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Friday, June 22, 2012

CATHOLIC NEWS WORLD FRIDAY JUNE 22, 2012











VATICAN : POPE : REMAIN CLOSE TO THOSE WHO SUFFER AND OTHER NEWS
EUROPE : MOTHER DIES REFUSING TREATMENT SAVING UNBORN BABY
ASIA : TAIWAN : SPEND MONEY ON POOR RATHER THAN ARMS
AMERICA : CHILE : SHARED HOUSES FOR THE POOR
AUSTRALIA : CEOS SLEEP OUT FOR THE POOR
TODAY'S MASS ONLINE : FRIDAY JUNE 22, 2012
TODAY'S SAINT : JUNE 22 : ST. THOMAS MORE
TODAY'S SAINT : JUNE 22 : ST. JOHN FISHER
TODAY'S SAINT : JUNE 22 : ST. PAULINUS OF NOLA
 
VATICAN : POPE : REMAIN CLOSE TO THOSE WHO SUFFER AND OTHER NEWS
(IMAGE SOURCE RADIO VATICANA)
REMAIN CLOSE TO THOSE WHO SUFFER, POPE TELLS COLOMBIAN BISHOPS Vatican City, 22 June 2012 (VIS) - This morning in the Vatican the Holy Father received a first group of prelates from the Episcopal Conference of Colombia, who have just completed their "ad limina" visit. The Pontiff began his remarks by praising them for their "initiatives aimed at fomenting a renewed and fruitful movement of evangelisation", at the same time he noted that "Colombia is not immune to the consequences of neglecting God".
"While years ago there was a recognisable and unified social fabric in which reference to the faith and the inspirations of faith was broadly accepted, today in vast areas of society this no longer seems to be the case, due to the crisis in spiritual and moral values which has had a negative effect on many of your fellow citizens", the Holy Father told the prelates. And he invited them to contrast this state of affairs by following "with tenacity and perseverance" the guidelines of the Episcopal Conference's Global Plan (2012 - 2020), and by taking advantage of the reflections to emerge from the forthcoming Synod of Bishops and the Year of Faith".
"Growing religious pluralism", he went on, "calls for serious consideration. The increasingly active presence of Pentecostal and Evangelical communities, not only in Colombia but also in many other regions of Latin America, cannot be ignored or underestimated. In this sense, the people of God are clearly called to purification and the revitalisation of their faith, ... because 'often sincere people who leave our Church do not do so as a result of what non-Catholic groups believe, but fundamentally as a result of their own lived experience; for reasons not of doctrine but of life; not for strictly dogmatic, but for pastoral reasons; not due to theological problems, but to methodological problems of our Church'. What is important, then, is to become better believers ... so that no one may feel marginalised or excluded".
Benedict XVI told his audience that they should not fail "to identify the factors which hinder equitable development in Colombia, seeking to reach out to those whom iniquitous violence deprives of their freedom". You must, he told the prelates, "increase measures and programmes to accompany ... and assist people facing difficulties, especially the victims of natural disasters, the poor, peasants, the sick and the afflicted. ... Nor must you neglect those forced to emigrate from their homeland because they have lost their job or have difficulty finding employment, people whose fundamental rights are trampled underfoot and are forced to abandon home and family under the threat of terror and criminality, or those who have fallen into the barbarous networks of drugs or arms dealing. I wish to encourage you to continue your generous and fraternal service, which is not the result of any human calculation, but is born of love for God and neighbour: thesource whence the Church draws the strength she needs to carry out her task".
"Dear brothers in the episcopate", the Holy Father concluded, "in order that the Light from on high may still make the Church's prophetic and charitable efforts in Colombia fruitful, continue to help the faithful to a personal encounter with Jesus Christ, ... to meditate assiduously upon the Word of God and to participate ... in the Sacraments, celebrated in accordance with canonical norms and liturgical texts. All this will help towards an appropriate process of Christian initiation, inviting everyone to conversion and sanctity, and helping towards much-need ecclesial renewal".

THE CHURCH IS NOT INDIFFERENT TO PEOPLE'S QUALITY OF LIFE
Vatican City, 22 June 2012 (VIS) - This morning in the Vatican the Pope received a delegation from the Italian agricultural organisation "Coldiretti", which is currently celebrating its national congress on the theme "Family agriculture for sustainable development".
"Society, the economy and work are not exclusively secular environments", the Pope said, "even less so are they alien to the Christian message. They are, rather, spaces to be fecundated with the spiritual richness of the Gospel. The Church, in fact, is never indifferent to people's quality of life and working conditions; she feels the need to care for man in the contexts in which he lives and produces, that these may increasingly become places that are authentically human and humanising".
"It is in Coldiretti that Catholic teaching on social ethics has found one its most fertile 'laboratories', thanks to the intuition and far-sighted wisdom of its founder, Paolo Bonomi. ... Now it is up to you, remaining faithful to the values you have acquired, to enter into a courageous dialogue with a changing society. ... Each of you in his or her own role must commit yourselves to support the legitimate interests of the categories you represent, ... in order to bring out the most noble and salient aspects of the human person: a sense of duty, a capacity for sharing and sacrifice, solidarity, and observing the just requirement for rest and corporeal (and, even more so, spiritual) regeneration".
The Holy Father invited the members of Coldiretti to continue their evangelical witness,"highlighting the values which make working activity a valuable instrument in the creation of a more just and human form of coexistence. I am thinking of respect for the person, the search for the common good, honesty and transparency in the supply of services, food security, protecting the environment and the landscape, and the promotion of a spirit of solidarity".
The uncertainty generated by the enduring economic and financial crisis means that people in the agriculture and fisheries sector are facing "a series of difficult challenges which you are called to face as Christians, by cultivating a renewed and profound sense of responsibility and showing your capacity for solidarity and sharing", the Pope said. "Considering that at the roots of current economic difficulties there lies a moral crisis, you must work with solicitude to ensure that ethical requirements maintain their primacy over everything else".
"It is on this ethical terrain that families, schools, trade unions and all other political, cultural and civic institutions must play an important role of collaboration, ... especially as regards young people. The young are full of ideas and hopes, and generously seek to build themselves a future. From adults they expect worthwhile examples and serious proposals. We must not delude them".


CARDINAL BERTONE CALLS FOR FREE AND UNIVERSAL ACCESS TO TREATMENT FOR HIV/AIDS
Vatican City, 22 June 2012 (VIS) - This morning Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B. delivered the opening address at the eighth International AIDS Conference, being held at the San Gallicano Institute in Rome under the title: "Long live mothers and children".
In his remarks the cardinal noted that maternal mortality in Africa is, to a large extent, associated with AIDS. "We can no longer tolerate the death of so many mothers", he said. "We cannot think of thousands of children as a lost generation. Nothing is lost; Africa has sufficient resources; it is the continent of hope. Thus we need to make a joint effort ... to protect women in their role as mothers".
"The Church, which is present in countries where the pandemic exists, is extremely concerned at this tragedy of our times. It is a tragedy which swallows many human lives, weakens entire societies, burns up the future. We must do more. The more the infection spreads among women, who are the mainstay of families and communities, the greater the risk of social breakdown in many countries. The sickness of women, of children, of men, becomes the sickness of a whole society".
The Cardinal then recalled how thirty per cent of HIV/AIDS treatment centres in the world are Catholic. Church activities in this field, he said, include "awareness raising campaigns; prevention and health education programmes; support for orphans; distribution of medicines and food; home help; hospitals, centres and communities for the assistance of AIDS sufferers; collaboration with governments; assistance in jails; catechism courses; help systems over the internet, and the creation of support groups for the sick".
"I would", the secretary of State said, "like to make an appeal to the international community, to States and to donors: let us ensure that AIDS sufferers are given prompt, free and effective treatment. Access to treatment should be universal. Let us do this beginning with mothers and children. Here, in the name of the Holy Father, I speak for so many suffering voices, for so many sick people who have no voice: let us not waste time, but invest in the necessary resources. ... Studies by the World Health Organisation confirm that ... universal access to treatment is possible, scientifically proven and economically viable. It is not a utopia, it is possible. ... Yet we cannot conceive of universal access to treatment without taking account of the weakness - especially the economic weakness - of the majority of African people. What is needed is free access to treatment".


AUDIENCES
Vatican City, 22 June 2012 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in audience Cardinal Lluis Martinez Sistach, archbishop of Barcelona, Spain.
This evening he is scheduled to receive in audience Cardinal Fernando Filoni, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples.

EUROPE : MOTHER DIES REFUSING TREATMENT SAVING UNBORN BABY



A 28 year old Italian woman named Chiara Corbella died by post-poning cancer treatments to save her unborn child. She and her husband, Enrico Petrillo, lost 2 of their children from birth defects. Although, they only lived a short while they were named Maria and David. Chiara became pregnant in 2010 with Francisco and was also diagnosed with an aggressive cancer. Her baby boy was born in May 2011 but her cancer spread.

She died on June 13, 2012. Her funeral mass was celebrated in St. Fracisca Romana Church in Rome, Italy, by Cardinal Vallini. Chiara wrote a letter to her son before death, in it she said: “I am going to heaven to take care of Maria and David, you stay here with Dad. I will pray for you.”
“We grew more and more in love with each other and Jesus. We were never disappointed by this love, and for this reason, we never lost time, even though those around us said, 'Wait, don’t be in a hurry to have another child,'” Enrico, her husband, said. (with files from Italian news/cna/blogs)

ASIA : TAIWAN : SPEND MONEY ON POOR RATHER THAN ARMS

UCAN REPORT; Money would be better spent helping poor countries, they say
Francis Kuo, Taipei
Taiwan
June 21, 2012
Catholic Church News Image of Catholics urge president to disarm
A Taiwan Air Force F-16 fighter and an AGM-84 air-launched Harpoon anti-ship missile
Three Catholic peace groups have urged President Ma Ying-jeou to cancel the government’s weapon purchasing program and disarm.
Their call comes ahead of a July 2 – 27 UN Conference on the arms trade.
Since Ma took office in 2008, Taiwan has agreed to buy US$18.3 billion worth of weapons from the United States, the groups said. Ma began a second four-year term in May.
“We should remember the lessons of war. It never brings peace but brings hurt, pain, and sacrifice to the lives of millions of innocent people,” the groups said in an open letter this month.
“Why not become a leader who invests technology, human resources, and money into helping poor countries?” they asked, adding that they hope Ma could become a “peacemaker.”
The open letter is the first peace initiative made by Pax Christi International together with the Justice and Peace desks of Caritas Taiwan and the Religious Major Association of Taiwan, said Father Willy Ollevier, the convenor of the Justice and Peace desk of Major Superiors in Taiwan.
The local Catholic Church plans to invite other religions to participate in a joint action to call for disarmament, said Fr Ollevier.
The president’s office responded by letter, thanking the groups for their advice and promising to take it under consideration, Fr Ollevier said.
Taiwan’s US$6 billion arms deal in 2008 was the first arms purchase from the US in 15 years, adversely affecting US-China diplomatic relations. A second US$6 billion deal was struck in 2010, while a third was signed in September last year.
SHARED FROM UCAN NEWS

AMERICA : CHILE : SHARED HOUSES FOR THE POOR

Agenzia Fides REPORT - In Chile, 12,255 people live on the streets, among them 2,003 are adults and 725 children. 77% of them work as street vendors and parking attendants or do the cleaning in factories. They eat twice a day and suffer discrimination: 22% report assault or harassment by armed groups, criminal gangs, 16% by police and 13% by bystanders. To cope with this emergency, a project "Shared Houses" has just been launched, where people living on the streets can live in a house rented by the Ministry of Social Development, and with the earnings of each they can share the common expenses. In the center of Santiago, where there are currently very low temperatures, hundreds of people wait for volunteer students who in the evening bring them food, bread and eggs, and they queue up to have a warm plate of pasta or vegetables. (AP) (Agenzia Fides 15/6/2012)

AFRICA : EGYPT : MUBARAK IN A COMA - DYING

ASIA NEWS REPORT:
Last night the state agency Mena pronounced him clinically dead, but later denied the report. After the heart attack, the commander was transferred from prison to Maadi military hospital. He is now in a coma and is sustained by an artificial respirator. But doubts persist about the actual state of his health.


Cairo (AsiaNews) - It's a mystery concerning the health of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, 84, in a coma since yesterday. The former Commander, who was sentenced to life imprisonment for his responsibility in the deaths of 850 demonstrators in Tahrir Square, was declared clinically dead by the official agency Mena, which later denied the news. The only thing that's certain is his emergency transfer from prison to the hospital after a heart attack. He is allegedly attached to a respirator, but alive. Meanwhile, the country prepares for a new wave of protests after the presidential election results, which will be posted tomorrow. The head to head is between Mohammed Morsy, of the Muslim Brotherhood, who has already declared himself the winner, and Ahmed Shafiq, Mubarak's last prime minister, backed by the army and former regime members.

The mystery regarding the health of the Egyptian president started in March 2011, after his deposition caused by the immense protests in Tahrir Square. At all the sessions of the trial for corruption and murder, the Commander always appeared lying on a stretcher. Many Egyptians argue that his showing himself as dying was a tactic to win pity from the judges and the public and to get life imprisonment instead of the death penalty. The project of his transfer from the prison of Tora to Maadi military hospital was scheduled for June 2, the day of his final conviction, which coincided with a deterioration of the former president's health conditions. To date, no team of doctors has explained the nature of the illness of the Egyptian Commander, who allegedly suffered a heart attack and respiratory failure.

Born in 1928 into an upper-class family, Hosni Mubarak entered the army as soon as he became of age, where he became a skilled pilot trained in the Soviet schools. His consecration took place in 1973, during the Yom Kippur War between Israel and Egypt, which earned him the Air Marshal's stripes. His military career within the political establishment began in the mid 70s with Anwar al-Sadat, the man responsible for the Egyptian turnaround and the peace with Israel, and succeeded him at the helm of Egypt after the death of Gamal Abd el-Nasser. On October 6, 1981 Mubarak was already vice-president, when Sadat was assassinated by Islamic extremists during a military parade. Mubarak, who was sitting next to the president, remained unscathed, having bent down to tie his shoe: a coincidence about which his detractors speculate at length, saying that he was aware of the imminent attack.

He assumed the reins of power, and would hold them for over 30 years, ruling with an iron fist thanks to the state of emergency that came into force because of the death of Sadat, which allowed him to control very effectively all forms of opposition. The silent repression of all dissent, the fight against Islamic extremists and relations with Israel earned him economic, political and military support from Western countries, particularly the United States.

The economic crisis of the 90s caused a first dip in support for Mubarak, whose credibility would subsequently be damaged by some complaints for having favored his son 'Ala in the processes of privatization of companies. But it was mainly his other son, Gamal, chosen by the Commander as his heir and unpopular with the Egyptian people, who earned him hatred and resentment even within his own political party, the National Democratic Party. In 2005, the Commander tested his strength in the presidential elections, held without a real opponent, and won with 90% approval. With the more serious economic crisis of 2007, the conditions of the Egyptian people precipitated. Over 50% of young people found themselves with an education but without a job, and many decided to emigrate to Europe or to wealthier bordering countries, such as Libya and Tunisia. With the attacks in Alexandria on January 1, 2011, which cost dozens of deaths, even his relationship with the Coptic Orthodox Egyptian Church hierarchy would be broken. Suspicions fell on the secret services, controlled by the Commander's men.

The economic crisis, a police state, repression and the huge protests in Tunisia organized against Ben Alì, caused the wrath of the population to explode. On 25 January 2011, tens of thousands of people descended on Tahrir Square for the day of "wrath", demanding an end to the regime, full rights and a secular state. For 18 days between the Commander and the crowd of protesters massed in Tahrir Square, a grueling test of strength played out that would end on February 11, when the vice-president, Omar Suleiman, appeared on TV and announced the long-awaited message: Mubarak has resigned. The former president would flee to Sharm el-Sheik, while the new Egypt cried out for his indictment for his regime's repression and corruption. In April of 2011, the hospitalization for heart problems, then the trial and the sentencing to life imprisonment. (SC)
SHARED FROM ASIA NEWS IT

AUSTRALIA : CEOS SLEEP OUT FOR THE POOR

ARCHDIOCESE OF SYDNEY RELEASE:

Vinnies Sleepout Huge Success......more than 1,000 CEOs around Australia took part in the 7th annual Vinnies Sleepout last night raising in excess of $5 million for the homeless and support programs. In Sydney the venue was Carriageworks near the city and the high-rollers who took part heard how their efforts will help more than the 100,000-plus people who don't have a warm bed or hot meal. The dollars raised are still being counted but from St Vincent de Paul - a very big thank you.
www.ceosleepout.org.au Proudly produced by our partner Moving Presentations, this inspiring short film shows that there are solutions and paths out of homelessness.
Thank you to Moving Presentations for taking on this inspiring corporate story telling project...

TODAY'S MASS ONLINE : FRIDAY JUNE 22, 2012

Matthew 6: 19 - 23
19 "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal,
20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal.
21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
22 "The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is sound, your whole body will be full of light;
23 but if your eye is not sound, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!

TODAY'S SAINT : JUNE 22 : ST. THOMAS MORE

St. Thomas More
MARTYR, CHANCELLOR OF ENGLAND
Feast: June 22


Information:
Feast Day: June 22
Born:
1478 at London, England
Died: 6 July 1535, London, England
Canonized: 1935, Rome by Pope Pius XI
Patron of: Adopted children,civil servants, court clerks, difficult marriages, large families, lawyers, politicians and statesmen, stepparents, widowers
Saint, knight, Lord Chancellor of England, author and martyr, born in London, 7 February, 1477-78; executed at Tower Hill, 6 July, 1535. He was the sole surviving son of Sir John More, barrister and later judge, by his first wife Agnes, daughter of Thomas Graunger. While still a child Thomas was sent to St. Anthony's School in Threadneedle Street, kept by Nicholas Holt, and when thirteen years old was placed in the household of Cardinal Morton, Archbishop of Canterbury, and Lord Chancellor. Here his merry character and brilliant intellect attracted the notice of the archbishop, who sent him to Oxford, where he entered at Canterbury Hall (subsequently absorbed by Christ Church) about 1492. His father made him an allowance barely sufficient to supply the necessaries of life and, in consequence, he had no opportunity to indulge in "vain or hurtful amusements" to the detriment of his studies. At Oxford he made friends with William Grocyn and Thomas Linacre, the latter becoming his first instructor in Greek. Without ever becoming an exact scholar he mastered Greek "by an instinct of genius" as witnessed by Pace (De fructu qui ex doctrina percipitur, 1517), who adds "his eloquence is incomparable and twofold, for he speaks with the same facility in Latin as in his own language". Besides the classics he studied French, history, and mathematics, and also learned to play the flute and the viol. After two years' residence at Oxford, More was recalled to London and entered as a law student at New Inn about 1494. In February, 1496, he was admitted to Lincoln's Inn as a student, and in due course was called to the outer bar and subsequently made a bencher. His great abilities now began to attract attention and the governors of Lincoln's Inn appointed him "reader" or lecturer on law at Furnival's Inn, his lectures being esteemed so highly that the appointment was renewed for three successive years.

It is clear however that law did not absorb all More's energies, for much of his time was given to letters. He wrote poetry, both Latin and English, a considerable amount of which has been preserved and is of good quality, though not particularly striking, and he was especially devoted to the works of Pico della Mirandola, of whose life he published an English translation some years later. He cultivated the acquaintance of scholars and learned men and, through his former tutors, Grocyn and Linacre, who were now living in London, he made friends with Colet, Dean of St. Paul's, and William Lilly, both renowned scholars. Colet became More's confessor and Lilly vied with him in translating epigrams from the Greek Anthology into Latin, then joint productions being published in 1518 (Progymnasnata T. More et Gul. Liliisodalium). In 1497 More was introduced to Erasmus, probably at the house of Lord Mountjoy, the great scholar's pupil and patron. The friendship at once became intimate, and later on Erasmus paid several long visits at More's Chelsea house, and the two friends corresponded regularly until death separated them. Besides law and the Classics More read the Fathers with care, and he delivered, in the Church of St. Lawrence Jewry, a series of lectures on St. Augustine's "De civitate Dei", which were attended by many learned men, among whom Grocyn, the rector of the church, is expressly mentioned. For such an audience the lectures must have been prepared with great care, but unhappily not a fragment of them has survived. These lectures were given somewhere between 1499 and 1503, a period during which More's mind was occupied almost wholly with religion and the question of his own vocation for the priesthood.

This portion of his life has caused much misunderstanding among his various biographers. It is certain that he went to live near the London Charterhouse and often joined in the spiritual exercises of the monks there. He wore "a sharp shirt of hair next his skin, which he never left off wholly" (Cresacre More), and gave himself up to a life of prayer and penance. His mind wavered for some time between joining the Carthusians or the Observant Franciscans, both of which orders observed the religious life with extreme strictness and fervour. In the end, apparently with the approval of Colet, he abandoned the hope of becoming a priest or religious, his decision being due to a mistrust of his powers of perseverance. Erasmus, his intimate friend and confidant, writes on this matter as follows (Epp.447): "Meanwhile he applied his whole mind to exercises of piety, looking to and pondering on the priesthood in vigils, fasts and prayers and similar austerities. In which matter he proved himself far more prudent than most candidates who thrust themselves rashly into that arduous profession without any previous trial of their powers. The one thing that prevented him from giving himself to that kind of life was that he could not shake off the desire of the married state. He chose, therefore, to be a chaste husband rather than an impure priest." The last sentence of this passage has led certain writers, notably Mr. Seebohm and Lord Campbell, to expatiate at great length on the supposed corruption of the religious orders at this date, which, they declare, disgusted More so much that he abandoned his wish to enter religion on that account. Father Bridgett deals with this question at considerable length (Life and Writings of Sir Thomas More, pp. 23-36), but it is enough to say that this view has now been abandoned even by non-Catholic writers, as witness Mr. W. H. Hutton: "It is absurd to assert that More was disgusted with monastic corruption, that he 'loathed monks as a disgrace to the Church'. He was throughout his life a warm friend of the religious orders, and a devoted admirer of the monastic ideal. He condemned the vices of individuals; he said, as his great-grandson says, 'that at that time religious men in England had somewhat degenerated from their ancient strictness and fervour of spirit'; but there is not the slightest sign that his decision to decline the monastic life was due in the smallest degree to a distrust of the system or a distaste for the theology of the Church."

The question of religious vocation being disposed of, More threw himself into his work at the Bar and scored immediate success. In 1501 he was elected a member of Parliament, but as the returns are missing his constituency is unknown. Here he immediately began to oppose the large and unjust exactions of money which King Henry VII was making from his subjects through the agency of Empson and Dudley, the latter being Speaker of the House of Commons. In this Parliament Henry demanded a grant of three-fifteenths, about 113,000 pounds, but thanks to More's protests the Commons reduced the sum to 30,000. Some years later Dudley told More that his boldness would have cost him his head but for the fact that he had not attacked the king in person. Even as it was Henry was so enraged with More that he "devised a causeless quarrel against his father, keeping him in the Tower till he had made him pay a hundred pounds fine" (Roper). Meanwhile More had made friends with one "Maister John Colte, a gentleman" of Newhall, Essex, whose oldest daughter, Jane, he married in 1505. Roper writes of his choice: "albeit his mind most served him to the second daughter, for that he thought her the fairest and best favoured, yet when he considered that it would be great grief and some shame also to the eldest to see her younger sister preferred before her in marriage, he then, of a certain pity, framed his fancy towards" the eldest of the three sisters. The union proved a supremely happy one; of it were born three daughters, Margaret, Elizabeth, and Cecilia, and a son, John; and then, in 1511, Jane More died, still almost a child. In the epitaph which More himself composed twenty years later he calls her "uxorcula Mori", and a few lines in one of Erasmus' letters are almost all we know of her gentle, winning personality.

Of More himself Erasmus has left us a wonderful portrait in his famous letter to Ulrich von Hutten dated 23 July, 1519 (Epp. 447). The description is too long to give in full, but some extracts must be made. "To begin then with what is least known to you, in stature he is not tall, though not remarkably short. His limbs are formed with such perfect symmetry as to leave nothing to be desired. His complexion is white, his face rather than pale and though by no means ruddy, a faint flush of pink appears beneath the whiteness of his skin. His hair is dark brown or brownish black. The eyes are grayish blue, with some spots, a kind which betokens singular talent, and among the English is considered attractive, whereas Germans generally prefer black. It is said that none are so free of vice. His countenance is in harmony with his character, being always expressive of an amiable joyousness, and even an incipient laughter and, to speak candidly, it is better framed for gladness than for gravity or dignity, though without any approach to folly or buffoonery. The right shoulder is a little higher than the left, especially when he walks. This is not a defect of birth, but the result of habit such as we often contract. In the rest of his person there is nothing to offend...He seems born and framed for friendship, and is a most faithful and enduring friend...When he finds any sincere and according to his heart, he so delights in their society and conversation as to place in it the principal charm of life...In a word, if you want a perfect model of friendship, you will find it in no one better than in More...In human affairs there is nothing from which he does not extract enjoyment, even from things that are most serious. If he converses with the learned and judicious, he delights in their talent, if with the ignorant and foolish, he enjoys their stupidity. He is not even offended by professional jesters. With a wonderful dexterity ha accommodates himself to every disposition. As a rule, in talking with women, even with his own wife, he is full of jokes and banter. No one is less led by the opinions of the crowd, yet no one departs less from common sense..." (see Father Bridgett's Life, p. 56-60, for the entire letter). More married again very soon after his first wife's death, his choice being a widow, Alice Middleton. She was older than he by seven years, a good, somewhat commonplace soul without beauty or education; but she was a capital housewife and was devoted to the care of More's young children. On the whole the marriage seems to have been quite satisfactory, although Mistress More usually failed to see the point of her husband's jokes.
More's fame as a lawyer was now very great. In 1510 he was made Under-Sheriff of London, and four years later was chosen by Cardinal Wolsey as one of an embassy to Flanders to protect the interests of English merchants. He was thus absent from England for more than six months in 1515, during which period he made the first sketch of the "Utopia", his most famous work, which was published the following year. Both Wolsey and the king were anxious to secure More's services at Court. In 1516 he was granted a pension of 100 pounds for life, was made a member of the embassy to Calais in the next year, and became a privy councilor about the same time. In 1519 he resigned his post as Under-Sheriff and became completely attached to the Court. In June, 1520, he was in Henry's suite at the "Field of the Cloth of Gold", in 1521 was knighted and made sub-treasurer to the king. When the Emperor Charles V visited London in the following year, More was chosen to deliver the Latin address of welcome; and grants of land in Oxford and Kent, made then and three years later, gave further proof of Henry's favour. In 1523 he was elected Speaker of the House of Commons on Wolsey's recommendation; became High Steward of Cambridge University in 1525; and in the same year was made Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, to be held in addition to his other offices. In 1523 More had purchased a piece of and in Chelsea, where he built himself a mansion about a hundred yards from the north bank of the Thames, with a large garden stretching along the river. Here at times the king would come as an unbidden guest at dinner time, or would walk in the garden with his arm round More's neck enjoying his brilliant conversation. But More had no illusions about the royal favour he enjoyed. "If my head should win him a castle in France," he said to Roper, his son-in-law, in 1525, "it should not fail to go". The Lutheran controversy had now spread throughout Europe and, with some reluctance, More was drawn into it. His controversial writings are mentioned below in the list of his works, and it is sufficient here to say that, while far more refined than most polemical writers of the period, there is still a certain amount that tastes unpleasant to the modern reader. At first he wrote in Latin but, when the books of Tindal and other English Reformers began to be read by people of all classes, he adopted English as more fitted to his purpose and, by doing so, gave no little aid to the development of English prose.

In October, 1529, More succeeded Wolsey as Chancellor of England, a post never before held by a layman. In matters political, however, he is nowise succeeded to Wolsey's position, and his tenure of the chancellorship is chiefly memorable for his unparalleled success as a judge. His despatch was so great that the supply of causes was actually exhausted, an incident commemorated in the well-known rhyme,

When More some time had Chancellor been
No more suits did remain.
The like will never more be seen,
Till More be there again.

As chancellor it was his duty to enforce the laws against heretics and, by doing so, he provoked the attacks of Protestant writers both in his own time and since. The subject need not be discussed here, but More's attitude is patent. He agreed with the principle of the anti-heresy laws and had no hesitation in enforcing them. As he himself wrote in his "Apologia" (cap.49) it was the vices of heretics that he hated, not their persons; and he never proceeded to extremities until he had made every effort to get those brought before him to recant. How successful he was in this is clear from the fact that only four persons suffered the supreme penalty for heresy during his whole term of office. More's first public appearance as chancellor was at the opening of the new Parliament in November, 1529. The accounts of his speech on this occasion vary considerably, but it is quite certain that he had no knowledge of the long series of encroachments on the Church which this very Parliament was to accomplish. A few months later came the royal proclamation ordering the clergy to acknowledge Henry as "Supreme Head" of the Church "as far as the law of God will permit", and we have Chapuy's testimony that More at once proffered his resignation of the chancelorship, which however was not accepted. His firm opposition to Henry's designs in regard to the divorce, the papal supremacy, and the laws against heretics, speedily lost him the royal favour, and in May, 1532, he resigned his post of Lord Chancellor after holding it less than three years. This meant the loss of all his income except about 100 pounds a year, the rent of some property he had purchased; and, with cheerful indifference, he at once reduced his style of living to match his strained means. The epitaph he wrote at this time for the tomb in Chelsea church states that he intended to devote his last years to preparing himself for the life to come.

For the next eighteen months More lived in seclusion and gave much time to controversial writing. Anxious to avoid a public rupture with Henry he stayed away from Anne Boleyn's coronation, and when, in 1533, his nephew William Rastell wrote a pamphlet supporting the pope, which was attributed to More, he wrote a letter to Cromwell disclaiming any share therein and declaring that he knew his duty to his prince too well to criticize his policy. Neutrality, however, did not suit Henry, and More's name was included in the Bill of Attainder introduced into the Lords against the Holy Maid of Kent and her friends. Brought before four members of the Council, More was asked why he did not approve Henry's anti-papal action. He answered that he had several times explained his position to the king in person and without incurring his displeasure. Eventually, in view of his extraordinary popularity, Henry thought it expedient to remove his name from the Bill of Attainder. The incident showed that he might expect, however, and the Duke of Norfolk personally warned him of his grave danger, adding "indignatio principis mors est". "Is that all, my Lord," answered More, "then, in good faith, between your grace and me is but this, that I shall die today, and you tomorrow." In March, 1534, the Act of Succession was passed which required all who should be called upon to take an oath acknowledging the issue of Henry and Anne as legitimate heirs to the throne, and to this was added a clause repudiating "any foreign authority, prince or potentate". On 14 April, More was summoned to Lambeth to take the oath and, on his refusal, was committed to the custody of the Abbot of Westminster. Four days later he was removed to the Tower, and in the following November was attainted of misprision of treason, the grants of land made to him in 1523 and 1525 being resumed by the Crown. In prison, though suffering greatly from "his old disease of the chest...gravel, stone, and the cramp", his habitual gaiety remained and he joked with his family and friends whenever they were permitted to see him as merrily as in the old days at Chelsea. When alone his time was given up to prayer and penitential exercises; and he wrote a "Dialogue of comfort against tribulation", treatise (unfinished) on the Passion of Christ, and many letters to his family and others. In April and May, 1535, Cromwell visited him in person to demand his opinion of the new statutes conferring on Henry the title of Supreme Head of the Church. More refused to give any answer beyond declaring himself a faithful subject of the king. In June, Rich, the solicitor-general, held a conversation with More and, in reporting it, declared that More had denied Parliament's power to confer ecclesiastical supremacy on Henry. It was now discovered that More and Fisher, The Bishop of Rochester, had exchanged letters in prison, and a fresh inquiry was held which resulted in his being deprived of all books and writing materials, but he contrived to write to his wife and favourite daughter, Margaret, on stray scraps of paper with a charred stick or piece of coal.

On 1 July, More was indicted for high treason at Westminster Hall before a special commission of twenty. More denied the chief charges of the indictment, which was enormously long, and denounced Rich, the solicitor-general and chief witness against him as a perjuror. The jury found him guilty and he was sentenced to be hanged at Tyburn, but some days later this was changed by Henry to beheading on Tower Hill. The story of his last days on earth, as given by Roper and Cresacre More, is of the tenderest beauty and should be read in full; certainly no martyr ever surpassed him in fortitude. As Addison wrote in the Spectator (No. 349) "that innocent mirth which had been so conspicuous in his life, did not forsake him to the last...his death was of a piece with his life. There was nothing in it new, forced or affected. He did not look upon the severing of his head from his body as a circumstance that ought to produce any change in the disposition of his mind". The execution took place on Tower Hill "before nine of the clock" on 6 July, the body being buried in thee Church of St. Peter ad vincula. The head, after being parboiled, was exposed on London Bridge for a month when Margaret Roper bribed the man, whose business it was to throw it into the river, to give it to her instead. The final fate of the relic is somewhat uncertain, but in 1824 a leaden box was found in the Roper vault at St. Dunstan's, Canterbury, which on being opened was found to contain a head presumed to be More's. The Jesuit Fathers at Stonyhurst possess a remarkable collection of secondary relics, most of which came to them from Father Thomas More, S.J. (d. 1795), the last male heir of the martyr. These include his hat, cap, crucifix of gold, a silver seal, "George", and other articles. The hair shirt, worn by him for many years and sent to Margaret Roper the day before his martyrdom, is preserved by the Augustinian canonesses of Abbots Leigh, Devonshire, to whom it was brought by Margaret Clements, the adopted child of Sir Thomas. A number of autograph letters are in the British Museum. Several portraits exist, the best being that by Holbein in the possession of E. Huth, Esq. Holbein also painted a large group of More's household which has disappeared, but the original sketch for it is in the Basle Museum, and a sixteenth-century copy is the property of Lord St. Oswald. Thomas More was formally beatified by Pope Leo XIII, in the Decree of 29 December, 1886. In 1935, he was canonized by Pope Pius XI.

More was a ready writer and not a few of his works remained in manuscript until some years after his death, while several have been lost altogether. Of all his writings the most famous is unquestionably the "Utopia", first published at Louvain in 1516. The volume recounts the fictitious travels of one Raphael Hythlodaye, a mythical character, who, in the course of a voyage to America, was left behind near Cape Frio and thence wandered on till he chanced upon the Island of Utopia ("nowhere") in which he found an ideal constitution in operation. The whole work is really an exercise of the imagination with much brilliant satire upon the world of More's own day. Real persons, such as Peter Giles, Cardinal Morton, and More himself, take part in the dialogue with Hythlodaye, so that an air of reality pervades the whole which leaves the reader sadly puzzled to detect where truth ends and fiction begins, and has led not a few to take the book seriously. But this is precisely what More intended, and there can be no doubt that he would have been delighted at entrapping William Morris, who discovered in it a complete gospel of Socialism; or Cardinal Zigliara, who denounced it as "no less foolish than impious"; as he must have been with his own contemporaries who proposed to hire a ship and send out missionaries to his non-existent island. The book ran through a number of editions in the original Latin version and, within a few years, was translated into German, Italian, French, Dutch, Spanish, and English.

A collected edition of More's English works was published by William Rastell, his nephew, at London in 1557; it has never been reprinted and is now rare and costly. The first collected edition of the Latin Works appeared at Basle in 1563; a more complete collection was published at Louvain in 1565 and again in 1566. In 1689 the most complete edition of all appeared at Frankfort-on-Main, and Leipzig. After the "Utopia" the following are the most important works: "Luciani Dialogi...compluria opuscula... ab Erasmo Roterodamo et Thoma Moro interpretibus optimis in Latinorum lingua traducta..." (Paris, 1506); "Here is conteigned the lyfe of John Picus, Earle of Mirandula..." (London, 1510); "Historie of the pitiful life and unfortunate death of Edward the fifth and the then Duke of York his brother...", printed incomplete in the "English Works" (1557) and reissued with a completion from Hall's Chronicle by Wm. Sheares (London, 1641); "Thomae Mori v.c. Dissertatio Epistolica de aliquot sui temporis theologastrorum ineptiis..." (Leyden, 1625);

Epigrammata...Thomae Mori Britanni, pleraque e Graecis versa. (Basle, 1518); Eruditissimi viri Gul. Rossi Opus elegans quo pulcherrime retegit ac refellit insanas Lutheri calumnias (London, 1523), written at the request of Henry VIII in answer to Luther's reply to the royal "Defensio Septem Sacramentorum"; "A dyaloge of Syr Thomas More Knyght...of divers maters, as of the veneration and worshyp of ymages and relyques, praying to sayntys and goyng on pylgrymage..." (London,1529); "The Supplycacyon of Soulys" (London, 1529[?]), written in answer to Fish's "Supplication of the Beggars"; "Syr Thomas More's answer to the fyrste parte of the poysoned booke... named 'The Souper of the Lorde' " (London, 1532); "The Second parte of the Confutacion of Tyndal's Answere..." (London, 1533); these two works together form the most lengthy of all More's writings; besides Tindal, Robert Barnes is dealt with in the last book of the whole; "A Letter impugnynge the erronyouse wrytyng of John Fryth against the Blessed Sacrament of the Aultare" (London, 1533); "The Apologye of Syr Thomas More, Hnyght, made by him anno 1533, after he had given over the office of Lord Chancellour of Englande" (London, 1533); "The Debellacyon of Salem and Bizance" (London, 1533), an answer to the anonymous work entitled "Salem and Bizance", and vindicating the severe punishment of heresy; "A Dialogue of Comfort against Tribulation..." (London, 1553).
Among the other writings in the collected volume of "English Works" are the following which had not been previously published: An unfinished treatise "uppon those words of Holy Scripture, 'Memorare novissima et in eternum non peccabis' ", dated 1522; "Treatise to receive the blessed Body of our Lorde, sacramentally and virtually both"; "Treatise upon the Passion" unfinished; "Certein devout and vertuouse Instruccions, Meditacions and Prayers"; some letters written in the Tower, including his touching correspondence with his daughter Margaret.


SOURCE : http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/T/stthomasmore.asp#ixzz1yUauvOKQ



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