Wednesday, October 13, 2010


FOURTH GENERAL CONGREGATION VATICAN CITY, 12 OCT 2010 (VIS REPORT) - The Fourth General Congregation of the Special Assembly for the Middle East of the Synod of Bishops was held this afternoon in the Synod Hall. The president delegate on duty was His Beatitude Ignace Youssif III Younan, Patriarch of Antioch of the Syrians, Lebanon, and there were 161 Synod Fathers present. The Holy Father attended the free discussions at the end of the sitting. Extracts from some of the Synod Father's speeches are given below: HIS BEATITUDE GREGOIRE III LAHAM B.S., PATRIARCH OF ANTIOCH OF THE GREEK-MELKITES, SYRIA. "The Christian presence in the Arab world is threatened by the cycles of war afflicting the region, the cradle of Christianity. The main reason is the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: the fundamentalist movements, Hamas and Hezbollah are consequences of this conflict as well of internal dissension, slowness in development, the rise of hatred, the loss of hope in the young who constitute sixty percent of the population in Arab countries. The emigration of Christians is among the most dangerous effects of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: emigration which will make Arab society a society of only one colour, Muslim, faced with a European society identified as Christian. Should this happen, should the East be emptied of its Christians, this would mean that any occasion would be propitious for a new clash of cultures, of civilisations and even of religions, a destructive clash between the Muslim Arab East and the Christian West". CARDINAL JOHN PATRICK FOLEY, GRAND MASTER OF THE EQUESTRIAN ORDER OF THE KNIGHTS OF THE HOLY SEPULCHRE OF JERUSALEM. "While many, including the Holy See, have suggested a two‑State solution to the Israeli‑Palestinian crisis, the more time passes, the more difficult such a solution becomes, as the building of Israeli settlements and Israeli‑controlled infrastructure in East Jerusalem and in other parts of the West Bank make increasingly difficult the development of a viable and integral Palestinian State. During the Holy Father's historic pilgrimage to the Holy Land last year, I had the opportunity for brief conversations with political leaders at the highest level in Jordan, Israel and Palestine. All of them spoke of the great contribution to mutual understanding made by Catholic schools in those three areas. Since Catholic schools are open to all and not just to Catholics and to other Christians, many Muslim and even some Jewish children are enrolled. The effects are apparent and inspiring. Mutual respect is engendered, which we hope will lead to reconciliation and even mutual love". HIS BEATITUDE FOUAD TWAL, PATRIARCH OF JERUSALEM OF THE LATINS. "The Mother Church of Jerusalem ... watches over the Holy Places of the Patriarchs, the Prophets, Jesus Christ, the Virgin Mary and the Apostles. ... The Mother Church of Jerusalem must therefore be the object of love, prayer and attention from all the Church, from all bishops, priests and faithful of the People of God. To be united with the Church of Jerusalem, to live in the communion and witness which this Synod speaks about, reveals our duties as shepherds and our episcopal collegiality. To love the Holy Land implies visiting the Holy Places and meeting with the local community. To love the Holy Land is also to serve it: do not leave your Mother Church alone and isolated. Help her with your prayers, your love and your solidarity, prevent her becoming a great open-air museum. To be silent because of fear before the dramatic situation you all know about would be a sin of omission. Also, we are very grateful to the Holy See, to bishops, priests and all friends of the Holy Land for what they so generously do to support us spiritually and materially. ... The Christian community of the Holy Land (barely two percent of the population) is suffering violence and instability. It is a Church of Calvary. She has the weighty responsibility of perpetuating the message of peace and reconciliation. Despite the difficulties that seem overwhelming, we believe in God, the Lord of history". ARCHBISHOP BASILE GEORGES CASMOUSSA OF MOSUL OF THE SYRIANS, IRAQ. " In our Middle Eastern countries, we are small minorities, much ravaged by the following factors: (1) Unbridled emigration. Christians are losing more and more trust in their own historical countries. (2) Waves of terrorism inspired by religious ideologies, Islamic or totalitarian, which deny even the principle of equality to the advantage of a fundamentalist revisionism which crushes minorities, including Christians who are the most vulnerable. (3) The alarming decrease of births among Christians, faced with an ever growing natality among Muslims. (4) The unjust accusation against Christians of being troops loaned or led by and for the so-called Christian West, and thus considered as a parasite in the nation. ... What is happening in Iraq today makes us think back to what happened in Turkey during the World War I. It is alarming!" BISHOP DIMITRIOS SALACHAS, APOSTOLIC EXARCH FOR GREEK CATHOLICS OF BYZANTINE RITE RESIDENT IN GREECE. "The Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches enunciates a general principle, according to which the faithful of the Eastern Church, though entrusted ('commissi') to the pastoral care of a bishop or parish priest of another 'sui iuris' Church, including the Latin Church, always remain members of their own Church and must observe their own