Wednesday, February 15, 2012





Vatican City, 14 February 2012 (VIS) - Given below is the text of a note written by Holy See Press Office Director Fr. Frederico Lombardi S.J. and released late yesterday afternoon by Vatican Radio, concerning the recent leaking of a series of Vatican documents.
"Nowadays we must all have strong nerves, because no one can be surprised at anything. The American administration was affected by Wikileaks, now the Vatican too has its disclosures, its leaked documents, which tend to create confusion and bewilderment, and to throw a bad light on the Vatican, the governance of the Church and, more broadly, on the Church herself.
"We must, then, remain calm and keep our nerve, make use of reason, something which not all media outlets tend to do. The documents in question are of different kinds and importance, drawn up at various times and for differing situations. One thing is the discussion of the improved economic management of an institution such as the Governorate, which has many different activities; another are notes on current juridical and legislative questions, about which it is quite normal that there should be contrasting opinions; quite another are delirious and incomprehensible reports about plots against the Pope's life. Yet, putting them all together helps to create confusion. Serious reporting should be capable of distinguishing the issues and understanding their differing importance. It is obvious that the economic activities of the Governorate have to be managed wisely and rigorously. It is clear that the IOR and financial activities must be correctlyintegrated into international anti-recycling norms. These are of course the Pope's instructions. At the same time, it is evident that the story about a plot against the Pope, as I said immediately at the time, is nonsense, madness, and does not deserve to be taken seriously.
"There is something very sad in the fact that documents are dishonestly passed from the inside to the outside in order to create confusion. Both sides bear responsibility: firstly the suppliers of documents of this kind, but also those who undertake to use them for purposes that certainly have nothing to do with pure love of truth. We must, therefore, stand firm, not allowing ourselves to be swallowed up by the vortex of confusion, which is what ill-intentioned people want, and remaining capable of using our reason.
"In a certain sense - according to an ancient expression of human and spiritual wisdom - the emergence of more powerful attacks is a sign that something important is at stake. The series of attacks against the Church on the issue of sexual abuse has been justly met with serious and profound commitment to far-sighted renewal; not a myopic response but purification and rehabilitation. We have now taken control of the situation and are developing a powerful strategy of healing, renewal and prevention, for the good of society as a whole. At the same time, there is a serious commitment to ensure authentic transparency in the working of Vatican institutions, also from an economic perspective. New norms have been issued and channels have been opened for international monitoring. And yet a lot of the recently leaked documents tend to discredit precisely those efforts. This, paradoxically, constitutes another reason to continue them with determination, not allowingourselves to be cowed. If many people insist on attacking us, the issue is obviously important. Whoever thinks he is discouraging the Pope and his collaborators in their commitment is mistaken.
"As for the issue of the supposed power struggles in view of the next conclave, I would invite everyone to note that all the Pontiffs elected during the last hundred years have been people of exalted and unquestioned spiritual merit. Cardinals have naturally sought, and still seek, to elect someone who deserves the respect of the people of God, someone who can serve humankind in our time with great moral and spiritual authority. Reading these events as an internal power struggle depends to a large extent on the moral coarseness of those who provoke them and those who see them as such, people often incapable of seeing anything else. Fortunately, those who believe in Jesus Christ know that - whatever may be written in today's newspapers - the true concerns of those with positions of responsibility in the Church are the serious problems facing the men and women of today and tomorrow. Not for nothing do we also believe in, and speak of, the assistance ofthe Holy Spirit".

Vatican City, 14 February 2012 (VIS) - A delegation of ministers from the United Kingdom is today beginning an official visit to the Vatican to mark the thirtieth anniversary of the establishment of full diplomatic relations with the Holy See. The delegation is led by Baroness Sayeeda Hussain Warsi representing the prime minister, and includes Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Westminster. Their discussions with Holy See officials will focus on inter-religious dialogue, human rights, the environment, international development and climate change.
This afternoon Baroness Warsi will deliver an address on the place of religion in modern political discourse to staff and students of the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy, and to the diplomatic corps accredited to the Holy See. The delegation will be received in audience by the Holy Father tomorrow.

Vatican City, 14 February 2012 (VIS) - Benedict XVI is among those contributing to the restoration of the Basilica of St. Augustine in the Algerian town of Annaba, work on which began last year. The church stands on a hill overlooking the ruins of Hippo, the episcopal see of that Father of the Church, and was built early last century, half in the Arab-Moorish style and half in the Romanesque-Byzantine style as a symbol of the universal appeal of the author of the "Confessions".
Speaking on Vatican Radio, Bishop Paul Desfarges S.J. of Constantine-Hippo explained that the Holy Father is making a personal contribution to the restoration work, which is being financed by the authorities in Algeria and France, as well as by a number of institutions, religious orders and benefactors. "The Papal Foundation has contributed, but the Pope has also sent a personal donation", Bishop Desfarges said. "We all know his great respect for St. Augustine. ... The restoration of the basilica means the restoration of a symbol of coexistence and fraternity between the two shores of the Mediterranean, between Christians and Muslims, between the West and Islam, between people who seek the truth"
by Kalpit Parajuli
Valentine's Day becomes an opportunity to recall sentiment for loved ones and instill hope for the future. Manufacturers of gift cards stress the demand for gifts with phrases and slogans in praise of peace, dialogue and solidarity between people.

Kathmandu (AsiaNews) - Frightened by the climate of political and economic instability in the country, on St. Valentine’s day the Nepalese prefer postcards and greeting cards inspired by the Pope's message for the 45th World Day of Peace to the usual hearts and teddy bears.

Amrit Tuladhar, a producer of giftware and director of online shopping site says that unlike in the past, this year people of all ages have visited the site, chosing cards with phrases about peace, dialogue and harmony as gifts to friends and acquaintances, many of whom live abroad. "Following the many requests - he says - about 50% of products manufactured by the company contain slogans inspired by the message of the Pope

Tuladhar believes the increase of migrant workers has increased the number of Internet users, by multiplying the sites, the types of online purchases, but also the emphasis on foreign countries. "For St. Valentine’s - he says - I had an average of 400 orders per day, mostly by and for people living abroad." He explains that in recent days several Nepalese employees in the Middle East have ordered postcards with slogans of peace and love for the Syrian people.

Ramesh Shrestha, employed by Christian bookstore Ekta Book House, says that for years the best selling book during Valentine's Day is the Bible. "In my shop - he says - customers often choose the Bible as sign of affection and love for their loved one." Josh B. Niraula, former director of Caritas Nepal, notes that "Valentine's Day is for Christians and non Christians a moment to remember with gratitude the people you love," he says. He adds that despite the sentimentality, the festival is an occasion to renew our faith in love.

In Nepal there are about 150 thousand Christians, with about 8 thousand Catholics. With the collapse of the Hindu monarchy in 2006 and the birth of a secular state, Christians have been granted greater freedom of worship. To promote tourism the government declared Christmas a national holiday, ensuring greater security around Christian religious buildings. This year, about 4 thousand people, of which at least half non-Christians, attended the midnight mass celebrated in the cathedral of Kathmandu.'s-Day-cards-inspired-by-Pope's-message-of-peace-23972.html


Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese REPORT
14 Feb 2012

Graeme Mundine - Indigenous people need
to see their own culture in the Mass
The Aboriginal Catholic Ministry (ACM) will offer a unique Lenten program in Sydney this year designed specifically for Sydney's Indigenous people.
With Christ's words to the disciples in Gethsemane: "Stay here, watch and Pray with me" as the principal theme, the weekly readings will be reflected upon from an Aboriginal perspective, and be presented by Graeme Mundine, ACM Executive Officer and one of the Australia's most widely known and respected elders.
A former Marist Priest, Graeme will begin the reflections and readings each Tuesday evening from 7 until 8.30 pm at 77 Buckland Street, Alexandria.
Beginning on Shrove Tuesday, 21 February, the eve of Ash Wednesday and the start of Lent, the weekly meetings are all part of the vibrant Catholic ministry giving pastoral care and support to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders who live in the inner city. While the Church of Reconciliation at La Perouse has long been an important part of ACM and holds a Mass for Indigenous Catholics on the first Sunday of every month, from this weekend Masses will also be held at Erskineville's parish church of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour on the third Sunday of each month.

Graeme Mundine says
important Aboriginal
voices are heard
"Indigenous and non Indigenous people are welcome at Mass whether at La Perouse and Erskineville," says Graeme Mundine.
The decision to offer Mass to Indigenous people at Erskineville as well as La Perouse was made after ACM conducted a series of forums late last year to find out what people wanted and what was needed.
"What came through loud and clear was a desire for us to hold more 'Aboriginal Masses,' particularly in the inner city," Graeme explains adding that the Erskineville Church which is part of St Mary's parish will also conduct baptisms and funerals for Sydney's Indigenous people and their relatives from other parts of NSW.
While Australia's Indigenous people share much in common with their fellow Catholics, they have their own distinctive, rich culture, ancestry and voice. For this reason their own Mass is important and has great meaning for them, Graeme explains.

Our Lady of Perpetual Succour,
Erskineville begins a monthly Mass
for Indigenous people
from this weekend
"We are culturally different from other Australians. We didn't come from a Northern Hemisphere or Asian culture but instead our culture evolved here among the eucalypts, red earth and deserts. Our flora and fauna are also different which was why paintings of Christ surrounded by Northern hemisphere creatures such as donkeys, sheep, cows and cockerels were so hard for our ancestors to understand. They had never seen a lamb or cockerel. But if the painting had depicted the Lord surrounded by native Australian creatures such as kangaroos or emus or bush turkeys, they would have understood."
In addition to the Lenten Readings and Reflections and a monthly "Aboriginal Mass" at Erskineville's Catholic Church, ACM offers support to Indigenous people not only across Sydney but across wider Australia. As part of this support and in helping to give a voice to the concerns of Indigenous people, ACM has delivered a submission to the Senate Community Affairs Committee calling for a halt to the Northern Territory Intervention and Government policies such as compulsory Income Management, and SEAM (the School Enrolment and Attendance scheme where parents' welfare payments are suspended or cut if their children do not attend school).
"The Catholic Church has been involved with advocacy relating to the NT Emergency Response (NTER) through its various agencies since it was introduced in 2007," Graeme says and along with other Aboriginal elders and many of Australia's Aboriginal Catholic Ministries, has urged the Government not to pass the bills currently before the Senate which would expand NTER and bring more misery to the Indigenous people. SOURCE


TENKODOGO, February 14, 2012 (CISA) -Rt Rev Prosper Kontiebo was on February 11 appointed the first bishop of the new diocese of Tenkodogo. Bishop-elect is the first Bishop of the Camillian Missionary, MI.
“On behalf of all the members of the Order, I express gratitude to the Holy Father for having elevated a religious Camillian to Bishop wrote the Superior General of the Order, Fr Renato Salvatore.
“All those who have had the joy of knowing him, are very proud and participate with joy, praising the Lord to continue to keep watch over the Vice province of Burkina Faso of which our brother was a guide. I think it is very significant that the announcement was made this day (February 11) so ‘Camillian’: World Day of the Sick and the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes. “
According to Fides the Apostolic Nuncio in Burkina Faso and Niger, Archbishop Vito Rallo, in his message stressed the fact that “the Church-Family of God is Catholic and universal; therefore it knows no regional or provincial borders. We are all members of the same and only Church, and no Catholic is a foreigner in another Diocese. Imagine for a moment, if the first Missionaries and Bishops of Burkina Faso had never come from outside, in this case from France, there would be no Catholic Church now in Burkina Faso. Thus, at the recent Synod for Africa, the Synod Fathers asked that the faithful and priests welcome, in a spirit of faith, the Bishop that the Holy Father sends them as their Pastor of the Diocese”.
Founded in late 1500 by S Camillo de Lellis, Universal Patron of the sick, the health professionals and hospitals, the Order of the Ministers of the Sick has always been a point of reference for the needy and for those who suffer. Today, it is present in 35 Countries and, through the Camillian Task Force, in the areas most at risk, from Haiti to Pakistan, and during natural disasters, such as in the Horn of Africa.
The Camillians are preparing to celebrate the fourth Centenary of the death of St Camillus, with a series of initiatives planned as from next May.



My venerable brother bishops and priests and my dear brothers and sisters,
In the context of the reflection that is taking place during these days of the Symposium "
Towards Healing and Renewal", we remind ourselves that we are here this evening not only as believers, but also as penitents.
The tragedy of the sexual abuse of minors perpetrated by Christians, especially when done so by members of the clergy, is a source of great shame and enormous scandal. It is a sin against which Jesus himself lashed out: "It would be better for him if a millstone were put around his neck and he be thrown into the sea than for him to cause one of these little ones to stumble" (Lk. 17:2). Abuse is a crime, in fact, which causes an authentic experience of death for the innocent victims, whom God alone can truly raise to new life in the power of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, with profound conviction and awareness of what we do, we turn to and implore the Lord.
1 2
This gesture of purification involves the entire Church, and each one of us - Bishops, Religious Superiors, educators, all Christians - feels the pain of what has occurred. We ask that the Spirit of God, who heals and radically renews all things, come down upon us.
As members of the Church, we must have the courage to ask humbly for God’s pardon, as well as for the forgiveness of His "little ones" who have been wounded; we must remain close to them on their road of suffering, seeking in every possible way to heal and bind up their wounds following the example of the Good Samaritan. The first step on this road is to listen to them carefully and to believe their painful stories.
The road of renewal for the Church, who will continue to educate people and establish proper structures to help prevent similar crimes, must include the sentiment of "never again". As Blessed John Paul II said, "there is no place in the priesthood and religious life for those who would harm the young" (
Address of Blessed Pope John Paul II to the Cardinals of the United States, April 23, 2002, n. 3). It is intolerable that the abuse of children would take place within the Church. Never again!
Sadly, we observe all too well that the sexual abuse of children is found throughout modern society. It is our profound hope that the Church’s commitment to address this great evil will foster renewal among other communities and agencies in society who have been affected by this tragedy.
In this new path, we Christians should be aware that only faith can guarantee an authentic work of renewal in the Church: faith understood as personal, as a true and life-giving relationship of love with Jesus Christ. Mindful of our own lack of living faith, we ask the Lord Jesus to restore us all and to lead us through the agony of the cross towards the joy of the resurrection.
Sometimes the violence was committed by deeply disturbed persons or by those who had themselves been abused. It was necessary to take action concerning them and to prevent them from continuing any form of ministry for which they were obviously not suitable. This was not always done properly and, once again, we apologize to the victims.
The Shepherds of the Church, having learned from this terrible and humiliating experience, have a grave duty to take responsibility in the discernment and acceptance of candidates who seek to serve within the Church, most especially those seeking ordained ministry.
Still shocked by these sad occurrences, we hope that this Vigil liturgy helps us to view the horrible sins that took place among the People of God in the light of salvation history, a story which we have retraced together here tonight. It is a story that speaks of our misery, of our repeated failures, but most of all of God’s infinite mercy, of which we are always in need.
And so we entrust ourselves entirely to the powerful intercession of the Son of God, who "emptied himself" (Phil. 2:7) in the mystery of the Incarnation and Redemption, and who has taken upon himself every evil, even this evil, destroying its power so that it would not have the last word.
The Risen Christ, in fact, is the guarantee and the promise that life triumphs over death; He is capable of bringing salvation to each person.
As we continue with our prayer service, we pray, in the words of Pope Benedict XVI, for a more profound appreciation of our respective vocations, so as to rediscover the roots of our faith in Jesus Christ and to drink deeply from the springs of living water
that he offers us through his Church (cf.
Pastoral Letter of Pope Benedict XVI to the Catholics of Ireland).
May the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of life, who is always at work in the world, descend and help us through the prayers of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church, whose powerful intercession sustains and guides us to be obedient and receptive to divine love. Amen!
Marc Cardinal Ouellet


Agenzia Fides REPORT - "Europe needs our prayer, it needs our missionary spirit and our missionary work of evangelization. As Christians and disciples of Christ, we are called to bring the Gospel back to Europe and give a true testimony of our fidelity to Christian roots. Europe has become in our time a mission land": these are some thoughts taken from the Fr Mariusz Frukacz’s homily, editor of the Polish Catholic Weekly "Niedziela" and member of the Pontifical Missionary Union, during the Mass that was celebrated this morning for the feast of Saints Cyril and Methodius, Patrons of Europe. The editors of the Weekly, which is based in Czestochowa, in fact, gathered in the chapel dedicated to Mary Mater Verbi, on the premises of the editorial office, where they prayed for the New Evangelization in Europe by entrusting it to the intercession of the Apostles of the Slavs. After Mass, the editors recited the Holy Rosary for Europe.
Constantine, better known under the monastic name of Cyril (Thessalonica 826-14 February 869), evangelized Pannonia and Moravia in the ninth century and invented the Glagolitic alphabet. he is revered as a saint by the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church together with his brother Methodius (Thessalonica 815 - Velehrad April 6 885) he also evangelized the Slavs. Proclaimed Patrons of Europe by the blessed Pope John Paul II in 1980. (MF/SL) (Agenzia Fides 14/2/2012)


St. Valentine
Feast: February 14

Feast Day: February 14
At least three different Saint Valentines, all of them martyrs, are mentioned in the early martyrologies under date of 14 February. One is described as a priest at Rome, another as bishop of Interamna (modern Terni), and these two seem both to have suffered in the second half of the third century and to have been buried on the Flaminian Way, but at different distances from the city. In William of Malmesbury's time what was known to the ancients as the Flaminian Gate of Rome and is now the Porta del Popolo, was called the Gate of St. Valentine. The name seems to have been taken from a small church dedicated to the saint which was in the immediate neighborhood. Of both these St. Valentines some sort of Acta are preserved but they are of relatively late date and of no historical value. Of the third Saint Valentine, who suffered in Africa with a number of companions, nothing further is known.



Sts. Cyril & Methodius
Feast: February 14

Feast Day: February 14
827 and 826, Thessaloniki, Byzantine Empire (present-day Greece)
Died: February 14, 869 and 6 April 885
Patron of: Bulgaria, Czech Republic (including Bohemia, and Moravia), Ecumenism, unity of the Eastern and Western Churches, Europe, Slovakia
These brothers, the Apostles of the Slavs, were born in Thessalonica, in 827 and 826 respectively. Though belonging to a senatorial family they renounced secular honours and became priests. They were living in a monastery on the Bosphorous, when the Khazars sent to Constantinople for a Christian teacher. Cyril was selected and was accompanied by his brother. They learned the Khazar language and converted many of the people. Soon after the Khazar mission there was a request from the Moravians for a preacher of the Gospel. German missionaries had already laboured among them, but without success. The Moravians wished a teacher who could instruct them and conduct Divine service in the Slavonic tongue. On account of their acquaintance with the language, Cyril and Methodius were chosen for their work. In preparation for it Cyril invented an alphabet and, with the help of Methodius, translated the Gospels and the necessary liturgical books into Slavonic. They went to Moravia in 863, and laboured for four and a half years. Despite their success, they were regarded by the Germans with distrust, first because they had come from Constantinople where schism was rife, and again because they held the Church services in the Slavonic language. On this account the brothers were summoned to Rome by Nicholas I, who died, however, before their arrival. His successor, Adrian II, received them kindly. Convinced of their orthodoxy, he commended their missionary activity, sanctioned the Slavonic Liturgy, and ordained Cyril and Methodius bishops. Cyril, however, was not to return to Moravia. He died in Rome, 4 Feb., 869.
At the request of the Moravian princes, Rastislav and Svatopluk, and the Slav Prince Kocel of Pannonia, Adrian II formed an Archdiocese of Moravia and Pannonia, made it independent of the German Church, and appointed Methodius archbishop. In 870 King Louis and the German bishops summoned Methodius to a synod at Ratisbon. Here he was deposed and condemned to prison. After three years he was liberated at the command of Pope John VIII and reinstated as Archbishop of Moravia. He zealously endeavoured to spread the Faith among the Bohemians, and also among the Poles in Northern Moravia. Soon, however, he was summoned to Rome again in consequence of the allegations of the German priest Wiching, who impugned his orthodoxy, and objected to the use of Slavonic in the liturgy. But John VIII, after an inquiry, sanctioned the Slavonic Liturgy, decreeing, however, that in the Mass the Gospel should be read first in Latin and then in Slavonic. Wiching, in the meantime, had been nominated one of the suffragan bishops of Methodius. He continued to oppose his metropolitan, going so far as to produce spurious papal letters. The pope, however, assured Methodius that they were false. Methodius went to Constantinople about this time, and with the assistance of several priests, he completed the translation of the Holy Scriptures, with the exception of the Books of Machabees. He translated also the "Nomocanon", i.e. the Greek ecclesiastico-civil law. The enemies of Methodius did not cease to antagonize him. His health was worn out from the long struggle, and he died 6 April, 885, recommending as his successor Gorazd, a Moravian Slav who had been his disciple.
Formerly the feast of Saints Cyril and Methodius was celebrated in Bohemia and Moravia on 9 March; but Pius IX changed the date to 5 July. Leo XIII, by his Encyclical "Grande Munus" of 30 September, 1880, extended the feast to the universal Church.

(Taken from Catholic Encyclopedia)


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