Sunday, March 4, 2012


RADIOVATICANA REPORT: On this second Sunday of Lent, Pope Benedict began his day with a visit to the Roman parish of John the Baptist de la Salle, south of the capital. The Holy Father celebrated mass and met parishioners including a group of children. He told them to learn about Jesus, the things he did, said and how he suffered. He also told them to learn about the church and the sacraments.

Sunday 4
th of March is also the feast of the Transfiguration and on his return to the Vatican Pope Benedict focused on this event during is Angelus address.

The Pope explained to those gathered in St Peter’s Square that there are essential elements involved when Jesus is transfigured before the apostles, they are the light and the voice: the divine light that shines on the face of Jesus, and the voice of the Heavenly Father who speaks to him.

The Holy Father went on to say that with the mystery of the Transfiguration Jesus is being directed toward the fulfillment of his mission, knowing that in order to attain resurrection, he will undergo suffering and death on a cross.

The Pope also explained that Jesus takes his friends with him to the mountain because he wants to give them the most intimate experience of this light, dwelling in Him, so that after this event, he will be their inner light, and will be able to protect them from the assaults of darkness.

Jesus is the light that never goes out said the Pope Benedict.

Following the recitation of the Angelus the Pope spoke to the faithful in an number of languages.

In English, the Holy Father expressed the hope that those sacrifices made during Lent would lead people to experience an renewal of the light of Christ.



USCCB REPORT: WASHINGTON—Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York voiced dismay in the Administration’s handling of the church as the White House and the church seek to work out religious freedom problems found in a mandate in the new health care reform bill.
The mandate drew church ire when it required that all employers, including religious ones, pay for contraceptives – including abortifacients – and sterilization for employees despite church teaching against them.

He also promised to provide educational materials to parishes and to pursue legislative and judicial efforts to restore respect for religious freedom in the nation.
Given church concerns about religious freedom, Cardinal Dolan wrote, “the President invited us to ‘work out the wrinkles.’ We have accepted that invitation. Unfortunately, this seems to be stalled: the White House Press Secretary, for instance, informed the nation that the mandates are a fait accompli (and, embarrassingly for him, commented that we bishops have always opposed Health Care anyway, a charge that is scurrilous and insulting, not to mention flat out wrong.”)

Cardinal Dolan also said that “The White House already notified Congress that the dreaded mandates are now published in the Federal Registry ‘without change.’ He added that “The Secretary of HHS is widely quoted as saying, ‘Religious insurance companies don’t really design the plans they sell based on their own religious tenets.’ That doesn’t bode well for their getting a truly acceptable 'accommodation.'"

Cardinal Dolan also described a recent meeting at the White House between bishops’ conference staff and White House staff, and said “our staff members asked directly whether the broader concerns of religious freedom—that is, revisiting the straight-jacketing mandates, or broadening the maligned exemption—are all off the table. They were informed that they are. So much for ‘working out the wrinkles.’ Instead, they advised the bishops’ conference that we should listen to the ‘enlightened’ voices of accommodation, such as the recent, hardly surprising yet terribly unfortunate editorial in America.”

“The White House seems to think we bishops simply do not know or understand Catholic teaching and so, taking a cue from its own definition of religious freedom, now has nominated its own handpicked official Catholic teachers.”

Cardinal Dolan also said “We will continue to accept invitations to meet with and to voice our concerns to anyone of any party, for this is hardly partisan, who is willing to correct the infringements on religious freedom that we are now under. But as we do so, we cannot rely on off the record promises of fixes without deadlines and without assurances of proposals that will concretely address the concerns in a manner that does not conflict with our principles and teaching.”

He added that “Congress might provide more hope, since thoughtful elected officials have proposed legislation to protect what should be so obvious: religious freedom. Meanwhile, in our recent debate in the senate, our opponents sought to obscure what is really a religious freedom issue by maintaining that abortion inducing drugs and the like are a ‘woman’s health issue.’ We will not let this deception stand. Our commitment to seeking legislative remedies remains strong. And it is about remedies to the assault on religious freedom. Period.”

Cardinal Dolan added that “Perhaps the courts offer the most light."

Cardinal Dolan warned the bishops that “given this climate, we have to prepare for tough times. Some, like America magazine, want us to cave-in and stop fighting, saying this is simply a policy issue; some want us to close everything down rather than comply (in an excellent article, Cardinal Francis George wrote that the administration apparently wants us to ‘give up for Lent’ our schools, hospitals, and charitable ministries); some, like Bishop Robert Lynch wisely noted, wonder whether we might have to engage in civil disobedience and risk steep fines; some worry that we’ll have to face a decision between two ethically repugnant choices: subsidizing immoral services or no longer offering insurance coverage, a road none of us wants to travel.”

Cardinal Dolan added that “we know so very well that religious freedom is our heritage, our legacy and our firm belief, both as loyal Catholics and Americans. There have been many threats to religious freedom over the decades and years, but these often came from without. This one sadly comes from within. As our ancestors did with previous threats, we will tirelessly defend the timeless and enduring truth of religious freedom.”



According to various news sources several exploxions have killed over 100 people in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Africa. Apparently, over 2,000 have been injured in these blasts. This occured in Brazzaville, the capital. They happened after 8am on Sunday, March 4, 2012. A fire was the cause of the detination in a ammunition dumping bay. The powerful force of the blasts damaged buildings miles away. According to witnesses a nearby church filled with worshippers collapsed. Some were very badly injured and filled up local hospitals.


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  • Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne: Church in Melbourne, Australia
  • Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne: Church in Melbourne, Australia
    Kairos Catholic Journal

    The people of Sandhurst Diocese warmly welcomed newly appointed Bishop Leslie Tomlinson DD at the installation Mass held at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Bendigo yesterday. About 1500 people filled the cathedral, coming from all areas of the diocese, as well as family, friends and colleagues from the Archdiocese of Melbourne.

    More than 90 priests and 23 bishops, locally and from interstate, concelebrated at the Mass, including Archbishop Denis Hart DD from Melbourne, Archbishop Adrian Doyle AM DD from Hobart, His Excellency Most Rev Giuseppe Lazarotto, Apostolic Nuncio to Australia and Rev Mgr Francis Marriott, the Diocesan Administrator for Sandhurst, who provided a heart-felt welcome to Bishop Tomlinson on behalf the people of Sandhurst.

    View gallery

    Read Bishop Tomlinson's homily

    Read about Bishop Tomlinson's, Coat of Arms

    Bishop Tomlinson is the seventh bishop of the Sandhurst Diocese at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Bendigo, following the death of Bishop Joe Grech. He was installed as Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Melbourne in June 200, and served as Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia from 2003 to 2012.

    Upon his arrival and procession into the cathedral, Bishop Tomlinson was greeted by Mgr Marriott who offered him a crucifix (owned by Bishop Reville) to kiss and holy water with which to bless himself and the congregation.

    Bishop Tomlinson then prayed and vested within the Blessed Sacrament Chapel and was presented with the Mitre (owned by Bishop Grech) and Crozier (owned by Bishop McCarthy) in the sanctuary. He was accompanied by Archbishop Hart and Mgr Marriot as he sat in the bishop’s seat for the first time. His episcopal coat of arms and motto, ‘In Christ’s Name’, sits above the seat.

    In his homily, Bishop Tomlinson said, “We are familiar with St Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians (1Cor.12:4-11), where he writes that each of us receives particular gifts from God, which we are called upon to contribute to the building up of the Church.”

    “In my own life, my response to God's call has led me from my childhood and youth in Mildura to the seminary. Then as a priest, apart from short period of three years working in the Archdiocese of Hobart in the mid to late 70s, I have lived out my priesthood in the Archdiocese of Melbourne.

    “In recent years, it has been my privilege to serve in the roles of leadership as Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop in Melbourne. And now, I come to be with you, as your bishop of Sandhurst. I know that my life, which has been a rich and fulfilling one, will continue to be graced by God in service of his people in this diocese.

    “Coming amongst you to take up this call to be your bishop - sanctifier, teacher of the faith, and leader - I do so, humbled by the confidence shown in me and confident, through the Holy Spirit, of a blessed outcome.

    “As my model I take Christ Jesus himself who is the sanctifier, teacher and leader par excellence. For this reason I have chosen for my Episcopal motto ‘In Christ’s Name’.

    “My role of Chief Pastor of the diocese is a particularly rich one and I commit myself to striving to fulfil it generally as your bishop and where possible to you individually. This role of pastor has special significance in my relationship with the clergy of the diocese, to whom I am called to be their Father in Christ. In the months ahead, I look forward to coming to know you priests and to developing true friendship with you. You are the first collaborators with the bishop in the endeavours of the Church.”
    SOURCE :
  • Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne: Church in Melbourne, Australia
  • Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne: Church in Melbourne, Australia
  • Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne: Church in Melbourne, Australia
  • Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne: Church in Melbourne, Australia


    Government sources claim a 65 per cent turnout, a good result to Supreme Leader Khamenei's appeal. However, only conservatives are running since the opposition is no longer in the picture. Nevertheless, the regime is also not taking any chances, arresting dissidents; journalists have also disappeared.

    Tehran (AsiaNews/Agencies) - Official Iranian sources claim that 65 per cent of Iran's 52 per cent eligible voters cast their ballot in yesterday's parliamentary elections. However, the report cannot be independently verified, as all else concerning the election to Iran's 290-seat Majlis (parliament). If it were true, it would vindicate Iran's Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, who had called for a large turnout.

    Although not running for office, Khamenei and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad are the real players. The vote itself is a virtual referendum on the president, who has been at loggerheads with the supreme leader for much of his second mandate, and now has one more year before the next presidential elections in 2013, when he will not be able to run.

    Ahmadinejad never had a majority in parliament. Now however, observers are waiting to see how will manage to govern in his last year in power. Early results bode ill for him; even his sister Parvin failed to secure a seat in Garmsar, the president's home town.

    Iranian elections are very peculiar, quite different from Western standards of democracy. All candidates must be vetted and approved by the regime. They must also be university trained and faithful to the ruling theocracy.

    In the current round of voting, the competition is between the pro-Khamenei United Front of Principalists and the pro-Ahmadinejad Resistance Front.

    The opposition Green movement is not a player any more. Its leaders, Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, are under de facto house arrest since February 2011. They had lost in the 2009 presidential elections.

    Still, one pro-reform candidate, Mohammadreza Tabesh, was elected yesterday.

    Despite all its controls, the regime is still concerned. Opposition sources say that in the weeks leading up to the vote, repression against journalists, lawyers and electronic media intensified.

    In the latest episode, Reza Jelodarzadeh, a veteran of the Iran-Iraq War who was wounded in combat, was arrested. He is the editor-in-chief of the recently banned Sobh-e Azadi magazine. His family knows nothing about his whereabouts.

    His is the most glaring case, but not the only one. A 2011 Amnesty international report noted that public executions rose four-fold last year and death penalties doubled.


    Commission head meets with Pope Benedict
    Today, February 24, the Holy Father received in audience Cardinal Camillo Ruini, vicar general emeritus of His Holiness for the diocese of Rome.
    ‘Vatican Insider’ Andrea Tornielli says the meeting was to discuss the progress of the Medjugorje investigation.
    This evening Pope Benedict XVI is also scheduled to receive in audience Cardinal William Joseph Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF).
    Cardinal Ruini presides over the Holy See’s commission currently investigating the Medjugorje phenomenon and which, according to a recent Italian press report and a quote attributed to Cardinal Vinko Puljic who sits on the commission, should be concluded by the end of the year and presented to the CDF and the Pope for consideration.

    This week it was reported that four of the Medjugorje visionaries, Ivan, Jakov, Marija and Mirjana gave evidence to the commission in Rome on Monday. All meetings with the visionaries have taken place in a hall of the CDF where the archives of the study group are kept.
    The Holy See currently stands by the declaration made at the ordinary session of the Bishop’s Conference of Yugoslavia almost 21 years ago in April 1991, that “so far it cannot be affirmed that one is dealing with supernatural apparitions and revelations”
    The Commission of that time said it would continue to keep up with and investigate the entire event in Medjugorje. However, with the break up of Yugoslavia into separate countries its last conference was held in 1993.
    In July 2006 Cardinal Vinko Puljic of Sarajevo announced that the Holy See had commissioned the Bosnia & Herzegovina bishops’ conference to begin another review into the alleged Marian apparitions at Medjugorje with a particular emphasis on the question of shrine status which had been inferred by the Yugoslavia bishops’ conference. Two years went by with nothing seemingly undertaken and then in March 2008 it was confirmed that the matter of Medjugorje had been handed back to the Vatican and that the national commission no longer had plans to take action.
    On March 17, 2010, it was announced that the Holy See was to set up its own commission to investigate the Medjugorje phenomenon, headed by the Italian cardinal Camillo Ruini.


    Genesis 22: 1 - 2, 9 - 13, 15 - 18

    1 After these things God tested Abraham, and said to him, "Abraham!" And he said, "Here am I."
    2 He said, "Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Mori'ah, and offer him there as a burnt offering upon one of the mountains of which I shall tell you."
    9 When they came to the place of which God had told him, Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar, upon the wood.
    10 Then Abraham put forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son.
    11 But the angel of the LORD called to him from heaven, and said, "Abraham, Abraham!" And he said, "Here am I."
    12 He said, "Do not lay your hand on the lad or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me."
    13 And Abraham lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him was a ram, caught in a thicket by his horns; and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son.
    15 And the angel of the LORD called to Abraham a second time from heaven,
    16 and said, "By myself I have sworn, says the LORD, because you have done this, and have not withheld your son, your only son,
    17 I will indeed bless you, and I will multiply your descendants as the stars of heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore. And your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies,
    18 and by your descendants shall all the nations of the earth bless themselves, because you have obeyed my voice."
    Psalms 116: 10, 15 - 19

    10 I kept my faith, even when I said, "I am greatly afflicted";
    15 Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.
    16 O LORD, I am thy servant, the son of thy handmaid. Thou hast loosed my bonds.
    17 I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving and call on the name of the LORD.
    18 I will pay my vows to the LORD in the presence of all his people,
    19 in the courts of the house of the LORD, in your midst, O Jerusalem. Praise the LORD!

    Romans 8: 31 - 34

    31 What then shall we say to this? If God is for us, who is against us?
    32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, will he not also give us all things with him?
    33 Who shall bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies;
    34 who is to condemn? Is it Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised from the dead, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us?

    Mark 9: 2 - 10

    2 And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain apart by themselves; and he was transfigured before them,
    3 and his garments became glistening, intensely white, as no fuller on earth could bleach them.
    4 And there appeared to them Eli'jah with Moses; and they were talking to Jesus.
    5 And Peter said to Jesus, "Master, it is well that we are here; let us make three booths, one for you and one for Moses and one for Eli'jah."
    6 For he did not know what to say, for they were exceedingly afraid.
    7 And a cloud overshadowed them, and a voice came out of the cloud, "This is my beloved Son; listen to him."
    8 And suddenly looking around they no longer saw any one with them but Jesus only.
    9 And as they were coming down the mountain, he charged them to tell no one what they had seen, until the Son of man should have risen from the dead.
    10 So they kept the matter to themselves, questioning what the rising from the dead meant.



    St. Casimir
    Feast: March 4

    Feast Day: March 4
    October 3, 1458(1458-10-03), Wawel, Kraków
    Died: March 4, 1484, Hrodna, Belarus
    1522, Rome by Pope Adrian VI
    Major Shrine: Vilnius Cathedral
    Patron of: patron saint of Poland and Lithuania
    St Casimir was the third among the thirteen children of Casimir III, King of Poland, and of Elizabeth of Austria, daughter to the Emperor Albert II, a most virtuous woman, who died in 1505. He was born in 1458, on the 3rd of October. From his childhood he was remarkably pious and devout. His preceptor was John Dugloss, called Longinus, canon of Cracow, a man of extraordinary learning and piety, who constantly refused all bishoprics and other dignities of the church and state which were pressed upon him. Uladislas, the eldest son, was elected King of Bohemia in 1471, and became King of Hungary in 1490. Our saint was the second son; John Albert the third son, succeeded the father in the kingdom of Poland in 1492; and Alexander, the fourth son, was called to the same in 1501. Casimir and the other princes were so affectionately attached to the holy man, who was their preceptor, that they could not bear to be separated from him. But Casimir profited most by his pious maxims and example. He consecrated the flower of his age to the exercises of devotion and penance, and had a horror of that softness and magnificence which reign in courts His clothes were very plain, and under them he wore a hair shirt. His bed was frequently the ground, and he spent a considerable part of the night in prayer and meditation, chiefly on the passion of our Saviour. He often went out in the night to pray before the church-doors; and in the morning waited before them till they were opened to assist at matins. By living always under a sense of the divine presence he remained perpetually united to, and absorbed in, his Creator, maintained an uninterrupted cheerfulness of temper, and was mild and affable to all. He respected the least ceremonies of the church: everything that tended to promote piety was dear to him. He was particularly devout to the passion of our blessed Saviour, the very thought of which excited him to tears, and threw him into transports of love. He was no less piously affected towards the sacrifice of the altar, at which he always assisted with such reverence and attention that he seemed in raptures. And as a mark of his singular devotion to the Blessed Virgin, he composed, or at least frequently recited, the long hymn that bears his name, a copy of which was, by his desire, buried with him. His love for Jesus Christ showed itself in his regard for the poor, who are his members, to whose relief he applied whatever he had, and employed his credit with his father, and his brother Uladislas, King of Bohemia, to procure them succour. His compassion made him feel in himself the afflictions of every one.
    The Palatines and other nobles of Hungary, dissatisfied with Matthias Corvin, their king, son of the great Huniades, begged the King of Poland to allow them to place his son Casimir on the throne. The saint, not then quite fifteen years of age, was very unwilling to consent; but in compliance with his father's will he went, at the head of an army of twenty thousand men, to the frontiers in 1471. There hearing that Matthias had formed an army of sixteen thousand men to defend him, and that all differences were accommodated between him and his people, and that Pope Sixtus IV had sent an embassy to divert his father from that expedition, he joyfully returned, having with difficulty obtained his father's consent so to do. However, as his dropping this project was disagreeable to the king his father, not to increase his affliction by appearing before him he did not go directly to Cracow, but retired to the Castle of Dobzki, three miles from that city, where he continued three months in the practice of penance. Having learned the injustice of the attempt against the King of Hungary, in which obedience to his father's command prevailed upon him to embark when he was very young, he could never be engaged to resume it by fresh pressing invitation of the Hungarians, or the iterated orders and entreaties of his father. The twelve years he lived after this he spent in sanctifying himself in the same manner as he had done before. He observed to the last an untainted chastity, notwithstanding the advice of physicians who excited him to marry, imagining, upon some false principle, this to be a means necessary to preserve his life. Being wasted with a lingering consumption, he foretold his last hour, and having prepared himself for it by redoubling his exercises of piety, and receiving the sacraments of the church, he made a happy end at Vilna, the capital of Lithuania, on the 4th of March, 1484, being twenty-three years and five months old. He was buried in the Church of St. Stanislas. So many were the miracles wrought by his intercession that Swiecicki, a canon of Vilna, wrote a whole volume of them from good memoirs in 1604. He was canonized by Pope Leo X, whose legate in Poland, Zachary Ferrier, wrote the saint's life. His body, and all the rich stuffs it was wrapped in, were found quite entire, and exhaling a sweet smell one hundred and twenty years after his death, notwithstanding the excessive moisture of the vault. It is honoured in a large rich chapel of marble, built on purpose in that church. St. Casimir is the patron of Poland and several other places, and is proposed to youth as a particular pattern of purity. His original picture is to be seen in his chapel in St. German des Prez in Paris, built by John Casimir, King of Poland, the last of the family of Waza, who, renouncing his crown, retired to Paris, and died Abbot of St. Germain's in 1668.
    What is there on earth which can engage the affections of a Christian, or be the object of his ambition, in whose soul God desires to establish his kingdom? Whoever has conceived a just idea of this immense happiness and dignity must look upon all the glittering bubbles of this world as empty and vain, and consider every thing in this life barely as it can advance or hinder the great object of all his desires. Few arrive at this happy and glorious state, because scarce any one seeks it with his whole heart, and has the courage sincerely to renounce all things and die to himself: and this precious jewel cannot be purchased upon any other terms. The kingdom of God can only be planted in a soul upon the ruins of self-love: so long as this reigns, it raises insuperable obstacles to the perfect establishment of the empire of divine love. The amiable Jesus lives in all souls which he animates by his sanctifying grace, and the Holy Ghost dwells in all such. But in most of these how many worldly maxims and inclinations diametrically opposite to those of our most holy heavenly king, hold their full sway! how many secret disorders and irregular attachments are cherished! how much is found of self-love, with which sometimes their spiritual exercises themselves are infected! The sovereign King of men and their merciful Redeemer is properly said to reign only in those souls which study effectually, and without reserve, to destroy in their affections whatever is opposite to his divine will, to subdue all their passions, and to subject all their powers to his holy love. Such fall not into any venial sins with full deliberation, and wipe away those of frailty into which they are betrayed, by the compunction and penance in which they constantly live, and by the constant attention with which they watch daily over themselves. They pray with the utmost earnestness that God deliver them from all the power of the enemy, and establish in all their affections the perfect empire of his grace and love; and to fulfil his will in the most perfect manner in all their actions is their most earnest desire and hearty endeavour. How bountifully does God reward, even in this life, those who are thus liberal toward him! St. Casimir, who had tasted of this happiness, and learned truly to value the heavenly grace, loathed all earthly pomp and delights. With what joy ought not all Christians, both rich and poor, to be filled when they hear: The kingdom of God is within you! With what ardor ought they not to devote themselves to make God reign perfectly in their hearts! How justly did St. Casimir prefer this pursuit to earthly kingdoms!

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