Wednesday, June 30, 2010



VATICAN CITY, 28 JUN 2010 (VIS REPORT) - This evening in the Roman basilica of St. Paul's Outside-the-Walls, the Holy Father presided at first Vespers for the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul Apostles.
The ceremony was attended by a delegation from the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, sent by His Holiness Bartholomew I and composed of His Eminence Gennadios (Limouris), metropolitan of Sassima; His Eminence Bartholomaios (Ioannis Kessidis), bishop of Arianzos and assistant to the metropolitan of Germany, and Deacon Theodoros Meimaris of the patriarchal see of Fanar.
In his homily the Pope reflected on the Church's missionary vocation. He began by recalling how Servant of God Giovanni Battista Montini, when elected as Peter's Successor, "chose the name of the Apostle of the Gentiles". In the year 1974 "he called an assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the theme of evangelisation in the modern world, and about a year later published the Apostolic Exhortation 'Evangelii nuntiandi'".
Turning then to consider the figure of the Venerable John Paul II, Benedict XVI highlighted how, "with his apostolic trips and the insistence of his Magisterium on the urgent need for a 'new evangelisation', he was the living embodiment of the missionary nature of the Church. ... It is obvious to everyone that my predecessor gave extraordinary impulse to the mission of the Church, not only because of the distances he covered, but above all because of the genuine missionary spirit that moved him and that he left us as inheritance at the dawn of the third millennium.
`Taking up this inheritance", the Pope added, "at the beginning of my Petrine ministry I affirmed that the Church is young, she is open to the future. And I repeat as much today at the tomb of St. Paul: the Church is an immense force for renewal in the world, not by her own power but by the power of the Gospel".
´The challenges of the present are certainly beyond human capacities", said the Holy Father. "Not only is there physical hunger, there is also a more profound hunger which only God can satisfy. Man in the third millennium also seeks an authentic and full life; he needs truth, profound freedom and gratuitous love. Even in the deserts of the secularised world man's soul thirsts for God, for the living God".
Benedict XVI pointed out that "there are regions of the world that still await their first evangelisation while others have already received it but need more profound attention. In others again, the Gospel has long standing roots and has given rise to an authentic Christian tradition but - over recent centuries and following complex dynamics - the process of secularisation has led to a serious crisis of meaning in Christian faith and in membership of the Church".
And he went on: "It is in this perspective that I have decided to create a new organisation, in the form of a Pontifical Council, with the fundamental task of promoting renewed evangelisation in countries where the first announcement of the faith has already been heard and where there are Churches of ancient foundation, but where a progressive secularisation of society is being experienced, a kind of 'eclipse of the meaning of God'". These countries, he said, "are a challenge to us to find the adequate means to re-present the perennial truth of the Gospel of Christ".
The Holy Father concluded by affirming that "the challenge of the new evangelisation calls to the universal Church, it asks us to remain committed to the search for full unity among Christians. In this context, one eloquent sign of hope are the reciprocal visits between the Churches of Rome and of Constantinople on the feasts of their respective patrons. For this reason we today welcome, with renewed joy and recognition, the delegation sent by Patriarch Bartholomew I".

VATICAN CITY, 29 JUN 2010 (VIS) - Today, Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul, Apostles, Benedict XVI celebrated the Eucharist in the Vatican Basilica. Concelebrating with the Holy Father were thirty-eight new metropolitan archbishops, upon whom he imposed the pallium.
Commenting on the biblical readings from today's Mass, the Pope explained how "they highlight a topic which we could summarise thus: God remains close to His faithful servants freeing them from all evil, and He frees the Church from negative powers. This is the theme of freedom in the Church, which has a historical aspect and another more profoundly spiritual side".

"Jesus' promise that 'the powers of darkness will not prevail' over the Church embraces the historical experience of persecution suffered by Peter and Paul, and by other witnesses to the Gospel; but it also goes further, ensuring protection above all from threats of a spiritual nature".
"If we consider the two millennia of Church history we can see that - as the Lord Jesus foresaw - Christians have never lacked for trials, which in some times and places have taken the form of authentic persecutions. Yet nonetheless, despite the suffering they bring, these do not represent the most serious danger for the Church. In fact, she suffers her greatest damage from that which pollutes the faith and the Christian life of her members and her communities, damaging the integrity of her mystical Body, weakening her capacity for prophecy and witness, obscuring the beauty of her countenance".
The Pope noted that St. Paul, in his Second Letter to Timothy, says that "men who work evil 'will not make much progress, because their folly will become plain to everyone'. There is, then", he explained, "a guarantee of freedom that God gives the Church: freedom from material ties which seek to impede or inhibit her mission, and from spiritual and moral evils which can damage her authenticity and credibility.
"The question of the Church's freedom, which Christ guaranteed to Peter, also has a specific bearing on the rite of the imposition of the pallium which we today renew for thirty-eight metropolitan archbishops", the Holy Father added. "Communion with Peter and his successors is, in fact, a guarantee of freedom for the pastors of the Church and for the communities entrusted to their care".
"At the historical level, union with the Apostolic See ensures that particular Churches and episcopal conferences remain free from local, national or trans-national powers, which can in certain cases hinder the mission of the Church. Also, and more importantly, the Petrine ministry is a guarantee of freedom in terms of full adherence to truth and authentic tradition, that the People of God may be protected from errors of faith and morality".
The Holy Father continued his homily: "The fact, then, that every year the new metropolitan archbishops come to Rome to receive the pallium from the hands of the Pope must be understood in its proper sense, as a gesture of communion; and the theme of the freedom of the Church offers us a particularly important key with which to interpret it. This is evident in the case of Churches suffering persecutions, or those undergoing political interference or other harsh trials. But it is no less relevant in the case of communities suffering the influence of misleading doctrines, or of ideological tendencies and practices that run counter to the Gospel. In this sense, the pallium becomes a sign of freedom, like the 'yoke' which Christ invites each of us to take on our shoulders ... which rather than weighing down the person who carries it, raises him up. In the same way the bond with the Apostolic See, though demanding, supports the pastor and that part of the Church entrusted to his care, making them freer and stronger".
Benedict XVI stressed the ecumenical importance of the words "the powers of darkness will not prevail over the Church" because, he said, "one of the typical effects of the Evil One is precisely division within the ecclesial community. Divisions are, in fact, a symptom of the power of sin, which continues to act in the members of the Church even after redemption".
"The unity of the Church is rooted in her union with Christ, and the complete unity of Christians - a cause which must be sought and renewed generation after generation - is also sustained by His prayer and by His promise".
In this context the Pope greeted the delegation from the Patriarchate of Constantinople, which was present at the Eucharistic celebration. "Together", he said, "let us give thanks to God for the progress made in ecumenical relations between Catholics and Orthodox, and renew our commitment to respond generously to God's grace, which leads us to full communion".
At the end of the Mass, the Pope and Orthodox Metropolitan Gennadios descended to the "Confessio" of St. Peter for a brief moment of prayer.

VATICAN CITY, 29 JUN 2010 (VIS) - Following this morning's Mass in the Vatican Basilica, at midday the Pope appeared at the window of his study to pray the Angelus.
Speaking of the patrons of Rome, the Pope noted that St. Peter was "a humble fisherman from Galilee ... who was so close to the Lord as to become a rock of faith and love upon which Jesus built His Church. ... St. Paul - the two-thousandth anniversary of whose birth we have just celebrated - spread the Gospel with the help of divine Grace, sowing the Word of truth and salvation among pagan peoples. The two patron saints of Rome, though having received different charisms and different missions from God, are both the foundation of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church".
Benedict XVI then recalled how he had just imposed the pallium on thirty-eight new metropolitan archbishops "symbolising both communion with the Bishop of Rome, and the mission to feed the one flock of Christ".
"May the example of the Apostles Peter and Paul illuminate believer's minds and enflame their hearts with the holy desire to accomplish the will of God, that the pilgrim Church in the world may remain ever faithful to her Lord", he concluded.
After the Marian prayer, the Holy Father addressed a special greeting to the new metropolitan archbishops, who have come from various parts of the world, and to the pilgrims accompanying them.

