinus, Auxilius, and Iserninus, were sent from Gaul to assist Patrick. Benignus, an Irish chieftain who was converted by Patrick, became his favorite disciple, his coadjutor in the see of Armagh, and, finally, his successor. One of Patrick's legendary victories was his overthrow of the idol of Crom Cruach in Leitrim, where he forthwith built a church. He traveled again in Ulster, to preach and found monasteries, then in Leinster and Munster. These missionary caravans must have impressed the people, for they gave the appearance of an entire village in motion. The long line of chariots and carts drawn by oxen conveyed the appurtenances of Christian worship, as well as foodstuffs, equipment, tools, and weapons required by the band of helpers who accompanied the leader. There would be the priestly assistants, singers and musicians, the drivers, hunters, wood-cutters, carpenters, masons, cooks, horsemen, weavers and embroiderers, and many more. When the caravan stopped at a chosen site, the people gathered, converts were won, and before many months a chapel or church and its outlying structures would be built and furnished. Thus were created new outposts in the struggle against paganism. The journeys were often dangerous. Once, Odrhan, Patrick's charioteer, as if forewarned, asked leave to take the chief seat in the chariot himself, while Patrick held the reins; they had proceeded but a short way in this fashion when the loyal Odrhan was killed by a spear thrust meant for his master.
About the year 442, tradition tells us, Patrick went to Rome and met Pope Leo the Great, who, it seemed, took special interest in the Irish Church. The time had now come for a definite organization According to the annals of Ulster, the cathedral church of Armagh was founded as the primatial see of Ireland on Patrick's return. He brought back with him valuable relics. Latin was established as the language of the Irish Church. There is mention of a synod held by Patrick, probably at Armagh. The rules then adopted are still preserved, with, possibly, some later interpolations. It is believed that this synod was called near the close of Patrick's labors on earth. He was now undoubtedly in more or less broken health; such austerities and constant journeyings as his must have weakened the hardiest constitution. The story of his forty-day fast on Croagh Patrick and the privileges he won from God by his prayers is also associated with the end of his life. Tirechan tells it thus: "Patrick went forth to the summit of Mount Agli, and remained there for forty days and forty nights, and the birds were a trouble to him, and he could not see the face of the heavens, the earth, or the sea, on account of them; for God told all the saints of Erin, past, present, and future, to come to the mountain summit-that mountain which overlooks all others, and is higher than all the mountains of the West-to bless the tribes of Erin, so that Patrick might see the fruit of his labors, for all the choir of the saints came to visit him there, who was the father of them all."
In all the ancient biographies of this saint the marvelous is continuously present. Fortunately, we have three of Patrick's own writings, which help us to see the man himself. His is a brief autobiographical sketch; the , also known as , is a strange chant which we have reproduced in the following pages. is a denunciation of the British king of that name who had raided the Irish coast and killed a number of Christian converts as they were being baptized; Patrick urged the Christian subjects of this king to have no more dealings with him until he had made reparation for the outrage. In his writings Patrick shows his ardent human feelings and his intense love of God. What was most human in the saint, and at the same time most divine, comes out in this passage from his :
"It was not any grace in me, but God who conquereth in me, and He resisted them all, so that I came to the heathen of Ireland to preach the Gospel and to bear insults from unbelievers, to hear the reproach of my going abroad and to endure many persecutions even unto bonds, the while that I was surrendering my liberty as a man of free condition for the profit of others. And if I should be found worthy, I am ready to give even my life for His name's sake unfalteringly and gladly, and there (in Ireland) I desire to spend it until I die, if our Lord should grant it to me."
Patrick's marvelous harvest filled him with gratitude. During an apostolate of thirty years he is reported to have consecrated some 350 bishops, and was instrumental in bringing the faith to many thousands. He writes, "Wherefore those in Ireland who never had the knowledge of God, but until now only worshiped idols and abominations, from them has been lately prepared a people of the Lord, and they are called children of God. Sons and daughters of Scottish chieftains are seen becoming monks and virgins of Christ." Yet hostility and violence still existed, for he writes later, "Daily I expect either a violent death, or robbery and a return to slavery, or some other calamity." He adds, like the good Christian he was, "I have cast myself into the hands of Almighty God, for He rules everything."

Patrick died about 461, and was buried near the fortress of Saul, in the vicinity of the future cathedral town of Down. He was intensely spiritual, a magnetic personality with great gifts for action and organization. He brought Ireland into much closer contact with Europe, especially with the Holy See. The building up of the weak Christian communities which he found on arrival and planting the faith in new regions give him his place as the patron of Ireland. His feast day is one of festivity, and widely observed. Patrick's emblems are a serpent, demons, cross, shamrock, harp, and baptismal font. The story of his driving snakes from Ireland has no factual foundation, and the tale of the shamrock, as a symbol used to explain the Trinity, is an accretion of much later date.
SOURCE: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/P/stpatrick.asp

TODAY'S GOSPEL

John 5: 17 - 30
17
But Jesus answered them, "My Father is working still, and I am working."
18
This was why the Jews sought all the more to kill him, because he not only broke the sabbath but also called God his Father, making himself equal with God.
19
Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing; for whatever he does, that the Son does likewise.
20
For the Father loves the Son, and shows him all that he himself is doing; and greater works than these will he show him, that you may marvel.
21
For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom he will.
22
The Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son,
23
that all may honor the Son, even as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent him.
24
Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears my word and believes him who sent me, has eternal life; he does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.
25
"Truly, truly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live.
26
For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself,
27
and has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of man.
28
Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice
29
and come forth, those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of judgment.
30
"I can do nothing on my own authority; as I hear, I judge; and my judgment is just, because I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me.
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