CATHOLIC WORLD NEWS: WED. MAY 26, 2010: HEADLINES-
VATICAN: THE PRIEST MUST GOVERN WITH THE AUTHORITY OF CHRIST-
EUROPE: 37 LAW PROFESSORS WRITE TO EU COURT PROTESTING CRUCIFIX BAN-
AFRICA: SOUTH AFRICA: DIOCESE CREATES WEBSITE FOR SOCCER WORLD CUP-
AMERICAUSA: PRO-LIFE GROUPS NATIONWIDE PROTEST AGAINST THE PILL ON JUNE 5-
ASIA: THAILAND: INTER-FAITH PRAYER FOR RECONCILIATION-
AUSTRALIA: GEN. COSGROVE TO BE NEW CHANCELLOR OF CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY-
THE PRIEST MUST GOVERN WITH THE AUTHORITY OF CHRIST
VATICAN CITY, 26 MAY 2010 (VIS REPORT) - In today's general audience, celebrated in St. Peter's Square, the Pope focused his remarks on the duty of the priest to "govern and guide - with the authority of Christ, not with his own - that portion of the people which God has entrusted to his care".
In the last of three catechesis on the essential tasks of priestly ministry, the Holy Father asked: "how, within contemporary culture, can we understand this dimension which implicates the concept of authority and has its origin in the Lord's command to feed His sheep?"
"The regimes which spread death and terror last century are a powerful reminder that authority, in all fields, when exercised without reference to the transcendent, when it ignores the supreme authority that is God Himself, inevitably ends up by turning against man. It is important, then, to recognise that human authority is never an end but always and only a means, and that, necessarily and at all times, the end is always the person".
"In order to be pastors after God's heart, we need to be profoundly rooted in a living friendship with Christ (not only of our minds, but also of our freedom and will), clearly aware of the identity we received at priestly ordination, and unconditionally ready to lead our flock where the Lord wills, not in the direction which seems most convenient and easy. This requires, first and foremost, a continuous and progressive willingness to allow Christ Himself to govern the priestly lives of clergy. No-one, in fact, is truly capable of feeding the flock if they do not live in profound and authentic obedience to Christ and the Church; and the docility of the people towards their priests depends on the docility of priests towards Christ".
Referring then to the concept of "hierarchy" in the Church, the Pope noted how a prevalent idea among the public is of "an element of subordination, ... and for many people this contrasts with the flexibility and vitality of pastoral service. ... This is an erroneous interpretation which has its origins in the abuses of history", he explained. "The true meaning is of a sacred origin, it is an authority that comes from another, and subjects the person to the mystery of Christ, making him His servant. Only as His servant can he govern and guide, for Christ and with Christ".
Thus "the Pope, who is a point of reference for the communion of all the pastors of the Church, cannot do as he pleases; quite the contrary, he is the custodian of obedience to Christ and His word".
"Without this clear and explicit supernatural vision, priests' duty to govern cannot be understood. It is however, when supported by true concern for the salvation of each member of the faithful, a particularly important and necessary duty, also in our own time".
"Where", the Pope asked, "can a priest today draw the strength to exercise his ministry in complete faithfulness to Christ and to the Church, with total dedication to his flock? There is", he said, "only one answer: in Christ the Lord".
Benedict XVI told priests: "Do not be afraid to guide to Christ each of the brothers and sisters He has entrusted to you, certain that each word, each action, if they come from obedience to God's will, will bear fruit. Appreciate the advantages and recognise the limits of the culture in which we live, in the firm certainty that announcing the Gospel is the greatest service we can do mankind. In fact, there is no greater good in this earthly life than to lead man to God, to reawaken the faith, to raise mankind from inertia and desperation, and infuse the hope that God is close and guides the history of individuals and of the world. This is the profound and ultimate meaning of the task of government the Lord has entrusted to us".
