Wednesday, June 20, 2012


Vatican City, 20 June 2012 (VIS) - During his general audience, held this morning in the Paul VI Hall, Benedict XVI continued his ongoing series of catecheses on the subject of prayer in the Letters of St. Paul.
"Our prayers are often a request for help in our hour of need", he said. "That is natural because we need help, the help of other people and of God. We must also bear in mind that the prayer Christ taught us, the Our Father, is just such a petition. With that prayer the Lord teaches us our priorities. Yet, although it is natural to ask for things in prayer, that is not the only reason to pray. There is also cause to give thanks, ... because we receive so many good things from God. Thus prayer should also be praise and, if we open our hearts, we come to realise that, despite all problems, creation is beautiful and good".
In chapter one of his Letter to the Ephesians, St. Paul praises God "because 'he has made known to us the mystery of his will'. ... For believers 'mystery' does not so much mean the unknown as the merciful will of God, His plan of love which was fully revealed in Jesus Christ and offers us the chance 'to comprehend with all the saints, what is the breadth ... and depth' of that love". The unknown mystery of God has been revealed and it is that God, ever since the beginning and for all eternity, loves us.
The Pope noted how the Apostle reflects on the reasons for praising God by presenting the fundamental elements and the various stages of the divine plan. "Firstly we must bless God the Father because He ... called us into existence, He called us to sanctity, ... and we have been in His plan and His thoughts forever. ... The vocation to sanctity and communion with God is part of His eternal plan, a plan which stretches over history and which includes all the men and women of the world, because the call is universal. God excludes no one, His plan is exclusively a plan of love. ... The Apostle highlights the gratuitous nature of this marvellous design for humankind", the Holy Father said.
At the heart of prayer of praise St. Paul shows us the form in which the Father's plan of salvation is realised in Christ. "Christ's sacrifice on the cross was the unique and unrepeatable event by which the Father demonstrated ... His love for us, not just in words, but in concrete terms. God is so tangible that His love entered history, it became man to experience life and sensation in this world. So tangible is His love that it shares not only in our life, but also in our suffering and in our death. The sacrifice of the cross makes us 'the property of God'. The blood of Christ ... washes us of all evil and removes us from the slavery of sin and death".
Finally the divine blessing closes with a reference to the Holy Spirit which has been suffused in our hearts. "Redemption is not yet concluded. ... It will reach fullness when those whom God has acquired will be completely saved. We are all journeying towards redemption. ... God wants us to be free, He wants our 'yes' to be free. We travel this road of redemption together with Christ and thus redemption is fulfilled".
"In prayer we learn to see the signs of this merciful plan in the journey of the Church", the Holy Father concluded. "Thus do we grow in the love of God, opening the door for the Blessed Trinity to come and dwell among us, bringing us light and warmth and guiding our lives. ... Prayer generates men and women not animated by egoism, desire to posses and thirst for power, but by gratuitousness, the desire to love and serve. In other words, they are animated by God, and only in this way can we bring light into the darkness of the world".

Vatican City, 20 June 2012 (VIS) - At the end of today's general audience, after having delivered greetings in various languages, Benedict XVI launched an appeal for an end to attacks which have taken place recently in Nigeria, and which have been particularly aimed against the Christian community there. "I appeal to leaders for an immediate end to the killing of so many innocents", he said. "It is my hope that the various components of Nigerian society will collaborate so as not to start down the path of revenge, and that all citizens will cooperate in building a peaceful and reconciled society, in which everyone's right freely to profess their faith is fully protected".

Vatican City, 20 June 2012 (VIS) - The Holy See Press Office released the following communique at midday today:
"Today 20 June, following his general audience, the Holy Father Benedict XVI received in audience Valdis Dombrovskis, prime minister of the Republic of Latvia. The prime minister 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 their cordial discussions the parties highlighted the good relations that exist between the Holy See and the Republic of Latvia, and the valuable contribution the Catholic Church makes to society, in particular on questions concerning the family and the promotion of a humanism open to spiritual and transcendental values.
"The conversation also focused on questions of mutual interest, with particularly emphasis on the serious economic and financial crisis which is affecting the lives of European peoples".

Vatican City, 20 June 2012 (VIS) - The Holy Father accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Liepaja, Latvia, presented by Bishop Vilhelms Lapelis O.P., in accordance with canon 401 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law.


PRESS RELEASE RESTLESS HEART FILM: 430 AD. The Roman Empire is beginning to crumble. The Vandals and other marauding tribes spill through the gaps in Roman defenses. And one of the greatest saints of the Christian church stands between his flock and the barbarian invaders. As he attempts to negotiate between the proud Roman authorities and the implacable Vandal king, Bishop Augustine recalls his own life before Christianity...

