Monday, June 21, 2010



VATICAN CITY, 19 JUN 2010 (VIS REPORT) - Given below is the text of a note released today by the Holy See Press Office concerning the position of Archbishop Juliusz Paetz, emeritus of Poznan, Poland:
"In response to questions from journalists concerning news that has appeared in the media about the position of Archbishop Juliusz Paetz, emeritus of Poznan, Poland, Holy See Press Office Director Fr. Federico Lombardi S.J. has explained that it is inappropriate to speak of 'rehabilitation' in this case, because the question examined in correspondence with Rome concerned only whether or not he was authorised to preside at public celebrations, if invited to do so by a pastor and always having first received the necessary 'nihil obstat' from the local ordinary.
"The criteria and restrictions established in 2002, and followed since then, will nonetheless not be modified.
"Thus, as officially confirmed yesterday by the spokesperson of the archdiocese of Poznan, it is completely unfounded that Archbishop Stanislaw Gadecki of Poznan has presented or even considered the possibility of resigning from the pastoral care of the archdiocese".
OP/ VIS 20100621 (190)

VATICAN CITY, 21 JUN 2010 (VIS) - Holy See Press Office Director Fr. Federico Lombardi S.J. today announced that the Vietnam - Holy See Joint Working Group will hold its second meeting in the Vatican on 23 and 24 June. The aim of the meeting is to strengthen and develop bilateral relations, as declared at the end of the group's first meeting, which took place in the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi on 17 February 2009. OP/ VIS 20100621 (90)

VATICAN CITY, 21 JUN 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences eleven prelates from the National Conference of Bishops of Brazil, on their "ad limina" visit:
- Bishop Miguel Angelo Freitas Ribeiro of Oliveira.
- Bishop Guilherme Porto of Sete Lagoas.
- Bishop Emanuel Messias de Oliveira of Guanhaes.
- Bishop Aloisio Jorge Pena Vitral of Teofilo Otoni.
- Bishop Francisco Carlos da Silva of Ituiutaba.
- Bishop Paulo Francisco Machado of Uberlandia.
- Bishop Tarcisio Nascente dos Santos of Divinopolis.
- Bishop Waldemar Chaves de Araujo of Sao Joao del Rei.
- Bishop Jose Ronaldo Ribeiro of Janauba.
- Bishop Jose Moreira da Silva of Januaria.
- Bishop Leonardo de Miranda Pereira of Paracatu.
On Saturday 19 June he received in separate audiences:
- Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.
- Archbishop Velasio De Paolis C.S., president of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See. AP/ VIS 20100621 (160)

VATICAN CITY, 21 JUN 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Fr. John Wong Soo Kau, vice director of the preparatory year of St. Peter's College in Kuching, Malaysia, as coadjutor archbishop of the archdiocese of Kota Kinabalu (area 11,558, population 3,746,000, Catholics 186,138, priests 38, religious 140), Malaysia. The archbishop-elect was born in Sandakan, Malaysia in 1968 and ordained a priest in 1999.
On Saturday 19 June it was made public that he:
- Appointed Fr. Zbignev Stankevics of the clergy of the archdiocese of Riga, Latvia, spiritual director of the local seminary and director of the higher institute for religious sciences, as metropolitan archbishop of the same archdiocese (area 23,587, population 1,250,000, Catholics 220,000, priests 41, permanent deacons 1, religious 63). The archbishop-elect was born in Lejasciema, Latvia in 1955 and ordained a priest in 1996. He succeeds Cardinal Janis Pujats, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same archdiocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.
- Appointed Cardinal Francisco Javier Errazuriz Ossa, archbishop of Santiago de Chile, Chile, as his special envoy to celebrations marking the centenary of the diocese of Catamarca, Argentina, due to take place on 21 August.


Idependant Catholic Newss report: England soccer striker Wayne Rooney has been banned from discussing his Catholic faith by an English Football Association official at the World Cup, according to a number of media reports.
Rooney had offered an explanation about why he wears a prominent cross and rosary beads around his neck when he's not playing: "I've been wearing them for about four years now and you don't usually watch training (to see them). I obviously can't wear them in games. It's my religion."
That prompted a further question, but Mark Whittle, the FA's head of media relations, interrupted Rooney in the off-camera briefing by saying: "We don't do religion", according to a report published in the Sydney Morning Herald.
Meanwhile the German Catholic news website has created a special page on its site dedicated to the German bishops' hopes for the country's World Cup soccer team.
The page, titled: 'Weltmeisterschaft 2010 - So tippen unsere Bischofe' currently features Bishop Joachim Wanke of the Diocese of Erfurt and Bishop Norbert Trelle of the Diocese of Hildesheim.
"Despite the difficulties with the team's formation, I hope that the German National Team will master the World Cup," said Bishop Wanke. He added that he associates the World Cup with, "ideally, a fabulous summer."
"The chances are good," said Bishop Trelle. "I believe they will be among the final four, and if they catch ‘a good run,' they can be the world champions."


