Wednesday, April 14, 2010




VATICAN CITY, 14 APRIL 2010 (VIS) - The ordained ministry was again the topic of catechesis by Benedict XVI at today's general audience held in St. Peter's Square and attended by 16,000 people.
In particular, the Pope reflected on the "fruitful reality of the priest in the figure of Christ the Head in carrying out the tria munera that he receives, that is, in the three functions of teaching, sanctifying, and governing".
"However, in order to understand what it means to act in persona Christi capitis, that is, in the person of Christ the Head, and the consequences of a priest's duty to represent the Lord, it is necessary to understand," the Holy Father said, "that the presbytery represents Jesus 'who is never absent in the Church'".
"Therefore, a priest ... never acts in the name of someone absent, but in the person of the Risen Christ" and "the three offices of teaching, sanctifying, and governing are ... a clear specification of that effective representation because they are actually the three actions of the Risen Lord himself who teaches, sanctify, and guides the Church today".
Referring to the first task, the munus docendi, teaching, the pontiff affirmed that a priest "teaches in the name of Christ present, putting forward the Truth which is Christ. For a priest, it is true what Christ says of himself: my teaching is not my own ... It is the voice and the word of the Father. That is how the priest should act: I do not propagate my ideas ... but am the mouth and heart of Christ and I present this unique teaching that has informed the Universal Church and that gives life".
"The teaching that we are called to offer, the truths of the faith that we must communicate should be internalized and lived in an intense spiritual journey," the Pope emphasized, recalling that not infrequently can a priest's voice seem one that cries out in the wilderness. This is what its prophetic force consists in, not in being homogenized into any other dominant culture or mentality but of showing the unique newness capable of a profound and authentic renewal of the human being, that is to say that Christ is the Living One, God who is near to us, God who works in and through life in the world".
"In preaching, catechesis, academic teaching, and above all "in the unwritten book that is his life, a priest is always a teacher. Not with the presumption of those who impose their own truths but with the humble and joyful sincerity of those who have found the Truth, have been grasped and transformed by it and who therefore cannot stop announcing it".
"In fact, the priesthood," observed the Holy Father, "is not chosen by anyone for himself. It is not a way of obtaining security in life or a social position. The priesthood is the answer to the Lord's call ... to become preachers, not of a personal truth, but of His truth".
Addressing himself to priests the Pope affirmed: "The Christian people need to hear the teaching of the true ecclesial doctrine" that has as it point of reference "Sacred Scripture, the writings of the Fathers and Doctors of the Church, as well as the Catechism of the Catholic Church".
"Priestly ordination," he continued, "means being immersed in the Truth ... which is not simply a concept or set of ideas to transmit and assimilate but the Person of Christ".
"The Pope finished by expressing the desire that St. John Mary Vianney may serve as an example for priests because, in him, the Christian people recognize "that which must always be recognized in a priest: the voice of the Good Shepherd".
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VATICAN CITY, 14 APRIL 2010 (VIS) - At the end of today's general audience in St. Peter's Square, the Pope referred to the earthquake that struck the Western province of Qinghai, China today, causing "numerous losses of human lives, many wounded, and much damage. I am praying for the victims and am spiritually near all those affected by this very serious tragedy. I implore God that they may find relief from their suffering and courage in this time of adversity. I hope that there will be no lack of solidarity shown".
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VATICAN CITY, 14 APRIL 2010 (VIS) - The Office for the Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff communicates the next dates on which will take place the following beatifications approved by the Holy Father:
- Bernardo Francisco de Hoyos, priest of the order of the Society of Jesus, on the third Sunday of Easter, 18 April 2010, at 10:30am in the Cathedral of Valladolid, Spain.
-Angelo Paoli, priest of the order of Carmelites of the Strict Observance, on the fourth Sunday of Easter, 25 April 2010, at 10:00am in the Papal Basilica of St. John Lateran in Rome, Italy.
-José Tous y Soler, priest of the order of Capuchin Friars Minor and founder of the Institute of the Capuchin sisters of the Mother of the Divine Shepherd, on the fourth Sunday of Easter, 25 April 2010, at 10:30am in the Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar in Barcelona, Spain.
-Teresa Manganiello, virgin and Franciscan tertiary, inspirer of the Congregation of the Franciscan Immaculatine Sisters, on the Solemnity of Pentecost, Saturday 22 May 2010, at 4:00pm in the Basilica of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Benevento, Italy.
-Maria Pierina De Micheli, virgin and sister of the Daughters of the Immaculate Conception in Buenos Aires, on the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, Sunday 30 May 2010, at 10:00am in the Papal Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome, Italy.
-Jerzy Popieluszko, priest and martyr, on the 10th Sunday of Ordinary Time, 6 June 2010, at 11:00am in Marshal J. Pilsudski Square in Warsaw, Poland.
-Manuel Lozano Garrido, layman, on the 11th Sunday of Ordinary Time, Saturday 12 June 2010, at 7:30pm at the Eriazos de la Virgen Fairgrounds in Linares, Jaen, Spain.
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VATICAN CITY, 14 APRIL 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father accepted the resignation of Bishop Walmir Alberto Valle, I.M.C. from the pastoral care of the diocese of Joacaba, Brazil, in accordance with canon 401 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law.



