Wednesday, September 22, 2010




BENEDICT XVI'S PASTORAL VISIT TO PALERMO, ITALY VATICAN CITY, 21 SEP 2010 (VIS report) - Benedict XVI is due to make a pastoral visit to Palermo, Italy, on Sunday 3 October for the occasion of a regional ecclesial meeting of families and young people. At 10.30 a.m. the Pope will preside at a concelebration of the Eucharist in the Foro Italico Umberto I, then lead the praying of the Angelus. He is scheduled to meet priests, religious and seminarians at the cathedral of Palermo at 5 p.m. An hour later he will go on to address a gathering of young people in the city's Piazza Politeama, which takes its name from the Politeama Garibaldi Theatre, built between 1867 and 1874. At the end of his visit the Holy Father will go to Palermo's Punta Raisi airport for his return flight to Rome.OP/ VIS 20100921 (150)

OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS VATICAN CITY, 21 SEP 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Matadi, Democratic Republic of Congo, presented by Bishop Gabriel Kembo Mamputu, upon having reached the age limit. He is succeeded by Coadjutor Bishop Daniel Nlandu Mayi.RE/ VIS 20100921 (50)
IN MEMORIAM VATICAN CITY, 21 SEP 2010 (VIS) - The following prelates died in recent weeks: - Bishop Francis Gerard Brooks, emeritus of Dromore, Ireland, on 4 September at the age of 86. - Bishop Maixent Coly of Ziguinchor, Senegal, on 24 August at the age of 60. - Bishop Heriberto Correa Yepes M.X.Y., former apostolic vicar of Buenaventura, Colombia, on 9 September at the age of 94. - Bishop Pedro Marcos Ribeiro da Costa, emeritus of Saurimo, Angola, on 2 September at the age of 88. - Bishop Jean-Marie Keletigui, emeritus of Katiola, Ivory Coast, on 31 August at the age of 78. - Bishop Tomas Pedro Barbosa da Silva Nunes, auxiliary of Lisbon, Portugal, on 1 September at the age of 67.
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Cath News report: Queanbeyan parish priest Fr Mietek Markowicz was found dead in Sydney yesterday. The cause of his death is unclear as the results of an autopsy have not yet been released."We have extended our deepest sympathy to the family," Canberra and Goulburn Archbishop Mark Coleridge said in a report on the archdiocesan news site."You are asked to keep Fr Mietek, his family and his parishioners in your prayers."Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace."
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Bishop Murphy Urges Congress To Preserve, Improve Tax Credits That Benefit Working Poor Families And ChildrenWASHINGTON (September 21, 2010) —The chairman of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), Bishop William Murphy of Rockville Centre, New York, urged Congress to give priority attention to working poor families and their children as it debates tax policy. “Too often the weak and vulnerable are not heard in the tax debate,” wrote Bishop Murphy in a September 20 letter to Congress. He specifically asked them to preserve and improve the Child Tax Credit (CTC) and Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). “Poverty is increasing in our nation. How you structure taxes can make this moral challenge better or worse,” wrote Bishop Murphy. “Recently the U.S. Census Bureau reported that in 2009 43.6 million people in the United States lived in poverty. It went on to point out that if ‘refundable credits like the Earned Income Tax Credit were added to income, then almost three million children would move above the poverty line.’” Bishop Murphy added, “We believe these essential programs assist workers and families raising children to provide the necessities of life. Unless Congress acts, these vulnerable workers and their children will be left worse off than they are now. The ethical principles of all Americans lead us to recognize that we have a social and civic responsibility to stand with these families and children.” The full text of the letter is available online at: ---
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Asia News report: Two members of a house church were imprisoned after they refused to pay a “fine” following their arrest. Family and supporters are prevented from entering the courtroom during their appeal trial. Their lawyer says they should not be convicted for being members of an “evil cult”; doing so is an abuse of power.Xuchang (AsiaNews) – The appeal process for two members of an underground Protestant house church began in Xuchang (Henan) today, amid tight security. They had originally been sentenced to a forced labour camp for their beliefs. Relatives and supporters of Gao Jianli and Liu Yunhua complained they were not allowed to enter the courtroom.Rev Zhang Mingxuan, head of the China Association of House Churches, said he was detained by police outside the Intermediate People's Court in Xuchang city after he took photos of police with his mobile phone. “I was there watching with our brothers and sisters, and plainclothes police from Shangqiu and Xuchang threatened us and stopped us from taking photographs with our cell phones,” he said. One agent “told me that if I took a photo of him, he would call for me to be detained and I wouldn't be allowed inside to hear the trial.”Gao Jianli and Liu Yunhua were first detained in March for 15 days alongside other members of their congregation for refusing to pay "fines" to police officers who raided their group.They were handed a one-year sentence of "re-education through labour" on 25 March, but promptly appealed, forcing the process into open court.Beijing-based rights lawyer Yang Huiwen, who represents Gao and Liu, said that Zhang’s detention and the refusal to give passes to visitors was against the law.Yang noted that the key points of his appeal case were centred around the lack of due process, on the failure to uphold correct procedures, and on the lack of sufficient evidence to send Liu and Gao for a year's "re-education through labour."“Thirdly, we argued that it was inappropriate to style a Protestant church as an 'evil cult,'" he said, referring to a term usually reserved for the banned Falun Gong spiritual movement, and based on secret guidelines that are internal to the police force and carry no academic or legal weight.“Such criteria cannot therefore be used as a basis for punishment,” Yang said. “In doing so, the authorities have exceeded the limits of [their] executive power.”
