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Thursday, April 19, 2012

CATHOLIC NEWS WORLD : THURS. APRIL 19, 2012

AUSTRALIA : BISHOP FISHER`S DIVINE MERCY HOMILY
TODAY'S MASS ONLINE : THURS. APRIL 19, 2012
TODAY'S SAINT : APRIL 19 : ST. LEO IX
 
VATICAN : POPE : 7 YEAR ELECTION ANNIVERSARY - HUMBLE WORKER
RADIO VATICANA REPORT: "A simple humble worker in the vineyard of the Lord." Those were the modest words Pope Benedict used to describe himself in his first public speech following his election to the papacy 7 years ago this week. Those much-quoted remarks helped in some ways to set the tone for Pope Benedict’s reign. So what exactly do they reveal about the man who became the 256th Pontiff on that April day in 2005?

One person who knows Pope Benedict well is Father Joseph Fessio, a former theology student of Josef Ratzinger when he taught at the university of Regensburg in Germany. Father Fessio is now the editor of Ignatius Press that has published the English translation of almost all of Josef Ratzinger's books.

Asked about the personality of the Pope, Father Fessio says "he was a wonderful teacher, very kind, very intelligent... with an ironic sense of humour... .we all loved him." Father Fessio also has high words of praise for the Pope's skills as a theologian: He's not simply "one of history's great theologians, he's really a creative and original theologian"... somebody who "always finds a new insight, a new idea that will inspire you." When it comes to the main priorities of the Pope, Father Fessio says that the theme of new evangelisation, especially for Europe, "is a key motive of his papacy and that's why he took the name Benedict."

John Allen is the author of several books on the Catholic Church and one of the world’s best known commentators on Vatican and Church affairs. He works as the senior correspondent for the National Catholic Reporter in the U.S.

He says Pope Benedict confounded expectations of what he would be like at the time of his election: ..."the popular stereotype painted Josef Ratzinger as a strong, stern ,authoritarian figure, God's Rotweiller... instead he revealed himself to be a gentle, mild figure."

Allen says that Benedict "sees himself as a teaching Pope" and when asked about the highlights of his papacy, points to many of his foreign trips such as those to the US and the UK which turned out to be "pastoral and communication triumphs" and his three encyclicals which he predicts will "still be read by thinking Catholics" in centuries to come."
SOURCE: RADIO VATICANA
 
 

EUROPE : PRIEST ORDAINED AT HOSPITAL BED DIES 1 WEEK LATER

1-GRAHAM-TURNER-ORDINATION
The ordination ceremony took place at Salford Royal (Scotland) hospital chapel with the Bishop of Salford and Fr. Graham's relatives in attendence. “He participated fully and was aware of everything that was going on,” according to Cardinal O'Brien. “During the actual ordination, I anointed his hands and seminarian Jeremy Milne put the stole around his neck.”
“You are asked to pray for Graham as he continues his ongoing journey in the priesthood, being an excellent example to all of us in his embracing the Cross of Jesus Christ as he prepares for the glory of the Resurrection,” Cardinal O'Brien said. Sadly, Fr. Graham Turner passed away 1 week after his ordination; he was 48 years old.
(Image source/information: http://www.sconews.co.uk/ )

ASIA : IRAQ : 21 KILLED IN ATTACK IN BAGHDAD

ASIA NEWS REPORT:
Bombs go off in Baghdad, Kirkuk, Samarra, Dibis and Taji. No one has yet claimed responsibility but sources in Kirkuk tell AsiaNews that factional divisions among Iraqi parties are to blame.


Kirkuk (AsiaNews) - A series of blasts claimed 21 lives this morning in Baghdad, Kirkuk, Samarra, Dibis and Taji. Iraq's security forces and politicians appear to be the main target, including Health Minister Majeed Hamad Amin and Falah Abdul Rahman Mohammed, chairman of the Kirkuk Investment Commission. Today was the deadliest day in Iraq since 20 March, when shootings and bombings killed 55 people and wounded 255 nationwide.

