Wednesday, April 21, 2010
CATHOLIC WORLD NEWS: MON. APRIL 19, 2010
CATHOLIC WORLD NEWS: MON. APRIL 19, 2010: HEADLINES-
VATICAN: POPE TELLS ABUSE VICTIMS OF HIS SHAME AND SORROW-OTHER NEWS-
EUROPE: ITALY: PADRE PIO´S BODY TRANSFERRED-
ASIA: CHINA: DEATH TOLL OF EARTHQUAKE 2, 039-
AFRICA: ANGOLA: APOSTOLIC NUNCIATURE WAS ROBBED-
AMERICA: MEXICO: 11 YEAR OLD KEEPS THE NEW LIFE WITHIN HER-
AUSTRALIA: NATIONWIDE SLEEPOUT TO RAISE FUNDS FOR HOMELESS-
HOLY FATHER TELLS ABUSE VICTIMS OF HIS SHAME AND SORROW
VATICAN CITY, 18 APR 2010 (VIS) - Today in the apostolic nunciature to Malta, following this morning's Mass at the Floriana Granaries, the Holy Father held a meeting with a small group of people who suffered sex abuse at the hands of the clergy.
According to an English-language communique concerning the meeting, released by the Holy See Press Office, Benedict XVI "was deeply moved by their stories and expressed his shame and sorrow over what victims and their families have suffered. He prayed with them and assured them that the Church is doing, and will continue to do, all in its power to investigate allegations, to bring to justice those responsible for abuse and to implement effective measures designed to safeguard young people in the future.
"In the spirit of his recent Letter to the Catholics of Ireland, he prayed that all the victims of abuse would experience healing and reconciliation, enabling them to move forward with renewed hope".
YOUNG PEOPLE: GOD CHALLENGES US ALL TO BE BETTER
VATICAN CITY, 18 APR 2010 (VIS) - After leaving the apostolic nunciature in Rabat, the Holy Father travelled fifteen kilometres by popemobile to the port of Kalkara. There he boarded a boat that took him the three nautical miles separating Kalkara from the port of Valetta. The Pope's craft, a catamaran, was followed by a flotilla of small boats of kinds typical to the Maltese islands.
The Pope disembarked in Valetta, and went directly to a stage that had been erected in the port for his meeting with young Maltese, to whom he pronounced an address.
"I appreciate your desire to seek and find the truth, and to know what you must do to attain the fullness of life", said the Pope, going on to recall how it was as a young man that St. Paul met with Jesus on the road to Damascus.
"Every personal encounter with Jesus is an overwhelming experience of love", he said. "For the rest of his life, Paul had a burning desire to carry the news of that love to the ends of the earth".
The Holy Father went on: "Maybe some of you will say to me, St. Paul is often severe in his writings. How can I say that he was spreading a message of love? My answer is this. God loves every one of us with a depth and intensity that we can hardly begin to imagine. And He knows us intimately, He knows all our strengths and all our faults. Because He loves us so much, He wants to purify us of our faults and build up our virtues so that we can have life in abundance. When He challenges us because something in our lives is displeasing to Him, He is not rejecting us, but He is asking us to change and become more perfect. That is what He asked of St. Paul on the road to Damascus. God rejects no-one. And the Church rejects no one. Yet in His great love, God challenges all of us to change and to become more perfect.
"St. John tells us that perfect love casts out fear", the Holy Father added, and he called on the young people who wish to bring the Gospel to the world not to be afraid. "You may well encounter opposition to the Gospel message. Today's culture, like every culture, promotes ideas and values that are sometimes at variance with those lived and preached by our Lord Jesus Christ. Often they are presented with great persuasive power, reinforced by the media and by social pressure from groups hostile to the Christian faith.
"It is easy, when we are young and impressionable, to be swayed by our peers to accept ideas and values that we know are not what the Lord truly wants for us. That is why I say to you: do not be afraid, but rejoice in His love for you; trust Him, answer His call to discipleship, and find nourishment and spiritual healing in the Sacraments of the Church".
