Sunday, September 19, 2010



HOLY FATHER MOVED BY SEX ABUSE VICTIMS' ACCOUNTS VATICAN CITY, 18 SEP 2010 (VIS REPORT) - The Holy See Press Office released the following communique this afternoon: "On Saturday 18 September in the apostolic nunciature in London, the Holy Father met a group of persons who had been sexually abused by members of the clergy. "He was moved by what they had to say and expressed his deep sorrow and shame over what victims and their families had suffered. He prayed with them and assured them that the Catholic Church is continuing to implement effective measures designed to safeguard young people, and that it is doing all in its power to investigate allegations, to collaborate with civil authorities and to bring to justice clergy and religious accused of these egregious crimes. "As he has done on other occasions, he prayed that all the victims of abuse might experience healing and reconciliation, and be able to overcome their past and present distress with serenity and hope for the future".PV-UNITED KINGDOM/ VIS 20100919 (170)(IMAGES: SOURCE: CATHOLIC HERALD, WIKIPEDIA

POPE PRESENTS ELDERLY PEOPLE WITH EXAMPLE OF JOHN PAUL II VATICAN CITY, 18 SEP 2010 (VIS) - At 4.40 p.m. today the Holy Father travelled to St. Peter's old people's home which lies eleven kilometres from the apostolic nunciature in London. The institution, which houses seventy-six elderly people including nine priests and religious, is run by the Little Sisters of the Poor, an order that has been active in England since 1851. The nuns are assisted in their duties by volunteers and members of the Association of Jeanne Jugan (1792-1879), foundress of the Little Sisters of the Poor which today has a presence in thirty-two countries. Benedict XVI was greeted by Archbishop Peter Smith of Southwark, the chaplain of the old people's home, the superior general of the order, and the religious of the community. He then went on to meet the residents of the institution to whom he delivered an address. "The Church", he said, "has always had great respect for the elderly. The fourth Commandment, 'Honour your father and your mother as the Lord your God commanded you', is linked to the promise, 'that your days may be prolonged, and that it may go well with you, in the land which the Lord your God gives you'. This work of the Church for the aging and infirm not only provides love and care for them, but is also rewarded by God with the blessings He promises on the land where this commandment is observed. God wills a proper respect for the dignity and worth, the health and wellbeing of the elderly and, through her charitable institutions in Britain and beyond, the Church seeks to fulfil the Lord's command to respect life, regardless of age or circumstances". The Pope went on: "Life is a unique gift, at every stage from conception until natural death, and it is God's alone to give and to take. One may enjoy good health in old age; but equally Christians should not be afraid to share in the suffering of Christ, if God wills that we struggle with infirmity. My predecessor, the late Pope John Paul, suffered very publicly during the last years of his life. It was clear to all of us that he did so in union with the sufferings of our Saviour. His cheerfulness and forbearance as he faced his final days were a remarkable and moving example to all of us who have to carry the burden of advancing years. "In this sense", he added, "I come among you not only as a father, but also as a brother who knows well the joys and the struggles that come with age. Our long years of life afford us the opportunity to appreciate both the beauty of God's greatest gift to us, the gift of life, as well as the fragility of the human spirit. Those of us who live many years are given a marvellous chance to deepen our awareness of the mystery of Christ, who humbled Himself to share in our humanity. "As the normal span of our lives increases, our physical capacities are often diminished; and yet these times may well be among the most spiritually fruitful years of our lives. These years are an opportunity to remember in affectionate prayer all those whom we have cherished in this life, and to place all that we have personally been and done before the mercy and tenderness of God. This will surely be a great spiritual comfort and enable us to discover anew His love and goodness all the days of our life", Pope Benedict concluded. The Pope greeted some of the elderly inhabitants of the home, then went to visit a number of sick people on the first floor of the building before signing the institution's visitor's book.PV-UNITED KINGDOM/ VIS 20100919 (640)

MEETING WITH PEOPLE RESPONSIBLE FOR CHILD PROTECTION VATICAN CITY, 18 SEP 2010 (VIS) - Following his visit to elderly people at St. Peter's old people's home, the Holy Father met with a group of professionals and volunteers responsible for child protection in Church environments. "The Church has a long tradition of caring for children from their earliest years through to adulthood, following the affectionate example of Christ, Who blessed the children brought to Him and Who taught His disciples that to such as these the Kingdom of heaven belongs", he told them. "Your work", the Holy Father went on, "carried out within the framework of the recommendations made in the first instance by the Nolan Report and subsequently by the Cumberlege Commission, has made a vital contribution to the promotion of safe environments for young people. It helps to ensure that the preventative measures put in place are effective, that they are maintained with vigilance, and that any allegations of abuse are dealt with swiftly and justly. On behalf of the many children you serve and their parents, let me thank you for the good work that you have done and continue to do in this field. "It is deplorable that, in such marked contrast to the Church's long tradition of care for them, children have suffered abuse and mistreatment at the hands of some priests and religious", he added. "We have all become much more aware of the need to safeguard children, and you are an important part of the Church's broad-ranging response to the problem. "While there are never grounds for complacency, credit should be given where it is due: the efforts of the Church in this country and elsewhere, especially in the last ten years, to guarantee the safety of children and young people and to show them every respect as they grow to maturity, should be acknowledged. I pray that your generous service will help to reinforce an atmosphere of trust and renewed commitment to the welfare of children, who are such a precious gift from God". At the conclusion of the meeting, Benedict XVI travelled by popemobile to Hyde Park where he presided at a prayer vigil for tomorrow's beatification of Cardinal John Henry Newman.PV-UNITED KINGDOM/ VIS 20100919 (380)

PRAYER VIGIL FOR BEATIFICATION OF CARDINAL NEWMAN VATICAN CITY, 18 SEP 2010 (VIS) - Before this evening's prayer vigil for the beatification of Cardinal John Henry Newman, the Pope travelled in his popemobile around Hyde Park, one of London's largest public parks (142 hectares), where thousands of people were gathered to greet him. Following the readings the Holy Father pronounced his address: "We are gathered here in prayerful vigil to prepare for tomorrow's Mass, during which a great son of this nation, Cardinal John Henry Newman, will be declared blessed", he said. "How many people, in England and throughout the world, have longed for this moment! It is also a great joy for me, personally, to share this experience with you. As you know, Newman has long been an important influence in my own life and thought, as he has been for so many people beyond these isles". Benedict XVI referred to certain aspects of Newman's life which, he said, "I consider very relevant to our own lives as believers and to the life of the Church today". "Newman, by his own account, traced the course of his whole life back to a powerful experience of conversion which he had as a young man. ... At the end of his life, Newman would describe his life's work as a struggle against the growing tendency to view religion as a purely private and subjective matter, a question of personal opinion. Here is the first lesson we can learn from his life: in our day, when an intellectual and moral relativism threatens to sap the very foundations of our society, Newman reminds us that, as men and women made in the image and likeness of God, we were created to know the truth, to find in that truth our ultimate freedom and the fulfilment of our deepest human aspirations. In a word, we are meant to know Christ Who is Himself 'the way, and the truth, and the life'. "Newman's life", the Holy Father added, "also teaches us that passion for the truth, intellectual honesty and genuine conversion are costly. The truth that sets us free cannot be kept to ourselves; it calls for testimony, it begs to be heard, and in the end its convincing power comes from itself and not from the human eloquence or arguments in which it may be couched. Not far from here, at Tyburn, great numbers of our brothers and sisters died for the faith; the witness of their fidelity to the end was ever more powerful than the inspired words that so many of them spoke before surrendering everything to the Lord. In our own time, the price to be paid for fidelity to the Gospel is no longer being hanged, drawn and quartered but it often involves being dismissed out of hand, ridiculed or parodied. And yet, the Church cannot withdraw from the task of proclaiming Christ and His Gospel as saving truth, the source of our ultimate happiness as individuals and as the foundation of a just and humane society". The Pope continued: "Finally, Newman teaches us that if we have accepted the truth of Christ and committed our lives to Him, there can be no separation between what we believe and the way we live our lives. Our every thought, word and action must be directed to the glory of God and the spread of His Kingdom. Newman understood this, and was the great champion of the prophetic office of the Christian laity. He saw clearly that we do not so much accept the truth in a purely intellectual act as embrace it in a spiritual dynamic that penetrates to the core of our being. Truth is passed on not merely by formal teaching, important as that is, but also by the witness of lives lived in integrity, fidelity and holiness; those who live in and by the truth instinctively recognise what is false and, precisely as false, inimical to the beauty and goodness which accompany the splendour of truth, 'veritatis splendor'". Newman "taught that the 'kindly light' of faith leads us to realise the truth about ourselves, our dignity as God's children, and the sublime destiny which awaits us in heaven. ... Without the life of prayer, without the interior transformation which takes place through the grace of the Sacraments, we cannot, in Newman's words, 'radiate Christ'; we become just another 'clashing cymbal' in a world filled with growing noise and confusion, filled with false paths leading only to heartbreak and illusion". The Holy Father laid emphasis on "Newman's fine Christian realism, the point at which faith and life inevitably intersect", expressing the view that "no-one who looks realistically at our world today could think that Christians can afford to go on with business as usual, ignoring the profound crisis of faith which has overtaken our society, or simply trusting that the patrimony of values handed down by the Christian centuries will continue to inspire and shape the future of our society. "We know that in times of crisis and upheaval God has raised up great saints and prophets for the renewal of the Church and Christian society; we trust in His providence and we pray for His continued guidance. But each of us, in accordance with his or her state of life, is called to work for the advancement of God's Kingdom by imbuing temporal life with the values of the Gospel. Each of us has a mission, each of us is called to change the world, to work for a culture of life, a culture forged by love and respect for the dignity of each human person". Finally, the Pope addressed some words to the young people present. "Christ has need of families to remind the world of the dignity of human love and the beauty of family life", he said. "He needs men and women who devote their lives to the noble task of education, tending the young and forming them in the ways of the Gospel. He needs those who will consecrate their lives to the pursuit of perfect charity, following Him in chastity, poverty and obedience, and serving Him in the least of our brothers and sisters. He needs the powerful love of contemplative religious, who sustain the Church's witness and activity through their constant prayer. And He needs priests, good and holy priests, men who are willing to lay down their lives for their sheep. Ask our Lord what He has in mind for you! Ask Him for the generosity to say 'yes!' Do not be afraid to give yourself totally to Jesus. He will give you the grace you need to fulfil your vocation". Benedict XVI concluded by inviting young people to join him at World Youth Day in Madrid, Spain in August 2011. "It is always a wonderful occasion to grow in love for Christ and to be encouraged in a joyful life of faith along with thousands of other young people. I hope to see many of you there!". The Pope's address was followed by the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and the Litany of the Sacred Heart. Then, following Newman's prayer of "Irradiating Christ" and his hymn "Lead, Kindly Light", the vigil continued as the Holy Father left to travel back to the apostolic nunciature where he dined and spent the night.PV-UNITED KINGDOM/ VIS 20100919 (1230)
BEATIFICATION OF CARDINAL JOHN HENRY NEWMAN VATICAN CITY, 19 SEP 2010 (VIS) - Benedict XVI left the apostolic nunciature in London this morning and, at 8.30 a.m., boarded a helicopter which took him to Birmingham for the beatification of Cardinal John Henry Newman. John Henry Newman, one of the great Christian intellectuals of the nineteenth century, was born in London in 1801. His spiritual quest having begun in adolescence, he later went on to study theology at Oxford University. Subsequently he became an Anglican pastor, a fellow of Oriel College, and leader of the Oxford Movement which studied the Catholic roots of the faith in England. In 1842, while writing his "Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine", he began to mature his conversion to Catholicism. He was admitted into the Catholic Church in 1845 and ordained a Catholic priest in Rome on 1 June 1847. Following his ordination, and with the encouragement of Pope Pius IX, he founded the first Oratory of St. Philip Neri in England. In 1852 he was appointed rector of the Catholic University of Dublin, Ireland, a post he held until 1854. Pope Leo XIII made him a cardinal in 1879 and he died in 1890 at the Oratory of Edgbaston. The process for his beatification began in 1958. Newman's miraculous intercession in the cure of dean Jack Sullivan, who suffered a serious complaint of the spinal column, was officially recognised and approved by Benedict XVI in July 2009. The Pope's helicopter landed in Birmingham at 9.30 a.m. He then travelled by car to Cofton Park in the city's Rednal district, very near Cardinal Newman's tomb. Having travelled round the area by popemobile, greeting the 70,000 people present, the Holy Father listened to a greeting from Archbishop Bernard Longley of Birmingham then celebrated Mass for the beatification of John Henry Newman. In his homily, before turning his attention to the new blessed, the Pope recalled how "this particular Sunday also marks a significant moment in the life of the British nation, as it is the day chosen to commemorate the seventieth anniversary of the Battle of Britain. For me as one who lived and suffered through the dark days of the Nazi regime in Germany, it is deeply moving to be here with you on this occasion, and to recall how many of your fellow citizens sacrificed their lives, courageously resisting the forces of that evil ideology. ... Seventy years later, we recall with shame and horror the dreadful toll of death and destruction that war brings in its wake, and we renew our resolve to work for peace and reconciliation wherever the threat of conflict looms. "Yet there is another, more joyful reason why this is an auspicious day for Great Britain, for the Midlands, for Birmingham", he added. "It is the day that sees Cardinal John Henry Newman formally raised to the altars and declared blessed". "England has a long tradition of martyr saints, whose courageous witness has sustained and inspired the Catholic community here for centuries. Yet it is right and fitting that we should recognise today the holiness of a confessor, a son of this nation who, while not called to shed his blood for the Lord, nevertheless bore eloquent witness to Him in the course of a long life devoted to the priestly ministry, and especially to preaching, teaching, and writing. He is worthy to take his place in a long line of saints and scholars from these islands, St. Bede, St. Hilda, St. Aelred, Blessed Duns Scotus, to name but a few". "Cardinal Newman's motto, 'Cor ad cor loquitur', or Heart speaks unto heart, gives us an insight into his understanding of the Christian life as a call to holiness, experienced as the profound desire of the human heart to enter into intimate communion with the Heart of God. He reminds us that faithfulness to prayer gradually transforms us into the divine likeness". "Today's Gospel tells us that no one can be the servant of two masters, and Blessed John Henry's teaching on prayer explains how the faithful Christian is definitively taken into the service of the one true Master, Who alone has a claim to our unconditional devotion. Newman helps us to understand what this means for our daily lives: he tells us that our divine Master has assigned a specific task to each one of us, a 'definite service', committed uniquely to every single person". "The definite service to which Blessed John Henry was called involved applying his keen intellect and his prolific pen to many of the most pressing 'subjects of the day'. His insights into the relationship between faith and reason, into the vital place of revealed religion in civilised society, and into the need for a broadly-based and wide-ranging approach to education were not only of profound importance for Victorian England, but continue today to inspire and enlighten many all over the world". The Holy Father continued his homily by paying "particular tribute" to Cardinal Newman's "vision for education, which has done so much to shape the ethos that is the driving force behind Catholic schools and colleges today. Firmly opposed to any reductive or utilitarian approach, he sought to achieve an educational environment in which intellectual training, moral discipline and religious commitment would come together. The project to found a Catholic University in Ireland provided him with an opportunity to develop his ideas on the subject, and the collection of discourses that he published as 'The Idea of a University' holds up an ideal from which all those engaged in academic formation can continue to learn. ... On this day, ... I pray that, through his intercession and example, all who are engaged in the task of teaching and catechesis will be inspired to greater effort by the vision he so clearly sets before us". Finally, Benedict XVI mentioned the "warmth and humanity underlying" the new blessed's "appreciation of the pastoral ministry. ... He lived out that profoundly human vision of priestly ministry in his devoted care for the people of Birmingham during the years that he spent at the Oratory he founded, visiting the sick and the poor, comforting the bereaved, caring for those in prison. "No wonder that on his death so many thousands of people lined the local streets as his body was taken to its place of burial not half a mile from here. One hundred and twenty years later, great crowds have assembled once again to rejoice in the Church's solemn recognition of the outstanding holiness of this much-loved father of souls". Following Mass the Pope prayed the Angelus, expressing a special greeting to "the people of Seville, Spain, where, just yesterday, Madre Maria de la Purisima de la Cruz was beatified". May she, he said, "be an inspiration to young women to follow her example of single-minded love of God and neighbour". He continued: "When Blessed John Henry Newman came to live in Birmingham, he gave the name 'Maryvale' to his first home here. The Oratory that he founded is dedicated to the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin. And the Catholic University of Ireland he placed under the patronage of Mary, 'Sedes Sapientiae'. In so many ways, he lived his priestly ministry in a spirit of filial devotion to the Mother of God". At 12.40 the Pope left Cofton Park and travelled by car to the Oratory of St. Philip Neri in Birmingham, where the cardinal lived from his conversion until his death on 11 August 1890. There Benedict XVI visited the blessed's room, which has now been transformed into a museum. He then went on to Birmingham's Oscott College where he had lunch.
Posted by JesusCaritasEst at 11:03 AM 0 comments

Agenzia Fides REPORT – "We are still concerned about the escalation of armed conflict in Darfur, the post-election violence in South Sudan, and the ongoing political oppression in northern Sudan," say 27 NGOs for the defense of human rights (many of which are African or from the Arab world) in a letter to the United Nations Human Rights Council.The letter calls for a renewal of the mandate from the UN Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Sudan. Just today, September 17, the Independent Expert will submit its report to the Human Rights Council, which is in its 15th Annual Session (being held in Geneva from September 13 to October 1). Since the presentation of the report by the Independent Expert in May 2010, "in several areas of Sudan, the human rights situation has deteriorated," said the letter from the NGO.Sudan is experiencing a delicate time period following the difficult post-election era (presidential and parliamentary elections were held in April 2010) and in expectation for the 2 referendums in January 2011, to decide the independence of southern Sudan and the allocation of Abyei, an area rich in oil which is disputed upon by both north and south Sudan.In the letter, the NGOs point out the increase in violence in Darfur, in addition to the difficulties encountered by humanitarian NGOs that seek access to the region to bring relief to the population, the increase in clashes in South Sudan, the attacks against civilians carried out by the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) in Western Equatoria, and arbitrary arrests of opponents and journalists.The danger of the explosion of a new conflict in Sudan is the focus of diplomatic efforts and those of civil society organizations from different countries. The United States, who promoted the inclusive peace agreement of 2005 which ended 25 years of war between north and south, intends to place pressure on the Khartoum government to make it fulfill the commitments relating to the referendum of 2011. On September 24, the UN Headquarters in New York will hold a special session on the situation in Sudan. For September 19, several NGOs have organized a series of events in 14 countries around the world, to draw attention to the measures necessary to prevent the collapse of diplomacy in Sudan, which is at risk for the outbreak of a new civil war.
Posted by JesusCaritasEst at 10:53 AM 0 comments

CNN REPORT -- Six people died Saturday when a church van overturned and rolled on Interstate 87 north of New York City, police said.The incident occurred around 3 p.m. in the town of Woodbury in Orange County, said State Police Sgt. David Malone.An undetermined number of people were taken to nearby hospitals with injuries, he said. One of the first on scene, Second Assistant Fire Chief Pat Prozzillo told CNN affiliate YNN that the accident was caused by a blown tire and that "the van rolled approximately three to four times. About six to seven people were ejected," he said.Good Samaritan Hospital received four female passengers, two of whom were in intensive care, said Deborah Marshall, a spokeswoman for the Suffern medical center.The four most critically injured were taken via air to Westchester Medical Center, according to Prozzillo.Malone said details on the accident were hazy.
Posted by JesusCaritasEst at 10:51 AM 0 comments

UCAN report: Hundreds of Christians marched on the Indonesian National Police headquarters in Jakarta yesterday to demand police protection following recent attacks on two Protestant clerics in Bekasi, West Java.“It’s supposed to be the agency for law enforcement and protection. The police department has not yet done its duty well. Policemen even let violence occur,” they said in a statement read out by a protester.Some 300 people staged the rally after Reverend Luspida Simanjuntak and her assistant Hasean Lumbantoruan Sihombing of the Batak Society Christian Church were attacked on Sept. 12 while on their way to Sunday service.Sihombing was stabbed in the stomach while Reverend Simanjuntak suffered a concussion after being hit on the head with a wooden plank. Both are still in hospital.“We came here to ask police for protection. We pray the tragedy will not recur,” said Reverend Parasian Hutasiot of the Philadelphia Church, which is part of the Batak Society Christian Church.He pointed to the 2006 joint ministerial decree on building worship places as the main motive behind the attacks.Reverend Pestaria Hutajulu of the Indonesian Christian Church said she was once beaten by a group of people.“Places of worship can be banned, but the act of worshipping cannot!” she said.“We want the police to protect religious freedom and all citizens,” said Stefanus Gusman of the Union of Catholic University Students.The attacks, he said, “had nothing to do with religion but were committed by a radical group using religion as an excuse.”Earlier, Father Antonius Benny Susetyo, executive secretary of the Indonesian bishops’ Commission for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, as well as interfaith leaders and activists, visited police headquarters.“We asked the police to take firm action and to protect churches facing problems,” he told
Posted by JesusCaritasEst at 10:49 AM 0 comments

Cath News report: Geoffrey Robertson's new book, The Case of the Pope: Vatican Accountability for Human Rights Abuse, contains many dramatic and false claims, says Bishop Julian Porteous, auxiliary Bishop of Sydney and Vicar General."For a lawyer of some standing the claims in his book exhibit many errors," he told The Catholic Weekly. "Robertson is known for his polemical style, but polemics cannot excuse inaccuracy in facts."Robertson's assertion that the Church claims a right to deal with offenders internally without reporting them to the police is a distortion of reality."The Church deals with these crimes using its own laws and procedures, but it does not claim an exclusive jurisdiction. The Church's purpose in its internal processes is to protect the community by removing the priest from his ministry."The State's purpose is to protect the community by imposing a prison sentence."From the Church's perspective both systems of law work together for the good of the community."Does the Church, however, protect clerics, as Robertson argues? Tragically this may have happened in individual cases in the past, but for many years the Church in countries like Australia and the US has encouraged victims of clerical abuse to go to the civil authorities for police investigation and civil court action," Bishop Porteous said.
Posted by JesusCaritasEst at 10:14 AM 0 comments

St. JanuariusBISHOP AND MARTYRFeast: September 19Information:Feast Day:September 19Born:275, Benevento or Naples, Campania, Roman EmpireDied:305, Pozzuoli, CampaniaMajor Shrine:Cathedral of San Gennaro, Naples, ItalyPatron of:blood banks; Naples; volcanic eruptionsSt. Januarius is believed to have suffered in the persecution of Diocletian, c. 305. With regard to the history of his life and martyrdom, we know next to nothing. The various collections of "Acts", though numerous (cf. Bibliotheca Hagiographica Latina, n. 4115-4140), are all extremely late and untrustworthy. Bede (c. 733) in his "Martyrologium" has epitomized the so-called "Acta Bononiensia" (see Quentin, "Les Martyrologes historiques", 76). To this source we may trace the following entry in the present Roman Martyrology, though the reference to the miracle of the liquefaction is an addition of much later date. "At Pozzuoli in Campania [the memory] of the holy martyrs Januarius, Bishop of Beneventum, Festus his deacon, and Desiderius lector, together with Socius deacon of the church of Misenas, Proculus deacon of Pozzuoli, Eutyches and Acutius, who after chains and imprisonment were beheaded under the Emperor Diocletian. The body of St. Januarius was brought to Naples, and there honourably interred in the church, where his holy blood is kept unto this day in a phial of glass, which being set near his head becomes liquid and bubbles up as though it were fresh."In the Breviary a longer account is given. There we are told that "Timotheus, President of Campania," was the official who condemned the martyrs, that Januarius was thrown into a fiery furnace, but that the flames would not touch him, and that the saint and his companions were afterwards exposed in the amphitheatre to wild beasts without any effect. Timotheus declaring that this was due to magic, and ordering the martyrs to be beheaded, the persecutor was smitten with blindness, but Januarius cured him, and five thousand persons were converted to Christ before the martyrs were decapitated. Then, as the Breviary lesson continues, "the cities of these coasts strove to obtain their bodies for honourable burial, so as to make sure of having them advocates with God. By God's will, the relics of Januarius were taken to Naples at last, after having been carried from Pozzuoli to Beneventum and from Beneventum to Monte Vergine. When they were brought thence to Naples they were laid in the chief church there and have been there famous on account of many miracles. Among these is remarkable the stopping of eruptions of Mount Vesuvius, whereby both that neighbourhood and places afar off have been like to be destroyed. It is also well known and is the plain fact, seen even unto this day, that when the blood ofSt. Januarius, kept dried up in a small glass phial, is put in sight of the head of the same martyr, it is wont to melt and bubble in a very strange way, as though it had but freshly been shed."It is especially this miracle of the liquefaction which has given celebrity to the name of Januarius, and to this we turn our attention. Let it at once be said that the supposition of any trick or deliberate imposture is out of the question, as candid opponents are now willing to admit. For more than four hundred years this liquefaction has taken place at frequent intervals. If it were a trick it would be necessary to admit that all the archbishops of Naples, and that countless ecclesiastics eminent for their learning and often for their great sanctity, were accomplices in the fraud, as also a number of secular officials; for the relic is so guarded that its exposition requires the concurrence of both civil and ecclesiastical authority. Further, in all these four hundred years, no one of the many who, upon the supposition of such a trick, must necessarily have been in the secret, has made any revelation or disclosed how the apparent miracle is worked. Strong indirect testimony to this truth is borne by the fact that even at the present time the rationalistic opponents of a supernatural explanation are entirely disagreed as to how the phenomenon is to be accounted for.What actually takes place may be thus briefly described: in a silver reliquary, which in form and size somewhat suggests a small carriage lamp, two phials are enclosed. The lesser of these contains only traces of blood and need not concern us here. The larger, which is a little flagon-shaped flask four inches in height and about two and a quarter inches in diameter, is normally rather more than half full of a dark and solid mass, absolutely opaque when held up to the light, and showing nodisplacment when the reliquary is turned upside down. Both flasks seem to be so fixed in the lantern cavity of the reliquary by means of some hard gummy substance that they are hermetically sealed. Moreover, owing to the fact that the dark mass in the flask is protected by two thicknesses of glass it is presumably but little affected by the temperature of the surrounding air. Eighteen times in each year, i.e. (1) on theSaturday before the first Sunday in May and the eight following days, (2) on the feast of St. Januarius (19 Sept.) and during the octave, and (3) on 16 December, a silver bust believed to contain the head of St. Januarius is exposed upon the altar, and the reliquary just described is brought out and held by the officiant in view of the assembly. Prayers are said by the people, begging that the miracle may take place, while a group of poor women, known as the "zie di San Gennaro" (aunts of St. Januarius), make themselves specially conspicuous by the fervour, and sometimes, when the miracle is delayed, by the extravagance, of their supplications.The officiant usually holds the reliquary by its extremities, without touching the glass, and from time to time turns it upside down to note whether any movement is perceptible in the dark mass enclosed in the phial. After an interval of varying duration, usually not less than two minutes or more than an hour, the mass is gradually seen todetach itself from the sides of the phial, to become liquid and of a more or less ruby tint, and in some instances to froth and bubble up, increasing in volume. The officiant then announces, "Ilmiracolo é fatto", a Te Deum is sung, and the reliquary containing the liquefied blood is brought to the altar rail that the faithful may venerate it by kissing the containing vessel. Rarely has the liquefaction failed to take place in the expositions of May or September, but in that of 16 December the mass remains solid more frequently than not.It is of course natural that those who are reluctant to admit the supernatural character of the phenomenon should regard the liquefaction as simply due to the effects of heat. There are, they urge, certain substances (e.g. a mixture of spermaceti and ether) which have a very low boiling point. The heat produced by the hands of the officiant, the pressing throng of spectators, thelights on the altar, and in particular the candle formerly held close to the reliquary to enable the people to see that the mass is opaque, combine to raise the temperature of the air sufficiently to melt the substance in the phial--a substance which is assumed to be blood, but which no one has ever analysed. Further, ever since the early years of the eighteenth century, sceptical scientists, by using certain chemical preparations, have reconstructed the miracle with more or less of success; that is to say, they have been able to exhibit some red substance which, though at first apparently solid, melted after an interval without any direct application of heat. None the less, it may be said withabsolute confidence that the theory of heat affords no adequate explanation of the phenomena observed.For more than a century careful observations of the temperature of the air in the neighbourhood of the relic have been made on these occasions and the records have been kept. It is certain from the scientific memoirs of Professors Fergola, Punzo, and Sperindeo that there is no direct relation between the temperature, and the time and manner of the liquefaction. Often when the thermometer has stood at 77° Fahrenheit or even higher, liquefaction has been delayed for as much as twenty or even forty minutes, while on the other hand the contents of the phial have sometimesliquefied in considerably less time than this when the thermometer remained as low as 60 or 65 degrees. Moreover, the heat theory by no means accounts for another more remarkable fact observed for quite two hundred years past. The mass in melting commonly increased in volume, but when itsolidifies again it does not necessarily return to its original bulk. Sometimes the whole phial is seen to be occupied, at other times hardly more than half. This has led a Neapolitan scientist of modern times, Professor Albini, to suggest a new physical theory derived from observing the behaviour of a viscous fluid such as partly congealed honey. He conjectures that the unknown substance in the phial consists of some highly divided solid matter which is partly held in suspension by a disproportionately small quantity of liquid. When at rest, the liquid sinks to the bottom of the phial, while the solid particles form a sort of crust not easily displaced when the vessel is turned upside down. This cohesion is however overcome by repeated movements, such as those that the reliquary experiences when the moment of liquefaction is impatiently waited for. Further, such a viscous fluid easily cakes upon the walls of the containing vessel, and admits large air bubbles which cause the deceptive appearance of a change of volume.Professor Albini claims to have reproduced all the phenomena with a compound made of powdered chocolate and the serum of milk. On the other hand, those who have studied closely the process of liquefaction of the contents of the phial declare that such an explanation is absolutely impossible. Moreover, there seem to bewell-attested instances of liquefaction taking place both in the case of this and other similar relics of blood, when the reliquary has been standing by itself without any movement whatsoever.Accordingly, the suggestion has also been made (see Di Pace, "Ipotesi scientifica sulla Liquefazione", etc., Naples, 1905) that the phenomenon is due to some form of psychic force. The concentration of thought and will of the expectant crowd and specially of the "aunts of St. Januarius" are held to be capable of producing a physical effect. Against this, however, must be set the fact that the liquefaction has sometimes taken place quite unexpectedly and in the presence of very few spectators.Probably the most serious difficulty against the miraculous character of the phenomenon is derived from the circumstance that the same liquefaction takes place in the case of other relics, nearly all preserved in the neighbourhood of Naples, or of Neapolitan origin. These include relics which are affirmed to be the blood of St. John the Baptist, of St. Stephen the first martyr, of St. Pantaleone, of St. Patricia, of St. Nicholas of Tolentino, of St. Aloysius Gonzaga, and others. In the case of the alleged liquefaction of the so-called "Milk of Our Lady" (see Putignani, S.J., "De Redivivi Sanguine S. Januarii", Naples, 1723, I, 90) or of the fat of St. Thomas Aquinas (see Magnoni Valenti, "Discorso istorico" 1772, 47) we have probably a pure fiction, but the phials traditionally associated with the names of St. John the Baptist, St. Stephen, and St. Pantaleone undoubtedly still exhibit on the respective feast days of these saints phenomena exactly analogous to those shown in the case of the more famous relic of St. Januarius. Further, it is asserted by eyewitnesses of scientific credit and high respectability that a block of basalt at Pozzuoli, reputed to bear traces of the blood of St. Januarius, grows vividly red for a short time in May and September at the hour when the miracle of the liquefaction takes place in Naples (se Cavène, "Célèbre Miracle de S. Janvier", 1909, 277-300).Three other points attested by recent investigators seem worthy of special note.* It now appears that the first certain record of the liquefaction of the blood of St. Januarius dates from 1389 (see de Blasiis, "Chronicon Siculum incerti auctoris", Naples, 1887, 85), and not from 1456, as formerly supposed.* In 1902 Professor Sperindeo was allowed to pass a ray of light through the upper part of the phial during liquefaction and examine this beam spectroscopically. The experiment yielded the distinctive lines of the spectrum of blood. This, however, only proves that there are at any rate traces of blood in the contents of the phial (see Cavène, "Le Célèbre Miracle", 262-275).* Most remarkable of all, the apparent variation in the volume of the relic led in 1902 and 1904 to a series of experiments in the course of which the whole reliquary was weighed in a very accurate balance. It was found that the weight was not constant any more than the volume, and that the weight of the reliquary when the blood filled the whole cavity of the phial exceeded, by 26 grammes, the weight when the phial seemed but half full. This very large difference renders it impossible tobelieve that such a substantial variation in weight can be merely due to an error of observation.We are forced to accept the fact that, contrary to all known laws a change goes on in the contents of this hermetically sealed vessel which makes them heavier and lighter in a ratio roughly, but not exactly, proportional to their apparent bulk (Cavène, 333-39). The reality of the miracle of St. Januarius has repeatedly been made the subject of controversy. It has had much to do with many conversions to Catholicism, notably with that of the elder Herder. Unfortunately, however, allegations have often been made as to the favourable verdict expressed by scientific men of note, which are not always verifiable. The supposed testimony of the great chemist, Sir Humphry Davy, who is declared to have expressed his belief in the genuineness of the miracle, seems to be a case in point.
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Amos 8: 4 - 74Hear this, you who trample upon the needy, and bring the poor of the land to an end,5saying, "When will the new moon be over, that we may sell grain? And the sabbath, that we may offer wheat for sale, that we may make the ephah small and the shekel great, and deal deceitfully with false balances,6that we may buy the poor for silver and the needy for a pair of sandals, and sell the refuse of the wheat?"7The LORD has sworn by the pride of Jacob: "Surely I will never forget any of their deeds. Psalms 113: 1 - 2, 4 - 81Praise the LORD! Praise, O servants of the LORD, praise the name of the LORD!2Blessed be the name of the LORD from this time forth and for evermore!4The LORD is high above all nations, and his glory above the heavens!5Who is like the LORD our God, who is seated on high,6who looks far down upon the heavens and the earth?7He raises the poor from the dust, and lifts the needy from the ash heap,8to make them sit with princes, with the princes of his people.1 Timothy 2: 1 - 81First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all men,2for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life, godly and respectful in every way.3This is good, and it is acceptable in the sight of God our Savior,4who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.5For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,6who gave himself as a ransom for all, the testimony to which was borne at the proper time.7For this I was appointed a preacher and apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying), a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.8I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling;Luke 16: 1 - 131He also said to the disciples, "There was a rich man who had a steward, and charges were brought to him that this man was wasting his goods.2And he called him and said to him, `What is this that I hear about you? Turn in the account of your stewardship, for you can no longer be steward.'3And the steward said to himself, `What shall I do, since my master is taking the stewardship away from me? I am not strong enough to dig, and I am ashamed to beg.4I have decided what to do, so that people may receive me into their houses when I am put out of the stewardship.'5So, summoning his master's debtors one by one, he said to the first, `How much do you owe my master?'6He said, `A hundred measures of oil.' And he said to him, `Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.'7Then he said to another, `And how much do you owe?' He said, `A hundred measures of wheat.' He said to him, `Take your bill, and write eighty.'8The master commended the dishonest steward for his shrewdness; for the sons of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than the sons of light.9And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of unrighteous mammon, so that when it fails they may receive you into the eternal habitations.10"He who is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much; and he who is dishonest in a very little is dishonest also in much.11If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will entrust to you the true riches?12And if you have not been faithful in that which is another's, who will give you that which is your own?13No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon."
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PROGRESS IN MANY AREAS OF ANGLICAN-CATHOLIC DIALOGUE VATICAN CITY, 17 SEP 2010 (VIS report) - At 3.40 p.m. today the Holy Father travelled by car to Lambeth Palace in London, the official residence of the archbishop of Canterbury. The palace library, one of the oldest in the country, contains more than 120,000 books concerning the political, social and economic history of English-speaking countries. It also houses the archives of the archbishops of Canterbury from the thirteenth century to the present, and the archives of the Church of England. The Church of England, a national Church which broke away from the Catholic Church in 1533 when King Henry VIII passed the Act of Supremacy, is made up of the ecclesiastical provinces of Canterbury and York which comprise the forty-three dioceses of the United Kingdom. The Church of England has twenty-five million faithful, forty-three percent of the country's population; Queen Elizabeth is its supreme governor while its spiritual head is the archbishop of Canterbury, primate of all England. The archbishops who preside over the two provinces and twenty-four other bishops sit by right in the House of Lords. The Anglican Communion has some eighty million faithful in thirty-eight autonomous provinces in 164 countries. Arriving at Lambeth Palace the Holy Father was welcomed into the library by Rowan Williams, the current archbishop of Canterbury. Also present at the meeting were the archbishop of York, the primate of Scotland, and the bishops of London and Winchester. The Holy Father visited an exhibition currently being held in the library commemorating the 400th anniversary of its foundation. Then, following a brief prayer and some remarks from Archbishop Williams, he delivered an address to those present. Recalling how Archbishop Williams had mentioned the historic meeting thirty years ago between Pope John Paul II and Robert Runcie, then archbishop of Canterbury, Benedict XVI noted that, despite "the difficulties that the ecumenical path has encountered and continues to encounter", in the forty years since the inception of the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission there has been "remarkable progress ... in so many areas of dialogue". "The context in which dialogue takes place between the Anglican Communion and the Catholic Church has evolved in dramatic ways since the private meeting between Pope John XXIII and Archbishop Geoffrey Fisher in 1960", said Pope Benedict. "On the one hand, the surrounding culture is growing ever more distant from its Christian roots, despite a deep and widespread hunger for spiritual nourishment. On the other hand, the increasingly multicultural dimension of society, particularly marked in this country, brings with it the opportunity to encounter other religions. For us Christians this opens up the possibility of exploring, together with members of other religious traditions, ways of bearing witness to the transcendent dimension of the human person and the universal call to holiness. ... Ecumenical co-operation in this task remains essential, and will surely bear fruit in promoting peace and harmony in a world that so often seems at risk of fragmentation. "At the same time", he added, "we Christians must never hesitate to proclaim our faith in the uniqueness of the salvation won for us by Christ, and to explore together a deeper understanding of the means He has placed at our disposal for attaining that salvation. God 'wants all to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth', and that truth is nothing other than Jesus Christ. ... In fidelity to the Lord's will, ... we recognise that the Church is called to be inclusive, yet never at the expense of Christian truth. Herein lies the dilemma facing all who are genuinely committed to the ecumenical journey". In this context, the Pope mentioned Cardinal John Henry Newman, "whose ecclesial vision was nurtured by his Anglican background and matured during his many years of ordained ministry in the Church of England. He can teach us the virtues that ecumenism demands: on the one hand, he was moved to follow his conscience, even at great personal cost; and on the other hand, the warmth of his continued friendship with his former colleagues, led him to explore with them ... the questions on which they differed, driven by a deep longing for unity in faith". "In that same spirit of friendship", Pope Benedict concluded, "let us renew our determination to pursue the goal of unity in faith, hope, and love, in accordance with the will of our one Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ". After his meeting with the archbishop of Canterbury, Benedict XVI travelled by popemobile to Westminster Hall.PV-UNITED KINGDOM/ VIS 20100918 (760)
COMMUNIQUE ON POPE'S MEETING WITH ANGLICAN PRIMATE VATICAN CITY, 17 SEP 2010 (VIS) - Given below is the text of a joint English-language communique concerning this evening's meeting in Lambeth Palace between Benedict XVI and Archbishop Rowan William of Canterbury. "Fifty years after the first meeting of a Pope and an Archbishop of Canterbury in modern times - that of Pope John XXIII and Archbishop Geoffrey Fisher, in December 1960 - Pope Benedict XVI paid a fraternal visit to Archbishop Rowan Williams. "In the first part of their meeting they both addressed the Anglican and Roman Catholic diocesan bishops of England, Scotland and Wales, in the Great Hall of the archbishop's library, before moving to a private meeting. "In the course of their private conversation, they addressed many of the issues of mutual concern to Anglicans and Roman Catholics. They affirmed the need to proclaim the Gospel message of salvation in Jesus Christ, both in a reasoned and convincing way in the contemporary context of profound cultural and social transformation, and in lives of holiness and transparency to God. They agreed on the importance of improving ecumenical relations and continuing theological dialogue in the face of new challenges to unity from within the Christian community and beyond it. "The Holy Father and the Archbishop reaffirmed the importance of continuing theological dialogue on the notion of the Church as communion, local and universal, and the implications of this concept for the discernment of ethical teaching. "They reflected together on the serious and difficult situation of Christians in the Middle East, and called upon all Christians to pray for their brothers and sisters and support their continued peaceful witness in the Holy Land. In the light of their recent public interventions, they also discussed the need to promote a courageous and generous engagement in the field of justice and peace, especially the needs of the poor, urging international leadership to fight hunger and disease. "Following their meeting they travelled together to the Palace of Westminster and to evening prayer at Westminster Abbey".PV-UNITED KINGDOM/ VIS 20100918 (350)
PROPER PLACE OF RELIGIOUS BELIEF IN THE POLITICAL PROCESS VATICAN CITY, 17 SEP 2010 (VIS) - At 5.15 p.m. today the Holy Father met with representatives from British civil society, and from the worlds of culture, academe and business, as well as the diplomatic corps and religious leaders. The meeting took place in Westminster Hall which, built in 1099, is the oldest part of Westminster Palace and is used for events of national and international significance. The Pope began his address by recalling "the countless men and women down the centuries who have played their part in the momentous events that have taken place within these walls and have shaped the lives of many generations of Britons, and others besides. "In particular", he added, "I recall the figure of St. Thomas More, the great English scholar and statesman, who is admired by believers and non-believers alike for the integrity with which he followed his conscience, even at the cost of displeasing the sovereign whose 'good servant' he was, because he chose to serve God first. The dilemma which faced More in those difficult times, the perennial question of the relationship between what is owed to Caesar and what is owed to God, allows me the opportunity to reflect with you briefly on the proper place of religious belief within the political process". "The fundamental questions at stake in Thomas More's trial continue to present themselves in ever-changing terms as new social conditions emerge. Each generation, as it seeks to advance the common good, must ask anew: what are the requirements that governments may reasonably impose upon citizens, and how far do they extend? By appeal to what authority can moral dilemmas be resolved? These questions take us directly to the ethical foundations of civil discourse. If the moral principles underpinning the democratic process are themselves determined by nothing more solid than social consensus, then the fragility of the process becomes all too evident - herein lies the real challenge for democracy". The Holy Father continued his remarks: "The inadequacy of pragmatic, short-term solutions to complex social and ethical problems has been illustrated all too clearly by the recent global financial crisis. There is widespread agreement that the lack of a solid ethical foundation for economic activity has contributed to the grave difficulties now being experienced by millions of people throughout the world. Just as 'every economic decision has a moral consequence', so too in the political field, the ethical dimension of policy has far-reaching consequences that no government can afford to ignore". "The central question at issue, then, is this: where is the ethical foundation for political choices to be found? The Catholic tradition maintains that the objective norms governing right action are accessible to reason, prescinding from the content of revelation. According to this understanding, the role of religion in political debate is ... to help purify and shed light upon the application of reason to the discovery of objective moral principles". Without the "corrective" role of religion, the Pope explained, "reason too can fall prey to distortions, as when it is manipulated by ideology, or applied in a partial way that fails to take full account of the dignity of the human person. Such misuse of reason, after all, was what gave rise to the slave trade in the first place and to many other social evils, not least the totalitarian ideologies of the twentieth century. This is why I would suggest that the world of reason and the world of faith - the world of secular rationality and the world of religious belief - need one another and should not be afraid to enter into a profound and ongoing dialogue, for the good of our civilisation. "Religion, in other words, is not a problem for legislators to solve, but a vital contributor to the national conversation. In this light, I cannot but voice my concern at the increasing marginalisation of religion, particularly of Christianity, that is taking place in some quarters, even in nations which place a great emphasis on tolerance. There are those who would advocate that the voice of religion be silenced, or at least relegated to the purely private sphere. There are those who argue that the public celebration of festivals such as Christmas should be discouraged, in the questionable belief that it might somehow offend those of other religions or none. And there are those who argue - paradoxically with the intention of eliminating discrimination - that Christians in public roles should be required at times to act against their conscience. These are worrying signs of a failure to appreciate not only the rights of believers to freedom of conscience and freedom of religion, but also the legitimate role of religion in the public square. I would invite all of you, therefore, within your respective spheres of influence, to seek ways of promoting and encouraging dialogue between faith and reason at every level of national life". After then highlighting how the British government co-operates with the Holy See in such areas as peace, human rights and development, the Holy Father noted how "the Holy See also looks forward to exploring with the United Kingdom new ways to promote environmental responsibility, to the benefit of all". "In recent years it has been encouraging to witness the positive signs of a worldwide growth in solidarity towards the poor. But to turn this solidarity into effective action calls for fresh thinking that will improve life conditions in many important areas, such as food production, clean water, job creation, education, support to families, especially migrants, and basic healthcare. Where human lives are concerned, time is always short, yet the world has witnessed the vast resources that governments can draw upon to rescue financial institutions deemed 'too big to fail'. Surely the integral human development of the world's peoples is no less important: here is an enterprise, worthy of the world's attention, that is truly 'too big to fail'". The Holy Father expressed his joy at progress in co-operation between the United Kingdom and the Holy See "in the years that have passed since the establishment of bilateral diplomatic relations, in promoting throughout the world the many core values that we share". In this context he also voiced the hope "that this relationship will continue to bear fruit, and that it will be mirrored in a growing acceptance of the need for dialogue and respect at every level of society between the world of reason and the world of faith. I am convinced that, within this country too, there are many areas in which the Church and the public authorities can work together for the good of citizens". "For such co-operation to be possible", he concluded, "religious bodies - including institutions linked to the Catholic Church - need to be free to act in accordance with their own principles and specific convictions based upon the faith and the official teaching of the Church. In this way, such basic rights as religious freedom, freedom of conscience and freedom of association are guaranteed".PV-UNITED KINGDOM/ VIS 20100918 (1180)
ECUMENICAL VESPERS IN WESTMINSTER ABBEY VATICAN CITY, 17 SEP 2010 (VIS) - At 7 p.m. today the Pope arrived at Westminster Abbey in London where he participated in an ecumenical celebration of Vespers. Since 1066, the abbey has been the traditional site of the coronation and burial of British monarchs. The abbey, the full name of which is the Collegiate Church of St. Peter at Westminster, was probably built in the eighth century. In 960 it became a Benedictine monastery. It grew thanks to the patronage of King Edgar and especially of King Edward the Confessor, and continued to flourish until 1534 when, with the Act of Supremacy, King Henry VIII sanctioned the separation of the Church of England from the Catholic Church , dissolving the Catholic monasteries and confiscating their property. The abbey became the Anglican cathedral of the diocese of Westminster and later the second cathedral of the diocese of London, but to this day it remains under the direct jurisdiction of the British monarch. Along the sides of the transept, to the right and left of the main altar, are the graves of various illustrious historical figures, some of them saints. Poet's Corner contains the tombs and memorial plaques of great English literary figures while behind the main altar are the royal chapels containing around a hundred tombs, many of British monarchs. Benedict XVI, accompanied by Anglican Archbishop Rowan Williams of Canterbury, and Catholic Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster, was received by John Hall, dean of the abbey, who introduced him to the chapter. Together they visited the tomb of the Unknown Soldier and pronounced a brief prayer for peace to mark the seventieth anniversary of the Battle of Britain. The Pope was then introduced to a number of religious leaders in the abbey's St. George's Chapel. The Holy Father, accompanied by the archbishop of Canterbury, then made his way to the altar of the coronation where, having listened to the greetings of the archbishop and the dean, he pronounced some brief words. "I thank you for your gracious welcome", he said. "This noble edifice evokes England's long history, so deeply marked by the preaching of the Gospel and the Christian culture to which it gave birth. I come here today as a pilgrim from Rome, to pray before the tomb of St. Edward the Confessor and to join you in imploring the gift of Christian unity. May these moments of prayer and friendship confirm us in love for Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour, and in common witness to the enduring power of the Gospel to illumine the future of this great nation". After praying Vespers, Benedict XVI delivered his address. "I thank the Lord for this opportunity to join you, the representatives of the Christian confessions present in Great Britain, in this magnificent abbey church dedicated to St. Peter, whose architecture and history speak so eloquently of our common heritage of faith. Here we cannot help but be reminded of how greatly the Christian faith shaped the unity and culture of Europe and the heart and spirit of the English people. Here too, we are forcibly reminded that what we share, in Christ, is greater than what continues to divide us". The Holy Father recalled how this year marks the centenary of the modern ecumenical movement which "began with the Edinburgh Conference's appeal for Christian unity as the prerequisite for a credible and convincing witness to the Gospel in our time. In commemorating this anniversary, we must give thanks for the remarkable progress made towards this noble goal through the efforts of committed Christians of every denomination. At the same time, however, we remain conscious of how much yet remains to be done. In a world marked by growing interdependence and solidarity, we are challenged to proclaim with renewed conviction the reality of our reconciliation and liberation in Christ, and to propose the truth of the Gospel as the key to authentic and integral human development". "Our commitment to Christian unity is born of nothing less than our faith in Christ. ... It is the reality of Christ's person, His saving work and above all the historical fact of His resurrection, which is the content of the apostolic 'kerygma' and those credal formulas which, beginning in the New Testament itself, have guaranteed the integrity of its transmission. The Church's unity, in a word, can never be other than a unity in the apostolic faith, in the faith entrusted to each new member of the Body of Christ during the rite of Baptism. It is this faith which unites us to the Lord". The Holy Father continued his observations: "We are all aware of the challenges, the blessings, the disappointments and the signs of hope which have marked our ecumenical journey. ... We know that the friendships we have forged, the dialogue which we have begun and the hope which guides us will provide strength and direction as we persevere on our common journey. At the same time, with evangelical realism, we must also recognise the challenges which confront us, not only along the path of Christian unity, but also in our task of proclaiming Christ in our day. Fidelity to the Word of God, precisely because it is a true Word, demands of us an obedience which leads us together to a deeper understanding of the Lord's will, an obedience which must be free of intellectual conformism or facile accommodation to the spirit of the age". "Gathered in this ancient monastic church, we can recall the example of a great Englishman and churchman whom we honour in common: St. Bede the Venerable. At the dawn of a new age in the life of society and of the Church, Bede understood both the importance of fidelity to the word of God as transmitted by the apostolic tradition, and the need for creative openness to new developments and to the demands of a sound implantation of the Gospel in contemporary language and culture". "May St. Bede's example inspire the Christians of these lands to rediscover their shared legacy, to strengthen what they have in common, and to continue their efforts to grow in friendship. May the Risen Lord strengthen our efforts to mend the ruptures of the past and to meet the challenges of the present with hope in the future". After the ceremony, the Pope travelled back to the apostolic nunciature by car.PV-UNITED KINGDOM/ VIS 20100918 (1070)
SHARED COMMITMENTS OF HOLY SEE AND BRITISH GOVERNMENT VATICAN CITY, 17 SEP 2010 (VIS) - Given below is the text of a joint communique released following a working dinner held this evening at Lancaster House between British government representatives and the Holy See delegation. "Her Majesty's Government hosted a dinner on 17 September for the Holy See delegation accompanying Pope Benedict XVI on his official visit to the UK, headed by Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone. The UK side was headed by William Hague, the Foreign Secretary. Those present included a number of senior British government ministers and senior officials from the Holy See. The discussion covered a range of areas of shared interest between the UK government and the Holy See. "Her Majesty's Government and the Holy See share a commitment to bringing an end to poverty and underdevelopment. On the eve of a summit in New York to review progress towards implementing the Millennium Development Goals, they share the conviction that more needs to be done to address the unnecessary suffering caused by hunger, diseases and illiteracy. Strong political leadership and respect for the ethos of local communities are necessary in the promotion of the right to life, food, health and development for all. "The British Government and the Holy See share a conviction of the urgent need for action to address the challenge of climate change. Action is needed at every level from the governmental to the individual if we are to rapidly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, to set in motion the transition to a global low-carbon economy, and to assist poor and vulnerable countries to adapt to the impacts of climate change that are already inevitable. "We had a good exchange of views on a variety of social and economic issues, recognising the essential role played by faith in the lives of individuals and as part of the fabric of a strong, generous, tolerant society. "The visit of Pope Benedict XVI provided the opportunity to develop a deeper exchange of views between the Holy See and the UK Government. Tonight's discussion provided a useful basis for both sides to continue to pursue initiatives and discussions on areas of common interest to the UK and the Holy See".PV-UNITED KINGDOM/ VIS 20100918 (380)
DEEP SORROW FOR INNOCENT VICTIMS OF CHILD ABUSE VATICAN CITY, 18 SEP 2010 (VIS) - In the archbishop of Westminster's palace this morning, before today's Eucharistic celebration in Westminster Cathedral, the Holy Father met with David Cameron, prime minister of the United Kingdom, Nick Clegg, deputy prime minister, and Harriet Harman, acting leader of the opposition. Westminster Cathedral is the main place of worship of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, seat of the archbishop of Westminster, an office currently held my Msgr. Vincent Nichols. John Paul II celebrated Mass in the cathedral in 1982 and Queen Elizabeth II - at the invitation of the then archbishop, Cardinal Basil Hume - participated in an ecumenical celebration there in 1995, marking the first time a British monarch had entered a Catholic church since the time of the Reformation. In his homily during the votive Mass for the Most Precious Blood of Christ, to which the cathedral is dedicated, the Holy Father remarked that "the visitor to this cathedral cannot fail to be struck by the great crucifix dominating the nave, which portrays Christ's body, crushed by suffering, overwhelmed by sorrow, the Innocent Victim whose death has reconciled us with the Father and given us a share in the very life of God". "The Eucharistic sacrifice of the Body and Blood of Christ embraces in turn the mystery of our Lord's continuing passion in the members of His Mystical Body, the Church in every age". Benedict XVI highlighted how "we see this aspect of the mystery of Christ's Precious Blood represented, most eloquently, by the martyrs of every age. ... It is also reflected in our brothers and sisters throughout the world who even now are suffering discrimination and persecution for their Christian faith. Yet it is also present, often hidden in the suffering of all those individual Christians who daily unite their sacrifices to those of the Lord for the sanctification of the Church and the redemption of the world. My thoughts go in a special way to all those who are spiritually united with this Eucharistic celebration, and in particular the sick, the elderly, the handicapped and those who suffer mentally and spiritually. "Here too", he added, "I think of the immense suffering caused by the abuse of children, especially within the Church and by her ministers. Above all, I express my deep sorrow to the innocent victims of these unspeakable crimes, along with my hope that the power of Christ's grace, His sacrifice of reconciliation, will bring deep healing and peace to their lives. I also acknowledge, with you, the shame and humiliation which all of us have suffered because of these sins; and I invite you to offer it to the Lord with trust that this chastisement will contribute to the healing of the victims, the purification of the Church and the renewal of her age-old commitment to the education and care of young people. I express my gratitude for the efforts being made to address this problem responsibly, and I ask all of you to show your concern for the victims and solidarity with your priests". After then recalling how Vatican Council II had spoken "eloquently of the indispensable role of the laity in carrying forward the Church's mission", the Holy Father noted that "the Council's appeal to the lay faithful to take up their baptismal sharing in Christ's mission echoed the insights and teachings of John Henry Newman. May the profound ideas of this great Englishman continue to inspire all Christ's followers in this land to conform their every thought, word and action to Christ, and to work strenuously to defend those unchanging moral truths which, taken up, illuminated and confirmed by the Gospel, stand at the foundation of a truly humane, just and free society". "How much contemporary society needs this witness!", the Pope exclaimed. "How much we need, in the Church and in society, witnesses of the beauty of holiness, witnesses of the splendour of truth, witnesses of the joy and freedom born of a living relationship with Christ! One of the greatest challenges facing us today is how to speak convincingly of the wisdom and liberating power of God's Word to a world which all too often sees the Gospel as a constriction of human freedom, instead of the truth which liberates our minds and enlightens our efforts to live wisely and well, both as individuals and as members of society. "Let us pray, then, that the Catholics of this land will become ever more conscious of their dignity as a priestly people, called to consecrate the world to God through lives of faith and holiness. And may this increase of apostolic zeal be accompanied by an outpouring of prayer for vocations to the ordained priesthood. ... May many young men in this land find the strength to answer the Master's call to the ministerial priesthood, devoting their lives, their energy and their talents to God, thus building up His people in unity and fidelity to the Gospel, especially through the celebration of the Eucharistic sacrifice". At the end of Mass, the Pope went out to greet young people gathered in front of the cathedral. Recalling the theme of his trip to the United Kingdom (Heart speaks unto heart - cor ad cor loquitur) he reminded them that "we were made to give love, to make it the inspiration for all we do and the most enduring thing in our lives. At times this seems so natural, especially when we feel the exhilaration of love, when our hearts brim over with generosity, idealism, the desire to help others, to build a better world. But at other times we realise that it is difficult to love; our hearts can easily be hardened by selfishness, envy and pride". "Every day we have to choose to love", Benedict XVI insisted, "and this requires help, the help that comes from Christ, from prayer and from the wisdom found in His Word, and from the grace which He bestows on us in the Sacraments of His Church. This is the message I want to share with you today. I ask you to look into your hearts each day to find the source of all true love. Jesus ... is calling you to spend time with Him in prayer. But this kind of prayer, real prayer, requires discipline; it requires making time for moments of silence every day, ... because it is in silence that we find God, and in silence that we discover our true self. And in discovering our true self, we discover the particular vocation which God has given us for the building up of His Church and the redemption of our world". The Pope then unveiled and blessed a mosaic of St. David, patron of Wales, and lit a candle before an image of Our Lady of Cardigan who is venerated at a shrine in that country. Before returning to the apostolic nunciature, the Holy Father again met briefly with the archbishop of Canterbury, who was present at the Eucharistic celebration.
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Saturday, September 18, 2010

Agenzia Fides report – An Apostolic Vicariate with an area approximately one third the size of Italy is Awassa, Ethiopia. Fides has asked its Apostolic Vicar, Bishop Giovanni Migliorati, in Rome for the Seminar of newly appointed bishops organized by the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples (see Fides 06/09/2010), a few questions about his ministry in the area. Bishop Migliorati, could you tell us about your Vicariate? The Vicariate of Awassa covers a surface area of 118,000 square kilometers and is a largely mountainous area. The population is divided into several ethnic groups. 6 different languages are spoken in the region. I speak 2 and am able to read the other 4. All the liturgical and pastoral activities take place in the local languages. So, when I preach in a language that I cannot speak, I use an interpreter, and to celebrate, I just read what is written in the language missal. What about evangelization? It is an area of recent evangelization, as the evangelization effort was launched in 1964 by the Comboni missionaries. Of about 8 million people, Catholics are 190,000. So, first we have to consolidate the process of evangelization, deepening the faith of Catholics, and then we have to be open to the first evangelization, especially in light of the 30% of people who adhere to traditional African religion. In the northern part of the Vicariate, the population is more open to the Gospel message, while the populations of the south are a bit more reluctant to accept it. What are the main difficulties faced by pastoral workers? The difficulties arise from the size of the territory, which is largely mountainous. Although in recent years the road system has improved, it is difficult to reach all the Catholic communities around the Vicariate, especially since the number of priests is so small. We have 14 diocesan priests and 32 missionaries from various congregations, so the formation of the laity, especially catechists, is also important. In the Vicariate, we have 500 catechists who play a key role especially in those communities where there is no permanent presence of the priest. The 19 parish territories of the Vicariate are divided into 500 'sub-parishes' or chapels where the catechists lead the community in prayer. The priest can visit these communities once every two months. How is the Gospel message transmitted in such a complex situation? The Gospel message is transmitted through the activities of human promotion undertaken by the Church. We have 12 health centers managed by Catholics, which treat 30,000 patients per month. On an educational level, there are 43 Catholic schools which we heavily depend upon because we want the youth, who represent the future, to not only receive an education but also the values of faith. Our concern is indeed to promote integral human development, based on Gospel values. The female religious congregations play an important role in the advancement of women and children, through courses on hygiene and family education. We place a great emphasis on this work, as the family is the nuclesus of the Christian community. In Awassa, of about 200,000 inhabitants, there are 17,000 college students. Our city is home to a state university and a university hospital. Many young Catholics come to the city from the countryside to study. We are building a youth center, to give students a reference point to help them live their faith together. The interreligious relations are good, but there are different sects that attract young people with tempting, yet superficial, proposals. Christianity is deep, but also demanding. In the long run, however, it is the faith that really responds to man's deepest needs.
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Asia News report: Corruption, bad management and discrimination in aid distribution are slowing down fund raising efforts in donor countries and helping Muslim extremists among flood victims. Punjab’s chief minister urges donors to send more aid, assures them that transparency informs the efforts of local authorities. In his province alone, more than six million people are affected by the catastrophe.Lahore (AsiaNews) – In southern Punjab, delays in relief efforts in flooded areas could favour extremist Muslim groups who are playing a wider role in helping displaced people, Punjab’s Chief Minister Mian Shahhbaz Sharif said at conference in which he asked donor nations to send more aid. He insisted that civilian and military authorities would make sure that relief and rehabilitation would be carried out above board. “I assure all the donor institutes and countries of the world who are donating funds for the flood affected people of Pakistan that funds for flood victims would be disbursed transparently".During the conference, Sharif listed all the efforts made by the government and the armed forces since the crisis began. He said that local and national authorities had already provided each affected family with US$ 200 for reconstruction. He also noted that the authorities would provide farmers with free seeds and fertiliser.More than six million people have been affected by the recent floods in Punjab alone. More than 1,770 villages have been submerged, causing damages to the local economy estimated at around a US$ 1 billion.However, more and more cases of corruption are coming to light, including stories about fake NGOs and discrimination in the distribution of humanitarian aid. This has raised eyebrows in the international community, discouraging fund raising in Western nations.In fact, Oxfam officials in Great Britain yesterday said that the situation is even worse than thought before, calling on donor countries to provide more funds for flood victims.According to the United Nations, 70 per cent of the affected people does not have access to drinking water, and about 80 per cent have no access to sanitary facilities or even water to wash themselves because of possible infections.
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CNN REPORT -- A Kurdish separatist movement has denied involvement in a bombing Thursday that killed nine people in a southeastern Turkish province, an explosion that drew swift condemnation and a vow to respond from Turkey's prime minister.The Kurdistan Workers' Party, known as the PKK, said the cease-fire it declared last month, which is slated to expire September 20, "is still continuing.""Our decision will definitely remain the same unless a new serious situation emerges," said a PKK statement published on Firat News Agency, a pro-Kurdish website.The casualties -- which included four wounded -- occurred when a minibus drove over a landmine in a Hakkari province village. Provincial officials initially said 10 people had died, but amended that count.In a news release sent to CNN, the PKK blamed the attack on what it called pro-government contra-guerrillas. Later, the PKK warned the Turkish government, saying, "The people of Hakkari is [sic] not alone."The cease-fire had been declared for the Muslim month of Ramadan, which ended last week. It was issued in response to a call from Kurdish intellectuals and civil society organizations.Speaking at an event in Istanbul, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that "terrorism" is forcing Turkey to "pay a price.""This will not be without a response," he said.The volatile southeastern region is home to Turkey's ethnic Kurdish minority and the PKK, a one-time separatist group considered a terrorist organization by the Turkish government.Turkey is reeling from a bloody summer of clashes with the PKK, the latest in a conflict that has simmered for more than 25 years. More than 30,000 people, mostly ethnic Kurds, have been killed.Initially, the PKK fought to carve out a separate homeland for Turkey's ethnic Kurdish minority, which makes up roughly 20 percent of the Turkish population.But in recent years, the rebels have said they are giving up their demands for an independent Kurdish state, and are instead fighting for more cultural freedoms.
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CNA report: After a severe car accident last month that killed a religious sister and injured U.S. Ambassador to Malta Doug Kmiec in California, the third passenger – Msgr. John Sheridan who was in critical condition – has died at the age of 94.On Aug. 25, Ambassador Kmiec, retired pastor of Our Lady of Malibu Msgr. John Sheridan, and Sister Mary Campbell were involved in a one car collision at Mulholland Highway and Malibu Canyon Road.Sr. Mary Campbell, 74, died at the scene.The Malibu Times reported that Msgr. Sheridan, who had been critical condition following the accident, died early in the morning on Sept. 17 from heart failure."We all are very saddened," OLM Parish Manager Peggy Thomas told the Malibu Times, which noted that there will be a prayer service at the parish this evening.After surgeries at the UCLA Medical Center Trauma Center following the collision last month, Ambassador Kmiec was reported to be in good condition and improving.California Highway Patrol Officer Leland Tang said Ambassador Kmiec was driving westbound on Mullholland on Aug. 25 when his 2009 Hyundai Accent crashed into a drainage ditch after veering off the road. Tang said that the cause of Kmiec losing control of the vehicle is unknown.Authorities have said the accident remains under investigation and that dashboard control adjustment may have been a factor in the collision.
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Cath News report: The documentary Blessed Mary: A Saint for All Australians, hosted by broadcaster Alan Jones, will be launched on DVD in October.Universal Pictures Home Entertainment will mark the historic canonisation with the premier of the program on The History Channel on October 10.The special edition collectors' DVD, which will be available at Woolworths, Australia Post, Big W and Mary MacKillop Place, will go on sale from October 13, according to a media statement.The History Channel will also have an encore screening on Sunday, October 17 at 8.30pm AEDT. The docu-drama will detail the life of Mary MacKillop, from her humble and often troubled childhood in Melbourne, to the establishment of a school in Penola, South Australia, through to her vocation as co-founder of the Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart, said the press release."It has been a revelation being involved in the production of the Mary MacKillop documentary," said Alan Jones."The one enduring sentiment is that we're talking about a remarkable woman of immense personal courage, a pioneering spirit, unflagging energy and faith in the face of adversity and, above all, a saintly commitment to those most in need of education and the alleviation of poverty."Australians will thrill to the story of Mary MacKillop, while sharing a latent pride that her saintliness has now been formally recognised by the church."
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St. Joseph of CupertinoMYSTICFeast: September 18Information:Feast Day:September 18Born:June 17, 1603, Copertino, Puglia, Kingdom of NaplesDied:September 18, 1663, Osimo, Marche, Papal StatesCanonized:July 16, 1767, Rome by Pope Clement XIIIPatron of:Aviation, astronauts, mental handicaps, test taking, studentsMystic, born 17 June, 1603; died at Osimo 18 September, 1663; feast, 18 September. Joseph received his surname from Cupertino, a small village in the Diocese of Nardo, lying between Brindisi and Otranto in the Kingdom of Naples. His father Felice Desa, a poor carpenter, died before Joseph was born and left some debts, in consequence of which the creditors drove the mother, Francesca Panara, from her home, and she was obliged to give birth to her child in a stable. In his eighth year Joseph had an ecstatic vision while at school and this was renewed several times; so that the children, seeing him gape and stare on such occasions, lost to all things about him, gave him the sobriquet "Bocca Aperta". At the same time he had a hot and irascible temper which his strict mother strove hard to overcome. He was apprenticed to a shoemaker, but at the age of seventeen he tried to be admitted to the Friars Minor Conventuals and was refused on account of his ignorance. He then applied to the Capuchins at Martino near Tarento, where he was accepted as a lay-brother in 1620, but his continual ecstasies unfitted him for work and he was dismissed. His mother and his uncles abused him as a good-for-nothing, but Joseph did not lose hope. By his continued prayers and tears he succeeded in obtaining permission to work in the stable as lay help or oblate at the Franciscan convent of La Grotella near Cupertino. He now gave evidence of great virtues, humility, obedience, and love of penance to such an extent that he was admitted to the clerical state in 1625, and three years later, on 28 March he was raised to the priesthood. Joseph was but little versed in human knowledge, for his biographers relate that he was able to read but poorly, yet infused by knowledge and supernatural light he not only surpassed all ordinary men in the learning of the schools but could solve the most intricate questions.His life was now one long succession of visions and other heavenly favours. Everything that in any way had reference to God or holy things would bring on an ecstatic state: the sound of a bell or of church music, the mention of the name of God or of the Blessed Virgin or of a saint, any event in the life of Christ, the sacred Passion, a holy picture, the thought of the glory in heaven, all would put Joseph into contemplation. Neither dragging him about, buffeting, piercing with needles, nor even burning his flesh with candles would have any effect on him - only the voice of his superior would make him obey. These conditions would occur at any time or place, especially at Mass or during Divine Service. Frequently he would be raised from his feet and remain suspended in the air. Besides he would at times hear heavenly music. Since such occurrences in public caused much admiration and also disturbance in a community, Joseph for thirty-five years was not allowed to attend choir, go to the common refectory, walk in procession or say Mass in church, but was ordered to remain in his room, where a private chapel was prepared for him. Evil-minded and envious men even brought him before the Inquisition, and he was sent from one lonely house of the Capuchins or Franciscans to another, but Joseph retained his resigned and joyous spirit, submitting confidently to Divine Providence. He practised mortification and fasting to such a degree, that he kept seven Lents of forty days each year, and during many of them tasted no food except on Thursdays and Sundays. His body is in the church at Osimo. He was beatified by Benedict XIV in 1753, and canonized 16 July 1767 by Clement XIII; Clement XIV extended his office to the entire Church. His life was written by Robert Nuti (Palermo, 1678). Angelo Pastrovicchi wrote another in 1773, and this is used by the Bollandist "Acta SS.", V, Sept., 992.
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Matthew 11: 25 - 3025At that time Jesus declared, "I thank thee, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to babes;26yea, Father, for such was thy gracious will.27All things have been delivered to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and any one to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.28Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.29Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.30For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."
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