Saturday, July 10, 2010



RETIREMENT AND SUCCESSION OF COADJUTOR BISHOP OF CARAPEGUÁ (PARAGUAY) Pope Benedict XVI accepted the surrender of the pastoral governance of the Diocese of Carapeguá (Paraguay), by Bishop Celso Yegros Estigarribia, in accordance with the can. 401 § 1 of the code of Canon law. The Mons. Joaquín Hermes Robledo Romero, succeeds as, Coadjutor Bishop of the diocese. [01038-01.01] [B0454-XX. 01]


CNA report: The Vatican's accounts continue to run in the red but have improved from last year, the Holy See announced on Saturday. Deficits from the past are gradually being reabsorbed.

Three days of meetings took place this week between members of the Council of Cardinals, the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See and the Vatican City State Governorate. The sessions focused on organizational and economic matters of the Holy See and the governorate in 2009.
Archbishop Velasio De Paolis, president of the prefecture and incidentally named the Pontifical delegate to the Legion of Christ on Friday, reported a nearly $5.2 million deficit for 2009 in the Holy See's balance sheet, which contained over $321 million in expenses.On a positive note, the Holy See's statement explained that the "negative fluctuations" which had been "suspended" in 2008 were "absorbed" this year. Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi told journalists that these "fluctuations" amounted to between eight and ten million Euro ($10.1-12.6 million).
Expenses largely result from the activities of Vatican dicasteries and other bodies, including Vatican Radio, that "participate in the pastoral care of the Pontiff of the Universal Church."
The Governorate of the Vatican City State, which is economically independent from the Holy See, reported a deficit of $9.8 million, a little less than half of last year's declared shortfall. While the negative figure was attributed to the effects of the global economic crisis, its "containment" gave the governorate the opportunity to regain momentum from financial losses in 2008.
The Vatican statement underscored that the administration of the governorate does not depend on contributions from the Holy See and that it "autonomously confronts its own economic necessities."
Among the most notable costs during 2009 were those for a study carried out for a new communications infrastructure, improvements to the Vatican Museums, the care of Vatican patrimony which includes all of the Papal basilicas, security within the Vatican and restructuring of the Vatican Apostolic Library.
The three major sources of income for 2009 were contributions from Peter's Pence of $81.5 million, from the Catholic dioceses of the world of $31.5 million and from other institutions including the Vatican's Institute for Works of Religion (IOR) which donated $63.2 million.
The statement concluded with words of gratitude from members of the Council of Cardinals to all who, "in a generous and often anonymous way, sustain the apostolic and charitable ministry of the Holy Father in service of the Universal Church."

Asia News report: The violence erupted overnight, the result of a latent confessional conflict. One of the victims was a young man of 21, a soldier and a police officer wounded. The authorities have reinforced security measures to prevent renewed fighting, but tension remains high. 2002Truce between the two sides undermined .
Jakarta (AsiaNews) - three dead and five wounded, is the provisional toll from violence that erupted over night between two groups of young Christians and Muslims in Ambon, the capital of Maluku. The police intervened to quell the riots and the head of security has called on the two sides for calm. In the past the Moluccas was the scene of sectarian clashes that left thousands dead, destroying hundreds of churches and mosques.
Local sources tell AsiaNews that the violence is the result of a latent conflict between Christians and Muslims, that the fragile peace treaty signed in 2002 have failed to resolve, but the exact cause of clashes yesterday remain unknown. The incidents broke out at 1 .30 am (11.30 am on 9 July in Jakarta) between the villages of Batu Merah Dalam and Batu Merah Kampung, located in the Sirimau sub- district (Ambon). Security forces have so far identified a victim, Arman Syukur, 21 years old. Among the wounded there are also a soldier and a police officer.
The authorities have tightened controls in order to avert the danger of further violence. Tensions remain high and they have not excluded new clashes between Christians and Muslims. Brigadier General Totoy Herawan Indra, Maluku police chief, has called on the two sides for calm: "All this must stop," he added as he visited the scene of the violence. H. Awat Tenate, head of the village of Batu Merah Negri, is calling on police to deploy more troops in the area, which already in recent days was the scene of brawls, this time caused by soccer hooliganism among supporters watching World Cup in South Africa 2010. In particular, there were clashes during the quarter-final between Holland and Brazil.
Between August 1999 and 2001 a bloody war was fought between Christians and Muslims in the Moluccas. There were thousands of victims of violence, hundreds of churches and mosques destroyed and thousands of homes razed to the ground, with nearly half a million refugees. In February 2002 a ceasefire was signed between the two fronts - Christians and Muslims are equal in numbers in the area - in Malino, South Sulawesi, as part of a government promoted peace plan.

