BUILDING A MORE UNITED, JUST AND FRATERNAL SOCIETY
VATICAN CITY, 23 JUN 2011 (VIS) - At 7 p.m. today, Solemnity of the Blessed Body and Blood of Christ, Benedict XVI celebrated Mass in Rome's basilica of St. John Lateran, then presided at the Eucharistic procession to the basilica of St. Mary Major.
(IMAGE SOURCE: RADIO VATICANA)
In his homily the Pope recalled how today "the Blessed Sacrament is carried in procession along the streets of towns and villages to show that the risen Christ walks among us and guides us to the kingdom of heaven. What Jesus gave us in the Upper Room we openly display today, because the love of Christ is not reserved for the few but is intended for everyone".
Referring to Eucharistic communion, the Holy Father said that "while bodily food is assimilated by and helps sustain our organism, the Eucharist is a different kind of bread. We do not assimilate it; rather, it assimilates us to itself so that we are conformed to Jesus Christ, become limbs of His Body, a single thing with Him. This is a decisive step: indeed, precisely because it is Christ Who transforms us to Himself in Eucharistic communion, so in this meeting our individuality is opened, freed from egocentrism and inserted into the Person of Jesus, Who in turn is immersed in the communion of the Trinity.
"Thus the Eucharist, while uniting us to Christ, also opens us to others, makes us limbs of one another: no longer are we divided but a single being in Him", the Pope added. "Eucharistic communion unites me to my neighbour with whom perhaps I am not even on good terms, but it also unites me to my distant brothers and sisters all over the world".
"Those who recognise Jesus in the consecrated Host recognise Him in their suffering brothers and sisters, in the hungry and thirsty, in the stranger, the naked, the sick, the imprisoned; they are attentive to everyone and take concrete steps to help those in need. From the gift of Christ's love arises our special responsibility as Christians to build a united, just and fraternal society. Particularly in our own time in which globalisation makes us increasingly dependent upon one another, Christianity can and must ensure that unity is not built without God - in other words, without real Love - which would only open the way to confusion and selfishness".
Benedict XVI continued: "The Gospel has always sought the unity of the human family, a unity not imposed from above or by ideological or economic interests, but based on a sense of responsibility towards each other, because we recognise one another as members of the same body, the Body of Christ, because we have learned and continue to learn from the Sacrament of the Altar that sharing and love is the way to true justice".
"Without any illusions or belief in ideological utopias, we advance along the paths of the world, carrying the Body of the Lord with us like the Virgin Mary in the mystery of the Visitation", said Pope Benedict concluding his homily. "With the humility of knowing that we are simple grains of wheat, we remain firm in the conviction that the love of God incarnated in Christ is stronger than evil, violence and death. We know that God is preparing new heaven and new earth for all men, where peace and justice reign; and in the faith we see the new world which is our true homeland".
After Mass, the Pope presided at the Eucharistic procession along Rome's Via Merulana to the basilica of St. Mary Major. Along the route, thousands of faithful prayed and sang accompanying the Blessed Sacrament. A covered vehicle transported the Sacrament in a monstrance, before which the Holy Father knelt in prayer.
VATICAN CITY, 24 JUN 2011 (VIS) - This morning the Holy Father received participants in the annual general meeting of the Reunion of Organisations for Aid to the Oriental Churches (ROACO).
In his remarks to the group, Benedict XVI recalled how yesterday's celebration of the Solemnity of Corpus Christi "was a call to the beloved city of Rome and to the entire Catholic community to continue their journey along the difficult paths history, among the great spiritual and material poverty of the world, in order to bring the charity of Christ and the Church, which arises from the Paschal Mystery, the mystery of love, the gift which generates life".
"Never forget the Eucharistic dimension of your objective", the Pope went on, "so as to remain within the ambit of ecclesial charity, which particularly seeks to reach the Holy Land, but also the Middle Eastas a whole, in order to support the Christian presence there. I ask you to do everything possible - also be intervening with the public authorities with whom you have contacts at the international level - to ensure that the pastors and faithful of Christ can remain in the East where they were born, not as strangers but as citizens who bear witness to Jesus Christ as the saints of the Eastern Churches did before them. The East is their earthly homeland. It is there that they are called today to promote, without distinction, the good of all mankind. Everyone professing this faith must be recognised as having equal dignity and true freedom, thus favouring more fruitful ecumenical and inter-religious collaboration".
The Holy Father then continued his remarks in English: "I thank you for your reflections on the changes that are taking place in the countries of North Africa and the Middle East, which are a source of anxiety throughout the world. Through the communications received at this time from the Coptic-Catholic Cardinal-Patriarch and from the Maronite Patriarch, as well as the pontifical representative in Jerusalem and the Franciscan Custos of the Holy Land, the Congregation and the agencies will be able to assess the situation on the ground for the Church and the peoples of that region, which is so important for world peace and stability. The Pope wishes to express his closeness, also through you, to those who are suffering and to those who are trying desperately to escape, thereby increasing the flow of migration that often remains without hope. I pray that the necessary emergency assistance will be forthcoming, but above all I pray that every possible form of mediation will be explored, so that violence may cease and social harmony and peaceful coexistence may everywhere be restored, with respect for the rights of individuals as well as communities".
Switching to German, the Pope referred to the Special Assembly for the Middle East of the Synod of Bishops, which was held last October in the Vatican and which, he said, gave rise "to new signs for our age". Nonetheless, "shortly afterwards a number of defenceless people in the Syro-Catholic cathedral ofBaghdad, Iraq, were victims of an act of senseless violence. ... This was followed by similar incidents some months later". The Pope expressed the hope that the suffering of so many people would be a seed to enrich the faith in those lands.
Finally he thanked all those present for their prayers for the sixtieth anniversary of his ordination as a priest which falls this year on 29 June, Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, Apostles.
VATICAN CITY, 24 JUN 2011 (VIS) - The Holy See Press Office released the following communique at midday today:
"This morning the Holy Father received in audience Igor Luksic, prime minister ofMontenegro. The prime minister 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 focused on the Basic Agreement between the Holy See and Montenegro, which the secretary of State and the prime minister signed at the end of their meeting. The agreement concerns, in particular, the juridical status of the Catholic Church and of her main institutions within civil society, and confirms the excellent relations between the Holy See and Montenegro which have existed since the country first gained its independence.
"The conversations between Cardinal Bertone and Mr. Luksic also provided an opportunity for a fruitful exchange of opinions on the current international situation, in the perspective of European and Euro-Atlantic integration. Attention dwelt on the commitment of the Montenegrin government to promoting peace and harmony among the different peoples and religious confessions present in the country. The parties also expressed their desire to continue constructive dialogue on themes of mutual for Church and State".
VATICAN CITY, 24 JUN 2011 (VIS) - This morning in the Apostolic Palace of the Vatican, the Holy See and Montenegro signed a Basic Agreement confirming and regulating certain principles in areas of shared interest.
Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B. signed for the Holy See and Igor Luksic, prime minister, signed for Montenegro.
The agreement, taking account of the independence and autonomy of Church and State and of their openness to mutual collaboration, establishes a juridical framework for their relations. Specifically, it regulates the juridical status of the Catholic Church in civil society, her liberty and independence in apostolic activity and in matters that specifically concern freedom of worship, and her activities in the fields of culture, education, pastoral care and charity. The text also concerns the administration of seminaries, as well as the provision of spiritual assistance to the armed forces and in prisons and hospitals. The agreement will come into force with the exchange of the instruments of ratification,.
VATICAN CITY, 24 JUN 2011 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:
- Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko, president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity.
- Archbishop Fernando Filoni, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples.
VATICAN CITY, 24 JUN 2011 (VIS) - The Holy Father:
- Appointed Bishop Jean-Luc Brunin of Ajaccio, France, as bishop of Le Havre(area 1,902, population 411,132, Catholics 308,502, priests 70, permanent deacons 18, religious 97), France. He succeeds Bishop Michel Guyard, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.
- Appointed Msgr. Giovanni Tani, rector of the Major Pontifical Seminary of Rome, as archbishop of Urbino-Urbania-Sant'Angelo in Vado (area 781, population 54,900, Catholics 50,500, priests 68, permanent deacons 1, religious 118), Italy. The bishop-elect was born in Sogliano al Rubicone in 1947 and ordained a priest in 1973. He succeeds Archbishop Francesco Marinelli, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same archdiocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.
- Appointed Fr. Raphael Minassian, patriarchal exarch for the Armenians inJerusalem and Amman, as ordinary for Armenian Catholics in Eastern Europe, giving him the "ad personam" title of archbishop. The archbishop-elect was born inBeirut, Lebanon in 1946 and ordained a priest in 1973.
The inauguration of the massive statue was announced on June 10 by President Alan Garcia of Peru, who said it was his dream to raise a statue on the Pacific coast similar to the one atop Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. “I have dubbed it the Christ of the Pacific … and on June 29, the day of the Pope and of Sts. Peter and Paul, we will inaugurate this statue.”
The inauguration will also coincide with the 60th anniversary of Pope Benedict XVI’s ordination to the priesthood. The Pope was ordained together with his brother, Msgr. Georg Ratzinger, at the Cathedral of Freising in Germany on June 29, 1951.
According to the Andina news agency, President Garcia said the statue was not built using tax-payer dollars but instead through donations from individuals and companies. Garcia himself donated $36,000 of his own money for the project.
“I want it to be a statue that blesses Peru and protects Lima,” Garcia told RPP News.
The large statue shows Christ standing with his arms extended. It was built in Brazil and then brought to Peru in several pieces. The statue will sit on a 49-foot concrete base and will be illuminated by a 26-color lighting system. It will be visible from every point in the Peruvian capital.
Young delegates at the International Young Catholic Students (IYCS) global formation session have resolved to be ambassadors of peace and strive to solve problems plaguing society.
“We covered five points during the session, including human, economic and faith crises,” said IYCS general secretary, Eduardo Koutsava, at a ceremony marking the end of the first part of the IYCS global formation session and 14th World Council in New Delhi on Wednesday.
The ceremony saw delegates given a certificate and a memento and also celebrated the IYCS’s 65th anniversary.
“We as students have limited resources, but nothing can overcome our decision to spread peace in the world,” Koutsava said.
He called upon governments and civil societies to join them and help bring about change in society.”
Around 120 delegates from 37 countries discussed the theme:Crisis and Conflict in the World — Students Offering Hope.
The students also attended study sessions to identify problem areas such as migration, drug addiction, abuse of women, human rights and environmental issues.
They also mapped out plans to resolve some of these issues.
“Through this session we have learned more about crises and conflict in the world,” said 17-year-old Ravish Zahid, a participant from Pakistan.
She said the discussions taught her how students can play an important role in solving problems in their countries.
Lama Tanjar, 21, from Lebanon said the study sessions have been very enriching. “I learned about how students from other countries would handle a crisis.”
Young Catholic Students’ Asia coordinator, Reyna Clemena Deloso said the sessions were a success.
“The students learned a lot from the study sessions and they will be able to carry out plans of action identified in the sessions,” she added.
The general body meeting and elections are to be held during the second part of the IYCS World Council, which ends on June 26.
The contacts between religious institutions to achieve this goal, however, have already given some fruit. This year, for example, the first stage of formation for religious life, the postulant, brought together a small group of candidates in the house of the Sisters of Mary Immaculate: four young people from two different congregations, the Sisters Adorers of the Blood of Christ and Franciscan Sisters of Christ the King, walked together. The next pastoral year will thus be the basis for a common novitiate, which will operate temporarily at the Center for Spirituality Ndama. According to Sister Laura the people of Guinea is rich, despite the material poverty. The young vocations of this land, according to the religious, must be carriers of this richness in cultural dialogue, which is necessary in the process of evangelization and development, as part of their identity. In Guinea-Bissau there are about 30 institutes of women religious life and all receive a large amount of requests in terms of vocational demand, with an average of 5-10 candidates for religious life for everyone. (SL)
DIOCESE OF CANBERRA REPORT: Parents looking to build character in their teenagers are invited to relationships education seminar At St Mary MacKillop College on 28 June.
Author and teacher Mr Andrew Mullins will deliver his presentation “Playstation vs. Character Building” at the Wanniassa campus from 7.30pm-9.30pm.
“I will present a very positive view of adolescence as a time for developing life skills, faith, ideals and autonomy,” Mr Mullins said.
“My focus will be proven strategies for character building in teens.”
Mr Mullins said the seminar would be particularly valuable for parents of teenagers who were prone to excessive television and computer use, snacking at will, talking negatively of others, ducking out of jobs, quitting when things get tough, or telling half truths.
The evening may also be of interest to teachers.
A $5 donation at the door would be appreciated.
For more information contact Catherine Cooney, telephone 6163 4300 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Birth of St. John the Baptist
Feast: June 24
THE birth of St. John was foretold by an angel of the Lord to his father, Zachary, who was offering incense in the Temple. It was the office of St. John to prepare the way for Christ, and before he was born into the world he began to live for the Incarnate God. Even in the womb he knew the presence of Jesus and of Mary, and he leaped with joy at the glad coming of the son of man. In his youth he remained hidden, because He for Whom he waited was hidden also. But before Christ's public life began, a divine impulse led St. John into the desert; there, with locusts for his food and haircloth on his skin, in silence and in prayer, he chastened his own soul. Then, as crowds broke in upon his solitude, he warned them to flee from the wrath to come, and gave them the baptism of penance, while they confessed their sins. At last there stood in the crowd One Whom St. John did not know, till a voice within told him that it was his Lord. With the baptism of St. John, Christ began His penance for the sins of His people, and St. John saw the Holy Ghost descend in bodily form upon Him. Then the Saint's work was done. He had but to point his own disciples to the Lamb, he had but to decrease as Christ increased. He saw all men leave him and go after Christ. "I told you," he said, "that I am not the Christ. The friend of the Bridegroom rejoiceth because of the Bridegroom's voice. This my joy therefore is fulfilled." St. John had been cast into the fortress of Machærus by a worthless tyrant whose crimes be had rebuked, and he was to remain there till he was beheaded, at the will of a girl who danced before this wretched king. In this time of despair, if St. John could have known despair, some of his old disciples visited him. St. John did not speak to them of himself, but he sent them to Christ, that they might see the proofs of His mission. Then the Eternal Truth pronounced the panegyric of the Saint who had lived and breathed for Him alone: "Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist"
|Luke 1: 57 - 66, 80|
|57||Now the time came for Elizabeth to be delivered, and she gave birth to a son.|
|58||And her neighbors and kinsfolk heard that the Lord had shown great mercy to her, and they rejoiced with her.|
|59||And on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child; and they would have named him Zechari'ah after his father,|
|60||but his mother said, "Not so; he shall be called John."|
|61||And they said to her, "None of your kindred is called by this name."|
|62||And they made signs to his father, inquiring what he would have him called.|
|63||And he asked for a writing tablet, and wrote, "His name is John." And they all marveled.|
|64||And immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed, and he spoke, blessing God.|
|65||And fear came on all their neighbors. And all these things were talked about through all the hill country of Judea;|
|66||and all who heard them laid them up in their hearts, saying, "What then will this child be?" For the hand of the Lord was with him.|
|80||And the child grew and became strong in spirit, and he was in the wilderness till the day of his manifestation to Israel.|