Friday, July 2, 2010
CATHOLIC WORLD NEWS: FRI. JULY 2, 2010: HEADLINES-
VATICAN: POPE: IRAQ: RESPECT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS AND FOR MINORITIES-
AFRICA: UGANDA: 500, 000 AT CELEBRATION HONOURING CATHOLIC MARTYRS-
ASIA: PAKISTAN: CHURCHES PRAY FOR VICTIMS OF ATTACK IN SHRINE KILLING 42-
EUROPE: GERMANY: ATHLETES OVERRULE FIFA´S ATTEMPTS TO BAN PRAYER-
AMERICA: USA: LAWSUIT AGAINST SCHOOL FOR BANNING DISTRIBUTION OF BIBLES-
AUSTRALIA: ACU PROFESSOR DR. BENJAMIN AWARDED FELLOWSHIP-
POPE: IRAQ: RESPECT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS AND FOR MINORITIES
VATICAN CITY, 2 JUL 2010 (VIS report) - The Holy Father today received the Letters of Credence of Habbeb Mohammed Hadi Ali Al-Sadr, the new ambassador of Iraq to the Holy See.
The Pope asked the diplomat to convey to President Jalal Talabani his respectful greetings and assurances of his prayers "for the peace and well-being" of all Iraqis. With the elections of March this year, he said, the people of Iraq "gave a clear sign to the world that they wish to see an end to violence, and that they have chosen the path of democracy through which they aspire to live in harmony with one another within a just, pluralist and inclusive society. ... It is to be hoped that the formation of a new government will now proceed swiftly so that the will of the people for a more stable and unified Iraq may be accomplished".
In this context the Pope gave assurances that the Holy See, "which has always valued its excellent diplomatic relations with your country, will continue to provide whatever assistance it can, so that Iraq may assume its rightful place as a leading nation in the region with much to contribute to the international community".
Continuing his English-language address, Benedict XVI expressed the view that "the new government will need to give priority to measures designed to improve security for all sectors of the population, particularly the various minorities", in which context he noted how, "since the earliest days of the Church, Christians have been present in the land of Abraham, a land which is part of the common patrimony of Judaism, Christianity and Islam". "Although Christians form a small minority of Iraq's population, they have a valuable contribution to make to its reconstruction and economic recovery through their educational and healthcare apostolates, while their engagement in humanitarian projects provides much-needed assistance in building up society. If they are to play their full part, however, Iraqi Christians need to know that it is safe for them to remain in or return to their homes, and they need assurances that their properties will be restored to them and their rights upheld".
The Holy Father also spoke of the "many tragic acts of violence committed against innocent members of the population, both Muslim and Christian, acts which ... are contrary to the teachings of Islam as well as those of Christianity. This shared suffering can provide a deep bond, strengthening the determination of Muslims and Christians alike to work for peace and reconciliation. History has shown that some of the most powerful incentives to overcome division come from the example of those men and women who, having chosen the courageous path of non-violent witness to higher values, lost their lives through cowardly acts of violence". At this point the Pope mentioned Archbishop Paulos Faraj Rahho and Fr. Ragheed Ganni. "May their sacrifice, and the sacrifice of so many others like them", he said, "strengthen within the Iraqi people the moral determination that is necessary if political structures for greater justice and stability are to achieve their intended effect".
Speaking then of the Iraqi government's commitment to respect human rights, the Pope noted that "among the rights that must be fully respected if the common good is to be effectively promoted, the rights to freedom of religion and freedom of worship are paramount, since it is they that enable citizens to live in conformity with their transcendent dignity. ... I therefore hope and pray that these rights will not only be enshrined in legislation, but will come to permeate the very fabric of society. All Iraqis have a part to play in building a just, moral and peaceable environment".
Finally, the Holy Father turned his attention to the forthcoming Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for the Middle East which, he said, "will provide a welcome opportunity to explore the role and the witness of Christians in the lands of the Bible, and will also give an impetus to the important task of inter-religious dialogue, which has so much to contribute to the goal of peaceful coexistence in mutual respect and esteem among the followers of different religions.
"It is my earnest hope", he added in conclusion, "that Iraq will emerge from the difficult experiences of the past decade as a model of tolerance and co-operation among Muslims, Christians and others in the service of those most in need".
HOLY FATHER THANKS THE PROMOTERS OF WYD IN MADRID 2011
VATICAN CITY, 2 JUL 2010 (VIS) - At midday today the Pope received Cardinal Antonio Maria Rouco Varela, archbishop of Madrid, Spain. The cardinal was accompanied by members of the "Madrid vivo" Foundation which is promoting the next World Youth Day, due to be held in the Spanish capital in August 2011.
"There are many young people", said the Holy Father, "whose eyes are fixed on that beautiful city with the joyful expectation of meeting there, not many months from now, to listen together to the Word of Christ Who is always young, and to have the chance to share the faith that unites them, and the desire to build a better world inspired by Gospel values".