Cath News report: Ben Hur: The Stadium Spectacular, a massive production of the classical story, will be playing in Sydney this October, with a fundraiser to be held each of the two nights of the show for the construction of the Mary MacKillop College in southern Sudan.
The production, on October 22 and 23, will turn the ANZ stadium into a huge Roman amphitheatre with hundreds of actors, a Roman galley slave ship with 100 oarsmen, and a chariot race with 32 horses, said a report in The Catholic Weekly.
The performance is based on Ben Hur: A Tale of the Christ, the 1880 novel by American Civil War general and author Lew Wallace.
The Sydney performance is being directed by Frenchman Robert Hossein, known for a 1983-84 Guinness Book of Records entry when 700,000 people attended his show A Man Named Jesus.
More than 300,000 people saw the first stadium performance of Ben Hur at the Stade de France in Paris in 2006.
Fundraising for Mary Mac Killop College will be conducted on both nights of the performance. The construction of the school is being overseen by the organisation South Sudan Educates Girls (SSEG).
A site for the school has been selected in the Aweil district, and the land has been cleared and surveyed. A well has been dug, foundations for the first classrooms laid, and building has commenced.
SSEG aims to have classes for girls in Years 7-10 established by 2012, said The Catholic Weekly.

Asia News report: Minorities Concern of Pakistan denounces a climate of intolerance and exclusion in the classroom. Most of the violations are committed in government institutions, due to a "fragile" system that associates Pakistan to a "Muslims-only country”. An association of teachers demands action from the Chief Justice against the Federal Ministry of Education.
Lahore (AsiaNews) - Students of Pakistan's religious minorities, including Christians, are victims of exclusion, discrimination and acts of violence because of their faith and their status. The complaint comes from Minorities Concern of Pakistan (MCP) which says that most of the violations take place in government run institutions and is committed by both classmates by teachers. The system to protect minorities, they add, is "fragile" and fails to safeguard their rights.
On 8 July the Pakistan Minorities Teachers' Association (Pmta) sent a letter to Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, head of the judiciary, inviting him to take a "personal initiative" against the Federal Minister for Education. He is accused of having "violated the rights of students from minorities, including Christians, Hindus, Sikhs and Ahmadis.
MCP activists cite two cases of discrimination against Christian students, confirming the climate of intolerance. On 28 May a dozen armed men attacked the pastor Mubarak Masih and his family. The violence against the Christian leader was sparked by his 13 year old grandson Shaid grandson to recite verses from the Koran in the classroom. The incident occurred in a school in Smundri, Punjab. The police did not initiate any investigation into the attacks, despite the complaint lodged by the pastor.
Last year eleven year old Christian Nadia Iftikhar suffered violent beatings at the hands of her teacher in a school Dharema, also in Punjab. The teacher reacted to the girl’s claim to be both "Christian and Pakistani”. According to Ascari Hasan Rizvi, a political analyst in Lahore, the government has never wanted to start a serious reform of school curricula. And despite what is stated in the Constitution, in textbooks "Pakistan is associated with the Muslims ... and says that Pakistan is a country only for Muslims".
Rebecca Winthorpe of the Washington based Brookings Center for Universal Education, adds that " Historically education in Pakistan has been used as a tool by successive regimes in pursuing narrow political ends”. Activists in defence of minorities, however, call for reform and a change of mentality that allows even the Christians, along with other minorities, to enhance the level of education (only 19% literate) and improve their quality of life .


Catholic Online report- From every indicator, Professor Ken Howell was an exemplary professor at the University of Illinois in Champaign. He is a faithful Catholic, in fact a convert from the Presbyterian Church and ministry, who was asked to teach courses on the Catholic faith and intellectual tradition. He is extraordinarily qualified on every front. He taught those courses in complete fidelity to the magisterium, the teaching office, of the Catholic Church.
He is now a victim of the "Dictatorship of Relativism" which Pope Benedict XVI warned of in the homily he gave prior to the Conclave wherein he was chosen to become the successor of the Apostle Peter. This egregious violation of the Professors constitutional rights and overt censorship of speech which is unpopular to the Cultural revolutionaries who have grabbed the reigns of Western society, is now being reviewed by the Alliance Defense Fund for a legal response.
I wanted our readers to have the full presentation from the Professor himself. The implications of what has happened in Illinois are IMMENSE and will be the subject of further articles. I first read of this travesty from Tom Peters article on Catholic Vote Action. I was glad to see the Fox Network cover it as well. Several news sources have picked up on it. Here is the Professors own account:
Dear Friend:
I write this short narrative to explain why I am no longer teaching at the University of Illinois and am not employed by the Diocese of Peoria as of 30 June 2010. First, a little background.
I came to Champaign-Urbana in August of 1998 to be employed by the St. John's Catholic Newman Center as a teacher in the courses of the Catholic faith that were then taught through the Center. For seven years I enjoyed a working relationship with Monsignor Stuart W. Swetland, the Director of the Center, who taught alongside me in that program. In 2000, Monsignor Swetland negotiated an agreement with the Department of Religion in which he and I would be adjunct professors in the department and would teach courses on Catholicism. We simultaneously established the Institute of Catholic Thought of which I became the Director and Senior Fellow. The purpose of the Institute was to promote the intellectual heritage of the western world in which Catholicism played such an integral role.
Since the Fall of 2001, I have been regularly teaching two courses in the Department of Religion. Since Monsignor Swetland's departure in May of 2006, I have taught the equivalent of a full-time professor every semester, sometimes even more. This past semester (Spring 2010) something occurred which changed an otherwise idyllic academic life. One of the courses I have taught since 2001 has been "Introduction to Catholicism." I think that it is fair to say that many students at the University of Illinois have benefited greatly from this and other teaching I have done. Every semester in that "Introduction" class, I gave two lectures dealing with Catholic Moral positions. One was an explanation of Natural Moral Law as affirmed by the Church. The second was designed as an application of Natural Law Theory to a disputed issue in our society. Most of those semesters, my chosen topic was the moral status of homosexual acts. I would be happy to explain more fully the Catholic Church's position on this matter but, for the sake of brevity, I can summarize it as follows. A homosexual orientation is not morally wrong just as no moral guilt can be assigned to any inclination that a person has. However, based on natural moral law, the Church believes that homosexual acts are contrary to human nature and therefore morally wrong. This is what I taught in my class.
This past semester was unusual. In previous years, I had students who might have disagreed with the Church's position but they did so respectfully and without incident. This semester (Spring 2010) I noticed the most vociferous reaction that I have ever had. It seemed out of proportion to all that I had known thus far. To help students understand better how this issue might be decided within competing moral systems, I sent them an email contrasting utilitarianism (in the populist sense) and natural moral law. If we take utilitarianism to be a kind of cost-benefit analysis, I tried to show them that under utilitarianism, homosexual acts would not be considered immoral whereas under natural moral law they would. This is because natural moral law, unlike utilitarianism, judges morality on the basis of the acts themselves.
After the semester was over, I was called into the office of Robert McKim, the chairman of the Department of Religion, who was in possession of this email. I was told that someone (I presume one of my students) sent this email to the Office of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgendered Concerns at the ...University. It was apparently sent to administrators in the University of Illinois and then forwarded on to Professor McKim. I was told that I would no longer be able to teach in the Department of Religion.
Professor McKim and I discussed the contents of the email and he was quite insistent that my days of teaching in the department were over. I offered that it would be more just to ask me not to address the subject of homosexuality in my class. In fact, the other class I regularly taught (Modern Catholic Thought) never dealt with that subject at all. I also averred that to dismiss me for teaching the Catholic position in a class on Catholicism was a violation of academic freedom and my first amendment rights of free speech. This made no difference. After that conversation and a couple of emails, Professor McKim insisted that this decision to dismiss me stood firm.
I then consulted with our Diocesan lawyer, Mrs. Patricia Gibson, to see if the St. John's Newman Center could sue the university for breach of contract. Mrs. Gibson, kind in spirit and articulate as regards the law, told me that unfortunately the university had made very careful provisions to protect itself and so would not be liable in a law suit. I am still consulting with other lawyers about possible legal action on the grounds of the first amendment.
Then Monsignor Gregory Ketcham, the current Director of the St. John's Catholic Newman Center and my superior, informed me that the Center would not be able to continue employing me since there was no longer any teaching for me to do. I then reiterated what I had mentioned to him the day before. I suggested that we work together to have courses on Catholicism taught at the Newman Center that could be accredited by a Catholic university and that could be transferred into the University of Illinois for credit. In this way, the students whom we had been called to serve could continue to be instructed in the Catholic Faith. I told him in fact that I had once had conversations with professors in Catholic universities who were willing to make such arrangements. Monsignor Ketcham said that he had no interest in such a plan.
Thus, after more than sixty years, students at the University of Illinois will have no classes on Catholicism available to them. If the Department of Religion continues to offer the courses I taught, I have no idea how accurately Catholicism will be represented. I know this subject well enough to say it can be easily distorted. I have tried in this document to portray in a straightforward manner what happened. I also am preparing another document giving my own interpretation of all these events. If you are interested in that, or you just want to be informed as things progress, please contact me by email:
I look back at the twelve years I have spent in this position with memories of wonderful
times with my students and friends with whom I have labored. It has been a time of great growth and joy. I thank God from the bottom of my heart. I don't know what the future holds but I do know Him who holds it. He is faithful and can be trusted.
Sincerely, Kenneth J. Howell


Idependent Catholic News report: Not one of us can predict how we are going to die or in what state we are going to die. More than 350,000 leaflets presenting the Church’s teaching on death are being sent to every parish in England and Wales this week in preparation for Day for Life – the Day dedicated to raising awareness about the meaning and value of human life at every stage and in every condition. This year’s Day for Life, which falls on Sunday 25 July, will highlight the importance of the Sacrament of the Sick, of praying for the dead and of accompanying the dying person as they journey towards God. It will also point towards the consoling presence and support of the community of faith and all of those who ‘have gone before us marked with the sign of faith’.
“Our contemporary culture has difficulty with death,” said theologian, Fr James Hanvey, SJ.
It doesn’t know how to read it well anymore; there is almost an embarrassment about it because society has a fundamentally reductivist approach to the human person. No matter how short a life may be - whatever its condition - every life has a purpose and every life contains a grace. That grace runs all through our life and especially often at our moment of death.” He went on to add that through this year’s Day for Life: “We are not only hoping to nourish those members of our own Church, but we are also saying to our culture, that actually death is not something to be afraid of.”
The Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to the UK in September and the Beatification of Cardinal Newman is an opportunity to rediscover anew Cardinal Newman’s “beautiful expression of the theology of dying…the way in which he brought before British society in his own day the awareness of the dignity of death; the support of the community around the dying person and the continuing mercy of God through the experience of death,” said the Archbishop of Birmingham and Archbishop for Day for Life, Bernard Longley.
“Day for Life is an opportunity to pray; to highlight within parish communities this particular issue (and) to invite our parish communities to support work for life. “From the 2008/2009 Days for Life, we have been able to give over £500,000 in various grants.”
These grants have included amongst others The Anscombe Bioethics Centre (£100,000), Life (£15,000), ethical stem cell research (£50,000) – (£25,000 has been given to Professor Neil Scolding from the University of Bristol Institute of Clinical Neurosciences to support the bone marrow stem cell research programme relating to multiple sclerosis) and £60,000 towards the appointment of a new Mental Health Support Worker who will encourage, inspire and increase the availability of local spiritual and pastoral support and co-ordinate £70,000 of small grant funding for mental health projects.
He thanked parishioners and parish communities for their enormous generosity to the Day for Life collection each year, adding: “I think this has become one of the most popular national collections in the Church’s year.”
The Day for Life website –  - has some helpful resources for all those affected by and preparing for death, including award-winning podcast material from Clifton Diocese focusing on bereavement and Care for the Dying; an interview with the Disability Project Co-ordinator for Southwark Archdiocese about preparing people with learning difficulties for their own death and those of the people that they love and, an interview with Mgr Bill Saunders, the former Private Secretary to the Archbishop Emeritus of Southwark, Kevin McDonald, about the Patron Saint of the Dying, St Joseph and the Sacrament of the Sick.


Cath News report: The NSW Board of Studies has granted initial registration for a new, tuition-free Jesuit primary school for Aboriginal children, set to open in Sydney's Redfern next year. The Rector of St Aloysius' College, Milsons Point, Father Ross Jones SJ, said the City of Sydney Council has also approved the development application for the refurbishment of the presbytery at St Vincent's Catholic Church in Redfern, where the school will be housed, reports Province Express.
Named Jarjum - which means 'children' in the Aboriginal Bundjalung language - the school will be sponsored by St Aloysius' on behalf of the Jesuit Province.
"The formation of children in this school will be intensive and holistic," said Fr Jones. "Jarjum will be for children who need it most, those experiencing greater disadvantage, those who, through no fault of their own, have slipped through the system."
The project will provide before-school care, meals and after-school activities such as sports, clubs and tutoring. Individual pastoral care will include the students' personal, emotional and physical well-being, including regular health checks in association with the neighbouring Aboriginal Health Service.
Government funding, corporate sponsorship and donations are now being sought for a Jarjum Foundation. For more information contact St Aloysius' College on 02 9922 1177.


Sts. Rufina and Secunda

Information: Feast Day: July 10
Born: 3rd century, Rome, Roman Empire
Died: 257, Rome
Roman martyrs best known for the apocryphal Acts, which recount their martyrdoms. According to the Acta, they were Roman sisters, the daughters of a Roman senator. When their fiances gave up the Christian faith, Rufina and Secunda would not deny Christ. both were soon arrested and beheaded during the persecutions of Emperor Valerian (r. 253-260). They were buried on the Via Aurelia, at the Santa Rufina.


Matthew 16: 24 - 27

24 Then Jesus told his disciples, "If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.

25 For whoever would save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

26 For what will it profit a man, if he gains the whole world and forfeits his life? Or what shall a man give in return for his life?

27 For the Son of man is to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay every man for what he has done.