In this stirring and epic new film on the life of St. Augustine of Hippo, follow the great saint as he rises from his reckless days as a youth to his accomplishments as a renowned but dissolute orator. Though worldly success and riches come his way, including a position in the imperial court of Milan, satisfaction and peace elude him. It takes a confrontation with the Christian bishop Ambrose and the countless prayers offered by his patient mother, Monica, to break through his intellectual pride.

Starring Alessandro Preziosi, Monica Guerritore, Johannes Bandrup, and Franco Nero.

Coming Fall 2012. Find out more at


By Michael Kelly on Monday, 11 June 2012
Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin talks with choir members before the opening Mass (CNS photo)
Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin talks with choir members before the opening Mass (CNS photo)
The Church in Ireland is on the path to renewal, Church leaders told pilgrims at the opening Mass of the 50th International Eucharistic Congress on Sunday.
Welcoming pilgrims from more than 120 countries at an open-air Mass, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin said: “The Church in Ireland rejoices today in the presence of pilgrims from many parts of the world who witness to the universality of our Catholic faith and who show their faith-filled fellowship and solidarity with the Church in Ireland.”
Ominous-looking clouds that had threatened proceedings receded as pilgrims began to arrive for the Mass. Delegates from the four provinces of Ireland carried their county flags and symbols of Ireland’s Christian heritage which, pilgrims were reminded, goes back to St Patrick and the fifth century. The congregation clapped and cheered as a young man spoke of Ireland’s faithfulness to the Mass during centuries of persecution in which many priests and Catholics were martyred.
International visitors took an opportunity to toll the Congress bell and “ring for renewal”. The bell has been criss-crossing the country over the past two years and an estimated 250,000 people have rung it as a concrete symbol of hopes for renewal.
In his homily, the papal legate, Cardinal Marc Ouellet, head of the Vatican’s Congregation for Bishops, prayed the Congress would “bring a special blessing to Ireland at this turbulent time”.
He noted how “the Church in Ireland is suffering and faces many new and serious challenges of the faith”.
He continued that “well aware of these challenges, we turn together to our Lord, who renews, heals and strengthens the faith of his people”.
Archbishop Martin told the 12,500 pilgrims gathered on a rugby pitch that “the Church in Ireland is on the path to renewal. It will be a lengthy journey. It requires renewed and vigorous new evangelisation, a renewal in faith and in coherent and authentic witness to that faith in the world and in the culture in which we live.
“The 50 years since the Second Vatican Council have brought many graces to the Church in Ireland. The message and teaching of the Council still constitute the blueprint for our renewal,” he said. However, he added that “those 50 years have also been marked with a darker side, of sinful and criminal abuse and neglect of those weakest in our society: children, who should have been the object of the greatest care and support and Christ-like love.
“We recall all those who suffered abuse and who still today bear the mark of that abuse and may well carry it with them for the rest of their lives. In a spirit of repentance, let us remember each of them in the silence of our hearts,” he said.
While the mood was decidedly upbeat and celebratory during the Mass, one point in the liturgy was designated to remember and seek forgiveness from those who had been abused by priests and religious.
Officials unveiled a “healing stone” engraved with a prayer originally used in the Liturgy of Lament celebrated in Dublin’s pro-cathedral in February 2011.
The prayer, which was sent to Archbishop Martin by a survivor of abuse, reads: “Lord, we are so sorry for what some of us did to your children: treated them so cruelly, especially, in their hour of need. We have left them with a lifelong suffering. This was not your plan for them or us. Please help us to help them. Guide us, Lord, Amen.”
Following consultation, including abuse survivors, it was agreed the stone would be an appropriate symbol for the Congress.
Fr Kevin Doran, secretary-general of the Congress, said: “Stone speaks of permanence. To say something is ‘carved in stone’ is to say that it is here to stay rather than just a passing thought. The stone represents the firm determination to work for healing and renewal.”
Musical performers included Ireland’s The Three Tenors and the Palestrina Choir, which sang at the open-air Mass in 1932, the last time the International Eucharistic Congress was held in Ireland.
Mary McConville, 91, attended the 1932 Congress as a child and said she was delighted to attend the 2012 event.
“I remember the excitement of it when I was 11 years old as if it was yesterday,” she said.
“It is absolutely amazing to be here today. I have as much faith in the Church now as I ever had. This is a marvellous occasion,” she said.
Referring to the Irish missionary tradition, Cardinal Ouellet said that Ireland’s “strong history of faithfulness has enriched not only these shores, but has, through her missionary sons and daughters, helped to bring the Gospel to many far-distant shores”.
The former Archbishop of Quebec said he knew from his own experience as host of the 2008 International Eucharistic Congress “that an event such as this brings many blessings to the local Church and to all the participants”.
John Walsh, who travelled with his wife and five children to the Congress from the west of Ireland, said it was “great for my children to see this beautiful celebration of faith and share their Catholicism with people from all over the world who have come to Dublin”.
Mary Ward of Dublin also noted the international attendance.
“We really are a global Church, we can learn a lot from others,” she said.
Concelebrants at the Mass included Archbishop Martin, who serves as Congress president, Archbishop Piero Marini, president of the Pontifical Committee for International Eucharistic Congresses, Cardinal Sean Brady, primate of All Ireland, Archbishop Robert Le Gall of Toulouse, France, Toronto Cardinal Thomas Collins, New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan and US Cardinal Edwin O’Brien, grand master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem.



ON THE EVENING of 15 June, 2012, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI officially erected the Personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of the Southern Cross under the patronage of St Augustine of Canterbury.

Ordinariates have thus far been erected in England and the United States and are the response of Pope Benedict to Anglicans who have been petitioning the Holy See to enter into full corporate unity with the Catholic Church while retaining essential elements of their heritage.

The first ordination to the Catholic priesthood to serve in the Ordinariate took place this evening at St Mary’s Cathedral in Perth when former Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC) Bishop Harry Entwistle was ordained a Catholic priest and also named as the first Ordinary.

Following his ordination this evening by Archbishop Timothy Costelloe, Fr Harry Entwistle will be the leader of the Personal Ordinariate in Australia. His jurisdiction as the Ordinary is equivalent in law to a Diocesan Bishop.

Fr Entwistle has been serving as a Bishop in Western Australia since 2006, and is married to Jean. They have two adult children.
Fr Entwistle is honoured to have been chosen to lead the Ordinariate and explained that it is a wonderful privilege and step towards unity between the Churches.

“Pope Benedict has made it very clear that unity between Christians is not achieved by agreeing on the lowest common denominator, and those entering an Ordinariate accept the Catechism of the Catholic Church as the authoritative expression of the Catholic faith”, said Fr Entwistle.

“Membership is open to former Anglicans who accept what the Catholic Church believes and teaches; former Anglicans who have previously been reconciled to the Catholic Church but who now wish to reconnect with their Anglican spiritual heritage and those baptised in the Catholic Church who have close family members who belong to the Ordinariate.”

“As the Ordinariate is in organic unity with the Catholic Church, Western and Eastern Catholics are welcome to worship and receive communion in an Ordinariate mass and vice versa”, he said.

More information about Fr Harry Entwistle including his Curriculum Vitae is available at

For media enquiries, please contact Beth Doherty on or 0407 081 256


by Nirmala Carvalho
Some families leave their baby daughters to die of hunger and thirst to get around the law. In Jaisalmer District (one of the worst), five suspicious cases are recorded this month. Its state has one of the worst female-to-male ratios (883-1,000). For doctor with the Pontifical Academy for Life, "Religious leaders, NGOs and government institutions must work together" against this social malaise.

Mumbai (AsiaNews) - With nearly 2,500 cases of female foeticide or female infanticide a day, the state of Rajasthan is one of worst places to be a girl in India. Selective sex tests, which are illegal, lead to selective abortions; however, now some people who want to get rid of baby girls found another way of getting around the law: water and food deprivation.

Since early June, the authorities in Jaisalmer District (one of the worst) have recorded five suspicious deaths of baby girls.

Last Friday, police in the village of Sangad (Jaisalmer) arrested Dileep Singh, after his daughter died under suspicious circumstances two days earlier.

According to Superintendent of Police Mamta Vishnoi, the accused deprived his daughter of necessary medical treatment after her birth. At present, her body is undergoing autopsy. The father will remain in custody for 15 days.

In the villages of Tejmalta and Mandi, three other baby girls died from unknown causes. One, born on 8 June in full health according to the doctors, was found dead a day later in a state of malnutrition. In another case, the family of the dead baby disappeared. Police is searching for them.

"To escape the law, these people are using inhuman methods," Jaisalmer District Collector Shuchi Tyagi said. "After leaving the newborn to die, they pour salt or other chemical agents on the body to accelerate the process of decomposition. At that point, no autopsy can determine the cause of death."

