Thursday, October 28, 2010


TODAY'S GOSPEL: OCT. 28: Luke 6: 12 - 16 -

BRAZIL: CHURCH TEACHES MAN HIS DIGNITY AS CHILD OF GOD VATICAN CITY, 28 OCT 2010 (VIS REPORT) - Prelates from the National Conference of Bishops of Brazil (Northeast region 5) who have just complete their five-yearly "ad limina" visit were received this morning by the Holy Father. "I wish to speak to you today", the Pope told them, "about how the Church's mission to serve as the leavening of human society through the Gospel teaches human beings their dignity as children of God, and their vocation to the unity of all mankind, whence derive the need for justice and social peace in accordance with divine wisdom". "First, the duty of direct action to ensure a just ordering of society falls to the lay faithful who, as free and responsible citizens, strive to contribute to the just configuration of social life, while respecting legitimate autonomy and natural moral law", the Holy Father explained. "Your duty as bishops, together with your clergy, is indirect because you must contribute to the purification of reason, and to the moral awakening of the forces necessary to build a just and fraternal society. Nonetheless, when required by the fundamental rights of the person or the salvation of souls, pastors have the binding duty to emit moral judgments, even on political themes". "When forming these judgements, pastors must bear in mind the absolute value of those ... precepts which make it morally unacceptable to chose a particular action which is intrinsically evil and incompatible with human dignity. This decision cannot be justified by the merit of some specific goal, intention, consequence or circumstance, Thus it would be completely false and illusory to defend, political, economic or social rights which do not comprehend a vigorous defence of the right to life from conception to natural end. When it comes to defending the weakest, who is more defenceless than an unborn child or a patient in a vegetative or comatose state?" "When political projects openly or covertly contemplate the depenalisation of abortion or euthanasia, the democratic ideal (which is truly democratic when it recognises and protects the dignity of all human beings) is betrayed at its very foundations. For this reason, dear brothers in the episcopate, when defending life we must not fear hostility or unpopularity, rejecting all compromise and ambiguity which would conform us to the mentality of this world". In order to help lay people live their Christian, social and political commitments in a unified and coherent fashion it is necessary, said the Holy Father, to ensure appropriate "social catechesis and an adequate formulation of Church Social Doctrine. ... This also means that on some occasions, pastors must reminds all citizens of the right, which is also a duty, freely to use their vote to promote the common good". "At this point politics and faith come together", he went on. "The specific nature of faith certainly lies in the meeting with the living God, Who opens new horizons far beyond the sphere of reason. ... Only by respecting, promoting and indefatigably teaching the transcendent nature of the human being can a just society be built. ... 'God has a place in the public realm, specifically in regard to its cultural, social, economic, and particularly its political dimensions'", said the Holy Father quoting his Encyclical "Caritas in veritate". Benedict XVI concluded his discourse by joining the Brazilian bishops' appeal for religious education and, "more specifically, for the pluralistic and confessional education of religion in State schools". He also indicated that "the presence of religious symbols in public life is both a recollection of man's transcendence and a guarantee of its respect. They have particular value in the case of Brazil where the Catholic religion is a component part of the country's history".AL/ VIS 20101028 (630)

SCIENTIFIC ACHIEVEMENT MUST AIM AT THE TRUE GOOD OF MAN VATICAN CITY, 28 OCT 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received participants in the plenary session of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, who have been meeting to reflect on the theme: "The Scientific Legacy of the Twentieth Century". Addressing the group in English, the Holy Father affirmed that "on the one hand, science is posited by some as a panacea, proven by its notable achievements in the last century. Its innumerable advances ... seemed to confirm the point of view that science might answer all the questions of man's existence, and even of his highest aspirations. On the other hand, there are those who fear science and who distance themselves from it, because of sobering developments such as the construction and terrifying use of nuclear weapons. "Science, of course", he added, "is not defined by either of these extremes. Its task was and remains a patient yet passionate search for the truth about the cosmos, about nature and about the constitution of the human being. In this search, there have been many successes and failures, triumphs and setbacks". "Nonetheless, even provisional results constitute a real contribution to unveiling the correspondence between the intellect and natural realities, on which later generations may build further", the Pope said. "Our meeting here today", he went on, "is a proof of the Church's esteem for ongoing scientific research and of her gratitude for scientific endeavour, which she both encourages and benefits from. In our own day, scientists themselves appreciate more and more the need to be open to philosophy if they are to discover the logical and epistemological foundation for their methodology and their conclusions. For her part, the Church is convinced that scientific activity ultimately benefits from the recognition of man's spiritual dimension and his quest for ultimate answers that allow for the acknowledgement of a world existing independently from us, which we do not fully understand and which we can only comprehend in so far as we grasp its inherent logic. "Scientists do not create the world; they learn about it and attempt to imitate it, following the laws and intelligibility that nature manifests to us. The scientist's experience as a human being is therefore that of perceiving a constant, a law, a 'logos' that he has not created but that he has instead observed: in fact, it leads us to admit the existence of an all-powerful Reason, which is other than that of man, and which sustains the world. This is the meeting point between the natural sciences and religion. As a result, science becomes a place of dialogue, a meeting between man and nature and, potentially, even between man and his Creator". In closing his remarks the Pope proposed "two thoughts for further reflection. First, as increasing accomplishments of the sciences deepen our wonder of the complexity of nature, the need for an interdisciplinary approach tied with philosophical reflection leading to a synthesis is more and more perceived. Secondly, scientific achievement in this new century should always be informed by the imperatives of fraternity and peace, helping to solve the great problems of humanity, and directing everyone's efforts towards the true good of man and the integral development of the peoples of the world. The positive outcome of twenty-first century science will surely depend in large measure on the scientist's ability to search for truth and apply discoveries in a way that goes hand in hand with the search for what is just and good".AC/ VIS 20101028 (590)

CHRISTIANS, HINDUS: ENHANCE RESPECT, TRUST, CO-OPERATION VATICAN CITY, 28 OCT 2010 (VIS) - Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue, has written a message to Hindus for the feast of Deepavali, which this year falls on 5 November. The text, which also bears the signature of Archbishop Pier Luigi Celata, secretary of the pontifical council, calls for reflection "on how best we can strengthen our friendship and co-operation by mutually ensuring and enhancing respect and trust". "Mutual respect", the message reads, is "one of the fundamentals for peaceful and harmonious co-existence as well as progress in society. Trust, on the other hand, nourishes every genuinely human relationship, both personal and communitarian". "Applying the above to our engagement in appreciating and promoting inter-religious dialogue and relations, we well know that respect and trust are not optional extras but the very pillars on which the edifice of our engagement itself stands". The message concludes by stating that "the greater our engagement in inter-religious dialogue, the fuller our respect and trust become, leading us to an increase in co-operation and common action. ... As people who hold in common the wellbeing of individuals and communities, may we give greater visibility with every means in our power to a culture that promotes respect, trust and co-operation".CON-DIR/ VIS 20101028 (220)

AUDIENCES VATICAN CITY, 28 OCT 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in audience Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst of Limburg, Germany.AP/ VIS 20101028 (30)
OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS VATICAN CITY, 28 OCT 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father: - Appointed Bishop Lionel Gendron P.S.S., auxiliary of Montreal, Canada, as bishop of Saint-Jean - Longueuil (area 2,075, population 696,000, Catholics 591,000, priests 115, permanent deacons 2, religious 437), Canada. He succeeds Bishop Jacques Berthelet C.S.V., whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit. - Appointed Fr. Jacques Habert of the clergy of Creteil, France, episcopal vicar with responsibility for the pastoral sector of Charenton-le-Pont / Joinville-le-Pont / Saint-Maurice, as bishop of Sees (area 6,103, population 292,879, Catholics 272,200, priests 166, permanent deacons 17, religious 326), France. The bishop-elect was born in Saint-Malo, France in 1960 and ordained a priest in 1989.
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Asia News report: Brother Philip, vice principal at Holy Cross School in Whitefield, is currently in hospital recovering from a beating he received last Saturday. The religious tells AsiaNews that he has forgiven his attackers but that he wants guarantees for Christian missionaries who serve Indian society.Mumbai (AsiaNews) – In Karnataka, Christians are increasingly the target of Hindu extremists because their schools allow members of the lowest castes to study, Brother Phillip Noronha told AsiaNews. The religious is a missionary and vice principal of Holy Cross School in Whitefield (Bangalore). At present, he is in hospital recovering from the wounds he received when he was beaten up in front of his school last Saturday.“Their intent was to humiliate me, bring discredit to our Holy Cross School and malign the good name of Christian missionaries,” he said. Yet, this has “strengthened my vocation as a religious brother and strengthened my resolve to impart value based education, following the teachings of Christ. [. . .] I am a Brother of the Holy Cross, and Christ allowed me a small taste of his cross”.After accusing him of sexual misconduct, a mob of some 500 Hindus dragged him out of the school, where he was struck, kicked and caned. All this occurred as cameras from three local TV stations taped the event. Whitefield Police Inspector B N Gopalakrishna was among those who took part in the attack.According to a preliminary assessment, the beating and accusations were orchestrated by the parents of two Hindu students attending the 10th grade in Holy Cross School. They and others want to seize land owned by the school to benefit a Hindu temple that was recently built nearby. However, for the Catholic religious, the issue is not only the land, but also the very presence of missionaries in the area.“Through our services and programmes for the poor, the local ruling class can no longer exploit poor people. Education gives the poor and the marginalised independence, and the dominant bourgeoisie is trying to resist [changes] through such acts,” he said.According to Brother Philip, exploiting badly paid farm workers is good business for members of the upper castes, who “cannot tolerate the empowerment of the poor and marginalised and thus attack all those (like the Christian missionaries) who bring about social change,” he explained.“I have forgiven those who attacked me and tried to malign me,” he added. “Justice, however, must follow its course. The vice principal of Holy Cross School has in fact filed a complaint with police, which followed up with a First Information Report (FIR).Ultimately, the brother hopes that Christian missionaries who serve society can receive the same protection guaranteed by the Indian constitution.
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TIMES OF MALTA REPORT:Bishop Emeritus Nikol Cauchi has been transferred to Mater Dei Hospital after having suffered cardiac problems yesterday.The 81-year-old former Bishop of Gozo was hospitalised yesterday evening and was in a critical but stable condition.He was treated in the cardiac unit of the Gozo General Hospital before being flown to Mater Dei Hospital this morning.Bishop Mgr Mario Grech was among those who visited him yesterday and urged the faithful to pray for him.Mgr Cauchi's family has asked for his privacy to be respected.Mgr Cauchi was born at the family home in Gharb on March 2, 1929.After his ordination in 1952, he studied sociology and philosophy in Rome before being appointed parish priest in Fontana. He was named as the Apostolic Administrator for Gozo in 1967 and was thus effectively in charge of the diocese - before taking over as Bishop of Gozo from the ailing Bishop Joseph Pace in 1972.He held the position until stepping down in January 2006 and since then has kept his hands full with writing, teaching and broadcasting.See interview with Mgr Cauchi at
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USCCB REPORT: U.S. Lutheran-Catholic Dialogue Completes Statement on Death and Eternal LifeWASHINGTON (October 26, 2010) — Members of the Lutheran-Roman Catholic Dialogue in the United States approved by unanimous consent on October 17 the dialogue’s final report on "The Hope of Eternal Life." The 65-page report represents the fruit of the dialogue's four-and-a-half-year study. It explores issues related to the Christian's life beyond death, such as the communion of saints, resurrection of the dead, and final judgment, as well as historically divisive issues such as purgatory, indulgences, and prayers for the dead. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) sponsored this 11th round of talks. The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS) was invited to participate in the conversation. Although they were represented in the dialogue, the final report was only agreed to on the Lutheran side by the ELCA.This most recent round of dialogue began in December 2005, but Catholics and Lutherans have been in formal dialogue in the United States since 1965. The choice of topic emerged from principles of life-after-death developed in the “Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification,” which the Lutheran World Federation and the Catholic Church signed October 31, 1999, in Augsburg, Germany. This investigation “has resulted in another substantial contribution to the ecumenical endeavors of the participating churches,” said the Rev. Lowell G. Almen, Lutheran co-chair and retired secretary of the ELCA.The report was finalized at the dialogue's meeting October 13-17 at St. Paul’s College in Washington, and will be made public November 15, when it is presented to the Bishops' Committee for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs of the USCCB.As reflected in the forthcoming report, the churches in the dialogue declared together, “Life does not end in death. God in Christ offers everyone the hope of eternal life.” At the same time, representatives of the participating churches acknowledged the possibility of eternal loss by those who refuse God’s mercy, in spite of God’s desire for the salvation of all. As one of the agreements declares, “We can entrust the judgment of our lives to the one who died for our trespasses and rose for our justification.” “The careful precision brought to this past meeting of the dialogue by the members, and their knowledge of history, have been a great blessing for all of us,” Auxiliary Bishop Richard J. Sklba of Milwaukee, Catholic co-chair of the dialogue, said. "Simply tracing the unfolding practices which have marked our respective Lutheran or Catholic prayers on the occasion of the death of a believer brought light to our conversation.” The topic took a poignant turn during the course of this round with the deaths of two of the dialogue’s original members. Assumptionist Father George Tavard, who had been a peritus at Vatican II, died on August 13, 2007, and Dr. John H. P. Reumann, a well known Lutheran New Testament scholar, died on June 6, 2008. Each served continuously on the dialogue since 1965 and made important contributions to all of the dialogue’s ten agreed statements. They also offered early contributions to what emerged as the final text of this 11th round.The report was written in a tone to provide a resource for study by pastors as well as lay members since the topic holds deeply personal and pastoral dimensions for all members of the participating churches.Additional Catholic participants in the dialogue include Margaret O'Gara, Ph.D., University of St. Michael's College, Toronto; Jesuit Father Joseph Fitzmyer, professor emeritus, The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C.; Christian Brother Jeffrey Gros, Memphis Theological Seminary, Memphis, Tennessee; Father James Massa, USCCB staff; Christian David Washburn, Ph.D, Saint Paul Seminary, St. Paul, Minnesota; Jesuit Father Jared Wicks, John Carroll University, University Heights, Ohio; and Sister Susan Wood, a Sister of Charity of Leavenworth, Marquette University, Milwaukee. Lutheran members include The Rev. Winston D. Persaud, Wartburg Theological Seminary, Dubuque, Iowa; Michael J. Root, Ph.D., professor of systematic theology and dean, Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary, Columbia, S.C.; Rev. Dr. Lowell Almen, co-chair of the Lutheran-Catholic Dialogue; Rev. Stephen J. Hultgren, assistant professor, Department of Theology, Fordham University, Bronx, N.Y.; Rev Theodore W. Asta, associate to the bishop (ecumenism and administration), New England Synod–ELCA; Rev. Marcus J Miller, president of Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary, Columbia, S.C.; Rev. Paul Schreck, ELCA staff.Information regarding the U.S. Lutheran-Roman Catholic Dialogue is at
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Agenzia Fides REPORT – July tank explosion victims left without support“The people have not received practically any of the money raised to help them," Fides has been told by local church sources (which for security reasons asked not to be cited) in Sange, a town in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, where on July 3 more than 300 people died from the explosion of a tanker loaded with fuel (see Fides 03/07/2010)."There are at least 2,000 people without a home and about 350-400 still in the hospital recovering from burns caused by the fire that followed the explosion of the tanker," the sources said Fides."Despite promises by the authorities and the collection of funds at the government level throughout Congo, families who have lost their homes in the blast received only 3 metal sheets each, to rebuild a decent home, when it takes at least 40,” explain our sources."The 10 parishes in the local area have collected a thousand dollars that was used for treatment of patients most in need and for other urgent needs," the sources of Fides add.The tragedy happened on the main street of the village, when the tanker capsized after hitting another oncoming vehicle from the opposite direction. "The wreckage of the truck is still there and work to make the road safer has not started. Another incident similar to that of July could happen again," concludes the sources of Fides.
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CATH NEWS REPORT: The Church has expressed disappointment over recommendations for NSW primary schools to implement ethics classes as an alternative to religious classes.The recommendation, contained in the 102-page independent report by Dr Sue Knight and three colleagues at the University of South Australia, says the State Government could adopt the ethics classes model used in the recent 10-week trial if it decides to establish the classes, said The Catholic Weekly.Jude Hennessy, director of the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine in the Wollongong diocese, said he was "very disappointed" by the findings of Dr Knight's report."The terms of reference review were so narrow that it was quite obvious that the Government already had an outcome in mind," he said."My concerns about this were heightened even more when right in the middle of Dr Knight's review period, Education Minister Firth again invited the media to a Sydney primary school to heap praise on the ethics classes."It sent all the wrong signals to providers of SRE who were given assurances that this would be a valid, thorough review process."
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St. SimonAPOSTLEFeast: October 28Information:Feast Day:October 28Born:Cana or CanaanDied:Abyssinians claim he was crucified in Samaria; Lipsius says he was sawn in half at Suanir, Persia; Moses of Chorene writes that he was martyred at Weriosphora in Iberia; many locations claim to have relics including Toulouse, France, and Saint Peter's Basilica, Rome, ItalyMajor Shrine:relics claimed by many places, including Toulouse; Saint Peter's BasilicaPatron of:curriers; sawyers; tannersSt Simon is surnamed the Canaanean or Canaanite, and the Zealot, to distinguish him from St. Peter, and from St. Simeon, the brother of St. James the Less, and his successor in the see of Jerusalem. From the first of these surnames some have thought that St. Simon was born at Cana, in Galilee: certain modern Greeks pretend that it was at his marriage that our Lord turned the water into wine. It is not to be doubted but he was a Galilean. Theodoret says, of the tribe either of Zabulon or Nepthali. Hammond and Grotius think that St. Simon was called the Zealot, before his coming to Christ, because he was one of that particular sect or party among the Jews called Zealots, from a singular zeal they possessed for the honour of God and the purity of religion. A party called Zealots were famous in the war of the Jews against the Romans. They were main instruments in instigating the people to shake off the yoke of subjection; they assassinated many of the nobility and others in the streets, filled the temple itself with bloodshed and other horrible profanations, and were the chief cause of the ruin of their country. But no proof is offered by which it is made to appear that any such party existed in our Saviour's time, though some then maintained that it was not lawful for a Jew to pay taxes to the Romans At least if any then took the name Zealots, they certainly neither followed the impious conduct nor adopted the false and inhuman maxims of those mentioned by Josephus in his history of the Jewish war against the Romans.St. Simon, after his conversion, was zealous for the honour of his Master, and exact in all the duties of the Christian religion; and showed a pious indignation toward those who professed this holy faith with their mouths, but dishonoured it by the irregularity of their lives. No further mention appears of him in the gospels than that he was adopted by Christ into the college of the apostles. With the rest he received the miraculous gifts of the Holy Ghost, which he afterwards exercised with great zeal and fidelity. If this apostle preached in Egypt, Cyrene, and Mauritania, he returned into the East; for the Martyrologies of St. Jerome, Bede, Ado, and Usuard place his martyrdom in Persia, at a city called Suanir, possibly in the country of the Suani, a people in Colchis, or a little higher in Sarmatia, then allied with the Parthians in Persia; which may agree with a passage in the Acts of St. Andrew, that in the Cimmerian Bosphorus there was a tomb in a "rot, with an inscription importing that Simon the Zealot was interred there. His death is said in these Martyrologies to have been procured by the idolatrous priests. Those who mention the manner of his death say he was crucified. St. Peter's Church on the Vatican at Rome and the Cathedral of Toulouse are said to possess the chief portions of the relics of SS. Simon and Jude.
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St. JudeAPOSTLEFeast: October 28Information:Feast Day:October 28Major Shrine:Saint Peter's, Rome, Rheims, Toulouse, FrancePatron of:lost causes, desperate situations, hospitalsThe apostle St. Jude is distinguished from the Iscariot by the surname of Thaddaus, which signifies in Syriac praising or confession (being of the same import with the Hebrew word Judas), also by that of Lebbaeus, which is given him in the Greek text of St. Matthew. St. Jude was brother to St. James the Less, as he styles himself in his epistle; likewise of St. Simeon of Jerusalem, and of one Joses, who are styled the brethren of our Lord, and were sons of Cleophas and Mary, sister to the Blessed Virgin.This apostle's kindred and relation to our Saviour exalted him not so much in his Master's eyes as his contempt of the world the ardour of his holy zeal and love, and his sufferings for his sake. It is not known when and by what means he became a disciple of Christ, nothing having been said of him in the gospels before we find him enumerated in the catalogue of the apostles. After the last supper, when Christ promised to manifest himself to every one who should love him, St. Jude asked him why he did not manifest himself to the world? By which question he seems to have expressed his expectation of a secular kingdom of the Messias. Christ by his answer satisfied him that the world is unqualified for divine manifestations, being a stranger and an enemy to what must fit souls for a fellowship with heaven; but that he would honour those who truly love him with his familiar converse, and would admit them to intimate communications of grace and favour.After our Lord's ascension and the descent of the Holy Ghost, St. Jude set out, with the other great conquerors of the world and hell, to pull down the prince of darkness from his usurped throne; which this little troop undertook to effect armed only with the word of God and his Spirit. Nicephorus, Isidore, and the Martyrologies tell us that St. Jude preached up and down Judea, Samaria, Idumaa, and Syria; especially in Mesopotamia. St. Paulinus says that St. Jude planted the faith in Libya. This apostle returned from his missions to Jerusalem in the year 62, after the martyrdom of his brother, St. James, and assisted at the election of St. Simeon, who was likewise his brother. He wrote a catholic or general epistle to all the churches of the East, particularly addressing himself to the Jewish converts, amongst whom he had principally laboured. St. Peter had written to the same two epistles before this, and in the second had chiefly in view to caution the faithful against the errors of the Simonians, Nicholaits, and Gnostics. The havoc which these heresies continued to make among souls stirred up the zeal of St. Jude, who sometimes copied certain expressions of St. Peter, and seems to refer to the epistles of SS. Peter and Paul as if the authors were then no more. The heretics he describes by many strong epithets and similes, and calls them wandering meteors which seem to blaze for a while but set in eternal darkness. The source of their fall he points out by saying they are murmurers, and walk after their own lusts. The apostle puts us in mind to have always before our eyes the great obligation we lie under of incessantly building up our spiritual edifice of charity, by praying in the Holy Ghost, growing in the love of God, and imploring his mercy through Christ. From Mesopotamia St. Jude travelled into Persia. Fortunatus and the western Martyrologists tell us that the apostle St. Jude suffered martyrdom in Persia; the Menology of the Emperor Basil and some other Greeks say at Arat or Ararat, in Armenia, which at that time was subject to the Parthian empire, and consequently esteemed part of Persia. Many Greeks say he was shot to death with arrows: some add whilst he was tied on across. The Armenians at this day venerate him and St. Bartholomew for the first planters of the faith among them.
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TODAY'S GOSPEL: OCT. 28: Luke 6: 12 - 16
Luke 6: 12 - 1612In these days he went out to the mountain to pray; and all night he continued in prayer to God.13And when it was day, he called his disciples, and chose from them twelve, whom he named apostles;14Simon, whom he named Peter, and Andrew his brother, and James and John, and Philip, and Bartholomew,15and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon who was called the Zealot,16and Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.
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