Monday, April 5, 2010




CNA report: Pope Benedict prayed the Regina Caeli on Easter Monday from the Pontifical residence at Castel Gandolfo, where he traveled following Sunday's Easter celebrations at the Vatican. During his address before the prayer, he called the faithful to become announcers of God's love.
The Holy Father explained the significance of “Angel's Monday,” as the day following Easter Sunday is traditionally called in Italy, before the recitation of the Marian prayer at noon.
Contemplating the term "angel" during this time of Easter, observed the Pope, our thought goes immediately to Christ's tomb and the announcement by one or two angels that “He is risen,” as recounted in the Gospels.
"But," he added, "the Angel of the resurrection also recalls another meaning."
Besides being applicable to the "spiritual creatures endowed with intelligence and will, servants and messengers of God, it is also one of the oldest titles attributed to Jesus himself," the Pope taught, citing Tertullian's words that Christ is the announcer of the "great design of the Father for the restoration of man."
As the Angel of the Father, Jesus Christ "is the Messenger par excellence of his love," he pointed out.
Pope Benedict went on to explain that the risen Christ's words to the Apostles, "As the Father has sent me, so I send you," mean that we must emulate Jesus' role as the "announcer of the love of God the Father" and "also be this of the love of Christ" as "we are messengers of his resurrection, of his victory over evil and death, carriers of his divine love."
We receive this "mission" through Baptism and Confirmation, he continued, saying that it is referred in a special way to priests as "ministers of Christ."
The Holy Father concluded by invoking the assistance of the Queen of Heaven, so we are able to fully welcome "the grace of the paschal mystery and become courageous and joyous messengers of the resurrection of Christ."
The message and prayer were broadcast from Castel Gandolfo simultaneously through the large screens and speakers of St. Peter's Square.



CBN report: Hollywood actor Neal McDonough is taking a stand for family values and his Catholic convictions.
The former star of the popular TV series "Desperate Housewives" has been replaced on ABC's new series "Scoundrels" after refusing to do sex scenes.
ABC called it a casting change, but other reports claim McDonough was fired.
Throughout his acting career, McDonough has made it clear that he will not be in sexual situations.
He will reportedly lose as much as $1 million for refusing this latest role.



Cath News report: A group in Norlane, Victoria, whose graphic re-enactment of the crucifixion at a shopping centre was shutdown by police on Saturday, has made an official complaint about religious discrimination.
Leaders of the Heaven on Earth group will meet with Geelong Police to discuss the complaint, over the display that was stopped for being "offensive", said an AAP report in the Geelong Advertiser.
According to an AFP report on Google News, the sight of a man covered in fake blood and apparently nailed to a cross was too much for some children at a shopping centre in Geelong.
"Kids were particularly upset and crying," a local police spokesman is cited saying.
"If they want to do that sort of thing they are quite welcome to do it in a place where it's not going to disturb anyone and where people are going there for that specific reason and know what they are getting themselves into."
Church member Brian Kenneally, the father of Pastor Sarah Kenneally who helped organise the re-enactment, said the group hade made a formal complaint about the conduct of police at the scene.
"We have conducted a formal complaint about the way it was handled and we will know more about what action we can take tomorrow when we meet."
Geelong's Catholic priest, Father Kevin Dillon, said the bloody depiction of Jesus on the cross was too brutal for the public eye.
"I have no doubt that the people who organised it had the best intentions but I think in the public arena this could certainly cause distress," Father Dillon said.
"Ultimately, I don't think such a brutal depiction would be helpful in teaching people about Easter and the story of Jesus."



Cath News report: The Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams has expressed "deep sorrow and regret" for saying the Irish Catholic Church was "losing all credibility" over the clerical sex abuse scandal.
He reportedly telephoned Diarmuid Martin, the Archbishop of Dublin, to apologise for "difficulties that may have been created" by the remarks, according to an AFP report in The Australian.
Archbishop Martin said he was "stunned" by Dr Williams' "unequivocal and unqualified" criticism of the Catholic Church, made in a BBC radio interview.
But Dr Williams told Archbishop Martin "nothing could have been farther from his intention than to offend or criticise the Irish church".
Dr Williams's comments were unusually outspoken and critical for the leader of another church, especially as they emerged over the Easter weekend.
Dr Williams said in the interview the Irish Catholic Church was suffering colossal trauma. "An institution so deeply bound into the life of a society suddenly becoming, suddenly losing all credibility -- that's not just a problem for the church, it's a problem for everybody in Ireland," he said.
Archbishop Martin said the timing of the comments was unhelpful. "In all my years as Archbishop of Dublin in difficult times I have rarely felt personally so discouraged," he said.



All Africa report: Christians have been implored to use the exemplary opportunity of Easter to pray for peace and unity to prevail in Nigeria and for God to spare the country of endless waste of lives through sectarian crisis, communal wars and cult related violence.
Governor Liyel Imoke of Cross River State made the call in his Easter message to Cross Riverians, saying that they should pray for the consolation of those who have lost dear ones as well as the repose of the souls of the departed.
Imoke remarked that more than the story of salvation for mankind, of the times, death and resurrection of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, this period provides people the challenge of defining their individual mission in life.
According to him, "Easter also reminds us that solidarity with one another, love, care and compassion are really important values that need to be reflected in our society."


UCAN report — A priest, who spent nine days in jail in connection with a seminarian’s suicide, says the experience helped him relate better to Christ’s sufferings.
Father Thomas Philip, rector of Bhopal archdiocese’s minor seminary, was released on bail on April 1, Holy Thursday. He was jailed on March 23 for allegedly abetting the suicide of a seminarian.
However, no bail was granted to a Malabar Missionary brother who continues to be in jail over an alleged act of pedophilia. Police in Panna, a town in Madhya Pradesh, arrested Brother John Kuttikatil on March 20.
Bhopal archdiocesan sources said the bail for the priest took nine days since the charges against him were serious offences in Madhya Pradesh, one of the few states that legally ban religious conversion through allurement or force.
The seminarian committed suicide on Jan. 29 inside the seminary on the outskirts of Bhopal, the state capital. His father complained to police that his son was a Hindu and the priest had tried to convert him to Catholicism.
Father Philip told UCA News April 5 that he was implicated in a case in which he had no involvement. However, the time in the jail “helped me really understand the suffering of Christ,” he added.
Reflecting on Christ’s sufferings
The priest said he found it hard and painful to realize he was in a jail for “heinous” crimes. But when “I began to reflect over the life and crucifixion of Christ, new hope began to lead me.”
Jesus suffered for no fault of his, and “I too was imprisoned,” Father Philip said. Such an experience is the price one has to pay occasionally for being Christ’s follower. “Now I can value it,” he added.
The priest also said he felt shattered when the court denied his bail application immediately after his arrest. “Initially, I thought it would be easy to get bail as I had no role in the case, but when that did not happen my confidence began to shake,” he recounted.
The police, he said, did not harm him physically, but he “felt really hurt” as he had to remove his clothes and line up with those accused of serious offenses. “It was really disappointing to realize that no one in the jail was ready to understand your innocence,” he added.
Some jail residents “helped me get my food and wash my clothing,” Father Philip said. “However, the general treatment I got was no way different from what is given to a criminal.”
Father Philip dismissed the allegation of the seminarian’s father as “unfounded and aimed at targeting the Church.” He asserted the seminary, just as other seminaries across the world, admits only baptized Catholics as students.


St. Vincent Ferrer
Feast: April 5
Feast Day:
March 24
January 23, 1350, Valencia, Kingdom of Valencia
April 5, 1419, Vannes, Brittany, France
June 3, 1455, Rome by Pope Calixtus III
Major Shrine:
Vannes Cathedral
Patron of:
builders, construction workers, plumbers

Famous Dominican missionary, born at Valencia, 23 January, 1350; died at Vannes, Brittany, 5 April, 1419. He was descended from the younger of two brothers who were knighted for their valour in the conquest of Valencia, 1238. In 1340 Vincent's father, William Ferrer, married Constantia Miguel, whose family had likewise been ennobled during the conquest of Valencia. Vincent was their fourth child. A brother, not unknown to history, was Boniface Ferrer, General of the Carthusians, who was employed by the antipope Benedict XIII in important diplomatic missions. Vincent was educated at Valencia, and completed his philosophy at the age of fourteen. In 1367 he entered the Dominican Order, and was sent to the house of studies at Barcelona the following year. In 1370 he taught philosophy at LĂ©rida; one of his pupils there was Pierre Fouloup, later Grand Inquisitor of Aragon. In 1373 Vincent returned to the Dominican "Studium arabicum et hebraicum" at Barcelona. During his stay there famine was prevalent; filled with compassion for the sufferers; Vincent foretold, while preaching one day, the near approach of ships bearing wheat. His prediction was fulfilled. In 1377 he was sent to continue his studies at Toulouse, where, in his own words, "study followed prayer, and prayer succeeded study". In 1379 Vincent was retained by Cardinal Pedro de Luna, legate of the Court of Aragon, who was endeavouring to win King Peter IV to the obedience of Avignon. The saint, thoroughly convinced of the legitimacy of the claims of the Avignon pontiffs, was one of their strongest champions. From 1385 to 1390 he taught theology in the cathedral at Valencia.
After this Vincent carried on his apostolic work while in Pedro de Luna's suite. At Valladolid he converted a rabbi, later well known as Bishop Paul of Burgos. At Salamanca Queen Yolanda of Aragon chose him for her confessor, 1391-5. About this time he was cited before the Inquisiton for preaching publicly "the Judas had done penance", but Pedro de Luna, recently raised to the papal chair as Benedict XIII, cited the case before his tribunal and burned the papers. Benedict then called him to Avignon and appointed him confessor and Apostolic penitentiary. Notwithstanding the indifference of so many prelates in the papal Court, he laboured zealously among the people. He steadfastly refused the honours, including the cardinalate, which were offered to him. France withdrew from the obedience of Avignon in September, 1398, and the troops of Charles VI laid siege to the city. An attack of fever at this time brought Vincent to death's door, but during an apparition of Christ accompanied by St. Dominic and St. Francis he was miraculously cured and sent to preach penance and prepare men for the coming judgment. Not until November, 1399, did Benedict allow Vincent Ferrer to begin his apostolate, furnished with full powers of a legate a latere Christi. For twenty years he traversed western Europe, preaching penance for sin and preparation for judgment. Provence was the first field of his apostolate; he was obliged to preach in squares and open places, such were the numbers that flocked to hear him. In 1401 he evangelized Dauphiny, Savoy, and the Alpine region, converting many Catharins and Waldensians. Thence he penetrated into Lombardy. While preaching at Alexandria he singled out from among the hearers a youth who was destined to evangelize Italy, Bernadine of Siena. Another chosen soul with whom Vincent came in contact while in Italy was Margaret of Savoy. During the years 1403-4 Switzerland, Savoy, and Lyons received the missionary. He was followed by an army of penitents drawn from every rank of society, who desired to remain under his guidance. Vincent was ever watchful of his disciples, and never did the breath of scandal touch this strange assemblage, which numbered at times 10,000. Genoa, Flanders, Northern France, all heard Vincent in turn. It would be difficult to understand how he could make himself understood by the many nationalities he evangelized, as he could speak only Limousin, the language of Valencia. Many of his biographers hold that he was endowed with the gift of tongues, an opinion supported by Nicholas Clemangis, a doctor of the University of Paris, who had heard him preach.
