CATHOLIC WORLD NEWS: WED. APRIL 21, 2010: HEADLINES-
VATICAN: POPE: HOLY FATHER RECALLS HIS APOSTOLIC TRIP TO MALTA
EUROPE: BRITAIN: FAMED BRITISH CONVERT ANTONY FLEW DIES AGE 87-
ASIA: INDIA: FEMALE CHILDREN UNWANTED IN CERTAIN AREAS-
AMERICA: ARGENTINA: 7, 000 GATHER TO UPHOLD FAMILY VALUES-
AFRICA: UGANDA: AFRICA NEEDS TO SEND MISSIONARIES TO OTHER COUNTRIES-
AUSTRALIA: CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY RECORDS FASTEST GROWTH-
POPE; HOLY FATHER RECALLS HIS APOSTOLIC TRIP TO MALTA
VATICAN CITY, 21 APR 2010 (VIS) - In today's general audience, held in St. Peter's Square, the Pope recalled his apostolic trip to Malta, which took place last Saturday and Sunday for "the 1950th anniversary of the shipwreck of the Apostle Paul on the shores of the Maltese archipelago, and his nearly three-month stay on those islands".
"For almost two thousand years, the history of that people has been inseparable from the Catholic faith, which characterises their culture and traditions. It is said that there are 365 churches in Malta, 'one for each day of the year', a visible symbol of this profound faith".
The Pope recalled how in the Cave of St. Paul at Rabat, he had participated in "an intense moment of prayer", explaining that "from Paul's subsequent stay on Malta a fervent and solid Christian community was born, which two thousand years later is still faithful to the Gospel and seeks to associate it with the complex questions of the modern age. Naturally, this is not always easy or automatic, but the Maltese people find answers to the new challenges in the Christian view of life. One sign of this, for example, is the fact that they have maintained a profound respect for unborn life and for the sacredness of marriage, choosing not to introduce abortion or divorce into the country's legal system".
Benedict XVI went on to recall how, following the celebration of the Eucharist in front of the church of St. Paul, at which the faithful "participated with great enthusiasm", he had "met a number of victims of abuse by members of the clergy. I shared their suffering and, greatly moved, prayed with them, giving them assurances of the Church's action", he said.
"It must not be thought", the Pope went on, that Malta, "because of its geographical position, is a society 'isolated' from the world". In this context he mentioned the "contacts Malta maintains with various countries, and the fact that Maltese priests are to be found in many nations".
"The strategic position of this small archipelago obviously attracted the attention of various political and military powers. Yet nonetheless, the most profound vocation of Malta is its Christian vocation; in other words, the universal vocation of peace. The famous Maltese cross ... has never lost its authentic and perennial significance; it is the sign of love and reconciliation, and this is the true vocation of peoples who welcome and embrace the Christian message".
The Pope highlighted how Malta lies "at the centre of migration routes", something which "naturally brings problems; complex humanitarian, political and juridical problems, ... the solutions of which are not easy but must be sought with perseverance and tenacity, harmonising efforts at the international level. This should be done in all nations that have Christian values at the root of their Constitutional Charters and cultures".
The final event of the Pope's apostolic trip was his meeting with youth in the port of Valletta. "I reminded the young people present", he said, "of St. Paul's own youthful experience: an extraordinary and unique experience, yet one capable of speaking to new generations from all ages because of that radical transformation which followed his meeting with the risen Christ. Thus I looked to the young people of Malta as potential heirs of St. Paul's spiritual adventure, called like him to discover the beauty of the love of God given us in Jesus Christ; to embrace the mystery of His Cross; to be victors in trials and tribulations; not to be afraid of the 'storms' of life, not even the shipwrecks, because God's plan of love is greater even than storm and shipwreck".
Benedict XVI concluded by calling for "the intercession of the Apostle Paul, of St. Gorg Preca, priest and the first Maltese saint, and of the Virgin Mary, ... that the faithful of Malta and Gozo may always grow in peace and prosperity".
POPE THANKS PRIESTS FOR THEIR COMMITMENT TO PEOPLE OF GOD
VATICAN CITY, 21 APR 2010 (VIS) - At the end of his catechesis in today's general audience the Holy Father addressed greetings to various groups, among them pastors and priests of the diocese of Rome, accompanied by Cardinal Agostino Vallini, vicar general for Rome, and auxiliary bishops, who have recently returned from a pilgrimage to Ars, France, for the current Year for Priests.
