Monday, April 5, 2010




Dear Brothers and Sisters,I bring you the Easter proclamation in these words of the Liturgy, which echo the ancient hymn of praise sung by the Israelites after crossing the Red Sea. It is recounted in the Book of Exodus (cf 15:19-21) that when they had crossed the sea on dry land, and saw the Egyptians submerged by the waters, Miriam, the sister of Moses and Aaron, and the other women sang and danced to this song of joy: “Sing to the Lord, for he has triumphed wonderfully: horse and rider he has thrown into the sea!” Christians throughout the world repeat this canticle at the Easter Vigil, and a special prayer explains its meaning; a prayer that now, in the full light of the resurrection, we joyfully make our own: “Father, even today we see the wonders of the miracles you worked long ago. You once saved a single nation from slavery, and now you offer that salvation to all through baptism. May the peoples of the world become true sons of Abraham and prove worthy of the heritage of Israel.”The Gospel has revealed to us the fulfilment of the ancient figures: in his death and resurrection, Jesus Christ has freed us from the radical slavery of sin and opened for us the way towards the promised land, the Kingdom of God, the universal Kingdom of justice, love and peace. This “exodus” takes place first of all within man himself, and it consists in a new birth in the Holy Spirit, the effect of the baptism that Christ has given us in his Paschal Mystery. The old man yields his place to the new man; the old life is left behind, and a new life can begin (cf. Rom 6:4). But this spiritual “exodus” is the beginning of an integral liberation, capable of renewing us in every dimension – human, personal and social.Yes, my brothers and sisters, Easter is the true salvation of humanity! If Christ – the Lamb of God – had not poured out his blood for us, we would be without hope, our destiny and the destiny of the whole world would inevitably be death. But Easter has reversed that trend: Christ’s resurrection is a new creation, like a graft that can regenerate the whole plant. It is an event that has profoundly changed the course of history, tipping the scales once and for all on the side of good, of life, of pardon. We are free, we are saved! Hence from deep within our hearts we cry out: “Let us sing to the Lord: glorious his triumph!”The Christian people, having emerged from the waters of baptism, is sent out to the whole world to bear witness to this salvation, to bring to all people the fruit of Easter, which consists in a new life, freed from sin and restored to its original beauty, to its goodness and truth. Continually, in the course of two thousand years, Christians – especially saints – have made history fruitful with their lived experience of Easter. The Church is the people of the Exodus, because she constantly lives the Paschal Mystery and disseminates its renewing power in every time and place. In our days too, humanity needs an “exodus”, not just superficial adjustment, but a spiritual and moral conversion. It needs the salvation of the Gospel, so as to emerge from a profound crisis, one which requires deep change, beginning with consciences.I pray to the Lord Jesus that in the Middle East, and especially in the land sanctified by his death and resurrection, the peoples will accomplish a true and definitive “exodus” from war and violence to peace and concord. To the Christian communities who are experiencing trials and sufferings, especially in Iraq, the Risen Lord repeats those consoling and encouraging words that he addressed to the Apostles in the Upper Room: “Peace be with you!” (Jn 20:21).For the countries in Latin America and the Caribbean that are seeing a dangerous resurgence of crimes linked to drug trafficking, let Easter signal the victory of peaceful coexistence and respect for the common good. May the beloved people of Haiti, devastated by the appalling tragedy of the earthquake, accomplish their own “exodus” from mourning and from despair to a new hope, supported by international solidarity. May the beloved citizens of Chile, who have had to endure another grave catastrophe, set about the task of reconstruction with tenacity, supported by their faith.In the strength of the risen Jesus, may the conflicts in Africa come to an end, conflicts which continue to cause destruction and suffering, and may peace and reconciliation be attained, as guarantees of development. In particular I entrust to the Lord the future of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Guinea and Nigeria.May the Risen Lord sustain the Christians who suffer persecution and even death for their faith, as for example in Pakistan. To the countries afflicted by terrorism and by social and religious discrimination, may He grant the strength to undertake the work of building dialogue and serene coexistence. To the leaders of nations, may Easter bring light and strength, so that economic and financial activity may finally be driven by the criteria of truth, justice and fraternal aid. May the saving power of Christ’s resurrection fill all of humanity, so that it may overcome the multiple tragic expressions of a “culture of death” which are becoming increasingly widespread, so as to build a future of love and truth in which every human life is respected and welcomed.Dear brothers and sisters, Easter does not work magic. Just as the Israelites found the desert awaiting them on the far side of the Red Sea, so the Church, after the resurrection, always finds history filled with joy and hope, grief and anguish. And yet, this history is changed, it is marked by a new and eternal covenant, it is truly open to the future. For this reason, saved by hope, let us continue our pilgrimage, bearing in our hearts the song that is ancient and yet ever new: “Let us sing to the Lord: glorious his triumph!”


NYTIMES report: A mentally disturbed man ran amok in the Münster Cathedral during the Easter service on Sunday, attacking the bishop with a broom handle, the police said.
The bishop fended off the man with a censer, a ceremonial incense holder, as altar servers and other church workers jumped to his defense. They wrestled the attacker to the ground and held him until the police arrived several minutes later.
The bishop, Felix Genn, was unharmed and finished the service.
The church was completely full for the 10 o’clock Easter Mass when the man rose from his seat and rushed toward the altar, swinging a roughly three-foot-long broom handle and knocking over a large candle before turning on the bishop, according to Ulrich Bosse, a spokesman for the Münster police.
“He approached the bishop and wanted to hit him, too, but he did not succeed,” Mr. Bosse said.
The man, identified as a 44-year-old from the nearby town of Steinfurt, gave the police no explanation of his motives and was undergoing evaluation at a nearby psychiatric facility.
There appeared to be no connection to the unfolding scandal in the Roman Catholic Church over sexual abuse, though Mr. Bosse said “nothing could be ruled out.”
The police were previously aware of the man and his psychiatric problems, he said.
A version of this article appeared in print on April 5, 2010, on page A3 of the New York edition.



All Africa report: At least 17 people, mostly fighters have been killed and over 20 others injured on Sunday in heavy clashes that erupted in central Somalia, officials and witnesses said.
Heavy fighting erupted on the night of Saturday in Rage Ele area in Middle Shabelle between fighters loyal to Al-Shabaab and archrival Ahlu Sunnah
Wal-Jamaa, killing at least 8 people mostly fighters from both sides and injured 11 others.
Witnesses said the warring sides used heavy and light weapons in the fighting that continued for several hours.
A spokesman for Ahlu Sunnah said his group has captured the area from Al-Shabaab, vowing to continue with the fight.
"We planned for this fight and we have achieved our mission," said Sheikh Omar Muse Hussein, adding Al-Shabaab fled the area, leaving behind the bodies of four fighters.
On other hand, fierce gun battle erupted Sunday between Ahlu Sunnah and Al-Shabaab in an area between Guriel and Elbur towns in Galgadud region, claming 9 lives and few others.
Witnesses said residents have fled the area, which has now fallen under the hands of Al-Shabaab.
The fighting is part of the escalating bloody conflict between the two groups, which both have military presences in central Somalia.

UCAN report – The archdiocese here on April 5 condemned the Easter Sunday kidnapping of a Swiss national’s son in the city.
Monsignor David Alonzo, spokesman of the Archdiocese of Zamboanga, 850 kilometers southeast of Manila, branded the crime “deplorable.”
Local police say eight heavily armed men abducted Charlie Reith, 72, at around 6 p.m. April 4 from the resort where he was staying in Sitio Parkampo, Barangay Patalon, west of Zamboanga.
The kidnap victim was born in the Philippines to a Filipino mother and Swiss father.
His friend, German national Karl Reichling, reportedly managed to fight off the raiders.
“The raiders, disguised as policemen, arrived on several speedboats and abducted Reith,” Army Colonel Santiago Baluyot, commander of a local anti-terror task force, told reporters.
“We have launched a pursuit operation but it was too dark to track down the raiders,” he said.
A crisis committee has also been formed.
No group or individual claimed responsibility for the abduction and the motive is still unknown. But officials said ransom could be the motive.
“We condemn this kidnapping,” Monsignor Alonzo told reporters April 5. “We are also praying for the safe release of the victim.”
Such crime must also be solved by the authorities “so that people will have confidence in the peace and order situation here” in the run-up to the May general election, he said.
Baluyot said Reith may have been taken either to nearby Basilan where Abu Sayyaf militants are active or Zamboanga del Norte province where criminal gangs linked to previous kidnappings and terrorism operate.
Foreigners and wealthy traders have been kidnapped in the past and freed after their families paid ransom. Among those kidnapped in Zamboanga City were Taiwanese, Belgian, German and Chinese citizens.
In nearby Pagadian City, armed men also snatched Irish Columban Father Michael Sinnott last year and held him for US$2 million ransom. He was released after nearly a month reportedly without ransom being paid.


CNA report; Carolyn E. Davis, a staff writer for Us Weekly magazine, wrote a moving column published Easter Sunday in the New York Post focusing on why she is a proud Catholic, despite recent media attacks attempting to drag down the Catholic Church.
“Sure, it was explained to me when I converted that the gate would be narrow, but I had no idea,” she wrote.
Born “nothing,” Davis completed her adult catechism and chose to become a Catholic in 2000, “to the thinly veiled displeasure of people close to me.”
“Archbishop Fulton Sheen put it right when he said, ‘There are not over a hundred people in the US that hate the Catholic Church, there are millions, however, who hate what they wrongly believe to be the Catholic Church, which is, of course, quite a different thing,’” she said.
Davis acknowledged that “the horrific replay of the 2002 clerical sexual-abuse scandals has again stirred up sadness, anger and the inevitable stream of negative postings on my social-networking feeds.”
“There is zero tolerance for pedophiles in the Church today,” she explained, “And the test of moral credibility the Holy See is charged with really applies to the whole church — not just clergy but the whole mystical body of Christ.”
“If we all made this past Lenten season a truly repentant and earnest one, then we’re surely continuing on the path to clearing out the evil and healing those who still suffer its terrible wounds. The beauty of Easter isn’t just the expiation of our own sins but that Jesus suffered and was put to death in the flesh once for us all (1 Peter 3:18) and that his resurrection holds the great promise of his return (Luke 21:25-28),” Davis also wrote.
“The Catholic Church,” she continued “is more than this scandal. I, for one, want to help serve with a church that has done more to help the sick, poor, hungry, suffering and forgotten than any other group in recorded human history.”
“Through everything my relationship with Jesus, especially in the Eucharist, is the source and summit of my spiritual strength and the one thing I will never abandon.”
“Resurrectio Domini, spes nostra! The resurrection of Christ is our hope!” she concluded.

Cath News report: Thousands of worshippers attended Easter Sunday religious services, including crowds at the Sydney Opera House for the Wesley Mission's Uniting Church service.
The Superintendent of Wesley Mission, the Rev Dr Keith Garner led the capacity crowd in prayers for asylum seekers, victims of natural disasters and people caught up in conflict overseas, said an AAP report in the Sydney Morning Herald.
"As we look beyond Australia we see the ongoing need for peace in Iraq, Afghanistan and other parts of the world," he said.
"We see the need for help in Haiti, Chile and throughout Africa, and the need for compassionate leadership for asylum seekers in all developed nations."
Australia's Catholic leader, Archbishop Cardinal Pell, called on people to focus, not on problems within the Church, but on the good work done by Christians.
Cardinal Pell said that despite the failings, people should give more recognition to the Christian values that underpin Australian society. 'Australians believe that everyone is entitled to a fair go because of the Christian teaching that every person, unlike the animals, is made in God's image,' he said.
In his Easter address at St Andrew's Cathedral in Sydney, Anglican Archbishop Peter Jensen told the congregation a secular society was a fast track to loneliness.
"I have emphasised human loneliness this Easter because that is what expert observers of our society are saying is a real problem," Dr Jensen said.
"It is what we would expect to occur given the secularist philosophy we have embraced.
"This philosophy emphasises the individual and individual rights, it invites us to invent our own lives and it undervalues commitment to other human beings.
"It is a recipe for loneliness and the path to a very lonely old age."


St. Isidore of Seville
Feast: April 4
Feast Day:
April 4
560 at Cartagena, Spain
4 April 636 at Seville, Spain
1598, Rome by Pope Clement VIII
Patron of:
computer technicians, computer users, computers, the Internet, schoolchildren, students

