Saturday, April 9, 2011








    Pope Benedict XVI accepted the resignation from the ministry of the Apostolic Vicariate of Machiques (Venezuela), presented by Bishop Ramiro Díaz Sánchez, OMI, in accordance with can. 401 § 1 of the Code of Canon Law.


  • Elevated to the Apostolic Vicariate of Machiques DIOCESE (VENEZUELA) AND APPOINTMENT OF THE FIRST BISHOP

    The Pope has elevated to a diocese the Apostolic Vicariate of Machiques (Venezuela) with the same name and territorial configuration and making it a suffragan of the Metropolitan Church of Maracaibo.

    The Holy Father has appointed the first Bishop of Machiques (Venezuela) Archbishop Jesús Alfonso Guerrero Contreras, OFM Cap, now Bishop holds Leptimino and Vicar Apostolic of Caron.

    Archbishop Jesús Alfonso Guerrero Contreras, OFM Cap

    Archbishop Jesús Alfonso Guerrero Contreras, OFM Cap, was born in La Pedregoza, Archdiocese of Mérida, January 13, 1951. He received a licentiate in philosophy at the Central University of Caracas and attended graduate studies in theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome.

    He made his religious profession in Guana August 15, 1977 and was ordained priest 10 December 1977.

    He has held various positions: Trainer of the Capuchin Vocations Centre in Caracas, Professor of Philosophy in the inter-diocesan Major Seminary of Caracas, Parochial Vicar of the Parish ofNuestra Señora de Belén in Mérida, Professor of Theology at the Institute for Religious Caracas, Director of Philosophy in La Merced , Superior and Parish Priest of the Parish of Nuestra Señora de Belén in Mérida, Professor at the archdiocesan seminary in Mérida, Director of Theology at the Institute for Religious and Theology professor at the Catholic University Andrés Bello in Caracas.

    I1 6 December 1995 he was appointed titular bishop and Vicar Apostolic of Leptimino Caron. He received episcopal ordination on 20 January 1996.


  • Appointment of the bishop of Pécs (Hungary)

    The Pope has appointed Bishop of the Diocese of Pécs (Hungary) Archbishop György Udvardy, now Bishop holds Marazane and Auxiliary of the Archdiocese of Esztergom-Budapest.

    Archbishop György Udvardy

    Archbishop György Udvardy was born May 14, 1960 at Balassagyarmat (Archdiocese of Esztergom-Budapest). He attended elementary school in Szécsény and continued his studies in Esztergom in the technical school of precision instruments industry, where he received his diploma in mechanical.

    After completing his military service, he entered the seminary in 1980, Archbishop of Esztergom. He was ordained a priest June 15, 1985.

    From 1985 to 1988 he was curate at Érsekvadkert and, from 1988 to 1990, pastor of Csit. He continued his studies in Rome (1990-1993), at the Pontifical Salesian University, where he obtained his Licentiate in Theology, specializing in youth ministry and catechesis. Back in Hungary, was inspector of diocesan catechesis (1993-2003) and Director of the National Catechetical Commission (1995). In 1997 he graduated from the faculty of theology of the Catholic Pázmány Péter in Budapest. Since 1997 he has been Professor of Catechesis, Pedagogy and Methodology in the Major Seminary of Budapest and mentioned the Catholic University. In 1991 he was appointed chaplain of His Holiness. From 2003 to 2004 was pastor of the parish of Szent Ersébet and Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Esztergom-Budapest.

    On 24 January 2004 he was appointed Titular Bishop of Marazane and Auxiliary of the Archdiocese of Esztergom-Budapest. He was ordained on February 21 of that year.


  • APPOINTMENT OF ARCHBISHOP coadjutor of Guwahati (INDIA)

    The Holy Father has appointed Coadjutor Archbishop of Guwahati (India) Rev. John Moolachira, now Bishop of Diphu.



    The Pope has appointed the Em. Cardinal Salvatore De Giorgi, Archbishop Emeritus of Palermo, his special envoy to the celebrations that will take place May 30, 2011 in Pozzuoli (Italy), at the closing of the Pauline Jubilee Year in 1950 diocesan anniversary of the landing and the preaching of St. Paul in that city


    The Holy Father Benedict XVI received in audience this morning: Cardinal Marc Ouellet, Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops; Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini, retired archbishop of Milan (Italy).