Benedict XVI invited everyone "to continue to collaborate generously in this great initiative, which is not just a mass gathering but a privileged occasion for the young of your country and of the world entire to allow themselves to be conquered by the love of Christ Jesus, the Son of God and of Mary, the faithful friend, the victor over sin and death. Those who trust in Him will never be disillusioned, but will find the strength necessary to chose the right path in life".
The Holy Father ensured those present and their families of a mention in his prayers, as he asked "God to bless the efforts you are making to ensure that the next World Youth Day may produce abundant fruits".
LETTER TO CARDINAL BERTONE FOR FIFTY YEARS AS A PRIEST
VATICAN CITY, 2 JUL 2010 (VIS) - The "Osservatore Romano" today published a Letter from the Holy Father to Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B. for the fiftieth anniversary of his ordination as a priest, which fell yesterday 1 July.
In his Letter, dated 1 June, the Pope reminds Cardinal Bertone how, "with the laying on of hands of our venerable brother Albino Mensa, you were promoted to Holy Orders" and how, "following further studies in jurisprudence, you dedicated yourself to educating and guiding the young through teaching and writing, both inside and outside your Salesian family".
The Holy Father then goes on to recall the fact that, at the wish of John Paul II, Tarcisio Bertone "was appointed to the role of secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith", a move which established "a happy familiarity between the two of us in the work we shared", he writes.
He also mentions the cardinal's pastoral ministry as head of the Italian archdiocese of Genoa, where "you dedicated your zeal and your apostolic labours for the benefit of that ecclesial community", says the Pope, "and where you achieved an even more illustrious title with your admittance to the College of Cardinals.
"Thinking of more recent times", the Holy Father adds, "it was our desire to keep you at our side as a collaborator, appointing you as our secretary of State, with whom to share decisions and duties. There is no doubt that you are showing great commitment and great skill as you participate in our pastoral projects for the universal Church, and in our initiatives for the whole world, that the family of God may be strengthened and the world become more harmonious".
Benedict XVI concludes by expressing his happiness at the recollection "of the joyful beginning of your priesthood", and assures Cardinal Bertone "of our feelings of respect and of our congratulations", while imploring, "by the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary Help of Christians and of St. John Bosco, ... abundant rewards from the Divine Master".
POPE TO TRAVEL TO CASTELGANDOLFO ON 7 JULY
VATICAN CITY, 2 JUL 2010 (VIS) - The Prefecture of the Pontifical Household today announced that on Wednesday 7 July the Holy Father will travel to the Apostolic Palace of Castelgandolfo for a period of rest.
During the summer period, all private and special audiences will be suspended.
The Wednesday general audiences of 14, 21 and 28 July are likewise suspended.
On Sundays and Solemnities over the summer, the Pope will pray the Angelus from the Apostolic Palace of Castelgandolfo.
General audiences will resume again from Wednesday 4 August.
VATICAN CITY, 2 JUL 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:
- Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, prefect emeritus of the Congregation for Bishops.
- Archbishop Vincent Gerard Nichols of Westminster, England, president of the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales, accompanied by Cardinal Keith Michael Patrick O'Brien of Saint Andrews and Edinburgh, Scotland, president of the Bishops' Conference of Scotland, and by Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, archbishop emeritus of Westminster.
OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS
VATICAN CITY, 2 JUL 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father:
- Accepted the resignation from the office of military ordinary of Lithuania presented by Bishop Eugenijus Bartulis of Siauliai, Lithuania.
- Appointed Msgr. Gintaras Grusas of the clergy of the archdiocese of Vilnius, Lithuania, secretary general of the Lithuanian Episcopal Conference, as military ordinary for Lithuania. The bishop-elect was born in Washington, U.S.A. in 1961 and ordained a priest in 1994.
VATICAN CITY, 2 JUL 2010 (VIS) - The following prelates died in recent weeks:
- Bishop Cherubim Dambui, auxiliary of Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, on 24 June at the age of 62.
- Bishop Carlos Francisco Martins Pinheiro, former auxiliary of Braga, Portugal, on 4 June at the age of 85.
UGANDA: 500, 000 ATTEND CELEBRATION IN HONOUR OF CATHOLIC MARTYRS
CNA report: Earlier this month over 500,000 people gathered in northeastern Uganda to celebrate the feast day of Saint Charles Lwanga and companions, who are known as the Uganda Martyrs.
“We are standing on soil that is soaked with the blood of the martyrs,” said Bishop Henry Ssentongo of Moroto told the crowd during the event. Between 1885 and 1887 in Namugongo, 22 young men who served as pages at the Court of King Mwanga were speared to death for holding to the tenets of their Catholic faith instead of assenting to the demands of their ruler.
According to the aid organization, the martyrs were among the first Christian converts in their country. Today, 12.6 million of the country's 28 million inhabitants are Catholics, and every year some 400,000 are baptized.
“This pilgrimage should mark a turning point in our lives,” Bishop Ssentongo emphasized in his homily, “it is not enough to celebrate the fact that Uganda is a country of martyrs; instead we must follow in their footsteps and imitate Christ right up to the end!”
