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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

CATHOLIC WORLD NEWS: MON. APRIL 12, 2010











CATHOLIC WORLD NEWS: MON. APRIL 12, 2010: HEADLINES-
VATICAN: POPE: PIUS XII: A GREAT MASTER OF FAITH, HOPE AND CHARITY-
EUROPE: POLAND: A NATION MOURNS AS THE BODIES RETURN HOME-
ASIA: PHILIPPINES: EXPLOSION NEAR CHURCH KILLS TWO PEOPLE-
AMERICA: CHILE: CARDINAL BERTONE DELIVERS STATUE FROM POPE BENEDICT-
AFRICA: CONGO: GROUP OF GUNMEN STEAL FROM ANGLICAN BISHOPS HOME-
AUSTRALIA: CHURCHES CRITICISED PRIME MINISTER OVER SUSPENSION OF REFUGEES-



VATICAN
POPE: PIUS XII: A GREAT MASTER OF FAITH, HOPE AND CHARITY

VATICAN CITY, 10 APR 2010 (VIS) - At 5.30 p.m. yesterday in the pontifical residence at Castelgandolfo, Benedict XVI attended the screening of a film on Pius XII entitled "Under the Roman Sky".
At the end of the showing, the Pope expressed his appreciation at having been able to watch the first screening of a film "which shows the fundamental role played by Venerable Pius XII in saving Rome and many persecuted people between 1943 and 1944".
"Such works", he said, "have particular importance especially for the new generations. For people who studied certain events at school, or perhaps have heard speak about them, films such as this can be useful and stimulating, helping them to understand a period which is by no means distant, but which the swift-moving events of recent history and a fragmented culture can cause us to forget".
The Holy Father highlighted how Pius XII, "with his profound teachings, was able to speak to the men and women of his time, showing them the road to Truth, while with his great wisdom he guided the Church towards the horizon of the Third Millennium. Yet", Benedict XVI added, "I would particularly like to underline the fact that Pius XII was the Pope who, as father to all, presided in charity, in Rome and the in the world, especially during the difficulty period of World War II".
"The primacy of charity, of love, which is the commandment of the Lord Jesus, is the principle and the key to understanding all the work of the Church, and in the first place that of her universal Pastor. Charity is the reason for all actions, for all interventions. It is the basic motive that moves thoughts and concrete actions, and I am happy that this unifying principle also emerges in this film. This is the interpretation I would suggest, in the light of the authentic witness shown by that great master of faith, hope and charity who was Pope Pius XII".



PLENARY ASSEMBLY OF THE PONTIFICAL BIBLICAL COMMISSION
VATICAN CITY, 10 APR 2010 (VIS) - The Pontifical Biblical Commission will celebrate its annual plenary meeting at the Vatican's "Domus Sanctae Marthae" from 12 to 16 April, under the presidency of Cardinal William Joseph Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Fr. Klemens Stock S.J., secretary general of the commission, will oversee and direct the work of the assembly.
During their meeting, the members of the commission will turn their attention to the subject of "Inspiration and Truth of the Bible". As the first stage of its study, the commission has chosen to concentrate its efforts on verifying how the themes of inspiration and truth appear in the various texts of the Bible. On the basis of their individual competencies, each member will present a report which will then be discussed collegially by the assembly.


