Wednesday, February 9, 2011


CATHOLIC NEWS WORLD: WED. FEB. 9, 2011: Headlines-





VATICAN CITY, 9 FEB 2011 (VIS reports) - Benedict XVI dedicated his catechesis during this morning's general audience to St. Peter Canisius, whom Leo XIII proclaimed as "the second apostle of Germany", and who was subsequently canonised and proclaimed as a Doctor of the Church by Pius XI in 1925.

Born at Nijmegen in the Netherlands in 1521, Peter Canisius entered the Society of Jesus in 1543 and was ordained a priest in 1546. In 1548, St. Ignatius of Loyola sent him to complete his spiritual formation in Rome. A year later he moved to the Duchy of Bavaria where he became dean and rector of the University of Ingolstadt. Later he was administrator of the diocese of Vienna, Austria, where he practiced his pastoral ministry in hospitals and prisons. In the year 1566 he founded the College of Prague and, until 1569, was the first superior of the Jesuit province of upper Germany.

In this role he created a network of Jesuit communities in Germanic countries, especially schools, which became starting points for the Catholic Reformation. He participated in religious discussions with Protestant leaders, including Melanchthon, held in the city of Worms, acted as pontifical nuncio to Poland, participated in the two Diets of Augsburg in 1559 and in 1565, and attended the closing session of the Council of Trent. In 1580 he retired to Fribourg in Switzerland where he dedicated himself to writing and where he died in 1597. Peter Canisius also edited the complete works of Cyril of Alexandria and of St. Leo the Great, and the Letters of St. Jerome.

Among his most famous works were his three "Catechises", written between 1555 and 1558. The first was aimed at students capable of understanding the basic notions of theology; the second at ordinary young people for their primary religious education; and the third at children with a medium- or secondary-school education.

"One characteristic of St. Peter Canisius", said the Holy Father, was "that he was able to harmonise fidelity to dogmatic principles with the respect due to each individual. ... In a historical period of deep confessional contrasts, he avoided severity and the rhetoric of anger, something fairly rare in discussions among Christians at that time, ... and sought only to explain our spiritual roots and to revitalise faith in the Church".

"In the works destined for the spiritual education of the masses, our saint insists on the importance of the liturgy, ... the rites of Mass and the other Sacraments. However, at the same time, he is careful to show the faithful the importance and beauty of individual daily prayer to accompany and permeate participation in the Church's public worship", said Benedict XVI, pointing our that "this exhortation and this methodology maintain all their value, especially after being authoritatively re-presented by Vatican Council II".

Peter Canisius "clearly teaches that apostolic ministry is incisive and produces fruits of salvation in people's hearts only if the preacher is a personal witness of Jesus and knows how to become His instrument, closely bound to Him through faith in His Gospel and in His Church, through a morally coherent life and incessant prayer".

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VATICAN CITY, 9 FEB 2011 (VIS) - At the end of today's general audience, the Pope addressed a greeting to bishops who are spending this week in Castelgandolfo to participate in a meeting promoted by the "Focolari" Movement.

"I am pleased that you are having this opportunity to exchange ecclesial experiences from various parts of the world, and I trust that these days of prayer and reflection may help to bring abundant fruits for your communities", he said.

The Holy Father also had words of greeting for members of "New Horizons", which has just received pontifical recognition as an international association of faithful. "While encouraging you to continue your courageous apostolate in support of our brothers and sisters in difficulties", he told them, "I exhort you to bear witness to the Gospel in charity, spreading the light, peace and joy of the risen Christ".

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VATICAN CITY, 9 FEB 2011 (VIS) - Yesterday evening the Holy Father received in audience Cardinal Reinhard Marx, archbishop of Munich and Freising, Germany.

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VATICAN CITY, 9 FEB 2011 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

- Erected the new ecclesiastical province of Lilongwe (area 24,025, population 4,660,000, Catholics 1,056,979, priests 87, religious 282) Malawi, elevating the diocese of that name to the rank of metropolitan Church and assigning it the suffragan dioceses of Dedza, Mzuzu and Karonga. He appointed Bishop Remi Joseph Gustave Sainte-Marie M. Afr of Lilongwe as the first metropolitan archbishop of the new archdiocese. The archbishop-elect was born in La Minerve, Canada in 1938, he was ordained a priest in 1963 and consecrated a bishop in 1998.

- Appointed Fr. Luigi Borriello O.C.D., consultor of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, as promoter of the faith in the same dicastery.


UCAN REPORT- An attack on a Catholic priest has sparked an outbreak of sectarian violence between Catholics and Muslims in a Mumbai suburb.

Father Yogesh Pereira of St. Gonsalo Garcia Church in Nalasopara, Vasai diocese in western India, was injured in the February 6 incident and is recovering in hospital.

Attack on priest causes sectarian violence thumbnail
Abraham Mathai, vice chairman of the Maharashtra Minorities Commission visits Father Yogesh Pereira in hospital
The drama began when the driver of a motorized trishaw slapped the priest following an argument. Several Muslim youths nearby then joined the driver and started punching the priest.

Local Catholic youths came to the priest’s assistance before they were set upon and forced to flee by another group of young Muslims who then set about burning several vehicles and threatening people.

Six youths, including a Catholic, were injured and hospitalized as a result of the brawl, Archbishop Felix Machado of Vasai told yesterday.

The archbishop condemned both sides for giving “communal and political color” to a “little altercation” in the street.

The prelate said he had contacted Muslim leader Maulana Shabhir Dhange and both are to meet on February 11 in a demonstration of unity.

He also said he plans to visit the injured Muslims “to heal the wounds of both communities.”

Abraham Mathia, vice chairman of the Maharashtra State Minority Commission, told he has urged local police to hold regular “peace meetings” between the two communities to prevent future revenge attacks.

Diocesan Chancellor Father John Furgose told he had to return home after rushing to the scene of the altercation as violence and tension had intensified and continued till evening.

Police superintendent Deepak Devraj, said police are investigating but the priority is “to build bridges between the two communities to prevent future attacks.”



Screenshot of The Courier-Mail report


The forced cancellation of all ceremonies at the New Ingham Cemetery in north Queensland, in the wake of Cyclone Yasi, has left families unable to hold funerals for their dead, reports The Courier-Mail.

"You can't have closure," Mr Olivero said. "It just feels like you're in limbo.Brian Olivero is in the grip of an agonising wait to hold a funeral for his mother, Vita, who died on January 30 at the age of 80. She was supposed to be entombed the day Yasi struck.

The Oliveros are one of six Ingham families increasingly anxious to say their last goodbyes to loved ones.

Having brushed off the storm and its ensuing flood, the families learned supplies had been cut to the companies tasked to build the grand concrete vaults they had ordered.

Within Ingham's large Australian-Italian population, it is traditional to choose mausoleums or large interment spaces for partners and family.

Concerned Catholic priest Fr Damian McGrath said the shortage of concrete vaults and the cemetery's closure was causing unrest.

"It's hard on them," he said.

"Closure is very important."

It is believed the low-lying grounds of the cemetery are still sodden and it may be unsafe for mausoleums to be placed until the ground hardens.

Workers have been clearing the grounds for days and there have been reports some headstones have been damaged.


IND CATH NEWS REPORT- Father Hans Langendörfer SJ, secretary of the German Bishops’ Conference, has issued a statement today, in response to a 4 January letter by around 120 German theologians calling for changes in doctrine and discipline. To read the original in German see:

Fr Langendörfer writes:

In its memorandum many professors of Catholic theology contribute to the conversation about the future of faith and church in Germany..... For over twenty years, there has been structured dialogue with the experts of the German bishops of the various subjects of theology. These have worked well and are beneficial to both sides.

The memorandum essentially extends ideas often discussed together again. So it is not more than a first step. In a number of issues, the memorandum is in tension with theological beliefs and religious requirements of high liability. The relevant issues require urgent further clarification. It needs it more than just a concession by the bishops to address the difficult challenges.

The Church in Germany is looking ahead with renewed vitality to where she now leads her pilgrimage. Errors and the failure of past policies, as well as the deficits and reform needs of the present, will be discussed and recognized. Bulky issues can not be escaped. Fear is in fact not a good adviser. The dialogue needs academic vision and intellectual acumen... The next plenary meeting of the German Bishops' Conference will in turn develop proposals and suggestions.

The original letter follows:

The Church in 2011: A Necessary Departure

It is over a year since cases of sexual abuse of children and youth by priests and religious at the Canisius School in Berlin were made public. Thereupon followed a year that plunged the Catholic Church in Germany into an unequaled crisis. Today, a split image is projected. Much has been undertaken to do justice to the victims, to come to terms with the wrong done, and to search out the causes of abuse, cover-up, and double standards within the Church’s own ranks. Many responsible Christians, women and men, in office and unofficially, have come to realize, after their initial disgust, that deep-reaching reforms are necessary.

The appeal for an open dialogue on structures of power and communication, the form of official church offices, and the participation of the faithful in taking responsibility for morality and sexuality have aroused expectations, but also fears. This might be the last chance for departure from paralysis and resignation. Will this chance be missed by sitting out or minimizing the crisis? Not everyone is threatened by the unrest of an open dialogue without taboos – especially since the papal visit [to Germany] will soon take place. The alternative simply cannot be accepted: the “rest of the dead” because the last hopes have been destroyed.

The deep crisis of our Church demands that we address even those problems which, at first glance, do not have anything directly to do with the abuse scandal and its decades-long cover-up. As theology professors, women and men, we can keep silence no longer. We consider ourselves responsible for contributing to a true new beginning: 2011 must be a Year of Departure for the Church. In the past year, more Christians than ever before have withdrawn from the Catholic Church. They have officially terminated their legal membership, or they have privatized their spiritual life in order to protect it from the institution. The Church must understand these signs and pull itself from ossified structures in order to recover new vitality and credibility.

The renewal of church structures will succeed, not with anxious withdrawal from society, but only with the courage for self-criticism and the acceptance of critical impulses – including those from the outside. This is one of the lessons of the last year: the abuse crisis would not have been dealt with so decisively without the critical accompaniment of the larger public. Only through open communication can the Church win back trust. The Church will become credible when only its image of itself is not removed so far from the image others have of the Church. We turn to all those who have not yet given up hope for a new beginning in the Church and who work for this. We build upon the signals of departure and dialogue which some bishops have given in recent months in speeches, homilies, and interviews.

The Church does not exist for its own sake. The church has the mission to announce the liberating and loving God of Jesus Christ to all people. The Church can do this only when it is itself a place and a credible witness of the good news of the Gospel. The Church’s speaking and acting, its rules and structures – its entire engagement with people within and outside the Church – is under the standard of acknowledging and promoting the freedom of people as God’s creation. Absolute respect for every person, regard for freedom of conscience, commitment to justice and rights, solidarity with the poor and oppressed: these are the theological foundational standards which arise from the Church’s obligation to the Gospel. Through these, love of God and neighbor become tangible.

Finding our orientation in the biblical Good News implies a differentiated relationship to modern society. When it comes to acknowledgement of each person’s freedom, maturity, and responsibility, modern society surpasses the Church in many respects. As the Second Vatican Council emphasized, the Church can learn from this. In other respects, critique of modern society from the spirit of the Gospel is indispensable, as when people are judged only by their productivity, when mutual solidarity disintegrates, or when the dignity of the person is violated.

This holds true in every case: the Good News of the Gospel is the standard for a credible Church, for its action and its presence in society. The concrete demands which the Church must face are by no means new. And yet, we see hardly any trace of reform-oriented reforms. Open dialogue on these questions must take place in the following spheres of action.

1. Structures of Participation: In all areas of church life, participation of the faithful is a touchstone for the credibility of the Good News of the Gospel. According to the old legal principle “What applies to all should be decided by all,” more synodal structures are needed at all levels of the Church. The faithful should be involved in the naming of important officials (bishop, pastor). Whatever can be decided locally should be decided there. Decisions must be transparent.

2. Community: Christian communities should be places where people share spiritual and material goods with one another. But community life is eroding presently. Under the pressure of the priesthood shortage, larger and larger administrative entities (Size “Extra Large” Parishes) are constructed in which neighborliness and sense of belonging can hardly be experienced anymore. Historical identity and built-up social networks are given up. Priests are “overheated” and burn out. The faithful stay away when they are not trusted to share responsibility and to participate in democratic structures in the leadership of their communities. Church office must serve the life of communities – not the other way around. The Church also needs married priests and women in church ministry.

3. Legal culture: Acknowledgement of the dignity and freedom of every person is shown when conflicts are borne fairly and with mutual respect. Canon law deserves its name only when the faithful can truly make use of their rights. It is urgent that the protection of rights and legal culture be improved. A first step is the development of administrative justice in the Church.

4. Freedom of Conscience: Respect for individual conscience means placing trust in people’s ability to make decisions and carry responsibility. It is the task of the Church to support this capability. The Church must not revert to paternalism. Serious work needs to be done especially in the realm of personal life decisions and individual manners of life. The Church’s esteem for marriage and unmarried forms of life goes without saying. But this does not require that we exclude people who responsibly live out love, faithfulness, and mutual care in same-sex partnerships or in a remarriage after divorce.

5. Reconciliation: Solidarity with “sinners” presupposes that we take seriously the sin within our own ranks. Self-justified moral rigorism ill befits the Church. The Church cannot preach reconciliation with God if it does not create by its own actions the conditions for reconciliation with those before whom the Church is guilty: by violence, by withholding rights, by turning the biblical Good News into a rigorous morality without mercy.

6. Worship: The liturgy lives from the active participation of all the faithful. Experiences and forms of expression of the present day must have their place. Worship services must not become frozen in traditionalism. Cultural diversity enriches liturgical life, but the tendency toward centralized uniformity is in tension with this. Only when the celebration of faith takes account of concrete life situations will the Church’s message reach people.

The already-begun dialogue process in the Church can lead to liberation and departure when all participants are ready to take up the pressing questions. We must lead the Church out of its crippling preoccupation with itself through a free and fair exchange of arguments and solutions. The tempest of the last year must not be followed by restful quietness! In the present situation, this could only be the “rest of the dead.” Anxiety has never been a good counselor in times of crisis. Female and male Christians are compelled by the Gospel to look to the future with courage, and walk on water like Peter as Jesus said to him, “Why do you have fear? Is your faith so weak?”


Agenzia Fides REPORT - “Yesterday we witnessed an imposing demonstration in Tahrir Square. The protest movement is gaining in numbers every day,” Fr Luciano Verdoscia, a Comboni missionary who works in Cairo tells Fides. The priest recounts that even the press and information outlets are changing their attitudes: “the newspapers and the television networks have begun to make accusations against former ministers, releasing news about the corruption of the administration. They were even made of the charges, which are certain to be tried, that the former Interior Minister is somehow implicated in the attack against the Coptic Church of Alexandria on 31 December.”
The corruption and financial inequalities are some of the main reasons for the protest: “In Egypt there is not hunger, there is extreme poverty,” said Fr Luciano. “Bread is in fact subsidized by the Government. Arabic bread costs 5 Egyptian cents (less than one euro cent). So the poor do not go without bread.”
To understand the protest, says Fr Luciano, “it needs to be remembered that this is a revolution of young people, especially university graduates, who know how to use the Internet, but do not have the chance to find decent work, relative to their abilities. If a person who has a degree and speaks two languages, is offered a salary of 150 euros per month, they will not accept it. But then there are people who can receive salaries of 100-200 thousand Egyptian dollars (15-20 thousand euro) per month. There are business people who have earned profits of 10 thousand per cent thanks to the purchase and sale of land: buying a plot of land at 10 euro per sq. metre and then selling it at 5-7 thousand euro per square metre creates glaring inequalities.”
The fact that newspapers publish data on the accumulation of money by Ministers who have helped these business people, who have earned money by speculating, thus represents an important breakthrough. Somehow President Mubarak's regime tries to satisfy the desire for social justice by firing the most exposed Ministers, who are now being charged and may not leave the Country.
Finally, we ask Fr Luciano what it is like experiencing these events. “As a missionary community we ask ourselves what this means for us, how to be prophetic and how we can live out the Gospel Beatitudes in this context. Thus we have decided to witness to the desire for justice and freedom of this people,” responded the missionary.


USCCB REPORT-Permanent Ban on Abortion Funding Long Overdue, Says USCCB in House Testimony

WASHINGTON (February 8, 2011) — A permanent ban on abortion funding is long overdue, which is why the U.S. bishops support the No Taxpayer Funding of Abortion Act (H.R. 3), said a representative of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in February 8 testimony to the Subcommittee on the Constitution of the House Judiciary Committee.

“H.R. 3 will write into permanent law a policy on which there has been strong popular and congressional agreement for over 35 years: The federal government should not use tax dollars to support or promote elective abortion,” said Richard Doerflinger, associate director of the Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). “Since 1976 this principle has been embodied in the Hyde amendment to annual appropriations bills funding the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and in numerous similar provisions governing a wide range of domestic and foreign programs. It has consistently had the support of the American people.”

Doerflinger noted that support for the Hyde amendment is so broad that many have assumed it is already a permanent part of federal law when it is actually a rider on the annual Labor/HHS appropriations bill, applying only to funds under that act.

Doerflinger also highlighted the need for more secure protection for the conscience rights of health care providers who do not participate in abortion, citing the substantial role of Catholic hospitals in providing health care in the United States.

“If Congress wants to expand rather than eliminate access to life-saving health care, particularly for the poor and underserved, it should be concerned about any effort to attack the rights of these providers and undermine their continued ability to serve the common good,” said Doerflinger.

The full testimony can be found online at:

TODAY'S GOSPEL: FEB. 9: MARK 7: 14- 23

Mark 7: 14 - 23
14And he called the people to him again, and said to them, "Hear me, all of you, and understand:
15there is nothing outside a man which by going into him can defile him; but the things which come out of a man are what defile him."
17And when he had entered the house, and left the people, his disciples asked him about the parable.
18And he said to them, "Then are you also without understanding? Do you not see that whatever goes into a man from outside cannot defile him,
19since it enters, not his heart but his stomach, and so passes on?" (Thus he declared all foods clean.)
20And he said, "What comes out of a man is what defiles a man.
21For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, fornication, theft, murder, adultery,
22coveting, wickedness, deceit, licentiousness, envy, slander, pride, foolishness.
23All these evil things come from within, and they defile a man."


Bl. Marianus Scotus


Feast: February 9


Feast Day:February 9

early 11th century in County Donegal, Ireland

Died:9 February 1098 at Ratisbon (Regensburg), Germany

Marianus Scotus was one of those rare Irish monks who migrated to the continent and influenced the spread of a Christian culture throughout Europe. He was a scribe and calligrapher of great skill. He became a monk at a very early age and in 1067 he set out with a few companions on a pilgrimage to Rome. En route, they stopped in Germany, and were invited by the bishop of Regensburg to settle there.

Marianus and his companions had brought with them that marvelous love of learning and beauty so distinctive of Irish monasticism, and their monastery became a center for the creation of beautiful manuscripts and commentaries on the Scriptures, done with consummate skill and artistry. The fame of their monastery, named St. Peter's, soon spread throughout the whole of Europe. Like Bobbio in Italy and St. Gall in Switzerland, their monastery became a center of Christian learning and culture.

St. Peter's and a companion monastery dedicated to St. James became the headquarters of a renaissance of Irish monasticism on the continent. In time, their congregation numbered twelve monasteries, and the monks were highly regarded for their holiness, their devotion to learning, and for the beautiful manuscripts that came forth from their hands. In their scriptoria, they carried on the tradition of the Book of Kells and the Book of Durrow. For almost four centuries, all of the monks were recruits from Ireland, and Ireland continued to supply monks, funds, and other resources for the growth of the abbey and its foundations.

The significance of the work of Marianus Scotus is indicated in by Arnold Toynbee: "The period of Irish cultural superiority over the continent and over Britain may be conveniently dated from the foundation of the monastic university of Clonmacnoise in Ireland A.D. 548 to the foundation of the Irish Monastery of St. James at Ratisbon, circa A.D. 1090. Throughout those five and a half centuries, it was the Irish who imparted culture and the English and the continentals who received it."

Blessed Marianus Scotus died on February 9, 1098.


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