Friday, April 13, 2012



Vatican City, 13 April 2012 (VIS) - An Italian book entitled "Il Santo Padre e i volontari europei" was presented this morning at the headquarters of the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum" by Cardinal Robert Sarah and Msgr. Giampietro Dal Toso, respectively president and secretary of the council, and by Michel Roy, secretary of Caritas Internationalis. (IMAGE SOURCE: RADIO VATICANA)
A communique released by "Cor Unum" explains that the book contains, "apart from an address by the Pope on the subject of voluntary work, the most important contributions made during a conference on that topic held in the Vatican last year. The conference, which took place in the context of the European Year of Volunteering, was attended by bishops with pastoral responsibility for charitable work and representatives of European charity organisations". The presentation "will also serve to focus on future Church strategies in this field", the communique says.
Speaking during last November's conference Kristalina Georgieva, European Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, focused on the civic importance of voluntary work, especially in view of the current economic and cultural crisis. She also recalled that around twenty per cent of the European population undertakes some kind of voluntary activity. "Volunteer work", she said, "is a great resource for Europe and part of the continent's DNA".
Addressing the participants at the end of the conference last year, Benedict XVI noted that their meeting was taking place on the liturgical memorial of St. Martin of Tours. "Often portrayed sharing his mantle with a poor man", he said, "Martin became a model of charity throughout Europe and indeed the whole world. Nowadays, volunteer work as a service of charity has become a universally recognised element of our modern culture. Nonetheless, its origins can still be seen in the particularly Christian concern for safeguarding, without discrimination, the dignity of the human person created in the image and likeness of God. If these spiritual roots are denied or obscured and the criteria of our collaboration become purely utilitarian, what is most distinctive about the service you provide risks being lost, to the detriment of society as a whole".

Vatican City, 13 April 2012 (VIS) - The annual report for 2011 on the implementation of the U.S. Church's "Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People" was presented recently in the United States. The Charter, which advocates a zero tolerance policy, was promulgated by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in 2002 and is observed by all Catholic dioceses in the country. It contains a series of rules and makes prevision for periodic checks to control efficiency and determine the need for any further improvements.
According to an article in the "Osservatore Romano", the results for 2011 throw light on ongoing efforts to ensure the protection of children and young people from sexual abuse by the clergy, a commitment which constitutes a priority for the local Church. The report shows that almost all the the archdioceses, dioceses and eparchies in the U.S.A. have respected the rules laid down in the Charter. The Charter itself was updated last year by introducing the offence of child pornography, and by placing abuse against people with disabilities on a par with abuse against minors.
The annual report includes 683 new complaints of abuse made by adults, most of which refer to incidents which took place between 1960 and 1984. Assistance programmes have been offered to the people involved and 453 of them have accepted. The report also includes twenty-one accusations presented by minors; some of these have been considered reliable by the police, three have turned out to be false and the rest are still being investigated. As for those accused, 253 have since died, 58 have been reduced to the lay state and 281 have been relieved of their pastoral duties.
The bishops note that the results must not encourage a lowering of guard. Presenting the 2011 report, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, archbishop of New York and president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, highlights how "even if most of the complaints refer to the past, the Church must remain vigilant. She must do everything possible to ensure the abuses are not repeated, We must all continue to work for complete healing and reconciliation with the victims". For the bishops, the question of abuse "is a shared priority", he says. In earlier remarks Cardinal Dolan had emphasised that all priests found guilty of "these intolerable crimes" will be permanently removed from the ministry.
The report also recalls how more than two million volunteers throughout the country have participated in training courses on protection, held in parishes and schools. Moreover, more than 4.8 million children have been taught how to recognise and protect themselves from attempts at abuse. The U.S. Church's efforts in this field include a series of initiatives culminating in the National Child Abuse Prevention Month, held each year in April.

Vatican City, 13 April 2012 (VIS) - A congress entitled "From Parables to Twitter" is due to begin this afternoon at the "Istituto Massimo" in Rome. It will focus on the challenges and opportunities for evangelisation presented by modern communications technology.
The conference will begin with some remarks by Fr. Francesco Tata S.J., rector of the "Istituto Massimo". Participants will include Ettore Franzini, professor of new communications media at Rome's LUMSA University; Fabio Bolzetta, journalist of TV2000 and spokesperson of "WeCa", the association of Catholic webmasters, and Lucandrea Massaro, social media editor of "Aleteia", a Christian social network created under the patronage of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications and the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelisation. The moderator of the event will be Alessandro Gisotti, a Vatican Radio journalist.

Vatican City, 13 April 2012 (VIS) - Msgr. Cesare Pasini, prefect of the Vatican Apostolic Library, announced in yesterday's "Osservatore Romano" that over the next five years 1.5 million pages of manuscripts and incunabula held in the Vatican and in the Bodleian Library in Oxford will be be transferred into digital format. This is the largest such initiative yet carried out by the Vatican Library and is being put into effect with the assistance of the Polonsky Foundation.
Two thirds of the works to be digitised - around one million pages or 2,500 books - will be chosen from the Greek and Hebrew manuscripts and incunabula in the Vatican Apostolic Library. The institution possesses 8,900 incunabula, making it the fourth largest collection in the world. A catalogue of the incunabula has recently been published on the internet and, thanks to this latest project, it is hoped to make more than 800 complete works available online. They include the famous "De Europa" by Pope Pius II, printed by Albrecht Kunne in Memmingen before 1491, and the 42-Line Latin Bible of Johann Gutenberg, the first book printed using moveable type, between 1454 and 1455.
Certain particularly important Hebrew manuscripts are also due to be digitised, including the "Sifra", written some time between the end of the ninth and the middle of the tenth century and perhaps the oldest surviving Jewish codex; a Bible written in Italy around the year 1100; commentaries on the Bible and the Talmud; Halakhah and Kabbalah, as well as writings on philosophy, medicine and astronomy.
Among the Greek manuscripts to be transferred into digital format are works by Homer, Sophocles, Plato and Hypocrites, as well as New Testament codices and works by Church Fathers, many decorated with Byzantine miniatures.
As well as its 8,900 incunabula, the Vatican Apostolic Library also possesses more than 80,000 manuscripts. Msgr. Pasini explains that transferring them to digital format is a way of "better conserving cultural heritage, facilitating consultation and ensuring a high-quality reproduction before any eventual degradation of the original. It also means making those works immediately accessible to many more people online".
The Vatican Apostolic Library’s digitisation project began two years ago, since when the number of manuscripts available in digital format has been gradually increasing thanks to the efforts of the library's own reproduction laboratory. There are also a number of initiatives under way in collaboration with other cultural institutions, such as the ongoing digitisation of the Latin Palatine manuscripts being carried out with the University of Heidelberg.


BABY survives after 12 hours in morgue. When her parents came to get a last look at her in the morgue freezer they heard her cry out.
The child was born at 1 pound 12 ounces and pronounced dead. Her parents have named her Luz Milagros Veron or 'miracle of light'. Her father is quoted as saying, “Today is the eighth day of my daughter’s resurrection." The Doctors and nurses involved in the birth have been suspended until further investigations. She was born at Perrando Hospital in northeast Argentina. Luz was 3 months pre-mature and had no heart beat or vital signs at birth.
Catholic Church News Image of Miracle of 1 kg. baby who survived 10 hours in the morgue freezer
(Image source: UCAN)


RMS Titanic: the untold story | Titanic, David Alton

RMS Titanic
This weekend will mark the 100th anniversary of the sinking of RMS Titanic on her maiden voyage. Titanic never made it to Liverpool, where she was designed and registered, but Lord David Alton reveals the little-known story of the ship’s historical and ongoing links with Catholic life in the city.

At 11.40pm on 14 April, one hundred years ago, RMS Titanic collided with an iceberg 375 miles south of Newfoundland as she sailed on her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York.

Built in Belfast by Harland and Wolff, she was operated by White Star Line. There were around 2,200 people aboard Titanic when she sank, including some 900 crew.
To continue reading David Alton's article on Thinking Faith see:


The launch took place at 7.39, but the missile blew up after 2 minutes. North Korea threatens anyone who dares to collect the remains. Condemnation of Seoul, Tokyo and Washington. The silence of Beijing. Unknown consequences on the power of Kim Jong-un.

Seoul (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The government of North Korea has announced that the much anticipated launch of the long-range missile has failed, while South and the United States speak of a "provocation".

In a brief statement, the official KCNA news agency said today that "the earth observation satellite failed to reach orbit." The admission of failure - very rare among the North Koreans - came hours after South Korea and the United States had confirmed that the test of ballistic missile had failed.

The KCNA also said that scientists, engineers and experts are studying the causes of the disaster.

The Unha 3 missile, launched this morning at about 7:39, exploded after one or two minutes, crumbling into about 20 pieces, falling in international waters about 160 miles west of Seoul. The Ministry of Defence of the South has said its military is trying to recover in the fragments. The North has threatened retaliation against anyone who intercepts or collects the remains of the missile.

South Korea condemned the launch as a provocation and a threat to peace and stability in the region, a White House spokesman, Jay Carney, said that "Despite the failure of the attempt to launch the missile, the provocation of North Korea is a threat to regional security, violates international law and contradicts its recent engagements. "

According to the U.S., Japan and South Korea the rocket launch was a test for the launch of long range nuclear missiles which goes against the agreement signed last February between Pyongyang and Washington. It foresaw the end of the nuclear missile tests in return for 240 thousand tons of food from the U.S.. North Korea says the rocket only carried a satellite to study meteorology, and was intended to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of the late Kim Il Sung on April 15.

To mark the celebration, today the North's parliament was to meet to strengthen the position of the new leader Kim Jong-un, who two days ago was acclaimed "First Secretary" of the Party.

It is not yet clear whether the gathering will still go ahead and what the consequences will be. Meanwhile, today, the North's newspaper, the Rodong Sinmun, carries an editorial on Kim Jong-un, "the sun that all the companions, the servants and the people cheered from the depth of the their heartfelt desire."

The failed launch today foresaw a path along the west of the Korean Peninsula and in a stretch of sea between Japan and the Philippines.

China, North Korea's closest ally has not yet made any official statement on the launch. In reporting the news, Xinhua merely quotes foreign agencies. The United States has decided to record the fact as a "provocation" before the UN Security Council.

In 2009 North Korea conducted a test similar to that of today, with the launch of a missile. Then the U.S. and South Korea said that the missile had failed to enter orbit. Pyongyang said that instead the launch was a success.,-Satellite-launch-fails.-Seoul:-A-provocation-24487.html


Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
13 Apr 2012

Minister Chris Bowen
and Bishop Max Davis
Many walk the corridors of power in Federal Parliament but just before Easter, the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Chris Bowen went one step further.
In one sitting week he not only clocked up a staggering 38.5 kilometres as part of his normal day-to-day duties in Parliament's halls and chambers but also managed to raise $650 for Caritas Australia.
At the beginning of the week, sponsored by some of those in his office along with several Parliamentary colleagues, Minister Bowen strapped on a pedometer. Within three days he discovered he'd taken 34,000 steps and by week's end it was more than double that amount.
"Parliament may not seem like the most ideal place to walk to raise funds and I was surprised at how much distance I actually covered," he admits with a smile.
Although a long time admirer of Caritas, the Minister with his crowded schedule and Parliamentary commitments was unsure how he could become involved with Project Compassion and help raise funds for the agency. Which is when Bishop Max Davis, the Canberra-based Bishop of the Military Ordinariate suggested "Caritas KS".
"Walking in support of the poor was really was the least I could do, especially when so many people have to walk long distances in far more difficult circumstances every day of their lives," Minister Bowen says.

Counting steps to raise funds
Throughout Lent, Minister Bowen along with thousands of other Australian men, women and children helped raise funds for Project Compassion, the annual fundraiser of Caritas, the Church's International Aid and Development agency. Many like the Minister took part in Caritas Ks with each finding a sponsor or sponsors for each kilometre covered during a week, fortnight or the entire Lenten period.
Now in its 48th year, Project Compassion has become an integral part of Lent and this year the campaign not only hopes to raise awareness about global poverty but hopes to equal last year's record amount of $9.7 million.
All monies from Project Compassion 2012 will go to support communities in Asia, Africa, the Pacific, Latin America as well as Australia's remote Indigenous communities in Northern Australia where Caritas teams are on the ground making a difference to hundreds of thousands of lives.
"Caritas is about helping people help themselves. It is also about delivering justice and peace which in turn leads to stability and security," says Jack de Groot, CEO of Caritas Australia.
The world's largest aid agency after Red Cross, Caritas Australia and Caritas agencies globally, provide ongoing help and assistance to the world's poorest communities. Through education and improved agriculture, hygiene, medical care, accessible fresh water and schools, teams from Caritas help communities break the cycle of poverty and become self sufficient.
Caritas emergency relief teams are also an important part of the agency's work. In times of natural disasters, the quick response teams are on the ground providing tents, food, potable water and medical care. In the past year among those Caritas has helped are victims of Japan's devastating tsunami, East Africa's ongoing famine and those caught up in the floods that swept through Thailand and South East Asia.

Minister Chris Bowen
and Bishop Max Davis
Throughout Lent, Australians from all walks of life as well as schools, community groups, sporting bodies and local organisations band together to raise funds for Project Compassion in a bid to combat global poverty and support the work of Caritas in 220 countries across the world.
The way funds are raised varies from group to group and individual to individual. Some hold fetes, others put on concerts, clean cars, mow lawns, take up dog walking or hold weekly bake sales. There are as many different and innovative ways to raise funds as there people taking part. But the Caritas Ks sponsored walk initiative is new and thousands including Minister Bowen have embraced the idea.
"It's a simple concept and arises from the fact that in developing countries people often have to travel for hours to reach basic requirements such as fresh water," Jack de Groot explains.
"Caritas is such a great charity and doing tremendous work for those who are less fortunate than ourselves that I was delighted to be able to take part and give my support," says Minister Bowen.
Although Project Compassion officially ends with Easter, donations and funds are still being received with the total amount raised for 2012 not finalised until later in the year. If you wish to give to support the agency's all important work, go to


Agenzia Fides report - "This morning the situation is calm, even if the radios are closed and do not transmit. It is therefore difficult to obtain reliable information " say to Fides local sources from Bissau, capital of Guinea Bissau, where last night a group of soldiers attempted a coup.
"At the moment there are no clashes. There were some yesterday in front of the residence of Prime Minister Carlos Domingos Gomes Junior. At the moment we do not know what has happened to the Premier: some sources say he has been arrested by the military coup, while others say that he may be hidden. But it is very difficult to obtain reliable information ", conclude our sources, which for security reasons wish to remain anonymous.
The coup leaders said they had arrested several members of the government. Gomes Junior was running in the second round of presidential elections, scheduled on April 29, against the opposition leader Kumba Yala, but he said it wanted to boycott the vote because of irregularities in the first round. (L.M.)


John 21: 1 - 14
1 After this Jesus revealed himself again to the disciples by the Sea of Tibe'ri-as; and he revealed himself in this way.
2 Simon Peter, Thomas called the Twin, Nathan'a-el of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zeb'edee, and two others of his disciples were together.
3 Simon Peter said to them, "I am going fishing." They said to him, "We will go with you." They went out and got into the boat; but that night they caught nothing.
4 Just as day was breaking, Jesus stood on the beach; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus.
5 Jesus said to them, "Children, have you any fish?" They answered him, "No."
6 He said to them, "Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some." So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in, for the quantity of fish.
7 That disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, "It is the Lord!" When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his clothes, for he was stripped for work, and sprang into the sea.
8 But the other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish, for they were not far from the land, but about a hundred yards off.
9 When they got out on land, they saw a charcoal fire there, with fish lying on it, and bread.
10 Jesus said to them, "Bring some of the fish that you have just caught."
11 So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, a hundred and fifty-three of them; and although there were so many, the net was not torn.
12 Jesus said to them, "Come and have breakfast." Now none of the disciples dared ask him, "Who are you?" They knew it was the Lord.
13 Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and so with the fish.
14 This was now the third time that Jesus was revealed to the disciples after he was raised from the dead.


Pope St. Martin I
Feast: April 13

Feast Day: April 11
Born: Todi, Tuscany, Italy
Died: 655 at Cherson, Crimea
Martyr, born at Todi on the Tiber, son of Fabricius; elected Pope at Rome, 21 July, 649, to succeed Theodore I; died at Cherson in the present peninsulas of Krym, 16 Sept., 655, after a reign of 6 years, one month and twenty six days, having ordained eleven priests, five deacons and thirty-three bishops. 5 July is the date commonly given for his election, but 21 July (given by Lobkowitz, "Statistik der Papste" Freiburg, 1905) seems to correspond better with the date of his death and reign (Duchesne "Lib. Pont.", I, 336); his feast is on 12 November.The Greeks honor him on 13 April and 15 September, the Muscovites on 14 April. In the hymns of the Office the Greeks style him infallibilis fidei magister because he was the successor of St. Peter in the See of Rome (Nilles, "Calendarium Manuale", Innsbruck, 1896, I, 336).
Martin, one of the noblest figures in a long line of Roman pontiffs (Hodgkin, "Italy", VI, 268) was, according to his biographer Theodore (Mai, "Spicil. Rom.", IV 293) of noble birth, a great student, of commanding intelligence, of profound learning, and of great charity to the poor. Piazza, II 45 7 states that he belonged to the order of St. Basil. He governed the Church at a time when the leaders of the Monothelite heresy, supported by the emperor, were making most strenuous efforts to spread their tenets in the East and West. Pope Theodore had sent Martin as apocrysiary to Constantinople to make arrangements for canonical deposition of the heretical patriarch, Pyrrhus. After his election, Martin had himself consecrated without waiting for the imperial confirmation, and soon called a council in the Lateran at which one hundred and five bishops met. Five sessions were held on 5, 8, 17, 119 and 31 Oct., 649 (Hefele, "Conciliengeschichte", III, 190). The "Ecthesis" of Heraclius and the "Typus" of Constans II were rejected; nominal excommunication was passed against Sergius, Pyrrus, and Paul of Constantinople, Cyrus of Alexandria and Theodore of Phran in Arabia; twenty canons were enacted defining the Catholic doctrine on the two wills of Christ. The decrees signed by the pope and the assembled bishops were sent to the other bishops and the faithful of the world together with an encyclical of Martin. The Acts with a Greek translation were also sent to the Emperor Constans II.
The pope appointed John, Bishop of Philadelphia, as his vicar in the East with necessary instructions and full authority . Bishop Paul of Thessalonica refused to recall his heretical letters previously sent to Rome and added others,—he was, therefore, formally excommunicated and deposed. The Patriarch of Constantinople, Paul, had urged the emperor to use drastic means to force the pope and the Western Bishops at least to subscribe to the "Typus". The emperor sent Olympius as exarch to Italy, where he arrived while the council was still in session. Olympius tried to create a faction among the fathers to favor the views of the emperor, but without success. Then upon pretense of reconciliation he wished to receive Holy Communion from the hands of the pontiff with the intention of slaying him. But Divine Providence protected the pope, and Olympius left Rome to fight against the Saracens in Sicily and died there. Constans II thwarted in his plans, sent as exarch Theodore Calliopas with orders to bring Martin to Constantinople. Calliopas arrived in Rome, 15 June, 653, and, entering the Lateran Basilica two days later, informed the clergy that Martin had been deposed as an unworthy intruder, that he must be brought to Constantinople and that another was to be chosen in his place. The pope, wishing to avoid the shedding of human blood, forbade resistance and declared himself willing to be brought before the emperor. The saintly prisoner, accompanied by only a few attendants, and suffering much from bodily ailments and privations, arrived at Constantinople on 17 Sept., 653 or 654, having landed nowhere except the island of Naxos. The letters of the pope seem to indicate he was kept at Naxos for a year. Jaffe, n. 1608, and Ewald, n 2079, consider the annum fecimus an interpolation and would allow only a very short stop at Naxos, which granted the pope an opportunity to enjoy a bath. Duchesne, "Lib. Pont.", I, 336 can see no reason for abandoning the original account; Hefele,"Conciliengeschichte" III, 212, held the same view (see "Zeitschr. für Kath. Theol.", 1892, XVI, 375).
From Abydos messengers were sent to the imperial city to announce the arrival of the prisoner who was branded as a heretic and rebel, an enemy of God and of the State. Upon his arrival in Constantinople Martin was left for several hours on deck exposed to the jests and insults of a curious crowd of spectators. Towards evening he was brought to a prison called Prandearia and kept in close and cruel confinement for ninety-three days, suffering from hunger, cold and thirst. All this did not break his energy and on 19 December he was brought before the assembled senate where the imperial treasurer acted as judge. Various political charges were made, but the true and only charge was the pope's refusal to sign the "Typus". He was then carried to an open space in full view of the emperor and of a large crowd of people. These were asked to pass anathema upon the pope to which but few responded. Numberless indignities were heaped upon him, he was stripped of nearly all his clothing, loaded with chains, dragged through the streets of the city and then again thrown into the prison of Diomede, where he remained for eighty five days. Perhaps influenced by the death of Paul, Patriarch of Constantinople, Constans did not sentence the pope to death, but to exile. He was put on board a ship, 26 March, 654 (655) and arrived at his destination on 15 May. Cherson was at the time suffering from a great famine. The venerable pontiff here passed the remaining days of his life. He was buried in the church of Our Lady, called Blachernæ, near Cherson, and many miracles are related as wrought by St Martin in life and after death. The greater part of his relics are said to have been transferred to Rome, where they repose in the church of San Martino ai Monti. Of his letters seventeen are extant in P.L., LXXXVII, 119.

(Taken From Catholic Encyclopedia)


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