Asia News report: Police say extremists used army uniforms to pass unnoticed and plant the bombs that yesterday hit the cathedral of Saint Isabel and the building of the Ministry of Education. Among the victims of gun battles between soldiers and rebels also the brother of one of the leaders of the terrorist group linked to al-Qaeda. Basilan bishop urges people to pray for peace and asks for protection of military forces.

Manila (AsiaNews) – The death toll from two explosions and gun battles between Abu Sayyaff Islamic rebels and the army that yesterday shocked the city of Isabela (Basilan, Mindanao) has risen to 15. Among the victims Purudji Indama's brother, a leader of the terrorist group linked to al-Qaeda. While the city remains under the control of over 300 military, the bishop of Basilan Mgr. Martin Jumoad, has urged the population to remain calm and pray for peace.
The attack started yesterday morning at 10.30 with the explosion of two bombs outside the Cathedral of Saint Isabel, partly destroyed, and Basilan National High School. A third bomb, placed in front of the courthouse, but was defused by the police bomb squad. After the explosions rebels, who passed unnoticed wearing fake military uniforms, began firing on passersby, sparking a gun battle with police and army. In total the attack left 15 dead, 6 civilians, 5 terrorists, 3 soldiers and a policeman.
“The attack was well planned - states gen. Ben Dolorfino, military chief for Mindanao - the uniforms worn by the rebels were new and showed no signs of wear”. Dolorfino said that intelligence had received information concerning a possible attack by Abu Sayyaf and that is why the army was able to act quickly and avoid more victims.
Today Mgr. Martin Jumoad, Bishop of Basilan called on the population to remain calm and pray for peace and asked the military and police for urgent action to neutralize the Islamic rebels who have chosen the first objective is the cathedral of Saint Isabel. "70% of the church is damaged - he said - and we can not say mass. I appeal to the men and women in uniform to help neutralize those who struck the cathedral. "
Last night the bishop led a torch lit procession directly to the sites of explosions to condemn the violence and pray for the victims.


CNN report: A train derailment in northern Italy has killed nine people, Italy's Civil Protection office said Monday.

The office had said that the derailment killed 11 people, but it later revised the death toll.
At least 20 people were injured, five seriously, when a landslide derailed the train, authorities said.
The train was a small diesel train with two carriages, traveling on the Val Venosta line. The railway is one of the region's newest, inaugurated in 2005.
The most probable cause of the landslide is a broken irrigation pipe, said Thomas Widmann, head of the transport department for the local government.
The mud from the slide entered the train's cars, suffocating the passengers, he said.
More than 200 rescuers were on the scene.
The train came to rest when it reached the trunk of two big trees, according to a local journalist. One of the carriages was left hanging over the Adige River.


All Africa report: Hundreds of people have been displaced and at least 7,000 hectares of newly sown crops destroyed by floods after a river burst its banks in Somalia's Middle Shabelle region, local officials told IRIN.

The worst flooding occurred near the town of Jowhar, 90km north of Mogadishu, where the River Shabelle burst its banks.
"In Mandeere village [10km southeast of Jowhar] alone, some 850 families [about 5,100 people] were affected; we are completely surrounded by water," Ali Haji Hamud, a member of the village council, told IRIN on 13 April.
"The river burst its banks and destroyed our crops. We lost about 4,000 hectares of crops. We were hoping for a good harvest, but now I am not sure we will be able to salvage anything."
The most common crops grown in the area are maize, sesame and cowpeas.
Hamud said residents had stemmed the flooding with sandbags thanks to help from the Islamist administration in Jowhar and a local NGO. "For now we are safe but cut off," he said. "We are accessible by boat only."
Isse Ahmed Nur, an elder in Bulo Ahmed, 18km northeast of Jowhar and one of the worst affected villages, told IRIN some 3,500 hectares of farmland were washed away by the floods. "We are trying to stop the flooding but we are fighting a losing battle."
He said the community was not getting any help. "No one is here to help."
Abukar Abdulahi Tifow, the country director of the Women and Child Care Organization (WOCCA), a local NGO, said the whole area around Jowhar had been affected.
"The danger has not passed as the river water is still high and more rain is expected," Tifow said.
He said the worst affected areas were Mandeere, Bulo Ahmed and Huriwa villages, with a combined estimated population of 2,000 families (about 12,000 people). Some people had been forced to move to higher ground.
An aid worker who requested anonymity told IRIN there was some flooding in the Jowhar area but the situation had not reached "alarming levels yet", but he warned that as the rain intensified there was "a serious likelihood that the flooding situation would get worse".
In the past, aid agencies used to prepare for the `Gu’ rainy season (April-June) but there were no preparations this time.
"Aid agencies are no longer in the area due to insecurity and so there is no preparedness and this is the biggest worry," the aid worker said, adding that lack of proper management of the irrigation system since the collapse of the national government in 1991 had exacerbated the situation.
With no aid agencies to help there had been little de-silting of the riverbed or proper management of the gates on rivers or adjoining canals. Farmers have eroded the river bank in an effort to irrigate their fields and "unfortunately, are contributing to the problem", the aid worker said.


