Wednesday, April 14, 2010




VATICAN CITY, 14 APRIL 2010 (VIS) - The ordained ministry was again the topic of catechesis by Benedict XVI at today's general audience held in St. Peter's Square and attended by 16,000 people.
In particular, the Pope reflected on the "fruitful reality of the priest in the figure of Christ the Head in carrying out the tria munera that he receives, that is, in the three functions of teaching, sanctifying, and governing".
"However, in order to understand what it means to act in persona Christi capitis, that is, in the person of Christ the Head, and the consequences of a priest's duty to represent the Lord, it is necessary to understand," the Holy Father said, "that the presbytery represents Jesus 'who is never absent in the Church'".
"Therefore, a priest ... never acts in the name of someone absent, but in the person of the Risen Christ" and "the three offices of teaching, sanctifying, and governing are ... a clear specification of that effective representation because they are actually the three actions of the Risen Lord himself who teaches, sanctify, and guides the Church today".
Referring to the first task, the munus docendi, teaching, the pontiff affirmed that a priest "teaches in the name of Christ present, putting forward the Truth which is Christ. For a priest, it is true what Christ says of himself: my teaching is not my own ... It is the voice and the word of the Father. That is how the priest should act: I do not propagate my ideas ... but am the mouth and heart of Christ and I present this unique teaching that has informed the Universal Church and that gives life".
"The teaching that we are called to offer, the truths of the faith that we must communicate should be internalized and lived in an intense spiritual journey," the Pope emphasized, recalling that not infrequently can a priest's voice seem one that cries out in the wilderness. This is what its prophetic force consists in, not in being homogenized into any other dominant culture or mentality but of showing the unique newness capable of a profound and authentic renewal of the human being, that is to say that Christ is the Living One, God who is near to us, God who works in and through life in the world".
"In preaching, catechesis, academic teaching, and above all "in the unwritten book that is his life, a priest is always a teacher. Not with the presumption of those who impose their own truths but with the humble and joyful sincerity of those who have found the Truth, have been grasped and transformed by it and who therefore cannot stop announcing it".
"In fact, the priesthood," observed the Holy Father, "is not chosen by anyone for himself. It is not a way of obtaining security in life or a social position. The priesthood is the answer to the Lord's call ... to become preachers, not of a personal truth, but of His truth".
Addressing himself to priests the Pope affirmed: "The Christian people need to hear the teaching of the true ecclesial doctrine" that has as it point of reference "Sacred Scripture, the writings of the Fathers and Doctors of the Church, as well as the Catechism of the Catholic Church".
"Priestly ordination," he continued, "means being immersed in the Truth ... which is not simply a concept or set of ideas to transmit and assimilate but the Person of Christ".
"The Pope finished by expressing the desire that St. John Mary Vianney may serve as an example for priests because, in him, the Christian people recognize "that which must always be recognized in a priest: the voice of the Good Shepherd".
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VATICAN CITY, 14 APRIL 2010 (VIS) - At the end of today's general audience in St. Peter's Square, the Pope referred to the earthquake that struck the Western province of Qinghai, China today, causing "numerous losses of human lives, many wounded, and much damage. I am praying for the victims and am spiritually near all those affected by this very serious tragedy. I implore God that they may find relief from their suffering and courage in this time of adversity. I hope that there will be no lack of solidarity shown".
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VATICAN CITY, 14 APRIL 2010 (VIS) - The Office for the Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff communicates the next dates on which will take place the following beatifications approved by the Holy Father:
- Bernardo Francisco de Hoyos, priest of the order of the Society of Jesus, on the third Sunday of Easter, 18 April 2010, at 10:30am in the Cathedral of Valladolid, Spain.
-Angelo Paoli, priest of the order of Carmelites of the Strict Observance, on the fourth Sunday of Easter, 25 April 2010, at 10:00am in the Papal Basilica of St. John Lateran in Rome, Italy.
-José Tous y Soler, priest of the order of Capuchin Friars Minor and founder of the Institute of the Capuchin sisters of the Mother of the Divine Shepherd, on the fourth Sunday of Easter, 25 April 2010, at 10:30am in the Basilica of Santa Maria del Mar in Barcelona, Spain.
-Teresa Manganiello, virgin and Franciscan tertiary, inspirer of the Congregation of the Franciscan Immaculatine Sisters, on the Solemnity of Pentecost, Saturday 22 May 2010, at 4:00pm in the Basilica of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Benevento, Italy.
-Maria Pierina De Micheli, virgin and sister of the Daughters of the Immaculate Conception in Buenos Aires, on the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, Sunday 30 May 2010, at 10:00am in the Papal Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome, Italy.
-Jerzy Popieluszko, priest and martyr, on the 10th Sunday of Ordinary Time, 6 June 2010, at 11:00am in Marshal J. Pilsudski Square in Warsaw, Poland.
-Manuel Lozano Garrido, layman, on the 11th Sunday of Ordinary Time, Saturday 12 June 2010, at 7:30pm at the Eriazos de la Virgen Fairgrounds in Linares, Jaen, Spain.
OCL/ VIS 20100414 (260)

VATICAN CITY, 14 APRIL 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father accepted the resignation of Bishop Walmir Alberto Valle, I.M.C. from the pastoral care of the diocese of Joacaba, Brazil, in accordance with canon 401 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law.



Asia News report: Police say extremists used army uniforms to pass unnoticed and plant the bombs that yesterday hit the cathedral of Saint Isabel and the building of the Ministry of Education. Among the victims of gun battles between soldiers and rebels also the brother of one of the leaders of the terrorist group linked to al-Qaeda. Basilan bishop urges people to pray for peace and asks for protection of military forces.

Manila (AsiaNews) – The death toll from two explosions and gun battles between Abu Sayyaff Islamic rebels and the army that yesterday shocked the city of Isabela (Basilan, Mindanao) has risen to 15. Among the victims Purudji Indama's brother, a leader of the terrorist group linked to al-Qaeda. While the city remains under the control of over 300 military, the bishop of Basilan Mgr. Martin Jumoad, has urged the population to remain calm and pray for peace.
The attack started yesterday morning at 10.30 with the explosion of two bombs outside the Cathedral of Saint Isabel, partly destroyed, and Basilan National High School. A third bomb, placed in front of the courthouse, but was defused by the police bomb squad. After the explosions rebels, who passed unnoticed wearing fake military uniforms, began firing on passersby, sparking a gun battle with police and army. In total the attack left 15 dead, 6 civilians, 5 terrorists, 3 soldiers and a policeman.
“The attack was well planned - states gen. Ben Dolorfino, military chief for Mindanao - the uniforms worn by the rebels were new and showed no signs of wear”. Dolorfino said that intelligence had received information concerning a possible attack by Abu Sayyaf and that is why the army was able to act quickly and avoid more victims.
Today Mgr. Martin Jumoad, Bishop of Basilan called on the population to remain calm and pray for peace and asked the military and police for urgent action to neutralize the Islamic rebels who have chosen the first objective is the cathedral of Saint Isabel. "70% of the church is damaged - he said - and we can not say mass. I appeal to the men and women in uniform to help neutralize those who struck the cathedral. "
Last night the bishop led a torch lit procession directly to the sites of explosions to condemn the violence and pray for the victims.


CNN report: A train derailment in northern Italy has killed nine people, Italy's Civil Protection office said Monday.

The office had said that the derailment killed 11 people, but it later revised the death toll.
At least 20 people were injured, five seriously, when a landslide derailed the train, authorities said.
The train was a small diesel train with two carriages, traveling on the Val Venosta line. The railway is one of the region's newest, inaugurated in 2005.
The most probable cause of the landslide is a broken irrigation pipe, said Thomas Widmann, head of the transport department for the local government.
The mud from the slide entered the train's cars, suffocating the passengers, he said.
More than 200 rescuers were on the scene.
The train came to rest when it reached the trunk of two big trees, according to a local journalist. One of the carriages was left hanging over the Adige River.


