Saturday, May 22, 2010




Radio Vaticana report: Preserve and strengthen the Christian roots of Europe was Pope Benedict XVI’s call to delegations from Bulgaria and Macedonia.

The Pope received the Prime Minister of Bulgaria and then the speaker of parliament of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, this morning for the Solemnity of Saints Cyril and Methodius, patrons and evangelists of the Slav peoples of Europe.
In his address to the Delegation from Bulgaria Pope Benedict emphasized the relevance of the teachings of Holy Brothers of Thessaloniki for society today. Bulgaria, he said, "is called to be faithful and preserve the precious heritage that unites all those, both Orthodox and Catholics, who profess the same faith":
He said "As Christians, we must preserve and strengthen the intrinsic link between the Gospel and our respective cultural identities, as disciples of the Lord, in mutual respect of different church traditions, we are called to witness to our common faith in Jesus in who we achieve salvation. "
The Pope noted it is important "not to undermine what is authentic in different cultural traditions." Instead, he stressed, "because faith in Jesus shows us the splendour of Truth, it gives man the capacity to recognize true good."
The Pope then spoke about the extraordinary work of evangelization of Saints Cyril and Methodius
"Through tireless work of evangelization, implemented with true apostolic zeal, Saints Cyril and Methodius providentially rooted Christianity in the soul of the Bulgarian people, so that it is grounded in gospel values, which always reinforce the identity and enrich the culture of a nation. "
Speaking to the delegation from Macedonia, the Pope focused on the fruit of Saints Cyril and Methodius who always trusted in God:  "They knew suffering, deprivation and hostility, but endured all with invincible hope and unwavering faith in God." "In the trials and joys - the Pope said - they always felt God’s presence"
Finally, looking forward to the Feast of Pentecost on Sunday he concluded: "According to the outpouring of the many gifts of the Holy Spirit, the more we love and we give ourselves to others, the more the Spirit can come to the aid of our weakness, showing us new ways forward. "


Radio Vaticana report: Just one day after launching his call to the lay Catholics of the world to be more active in the public square, on Saturday Pope Benedict XVI met with one of the most industrious groups of lay believers, the Centesimus Annus Pro-Pontifice (CAPP) Foundation.

CAPP is a lay-led, pontifical organization founded by Pope John Paul II as a vehicle for lay education and evangelization of the social doctrine of the Church as contained in the encyclical, "Centesimus Annus." The foundation’s main goal is to develop a strong, committed group of Catholic lay men and women, rich in faith and theologically prepared to be present in public life to explain, develop and implement the Churches Social Teaching.
No better audience, therefore, for the Pope’s latest challenge, the creation of a credible voice in political life to build common good and give direction to a world that is floundering in the midst of a deep moral, cultural and financial crisis. .
“Today more than ever,- he told them -the human family can grow as a free society of free peoples when globalization is driven by solidarity and the common good, and by social justice, which find a precious source in the message of Christ and the Church”
The Papal discourse came only one day after the US Senate’s passing of its version of a reform package for banking and financial institutions and on the heels of renewed fears of recession in the Eurozone if Europe fails to tackle its debts.
“The crisis and difficulties that international relations, states, s╬┐cieties and the economy are currently suffering – he said - are in fact largely due to lack of trust and adequate creative and dynamic solidarity for the common good”.
Pointing to the encyclical Caritas in Veritate, Pope Benedict XVI said “one of the greatest risks in today's world is that "the de facto interdependence of people and nations is not matched by ethical interaction”, which he added, “appears to be too weak among those in government who, in the face of renewed episodes of irresponsible speculation against weaker countries, do not react with appropriate decisions about the government of finance.
“Politics should have primacy on finance and ethics should guide all activities”, the Pope concluded, because “the integral development of peoples, the objective of universal common good, is not realised by the spread of entrepreneurship cognitive and material goods alone” it is above all realised those good decisions that are possible when there is the notion of an integral human good”.
“In this, religions are crucial, especially when teaching fraternity and peace”. “When religion is excluded from the public sphere or when on the other hand, religious fundamentalism prevails, the life of society is impoverished and political motivations can become overbearing and aggressive face”.

All Africa report: The new ambassador of the Vatican to Angola, Archbishop Novatus Rugambwa, arrived in Luanda today to replace dom Angelo Becciu, who was posted in Cuba last September at the end of his mission in Angola.

Appointed legate of Pope Benedictus XVI last February 20, monsignor Rugambwa was born in Buboka (Tanzania) in October 8, 1957 and was ordained priest in July 1986.
A post graduate in Canon Law, he joined the diplomatic service of the Holy See in July 1991, and represented the Vatican in Panama, DRCongo, Pakistan, New Zealand and Indonesia.
Dom Novatus Rugambwa speaks swahili, french, spanish, german and portuguese.