CBN report: Manute Bol, a lithe 7-foot-7 shot-blocker from Sudan who spent 10 seasons in the NBA and was dedicated to humanitarian work in Africa, died Saturday. He was 47.

Bol died at the University of Virginia Hospital in Charlottesville, where he was being treated for severe kidney trouble and a painful skin condition, Tom Prichard, executive director of the group Sudan Sunrise, said in an e-mail.
"Sudan and the world have lost a hero and an example for all of us," Prichard said. "Manute, we'll miss you. Our prayers and best wishes go out to all his family, and all who mourn his loss."
Bol played in the NBA with Washington, Golden State, Philadelphia, Miami, averaging 2.6 points, 4.2 rebounds and 3.3 blocks for his career. He led the league in blocks in 1985-86 with Washington (5.0 per game) and in 1988-89 with Golden State (4.3 a game).
"Manute's impact on this city, our franchise and the game of basketball cannot be put into words," 76ers president and general manager Ed Stefanski said in a statement. "He ... was continually giving of himself through his generosity and humanitarian efforts in order to make the world around him a much better place, for which he will always be remembered."
Bol joined the NBA with Washington in 1985 and played three seasons there. He returned to the team briefly toward the end of his career. The Wizards lauded him as a "true humanitarian and an ambassador for the sport of basketball."
"Despite his accomplishments on the court, his lasting legacy will be the tireless work and causes he promoted in his native Sudan and the cities in which he played," the club said in a statement.
After the NBA, Bol worked closely as an advisory board member of Sudan Sunrise, which promotes reconciliation in Sudan.
Bol was hospitalized in mid-May during a stopover in Washington after returning to the United States from Sudan. Prichard said then that Bol was in Sudan to help build a school in conjunction with Sudan Sunrise but stayed longer than anticipated after the president of southern Sudan asked him to make election appearances and use his influence to counter corruption in the county.
He said Bol had undergone three dialysis treatments and developed Stevens-Johnson Syndrome, a condition that caused him to lose patches of skin. Prichard said the skin around Bol's mouth was so sore he went 11 days without eating and could barely talk.
Prichard said it's believed Bol contracted the skin disease as a reaction to kidney medication he took while in Africa.
Janis Ricker, operations manager of Sudan Sunrise, said Saturday the organization will continue its work building the school in Bol's home village in southern Sudan. She said Bol's goal was to build 41 schools throughout Sudan.


All Africa report: A number of Consolata priests and sisters on June 17, marked their religious jubilees as their congregation-Consolata, marked its 2010 Consolata Feast Day.

The Jubilarians included Fr. Angelo Fantacci, who marked 60 years of his priesthood; Fr. Vito Dominici, who marked his 60 years of religious profession.
There were also priests: Lorenzo Commeto, Giusseppe Da Fre' and Felice Garau, who, each marked 50 years of their religious profession.
Fr James Githinji and Fr Michael Njeru both celebrated the silver jubilee of their priesthood.
The colourful occasion was held at the Consolata Shrine, Westlands and presided over by Bishop Anthony Mukobo Ireri of Isiolo Vicariate, himself, a Consolata Missionary.
Sr Corona Nicoluzzli, marked 70 years of religious profession while Srs Gian Enrica Mercandalli, Lena Cicotero and Stefanita Gabutti celebrated 60 years of religious profession.
Other nuns: Gabrielita Zorzi, Viviana Zanesco and Vitalma Canu, each marked 50 years of their religious profession.
Bishop Mukobo thanked the various Jubilarians for their excellent pastoral commitment, adding, "This is not a small contribution and we really thank God for it."
The occasion was graced with the presence of the Apostolic Nuncio to Kenya, Archbishop Alain Paul Lebeaupin, who also enjoined with others in congratulating the various Jubilarians and the Regional Superior for Consolata Missionaries, Fr Franco Cellana.


UCAN report: A fake priest who reportedly built up quite a following through his “Latin Masses,” has had his priestly career cut short by a Philippines diocese.

