Wednesday, May 19, 2010





VATICAN CITY, 18 MAY 2010 (VIS REPORT) - The twenty-fourth plenary assembly of the Pontifical Council for the Laity will take place in Rome from 20 to 22 May on the theme: "Witnesses to Christ in the political community".
A communique on the event explains how "Benedict XVI has, on various occasions, highlighted the pressing need for a renewed commitment of Catholics in political life".
The plenary will be inaugurated by Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko, president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, and is scheduled to include three lectures: Lorenzo Ornaghi, rector of the Sacred Heart Catholic University in Milan, Italy, will speak on "politics and democracy today: 'status quaestionis'"; Cardinal Camillo Ruini, president of the "Cultural Project" of the Italian Episcopal Conference, will examine the topic of "Church and political community: certain vital points"; finally Archbishop Rino Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Academy for Life, will speak on "the responsibility of the lay faithful in political life".
The assembly will also include two reports, one by Andrea Riccardi, founder of the St. Egidio Community, on "what the great Christian figures in the history of politics have to say to us today"; and the second by Guzman Carriquiry, under secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, who will discuss "criteria and methods for the formation of the lay faithful in politics".
The participants will be received in audience by the Pope on Friday 21 May.
On the afternoon of Saturday 22 May, Bishop Joseph Clemens, secretary of the pontifical council, will consider the dicastery's achievements and explain its programmes for the future.

VATICAN CITY, 18 MAY 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father:- Appointed Fr. Kieran O'Reilly S.M.A., superior general of the Society of African Missions, as bishop of Killaloe (area 4,523, population 133,201, Catholics 122,746, priests 132, religious 125), Ireland. The bishop-elect was born in Cork, Ireland in 1952 and ordained a priest in 1978. He succeeds Bishop William Walsh, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.
- Appointed Msgr. Salvador Cristau Coll, vicar general of the diocese of Terrassa, Spain, as auxiliary of the same diocese (area 1,197, population 1,241,332, Catholics 1,218,420, priests 186, permanent deacons 7, religious 671). The bishop-elect was born in Barcelona, Spain in 1950 and ordained a priest in 1980.


Idependent Catholic News report: The Pope's ambassador to Britain, Archbishop Faustino Sainz Muñoz, suffered a mild stroke yesterday. Most Rev Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster said today: “I am very sorry to inform you that the Apostolic Nuncio, His Excellency the Most Reverend Faustino Sainz Muñoz, has suffered a stroke and is at present receiving medical care in hospital. Please do keep him in your prayers.”

Cardinal Keith O'Brien has sent his best wishes to Archbishop Sainz Muñoz. Cardinal O’Brien said: "I have advised the members of our Conference letting them know of the Nuncio's illness and also asking for their prayers."
The Cardinal added: "The Nuncio has been a great friend to us all here in Scotland, we have always welcomed his presence among us, most recently at the Mass in Glasgow on 21 March 2010 to mark the 5th anniversary of the Election of Pope Benedict XVI. On behalf of the Catholics of Scotland, I offer him the promise of our prayers for a steady recovery."John Paul II appointed Archbishop Faustino Sainz Muñoz, 67, as apostolic nuncio to Great Britain.
Archbishop Faustino, 72, was born in Almaden, Spain. He was ordained a priest in December 1964 and has held a number of posts in the diplomatic service of the Holy See since 1970. He was appointed Papal Nuncio to Britian in 2004, replacing Archbishop Pablo Puente, who retired in October, 2003.