"I thank you for your presence, a sign of affection and spiritual closeness", said the Pope. "I take this opportunity to express my respect and deep recognition to you and to priests who all over the world dedicate themselves with apostolic zeal to serving the people of God, thus bearing witness to Christ's charity. Following the example of St. John Mary Vianney, be patient and solicitous for the good of souls".
Benedict XVI also recalled how this Sunday, the fourth Sunday of Easter, will mark the Day of Prayer for Vocations. In this context he called upon the sick "to offer your sufferings for the burgeoning of many and holy vocations".
OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS
VATICAN CITY, 21 APR 2010 (VIS) - His Beatitude Cardinal Lubomyr Husar, major archbishop of Kyiv-Halyc, Ukraine, having obtained the consent of the Synod of Bishops of the Greek-Catholic Ukrainian Church which met in Lviv from 29 November to 5 December 2009, and having informed the Apostolic See in accordance with canon 85 para. 2 and 4 of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, promoted Bishop Jaroslav Pryriz C.SS.R. from the office of auxiliary of the eparchy of Sambir-Drohobych of the Ukrainians, to that of coadjutor of the same eparchy.
VATICAN CITY, 21 APR 2010 (VIS) - Yesterday, Tuesday 20 April, the programme of the Holy Father's apostolic trip to Turin, Italy, on 2 May, erroneously stated that Benedict XVI will depart from Fiumicino airport in Rome. He will, in fact, leave from Rome's Ciampino airport. We apologise for the error.
BRITAIN: FAMED BRITISH CONVERT ANTONY FLEW DIES AGE 87
Sydney Catholic.org report: Leading academics, philosophers and members of the Christian faith across the world continue to pay tribute to Antony Flew, the famed British atheist and thinker who discovered God at the end of his life.
The renowned rationalist philosopher died earlier this month at age 87 and continues to be remembered in obituaries and tributes world-wide.
Those paying tribute to him include Catholic Theology professors from the Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio, well known American rabbis such as Rabbi Brad Hirshfield from New York and leading philosphers from academia such as Dr Gary Habermas.
Describing Flew as one of the great intellectuals of his time, Rabbi Hirschfield lauded the Englishman's "intellectual generosity."
The son of a Methodist minister, Antony Flew spent most of his life denying the existence of God until just six years before his death when he dramatically changed his mind after studying research into genetics and DNA.
"The almost unbelievable complexity of the arrangements which are needed to produce life, show that intelligence must have been involved," he announced in 2004 and went on to make a video of his conversion called : "Has Science Discovered God."
Ironically, although modern day atheists such as Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens claim in the rational world of science there is no proof of God exists, it is from the world of science that Antony Flew in his final years discovered "empirical evidence" that God exists, which overturned beliefs he had held for more than 60 years.
Like Einstein before him, Flew found that God was the only possible answer when it came to increasingly complex discoveries from sub atomic particles to the human genome to the very origins of the Cosmos.
"How can a universe of mindless matter produce beings with intrinsic ends, self replication capabilities and ‘coded chemistry'?" he asked, giving this as the main reason for his discovery of God in his final decade.
Flew's conclusion that there was in fact a God in his 81st year came as a shock to his fellow atheists, particularly Dawkins and Hitchens two of the world's most outspoken proponents of atheism.
But Flew refused to back down even when some of his former followers decided his volte-face on God was the result of old age dementia and confusion rather than scholarly research and intellectual rigour. Flew's late life change of mind about God's existence was remarkable because of the huge volume of his writings which until then had embraced the atheist cause. Throughout most of his academic life he was adamant that one should presuppose atheism until there was empirical evidence to the contrary. Then in his final decade through as DNA and the human genome began to be understood along with the complexities of life, Flew found evidence which proved to him God exists and is the Creator of life. And from being a rationalist philosopher and non-believer for most of his life, one of the world's leading thinkers suddenly became a staunch believer.
"The most impressive arguments for God's existence are those that are supported by recent scientific discoveries," he said.
In his final years, Flew supported the idea of a God along the lines of the philosophy espoused by Greek philosopher, Aristotle who believed God had characteristics of both power and intelligence.
In 2007, Antony Flew published the manifesto of his conversion stating unequivocally in the title: "There is a God."
However until his death while convinced God did exist, he remained sceptical about an afterlife.
With an academic career spanning 60 years with stints at universities across Britain and the US, Antony Flew will be remembered not only as one of the outstanding philosophers of his time, but as the man who preached atheism but died a believer.
INDIA: FEMALE CHILDREN UNWANTED IN CERTAIN AREAS
UCAN) — The discovery of 15 fetuses in a garbage bin in Ahmedabad indicates the law’s failure to check female feticide, Church workers and others say.
“Although sex determination tests are illegal, they are still being carried out rampantly in Gujarat,” Jesuit Father Cedric Prakash told UCA News on April 20, one day after police found the fetuses in the western Indian state’s commercial capital.
The priest, who runs a human rights center in the city, says the discovery reflected society’s callousness toward female children.
Preliminary investigations revealed eight of the fetuses were females. Police are awaiting the results of autopsies on all the unborn babies. Investigators suspect the fetuses were aborted after sex determination tests found them to be female.
On April 19, Ahmedabad police arrested Jayanti Patel, a gynecologist who runs a maternity home in the city. A court, however, ordered his release on April 20.
The doctor was in the process of moving his clinic to another location and allegedly dumped the fetuses which were kept in glass jars.
“We are very sad,” Missionaries of Charity Sister Jeanvie, superior of an adoption center in the city, told UCA News. She slammed the sex determination tests as “misuse of technology” and branded abortion as “cold-blooded murder of babies.”
She said her center accepts abandoned babies and has a waiting list of 60 childless couples willing to adopt such children. However, “for the last three months, we have not received a single baby,” the nun added.
Sister Molly, another Missionaries of Charity nun managing a center for the terminally ill, condemned the abortions. “Those destroying children have no heart,” she added.
Joy Mathew, a Catholic lawyer, said killing females in the womb “is really very depressing” and “highly sinful.” Ilaben Pathak, a Hindu who heads the Ahmedabad Women’s Action Group, says the incident indicated the government’s slackness in monitoring feticide. “The officials know the clinics where illegal abortions are carried out but they lack the will to stop it,” she said.
Official statistics show a drop in Gujarat’s sex ratio from 934 females to 1,000 males in 1991, to 921 females to 1,000 males in 2001.
The national average is 933. Haryana, a northern state, has only 861 females to 1,000 males, the lowest in the country.
Social activists say female feticide is practiced mostly by Hindus who prefer male children, since only they can perform the last rites for their parents at funerals.
Another reason is the dowry for a daughter’s marriage. Bridegrooms in India demand huge amounts as a precondition for marriage.
ARGENTINA: 7, 000 GATHER TO UPHOLD FAMILY VALUES
CNA report: Nearly 7,000 in Argentina gathered Tuesday to protest a congressional committee's approval of a bill that would give same-sex couples the right to marry and adopt children.
Last Thursday, a congressional committee approved a measure that would give same-sex couples the right to marry and adopt children. For this reason, Congressional Representative Cynthia Hutton called on Argentinians to join the protests which took place outside the congressional building.
“We want every adopted child to have a father and a mother. (The protest) will be an act in support of the values that we defend for our country. There will be thousands and thousands of Argentinians who say 'no' to homosexual 'marriage' with adoption. Adopted children deserve to have a father and a mother,” Rep. Hotton said.
UGANDA: AFRICA NEEDS TO SEND MISSIONARIES TO OTHER COUNTRIES
All Africa report: It is Africa's turn to send missionaries, the Archbishop of Tororo Archdiocese, Denis Lote Kiwanuka, has said. Kiwanuka made the remarks on Saturday at Gangama Catholic church in Mbale district where Charles Okata was ordained priest in the missionary congregation of the Mill Hill Missionaries.
"Today there are hundreds of Africans who have joined traditional missionary institutes such as the Mill Hill, the Comboni Missionaries, the Jesuits, Consolata Fathers and the Holy Cross Missionaries. "The presence of missionaries adds quality to quantity. Each missionary institute has a gift unique to itself and this enriches a diocese with a variety of approaches to evangelisation," he said.