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Agenzia Fides REPORT– "Personal ambitions and rivalries for control of resources donated by the international community are behind the resignation of the Prime Minister," Fides has been told by Bishop Giorgio Bertin, Bishop of Djibouti and Apostolic Administrator of Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia where yesterday, September 21, Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid Sharmarke resigned.The resignation of the Premier comes after months of tensions among the highest-ranking officials in the country. The tension began in May, when President Ahmed announced that he would appoint a new premier after the National Transitional Government was defeated in Parliament on a vote of confidence. Sharmarke rejected that vote as "unconstitutional." The differences led to the Speaker of the House's divestiture of authority, bringing to light the weaknesses of Government and Parliament recognized by the international community."It is a system that is based solely on international aid, but that is not able to meet the real needs of Somalia," said Bishop Bertin. "In my opinion, if the international community were to abandon the leadership and the Somali people to their own devices, there might be a moment of clarification. There would no longer be an excuse for foreign interference and the Somalis would be forced to develop a serious policy to end the profound crisis in Somalia.""I realize that this is a gamble, because on the one hand, there is the risk of Islamic fundamentalism, which can spread to neighboring countries, and on the other, there is the risk of a war among everyone over control of the real or supposed 'booty'," emphasizes Bishop Bertin. “But at this point, I think that we cannot go on with the Transitional National Government which controls only part of Mogadishu, while the Shabab become increasingly more bold and civilians are caught in the crossfire. The only alternative would be serious international intervention, supported by appropriate means and with a clear strategy to restore order."We asked Bishop Bertin to paint a picture for us of how the situation would evolve once the National Transitional Government fell: "The Shabab would probably suffer internal divisions as a result of power struggles and scarce economic resources in the country. I would not be surprised if there were clashes between the Shabab and another fundamentalist group, the Hezbollah. The latter appears to be related to various Somali clans, while the Shabab movement seems to be an inter-clan group, a rare reality in Somalia. However, all may be overridden in the end by the people's desire for peace, making them willing to accept the limitations of freedom as long as they find serenity and a system capable of providing a minimum of security and order.""The situation would be far from ideal, but perhaps it would give the opportunity to start over and gradually improve the conditions of the Somalis, who have been suffering far too long," concludes the Apostolic Administrator of Mogadishu.
