CATHOLIC WORLD NEWS: MON. SEPT. 13, 2010: HEADLINES-
VATICAN: POPE SPEAKS ON BLESSED LEOPOLDO-
AFRICA- GUINEA - DISORDER DEMOCRACY HAS PROBLEMS BEGINNING-
EUROPE: SPAIN: GOLD MEDALIST ASKS OUR LADY'S INTERCESSION FOR LIFE-
AMERICA: CANADA: ARCHBISHOP CALLS ON SCHOOL BOARD TO PRACTICE FAITH-
ASIA: INDONESIA: PROTESTANT PASTOR STABBED-
AUSTRALIA: NEW BOOK ON MACKILLOP SISTERS-
VATICAN: POPE MENTIONS NEW BLESSED, LEOPOLDO DE ALPANDEIRE
VATICAN CITY, 12 SEP 2010 (VIS REPORT) - After praying the Angelus today the Pope recalled how Br. Leopoldo Sanchez Marquez de Alpandeire (ne Francesco), was beatified this morning in the Spanish city of Granada.
"The life of this simple and austere Capuchin religious", he said, "is a hymn to humility and to trust in God, as well as a shining example of devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. I invite everyone, following the example of this new blessed, to serve the Lord with a sincere heart, that we may experience the immense love He has for us, which makes it possible to love all mankind without exception".
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LETTERS OF CREDENCE OF NEW GERMAN AMBASSADOR
VATICAN CITY, 13 SEP 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received the Letters of Credence of Walter Jurgen Schmid, the new ambassador of Germany to the Holy See.
The Pope began by mentioning Fr. Gerhard Hirschfelder, a martyr priest who died under the Nazi regime and who is due to be beatified in Munster on 19 September. He also referred to the beatifications of four other priests and the commemoration of an Evangelical pastor, scheduled for 2011.
"Contemplating these martyrs", said Benedict XVI, "it emerges ever more clearly how certain men, on the basis of their Christian convictions, are ready to give their lives for the faith, for the right to exercise their beliefs freely and for freedom of speech, for peace and human dignity".
However, he went on, "many men tend to show an overriding inclination towards more permissive religious convictions. The personal God of Christianity, Who reveals Himself in the Bible, is replaced by a supreme being, mysterious and undefined, who has only a vague relation with the personal life of human beings.
"These ideas are increasingly animating discussion within society, especially as regards the areas of justice and lawmaking", the Pope added. "If, however, one abandons faith in a personal God, then an alternative 'god' arises, one who does not know, does not feel and does not speak". ... If God does not have His own will, then good and bad end up being indistinguishable. ... Man thus loses the moral and spiritual energy necessary for the overall development of the person. Social activity is increasingly dominated by private interest or by power calculations, to the detriment of society"."The Church", the Holy Father explained, "looks with concern at the growing attempts to eliminate the Christian concept of marriage and the family from the conscience of society. Marriage is the lasting union of love between a man and a woman, which is always open to the transmission of human life". In this context he identified the need for a "culture of the person", using an expression of John Paul II. Moreover, he continued, "the success of marriages depends upon us all and on the personal culture of each individual citizen. In this sense, the Church cannot approve legislative initiatives that involve a re-evaluation of alternative models of marriage and family life. They contribute to a weakening of the principles of natural law, and thus to the relativisation of all legislation and confusion about values in society".
Going on then to address the question of "new possibilities" in biotechnology and medicine, the Pope laid emphasis on "our duty to study how these methods can help man, and where they involve manipulation of man, the violation of his integrity and dignity. We cannot reject these developments, but we must remain highly vigilant. Once we have begun to distinguish (and this often already happens in the mother's womb) between a life that is worthy to be lived and one which is unworthy, then no other phase of existence will be spared, particularly old age and infirmity".
The Holy Father concluded by highlighting how "the construction of a human society requires faithfulness to truth". In this context he mentioned certain phenomena related to the communications media. "Being in ever-greater competition with one another", he said, they "feel impelled to attract as much attention as possible. Moreover, in general it is contrast that makes news, even if this goes against the truth of the story. The question becomes particularly problematic when authority figures take up public stances on the matter, without being able to verify all aspects adequately. The intention of the federal government to look into these cases is to be welcomed".
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BISHOPS: CUSTODIANS OF THE CHURCH
VATICAN CITY, 13 SEP 2010 (VIS) - A hundred and twenty recently-appointed bishops from various countries, currently participating in an annual congress promoted by the Congregation for Bishops, were received today by the Holy Father who began his remarks to them by greeting Cardinal Marc Ouellet P.S.S., the new prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, and Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches. In his address to them the Pope referred to the "important custom" of new bishops making a pilgrimage to the tomb of St. Peter, "who conformed himself to Christ, Teacher and Shepherd, until death and death on the cross". And he quoted Jesus' words from the Gospel of St. John: "The Good Shepherd lays down his life for the sheep".
Thus, the Holy Father went on, "the mission of the bishop cannot be understood with a mindset of efficiency and effectiveness in which attention is primarily focused on what has to be done; rather, it is important to concentrate on the ontological dimension, which acts as foundation for the functional level. The bishop, in fact, by the authority of Christ with which he is invested, when he sits on the Cathedra is 'above' and 'in front of' the community, in that he is 'for' the community towards which his pastoral solicitude is directed".
Reflecting then on the words used when consigning the ring during episcopal consecrations - "Take this ring, the seal of your fidelity. With integrity of faith and purity of life protect the bride of God, His Holy Church" - Benedict explained: "The concept of 'protecting' does not only mean conserving what has already been established (though this must not be lacking); rather, in its essence it also includes the dynamic aspect: a perpetual and concrete tendency towards perfection, in complete harmony with, and continually adapting to, the new requirements that arise with the development and progress of that living organism which is the community.
"The bishop has responsibility for the good of his diocese, but also for that of society", the Pope added. "He is called to be 'strong and determined, just and serene' in order to be able exercise that wise discernment of people, facts and events which is required of him in his duty to be 'father, brother and friend' along the Christian and human journey".
And Pope Benedict concluded: "The ministry of the bishop - who is not a mere governor or bureaucrat, or a simple moderator or organiser of diocesan life - is part of a profound perspective that is not simply human, administrative or sociological, but a perspective of faith. It is paternity and fraternity in Christ that enable the bishop to create a climate of trust, acceptance and affection, but also of frankness and justice".
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CELEBRATIONS TO BE PRESIDED BY POPE: OCTOBER-NOVEMBER
VATICAN CITY, 13 SEP 2010 (VIS) - The Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff today published the calendar of celebrations to be presided by the Holy Father in the months of October and November:
- Sunday 3: Pastoral visit to Palermo, Italy, for the occasion of the regional meeting of families and young people.
- Sunday 10: At 9.30 a.m. in the Vatican Basilica, opening of the Special Assembly for the Middle East of the Synod of Bishops.
- Sunday 17: At 10 a.m. in St. Peter's Square, canonisation of the following blesseds: Stanislao Soltys (Kazimierczyk), Andre Bessette (ne Alfred), Candida Maria de Jesus Cipitria y Barriola (nee Juana Josefa), Mary of the Cross MacKillop (nee Mary Helen), Giulia Salzano and Battista da Varano (nee Camilla).
- Sunday 24: At 9.30 a.m. in the Vatican Basilica, conclusion of the Special Assembly for the Middle East of the Synod of Bishops.
- Thursday 4: At 11.30 a.m. at the altar of the Cathedra in the Vatican Basilica, Mass for cardinals and bishops who died over the course of the year.
- Saturday 6 - Sunday 7: Apostolic trip to the Spanish cities of Santiago de Compostela and Barcelona.
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REOPENING OF THE VATICAN APOSTOLIC LIBRARY
VATICAN CITY, 13 SEP 2010 (VIS) - Following three years of restoration work, the Vatican Apostolic Library is due to reopen its doors on 20 September. The announcement was made in a press conference, held this morning in the Sistine Hall of the Vatican Museums and presented by Cardinal Raffaele Farina S.D.B., archivist and librarian of Holy Roman Church; Msgr. Cesare Pasini, prefect of the Vatican Apostolic Library; Pier Carlo Cuscianna, director of Technical Services of the Governorate of Vatican City State; Giovanni Giavazzi, president of the "Italcementi" Foundation, and Gennaro Guala, also of "Italcementi", the company which undertook the restoration work.
The wing in which the collections are kept was in need of structural repair work including strengthening the floor which was showing signs of subsiding, bringing large areas of the building into line with safety norms, and moving a number of sectors in order to rationalise access to the works.
During the course of the press conference it was announced that an exhibition entitled "Knowing the Vatican Apostolic Library: a story open to the future" will open in the Vatican's Charlemagne Wing on 10 November. It was further announced that a congress will be held from 11 to 13 November on the theme: "The Vatican Apostolic Library as a place of research and an institution at the service of scholars"..../ VIS 20100913 (230)
VATICAN CITY, 13 SEP 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in audience Cardinal Marc Ouellet P.S.S., prefect of the Congregation for Bishops. On Saturday 11 September he received in audience Archbishop Reinhard Marx of Munich and Freising, Germany.
AFRICA- GUINEA - DISORDER DEMOCRACY HAS PROBLEMS BEGINNING
Agenzia Fides REPORT - "We are still experiencing the growing pains a democracy that is emerging, although, unfortunately, with the loss of lives," Fides was told by a Church source in the Republic of Guinea, following clashes on September 11 and 12, in the capital Conakry, which resulted in one dead and fifty wounded. The clashes involved supporters of two rival candidates, Cellou Dalein Diallo and Alpha Conde. To avoid further incidents, the transitional government of Prime Minister Jean Marie Dore decided to ban any public events related to the election campaign, allowing the continuation of the campaign only through radio and television. The root cause of the incident is supposedly the September 9th sentencing of two leaders of the Independent Electoral Commission to one year in prison for alleged electoral fraud. On September 19, there will be a second round of presidential elections. The first round was held June 27 and was won by Diallo (with 43.69% of votes), while Conde won 18.25%.
"There is concern, but we are not on red alert," says the source of Fides, who for security reasons wishes to remain anonymous. "The government response has been positive: the army separated the contenders and the National Transitional Council (known as the CNT) canceled the election campaign until things cool down. The President of the CNT, Rabiatou Serah Diallo, also strongly reiterated that he is determined to make the second round of elections take place regularly. The CNT, formed on February 8, 2010, is the provisional legislative body responsible for managing the transition until the election.
"There are two factors which may have excited the people: the long campaign for the second round and the arrest of the President of the Independent Electoral Commission ordered by the court. As for the first factor, it should be noted that initially the second round was scheduled for August 8, but it was postponed until after the end of Ramadan following complaints regarding the proper conduct of the first round. As for the second factor, it is difficult to know how to evaluate an investigation done by an ordinary court against the President of the Electoral Commission, as their position should technically make them immune from the ordinary courts. This investigation has been organized by someone interested in delaying the process of the second round."
Our source says, however, that there is hope for the future because "the people of Guinea want to vote and, above all, they want peace."
EUROPE: SPAIN: GOLD MEDALIST ASKS OUR LADY'S INTERCESSION FOR LIFE
(CNA REPORT.- During the festivities in Salamanca, Spain, triple Paralympic gold medalist Enrique Sanchez-Guijo asked for the intercession of the Blessed Mother for “the protection of life, inherent in every human being, from beginning to end.” Sánchez-Guijo, who competed in the Paralympic Games of Barcelona in 1992, Atlanta in 1996 and Sydney in 2000, said that together with the right to life, the “right to live in freedom, banishing all forms of terrorism and oppression,” must also be respected.
The former athlete participated in a Mass at the Cathedral of Salamanca, during which he prayed for the families of Spain.
Born in the Spanish city of Bejar, he won three gold medals and set the world record in the 200 meter dash. He also won gold medals in European championships in 1993, 1995, 1997, as well silver and gold medals in the world championships of 1994 and 1998.
AMERICA: CANADA: ARCHBISHOP CALLS ON SCHOOL BOARD TO PRACTICE FAITH
LifeSiteNews.com REPORT– As Ontario’s October 25th municipal election approaches, Archbishop Thomas Collins of Toronto has called on the Catholic constituency to choose school board trustees that exemplify the practice of the Catholic faith.
In a pastoral letter read at Sunday Masses this past weekend, the archbishop emphasized that a Catholic trustee “should be a faithful practicing Catholic.”
“This election is enormously important,” he said. “It allows the members of our Catholic faith community to have essential input into the governance of our Catholic schools.”
Archbishop Collins’ letter comes as Catholic schools are faced with a concerted campaign from Premier Dalton McGuinty’s government to impose and promote acceptance of homosexuality through their Equity and Inclusive Education Strategy.
Though approved by the Ontario bishops’ Institute for Catholic Education (ICE), the equity strategy has been condemned by Catholic groups because it requires Catholic schools to recognize special rights for homosexuals. The Vatican has specifically warned that such a recognition “can easily lead, if not automatically, to the legislative protection and promotion of homosexuality.”
Campaign Life Coalition recently launched a campaign to have the equity strategy scrapped; the organization believes the equity issue is crucial in the upcoming election. They have distributed a questionnaire to all candidates to assess their commitment to Catholic teaching and faith as well as life and family issues, and the results will be posted on their website shortly.
In his letter, Archbishop Collins called on Catholics to register as Catholic School Supporters, and to “assess the candidates carefully.” He said trustees should be “exemplary in personal integrity and conduct” and have “a well developed understanding of Catholic Education.”
“The well-being of Catholic Education depends to a great degree on the trustees whom we elect,” he said. “We literally entrust Catholic Education to the trustees, and it is crucial that they be faithful to that trust.”
Due to the “extraordinary importance” of the Catholic trustee election, Archbishop Collins has lifted the archdiocesan policy against political campaigning on church property. “Candidates for Catholic School Board Trustee will be permitted to present information to parishioners outside of our churches, from Sunday, September 12th until Sunday, October 17th,” he said.
Archbishop Collins’ pastoral letter can be found on the Archdiocese of Toronto website, along with a video and other resources for the election.
ASIA: INDONESIA: PROTESTANT PASTOR STABBED
Asia News report: A group of unknown assailants stabbed Rev Afian Sihombing. Currently, he is in hospital in critical conditions. Rev Luspida Simanjutak, head of a Protestant community in Pondonk Bekasi, was also injured. Activists and priests react to the incident saying such actions are an attack against pluralism, a pillar of Indonesian society.