Cubao diocese in Quezon City announced this week it had excommunicated former seminarian Xavier Eubra de Borja on June 2.
Father Fredrick Edward Simon said Bishop Honesto Ongtioco of Cubao issued the excommunication order.
De Borja, a resident of St. Ignatius Village in Quezon City, served as an altar boy at Christ the King Parish during his student days.
After leaving the country and entering a seminary in Russia, he returned to the parish in 2009 saying he was an “ordained priest” on vacation.
He even presented documents proclaiming himself a member of the Canons Regular of St. Augustine in France.
Taken in by the elaborate ruse, the parish accepted De Borja as a “guest priest” while on vacation, supposedly before returning to his “assignment in Russia.”
However, a check with the Vladivostok-based Mary Mother of God Mission Society, revealed that no Filipino priest was assigned there.
In the meantime, Church authorities also learned De Borja had celebrated Mass, heard confessions and conducted retreats and recollections while “on holiday”.
He reportedly attracted parishioners with his celebration of the Mass, which was described as “reminiscent of all the reverence and strict compliance with the movements and rituals whenever traditional Latin Masses are celebrated.”
The fake priest is also reported to have delivered good homilies and even said Mass in Latin.
De Borja is now barred from attending Mass, receiving communion and participating in religious ceremonies.
Cath News report: The majority of Anglican and Protestant say new ways of doing church are needed to connect with the wider Australian community, the 2010 National Church Life Survey has found.

Australian church attenders also appear to have increasing openness to new possibilities, with more congregations in all denominations ready to try something different, according to NCLS Research.
In its June 2010 newsletter, it reports that more than seven out of ten (72 percent) attenders agreed or strongly agreed that "we need to develop new ways of doing church to reach non-church goers".
A targeted survey of Anglican and Protestant attenders within the 2006 National Church Life Survey found that half agreed or strongly agreed that their non-church going friends viewed the Church as irrelevant.
It also identified a degree of personal ambivalence: 37 percent agreed or strongly agreed with the statement "While I remain a committed person of faith, I feel disgruntled with the established Church". Most were neutral or unsure (49 percent), while only 15 percent disagreed.
There was widespread agreement that traditional established models of church life must change to better connect with the wider Australian community (66 percent strongly agreed or agree, only 11 percent disagreed).
The NCLS Research report shows that the majority of church attenders not only understand the need to innovate, but also claim to be motivated to support initiatives.
NCLS Research Director Dr Ruth Powell said, "Over the next few decades, many churches will face the loss of a sector of committed and loyal attenders who carry knowledge and experience. The implications are far-reaching and churches will need to prepare for a shift in constituency.
"While the Christian message remains unchanged, an openness to change and a spirit of innovation are part of what is needed to reverse these trends."


St. Aloysius Gonzaga

Feast: June 21
Born: 9 March 1568 at castle of Castiglione delle Stivieri in Montau, Lombardy, Italy

Died: 21 June 1591 at Rome

Canonized: 31 December 1726 by Pope Benedict XIII

Major Shrine: Church of Sant'Ignazio, Rome (his tomb)

Patron of: Young students, Christian youth, Jesuit novices, People with AIDS and their caregivers
Born in the castle of Castiglione, 9 March, 1568; died 21 June, 1591. At eight he was placed in the court of Francesco de'Medici in Florence, where he remained for two years, going then to Mantua. At Brescia, when he was twelve, he came under the spiritual guidance of St. Charles Borromeo, and from him received First Communion. In 1581 he went with his father to Spain, and he and his brother were made pages of James, the son of Philip II. While there he formed the resolution of becoming a Jesuit, though he first thought of joining the Discalced Carmelites. He returned to Italy in 1584 after the death of the Infanta, and after much difficulty in securing his father's consent, renounced his heritage in favour of his brother, 2 November, 1585, a proceeding which required the approval of the emperor, as Castiglione was a fief of the empire. He presented himself to Father Claudius Acquaviva, who was then General of the Society, 25 November, 1585. Before the end of his novitiate, he passed a brilliant public act in philosophy, having made his philosophical and also his mathematical studies before his entrance. He had in fact distinguished himself, when in Spain, by a public examination not only in philosophy, but also in theology, at the University of Alcal&aacuate;. He made his vows 25 November, 1587. Immediately after, he began his theological studies. Among his professors were Fathers Vasquez and Azor. In 1591 when in his fourth year of theology a famine and pestilence broke out in Italy. Though in delicate health, he devoted himself to the care of the sick, but on March 3 he fell ill and died 21 June, 1591. He was beatified by Gregory XV in 1621 and canonized by Benedict XIII in 1726. His remains are in the church of St. Ignazio in Rome in a magnificent urn of lapis lazuli wreathed with festoons of silver. The altar has for its centerpiece a large marble relief of the Saint by Le Gros.


