Friday, January 14, 2011




VATICAN CITY, 14 JAN 2011 (VIS REPORTS) - On 1 May, the second Sunday of Easter and Divine Mercy Sunday, Benedict XVI will preside at the rite of beatification for John Paul II in the Vatican.

According to a note released by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, "today 24 January, Benedict XVI, during an audience granted to Cardinal Angelo Amato S.D.B., prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, authorised the dicastery to promulgate the decree of the miracle attributed to the intercession of Venerable Servant of God John Paul II (Karol Wojtyla). This concludes the process which precedes the rite of beatification.

"It is well known that, by pontifical dispensation, his cause began before the end of the five-year period which the current norms stipulate must pass following the death of a Servant of God. This provision was solicited by the great fame of sanctity which Pope John Paul II enjoyed during his life, in his death and after his death. In all other ways, the normal canonical dispositions concerning causes of beatification and canonisation were observed in full.

"Between June 2005 and April 2007 the principal diocesan investigation was held in Rome, accompanied by secondary investigations in various other dioceses, on his life, virtues, fame of sanctity and miracles. The juridical validity of these canonical processes was recognised by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints with a decree of 4 May 2007. In June 2009, having examined the relative 'Positio', nine of the dicastery's theological consultors expressed their positive judgement concerning the heroic nature of the virtues of the Servant of God. The following November, in keeping with the usual procedure, the 'Positio' was submitted for the judgement of the cardinals and bishops of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, who gave their approval.

"On 19 December 2009, Benedict XVI authorised the promulgation of the decree on John Paul II's heroic virtues.

"With a view to the beatification of the Venerable Servant of God, the postulator of the cause invited the Congregation for the Causes of Saints to examine the recovery from Parkinson's disease of Sr. Marie Simon Pierre Normand, a religious of the 'Institut des Petites Soeurs des Maternites Catholiques'.

"As is customary, the voluminous acts of the regularly-instituted canonical investigation, along with detailed reports from medical and legal experts, were submitted for scientific examination by the medical consultors of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints on 21 October 2010. The experts of the congregation, having studied the depositions and the entire documentation with their customary scrupulousness, expressed their agreement concerning the scientifically inexplicable nature of the healing. On 14 December the theological consultors, having examined the conclusions reached by the medical experts, undertook a theological evaluation of the case and unanimously recognised the unicity, antecedence and choral nature of the invocation made to Servant of God John Paul II, whose intercession was effective in this prodigious healing.

"Finally, on 11 January 2011 the ordinary session of the cardinals and bishops of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints took place. They expressed their unanimous approval, believing the recovery of Sr. Marie Simon Pierre to be miraculous, having been achieved by God in a scientifically inexplicable manner following the intercession of the Supreme Pontiff John Paul II, trustingly invoked both by Sr. Simon herself and by many other faithful".

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VATICAN CITY, 14 JAN 2011 (VIS) - This morning in the Vatican, the Pope received Gianni Alemanno, mayor of the City of Rome; Renata Polverini, president of the Region of Lazio, and Nicola Zingaretti, president of the Province of Rome, each accompanied by an entourage, for the traditional exchange of New Year greetings.

Speaking on the subject of the family, which he described as the "the primary cell of society, ... founded on marriage between a man and a woman", the Pope noted how "it is in the family that children learn the human and Christian values which enable constructive and peaceful coexistence. It is in the family that we learn solidarity between generations, respect for rules, forgiveness and acceptance of others". In this context he also noted how "the family must, then, be supported by policies ... which aim at its consolidation and development, accompanied by appropriate educational efforts".

"The approval of forms of union which pervert the essence and goal of the family ends up penalising those people who, not without effort, seek to maintain stable emotional ties which are juridically guaranteed and publicly recognised. In this context, the Church looks with favour upon all initiatives which seek to educate young people to experience love as a giving of self, with an exalted and oblational view of sexuality. To this end the various components of society must agree on the objectives of education, in order for human love not to be reduced to an article of consumption, but to be seen and lived as a fundamental experience which gives existence meaning and a goal".

Noting then that many couples desire to have children "but are forced to wait", the Holy Father emphasised the importance "of giving concrete support to maternity, and of guaranteeing working women the chance to conciliate the demands of family and work".

