CATHOLIC NEWS WORLD: MON. MAR. 14, 2011: HEADLINES-
VATICAN CITY, 12 MAR 2011 (VIS REPORTS) - The Holy Father, through Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B., has sent a telegram of condolence to ArchbishopLeo Jun Ikenaga S.J. of Osaka, Japan, president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Japan, for the earthquake and tsunami which have brought devastation to the country. (IMAGE SOURCE: RADIO VATICANA)
"Deeply saddened by the sudden and tragic effects of the major earthquake and consequent tsunamis which have struck Japan's north-eastern coastal regions, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI assures all who have been afflicted of his closeness at this difficult time. He prays for those who have died, and upon their grieving families and friends he invokes divine blessings of strength and consolation. The Holy Father also expresses his prayerful solidarity with all those providing rescue, relief and support to the victims of this disaster".
VATICAN CITY, 12 MAR 2011 (VIS) - This morning the Holy Father received members of the National Association of Italian Local Authorities.
In his address to them, the Pope highlighted how "the multiplicity of subjects and of situations is not incompatible with the unity of the nation, which is being reaffirmed by this 150th anniversary currently being celebrated. Unity and plurality are, at various levels including the ecclesial level, values which enrich one another, if the right reciprocal balance is maintained.
"Two principles which facilitate the harmonious joint presence of unity and plurality are subsidiarity and solidarity, typical of the social teaching of the Church. This social doctrine has as its objective truths which are not only part of the heritage of believers, but rationally knowable by all people".
Benedict XVI highlighted how "these principles must also be applied at the level of local administration, in a dual sense: in the dealings local authorities have with the public offices of State, region and province, and in their relationship with social and intermediary organisations present in their territory. ... These include numerous ecclesial formations, such as parishes, oratories, religious houses, and Catholic institutions of education and assistance. My hope is that this vital activity may always find adequate appreciation and support, also in financial terms".
The Holy Father continued: "On this subject I would like to reiterate the fact that the Church seeks no privileges, but wishes only to be able to perform her mission freely, requesting effective respect for religious liberty. In Italy, such liberty facilitates the collaboration which exists between civil and ecclesial communities. Unfortunately, in other countries Christian minorities are often victims of discrimination and persecution", he said.
The Pope also highlighted the importance of the word "citizenship", which the members of the association have chosen to emphasise in their work. "Citizenship today", he remarked, "must be placed in the context of globalisation which is characterised, among other things, by great migratory flows. Faced with this situation solidarity must be associated with respect for the law, so as to ensure that social coexistence is not disrupted, and that consideration is given to legal principles and to the cultural and religious tradition from which Italy draws its origins. This need is more deeply felt by you who, as local administrators, are closer to people's daily lives. At all times you are required to show particular dedication in your public service to citizens, in order to promote collaboration, solidarity and humanity.
"History", the Pope added in conclusion, "has left us examples of mayors who through their prestige and dedication have marked the lives of their communities. Mention has rightly been made of Giorgio La Pira, an exemplary Christian and respected public administrator. May this tradition continue to produce fruits for the good of the country and its citizens".
VATICAN CITY, 12 MAR 2011 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in audience Cardinal Marc Ouellet P.S.S., prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.
VATICAN CITY, 13 MAR 2011 (VIS) - At midday today the Pope appeared at the window of his private study to pray the Angelus with faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square below.
Before the Marian prayer the Holy Father remarked on the significance of the period of Lent which, he said, constitutes "a spiritual itinerary of preparation for Easter. Essentially it means following Jesus as He moves decisively towards the Cross, the apex of His mission of salvation. And if we ask ourselves: Why Lent? Why the Cross? The answer is, in radical terms this: Because evil exists, sin, which according to Scripture is the profound cause of all evil.
"But this affirmation cannot be taken for granted", he added. "Many people do not accept the very word 'sin' because it presupposes a religious vision of the world and of man; and indeed it is true that if we eliminate God from the horizon of the world we can no longer speak of sin. ... The eclipse of God necessarily involves the eclipse of sin. For this reason the sense of sin - which is different to the 'sense of guilt' as psychology understands it - is acquired by rediscovering the sense of God".
Faced with moral evil, "God's approach is to oppose sin and to save the sinner. God does not tolerate evil, because he is Love, Justice and Fidelity. It is for this reason that He does not want the death of sinners, but for them to convert and live. God intervenes to save humanity, as we see throughout the history of the Jewish people, beginning with their flight from Egypt. God is determined to free His children from slavery and lead them to freedom, and the most serious and profound form of slavery is that of sin. This is why God sent His Son into the world: to free mankind from the domination of Satan, the 'original cause of all sin'".
