BISHOPS MUST SET AN EXAMPLE THROUGH SANCTITY OF LIFE
VATICAN CITY, 15 SEP 2011 (VIS) - Today in Castelgandolfo the Holy Father received a group of newly consecrated bishops who are currently participating in a meeting organised by the Congregation for Bishops. For the last ten years the congregation has been inviting new bishops to make a pilgrimage to the tomb of St. Peter in order to reflect on the main responsibilities of episcopal ministry. (IMAGE SOURCE: RADIO VATICANA)
"You are invited", the Pope told the group "to renew your profession of faith and your trusting adherence to Jesus Christ over the tomb of the Prince of the Apostles, showing the same impulse of love as Peter himself and strengthening your ties of communion with his Successor and with your brother bishops".
In this context Benedict XVI explained that "the bishop ... is not alone, he is part of that 'corpus episcoporum' which, joining us to Christ, has been handed down from the Apostles' time to our own". He encouraged the prelates to live every day in episcopal fraternity, working in communion with the Pope and their brother bishops, while "seeking to cultivate friendship with them and with your priests".
The Holy Father then turned his attention to the importance of bishops accepting "the charisms which the Spirit arouses for the edification of the Church", especially among the faithful. "Bishops have the task of watching and working to ensure that the baptised increase in grace, in accordance with the charisms the Holy Spirit causes to arise in their hearts and communities", he said.
"The fundamental gift you are called to cherish in the faithful entrusted to your pastoral care is that of divine filiation; in other words, the fact that everyone participates in Trinitarian communion. Baptism, which makes men and women 'children in the Son' and members of the Church, is the root and source of all other charismatic gifts. Through your ministry of sanctification, you educate the faithful to participate with increasing intensity in the priestly, prophetic and regal office of Christ, helping them to build the Church, actively and responsibly, according to the gifts they have received from God.
"We must", the Pope added, "always bear in mind the fact that the gifts of the Spirit - be they extraordinary or simple and humble - are always given freely for the edification of all. The bishop, as a visible sign of the unity of his particular Church, has the duty of unifying and harmonising the charismatic diversity of ecclesial unity, favouring reciprocity between the hierarchical and the baptismal priesthood".
The Holy Father invited bishops "to accept charisms gratefully, for the sanctification of the Church and the vitality of the apostolate. This acceptance and this gratitude ... are inseparable from discernment, which is part of the bishop's mission. Vatican Council II said as much when it gave pastoral ministry the task of judging the genuineness of charisms and their proper use, not extinguishing the Spirit but testing and retaining what is good. Therefore, it must always be clear that no charism can dispense from deferring and submitting to the pastors of the Church".
Episcopal ministry "requires the bishop to nourish his own spiritual life with care" because, as the Apostolic Exhortation "Pastores gregis" says, "he becomes a 'father' precisely because he is fully a 'son' of the Church. ... These two inseparable aspects call him to grow as son and as pastor as he follows Christ, in order that his personal sanctity may be an expression of the objective sanctity he received through episcopal consecration".
The Holy Father concluded: "The sanctity of your lives and your pastoral charity will be an example and support to your priests, ... who are also called to build the community with their gifts, charisms and the witness of their lives, so that the choral communion of the Church may bear witness to Jesus Christ, that the world may believe".
VATICAN CITY, 15 SEP 2011 (VIS) - This morning in the Swiss Hall of the Apostolic Palace at Castelgandolfo, Benedict XVI attended an exhibition arranged by the German publisher Herder and the Vatican Publishing House. The exhibition, which has been organised for his forthcoming apostolic trip to Germany, brings together the various language editions of the works of Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI, some 600 volumes in all including original works and translations.
"I thank you for your efforts and commitment in seeking to make the works I have written known to the world, as I prepare for my apostolic trip to Germany. For me, that journey will also be a moment to reflect upon what, through my ministry, I can do for the world and the Church", said the Pope in his remarks. "I am moved and slightly astounded to see the amount of books I have created. My hope is that the words they contain may not just come and go, but that they help men and women to find their way".
The Holy Father also thanked the people involved in preparing his works for publication. "The author does his part and enjoys the fame, the others remain behind the scenes and work without appearing but, in the silence, all are present. I feel truly obliged, at this time, to express my thanks for all of this".
CONDOLENCES ON FERRY DISASTERPope Benedict XVI on Thursday sent a telegram of condolence to authorities in Tanzania, where a ferry sank at the weekend, killing nearly 200 people. The full text of the English-language telegram is below:
His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI was saddened to learn of the great loss of life in the disaster which took place at sea off the coast of your Nation. The Holy Father is praying for those who are missing and commends the souls of the departed to the benevolent mercy of our Heavenly Father. He wishes to convey his condolences to the authorities and people of Tanzania, and particularly to the relatives and friends of the deceased. Upon all who mourn their passing His Holiness fervently implores the divine gifts of consolation and hope and prays that abundant blessings of strength and peace be given to all who have been affected by this tragedy.
Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone
Secretary of State
VATICAN CITY, 15 SEP 2011 (VIS) - The Holy Father:
- Accepted the resignation from the office of auxiliary of the diocese of Pelplin,Poland, presented by Bishop Piotr Krupa, upon having reached the age limit.
- Appointed Archbishop Giuseppe Leanza, apostolic nuncio to Ireland, as apostolic nuncio to theCzech Republic.
PRIESTSFORLIFE REPORT: SEPT. 13: STATEN ISLAND, NY – Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, has issued the following statement:
“For the past several years, my Ordinary, the Most Reverend Patrick Zurek, Bishop of Amarillo, has given me permission to do the full-time pro-life work that I have done since 1993. In 2005, I made a public promise in a Church ceremony in Amarillo, presided over by a Vatican Cardinal, that this full-time pro-life work would be a lifetime commitment. That’s a commitment I promise to fulfill without wavering.
“This past week, however, I received a letter from the Bishop insisting that I report to the Diocese this Tuesday, September 13 and, for the time being, remain only there.
“I am very perplexed by this demand. Despite that, because I am a priest of the diocese of Amarillo, I will be obedient and report there on the appointed date, putting the other commitments that are on my calendar on hold until I get more clarity as to what the bishop wants and for how long. Meanwhile, I continue to retain all my priestly faculties and continue to be a priest in “good standing” in the Church. The bishop does not dispute this fact. Rather, he has said that he thinks I am giving too much priority to my pro-life work, and that this makes me disobedient to him. He also has claimed that I haven’t given him enough financial information.
“Now, although Bishop Zurek is my Ordinary, he is not the bishop of Priests for Life. Each of our staff priests has his own Ordinary, and the organization has an entire Board of Bishops. We keep them all informed of our activities, and of our financial audits.
“I want to say very clearly that Priests for Life is above reproach in its financial management and the stewardship of the monies it receives from dedicated pro-lifers, raised primarily through direct mail at the grassroots level. To this end, Priests for Life has consistently provided every financial document requested by Bishop Zurek, including annual financial audits, quarterly reports, management documents—even entire check registers! In fact, on June 20, 2011, Priests for Life received the results of its independent audit examination for the year ended December 31, 2010. The organization's auditors issued an unqualified audit opinion indicating that the financial statements "present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of Priests for Life, in conformity with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America". This marks the tenth consecutive year that the organization's auditors have provided a 'clean' audit opinion, when reporting on the respective year's financial statements.Priests for Life has been completely transparent with Bishop Zurek and any other bishops who have requested information regarding our management and finances. Indeed, we have 21 bishops and cardinals who sit on our Advisory Board, and they are kept fully informed about our finances.
“Therefore, in the interest of preserving my good reputation as well as protecting the valuable work done by the Priests for Life organization, I have begun a process of appeal to the Vatican. This process aims to correct any mistaken decisions of the bishop in my regard and to protect my commitment to full-time pro-life activity for my whole life. We are very confident that the Vatican will resolve this matter in a just and equitable fashion. Because of this confidence, we are not currently making any changes in any positions at Priests for Life, or in any of our projects and plans.
“I also want to point out that, according to the canon law of the Catholic Church, because I have begun this process of appeal to Rome, the Bishop’s order that I return to Amarillo has been effectively suspended. Nevertheless, because of my great respect for this Bishop and my commitment to be fully obedient at all times, I am reporting to Amarillo this Tuesday, in hopes that I can sort this problem out with the Bishop in a mutually agreeable and amicable way.
“I would like to note that, unlike other organizations, which have sometimes been critical of the Church hierarchy or other institutions within the Church, Priests for Life has always remained 100% supportive of the Bishops, never criticizing any Church official, and always acting as a megaphone for the Bishops’ pro-life statements. Moreover, we serve dioceses and their priests and laity without asking for any speakers’ fees, and distribute millions of pieces of pro-life literature to dioceses completely free of charge. We do not seek parish collections, and we work to reinforce in each diocese the local pastoral plan which the bishop wants to implement for pro-life activities.
“We are committed to going forward with that same spirit, regardless of the recent action taken by Bishop Zurek.
“In the interest of full transparency, I would like to make it known that I do not receive any salary or financial remuneration from either the Diocese of Amarillo or from Priests for Life. Priests for Life, as a Private Association of the Christian Faithful, does provide for my residence and the expenses associated with the ministry, but these expenses are very small. Though, as a diocesan priest, I have never taken a vow of poverty, I have basically chosen to live in that fashion in solidarity with the pre-born children we are trying to protect—who are the poorest of the poor.
“I want to be clear that I do not harbor any ill will towards the Bishop of Amarillo, nor do I foster suspicions about his motives. I am merely confused by his actions. It is impossible for me to believe that there is no place in the Church for priests to exercise full-time ministry in the service of the unborn. We do it for the sick, the poor, the hungry, and the imprisoned. But where in the Church is the place where a priest can exercise the same kind of full-time ministry for the children in the womb? That is the question that is at the heart of my own calling.
“I am confident that we will be able to resolve this difficulty soon, without any harm to either my own reputation and without any slowdown of the valuable pro-life work we do at Priests for Life.”
Chung Myung-whun, the music director of the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra and UNICEF goodwill ambassador, has landed in Pyongyang for a number of musical events. He hopes to bridge the gap between the two Koreas.
Seoul (AsiaNews) – “As a human being and musician, I would like to see North Korea and South Korea moving closer to one another in a more natural way,” said Chung Myung-whun, left Beijing’s Shoudu Airport for Pyongyang and his first visit to North Korea where he hopes to serves as a bridge for dialogue through art.
“It would be great if the current situation [on the Korean Peninsula] changed through music,” Chung said, adding that he also hoped that some good projects would come from his visit, like holding inter-Korean exchange recitals.
“I hope this will also be a good opportunity to teach music to North Korean children,” Chung explained.
North Korea’s state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported that Chung and his party arrived in Pyongyang on Monday, but did not refer to the specific goals or itinerary of his visit.
Chung requested permission to visit North Korea from South Korea’s Ministry of Unification in the name of “cultural exchange”.
In 2006, he was supposed to attend the Isang Yun Peace Festival in Pyongyang to conduct the Isang Yun Ensemble in a performance of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, but the visit was cancelled just before the performance due to a nuclear test by North Korea.
Chung has frequently stated that after music, unification is the thing he most desires.
A Red Cross representative of Kenya said that she was amazed at the number of people who turned up to donate blood, adding that it signified that Kenyans care for one another despite their tribal and political differences. Hope World Wide Kenya and the Kenya Red Cross are partners with the National Blood Transfusion Services under the Ministry of Medical services.
Meanwhile the Holy Family Basilica dedicated its Tuesday morning Mass to pray for families that lost their loved ones in the tragedy and those recuperating in hospital. The National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK) urged the government to put in place measures to secure areas along the pipeline and manage petroleum products to avert another tragedy. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 15/09/2011)
CONFERENCE 'LABOREM EXERCENS'
ARCHDIOCESE OF MELBOURNE REPORT: The Australian Catholic Bishops’ Conference Social Justice Statement 2011 - 2012 was launched today in the Archdiocese of Melbourne by Fr Joe Caddy, Chief Executive Officer, CatholicCare Melbourne.
Sr Mary Ó Shannassy sgs, Director, Catholic Prison Ministry, was the respondent.
The Statement was launched nationally in Sydney on Wednesday.
Kairos Catholic Journal Issue 17 has two reflections on the Statement:
Our Lady of Sorrows
Feast: September 15
There are two such days:
* Friday before Palm Sunday, major double;* third Sunday in September double of the second class.
The object of these feasts are the spiritual martyrdom of the Mother of God and her compassion with the sufferings of her Divine Son.
(1) The seven founders of the Servite Order, in 1239, five years after they established themselves on Monte Senario, took up the sorrows of Mary, standing under the Cross, as the principal devotion of their order. The corresponding feast, however, did not originate with them; its celebration was enacted by a provincial synod of Cologne (1413) to expiate the crimes of the iconoclast Hussites; it was to be kept on the Friday after the third Sunday after Easter under the title: "Commemoratio angustix et doloris B. Marix V.". Its object was exclusively the sorrow of Mary during the Crucifixion and Death of Christ. Before the sixteenth century this feast was limited to the dioceses of North Germany, Scandinavia, and Scotland. Being termed "Compassio" or "Transfixio", "Commendatio, Lamentatio B.M.V.", it was kept at a great variety of dates, mostly during Eastertide or shortly after Pentacost, or on some fixed day of a month (18 July, Merseburg; 19 July, Halberstadt, Lxbeck, Meissen; 20 July, Naumberg; cf. Grotefend, "Zeitrechnung", II, 2, 166). Dreves and Blume (Analecta hymnica) have published a large number of rhythmical offices, sequences and hymns for the feast of the Compassion, which show that from the end of the fifteenth century in several dioceses the scope of this feast was widened to commemorate either five dolours, from the imprisonment to the burial of Christ, or seven dolours, extending over the entire life of Mary (cf. XXIV, 122-53; VIII, 51 sq.; X, 79 sq., etc.). Towards the end of the end of the sixteenth century the feast spread over part of the south of Europe; in 1506 it was granted to the nuns of the Annunciation under the title "Spasmi B.M.V.", Monday after Passion Sunday; in 1600 to the Servite nuns of Valencia, "B.M.V. sub pede Crucis", Friday before Palm Sunday. After 1600 it became popular in France and was termed "Dominx N. de Pietate", Friday before Palm Sunday. To this latter date the feast was assigned for the whole German Empire (1674). By a Decree of 22 April 1727, Benedict XIII extended it to the entire Latin Church, under the title "Septem dolorum B.M.V.", although the Office and Mass retain the original character of the feast, the Compassion of Mary at the foot of the Cross. At both Mass and Office the "Stabat Mater" of Giacopone da Todi (1306) is sung.
(2) The second feast was granted to the Servites, 9 June and 15 September, 1668, double with an octave for the third Sunday in September. Its object of the seven dolours of Mary (according to the responsories of Matins: the sorrow
* at the prophecy of Simeon;* at the flight into Egypt;* having lost the Holy Child at Jerusalem;* meeting Jesus on his way to Calvary;* standing at the foot of the Cross;* Jesus being taken from the Cross;* at the burial of Christ.
This feast was extended to Spain (1735); to Tuscany (double of the second class with an octave, 1807). After his return from his exile in France Pius VII extended the feast to the Latin Church (18 September, 1814), major double); it was raised to the rank of a double of the second class, 13 May, 1908. The Servites celebrate it as a double of the first class with an octave and a vigil. Also in the Passionate Order, at Florence and Granada (N.S. de las Angustias), its rank is double of the first class with an octave. The hymns which are now used in the Office of this feast were probably composed by the Servite Callisto Palumbella (eighteenth century). On the devotion, cf. Kellner, "Heortology", p. 271. The old title of the "Compassio" is preserved by the Diocese of Hildesheim in a simple feast, Saturday after the octave of Corpus Christi. A feast, "B.M.V. de pietate", with a beautiful medieval office, is kept in honour of the sorrowful mother at Goa in India and Braga in Portugal, on the third Sunday of October; in the ecclesiastical province of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, last Sunday of May, etc. (cf. the corresponding calendars). A special form of devotion is practised in Spanish-speaking countries under the term of "N.S. de la Soledad", to commemorate the solitude of Mary on Holy Saturday. Its origin goes back to Queen Juana, lamenting the early death of her husband Philip I, King of Spain (1506).
To the oriental churches these feasts are unknown; the Catholic Ruthenians keep a feast of the sorrowful Mother on Friday after the octave of Corpus Christi.
MYSTIC, WIFE, AND HOSPITAL DIRECTOR
Feast: September 15
1447, Genoa, Italy
15 September 1510, Genoa, Italy
1737 by Pope Clement XII
Born at Genoa in 1447, died at the same place 15 September, 1510. The life of St. Catherine of Genoa may be more properly described as a state than as a life in the ordinary sense. When about twenty-six years old she became the subject of one of the most extraordinary operations of God in the human soul of which we have record, the result being a marvellous inward condition that lasted till her death. In this state, she received wonderful revelations, of which she spoke at times to those around her, but which are mainly embodied in her two celebrated works: the "Dialogues of theSoul and Body", and the "Treatise on Purgatory". Her modern biographies, chiefly translations or adaptations of an old Italian one which is itself founded on "Memoirs" drawn up by the saint's own confessor and a friend, mingle what facts they give of her outward life with accounts of her supernatural state and "doctrine", regardless of sequence, and in an almost casual fashion that makes them entirely subservient to her psychological history. These facts are as follows:
St. Catherine's parents were Jacopo Fieschi and Francesca di Negro, both of illustrious Italian birth. Two popes -- Innocent IV and Adrian V -- had been of the Fieschi family, and Jacopo himself became Viceroy of Naples. Catherine is described as an extraordinarily holy child, highly gifted in the way of prayer, and with a wonderful love of Christ's Passion and of penitential practices; but, also, as having been a most quiet, simple, and exceedingly obedient girl. When about thirteen, she wished to enter the convent, but the nuns to whom her confessor applied having refused her on account of her youth, she appears to have put the idea aside without any further attempt. At sixteen, she was married by her parents' wish to a young Genoese nobleman, Giuliano Adorno. The marriage turned out wretchedly; Giuliano proved faithless, violent-tempered, and a spendthrift. And made the life of his wife a misery. Details are scanty, but it seems at least clear that Catherine spent the first five years of her marriage in silent, melancholy submission to her husband; and that she then, for another five, turned a little to the world for consolation in her troubles. The distractions she took were most innocent; nevertheless, destined as she was for an extraordinary life, they had the effect in her case of producing lukewarmness, the end of which was such intense weariness and depression that she prayed earnestly for a return of her old fervour. Then, just ten years after her marriage, came the event of her life, in answer to her prayer. She went one day, full of melancholy, to a convent in Genoa where she had a sister, a nun. The latter advised her to go to confession to the nuns' confessor, and Catherine agreed. No sooner, however, had she knelt down in the confessional than a ray of Divine light pierced her soul, and in one moment manifested her own sinfulness and the Love of God with equal clearness. The revelation was so overwhelming that she lost consciousness and fell into a kind of ecstacy, for a space during which the confessor happened to be called away. When he returned, Catherine could only murmur that she would put off her confession, and go home quickly.
From the moment of that sudden vision of herself and God, the saint's interior state seems never to have changed, save by varying in intensity and being accompanied by more or less severe penance, according to what she saw required of her by the Holy Spirit Who guided her incessantly. No one could describe it except herself; but she does so, minutely, in her writings, from which may here be made one short extract: -- "[The souls in Purgatory] see all things, not in themselves, nor by themselves, but as they are in God, on whom they are more intent than on their own sufferings. . . . For the least vision they have of God overbalances all woes and all joys that can be conceived. Yet their joy in God does by no means abate their pain. . . . This process of purification to which I see the souls in Purgatory subjected, I feel within myself." (Treatise on Purgatory, xvi, xvii.) For about twenty-five years, Catherine, though frequently making confessions, was unable to open her mind for direction to anyone; but towards the end of her life a Father Marabotti was appointed to be her spiritual guide. To him she explained her states, past and present, in full, and he compiled the "Memoirs" above referred to from his intimate personal knowledge of her. Of the saint's outward life, after this great change, her biographies practically tell us but two facts: that she at last converted her husband who died penitent in 1497; and that both before and after his death -- though more entirely after it -- she gave herself to the care of the sick in the greatHospital of Genoa, where she eventually became manager and treasurer. She died worn out with labours of body and soul, and consumed, even physically, by the fires of Divine love within her. She was beatified in 1675 by Clement X, but not canonized till 1737, by Clement XII. Meantime, her writings had been examined by the Holy Office and pronounced to contain doctrine that would be enough, in itself, to prove her sanctity.