In 1408 Vincent was at Genoa consoling the plague-stricken. A meeting had been arranged there between Gregory XII and Benedict XIII in the hope of putting an end to the schism. Vincent again urged Benedict to have pity on the afflicted Church, but in vain. Disappointed, he returned to Spain. It would be difficult to overestimate the influence which he exercised in the Iberian peninsula. Castile, Aragon, Valencia, Murcia, Granada, Andalusia, and Asturias were visited in turn, and everywhere miracles marked his progress; Christians, Jews, and Moslems were all lost in admiration of the thaumaturgus. From 1408 until 1416 he worked almost continuously south of the Pyrenees. At different times in Spanish history strenuous attempts had been made to convert the Jewish people, baptism or spoliation being the alternatives offered to them. This state of affairs existed when Vincent began to work among them; multitudes were won over by his preaching. Ranzano, his first biographer, estimates the number of Jews converted at 25,000. In the Kingdom of Granada he converted thousands of Moors. Vincent was often called upon to aid his country in temporal affairs, as the counsellor of kings and at one time the arbiter of the destiny of Spain. In 1409 he was commissioned by Benedict XIII to announce to Martin of Aragon the death of his only son and heir.
After Martin's death, the representatives of the Kingdoms of Aragon, Valencia, and Catalonia appointed Vincent one of the judges to determine the succession to the Crown. At the judgment, known as the Compromise of Caspe, he took the leading part and helped to elect Ferdinand of Castile. Vincent was one of the most resolute and faithful adherents of Benedict XIII, and by his word, sanctity, and miracles he did much to strengthen Benedict's position. It was not until 1416, when pressed by Ferdinand, King of Aragon, that he abandoned him. On 6 January, preaching at Perpignan, he declared anew to the vast throng gathered around his pulpit that Benedict XIII was the legitimate pope, but that, since he would not resign to bring peace to the Church, Ferdinand had withdrawn his states from the obedience of Avignon. This act must have caused Vincent much sorrow, for he was deeply attached to Benedict. Nevertheless, it was thought that Vincent was the only person sufficiently esteemed to announce such a step to the Spanish races. John Dominici was more fortunate in his attempts to pave the way for reunion, when he announced to the Council of Constance the resignation of Gregory XII. Vincent did not go to the Council of Constance; he continued his apostolic journeys through France, and spent the last two years of his life in Brittany, where consciences without number were reformed and instructed in a Christian way of life.
Vincent felt that he was the messenger of penance sent to prepare men for the judgment. For twenty years he traversed Western Europe preaching penance and awakening the dormant consciences of sinners by his wondrous eloquence. His austere life was but the living expression of his doctrine. The floor was his usual bed; perpetually fasting, he arose at two in the morning to chant the Office, celebrating Mass daily, afterwards preaching, sometimes three hours, and frequently working miracles. After his midday meal he would tend the sick children; at eight o'clock he prepared his sermon for the following day. He usually travelled on foot, poorly clad. Among St. Vincent's writings are: De suppositionibus dialecticis"; "De natura universalis"; "De monderno ecclesiae schismate", a defence of the Avignon pontiffs; and "De vita spirituali". His "Sermons" were published at Antwerp (1570), Augsburg (1729), and Lyons (1816); and his complete works at Valence (1591). He was canonized by Calixtus III at the Dominican Church of Santa Maria Sopra Minerva, Rome, 3 June, 1455.


Matthew 28: 8 - 15
So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples.
And behold, Jesus met them and said, "Hail!" And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him.
Then Jesus said to them, "Do not be afraid; go and tell my brethren to go to Galilee, and there they will see me."
While they were going, behold, some of the guard went into the city and told the chief priests all that had taken place.
And when they had assembled with the elders and taken counsel, they gave a sum of money to the soldiers
and said, "Tell people, `His disciples came by night and stole him away while we were asleep.'
And if this comes to the governor's ears, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble."
So they took the money and did as they were directed; and this story has been spread among the Jews to this day.
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