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St. MatthewAPOSTLEFeast: September 21Information:Feast Day:September 21Died:January 24, near Hierapolis or EthiopiaPatron of:accountants, bankers, bookkeepers, customs officers, financial officers, guards, money managers, security forces, security guards, stock brokers, tax collectorsApostle and evangelist. The name Matthew is derived from the Hebrew Mattija, being shortened to Mattai in post-Biblical Hebrew. In Greek it is sometimes spelled Maththaios, B D, and sometimes Matthaios, CEKL, but grammarians do not agree as to which of the two spellings is the original. Matthew is spoken of five times in the New Testament; first in Matt., ix, 9, when called by Jesus to follow Him, and then four times in the list of the Apostles, where he is mentioned in the seventh (Luke, vi, 15, and Mark, iii, 18), and again in the eighth place (Matt., x, 3, and Acts, i, 13). The man designated in Matt., ix, 9, as "sitting in the custom house", and "named Matthew" is the same as Levi, recorded in Mark, ii, 14, and Luke, v, 27, as "sitting at the receipt of custom". The account in the three Synoptics is identical, the vocation of Matthew-Levi being alluded to in the same terms. Hence Levi was the original name of the man who was subsequently called Matthew; the Maththaios legomenos of Matt., ix, 9, would indicate this. The fact of one man having two names is of frequent occurrence among the Jews. It is true that the same person usually bears a Hebrew name such as "Shaoul" and a Greek name, Paulos. However, we have also examples of individuals with two Hebrew names as, for instance, Joseph-Caiaphas, Simon-Cephas, etc. It is probable that Mattija, "gift of Iaveh", was the name conferred upon the tax-gatherer by Jesus Christ when He called him to the Apostolate, and by it he was thenceforth known among his Christian brethren, Levi being his original name. Matthew, the son of Alpheus (Mark, ii, 14) was a Galilean, although Eusebius informs us that he was a Syrian. As tax-gatherer at Capharnaum, he collected custom duties for Herod Antipas, and, although a Jew, was despised by the Pharisees, who hated all publicans. When summoned by Jesus, Matthew arose and followed Him and tendered Him a feast in his house, where tax-gatherers and sinners sat at table with Christ and His disciples. This drew forth a protest from the Pharisees whom Jesus rebuked in these consoling words: "I came not to call the just, but sinners". No further allusion is made to Matthew in the Gospels, except in the list of the Apostles. As a disciple and an Apostle he thenceforth followed Christ, accompanying Him up to the time of His Passion and, in Galilee, was one of the witnesses of His Resurrection. He was also amongst the Apostles who were present at the Ascension, and afterwards withdrew to an upper chamber, in Jerusalem, praying in union with Mary, the Mother of Jesus, and with his brethren (Acts, i, 10 and 14).Of Matthew's subsequent career we have only inaccurate or legendary data. St. Irenæus tells us that Matthew preached the Gospel among the Hebrews, St. Clement of Alexandria claiming that he did this for fifteen years, and Eusebius maintains that, before going into other countries, he gave them his Gospel in the mother tongue. Ancient writers are not as one as to the countries evangelized by Matthew, but almost all mention Ethiopia to the south of the Caspian Sea (not Ethiopia in Africa), and some Persia and the kingdom of the Parthians, Macedonia, and Syria. According to Heracleon, who is quoted by Clement of Alexandria, Matthew did not die a martyr, but this opinion conflicts with all other ancient testimony. Let us add, however, that the account of his martyrdom in the apocryphal Greek writings entitled "Martyrium S. Matthæi in Ponto" and published by Bonnet, "Acta apostolorum apocrypha" (Leipzig, 1898), is absolutely devoid of historic value. Lipsius holds that this "Martyrium S. Matthæi", which contains traces of Gnosticism, must have been published in the third century. There is a disagreement as to the place of St. Matthew's martyrdom and the kind of torture inflicted on him, therefore it is not known whether he was burned, stoned, or beheaded. The Roman Martyrology simply says: "S. Matthæi, qui in Æthiopia prædicans martyrium passus est". Various writings that are now considered apocryphal, have been attributed to St. Matthew. In the "Evangelia apocrypha" (Leipzig, 1876), Tischendorf reproduced a Latin document entitled: "De Ortu beatæ Mariæ et infantia Salvatoris", supposedly written in Hebrew by St. Matthew the Evangelist, and translated into Latin by Jerome, the priest. It is an abridged adaptation of the "Protoevangelium" of St. James, which was a Greek apocryphal of the second century. This pseudo-Matthew dates from the middle or the end of the sixth century. The Latin Church celebrates the feast of St. Matthew on 21 September, and the Greek Church on 16 November. St. Matthew is represented under the symbol of a winged man, carrying in his hand a lance as a characteristic emblem.
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Matthew 9: 9 - 139As Jesus passed on from there, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax office; and he said to him, "Follow me." And he rose and followed him.10And as he sat at table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat down with Jesus and his disciples.11And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, "Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?"12But when he heard it, he said, "Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.13Go and learn what this means, `I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.' For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners."
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