Saturday, July 31, 2010




Radio Vaticana report: Pope Benedict XVI was treated yesterday evening to a special screening of a film documenting the first five years of his pontificate.

The film was screened at the Papal retreat outside Rome in the hill town of Castel Gandalfo, where the Holy Father is spending the Summer months.
In remarks following the screening, the Holy Father thanked the documentary’s producers at Bavarian Radio, along with writer/director Michael Malik and executive producer Gerhard Fuchs.
Pope Benedict said it was especially moving for him to see scenes from his election to the Papacy, saying the Petrine ministry is a burden that no one can bear by his own, and that one can only carry it with the strength and support of the Lord.
He went on to say the film portrays the richness of the Church’s life, and is a reminder that the mission of Peter in the Church is to render the unity of the Church in visible and concrete, now and forever.
Though suffering much in the present, said Pope Benedict, the Church is a joyous Church, not old, but young – and that faith creates joy.


Asia News report: They are the worst rains in 80 years. More than 6,000 victims feared. The area most affected is the north-west of Pakistan and the Swat Valley, a place of tourism. Many areas are isolated.

Peshawar (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Nearly 500 people were killed by floods or landslides between Pakistan and Afghanistan. Most died in northwest Pakistan, about 60 have died in Afghanistan.
Heavy monsoon rains have been falling for days destroying roads, bridges, and houses and isolating hundreds of thousands of people.
The city of Peshawar has been rendered inaccessible and hundreds of tourists in the Swat Valley are missing. Mian Iftikhar Hussain, Minister of Information, said that the toll could rise even more. He is afraid it could shoot up to 6000 people. "We are facing the worst disaster in the history of our province," he said.
The army is leading emergency teams who have so far evacuated nearly 15,000 people and launched at least 50 tonnes of food rations in the affected areas from planes and helicopters. According to authorities, the rains and floods are the worst for over 80 years.
Over 300 mm of water fell in three days, the highest level in the last 35 years, and more rain is expected over the weekend. The meteorological office expects rainfall for at least another 10 days. The monsoon season in Pakistan lasts until early September.

Asia News report: For nearly a century, various governments in the Holy Land gave free water to the basilica and pilgrims as a sign of courtesy. Now the Jerusalem Municipality also wants it to pay for past consumption of water. Confusion and concern among the Christian Churches: we agreement among all the groups who use the water at the Holy Sepulchre.

Tel Aviv (AsiaNews) – The Churches of Jerusalem are perplexed and concerned by the municipal authorities threat to cut off water supplies to the basilica of the Holy Sepulchre. Since water supplies were first operational in the area, successive governments have always provided access to the Holy Sepulchre free of charge as a public service to the pilgrims and act of courtesy to the religious, Catholic and non-Catholic, who custody the sanctuary.
So did the British government in the Holy Land (1917-1948), the Jordanian (1948-1967) and so far the Israelis. But now Israeli municipal authorities have stepped up pressure and threats to cut off water supplies unless a tax is paid, not only in future but also for all water supplied since 1967.
The revelations were made to AsiaNews by sources in the Basilica, who prefer not to be identified in the hope that the city authorities will have a change of heart. The curious fact is that the payment requests are directed to a nonexistent entity, "the church of the Holy Sepulchre." An administration that does not exist, since the ancient basilica is governed by a special, internationally recognized, legal regime, known as the "Status quo". The "Status quo" means that the spaces, time, and functions are divided between the Catholic Church, represented by the Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land and several groups of non-Catholic monks, primarily Greek and Armenian but also to a lesser extent, Copts, Ethiopian and Syrian Orthodox.
An expert of Church-State relations in the Holy Land contacted by AsiaNews, said: "The question of paying for the past use is clearly unfounded, because it was a conscious choice and consistent political of all the successive states that ruled in Jerusalem both de facto and de jure, to offer this courtesy to those who officiate and those visiting the Holy Sepulchre of Our Lord Jesus Christ [and also to many other churches in the past]. As for the future, nobody denies that nowadays the supply of water could be seen as a 'commodity' for which you should always pay a fair price. However, in order for this to be applied to the whole of the Holy Sepulchre, specific agreements must be reached between first among the different users regarding the splitting of costs for the consumption of water in common areas, and then you will have to install separate water metres so that it can be demanded that each group of monks pay for what they consume. In fact it is a rather complex legal and technical transaction, which can be addressed only by mutual agreement and not to the sound of threats and warnings, addressed to nobody in particular”.
With some hesitation, the scholar concludes: "But in the end, is it worthwhile for the Israeli authorities to remove an appreciated courtesy practiced by all other states that have controlled the area? It's likely that whoever had this idea will now have to consult with the Office of the Prime Minister or the Foreign Ministry to reach a more lenient conclusion".


Agenzia Fides REPORT- The principal Churches in Kenya organised for today, 30 July, an ecumenical prayer service in view of a referendum on the country's Constitution to be held on 4 August.

“Members of the most important Christian Churches in Kenya are taking part in an ecumenical prayer service which started at 11am local time at Holy Family Basilica, Nairobi. The Basilica, which seats 10,000 people, is filled to capacity ” Fides learned from Mike O’Maera, Director of Nairobi based Catholic Information Service for Africa (CISA).
Kenyan Christians have strongly criticised the text of the Constitution, to be voted by referendum on August 4. Two main objections have been raised by the Christian confessions. The first concerns the clause which moves the moment when life starts from the moment of conception to the moment of birth. For the Churches this step is propaedeutic to the legalisation of abortion. The second objection regards recognition of Kadhi courts, that is, Islamic civil courts.
The position of the local Catholic Church was confirmed by Cardinal John Njue, Archbishop of Nairobi during a joint press conference, held at Nairobi’s Holy Family Basilica on July 22 when the Cardinal and other religious leaders, addressed a joint ecumenical press conference, announcing the joint ecumenical prayer service on the constitution at the Holy Minor Basilica on July 30. “ The current bubbling issue on whether one should vote for YES or No is not very central for us. On the contrary imparting the right information on the issue with aims to assist our people to make the right decision is of central importance to us,” said the Cardinal.
Referring to a Bishops' Statement issued on 11 May (see Fides 12/5/2010), Cardinal Njue added “some improvements on the draft of the Constitution have been made, but the good has been mixed with some bad paragraphs which affect moral life and rights. Some think only a small percentage of the draft constitution is bad. Unfortunately this is not true. Evil however small can act as bad leaven, changing and corrupting the whole from within”.


Oaxaca Agenzia Fides REPORT– An eighty three year old priest was found dead in the evening of 28 July, in his parish, in Oaxaca City in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca. The priest had been gagged and tied up, the local director of public prosecutions told the press. The authorities said the body of Rev. Carlos Salvador Wotto, who was parish priest at Nuestra Señora de las Nieves, Oaxaca City, had cigarette burns on his arms and knife wounds on other parts of the body, but death was due suffocation with a plastic bag over his head.
Salvador García the parish sacristan discovered the body and called an ambulance, but first aid was of no avail, the priest was dead. Catholics in Oaxaca City are under shock. Local officers sent by the prosecution director to investigate the 18th century church situated in the historic city centre, confirmed the suspicion of robbery since various articles of great value were reported missing. Oaxaca is often the scene of clashes between the police and drug cartels.
The spokesman of the archdiocese of Antequera Oaxaca, Fr José Guadalupe Barragan, said the local Church is awaiting the investigation results and that the funeral will be presided by Archbishop José Luis Chávez Botello.
The archdiocese of Antequera Oaxaca has a population of circa 2 million and 112 parishes served by 139 diocesan priests and 42 religious priests.


Catholic Online REPORT- Distance learning at CDU provides adults who lead busy lives a convenient and effective alternative to traditional classroom studies.
On August 15, 1990, Pope John Paul II promulgated his Apostolic Constitution Ex Corde Ecclesiae (On Catholic Universities), in which he confirms that the Catholic university is "born from the heart of the Church," and is "located in that course of tradition which may be traced back to the very origin of the university as an institution."
The heart of the Catholic Church is Jesus Christ, the "Way, and the Truth, and the Life" (Jn 14:6), whose grace and love imparts to his Bride her life, light and mission. Therefore the authentic and sincere search for truth manifests itself in faithfulness to Jesus Christ and his Bride, and thus will not oppose nor attempt to undermine the fullness of God's revelation as it is held, guarded, and transmitted to the nations by the Church. The search for truth, a labor of love proper to the human intellect, enters into its fullest and most fruitful dimension when fidelity to the Magisterium (teaching office of the Church) is diligently maintained.
John Paul II reminds us that "a Catholic university's privileged task is to unite existentially by intellectual effort two orders of reality that too frequently tend to be placed in opposition as though they were antithetical: the search for truth, and the certainty of already knowing the fount of truth." (Ibid., 3).
The fount of truth flows forth in the life and liturgy of the Church, transmitted to all people by Sacred Tradition, Sacred Scripture, and the Magisterium. The wellspring of this truth, the point of its origin and life, is the historical Person of Jesus Christ. Thus we can say that the Catholic university who is faithful to the truth must also be faithful to Christ and the teaching of the Church whose existence is derived from Truth Itself, our Master, Teacher, and Savior.
John Paul II wrote, "every Catholic university, without ceasing to be a university, has a relationship to the Church that is essential to its institutional identity. . . . One consequence of its essential relationship to the Church is that the institutional fidelity of the university to the Christian message includes a recognition of and adherence to the teaching authority of the Church in matters of faith and morals." (Ibid., 27).
The Growing Hunger For Truth
Today millions of Catholics around the world seek to obtain an excellent education, both for themselves and their children. Yet they understand that the real worth of an education is not found in simply acquiring intellectual knowledge. Regardless of the thoroughness of a particular program of study, its value will be seriously diminished if it fails to be centered on the Ultimate and Highest Truth. Therefore those Catholic institutions of higher-learning whose commitment to God and the Church he willed should exist is readily apparent are in great demand. One such institution is the Catholic Distance University (CDU).

CDU was founded in 1983 by Bishop Thomas J. Welsh of the Arlington Diocese, and takes Ex Corde Ecclesiae as its guiding principle. The CDU website informs us of the Church's invitation that the faithful respond to God's grace: "Since the close of the Second Vatican Council, the Church has proclaimed Christ's invitation to share actively in His mission and respond as mature adults to the universal call to holiness. In order to participate in the mission of Christ and the Church, we need to be formed by the Word of God through an authentic, systematic exploration of the mystery of Christ's love." CDU's motto is gaudium de veritate, "Joy From The Truth."
Many adults desire to expand their knowledge of the Faith, perhaps even obtain a degree in theology, or a Catechetical Diploma, but due to their particular circumstances in life, they find the traditional methods of classroom study impossible. "At this crossroads between a desire for authentic teaching of the Church and the various limitations of our life situations, stands The Catholic Distance University. . . . CDU has 25-years of experience using the distance learning format to systematically communicate the Truths of the Faith. In fact, we have more experience in delivering theology, faithful to the Magisterium, in the distance format than any other Catholic institution in the world."
As a current student at CDU, I can attest to the excellent, thorough education provided through CDU's distance learning format, which is always centered on Christ in fidelity to the Magisterium, and delivered to each individual on a personal level. CDU is an intellectual community in a uniquely Catholic way, always respectful of the truth. As Pope Benedict XVI said: "Only in faith can truth become incarnate and reason truly human, capable of directing the will along the path of freedom" (cf. Spe Salvi, 23). The ongoing mission of CDU is to bring the "fount of truth" to people where they are, with integrity and dedication.

"Just as Jesus encountered people in the Gospels where they were and brought them into a new relationship with Him, so CDU is the means by which the Church can meet people where they are, not only physically but also emotionally and spiritually. Our programs, delivered in small classes, provide a forum for networking and collaboration, and respond to the spiritual dimension of the adult learner by offering the Church's rich two-thousand year spiritual patrimony of inspiring wisdom and writings." CDU President Marianne Evans Mount, Ph.D, writes that CDU "is truly a learner-centered institution that makes life long learning in the faith not only a goal, but a reality for thousands of Catholic adults worldwide who are earning accredited degrees, certificates, and diplomas without leaving the comfort of home." At CDU "you will find the rich patrimony of the Church -- Sacred Scripture, official Church documents, the wisdom of the saints and Doctors of the Church, and renowned faculty at your finger tips with the click of a mouse. CDU offers inspiring courses and programs to meet every educational need and level. Our courses are annotated to the Catechism of the Catholic Church and many recent magisterial documents."
Through CDU's unique online campus, each student enters into a collaborative learning environment in a vibrant community setting, where they are introduced to students from around the world. Marianne Evans Mount writes that CDU "students represent every U.S. diocese and every continent in the world. . . . Students pray for one another in our virtual chapel, catch up with one another in the online café, and share their family life through the online photo gallery. Our online campus, learning platform, and specially selected faculty foster a rich dialogical approach to adult learning modeled on the pedagogy of Christ in the Gospels. From our three-week online interactive seminars to our semester length graduate courses, we stress the importance of faculty guided dialogue and interaction as the best way for adults to grow in their faith and deepen their knowledge and understanding."
Excellence In Education Fosters An Authentically Christian Way Of Life
In Ex Corde Ecclesiae, Pope John Paul II wrote, "students are challenged to pursue an education that combines excellence in humanistic and cultural development with specialized professional training. Most especially, they are challenged to continue the search for truth and for meaning throughout their lives, since 'the human spirit must be cultivated in such a way that there results a growth in its ability to wonder, to understand, to contemplate, to make personal judgments, and to develop a religious, moral and social sense' (Gaudium et Spes, No. 59). This enables them to acquire or, if they have already done so, to deepen a Christian way of life that is authentic" (No. 23).
Through the proper response to God's grace, our life is marked by a continuous movement toward an ever-deeper relationship with Christ. As such, Catholics are called to a life of holiness, a life which directs all our thoughts and actions toward becoming, as the sixth beatitude proclaims, "pure in heart." The Catechism of the Catholic Church informs us that "'pure in heart' refers to those who have attuned their intellects and wills to the demands of God's holiness, chiefly in three areas: charity; chastity or sexual rectitude; love of truth and orthodoxy of faith" (No. 2518).
Catholics who embody love of truth and orthodoxy of faith seek out an education which fosters their goal of living "pure in heart." Thus they often desire to study at a Catholic university which shares Pope John Paul II's vision for acquiring knowledge and pursuing the "fount of truth." In this way, they set about a course of concrete action which enables them to better live an authentically Christian life.
Sharing in such a vision, CDU's mission "is to educate adults worldwide in the teachings of Christ and the Catholic Church. CDU's mission responds to the command of Christ to teach all nations. It does this in support of the evangelizing and catechizing mission of the Roman Catholic Church, in fidelity to the Church's Magisterium, the documents of the Second Vatican Council, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and other magisterial documents, and in cooperation with local dioceses."

AUSTRIA: YOUTH PILGRIMAGE WITH BISHOPS TO MARIAZELL report: 13-15. August: All bishops will be there, the Christian rock band "Cardiac Move" plays opening. Spiritual highlights are the torchlight on Saturday evening and the big final mass in the Basilica.

Mariazell ( as "Highlight of the summer" many young people see the year's total Austrian Catholic Youth pilgrimage from 13. 15. August in Mariazell. All Austrian Catholic Bishops - with Cardinal Christoph Schönborn at the top - take part in the youth meeting. The Christian rock band "Cardiac Move" will play at the opening event. The spiritual highlights of the weekend are the torchlight on Saturday evening, 14. August, and the big final fair on Sunday in the 700 year-old basilica. There are several workshops and opportunities for the sport. Advertising The Austrian Bishops do - so "Youth bishop" Stephan Turnovszky - with the youth meeting on the dialogue with young people. The event is understood as an invitation of youth to the Bishops of the organizers. The youth pilgrimage is jointly organised by the Catholic Youth and the secondary school pupils Kartellverband (MKV) and youth of renewal movements ("movimenti"). "Fully live" is the motto of Mariazell pilgrimage.

An important part of the event will be the arrival. "Goal is prepare for the time in Mariazell fold from everyday life, find time to think and talk", so the organizers. This is the star pilgrimage from 13. August a central role. Young people from the various dioceses come together in four places before Mariazell to overcome the last kilometers. The Bishops call on Star pilgrimage.

Cath News report: Opposition Leader Tony Abbott said a Coalition Government would safeguard the tax-exempt status of charities.

Mr Abbott responded to a report that WA Catholic Archbishop Barry Hickey was concerned Prime Minister Julia Gillard, an atheist, could remove some of the tax privileges afforded to churches, The Courier-Mail reported.
While declining to comment on the PM's religious convictions, Mr Abbott said: "As for the tax status of charities, I have no plans to change that.
"I think that the great charities of this country, whether they're religious charities or not, do a magnificent jobs and I wouldn't want to see any changes to tax status because I think that that would inevitably hinder the good work that they do."


.St. Ignatius of Loyola

Information: Feast Day: July 31
Born: December 24, 1491, Loyola (Azpeitia), Basque province of Guipúzcoa, Spain
Died: July 31, 1556, Rome
Canonized: March 12, 1622, Rome by Pope Gregory XV
Patron of: provinces of Vizcaya (Biscay) & Gipuzkoa, Spain, Military Ordinariate of the Philippines, Society of Jesus, soldiers.
Youngest son of Don Beltrán Yañez de Oñez y Loyola and Marina Saenz de Lieona y Balda (the name López de Recalde, though accepted by the Bollandist Father Pien, is a copyist's blunder), b. in 1491 at the castle of Loyola above Azpeitia in Guipuscoa; d. at Rome, 31 July, 1556. The family arms are: per pale, or, seven bends gules (?vert) for Oñez; argent, pot and chain sable between two grey wolves rampant, for Loyola. The saint was baptized Inigo, after St. Enecus (Innicus), Abbot of Oña: the name Ignatius was assumed in later years, while he was residing in Rome. For the saint's genealogy, see Perez (op. cit. below, 131); Michel (op. cit. below, II, 383); Polanco (Chronicon, I, 51646). For the date of birth cfr. Astráin, I, 3 S.
I. Conversion (1491-1521)
At an early age he was made a cleric. We do not know when, or why he was released from clerical obligations. He was brought up in the household of Juan Velásquez de Cuellar, contador mayor to Ferdinand and Isabella, and in his suite probably attended the court from time to time, though not in the royal service. This was perhaps the time of his greatest dissipation and laxity. He was affected and extravagant about his hair and dress, consumed with the desire of winning glory, and would seem to have been sometimes involved in those darker intrigues, for which handsome young courtiers too often think themselves licensed. How far he went on the downward course is still unproved. The balance of evidence tends to show that his own subsequent humble confessions of having been a great sinner should not be treated as pious exaggerations. But we have no details, not even definite charges. In 1517 a change for the better seems to have taken place; Velásquez died and Ignatius took service in the army. The turning-point of his life came in 1521. While the French were besieging the citadel of Pampeluna, a cannon ball, passing between Ignatius' legs, tore open the left calf. and broke the right shin (Whit-Tuesday, 20 May, 1521). With his fall the garrison lost heart and surrendered, but he was well treated by the French and carried on a litter to Loyola, where his leg had to be rebroken and reset, and afterwards a protruding end of the bone was sawn off, and the limb, having been shortened by clumsy setting, was stretched out by weights. All these pains were undergone voluntarily, without uttering a cry or submitting to be bound. But the pain and weakness which followed were so great that the patient began to fail and sink. On the eve of Sts. Peter and Paul, however, a turn for the better took place, and he threw off his fever.
So far Ignatius had shown none but the ordinary virtues of the Spanish officer. His dangers and sufferings has doubtless done much to purge his soul, but there was no idea yet of remodelling his life on any higher ideals. Then, in order to divert the weary hours of convalescence, he asked for the romances of chivalry, his favourite reading, but there were none in the castle, and instead they brought him the lives of Christ and of the saints, and he read them in the same quasi-competitive spirit with which he read the achievements of knights and warriors. "Suppose I were to rival this saint in fasting, that one in endurance, that other in pilgrimages." He would then wander off into thoughts of chivalry, and service to fair ladies, especially to one of high rank, whose name is unknown. Then all of a sudden, he became conscious that the after-effect of these dreams was to make him dry and dissatisfied, while the ideas of falling into rank among the saints braced and strengthened him, and left him full of joy and peace. Next it dawned on him that the former ideas were of the world, the latter God-sent; finally, worldly thoughts began to lose their hold, while heavenly ones grew clearer and dearer. One night as he lay awake, pondering these new lights, "he saw clearly", so says his autobiography, "the image of Our Lady with the Holy Child Jesus", at whose sight for a notable time he felt a reassuring sweetness, which eventually left him with such a loathing of his past sins, and especially for those of the flesh, that every unclean imagination seemed blotted out from his soul, and never again was there the least consent to any carnal thought. His conversion was now complete. Everyone noticed that he would speak of nothing but spiritual things, and his elder brother begged him not to take any rash or extreme resolution, which might compromise the honour of their family.
II. Spiritual Formation (1522-24)
When Ignatius left Loyola he had no definite plans for the future, except that he wished to rival all the saints had done in the way of penance. His first care was to make a general confession at the famous sanctuary of Montserrat, where, after three days of self-examination, and carefully noting his sins, he confessed, gave to the poor the rich clothes in which he had come, and put on garment of sack-cloth reaching to his feet. His sword and dagger he suspended at Our Lady's altar, and passed the night watching before them. Next morning, the feast of the Annunciation, 1522, after Communion, he left the sanctuary, not knowing whither he went. But he soon fell in with a kind woman, Iñes Pascual, who showed him a cavern near the neighbouring town of Manresa, where he might retire for prayer, austerities, and contemplation, while he lived on alms. But here, instead of obtaining greater peace, he was consumed with the most troublesome scruples. Had he confessed this sin? Had he omitted that circumstance? At one time he was violently tempted to end his miseries by suicide, on which he resolved neither to eat nor to drink (unless his life was in danger), until God granted him the peace which he desired, and so he continued until his confessor stopped him at the end of the week. At last, however, he triumphed over all obstacles, and then abounded in wonderful graces and visions. It was at this time, too, that he began to make notes of his spiritual experiences, notes which grew into the little book of "The Spiritual Exercises". God also afflicted him with severe sicknesses, when he was looked after by friends in the public hospital; for many felt drawn towards him, and he requited their many kind offices by teaching them how to pray and instructing them in spiritual matters. Having recovered health, and acquired sufficient experience to guide him in his new life, he commenced his long-meditated migration to the Holy Land. From the first he had looked forward to it as leading to a life of heroic penance; now he also regarded it as a school in which he might learn how to realize clearly and to conform himself perfectly to Christ's life. The voyage was fully as painful as he had conceived. Poverty, sickness, exposure, fatigue, starvation, dangers of shipwreck and capture, prisons, blows, contradictions, these were his daily lot; and on his arrival the Franciscans, who had charge of the holy places, commanded him to return under pain of sin. Ignatius demanded what right they had thus to interfere with a pilgrim like himself, and the friars explained that, to prevent many troubles which had occurred in finding ransoms for Christian prisoners, the pope had given them the power and they offered to show him their Bulls. Ignatius at once submitted, though it meant altering his whole plan of life, refused to look at the proferred Bulls, and was back at Barcelona about march, 1524.
III. Studies And Companions (1521-39)
Ignatius left Jerusalem in the dark as to his future and "asking himself as he went, quid agendum" (Autobiography, 50). Eventually he resolved to study, in order to be of greater help to others. To studies he therefore gave eleven years, more than a third of his remaining life. Later he studied among school-boys at Barcelona, and early in 1526 he knew enough to proceed to his philosophy at the University of Alcalá. But here he met with many troubles to be described later, and at the end of 1527 he entered the University of Salamanca, whence, his trials continuing, he betook himself to Paris (June, 1528), and there with great method repeated his course of arts, taking his M. A. on 14 March, 1535. Meanwhile theology had been begun, and he had taken the licentiate in 1534; the doctorate he never took, as his health compelled him to leave Paris in March, 1535. Though Ignatius, despite his pains, acquired no great erudition, he gained many practical advantages from his course of education. To say nothing of knowledge sufficient to find such information as he needed afterwards to hold his own in the company of the learned, and to control others more erudite than himself, he also became thoroughly versed in the science of education, and learned by experience how the life of prayer and penance might be combined with that of teaching and study, an invaluable acquirement to the future founder of the Society of Jesus. The labours of Ignatius for others involved him in trials without number. At Barcelona, he was beaten senseless, and his companion killed, at the instigation of some worldlings vexed at being refused entrance into a convent which he had reformed. At Alcalá, a meddlesome inquisitor, Figueroa, harassed him constantly, and once automatically imprisoned him for two months. This drove him to Salamanca, where, worse still, he was thrown into the common prison, fettered by the foot to his companion Calisto, which indignity only drew from Ignatius the characteristic words, "There are not so many handcuffs and chains in Salamanca, but that I desire even more for the love of God."
In Paris his trials were very varied—from poverty, plague, works of charity, and college discipline, on which account he was once sentenced to a public flogging by Dr. Govea, the rector of Collège Ste-Barbe, but on his explaining his conduct, the rector as publicly begged his pardon. There was but one delation to the inquisitors, and, on Ignatius requesting a prompt settlement, the Inquisitor Ori told him proceedings were therewith quashed. We notice a certain progression in Ignatius' dealing with accusations against him. The first time he allowed them to cease without any pronouncement being given in his favour. The second time he demurred at Figueroa wanting to end in this fashion. The third time, after sentence had been passed, he appealed to he Archbishop of Toledo against some of its clauses. Finally he does not await sentence, but goes at once to the judge to urge an inquiry, and eventually he made it his practice to demand sentence, whenever reflection was cast upon his orthodoxy. (Records of Ignatius' legal proceedings at Azpeitia, in 1515; at Alclla in 1526, 1527; at Venice, 1537; at Rome in 1538, will be found in "Scripta de S. Ignatio", pp. 580-620.) Ignatius had now for the third time gathered companions around him. His first followers in Spain had persevered for a time, even amid the severe trials of imprisonment, but instead of following Ignatius to Paris, as they had agreed to do, they gave him up. In Paris too the first to follow did not persevere long, but of the third band not one deserted him. They were (St.) Peter Faber (q.v.), a Genevan Savoyard; (St.) Francis Xavier (q.v.), of Navarre; James Laynez, Alonso Salmerón, and Nicolás Bobadilla, Spaniards; Simón Rodríguez, a Portuguese. Three others joined soon after—Claude Le Jay, a Genevan Savoyard; Jean Codure and Paschase Broët, French. Progress is to be noted in the way Ignatius trained his companions. The first were exercised in the same severe exterior mortifications, begging, fasting, going barefoot, etc., which the saint was himself practising. But though this discipline had prospered in a quiet country place like Manresa, it had attracted an objectionable amount of criticism at the University of Alcalá. At Paris dress and habits were adapted to the life in great towns; fasting, etc., was reduced; studies and spiritual exercises were multiplied, and alms funded.
The only bond between Ignatius' followers so far was devotion to himself, and his great ideal of leading in the Holy Land a life as like as possible to Christ's. On 15 August, 1534, they took the vows of poverty and chastity at Montmartre (probably near the modern Chapelle de St-Denys, Rue Antoinette), and a third vow to go to the Holy Land after two years, when their studies were finished. Six months later Ignatius was compelled by bad health to return to his native country, and on recovery made his way slowly to Bologna, where, unable through ill health to study, he devoted himself to active works of charity till his companions came from Paris to Venice (6 January, 1537) on the way to the Holy Land. Finding further progress barred by the war with the Turks, they now agreed to await for a year the opportunity of fulfilling their vow, after which they would put themselves at the pope's disposal. Faber and some others, going to Rome in Lent, got leave for all to be ordained. They were eventually made priests on St. John Baptist's day. But Ignatius took eighteen months to prepare for his first Mass.
IV. Foundation Of The Society
By the winter of 1537, the year of waiting being over, it was time to offer their services to the pope. The others being sent in pairs to neighboring university towns, Ignatius with Faber and Laynez started for Rome. At La Storta, a few miles before reaching the city, Ignatius had a noteworthy vision. He seemed to see the Eternal Father associating him with His Son, who spoke the words: Ego vobis Romae propitius ero. Many have thought this promise simply referred to the subsequent success of the order there. Ignatius' own interpretation was characteristic: "I do not know whether we shall be crucified in Rome; but Jesus will be propitious." Just before or just after this, Ignatius had suggested for the title of their brotherhood "The Company of Jesus". Company was taken in its military sense, and in those days a company was generally known by its captain's name. In the Latin Bull of foundation, however, they were called "Societas Jesu". We first hear of the term Jesuit in 1544, applied as a term of reproach by adversaries. It had been used in the fifteenth century to describe in scorn someone who cantingly interlarded his speech with repetitions of the Holy Name. In 1522 it was still regarded as a mark of scorn, but before very long the friends of the society saw that they could take it in a good sense, and, though never used by Ignatius, it was readily adopted (Pollen, "The Month", June, 1909). Paul III having received the fathers favourably, all were summoned to Rome to work under the pope's eyes. At this critical moment an active campaign of slander was opened by one Fra Matteo Mainardi (who eventually died in open heresy), and a certain Michael who had been refused admission to the order. It was not till 18 November, 1538, that Ignatius obtained from the governor of Rome an honourable sentence, still extent, in his favour. The thoughts of the fathers were naturally occupied with a formula of their intended mode of life to submit to the pope; and in March, 1539, they began to meet in the evenings to settle the matter.
Hitherto without superior, rule or tradition, they had prospered most remarkably. Why not continue as they had begun? The obvious answer was that without some sort of union, some houses for training postulants, they were practically doomed to die out with the existing members, for the pope already desired to send them about as missioners from place to place. This point was soon agreed to, but when the question arose whether they should, by adding a vow of obedience to their existing vows, form themselves into a compact religious order, or remain, as they were, a congregation of secular priests, opinions differed much and seriously. Not only had they done so well without strict rules, but (to mention only one obstacle, which was in fact not overcome afterwards without great difficulty), there was the danger, if they decided for an order, that the pope might force them to adopt some ancient rule, which would mean the end of all their new ideas. The debate on this point continued for several weeks, but the conclusion in favour of a life under obedience was eventually reached unanimously. After this, progress was faster, and by 24 June some sixteen resolutions had been decided on, covering the main points of the proposed institute. Thence Ignatius drew up in five sections the first "Formula Instituti", which was submitted to the pope, who gave a viva voce approbation 3 September, 1539, but Cardinal Guidiccioni, the head of the commission appointed to report on the "Formula", was of the view that a new order should not be admitted, and with that the chances of approbation seemed to be at an end. Ignatius and his companions, undismayed, agreed to offer up 4000 Masses to obtain the object desired, and after some time the cardinal unexpectedly changed his mind, approved the "Formula" and the Bull "Regimini militantis Ecclesiae" (27 September, 1540), which embodies and sanctions it, was issued, but the members were not to exceed sixty (this clause was abrogated after two years). In April, 1541, Ignatius was, in spite of his reluctance, elected the first general, and on 22 April he and his companions made their profession in St. Paul Outside the Walls. The society was now fully constituted.
V. The Book Of The Spiritual Exercises
This work originated in Ignatius' experiences, while he was at Loyola in 1521, and the chief meditations were probably reduced to their present shapes during his life at Manresa in 1522, at the end of which period he had begun to teach them to others. In the process of 1527 at Salamanca, they are spoken of for the first time as the "Book of Exercises". The earliest extant text is of the year 1541. At the request of St. Francis Boria. the book was examined by papal censors and a solemn approbation given by Paul III in the Brief "Pastoralis Officii" of 1548. "The Spiritual Exercises" are written very concisely, in the form of a handbook for the priest who is to explain them, and it is practically impossible to describe them without making them, just as it might be impossible to explain Nelson's "Sailing Orders" to a man who knew nothing of ships or the sea. The idea of the work is to help the exercitant to find out what the will of God is in regard to his future, and to give him energy and courage to follow that will. The exercitant (under ideal circumstances) is guided through four weeks of meditations: the first week on sin and its consequences, the second on Christ's life on earth, the third on his passion, the fourth on His risen life; and a certain number of instructions (called "rules", "additions", "notes") are added to teach him how to pray, how to avoid scruples, how to elect a vocation in life without being swayed by the love of self or of the world. In their fullness they should, according to Ignatius' idea, ordinarily be made once or twice only; but in part (from three to four days) that may be most profitably made annually, and are now commonly called "retreats", from the seclusion or retreat from the world in which the exercitant lives. More popular selections are preached to the people in church and are called "missions". The stores of spiritual wisdom contained in the "Book of Exercises" are truly astonishing, and their author is believed to have been inspired while drawing them up. (See also next section.) Sommervogel enumerates 292 writers among the Jesuits alone, who have commented on the whole book, to say nothing of commentators on parts (e.g. the meditations), who are far more numerous still. But the best testimony to the work is the frequency with which the exercises are made. In England (for which alone statistics are before the writer) the educated people who make retreats number annually about 22,000, while the number who attend popular expositions of the Exercises in "missions" is approximately 27,000, out of a total Catholic population of 2,000,000.
VI. The Constitutions Of The Society
Ignatius was commissioned in 1541 to draw them up, but he did not begin to do so until 1547, having occupied the mean space with introducing customs tentatively, which were destined in time to become laws. In 1547 Father Polaneo became his secretary, and with his intelligent aid the first draft of the constitutions was made between 1547 and 1550, and simultaneously pontifical approbation was asked for a new edition of the "Formula". Julius III conceded this by the Bull "Exposcit debitum", 21 July, 1550. At the same time a large number of the older fathers assembled to peruse the first draft of the constitutions, and though none of them made any serious objections, Ignatius' next recension (1552) shows a fair amount of changes. This revised version was then published and put into force throughout the society, a few explanations being added here and there to meet difficulties as they arose. These final touches were being added by the saint up till the time of his death, after which the first general congregation of the society ordered them to be printed, and they have never been touched since. The true way of appreciating the constitutions of the society is to study them as they are carried into practice by the Jesuits themselves, and for this, reference may be made to the articles on the SOCIETY OF JESUS. A few points, however, in which Ignatius' institute differed from the older orders may be mentioned here. They are:
1.the vow not to accept ecclesiastical dignities; 2.increased probations. The novitiate is prolonged from one year to two, with a third year, which usually falls after the priesthood. Candidates are moreover at first admitted to simple vows only, solemn vows coming much later on; 3.the Society does not keep choir; does not have a distinctive religious habit; does not accept the direction of convents; is not governed by a regular triennial chapter; is also said to have been the first order to undertake officially and by virtue of its constitutions active works such as the following:
—foreign missions, at the pope's bidding;
—the education of youth of all classes;
—the instruction of the ignorant and the poor;
—ministering to the sick, to prisoners, etc.
The above points give no conception of the originality with which Ignatius has handled all parts of his subject, even those common to all orders. It is obvious that he must have acquired some knowledge of other religious constitutions, especially during the years of inquiry (1541-1547), when he was on terms of intimacy with religious of every class. But witnesses, who attended him, tell us that he wrote without any books before him except the Missal. Though his constitutions of course embody technical terms to be found in other rules, and also a few stock phrases like "the old man's staff", and "the corpse carried to any place", the thought is entirely original, and would seem to have been God-guided throughout. By a happy accident we still possess his journal of prayers for forty days, during which he was deliberating the single point of poverty in churches. It shows that in making up his mind he was marvelously aided by heavenly lights, intelligence, and visions. If, as we may surely infer, the whole work was equally assisted by grace, its heavenly inspiration will not be doubtful. The same conclusion is probable true of "The Spiritual Exercises".
VII. Later Life And Death
The later years of Ignatius were spent in partial retirement, the correspondence inevitable in governing the Society leaving no time for those works of active ministry which in themselves he much preferred. His health too began to fail. In 1551, when he had gathered the elder fathers to revise the constitutions, he laid his resignation of the generalate in their hands, but they refused to accept it then or later, when the saint renewed his prayer. In 1554 Father Nadal was given the powers of vicar-general, but it was often necessary to send him abroad as commissary, and in the end Ignatius continued, with Polanco's aid, to direct everything. With most of his first companions he had to part soon. Rodríguez started on 5 March, 1540, for Lisbon, where he eventually founded the Portuguese province, of which he was made provincial on 10 October, 1546. St. Francis Xavier (q.v.) followed Rodríguez immediately, and became provincial of India in 1549. In September, 1541, Salmeron and Broet started for their perilous mission to Ireland, which they reached (via Scotland) next Lent. But Ireland, the prey to Henry VIII's barbarous violence, could not give the zealous missionaries a free field for the exercise of the ministries proper to their institute. All Lent they passed in Ulster, flying from persecutors, and doing in secret such good as they might. With difficulty they reached Scotland, and regained Rome, Dec., 1542. The beginnings of the Society in Germany are connected with St. Peter Faber (q.v.), Blessed Peter Canisius (q.v.), Le Jay, and Bobadilla in 1542. In 1546 Laynez and Salmeron were nominated papal theologians for the Council of Trent, where Canisius, Le Jay, and Covillon also found places. In 1553 came the picturesque, but not very successful mission of Nuñez Barretto as Patriarch of Abyssinia. For all these missions Ignatius wrote minute instructions, many of which are still extant. He encouraged and exhorted his envoys in their work by his letters, while the reports they wrote back to him form our chief source of information on the missionary triumphs achieved. Though living alone in Rome, it was he who in effect lad, directed, and animated his subjects all the world over. The two most painful crosses of this period were probably the suits with Isabel Roser and Simón Rodríguez. The former lady had been one of Ignatius' first and most esteemed patronesses during his beginnings in Spain. She came to Rome later on and persuaded Ignatius to receive a vow of obedience to him, and she was afterwards joined by two or three other ladies. But the saint found that the demands they made on his time were more than he could possibly allow them. "They caused me more trouble", he is reported to have said, "than the whole of the Society", and he obtained from the pope a relaxation of the vow he had accepted. A suit with Roser followed, which she lost, and Ignatius forbade his sons hereafter to become ex officio directors to convents of nuns (Scripta de S. Ignatio, pp. 652-5). Painful though this must have been to a man so loyal as Ignatius, the difference with Rodríguez , one of his first companions, must have been more bitter still. Rodríguez had founded the Province of Portugal, and brought it in a short time to a high state of efficiency. But his methods were not precisely those of Ignatius, and, when new men of Ignatius' own training came under him, differences soon made themselves felt. A struggle ensued in which Rodríguez unfortunately took sides against Ignatius' envoys. The results for the newly formed province were disastrous. Well-nigh half of its members had to be expelled before peace was established; but Ignatius did not hesitate. Rodriguez having been recalled to Rome, the new provincial being empowered ti dismiss him if he refused, he demanded a formal trial, which Ignatius, foreseeing the results, endeavoured to ward off. But on Simón's insistence a full court of inquiry was granted, whose proceedings are now printed and it unanimously condemned Rodriguez to penance and banishment from the province (Scripta etc., pp. 666-707). Of all his external works, those nearest his heart, to judge by his correspondence, were the building and foundation of the Roman College (1551), and of the German College (1552). For their sake he begged, worked, and borrowed with splendid insistence until his death. The success of the first was ensured by the generosity of St. Francis Borgia, before he entered the Society. The latter was still in a struggling condition when Ignatius died, but his great ideas have proved the true and best foundation of both.
In the summer of 1556 the saint was attacked by Roman fever. His doctors did not foresee any serious consequences, but the saint did. On 30 July, 1556, he asked for the last sacraments and the papal blessing, but he was told that no immediate danger threatened. Next morning at daybreak, the infirmarian found him lying in peaceful prayer, so peaceful that he did not at once perceive that the saint was actually dying. When his condition was realized, the last blessing was given, but the end came before the holy oils could be fetched. Perhaps he had prayed that his death, like his life, might pass without any demonstration. He was beatified by Paul V on 27 July, 1609, and canonized by Gregory XV on 22 May, 1622. His body lies under the altar designed by Pozzi in the Gesù. Though he died in the sixteenth year from the foundation of the Society, that body already numbered about 1000 religious (of whom, however, only 35 were yet professed) with 100 religious houses, arranged in 10 provinces. (Sacchini, op. cit. infra., lib.1, cc, i, nn. 1-20.) It is impossible to sketch in brief Ignatius' grand and complex character: ardent yet restrained, fearless, resolute, simple, prudent, strong, and loving. The Protestant and Jansenistic conception of him as a restless, bustling pragmatist bears no correspondence at all with the peacefulness and perseverance which characterized the real man. That he was a strong disciplinarian is true. In a young and rapidly growing body that was inevitable; and the age loved strong virtues. But if he believed in discipline as an educative force, he despised any other motives for action except the love of God and man. It was by studying Ignatius as a ruler that Xavier learnt the principle, "the company of Jesus ought to be called the company of love and conformity of souls". (Ep., 12 Jan., 1519).


Matthew 14: 1 - 12

1 At that time Herod the tetrarch heard about the fame of Jesus;

2 and he said to his servants, "This is John the Baptist, he has been raised from the dead; that is why these powers are at work in him."

3 For Herod had seized John and bound him and put him in prison, for the sake of Hero'di-as, his brother Philip's wife;

4 because John said to him, "It is not lawful for you to have her."

5 And though he wanted to put him to death, he feared the people, because they held him to be a prophet.

6 But when Herod's birthday came, the daughter of Hero'di-as danced before the company, and pleased Herod,

7 so that he promised with an oath to give her whatever she might ask.

8 Prompted by her mother, she said, "Give me the head of John the Baptist here on a platter."

9 And the king was sorry; but because of his oaths and his guests he commanded it to be given;

10 he sent and had John beheaded in the prison,

11 and his head was brought on a platter and given to the girl, and she brought it to her mother.

12 And his disciples came and took the body and buried it; and they went and told Jesus.

Friday, July 30, 2010





VATICAN CITY, 30 JUL 2010 (VIS report) - Yesterday evening in the Swiss Hall of the Apostolic Palace at Castelgandolfo, Benedict XVI attended the screening of a film entitled "Five years of Pope Benedict XVI", directed by the German Michael Mandlik and produced by Bayerischer Rundfunk.
At the end of the film, the Pope expressed his thanks to everyone who had participated in the realisation of "this extraordinary spiritual journey", which recounts certain key moments in the life of the Holy Father and of the Church.
"Today too the Church - though as we know she suffers much - is nonetheless a joyful Church", he said, "not an aged Church", but "a young Church" where "the faith generates joy. ... In this film we have seen the richness of the Church's life, the multiplicity of cultures, charisms and different gifts that live in the Church; and we have seen how the one Church continues to live in this multiplicity and great diversity".
"Personally I found it very moving to see certain moments, especially the moment in which the Lord placed the Petrine service on my shoulders, a burden no-one can bear with his own strength alone, but is able to carry only because the Lord carries us and carries me". The Pope also noted how the film shows that Petrine service involves the duty "to express the unity of this historical diversity, and make it visible, concrete".
papal images

VATICAN CITY, 30 JUL 2010 (VIS REPORT) - Pope Benedict's general prayer intention for August is: "That those who are without work or homes or who are otherwise in serious need may find understanding and welcome, as well as concrete help in overcoming their difficulties".
His mission intention is: "That the Church may be a 'home' for all people, ready to open her doors to any who are suffering from racial or religious discrimination, hunger or wars forcing them to emigrate to other countries".

VATICAN CITY, 30 JUL 2010 (VIS REPORT) - The Holy Father accepted the resignation from the office of auxiliary of the archdiocese of Mexico, Mexico presented by Bishop Felipe Tejeda Garcia M.Sp.S., upon having reached the age limit.


Asia News report: A 50-year-old man was taken last night from his office. Crime is up in the city because of the power vacuum in the country. For the past four months, politicians have failed to form a government. For Christians, it is a time of martyrdom.
Kirkuk (AsiaNews) – A group of armed men abducted a Chaldean Christian man last night in Kirkuk. Local sources told AsiaNews that Yonan (Jonas ) Daniel Mammo, 50, was closing his office in the Almas neighbourhood when three armed individuals got out of a BMW and took him.

Mammo is married and has two daughters. He is not a rich man but works at an exchange control office. After he was abducted, he called his wife by phone, saying that he had been taken. Since then, there have been no news from him. Many believe he was kidnapped for ransom.
Mgr Louis Sako (pictured), Chaldean archbishop of Kirkuk, has contacted other religious leaders in the city and the government.
Violence against Christians in particular and the population in general are becoming increasingly frequent across the country as a result of a power vacuum. Four months since parliamentary election, Iraq’s political parties have not yet been able to form a government.
“The country is in the dark,” a source told AsiaNews, “and in such a situation groups of plunderers and criminals get stronger more and more.”
Last week, a Turkmen colonel and his son were killed downtown. “For Iraqi Christians,” the source said, “bearing witness means martyrdom”.

Idependent Catholic news report: A Bedouin village in the Negev desert was destroyed last night, the Missionary News Service reports. About 300 inhabitants of the old village of al-Arakib were woken up by 1,500 police officers in battle equipment and helicopters, telling them to leave immediately, making way for bulldozers, which demolished 40 homes. The demolition operations have left a few people injured. Several others have been arrested.

The Negev Forum for Coexistence reported the episode. It fears that further evictions will be taking place soon. There are another 44 Bedouin villages in Israeli territory, that have not been recognized by Israeli authorities. The demolition of al-Arakib, took place in spite of the fact that there is an ongoing debate in the Courts over the actual ownership of the land.
The residents of al-Arakib had rights dating back to before the formation of the Israeli state. However, the National Jewish Fund, decided to replace the village with trees for lumber.
The Bedouins have lived in the Negev for over 1000 years. There are about 80,000 Bedouins living there now. They are not recognized by the Israeli government and they do not have access to services as electricity and running water. While the plight of the Palestinians in Israel/Palestine is widely reported, that of the Bedouins, who are a tiny minority, is rarely mentioned.

USA: DR. HOWELL DISCRIMINATED FOR BELIEFS IS REINSTATED AT U OF ILLINOIS REPORT - Dr. Kenneth Howell, the professor barred from teaching after a student complained about his explanation of the Catholic Church’s teaching on homosexuality, in a class on Catholicism, has been reinstated by the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC).

News spread rapidly of the censure earlier this month of Dr. Howell, whose scheduled classes next fall had been cancelled based on one student's complaint that an email from the professor to students in the class explaining how homosexuality is incompatible with the natural moral law amounted to "hate speech."
The university was soon deluged with opposition from within UIUC and beyond. Even the school's Atheists, Agnostics, & Freethinkers group expressed outrage at the professor's silencing. Howell, who had taught "Introduction to Catholicism and Modern Catholic Thought" at the university's Department of Religion since 2001, had also taught at the school's diocesan-run Newman Center for 12 years.
According to a UIUC statement sent to, the school "will continue Kenneth Howell’s adjunct appointment for the fall semester, and has offered him the opportunity to teach Religion 127, Introduction to Catholicism." However, the statement itself focuses on the school's decision to pay the salary of instructors teaching Catholic studies courses. St. John's Catholic Newman Center had previously funded the instructors.
"The university values its relationship with the Newman Center and plans to continue offering courses in Catholic studies," stated the school. UIUC also indicated that a university committee would continue investigating the matter.
The Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) attorney who represented Howell in the case expressed cautious gratitude at the reversal. ADF had sent a letter to the University demanding that the school reverse the decision, or else face legal action.
"We are extremely pleased that the university has asked for Dr. Howell to return to the classroom," ADF attorney David French told in an email Thursday afternoon, calling the move "a great victory for academic freedom, for Dr. Howell, and — crucially — for the students of the University of Illinois."
"The university is continuing its committee proceedings related to Dr. Howell’s case, and we’ll be carefully monitoring these proceedings to make sure that his rights are protected now and in the future," he said.


Agenzia Fides REPORT- Archbishop Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya, the Catholic Archbishop of Kinshasa, has voiced the gratitude of the Catholic Church in Congo to the President of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Joseph Kabila, for having proclaimed Cardinal Joseph-Albert Malula (1917-1989) a 'national hero'.

The Archbishop of Kinshasa underlined that Cardinal Malula was a source of inspiration for the activity of future generations and politicians, for culture, for the nation and for the Church. “For his tireless search for excellence and perfection, his lapidary statement: ‘a Congolese Church in a Congolese nation', for his search for an African conscience, we are grateful to the government for proclaiming Cardinal Albert Malula a national hero” said Archbishop Monsengwo.
The Catholic Church in Congo is celebrating the Year of Cardinal Malula ( 20 September 2009 to 20 September 2010), an initiative to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the deceased Cardinal's ordination as a Bishop and 20 years since his death.

Celebration initiatives have included a series of conferences on different aspects of the Cardinal's personality. From 11 to 13 July a second series of conferences, following the first in March (see Fides 15/3/2010) was held on the theme “Cardinal Malula, a man of culture”.

The speakers described Cardinal Malula, the man of culture. “The Cardinal was one of the first African theologians to promote the inculturation of Christian values. He was an excellent writer, a man deeply committed to the political debate, an avid reader, a great composer of music (he composed many hymns for the Congolese rite), a lover of the arts and an admirer of African cultural values such as matrimony. The Cardinal left an incommensurable legacy to the Catholic Church in Congo and in the rest of whole world. One rarely spent an evening with him without engaging in some discussion” Archbishop Monsengwo recalled and he concluded his intervention expressing disappointment that in this year dedicated to Malula “choirs in Kinshasa have not sung hymns composed by Cardinal Malula, although he left us hundreds of them”.


CNA News REPORT.- St. James reminds us to be faithful to our apostolic tradition as Christians, the Archbishop of Santiago of Compostela said on Sunday as tens of thousands of pilgrims, the Monarchs of Spain and many members of the Church hierarchy flocked to the famous shrine of St. James for his feast day.
With the feast day falling on Sunday, 2010 is being celebrated as a jubilee year for pilgrims. Over 100,000 pilgrims a year walk great distances along the Camino de Santiago (Way of St. James) to reach the saint's tomb.
The Eucharistic celebration in the Basilica of St. James on Sunday was concelebrated by more than 30 bishops, including Archbishop of Santiago de Compostela Julian Barrio.
During Archbishop Barrio's homily, he said that the solemnity of the patron saint of Spain, "motivates us to be conscious of our Christian condition, commending ourselves to his patronage in order to be faithful to the apostolic tradition that lays the foundations for our faith, revitalizing our identity ... "
Emphasizing the necessity of allowing God to be present in one's life, he said "man is a pilgrim open to the transcendent, capable of transforming society through the love of God poured out in his heart."
Over the past two millenia, Archbishop Barrio noted "there has never been a lack of tests for Christians," and that St. James openly professed his faith amidst persecution. However, he cautioned, "in spite of the suffering (persecutions) cause, they do not consititute the most serious danger for the Church.
"She suffers, in fact, the greatest damage from what contaminates the faith and the Christian life of her members and communities, eroding the integrity of the mystic Body, weakening her capacity of prophecy and witness, tarnishing the beauty of her face."
Underscoring that Christian commitment needs to continue today in spite of pessimism and the temptation to give up earthly responsibilities, he said, "we must not ignore the necessities of the faith."
Living in a world where "wheat and chaff" grow together, "the effort to reduce evil must be persistent, knowing that the offering of the Gospel is a humanizing route for the future," the archbishop said.
Pope Benedict XVI also remembered the feast day after Sunday's Angelus, recalling the "deep" roots of the tradition of venerating St. James and saying he hoped to make his own pilgrimage there in November. "Following the footsteps of St. James," he prayed, "let us continue the journey of our lives while bearing constant witness of faith, hope and charity."

Cath News report: The National Council of Priests of Australia has published the 2010-11 edition of The Official Directory of the Catholic Church in Australia, on behalf of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference.

"Over many years, this Official Directory has become an indispensable tool for those who work in, with and for the Catholic Church in Australia and elsewhere," said President Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, Archbishop Philip Wilson.
"Those less familiar with the Church and its structure and organization will also find it a useful way of getting a clearer idea of the "who," "what" and "where" of making connections with church personnel and agencies."
The 900-page directory lists over 23,000 entries, giving "a rich picture of the workings of the Church in Australia", according to a media statement.
"As usual, the National Council of Priests, through its staff, have made a very practical and useful contribution to the life of the Church by compiling, editing and publishing the more than 23,000 entries which are contained in the proceeding pages of this latest edition.
"It is no small task to keep abreast of the never-ending changes in people, structures and contact details, and I take this opportunity to thank them for their efforts to ensure the accuracy of these entries based on the information provided to them, and for making these available and accessible in a variety of attractive formats."


St. Peter Chrysologus

Information: Feast Day: July 30
Born: 406 at Imola, Italy

Died: 2 December 450 at Imola, Italy
Born at Imola, 406; died there, 450. His biography, first written by Agnellus (Liber pontificalis ecclesiæ Ravennatis) in the ninth century, gives but scanty information about him. He was baptised, educated, and ordained deacon by Cornelius, Bishop of Imola, and was elevated to the Bishopric of Ravenna in 433. There are indications that Ravenna held the rank of metropolitan before this time. His piety and zeal won for him universal admiration, and his oratory merited for him the name Chrysologus. He shared the confidence of Leo the Great and enjoyed the patronage of the Empress Galla Placidia. After his condemnation by the Synod of Constantinople (448), the Monophysite Eutyches endeavoured to win the support of Peter, but without success.
A collection of his homilies, numbering 176, was made by Felix, Bishop of Ravenna (707-17). Some are interpolations, and several other homilies known to be written by the saint are included in other collections under different names. They are in a great measure explanatory of Biblical texts and are brief and concise. He has explained beautifully the mystery of the Incarnation, the heresies of Arius and Eutyches, and the Apostles' Creed, and he dedicated a series of homilies to the Blessed Virgin and St. John the Baptist. His works were first edited by Agapitus Vicentinus (Bologna, 1534), and later by D. Mita (Bolonga, 1634), and S. Pauli (Venice, 1775) — the latter collection having been reprinted in P.L., LII. Fr. Liverani ("Spicilegium Liberianum"), Florence, 1863, 125 seq.) edited nine new homilies and published from manuscripts in Italian libraries different readings of several other sermons. Several homilies were translated into German by M. Held (Kempten, 1874).

Matthew 13: 54 - 58
54 and coming to his own country he taught them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished, and said, "Where did this man get this wisdom and these mighty works?

55 Is not this the carpenter's son? Is not his mother called Mary? And are not his brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Judas?

56 And are not all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all this?"

57 And they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, "A prophet is not without honor except in his own country and in his own house."

58 And he did not do many mighty works there, because of their unbelief.

Thursday, July 29, 2010





Radio Vaticana report: A letter addressed to bishops and priests in China by Cardinal Ivan Dias, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples was made public today, in which the Prefect calls the bishops and priests of the nation to unity with the Pope and among each other.

Below the full text of the letter:
Dearest Brothers in the Episcopate and in the Priesthood of Jesus Christ, Eternal High Priest,
peace be with you!
Inspired by celebrations during the Year for Priests, recently concluded, I send to you cordial and brotherly greetings and a word of encouragement for your arduous pastoral duties as shepherds of the flock entrusted to you by the Lord in your noble nation. I long to say these things to you personally, to hear about your joys and your woes, about the hopes you nurture and the challenges you face every day. Your testimony and your messages received here at the Missionary Congregation fill us with consolation and spur us to pray fervently that the Lord may render you ever stronger in the faith and sustain your activity to propagate the Good News of Jesus Christ in your beloved country.
With our thoughts still set on the famous figure of Saint Jean Marie Vianney, Cure d'Ars, so often recalled during the Year for Priests, we acknowledge first of all - with deep humility - that we are called by Jesus to be “not servants, but friends” (cfr Jn 15, 15) not through our own merits, but through His infinite mercy. He has conferred upon us the lofty dignity of being Alter Christus and ministers of his Word, his Body and Blood and his Forgiveness. May we always remember His words : “You did not choose me, no, I chose you; and I commissioned you to go out and to bear fruit, fruit that will last;” (Jn 15, 16).
Precisely because the priest is Alter Christus — indeed, Ipse Christus —, he must be a Man of God and a Man for others.
Firstly, a Man of God: that is, a man who leads men and women to God and carries God to men and women. Therefore he must distinguish himself as a man of prayer and an austere style of life, profoundly in love with Christ and, like John the Baptist, proud to proclaim His presence amongst us, especially in the Most Holy Eucharist.
Secondly a priest must be a Man for others: a man entirely dedicated to the faithful, youth and adults, entrusted to his pastoral care and to all those with whom the Lord Jesus chose to identify himself or those towards whom He showed special kindness: sinners first of all, the poor, the sick and the excluded, widows, children, but also sheep who do not yet belong to His fold (cfr Jn 10, 16). An ecclesiastic will therefore resist any temptation to enrich himself with material goods or seek favours for his family or ethnic group, or nurture unwholesome ambitions of making a career for himself in society or in politics. These things are entirely foreign to the priestly vocation and would be a serious distraction from his mission to lead the faithful like the good shepherd on the path of holiness, justice and peace.
Allow me, my dearest Confreres, to dwell on the important role of a bishop or priest as an operator of unity within the Church. This task has a twofold dimension and entails communion with the Pope, the "rock" upon which Jesus chose to build his Church, and secondly union with all the members of the Church.
Firstly: communion with the Holy Father. We are all too aware of how some of you suffered in the recent past because of loyalty to the Holy See. We pay homage to each and all, certain that, as Pope Benedict XVI affirms, “ Communion with Peter and with his Successors is in fact a guarantee of freedom for the Church's Pastors and for the Communities entrusted to them… the Petrine ministry is a guarantee of freedom in the sense of full adherence to the truth, to the authentic tradition, so that the People of God may be preserved from errors concerning faith and morals” (Homily during Mass on the solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, 29 June 2010). The exemplary and courageous loyalty towards the See of Peter demonstrated by Catholics in China, is a precious gift of the Lord.
The other dimension of unity among Christians is union among individual members of the ecclesial community. This important challenge you are already tackling , as you seek to strengthen unity within the Church herself. It would be helpful to enter, in spirit, the Upper Room where, after celebrating the Last Supper with his Apostles and ordaining them priests of the New and Eternal Covenant, the Lord Jesus prayed to the Father with these words “ May they all be one, just as, Father, you are in me and I am in you, so that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe it was you who sent me. ” (Jn 17, 21). Three times Jesus insists on the unity of his followers as a sign of credibility that he has been sent by the Father into the world. My dearest confreres, let us heed this eloquent call for the unity of Christians coming from the Heart of the One who loved them, called them and sent them to work in His Vineyard.
In the above mentioned homily the Holy Father affirms:« Indeed if we think of the two millenniums of the Church's history, we may note as the Lord Jesus had foretold (cf. Mt 10:16-33) that trials for Christians have never been lacking and in certain periods and places have assumed the character of true and proper persecution. Yet, despite the suffering they cause, they do not constitute the gravest danger for the Church. Indeed she is subjected to the greatest danger by what pollutes the faith and Christian life of her members and communities, corroding the integrity of the Mystical Body, weakening her capacity for prophecy and witness, and marring the beauty of her face.». The Pope goes on to indicate the instigator of this evil situation and says: «one of the typical effects of the action of the Evil One is, precisely, the internal division of the ecclesial Community. Ruptures are in fact symptoms of the power of sin that continues to act in members of the Church even after the redemption. However, Christ's word is clear: "Non praevalebunt they shall not prevail" (Mt 16:18). The unity of the Church is rooted in her union with Christ and the cause of full Christian unity that must ever be sought and renewed, from generation to generation is also sustained by his prayer and his promise.».
Let us praise the Lord for your efforts, accomplished and ongoing, for unity within the Church, in faithful response to the indications given by the Holy Father in the Letter he addressed to you on 27 May, 2007, and for the results already obtained. May God bless your initiatives so that unity of ministers among themselves and between them and their flock may be ever stronger in Christ and in his Church “ad maiorem Dei gloriam”.
On this happy circumstance, I have the honour of assuring you of the closeness of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI; with paternal affection he blesses you and all those entrusted to your pastoral care and urges you to continue without fear on the path of holiness, unity and communion, as did the generations which have gone before you.
May Most Holy Mary, Help of Christians, venerated with tender, filial devotion by the Church in China at Sheshan, protect you and intercede that your resolutions to spread the sweet fragrance of the Gospel of her Son Jesus to every corner of your beloved homeland may bear fruit. In this important and demanding task may you be assisted by the luminous example of the unforgettable missionary to China, Fr Matteo Ricci S.J., of whom we recall with gratitude and affection the 400th anniversary of his departure for the Kingdom of the “Lord of Heaven ”.
Once again I assure you of our prayers,
with brotherly greetings In Corde Mariae.
from the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples, 5 July 2010.
Cardinal Ivan Dias
+ Robert Sarah


CNA report: Just under two weeks ago Russian officials accepted the credentials of Archbishop Antonio Mennini as the first papal nuncio to their country. The event ushers in a new era of full diplomatic relations between the Holy See and the Russian Federation.

The Vatican's L'Osservatore Romano (LOR) newspaper reported that Foreign Affairs minister Sergei Lavrov met with Archbishop Mennini on July 15 in Moscow to seal full diplomatic relations, which Pope Benedict XVI and president Dmitry Medvedev had agreed to last December. Just a month ago, on June 26, the Holy See accepted the credentials of Mr. Nikolai Sadlichov as ambassador from Russia.
The Russian vice minister for foreign affairs, Alexandr Krusko, welcomed the nuncio on behalf of President Dmitry Medvedev and highlighted the increasing "spirit of harmony and cooperation" between the Holy See and Russia in recent years, according to LOR.
The Vatican paper added that "the vice minister hoped for an even more fruitful collaboration on the great moral and ethical challenges that are posed to man today."
During the ceremony, Archbishop Mennini assured his dedication to the strengthening of relations between the two sides and his commitment to the "spiritual and moral growth of the people of Russia."
The Holy See and Russia have maintained limited diplomatic relations since 1990, after the fall of the USSR, but had not formally exchanged ambassadors until now. The decision was made on Dec. 3, 2009, when, after meeting with the Pope at the Vatican, President Medvedev asked his Foreign Affairs department to pursue full diplomatic ties for the first time.


Cath News report: The Vatican has been accused of hypocrisy after the Swiss Guards launched a crackdown on tourists wearing skimpy clothing.

The UK Telegraph reports tourists entering St Peter's Basilica have long been required to dress modestly, but from early this week the Swiss Guards appeared to have extended the rules to the entire Vatican City State.
Visitors said that at a time when the Catholic Church is battling scandals over paedophile priests and decades of cover-ups, it should have more important things to worry about, said the report.
The guards, who wear striped blue and gold uniforms, carry halberds and trace their service to the papacy back to 1506, drew aside men in shorts and women with uncovered shoulders and short skirts to tell them that they were not dressed properly.
"Given all the scandals the Church has been involved in, what possible right can it have to be preaching about the morality of sleeveless dresses?" said one woman in her seventies.


Asia News report: Two days of discussions and interventions, coordinated by the Committee for Life and the Committee for Bioethics of the Korean Bishops' Conference, to transform the "culture of death" to a "culture of life".

Seoul (AsiaNews) - A concrete commitment to promote a culture of life, defence of human life right from infancy, a greater sensitivity toward organ donation. These are the themes focused on by Korean Catholics in the first National Congress for Life, organized by the Commission for Life and the Korean Bishops' Conference on Bioethics.
The meeting was held in the Archdiocese of Seoul: 150 priests, lay people and experts came together to discuss the issues in Kkottongnae, a Christian community that assists the homeless and abandoned. The founders of the community hope that these people " they will realize the love of God and find peace as the children of God " The theme of the conference, which ended July 11 was " Towards the Culture of Life: Protect Embryos and Donate Organs”. Many young people were present and pledged to organize a " Pro-life Youth Camp" by the end of summer. On 10 July, the participants unveiled a plaque commemorating the first national congress. They then spent the night in prayer after a torchlight procession and celebration of the Liturgy of the Word.
Bioethical issues are considered extremely important in South Korea, a country with a low birth rate and a government culture that tends to give the green light to practices such as abortion and euthanasia. The local Church has always been at the forefront of transforming this "Culture of Death" into a "Culture of Life.",-the-Church-celebrates-the-first-National-Congress-for-Life-19069.html


Agenzia Fides report - Fighting continues in the capital of Somalia, Mogadishu, where Shabab insurgents are in conflict with army soldiers loyal to the Transitional Federal Government backed by troops of AMISOM (African Union Mission in Somalia). This at the expense of civilians caught in cross-fire and shelling from all sides, including Amisom troops.

In the first three weeks of July, the capital's largest hospital, Madina Hospital admitted 160 civilians injured by shellfire, and according to the UN High Commission for Refugees, in the same period as many as 11,500 people fled the capital.

The decision taken by the AU to send another 4,000 men to reinforce Amisom, could intensify the fighting in the capital and aggravate the situation of civilians.

Amisom has been criticised by official UN sources and other international bodies for indiscriminate shelling on civilians. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, in his most recent report to the UN Security Council on the situation in Somalia, said “civilians are hit by crossfire, shelling and artillery gunfire between insurgents and government forces ”, expressing deep concern for “shelling of civilian areas and indiscriminate counter shooting on the part of regular army and Amisom troops".

Somalia is in danger of becoming once again a land of conflict not only between local factions, but also between foreign actors. Western sources say Shabab insurgents are backed by extremist Islamic militants from Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Shabab with its local allies has intensified attacks in areas which escape its control, such as the semiautonomous region of Puntland (strategic for controlling piracy and legal and illegal trafficking transiting through the port of Bosaso) and set up a radio to broadcast its propaganda throughout Somalia.

USA: ANOTHER STUDENT DISCRIMINATED FOR BELIEFS FROM MICHIGAN U. REPORT — Attorneys will appeal a federal court decision issued Monday in a lawsuit filed on behalf of student Julea Ward against Eastern Michigan University (EMU) after it kicked out the Christian student for holding to her beliefs on homosexual conduct.

EMU dismissed Ward from its graduate counseling program in March 2009 for not affirming homosexual behavior as morally acceptable. Ward would not agree to change her religious beliefs about homosexual behavior or express a message contrary to them during counseling sessions as a condition to receiving a degree.
“Christian students shouldn’t be expelled for holding to and abiding by their beliefs,” said Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) Senior Counsel David French, who argued before the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan last month. “To reach its decision, the court had to do something that’s never been done in federal court: uphold an extremely broad and vague university speech code.”
EMU initiated its disciplinary process against Ward shortly after she enrolled in a counseling practicum course in January 2009, when she was assigned a potential client seeking assistance regarding a homosexual relationship. Recognizing the potential conscience issue with the client, and knowing she could not affirm the client’s homosexual relationship without violating her religious beliefs, Ward asked her supervisor how to handle the matter.
Ward was advised to reassign the potential client to a different counselor. EMU then informed Ward that she could only stay in the counseling program if she agreed to undergo a “remediation” program. Its purpose was to help her “see the error of her ways” and change her “belief system” as it relates to counseling about homosexual relationships.
At a subsequent formal review meeting, lawyers say EMU faculty denigrated Ward’s Christian views and asked several inappropriate and intrusive questions about her religious beliefs. A faculty committee then dismissed her from the counseling program. Ward appealed, but the dean of EMU College of Education upheld the dismissal.
“Julea merely followed her supervising professor’s advice by referring a potential client to a counselor who had no conscience issue with the particular matter to be discussed,” said French. “She would have gladly counseled the client herself had the topic focused on any other matter. We trust the 6th Circuit will understand the constitutional issues involved in this case.”
The EMU speech codes enabling the university’s actions were challenged as part of the ADF lawsuit, Ward v. Wilbanks. One policy prohibiting “discrimination based on … sexual orientation” adds that counselors cannot “condone” what the university defines as discrimination. Another problematic policy states that EMU’s counseling department may discipline a student who shows a “failure to tolerate different points of view.”
ADF is currently litigating a similar case involving a counseling student at Augusta State University in Georgia. Student Jennifer Keeton sued the university after she says she was forced to undergo comprehensive "diversity sensitivity training" and forbidden from expressing her religious beliefs, or else be kicked out of the counseling program.


Cath News report: The fifth International Conference on Catholic Educational Leadership will be held in Sydney next week, from August 2-4, the Australian Catholic University has announced.

The conference is held every two or three years and deals with educational leadership in the fourth largest education system in Australia, representing 1693 schools and 677,659 students, the university said in a statement.
Presenters will include Indigenous leader Patrick Dodson and Phil Glendenning, director of the Edmund Rice Centre.
"All over the world, new external accountabilities, growing secularisation and an increasing gap between the values of home and school challenge leaders to continually renew their understanding of the mission and identity of Catholic schools," said Associate Professor Michael Bezzina, conference Chair and Head of ACU's School of Educational Leadership.
"World Youth Day has touched every school and parish in the country. In the midst of the constant press for change, it is important that leaders make the space to reconnect with new thinking and with colleagues new and old as they seek to renew their own practice and the work of their schools and systems."


St. Martha

Information:Feast Day: July 29
Born: Palaestina (modern-day Israel)
Died: 80, Tarascon, Gaul (modern-day France) or Cyprus
Patron of: butlers; cooks; dietitians; domestic servants; homemakers; hotel-keepers; housemaids; housewives; innkeepers; laundry workers; maids; manservants; servants; servers; single laywomen; travellers
Mentioned only in Luke, x, 38-42; and John, xi; xii, sqq. The Aramaic form occurs in a Nabatfan inscription found at Puteoli, and now in the Naples Museum; it is dated A.D. 5 (Corpus Inscr. Semit., 158); also in a Palmyrene inscription, where the Greek translation has the form Marthein, A.D. 179.
Mary, Martha, and Lazarus are represented by St. John as living at Bethania, but St. Luke would seem to imply that they were, at least at one time, living in Galilee; he does not mention the name of the town, but it may have been Magdala, and we should thus, supposing Mary of Bethania and Mary Magdalene to be the same person, understand the appellative "Magdalene". The words of St. John (xi, 1) seem to imply a change of residence for the family. It is possible, too, that St. Luke has displaced the incident referred to in c. x. The likeness between the pictures of Martha presented by Luke and John is very remarkable. The familiar intercourse between the Saviour of the world and the humble family which St. Luke depicts is dwelt on by St. John when he tells us that "Jesus loved Martha, and her sister Mary, and Lazarus" (xi, 5). Again the picture of Martha's anxiety (John, xi, 20-21, 39) accords with the picture of her who was "busy about much serving" (Luke, x, 40); so also in John, xii, 2: "They made him a supper there: and Martha served." But St. John has given us a glimpse of the other and deeper side of her character when he depicts her growing faith in Christ's Divinity (xi, 20-27), a faith which was the occasion of the words: "I am the resurrection and the life." The Evangelist has beautifully indicated the change that came over Martha after that interview: "When she had said these things, she went and called her sister Mary secretly, saying: The Master is
come, and calleth for thee."
Difficulties have been raised about the last supper at Bethania. St. John seems to put it six days before the Pasch, and, so some conclude, in the house of Martha; while the Synoptic account puts it two days before the Pasch, and in the house of Simon the Leper. We need not try to avoid this difficulty by asserting that there were two suppers; for St. John does not say that the supper took place six days before, but only that Christ arrived in Bethania six days before the Pasch; nor does he say that it was in the house of Martha. We are surely justified in arguing that, since St. Matthew and St. Mark place the scene in the house of Simon, St. John must be understood to say the same; it remains to be
proved that Martha could not "serve" in Simon's house.


John 11: 19 - 27

19 and many of the Jews had come to Martha and Mary to console them concerning their brother.

20 When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went and met him, while Mary sat in the house.

21 Martha said to Jesus, "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.

22 And even now I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you."

23 Jesus said to her, "Your brother will rise again."

24 Martha said to him, "I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day."

25 Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live,

26 and whoever lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?"

27 She said to him, "Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, he who is coming into the world."