Pope Benedict continued: "Here in Malta, you live in a society that is steeped in Christian faith and values. You should be proud that your country both defends the unborn and promotes stable family life ... for a healthy society. ... In the context of European society, Gospel values are once again becoming counter-cultural, just as they were at the time of St. Paul".
"As Christians", he concluded, "we are called to manifest God's all-inclusive love; ... we should have a special care for those who are in distress, ... we should be attentive to the needs of immigrants and asylum seekers in our midst; we should extend the hand of friendship to members of all faiths and none. That is the noble vocation of love and service that we have all received. Let it inspire you to dedicate your lives to following Christ".At the conclusion of the meeting, the Pope travelled to Luqa airport for his return flight to Rome.
TO MALTESE: CULTIVATE A DEEP AWARENESS OF YOUR IDENTITY
VATICAN CITY, 18 APR 2010 (VIS) - Following his meeting with young people, Benedict XVI went to Luqa international airport, where the departure ceremony took place at the end of his visit to Malta, the fourteenth apostolic trip of his pontificate.Following a speech from George Abela, president of the Republic of Malta, the Holy Father pronounced his own address."My journey", he said, "has given me a deeper appreciation of how the Gospel preached by St. Paul has shaped the spiritual identity of the Maltese people. As I leave you, let me encourage you once more to cultivate a deep awareness of your identity and to embrace the responsibilities that flow from it, especially by promoting the Gospel values that will grant you a clear vision of human dignity and the common origin and destiny of mankind. "On account of its geographical position in the heart of the Mediterranean", the Pope went on, "many immigrants arrive on Malta's shores, some fleeing from situations of violence and persecution, others in search of better conditions of life. I am aware of the difficulties that welcoming a large number of people may cause, difficulties which cannot be solved by any country of first arrival on its own. At the same time, I am also confident that, on the strength of its Christian roots and its long and proud history of welcoming strangers, Malta will endeavour, with the support of other States and international organisations, to come to the aid of those who arrive here and to ensure that their rights be respected".
"Unity, solidarity and mutual respect stand at the basis of your social and political life. Inspired by your Catholic faith, they are the compass that will guide you in the search for authentic and integral development. The treasure of the Church's social teaching will inspire and guide these efforts. Never allow your true identity to be compromised by indifferentism or relativism. May you always remain faithful to the teaching of St. Paul".
The departure ceremony concluded, Benedict XVI boarded his return flight to Rome, arriving at Rome's Ciampino airport at 9.40 p.m., whence he travelled by helicopter to the Vatican.
BENEDICT XVI CELEBRATES FIFTH ANNIVERSARY OF PONTIFICATE
VATICAN CITY, 19 APR 2010 (VIS) - Benedict XVI today celebrates the fifth anniversary of his election as Pope. On 19 April 2005 Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, succeeding Pope John Paul II, became the 264th successor of St. Peter.
The conclave that led to the election of Benedict XVI began on Monday 18 April 2005 in the Sistine Chapel of the Vatican Apostolic Palace, with the "extra omnes" pronounced at 5.25 p.m. by Archbishop Piero Marini, master of the Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff, following the taking of the oath by the 115 cardinal electors. The first black smoke appeared at 8.04 p.m. on the same day. Black smoke again appeared at 11.52 a.m. on Tuesday 19 April, while the white smoke arose on Tuesday 19 April at 5.50 p.m.
At 6.48 p.m., the Holy Father Benedict XVI, preceded by the Cross, appeared on the external loggia to greet the people and to impart the Apostolic Blessing "Urbi et Orbi" (to the city and to the world).
