Friday, October 22, 2010



THIRTEENTH GENERAL CONGREGATION VATICAN CITY, 22 OCT 2010 (VIS REPORT) - No General Congregation of the Special Assembly for the Middle East of the Synod of Bishops was held this morning. Instead, the relator general met with the special secretary and the relators of the various language groups to study the collective amendments to the Synod Fathers' propositions. During the Thirteenth General Congregation, due to be held this afternoon in the presence of the Holy Father, the final Message of the Special Assembly for the Middle East will be presented and voted upon. During the fourteenth and final General Congregation, scheduled to take place tomorrow morning, Saturday 23 October, the final list of propositions will be presented. This will be followed by a vote using the procedure "placet" or "non placet". At 1 p.m. tomorrow, the participants in the synodal assembly will have lunch with the Pope in the atrium of the Vatican's Paul VI Hall.SE/ VIS 20101022 (160)
LETTERS OF CREDENCE OF NEW AMBASSADOR OF ECUADOR VATICAN CITY, 22 OCT 2010 (VIS) - This morning in the Vatican Benedict XVI received the Letters of Credence of Luis Dositeo Latorre Tapia, the new ambassador of Ecuador to the Holy See. "In your country - which in 1978 I had the good fortune to visit as my venerated predecessor Pope John Paul I's special envoy to the Third National Marian Congress - the Word of Christ was sown generously and has flowered magnificently", the Pope told the diplomat. "The ecclesial community ... also joys when it sees that social harmony is being fomented, to which end it supports the efforts the Ecuadorian authorities have been making over recent years to rediscover the foundations of democratic coexistence, strengthen the rule of law and give new impulse to solidarity and fraternity". "I appeal to the Almighty", the Pope went on, "to ensure that this shining horizon of hope becomes ever wider with new projects and judicious decisions, so that the common good may prevail over partisan and class interests, the ethical imperative may remain an essential point of reference for all citizens, wealth may be equitably distributed, and sacrifices equally shared, not weighing exclusively on the most needy". "In the past of your beloved nation, so close to the Pope's heart, there have been moments of difficulty and tension, but the human and Christian virtues of its inhabitants have not been lacking, nor has their desire to prevail. ... The Ecuadorian authorities will do a great service to their country by augmenting this important human and spiritual heritage, whence energy and inspiration may be drawn to continue building those bastions that underpin all human communities, ... such as the defence of life from conception until natural end, religious freedom, freedom of expression and other civil liberties, because these are the authentic conditions for real social justice. This justice, in its turn, cannot be affirmed save on the basis of support and protection - also in juridical and economic terms - for the original cell of society which is the family, founded on the matrimonial bond of a man with a woman". "Another aspect of fundamental import are the policies that aim to eradicate unemployment, violence, impunity, illiteracy and corruption. In reaching these commendable goals, the pastors of the Church are aware that they must not enter into the political debate, proposing concrete solutions or imposing their presence. Yet they cannot remain neutral before the great human problems and aspirations, nor be inactive when the time comes to fight for justice. With due respect for the plurality of legitimate opinions, their role rather consists in using the Gospel and Church Social Doctrine to illuminate the minds and will of the faithful, so that they may make responsible decisions that lead to the building of a more harmonious and well-ordered society". Benedict XVI completed his address to the new ambassador by referring to the question of education. "The Church in Ecuador", he said, "has a rich history in the area of educating children and young people, having undertaken teaching activities with particular abnegation in distant, remote and impoverished areas of the nation. It is right and just that this arduous ecclesial task, example of healthy collaboration with the State, should not be ignored. ... The public authorities must guarantee the law that helps parents, both to educate their children according to their own religious convictions and ethical criteria, and to found and support educational institutions. In this perspective, it is also important for the public authorities to respect the specific identity and autonomy of educational institutions and of the Catholic university, in accordance with the 'modus vivendi' signed seventy years ago by the Republic of Ecuador and the Holy See".CD/ VIS 20101022 (630)
