VATICAN: ST. BONAVENTURE: UNIQUENESS AND CONTINUITY OF THE CHURCH-
AFRICA: KENYA: GENERAL MEETING OF MISSIONARIES-
APPEALS FOR TURKEY AND NIGERIA VATICAN CITY, 10 MAR 2010 (VIS) - At the end of today's general audience, Benedict XVI expressed his "closeness to people affected by the recent earthquake in Turkey, and to their families. To each of them I give assurances of my prayers, as I ask the international community to contribute promptly and generously to aid efforts". He then went on to mention the violent events of recent days in Nigeria. "My deepest condolences also go to the victims of the terrible violence that has bloodied Nigeria, not even sparing defenceless children. Once again I say from the bottom of my heart that violence does not resolve conflicts, but only increases their tragic consequences. I appeal to those who hold positions of civil and religious responsibility in the country to strive for the security and peaceful coexistence of all the population. Finally, I express my closeness to Nigerian pastors and faithful and pray that, strong and firm in hope, they may be true witnesses of reconciliation".AG/APPEAL/TURKEY:NIGERIA VIS 100310 (170)
THE FINANCIAL CRISIS AND HUMAN RIGHTS VATICAN CITY, 10 MAR 2010 (VIS) - On 3 March, Archbishop Silvano M. Tomasi C.S., Holy See permanent observer to the United Nations in Geneva, addressed the thirteenth ordinary session of the UN Human Rights Council, which was meeting to discuss the world economic and financial crisis. Before beginning his talk, the archbishop expressed his delegation's "condolences and solidarity to the people of Chile for the victims of the recent earthquake". Speaking English, the nuncio then went on to reaffirm the Holy See's "conviction that the perspective of human rights provides a positive contribution for a solution to the current financial crisis". This situation "calls for new regulations and a sound global system of governance that ensures a sustainable and comprehensive path to development for all", he said. Among the negative consequences of the financial crisis, the archbishop mentioned "the scandal of hunger, growing worldwide inequality, millions of unemployed people and millions of others reduced to extreme poverty, ... lack of social protection for countless vulnerable persons". He also recalled words used by Benedict XVI in his Encyclical "Caritas in Veritate" to the effect that these imbalances "are produced when economic action, conceived merely as an engine for wealth creation, is detached from political action, conceived as a means for pursuing justice through redistribution". "In fact", Archbishop Tomasi went on, "the common goal is the protection and respect of human dignity that binds together the entire human family. ... In this context, the review of the Human Rights Council should aim also at making change on the ground a reality, and the concrete implementation of human rights its priority". "The social doctrine of the Church has always pursued such a goal with special care for the more vulnerable members of society. In fact, by giving priority to human beings and the created order that supports them on their earthly journey, we can modify the rules that govern the financial system to serve concrete change, to move away from old habits of greed that led to the present crisis, and to promote effective integral development and the implementation of human rights since 'the primary capital to be safeguarded and valued is the human person in his or her integrity'".DELSS/HUMAN RIGHTS/TOMASI VIS 100310 (380)
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“Grandma Hai”, as she is affectionately known in Ubon Ratchathani province, fought for 30 years (and won) her case against the forced confiscation of land belonging to her community in Ba Na Tan, for the construction of a local dam. She received the reward for “her continuous efforts in seeking justice within the limits of the law.”
“Grandma Hai overcame difficulties and hardships to earn a living as well as fight for her community,” the dean of Ramkhamhaeng University, Kim Chaisansuk, said. “Today, she is active in the Eastern Anti-Poverty Assembly, whose members want justice from Bangkok.”
Development plans for the province could end up wiping out existing rice fields, which are the basis of the local economy, this in a region where residents have no other way to survive.
Police General and National Human Right Committee member Vanchai Srinualnad said, “Grandma Hai is a good example of patience and steadfastness. She is a symbol for those who live in poverty, and proof of how education is at the basis of the social progress that makes a country great.”
Grandma Hai began to fight for her rights in 1977. The sentence that ruled in her favour, forcing the government to compensate residents affected by the dam, was pronounced on 22 September 2009.http://www.asianews.it/news-en/“Grandma-Hai”-gets-university-degree-for-her-fight-on-behalf-of-the-poor-17848.html
According to a press release distributed for the occasion, 50 bishops and 500 priests are expected for the convention this week which takes place under the auspices of the Congregation for the Clergy. Addresses will be given between the two days of the meeting by some very well known leaders of the Church.
From March 11-12, seven cardinals and eight bishops and archbishops will give addresses. Talks to be delivered include: "The Priesthood and the Hermeneutic of Continuity" by Cardinal Archbishop of Bologna Carlo Caffarra, and "Priesthood and Liturgy: Education for the Celebration" by Cardinal Antonio Cañizares Llovera, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.
Sessions will be presided over by Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski, Cardinal William J. Levada and Cardinal Franc Rode.
A noon audience with Pope Benedict XVI at the Apostolic Palace is planned for Friday.
The series, titled "Voice of the Youth", will be held from March to October, featuring talks from the Australian bishops on various topics in the catechesis style of World Youth Day, the Catholic Weekly reports.
The series of talks, which begins on March 19, is aimed at youth aged 16-35 and will be delivered in coming months by Cardinal Pell, Bishop Terry Brady, Bishop Julian Porteous, Bishop Eugene Hurley and Archbishop Mark Coleridge, Archbishop of Canberra and Goulburn.
"Voice of the Youth is a new series of talks that provides an opportunity for young people to get together to share their faith. Along with catechesis sessions from the bishops, there will be music, testimonies, prayers, WYD11 update information, food and entertainment," said Father Liem Duong, assistant priest at Sacred Heart Cabramatta. http://www.cathnews.com/article.aspx?aeid=19963
Feast: March 10
320 AD, Sebaste
A party of soldiers who suffered a cruel death for their faith, near Sebaste, in Lesser Armenia, victims of the persecutions of Licinius, who, after the year 316, persecuted the Christians of the East. The earliest account of their martyrdom is given by St. Basil, Bishop of Caesarea (370-379), in a homily delivered on the feast of the Forty Martyrs (Hom. xix in P.G., XXXI, 507 sqq.). The feast is consequently more ancient than the episcopate of Basil, whose eulogy on them was pronounced only fifty or sixty years after martyrdom, which is thus historic beyond a doubt. According to St. Basil, forty soldiers who had openly confessed themselves Christians were condemned by the prefect to be exposed naked upon a frozen pond near Sebaste on a bitterly cold night, that they might freeze to death. Among the confessors, one yielded and, leaving his companions, sought the warm baths near the lake which had been prepared for any who might prove inconstant. One of the guards set to keep watch over the martyrs beheld at this moment a supernatural brilliancy overshadowing them and at once proclaimed himself a Christian, threw off his garments, and placed himself beside the thirty-nine soldiers of Christ. Thus the number of forty remained complete. At daybreak, the stiffened bodies of the confessors, which still showed signs of life, were burned and the ashes cast into a river. The Christians, however, collected the precious remains, and the relics were distributed throughout many cities; in this way the veneration paid to the Forty Martyrs became widespread, and numerous churches were erected in their honour.
One of them was built at Caesarea, in Cappadocia, and it was in this church that St. Basil publicly delivered his homily. St. Gregory of Nyssa was a special client of these holy martyrs. Two discourses in praise of them, preached by him in the church dedicated to them, are still preserved (P. G., XLVI, 749 sqq., 773 sqq.) and upon the death of his parents, he laid them to rest beside the relics of the confessors. St. Ephraem, the Syrian, has also eulogized the forty Martyrs (Hymni in SS. 40 martyres). Sozomen, who was an eye-witness, has left us (Hist. Eccl., IX, 2) an interesting account of the finding of the relics in Constantinople through the instrumentality of the Empress Pulcheria. Special devotion to the forty martyrs of Sebaste was introduced at an early date into the West. St. Gaudentius, Bishop of Brescia in the beginning of the fifth century (d. about 410 or 427), received particles of the ashes of martyrs during a voyage in the East, and placed them with other relics in the altar of the basilica which he had erected, at the consecration of which he delivered a discourse, still extant (P. L., XX, 959 sqq.) Near the Church of Santa Maria Antiqua, in the Roman Forum, built in the fifth century, a chapel was found, built, like the church itself, on an ancient site, and consecrated to the Forty Martyrs. A picture, still preserved there, dating from the sixth or seventh century, depicts the scene of the martyrdom. The names of the confessors, as we find them also in later sources, were formerly inscribed on this fresco. Acts of these martyrs, written subsequently, in Greek, Syriac and Latin, are yet extant, also a "Testament" of the Forty Martyrs. Their feast is celebrated in the Greek, as well as in the Latin Church, on 9 March.
"Think not that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets; I have come not to abolish them but to fulfil them.
For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the law until all is accomplished.
Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but he who does them and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.