Prior to the blessing, the new Pontiff addressed the faithful with the following words:
"Dear brothers and sisters, after the great Pope John Paul II, the Lord Cardinals have elected me, a simple and humble worker in the vineyard of the Lord. I am consoled by the fact that the Lord knows how to act, even with inadequate instruments and above all I entrust myself to your prayers. In the joy of the Risen Lord, trusting in His permanent help, as we go forward the Lord will help us, and His Mother, Mary Most Holy, is on our side Thank you." On 24 April 2005 in St. Peter's Square, Benedict XVI celebrated his first Mass as Pontiff in the presence of half a million people. One hundred and fifty cardinals concelebrated with the Pope.In his first homily, the Pope said: "One of the basic characteristics of a shepherd must be to love the people entrusted to him, even as he loves Christ Whom he serves. 'Feed my sheep', says Christ to Peter, and now, at this moment, He says it to me as well. Feeding means loving, and loving also means being ready to suffer. Loving means giving the sheep what is truly good, the nourishment of God's truth, of God's word, the nourishment of His presence, which He gives us in the Blessed Sacrament. " My dear friends, at this moment I can only say: pray for me, that I may learn to love the Lord more and more. Pray for me, that I may learn to love His flock more and more, in other words, you, the holy Church, each one of you and all of you together. Pray for me, that I may not flee for fear of the wolves. Let us pray for one another, that the Lord will carry us and that we will learn to carry one another".In the five years of his pontificate, Benedict XVI has published three Encyclicals: "Deus caritas est" of 25 December 2005, "Spe salvi" of 27 November 2007, and "Caritas in veritate" of 30 June 2009; one Apostolic Exhortation on the Eucharist; the Apostolic Constitution "Anglicanorum coetibus"; nine "Motu Proprio"; the book "Jesus of Nazareth", and hundreds of addresses, homilies, letters and messages. He has made fourteen apostolic trips abroad and sixteen pastoral visits within Italy. Among the more important events of his pontificate were his visit to Auschwitz in 2006 and to the Blue Mosque in Istanbul, also in 2006, his 2008 address before the United Nations, and his 2010 visit to the synagogue of Rome. He has called two Synods, the first in 2008 on the Word of God and the second on Africa in 2009. A third Synod, on the Middle East, is due to take place later this year.
To mark today's occasion, the cardinals will offer a luncheon in the Pope's honour in the Sala Ducale of the Vatican Apostolic Palace.
POPE INVITES CLERGY TO ROME FOR END OF YEAR FOR PRIESTS
VATICAN CITY, 19 APR 2010 (VIS) - Cardinal Claudio Hummes O.F.M., prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy, has written a letter to all the priests of the world for the end of the Year for Priests, which is due to conclude on 11 June, Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Extracts from the English-language version of the letter, dated 12 April, are given below.
"The Year for Priests brings great joy to the Church and she thanks the Lord for having inspired the Holy Father to announce it".
"It is true that, albeit proportionately small in number, some priests have committed horrible and most serious crimes of sexual abuse upon minors, deeds that we must condemn and rebuke in an absolute and uncompromising manner. Those individuals must answer for their actions before God and before tribunals, including the civil courts. Nevertheless, we also pray that they might achieve spiritual conversion and receive pardon from God. The Church, for her part, is determined neither to hide nor to minimise such crimes. Above all we are on the side of the victims and want to support their recovery and their offended rights."On the other hand, it is absolutely unacceptable to use the crimes of the few in order to sully the entire ecclesial body of priests. Those who do so commit a profound injustice. In the course the Year for Priests, the Church seeks to say this to human society. Anyone possessed of common sense and good will knows it to be the truth"."Dear priests, ... the Church loves you, admires you and respects you. You are, moreover, a joy for Catholic people throughout the world who welcome you and support you, especially in these times of suffering".
"The Pope, dear priests, invites you from the heart to come to Rome from every part of the world for the conclusion of the Year for Priests, on the 9, 10 and 11 June next. ... The Pope wants to confirm the priests of the Church. Their presence in large numbers in St. Peter's Square will be a proactive and responsible way for priests to show themselves ready and un-intimidated for the service of the humanity entrusted to them by Jesus Christ".
