Friday, August 27, 2010




Asia News report: The message from Benedict XVI for the centenary of the birth of the Blessed was read this morning by Mgr. Lucas Sirkar during mass celebrated in the chapel of the Motherhouse of the Missionaries of Charity in Calcutta.
Kolkata (AsiaNews) – Marking the special year that begins today for the centenary of the birth of Mother Teresa of Calcutta, Pope Benedict XVI "joins himself spiritually" to the celebrations and expresses confidence that it will allow "the Church and the world" to " joyful gratitude to God for the inestimable gift that Mother Teresa was in her lifetime".
The message signed by the Pope, addressed to Sister Prema, superior general of the Missionaries of Charity, asks the sisters to continue the work of Mother, becoming " draw closer to the person of Jesus, whose thirst for souls is sated by your ministry to him in the poorest of the poor... the sick, the lonely and the abandoned. "For the Pope, Mother Teresa was an example for the world of words of St. John: " Beloved, if God so loves us, we ought also to love one another. If we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us "(cf. I Jn. 4:11-12).
The message was read this morning during the mass celebrated by the Archbishop of Calcutta, Lucas Sirkar in the Motherhouse of the Missionaries of Charity. (Nc),-an-inestimable-gift-for-the-Church-and-the-world-19289.html


Cath News report: Church organisations say they see opportunities and risks in the Federal Election results.
Catholic Social Services Australia (CSSA) executive director Frank Quinlan said the shape of the new Federal Government after last weekend's election "was difficult to predict". But "it seems clear to me that a large number of Australian voters rejected the traditional duopoly politics of the recent election campaign", says a report in The Catholic Leader.
Catholic Health Australia (CHA) chief executive Martin Laverty was reported on Monday as being concerned health reform would be stalled by a minority government trying to keep the support of independents to remain in power.
Caritas Australia chief executive officer Jack de Groot had similar concerns, noting "with national stability likely to dominate the post-election landscape, we'll be urging our leaders not to neglect Australia's responsibility to the world's most vulnerable communities".
Brisbane archdiocese's Catholic Justice and Peace Commission (CJPC) executive officer Peter Arndt said "a big message from the election outcome was the public is fed up with the current situation where too many politicians and their advisors are living in some sort of vacuum, disconnected from the community".
Mr Quinlan said CSSA was looking for "two things from the current negotiations" between the parties trying to form a coalition government.
"The first is an agreement that yields certainty and stability," he said.
"It is in no-one's interests to have single issues being traded off in some kind of bidding war.
"To the credit of the current players, this does not seem to be the case.
"Secondly, I would be hoping for a government that works harder to develop good social policy.
"That means a government that listens to those who are closest to the problem and considers evidence ahead of ideology."


Asia News report: The woman disappeared on 15 July and was subjected to forced sterilization. Because of the operation she is still in hospital. Her mother, who reported her missing child, was arrested for 10 days. The damage of the one child law.
Hong Kong (AsiaNews / CHRD) - A young mother of 23 was kidnapped and forcibly sterilized by the members of the population control office in Anhui. The news was reported today by the CHRD (Chinese Human Rights Defenders).
Li Hongmei, 23, from Changfeng County, gave birth to her first child last June 21. On 15 July, the office for family planning kidnapped her along with her child. When her family reported her disappearance, Li’s mother, Yang Yonglian, was arrested by local police and detained for 10 days on charges of "hindering the course of official duties."
Later the family learned that Li, a mother for less than a month, had been brought to the hospital in Shuangfeng, where members of the population control forced her to sign consent for her sterilization.
CHRD said that after the forced sterilization Li became ill and is suffering from dizziness and chest pains. At present she is still in hospital.
To ensure the economic development programs, and hold down the population growth, since the late 70's China has adopted a one-child law which allows a couple to have only one child. In every province, city, village an annual quota of new births is set. In order to meet this quota representatives of the Office for population control resort to forced abortions (even in the ninth month), sterilization of women and men, huge fines of up to one or two years of annual wages for those who have a second child.
Sociologists and economists have long warned about the dangers of a quickly aging population. Moreover, the preference for male children among farmers has led to a widespread practice of selective abortions, female foeticide and has also created a serious imbalance in the ratio between males and females. Because of this, different personalities are demanding that the state change the one child law, allowing at least two children per couple. Each year, however, the government reaffirms the "common good" of the On Child Act.


