Monday, June 7, 2010




VATICAN CITY, 6 JUN 2010 (VIS) - At 4.30 p.m. today the Holy Father visited the Maronite cathedral of Cyprus, which is dedicated to Our Lady of Grace. The cathedral, consecrated in 1960, was built with funds collected from the faithful and a donation from the Cypriot government.
Having been greeted by Archbishop Joseph Soueif of Cyprus of the Maronites, the Pope delivered his address. "As I visit this building", he said, "in my heart I make a spiritual pilgrimage to every Maronite church of the island. Be assured that, moved by a father's care, I am close to all the faithful of those ancient communities.
"This cathedral church in some way represents the very long and rich - and sometimes turbulent - history of the Maronite community in Cyprus", he added. "Maronites came to these shores at various times throughout the centuries and were often hard-pressed to remain faithful to their distinct Christian heritage. Nevertheless, in spite of their faith being tested like gold in a fire, they remained constant in the faith of their fathers, a faith which has now been passed on to you, the Maronite Cypriots of today. I urge you to treasure this great inheritance, this precious gift".
The Holy Father went on: "This cathedral building also reminds us of an important spiritual truth. St. Peter tells us that we Christians are the living stones which are being 'built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ'. Together with Christians throughout the world, we are part of that great temple which is the mystical Body of Christ. Our spiritual worship, offered in many tongues, in many places and in a beautiful variety of liturgies, is an expression of the one voice of the People of God, united in praise and thanksgiving to him and in enduring communion with each other. This communion, which we hold so dear, impels us to carry the Good News of our new life in Christ to all mankind.
"Commending you and your families, and especially your beloved children to the intercession of St. Maron, I willingly impart to all of you my apostolic blessing", he concluded.
Following the Holy Father's words, His Beatitude Cardinal Nasrallah Pierre Sfeir, patriarch of Antioch of the Maronites, Lebanon, prayed the prayer of forgiveness in the Syriac rite, followed by a hymn of invocation to the Virgin. Benedict XVI then travelled by car to the airport at Larnaca.
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VATICAN CITY, 6 JUN 2010 (VIS) - The departure ceremony at the end of the Pope's apostolic trip to Cyprus took place at Larnaca airport at 5.45 p.m. today.
Following some brief remarks from Demetris Christofias, president of the Republic of Cyprus, the Pope pronounced his address.
He began by thanking the president, the government and the civil and military authorities for everything done "to make my visit such a memorable and successful one".
He then went on: "As I depart your shores, like many pilgrims before me I am reminded again of how the Mediterranean is made up of a rich mosaic of peoples with their distinctive cultures and their beauty, their warmth and their humanity. In spite of that reality, the Eastern Mediterranean is at the same time no stranger to conflict and bloodshed, as we have tragically witnessed in recent days. Let us all redouble our efforts to build a real and lasting peace for all the peoples of the region.
"Together with that general objective", he added, "Cyprus can play a particular role in promoting dialogue and co-operation. Striving patiently for the peace of your own hearths and for the prosperity of your neighbours, you will then be well placed to hear and understand all sides of many complex issues, and to help peoples to come to a greater understanding of one another. The path that you are taking, Mr President, is one which the international community looks to with great interest and hope, and I note with satisfaction all the efforts that have been made to favour peace for your people and for the whole island of Cyprus. "As I give thanks to God for these days which saw the first encounter of the Catholic community in Cyprus with the Successor of Peter on their own soil, I also recall with gratitude my meetings with other Christian leaders, in particular with His Beatitude Chrysostomos II and the other representatives of the Church of Cyprus, whom I thank for their brotherly welcome. I hope that my visit here will be seen as another step along the path that was opened up before us by the embrace in Jerusalem of the late Patriarch Athenagoras and my venerable predecessor Pope Paul VI. Their first prophetic steps together show us the road that we too must tread. We have a divine call to be brothers, walking side by side in the faith, humble before almighty God, and with unbreakable bonds of affection for one another. As I invite my fellow Christians to continue this journey, I would assure them that the Catholic Church, with the Lord's grace, will herself pursue the goal of perfect unity in charity through an ever deepening appreciation of what Catholics and Orthodox hold dearest."
The Holy Father then reiterated his "sincere hope and prayer that, together, Christians and Muslims will become a leaven for peace and reconciliation among Cypriots and serve as an example to other countries".
Addressing the president and the government, Benedict XVI recalled how "among your most important tasks is that of assuring the peace and security of all Cypriots. Having stayed these past nights in the apostolic nunciature, ... I have seen for myself something of the sad division of the island, as well as learning of the loss of a significant part of a cultural heritage which belongs to all humanity. I have also listened to Cypriots from the north who wish to return in peace to their homes and places of worship, and I have been deeply moved by their pleas. Surely truth and reconciliation, together with respect, are the soundest foundation for the united and peaceful future of this island, and for the stability and prosperity of all her people. Much good has been achieved in this regard through substantive dialogue in recent years, though much remains to be done to overcome divisions. Let me encourage you and your fellow citizens to work patiently and steadfastly with your neighbours to build a better and more certain future for all your children. As you do so, be assured of my prayers for the peace of all Cyprus".
Having concluded his remarks the Pope blessed an olive tree and greeted the various delegations. Then, following the pontifical hymn and the Cypriot national anthem, he boarded his plane for Rome, arriving at Ciampino airport at 8.15 p.m. He then travelled by helicopter to the Vatican.
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VATICAN CITY, 7 JUN 2010 (VIS) - Made public today was the Letter in which Benedict XVI appoints Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B. as pontifical legate to the Eucharistic Congress of Slovenia, due to take place in Celje on 13 June. The Letter, written in Latin, is dated 3 May.
The mission accompanying Cardinal Bertone on his mission will be made up of: Msgr. Janez Gril, editor of the "Druzina" Catholic weekly and bursar of the diocese of Novo Mesto; Fr. Bogdan Kolar S.D.B., former dean of the faculty of theology of Ljubljana, currently professor of history at the same university; Msgr. Lech Piechota, official of the Secretariat of State; Msgr. Guillermo Javier Karcher, official of the Secretariat of State and a master of pontifical ceremonies, and Fr. Roberto Lucchini, nunciature secretary in service at the Secretariat of State.BXVI-LETTER/ VIS 20100607 (150)

VATICAN CITY, 7 JUN 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Bishop Carlos Garfias Merlos of Netzahualcoyotl, Mexico, as metropolitan archbishop of Acapulco (area 18.603, population 4,190,000, Catholics 3,024,000, priests 118, permanent deacons 24, religious 119), Mexico. The archbishop-elect was born in Tuxpan, Mexico in 1951, he was ordained a priest in 1975 and consecrated a bishop in 1996. He succeeds Archbishop Felipe Aguirre Franco, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same archdiocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.


The bishop was stabbed in the house and beheaded outside. He cried help before he died. The murderer shouted "Allah Akbar!". The alleged insanity of the murderer is now to be excluded. There is no medical certificate to prove it. Murat Altun accuses the dead bishop of being a homosexual. Turkish minister of justice condemns the murder and promises to shed light on the incident.
Iskenderun (AsiaNews) - Today at 4pm local time the funeral will take place of Msgr. Padovese, killed by his driver, Murat Altun, strangely "crazed" last June 3. Meanwhile, new details have emerged on the dynamics and motives of the killing that has prostrated the Turkish Church.
The funeral ceremony will be held in the Church of the Annunciation, with the participation of the apostolic nuncio, Mgr. Antonio Lucibello, the Latin bishops of Istanbul and Izmir, the Armenian Catholic Bishop of Istanbul, as well as the priests in Turkey and representatives of international embassies.
There will also be a delegate of the Conference of Bishops of Europe present. The presence of bishops from other countries, particularly Italy, are not expected: After the funeral, in Iskenderun, the body of Mgr. Padovese will be brought to Milan, Italy, where he will receive other funeral. The funeral in Italy is likely to take place on Monday, June 14. The delay is due to the fact that the Italian courts have asked to do an autopsy on the body of the martyred bishop.
As the days pass, new details emerge on the story of murder and the alleged "insanity" of the assassin.
The doctors who performed the autopsy reveal that Mgr. Padovese had knife wounds all over his body, but especially in the heart (at least 8). His head was almost completely detached from his neck, attached to his body by only the skin of the back of the neck.
Even the dynamics of the killing is clearer: the Bishop was stabbed in his house. He had the strength to go out the door of the house, bleeding and crying for help and there he was killed. Perhaps only when he fell to the ground, was his head cut off.
Witnesses said they heard the bishop cry out for help. But more importantly, is that they heard screams of Murat immediately after the murder. According to these sources, he climbed on the roof of the house shouted: "I killed the great Satan! Allah Akbar! ".
This call coincides perfectly with the idea of beheading, making sense that it is like a ritual sacrifice against evil. This correlates with the murders of ultranationalist groups and Islamic fundamentalists who apparently want to eliminate Christians from Turkey.
Moreover, according to a Turkish newspaper, Milliyet on June 4, the murderer had told police that he his actions were the result of a " divine revelation."
Faced with these new chilling details perhaps the statements by the Turkish government and the first views expressed by the Vatican need to be revised. They had claimed that the killing did not have political or religious implications. Notwithstanding that, as Benedict XVI said in the plane en route to Cyprus, this murder "can not be attributed to Turkey or the Turks, and should not obscure dialogue".
Adding to the pontiff's justifiable concerns, are the increasing demands of Catholics and some Turkish NGOs that police should not stop the investigation at the presumed "insanity" of Murat, but proceed and delve deeper into his possible links with organizations of the "Deep State", even beyond the Turkish government.
The alleged insanity of the 26 year old who for more than four years lived next to the bishop is now indefensible. Ercan Eris, the church's lawyer, argues that the murderer can not become depressed in a day and that there is no medical report which declares that. Now it is certain that the young man is sane. There is no medical certificate attesting to his mental disability. Recently he said he was depressed, but now it is thought that this was all a strategy to defend himself later.
Yesterday in the Ministry of Justice came directly from Ankara to Iskenderun and explicitly condemned the act and ensured that he will do everything possible to shed light on what happened.
Establishing the truth is necessary for the Turkish State, because it shows its modernity and ability to guarantee rights, but it is also necessary for the Church. According to police sources, it seems that Murat is offering a new justification for his action: Mgr. Padovese was a homosexual, Murat, 26, was the victim, "forced to suffer abuse." The killing of the bishop was not martyrdom, but an act of "legitimate defence".
But according to experts of the Turkish world, the killing of Mgr. Padovese shows an evolution of organizations of the "Deep State" being the first time they aim so high. So far they had targeted ordinary priests, but now they have attacked the head of the Turkish Church (Mgr Padovese was president of the Episcopal Conference of Turkey). At the same time, their actions are becoming more sophisticated, less crude than before. There not only limit their defence to claims of “insanity”, already used for the murder of Father Santoro, but offer more explanation to confuse public opinion nationally and internationally.,-I-killed-the-great-Satan!-18612.html


Agenzia Fides report – The Cathedral of the Diocese of Tian Jin celebrated with great joy and intense participation the Baptism, Confirmation, and First Communion of 206 catechumens on June 5, Vespers of the Solemnity of Corpus Christi, allowing this large group of people to celebrate the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ as Catholics. According to information received by Fides, many Chinese Catholic communities have solemnly celebrated the Feast of Corpus Christi, in communion with the Universal Church, both on the date of Thursday, June 3 and on the following Sunday, June 6, according to local needs.
The parish of Fu Shun in the Diocese of Liao Ning celebrated the solemnity on June 3, with the consecration of new church dedicated to the Body and Blood of Christ. Bishop Paul Pei Jun Min, diocesan bishop, presided at the Consecration Mass, which was concelebrated by about sixty priests. There were female diocesan congregations present as well, along with more than 3,000 faithful. The following Sunday, June 6, Bishop Paul Pei presided at other celebrations of Corpus Christi in the diocese which included processions and Eucharistic Adoration.

The parish of Cao Zhuang in the Diocese of Han Dan opened the celebration of the feast with a procession that ended with Benediction with the Blessed Sacrament. As a community mainly composed of members of the working class, the parish responded to their needs by moving the celebration to Sunday. Along the route of the procession, the faithful heard the reading of Bible passages and the commentaries of the priests. 


Idependant Catholic News report: Deep concern over the recent death of Floribert Chebeya Bahizire and the "increased oppression against Congolese human rights defenders" during the past year was expressed by the general secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC) in a letter to the president of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on 4 June.

Chebeya was the executive director of La Voix des Sans-Voix (Voice of the Voiceless), one of the DRC's most important human rights organizations.
Chebeya's body was found in his car on Wednesday morning. He had been called to a meeting with the national police chief, which did not take place, the previous night. His driver has been missing since then.
WCC general secretary Rev Dr Olav Fykse Tveit urged the DRC government "to act as agents of the rule of law" and added: "The government has a responsibility to respect, protect and fulfil the human rights of its citizens and should demonstrate this respect by conducting a full, open and transparent investigation into the death of Mr Floribert Chebeya Bahizire and the fate of his driver, Mr Fidele Bazana Edadi."
Speaking at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, UN investigator Philip Alston said the circumstances of the death "strongly suggested official responsibility". The DRC government has ordered an inquiry into the death.
La Voix des Sans-Voix is part of the WCC human rights defenders network in Africa. Chebeya was a member of the planning committee of a human rights workshop that the WCC and other Christian organizations held in Kinshasa last April. At the ecumenical workshop, Congolese church leaders committed themselves to promote respect for human dignity and fundamental human rights.


Cath News report. Former Australian Catholic University student Kathleen Worrall has been sentenced to a maximum jail term of six years for manslaughter, after pleading guilty to the stabbing of her younger sister in 2008.

In sentencing the 22-year-old in the NSW Supreme Court, Justice Elizabeth Fullerton accepted that Worrall essentially loved her sister and was deeply remorseful, said an AAP report in the Sydney Morning Herald.
The vicitm, Susan Worrall, sustained more than 50 stab wounds at the family home in Strathfield, in Sydney's west, in October 2008.
The Crown accepted the plea on the basis that Kathleen was suffering from "an abnormality of the mind" - a mood disorder associated with her non-compliance with her medication regime.
The treatment of her congenital disorder included high doses of corticosteroids, which led to substantial weight gain.
The AAP report said Kathleen repeatedly stabbed her younger sister and then told a friend, "I am glad the bitch is dead".
During the frenzied attack, her 18-year-old sister Susan had cried: "No Kathleen, I love you, I love you, please stop."
But Worrall believed she did not mean it and was feigning her last gasps.
So she stabbed her only sibling again, yelling: "You're faking it, stop faking it."
She has told a psychiatrist she now realises how bizarre her thinking and behaviour had become.
On October 10, Worrall armed herself with a knife she had bought from Kmart and two others from the kitchen.
Justice Fullerton said Worrall researched the internet for information on knife wounds, deciding she should sever the carotid artery as she wanted her sister's death to be quick.
"She said that she did not want to hurt her, she just wanted her to disappear," the judge said.
Judge Fullerton concluded the horrific death would never have occurred but for the "complexities associated with Worrall's genetic condition and her interference with her treatment", the report adds.
She set a maximum jail term of six years.


CNS REPORT -- Liana Lupas stands out in New York, even by the standards of a city that defines itself with superlatives and seems to have world-class specialists in every conceivable discipline. She calls herself "the only librarian in the world who takes care of one book."

Of course, that book is "the" Book, the Bible. And in two decades with the American Bible Society and the Museum of Biblical Art, Lupas has been responsible for a collection that includes more than 45,000 books of Scripture printed in more than 2,000 languages during six centuries.
"Each and every one is important to me, whether it was a pamphlet printed last month or a first edition printed before 1500. They are part of the same story and should be treated with respect," Lupas said.
Lupas trained as a classicist in her native Romania, where she earned her doctorate in Greek and Latin. She worked at the University of Bucharest for 21 years before joining her husband in New York in 1984.
"I came as a refugee from the communists," Lupas told Catholic News Service. Her husband spent many years in labor camps in Romania and the Soviet Union, and the couple was determined to live in freedom with their young daughter, she said.
With a small child at home, Lupas took a job as a library assistant, shelving books at the New York University law library and studied for her master's in library science at Columbia University. A research project for her studies brought her to the American Bible Society, a venerable 193-year-old institution dedicated to making the Bible available to every person in a language and format each can understand and afford.
"I had seen the place as a tourist and knew they had an extraordinary collection," Lupas said. "I was also conscious of my accent and figured that ABS was a Christian organization and they might be polite, even kind, to me."
As it turned out, she had a great experience with the head of the American Bible Society archive and earned an "A" in the course she took. Two years after she completed her master's degree, she became a cataloger at the society. Within a year, she was the curator.
The society's Scripture collection is immense and some of the holdings are more rare than others. Lupas said most of its acquisitions are new translations, given by publishers to the organization that serves as a depository library. She is able to buy rare books for the collection with donations from a Friends of the Library organization.
She said that Bibles considered rare might include anything printed before 1700, the earliest translation in a language or geographic area, regardless of age, and Bibles belonging to historic figures, among other criteria.
In 2005, the Museum of Biblical Art opened in the Manhattan building that houses the American Bible Society. Its two galleries and learning center draw tourists, scholars and church-sponsored field trips, according to Lupas. In January, the society loaned 2,200 of its rare volumes to the museum for public exhibits over a 10-year period. Lupas was included in the loan and is now curator of the museum's rare Bible collection.
About 4,400 people visited the inaugural exhibit, entitled "Pearl of Great Price," for which Lupas chose 20 items she said "suggest the breadth and depth of the collection." She included significant translations in English, Japanese and Bengali; Bibles with prominent publishers; those with unique marketing campaigns; and several with famous owners, such as Helen Keller, or intended readers, including Pony Express riders and World War II sailors and airmen.
The latter were New Testaments supplied by the American Bible Society, wrapped in waterproof covers and placed in survival kits on ships and planes. Frank H. Mann, the organization's general secretary, said in 1943 that it was the first time in the group's history that it was distributing Scripture he hoped no one would read.
Lupas said she does not have a personal collection of Bibles, because she has unlimited access to the books she calls her friends. But if she could own any one of the rare volumes she curates, Lupas said it would be the Complutensian Polyglot, a Spanish Bible printed in 1514 in Hebrew, Latin, Greek and Aramaic. "It's an extraordinary book, the pinnacle of Catholic biblical scholarship," Lupas said. She called it the first great polyglot Bible, or Bible printed in more than one language.
Raised Greek Orthodox, Lupas said she fulfilled a long-held dream to become a Catholic after she settled in New York. She belongs to Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal Parish in Ridgewood in the Queens borough of New York.
Lupas' daughter, Maria Cristina, has followed somewhat in her mother's footsteps. She majored in classics at Georgetown University, graduating with honors in 2000. Her faith journey led to Notre Dame de Vie, a French Carmelite secular institute, which has members in Washington. On Aug. 14 in France, Maria Cristina will profess final vows as a lay Carmelite. Her mother will be at her side.

St. Robert of Newminster

Feast: June 7
Information: Feast Day: June 7
Born: 1100 at Gargrave, Craven district, Yorkshire county, England
Died: 7 June 1159 at Newminster England
He was a native of Yorkshire, and even in his childhood an enemy to the usual amusements of that age, loving only prayer, serious reading, and useful and pious employments. Having finished his studies, he was ordained priest, and instituted to a rectorship of a parish in the diocese of York; but after discharging that office some time with great assiduity and zeal, he resigned that living, and took the religious habit in the Benedictine monastery of our Lady in York. Richard, the prior of this house, and twelve others, desiring to serve God according to the primitive institute of the Benedictine Order, left the monastery, with leave of the abbot, and endeavoring to execute their project, struggled with incredible hardships; till Thurstan, the pious archbishop of York, gave them a desert valley, called Scheldale, with the town of Sutton, where, in the midst of winter, and in extreme poverty they founded the celebrated abbey which, from certain springs, was called Fountains, in 1132. The Cistercian Order, which had been lately introduced into England, and settled at Rievalle, was perfectly agreeable to the fervent dispositions of this holy colony; and at their request the monastery of Fountains was received into it by St. Bernard, who in his letters extols the perfection and sanctity of this new nursery of saints, which, from the beginning, was a model to the whole order for devotion, austerity in fasts, labor, by which all the monks procured their subsistence, fervor in all religious exercises, and cheerfulness in singing assiduously the divine praises. No murmur or sadness was known among them; nor any strife or contention ever heard of, unless of charity or humility: they never yielded to rest, till fatigued with labor; and always came hungry from their slender table, which was chiefly furnished with pulse and roots from their garden. St. Robert seemed so far to eclipse the rest of this holy company by the lustre of his piety, that they all had their eyes on him in their religions duties, and studied to transcribe his fervor in their actions. Ranulph of Merley, baron of Morpeth, paying a visit to the monastery of Fountains five years after its foundation, was so struck with the edifying deportment of the terrestrial angels who inhabited it, that he obtained of the abbot Richard a certain number of those monks, and built for them a monastery called Newminster, near Morpeth, in Northumberland, in 1137, of which St. Robert was appointed abbot.
The saint in his new dignity thought it his duty not only to walk before his brethren, but to go beyond them all in every religious observance; and all his virtues seemed to receive new vigor, and a new degree of perfection in this eminent station. His affection to holy prayer is not to be expressed. He recommended to God continually those committed to his care, and with many tears poured forth his soul for them night and day. He was favored with the gift of prophecy and miracles. He founded another monastery a Pipinelle, or Rivebelle, in Northamptonshire, and lived in the strictest union of holy friendship with St. Bernard; also with St. Godric, a holy hermit in those parts, illiterate as to secular learning, but a most spiritual man. St. Robert finished his course by a happy death on the 7th of June, 1159. Miracles attested his sanctity to the world. He is named in the Roman Martyrology.


Matthew 5: 1 - 12

1 Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down his disciples came to him.

2 And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying:

3 "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

4 "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

5 "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

6 "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

7 "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.

8 "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

9 "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

10 "Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 "Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.

12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so men persecuted the prophets who were before you.
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