Tuesday, October 26, 2010




OFFER REFUGES A HOPE FOR THE FUTURE VATICAN CITY, 26 OCT 2010 (VIS REPORT) - In the Holy See Press Office this morning a press conference was held to present the Message of the Holy Father for the ninety-seventh World Day of Migrants and Refugees, which is due to be celebrated on 16 January 2011. Participating in today's conference were Archbishop Antonio Maria Veglio, president of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples, and Fr. Gabriele Bentoglio C.S., under secretary of the same dicastery. Archbishop Antonio Maria Veglio began: "The relations established between migrants (both individuals and groups) and their host society may be schematised in the following terms: (1) Assimilation or absorption, which translates into conformity to social mechanisms and leads to 'deculturalisation' or 'depersonalisation'. (2) Ghettoising, which implies closure, self-defence and resistance in the face of exclusion, rejection of the surrounding society, marginalisation and discrimination, all of which nourish mutual aggression and hostility. (3) Syncretism, or the 'melting pot', which finds expression in the fusion of various cultural models and the loss of specific cultural identity. (4) Cultural pluralism, which accompanies cultures and seems to arise as a reaction to the one-dimensional character of the local culture that tends to suborn cultural models to those of production and consumption". To these classic models "we may add 'social integration' accompanied by 'cultural synthesis'", said the archbishop. "This leads, on the one hand, to a dynamic process (the reciprocity of the exchange) and, on the other, to a form of social integration which presupposes participation to create and transform social relationships. .. This is the only process that can lead to successful multiculturalism, and only this process allows groups of immigrants to create a 'new culture', the beneficiary of which will be society as a whole". "In the context of this presentation, we should recall that the United Nations declared 2010 as the 'International Year for the Rapprochement of Cultures', ... with the aim of reiterating the idea of the pluralism of humanity and the interaction between cultural diversity and inter-cultural dialogue. Thus, the Holy Father's Message also reinforces the international community's perception of the importance of dialogue and promotes the recognition of human rights for everyone, combating new forms of racism and discrimination". For his part, Fr. Bentoglio affirmed that there are "currently fifteen million refugees" in the world, and that "the number of internally displaced persons, above all as relates to cases of violation of human rights, stands at around twenty-seven million". "The challenge", he said, "consists in creating areas of tolerance, hope, healing and protection, and in ensuring that these dramas and tragedies - too often experienced in the past and in the present - never happen again". In this context, he highlighted how the objective is "to guarantee refugees, asylum seekers and internally displaced persons are given the concrete possibility to develop their human potential". The under secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples indicated that "welcome begins with empathy; that is, with the effort to understand the other's feelings and to understand how it feels to find oneself in an unknown world with different customs and traditions". He then went on to highlight that the problem is not limited to Europe alone, pointing out that "South Africa accepted 220 thousand asylum seekers during the course of last year, almost the same number of people as that accepted by all twenty-seven member States of the European Union together". The behaviour of countries, said Fr. Bentoglio, "is often dictated by fear of foreigners and, not infrequently, by veiled discrimination" thus "eluding their responsibility to welcome and support people who seek refuge and humanitarian protection". "It seems certain that refugees and asylum seekers today suffer worse conditions than they did in the past, also in the host countries in the South of the planet". This "begs the question: what does it mean to live for years in an overcrowded camp with no hope of a better life, or to see no future for one's children? Thus, it often happens that people abandon the camp and move to urban conurbations in the hope of rebuilding a life for themselves, and that they do so without requesting the necessary authorisation and thus violate the law". "It is necessary to offer some hope for the future", the under secretary of the dicastery concluded. "For her part, the Church is seeking to respond to this question, as her efforts and activities clearly show".OP/ VIS 20101026 (760)

MESSAGE FOR WORLD DAY OF MIGRANTS AND REFUGEES VATICAN CITY, 26 OCT 2010 (VIS) - "One human family" is the theme chosen by the Holy Father for the ninety-seventh World Day of Migrants and Refugees, which is due to be celebrated on 16 January 2011. Some extracts from the English-language translation of the Pope's Message are given below: "The World Day of Migrants and Refugees offers the whole Church an opportunity to reflect on a theme linked to the growing phenomenon of migration, to pray that hearts may open to Christian welcome and to the effort to increase in the world justice and charity, pillars on which to build an authentic and lasting peace. 