CATHOLIC NEWS WORLD: MON. FEB. 21, 2011: HEADLINES-
HOLY FATHER TO CANONISE THREE BLESSEDS ON 23 OCTOBER
VATICAN CITY, 21 FEB 2011 (VIS REPORTS) - In the Consistory Hall of the Vatican Apostolic Palace at midday today, the Holy Father presided at an ordinary public consistory for the canonisation of the following blesseds:
- Guido Maria Conforti, Italian archbishop-bishop and founder of the Pious Society of St. Francis Xavier for Foreign Missions (1865-1931).
- Luigi Guanella, Italian priest and founder of the Congregation of the Servants of Charity and of the Institute of the Daughters of Our Lady of Providence (1842-1915). IMAGE SOURCE: RADIO VATICANA
- Bonifacia Rodriguez Castro, Spanish foundress of the Congregation of the Missionary Sisters, Servants of St. Joseph (1837-1905).
At the end of the meeting the Pope decreed that the canonisation ceremony for the three blesseds will take place in Rome on Sunday 23 October.
A number of cardinals then expressed to the Pope their desire to pass from the order of deacons to the order of priests:
- At the request of Cardinal Agostino Cacciavillan, the diaconate of the Holy Guardian Angels at Citta Giardino has been elevated "pro hac vice" to presbyteral title and assigned to the same cardinal.
- At the request of Cardinal Sergio Sebastiani, the diaconate of St. Eustace has been elevated "pro hac vice" to presbyteral title and assigned to the same cardinal.
- At the request of Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski, the diaconate of St. Nicholas in Carcere has been elevated "pro hac vice" to presbyteral title and assigned to the same cardinal.
- At the request of Cardinal Jorge Maria Mejia, the diaconate of St. Jerome of Charity has been elevated "pro hac vice" to presbyteral title and assigned to the same cardinal.
- At the request of Cardinal Walter Kasper, the diaconate of All Saints on the New Appian Way has been elevated "pro hac vice" to presbyteral title and assigned to the same cardinal.
- At the request of Cardinal Roberto Tucci S.J., the diaconate of St. Ignatius of Loyola at Campo Marzio has been elevated "pro hac vice" to presbyteral title and assigned to the same cardinal.
With Cardinal Cacciavillan's request to move to the order of priests, the role of proto-deacon passes to Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, deacon of St. Apollinaris alle Terme Neroniane-Alessandrine, in which office he was confirmed by the Holy Father.
LifeSiteNews.com REPORT – Bernard Nathanson, the former abortionist turned top pro-life activist who is perhaps best known for his role in creating the pro-life video The Silent Scream, died at the age of 84 this morning after a lengthy battle with cancer, reports the National Catholic Register.
At one time Nathanson was deeply entrenched in the American pro-abortion movement, having co-founded the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL) and overseen 75,000 abortions as director of an abortion clinic.
Nathanson’s high-profile conversion to the pro-life movement was sparked by the advent of the ultrasound machine in the early 1970s. He has related how he was moved to acknowledge the humanity of the unborn child after he watched an unborn baby recoil from a vacuum abortion device before being sucked from its mother’s womb.
Nathanson titled the video of this incident The Silent Scream and began using it to spread the pro-life message.
“Today our movement mourns the passing of one of its greatest voices for life,” said Lila Rose of Live Action Films in a statement today. “Dr. Nathanson is a testament to God’s grace; that any heart can be transformed into a beacon of love and truth. In his memory, and as the battle in Congress rages these next two weeks, let us work tirelessly to aid Dr. Nathanson’s brave efforts in exposing evil and protecting the innocent. Our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family.”
In an interview with the Washington Times in 2009 Nathanson explained: “My switch to pro-life had nothing to do with religion.” Instead he changed his mind purely “based on the scientific evidence ... based on fetoscopies and ultrasound studies.” However, he subsequently converted to the Catholic faith.
The Register reports that Nathanson’s godmother for baptism, pro-life activist Joan Andrews Bell, spoke to the former abortionist earlier this month when he was already too weak to speak at length.
“He said he was praying for us, and I told him we love him and pray for him, too,” she said.
“He will be remembered as a very strong advocate for the babies,” she continued. “One factor stood out, knowing him over the years, and that was that he had a deep pain for what he had done in terms of abortion. I remember there were periods he was fasting; he underwent huge amounts of fasting to make up for it.”
