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Friday, December 24, 2010

CATHOLIC NEWS WORLD: FRI. DEC. 24, 2010














CATHOLIC NEWS WORLD: FRI. DEC. 24, 2010: HEADLINES-

VATICAN: POPE: THOUGHTS FOR CHRISTMAS/ RECALLS VISIT TO GB

WORLD: JESUSCARITASEST.ORG CHRISTMAS BLESSINGS TO ALL

EUROPE: ROME: PARCEL BOMBS IN EMBASSIES WITH INJURIES

ASIA: CHINA: APPROVED BISHOP APPOINTED

AUSTRALIA: CARDINAL PELL: CALLS FOR FORGIVENESS AT CHRISTMAS

AFRICA: ANGOLA: PRIEST CALLS FOR RETRIEVAL OF VALUES

TODAY'S SAINT: DEC. 24: ST. CHARBEL


VATICAN: POPE: THOUGHTS FOR CHRISTMAS/ RECALLS VISIT TO GB

RADIO VATICANA REPORT: Pope Benedict's Christmas message for the UK was broadcast as the Thought For The Day on BBC Radio 4's Today programme. In his message, he recalled this year’s apostolic voyage to Britain, and said he was “glad to have the opportunity to greet you once again.”

Here is the full text of the Pope’s message: "Recalling with great fondness my four-day visit to the United Kingdom last September, I am glad to have the opportunity to greet you once again, and indeed to greet listeners everywhere as we prepare to celebrate the birth of Christ. Our thoughts turn back to a moment in history when God's chosen people, the children of Israel, were living in intense expectation. They were waiting for the Messiah that God had promised to send, and they pictured him as a great leader who would rescue them from foreign domination and restore their freedom.

God is always faithful to his promises, but he often surprises us in the way he fulfils them. The child that was born in Bethlehem did indeed bring liberation, but not only for the people of that time and place - he was to be the Saviour of all people throughout the world and throughout history. And it was not a political liberation that he brought, achieved through military means: rather, Christ destroyed death for ever and restored life by means of his shameful death on the Cross. And while he was born in poverty and obscurity, far from the centres of earthly power, he was none other than the Son of God. Out of love for us he took upon himself our human condition, our fragility, our vulnerability, and he opened up for us the path that leads to the fullness of life, to a share in the life of God himself. As we ponder this great mystery in our hearts this Christmas, let us give thanks to God for his goodness to us, and let us joyfully proclaim to those around us the good news that God offers us freedom from whatever weighs us down: he gives us hope, he brings us life.

Dear Friends from Scotland, England, Wales, and indeed every part of the English-speaking world, I want you to know that I keep all of you very much in my prayers during this Holy Season. I pray for your families, for your children, for those who are sick, and for those who are going through any form of hardship at this time. I pray especially for the elderly and for those who ar0e approaching the end of their days. I ask Christ, the light of the nations, to dispel whatever darkness there may be in your lives and to grant to every one of you the grace of a peaceful and joyful Christmas. May God bless all of you!"

WORLD: JESUSCARITASEST.ORG CHRISTMAS BLESSINGS TO ALL

JESUSCARITASEST.ORG REPORT:
We at www.jesuscaritasest.org wish you and your families a blessed and peaceful Christmas. You, the readers of JCE news, will be remembered at the Sacrifice of the Mass and in the prayers offered in this Holy Season. Please keep us in your prayers. It is hoped that you and your families make a renewed effort to spread the peace of Christ throughout the world. Make this year a Holy one; remember to keep Holy the Sabbath by regular Mass attendance (daily if possible), increase your family prayer time (ex. daily rosary, adoration), and be charitable and forgiving to your neighbors. The Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph should be our example. Charity begins at home. Keep your governmental leaders, church leaders and enemies in prayer. It is through the spiritual and corporal works of mercy that we participate in the sanctification of the world. This news service is provided to remind you of the spiritual and corporal needs of the Body of Christ. We must remember that our lives can end at any moment but the afterlife lasts forever. Therefore, we need to prepare for our permanent relationship with Jesus Christ, our true husband. God bless you always. Pax Christi+
"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men of good will!" (Luke 2: 14)

EUROPE: ROME: PARCEL BOMBS IN EMBASSIES WITH INJURIES

Catholic Online REPORT -Two parcel bombs detonated in two separate embassies in Rome. Two people were seriously injured in the blasts - a mailroom employee at the Swiss embassy may lose a hand in the bombing, and another person at the Chilean embassy suffered injuries.