USA: BISHOP: ANNOUNCED THAT NUN EXCOMMUNICATED HERSELF report- The Bishop of Phoenix has announced that a Catholic nun and administrator of St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix has automatically excommunicated herself by approving an abortion on a woman who was 11-weeks pregnant, and whose life hospital officials allege they were trying to save.
Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted said the excommunications apply to all involved, and lambasted the hospital's defense of their decision by comparing the ill woman's unborn child to a disease that needed to be removed.
The Arizona Republic reports that in late 2009, Sister Margaret McBride, then vice president of mission integration at St. Joseph's, joined the hospital's ethics committee in determining that doctors and the hospital would be morally justified in performing a direct abortion in the first trimester, because they felt that the mother's life was at risk.
The woman, whose identity is anonymous, was reportedly seriously ill with pulmonary hypertension.
The hospital has two directives relating to abortion, as reported by the Republic. The first says that physicians cannot perform direct abortions under any circumstances, including for such reasons as to save the life of the mother.
A second directive adds, however, that "operations, treatments and medications that have as their direct purpose the cure of a proportionately serious pathological condition of a pregnant woman are permitted ... even if they will result in the death of the unborn child." This directive is based on the Catholic philosophical principle of double effect, which says that if the treatment sought addresses the direct causes of the woman's health condition (such as radiation treatment for cancer), but never intends to kill the unborn child (even though that may happen as a secondary, but unintended, effect of the lifesaving treatment), then it is morally licit.
Hospital officials claimed that they were following the second directive by aborting the baby.
But Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted said in a statement provided to the Republic that he was "gravely concerned by the fact that an abortion was performed several months ago in a Catholic hospital in this diocese," and furthermore said he was appalled by the hospital's twisted reasoning that justified the direct abortion by reducing the unborn child to a disease.
"An unborn child is not a disease. While medical professionals should certainly try to save a pregnant mother's life, the means by which they do it can never be by directly killing her unborn child. The end does not justify the means," the prelate said.
Olmsted made clear that McBride and all Catholics who had "formal cooperation" in the woman's abortion of her child, were automatically excommunicated from the Church.
"The Catholic Church will continue to defend life and proclaim the evil of abortion without compromise, and must act to correct even her own members if they fail in this duty," Olmsted declared.
McBride has since been demoted from her position, and transferred by the hospital to another area of administration.
Catholic Healthcare West, which oversees St. Joseph's hospital, sent a letter to Olmsted Monday defending McBride's and the hospital's actions.
"If there had been a way to save the pregnancy and still prevent the death of the mother, we would have done it," the letter says. "We are convinced there was not."
However, Dr. Paul A. Byrne, Director of Neonatology and Pediatrics at St. Charles Mercy Hospital in Toledo, Ohio, disputes the claim that an abortion is ever a procedure necessary to save the life of the mother, or carries less risk than birth.
In an interview with LifeSiteNews, Dr. Byrne said, "I don't know of any [situation where abortion is necessary to save the life of the mother].
"I know that a lot of people talk about these things, but I don't know of any. The principle always is preserve and protect the life of the mother and the baby."
Byrne has the distinction of being a pioneer in the field of neonatology, beginning his work in the field in 1963 and becoming a board-certified neonatologist in 1975. He invented one of the first oxygen masks for babies, an incubator monitor, and a blood-pressure tester for premature babies, which he and a colleague adapted from the finger blood pressure checkers used for astronauts.
Byrne emphasized that he was not commentating on what the woman's particular treatment should have been under the circumstances, given that she is not his patient.
"But given just pulmonary hypertension, the answer is no" to abortion, said Byrne.
Byrne emphasized that the unborn child at 11 weeks gestation would have a negligible impact on the woman's cardiovascular system. He said that pregnancy in the first and second trimesters would not expose a woman with even severe pulmonary hypertension - which puts stress on the heart and the longs - to any serious danger. A pregnant mother's cardiovascular system does have "major increases," but they only happen "in the last three months of pregnancy," Byrne explained.
The point of fetal viability is estimated at anywhere between 21 - 24 weeks, he indicated, at which point a baby can artificially be delivered and have a good shot at surviving. In the meantime the mother's pulmonary hypertension could be treated, even by such simple things as eliminating salt from her diet, exercising, or losing weight.
"It's not going to be any extra stress on the mother that she can't stand," said Byrne. "Eventually you get to where the baby gets big enough that the baby can live outside the uterus and you don't have to do an abortion."
"I am only aware of good things happening by doing that. I am not aware of anything bad happening to the mother because the baby was allowed to live."
"The only reason to kill the baby at 11 weeks is because it is smaller," which makes the abortion easier to perform, he said, not because the mother's life is in immediate danger. "I've done this work just about as long as neonatology has existed," said Byrne. "The key is we must protect and preserve life, and we have to do that from conception to the natural end."
To contact Catholic Healthcare West:
Catholic Healthcare West
185 Berry Street, Suite 300
San Francisco, CA 94107
Phone: (415) 438-5500
To contact Bishop Thomas Olmsted:
Diocese of Phoenix
400 East Monroe Street
Phoenix, Arizona 85004-2336
Phone: 602-354-2000
Fax: 602-354-2427


All Africa report: One of the priests who rebelled against the out going bishop of Kinkiizi has apologised and returned to the church. The Rev. Benjamin Rweijungu wrote to the bishop on May 13, asking to be pardoned and deployed for pastoral duties.

