Friday, May 18, 2012


Vatican City, 18 May 2012 (VIS) - Today the Holy Father received the final group from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, whose prelates have been travelling to Rome over the past six months on their quinquennial "ad limina Apostolorum" visits. (image source: RADIO VATICANA)
In previous meetings, different groups of bishops emphasized the importance of preserving and fostering the gift of Catholic unity as an essential condition for the fulfilment of the Church’s mission in their country. Responding to this concern, Benedict XVI focused his address this morning on the need to incorporate the rich patrimony of faith and culture contributed by the many Catholic immigrants into the Church in America.
The Pope began by praising the work carried out by the Church in America, to respond to the phenomenon of immigration: "The Catholic community in the United States continues, with great generosity, to welcome waves of new immigrants, to provide them with pastoral care and charitable assistance, and to support ways of regularizing their situation, especially with regard to the unification of families. A particular sign of this is the long-standing commitment of the American Bishops to immigration reform. ... It is ... of profound concern to the Church, since it involves ensuring the just treatment and the defence of the human dignity of immigrants".
The Church in America, the Pope said to the bishops, "is called to embrace, incorporate and cultivate the rich patrimony of faith and culture present in America's many immigrant groups, including ... the swelling numbers of Hispanic, Asian and African Catholics. The demanding pastoral task of fostering a communion of cultures within your local churches must be considered of particular importance in the exercise of your ministry at the service of unity. This diaconia of communion entails more than simply respecting linguistic diversity, promoting sound traditions, and providing much-needed social programs and services. It also calls for a commitment to ongoing preaching, catechesis and pastoral activity aimed at inspiring in all the faithful a deeper sense of their communion in the apostolic faith and their responsibility for the Church's mission in the United States. ... the immense promise and the vibrant energies of a new generation ofCatholics are waiting to be tapped for the renewal of the Church’s life and the rebuilding of the fabric of American society".
In this context, Benedict XVI emphasized the role of the consecrated life: "The urgent need in our own time for credible and attractive witnesses to the redemptive and transformative power of the Gospel makes it essential to recapture a sense of the sublime dignity and beauty of the consecrated life". We must, therefore, "pray for religious vocations and promote them actively, while strengthening existing channels for communication and cooperation" present in each diocese.
In conclusion, the Pope expressed his hope that the Year of Faith, which will begin in October, "will awaken a desire on the part of the entire Catholic community in America to reappropriate with joy and gratitude the priceless treasure of our faith. With the progressive weakening of traditional Christian values, and the threat of a season in which our fidelity to the Gospel may cost us dearly, the truth of Christ needs not only to be understood, articulated, and defended, but to be proposed joyfully and confidently as the key to authentic human fulfilment and to the welfare of society as a whole".

Vatican City, 18 May 2012 (VIS) - This morning the Paul VI Chair, which will be instituted at LUMSA (Libera Università Maria SS. Assunta) University in Rome, was presented in the Holy See Press Office. In attendance were: Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, prefect emeritus of the Congregation for Bishops; Giuseppe Dalla Torre, Rector of LUMSA; Michele Bonetti, member of the executive committee of the Paul VI Institute in Brescia; and Sergio Gatti, general director of Federcasse.
Cardinal Re praised the initiative of including the chair dedicated to Paul VI in the sphere of the coursework on contemporary history at LUMSA because "the footprints of his work in history - as the priest in charge of the Italian Federation of Catholic Universities (FUCI), as well as Secretary of State of his Holiness, and later as Archbishop of Milan and Pope - have not been erased or discoloured with the passing of time. On the contrary, they have been made stronger. Pope Montini was one of the great protagonists of the 20th century".
Paul VI has a place in history, above all for his guidance of the Second Vatican Council, the cardinal affirmed. Even if the merit of calling for and opening the Council falls to Blessed John XXIII, "Paul VI led it with an expert and sure hand, respectful of the Fathers of the Church but firm". For example, "his decision to publish the famous 'Nota praevia', on collegiality and Petrine primacy established the authoritative and proper interpretation of the matter".
He also "loved and esteemed his day and looked at the modern world with sympathetic eyes, seeking the reconciliation between the modern age and the Christian faith. There are few like him who have known how to read the anxieties, the worries, the desires, and the weariness of the human being in our days. As Pope he made historic gestures and, as these were carried out for the first time by a pontiff, they can be considered 'firsts': He was the first Pope to ride in an airplane; the first to return to Palestine; the first t renounce the crown, earmarking the proceeds of its sale to the poor; the first to go to the United Nations; and the Pope who abolished the pontifical court, bringing a simpler lifestyle to the Pontifical Household".
The historical investigation to be carried out under the chair instituted at LUMSA will be very useful for analysing two little know chapters of Giovanni Battista Montini's life. The first is the work of formation of the members of the Italian Federation of Catholic Universities because the Pope "had an innate passion for the formation of persons: religious, but also civil, social, and in some way even political formation".
The second is the impressive charitable activity of human and social assistance that he organized and directed during World War II ... through the creation of Vatican Relief for contact with prisoners and his personal and untiring dedication to feed Jewish and political refugees hidden in convents and religious institutions. This was in compliance with Pius XII's wishes but the dedication with which he devoted himself to this task, asking assistance from nations not at war that they send ships full of provisions to Civitavecchia, north of Rome, merit appreciation and admiration. The 'Montini Chair'", concluded the cardinal, "will also contribute to our remembrance".

Vatican City, 18 May 2012 (VIS) - This afternoon in the Clementine Hall of the Apostolic Palace, the Holy Father attended a viewing of "Mary of Nazareth", a coproduction of RaiFiction, Lux Vide, BetaFilm, Tellux, Bayerischer Rundfunk, and Telecinco Cinema directed by Giacomo Campiotti.
At the end of the screening the Pope addressed a few words on the film that focuses on three female protagonists: Herodias, Mary Magdalene, and Mary of Nazareth, whose lives cross but who choose different paths.
"Herodias", Benedict XVI said, "remains locked within herself and her world. She is unable to raise her gaze to read the signs from God and she is not freed from evil. Mary Magdalene's experience is more complicated. She is attracted by the appeal of an easy life rooted in material things and uses various means for getting her own way up until the dramatic moment when she is judged and is faced with her own life. Her encounter with Jesus opens her heart and changes her existence. But the centre is Mary of Nazareth who possesses the wealth of a life that has been a "Here I am" for God. She is a mother who would have always wanted to keep her son at her side, but she knows that He is God. Her faith and her love are so great that she can accept Him leaving to accomplish His mission. Her life is a constant "Here I am", said to God from the Annunciation until the Cross".
"Three experiences", the Pope concluded, "a paradigm of how one can build their life around selfishness, being locked within oneself and material things, being guided by evil, or rather upon the presence of a God who came and stays with us, who awaits us with kindness if we make a mistake and asks that we follow Him, that we trust in Him. Mary of Nazareth is the woman of a full and total "Here I am" to the divine will. In her "Yes", repeated even when faced with the sorrow of the loss of her child, we find complete and profound beatitude".

Vatican City, 18 May 2012 (VIS) - Today the Holy Father received in audience:
- Bruno Joubert the new ambassador of France to the Holy See, presenting his credential letters.
- Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, archbishop of Genoa, Italy and president of the Italian Episcopal Conference (CEI).
This afternoon the Holy Father is scheduled to meet with Cardinal William Joseph Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Vatican City, 18 May 2012 (VIS) - The Holy Father named Msgr. Wayne Kirkpatrick as auxiliary archbishop of the Archdiocese of Toronto (area 13,000, population 5,749,000, Catholics 1,944,000, priests 839, permanent deacons 123, religious 1,132), Canada. The bishop elect was born in 1957 and ordained in 1984. He has a bachelor's degree in philosophy from the Seminary of Philosophy at Resurrection College in Waterloo, Ontario and a master's degree in theology from St. Augustine Seminary in Toronto. He has a licentiate in canon law from St. Paul University of Ottawa and was named prelate of honour by his Holiness in 1999.
He has served in many roles since his ordination, including 22 years in diocesan administration, concurrently serving in parish ministry as a pastor for 17 years. He presently serves as moderator of the curia, chancellor, and judicial vicar of the diocese, as well as rector of the cathedral. A little over a year ago he was elected President of the Canadian Canon Law Society.


Thomas D. Williams
Fr. Thomas Williams, LC, PhB, ThD of the Legionaries of Christ apologized for his misconduct on Wednesday, May 15, 2012. He is a famous priest of National Catholic Registrar, Zenit News, and television appearances on NBC,CBS and Sky News. He has 14 books published.
The Legionaries has been sadly disgraced due to some immoral conduct of the deceased founder, Fr. Marcial Maciel Degollado. The order taken serious action to reprimand these members. Let us pray for the Order of the Legionaries that has done much good despite the sinful behaviour in some members. We are all sinners in the eyes of God; all must repent and do good despite the sin in our lives. Let us also pray for all victims of abuse; for healing and a restoring of the love of God in their hearts.
His personal website has ceased to operate. He was ordered to take a year leave from public ministry. Fr. Williams is living with his parents and undergoing cancer treatments.

Fr. Williams apologized:
"A number of years ago I had a relationship with a woman and fathered her child. I am deeply sorry for this grave transgression and have tried to make amends. My superiors and I have decided it would be best for me to take a year without active public ministry to reflect on the wrong I have done and my commitments as a priest. I am truly sorry to everyone who is hurt by this revelation, and I ask for your prayers as I seek guidance on how to make up for my errors."
Regnum Christi, the lay extension of the Legionaries of Christ, released the following by Fr. Luis Garza, of the US leadership.
Legionaries of Christ
Regnum Christi

May 15, 2012
To all Legionaries and Regnum Christi consecrated members,
It is with sadness that I send you this note, especially at a time when we are experiencing renewed enthusiasm for our mission within the Church. The last thing I would wish is to add a fresh wound when older wounds may not have healed fully.
Nevertheless, it is my duty to inform you that Father Thomas Williams, LC, after consultation with his superiors, will undergo a period of reflection, prayer and atonement without public ministry, and has just issued the following statement:
"A number of years ago I had a relationship with a woman and fathered her child. I am deeply sorry for this grave transgression and have tried to make amends. My superiors and I have decided it would be best for me to take a year without active public ministry to reflect on the wrong I have done and my commitments as a priest. I am truly sorry to everyone who is hurt by this revelation, and I ask for your prayers as I seek guidance on how to make up for my errors."
I know that this will be shocking news to you. In the wake of all that we have been through as a Movement in the past several years, it won't surprise me if you are disappointed, angry or feel your trust shaken once again.
Father Williams has enriched the faith of so many through his teaching, public speaking and writing, and has been a spiritual guide for many in the Movement. That is what makes this failing such a painful reminder that we are all frail humans, in desperate need of God's mercy.
I hope that you will join me in praying for all those who have been affected by his actions, and for Father Williams during his time of prayer, penance and renewal of his priestly ministry.
Any further information is at the discretion of those involved. We will support them in any decision they make.
Yours in Christ,
Fr. Luis Garza, LC


St. John I
Feast: May 18

Feast Day: May 18
Born: Populonia, Tuscany, Italy
Died: 18 May 526 in Ravenna, Italy
Died at Ravenna on 18 or 19 May (according to the most popular calculation), 526. A Tuscan by birth and the son of Constantius, he was, after an interregnum of seven days, elected on 13 August, 523, and occupied the Apostolic see for two years, nine months, and seven days.

We know nothing of the matter of his administration, for his Bullarium contains only the two letters addressed to an Archbishop Zacharias and to the bishops of Italy respectively, and it is very certain that both are apocryphal.

We possess information -- though unfortunately very vague -- only about his journey to Constantinople, a journey which appears to have had results of great importance, and which was the cause of his death. The Emperor Justin, in his zeal for orthodoxy, had issued in 523 a severe decree against the Arians, compelling them, among other things, to surrender to the Catholics the churches which they occupied. Theodoric, King of the Ostrogoths and of Italy, the ardent defender of Arianism, keenly resented these measures directed against his coreligionists in the Orient, and was moreover highly displeased at seeing the progress of a mutual understanding between the Latin and Greek Churches, such as might favour certain secret dealings between the Roman senators and the Byzantine Court, aiming at the re-establishment of the imperial authority in Italy. To bring pressure to bear upon the emperor, and force him to moderate his policy of repression in regard to the heretics, Theodoric sent to him early in 525 an embassy composed of Roman senators, of which he obliged the pope to assume the direction, and imposed on the latter the task of securing a withdrawal of the Edict of 523 and -- if we are to believe "Anonymous Valesianus" -- of even urging the emperor to facilitate the return to Arianism of the Arians who had been converted.
There has been much discussion as to the part played by John I in this affair. The sources which enable us to study the subject are far from explicit and may be reduced to four in number: "AnonymousValesianus", already cited; the "Liber Pontificalis"; Gregory of Tours's "Liber in gloria martyrum"; and the "Liber Pontificalis Ecclesiæ Ravennatis". But it is beyond question that the pope could only counsel Justin to use gentleness and discretion towards the Arians; his position as head of the Church prevented his inviting the emperor to favour heresy. That this analysis of the situation is correct is evident from the reception which the pope was accorded in the East -- a reception which certainly would not have been kindly, had the Roman ambassadors opposed the emperor and this Catholic subjects in their struggle waged against the Arian sect. The inhabitants of Constantinople went out in throngs to meet John. The Emperor Justin on meeting him prostrated himself, and, some time afterwards, he had himself crowned by the pope. All the patriarchs of the East made haste to manifest their communion in the Faith with the supreme pontiff; only Timothy of Alexandria, who had shown himself hostile to the Council of Chalcedon, held aloof. Finally, the pope, exercising his right of precedence over Epiphanius, Patriarch of Constantinople, solemnly officiated at St. Sophia in the Latin Rite on Easter Day, 19 April, 526. Immediately afterwards he made his way back to the West.

If this brilliant reception of John I by the emperor, the clergy, and the faithful of the Orient proves that he had not been wanting in his task as supreme pastor of the Church, the strongly contrasting behaviour of Theodoric towards him on his return is no less evident proof. This monarch, enraged at seeing the national party reviving in Italy, had just stained his hands with the murder of Boethius, the great philosopher, and of Symmachus his father-in-law. He was exasperated against the pope, whose embassy had obtained a success very different from that which he, Theodoric, desired and whom, moreover, he suspected of favouring the defenders of the ancient liberty of Rome. As soon as John, returning from the East, had landed in Italy, Theodoric caused him to be arrested and incarcerated at Ravenna. Worn out by the fatigues of the journey, and subjected to severe privations, John soon died in prison.
His body was transported to Rome and buried in the Basilica of St. Peter. In his epitaph there is no allusion to his historical role. The Latin Church has placed him among its martyrs, and commemorates him on 27 May, the ninth lesson in the Roman Breviary for that date being consecrated to him.

(Taken From Catholic Encyclopedia)




Marist Youth Evangelisation ConferenceTuesday 15 May 2012

AGAINST the gospel backdrop of the Emmaus story, over 60 Marist school Campus and Youth Ministers, Religious Education Co-ordinators, Directors of Mission and young adults connected with Marist schools gathered at The Hermitage, Mittagong for three days of inspiration, intellectual challenge and sharing of wisdom around the theme of the evangelisation of young people.

Marist Youth Evangelisation ConferenceKeynote addresses were expertly delivered by Fr Anthony Casamento CSMA (Director of Identity and Mission at Australian Catholic University), Br Mark O’Connor FMS (Director of the Office of Evangelisation, Archdiocese of Melbourne) and Mr Daniel Ang (Pastoral Planning Team, Diocese of Parramatta), and participants engaged readily with the speakers in lively dialogue. Br João do Prado FMS (Marist Brothers International Mission Secretariat, Rome) brought a world perspective to the call to evangelise young people as well as introducing conference participants to the new Marist Youth Ministry document ‘Evangelisers in the Midst of Youth' (available at

“I was delighted with the broad range of expertise and tangible dynamism within the group that gathered, but even more so by the enthusiasm they displayed in committing to renewing their energy and efforts in the evangelisation of the young people with whom they work,” said Brother Michael Callinan, conference organiser.

As part of the conference outcomes, each participant will be arranging a conversation with their school principal based on material personally developed at the conference. “It’s something I’m looking forward to doing,” said Mr Michael Lindsay from St Augustine’s College, Cairns. “We’re already working hard in this area as a school community, but I have a few suggestions for even more effective strategies to be trialled.”

Simone Boyd, a conference organising team member and Co-ordinator of the youth movement Remar Australia, was heartened by the participation of young adults in the conference as both presenters and participants: “It’s a unique opportunity for staff ministering in schools to have a range of young people to tell them candidly what works and what doesn’t in terms of their faith journey being encouraged, but to have these same young people participate in their own theological formation with more experienced Catholics brought real substance to the conference,” she said.
Marist Schools Australia looks forward to supporting and encouraging local evangelisation initiatives across the country and engaging with parishes and dioceses to promote a Catholic way of living in the world and making Jesus Christ known and loved.

Images supplied by Brother Michael Callinan


The bus left Buon Ma Thuot yesterday evening and was bound for Ho Chi Minh City. For reasons still unclear it crashed into a river. Victims include the two drivers of the vehicle. Every day in the country an average of 33 people die in road accident. This year, a decrease of 30% over the first quarter of 2011.

Hanoi (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The provisional death toll from a road accident in central Vietnam is 34 dead and at least 21 injured. A bus crashed off a bridge and crashed into the banks of the river Serepok, where it was found this morning by rescuers. The bus left from Buon Ma Thuot in the Central Highlands province of Dak Lak, and was bound for Ho Chi Minh City, in the south.

The authorities have launched investigations to clarify the causes of the accident yesterday evening, and ensure the identification of victims. Y Bliu Arul, vice-director of the General Hospital in Dak Lak, confirmed the two drivers of the vehicle are among the dead.

Of the other 21 injured, at least 16 are in a serious condition according to doctors.

Vietnam has a dismal track record with regard to road accidents, with an average of 33 deaths per day for various crashes and incidents, involving all types of vehicles. According to official statistics, in the first four months of 2012 there were at least 3,100 road deaths, a decrease of approximately 30% over the same period last year.


Agenzia Fides REPORT – After 4 consecutive days of uninterrupted rain, at least 60 families in Kagondo, in the district of Muleba, have been left without their homes. The houses have been destroyed by the flooding, the worst in the last 50 years. Some of these families have been temporary accommodated in the school buildings. Fortunately there have been no victims and they are not deprived of help, including food and clothes. The residents of the region of Kagera had been alerted of the forthcoming heavy rains. Kagera is noted as one of the most seriously hit regions by the phenomenon, as well as Mwanza, Kigoma, Kilimanjaro, Morogoro, Pemba, Unguja and Tanga. According to the experts these atmospheric disturbances were caused by the increase of low pressure over the Indian Ocean. (AP)
(16/5/2012 Agenzia Fides)


Healing Stone at Eucharistic Congress | 50th International Eucharistic Congress, IEC2012, Healing Stone, Wicklow granite
Organisers of the 50th International Eucharistic Congress (IEC2012) have announced that a Healing Stone is going to be unveiled during the Opening Ceremony in the RDS on 10 June as a means of acknowledging the abuse of children.

The Healing Stone comprises a large, shaped piece of Wicklow granite is engraved with a prayer composed by a survivor of clerical abuse. The prayer was originally featured in the Liturgy of Lament celebrated in Dublin's Pro-Cathedral in 2011.

Work on the Healing Stone project began in early 2012. Following consultation with various people, including abuse survivors, it was agreed that the stone would be an appropriate symbol for the Congress.

Fr Kevin Doran, Secretary General of IEC2012, said: "Stone speaks of permanence. To say something is 'carved in stone' is to say that it is here to stay rather than just a passing thought. The stone represents the firm determination to work for healing and renewal.

"In our Christian tradition, the stone which covered the tomb of Jesus, symbolises both the end of His earthly existence and the fact of His Resurrection. We are conscious of the fact that, for many who have experienced abuse, either themselves or to a member of their family, the pain of abuse can sometimes be like a stone weighing heavily on them. It is a stone that, in some way or other needs to be rolled back so that they can be set free."

Fr Doran added: "It is planned that after the Congress, the Stone will be given a more permanent home on an accessible site, where people can pause and pray, and so that there will be a permanent public reminder of our need never to take safeguarding for granted."

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