SLOVENIA'S CHRISTIAN HERITAGE, SOURCE OF COMFORT AND HOPE VATICAN CITY, 22 OCT 2010 (VIS) - "Slovenia's integration into the European Union, which has been achieved in an increasingly organic way over recent years, has one of its fundamental premises in the shared Christian roots of the 'old continent'". Benedict XVI told Maja Marija Lovrencic Svetek, the new ambassador of Slovenia to the Holy See, as he received her Letters of Credence today. "Looking at the history of the Slovenian people, what clearly emerges is the imprint of the moral and spiritual values of Christianity. ... This heritage has constituted, even in the most difficult and painful times, a constant ferment of comfort and hope and has supported Slovenia on its journey towards independence following the fall of the communist regime. "In that period the Holy See was particularly close to the Slovenian nation", the Pope added, going on to note that in her address the new ambassador had "underlined how relations between the Republic of Slovenia and the Holy See have been good since their inception, and still continue so today. In this context", he said, "it is my hope that solutions may be found to all the problems still unresolved by the Agreement signed on 14 December 2002". The Holy Father continued: "In exercising her democratic prerogatives, Slovenia has achieved a certain economic wellbeing, which has enabled her to consolidate peaceful civil and social coexistence. It was with pleasure that I learned the news of the recent approval of a law concerning the question of the so-called 'Erased'. ... This is an important step forwards in the attempt to solve the cases of those people who lost the right to residency, work and healthcare assistance. I encourage you to continue in this direction and hope efforts will be made to alleviate their suffering". Referring then to the ambassador's words concerning "the commitment to the good of mankind, which unites the activities of the Apostolic See and of the Republic of Slovenia", the Holy Father explained how "the Apostolic See encourages initiatives adopted in the international arena to promote peace and justice, in order to overcome disagreements and intensify constructive relations". In this context he described Slovenia's recent entry into the Organisation for Co-operation and Economic Development as "a positive step" and "an important testimony of openness and of the desire to collaborate with other countries". "The Catholic Church's specific mission, which she undertakes in Slovenia as in all other parts of the world, is that of announcing the Gospel, and bringing all mankind to the salvation that comes from the Lord Jesus. One sign of the vivacity of the Church in Slovenia is the National Eucharistic Congress, celebrated recently ... in Celje", the culmination of which was "the beatification of the young Lojze Grozde, martyred in hatred for the faith during a very difficult period in the country's history. "Other signs of the vitality of the ecclesial community in Slovenia are its numerous pastoral and charitable activities in various social contexts", the Pope concluded. "I take this opportunity to send a warm greeting to all Catholics in your country. Through various initiatives they seek to help everyone, and to deepen the spiritual meaning of life, and wish to contribute to building an ever more just and united society, while respecting the beliefs and religious practices of each individual".CD/ VIS 20101022 (560)
TO PORTUGUESE AMBASSADOR: FULL APPLICATION OF CONCORDAT VATICAN CITY, 22 OCT 2010 (VIS) - This morning Benedict XVI received the Letters of Credence of Manuel Tomas Fernandes Pereira, the new ambassador of Portugal to the Holy See. Beginning his address, the Pope recalled his own visit to Portugal last May. "I will never forget", he said, "the warm welcome I was given, and the friendly and respectful way in which my words were received. I believe that this also has social importance, for when society grows and people are strengthened thanks to the message of faith, then social coexistence also benefits, and citizens are more disposed to serve the common good". "Through her presence in the international arena", he went on, "the Holy See makes every effort to serve the cause of the integral promotion of individuals and peoples. It should be made clear that the obstacles to such promotion are not only economic; rather, they depend on the most deep-seated attitudes and values, the moral and spiritual values that determine the behaviour of each human being towards himself, towards others and towards all creation". When the Church in Portugal "promotes the awareness that these same values must inspire public and private life, she does not do so for political ambition, but in order to remain faithful to the mission entrusted to her by her Divine Founder", said the Pope. "The Church", he continued, "does not represent partial or transitory models of society; rather, she seeks to transform hearts and minds so that human beings can discover and recognise themselves in the complete truth of their humanity. Bearing in mind that her mission is moral and religious in nature, the Church respects the area that is the specific responsibility of the State". Moreover, the Holy Father went on, the Church "encourages Christians fully to shoulder their responsibilities as citizens so that, together with others, they may effectively contribute to the common good and the great causes of humanity". "Respectful collaboration and faithful understanding between the Church and the civil authorities brings benefits to Portuguese society. Animated by this hope, six years ago a new Concordat between the Holy See and Portugal came into being. ... In that juridical instrument Pope John Paul II saw confirmation of 'the feelings of esteem that animate our mutual relations', and expressed the hope that 'the new Concordat may favour ever greater understanding between the State authorities and the pastors of the Church, for the common good of the nation'. I am pleased", the Pope told the ambassador, "that you mentioned the desire to encourage the efforts being made for a complete and faithful application of the Concordat in the various ambits of the Catholic Church and of Portuguese society".CD/ VIS 20101022 (460)
AUDIENCES VATICAN CITY, 22 OCT 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in audience Cardinal Marc Ouellet P.S.S., prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.AP/ VIS 20101022 (30)
OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS VATICAN CITY, 22 OCT 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Fr. Jaime Munoz Pedroza of the clergy of the archdiocese of Tunja, Colombia, rector of the major seminary, as bishop of Arauca (area 32,490, population 279,000, Catholics 249,000, priests 49, religious 52), Colombia. The bishop-elect was born in Cienaga, Colombia in 1958 and ordained a priest in 1984
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All Africa report: Pope Benedict XVI has appointed Archbishop Medardo Mazombwe as the new cardinal for Zambia.In a statement issued in Lusaka yesterday by Zambia Episcopal Conference (ZEC) spokesperson Paul Samasumo, it is the first time in the history of the country that an indigenous Zambian has been appointed as cardinal.The first and only cardinal in Zambia was the late Adam Cardinal Kozlowiecki appointed by the late Pope John Paul II.From November 20, 2010, Archbishop Mazombwe would be officially referred to as His Eminence Cardinal Medardo Mazombwe.On the same day, Pope Benedict XVI would also elevate 23 other cardinals. Archbishop Mazombwe would receive the red hat (berretta) from the hand of the Holy Father during a public consistory in Saint Peter's square at the Vatican in Rome, Italy.Archbishop Mazombwe, who recently celebrated 50 years as a priest, was born on September 24, 1931 in Chipata, Eastern Province, and was ordained a Catholic priest on September 4, 1960. He became bishop of Chipata on February 7, 1971. Between 1996 and 2006, he was the Archbishop of Lusaka until his retirement in 2006.He has held several senior positions in the local and regional Church and is an ardent campaigner who tirelessly advocated for Zambia's debt cancellation in the mid 1980s through the Jubilee movement campaign.He is currently spearheading several new development projects in many parts of Zambia, including the Mumpanshya area in Chongwe District. ZEC president George Lungu congratulated Archbishop Mazombwe on his elevation to the position of cardinal.
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Cath News report: A fleet of 77 buses yesterday ferried more than 4000 students and teachers from Catholic schools in Hastings, NSW to and from a celebration in Port Macquarie, in honour of Mary MacKillop's canonisation.Schools from Kempsey, 50km north of Port Macquarie, Wauchope, 20km to the west, and Laurieton in the Camden Haven united with schools from Port Macquarie in the celebration, alongside parents and parishioners, bringing the crowd number at Port Macquarie Regional Sports Stadium to more than 5000, said Port Macquarie News.Teacher Kim Post, from Port Macquarie's St Joseph's Primary School, said the event was an historic moment."It will be an opportunity for the children to reflect in their adulthood and remember when they gathered to celebrate," Mrs Post said."Today will promote and strengthen their Catholic faith."St Agnes Primary School principal Pat McLoughlin said Mary MacKillop was an outstanding person "irrespective of someone's beliefs"."Her canonisation will spark a resurgence in people's faith and spirituality," Mr McLoughlin said. "The kids have been really excited about this and have taken it very (seriously) in school."The Lochinvar Josephites, part of the holy order established by Mary MacKillop, established the first Catholic school in Port Macquarie 97 years ago.
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AsiaNews REPORT – Plans to build a Catholic place of worship in Cikarang, some 60 kilometres east of Jakarta, is generating opposition among Muslim groups. At least six churches were attacked since last year. Several Protestant clergymen were also assaulted. The authorities have been criticised for failing to stem the wave of intolerance.Anti-Christian intolerance is raising its ugly head again. Islamic fundamentalist groups are increasingly trying to stop the construction of churches in areas where the Catholic Church is present. Government slowness in reacting to such phenomena has come under fire because it effectively adds more fuel to the flames of intolerance fanned by such groups (See Mathias Hariyadi, “Religious intolerance rising among Indonesian Muslims,” in AsiaNews 5 October 2010)The most recent example of this trend involves the Saint Mother Teresa Parish in Cikarang, some 60 kilometres east of Jakarta. The situation here is the more worrisome since Indonesian authorities have shown little or no desire to intervene in the matter, and this despite sharp criticism from inter-faith and human rights groups.In recent days, some provocative banners opposing plans to build a new church in Cikarang have appeared. “The Islamic Group Ukuwah Islamiyah rejects any plan to construct a church in Bunda Teresa Cikarang,” read one banner displayed in front of a local mosque in Taman Sentosa Cikarang.Another one on Bandung Street, in Cinere, carried the same message but against another Christian place of worship slated for construction only 200 metres from a local police station.In both cases, it is clear that the lack of action by the authorities against this kind of protests to ensure a spirit of harmony between religions has fuelled intolerance.Opposition to the Mother Teresa Church in Cikarang started in September when someone began spreading rumours about the potential “Christianisation” of the Bekasi Regency (district), a predominantly Muslim area.According to the rumour, a church and other buildings would be built that together would constitute the largest Christian centre in Asia.Opponents to the Church charged that the latter would become a magnet for proselytising, thus threatening the district’s Muslim majority.Saint Mother Teresa Parish was founded in 2004 and has a congregation of some 6,000 members. It does not have a church building, and has to celebrate Mass in the gym of a local Catholic school.In recent weeks, Bekasi Regency has seen a number of episodes of intolerance directed at Christians from different confessions. Since 2009, at least six churches have been attacked and several Protestant clergymen have been the victims of assault.
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USCCB REPORT: Catholic-Jewish Dialogue Discusses Youth Outreach, Christians in the Holy Land, Judaism’s Contributions to ChristianityRepresentatives of the U.S. Bishops and two Orthodox Jewish associations discussed a wide range of ethical and cultural issues at their semi-annual meeting on October 18 at the Orthodox Union (OU) headquarters in New York City.The challenge of attracting youth to synagogue and church worship topped the list of topics covered at this fall’s consultation, which was co-chaired by Bishop William Murphy of Rockville Centre, New York, and Rabbi Fabian Schonfeld of the Rabbinical Council of America’s Joint Committee on Interreligious Affairs. A presentation by Rabbi Steven Burg, international director of the youth movement of the Orthodox Union, drew on the lesson of Abraham in the Bible, who pursued his mission from God “with excitement, vigor and passion.” “Religious observance shouldn’t be a bore or a chore, but a privilege,” Burg said. Rabbi Joshua Ross, Associate Director of the Jewish Learning Initiative on Campus, spoke about various ways to create small “communities of comfort” in the university setting. Catholic observers noted parallel groups at Newman Centers and Catholic university chaplaincies around the nation.Bishop Murphy stated that, when it comes to forming teens for congregational and parish life, the challenge is reaching their parents. “Today’s youngsters preparing for bar mitzvah or confirmation often have parents whose own religious identity has not been well formed because of inadequate instruction,” Bishop Murphy said. Members were also briefed by Brother David Carroll, CFS, Catholic Near East Welfare Association, on the challenges facing Christian communities in the Middle East. The problem of emigration from the cradle of Christianity has been on the agenda of the Synod on the Middle East taking place this month in Rome. “Better educated Christians are leaving Egypt, Iraq and Lebanon to seek employment abroad, and for reasons of wanting to escape discrimination,” Carroll noted. “Within the state of Israel, by contrast, the Christian community has actually increased in recent years, numbering between 2 and 3 percent of the total population.”The consultation also invited one of its members, Rabbi Dr. David Berger of Yeshiva University, New York, to lead a discussion of “The Jewish Contribution to Christianity,” an essay from his new book