In Baghdad, five blasts struck in various Shia neighbourhoods, killing seven people. Three blasts occurred in Kirkuk, in northern Iraq, killing nine. In Baquba, the capital of Diyala province, a suicide bomber blew himself up killing a police officer.

No one has yet claimed responsibility for the attacks. Sources in Kirkuk told AsiaNews that they appear to be connected with factional fighting among Iraqi parties.

Targets also included prominent military officers, police officials and businessmen. In Kurdistan, "the first bomb went off in Mileh, an Arab village 45 km from Kirkuk, killing five people. The second attack came in Baghdad road near Miqdad, causing two deaths and 15 wounded."

Sources say the target was Col Taha Salaheddin, a Turkmen and Kirkuk police chief, who was wounded.

"A few minutes later, another explosion occurred near the home of Falah Abdul Rahman Mohammed, a businessman and chairman of the Kirkuk Investment Commission. Two police officers were killed and four guards wounded," the sources added.

Experts believe the spate of attacks to be connected with growing tensions between Sunnis and Shias after the departure of US troops last December and the arrest order issued by Iraqi Prime Minister Nour al-Maliki, a Shia, against Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi, a Sunni.

Sources told AsiaNews that the 27 million-nation is breaking apart along confessional lines, completing a process of the partition that would divide the country into a majority Shia region (61 per cent of the population) and a minority Sunni zone (34 per cent, 17 per cent of whom are minority Kurds).

If this were ever to pass, the country's Christian and Yazidi minorities (4 per cent) could disappear. At present, they have already been reduced by half. (S.C.)

http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Attacks-against-officials-and-politicians-leave-21-dead-and-scores-of-wounded-24543.html

AUSTRALIA : BISHOP FISHER`S DIVINE MERCY HOMILY

DIOCESE OF PARRAMATTA REPORT:
The Homilies of Bishop Anthony Fisher
Homily - Second Sunday of Easter (Divine Mercy Sunday), 15 April 2012
Homily Second Sunday of Easter 2012
During the Divine Mercy Sunday Mass, Bishop Anthony invested John Spillane as a Papal Knight, in recognition of his many years of service to the Church in the Catholic Diocese of Parramatta.
Photography: Alphonsus Fok & Grace Lu