Matthew 7: 1 - 5

1 "Judge not, that you be not judged.

2 For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get.

3 Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?

4 Or how can you say to your brother, `Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when there is the log in your own eye?

5 You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye.



20 Jun 10 – RADIO VATICANA  REPORT On Sunday Pope Benedict XVI ordained 14 men to the priesthood for the Diocese of Rome. In a solemn ceremony held in St Peter’s Basilica, the Pope warned against careerism and ambition, noting that “the priesthood can never be a way to achieve security in life or to gain a position in society”, rather it must be rooted in conformity to Christ and his total gift of self. Below we publish a Vatican Radio translation of Pope Benedict’s Homily:
Dear Brother Bishops and Priests, Dear ordinands, Dear Brothers and Sisters!
As bishop of this diocese I am especially pleased to welcome fourteen new priests to the Roman “presbyerium”. Together with the Cardinal Vicar, the Auxiliary Bishops and all priests I thank the Lord for the gift of these new pastors of God's people I would like to extend a special greeting to you, dear ordinands: Today you are the focal point of the People of God, a people symbolized by those who fill this Vatican Basilica: they fill it with prayer and song, deep affection and profound, genuine emotion, of human and spiritual joy. Among this people of God, your parents and family, friends and companions, superiors and seminary educators, the various parish communities and the different realities of the Church from which you come and who have accompanied you on your journey and those in which you yourselves have already served pastorally have a special place. Not to mention the unique proximity, in this moment, of many people, humble and simple but great before God, such as, for example, the cloistered, children, the sick and infirm. They accompany you with the precious gift of their prayers, their innocence and their suffering.
It is, therefore, the entire Church of Rome, that today gives thanks to God and prays for you, that puts so much faith and hope in your future, waiting for the abundant fruits of holiness and goodness from your priestly ministry. Yes, the Church is counting on you; it counts a lot on you! The Church needs each of you, in the knowledge that it is the gift that God offers you, together with the absolute necessity of every human heart to meet with Christ, the One and only universal Saviour of the world, to receive from him new and eternal life, true freedom and full joy. Thus we are all invited to enter into the "mystery" of the event of grace that is taking place in your hearts with Priestly Ordination, enlightened by the Word of God.
The Gospel that we just heard shows us a significant moment in the journey of Jesus in which he asks his disciples what people think of him and how they judge him themselves. Peter replies on behalf of the Twelve with a confession of faith, which differs substantially from the view that people have of Jesus, for he says: You are the Christ of God (cf. 9.20). Where does this act of faith come from? If we go back to the beginning of the Gospel passage, we note that Peter’s confession is tied to a moment of prayer: " when Jesus was praying in solitude, and the disciples were with him,"(9:18). That is, the disciples are involved in Jesus’ unique being and talking with the Father. And so they are allowed to see the Master in the depths of his condition as Son, they are allowed to see what others can not, by 'being with Him, "by" being with Him in prayer, comes a knowledge that goes beyond the opinions of people to reach the profound identity of Jesus, to reach the truth. Here we are given an indication for the life and mission of the priest: in prayer he is called to rediscover the new face of the Lord and always the most authentic contents of his mission. Only those who have an intimate relationship with the Lord are grasped by him, may bring him to others, can be sent out. This is the "being with him" that must always accompany the exercise of priestly ministry; it must be the central part of it, above all in difficult times when it seems that the "things to be done" should take priority.