He has been part of the group, which disagreed with Bishop John Wilson Ntegyereize and abandoned the church in 2005.
For the last six years, Rweijungu refused to attend church functions. As a trained teacher, he is reported to have taken to teaching, but said he realised that he was called to serve as a priest and decided to return.
A brief service officiated by Ntegyereize was held at the bishop's office in Nyakatare on Friday to welcome him back.
The development comes after a group of Christians, including three priests, protested the election of the Rt. Rev. Benjamin Bagaba as the second bishop of Kinkiizi Diocese.
His consecration was put on hold by the archbishop after it was alleged that Bagaba produced two children outside wedlock and he was hand-picked by the outgoing bishop.
Addressing journalists, Reijungu said he was misled by people who promised to help him after the church failed to sponsor him for his degree course but he was neglected by the same people.
He advised the clergy to understand why they were called to serve God before quitting in the middle of their service. Consequently, Rweijungu was redeployed and appointed the new parish priest of Kibimbiri parish in Kihiihi sub-county. He resumed pastoral duties on Sunday.


Asia News report: Special police officers are among the killed. The attack, the second of its kind in just over a month, took place in Dantewada district (Chhattisgarh), some 400 kilometres from the state capital. Security forces are now on high alert in five states as Maoists today launch a 48-hour general strike to protest the government military offensive against them.

Mumbai (AsiaNews) – The death toll from yesterday’s bus attack by Naxalite Maoist rebels in Dantewada district, some 400 kilometres from Raipur, state capital of Chhattisgarh, has risen to 45, including several special police officers (SPO). The bus, which was carrying SPOs as well as civilians, was travelling to Bhusaras. The vehicle blew up when it drove over an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) placed on the road and detonated by remote control. In a similar attack last month in the same district, the Naxalites killed 76 members of the Central Reserve Police Force.

Indian security forces are now on maximum alert in the states of Orissa, Bihar, West Bengal, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh after Maoist rebels launched a 48-hour bandh (general strike) to protest against the government, which began an offensive against the Maoists back in October 2009 to retake areas under their control. In less than a year, some 300 people have been killed in the operation whilst another 50,000 has had to flee their homes.
The Maoist revolt began in 1967 in the village of Naxalbari (West Bengal) when a group of peasants turned against local landowners over a land dispute.
In recent years, India’s economic development has led to more confrontations as peasants resist land seizures. Increasingly, they have backed the Maoist insurgency.
Naxalites and other extreme leftwing groups are active in states like Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Orissa. Here, Maoists can field a military force of some 10,000 members, organised in the People's Liberation Guerrilla Army, made up mostly of illiterate peasants.
In response to this threat, the central government has set up independent paramilitary forces outside of the regular armed forces.
Lenin Raghuvanshi, director of the People's Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (PVCHR), slammed the attacks, saying, “there is no justification for killing.”
“Maoists are the armed opposition group with the worst record of human rights violations,” he said. “They do not represent any democratic movement and conduct kangaroo trials by so-called People’s Courts, which summarily judge and execute their political opponents, after labelling them, ‘police informers’.”
For the human rights activist, the government has to shoulder some of the blame for the situation, especially after it unleashed an offensive using paramilitary groups. This has only fuelled the rebels’ violence.
In Raghuvanshi’s view, India is now faced with a new form of leftwing extremism, concentrated in a ‘red corridor’ that runs from Nepal in the north to Tamil Nadu in the far south. (N.C.),-killing-45-people-18442.html


Cath News report: A nationwide appeal has been launched to raise funds for the canonisation ceremony of Mary MacKillop in Rome and official celebrations around Australia and the world.

The Mary MacKillop Canonisation Appeal will be held on Sunday 30 May and Sunday 8 August, with donations made through collections in parishes, online and via telephone.
Sisters of St Joseph congregational leader Sr Anne Derwin said she was humbled by the number of people who wanted to take part in the celebrations surrounding Mary's canonisation.
"This is an opportunity for us to mark this unique event and historic occasion and to honour Mary MacKillop," she said. "The Mary MacKillop Canonisation Appeal provides an opportunity for everyone to assist in the preparations and celebration of Mary's canonisation both in Australia and in Rome."
Proceeds from the Appeal will also assist in involving the Sisters of St Joseph in the canonisation ceremony in Rome, together with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representatives and youth representatives across all dioceses.
Donations can be made through local parishes, by telephoning the national call centre on 1800 753 959 or online at the Blessed Mary MacKillop website.