    ASIA NEWS REPORT: Each month Fr. Paul Nguyễn Thực collects 25 thousand dollars for charities. Catholic associations support the work of the priest and the faithful. The church provides food to 25 elderly people living alone. Each year about 100 baptisms are celebrated. "The laity must enhance their capacity - says Fr Paul - with the help of the Holy Spirit. "

    Ho Chi Minh City (AsiaNews) – In the diocese of Saigon a Vietnamese priest’s initiative has permitted programs in support of the poor and blind, which each month help dozens of families Catholic and non-Catholic. Thanks tothe support of some associations, Fr. Paul Paul Nguyễn Thực has collected enough money to feed the abandoned elderly, given study opportunities to 30 children and catechism classes or courses for engaged couples. For the priest, the support of the laity is essential, and he hopes that "all parishioners will learn how to exploit their respective strengths, with the help of the Holy Spirit."

    The parish of Hà Đông consists of over one thousand Catholic families, about 5 thousand believers, and belongs to the area that includes the community of Xóm Mới in the Archdiocese of Ho Chi Minh City. Fr. Paul Nguyễn Thực has been the pastor there since 2001 and has launched several social and charitable initiatives for the poor and disadvantaged. Each month, the priest collects at least 25 thousand dollars to distribute to the poor and disabled. Each Catholic family supports two or three blind people and to date there are 2,317 blind people who have benefited from their help.

    The families, which support the charities come from Đồng Nai, Long An and Bình Phước. Many Catholic organizations have joined the project, including the Legion of Mary, the Dominican Congregation, the Association of Catholic mothers, catechists and the parish pastoral committee, who provided material and spiritual help.

    Each month, the parish contributes to buying food for 25 people living alone, it gives small sums of money to 95 poor families, and guarantees the right to education for 30 students of the community in the district of Gò Vấp. Fr. Paul has worked for 11 years side by side with the laity and organized catechism classes, courses for engaged couples intending to get married and celebrates an average of 100 baptisms a year.

    "I hope that all the laity of the parish –the priest confides to AsiaNews - know how to exploit their respective strengths, with the help of the Holy Spirit, helping to promote the activities according to the teachings of Jesus." In these weeks of Lent Fr Paul has celebrated the baptism of 24 people, inviting them to "hear the word of God in daily life" and that the Lord "may grant them His favour."


    - Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Denver encouraged a gathering of pro-life University of Notre Dame students to be courageous in fighting for their beliefs and to always remember what being Catholic really means.

    “(W)e need to learn that not from the world; not from the tepid and self-satisfied; and not from the enemies of the Church, even when they claim to be Catholic; but from the mind and memory of the Church herself, who speaks through her pastors,” he said in an April 8 speech at the university.

    Chaput noted how the philosopher Leszek Kolakowski stressed the reality of evil. Though not an orthodox religious thinker, Kolakowski talked about Satan “not as a metaphor or legend or the figment of neurotic imaginations, but as a living actor in history.”

    The devil, the archbishop said, “works in the present to capture our hearts and steal our future. But he also attacks our memory; the narrative of our own identity.” This is because our memory of history conditions our thoughts and choices in our daily lives.

    Archbishop Chaput encouraged his audience to participate in politics, saying, “Christ never absolved us from defending the weak, or resisting evil in the world, or from solidarity with people who suffer.”

    Catholics cannot exclude their religious beliefs from guiding their political behavior, because God sees that this “duplicity” is a kind of cowardice. This lack of courage wounds Christians’ individual integrity and also discourages others who try to witness publicly to their faith.

    Christians should act on their beliefs always with humility, charity and prudence, but also always with courage, he emphasized.

    “We need to fight for what we believe,” he said. “Nothing we do to defend the human person, no matter how small, is ever unfruitful or forgotten. Our actions touch other lives and move other hearts in ways we can never fully understand in this world. Don’t ever underestimate the beauty and power of the witness you give in your pro-life work.”

    The archbishop also described abortion as “the foundational human rights issue of our lifetime.”

    “We can’t simultaneously serve the poor and accept the legal killing of unborn children. We can’t build a just society, and at the same time legally sanctify the destruction of generations of unborn human life,” he added.