I wish to highlight a second element in today's Gospel. Immediately after Peter's confession, Jesus proclaims his passion and resurrection, and he follows this announcement with a lesson on the path his disciples must take, which is to follow Him, the Crucified, follow the road of the Cross. And he adds - with a paradoxical expression - that being a disciple means "losing oneself", but only in order to fully rediscover oneself (cf. Lk 9.22 to 24). What does this mean for every Christian, but especially what does it mean for a priest? Discipleship, but we can safely say: the priesthood can never be a way to achieve security in life or to gain a position in society. The man who aspires to the priesthood to enhance his personal prestige and power has misunderstood the meaning at the root of this ministry. The man who wants above all to achieve a personal ambition, achieve personal success, will always be a slave to himself and public opinion. In order to be considered, he will have to flatter; to say what people want to hear, he will have to adjust to changing fashions and opinions and thus deprive himself of the vital relationship with the truth, reducing himself to condemning tomorrow what he would praise today. A man who plans his life like this, a priest who sees his ministry in these terms, does not truly love God and others, only himself and, paradoxically, ends up losing himself. The priesthood - let us always remember - rests on the courage to say yes to another will, in the awareness, to be nurtured everyday, that our compliance with the will of God, our "immersion" in this will, does not cancel our originality, rather on the contrary, it helps us enter deeper into the truth of our being and our ministry.
Dear ordinands, I would like propose a third thought for your consideration, closely related to the one just mentioned: the call of Jesus to "lose oneself" to take the cross, recalls the mystery we celebrate: the Eucharist. With the sacrament of Holy Orders you today are gifted to preside at the Eucharist! You are entrusted the redemptive sacrifice of Christ, you are entrusted his body given his blood shed. Of course, Jesus offers his sacrifice, his gift of love full and humble, to the Church his Bride, on the Cross. It was on that wood, that the Father dropped a grain of wheat on the field of the world so that in dying it would become mature fruit, the giver of life. But in God's plan, this gift of Christ is made present in the Eucharist through the sacred potestas that the Sacrament of Holy Orders bestows on you Priests. When we celebrate Holy Mass we hold in our hands the bread of Heaven, the bread of God which is Christ, the grain broken to multiply and become the true food of life for the world. It is something that can not fail to fill you with intimate wonder, vibrant joy and immense gratitude: now the love and gift of Christ crucified and glorious, pass through your hands, your voice, your heart!
We pray to the Lord to give you an ever vigilant and enthusiastic consciousness of this gift, which is at the centre of your being priests! So that he may give you the grace to be able to experience in depth all the beauty and strength of this and at the same time your priestly service, the grace to live this ministry with consistency and generosity every day. The grace of the priesthood, that soon you will be given, will connect you intimately, even structurally, to the Eucharist. For this, it will deeply connect in your heart the feelings of Jesus who loves to the end, until the total gift of self, his being multiplied bread for the holy feast of unity and communion. This is the Pentecostal outpouring of the Spirit, designed to ignite your soul with the love of the Lord Jesus. It is an outpouring that, while telling of the absolute gratuity of the gift, carves into your being an indelible Law – a New Law, the Law that urges you to make the same love of the Crucified Christ’s gift a part of the tissue of the specific attitudes and gestures of your daily life and to help it flourish. We again hear the voice of the Apostle Paul, even in this we recognize that powerful voice of the Holy Spirit, "you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ" (Gal 3:27). Already with Baptism, and now in virtue of the sacrament of Holy Orders, you cloth yourselves with Christ. Care for the celebration of the Eucharist is always accompanied by a commitment to a Eucharistic life lived in obedience to one great law namely, that of love that gives itself entirely, and serves with humility, a life which the grace of the Holy Spirit helps to increasingly resemble that of Christ Jesus, the Eternal High Priest, Servant of God and men.
Dear friends, the path that today's Gospel indicates to us is the path of your spirituality and your pastoral action, its efficiency and effectiveness, even in the most strenuous and arid situations. Moreover, this is the sure way to find true joy. May Mary, the handmaid of the Lord, who conformed her will to the will of God, who generated Christ gifting him to the world, who followed her Son to the foot of the cross in the supreme act of love, accompany you in your everyday life and of your ministry. Thanks to the this Mother's tender and strong affection, you can joyfully be faithful to the conferral that today is given you as priests: to abide in Christ, Priest, who knew to obey the will of the Father and love man to the end.