Download an audio version of this homily Download an audio version of this homily
Listen to this homily at Bishop Anthony's iTunes Podcasts
Introduction for Divine Mercy Sunday, Second Sunday of Easter Year B, St Patrick’s Cathedral, Parramatta, 15 April 2012
In today’s Gospel we see that Christ rose with those very wounds to which He submitted for the sake of all who are wounded by sin, anxiety or loneliness, shame or suffering. Even in glory He will not abandon His solidarity with the wounded. He is marked for all eternity with the tattoos of His life and death on His hands and feet and side, with the badges of divine mercy on His body. In our time devotion to the Divine Mercy devotion is celebrated especially on this ‘Low Sunday’ which is still Easter Day. And so as we are blessed with the Easter water we join St Thomas in repenting of our failures to believe in Christ’s resurrection and God’s mercy …
Homily for Low Sunday, Second Sunday of Easter Year B, St Patrick’s Cathedral, Parramatta, 15 April 2012
You might have seen the QandA debate on Easter Monday night on the ABC between the arch-atheist, Richard Dawkins, and the arch-bishop, George Pell. There’s lots we might say about that debate and the recent revival of old-fashioned rivalry between science and religion. One moment in the recent show that struck me as very much a Doubting Thomas moment, echoing today’s Gospel passage (Jn 20:19-31), was when Dawkins feigned astonishment that anyone really believed in the physical resurrection of Christ. He wondered aloud if it were just a metaphor, a poetical way of talking, rather like the way that Catholics say the Eucharist is the Body of Christ when ‘everyone’ knows it’s just bread.
What can we say to a world that is both fascinated with Christianity and incredulous about our talk of the Risen Christ and His Eucharistic Body?
Well, one thing we might say is that Dawkins is right to think Christian faith stands or falls on the Resurrection. From the 1st Century Christians and their opponents recognised this. Some sought to poo-poo the whole idea by claiming Jesus wasn’t really dead when they buried Him and that He later woke up and walked away. Others alleged that the Apostles had stolen the body, reburied it somewhere and then made up the whole risen-from-the-dead story. Still others said it was mass hallucination or hysteria – though they hadn’t invented the terms yet. St Paul himself says that if Christ is not truly risen then Christian faith and preaching are in vain; indeed that would make Christianity a lie, our salvation illusory, and “we are of all men most to be pitied” (1 Cor 15:12-19).
Paul’s point is still sound. Some people would like to delete from Christianity the Virginal conception of Jesus, His miracles, atoning death and physical resurrection, but keep the bits they like about Jesus as story-teller and teacher of the beatitudes. This has been called ‘Cafeteria Christianity’ or ‘Smorgasbord Catholicism’: picking and choosing according to taste. The ancient Greek word for such picking and choosing was αρεσις, heresy.
That won’t do for people who really know and love Christ and His Church. For them faith might not be simple, they may still have their questions, some things will clearly be more crucial than others. They won’t pretend that reading the Bible is easy or that a plain reading is always best. They know some Scriptures are in story-book form or poems or songs; some are law books or history books, wisdom sayings or prophesies; some are Gospels or epistles. Each conveys divine truth for our salvation. But to get that truth we have to consider what questions are being addressed, to whom and in what language. We have to read the Scriptures as a whole and within the Catholic tradition, not out of context. But if it’s really the Word of God we can’t just pick the bits we like or find easy and spit out the rest.
Some beliefs such as the Blessed Trinity or the Incarnation, Passion and Resurrection of Christ are deeply mysterious, but by that we don’t mean impossible to understand: no, we mean they are so intelligible we will spend our whole life and more coming to understand them. Some teachings are deeply challenging, but by that we don’t mean impossible to live: no, we mean they are so noble we’ll spend our whole life and more trying realise them. To say I’m a Christian but I find it hard to imagine what the resurrection will be like for us or was like for Christ is fair enough: we keep reading and listening, praying and contemplating, hoping that we are growing year by year in understanding, while humbly accepting we’ve still got a lot to learn. But what we can’t say, coherently, is that I’m a Christian and I don’t believe Christ rose from the dead. For Christians are precisely those who believe He did, and believe therefore that the Father has vindicated Christ and saved us through Him and given Him as a witness to how we ought to live and love.
Our Easter faith is this: that one man really has come back from the dead, not as a projection of the faith of His disciples, for none had the least idea of such a possibility and all of them a strong disinclination to believe it. One man has come back, not as a ghostly phenomenon, a spiritual experience, but in flesh and blood: “Put your finger here: look, here are my hands. Give me your hand; put it in my side.” One Man has come back and, as we heard in our first reading, this is what Christians have believed and preached, as their central proclamation, from the beginning (Acts 4:32-35).
So Prof Dawkins hit bullseye when he thought belief in the Risen Body of Christ was the lynchpin for Christian faith. By accident he hit upon another: belief in the Eucharistic Body of Christ. Again, he thought it entirely implausible, at best symbolic language. And again, the archbishop said: No, we really mean it, we really believe it, this is our Easter faith.
When Jesus instituted His Eucharist He made it clear that we must do this in His memory, not because nostalgia is good, not because He was afraid of being forgotten. We memorialise Him in this way because this makes His broken but glorified Body, His spilt but Precious Blood, available not just to doubting Apostles, but to every generation. The Body now enthroned in glory is by Easter made sacramentally present upon every altar of the world and so (at present) to 1.2 billion Catholics. We may be blessed, as Thomas was told, for believing without seeing Christ in the flesh, but we are blessed also to receive that same Body in a communion more intimate than we could have with any human being ‘in the flesh’.
Which brings me to a final point in the phoney war between science and religion. Science does so much good: modern medicine, transport and communications, electricity and many other wonderful things. But it has its shadow side: pollution, atomic bombs, nuclear disasters, terrible experiments. How do we distinguish good science from bad? How do we ensure it is good science that our best and brightest pursue, good technology that the rest of us enjoy? Science can’t answer that question, it can’t tell us what’s right and wrong. You have to turn to ethics, literature, history and, dare I say, religion for that. You need the gifts of faith and reason brought to bear on the most fundamental questions. And the most sublime wisdom ever offered to human beings, we believe, was Wisdom Incarnate, Wisdom in the flesh, in the Body. That wisdom is Someone who lived and taught, who died and rose from the dead, who is seated at the right hand of the Father but also present to transform us week by week at Mass. That Wisdom is Jesus Christ and He is truly risen as He said! Alleluia! http://www.parra.catholic.org.au/bishop-of-parramatta/most-rev-anthony-fisher-op/the-bishop-s-homilies.aspx/the-homilies-of-bishop-anthony-fisher/homily---second-sunday-of-easter--divine-mercy-sunday---15-april-2012.aspx

AFRICA : KENYA : CHURCHES TOLD TO HELP WOMEN

CISA NEWS REPORT: NAIROBI, April 17, 2012 (CISA) -Churches have been challenged to use their influence to assist women acquire political power.
Although the new Constitution has allocated one third of both parliamentary and county representatives to women, “fear has been expressed that they are not yet prepared for this,” said chairman of Kenya’s Commission for Revenue Allocation (CRA), Mr Micah Cheserem at a meeting at the National Council of Kenya (NCCK) headquarters held on April 17.
“I appeal to the Church to come up and assist women to benefit from this constitutional offer,” said Mr Cheserem, a former Governor of the country’s Central Bank.
He added that unlike its neighbours, Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda, Kenya had not fared well in getting women in political leaderships.
“This is a challenge our country should not take lightly,” he added.
In response, the NCCK general Secretary, Rev Canon Peter Karanja said that although the Church cannot claim to have done all what is expected from it in terms of empowering women, it was not at zero point.
He added that some issues pertaining to women empowerment have been carried out during civic education and will be revisited again before the country’s general elections, scheduled for early next year.
In his remarks during the plenary session, deputy NCCK general secretary, Mr Oliver Kisaka said women’s issues were seen as discriminated on due to people’s traditions than with the Church doctrine.
“The Church is not quiet on empowering women for more participation on the social, economic and political areas,” he emphasized.
http://www.cisanewsafrica.com/?p=5016

AMERICA : EL SALVADOR : PROTESTORS LEAVE CATHEDRAL

Agenzia Fides REPORT - At last, the Metropolitan Cathedral of San Salvador has been given back to the local Church. Yesterday the protesters who for more than three months, since 11 January 2012 (see Fides 16/01/2012), entered in the Metropolitan Cathedral of San Salvador occupying it, have left the Church, after a meeting with the Attorney for the Defense of Human Rights (PDDH), Oscar Luna and His Exc. Mgr. Gregorio Rosa Chavez, auxiliary Bishop of San Salvador. With the ringing bells and a visit to the crypt which treasures the tomb of Mgr. Oscar Arnulfo Romero, the act of returning the keys to the temple was completed, situated in the center of the city of San Salvador.
To leave the church, protesters have asked the PDDH to intervene with the Government, so that their demands are met and not forgotten, as Mgr. Rosa Chavez said in the note sent to Fides. The protesters ask for the reinstatement of certain employees of the National Civil Police (NCP) that were removed without due process, and also the reintegration of Luis Alberto Ortega in the Legislative Assembly, a family allowance (or food) to pensioners of war or their families. These requests will be studied by a commission created ad hoc, made up of Church representatives, the executive power and protesters. The date of the first meeting has not yet been announced.
Since the occupation had taken place in the Cathedral, Masses or other moments of prayer were not celebrated. Even during Holy Week and Easter it was closed and the celebrations were held at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, always in the center of the city of San Salvador. (CE) (Agenzia Fides 17/4/2012)

TODAY'S MASS ONLINE : THURS. APRIL 19, 2012


John 3: 31 - 36
31 He who comes from above is above all; he who is of the earth belongs to the earth, and of the earth he speaks; he who comes from heaven is above all.
32 He bears witness to what he has seen and heard, yet no one receives his testimony;
33 he who receives his testimony sets his seal to this, that God is true.
34 For he whom God has sent utters the words of God, for it is not by measure that he gives the Spirit;
35 the Father loves the Son, and has given all things into his hand.
36 He who believes in the Son has eternal life; he who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God rests upon him.