rite everywhere in the world; i.e., their own liturgical and spiritual heritage, and their own laws. ... The Supreme Legislator has provided the Catholic Church with two canonical norms, two Codes, one for the Latin Church and one for the Eastern Church, the latter of which has recently celebrated the twentieth anniversary of its promulgation. Emigration creates urgent new pastoral needs which require knowledge, even limited knowledge, of these norms. In other words, Eastern bishops should know Latin legislation, and Latin bishops Eastern legislation. Vatican Council II teaches that, maintaining the unity of the faith and the one divine constitution of the universal Church, the Eastern Churches and the Western Churches have the right and the duty to practice according to their own discipline for the good of the souls of their faithful". FR. JOSE RODRIGUEZ CARBALLO O.F.M., MINISTER GENERAL OF THE ORDER OF FRIARS MINOR. "Faced with the tragic spectacle of so many conflicts in the Holy Land and against the widespread idea that religions are the basis for them, Christians are called to show the world that religions, authentically lived, foster understanding between different peoples, serve peace, and mould the hearts of the reconciled and the reconcilers. ... In the context of the new evangelisation I would like to make four proposals: (1) To create a single catechism for all Catholics in the Middle East. (2) To take concrete initiatives for the formation of all pastoral workers (priests, religious and laity), a formation appropriate to the needs of new evangelisation and the particular situation of the Middle East. (3) In keeping with the Pauline Year, to celebrate a year dedicated to St. John in all the Churches of the Middle East, if possible with our brethren of the non-Catholic Churches. (4) To enhance biblical studies, especially through the three Biblical Institutes already present in Jerusalem: the Franciscan Faculty of Biblical Sciences and Archaeology, the Dominican School of the Bible and Archaeology, and the Jesuit Biblical Institute. Furthermore, I hope that, in the face of the steady decline of Christians in the Holy Land, a word of comfort may emerge from this Synod for the Christian and, in particular, Catholic, communities living in those lands. The Synod is a good opportunity to forcefully strengthen ecumenical and inter-religious dialogue".SE/ VIS 20101013 (1260)
SYNOD FATHERS MEET IN LANGUAGE GROUPS VATICAN CITY, 13 OCT 2010 (VIS) - This morning, while Benedict XVI held his weekly general audience in St. Peter's Square, the Synod Fathers met in language group to elect moderators and relators and begin their deliberations on the "Relatio ante disceptationem," (report before the discussion). The Fifth General Congregation will be held in the Synod Hall this afternoon.SE/ VIS 20101013 (70)
GENERAL AUDIENCE: SPIRITUAL JOURNEY OF ANGELA OF FOLIGNO VATICAN CITY, 13 OCT 2010 (VIS) - Benedict XVI dedicated his catechesis during this morning's general audience to the Italian Blessed Angela of Foligno (ca. 1248 - 1309). The audience was celebrated in St. Peter's Square in the presence of 25,000 people. This great mediaeval mystic generally arouses admiration "for the heights she scaled in her experience of union with God", said the Pope. "However, perhaps too little attention has been given to her first steps, to her conversion and the journey that led her from her starting point of a 'great fear of hell', to her goal of complete union with the Trinity". Angela was born into a rich family and received a worldly education. She married very young, had a number of children and lived a carefree life until dramatic events such as the violent earthquake of 1279 and the consequences of a war with the city of Perugia led her to question the meaning of her existence. In 1285 she received a vision of St. Francis of Assisi whom she asked for help in making a general confession of her sins. Three years later, her husband and children having all died, Angela sold her goods and in 1291 entered the Third Order of St. Francis. Her story is recounted by her confessor in the "Book of Blessed Angela of Foligno". At the beginning of her spiritual itinerary the blessed felt the fear of hell for her sins. "This fear", the Pope explained, "reflected the kind of faith that Angela had at the moment of her conversion; a faith still poor in charity; that is, in love for God. Penance, fear of hell and atonement opened before Angela the prospect of the painful 'way of the cross', which ... would lead her to the 'way of love'". "Angela felt she had to give something to God to make up for her sins, but she slowly came to realise that she had nothing to give Him; indeed, that she was 'nothing' before Him. She understood that it was not her will that could give her the love of God, because her will could give her 'nothing', it could only give her 'non-love'". Little by little "she came to a profound understanding of the central reality: that what would save her from her 'unworthiness' and from her 'deserving hell' would not be her 'union with God' or her possession of the 'truth', but the crucified Jesus, ... His love, ... and her self-identification and self-transformation in the love and suffering of the crucified Christ". "Angela's conversion", the Holy Father concluded, "reached maturity only when in her heart she saw God's forgiveness as a gratuitous gift of the love of the Father, Who is the source of love". On her spiritual journey, "the move from conversion to mystical experience, from that which can be expressed to that which is inexpressible, came about through the crucified Christ. ... All her mystical experience thus tended to perfect 'likeness' with Him through increasingly profound and radical purifications and transformations. ... Such identification also meant living as Jesus lived, facing poverty, contempt and suffering. ... A sublime journey, the secret of which was constant prayer".AG/ VIS 20101013 (540)
PRAYERS FOR CHILEAN MINERS AND KOLONTAR VICTIMS VATICAN CITY, 13 OCT 2010 (VIS) - In his greetings to pilgrims at the end of today's general audience the Holy Father, speaking Spanish, entrusted the miners of the Atacama region of Chile "to the divine goodness" of Blessed Angela of Foligno. Turning then to address Hungarian pilgrims in their native language, he gave assurances of recollection in his prayers "of the inhabitants of Kolontar who have had to abandon their homes, and of everyone who has been affected by the toxic mud, especially those who have lost their lives". "The anniversary of the election of John Paul II is drawing close", he said in remarks to Polish pilgrims. "Together with you I thank God for the witness of faith, hope and love given to us by my great predecessor on the Throne of Peter. I pray that the fruits of his life, ministry and teaching may remain in the Church and in people's hearts".
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CNA REPORT- Nearly 200 men and women from the Archdiocese of Washington will “run for vocations” in the upcoming Marine Corps Marathon and 10K Run to help raise money for seminarians.The archdiocese’s “Run for Vocations” team will seek to raise awareness of the need for priestly vocations and raise money for seminarians. The marathon is slated for Oct. 31 in Arlington, Va. Among those who will be running is James Peck, parent of a Marine and a parishioner from Jesus the Divine Word parish in Huntingtown, Md. Peck was diagnosed with an aggressive and deadly form of brain cancer after completing the marathon last year. Despite chemotherapy and radiation treatments, the tumor returned and he has faced more surgery and treatment. His wife Cecilia has faced her own ordeals. She and other women from the parish were on a mission trip in Haiti earlier this year and were trapped in the country after the disastrous January earthquake. Through all this, the Pecks’ only son Nathan has served as an active duty Marine on the front lines of Afghanistan. And Peck is looking forward to the upcoming marathon. “A year later, despite my illness, I believe that God’s always been with me, and he will give me the strength to push myself to help holy priests in bringing God to people and people to God,” he said. “So, my 2010 participation is not any different, only now, it’s more special.” The Marine Corps Marathon, now in its 35th year, claims to be the fourth largest marathon in the United States. The full marathon course is 26.2 miles long. Among the archdiocesan runners, 49 are running in the full marathon while 138 are participating in the 10K. Funds raised through the team will help cover unexpected expenses for seminarians, including medical costs, travel expenses for family emergencies, and spiritual enrichment. More information on the Archdiocese of Washington’s running team is available at
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UCAN REPORT - Catholics in mainland China are mourning the loss of a Benedictine monk and friend who they say contributed to theology and seminary education in the country.Abbot Timothy Kelly, who seven months ago was diagnosed with cancer of the esophagus, died on Oct. 7. He was 76 . His funeral was held on Oct. 13 at his Benedictine order’s St. John’s Abbey in the United States.“All major seminaries have held requiem Masses for a great friend of the China Church,” said Sister Yu Chunjing, coordinator of a translation project supported by Abbot Kelly to response to China’s lack of theology books.Abbot Kelly helped establish the Fund for Theological Translation for the project, which is a grant program of the US Catholic China Bureau. The project is coordinated by the Shijiazhuang-based Faith Institute for Cultural Studies in Hebei province, northern China.He also co-founded the Benedictine Commission for China, mandated by the Abbots’ Congress in 1996. The commission met yearly to discuss apostolic service to China.“He never stopped thinking about ways to assist the Church due to his love for the Chinese,” said Abbot John Klassen of St. John’s Abbey. Abbot Kelly, who was based in Minnesota, United States, often visited China.Father John Chen Binshan recalled Abbot Kelly’s concern about the China Church’s publication and seminary education. “He had persuaded US publishers to donate books to China’s major seminaries,” said the dean of studies of the National Seminary in Beijing.Others who knew Abbot Kelly recalled him saying that the split of the China Church “had no easy answer” and that his order’s duty was to “promote reconciliation, not to condemn due to lack of understanding.”In the US, Abbot Kelly did a lot of work to help American Catholics understand China better.He also began the Benedictine order’s cooperation with the Maryknoll congregation in accepting mainland priests, nuns and seminarians to study at the Benedictine-run St. John’s University.Father Anthony Yao Shun of Jining (Wumeng), who studied there in 1996, recalled Abbot Kelly as an “easygoing, humble and holy man” and was “my model as a priest.”