Radio Vaticana report: During his Angelus address this Sunday, Pope Benedict XVI appealed for end to dramatic situation in Kyrgyzstan. Speaking to an estimated 20 thousand people who withstood unseasonably bad weather, the Holy Father said:

“'I want to make an urgent appeal so that peace and security are quickly restored in southern Kyrgyzstan, following serious clashes in recent days. To the relatives of the victims and those suffering from this tragedy I express my heartfelt closeness and assure them of my prayers. I also invite all ethnic communities in the country to forgo any further provocation or violence and I ask the international community to work so that humanitarian aid quickly reaches the affected populations”.
Refugee Rights and Duties
Pope Benedict also recalled the UN World Refugee Day marked this Sunday, the aim of which he said is "to draw attention to the problems of those who have been forced to leave their land families, and customs arriving in environments that are often very different . The refugees want to find acceptance and be recognized in their dignity and their fundamental rights, at the same time, they want to offer their contribution to the society that welcomes them.
Pope Benedict concluded “Let us pray so that in a just reciprocity, we may respond adequately to this expectation and that they may show the respect they nurture for the identity of the communities that receive them".
Priestly immersion
Pope Benedict was uncharacteristically late for his midday appointment with pilgrims. But with good reason as he explained in his comments in Italian, before the Angelus prayer. Sunday morning, in his role as the Bishop of Rome, he laid his hands upon the heads of 14 men from his diocese, during the solemn celebration of the sacrament of Holy Orders.
Commenting on today’s Gospel Luke Chapter 9, he said “Jesus calls us to carry our cross in union with him. May we always give ourselves to him and thus discover anew the joy that he promises to those who follow him. Upon you and your loved ones at home, I invoke the blessings of Almighty God”.


Asia News report: Currently over one million people evacuated in the regions of Zhejiang, Fujian, Jiangxi, Henan, and Guangxi. According to the National Meteorological Centre in the coming days, the rainfall could reach 200 mm, worsening the effect of flooding. Expected damages up to 1.7 billion euros.

Beijing (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The toll stands at 147 dead and 93 missing from severe flooding that has in recent days brought the regions of Zhejiang, Fujian, Jiangxi, Henan, and Guangxi and other areas in southern China to their knees, with over a million people evacuated. According to the National Weather Service in the coming days the amount of rainfall could increase up to 200 mm, making worsening of floods with damage up to 1, 7 billion.
Over the weekend Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao visited the city of Wuzhou (Guangxi), among the hardest hit by torrential rain, to see for himself the situation and monitor relief operations. In a press conference the prime minister promised new funding for flood victims and designated the security of the surviving population a priority, in desperate need of clean water, food and clothes.
According to the South China Morning Post, Wen, famous for being called "the People’s Premier”, has lost no opportunity to be photographed while helping rescue teams, or while consoling an old woman who lost family because of floods .
The situation is different in Xinjiang, another region affected by the floods. Here, the police arrested a group of 12 ethnic Uyghurs for helping flood victims accusing them of disturbing public order and asking authorities too many questions.
Meanwhile, torrential rains have also knocked out rail links with coastal regions and the capital, destroying dozens of trains. On Saturday, 18 lines from Shanghai were disrupted, leaving over 20 thousand passengers on foot.,-197-dead-and-93-missing-18728.html


Cath News report: After attending the First Holy Communion of her sons, broadcaster and comedian Wendy Harmer has written in her Sunday Telegraph column that we could all do with more devotions and rituals.

"My children took their first Holy Communion in the Catholic Church last weekend. They took the sacrament of the Eucharist, watched over by their Catholic father and grandmother. It was also the passing along of a tradition as well as a welcome into a religious community.
"The church was full and, as an atheist, I must admit to feeling humbled by the faith of the congregation. I couldn't help thinking that going to church on Sundays had a lot to recommend it."
She talks about her experience of going to church on Sunday (during her growing up years), which had a "sense of occasion", opportunities to "meet and greet our neighbours" and to express "gratitude for life's blessings".
"We pride ourselves on being a casual, laid-back country, but perhaps we are lacking in rituals; which, after all, mark the passing of the days and are our milestones, giving us the chance to get above our petty worries for a while and contemplate the infinite.
"We atheists reckon we can express it without God. Who knows if we are right - but it feels that way.
"I think Tony Abbott was misguided when he derided the "Welcome to Country" ceremony as "tokenism". He, of all people, should understand the healing power of rituals.
"Rather than junking one of the few we have, maybe we could some up with some new ones ... We could devise a devotion for the beginning of public events that expresses how happy we are to be together.
"I know we already have so many special "days" and "weeks" for myriad causes that we're reeling ... so maybe it should be something as simple as silence."


Kath Net report: On 11. July in Cologne and Munich a solidarity demonstration for Pope Benedict XVI will take place.
Cologne/Munich (
Given the often unilaterally public debate about the German Pope is Sunday, the 11. July 2010, in Cologne and Munich there will be two large solidarity demonstrations for the Pope. The action was launched on the Internet by Sabine Beschmann and Regina Steinert and first spread on the Internet. The unusual idea was a large demonstration in Rome on 16. May at the St. Peter's square, where more than 200,000 Catholics from all over Italy spontaneously traveled to St. Peter's square, to show their public support of the Pope.
"" We are the view that something in Germany is possible","say the two organizers. Within a few days already several thousand Catholics from their specially manufactured home page were advertising
registered  to this unusual manifestation. Hundreds are added daily. "We want to show that there are many Catholics in Germany despite apparently, are in love and loyalty to their church and the Pope." It would be nice if Italian spontaneity in Germany were possible! "." Many Catholic associations, associations and individuals support the action unique in Germany now.
The participants will meet in Cologne meet at the 12 noon Mass at the Dome, The Auxiliary Bishop will be the Celebrant. Then gather at the Roncalliplatz. The opening exhibition in Munich is 10.45 a.m. in the "alten Peter" City. The participants will have a demonstration with Angelus prayer at the beef market.
More information and registration see


