POPE RECEIVES PRESIDENT OF PALESTINIAN NATIONAL AUTHORITY
VATICAN CITY, 3 JUN 2011 (VIS) - The Holy See Press Office released the following press statement today:
"This morning Benedict XVI received in audience Mr. Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority, who subsequently met with Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, secretary of State, and Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States. (IMAGE SOURCE: RADIO VATICANA)
"A central issue of the cordial conversations was the troubled situation in the Holy Land. Particular stress was laid on the urgent need to find a just and lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, one capable of ensuring respect for the rights of all and, therefore, the attainment of the Palestinian people's legitimate aspirations for an independent State. It was thus reiterated that soon the State of Israel and the Palestinian State must live in security, at peace with their neighbors and within internationally recognized borders. In this framework, with the support of the international community and in a spirit of cooperation and openness to reconciliation, the Holy Land will come to know peace.
"Reference was also made in the meetings to the situation of the Christian communities in the Palestinian Territories and the Middle East in general, and mention was made of their irreplaceable contribution to the building up of society.
"Finally, the hope was expressed that the work of the delegations of the Holy See and the Palestine Liberation Organization may proceed fruitfully towards the elaboration of a comprehensive agreement between the parties".
VATICAN CITY, 3 JUN 2011 (VIS) - Today the Holy Father accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the Archdiocese of Montpellier, France presented by Archbishop Guy Thomazeau, in accordance with canon 401 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law. He is succeeded by Archbishop Pierre-Marie Carre, coadjutor of the same archdiocese.
- Three men broke into the rectory of the Basilica of St. Rose of Lima in Buenos Aires, Argentina on May 31, stealing around $4,300 dollars in cash, chalices and sacred vessels.
The 50-year-old pastor of the basilica was sleeping in his room when the men broke in, threatened to shoot him, and tied his hands together.
The DyN news agency in Argentina quoted police officials as saying the break-in occurred at 3:10 a.m. local time. The men entered through one of the windows of the rectory.
The Archdiocese of Buenos Aires issued a statement on May 31 saying the burglars “took the personal belongings of the pastor and then violently stormed into the sacristy.”
After the criminals fled, the priest freed himself and immediately called the police, the archdiocese reported.
The pastor, Father Alberto Sorace, expressed thanks to God “because I am okay.” He said he hopes the country can become safer.
During his 10 years as pastor of St. Rose of Lima, he said, “There have been small thefts, but nothing of this magnitude, with this modus operandi.”
SATURDAY, JUNE 4, 2011
Two bishops today joined the anti-tobacco campaign in Metro Manila, saying the smoking ban in public places should be implemented nationwide.
In separate interviews on Church-run Radio Veritas, Bishop Jose Oliveros of Malolos, head of the Episcopal Commission on Bio-Ethics of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, and Bishop Honesto Ongtioco of Cubao said smoking is harmful not only to smokers but also to non-smokers.
On Monday, the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) started a drive to enforce a smoking ban in public places. People caught smoking in public areas were only given warnings.
“This is just the information campaign period. Next month, we will start imposing penalties,” said MMDA chief Francis Tolentino.
The ban, however, can only be enforced in areas where the local councils have ordinances penalizing smoking in public places. Sixteen of the 17 local councils in Metro Manila have such ordinances.
Public places where smoking is banned include public government buildings, churches, schools, hospitals, public utility vehicles, terminals, jeeps, tricycles, bars and restaurants.
“I am in favor of the smoking ban because we have to protect the health of the public,” said Bishop Oliveros in an interview on Church-run Radio Veritas.
“I think so. Children inhale secondhand smoke in parks and it is not healthy. People get cancer even if they are not smokers because they get it from the environment,” said Bishop Ongtioco in a separate interview.
The two bishops also suggested additional taxes on “sin products” like cigarettes and alcoholic beverages to discourage consumption.
“That way, the government will also earn more revenues. We help the individual and the government also benefits. I see the wisdom in prohibiting smoking in public places, which we should have done before. Labels such as “Smoking is dangerous to your health” help. In Malaysia the warning label on the cigarette packet is very graphic and scary. This is required by the law of Malaysia. If Malaysia can do that, why can’t we do that here?” said Bishop Oliveros.
FRIDAY, JUNE 3, 2011
ARDIOCESE OF CANBERRA PRESS RELEASE: The funeral Mass for Fr Fred Edwards, who died peacefully on Wednesday morning in Sydney, will be held in Goulburn next Tuesday.
Fr Edwards, who was 79, was parish priest of Grenfell, Braidwood and Gunning between 1979 and his retirement in 2000. He also served at Goulburn, Queanbeyan, Tumut and Cootamundra.
Fr Edwards was born in Sydney in 1932 and attended Beda College in Rome before being ordained in St Paul's Outside-the-Walls by Cardinal Cicognani on 26 March, 1966.
He had been a high care resident at Holy Spirit, Croydon, for the past four years after moving to Sydney to be closer to family. He is survived by his sister June Fardouly and brother Ron.
The funeral Mass will be held at 10.30am on Tuesday, 7 June, at Sts Peter and Paul Old Cathedral, Goulburn. He will be buried in Woden cemetery, Canberra.
'The Tunisian police repatriated the Sudanese who, moreover, were not entitled to request the status of political refugee - says Mgr.Laham -. There are only those who have this right, most of them Eritreans. But things are dragging on to get permission from the Italian authorities. These people are tired of waiting: they cannot return to Eritrea, they know that they are entitled to refugee status but have been living in refugee camps for months. The Tunisian people are beginning to get exhausted by this situation because providing food and drink to thousands of people for months is a bit hard, bearing in mind that we are coming out from a real 'tsunami 'policy. The Catholic Church is present in the camp. In particular Fr. Sandro de Pretis has been of enormous help thanks to the fact that he knows the Eritrean language because he has worked in Eritrea, and is in constant contact with me, "concludes Mgr. Maroun Lahham. (L.M.)
Sts. Charles Lwanga, Joseph Mkasa, Martyrs of Uganda
Feast: June 3
In the interior of central Africa the first Catholic missions were established by Cardinal Lavigerie's White Fathers in 1879. In Uganda some progress was made under the not unfriendly local ruler, Mtesa; but his successor, Mwanga, determined to root out Christianity among his people, especially after a Catholic subject, St. Joseph Mkasa, reproached him for his debauchery and for his massacre of the Protestant missionary James Hannington and his caravan. Mwanga was addicted to unnatural vice and his anger against Christianity, already kindled by ambitious officers who played on his fears, was kept alight by the refusal of Christian boys in his service to minister to his wickedness.
Joseph Mkasa himself was the first victim: Mwanga. seized on a trifling pretext and on November 15, 1885, had him beheaded. To the chieftain's astonishment the Christians were not cowed by this sudden outrage, and in May of the following year the storm burst. When he called for a young 'page' called Mwafu, Mwanga learned that he had been receiving religious instruction from another page, St. Denis Sebuggwawo; Denis was sent for, and the king thrust a spear through his throat. That night guards were posted round the royal residence to prevent anyone from escaping.
St. Charles Lwanga, who had succeeded Joseph Mkasa in charge of the 'pages', secretly baptized four of them who were catechumens; among them St Kizito, a boy of thirteen whom Lwanga had repeatedly saved from the designs of the king. Next morning the pages were all drawn up before Mwanga, and Christians were ordered to separate themselves from the rest: led by Lwanga and Kizito, the oldest and youngest, they did so—fifteen young men, all under twenty-five years of age. They were joined by two others already under arrest and by two soldiers. Mwanga asked them if they intended to remain Christians. "Till death!" came the response. "Then put them to death!"
The appointed place of execution, Namugongo, was thirty-seven miles away, and the convoy set out at once. Three of the youths were killed on the road; the others underwent a cruel imprisonment of seven days at Namugongo while a huge pyre was prepared. Then on Ascension day, June 3, 1886, they were brought out, stripped of their clothing, bound, and each wrapped in a mat of reed: the living faggots were laid on the pyre (one boy, St Mbaga, was first killed by a blow on the neck by order of his father who was the chief executioner), and it was set alight. The persecution spread and Protestants as well as Catholics gave their lives rather than deny Christ. A leader among the confessors was St Matthias Murumba, who was put to death with revolting cruelty; he was a middle-aged man, assistant judge to the provincial chief, who first heard of Jesus Christ from Protestant missionaries and later was baptized by Father Livinhac, W.F. Another older victim, who was beheaded, was St Andrew Kagwa, chief of Kigowa, who had been the instrument of his wife's conversion and had gathered a large body of catechumens round him. This Andrew together with Charles Lwanga and Matthias Murumba and nineteen others (seventeen of the total being young royal servants) were solemnly beatified in 1920. They were canonized in 1964.
When the White Fathers were expelled from the country, the new Christians carried on their work, translating and printing the catechism into their nativel language and giving secret instruction on the faith. Without priests, liturgy, and sacraments their faith, intelligence, courage, and wisdom kept the Catholic Church alive and growing in Uganda. When the White Fathers returned after King Mwanga's death, they found five hundred Christians and one thousand catchumens waiting for them.
Feast: June 3
Was daughter of Chilperic, younger brother to Gondebald, the tyrannical king of Burgundy, who put him, his wife, and the rest of his brothers, except one, to death, in order to usurp their dominions. In this massacre he spared Chilperic's two fair daughters, then in their infancy. One of them became afterwards a nun; the other, named Clotildis, was brought up in her uncle's court, and by a singular providence, was instructed in the Catholic religion, though she was educated in the midst of Arians. It was her happiness in the true faith, to be inspired from the cradle with a contempt and disgust of a treacherous world, which sentiments she cherished and improved by the most fervent exercises of religion. Though she saw herself surrounded with all the charms of the world, and was from her infancy its idol, yet her heart was proof against its seductions. She was adorned with the assemblage of all virtues; and the reputation of her wit, beauty, meekness, modesty, and piety, made her the adoration of all the neighboring kingdoms, when Clovis I., surnamed the great, the victorious king of the Franks, demanded and obtained her of her uncle in marriage granting her all the conditions she could desire for the free and secure exercise of her religion.1 The marriage was solemnized at Soissons, in 493. Clotildis made herself a little oratory in the royal palace, in which she spent much time in fervent prayer and secret mortifications. Her devotion was tempered with discretion, so that she attended all her business at court, was watchful over her maids, and did every thing with a dignity, order, and piety, which edified and charmed the king and his whole court. Her charity to the poor seemed a sea which could never be drained. She honored her royal husband, studied to sweeten his warlike temper by Christian meekness, conformed herself to his humor in things that were indifferent; and, the better to gain his affections, made those things the subject of her discourse and praises in which she saw him to take the greatest delight. When she saw herself mistress of his heart, she did not defer the great work of endeavoring to win him to God, and often spoke to him on the vanity of his idols, and on the excellency of the true religion. The king always heard her with pleasure; but the moment of his conversion was not yet come. It was first to cost her many tears, severe trials, and earnest perseverance. After the baptism of their second son, Clodomir, and the infant's recovery from a dangerous indisposition, she pressed the king more boldly to renounce his idols. One day especially, when he had given her great assurances of his affection, and augmented her dowry by a gift of several manors, she said she begged only one favor of his majesty, which was the liberty to discourse with him on the sanctity of her religion, and to put him in mind of his promise of forsaking the worship of idols. But the fear of giving offence to his people made him delay the execution. His miraculous victory over the Alemanni, and his entire conversion in 496, were at length the fruit of our saint's prayers.
Clotildis, having gained to God this great monarch, never ceased to excite him to glorious actions for the divine honor: among other religious foundations he built in Paris, at her request, about the year 511, the great church of SS. Peter and Paul, now called St. Genevieve's. This great prince had a singular devotion to St. Martin, and went sometimes to Tours, to prostrate himself in prayer at his tomb. He sent his royal diadem, which is called, to this day, The Realm, a present to pope Hormisdas, as a token that he dedicated his kingdom to God. His barbarous education and martial temper made it, in certain sallies of his passions, difficult for Clotildis to bridle his inclination to ambition and cruelty, so that he scarce left any princes of his own relations living, except his sons. He died on the 27th of November, in the year 511, of his age the forty-fifth, having reigned thirty years. He was buried in the church of the apostles, SS. Peter and Paul, now called St. Genevieve's, where his tomb still remains. An ancient long epitaph, which was inscribed on it, is preserved by Aimoinus, and copied by Rivet. His eldest son Theodoric, whom he had by a concubine before his marriage, reigned at Rheims over Austrasia, or the eastern parts of France, which comprised the present Champagne, Lorraine, Auvergne, and several provinces of Germany. Metz was afterwards the capital of this country. As to the three sons of Clotildis, Clodomir reigned at Orleans, Childebert at Paris, and Clotaire I., at Soissons. This division produced wars and mutual jealousies, till, in 560, the whole monarchy was reunited under Clotaire, the youngest of these brothers. St. Clotildis lived to see Clodomir defeat and put to death Sigismund, king of Burgundy; but soon after, in 524, himself vanquished and slain by Gondemar, successor to Sigismund; Gondemar overcome and killed by Childebert and Clotaire, and the kingdom of Burgundy united to France. The most sensible affliction of this pious queen was the murder of the two eldest sons of Clodomir, committed in 526, by their uncles Childebert and Clotaire, who seized on the kingdom of Orleans. This tragical disaster contributed more perfectly to wean her heart from the world. She spent the remaining part of her life at Tours, near the tomb of St. Martin, in exercises of prayer, almsdeeds, watching, fasting, and penance, seeming totally to forget that she had been queen, or that her sons sat on the throne. Eternity filled her heart, and employed all her thoughts. She foretold her death thirty days before it happened; having been admonished of it by God at the tomb of St. Martin, the usual place of her tears. In her last illness, she sent for her sons Childebert, king of Paris, and Clotaire, king of Soissons, and exhorted them, in the most pathetic manner, to honor God and keep his commandments; to protect the poor, reign as fathers to their people, live in union together, and love and study always to maintain tranquillity and peace. She scarce ever ceased repeating the psalms with the most tender devotion, and ordered all she had left to be distributed among she poor; though this was very little; for she had always been careful to send her riches before her by their hands. On the thirtieth day of her illness she received the sacraments, made a public confession of her faith, and departed to the Lord on the 3d of June, in 545. She was buried, by her own order, in the church of St. Genevieve, at the feet of that holy shepherdess, and is commemorated in the Roman Martyrology on the 3d of June. See St. Gregory of Tours, Hist. Franc., and Fortunatus; and among the moderns, Abbe Du Bos and Gilb. le Gendre, Antiquites de la Nation et Monarchie Francoise, &c.