A mailroom employee at the Swiss embassy may lose a hand in the parcel bombing in Rome, and another person at the Chilean embassy suffered injuries.

A mailroom employee at the Swiss embassy may lose a hand in the parcel bombing in Rome, and another person at the Chilean embassy suffered injuries.

"There is serious threat against foreign embassies in Rome," Foreign Minister Franco Frattini told reporters after the explosions.

"It is too early to know the origin of the threat. We are checking all the embassies in Rome and the Italian embassies abroad for suspicious packages. We should avoid being alarmist. The police are investigating the situation," he said.

A "suspicious package" was also found at the Ukrainian Embassy in the Italian capital -- but it turned out not to be dangerous.

Police began their sweeps of all embassies and consulates after the blasts. Many countries have two diplomatic missions in the city, one to the Italian state and a separate one to the Vatican.

Bomb threats were phoned to City Hall but no other bombs have yet been discovered. There has been no claim of responsibility for the attacks.

The bombings come a day after police blanketed Rome in heavy security due to student demonstrations.

The demonstrations passed off largely peacefully, but protests a week earlier resulted in many minor injuries and millions of dollars in damage.

In November, police discovered 14 parcel bombs coming from Greece, most of which were sent to various embassies in Athens. Police intercepted and destroyed most of them, but a woman at a courier office was wounded by one of the devices and another device exploded in the courtyard of the Swiss Embassy.

Other parcel bombs were addressed to European targets including the leaders of Germany and Italy.

Two men accused of participating in the bombings were taken into custody after they were arrested in Athens in possession of two parcel bombs, Glock pistols, a bulletproof vest, and a wig.

Greek authorities said that they believed the letter bombs was the work of a home-grown Greek terrorist group that does not have ties to international organizations like al Qaeda.

ASIA: CHINA: APPROVED BISHOP APPOINTED

ASIA NEWS REPORT: The appointment of Mgr. Zhu Weifang was approved by the Holy See and recognized by the government. For Christmas he hopes for a "reconciliation" between official and "underground" Catholics. There are about 100 thousand Catholics In the diocese, many unofficial.

Wenzhou (AsiaNews) - The 83-year-old Bishop Zhu Weifang of Wenzhou has been installed this morning, Dec. 23, as bishop of Wenzhou, Zhejiang province.

The new bishop explained to AsiaNews that he was ordained two years ago. He has been approved by the Holy See and recognized by Chinese government. He also invited “underground” Catholics from Wenzhou diocese to attend the liturgy.

Mgr. Zhu said his Christmas wish is “to have communion and unity among Catholics in the diocese, reconciling between open Church and underground communities.”

Local sources said the installation was arranged by the government, and many government officials came to the ceremony.

There are 29 priests, 40 nuns in the official Church, while the whole diocese has a Catholic population of 110,000, according to Mgr. Zhu.

Born in 1927, Mgr. Zhu, was ordained a priest in 1954.

Coadjutor Bishop Shao Zhumin of Wenzhou leads the underground community.

Photo: UCAN (Z.Y.)

http://www.asianews.it/news-en/New-bishop-of-Wenzhou-installed-20343.html

AUSTRALIA: CARDINAL PELL: CALLS FOR FORGIVENESS AT CHRISTMAS

2010

Cardinal George Pell

---

CATH NEWS REPORT: Life is mostly good in Australia, and those blessed with prosperity and happiness should strive to spread the cheer and happiness to the less advantaged, said the Archbishop of Sydney, Cardinal George Pell, in his Chrismas message.

He stressed the important role Christianity plays in the basic tenets of the nation.

"The Australian principle of a fair go for all cannot be understood without the Christian teachings of universal love and forgiveness," he said, exhorting the faithful to practise what is preached.

The Cardinal's full message and its audio version is linked below.

FULL STORY

Christmas Message 2010 from Archbishop Cardinal George Pell (Media Release)

Christmas Message 2010 from Archbishop Cardinal George Pell (Audio)

St Mary's Cathedral, Sydney, Christmas Mass Times (Media Release)

http://www.cathnews.com/article.aspx?aeid=24655

AMERICA: CANADA: MESSAGE FOR CHRISTMAS FROM BISHOPS' CONFERENCE

CCCB REPORT: The angels sang of peace on Christmas night. The Prophets had promised peace. Each celebration of the Eucharist we proclaim it and share it with one another. Christ’s peace is much more than the absence of war and violence, important though these are. It does not concern stillness and quiet, though these are vital for our wellbeing. The peace Christ offers is a renewed and whole relationship that brings all into unity and harmony: God and humanity, heaven and earth, nature and society, brothers and sisters, no matter how estranged.

God’s saving justice is always accompanied by peace. The Lord who “guides our feet into the way of peace” (Luke 1.79) is the One who scatters the proud, brings down the powerful, sends the rich away empty, lifts up the lowly, and fills the hungry with good things (Luke 1.51-53). The Blessed Messenger who announces peace, who brings good news, who announces salvation (Isaiah 52.7) is the Suffering Servant, “rejected by others, a man of suffering” (Isaiah 53.3).

Willingness to serve while ready to be disappointed and even hurt is part of what it means to be a follower of Christ. Christmas Day is followed by the feast of Saint Stephen, a deacon and the first Christian martyr. As a result of the birth of Jesus, the Holy Innocents were massacred under the order of King Herod. The wonder and joy of Christmas envelope the helplessness of humanity and also the hope that comes from kindness and compassion.

As we celebrate this Christmas, may we be renewed by our hunger for justice and our desire for compassion. Let us rededicate ourselves to our mission as peacemakers, as suffering servants with Christ. This was the humble, vulnerable sign given to the shepherds that first Christmas night: “You will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.”

The peace of Christ be with us all this Christmas.

+ Pierre Morissette
Bishop of Saint-Jérôme
President
Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops

SOURCE http://www.cccb.ca/site/eng/media-room/statements-a-letters/2980-christmas-message-2010

AFRICA: ANGOLA: PRIEST CALLS FOR RETRIEVAL OF VALUES

ALL AFRICA REPORT: The Angolan Catholic priest Apolónio Graciano on Thursday, in Luanda, said that being Christmas the birthday day of the son of God, Jesus Christ, it represents a propitious period for the Angolan society to strengthen the struggle for retrieval of moral values.

Speaking to ANGOP, in light of the December 25 date (Family Day), in order to accomplish this goal it is necessary that families, during this festive period, hold a spirit of Angolan conscience, solidarity, fraternity and companionship among families.

On the other hand he regretted the fact that the Angolan families are dysfunctional due to the war that ravaged the country for a long time and consequently caused poverty and misery in many families.

SOURCE: http://allafrica.com/stories/201012240798.html

TODAY'S SAINT: DEC. 24: ST. CHARBEL

St. Charbel Makhlouf

MYSTIC AND MARONITE HERMIT

Feast: December 24



Information:

Feast Day:December 24
Born:May 8, 1828, Bekaa Kafra (North Lebanon)
Died:December 24, 1898
Canonized:October 9, 1977 by Pope Paul VI



TODAY'S GOSPEL: DEC. 24: LUKE: 1: 67-79

Luke 1: 67 - 79
67And his father Zechari'ah was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied, saying,
68"Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he has visited and redeemed his people,
69and has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David,
70as he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old,
71that we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all who hate us;
72to perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant,
73the oath which he swore to our father Abraham,
74to grant us that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies, might serve him without fear,
75in holiness and righteousness before him all the days of our life.
76And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways,
77to give knowledge of salvation to his people in the forgiveness of their sins,
78through the tender mercy of our God, when the day shall dawn upon us from on high
79to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace."

Mystic and Maronite hermit. He was born in 1828 in Lebanon and became a Maronite monk at Annaya Abbey at the age of twenty. As a hermit, Charbel was famous for his spiritual gifts, even among his Islamic neighbors. He spent almost a quarter century displaying many miraculous abilities and was noted for his love of the Holy Eucharist. Charbel died in 1898. He was beatified in 1965 and canonized in 1977 by Pope Paul VI (r. 1963-1978).

source http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/C/stcharbelmakhlouf.asp

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