PROGRAMME OF BENEDICT XVI'S APOSTOLIC TRIP TO CYPRUS
VATICAN CITY, 10 APR 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father will make an apostolic trip to Cyprus from 4 to 6 June, during the course of which the "Instrumentum laboris" of the Special Assembly for the Middle East of the Synod of Bishops will be published.
The Pope will depart from Rome's Fiumicino airport at 9.30 a.m. and is due to arrive in Paphos at 2 p.m. Following the welcome ceremony, he will travel to the church of Agia Kiriaki Chrysopolitissa, where he will participate in an ecumenical ceremony and pronounce an address. On Saturday 5 June the Holy Father will pay a courtesy visit to Dimitris Christofias, president of the Republic of Cyprus, at the presidential palace in Nicosia, where he will also meet the civil authorities and the diplomatic corps. At 10.45 that morning he will meet with the Catholic community of Cyprus at the sports field of St. Maron primary school in Nicosia. At 12.15 p.m. he is scheduled to meet His Beatitude Chrysostomos II, archbishop of New Justiniana and All Cyprus, at the Orthodox archbishopric. The day will end with Mass in the Latin parish church of the Holy Cross attended by priests, religious and representatives of Cyprian ecclesial movements. At 9.30 a.m. on Sunday 6 June the Pope will celebrate Mass at Nicosia's Eleftheria sports centre for the occasion of the publication of the "Instrumentum laboris" of the Special Assembly for the Middle East of the Synod of Bishops. At 1 p.m. he will have lunch at the apostolic nunciature in Nicosia with patriarchs and bishops of the Special Council for the Middle East of the Synod of Bishops, and His Beatitude Chrysostomos II. That afternoon the Holy Father will visit the Maronite cathedral of Cyprus, from which he will travel to Larnaca airport for his return flight to Rome, which is scheduled to depart at 6.15 p.m.


CHURCH'S MISSION: PROCLAIM THE MERCIFUL LOVE OF GOD
VATICAN CITY, 11 APR 2010 (VIS) - At noon, Benedict XVI, at Castelgandolfo since the Sunday of the Resurrection, recited the Regina Coeli with the faithful in the courtyard of the Apostolic Palace of this city.
Before the Marian oration, the Holy Father recalled that John Paul II dedicated this Sunday, which concludes the Octave of Easter to Divine Mercy and said: "The pages of the Gospel of Saint John (20:19-31) are full of divine mercy and goodness. It is told that Jesus, after the Resurrection, visited his disciples, crossing the closed doors of the house".
He continued: "Jesus shows the signs of the passion, to allowing the doubting Thomas to touch them. However, how is it possible that a disciple doubts? In reality, divine condescendence allows us to draw even from the incredulity of Saint Thomas as well as from the believing disciples. In fact, touching the Lord's wounds, the hesitant disciple heals not only his own diffidence, but also ours.".
The visit by the Risen One, the Pope explained, "is not limited to the house, but it goes beyond, so that all may receive the gift of peace and life with the 'creating Breath'. In fact, twice Jesus said to the disciples: 'Peace be with you!', and added: 'As the Father has sent me, so I send you'. After saying this he breathed on them, saying: 'Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained'."
"This is the mission of the Church constantly assisted by the Paraclete: to bring to all the good news, the joyous reality of God's merciful Love, that you may (...) believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you will receive life in his name".
"In the light of these words, I encourage, in particular, all the Shepherds to follow the example of the holy Curate of Ars who, 'at his time, knew how to transform the hearts and lives of so many persons, because he made them perceive the merciful love of the Lord. Today, we also need a similar proclamation and a similar testimonial of the truth of Love. In this way we make Him that our eyes have never seen be evermore familiar and close, He whose infinite Mercy is an absolute certitude", the Pope concluded.


POPE'S CONDOLENCES FOR PLANE ACCIDENT TO THE POLISH NATION
VATICAN CITY, 11 APR 2010 (VIS) - After the prayer of Regina Coeli in the Apostolic Palace of Castelgandolfo, the Pope expressed his condolences to the Polish nation for the tragic plane accident of Saturday, in which the President Lech Kaczynski, his wife and other high officials of the State and the military, lost their lives.
Then, addressing the Polish pilgrims present, the Holy Father said that they "perished during a journey to Katyn, the place where thousands of Polish military officers were tortured seventy years ago".
He said, "I entrust all the victims to the goodness of the Lord of Life. I do this in union with the pilgrims congregated in the Sanctuary of Lagiewniki and all those devoted to the Mercy of God in the whole world".
Saturday, Benedict XVI sent a telegram to the President of the Parliament of the Republic of Poland, Bronislaw Komorowski, in which he stated "I entrust the victims of this dramatic accident - the parliamentarians, the politicians, the representatives of the army and the families of Katyn, as well as all the other persons - to the goodness of the merciful God. May he welcome them in his glory. To the families of those that perished and to all the Polish people, I wish to offer my most sincere condolences, assuring them of my spiritual closeness. During this difficult moment, I beg the almighty God for a special blessing for the Polish People".TGR/ VIS 20100412 (240)


AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE HOLY SEE AND BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA
VATICAN CITY, 12 APR 2010 (VIS) - On Thursday April 8, in the House of the Armed Forces of Sarajevo, the signing of the Agreement between the Holy See and Bosnia Herzegovina took place, concerning religious assistance for Catholic faithful, members of the Armed Forces of this State.
The Archbishop Alessandro D'Errico, apostolic nuncio to Sarajevo, signed on behalf of the Holy See, and for Bosnia Herzegovina, the Minister of Defence, Selmo Cikotic.
A notice states that "the Agreement is a new important stage in relationships between the Holy See and Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is, in fact, a first and significant application of the Base Agreement between the Holy See and Bosnia and Herzegovina, which was signed in Sarajevo on April 19 2006 and defined, among other things, the juridical framework of the presence and the activities of the Catholic Church in the Nation. Especially, article 15 of the same Agreement recognizes and guarantees the Catholic Church's right to religious assistance for the Catholic members of the Armed Forces and establishes that religious activities in the Armed Forces will be regulated by a following Agreement between the Ecclesiastic Authorities and Bosnia and Herzegovina. This is what this document will try to achieve, according to article 13, which will occur at the moment of the exchange of ratification instruments.


CDF GUIDELINES ON SEXUAL ABUSE ALLEGATIONS
VATICAN CITY, 12 APR 2010 (VIS) - Today the Vatican website, under the section called "Focus", published a guide to understanding the procedures of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on sexual abuse allegations towards minors.
Guide to Understanding Basic CDF Procedures concerning Sexual Abuse Allegations
The applicable law is the Motu Proprio "Sacramentorum sanctitatis tutela" (MP SST) of 30 April 2001 together with the 1983 Code of Canon Law. This is an introductory guide which may be helpful to lay persons and non-canonists.
A: Preliminary Procedures
The local diocese investigates every allegation of sexual abuse of a minor by a cleric.
If the allegation has a semblance of truth the case is referred to the CDF. The local bishop transmits all the necessary information to the CDF and expresses his opinion on the procedures to be followed and the measures to be adopted in the short and long term.
Civil law concerning reporting of crimes to the appropriate authorities should always be followed.
During the preliminary stage and until the case is concluded, the bishop may impose precautionary measures to safeguard the community, including the victims. Indeed, the local bishop always retains power to protect children by restricting the activities of any priest in his diocese. This is part of his ordinary authority, which he is encouraged to exercise to whatever extent is necessary to assure that children do not come to harm, and this power can be exercised at the bishop's discretion before, during and after any canonical proceeding.
B: Procedures authorized by the CDF
The CDF studies the case presented by the local bishop and also asks for supplementary information where necessary.
The CDF has a number of options:
B1 Penal Processes
The CDF may authorize the local bishop to conduct a judicial penal trial before a local Church tribunal. Any appeal in such cases would eventually be lodged to a tribunal of the CDF.
The CDF may authorize the local bishop to conduct an administrative penal process before a delegate of the local bishop assisted by two assessors. The accused priest is called to respond to the accusations and to review the evidence. The accused has a right to present recourse to the CDF against a decree condemning him to a canonical penalty. The decision of the Cardinals members of the CDF is final.
Should the cleric be judged guilty, both judicial and administrative penal processes can condemn a cleric to a number of canonical penalties, the most serious of which is dismissal from the clerical state. The question of damages can also be treated directly during these procedures.
B2 Cases referred directly to the Holy Father
In very grave cases where a civil criminal trial has found the cleric guilty of sexual abuse of minors or where the evidence is overwhelming, the CDF may choose to take the case directly to the Holy Father with the request that the Pope issue a decree of "ex officio" dismissal from the clerical state. There is no canonical remedy against such a papal decree.
The CDF also brings to the Holy Father requests by accused priests who, cognizant of their crimes, ask to be dispensed from the obligation of the priesthood and want to return to the lay state. The Holy Father grants these requests for the good of the Church ("pro bono Ecclesiae").
B3 Disciplinary Measures
In cases where the accused priest has admitted to his crimes and has accepted to live a life of prayer and penance, the CDF authorizes the local bishop to issue a decree prohibiting or restricting the public ministry of such a priest. Such decrees are imposed through a penal precept which would entail a canonical penalty for a violation of the conditions of the decree, not excluding dismissal from the clerical state. Administrative recourse to the CDF is possible against such decrees. The decision of the CDF is final.
C. Revision of MP SST
For some time the CDF has undertaken a revision of some of the articles of "Motu Proprio Sacramentorum Sanctitatis tutela", in order to update the said Motu Proprio of 2001 in the light of special faculties granted to the CDF by Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI. The proposed modifications under discussion will not change the above-mentioned procedures (A, B1-B3).

AUDIENCES: VATICAN CITY, 12 APR 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father received today, in separate audiences four prelates National Conference of Bishops of Brazil (North II Region), during their "ad limina" apostolic visit:
- Bishop Flavio Giovenale, S.D.B., of Abaetetuba.
- Bishop Alessio Saccardo, S.I., of Ponta de Pedras.
- Bishop Jesus Maria Cizaurre Berdonces, O.A.R., Prelate of Cameta.
- Bishop Bernardo Johannes Bahlmann, O.F.M., Prelate of Obidos.


OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Corepiscopus, Yousif Habash, as Bishop of the Eparchy of Our Lady of Deliverance of Newark of the Syrians (Catholics 13,800, priests 6, permanent deacons 2) in the United States of America. The bishop elect was born in 1951 in Qaraqosh, Iraq and was ordained in 1975. Until now he was the parish priest of the Syro-Catholic Parish of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Los Angeles, California.
On Saturday 10 April it was made public that the Pope:
 Appointed Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B. as pontifical legate to the Eucharistic Congress of Slovenia, due to take place in Celje on 13 June.
- Appointed Cardinal Jozef Tomko, prefect emeritus of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples, as his special envoy to celebrations marking the third centenary of the consecration of the cathedral of Minsk, Belarus, due to take place there on 12 June.
- Appointed Msgr. Jaime Villarroel Rodriguez of the clergy of the diocese of Margarita, Venezuela, vicar general, as bishop of Carupano (area 5,638, population 461,000, Catholics 454,800, priests 29, religious 22), Venezuela. The bishop-elect was born in Porlamar, Venezuela in 1962 and ordained a priest in 1993.
- Accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the eparchy of Santa Maria del Patrocinio en Buenos Aires of the Ukrainians, Argentina, presented by Bishop Miguel Mykycej F.D.P., in accordance with canon 210 para. 1 of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches. He appointed Bishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk, auxiliary of Santa Maria del Patrocinio en Buenos Aires, as apostolic administrator of the same eparchy.



EUROPE
POLAND: A NATION MOURNS AS THE BODIES RETURN HOME

CNN report:  -- The body of Polish President Lech Kaczynski, who was killed in a plane crash in Russia over the weekend, returned to tributes in his homeland Sunday afternoon.