St. John I

Feast: May 18
Information: Feast Day: May 18
Born: Populonia, Tuscany, Italy

Died: 18 May 526 in Ravenna, Italy
Died at Ravenna on 18 or 19 May (according to the most popular calculation), 526. A Tuscan by birth and the son of Constantius, he was, after an interregnum of seven days, elected on 13 August, 523, and occupied the Apostolic see for two years, nine months, and seven days.
We know nothing of the matter of his administration, for his Bullarium contains only the two letters addressed to an Archbishop Zacharias and to the bishops of Italy respectively, and it is very certain that both are apocryphal.
We possess information -- though unfortunately very vague -- only about his journey to Constantinople, a journey which appears to have had results of great importance, and which was the cause of his death. The Emperor Justin, in his zeal for orthodoxy, had issued in 523 a severe decree against the Arians, compelling them, among other things, to surrender to the Catholics the churches which they occupied. Theodoric, King of the Ostrogoths and of Italy, the ardent defender of Arianism, keenly resented these measures directed against his coreligionists in the Orient, and was moreover highly displeased at seeing the progress of a mutual understanding between the Latin and Greek Churches, such as might favour certain secret dealings between the Roman senators and the Byzantine Court, aiming at the re-establishment of the imperial authority in Italy. To bring pressure to bear upon the emperor, and force him to moderate his policy of repression in regard to the heretics, Theodoric sent to him early in 525 an embassy composed of Roman senators, of which he obliged the pope to assume the direction, and imposed on the latter the task of securing a withdrawal of the Edict of 523 and -- if we are to believe "Anonymous Valesianus" -- of even urging the emperor to facilitate the return to Arianism of the Arians who had been converted.
There has been much discussion as to the part played by John I in this affair. The sources which enable us to study the subject are far from explicit and may be reduced to four in number: "AnonymousValesianus", already cited; the "Liber Pontificalis"; Gregory of Tours's "Liber in gloria martyrum"; and the "Liber Pontificalis Ecclesiæ Ravennatis". But it is beyond question that the pope could only counsel Justin to use gentleness and discretion towards the Arians; his position as head of the Church prevented his inviting the emperor to favour heresy. That this analysis of the situation is correct is evident from the reception which the pope was accorded in the East -- a reception which certainly would not have been kindly, had the Roman ambassadors opposed the emperor and this Catholic subjects in their struggle waged against the Arian sect. The inhabitants of Constantinople went out in throngs to meet John. The Emperor Justin on meeting him prostrated himself, and, some time afterwards, he had himself crowned by the pope. All the patriarchs of the East made haste to manifest their communion in the Faith with the supreme pontiff; only Timothy of Alexandria, who had shown himself hostile to the Council of Chalcedon, held aloof. Finally, the pope, exercising his right of precedence over Epiphanius, Patriarch of Constantinople, solemnly officiated at St. Sophia in the Latin Rite on Easter Day, 19 April, 526. Immediately afterwards he made his way back to the West.
If this brilliant reception of John I by the emperor, the clergy, and the faithful of the Orient proves that he had not been wanting in his task as supreme pastor of the Church, the strongly contrasting behaviour of Theodoric towards him on his return is no less evident proof. This monarch, enraged at seeing the national party reviving in Italy, had just stained his hands with the murder of Boethius, the great philosopher, and of Symmachus his father-in-law. He was exasperated against the pope, whose embassy had obtained a success very different from that which he, Theodoric, desired and whom, moreover, he suspected of favouring the defenders of the ancient liberty of Rome. As soon as John, returning from the East, had landed in Italy, Theodoric caused him to be arrested and incarcerated at Ravenna. Worn out by the fatigues of the journey, and subjected to severe privations, John soon died in prison.
His body was transported to Rome and buried in the Basilica of St. Peter. In his epitaph there is no allusion to his historical role. The Latin Church has placed him among its martyrs, and commemorates him on 27 May, the ninth lesson in the Roman Breviary for that date being consecrated to him.


Luke 12: 22 - 31

22 And he said to his disciples, "Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you shall eat, nor about your body, what you shall put on.

23 For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing.

24 Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds!

25 And which of you by being anxious can add a cubit to his span of life?

26 If then you are not able to do as small a thing as that, why are you anxious about the rest?

27 Consider the lilies, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin; yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

28 But if God so clothes the grass which is alive in the field today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O men of little faith!

29 And do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be of anxious mind.

30 For all the nations of the world seek these things; and your Father knows that you need them.

31 Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things shall be yours as well.
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