Friday, January 13, 2012



VATICAN CITY, 13 JAN 2012 (VIS) - Benedict XVI today received members of the General Inspectorate for Public Security in the Vatican in a traditional meeting that takes place every year in January for the exchange of New Year greetings. (IMAGE SOURCE: RADIO VATICANA)

"Defending public order, especially in an area so heavily frequented by tourists and pilgrims from all over the world, is no simple task", the Pope remarked. "The See of Peter is the centre of Christianity, and many Catholics wish to come here at least once in their lives to pray at the tombs of the Apostles. The presence, both of the Holy See and of such large numbers of cosmopolitan visitors who come to be at the heart of the Catholic Church, is certainly not a problem for the city of Rome or for Italy as a whole; rather, it is a source of richness and a reason to be proud".

"Unfortunately, the year that has just passed was marked by episodes of violence and intolerance. In various parts of the world Christians have been the target of vendettas and attacks, paying their adherence to Christ and the Church with their lives. In my message for the World Day of Peace this year, I underlined the importance of educating young people in justice and peace, two terms much used in our world, though often inappropriately.

"Justice", the Holy Father added, "is not a mere human convention. When, in the name of supposed justice, the criteria of utility, profit and material possession come to dominate, the value and dignity of human beings can be trampled underfoot. Justice is a virtue which guides the human will, prompting us to give others what is due to them by reason of their existence and their actions. Likewise, peace is not the mere absence of war, or the result of man's actions to avoid conflict; it is, above all, a gift of God which must be implored with faith, and which has the way to its fulfilment in Jesus. True peace must be constructed day after day with compassion, solidarity, fraternity and collaboration on everyone's part".

"As police men and women", the Holy Father told his audience, "always be true promoters of justice and sincere builders of peace. Let us pray to the Mother of God, Queen of Peace, to support our intentions and activities with her maternal intercession. To her we entrust this year of 2012, that everyone may live in mutual respect and strive after the common good, in the hope that no act of violence will be committed in the name of God, supreme guarantor of justice and peace".
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VATICAN CITY, 13 JAN 2012 (VIS) - Tuesday 17 January is the Feast of St. Anthony Abbot, patron of livestock farmers and protector of animals. As in other years, the Italian Association of Livestock Farmers (AIA) will hold its traditional exhibition of farm animals in front of St. Peter's Square. Mass for the farmers and their families will be celebrated in the Vatican Basilica at 11 a.m., followed by a procession of horses in Via della Conciliazione. Finally, Cardinal Angelo Comastri, archpriest of the papal basilica of St. Peter's in the Vatican, vicar general of His Holiness for Vatican City and president of the Fabric of St. Peter's, will impart a blessing upon those present. It is expected that, as in previous years, many Roman citizens will come with their pets to attend the event.
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VATICAN CITY, 13 JAN 2012 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in audience:

- Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, prefect emeritus of the Congregation for the Clergy.

- Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications.

- Archbishop-Bishop Domenico Sorrentino of Assisi - Nocera Umbra - Gualdo Tadino. Italy.

This evening he is scheduled to receive in audience Cardinal William Joseph Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
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VATICAN CITY, 13 JAN 2012 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

- Appointed Bishop Pascal Wintzer, apostolic administrator of the archdiocese of Poitiers, France, as archbishop of the same archdiocese (area 12,990, population 778,171, Catholics 659,000, priests 273, permanent deacons 40, religious 493).

- Appointed Bishop Lawrence Pius Dorairaj, auxiliary of Madras and Myalpore, India, as bishop of Dharmapuri (area 8,327, population 2,999,731, Catholics 54,316, priests 83, religious 307). India. He succeeds Bishop Joseph Anthony Irudayaraj S.D.B., whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.
The official channel of the World Youth Day of 2011 on YouTube has produced a video with the best clips from Madrid. World Youth Day (WYD) is an international event organized by the Catholic Church which brings together young people from around the world, Catholic and other denominations. It is headed by the Holy Father and is held every two or three years.
The WYD started in 1984 with Pope John Paul II who called the youth of Rome to celebrate the year of redemption with him. This video was produced by Valtierra Productions.


UCAN REPORT: Says no more womanizing or cockfighting, following ‘encounter with God’ staff, Manila
January 13, 2012
Catholic Church News Image of Champion boxer renews his faith
Manny Pacquiao arriving at the headquarters of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines in May last year (photo: Michael Diaz)
World boxing champion Manny Pacquiao is a changed man after an encounter with God in his sleep after his last fight, he revealed today.
“If I had died last year or in the last two years, I’m sure I would have gone straight to hell,” Pacquiao said in an interview posted on the ABS-CBN News website. “My faith in Him was there 100 percent but behind it, after prayers, I would still do evil things.”
He said he has stopped gambling, drinking and womanizing after dreaming of God. He now immerses himself in Bible study and spends more time with his wife and children. He also gave away his favorite fighting cocks.
The change came following a dream he had after his fight with Mexican boxer Juan Manuel Marquez last November.
In his dream, he said, he was in a beautiful forest when a bright light shone on him and a voice asked: “Son, why are you going away from me?”
“I woke up crying. I remember I was crying in my dream and when I touched my pillow, it was wet,” he said.
Pacquiao said he looked for the meaning of the dream and found answers in the Bible.
“In the past, God talked to people through their dreams. So I told myself ‘this dream is real and I have to change my life,’” he said.
He also said the change came not just because he desired it but because God changed him.
“Being a Christian means accepting Christ as your savior, your God,” he said. “That is why you are called a Christian. If you remove ‘Christ’, there’s only ‘ian’ and that means ‘I am nothing.’”


WASHINGTON—Calling for dialogue between Israeli and Palestinian leaders, representatives of Catholic bishops’ conferences from North America and Europe, including Bishop Gerald Kicanas of Tucson, Arizona, gathered in Jerusalem and appealed for “tolerance and courageous leadership, able to show forgiveness and humility, to promote peaceful co-existence” in a statement to mark the annual gathering of the Coordination of Episcopal Conferences in Support of the Church in the Holy Land.
“Political leaders of both sides and our own countries need to show courage, resolve and creativity so the simple hopes of the majority for peaceful co-existence are realized,” the bishops said in the January 12 statement. “The fidelity to their way of life of Jews, Christians and Muslims should always be such that there is deep-seated openness to others.”
The bishops have gathered in the Holy Land since 1998 as a show of support for the Christian community there.
“While the faith we see in the Christians of the Holy Land is an inspiration to all, we have heard repeatedly and have seen ourselves that occupation and insecurity, fear and frustration dominate the life of people across this land," the bishops said.
“A defining theme we heard throughout our visit was the increasing urgency to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” Bishop Kicanas said. “It is incumbent on the United States and the international community to prod the two parties to negotiate a two-state solution, which is the hope of a majority of Israelis and Palestinians, indeed of all the international community.”
Full text of the statement follows:

We, the Bishops of the Holy Land Coordination, have met in the Holy Land since 1998, to be in solidarity with the local Christian community and share in the pastoral life of the local Church. While the faith we see in the Christians of the Holy Land is an inspiration to all, we have heard repeatedly and have seen ourselves that occupation and insecurity, fear and frustration dominate the life of people across this land. Blaming the other is an abdication of responsibility and a failure of leadership, a leadership that the people so desperately need. We have heard and we make this conviction our own: to be pro-Israeli has to mean being pro-Palestinian. This means being pro-justice for all, whose certain fruit is lasting peace.
We recognize the importance of the resumption of dialogue between the Palestinian Authority and Israel. We echo the words of Pope Benedict to the diplomatic corps on 9 January when he expressed his hope that this dialogue "will be maintained, and that it will lead to lasting peace which guarantees the right of the two peoples to dwell in security in sovereign states and within secure and internationally recognized borders."
A negotiated agreement is urgently required.
That dialogue is threatened and undermined by extremism and intolerance of the other, the signs of which are only too apparent in the attitudes, judgments and actions of far too many in the world today. This is a concern for both sides and we appeal for tolerance and courageous leadership, able to show forgiveness and humility, to promote peaceful co-existence.
Despite the serious problems we heard and we saw this year, our faith gives us hope and there are signs of hope: the gathering of the Churches for the Synod on the Middle East; the increasing numbers of pilgrims; the inter-religious co-operation and friendship we witnessed in Galilee that offers an example to all; the housing projects of the Latin Patriarchate and the Custody of the Holy Land; the humanitarian efforts of Catholic organizations along with a range of other practical, educational and cultural initiatives to assist the local community – all of which we encourage and support. Above all our hope is nourished by the continuing witness of the Christian communities we met and with whom we celebrated our faith in Gaza, Nablus, Jerusalem and Galilee.
We also recognize the progress being made on negotiations between Israel and the Holy See, with hopes for a resolution soon.
Political leaders of both sides and our own countries need to show courage, resolve and creativity so the simple hopes of the majority for peaceful co-existence are realized. The fidelity to their way of life of Jews, Christians and Muslims should always be such that there is deep-seated openness to all others. May God bless all of the people of the Holy Land.
Archbishop Patrick Kelly – Archbishop of Liverpool (England and Wales)
Archbishop Riccardo Fontana – Bishop of Arezzo-Cortona-Sansepolcro (Italy)
Archbishop Richard Smith – Archbishop of Edmonton (Canada)
Archbishop Joan-Enric Vives I Sicilia – Bishop of Urgell (Spain)
Bishop Gerald Kicanas – Bishop of Tucson (USA)
Bishop Heinrich Mussinghoff – Bishop of Aachen (Germany)
Bishop Michel Dubost – Bishop of Evry (France)
Bishop Pierre Burcher – Bishop of Reykjavik (Nordic Bishops’ Conference)
Bishop William Kenney – Auxiliary Bishop of Birmingham (England and Wales)


lilydaleARCHDIOCESE OF MELBOURNE REPORT: By Jeannette De Vincentiis
St Patrick's, Lilydale
MEMBERS of St Patrick’s parish in Lilydale are proud to share news of a new initiative that is proving to be very successful among its participants.
Back in 2009, Judi Todd (then member of the Parish Advisory Team) recognised the need to welcome new senior parishioners into the parish community, as well as extending friendship and pastoral care among current parishioners.
Parish Priest Fr Julian Langridge was very supportive and consequently parishioners were invited to a meeting where the idea to form small groups of people who would meet socially on a regular basis, was discussed. And so the “50’s+ social groups” were born.
Neighbouring St Mary’s parish in Mt Evelyn had introduced ‘Family Groups’ some years ago, so one of their parishioners was invited to share his experiences of these groups.
The response of those who attended this gathering was very positive and four groups were subsequently formed, each with a leader and about 10 – 17 members.
Since the initial meeting, the groups have organized their own program of events and have met once (sometimes twice) a month enjoying a range of outings and gatherings including home BBQs, breakfasts, lunches, dinners and games afternoons/nights hosted at the homes of group members, trips to the city, St Patrick’s Cathedral, Parliament, museums, theatres, fruit farms, weekend markets, open garden displays and even a cruise to Williamstown.
In addition, all of the groups have met together after Mass on a Sunday for a mid-winter lunch and chat.
Last December the groups combined for a pre-Christmas dinner which was held in the Parish Community Centre. Fr Julian joined the members and listened to the sharing of experiences and ideas.
Members reported many positive outcomes from the initiative including new friendships, care, love and generosity which have touched the lives of all involved.
A few times during the year the group leaders met (and will continue to do so) to both plan and support each other. New group members are always welcome. For more information contact St Patrick’s parish, Lilydale, on 03 9739 5977 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Photo: Group member Judy Hacking celebrating her 70th Birthday and holding a copy of St Patrick’s parish history ‘Vine & Branches’.


Agenzia Fides REPORT - "From the final report of the Electoral Observation Mission of CENCO and testimonies collected in various dioceses and other sources, today it is noted that the election process took place, in many places, in a chaotic atmosphere. Many errors were detected, proven cases of fraud and probably planned, many fatal incidents that caused death, confusion and, in some places, a climate of terror deliberately maintained and managed to fill the ballot boxes. But this is not all. What is happening now in the compilation of the results of parliamentary elections is unacceptable. It is a shame for our country". This is what the Bishops of the Episcopal Conference of Congo (CENCO) write in the message published at the end of their extraordinary plenary assembly, from 9 to 11 January, concerning the election held on November 28, entitled "Courage of truth" (see 2Cor7, 14 ).
In the Message, which is dated 11 January and was released by DIA, the Bishops say: "The election process was fraught with serious irregularities, that have put into question the credibility of the published results. We ask the organizers to have the courage and honesty to draw the consequences flowing from it. In fact, to admit mistakes is a sign of greatness. But if we consider the risk of continuing to govern the country as a challenge, the internal tensions more or less controlled in the short term, sooner or later would result in a serious crisis and difficult to solve". The Bishops therefore, indicate the path of dialogue in the supreme interest of the nation, and reiterated: "It is time for the courage of truth".
The Bishops rejoice at the evidence of maturity and good citizenship given by the Congolese people to go out to vote, congratulated the government, which was able to finance most of these elections, and thanked the election observers who have gone through several sacrifices to fulfill their task. True to their mission of leading the people of God, the Bishops say: "we will not get tired of denouncing anything that jeopardizes the building of a democratic state. One does not create a rule of law in a culturewhere there is cheating, lying and terror, of militarization and blatant attack on freedom of expression. If democracy is a power of the people, by the people and for the people, we must respect these people".
"We want peace", reaffirms the Congolese Episcopal Conference, but this has needs which cannot be waived: "truth, justice and respect for the people". The Bishops therefore call upon the Congolese people and Catholics as a whole, "to non-violence, because violence calls violence". After some recommendations, the Message ends: "Our Country is currently facing a period of uncertainty and anxiety. Our faith in God and our trust in man, created in God's image, convince us that this uncertainty and this anxiety can be overcome through a change of heart, mind and practice. We need the love of country, willingness to give up selfish interests to seek, through dialogue, ways to build peace in Congo. But we want the peace that is rooted in justice and love of truth. Because the peace of those who have achieved it without justice is illusory and ephemeral". (SL) (Agenzia Fides 13/01/2012)


St. Hilary of Poitiers
Feast: January 13

Feast Day: January 13
300, Poitiers
Died: 368, Poitiers
Bishop, born in that city at the beginning of the fourth century; died there 1 November, according to the most accredited opinion, or according to the Roman Breviary, on 13 January, 368. Belonging to a noble and very probably pagan family, he was instructed in all the branches of profane learning, but, having also taken up the study of Holy Scripture and finding there the truth which he sought so ardently, he renounced idolatry and was baptized. Thenceforth his wide learning and his zeal for the Faith attracted such attention that he was chosen about 350 to govern the body of the faithful which the city had possessed since the third century. We know nothing of the bishops who governed this society in the beginning. Hilary is the first concerning whom we have authentic information, and this is due to the important part he played in opposing heresy. The Church was then greatly disturbed by internal discords, the authority of the popes not being so powerful in practice as either to prevent or to stop them. Arianism had made frightful ravages in various regions and threatened to invade Gaul, where it already had numerous partisans more or less secretly affiliated with it. Saturninus, Bishop of Arles, the most active of the latter, being exposed by Hilary, convened and presided over a council at Béziers in 356 with the intention of justifying himself, or rather of establishing his false doctrine. Here the Bishop of Poitiers courageously presented himself to defend orthodoxy, but the council, composed for the most part of Arians, refused to hear him, and being shortly afterwards denounced to the Emperor Constantius, the protector of Arianism, he was at his command transported to the distant coasts of Phrygia.
But persecution could not subdue the valiant champion. Instead of remaining inactive during his exile he gave himself up to study, completed certain of his works which he had begun, and wrote his treatise on the synods. In this work he analysed the professions of faith uttered by the Oriental bishops in the Councils of Ancyra, Antioch, and Sirmium, and while condemning them, since they were in substance Arian, he sought to show that sometimes the difference between the doctrines of certain heretics and orthodox beliefs was rather in the words than in the ideas, which led to his counselling the bishops of the West to be reserved in their condemnation. He was sharply reproached for his indulgence by certain ardent Catholics, the leader of whom was Lucifer, Bishop of Cagliari. However, in 359, the city of Seleucia witnessed the assembly in synod of a large number of Oriental bishops, nearly all of whom were either Anomoeans or Semi-Arians. Hilary, whom everyone wished to see and hear, so great was his reputation for learning and virtue, was invited to be present at this assembly. The governor of the province even furnished him with post horses for the journey. In presence of the Greek fathers he set forth the doctrines of the Gallic bishops, and easily proved that, contrary to the opinion current in the East, these latter were not Sabellians. Then he took part in the violent discussions which took place between the Semi-Arians, who inclined toward reconciliation with the Catholics, and the Anomoeans, who formed as it were the extreme left of Arianism.
After the council, which had no result beyond the wider separation of these brothers in enmity, he left for Constantinople, the stronghold of heresy, to continue his battle against error. But while the Semi-Arians, who were less numerous and less powerful, besought him to become the intermediary in a reconciliation between themselves and the bishops of the West, the Anomoeans, who had the immense advantage of being upheld by the emperor, besought the latter to send back to his own country this Gallic bishop, who, they said, sowed discord and troubled the Orient. Constantius acceded to their desire, and the exile was thus enabled to set out on his journey home. In 361 Hilary re-entered Poitiers in triumph and resumed possession of his see. He was welcomed with the liveliest joy by his flock and his brothers in the episcopate, and was visited by Martin, his former disciple and subsequently Bishop of Tours. The success he had achieved in his combat against error was rendered more brilliant shortly afterwards by the deposition of Saturninus, the Arian Bishop of Arles by whom he had been persecuted. However, as in Italy the memory still rankled of the efforts he had made to bring about a reconciliation between the nearly converted Semi-Arians and the Catholics, he went in 364 to the Bishop of Vercelli to endeavour to overcome the intolerance of the partisans of the Bishop Lucifer mentioned above. Almost immediately afterwards, that it might be seen that, if he was full of indulgence for those whom gentleness might finally win from error, he was intractable towards those who were obstinate in their adherence to it, he went to Milan, there to assail openly Auxentius, the bishop of that city, who was a firm defender of the Arian doctrines. But the Emperor Valentinian, who protected the heretic, ordered Hilary to depart immediately from Milan.
He then returned to his city of Poitiers, from which he was not again to absent himself and where he was to die. This learned and energetic bishop had fought against error with the pen as well as in words. The best edition of his numerous and remarkable writings is that published by Dom Constant under the title: "Sancti Hilarii, Pictavorum episcopi opera, ad manuscriptos codices gallicanos, romanos, belgicos, necnon ad veteres editiones castigata" (Paris, 1693). The Latin Church celebrates his feast on 14 January, and Pius IX raised him to the rank of Doctor of the Universal Church. The Church of Puy glories in the supposed possession of his relics, but according to one tradition his body was borne to the church of St-Denys near Paris, while according to another it was taken from the church of St-Hilaire at Poitiers and burned by the Protestants in 1572.

(Taken from Catholic Encyclopedia)


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