CBN report: Eleven-year-old Nadia Bloom was found alive in swamp lands near Orlando, Tuesday, and her family is giving credit to God.

Bloom suffers from a mild form of autism and had been missing for almost five days, but her family's church helped locate her.
"I never believed in miracles, but I sure do now," Winter Springs Police Chief said.
Bloom went missing Friday, April 9, near a Florida swamp infested with alligators. Yet search crews from her church found the girl alive and carried her out Tuesday morning.
Police said Bloom is in good shape, but was dehydrated, hungry and covered in mosquito bites.
Rescuers had to carry her out of the swamp water by chopping down bushes because the swamp is too dense for a helicopter.
The police chief complimented the rescue crews for fighting through the swampy terrain that ranged from six feet of water to five feet of mud.
A pastor from the Metro Church, where Bloom attends with her family, said volunteer rescue worker James King found Bloom after praying to God, and God worked a miracle.
"The Lord put it in his spirit to go out this morning at daybreak and asked the Lord to direct his paths. He saidm 'Lord, we need to find this girl today, and I need you to make my paths straight like your Word says.' And eventually, he finds her in the middle of a swampy area," Worship Pastor Bret Testerman said.
"People do see God's hand in it," he said. "These things very often do not turn out well. We were praying, we were optimistic, and put our faith in God, and it's amazing."
Winter Springs officials did not ask for help from volunteers in the search, but King, and close to 100 others from the church decided to search anyway.
The church is holding a celebratory worship service tonight, and there's definitely a lot to thank God for.
Police believe Bloom may have been inspired to go wandering in the woods by a story she read in an "American Girl" book.
The book talks about an explorer who goes out in the wilderness to track wildlife.


Cath News report: Bishop William Morris of Toowoomba has issued a statement apologising for the abuse suffered by children while under the care of the Diocese.

A former teacher of a school within the Diocese of Toowoomba pleaded guilty yesterday to a number of charges he faced in relation to offences against children.
Former Christian brother Gerard Vincent Byrnes, 61, admitted to 44 sex abuse charges concerning students at a Toowoomba primary school, where he also served as the child protection officer. Among them were 10 counts of raping a child under 12.
"I can only begin to imagine the suffering and upset the victims and their families have experienced as a result of the former teacher’s actions," said Bishop Morris. "The Diocese will continue to provide counselling and pastoral care for all affected, and I will be writing to the families of victims offering to meet with each of them."
Bishop Morris stressed in a statement released yesterday that the Diocese has a clear policy of zero tolerance of sexual abuse and an unequivocal commitment to the highest standards of child protection.
He said the Director of the Catholic Education Office, John Borserio, is continuing to make improvements to policies, procedures and training in cooperation with the regulatory authorities to ensure we prevent a situation such as this from occurring again.
"We have recently undertaken a further review which has resulted in the strengthening and clarifying of our child protection protocols. These revised protocols will be submitted shortly to the Non-State School Accreditation Board for approval," he said."Unfortunately, I cannot change what has happened," said Bishop Morris. "However, I remain committed to doing everything in my power to ensure events such as these never happen again. I reiterate the children and their families affected by the former teacher’s actions remain my highest priority."
Meanwhile The Australian reports that police have warned the Catholic Church to expect more cases of child sex abuse to emerge from six schools that employed a veteran teacher who yesterday pleaded guilty to abusing 13 schoolgirls.


Sts. Tiburtius, Valerian, Maximus

Feast: April 14
Information: Feast Day: April 14
Known by their inclusion in the Acts of St. Cecilia. It is generally accepted that the Acts are fiction, but the three perhaps were genuine martyrs, especially as their tombs in the cemetery of Praetextatus were exceedingly popular duing the Middle Ages. According to the Acts, Valerian was Cecilia's husband, Tiburtius her brother, and Maximus a Roman soldier or official who died with them.

John 3: 16 - 21

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

17 For God sent the Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.

18 He who believes in him is not condemned; he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.

19 And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

20 For every one who does evil hates the light, and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.

21 But he who does what is true comes to the light, that it may be clearly seen that his deeds have been wrought in God.
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