The archbishop urged Christians to promote peaceful co-existence and to fight corruption. He also said it is the duty of Christians to applyâ-‚ Christian principles in addressing the challenges of climate change like floods and landslides brought by improper disposal of garbage and industrial waste.
"Respecting creation is tantamount to thanking God who donated the physical creation to human beings for their use and enjoyment. People should act as stewards by preserving creation for future generations," he said.
The Africa Mill Hill Missionaries superior general, the Rev. Fr. Dermot Byrne, said Fr. Okata has been appointed to the Philippines. The ceremony was attended by Jinja diocese bishop Joseph Willigers, and several priests and nuns from Kenya and Uganda.
Okata, who hails from Namunsi village, is the fourth Ugandan to be ordained priest for the Mill Hill Missionary Society. The society was responsible for the establishment of the Roman Catholic Church in eastern Uganda.
CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY RECORDS FASTEST GROWTH
Cath News report: The Australian Catholic University is among eight new universities that have recorded the fastest growth in research publications, outpacing the sandstone universities, according to a new academic analysis. The ACU and Bond, Charles Darwin, Charles Sturt, Curtin, Sunshine Coast, the University of South Australia and Wollongong recorded more than 14 percent growth in papers in a year, according to the analysis by the University of Melbourne's Ross Williams in an article for Australian Universities Review, The Australian reports. The news report said this ups the competition from newer and technology-focused universities for $100 million in funding.
The national share of research papers attributable to the sandstone universities has fallen by almost 2 percent, he said.
Professor Williams said the pre-Dawkins universities still dominated Australian research, producing 82 percent of publications. "But at least as measured by research output there has been some convergence in the research performance of Australian universities," he said.
"[In] the five years to 2008, the pre-Dawkins universities increased their annual publications by about 40 percent, whereas the increase for the post-Dawkins universities was 65 per cent," Professor Williams said.
The analysis attracted the ire of Australian National University vice-chancellor Ian Chubb, after ANU and the University of Western Australia recorded less than 7 percent growth.
"Perverse funding incentives reward [universities] for publishing anything at all and have no regard for its value or its quality," Professor Chubb said.
DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH, ARCHBISHOP
Feast: April 21
Information: Feast Day: April 21
Born: 1033 at Aosta, Piedmont, Italy
Died: 21 April 1109 at Canterbury, England
Canonized: 1492 by Pope Alexander IV
Major Shrine: Canterbury Cathedral
If the Norman conquerors stripped the English nation of its liberty and many temporal advantages, it must be owned that by their velour they raised the reputation of its arms and deprived their own country of its greatest men, both in church and state, with whom they adorned this kingdom; of which this great doctor and his master Lanfranc are instances. St. Anselm was born of noble parents at Aoust, in Piedmont, about the year 1033. His pious mother took care to give him an early tincture of piety, and the impressions her instructions made upon him were as lasting as his life. At the age of fifteen, desirous of serving God in the monastic state, he petitioned an abbot to admit him into his house; but was refused out of apprehension of his father's displeasure. Neglecting, during the course of his studies, to cultivate the divine seed in his heart, he lost this inclination, and his mother being dead he fell into tepidity; and, without being sensible of the fatal tendency of vanity and pleasure, began to walk in the broad way of the world: so dangerous a thing is it to neglect the inspirations of grace! The saint, in his genuine meditations, expresses the deepest sentiments of compunction for these disorders, which his perfect spirit of penance exceedingly exaggerated to him, and which, like another David, he never ceased most bitterly to bewail to the end of his days. The ill-usage he met with from his father induced him, after his mother's death, to leave his own country, where he had made a successful beginning in his studies; and, after a diligent application to them for three years in Burgundy (then a distinct government) and in France, invited by the great fame of Lanfranc, Prior of Bec, in Normandy, under the Abbot Herluin, he went thither and became his scholar. On his father's death, Anselm advised with him about the state of life he was to embrace; as whether he should live upon his estate to employ its produce in alms, or should renounce it at once and embrace a monastic and eremitical life. Lanfranc, feeling an overbearing affection for so promising a disciple, durst not advise him in his vocation, fearing the bias of his own inclination; but he sent him to Maurillus, the holy Archbishop of Rouen. By him Anselm, after he had laid open to him his interior, was determined to enter the monastic state at Bec, and accordingly became a member of that house at the age of twenty-seven, in 1060, under the Abbot Herluin. Three years after, Lanfranc was made Abbot of St. Stephen's at Caen, and Anselm Prior of Bec. At this promotion several of the monks murmured on account of his youth; but, by patience and sweetness, he won the affections of them all, and by little condescensions at first, so worked upon an irregular young monk, called Osbern, as to perfect his conversion and make him one of the most fervent. He had indeed so great a knowledge of the hearts and passions of mete, that he seemed to read their interior in their actions; by which he discovered the sources of virtues and vices, and knew how to adapt to each proper advice and instructions; which were rendered most powerful by the mildness and charity with which he applied them. In regard to the management and tutoring of youth, he looked upon excessive severity as highly pernicious. Eadmer has recorded a conversation he had on this subject with a neighbouring abbot, who, by a conformity to our saint's practice and advice in this regard, experienced that success in his labours which he had till then aspired to in vain by harshness and severity.
