Saturday, February 12, 2011



HEARING to the General Assembly of the Priestly Fraternity of the Missionaries of SAN CARLO BORROMEO (IMAGE SOURCE: RADIO VATICANA)

At 12 o'clock this morning in the Sala Clementina of the Apostolic Palace, the Holy Father Benedict XVI received in audience the participants in the General Assembly of the Priestly Fraternity of the Missionaries of St. Charles Borromeo, to mark the 25th anniversary of the founding of the community.
Here is the speech that the Pope addressed the audience:


    Dear Brothers and Friends,

    It is with true joy that I live this meeting with you, priests and seminarians of the Fraternity of St. Charles, gathered here on the occasion of the twenty-fifth anniversary of his birth. I greet and thank the founder and superior general, Bishop Massimo Camisasca, its board, and all of you, family and friends, you do crown to the community. In particular, I greet the Archbishop of the Mother of God in Moscow Archbishop Paolo Pezzi, and Don Julian Carron, president of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, which symbolically express the fruits and the root of the work of the Society of St. Charles.This moment brings to my memory a long friendship with Monsignor Luigi Giussani, and testifies to the fruitfulness of his charisma.

    On this occasion, I would answer two questions suggests to me that our meeting: what is the place of the ordained priesthood in the Church? What is the place of the priestly life together?

    Your birth of the movement Communion and Liberation, and your reference ecclesial life experience shows that, put before us a truth that has been reaffirmed with particular clarity in the nineteenth century onwards, and which has found expression in a significant theology of Vatican II. I am referring to the fact that the Christian priesthood is not an end in itself. It was built by Jesus according to the birth and life of the Church. Every priest, therefore, can say to the faithful, to paraphrase St. Augustine:Vobiscum Christianus, sacerdos pro vobis . The glory and joy of the priesthood is to serve Christ and his Mystical Body. It is a beautiful and unique vocation within the Church, which makes Christ present, because it is part of the unique and eternal Priesthood of Christ. The presence of priestly vocations is a sure sign of truth and vitality of a Christian community. For God always calls, even to the priesthood, there is no real growth in the Church without a genuine and fruitful priestly presence that sustains the food. I am so grateful to all those who devote their energies to the training of priests and the reform of priestly life. As the whole Church, in fact, need to continuously renew the priesthood, finding the life of Jesus forms the most essential of his being.

    The different possible ways of this renewal can not overlook some essential elements. First, a deep education to meditation and prayer, lived as a dialogue with the risen Lord present in his Church.Second, a study of theology that you can meet Christian truths in the form of a summary related to the life of the individual and the community: only a scholarly look can thus exploit the power that faith has to illuminate the life and the world, continuously leading to Christ, the Creator and Savior.

    The Fraternity of St. Charles has pointed out, during the course of his brief but intense history, the value of the common life. I too have spoken many times in my speeches before and after my call to the throne of Peter. "It is important that priests do not live isolated from somewhere, but stay together in small communities, they support each other and do so in their experience of being together in service to Christ and surrender to the kingdom of Heaven and take even more conscience "( Light of the world , Vatican City, 2010, 208). They are under our eyes to the urgency of this moment. I think for example the shortage of priests. Community life is not primarily a strategy to meet these needs. Nor is it in itself, only a form of aid in the face of loneliness and weakness of man. All this can be, certainly, but only if the fraternal life is conceived and experienced as a way to immerse yourself in the reality of communion. Community life is in fact an expression of Christ's gift which is the Church, and is foreshadowed in the apostolic community, which gave rise to the priests. No priest administers fact that something is right, but participates with others on a sacramental gift that comes directly from Jesus

    Because it expresses the common life that Christ gives aid to our lives, calling us, through the presence of the brothers, to a configuration ever deeper to his person. Living with others is to accept the necessity of its continual conversion and in particular to discover the beauty of this journey, joy, humility, penance, but also the conversation of mutual forgiveness, mutual support. Ecce quam bonum et quam fratres iucundum habitare in unum ( Ps. 133.1).

    No one can take the healing powers of common life without prayer, without looking at the experience and teaching of the saints, especially of the Fathers of the Church without a sacramental life lived faithfully.If you do not enter the eternal dialogue maintains that the Son with the Father in the Holy Spirit no genuine common life is possible. It should be with Jesus to be with others. This is the heart of the mission. In the company of Christ and the brothers each priest can find the energy to take care of men to take responsibility for the spiritual and material needs met, to teach new words are always dictated by love, the eternal truths of the faith in thirsty even our contemporaries.

    Dear brothers and friends, continue to go around the world to bring to all the fellowship that comes from the heart of Christ! The experience of the Apostles with Jesus is always the beacon that lights up your priestly life! I encourage you to continue on the path outlined in these years, I gladly impart my blessing to all the priests and seminarians of the Fraternity of St. Charles, the Missionaries of St. Charles, their family and friends.

    [00214-01.01] [Original text: Italian]



    Archbishop Jozef Zycinski; photo - PAP archives
    A leading voice in the Church was lost yesterday with the death of Archbishop Jozef Zycinski, a philosopher, theologian and teacher. He died in Rome, most probably of a brain haemorrhage. He was 62.

    Zycinski's sparkling intellect was always much in demand. Besides being a regular speaker across Poland, he also lectured abroad at Oxford and Berkeley universities amongst others.

    A regular contributor to leading progressive journals such as Znak andTygodnik Powszechny, he also wrote for the liberal daily Gazeta Wyborcza. He was seen as a voice of constructive dialogue.

    “He was a face of the the Polish Church,” reflected Father Adam Boniecki, editor-in-chief of Tygodnik Powszechny. “Listening to him, many people breathed a sigh of relief that one can think in this way.”

    Zycinski served as Archbishop of Lublin from 1997-2011. This remains a key see in the Polish Catholic Church. As an intellectual, it suited Zycinski well. The Catholic University of Lublin enjoys considerable prestige, having endured as a beacon of comparatively free learning in the communist years.


    ASIA NEWS REPORT: Government reshuffle took place yesterday. Bhatti has struggled in recent years to amend the blasphemy law and has recently requested a pardon for Asia Bibi.

    Islamabad (AsiaNews) - President Asif Ali Zardari confirms Shahbaz Bhatti as Minister of minorities, after the cabinet reshuffle that took place yesterday following the resignation of the staff of the federal cabinet presented in recent days by Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani.

    Bhatti, who is a Catholic, was the first parliamentarian to take up the post of Minister for Minorities. His Christian predecessors were offered only minor portfolios. In recent years he has fought to amend the blasphemy law and has recently launched an initiative to seek pardon for Asia Bibi. In fact because of his positions Bhatti has received death threats from Islamic extremist groups that still do not want to change the law. Bhatti told AsiaNews: "I thank God for giving me this opportunity to continue my struggle for the oppressed minorities in Pakistan." "Christians and other minorities - he adds - are citizens of Pakistan and have the same rights as any other citizen, because our ancestors sacrificed their lives for this country".

    According to sources close to the presidency, the government has confirmed Bhatti only after strong pressure from the international community concerned about the recent cases of violence against minorities because of the blasphemy law. A young Christian man was killed in recent days in Ghakkar Mandi (Punjab), while Asia Bibi, the young Christian woman sentenced to death for blasphemy who is still waiting for her appeal to be heard in the Court of Lahore.

    Bishop Anthony Rufin of Islamabad emphasizes that confirmation of Bhatti "is a positive sign for the minorities." The bishop hopes that the minister will help the government to realize the increasing oppression of Christians and Hindus and followers of other religions, often forced to leave the country in order to survive.


    LIFESITENEWS.COM REPORT: Chicago’s Resurrection Hospital is making national news with its new commitment to reversing mid-term abortions for women who have changed their minds and wish to have their babies.

    The program, which was formally dedicated on January 26, is called the Bethlehem Project, and is being conducted in cooperation with Chicago’s Pro-Life Action League and the Chicago Women’s Center. It assists women to reverse a second-trimester abortion known as Dilation and Evacuation (D&E), a procedure that takes two days to complete.

    Women undergoing a D&E abortion must pass through a 24-hour period in which their cervix is dilated using laminaria made from seaweed or another substance, which slowly expands. After the cervix has been opened sufficiently, the abortionist applies a vacuum hose and forceps to tear the unborn child to pieces, which are removed one by one until the entire body is extracted.

    Through the Bethlehem Project, Resurrection Hospital is committed to removing the laminaria from the cervix of women who do not wish to complete their abortions, and to give them whatever medical attention is necessary to protect their health and that of their unborn children, something abortion providers are hesitant or unwilling to do.

    Sister Donna Marie Wolowicki, CEO of Resurrection Hospital
    Sister Donna Marie Wolowicki, CEO of Resurrection Hospital
    Clip from hospital video

    The story of the hospital’s commitment to the unborn is now being reported by news organizations across the United States, including Time Magazine, the Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, and Fox News.

    Sister Donna Marie Wolowicki, CEO of Resurrection Hospital, told the Chicago Tribune that stopping abortions is “part of who we are,” and added that “Catholic health care is to reach out to people and help them in their need. Of course, it’s vital to be true to the ethics we believe in. Holding life sacred is a big piece of what we believe.”

    “We hope that in other parts of the country where abortion clinics are doing late term abortions, sidewalk counselors can forge similar relationships with Catholic or Christian hospitals to meet the needs of women who want to reverse the abortion procedure and choose life for their babies,” said Ann Scheidler of the Pro-Life Action League. “We’re happy to help make that happen.”

    Three unborn children have reportedly been saved by the program since it began in October. The Tribune quotes one beneficiary of the program who was stopped by a “pushy” priest who encouraged her to halt her second-trimester abortion.

    “Thank God this man stopped us,” the woman said in an anonymous interview. “He saved the life of my baby and maybe he saved my life too.”BY MATTHEW CULLINAN HOFFMAN\



      Agenzia Fides report – On the occasion of the World Day for the Sick, celebrated throughout the world on 11 February, the Diocese of Bissau sent Fides some information on its work in Cumura hospital, where 2,000 people affected with various illnesses, many HIV-positive, are being treated. According to the director of the hospital, Father Victor Farinha Henriques, OFM, “every day new people come to the hospital, some with the disease at an advanced stage, with no hope of survival. We can only offer them our moral support,” says Fr Farinha. The doctor points out that all the work that is done currently in this area “is very little”. Sister ValĂ©ria Amado, Franciscan Missionary of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, working for over 10 years in Cumura hospital with HIV and tuberculosis patients is of the same opinion as Fr Farinha. The hospital is run by the Friars Minor in Guinea Bissau, and it is a place which welcomes patients with HIV-AIDS and Tuberculosis. The hospital was opened in 1969 to assist those suffering from leprosy. Pope John Paul II celebrated the World Day of Leprosy there in 1990.


      CATH NEWS REPORT: Christian leaders will question the NSW Premier, Kristina Keneally, and the state Opposition Leader, Barry O'Farrell, on a range of social issues during a special leaders' forum at State Parliament next week, reports the Sydney Morning Herald.

      Videos of the leaders being asked eight questions were posted on the lobby group's website. Julia Gillard also answered the questions when she replaced Mr Rudd as prime minister.The invitation-only event scheduled for next Tuesday, organised by the Australian Christian Lobby, is inspired by a similar exercise before last year's federal election involving the then prime minister, Kevin Rudd, and the federal Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott.

      The ACL's state director, David Hutt, said Ms Keneally and Mr O'Farrell agreed to the forum in December.

      "It's an important opportunity for the leaders of both parties - both major sides of politics - to present themselves to the Christian constituency and try and vie for their support at the election," he said. "It will be a very senior audience from the Christian constituency, with a number of heads of denominations.

      "It's virtually all denominations," he said.

      Both leaders will face the forum separately, but will be asked the same questions. Mr Hutt said ethics classes would be on the agenda, as well as questions on social justice issues, such as poverty and homelessness.

      ''Ethics classes are an issue which a great many people in the church have a strong interest in. It's one of many issues. The night is not all about ethics classes.''

      The Catholic Church this week voiced its displeasure at the opposition's ''backflip'' on ethics classes on the front page of the Catholic Weekly.

      Bishop Julian Porteous, the auxiliary Bishop of Sydney, told the newspaper that from a Christian perspective, the ethics classes were "very defective".

      "It is what Pope Benedict has so often warned against - a dictatorship of relativism," he said.

      Separately, comments by Mr O'Farrell to the National Press Club that his party was unlikely to enter into a preference deal with the NSW Greens was "cautiously welcomed" by the ACL, said a media release.

      "The NSW system of optional preferential voting means there is no reason why the Coalition should give preferences to the Greens," said Mr Hutt, the NSW ACL Director.

      "More and more we are seeing that the Greens' agenda goes far beyond environmental protection. They support a range of social engineering policies that are clearly making a lot of people uncomfortable.

      "I strongly suspect that Mr O'Farrell will be rewarded politically for any decision not to preference the Greens in the same way Victorian Premier, Ted Baillieu was rewarded on Election Day for a similar decision."


      St. Saturninus & Companions


      Feast: February 12


      Feast Day:February 12

      St. Saturninus was, says Tillemont, one of the most illustrious martyrs France has given to the Church. We possess only his Acts, which are very old, since they were utilized by St. Gregory of Tours. He was the first bishop of Toulouse, whither he went during the consulate of Decius and Gratus (250). Whether there were already Christians in the town or his preaching made numerous conversions, he soon had a little church. To reach it he had to pass before the capitol where there was a temple, and according to the Acts, the pagan priests ascribed to his frequent passings the silence of their oracles. One day they seized him and on his unshakable refusal to sacrifice to the idols they condemned him be tied by the feet to a bull which dragged him about the town until the rope broke. Two Christian women piously gathered up the remains and buried them in a deep ditch, that they might not be profaned by the pagans. His successors, Sts. Hilary and Exuperius, gave him more honourable burial. A church was erected where the bull stopped. It still exists, and is called the church of the (the bull). The body of the saint was transferred at an early date and is still preserved in the Church of St. Sernin (or Saturninus), one of the most ancient and beautiful of Southern France. His feast was entered on the Hieronymian Martyrology for 29 November; his cult spread abroad. The account of his Acts was embellished with several details, and legends linked his name with the beginning of the churches of Eauze, Auch, Pamplona, and Amiens, but these are without historic foundations.


      TODAY'S GOSPEL: FEB. 12: MARK 8: 1- 10

      Mark 8: 1 - 10
      1In those days, when again a great crowd had gathered, and they had nothing to eat, he called his disciples to him, and said to them,
      2"I have compassion on the crowd, because they have been with me now three days, and have nothing to eat;
      3and if I send them away hungry to their homes, they will faint on the way; and some of them have come a long way."
      4And his disciples answered him, "How can one feed these men with bread here in the desert?"
      5And he asked them, "How many loaves have you?" They said, "Seven."
      6And he commanded the crowd to sit down on the ground; and he took the seven loaves, and having given thanks he broke them and gave them to his disciples to set before the people; and they set them before the crowd.
      7And they had a few small fish; and having blessed them, he commanded that these also should be set before them.
      8And they ate, and were satisfied; and they took up the broken pieces left over, seven baskets full.
      9And there were about four thousand people.
      10And he sent them away; and immediately he got into the boat with his disciples, and went to the district of Dalmanu'tha.

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