Tuesday, March 1, 2011





TODAY'S GOSPEL: MAR. 1: MARK 10: 28- 31



VATICAN CITY, 1 MAR 2011 (VIS REPORT) - Pope Benedict's general prayer intention for March is: "That the nations of Latin America may walk in fidelity to the Gospel and progress in justice and peace".

His mission intention is: "That the Holy Spirit may give light and strength to those in many regions of the world who are persecuted and discriminated against because of the Gospel".



VATICAN CITY, 1 MAR 2011 (VIS) - Benedict XVI has promulgated a new "Law concerning citizenship, residency and access" to Vatican City. The document is dated 22 February, Feast of the Chair of St. Peter, and comes into effect today 1 March.

This new norm replaces the old "Law concerning citizenship and residence" which dated from 1929, the year in which the Lateran Pacts were signed.

Chapter one of the new law defines who is a citizen of Vatican City State. Chapter two lays down the conditions for residency and the authorisation necessary to reside in the State. Chapter three deals with the authorisation non-citizens and non-residents need in order to access Vatican City State. Chapter four concerns lodgings within the State and the sanctions to be inflicted in case of violation of the norms.

SCV/ VIS 20110301 (150)


VATICAN CITY, 1 MAR 2011 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

- Accepted the resignation from the archdiocese of Los Angeles, U.S.A., presented by Cardinal Roger M. Mahoney, upon having reached the age limit. He is succeeded by Coadjutor Archbishop Jose H. Gomez.

- Appointed Bishop Peter Joseph Hundt, auxiliary of Toronto, Canada, as bishop of Corner Brook and Labrador (area 154,258, population 119,000, Catholics 41,800, priests 40, religious 18), Canada.

- Appointed Bishop Robert Anthony Daniels, auxiliary of London, Canada, as bishop of Grand Falls (area 42,368, population 186,700, Catholics 38,300, priests 30, religious 20), Canada. He succeeds Bishop Martin William Currie, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, in accordance with canon 401 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law.

- Appointed Bishop Antoine Vu Huy Chuong of Hung Hoa, Vietnam, as bishop of Da Lat (area 9,764, population 1,205,000, Catholics 326,120, priests 181, religious 1,093), Vietnam.

- Appointed Bishop Jean Marie Vu Tat, auxiliary of Hung Hoa, Vietnam, as bishop of the same diocese (area 54,352, population 9,963,632, Catholics 222,647, priests 54, religious 191).

- Appointed Fr. Hikmat Beylouni, "protosincellus" (vicar general) of the apostolic exarchate for Syrian faithful resident in Venezuela, as apostolic exarch of the same exarchate (Catholics 5,000, priests 5, permanent deacons 1). The bishop-elect was born in Aleppo, Syria in 1945 and ordained a priest in 1992. He succeeds Bishop Iwannis Louis Awad, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same apostolic exarchate the Holy Father accepted, in accordance with canon 210 paras. 1 and 2 of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches.

RE:NER/ VIS 20110301 (280)


VATICAN CITY, 1 MAR 2011 (VIS) - The Holy Father gave his consent to the following canonical elections made by the Synod of Bishops of the Patriarchal Syrian-Catholic Church:

- Fr. Bouros Moshe, "protosincellus" (vicar general) of the archieparchy of Mossul of the Syrians, Iraq, as archbishop of Mossul of the Syrians (Catholics 35,000, priests 36, religious 55). The archbishop-elect was born in Qaraqosh, Iraq in 1943 and ordained a priest in 1968. He succeeds Archbishop Basile Georges Casmoussa, who has been transferred to the Syrian-Catholic Patriarchal Curia in accordance with canon 85 paras. 3 and 4 of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches.

- Fr. Yousif Abba, chancellor of the Syrian-Catholic eparchy of the United States of America and Canada, as archbishop of Baghdad of the Syrians (Catholics 18,000, priests 7) Iraq. The bishop-elect was born in Qaraqosh, Iraq in 1951 and ordained a priest in 1978. He succeeds Archbishop Athanase Matti Shaba Matoka, who resigned from the pastoral care of the same archieparchy, in accordance with canon 210 paras. 1 and2 of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches.