St. Anselm applied himself diligently to the study of every part of theology, by the clear light of scripture and tradition. Whilst he was prior at Bec, he wrote his Monologium, so called because in this work he speaks alone, explaining the metaphysical proofs of the existence and nature of God. Also his Proslogium, or contemplation of God's attributes in which he addresses his discourse to God, or himself. The Meditations, commonly called the Manual of St. Austin, are chiefly extracted out of this book. It was censured by a neighboring monk, which occasioned the saint's Apology. These and other the like works, show the author to have excelled in metaphysics all the doctors of the church since St. Austin. He likewise wrote, whilst prior, On Truth, on Free-will, and On the Fall of the Devil, or, On the Origin of Evil; also his Grammarian, which is in reality a treatise on Dialectic, or the Art of Reasoning.
Anselm's reputation drew to Bec great numbers from all the neighbouring kingdoms. Herluin dying in 1078, he was chosen Abbot of Bec, being forty-five years old, of which he had been prior fifteen. The abbey of Bec being possessed at that time of some lands in England, this obliged the abbot to make his appearance there in person at certain times. This occasioned our saint's first journeys thither, which his tender regard for his old friend Lanfranc, at that time Archbishop of Canterbury, made the more agreeable. He was received with great honour and esteem by all ranks of people, both in church and state, and there was no one who did not think it a real misfortune if he had not been able to serve him in something or other. King William himself, whose title of Conqueror rendered him haughty and inaccessible to his subjects, was so affable to the good Abbot of Bec that he seemed to be another man in his presence. The saint, on his side, was all to all, by courtesy and charity, that he might find occasions of giving everyone some suitable instructions to promote their salvation; which were so much the more effectual as he communicated them, not as some do, with the dictatorial air of a master, but in a simple familiar manner, or by indirect though sensible examples. In the year 1092, Hugh, the great Earl of Chester, by three pressing messages, entreated Anselm to come again into England, to assist him, then dangerously sick, and to give his advice about the foundation of a monastery which that nobleman had undertaken at St. Wereburge's church at Chester. A report that he would be made archbishop of Canterbury, in the room of Lanfranc, deceased, made him stand off for some time; but he could not forsake his old friend in his distress, and at last came over. He found him recovered, but the affairs of his own abbey, and of that which the earl was erecting, detained him five months in England. The metropolitan see of Canterbury had been vacant ever since the death of Lanfranc in 1089. The sacrilegious and tyrannical king, William Rufus, who succeeded his father in 1087, by an injustice unknown till his time, usurped the revenues of vacant benefices, and deferred his permission, or
Anselm had not been long in possession of the see of Canterbury when the king, intending to wrest the duchy of Normandy out of the hands of his brother Robert, made large demands on his subjects for supplies. On this occasion, not content with the five hundred pounds (a very large sum in those days) offered him by the archbishop, the king insisted, at the instigation of some of his courtiers, on a thousand, for his nomination to the archbishopric, which Anselm constantly refused to pay; pressing him also to fill vacant abbeys and to consent that bishops should hold councils as formerly, and be allowed by canons to repress crimes and abuses, which were multiplied and passed into custom for want of such a remedy, especially incestuous marriages and other abominable debaucheries. The king was extremely provoked, and declared no one should extort from him his abbeys any more than his crown. And from that day he sought to deprive Anselm of his see. William, Bishop of Durham, and the other prelates, acquiesced readily in the king's orders, by which he forbade them to obey him as their primate, or treat him as archbishop, alleging for reason that he obeyed Pope Urban during the schism, whom the English nation had not acknowledged. The king, having brought over most of the bishops to his measures, applied to the temporal nobility, and bid them disclaim the archbishop; but they resolutely answered that since he was their archbishop and had a right to superintend the affairs of religion, it was not in their power to disengage themselves from his authority, especially as there was no crime or misdemeanour proved against him. King William then, by his ambassador, acknowledged Urban for true pope, and promised him a yearly pension from England if he would depose Anselm; but the legate whom his holiness sent told that king that it was what could not be done. St. Anselm wrote to the pope to thank him for the pall he had sent him by that legate, complaining of the affliction in which he lived under a burden too heavy for him to bear, and regretting the tranquillity of his solitude which he had lost. Finding the king always seeking occasions to oppress his church unless he fed him with its treasures, which he regarded as the patrimony of the poor (though he readily furnished his contingent in money and troops to his expeditions and to all public burdens), the holy prelate earnestly desired to leave England, that he might apply in person to the pope for his counsel and assistance. The king refused him twice: and on his applying to him a third time, he assured the saint that, if he left that kingdom, he would seize upon the whole revenue of the see of Canterbury, and that he should never more be acknowledged metropolitan. But the saint, being persuaded he could not in conscience abide any longer in the realm to be a witness of the oppression of the church, and not have it in his power to remedy it, set out from Canterbury in October 1097, in the habit of a pilgrim; took shipping at Dover and landed at Witsan, having with him two monks, Eadmer, who wrote his life, and Baldwin. He made some stay at Cluni with St. Hugh the abbot, and at Lyons with the good Archbishop Hugh. It not being safe travelling any further towards Rome at that time on account of the antipope's party lying in the way, and Anselm falling sick soon after, this made it necessary for him to stay longer at Lyons than he had designed. However, he left that city the March following, in 1098, on the pope's invitation, and was honourably received by him. His holiness having heard his cause, assured him of his protection, and wrote to the king of England for his re-establishment in his rights and possessions. Anselm also wrote to the king at the same time; and, after ten days' stay in the pope's palace, retired to the monastery of St. Saviour, in Calabria, the air of Rome not agreeing with his health. Here he finished his work, entitled Why God was made Man, in two books, showing, against infidels, the wisdom, justice, and expediency of the mystery of the incarnation for man's redemption. He had begun this work in England, where he also wrote his book, On the Faith of the Trinity and Incarnation, dedicated to Pope Urban II, in which he refuted Roscelin, the master, Peter Abailard, who maintained an erroneous opinion in regard to the Trinity. Anselm, charmed with the sweets of his retirement, and despairing of doing any good at Canterbury, hearing by new instances that the king was still governed by his passions, in open defiance to justice and religion, earnestly entreated the pope, whom he met at Aversa, to discharge him of his bishopric; believing he might be more serviceable to the world in a private station. The pope would by no means consent, but charged him upon his obedience not to quit his station: adding, that it was not the part of a man of piety and courage to be frightened from his post purely by the dint of browbeating and threats, that being all the harm he had hitherto received. Anselm replied, that he was not afraid of suffering, or even losing his life in the cause of God; but that he saw there was nothing to be done in a country where justice was so overruled as it was in England. However, Anselm submitted and in the mean time returned to his retirement, which was a cell called Slavia, situated on a mountain, depending on the monastery of St. Saviour. That he might live in the merit of obedience, he prevailed with the pope to appoint the monk Eadmer, his inseparable companion, to be his superior, nor did he do the least thing without his leave.
The pope having called a council, which was to meet at Bari, in October 1098, in order to effect a reconciliation of the Greeks with the Catholic Church, ordered the saint to be present at it. It consisted of one hundred and twenty-three bishops. The Greeks having proposed the question about the procession of the Holy Ghost, whether this was from the Father only, or from the Father and the Son; the disputation being protracted, the pope called aloud for Anselm, saying, "Anselm, our father and our master, where are you?" And causing him to sit next to him, told him that the present occasion required his learning and elocution to defend the church against her enemies, and that he thought God had brought him thither for that purpose. Anselm spoke to the point with so much learning, judgment, and penetration that he silenced the Greeks and gave such a general satisfaction that all present joined in pronouncing Anathema against those that should afterwards deny the procession of the Holy Ghost from both the Father and the Son. This affair being at an end, the proceedings of the King of England fell next under debate. And on this occasion his simony, his oppressions of the church, his persecution of Anselm, and his incorrigibleness, after frequent admonitions, were so strongly represented that the pope, at the instance of the council, was just going to pronounce him excommunicated. Anselm had hitherto sat silent, but at this he rose up, and casting himself on his knees before the pope, entreated him to stop the censure. And now the council, who had admired our saint for his parts and learning, were further charmed with him on account of his humane and Christian dispositions in behalf of one that had used him so roughly. The saint's petition in behalf of his sovereign was granted; and on the council breaking up, the pope and Anselm returned to Rome. The pope, however, sent to the king a threat of excommunication, to be issued in a council to be shortly after held at Rome, unless he made satisfaction: but the king, by his ambassador, obtained a long delay. Anselm stayed some time at Rome with the pope, who always placed him next in rank to himself. All persons, even the schismatics, loved and honored him; and he assisted with distinction at the council of Rome, held after Easter, in 1099. Immediately after the Roman council he returned to Lyons, where he was entertained by the archbishop Hugh, with all the cordiality and regard imaginable; but saw no hopes of recovering his see so long as king William lived. Here he wrote his book, On the Conception of the Virgin, and On Original Sin resolving many questions relating to that sin. The archbishop of Lyons gave him in all functions the precedence, and all thought themselves happy who could receive any sacrament from his hands. Upon the death of Urban II, he wrote an account of his case to his successor, Pascal II. King William Rufus being snatched away by sudden death, without the sacraments, on the 2nd of August 1100, St. Anselm, who was then in the abbey of Chaize-Dieu, in Auvergne, lamented bitterly his unhappy end and made haste to England, whither he was invited by King Henry I. He landed at Dover on the 23rd of September and was received with great joy and extraordinary respect. And having in a few days recovered the fatigue of his journey, went to wait on the king, who received him very graciously. But this harmony was of no long continuance. The new king required of Anselm to be reinvested by him, and do the customary homage of his predecessors for his see; but the saint absolutely refused to comply and made a report on the proceedings of the late synod at Rome, in which the laity that gave investitures for abbeys or cathedrals were excommunicated; and those that received such investures were put under the same censure. But this not satisfying the king, it was agreed between them to consult the pope upon the subject. The court in the meantime was very much alarmed at the preparations making by the king's elder brother, Robert, Duke of Normandy, who, being returned from the holy war in Palestine, claimed the crown of England and threatened to invade the land. The nobles, though they had sworn allegiance to Henry, were ready to join him; and on his landing with a formidable army at Portsmouth, several declared for the duke. The king being in great danger of losing his crown, was very liberal in promises to Anselm on this occasion; assuring him that he would henceforward leave the business of religion wholly to him, and be always governed by the advice and orders of the apostolic see. Anselm omitted nothing on his side to prevent a revolt from the king. Not content with sending his quota of armed men, he strongly represented to the disaffected nobles the heinousness of their crime of perjury; and that they ought rather lose their lives than break through their oaths and fail in their sworn allegiance to their prince. He also published an excommunication against Robert, as an invader, who thereupon came to an accommodation with Henry and left England. And thus, as Eadmer relates, the archbishop, strengthening the king's party, kept the crown upon his head. Amidst his troubles and public distractions, he retired often in the day to his devotions, and watched long in them in the night. At his meals, and at all times, he conversed interiorly in heaven. One day, as he was riding to his manor of Herse, a hare, pursued by the dogs, ran under his horse for refuge; at which the saint stopped and the hounds stood at bay. The hunters laughed, but the saint said, weeping, "This hare puts me in mind of a poor sinner just upon the point of departing this life, surrounded with devils waiting to carry away their prey." The hare going off, he forbade her to be pursued and was obeyed, not a hound stirring after her. In like manner every object served to raise his mind to God, with whom he always conversed in his heart, and, in the midst of noise and tumult, he enjoyed the tranquillity of holy contemplation—so strongly was his soul sequestered from, and raised above, the world.
King Henry, though so much indebted to Anselm, still persisted in his claim of the right of giving the investitures of benefices. Anselm, in 1102, held a national council in St. Peter's church at Westminster, in which, among other things, it was forbid to sell men like cattle, which had till then been practiced in England; and many canons relating to discipline were drawn up. He persisted to refuse to ordain bishops, named by the king, without a canonical election. The contest became every day more serious. At last the king and nobles persuaded Anselm to go in person and consult the pope about the matter: the king also sent a deputy to his holiness. The saint embarked on the 27th of April in 1103. Pope Pascal II condemned the king's pretensions to the investitures and excommunicated those who should receive church dignities from him. St. Anselm being advanced on his return to England as far as Lyons, received there an intimation of an order from King Henry, forbidding him to proceed on his journey home unless he would conform to his will. He therefore remained at Lyons, where he was much honoured by his old friend the Archbishop Hugh. From thence he retired to his abbey of Bec, where he received from the pope a commission to judge the cause of the Archbishop of Rouen, accused of several crimes. He was also allowed to receive into communion such as had accepted investitures from the crown, which, though still disallowed of, the bishops and abbots were so far dispensed with as to do homage for their temporalities. The king was so pleased with this condescension of the pope that he sent immediately to Bec to invite St. Anselm home in the most obliging manner, but a grievous sickness detained him. The king coming over into Normandy in 1106, articles of agreement were drawn up between him and the arch bishop at Bec, pursuant to the letter St. Anselm had received from Rome a few months before; and the pope very readily confirmed the agreement. In this expedition Henry defeated his brother Robert, and sent him prisoner into England, where he died. St. Anselm hereupon returned to England in 1106, and was received by the Queen Maud, who came to meet him, and by the whole kingdom of England, as it were in triumph.
The last years of his life, his health was entirely broken. Having for six months laboured under an hectic decay, with an entire loss of appetite, under which disorder he would be carried every day to assist at holy mass, he happily expired, laid on sackcloth and ashes, at Canterbury, on the 21st of April 1109, in the sixteenth year of his episcopal dignity, and of his age the seventy-sixth. He was buried in his cathedral. By a decree of Clement XI, in 1720 he is honoured among the doctors of the church. We have authentic accounts of many miracles wrought by this saint in the histories of Eadmer and others. St. Anselm had a most lively faith of all the mysteries and great truths of our holy religion; and by the purity of his heart, and an interior divine light, he discovered great secrets in the holy scriptures, and had a wonderful talent in explaining difficulties which occur in them. His hope for heavenly things gave him a wonderful contempt and disgust of the vanities of the world, and he could truly say with the apostle, he was crucified to the world, and all its desires. By an habitual mortification of his appetite in eating and drinking he seemed to have lost all relish in the nourishment which he took if is fortitude was such, that no human respects, or other considerations, could ever turn him out of the way of justice and truth; and his charity for his neighbor seemed confined by no bounds: his words, his writings, his whole life breathed forth this heavenly fire. He seemed to live, says his faithful disciple and historian, not for himself, but for others; or rather so much the more for himself by how much the more profitable his life was to his neighbors, and faithful to his God. The divine love and law were the continual subjects of his meditations day and night. He had a singular devotion to the passion of our Lord, and to his Virgin mother. Her image at Bec, before which, at her altar, he daily made long prayers while he lived in that monastery, is religiously kept in the new sumptuous church. His horror of the least sin is not to be expressed. In his Proslogium, meditations, and other ascetic works, the most heroic and inflamed sentiments of all these virtues, especially of compunction, fear of the divine judgments, and charity, are expressed in that language of the heart which is peculiar to the saints.
John 6: 35 - 40
35 Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life; he who comes to me shall not hunger, and he who believes in me shall never thirst.
36 But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe.
37 All that the Father gives me will come to me; and him who comes to me I will not cast out.
38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me;
39 and this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up at the last day.
40 For this is the will of my Father, that every one who sees the Son and believes in him should have eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day."