Asia News report: Plane was carrying 163 passengers and 6 crew members. Eight people may have survived. Card Gracias, president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India, sends a message of condolences.

Mumbai (AsiaNews) – An Air India Express plane, with 163 passengers and six crew members on board, crashed on landing at Mangalore airport, in the state of Karnataka (south-west India). The aircraft was flying in from Dubai,
At present, there is no official information about survivors. Rohit Katiyar, an airport security official, said, “We fear all of them have been killed.” However, some local TV stations are saying that some people might have been pulled alive from the wreckage.
It is unclear whether the plane crashed before landing or after steering off the runaway.
Mangalore International Airport sits on top of a hill, near the town of Bajpe. Some experts consider it difficult for landing.
In the past ten years, the overall safety record of India’s airline industry has generally been good.
Card Oswald Gracias, archbishop of Mumbai and president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India, issued a message of condolences via AsiaNews:
“I received with great sadness the news of this morning’s air tragedy and prayed at my Eucharistic celebration for the victims and their families.
The Indian Church grieves over this great loss of life in the air tragedy at Mangalore. We are aware that words cannot take away the grief, sorrow and pain, but we offer our prayers and solidarity to the families.
The Indian Church prays that those who have survived this ordeal may soon recover. We extend all support—emotional, spiritual and financial—to the survivors to enable them to cope and recover, and to help them in all ways possible
The Catholic Church in India expresses heartfelt condolences and solidarity to the families of the victims, and prays for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit of Consolation on these families. May they be consoled by the Holy Spirit, in their sufferings and pain over the loss of their loved ones.
The Indian Church prays for the eternal repose of the dead and implores the Almighty and merciful God for his gifts of comfort and strength on those who mourn the loss of their loved ones.”,-Church-sends-condolences-18479.html


Agenzia Fides report – The "World Day of Prayer for the Church in China" was instituted by Pope Benedict XVI in his Letter to Chinese Catholics on May 27, 2007, Solemnity of Pentecost, with these words: "Dear Pastors and all the faithful, the date 24 May could in the future become an occasion for the Catholics of the whole world to be united in prayer with the Church which is in China. This day is dedicated to the liturgical memorial of Our Lady, Help of Christians, who is venerated with great devotion at the Marian Shrine of Sheshan in Shanghai.”

In Italy, the main celebration of the first Day of Prayer was held May 24, 2008, in the Basilica of Saint Mary Major, presided by Cardinal Ivan Dias, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples. Last year, 2009, the Chinese Catholic community in Italy celebrated the Day in Naples, with a celebration presided by the Archbishop, Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe. This year, all the Chinese Catholic communities came together in the Diocese of Macerata on May 8 and 9 to commemorate the 4th centenary of the death of Jesuit missionary Father Matteo Ricci and to pray for the Church in China. According to a press release from the Chinese Catholic Community in Rome and from the Migrants Office of the Italian Bishops' Conference, the Day of Prayer on May 24 will be held in every Chinese community in their own diocese. For the Diocese of Rome, there will be a celebration on Sunday, May 23 at 3:30 in the church of the Chinese Catholic community of San Bernardino of Siena (via Panisperna 256).

Catholic Online report: " (W)e do believe we have a moral responsibility to keep porn off the iPhone...You know, there's a porn store for Android....You can download nothing but porn. You can download porn, your kids can download porn. That's a place we don't want to go - so we're not going to go there". (Steve Jobs)