Jakarta (AsiaNews) – A group of eight unknown assailants stabbed Rev Afian Sihombing and sent him to hospital where he is in critical conditions with multiple knife wounds to the stomach. The Protestant clergyman heads a local Protestant community in East Pondonk Bekasi Regency. He was attacked along with Rev Luspida Simanjutak, head of the Huria Batak Kristen Protestan. She too was injured, to the face, the head and the back. According to preliminary reports, the two religious were attacked because they had not given up on the idea of holding an open air Mass in Ciketing Asem, a small location in the regency, despite violent protests by some local Muslim fundamentalists.
Police have denied the allegations, saying that yesterday’s attack did not have any religious connotation.
Human rights activists and local priests disagree. According to Todung Mulya Lubis, a well-known human rights lawyer, “This is a clear act against the right to worship. It is a serious violation of the fundamental identity of Indonesia, which is to strongly respect pluralism.”
“The stabbing shows how Indonesians are starting to be less tolerant today, unlike the past,” said Fr Franz Magnis Suseno, a Jesuit priest. “I believe we should practice more tolerance rather than just discuss it.”
Human rights activist Rachland Nasidhik called on the government “to move against those who oppose religious freedom and other faiths. These hard-line groups are not only operating at the local level, but are starting to be influential at the national level, including inside the government where some ministers are pursuing policies that contradict the country’s spirit of pluralism. Religious freedom, which is one of Indonesia’s pillars, is under attack. Intolerance towards minorities is dangerously growing.”
Speaking to AsiaNews three weeks ago, Rev Simanjutak said she would continue her mission without fear despite growing threats against Christians. She insisted then that they had a right to worship in the open. http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Protestant-pastor-stabbed,-religious-freedom-attacked-19439.html
AUSTRALIA: NEW BOOK ON MACKILLOP SISTERS
Cath News report: Author Anne Henderson has paid tribute the the Sisters of St Joseph at the recent relaunch of her 1997 book, Mary MacKillop's Sisters: A Life Unveiled. "It was the Sisters who continued the calling, built the vision, worked for her recognition, and brought us the legacy that Australians are about to celebrate in Mary's canonisation in Rome," said Mrs Henderson, deputy director of The Sydney Institute, at the launch this month."They set up institutions for the sick, the orphans and so on. They did what government is doing today, or supposed to be doing. And they did it for nothing more than their keep, and in many cases they did it without their keep."
The book contains her collection of interviews with Sisters of St Joseph from across Australia and New Zealand was republished to coincide with the upcoming canonisation of Mary MacKillop.
Mrs Henderson acknowledged that "the story of Mary MacKillop has been told and re-told; in volumes of history, in plays, comic books, colouring books, on cloth and tea-towels, in film and documentary, and there is even a musical to come".
"It's a story that is linear, chronological; it's a single life of wide experience.
"But no less dramatic are the stories of the many Sisters who worked in her name."
TODAY'S SAINT: ST. JOHN CHRYSOSTOM
St. John Chrysostom
DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH
Feast: September 13
Information: Feast Day: September 13
Born: 347, Antioch
Died: Commana in Pontus, 14 September, 407
Patron of: Constantinople, education, epilepsy, lecturers, orators, preachers
Doctor of the Church, born at Antioch, c. 347; died at Commana in Pontus, 14 September, 407.
John -- whose surname "Chrysostom" occurs for the first time in the "Constitution" of Pope Vigilius (cf. P.L., LX, 217) in the year 553 -- is generally considered the most prominent doctor of the Greek Church and the greatest preacher ever heard in a Christian pulpit. His natural gifts, as well as exterior circumstances, helped him to become what he was.
At the time of Chrysostom's birth, Antioch was the second city of the Eastern part of the Roman Empire. During the whole of the fourth century religious struggles had troubled the empire and had found their echo at Antioch. Pagans, Manichaeans, Gnostics, Arians, Apollinarians, Jews, made their proselytes at Antioch, and the Catholics were themselves separated by the schism between the bishops Meletius and Paulinus. Thus Chrysostom's youth fell in troubled times. His father, Secundus, was an officer of high rank in the Syrian army. On his death soon after the birth of John, Anthusa, his wife, only twenty years of age, took the sole charge of her two children, John and an elder sister. Fortunately she was a woman of intelligence and character. She not only instructed her son in piety, but also sent him to the best schools of Antioch, though with regard to morals and religion many objections could be urged against them. Beside the lectures of Andragatius, a philosopher not otherwise known, Chrysostom followed also those of Libanius, at once the most famous orator of that period and the most tenacious adherent of the declining paganism of Rome. As we may see from the later writings of Chrysostom, he attained then considerable Greek scholarship and classical culture, which he by no means disowned in his later days. His alleged hostility to classical learning is in reality but a misunderstanding ofcertain passages in which he defends the philosophia of Christianity against the myths of the heathen gods, of which the chief defenders in his time were the representatives and teachers of the sophia ellenike (see A. Naegele in "Byzantin. Zeitschrift", XIII, 73-113; Idem, "Chrysostomus und Libanius" in Chrysostomika, I, Rome, 1908, 81-142).
Chrysostom as lector and monk
It was a very decisive turning-point in the life of Chrysostom when he met one day (about 367) the bishop Meletius. The earnest, mild, and winning character of this man captivated Chrysostom in such a measure that he soon began to withdraw from classical and profane studies and to devote himself to an ascetic and religious life. He studied Holy Scripture and frequented the sermons of Meletius. About three years later he received Holy Baptism and was ordained lector. But the young cleric, seized by the desire of a more perfect life, soon afterwards entered one of the ascetic societies near Antioch, which was under the spiritual direction of Carterius and especially of the famous Diodorus, later Bishop of Tarsus (see Palladius, "Dialogus", v; Sozomenus, Church History VIII.2). Prayer, manual labour and the study of Holy Scripture were his chief occupations, and we may safely suppose that his first literary works date from this time, for nearly all his earlier writings deal with ascetic and monastic subjects [cf. below Chrysostom writings: (1) "Opuscuia"]. Four years later, Chrysostom resolved to live as an anchorite in one of the caves near Antioch. He remained there two years, but then as his health was quite ruined by indiscreet watchings and fastings in frost and cold, he prudently returned to Antioch to regain his health, and resumed his office as lector in the church.
Chrysostom as deacon and priest at Antioch
As the sources of the life of Chrysostom give an incomplete chronology, we can but approximately determine the dates for this Antiochene period. Very probably in the beginning of 381 Meletius made him deacon, just before his own departure to Constantinople, where he died as president of the Second Ecumenical Council. The successor of Meletius was Flavian (concerning whose succession see F. Cavallera, "Le Schime d'Antioche", Paris, 1905). Ties of sympathy and friendship connected Chrysostom with his new bishop. As deacon he had to assist at the liturgical functions, to look after the sick and poor, and was probably charged also in some degree with teaching catechumens. At the same time he continued his literary work, and we may suppose that he composed his most famous book, "On the Priesthood", towards the end of this period (c. 386, see Socrates, Church History VI.3), or at latest in the beginning of his priesthood (c. 387, as Nairn with good reasons puts it, in his edition of "De Sacerd.", xii-xv). There may be some doubt if it was occasioned by a real historical fact, viz., that Chrysostom and his friend Basil were requested to accept bishoprics (c. 372). All the earliest Greek biographers seem not to have taken it in that sense. In the year 386 Chrysostom was ordained priest by Flavian, and from that dates his real importance in ecclesiastical history. His chief task during the next twelve years was that of preaching, which he had to exercise either instead of or with Bishop Flavian. But no doubt the larger part of the popular religious instruction and education devolved upon him. The earliest notable occasion which showed his power of speaking and his great authority was the Lent of 387, when he delivered his sermons "On the Statues" (P.G., XLVIII, 15, xxx.). The people of Antioch, excited by the levy of new taxes, had thrown down the statues of Emperor Theodosius. In the panic and fear of punishment which followed, Chrysostom delivered a series of twenty or twenty-one (the nineteenth is probably not authentic) sermons, full of vigour, consolatory, exhortative, tranquilizing, until Flavian, the bishop, brought back from Constantinople the emperor's pardon. But the usual preaching of Chrysostom consisted in consecutive explanations of Holy Scripture. To that custom, unhappily no longer in use, we owe his famous and magnificent commentaries, which offer us such an inexhaustible treasure of dogmatic, moral, and historical knowledge of the transition from the fourth to the fifth century. These years, 386-98, were the period of the greatest theological productivity of Chrysostom, a period which alone would have assured him for ever a place among the first Doctors of the Church. A sign of this may be seen in the fact that in the year 392 St. Jerome already accorded to the preacher of Antioch a place among his Viri illustres ("De Viris ill.", 129, in P.L., XXIII, 754), referring expressly to the great and successful activity of Chrysostom as a theological writer. From this same fact we may infer that during this time his fame had spread far beyond the limits of Antioch, and that he was well known in the Byzantine Empire, especially in the capital.St. Chrysostom as bishop of Constantinople
In the ordinary course of things Chrysostom might have become the successor of Flavian at Antioch. But on 27 September 397, Nectarius, Bishop of Constantinople, died. There was a general rivalry in the capital, openly or in secret, for the vacant see. After some months it was known, to the great disappointment of the competitors, that Emperor Areadius, at the suggestion of his minister Eutropius, had sent to the Prefect of Antioch to call John Chrysostom out of the town without the knowledge of the people, and to send him straight to Constantinople. In this sudden way Chrysostom was hurried to the capital, and ordained Bishop of Constantinople on 26 February, 398, in the presence of a great assembly of bishops, by Theophilus, Patriarch of Alexandria, who had been obliged to renounce the idea of securing the appointment of Isidore, his own candidate. The change for Chrysostom was as great as it was unexpected. His new position was not an easy one, placed as he was in the midst of an upstart metropolis, half Western, half Oriental, in the neighbourhood of a court in which luxury and intrigue always played the most prominent parts, and at the head of the clergy composed of most heterogeneous elements, and even (if not canonically, at least practically) at the head of the whole Byzantine episcopate. The first act of the new bishop was to bring about a reconciliation between Flavian and Rome. Constantinople itself soon began to feel the impulse of a new ecclesiastical life.
The necessity for reform was undeniable. Chrysostom began "sweeping the stairs from the top" (Palladius, op. cit., v). He called his oeconomus, and ordered him to reduce the expenses of the episcopal household; he put an end to the frequent banquets, and lived little less strictly than he had formerly lived as a priest and monk. With regard to the clergy, Chrysostom had at first to forbid them to keep in their houses syneisactoe, i.e. women housekeepers who had vowed virginity. He also proceeded against others who, by avarice or luxury, had given scandal. He had even to exclude from the ranks of the clergy two deacons, the one for murder and the other for adultery. Of the monks, too, who were very numerous even at that time at Constantinople, some had preferred to roam about aimlessly and without discipline. Chrysostom confined them to their monasteries. Finally he took care of the ecclesiastical widows. Some of them were living in a worldly manner: he obliged them either to marry again, or to observe the rules of decorum demanded by their state. After the clergy, Chrysostom turned his attention to his flock. As he had done at Antioch, so at Constantinople and with more reason, he frequently preached against the unreasonable extravagances of the rich, and especially against the ridiculous finery in the matter of dress affected by women whose age should have put them beyond such vanities. Some of them, the widows Marsa, Castricia, Eugraphia, known for such preposterous tastes, belonged to the court circle. It seems that the upper classes of Constantinople had not previously been accustomed to such language. Doubtless some felt the rebuke to be intended for themselves, and the offence given was the greater in proportion as the rebuke was the more deserved. On the other hand, the people showed themselves delighted with thesermons of their new bishop, and frequently applauded him in the church (Socrates, Church History VI). They never forgot his care for the poor and miserable, and that in his first year he had built a great hospital with the money he had saved in his household. But Chrysostom had also very intimate friends among the rich and noble classes. The most famous of these was Olympias, widow and deaconess, a relation of Emperor Theodosius, while in the Court itself there was Brison, first usher of Eudoxia, who assisted Chrysostom in instructing his choirs, and always maintained a true friendship for him. The empress herself was at first most friendly towards the new bishop. She followed the religious processions, attended his sermons, and presented silver candlesticks for the use of the churches (Socrates, op. cit., VI, 8; Sozomenus, op. cit., VIII, 8).
Unfortunately, the feelings of amity did not last. At first Eutropius, the former slave, now minister and consul, abused his influence. He deprived some wealthy persons of their property, and prosecuted others whom he suspected of being adversaries of rivals. More than once Chrysostom went himself to the minister (see "Oratio ad Eutropium" in P.G., Chrys. Op., III, 392) to remonstrate with him, and to warn him of the results of his own acts, but without success. Then the above-named ladies, who immediately surrounded the empress, probably did not hide their resentment against the strict bishop. Finally, the empress herself committed an injustice in depriving a widow of her vineyard (Marcus Diac., "Vita Porphyrii", V, no. 37, in P.G., LXV, 1229). Chrysostom interceded for the latter. But Eudoxia showed herself offended. Henceforth there was a certain coolness between the imperial Court and the episcopal palace, which, growing little by little, led to a catastrophe. It is impossible to ascertain exactly at what period this alienation first began; very probably itdated from the beginning of the year 401. But before this state of things became known to the public there happened events of the highest political importance, and Chrysostom, without seeking it, was implicated in them. These were the fall of Eutropius and the revolt of Gainas.
In January, 399, Eutropius, for a reason not exactly known, fell into disgrace. Knowing the feelings of the people and of his personal enemies, he fled to the church. As he had himself attempted to abolish the immunity of the ecclesiastical asylums not long before, the people seemed little disposed to spare him. But Chrysostom interfered, delivering his famous sermon on Eutropius, and the fallen minister was saved for the moment. As, however, he tried to escape during the night, he was seized, exiled, and some time later put to death. Immediately another more exciting and more dangerous event followed. Gainas, one of the imperial generals, had been sent out to subdueTribigild, who had revolted. In the summer of 399 Gainas united openly with Tribigild, and, to restore peace, Arcadius had to submit to the most humiliating conditions. Gainas was named commander-in-chief of the imperial army, and even had Aurelian and Saturninus, two men of the highest rank at Constantinople, delivered over to him. It seems that Chrysostom accepted a mission to Gainas, and that, owing to his intervention, Aurelian and Saturninus were spared by Gainas, and even set at liberty. Soon afterwards, Gainas, who was an Arian Goth, demanded one of the Catholic churches at Constantinople for himself and his soldiers. Again Chrysostom made so energetic an opposition that Gainas yielded. Meanwhile the people of Constantinople had become excited, and in one night several thousand Goths were slain. Gainas however escaped, was defeated, and slain by the Huns. Such was the end within a few years of three consuls of the Byzantine Empire. There is no doubt that Chrysostom's authority had been greatly strengthened by the magnanimity and firmness of character he had shown during all these troubles. It may have been this that augmented the jealousy of those who now governed the empire -- a clique of courtiers, with the empress at their head. These were now joined by new allies issuing from the ecclesiastical ranks and including some provincial bishops -- Severian of Gabala, Antiochus of Ptolemais, and, for some time, Acacius of Beroea -- who preferred the attractions of the capital to residence in their own cities (Socrates, op. cit., VI, 11; Sozomenus, op. cit., VIII, 10). The most intriguing among them was Severian, who flattered himself that he was the rival of Chrysostom in eloquence. But so far nothing had transpired in public. A great change occurred during the absence of Chrysostom for several months from Constantinople. This absence was necessitated by an ecclesiastical affair in Asia Minor, in which he was involved. Following the express invitation of several bishops, Chrysostom, in the first months of 401, had come to Ephesus, where he appointed a new archbishop, and with the consent of the assembled bishops deposed six bishops for simony. After having passed the same sentence on Bishop Gerontius of Nicomedia, he returned to Constantinople.
Meanwhile disagreeable things had happened there. Bishop Severian, to whom Chrysostom seems to have entrusted the performance of some ecclesiastical functions, had entered into open enmity with Serapion, the archdeacon and oeconomus of the cathedral and the episcopal palace. Whatever the real reason may have been, Chrysostom, found the case so serious that he invited Severian to return to his own see. It was solely owing to the personal interference of Eudoxia, whose confidence Serapion possessed, that he was allowed to come back from Chalcedon, whither he had retired. The reconciliation which followed was, at least on the part of Severian, not a sincere one, and the public scandal had excited much ill-feeling. The effects soon became visible. When in the spring of 402, Bishop Porphyrius of Gaza (see Marcus Diac., "Vita Porphyrii", V, ed. Nuth, Bonn, 1897, pp. 11-19) went to the Court at Constantinople to obtain a favour for his diocese, Chrysostom answered that he could do nothing for him, since he was himself in disgrace with the empress. Nevertheless, the party of malcontents were not really dangerous, unless they could find some prominent and unscrupulous leader. Such a person presented himself sooner than might have been expected. It was the well-known Theophilus, Patriarch of Alexandria. He appeared under rather curious circumstances, which in no way foreshadowed the final result. Theophilus, toward the end of the year 402, was summoned by the emperor to Constantinople to apologize before a synod, over which Chrysostom should preside, for several charges, which were brought against him by certain Egyptian monks, especially by the so-called four "tall brothers". The patriarch, their former friend, had suddenly turned against them, and had them persecuted as Origenists (Palladius, "Dialogus", xvi; Socrates, op. cit., VI, 7; Sozomenus, op. cit., VIII, 12).
However, Theophilus was not easily frightened. He had always agents and friends at Constantinople, and knew the state of things and the feelings at the court. He now resolved to take advantage of them. He wrote at once to St. Epiphanius at Cyprus, requesting him to go to Constantinople and prevail upon Chrysostom at to condemn the Origenists. Epiphanius went. But when he found that Theophilus was merely using him for his own purposes, he left the capital, dying on his return in 403. At this time Chrysostom delivered a sermon against the vain luxury of women. It was reported to the empress as though she had been personally alluded to. In this way the ground was prepared. Theophilus at last appeared at Constantinople in June, 403, not alone, as he had been commanded, but with twenty-nine of his suffragan bishops, and, as Palladius (ch. viii) tells us, with a good deal of money and all sorts of gifts. He took his lodgings in one of the imperial palaces, and held conferences with all the adversaries of Chrysostom. Then he retired with his suffragans and seven other bishops to a villa near Constantinople, called epi dryn (see Ubaldi, "La Synodo ad Quercum", Turin, 1902). A long list of the most ridiculous accusations was drawn up against Chrysostom (see Photius, "Bibliotheca", 59, in P.G., CIII, 105-113), who, surrounded by forty-two archbishops and bishops assembled to judge Theophilus in accordance with the orders of the emperor, was now summoned to present himself and apologize. Chrysostom naturally refused to recognize the legality of a synod in which his open enemies were judges. After the third summons Chrysostom, with the consent of the emperor, was declared to be deposed. In order to avoid useless bloodshed, he surrendered himself on the third day to the soldiers who awaited him. But the threats of the excited people, and a sudden accident in the imperial palace, frightened the empress (Palladius, "Dialogus", ix). She feared some punishment from heaven for Chrysostom's exile, and immediately ordered his recall. After some hesitation Chrysostom re-entered the capital amid the great rejoicings of the people. Theophilus and his party saved themselves by flying from Constantinople. Chrysostom's return was in itself a defeat for Eudoxia. When her alarms had gone, her rancour revived. Two months afterwards a silver statue of the empress was unveiled in the square just before the cathedral. The public celebrations which attended this incident, and lasted several days, became so boisterous that the offices in the church were disturbed. Chrysostom complained of this to the prefect of the city, who reported to Eudoxia that the bishop had complained against her statue. This was enough to excite the empress beyond all bounds. She summoned Theophilus and the other bishops to come back and to depose Chrysostom again. The prudent patriarch, however, did not wish to run the same risk a second time. He only wrote to Constantinople that Chrysostom should be condemned for having re-entered his see in opposition to an article of the Synod of Antioch held in the year 341 (an Arian synod). The other bishops had neither the authority nor the courage to give a formal judgment. All they could do was to urge the emperor to sign a new decree of exile. A double attempt on Chrysostom's life failed. On Easter Eve, 404, when all the catechumens were to receive baptism, the adversaries of the bishop, with imperial soldiers, invaded the baptistery and dispersed the whole congregation. At last Arcadius signed the decree, and on 24 June, 404, the soldiers conducted Chrysostom a second time into exile.
Exile and death
They had scarcely left Constantinople when a huge conflagration destroyed the cathedral, the senate-house, and other buildings. The followers of the exiled bishop were accused of the crime and prosecuted. In haste Arsacius, an old man, was appointed successor of Chrysostom, but was soon succeeded by the cunning Atticus. Whoever refused to enter into communion with them was punished by confiscation of property and exile. Chrysostom himself was conducted to Cucusus, a secluded and rugged place on the east frontier of Armenia, continually exposed to the invasions of the Isaurians. In the following year he had even to fly for some time to the castle of Arabissus to protect himself from these barbarians. Meanwhile he always maintained a correspondence with his friends and never gave up thehope of return. When the circumstances of his deposition were known in the West, the pope and the Italian bishops declared themselves in his favour. Emperor Honorius and Pope Innocent I endeavoured to summon a new synod, but their legates were imprisoned and then sent home. The pope broke off all communion with the Patriarchs of Alexandria, Antioch (where an enemy of Chrysostom had succeeded Flavian), and Constantinople, until (after the death of Chrysostom) they consented to admit his name into the diptychs of the Church. Finally all hopes for the exiled bishop had vanished. Apparently he was living too long for his adversaries. In the summer, 407, the order was given to carry him to Pithyus, a place at the extreme boundary of the empire, near the Caucasus. One of the two soldiers who had to lead himcaused him all possible sufferings. He was forced to make long marches, was exposed to the rays of the sun, to the rains and the cold of the nights. His body, already weakened by several severe illnesses, finally broke down. On 14 September the party were at Comanan in Pontus. In the morning Chrysostom had asked to rest there on the account of his state of health. In vain; he was forced to continue his march. Very soon he felt so weak that they had to return toComana. Some hours later Chrysostom died. His last words were: Doxa to theo panton eneken (Glory be to God for all things) (Palladius, xi, 38). He was buried at Comana. On 27 January, 438, his body was translated to Constantinople with great pomp, and entombed in the church of the Apostles where Eudoxia had been buried in the year 404 (see Socrates, VII, 45; Constantine Prophyrogen., "Cæremoniale Aul Byz.", II, 92, in P.G., CXII, 1204 B
TODAY'S GOSPEL: LUKE 7: 1-10
Luke 7: 1 - 10
1 After he had ended all his sayings in the hearing of the people he entered Caper'na-um.
2 Now a centurion had a slave who was dear to him, who was sick and at the point of death.
3 When he heard of Jesus, he sent to him elders of the Jews, asking him to come and heal his slave.
4 And when they came to Jesus, they besought him earnestly, saying, "He is worthy to have you do this for him,
5 for he loves our nation, and he built us our synagogue."
6 And Jesus went with them. When he was not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to him, saying to him, "Lord, do not trouble yourself, for I am not worthy to have you come under my roof;
7 therefore I did not presume to come to you. But say the word, and let my servant be healed.
8 For I am a man set under authority, with soldiers under me: and I say to one, `Go,' and he goes; and to another, `Come,' and he comes; and to my slave, `Do this,' and he does it."
9 When Jesus heard this he marveled at him, and turned and said to the multitude that followed him, "I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith."
10 And when those who had been sent returned to the house, they found the slave well.