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Agenzia Fides REPORT – The Xaverian Missionaries have recently launched a new website at: . According to a statement sent to Agenzia Fides, “the General Direction thus intends to present the missionary activities of the Xaverians throughout the world, and make available abundant material to anyone who seeks information on the Xaverian Congregation or its Missions.” The site is continually updated and, for a certain period of time, it will be updated with new or renewed input. With respect to the previous website - which was reserved exclusively to the Xaverians, the new one is open to all and is 2.5 GB in size, with 18,850 documents in 9,500 folders circa. In view of the hoped for canonization of the Founder, Blessed Guido Maria Conforti, some documents offer an extensive and thorough presentation of the figure and the charism of the Founder. Material in various languages is available and more will be uploaded shortly. Films and photographs also enrich this section. A large number of photographs illustrate the Missions, accompanied by statistical tables and other interesting Xaverian news items on the same missions. Some of them also contain a short video, which may be downloaded. The material gives a glimpse of the apostolic reality of the Xaverian Missionaries, the beautiful places in which they are located and the peoples that live there, as well as some of the many activities carried out by the missionaries. Anyone from the wider public who wishes to communicate with the Xaverian Missionaries may also do so through a space made available on the site.
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Ind. Cath. News report:An assassination attempt on Cardinal Zubeir Wako, the Catholic Archbishop of Khartoum took place on Sunday. The attack happened as the Cardinal was leading the Eucharistic celebration at the Comboni Playground in Khartoum. A suspect, who was identified as Hamdan Mohamed Abdurrahman, infiltrated the congregation and joined the liturgical dancers in front of the altar. He made his way to the front of the group and held up a dagger within four steps of Cardinal Wako, before he was spotted by the Master of Ceremonies, Mr Barnaba Matuech Anei who was next to the cardinal, who caught and disarmed him. He was then handed over to the security guards who had missed him earlier. "The man might have infiltrated and entered the playground early, and hid himself amongst the faithful because we had very intense security check-in at the gates,” Mr Matuec said.“We want to find out what was his mission in the Church was, and why he was carrying a dagger with him. After that, we will see what to do next. We must know his background and identity. If he has people backing him to carry out such actions in the church, we would like to know,” he saidThere were two bishops on the stage with Cardinal Wako: The co-adjutor bishop of El-Obeid, Michael Didi and a Comboni Bishop from Ethiopia.Every year, Catholics in the archdiocese of Khartoum celebrate the feast of Saint Daniel Comboni on October 10, the day Comboni died in Khartoum in the year 1881.Daniel Comboni founded the Catholic Church in the Sudan. Cardinal Wako is the seventh successor of Daniel Comboni and the first Sudanese Bishop to succeed Comboni as archbishop of Khartoum.The Catholic Church has filed a case against Hamdan. When interrogated on Monday at Military Central Committee of the Sudan Armed Forces, Hamdan testified that he was an Arab Misseriya from Southern Kordofan State. He is being detained at the police station in Khartoum and will be taken to the court for further action.International experts warn that the life of Christians in Northern Sudan will be in danger if Southern Sudan secede during the self-determination referendum.