"Since 'openness to life is at the centre of true development' the large number of abortions that take place in our region cannot leave us indifferent", the Pope warned. "The Christian community, through its many care homes, pro-life centres and similar initiatives, is committed to accompanying and supporting women who encounter difficulties in welcoming a new life. Public institutions must also offer their support so that family consultancies are in a position to help women overcome the causes that may lead them to interrupt their pregnancy".

Benedict XVI then went on to explain how "the ageing population raises new problems. ... Although many old people can reply on the support and care of their own families, growing numbers are alone and have need of medical and healthcare assistance". In this context he also expressed his joy at the collaboration that exists "with the great Catholic healthcare institutions such as, for example, in the field of paediatrics, the 'Bambino Gesu' hospital. I hope these structures may continue to collaborate with local organisations in order to guarantee their services to everyone who needs them, at the same time renewing my call to promote a culture of respect for life until its natural end".

On the subject of the economic crisis, the Pope highlighted how "parishes in the diocese of Rome are, through Caritas, making prodigious efforts" to help suffering families. "I trust that adequate measures in support of low-income families may be adopted, especially for large families with are too often penalised", he said

The Holy Father noted how unemployment affects above all young people who, following years of education and training, cannot find professional openings. "They often feel disillusioned and are tempted to reject society itself. The persistence of such situations causes social tensions which are exploited by criminal organisations to further their illegal activities. For this reason", he concluded, "it is vital, even in this difficult time, to make every effort to promote policies that favour employment and dignified assistance, which is indispensable in order to give life to new families".

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VATICAN CITY, 14 JAN 2011 (VIS) - Today, during a private audience with Cardinal Angelo Amato S.D.B., prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, the Pope authorised the congregation to promulgate the following decrees:


- Venerable Servant of God John Paul II (Karol Wojtyla), Polish Supreme Pontiff (1920-2005).

- Venerable Servant of God Antonia Maria Verna, Italian foundress of the Institute of the Sisters of Charity of the Immaculate Conception (1773-1838).

- Venerable Servant of God Giuseppe Toniolo, Italian layman and father (1845-1918).


- Servants of God Marija Jula (nee Kata Ivanisevic), Marija Bernadeta (nee Terezija Banja,) Marija Krizina (nee Jozefa Bojanc), Marija Antonija (nee Jozefa Fabjan) and Maria Berchmana (nee Karoline Anna Leidenix), professed religions of the Institute of Daughters of Divine Charity, killed in hatred of the faith in Bosnia-Herzegovina between 15 and 23 December 1941.


- Servant of God Antonio Franco, Italian bishop of Santa Lucia del Mela (1585-1626).

- Servant of God Franziskus Maria vom Kreuze (ne Johann Baptist Jordan) German priest and founder of the Society of the Divine Saviour and of the Congregation of Sisters of the Divine Saviour (1848-1918).

- Servant of God Nelson Baker, American diocesan priest (1842-1936).

- Servant of God Faustino Perez-Manglano Magro, Spanish student and postulant of the Marianist Fathers (1946-1963).

- Servant of God Francisca de Paula de Jesus, (also called Nha Chica), Brazilian laywoman (1810-1895).

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VATICAN CITY, 14 JAN 2011 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

- Cardinal Angelo Amato S.D.B., prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.

- Renata Polverini, president of the Region of Lazio, Italy.

- Gianni Alemanno, mayor of the City of Rome.

- Nicola Zingaretti, president of the Province of Rome.

- Andrea Riccardi, founder of the Sant'Egidio Community.

This evening he is scheduled to receive in audience Cardinal William Joseph Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

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VATICAN CITY, 14 JAN 2011 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

- Appointed Fr. Christopher J. Coyne of the clergy of the archdiocese of Boston, U.S.A., pastor of the parish of St. Margaret Mary in Westwood, as auxiliary of the archdiocese of Indianapolis (area 35,768, population 2,550,000, Catholics 242,000, priests 257, religious 791), U.S.A. The bishop-elect was born in Woburn, U.S.A. in 1958 and ordained a priest in 1986.

- Appointed Msgr. Mark L. Bartchak of the clergy of the diocese of Erie, U.S.A., judicial vicar, as bishop of Altoona-Johnstown (area 17,279, population 663,000, Catholics 107,000, priests 201, permanent deacons 29, religious 154), U.S.A. The bishop-elect was born in Cleveland, U.S.A. in 1955 and ordained a priest in 1981. He succeeds Bishop Joseph V. Adamec, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.

- Accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese Rotterdam, Netherlands, presented by Bishop Adrianus Herman van Luyn S.D.B., upon having reached the age limit.


Canon John Stapleton - priest,  writer and broadcaster | Canon John Patrick Stapleton,  Arundel and Brighton, St John’s Seminary, Wonersh,

Canon John Patrick Stapleton
Canon John Patrick Stapleton, a priest of Arundel and Brighton diocese died on 2 January 2011 at the age of 88. He trained for the priesthood at St John’s Seminary, Wonersh, Surrey where he was ordained on 31 May 1947. During his 63 years as a priest his ministry was widespread.

The first 12 years after ordination were spent as a teacher after which he became a radio producer at the BBC. He was assistant to Fr Agnellus Andrew, Catholic Head of Religious Broadcasting for a total of 11 years working both in London and Manchester. His career continued around broadcasting when he became a tutor at the Catholic Radio Centre Hatch End, and Head of the Communications Department at Wonersh Seminary. Many a priest still values the skills he taught them at both these places. His broadcasting interest was also international during his years as General Secretary to UNDA (the International Catholic Association for Radio and Television).

Whilst at the BBC he produced programmes from St Edwards Church, Sutton Park, near Guildford and remained involved with music there for many years. It was one of his great delights when he was appointed to be parish priest at St Edwards and he is now buried there.

Music was a great interest of his and when he became ill on the morning of his death he was preparing to play the organ for Mass at St Joseph’s residential home in Bognor, where he spent a very happy final year of his life.

He had many other strands to his life – work on Marriage Tribunals, chaplain to a prison and to several schools. He was very touched when he was invited to become a member of the Old Brotherhood of the English Secular Clergy for the London District. He maintained contact with many friends and family and was interested in a wide variety of subjects. One of his greatest passions was steam railways of which he had an extensive knowledge.

His liturgical skills and knowledge were considerable. He was responsible for a number of publications. He assembled the ‘Diocesan Propers’ with Masses and Divine Office for the diocesan saints. In 1990 he edited the very comprehensive ‘A & B Story’ on the occasion of the Silver Jubilee of the diocese.

That same year he was asked by (then Bishop) Cormac to edit and launch the A & B NEWS in a newspaper format. It is tribute to his careful planning, which he displayed in all his various tasks, that the main pattern of his ideas and principles are still followed by the current editorial team. Canon John touched many people in the diocese, and beyond, during his life and he had many priest and lay friends.

May he now rest in the presence of the Lord he served so well.


ASIA NEWS REPORT- Benedict XVI brings together Japanese bishops and Curia officials to encourage a dialogue with members of the Way to reduce tensions between those who focus on proclaiming the Gospel and those who favour dialogue.

Vatican City (AsiaNews) – The Neocatechumenal Way (the Way) can continue its mission in Japan. A meeting between Benedict XVI, Curia officials and five Japanese bishops has ended in the cancellation of a five-year suspension imposed by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Japan (CBCJ) on the Way. Members of the Way and Vatican sources told AsiaNews that the CBCJ had written to the Vatican, calling for the suspension of the Way for at least five years.

On 13 December, the Pope brought five Japanese bishops together with Card Stanisław Ryłko, president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, and Card Ivan Dias, prefect of Propaganda Fide. Card William Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and Card Antonio Cañizares, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, took part in the meeting as well.

“During the meeting, it was agreed not to proceed with the suspension but rather encourage the dialogue between the Way and the bishops, so that the former’s style would be more in sync with the pastors,” Vatican sources said.

Tensions between the Way and many Japanese bishops go back several years. Prelates claim that the Way’s approach to life in Japan was incompatible with the local Church and that its members did not inculturate in Japanese culture. For the local Church, the Way’s approach is sectarian and its small neocatechumenal communities tend to cause “divisions” within local parishes.

Members of the Way have countered by saying that the Japanese Church puts a lot of emphasis on dialogue with other cultures and religions, but very little on explicitly proclaiming the Christian faith.

In order to boost evangelisation and proclaim the word, the Way opened the Redemptoris Mater Seminary in Takamatsu. However, in 2009, the CBCJ successfully got the seminary and its rector, Mgr Peter Hirayama, moved to Rome. The latter is bishop emeritus of Oita and a great admirer of the Way.

At the meeting, it was also decided that the dialogue between Japanese bishops and the Way would take place with the help of a delegate who “loves the Way and understands the bishops’ problems.”

It was also decided that each bishop would provide the Way with advice on how to proceed in his diocese, thus getting around the general outlines set by the CBCJ.


DIOCESE OF PARRAMATTA REPORT: The Australian Catholic Bishops and people around Australia are united in prayer and practical support as the State of Queensland suffers its worst flooding in decades. The bishops extend heartfelt sympathy to the victims and their families.

Archbishop of Brisbane John Bathersby is currently in Stanthorpe and Auxiliary Bishop of Brisbane Brian Finnigan in a statement issued an urgent call for prayers for the deceased.

"We offer prayers for the deceased and their families and the relief workers and all who are suffering as a result of the floods. Many parishes and schools are opening their doors to assist those affected. Our central Archdiocesan office is closed at this stage and we have no power, no lifts, and no lights," Bishop Finnigan said.

"The priests, religious and faithful in the affected areas would certainly appreciate prayerful support and whatever assistance can be offered."


Archdiocesan Priest Fr John Conway is currently the administrator of three parishes in an area at the bottom of the Toowomba ranges. He and people in the area are responding in the aftermath.

"I’d like to express my gratitude to all the people and priests across Australia who have rung to offer support to me, wishing me well and offering assistance," Fr Conway said.

"This is the biggest disaster that has ever happened here, but the response from people in the area has been just phenomenal. I’ve seen people who have been evacuated from their homes working in emergency centres. They are reaching out even in the midst of their own crises. Many places still have no drinking water. Roads are damaged, so trucks can’t get through. We can’t get fuel, milk, bread. We’re basically rationing everything."


Australians are encouraged to assist in any way they can to relief efforts through St Vincent de Paul and other charities responding to the disaster.

St Vincent de Paul Queensland State President Brian Moore hopes to assist people as quickly as possible.

"St Vincent de Paul in Queensland has put together a flood relief committee. We are appealing for money to get to the conferences to give concrete support to those affected," Mr Moore said.

"When the water subsides, Vinnies is going to be there for months meeting the needs of people. It is really heart wrenching to see all the people affected by these floods.

"Flood victims may have to wait some period of time to recover insurance costs, so we also help by finding temporary accommodation for people displaced by flooding – providing transitional accommodation to move people out of evacuation points, as well as a low‐cost housing for people whilst their own homes are being made safe."

The Holy Father, through the Charitable agency Cor Unum has directed $US 50,000 to the St Vincent de Paul society to assist in the relief effort, and sends his personal prayers to the victims and their families.

To assist in any way, please phone 13 18 12 or which will allow you to contribute to the St Vincent de Paul Statewide appeal.


USCCB REPORT- Bishops See Their Work Supported In World Marriage Day andNational Marriage Week USA

WASHINGTON (January 14, 2011)—Two separate marriage initiatives in February affirm the priority of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) to support and strengthen marriage, said Bishop Kevin Rhoades of Fort Wayne-South Bend, Indiana, who oversees the bishop’s efforts in this area.

In a January 13 letter to all Catholic bishops of the United States, Bishop Rhoades, the new chairman of the USCCB Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth, highlighted World Marriage Day,National Marriage Week USA and numerous resources offered by the USCCB, saying, “I encourage you to share this information with the clergy and lay leaders of your diocese so that together we might strive to become ‘marriage building’ communities of faith and action.”

World Marriage Day, which is promoted by Worldwide Marriage Encounter, is being sponsored Sunday, February 13, in U.S. dioceses and parishes. Its theme is “Love One Another.”

“World Marriage Day received the Apostolic Blessing of John Paul II in 1993,” noted Bishop Rhoades. “It has continued to grow and spread among many countries and faith expressions ever since.”

Resources for celebrating World Marriage Day can be found at

Bishop Rhoades also highlighted National Marriage Week USA, which will be observed February 7-14 with the theme “Let’s Strengthen Marriage.”

“This project—now in its second year—is a collaborative effort to influence the culture by faith communities, business, media, education, and non-profit groups,” said Bishop Rhoades, one that is working to “focus national attention on the need to strengthen marriage,” launching “new efforts for marriage education and crisis intervention,” and promoting “a message about the benefits of marriage.”

Bishop Rhoades noted that National Marriage Week USA also recognizes that children are best served when raised in the context of a marriage with a father and a mother.

Bishop Rhoades also recommended numerous online resources of the USCCB, and its Spanish counterpart; the pastoral letter on marriage, Love and Life in the Divine Plan,; advocacy resources on why marriage should be promoted as the union of a man and a woman,; a collection of briefing papers entitled “Making A Case for Marriage, ”; a collection of essays, teaching materials, and resources for prayer and celebration developed for Catechetical Sunday 2010, the theme of which was “Matrimony: Sacrament of Enduring Love,”; and cards with a “Prayer for Married Couples” in English and Spanish, available in packages of 100 from USCCB Publications (


Agenzia Fides REPORT - “Things are going incredibly well. Most of the population has voted and the situation is very calm,” Father Chris Townsend tells Fides, a spokesperson for the SACBC, located in Juba (south Sudan), under the delegation of SACBC (Southern African Catholic Bishops' Conference) responsible for monitoring regular developments in the referendum of 9 January on the independence of South Sudan (see Fides 7/1/2011). The delegation is led by Cardinal Wilfrid Napier, Archbishop of Durban.

“For 16 years, the members of the SACBC have been committed to expressing their solidarity to the Church in southern Sudan but also to the north, through various visits conducted by our delegation around the Country. Just in the last year there have been at least six visits to bring solid support in the construction of peace and in conflict resolution” recalled Father Townsend.

“Today Cardinal Napier had the honour to inaugurate the philosophy section of the National Seminary in Khartoum. It was a great honour for him” confirmed Father Townsend.

According to Father Townsend the South African experience of curing the wounded during Apartheid may be a help in resolving the Sudanese problems because “the Sudanese situation is very similar to that South African of Apartheid, in the sense that also here people have not enjoyed the right to vote and express their needs for many years”.


St. Sava


Feast: January 14


Feast Day:January 14


Died:January 14, 1235, Tarnovgrad, Bulgariaa
Major Shrine:Temple of Saint Sava (Belgrade)
Patron of:Serbia

Born, Rastko, he was the third son of Stephen I Nemanja (r. 1167-1196), ruler of Serbia. In 1191, he went to Mount Athos, where he took the name Sava and became a monk. He was joined there five years later by his father, who had abdicated in favor of his eldest son, Stephen. With his father, Sava established on Mount Athos the monastery of Khilander (Hilandar), which emerged as one of the leading monastic centers for the Serbians. Sava returned to Serbia in 1208 and became archimandrite of Studenica, using the post to wield considerable political and religious influence throughout the kingdom.

He opposed his brother's religious policy of treating with the Holy See and in 1219 was consecrated the metropolitan of an independent Serbian Church by the patriarch of Nicaea with the approval of the Byzantine emperor, who was much in favor of keeping Serbia within the sphere of Greek Orthodox influence. Sava worked to establish dioceses throughout Serbia, promoted native clergy, built churches, and translated numerous religious texts into Serbian. In 1229, he made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, returning there in 1233 to win recognition of the Bulgarian patriarch from the patriarchs of Jerusalem, Alexandria, and Antioch. he died while on his way home, at Tirnovo, Bulgaria.


TODAY'S GOSPEL: JAN. 14: MARK 2: 1- 12

Mark 2: 1 - 12
1And when he returned to Caper'na-um after some days, it was reported that he was at home.2And many were gathered together, so that there was no longer room for them, not even about the door; and he was preaching the word to them.3And they came, bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men.4And when they could not get near him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him; and when they had made an opening, they let down the pallet on which the paralytic lay.5And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "My son, your sins are forgiven."6Now some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts,7"Why does this man speak thus? It is blasphemy! Who can forgive sins but God alone?"8And immediately Jesus, perceiving in his spirit that they thus questioned within themselves, said to them, "Why do you question thus in your hearts?9Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, `Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, `Rise, take up your pallet and walk'?10But that you may know that the Son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins" -- he said to the paralytic --11"I say to you, rise, take up your pallet and go home."12And he rose, and immediately took up the pallet and went out before them all; so that they were all amazed and glorified God, saying, "We never saw anything like this!"

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