All Africa report: Hundreds of people have been displaced and at least 7,000 hectares of newly sown crops destroyed by floods after a river burst its banks in Somalia's Middle Shabelle region, local officials told IRIN.

The worst flooding occurred near the town of Jowhar, 90km north of Mogadishu, where the River Shabelle burst its banks.
"In Mandeere village [10km southeast of Jowhar] alone, some 850 families [about 5,100 people] were affected; we are completely surrounded by water," Ali Haji Hamud, a member of the village council, told IRIN on 13 April.
"The river burst its banks and destroyed our crops. We lost about 4,000 hectares of crops. We were hoping for a good harvest, but now I am not sure we will be able to salvage anything."
The most common crops grown in the area are maize, sesame and cowpeas.
Hamud said residents had stemmed the flooding with sandbags thanks to help from the Islamist administration in Jowhar and a local NGO. "For now we are safe but cut off," he said. "We are accessible by boat only."
Isse Ahmed Nur, an elder in Bulo Ahmed, 18km northeast of Jowhar and one of the worst affected villages, told IRIN some 3,500 hectares of farmland were washed away by the floods. "We are trying to stop the flooding but we are fighting a losing battle."
He said the community was not getting any help. "No one is here to help."
Abukar Abdulahi Tifow, the country director of the Women and Child Care Organization (WOCCA), a local NGO, said the whole area around Jowhar had been affected.
"The danger has not passed as the river water is still high and more rain is expected," Tifow said.
He said the worst affected areas were Mandeere, Bulo Ahmed and Huriwa villages, with a combined estimated population of 2,000 families (about 12,000 people). Some people had been forced to move to higher ground.
An aid worker who requested anonymity told IRIN there was some flooding in the Jowhar area but the situation had not reached "alarming levels yet", but he warned that as the rain intensified there was "a serious likelihood that the flooding situation would get worse".
In the past, aid agencies used to prepare for the `Gu’ rainy season (April-June) but there were no preparations this time.
"Aid agencies are no longer in the area due to insecurity and so there is no preparedness and this is the biggest worry," the aid worker said, adding that lack of proper management of the irrigation system since the collapse of the national government in 1991 had exacerbated the situation.
With no aid agencies to help there had been little de-silting of the riverbed or proper management of the gates on rivers or adjoining canals. Farmers have eroded the river bank in an effort to irrigate their fields and "unfortunately, are contributing to the problem", the aid worker said.


CBN report: Eleven-year-old Nadia Bloom was found alive in swamp lands near Orlando, Tuesday, and her family is giving credit to God.

Bloom suffers from a mild form of autism and had been missing for almost five days, but her family's church helped locate her.
"I never believed in miracles, but I sure do now," Winter Springs Police Chief said.
Bloom went missing Friday, April 9, near a Florida swamp infested with alligators. Yet search crews from her church found the girl alive and carried her out Tuesday morning.
Police said Bloom is in good shape, but was dehydrated, hungry and covered in mosquito bites.
Rescuers had to carry her out of the swamp water by chopping down bushes because the swamp is too dense for a helicopter.
The police chief complimented the rescue crews for fighting through the swampy terrain that ranged from six feet of water to five feet of mud.
A pastor from the Metro Church, where Bloom attends with her family, said volunteer rescue worker James King found Bloom after praying to God, and God worked a miracle.
"The Lord put it in his spirit to go out this morning at daybreak and asked the Lord to direct his paths. He saidm 'Lord, we need to find this girl today, and I need you to make my paths straight like your Word says.' And eventually, he finds her in the middle of a swampy area," Worship Pastor Bret Testerman said.
"People do see God's hand in it," he said. "These things very often do not turn out well. We were praying, we were optimistic, and put our faith in God, and it's amazing."
Winter Springs officials did not ask for help from volunteers in the search, but King, and close to 100 others from the church decided to search anyway.
The church is holding a celebratory worship service tonight, and there's definitely a lot to thank God for.
Police believe Bloom may have been inspired to go wandering in the woods by a story she read in an "American Girl" book.
The book talks about an explorer who goes out in the wilderness to track wildlife.


Cath News report: Bishop William Morris of Toowoomba has issued a statement apologising for the abuse suffered by children while under the care of the Diocese.

A former teacher of a school within the Diocese of Toowoomba pleaded guilty yesterday to a number of charges he faced in relation to offences against children.
Former Christian brother Gerard Vincent Byrnes, 61, admitted to 44 sex abuse charges concerning students at a Toowoomba primary school, where he also served as the child protection officer. Among them were 10 counts of raping a child under 12.
"I can only begin to imagine the suffering and upset the victims and their families have experienced as a result of the former teacher’s actions," said Bishop Morris. "The Diocese will continue to provide counselling and pastoral care for all affected, and I will be writing to the families of victims offering to meet with each of them."
Bishop Morris stressed in a statement released yesterday that the Diocese has a clear policy of zero tolerance of sexual abuse and an unequivocal commitment to the highest standards of child protection.
He said the Director of the Catholic Education Office, John Borserio, is continuing to make improvements to policies, procedures and training in cooperation with the regulatory authorities to ensure we prevent a situation such as this from occurring again.
"We have recently undertaken a further review which has resulted in the strengthening and clarifying of our child protection protocols. These revised protocols will be submitted shortly to the Non-State School Accreditation Board for approval," he said."Unfortunately, I cannot change what has happened," said Bishop Morris. "However, I remain committed to doing everything in my power to ensure events such as these never happen again. I reiterate the children and their families affected by the former teacher’s actions remain my highest priority."
Meanwhile The Australian reports that police have warned the Catholic Church to expect more cases of child sex abuse to emerge from six schools that employed a veteran teacher who yesterday pleaded guilty to abusing 13 schoolgirls.


Sts. Tiburtius, Valerian, Maximus

Feast: April 14
Information: Feast Day: April 14
Known by their inclusion in the Acts of St. Cecilia. It is generally accepted that the Acts are fiction, but the three perhaps were genuine martyrs, especially as their tombs in the cemetery of Praetextatus were exceedingly popular duing the Middle Ages. According to the Acts, Valerian was Cecilia's husband, Tiburtius her brother, and Maximus a Roman soldier or official who died with them.

John 3: 16 - 21

16 For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

17 For God sent the Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.

18 He who believes in him is not condemned; he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.

19 And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

20 For every one who does evil hates the light, and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.

21 But he who does what is true comes to the light, that it may be clearly seen that his deeds have been wrought in God.



VATICAN CITY, 13 APR 2010 (VIS) - The Press Office of the Holy See today published the following communique:
"The International Investigative Commission on Medjugorje met for its first session on 26 March 2010."
"The Commission, presided over by Cardinal Camillo Ruini, His Holiness' vicar general emeritus for the diocese of Rome, is composed of the following members: Cardinal Jozef Tomko, prefect emeritus of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples; Cardinal Vinko Puljic, Archbishop of Vrhbosna, president of the Bishops' Conference of Bosnia-Herzegovina; Cardinal Josip Bozanic, Archbishop of Zagreb and vice-president of the Council of European Bishops' Conference; Cardinal Julian Herranz, president emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts; Archbishop Angelo Amato, S.D.B., prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints; Msgr. Tony Anatrella, psychoanalyst and specialist in Social Psychiatry; Msgr. Pierangelo Sequeri, professor of Fundamental Theology at the Theological Faculty of Northern Italy; Fr. David Maria Jaeger, O.F.M., consultant to the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts; Fr. Zdzislaw Jozef Kijas, O.F.M. Conv., relator of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints; Fr. Salvatore M. Perrella, O.S.M., teacher of Mariology at the Pontifical Marianum Faculty of Theology; and Fr. Achim Schutz, professor of Theological Anthropology at the Pontifical Lateran University as secretary. Msgr. Krzysztof Nykiel, an officer of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith serves as additional secretary."
"Other experts have also participated in the commission's work: Fr. Franjo Topic, professor of Fundamental Theology in Sarajevo; Fr. Mijo Nikic, S.J., professor of Psychology and Psychology of Religion at the Philosophical and Theological Institute of the Society of Jesus in Zagreb, Fr. Mihaly Szentmartoni, S.J., professor of Spirituality at the Pontifical Gregorian University, and Sr. Veronica Nela Gaspar, professor of Theology at Rijeka." "As announced previously, the work of the Commission will be carried out with the utmost reserve. Its conclusions will be submitted to the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith for study."OP/ VIS 20100413 (320)


