Tuesday, February 8, 2011








VATICAN CITY, 8 FEB 2011 (VIS REPORT) - The second meeting of the Special Council for the Middle East of the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops took place in the Vatican on 20 and 21 January. IMAGE SOURCE: RADIO VATICANA

A communique made public today explains that the meeting was presided by Archbishop Nikola Eterovic, secretary general of the Synod of Bishops, and that, among other things, participants examined the synodal documents with a view to the preparation of the final document, the Pope's Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation.

"The closing message and the other documents of the Synod - which was held in the Vatican in October 2010 - have been diffused and in some cases translated to promote conferences, study and debate among clergy, religious and lay people", says the communique. "The message has also been sent to political figures. In Syria, an international congress was held on the current state of Muslim-Christian relations, especially in Arab countries. In Jerusalem too a meeting of Christians and Jews was organised by the Jerusalem Centre for Jewish-Christian Relations and by the Inter-religious Co-ordinating Council, in order to promote more objective information about the synodal assembly. Ecumenical meetings and sessions of Muslim-Christian dialogue have been held, with considerable participation also by Orthodox. We now await with interest the publication of the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation.

"The contributions made by individual participants revealed that the general socio-political situation in the various countries of the Middle East remains tense", the communique adds. "Christian communities, especially in areas most affected by violence, need material and moral support, and have the right to exercise their right to freedom of worship and religion. Respect for Christian communities helps to eradicate any hotbeds of anti-Christian sentiment in the Middle East, to halt the emigration of Christians from that region, which is their native land, and to favour the common good".

The next meeting of the council will take place on 30 and 31 March.

SE/ VIS 20110208 (330)


VATICAN CITY, 8 FEB 2011 (VIS) - Holy Father:

- Appointed Fr. Sanctus Lino Manok, vicar general of Nebbi, Uganda, as bishop of the same diocese (area 5,098, population 600,177, Catholics 494,677, priests 61, religious 57). The bishop-elect was born in Atyak-Yamo, Uganda in 1957 and ordained a priest in 1986. He succeeds Bishop Martin Luluga, 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 office of auxiliary of the archdiocese of Bologna, Italy, presented by Bishop Ernesto Vecchi, upon having reached the age limit.


ASIA NEWS REPORT: Parish priest of Catholic Church badly beaten. A police vehicle torched and the court Temanggung destroyed. The wrath of the crowd unleashed over a blasphemy sentence deemed to lenient (5 years in prison instead of death penalty).

Jakarta (AsiaNews) - Thousands of angry Muslims attacked three churches, a Christian orphanage and a health centre that is also a Christian. The violence took place this morning at 10 am (local time) and only ended with the intervention of police in riot gear and police vans. One of the vans was set on fire by the crowd.

The revolt took place in Temanggung regency (Central Java), and started right in front of the town hall: first the crowd attacked the court where a trial against Richmond Bawengan Antonius, a Christian born in Manado (North Sulawesi) , accused of proselytizing and blasphemy was being held.

Bawengan was arrested in October 2010 because during a visit to Temanggung he had distributed printed missionary material, which, among other things, poked fun at some Islamic symbols. The profanity has cost him five years in prison, but the crowd were demanding the death sentence. The violence was sparked by their dissatisfaction with the verdict.

Instead of leaving the court, the crowd started pushing, shouting provocative slogans and then destroyed the building. Hundreds of police rushed in to intervene but failed to appease the thousands of Muslims who began to march en masse to "target Christians" on the main street of the city.

The Catholic Church of St Peter and Paul on Sudirman Boulevard was the first to be attacked, according to AsiaNews sources, the parish priest, Fr Saldhana, a missionary of the Holy Family, was violently beaten as he tried to protect the tabernacle and the Eucharist against the mob.

The crowd then attacked a Pentecostal church. According to the pastor Darmanto - another Christian leader of Temanggung - the main goal was the Pentecostal church, which was then burned. The mob, however, still not appeased went on to destroy in a Catholic orphanage and a health centre of the Sisters of Providence.

Another Protestant church in Shekinah was burnt down.


CNA REPORT: A European Union-published school calendar made a “regrettable omission” in excluding Christian religious holidays, the publisher announced. It has sent out corrections to all teachers who have ordered the edition.

“There was never an intention to discriminate against the Christian religion in this publication,” the European Commission’s Consumer Affairs department stated.

The European Commission and the EU Economic and Social Committee funded the distribution of 3,275,500 copies of the 2010/2011 Europa Diary, a school calendar for secondary school students to help them in homework. Its weekly pages include footnotes to teach students facts they might not know, including holidays of other religions.

The publisher said the omission of Christian holidays occurred in the footnotes. The calendar did include both Muslim and Jewish holidays.

The Christian Democratic Party in France called the omissions “unacceptable.” It filed a petition asking that the calendars not be distributed as printed but replaced with versions that include Christian holidays.

The 2011/2012 edition of the calendar will include the main public and religious holidays celebrated in each of the EU countries.


Agenzia Fides REPORT - “The situation is returning to normal even if the protests continue in Tahrir Square, where speakers alternate, making addresses using a speaker system,” Fr Luciano Verdoscia, a Comboni missionary who works in Cairo tells Fides. “Yesterday I witnessed a touching moment when the people who died in recent clashes were remembered. I also heard the speech of a famous writer and activist for human rights, Sakina Fouad, which can be summarized in three points: why hasn't the Government heard us when we denounce the corruption and lack of democracy? Where were the protesters when we denounced this situation? The Egyptian people is a great people, of culture and of great historical heritage, but that has yet to express itself in the international context. He concluded that leadership must be taken by people who love the Country, not those that exploit it.”
“I asked some demonstrators if they were planning to design the future of the country,” continued Fr Luciano. “They told me no, because now they are only interested in the protest and in reiterating the request for the resignation of President Mubarak. But there are already programs that are being spread around the protest movement.”
“In this regard, opposition to Omar Seleiman's leadership seems to be emerging (the former intelligence chief appointed as vice-president), initially accepted because the contract for the pipeline from Egypt to Israel would be assigned to a person close to him. Demonstrators are calling for the formation of an interim caretaker government. A list of names has also been released that could be part of the executive.”
According to Father Luciano, “the situation is not resolved, also because adherers to the protests grow and there are several other squares occupied by the protesters. There might be new surprises.”
Regarding any signs of fatigue by the people about the protests, Fr Luciano replied: “Most people want change and want to continue the protest. There are, however, Mubarak's supporters who are pressing for a rapid return to normality. In particular, business people and those who somehow live a decent life under the scheme are asking: what awaits us now? We are facing a terrible crisis, because every day we lose millions of dollars. This situation must end, they say, because otherwise our lives will be completely devastated.”
The missionary describes a polarisation between those who want a rapid return to normality and those who instead want to continue the protest until the regime changes: “the first group claim that Mubarak has made a reasonable proposal (to govern until elections in September, in which he will not be standing). Thus, we wait until September. It is not the end of the world. The other group's answer is no because they believe the regime wants to ensure succession, and that nothing will change. The protesters want a radical change.”



The Archdiocesan Liturgical Commission in the Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn has produced a prayer resource to help people pray the scriptures, reports the archdiocesan website.

The resource is a result of Archbishop Mark Coleridge's request for "a Compendium on the Word of God" for the archdiocese, with suggestions to encourage people to consider using the scriptures as the preferred prayer for meetings and gatherings in parishes, organisations or schools.

"One accessible and beautiful way of praying the scriptures is that of Lectio Divina, reading a section of the scriptures, and letting God speak to our hearts," Liturgical Commission chair Ms Margaret Ryan said.

"This is the prayer style chosen by the commission."

Some of the material is available now, while the remainder is expected to be ready in mid to late February.The package will include letters from the Archbishop and the chair of the Liturgical Commission, prayer sheets for each of the liturgical cycles (including three for Ordinary Time), a Marian feast and the Patron's feast of the parish church.


Ready-to-use prayer guides (Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn website)


CNS REPORT -- The revised New American Bible that will be released on Ash Wednesday, March 9, may seem most notably different to casual readers for its efforts at providing context and clarity in how the passages fit together, according to the coordinator of its publication.

"It will be like going from regular TV to high-definition," said Mary Elizabeth Sperry, associate director of New American Bible utilization for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. "You'll have the same programs but more clarity, more detail."

What is being called the New American Bible Revised Edition, or NABRE, will include the first revised translation since 1970 of the Old Testament. The New Testament translation is the same as in 1986 and later editions of the New American Bible.

The NABRE also will include the updated Book of Psalms, which was revised between 1991 and 2010 and has been included in versions of the New American Bible published since 1991.

The new Bible will be available in an assortment of print, audio and electronic formats, from a variety of publishers. Individual publishers will roll out their versions on their own schedules. For instance, Oxford University Press announced its line of compact NABRE editions will be available by Easter, April 24, and its study Bibles will be on the market for fall 2011 courses.

The NABRE's publication will not affect what Scripture texts are used for Mass. The Lectionary translation has already been updated recently.

Sperry explained that some of the updating in the Old Testament resulted from developments in biblical scholarship since the last time it was translated. For instance, recent archaeological discoveries have provided better texts, which affected scholarly views on how certain passages should be translated, she said.

The goal of retranslating the Old Testament was to "get it closer to the original language," Sperry said. Scholars start with the original Hebrew or Greek text, for instance, rather than simply working from the 1970 New American Bible version, or from translations used in other Bible editions.

For the most part, the changes will be hard to spot, except by those who are serious students or scholars, she said.

In other places in the NABRE, even casual readers may catch the differences.

She and Benedictine Father Joseph Jensen, executive secretary of the Catholic Biblical Association and one of the scholars who worked on the translation, both gave two examples of the type of changes everyday readers might notice: the disappearance of the words "cereal" and "booty."

The goal when possible was "to make the language more contemporary," said Father Jensen. In today's culture the phrase "cereal offering" conjures up images of Wheaties and Cheerios, not the bushels of wheat type of offering that the term is intended to mean, he said.

The word "booty" also has taken on the slang meanings of "buttocks" or sometimes, "sexual intercourse," instead of its primary meaning of "plunder," such as a marauding army might acquire.

Sperry said another change made for contemporary readers was the elimination of the word "holocaust" in favor of "burnt offerings." Since millions of Jews were killed in German death camps before and during World War II, the word Holocaust has gradually come to specifically refer only to that period of history, she explained.

Kathleen Nash, associate professor and chair of the religious studies department at Le Moyne College, translated the book of Joel for the NABRE and "shepherded" 1 Samuel through the process after it was translated by Carmelite Father Craig Morrison, currently of the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome. Nash joined the process in 1996, several years after the team of translators got started.

It turned out to be a long-term commitment. The editorial board met one weekend a month for years, reviewing each others' work, sometimes spending multiple weekends on a single book, she explained. Later the group's meetings revolved around queries from bishops who had their own questions and suggestions after they received the translations.

"For a good number of years, that's all I did: live and breathe translation," Nash said.

Coming into the work fairly early in her academic career, Nash said, she was very excited to be involved in the process, especially since the team was "a good mix of senior and younger scholars. ... we worked well together."

There were disagreements, to be sure, such as over whether the pronoun "he" should be used in all references to God, she said. Another effort was made to substitute "it" for references to the church as "she."

"That didn't fly," Nash said.

The completed Old Testament revision was approved by the bishops at their November 2008 meeting. In 2010 the bishops signed off on the latest revision of the Psalter, as the Book of Psalms is called.

The publication of the revised Bible also reinvigorates an ongoing dispute between the Catholic Biblical Association and the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, a separately incorporated entity whose membership is composed of the members of the USCCB Administrative Committee. The confraternity licenses religious and spiritual literature.

For decades, the association received payments from the confraternity for sales of Bibles and other publications that use the NAB translation. Payments -- which the association said represented 25 percent of the income from licensing -- but were stopped in 2008 while the confraternity sought changes in the arrangement.

The two sides entered into the process of conciliation provided for under canon law. Both the USCCB and Father Jensen declined to comment on the specifics of the case.

In a statement to CNS, Sperry said: "At the request of the CBA, the matter is in canonical conciliation. That process requires confidentiality. The bishops take the process seriously and will abide by its terms."

Father Jensen said that conciliation effort "has not been effective, but we are continuing to try."

Father Jensen said the suspension of the payments had various ramifications, from the issue of who has the legal rights to the payments to how the association would continue to pay for its program of scholarships and stipends for scholars and students.

The first year after the payments were cut off, the Catholic Biblical Association had a $170,000 deficit because it honored the grants to which it was already committed, he said, adding that the association has suspended all its grants except for a few student stipends and a famine relief donation.


St. Jerome Emiliani


Feast: February 8


Feast Day:February 8

1481, Venice

Died:8 February 1537, Somasca
Canonized:1767 by Pope Clement XIII
Patron of:orphans

Founder of the Order of Somascha; b. at Venice, 1481; d. at Somascha, 8 Feb., 1537; feast, 20 July; son of Angelo Emiliani (popularly called Miani) and of Eleonore Mauroceni, joined the army, and in 1508 defended Castelnuovo against the League of Cambray. Taken prisoner and miraculously liberated, he made a pilgrimage to the shrine of Our Lady of Treviso, in fulfillment of a vow. He was then appointed podestà of Castelnuovo, but after a short time returned to Venice to supervise the education of his nephews. All his spare time was devoted to the study of theology and to works of charity. After his ordination to the priesthood in 1518, the hospitals and the hovels of the poor were his favourite resorts. In the year of plague and famine (1528), he seemed to be everywhere, and showed his zeal especially for the orphans, whose number had so greatly increased. He rented a house for them near the church of St. Rose and, with the assistance of some pious laymen, ministered to their wants. To his charge was also committed the hospital for incurables, founded by St. Cajetan. In 1531 he went to Verona and induced the citizens to build a hospital; at Brescia he erected an orphanage, at Bergamo one for boys and another for girls. Here also he founded the first home for fallen women who wished to do penance. Two priests, Alessandro Besuzio and Agostino Bariso, now joined him in his labours of charity, and in 1532 Jerome founded a religious society, placing the motherhouse at Somascha, a secluded hamlet between Milan and Bergamo. In the rule, Jerome puts down as the principal work of the community the care of orphans, poor, and sick, and demands that dwellings, food and clothing shall bear the mark of religious poverty. Jerome fell a martyr to his zeal; contracting a disease at Bergamo, he died at Somascha. He was beatified by Benedict XIV in 1747, and canonized by Clement XIII in 1767. The Office and Mass in his honour were approved eight years later. His biography was first written by Scipio Albani (1600); another by Andreas Stella (1605). The best was written by Aug. Tortora (Milan, 1620; in "Acta SS.", Feb., II, 217 sq.).

After the death of Jerome his community was about to disband, but was kept together by Gambarana, who had been chosen superior. He obtained the approval (1540) of Paul III. In 1547 the members vainly sought affiliation with the Society of Jesus; then in 1547-1555 they were united with the Theatines. Pius IV (1563) approved the institution, and St. Pius V raised it to the dignity of a religious order, according to the Rule of St. Augustine, with solemn vows, the privileges of the mendicants, and exemption. In 1569 the first six members made their profession, and Gambarana was made first superior general. Great favour was shown to the order by St. Charles Borromeo, and he gave it the church of St. Mayeul at Pavia, from which church the order takes its official name "Clerici regulares S. Majoli Papiae congregationis Somaschae". Later the education of youth was put into the programme of the order, and the colleges at Rome and Pavia became renowned. It spread into Austria and Switzerland, and before the great Revolution it had 119 houses in the four provinces of Rome, Lombardy, Venice, and France. At present the order has ten houses in Italy two of which are in Rome. The general resides in Rome at S. Girolamo della Carita.



Mark 7: 1 - 13
1Now when the Pharisees gathered together to him, with some of the scribes, who had come from Jerusalem,2they saw that some of his disciples ate with hands defiled, that is, unwashed.3(For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, do not eat unless they wash their hands, observing the tradition of the elders;4and when they come from the market place, they do not eat unless they purify themselves; and there are many other traditions which they observe, the washing of cups and pots and vessels of bronze.)5And the Pharisees and the scribes asked him, "Why do your disciples not live according to the tradition of the elders, but eat with hands defiled?"6And he said to them, "Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written, `This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me;7in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.'8You leave the commandment of God, and hold fast the tradition of men."9And he said to them, "You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God, in order to keep your tradition!10For Moses said, `Honor your father and your mother'; and, `He who speaks evil of father or mother, let him surely die';11but you say, `If a man tells his father or his mother, What you would have gained from me is Corban' (that is, given to God) --12then you no longer permit him to do anything for his father or mother,13thus making void the word of God through your tradition which you hand on. And many such things you do."

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