"This means offering our beloved Pope Benedict XVI all our solidarity, support, trust, and unconditional communion, in the face of the frequent attacks currently being directed at him with regard to decisions he made concerning clerics involved in crimes of the sexual abuse of minors. The accusations directed at aim are clearly unjust, and it has been shown that no-one has done as much as Benedict XVI to condemn and combat such crimes. Thus, large numbers of priests in the square with him will be a strong signal of our rejection of the unjust attacks of which he is victim. Come, then, to show public support for the Holy Father.
"The end of the Year for Priests will not be, properly speaking, a conclusion, but a new beginning. We, the People of God and its shepherds, want to thank the Lord for this privileged period of prayer and reflection on the priesthood. At the same time we want to be alert to what the Holy Spirit wants to say to us. Meanwhile we will return to the exercise of our mission in the Church and in the world with renewed joy and with the conviction that God, the Lord of history, remains with us, both in crises and in new times".
ITALY: PADRE PIO´S BODY TRANSFERRED
CNA report: After 42 years in the crypt of the Sanctuary of Santa Maria delle Grazie, St. Padre Pio's body was moved into the new St. Pio of Pietrelcina Church on Monday afternoon. Archbishop Michele Castoro of the Archdiocese of Manfredonia-Vieste-San Giovanni Rotondo, who had recently defended the need for the transfer, presided over the celebration.On Monday afternoon, a group of 12 friars wheeled the ornate silver vessel containing the body of the saint on a cart in procession from its former resting place to the mosaic-covered crypt of the St. Pio of Pietrelcina Church. Italian news reports described a scene of thousands of people on hand for the move.
After vespers, the friars accompanied the cart along the route to the new church as the faithful sang hymns. Once inside the church, the procession stopped for 15 minutes so that the relics could be venerated and so Archbishop Castoro could pause for a moment of prayer.
The archbishop said that "even today, venerating the relics of the Capuchin saint, we are encouraged to imitate his Christian virtues, able to be redirected to a single great path: that of love, love towards God and love towards our neighbor.
"Padre Pio drew (people) to the road of holiness with his own witness, indicating by example the path that led to it: prayer and charity," he said in the address aired by Telenorbo. He noted that "Pope Benedict XVI reminded us of this during his pastoral visit to San Giovanni Rotondo.”
The Holy Father, who made a pastoral visit to the monastery on June 21, 2009, asked the faithful in his homily from St. Pio Church to live a life of prayer and charity like the great saint.
Following Archbishop Castoro's words, the vessel containing the saint's body was taken to the crypt of the church, which was followed by the celebration of the Eucharist. During Mass, the altar of St. Pio Church was consecrated and the saint's remains were placed inside the church's central pillar.
After the celebration, visitors were free to venerate the relics in their new location, although they were not visible as they were during the expositions in 2008 and 2009, when they were housed in a glass case.
Defending the decision to move Padre Pio's bodily remains, Archbishop Castoro told the online publication St. Francis Patron of Italy earlier this week that while he understands those who were against it, there was also a "need to think of giving an adequate welcome to numerous pilgrims," whom he noted are ever increasing.
The situation has changed in the last 40 years, he added, "and often the crypt proves to be insufficient."
The new location offers a greater capacity for pilgrims and is more comfortably accessed by the disabled, he observed. He added that although people have an understandable affection for the former resting place of the saint, it "doesn't justify the controversy that often is instrumentalized on purpose."
"This is not the teaching of Padre Pio," concluded the archbishop. "Being his followers means seeking to imitate him in the docility that he always manifested towards his superiors, also when it caused him suffering."
CHINA: DEATH TOLL OF EARTHQUAKE 2, 039
Asia News report: Flags at half mast throughout the world and silence. Fears for the arrival of snowat earthquake epicentre. Tibetan monks say the death toll is much higher.
The Council of State ruled that tomorrow, all the flags of the nation, the embassies or consulates in the world, will be hoisted at half mast. Even entertainment will be suspended.
Meanwhile, the search continues unabated for the survivors. Yesterday an elderly woman, a child and a third person were rescued alive a week after the earthquake.
There are difficulties in distributing aid for the survivors and yesterday snow started falling. According to the weather service snowfall is expected Jiegu zone, near the epicentre, in the week.
Hundreds of Tibetan monks are working to aid the affected people in the area or nearby provinces. They argue that the death toll is much higher than the official one. One of monk from Jiegu said that only three days ago, April 17, they cremated 2100remains.
ANGOLA: APOSTOLIC NUNCIATURE WAS ROBBED
Fides report: The Apostolic Nunciature in Luanda, capital of Angola, was robbed last night, April 19. "Shortly before dinnertime, three people arrived at the Nunciature claiming they had the duty to deliver a confidential document from a Bishop of Angola," sources at the Nunciature told Fides. “Immediately after entering, they pulled out their weapons, a machine gun and a pistol, and threatened those present, asking for money and valuables.”
"Thanks to our faith, we were able to keep calm and we managed to convince the bandits that the Nunciature has very few things to steal. Eventually, the robbers were satisfied with taking some objects and a bit of money and left. The robbery lasted about half an hour."
Angolan police are investigating to trace those responsible for the robbery.
Angola has recently emerged from a twenty-year civil war ended in 2002. The country still has many weapons of war among the civilian population, which fuels banditry. Local authorities have begun a campaign to persuade people to hand over weapons that are illegally possessed.
MEXICO: 11 YEAR OLD KEEPS THE NEW LIFE WITHIN HER
CNA report: Despite protests and pressure from feminists and pro-abortion groups, an 11-year-old girl in the Mexican city of Chetumal has refused to undergo an abortion. The young girl explained her decision saying that she understands, “a life is growing in her womb.”
The girl is receiving medical attention at a local clinic, where doctors say the results of psychological tests have been positive. The recent tests, said Lizbeth Gamboa Song, director of the National System for the Comprehensive Development of the Family, show the girl has a proper understanding of the new life within her and of what to expect during the pregnancy.
Dr. Juan Carlos Navarrete Jaimes of the Merida Clinic performed an ultrasound on the girl and found the mother and child to be in excellent health. He also provided guidance on the prenatal care she needs during the coming months to ensure the pregnancy proceeds without complications.
Gamboa said that while the girl understands she is carrying a new life within her, “She does not yet fully realize the consequences of what it will mean to raise and care for a child” because of her young age.
“She understands what happens before a pregnancy, she knows her womb will grow, she knows at some point her water will break, and she knows how the baby will be born,” Gamboa said.
NATIONWIDE SLEEPOUT TO RAISE FUNDS FOR HOMELESS
Cath News report; NSW Community Services Minister Linda Burney will be among noted personalities taking part in the nationwide Vinnies annual CEO Sleepout on June 17, a project to raise funds for the homeless.
The event that began in Sydney in 2006 will take place in capital cities around the country this year, the report said. It is expected to raise more than $1 million.
"Not bad for one night's work," Federal Housing Minister Tanya Plibersek said at the launch.
In Queensland, those who take part will be given a piece of cardboard to sleep on in South Bank's Suncorp Piazza on June 17, although they may also bring the comfort of their own sleeping bag, said the Brisbane Times.
"They will get the chance to experience first-hand what it is like to be homeless: literally bedding down on a sheet of cardboard, with nothing but a mug of soup and a few cups of coffee to sustain them through the night," said Peter Maher, CEO of the St Vincent de Paul Society.
"The Vinnies motto is `a hand up, not just a handout'," he said.
St. Leo IX
Feast: April 19
Born: 21 June 1002 at Egisheim, Alsace
Died: 19 April 1054 in Saint Peter's Basilica, Rome, Italy
(1049-54), b. at Egisheim, near Colmar, on the borders of Alsace, 21 June, 1002; d. 19 April, 1054. He belonged to a noble family which had given or was to give saints to the Church and rulers to the Empire. He was named Bruno. His father Hugh was first cousin to Emperor Conrad, and both Hugh and his wife Heilewide were remarkable for their piety and learning. As a sign of the tender conscience which soon began to manifest itself in the saintly child, we are told that, though he had given abundant proofs of a bright mind, on one occasion he could not study out of an exceptionally beautiful book which his mother had bought and given to him. At length it transpired that the book had been stolen from the Abbey of St. Hubert in the Ardennes. When Heilewide had restored the volume to its rightful owners, the little Bruno's studies proceeded unchecked. When five years of age, he was committed to the care of the energetic Berthold, Bishop of Toul, who had a school for the sons of the nobility. Intelligent, graceful in body, and gracious in disposition, Bruno was a favourite with his schoolfellows. Whilst still a youth and at home for his holidays, he was attacked when asleep by some animal, and so much injured that for some time he lay between life and death. In that condition he saw, as he used afterwards to tell his friends, a vision of St. Benedict, who cured him by touching his wounds with a cross. This we are told by Leo's principal biographer, Wibert, who was his intimate friend when the saint was Bishop of Toul.
Bruno became a canon of St. Stephen's at Toul (1017), and though still quite young exerted a soothing influence on Herimann, the choleric successor of Bishop Berthold. When, in 1024, Conrad, Bruno's cousin, succeeded the Emperor Henry I, the saint's relatives sent him to the new king's court "to serve in his chapel". His virtue soon made itself felt, and his companions, to distinguish him from others who bore the same name, always spoke of him as "the good Bruno". In 1026 Conrad set out for Italy to make his authority respected in that portion of his dominions, and as Herimann, Bishop of Toul, was too old to lead his contingent into the peninsula, he entrusted the command of it to Bruno, then a deacon. There is reason to believe that this novel occupation was not altogether uncongenial to him, for soldiers seem always to have had an attraction for him. While he was thus in the midst of arms, Bishop Herimann died and Bruno was at once elected to succeed him. Conrad, who destined him for higher things, was loath to allow him to accept that insignificant see. But Bruno, who was wholly disinclined for the higher things, and wished to live in as much obscurity as possible, induced his sovereign to permit him to take the see. Consecrated in 1027, Bruno administered the Diocese of Toul for over twenty years, in a season of stress and trouble of all kinds. He had to contend not merely with famine, but also with war, to which as a frontier town Toul was much exposed. Bruno, however, was equal to his position. He knew how to make peace, and, if necessary, to wield the sword in self-defence. Sent by Conrad to Robert the Pious, he established so firm a peace between France and the empire that it was not again broken even during the reigns of the sons of both Conrad and Robert. On the other hand, he held his episcopal city against Eudes, Count of Blois, a rebel against Conrad, and "by his wisdom and exertions" added Burgundy to the empire. It was whilst he was bishop that he was saddened by the death not merely of his father and mother, but also of two of his brothers. Amid his trials Bruno found some consolation in music, in which he proved himself very efficient.
The German Pope Damasus II died in 1048, and the Romans sent to ask Henry III, Conrad's successor, to let them have as the new pope either Halinard, Archbishop of Lyons, or Bruno. Both of them were favourably known to the Romans by what they had seen of them when they came to Rome on pilgrimage. Henry at once fixed upon Bruno, who did all he could to avoid the honour which his sovereign wished to impose upon him. When at length he was overcome by the combined importunities of the emperor, the Germans, and the Romans, he agreed to go to Rome, and to accept the papacy if freely elected thereto by the Roman people. He wished, at least, to rescue the See of Peter from its servitude to the German emperors. When, in company with Hildebrand he reached Rome, and presented himself to its people clad in pilgrim's guise and barefooted, but still tall, and fair to look upon, they cried out with one voice that him and no other would they have as pope. Assuming the name of Leo, he was solemnly enthroned 12 February, 1049. Before Leo could do anything in the matter of the reform of the Church on which his heart was set, he had first to put down another attempt on the part of the ex-Pope Benedict IX to seize the papal throne. He had then to attent to money matters, as the papal finances were in a deplorable condition. To better them he put them in the hands of Hildebrand, a man capable of improving anything.