Born at Cartagena, Spain, about 560; died 4 April, 636.
Isidore was the son of Severianus and Theodora. His elder brother Leander was his immediate predecessor in the Metropolitan See of Seville; whilst a younger brother St. Fulgentius presided over the Bishopric of Astigi. His sister Florentina was a nun, and is said to have ruled over forty convents and one thousand religious.
Isidore received his elementary education in the Cathedral school of Seville. In this institution, which was the first of its kind in Spain, the trivium and quadrivium were taught by a body of learned men, among whom was the archbishop, Leander. With such diligence did he apply himself to study that in a remarkably short time mastered Latin, Greek, and Hebrew. Whether Isidore ever embraced monastic life or not is still an open question, but though he himself may never have been affiliated with any of the religious orders, he esteemed them highly. On his elevation to the episcopate he immediately constituted himself protector of the monks. In 619 he pronounced anathema against any ecclesiastic who should in any way molest the monasteries.
On the death of Leander, Isidore succeeded to the See of Seville. His long incumbency to this office was spent in a period of disintegration and transition. The ancient institutions and classic learning of the Roman Empire were fast disappearing. In Spain a new civilization was beginning to evolve itself from the blending racial elements that made up its population. For almost two centuries the Goths had been in full control of Spain, and their barbarous manners and contempt of learning threatened greatly to put back her progress in civilization. Realizing that the spiritual as well as the material well-being of the nation depended on the full assimilation of the foreign elements, St. Isidore set himself to the task of welding into a homogeneous nation the various peoples who made up the Hispano-Gothic kingdom. To this end he availed himself of all the resources of religion and education. His efforts were attended with complete success. Arianism, which had taken deep root among the Visigoths, was eradicated, and the new heresy of Acephales was completely stifled at the very outset; religious discipline was everywhere strengthened. Like Leander, he took a most prominent part in the Councils of Toledo and Seville. In all justice it may be said that it was in a great measure due to the enlightened statecraft of these two illustrious brothers the Visigothic legislation, which emanated from these councils, is regarded by modern historians as exercising a most important influence on the beginnings of representative government. Isidore presided over the Second Council of Seville, begun 13 November, 619, in the reign of Sisebut. But it was the Fourth National Council of Toledo that afforded him the opportunity of being of the greatest service to his county. At this council, begun 5 December, 633, all the bishops of Spain were in attendance. St. Isidore, though far advanced in years, presided over its deliberations, and was the originator of most of its enactments. It was at this council and through his influence that a decree was promulgated commanding all bishops to establish seminaries in their Cathedral Cities, along the lines of the school already existing at Seville. Within his own jurisdiction he had availed himself of the resources of education to counteract the growing influence of Gothic barbarism. His was the quickening spirit that animated the educational movement of which Seville was the centre. The study of Greek and Hebrew as well as the liberal arts, was prescribed. Interest in law and medicine was also encouraged. Through the authority of the fourth council this policy of education was made obligatory upon all the bishops of the kingdom. Long before the Arabs had awakened to an appreciation of Greek Philosophy, he had introduced Aristotle to his countrymen. He was the first Christian writer to essay the task of compiling for his co-religionists a summa of universal knowledge. This encyclopedia epitomized all learning, ancient as well as modern. In it many fragments of classical learning are preserved which otherwise had been hopelessly lost. The fame of this work imparted a new impetus to encyclopedic writing, which bore abundant fruit in the subsequent centuries of the Middle Ages. His style, though simple and lucid, cannot be said to be classical. It discloses most of the imperfections peculiar to all ages of transition. It particularly reveals a growing Visigothic influence. Arévalo counts in all Isidore's writing 1640 Spanish words.
Isidore was the last of the ancient Christian Philosophers, as he was the last of the great Latin Fathers. He was undoubtedly the most learned man of his age and exercised a far-reaching and immeasurable influence on the educational life of the Middle Ages. His contemporary and friend, Braulio, Bishop of Saragossa, regarded him as a man raised up by God to save the Spanish people from the tidal wave of barbarism that threatened to inundate the ancient civilization of Spain, The Eighth Council of Toledo (653) recorded its admiration of his character in these glowing terms: "The extraordinary doctor, the latest ornament of the Catholic Church, the most learned man of the latter ages, always to be named with reverence, Isidore". This tribute was endorsed by the Fifteenth Council of Toledo, held in 688. SOURCE



Acts 10: 34, 37 - 43
And Peter opened his mouth and said: "Truly I perceive that God shows no partiality,
the word which was proclaimed throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee after the baptism which John preached:
how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power; how he went about doing good and healing all that were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.
And we are witnesses to all that he did both in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree;
but God raised him on the third day and made him manifest;
not to all the people but to us who were chosen by God as witnesses, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead.
And he commanded us to preach to the people, and to testify that he is the one ordained by God to be judge of the living and the dead.
To him all the prophets bear witness that every one who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name."

Psalms 118: 1 - 2, 16 - 17, 22 - 23
O give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his steadfast love endures for ever!
Let Israel say, "His steadfast love endures for ever."
the right hand of the LORD is exalted, the right hand of the LORD does valiantly!"
I shall not die, but I shall live, and recount the deeds of the LORD.
The stone which the builders rejected has become the head of the corner.
This is the LORD's doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.

Colossians 3: 1 - 4
If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.
Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.
For you have died, and your life is hid with Christ in God.
When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

John 20: 1 - 9
Now on the first day of the week Mary Mag'dalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb.
So she ran, and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, "They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him."
Peter then came out with the other disciple, and they went toward the tomb.
They both ran, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first;
and stooping to look in, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he did not go in.
Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb; he saw the linen cloths lying,
and the napkin, which had been on his head, not lying with the linen cloths but rolled up in a place by itself.
Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed;
for as yet they did not know the scripture, that he must rise from the dead.
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