TODAY'S SAINT : APRIL 19 : ST. LEO IX

St. Leo IX
POPE
Feast: April 19


Information:
Feast Day: April 19
Born: 21 June 1002 at Egisheim, Alsace
Died: 19 April 1054 in Saint Peter's Basilica, Rome, Italy
Canonized: 1082
(1049-54), b. at Egisheim, near Colmar, on the borders of Alsace, 21 June, 1002; d. 19 April, 1054. He belonged to a noble family which had given or was to give saints to the Church and rulers to the Empire. He was named Bruno. His father Hugh was first cousin to Emperor Conrad, and both Hugh and his wife Heilewide were remarkable for their piety and learning. As a sign of the tender conscience which soon began to manifest itself in the saintly child, we are told that, though he had given abundant proofs of a bright mind, on one occasion he could not study out of an exceptionally beautiful book which his mother had bought and given to him. At length it transpired that the book had been stolen from the Abbey of St. Hubert in the Ardennes. When Heilewide had restored the volume to its rightful owners, the little Bruno's studies proceeded unchecked. When five years of age, he was committed to the care of the energetic Berthold, Bishop of Toul, who had a school for the sons of the nobility. Intelligent, graceful in body, and gracious in disposition, Bruno was a favourite with his schoolfellows. Whilst still a youth and at home for his holidays, he was attacked when asleep by some animal, and so much injured that for some time he lay between life and death. In that condition he saw, as he used afterwards to tell his friends, a vision of St. Benedict, who cured him by touching his wounds with a cross. This we are told by Leo's principal biographer, Wibert, who was his intimate friend when the saint was Bishop of Toul.
Bruno became a canon of St. Stephen's at Toul (1017), and though still quite young exerted a soothing influence on Herimann, the choleric successor of Bishop Berthold. When, in 1024, Conrad, Bruno's cousin, succeeded the Emperor Henry I, the saint's relatives sent him to the new king's court "to serve in his chapel". His virtue soon made itself felt, and his companions, to distinguish him from others who bore the same name, always spoke of him as "the good Bruno". In 1026 Conrad set out for Italy to make his authority respected in that portion of his dominions, and as Herimann, Bishop of Toul, was too old to lead his contingent into the peninsula, he entrusted the command of it to Bruno, then a deacon. There is reason to believe that this novel occupation was not altogether uncongenial to him, for soldiers seem always to have had an attraction for him. While he was thus in the midst of arms, Bishop Herimann died and Bruno was at once elected to succeed him. Conrad, who destined him for higher things, was loath to allow him to accept that insignificant see. But Bruno, who was wholly disinclined for the higher things, and wished to live in as much obscurity as possible, induced his sovereign to permit him to take the see. Consecrated in 1027, Bruno administered the Diocese of Toul for over twenty years, in a season of stress and trouble of all kinds. He had to contend not merely with famine, but also with war, to which as a frontier town Toul was much exposed. Bruno, however, was equal to his position. He knew how to make peace, and, if necessary, to wield the sword in self-defence. Sent by Conrad to Robert the Pious, he established so firm a peace between France and the empire that it was not again broken even during the reigns of the sons of both Conrad and Robert. On the other hand, he held his episcopal city against Eudes, Count of Blois, a rebel against Conrad, and "by his wisdom and exertions" added Burgundy to the empire. It was whilst he was bishop that he was saddened by the death not merely of his father and mother, but also of two of his brothers. Amid his trials Bruno found some consolation in music, in which he proved himself very efficient.
The German Pope Damasus II died in 1048, and the Romans sent to ask Henry III, Conrad's successor, to let them have as the new pope either Halinard, Archbishop of Lyons, or Bruno. Both of them were favourably known to the Romans by what they had seen of them when they came to Rome on pilgrimage. Henry at once fixed upon Bruno, who did all he could to avoid the honour which his sovereign wished to impose upon him. When at length he was overcome by the combined importunities of the emperor, the Germans, and the Romans, he agreed to go to Rome, and to accept the papacy if freely elected thereto by the Roman people. He wished, at least, to rescue the See of Peter from its servitude to the German emperors. When, in company with Hildebrand he reached Rome, and presented himself to its people clad in pilgrim's guise and barefooted, but still tall, and fair to look upon, they cried out with one voice that him and no other would they have as pope. Assuming the name of Leo, he was solemnly enthroned 12 February, 1049. Before Leo could do anything in the matter of the reform of the Church on which his heart was set, he had first to put down another attempt on the part of the ex-Pope Benedict IX to seize the papal throne. He had then to attent to money matters, as the papal finances were in a deplorable condition. To better them he put them in the hands of Hildebrand, a man capable of improving anything.
He then began the work of reform which was to give the next hundred years a character of their own, and which his great successor Gregory VII was to carry so far forward. In April, 1049, he held a synod at which he condemned the two notorious evils of the day, simony and clerical incontinence. Then he commenced those journeys throughout Europe in the cause of a reformation of manners which gave him a pre- eminent right to be styled Peregrinus Apostolicus. Leaving Rome in May, he held a council of reform at Pavia, and pushed on through Germany to Cologne, where he joined the Emperor Henry III. In union with him he brought about peace in Lorraine by excommunicating the rebel Godfrey the Bearded. Despite the jealous efforts of King Henry I to prevent him from coming to France, Leo next proceeded to Reims, where he held an important synod, at which both bishops and abbots from England assisted. There also assembled in the city to see the famous pope an enormous number of enthusiastic people, "Spaniards, Bretons, Franks, Irish, and English". Besides excommunicating the Archbishop of Compostela (because he had ventured to assume the title of Apostolicus, reserved to the pope alone), and forbidding marriage between William (afterwards called the Conqueror) and Matilda of Flanders, the assembly issued many decrees of reform. On his way back to Rome Leo held another synod at Mainz, everywhere rousing public opinion against the great evils of the time as he went along, and everywhere being received with unbounded enthusiasm. It is apparently in connexion with this return journey that we have the first mention of the Golden Rose. The Abbess of Woffenheim, in return for certain privileges bestowed by the pope, had to send to Rome "a golden rose" before Lætare Sunday, on which day, says Leo, the popes are wont to carry it. Also before he returned to Rome, he discussed with Adalbert, Archbishop of Bremen, the formation of all the Scandinavian countries, including Iceland and Greenland, into a patriarchate, of which the see was to be Bremen. The scheme was never accomplished, but meanwhile Leo authorized the consecration by Adalbert of the first native bishop for Iceland.
In January, 1050, Leo returned to Rome, only to leave it again almost immediately for Southern Italy, whither the sufferings of its people called him. They were being heavily oppressed by the Normans. To the expostulations of Leo the wily Normans replied with promises, and when the pope, after holding a council at Spoleto, returned to Rome, they continued their oppressions as before. At the usual paschal synod which Leo was in the habit of holding at Rome, the heresy of Berengarius of Tours was condemned&#mdash;a condemnation repeated by the pope a few months later at Vercelli. Before the year 1050 had come to a close, Leo had begun his second transalpine journey. He went first to Toul, in order solemnly to translate the relics of Gerard, bishop of that city, whom he had just canonized, and then to Germany to interview the Emperor Henry the Black. One of the results of this meeting was that Hunfrid, Archbishop of Ravenna, was compelled by the emperor to cease acting as though he were the independent ruler of Ravenna and its district, and to submit to the pope. Returning to Rome, Leo held another of his paschal synods in April, 1051, and in July went to take possession of Benevento. Harassed by their enemies, the Beneventans concluded that their only hope of peace was to submit themselves to the authority of the pope. This they did, and received Leo into their city with the greatest honour. While in this vicinity, Leo again made further efforts to lessen the excesses of the Normans, but they were crippled by the native Lombards, who with as much folly as wickedness massacred a number of the Normans in Apulia. Realizing that nothing could then be done with the irate Norman survivors, Leo retraced his steps to Rome (1051).
The Norman question was henceforth ever present to the pope's mind. Constantly oppressed by the Normans, the people of Southern Italy ceased not to implore the pope to come and help them. The Greeks, fearful of being expelled from the peninsula altogether, begged Leo to co-operate with them against the common foe. Thus urged, Leo sought assistance on all sides. Failing to obtain it, he again tried the effect of personal mediation (1052). But again failure attended his efforts. He began to be convinced that appeal would have to be made to the sword. At this juncture an embassy arrived from the Hungarians, entreating him to come and make peace between them and the emperor. Again Leo crossed the Alps, but, thinking he was sure of success, Henry would not accept the terms proposed by the pope, with the result that his expedition against the Hungarians proved a failure. And though he at first undertook to let Leo have a German force to act against the Normans, he afterwards withdrew his promise, and the pope had to return to Italy with only a few German troops raised by his relatives (1053). In March, 1053, Leo was back in Rome. Finding the state of affairs in Southern Italy worse than ever, he raised what forces he could among the Italian princes, and, declaring war on the Normans, tried to effect a junction with the Greek general. But the Normans defeated first the Greeks and then the pope at Civitella (June, 1053). After the battle Leo gave himself up to his conquerors, who treated him with the utmost respect and consideration, and professed themselves his soldiers.
Though he gained more by defeat than he could have gained by victory, Leo betook himself to Benevento, a broken-hearted man. The slain at Civitella were ever before him, and he was profoundly troubled by the attitude of Michael Cærularius, Patriarch of Constantinople. That ambitious prelate was determined, if possible, to have no superior in either Church or State. As early as 1042, he had struck the pope's name off the sacred diptychs, and soon proceeded, first in private and then in public, to attack the Latin Church because it used unfermented bread (azymes) in the Sacrifice of the Mass. At length, and that, too, in a most barbarous manner, he closed the Latin churches in Constantinople. In reply to this violence, Leo addressed a strong letter to Michael (Sept., 1053), and began to study Greek in order the better to understand the matters in dispute. However, if Michael had taken advantage of the pope's difficulties with the Normans to push his plans, the Greek Emperor, seeing that his hold on Southern Italy was endangered by the Norman success, put pressure on the patriarch to make him more respectful to the pope. To the conciliatory letters which Constantine and Cærularius now dispatched to Rome, Leo sent suitable replies (Jan., 1054), blaming the arrogance of the patriarch. His letters were conveyed by two distinguished cardinals, Humbert and Frederick, but he had departed this life before the momentous issue of his embassy was known in Rome. On 16 July, 1054, the two cardinals excommunicated Cærularius, and the East was finally cut off from the body of the Church.
The annals of England show that Leo had many relations with that country, and its saintly King Edward. He dispensed the king from a vow which he had taken to make a pilgrimage to Rome, on condition that he give alms to the poor, and endow a monastery in honour of St. Peter. Leo also authorized the translation of the See of Crediton to Exeter, and forbade the consecration of the unworthy Abbot of Abingdon (Spearhafor) as Bishop of London. Throughout the troubles which Robert of Jumièges, Archbishop of Canterbury, had with the family of Earl Godwin, he received the support of the pope, who sent him the pallium and condemned Stigand, the usurper of his see (1053?). King Macbeth, the supposed murderer of Duncan, whom Shakespeare has immortalized, is believed to have visited Rome during Leo's pontificate, and may be thought to have exposed the needs of his soul to that tender father. After the battle of Civitella Leo never recovered his spirits. Seized at length with a mortal illness, he caused himself to be carried to Rome (March, 1054), where he died a most edifying death. He was buried in St. Peter's, was a worker of miracles both in life and in death, and found a place in the Roman Martyrology.
(Taken From Catholic Encyclopedia)


source: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/L/stleoix.asp#ixzz1sUI6ti8U



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