He then began the work of reform which was to give the next hundred years a character of their own, and which his great successor Gregory VII was to carry so far forward. In April, 1049, he held a synod at which he condemned the two notorious evils of the day, simony and clerical incontinence. Then he commenced those journeys throughout Europe in the cause of a reformation of manners which gave him a pre- eminent right to be styled Peregrinus Apostolicus. Leaving Rome in May, he held a council of reform at Pavia, and pushed on through Germany to Cologne, where he joined the Emperor Henry III. In union with him he brought about peace in Lorraine by excommunicating the rebel Godfrey the Bearded. Despite the jealous efforts of King Henry I to prevent him from coming to France, Leo next proceeded to Reims, where he held an important synod, at which both bishops and abbots from England assisted. There also assembled in the city to see the famous pope an enormous number of enthusiastic people, "Spaniards, Bretons, Franks, Irish, and English". Besides excommunicating the Archbishop of Compostela (because he had ventured to assume the title of Apostolicus, reserved to the pope alone), and forbidding marriage between William (afterwards called the Conqueror) and Matilda of Flanders, the assembly issued many decrees of reform. On his way back to Rome Leo held another synod at Mainz, everywhere rousing public opinion against the great evils of the time as he went along, and everywhere being received with unbounded enthusiasm. It is apparently in connexion with this return journey that we have the first mention of the Golden Rose. The Abbess of Woffenheim, in return for certain privileges bestowed by the pope, had to send to Rome "a golden rose" before Lætare Sunday, on which day, says Leo, the popes are wont to carry it. Also before he returned to Rome, he discussed with Adalbert, Archbishop of Bremen, the formation of all the Scandinavian countries, including Iceland and Greenland, into a patriarchate, of which the see was to be Bremen. The scheme was never accomplished, but meanwhile Leo authorized the consecration by Adalbert of the first native bishop for Iceland.
In January, 1050, Leo returned to Rome, only to leave it again almost immediately for Southern Italy, whither the sufferings of its people called him. They were being heavily oppressed by the Normans. To the expostulations of Leo the wily Normans replied with promises, and when the pope, after holding a council at Spoleto, returned to Rome, they continued their oppressions as before. At the usual paschal synod which Leo was in the habit of holding at Rome, the heresy of Berengarius of Tours was condemned&#mdash;a condemnation repeated by the pope a few months later at Vercelli. Before the year 1050 had come to a close, Leo had begun his second transalpine journey. He went first to Toul, in order solemnly to translate the relics of Gerard, bishop of that city, whom he had just canonized, and then to Germany to interview the Emperor Henry the Black. One of the results of this meeting was that Hunfrid, Archbishop of Ravenna, was compelled by the emperor to cease acting as though he were the independent ruler of Ravenna and its district, and to submit to the pope. Returning to Rome, Leo held another of his paschal synods in April, 1051, and in July went to take possession of Benevento. Harassed by their enemies, the Beneventans concluded that their only hope of peace was to submit themselves to the authority of the pope. This they did, and received Leo into their city with the greatest honour. While in this vicinity, Leo again made further efforts to lessen the excesses of the Normans, but they were crippled by the native Lombards, who with as much folly as wickedness massacred a number of the Normans in Apulia. Realizing that nothing could then be done with the irate Norman survivors, Leo retraced his steps to Rome (1051).