    Abortion is no longer the only major threat to the right to life, which now faces a range of challenges including physician-assisted suicide, cloning, genetic screening, genetic engineering, and cross-species experimentation.

    He noted that people are discussing the need to return science to its “rightful place” in human life, warning that this can become a slogan to justify unethical research. Citing the Jewish bioethicist Leon Kass, he said the present day is an age of “salvific science” in which a “scientific savior” supposedly takes away the “sin of suffering.”

    Yet science accountable to no moral authority outside itself leads to “a hatred of imperfection” in real human persons, and the simplest way to deal with imperfections is to eliminate the imperfect.

    Science and technology are “enormously powerful tools” but they can undermine human dignity just as easily as they can advance human progress.

    “Virtue does matter,” the archbishop said as he finished his talk. “Courage and humility, justice and perseverance, do have power. Good does win. And the sanctity of human life will endure.”

    The sanctity of life will endure, he said, because young men and women like those in his audience will remember that “God so loved the world that He gave his only Son” and “it’s worth fighting for what’s right.”


    AGENZIA FIDES REPORT: “The attacks and the violence are being carried out by people who want to impede the democracy that Nigerians aspire to. Nigerians are tired of the violence and bad governing. The elections are the ony way of obtaining good governance, says Archbishop Ignatius Ayau Kaigama of Jos, to Fides from Nigeria, where today, 9 April, the polls opened for parliamentary elections. On the eve of the vote at least 15 people were killed in two separate attacks: one, a bomb explosion, occurred at a polling station on the outskirts of Abuja, the capital, while the second occurred at a police station in the north-east.
    “There is a small minority of Nigerians seeking to profit from the chaos and anarchy. But I can assure you that the majority of Nigerians want credible and fair elections without violence, which will allow the Country to progress,” confirms Archbishop Kaigama.
    Regarding the forces that, in his view, are committing the attacks and fueling the violence in Nigeria, the Archbishop of Jos replies: “Even when people are arrested in connection with these facts, it is not always possible to know who are the real instigators. I think that our security agencies have to work hard to uncover the identity of these main players. They are Nigerians or foreigners who wish to destabilise the country.”
    More than 73 million voters are eligible to vote for the 360 National Assembly Deputies and 109
    Senators. The election was postponed twice (see Fides 04/04/2011). For security reasons, the authorities have closed the borders and imposed a block on the movement of cars. Voters must go to the polls on foot. “It is sad, because people want to move freely. I hope that security forces help us put an end to this situation,” concludes Archbishop Kaigama.


    CATHOLICHERALD REPORT: Mark Greaves visits Glasgow’s Catholic cathedral as workers toil to finish one of the most ambitious church renovation projects in years


    Cathedral receives a glorious makeover

    The Metropolitan Cathedral Church of St Andrew, pictured during the extensive renovations. Ronnie Convery says work will continue until ‘about five minutes’ before the re-opening Mass

    On February 22 2002, the day that Archbishop Mario Conti was installed as Archbishop of Glasgow, he thought: “Something has to be done about this cathedral.” It was, he says, looking rather tired. Now, nine years later, the Metropolitan Cathedral Church of St Andrew is about to re-open, having undergone the biggest renovation and redecoration in its 200-year history.

    Partly, the work has been practical: the cathedral has new heating, new wiring, new lighting and a new floor. But its aesthetic makeover has been dramatic, too: it’s been re-painted; the font and altar have been replaced; an ambitious, large-scale piece of art is being installed. It is even getting a garden.

    Its new look is very much down to Archbishop Conti. Most of the ideas are his; the altar he designed himself. He has enormous practical interest in art and architecture: as a seminarian in Rome he painted the set for a Gilbert and Sullivan musical.

    He has been managing the project closely. According to Ronnie Convery, his director of communications, he would go up the scaffolding in a hard hat and, after inspecting some work, suggest a change to colour or design.

    And he has only just managed to fit it all in: at 77, he is two years past retirement and the oldest Catholic bishop still holding office in Britain. He is likely to step down within months of the cathedral re-opening.
    When I visit there is only a week to go. The pews are under plastic sheets; wires, foam and dust cover the floor. Workmen are busy drilling and sawing.

    For a cathedral, it is tiny. It was Glasgow’s first post-Reformation Catholic church, built as a chapel in 1816. When it later gained the status of a cathedral its small structure was left unchanged. From the front, it has a view of the River Clyde; a few yards away on a side street is a lap-dancing club.

    Pictures of the interior before the renovation show it looking tatty. In the 1970s the previous Archbishop of Glasgow, Cardinal Thomas Winning, had plans to build a new cathedral; he decided in the end to spend the money on social causes instead.

    Archbishop Conti and Ronnie Convery have agreed to give me a tour. The cathedral is by no means ready: Convery says work will probably finish around five minutes before the opening hymn.

    As we walk inside I am struck by how light it is. The stained glass absolutely gleams – each pane has been taken out and cleaned.

    The centrepiece of the renovation – Peter Howson’s painting of the martyrdom of St John Ogilvie – is not yet in place. The work, which was completed last year, depicts the saint just as he is about to be hanged, with a noose around his neck. It is 10ft by 7ft and has apparently required the biggest framing project in Scotland for centuries.

    Archbishop Conti explains that the saint, who was executed about 800 yards from the cathedral, is Scotland’s only Reformation martyr. “But a lot of people suffered for their faith,” he says softly. The archbishop has a gentle manner – at times I can barely hear him over the drilling and banging.

    He talks about Scottish Catholic history. At one point, he says, Catholics were “pretty much wiped out” in Glasgow. He says that for many early immigrants, “this was the church”. (Archbishop Conti himself is from a pocket of north-eastern Scotland where the faith managed to survive – although, as you might guess from his name, his grandparents are all Italian.) He praises Fr Andrew Scott, who commissioned the building, and James Gillespie, the architect whose name is carved into the front archway: they wanted a church “worthy of its purpose”. In many ways, he says, the redecoration has been an attempt to “get closer” to Gillespie’s original vision.

    We look up at the ceiling. Before, its decorative features were covered over in a dull grey. Now they are an exquisite gold, blue, red and green (over 3,000 books of gold leaf have been used). This, says Convery, was the archbishop’s idea.

    Next we turn to the pillars. Before, they too were grey; now they are decorated with ribbons of blue and gold. They are plaster, but have been painted to look like stone. “I had to insist on this,” the archbishop explains, “because the architect [Justin Fenton] said it would look false.” He nudges my arm mischievously. “It was when the principal adviser to Historic Scotland came on my side that he buckled.”

    We walk towards the centre of the church. The new altar, made out of white veined marble, is longer and more traditional than the old one, now fitted into the wall. I ask the archbishop where he got his inspiration. “From my head!” he says.

    Behind us, at the centre of the nave, is a new baptismal font. It, too, is white marble, from Carrara, in Italy. Archbishop Conti pulls aside a foam covering so we can see the sculpted frieze around its rim: it shows people walking towards a baptism. Archbishop Conti says that, apart from the Howson painting, it’s the feature he’s most proud of. He explains that its place at the centre of the cathedral is a “clear statement about the importance of baptism”. The old font, he says, was behind a pillar, and difficult to use. When the cathedral re-opens it will be bubbling with water.

    On our way out we pass a floor mosaic depicting the archdiocesan coat of arms. It was created by craftsmen in Bethlehem, Glasgow’s twin city. It took two years to make and was then shipped over. Circling it are the words: Specialis Filia Romanae Ecclesiae (“Special Daughter of the Roman Church”), the title given to Glasgow by Pope Alexander III in the 12th century.

    As we step outside Archbishop Conti says the city council has spent more than £1 million paving the area in front of the cathedral. “I don’t want to say that too loudly,” he says, his eyes twinkling, “because of jealousy.”

    The cloistered garden – the final element of Archbishop Conti’s vision – won’t be ready until May. It will have a fountain and a 200-year-old olive tree donated by a village in Tuscany. Archbishop Conti describes it as “an oasis from the world”, inbetween “the marketplace and the sanctuary”.

    At its centre will be the world’s largest memorial to those who died in the sinking of the Arandora Star, a cruise ship, in 1940. The ship was torpedoed by the Nazis while carrying mainly British-Italian internees; about 800 people died. The memorial will be a cluster of mirrored steel slabs, like huge gravestones. On one side of each will be a quote from the gospels; on the other a line from classical Italian poetry.

    Finally, we sit down in the lobby of the archdiocesan offices and I ask Archbishop Conti how he feels now the cathedral is about to re-open. “It’s been a long haul,” he says. He had wanted, he explains, to build a retrochoir as well. But he would have needed more time and more money.

    The cost, he says, was £4.5 million, funded mainly by a couple of well-timed bequests and the selling off of “unused property”. Only 15 per cent – £670,000 – was from an archdiocesan fund-raising campaign called Faith in Action. The garden was funded by donations from Italian benefactors.

    Once he is retired, he says, he will want to “just sit there and absorb the beauty of the building”. He will be happy “to see someone else in the bishop’s chair”, as it will relieve him of a “huge amount” of administrative work. He adds: “Hopefully I will be fit enough to continue the pastoral side of things.”

    Asked if he has any advice for his successor he pauses and then, slowly, says with comic emphasis: “Just leave it alone now.” He explains that he has put a time capsule inside the altar containing his homily for Sunday’s consecration. “You can’t expect things to last for ever. Another generation will come and want to change the altar. That’s inevitable, I think. On the other hand, I hope there is much that will last the test of time.”



    CATH NEWS REPORT: A special anniversary leads this week's list. Bendigo's Sister Sarah Duggan (pictured) has celebrated 60 years as a Franciscan missionary. In Forbes, central NSW, a volunteer has received a special honour from the Pope for community work. Aged care and hospitals have also been in the news across the nation.


    St. Mary Cleophas


    Feast: April 9


    Feast Day:April 9

    This title occurs only in John, xix, 25. A comparison of the lists of those who stood at the foot of the cross would seem to identify her with Mary, the mother of James the Less and Joseph (Mark 15:40; cf. Matthew 27:56). Some have indeed tried to identify her with the Salome of Mark, xv, 40, but St. John's reticence concerning himself and his relatives seems conclusive against this (cf. John 21:2). In the narratives of the Resurrection she is named "Mary of James"; (Mark 16:1; Luke 24:10) and "the other Mary" (Matthew 27:61; 28:1). The title of "Mary of James" is obscure. If it stood alone, we should feel inclined to render it "wife of (or sister of) James", but the recurrence of the expression "Mary the mother of James and Joseph" compels us to render it in the same way when we only read "Mary of James". Her relationship to the Blessed Virgin is obscure. James is termed "of Alpheus", i.e. presumably "son of Alpheus". St. Jerome would identify this Alpheus with Cleophas who, according to Hegesippus, was brother to St. Joseph (Hist. eccl., III, xi). In this case Mary of Cleophas, or Alpheus, would be the sister-in-law of the Blessed Virgin, and the term "sister", adelphe, in John, xix, 25, would cover this. But there are grave difficulties in the way of this identification of Alpheus and Cleophas. In the first place, St. Luke, who speaks of Cleophas (xxiv, 18), also speaks of Alpheus (6:15; Acts 1:13). We may question whether he would have been guilty of such a confused use of names, had they both referred to the same person. Again, while Alphas is the equivalent of the Aramaic, it is not easy to see how the Greek form of this became Cleophas, or more correctly Clopas. More probably it is a shortened form of Cleopatros.


    TODAY'S GOSPEL: APR. 9: JOHN 7: 40-53

    John 7: 40 - 53
    40When they heard these words, some of the people said, "This is really the prophet."
    41Others said, "This is the Christ." But some said, "Is the Christ to come from Galilee?
    42Has not the scripture said that the Christ is descended from David, and comes from Bethlehem, the village where David was?"
    43So there was a division among the people over him.
    44Some of them wanted to arrest him, but no one laid hands on him.
    45The officers then went back to the chief priests and Pharisees, who said to them, "Why did you not bring him?"
    46The officers answered, "No man ever spoke like this man!"
    47The Pharisees answered them, "Are you led astray, you also?
    48Have any of the authorities or of the Pharisees believed in him?
    49But this crowd, who do not know the law, are accursed."
    50Nicode'mus, who had gone to him before, and who was one of them, said to them,
    51"Does our law judge a man without first giving him a hearing and learning what he does?"
    52They replied, "Are you from Galilee too? Search and you will see that no prophet is to rise from Galilee."
    53They went each to his own house,

    No comments: