Monday, November 1, 2010




RADIO VATICANA REPORT; Pope Benedict XVI has condemned a ferocious attack on the Christian community of Iraq in which over 50 people were killed and dozens injured. In an appeal launched at the end of the Angelus prayer for the Feast of All Saints, the Holy Father once again renewed his call for an end to violence which is tearing the Middle East apart.Rain lashed St Peter’s square Monday, as Pope Benedict XVI waited for the crowds gathered beneath the windows of his apartments to quieten. Then, speaking in Italian he began “ Last night, in a very serious attack on the Syrian Catholic Cathedral in Baghdad, dozens of people were killed and wounded, including two priests and a group of faithful gathered for Sunday Mass”. He was speaking of the siege of Catholics in Our Lady of Salvation Church in Baghdad by a group of Al Qaeda militants. A siege that tragically ended in a massacre when Iraqi security forces raided the place of worship to free the faithful being held inside.The Pope continued “I pray for the victims of this senseless violence, all the more ferocious as it affected defenceless civilians", the Holy Father expressed his closeness to the martyred Christian community, targeted yet again by terrorists, and encouraged all pastors and faithful "to be strong and firm in hope”. This latest attack comes less than a week from the closing of the special assembly of the Synod of bishops for the Churches in the Middle East, specifically called by Pope Benedict XVI to encourage the communities of the region.“Faced with the brutal violence that continues to tear the peoples of the Middle East apart”, he concluded “I renew my appeal for peace: it is God's gift, but it is also the result of the efforts of men of good will, national and international institutions. We must all join forces to ensure an end to all violence!”.
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Asia News report: Terrorists detonate a car bomb and occupy the building. The security forces attack: initial death toll at least 55 deaths in raid against Al Qaeda cell among the faithful present at Mass in the church of Our Lady of Salvation. Seven soldiers and five terrorists killed.Baghdad (AsiaNews / Agencies) – Yet more blood shed of Iraqi Christians. At least 55 people were killed and 70 were injured in a massacre yesterday in the Syrian Catholic Church of Our Lady of Salvation in Baghdad, after Iraqi forces carried out a raid to free the faithful taken hostage by al-Qaeda. But the death toll could rise again because of the serious injuries sustained by the victims, Pascal Warda, a member of the 'Syrian Catholic community told the German agency DPA. According to local sources, there are two priests among the dead, one of whom was shot by a terrorist. Among the dead were also women and eight to ten children. The security chief of Baghdad, Qassem Atta, spoke of eight militants among the dead.The church targeted by the command is Saiydat Nayat (Our Lady of Salvation), located in the centre of Baghdad. A blitz was carried out shortly after. The “operation ended was a success,'' Gen. Qassim al-Moussawi, spokesman for the Baghdad Operational Command told Reuters. The terrorists, who claimed to belong to the organization the Islamic State of Iraq, the Iraqi cell of al Qaeda, had threatened to kill the hostages if some members of the terror network of Osama bin Laden prisoners in Iraq and Egypt were not freed.American military officials in Baghdad had previously spoken of a total death toll of 24, including at least ten hostages, seven officers and seven terrorists. The wounded were thirty, according to the source. Before the raid on the Catholic Eastern rite church, the terrorists - who wore vests packed with explosives - had detonated a car bomb killing at least six people. Among the victims is also a child, as revealed by Shlemon Warduni, auxiliary bishop to the Patriarchate of Babylon of the Chaldeans. Two of the victims were agents guarding the nearby stock exchange, which according to some sources was the real target of the command. The terrorists, once inside the church called the local Baghdad TV.A source said that the terrorist spoke with a classical Arabic and Iraqi dialect. During the security forces blitz, helicopters equipped with cameras constantly hovered over the church, along with five other Christian places of worship, already 'targeted in coordinated attacks by terrorists on August 1st of 2004. A federal police source said the terrorists demanded the release of some members of al Qaida in prison, including the widow of Abu Omar al Baghdadi, the former head of the Islamic State of Iraq, killed last April.The Italian Foreign Ministry expressed ''strong condemnation'' of the terrorist assault also taking note ''of the timeliness' of the Iraqi security forces for the liberation of the hostages.''The director of the Vatican press office, Father Federico Lombardi, had called for ''a peaceful solution without further bloodshed”. Christians are in a '' situation of great insecurity and we express our solidarity with them'' he said. There are about 500 thousand Christians in Iraq out of a population of nearly 31 million.
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USCCB REPORT: Bilingual Resources Available for November 27 Worldwide Vigil for the UnbornWASHINGTON(October 29, 2010) — On Saturday, November 27, Pope Benedict XVI will open the new liturgical year by celebrating a Vigil for All Nascent Human Life at St. Peter’s Basilica. The pope has requested that “all diocesan bishops (and their equivalent) of every particular church preside in analogous celebrations involving the faithful in their respective parishes, religious communities, associations and movements.” Many dioceses have already made plans to celebrate this special worldwide vigil for the unborn. The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Secretariats of Divine Worship and of Pro-Life Activities have developed resources to help other parishes, religious communities and organizations participate. English and Spanish language worship aids are available in multiple formats at “Nascent human life is under attack in a myriad of ways,” said Deirdre McQuade, assistant director for policy and communications at the Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities. “In the United States alone, over 50 million unborn children have lost their lives to abortion since Roe v. Wade.” In addition to abortion, “embryonic stem cell research kills human beings at their earliest stages in the name of science. Reproductive technologies destroy or indefinitely freeze many more lives than are ever born,” she said. McQuade added, “This unprecedented worldwide vigil is a fitting start to Advent when we prepare for the Nativity of Jesus Christ, who gave every life its full worth and dignity.” Since the Vigil for All Nascent Human Life falls on the Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend, four different worship options—including longer and shorter forms—are suggested for local use or adaptation. Following directives given by the Vatican and approved by the USCCB, all four options include Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and Benediction. Rubrics are also provided for priests and liturgy directors. Offered as Respect Life Month draws to a close in the United States, these prayer aids help fulfill the bishops’ commitment to uphold the God-given dignity of all human life.
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CNA REPORT- Some 3,000 students from public and private schools in the Spanish region of Galicia will welcome Pope Benedict XVI to the city of Santiago de Compostela on Nov. 6.The students will line the streets to see the Pope as he travels from the Lavacolla Airport to the Cathedral of Santiago. The Archdiocese of Santiago has said that the public is free to greet the Pope as he makes the seven-mile journey in the popemobile. Specific areas along the motorcade route have been designated for various groups, including a section for those from other Spanish dioceses, sections for various parishes of Santiago and a section for 3,000 students who will welcome the Pope to the city.The Holy Father is scheduled to arrive at the Lavacolla Airport at 11:30 a.m. local time, where he will be greeted by the Prince and Princess of Asturias and the Archbishop of Santiago. He will deliver his first speech on the tarmac and then have a private meeting with the prince and princess at the airport.The following day, the Pope will visit Barcelona.
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Agenzia Fides REPORT – The situation is tense in the Republic of Guinea, where it was finally decided that November 7th would be Election Day after repeated delays in the presidential election run-off (see Fides 23/10/2010).According to local and international press reports, thousands of people belonging to the Peul ethnic group were forced to flee their homes due to clashes with the Malinke peoples. In particular, about 2,000 Peul entered into towns south of the city of Kankan (located 500 km north of the capital Conakry). Some of them have wounds from a sharp weapon.The political confrontation between the two candidates, Cellou Dalein Diallo (which is a Peul) and Alpha Condé (Malinke) is therefore likely to trigger tensions and violence on ethnic grounds. To try to calm things down, Diallo and Conde had decided to tour the country together, but supporters of Condé prevented him from going. "The residence of Condé was literally locked with a padlock by hundreds of young supporters, preventing the presidential candidate from coming out," Fides was told by local sources, who asked not be named for security reasons."The two candidates deny the fact that the ethnic dimension has played a role," our sources added. "The good news is that all the religious leaders of the country are collaborating to ease the tension. Every week we hold moments of prayer, even interreligious services, praying for peace," concludes the sources of Fides.
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Cath News report: New Zealand's only school to be named after Mary MacKillop has celebrated her canonisation with a special mass, speeches and cultural performances from students, reports the Manukau Courier.Auckland Bishop Patrick Dunn also blessed a large mural of St Mary and 14 bottlebrush trees - known as Mary MacKillop trees - which were planted last week. Each student at the school, in Mangere East, also received a medal of St Mary blessed by Bishop Dunn.Principal Glen Ryan says the school also celebrated its tenth anniversary at the same time."It was a fantastic occasion and everyone had a great time celebrating both St Mary and the school," he said.Mr Ryan believes St Mary's canonisation was a wonderful thing for all of New Zealand because she started many schools around the country."The Josephites were all for education and they made no distinctions between students – they welcomed both the poor and rich and treated them all the same. Back in those days it wasn't the way things were done."
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All Saints DayFeast: November 1Information:Feast Day:November 1The church in this great festival honours all the saints reigning together in glory; first, to give thanks to God for the graces and crowns of all his elect: secondly, to excite ourselves to a fervent imitation of their virtues by considering the holy example of so many faithful servants of God of all ages, sexes, and conditions, and by contemplating the inexpressible and eternal bliss which they already enjoy, and to which we are invited: thirdly, to implore the divine mercy through this multitude of powerful intercessors: fourthly, to repair any failures or sloth in not having duly honoured God in his saints on their particular festivals, and to glorify him in the saints which are unknown to us, or for which no particular festivals are appointed. Therefore our fervour on this day ought to be such that it may be a reparation of our sloth in all the other feasts of the year; they being all comprised in this one solemn commemoration, which is an image of that eternal great feast which God himself continually celebrates in heaven with all his saints, whom we humbly join in praising his adorable goodness for all his mercies, particularly for all treasures of grace which he has most munificently heaped upon them. In this and all other festivals of the saints God is the only object of supreme worship, and the whole of that inferior veneration which is paid to the saints is directed to give sovereign honour to God alone, whose gifts their graces are: and our addresses to them are only petitions to holy fellow creatures for the assistance of their prayers to God for us. When, therefore, we honour the saints, in them and through them we honour God, and Christ, true God and true man, the Redeemer and Saviour of mankind, the King of the Saints, and the source of all their sanctity and glory. In his blood they have washed their robes: from him they derive all their purity, whiteness, and lustre. We consider their virtues as copies taken from him, the great Original, as streams from his fountain, or as images of his virtues produced by the effusion of his spirit and grace in them. His divine life is their great exemplar and prototype, and in the characteristical virtues of each saint some of his most eminent virtues are particularly set forth: his hidden life in the solitude of the anchorets; his spotless purity in the virgins; his patience or charity in some; his divine zeal in others; in them all in some degree his plenitude of all virtue and sanctity Nor are the virtues of the saints only transcripts and copies of the life or spirit of Christ; they are also the fruit of his redemption; entirely his gifts and graces. And when we honour the saints we honour and praise him who is the Author of all their good; so that all festivals of saints are instituted to honour God and our Blessed Redeemer.In all feasts of saints, especially in this solemn festival of All Saints, it ought to be the first part of our devotion to praise and thank God for the infinite goodness he has displayed in favour of his elect. A primary and most indispensable homage we owe to God is that of praise, the first act of love and complacency in God and his adorable perfections. Hence the Psalms, the most perfect and inspired model of devotions, repeat no sentiments so frequently or with so much ardour as those of divine adoration and praise. This is the uninterrupted sweet employment of the blessed in heaven to all eternity; and the contemplation of the divine love and other perfections is a perpetual incentive inflaming them continually afresh in it, so that they cannot cease pouring forth all their affections and exhausting all their powers; and conceive every moment new ardour in this happy function of pure love. So many holy solitaries of both sexes in this life have renounced all commerce and pleasures of the world, to devote themselves wholly to the mixed exercises of praise and love, and of compunction and humble supplication. In these, all servants of God find their spiritual strength, refreshment, advancement, delight, and joy. To aid our weakness and supply our insufficiency in magnifying the infinite Lord of all things, and exalting his glory, we have recourse to the spotless victim, the sacrifice of the Lamb of God, put into our hands for us to offer a holocaust of infinite price, equal to the majesty of the Godhead. We also rejoice in the infinite glory which God possesses in himself, and from himself. Deriving from himself infinite greatness and infinite happiness, he stands not in need of our goods, and can receive no accession from our homages as to internal glory; in which consists his sovereign bliss. But there is an external glory which he receives from the obedience and praise of his creatures, which, though it increase not his happiness, is nevertheless indispensably due to him, and an external homage with which all beings are bound to sound forth his sovereign power and sanctity. Nor do we owe him this only for his own greatness and glory, which he possesses in himself, but also for the goodness, justice, wisdom' and power which he manifests in all his works. Compounds of the divine mercies as we are, we are bound to give to God incessant thanks for all the benefits, both in the order of nature and of grace, which he has gratuitously conferred upon us. We owe him also an acknowledgment of praise and thanksgiving for all his creatures from the beginning, and for all the wonders he has wrought in them or in their behalf. For this the psalmist and the prophets so often rehearse his mighty works, and invite all beings to magnify his holy name for them.
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TODAY'S GOSPEL: NOV. 1: ALL SAINTS DAY: Matthew 5: 1 - 12
Matthew 5: 1 - 121Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down his disciples came to him.2And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying:3"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.4"Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.5"Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.6"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.7"Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.8"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.9"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.10"Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.11"Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.12Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so men persecuted the prophets who were before you.
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