Some 500 people have taken part in a multi-faith meetingto commemorate three religious leaders.
They shared a message of peace gifted by Cardinal Stephen Kim Sou-hwan, Reverend Kang Won-yong and Venerable Beopjeong at the Coste Hall in Myeongdong Cathedral yesterday.
The three leaders all passed away in recent years. They had been friends in spiritual dialogue and social engagement for decades.
Auxiliary Bishop Andrew Yeom Soo-jung of Seoul said in his greeting address: “Many people can learn Buddha’s mercy from Venerable Beopjeong and Jesus’ love from Cardinal Kim and Reverend Kang.”
“We should follow the example of the three leaders and make every effort to deliver their common message of peace to our society,” he added.
Venerable Song Wol-joo, former chief executive of the Jogye order, recalled that Reverend Kang had always suggested third-party ways of harmony to resolve conflict and discord in Korean society.
Retired Anglican Archbishop Kim Soung-soo said: “Cardinal Kim was our friend, priest, archbishop and cardinal beyond Catholicism.”
Joseph Choi Jong-tae, honorary professor of Seoul National University, recollected that he sculpted a statue of Buddha in Gilsangsa temple, established by Venerable Beopjeong, and a statue of Jesus in Myeongdong Cathedral.
The Catholic said, “Venerable Beopjeong and Cardinal Kim gave us the gift (of) hope for peace.”
The AMECEA brings together the Bishops of Kenya, Uganda, Sudan, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Malawi and Zambia. 350 delegates are participating at the Plenary Assembly. At the beginning of the Assembly a conference entitled "Family of God AMECEA celebrating Golden Jubilee of Evangelization in Solidarity was held". President of Kenya, Mwai Kibaki was present at the opening of the work, who stressed the importance of collaboration between the State and the Church to improve the condition of the population.
Fr. Piergiorgio Gamba, a Monfort missionary who has been working in Malawi for over 30 years is participating in the work. "While the Western Church is confronted with demographic challenges at times full of nostalgia and suffering, in these Countries there is growth, even only quantitative, impressive", writes Fr. Piergiorgio to Fides. "In the eight countries belonging to AMECEA, from 1961 to 2011 the number of inhabitants has gone from 30 million to 261 million, of which 47 million are Catholics, with 116 bishops, 8,696 priests, 7,146 religious brothers and 20,773 nuns".
These local Churches want to get out of its regional boundaries and, according to the first theme handled in 1961 "The Future of the Church in Africa", is to find in unity both growth in the faith and effective cooperation, recalls the missionary.
There are several topics for discussion in the Plenary: the Church and the media: television, radio and Catholic press; the formation of priests and the preparation of pastoral training centers; the opening of a new Catholic university; the future of Catholic schools; Justice and Peace in the east region of Africa; the promotion of the apostolate among young people; the prosperity of the Gospel preached by the Pentecostal churches founded on miracles and healing; Evangelization and education, the Word of God, inculturation; witchcraft, which is still very present. (L.M.)
ARCHDIOCESE OF CG REPORT: A large mosaic of pioneer Caroline Chisholm set on an outside wall of Sts Peter and Paul's Old Cathedral in Goulburn was unveiled by Governor-General Mrs Quentin Bryce today.
The work by internationally renowned artist Nola Diamantopoulos is part of the restoration of the historic church.
Mrs Bryce described the mosaic as "a wonderful gift to the city of Goulburn".
Archbishop Mark Coleridge, who was principal celebrant of a Mass in the Old Cathedral to mark the feast day of the Apostles Peter and Paul, took a ride in a cherry picker to bless the mosaic many metres above Verner Street.
He described Caroline Chisholm as "one of the greatest daughters of the Church". She had a strong relationship with the people of southern NSW and travelled through Goulburn many times raising money and escorting young immigrant girls to their country workplaces.
Archbishop Mark Coleridge outside Sts Peter and Paul's Old Cathedral with Governor-General Quentin Bryce (middle) and artist Nola Diamantopoulos. The mosaic is above them.
The mosaic of pioneer Caroline Chisholm high on the Verner Street wall of the historic church.
Feast: July 3
Little is recorded of St.Thomas the Apostle, nevertheless thanks to the fourth Gospel his personality is clearer to us than that of some others of the Twelve. His name occurs in all the lists of the Synoptists (Matthew 10:3; Mark 3:18; Luke 6, cf. Acts 1:13), but in St.John he plays a distinctive part. First, when Jesus announced His intention of returning to Judea to visit Lazarus, "Thomas" who is called Didymus [the twin], said to his fellow disciples: "Let us also go, that we may die with him" (John 11:16). Again it was St. Thomas who during the discourse before the Last Supper raised an objection:" Thomas saith to him : Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?" (John 14:5). But more especially St. Thomas is remembered for his incredulity when the other Apostles announced Christ's Resurrection to him: " Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe" (John 20:25); but eight days later he made his act of faith, drawing down the rebuke of Jesus: "Because thou hast seen me, Thomas, thou hast believed; blessed are they that have not seen, and have believed" (John 20:29).
This exhausts all our certain knowledge regarding the Apostle but his name is the starting point of a considerable apocryphal literature, and there are also certain historical data which suggest that some of this apocryphal material may contains germs of truth. The principal document concerning him is the "Acta Thomae", preserved to us with some variations both in Greek and in Syriac, and bearing unmistakeable signs of its Gnostic origin. It may indeed be the work of Bardesanes himself. The story in many of its particulars is utterly extravagant, but it is the early date, being assigned by Harnack (Chronologie, ii, 172) to the beginning of the third century, before A. D. 220. If the place of its origin is really Edessa, as Harnack and others for sound reasons supposed (ibid., p. 176), this would lend considerable probability to the statement, explicitly made in "Acta" (Bonnet, cap. 170, p.286), that the relics of Apostle Thomas, which we know to have been venerated at Edessa, had really come from the East. The extravagance of the legend may be judged from the fact that in more than one place (cap. 31, p. 148) it represents Thomas (Judas Thomas, as he is called here and elsewhere in Syriac tradition) as the twin brother of Jesus. The Thomas in Syriac is equivalant to XXXXX in Greek, and means twin. Rendel Harris who exaggerates very much the cult of the Dioscuri, wishes to regards this as a transformation of a pagan worship of Edessa but the point is at best problematical. The story itself runs briefly as follows: At the division of the Apostles, India fell to the lot of Thomas, but he declared his inability to go, whereupon his Master Jesus appeared in a supernatural way to Abban, the envoy of Gundafor, an Indian king, and sold Thomas to him to be his slave and serve Gundafor as a carpender. Then Abban and Thomas sailed away until they came to Andrapolis, where they landed and attended the marriage feast of the ruler's daughter. Strange occurences followed and Christ under the appearence of Thomas exhorted the bride to remain a Virgin. Coming to India Thomas undertook to build a palace for Gundafor, but spend the money entrusted to him on the poor. Gundafor imprisoned him; but the Apostle escaped miraculously and Gundafor was converted. Going about the country to preach, Thomas met with strange adventures from dragons and wild asses. Then he came to the city of King Misdai (Syriac Mazdai), where he converted Tertia the wife of Misdai and Vazan his son. After this he was condemed to death, led out of city to a hill, and pierced through with spears by four soldiers. He was buried in the tomb of the ancient kings but his remains were afterwards removed to the West.
Now it is certainly a remarkable fact that about the year A.D. 46 a king was reigning over that part of Asia south of Himalayas now represented by Afghanistan, Baluchistan, the Punjab, and Sind, who bore the name Gondophernes or Guduphara. This we know both from the discovery of coins, some of the Parthian type with Greek legends, others of the Indian types with the legends in an Indian dialect in Kharoshthi characters. Despite sundry minor variations the identity of the name with the Gundafor of the "Acta Thomae" is unmistakable and is hardly disputed. Further we have the evidence of the Takht-i-Bahi inscription, which is dated and which the best specialists accept as establishing the King Gunduphara probably began to reign about A.D. 20 and was still reigning in 46. Again there are excellent reasons for believing that Misdai or Mazdai may well be transformation of a Hindu name made on the Iranian soil. In this case it will probably represent a certain King Vasudeva of Mathura, a successor of Kanishka. No doubt it can be urged that the Gnostic romancer who wrote the "Acta Thomae" may have adopted a few historical Indian names to lend verisimilitude to his fabrication, but as Mr. Fleet urges in his severely critical paper "the names put forward here in connection with St.Thomas are distinctly not such as have lived in Indian story and tradition" (Joul. of R. Asiatic Soc.,1905, p.235).
On the other hand, though the tradition that St. Thomas preached in "India" was widely spread in both East and West and is to be found in such writers as Ephraem Syrus, Ambrose, Paulinus, Jerome, and, later Gregory of Tours and others, still it is difficult to discover any adequate support for the long-accepted belief that St. Thomas pushed his missionary journeys as far south as Mylapore, not far from Madras, and there suffered martyrdom. In that region is still to be found a granite bas-relief cross with a Pahlavi (ancient Persian) inscription dating from the seventh century, and the tradition that it was here that St. Thomas laid down his life is locally very strong. Certain it is also that on the Malabar or west coast of southern India a body of Christians still exists using a form of Syriac for its liturgical language. Whether this Church dates from the time of St. Thomas the Apostle (there was a Syro-Chaldean bishop John "from India and Persia" who assisted at the Council of Nicea in 325) or whether the Gospel was first preached there in 345 owing to the Persian persecution under Shapur (or Sapor), or whether the Syrian missionaries who accompanied a certain Thomas Cana penetrated to the Malabar coast about the year 745 seems difficult to determine. We know only that in the sixth century Cosmas Indicopleustes speaks of the existence of Christians at Male (?Malabar) under a bishop who had been consecrated in Persia. King Alfred the Great is stated in the "Anglo-Saxon Chronicle" to have sent an expedition to establish relations with these Christians of the Far East. On the other hand the reputed relics of St. Thomas were certainly at Edessa in the fourth century, and there they remained until they were translated to Chios in 1258 and towards to Ortona. The improbable suggestion that St. Thomas preached in America (American Eccles. Rev., 1899, pp.1-18) is based upon a misunderstanding of the text of the Acts of Apostles (i, 8; cf. Berchet "Fonte italiane per la storia della scoperta del Nuovo Mondo", II, 236, and I, 44).
Besides the "Acta Thomae" of which a different and notably shorter redaction exists in Ethiopic and Latin, we have an abbreviated form of a so-called "Gospel of Thomas" originally Gnostic, as we know it now merely a fantastical history of the childhood of Jesus, without any notably heretical colouring. There is also a "Revelatio Thomae", condemned as apocryphal in the Degree of Pope Gelasius, which has recently been recovered from various sources in a fragmentary condition
|Zechariah 9: 9 - 10|
|9||Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Lo, your king comes to you; triumphant and victorious is he, humble and riding on an ass, on a colt the foal of an ass.|
|10||I will cut off the chariot from E'phraim and the war horse from Jerusalem; and the battle bow shall be cut off, and he shall command peace to the nations; his dominion shall be from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth.|
|Psalms 145: 1 - 2, 8 - 11, 13 - 14|
|1||I will extol thee, my God and King, and bless thy name for ever and ever.|
|2||Every day I will bless thee, and praise thy name for ever and ever.|
|8||The LORD is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.|
|9||The LORD is good to all, and his compassion is over all that he has made.|
|10||All thy works shall give thanks to thee, O LORD, and all thy saints shall bless thee!|
|11||They shall speak of the glory of thy kingdom, and tell of thy power,|
|13||Thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and thy dominion endures throughout all generations. The LORD is faithful in all his words, and gracious in all his deeds.|
|14||The LORD upholds all who are falling, and raises up all who are bowed down.|
|Romans 8: 9, 11 - 13|
|9||But you are not in the flesh, you are in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Any one who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.|
|11||If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit which dwells in you.|
|12||So then, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh --|
|13||for if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body you will live.|
|Matthew 11: 25 - 30|
|25||At that time Jesus declared, "I thank thee, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to babes;|
|26||yea, Father, for such was thy gracious will.|
|27||All things have been delivered to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and any one to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.|
|28||Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.|
|29||Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.|
|30||For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."|