Soldiers in perfect step carried the casket from the plane that transported onto the tarmac, where mourners were waiting. Catholic priests recited prayers at the military airport before Kaczynski's daughter and twin brother, followed by others, took turns kneeling before the flag-draped casket.
People lined up along the streets along where Kaczynski's body would pass on its way to the presidential palace.
Tens of thousands of Poles across the country observed a two-minute-long moment of silence to remember their president and 95 others killed in the plane crash.
Meanwhile, investigators said they found the aircraft's flight data recorders in good condition and began deciphering them Sunday, the independent Russian Interfax news agency reported.
Residents flocked to central Warsaw, the site of the presidential palace, to mourn Kaczynski. They left wreaths and lit candles. By Sunday, the numbers grew to about 100,000 by some estimates. Many cried openly. Others stared blankly at the sky.
On Monday, the country begins a week-long period of mourning.
The plane carrying Kaczynski crashed Saturday morning while trying to land at an airport near Smolensk in Russia.
Biography: Lech KaczynskiKaczynski's wife and several top military officials were also killed in the crash.
Parliament Speaker Bronislaw Komorowski took over as acting president and declared it "a time for national mourning."
Kaczynski, 60, had been traveling with a Polish delegation to Russia for the 70th anniversary of the Russian massacre of Polish prisoners of war in the village of Katyn.
About 20,000 Poles, including soldiers and civilians, were executed there during World War II.
The Polish military plane carrying Kaczynski originated in Warsaw, the Polish Defense Ministry said.
It was just a few miles east of Katyn when it crashed around 10:50 a.m. (2:50 a.m. ET) on the outskirts of the town of Pechorsk, close to Smolensk, the Investigation Committee of the Russian prosecutor's office said.
World leaders pay tribute to Kaczynski
Late Saturday night, Kaczynski's twin brother, Jaroslaw, visited the site of the crash.
As others around him prayed, he silently knelt down on pile of rubble where mourners had propped up flowers.
Authorities do not yet know what caused the crash. Russia has emphasized that there is no evidence it was responsible.
The Investigation Committee said the plane, a Tupolev-154, was trying to land in heavy fog. A Russian military official said that air traffic control in Smolensk had tried to divert the plane to another airport because of inclement weather.
"The air traffic control officer gave several orders to divert but the plane continued with its descent," said Alexander Aleshin, a top Russian air force official. "Unfortunately, this ended in tragedy."
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev appointed Putin to head an inquiry commission.
On Sunday, the Russian state-run RIA Novosti news agency reported that the crash was not caused by technical problems, citing investigation officials.
The plane carrying Kaczynski was refurbished and repaired last year, according to Alexei Gusev, general director of Aviakor Factory, the company that performed the service.
"Speaking openly, we believe that this tragedy could not have been caused by equipment failure," he said. Kaczynski had been president since December 2005, after he defeated rival Donald Tusk in the second round of voting.
Elections must now be held within 60 days.
Other Polish officials killed in the crash include Aleksander Szczyglo, the head of the National Security Office; Jerzy Szmajdzinski, the deputy parliament speaker; Andrzej Kremer, the deputy foreign minister; and Gen. Franciszek Gagor, the army chief of staff, according to Kaczynski's Law and Justice Party.
What does crash mean for Polish politics?
The party also said that Slawomir Skrzypek, head of the National Bank of Poland, was killed.
Putin spoke Saturday at the crash site, where charred pieces of the airplane were strewn through a wooded area. Some pieces, including one of the wheel wells, were upside down.
"As our first priority, we must establish the causes of this tragedy," he said. "As a second priority, we must do everything in our power to assist the families and relatives of the deceased." http://www.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/europe/04/11/poland.president.crash/index.html



ASIA
PHILIPPINES: EXPLOSION NEAR CHURCH KILLS TWO PEOPLE

Asia News report: Two bombs were intended to hit a building in the Ministry of Education and a Catholic church. In gun battles between terrorists and security forces two people were killed.

Zamboanga (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Two bombs exploded in the capital of Basilan island, Isabela, targeting a government building and a church. In the shootout that followed, two people were killed.
The first bomb exploded at about 10.30 (local time) outside the Ministry of Education building. The second, fixed on a motorcycle, exploded a few minutes later near a Catholic church, causing damage but not causing any victims. Soon afterwards a gun fight ensued between the attackers and security forces, in which two people were killed.
The authorities are seeking to shed light on the identity of the group. In the islands of Basilan and Jolo various Islamist groups operate, including rebels of Abu Sayyaf, suspected of having links with al Qaeda and the Indonesian group Jemaah Islamiyah.
http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Explosions,-two-killed,-a-church-damaged-in-Isabela-(Basilan)-18122.html

AMERICA
CHILE: CARDINAL BERTONE DELIVERS STATUE FROM POPE BENEDICT

CNA report: Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, celebrated Mass on Sunday at the Cathedral of Santiago and officially presented a statue of Our Lady of Carmel as a gift from Pope Benedict XVI to Chile. The pilgrim statue will travel to the various cities in the country that were affected by the February earthquake.

