Thursday, June 14, 2012


Vatican City, 14 June 2012 (VIS) - "On the afternoon of Wednesday 13 June, Cardinal William Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and president of the Pontifical Commission 'Ecclesia Dei', met with Bishop Bernard Fellay, superior general of the Society of St. Pius X who was accompanied by an assistant. Also present at the encounter were Archbishop Luis Ladaria S.J., secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and Msgr. Guido Pozzo, secretary of the Pontifical Commission 'Ecclesia Dei'", according to a communique released today by the Holy See Press Office. (IMAGE SOURCE: GOOGLE/BLOGSPOT/RORATE)
"The purpose of the meeting was to present the Holy See's evaluation of the text submitted in April by the Society of St. Pius X in response to the Doctrinal Preamble which the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith had presented to the Society on 14 September 2011. The subsequent discussion offered an opportunity the provide the appropriate explanations and clarifications. For his part, Bishop Fellay illustrated the current situation of the Society of St. Pius X and promised to make his response known within a reasonable lapse of time.
"Also during the meeting, a draft document was submitted proposing a Personal Prelature as the most appropriate instrument for any future canonical recognition of the Society.
"As was stated in the communique released on 16 May 2012, the situation of the other three bishops of the Society of St. Pius X will be dealt with separately and singularly.
"At the end of the meeting the hope was expressed that this additional opportunity for reflection would also contribute to reaching full communion between the Society of St. Pius X and the Apostolic See".

Vatican City, 14 June 2012 (VIS) - "This morning 14 June the Holy Father Benedict XVI received in audience Jose Graziano da Silva, director general of the Rome-based United Nation's Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO). The director general subsequently went on to meet with Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B. who was accompanied by Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States.
"During the cordial discussions great appreciation was expressed for the commitment shown by the Holy See and the Catholic Church to combating hunger and poverty, especially in Africa, and to remedying the worrying situation of world food security", according to a Holy See Press Office communique released today.
"It was then noted that, despite the fact that there are sufficient resources to satisfy the food requirements of the entire planet, persistent economic, social and political obstacles hinder the possibility of meeting those requirements. Finally, the hope was expressed that the rural sector may once again take a leading role in development strategies, that sustainable models of agricultural production and food consumption be promoted, and that greater equity and efficiency be guaranteed in the administration of the food system".

Vatican City, 14 June 2012 (VIS) - On Friday 8 June at the Government Palace in Vilnius the Holy See and the Republic of Lithuania signed an Agreement on the Recognition of Qualifications concerning Higher Education.
Archbishop Luigi Bonazzi, apostolic nuncio to Lithuania, signed on behalf or the Holy See, while Audronius Azubalis, minister for foreign affairs, signed for Lithuania.
The Agreement is in line with the 1997 Lisbon Convention, the various goals of which include that of favouring reciprocal recognition of periods of study and of qualifications in the field of higher education. Such recognition serves, among other things, to facilitate the movement of students and free circulation in the ambit of higher education within the region of Europe. Moreover, the Agreement is also in line with the aims of the Bologna Process, which has created the European Higher Education Area, currently involving forty-seven European countries, including the Holy See, with the support of a number of international organisations.
The current Agreement, apart from defining the principal terms it uses and its field of application, establishes rules, procedures and instruments to guarantee the recognition of higher education. It completes the juridical framework of relations between the Holy See and the Republic of Lithuania, which are already regulated by three Agreements signed on 5 May 2000. They concern cooperation in the field of education and culture, juridical aspects of relations between the Catholic Church and the State, and pastoral assistance to Catholics in the armed forces.
The current Agreement will enter into force on the day the two parties announce they have completed the respective internal legal procedures.

Vatican City, 14 June 2012 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in audience:
- Bishop Henri Brincard of Le Puy-en-Velay, France.
- Eleven prelates from the Episcopal Conference of Colombia, on their "ad limina" visit:
- Archbishop Luis Madrid Merlano of Nueva Pamplona.
- Bishop Jaime Munoz Pedroza of Aracua.
- Bishop Julio Cesar Vidal Cortez of Cucuta.
- Bishop Jorge Enrique Lozano Zafra of Ocana.
- Bishop Omar Alberto Sanchez Cubillos O.P. of Tibu.
- Archbishop Luis Augusto Castro Quiroga I.M.C. of Tunja.
- Bishop Luis Felipe Sanchez Aponte of Chiquinquira.
- Bishop Carlos Prada Sanmiguel of Duitama-Sogamoso.
- Bishop Jose Vicente Hueras Vargas of Garagoa.
- Bishop Hector Javier Pizarro Acevedo O.A.R., apostolic vicar of Trinidad.