VATICAN CITY, 30 JUN 2010 (VIS) - In the light of the recently-concluded Year for Priests, Benedict XVI dedicated his catechesis during this morning's general audience to the Italian St. Joseph Cafasso (1811-1860), the hundred and fiftieth anniversary of whose death fell last week.
Joseph Cafasso first studied philosophy and theology then, four months after his priestly ordination in 1833, entered the "St. Francis of Assisi" institute in Turin, Italy, to perfect his skill in pastoral care.
The kind of ministry that Joseph Cafasso helped to establish, said the Pope, was "that of the true pastor with a rich interior life and a profound zeal for pastoral care: faithful in prayer, committed to preaching and catechesis, dedicated to the Sacraments of the Eucharist and Confession, in keeping with the model incarnated by St. Charles Borromeo and St . Francis of Sales, and promoted by the Council of Trent".
"St. Joseph Cafasso sought to establish this model in the formation of young priests so that, in their turn, they too could become formators to other priests, religious and lay people, thus creating a unique and effective chain".
The saint, who passed many hours in the confessional, "loved the Lord totally, he was animated by a well-rooted faith and supported by profound and prolonged prayer, he showed sincere charity to everyone. He knew moral theology but was equally well aware of the condition of people's hearts for which, like the good shepherd, he took responsibility".
Recalling then that St. Joseph Cafasso was St. John Bosco's spiritual director from 1835 to 1860, Benedict XVI explained that at no time did the former seek to make the latter "a disciple in his image and likeness", while St. John Bosco never copied his master. "He imitated him in the human and priestly virtues - defining him as a 'model of priestly life' - but maintained his own attitudes and his own specific vocation. ... This is a precious lesson for those involved in the formation and education of the young generations", said the Pope.
Another element that characterised the ministry of St. Joseph Cafasso was his "concern for the lowest, especially for prisoners ... who lived in inhuman and dehumanising conditions". If at first, in his preaching to prisoners, the saint "often delivered great sermons that came to involve almost the entire prison population, with the passage of time he came to favour individual catechesis, made up of conversations and personal meetings. While respecting the individual situation of each individual, he tackled the great themes of Christian life, speaking of trust in God, adherence to His will, the utility of prayer and the Sacraments, the culmination of which is Confession, the meeting with God Who, for us, becomes infinite mercy".
He died in the year 1860. In 1948 Pope Pius XII proclaimed him as patron of Italian prisons and, in 1950, propsed him "as a model for priests involved in Confession and spiritual direction".
In his greetings at the end of his audience, the Pope addressed special greetings to the metropolitan archbishops who yesterday received the pallium, and to the pilgrims accompanying them.

VATICAN CITY, 30 JUN 2010 (VIS) - The Message for World Tourism Day published by the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples was issued today. The Day, which is due to be celebrated on 27 December, has as its theme: "Tourism and Biodiversity". The message has been published in Italian, French, English, Spanish and Portuguese, and is signed by Archbishops Antonio Maria Veglio and Agostino Marchetto, respectively president and secretary of the pontifical council. Extracts from the English-language version are given below:
"Biodiversity, or biological diversity, refers to the great wealth of beings that live on earth, as well as the delicate equilibrium of interdependence and interaction that exists between them and the physical environment that hosts and conditions them.
"There are three imminent and grave dangers to them that require an urgent solution: climate change, desertification and the loss of biodiversity. The latter has been developing in recent years at an unprecedented rate. Recent studies indicate that on a worldwide level 22 percent of mammals, 31 percent of amphibians, 13.6 percent of bird life and 27 percent of reefs are threatened or in danger of extinction.
"There are numerous areas of human activity that largely contribute to these changes, and one of them is, without a doubt, tourism, which is among the activities that have experienced great and rapid growth. In this regard, we can look to the statistics that the World Tourism Organisation offers us. With international tourist travel numbering 534 million in 1995 and 682 million in 2000, estimates from the organisation's 'Tourism 2020 Vision' report are 1.006 billion for the year 2010 and reaching 1.561 billion in 2020, at an average annual growth rate of 4.1 percent. ... All of this points to strong growth in this economic sector, which brings with it some major effects on the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, and the consequent danger of their transformation into serious environmental impacts - especially in regard to the exorbitant consumption of limited resources (such as potable water and land) and the enormous generation of pollution and residues, exceeding the quantities that might be withstood by a determined area.
"The situation is seen to be aggravated by the fact that tourist demand directs itself more and more towards natural destinations, attracted by their beauty, which leads to a major impact on the populations visited, on their economies, on their cultural heritage and on the environment".
"For all of this, we must assert that tourism cannot relieve itself of its responsibility to defend biodiversity. On the contrary rather, it must assume an active role in it.
"This economic sector's development inevitably needs to be accompanied by the principles of sustainability and respect for biological diversity".
"The Church would like to add her voice, from the space which is hers, beginning from the conviction that she herself 'has a responsibility towards creation and she must assert this responsibility in the public sphere'. ... Church teaching reiterates insistently the responsibility of the human being in the preservation of an integral and healthy environment for all, from the conviction that the 'care for the environment represents a challenge for all of humanity. It is a matter of a common and universal duty, that of respecting a common good'".
"There is an element that makes even this effort more imperative than ever. In the search for God, the human being discovers ways to bring himself closer to the Mystery, which has creation as a starting point. ... For this reason, tourism, bringing us closer to creation in its variety and wealth, can be an occasion to promote and increase the religious experience".
"Efforts to protect and promote biological diversity in its relation with tourism are developed, firstly, through participative and shared strategies, in which the implied diverse sectors are involved. The majority of governments, international institutions, professional associations of the tourist sector and non-governmental organisations defend, with a long-term vision, the necessity of sustainable tourism as the only possible form in order for their development to simultaneously be economically profitable, protect natural and cultural resources and serve as a real help in the fight against poverty.
"Public authorities must offer clear legislation that protects and fortifies biodiversity, reinforcing the benefits and reducing the costs of tourism, while at the same time ensuring the fulfilment of norms. ... Governments' efforts will need to be great in those places which are most vulnerable and where the degradation is greater. Perhaps in some of them, tourism should be restricted or even avoided.
"For its part, the business sector of tourism is asked to 'conceive, develop and conduct their businesses minimising negative effects on, and positively contributing to, the conservation of sensitive ecosystems and the environment in general, and directly benefiting and including local and indigenous communities'".
`Finally, tourists must be conscious that their presence in a place is not always positive. With this end, they must be informed of the real benefits that the conservation of biodiversity brings with it, and be educated in methods of sustainable tourism. ... In no case, neither the land nor the historical-cultural heritage of the destination should be damaged in favour of the tourist, adapting itself to their tastes and desires. A major effort, in a special way the pastoral care of tourism must realise, is the education in contemplation, that helps to tourists have the ability to discover the sign of God in the great wealth of biodiversity".