The Vicar General for Ministry in Santiago and the National Coordinator of the Continental Mission, Msgr. Cristian Precht remarked that this statue “will accompany us in our sorrow—mothers can always identify with sorrow, thanks be to God—but it is also here to renew us in our faith.”Father Carlos Cox, who is rector of the Shrine of Maipu and will coordinate the pilgrim statue’s tour throughout the country, added, “The most important aspect of this statue is that it brings us close to Jesus, who encourages us and helps us with what is essential in the Continental Mission, which is the encounter with the Living Christ.”
The pilgrimage of the statue “does not only have a religious meaning; it also seeks to awaken Chile to a new stage in her life that not only has to do with reconstruction but with re-creating as well. For this reason we believe this is perhaps going to be one of the most powerful and strongest aspects of our bicentennial, not only from a religious perspective, but also from the perspective of our society.”
The statue was created by Ecuadoran artist Ricardo Villalba and depicts Our Lady of Carmel standing upon the Shrine of Maipu, with the Cross of Chile at her back and the Child Jesus in her left arm.
http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/cardinal_bertone_delivers_statue_of_our_lady_of_carmel_to_chile/




AFRICA
CONGO: GROUP OF GUNMEN STEAL FROM ANGLICAN BISHOPS HOME

All Africa report: A group of unidentified gunmen forced their way into the home of Congolese Bishop Sylvestre Bali-Busane Bahati of the Anglican Diocese of Bukavu during the early hours of April 9, looting property and leaving with money, clothes and electronic equipment.

The bishop was unharmed, but the gunmen tied up his eldest son, insisting they be directed to him, according to an e-mail sent from Bahati to church partners. The gunmen also assaulted the security man on duty.
According to the e-mail, the gunmen said they had been paid US$20,000 "to assassinate the Anglican Bishop of Bukavu Diocese."
When the bishop pleaded with the gunmen not to kill him, they requested money, which Bahati gave them, the e-mail said.
Bahati didn't disclose the amount in his e-mail, and couldn't be reached for further comment.
The Rev. Jean-Paul Muhindo Matabaro, in an e-mail to church partners, said that Bahati isn't the first church leader to be targeted in this way.
In November 2009, the Roman Catholic Church in Kabare lost a priest, a nun and two lay people in a similar attack, he said.
"Daily, there is mourning and sorrow in the communities of South Kivu and North Kivu provinces because of killings and looting," Matabaro said, noting that such attacks have resulted in the displacement of thousands of people.
Matabaro urged the local political authorities and the United Nations Mission in the Congo to find a way to ensure peace and security in the North and South Kivu provinces and throughout the whole country.
"We also request our brothers and sisters who read this sad news to pray for Bishop Bahati's family and the diocese of Bukavu who are often victims of atrocities from the militias," said Matabaro.
Bahati has served as the bishop of Bukavu since December 2006.
http://allafrica.com/stories/201004140315.html


AUSTRALIA
CHURCHES CRITICISED PRIME MINISTER OVER SUSPENSION OF REFUGEES

Cath News report: Churches have criticised Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's decision to suspend the asylum claims of Sri Lankans and Afghans for three and six months, drawing comparison with the Howard Government's treatment of refugees.

Australian Catholic Bishops Conference general secretary Brian Lucas is quoted by The Australian as saying that asylum-seekers should be dealt with in a just and humane way as a matter of principle.
"Making a unilateral decision that defers even the consideration of a claim seems to have no other value than to provide some form of deterrent," Father Lucas said.
Uniting Church president Alistair Macrae attacked Labor for reneging on a commitment to treat refugees more humanely, saying there was little difference to how the Howard Government treated asylum-seekers.
"They've quite clearly lapsed on previous commitments," Mr Macrae said.
"They've certainly contravened international agreements that we've signed up to as a nation."
The comments followed the decision on Friday to suspend new Sri Lankan asylum claims for three months and Afghan claims for six months.
http://www.cathnews.com/article.aspx?aeid=20637