PAKISTAN: CHURCHES PRAY FOR VICTIMS OF ATTACK IN SHRINE KILLING 42
UCAN report: Church leaders in Pakistan have condemned a suicide attack inside a packed Sufi shrine in the provincial capital that killed scores and injured many more.
Shrine workers involved in the clean-up operation say human remains still litter the bomb site.
“We are even collecting body parts from the ceilings,” Muhammad Arif told ucanews.com.
“At first we thought that the generator had blown, suddenly there was smoke everywhere. Then the other bombers detonated their suicide jackets,” he said.
Churches in Lahore offered condolence prayers for the shrine victims this morning.
“We shall dedicate today’s evening holy hour to offer prayers for peace, the victims and for the suicide bombers. Targeting places of worship is pure evil and extremely cruel. The government must step up its efforts to maintain peace; it’s a total disaster here,” Vicar General Father Andrew Nisar of Lahore told ucanews.com.
People of all religions visit the country’s most popular holy site including Christians, he said
“Most of them are laborers and poor who come for prayers as well as free food.”
Anglican Bishop Alexander John Malik, Moderator of the Church of Pakistan, also condemned the bombings.
“It is wrong to target innocent people. We stand united as a nation against terrorism and pray for the victims and their families”, he said.
Ahmadi spokesperson Saleem-ud-din also condemned the bombings.
“These terrorists are defaming the holy name of Islam. We stand with the nation in this hour of grief. We demand the government deal with an iron hand with those who promote hate and terrorism,” he said yesterday. Many Muslims consider the Ahmadis a heretical Islamic sect and have also been victims of recent terror attacks in Lahore.
GERMANY: ATHLETES OVERRULE FIFA´S ATTEMPTS TO BAN PRAYER
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USA: LAWSUIT AGAINST SCHOOL FOR BANNING DISTRIBUTION OF BIBLES
CBN report: The Liberty Counsel filed a lawsuit Thursday to overturn a ban on handing out bibles in public schools in Florida's Collier County.
However, The Orlando Sentinel reported officials later changed their minds, saying the bibles don't provide any educational benefit, so World Changers were told they could not distribute the bibles even though acceptance by any student was voluntary.
Liberty Counsel said other nonprofit groups have been allowed to distribute literature on campuses, including military recruiters, a Little League organization, and local Humane Society, 4H and YMCA groups. The lawsuit claims World Changers was denied its distribution request because the district wants to censor its message.
Liberty Counsel argues that the First Amendment prohibits government religious speech, not private religious speech or literature.
"How sad that on the eve of Independence Day, when we celebrate the religious and political freedom our forefathers won for us at the cost of much blood and great sacrifice, we are compelled to sue to protect the right simply to make free Bibles available to students in public schools," said Mathew D. Staver, Liberty Counsel founder.
In its lawsuit, World Changers is seeking the right to distribute bibles and attorneys fees.
ACU PROFESSOR DR. BENJAMIN AWARDED FELLOWSHIP
Cath News report: Dr Anne Benjamin, adjunct professor in the Australian Catholic University's School of Educational Leadership, has been awarded a Fellowship of the Australian College of Educators.
Dr John DeCourcy, President of the NSW branch of the College, said the Fellowship is a national award and one of the highest honours that the College can bestow.
"Fellowship of the College is a distinctive honour recognising the individual's contribution both in the workplace and in the education community more generally," he said.
Dr Benjamin, who was formerly Executive Director of Schools in the Diocese of Parramatta, said she felt honoured by the award.
Separately, the ACU announced a public lecture to be held next week, on "The Christian-Jewish Relationship: Current Theological and Political Challenges" by Father (Dr) John Pawlikowski at its North Sydney campus.
"Fr (Dr) Pawlikowski is Professor of Ethics and Director of the Catholic-Jewish Studies Program at the University of Chicago, and President and Chair of the Theology Committee of the International Council of Christians and Jews," according to a statement.
"His scholarly works include The Challenge of the Holocaust for Christian Theology, Christ in the Light of the Christian-Jewish Dialogue, Reinterpreting Revelation and Tradition: Jews and Christians in Conversation, Good and Evil after Auschwitz, and Ethics in the Shadow of the Holocaust."
St. Bernardino Realino
Feast: July 2
Born: Modena, Italy, in 1530
Canonized: 1947 by Pope Pius XII
Patron of: Lecce, Italy
Born in Modena, Italy, in 1530, he trained as an attorney. At the age of thirty-four, Bernardine became a member of the Society of Jesus, the Jesuits. He was appointed years later to the post of rector of the Jesuit college at Lecce, remaining there until death. Bernardine was canonized in 1947.
Matthew 9: 9 - 13
9 As Jesus passed on from there, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax office; and he said to him, "Follow me." And he rose and followed him.
10 And as he sat at table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat down with Jesus and his disciples.
11 And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, "Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?"
12 But when he heard it, he said, "Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.
13 Go and learn what this means, `I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.' For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners."