Tuesday, April 12, 2011









VATICAN CITY, 12 APR 2011 (VIS REPORTS) - The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments has issued a decree establishing that the celebration of the memorial of Blessed John Paul II be inserted into the calendar of the diocese of Rome and the dioceses of Poland, and that it be celebrated every year. (IMAGE SOURCE: RADIO VATICANA)

The text, signed by cardinal Antonio Canizares Llovera and archbishop Giuseppe Agostino Di Noia, O.P., respectively prefect and secretary of the dicastery, states that "during the year following the beatification of John Paul II, that is, until 1 May 2012, A a Mass of Thanksgiving to God may be celebrated in certain places and on certain days. Responsibility for establishing the day or days, as well as the place or places of the gathering of the people of God, shall be the competence of the diocesan bishop for his diocese. Considering local needs and pastoral conveniences, it is granted that a Holy Mass be celebrated in honour of the new blessed on a Sunday during the year, and on a day between Nos. 10 and 13 of the table of liturgical days.

"For religious families, it shall be the competence of the superior general to indicate the days and locations (for the Thanksgiving Mass) for the entire religious family".

On the other hand, the decree continues, "with regard to other local calendars, the request to place an optional memorial to Blessed John Paul II may be presented to this congregation by a conference of bishops for its territory, by the diocesan bishop for his diocese, or by a superior general for a religious family".

"An indult of the Apostolic See is required to dedicate a church in honour of Blessed John Paul II (cf.Ordo dedicationis ecclesiae, Praenotanda, No. 4) except when his liturgical memorial has been inserted into the local calendar; in this case the indult is not necessary, and in the church dedicated to the blessed, the memorial is raised to a liturgical feast (cf. Congregatio de Cultu Divino et Disciplina Sacramentorum, Notificatio de cultu Beatorum, 21 May 1999, No.9)."

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VATICAN CITY, 12 APR 2011 (VIS) - The Special Council for the Middle East of the Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops met for the third time on 30 and 31 March.

The agenda included an update on the current situation of the various churches of Council members, and the preparation of a study with a view to forming a working draft on the proposals of the Special Assembly of the Middle East of the Synod of Bishops, held in October 2010.

A press release issued today affirmed that "the general situation in the Middle East and North Africa provided the context for the exchange of opinions and information. The precarious situation caused by to socio-political movements directly involves the Churches which share in the joys and worries of citizens, in many cases forced to emigrate due to violence, lack of work, restriction of religious freedom and limited democracy. However, the need for free and constructive dialogue with other religions and with the legitimate representatives of civil authorities remains imperative".

The next meeting will take place on 17-18 May 2011.

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VATICAN CITY, 12 APR 2011 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

- Appointed Msgr. Joseph J. Tyson, auxiliary bishop of Seattle, as bishop of Yakima (area 46,051, population 649,840, Catholics 79,317, priests 81, permanent deacons 26, religious 43), USA. The bishop-elect was born in Yakima, USA in 1957 and ordained a priest in 1989. He succeeds Msgr. Carlos A. Sevilla, S.J., whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.

- Erected the new ecclesiastical province of Malanje (area 107,000, population 1,090,000, Catholics 500,000, priests 49, religious 140) Angola, raising it to the rank of Metropolitan Church. The new ecclesiastical province will have as suffragans the dioceses of Uije and Ndalatando. He appointed bishop Lius Maria Perez de Onraita Aguirre of the same diocese as metropolitan archbishop of the new circumscription.

- Erected the new ecclesiastical province of Saurimo (area 77,600, population 420,000, Catholics 61,700, priests 11, religious 28) Angola, raising it to the rank of Metropolitan Church. The new ecclesiastical province will have as suffragans the dioceses of Lwena and Dundo. He appointed bishop Jose Manuel Imbamba of the same diocese as metropolitan archbishop of the new circumscription.

- Appointed Fr. Inacio Saure, I.M.C., as bishop of Tete (area 100,725, population 2,000,000, Catholics 270,000, priests 31, religious 65), Mozambique. The bishop-elect was born in Balama, Mozambique in 1960 and ordained a priest in 1998.


IND. CATH. NEWS report: At their meeting in Edinburgh today, the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland released the following statement on the forthcoming Scottish Parliament Elections:

“The Scottish Parliamentary election is a time for Catholics to exercise their duty to be responsible citizens. The Church provides guidance for the Catholic faithful and all people of goodwill in the form of our Social Teaching.

Catholic Social Teaching is helpful addresses all areas of social policies and is independent of party political considerations. The Bishops' Conference has made a resource available, which we recommend to all parishes and individuals for gaining an insight into Catholic Social Teaching.

The website is now active and we trust that it can be of valuable assistance to all who wish to ensure that the wisdom of the Christian message has a part to play in the political considerations of the people of Scotland. “

The Church’s Parliamentary Officer, John Deighan added: “Political parties will vary in how they try to contribute to a decent society but there is no simple blueprint. There may be many ways of tackling issues of social concern. However all political and social policies must uphold the wellbeing of the human person and of the common good of society.”

“Hopefully, will be of use to many voters, the website aims to give an insight into the Church's social teaching in some of the most important areas being considered by Christians at this election.”


CBN REPORT: Just in time for Spring Break, a movie about a shark attack hits theaters.

But, "Soul Surfer" is not your typical spring break "shark movie."

It's the inspiring story of Bethany Hamilton, the young Christian surfer who lost her arm in a vicious shark attack and how despite tremendous odds, went on to become one of the top women surfers in the world.

The movie features an all-star cast, including Dennis Quaid, Helen Hunt, AnnaSophia Robb (as Bethany) and Carrie Underwood.

The Shark Attack

Twenty-year-old Bethany was only 13-years-old when she lost her arm to a 14-foot tiger shark off the coast of Kauai where she grew up.

It was a day her parents will never forget.

"It was pretty traumatic," Bethany's father Tom Hamilton said. "I didn't really know the condition she was in, but obviously, if she was coming to the hospital, she was still alive. Until I saw her face to face, that's when I realized her arm was gone."

"My main concern was not whether she's going to surf again, but whether she's going to live," Bethany's mother Cheri Hamilton said.

A Praying, Surfing Family

Tom and Cheri Hamilton were avid surfers themselves and spent their younger days on Kauai surfing all day and waiting tables at night.

"We were obsessed with surfing and addicted to it. Our whole lives revolved around surfing," she said.

They found Jesus thanks to another surfing friend who invited them to dinner.

"And it seemed like Jesus was real, he's real, and this is truth," Cheri said. "So, we ended up giving our hearts to the Lord pretty much at the same time."

Tom and Cheri raised their children in the church. Remarkably, before the shark attack, Bethany and her mother had been praying that Bethany would be in the center of God's will, especially with her surfing.

"We prayed that for two weeks, everyday," Cheri said. "So when the shark attack happened, I had peace, I had total peace in God."

Surfing with one Arm

As Bethany healed, she longed to get back on her board. But would she be able to surf with one arm?

How did producers hide Actress AnnaSophia Robb's arm to play Bethany? Click here to find out.

"There were times when I got frustrated but for me I just love surfing and I was pretty determined," Bethany said. "I think God put that determination in my heart and He knew that I would be able to handle it through Him."

But learning to surf with just one arm was no easy task.

"Oh yes, it's definitely different learning how to surf with one arm," Bethany said. "I knew how to surf, I just had to figure out how to do it with one arm instead of two. So, I just had to use my brain a lot and just adjust and adapt to this new way of living."

"But I figured it out and I am still learning to this day," she added.

Hollywood Knocks

Bethany's story of overcoming incredible odds captured the attention of Hollywood producers.

"I think it's a metaphor for everyone's life," Sean McNamara, who directed the film, said. "You get knocked down, whatever your "shark attack" is or whatever happens to you, you have a shot to get back up!"

"And Bethany shows that not only can you get back up on the board but you can excel at it," he added.

Bethany's story also impressed actor Dennis Quaid, who first learned about Bethany while watching the NBC's "Today Show."

"She was so inspiring and the story so touched me I wound up with tears just streaming down my face at seven in the morning," Quaid said. "And then it just so happened that two days later they offered me the part to play her father. And it was a no-brainer for me. I said, 'Yeah, I'd really like to be a part of this story.'"

Actress AnnaSophia Robb, who learned to surf for the part, said hanging out with Bethany was very inspiring.

"You think, her arm's gone but after spending a couple days with her I just totally forgot that it wasn't there," Robb said.

"It's just, she goes on everything and just lives life totally normally, trying to set a good example and live a godly life," she said. "That's the most inspiring thing about her."

Country singer Carrie Underwood makes her big screen debut as Bethany's youth pastor. In one of the more emotional scenes, Underwood encourages Bethany that something good is going to come out of this tragedy.

And something good has come out of it. Today, Bethany's story is now a major motion picture and she continues to inspire people of all ages with her faith and her belief that all things work together for good to those who love God.

Staying on Top

She also continues to be rated among the top ten professional female surfers in the world.

During a break in the filming, Bethany graciously gave me a few pointers during my first attempt at surfing. The waves were pretty choppy that day but Bethany had no problem popping right up on her board. And then, in my first attempt, I stood up on my surf board for about a second. But what a thrill that one second was!

The Hamilton's say as painful and traumatic as this shark attack was for Bethany, they're believing God has a greater purpose in it. And they're hoping this movie will inspire others going through tough times to trust God and never give up.

"Life's not about having all your limbs or just having everything perfect," Bethany said. "Life's not perfect, but through our imperfections is where we can bring beauty and good stuff out of life and glorify God through with what we overcome."


UCAN REPORT: Buildings not the focus of attack as mob protests against vote process
Konradus Epa, Jakarta
April 12, 2011
Catholic Church News Image of Poll sparks chapel burning rampage
A chapel burns during yesterday’s rampage (

Church leaders have moved to condemn yesterday’s burning of a chapel in Kuantan Singingi district, Riau province.

A chapel and several houses were razed yesterday when hundreds of people went on a rampage because they were dissatisfied with the results of a vote-counting meeting of members of the General Election Commission.

“We condemn and regret the actions, because the chapel had nothing to do with the regional election,” said Father Antonius Benny Susetyo, executive secretary of the Commission for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs of theIndonesian Bishops’ Conference (KWI).

“We do not want innocent people to become victims,” he said. He hoped that all parties could accept any results of the regional election.

“Harmony must be upheld,” he maintained.

Father Leonardus Mali, who heads the Commission for Justice and Peace of the archdiocese of Kupang in East Nusa Tenggara, agreed. The violent actions were results of the state’s ignorance about certain groups. “Such ignorance must not exist,” he maintained.


Agenzia Fides REPORT - “We will see how it will all end. Unfortunately we can not see anything of substance yet,” says Bishop Giovanni Innocenzo Martinelli, Apostolic Vicar of Tripoli, following the transitional national council, made up of insurgents in Benghazi, who rejected the proposal for a cease-fire proposed by the African Union, because “it did not provide for an exit from the political scene for of Muhammar Gheddafi and his sons.” Bishop Martinelli, though a little embittered, still believes in the possibility of dialogue between the parties, a concept reiterated by a Libyan journalist. “I was interviewed by OEA, a Libyan newspaper linked to one of Gheddafi's sons,” says the Apostolic Vicar of Tripoli. “We discussed what prospects there are for peace. I said if we want peace there should be dialogue, and in dialogue it is necessary to listen to each other. We must listen to young people in particular,” said Bishop Martinelli.
“Young people,” says the Apostolic Vicar, “are our future and we must ensure that prospects for peace pass through our young people. Then I remembered that there are several organisations that are willing to help Libya. There are many projects that can be implemented in Libya to give work and prospects to young people,” concludes Bishop Martinelli.


CATH NEWS REPORT: The official biography of St Mary MacKillop, which draws on historical records and the saint's own letters, has proved so popular it has been republished, the Josephite Sisters said in a media release.

Fr Gardiner was, for many years, the postulator of the Cause of Mary MacKillop, a role which gave him access to letters and other archival material essential to his research.
An Extraordinary Australian - Mary MacKillop
, written by Jesuit Father Paul Gardiner and first published in 1993, is based on the 'position paper' which was written to tell Mary MacKillop's life history as part of her canonisation process.

Fr Gardiner's book gives a no-nonsense account of the life of Mary MacKillop, from her birth in 1842 in impoverished circumstances in Fitzroy, Melbourne, to her death in 1909 at the place that now bears her name in North Sydney.

Paul Gardiner's book deals with controversial issues from Mary MacKillop's life that are still talked about today, including the circumstances around her temporary excommunication from the Catholic Church.

The book also details the breakthroughs made by Mary MacKillop and her Sisters in educating children and helping the poor in cites and remote settlements in both Australia and New Zealand.

Fr Gardiner says it is important that a book like this portrays Mary MacKillop as she really was.

"This woman was the quintessential 'Aussie battler'; a very human person with great courage.

"Spiritually speaking, Mary MacKillop was a woman whose holiness was apparent to everyone who met her but she was very much one of the people. I am delighted that her story continues to be told," he says.


St. Zeno


Feast: April 12


Feast Day:April 12
Born:300, Mauretania
Died:April 12, 371, Verona
Major Shrine:Basilica di San Zeno, Verona
Patron of:Fishermen, anglers, newborn babies, Verona

Entered in the Roman Martyrology on 12 April as a Bishop of Verona martyred under Gallienus. Probably, however, he was a confessor who governed the Church of Verona from 362-380. At Verona a basilica, San Zenone, is dedicated to his honour, and some thirty churches and chapels bear his name. In the basilica his statue, bearing the episcopal insignia, is prominent in the choir; coins with his likeness and an inscription were in use. On 21 May and 6 Dec. the translation of his body and his consecration were formerly commemorated. In "De viris illust." Of St. Jerome and Gennadius, Zeno is not mentioned, but St. Ambrose (Ep. v) speaks of him as an episcopus sanctae memoriae, and St. Gregory (Dial., III, 19) relates a miracle wrought at the Church of St. Zeno at Verona. Mabillon ("Vetera analecta", Paris, 1675) published an anonymous poem, "De landibus Veronae", taken from the writing of Ratherius, Bishop of Verona (d. 974), found in the abbey at Lobbes in Belgium (P.L., XI, 154, 225), which gives a list of the bishops of Verona and makes Zeno eighth. In the Monastery di Classe at Ravenna was found an eighth-century chasuble (casula diptycha) with the names and pictures of thirty-five bishops of Verona on its front and back; among them was that of Zeno. This list was accepted by Gams in his "Series episcoporum" (Bigelmair, p. 27). Zeno had not been known as a writer before 1508, when two Dominicans, Albertus Castellanus and Jacobus de Leuco, edited at Venice 105 tractatus or sermons found in the episcopal library of Verona fifty years earlier. In 1739 the brothers Ballerini published "S. Zenonis episcopi Veronae sermones", with an elaborate prolegomena. From these it appears that Zeno was a native of Africa, eighth Bishop of Verona (362-80), an able speaker, and an untiring champion of Christianity against the heathens and of orthodoxy against the Arians. Much controversy arose as to the time at which St. Zeno lives, whether two bishops of Verona of this name were to be admitted or but one, and on the authorship of the sermons. Various opinions were held by Sixtus of Siena, Baronius, Ughelli, Dupin, Tillemont, Fabricius, and others. Of the 105 sermons 12 have been rejected as belonging to other authors. Of the rest 16 are larger sermons, the others merely sketches or perhaps fragments. They contain valuable material on Catholic doctrine, practice, and liturgy; they treat of God, creation, the Blessed Virgin, Holy Scriptures, the Church, the sacraments, etc., and warn against the vices of the day.



Pope St. Julius I


Feast: April 12


Feast Day:April 11
Born:Rome, Italy
Died:12 April 352

The immediate successor of Pope Silvester, Arcus, ruled the Roman Church for only a very short period — from 18 January to 7 October, 336 — and after his death the papal chair remained vacant for four months. What occasioned this comparatively long vacancy is unknown. On 6 Feb., 337, Julius, son of Rustics and a native of Rome, was elected pope. His pontificate is chiefly celebrated for his judicious and firm intervention in the Arian controversies, about which we have abundant sources of information. After the death of Constantine the Great (22 May, 337), his son Constantine II, Governor of Gaul, permitted the exiled Athanasius to return to his See of Alexandria (see ATHANASIUS). The Arians in Egypt, however, set up a rival bishop in the person of Pistus, and sent an embassy to Julius asking him to admit Pistus into communion with Rome, and delivering to the pope the decisions of the Council of Tyre (335) to prove that Athanasius had been validly deposed. On his side Athanasius likewise sent envoys to Rome to deliver to Julius a synodal letter of the Egyptian bishops, containing a complete justification of their patriarch. On the arrival of the Athanasian envoys in Rome, Macarius, the head of the Arian representatives, left the city; the two remaining Arian envoys, with the Athanasian deputies, were summoned by Pope Julius. The Arian envoys now begged the pope to assemble a great synod before which both parties should present their case for decision.

Julius convened the synod at Rome, having dispatched two envoys to bear a letter of invitation to the Eastern bishops. Under the leadership of Eusebius, who had been raised from Nicomedia to the See of Constantinople, the Arian bishops had meanwhile held a council at Antioch, and elected George of Cappadocia Bishop of Alexandria in the place of Pistus. George was intruded forcibly into his see, and Athanasius, being again exiled, made his way to Rome. Many other Eastern bishops removed by the Arian party, among them Marcellus of Ancyra, also came to Rome. In a letter couched in haughty terms, however, the Arian bishops of the party of Eusebius refused to attend the synod summoned by Julius. The synod was held in the autumn of 340 or 341, under the presidency of the pope, in the titular church of the presbyter Vitus. After a detailed examination of the documents, Athanasius and Marcellus of Ancyra, who had made a satisfactory profession of faith, were exonerated and re-established in their episcopal rights. Pope Julius communicated this decision in a very notable and able letter to the bishops of the Eusebian party. In this letter he justifies his proceedings in the case, defends in detail his action in reinstating Athanasius, and animadverts strongly on the non-appearance of the Eastern bishops at the council, the convening of which they themselves had suggested. Even if Athanasius and his companions were somewhat to blame, the letter runs, the Alexandrian Church should first have written to the pope. "Can you be ignorant," writes the pope, "that this is the custom, that we should be written to first, so that from here what is just may be defined" (Julii ep. ad Antiochenos, c. xxii). After his victory over his brother Constantine II, Emperor Constans was ruler over the greater part of the Empire. He was entirely orthodox in his views, and, at the request of the pope and other Western bishops, interceded with his brother Constantius, Emperor of the East, in favour of the bishops who had been deposed and persecuted by the Arian party. Both rulers agreed that there should be convened a general council of the Western and Eastern bishops at Sardica, the principal city of the Province of Dacia Mediterranea (the modern Sofia). It took place in the autumn of 342 or 343, Julius sending as his representatives the priests Archidamus and Philoxenus and the deacon Leo. Although the Eastern bishops of the Arian party did not join in the council, but held their assembly separate and then departed, the synod nevertheless accomplished its task. Through the important canons iii, iv, and v (vii in the Latin text) of this council, the procedure against accused bishops was more exactly regulated, and the manner of the papal intervention in the condemnation of bishops was definitely established.

At the close of its transactions the synod communicated its decisions to the pope in a dutiful letter. Notwithstanding the reaffirmation of his innocence by the Synod of Sardica, St. Athanasius was not restored to his see by Emperor Constantius until after the death of George, the rival Bishop of Alexandria, in 346. Pope Julius took this occasion to write a letter, which is still extant, to the priests, deacons, and the faithful of Alexandria, to congratulate them on the return of their great pastor. The two bishops Ursacius of Singidunum and Valens of Mursia, who, on account of their Arianism, had been deposed by the Council of Sardica, now made a formal recantation of their error to Julius, who, having summoned them to an audience and received a signed confession of faith, restored to them their episcopal sees. Concerning the inner life of the Roman Church during the pontificate of Julius we have no exact information; all agree, however, that there was a rapid increase in the number of the faithful in Rome, where Julius had two new basilicas erected: the titular church of Julius (now S. Maria in Trastevere) and the Basilica Julia (now the Church of the Twelve Apostles). Beside these he built three churches over cemeteries outside the walls of Rome: one on the road to Porto, a second on the Via Aurelia, and a third on the Via Flaminia at the tomb of the martyr St. Valentine. The ruins of the last-mentioned have been discovered. The veneration of the faithful for the tombs of the martyrs continued to spread rapidly. Under the pontificate of Julius, if not earlier, catalogues of feast-days of saints came into use — the Roman feast-calendar of Philocalus dates from the year 336.

Through St. Athanasius, who remained in Rome several years subsequent to 339, the Egyptian monastic life became well-known in the capital, and the example of the hermits of the Egyptian deserts found many imitators in the Roman Church. Julius died on 12 April, 352, and was buried in the catacombs of Calepodius on the Aurelian Way, and, very soon after his death, was honoured as a saint. His body was later transported to S. Maria in Trastevere, the church which he had built. His feast is celebrated on 12 April.


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