TODAY'S SAINT

Pope St. Julius I

POPE
Feast: April 12
Information: Feast Day: April 11
Born: Rome, Italy
Died: 12 April 352
The immediate successor of Pope Silvester, Arcus, ruled the Roman Church for only a very short period — from 18 January to 7 October, 336 — and after his death the papal chair remained vacant for four months. What occasioned this comparatively long vacancy is unknown. On 6 Feb., 337, Julius, son of Rustics and a native of Rome, was elected pope. His pontificate is chiefly celebrated for his judicious and firm intervention in the Arian controversies, about which we have abundant sources of information. After the death of Constantine the Great (22 May, 337), his son Constantine II, Governor of Gaul, permitted the exiled Athanasius to return to his See of Alexandria (see ATHANASIUS). The Arians in Egypt, however, set up a rival bishop in the person of Pistus, and sent an embassy to Julius asking him to admit Pistus into communion with Rome, and delivering to the pope the decisions of the Council of Tyre (335) to prove that Athanasius had been validly deposed. On his side Athanasius likewise sent envoys to Rome to deliver to Julius a synodal letter of the Egyptian bishops, containing a complete justification of their patriarch. On the arrival of the Athanasian envoys in Rome, Macarius, the head of the Arian representatives, left the city; the two remaining Arian envoys, with the Athanasian deputies, were summoned by Pope Julius. The Arian envoys now begged the pope to assemble a great synod before which both parties should present their case for decision.
Julius convened the synod at Rome, having dispatched two envoys to bear a letter of invitation to the Eastern bishops. Under the leadership of Eusebius, who had been raised from Nicomedia to the See of Constantinople, the Arian bishops had meanwhile held a council at Antioch, and elected George of Cappadocia Bishop of Alexandria in the place of Pistus. George was intruded forcibly into his see, and Athanasius, being again exiled, made his way to Rome. Many other Eastern bishops removed by the Arian party, among them Marcellus of Ancyra, also came to Rome. In a letter couched in haughty terms, however, the Arian bishops of the party of Eusebius refused to attend the synod summoned by Julius. The synod was held in the autumn of 340 or 341, under the presidency of the pope, in the titular church of the presbyter Vitus. After a detailed examination of the documents, Athanasius and Marcellus of Ancyra, who had made a satisfactory profession of faith, were exonerated and re-established in their episcopal rights. Pope Julius communicated this decision in a very notable and able letter to the bishops of the Eusebian party. In this letter he justifies his proceedings in the case, defends in detail his action in reinstating Athanasius, and animadverts strongly on the non-appearance of the Eastern bishops at the council, the convening of which they themselves had suggested. Even if Athanasius and his companions were somewhat to blame, the letter runs, the Alexandrian Church should first have written to the pope. "Can you be ignorant," writes the pope, "that this is the custom, that we should be written to first, so that from here what is just may be defined" (Julii ep. ad Antiochenos, c. xxii). After his victory over his brother Constantine II, Emperor Constans was ruler over the greater part of the Empire. He was entirely orthodox in his views, and, at the request of the pope and other Western bishops, interceded with his brother Constantius, Emperor of the East, in favour of the bishops who had been deposed and persecuted by the Arian party. Both rulers agreed that there should be convened a general council of the Western and Eastern bishops at Sardica, the principal city of the Province of Dacia Mediterranea (the modern Sofia). It took place in the autumn of 342 or 343, Julius sending as his representatives the priests Archidamus and Philoxenus and the deacon Leo. Although the Eastern bishops of the Arian party did not join in the council, but held their assembly separate and then departed, the synod nevertheless accomplished its task. Through the important canons iii, iv, and v (vii in the Latin text) of this council, the procedure against accused bishops was more exactly regulated, and the manner of the papal intervention in the condemnation of bishops was definitely established.
At the close of its transactions the synod communicated its decisions to the pope in a dutiful letter. Notwithstanding the reaffirmation of his innocence by the Synod of Sardica, St. Athanasius was not restored to his see by Emperor Constantius until after the death of George, the rival Bishop of Alexandria, in 346. Pope Julius took this occasion to write a letter, which is still extant, to the priests, deacons, and the faithful of Alexandria, to congratulate them on the return of their great pastor. The two bishops Ursacius of Singidunum and Valens of Mursia, who, on account of their Arianism, had been deposed by the Council of Sardica, now made a formal recantation of their error to Julius, who, having summoned them to an audience and received a signed confession of faith, restored to them their episcopal sees. Concerning the inner life of the Roman Church during the pontificate of Julius we have no exact information; all agree, however, that there was a rapid increase in the number of the faithful in Rome, where Julius had two new basilicas erected: the titular church of Julius (now S. Maria in Trastevere) and the Basilica Julia (now the Church of the Twelve Apostles). Beside these he built three churches over cemeteries outside the walls of Rome: one on the road to Porto, a second on the Via Aurelia, and a third on the Via Flaminia at the tomb of the martyr St. Valentine. The ruins of the last-mentioned have been discovered. The veneration of the faithful for the tombs of the martyrs continued to spread rapidly. Under the pontificate of Julius, if not earlier, catalogues of feast-days of saints came into use — the Roman feast-calendar of Philocalus dates from the year 336.
Through St. Athanasius, who remained in Rome several years subsequent to 339, the Egyptian monastic life became well-known in the capital, and the example of the hermits of the Egyptian deserts found many imitators in the Roman Church. Julius died on 12 April, 352, and was buried in the catacombs of Calepodius on the Aurelian Way, and, very soon after his death, was honoured as a saint. His body was later transported to S. Maria in Trastevere, the church which he had built. His feast is celebrated on 12 April.
http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/J/stjuliusi.asp




