Friday, October 8, 2010

CATHOLIC world NEWS: FRI. OCT. 8, 2010



THE POPE RECEIVES PRESIDENT NICOLAS SARKOZY VATICAN CITY, 8 OCT 2010 (VIS REPORT) - The Holy See Press Office today released the following communique: "This morning the Holy Father Benedict XVI received in audience Nicolas Sarkozy, president of France. "The president subsequently went on to meet with Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B. who was accompanied by Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States. "The cordial discussions focused on the international political situation, including the Middle East peace process, the position of Christians in various different countries, and increasing the representation of world regions in multilateral organisations. Attention subsequently turned to underlining the importance of the ethical and social dimension of economic problems, in the light of the Encyclical 'Caritas in veritate'. "Having then recalled His Holiness' apostolic trip to Lourdes and Paris in 2008, and President Sarkozy's visit to the Vatican of the preceding year, the two men reiterated their joint desire to maintain permanent dialogue at various institutional levels, and to continue constructive collaboration on matters of mutual interest".OP/ VIS 20101008 (180) IMAGE SOURCE: RADIO VATICANA

SYNOD FOR THE MIDDLE EAST TO BEGIN ON SUNDAY VATICAN CITY, 8 OCT 2010 (VIS) - Archbishop Nikola Eterovic, secretary general of the Synod of Bishops, today held a briefing in the Holy See Press Office to inform journalists of the significance and of certain organisational aspects of the Special Assembly for the Middle East of the Synod of Bishops, due to be held in the Vatican from 10 to 24 October. The theme of the forthcoming synodal assembly is: "The Catholic Church in the Middle East. Communion and Witness. Now the company of those who believed were of one heart and soul". Archbishop Eterovic explained that "what we mean by Middle East, apart from Jerusalem and the Palestinian Territories, are the following sixteen States: Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Cyprus, Egypt, United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Syria, Turkey and Yemen. This vast region of 7,180,912 square kilometres is home to 356,174,000 people, of whom 5,707,000 are Catholic, representing 1.6 percent of the population. The number of Christians stands at about 20,000,000; that is, 5.62 percent of the population". "Apart from the Church of the Latin tradition, since earliest times there have been six 'sui iuris' Eastern Catholic Churches, each with its own patriarch, father and head of the Church: the Coptic Church, the Syrian Church, the Greek-Melkite Church, the Maronite Church, the Chaldean Church and the Armenian Church. ... The variety of traditions, spirituality, liturgy and disciplines is a great treasure to be conserved not only for the Eastern Catholic Churches, but for the whole Catholic Church presided over in charity by the Bishop of Rome, Universal Pastor of the Church". The Special Assembly for the Middle East, Archbishop Eterovic continued, will be attended by 185 Synod Fathers including 101 ordinaries from the ecclesiastical circumscriptions of the area, and twenty-three from the diaspora who have responsibility for faithful of the Eastern Catholic Churches who have emigrated from the Middle East to all corners of the world. Also present will be thirty-six experts and thirty-four auditors, both men and women. The sittings of the synodal assembly will also be attended by a number of fraternal delegates representing fourteen Churches and ecclesial communities with deep roots in the Middle East. The Synod Fathers will be addressed by three special guests invited by the Holy Father: Rabbi David Rosen, director for inter-religious affairs of the American Jewish Committee and the Heilbrunn Institute for International Inter-religious Understanding, Israel; Muhammad al-Sammak, political counsellor to the Grand Mufti of Lebanon, for Sunni Islam, and Ayatollah Seyed Mostafa Mohaghegh Ahmadabadi, professor at the Faculty of Law at the Shahid Beheshti University of Tehran and Member of the Iranian Academy of Sciences, for Shia Islam. The secretary general then went on to explain some specific characteristics of this Synod. "For the first time", he said, "almost all the ordinaries of the Middle East will meet with the Bishop of Rome"; moreover it "will be the shortest ever synodal assembly, lasting only fourteen days". This, he explained, "is the result of the relatively lower number of participants, which during the Ordinary General Assemblies can include as many as 250 Synod Fathers", and because the "complex situation in Middle Eastern countries means we do not want to keep the pastors from their flocks for too long". Arabic will be one of the official languages of this Synod, along with French, English and Italian, said Archbishop Eterovic. "The aims of the Special Assembly for the Middle East are mainly of a pastoral nature" and can be divided into two main points: "reviving communion between the venerable 'sui iuris' Eastern Catholic Churches that they may offer an authentic, joyful and attractive witness of Christian life", and "strengthening Christian identity through the Word of God and the celebration of the Sacraments". The Synod, the archbishop concluded, is "a joyous occasion to present the riches of the Eastern Catholic Churches to the entire world, especially to Christians, that they may offer greater spiritual and material support to their brothers and sisters in the Middle East, in particular those who live in difficult situations because of violence, terrorism, emigration and discrimination".SE/ VIS 20101008 (700)

AUDIENCES VATICAN CITY, 8 OCT 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences seven prelates from the National Conference of Bishops of Brazil, on their "ad limina" visit: - Bishop Bruno Pedron S.D.B. of Ji-Parana. - Bishop Joaquin Pertinez Fernandez O.A.R. of Rio Branco. - Bishop Eloi Roggia S.A.C., prelate of Borba. - Bishop Carillo Gritti I.M.C., prelate of Itacoatiara. - Bishop Sergio Eduardo Castriani C.S.Sp., prelate of Tefe. - Bishop Jesus Moraza Ruiz de Azua O.A.R., prelate of Labrea. - Bishop Gutemberg Freire Regis C.SS.R., apostolic administrator of the prelature of Coari. This evening he is scheduled to receive in audience Cardinal William Joseph Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.AL:AP/ VIS 20101008 (120)

OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS VATICAN CITY, 8 OCT 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Msgr. Douglas Regattieri, vicar general of Carpi, Italy, as bishop of Cesena-Sarsina (area 1,530, population 166,500, Catholics 159,500, priests 167, permanent deacons 32, religious 133), Italy. The bishop-elect was born in Vallata di Concordia, Italy in 1949 and ordained a priest in 1973.
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USCCB REPORT: Orthodox-Catholic Dialogue Lays Out a Vision of Unity in Unprecedented DocumentRole of Bishop of Rome acknowledged as central point of disagreementRecommends immediate steps to foster unity between churchesDetermining date of Easter addressed in second documentWASHINGTON (October 7, 2010)—Representatives of the Orthodox and Catholic Churches have issued two new documents outlining immediate steps they can take to overcome their thousand-year separation. The North American Orthodox-Catholic Theological Consultation finalized these agreed statements when it met at Georgetown University in Washington, September 30 to October 2. The Consultation is co-chaired by Archbishop Gregory M. Aymond of New Orleans and Metropolitan Maximos of Pittsburgh. The first statement, “Steps Towards a Reunited Church: A Sketch of an Orthodox-Catholic Vision for the Future,” is an unprecedented effort to begin to visualize the shape of a reunited Catholic and Orthodox Church that would result from the reestablishment of full communion. The text acknowledges that the role of the Bishop of Rome in the Church is a central point of disagreement and outlines the history of this divergence between East and West. It goes on to summarize the many elements of the Christian faith and ecclesial life that the two churches share, and emphasizes the urgency of overcoming our divisions. “Clearly, this cannot be achieved without new, better harmonized structures of leadership on both sides: new conceptions of both synodality and primacy in the universal Church, new approaches to the way primacy and authority are exercised in both our communions,” the document says. The agreed statement lists some of the features that would characterize a fully reunited Church and then focuses on the role the papacy would play within it. This role would need to be carefully defined, “both in continuity with the ancient structural principles of Christianity and in response to the need for a unified Christian message in the world of today.” The document then suggests several aspects of the Pope’s ministry in a reunited Church that could be both faithful to Catholic teaching and acceptable to the Orthodox. The document also lists several “preparatory steps” that could be taken even now as a prelude to the future unity of the churches, such as shared prayer and social ministry, and enumerates several questions and problems that remain outstanding. The text concludes that “The challenge and the invitation to Orthodox and Catholic Christians … is now to see Christ authentically present in each other, and to find in those structures of leadership that have shaped our communities through the centuries a force to move us beyond disunity, mistrust, and competition, towards that oneness in his Body, that obedience to his Spirit, which will reveal us as his disciples before the world.” The complete text of this statement is available here: The second statement, “Celebrating Easter/Pascha Together,” is a re-affirmation of the Consultation’s 1998 document, “A Common Response to the Aleppo Statement on the Date of Easter/Pascha.” In this new text, the members emphasize the importance of a united witness to the Resurrection of Christ, which lies at the very center of the Christian faith, and the scandal caused by the inability to celebrate this feast day consistently on the same date. The Consultation joins many other expressions of support for a recent proposal that would re-calculate the date of Easter for all Christians based strictly on the teaching of the First Council of Nicaea (325), which determined that Easter be celebrated on the first Sunday following the first full moon after the Spring Equinox. Determining the Equinox from the Jerusalem meridian and using the most accurate scientific instruments and astronomical data available would require a change for both traditions, but would also represent greater faithfulness to the teaching of Nicaea.“For the mission of the Church,” the document states, “a common celebration would support the unity we already share and help to build it further in the future.” The full text is available at: This 79th session of the Consultation was hosted by the Office of the President of Georgetown University, which made the historic Riggs Library available for the meeting. The members were the guests of Father John P. Langan, SJ, rector of the Georgetown Jesuit Community for dinner on September 30, and Dr. John J. DeGioia, the president of the university, hosted a dinner for the Consultation and several members of the faculty and staff in the Philodemic Room on Friday evening October 1. In addition to the co-chairs, the Consultation includes Orthodox representatives Father Thomas FitzGerald, dean of the Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Brookline, Massachusetts (Secretary); Father Nicholas Apostola, pastor, St. Nicholas Romanian Orthodox Church in Shrewsbury, MA; Father John Erickson, former dean and professor of canon law and church history at Saint Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary in Crestwood, NY; Susan Ashbrook Harvey, Ph.D., Willard Prescott and Annie McClelland Smith Professor and Chair of Religious Studies, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island; Father James Dutko, pastor of St. Michael’s Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Church in Binghamton, NY; Paul Meyendorff, Ph.D., Alexander Schmemann professor of liturgical theology and associate dean for academic affairs, St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary, Crestwood, NY; Father Alexander Golitzin, professor of theology at Marquette University, Milwaukee; Robert Haddad, Ph.D., Sophia Smith Professor Emeritus of History at Smith College in Northampton, MA; Father Robert Stephanopoulos, pastor emeritus of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocesan Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, New York; Father Theodore Pulcini, associate professor of religion at Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pennsylvania; and Father Mark Arey, Greek Orthodox Archdiocese, New York, (staff).Additional Catholic members are Jesuit Father Brian Daley (Secretary), Catherine F. Huisking professor of Theology at the University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana; Thomas Bird, Ph.D., associate professor of Slavic Languages and Literatures, Queens College, City University of New York, Flushing, NY; Sylvain Destrempes, Ph.D., faculty of the Grand Seminaire in Montreal; Father Peter Galadza, Kule Family Professor of Liturgy at the Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky Institute of Eastern Christian Studies, Ottawa; Chorbishop John D. Faris, pastor of St. Louis Gonzaga Maronite Church, Utica, New York; Father John Galvin, professor of Systematic Theology, The Catholic University of America (CUA), Washington; Father Sidney Griffith, professor in the Department of Semitic and Egyptian Languages and Literatures, CUA; Father Joseph Komonchak, professor emeritus of religious studies at CUA; Monsignor Paul McPartlan, Carl J. Peter Professor of Systematic Theology and Ecumenism at CUA; Father David Petras, spiritual director and professor of liturgy at the Byzantine Catholic Seminary of Sts. Cyril and Methodius, Pittsburgh; Sister of Charity of Leavenworth Susan K. Wood, professor and chair of the Department of Theology at Marquette; Vito Nicastro, Ph.D., associate director of the Office for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, Archdiocese of Boston; and Paulist Father Ronald Roberson, Ph.D., associate director of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, staff. In addition, Father Stephen Wojcichowsky, director of the Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky Institute of Eastern Christian Studies at Saint Paul University in Ottawa, Canada, served as an alternative representative of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops at this session. Since its establishment in 1965, the North American Consultation has now issued 25 agreed statements on various topics. All these texts are now available on the USCCB website at and the Standing Conference of the Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas (SCOBA) website at
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All Africa report: AWe are saddened by the loss of 10 lives and concerned that we are facing a new phenomenon, never before seen in our history: a double attack in the federal capital," Archbishop John Olorunfemi Onaiyekan of Abuja told Fides.On October 1st, two car bombs exploded a few metres from the place where a military parade was being held for the 50th anniversary of national independence."Those who, like me, were out watching the parade did not notice anything and the ceremony continued without interruption," says Archbishop Onaiyekan. "Only around 1/1:30 (local time), when the ceremony ended, we heard the news of what had happened."Shortly before the explosion, a statement from the MEND (Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta) announced that bombs had been placed in the area near the military parade, encouraging people to evacuate the area.The explosion from the first car bomb was followed minutes later by another explosion, which killed eight people (two others died later in the hospital) and wounded several others.Archbishop Onaiyekan said that according to Nigerian press, "It is only a hypothesis, which derives from a U.S. intelligence report sent to Nigerian intelligence officers about a possible interest of Al Qaeda in carrying out attacks in Nigeria. If it were confirmed, this would be a cause for concern as it would introduce the religious dimension into an already complex situation. In the case that the claim of the MEND was deemed credible by the authorities, then I wonder what this group wants to achieve by killing innocent people."The MEND claims to fight for recognition of the rights of the peoples of the Niger Delta, who not only do not benefit from profits of the oil extracted in the region, but also suffer environmental damage."We express our sympathy to those who seek a fair distribution of oil revenues, but we cannot, under any circumstances, accept the shedding of innocent blood," said Archbishop Onaiyekan."The Conference of bishops will release a statement soon about violence in Nigeria in which they will also discuss the attack yesterday. However, before doing so, we want to see the results of preliminary investigations by security authorities," concluded the Archbishop of Abuja.
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UCAN REPORT- The Thai Church has joined Amnesty International and other activists in condemning the resumption of executions in the country after a six-year hiatus.“We campaign against suicide because life is precious and sacred. Yet, we still have the death penalty,” Vilaiwan Phokthavi, head of the Jesuits’ ministry for foreign prisoners, said.She will join other activists on Sunday Oct. 10 in observing the World Day Against the Death Penalty.In 2009, Thailand executed two drug traffickers by lethal injection, the first to be killed since 2003. Vilaiwan says that this has caused fear among prisoners on death row.“Thai law allows the death penalty but most prisoners on death row remain in prison indefinitely.”Vilaiwan said that Thai courts consider only the offense and not the circumstances behind the crime.“Some people dealt drugs because they are poor or were forced,” she said.Redemptorist Bishop Banchong Chaiyara of Ubon Ratchathani said the death penalty was against Catholic teaching.“Thai Church is against capital punishment and considers death penalty a violation of life. The law does not have the right to take life. Life imprisonment is sufficient,” said Bishop Banchong, the president of the Thai bishops’ Commission for Social Development and chairperson of the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace.Amnesty International Thailand director Parinya Boonridrerthaikul supports the Church views.“Death penalty is cruel and inhuman. Many governments justify it by claiming it deters crime. But there is no evidence that it does.”The death penalty is often used against poor, ethnic and religious minorities Parinya added. “It is often imposed arbitrarily or for repression.”Execution is also irrevocable if the accused is later proven innocent.“It is a symptom of the culture of violence and should be abolished,” she said.More than two-thirds of the world’s countries have abolished the death penalty.While 58 countries keep it on the statute books, most do not implement it. In 2009, 18 countries executed 714 people. More were in Asia than the rest of the world combined.While the vast majority of executions were carried out in China, at least 26 executions occurred in Bangladesh, Japan, North Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. About 819 death sentences have been passed in Asian countries.
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Agenzia Fides REPORT– The "Scalabrini-Fest der Früchte" takes place every year at the Spirituality Centre of the Scalabrinian Missionaries in Stuttgart, in collaboration with the Scalabrinian Secular Missionary Women. This year the participants reflected on a fundamental aspect of the spirituality of Blessed John Baptist Scalabrini (1839-1905), Bishop of Piacenza and "Father and Apostle of the migrants": namely the centrality of the Eucharist from which the Church draws the universal love of Christ, who died and resurrected for all peoples without ethnic, cultural or religious distinction.The meeting took place from the October 1-3, 2010 with the participation of around 260 people of different ages and 27 nationalities. The forum held during the meeting, with the title: "Eucharist, ferment of communion among peoples", aimed to highlight the close relationship between the participation of faithful people to the Eucharistic celebration and the transformation of the interpersonal and community relationships according to the dynamic of the breaking of the Bread. In fact, Jesus' life is totally donated in his service of love for the brothers and is the source of the communion among the many diversities present in the church and in the society.Main speaker at the forum was Bishop Thomas Maria Renz, Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese Rottenburg-Stuttgart, responsible for the pastoral care of youth and for the institutes of consecrated life.Bishop Renz, in his clear and well articulated speech, said that in the celebration of the Holy Mass those who receive the body and blood of Christ accept at the same time an eucharistic mission. Their mission is to live in the world what they have received of God's life, and to become eucharistic persons, trying to heal with the gift of Christ's love the splits and divisions present in their lives, in families and in society. Fr. Gabriel Bortolamai, Scalabrinian Missionary and director of the Centre of Spirituality, quoted the words of J.B. Scalabrini: "In the spiritual world, the Eucharist is what the sun is in the physical world,” stating that as the food is transformed in our organism, so the Eucharist transforms us into Christ's body, binding us to the Father and among us: different parts united in one body. The world awaits this testimony. This is what the participants of the meeting emphasized in the exchange groups, presented during the Holy Mass, celebrated by Fr. Bortolamai and Fr. Jean Elex Normil, Scalabrinian Missionary from Haiti. This week-end in Stuttgart marked the beginning of the formation meetings on Catholicity for youth and adults in the year 2010-2011. During this time the Scalabrinian Secular Missionary Women will also celebrate the 50th anniversary of their Secular Institute, which began in Solothurn (Switzerland) the 25th July 1961.
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Cath News report: The University of Notre Dame Australia, Sydney University and UTS chaplaincies are planning "the largest youth event in Sydney" to celebrate the canonisation of Blessed Mary MacKillop.According to a media release, the gathering planned for Tuesday, October 12, will bring together students to listen to live music, attend talks, take adoration and celebrate on Notre Dame's Broadway site in the lead up to the making of Australia's first saint.Notre Dame Chaplain, Fr Vincent Magat said the day aims to bring University students closer to the Canonisation and is an opportunity for them to get involved in the fun of the event."We want students to be a part of this great occasion, for them to learn about Mary and what a wonderful life she had and to be inspired by her and what she achieved.The event will start at 10am and will carry on well into the night with, with the main talks at 11.30am and 1.30pm. Two festival masses will be held at 12.30pm and 5pm respectively.
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St. PelagiaVIRGINFeast: October 8Information:Feast Day:October 8She was a tender virgin at Antioch, only fifteen years of age when she was apprehended by the persecutors in 311. Being alone in the house, and understanding that their errand was to carry her before the judge, where her chastity might be in danger, she desired leave of the soldiers to go up stairs and dress herself. But fearing to be an innocent occasion to others' sin, threw herself from the top of the house, and died on the spot by her fall: in which action, says St. Chrysostom, she had Jesus in her breast inspiring and exhorting her. She probably hoped to escape by that means; and might lawfully expose her life to some danger for the preservation of her chastity; but nothing will ever make it lawful for any one directly to procure his own death.Whoever deliberately lays violent hands upon himself is guilty of a heinous injury against God, the Lord of his life, against the commonwealth, which he robs of a member, and of that comfort and assistance which he owes to it; also against his friends, children, and lastly against himself, both by destroying his corporeal life, and by the spiritual and eternal death of his soul; this crime being usually connected with final impenitence, and eternal enmity with God, and everlasting damnation. Nor can a name be found sufficiently to express the baseness of soul, and utmost excess of pusillanimity, impatience, and cowardice, which suicide implies. Strange that any nation should, by false prejudices, be able so far to extinguish the most evident principles of reason and the voice of nature, as to deem that an action of courage which springs from a total want of that heroic virtue of the soul. The same is to be said of the detestable practice of duels. True fortitude incites and enables a man to bear all manner of affronts, and to undergo all humiliations, dangers, hardships, and torments, for the sake of virtue and duty. What is more contrary to this heroic disposition, what can be imagined more dastardly, than not to be able to put up a petty affront and rather to offend against all laws divine and human, than to brook an injury or bear a misfortune with patience and constancy, than to observe the holy precept of Christ, who declares this to be his favorite commandment, the distinguishing mark of his followers, and the very soul of the divine law! Mention is made of a church at Antioch, and another at Constantinople, which bore the name of this saint in the fifth century.SOURCE:
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TODAY'S GOSPEL: OCT. 8: Luke 11: 15 - 26
Luke 11: 15 - 2615But some of them said, "He casts out demons by Be-el'zebul, the prince of demons";16while others, to test him, sought from him a sign from heaven.17But he, knowing their thoughts, said to them, "Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and a divided household falls.18And if Satan also is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? For you say that I cast out demons by Be-el'zebul.19And if I cast out demons by Be-el'zebul, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they shall be your judges.20But if it is by the finger of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.21When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are in peace;22but when one stronger than he assails him and overcomes him, he takes away his armor in which he trusted, and divides his spoil.23He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters.24"When the unclean spirit has gone out of a man, he passes through waterless places seeking rest; and finding none he says, `I will return to my house from which I came.'25And when he comes he finds it swept and put in order.26Then he goes and brings seven other spirits more evil than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man becomes worse than the first."
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