CATHOLIC NEWS WORLD: WED. JAN. 19, 2011: HEADLINES-
INVOKING THE GIFT OF FULL COMMUNION
VATICAN CITY, 19 JAN 2011 (VIS REPORT) - In his general audience, held this morning in the Paul VI Hall, the Pope dedicated his catechesis to the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, which is taking place from 18 to 25 January and during which "all those who believe in Christ are invited to come together in prayer, so as to bear witness to the profound ties that unite them and to invoke the gift of full communion".
The Holy Father remarked on "the providential fact that prayer is at the centre of the journey to unity. This", he said, "reminds us once again that unity cannot be a product of mere human efforts, is its above all a gift of God. ... We do not 'construct' unity, God 'constructs' it, it comes from Him, from the mystery of the Trinity".
Benedict recalled how the theme chosen for this year's Week of Prayer "refers to the experience of the first Christian community in Jerusalem, as described in the Acts of the Apostles: 'They devoted themselves to the Apostles' teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers'".
This quotation identifies "four characteristics defining the first Christian community of Jerusalem", he said, "which still act as pillars for the life of all Christian communities, and constitute the solid foundation on which to continue to construct the visible unity of the Church".
Commenting on the first of these characteristics, the Pope noted that, "even today, the community of believers recognises the norms of its own faith in that reference to the teaching of the Apostles. All efforts to build unity among Christians must, then, involve increasing faithfulness to the 'depositum fidei' handed down to us by the Apostles".
The Holy Father then turned to the second element, "fraternal communion, ... the most tangible expression of unity between disciples and the Lord, especially for the outside world. ... The history of the ecumenical movement has been marked by difficulties and doubts, but it is also a history of fraternity, of co-operation and of human and spiritual sharing, which has significantly altered relations among believers in the Lord Jesus. We are all committed to continuing this journey".
On the subject of the third characteristic, "the breaking of bread", the Holy Father noted that "communion in Christ's sacrifice is the pinnacle of our union with God and, therefore, it also represents the completeness of the unity of Christ's disciples, full communion". In this context he noted also how "the impossibility of sharing the same Eucharist ... also gives a penitential dimension to our prayers. This must be a reason for ever more generous commitment on everyone's part so that, having removed the obstacles to full communion, the day may come when it will be possible to gather around the table of the Lord, together breaking the Eucharistic bread and drinking from the same chalice.
"Finally", he added, "prayer was the fourth characteristic of the early Church in Jerusalem ... Prayer also means opening ourselves to the fraternity that stems from our being children of the one heavenly Father; it means being ready for forgiveness and reconciliation".
"Like the first Christian community of Jerusalem, on the basis of what we already share we must offer a powerful witness - well-founded spiritually and well-supported by reason - of the one God Who revealed Himself and speaks to us in Christ, in order to be bring a message which guides and illuminates the path of modern man, who often lacks clear points of reference. It is important, then, to increase our mutual love every day, striving to overcome the barriers that still exist between Christians, in the knowledge that true inner unity does exist among people who follow the Lord. We must collaborate as much as possible, working together on outstanding questions and, above all, aware that we need the Lord's help on this journey. He must still help us a lot because without Him, alone, without 'abiding in Him', we can do nothing".
VATICAN CITY, 19 JAN 2011 (VIS) - At the end of today's general audience the Holy Father greeted members of the Italian association "Figli in paradiso: ali tra cielo e terra" (Children in paradise: wings between heaven and earth) which brings together members of families in which children have died. "Do not let yourselves be overcome with desolation and despair", the Pope said. "Rather, transform your suffering into hope, as Mary did at the foot of the cross".
He also encouraged young people "to calculate risks and to act at all times with prudence and a sense of responsibility, especially when driving a motor vehicle, in order to protect your own lives and those of others". Addressing the priests who spiritually accompany the bereaved families, Benedict XVI encouraged them to continue their generous service, giving assurances of his prayers "for all young people who have lost their lives".
VATICAN CITY, 19 JAN 2011 (VIS) - The Holy Father:
- Accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Pecs, Hungary, presented by Bishop Mihaly Mayer, in accordance with canon 401 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law, appointing Bishop Andras Veres of Szombathely, Hungary, as apostolic administrator of that ecclesiastical circumscription.
- Appointed Fr. Luiz Gonzaga Fechio of the clergy of the diocese of Sao Carlos, Brazil, pastor of the parish of "Santos Anjos", as auxiliary of the archdiocese of Belo Horizonte (area 7,240, population 4,717,968, Catholics 3,302,578, priests 542, religious 2,106), Brazil. The bishop-elect was born in Matao, Brazil in 1965 and ordained a priest in 1990.
- Appointed Cardinal Attilio Nicora, president of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See (APSA), also as president of the administrative council of the newly-established Financial Information Authority.
- Appointed as members of the administrative council of the Financial Information Authority: Claudio Bianchi, former professor of accounting at Rome's "La Sapienza" University: Marcello Condemi, associate professor of economic law at Rome's G. Marconi University; Giuseppe Dalla Torre del Tempio di Sanguinetto, rector of Rome's LUMSA University, and Cesare Testa, former president of theCentral Institute for the Sustenance of the Clergy.
Peshawar (AsiaNews) - An attack by Islamic militants on a Pakistani school today caused two deaths and 14 wounded, including seven children, provoking the strong condemnation of the Diocese of Peshawar. Father Francis Sohail toldAsiaNews: "This is a brutal act, innocent children have been targeted. These children were going to school, some of them were already inside the school.No religion can justify the killing of innocent children.These extremists are against education for women. They can not frighten us, we support women's education. Our society is heading towards darkness, education is a ray of hope. We urge the government to ensure that this ray of hope spreads across Pakistan".
The powerful bomb exploded this morning outside a school in the centre of Peshawar, in the crowded Notia Jadded neighbourhood. Two people were killed and another 14 injured. According to chief of rescue operations, Muhammad Ejaz Khan, it was "a remote-controlled bomb in a cart, which were used five kilograms of explosives." The victims, Azizur Rehman and another man, not yet identified, were passers-by.
Among the wounded there are seven children. The death toll could have been much higher if the bomb had exploded half an hour later, many students had not yet reached the school. Police have arrested two suspects, currently being interrogated.The building has been damaged, and the whole area is closed by a cordon of officers. Peshawar is the capital of the province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and the militants often target military and civilian targets of the government, particularly schools.
Before leaving England, Pope Benedict XVI asked the Bishops of England & Wales to prepare for the introduction of the new translation of the Roman Missal. The Missal contains the texts which are prayed by priest and people every time Catholics come to Mass. Work on the new translation has been ongoing since the publication of a new Latin edition of the Roman Missal in 2002. The Holy Father thanked the bishops for the contribution they had made, ‘with such painstaking care, to the collegial exercise of reviewing and approving the texts. This has provided an immense service to Catholics throughout the English-speaking world’.
The translation of the Roman Missal is now complete and the Holy See has given its recognitio on the text. The bishops, following the Holy Father’s encouragement that this new translation is an opportunity for ‘in-depth catechesis on the Eucharist and renewed devotion in the manner of its celebration’, have decided that from September 2011 the Order of Mass in the new translation will be used in parishes in England and Wales. The Order of Mass contains those texts of both priest and people which are constant at each celebration of Mass. For 3 months from September 2011 until December 2011 there will be catchesis in parishes both on the new translation and on the Mass itself. This will precede the publication of the new Missal which at the earliest is expected by Advent 2011.
To assist parishes and other communities to prepare for the new translation and to assist them in its introduction and catechesis a number of resources are being prepared. The first of these, the interactive DVD Become One Body One Spirit in Christ has already been sent out to dioceses.
Bishop Arthur Roche, bishop of Leeds and chairman of the Department for Christian Life and Worship said:
“The new translation is a great gift to the Church. The Mass is at the heart of what the Church is, it is where we deepen our faith in Christ and are nourished by him so that we can glorify the Lord by our lives. In the new translation we find a text that is more faithful to the Latin text and therefore a text which is richer in its theological content and allusions to the scriptures but also a translation which, I believe, will move people’s hearts and minds in prayer.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for the Church in England and Wales to learn about our faith and the Mass. I hope that parishes over the coming months will prepare for the introduction of the new translation with resources, such as Become One Body One Spirit in Christ and the materials being prepared by the Department for Christian Life and Worship and others. When the completion of the text was first announced Pope Benedict said: ‘Many will find it hard to adjust to unfamiliar texts after nearly forty years of continuous use of the previous translation. The change will need to be introduced with due sensitivity, and the opportunity for catechesis that it presents will need to be firmly grasped. I pray that in this way any risk of confusion or bewilderment will be averted, and the change will serve instead as a springboard for a renewal and a deepening of Eucharistic devotion all over the English-speaking world.’ I invite people to unite their prayers with those of the Holy Father for the introduction of the new translation.”
Information about the new translation of the Roman Missal:
Copies of the interactive DVD Become One Body One Spirit In Christ can be ordered online here:
The poor and vulnerable must not be neglected in times of difficult choices
Respect for the dignity of all human life an underlying principle
Subsequent letter on health care reform reflects bishops’ principles at work
WASHINGTON(January 18, 2011)—In a letter to Congress, Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), outlined the “principles and priorities that will guide the public policy efforts” of the Bishops’ Conference during the new legislature. The letter was mailed to all members of Congress on January 14.
Archbishop Dolan said he “hopes that this newly elected Congress will advance the common good and defend the life and dignity of all, especially vulnerable and poor persons whose needs are critical in this time of difficult economic and policy choices.”
“As bishops, of course we approach public policy not as politicians but as pastors and teachers,” Archbishop Dolan said. “Our moral principles have always guided our everyday experience in caring for the hungry and homeless, offering health care and housing, educating children and reaching out to those in need.”
From renewed opposition to public funding of abortion and support for pregnant women to carry out their pregnancies, to health care for all, and the serious human consequences and significant moral dimensions of the economic challenges our nation faces, the bishops’ priorities touch on a wide variety of issues.
“We offer this outline as an agenda for dialogue and action,” the archbishop said. “We hope to offer a constructive and principled contribution to national discussion about the values and policies that will shape our nation's future. We seek to work together with our nation's leaders to advance the common good of our society.”
Since Archbishop Dolan sent his letter, the bishop chairs whose committees’ work is impacted by health care reform have articulated their concerns as Congress revisits the issue.
“Rather than joining efforts to support or oppose the repeal of the recently enacted health care law, we will continue to devote our efforts to correcting serious moral problems in the current law, so health care reform can truly be life-affirming for all,” wrote Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, Coadjutor Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles, and Bishop Stephen Blaire of Stockton, California in a January 18 letter to the House of Representatives. The bishops chair the USCCB Committees on Pro-Life Activities, Migration, and Domestic Justice and Human Development, respectively.
The bishops wrote that any action taken by Congress on health care reform should reflect the following moral criteria:
- Ensure access to quality, affordable, life-giving health care for all.
- Retain longstanding requirements that effectively protect conscience right and that prohibit use of federal funds for elective abortion or plans that include them.
- Protect the access to health care that immigrants currently have and remove current barriers to access.
“The Prime Minister of Kenya is deeply disappointed by the fact that Gbagbo has not honoured his promise to lift the siege at the hotel where Ouattara is staying,” Fides was told by a source from the local Church.
“With the end of Odinga's mediation, certainly opens up some disquieting scenarios. The military option by ECOWAS cannot be ruled out,” confirmed our source. The Chiefs of the armies of the Countries in the Economic Community of Western African States (ECOWAS) met on 18 January in Bamako, capital of Mali, to discuss a possible military intervention in Côte d'Ivoire to depose Gbagbo and install Ouattara to power. According to Nigerian General Oluseyi Petinrin, “each Country of ECOWAS has made their troops available” for an eventual military operation in Côte d'Ivoire. The African troops will enter from the north of Côte d'Ivoire, controlled by the “New Forces”, the rebels linked to Ouattara, because the ports and the airports in the south are controlled by the regular army which has remained loyal to Gbagbo.
“We hope that the Lord will spare us from violence, also because one cannot lead a Country with a heritage of a bloodbath,” stated the Fides source, adding: “there is an attempt on the part of a group known as ‘mediators of the Country’, made up of 7-8 people, to try again to find a way to come out of the crisis peacefully. This is a separate group from that of the tribal leaders, who were proposed as mediators a few days ago”
St. Canute IV
KING OF DENMARK, MARTYR
Feast: January 19