The Norman question was henceforth ever present to the pope's mind. Constantly oppressed by the Normans, the people of Southern Italy ceased not to implore the pope to come and help them. The Greeks, fearful of being expelled from the peninsula altogether, begged Leo to co-operate with them against the common foe. Thus urged, Leo sought assistance on all sides. Failing to obtain it, he again tried the effect of personal mediation (1052). But again failure attended his efforts. He began to be convinced that appeal would have to be made to the sword. At this juncture an embassy arrived from the Hungarians, entreating him to come and make peace between them and the emperor. Again Leo crossed the Alps, but, thinking he was sure of success, Henry would not accept the terms proposed by the pope, with the result that his expedition against the Hungarians proved a failure. And though he at first undertook to let Leo have a German force to act against the Normans, he afterwards withdrew his promise, and the pope had to return to Italy with only a few German troops raised by his relatives (1053). In March, 1053, Leo was back in Rome. Finding the state of affairs in Southern Italy worse than ever, he raised what forces he could among the Italian princes, and, declaring war on the Normans, tried to effect a junction with the Greek general. But the Normans defeated first the Greeks and then the pope at Civitella (June, 1053). After the battle Leo gave himself up to his conquerors, who treated him with the utmost respect and consideration, and professed themselves his soldiers.
Though he gained more by defeat than he could have gained by victory, Leo betook himself to Benevento, a broken-hearted man. The slain at Civitella were ever before him, and he was profoundly troubled by the attitude of Michael Cærularius, Patriarch of Constantinople. That ambitious prelate was determined, if possible, to have no superior in either Church or State. As early as 1042, he had struck the pope's name off the sacred diptychs, and soon proceeded, first in private and then in public, to attack the Latin Church because it used unfermented bread (azymes) in the Sacrifice of the Mass. At length, and that, too, in a most barbarous manner, he closed the Latin churches in Constantinople. In reply to this violence, Leo addressed a strong letter to Michael (Sept., 1053), and began to study Greek in order the better to understand the matters in dispute. However, if Michael had taken advantage of the pope's difficulties with the Normans to push his plans, the Greek Emperor, seeing that his hold on Southern Italy was endangered by the Norman success, put pressure on the patriarch to make him more respectful to the pope. To the conciliatory letters which Constantine and Cærularius now dispatched to Rome, Leo sent suitable replies (Jan., 1054), blaming the arrogance of the patriarch. His letters were conveyed by two distinguished cardinals, Humbert and Frederick, but he had departed this life before the momentous issue of his embassy was known in Rome. On 16 July, 1054, the two cardinals excommunicated Cærularius, and the East was finally cut off from the body of the Church.
The annals of England show that Leo had many relations with that country, and its saintly King Edward. He dispensed the king from a vow which he had taken to make a pilgrimage to Rome, on condition that he give alms to the poor, and endow a monastery in honour of St. Peter. Leo also authorized the translation of the See of Crediton to Exeter, and forbade the consecration of the unworthy Abbot of Abingdon (Spearhafor) as Bishop of London. Throughout the troubles which Robert of Jumièges, Archbishop of Canterbury, had with the family of Earl Godwin, he received the support of the pope, who sent him the pallium and condemned Stigand, the usurper of his see (1053?). King Macbeth, the supposed murderer of Duncan, whom Shakespeare has immortalized, is believed to have visited Rome during Leo's pontificate, and may be thought to have exposed the needs of his soul to that tender father. After the battle of Civitella Leo never recovered his spirits. Seized at length with a mortal illness, he caused himself to be carried to Rome (March, 1054), where he died a most edifying death. He was buried in St. Peter's, was a worker of miracles both in life and in death, and found a place in the Roman Martyrology.
John 6: 22 - 29
22 On the next day the people who remained on the other side of the sea saw that there had been only one boat there, and that Jesus had not entered the boat with his disciples, but that his disciples had gone away alone.
23 However, boats from Tiber'i-as came near the place where they ate the bread after the Lord had given thanks.
24 So when the people saw that Jesus was not there, nor his disciples, they themselves got into the boats and went to Caper'na-um, seeking Jesus.
25 When they found him on the other side of the sea, they said to him, "Rabbi, when did you come here?"
26 Jesus answered them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves.
27 Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of man will give to you; for on him has God the Father set his seal."
28 Then they said to him, "What must we do, to be doing the works of God?"
29 Jesus answered them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent."