Tuesday, July 6, 2010



VATICAN CITY, 6 JUL 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed
- Msgr. Robert W. McElroy of the clergy of the archdiocese of San Francisco, U.S.A., pastor of St. Gregory parish at San Mateo, as auxiliary of San Francisco (area 6,023, population 1,770,000, Catholics 437,000, priests 457, permanent deacons 79, religious 931). The bishop-elect was born in San Francisco in 1954 and ordained a priest in 1980.
- As members of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments: Cardinal Jean-Pierre Ricard, archbishop of Bordeaux, France; Cardinal Oswald Gracias, archbishop of Bombay, India; Archbishop Ioan Robu of Bucharest, Romania; Archbishop Michael Neary of Tuam, Ireland; Archbishop Angelo Amato S.D.B., prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints; Archbishop Raymond Leo Burke, prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura; Bishop Julian Lopez Martin of Leon, Spain, and Bishop Aloysius Maryadi Sutrisnaatmaka M.S.F. of Palangkaraya, Indonesia.


Radio Vaticana report: Wednesday afternoon, following his weekly general audience with pilgrims, Pope Benedict XVI leaves on vacation. This year the Holy Father will spend most of July and August at the Apostolic Palace of Castel Gandolfo. All private and special audiences will be suspended during the Pope's holidays, including general audiences normally held on Wednesdays. The next general audience after July 7 will be held on August 4.

During this period of rest, Pope Benedict XVI will, however, publicly recite the Angelus prayers on Sundays.
In September, shortly after his return to the Vatican, Pope Benedict XVI will travel to the United Kingdom. Last Friday , the Holy Father met with Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster, England, president of the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales, accompanied by Cardinal Keith Michael Patrick O'Brien of Saint Andrews and Edinburgh, Scotland, president of the Bishops' Conference of Scotland, and by Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, archbishop emeritus of Westminster.
On Monday his official itinerary for the UK trip was announced by Fr Federico Lombardi, Vatican Press Office Director: “Accepting the invitation of Her Majesty Elizabeth II, Queen of the United Kingdom, and of the Bishops' Conferences of England and Wales, and of Scotland, His Holiness Benedict XVI will make an apostolic trip to the United Kingdom from 16 to 19 September”.
Archbishop Vincent Nichols spoke to us about his recent meeting with the Pope and the build up to this historic visit:
“The papal visit which is a state visit begins with the Pope being welcomed by the Her Majesty the Queen at Holyroodhouse Palace in Edinburgh. Then he travels on to Glasgow, where he will celebrate Mass with a large number of people in Bellahouston Park. That evening on Thursday evening he flies down to London, and on Friday morning goes to St Mary’s College in Twickeham. There he will meet with many youngsters from Catholic schools and reflects on the role of the Church in education and the vision of education as we want to promote in our world today. Then there is a meeting with leaders from different sectors in civil society who are men and women of different faith, so its an interfaith meeting. Friday evening he comes into central London with three quite remarkable events. The first is a visit to the Archbishop of Canterbury in Lambeth Palace; the second is a speech to leaders of the United Kingdom, in Westminster Hall, which is probably one of the most important buildings in London. It has been used since medieval times as a place for banquets and gatherings and indeed for trials, St Thomas Moore was put on trial and actually condemned to death there. Then the Pope will leave Westminster Hall and go to Westminster Abbey were there will be Evening Prayer with all the different Christians from the UK assembled together and he and the Archbishop of Canterbury will go and pray together at the tomb of St Edward the Confessor, the great Saint who was an English monarch, who built the first Westminster Abbey. Then on Saturday he comes to Westminster Cathedral, he meets the Prime Minister and the leader of the opposition and the deputy Prime minster and celebrates Mass here. Then on Saturday afternoon he visits a residential home for the care of the elderly and then in the evening leads a vigil of prayer in Hyde Park. Then on Sunday he goes to Birmingham to Cofton Park where he celebrates the beatification of Venerable Cardinal John Henry Newman”.
Q: There have been some concerns that perhaps Cofton and some of the other venues aren’t as big as Catholics there in Britain had been hoping that it won’t be possible for all that many people to be able to actually see the Pope in person on this trip, what can you say to that?
“There are three large outdoor events, and in an age of safety regulations, security problems, making sure that nothing can possibly go wrong, three major outdoor events in three different locations in three days is a real challenge. Then there will be drives that the Pope will make in the Popemobile through the centres of the cities, and that will give a lot more people the chance to come out and to greet him and to show him their support. Then we will have full live coverage on our website and we are also producing a booklet with all of the liturgies that will the Pope will preside at, so that people whether they are sitting in front of their televisions or in front of giant screens in their parish community centres can pray together with the Pope, following him word for word, while he is here”.
Q: Archbishop Nichols, what can you tell us also about the costs of this visit, because there has been some debate about rising costs, what the Church is paying and what the government is paying…
“With the appointment of Lord Patten as the personal representative of the Prime Minister and with is statements this morning it is perfectly clear that the British Government is very supportive of this visit, totally committed to its success and ready to meet its share of the costs. The Catholic community is likewise totally committed to this visit. It is a state visit, every aspect of it is part of a state visit, but the Catholic community will willingly and readily support those aspects of the visit which are quite explicitly an expression of Catholic faith. So the liturgies, the moments of prayer, those aspects of the visit will be entirely funded by the Catholic community. The overarching costs, in some ways may seem rather a lot, but if you compare them to cost of the G20 summit last summer which lasted for one day, this visit costs probably about half of that one day G20 summit. So in terms of Britain’s standing in the world, in terms of the UK’s presence on the world stage the cost of this visit are not considerable at all”.