'As I have loved you, so you also should love one another', is the invitation that the Lord forcefully addresses to us and renews constantly: if the Father calls us to be beloved children in His dearly beloved Son, He also calls us to recognise each other as brothers and sisters in Christ. "This profound link between all human beings is the origin of the theme that I have chosen for our reflection this year: 'One human family', one family of brothers and sisters in societies that are becoming ever more multiethnic and intercultural, where people of various religions are also urged to take part in dialogue, so that a serene and fruitful coexistence with respect for legitimate differences may be found". "The road is the same, that of life, but the situations that we pass through on this route are different: many people have to face the difficult experience of migration in its various forms: ... In various cases the departure from their country is motivated by different forms of persecution, so that escape becomes necessary. Moreover, the phenomenon of globalisation itself, characteristic of our epoch, is not only a social and economic process, but also entails 'humanity itself [that] is becoming increasingly interconnected', crossing geographical and cultural boundaries. In this regard, the Church does not cease to recall that the deep sense of this epochal process and its fundamental ethical criterion are given by the unity of the human family and its development towards what is good. All, therefore, belong to one family, migrants and the local populations that welcome them, and all have the same right to enjoy the goods of the earth whose destination is universal, as the social doctrine of the Church teaches. It is here that solidarity and sharing are founded". "This is also the perspective with which to look at the reality of migration. In fact, as the Servant of God Paul VI formerly noted, 'the weakening of brotherly ties between individuals and nations', is a profound cause of underdevelopment and - we may add - has a major impact on the migration phenomenon". "Venerable John Paul II, on the occasion of this same Day celebrated in 2001, emphasised that '[the universal common good] includes the whole family of peoples, beyond every nationalistic egoism. The right to emigrate must be considered in this context. The Church recognises this right in every human person, in its dual aspect of the possibility to leave one's country and the possibility to enter another country to look for better conditions of life'. "At the same time, States have the right to regulate migration flows and to defend their own frontiers, always guaranteeing the respect due to the dignity of each and every human person. Immigrants, moreover, have the duty to integrate into the host country, respecting its laws and its national identity". "In this context, the presence of the Church, as the People of God journeying through history among all the other peoples, is a source of trust and hope. ... Through the action within her of the Holy Spirit, 'the effort to establish a universal brotherhood is not a hopeless one'. It is the Holy Eucharist in particular that constitutes, in the heart of the Church, an inexhaustible source of communion for the whole of humanity. It is thanks to this that the People of God includes 'every nation, race, people, and tongue', not with a sort of sacred power but with the superior service of charity". "The situation of refugees and of the other forced migrants, who are an important part of the migration phenomenon, should be specifically considered in the light of the theme 'One human family'. ... Respect of their rights, as well as the legitimate concern for security and social coherence, foster a stable and harmonious coexistence. ... This means that those who are forced to leave their homes or their country will be helped to find a place where they may live in peace and safety, where they may work and take on the rights and duties that exist in the country that welcomes them, contributing to the common good and without forgetting the religious dimension of life. "Lastly, I would like to address a special thought, again accompanied by prayer, to foreign and international students. ... They are also a socially important category in view of their return, as future leaders, to their countries of origin. They constitute cultural and economic 'bridges' between these countries and the host countries. ... This is the conviction that must support the commitment to foreign students and must accompany attention to their practical problems, such as financial difficulties or the hardship of feeling alone in facing a very different social and university context, as well as the difficulties of integration". "The world of migrants is vast and diversified. It knows wonderful and promising experiences, as well as, unfortunately, so many others that are tragic and unworthy of the human being and of societies that claim to be civil. For the Church this reality constitutes an eloquent sign of our times which further highlights humanity's vocation to form one family, and, at the same time, the difficulties which, instead of uniting it, divide it and tear it apart. Let us not lose hope and let us together pray God, the Father of all, to help us ... to be men and women capable of brotherly relationships and, at the social, political and institutional levels, so that understanding and reciprocal esteem among peoples and cultures may increase"MESS/ VIS 20101026 (1040)

OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS VATICAN CITY, 26 OCT 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Bishop Damian Santiago Bitar, auxiliary of San Justo, Argentina, as bishop of Obera (area 8,717, population 270,000, Catholics 200,000, priests 27, permanent deacons 15, religious 17), Argentina.
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ASIA NEWS REPORT: A tsunami caused by a 7.5 magnitude earthquake. Overnight a three-meter high wave crashed into the coast of the Mentawai archipelago and flooded hundreds of homes flinging ships and boats over 200 meters from the shore. Death toll continues to rise.Jakarta (AsiaNews) - A strong tsunami with waves over three meters high waves struck the Mentawai archipelago (West Sumatra) overnight. Currently there are 108 dead and 502 missing, including 10 Australian surfers, but the toll is expected to grow.Local sources tell AsiaNews, more than 200 homes are under water in two villages in the subdistrict Pagai Selatan. Several ships carrying Australian tourists docked in the port were thrown up to 200 meters from the coast.The tsunami was caused by a 7.5 magnitude earthquake that occurred yesterday in the Mentawai archipelago which is a 13-hour ferry ride from the district capital of Padang.The epicentre was located about 20 km off the coast of Sumatra and hit major cities along the coast of Padang and Bengkulu.After the earthquake, thousands of people fled their homes to reach the higher ground. The tsunami warning was at first revoked by the authorities. In Padang, the loudspeakers of mosques also issued a warning to the population.According to researchers at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) this is the most devastating tsunami in the last two years. Indonesia is located on what is called the “Pacific ring of fire", which is characterized by high volcanic and seismic activity. On 30 October 2009, another strong earthquake struck the area causing approximately 700 deaths of Padang. Over 180 houses were razed. Even more devastating, the tsunami on 26 December 2004 which caused more than 600 deaths and destroyed tens of thousands of homes on the island of Sumatra.
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IND. CATH. NEWS REPORT-More than 200 people from all over the world gathered in Manchester Cathedral on Saturday for a candlelit Taizé service. The service was the highlight of the 'Prayers of Freedom' weekend organised by the Student Christian Movement and the Taizé Community, which brought together nearly 100 students and young adults from more than twelve different counties, many of them studying in Britain. Brother Paolo, a brother of the ecumenical community in France, shared reflections on the meaning of freedom, and encouraged participants to reflect on what they were doing with their freedom.Participant Matt Bewers said: “This weekend has been spiritually refreshing, helping me to reflect on my life and the lives of those around me – there's never been a dull moment!”The weekend event included Taizé prayer services, discussions and workshops on creativity, poverty, vocation, and simple living, and a small group volunteering to help clean a house for destitute asylum seekers. The group of students and young adults stayed at St Peter's House Chaplaincy and shared worship space with St Augustine's Catholic Church.Brother Paolo, reflecting on the weekend and student Christianity more generally said: “In the world of Student Christianity it is so important that people's freedom and integrity are protected – and the Student Christian Movement does that”.The success of the 'Prayers of Freedom' event is just the latest indication of a growing interest amongst students in a Christian faith that links spirituality, prayer and action for social justice. The SCM conference in February 2010 saw the highest turn out for 20 years, and organisers of the 2011 conference, which will take place from 4-6 February, are hoping for the highest turnout since the 1970s.The Student Christian Movement is an ecumenical student-led movement passionate about faith and justice. We bring students together to explore how to live out the Christian faith in today’s world. See:
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Cath News report: A Greens' euthanasia bill, to allow the Northern Territory and ACT governments to legalise euthanasia, will be debated in the Senate tomorrow.ABC reports that the bill would re-instate powers to the territories to make the laws - which were overturned in 1997 by the then-Federal Parliament.Greens leader Bob Brown says he hopes a vote will be taken before the end of the parliamentary year, but if it doesn't, then "certainly" in the first half of 2011."It ought to get to a vote before Christmas, but that really depends on the good offices of the Government and the Opposition," he said.AAP reports that a meeting of the coalition joint parties in Canberra on Tuesday agreed with a shadow cabinet recommendation that allows Liberal and Nationals MPs and senators a conscience vote on the issue.Labor also will allow its members a free vote.