- Fr. Jihad Battah, "protosincellus" (vicar general) of the archieparchy of Damascus of the Syrians, Syria, as bishop of the Syrian-Catholic Patriarchal Curia. The bishop-elect was born in Damascus in 1956 and ordained a priest in 1991.



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Priests conduct Sunday mass in a refugee camp in north


Calls still being ignored, say occupants of displacement camps Catholic Tamil refugees languishing in Sri Lankan displacement camps say their calls to military authorities to allow priests in to conduct daily Masses and other services are still going unanswered.

They say many applications for priests made over the last 18 months have been systematically ignored by military and government officers.

Many are claiming discrimination, questioning why pastors from other denominations and Hindu priests are allowed to stay in camps, while they have to make do with lay leaders.

Priests are needed to nourish their spiritual lives and offer some comfort in what is a very difficult situation they say.

Around 27,000 people remain in displacement camps awaiting resettlement following the end of Sri Lanka’s long and bitter civil war against Tamil Tiger rebels in May 2009.

All the Catholic priests in the camps left when some 280,000 people were resettled a few months after the end of the war.

Since then priests visit every Sunday to offer weekly Masses and spiritual services.

“Our lives would be much more bearable if we had a priest with us on a regular basis,” said Jacob Sinnappu, a 62-year-old refugee at Ananda Kumarasamy transit camp in Menik, 29 kilometers south east of Vavuniya in Mannar diocese.

The priests will help give us strength in difficult times, he said.

Christian pastors and Hindu priests remained in camps and look after the spiritual need of the people, he said.

Pastors of different denominations conduct Bible studies and services, while Catholics make do with lay leaders conducting evening prayers and catechism in temporary huts, Sinnappu added.

“We’ve tried hard to get priests to stay in the camps, but to no avail. There’s no reply, not even a rejection,” said another refugee Madutheen Selvarajah.


Pilgrims flock to Medjugorje while Vatican studies alleged apparitions

A statue of Mary is seen outside St. James Church in Medjugorje. A Vatican-appointed commission is studying the alleged Marian apparitions at Medjugorje, which began nearly 30 years ago. (CNS/Paul Haring)

By Cindy Wooden
MEDJUGORJE, Bosnia-Herzegovina (CNS) -- A Vatican-appointed commission is studying the alleged Marian apparitions at Medjugorje, but pilgrims keep arriving in the small town.

As the 30th anniversary of the alleged apparitions approaches, the town is experiencing a building boom with new hostels, restaurants and shops that cater to pilgrims.

The 11 Franciscan friars assigned to the town's convent and its sole parish -- St. James -- are assisted by visiting priests in ministering to the pilgrims and the town's 3,500 residents, who pack the church even in the winter when pilgrim buses are few and far between. A few hotels and dozens and dozens of family-run hostels offer more than 10,000 beds for pilgrims.

Individuals and members of organized groups climb the craggy Apparition Hill where six village children said they first saw Mary in June 1981. The pilgrims pray the rosary as they trudge up the hill, careful not to twist their ankles on the slices of rock jutting out of the hillside.

Most of the Medjugorje "seers" have said the apparitions have continued every day for years. Three say they still have visions each day, while the other three see Mary only once a year now. All six are now married and have children.

Ivanka Ivankovic-Elez, Mirjana Dragicevic-Soldo and Jakov Colo still live year round in Medjugorje or a nearby village; each of them was contacted in late February but declined to be interviewed.

On the second of each month, Dragicevic-Soldo says Mary shares with her a prayer for unbelievers and on the 25th of each month, Marija Pavlovic-Lunetti, who now lives with her husband and children in northern Italy, says she receives a public message from Mary.

For years the local bishop, Bishop Ratko Peric of Mostar-Duvno, has said he believes nothing supernatural is happening in Medjugorje. In an e-mail to Catholic News Service in late February, he said he would no longer comment about what is happening in Medjugorje out of respect for the Vatican commission.

While the Vatican has said dioceses should not organize official pilgrimages to Medjugorje, it has said Catholics are free to visit the town and pray there, and that the Diocese of Mostar-Duvno and the Franciscans should organize pastoral care for them.

Franciscan Father Svetozar Kraljevic, who runs pilgrim-funded social projects on the edge of town, said, "We are all a commission" -- the local Franciscans, the townspeople and the pilgrims, who by their presence continue to study the claims about Mary's appearance in Medjugorje and to judge the authenticity of the messages the young people say she gives them.

At least 1.5 million pilgrims came in the past year and their judgment is clear, he said, although the formal commission members "have been given a special responsibility" for discernment.

Offering an introductory session Feb. 25 for a pilgrim group from St. Louis, Franciscan Father Danko Perutina told them, "Everything Our Lady has been talking about here is already in our tradition -- it's nothing new -- pray, read the Bible, recite the rosary, go to Holy Mass, go to confession."

Father Perutina told the St. Louis group that official church bodies, particularly bishops' conferences, have been investigating the Medjugorje visionaries' claims for years and whatever the Vatican commission decides, "we must accept."

"There weren't as many investigations of Lourdes and Fatima," the Marian apparitions in France and Portugal respectively, "but everything must be tried by fire. Only the good things will remain," he said.

Father Perutina told the pilgrims, "Apparitions are one expression of God's acting in the world and they are helping people."

The Franciscan friar is collecting stories of priests and nuns from around the world who say their vocations are connected to Medjugorje and he said he already has more than 500 such testimonies; Father Rodger Fleming, one of the priests leading the St. Louis group, said his is one of them.

The associate pastor of St. Clement of Rome parish in St. Louis said he was making his 20th visit to Medjugorje, which he first visited with his parents and siblings.

In late February, his group was the only organized English-speaking pilgrimage in Medjugorje; there were several Italian groups, but things were pretty quiet in the little town.

Wandering around the church grounds Feb. 26 were four men in their 30s carrying plastic souvenir bags. The four friends work in Switzerland, but two are Armenian Orthodox from Turkey, one is Italian and one is Croatian.

Jakob, a 37-year-old Armenian, said, "Whether the Vatican says it's true or not really doesn't matter. What counts is what you believe inside, and I believe people need this."

The Italian, who said he has changed his name to Omar, said he agreed to join his friends on the roadtrip to Medjugorje "because I believe. It attracts me. You don't have to have more of a reason than that."


Agenzia Fides REPORT - “Clashes continue in the districts of Abobo and Adjamé, Abidjan, where a curfew has been imposed for at least another two days. People from the two districts, Abobo in particular, are leaving their homes because of fighting between security forces loyal to Gbagbo and former rebels from the New Forces close to Alassane Ouattara,” Church sources in Abidjan tell Fides. The economic capital of Côte d'Ivoire is divided between supporters of outgoing President Laurent Gbagbo and those of President-elect Alassane Ouattara.
“The displaced people of Abobo and Adjamé have moved to other districts of Abidjan which are not yet involved in the fighting, to stay with relatives and friends. It is dramatic because those who leave their homes does so with the fear of losing what little they have and what they were not able to take with them,” sources tell Fides.
“The neighbourhood of Abobo has become the headquarters of the rebels from the New Forces, who support Ouattara. They are difficult to recognise because, apparently, they have removed their uniforms and dressed in civilian clothes.” The New Forces formed from the merger of a number of rebel groups that since 2002 control the north of Côte d'Ivoire.
There is an UN force (UNOCI) and a French military mission in the country, both of which are viewed with increasing hostility by Gbagbo's supporters, because the international community has recognised Ouattara's victory in the disputed second round of presidential elections on 28 November 2010.
“The newspapers and radio and television stations controlled or otherwise linked to Gbagbo continue to attack the UN forces and the French mission in Côte d'Ivoire, accusing them of conducting attacks against civilians. It is a strategy to delegitimise the UN which certified Ouattara's victory in the second round of presidential elections. Incited by the propaganda, the supporters of Gbagbo delay and block the movement of UN vehicles in the streets of their neighbourhoods. Some of the UNOCI vehicles were burned,” says Fides sources.
The African Union has granted an extension to the mediation mission by four African Presidents (see Fides 28/02/2011), whose mandate expired yesterday, 28 February, extending it until the end of March.



"Dry Zone" alcohol prohibition sign near Brighton Jetty, by Xaragma on Fotothing


A dry zone policy in Adelaide has been described as racist, with welfare leaders saying it should be scrapped because it doesn't deal with the public-drinking issue, according to a report on AdelaideNow.

"The council should strongly consider the removal of the dry zone and seek better ways to connect with and support vulnerable people in the city," Monsignor Cappo said.Social Inclusion Commissioner Monsignor David Cappo said the Adelaide central business district dry zone was the equivalent of "funnelling Aboriginal people into the justice system".

He said the city dry zone could also shift the problem elsewhere, away from the services and support available in the city.

"We must engage with vulnerable people and support them," he said. "There should be integrated services working for them, including housing, mental health, and drug and alcohol services."

Last financial year, police caught 1731 people in possession of alcohol and 889 people drinking alcohol in Adelaide's dry area.

This compared to 1080 and 558 offences respectively in 2008-09 and was about a four-fold increase on 457 and 242 offences in 2004-05. Police attribute this to factors including increased police activity.

Adelaide Day Centre for Homeless Persons chair Sister Janet Mead said: "The dry-area policy mostly affects and unfairly targets Aboriginal people, who are driven away from their traditional meeting grounds. It is racist."

The current dry area that bans drinking alcohol on city streets and in the squares expires in October 2011. The new city council must apply to the State Government for an extension by June 30.


St. Suitbert


Feast: March 1


Feast Day:March 1


Died:1 March 713 near Düsseldorf, Germany
Patron of:angina sufferers; Germany; throat diseases

Apostle of the Frisians, b. in England in the seventh century; d. at Suitberts-Insel, now Kaiserswerth, near Dusseldorf, 1 March, 713. He studied in Ireland, at Rathmelsigi, Connacht, along with St. Egbert. The latter, filled with zeal for the conversion of the Germans, had sent St. Wihtberht, or Wigbert, to evangelize the Frisians, but owing to the opposition of the pagan ruler, Rathbod, Wihtberht was unsuccessful and returned to England. Egbert then sent St. Willibrord and his twelve companions, among whom was St. Suitbert. They landed near the mouth of the Rhine and journeyed to Utrecht, which became their headquarters. The new missionaries worked with great success under the protection of Pepin of Heristal, who, having recently conquered a portion of Frisia, compelled Rathbod to cease harassing the Christians. Suitbert laboured chiefly in North Brabant, Guelderland, and Cleves. After some years he went back to England, and in 693 was consecrated in Mercia as a missionary bishop by St. Wilfrid of York. He returned to Frisia and fixed his see at Wijkbij Duurstede on a branch of the Rhine. A little later, entrusting his flock of converts to St. Willibrord, he proceeded north of the Rhine and the Lippe, among the Bructeri, or Boructuari, in the district of Berg, Westphalia. This mission bore great fruit at first, but was eventually a failure owing to the inroads of the pagan Saxons; when the latter had conquered the territory, Suitbert withdrew to a small island in the Rhine, six miles from Dusseldorf, granted to him by Pepin of Heristal, where he built a monastery and ended his days in peace. His relics were rediscovered in 1626 at Kaiserwerth and are still venerated there. St. Suitbert of Kaiserwerdt is to be distinguished from a holy abbot, Suitbert, who lived in a monastery near the River Dacore, Cumberland, England, about forty years later, and is mentioned by Venerable Bede.


TODAY'S GOSPEL: MAR. 1: MARK 10: 28- 31

Mark 10: 28 - 31
28Peter began to say to him, "Lo, we have left everything and followed you."
29Jesus said, "Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel,
30who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life.
31But many that are first will be last, and the last first."

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