CATHOLIC NEWS WORLD: FRI. FEB.25, 2011: HEADLINES-
LINEAMENTA FOR 2012 SYNOD ON NEW EVANGELISATION
VATICAN CITY, 25 FEB 2011 (VIS report) - At 11.30 a.m. on Friday 4 March a press conference will be held in the Holy See Press Office to present the "Lineamenta", or preparatory document, for the thirteenth Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, which is due to be held in the Vatican from 7 to 28 October 2012 on the theme: "The new evangelisation for the transmission of the Christian faith". IMAGE SOURCE RADIO VATICANA
The conference will be presented by Archbishop Nikola Eterovic and Msgr. Fortunato Frezza, respectively secretary general and under secretary of the Synod of Bishops.
VATICAN CITY, 25 FEB 2011 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:
- His Beatitude Cardinal Nasrallah Pierre Sfeir, patriarch of Antioch of the Maronites, Lebanon.
- Four prelates from the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines on their "ad limina" visit:
- Archbishop Ramon C. Arguelles of Lipa.
- Archbishop Romulo G. Valles of Zamboanga.
- Archbishop Jesus A. Dosado C.M. of Ozamiz.
- Archbishop Antonio J. Ledesma S.J. of Cagayan de Oro.
- Bishop Pierre Morissette of Saint-Jerome, president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, accompanied by Archbishop Richard William Smith of Edmonton, vice president, and by Msgr. Patrick Power, secretary general.
This evening he is scheduled to receive in audience Cardinal Ivan Dias, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples.
VATICAN CITY, 25 FEB 2011 (VIS) - The Holy Father:
- Appointed Msgr. Giuseppe Pellegrini, vicar general of Verona, Italy, as bishop of Concordia-Pordenone (area 2,675, population 359,334, Catholics 351,580, priests 306, permanent deacons 16, religious 305), Italy. The bishop-elect was born in Monteforte d'Alpone, Italy in 1953 and ordained a priest in 1979. He succeeds Bishop Ovidio Poletto, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.
- Appointed Fr. William J. Waltersheid of the clergy of the diocese of Harrisburg, U.S.A., vicar for clergy and religious life, as auxiliary of the diocese of Pittsburgh (area 9,722, population 1,963,000, Catholics 803,000, priests 482, permanent deacons 42, religious 1,316), U.S.A. The bishop-elect was born in Ashland, U.S.A. in 1956 and ordained a priest in 1992.
Baghdad (AsiaNews) – Iraq’s Christian community has been attacked again. A group of armed men stormed the home of a Christian man in Baghdad’s central neighbourhood of Karrad, killing him. The victim’s name is Youssif Isho, a 70-year-old Chaldean. He was stabbed to death. Sources have warnedAsiaNews that other attacks against Christians are possible in the capital. “The faithful continue to suffer,” a Christian leader said, “and people are scared, moving cautiously out of fear of more violence.”
According to information obtained by AsiaNews, Youssif Isho’s death was a targeted killing by extremist groups. The group burst into his home and stabbed 70-year-old man to death. He lived alone in a house in Karrad, central Baghdad. Nothing was stolen from the premises.
Iraqi Christians fear more violence tomorrow, Friday, when demonstrations are scheduled to take place in the country’s main cities.
In the northern city of Kirkuk, Sunni Arabs are planning a demonstration. In the south, Shia groups will be doing to do the same.
The capital should be the scene of rallies linked to broader events in the Middle eastern region.
A source, anonymous for security reasons, spoke to AsiaNews about “a volcano that has exploded and that has no end in sight.”
“People are scared,” the Christian leader said, “because extremist groups could infiltrate [demonstrations] and cause havoc”. Many fear more “looting, destruction and even targeted killings.”
The Christian community “has been suffering for some time,” the source said. Christians continue to “move cautiously out of fear of new attacks.”
WASHINGTON (February 25, 2011)—Pope Benedict XVI has named Father William J. Waltersheid, Secretary for Clergy and Consecrated Life of the Diocese of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, as auxiliary bishop of Pittsburgh. The appointment was publicized in Washington, February 25, by Archbishop Pietro Sambi, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States.
Bishop-elect Waltersheid, 54, is a native of Ashland, Pennsylvania. He attended St. John Seminary College, Brighton, Massachusetts, and the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, where he earned a licentiate in dogmatic theology in 1993.
He was ordained a priest in Harrisburg in 1992.