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Cath News report: The Jesuit Sevenhill Cellars winery in South Australia has negotiated a deal to supply sacramental wines across Vietnam.The Major Religious Superiors Conference of Vietnam is seeking to remedy the high cost and scarcity of sacramental wine for its more than 3,000 communities, reports UCA News. There are over 15,000 Religious who are members of the 180 recognized congregations in Vietnam."This meets a vital and urgent need for us in Vietnam," says Jesuit Father Thomas Vu Quang Trung, head of the local Major Religious Superiors Conference."The cost of sacramental wine has risen sharply in the last two years due to two factors: the removal of a Vatican subsidy to support our purchase of Mass wine and the imposition of new government taxes on wine," added the former provincial superior of Jesuits in Vietnam."One bottle of Mass wine retails for US$25," he pointed out.Under the agreement, Sevenhill Cellars will provide Mass wine for all Religious communities, with requirements ordered at a single time for amounts that the communities nominate as their annual quota. Distribution will be done in association with the communities to keep costs as low as possible."With the cooperation of conference of major superiors, we are able to take out our costs of promotion and sales so that we can pass on the savings to the communities," says Neville Rowe, General Manager of Sevenhill Cellars."We do similar things for dioceses and congregations all over Asia and the Pacific and we're pleased now to be offering this service to the Religious of Vietnam.""Sevenhill is the last remaining Jesuit owned vineyard in the world," Rowe added. "In the countries of Asia, where little wine is produced and often the cost of importing wine is prohibitive, we can provide a special service to the Church that goes right to the heart of our mission as a winery."
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St. Edward the ConfessorKING OF ENGLANDFeast: October 13Information:Feast Day:October 13Born:1003 at Islip, Oxford, EnglandDied:5 January 1066Canonized:1161Major Shrine:Westminster AbbeyPatron of:difficult marriages, kings. separated spousesKing of England, born in 1003; died 5 January, 1066. He was the son of Ethelred II and Emma, daughter of Duke Richard of Normandy, being thus half-brother to King Edmund Ironside, Ethelred's son by his first wife, and to King Hardicanute, Emma's son by her second marriage with Canute. When hardly ten years old he was sent with his brother Alfred into Normandy to be brought up at the court of the duke his uncle, the Danes having gained the mastery in England. Thus he spent the best years of his life in exile, the crown having been settled by Canute, with Emma's consent, upon his own offspring by her. Early misfortune thus taught Edward the folly of ambition, and he grew up in innocence, delighting chiefly in assisting at Mass and the church offices, and in association with religious, whilst not disdaining the pleasures of the chase, or recreations suited to his station. Upon Canute's death in 1035 his illegitimate son, Harold, seized the throne, Hardicanute being then in Denmark, and Edward and his brother Alfred were persuaded to make an attempt to gain the crown, which resulted in the cruel death of Alfred who had fallen into Harold's hands, whilst Edward was obliged to return to Normandy. On Hardicanute's sudden death in 1042, Edward was called by acclamation to the throne at the age of about forty, being welcomed even by the Danish settlers owing to his gentle saintly character. His reign was one of almost unbroken peace, the threatened invasion of Canute's son, Sweyn of Norway, being averted by the opportune attack on him by Sweyn of Denmark; and the internal difficulties occasioned by the ambition of Earl Godwin and his sons being settled without bloodshed by Edward's own gentleness and prudence. He undertook no wars except to repel an inroad of the Welsh, and to assist Malcolm III of Scotland against Macbeth, the usurper of his throne. Being devoid of personal ambition, Edward's one aim was the welfare of his people. He remitted the odious "Danegelt", which had needlessly continued to be levied; and though profuse in alms to the poor and for religious purposes, he made his own royal patrimony suffice without imposing taxes. Such was the contentment caused by "the good St. Edward's laws", that their enactment was repeatedly demanded by later generations, when they felt themselves oppressed.Yielding to the entreaty of his nobles, he accepted as his consort the virtuous Editha, Earl Godwin's daughter. Having, however, made a vow of chastity, he first required her agreement to live with him only as a sister. As he could not leave his kingdom without injury to his people, the making of a pilgrimage to St. Peter's tomb, to which he had bound himself, was commuted by the pope into the rebuilding at Westminster of St. Peter's abbey, the dedication of which took place but a week before his death, and in which he was buried. St. Edward was the first King of England to touch for the "king's evil", many sufferers from the disease were cured by him. He was canonized by Alexander III in 1161. His feast is kept on the 13th of October, his incorrupt body having been solemnly translated on that day in 1163 by St. Thomas of Canterbury in the presence of King Henry II.
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TODAY'S GOSPEL: OCT. 13: Luke 11: 42 - 46
Luke 11: 42 - 4642"But woe to you Pharisees! for you tithe mint and rue and every herb, and neglect justice and the love of God; these you ought to have done, without neglecting the others.43Woe to you Pharisees! for you love the best seat in the synagogues and salutations in the market places.44Woe to you! for you are like graves which are not seen, and men walk over them without knowing it."45One of the lawyers answered him, "Teacher, in saying this you reproach us also."46And he said, "Woe to you lawyers also! for you load men with burdens hard to bear, and you yourselves do not touch the burdens with one of your fingers.
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