Thursday, November 11, 2010




EUCHARISTIC CONGRESSES CONTRIBUTE TO NEW EVANGELISATION VATICAN CITY, 11 NOV 2010 (VIS REPORT) - Today in the Vatican, Benedict XVI received participants in the plenary assembly of the Pontifical Committee for International Eucharistic Congresses, who have completed preparations for the next congress, which will take place in the Irish capital Dublin in 2012. "International Eucharistic Congresses already have a long history in the Church", the Holy Father noted. "They highlight the universal dimension of celebration. Celebration is, in fact, always a feast of faith around the Eucharistic Christ, the Christ of the supreme sacrifice for humanity, in which not only the faithful from a particular Church or nation participate, but, insofar as possible, from all over the world. It is the Church that gathers around her Lord and God". "The task of Eucharistic Congresses, especially at the current time, is also that of making a special contribution to new evangelisation, promoting mystagogical evangelisation which is accomplished in the school of the prayerful Church, on the basis of the liturgy and through the liturgy. But each Congress also contains a new evangelising impulse in a more strictly missionary sense, so much so that the binomial term 'Eucharist-mission' has become part of the guidelines suggested by the Holy See". The Holy Father completed his remarks with some liturgical-pastoral advice. "It is important", he said, "that each Eucharistic Congress should, in accordance with the reforming spirit of the Council, involve and integrate both 'extra missam' expressions of Eucharistic worship which have their roots in popular devotion, and associations of faithful which, in various ways, draw inspiration form the Eucharist. All forms of Eucharistic devotion, also recommended and encouraged by the Encyclical 'Ecclesia de Eucharistia' and the Post-Synodal Exhortation 'Sacramentum caritatis', must be harmoniously brought together in a Eucharistic ecclesiology oriented towards communion".AC/ VIS 20101111 (300) IMAGE SOURCE: RADIO VATICANA

APOSTOLIC EXHORTATION "VERBUM DOMINI" VATICAN CITY, 11 NOV 2010 (VIS) - At midday today in the Holy See Press Office, the presentation took place of the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation "Verbum Domini" of Benedict XVI, on the Word of God in the life and mission of the Church. Today's press conference was presented by Cardinal Marc Ouellet P.S.S., prefect of the Congregation for Bishops; Archbishop Gianfranco Ravasi, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture, and Archbishop Nikola Eterovic and Msgr. Fortunato Frizza, respectively secretary general and under secretary of the Synod of Bishops. The Apostolic Exhortation, which is dated 30 September, Memorial of St. Jerome, is the fruit of the Twelfth Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, which was held in Rome from 5 to 26 October 2008. The document, which has been published in Latin, Italian, English, French., Spanish, German, Portuguese and Polish, is made up of an introduction, three parts and a conclusion. Archbishop Eterovic explained how in part one, entitled "Verbum Dei", the Pope highlights both "the fundamental role of God the Father, source and origin of the Word", and "the Trinitarian dimension of revelation". Chapter one - "The God Who Speaks" - underscores "God's will to open and maintain a dialogue with man, in which God takes the initiative and reveals Himself in various ways". It also dwells on "the Christological aspect of the Word, while at the same time underlining the pneumatological dimension". This section of the document also focuses on the relationship between the Eucharist and Tradition, and on the theme of the inspiration and truth of the Bible. "Our Response to the God Who Speaks" is the title of chapter two of part one. "Man is called to enter into the Alliance with his God, Who listens to him and responds to his questions. To God Who speaks, man responds with the faith. The most suitable prayer is that made using the words which were revealed by God and are conserved and written in the Bible", said Archbishop Eterovic. Chapter three has as its title "The Interpretation of Sacred Scripture in the Church". The secretary general of the Synod of Bishops explained how "Sacred Scripture should be, as the Dogmatic Constitution 'Dei Verbum' says, 'the soul of sacred theology'. ... The biblical hermeneutics of Vatican Council II must be rediscovered, also in order to avoid a certain dualism evident in secularised interpretations which could give rise to a fundamentalist and spiritualist interpretation of Holy Scripture. Correct interpretation requires complementarity in a literal and spiritual sense, a harmony between faith and reason". This chapter also examines relations between Christians and Jews, noting that they enjoy "a very special relationship ... because they share a large part of the Scriptures". Part two of the document is entitled "Verbum in Ecclesia". Chapter one - "The Word of God and the Church" - underlines how it is thanks to the Word of God and the effect of the Sacraments "that Jesus remains contemporary to mankind in the life of the Church", said the archbishop. "The Liturgy, Privileged Setting for the Word of God" is the title of chapter two, in which the focus turns to "the vital link between Sacred Scripture and the Sacraments, especially the Eucharist". The importance of the Lectionary is mentioned, as is that of the proclamation of the Word and the ministry of reader, with particular emphasis being laid on the preparation of the homily, a theme of great importance in this Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation. Chapter three of part two concerns "The Word of God in the Life of the Church" and highlights "the importance of biblical inspiration for pastoral activity, the biblical dimension of catechesis, the biblical formation of Christians, the use of Sacred Scripture in great ecclesial gahterings, and the Word of God in relation to vocations". Attention is also given to "lectio divina and Marian prayer", said the archbishop. Part three of the document published today has as its title "Verbum Mundo". It draws attention to "the duty of Christians to announce the Word of God in the world in which they live and work". Chapter one - "The Church's Mission to Proclaim the Word of God to the World" - explains how the Church "is oriented towards the announcement 'ad gentes', to people who do not yet know the Word, ... but also to those who have already been baptised ... but need new evangelisation in order to rediscover the Word of God". "The Word of God and Commitment to the World" is the title of chapter two, which recalls how "Christians are called to serve the Word of God in their most needy brothers and sisters and, hence, to commit themselves in society for reconciliation, justice and peace among peoples". Chapter three of part three is dedicated to "The Word of God and Culture". It expresses the hope "that the Bible may become better known in schools and universities and that better use may be made of the social communications media, exploiting all the modern possibilities of technology. The theme of the inculturation of Sacred Scripture is also linked to the translation and diffusion of the Bible, which must be increased", said Archbishop Eterovic. "The Word of God and Inter-religious Dialogue" is the title of chapter four. "Having established the value and topicality of inter-religious dialogue, 'Verbum Domini' ... supplies some important guidelines concerning dialogue between Christians and Muslims, and with members of other non-Christian religions, within the framework of a religious liberty which involves not only the freedom to profess one's faith in private and in public, but also freedom of conscience; in other words, of choosing one's religion". In the conclusion, Archbishop Eterovic concluded his explanations, the Holy Father reiterates his exhortation to all Christians "to become increasingly familiar with Sacred Scripture".EXOR/ VIS 20101111 (970)

VATICAN LIBRARY: HISTORICAL MEMORY OF UNIVERSAL CHURCH VATICAN CITY, 11 NOV 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father has written a Letter to Cardinal Raffaele Farina S.D.B., archivist and librarian of Holy Roman Church, to mark the reopening of the Vatican Apostolic Library and the inauguration of an exhibition entitled: "Knowing the Vatican Library. A History Open to the Future". "Pre-eminent location of the universal Church's historical memory, home to venerable examples of the manuscript tradition of the Bible, the Vatican Library yet has another reason justifying the attention and concern of Popes. Since its origins it has always shown an unmistakeable openness, truly 'Catholic' and universal, to all the beauty and goodness ... which humankind has produced over the course of the centuries". "Nothing of what is truly human is foreign to the Church which, for this reason, has always sought, gathered and conserved - with a continuity that knows few equals - the finest results of man's efforts to raise himself above the purely material plane as he searches, either consciously or unconsciously, for the Truth". "The Vatican Library is not, then, a theological or prevalently religious library. Faithful to is humanistic origins it is, by vocation, open to all things human, and thus it is remains at the service of culture. ... Also through the efforts of this institution, the Church intends today - as she did five centuries ago - to serve all mankind, inscribing this particular ministry into the broader picture of the essential ministry that makes her Church: the community that evangelises and saves".MESS/ VIS 20101111 (260)

POPE WRITES TO KOREAN PRESIDENT FOR G20 MEETING VATICAN CITY, 11 NOV 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father has sent a Message to Lee Myung-bak, president of The Republic of Korea, for the occasion of the meeting of heads of State and government of the world's most industrialised countries (G20), which begins today in Seoul. The meeting, writes the Pope in his English-language Letter, "is not only of global importance but also clearly expresses the significance and responsibility which Asia has acquired on the international scene at the beginning of the twenty-first century". "The Catholic Church, in accordance with her specific nature, regards herself as involved and shares the concerns of the leaders who will take part in the Seoul Summit. I therefore encourage you to tackle the numerous serious problems facing you - and which, in a sense, face every human person today - bearing in mind the deeper reasons for the economic and financial crisis and giving due consideration to the consequences of the measures adopted to overcome the crisis itself, and to seek lasting, sustainable and just solutions. "In doing so", the Holy Father adds, "it is my hope that there will be a keen awareness that the solutions adopted, as such, will work only if, in the final analysis, they are aimed at reaching the same goal: the authentic and integral development of man. The world's attention focuses on you and it expects that appropriate solutions will be adopted to overcome the crisis, with common agreements which will not favour some countries at the expense of others".MESS/ VIS 20101111 (270)

LETTER FROM THE HOLY FATHER TO THE PRESIDENT OF IRAN VATICAN CITY, 11 NOV 2010 (VIS) - Made public today was a Letter from Benedict XVI addressed to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, president of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The Letter was delivered by Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue, during a meeting with President Ahmadinejad on 9 November in Tehran. In his Letter, written in response to a message sent to him by the vice president of Iran, the Pope expresses his "profound conviction that respect for the transcendent dimension of the human person is an indispensable condition for the construction of a just social order and a stable peace. Indeed, the relationship with God is the ultimate foundation for the inalienable dignity and sacred character of every human life. "When the promotion of the dignity of the human person is the primary inspiration of political and social activity that is committed to search for the common good, solid and enduring foundations are created for building peace and harmony between peoples", the Pope adds. "The Catholics present in Iran and those around the world make efforts to collaborate with their fellow citizens to contribute loyally and honestly to the common good of the respective societies in which they live, becoming builders of peace and reconciliation".BXVI-LETTER/ VIS 20101111 (220)

AUDIENCES VATICAN CITY, 11 NOV 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences: - Thirteen prelates from the National Conference of Bishops of Brazil, on their "ad limina" visit: - Bishop Volodemer Koubetch O.S.B.M. of Sao Joao Batista em Curitiba of the Ukrainians. - Bishop Antonio Braz Benevente of Jacarezinho. - Archbishop Anuar Battisti of Maringa. - Bishop Francisco Javier Del Valle Paredes of Campo Mourao. - Fr. Ilson Luiz Da Graca, diocesan administrator of Paranavai. - Bishop Sergio Aparecido Colombo of Braganca Paulista. - Msgr. Jose Dantas De Sousa, diocesan administrator of Umuarama. - Bishop Vicente Costa of Jundiai. - Archbishop Mauro Aparecido dos Santos of Cascavel. - Bishop Laurindo Guizzardi C.S., emeritus of Foz do Iguacu. - Bishop Jose Anonio Peruzzo of Palmas - Francisco Beltrao. - Bishop Francisco Carlos Bach of Toledo. - Bishop Giovanni Zerbini S.D.B., emeritus of Guarapuava. - Bishop Gerhard Ludwig Muller of Regensburg, Germany.AL/ VIS 20101111 (160)

OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS VATICAN CITY, 11 NOV 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Bishop Lourdes Daniel of Amravati, India, apostolic administrator of Nashik, India, as bishop of Nashik (area 57,532, population 21,020,000, Catholics 93,300, priests 105, religious 422).
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Asia News report: The Muslim scholar Asghar Ali Engineer accuses the blasphemy law of being un-Islamic and proposes an international campaign. He points his finger at the Pakistani government’s silence and that of many governments around the world. The All Indian Christian Council calls on New Delhi to submit the case to the UN Commission on Human Rights. Among the messages: "Silence is a second death sentence" for Asia Bibi. New Delhi (AsiaNews) - "We need to save Asia Bibi’s life", the Pakistani Christian sentenced to death for blasphemy and this is why “it is urgent to launch a campaign sustained by human rights leaders and governments ... We must not remain silent ": this is the appeal that Prof. Asghar Ali Engineer, an Indian Muslim scholar launches through AsiaNews. Other messages sent to AsiaNews demand action by the international community to save Asia Bibi with a campaign similar to that launched to save the live of Sakineh, the Iranian woman who is on death row, convicted of adultery.Asia was sentenced to death last Nov. 7 by a court in Punjab. She was arrested for blasphemy in June 2009, after an argument with some of her colleagues in which she defended her religion. The other women, who are agricultural workers like Asia and her two daughters, were pushing her to renounce Christianity and embrace Islam. Asia Bibi replied by speaking about how Jesus died on the cross for the sins of mankind, and asked other women what Muhammad had done for them. The women then beat her and her daughters and egged on by the local imam and a group of men they accused her of blasphemy. The police took her into custody, saving her from a ferocious crowd. But after more than a year in prison she has been sentenced to death."In Pakistan, says the Prof. Asghar, it is becoming increasingly evident, as in the case of Aisa that blasphemy laws have become convenient instruments in the hands of anyone who chooses to target minorities. The Blasphemy Law, is un-Islamic and was introduced to legitimise dictator Gen Ziaul-Haq’s regime, and it makes little effort to ascribe to the evidentiary or doctrinal standards of classical Islamic law"."This shameful law - said the Muslim scholar, director of the Centre for Society and Secularism - are used with impunity against minority religious communities by those motivated by personal enmity, by those motivated by monetary material or political gain or even land grabbing Even indirect inferences are drawn and the accused is arrested under Blasphemy Law….there is nothing religious about".Asghar Ali Engineer's plea comes almost simultaneously with the condemnation of the ruling by the All India Christian Council (AICC). In a statement released yesterday by the Secretary-General, the Catholic John Dayal, AICC The Council asked the Indian government to raise the mater with the United Nations Human Rights Council, the Pakistani Government and with other international for a to save the life of the woman”.Prof. Asghar points his finger at the government: "The government of Pakistan - he tells AsiaNews - is responsible for ensuring the protection of minorities. We can only condemn these cruel acts against humanity. It must be said with sadness when the governments of many respectable nations remain silent, we can only condemn these acts. For this reason it is essential to start an international campaign to stop this. "Among the several messages that have arrived at AsiaNews there is one that says: "It is only natural to wonder where all those people are who until the other day claimed to be scandalized and offended by the shameful situation of Sakineh , and who now ignore (or pretend to ignore) yet another case of persecution and injustice to a person of Christian faith ... The silence and indifference of the world, including many Christians (now accustomed to the persecution of Christians in the world), is a second death sentence".
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Catholic Herald report: An Irishman who was promised by a judge that he would be spared time in prison if he undertook a religious pilgrimage and said “a few prayers” has completed the task and raised about £2,500 for charity in the process. Joseph McElwee had been convicted of drunken behavior and verbally abusing a police officer and faced a prison sentence. However, in March, Judge Seamus Hughes came up with a novel opportunity for McElwee to avoid prison time and ordered him to climb Ireland’s holiest mountain, Croagh Patrick in County Mayo.Mr McElwee reported to the court this week and showed the judge photographs of himself and 13 friends on top of the roughly 2,500ft mountain where St Patrick fasted for 40 days in the fifth century.At the time of his conviction, the judge said: “I want you to come back with evidence that you did the four stations of Croagh Patrick and say a few prayers. You then might have a different impression of County Mayo and its people.”The police officer whom Mr McElwee insulted grew up near the mountain.Mr McElwee told the judge he regretted what he had done and had managed to raise money for charity during the climb. The judge asked if he had found climbing the mountain therapeutic and Mr McElwee said he had.“I hope that when you come out of a pub in the beautiful village of Rathmullan in future, you take in a deep breath of fresh air from nearby Lough Swilly and you will appreciate that gardai are there for your own protection,” the judge said.Judge Hughes ordered half of the cash to be given to a local hospice and the other half donated to an adult mental health services program. He asked Mr McElwee to write a note to be included with the donations explaining the circumstances.While community service orders are common for less serious offences, it is believed to be the first time that an Irish judge has ordered someone to undertake a pilgrimage in lieu of a prison sentence. The judge’s initiative at keeping someone out of prison may prove popular with the cash-strapped Irish government, which is considering £5.1 billion in cuts to public spending.
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AGENZIA FIDES REPORT: The Church does not seek or demand privileges, but a juridical system that respects its mission; 90th Bishops' Assembly beginsMexico City (Agenzia Fides) – The 90th Plenary Assembly of the Mexican Bishops' Conference has begun. The opening ceremony was marked by an exchange of very significant messages. The presence of the constitutional President of Mexico, Felipe Calderón Hinojosa, along with his wife, Margarita Zavala, has been of great significance, especially when he addressed the lack of security in the country as a result of corruption and extortion, drug trafficking and the increase in violence by organized crime.In the presence of the Apostolic Nuncio, the President of the Bishops' Conference of Mexico, Bishop Carlos Aguiar Retes, in his opening speech presented elements of importance for all Mexican people. He said that society needs guarantees in the area of religious freedom and that the Church does not ask for privileges, but for a legal framework that respects the fulfillment of her mission. These are the words of Bishop Aguiar Retes: "A genuine democracy, one to which we aspire and which we want in Mexico, is one that guarantees basic human rights for all citizens. The Church does not seek or ask for privileges, but calls for a democratic legal framework for the development of a frank and positive cooperation in order to overcome social problems."After the speech, the President of Mexico, in "a cordial and open dialogue" (as written in the note from the Bishops' Conference), said that the government is taking integral action and is decided not to leave Mexicans in the hands of organized crime. The government is committed to the fight against crime and will carry out this fight with a well-trained police force and with the help of citizens in order to fight drug trafficking, strengthening the judicial system and by offering educational opportunities, employment, sports, and cultural opportunities to Mexicans, especially the youth. Finally, the President said it is very important that there is coordination among the different levels of government and society, in search of an ethical conscience in order to act with respect to others.
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ALL AFRICA REPORT: The Catholic nuns from the congregation of the Missionary Sisters of the Precious Blood are mourning the loss of one of their nuns who will be buried today, November 9, 2010 in Nairobi, Kenya.CISA learned that, Sr Maria Pacis Voegel died on November 2, 2010 while undergoing treatment at the Mater Hospital in Nairobi where she was admitted on October 20, following a short illness.As her condition deteriorated she was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) where she succumbed in the late evening of her birthday in the presence of the hospital chaplain.Her requiem mass will be held at the St Austin's Parish at 2pm, followed by burial at St Austin's Cemetery. The mass will be presided over by Fr Eddie Karhof.Sr Maria Pacis was born on November 2, 1931 in Schwarzenberg (Voralberg) Austria. She made her first profession on December 8, 1959 and her final profession in 1962.After her studies in Neuenbeken, Germany, London and Rome she was sent to East African Province, Riruta, Kenya in 1973.She headed the congregation's schools in Kilungu, Kagwe and Riruta. She was the House Superior of the provincial convent in Riruta from 2002 to 2006.The late nun was then sent to Star of Hope Centre in Juja, where she was in charge of the convent and farm where she fell ill and was hospitalized.According to a sister who declined to be quoted, "the late nun was a very special person in the sister's congregation."According to those who knew her well, Education for Life was her motto as she prepared and guided hundreds of students through the Kenya Certificate for Secondary Education (KCSE).According to the Missionary Sisters of the Precious Blood, "Sr Maria Pacis life and vocation was a true gift to our congregation and in a special way to our East African Province. She used her God-given natural potential and talents to the fullest, courageously, accepting challenges and difficulties of whatever nature."
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Cath News report: The World Union of Catholic Women's Organisation's Vice President General and Australian board member, Brenda Finlayson, has been awarded the Papal Honour of Dame of the Order of St. Gregory the Great.The award recognises her service to the Church, WUCWO, the Catholic Women's League Australia, the Catholic Women's League of Victoria and Wagga Wagga, and the Australian community.Brenda will be invested by Bishop Peter Connors at St. Patrick's Cathedral, Ballarat, this month.Founded in 1910, WUCWO now represents 100 Catholic women's organisations worldwide with a membership of more than 5 million women.WUCWO's aim is to promote the presence, participation and co-responsibility of Catholic women in society and the church, in order to enable them to fulfil their mission of evangelisation and to work for human development. WUCWO was the first international Catholic organisation to receive UN recognition as an NGO.In 2006, WUCWO was erected by the Holy See as a Public International Association of the Faithful.Brenda has served on the Board of WUCWO since 2001. Accompanying her husband, Peter, a retired agricultural scientist sometimes when he travelled to developing countries as well as postings to Spain, Brazil and later Hungary, after the fall of communism, led her to a deeper understanding of the importance of aid, "not just money but technical advice, education, and giving people the opportunity to better themselves".As WUCWO Vice President General, Brenda has been responsible for leading WUCWO's lobbyists in several key international agencies.Brenda says that although "the workload has been extremely demanding, I have been the recipient of many blessings, including the friendship of women from many other countries, the opportunity to meet with wonderful people in the countries visited in the course of my duties, and the interaction with senior Church personnel visited within the dicasteries of the Holy See."
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St. Martin of ToursBISHOP, CONFESSORFeast: November 11Information:Feast Day:November 11Born:316, Savaria, HungaryDied:November 8, 397, Candes, FrancePatron of:gainst poverty; against alcoholism; beggars; Beli Manastir; Buenos Aires; Burgenland; cavalry; Dieburg;

Edingen equestrians; Foiano della Chiana; France; geese; horses; hotel-keepers; innkeepers; Kortrijk; diocese of Mainz; Olpe; Pietrasanta; Pontifical Swiss Guards; quartermasters; reformed alcoholics; riders; diocese of Rottenburg-Stuttgart; soldiers; tailors; Utrecht; vintners; Virje; wine growers; wine makers; WissmannsdorfSt. Martin, called "the glory of Gaul," was born about the year 316 of pagan parents in Sabaria, Upper Pannonia, a province comprising northern Yugoslavia and western Hungary. His father was an officer in the Roman army who had risen from the ranks. While Martin was still a child, his father was transferred to a new station in Pavia, north Italy. Here the boy learned of Christianity, felt drawn to it, and became a catechumen. As the son of a veteran, at the age of fifteen he was required to begin service in the army. Though never shirking his military duty, he is said to have lived more like a monk than a soldier.Young Martin was stationed at Amiens, in Gaul, when the incident occurred which tradition and art have rendered so famous. As he rode towards the town one winter day, he noticed near the gates a poor man, thinly clad, shivering with cold, and begging alms. Martin saw that none who passed stopped to help the miserable fellow. He had nothing with him but the clothes he wore, but, drawing his sword from its scabbard, he cut his great woolen cloak in two pieces, gave one half to the beggar, and wrapped himself in the other. The following night,

the story continues, Martin in his sleep saw Jesus Christ, surrounded by angels, and dressed in the half of the cloak he had given away. A voice bade him look at it well and say whether he knew it. He then heard Jesus say to the angels, "Martin, as yet only a catechumen, has covered me with his cloak." Sulpicius Severus, the saint's friend and biographer, says that as a consequence of this vision Martin "flew to be baptized."When Martin was about twenty, some Teutonic tribes invaded Gaul, and with his comrades he went before the Emperor Julian to receive a war-bounty. Suddenly he was moved to refuse it. "Up to now," he said to Julian, "I have served you as a soldier; allow me henceforth to serve Christ. Give the bounty to these others who are going out to battle. I am a soldier of Christ and it is not lawful for me to fight." Julian, angered, accused Martin of cowardice; the young man replied that he was ready to go into battle the next day unarmed, and advance alone against the enemy in the name of Christ. He was taken off to prison, but discharged as soon as a truce had been made. He then went down to Poitiers, where the renowned Hilary had been bishop for many years. Hilary gladly received this early "conscientious objector" and ordained him deacon.Having heard in a dream a summons to revisit his home, Martin crossed the Alps, and from Milan went over to Pannonia. There he converted his mother and some other persons; his father he could not win. While in Illyricum he took sides against the Arians with so much zeal that he was publicly scourged and forced to leave. Back in Italy once more, on his way to Gaul, he learned that the Gallic Church was also under attack by the Arians, and that his good friend Hilary had been banished. He remained at Milan, but soon the Arian bishop, Auxentius, drove him away. Martin took refuge with a priest on the island of Gallinaria, in the gulf of Genoa, and stayed there until Hilary returned to Poitiers in 360. It had become Martin's desire to pursue his religious calling in solitude, and Hilary gave him a small piece of land in central France, now called Liguge. He was joined by other hermits and holy men, and the community grew into a monastery, the first, it is said, to be founded in Gaul. It survived until 1607; in 1852 it was rebuilt by the Benedictines of Solesmes.For ten years Martin lived there, directing the life of his disciples and preaching in outlying places. Many miracles were attributed to him. About the year 371, Lidorius, bishop of Tours, died, and the people demanded Martin in his place. Martin was so reluctant to accept the office that they resorted to stratagem and called him to the city to give his blessing to a sick person, then forcibly conveyed him to the church. When neighboring bishops were summoned to confirm this choice, they thought the monk's poor and unkempt appearance proved him unfit for the office, but they were overruled by the acclamations of the local clergy and the people. Even as a bishop, Martin lived an austere life. Unable to endure the constant interruptions, he retired from Tours to a retreat that was later to become the famous abbey of Marmoutier. The site was enclosed by a steep cliff on one side and by a tributary of the Loire River on the other. Here Martin and some of the monks who followed him built cells of wood; others lived in caves dug out of the rock. In a short time their number grew, with many men of high rank among them. From this time on bishops were frequently chosen from Marmoutier, for the holy Martin took the greatest pains in the training of priests.Martin's piety and preaching resulted in the decline of paganism in that part of Gaul. He destroyed temples and felled trees which the heathen held sacred. Once when he had demolished a certain temple, he proceeded to the cutting down of a pine tree that stood near. The chief priest and other pagans there offered to cut it down themselves, on condition that he who trusted so strongly in his God would stand under it wherever they would place him. The bishop agreed and allowed himself to be tied and placed on the side towards which the tree was leaning. Just as it seemed about to fall on him, he made the sign of the cross, at which the tree fell in the other direction. Another time, as he was pulling down a temple in the vicinity of Autun, a crowd of pagans fell on him in fury, one brandishing a sword. Martin stood and bared his breast, at sight of which the armed man fell backwards, and in terror begged forgiveness. These marvels are narrated by Sulpicius Severus, who also describes various revelations and visions with which Martin was favored.Once a year the bishop visited each of his parishes, traveling on foot, or by donkey or boat. He continued to set up monastic communities, and extended the bounds of his episcopate from Touraine to such distant points as Chartres, Paris, Autun, and Vienne. At Vienne, according to his biographer, he cured Paulinus of Nola of a disease of the eyes. When a brutal imperial officer, Avitianus, arrived at Tours with a band of prisoners he planned to torture to death on the following day, Martin, on being informed of this, hurried in from Marmoutier to intercede for them. Reaching the city near midnight, he went straight to the quarters of Avitianus and did not leave until the officer promised mercy to his captives.The churches of other parts of Gaul and in Spain were being disturbed by the Priscillianists, an ascetic sect, named for its leader, Priscillian, bishop of Avila. A synod held at Bordeaux in 384 had condemned his doctrines, but he had appealed to Emperor Maximus. Meanwhile, Ithacius, the orthodox bishop of Ossanova, had attacked him and urged the emperor to have

him put to death. Neither Ambrose at Milan, however, nor Martin at Tours would hold communion with Ithacius or his supporters, because they had appealed to the emperor in a dispute over doctrine, and now were trying to punish a heretic with death. Martin wrote to reprove Ithacius severely. It was sufficient, he said, that Priscillian should be branded as a heretic and excommunicated by the bishops. Maximus, yielding to Martin's remonstrances, ordered the trial deferred and even promised that there should be no bloodshed, but afterwards he was persuaded to turn the case over to his prefect Evodius. He found Priscillian and some others guilty on several charges and had them beheaded. At this news, Martin went to Treves to intercede for the lives of all the Spanish Priscillianists who were threatened with a bloody persecution, and also for two men under suspicion as adherents of the late Emperor Gratian. As a condition before granting this request, Maximus stipulated that Martin should resume communion with the intolerant Ithacius and his party. Since they were not excommunicated, this was no violation of any canon, and he accordingly promised the emperor that he would do so, provided the emperor would pardon the two partisans of Gratian and recall the military tribunes he had sent to Spain. The next day Martin received the Sacrament with the Ithacians in order to save so many people from slaughter; yet he was afterwards troubled in conscience as to whether he had been too yielding. For their part in the affair both the emperor and Ithacius were censured by Pope Siricius. It was the first judicial death sentence for heresy, and it had the effect of spreading Priscillianism in Spain.Martin had premonitions of his approaching death and predicted it to his disciples, who besought him not to leave them. "Lord," he prayed, "if Thy people still need me, I will not draw back from the work. Thy will be done." When his final sickness came upon him, he was at Candes, in a remote part of his diocese. The monks entreated him to allow them at least to put a sheet under him and make his last hours comfortable. "It becomes not a Christian," said Martin, "to die otherwise than upon ashes. I shall have sinned if I leave you any other example." He lay with eyes and hands raised to Heaven, until the brothers begged him to turn on one side to rest his body a little. "Allow me, my brethren," he answered, "to look towards Heaven rather than to earth, that my soul may be ready to take its flight to the Lord."On November 8 he died, and three days later was buried at Tours. Two thousand monks and nuns gathered for his funeral. His successor built a chapel over his grave, which was replaced by a fine basilica. A still later church on this site was destroyed during the French Revolution, but a modern one has since been built there. Throughout the Middle Ages, the knightly Martin, who shared his cloak with a beggar, was the subject of innumerable anecdotes, which expressed the love and veneration of the people. His tomb became a national shrine in France, of which country he is patron saint, and one of the most popular pilgrimage places of Europe. St. Martin is patron of the cities of Wurtburg and Buenos Aires. Many churches in France and elsewhere have been dedicated to him. His emblems are a tree, armor, a cloak, and a beggar.
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TODAY'S GOSPEL: NOV. 11: Luke 17: 20 - 25
Luke 17: 20 - 2520Being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God was coming, he answered them, "The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed;21nor will they say, `Lo, here it is!' or `There!' for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you."22And he said to the disciples, "The days are coming when you will desire to see one of the days of the Son of man, and you will not see it.23And they will say to you, `Lo, there!' or `Lo, here!' Do not go, do not follow them.24For as the lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one side to the other, so will the Son of man be in his day.25But first he must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation.
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TODAY'S GOSPEL: NOV. 10: Luke 17: 11 - 19 -


POPE RECOLLECTS HIS APOSTOLIC TRIP TO SPAIN VATICAN CITY, 10 NOV 2010 (VIS report) - During his general audience, held this morning in the Paul VI Hall, Benedict XVI reminisced about his recent apostolic trip to the Spanish cities of Santiago de Compostela and Barcelona. "I went there", he said, "to strengthen my brothers and sisters in the faith, and I did so as a witness of the Risen Christ and a sower of the hope that does not disappoint and does not fail". From the beginning of the trip, during the welcome ceremony at Santiago de Compostela, "I was able to experience the affection the people of Spain feel towards Peter's Successor", he said. "In this Holy Year of Compostela, I wished to become a pilgrim, along with the many others who have journeyed to that famous shrine". In the cathedral of Santiago, "where with great emotion I gave the traditional embrace to the saint, I thought how that gesture of welcome and friendship is, in fact, ... a powerful sign of the desire to conform ourselves to the apostolic message. This message, on the one hand, commits us to being faithful custodians of the Good News the Apostles transmitted, without succumbing to the temptation to alter it, diminish it or distort it to other interests while, on the other, it makes each of us tireless announcers of faith in Christ, with the word and witness of our lives in all fields of society". The Holy Father then turned his attention to the reasons that make so many people leave their daily lives to follow the Route of Santiago. "In moments of confusion, of searching, of difficulty, and in the desire to strengthen their faith and live more coherent lives, the pilgrims of Compostela follow a profound itinerary of conversion to Christ Who took the weakness and sins of humanity, the misery of the world, on His own shoulders, and carried them to where evil no longer has any power and where the light of goodness illuminates all things. They are people from all over the world who walk silently, rediscovering the ancient mediaeval and Christen tradition of pilgrimage as they pass through towns and cities permeated by Catholicism". "It is faith in Christ that gives meaning to Compostela, an extraordinary spiritual place which continues to be a landmark for Europe today. ... Openness to the transcendent, and fruitful dialogue between faith and reason, between politics and religion, between economy and ethics, will enable us to build a Europe which, faithful to its vital Christian roots, can fully respond to its vocation. ... Thus, certain of the immense possibilities of the continent, and trusting in its hopeful future, I invited Europe to open itself to God and so favour prospects for authentic and respectful encounter, united with peoples and civilisations of other continents". Benedict XVI then spoke of the second stage of his apostolic trip, which took him to Barcelona where he consecrated the church of the Sagrada Familia and declared it as a minor basilica. Contemplating the beauty of that building, "which invites us to raise our gaze and our souls to heaven, to God, I recalled other great religious buildings, such as the cathedrals of the Middle Ages which have profoundly marked the history and appearance of the major European cities. "That splendid work, rich in religious symbolism, ... almost like an immense stone sculpture", he added, "draws us to the true shrine, the place of authentic worship, heaven, where Christ entered to appear before God on our behalf. The great architect of this magnificent temple brilliantly represented the mystery of the Church into which the faithful are incorporated by Baptism as living stones in the construction of a spiritual edifice". The church of the Sagrada Familia was conceived by its architect, Antoni Gaudi, "as an immense catechesis on Jesus Christ, as a hymn of praise to the Creator. ... Indeed, the extraordinarily expressive and symbolic capacity of the artistic forms and motifs, as well as the innovative architectural and sculptural techniques, evoke the supreme Source of all beauty", said the Pope. He then explained how Gaudi's own life, "from the moment he accepted the commission to build the church, ... was marked by a profound change" as he felt "the need to prepare himself spiritually in order to succeed in expressing the unfathomable mystery of God in material reality". The Holy Father went on: "In Barcelona I also visited the 'Obra Benefico-Social Nen Deu', ... where handicapped children and young people are cared for with love and professional skill. Their lives are precious in the eyes of God, and they are a constant invitation to us to abandon our own selfishness". Also in Barcelona, "I prayed intensely for families, the vital cells and the hope of society and of the Church. I also recalled people who suffer, especially at this time of severe economic difficulties. My thoughts also went to the young, ... that they may discover the beauty, value and commitment of Marriage in which a man and a woman form a family which generously accepts life and accompanies it from conception until natural end. Everything done to support marriage and the family, to help people in need, everything that serves to enhance man's greatness and his inviolable dignity, also helps to perfect society". The Pope concluded his remarks by rendering thanks to God "for the intense few days I spent in Santiago de Compostela and Barcelona". He expressed his gratitude "to the King and Queen of Spain, to the Prince and Princess of Asturias, to the authorities, ... to the archbishops of those two particular Churches", and to "everyone whose efforts ensured my visit to those two marvellous cities was fruitful. They were unforgettable days which will remain inscribed in my heart". Before this morning's general audience, in St. Peter's Basilica, the Pope had received a group of pilgrims from the Italian town of Carpineto Romano who had come to Rome to thank him for his visit there in September commemorating the bicentenary of the birth of Pope Leo XIII. Also in the basilica, the Pope then greeted a group of pilgrims from the Czech Republic, who had likewise come to Rome to return the visit the Pope had made to their country in September 2009. "I pray to the Lord", he told them, "that He will cause the grace of that journey to bear fruit, and I hope that the Christian people of the Czech Republic many continue to bear courageous witness to the Gospel, with renewed enthusiasm and in all places".AG/ VIS 20101110 (1100) Image source: Ghetty Images
OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS VATICAN CITY, 10 NOV 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed: - Bishop Jude Thaddeus Ruwa'ichi O.F.M. Cap. of Dodoma, Tanzania, president of the Tanzania Episcopal Conference, as metropolitan archbishop of Mwanza (area 19,592, population 3,257,000, Catholics 968,000, priests 79, religious 240), Tanzania. The archbishop-elect was born in Mulo-Kilema, Tanzania in 1954, he was ordained a priest in 1981 and consecrated a bishop in 1999. - Fr. Jaime Spengler O.F.M., guardian of the Fraternity of "Bom Jesus da Aldeia" at Campo Largo in the archdiocese of Curitiba, Brazil, as auxiliary of the archdiocese of Porto Alegre (area 13,753, population 3,227,700, Catholics 2,401,782, priests 353, permanent deacons 56, religious 1,750), Brazil. The bishop-elect was born in Blumenau, Brazil in 1960 and ordained a priest in 1990. - Claude Prudhomme, professor of modern history at the University "Louis Lumiere - Lyon 2" in Lyon, France, as a member of the Pontifical Committee for Historical Sciences.
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AsiaNews REPORT -A series of attacks this morning with mortars and homemade bombs. The prime minister pays a visit to the Syrian Catholic Church attacked by al-Qaeda and calls on Christians not to leave the country. Meanwhile the first survivors arrive in France, for receive special treatment.Three dead and 26 injuries is the provisional death toll from a series of attacks against Christian homes this morning in different districts of Baghdad. Between 6 and 8 this morning, two mortar shells and dozens of homemade bombs exploded in front of the homes of the faithful.Last night in the capital three other Christian houses were hit by bombs, without causing any victims. Despite this, the Prime Minister al Maliki is urging Christians not to abandon the country.The latest attacks come only 10 days after the October 31 attack on the Syrian Catholic Church of Our Lady of Salvation, and after threats from Al Qaeda to eliminate Christians from the Middle East. The attack on the parish killed 44 faithful, two priests and seven security guards. About 90 people were injured. Of these, the first group (37, to be followed by those remaining) arrived in France on Nov. 8 to receive treatment offered by the European nation, the only one to propose such support.Yesterday, Prime Minister al-Maliki visited the church of Our Lady of Salvation and urged his fellow Christians not to leave the country. Praising the "noble" gesture of France, al-Maliki said that "it must not be an incentive to emigrate." He recalled that in his meeting with Benedict XVI, in 2008, had asked the Pope "not to allow the East be emptied of Christians, nor the West of Muslims"."We ask - he said – for an end to the emigration of Christians, that the phenomenon does not return, and we will do everything possible so that the array of flowers of Iraq's communities remain complete and united".Al-Maliki also offered his condolences to the families of the victims: "The equality of Christians and other Iraqis - he said - is a sacred duty."Eric Besson, the French Minister of Immigration has made it clear that Christians survivors of the attack in Baghdad will benefit political asylum. "This message of support – he added - does not mean that France and Europe, are inviting the Christians of the East and Iraq to leave their countries. Rather it is our responsibility and desire to help them live in security in their countries of origin. "On 8 November two other believers were killed in front of their homes in the Iraqi capital.Before the U.S. invasion in 2003, the Christian community in Iraq counted almost a million faithful, that number has now dropped below 500 thousand
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EUROPE: SCOTLAND: NEW ORDER OF NUNS PROMOTES LIFE REPORT– The erosion of British society, with its increasing levels of violent crime, family breakdown and drug and alcohol abuse, is directly related to the passage of the 1967 Abortion Act and the devaluing of human life that came of it, Sister Roseann Reddy, of the Sisters of the Gospel of Life, told in an interview.“Is it all connected? Yes,” she said. “Is there a connection between this and the fact that we have one of the longest-running abortion laws in history? Yes, I think it is all connected.”Sr. Roseann, the foundress of the pro-life religious community, was a featured speaker at the Viva la Vida conference in Dublin held by Ireland’s leading pro-life activist group Youth Defence November 5-7. She described the situation in Britain as “very dire.”“Because when you lose respect for human life at its early stages, you begin to lose respect for human life at any stage. And it affects everything.”She related the destruction of children, made legal under British law in 1967, to the spiritual, emotional and physical destruction of women, “of family life, of the relationship between men and women, it all has an effect. And we live that every day, we see it every day.”The erosion of civil society in Britain, much commented upon by Prime Minister David Cameron who has repeatedly called Britain “broken,” “doesn’t happen by accident,” Sr. Roseann said. “There are causes behind it, and I’m convinced that the legalization of abortion is one of the biggest causes.”The three-member community of sisters runs one of Britain’s best known crisis pregnancy counseling and social assistance centers in Glasgow, the Cardinal Winning Pro-life Initiative, a project Sr. Roseann began with the approval and help of the late Thomas Winning, Cardinal Archbishop of Glasgow, in January 2000. The sisters are the first new female religious community to be formed in Scotland for over one hundred and fifty years.The purpose of the sisters is to live the challenge laid out by Pope John Paul II’s landmark encyclical, Evangelium Vitae, to “uphold the belief that every person is a unique individual and has infinite dignity conferred on them through their creation in the image and likeness of God.”She said that the foundation of her religious community stemmed “from a need of the times” to address the damage done to women and society by abortion and the contraceptive mentality.“When we didn’t have the education system that we have now, the great teaching orders evolved. When we didn’t have the social services we have now, all the groups like the Daughters of Charity (of St. Vincent de Paul) all came. When we didn’t have the medical system, that’s when the nursing orders came.“So that’s where our order stems from. From a need of the times. For us, the greatest need was to uphold and defend human life from the moment of conception, to attack this ‘culture of death’.”Sister Roseann’s community currently has three members, and she said she is hopeful about future growth. Comparing her community to the New York-based Sisters of Life, which has seen large numbers of women join in recent years, Sister Roseann said that vocations to the religious life do not come in numbers from a chronically morally broken society.“We’re not going to get vocations from contracepting families. If all their married life, Catholic families have been contracepting, there has been this barrier between God and themselves at the very heart of the relationship, at the very heart of their marriage, of the sacramental bringing together.”“Vocation is nine times out of ten from the Church in the home, from people who are nurtured in the faith,” she said. “And if you have never in your married life been generous with God, then you’re not going to want to give your child up, one of your 1.2 children, to religious life.”She added, “It is a real problem because however difficult the issue of abortion is, once you start to talk about not just the contraceptive mentality, but the reality of contraception and what it’s doing to our society, I think that’s a very real problem with vocations.”She laid the responsibility for the lack of knowledge about the faith at the feet of the Catholic Church’s authorities, who have allowed Catholic education to become “woefully inadequate for the last 40 years,” which has caused a “massive melt-down in the teaching of the faith.”“A lot of people simply don’t know that the Church is against contraception, or if they do, they accept it on the grounds of ‘individual conscience’. They forget the whole part about how you have to inform your conscience in light of the Church’s teaching. And not inform your conscience in the light of Oprah.” The Sisters of the Gospel of Life have focused on contraception as well as abortion because, “people are getting damaged.” The youngest pregnant girl the sisters ever dealt with at the Glasgow centre was 12 years old. “It’s just ridiculous that a twelve year-old girl is getting pregnant.”“The problem is not that she’s having a baby; the problem is that a 12 year old is having sex.”Sr. Roseann is hopeful about the future, however. Catholics and other pro-life people around Britain, she said, look to the Cardinal Winning Initiative for the leadership that is lacking from the Church’s hierarchy. “People love being part of the pro-life initiative. We get a lot of support from people.“When people come they’re always amazed at how happy and friendly and joyful it is. And that is telling of itself, that people come and are amazed that a pro-life thing is happy. I think, well, how can it be anything else?”“All you can do is fight back. All you can do is do what you think God is calling you to do. You just do your best, day in and day out. We’re not in charge of anything. God is in charge.”
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USCCB REPORT: Cardinal George Urges President Obama to Take Measures to Protect Iraqi Citizens in Wake of AttacksWASHINGTON (November 10, 2010) — Following the October 31 assault on the Syrian Catholic cathedral in Baghdad and subsequent violence, Chicago Cardinal Francis George, OMI, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, urged President Obama to “take additional steps now to help Iraq protect its citizens, especially Christians and others who are victims of organized attacks.”“Having invaded Iraq, our nation has a moral obligation not to abandon those Iraqis who cannot defend themselves,” Cardinal George wrote in a November 9 letter. At a minimum, he said the U.S. must work with Iraqis and the international community to: “enable the Iraqi government to function for the common good of all Iraqis; build the capacity of Iraq’s military and police to provide security for all citizens, including minorities; improve the judicial system and rule of law; promote reconciliation and the protection of human rights, especially religious freedom; rebuild Iraq’s shattered economy so that Iraqis can support their families; and assist refugees and internally displaced Iraqis.”Full text of the letter follows:Dear Mr. President:The October 31 attack on the Syrian Catholic cathedral in Baghdad that killed 58 and wounded 75, together with the recent wave of bombings in Iraq’s capital, are grim evidence of the savage violence and lack of security that has plagued the Iraqi people, especially Christians and other minorities, for over seven years. Some reports even indicate that the October 31 attack may have been more extensive and the failures of security more egregious than originally thought. Enclosed you will find a press release by the Most Reverend Yousif Habash, Bishop of the Eparchy of Our Lady of Deliverance of Newark for Syrian Catholics.In the recent Synod of Bishops on the Middle East in Rome, the bishops from Iraq spoke of the terrifying situation facing Christians and other minorities in that country. They recalled murders, kidnappings, bombings, and naked threats that have forced many Christians from their homes and businesses. Ironically, just two weeks before the October 31 attack, Archbishop Athanase Matti Shaba Matoka of the Syrian Catholic Church in Iraq, whose cathedral was the site of the October 31 attack, addressed the Synod: “The invasion of Iraq by America and its allies brought to Iraq in general, and especially to its Christians, destruction and ruin on all levels. … Seven years have passed and Christianity is still bleeding. Where is the world conscience? All the world remains a spectator before what is happening in Iraq, especially with regards to Christians.”Archbishop Matoka’s strong words remind us of the moral responsibility that the United States bears for working effectively with the Iraqi government to stem the violence. Prior to the war, our Conference of Bishops raised grave moral questions regarding the possibility of U.S. military intervention in Iraq and warned of “unpredictable consequences.” The decimation of the Christian community in Iraq and the continuing violence that threatens all Iraqis are among those tragic consequences.Our troops have served with bravery and distinction, and we welcome the end of U.S.-led combat in Iraq; however, the United States has so far failed in helping Iraqis to develop the political will needed to deploy effective strategies to protect the lives of all citizens, especially Christians and other vulnerable minorities. More must be done to help ensure that refugees and displaced persons are able to return to their homes safely. Having invaded Iraq, our nation has a moral obligation not to abandon those Iraqis who cannot defend themselves.The murderous attack on innocent Christians gathered for worship witnesses to the need for the United States to redouble its efforts to assist Iraq as our engagement enters a new phase. At a minimum, our country must strengthen its work with Iraqis and the international community to: enable the Iraqi government to function for the common good of all Iraqis; build the capacity of Iraq’s military and police to provide security for all citizens, including minorities; improve the judicial system and rule of law; promote reconciliation and the protection of human rights, especially religious freedom; rebuild Iraq’s shattered economy so that Iraqis can support their families; and assist refugees and internally displaced Iraqis.To meet its moral obligations to the Iraqi people, it is critically important that the United States take additional steps now to help Iraq protect its citizens, especially Christians and others who are victims of organized attacks. Thank you for your kind consideration of this urgent request.Sincerely yours,Francis Cardinal George, O.M.I.Archbishop of ChicagoPresident
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Agenzia Fides – Bishops' note on 35th anniversary of independence: “We recognize the progress made, however more needs to be done.”Tomorrow, November 11, Angola will celebrate its 35th anniversary of national independence. "Of these 35 years, 27 have been spent in a climate of war and 8 in a climate of peace. In time of war, many wounds have been opened in the heart of the Angolans, which, fortunately, are healing. We pray to the Lord that this healing is complete, without the risk of any repercussions," say the Bishops of Angola in a pastoral note published on the occasion."We welcome the progress made in these eight years of peace: the lines of communication, in themselves vital to progress, have improved, giving credit to the government and easing the lives of citizens. In particular, links with the capital from the suburbs have seen a major breakthrough," says the note. "With no less joy, we welcome the schools established in the municipal and local centers of the country, as well as health facilities."The bishops continue: "However, we recognize that further progress is needed. Not only schools, but also the basic health services, should be established in our villages so that every patient, pregnant women included, can receive due attention."Among other basic services that the bishops consider appropriate to provide to all Angolans are drinking water, electricity, and modern communications systems.The memo also calls for recognition of the Church's contribution in the educational and social sectors: "Helping the Church rebuild its schools and its health infrastructure is not an extra; it is a way of cooperating in the country's development."The bishops finally expressed there concern at the increase of victims of road accidents and domestic violence, and also called for respect for the environment.
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Cath News report: A retired Australian Anglican bishop is among five local priests who have joined the Catholic Church, reports The Australian.David Silk, a former Bishop of Ballarat, joined four other bishops who expressed their "dismay" and "distress" at the church's liberal direction and that they believed that modern reforms, including women bishops, were "incompatible" with historic Anglicanism.Bishop David Robarts, chairman of Anglican traditionalist group Forward in Faith Australia, said disaffected Australian clergy were preparing to form a new Catholic ordinate as soon as Easter."It's unlikely there will be a huge number (of lay converts) to begin with, but once the process begins, it is open to continuing indefinitely," he said."We just don't know at the moment because people are yet to indicate whether they will come or not."It's probably going to be a slower process here."
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St. Leo the GreatPOPEFeast: November 10Information:Feast Day:November 10Born:400 at Tuscany, ItalyDied:11 April 461 at Rome, ItalyPlace and date of birth unknown; died 10 November, 461. Leo's pontificate, next to that of St. Gregory I, is the most significant and important in Christian antiquity. At a time when the Church was experiencing the greatest obstacles to her progress in consequence of the hastening disintegration of the Western Empire, while the Orient was profoundly agitated over dogmatic controversies, this great pope, with far-seeing sagacity and powerful hand, guided the destiny of the Roman and Universal Church. According to the "Liber Pontificalis" (ed. Mommsen, I, 101 sqq., ed. Duchesne, I, 238 sqq.), Leo was a native of Tuscany and his father's name was Quintianus. Our earliest certain historical information about Leo reveals him a deacon of the Roman Church under Pope Celestine I (422-32). Even during this period he was known outside of Rome, and had some relations with Gaul, since Cassianus in 430 or 431 wrote at Leo's suggestion his work "De Incarnatione Domini contra Nestorium" (Migne, P.L., L, 9 sqq.), prefacing it with a letter of dedication to Leo. About this time Cyril of Alexandria appealed to Rome against the pretensions of Bishop Juvenal of Jerusalem. From an assertion of Leo's in a letter of later date (ep. cxvi, ed. Ballerini, I, 1212; II, 1528), it is not very clear whether Cyril wrote to him in the capacity of Roman deacon, or to Pope Celestine. During the pontificate of Sixtus III (422-40), Leo was sent to Gaul by Emperor Valentinian III to settle a dispute and bring about a reconciliation between Aëtius, the chief military commander of the province, and the chief magistrate, Albinus. This commission is a proof of the great confidence placed in the clever and able deacon by the Imperial Court. Sixtus III died on 19 August, 440, while Leo was in Gaul, and the latter was chosen his successor. Returning to Rome, Leo was consecrated on 29 September of the same year, and governed the Roman Church for the next twenty-one years.Leo's chief aim was to sustain the unity of the Church. Not long after his elevation to the Chair of Peter, he saw himself compelled to combat energetically the heresies which seriously threatened church unity even in the West. Leo had ascertained through Bishop Septimus of Altinum, that in Aquileia priests, deacons, and clerics, who had been adherents of Pelagius, were admitted to communion without an explicit abjuration of their heresy. The pope sharply censured this procedure, and directed that a provincial synod should be assembled in Aquileia, at which such persons were to be required to abjure Pelagianism publicly and to subscribe to an unequivocal confession of Faith (epp. i and ii). This zealous pastor waged war even more strenuously against Manichæism, inasmuch as its adherents, who had been driven from Africa by the Vandals, had settled in Rome, and had succeeded in establishing a secret Manichæan community there. The pope ordered the faithful to point out these heretics to the priests, and in 443, together with the senators and presbyters, conducted in person an investigation, in the course of which the leaders of the community were examined. In several sermons he emphatically warned the Christians of Rome to be on their guard against this reprehensible heresy, and repeatedly charged them to give information about its followers, their dwellings, acquaintances, and rendezvous (Sermo ix, 4, xvi, 4; xxiv, 4; xxxiv, 4 sq.; xlii, 4 sq.; lxxvi, 6). A number of Manichæans in Rome were converted and admitted to confession; others, who remained obdurate, were in obedience to imperial decrees banished from Rome by the civil magistrates. On 30 January, 444, the pope sent a letter to all the bishops of Italy, to which he appended the documents containing his proceedings against the Manichæans in Rome, and warned them to be on their guard and to take action against the followers of the sect (ep. vii). On 19 June, 445, Emperor Valentinian III issued, doubtless at the pope's instigation, a stern edict in which he established seven punishments for the Manichæans ("Epist. Leonis", ed. Ballerini, I, 626; ep. viii inter Leon. ep). Prosper of Aquitaine states in his "Chronicle" (ad an. 447; "Mon. Germ. hist. Auct. antiquissimi", IX, I, 341 sqq.) that, in consequence of Leo's energetic measures, the Manichæans were also driven out of the provinces, and even Oriental bishops emulated the pope's example in regard to this sect. In Spain the heresy of Priscillianism still survived, and for some time had been attracting fresh adherents. Bishop Turibius of Astorga became cognizant of this, and by extensive journeys collected minute information about the condition of the churches and the spread of Priscillianism. He compiled the errors of the heresy, wrote a refutation of the same, and sent these documents to several African bishops. He also sent a copy to the pope, whereupon the latter sent a lengthy letter to Turibius (ep. xv) in refutation of the errors of the Priscillianists. Leo at the same time ordered that a council of bishops belonging to the neighbouring provinces should be convened to institute a rigid enquiry, with the object of determining whether any of the bishops had become tainted with the poison of this heresy. Should any such be discovered, they were to be excommunicated without hesitation. The pope also addressed a similar letter to the bishops of the Spanish provinces, notifying them that a universal synod of all the chief pastors was to be summoned; if this should be found to be impossible, the bishops of Galicia at least should be assembled. These two synods were in fact held in Spain to deal with the points at issue (Hefele, "Konziliengesch." II, 2nd ed., pp. 306 sqq.).The greatly disorganized ecclesiastical condition of certain countries, resulting from national migrations, demanded closer bonds between their episcopate and Rome for the better promotion of ecclesiastical life. Leo, with this object in view, determined to make use of the papal vicariate of the bishops of Arles for the province of Gaul for the creation of a centre for the Gallican episcopate in immediate union with Rome. In the beginning his efforts were greatly hampered by his conflict with St. Hilary, then Bishop of Arles. Even earlier, conflicts had arisen relative to the vicariate of the bishops of Arles and its privileges. Hilary made excessive use of his authority over other ecclesiastical provinces, and claimed that all bishops should be consecrated by him, instead of by their own metropolitan. When, for example, the complaint was raised that Bishop Celidonius of Besançon had been consecrated in violation of the canons—the grounds alleged being that he had, as a layman, married a widow, and, as a public officer, had given his consent to a death sentence—Hilary deposed him, and consecrated Importunus as his successor. Celidonius thereupon appealed to the pope and set out in person for Rome. About the same time Hilary, as if the see concerned had been vacant, consecrated another bishop to take the place of a certain Bishop Projectus, who was ill. Projectus recovered, however, and he too laid a complaint at Rome about the action of the Bishop of Arles. Hilary then went himself to Rome to justify his proceedings. The pope assembled a Roman synod (about 445) and, when the complaints brought against Celidonius could not be verified, reinstated the latter in his see. Projectus also received his bishopric again. Hilary returned to Arles before the synod was over; the pope deprived him of jurisdiction over the other Gallic provinces and of metropolitan rights over the province of Vienne, only allowing him to retain his Diocese of Arles.These decisions were disclosed by Leo in a letter to the bishops of the Province of Vienne (ep. x). At the same time he sent them an edict of Valentinian III of 8 July, 445, in which the pope's measures in regard to St. Hilary were supported, and the primacy of the Bishop of Rome over the whole Church solemnly recognized "Epist. Leonis," ed. Ballerini, I, 642). On his return to his bishopric Hilary sought a reconciliation with the pope. After this there arose no further difficulties between these two saintly men and, after his death in 449, Hilary was declared by Leo as "beatæ memoriæ". To Bishop Ravennius, St. Hilary's successor in the see of Arles, and the bishops of that province, Leo addressed most cordial letters in 449 on the election of the new metropolitan (epp. xl, xli). When Ravennius consecrated a little later a new bishop to take the place of the deceased Bishop of Vaison, the Archbishop of Vienne, who was then in Rome, took exception to this action. The bishops of the province of Arles then wrote a joint letter to the pope, in which they begged him to restore to Ravennius the rights of which his predecessor Hilary had been deprived (ep. lxv inter ep. Leonis). In his reply dated 5 May, 450 (ep. lxvi), Leo acceded to their request. The Archbishop of Vienne was to retain only the suffragan Bishoprics of Valence, Tarentaise, Geneva, and Grenoble; all the other sees in the Province of Vienne were made subject to the Archbishop of Arles, who also became again the mediator between the Holy See and the whole Gallic episcopate. Leo transmitted to Ravennius (ep. lxvii), for communication to the other Gallican bishops, his celebrated letter to Flavian of Constantinople on the Incarnation. Ravennius thereupon convened a synod, at which forty-four chief pastors assembled. In their synodal letter of 451, they affirm that they accept the pope's letter as a symbol of faith (ep. xxix inter ep. Leonis). In his answer Leo speaks further of the condemnation of Nestorius (ep. cii). The Vicariate of Arles for a long time retained the position Leo had accorded it. Another papal vicariate was that of the bishops of Thessalonica, whose jurisdiction extended over Illyria. The special duty of this vicariate was to protect the rights of the Holy See over the district of Eastern Illyria, which belonged to the Eastern Empire. Leo bestowed the vicariate upon Bishop Anastasius of Thessalonica, just as Pope Siricius had formerly entrusted it to Bishop Anysius. The vicar was to consecrate the metropolitans, to assemble in a synod all bishops of the Province of Eastern Illyria, to oversee their administration of their office; but the most important matters were to be submitted to Rome (epp. v, vi, xiii). But Anastasius of Thessalonica used his authority in an arbitrary and despotic manner, so much so that he was severely reproved by Leo, who sent him fuller directions for the exercise of his office (ep. xiv).In Leo's conception of his duties as supreme pastor, the maintenance of strict ecclesiastical discipline occupied a prominent place. This was particularly important at a time when the continual ravages of the barbarians were introducing disorder into all conditions of life, and the rules of morality were being seriously violated. Leo used his utmost energy in maintining this discipline, insisted on the exact observance of the ecclesiastical precepts, and did not hesitate to rebuke when necessary. Letters (ep. xvii) relative to these and other matters were sent to the different bishops of the Western Empire—e.g., to the bishops of the Italian provinces (epp. iv, xix, clxvi, clxviii), and to those of Sicily, who had tolerated deviations from the Roman Liturgy in the administration of Baptism (ep. xvi), and concerning other matters (ep. xvii). A very important disciplinary decree was sent to bishop Rusticus of Narbonne (ep. clxvii). Owing to the dominion of the Vandals in Latin North Africa, the position of the Church there had become extremely gloomy. Leo sent the Roman priest Potentius thither to inform himself about the exact condition, and to forward a report to Rome. On receiving this Leo sent a letter of detailed instructions to the episcopate of the province about the adjustment of numerous ecclesiastical and disciplinary questions (ep. xii). Leo also sent a letter to Dioscurus of Alexandria on 21 July, 445, urging him to the strict observance of the canons and discipline of the Roman Church (ep. ix). The primacy of the Roman Church was thus manifested under this pope in the most various and distinct ways. But it was especially in his interposition in the confusion of the Christological quarrels, which then so profoundly agitated Eastern Christendom, that Leo most brilliantly revealed himself the wise, learned, and energetic shepherd of the Church (see MONOPHYSITISM). From his first letter on this subject, written to Eutyches on 1 June, 448 (ep. xx), to his last letter written to the new orthodox Patriarch of Alexandria, Timotheus Salophaciolus, on 18 August, 460 (ep. clxxi), we cannot but admire the clear, positive, and systematic manner in which Leo, fortified by the primacy of the Holy See, took part in this difficult entanglement.Eutyches appealed to the pope after he had been excommunicated by Flavian, Patriarch of Constantinople, on account of his Monophysite views. The pope, after investigating the disputed question, sent his sublime dogmatic letter to Flavian (ep. xxviii), concisely setting forth and confirming the doctrine of the Incarnation, and the union of the Divine and human natures in the one Person of Christ . In 449 the council, which was designated by Leo as the "Robber Synod", was held. Flavian and other powerful prelates of the East appealed to the pope. The latter sent urgent letters to Constantinople, particularly to Emperor Theodosius II and Empress Pulcheria, urging them to convene a general council in order to restore peace to the Church. To the same end he used his influence with the Western emperor, Valentinian III, and his mother Galla Placidia, especially during their visit to Rome in 450. This general council was held in Chalcedon in 451 under Marcian, the successor of Theodosius. It solemnly accepted Leo's dogmatical epistle to Flavian as an expression of the Catholic Faith concerning the Person of Christ. The pope confirmed the decrees of the Council after eliminating the canon, which elevated the Patriarchate of Constantinople, while diminishing the rights of the ancient Oriental patriarchs. On 21 March, 453, Leo issued a circular letter confirming his dogmatic definition (ep. cxiv). Through the mediation of Bishop Julian of Cos, who was at that time the papal ambassador in Constantinople, the pope tried to protect further ecclesiastical interest. in the Orient. He persuaded the new Emperor of Constantinople, Leo I, to remove the heretical and irregular patriarch, Timotheus Ailurus, from the See of Alexandria. A new and orthodox patriarch, Timotheus Salophaciolus, was chosen to fill his place, and received the congratulations of the pope in the last letter which Leo ever sent to the Orient.In his far-reaching pastoral care of the Universal Church, in the West and in the East, the pope never neglected the domestic interests of the Church at Rome. When Northern Italy had been devastated by Attila, Leo by a personal encounter with the King of the Huns prevented him from marching upon Rome. At the emperor's wish, Leo, accompanied by the Consul Avienus and the Prefect Trigetius, went in 452 to Upper Italy, and met Attila at Mincio in the vicinity of Mantua, obtaining from him the promise that he would withdraw from Italy and negotiate peace with the emperor. The pope also succeeded in obtaining another great favour for the inhabitants of Rome. When in 455 the city was captured by the Vandals under Genseric, although for a fortnight the town had been plundered, Leo's intercession obtained a promise that the city should not be injured and that the lives of the inhabitants should be spared. These incidents show the highmoral authority enjoyed by the pope, manifested even in temporal affairs. Leo was always on terms of intimacy with the Western Imperial Court. In 450 Emperor Valentinian III visited Rome, accompanied by his wife Eudoxia and his mother Galla Placidia. On the feast of Cathedra Petri (22 February), the Imperial family with their brilliant retinue took part in the solemn services at St. Peter's, upon which occasion the pope delivered an impressive sermon. Leo was also active in building and restoring churches. He built a basilica over the grave of Pope Cornelius in the Via Appia. The roof of St. Paul's without the Walls having been destroyed by lightning, he had it replaced, and undertook other improvements in the basilica. He persuaded Empress Galla Placidia, as seen from the inscription, to have executed the great mosaic of the Arch of Triumph, which has survived to our day. Leo also restored St. Peter's on the Vatican. During his pontificate a pious Roman lady, named Demetria, erected on her property on the Via Appia a basilica in honour of St. Stephen, the ruins of which have been excavated.Leo was no less active in the spiritual elevation of the Roman congregations, and his sermons, of which ninety-six genuine examples have been preserved, are remarkable for their profundity, clearness of diction, and elevated style. The first five of these, which were delivered on the anniversaries of his consecration, manifest his lofty conception of the dignity of his office, as well as his thorough conviction of the primacy of the Bishop of Rome, shown forth in so outspoken and decisive a manner by his whole activity as supreme pastor. Of his letters, which are of great importance for church history, 143 have come down to us: we also possess thirty which were sent to him. The so-called "Sacramentarium Leonianum" is a collection of orations and prefaces of the Mass, prepared in the second half of the sixth century. Leo died on 10 November, 461, and was buried in the vestibule of St. Peter's on the Vatican. In 688 Pope Sergius had his remains transferred to the basilica itself, and a special altar erected over them. They rest today in St. Peter's, beneath the altar specially dedicated to St. Leo. In 1754 Benedict XIV exalted him to the dignity of Doctor of the Church (doctor ecclesiæ). In the Latin Church the feast day of the great pope is held on 11 April, and in the Eastern Church on 18 February.SOURCE
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TODAY'S GOSPEL: NOV. 10: Luke 17: 11 - 19
Luke 17: 11 - 1911On the way to Jerusalem he was passing along between Sama'ria and Galilee.12And as he entered a village, he was met by ten lepers, who stood at a distance13and lifted up their voices and said, "Jesus, Master, have mercy on us."14When he saw them he said to them, "Go and show yourselves to the priests." And as they went they were cleansed.15Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice;16and he fell on his face at Jesus' feet, giving him thanks. Now he was a Samaritan.17Then said Jesus, "Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine?18Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?"19And he said to him, "Rise and go your way; your faith has made you well."
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