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CNA NEWS REPORT- To accommodate their rapidly growing community, the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist announced today that they will purchase the financially beleaguered John Paul II Cultural Center in Washington, D.C. near the Catholic University of America.The center, which was the brainchild of the now retired Archbishop of Detroit, Cardinal Adam Maida, has been beset by numerous financial difficulties over the years. Intended to be a museum and Catholic intellectual hub, the center borrowed heavily from the Archdiocese of Detroit, owing them $40 million as of 2006, according to the Detroit Free Press.The Ann Arbor sisters have had a different problem as they’ve been unable to build facilities fast enough to house new members.In an e-mail announcement on Oct. 26, the Dominican order wrote that their community “welcomed 22 aspirants in August of this year – a gift from the Lord that continues to call us to ongoing discernment of how to provide for the formation and education of the young women seeking to enter religious life.”“In order to plan and care accordingly for these vocations, the Dominican Sisters of Mary,” the community is “in the inspection phase of a purchase and sale agreement to buy a building at 3900 Harewood Road, known to many as the JPII Cultural Center, near the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.”“It is our hope to use this building as a House of Studies for the continuing education and formation of our Sisters.”The Dominican sisters made headlines in February, when they made an appearance on the Oprah Winfrey Show – fielding questions regarding their vocation and discernment, their vows of poverty and chastity, and their life in community. Sister Maria Guadalupe Hallee, Director of Mission Advancement for the sisters, told CNA last March that since the show, almost all the feedback the sisters have received has been overwhelmingly positive.
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Agenzia Fides REPORT– An ecumenical prayer service for the peaceful outcome of the referendum on January 6, 2011, regarding the independence of southern Sudan was held October 23 in Rumbek (Lakes State capital in southern Sudan), in the presence of local religious leaders and government officials .Bishop Cesare Mazzolari, Bishop of Rumbek, urged the people of South Sudan to accept Jesus as the "true, the only source of lasting peace."Bishop Mazzolari also urged the Sudanese people to refrain from the temptation to retaliate and to repay evil with evil, adding that in view of the referendum, the population must remain faithful to Christ's teaching on peace and forgiveness.The heads of various Christian denominations prayed that God would send His Spirit to descend upon the people of Sudan and grant that the referendum should take place in peace.The prayer meeting was organized by leaders of various churches, including the Catholic Diocese of Rumbek, the Episcopal Church of Sudan (ECS), the Pentecostal Church, and the Baptist Church.A UN official who attended the ecumenical, James Fandus, assured that the United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) is providing support for the referendum, which has accumulated several delays because of political disputes between the parties in the north and south."The people of South Sudan have the right to participate in the referendum in a peaceful environment," said Fandus, who acknowledged the commitment to promote peace on the part of government officials and Christian leaders of the Lakes State.
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St. EvaristusPOPEFeast: October 26Information:Feast Day:October 26Died:107Date of birth unknown; died about 107. In the Liberian Catalogue his name is given as Aristus. In papal catalogues of the second century used by Irenaeus and Hippolytus, he appears as the fourth successor of St. Peter, immediately after St Clement. The same lists allow him eight years of reign, covering the end of the first and the beginning of the second century (from about 98 or 99 to about 106 or 107). The earliest historical sources offer no authentic data about him. In his "Ecclesiastical History" Eusebius says merely that he succeeded Clement in the episcopate of the Roman Church which fact was already known from St. Irenaeus. This order of succession is undoubtedly correct. The "Liber Pontificalis" says that Evaristus came of a Hellenic family, and was the son of a Bethlehem Jew. It also attributes to him the allotment of definite churches as to the Roman presbyters, and the division of the city into seven or deaconries; in this statement, however, the "Liber Pontificalis " arbitrarily refers to the time of Evaristus a later institution of the Roman Church. More trustworthy is the assertion of the "Liber Pontificalis" that he was laid to rest , near the tomb of St. Peter. The martyrdom of Evaristus, though traditional, is not historically proven. His feast occurs 26 Oct. The two decretals ascribed to him by Pseudo-Isidore are forged. SOURCE:
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TODAY'S GOSPEL: OCT. 26: Luke 13: 18 - 21
Luke 13: 18 - 2118He said therefore, "What is the kingdom of God like? And to what shall I compare it?19It is like a grain of mustard seed which a man took and sowed in his garden; and it grew and became a tree, and the birds of the air made nests in its branches."20And again he said, "To what shall I compare the kingdom of God?21It is like leaven which a woman took and hid in three measures of flour, till it was all leavened."
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