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Friday, June 29, 2012

CATHOLIC NEWS WORLD THURSDAY JUNE 28, 2012

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
VATICAN : POPE : WITNESS TO LOVE OF CHRIST AND OTHER NEWS
AFRICA : ERITREA : REFUGEES FACE HARD TIMES
EUROPE : RESTORING CATHEDRALS BY YOUNG CAMPERS
AMERICA : PANAMA : CHURCH TO BE A BRIDGE OF UNITY
ASIA : BANGLADESH : OVER 150000 DISPLACED FROM FLOODS
AUSTRALIA : RISING DEATH COUNT FROM BOAT CAPSIZING
TODAY'S SAINT : JUNE 28 : ST. IRENAEUS OF LYONS
TODAY'S MASS ONLINE : THURSDAY JUNE 28, 2012

VATICAN : POPE : WITNESS TO LOVE OF CHRIST AND OTHER NEWS

(Image source: Radio Vaticana)
BENEDICT XVI'S PRAYER INTENTIONS FOR JULY
Vatican City, 28 June 2012 (VIS) - Pope Benedict's general prayer intention for July is: "That everyone may have work in safe and secure conditions".
His mission intention is: "That Christian volunteers in mission territories may witness to the love of Christ".
HOLY FATHER RECALLS ECUMENICAL INITIATIVES OF PATRIARCH ATHENAGORAS, AND OF POPES JOHN XXIII AND PAUL VI
Vatican City, 28 June 2012 (VIS) - This morning in the Vatican, in a traditional meeting for the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul Apostles, Benedict XVI received a delegation sent by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I. The Church of Rome and the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople traditionally exchange visits for the feasts of their respective patrons.
The delegation, which delivered a message to the Holy Father on behalf of the Patriarch, was made up of His Eminence Emmanuel (Adenakis), metropolitan of France and director of the office of the Orthodox Church to the European Union; His Grace Ilias Katre, bishop of Philomelion, U.S.A., and Rev. Paisios Kokkinakis of the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
Benedict XVI told the group that the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul "gives us an opportunity to thank the Lord for the extraordinary works He has achieved and continues to achieve through the Apostles in the life of the Church. Their preaching, sealed by the witness of martyrdom, is the solid and durable base upon which the Church rests. By remaining faithful to the deposit of faith they have handed down to us, we discover our own shared roots".
"In our meeting - as we entrust to the intercession of the glorious Apostles and Martyrs Peter and Paul our prayer that the Lord ... may soon grant us that blessed day in which we can share the Eucharistic bread - we thank God for the journey of peace and reconciliation He has caused us to travel together. This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of Vatican Council II. ... It was during that Council - attended, as you well know, by certain representatives of the Ecumenical Patriarchate as fraternal delegates - that a new and important phase in relations between our Churches began. Let us praise the Lord above all for the rediscovery of the profound brotherhood which unites us, and for the distance covered over these years by the Joint Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches, also in the hope that it will continue to progress in the current phase".
"As we remember the anniversary of Vatican Council II, I think it right to recall the person and works of the unforgettable Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras who, together with Blessed John XXIII and Servant of God Paul VI, moved by that passion for Church unity which arises from faith in Christ the Lord, promoted important initiatives which paved the way to renewed relations between the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Catholic Church. I am profoundly glad that His Holiness Bartholomew I, with renewed faithfulness and fruitful creativity, is continuing along the path laid down by his predecessors Athenagoras and Demetrios, and is known throughout the world for his openness to dialogue among Christians and his commitment to announcing the Gospel in the modern world", the Holy Father concluded.


DECREES OF THE CONGREGATION FOR THE CAUSES OF SAINTS
Vatican City, 28 June 2012 (VIS) - Today, during a private audience with Cardinal Angelo Amato S.D.B., prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, the Pope authorised the Congregation to promulgate the following decrees:
MIRACLES
- Servant of God Luca Passi, Italian diocesan priest and founder of the Congregation of the Teaching Sisters of St. Dorothy (1789-1866).
- Servant of God Francesca de Paula de Jesus, known as Nha Chica, Brazilian laywoman (1808-1895).
MARTYRDOM
- Servants of God Manuel Borras Ferre, auxiliary bishop of Tarragona, Spain, Agapito Modesto (ne Modesto Pamplona Falguera) of the Institute of Brothers of Christian Schools, and 145 companions, killed in hatred of the faith in Spain between 1936 and 1939.
- Servant of God Giuseppe Puglisi, Italian diocesan priest (1937-1993), killed in hatred of the faith in Palermo, Italy in 1993.
- Servants of God Ermenegildo of the Assumption (ne Ermenegildo Iza y Aregita) and five companions of the Order of the Blessed Trinity, killed in hatred of the faith in Spain in 1936.
- Servant of God Victoria de Jesus (nee Francesca Valverde Gonzalez), Spanish religious of the "Instituto Calasancio de Hijas de la Divina Pastora" (1888-1937), killed in hatred of the faith in Spain in 1937.
- Servant of God Devasahayam (Lazarus) Pillai, Indian layman (1712-1752), killed in hatred of the faith in India in 1752.
HEROIC VIRTUES
- Servant of God Sisto Riario Sforza, Italian archbishop of Naples and cardinal of Holy Roman Church (1810-1877).
- Servant of God Fulton Sheen, American archbishop, and former bishop of Rochester (1895-1979).
- Servant of God Alvaro del Portillo y Diez de Sollano, Spanish prelate of the Personal Prelature of the Holy Cross and Opus Dei (1914-1994).
- Servant of God Ludwig Tijssen, Dutch diocesan priest (1865-1929).
- Servant of God Cristobal of St. Catherine (ne: Cristobal Fernando Valladolid), Spanish priest and founder of the Congregation and the Hospital of Jesus of Nazareth in Cordoba (1638-1690).
- Servant of God Marie of the Sacred Heart (nee Marie Josephte Fitzbach), Canadian widow and founder of the Handmaidens of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, known as the Good Shepherd Sisters of Quebec (1806-1885).
- Servant of God Mary Angeline Teresa (nee Bridget Teresa McCrory), founder of the Carmelite Sisters for the Aged and Infirm (1893-1984).
- Servant of God Maria Margit (nee Adelaide Bogner), Hungarian professed nun of the Order of the Visitation (1905-1933).
- Servant of God Ferdinanda Riva, Italian professed sister of the Institute of Daughters of Charity (1920-1956).
On 10 May the Holy Father authorised the Congregation to promulgate the decree concerning the martyrdom of Servant of God Juan Huguet y Cardona, Spanish diocesan priest (1913-1936), killed in hatred of the faith in Spain in 1936.

AUDIENCES
Vatican City, 28 June 2012 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in audience:
- Mordechay Levy, ambassador of Israel, on his farewell visit.
- Lamia Mekhemar, ambassador of the Arab Republic of Egypt, on her farewell visit.
- Cardinal Angelo Amato S.D.B., prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.


OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS
Vatican City, 28 June 2012 (VIS) - The Holy Father:
- Appointed Bishop Carlo Roberto Maria Redaelli, auxiliary of Milan, Italy, as metropolitan archbishop of Gorizia (area 1,030, population 186,627, Catholics 181,027, priests 122, permanent deacons 13, religious 309), Italy. He succeeds Archbishop Dino De Antoni, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same archdiocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.
- Appointed Fr. Marcel Damphousse of the clergy of the archdiocese of Saint-Boniface, Canada, rector of the cathedral and member of the diocesan council for economic affairs, as bishop of Alexandria-Cornwall (area 1,290, population 90,100, Catholics 56.042, priests 40, permanent deacons 19, religious 35), Canada. The bishop-elect was born in Saint-Joseph, Canada in 1963 and ordained a priest in 1991. He studied in Rome and has worked as a parish priest, diocesan director for vocations and chaplain of the local high school.
- Appointed Archbishop Henryk Jozef Nowacki, apostolic nuncio to Nicaragua, as apostolic nuncio to Sweden and Iceland.

AFRICA : ERITREA : REFUGEES FACE HARD TIMES

CISA REPORT:
cisanews
ASMARA, June 26, 2012 (CISA) –Eritrean refugees in Israel and other countries in the Horn of Africa are facing hostility and forceful return to their oppressive regime, Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) has said.
According to the Christian organisation, Eritrean refugees face almost certain imprisonment and mistreatment if returned to their own country.
“There has been a sort of rising anger at the presence of increasing numbers of refugees particularly from Sudan and Eritrea in Israel,” says Dr Khataza Gondwe, CSW Team Leader for Africa and the Middle East.
Dr Gondwe said that for Eritreans, “the thought that they have fled an oppressive regime, and then to reach Israel only to be returned to the oppressive regime is quite an awful thought.”
According to Vatican Radio, Dr Gondwe adds that NGO’s have been trying to help meet the needs of refugees both psychologically and materially.
In recent times, since Eritrea’s independence in 1993, President Isaias Afewerki has come under heavy criticism from international bodies such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch for its record on human rights violations.
SHARED FROM CISA NEWS

EUROPE : RESTORING CATHEDRALS BY YOUNG CAMPERS

Young campers restore UK Cathedrals | Cathedral Campers, CSV

Group at Southwark Cathedral
IND. CATH. NEWS REPORT:
This summer young people will be touring UK’s cathedrals, chapels and churches in a bid to protect and restore UK faith buildings, as part of CSV’s Cathedral Camps volunteering summer programme.
Cathedral Camps, which are run by UK volunteering charity CSV, will see young people getting stuck in all areas of church and cathedral life in painting walls, polishing spires, ringing bells, sweeping the grounds, surveying tombstones and cleaning graveyards. ‘Campers’, all aged between 16 – 25 years old, will get the chance to see the hidden dark corners of the nation’s most iconic religious buildings across the UK.
It is the ideal opportunity for any young person who has a personal or career interest in heritage conservation; is doing a Duke of Edinburgh award or just likes having fun and getting to know people from all over the world!

Cathedral and historic church enthusiast and TV presenter, Loyd Grossman, supports CSV Cathedral Camps. He said: “As the Chairman of The Churches Conservation Trust, a partner of Cathedral Camps, I know first hand the importance of protecting our historic religious buildings. Small changes, such as lime-washing church walls, recording ancient tombstones or archiving precious paintings can make a huge difference. CSV Cathedral Camps is a wonderful opportunity for young people to have a stake in the future of heritage buildings.”
Venue highlights for 2012
Islington Union Chapel is the perfect camp for young people interested in comedy, music and amateur dramatics as this Grade I listed building serves a multi-purpose of worship and popular culture. Campers will be painting, polishing and cleaning the grounds.
Winchester Cathedral offers a wealth of beauty and stunning architecture. Set in idyllic South East England, Winchester is packed with historic buildings, museums and tranquil green spaces. This is the perfect opportunity for young people to explore Winchester’s hidden treasures including a fortified medieval gateway, 150 years of prisoners’ graffiti and King Arthur’s Round Table.
Bangor Cathedral is situated in a region of outstanding natural beauty where the Snowdonia Mountains reach the sea. Campers will get a chance to explore the UK’s smallest city, which boasts of its own Victorian Pier and longest High Street in Wales; perfect for shopping enthusiasts.

Ripon Cathedral is described as the ‘perfect’ Cathedral due to its epic proportions and is set in the Yorkshire countryside. Dominating the Ripon skyline, this amazing building with its medieval woodcarving which decorates the choir stalls inspired the likes of author Lewis Carroll.
St Mary's Episcopal Cathedral, Edinburgh is the largest ecclesiastical building in Scotland, which stands in the heart of the busy West End but maintains an aura of stillness and peace. It was built in the 19th Century and designed in a Gothic style.
Somerset churches with CCT is a chance to work in four historic rural churches in idyllic countryside.
Experts will be on hand as campers discover the wonders of these hidden gems and help with crucial conservation tasks. Literary skills will be needed too as participants will develop a much-needed ‘walkround’ guide at one church, in a single day.
CSV Cathedral Camps leader, Hannah Foxon said: “Cathedral Camps is a fantastic chance to help preserve and maintain some of this country’s finest architecture whilst meeting new people and learning new skills. Most volunteers come away with the feeling of great pride, success and achievement. This year is my fourth year and fifth camp as a leader for CSV Cathedral Camps, and each camp I have attended has been totally different. I especially enjoy the varied opportunities the camps provide.”
Wendy Lee, CSV’s project manager for Cathedral Camps, said: “CSV Cathedral Camps is a great opportunity for young people, aged 16-25 to learn new skills, whilst protecting historic places of faith. The charity celebrated its 30th anniversary last year, which is a testament to its success and the young volunteers who show great enthusiasm and commitment. Without the time and energy of volunteers, these jobs will not get done and spectacular buildings may be at risk.”
Cathedral Camps Summer programme 2012

4 July – 11 July
St Mary's Episcopal Cathedral, Edinburgh
11 July – 18 July
Wells Cathedral
11 July – 18 July
Churches Conservation Trust, Somerset
18 July – 25 July
Holy Trinity, Kendal Parish Church
25 July – 1 August
St Mark's Church, London
25 July – 1 August
Islington Union Chapel, London
1 August – 8 August
Ripon Cathedral
1 August – 8 August
Truro Cathedral
1 August – 8 August
Canterbury Cathedral
1 August – 8 August
Winchester Cathedral
8 August – 15 August
Chester Cathedral
15 August – 22 August
Tewkesbury Abbey
15 August – 22 August
Bangor Cathedral
15 August – 22 August
Wimborne Minster
22 August – 29 August
Southwell Minster

Each camp runs from Wednesday to Wednesday for one week with Saturday afternoon and all day Sunday free for relaxation or exploring the local area. Activities are arranged for the evenings to see the sights and have some fun with fellow campers.
Campers make a contribution of £195 towards accommodation, food, instruction and supervision.
For further information and booking details about Cathedral Camps visit: http://www.cathedralcamps.org.uk or call 0121 643 8080
SHARED FROM IND. CATH. NEWS

AMERICA : PANAMA : CHURCH TO BE A BRIDGE OF UNITY

Agenzia Fides REPORT - President Ricardo Martinelli and the Archbishop of Panama, Monsignor José Domingo Ulloa, met on the afternoon of June 26 at Palazzo der Las Grazas, according to a note sent to Fides Agency. The meeting, which took place in the President’s office, was also attended by the Auxiliary Mgr. Pablo Varela; the priest Miguel Angel Keller, pastoral vicar; the Minister of Education, Lucy Molinar, and Luis Eduardo Camacho, Secretary of communications of the State.
During the meeting, Monsignor Domingo Ulloa Martinelli told the President about his talks with various sectors of society, aimed at building bridges to maintain an atmosphere of peace and tranquility that the country badly needs. The Church, through these approaches, will try to create useful contacts for dialogue between government and opposition groups for the benefit of the country.
The President reiterated his continued commitment to respect the Constitution and laws of the State, and promote an atmosphere of friendly dialogue, in order to prevail the interests of all Panamanians.
Before the meeting the Archbishop had met with the leaders of the Fronte for Democracy and other opposition members, union members and environmental groups, reiterating the Church's position: "To become a bridge for unity among all political protagonists for the common good of the country." (CE) (Agenzia Fides

ASIA : BANGLADESH : OVER 150000 DISPLACED FROM FLOODS

ASIA NEWS REPORT
In Chittagong water has reached a meter in height. The disturbance is moving towards the northeast. Local sources of AsiaNews resize the situation: "These are normal seasonal floods." And they complain: "The government has launched appeals to the international community, but the money that arrives does not go to the victims of the disasters."


Chittagong (AsiaNews) - At least 110 dead and over 150,000 displaced: this is the toll from the floods which for days have been hitting the southeast of Bangladesh, in particular the districts of Chittagong, Cox's Bazar and Bandarban. The data - continuously updated - comes from the Ministry of Food and Disaster Management. However, local sources of AsiaNews diminish the magnitude of the disaster: "We're in monsoon season, unfortunately these situations occur every year. They are seasonal floods, it is still early to proclaim it a disaster. What is worrying is that another disturbance, of greater magnitude, is headed towards the northeast of the country: the area includes many villages, thousands of people. Many are already flooded; should it continue to rain, anything can happen."

In the past few days, the sources explained, "there was a disturbance on the sea that brought heavy rains. In Chittagong city, roads and streets were flooded; the water reached nearly a meter in height. The problem is that there are no drainage systems. Then, there were landslides on the hills around the city, which struck some houses."

Meanwhile, the government has not yet organized rescue operations. Where possible, the population receives aid from local Caritas centers or some NGOs. "Even this", the source said, "is normal. Everyone has to fend for himself. From one point of view, the government is powerless in the face of such situations. It also happened in the past, when the floods inundated thousands of villages". What is certain though, is that "when these situations occur, the government launches appeals to the international community to receive aid, which however does not go to disaster areas, but into the pockets of someone else."


SHARED FROM ASIA NEWS IT

AUSTRALIA : RISING DEATH COUNT FROM BOAT CAPSIZING

Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese REPORT
28 Jun 2012


Another asylum seeker boat capsizes with 25 missing
When news came through early yesterday morning that an asylum seeker boat filled with women and children had capsized off the Indonesia waters, Christmas Island local and father of two, Kamar Ismail experienced grief and a feeling of utter despair.
"For anyone to die at sea is sad, but it is especially sad when some of those are children," he says.
Like many other locals, Kamar Ismail is deeply troubled by the second asylum seeker boat tragedy in less than two weeks and is still haunted by memories of another Wednesday morning 18 months ago when a flimsy boat carrying 90 asylum seekers was thrown against the jagged rocks of the Island.

Locals like Mike Foster tried desperately to help rescue
asylum seekers off Christmas Island in December 2010
Over the crash of splintering timbers and the roar of waves and wind as storms lashed the Island's rugged coast, there were frantic screams for help. But in the mountainous seas but on 15 December 2010 locals such as Kamar Ismail and Island electrician, Mike Foster were forced to watch helplessly as more than 48 men, women and children lost their lives.
"As the boat came in I saw a lady in the water pointing to the back of the boat and saying a man was holding a baby and shouting that the baby was dying. Then a big wave pushed the boat towards the cliff and suddenly everybody was in the water. I kept on looking for the baby the man was holding. But it was not there," he says.
Kamar cannot forget the man and the baby who had stood at the rear of the boat before being lost under the waves as the boat broke up and smashed against the rocks.
For Simon Prince, who operates the dive shop on the Island it was even more traumatic as he raced down the long jetty near Rocky Point where the boat foundered, desperately throwing whatever life jackets the shop had into the water in a bid to help those fighting for survival in the huge seas.

Kamar Ismail saw a man holding a dying baby
and then both disappeared as the boat broke up
Mike Foster also has vivid memories of that morning as well as later in the week when refrigerated containers were converted to temporary morgues. As the bodies of those who lost their lives in the tragedy were recovered, they were taken to these temporary morgues where newly-arrived teams from the Australian Federal Police began the difficult task of identifying the dead.
In the past week, the refrigerated containers serving as temporary morgues outside the island's small hospital are once again back on site. So too are increased numbers of the AFP.
"Survivors are unloaded onto the Island down near the stevedoring area by the detention centre which is closed off. So we don't see them but we can see when the bodies come in, when they are loaded into vans and trucks. We know what the refrigerated container means and that this is where recovered bodies are being taken," says Mike Foster of the 17 bodies recovered so far from last week's tragedy when an estimated 90 of the 210 aboard lost their lives.

Temporary morgues created
from refrigerated containers
So far as a result of yesterday's tragedy, 130 have been rescued. However only one body has been recovered and an estimated 25 missing.
"These tragedies touch the heart. No one wants people to die. Something has to be done," says Mike who criticises politicians on both sides for a policy that not only has failed to stop the boats but has done little to prevent more and more of these tragedies.
Karam Ismail is equally disturbed by the continuing loss of life.
"It is a sad thing and a very, very risky way of coming to this island," he says and like Mike and many others on the island blames the Government and Opposition for putting politics and next year's election ahead of the increasing number of deaths.
Since the Christmas Island shipwreck of 2010 almost 600 men, women and children have drowned during their perilous sea journey from Indonesia to Australia. However it is believed this figure could well be far higher as there are no records of the number of asylum seeker boats that leave Indonesia. Not picked up by radar, some with their human cargo of desperate people simply sink without a trace.

Stones with the names of those
lost serve as a makeshift memorial
to the 353 asylum seekers
lost at sea in 2001
"The situation seems increasingly hopeless and whatever locals privately think about asylum seekers and whether or not they agree with having a detention centre here on the island, all agree that these tragic and unnecessary deaths must stop," Kamar Ismail says.
Survivors land at Christmas Island and taken
by van to be assessed at the island's small hospital
Shared from ARCHDIOCESE OF SYDNEY

TODAY'S MASS ONLINE : THURSDAY JUNE 28, 2012

Matthew 7: 21 - 29
21 "Not every one who says to me, `Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
22 On that day many will say to me, `Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?'
23 And then will I declare to them, `I never knew you; depart from me, you evildoers.'
24 "Every one then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house upon the rock;
25 and the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat upon that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock.
26 And every one who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house upon the sand;
27 and the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell; and great was the fall of it."
28 And when Jesus finished these sayings, the crowds were astonished at his teaching,
29 for he taught them as one who had authority, and not as their scribes.

TODAY'S SAINT : JUNE 28 : ST. IRENAEUS OF LYONS

St. Irenaeus of Lyons
DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH
Feast: June 28


Information:
Feast Day: June 28
Born: 130 in Asia Minor
Died: 203 in Lyons, France
The writings of Irenaeus give him an honored place among the Fathers of the Church for they laid the foundations of Christian theology and, by refuting the errors of the Gnostics, kept the youthful Catholic faith from the danger of corruption by the subtle, pessimistic doctrines of these philosophers. Irenaeus was born, probably about the year 125, in one of the maritime provinces of Asia Minor, where the memory of the Apostles was still cherished and where Christians were already numerous. His education was exceptionally liberal, for, besides a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures, he had an acquaintance with Greek philosophy and literature. Irenaeus had also the privilege of sitting at the feet of men who had known the Apostles. Of these the one who made the deepest impression on him was St. Polycarp, the venerable bishop of Smyrna. All through his life, he told a friend, he could recall every detail of Polycarp's appearance, his voice, and the very words he used when telling what he had heard from John the Evangelist and others who had seen Jesus.

From early times commerce had been brisk between the ports of Asia Minor and the city of Marseilles, at the mouth of the Rhone River. In the second century of the Christian era Levantine traders were conveying their wares up the river as far as Lyons, the most populous city of Gaul and an important mart for all Western Europe. In the train of these Asiatic merchants, many of whom settled in Lyons, came Christian missionaries, who brought the Gospel to the pagan Gauls and founded a vigorous church. Here Irenaeus was sent to serve as priest under the bishop, Pothinus.

The high regard which Irenaeus earned for himself at Lyons was shown in the year 177, when he was chosen to go on a serious mission to Rome. He was the bearer of a letter to Pope Eleutherius, urging him to deal firmly with the Montanist faction in faraway Phrygia, for heresy was now rampant in the East. This mission explains how it was that Irenaeus did not share in the martyrdom of his fellow Christians. A persecution broke out, and some of the leaders of the Lyons church were imprisoned; a few suffered martyrdom. This was in the reign of the philosophical pagan emperor, Marcus Aurelius. Since Lyons was a vital outpost of imperial power, adorned with temples and fine public buildings, the Roman officials perhaps thought it necessary to keep the new religion in check here. When Irenaeus returned from Rome it was to fill the now vacant bishopric. The brief period of persecution was over, and the twenty or more years of his episcopate were fairly peaceful. In addition to his pastoral duties at Lyons, Irenaeus is said to have extended the sphere of Christian influence by sending missionaries to other towns of Gaul-SS. Felix, Fortunatus, and Achilleus to Valence, and SS. Ferrutius and Ferreolus to Besancon. The bishop identified himself with his flock so completely as to speak habitually the native tongue instead of Latin or Greek, and to encourage all priests to do likewise.

The spread of Gnosticism in Gaul led Irenaeus to make a careful study of its tenets, not an easy matter since each Gnostic teacher was inclined to introduce subtleties of his own. He was, Tertullian tells us, "a curious explorer of all kinds of learning," and the task interested him. His treatise , in five books, sets forth fully the doctrines of the main dissident sects of the day and then contrasts them with the words of Scripture and the teachings of the Apostles, as preserved not only in sacred writings but by oral tradition in the churches which the Apostles founded. Above all, he cites the authoritative tradition of the Church of Rome, handed down from Peter and Paul through an unbroken succession of bishops. In his theological works Irenaeus especially shows the influence of St. Paul and St. John. An humble, patient man, he writes of controversial matters with a moderation and courtesy unusual in this age of perfervid conviction.

An example of his method is his discussion of one type of Gnostic doctrine, that the visible world was created and is sustained and governed by angelic beings, but not by God, who remains unconnected with it, aloof and unmoved in his own inaccessible sphere. Irenaeus states the theory, develops it to a logical conclusion, and then by an effective demonstrates its fallacy. The Christian doctrine of a close continuing relationship between the Triune God and the world He created Irenaeus describes thus: "The Father is above all, and He is the Head of Christ; the Word (Logos) is through all things and is Himself the Head of the Church, while the Spirit is in us all, and His is the living water which the Lord gave to those who believe in Him and love Him, and who know that there is one Father above all things and through all things." Irenaeus was convinced that the veil of mystery which enveloped Gnosticism was part of its attraction, and he was determined to "strip the fox," as he expressed it. His book, written in Greek and quickly translated into Latin, was widely circulated, and from this time on Gnosticism presented no serious threat.

Thirteen or fourteen years after his mission to Rome, Irenaeus attempted mediation between another Pope and a body of Christians in Asia Minor called the Quartodecimans, who refused to fix the day of Easter by the method commonly used by Christians. Pope Victor had excommunicated them, and Irenaeus pleaded with him in a beautiful letter to raise the ban, pointing out that these Asiatics were only following their Apostolic tradition, and that the difference of opinion on this minor point had not prevented St. Polycarp and many others from staying in communion. At the end of the fourth century Jerome wrote that many Eastern bishops still adhered to the ancient Jewish calendar.

The date of the death of Irenaeus is usually given as about the year 203. According to a late and dubious tradition he suffered martyrdom under Septimius Severus. His book has come down to us entire in its Latin version; and an Armenian translation of his has lately been discovered. Though the rest of his writings have perished, in these two works may be found the elements of a complete system of Catholic theology.


source: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/I/stirenaeus.asp#ixzz1z5JFLt9T
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