Monday, July 19, 2010
CATHOLIC WORLD NEWS: MON. JULY 19, 2010: HEADLINES-
VATICAN: POPE: THE WORD OF GOD GIVES MEANING TO DAILY ACTIVITY-
AFRICA: ARCHBISHOP URGES FAITHFUL TO PRAY THE ROSARY AS SECURITY RISES-
ASIA: INDIA: 60 DIE AND 90 INJURED IN TRAIN CRASH-
AUSTRALIA: PRAY 2010 GATHERING WAS A LARGE SUCCESS-
AMERICA: USA: CARDINAL WELCOMES EXCLUSION OF ABORTION FROM INSURANCE-
EUROPE. HOLLAND: DUTCH PRIEST SUSPENDED FOR WEARING ORANGE DURING MASS-
POPE: THE WORD OF GOD GIVES MEANING TO DAILY ACTIVITY
VATICAN CITY, 18 JUL 2010 (VIS) - At midday today Benedict XVI appeared at the balcony overlooking the central courtyard of the Apostolic Palace at Castelgandolfo to pray the Angelus with the faithful gathered there.
Before the Marian prayer, the Pope reflected on this Sunday's Gospel reading which recounts Jesus' visit to the house of Martha and Mary, the sisters of Lazarus. Martha busies herself with domestic chores and reproaches Mary for not lending a hand but sitting rapt at the Master's feet.
The Holy Father quoted Jesus' words in Luke's Gospel: "Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her", and he explained: "The words of Christ are very clear: they show no disdain for an active life, or for generous hospitality, but contain an evident reference to the fact that what is truly necessary is something else: to listen to the Word of the Lord. And in that moment the Lord is there, present in the Person of Jesus. All the rest will pass and be taken away from us, but the Word of God is eternal and gives meaning to our daily activities".
"This Gospel episode is highly appropriate for the holiday season because it recalls the fact that, although human beings must work and dedicate themselves to domestic and professional duties, above all they need God, Who is the inner light of Love and Truth. Without love, even the most important activities become valueless and bring no joy. Without profound meaning, all our actions are reduced to sterile and disordered activism.
"And who gives Love and Truth if not Jesus Christ?" the Holy Father asked. "Let us learn then, brothers and sisters, to help one another, to collaborate, but first and foremost together to chose the 'better part', which is and will always be our greatest good".
OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS
VATICAN CITY, 17 JUL 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Archbishop Francis Assisi Chullikatt, apostolic nuncio to Iraq and Jordan, as Holy See permanent observer to the United Nations in New York.
ARCHBISHOP URGES FAITHFUL TO PRAY THE ROSARY AS SECURITY RISES
All Africa report: SECURITY was yesterday tight at various city churches, including Rubaga, Namirembe and All Saints cathedrals, following the July 11 bomb blasts that killed over 70 people and left many injured.
During prayers for the victims at Rubaga Cathedral, the administrator, Fr. Francis Lubanga, told the gathering that only one door to the church would be open."Only one door will be opened so that everyone can be checked.
At the end of mass, only two doors will be opened to allow people exit," he explained.
Several Police officers could be seen patrolling the premises. Vehicles will also be checked before being parked around the church.
Archbishop Cyprian Kizito Lwanga appealed to Christians to accept the new security measures.
He encouraged the congregation to recite the Rosary for peace in Uganda and the world over. He specifically prayed for the Kyalimpas who lost their daughter, Alice, in the blasts.
The congregation lit candles in remembrance of other victims.
The Old Kampala divisional Police commander, Siraje Bakireke, briefed the gathering on safety measures and urged churches to acquire hand probes and walkthrough machines to ease checking.
At St. Paul Cathedral, Namirembe, Prime Minister Apolo Nsibambi urged owners of buildings and other public facilities such as bars, hotels and lodges to ensure that their premises have adequate security measures such as guards, metal detectors, CCTV cameras and lights.
He called on the public to be on the lookout for suspicious-looking people in their neighbourhood and report them to the authorities.
Nsibambi also cautioned organisers of public events to always involve the Police in the planning and organising for security.
He urged the public to provide information to security officers. The hotlines are 0800199088 (CPS incident room), 0800199188 (Mulago Hospital Casualty Unit) and 0800199288 (Media Centre).
Namirembe bishop Wilberforce Kityo Luwalira called on the Christians to be vigilant and work with Police.
He urged them to report suspicious items, strangers and pray for those who lost their dear ones.
The Namirembe Cathedral dean, Can. Musiwuufu Magala, also encouraged Christians to pray.
"Prayers change things. Let us surrender our problems to Him because He is stronger than bombs and guns," he said.
At All Saints Cathedral, Nakasero, security officers, armed with metal detectors, were stationed at the entrance of the church. Vehicles were not allowed into the parking yard.
The acting vicar, Edward Byarugaba, said churches need to adhere to the changes and tighten their security in the wake of the terrorism threat.
"Comply with the new changes. We want to guard you from the massacres by evil-minded people and pray that God may deal with them accordingly," he said.
At St. Luke's Church in Ntinda, the vicar, William Owino, said phones and bags may be banned from the church in future.
At St. Andrew's Church, Bukoto, the worshippers had to leave their property with the security guards and pick them up after the service.
In some Pentecostal churches like Prayer Palace in Makindye, overnight prayers have been called off to ensure the safety of worshippers.
Yesterday's prayers were part of the seven-day national mourning declared by President Yoweri Museveni last week.
PRAY 2010 GATHERING WAS A LARGE SUCCESS
Cath News report: Brisbane's Archbishop John Bathersby has described the archdiocese's Pray 2010 as "a success beyond all expectations" and "the best retreat" he has ever made.
"Some mentioned that they had been away from the Church for 30 or 40 years but had come back because of the gathering.
"The people who were present were not only Catholics but from many other Christian Communions as well."
INDIA: 60 DIE AND 90 INJURED IN TRAIN CRASH
Asia News report: The Uttarbanga Express did not respect the red light and order to stop. At two am (local time) it rammed into the Vananchal Express, on track four.
The impact of the crash sent a coach flying 7 metres onto an overbridge. Relief operations are still ongoing and it is feared that the death toll may rise. Rescuers are trying to cut through the metal of the carriages to get in and rescue the injured.
According to preliminary investigations, the accident was due to human error. The Vananchal Express was stopped at track four, when the Uttarbanga Express rammed into it. The driver of the Uttarbanga Express did not respect the red light and because it was travelling too fast was unable to avoid the collision when it received the order to stop from the station staff.
The injured passengers were transported to nearby hospitals Sainthia and Suri, while rescue teams were called from Rampurhat, Asansol and Burdwan. Mamata Banerjee, Minister of Railways, has opened an investigation to clarify events and establish responsibilities.
USA: CARDINAL WELCOMES EXCLUSION OF ABORTION FROM INSURANCE
USCCB report: Pro-Life Chair Welcomes HHS Exclusion of Abortion from Federal Insurance Program, Calls For Permanent Law
“We welcome this new policy,” the Cardinal said, “while continuing to be gravely concerned that it was not issued until after some states had announced that pro-abortion health plans were approved and had begun to enroll patients.”
“This situation illustrates once again the need for Congress to enact legislation clearly stating once and for all that funds appropriated by PPACA will not pay for abortions or for insurance coverage that includes abortion,” Cardinal DiNardo said. “The issue of government involvement in the taking of innocent human life should not remain subject to the changeable discretion of executive officials or depend on the continued vigilance of pro-life advocates.”
“It is vitally important for people with serious medical conditions who have been unable to obtain coverage to receive the help offered by programs such as this – and for them to be assured that their coverage will be life-affirming, not life-threatening,” the Cardinal concluded.
The full text of his statement follows:
This week it was reported that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) had approved a new high-risk health insurance program for residents of Pennsylvania that by its terms would cover abortions without meaningful limits. This federal program, established by the new Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), will provide health services until 2014 to uninsured persons with pre-existing conditions. The Pennsylvania plan, while purporting not to fund “elective” abortions, made clear in its text that all abortions that satisfy the requirements of certain Pennsylvania statutes (i.e., all abortions that are not illegal in that state) would be covered, and reimbursed, with a combination of private premiums and federal funds drawn from the U.S. Treasury. This first announcement that $160 million in federal funds would be used to provide pro-abortion coverage raised an alarming precedent. Later the news also became public that the state of New Mexico would be covering “elective abortions” in its federal high-risk pool, which was already accepting enrollees.
Last night, however, HHS reacted to public criticisms by announcing that it will act to exclude abortion from this federally funded program, in accord with the assurances that Secretary Sebelius and President Obama have repeatedly made that PPACA will not be used to promote abortion. We welcome this new policy, while continuing to be gravely concerned that it was not issued until after some states had announced that pro-abortion health plans were approved and had begun to enroll patients. This situation illustrates once again the need for Congress to enact legislation clearly stating once and for all that funds appropriated by PPACA will not pay for abortions or for insurance coverage that includes abortion. Such legislation would mirror the Hyde amendment and similar provisions which prevent such abortion funding in all other federal health programs.
In this program as in others, the issue of government involvement in the taking of innocent human life should not remain subject to the changeable discretion of executive officials or depend on the continued vigilance of pro-life advocates. It is vitally important for people with serious medical conditions who have been unable to obtain coverage to receive the help offered by programs such as this – and for them to be assured that their coverage will be life-affirming, not life-threatening.
HOLLAND: DUTCH PRIEST IS SUSPENDED FOR WEARING ORANGE DURING MASS
Cath News report: A priest in the Netherlands has been suspended for holding a special orange-themed mass in support of the national football team before the World Cup final between his country and Spain last week.
For last Sunday's mass, his priestly robe was orange and he decked out his church with orange flags and orange flowers.
However, the Dutch lost 1-0 to Spain and now all Reverend Vlaar has got for his efforts is what his Bishop called a period of contemplation, the report said.
CONFESSOR AND HERMIT ON THE NILE
Feast: July 19
Died: 450 at Troë
Anchorite; born 354, at Rome; died 450, at Troe, in Egypt. Theodosius the Great having requested the Emperor Gratian and Pope Damasus to find him in the West a tutor for his son Arcadius, they made choice of Arsenius, a man well read in Greek literature, member of a noble Roman family, and said to have been a deacon of the Roman Church. He reached Constantinople in 383, and continued as tutor in the imperial family for eleven years, during the last three of which he also had charge of his pupil's brother Honorius. Coming one day to see his children at their studies, Theodosius found them sitting while Arsenius talked to them standing. This he would not tolerate, and caused the teacher to sit and the pupils to stand. On his arrival at court Arsenius had been given a splendid establishment, and probably because the Emperor so desired, he lived in great pomp, but all the time felt a growing inclination to renounce the world. After praying long to be enlightened as to what he should do, he heard a voice saying "Arsenius, flee the company of men, and thou shalt be saved." Thereupon he embarked secretly for Alexandria, and hastening to the desert of Scetis, asked to be admitted among the solitaries who dwelt there. St. John the Dwarf, to whose cell he was conducted, though previously warned of the quality of his visitor, took no notice of him and left him standing by himself while he invited the rest to sit down at table. When therepast was half finished he threw down some bread before him, bidding him with an air of indifference eat if he would. Arsenius meekly picked up the bread and ate, sitting on the ground. Satisfied with this proof of humility, St. John kept him under his direction. The new solitary was from the first most exemplary yet unwittingly retained certain of his old habits, such as sitting cross-legged or laying one foot over the other. Noticing this, the abbot requested some one to imitate Arsenius's posture at the next gathering of the brethren, and upon his doing so, forthwith rebuked him publicly. Arsenius took the hint and corrected himself. During the fifty-five years of his solitary life he was always the most meanly clad of all, thus punishing himself for his former seeming vanity in the world. In like manner, to atone for having used perfumes at court, he never changed the water in which he moistened the palm leaves of which he made mats, but only poured in fresh water upon it as it wasted, thus letting it become stenchy in the extreme. Even while engaged in manual labour he never relaxed in his application to prayer. At all times copious tears of devotion fell from his eyes. But what distinguished him most was his disinclination to all that might interrupt his union with God. When, after long search, his place of retreat was discovered, he not only refused to return to court and act as adviser to his former pupil the Emperor Arcadius, but he would not even be his almoner to the poor and the monasteries of the neighbourhood. He invariably denied himself to visitors, no matter what their rank and condition and left to his disciples the care of entertaining them. His contemporaries so admired him as to surname him "the Great".
Sts. Justa and Rufina
The prefect, after they had boldly confessed Christ, commanded them to be stretched on the rack and their sides to be torn with hooks. An idol was placed near the rack with incense, that if they would offer sacrifice they should be released; but their fidelity was not to be shaken. Justa died on the rack; the judge ordered Rufina to be strangled, and their bodies to be burned. They are greatly venerated in Spain, and no doubt their names represent historical martyrs in that place.
Matthew 12: 38 - 42
38 Then some of the scribes and Pharisees said to him, "Teacher, we wish to see a sign from you."
39 But he answered them, "An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign; but no sign shall be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.
40 For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the whale, so will the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
41 The men of Nin'eveh will arise at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold, something greater than Jonah is here.
42 The queen of the South will arise at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and behold, something greater than Solomon is here.