The Pope concluded by inviting priests to participate in the closing celebrations of the Year for Priests, due to take place in Rome from 9 to 11 June when, he said, "we will meditate on conversion and mission, on the gift of the Holy Spirit and on our relationship with the Blessed Virgin; and we will renew our priestly promises, supported by the entire People of God".AG/ VIS 20100526 (730)
PAPAL GIFT TO VICTIMS OF FLOODING IN POLAND
VATICAN CITY, 26 MAY 2010 (VIS) - The Pontifical Council "Cor Unum" released the following English-language communique:
"In the wake of the floods provoked by torrential rains in Poland, a disaster on an unprecedented scale that has led to many victims and massive evacuations, the Pontifical Council 'Cor Unum' has sent Archbishop Jozef Michalik, president of the Polish Episcopal Conference, a papal gift to assist the flood victims and evacuees in the worst hit ecclesiastical areas.
"The Holy Father's gesture through 'Cor Unum' is intended to show his closeness and his paternal encouragement to those who are generously offering aid relief".
CON-CU/ VIS 20100526 (110)
OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS
VATICAN CITY, 26 MAY 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father:
- Appointed Bishop Celio de Oliveira Goulart O.F.M. of Cachoeiro de Itapemirim, Brazil, as bishop of Sao Joao del Rei (area 9,503, population 552,000, Catholics 470,000, priests 66, religious 109), Brazil. He succeeds Bishop Waldemar Chaves de Araujo, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.
- Appointed Bishop Wilson Tadeu Jonck S.C.J., auxiliary of Sao Sebastiao do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, as bishop of Tubarao (area 4,531, population 349,000, Catholics 305,000, priests 53, permanent deacons 1, religious 99), Brazil.
The World Cup has offered a unique opportunity, one we don't want to miss!
Let us seize this opportunity to offer the world an example of a living church and sports. Let us not be afraid to move forward, has often recalled John Paul II. Let us not be afraid to go full tilt, with faith and courage as athletes!
You will find here regularly updated information regarding the parishes nearby the stadiums where matches will be played, various events offered by the Church, the most important spiritual sites not to miss, as well as reflections on human trafficking, HIV & AIDS, Sport and the Church, etc.
Remember that the only true victory is one that enshrines the dignity of the person!
Enjoy your visit on http://www.churchontheball.com/ and... that the best team win!
Cardinal Wilfrid Napier OFM
Archbishop of Durban
Soccer World Cup prayer
creator of all, as people from
every nation gather with excitement
and enthusiasm for the 2010 World Soccer
Cup may South Africans be good hosts, our
visitors welcomed guests and the players from
every team be blessed with good sportsmanship
and health. May your Spirit of fairness, justice and
peace prevail amongst players and all involved. May
each contribute in his own positive ways to prevent,
control and fight crime and corruption, hooliganism of
any kind and exploitation and abuse, especially of
those most vulnerable. May those far away from
home and those in their families find much joy
in this occasion to celebrate the beautiful
game of soccer and the beautiful
game of life according to Your
plan for the common good
of all. Amen
37 LAW PROFESSORS WRITE TO EU COURT PROTESTING CRUCIFIX BAN
CNA report: Thirty-seven law professors from countries around the globe have written to the European Court of Human Rights, urging them to overturn a ruling that banned crucifixes from Italian classrooms.
In their comments to the court, professors from 11 countries throughout the world cautioned that failing to overturn the ruling could incite a hostile relationship between the government and religion in Europe and could even threaten to unravel the “tapestry” of European civilization, according to the Beckett Fund for Religious Liberty.
In November of last year, the court ruled in favor of local mother Soile Lautsi's case to remove religious symbols, including crucifixes, from public schools in Italy to ensure her children's right to a secular education.
On March 2 of this year, the European Court accepted an appeal from the Italian government, thereby temporarily allowing crucifixes to remain in classrooms throughout the country while the appeal is pending. The Grand Chamber of the Court, located in Strasbourg, France, will hold a hearing in the case on June 30.
The professors stressed in their comments to the court that the “attempt to exile religious symbols and ideas from the public square would be foolhardy, because religious symbols and religious ideas are an integral part of the tapestry of European civilization.”
“Pull out that thread,” they warned, “and the entire tapestry unravels.”
Eric Rassbach, national litigation director at the Beckett Fund for Religious Liberty, who helped draft the submissions to the court, said on Tuesday that a “ban on religious symbols that offend someone, somewhere, is a ban on all religious symbols.”
Speaking on the upcoming June 30 ruling, Rassbach said that rather “than announcing a State crusade against religion, the Court should recognize that religion and government can be harmonious with each other.”
USA: PRO-LIFE GROUPS NATION-WIDE PROTEST AGAINST THE PILL ON JUNE 5
LifeSiteNews.com REPORT - A large coalition of pro-life groups has announced plans to protest the damage wreaked by the morning-after pill, the "hormonal bomb" whose effects on women, their unborn children, and the environment have gone largely unreported by the mainstream media.
"This year, birth control advocates are celebrating 50 years of decriminalized hormonal contraceptives," announced the coalition in a press release Tuesday. "American Life League and our co-sponsors don't think half a century of contaminating our waterways is something to celebrate." The release points out a number of studies that have found devastating effects of the high levels of estrogen released into water supplies thanks to the pill, which have been linked to declining male fertility and mutations in male fish.
In addition, while the morning-after pill is usually billed as a contraceptive, the drug can also cause abortion by changing a woman's uterine lining so that a newly-conceived unborn child cannot attach and receive nourishment from its mother. In addition, the pill has been linked to the deaths of otherwise healthy women, through fatal blood clots, heart attacks, strokes.
"The Pill Kills Day," the largest nationwide protest of its kind, will include activists, scientists and educators in planned protests all across the nation on June 5. They say that they will demand “honesty” from America's pharmaceutical companies and government about how birth control is hazardous to children, women's health and the environment.
One group will assemble at the Planned Parenthood of Greater Washington D.C. on 16th street at 11 a.m.
"How long will we stand by and ignore the fact that hormonal contraception wreaks havoc on our children, women's health and the planet?" said Judie Brown, president of American Life League.
Katie Walker, Communications Director for ALL, said that the protest represented a key front for pro-lifers striving to recapture the culture.
“Too often pro-lifers are silent on birth control, but the silence has to end if we’re serious about establishing human rights for all human beings," Walker told LifeSiteNews.com Tuesday. "The contraceptive mindset that was ushered in with the decriminalization of the birth control pill paved the way for a culture and society that degrades human sexuality, ignores human dignity and treats human beings’ lives as optional and disposable."
Walker noted that "birth control and abortion have gone hand in hand from the very beginning – perhaps because birth control can often act as an abortion."
The Pill Kills project, said Walker, is meant to educate both pro-lifers and others on the often hidden negative effects of the morning-after pill - including its impact on the ecosystem. "In a world obsessed with 'going green,' we hope to use this hypocritical acceptance of birth control – which is a notorious pollutant – to open up a conversation about the pill that you won’t hear anywhere else," she said.
The protest is co-sponsored by:
American Life League
Human Life International
Pharmacists for Life International
Archdiocese of Mobile Respect Life
Generation Life/Brandi Swindell
Life Education Ministry
Movement for a Better America
AMEN (Abortion Must End Now)
Pro-Life Action of Oregon
Children of God for Life
Expectant Mother Care/Chris Slattery
Mother and Unborn Baby Care
Defenders of the Unborn
California Right to Life Education Fund
Delaware Pro-Life Coalition
Homeschoolers for Life
Focus Pregnancy Center
Central Texas Voices for Life
Dubuque County Right to Life
THAILAND: INTER-FAITH PRAYER FOR RECONCILIATION
Asia News report: Christians, Buddhists, Muslims and Hindus gather at dawn at ten points in the capital to renew an appeal for reconciliation. Analysts say divisions are deep; only major socio-political reforms can re-unify the country. The red shirts’ surrender does not mean peace.
Bangkok (AsiaNews) – Thousands of Bangkok residents woke up at dawn this morning to take part in inter-faith prayers for peace and reconciliation, organised in at least 10 locations across the capital. The voices of more than a thousand Buddhist monks blended with the litanies of Muslim imams, Christian clergymen and leaders and Hindu believers. In the past few weeks, this metropolis of 15 million people was the scene of demonstrations by red shirt protesters, which left 83 people dead and more than 1,900 injured.
For analysts, without major reforms to a political system that protesters claim favours an "establishment elite" over rural masses, such prayers and calls for reconciliation will not end a polarising crisis.
Those who back the red shirts, supporters of ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra (now in exile), will try to develop new forms of protests, which will cost billions of dollars to the economy.
In the last few days, Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva reiterated his plan for reconciliation, including political reforms and greater social justice. However, nine weeks of protests, the worst in the country’s recent history, have left their mark.
Many political observers note that the prime minister’s plan is not likely to work without input from the opposition, which is still led by Thaksin.
In an editorial in the Bangkok Post, Thitinan Pongsudhirak, director of the Institute of Security and Internet, said, “Picking up the pieces from the last two months will be arduous, and this is all just a beginning.”
For him, it was a mistake to allow Thaksin to unify opposition groups under his wing. Now it is necessary to work with the reds’ “more moderate leaders”. At the same time, if Abhisit appears “too compromised” with the recent crackdown, he should “make a personal sacrifice to enable others to be put in place for the healing.”
For the Daily Newspaper, “The surrender of the red-shirt leaders is still not the end”. Nothing can guarantee that it can bring peace to the country; time is still needed.
Sadly, “How many people die does not trouble the Godfather of the red;” indeed, Thaksin once said, “If I do not survive, no one else will survive.”
Buddhist leaders turned to AsiaNews to give their appeal for peace a broader audience.
Phra Phaisarn Visalo, a monk from the Erawan temple (Chaiyapoom province), said, “Dharma can end the violence based on social justice.” This can be done if people are invited “to share resources and help the poor.” But “peace will take time,” he added, for “we must learn from the mistakes of the past.”
Phramahawuthichai Vachiragaethee, director of Vimuttayalai Buddhist Institute Phramahawuthichai, suggests, “We at least try to avoid making matters worse by claiming to be right and others wrong—no one is totally right or totally wrong. Each side has its own lot of errors”. Instead, it is better to seek a solution “with a conscience and wisdom”.
GENERAL COSGROVE TO BECOME NEW CHANCELLOR OF CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY
Cath News report: General Peter Cosgrove will be the next chancellor of the Australian Catholic University, according to The Australian. "I've spent most of my working life working with brilliant young Australians," he is cited saying. "Now, that brilliance may not have been expressed academically, intellectually, because often they were salt-of-the-earth soldiers."
St. Philip Neri
MISSIONARY AND FOUNDER
Feast: May 26
Information: Feast Day: May 26
Died: 27 May 1595
Canonized: 12 March 1622 by Pope Gregory XV
Philip Neri was born in Florence in the year 1515, one of four children of the notary Francesco Neri. The mother died while the children were very young, her place being filled by a capable stepmother. From infancy Philip had a docile, merry disposition. They called him "Pippo buono," "good little Phil," for he was a dutiful, attractive, cheerful lad, popular with all who knew him.
At eighteen Philip was sent to the town of San Germano, to live with a childless kinsman who had a business there and would be likely to make Philip his apprentice and heir. It is hard to imagine anyone with less aptitude for business than Philip. Soon after his arrival he had a mystical experience which in after years he spoke of as his "conversion," and which radically changed his life. He left his kinsman's house, to set out for Rome without money or plan, trusting entirely to God's providence. In Rome he found shelter under the roof of a former Florentine, one Galeotto Caccia, a customs official, who offered him an attic and the bare necessaries of life, in return for which Philip was to give lessons to Caccia's two small sons. Under his tutoring the little boys improved rapidly in all respects, according to their grateful mother. This promised well for Philip's future human relationships. Indeed, as we shall see, he had a natural talent for bringing out the best in people of all ages and conditions.
Except for the hours he devoted to his pupils, Philip seems to have passed his first two years at Rome as a recluse, spending much time in prayer in his bare, uncomfortable attic. He ate frugal meals of bread, water, and a few olives or vegetables. It was a period of intense preparation, and at its dose he emerged from obscurity with his spirit strengthened, his resolve to live for God confirmed. He now took courses in philosophy and theology at the Sapienza and at St. Augustine's monastery. For three years he worked so hard that he was considered an unusually promising scholar. Then, quite suddenly, moved by some inner prompting, he put an end to classes and studying, sold most of his books, and launched on a mission to the people of Rome.
Religion was at a low ebb in the papal city, which had not yet recovered from the atrocious depredations of the German and Spanish armies of 1527, a decade earlier. There were also grave abuses within the Church, and although they had long been recognized, too little was being done to cure them. Elections to the Sacred College were controlled by the Medici family, with the result that the cardinals, with a few notable exceptions, were princes of the state, worldlings who thought in terms of power and politics, rather than men dedicated to God and the Church. The enthusiasm for classical writers and the tendency towards scepticism, fostered by the humanists of the Renaissance, had gradually substituted pagan for Christian ideals in Italian intellectual circles. Indifference and luxury, if not corruption, were rife among the clergy, many of whom allowed their churches to fall into disrepair, seldom said Mass, and completely neglected their flocks. Little wonder that the laity were lapsing into cynicism and disbelief ! To fill the people of Rome with new ardor, to re-evangelize the city, became Philip Neri's life work.
He began in the most direct way possible, making acquaintances on street corners and in the public squares, where people were inclined to loiter. At first he interested himself especially in the young Florentines who were employed in the banks and shops of the busy Sant'Angelo quarter near the Vatican. He has been compared to Socrates for the way he could seize on opportunities for engaging in conversation and then lead his hearers on by questions and suggestions to consider a better way of life. His warm friendliness and lively sense of humor would quickly catch the attention of passersby, and once caught, they found it difficult to break away. By this warm, personal approach he gradually prevailed on many to give up their careless way of life. His customary question, "Well, brothers, when shall we begin to do good?" soon brought a response, provided he led the way. Losing no time in converting good intentions into action, he would take them to wait on the sick in the hospitals or to pray in the Seven Churches, one of Philip's own favorite devotions. His days were wholly given up to others, but towards evening it was his habit to retire into solitude, to spend the night in a church porch or in the catacombs beside the Appian Way, gathering strength for another day's work.
In one of the grottoes along the Appian Way he had an experience which affected him profoundly. He was praying on the eve of Pentecost, 1544, when there appeared to him what seemed to be a globe of fire; it entered his mouth and afterwards he felt a dilation of the heart. Immediately he was filled with such paroxysms of divine love that he fell to the ground exclaiming, "Enough, enough, Lord, I can bear no morel " When he had come to himself and risen up, he discovered a swelling over his heart, though neither then nor later did. it give him pain. From that day on, under stress of spiritual emotion, he was apt to be seized with palpitations; at such times he would ask God to mitigate His visitations lest he should die of love.
In the year 1548, when Philip had been carrying out his informal mission for some ten years, he founded, with the help of his confessor, Father Persiano Rossa, a confraternity of poor laymen who met for spiritual exercises in the church of San Salvatore in Campo. He popularized the devotion of the Forty Hours, and undertook to provide for needy pilgrims, a work which led to the building of the famous hospital Santa Trinita. During the Year of Jubilee of 1575 it cared for no less than a hundred and forty-five thousand pilgrims. Later it received convalescents also.
Thus by the time he was thirty-four, Philip had accomplished a great deal. His confessor, however, was convinced that as a priest his work would be even more effective. Philip's humility made him shrink from taking Holy Orders, but at last, on May 23, 1551, he was ordained. He went to live with Father Rossa and other priests at San Girolamo and thereafter carried on his mission mainly through the confessional. Starting before daybreak and continuing hour after hour, he sat in the tribunal of penance, while men and women of all ages and ranks flocked to him. Sometimes he conducted informal discussions with those who desired to lead a better life, or he would read aloud to them, choosing the lives of the saints, martyrs, and missionaries. The story of the heroic life and death of St. Francis Xavier so inspired Philip that he himself considered service in the foreign mission field: a Cistercian whom he consulted persuaded him that Rome was to be his Indies.
To accommodate the increasing number of those who attended Philip's discussions, a large room was built over the nave of San Girolamo. Several other priests were appointed to assist him. The people called them "Oratorians" because they rang a little bell to summon the faithful to prayers in their "oratory." The actual foundation of the Congregation of the Priests of the Oratory was laid a few years later, when Philip presented five of his young followers for ordination and sent them to serve the church of San Giovanni, which had been put in his charge by fellow Florentines living in Rome. The future cardinal and Church historian, Caesar Baronius, was among them. Philip drew up for them some simple rules: they were to share a common table and perform spiritual exercises under his direction, but they were not to bind themselves to the life by vow or to renounce their property. The organization grew rapidly, although it met with opposition in certain quarters. In 1575, the Congregation received the formal approbation of Pope Gregory XIII, who later bestowed on it the ancient church of Santa Maria in Vellicella. The building was in a ruinous condition and far too small. Philip was not long in deciding to demolish it and rebuild on a large scale.
He had no money, but contributions poured in from his friends, rich and poor. Pope Gregory and Charles Borromeo gave generously, as did other prominent men. Cardinals and princes were now among Philip's disciples, though he sometimes shocked them by his impulsiveness. His desire was always to establish a close, human bond with others, even though it meant indulging in a wine-drinking contest, practical joking, or other undignified behavior. He acted in a jocular manner to conceal his deep emotion, or to put himself on a level with those around him. Humility was the virtue he strove most of all to practice, but of course he could not conceal his extraordinary gifts or sanctity. More than once he foretold events which later came to pass. He lived in such a state of spiritual exaltation that at times it was with difficulty that he carried on his daily labors. Men declared that his face often glowed with a celestial radiance.
By April, 1577, work on the Nuova Chiesa, or New Church, had advanced sufficiently for the Congregation of the Oratory to be transferred there. Philip stayed at San Girolamo for another seven years before he moved to quarters in the New Church. Although he ate his meals apart from the group, he was far from leading the life of a solitary. Not only did his spiritual sons have free access to him, but his room was constantly crowded by others. Rich and poor mounted the steps that led to his refuge at the top of the house, with its balcony looking over the roofs of Rome. The Italian people loved and venerated him, and visitors came from other countries to speak with him. Thus he continued his apostolate when the infirmities of age prevented him from leading an active life. The College of Cardinals frequently sought his advice, and although he refrained from becoming involved in political matters, he broke this rule when he persuaded Pope Clement VII to withdraw the excommunication and anathema laid on Henry IV of France. In the words of one of his biographers, "He was all things to all men.... When he was called upon to be merry, he was so; if there was a demand upon his sympathy, he was equally ready.... In consequence of his being so accessible and willing to receive all comers, many went to him every day, and some continued for the space of thirty, nay, forty years, to visit him very often both morning and evening, so that his room went by the agreeable nickname of the "Home of Christian mirth." The tradition of this genial saint was very much alive two hundred years later, when the German poet Goethe was living in Rome. He heard so much of Neri that he studied the sources and wrote a highly appreciative essay about him, entitled, "The Humorous Saint."
Two years before his death Neri retired from his office of Superior in favor of his disciple, Caesar Baronius. He obtained permission from the Pope to celebrate Mass daily in a little Oratory adjoining his room. So enraptured did he become at such times that it was the practice of those who attended to retire respectfully at the
Mark 10: 32 - 45
32 And they were on the road, going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was walking ahead of them; and they were amazed, and those who followed were afraid. And taking the twelve again, he began to tell them what was to happen to him,
33 saying, "Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man will be delivered to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn him to death, and deliver him to the Gentiles;
34 and they will mock him, and spit upon him, and scourge him, and kill him; and after three days he will rise."
35 And James and John, the sons of Zeb'edee, came forward to him, and said to him, "Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you."
36 And he said to them, "What do you want me to do for you?"
37 And they said to him, "Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory."
38 But Jesus said to them, "You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or to be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?"
39 And they said to him, "We are able." And Jesus said to them, "The cup that I drink you will drink; and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized;
40 but to sit at my right hand or at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared."
41 And when the ten heard it, they began to be indignant at James and John.
42 And Jesus called them to him and said to them, "You know that those who are supposed to rule over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them.
43 But it shall not be so among you; but whoever would be great among you must be your servant,
44 and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all.
45 For the Son of man also came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."