'Thankfully for consumers, there is one smartphone that didn't want to do business with this sleazy industry. Kudos to Steve Jobs and Apple.' (Joshua Mercer) This editor would join with Joshua and say, "Amen."
WASHINGTON, DC (Catholic Online) - In a response to a heated email from Gawker Media's Ryan Tate, Steve Jobs remained resolute on his "no porn" policy for iPhones and iPads.
Tate's Valleywag Column on stated, "I didn't plan to pick a fight with Steve Jobs last night. It just sort of happened: An iPad advertisement ticked me off; I sent the Apple CEO an angry email; he told me about 'freedom from porn.'"
Tate asked him what Bob Dylan, if he was 20, would think about his company. Would he think that the iPad really has anything to do with "revolution?"
Jobs replied, "Yep, freedom from programs that steal your private data. Freedom from programs that trash your battery. Freedom from porn. Yep, freedom. The times they are a changin', and some traditional PC folks feel like their world is slipping away."
The writer did confess, "I didn't identify myself as a writer for Gawker in my initial email, sent from my email address. I eventually made my affiliation clear, and Jobs didn't seem bothered."
This strategy may have been come from the fact that Gawker media was the company that paid for a stolen new generation iPhone left in a bar and taken by a patron. The issue is still being investigated.
The co-founder of Apple computer has been under fire from a number of tech writers over a statement he made during a question-and-answer session in April.
"gdgt" co-founder Ryan Block asked "Are there any plans to allow unsigned applications on the iPhone?" Jobs restated Apple's commitment that no unsigned applications (applications which are not approved by Apple) would be able to be downloaded by their devices.
"You know, there's a porn store for Android." Jobs said. "You can download nothing but porn. You can download porn, your kids can download porn. That's a place we don't want to go - so we're not going to go there.""Wired" also ran a story in April critical of Apple's narrow view of what types of applications they would allow, particularly pointing out the rejection of an application from editorial cartoonist and Pulitzer Prize winner Michael Fiore, who was told that "lampooning public figures violated [Apple's] terms of service." Wired went on to state that the company was going to "purge its App Store of content that included nudity, a retroactive ban that included apps from respected German publications such as Bild and Der Spiegel."
TechCrunch has been following this issue closely and posted an email from a frustrated user who was upset about decision, stating that "Apple's role isn't moral police."
In his response to the user, Jobs said, "Fiore's app will be in the store shortly. That was a mistake. However, we do believe we have a moral responsibility to keep porn off the iPhone. Folks who want porn can buy an Android phone."
Many critics of Apple's decision feel that the content held on any device should be determined by the owner. If the owner wants to download immoral material, that's his business.
On, Joshua Mercer responded by saying, "This is so atypical of most businessmen. Profit is usually the only consideration. Hotel companies, for example, love the profit that comes from selling adult movies. They hide behind language like: "In-room movies are a revenue stream. This is a business matter."
"Thankfully for consumers, there is one smartphone that didn't want to do business with this sleazy industry. Kudos to Steve Jobs and Apple." This editor would join with Joshua and say, "Amen."


Cath News report: The passage of the NSW Relationships Register Bill is "deeply troubling" and undermines marriage and discourages permanent commitment, said the director of the Sydney Archdiocese Life, Marriage and Family Centre.

"It also undermines marriage by implying that other kinds of relationships, such as de facto and homosexual relationships, are essentially equivalent to marriage and should be encouraged and promoted by the state," said the centre's director Chris Meney, according to The Catholic Weekly.
"In a free society people can elect to enter whatever relationships they so choose, but governments have an important obligation to support and encourage marriage.
"This is because marriage is unique and distinctly different from all other forms of relationships. Marriage is exclusive, for life, and oriented towards having children.
"Marriage is very protective of the best interests of children and essential for the good of our society."
Last week NSW Parliament passed the Relationships Register Bill, which aims (a) to provide for the legal recognition of relationships of couples, regardless of sex, by registration of the relationships, and (b) to recognise registered relationships, and interstate registered relationships, as de facto partnerships for the purposes of State legislation.


St. Rita of Cascia

Feast: May 22
Information: Feast Day: May 22
Born: 1381, Roccaporena, Perugia, Umbria, Italy
Died: May 22, 1457, Cascia, Perugia, Umbria, Italy

Canonized: May 24, 1900, Rome by Pope Leo XIII

Patron of: Lost and impossible causes, sickness, wounds, marital problems, abuse, mothers
If St. Rita belongs to that wonderful band of elect who were holy from their cradles, it must be said that she required every available help that sanctity gives, to have enabled her to endure the trials and difficulties with which most of her life was filled! She was the daughter of parents, both nearing middle age at the time of her birth, and the author of the Latin memoir of the Saint says that shortly after this event (1386), a swarm of bees was seen to come and go several times to and from the cradle a portent which was taken as indicating that the career of the child was to be marked by industry, virtue and devotion. The father and mother of Rita were themselves very pious, and from their laudable habit of composing the quarrels and differences among their neighbours, they were known as the "Peacemakers of Jesus Christ." Little Rita as she grew up, seems to have acquired a great deal of this spirit of the supernatural, for she showed little if any inclination for games, seeking her recreation chiefly in prayer and visits to sacred shrines-an exercise, by the way, which-granted the proper disposition-brings with it a wealth of real enjoyment and satisfaction quite wanting to other arid more secular amusements. This being so, it is not surprising to learn that Rita, as she neared womanhood, felt that her vocation lay in the convent rather than in that of domestic life. We are not aware of the circumstances that led her parents to oppose this apparently obvious course, but oppose it they did, and Rita submitted, even so far as to please them by marrying a man whom all accounts describe as exceedingly bad-tempered and something worse! It is the teaching of the Church that the grace of the Holy Sacrament of Matrimony, if corresponded with by a good life, works miracles, almost, in the way of establishing and perpetuating conjugal happiness. Acerbities of temper, temperamental differences, and all the other difficulties arising out of the necessary variations of human nature, are, under God's influence, toned down and adjusted, provided always Holy Mass, prayer and the sacraments are not forgotten—for "wheresoever two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them." So Rita tamed her rough spouse, and for two-and-twenty years lived harmoniously (concorditer) with a husband who, like most quarrelsome individuals in the days when sword and stiletto ever sharp, hung from every Italian gentleman's belt, perished in a feud. Such a death in the Italy of the Decamerone and the Republics, and, indeed, till well into our own time, usually meant a prolonged vendetta, and, of course, the two sons of the dead man at once took up the quarrel. Meantime, poor Rita was in despair, and finding her expostulations useless to prevent further effusion of blood, she had recourse to prayer, earnestly beseeching God to take her boys from this world rather than permit them to live on stained by homicide. The mother's prayer was heard, and the two youths shortly afterwards died edifying deaths, forgiving their father's slayers and resigned to God.
The way was now clear for our Saint to satisfy her long yearning for a conventual life. After due consideration, she applied to be "accepted" by the Augustinian nuns at Cascia, but was informed that the custom was only for women who had never been married, to be received as postulants. The time was to come when not only widows were to enter religious orders of their own sex as a matter of course, but even occasionally to found them, as in the case of St. Jane Francis de Chantal and the Nuns of the Visitation. Again did Rita have recourse to prayer, and it is related that the night following her second great "storming of Heaven," St. John the Baptist, to whom she had a great devotion, appeared to her, accompanied by St. Augustine and St. Nicholas of Tolentino, and these three Saints conducted her to the convent, where the Superiors who had been similarly warned, received her with great kindness. The new postulant entered upon her life in religion with characteristic zeal and thoroughness. She disposed of her family property as alms to the poor, and in addition to the ordinary mortifications prescribed or permitted by the rule, she added others of great severity, wearing a hair shirt, fasting rigorously on bread and water and taking the discipline at intervals. The Passion of Our Lord was her constant meditation, and while recalling the manifold sufferings of the Man of Sorrows, she often seemed to be carried away by mingled grief and devotion.
In the midst of such wonderful progress on the road to perfection, this pattern to the community was afflicted by God after the following mysterious manner. She was meditating one day on the Passion before the crucifix, when she apparently, accidentally, wounded her forehead by striking it against some of the no doubt very realistic thorns in Our Lord's crown. The injury caused by the hurt developed into a serious ulcer, one most painful and unsightly, so unsightly, in fact, that for many years Sister Rita had to make her devotions alone! She accepted this great trial in the light of an additional penance sent her by God, and it was about this time that many spiritual and temporal favours are said to have been granted to various persons as the direct result of the prayers of this wonderful religious, the fame of whose sanctity had already extended far beyond the convent walls. The extraordinary fact, too, that her garden—which, in common with the rest of the nuns, she had allotted to her—produced beautiful roses and ripe figs in the depths of an abnormally severe winter, was taken as an additional sign that the unceasing prayers and heroic virtues of Sister Rita were blessed beyond measure, even in this world. The last years of the Saint were marked by a most painful and lingering illness—cancer doubtless—which as in the case of all her other seeming misfortunes she employed as another means of forwarding her greater sanctification. At the approach of death, she received with wonderful fervour the last rites of the Church, and then, as it is piously believed, at the call of Our Lady, she breathed forth her spotless soul to God on 20th May, 1456.1
The sacred remains long after death yielded a most sweet and refreshing odour, and many miracles have been recorded as the fruit of her powerful intercession. The cultus of the wonderful nun of Cascia spread far and wide, notably in Spain, where she has since been known as "La Santa de los impossibiles!" She was Beatified by Clement XII, though as far back as 1637, a Mass and office were granted in her honour by Urban VIII. Finally, on 24th May, 1900, Pope Leo XIII enrolled her name among the Saints-the Saints it may be added, whose virtues shone as stars both in the world and in the cloister.


:John 21: 20 - 25

20 Peter turned and saw following them the disciple whom Jesus loved, who had lain close to his breast at the supper and had said, "Lord, who is it that is going to betray you?"

21 When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, "Lord, what about this man?"

22 Jesus said to him, "If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? Follow me!"

23 The saying spread abroad among the brethren that this disciple was not to die; yet Jesus did not say to him that he was not to die, but, "If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you?"

24 This is the disciple who is bearing witness to these things, and who has written these things; and we know that his testimony is true.

25 But there are also many other things which Jesus did; were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.
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