"Entering this liturgical period means always siding with Christ against sin, facing - as individuals and as Church - the spiritual struggle against the spirit of evil".
Finally the Pope asked everyone to pray for him and his collaborators in the Roman Curia as they begin their annual Lenten spiritual exercises this evening.
VATICAN CITY, 13 MAR 2011 (VIS) - After praying the Angelus today, the Pope spoke of the "images of the tragic earthquake and the consequent tsunami in Japan" which, he said, "have left a deep impression on us all.
"I wish to renew", he added, "my spiritual closeness to the dear people of that country who are facing up to the consequences of these calamities with dignity and courage. I pray for the victims and their families, and for everyone suffering as a result of these tremendous events. And I encourage everyone who, with commendable willingness, is bringing aid. Let us remain united in prayer, the Lord is near us!"
VATICAN CITY, 14 MAR 2011 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Fr. Joseph Nguyen Tan Tuoc, director of formation for candidates to the priesthood in the diocese of Phu Cuong, Vietnam, as coadjutor of the same diocese (area 9,543, population 2,580,000, Catholics 125,274, priests 104, religious 405). The bishop-elect was born in Chanh Hiep, Vietnam in 1958 and ordained a priest in 1991.
On Saturday 12 March it was made public that the Holy Father:
- Appointed Bishop Thumma Bala of Warangal, India, as archbishop of Hyderabad (area 25,319, population 12,674,000, Catholics 108,388, priests 283, religious 1,080), India. The archbishop-elect was born in Narimetta, India in 1944, he was ordained a priest in 1970 and consecrated a bishop in 1987.
- Erected the new diocese of Kondoa (area 13,210, population 541,345, Catholics 46,067, priests 17, religious 87) Tanzania, with territory taken from the diocese of Dodoma, making it a suffragan of the metropolitan church of Dar-es-Salaam. He appointed Fr. Bernardine Mfumbusa, vice chancellor of academic studies at the University of St. Augustine of Mwanza, as first bishop of the new diocese. The bishop-elect was born in Arusha, Tanzania in 1962 and ordained a priest in 1992.
- Appointed John Chrisostom Ndimbo, executive secretary of the department of education at the Tanzania Episcopal Conference, as bishop of Mbinga (area 11,400, population 532,019, Catholics 418,000, priests 69, religious 270), Tanzania. The bishop-elect was born in Kipololo, Tanzania in 1960 and ordained a priest in 1989. He succeeds Bishop Emmanuel A. Mapunda, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.
- Appointed Bishop Thomas D'Souza of Bagdogra, India, as coadjutor archbishop of Calcutta (area 29,857, population 32,674,000, Catholics 165,381, priests 237, religious 1,258), India. The archbishop-elect was born in Adyapady, India in 1950, he was ordained a priest in 1977 and consecrated a bishop in 1998.
- Accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Vigevano, Italy presented by Bishop Claudio Baggini, in accordance with canon 401 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law. He is succeeded by Coadjutor Archbishop-Bishop Vincenzo Di Mauro.
-LIFESITENEWS.COM REPORT- TWO HUNDRED MARCHERS CARRYING WHITE CROSSES WALKED THROUGH THE ANCIENT CITY OF MUNSTER, GERMANY THIS PAST SATURDAY AFTER KNEELING IN PRAYER IN FRONT OF PRO-ABORTION OPPONENTS BLOCKING THEIR PATH.
The March, organized by Euro Pro-life, was held in remembrance of Bishop Count von Galen, who in his sermons strongly argued against the mercy killing of persons not worthy to live in Nazi Germany.
March leader Wolfgang Herring was prevented from starting the March at the scheduled time. Opponents blocked the March route, strongly advocating their gay and lesbian life style while throwing condoms at the marchers. Police kept both groups separated throughout the march.
While they were waiting for police to clear the way, march participants were asked to kneel and pray for the abolition of abortion. Each day in Germany the lives of 1000 unborn children are taken through abortions up to the 12th week.
The silent prayer Virgil was watched by police whose efforts to clear a path for the marchers in a peaceful way eventually succeeded. News reports revealed that the identity of 80 of the protesters was known to the police. They may face chargers of obstructing a legal event.
The March ended around the statue of Bishop Count von Galen, where Herring addressed the participants and thanked the police for their efforts. The organizer of Dutch Cry for Life march welcomed the participants to the second March for Life in Brussels, Belgium which is scheduled for Sunday March 27, 2011.
Read one of Bishop von Galen’s sermons and Nazi correspondence in response to it.
See also the website of Euro Pro-Life which promotes the marches with white crosses
UCAN REPORT: CHRISTIANS BEGIN FAST FOR PEACE
Christians in Mangalore, who witnessed a wave of attacks against them two years ago, have started a 21-day fast and prayer vigil for safety and peace in this southern Indian town.
“We offer the 21 days of prayers and fasting for the safety” of Christians in Karnataka, said Bishop Aloysius Paul D’Souza of Mangalore who opened the marathon prayer program March 10.
He said after the pro-Hindu attacks on churches across Karnataka state in 2008, Christian were “in constant fear” and felt unsafe.
At least 27 Christian sites were damaged across the state in the first few days of violence that began three months after the pro-Hindu Bhratiya Janata Party (BJP, Indian people’s party) came to power in 2008.
Father Nelson Pinto, the convener of the prayer program across the diocese, said they have settled on 21 days because of a Biblical reason.
According to Bible, Prophet Daniel had for full “three weeks of mourning” sacrificed pleasant food, meat and wine,” said the Carmelite priest.
He said with that background, Catholics across the diocese plan to abstain from having meat and their other favorite food items, and lives mainly on fruits and vegetables.
Catholics from all over the parishes would take turns to join the fast, prayer and adorations conducted in the diocesan headquarters for eight hours every day.
Some 600 people attended the program on the opening day. It will conclude on March 30.
“This is a people’s prayer for a cause. We have personally invited many to the marathon prayer sessions,” said Melvyn Noronha, an organizer of the program.
On 22 January, President Joseph Kabila promulgated the constitutional law amending the previous norm, whereby the Head of State is elected by ballot in two rounds. With the amendment to the Constitution, the presidential elections of 27 November will be a single occasion. The constitutional amendment has provoked a lively debate throughout the Country and the Bishops have expressed their concerns in this regard (see Fides 24/1/2011).
In the document, sent to Fides, the Episcopal Conference recalls that the Constitution was drafted by “a laboriously achieved consensus” and was approved by a referendum. The constitutional amendment, however, write the Bishops, “was passed and promulgated in less than two weeks at the end of an extraordinary session of Parliament, where it was not initially included on the agenda, when it could have been presented earlier, calmly, on the basis of broad consultation and open public and parliamentary debate.”
The Bishops underline the concerns of the Country about this procedure: “We fear that this constitutional amendment is a prelude to other reviews that will lead to the return of one-party politics, to the end of democracy and to the establishment of a new dictatorship” The Bishops note that “the elections in several African countries have often been a deplorable spectacle of violence, protests and riots” and warn that the DRC should have seen by example to ensure that the 27 November elections are “free and democratic”.
CNS REPORT -- Five days a week, Ginou Vincent makes the hourlong trek on exhaust-filled, congested streets to build prefabricated shelters for people, like herself, left homeless by last year's earthquake. It's a long trek from Carrefour, west of Port-au-Prince, to the Varreux Yard in the city's Jacomin neighborhood. But Vincent knows if she fails to show up for work, a family might have to wait a little longer to escape one of the squalid settlements that sprouted after the magnitude 7 temblor forced 1.5 million people out of their homes. "I'm very proud of the work," said Vincent, who lived in central Port-au-Prince at the time of the quake. "It makes me feel good. I give all I have to help those people." The money Vincent earns helps put her four children, ages 9-15, through school. She said she tries to save a little to get a place of her own, but it is hard because life has become expensive since the disaster. Vincent is one of 146 workers producing transitional shelters, or "T-shelters," under a program coordinated by Catholic Relief Services and funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development. The workers are divided into six teams. Together they produced about 40 shelter kits a day. Since starting in May, the workers have produced about 2,500 of the 192-square-foot shelters, said Eddy Ambroise, the yard's manager.
CATH NEWS REPORT:
(L-R) Mateusz Tuniewicz, FI-AP Regional Director, Sr Denise Boyle fmdm, FI Executive Director, Br Stephen Bliss OFM, Br John Doctor OFM, President of the FI International Board of Directors, presenting the 'Award for Outstanding Service to Franciscans International' at a Gathering of Franciscan Leaders in Bangkok.
A Brisbane Franciscan parish pastor has been honoured with an award for "Outstanding Service to Franciscans International" (FI) at a regional meeting of the order's leadership, according to a media release.
Br Stephen helped initiate the idea of the FI Bangkok office - which serves the Franciscan Family in the Asia-Pacific Region - and worked hard with others to make the dream a reality.Br Stephen Bliss OFM, Pastor of the Franciscan Parish in Kedron, Brisbane, the former Provincial of Australia, symbolised all the Franciscan Leaders who worked together to establish the FI Bangkok office, said Br John Doctor OFM, President of the FI International Board of Directors (IBD).
"I feel very honoured to receive this award and quickly acknowledge that the achievements of the Bangkok Office are not mine alone. The idea came from the 'grassroots' and we worked together to establish an office in Asia-Pacific," said Br Stephen after the ceremony in Bangkok last month.
"Franciscans International Asia-Pacific (FI-AP) has empowered women and men in their vocation as Franciscans and brought about many exciting and very real developments in our Region.
"FI is unique in that it is one of the few expressions of real collaboration within the Franciscan Family; and this is certainly true in our Region."
QUEEEN, MOTHER OF OTTO THE GREAT, BENEDICTINE OBLATE
Feast: March 14
Queen of Germany, wife of King Henry I (The Fowler), born at the Villa of Engern in Westphalia, about 895; died at Quedlinburg, 14 March, 968. She was brought up at the monastery of Erfurt. Henry, whose marriage to a young widow, named Hathburg, had been declared invalid, asked for Matilda's hand, and married her in 909 at Walhausen, which he presented to her as a dowry. Matilda became the mother of: Otto I, Emperor of Germany; Henry, Duke of Bavaria; St. Bruno, Archbishop of Cologne; Gerberga, who married Louis IV of France; Hedwig, the mother of Hugh Capet. In 912 Matilda's husband succeeded his father as Duke of Saxony, and in 918 he was chosen to succeed King Conrad of Germany. As queen, Matilda was humble, pious, and generous, and was always ready to help the oppressed and unfortunate. She wielded a wholesome influence over the king. After a reign of seventeen years, he died in 936. He bequeathed to her all his possessions in Quedlinburg, Poehlden, Nordhausen, Grona, and Duderstadt.
It was the king's wish that his eldest son, Otto, should succeed him. Matilda wanted her favourite son Henry on the royal throne. On the plea that he was the first-born son after his father became king, she induced a few nobles to cast their vote for him, but Otto was elected and crowned king on 8 August, 936. Three years later Henry revolted against his brother Otto, but, being unable to wrest the royal crown from him, submitted, and upon the intercession of Matilda was made Duke of Bavaria. Soon, however, the two brothers joined in persecuting their mother, whom they accused of having impoverished the crown by her lavish almsgiving. To satisfy them, she renounced the possessions the deceased king had bequeathed to her, and retired to her villa at Engern in Westphalia. But afterwards, when misfortune overtook her sons, Matilda was called back to the palace, and both Otto and Henry implored her pardon.
Matilda built many churches, and founded or supported numerous monasteries. Her chief foundations were the monasteries at Quedlinburg, Nordhausen, Engern, and Poehlden. She spent many days at these monasteries and was especially fond of Nordhausen. She died at the convents of Sts. Servatius and Dionysius at Quedlinburg, and was buried there by the side of her husband. She was venerated as a saint immediately after her death. Her feast is celebrated on 14 March.
|Matthew 25: 31 - 46|
|31||"When the Son of man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne.|
|32||Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate them one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats,|
|33||and he will place the sheep at his right hand, but the goats at the left.|
|34||Then the King will say to those at his right hand, `Come, O blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world;|
|35||for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me,|
|36||I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.'|
|37||Then the righteous will answer him, `Lord, when did we see thee hungry and feed thee, or thirsty and give thee drink?|
|38||And when did we see thee a stranger and welcome thee, or naked and clothe thee?|
|39||And when did we see thee sick or in prison and visit thee?'|
|40||And the King will answer them, `Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.'|
|41||Then he will say to those at his left hand, `Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels;|
|42||for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink,|
|43||I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.'|
|44||Then they also will answer, `Lord, when did we see thee hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to thee?'|
|45||Then he will answer them, `Truly, I say to you, as you did it not to one of the least of these, you did it not to me.'|
|46||And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."|