Persecution, Polemic, and Dialogue: Essays in Jewish-Christian Relations (Academic Study Press, 2010).He noted that in the last two centuries both liberal Judaism and liberal Christianity have emphasized ethics over law and ritual. In the subsequent conversation, it was pointed out that Catholics and Orthodox Jews recognize, by contrast, that morality is very much tied up with religious belief and worship. “You can be enlightened in the moral sense—you can be progressive, but always within the context of the [faith] tradition,” Rabbi Schonfeld said. Co-founded in 1998, by the late Cardinal John O’Connor, the consultation meets to discuss moral and cultural issues that impact Catholic and Jewish life in the nation. Previous meetings have addressed equity in educational opportunities for yeshiva and parochial school families. Other Catholic members of the dialogue included Father Lawrence Frizzell, Seton Hall University; Father James Loughran, Graymoor Ecumenical Institute; Monsignor Guy Massie, Diocese of Brooklyn; Father James Massa, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops staff; Monsignor Robert Morrisey, Diocese of Rockville Centre. Jewish members included Professor Lawrence Schiffman of New York University; Howard Beigelman, deputy director of public policy, Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America; Rabbi Basil Herring, executive vice president of the Rabbinical Council of America; Rabbi Yonatan Kaganoff; Rabbi Tzvi Hersh Weinreb, executive vice president emeritus of the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America; Rabbi Joseph Karasick, honorary president of the OU; and Rabbi Eric Greenberg, director of interfaith policy, Anti-Defamation League, who was present as observer.
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Agenzia Fides REPORT – Message from Bishop of Setubal for World Mission Sunday: Catholics should not think Christianity is irrelevant for society"Catholics should make a greater effort in the proclamation of Christianity," writes the Bishop of Setubal, Portugal, Bishop Gilberto Delio Goncalves Canavarro dos Reis, in his message for World Mission Sunday, Sunday, October 24. The bishop warns Catholics of the danger of thinking that Christianity is irrelevant to society or that only priests and religious are responsible for its dissemination. He also urges the faithful not to abandon the proclamation of the Christian message "for fear of offending religious freedom." Among the temptations to be avoided, Bishop Gonçalves Canavarro dos Reis refers to the possibility of thinking “that people are already evangelized.”For the Bishop of Setubal, the believer that does not bear witness to Christian love, "in the way he lives the Word," reveals that his relationship with God is still "too weak in his heart." Thus, he launches an appeal to the Catholics, asking that they live World Mission Sunday “with enthusiasm,” pondering the "urgency" of the announcement of the Christian message and their responsibility in this task. The prelate recalled that in the 35-year life of the Diocese of Setubal there have been "tireless evangelists" and finally, he asks the faithful to contribute economically to the evangelization of mission territories.”
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St. Mary SalomeMOTHER OF ST. JAMES THE GREAT AND ST. JOHNFeast: October 22Information:Feast Day:October 22One of the holy women present at the Crucifixion, and who visited the tomb on the morning of the Resurrection (Mark 15:40; 16:1). In Mark 15:40, we read: "And there were also women looking on afar off: among whom was Mary Magdalen, and Mary the Mother of James the Less and of Joseph, and Salome." The parallel passage of Matthew reads thus: "Among whom was Mary Magdalen, and Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of the sons of Zebedee" (Matthew 27:56). Comparison of the two gives a well-grounded probability that the Salome of the former is identical with the mother of the sons of Zebedee in the latter, who is mentioned also in Matthew 20:20 sq., in connection with the petition in favour of her sons. Beyond these references in the Gospel narrative and what may be inferred from them nothing is known of Salome, though some writers conjecture more or less plausibly that she is the sister of the Blessed Virgin mentioned in John 19:25.SOURCE
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TODAY'S GOSEL: OCT. 22: Luke 12: 54 - 59
Luke 12: 54 - 5954He also said to the multitudes, "When you see a cloud rising in the west, you say at once, `A shower is coming'; and so it happens.55And when you see the south wind blowing, you say, `There will be scorching heat'; and it happens.56You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of earth and sky; but why do you not know how to interpret the present time?57"And why do you not judge for yourselves what is right?58As you go with your accuser before the magistrate, make an effort to settle with him on the way, lest he drag you to the judge, and the judge hand you over to the officer, and the officer put you in prison.59I tell you, you will never get out till you have paid the very last copper."
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