All report: Over 200 Christian Youth from all denominations on Monday night descended at the FIFA Goal Project in Old Yundum,Kombo North,for a week-long annual youth camp organised by the Catholic Charismatic Youth Ministry. The Theme of the youth camp is; "That I may know him". The theme seeks to enlighten the youth about the importance of God in their lives, among others. Speaking to the Daily Observer, Joseph Mendy, national co-ordinator of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal The Gambia, explained that the programme is another way of bringing a sense of relationship among the youths and on the other hand, teach them about the knowledge of God. According to him, the camping is expected to have a great impact on the live style of the youths who are participating in it because it will help them develop a sense of understanding as Christians about God. He explained that this is the third camping but the first of its kind due to the huge turnout of the youths and they are still expecting to receive a larger number from the provinces.

Isaac Jabang, the camp co-ordinator, said the challenges they face are numerous but key among them is the monetary aspect which he said made it very difficult to have this programme held in due time. "We spent an amount of D60, 000 for this programme and we will like to thank our valued sponsors for their efforts in making this a possibility," he remarked.

He further assured parents that they will be vigilant in ensuring that their sons and daughters are safe noting that, despite there is a mixture of both sexes, there are measures that are put in place that will ensure that any malicious attempt by any intruder will appear almost impossible.

Participants are optimistic that at the end of the camping, much will be experienced and there will be something holistic to go home with.


USSCB report: Bishops Welcome Ruling Against Embryonic Stem Cell Funding, Urge Government to Pursue Ethical Stem Cell Research

WASHINGTON—Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, chairman of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, welcomed the federal court injunction against the Obama administration’s funding of human embryonic stem cell research, calling the ruling a “victory for common sense and sound medical ethics.” He said this ruling also vindicates the bishops’ reading of the Dickey amendment, the amendment approved by Congress since 1996, which prevents federal funding of research in which human embryos are harmed or destroyed.

“I hope this court decision will encourage our government to renew and expand its commitment to ethically sound avenues of stem cell research,” Cardinal DiNardo added. “These avenues are showing far more promise than destructive human embryo research in serving the needs of suffering patients.”

The full statement follows:

The preliminary injunction against the Obama administration’s funding of human embryonic stem cell research is a welcome victory for common sense and sound medical ethics. It also vindicates a reading of Congress’s statutory language on embryo research that the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has defended for more than a decade.

Each year since 1996, Congress has approved the Dickey amendment to forbid funding any “research in which” human embryos are harmed or destroyed. This should ensure that taxpayers are not forced to fund a research project when pursuing that project requires the destruction of human life at its earliest stage. However, beginning with a legal memo commissioned by the Clinton administration in January 1999, this law has been distorted and narrowed to allow federal funding of research that directly relies on such destruction. As the bishops’ conference said in congressional testimony in 1999, “a mere bookkeeping distinction between funds used to destroy the embryo and funds used to work with the resultant cells is not sufficient” to comply with the law. In the health care reform debate, as well, we have pointed out that an executive order by itself cannot change the meaning of a law passed by Congress, and that the longstanding policy against funding health plans that cover abortion is not satisfied, but circumvented, by a bookkeeping distinction that merely segregates accounts within such plans.

A task of good government is to use its funding power to direct resources where they will best serve and respect human life, not to find new ways to evade this responsibility. I hope this court decision will encourage our government to renew and expand its commitment to ethically sound avenues of stem cell research. These avenues are showing far more promise than destructive human embryo research in serving the needs of suffering patients.


Fox News report: The archbishop of Paris joined the tide of criticism over France's crackdown on Gypsies, calling it a "circus," while the EU's justice commissioner on Thursday denounced French officials' discriminatory tone about the vulnerable minority.
France brushed off the criticism and put nearly 300 Gypsies, or Roma, on two flights to their home country of Romania on Thursday. A poll showed the French are divided about the tactic, though slightly more favor it than oppose it.

President Nicolas Sarkozy's conservative government has linked the Roma minority to crime, from prostitution to child exploitation, and is dismantling their illegal squatters' camps and sending many back to Eastern Europe.

The policy has attracted widespread criticism from those who say it amounts to racism toward one of the European Union's most impoverished minorities, and that Sarkozy is playing to the far right before the 2012 presidential election to boost his poor approval ratings.

Amnesty International said it is concerned French comments linking Roma to crime may "lead to even further discrimination" against them. It added: "No one should be returned or expelled simply because they are Roma."