St. Zeno

BISHOP & CONFESSOR
Feast: April 12
Information: Feast Day: April 12
Born: 300, Mauretania
Died: April 12, 371, Verona
Major Shrine: Basilica di San Zeno, Verona
Patron of: Fishermen, anglers, newborn babies, Verona
Entered in the Roman Martyrology on 12 April as a Bishop of Verona martyred under Gallienus. Probably, however, he was a confessor who governed the Church of Verona from 362-380. At Verona a basilica, San Zenone, is dedicated to his honour, and some thirty churches and chapels bear his name. In the basilica his statue, bearing the episcopal insignia, is prominent in the choir; coins with his likeness and an inscription were in use. On 21 May and 6 Dec. the translation of his body and his consecration were formerly commemorated. In "De viris illust." Of St. Jerome and Gennadius, Zeno is not mentioned, but St. Ambrose (Ep. v) speaks of him as an episcopus sanctae memoriae, and St. Gregory (Dial., III, 19) relates a miracle wrought at the Church of St. Zeno at Verona. Mabillon ("Vetera analecta", Paris, 1675) published an anonymous poem, "De landibus Veronae", taken from the writing of Ratherius, Bishop of Verona (d. 974), found in the abbey at Lobbes in Belgium (P.L., XI, 154, 225), which gives a list of the bishops of Verona and makes Zeno eighth. In the Monastery di Classe at Ravenna was found an eighth-century chasuble (casula diptycha) with the names and pictures of thirty-five bishops of Verona on its front and back; among them was that of Zeno. This list was accepted by Gams in his "Series episcoporum" (Bigelmair, p. 27). Zeno had not been known as a writer before 1508, when two Dominicans, Albertus Castellanus and Jacobus de Leuco, edited at Venice 105 tractatus or sermons found in the episcopal library of Verona fifty years earlier. In 1739 the brothers Ballerini published "S. Zenonis episcopi Veronae sermones", with an elaborate prolegomena. From these it appears that Zeno was a native of Africa, eighth Bishop of Verona (362-80), an able speaker, and an untiring champion of Christianity against the heathens and of orthodoxy against the Arians. Much controversy arose as to the time at which St. Zeno lives, whether two bishops of Verona of this name were to be admitted or but one, and on the authorship of the sermons. Various opinions were held by Sixtus of Siena, Baronius, Ughelli, Dupin, Tillemont, Fabricius, and others. Of the 105 sermons 12 have been rejected as belonging to other authors. Of the rest 16 are larger sermons, the others merely sketches or perhaps fragments. They contain valuable material on Catholic doctrine, practice, and liturgy; they treat of God, creation, the Blessed Virgin, Holy Scriptures, the Church, the sacraments, etc., and warn against the vices of the day.
http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/Z/stzeno.asp

TODAY'S GOSPEL

John 3: 1 - 8


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1 Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicode'mus, a ruler of the Jews.

2 This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, "Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do, unless God is with him."

3 Jesus answered him, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born anew, he cannot see the kingdom of God."

4 Nicode'mus said to him, "How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?"

5 Jesus answered, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.

6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

7 Do not marvel that I said to you, `You must be born anew.'

8 The wind blows where it wills, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know whence it comes or whither it goes; so it is with every one who is born of the Spirit."
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