Saturday, May 28, 2011








TODAY'S GOSPEL: MAY 28: JOHN 15: 18-21

RADIO VATICANA REPORT: Pope Benedict XVI welcomed members of the Sodality of Our Lady, from Regensburg, in this Marian month of May. In his address the Holy Father reminisced about his childhood studies at the seminary of Traunstein St Michael in Germany where, at the age of 14, he was admitted to this association. The Pope spoke about his own devotion to the Blessed Mother and how the Sodality’s program stressing sanctification and special devotion is still very relevant today. The Holy Father went on to say that Marian devotion has paid a key role in church life for centuries because she shows us her Son, Jesus Christ. In his concluding comments Pope Benedict expressed the hope that this association's fervent devotion to Our Lady would strengthen and encourage a personal involvement in building the Kingdom of God.


JCE REPORT: Pro-life Biotech Company - Investing in your Future

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compelling market opportunities: adult stem cell delivery, boutique biologic
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(chickenpox); and hepatitis A. If a child was vaccinated in the US in the la
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violence in this great country of the United States. These concerns are very g
same people are not concerned with the millions being killed by the delibera
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ASIA NEWS REPORT: According to the Scheduled Castes Order, only Dalit Hindus and Buddhists can enjoy the rights provided for their status. Christians and Muslims loose all rights, including the right to political representation. But even within Christianity, non Dalits alienate their outcast brothers and sisters.

Udupi (AsiaNews) – In a state ceremony (Dhamma Dheekshe) at least 2 thousand Dalits converted to Buddhism in Karnataka, on May 24 last. The monks Manorakhit Bhanteji, Lobsana and Tenguru officiated at the function organized by the Karnataka Baudha Maha Sabha and Karnataka Dalit Sangharsh Samiti (Ambedkar Vada). The "Dhamma Dheekshe" was part of celebrations for "Vesak" the 2,600th anniversary of Buddha's enlightenment.

In India Dalits are "untouchables", but since 1950 pursuant to paragraph No. 3 of theConstitution (Scheduled Castes) Order only Hindus and Buddhists have the status and rights provided to the Dalits. In contrast, the Dalits converted to Christianity or Islam lose all rights, including that of political representation. For this reason, the majority of Dalits choose to convert to Buddhism.

However, according Sri Vishweshateertha Swamiji, head of the Brahmin Buddhist monastery Pejavar, this conversion will not give any advantage to the outcast. " The Monk explains: "With the exception of the Dalits, there are few Buddhists in India. The question of untouchability is independent of religion. "

The Indian activist Vincent Manoharan, president of the National Federation of Dalit Land Rights Movement (Nfdlrm) does not agree with Swamiji: "Buddhism and other religions do not sanctify the caste system as happens in Hinduism. For Dalits, that's enough to leave Hinduism. "

The Nfdlrm has been fighting for years to abolish at least the section of the Scheduled Castes Orderagainst Dalit Christians and Muslims. Manoharan explains: "Dalits are discriminated against, as enacted by a 1950 Act. But the Christians outcastes are marginalized even by non-Dalit Christians, who alienate them for social reasons”. And he concludes: "The Dalits are segregated, humiliated and persecuted in every aspect of their lives: social, economic, political and religious. As long as this law exists, the Christian outcastes suffer triple discrimination: from Christians of other castes, from non Dalits of other religions and the government. "


ACU Eric D’Arcy Professor of Philosophy
Inaugural Graduate Unit
Enrolments are now open for Professor Hart’s unit – PHIL604: Issues in the Philosophy of Religion –
which will be held as a winter intensive in July, 2011. Students enrolled in Masters programs in
Philosophy or Theology are invited to enrol. Cross-institutional enrolments welcome.
Prof. Hart will deliver a series of six lectures over a two week period:
 Dates: Monday, Wednesday and Friday afternoons, starting Monday 4 July and
concluding on Friday 15 July.
 Times: All lectures are scheduled for 4.00-6.00pm
 Venue: ACU’s St Patrick’s Melbourne campus, Room M2-48
The lectures will take as their theme the notion of “contemplation” in the history of western
thought, from Plato and Aristotle, through key texts in Christian mystical theology, to the way
contemplation has come to the fore, in an unexpected way, in modern philosophy, especially the
phenomenology of Husserl and Heidegger.
 Enrolled students will have easy electronic access to all course information, reading
materials (and/or links thereto), as well as audio of each lecture.
 In addition to the lecture content, the unit will involve
tutorials over the subsequent months in which the
lecture material will be discussed and processed. Final
unit assessment will be due at the end of Semester 2.
 Students who reside outside of Melbourne are also
encouraged to enrol. Subject to demand, local tutorials
will be offered at ACU campuses in Melbourne, Sydney
and Brisbane and/or via electronic means.
 Those not wishing to enrol for credit, may still attend
Prof. Hart’s lectures. Standard ‘audit’ fees apply.
For Further Information
Contact: Dr Richard Colledge (Head of School of Philosophy)


Agenzia Fides REPORT - The President of the Zambia Episcopal Conference, His Exc Mgr. George Lungu, Bishop of Chipata, sent a letter to all Catholics in the nation, which will be read in all the parishes on Sunday, June 5, concerning recent attacks by state media to the Catholic Church, to its leadership, to the priests and to the doctrine. In a statement released by the Catholic Information Service for Africa, Mgr. Lungu highlights the fact that these attacks were well planned and coordinated to coincide with the preparations for the elections this year. The Catholic Church is accused of commenting on certain political issues and to support one of its candidates for president against the minister in charge, Ruphia Banda. In the letter the President of the Episcopal Conference claims that these attacks are attempts to distort the Church's teaching on celibacy and homosexuality.
Regarding homosexuality, the accusers declare that the Church supports gay people. Mgr. Lungu said the Church's position on this is to respect homosexuals as human beings who do not deserve discrimination, though claiming that homosexual acts are profoundly wrong and sinful, and that under no circumstances could the Church ever accept them. The President of the Episcopal Conference stresses that the aim of the attacks is to bring discredit, division and confusion among Catholics. In the exercise of his ministry, he added, the Bishop is neutral and cannot be biased. The Bishops' message has nothing to do with any alleged aversion or preference for any president or any political party.
Bishop Lungu emphasizes that the Bishops will not be intimidated or forced into silence on national issues that affect poor people, and appeals to the Catholics of Zambia to remain calm in the current situation and, in case of provocations, to assume an attitude of reconciliation.



Dear Brothers and Sisters,

On this fifth Sunday of Easter, God has offered us the gift of his Word in order that it may enlighten us, at a moment when, as Catholics, we are called upon to make a choice in favour of our Lord Jesus Christ: “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life; No one comes to the Father, except through me” (John 14, 6).

Our Lord is telling us that our desire to go to God the Father must be intrinsically bound to the person of Our Lord Jesus Christ. For the Christian, there can be no other road which leads to the Father. Each and every one of us must choose Jesus as the Truth: His words bear the real value of everything that surrounds us. We must look through His eyes. We must choose Jesus as the Path which leads us to this Truth. Other paths will not lead us there! Once we make such choices, we come to realize that we are savouring the true Life which is intended for mankind.

We hope that even with regard to the Divorce Referendum, which is actually a referendum on marriage, we will be guided by the words of Jesus.

In this respect, prior to the Referendum, we wish to offer you this Pastoral Letter.

Through the Referendum which will take place in a few days’ time, we are being called upon as citizens, to express – through our vote – our convictions with regard to marriage.

This call should not fall upon deaf ears. We cannot remain indifferent. The Referendum deals with a very important matter and any person who may decide not to participate will show a lack of civil and religious maturity.

Marriage and the family are very close to our hearts and, in our society, there is a general consensus on the need to invest further so that these may be strengthened. Marriage and the family form the natural core which is essential for a person to live and grow within an atmosphere of genuine love, as well as for the building of a strong society. Experience has shown us that this is what is required in order for human dignity to be upheld.

For this reason, Jesus Christ teaches us that marriage, which goes hand in hand with the dignity of mankind, should, by its very nature, be a permanent bond.

When the experience of love in marriage and the family fails, wounds are opened up: such wounds take a long time to heal. We all know of people who are wounded because their marriages have failed. As your Spiritual Shepherds, we can assure you that we feel these cries within our hearts, just as God feels them within his own heart. At the same time, one must acknowledge that when these separated persons speak about their experience, they admit that they feel extremely saddened that their marriage has failed. These people, who are wounded and hurt, show us that, as a nation, we should continue to cherish true marriage. As a gesture of love towards those who are suffering, and towards future generations, we must together try and improve the conditions of marriage and the family in order that these hurts may be diminished.

The question posed by the Referendum – whether we desire for divorce legislation to be introduced in our country – is a question which shall have a direct effect upon marriage itself and which impinges upon our conduct as citizens, as well as on the common good of our country. The citizen is called upon to respond to this question in the light of reason.

Within this context, the Catholic citizen has a particular contribution to make. The teachings of Jesus Christ, expressed through the moral law of the Church, leave no doubt that divorce is the wrong solution – a solution upon which a stable society cannot be built. A society which builds upon a foundation of stable marriage means there will be less people who suffer in the future; it is a sign of love towards future generations. Hence our Christian beliefs shed further light upon the truth surrounding the true nature of marriage.

In the light of all this, therefore, it is our duty as your Spiritual Shepherds to remind the people of God and all people of good will that every time the citizen is called upon to express his opinion, through his vote, as in the case of the Referendum, it is his moral obligation to fulfill his duty. This moral obligation becomes greater when the decision involves values which we cannot refute, as in the case of permanent marriage.

Our choice in the Referendum demands much reflection because it carries a great responsibility. It is a decision which will affect not only the present, but also the future. By his vote, the citizen will either build or destroy. A choice in favour of permanent marriage is an act of faith in the family, built upon a bond of love which cannot be severed; whereas a choice in favour of divorce leads to the further destruction of marriage and the family and, as a consequence, the destruction of values and the quality of life. We all shoulder the responsibility for the consequences of our decision.

Faced with this Referendum, the Christian cannot avoid posing some fundamental questions that he or she needs to take into consideration when making important decisions, and this with reference to our Lord Jesus Christ. Through Baptism, the Christian belongs to Jesus and chooses to follow Him. Therefore:

  • The Christian must always act with reference to our Lord Jesus Christ and his teachings. In taking his decision on how to vote, he must bear in mind that he shall be accountable to Jesus for his choice;
  • The Christian must always act in the light of the mission he has embraced, together with other Christians, and which was given by the Lord Jesus: “Go to the ends of the earth and spread the Good News” Every action of the Christian should serve as an opportunity to offer his or her contribution in order that the teachings of Jesus may inspire the society of mankind which God so loves. Therefore, each and every Christian is called upon to view his or her vote as an occasion to participate in the mission of Jesus Christ with respect to marriage and the family. We should not miss this opportunity because we are uninterested or due to lack of enthusiasm.

We recommend that every Christian prays for divine inspiration. We pray for the intercession of the Blessed Virgin, Queen of the Family, so that in this important hour, during which we are called upon to consolidate the future of marriage and the family, we shall make our choice in accordance with the will of the God.

We impart upon you God’s blessings.


Archbishop of Malta


Bishop of Gozo


Titular Bishop of Aradi



St. Germanus


Feast: May 28

St. Germanus, the glory of the church of France in the sixth age, was born in the territory of Autun about the year 469. He was brought up in piety and learning under the care of Scapilion his cousin, a holy priest. In his youth no weather could divert him from always going to Matins at midnight, though the church was above a mile from the place of his abode. Being ordained priest by St. Agrippinus bishop of Autun, he was made abbot of St. Symphorian's in the suburbs of that city, a house since converted into a priory of regular canons. Fortunatus, bishop of Poitiers, who was well acquainted with our saint, tells us that he was favored at that time with the gifts of miracles and prophecy. It was his custom to watch great part of the night in the church in prayer, while his monks slept. One night in a dream he thought a venerable old man presented him with the keys of the city of Paris and said to him, that God committed to his care the inhabitants of that city, that he should save them from perishing. Four years after this divine admonition, in 554, happening to be at Paris when that see became vacant, on the demise of the bishop Eusebius, he was exalted to the episcopal chair, though he endeavored by many tears to decline the charge. His promotion made no alteration in his continual fasts and other austerities; and the same simplicity and frugality appeared in his dress, table, and furniture. In the evening at nine o'clock he went to the church, and staved there in prayer till after Matins, that is, in summer till about break of day His house was perpetually crowded with the poor and the afflicted. and he had always many beggars at his own table, at which no dainty meats were ever served; he took care that the souls of his guests should be refreshed at the same time with their bodies, by the reading of some pious book. God gave to his sermons a wonderful influence over the minds of ale ranks of people; so that the face of the whole city was in a very short time quite changed. Vanities were abolished, dances and profane amusements laid aside, enmities and discord extinguished, and sinners reclaimed. King Childebert, who till then had been an ambitious worldly prince, by the sweetness and the powerful discourses of the saint, was entirely converted to piety, and by his advice reformed his whole court. And so desirous did that prince become of exchanging the perishing goods of this world for eternal treasures, that, not content with making many religious foundations, to be nurseries of piety in all succeeding ages, and with sending incredible sums of money to the good bishop, to be distributed among the indigent after his coffers were drained he melted down his silver plate, and gave away the chains which he wore about his neck, begging the bishop, whom he made the steward of his charities, never to cease giving, assuring him that on his side he should never be tired with supplying all things for the relief and comfort of the distressed.

In the year 542, king Childebert, together with his brother Clotaire, making war in Spain, besieged Saragossa. The inhabitants of that city reposed a particular confidence in the patronage of St. Vincent, whose relics they carried in procession within sight of the French camp. King Childebert was moved with their devotion, and desiring to speak with the bishop of the city, promised to withdraw his army, on condition he might obtain some portion of the relics of St. Vincent. The bishop gave him the stole which that holy deacon wore at the altar. Upon which the king raised the siege, and, at his return to Paris, built a church in honor of St. Vincent, and of the Holy Cross; which is now called St. Germain's in the meadows, and stands in the suburbs of Paris. Childebert falling sick at his palace at Celles, near Melun, at the confluence of the Yon and Seine, St. Germanus paid him a visit; and when the physicians had in vain tried every thing, all human means failing, the saint spent the whole night in prayer for his recovery, and in the morning laid his hands on him; and at the same moment the king found himself perfectly healed. The king relates himself this miracle in his letters patent, in which, in gratitude to God for this benefit, he gave to the church of Paris and the bishop Germanus, the land of Celles, where he had received this favor. The good king did not long survive. As the king had chosen the church of St. Vincent for the place of his burial, the saint, assisted by six other bishops, performed the ceremony of the dedication on the 23d of December, 558, the very day on which that prince died. The king likewise had built a large monastery joining to this new church, which he endowed most liberally with the fief of Issy and other lands, on part of which a considerable suburb of Paris has been since built. This magnificent edifice was called the Golden Church, the walls being covered on the outside with plates of brass gilt, and within adorned with paintings on a rich gilt ground.1 This church was plundered by the Normans, in 845, 857, 858, and set on fire by them in 861 and 881; but rebuilt in 1014, and dedicated by pope Alexander III. in 1163. The lower part of the great tower and its gate with the statues of Clovis, Clodomir, Thierri, Childebert and his wife Ultrogotta, Clotaire, and others, seem to be as old as the time of king Childebert. This prince committed the monastery and church to the care of our saint, who placed there monks under the holy abbot Droctoveus, whom he had invited from Autun, where he had formed him to a religious life. Clotaire, who succeeded his brother Childebert, was the last of the sons of the great Clovis; and united again the four kingdoms of France into one monarchy. On his removing from Soissons to Paris, he at first seemed to treat the holy bishop coldly; but falling ill soon after of a violent fever, was put in mind by some that were about him to send for St. Germanus. He did so, and full of confidence in the power of God and the sanctity of his servant, took hold of his clothes and applied them to the parts of his body where he felt pain, and recovered immediately. From that moment he always treated the saint even with greater honor than Childebert had done. But that prince dying shortly after, in 561, his four sons, Charibert, Gontran, Sigebert, and Chilperic, divided the French monarchy into four kingdoms, in the same manner as the sons of Clovis had done. That of Paris was given to Charibert or Aribert, Gontran was king of Orleans and Burgundy, Sigebert of Austrasia, and Chilperic of Soissons. Charibert sunk into a vicious indolence, yet was obstinate and headstrong in his passions not being divested of all the prejudices of paganism, he divorced his wife Ingoberga, and took to wife Marcovesa her maid, who had worn a religious habit; and after her death, he married her sister Merofleda, Ingoberga being still living. Our saint many ways endeavored to make him sensible of the enormity of his crimes; but finding all his remonstrances lost on him, he proceeded so far as to excommunicate him and the accomplice of his sin, to hinder at least the dangerous influence of his scandalous example. The sinners were hardened in their evil courses; but God revenged the contempt of his laws and of the holy pastor as he has often done, by visible judgments; for the criminal lady fell ill and died in a few days, and the adulterous king did not long survive her, leaving by his lawful wife only three daughters, two of whom became nuns, the third, called Bertha, was married to Ethelbert, king of Kent.

Upon the death of Charibert in 570, his three brothers divided his dominions; but not being able to agree who should be master of Paris, the capital, came to an accommodation that they should hold it jointly, on condition that none of them should go into the city without the leave of the other two St. Germanus found his flock involved by this agreement in great difficulties, and the city divided into three different parties, always plotting and counterplotting against one another. He did all that the most consummate charity, prudence, and vigilance could do, to preserve the public peace; yet Sigebert and Chilperic appeared in arms, being fired by ambition, and stirred up by their wicked queens Fredegonda, wife of the latter, and Brunehaut of the former, burning with the most implacable jealousy against each other. The saint prevailed with them to suspend their hostilities for some time. At length Chilperic invaded the territories of Sigebert, but being worsted in battle, fled to Tournay. This victory left Sigebert free liberty of going to Paris with his wife Brunehaut and children, where he was received as conqueror. St. Germanus wrote to the queen, conjuring her to employ her interest with her husband to restore the peace of France, and to spare the life and fortune of a brother, whose ruin and blood would cry to heaven for vengeance. But Brunehaut's passion rendered her deaf to all remonstrances, and Sigebert was determined by her furious counsels to besiege Tournay. As he was setting out for this enterprise, he was met by St. Germanus, who told him that if he forgave his brother, he should return victorious; but if he was bent on his death, divine justice would overtake him, and his own death should prevent the execution of his unnatural design. Sigebert allowed this wholesome advice no weight; but the event showed that God had put these words in the mouth of the good bishop; for queen Fredegonda, enraged at the desperate posture of her husband's.

affairs, hired two assassins, who dispatched him with poisoned daggers, while he made a halt in his march at Vitri, in 575, after he had reigned fourteen years, with some reputation of humanity, as Fortunatus tells us.

Chilperic, by his tyranny and oppressions, deserved to be styled the French Nero, as St. Gregory of Tours calls him. He sacrificed his own children by former wives to the fury of Fredegonda, but having discovered her infidelity to him, he was, by her contrivance, murdered by her gallant in 584. Fredegonda was regent of the kingdoms of Soissons and Paris for her son Clotaire III., and continued her practices and wars against Brunehaut and her son till she died, in 601. Brunehaut governed the kingdom of Austrasia for her son Childebert II., and after his death for her grandson Theodebert; but afterwards persuaded Theodoric, her second grandson, who reigned at Challons, to destroy him and his whole family in fill. The year following Theodoric died, and Clotaire II., surnamed the Great, son of Fredegonda, inheriting both their estates, accused Brunehaut before the states of putting to death ten kings and St. Desiderius, bishop of Vienne, because he had reproved her for her public scandalous lusts, and many other illustrious persons. She had at first appeared liberal, and built several churches; but afterwards became infamous for her cruelty, avarice, restless ambition, and insatiable lusts, to which she sacrificed all things, and employed both the sword and poison in perpetrating her wicked designs. Being condemned by the states, she was put to the rack during three days, and afterwards dragged to death, being tied to the tail of a wild mare; or, according to others, drawn betwixt four horses, in 613.

St. Germanus lived not to see the miserable ends of these two firebrands of their country. In his old age he lost nothing of that zeal and activity with which he had filled the great duties of his station in the vigor of his life, nor did the weakness to which his corporal austerities had reduced him, make him abate any thing in the mortifications of his penitential life, in which he redoubled his fervor as he approached nearer to the end of his course. By his zeal the remains of idolatry were extirpated in France. In the third council of Paris, in 557, he had the principal share in drawing up the canons. By his advice, king Childebert issued an edict commanding all idols to be destroyed throughout his dominions, and forbidding all indecent dances and diversions on Sundays and festivals. The saint continued his labors for the conversion of sinners till he was called to receive the reward of them on the 28th of May, 576, being eighty years old. King Chilperic composed his epitaph, in which he extols his zeal for the salvation of his people, and their affection and veneration for his person. He mentions the miracles which were wrought at his tomb, and says that sight was restored to the blind and speech to the dumb.2 He was, according to his own desire, buried in St. Symphorian's chapel, which he built at the bottom of the church of St. Vincent already mentioned. Many miracles manifested his sanctity, of which Fortunatus, then a priest, afterwards bishop of Poitiers, has left us a history, in which he gives two on his own evidence. Also two anonymous monks compiled relations of several miracles of St. Germanus, which Aimoinus, a monk of this monastery in 870, and a careful writer, digested into two books.3 The relics of St. Germanus remained in the aforesaid chapel till the year 754, when the abbot removed them into the body of the church. The ceremony of this translation was performed with great solemnity; and king Pepin thought himself honored by assisting at it.

Prince Charles, known afterwards by the title of Charlemagne, who was then but seven years old, attended his father on this occasion, and was so strongly affected with the miracles performed at that time, that when he came to the crown, he took a particular pleasure in relating them, with all their circumstances. The greatest part of the relics of St. Germanus remain still in this church of St. Vincent, commonly called St. Germain-des-Prez. This abbey is possessed of the original privilege of its foundation and exemption, written on bark, and subscribed by St. Germanus, St. Nicetius, and several other bishops. The most valuable work of St. Germanus of Paris, is An Exposition of the Liturgy, published from an ancient manuscript by Dom. Martenne.4 The characteristical virtue of St. Germanus was his unbounded charity to the poor. Liberality in alms moves God to be liberal to us in the dispensations of his spiritual graces; but he who hardens his heart to the injuries and wants of others, shuts against himself the treasury of heaven


TODAY'S GOSPEL: MAY 28: JOHN 15: 18-21

John 15: 18 - 21
18"If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you.
19If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.
20Remember the word that I said to you, `A servant is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted me, they will persecute you; if they kept my word, they will keep yours also.
21But all this they will do to you on my account, because they do not know him who sent me.
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