Wednesday, July 28, 2010




VATICAN CITY, 28 JUL 2010 (VIS report) - The plenary assembly of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM) will be held in Accra, Ghana, from 27 July to 1 August. The event is due to be attended by 250 people including cardinals, bishops, priests, religious and lay faithful from Africa and other parts of the world.
SECAM, the president of which is Cardinal Polycarp Pengo, archbishop of Dal-es-Salaam, Tanzania, is celebrating its fortieth year of activity with a week of reflection on the theme: "Self-Reliance and the Way Forward for the Church in Africa". Within the context of plenary assembly, Archbishop Leon Kalenga Badikebele, apostolic nuncio to Ghana, will deliver a Message from Benedict XVI to the participants.
The plenary assembly, the highest administrative body in SECAM, meets every three years. This year's agenda includes a meeting of bishops on the central theme of the plenary and a round table discussion, as well as a renewal of their joint commitment to achieve the ideals of the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar.
The national and regional episcopal conferences of Africa and other bodies affiliated to SECAM will present their evaluations on the Second Special Assembly for Africa of the Synod of Bishops, which was held in the Vatican last October on the theme: "The Church in Africa, at the Service of Reconciliation, Justice and Peace".
.../ VIS 20100728 (240)

VATICAN CITY, 28 JUL 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Archbishop Walmor Oliveira de Azevedo of Belo Horizonte, Brazil, to the additional role of ordinary for Catholic faithful of Eastern rite resident in Brazil who do not have their own ordinary. In his new role, Archbishop Oliveira de Azevedo replaces Cardinal Eusebio Oscar Scheid S.C.I., archbishop emeritus of Sao Sebastiao do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.


Rome report: Joseph Schmidt died in Rome July 28, 2010. This is his last interview.

Right here in this same square, 500 years ago, the world’s smallest army pledged its loyalty to the head of the Catholic Church.
Back then, terrorism didn’t exist and driving in a Popemobile had yet to replace being carried aloft on a chair. Yet, as veteran Swiss Guard Josef Schmidt recalls, the pontiff still faced significant threats:
“It all began with Pope Julius II, who asked the Swiss government for soldiers to protect him and to accompany him when he went outside the Vatican. The canton of Lucerne sent 189 guards and they arrived on January 22, 1506.”
It’s been 500 years and the Swiss Guard is still protecting the pope. They sustained one of their biggest losses in the 16th century, when the papal guard whisked Clement VII away from the apostolic palace… through a secret passageway to Castel Sant’Angelo; a refuge for pontiffs under seige.
“While defending Pope Clement VII from the German troupes, 147 Swiss guards died. The 49 who survived stayed on as the Pope’s body guards.”
Schmidt served as corporal, sergeant, and lieutenant under 3 different popes over a span of 15 years.
“For almost 8 years, I served Pius XII, then John XXIII and in the later years it was Paul VI.”
There are 110 soldiers in the Swiss Guard. Over the centuries, their mission has remained the same.
“First of all, they have to guard the Pope’s apartment, night and day. Secondly, they have to perform ‘extraordinary services’ which are private and public audiences with the pope. In those days, the Pope didn’t travel, the longest trip was to Castelgandolfo.”
Each guard makes about $1,500 a month, and gets free accommodation within the Vatican city. Their motivation goes beyond the material…
“Some of the people that serve in the Swiss Guard have a complete conversion! Guarding the Vicar of Christ is something priceless.”
While most Swiss Guards look like they’ve walked out of the Middle Ages, others wear plain clothes and carry automatic weapons. They’re an elite unit, with both ceremonial and military duties.
“All of us have trained in the Swiss army, which is no walk in the park. Plus, in the Swiss Guard, there’s a different tone; the training and discipline are very rigorous, but naturally in a healthy way.”
Seven hundred Swiss Guards will mark their 500 years alongside the Pope starting in April when they begin a march from Switzerland to the Vatican. They’re scheduled to arrive on May 6. For the Papal army, it’s a true march through time.


Asia News report: The aircraft lost contact with the control tower just before the disaster. The area is shrouded in fog and heavy clouds. Rescue teams are heading towards the area, but the roads are impassable and the area is mountainous and full of forests.

Islamabad (AsiaNews / Agencies) - A plane with 152 people aboard crashed this morning on Margallo Hills, north of Islamabad. The 152people also includes six crew.
The plane had departed from Karachi at 7:50 this morning and was about to land in Islamabad. So far, no one knows the causes of the disaster, but the hills around Islamabad are full of fog and bad weather has affected the area for the past two days. According to civil aviation authorities, the plane had lost contact with the control tower just before the crash.
The area is mountainous, full of forests and the roads are impractical, making the work of rescue teams that have already set off for the scene of the accident difficult.


UCAN report: Officials in northern China’s Hebei province have rearrested Father Peter Wang Zhong of Xiwanzi moments before he could walk to freedom following a three-year prison term.

Sources told that Father Wang’s relatives and about 20 laypeople were waiting to pick him from Tangshan Jidong prison at around 4 a.m. on July 24.
They saw Father Wang walking toward the prison gates(PICTURED) before three or four men grabbed him and dragged him to a nearby police car.
The gates closed while Father Wang was still struggling.
The gate reopened about an hour later and two police cars emerged.
Father Wang’s relatives and the laypeople then stopped the car with the priest inside to speak to him.
They also demanded to know why the government officials were detaining the priest again.
“Father Wang told us not to create any problems with the officials, that he was okay and asked us let them take him away,” a source said.
There was a short standoff, after which the Catholics backed down.
Hours later, Father Wang called his younger sister to say he was safe.
Local Catholics suspect the officials want the priest to “work openly” and accept the authority of the government-sanctioned Catholic Patriotic Association.
Officials from Guyuan County asked Father Wang in May what he wanted to do after his release, they said.
Father Wang told the officials he wanted to return to Guyuan because Catholics there needed him, they added.
Sources believe the officials took action at the prison gates as they feared Catholics would protect and hide the well respected priest after he returns to the parish.

The priest was jailed for illegal assembly and for illegally making an official government seal to stamp documents in late 2007 after the consecration of a church in Guyuan.
Auxiliary Bishop Leo Yao Liang of Xiwanzi’s underground community presided at the consecration Mass that was concelebrated by some 20 priests and attended by more than 7,000 people.
Bishop Yao, Father Wang the parish priest, and four other priests were arrested. The other priests were released shortly afterwards. Only Father Wang was sentenced while the bishop was put under house arrest for 30 months. 

Agenzia Fides report – The Uruguay Bishops' Conference informed Fides of a recent CELAM Meeting held 20 - 22 July in Bogota. The meeting was the fourth and final general coordination meeting of CELAM, the Council of Latin American Bishops' Conferences, Mgr Carlos Collazzi, Bishop of Mercedes and the President of the Bishops' Conference of Uruguay was there. The aim of the meeting was to assess, plan and arrange the next CELAM General Assembly scheduled for 17 to 20 May 2011 and to be hosted by Uruguay. CELAM presidency, directors and executive secretaries, the finance Committee meet every year for a general coordination meeting. Bishop Collazzi attended the meeting as President of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Uruguay and head of the CELAM department for Particular Churches. The main novelty of the meeting was the announcement of the 33rd CELAM General Assembly in Montevideo a gathering of Cardinals and Bishops representing the Bishops' Conferences of Latin America and the Caribbean. The Assembly, besides electing a new CELAM president and presidents of departments and commissions, will assess the implementation of the programmes of the latest global plan after listening to reports from Departments, Commissions, General Secretariat and Presidency. 
Agenzia Fides REPORT- The dioceses of Guinea-Bissau are organising a course 2 - 27 August, for recently arrived missionaries, we read in a statement sent to Fides. The course provided for new missionaries includes basic notions of the Creole language and the cultural customs of the peoples of Guinea-Bissau.

The course, open to lay and religious missionaries, is held during the school holiday period in preparation for the new pastoral year 2010/2011. Lessons in Creole will be given by major seminarian Paulo Araujo Pina from the diocese of Bafatá.

According to the latest reports 15 new missionaries recently arrived in Guinea-Bissau from various parts of the world.

Cath News report: The Australian Ecumenical Council for Spiritual Direction (AECSD) is inviting participation in a new Symposium that aims to examine the impact of contemporary spirituality on the practice of spiritual direction.

The Inaugural National Symposium of the Australian Ecumenical Council for Spiritual Direction: Exploring Contemporary Spirituality and its Impact on the Practice of Spiritual Direction will feature academic papers and practitioner presentations exploring the topic, according to a press statement.
The Symposium will be held on October 29-30 in Melbourne.
The statement lists the Symposium's speakers and their topics are listed below.
Registrations are open to people interested in spiritual direction and spirituality studies; spiritual direction practitioners, staff members and students of spiritual direction formation programs and academics, it said.
Further details can be found on the group's website, linked below.

St. Samson

Information: Feast Day: July 28

Born: 490 at south Wales

Died: 565 at Brittany
Bishop and confessor, born in South Wales; died 28 July, 565 (?). The date of his birth is unknown. His parents whose names are given as Amon of Dyfed and Anna of Gwynedd, were of noble, but not royal, birth. While still an infant he was dedicated to God and entrusted to the care of St. Illtyd, by whom he was brought up in the monastery of Llantwit Major. He showed exceptional talents in his studies, and was eventually ordained deacon and priest by St. Dubric. After this he retired to another monastery, possibly after that on Caldy Island, to practise greater austerities, and some years later became it abbot. About this time some Irish monks who were returning from Rome happened to visit Samson's monastery. So struck was the abbot by their learning and sanctity that he accompanied them to Ireland, and there remained some time. During h is visit he received the submission of an Irish monastery, and, on his return to Wales, sent one of his uncles to act as its superior. His fame as a worker of miracles now attracted so much attention that he resolved to found a new monastery or cell "far from the haunts of men", and accordingly retired with a few companions to a lonely spot on the banks of the Severn. He was soon discovered, however, and forced by his fellow-countrymen to become abbot of the monastery formerly ruled by St. Germanus; here St. Dubric consecrated him bishop but without appointment to any particular see. Now, being warned by an angel, he determined to leave England and, after some delay, set sail for Brittany. He landed near Dol, and there built a monastery which became the centre of his episcopal work in the district. Business taking him to Paris, he visited King Childebert there, and was nominated by him as Bishop of Dol; Dol, however, did not become a regular episcopal see till about the middle of the ninth century. Samson attained the age of 85 years, and was buried at Dol. Several early lives of Samson exist. The oldest, printed by Mabillon in his "Acta Sanctorum" from a manuscript at Cîteaux, and again by the Bollandists, claims to be compiled from information derived from Samson's contemporaries, which would refer it to about 600. Dom Plaine in the "Analecta Bollandiana" has edited another and fuller life (from manuscript Andeg., 719), which he regards as earlier than Mabillon's. Later lives are numerous.

St. Victor I

Information: Feast Day: July 28
(189-198 or 199), date of birth unknown. The "Liber Pontificalis" makes him a native of Africa and gives his father the name of Felix. This authority, taking the "Liberian Catalogue" as its basis, gives the years 186-197 as the period of Victor's episcopate. The Armenian text of the "Chronicle" of Eusebius (Leipzig, 1911, p. 223) places the beginning of Victor's pontificate in the seventh year of the reign of the Emperor Commodus (180-87) and gives it a duration of twelve years; in his "Church History" (V, xxxii, ed. Schwarts, Leipzig, 1902, p. 486) Eusebius transfers the beginning of the pontificate to the tenth year of the reign of Commodus and makes it last ten years. During the closing years of the reign of Commodus (180-192) and the early years of Septimius Severus (from 193) the Roman Church enjoyed in general great external peace. The favourable opinion of the Christians held by Commodus is ascribed to the influence of a woman named Marcia. According to the testimony of Hippolytus ("Philosophumena", IX, 12) she had been brought up by the presbyter Hyacinthus, was very favourably inclined towards the Christians, perhaps even a Christian herself (Hippolytus, loc. cit., calls her philotheos God-loving). One day she summoned Pope Victor to the imperial palace and asked for a list of the Roman Christians who had been condemned to forced labour in the mines of Sardinia, so that she might obtain their freedom. The pope handed her the list and Marcia, having received from the emperor the required pardon, sent the presbyter Hyacinthus to Sardinia with an order of release for the Christian confessors. Callistus, afterwards pope, who had been among those deported, did not return to Rome, but remained at Antium, where he received a monthly pension from the Roman Christians. Irenaeus ("Adv. Haerses", IV, xxx, 1) points out that Christians were employed at this period as officials of the imperial Court. Among these officials was the imperial freedman Prosenes, whose gravestone and epitaph have been preserved (De Rossi, "Inscriptiones christ. urbis Romae", I, 9, no. 5). Septimius Severus, also, during the early years of his reign, regarded the Christians kindly, so that the influence of Christian officials continued. The emperor retained in his palace a Christian named Proculus who had once cured him. He protected Christian men and women of rank against the excesses of the heathen rabble, and his son Caracalla had a Christian wet nurse (Tertullian, "Ad Scapulam", IV). Christianity made great advances in the capital and also found adherents among the families who were distinguished for wealth and noble descent (Eusebius, "Hist. eccl.", V, xxi).
Internal dissensions during this era affected the Church at Rome. The dispute over the celebration of Easter . . . grew more acute. The Christians at Rome, who had come from the province of Asia, were accustomed to observe Easter on the 14th day of Nisan, whatever day of the week that date might happen to fall on, just as they had done at home. This difference inevitably led to trouble when it appeared in the Christian community of Rome. Pope Victor decided, therefore, to bring about unity in the observance of the Easter festival and to persuade the Quartodecimans to join in the general practice of the Church. He wrote, therefore, to Bishop Polycrates of Ephesus and induced the latter to call together the bishops of the province of Asia in order to discuss the matter with them. This was done; but in the letter sent by Polycrates to Pope Victor he declared that he firmly held to the Quartoceciman custom observed by so many celebrated and holy bishops of that region. Victor called a meeting of Italian bishops at Rome, which is the earliest Roman synod known. He also wrote to the leading bishops of the various districts, urging them to call together the bishops of their sections of the country and to take counsel with them on the question of the Easter festival. Letters came from all sides: from the synod in Palestine, at which Theophilus of Caesarea and Narcissus of Jerusalem presided; from the synod of Pontus over which Palmas as the oldest presided; from the communities in Gaul whose bishop of Irenaeus of Lyons; from the bishops of the Kingdom of Osrhoene; also from individual bishops, as Bakchylus of Corinth. These letters all unanimously reported that Easter was observed on Sunday.. Victor, who acted throughout the entire matter as the head of Catholic Christendom, now called upon the bishops of the province of Asia to abandon their custom and to accept the universally prevailing practice of always celebrating Easter on Sunday. In case they would not do this he declared they would be excluded from the fellowship of the Church.
This severe procedure did not please all the bishops. Irenaeus of Lyons and others wrote to Pope Victor; they blamed his severity, urged him to maintain peace and unity with the bishops of Asia, and to entertain affectionate feelings toward them. Irenaeus reminded him that his predecessors had indeed always maintained the Sunday observance of Easter, as was right, but had not broken off friendly relations and communion with bishops because they followed another custom (Eusebius, "Hist. eccl.", V, xxiii-xxv.) We have no information concerning the further course of the matter under Victor I so far as it regards the bishops of Asia. All that is known is that in the course of the third century the Roman practice in the observance of Easter became gradually universal. In Rome itself, where Pope Victor naturally enforced the observance of Easter on Sunday by all Christians in the capital, an Oriental named Blastus, with a few followers, opposed the pope and brought about a schism, which, however, did not grow in importance (Eusebius, loc. cit., B, xx). Pope Victor also had difficulties with a Roman priest named Florinus, who probably came from Asia Minor. As an official of the imperial court, Florinus had become acquainted in Asia Minor with St. Polycarp, and later was a presbyter of the Roman Church. He fell into the Gnostic heresy and defended the false learning of Valentine. St. Irenaeus wrote two treatises against him: "On the Monarchy [of God] and that God is not the Author of Evil", and "On the Ogdoad". Irenaeus also called Victor's attention to the dangerous writings of Florinus, who was probably degraded from his priestly functions by the pope and expelled from the Church (Eusebius, "Hist. eccl.", V, xv, 20).
During the pontificate of Victor a rich Christian, Theodotus the Leather-seller, came from Constantinople to Rome and taught false doctrines concerning Christ, Whom he declared to be merely a man endowed by the Holy Ghost, at baptism, with supernatural power. The pope condemned this heresy and excluded Theodotus from the Church. The latter, however, would not submit, but, together with his adherents, formed a schismatic party, which maintained itself for a time at Rome. Victor may also have come into contact with the Montanists. Tertullian reports ("Ad Praceam", 1) that a Roman bishop, whose name he does not give, had declared his acceptance of the prophecies of Montanus, but had been persuaded by Praxeas to withdraw. Duchesne ("Histoire ancienne de l'église", I, 278) and others think Tertullian means Pope Eleutherius, but many investigators consider it more probable that he meant Pope Victor, because the latter had had much to do with the inhabitants of Asia Minor, and because, between 190 and 200, Praceas had gone from Rome to Carthage, where he was opposed by Tertullian. The question cannot be decided positively


Matthew 13: 44 - 46

44 "The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up; then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.

45 "Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls,

46 who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it.



VATICAN CITY, 27 JUL 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Bishop Jacques Blaquart, auxiliary of Bordeaux, France, as bishop of Orleans (area 6,811, population 648,000, Catholics 445,000, priests 168, permanent deacons 40, religious 238), France. He succeeds Bishop Andre Fort, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.
Radio Vaticana report: Six hundred theologians from all five continents descended on the Northern Italian city of Trent this week to discuss “Catholic Theological Ethics in World Culture”.

With over 50 sessions on topics ranging from family to environmental protection, from sexuality to good governance, the theologians sought to approach each issue from the point of view of the Catholic Church tradition in Moral Theology and contemporary culture.
Theologians of the stature of Italian Archbishop Bruno Forte, the Archbishop of Munich and Freising Reinhard Marx, chaired sessions alongside lay men and women theologians from the US Latin America, Asia and Africa.
Jesuit Priest James Keenan is professor of Theology at Boston College in the US. He is also the co- chairman of the convention. He pointed out that where once most theologians were formed in Rome, Paris or Holland, over the past thirty years, major faculties of theology have arisen in Brazil, the Philippines and India, making meetings such as this one in Trent an important focal point for Catholic theologians.
Of the numerous interventions, Fr Keenan highlighted the presentation made by American Theologian Julie Hanlon Rubio, on Family practise and Archbishop Reinhard Marx’s intervention on the Future of Moral Theology: “He gave us this discourse about the need to work with one another to be able to appreciate how social ethics is a deep part of our own theological tradition and about how we need to get to a moral objectivity that is really rooted in tradition”.
Fr Keenan noted that there is often tension between the need to root research in tradition and the need for theologians to engage with contemporary culture.
Asked about what Pope Benedict XVI has termed as a “creeping secularism” and his call to address the moral relativism of today’s society, Fr Keenan said that the notion of relativism “ cuts two ways”.
“We can have a relativism in which we simply say; ‘what the church once taught in 1548 has never changed and always remains the same’”, which Fr Keenan notes, is not possible. “There is the relativism of those who want to objectify tradition is such as way that they want us to be living in the past with rules that do not address some of the contemporary challenges that we have. So there is a relativism that comes from objectifying the tradition”.
But then notes Fr Keenan, “there is a relativism that is subjective, that is very liberal, that is very progressive, that says that tradition can be anything that I want it to be, that we don’t read the scriptures, that we don’t read tradition itself. This is another type of relativism. We shouldn’t think that relativism comes simply from the left, it can also come from the right. What I think a real Church is looking at, if it wants to be harmonious and integrated, is to really find the tradition as it needs to be now, in light of what it once was and what it will be”.


Independent Catholic News report: Tributes have been paid to Bishop Andreas Abouna of Iraq who died today (Tuesday, 27 July) after a lifetime of a ministry to a Church beset by war, oppression and increasing hardship. Auxiliary Bishop Andreas Abouna of Baghdad died in hospital this morning in Erbil, the capital of Kurdish northern Iraq. Bishop Andreas was 67 and had suffered from a kidney complaint. Chaldean Patriarch Emmanuel III Delly is due to preside at Bishop Abouna’s funeral this evening (Tuesday, 27th July) at Saint Joseph’s Cathedral in Ankawa, near Erbil.
Archbishop Bashar Warda of Erbil told Aid to the Church in Need that Bishop Abouna was a pastor who was “always smiling, even in very difficult situations”.
Andreas Abouna was born on 23rd March 1943 in the village of Bedar, outside the northern Iraqi town of Zakho.
Aged 14, he joined Saint Peter’s Seminary – then based in the northern city of Mosul – and was ordained a priest for the Chaldean Catholic Church on 5th June 1966.
He was a parish priest in the diocese of Basra in southern Iraq from 1967 and four years later he was appointed parish priest of Saint Joseph the Worker’s Church, Baghdad, where he served for 20 years.
In 1989 he became personal secretary to Chaldean Catholic leader Patriarch Raphael I Bidawid of Baghdad. Nearly two years later he moved to Ealing, west London, where he became priest in charge of the Chaldean and Syrian-Catholic Mission in England, a role he fulfilled for 11 years.
On 11 November 2002 he was named Auxiliary Bishop of Baghdad and he returned to his native country the following year after being ordained to the episcopate in Rome by Pope John Paul II on 6th January 2003.
Within weeks of the bishop taking office, Saddam Hussein was overthrown and key parts of Iraq including Baghdad fell victim to extreme violence.
Christians were among the worst to suffer and Bishop Abouna helped his people in the face of insurgent activity including bomb attacks on churches and threats of violence against non-Muslims. This catalogue of incidents sparked a mass exodus from the city.
Amid increasing health problems, Bishop Abouna stayed in Baghdad, holding youth events where security allowed.
He responded to a shortage of priests by serving at the parish of Our Lady of the Assumption, in the city’s Al Mansour district.
Archbishop Warda said: “He was a very close friend not just to me but to so many others. He was always smiling, even in very difficult situations.”
Archbishop Louis Sako of Kirkuk said: “Bishop Abouna was a very good and humble man, very open-minded.
"He really took care of each one of his priests and he always worked for the unity of the Church. I hope he can pray for us from heaven.”
Aid to the Church in Need, which had helped fund Bishop Abouna’s health care, worked closely with him on projects including the relocation of Saint Peter’s Seminary away from Baghdad, where the situation had become unsafe.
Marie-Ange Siebrecht, Aid to the Church in Need’s projects coordinator for Iraq, said: “I had the pleasure to meet Bishop Abouna many times during my visits to northern Iraq. “He was a very spiritual person and had great concern for the priests and seminarians he was in charge of.
“Especially in Baghdad he played a great role among the priests to try to show them that there is a future in their country.”
Iraqi Christians in Need have set up a condolence book on their website:


Independent Catholic News report: Two postage stamps depicting photographs of Cardinal Newman, one never published before, and a stamp label showing Pope Benedict XVI, are included in a miniature sheet to be issued by the Isle of Man Post Office on Wednesday 11 August, the 120th Anniversary of the death of Cardinal Newman.
The two £1.50 special stamps received Royal Approval from HM The Queen and include the Royal Cipher.
The miniature sheet is being issued to commemorate the State Visit of Pope Benedict XVI to the United Kingdom, 16-19 September, and the Beatification of Cardinal Newman, 1801-1890, at Cofton Park, Birmingham, on Sunday 19 September.
Isle of Man Stamps & Coins is now working with the Vatican Post Office to produce a limited edition souvenir first day cover and joint special hand stamp postmark to commemorate the Beatification of Cardinal Newman on 19 September 2010.
(pictured- Archbishop Longley with the miniature sheet and presentation pack. Picture by Peter Jennings)
The left hand stamp depicts a previously unknown original photograph of Cardinal Newman taken by H J Whitlock, Photographers, New Street, Birmingham, and signed by Cardinal Newman, aged 82, at the Oratory House on
Passion Sunday, 11 March 1883, for a visitor.
The right hand stamp shows an original photograph of Dr Newman taken c. 1866 by McLean & Haes, Photographers, Haymarket, London.
The picture of Pope Benedict XVI by this correspondent on the stamp label was taken during a General Audience in St Peter's Square, Rome on Wednesday 10 June 2009.
John Henry Newman was the greatest English religious figure of the 19th century. Today he is known world-wide as one of the foremost theologians of the Catholic Church and a prolific writer - he left more than 30,000 letters - but most of all he is revered as a much loved holy parish priest in Birmingham. Cardinal Newman died in his room at the Oratory House, Edgbaston, aged 89, on Monday 11 August 1890.
The miniature sheet, a presentation pack and a first day cover and insert were printed well ahead of the four-day visit of Pope Benedict to Scotland and England and before the announcement on 24 June that the Holy See had requested a change of venue for the Beatification of Cardinal Newman from Coventry Airport to Cofton Park Birmingham.
The miniature sheet wrongly refers to the beatification of Cardinal Newman taking place: "at Coventry Airport, 19 September 2010."
These special stamps depicting Cardinal Newman will be collected and treasured by stamp collectors and non collectors alike throughout the world. The inclusion of the Coventry Airport venue will add philatelic interest.
The commemorative stamps and related products were the idea of this correspondent, a Fellow of the Royal Philatelic Society London, who wrote the text and supplied the pictures to Isle for Man Stamps and Coins and worked with designer Stacey Smith at Isle of Man Advertising & PR Ltd.
The miniature sheet was launched by Archbishop Bernard Longley at the end of a press conference about the Papal Visit to the Archdiocese of Birmingham held at Cathedral House, Birmingham, on Friday 23 July.
Archbishop Longley said: "Once again postage stamps show their remarkable ability to inform and raise people's awareness of historic celebrations or important national and local events.
"Isle of Man Stamps and Coins are to be congratulated on these engaging and imaginative stamps included in a special miniature sheet to commemorate the State Visit of Pope Benedict XVI and the Beatification of Cardinal John Henry Newman.
"This is first time that that a Pope has been welcomed to the United Kingdom on a State Visit and these stamps highlight the importance of such a visit for UK and Isle of Man citizens within and beyond the Catholic Church."
The Archbishop of Birmingham added: "The Beatification of Cardinal Newman promotes this man of God as an example of holiness and as the bearer of truth. He is a figure of international significance and these Isle of Man stamps will introduce Cardinal Newman and his witness to goodness and truth, to many people throughout the world who may not yet know him."
The back of the special first day cover includes a specially written "Welcome to His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI" by Cardinal Keith O'Brien and Archbishop Vincent Nichols.
For further information please see Isle of Man Stamps and Coins website:

Agenzia Fides REPORT- “Let us now act in concert and sweep them (terrorists) out of Africa” the Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni said on Sunday 25 August at the opening ceremony of the 15th African Union Summit of Heads of State. The Summit, taking place in the Ugandan capital, Kampala, was to focus on maternal and infant health and development in Africa, however the double terrorist attack on 11 July attributed to Somali Islamic extremists, which left 76 dead and hundreds injured, (see Fides 16 July 2010), led to a change in the Summit agenda.

The civil war in Somalia is one of the principal issues being discussed by the representatives of African nations. When claiming responsibility for the attacks, Shabab (Somali insurgents fighting Somalia's internationally recognised interim government), said the attacks were an act of retaliation against the participation of Ugandan soldiers in the African Union military mission Amisom which supports Somali government army troops.

The attacks in Kampala (which coincided with the final match of the World Football Championships in South Africa) are considered Shabab's first action outside Somalia.

The African Union has decided to reinforce Amisom (presently consisting of some 6,000 Ugandan and Burundian soldiers): Guinea and Djibouti have offered to send another 2,000 military to bring the African force to a total 8,100 men.

Another point of discussion at the AU Summit is the situation in Sudan in the light of another warrant of arrest issued by the International Penal Court CPI in The Hague for President Omar El-Bashir, charged with genocide in the war in Darfur. The CPI had issued a previous warrant of arrest for Bashir on charges of war crimes. Bashir did not go to Kampala, a fact, according to local observers, not only for fear of possible arrest but due to tension between Uganda and Sudan. Rotating AU President, Bingu wa Mutharika President del Malawi, criticised both warrants of arrest for the Sudanese President. “To subject a sovereign head of state to a warrant of arrest is undermining African solidarity and African peace and security for which we fought for so many years” said Bingu wa Mutharika.

Sudan is living a delicate moment, awaiting the referendum on the independence of Southern Sudan scheduled for January 2011.
CNA REPORT.- Coadjutor Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles has written a letter bidding farewell to Fr. Ramon Salas Cacho, an exemplary priest who tragically died in a car accident on July 9. In his letter, the archbishop expressed his sympathy and hope in God, praising the courageous testimony of Fr. Salas and the priest's total commitment to his mission.

“For those who have faith, we know, as St. Paul says, that everything happens for the good of those who love God (Romans 8:28). There are events in our lives, however, episodes that remind us that accepting this truth is not always easy,” the archbishop wrote. “One of them has been the departure to Eternal Life of a priest friend, whose entire life was an affirmation of the Year of Priests we have just brought to a close: Fr. Ramon Salas Cacho, who completed his journey among us on July 9.”
The priest, who was the vicar of the prelature for Opus Dei in Mexico City, died at the age of 57. He had served as a priest for 25 years.
“Ramon, how are you?’ I would often ask him each time I had the chance to visit Mexico City,” the archbishop continued in his letter. “‘Will you come with me to the Villa to celebrate Mass at the Basilica of Guadalupe?’ I would invariably ask him. And the generosity of his response was equally invariable: ‘Absolutely! I’ll pick you up at the airport and we’ll go pray to Our Lady of Guadalupe.’”
“The last time we were together at the feet of Our Lady, he turned to me with his usually spiritual joy and said, ‘It’s so great to pray with Our Lady of Guadalupe',” the prelate recalled. “His more than 25 years of priesthood were marked by a profound life of prayer, the devout celebration of the Holy Eucharist and untiring attention to the spiritual needs of so many men and women who came to him to be reconciled with God through the sacrament of Confession or to seek out counsel and wisdom through spiritual direction,” Archbishop Gomez noted.
He also praised Fr. Ramon’s leadership in the apostolic work of Opus Dei in various Mexican cities, “giving men and women, single and married, young and old, a new hope of spiritual life. And always with a smile and with the simplicity of a normal and fulfilling life,” the archbishop said.
Fr. Ramon showed throughout his life “the authenticity of a priestly life that is worthy of imitation for me and for my brother priests,” he added.
“May my good friend and brother Fr. Ramon rest in peace. Let us appeal to his intercession, that he will continue accompanying us on our earthly journey until at the end of our lives we can meet with him again in the presence of the Lord our God and the company of Our Lady of Guadalupe,” Archbishop Gomez concluded.


Cath News report: As he celebrated his Golden Jubilee at the weekend, South Melbourne parish priest and media celebrity Father Bob Maguire remarked that, as a newly-ordained priest, he was "like a little Energizer bunny, keen to go and tell the world".

The Age reports that, 50 years on, he is still looking to the future and preaching a can-do message of hope and optimism.
His South Melbourne church was packed for the 10am Mass honouring his 50 years as a priest, and Father Bob - as he is known everywhere - was at his witty, self-deprecatory best. The ladies of the parish, in a labour of love, laid on a feast, including a cake with his picture rendered in icing.
The Mass was not about him, he told The Age. "Roman Catholicism is the hearts and minds of lay people. Priests run on to the field and give the players some support, a sip of water, a pat on the back, some instructions from Jesus, who's the coach. That's what we're supposed to do."
South Melbourne mayor Frank O'Connor, who was a school cadet when he first met Father Bob more than 40 years ago, paid a warm tribute, remembering the priest's inclusive and generous attitude, his zeal for the disadvantaged, and his constant flood of ideas, some of which got him into trouble.
For most of his career the unconventional priest, his life shaped by the liberalising spirit of the Vatican II council in the 1960s, has enjoyed an uneasy relationship with "head office".
Father Bob said he was sad that he allowed his mission as priest to stifle his instinct to make friends. "I should have been better at the friend business with my colleagues, especially when I became an infotainment priest."
But he has never lost his inspiration or his concern for the poor. Of the latter, he says: "Look at the founder of the firm. The logic is, there's a down and out, hungry, on the cross, executed while innocent, on a rubbish tip outside the walls of Jerusalem. That's always inspired me."
St. Pantaleon

Information: Feast Day: July 27

Died: 305
Patron of: against consumption, against tuberculosis bachelors, doctors, physicians, torture victims
Martyr, died about 305. According to legend he was the son of a rich pagan, Eustorgius of Nicomedia, and had been instructed in Christianity by his Christian mother, Eubula. Afterwards he became estranged from Christianity. He studied medicine and became physician to the Emperor Maximianus. He was won back to Christianity by the priest Hermolaus. Upon the death of his father he came into possession of a large fortune. Envious colleagues denounced him to the emperor during the Diocletian persecution. The emperor wished to save him and sought to persuade him to apostasy. Pantaleon, however, openly confessed his faith, and as proof that Christ is the true God, he healed a paralytic. Notwithstanding this, he was condemned to death by the emperor, who regarded the miracle as an exhibition of magic. According to legend, Pantaleon's flesh was first burned with torches; upon this Christ appeared to all in the form of Hermolaus to strengthen and heal Pantaleon. The torches were extinguished. After this, when a bath of liquid lead was prepared, Christ in the same form stepped into the cauldron with him, the fire went out and the lead became cold. He was now thrown into the sea, but the stone with which he was loaded floated. He was thrown to the wild beasts but these fawned upon him and could not be forced away until he had blessed them. He was bound on the wheel, but the ropes snapped, and the wheel broke. An attempt was made to behead him, but the sword bent, and the executioners were converted. Pantaleon implored heaven to forgive them, for which reason he also received the name of Panteleemon (the all-compassionate). It was not until he himself desired it that it was possible to behead him.
The lives containing these legendary features are all late in date and valueless. Yet the fact of the martyrdom itself seems to be proved by a veneration for which there is early testimony, among others from Theodoret (Graecarum affectionum curatio, Sermo VIII, "De martyribus", in Migne, P. G., LXXXIII 1033), Procopius of Caesarea (De aedificiis Justiniani I, ix; V, ix), and the "Martyrologium Hieronymianum" (Acta SS., Nov., II, 1, 97). Pantaleon is venerated in the East as a great martyr and wonderworker. In the Middle Ages he came to be regarded as the patron saint of physicians and midwives, and became one of the fourteen guardian martyrs. From early times a phial containing some of his blood has been preserved at Constantinople. On the feast day of the saint the blood is said to become fluid and to bubble. Relics of the saint are to be found at St. Denis at Paris; his head is venerated at Lyons. His feast day is 27 July, also 28 July, and 18 February.

Matthew 13: 36 - 43
36 Then he left the crowds and went into the house. And his disciples came to him, saying, "Explain to us the parable of the weeds of the field."

37 He answered, "He who sows the good seed is the Son of man;

38 the field is the world, and the good seed means the sons of the kingdom; the weeds are the sons of the evil one,

39 and the enemy who sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the close of the age, and the reapers are angels.

40 Just as the weeds are gathered and burned with fire, so will it be at the close of the age.

41 The Son of man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all evildoers,

42 and throw them into the furnace of fire; there men will weep and gnash their teeth.

43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.