Asia News report: The two religious worked in a nursing home in the district of Wuda in Wuhai, a main city of Inner Mongolia. The hospice staff found their bodies around 6.30 this morning in a pool of blood. Reasons for murder and identity of assassin remain unknown.

Wuhai (AsiaNews) - Fr Joseph Shulai Zhang (pictured), vicar general of the underground diocese of Ningxia (Inner Mongolia) and Sr. Mary Wei Yanhui were stabbed and killed last night in the district of Wuda, Wuhai, Inner Mongolia. The two religious worked in a hospice for the elderly wich is housed in the residence of the local church.
Local sources said this morning, the hospice staff, not seeing them appear at daily mass of 6.30, went to their rooms, finding the bodies of Father Joseph and Sr. Mary in a pool of blood, apparently stabbed to death. The murder was reported around 7 to the police, who cordoned off the area around the church complex and tapped telephone calls. Currently the motives behind the murder and identity of the assassin remain unknown.
Local Catholics tell AsiaNews that the body of Father Zhang has 7 deep knife wounds and signs of struggle. Sister Wei was instead killed by a stab wound to the chest.
Sister Wei, a native of Inner Mongolia, was the director of the nursing home that houses about 60 elderly people. The 32 year old nun professed her vows in 2001. She lived in rooms above the hospice. Father Zhang, 55, was originally from the diocese of Xianxian (Hebei) and has been a priest since 1985. He began his service in Inner Mongolia about 20 years ago. His room was on the ground floor of the building.
The underground Church in Wuda is led by Mgr. Joseph Ma Zhongmu of Ningxia. He is the only ethnic Mongolian prelate in China and livesin the town of Chengchuan, Inner Mongolia. The official Church of Wuhai is instead under the diocese of Bameng, Inner Mongolia.

Asia News report: Nguyen Nam was one of the faithful arrested, harassed and beaten since last May, following protests raised by the authorities' decision to use the area of the ancient cemetery of the village to build a tourist centre.

