CATHOLIC NEWS WORLD: THURS. FEB. 24, 2011: HEADLINES-
VATICAN CITY, 24 FEB 2011 (VIS REPORT) - The Holy See Press Office released the following communique at midday today:
"Today in the Apostolic Palace the Holy Father Benedict XVI received in audience Michel Sleiman, president of the Republic of Lebanon. The president subsequently went on to meet with Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B. who was accompanied by Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States.
"The cordial discussions served to highlight how Lebanon, because of the presence of various Christian and Muslim communities there, stands as a message of freedom and respectful coexistence, not only for the region but for the whole world. In this context, it is increasingly necessary to promote collaboration and dialogue between religious confessions.
"Attention then turned to the importance of civil and religious authorities being committed to educating consciences in peace and reconciliation, and the hope was expressed that the formation of the new government may favour the desired stability of the nation, which is called to face important internal and international challenges.
"The talks then dwelt on the situation in the Middle East, with particular reference to recent events in certain Arab States, with the parties expressing their shared conviction that it is vital to resolve the ongoing conflicts in the region.
"Finally, particular attention was given to the delicate situation of Christians in the entire region, and to the contribution they can make for the good of society as a whole".
VATICAN CITY, 24 FEB 2011 (VIS) - The programme of Benedict XVI's forthcoming pastoral visit to the diocese of San Marino - Montefeltro has been published. The event is due to take place on Sunday 19 June.
The Pope will depart from the Vatican by helicopter at 8 a.m., landing at Torraccia airport in the Republic of San Marino at 9.15 a.m. At 10 a.m. he will preside at a concelebration of the Eucharist then pray the Angelus in the Olympic stadium of Serravalle.
The Holy Father will then travel to Valdragone where he will have lunch with the organisers of his visit and with members of the "John Paul II" International Foundation.
That afternoon he will begin his official visit to the Republic, travelling to San Marino's Piazza della Liberta where he will be greeted by Captains Regent Giovanni Francesco Ugolini and Andrea Zafferani.
He will then go on to meet with members of the government, the congress and the diplomatic corps, to whom he will deliver an address. Finally the Pope will visit the basilica of San Marino to venerate the relics of St. Marinus.
At 6.30 p.m. the Holy Father will travel by helicopter to Pennabilli in the Italian province of Rimini where he will visit the cathedral and meet with young people of the diocese.
Finally, the Pope will return by helicopter to the Vatican, where he is due to land at 9 p.m.
VATICAN CITY, 24 FEB 2011 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences seven prelates from the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines on their "ad limina" visit:
- Bishop Reynaldo G. Evangelista of Boac.
- Bishop Buenaventura M. Famadico of Gumaca.
- Bishop Rolando Joven T. Tirona O.C.D., prelate of Infanta.
- Bishop Julius S. Tonel of Ipil.
- Bishop Martin S. Jumoad, prelate of Isabela.
- Bishop Elenito R. Galido of Iligan.
- Bishop Emilio Z. Marquez of Lucena.
VATICAN CITY, 24 FEB 2011 (VIS) - The Holy Father:
- Accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the archdiocese of Berlin, Germany, presented by Cardinal Georg Maximilian Sterzinsky, upon having reached the age limit.
- Appointed Bishop Franz-Josef Overbeck of Essen, Germany, also as military ordinary for Germany.
- Appointed Fr. Helmut Dieser of the clergy of the diocese of Trier, Germany, pastor of Adenau, Dumpelfeld, Kaltenborn and Kaltenborn-Herschbach, as auxiliary of Trier (area 12,870, population 2,484,000, Catholics 1,525,000, priests 1005, permanent deacons 166, religious 2,302). The bishop-elect was born in Neuwied, Germany in 1962 and ordained a priest in 1989.
- Appointed Fr. Eugenio Andres Lira Rugarcia of the clergy of the archdiocese of Puebla, Mexico, president of the archdiocesan commission for the pastoral care of communications; and Fr. Dagoberto Sosa Arriaga, episcopal vicar for pastoral care, as auxiliaries of Puebla (area 20,932, population 4,664,000, Catholics 4,339,000, priests 585, permanent deacons 1, religious 1,121). Bishop-elect Lira Rugarcia was born in Puebla in 1965 and ordained a priest in 1991. Bishop-elect Sosa Arriaga was born in La Loma, Mexico in 1955 and ordained a priest in 1983.
"The Way," which stars Estevez's father, Martin Sheen, tells the story of four Westerners walking the 500-mile pilgrimage route from the French Pyrenees to Santiago de Compostela, Spain.
Emilio Estevez, writer-director-producer of "The Way," smiles as his father, actor Martin Sheen, who stars in the movie, looks on prior to a screening at Georgetown University in Washington. (CNS/Bob Roller)
Sheen, who joked during a Feb. 18 interview with Catholic News Servicethat "I did my own walking" in the movie without a stunt double's help, recalled the first time he tried to make the pilgrimage himself.
"It was in 2003, and we were between seasons filming 'The West Wing,'" Sheen recalled. "I really wanted to make 'the way,' but we really didn't have enough time. So I did what every good American did: I rented a Mercedes and drove the route," he laughed.
But it was in Burgos, Spain, on that vehicular trek that Estevez's son, Taylor, met the woman who would become his wife. "That was the first miracle," Sheen said, adding he urged his own son to write a documentary or drama about the pilgrimage.
Estevez, sitting next to his father, recounted other occurrences he attributed to divine providence.
For one thing, he was able to conduct his filming in 2010 -- not in 2011, as Spanish officials had expected.
When Spaniards saw his tight, 40-day shooting schedule -- "40 days -- the normal time it would take a pilgrim to walk from St.-Jean (France) to Santiago," Estevez said -- they told him, "It rains every day. Your 40 days will become 60."
Instead, "it rained two days," Estevez said. "And both days we were scheduled to shoot interiors."
Estevez also received permission from officials to film inside the cathedral in Santiago de Compostela. "We didn't get it until 48 hours before we arrived" at the city that concludes the pilgrimage, he said, adding that his was the first dramatic film to have received permission.
In the film, Sheen plays a doctor estranged from his son (Estevez). When he learns that his son has perished in a storm in the Pyrenees on the first day of his pilgrimage, Sheen makes the impulsive decision to cremate his son's remains and go on the pilgrimage himself, carrying his son's remains with him.
Along the way, the doctor meets a carefree Dutchman (Yorick van Wageningen) who says he's making the pilgrimage to lose a few pounds, but gorges himself at nearly every opportunity; a bitter Canadian (Deborah Kara Unger) who says she'll quit smoking once she's completed the journey; and an Irish writer (James Nesbitt) with writer's block.
After a Feb. 18 screening of "The Way" at Georgetown University, Sheen told the audience during a question-and-answer session that the story structure is similar to that of "The Wizard of Oz," with Sheen's character as Dorothy, Dutchman Joost as the Cowardly Lion, Canadian Sarah as the Tin Man and Irishman Jack as the Scarecrow.
And therein lay another miracle during the film shoot. While looking for sites in the Spanish countryside to introduce the Jack character, Estevez found a field with baled hay -- a perfect tie between Jack and the Scarecrow.
"The Way" is more than just a movie to Estevez and Sheen. It was a chance for them to work together. Estevez called his father's acting in the film "the performance of a lifetime."
For his part, Sheen said the expected father-son roles were reversed in filming. "That's what the film is about," he added, "how the father is led by the son, because of the journey of the boy."
The movie is also an homage to Sheen's father and Estevez's grandfather, Francisco Estevez, to whom the film is dedicated. The elder Estevez was born in the Galicia region of Spain. Sheen said that when growing up in Dayton, Ohio, he heard his father speak often of the pilgrimage route, commonly known to Spanish speakers as "El Camino," which fueled his desire to make the pilgrimage himself.
Estevez said four preview screenings of "The Way" on behalf of the Fellowship of Catholic University Students brought such a great response "we may have to change our marketing strategies."
The early strategy, Estevez added, was to market merely to "humans," not to any specific demographic.
But Estevez said that in advance of the movie's Sept. 30 U.S. opening, he and Sheen will conduct a 30-day, 30-city cross-country promotion bus trip from Los Angeles to New York. "The Way" opens April 15 in England, Ireland and Malta.
Srinagar (AsiaNews) - Suspected Islamic militants set fire on Feb. 19 to the School of the Convent of St. Luke, a Protestant educational institution that began its activities about 17 years ago in Srinagar, Kashmir. The damage is estimated at 60 million rupees (958 thousand euro). The attack occurred at about 22.30 local time. Eight rooms, including classrooms, library and computer labs were completely destroyed.
The school's principal, Grace Paljor, said they are currently compiling an inventory of the damages, which are now calculated for 60 million rupees. She also claims to have been verbally threatened, several times, before the accident, for being Christian. The school has 450 students. At the time of the attack it was closed for the holidays and so there was no harm to people. The school will reopen on 1 March.
"The school administration is used to receiving threatening phone calls from time to time from extremists. They had threatened to set fire to the school, and have carried out their threat. After theTyndale Biscoe was burned in August of 2010, the extremists have begun to target the Christian schools in the valley. We complained to the Munshi Bagh police station. " Sources have told AsiaNews that the school has been targeted because of baseless rumours about a conversion.
"We live in precarious times here in a state with a Muslim majority, and we hope that the sentiments against us will not grow. The political unease has added to unresolved issues between us and tensions are growing. In this tense political landscape, we Christians are the victims”, denounced Bishop Peter Celestine Elampassery, OFM, of the Catholic Diocese of Jammu-Srinagar. "However, even though Catholics are a tiny minority, that is just 0.014% of the population, the Church has for decades made a significant contribution to the advancement and development of the state, thanks to our mission of education, health and social institutions, our contribution to state-building is appreciated, though sadly, in moments of tension, some marginal groups spread malicious rumours, target our work and sow suspicion and division".
The President of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC) has condemned the attack. Sajan K. George told AsiaNews: "Even the most mild and unfounded rumours can cause criminal acts of the fundamentalists. The school was burned down because of false and fabricated rumour of an attempted conversion. In September 2010, Tyndale Biscoe and Mallinson schools have suffered the same fate for the same reason. In November 2006, the GCIC coordinator for Kashmir, Bashir Tantray, was killed by Islamic militants. The Christian community has been targeted by religious fundamentalists. We demand that the authorities of Jammu and Kashmir protect Christians”.
CATH NEWS REPORT: Archbishop Philip Wilson, President of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, has sent a mesage of condolence to the bishop and the people of Christchurch as they cope with the earthquake disaster, in a media release.
"We send out sincere condolences to those who have died and their families."You and the people of Christchurch are very much in our prayers at this time, and we pray that our Lord will continue to accompany you," Archbishop Wilson wrote.
"The proximity of our countries and the solidarity we share in times of disaster lead us to feel enormous grief for what your people are experiencing.
"We extend our heartfelt thoughts to you, and hope that in the midst of this, you can find peace and solace.
KING OF KENT
Feast: February 24
King of Kent; b. 552; d. 24 February, 616; son of Eormenric, through whom he was descended from Hengest. He succeeded his father, in 560, as King of Kent and made an unsuccessful attempt to win from Ceawlin of Wessex the overlordship of Britain. His political importance was doubtless advanced by his marriage with Bertha, daughter of Charibert, King of the Franks (see BERTHA I). A noble disposition to fair dealing is argued by his giving her the old Roman church of St. Martin in his capital of Cantwaraburh (Canterbury) and affording her every opportunity for the exercise of her religion, although he himself had been reared, and remained, a worshipper of Odin. The same natural virtue, combined with a quaint spiritual caution and, on the other hand, a large instinct of hospitality, appears in his message to St. Augustine when, in 597, the Apostle of England landed on the Kentish coast
In the interval between Ethelbert's defeat by Ceawlin and the arrival of the Roman missionaries, the death of the Wessex king had left Ethelbert, at least virtually, supreme in southern Britain, and his baptism, which took place on Whitsunday next following the landing of Augustine (2 June, 597) had such an effect in deciding the minds of his wavering countrymen that as many as 10,000 are said to have followed his example within a few months. Thenceforward Ethelbert became the watchful father of the infant Anglo-Saxon Church. He founded the church which in after-ages was to be the primatial cathedral of all England, besides other churches at Rochester and Canterbury. But, although he permitted, and even helped, Augustine to convert a heathen temple into the church of St. Pancras (Canterbury), he never compelled his heathen subjects to accept baptism. Moreover, as the lawgiver who issued their first written laws to the English people (the ninety "Dooms of Ethelbert", A.D. 604) he holds in English history a place thoroughly consistent with his character as the temporal founder of that see which did more than any other for the upbuilding of free and orderly political institutions in Christendom. When St. Mellitus had converted Sæbert, King of the East Saxons, whose capital was London, and it was proposed to make that see the metropolitan, Ethelbert, supported by Augustine, successfully resisted the attempt, and thus fixed for more than nine centuries the individual character of the English church. He left three children, of whom the only son, Eadbald, lived and died a pagan.