POPE BEGINS SERIES OF CATECHESES ON CHRISTIAN PRAYER
VATICAN CITY, 4 MAY 2011 (VIS REPORTS) - Today, Benedict XVI began a series of catecheses that will focus on the theme of Christian payer. (IMAGE SOURCE: RADIO VATICANA)
Addressing the pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square, the Pope explained that, beginning this Wednesday, "drawing near to Sacred Scripture, the great tradition of the Church Fathers, the masters of spirituality, and the liturgy, we will seek to learn how to live even more intensely our relationship with the Lord, as if it were a type of "School of Prayer".
"We know", he said, "that prayer should not be overlooked. It is necessary to learn how to pray, almost learning this art ever anew. Even those who are very advanced in their spiritual lives always feel the need to attend the school of Jesus in order to learn how to truly pray".
In this first catechesis, Benedict XVI offered a few examples of prayer that were present in ancient cultures, "to highlight how, almost always and everywhere, we have turned to God. In ancient Egypt, for example, a blind man asking the divinity to return his sight, testifies to something universally human, which is the pure and simple prayer of someone who is suffering".
"In those sublime, all-time masterpieces of literature that are the Greek tragedies, even today, after 25 centuries, prayers expressing the desire to know God and adore His majesty are read, reflected on, and performed".
The Pope emphasized that "every prayer always expresses the truth of human creatures, who on the one hand experience a certain weakness and indigence and who, therefore, ask assistance from heaven and, on the other, who are endowed with an extraordinary dignity because able to prepare themselves to receive divine Revelation, discovering themselves capable of entering into communion with God".
"Persons of every age pray because they cannot stop asking themselves the meaning of their existence, which remains obscure and discouraging if they are unable to enter into relationship with the mystery of God and His plan for the world. Human life is a mixture of good and evil, of unwarranted suffering and of joy and beauty that, spontaneously and irresistibly, move us to ask God for the inner light and strength to sustain us on earth, revealing a hope that goes beyond the limits of death".
Benedict XVI concluded, asking that the Lord, "at the beginning of this journey in the School of Prayer, enlighten our minds and our hearts so that our relationship with Him in prayer be always more intense, affectionate, and constant. One more time let us ask Him: 'Lord, hear our prayer'".
DEFEND AND PROMOTE RIGHT TO FREEDOM OF RELIGION
VATICAN CITY, 4 MAY 2011 (VIS) - Today was made public the Pope's message to Mary Ann Glendon, president of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, and the members of that institution at the closure of their seventeenth plenary assembly held in Rome from 29 April to 3 May on the theme: "Universal Rights in a World of Diversity: The Case of Religious Freedom".
The Holy Father writes that the freedom of religion and of worship that suffered the "systematic denial by atheistic regimes of the twentieth century ... are again under threat from attitudes and ideologies which would impede free religious expression. Consequently, the challenge to defend and promote the right to freedom of religion and freedom of worship must be taken up once more in our days".
"Since man enjoys the capacity for a free personal choice in truth, and since God expects of man a free response to his call", he writes, "the right to religious freedom should be viewed as innate to the fundamental dignity of every human person, in keeping with the innate openness of the human heart to God. In fact, authentic freedom of religion will permit the human person to attain fulfillment and will thus contribute to the common good of society".
Benedict XVI emphasized that "every state has a sovereign right to promulgate its own legislation and will express different attitudes to religion in law. So it is that there are some states which allow broad religious freedom in our understanding of the term, while others restrict it for a variety of reasons, including mistrust for religion itself. The Holy See continues to appeal for the recognition of the fundamental human right to religious freedom on the part of all states, and calls on them to respect, and if need be protect, religious minorities who, though bound by a different faith from the majority around them, aspire to live with their fellow citizens peacefully and to participate fully in the civil and political life of the nation, to the benefit of all".
This afternoon, in the Holy See Press Office, the president of the academy, Mary Ann Glendon, summarized the plenary's acts of these days, which focused on four main areas. The first, she said was the "state coercion and persecution of religious believers"; the second, "state restrictions upon the religious liberties of religious minorities; third, "societal pressure on religious minorities that may or may not be state sanctioned, but nonetheless curtails the liberties of those minorities", and fourth, "the growth of secular fundamentalism in Western counties which considers religious believers a threat to secular, liberal democratic politics".
VATICAN CITY, 4 MAY 2011 (VIS) - Today the Holy Father appointed:
- Archbishop Janusz Bolonek, apostolic nuncio to Bulgaria, as apostolic nuncio to the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.
- as members of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints: Cardinal Velasio De Paolis, C.S., president of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See; Cardinal Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity; Archbishop Zygmunt Zimowski, president of the Pontifical Council for Pastoral Assistance to Health Care Workers; Bishop Ambrogio Spreafico, of Frosinone-Veroli-Ferentino, Italy; and Archbishop Santos Abril y Castello, vice-chamberlain of the Apostolic Chamber.
- Archbishop Joseph Augustine Di Noia, O.P., secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, as consultor of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
- Bishop Dimas Lara Barbosa, auxiliary bishop of São Sebastião do Rio de Janeiro, as metropolitan archbishop of Campo Grande (area 43,762, population 2,336,000, Catholics 1,763,000, priests 110, permanent deacons 1, religious 292), Brazil. He succeeds Archbishop Vitorio Pavanello, S.D.B., whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same archdiocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.
- Fr. Wilson Luis Angotti Filho, of the clergy of the diocese of Jaboticabal, as auxiliary bishop of the archdiocese of Belo Horizonte (area 7,240, population 4,767,000, Catholics 3,411,312, priests 645, religious 2,007), Brazil. The bishop-elect, previously assessor of Commission for the Doctrine of the Faith of the National Conference of Bishops of Brazil, was born in Tarquaritinga, Sao Paulo in 1958 and was ordained a priest in 1982.
- Fr. Julio Endi Akamine, S.A.C., provincial superior of the Sao Paulo province of the Society of the Catholic Apostolate (Pallottines), as auxiliary bishop of the archdiocese of Sao Paulo (area 1,645, population 7,511,000, Catholics 5,484,000, priests 858, permanent deacons 50, religious 2,735), Brazil. The bishop-elect was born in Garca, Sao Paulo in 1962 and was ordained a priest in 1988.
- Fr. Jose Aparecido Hergesse, C.R., procurator general of the Congregation of Clerics Regular (Theatines) in Rome, Italy, as auxiliary bishop of Vitória (area 7,234, population 3,210,000, Catholics 2,010,000, priests 138, religious 264), Brazil. The bishop-elect was born in Paranapanema, Sao Paulo in 1957 and was ordained a priest in 1985.
- Fr. Edgar Aristizabal Quintero, of the clergy of the diocese of Cartago, Colombia and Fr. Hugo Alberto Torres Marin, of the clergy of the diocese of Santa Rosa de Osos, Colombia, as auxiliary bishops of the archdiocese of Medellin (area 687, population 3,416,000, Catholics 2,969,000, priests 1,037, permanent deacons 44, religious 4,025), Colombia. Bishop-elect Aristizabal, previously director of the Department of Doctrine and Ecumenism of the Colombian Bishops' Conference, was born in Cartago, Colombia in 1965 and was ordained a priest in 1990. Bishop-elect Torres, previously rector of the major seminary of the diocese of Santa Rosa de Osos, was born in Briceno, Colombia in 1960 and was ordained a priest in 1987.
LOS ANGELES, California, May 2, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Nick Cannon, the rapper husband of R&B/pop superstar Mariah Carey, and the artist behind a much-praised pro-life rap song and video, made no secret of his feelings when his wife gave birth to twins, a boy and a girl, on the couple’s wedding anniversary.
“My wife just gave me the most incredible anniversary gift ever in life!” Cannon exclaimed via Twitter on Saturday, as reported by Access Hollywood. “I won’t ever be able to top this!”
The entertainment news service also reports: “In what Mariah Carey’s rep described as a moment ‘right out of an “I Love Lucy’ skit,”’ Nick Cannon was so overcome by nerves when wife Mariah Carey went into labor that he would up in the wrong section of a Los Angeles hospital, and had to be guided to the maternity ward by a nurse!”
Carey gave birth to twins just after noon on Saturday in Los Angeles, a boy and a girl; the couple has yet to release their names.
The rapper’s enthusiasm for the birth of his children comes as no surprise to those who have been paying close attention to his career. In 2005 Cannon released a song entitled “Can I Live,” accompanied by a powerful music video, which told the story of how he was almost aborted by his own mother.
The video, directed by Cannon himself, dramatizes the torment and the uncertainty as his mother arrives at a “Women’s Health Clinic” (abortuary) in the late seventies. Cannon himself appears in the video clad in white, symbolically portraying the person of the as-yet unborn child, and giving voice to his own implicit right and desire to live.
Throughout the video he tries to connect with his unheeding mother and to plead his own case, at one point crying out to her “300 Dollars that’s the price of living what? / Mommy I don’t like this clinic / hopefully you’ll make the right decision / and don’t go though with the Knife Decision.”
In the second-to-last scene Cannon’s mother rises from the operating table as her unborn son’s silent arguments penetrate and she runs from the clinic into the sunshine. There she is greeted by several dozen children singing the chorus and wearing T-shirts with the words “Can I Live” printed on them.
The video closes with Cannon hugging his present-day mother saying, “I am just telling ya’ll my story / I love life / I love my mother for giving me life / We all need to appreciate life / A strong women that had to make a sacrifice / Thanks for listening… / Mama thanks for listening.”
Last October, at the same time Cannon and Carey revealed their latest pregnancy, the couple opened up about a miscarriage in 2008 that Carey called a “tragic event.”
“It kind of shook us both and took us into a place that was really dark and difficult. When that happened ... I wasn’t able to even talk to anybody about it,” Carey told Access Hollywood host Billy Bush.
But the couple said they felt the experience made them more ready for parenthood - an event the parents, married for three years, greeted with great joy.
“I’m in the happiest place I’ve ever been in my life,” wrote Cannon on Sunday. “I never had more amazing things happening. I am humbled by God’s Favor!”
The legendary vocalist and proud mom also took to Twitter on Tuesday to tell fans that the little ones were “doing great.” “And they are the most incredible gifts we could ever have imagined!” Carey added.’
Yichang (AsiaNews) – The diocese of Yichang diocese (Hubei), located in the Three Gorges Dam Project area along Yangtze River, faces a vacant Episcopal See again, only three years after their 45-year-old incumbent died. He had been ordained a bishop in November 2007. This adds to the list of dioceses without a bishop.
Bishop Lu Shouwang died of pancreas disease on 30 April, in early morning, at a hospital in Wuhan City. His body was transferred back to Yichang city, and the funeral took place yesterday. He had been ordained with papal approval and Chinese government recognition.
Bishop Li Shan of Beijing led the funeral Mass, which was concelebrated by Bishop Lu’s seminary classmates, including the newest bishop, Mgr Liang Jiansen of Jiangmen (Guangdong). Bishop He Zeqing of Wanzhou, also from a neighbouring diocese in the Three Gorges area, also took part in the service.
“Our bishop suddenly departed from us, and now we priests have to stay united and keep the diocese stable,” said Fr Li Xiaoguo of Yichang, former vicar general, as he spoke to AsiaNews.
During his three years’ episcopacy, Bishop Lu was instrumental in getting seven churches built, two of which are currently under construction. He also encouraged education among his parishioners and trained local Catholics for evangelisation, Father Li said.
Yichang diocese has 23 priests, 11 nuns and about 30,000 Catholics.
Bishop Lu was hospitalised in Wuhan since September 2010, during which his condition was critical at times. Most of his medical fees, more than 1 million yuan, were paid by the government. Some costs were born by the local Church, sources said.
Born in 1966, Bishop Lu entered the Central and Southern Regional Seminary in Wuhan 1985. He was ordained a priest in 1991 and served in a parish. In 1992-1997, he worked at the seminary in Wuhan. In 1999, he was named vicar general of Yichang diocese. In 2005, he began to deal with diocesan affairs. In 2006, he was elected bishop of Yichang, and became its bishop in 2007.
"Yesterday I was at the funeral of Saif al-Arab (one of Gaddafi`s sons, who was killed in the bombing of his home together with his three grandchildren) –the Bishop continues -. Gaddafi was not present, but there were major representatives of the Libyan power, including some of his children, but not all. There was also Abdessalam Jalloud”. Abdessalam Jalloud, was one of Gaddafi`s closest collaborator`s and was long considered the "number two Libyan" until some time ago, before withdrawing from the public scene "I visited the bombed house and I was welcomed with great respect, I also captured great attention to what the Holy Father says. I am sorry to see this, but I get the impression that Christians are not always so careful to what the Pope says. The Holy Father called for a ceasefire, but was not heard”, says the Apostolic Vicar of Tripoli, who concludes: "I renew my appeal for a ceasefire, to respect the mourning family of the leader”.
St. Godehard of Hildesheim
Feast: May 4
He was a native of Bavaria, and abbot of Altaich, in that country, and reformed likewise the abbeys of Hersfeld, in Hesse, of Tergensee, in the diocese of Frisinguen, and of Chremsmunster, in that of Passaw. In 1021, the episcopal chair of Hildesheim falling vacant by the death of St. Bernward, St. Godard was compelled by St. Henry to take upon him that pastoral charge. The relief of the poor, both spiritual and temporal, was everywhere the first object of his attention. He died on the 4th of May, 1038, and was canonized by Innocent II in 1131. Many places in Germany acknowledge him patron, and several bear his name. See his life by Wolfhert, his disciple, in Henschenius, p. 501, and in Mabillon: and more at large, with long histories of miracles, among the writers of the history of the most illustrious house of Brunswick-Hanover, t. 2, p. 483. Several very devout epistles of St. Godard, or Godehard, are given us by Dom. Pez, in his Codex Diplomatico-Historico-Epistolaris, p. 133, &c.
|John 3: 16 - 21|
|16||For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.|
|17||For God sent the Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.|
|18||He who believes in him is not condemned; he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.|
|19||And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.|
|20||For every one who does evil hates the light, and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.|
|21||But he who does what is true comes to the light, that it may be clearly seen that his deeds have been wrought in God.|