Thursday, November 25, 2010



ST. CATHERINE: SPIRITUAL COUNSELLOR, DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH VATICAN CITY, 24 NOV 2010 (VIS REPORT) - During his general audience, held this morning in the Paul VI Hall in the presence of 7,000 faithful, Benedict XVI focused his catechesis on St. Catherine of Siena (1347-1380), declared a Doctor of the Church by Paul VI and co-patroness of Europe by John Paul II. At the age of sixteen she became a Dominican Tertiary, dedicating herself to prayer, penance and works of charity, especially towards the sick. "As fame of her sanctity spread", the Pope explained, "she became intensely active in the spiritual counselling of many categories of peoples: nobles, politicians, artists, common people, consecrated persons, ecclesiastics, and even Pope Gregory XI who at that time resided in Avignon and whom Catherine energetically and effectively encouraged to return to Rome. She also travelled widely to promote interior reform of the Church and peace among States". She expounded her doctrine in three works: the "Treatise on Divine Providence", her "Letters" and a collection of "Prayers". Catherine was also a great mystic. Particularly famous are her visions of her exchanging hearts with Christ, and of the Virgin presenting her the Baby Jesus Who gives her a ring. "The living centre of Catherine's religiosity and of all authentic spirituality", the Holy Father explained, "is Christocentrism. For her, Christ was as a bridegroom with whom she maintained a relationship of intimacy, communion and fidelity. ... Like the saint of Siena, all believers feel the need to conform themselves to the sentiments of Christ's Heart, in order to love God and neighbour as Christ Himself loves. And, indeed, we can all allow our hearts to be transformed and learn to love like Christ through familiarity with Him, nourished by prayer, mediation upon the Word of God and the Sacraments, especially ... Holy Communion". "Around her strong and genuine personality an authentic spiritual family came into being of people attracted by the moral authority of this young woman. ... Many placed themselves at her service, considering it a privilege to be spiritually guided by Catherine. They called her 'mother' because, as spiritual children, from her they drew nourishment for the spirit. Today too the Church receives great benefit from the spiritual maternity of many consecrated and lay women, who nurture the idea of God in people's souls, strengthen their faith and orient Christian life towards ever higher peaks". Another characteristic of Catherine's spirituality is associated with her "gift of tears, expression of a delicate and profound sensitivity capable of emotion and tenderness", said the Holy Father. "Many saints have had the gift of tears, renewing the emotion of Jesus Himself Who did not hold back or hide His tears before the grave of his friend Lazarus and the pain of Martha and Mary, or the sight of Jerusalem during His last days on earth. For Catherine, the tears of the saints mix with the Blood of Christ", said the Pope. Finally he recalled how Catherine of Siena, "though aware of the human failings of the clergy, always had the greatest reverence for them, because through the Sacraments and the Word they dispense the salvific power of the Blood of Christ. The saint invited holy ministers, even the Pope whom which called 'sweet Christ on earth', to remain faithful to their responsibilities, moved always and only by her profound and constant love for the Church". From her, Benedict XVI concluded, "we learn the most sublime science: that of knowing and loving Jesus Christ and His Church".AG/ VIS 20101124 (590)
CARDINAL NAVARRETE EDUCATED PEOPLE IN TRUE JUSTICE VATICAN CITY, 24 NOV 2010 (VIS) - Following today's general audience, the Holy Father went to the altar of the Cathedra in the Vatican Basilica, where he presided at the rites of "Ultima Commendatio" and "Valedictio" at the end of the funeral Mass for Cardinal Urbano Navarrete S.J., who died on 22 November at the age of 90. The Mass was celebrated by Cardinal Angelo Sodano, dean of the College of Cardinals. In his homily, the Holy Father described the late Spanish cardinal as a "master of justice. The meticulous study and impassioned teaching of canon law were the central element of his life. Educating the young generations in true justice, the justice of Christ, the justice of the Gospel, was the ministry Cardinal Navarrete accomplished over the course of his life". The Pope then went on to recall how Cardinal Navarrete was, "in particular, an expert on marriage law". He was dean of the Faculty of Canon Law at the Pontifical Gregorian University, and rector of the university itself. Pope Benedict also highlighted the cardinal's "interest in important ecclesial events, such as the diocesan synod of Rome and Vatican Council II, his competent scholarly contributions to the revision of the Code of Canon Law and his fruitful collaboration with various dicasteries of the Roman Curia as a highly-esteemed consultant". Cardinal Navarrete "used to say that three fundamental principles guided him in his studies: great love for the past and for tradition; ... sensitivity towards the problems, needs and challenges of the present where God has placed us and, finally, the capacity to look and open oneself to the future, not with fear but with hope, the hope that comes from faith. This profoundly Christian vision guided his efforts for God, for the Church and for man in his teaching and his works". "The shining truth of faith in eternal life comforts us each time we bid our final farewell to a deceased confrere. Cardinal Urbano Navarrete, spiritual son of St. Ignatius of Loyola, ... loved Christ and lived in intimate union with Him, especially in his prolonged periods of prayer". As a child, his own parents "created a climate of profound Christian faith in their family, favouring in their six children - of whom three became Jesuits and two nuns - the courage to bear witness to their faith, not putting anything before the love of Christ and doing everything for the greater glory of God".HML/ VIS 20101124 (420)
COMMUNIQUE ON EPISCOPAL ORDINATION IN CHENGDE, CHINA VATICAN CITY, 24 NOV 2010 (VIS) - The Holy See Press Office today released the following English-language communique concerning an episcopal ordination at Chengde in the province of Hebei, Mainland China: "With regard to the episcopal ordination of Fr. Joseph Guo Jincai, which took place last Saturday 20 November, information has been gathered about what happened and it is now possible to state clearly the following. "(1) The Holy Father received the news with deep regret, because the abovementioned episcopal ordination was conferred without the apostolic mandate and, therefore, constitutes a painful wound upon ecclesial communion and a grave violation of Catholic discipline (cf. Letter of Benedict XVI to the Church in China, 2007, n. 9). "(2) It is known that, in recent days, various bishops were subjected to pressures and restrictions on their freedom of movement, with the aim of forcing them to participate and confer the episcopal ordination. Such constraints, carried out by Chinese government and security authorities, constitute a grave violation of freedom of religion and conscience. The Holy See intends to carry out a detailed evaluation of what has happened, including consideration of the aspect of validity and the canonical position of the bishops involved. "(3) In any case, this has painful repercussions, in the first case, for Fr. Joseph Guo Jincai who, because of this episcopal ordination, finds himself in a most serious canonical condition before the Church in China and the universal Church, exposing himself also to the severe sanctions envisaged, in particular, by canon 1382 of the Code of Canon Law. "(4) This ordination not only does not contribute to the good of the Catholics of Chengde, but places them in a very delicate and difficult condition, also from the canonical point of view, and humiliates them, because the Chinese civil authorities wish to impose on them a pastor who is not in full communion, either with the Holy Father or with the other bishops throughout the world. "(5) Several times, during this current year, the Holy See has communicated clearly to the Chinese authorities its opposition to the episcopal ordination of Fr. Joseph Guo Jincai. In spite of this, the said authorities decided to proceed unilaterally, to the detriment of the atmosphere of respect that had been created with great effort with the Holy See and with the Catholic Church through the recent episcopal ordinations. This claim to place themselves above the bishops and to guide the life of the ecclesial community does not correspond to Catholic doctrine; it offends the Holy Father, the Church in China and the universal Church, and further complicates the present pastoral difficulties. "(6) Pope Benedict XVI, in the above-mentioned Letter of 2007, expressed the Holy See's willingness to engage in a respectful and constructive dialogue with the authorities of the People's Republic of China, with the aim of overcoming the difficulties and normalising relations. In reaffirming this willingness, the Holy See notes with regret that the authorities allow the leadership of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association, under the influence of Mr. Liu Bainian, to adopt attitudes that gravely damage the Catholic Church and hamper the aforesaid dialogue. "(7) The Catholics of the entire world are following with particular attention the troubled journey of the Church in China: the spiritual solidarity with which they accompany the vicissitudes of their Chinese brothers and sisters becomes a fervent prayer to the Lord of history, so that He may be close to them, increase their hope and fortitude, and give them consolation in moments of trial".OP/ VIS 20101124 (600)
OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS VATICAN CITY, 24 NOV 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father: - Accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Cacador, Brazil presented by Bishop Luiz Carlos Eccel, in accordance with canon 401 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law. - Appointed Bishop Joao Mamede Filho O.F.M. Conv., auxiliary of Sao Paulo, Brazil, as bishop of Umuarama (area 13,200, population 413,000, Catholics 316,000, priests 64, permanent deacons 6, religious 76), Brazil. - Appointed Fr. Pedro Cunha Cruz of the clergy of Sao Sebastiao do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, pastor of the parish of "Santa Rita" and director of the "Joao Paulo II" Ecclesiastical Faculty of Philosophy in Rio de Janeiro; Fr. Nelson Francelino Ferreira, also of the clergy of Sao Sebastiao do Rio de Janeiro, pastor of the parish of "Nossa Senhora da Gloria"; and Fr. Paulo Cesar Costa of the clergy of the diocese of Valenca, Brazil, rector of the "Paulo VI" Seminary at Nova Iguacu and director of the department of theology at the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro, as auxiliaries of Sao Sebastiao do Rio de Janeiro (area 1,261, population 6,095,000, Catholics 3,699,000, priests 619, permanent deacons 104, religious 1,366). Bishop-elect Cruz was born in Rio de Janeiro in 1964 and ordained a priest in 1990. Bishop-elect Ferreira was born in Sape, Brazil in 1965 and ordained a priest in 1990. Bishop-elect Costa was born in Valenca in 1967 and ordained a priest in 1992.
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ASIA NEWS REPORT: Her petition for clemency has not yet been filed. Some believe she should appeal first to the Lahore High Court, then the Supreme Court. Cardinal Tauran arrives in Pakistan today.Lahore (AsiaNews) – Pakistan’s Home Department has not yet received a petition for clemency from Asia Bibi or her family, Jamal Yousaf, the additional secretary home department, told AsiaNews. Without it, President Asif Ali Zardari cannot pardon her. Legal issues may delay the pardon process beyond what first thought.A Home Department official, requesting anonymity, told AsiaNews that at present Asia Bibi can only appeal against the decision of the trial court at the Lahore High Court (LHC). “In case the LHC rejects her appeal, she can go to the Supreme Court. If the apex court also upholds her death sentence, the accused can then request the president for clemency,” he said.According to Article 45 of the Constitution of Pakistan, the president has the power to grant pardon, reprieve and respite, as well as remit, suspend or commute any sentence passed by any court, tribunal or other authority.The Home Department official added that the Punjab government had observed—in its reply to the federal government’s proposal to abolish the death penalty—that the power of the president to grant pardon only extends to Tazir ( Islamic Law) punishments. Thus, a sentence under a Tazir is imposed on the state’s command and not as a right of the individual under Allah’s law, it said.“The president can grant pardon to a person who has committed any offense against the state,” said Muhammad Safdar Shaheen Pirzada, a legal adviser to the President`s Office. However, the president has no power to extend pardon if an offence is committed against religion, the Prophet Muhammad or Allah.”In the meantime, Card Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, has arrived in Pakistan today. Over the next three days, he will meet with the local Catholic community and various Episcopal commissions as well as participate in an inter-faith meeting.Today he will meet the civil authorities, including minority Affairs Minister Shahbaz Bhatti and Pakistan President Zardari.The cardinal will express to the president the concern of the Holy See about the fate of Asia Bibi, bringing his the wishes expressed in recent days by Pope Benedict XVI in his appeal.Local sources have reported that Asia Bibi’s husband, Ashiq Masih, and their children have left their home in Sheikupura District for a secret location out of fear of retaliation from local Islamists.“We are scared,” Masih said. “We received various death threats and warning, especially from Muslim religious leaders. They have even protested near our home.”’s-fate-as-her-release-might-take-longer-20091.html
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CBN REPORT: Seventeen million households in America did not have enough food last year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.That translates to 50 million Americans, including 17 million children, who faced the possibility of going hungry.Food pantries, like the Bailey House Food Pantry in New York, are helping fill empty stomachs. The staff serves 550 meals a month and so far has cooked more than 15,000 this year.They report that it's no longer just the homeless who are coming for food, but middle-class people as well. "People are having to do a lot more with less - they're having to look at what's being put on their plates," Denise Arzola, deputy director at the Bailey House Food Pantry, said. "They're having to make decisions between actually feeding their family or paying their rent."Faith-based groups run a large number of food pantries throughout the country.Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World, told CBN News that Christians can play a key role in stopping this problem."I think Christians across the nation have done and do do a great job at helping people in need in their own community, reaching out to people in need in their own congregations," Rev. Beckman said."The most powerful thing we can do is to contact our own members of Congress," he continued. "Make sure that they compliment all the things that Christians are doing with food banks and charities.""Christians need to weigh in on those issues, because I think God's calling us to do that, not only to help people one by one, but also to change laws and structures," he added.For more information on how you can help end hunger, go to Bread for the World.
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ALL AFRICA REPORT: A Catholic nun who is the founder of a children's orphanage in Malawi has been awarded one of the world's largest honours, the Opus Prize at Fordham Jesuit University in United States of America. Sr. Beatrice Chipeta, founder of the Lusubilo Orphan Care in Malawi's northern district of Karonga will share the USD1.1 million awards with Jesuit Fr. John Halligan who works in Quito, Ecuador, according to Fordham University website.The two were named as co-recipients of the million-dollar annual Opus Prize on November 11, 2010 in a special ceremony at Fordham University."Sr. Chipeta and Fr Halligan embody every aspect of the Opus Prize selection criteria," said Neireuther on the Fordham Jesuit University of New York website."We're delighted to honour these two faith-based social entrepreneurs who have dedicated their lives to addressing some of the great social issues of our day."Sr. Chipeta, known as the "Mother Teresa" of Malawi, began ministering to orphaned children in the 1990s in poor, AIDS-stricken areas with the mission of empowering every child and adult.Her organization supports child care centres in 64 villages, a network of food centres that serve more than 4,000 children every week, youth programs, a bursary program to help with school fees, agricultural and vocational training, and HIV/AIDS support groups and a rehabilitation centre.Lusubilo Orphanage also supports 75 orphan-headed households by providing food and counselling services. It sponsors a residential care facility for 250 displaced children."There are so many things coming into my mind, but mostly it is joy. This gift makes us have hope of continuing our aid," Sr. Chipeta said.She urged students to "listen to your inner inspiration, and take some action" to help others."It comes from God and God never fails you," she added.According to Opus Prize website, Chipeta was raised as a Presbyterian but became enamoured at an early age with Catholic nuns who were ministering in Malawi.As a young woman, she converted to Catholicism, joining the Rosarian Sisters who live and work exclusively in the Catholic diocese of Mzuzu.She spent much of her career as a teacher, and when she retired from the classroom, focused her energies on her charity work.The prize is an annual faith-based humanitarian award that celebrates unsung heroes, designed to provide a single significant infusion of resources to advance humanitarians' work and bring greater visibility to causes that have gone untold.This year marks the first time in the Opus Prize Foundation's seven-year history that the award is being split evenly between two recipients.
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IND. CATH. NEWS REPORT: Following their successful and popular prayer websites during the last few Advents and Lents, the Youth Service of Arundel & Brighton Diocese will once again be running a prayer website to help young people through this coming Advent. Every day they will be publishing a different reflection to help young people to reflect on what the Season of Advent really means. The reflections will look at scripture, Saints and the characters and figures of Advent, as well as at contemporary issues facing the world today.There will be personal reflections each day on the website, which will take a few minutes each day as well as group reflection/prayer sessions each week, which will hopefully be really useful for youth groups, families and groups of friends. The individual prayers will be great for individuals, or perhaps as a short prayer for groups or form classes in schools. Everything can be found on the website at
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Cath News report: Pro-life suppporters have been asked to contact their local members, as fears grow that a private member's bill to decriminalise abortion will soon be introduced in the Queensland Parliament, said The Catholic Leader.Cherish Life Queensland (CLQ) has sent a letter to the state's 89 MPs this week, warning of a possible electoral backlash should such a bill be supported. The group's president, Teresa Martin said concerned constituents could send a "pollie mail" to their politicians through the website."Such letters are also automatically copied to Premier (Anna) Bligh," she said.Ms Martin said the letter to MPs drew on statistics obtained in a survey by independent market research firm Galaxy Research for the Australian Family Association on October 15-17."There is no consensus among Queensland voters to change the law on abortion, with 50 percent of the public opposed to decriminalisation and only 48 percent wanting decriminalisation," Ms Martin wrote in the letter to the parliamentarians.The CLQ letter to the MPs also notes the current law is a defence for doctors and nurses who refuse to co-operate in abortions. The majority of respondents in the Galaxy poll supported "support conscientious objection for doctors and nurses".
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St. Andrew Dung-LacMARTYRFeast: November 24Information:Feast Day:November 24Born:1785 in VietnamDied:21 December 1839 in Hanoi, VietnamCanonized:19 June 1988 by Pope John Paul IIVietnamese priest and martyr and companion of St. Peter Thi. Andrew was arrested and beheaded on Dcember 21, 1839, with Peter Thi during the harsh anti-Christian persecutions. He was canonized in 1988. SOURCE:
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TODAY'S GOSPEL: NOV. 24: Luke 21: 12 - 19
Luke 21: 12 - 1912But before all this they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors for my name's sake.13This will be a time for you to bear testimony.14Settle it therefore in your minds, not to meditate beforehand how to answer;15for I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which none of your adversaries will be able to withstand or contradict.16You will be delivered up even by parents and brothers and kinsmen and friends, and some of you they will put to death;17you will be hated by all for my name's sake.18But not a hair of your head will perish.19By your endurance you will gain your lives.
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