Vatican City, 14 June 2012 (VIS) - The Holy Father accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of Porec i Pula, Croatia, presented by Bishop Ivan Milovan, in accordance with canon 401 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law. He is succeeded by Coadjutor Bishop Drazen Kutlesa.


A global event gathered over 12500 people during the Eucharistic Congress in Ireland for the Eucharistic Procession.

Priesthood is not to be undertaken as a personal honour, Archbishop Dermot Clifford told pilgrims at morning prayer yesterday 13th June, the fourth day of the 50th International Eucharistic Congress.

In the words of Pope John Paul II, Archbishop Clifford described priesthood as “unique, indispensable and irreplaceable”. He added that “the title of bishop is one not of honour but of function and therefore a bishop should strive to serve rather than rule.” The purpose is the service of the faithful, to enable them to exercise their own special priesthood.

During catechesis in the main RDS arena at 2pm, Archbishop J Michael Miller, Archbishop of Vancouver, Canada, spoke about three points on priesthood, which included the relationship between the priesthood of all the baptised and the ministerial priesthood; the priest as a man of communion called to foster unity and healing; and the role of the priest in serving his brothers and sisters in their participation in the Church’s saving mission.

Later in the afternoon, Mrs Noreen Carroll a parishioner from Foxrock Parish, Dublin delivered a personal testimony about "Priesthood and Ministry in the Service of Communion" in the main RDS arena. Mrs Carroll explained: “The way in which each priest makes Christ present to all of us who seek God is the great mystery of priesthood.”

Sr Conchita McDonnell, President of CORI (Conference of Religious Ireland) also delivered a personal testimony about "Consecrated Life – A Life of Communion". Sr McDonnell told the thousands of pilgrims gathered in the main RDS arena that despite all that has happened in Ireland in recent years it is clear that our witness is not ineffective but rather can have a lasting effect on the lives of people.

“While attending funerals of religious throughout Ireland since the recent reports on child abuse it is striking how much the individual religious is loved and cherished and his/her contribution to the local community referred to in loving concrete terms,” Sr Conchita added.

Cardinal Oscar Andés Rodríguez-Maradiaga, Archbishop of Tegucigalpa, Honduras, was the main celebrant at Mass to celebrate the feast day of St Anthony of Padua. In his Homily focusing on ‘Saint Anthony of Padua and His Eucharistic Devotion’, Cardinal Rodríguez-Maradiaga said: “The Liturgy tells us that the saints fulfill a triple function in the Church: the example of their lives, the help of their intercession and the sharing of their destiny.”

Also concelebrating the Mass were Archbishop J Michael Miller; Archbishop of Vancouver, Bishop John Lee; Taiwan, Bishop Fernando Panico; National Delegate, Brazil, Bishop Anthony Banzi; Tanzania, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, IEC2012 President and Archbishop of Dublin, and Cardinal Seán Brady; Primate of All-Ireland.

The musicians and performers included the Derry Cathedral Choir conducted by Sister Perpetual McNulty, James Kilbane, Ennis Gospel Choir, and singer Sarah McCourt.

After Mass, more than 12,500 pilgrims, clergy and parishioners gathered at the RDS Simmonscourt Complex and the main arena for the 50th International Eucharistic Congress Procession.
Pilgrims walked around the RDS complex at 7.30pm turning left down Simmonscourt Road, turning right onto Anglesea Road, right again onto Merrion Road, and the route returned to the grounds of the RDS Simmonscourt, a route of approximately 2.5 kilometres.
Individuals, community and parish groups from across the country gathered to walk the procession with colourful banners. These included: Church of Ireland Boys Brigade, Scouts with Colour Party, Guides with Colour Party, Lourdes Pilgrimage Groups, Civil Defence, Parish groups, and Knights of Malta.


by Wang Zhicheng
Scandal and outrage over story and the photo of the woman forced to have abortions, pictured with the dying baby boy lying next to her in bed. Shaanxi population control authority have launched an investigation. The woman's husband wants to sue employees who forced his wife to abort. In China, forced abortions are prohibited by law, but papers are full of stories of forced abortions and sterilizations. TO SEE THE IMAGES CLICK LINK BELOW (WARNING GRAPHIC)

Beijing (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The forced abortions in China that are practiced in the name of the one child law "are like the murder of women and children taking place in Syria". This is one comment on the internet following the publication of the news and terrible photo of a Chinese woman forced to abort the seventh month and pictured with the small shot at his side on the hospital bed.

The story was published by AsiaNews two days ago (see: 12/06/2012 Chinese woman forced to abort in the seventh month. One-child rule massacre continues). Since then the Internet in Chinais full of fiery comments against the Shaanxi family planning authority , so much so they have been forced to open an investigation to see whether if there has been forced abortion in the case in question.

In China the one child law, in force since the late 70s, was always applied with violence, but in recent years the government has promised not to use coercive methods. In theory, forced abortion is prohibited but the media abounds with reports of forced abortions and sterilizations. Very often used population control authorities allow themselves to be corrupted by charging high fines.

According to human rights groups, Feng Jianmei, a woman of 22 years in the town of Zengjia (see photo), was kidnapped by employees of Family Planning and held for three days in the hospital where the abortion was performed at the seventh month of pregnancy against her will.

She and her husband Deng Jiyuan have a child of five years. At the time of the kidnapping, Deng was working in Inner Mongolia. The authorities called him with an ultimatum: either pay 40 thousand yuan in fines (the fee for second child), or "choose" an abortion. Deng pointed out that the amount claimed is "more than four years of my salary," and it was impossible to collect.

Not being able to pay, the employees of population control proceeded to inject Feng with drugs to induce the abortion.

According to authorities, Feng consented to abortion. For the husband, his wife was forced to put her fingerprint on the medical record: her "consent" was extorted. For this reason, some lawyers are planning to sue the family planning authorities.

Photos: SCMP



CISA REPORT; AMOUSSOLEKRO, June 12, 2012 (CISA) -Militias loyal to the former president of the Ivory Coast Laurent Gbagbo are recruiting child soldiers in Liberia to launch cross-border raids on the Ivory Coast.
Children as young as 14 are being trained, armed and used as scouts according to a report by the Human Rights Watch.
Matt Wells, the West Africa researcher for Human Rights Watch who carried out much of the research for the report, told Russia Today “recruiting children is a recent phenomenon in the last couple of months and is so they can mount larger attacks.” He suggested that without child soldiers, the militias would not have sufficient numbers for their armed raids to be successful.
A 17-year-old Liberian who was recruited to fight with the armed militants told Human Rights Watch that he had taken part in at least one cross-border raid. “They call us ‘small boys unit’ and we are always safe when we go to the war zones in Ivory Coast. I don’t know the total that we have killed.”
Human Rights Watch identified between 100-150 militants who have participated or plan to participate in cross-border raids, although the true figure is thought to be much higher than that.
The Liberian authorities have been slow to stop the activities of the militia groups and the recruitment of child soldiers.
“There are some guys in our community who have been recruiting small boys. We have been complaining to the security forces, but they are always saying they don’t have the evidence to prove it,” a 32-year-old trader in the border region told Human Rights Watch.
Although the border between Liberia and Ivory Coast is very difficult to monitor and is deep in the bush, Wells said that until the last few days the response from the Liberian authorities has been totally inadequate. However, a raid last Friday which killed 15 people including seven UN peace-keepers has forced the governments of both countries to take action. Liberia has now closed its 450-mile border with the former French colony.
The government of Ivory Coast has threatened to deploy soldiers to Liberia to root out the militias if the problem is not swiftly resolved.
The Ivory Coast is still deeply divided and Alassane Ouattara, president since 2010, has struggled to unify a post-conflict army composed of former rebels and government soldiers.
Gbagbo was arrested in May 2010 after a brief civil war and is now awaiting trial by the International Criminal Court.


Agenzia Fides REPORT - The Indigenous Missionary Council (CIMI), organization of the Catholic Church in Brazil, presented in Brasilia the 2011 data on violence against indigenous peoples (see Fides 06/06/2012). The Annual Report of CIMI, prepared with people working in the field, reports that between 2000 and 2011 555 suicides of indigenous people in Mato Grosso do Sul were registered, the state with the largest ethnic group in the country, the Guarani Kaiowá. Only in 2011 there were 45 cases of indigenous people who committed suicide, three more compared to 2010. The alarming news is the increase of young people who kill themselves in this way: their age is between 14 and 18 and, when speaking of adults, between 21 and 30.
"The data presented in this report reveal the aggression on human dignity of indigenous peoples of Brazil, their pain and their suffering," writes Mgr. Erwin Kräutler, Bishop of the Prelature of Xingu in the Amazon and President of CIMI, in the introduction of document. The report shows an increase of "environmental damage", revealing that last year 42 cases of invasion for the "possession and illegal exploitation of natural resources" were reported, an increasing number compared to 2010.
The CIMI also criticizes "the slowness of the federal government in giving and demarcating the land to the indigenous," saying that this attitude "further exposes the territories to environmental degradation." "In 2011 only three lands were handed over by President Dilma Rousseff, the worst result in the first year of government since the time of Jose Sarney." Mgr. Erwin concludes by emphasizing the significance of the land for indigenous people: "For the indigenous land is survival, for society it is a mere commodity."(CE) (Agenzia Fides 14/6/2012)


Appointment of Mr Jeffery Gleeson SC as an Independent Commissioner under the Melbourne Response

Wednesday 13 June 2012

“I am pleased to announce the appointment of Mr Jeffery J Gleeson SC as an Independent Commissioner under the Melbourne Response” stated Archbishop of Melbourne, Archbishop Denis Hart.

Mr Gleeson will take up his appointment in July 2012.

Mr Peter O’Callaghan QC will continue as an Independent Commissioner. Mr Gleeson’s appointment is made following the announcement by the Victorian Government of a Parliamentary Inquiry into child abuse, and will ensure that the Melbourne Response can continue to operate efficiently and effectively while the Inquiry is underway.

Mr Gleeson will act under the same terms and conditions as Mr O’Callaghan and which are contained in the Appointment of Independent Commissioner to Enquire into Sexual and Other Abuse at

When the Melbourne Response was introduced in 1996, it had been thought that the Office of Independent Commissioner and Mr O’Callaghan’s tenure as Independent Commissioner would be short. This has not been the case and sadly there is still a steady flow of complaints for the Melbourne Response to deal with.

Mr Gleeson was admitted to practice as a barrister and solicitor of the Supreme Court of Victoria in May 1989, came to the Bar in 1992 and was appointed Senior Counsel in November 2007. Mr Gleeson practises extensively in the Supreme Court of Victoria, and the Federal Court of Australia and also appears in the High Court.

Mr Gleeson is currently Senior Counsel Assisting the AFL Tribunal and is Chairman of the Insurance Committee of the Victorian Bar. Since 1997, Mr Gleeson has acted as Counsel Assisting the Independent Commissioner, and is therefore very familiar with the practices and procedures of the Commission and the Melbourne Response.

“Due to his extensive experience as a barrister and his work as Counsel Assisting the Independent Commissioner, he is very well qualified and experienced to act as Independent Commissioner” Archbishop Hart said.

“In announcing the appointment of Mr Gleeson, I acknowledge the commitment and dedication which Mr O’Callaghan has displayed during his nearly 16 years as Independent Commissioner. He has dealt with over 320 complaints in this time with compassion and understanding for all of the victims he has met,” said Archbishop Hart.

Under the Melbourne Response, the Independent Commissioner is the first point of contact for people wishing to make allegations or complaints, seek counselling or obtain information about compensation. The Independent Commissioner receives complaints and enquires into allegations of sexual abuse by priests, lay people and religious who are or were under the auspices of the Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne. When the Commissioner is satisfied that the abuse occurred, the Commissioner notifies the Archbishop and refers the victim to Carelink for counselling and to the Compensation Panel to determine the amount of compensation to be paid.

More about the Melbourne Response

The Melbourne Response was established in 1996 by the Archdiocese of Melbourne to help victims of sexual abuse within the Archdiocese. It offers an alternative to those who do not wish to proceed through protracted and public court proceedings. The Melbourne Response responds in a timely manner to victims’ complaints and when established provides victims with a formal apology in writing from the Archbishop, access to compensation, free counselling, treatment and support. Further details are available at


Matthew 5: 20 - 26
20 For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
21 "You have heard that it was said to the men of old, `You shall not kill; and whoever kills shall be liable to judgment.'
22 But I say to you that every one who is angry with his brother shall be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother shall be liable to the council, and whoever says, `You fool!' shall be liable to the hell of fire.
23 So if you are offering your gift at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you,
24 leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.
25 Make friends quickly with your accuser, while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison;
26 truly, I say to you, you will never get out till you have paid the last penny.


St. Methodius I of Constantinople
Feast: June 14

Feast Day: June 14
Born: 8th century at Syracuse
Died: 847
Patriarch of Constantinople (842-846), defender of images during the second Iconoclast persecution, b. at Syracuse, towards the end of the eighth century; d. at Constantinople, 14 June, 846. The son of a rich family, he came, as a young man, to Constantinople intending to obtain a place at Court. But a monk persuaded him to change his mind and he entered a monastery. Under the Emperor Leo V (the Armenian, 813-820) the Iconoclast persecution broke out for the second time. The monks were nearly all staunch defenders of the images; Methodius stood by his order and distinguished himself by his opposition to the Government. In 815 the Patriarch Nicephorus I (806-815) was deposed and banished for his resistance to the Iconoclast laws; in his place Theodotus I (815-821) was intruded. In the same year Methodius went to Rome, apparently sent by the deposed patriarch, to report the matter to the pope (Paschal I, 817-824). He stayed in Rome till Leo V was murdered in 820 and succeeded by Michael II (820-829). Hoping for better things from the new emperor, Methodius then went back to Constantinople bearing a letter in which the pope tried to persuade Michael to change the policy of the Government and restore the Patriarch Nicephorus. But Michael only increased the fierceness of the persecution. As soon as Methodius had delivered his letter and exhorted the emperor to act according to it, he was severely scourged (with 70 stripes), taken to the island Antigoni in the Propontis, and there imprisoned in a disused tomb. The tomb must be conceived as a building of a certain size; Methodius lived seven years in it. In 828 Michael II, not long before his death, mitigated the persecution and proclaimed a general amnesty. Profiting by this, Methodius came out of his prison and returned to Constantinople almost worn out by his privations. His spirit was unbroken and he took up the defence of the holy images as zealously as before.

Michael II was succeeded by his son Theophilus (829-842), who caused the last and fiercest persecution of image-worshippers. Methodius again withstood the emperor to his face, was again scourged and imprisoned under the palace. But the same night he escaped, helped by his friends in the city, who hid him in their house and bound up his wounds. For this theGovernment confiscated their property. But seeing that Methodius was not to be overcome by punishment, the emperor tried to convince him by argument. The result of their discussion was that Methodius to some extent persuaded the emperor. At any rate towards the end of the reign the persecution was mitigated. Theophilus died in 842 and at once the whole situation was changed. His wife, Theodora, became regent for her son Michael III (the Drunkard, 842-867). She had always been an image-worshipper in secret; now that she had the power she at once began to restore images, set free the confessors in prison and bring back everything to the conditions of the Second Nicene Council (787). The Patriarch of Constantinople, John VII (832-842), was an Iconoclast set up by the Government. As he persisted in his heresy he was deposed and Methodius was made patriarch in his place (842-846). Methodius then helped the empress-regent in her restoration. He summoned a synod at Constantinople (842) that approved of John VII's deposition and his own succession. It had no new laws to make about images. The decrees of Nicæa II that had received the assent of the pope and the whole Church as those of an Œcumenical Council were put in force again. On 19 Feb., 842, the images were brought in solemn procession back to the churches. This was the first "Feast of Orthodoxy", kept again in memory of that event on the first Sunday of Lent every year throughout the Byzantine Church. Methodius then proceeded to depose Iconoclast bishops throughout his patriarchate, replacing them by image-worshippers. In doing so he seems to have acted severely. An opposition formed itself against him that nearly became an organized schism. The patriarch was accused of rape; but the woman in question admitted on examination that she had been bought by his enemies.

On 13 March, 842, Methodius brought the relics of his predecessor Nlicephorus (who had died in exile) with great honour to Constantinople. They were exposed for a time in the church of the Holy Wisdom, then buried in that of the Apostles. Methodius was succeeded by Ignatius, under whom the great schism of Photius broke out. Methodius is a saint to Catholics and Orthodox. He is named in the Roman Martyrology (14 June), on which day the Byzantine Church keeps his feast together with that of the Prophet Eliseus. He is acclaimed with the other patriarchs, defenders of images, in the service of the feast of Orthodoxy: "To Germanus, Tarasius, Nicephorus and Methodius, true high priests of God and defenders and teachers of Orthodoxy, R. Eternal memory (thrice)." The Uniate Syrians have his feast on the same day. The Orthodox have a curious legend, that his prayers and those of Theodora saved Theophilus out of hell. It is told in the Synaxarion for the feast of Orthodoxy.

St. Methodius is reputed to have written many works. Of these only a few sermons and letters are extant (in Migne, P.G., C, 1272-1325). An account of the martyrdom of Denis the Areopagite by him is in Migne, P.G., IV, 669-682, two sermons on St. Nicholas in N. C. Falconius, "S. Nicolai acta primigenia" (Naples, 1751), 39-74.


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