“He was like St. Paul, who was a great persecutor of the Church, yet when he saw the light of Christ, he was perhaps the greatest apostle for the Gospel. Dr. Nathanson was like that after his conversion. He went all around the world talking about the babies and the evils of abortion. Being his godmother was such an amazing thing, to see him come to Christ.”
Jim Hughes, vice-president of International Right to Life and president of Campaign Life Coalition in Canada told LifeSiteNews, “I’ve known Bernie Nathanson for almost 30 years. He was a true inspiration for all of us.”
Hughes says his group had Nathanson come to Canada a number of times over the years and one occasion was especially memorable. He recalled when “Nathanson and Canadian abortionist, Henry Morgentaler were on the Charrington Show out of Hamilton, Ontario, and it was rather comical when Morgentaler put forward his ideas defending his practice of abortion. Nathanson laughed and said, ‘I invented all those phrases, I invented those statistics, etc.” “It was quite the experience,” says Hughes.
Hughes noted that Dr. Nathanson “was also the catalyst that caused us to start Canada’s national pro-life newspaper, the Interim, 28 years ago.” He explained, “we brought him to Toronto in January or February, 1983 and arranged a press conference. The media all turned out to hear him, but very few reported what he had to say. So we decided we had to start our own media and launched the Interim newspaper in March.” The Interim is still published every month.
Following his conversion Nathanson exposed the fact that he and NARAL often lied about key facts and figures in the effort to push the legalization and acceptance of abortion, saying that they were “guilty of massive deception.”
In a radio program in 2008 he explained, “We claimed that between five and ten thousand women a year died of botched abortions. The actual figure was closer to 200 to 300.”
“We also claimed that there were a million illegal abortions a year in the United States,” he continued, “and the actual figure was close to 200,000. So, we were guilty of massive deception.”
In the same 2008 program Nathanson lamented that increasingly abortion was being used as a form of birth control: “One of the myths that was fed to the public through the media was that legalizing abortion would only mean that abortions taking place illegally, would be done legally. But in fact, abortion is now being used primary as a method of birth control all over the world and in the USA too.”
Nathanson is the author of a number of books, including Aborting America, and his autobiography,The Hand of God.
In the Hand of God he related how he aborted one of his own children; he said: “I am one of those who helped usher in this barbaric age.”
However, Nathanson has been widely acknowledged as being one of the most influential and powerful forces in the pro-life movement in the last several decades.
Around 65 Lao Christian villagers face starvation after being driven from their homes for refusing to give up their religion, according to a London-based human rights group.
Local authorities are destroying crops and preventing food from reaching 18 families who have been living in a temporary camp, some of them since January 2010, Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) said in a statement yesterday.
Eleven of the families were marched out of Katin village, Ta-Oyl district, in Saravan province at gunpoint while they were holding a Christian service 13 months ago. Seven more families were driven out last December.
A report from a CSW source this week said village officials were refusing to allow the Christians to re-enter the village to farm their land and had destroyed their crops.
Officials had also told neighboring villagers not to help the exiles or provide food for them.
CSW said that last March, the district head of Ta-Oyl, who it named as Bounma, met the group and urged them to renounce their Christianity. When they refused he told them that though the Lao constitution provides protection for freedom of religion and belief, he did not allow Christianity in his district.
“CSW calls upon the Lao government to adhere to the constitutional protection afforded to all its citizens by allowing the Katin villagers to return to their homes,” said CSW’s national director, Stuart Windsor.
The Marian Centre in Allada, created in the diocesan Marian Shrine on 1 October 1997 by Archbishop Isidore de Souza, under the direction of Fr Alfonso Maria Bruno, lasted a decade, achieved exponential growth prior to the opening of the beautiful church with a bell tower, which occurred on 15 April 2007.
The then Archbishop Marcel Agboton, later reorganised the Sanctuary, where a community of priests and missionary men and women religious were living. He appointed a pastoral minister from the diocesan clergy of Cotonou. After an experiment lasting more than three years, Bishop Ganye wanted to return to the old form, entering into a canonical convention with the Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate Conception. The religious institute also will celebrate his twenty-year presence in Benin on 13 December.
The Superior of the community of Allada, Father Michele Michele Iorio, was appointed rector of the Sanctuary. This gesture has been welcomed as a sign of ecclesial communion and effective cooperation between the diocese and the religious, as the Apostolic Visit of Pope Benedict XVI to Benin, planned for November approaches.
CATH NEWS REPORT: The head of the Bureau of Meteorology has rebuked Cardinal George Pell for his scepticism about climate change, insisting the cardinal has been misled, reports the Sydney Morning Herald.
Sydney's Cardinal Pell is an outspoken disbeliever in man-made global warming, arguing that it was hotter during the Middle Ages and carbon dioxide levels are not historically high.
Bureau director Greg Ayers used an appearance at a Senate estimates hearing yesterday to criticise the cardinal's personal views.
He said the core of his arguments were based on a book by Australian scientist Ian Plimer calledHeaven and Earth: Global Warming the Missing Science.
"The cardinal has been misled.""The contents of the book are simply not scientific," Dr Ayers told the committee.
The book has been routinely dismissed by fellow scientists, who criticised it as a "polemic from one individual", including phrases not at all based in science.
Over 10 minutes, Dr Ayers outlined a litany of errors repeated by Cardinal Pell, rubbishing one particular reference to greenhouse gases and nitrogen.
"It's not a greenhouse gas; it's 78 per cent of the atmosphere," Dr Ayers said.
He'll be writing to Cardinal Pell in due course, asking him to come on a tour around the country visiting scientists working in the climate change field.
St. Peter Damian
BISHOP, CONFESSOR, DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH
Feast: February 21
ewtn report: Peter, surnamed of Damian, was born about the year 988 in Ravenna, of a good family, but reduced. He was the youngest of many children, and, losing his father and mother very young, was left in the hands of a brother who was married, in whose house he was treated more like a slave, or rather like a beast, than one so nearly related; and when grown up, he was sent to keep swine. He one day became master of a piece of money, which, instead of laying it out in something for his own use, he chose to bestow in alms on a priest, desiring him to offer up his prayers for his father's soul. He had another brother called Damian, who was arch-priest of Ravenna, and afterwards a monk; who, taking pity of him, had the charity to give him an education. Having found a father in this brother, he seems from him to have taken the surname of Damian, though he often styles himself the Sinner, out of humility. Those who call him De Honestis confound him with Peter of Ravenna, who was of the family of Honesti. Damian sent Peter to school, first at Faenza, afterwards at Parma, where he had Ivo for his master. By the means of good natural parts and close application, it was not long before he found himself in a capacity to teach others, which he did with great applause, and no less advantage by the profits which accrued to him from his professorship. To arm himself against the allurements of pleasure and the artifices of the devil, he began to wear a rough hair shirt under his clothes, and to inure himself to fasting, watching, and prayer. In the night, if any temptation of concupiscence arose, he got out of bed and plunged himself into the cold river. After this he visited churches, reciting the psalter whilst he performed this devotion till the church office began. He not only gave much away in alms, but was seldom without some poor person at his table, and took a pleasure in serving such, or rather Jesus Christ in their persons, with his own hands. But thinking all this to be removing himself from the deadly poison of sin but by halves, he resolved entirely to leave the world and embrace a monastic life, and at a distance from his own country, for the sake of meeting with the fewer obstacles to his design. While his mind was full of these thoughts, two religious of the order of St. Benedict belonging to Font-Avellano, a desert at the foot of the Apennine in Umbria, happened to call at the place of his abode; and being much edified at their disinterestedness, he took a resolution to embrace their institute, as he did soon after. This hermitage had been founded by blessed Ludolf about twenty years before St. Peter came thither, and was then in the greatest repute. The hermits here remained two and two together in separate cells, occupied chiefly in prayer and reading. They lived on bread and water four days in the week: on Tuesdays and Thursdays they ate pulse and herbs, which every one dressed in his own cell: on their fast days all their bread was given them by weight. They never used any wine (the common drink of the country) except for mass, or in sickness: they went barefoot, used disciplines, made many genuflections, struck their breasts, stood with their arms stretched out in prayer, each according to his strength and devotion. After the night office they said the whole psalter before day. Peter watched long before the signal for matins, and after with the rest These excessive watchings brought on him an insomnia, or wakefulness, which was cured with very great difficulty. But he learned from this to use more discretion He gave a considerable time to sacred studies, and became as well versed in the scriptures and other sacred learning as he was before in profane literature.
His superior ordered him to make frequent exhortations to the religious, and as he had acquired a very great character for virtue and learning, Guy, Abbot of Pomposia, begged his superior to send him to instruct his monastery, which consisted of a hundred monks. Peter stayed there two years, preaching with great fruit, and was then called back by his abbot, and sent to perform the same function in the numerous abbey of St. Vincent, near the mountain called Pietra Pertusa, or the Hollow Rock. His love for poverty made him abhor and be ashamed to put on a new habit, or any clothes which were not threadbare and most mean. His obedience was so perfect that the least word of any superior, or signal given, according to the rule of the house, for the performance of any duty made him run that moment to discharge, with the utmost exactness, whatever was enjoined. Being recalled home some time after, and commanded by his abbot, with the unanimous consent of the hermitage, to take upon him the government of the desert after his death, Peter's extreme reluctance only obliged his superior to make greater use of his authority till he acquiesced. Wherefore, at his decease, in 1041, Peter took upon him the direction of that holy family, which he governed with the greatest reputation for wisdom and sanctity. He also founded five other numerous hermitages; in which he placed priors under his inspection. His principal care was to cherish in his disciples the spirit of solitude, charity, and humility. Among them many became great lights of the church. He was for twelve years much employed in the service of the church by many zealous bishops, and by four popes successively, namely, Gregory VI, Clement II, Leo IX, and Victor II. Their successor, Stephen IX, in 1057, prevailed with him to quit his desert, and made him Cardinal-bishop of Ostia. But such was his reluctance to the dignity that nothing less than the pope's threatening him with excommunication, and his commands, in virtue of obedience, could induce Peter to submit.
Stephen IX dying in 1058, Nicholas II was chosen pope, a man of deep penetration, of great virtue and learning, and very liberal in alms, as our saint testifies, who assisted him in obliging John, Bishop of Veletri, an anti-pope, set up by the capitaneos or magistrates of Rome, to quit his usurped dignity. Upon complaints of simony in the church of Milan, Nicholas II sent Peter thither as his legate, who chastised the guilty. Nicholas II dying, after having sat two years and six months, Alexander was chosen pope, in 1602. Peter strenuously supported him against the emperor, who set up an anti-pope, Cadolaus, Bishop of Parma, on whom the saint prevailed soon after to renounce his pretensions in a council held at Rome; and engaged Henry IV, King of Germany, who was afterwards emperor, to acquiesce in what had been done, though that prince, who in his infancy had succeeded his pious father Henry III, had sucked in very early the corrupt maxims of tyranny and irreligion. But virtue is amiable in the eyes of its very enemies, and often disarms them of their fury. St. Peter had, with great importunity, solicited Nicholas II for leave to resign his bishopric, and return to his solitude; but could not obtain it. His successor, Alexander II, out of affection for the holy man, was prevailed upon to allow it, in 1062, but not without great difficulty, and the reserve of a power to employ him in church matters of importance as he might have occasion hereafter for his assistance. The saint from that time thought himself discharged, not only from the burden of his flock, but also from the quality of superior, with regard to the several monasteries the general inspection of which he had formerly charged himself with, reducing himself to the condition of a simple monk.
In this retirement he edified the church by his penance and compunction, and laboured by his writings to enforce the observance of discipline and morality. His style is copious and vehement, and the strictness of his maxims appears in all his. works, especially where he treats of the duties of clergymen and monks. He severely rebuked the Bishop of Florence for playing a game at chess. That prelate acknowledged his amusement to be a faulty sloth in a man of his character, and received the saint's remonstrance with great mildness, and submitted to his injunction by way of penance, namely, to recite three times the psalter, to wash the feet of twelve poor men, and to give to each a piece of money. He shows those to be guilty of manifold simony who serve princes or flatter them for the sake of obtaining ecclesiastical preferments. He wrote a treatise to the bishop of Besanzon, against the custom which the canons of that church had of saying the divine office sitting; though he allowed all to sit during the lessons. This saint recommended the use of disciplines whereby to subdue and punish the flesh, which was adopted as a compensation for long penitential fasts. Three thousand lashes, with the recital of thirty psalms, were a redemption of a canonical penance of one year's continuance. Sir Thomas More, St. Francis of Sales, and others testify that such means of mortification are great helps to tame the flesh and inure it to the lab ours of penance; also to remove a hardness of heart and spiritual dryness, and to soften the soul into compunction. But all danger of abuses, excess, and singularity is to be shunned, and other ordinary bodily mortifications, as watching and fasting, are frequently more advisable. This saint wrote most severely on the obligations of religious men,4 particularly against their strolling abroad; for one of the most essential qualities of their state is solitude, or at least the spirit of retirement. He complained loudly of certain evasions, by which many palliated real infractions of their vow of poverty. He justly observed: "We can never restore what is decayed of primitive discipline; and if we, by negligence, suffer any diminution in what remains established, future ages will never be able to repair such breaches. Let us not draw upon ourselves so base a reproach; but. let us faithfully transmit to posterity the examples of virtue which we have received from our forefathers." The holy man reconciled discords, settled the bounds of the jurisdiction of certain dioceses, and condemned and deposed in councils those who were convicted of simony. He notwithstanding tempered his severity with mildness and indulgence towards penitents where charity and prudence required such a condescension. Henry IV, King of Germany, at eighteen years of age, began to show the symptoms of a heart abandoned to impiety, infamous debauchery, treachery, and cruelty. He married, in 1066, Bertha, daughter to Otho, Marquess of Italy, but afterward, in 1069, sought a divorce by taking his oath that he had never been able to consummate his marriage. The Archbishop of Mentz had the weakness to be gained over by his artifices to favour his desires, in which view he assembled a council at Mentz. Pope Alexander II forbad him ever to consent to so enormous an injustice, and pitched upon Peter Damian for his legate to preside in that synod, being sensible that a person of the most inflexible virtue, prudence, and constancy was necessary for so important and difficult an affair, in which passion, power, and craft made use of every engine in opposition to the cause of God. The venerable legate met the king and bishops at Frankfort, laid before them the orders and instructions of his holiness, and in his name conjured the king to pay a due regard to the law of God, the canons of the church, and his own reputation, and seriously reflect on the public scandal of so pernicious an example. The noblemen likewise all rose up and entreated his majesty never to stain his honour by so foul an action. The king, unable to resist so cogent an authority, dropped his project of a divorce; but, remaining the same man in his heart, continued to hate the queen more than ever.
St. Peter hastened back to his desert of Font-Avellano. Whatever austerities he prescribed to others he was the first to practice himself, remitting nothing of them even in his old age. He lived shut up in his cell as in a prison, fasted every day, except festivals, and allowed himself no other subsistence than coarse bread, bran, herbs, and water, and this he never drank fresh, but what he had kept from the day before. He tortured his body with iron girdles and frequent disciplines, to render it more obedient to the spirit. He passed the three first days of every Lent and Advent without taking any kind of nourishment whatsoever; and often for forty days together lived only on raw herbs and fruits, or on pulse steeped in cold water, without touching so much as bread, or any thing which had passed the fire. A mat spread on the floor was his bed. He used to make wooden spoons, and such like useful mean things, to exercise himself at certain hours in manual labour. Henry, Archbishop of Ravenna, having been excommunicated for grievous enormities, St. Peter was sent by Pope Alexander II, in quality of legate, to adjust the affairs of the church. When he arrived at Ravenna, in 1072, he found the unfortunate prelate just dead, but brought the accomplices of his crimes to a sense of their guilt, and imposed on them a suitable penance. This was his last undertaking for the church, God being pleased soon after to call him to eternal rest, and to the crown of his labours. Old age and the fatigues of his journey did not make him lay aside his accustomed mortifications, by which he consummated his holocaust. In his return towards Rome, he was stopped by a fever in the monastery of our Lady without the gates of Faenza, and died there on the eighth day of his sickness, whilst the monks were reciting matins round about him. He passed from that employment which had been the delight of his heart on earth to sing the same praises of God in eternal glory, on the 22nd of February, 1072, being fourscore and three years old. He is honoured as patron at Faenza and Font-Avellano on the 23rd of the same month.
Read more: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/P/stpeterdamian.asp#ixzz1En7WEU1S