POPE THANKFUL FOR PAPAL FOUNDATION CONTRIBUTION
VATICAN CITY, 5 MAY 2011 (VIS REPORT) - This afternoon in the Vatican's Clementine Hall Benedict XVI received members of the Papal Foundation on their annual visit to Rome. (IMAGE SOURCE: RADIO VATICANA)
"This meeting", the Pope said, "gives me a welcome opportunity to renew my thanks for the important contribution which the Foundation makes to the Church's mission by its promotion of charities close to the heart of the Pope. I am most grateful for your involvement in projects aimed at integral human development, your encouragement of the apostolic activities of dioceses and religious congregations throughout the world, your concern for the education of the Church's future leaders, and your support for the activities of the Holy See".
The Holy Father recalled that the Papal Foundation "was born as a means of demonstrating practical solidarity with the Successor of Peter in his solicitude for the universal Church".
"May you see your commitment to the ideals of the Foundation as a privileged expression of your Christian engagement in the Church and before the world. In this way, you will testify that the Church is missionary by her very nature".
INSPIRATION AND TRUTH IN INTERPRETATION OF SACRED TEXTS
VATICAN CITY, 5 MAY 2011 (VIS) - A message from the Pope to Cardinal William J. Levada, president of the Pontifical Biblical Commission, and the members of that commission was made public today. The message was issued on the occasion of the commission's annual plenary assembly, which focused on the theme of "Inspiration and Truth of the Bible".
The Pope emphasized that "this theme is one of the main points of the post-synodal apostolic exhortation Verbum Domini, which discusses it in the first section".
"An interpretation of Sacred Scripture that ignores or forgets its inspiration", the Holy Father writes, "does not take into account its most important and valuable characteristic: its provenance from God".
Benedict XVI recalled that in that same apostolic exhortation, "'the Synod Fathers stressed the link between the theme of inspiration and that of the truth of the Scriptures. A deeper study of the process of inspiration will doubtless lead to a greater understanding of the truth contained in the sacred books'".
"Through His Word, God seeks to communicate to us the entire truth about Himself and His plan of salvation for Humanity. The commitment to discovering more and more the truth of the sacred texts thus means seeking to know God and the mystery of His salvific will ever better".
The Pope continued to call attention to the fact that "it is essential and vital for the life and the mission of the Church that the sacred texts are interpreted according to their nature: Inspiration and Truth are the constitutive aspects of this nature". In this context he assured the members of the commission that their efforts in this area "will have true usefulness for the Church's life and mission".
"A good hermeneutic", the message concludes, "cannot mechanically apply the criteria of inspiration, or absolute truth, in the extrapolation of a sentence or expression. The level on which it is possible to perceive Sacred Scriptures as the Word of God is that of the unity of God's history, a totality in which single elements are reciprocally illuminated and open themselves to understanding".
THIRTY-FOUR SWISS GUARD RECRUITS TO BE SWORN IN TOMORROW
VATICAN CITY, 5 MAY 2011 (VIS) - Tomorrow, Friday 6 May, at 5:00pm in the San Damaso Courtyard of the Vatican Apostolic Palace, thirty-four new recruits will be sworn in as members of the Pontifical Swiss Guard in the presence of members of the Roman Curia, diplomatic representatives, and civil and religious authorities from Switzerland.
The day will start at 7:30am with Mass for the Swiss Guards, their families and friends celebrated by Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone in St. Peter's Basilica. At 9:00am, Daniel Rudolf Anrig, commander of the Swiss Guard, will place a laurel wreath at the monument in the courtyard of the Swiss Guard barracks commemorating the 147 members of the corps who lost their lives protecting Pope Clement VII from the onslaught of the troops of Emperor Charles V during the Sack of Rome on 6 May 1527, the reason for the swearing-in ceremony being celebrated every year on this date. Archbishop Fernando Filoni, substitute for General Affairs of the Secretariat of State, will then confer military decorations on certain members of the Guard.
Participating as guest of honor this year, a delegation of the council of the Canton of Fribourg, including its president, Erwin Jutzet, will be present. The Swiss Confederation will be represented by the Swiss Ambassador to the Holy See, Francois Kammer.
STATEMENT ON EX-BISHOP OF ANTIGONISH, CANADA
VATICAN CITY, 5 MAY 2011 (VIS) - Today the Holy See Press Office issued the following statement regarding the case of the former bishop of Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada, Raymond Lahey who has pled guilty to possession of child pornography.
"The Catholic Church condemns sexual exploitation in all its forms, especially when perpetrated against minors".
"Although the civil process has run its course, the Holy See will continue to follow the canonical procedures in effect for such cases, which will result in the imposition of the appropriate disciplinary or penal measures".
Following former Bishop Lahey's admission of guilt, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a declaration assuring that it will "continue to work to prevent such behavior and to bring healing to the victims and their families".
"Recognizing the confusion and anger that this case has engendered among many of the faithful, we underscore our pastoral concern for those who have experienced great pain as a result of these events. In a special way our thoughts and prayers are with the people of the Diocese of Antigonish and all the Atlantic region".
VATICAN CITY, 5 MAY 2011 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:
- Five prelates of the Bishops' Conference of India on their ad limina visit:
- Archbishop Dominic Jala, S.D.B., of Shillong,
- Archbishop Dominic Lumon, of Imphal, apostolic administrator of Kohima,
- Archbishop Thomas Menamparampil S.D.B. of Guwahati, and
- Archbishop Lucas Sirkar, S.D.B., and Coadjutor Archbishop Thomas D'Souza of Calcutta.
This afternoon, the Holy Father will receive the president of the Italian Republic, Giorgio Napolitano, on the occasion of a concert in the Pope's honor marking the sixth anniversary of his pontificate.
CATH NEWS REPORT: The Australian Catholic Bishops' Conference today begins its Spring plenary assembly, reports Vatican Radio.
"Over these last three years we have considered different options and had debates and discussions about what we might do," he told Vatican Radio. "But we decided we are going to call for an intense period – a year of grace, a year of spiritual renewal – that will involve all of our people in many different ways.""We are going to consider a pastoral plan...to engage the Catholic people of Australia in the renewal programme in light of the call of Blessed of John Paul II for renewal after the beginning of the Third Millennium," said Archbishop of Adelaide and president of the Bishop's Conference, Philip Wilson.
CNA REPORT: Archbishop Carlos Osoro of Valencia, Spain praised his predecessor for a life of “service to the Church through love,” as he spoke at the funeral Mass for Spanish Cardinal Agustin Garcia-Gasco.
“A few days into our stay in Rome for the beatification of Pope John Paul II, we received word of the death of Cardinal Garcia-Gasco. Amidst our dismay, we experienced hope, for he lived to love and to give of himself out of love for the Church in service of all mankind,” Archbishop Osoro said in his May 4 homily.
Cardinal Garcia-Gasco died of a heart attack on May 1 in Rome at the age of 80. He had traveled to Italy to attend the beatification of John Paul II.
“The resurrection has reached and permeated us,” the archbishop said. “Cardinal Garcia-Gasco held fast to the Lord’s hand, and consequently he could say, ‘I, but no longer I.’ Cardinal Garcia-Gasco, having received the life of Christ, did not remain in death, he loved,” the archbishop said.
The Mass in the chapel of the school, was presided over by the Auxiliary Bishop of Quito, Mgr.René Coba Galarza, concelebrated by 16 priests. Mgr. Coba spoke of the missionary commitment that every young person should take on, addressing the young people in particular who, as good students, had studied and completed their three-year training and were then ready for graduation. The young people who attended came from different parishes of the Archdiocese of Quito, from the area of the Arcadia (in the south) and up to Guayllabamba and Pifo (in the north). After Mass, an academic act was held in the Aula Magna with the 200 new graduates, their families and the authorities of the POM: Mgr.Luis Tapia, a former director of the diocese, and Father Moacir, a Brazilian priest, current diocesan director of POM in Quito. After the words of introduction, the young people were called by name and therefore, in groups, approached the stage to receive their diplomas. After the academic act, it was time to celebrate with lunch in the great courtyard of the school . Now their missionary work and commitment begins!
Caritas Timor Leste has met the needs of local farmers by providing seeds and agricultural equipment and organizing a three-day training program onfarming techniques.
Twenty farmers joined the May 2-4 program organized in Welama village in Manufahi district by Caritas Agricultura, which is part of Caritas Timor Leste. They were trained by five of the seven members of the organization, which is under the diocese of Dili.
“The Diocese of Dili, through its Caritas Agricultura, has paid attention to us farmers. I am happy to join the training program, because it meets our needs,” said one participant, Gregorio da Silva.
He promised to share what he has learned from the training program with other farmers who, he said, may not have been aware of the lessons.
According to Jhonio Do Santos, who coordinates Caritas Agricultura, the training program was necessary because local farmers needed guidance.
He added that his organization does not only organize the training program but also “monitors the follow-up, because problems like plant disease might come.”
Caritas Agricultura, whose funding comes from the organisation in Australia, Ireland and New Zealand, included in the training program topics such as dry land cultivation, irrigation, compost making, and how to control plant disease, for local farmers living in Aileu, Ainaro, Ermera and Manufahi districts.
ALL AFRICA REPORT: The Bible Society in Liberia has launched 4000 copies of the Kru translation of the Holy Bible in Monrovia.
The Kru translation of the Holy Bible was launched by Rev. Alphonso Dean, Bishop of the Christian Mission Assembly with US$1,000.00 on behalf of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf at the D. Twe High School in the Borough of New Kru Town on Sunday.
Delivering the keynote address at the program, former Information Minister, Rev. Dr. Lawrence K. Bropleh, dispelled the notion that there is 80% illiteracy rate in the country.
Speaking earlier, the Chairperson of the Board of the Bible Society in Liberia, Mrs. Esther Page, disclosed that the Holy Bible has been translated in 11 tribes and two of the 11 have been completed including the Old and New Testaments. According to her, the Holy Bible has also been printed in brails for the visually challenged.
For his part, the Executive Director of the Bible Society in Liberia, Bro. Paul Stevens, disclosed that the total cost of the translation and the publication of the Holy Bible into Kru is at US$200,000.00.In remarks, the Consultant at the United Bible Society, Rev. Don Slager noted that the translation of the Holy Bible into Kru lasted for 25 years, claiming one life with another person completely paralyzed during a motor accident with the Oriental Timber Company.
The program was graced by the Lightfoot Family from the United States, Mrs. Ruby Pearce, Chief Executive Officer of the Bible Society in Sierra Leone; Dr. Frederick Odotola, Chairman, Africa Area United Bible Society; Senator Joseph Nagbe, Officials of the Liberia Bible Translation Organization (LIBTRALO) among others.
St. Hilary of Arles
Feast: May 5
This saint was nobly born about the year 401, and was related to St. Honoratus of Arles, and of the same country in Gaul, which was probably Lorraine, or some other part of Austrasia. He was brought up in a manner suitable to his birth, in the study of the liberal arts, and of every branch of polite learning. especially of eloquence and philosophy. But how little value we ought to set on all things that appear great in the eyes of the world, he himself has taught us. "We are all equal," says he, "in Jesus Christ; and the highest degree of our nobility is to be of the number of the true servants of God. Neither science, nor birth, according to this world, can exalt us, but in proportion to our contempt of them." Before God had put these sentiments into his heart, he seems to have been not altogether insensible to the advantages of this world, in which he was raised to the highest dignities. His kinsman, St. Honoratus, who had forsaken his country to seek Christ in the solitude of the isle of Lerins, where he had founded a great monastery, was the instrument made use of by the Almighty to open his eyes. This holy man had always loved Hilary, and thought he could not give him more solid proof of his friendship than by endeavoring to gain him entirely to God. He therefore left his retirement for a few days to seek him out, and endeavored to move him by the same powerful, weighty reflections, which had made the deepest impression on his own mind, and induced him to break the chains of the world. "What floods of tears," says St. Hilary, "did this true friend shed to soften the hardness of my heart! How often did he embrace me with the most tender and compassionate affection, to obtain of me that I would take into serious consideration the salvation of my soul! Yet, by an unhappy victory, I still remained conqueror." Honoratus, finding his endeavors to wean him from the charms of a deceitful world ineffectual, had recourse to prayer, his ordinary refuge. "Well," said he to Hilary, "I will obtain of God, what you will not now grant me." Upon which they took leave of each other. Hilary, reflecting on what Honoratus had said to him, was not long before he began to feel a violent conflict within himself. "On one side," says he, "me-thought I saw the Lord calling me; on the other the world offering me its seducing charms and pleasures. How often did I embrace and reject, will and not will the same thing! But in the end Jesus Christ triumphed in me. And three days after Honoratus had left me, the mercy of God, solicited by his prayers, subdued my rebellious soul." He then went in person to seek St. Honoratus, and appeared before him as humble and tractable as the saint had left him haughty and indocile.
From this moment there appeared in Hilary that wonderful change which the Holy Ghost produces in a soul which he truly converts. His words, looks, and whole comportment breathed nothing but humility, patience, sweetness, mortification, and charity. Every one saw in him a man who began to labor in earnest to save his soul, and who had put his hand to the plough to look no more behind him, or to send a single thought alter v. hat he had left for Christ's sake. Aspiring to perfection, he sold all his several estates to his brother, and distributed all the money accruing from the sale among the poor, and the most indigent monasteries. Thus disengaged from the world, and naked, no less in the inward disposition of soul than in his exterior, he, like Abraham, took leave of his own country, and made the best of his way to Lerins; where from his first entrance he made it appear that he was worthy to live in the company of saints. He set out in the pursuit of monastic perfection with such zeal and fervor, as to become in a short time the pattern of those on whose instructions and example he came to form his own conduct. His application to prayer and mortification, and his watchfulness and care to avoid the smallest faults and imperfections, prepared him to receive the gift of tears. It is thought that his baptism was posterior to his retirement. St. Honoratus having been chosen archbishop of Arles, in 426, Hilary followed him to that city; but it was not long before his love of solitude occasioned his return to Lerins. All the holy inhabitants of that isle testified as great joy to receive him again, as he felt to see himself among them. But God, who had other designs upon him, did not permit him to enjoy long his beloved retirement. St. Honoratus begged his assistance, and the comfort of his company, and as he did not yield to entreaties, went himself to fetch him from Lerins. Soon after God called St. Honoratus to himself, his death happening in 428 or 429. Hilary, though sensibly afflicted for the loss of such a friend, rejoiced however to see himself at liberty, and set out directly for Lerins. But no sooner were the citizens apprized of his departure, than messengers posted after him with such expedition, that he was overtaken, brought back, and consecrated archbishop, though only twenty-nine years of age.
In this high station the virtues which he had acquired in solitude shone with lustre to mankind. The higher he was exalted by his dignity, the more did he humble himself beneath all others in his heart. He reduced himself in every thing to the strictest bounds of necessity: and he had only one coat for winter and summer. He applied himself diligently to meditation on the holy scriptures, and preaching the word of God, was assiduous in prayer, watching, and fasting. He had his hours also for manual labor, with a view of gaming something for the poor; choosing such work as he could join with reading or prayer. He travelled always on foot, and had attained to so perfect an evenness of temper, that his mind seemed never ruffled with the least emotion of anger. He had an admirable talent in preaching. When he spoke before the learned of the world, his elocution, his accent, his discourse, his action, were such as the greatest orators justly admired, but despaired ever to come up to. Yet when he instructed the illiterate, he changed his manner of address, and proportioned his instructions to the capacities of the most simple and ignorant, though always supporting the dignity of the divine word by a maimer and expression suitable to its majesty. He preached the truth in its purity, without flattering the great. He had often in private admonished a certain judge in the province of a criminal partiality in the administration of justice, but without effect. One day the magistrate came into the church, attended by his officers, while the saint was preaching. The holy bishop broke off his sermon on the spot, and gave his surprised audience for reason, that he who had so often neglected the advice he had given him for his salvation, was not worthy to partake of the nourishment of the divine word. the judge no sooner heard his reflection, but withdrew in confusion, and the saint resumed his discourse Observing one day that many went out of the church immediately after the reading of the gospel, just as he was going to preach, he prevailed with them to return, by saying: "You will not so easily get out of hell, if you are once unhappily fallen into its dungeons." He had such a love for the poor, that to have the more to bestow on them, he lived himself in the greatest poverty: he never kept a horse, and labored hard in digging and manuring the ground, though educated according to the dignity of his family. To redeem captives, he caused the church plate to be sold, not excepting the sacred vessels; making use of patens and chalices of glass ill the celebration of the divine mysteries. If his compassion for the corporal miseries of the faithful was so tender, we may judge how much more he was moved to pity at their spiritual necessities. He bore the weak with tenderness, but never indulged the passions or sloth of any. When he put any one in a course of penance he was himself bathed in tears; whereby he troth excited the penitent to the like, and with ardent sighs and prayer obtained for him of God the grace of compunction and pardon. He visited the bishops of his province, and endeavored to make them walk in the perfect spirit of Christ, the prince of pastors. He established many monasteries and took particular care to enforce a strict observance of monastic discipline among them. He had a close friendship with St. Germanus, whom he called his father, and respected as an apostle. He presided in the council of Ries in 439, in the first council of Orange in 441, in the council of Vaison in 442, and probably in 443, in the second council of Arles, in all which several canons of discipline were framed.
His zeal exasperated several tepid persons; and some of these, by misconstruing his actions, gave the holy pope St. Leo a disadvantageous character of him. His zeal, indeed, had been on some occasions too hasty and precipitate: but this was owing in him to mistake, not to passion; for the circumstances of his actions, and of his eminent piety, oblige us to interpret his intention by the same spirit by which he governed himself in his whole conduct. This disagreement between St. Leo and St. Hilary proved a trial for the exercise of zeal in the former, and of patience in the latter, for his greater sanctification by humility, submission, and silence. Chelidonius, bishop of Besancon, had been deposed by St. Hilary Upon an allegation, that, before he was consecrated bishop, he had married a widow, and had condemned persons to death as magistrate; both which were looked upon as irregularities or disqualifications for holy orders. Chelidonius hereupon set out for Rome, to justify himself to the pope, St. Leo, who received his appeal from his metropolitan, and acquitted him of the irregularity with which he stood charged. St. Hilary, upon hearing that his suffragan was gone for Rome, followed him thither on foot, and in the midst of winter. The pope having assembled a council to judge this affair, St. Hilary took his seat among the other bishops that composed it: but from his not attempting to prove the irregularity which had been alleged against Chelidonius, the saint seemed to own that he had been imposed on as to the matter of fact. But he pretended, that the cause ought not to be judged otherwise than by commissaries deputed by the pope to take cognizance of it in the country that gave it birth, a point for which some Africans had contended. This plea was overruled, the contrary having been frequently practiced, when both parties could appear at Rome: though the manner of judging appeals is only a point of discipline, which may vary in different places. Another affair brought St. Hilary into a greater difficulty. Projectus, a bishop of his province, being sick, St. Hilary, upon information, hastened to his see, and ordained a new bishop: after which Projectus recovering, there were two bishops contending for the same see, and Hilary supported the last ordained; perhaps because the first might remain disabled for his functions. The author of St. Hilary's life does not clear up his conduct in this particular: but we cannot doubt of the sincerity of his intention. Moreover the discipline of the church in such matters was not at that time so clearly settled by the canons as it has been since. St. Hilary therefore imagined a metropolitan might have a discretionary power in such matters. However St. Leo rightly judged such an ordination irregular, liable to great inconveniences, and productive of schisms. Wherefore he forbade St. Hilary to ordain any bishops for the future. Our holy prelate cancelled his mistakes by his patience, and St. Leo, writing immediately after the saint's death, to his successor Ravennus, calls him,
That this saint never gave in to the Semi-Pelagian doctrine, though it hard not been then condemned by any decree of the pastors of the church, is clearly shown by Tillemont and Dom. Rivet. This is proved from several passages in his life by St. Honoratus; and in the Martyrologies of Rabanus and Notker it is mentioned that he vigorously exerted his zeal in bringing a light and in correcting the Pelagian heresy, which is taught in the conferences of Cassian. His exposition of the creed, commended by the ancients, is now lost: his homilies on all the feasts of the year were much esteemed, but are not known at present. The best edition of his works is given by John Salinas, regular canon of St. John Lateran, in Italy, in 1731.
|John 3: 31 - 36|
|31||He who comes from above is above all; he who is of the earth belongs to the earth, and of the earth he speaks; he who comes from heaven is above all.|
|32||He bears witness to what he has seen and heard, yet no one receives his testimony;|
|33||he who receives his testimony sets his seal to this, that God is true.|
|34||For he whom God has sent utters the words of God, for it is not by measure that he gives the Spirit;|
|35||the Father loves the Son, and has given all things into his hand.|
|36||He who believes in the Son has eternal life; he who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God rests upon him.|