VATICAN CITY, 10 JUN 2011 (VIS) - This morning the Holy Father received the superiors and students of the institution that trains candidates for the Holy See diplomatic service, the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy, with its president, Archbishop Beniamino Stella. (IMAGE SOURCE: RADIO VATICANA)
Speaking of pontifical diplomacy, the Pope explained that it "has a very long tradition and its activities have contributed in no small part to shaping the very face of diplomatic relations between States in modern times".
"Loyalty, coherence, and a profound humanity", he said, "are the fundamental virtues of any envoy, who is a called to put, not only their work and their qualities but, in some way, their entire person at the service of a word that is not their own".
Speaking of the person and the actions of a diplomat of the Holy See, Benedict XVI emphasized that "he is first a priest, a bishop. ... He is a servant of the Word of God who, like every priest, has received a mission that cannot be carried out part time but that requires him to be, with his entire life, an echo of the message that has been entrusted to him, the Gospel message. It is precisely on the basis of this priestly identity, very clearly and deeply lived, that one is called to adopt, with a certain naturalness, this specific task of being the bearer of the word of the Pope; called to bring the universal horizon of his ministry and his pastoral charity to the particular churches and the institutions in which his sovereignty is legitimately exercised in the state sphere or that of international organizations".
The Pope noted that "in the exercise of such a delicate ministry, the care of one's own spiritual life, the practice of human virtues, and the formation of a solid culture are interwoven and mutually sustained. They are dimensions that allow one to maintain a deep inner balance in a work that requires, among other things, the capacity of openness to others, an equanimity of judgement, a critical distance from personal opinions, sacrifice, patience, constancy, and, at times, even firmness in the dialogue with others".
"On the other hand", he concluded, "the service of the person of the Successor of Peter ... allows one to live in constant and profound reference to the catholicity of the Church. Where there is openness to the objectivity of catholicity, there also exists a principle of true personalization: a life dedicated to the service of the Pope and ecclesial communion is, in this sense, extremely enriching".
VATICAN CITY, 10 JUN 2011 (VIS) - Archbishop Silvano M. Tomasi, permanent observer of the Holy See to the Office of the United Nations, spoke at the 17th Ordinary Session of the Council of Human Rights, dedicated to children's rights, this past Monday, 6 June.
The nuncio congratulated those engaged in preparing the draft Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child to provide a communication procedure (OPC) that will represent "a word of hope and encouragement to those children and young people whose innocence and human dignity have been wounded by the cruelty that can be present in the world of adults".
"The Holy See", he concluded, "looks at this new Optional Protocol ... as an opportune contribution to strengthening the human rights system. May it also bring us closer to our ultimate goal: the unconditional preservation and respect of the dignity of every single person, woman or man, adult or child".
VATICAN CITY, 10 JUN 2011 (VIS) - Today the Holy Father received in separate audiences:
- Six prelates from the Conference of Catholic Bishops of India on their "ad limina" visit:
- Bishop Neethinathan Anthonisamy, of Chingleput,
- Bishop Thomas Aquinas Lephonse, of Coimbatore,
- Bishop Amalraj Arulappan, of Ootacamund,
- Bishop Soundaraj Periyanayagam, S.D.B., of Vellore,
- Bishop Antony Pappusamy, of Dindigul, and
- Bishop Peter Remigius, of Kottar.
- Mr. Benjamin Konan Kouame, Ambassador of the Ivory Coast, and his wife, on his farewell visit.
This afternoon, the Pope is scheduled to receive Cardinal William Joseph Levada, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
VATICAN CITY, 10 JUN 2011 (VIS) - Today the Holy Father:
- appointed Msgr. Alfredo Zecca, of the clergy of the Archdiocese of Buenos Aires, as Metropolitan Archbishop of Tucuman (area 10,996, population 1,112,000, Catholics 1,034,201, priests 143, permanent deacons 10, religious 238), Argentina. The bishop-elect was born in 1949 in Buenos Aires, Argentina and was ordained a priest in 1976. He is currently a professor in the Faculty of Theology at the Catholic University of Argentina. He succeeds Archbishop Luis Hector Villalba, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same archdiocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.
- erected the Chaldean eparchy of Canada with the name of Mar Addai of Toronto of the Chaldeans (38,000 Catholics, priests 4), Canada. He appointed Archbishop Hanna Zora, of Ahwaz of the Chaldeans, Iran, as first bishop of the new eparchy.
- appointed Bishop Ernesto Mandara, auxiliary of the Diocese of Rome, as bishop of Sabina-Poggio Mirteto (area 918, population 187,351, Catholics 175,808, priests 109, permanent deacons 6, religious 234), Italy.
- appointed Msgr. Matthew Hassan Kukah, vicar general of the Archdiocese of Kaduna, Nigeria, as bishop of Sokoto (area 109,507, population 14,133,000, Catholics 44,366, priests 39, religious 35), Nigeria. The bishop-elect, was born in 1952 in Kulu, Zango, Nigeria and was ordained a priest in 1976. He succeeds Bishop Kevin J. Aje, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.
CNA REPORT: With quiet confidence Sydney Khoury climbs each step of a metal ladder as she positions herself to place a crown of flowers atop a statue of the Blessed Mother at St. Philip Church in Greenville, R.I.
Bishop Thomas J. Tobin greets Sydney Khoury outside the rectory of St. Philip Church, Greenville last week / Photo: Rick Snizek, Rhode Island CatholicIt’s a bit of a reach for Sydney, but with determination, the nine-year-old extends her arms, carefully placing her tribute atop the head of the Mother of Jesus.
A short distance away, Bishop Thomas J. Tobin of Providence, R.I. watches admiringly as the St. Philip School second-grader successfully overcomes yet another obstacle in her young life. Three years ago, Bishop Tobin also witnessed Sydney overcome one her greatest challenges. At that time, as she lay in the Intensive Care Unit of Hasbro Children’s Hospital with her life hanging in the balance, the bishop prayed over her with a relic of Mother Teresa.
Sydney’s parents say the prayerful intervention yielded results nothing short of miraculous.
In November 2007, Sydney was diagnosed with a Stage 3 malignant tumor on her kidney. Two days later, doctors removed her kidney and started her on a treatment regimen of chemotherapy and radiation. The overall success rate of the treatment was only 42 percent they were told.
For nearly three months, her condition was stable. Then, a robust round of chemotherapy quickly took its toll on her.
“She started five days of chemo. It hit her so hard,” recalls her mother, Michele.
Sydney went into what is known as a neutropenic state, as her white blood cell count dropped to zero, severely limiting her body’s ability to fight off infections.
“She was home for three days; on the fourth, she caught a fever,” Michele said.
Sydney was immediately brought into the hospital where she spent nearly all of February 2008 in the Intensive Care Unit.
She was intubated twice to maintain an open airway, and also became paralyzed for 12 hours during that time.
On Feb. 20, Michele and Ken Khoury received news that no parent ever wants to hear.
“They couldn’t tell me if she’d make it,” Michele said. “The doctor said, ‘I can’t guarantee anything over the next 48 hours’.”
Two days later, Sydney received the sacrament of the anointing of the sick from Father Peter J. Sheahan, the assistant pastor at St. Philip Church.
On Feb. 27, with Sydney’s condition not improving, doctors performed a lung biopsy.
“Her lungs were just collapsing,” her mother recalls.
The next day, with doctors about to have a discussion with the family about their wish to fit Sydney with a tracheal tube to help her breathing, Bishop Tobin visited Sydney in the hospital.
As he prayed over her, he held in his hand a relic of Blessed Mother Teresa. It was a gift from a priest friend back in his native Pittsburgh who had obtained it in Rome where he worked with the Missionaries of Charity, the religious order founded by Blessed Mother Teresa.
What happened next was remarkable.
Both of Sydney’s parents and Bishop Tobin witnessed the young girl’s body convulse during the prayers for her recovery.
“Very quickly after that, she got well,” Michele said of her daughter’s health. “He did the blessing and she didn’t need the tracheotomy.”
While he is cautious about attributing Sydney’s recovery solely to divine intervention, Bishop Tobin says the day he visited her in the hospital was a powerful day indeed.
“I always tend to be skeptical of these divine interventions, but it is very clear to me that something very special happened that day,” Bishop Tobin said.
“When she was blessed with the relic, her body reacted and she opened her eyes,” the bishop recalls.
In order to ensure any possible recurrence of cancer is treated immediately, Sydney must undergo an MRI every three months. Her most recent test showed that she is still in remission.
“Her spirits are great,” Sydney’s dad, Ken, said of his daughter.
In addition to the unwavering support of family and friends throughout, the Khourys say they cannot thank the St. Philip school and parish community enough for helping the family navigate through their crisis, as well as the continual support they give.
“Our family and friends had one of Sydney’s hands, and the school and the church had the other,” Michele said.
“The way they got involved, it was like they were doing it for their own families,” Ken said of the St. Philip community.
Students and teachers held a 24-hour vigil for Sydney.
“It brought the whole community so close,” said kindergarten teacher Diane Ahern. “She’s a gift from God.”
Principal Darlene Walsh said she was proud of the way the students and staff rallied around Sydney and her family in their time of need.
Linda Audet, a school librarian who was one of several staff to spend hours by Sydney’s hospital bedside, is still amazed by what she witnessed.
“She was so sick, and she’s come such a long way,” Audet said.
For the Khoury family, there is no underestimating the impact that prayer can have on a life.
“The amount of prayers got God’s attention,” Michele said. “I really feel that through the power of prayer she has been healed,” Michele said. “It’s amazing. It’s a miracle.”
Colombo (AsiaNews) – In Jordan, young female workers employed in a garment factory have been the victims of rape, sexual abuse and torture on regular basis, this according to a report titled “Sexual predators and serial rapists run wild at Wal-Mart supplier in Jordan” by the Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights.
The document notes that the Sri Lankan Foreign Employment Bureau has received 300 complaints, all against the factory’s general manager, Anil Santha, who is also Sri Lankan. But he was not alone. “Women who refuse the sexual advances of Classic's managers are also beaten and deported”. What is more, Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Labour was aware of the sexual abuse as early as 2007, but did nothing.
Classic Fashion, the company involved, is Jordan’s largest garment export factory and a major supplier for clothing stores like Wal-Mart, Target, Macy’s and Hanes.
“One Bangladeshi worker recently deported from the Classic factory said that, ‘all the workers of Sri Lanka, India, Bangladesh . . . everybody will testify that this particular manager raped the Sri Lankan women,” the report quotes her as saying.
In October 2010, 2,400 Sri Lankan and Indian workers went on strike demanding the removal of the alleged rapist. Classic's owner sent this particular manager away, but he returned after one month.
“On the weekly holiday, the alleged serial rapist [. . .] sends a van to bring four or five young women to his hotel, where he abuses them,” witnesses said.
In addition to regular insults and injury, the women are also short-changed of their wages if they fail to meet mandatory production goals. Thus, on average, they end up earning “a take-home wage of just 61 cents an hour.”
With a standard shift of 13 hours a day, six days a week, managers are said to abuse workers to push them to work even faster.
Boko Haram means "Western education is a sin" in haussa language. The sect has been responsible for several attacks in northern Nigeria. On June 6, an Islamic religious leader, who opposed the cult was killed in an attack in Biu, a town south of Maiduguri.
DIOCESE OF PARRAMATTA REPORT: The theme for the 2011 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity -"One in the Apostles' Teaching, Fellowship, Breaking of Bread and Prayer" - invites Christians everywhere to pause and reflect on our relationship to the mother Church of Jerusalem and our own journeys of faith.
Prepared by Christians in Jerusalem, the theme and prayers for the Week of Prayer (5-12 June) celebrate the origins of the first church in Jerusalem. It is a call for inspiration and renewal, a return to the essentials of the faith - and a time to remember when the church was still one.
There is a journey of faith each of us can take over the eight days of the Week of Prayer. Day 7(Saturday 11 June) takes us beyond the four elements of unity, as the Jerusalem church joyfully proclaims the Resurrection even while it bears the pain of the Cross.
The Resurrection of Jesus is for Christians in Jerusalem today hope and strength that enables them to remain constant in their witness, working for freedom and peace in the City of Peace.Visit Diocese of Parramatta Commission for Ecumenism & Interfaith Dialogue
St. Getulius & Companions
Feast: June 10
Martyr with Amantius, Caerealis, and Primitivus during the reign of Emperor Hadrian (r. 117-138). He was the husband of St. Symphorosa. An officer in the Roman army, he resigned when he became a Christian and returned to his estates near Tivoli, Italy. There he converted Caerealis, the imperial legate sent to arrest him. With his brother Amantius and with Caerealis and Primitivus, Getulius was tortured and martyred at Tivoli. The significance of the conversion rests in part upon the fact that the emperor himself owned a large and famous estate in the same area, an indication of how the Christian faith had established itself among the ranks of the wealthy patrician class of the empire.