Da Nang (AsiaNews) - Nam Nguyen, a Catholic from Con Dau parish, in the Diocese of Da Nang died last Saturday, just hours after being released by police. The man, already in recent months, had been arrested, beaten and threatened by agents, following protests from residents over the closure of the cemetery of the parish and the announced destruction of their homes to build a tourist centre.
It all started earlier this year, with the local authorities decision to demolish all the houses in the parish, created 135 years ago to build the resort, without offering fair compensation or aid for resettlement. The cemetery of the parish covers an area of 10 hectares, about a mile from the church. For 135 years it has been the only burial place for the faithful and in the past, it was listed in the historical sites protected by the government. Until March 10, when security agents put a sign at the entrance of the cemetery with the inscription "Burials are forbidden in this area". When a parishioner went to protest, the head of the police sprayed tear gas in his face, causing him to faint.
On May 4, during the procession for the funeral of Mary Tan, 82, police intervened to prevent the burial in the cemetery. For almost an hour there were clashes (pictured) between the 500 parishioners and agents, leaving many Catholics wounded and 59 people arrested. The coffin was taken from the woman's family and was later cremated, against the wishes she had expressed, to be buried next to her husband and members of his family, in the old parish cemetery.
The Vietnamese government denied that there were Catholics arrested or injured. According to the spokesman for the Foreign Ministry, Nguyen Phuong Nga, "this information is false and aimed only at slandering Vietnam". "The truth - he said - is that this affair has nothing to do with religion”.
Instead the incident was denounced by the bishop of Da Nang in central Vietnam, Mgr. Joseph Chau Ngoc Tri, who in a pastoral letter of May 6 condemned the incident and asked the faithful and controlling authorities to avoid further violence. "The police went in search of other faithful," wrote the bishop.
His claims were backed up by the news that on May 17, six parishioners were charged by the authorities of the province of Da Nang for "disturbing public order" and "attacking state security and administration personnel who were carrying out their duties according to law. "
Among the six, Nam Nguyen, who was arrested and released. Subsequently he was again summoned by the officials, who tried to force him to lay charges against other faithful. Upon his refusal he was savagely beaten. Saturday he was released and a few hours later, he died. Fear now reigns in the village.


All Africa report- Nairobi — Gunmen shot dead a bishop in a midnight raid at a church in Nairobi's outskirts on Sunday.

Bishop Joseph Segel of the Redeemed Church, Ongata Rongai was shot twice in the chest as he attempted to block the attackers from entering the church.
His wife Miriam hid at the altar while the gunmen beat up and frisked church faithful for valuables.
Internal Security minister George Saitoti visited the area on Wednesday last week and ordered the local police to beef up security, in response to yet another attack in which two people were hacked to death and 11 others injured a day earlier at Oloo Sirkon Village, seven kilometres away.
The church is located about 300 metres from the Ongata Rongai police station.
The gunmen entered the church compound minutes after Miriam drove in, with the bishop on the passenger seat and three women were riding at the back.
They were returning to the church late after attending a week-long "religious mission" in Matuu.
The three women are church faithful who had accompanied them for the mission.
"It was some minutes to midnight. I took a turn from the tarmac road and was driving towards the church's gate. I saw a vehicle following from behind and I got nervous. I drove faster," Miriam said.
She stopped at the gate and asked one of the ladies to alight and open the gate.
"I also told her to close and lock it immediately after I drove in," added Miriam.
She parked the vehicle and entered the church through the office door while the ladies were unloading shopping bags when a gun appeared.
"I saw a very tall man with a rifle at the door. He was struggling with another man who is also a member of our church," said Miriam.
The other man is Mr George Kamau, who said had been waiting to pray with the bishop, then spend the night at the church ahead of the morning service.
"It was 10 minutes to midnight. I helped open the gate and mama (Miriam) told me to monitor the other vehicle. It took a turn and drove past. But three men carrying firearms started to alight before the vehicle stopped and I dashed back," he said.
He rushed back and alerted the ladies as they unloaded bags from the vehicle.
"I told them to rush and hide in the office. I followed them but as I entered the one with a rifle was right behind me. He kicked the door as I closed from inside. I fell on the floor and the bishop rushed to help. He shot him then ordered us to lie on the floor, then shot him again," added Mr Kamau.
Two men had entered the church, the other had a pistol and another kept watch outside.
"They demanded for the car keys and money. They also took a handbag and mobile phones and sped off," Mr Kamau said.
A woman who had been left in the bishop's car was taken hostage as the gunmen sped off.
The car, a Toyota Prado, was last morning found abandoned at the Kibera matatu termini and towed to Kilimani police station.
The woman was abandoned at Kenyatta market near the city's Ngumo estate.
Miriam talked to her and she narrated her ordeal. "In the car one of the gunmen broke down in tears and kept on saying. Mungu tusamehe Mungu tusamehe (Forgive us God). But another was rebuking him telling him there was no time for regrets," the bishop's wife told the Nation.
Elite detectives from Nairobi-based Flying squad and Special Crime Prevention Unit were dispatched to lead investigations into the matter.
A sombre mood engulfed the church service on Sunday. The sermon was disrupted at times, as faithful broke down in sobs and had to be helped out of the church.
At the same time detectives mingled with the faithful, gathering clues on last night's incident.
At the bishop's home, a few kilometres away, other faithful, friends and relatives gathered to console the wife.
The bishop had three children - Emmanuel, 16, Winner, 12 and three-year-old Peace.

IRAN: MOTHER OF 2 CHILDREN FACES DEATH BY STONING report: A 42-year-old Iranian mother of two faces death by stoning unless international opinion says otherwise. Sakineh Mohammadie Ashtiani, the woman in question has been convicted of "adultery while being married" in 2006 and has already been lashed 99 times.

42-year-old Sakineh Mohammadie Ashtiani has been convicted of "adultery while being married" in 2006 and has already been lashed 99 times.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to Mina Ahadi, who heads the International Committee Against Stoning and the Death Penalty, has told CNN: "Legally, it's all over. It's a done deal. Sakineh can be stoned at any minute."
Amnesty International, citing Article 104 of Iran's Penal Code says that should her execution proceed, Ashtiani will be buried up to her chest and then pelted with stones that are large enough to inflict severe damage -- but no so large as to kill the person instantly.
Ashtiani's case, as reported in the Guardian was re-opened when a court in Tabriz suspected her of murdering her husband. She was acquitted of murder, but the adultery charge was reviewed and a death penalty handed down on the basis of "judge's knowledge," a loophole that allows for subjective judicial rulings where no conclusive evidence is present.
According to CNN, Ashtiani may not have been fully capable of understanding the court proceedings due to the fact that she speaks Turkish, and not Farsi.
Ashtiani's son Sajad told the Guardian recently, "She's innocent; she's been there for five years for doing nothing."
Amnesty International called for Iran to halt all executions last week.

Asia News report: Behnam Sabti, a Syrian Orthodox, was killed yesterday by a bomb placed under his car. The man worked as a nurse at the state Jumhuriya hospital in Mosul. According to anonymous sources the motive of the murder is his religious identity.

Mosul (AsiaNews) - The agony continues for the Christian community of Mosul, the most dangerous city in Iraq. Yesterday July 5, in a targeted attack yet another Christian was killed. 54 year old Syrian Orthodox, Behnam Sabti worked as a nurse at the Jumhuriya state hospital of Mosul. A bomb fixed under his car exploded while the man was driving, killing him instantly. Local sources, anonymous for security reasons, tell AsiaNews, they are convinced that the motive of the murder was the man’s "religious identity". Married with three children, he will be buried in Bashiqa Kemal, his native village in the north.
According to the latest data, released in late June by the Iraqi ministries for Defence, Health and the Interior, violence has declined on a national scale. Nevertheless, people are still despondent and living in fear. The number of Iraqis killed violently, in June, fell to 284 compared with 437 the same month in 2009.
If Iraq is experiencing a political stalemate due to protracted negotiations on forming a new government after March 7 elections, Mosul faces "a real security vacuum", sources tell AsiaNews. In what is now the “Al Qaeda stronghold in Mesopotamia ", two types of violence take place, terrorism directed against the locals - mostly Shia - and minorities, and jihadist violence targeting American troops and their allies of the Iraqi security forces. The streets of Mosul are patrolled by the U.S. military, about 18 Iraqi army battalions are deployed throughout the city, along with hundreds of police and checkpoints. Nevertheless, the situation remains highly uncertain, as revealed by the same American officials. And the problems "will increase when the U.S. completes the withdrawal," says Didar Abdulla al-Zibari, a member of the local provincial council.


Cath News report: Dutch soccer star Wesley Sneijder, who scored the crucial second goal in his team's World Cup semi-final victory over Uruguay this morning, converted to Catholicism shortly before leaving for South Africa.

The report in the Catholic News Agency cites the Argentinean daily La Nacion, which featured a story on Sneijder, which said the footballer arrived at the World Cup "completely renewed".
"At the end of May he converted to Catholicism and was baptized in a chapel in Milan, where the brilliant soccer star plays for the Inter Soccer Team, receiving endless accolades," according to the report. "He was influenced in his decision by his girlfriend, Dutch actress and model Yolanthe Cabau, who was born in the Spanish city of Ibiza and who he has decided to marry in the Church after the World Cup ends."
He was also inspired by his friendship with Javier Zanetti, his teammate and captain for Inter, who is himself a practicing Catholic," it adds. "The faith gives me strength," Sneijder is quoted saying. "My convictions often keep me strong and give me determination. Everyday I pray the Our Father with (girlfriend Yolanthe). Before each game I always seek out a place to pray."


CBN report: For the first time in almost 35 years, Queen Elizabeth II made a rare visit to New York City.

The 84-year-old British monarch addressed the United Nations to make an appeal for peace and unity, Tuesday.
She also paid tribute to the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The Queen laid a wreath at Ground Zero in honor of the 67 British lives lost in the attacks.
This is the Queen's first appearance in front of the U.N. since 1957. Her latest trip to the U.S. only about five hours and ends with a visit to Hanover Square where she will open the British Garden of Remembrance.
Queen Elizabeth is traveling to with her husband Prince Philip.

Cath News report: The Federal Magistrate's Court in Melbourne has ruled that a Jewish mother cannot let her children participate in religious ceremonies until they choose to, or their Catholic father agrees to it.
The separated parents, known as Mr and Mrs Macri, asked the court to determine the religious future of their three children, a 10-year-old and eight-year-old twins, said a report in the Sydney Morning Herald.
The mother wanted her children to participate in their bar and bat mitzvahs, but the father - who irregularly attends church - wanted them to choose their own religion in a "voluntary and informed" way, once they were of sufficient age and maturity.
Mr Macri had not pitted one religion against the other but had wanted his children to participate in the culture and traditions of both religions without committing to either at this stage, Federal Magistrate Terry McGuire is quoted saying. In contrast, Mrs Macri wanted to commit the children to Judaism immediately.
"Australia is a multicultural and secular society," Mr McGuire said. "These children are fortunate in that they have the opportunity to directly experience the culture and traditions of the religions practised by each of their parents."

St. Maria Goretti

Feast: July 6
Information: Feast Day: July 6
Born: October 16, 1890(1890-10-16), Corinaldo, Province of Ancona, Marche, Kingdom of Italy
Died: July 6, 1902 (aged 11), Nettuno, Province of Rome, Lazio, Kingdom of Italy
Canonized: June 24, 1950, Rome by Pope Pius XII
Major Shrine: Nettuno, Province of Rome, Lazio, Italy
Patron of: Crime victims, teenage girls, modern youth, Children of Mary
Virgin martyr and miracle worker in death. She was stabbed to death on July 6 while resisting the advances of the son of her father's business partner. Maria was born in Corinaldo, Italy, the daughter of a farmer who moved the family to Ferriere di Conca, near Anzio. There Alexander Serenelli, a youth who lived in the same house, tried to seduce the young Maria. When she refused him, Alexander stabbed her repeatedly. Arrested for the murder, he was imprisoned and experienced a vision of Maria. Her cuase was opened becuase she was credited with some forty miracles after her death. She was canonized by Pope Pius XII (r. 1939-1958) in 1950, as a model of purity. Alexander attended her canonization.

Matthew 9: 32 - 38

32 As they were going away, behold, a dumb demoniac was brought to him.

33 And when the demon had been cast out, the dumb man spoke; and the crowds marveled, saying, "Never was anything like this seen in Israel."

34 But the Pharisees said, "He casts out demons by the prince of demons."

35 And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every disease and every infirmity.

36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.

37 Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few;

38 pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest."
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