Agenzia Fides report – With the slogan "Seminarians, Missionary disciples of Jesus Christ, the Good Shepherd ", Bolivia's 1st Mission Congress for Seminarians will be held at San José Seminary in the city of Cochabamba, from 21 - 24 June. The Congress will open with a Mass presided by Cardinal Julio Terrazas, Archbishop of Santa Cruz. A report sent to Fides by the archdiocese of Santa Cruz said that the overall goal of the Congress is to intensify and to share missionary awareness and experience in seminary formation to enable seminarians to become authentic missionaries at the service of the Church.

According to the report, the goal will be reached with efforts in three precise directions: to reflect on the Aparecida Proposals and on the call to be ministers and Missionary Disciples; to contribute by means of reflection in the light of new social, economic and political context in Bolivia, to making present the event of Pentecost in the world today; to formulate proposals and strategies to encourage and strengthen the missionary vocation of Bolivia's seminarians.

The Congress will work on 4 basic points : priests, ministers of the Word; priests, ministers of Communion; priests, sent on Mission; the spirituality of the Diocesan Priest. Those responsible include: Mgr. Ricardo Centellas, Ecclesial Communion; Mgr Antonio Reimann, evangelisation; Fr. Eugenio Scarpellini, PMS Pontifical Mission Societies (Obras Misionales Pontificias); Fr. Nicolás Velásquez, organisation of Seminars in Bolivia.
Bishop Nicolas Djomo of Tshumbe, President of the Episcopal Conference of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, traveled to Belgium to pay tribute to the missionaries who brought the Catholic faith to his central African nation.

This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of Congolese independence from Belgium. The missionaries "braved harsh social and climatic conditions and indeed, many paid with their lives as they toiled to build up local Churches which bring together men and women of every tribe, tongue and race in the name of Jesus," said Bishop Djomo.
The bishop added that the missionaries "knew how to combine the proclamation of the Good News with the promotion of human development. Catholic missions opened all over the country became centers of development with poultry farms, medical clinics, schools and other essential social services."
"Thanks to the Church and to the support of the Belgian Bishops, the Congolese were given access to higher education and university studies," he added.
There are 33.0 million Catholics in Congo, 53 percent of the nation's population and 3,081 seminarians.


St. Silverius

Feast: June 20
Information: Feast Day: June 20
Born: 480 at Frosinone (in modern Italy)
Died: November 537
Patron of: Ponza, Italy
Dates of birth and death unknown. He was the son of Pope Hormisdas who had been married before becoming one of the higher clergy. Silverius entered the service of the Church and was subdeacon at Rome when Pope Agapetus died at Constantinople, 22 April, 536. The Empress Theodora, who favoured the Monophysites sought to bring about the election as pope of the Roman deacon Vigilius who was then at Constantinople and had given her the desired guarantees as to the Monophysites. However, Theodatus, King of the Ostrogoths, who wished to prevent the election of a pope connected with Constantinople, forestalled her, and by his influence the subdeacon Silverius was chosen. The election of a subdeacon as Bishop of Rome was unusual. Consequently, it is easy to understand that, as the author of the first part of the life of Silverius in the "Liber pontificalis" (ed. Duchesne, I, 210) relates, a strong opposition to it appeared among the clergy. This, however, was suppressed by Theodatus so that, finally, after Silverius had been consecrated bishop (probably on 8 June, 536) all the Roman presbyters gave their consent in writing to his elevation. The assertion made by the author just mentioned that Silverius secured the intervention of Theodatus by payment of money is unwarranted, and is to be explained by the writer's hostile opinion of the pope and the Goths. The author of the second part of the life in the "Liber pontificalis" is favourably inclined to Silverius. The pontificate of this pope belongs to an unsettled, disorderly period and he himself fell a victim to the intrigues of the Byzantine Court.
After Silverius had become pope the Empress Theodora sought to win him for the Monophysites. She desired especially to have him enter into communion with the Monophysite Patriarch of Constantinople, Anthimus, who had been excommunicated and deposed by Agapetus, and with Severus of Antioch. However, the pope committed himself to nothing and Theodora now resolved to overthrow him and to gain the papal see for Vigilius. Troublous times befell Rome during the struggle that broke out in Italy between the Ostrogoths and the Byzantines after the death of Amalasuntha, daughter of Theodoric the Great. The Ostrogothic king, Vitiges, who ascended the throne in August, 536, besieged the city. The churches over the catacombs outside of the city were devastated, the graves of the martyrs in the catacombs themselves were broken open and desecrated. In December, 536, the Byzantine general Belisarius garrisoned Rome and was received by the pope in a friendly and courteous manner. Theodora sought to use Belisarius for the carrying out of her plan to depose Silverius and to put in his place the Roman deacon Vigilius, formerly apocrisary at Constantinople, who had now gone to Italy. Antonina, wife of Belisarius, influenced her husband to act as Theodora desired. By means of a forged letter the pope was accused of a treasonable agreement with the Gothic king who was besieging Rome. It was asserted that Silverius had offered the king to leave one of the city gates secretly open so as to permit the Goths to enter. Silverius was consequently arrested in March, 537, roughly stripped of his episcopal dress, given the clothing of a monk and carried off to exile in the East. Vigilius was consecrated Bishop of Rome in his stead.
Silverius was taken to Lycia where he was went to reside at Patara. The Bishop of Patara very soon discovered that the exiled pope was innocent. He journeyed to Constantinople and was able to lay before the Emperor Justinian such proofs of the innocence of the exile that the emperor wrote to Belisarius commanding a new investigation of the matter. Should it turn out that the letter concerning the alleged plot in favour of the Goths was forged, Silverius should be placed once more in possession of the papal see. At the same time the emperor allowed Silverius to return to Italy, and the latter soon entered the country, apparently at Naples. However, Vigilius arranged to take charge of his unlawfully deposed predecessor. He evidently acted in agreement with the Empress Theodora and was aided by Antonina, the wife of Belisarius. Silverius was taken to the Island of Palmaria in the Tyrrhenian Sea and kept their in close confinement. Here he died in consequence of the privations and harsh treatment he endured. The year of his death is unknown, but he probably did not live long after reachingPalmaria. He was buried on the island, according to the testimony of the "Liber pontificalis" on 20 June; his remains were never taken from Palmaria. According to the same witness he was invoked after death by the believers who visited his grave. In later times he was venerated as a saint. The earliest proof of this is given by a list of saints of the eleventh century (Mélanges d'archéologie et d'histoire, 1893, 169). The "Martyrologium" of Peter de Natalibus of the fourteenth century also contains his feast, which is recorded in the present Roman Martyrology on 20 June.
[Editor's note: According to the Liber Pontificalis, Pope St. Silverius was exiled not to Palmaria, but rather to the Island of Palmarola, a much smaller and more desolate island near Ponza, Italy, in the Bay of Naples.]


Zechariah 12: 10 - 11

10 "And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of compassion and supplication, so that, when they look on him whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over him, as one weeps over a first-born.

11 On that day the mourning in Jerusalem will be as great as the mourning for Hadadrim'mon in the plain of Megid'do

13: 1

1 "On that day there shall be a fountain opened for the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to cleanse them from sin and uncleanness.

Psalms 63: 2 - 6, 8 - 9

2 So I have looked upon thee in the sanctuary, beholding thy power and glory.

3 Because thy steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise thee.

4 So I will bless thee as long as I live; I will lift up my hands and call on thy name.

5 My soul is feasted as with marrow and fat, and my mouth praises thee with joyful lips,

6 when I think of thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the watches of the night;

8 My soul clings to thee; thy right hand upholds me.

9 But those who seek to destroy my life shall go down into the depths of the earth;

Galatians 3: 26 - 29

26 for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith.

27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

29 And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise.


Luke 9: 18 - 24

18 Now it happened that as he was praying alone the disciples were with him; and he asked them, "Who do the people say that I am?"

19 And they answered, "John the Baptist; but others say, Eli'jah; and others, that one of the old prophets has risen."

20 And he said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" And Peter answered, "The Christ of God."

21 But he charged and commanded them to tell this to no one,

22 saying, "The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised."

23 And he said to all, "If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.

24 For whoever would save his life will lose it; and whoever loses his life for my sake, he will save it.