Tuesday, June 12, 2012


COMMUNIQUE CONCERNING DOCTRINAL ASSESSMENT OF LCWR (IMAGE SOURCE: RADIO VATICANA)Vatican City, 12 June 2012 (VIS) - Given below is the text of an English-language statement released by the director of the Holy See Press Office concerning a meeting held at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith about the doctrinal Assessment of the LCWR.
"Today the superiors of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith met with the president and executive director of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) in the United States of America. Archbishop Peter J. Sartain of Seattle, the Holy See’s delegate for the doctrinal assessment of the LCWR, also participated in the meeting.
"The meeting provided the opportunity for the Congregation and the LCWR officers to discuss the issues and concerns raised by the doctrinal assessment in an atmosphere of openness and cordiality.
"According to Canon Law, a conference of major superiors such as the LCWR is constituted by and remains under the supreme direction of the Holy See in order to promote common efforts among the individual member institutes and cooperation with the Holy See and the local conference of bishops (cf. Code of Canon Law, canons 708-709). The purpose of the doctrinal assessment is to assist the LCWR in this important mission by promoting a vision of ecclesial communion founded on faith in Jesus Christ and the teachings of the Church as faithfully taught through the ages under the guidance of the Magisterium.

Vatican City, 12 June 2012 (VIS) - The Bilateral Permanent Working Commission between the Holy See and the State of Israel held a plenary meeting today in the Vatican Apostolic Palace, to continue negotiations pursuant to the Fundamental Agreement article 10 paragraph 2.
"The negotiations took place in a thoughtful and constructive atmosphere. The Commission took notice that significant progress was made towards the conclusion of the Agreement", reads an English-language communique made public today.
"The Commission further acknowledged the exemplary service of Archbishop Antonio Franco and Ambassador Mordechay Lewy on the occasion of their retirement.
"The Parties have agreed on future steps and to hold the next plenary meeting on 6 December 2012 at the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs".
The Holy See delegation was headed by Msgr. Ettore Balestrero, under secretary for Relations with States, and the Israeli delegation by Danny Ayalon M.K. deputy minister of Foreign Affairs.

Vatican City, 12 June 2012 (VIS) - Given below are extracts from an interview given to Vatican Radio by Msgr. Ettore Balestrero, under secretary for Relations with States, concerning the conclusion of the plenary meeting of the Bilateral Permanent Working Commission between the Holy See and the State of Israel.
Question: Over recent days there have been persistent rumours in some circles that the Agreement, which has been in preparation for thirteen years, would finally be signed. Yet it was not signed. What has happened?
Answer: Nothing in particular. It is true that in some circles there was talk of signing the Agreement, but that was not in fact scheduled. As I have said before, progress has been made, but questions still remain to be resolved.
Q: There has been concern among Palestinians that, by signing this Agreement, the Holy See would indirectly recognise Israeli sovereignty over East Jerusalem and other territory occupied in the war of 1967.
A: The Agreement in question concerns the life, activity and tax status of the Catholic Church in Israel. It does not enter into territorial disputes. There will be no mention of East Jerusalem or of anywhere in the West Bank.
Q: But there has been talk of a draft agreement in which certain places in East Jerusalem and the West Bank are mentioned.
A: Since the beginning of the negotiations we have worked on a plan for a Comprehensive Agreement which also included the so-called 'Schedule One'; that is, a list of individual properties belonging to the Holy See and to certain institutions of the Catholic Church in the Holy Land which, over the years, have been subjected to onerous provisions by Israel. And it is true that some of those properties are in East Jerusalem or in areas occupied in 1967. The aim was to resolve concrete problems. However, for some time now, it has been decided that the Agreement to be signed will only deal with certain properties which are not in East Jerusalem or the West Bank. Therefore it is incorrect to say that, by this Agreement, the Holy See would be violating the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the protection of civilian persons in time of war. The confusion and concern were due to the undue use of a working instrument, which has long since been supersededand which, in any case, is still being elaborated.
Q: Has the position of the Holy See on East Jerusalem changed?
A: The Holy See's position has not changed. It was affirmed in the 'Basic Agreement' between the Holy See and the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), it has been reiterated on various occasions, and will be mentioned again in the 'Global Agreement' with the PLO, currently being prepared.
Q: A final question. It has been written that this Agreement which the Holy See is preparing with Israel will damage agreements that France, Italy and other countries have with Israel.
A: That is untrue, The Agreement concerns the Holy See and the State of Israel, and has no effect on agreements Israel has made with other States. The validity of those agreements depends first and foremost on the will of the parities involved and not on the existence of an agreement those parties have with a third party, in this case the Holy See. This is, moreover, a commonly accepted principle of international law.

Vatican City, 12 June 2012 (VIS) - "As of 31 July 2012 the Vatican Information Service (VIS) will cease to exist as a separate office providing information distinct from the Bulletin of the Holy See Press Office. However, the subscribers of VIS will continue to receive a comprehensive information service", according to a communique released this morning by the Holy See Press Office.
"As part of the development and coordination of the Holy See's social communications activities, and following guidance received from the Secretariat of State, the personnel of VIS will be transferred. Some of them will go to reinforce the multilingual '' portal which was established a year ago in the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, others will be employed in the multilingual development of the Press Office Bulletin.
"As is now well known, the '' portal gathers the principal news items concerning the Holy See and the life of the Church, as published daily by the Press Office, the 'Osservatore Romano', Vatican Radio and Fides News Agency. It then presents them in an easily accessible format, accompanied by Vatican Television Centre videos and photographs from the photographic service of the 'Osservatore Romano'. One of the characteristics of the portal - which currently operates daily in Italian, English, Spanish and French - is that it is structured in such a way as to make it easy to share the material on social networks (such as Facebook and Twitter) and to make it accessible with new applications on mobile devices.
"The Press Office Bulletin has thus far been published principally in Italian, unless the original texts were in other languages, while VIS has worked regularly in four languages. Integrating the English-, French- and Spanish-language staff of VIS into the everyday activities of the Holy See Press Office will enable the online publication of the Bulletin to be renewed, with the inclusion of complete translations of various texts and language summaries of texts that cannot be fully translated. These measures will be gradually introduced beginning in September 2012.
"The translated parts of the Bulletin, together with the summaries in languages other than Italian, will continue to be sent to the 60,000 VIS subscribers who thus will not lose a service they have received and appreciated for so long. Moreover, the extensive archive of more than 85,000 articles in various languages, produced by VIS in more than twenty years of activity, will be conserved and integrated, with a simple and rapid search engine, into the site of the Press Office".

Vatican City, 12 June 2012 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed:
- As members of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity: His Beatitude Sviatoslav Shevchuk, major archbishop of Kyiv-Halyc, Ukraine; Archbishop Zbignev Stankevics of Riga, Lithuania; Archbishop Savio Hon Tai-Fai S.D.B., secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples; Bishop Gerhard Ludwig Muller of Regensburg, Germany, and Bishop Donald Joseph Bolen of Saskatoon, Canada.
- As consultors of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity: Fr. Aimable Musoni S.D.B., professor of ecclesiology and ecumenism at the Pontifical Salesian University in Rome, and Fr. Robert Francis Christian O.P., vice dean of the Faculty of Theology at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome.
- As members of the Congregation for Catholic Education: Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga S.D.B., archbishop of Tegucigalpa, Honduras; Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace; Cardinal Jean-Pierre Ricard, archbishop of Bordeaux, France; Cardinal Oswald Gracias, archbishop of Bombay, India; Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches; Archbishop Luis Antonio G. Tagle of Manila, Philippines; Archbishop Alfredo Horacio Zecca of Tucuman, Argentina; Bishop Gerhard Ludwig Muller of Regensburg, Germany, and Bishop Charles Morerod O.P. of Lausanne, Geneve et Fribourg, Switzerland.
- Fr. Indunil Janakaratne Kodithuwakku Kankanamalage of the clergy of the diocese of Badulla, Sri Lanka, professor at the Faculty of Missiology at the Pontifical Urban University in Rome, as under secretary of the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue.


IEC2012 – Opening Ceremony – Sunday 10th June

The congress officially started today, Sunday the 10th of June. This short video shows some parts of the opening Mass and some interviews with pilgrims.


Going forward – The Australian Ordinariate

Friday 8 June 2012
By Bishop David Robarts

There has been much joy and enthusiasm generated around the country by news as to the establishment of an Australian Ordinariate on 15 June and with the announcement of its first Ordinary.

The Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross, as it is to be most fittingly named, will be under the patronage of St Augustine of Canterbury who was sent by Pope Gregory the Great in 596 A D to evangelise the English.

Many people, Anglican and Catholic, have shown interest in the new venture. In response to this there is to be an Information Day to be held at Our Lady of Victories Basilica and adjacent Hall in Burke Road Camberwell on Saturday 14 July commencing at 10am.

The theme of the day will be 'Going Forward'. There will be presentations by Bishop Peter Elliott, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Melbourne and delegate of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference in the Ordinariate project; Father James Grant an Ordinariate bound Anglican Priest, and widely experienced Schools Chaplain, who will speak on “Christian Education a Way Forward for Anglicans in the Catholic Church”. Professor Tracey Rowland, Dean of the John Paul ll Institutefor Marriage and the Family, will address the topic of “Pope Benedict XVl, the Ordinariate, and New Evangelization”. There will be ample time for questions and enquiries, and the Day will conclude with Anglican Sung Evensong and

A wide range of literature: books, and other printed material, will be available. There will also be forms available for those wishing to enter the Ordinariate – whether as Anglicans seeking to enter the Ordinariate, Baptized Catholics who are members of a family belonging to the Ordinariate, or members of the lay faithful of the Catholic Church who were originally of the Anglican tradition.

Those wishing to attend the Information Day, for which lunch and hot drinks will be provided, will need to obtain Registration Forms. They may do so from Father Graeme Mitchell either by email: Father Graeme Mitchell FSSM or by phone:
9528 6660. If he is not there, leave an appropriate recorded message with your details.
By the end of the month Forms will also be available at John XXlll Bookshop, in North Road Ormond. Brochures will need to be returned by Friday 6 July at the latest. (IMAGE SOURCE: GOOGLE.COM)



Joyce Barnathan
BELLAGIO, June 8, 2012 (CISA) -Journalists from across Africa announced the creation of the first continent-wide professional association of health journalists.
According to a press statement sent to CISA, the new organization, the African Health Journalists Association, aims to improve the quality and quantity of reporting on health issues so that people across the continent can make healthy choices for their lives. The group’s media coverage will encourage the best possible public health programs and policies throughout the continent.
The association will create a digital network with online learning, the latest data visualization tools and techniques for multimedia storytelling.
It will serve as a one-stop source of health experts, resources and journalists who will collaborate on cross-border stories. The association will provide training for its members in everything from investigative health reporting to data mining. On a new website and social network, members will share reporting and writing strategies.
“This network will take health journalism to a new level of professionalism and cooperation in Africa,” said Joyce Barnathan, president of the International Center for Journalists, which organized the meeting at the request of African journalists. The Rockefeller Foundation sponsored the four-day gathering at its conference center in Bellagio, Italy.
A steering committee of journalists from South Africa, Zambia, Uganda, Mozambique, Ethiopia and Kenya selected Declan Okpalaeke, a respected Nigerian journalist, as its chairman to launch the new association.
Okpalaeke, a winner of CNN’s African Journalist of the Year Awards for his coverage of health, science and the environment, is a Knight Health Journalism Fellow.
“We believe the African Health Journalism Association will serve as a gateway to all of Africa for organizations wishing to promote health and support health journalism,” said Okpalaeke.
“By pooling resources, we can provide more journalists with a richer array of training and tools than ever before.”
Zarina Geloo, a former Knight Health Journalism Fellow and a media consultant based in Zambia, will serve as vice-chair. Joy Wanja, a science and health reporter at the Daily Nation in Nairobi, Kenya, was named secretary.
The pan-African health journalism association will encourage the formation of national health journalism groups in Africa, building on the success of associations in Uganda, Zambia and Kenya. These organizations were established with help from Knight International Journalism Fellows.
The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation support the fellowships.
The International Center for Journalists, a non-profit organization, promotes quality journalism worldwide in the belief that independent, vigorous media are crucial in improving the human condition.


ASIA NEWS REPORT: Mgr Mario Zenari, nuncio in Syria, describes the human devastation caused by the war. There is the danger that factional hatreds might last decades. Christian, Alawi and Sunni leaders in Homs propose dialogue and reconciliation. UN report blames regime and rebels of torturing children.

Damascus (AsiaNews) - "Syria has started its slide into hell. In addition to material destruction, the conflict is tearing at the heart. The destruction of homes, the dead and the wounded can be quantified, but the disintegration of the soul is impossible to measure," Mgr Mario Zenari told AsiaNews. "The danger of latent factional hatred exploding is there and could last decades. However, I am confident in future peace," the apostolic nuncio to Damascus said.

The violent escalation that has intensified in the past few months is affecting everyone, including children, the prelate explained. Against their will, they have become part of the conflict.

As media around the world report stories of massacres, torture and violence, children run the risk of being used by both sides.

In a just released report titled Annual Report of the Secretary-General on Children and Armed Conflict, the United Nations presents the stories of children as young as nine used as human shields by the regime of Bashar al-Assad.

The study does not spare the opposition from criticism. The rebel Free Syrian Army is accused of recruiting hundreds of child soldiers, ranging from nine to 15 years of age.

"The death of innocent youth and their use a human shields or soldiers is an unacceptable crime," the bishop said. "The international community and the United Nations must do all they can to defend these innocent victims, exploited by the regime and rebels alike. [. . .] Sadly, beside the war on the ground, a media war is being waged so that we can't believe what anybody is saying."

However, there are signs that grassroots dialogue and reconciliation are still possible, Mgr Zenari noted. On 25 May in Homs, one of the main hate-filled battlegrounds, some Christian leaders organised a reconciliation (Musalaha in Arabic) assembly for interreligious dialogue that brought in Sunnis and Alawis.

In the past few days, the group organised various meetings with civil society groups and delegates from Damascus.

Thus far, its focus has been on finding missing or abducted people and securing their release by convincing families and factions to give up arms in favour of peaceful agreements.

"The war situation is not helpful," he said, "but we hope to extend this initiative to other Syrian cities."

Mgr Zenari is certain that dialogue can lead to real results. "The international community, especially Christian countries, must not isolate Syria. Support for the wall-to-wall clash between regime and rebels is dangerous and counterproductive." (S.C.)



Agenzia Fides REPORT - The reality of most Paraguayan children is very serious. Out of 2,500,000 children, 1,100,000 are poor. The situation gets more and more serious with the current change of season and cold weather, it further affects hundreds of street children. Those who cannot count on parents or people to look after them, live in a state of disrepair. The country's authorities seem disinterested, the irresponsibility of those parents who leave their children without any support forcing them not to go to school and work to try to earn a piece of bread. Some are recruited by criminal organizations that exploit them to commit crimes. There is no policy in the country to rescue this generation of children who live in hardship and temptations that will lead inexorably to prison or to death, after a short life marked by hunger, violence, abuse, and crime. (AP) (12/06/2012


Matthew 5: 13 - 16
13 "You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trodden under foot by men.
14 "You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hid.
15 Nor do men light a lamp and put it under a bushel, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house.
16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.


St. John of Sahagun
Feast: June 12

Feast Day: June 12
Born: 1419, Sahagún, Province of Leon, Kingdom of Castile, Spain
Died: June 11, 1479, Salamanca, Province of Salamanca, Kingdom of Castile, Spain
Canonized: October 16, 1690, Rome by Pope Alexander VIII
Patron of: Salamanca, Spain
Hermit, b. 1419, at Sahagún (or San Fagondez) in the Kingdom of Leon, in Spain; d. 11 June, 1479, at Salamanca; feast 12 June. In art he is represented holding a chalice and host surrounded by rays of light. John, the oldest of seven children, was born of pious and respected parents, John Gonzalez de Castrillo and Sancia Martinez. He received his first education from the Benedictines of his native place. According to the custom of the times, his father procured for him the benefice of the neighbouring parish Dornillos, but this caused John many qualms of conscience. He was later introduced to Alfonso de Cartagena, Bishop of Burgos (1435-1456) who took a fancy to the bright, high-spirited boy, had him educated at his own residence, gave him several prebends, ordained him priest in 1445, and made him canon at the cathedral. Out of conscientious respect for the laws of the Church, John resigned all and retained only the chaplaincy of St. Agatha, where he laboured zealously for the salvation of souls.

Finding that a more thorough knowledge of theology would be beneficial, he obtained permission to enter the University of Salamanca, made a four years' course, and merited his degree in divinity. During this time he exercised the sacred ministry at the chapel of the College of St. Bartholomew (parish of St. Sebastian), and held the position for nine years. He was then obliged to undergo an operation for stone, and during his illness vowed that if his life were spared, he would become a religious. On his recovery in 1463, he applied for admission to the Order of Hermits of St. Augustine, at the church of St. Peter, at Salamanca, and on 28 Aug., 1464, he made his profession.

He made such progress in religious perfection that he was soon appointed master of novices, and in 1471 prior of the community. Great was his devotion to the Blessed Sacrament, and at Mass he frequently saw the Sacred Host resplendent in glory. He was gifted with special power to penetrate the secrets of conscience, so that it was not easy to deceive him, and sinners were almost forced to make good confessions; he obtained wonderful results in doing away with enmities and feuds. In his sermons he, like another St. John the Baptist, fearlessly preached the word of God and scourged the crimes and vices of the day, though thereby the rich and noble were offended. He soon made many enemies, who even hired assassins, but these, awed by the serenity and angelic sweetness of his countenance, lost courage. Some women of Salamanca, embittered by the saint's strong sermon against extravagance in dress, openly insulted him in the streets and pelted him with stones until stopped by a patrol of guards. His scathing words on impurity produced salutary effects in a certain nobleman who had been living in open concubinage, but the woman swore vengeance, and it was popularly believed that she caused the saint's death by poison (this statement is found only in later biographies). Soon after death his veneration spread in Spain.
The process of beatification began in 1525, and in 1601 he was declared Blessed. New miracles were wrought at his intercession, and on 16 Oct., 1690, Alexander VIII entered his name in the list of canonized saints. Benedict XIII fixed his feast for 12 June. His relics are found in Spain, Belgium, and Peru. His life written by John of Seville towards the end of the fifteenth century with additions in 1605 and 1619, is used by the Bollandists in "Acta SS.", Jun., III, 112.

(Taken from Catholic Encyclopedia)


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