Friday, November 19, 2010










TODAY'S GOSPEL: NOV. 19: Luke 19: 45 - 48 -


CONSISTORY BEGINS WITH A DAY OF PRAYER AND REFLECTION VATICAN CITY, 19 NOV 2010 (VIS REPORT) - As part of the consistory during which the Holy Father will create twenty-four new cardinals, the College of Cardinals is today meeting in the Vatican's New Synod Hall to hold a day of reflection and prayer. The meeting began at 9.30 a.m. with a greeting from the Pope who focused his remarks on the two themes of the morning session. Considering the first of these themes, he noted that the Lord's command to announce the Gospel implicitly embraces the need for the freedom to do so, although, over the course of history, it has encountered various forms of opposition. The relationship between truth and freedom is essential but today faces the great challenge of relativism, which seems to complete the concept of freedom but which actually risks destroying it and becoming an authentic 'dictatorship'. We are then, he suggested, facing a difficult period in our commitment to affirm the freedom to announce the truth of the Gospel and the great achievements of Christian culture. The Pope also recalled the essential importance of liturgy in Church life, being the place of God's presence with us. The cardinals then turned their attention to the two chosen themes: the situation of religious freedom in the world and new challenges, with an introductory talk by Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B., and the liturgy in the life of the Church today, with a preliminary contribution from Cardinal Antonio Canizares Llovera, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. Cardinal Bertone presented a panoramic overview of current attempts to restrict the freedom of Christians in various parts of the world, inviting people to reflect on the situation of religious freedom in Western States. We are witnessing, he said, a process of secularisation accompanied by attempts to remove spiritual values from social life. The Cardinal Secretary of State also elucidated the situation of religious freedom in Muslim countries, recalling the conclusions reached during the recent Special Assembly for the Middle East of the Synod of Bishops. Finally, he explained the activities the Holy See and local episcopates make to defend Catholics, in both East and West. On this subject he also recalled the great efforts made by the Holy See in the international arena to promote respect for the religious freedom of believers. For his part, Cardinal Canizares Llovera focused his remarks on the importance of liturgical prayer in the life of the Church. In the course of a broad-ranging debate, eighteen cardinal arose to speak of the great difficulties the Church has to face today in defending values founded on natural law, such as respect for life and the family. Another question examined was that of inter-religious dialogue, in particular with Islam. Two further contributions are scheduled for the afternoon session. The first, to be delivered by Cardinal William Joseph Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, will focus on Holy See norms for welcoming Anglican priests and faithful who request to be admitted to the Catholic Church, and for defending victims of child abuse by members of the clergy. The second contribution, by Archbishop Angelo Amato S.D.B., prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, will serve to recall the validity of the Instruction "Dominus Iesus" on Jesus Christ our only Saviour, published ten years ago.OP/ VIS 20101119 (570) IMAGE SOURCE GETTY IMAGES

RITES OF THE CONSISTORY FOR THE CREATION OF NEW CARDINALS VATICAN CITY, 19 NOV 2010 (VIS) - At 10.30 a.m. tomorrow, Saturday 20 November, the Pope will hold an ordinary public consistory for the creation of twenty-four new cardinals. The consistory for the creation of new cardinals, according to the new rite introduced during the consistory of 28 June 1991, is structured as follows: Following a liturgical greeting, the Pope reads the formula of creation, and solemnly proclaims the names of the new cardinals. The first of the new cardinals then addresses the Holy Father on behalf of them all. This is followed by the Liturgy of the Word, the Pope's homily, the Profession of Faith and the taking of the oath by each cardinal. Each new cardinal then approaches the Holy Father and kneels before him to receive the cardinal's biretta and to be assigned a title or deaconry. The Pope places the biretta on the cardinal's head and pronounces a formula which includes the following words: "(This is) red as a sign of the dignity of the office of a cardinal, signifying that you are ready to act with fortitude, even to the point of spilling your blood for the increase of the Christian faith, for peace and harmony among the people of God, for freedom and the spread of the Holy Roman Catholic Church". The Holy Father hands over the Bull of Creation as cardinal, assigns the title or deaconry and exchanges a kiss of peace with the new members of the College of Cardinals. The cardinals also exchange such a sign among themselves. The rite concludes with the Prayer of the Faithful, the recitation of the Our Father and the final blessing. At 9.30 a.m. on Sunday 21 November, Solemnity of Christ the King, the Holy Father will preside at a concelebrated Mass with the new cardinals, during which he will give them the cardinal's ring, "the sign of dignity, pastoral care and the most solid communion with the See of Peter." As he places the ring on the new cardinal's finger, the Pope says: "Take this ring from the hand of Peter and know that, with the love of the Prince of the Apostles, your love for the Church is strengthened." Following tomorrow's ceremony, the College of Cardinals will have 203 members, of whom 121 are electors. The members of the College, by continent of origin, are divided as follows: 111 from Europe, 21 from North America, 31 from South America, 17 from Africa, 19 from Asia and 4 from Oceania..../ VIS 20101119 (430)
AUDIENCES VATICAN CITY, 19 NOV 2010 (VIS) - Yesterday the Holy Father received in audience Cardinal Joachim Meisner, archbishop of Cologne, Germany.
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Catholic Online REPORT - It was reportedly one of the most watched shows in years, this past February, when the Dominican Sisters of the flourishing convent in Ann Arbor, Michigan made an appearance on Oprah. Having previously abandoned Oprah for her politics and new-ageism after years of following, I was a little anxious in February at the treatment our dear Sisters would receive at the hands of reporter Lisa Ling and Harpo producers. But happily, such concern was unfounded. It was a respectful, joyful report that revealed Christ and His Church to the whole world through our fresh-faced Sisters.Later in the year, the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist made news again. In the waning days of October they signed a contract to buy the JPII Cultural Center in Washington, DC, to be used as a House of Studies for the continuing education and formation of their Sisters. It seems the acquisition was just in time, as the vocations continue to "pour in" for the Order.Through profession of the vows of chastity, poverty, and obedience, along with a contemplative emphasis on Eucharistic adoration and Marian devotion, their community exists for the salvation of souls and the building of the Church throughout the world. Their apostolate, as spiritual mothers, is the preaching and teaching of Truth, and it is burgeoning with fruit. Through their call, the Sisters feel that wherever the Holy Spirit leads them is where there is the greatest need for their charism. Indeed, Washington is certainly one place where the truth, beauty and joy of the Catholic religious life of these Dominican Sisters will be like the freshness of springtime blowing away stagnant winter air. Now it seems the Holy Spirit is happily busy pointing a delighted finger to one of His thriving religious orders in the heart of the Church, by thrusting them once again onto Oprah's world stage. Was it simply ratings that drew Oprah to invite the Sisters of Mary to a repeat appearance, or has a radiant Jesus captivated her through His glowing nuns? One can only speculate, but the Sisters seem excited about Wednesday's taping, saying "it was beautifully done." Little do they know that we are all as excited as they, as one in Christ, we stand to applaud the Holy Spirit as He renews the face of the earth, even as we kneel and weep for its profound need. Set the TVO. The new show will air next week, November 23, 2010.
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LOCAL REPORT: Pope Benedict XVI is to make an official state visit to his native Germany in late 2011, probably in September, the German Bishops' Conference said Friday.The pontiff will travel to the archdioceses of Berlin and Freiburg in the southwest of the country and the diocese of Erfurt in the former communist east, the conference said in a statement."I am pleased that the Holy Father accepted the invitations of President Christian Wulff and our Bishop's Conference," its chairman, Robert Zollitsch, said."The visit of the Holy Father to Germany will be an important moment in the life of our country and in the life of our church. I am firmly convinced that he will be a strong inspiration for many people."He said further details should be arranged by Christmas in late December. Freiburg is Zollitsch's archdiocese.It will be Benedict's first official state visit to his home country, following appearances in the western city of Cologne while it was hosting the World Youth Day event in 2005 and his native region of Bavaria in 2006, which was declared to be a private visit.SOURCE: THELOCAL.DE
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ASIA NEWS REPORT:Vice-President of the Patriotic Association ignores the Vatican veto. Many bishops are under pressure to take part in the ordination. Three prelates were seized. For the faithful of the diocese the new ordination against the wishes of the Holy See "is a time bomb." The new bishop is close to the government, but far from the local and universal Church.Beijing (AsiaNews) - The vice-president of the Patriotic Association, Liu Bainain confirmed to the media that the ordination of Fr Joseph Guo Jincai as Bishop of Chengde (Hebei) will take place tomorrow November 20. The ordination of the 42-year old priest, the first in the last four years, and the obligation of certain bishops to attend were criticized by the Vatican yesterday as "serious violations of freedom of religion and conscience" and "harmful" to the constructive relations between China and the Holy See.Liu Bainian said the ordination is "for the good of the Church". Speaking to the Associated Press he said that "we waited two years for [the view of the Vatican] and we can not wait any longer ... If this will damage relations between China and the Vatican, this is not an issue that concerns us”.In an interview with Hong Kong based Sing Tao Liu said that he did not know the Holy See's approval of Guo’s ordination, since China and the Vatican have no diplomatic relations and he was not aware of the intentions of the Holy See.The Vatican press office released a statement yesterday stating that the ordination of Fr Guo is not approved by the Holy See and therefore, if it takes place, it will be illegal.Fr. Guo, born in Chengde, Hebei, was ordained a priest in 1992. In the early '90s he directed Faith Press publishing house and is now deputy secretary general of the national Patriotic Association a member of the National People's Congress.According to the Vatican yearbook, the diocese is referred to as Jehol. Fr. Guo is the first bishop of the new diocese which has 20 thousand faithful, 15 priests and six nuns.In March last, the Vatican gave specific indication to the bishops in communion with the Pope not to participate in acts (such as assemblies or ordinations of bishops) that are in contradiction with their communion with the pope.According to AsiaNews sources, other bishops are under pressure to participate in tomorrow’s ordination and at least three bishops have been forcibly seized to compel them to take part.In recent days, Mgr. Paul Pei Junmin of Liaoning was in the Diocese of Chifeng (Inner Mongolia) to ordain some priests. On 17 November, members of the Religious Affairs Bureau of Liaoning began phoning him to encourage him to attend the Chengde ordination, but Mgr. Pei refused. That night, the representatives of the government arrived in Chifeng, to the hotel where Mgr. Pei was staying. AsiaNews sources say that the bishop "is under enormous pressure and in great difficulty”. Mgr. Li Liangui of Cangzhou and Mgr. Feng Xinmao Hengshui have also been seized by government representatives to force them to ordain the new bishop of Chengde.A Catholic from Hengshui told AsiaNews that Mgr. Feng has been missing since Nov. 14. "One of our priests - he continued - has managed to contact Mgr. Feng, who said he was taken by members of the Religious Affairs and was discussing with them not to attend the ordination of Chengde. Until now we have no other information about him”.Other sources in Hebei told AsiaNews that Mgr. Li was taken a few days ago by government representatives and has not been heard of since.According to sources contacted by AsiaNews, the Catholics of Chengde are "nervous and confused. This ordination is very mysterious. There has been no announcement of the date, place, or ordaining bishop. The local priests are inaccessible and have turned off their cell phones or do not respond"."The fact that the ordination is not approved by the Holy See – the source adds - it's like a time bomb for the faithful: some want to escape from Chengde, so as not to participate, others are concerned that the new bishop seems too close to the government and Patriotic Association, but far from the local and universal Church.In Hebei, a non-Catholic points out that in Chinese society there is a great need for religion and it is sad that Catholics are subjected to this instability and insecurity.,-the-first-in-four-years-20038.html
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Cath News report: Parishes across Sydney will hold a World Youth Day 2011 Madrid "awareness weekend" this weekend to alert parishioners and encourage registration, reports The Catholic Weekly."The archdiocese is expecting to send a large contingent of pilgrims and so we're offering a variety of pilgrimage options," said Bishop Julian Porteous, auxiliary Bishop of Sydney."There will be seven different pilgrimage options for post-school youth, and three for school age pilgrims."Because of the focus on the canonisation of St Mary of the Cross, we've not had a major promotion of WYD across the Archdiocese as yet."On this weekend, however we propose to have a young person to speak briefly at the end of each parish Mass; with the distribution of special WYD promotional packs to those considering attending; and the use of a promotional DVD before or after Mass."World Youth Day will be held in Madrid from August 16-21.
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Agenzia Fides REPORT –Are authorities using force against coup leaders? - Eyewitness TestimonyMalagasy authorities have called on civilians who are near the barracks on the outskirts of Antananarivo, where the military coup is barricaded (see Fides 18/11/2010), to leave the area. "There seems to be force action being prepared to contrast the coup leaders," Fides has been told by Fr. Luca Treglia, Director of Radio Don Bosco, whose headquarters is located about 150 meters from the barracks of the coup leaders. "I arrived at the radio station around 5:30 am local time, and I noticed that there were dozens of trucks with armed soldiers nearby. Later, the authorities called on civilians (mostly family members of military personnel) inside and around the Bani and RFI barracks to leave the area." "It is assumed that they are preparing an assault on the coup, although negotiations seem to continue for a bloodless solution. Yesterday, the military coup - which must be about twenty - had issued a statement which said that they do not want bloodshed, but reiterated their demands: removal from office of Ministers and their own assumption administrative powers," says Fr. Luca. The group of rebel military seems rather mixed. "They are mostly officers. Some are sympathizers of the President of Transition, Andry Rajoelina," says Fr. Lucas. "There is also a colonel accused of serious crimes at the time of President Ratsiraka, who was imprisoned at the time of President Ravalomanana and freed by Rajoelina. There were also widespread rumors that some of the rebel soldiers have deserted,” continued the Director of Radio Don Bosco. In political news, today, November 19, the second session of the House and Senate is scheduled to approve the Finance Act 2011, while operations continue to count the votes of the constitutional referendum of November 17. "According to partial data, released at 10 am local time, the turnout was 49.68%. The “yes” vote on the new Constitution leads with 70.39% of the vote versus the 29.61% “no” vote. These figures apply to 53% of the ballots counted so far," concluded Fr. Luca.
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St. MechtildeBENEDICTINEFeast: November 19Information:Feast Day:November 19Born:1240 or 1241 at the ancestral castle of Helfta, near Eisleben, SaxonyDied:19 November, 1298Benedictine; born in 1240 or 1241 at the ancestral castle of Helfta, near Eisleben, Saxony; died in the monastery of Helfta, 19 November, 1298. She belonged to one of the noblest and most powerful Thuringian families, while here sister was the saintly and illustrious Abbess Gertrude von Hackeborn. Some writers have considered that Mechtilde von Hackeborn and Mechtilde von Wippra were two distinct persons, but, as the Barons of Hackeborn were also Lords of Wippra, it was customary for members of that family to take their name indifferently from either, or both of these estates. So fragile was she at birth, that the attendants, fearing she might die unbaptized, hurried her off to the priest who was just then preparing to say Mass. He was a man of great sanctity, and after baptizing the child, uttered these prophetic words: "What do you fear? This child most certainly will not die, but she will become a saintly religious in whom God will work many wonders, and she will end her days in a good old age." When she was seven years old, having been taken by her mother on a visit to her elder sister Gertrude, then a nun in the monastery of Rodardsdorf, she became so enamoured of the cloister that her pious parents yielded to her entreaties and, acknowledging the workings of grace, allowed her to enter the alumnate. Here, being highly gifted in mind as well as in body, she made remarkable progress in virtue and learning.Ten years later (1258) she followed her sister, who, now abbess, had transferred the monastery to an estate at Helfta given her by her brothers Louis and Albert. As a nun, Mechtilde was soon distinguished for her humility, her fervour, and that extreme amiability which had characterized her from childhood and which, like piety, seemed hereditary in her race. While still very young, she became a valuable helpmate to Abbess Gertrude, who entrusted to her direction the alumnate and the choir. Mechtilde was fully equipped for her task when, in 1261, God committed to her prudent care a child of five who was destined to shed lustre upon the monastery of Helfta. This was that Gertrude who in later generations became known as St. Gertrude the Great. Gifted with a beautiful voice, Mechtilde also possessed a special talent for rendering the solemn and sacred music over which she presided as domna cantrix. All her life she held this office and trained the choir with indefatigable zeal. Indeed, Divine praise was the keynote of her life as it is of her book; in this she never tired, despite her continual and severe physical sufferings, so that in Hisrevelations Christ was wont to call her His "nightingale". Richly endowed, naturally and supernaturally, ever gracious, beloved of all who came within the radius of her saintly and charming personality, there is little wonder that this cloistered virgin should strive to keep hidden her wondrous life. Souls thirsting for consolation or groping for light sought her advice; learned Dominicans consulted her on spiritual matters. At the beginning of her own mystic life it was from St. Mechtilde that St. Gertrude the Great learnt that the marvellous gifts lavished upon her were from God.Only in her fiftieth year did St. Mechtilde learn that the two nuns in whom she had especially confided had noted down the favours granted her, and, moreover, that St. Gertrude had nearly finished a book on the subject. Much troubled at this, she, as usual, first had recourse to prayer. She had a vision of Christ holding in His hand the book of her revelations, and saying: "All this has been committed to writing by my will and inspiration; and, therefore you have no cause to be troubled about it." He also told her that, as He had been so generous towards her, she must make Him a like return, and that the diffusion of therevelations would cause many to increase in His love; moreover, He wished this book to be called "The Book of Special Grace", because it would prove such to many. When the saint understood that the book would tend to God's glory, she ceased to be troubled, and even corrected the manuscript herself. Immediately after her death it was made public, and copies were rapidly multiplied, owing chiefly to the widespread influence of the Friars Preachers. Boccaccio tells how, a few years after the death of Mechtilde, the book of her revelations was brought to Florence and popularized under the title of "La Laude di donna Matelda". It is related that the Florentines were accustomed to repeat daily before their sacred images the praises learned from St. Mechtilde's book. St. Gertrude, to whose devotedness we owe the "Liber Specialis Gratiae" exclaims: "Never has there arisen one like to her in our monastery; nor, alas! I fear, will there ever arise another such!" -- little dreaming that her own name would be inseparably linked with that of Mechtilde. With that of St. Gertrude, the body of St. Mechtilde most probably still reposes at Old Helfta thought the exact spot is unknown. Her feast is kept 26 or 27 February in different congregations and monasteries of her order, by special permission of the Holy See.There is another honour, inferior certainly to that of sanctity, yet great in itself and worthy of mention here: the homage of a transcendent genius was to be laid at the feet of St. Mechtilde. Critics have long been perplexed as to one of the characters introduced by Dante in his "Purgatorio" under the name of Matelda. After ascending seven terraces of a mountain, on each of which the process of purification is carried on, Dante, in Canto xxvii, hears a voice singing: "Venite, benedicti patris mei"; then later, in Canto xxviii, there appears to him on the opposite bank of the mysterious stream a lady, solitary, beautiful, and gracious. To her Dante addresses himself; she it is who initiates him into secrets, which it is not given to Virgil to penetrate, and it is to her that Beatrice refers Dante in the words: "Entreat Matilda that she teach thee this." Most commentators have identified Matilda with the warrior-Countess of Tuscany, the spiritual daughter and dauntless champion of St. Gregory VII, but all agree that beyond the name the two have little or nothing in common. She is no Amazon who, at Dante's prayer that she may draw nearer to let him understand her song, turns towards him "not otherwise than a virgin that droppeth her modest eyes". In more places than one the revelations granted to the mystics of Helfta seem in turn to have become the inspirations of the Florentine poet. All writers on Dante recognize his indebtedness to St. Augustine, the Pseudo-Dionysius, St. Bernard, and Richard of St. Victor. These are precisely the writers whose doctrines had been most assimilated by the mystics of Helfta, and thus they would the more appeal to the sympathies of the poet. The city of Florence was among the first to welcome St. Mechtilde's book. Now Dante, like all true poets, was a child of his age, and could not have been a stranger to a book which was so popular among his fellow-citizens. The "Purgatorio" was finished between 1314 and 1318, or 1319 --just about the time when St. Mechtilde's book was popular. This interpretation is supported by the fact that St. Mechtilde in her "Book of Special Grace" (pt. I, c. xiii) describes the place of purification under the same figure of a seven-terraced mountain. The coincidence of the simile and of the name, Matelda, can scarcely be accidental. For another among many points of resemblance between the two writers compare "Purgatorio", Canto xxxi, where Dante is drawn by Matelda through the mysterious stream with pt. II, c. ii. of the "Liber Specialis Gratiae". The serene atmosphere which seems to cling about the gracious and beautiful songstress, her virgin modesty and simple dignity, all seem to point to the recluse of Helfta rather than to the stern heroine of Canossa, whose hand was thrice bestowed in marriage. Besides, in politics Dante, as an ardent Ghibelline, supported the imperial pretensions and he would have been little inclined to sing the praises of the Tuscan Countess. The conclusion may therefore be hazarded that this "Donna Matelda" of the "Purgatorio" personifies St. Mechtilde as representing mystic theology.SOURCE
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TODAY'S GOSPEL: NOV. 19: Luke 19: 45 - 48
Luke 19: 45 - 4845And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold,46saying to them, "It is written, `My house shall be a house of prayer'; but you have made it a den of robbers."47And he was teaching daily in the temple. The chief priests and the scribes and the principal men of the people sought to destroy him;48but they did not find anything they could do, for all the people hung upon his words.
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