VATICAN CITY, 13 APR 2010 (VIS) - The following prelates died in recent weeks:
- Bishop Hilario Chavez Joya M.N.M., emeritus of Nuevo Casas Grandes, Mexico, on 4 March at the age of 82.
- Bishop Paul Kim Ok-kyun, former auxiliary of Seoul, Korea, on 1 March at the age of 84.
- Bishop Carlo Chenis S.D.B. of Civitavecchia-Tarquinia, Italy, on 19 March at the age of 55.
- Bishop Franco Gualdrini, emeritus of Terni-Narni-Amelia, Italy, on 22 March at the age of 86.
- Bishop Josef Homeyer, emeritus of Hildesheim, Germany, on 30 March at the age of 80.
- Bishop Leroy Theodore Matthiesen, emeritus of Amarillo, U.S.A., on 22 March at the age of 88.
- Bishop Vincent Mensah, emeritus of Porto Novo, Benin, on 10 March at the age of 85.
- Bishop Zygmunt Jozef Pawlowicz, former auxiliary of Gdansk, Poland, on 18 March at the age of 82.
- Archbishop Jose Antonio Peteiro Freire O.F.M., emeritus of Tanger, Morocco, on 25 March at the age of 73.
- Bishop Fernando Iorio Rodrgiues, emeritus of Palmeira dos Indios, Brazil, on 20 March at the age of 80.


Asia News report: The area is the border between Qinghai and Tibet. Victims among the Tibetans. Rescue operations difficult because the area is remote.

Beijing (AsiaNews / Agencies) - An earthquake measuring 7.1 hit the area of Qinghai (northwest China) this morning killing at least 300 people and injured more than 8 thousand. Many others are still trapped under the rubble of collapsed houses. The area is in the Tibetan plateau and is inhabited by many Tibetan ethnic groups.
In several cities, especially in the Yushu area, low brick buildings were destroyed, police and residents are working to extract the wounded from under the collapsed buildings. The remoteness of the area from major population centers makes it difficult for rescue operations.
The epicenter of the earthquake occurred 240 km north-northwest from Qamdo, Tibet and 375 km south-southeast of the mining town of Golmud in Qinghai at a depth of 10 km.
The Tibetan plateau is regularly shaken by earthquakes, but the victims are usually few because there are no high concentrations of population. In May 2008, the south-east of Qinghai and Tibet, an earthquake in Sichuan killed 80 thousand people.


CNA report: The parish of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, located in El Porvenir, a town about 62 miles from the city of Juarez, Mexico, was attacked by unidentified arsonists in plain sight of parishioners whose faces displayed “helplessness” as they struggled to control the flames.

According to the Bulletin of the Council of Catholic Analysts in Mexico, the parish priest, Fr. Salvador Salgado Murguia said that with much “toil, sweat, and tears, parishioners were able to control the flames that were ignited when masked gunmen sprayed the doors to the parish with gasoline.”
“The main door to the church was reduced to a pile of embers. Fortunately, there were no injuries,” Fr. Salgado Murguia added. “The attack on the church damaged parts of the choir and vestibule,” but also has harmed the Catholic community, whose members' “faces displayed utter helplessness.”
The pastor went on to explain that this tragedy was the straw that broke the camel’s back for many parishioners. The faithful of the area have come to him with “sadness, saying that because they have seen their parish burned, they are leaving. “They don’t want to stay and risk becoming victims again if their homes are burned by delinquents,” he explained.
Fr. Salgado Murguia also remarked that local authorities have done little to nothing in the week since the event. He cited the “constant violence of the criminal organizations and their accomplices who work under the broad light of inefficiency of the agencies in charge of national security.”
Recently, the Mexican newspaper, La Jornada, indicated that criminal groups in that area “have already killed more than 80 people this year, burned 16 houses, and distributed messages on blankets or pieces of cardboard warning the local residents “ to leave the area.


Cath News report: A foot-high profane slogan, saying "F*** Yourselves", has been spray painted onto the facade of the house where Pope Benedict was born in Germany.

The 30-centimetre high letters of the slogan over the door of the 264-year-old building in Marktl, first noticed yesterday, were hastily painted over, according to reports by the ABC and an AFP article in the Herald Sun.
The damage to the house on the market square in the picturesque village was estimated at just over $2000, police said.
Police spokesman Konrad Rutzinger is cited saying that the message seems to be linked to the abuse scandals that have engulfed the Catholic Church.


All Africa report: Nestled in Lubowa opposite Quality Shopping Village, African Bible University commands unique beauty and design. Established five years ago, the university has two degree programmes of bachelor of biblical studies and bachelor of Christian community leadership that is further divided into bachelor of education, business administration and communication.

The university also has a community outreach service programme whose objective is to serve the community. Prof. Palmer Robertson, the university's vice-chancellor says the university has a work scholarship programme, where the students work on the university farm, library, computer library or the administration and use the money to pay for tuition, food and accommodation.
Unlike many other universities in Uganda that run three-year degree programmes, the university runs a four-year degree programme. One year is devoted to studies like journalism, business administration, education and counselling.
Reaching the needy
The university has students from seven other countries including Kenya, Ethiopia, Malawi, Zambia, Rwanda, Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The community outreach services have reached students from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Most of the 200 students at the university benefit from work programmes. Those who can afford, pay sh1.5m per semester for tuition, accommodation, feeding and scholastic materials.
Grace Angee, 29, a first year student of bachelor of christian community leadership in education is a beneficiary of the University's community outreach.
A native from Amida Village in Kitgum district, Angee was abducted three times by the Lords Resistance Army (LRA), which has killed over 100,000 people and displaced over 1.7 million people in northern Uganda.
The rebels also killed her father. "I managed to escape from captivity three times. My mother supported me through primary and my cousin paid my fees for secondary, but there was no money for my higher education. I dropped out to do odd jobs but this did not raise my tuition."
While working in the church. One day, Angee heard over the radio that the African Bible University was having a seminar in Kitgum and were calling for people to attend.
"I was working as a secretary so I spared some time to attend. After the seminar, they told us that the university has a community outreach service, where they support disadvantaged students in their studies. But we had to sit for an exam," she says.
Angee did the exam and emerged the best and was enrolled at the university. She is on a work scholarship. She works for the university and she is paid money which she uses to pay for accommodation, tuition and feeding.
Twenty five-year-old Charles Juuko, another beneficiary of the community outreach is a student of biblical studies in education.
As a young man, Juuko suffered at the hands of his father and relatives. His father was a witchdoctor, polygamous and used to abuse Juuko and his mother. At one time, he was forced to inherit the witchcraft work of his father.
Juuko was later denied education by his father because he had become a born-again Christian against his father's wishes.
"A Christian at the church offered to pay for my primary to secondary education. But it was hard to raise fees for university."
One day, Juuko heard an announcement over radio from the African Bible University, requesting students from poor backgrounds to apply for work scholarships in which he succeeded.
The Africa Renewal Ministries based in Ggaba, offered him a scholarship at the university. Juuko plans to become a pastor.
"I also want to have orphanages to mentor some people. I do not want other people to suffer like I did," he says.
The university has a student population of about 200. They intend to keep this small number to maintain a close contact and relationship with them.
Each lecture room has about 30 students and the lecturers know each student by name. "We are not looking for students who want to make a lot of money but students to build the word of God and also serve the community," Robertson explains.
The African Bible University in Uganda is the third in Africa. It has other branches in Liberia and Malawi. As the vice-chancellor observes, African Bible University does not aim at building huge profits through big numbers. From its humble beginning, the university strives to produce graduates who will impact their world. It is a tough journey but they are taking it one day at a time.

TEENAGER ARRESTED FOR ASSAULTING A HOMELESS MAN report: A TEENAGER boasted to friends that he knocked out a homeless man with one punch, a court was told.

William Kiss, 18, allegedyly assaulted James Grace, 46, last Friday night as Mr Grace slept outside a Westpac Bank in Brisbane.
Brisbane Magistrates Court was told that Mr Grace is not expected to survive his injuries.
Mr Kiss, an apprentice diesel fitter, was granted conditional bail despite police arguments had that was "highly likely" that the charge against him would be up-graded to murder.
Prosecutor Karen Friedrichs said as a result of Mr Grace's head injury and his already poor state of health there was little medical staff could do for him and it seemed only a matter of time before he passed away.
The court was told that Mr Kiss had been at a party before he came across Mr Grace and argued with him.
"(Kiss allegedly) punched (Mr Grace) just once with a closed fist,'' Ms Friedrichs said.
"(Kiss) has then boasted to a number of people that he knocked (Mr Grace) out."
She said Mr Grace fell to the ground after being struck and that it was likely he would have died at the scene had by-standers not called for an ambulance.
Kiss was remanded to appear for committal mention of his charge of May 31.


Pope St. Martin I

Feast: April 13

Information: Feast Day: April 11
Born: Todi, Tuscany, Italy
Died: 655 at Cherson, Crimea
Martyr, born at Todi on the Tiber, son of Fabricius; elected Pope at Rome, 21 July, 649, to succeed Theodore I; died at Cherson in the present peninsulas of Krym, 16 Sept., 655, after a reign of 6 years, one month and twenty six days, having ordained eleven priests, five deacons and thirty-three bishops. 5 July is the date commonly given for his election, but 21 July (given by Lobkowitz, "Statistik der Papste" Freiburg, 1905) seems to correspond better with the date of his death and reign (Duchesne "Lib. Pont.", I, 336); his feast is on 12 November.The Greeks honor him on 13 April and 15 September, the Muscovites on 14 April. In the hymns of the Office the Greeks style him infallibilis fidei magister because he was the successor of St. Peter in the See of Rome (Nilles, "Calendarium Manuale", Innsbruck, 1896, I, 336).
Martin, one of the noblest figures in a long line of Roman pontiffs (Hodgkin, "Italy", VI, 268) was, according to his biographer Theodore (Mai, "Spicil. Rom.", IV 293) of noble birth, a great student, of commanding intelligence, of profound learning, and of great charity to the poor. Piazza, II 45 7 states that he belonged to the order of St. Basil. He governed the Church at a time when the leaders of the Monothelite heresy, supported by the emperor, were making most strenuous efforts to spread their tenets in the East and West. Pope Theodore had sent Martin as apocrysiary to Constantinople to make arrangements for canonical deposition of the heretical patriarch, Pyrrhus. After his election, Martin had himself consecrated without waiting for the imperial confirmation, and soon called a council in the Lateran at which one hundred and five bishops met. Five sessions were held on 5, 8, 17, 119 and 31 Oct., 649 (Hefele, "Conciliengeschichte", III, 190). The "Ecthesis" of Heraclius and the "Typus" of Constans II were rejected; nominal excommunication was passed against Sergius, Pyrrus, and Paul of Constantinople, Cyrus of Alexandria and Theodore of Phran in Arabia; twenty canons were enacted defining the Catholic doctrine on the two wills of Christ. The decrees signed by the pope and the assembled bishops were sent to the other bishops and the faithful of the world together with an encyclical of Martin. The Acts with a Greek translation were also sent to the Emperor Constans II.
The pope appointed John, Bishop of Philadelphia, as his vicar in the East with necessary instructions and full authority . Bishop Paul of Thessalonica refused to recall his heretical letters previously sent to Rome and added others,—he was, therefore, formally excommunicated and deposed. The Patriarch of Constantinople, Paul, had urged the emperor to use drastic means to force the pope and the Western Bishops at least to subscribe to the "Typus". The emperor sent Olympius as exarch to Italy, where he arrived while the council was still in session. Olympius tried to create a faction among the fathers to favor the views of the emperor, but without success. Then upon pretense of reconciliation he wished to receive Holy Communion from the hands of the pontiff with the intention of slaying him. But Divine Providence protected the pope, and Olympius left Rome to fight against the Saracens in Sicily and died there. Constans II thwarted in his plans, sent as exarch Theodore Calliopas with orders to bring Martin to Constantinople. Calliopas arrived in Rome, 15 June, 653, and, entering the Lateran Basilica two days later, informed the clergy that Martin had been deposed as an unworthy intruder, that he must be brought to Constantinople and that another was to be chosen in his place. The pope, wishing to avoid the shedding of human blood, forbade resistance and declared himself willing to be brought before the emperor. The saintly prisoner, accompanied by only a few attendants, and suffering much from bodily ailments and privations, arrived at Constantinople on 17 Sept., 653 or 654, having landed nowhere except the island of Naxos. The letters of the pope seem to indicate he was kept at Naxos for a year. Jaffe, n. 1608, and Ewald, n 2079, consider the annum fecimus an interpolation and would allow only a very short stop at Naxos, which granted the pope an opportunity to enjoy a bath. Duchesne, "Lib. Pont.", I, 336 can see no reason for abandoning the original account; Hefele,"Conciliengeschichte" III, 212, held the same view (see "Zeitschr. für Kath. Theol.", 1892, XVI, 375).
From Abydos messengers were sent to the imperial city to announce the arrival of the prisoner who was branded as a heretic and rebel, an enemy of God and of the State. Upon his arrival in Constantinople Martin was left for several hours on deck exposed to the jests and insults of a curious crowd of spectators. Towards evening he was brought to a prison called Prandearia and kept in close and cruel confinement for ninety-three days, suffering from hunger, cold and thirst. All this did not break his energy and on 19 December he was brought before the assembled senate where the imperial treasurer acted as judge. Various political charges were made, but the true and only charge was the pope's refusal to sign the "Typus". He was then carried to an open space in full view of the emperor and of a large crowd of people. These were asked to pass anathema upon the pope to which but few responded. Numberless indignities were heaped upon him, he was stripped of nearly all his clothing, loaded with chains, dragged through the streets of the city and then again thrown into the prison of Diomede, where he remained for eighty five days. Perhaps influenced by the death of Paul, Patriarch of Constantinople, Constans did not sentence the pope to death, but to exile. He was put on board a ship, 26 March, 654 (655) and arrived at his destination on 15 May. Cherson was at the time suffering from a great famine. The venerable pontiff here passed the remaining days of his life. He was buried in the church of Our Lady, called Blachernæ, near Cherson, and many miracles are related as wrought by St Martin in life and after death. The greater part of his relics are said to have been transferred to Rome, where they repose in the church of San Martino ai Monti. Of his letters seventeen are extant in P.L., LXXXVII, 119.


John 3: 7 - 15


7 Do not marvel that I said to you, `You must be born anew.'

8 The wind blows where it wills, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know whence it comes or whither it goes; so it is with every one who is born of the Spirit."

9 Nicode'mus said to him, "How can this be?"

10 Jesus answered him, "Are you a teacher of Israel, and yet you do not understand this?

11 Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know, and bear witness to what we have seen; but you do not receive our testimony.

12 If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things?

13 No one has ascended into heaven but he who descended from heaven, the Son of man.

14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of man be lifted up,

15 that whoever believes in him may have eternal life."




VATICAN CITY, 10 APR 2010 (VIS) - At 5.30 p.m. yesterday in the pontifical residence at Castelgandolfo, Benedict XVI attended the screening of a film on Pius XII entitled "Under the Roman Sky".
At the end of the showing, the Pope expressed his appreciation at having been able to watch the first screening of a film "which shows the fundamental role played by Venerable Pius XII in saving Rome and many persecuted people between 1943 and 1944".
"Such works", he said, "have particular importance especially for the new generations. For people who studied certain events at school, or perhaps have heard speak about them, films such as this can be useful and stimulating, helping them to understand a period which is by no means distant, but which the swift-moving events of recent history and a fragmented culture can cause us to forget".
The Holy Father highlighted how Pius XII, "with his profound teachings, was able to speak to the men and women of his time, showing them the road to Truth, while with his great wisdom he guided the Church towards the horizon of the Third Millennium. Yet", Benedict XVI added, "I would particularly like to underline the fact that Pius XII was the Pope who, as father to all, presided in charity, in Rome and the in the world, especially during the difficulty period of World War II".
"The primacy of charity, of love, which is the commandment of the Lord Jesus, is the principle and the key to understanding all the work of the Church, and in the first place that of her universal Pastor. Charity is the reason for all actions, for all interventions. It is the basic motive that moves thoughts and concrete actions, and I am happy that this unifying principle also emerges in this film. This is the interpretation I would suggest, in the light of the authentic witness shown by that great master of faith, hope and charity who was Pope Pius XII".

VATICAN CITY, 10 APR 2010 (VIS) - The Pontifical Biblical Commission will celebrate its annual plenary meeting at the Vatican's "Domus Sanctae Marthae" from 12 to 16 April, under the presidency of Cardinal William Joseph Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Fr. Klemens Stock S.J., secretary general of the commission, will oversee and direct the work of the assembly.
During their meeting, the members of the commission will turn their attention to the subject of "Inspiration and Truth of the Bible". As the first stage of its study, the commission has chosen to concentrate its efforts on verifying how the themes of inspiration and truth appear in the various texts of the Bible. On the basis of their individual competencies, each member will present a report which will then be discussed collegially by the assembly.

VATICAN CITY, 10 APR 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father will make an apostolic trip to Cyprus from 4 to 6 June, during the course of which the "Instrumentum laboris" of the Special Assembly for the Middle East of the Synod of Bishops will be published.
The Pope will depart from Rome's Fiumicino airport at 9.30 a.m. and is due to arrive in Paphos at 2 p.m. Following the welcome ceremony, he will travel to the church of Agia Kiriaki Chrysopolitissa, where he will participate in an ecumenical ceremony and pronounce an address. On Saturday 5 June the Holy Father will pay a courtesy visit to Dimitris Christofias, president of the Republic of Cyprus, at the presidential palace in Nicosia, where he will also meet the civil authorities and the diplomatic corps. At 10.45 that morning he will meet with the Catholic community of Cyprus at the sports field of St. Maron primary school in Nicosia. At 12.15 p.m. he is scheduled to meet His Beatitude Chrysostomos II, archbishop of New Justiniana and All Cyprus, at the Orthodox archbishopric. The day will end with Mass in the Latin parish church of the Holy Cross attended by priests, religious and representatives of Cyprian ecclesial movements. At 9.30 a.m. on Sunday 6 June the Pope will celebrate Mass at Nicosia's Eleftheria sports centre for the occasion of the publication of the "Instrumentum laboris" of the Special Assembly for the Middle East of the Synod of Bishops. At 1 p.m. he will have lunch at the apostolic nunciature in Nicosia with patriarchs and bishops of the Special Council for the Middle East of the Synod of Bishops, and His Beatitude Chrysostomos II. That afternoon the Holy Father will visit the Maronite cathedral of Cyprus, from which he will travel to Larnaca airport for his return flight to Rome, which is scheduled to depart at 6.15 p.m.

VATICAN CITY, 11 APR 2010 (VIS) - At noon, Benedict XVI, at Castelgandolfo since the Sunday of the Resurrection, recited the Regina Coeli with the faithful in the courtyard of the Apostolic Palace of this city.
Before the Marian oration, the Holy Father recalled that John Paul II dedicated this Sunday, which concludes the Octave of Easter to Divine Mercy and said: "The pages of the Gospel of Saint John (20:19-31) are full of divine mercy and goodness. It is told that Jesus, after the Resurrection, visited his disciples, crossing the closed doors of the house".
He continued: "Jesus shows the signs of the passion, to allowing the doubting Thomas to touch them. However, how is it possible that a disciple doubts? In reality, divine condescendence allows us to draw even from the incredulity of Saint Thomas as well as from the believing disciples. In fact, touching the Lord's wounds, the hesitant disciple heals not only his own diffidence, but also ours.".
The visit by the Risen One, the Pope explained, "is not limited to the house, but it goes beyond, so that all may receive the gift of peace and life with the 'creating Breath'. In fact, twice Jesus said to the disciples: 'Peace be with you!', and added: 'As the Father has sent me, so I send you'. After saying this he breathed on them, saying: 'Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained'."
"This is the mission of the Church constantly assisted by the Paraclete: to bring to all the good news, the joyous reality of God's merciful Love, that you may (...) believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you will receive life in his name".
"In the light of these words, I encourage, in particular, all the Shepherds to follow the example of the holy Curate of Ars who, 'at his time, knew how to transform the hearts and lives of so many persons, because he made them perceive the merciful love of the Lord. Today, we also need a similar proclamation and a similar testimonial of the truth of Love. In this way we make Him that our eyes have never seen be evermore familiar and close, He whose infinite Mercy is an absolute certitude", the Pope concluded.

VATICAN CITY, 11 APR 2010 (VIS) - After the prayer of Regina Coeli in the Apostolic Palace of Castelgandolfo, the Pope expressed his condolences to the Polish nation for the tragic plane accident of Saturday, in which the President Lech Kaczynski, his wife and other high officials of the State and the military, lost their lives.
Then, addressing the Polish pilgrims present, the Holy Father said that they "perished during a journey to Katyn, the place where thousands of Polish military officers were tortured seventy years ago".
He said, "I entrust all the victims to the goodness of the Lord of Life. I do this in union with the pilgrims congregated in the Sanctuary of Lagiewniki and all those devoted to the Mercy of God in the whole world".
Saturday, Benedict XVI sent a telegram to the President of the Parliament of the Republic of Poland, Bronislaw Komorowski, in which he stated "I entrust the victims of this dramatic accident - the parliamentarians, the politicians, the representatives of the army and the families of Katyn, as well as all the other persons - to the goodness of the merciful God. May he welcome them in his glory. To the families of those that perished and to all the Polish people, I wish to offer my most sincere condolences, assuring them of my spiritual closeness. During this difficult moment, I beg the almighty God for a special blessing for the Polish People".TGR/ VIS 20100412 (240)

VATICAN CITY, 12 APR 2010 (VIS) - On Thursday April 8, in the House of the Armed Forces of Sarajevo, the signing of the Agreement between the Holy See and Bosnia Herzegovina took place, concerning religious assistance for Catholic faithful, members of the Armed Forces of this State.
The Archbishop Alessandro D'Errico, apostolic nuncio to Sarajevo, signed on behalf of the Holy See, and for Bosnia Herzegovina, the Minister of Defence, Selmo Cikotic.
A notice states that "the Agreement is a new important stage in relationships between the Holy See and Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is, in fact, a first and significant application of the Base Agreement between the Holy See and Bosnia and Herzegovina, which was signed in Sarajevo on April 19 2006 and defined, among other things, the juridical framework of the presence and the activities of the Catholic Church in the Nation. Especially, article 15 of the same Agreement recognizes and guarantees the Catholic Church's right to religious assistance for the Catholic members of the Armed Forces and establishes that religious activities in the Armed Forces will be regulated by a following Agreement between the Ecclesiastic Authorities and Bosnia and Herzegovina. This is what this document will try to achieve, according to article 13, which will occur at the moment of the exchange of ratification instruments.

VATICAN CITY, 12 APR 2010 (VIS) - Today the Vatican website, under the section called "Focus", published a guide to understanding the procedures of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on sexual abuse allegations towards minors.
Guide to Understanding Basic CDF Procedures concerning Sexual Abuse Allegations
The applicable law is the Motu Proprio "Sacramentorum sanctitatis tutela" (MP SST) of 30 April 2001 together with the 1983 Code of Canon Law. This is an introductory guide which may be helpful to lay persons and non-canonists.
A: Preliminary Procedures
The local diocese investigates every allegation of sexual abuse of a minor by a cleric.
If the allegation has a semblance of truth the case is referred to the CDF. The local bishop transmits all the necessary information to the CDF and expresses his opinion on the procedures to be followed and the measures to be adopted in the short and long term.
Civil law concerning reporting of crimes to the appropriate authorities should always be followed.
During the preliminary stage and until the case is concluded, the bishop may impose precautionary measures to safeguard the community, including the victims. Indeed, the local bishop always retains power to protect children by restricting the activities of any priest in his diocese. This is part of his ordinary authority, which he is encouraged to exercise to whatever extent is necessary to assure that children do not come to harm, and this power can be exercised at the bishop's discretion before, during and after any canonical proceeding.
B: Procedures authorized by the CDF
The CDF studies the case presented by the local bishop and also asks for supplementary information where necessary.
The CDF has a number of options:
B1 Penal Processes
The CDF may authorize the local bishop to conduct a judicial penal trial before a local Church tribunal. Any appeal in such cases would eventually be lodged to a tribunal of the CDF.
The CDF may authorize the local bishop to conduct an administrative penal process before a delegate of the local bishop assisted by two assessors. The accused priest is called to respond to the accusations and to review the evidence. The accused has a right to present recourse to the CDF against a decree condemning him to a canonical penalty. The decision of the Cardinals members of the CDF is final.
Should the cleric be judged guilty, both judicial and administrative penal processes can condemn a cleric to a number of canonical penalties, the most serious of which is dismissal from the clerical state. The question of damages can also be treated directly during these procedures.
B2 Cases referred directly to the Holy Father
In very grave cases where a civil criminal trial has found the cleric guilty of sexual abuse of minors or where the evidence is overwhelming, the CDF may choose to take the case directly to the Holy Father with the request that the Pope issue a decree of "ex officio" dismissal from the clerical state. There is no canonical remedy against such a papal decree.
The CDF also brings to the Holy Father requests by accused priests who, cognizant of their crimes, ask to be dispensed from the obligation of the priesthood and want to return to the lay state. The Holy Father grants these requests for the good of the Church ("pro bono Ecclesiae").
B3 Disciplinary Measures
In cases where the accused priest has admitted to his crimes and has accepted to live a life of prayer and penance, the CDF authorizes the local bishop to issue a decree prohibiting or restricting the public ministry of such a priest. Such decrees are imposed through a penal precept which would entail a canonical penalty for a violation of the conditions of the decree, not excluding dismissal from the clerical state. Administrative recourse to the CDF is possible against such decrees. The decision of the CDF is final.
C. Revision of MP SST
For some time the CDF has undertaken a revision of some of the articles of "Motu Proprio Sacramentorum Sanctitatis tutela", in order to update the said Motu Proprio of 2001 in the light of special faculties granted to the CDF by Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI. The proposed modifications under discussion will not change the above-mentioned procedures (A, B1-B3).

AUDIENCES: VATICAN CITY, 12 APR 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father received today, in separate audiences four prelates National Conference of Bishops of Brazil (North II Region), during their "ad limina" apostolic visit:
- Bishop Flavio Giovenale, S.D.B., of Abaetetuba.
- Bishop Alessio Saccardo, S.I., of Ponta de Pedras.
- Bishop Jesus Maria Cizaurre Berdonces, O.A.R., Prelate of Cameta.
- Bishop Bernardo Johannes Bahlmann, O.F.M., Prelate of Obidos.

OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Corepiscopus, Yousif Habash, as Bishop of the Eparchy of Our Lady of Deliverance of Newark of the Syrians (Catholics 13,800, priests 6, permanent deacons 2) in the United States of America. The bishop elect was born in 1951 in Qaraqosh, Iraq and was ordained in 1975. Until now he was the parish priest of the Syro-Catholic Parish of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Los Angeles, California.
On Saturday 10 April it was made public that the Pope:
 Appointed Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B. as pontifical legate to the Eucharistic Congress of Slovenia, due to take place in Celje on 13 June.
- Appointed Cardinal Jozef Tomko, prefect emeritus of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples, as his special envoy to celebrations marking the third centenary of the consecration of the cathedral of Minsk, Belarus, due to take place there on 12 June.
- Appointed Msgr. Jaime Villarroel Rodriguez of the clergy of the diocese of Margarita, Venezuela, vicar general, as bishop of Carupano (area 5,638, population 461,000, Catholics 454,800, priests 29, religious 22), Venezuela. The bishop-elect was born in Porlamar, Venezuela in 1962 and ordained a priest in 1993.
- Accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the eparchy of Santa Maria del Patrocinio en Buenos Aires of the Ukrainians, Argentina, presented by Bishop Miguel Mykycej F.D.P., in accordance with canon 210 para. 1 of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches. He appointed Bishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk, auxiliary of Santa Maria del Patrocinio en Buenos Aires, as apostolic administrator of the same eparchy.


CNN report:  -- The body of Polish President Lech Kaczynski, who was killed in a plane crash in Russia over the weekend, returned to tributes in his homeland Sunday afternoon.

Soldiers in perfect step carried the casket from the plane that transported onto the tarmac, where mourners were waiting. Catholic priests recited prayers at the military airport before Kaczynski's daughter and twin brother, followed by others, took turns kneeling before the flag-draped casket.
People lined up along the streets along where Kaczynski's body would pass on its way to the presidential palace.
Tens of thousands of Poles across the country observed a two-minute-long moment of silence to remember their president and 95 others killed in the plane crash.
Meanwhile, investigators said they found the aircraft's flight data recorders in good condition and began deciphering them Sunday, the independent Russian Interfax news agency reported.
Residents flocked to central Warsaw, the site of the presidential palace, to mourn Kaczynski. They left wreaths and lit candles. By Sunday, the numbers grew to about 100,000 by some estimates. Many cried openly. Others stared blankly at the sky.
On Monday, the country begins a week-long period of mourning.
The plane carrying Kaczynski crashed Saturday morning while trying to land at an airport near Smolensk in Russia.
Biography: Lech KaczynskiKaczynski's wife and several top military officials were also killed in the crash.
Parliament Speaker Bronislaw Komorowski took over as acting president and declared it "a time for national mourning."
Kaczynski, 60, had been traveling with a Polish delegation to Russia for the 70th anniversary of the Russian massacre of Polish prisoners of war in the village of Katyn.
About 20,000 Poles, including soldiers and civilians, were executed there during World War II.
The Polish military plane carrying Kaczynski originated in Warsaw, the Polish Defense Ministry said.
It was just a few miles east of Katyn when it crashed around 10:50 a.m. (2:50 a.m. ET) on the outskirts of the town of Pechorsk, close to Smolensk, the Investigation Committee of the Russian prosecutor's office said.
World leaders pay tribute to Kaczynski
Late Saturday night, Kaczynski's twin brother, Jaroslaw, visited the site of the crash.
As others around him prayed, he silently knelt down on pile of rubble where mourners had propped up flowers.
Authorities do not yet know what caused the crash. Russia has emphasized that there is no evidence it was responsible.
The Investigation Committee said the plane, a Tupolev-154, was trying to land in heavy fog. A Russian military official said that air traffic control in Smolensk had tried to divert the plane to another airport because of inclement weather.
"The air traffic control officer gave several orders to divert but the plane continued with its descent," said Alexander Aleshin, a top Russian air force official. "Unfortunately, this ended in tragedy."
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev appointed Putin to head an inquiry commission.
On Sunday, the Russian state-run RIA Novosti news agency reported that the crash was not caused by technical problems, citing investigation officials.
The plane carrying Kaczynski was refurbished and repaired last year, according to Alexei Gusev, general director of Aviakor Factory, the company that performed the service.
"Speaking openly, we believe that this tragedy could not have been caused by equipment failure," he said. Kaczynski had been president since December 2005, after he defeated rival Donald Tusk in the second round of voting.
Elections must now be held within 60 days.
Other Polish officials killed in the crash include Aleksander Szczyglo, the head of the National Security Office; Jerzy Szmajdzinski, the deputy parliament speaker; Andrzej Kremer, the deputy foreign minister; and Gen. Franciszek Gagor, the army chief of staff, according to Kaczynski's Law and Justice Party.
What does crash mean for Polish politics?
The party also said that Slawomir Skrzypek, head of the National Bank of Poland, was killed.
Putin spoke Saturday at the crash site, where charred pieces of the airplane were strewn through a wooded area. Some pieces, including one of the wheel wells, were upside down.
"As our first priority, we must establish the causes of this tragedy," he said. "As a second priority, we must do everything in our power to assist the families and relatives of the deceased."


Asia News report: Two bombs were intended to hit a building in the Ministry of Education and a Catholic church. In gun battles between terrorists and security forces two people were killed.

Zamboanga (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Two bombs exploded in the capital of Basilan island, Isabela, targeting a government building and a church. In the shootout that followed, two people were killed.
The first bomb exploded at about 10.30 (local time) outside the Ministry of Education building. The second, fixed on a motorcycle, exploded a few minutes later near a Catholic church, causing damage but not causing any victims. Soon afterwards a gun fight ensued between the attackers and security forces, in which two people were killed.
The authorities are seeking to shed light on the identity of the group. In the islands of Basilan and Jolo various Islamist groups operate, including rebels of Abu Sayyaf, suspected of having links with al Qaeda and the Indonesian group Jemaah Islamiyah.,-two-killed,-a-church-damaged-in-Isabela-(Basilan)-18122.html


CNA report: Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, celebrated Mass on Sunday at the Cathedral of Santiago and officially presented a statue of Our Lady of Carmel as a gift from Pope Benedict XVI to Chile. The pilgrim statue will travel to the various cities in the country that were affected by the February earthquake.

The Vicar General for Ministry in Santiago and the National Coordinator of the Continental Mission, Msgr. Cristian Precht remarked that this statue “will accompany us in our sorrow—mothers can always identify with sorrow, thanks be to God—but it is also here to renew us in our faith.”Father Carlos Cox, who is rector of the Shrine of Maipu and will coordinate the pilgrim statue’s tour throughout the country, added, “The most important aspect of this statue is that it brings us close to Jesus, who encourages us and helps us with what is essential in the Continental Mission, which is the encounter with the Living Christ.”
The pilgrimage of the statue “does not only have a religious meaning; it also seeks to awaken Chile to a new stage in her life that not only has to do with reconstruction but with re-creating as well. For this reason we believe this is perhaps going to be one of the most powerful and strongest aspects of our bicentennial, not only from a religious perspective, but also from the perspective of our society.”
The statue was created by Ecuadoran artist Ricardo Villalba and depicts Our Lady of Carmel standing upon the Shrine of Maipu, with the Cross of Chile at her back and the Child Jesus in her left arm.


All Africa report: A group of unidentified gunmen forced their way into the home of Congolese Bishop Sylvestre Bali-Busane Bahati of the Anglican Diocese of Bukavu during the early hours of April 9, looting property and leaving with money, clothes and electronic equipment.

The bishop was unharmed, but the gunmen tied up his eldest son, insisting they be directed to him, according to an e-mail sent from Bahati to church partners. The gunmen also assaulted the security man on duty.
According to the e-mail, the gunmen said they had been paid US$20,000 "to assassinate the Anglican Bishop of Bukavu Diocese."
When the bishop pleaded with the gunmen not to kill him, they requested money, which Bahati gave them, the e-mail said.
Bahati didn't disclose the amount in his e-mail, and couldn't be reached for further comment.
The Rev. Jean-Paul Muhindo Matabaro, in an e-mail to church partners, said that Bahati isn't the first church leader to be targeted in this way.
In November 2009, the Roman Catholic Church in Kabare lost a priest, a nun and two lay people in a similar attack, he said.
"Daily, there is mourning and sorrow in the communities of South Kivu and North Kivu provinces because of killings and looting," Matabaro said, noting that such attacks have resulted in the displacement of thousands of people.
Matabaro urged the local political authorities and the United Nations Mission in the Congo to find a way to ensure peace and security in the North and South Kivu provinces and throughout the whole country.
"We also request our brothers and sisters who read this sad news to pray for Bishop Bahati's family and the diocese of Bukavu who are often victims of atrocities from the militias," said Matabaro.
Bahati has served as the bishop of Bukavu since December 2006.


Cath News report: Churches have criticised Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's decision to suspend the asylum claims of Sri Lankans and Afghans for three and six months, drawing comparison with the Howard Government's treatment of refugees.

Australian Catholic Bishops Conference general secretary Brian Lucas is quoted by The Australian as saying that asylum-seekers should be dealt with in a just and humane way as a matter of principle.
"Making a unilateral decision that defers even the consideration of a claim seems to have no other value than to provide some form of deterrent," Father Lucas said.
Uniting Church president Alistair Macrae attacked Labor for reneging on a commitment to treat refugees more humanely, saying there was little difference to how the Howard Government treated asylum-seekers.
"They've quite clearly lapsed on previous commitments," Mr Macrae said.
"They've certainly contravened international agreements that we've signed up to as a nation."
The comments followed the decision on Friday to suspend new Sri Lankan asylum claims for three months and Afghan claims for six months.


Pope St. Julius I

Feast: April 12
Information: Feast Day: April 11
Born: Rome, Italy
Died: 12 April 352
The immediate successor of Pope Silvester, Arcus, ruled the Roman Church for only a very short period — from 18 January to 7 October, 336 — and after his death the papal chair remained vacant for four months. What occasioned this comparatively long vacancy is unknown. On 6 Feb., 337, Julius, son of Rustics and a native of Rome, was elected pope. His pontificate is chiefly celebrated for his judicious and firm intervention in the Arian controversies, about which we have abundant sources of information. After the death of Constantine the Great (22 May, 337), his son Constantine II, Governor of Gaul, permitted the exiled Athanasius to return to his See of Alexandria (see ATHANASIUS). The Arians in Egypt, however, set up a rival bishop in the person of Pistus, and sent an embassy to Julius asking him to admit Pistus into communion with Rome, and delivering to the pope the decisions of the Council of Tyre (335) to prove that Athanasius had been validly deposed. On his side Athanasius likewise sent envoys to Rome to deliver to Julius a synodal letter of the Egyptian bishops, containing a complete justification of their patriarch. On the arrival of the Athanasian envoys in Rome, Macarius, the head of the Arian representatives, left the city; the two remaining Arian envoys, with the Athanasian deputies, were summoned by Pope Julius. The Arian envoys now begged the pope to assemble a great synod before which both parties should present their case for decision.
Julius convened the synod at Rome, having dispatched two envoys to bear a letter of invitation to the Eastern bishops. Under the leadership of Eusebius, who had been raised from Nicomedia to the See of Constantinople, the Arian bishops had meanwhile held a council at Antioch, and elected George of Cappadocia Bishop of Alexandria in the place of Pistus. George was intruded forcibly into his see, and Athanasius, being again exiled, made his way to Rome. Many other Eastern bishops removed by the Arian party, among them Marcellus of Ancyra, also came to Rome. In a letter couched in haughty terms, however, the Arian bishops of the party of Eusebius refused to attend the synod summoned by Julius. The synod was held in the autumn of 340 or 341, under the presidency of the pope, in the titular church of the presbyter Vitus. After a detailed examination of the documents, Athanasius and Marcellus of Ancyra, who had made a satisfactory profession of faith, were exonerated and re-established in their episcopal rights. Pope Julius communicated this decision in a very notable and able letter to the bishops of the Eusebian party. In this letter he justifies his proceedings in the case, defends in detail his action in reinstating Athanasius, and animadverts strongly on the non-appearance of the Eastern bishops at the council, the convening of which they themselves had suggested. Even if Athanasius and his companions were somewhat to blame, the letter runs, the Alexandrian Church should first have written to the pope. "Can you be ignorant," writes the pope, "that this is the custom, that we should be written to first, so that from here what is just may be defined" (Julii ep. ad Antiochenos, c. xxii). After his victory over his brother Constantine II, Emperor Constans was ruler over the greater part of the Empire. He was entirely orthodox in his views, and, at the request of the pope and other Western bishops, interceded with his brother Constantius, Emperor of the East, in favour of the bishops who had been deposed and persecuted by the Arian party. Both rulers agreed that there should be convened a general council of the Western and Eastern bishops at Sardica, the principal city of the Province of Dacia Mediterranea (the modern Sofia). It took place in the autumn of 342 or 343, Julius sending as his representatives the priests Archidamus and Philoxenus and the deacon Leo. Although the Eastern bishops of the Arian party did not join in the council, but held their assembly separate and then departed, the synod nevertheless accomplished its task. Through the important canons iii, iv, and v (vii in the Latin text) of this council, the procedure against accused bishops was more exactly regulated, and the manner of the papal intervention in the condemnation of bishops was definitely established.
At the close of its transactions the synod communicated its decisions to the pope in a dutiful letter. Notwithstanding the reaffirmation of his innocence by the Synod of Sardica, St. Athanasius was not restored to his see by Emperor Constantius until after the death of George, the rival Bishop of Alexandria, in 346. Pope Julius took this occasion to write a letter, which is still extant, to the priests, deacons, and the faithful of Alexandria, to congratulate them on the return of their great pastor. The two bishops Ursacius of Singidunum and Valens of Mursia, who, on account of their Arianism, had been deposed by the Council of Sardica, now made a formal recantation of their error to Julius, who, having summoned them to an audience and received a signed confession of faith, restored to them their episcopal sees. Concerning the inner life of the Roman Church during the pontificate of Julius we have no exact information; all agree, however, that there was a rapid increase in the number of the faithful in Rome, where Julius had two new basilicas erected: the titular church of Julius (now S. Maria in Trastevere) and the Basilica Julia (now the Church of the Twelve Apostles). Beside these he built three churches over cemeteries outside the walls of Rome: one on the road to Porto, a second on the Via Aurelia, and a third on the Via Flaminia at the tomb of the martyr St. Valentine. The ruins of the last-mentioned have been discovered. The veneration of the faithful for the tombs of the martyrs continued to spread rapidly. Under the pontificate of Julius, if not earlier, catalogues of feast-days of saints came into use — the Roman feast-calendar of Philocalus dates from the year 336.
Through St. Athanasius, who remained in Rome several years subsequent to 339, the Egyptian monastic life became well-known in the capital, and the example of the hermits of the Egyptian deserts found many imitators in the Roman Church. Julius died on 12 April, 352, and was buried in the catacombs of Calepodius on the Aurelian Way, and, very soon after his death, was honoured as a saint. His body was later transported to S. Maria in Trastevere, the church which he had built. His feast is celebrated on 12 April.

St. Zeno

Feast: April 12
Information: Feast Day: April 12
Born: 300, Mauretania
Died: April 12, 371, Verona
Major Shrine: Basilica di San Zeno, Verona
Patron of: Fishermen, anglers, newborn babies, Verona
Entered in the Roman Martyrology on 12 April as a Bishop of Verona martyred under Gallienus. Probably, however, he was a confessor who governed the Church of Verona from 362-380. At Verona a basilica, San Zenone, is dedicated to his honour, and some thirty churches and chapels bear his name. In the basilica his statue, bearing the episcopal insignia, is prominent in the choir; coins with his likeness and an inscription were in use. On 21 May and 6 Dec. the translation of his body and his consecration were formerly commemorated. In "De viris illust." Of St. Jerome and Gennadius, Zeno is not mentioned, but St. Ambrose (Ep. v) speaks of him as an episcopus sanctae memoriae, and St. Gregory (Dial., III, 19) relates a miracle wrought at the Church of St. Zeno at Verona. Mabillon ("Vetera analecta", Paris, 1675) published an anonymous poem, "De landibus Veronae", taken from the writing of Ratherius, Bishop of Verona (d. 974), found in the abbey at Lobbes in Belgium (P.L., XI, 154, 225), which gives a list of the bishops of Verona and makes Zeno eighth. In the Monastery di Classe at Ravenna was found an eighth-century chasuble (casula diptycha) with the names and pictures of thirty-five bishops of Verona on its front and back; among them was that of Zeno. This list was accepted by Gams in his "Series episcoporum" (Bigelmair, p. 27). Zeno had not been known as a writer before 1508, when two Dominicans, Albertus Castellanus and Jacobus de Leuco, edited at Venice 105 tractatus or sermons found in the episcopal library of Verona fifty years earlier. In 1739 the brothers Ballerini published "S. Zenonis episcopi Veronae sermones", with an elaborate prolegomena. From these it appears that Zeno was a native of Africa, eighth Bishop of Verona (362-80), an able speaker, and an untiring champion of Christianity against the heathens and of orthodoxy against the Arians. Much controversy arose as to the time at which St. Zeno lives, whether two bishops of Verona of this name were to be admitted or but one, and on the authorship of the sermons. Various opinions were held by Sixtus of Siena, Baronius, Ughelli, Dupin, Tillemont, Fabricius, and others. Of the 105 sermons 12 have been rejected as belonging to other authors. Of the rest 16 are larger sermons, the others merely sketches or perhaps fragments. They contain valuable material on Catholic doctrine, practice, and liturgy; they treat of God, creation, the Blessed Virgin, Holy Scriptures, the Church, the sacraments, etc., and warn against the vices of the day.


John 3: 1 - 8

1 Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicode'mus, a ruler of the Jews.

2 This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, "Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that you do, unless God is with him."

3 Jesus answered him, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born anew, he cannot see the kingdom of God."

4 Nicode'mus said to him, "How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?"

5 Jesus answered, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.

6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

7 Do not marvel that I said to you, `You must be born anew.'

8 The wind blows where it wills, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know whence it comes or whither it goes; so it is with every one who is born of the Spirit."