Bishop-elect Waltersheid served as Parochial Vicar, St. Theresa Parish, New Cumberland, Pennsylvania, 1994-1995; Parochial Vicar, Prince of Peace Parish, Steelton, Pennsylvania, 1995-1999; Director of Pastoral Formation, North American College, Rome, 1999-2000; Vice Rector, North American College, 2000-2003; Pastor, St. Patrick Parish, Carlisle, Pennsylvania, 2003-2006, and Secretary for Clergy and Consecrated Life, 2006 to present.
Bishop-elect Waltersheid serves on the Board of Trustees of Holy Spirit Hospital, Harrisburg, and speaks several languages, including French, Italian, ad Spanish.
PATRIARCH OF CONSTANTINOPLE
Feast: February 25
Tarasius was born about the middle of the eighth century. His parents were both of patrician families. His father, George, was a judge, in great esteem for his well-known justice, and his mother, Eucratia, no less celebrated for her piety. She brought him up in the practice of the most eminent virtues. Above all things, she recommended to him to keep no company but that of the most virtuous. The young man, by his talents and virtue, gained the esteem of all, and was raised to the greatest honours of the empire, being made consul, and afterwards secretary of state to Emperor Constantine and the Empress Irene, his mother. In the midst of the court, and in its highest honours, surrounded by all that could flatter pride or gratify sensuality, he led a life like that of a religious man.
Leo, the Isaurian, his son, Constantine Copronymus, and his grandson, Leo, surnamed Chazarus, three successive emperors, had established, with all their power, the heresy of the Iconoclasts, or image-breakers, in the East. The Empress Irene, wife to the last, was always privately a Catholic, though an artful, ambitious woman. Her husband dying miserably, in 780, after a five years' reign, and having left his son Constantine, but ten years old, under her guardianship, she so managed the nobility in her favour as to get the regency and whole government of the state into her hands, and put a stop to the persecution of the Catholics. Paul, Patriarch of Constantinople, the third of that name, had been raised to that dignity by the late emperor. Though, contrary to the dictates of his own conscience, he had conformed in some respects to the then reigning heresy; he had, however, several good qualities, and was not only singularly beloved by the people for his charity to the poor, but highly esteemed by the empress and the whole court for his great prudence. Finding himself indisposed, and being touched with remorse for his condescension to the Iconoclasts in the former reign, without communicating his design to any one, he quitted the patriarchal see and put on a religious habit in the Monastery of Florus, in Constantinople. The empress was no sooner informed of it, but taking with her the young emperor, went to the monastery to dissuade a person so useful to her from persisting in such a resolution, but all in vain, for the patriarch assured them, with tears and bitter lamentations, that, in order to repair the scandal he had given, he had taken an unalterable resolution to end his days in that monastery, so desired them to provide the church of Constantinople with a worthy pastor in his room. Being asked whom he thought equal to the charge, he immediately named Tarasius, and dying soon after this declaration, Tarasius was accordingly chosen patriarch by the unanimous consent of the court, clergy, and people. Tarasius finding it in vain to oppose his election] declared, however, that he thought he could not in conscience accept of the government of a see which had been cut off from the catholic communion but upon condition that a general council should be called to compose the disputes which divided the church at that time in relation to holy images. This being agreed to, he was solemnly declared patriarch, and consecrated soon after, on Christmas-day. He was no sooner installed but he sent his synodal letters to Pope Adrian, to whom the empress also wrote in her own and her son's name on the subject of a general council, begging that he would either come in person, or at least send some venerable and learned men as his legates to Constantinople. Tarasius wrote likewise a letter to the patriarchs of Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem, wherein he desires them to send their respective legates to the intended council. His letter to the pope was to the same effect. The pope sent his legates, as desired, and wrote by them to the emperor, the empress, and the patriarch; applauded their zeal, showing at large the impiety of the Iconoclast heresy, insisting that the false council of the Iconoclasts, held under Copronymus for the establishment of Iconoclasm, should be first condemned in presence of his legates, and conjuring them before God to re-establish holy images at Constantinople, and in all Greece, on the footing they were before. He recommends to the emperor and empress his two legates to the council, who were Peter, archpriest of the Roman church, and Peter, priest and abbot of St. Sabas, in Rome. The eastern patriarchs being under the Saracen yoke, could not come for fear of giving offence to their jealous masters, who prohibited, under the strictest penalties, all commerce with the empire. However, with much difficulty and through many dangers, they sent their deputies.