Analyst: Citigroup Is Cooking the BooksTen Worst Places to LiveStop Saving to Pay Off Credit Card Debt?Cavuto: When the Checks Stop, So Does the EconomyShould You Ever Co-Sign a Loan?Paris Cardinal Andre Vingt-Trois told Europe-1 radio that he planned to meet with the interior minister to tell him what Roman Catholics think, "and to remind him that there are certain lines that must not be crossed." On Sunday, Pope Benedict XVI urged people to accept "legitimate human diversity" in remarks widely interpreted as a message about the Roma.

The cardinal — asked about a recent sermon that alluded to a circus — responded: "I spoke of a circus, which was the manner in which this affair was handled during the summer."

EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding, who had until now avoided confrontation with Paris, said "some of the rhetoric that has been used ... has been openly discriminatory and partly inflammatory."

A day earlier, Interior Minister Brice Hortefeux dismissed criticism as "political blather" and insisted racial prejudice was not behind the operation. He said 117 camps have been dismantled so far and hundreds sent home.

At Paris' Charles de Gaulle airport, dozens of Roma, including children and babies, were escorted by police onto a flight to Romania. The country's Mediafax news agency said a total of 284 Roma arrived from France on Thursday.

France says most of the Roma who leave have done so voluntarily and are given euro300 per adult and euro100 per child to help resettle.

Human rights groups say the policy is absurd because many Roma simply return to France. Romania and Bulgaria are members of the European Union, and their citizens can enter France without a visa, but they must get work permits to work in France or residency permits to settle long-term.

One 36-year-old Roma woman who was recently turned out of an illegal camp in the Paris suburbs said she has already been expelled to Romania once before but immediately returned to France.

"I could not stay more than four days because I had no house," the woman, Rodica, told Associated Press Television News, declining to give her last name amid the crackdown. "I could not stay there. So I had to ask my family, which stayed in France, to send me some money and then I bought a bus ticket to come back."

A support group called Romeurope estimates that as many as 15,000 Roma live in France. French authorities have no official estimate.

A poll Tuesday and Wednesday of 1,000 people by the CSA agency for Le Parisien newspaper showed that 48 percent of those surveyed favored the expulsions, while 42 percent are opposed. No margin of error was given.

Meanwhile, French Minister for European Affairs Pierre Lellouche met with Romanian officials in charge of security and Gypsy issues.

Many Roma say they face less discrimination and better prospects in France than in Romania. Lellouche said he pressed Romania to make progress on "integrating minorities who are in great difficulty. We are experiencing the consequences in France."


St. Zephyrinus
Information: Feast Day: August 26
Died: 20 December 247

ZEPHYRINUS, a native of Rome, succeeded Victor in the pontificate, in the year 202, in which Severus raised the fifth most bloody persecution against the Church, which continued not for two years only, but until the death of that emperor in 211. Under this furious storm this holy pastor was the support and comfort of the distressed flock of Christ, and he suffered by charity and compassion what every confessor underwent. The triumphs of the martyrs were indeed his joy, but his heart received many deep wounds from the fall of apostates and heretics. Neither did this latter affliction cease when peace was restored to the Church. Our Saint had also the affliction to see the fall of Tertullian, which seems to have been owing partly to his pride. Eusebius tells us that this holy Pope exerted his zeal so strenuously against the blasphemies of the heretics that they treated him in the most contumelious manner; but it was his glory that they called him the principal defender of Christ's divinity. St. Zephyrinus filled the pontifical chair seventeen years, dying in 219. He was buried in his own cemetery, on the 26th of August. He is, in some Martyrologies, styled a martyr, which title he might deserve by what he suffered in the persecution, though he perhaps did not die by the executioner.

TODAY'S GOSPEL: Matthew 24: 42 - 51

Matthew 24: 42 - 51
42 Watch therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming.
43 But know this, that if the householder had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have watched and would not have let his house be broken into.
44 Therefore you also must be ready; for the Son of man is coming at an hour you do not expect.
45 "Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom his master has set over his household, to give them their food at the proper time?
46 Blessed is that servant whom his master when he comes will find so doing.
47 Truly, I say to you, he will set him over all his possessions.
48 But if that wicked servant says to himself, `My master is delayed,'
49 and begins to beat his fellow servants, and eats and drinks with the drunken,
50 the master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know,
51 and will punish him, and put him with the hypocrites; there men will weep and gnash their teeth.
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