Tuesday, June 28, 2011





Benedict XVI posts on twitter announcing the Vatican website
He says: “Dear Friends, I just launched Praised be our Lord Jesus Christ! With my prayers and blessings, Benedictus XVI.”


VATICAN CITY, 28 JUN 2011 (VIS) - A press conference was held this morning in the Holy See Press Office to present the twenty-sixth World Youth Day (WYD), which will be held in the Spanish capital city of Madrid from 16 to 21 August. The conference was presented by Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko, president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity; Cardinal Antonio Maria Rouco Varela, archbishop of Madrid;Yago de la Cierva, executive director of WYD 2011; Elsa Vazquez Maggio, an international volunteer, and Jose Antonio Martinez Fuentes, secretary general of WYD 2011.

"Each World Youth Day is an extraordinary experience for a Church which is friend to young people, which shares their problems", said Cardinal Rylko. "A Church which places herself at the service of the new generations. It is an experience of Universal Church - unique of its kind - which embraces the entire planet, of a young Church full of enthusiasm and missionary vigour. It is an epiphany of the Christian faith which has truly planetary dimensions. And young people, especially in the old and profoundly secularised continent of Europe, have particular need of all this".

The cardinal recalled how this is the second occasion that Spain has "generously welcomed" WYD, and he spoke of the last time the event was held in that country, at Santiago de Compostela in 1989. It was there, he said, "that World Youth Day came to be structured as we know it today: three days of catechesis, a prayer vigil on the Saturday night, then the closing Eucharistic celebration and the dispatch of young people as missionaries. Also at Santiago de Compostela, pilgrimage came to be an essential factor of young people's journey in the footsteps of Peter's Successor.

"Over succeeding years", he added, "each WYD has brought something new to the programme: the Way of the Cross at Denver, U.S.A., in 1993; preparatory days spent in dioceses prior to the main event and the 'Festival of Youth' (a kind of cultural programme) at Paris, France, in 1997; the 'Feast of Forgiveness' (300 confessionals crowded with young people in the Circus Maximus) at Rome in 2000; the 'Vocations Fair' at Toronto, Canada, in 2002, and the adoration of the Eucharist at Cologne, Germany, in 2005. Thus the proposal made to young people on each occasion is in continual evolution, seeking to respond to the true spiritual needs of today's youth".

The cardinal also provided some statistics, noting that "WYD in Madrid is going to be a very significant event". Four hundred thousand young people have already signed up; they will be accompanied by14,000 priests and by 744 bishops, of whom 263 will be responsible for catechesis. Two hundred and fifty sites have been assigned for catechesis, which will be delivered in thirty languages, and 700,000 copies of "YOUCAT" will be distributed in six languages. Twenty-four thousand volunteers from different countries will be involved in various services. Finally, before reaching Madrid, the young people will be welcomed in sixty-eight Spanish dioceses, "in confirmation of the fact that the entire Church in Spain is directly involved in the WYD experience", said the cardinal. For those unable to reach Madrid, "simultaneous gatherings of young people have been organised in countries such as Ukraine, Burundi and Madagascar. They will be linked to the main event in Madrid by television and internet.

"The Pope's presence is the culminating moment of any WYD", said the president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, noting that the forthcoming event in Madrid"will take place in the light of the recent beatification of John Paul II, founder of World Youth Days. Thus John Paul II will return among the young people he loved so much, and who loved him. He returns as blessed, patron and protector. Indeed, the Eucharistic celebration welcoming the youth to Madrid, presided by Cardinal Antonio Maria Rouco Varela, archbishop of the city, on 16 August, will be dedicated to the new blessed".

OP/ VIS 20110628 (670)


VATICAN CITY, 28 JUN 2011 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received members of a delegation from the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, who have come to Rome for tomorrow's Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul Apostles: His Eminence Emmanuel, metropolitan of France and director of the office of the Orthodox Church to the European Union; His Eminence Athenagoras, bishop of Sinope and auxiliary of the metropolitan of Belgium, and Archimandrite Maximos Pothos, vicar general of the metropolitan of Switzerland.

AP/ VIS 20110628 (80)


VATICAN CITY, 28 JUN 2011 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

- Appointed Cardinal Angelo Scola, patriarch of Venice, Italy, as metropolitan archbishop of Milan (area 4,208, population 5,334,788, Catholics 4,887,661, priests 2,870, permanent deacons 118, religious 7,316), Italy. He succeeds Cardinal Dionigi Tettamanzi, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same archdiocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.

- Appointed Msgr. Antonio Ferreira da Costa, official of the Section for General Affairs of the Secretariat of State, as bureau chief of the same section.


CCCB REPORT– Ottawa, June 27, 2011. The Commission for Doctrine of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) released today a letter on pastoral ministry to young people with same-sex attraction.

“As Bishops, we wish to address the pastoral needs of adolescents and young adults who question their sexual identity or experience feelings of same-sex attraction. We are concerned for the spiritual good of all persons, and want to help them live out their call ‘to the fullness of Christian life and to the perfection of charity’. Convinced that ‛only what is true can ultimately be pastoral,’ we offer this guidance, by way of general principles and pastoral guidelines, to all Catholics, pastors, parents and educators, as well as to young adults themselves,” the Commission states in its introduction to the pastoral letter.

While stressing the fact that the Church in her teaching never condemns persons with same-sex attraction, the Bishops note that “while homosexual acts are always objectively wrong, same-sex inclinations are not in themselves sinful or a moral failing”. (…) “For many people, same-sex attraction constitutes a trial. They therefore deserve to be approached by pastors with charity and prudence.”

In its letter, the Commission offers various pastoral guidelines, in addition to expressing its “profound gratitude to all those who wisely and lovingly guide young people with a same-sex attraction: priests and pastoral associates, parents and educators”.

A study guide will complement the pastoral letter when printed copies are available later this summer. The letter itself, without the study guide, can be downloaded freely from The printed version with the study guide can be ordered from the CCCB Publications Service at

The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) is the national assembly of the Bishops of Canada. It was founded in 1943 and officially recognized by the Holy See in 1948. After the Second Vatican Council (1962-65), the CCCB became part of a worldwide network of Episcopal Conferences, established in 1965 as an integral part of the life of the Universal Church.


UCAN REPORT: Storm wreaks havoc across northern provinces, homes and schools destroyed
June 28, 2011

Caritas is providing emergency relief to hundreds of flood victims after a recent storm lashed large areas in the north of the country.

Two villages, An Lu and Trung Ha, near the city of Hai Phong were the worst hit when the storm struck on June 23, killing two people, injuring 79 and destroying or damaging 1,025 homes and schools.

Severe flooding also affected the villages of Yen Hoa, Yen Na and Yen Tinh in Nghe An province. Around 31 homes were washed away and hundreds of other houses inundated.

Four ethnic Hmong villagers were also killed in Yen Bai province.

“We’ve offered 210 million dong [US$10,200] in emergency relief to victims,” Bishop Joseph Nguyen Van Yen, vice president of CCSA-Caritas Vietnam, said yesterday.

Bishop Yen said victims in Hai Phong were given 100 million dong, while those in Nghe An and Yen Bai provinces were offered 60 and 50 million dong, respectively.

He said the local Church will try to help victims return to a normal life after evaluating the situation.

Maria Nguyen Thi Lien, a Caritas worker from Hai Phong, said the local diocese also offered 50 million dong to victims.

Local Caritas workers on June 25 visited and offered 40 families 2-10 million dong each, she added.

Lien said many victims lost everything and just have the clothes on their back.


Christians reach consensus on conduct of missionaries | 'Christian Witness in a Multi-Religious World: Recommendations for Conduct”, Cardinal Tauran,Ecumenical Centre Geneva,World Council of Churches, (WCC),Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue (PCID)World Evangelical Alliance (WEA), Rev Dr Olav Fykse Tveit

L-R: Cardinal Tauran, Rev Dr Tveit, Dr Tunnicliffe

'Christian Witness in a Multi-Religious World: Recommendations for Conduct”, an historic five-page document on the conduct of mission “according to gospel principles”, was released during a public presentation today, 28 June at the Ecumenical Centre in Geneva, Switzerland.

The recommendations regarding respectful behaviour on the part of missionaries, evangelists and other witnesses when sharing the Christian faith were issued following a five-year series of consultations among the World Council of Churches (WCC), the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue (PCID) of the Roman Catholic Church and the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA).

The three bodies include Orthodox, Catholic, Anglican, Protestant, Evangelical, Pentecostal and independent churches with a combined membership of some two billion people representing nearly 90 percent of the world’s Christians.

“We send this document to each of our constituencies,” said the Rev Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, general secretary of the WCC, “with the hope that they will see these recommendations as an inspiration to design their own codes of conduct, relevant to their own particular contexts.”

“In the past five years we have been building a new bridge,” said Dr Geoff Tunnicliffe, chief executive officer and secretary general of the WEA. “The document is a major achievement,” he explained, in that it represents formal agreement on “the essence of Christian mission” while also demonstrating that diverse Christian bodies “are able to work together and to speak together.” In this sense, the release of the text “is a historic moment” in the quest for Christian unity.

The document begins: “Mission belongs to the very being of the church.” The recommendations that follow suggest practical ways of engaging in mission while showing sincere respect for neighbours of other faiths.

Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the PCID, observed that leaders in the churches today “have a duty to proclaim the faith” and also “to propose a greater vision of dialogue.” He cited a principle of Catholic teaching: “Reject nothing that is true and holy in each religion”, cautioning that Christians must overcome religious conflicts if they are to “present the truth of God in a credible way.”

The joint document on Christian witness calls for careful study of the issues of mission and inter-religious dialogue, the building of trust and cooperation among people of all religions and the promotion of religious freedom everywhere.

Christians are encouraged to pray for the well-being of all, to strengthen their own religious identity and to avoid misrepresenting the beliefs of others.

Where possible, it adds, the preparation of codes of conduct by churches and related organizations “should be done ecumenically, and in consultation with representatives of other religions.”

In presenting “Christian Witness in a Multi-Religious World”, Tveit alluded to Jesus Christ’s prayer for unity in the 17th chapter of John’s gospel. “We are called to be one so that the world may believe,” said Tveit. “And so this day is a day for thankfulness, a day of celebration, but also a day of reflection.”

Meetings involving the WCC, PCID and WEA that led to the formulation of “Christian Witness in a Multi-Religious World” were held at Lariano, Italy in May 2006, Toulouse, France in August 2007 and Bangkok, Thailand in January 2011.

To read the full text of the document, see:


Fides Service REPORT - As part of an initiative to help the urban refugees to achieve greater self-sufficiency, JRS (Jesuit Refugee Service) has launched in the Ugandan capital of Kampala, a new training course for refugees which will allow them to learn the basics for the production of handicrafts. According to information sent to Fides by the General Curia of the Jesuits, the first course was attended by a group of five refugees, who learned to make earrings, necklaces, bracelets, pendants, belts, postcards, bags, in addition to acquiring skills in the field of embroidery, using local materials easy to find, such as paper, wood beads and vegetable fibers. "It was a valuable opportunity for us: instead of giving us a fish, they taught us how to fish, simply by giving us a fishing line. Now I am ready for fishing", said Anastase, a Rwandan refugee who attended the course. The craft course was organized as a result of an evaluation conducted in 2010 which saw the refugees express a desire to do so. "As refugees, we need a formation that we can build on in the current situation. Learning to produce handicrafts is the best thing for us", said one refugee. The program also includes courses in catering, hairdressing and tailoring.


Screenshot from the AdelaideNow website


CATH NEWS REPORT: A Dominican religious sister will receive a National Aboriginal Islander Day Observance Committee (NAIDOC) award for her services to the Aboriginal and Catholic community, said a report from the Advertiser on AdelaideNow.

The awards are part of a ceremony this Sunday to raise public awareness of indigenous culture and issues, particularly for the 2000 indigenous Catholics and their families in South Australia.Sister Doreen Hynes, 77, has always sought justice for others, and equality in education, the report said. One of her most rewarding activities is providing private English and maths tutoring to Year 5-11 indigenous students.

Sister Hynes, a member of the Cabra congregation, said she was humbled about receiving the award and that her passion for teaching Aboriginal children stemmed from an early interest in justice and peace.

"I want real justice for everyone. Some good has happened, but some (indigenous people) have had a very hard road."


St. Irenaeus of Lyons


Feast: June 28


Feast Day:June 28
Born:130 in Asia Minor
Died:203 in Lyons, France

The writings of Irenaeus give him an honored place among the Fathers of the Church for they laid the foundations of Christian theology and, by refuting the errors of the Gnostics, kept the youthful Catholic faith from the danger of corruption by the subtle, pessimistic doctrines of these philosophers. Irenaeus was born, probably about the year 125, in one of the maritime provinces of Asia Minor, where the memory of the Apostles was still cherished and where Christians were already numerous. His education was exceptionally liberal, for, besides a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures, he had an acquaintance with Greek philosophy and literature. Irenaeus had also the privilege of sitting at the feet of men who had known the Apostles. Of these the one who made the deepest impression on him was St. Polycarp, the venerable bishop of Smyrna. All through his life, he told a friend, he could recall every detail of Polycarp's appearance, his voice, and the very words he used when telling what he had heard from John the Evangelist and others who had seen Jesus.

From early times commerce had been brisk between the ports of Asia Minor and the city of Marseilles, at the mouth of the Rhone River. In the second century of the Christian era Levantine traders were conveying their wares up the river as far as Lyons, the most populous city of Gaul and an important mart for all Western Europe. In the train of these Asiatic merchants, many of whom settled in Lyons, came Christian missionaries, who brought the Gospel to the pagan Gauls and founded a vigorous church. Here Irenaeus was sent to serve as priest under the bishop, Pothinus.

The high regard which Irenaeus earned for himself at Lyons was shown in the year 177, when he was chosen to go on a serious mission to Rome. He was the bearer of a letter to Pope Eleutherius, urging him to deal firmly with the Montanist faction in faraway Phrygia, for heresy was now rampant in the East. This mission explains how it was that Irenaeus did not share in the martyrdom of his fellow Christians. A persecution broke out, and some of the leaders of the Lyons church were imprisoned; a few suffered martyrdom. This was in the reign of the philosophical pagan emperor, Marcus Aurelius. Since Lyons was a vital outpost of imperial power, adorned with temples and fine public buildings, the Roman officials perhaps thought it necessary to keep the new religion in check here. When Irenaeus returned from Rome it was to fill the now vacant bishopric. The brief period of persecution was over, and the twenty or more years of his episcopate were fairly peaceful. In addition to his pastoral duties at Lyons, Irenaeus is said to have extended the sphere of Christian influence by sending missionaries to other towns of Gaul-SS. Felix, Fortunatus, and Achilleus to Valence, and SS. Ferrutius and Ferreolus to Besancon. The bishop identified himself with his flock so completely as to speak habitually the native tongue instead of Latin or Greek, and to encourage all priests to do likewise.

The spread of Gnosticism in Gaul led Irenaeus to make a careful study of its tenets, not an easy matter since each Gnostic teacher was inclined to introduce subtleties of his own. He was, Tertullian tells us, "a curious explorer of all kinds of learning," and the task interested him. His treatise, in five books, sets forth fully the doctrines of the main dissident sects of the day and then contrasts them with the words of Scripture and the teachings of the Apostles, as preserved not only in sacred writings but by oral tradition in the churches which the Apostles founded. Above all, he cites the authoritative tradition of the Church of Rome, handed down from Peter and Paul through an unbroken succession of bishops. In his theological works Irenaeus especially shows the influence of St. Paul and St. John. An humble, patient man, he writes of controversial matters with a moderation and courtesy unusual in this age of perfervid conviction.

An example of his method is his discussion of one type of Gnostic doctrine, that the visible world was created and is sustained and governed by angelic beings, but not by God, who remains unconnected with it, aloof and unmoved in his own inaccessible sphere. Irenaeus states the theory, develops it to a logical conclusion, and then by an effective demonstrates its fallacy. The Christian doctrine of a close continuing relationship between the Triune God and the world He created Irenaeus describes thus: "The Father is above all, and He is the Head of Christ; the Word (Logos) is through all things and is Himself the Head of the Church, while the Spirit is in us all, and His is the living water which the Lord gave to those who believe in Him and love Him, and who know that there is one Father above all things and through all things." Irenaeus was convinced that the veil of mystery which enveloped Gnosticism was part of its attraction, and he was determined to "strip the fox," as he expressed it. His book, written in Greek and quickly translated into Latin, was widely circulated, and from this time on Gnosticism presented no serious threat.

Thirteen or fourteen years after his mission to Rome, Irenaeus attempted mediation between another Pope and a body of Christians in Asia Minor called the Quartodecimans, who refused to fix the day of Easter by the method commonly used by Christians. Pope Victor had excommunicated them, and Irenaeus pleaded with him in a beautiful letter to raise the ban, pointing out that these Asiatics were only following their Apostolic tradition, and that the difference of opinion on this minor point had not prevented St. Polycarp and many others from staying in communion. At the end of the fourth century Jerome wrote that many Eastern bishops still adhered to the ancient Jewish calendar.

The date of the death of Irenaeus is usually given as about the year 203. According to a late and dubious tradition he suffered martyrdom under Septimius Severus. His book has come down to us entire in its Latin version; and an Armenian translation of his has lately been discovered. Though the rest of his writings have perished, in these two works may be found the elements of a complete system of Catholic theology.


TODAY'S GOSPEL: JUNE 28: Matthew 8: 23- 27

Matthew 8: 23 - 27
23And when he got into the boat, his disciples followed him.
24And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep.
25And they went and woke him, saying, "Save, Lord; we are perishing."
26And he said to them, "Why are you afraid, O men of little faith?" Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.
27And the men marveled, saying, "What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him?"
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