The legates of the pope and the oriental patriarchs being arrived, as also the bishops under their jurisdiction, the council was opened on the 1st of August in the Church of the Apostles, at Constantinople, in 786. But the assembly being disturbed by the violences of the Iconoclasts, and desired by the empress to break up and withdraw for the present, the council met again the year following in the Church of St. Sophia, at Nice. The two legates from the pope are named first in the Acts, St. Tarasius next, and after him the legates of the oriental patriarchs-namely, John, priest and monk, for the Patriarchs of Antioch and Jerusalem, and Thomas, priest and monk, for the Patriarch of Alexandria. The council consisted of three hundred and fifty bishops, besides many abbots and other holy priests and confessors, who having declared the sense of the present church in relation to the matter in debate, which was found to be the allowing to holy pictures and images a relative honour, the council was closed with the usual acclamations and prayers for the prosperity of the emperor and empress; after which synodal letters were sent to all the churches, and in particular to the pope, who approved the council.
The good patriarch, pursuant to the decrees of the synod, restored holy images throughout the extent of his jurisdiction. He also laboured zealously to abolish simony, and wrote a letter upon that subject to Pope Adrian, in which, by saying it was the glory of the Roman church to preserve the purity of the priesthood, he intimated that that church was free from this reproach. The life of this holy patriarch was a model of perfection to his clergy and people. His table had nothing of superfluity. He allowed himself very little time for sleep, being always up the first and last in his family. Reading and prayer filled all his leisure hours. It was his pleasure, in imitation of our blessed Redeemer, to serve others instead of being served by them; on which account he would scarce permit his own servants to do any thing for him. Loving humility in himself, he sought sweetly to induce all others to the love of that virtue. He banished the use of gold and scarlet from among the clergy, and labored to extirpate all the irregularities among the people. His charity and love for the poor seemed to surpass his other virtues. He often took the dishes of meat from his table to distribute among them with his own hands: and he assigned them a large fixed revenue. And that none might be overlooked, he visited all the houses and hospitals in Constantinople. In Lent, especially, his bounty to them was incredible. His discourses were powerful exhortations to the universal mortification of the senses, and he was particularly severe against all theatrical entertainments. Some time after, the emperor became enamored of Theodota, a maid of honor to his wife, the empress Mary, whom he had always hated; and forgetting what he owed to God, he was resolved to divorce her in 795, after seven years' cohabitation. He used all his efforts to gain the patriarch, and sent a principal officer to him for that purpose, accusing his wife of a plot to poison him. St. Tarasius answered the messenger, saying, "I know not how the emperor can bear the infamy of so scandalous an action in the sight of the universe, nor how he will be able to hinder or punish adulteries and debaucheries if he himself set such an example. Tell him that I will rather suffer death and all manner of torments than consent to his design." The emperor, hoping to prevail with him by flattery, sent for him to the palace, and said to him, I can conceal nothing from you, whom I regard as my father. No one can deny but I may divorce one who has attempted my life. She deserves death or perpetual penance." He then produced a vessel, as he pretended, full of the poison prepared for him. The patriarch, with good reason, judging the whole to be only an artful contrivance to impose upon him, answered that he was too well convinced that his passion for Theodota was at the bottom of all his complaints against the empress. He added that though she were guilty of the crime he laid to her charge, his second marriage during her life with any other would still be contrary to the law of God, and that he would draw upon himself the censures of the church by attempting it. The monk John, who had been legate of the eastern patriarchs in the seventh council, being present, spoke also very resolutely to the emperor on the subject, so that the pretors and patricians threatened to stab him on the spot: and the emperor, boiling with rage, drove them both from his presence. As soon as they were gone, he turned the Empress Mary out of his palace, and obliged her to put on a religious veil. Tarasius persisting in his refusal to marry him to Theodota, the ceremony was performed by Joseph, treasurer of the church of Constantinople. This scandalous example was the occasion of several governors and other powerful men divorcing their wives or taking more than one at the same time, and gave great encouragement to public lewdness. SS. Plato and Theodorus separated themselves from the emperor's communion, to show their abhorrence of his crime. But Tarasius did not think it prudent to proceed to excommunication, as he had threatened, apprehensive that the violence of his temper, when further provoked, might carry him still greater lengths, and prompt him to re-establish the heresy which he had taken such effectual measures to suppress. Thus the patriarch, by his moderation, prevented the ruin of religion, but drew upon himself the emperor's resentment, who persecuted him many ways during the remainder of his reign. Not content to set spies and guards over him under the name of Syncelli, who watched all his actions and suffered no one to speak to him without their leave, he banished many of his domestics and relations. This confinement gave the saint the more leisure for contemplation, and he never ceased in it to recommend his flock to God. The ambitious Irene, finding that all her contrivances to render her son odious to his subjects had proved ineffectual to her design, which was to engross the whole power to herself, having gained over to her party the principal officers of the court and army, she made him prisoner, and caused his eyes to be plucked out: this was executed with so much violence that the unhappy prince died of it, in 797. After this she reigned alone five years, during which she recalled all the banished, but at length met with the deserved reward of her ambition and cruelty from Nicephorus, a patrician, and the treasurer-general, who, in 802, usurped the empire, and having deposed her, banished her into the Isle of Lesbos, where she soon after died with grief.
St. Tarasius, on the death of the late emperor, having interdicted and deposed the treasurer Joseph, who had married and crowned Theodota, St. Plato and others who had censured his lenity became thoroughly reconciled to him. The saint, under his successor, Nicephorus, a patrician, persevered peaceably in his practices of penance, and in the functions of his pastoral charge. In his last sickness he still continued to offer daily the holy sacrifice so long as he was able to move. A little before his death he fell into a kind of trance, as the author of his life, who was an eyewitness, relates, wherein he was heard to dispute and argue with a number of accusers, very busy in sifting his whole life, and objecting all they could to it. He seemed in a great fright and agitation on this account, and, defending himself, answered everything laid to his charge. This filled all present with fear, seeing the endeavors of the enemy of man to find something to condemn even in the life of so holy and so irreprehensible a bishop. But a great serenity succeeded, and the holy man gave up his soul to God in peace, on the 25th of February, in 806, having sat twenty-one years and two months. God honoured his memory with miracles, some of which are related by the author of his life. His festival began to be celebrated under his successor. The Latin and Greek churches both honour his memory on this day. Fourteen years after his decease, Leo the Armenian, the Iconoclast emperor, dreamt a little before his own death that he saw St. Tarasius highly incensed against him, and heard him command one Michael to stab him. Leo, judging this Michael to be a monk in the saint's monastery, ordered him the next morning to be sought for, and even tortured some of the religious to oblige them to a discovery of the person; but it happened there was none of that name among them, and Leo was killed six days after by Michael Balbus.
The virtue of St. Tarasius was truly great, because constant and crowned with perseverance, though exposed to continual dangers of illusion or seduction amidst the artifices of hypocrites and a wicked court. St. Chrysostom observes1 that the path of virtue is narrow, and lies between precipices, in which it is easier for the traveller to be seized with giddiness even near the end of his course, and fall. Hence this father most grievously laments the misfortune of king Ozias, who, after long practising the most heroic virtures, fell, and perished through pride; and he strenuously exhorts all who walk in the service of God, constantly to live in fear, watchfulness, humility, and compunction. "A soul," says he, "often wants not so much spurring in the beginning of her conversion; her own fervor and cheerfulness make her run vigorously. But this fervor, unless it be continually nourished, cools by degrees: then the devil assails her with all his might. Pirates wait for and principally attack ships when they are upon the return home laden with riches rather than empty vessels going out of the port. Just so the devil, when he sees that a soul has gathered great spiritual riches, by fasts, prayer, alms, chastity, and all other virtues, when he sees our vessel fraught with rich commodities, then he falls upon her, and seeks on all sides to break in. What exceedingly aggravates the evil is the extreme difficulty of ever rising again after such a fall. To err in the beginning may be in part a want of experience, but to fall after a long course is mere negligence, and can deserve no excuse or pardon."
|Mark 10: 1 - 12|
|1||And he left there and went to the region of Judea and beyond the Jordan, and crowds gathered to him again; and again, as his custom was, he taught them.|
|2||And Pharisees came up and in order to test him asked, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?"|
|3||He answered them, "What did Moses command you?"|
|4||They said, "Moses allowed a man to write a certificate of divorce, and to put her away."|
|5||But Jesus said to them, "For your hardness of heart he wrote you this commandment.|
|6||But from the beginning of creation, `God made them male and female.'|
|7||`For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife,|
|8||and the two shall become one flesh.' So they are no longer two but one flesh.|
|9||What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder."|
|10||And in the house the disciples asked him again about this matter.|
|11||And he said to them, "Whoever divorces his wife and marries another, commits adultery against her;|
|12||and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery."|