VATICAN CITY, 30 JUN 2010 (VIS) - The Holy See Press Office released the following communique on 28 June:
"In the face of news reports which have been circulating with regard to the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples (formerly known as 'De Propaganda Fide'), it has been deemed necessary to recall some objective facts to protect the reputation of this important body of the Holy See and the Catholic Church.
"The Congregation is the body responsible for directing and co-ordinating the work of evangelisation and missionary co-operation throughout the world.
"Its first and fundamental aim is therefore to guide and support young Churches, located in areas of recent or scant evangelisation, territories which, according to long tradition, are subject to the jurisdiction of the congregation for all aspects of Church life.
"Thus it co-ordinates the presence and action of missionaries in the world, submits candidates for the episcopate to the Holy Father and is responsible for the formation of local clergy, catechists, and pastoral workers."This function is exercised by members of the congregation of the highest level, mostly cardinals, many of whom come from the mission countries themselves, and who meet regularly. In ordinary management the congregation is directed by the cardinal prefect and other superiors, in accordance with their duties."In order to fulfil its duties, the congregation administers and maintains a large number of educational structures in Rome, among them the Pontifical Urban University (about 1400 students in the current academic year) and several colleges, where an estimated 150 seminarians, 360 priests, 150 religious and lay people from the five continents are currently studying.
"This vast work, which requires a considerable amount of financial resources, is only part of the congregation's commitments for, as is well-known, it annually bestows to the churches of the territories under its jurisdiction (1080 districts) an ordinary financial subsidy which in many cases is the main or a major source of revenue for dioceses, apostolic vicariates, prefectures, 'sui iuris' missions, etc. Besides this, the congregation sends annual subsidies for the formation of local clergy. For the Holy See, this is an indispensable instrument for the growth and maturation of these Churches, which are among the most vital and promising for the future of the Catholic Church. Thanks to the congregation and to other countless activities in support of missions by Catholics around the world, a significant number of priests, seminarians and other pastoral workers can study in Rome, close to Peter's Successor".
"Moreover, every year funding is given to aid projects for the construction of new churches and pastoral institutions, for literacy projects, healthcare and hospitals, particularly for children and education, often in regions that are among the world's poorest. This series of initiatives, and numerous others, are promoted and co-ordinated by the Pontifical Mission Societies, which is part of the dicastery. If we consider the relationship between the quantity of personnel and resources deployed, it is evident that operating costs are far lower than any international organisation engaged in the field of co-operation".
"The Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples derives its resources mainly from the collections of World Mission Sunday, all distributed through the national Pontifical Mission Societies and, secondly, the income of its financial assets and real estate. This patrimony has been formed over decades through numerous donations from benefactors from all walks of life, who intended that part of their property be bequeathed to serve the cause of evangelisation.
"The administration of this patrimony is of course a complex and challenging task, one which requires the advice of experts from different professional backgrounds and which, like all financial transactions, may also be exposed to errors of judgement and to fluctuations in the international market.
"Nevertheless, as a result of sound administration and the growing generosity of Catholics, this legacy has continued to increase. At the same time, in recent years the awareness has gradually emerged of the need to improve profitability and to this end structures and procedures have been established to ensure a professional management that is in line with the highest standards.
"This note aims to recall the identity, value and great significance of an institution vital to the Holy See and the entire Catholic Church, responding to Jesus' command: 'Go into all the world and proclaim the good news to the whole creation'. It has earned and deserves the support of all Catholics and those who care about the good of man and his integral development".

VATICAN CITY, 30 JUN 2010 (VIS) - Responding to questions posed by a number of journalists about the note published on Monday morning concerning the role and functions of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples, Holy See Press Office Director Fr. Federico Lombardi S.J. provided the following clarification: The reference to financial activities for which - as the note affirmed - there may also have been 'errors of judgement' is to be considered as a general observation, and not as referring to any particular administration. As regards Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe, archbishop of Naples, Italy, who led the congregation from 2001 to 2006, we reiterate 'respect and solidarity', in the certainty that his correct conduct may lead to a complete and rapid clarification of the judicial proceedings.

VATICAN CITY, 30 JUN 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in audience Archbishop Andre-Joseph Leonard of Mechelen-Brussels and president of the Belgian Episcopal Conference.

VATICAN CITY, 30 JUN 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father:
- Appointed Cardinal Marc Ouellet P.S.S., archbishop of Quebec, Canada, as prefect of the Congregation for Bishops and president of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America. He succeeds Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, whose resignation from the same office the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.
- Appointed Archbishop Salvatore Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Academy for Life and rector of the Pontifical Lateran University, as president of the recently-announced Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelisation.
- Appointed Fr. Enrico dal Covolo S.D.B., professor of ancient Greek Christian literature at Rome's Pontifical Salesian University and ordinary member of the Pontifical Theological Academy, as rector of the Pontifical Lateran University.
- Appointed Msgr. Ignacio Carrasco de Paula, chancellor of the Pontifical Academy for Life, as president of the same academy.
- Appointed Archbishop Celestino Migliore, Holy See permanent observer to the United Nations in New York, as apostolic nuncio to Poland.
- Appointed Fr. John Richard Cihak as a master of pontifical ceremonies.
- Appointed Bishop Blase J. Cupich of Rapid City, U.S.A., as bishop of Spokane (area 63,325, population 741,000, Catholics 101,700, priests 152, permanent deacons 55, religious 303), U.S.A. He succeeds Bishop William S. Skylstad, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.
- Accepted the resignation from the office of auxiliary of the archdiocese of Boston, U.S.A. presented by Bishop Emilio S. Allue S.D.B., in accordance with canons 411 and 401 para. 1 of the Code of Canon Law.
- Appointed Fr. Arthur L. Kennedy, rector of the St. John Seminary, and Fr. Peter J. Uglietto, rector of the Blessed John XXIII National Seminary, as auxiliaries of the archdiocese of Boston (area 6,386, population 4,112,000, Catholics 1,874,000, priests 1,286, permanent deacons 257, religious 2,712), U.S.A. Bishop-elect Kennedy was born in Boston in 1942 and ordained a priest in 1966. Bishop-elect was born in Cambridge, U.S.A. in 1951 and ordained a priest in 1977.
- Accepted the resignation from the office of auxiliary of the archdiocese of Hartford, U.S.A. presented by Bishop Peter A. Rosazza, in accordance with canons 411 and 401 para. 1 of the Code of Canon Law.


UCAN report: Churches in southern China are still working to help victims of the recent flooding caused by weeks of rain.

“Local Catholics are mobilized, raising funds and taking boats with food items to victims who are still stranded,” said Father Philip Cao Xiaoxian of the Linchuan Church in Fuzhou, Jiangxi province.
Catholics in Guangxi are also raising resources and preparing to distribute aid and relief. “The Church will help whoever is in need, as love is without borders,” said a local spokesman.
In rain-battered Fuzhou, as the floods recede and breached defenses are repaired, affected families are starting to worry about their livelihoods and future.
“Some of the 1,000 affected Catholics have said they don’t even have a cup, a bowl or a bed now,” said Father Cao. The victims are staying with relatives or in government shelters.
Church leaders are now discussing how they can contribute to the longer term rebuilding process with Jinde Charities, a nationwide Catholic NGO.
Jinde said it has been contacted by Church partners in Chongqing, Guangxi and Jiangxi this week. The Guangxi Catholic Loving Heart Foundation has sent photos, reports and other information from the disaster areas for Jinde’s assessment.
Jinde will try its best “to be the bridge between the victims and the donors,” said officer Hu Limin.
Meanwhile, Father John Li Suguang, vicar general of Nanchang diocese’s “open” community, has confirmed that “underground” Bishop Thomas Zeng Jingmu of Yujiang, who lives in a suburb of Fuzhou, is safe and well.


RomeReports: The pope has named Archbishop Rino Fisichella the first president of the recently created Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization.

Fisichella was the rector of the Lateran University of Rome and president of the Pontifical Academy for Life until now.
He will be replaced as rector by Salesian Enrico dal Covolo; in February dal Covolo preached spiritual exercises to the Pope.
The new president of the Pontifical Academy for Life will be the Spanish priest Ignacio Carrasco de Paula. He has written numerous works on morals and bioethics and was chancellor of the Pontifical Academy.
John Paul II created the Academy for Life as a Vatican institution to promote a life culture that respects Catholic doctrine.
Benedict XVI also has named Archbishop Celestino Migliore as nuncio in Poland. Migliore previously served as the Holy See's permanent observer to the UN.


UCAN report: Catholics in Jakarta archdiocese have a new archbishop after the Vatican approved the resignation of Jesuit Cardinal Julius Darmaatmadja.

His Coadjutor Archbishop Ignatius Suharyo Hardjoatmodjo now heads Jakarta archdiocese.
As coadjutor, Archbishop Hardjoatmodjo, 59, automatically became head of Jakarta archdiocese upon Cardinal Darmaatmadja´s retirement. The cardinal had sent a letter to Pope Benedict XVI requesting retirement when he turned 75 on Dec. 20, 2009. The request was approved on June 28.
“Archbishop Suharyo is now the new Jakarta archbishop,” Jesuit Father Adrianus Padmaseputra, the archbishop’s secretary, told about 3,000 Catholics during a June 29 Mass at Assumption Cathedral in Jakarta.
The reception Mass was concelebrated by Cardinal Darmaatmadja, Apostolic Nuncio to Indonesia Archbishop Leopoldo Girelli, Archbishop Suharyo and 10 other bishops.
About 200 priests serving the archdiocese’s 500,000 Catholics in 60 parishes also attended.
The new archbishop, in his speech, thanked his predecessor for serving the archdiocese with all his heart and for drafting its basic pastoral direction emphasizing faith, brotherhood and service.
“We will always try to understand and see this direction materialize step by step,” he said.
He also promised “to work together with all priests, nuns, brothers and laypeople in searching for truth in our daily lives.”
Archbishop Girelli expressed hope that the new archbishop will bring further blessings to all Catholics in the archdiocese. “I hope the new archbishop can expand upon previous achievements, especially those related to the interests of this beloved country of Indonesia,” he said.
The Pope pays close attention to the situation of all Catholics in the country, he said.
Cardinal Darmaatmadja said he had served the archdiocese with the help of Jesus in his farewell speech.
“When I was appointed by Pope John Paul II, there was no other power but Jesus’. And when I came to Jakarta, I saw Jesus’ face in my service,” he said.
He also expressed his happiness for having such a young successor.


Statement from Canadian Bishop´s Confernce on appointment of Cardinal Ouellet as Prefect of the Congreagation for Bishops:
It is a joy and pleasure for me as President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops to congratulate His Eminence Marc Cardinal Ouellet on his appointment by the Holy Father as Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops and President of the Commission for Latin America. In my letter to him earlier today, I have noted that his appointment is a tremendous honour not only for him but also for the Church in Canada.

Cardinal Ouellet is accompanied by the prayers and good wishes of all the Bishops of Canada, and by our full collaboration with him in his new responsibilities for the Universal Church. Each of us looks forward to the pleasure of meeting him from time to time in Rome, where he will be assisting the Holy Father in the appointments of all the Bishops of the world.
The Bishops of Canada join me in thanking Cardinal Ouellet for the years of pastoral service that he has so generously given to the Church in Canada in various capacities -- as professor and later Rector at the Grand Séminaire in Montreal; Rector of Saint Joseph’s Seminary, Edmonton; Archbishop of Quebec City, which historically is considered the “mother Church” for all Catholics in our country; and since 2002 as a member of our Conference and its Permanent Council. His presence among us and his contributions to the life of our Conference are greatly appreciated.
In his new appointment, Cardinal Ouellet continues his own personal witness and dedication in serving the Universal Church, first as a Sulpician priest and theology professor, then as Bishop, and since 2003 as Cardinal. His previous responsibilities have included serving as a seminary professor in Latin America, professor at the John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family at the Pontifical Lateran University, and Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.
Cardinal Ouellet currently serves as a member of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, the Congregation for Catholic Education, the Congregation for the Clergy, the Pontifical Council for Culture, the Pontifical Committee for International Eucharistic Congresses, the Pontifical Commission for Latin America, the Pontifical Academy of Theology, and the Pontifical Council of Cardinals for the Study of the Organizational and Economic Problems of the Holy See. He was also General Relator of the Twelfth Ordinary General Synod of Bishops on the Word of God, and now serves on its Post-Synodal Council.
He will be greatly assisted in his new ecclesial ministry by his ability to communicate in English, French, German, Italian and Spanish, as well as by his post-graduate academic formation in both philosophy and theology, including his doctorate in dogmatic theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University.
With his varied and enriching forms of experience in Rome as well as in Canada and elsewhere in the world, Cardinal Ouellet brings with him in his new responsibilities an extensive knowledge of the Church today, and a deep appreciation of its challenges and opportunities in the contemporary world. The Bishops of Canada look forward to working with him as Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.
+ Pierre Morissette

Bishop of Saint-Jérôme


Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops


Later this year, ABC1 will screen Sisters of War, a telemovie inspired by the experiences of Sister Berenice Twohill during her three-year internment by the Japanese in World War II. Sr Berenice, 93, was among a group of missionaries captured and held as POWs on the island of New Britain in New Guinea, reports the Catholic Weekly.
A member of the congregation of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, Sr Berenice had been teaching at a primary school in Rabaul, where she was living with 45 members of other orders made up of Australian, Dutch, Irish and French.
"Things were going nicely at our little school until that day in December 1941 when two police called in and said, ‘We are at war with Japan'," Sr Berenice told the Catholic Weekly in July 2009.
It was December 8, 1941, and Sr Berenice was sent to the mission station of Tapo, at her request.
After helping another Sister stretcher a wounded Australian soldier from the beach, Sr Berenice set off for Vunapope when Japanese planes began bombing the region.
She, along with more than 300 religious, remained a prisoner until the end of the war, initially in the convent, then in grass huts, tunnels, and finally the jungle, where they were dumped by their captors for the last 18 months of war.
"I think they thought we'd starve to death," she said.
"A lot of things are not known about it, and people were kept in the dark for so long," she said.


All Africa report: The head of the Sudan Council of Churches has called for the urgent resolution of the conflict in Darfur after two German aid workers became the latest victims of abduction in the region.

The Rev. Ramadan Chan Liol, the general secretary of the council, which includes Orthodox, Protestant and Roman Catholic churches, said the grouping denounces the continuing violence in Darfur. He warned it may complicate a referendum for the south scheduled for 2011.
"War in Darfur affects the peace in general. It will have an effect on the referendum in the south," Chan told ENInews on 22 June from Khartoum. "Therefore, resolution of Darfur's conflict is very necessary for a peaceful Sudan."
The German aid workers, employed by Technisches Hilfswerk (THW), were kidnapped by gunmen on 23 June from a compound in Nyala, the capital of south Darfur at a time of increasing reports of abduction of aid workers and foreigners. The kidnappers are demanding ransom or using the hostages to make demands from authorities.
Chan said he was concerned about fresh fighting reported in the region, an area the size of France. On 23 June a clash between Sudanese army troops and the Justice for Equality rebel group resulted in the deaths of 50 people, according the Sudan Catholic Radio Network.
Two days before, three peacekeepers from joint United Nations - Africa Union mission from Rwanda were killed while guarding a new base under construction in west Darfur.
"The killing of the Rwandan peacekeepers is much regretted and we call on the government of Sudan to bring to justice the perpetrators," said Chan. Sudanese church leaders say they hope for the completion of the Darfur peace process before the referendum.
"Every effort should be made to ensure that a political agreement on the Darfur crisis is reached before the referendum of January 2011," Djibril Bassole, the African Union - United Nations joint chief mediator, told the U.N. Security Council on 14 June.
The U.N. estimates 300 000 people have been killed in Darfur since rebels took up arms against the government in 2003. Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has been indicted by the International Criminal Court for alleged war crimes in Darfur, charges he strongly denies. Bashir's government also denies arming Arab militias known as Janjaweed that displace black
African communities from their homes.


Protomartyrs of Rome

Feast: June 30
Information: Feast Day: June 30
Many martyrs who suffered death under Emperor Nero (r. 54-68). Owing to their executions durin the reign of Nero, they are called the Neronian Martyrs, and they are also termed "the Protomartys of Rome," being honored by the site in the Vatican City called the Piazza of the Protomartyrs. These early Christians were disciples of the Apostles, and they endured hideous tortures and ghastly deaths following the burning of Rome in the infamous fire of 62. Their dignity in suffering, and their fervor to the end, did not provide Nero or the Romans with the public diversion desired. Instead, the faith was firmly planted in the Eternal City.


Matthew 8: 28 - 34

28 And when he came to the other side, to the country of the Gadarenes, two demoniacs met him, coming out of the tombs, so fierce that no one could pass that way.

29 And behold, they cried out, "What have you to do with us, O Son of God? Have you come here to torment us before the time?"

30 Now a herd of many swine was feeding at some distance from them.

31 And the demons begged him, "If you cast us out, send us away into the herd of swine."

32 And he said to them, "Go." So they came out and went into the swine; and behold, the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea, and perished in the waters.

33 The herdsmen fled, and going into the city they told everything, and what had happened to the demoniacs.

34 And behold, all the city came out to meet Jesus; and when they saw him, they begged him to leave their neighborhood.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010




Radio Vaticana report: On Tuesday Pope Benedict XVI led celebrations for the solemnity of the Feast of Sts Peter and Paul Apostles. During Mass held in St Peter’s basilica he bestowed the pallium on 38 Metropolitan Archbishops. In his homily the Holy Father reflected on the theme of the freedom of the Church. Below a Vatican Radio translation from the original Italian text:

Dear brothers and sisters!
The biblical texts of this Eucharistic Liturgy of the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, in their great wealth, highlight a theme that could be summarized thus: God is close to his faithful servants and frees them from all evil, and frees the Church from negative powers. It is the theme of the freedom of the Church, which has a historical aspect and another more deeply spiritual one.
This theme runs through today's Liturgy of the Word. The first and second readings speak, respectively, of St Peter and St Paul, emphasizing precisely the liberating action of God in them. Especially the text from the Acts of the Apostles describes in abundant detail the intervention of the Angel of the Lord, who releases Peter from the chains and leads him outside the prison in Jerusalem, where he had been locked up, under close supervision, by King Herod (cf. at 12.1 to 11). Paul, however, writing to Timothy when he feels close to the end of his earthly life, takes stock which shows that the Lord was always near him and freed him from many dangers and frees him still by introducing him into His eternal Kingdom ( see 2 Tim 4, 6-8.17-18). The theme is reinforced by the Responsorial Psalm (Ps 33), and also finds a particular development in the Gospel of Peter's confession, where Christ promises that the powers of hell shall not prevail against his Church (cf. Mt 16:18). Observing closely we note a certain progression regarding this issue. In the first reading a specific episode is narrated that shows the Lord's intervention to free Peter from prison. In the second Paul, on the basis of his extraordinary apostolic experience, is convinced that the Lord, who already freed him "from the mouth of the lion "delivers him" from all evil", by opening the doors of Heaven to him. In the Gospel we no longer speak of the individual Apostles, but the Church as a whole and its safekeeping from the forces of evil, in the widest and most profound sense. Thus we see that the promise of Jesus - "the powers of hell shall not prevail" on the Church – yes, includes the historical experience of persecution suffered by Peter and Paul and other witnesses of the Gospel, but it goes further, wanting to protect especially against threats of a spiritual order, as Paul himself writes in his Letter to the Ephesians: " For our struggle is not with flesh and blood but with the principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits in the heavens"(Eph 6:12). Indeed, if we think of the two millennia of Church history, we can see that - as the Lord Jesus had announced (cf. Mt 10.16-33) – Christians have never been lacking in trials, which in some periods and places have assumed the character of real persecution. These, however, despite the suffering they cause, are not the greatest danger for the Church. In fact it suffers greatest damage from what pollutes the Christian faith and life of its members and its communities, eroding the integrity of the Mystical Body, weakening its ability to prophesy and witness, tarnishing the beauty of its face. This reality is already attested in the Pauline Epistle. The First Epistle to the Corinthians, for example, responds to some problems of divisions, inconsistencies, of infidelity to the Gospel which seriously threaten the Church. But the Second Letter to Timothy – of which we heard an excerpt - speaks about the dangers of the "last days", identifying them with negative attitudes that belong to the world and can infect the Christian community: selfishness, vanity, pride, love of money, etc. (cf. 3.1 to 5). The Apostle’s conclusion is reassuring: men who do wrong - he writes - "will not make further progress, for their foolishness will be plain to all" (3.9). There is therefore a guarantee of freedom promised by God to the Church, it is freedom from the material bonds that seek to prevent or coerce mission, both through spiritual and moral evils, which may affect its authenticity and credibility.
The theme of the freedom of the Church, guaranteed by Christ to Peter, also has a specific relevance to the rite of the imposition of the pallium, which we renew today for thirty-eight metropolitan archbishops, to whom I address my most cordial greeting, extending with it affection to all who have wanted to accompany them on this pilgrimage. Communion with Peter and his successors, in fact, is the guarantee of freedom for the Church's Pastors and the Communities entrusted to them. It is highlighted on both levels in the aforementioned reflections. Historically, union with the Apostolic See, ensures the particular Churches and Episcopal Conferences freedom with respect to local, national or supranational powers, that can sometimes hinder the mission of the ecclesial Church. Furthermore, and most essentially, the Petrine ministry is a guarantee of freedom in the sense of full adherence to truth and authentic tradition, so that the People of God may be preserved from mistakes concerning faith and morals. Hence the fact that each year the new Metropolitans come to Rome to receive the pallium from the hands of the Pope, must be understood in its proper meaning, as a gesture of communion, and the issue of freedom of the Church gives us a particularly important key for interpretation. This is evident in the case of churches marked by persecution, or subject to political interference or other hardships. But this is no less relevant in the case of communities that suffer the influence of misleading doctrines or ideological tendencies and practices contrary to the Gospel. Thus the pallium becomes, in this sense, a pledge of freedom, similar to the "yoke" of Jesus, that He invites us to take up, each on their shoulders (Mt 11:29-30). While demanding, the commandment of Christ is "sweet and light" and instead of weighing down on the bearer, it lifts him up, thus the bond with the Apostolic See – while challenging – sustains the Pastor and the portion of the Church entrusted to his care, making them freer and stronger.
I would like to draw a final point from the Word of God, in particular from Christ's promise that the powers of hell shall not prevail against his Church. These words may also have a significant ecumenical value, since, as I mentioned earlier, one of the typical effects of the Devil is division within the Church community. The divisions are in fact symptoms of the power of sin, which continues to act in members of the Church even after redemption. But the word of Christ is clear: " Non praevalebunt – it will not prevail" (Matt. 16:18). The unity of the Church is rooted in its union with Christ, and the cause of full Christian unity - always to be sought and renewed from generation to generation - is well supported by his prayer and his promise. In the fight against the spirit of evil, God has given us in Jesus the 'Advocate', defender, and after his Easter, "another Paraclete" (Jn 14:16), the Holy Spirit, which remains with us always and leads the Church into the fullness of truth (cf. Jn 14:16; 16:13), which is also the fullness of charity and unity. With these feelings of confident hope, I am pleased to greet the delegation of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, which, in the beautiful custom of reciprocal visits, participates in the celebrations of the patron saints of Rome. Together we thank God for progress in ecumenical relations between Catholics and Orthodox, and we renew our commitment to generously reciprocate to God's grace, which leads us to full communion.
Dear friends, I cordially greet all of you: Cardinals, Brother Bishops, Ambassadors and civil authorities, in particular the Mayor of Rome, priests, religious and lay faithful. Thank you for your presence. May the Saints Peter and Paul help you to grow in love for the holy Church, the Mystical Body of Christ the Lord and messenger of unity and peace for all men. May they also help you to offer the hardships and sufferings endured for fidelity to the Gospel with joy for her holiness and her mission. May the Virgin Mary, Queen of Apostles and Mother of the Church, always watch over you and especially over the Ministry of metropolitan archbishops. With her heavenly help may you always live and act in that freedom that Christ has won for us. Amen.
images source


Rome Reports: The Mass held on Tuesday is one of the Vatican's most symbolic ceremonies; it celebrates the feast of Saints Peter and Paul, the patron saints of the Church. Arnolfo di Cambio's ancient bronze statue of Saint Peter is decorated for the mass; it's adorned with papal ornaments, the miter and the ring of the fisherman.

The pope also gathers the metropolitan archbishops named during the previous year to give each a pallium. The pallium is a white woolen band with six black crosses and symbolizes the bishop's unity with the pope.
A gesture increases the symbolism of the pallium: each is placed over the Apostle Saint Peter's tomb and are solemnly taken to the pope at the beginning of Mass.
Benedict XVI repeated that the most damaging persecutions the Church can suffer are those that come from within.
Benedict XVI

"The worst injuries the Church can suffer are those that contaminate the faith and Christian lives of its members and communities because they erode the Church's integrity."
The attendance of a delegation from the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, the highest authority of the Orthodox Church, gives the ceremony even greater symbolism. The pope prayed with a metropolitan before the tomb of Saint Peter to ask for the unity of all Christians, and the emotional ceremony ended with a warm goodbye.
The archbishops who received palliums are:
- Archbishop Luis Gerardo Herrera O.F.M. of Cuenca, Ecuador.
- Archbishop Alex Thomas Kaliyanil S.V.D. of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe.
- Archbishop Gerard Tlali Lerotholi O.M.I. of Maseru, Lesotho.
- Archbishop Antonio Fernando Saburido O.S.B. of Olinda and Recife, Brazil.
- Archbishop Albert Legatt of Saint-Boniface, Canada.
- Archbishop Gualtiero Bassetti of Perugia - Citta della Pieve, Italy.
- Archbishop Andrea Bruno Mazzocato of Udine, Italy.
- Archbishop Gabriel Mblinghi C.S.Sp. of Lubango, Angola.
- Archbishop Socrates B. Villegas of Lingayen-Dagupan, Philppines.
- Archbishop Constancio Miranda Weckmann of Chihuahua, Mexico.
- Archbishop Bernard Longley of Birmingham, England.
- Archbishop Juan Jose Asenjo Pelegrina of Seville, Spain.
- Archbishop Jerome Edward Listecki of Milwaukee, U.S.A
- Archbishop Samuel Kleda of Douala, Cameroon.
- Archbishop Jesus Sanz Montes O.F.M. of Oviedo, Spain.
- Archbishop Anton Stres C.M. of Ljubljana, Slovenia.
- Archbishop Joseph Atanga S.J. of Bertoua, Cameroon.
- Archbishop Stephen Brislin of Cape Town, South Africa.
- Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr of Cincinnati, U.S.A.
- Archbishop Alberto Taveira Correa of Belem do Para, Brazil.
- Archbishop Andre-Mutien Leonard of Mechelen-Brussels, Belgium.
- Archbishop Antonio Lanfranchi of Modena - Nonantola, Italy.
- Archbishop Dominik Duka O.P. of Prague, Czech Republic.
- Archbishop Ricardo Antonio Tobon Restrepo of Medellin, Colombia.
- Archbishop Jose Domingo Ulloa Mendieta O.S.A. of Panama, Panama.
- Archbishop Francis Kallarakal of Verapoly, India.
- Archbishop Desire Tsarahazana of Toamasina, Madagascar.
- Archbishop Ricardo Blazquez Perez of Valladolid, Spain.
- Archbishop Hyginus Kim Hee-joong of Kwangju, Korea.
- Archbishop Luis Madrid Merlano of Nueva Pamplona, Colombia.
- Archbishop Thomas Gerard Wenski of Miami, U.S.A.
- Archbishop Peter Smith of Southwark, England.
- Archbishop Jozef Kowalczyk of Gniezno, Poland.
- Archbishop Pierre Nguyen Van Nhon of Hanoi, Vietnam.
- Archbishop Matthias Kobena Nketsiah of Cape Coast, Ghana.
- Archbishop Bernard Bober of Kosice, Slovakia.
- Archbishop Carlos Garfias Merlos of Acapulco, Mexico.
- Archbishop Luigi Moretti of Salerno - Campagna - Acerno, Italy.


UCAN report: Three masked men shot and wounded a Catholic priest in Mokama in the Indian state of Bihar last night.

The motives for the attack are unclear.
Father Michael Ignatius, the local parish priest, received four gunshot wounds which shattered his hands but are not life threatening. He was rushed by police escort to Kurji Holy Family Hospital, Patna, where he is still being treated.
Father Ignatius says he was watching television at his residence when the attack took place. The men came into his unlocked room, fired at him and left. As he fell to the ground and called for help, they returned and fired again. He claimed they were aiming for his chest but he blocked the bullets with his hands.

PICTURE: Doctors attending to Father Michael Ignatius
Assistant parish priest Father Alex Vedamackiam was in his room at the time and was unharmed.
The watchman at the residence recognized one of the attackers, a local Catholic, who has now fled. Police have taken his younger brother into custody.
The attackers’ motives are still under investigation. Police have ruled out robbery as the watchman’s cell phone was the only thing stolen.
Mokama is a notorious crime black spot. Father Matthew Uzhuthal, vicar general of Patna archdiocese, was stabbed to death in 2005 by a youth who allegedly demanded money. The murdered cleric had also been parish priest in Mokama for several years.

Idependent Catholic report: Concerns are growing for the safety of the Vice Chancellor of the Veritas Catholic University of Nigeria, Fr Professor Justin Ukpong and his driver, who have not been seen since they were abducted last Thursday.

In a statement, Archbishop John Onaiyekan, said: “We, the Catholic Bishops of Nigeria are really disturbed by this latest development which is a threat to the contribution of the Church to education development in the country. While we condemn it out rightly, we pray for a change of heart by those involved.”
Fr Justin and his driver were kidnapped by unknown persons on Thursday June 24, at about 7 pm as they were about to enter his house, near the university.
The kidnappers have yet to make a ransom demand, but they have demanded to talk to the Archbishop in charge of the institution.
At the end of May, three female students of the University were kidnapped from the Hospitallers Female Hostel located in Obehie. These students werereleased after ten days without payment of any ransom.
The bishops are appealing to the kidnappers to release the vice chancellor and his driver unhurt and without any conditions.
They have also called on the civil authorities to do more to guarantee the security of lives and property of Nigerian citizens.


Independent Catholic news report: Young Catholics will gather to look at their life choices at Invocation 2010, a new festival for young adults to be held in the grounds of St Mary's College, Oscott from July 2 - 4. Among the speakers will be Fr Christopher Jamison of Worth Abbey, featured in the series 'The Monastery', Sr Gabriel Davison, a Poor Clare nun from the community near Arundel, featured in the BBC's 'The Convent', Archbishop Vincent Nichols and Dr Andrew O'Connell, from the Presentation Brothers in Ireland.
The festival is aimed at young men and women aged 16-35 who are interested in deepening their relationship with God, and who might be thinking of becoming priests or nuns. They will be offered advice, workshops, and time for prayer and reflection. In total over 300 people will be attending. Workshops will look at questions such as 'How will I know if I am doing the right thing with my life?' 'What is prayer?' 'What is vocation, what does it mean to my life?' 'Are you ready to answer a need of the present times?' and 'Are you ready to give an account of the witness in you?'
In September Pope Benedict XVI will visit Oscott College, where Cardinal Newman was confirmed. The event is being hosted by the Archdiocese of Birmingham, with support and cooperation from a number of organizations including the National Office for Vocation and Compass. It is the first event of its kind for the Catholic Church and its young people in England and Wales. In total around 100 priests and nuns will be at the festival, and will be there to talk, to listen, and to be witnesses to the young people.
Fr Stephen Langridge, Chairman of the Vocations Directors of England and Wales said: "Research from different parts of the world suggests that a major reason young people do not pursue a vocation is not that they did not hear Christ's call, but that they had no-one to talk to about it. They didn't know how to interpret that call...If Jesus is calling these young people, we want, above all, to make space for them to hear that call."
Archbishop Vincent said: "Each of us is called to grow and mature from an infancy of faith into a mature willingness - like Mary's - to be instruments not of our own ambition, but of God's will."
Sr Gabriel Davison" said: "I discovered that God wants us for who we are and not for what we can do and so my focus changed from 'doing' more to 'being'."
For more information see:


A Catholic Mission play that dramatises the challenges of climate change for ordinary people took the Highly Commended Award from the Australian Religious Response to Climate Change (ARRCC) multi-faith environmental network.

Catholic Mission's Village Space performance group related the true stories in its theatre-in-education play "Climate Change and Poverty", according to a statement.
It dealt with drought-ravaged Australia, cyclonic flooding in Bangladesh, Inuit people confronting poisoning of the Arctic food chain, rising sea levels in Kiribati and the impact of bio-fuel production on food prices in Brazil and Mexico.
"Village Space is Catholic Mission's way of bringing global mission issues to young Australians with the immediacy of theatre," said Jenny Collins-White, Catholic Mission's National Education and Advocacy Officer. "Our plays are designed to make them think of issues that are outside their own experience."
"Climate Change and Poverty" has so far played to audiences of over 12,000 in Queensland, NSW and the ACT. Designed for senior primary and high school students to work within the school curriculum's Key Learning Areas, the play includes teachers' notes and includes a debriefing session where the audience can respond to the ethical questions that have been raised in the performance.
Bishops' Committee Launches New Initiative, Marriage: Unique for a Reason

DVD Resource on Sexual Difference Set for Release
First of Five Videos in New Initiative
Effort Crucial to New Evangelization, says Archbishop Kurtz
WASHINGTON—The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee for the Defense of Marriage has launched a new initiative for the protection of marriage, entitled Marriage: Unique for a Reason. The initiative is to help catechize and educate Catholics on the meaning of marriage as the union of one man and one woman.
The launch comes with the release of the first of five videos. The first video is called Made for Each Other and includes a Viewer’s Guide and Resource Booklet. It explores sexual difference and the complementarity between man and woman as husband and wife in marriage. Later videos will treat the good of children, the good of society and what constitutes discrimination, religious liberty, and issues particular to a Latino/a audience.
“The Committee’s efforts are grounded in the recognition that marriage, as the union of one man and one woman, is at the heart of a flourishing society and culture,” said Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, chairman of the Committee. “The truth of marriage lies at the very core of a true concern for justice and the common good. Promoting marriage is crucial to the New Evangelization. These initial materials seek to provide a key starting point, a compass, for assisting Catholics and all people of good will in understanding why marriage is and can only be the union of one man and one woman.”
The DVD, guide, and booklet are intended for use by priests, deacons, catechists, teachers and other leaders. AVAILABLE FREE HERE:
Potential uses include instruction for young adult groups, adult faith formation, and seminary and diaconate education. Materials are online at  and are available for purchase through

St. Peter

Feast: June 29
Died: 64, Rome, Italy

Major Shrine: St. Peter's Basilica

Patron of: against frenzy, bakers, bridge builders, butchers, clock makers, cobblers, feet problems, fever, fishermen, foot problems, harvesters, locksmiths, longevity, masons, net makers, papacy, ship builders, shoemakers, Universal Church, many more...
St. Peter is mentioned so often in the New Testament—in the Gospels, in the Acts of the Apostles, and in the Epistles of St. Paul—that we feel we know him better than any other person who figured prominently in the life of the Saviour. In all, his name appears 182 times. We have no knowledge of him prior to his conversion, save that he was a Galilean fisherman, from the village of Bethsaida or Capernaum. There is some evidence for supposing that Peter's brother Andrew and possibly Peter himself were followers of John the Baptist, and were therefore prepared for the appearance of the Messiah in their midst. We picture Peter as a shrewd and simple man, of great power for good, but now and again afflicted by sudden weakness and doubt, at least at the outset of his discipleship. After the death of the Saviour he manifested his primacy among the Apostles by his courage and strength. He was "the Rock" on which the Church was founded. It is perhaps Peter's capacity for growth that makes his story so inspiring to other erring humans. He reached the lowest depths on the night when he denied the Lord, then began the climb upward, to become bishop of Rome, martyr, and, finally, "keeper of the keys of Heaven."
Our first glimpse of Peter comes at the very beginning of Jesus' ministry. While He was walking along the shore of the Sea of Galilee, He saw two brothers, Simon Peter and Andrew, casting a net into the water. When He called to them, "Come, and I will make you fishers of men," they at once dropped their net to follow Him. A little later we learn that they visited the house where Peter's mother-in-law was suffering from a fever, and Jesus cured her. This was the first cure witnessed by Peter, but he was to see many miracles, for he stayed close to Jesus during the two years of His ministry. All the while he was listening, watching, questioning, learning, sometimes failing in perfect faith, but in the end full of strength and thoroughly prepared for his own years of missionary preaching.
Let us recall a few of the Biblical episodes in which Peter appears. We are told that after the miracle of the loaves and fishes, Jesus withdrew to the mountain to pray, and his disciples started to sail home across the Lake of Galilee. Suddenly they saw Him walking on the water, and, according to the account in Matthew, Jesus told them not to be afraid. It was Peter who said, "Lord, if it is Thou, bid me come to Thee over the water." Peter set out confidently, but suddenly grew afraid and began to sink, and Jesus stretched forth His hand to save him, saying, "O thou of little faith, why didst thou doubt?"
Then we have Peter's dramatic confession of faith, which occurred when Jesus and his followers had reached the villages of Caesarea Philippi. Jesus having asked the question, "Who do men say that I am?" there were various responses. Then Jesus turned to Peter and said, "But who do you say that I am?" and Peter answered firmly, "Thou art the Christ, son of the living God." (Matthew xvi, 13-18; Mark viii, 27-29; Luke ix, 18-20.) Then Jesus told him that his name would henceforth be Peter. In the Aramaic tongue which Jesus and his disciples spoke, the word was kepha, meaning rock. Jesus concluded with the prophetic words, "Thou art Peter, and upon this rock shall be built My church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."
There seems to be no doubt that Peter was favored among the disciples. He was selected, with James and John, to accompany Jesus to the mountain, the scene of the Transfiguration, to be given a glimpse of His glory, and there heard God pronounce the words, "This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased."
After this, the group had gone down to Jerusalem, where Jesus began to prepare his disciples for the approaching end of his ministry on earth. Peter chided Him and could not bring himself to believe that the end was near. When all were gathered for the Last Supper, Peter declared his loyalty and devotion in these words, "Lord, with Thee I am ready to go both to prison and to death." It must have been in deep sorrow that Jesus answered that before cockcrow Peter would deny Him thrice. And as the tragic night unrolled, this prophecy came true. When Jesus was betrayed by Judas as he prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, and was taken by soldiers to the Jewish high priest, Peter followed far behind, and sat half hidden in the courtyard of the temple during the proceedings. Pointed out as one of the disciples, Peter three times denied the accusation. But we know that he was forgiven, and when, after the Resurrection, Jesus manifested himself to his disciples, He signaled Peter out, and made him declare three times that he loved Him, paralleling the three times that Peter had denied Him. Finally, Jesus charged Peter, with dramatic brevity, "Feed my sheep." From that time on Peter became the acknowledged and responsible leader of the sect.
It was Peter who took the initiative in selecting a new Apostle in place of Judas, and he who performed the first miracle of healing. A lame beggar asked for money; Peter told him he had none, but in the name of Jesus the Nazarene bade him arise and walk. The beggar did as he was bidden, cured of his lameness. When, about two years after the Ascension, the spread of the new religion brought on the persecutions that culminated in the martyrdom of St. Stephen, many of the converts scattered or went into hiding. The Apostles stood their ground firmly in Jerusalem, where the Jewish temple had become the spearhead of opposition to them. Peter chose to preach in the outlying villages, farther and farther afield. In Samaria, where he preached and performed miracles, he was offered money by Simon Magus, a magician, if he would teach the secret of his occult powers. Peter rebuked the magician sternly, saying, "Keep thy money to thyself, to perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased by money. With his vigorous outspokenness, Peter inevitably came into conflict with the Jewish authorities, and twice the high priests had him arrested. We are told that he was miraculously freed of his prison chains, and astonished the other Apostles by suddenly appearing back among them. Peter now preached in the seaports of Joppa and Lydda, where he met men of many races, and in Caesarea, where he converted the first Gentile, a man named Cornelius. Realizing that the sect must win its greatest support from Gentiles, Peter helped to shape the early policy towards them. Its growing eminence led to his election as bishop of the see of Antioch. How long he remained there, or how or when he came to Rome, we do not know. The evidence seems to establish the fact that his last years were spent in Rome as bishop. The belief that he suffered martyrdom there during the reign of Nero in the same year as St. Paul is soundly based on the writings of three early Fathers, St. Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria, and Tertullian.[1] The only writings by St. Peter which have come down to us are his New Testament Epistles I and II, both of which are thought to have been written from Rome to the Christian converts of Asia Minor. The First Epistle is filled with admonitions to mutual helpfulness, charity, and humility, and in general outlines the duties of Christians in all aspects of life. At its conclusion (I Peter v, 13) Peter sends greetings from "the church which is at Babylon." This is accepted as further evidence that the letter was written from Rome, which in the Jewish usage of the time was called "Babylon." The second Epistle warns against false teachings, speaks of the Second Coming of the Lord, and ends with the beautiful doxology, "But grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. To him be the glory, both now and the day of eternity."
The latest archeological findings indicate that St. Peter's Church in Rome rises over the site of his tomb, as Pius XII announced at the close of the Holy Year of 1950. In the catacombs many wall writings have been found which link the names of St. Peter and St. Paul, showing that popular devotion to the two great Apostles began in very early times. Paintings of later date commonly depict Peter as a short, energetic man with curly hair and beard; in art his traditional emblems are a boat, keys, and a cock.

St. Paul

Feast: June 29
Information: Feast Day: June 29
Died: 65 at Rome, Italy

Major Shrine: Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls
Patron of: against snakes, authors, Catholic Action, Cursillo movement, evangelists, hailstorms, hospital public relations, journalists, lay people, missionary bishops, musicians, newspaper editorial staff, public relations work, publishers, reporters, rope makers, saddlemakers, tent makers, many more...
The historic records bearing on St. Paul are fuller than those for any Scriptural saint. We have Paul's own wonderful writings, the fourteen letters included in the New Testament, which outline his missionary journeys, exhort and admonish the various Christian congregations, discuss ethics and doctrinal matters; and in the midst of all this we get a revelation of the man himself, his inner character, his problems and fears. St. Luke's Acts of the Apostles and certain apocryphal books are other sources of our knowledge of St. Paul. Of all the founders of the Church, Paul was perhaps the most brilliant and many-sided, the broadest in outlook, and therefore the best endowed to carry Christianity to alien lands and peoples.
Born into a well-to-do Jewish family of Tarsus, the son of a Roman citizen, Saul (as we shall call him until after his conversion) was sent to Jerusalem to be trained in the famous rabbinical school headed by Gamaliel. Here, in addition to studying the Law and the Prophets, he learned a trade, as was the custom. Young Saul chose the trade of tent-making. Although his upbringing was orthodox, while still at home in Tarsus he had come under the liberalizing Hellenic influences which at this time had permeated all levels of urban society in Asia Minor. Thus the Judaic, Roman, and Greek traditions and cultures all had a part in shaping this great Apostle, who was so different in status and temperament from the humble fishermen of Jesus' initial band of disciples. His missionary journeys were to give him the flexibility and the deep sympathy that made him the ideal human instrument for preaching Christ's Gospel of world brotherhood.
In the year 35 Saul appears as a self-righteous young Pharisee, almost fanatically anti-Christian. He believed that the trouble-making new sect should be stamped out, its adherents punished. We are told in Acts vii that he was present, although not a participator in the stoning, when Stephen, the first martyr, met his death. It was very soon afterwards that Paul experienced the revelation which was to transform his life. On the road to the Syrian city of Damascus, where he was going to continue his persecutions against the Christians, he was struck blind. On arriving in Damascus, there followed in dramatic sequence his sudden conversion, the cure of his blindness by the disciple Ananias, and his baptism. Paul accepted eagerly the commission to preach the Gospel of Christ, but like many another called to a great task he felt his unworthiness and withdrew from the world to spend three years in "Arabia" in meditation and prayer before beginning his apostolate. From the moment of his return, Paul—for he had now assumed this Roman name—never paused in his labors. It proved to be the most extraordinary career of preaching, writing, and church-founding of which we have record. The extensive travels by land and sea, so replete with adventure, are to be traced by anyone who reads carefully the New Testament letters. We cannot be sure, however, that the letters and records now extant reveal the full and complete chronicle of Paul's activities. He himself tells us he was stoned, thrice scourged, thrice shipwrecked, endured hunger and thirst, sleepless nights, perils and hardships; besides these physical trials, he suffered many disappointments and almost constant anxieties over the weak and widely-scattered communities of Christians.
Paul began his preaching in Damascus. Here the anger of the orthodox Jews against this renegade was so great that he had to make his escape by having himself let down from the city wall in a basket. Going down to Jerusalem, he was there looked on with suspicion by the Jewish Christians, for they could not at first believe that he who had so lately been their persecutor had turned advocate. Back in his native city of Tarsus once more, he was joined by Barnabas, and together they journeyed to Syrian Antioch,[1] where they were so successful in finding followers that a church, later to become famous in the annals of early Christianity, was founded. It was here that the disciples of Jesus were first given the name of Christians (from the Greek , anointed). After again returning to Jerusalem to bring aid to members of the sect who were suffering from famine, these two missionaries went back to Antioch, then sailed to the island of Cyprus; while there they converted the Roman proconsul, Sergius Paulus. Once more on the mainland of Asia Minor, they crossed the Taurus Mountains and visited many towns of the interior, particularly those having Jewish settlements. It was Paul's general practice in such places first to visit the synagogues and preach to the Jews; if rejected by them, he would then preach to the Gentiles. At Antioch in Pisidia Paul delivered a memorable discourse to the Jews, concluding with these words (Acts xiii, 46-47): "It was necessary that the word of God should be spoken to you first, but since you reject it and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, behold, we now turn to the Gentiles. For so the Lord commanded us, I have set thee for a light to the Gentiles, to be a means of salvation to the very ends of the earth." After this, the Jews drove Paul and Barnabas out from their midst, and a little later the missionaries were back in Jerusalem, where the elders were debating the attitude of the Christian Church, still predominantly Jewish in membership, towards Gentile converts. The question of circumcision proved troublesome, for most Jews thought it important that Gentiles should submit to this requirement of Jewish law; Paul's side, the more liberal, standing against circumcision, won out eventually.
The second missionary journey, which lasted from 49 to 52, took Paul and Silas, his new assistant, to Phrygia and Galatia, to Troas, and across to the mainland of Europe, to Philippi in Macedonia. The physician Luke was now a member of the party, and in the book of Acts he gives us the record. They made their way to Thessalonica, then down to Athens and Corinth. At Athens Paul preached in the Areopagus, and we know that some of the Stoics and Epicureans heard him and debated with him informally, attracted by his vigorous intellect, his magnetic personality, and the ethical teachings which, in many respects, were not unlike their own. Passing over to Corinth, he found himself in the very heart of the Graeco-Roman world, and his letters of this period show that he is aware of the great odds against him, of the ceaseless struggle to be waged in overcoming pagan skepticism and indifference. He nevertheless stayed at Corinth for eighteen months, and met with considerable success. Two valuable workers there, Aquila and Priscilla, husband and wife, returned with him to Asia. It was during his first winter at Corinth that Paul wrote the earliest extant missionary letters. They show his supreme concern for conduct and his belief in the indwelling of the Holy Spirit which gives men power for good.
The third missionary journey covered the period of 52 to 56. At Ephesus, an important city of Lydia, where the cult of the Greek-Ionic goddess Diana was very popular, Paul raised a disturbance against the cult and the trade in silver images of the goddess which flourished there. Later, in Jerusalem, he caused a commotion by visiting the temple; he was arrested, roughly handled, and bound with chains; but when he was brought before the tribune, he defended himself in a way that impressed his captors. He was taken to Caesarea, for it was rumored that some Jews at Jerusalem, who falsely accused him of having admitted Gentiles to the temple, were plotting to kill him. He was kept in prison at Caesarea awaiting trial for about two years, under the proconsuls Felix and Festus. The Roman governors apparently wished to avoid trouble with both Jews and Christians and so postponed judgment from month to month. Paul at last appealed to the Emperor, demanding the legal right of a Roman citizen to have his case heard by Nero himself. He was placed in the custody of a centurion, who took him to Rome. The Acts of the Apostles leave him in the imperial city, awaiting his hearing.
It would appear that Paul's appeal was successful, for there is some evidence of another missionary journey, probably to Macedonia. On this last visit to the various Christian communities, it is believed that he appointed Titus bishop in Crete and Timothy at Ephesus. Returning to Rome, he was once more arrested, and after two years in chains suffered martyrdom, presumably at about the same time as the Apostle Peter, bishop of the Roman Church. Inscriptions of the second and third century in the catacombs give evidence of a cult of SS. Peter and Paul. This devotion has never diminished in popularity. In Christian art St. Paul is usually depicted as a bald man with a black beard, rather stocky, but vigorous and intense. His relics are venerated in the basilica of St. Paul and in the Lateran Church at Rome.
Because of the pressure of his work, Paul usually dictated his letters, writing the salutation in his own hand. The most quoted of New Testament writers, Paul has given us a wealth of counsel, aphorisms, and ethical teachings; he had the power of expressing spiritual truths in the simplest of words, and this, rather than the building up of a systematic theology, was his contribution to the early Church. A man of action, Paul reveals the dynamic of his whole career when he writes, "I press on towards the goal, to the prize of God's heavenly calling in Christ Jesus." Although he himself was forever pressing onwards, his letters often invoked a spirit of quiet meditation, as when he ends his epistle to the Philippians with the beautiful lines: "Whatever things are true, whatever honorable, whatever just, whatever holy, whatever lovable, whatever of good repute, if there be any virtue, if anything worthy of praise, think upon these things."

Matthew 16: 13 - 19

13 Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesare'a Philip'pi, he asked his disciples, "Who do men say that the Son of man is?"

14 And they said, "Some say John the Baptist, others say Eli'jah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets."

15 He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?"

16 Simon Peter replied, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."

17 And Jesus answered him, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.

18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it.

19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."