Following these incidents, Tyagi gave the order that all the births of baby girls had to be communicated to any district authority, health, police or municipal officials.

Speaking to AsiaNews, Dr Pascoal Carvalho, member of the Pontifical Academy for Life, said, "Our country considers human life sacred, always. Ahimsa (non-violence) is one of India's most precious value. Yet, respect for life is gradually being eroded, and a culture of death is spreading."

"The last national census (2011) shows that Rajasthan has 883 females under the age of six per 1,000 males of the same age. In 2001, they were 909 (girls) per 1,000 (boys). This imbalance reflects a serious social malaise."

India, the doctor noted, "is a patriarchal society. Discrimination against women expresses itself in a very destructive fashion with female infanticides and foeticides; this, despite the government's efforts to raise awareness in the population." What is more, in Rajasthan, "the districts of Jaisalmer, Brmer, Pali, Chittorgarh, Ganganagar and Jhunjhunu are notorious for killing baby girls."

"Religious leaders, NGOs and government institutions must work together to promote the value and dignity of girls," Carvalho said. For the "Catholic Church, the sacredness of human life begins at conception," and "Many of its hospitals are already teaching and promoting a culture of life, among patients."



Ghana: two missionary sisters killed in bus crash | CRI, Sr Prasanna, Sr Annie Elvina, Sr Kripa Paul, Holy Family Congregation

Sr Kripa and Sr Annie
Two Indian nuns Sr Annie Elvina, 67, and Sr Kripa Paul, 36, died on the spot when a public transport bus overturned on Sunday night, 17 JUne, in Ghana West Africa.
The deceased belonged to the Holy Family Congregation, with headquarters at Mannuthi, Thrissur district in Kerala.
Three other locals also died in the crash and two other CHF sisters are seriously injured. The condition of Sr Dhanya is critical and is on ventilator while Sr Vincy Maria fractured her ribs and shoulder bone. Both are being treated at St Joseph’s Hospital, Ghana.
The nuns were travelling from their workplaces to their residence when the tragedy took place.
Sr Elvina, who is the regional superior of the congregation in Ghana, was a retired professor from St Joseph’s College, Irinjalakuda. She just completed her term as Regional Superior and was in the process of handing over charge to Sr Dhanya and preparing to return to India while Sr Kripa a nurse was also on transfer.
The CHF have been working in Ghana for 17 years. They have four convents in four dioceses and work in the fields of education and medical care. In all there are 21 CHF sisters working for the people in Ghana.
Sr Prasanna Thattil, Superior General of the Holy Family Congregation and Sr Udaya, General Council member, are on their way to Ghana now from India. Sr Prasanna, stopped at CRI House to make all arrangements for providing treatment to the injured nuns. She said she understands the condition of Sr Dhanya is critical.
“We are also trying to bring bodies of the two nuns who died. We will be flying to Ghana at the next available flight after getting the visa,” she said.
Sr Bhavya CHF Provincial of North province and also the cousin of Sr Kripa, said: “it was shocking news for all of us. However we believe and accept the mysterious hand of God in all these events.”
Source: CRI, Sr Prasanna – Superior


Matthew 6: 1 - 6, 16 - 18

1 "Beware of practicing your piety before men in order to be seen by them; for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.
2 "Thus, when you give alms, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by men. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.
3 But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,
4 so that your alms may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
5 "And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by men. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.
6 But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
16 "And when you fast, do not look dismal, like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by men. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.
17 But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face,
18 that your fasting may not be seen by men but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.


St. Silverius
Feast: June 20

Feast Day: June 20
Born: 480 at Frosinone (in modern Italy)
Died: November 537
Patron of: Ponza, Italy
Dates of birth and death unknown. He was the son of Pope Hormisdas who had been married before becoming one of the higher clergy. Silverius entered the service of the Church and was subdeacon at Rome when Pope Agapetus died at Constantinople, 22 April, 536. The Empress Theodora, who favoured the Monophysites sought to bring about the election as pope of the Roman deacon Vigilius who was then at Constantinople and had given her the desired guarantees as to the Monophysites. However, Theodatus, King of the Ostrogoths, who wished to prevent the election of a pope connected with Constantinople, forestalled her, and by his influence the subdeacon Silverius was chosen. The election of a subdeacon as Bishop of Rome was unusual. Consequently, it is easy to understand that, as the author of the first part of the life of Silverius in the "Liber pontificalis" (ed. Duchesne, I, 210) relates, a strong opposition to it appeared among the clergy. This, however, was suppressed by Theodatus so that, finally, after Silverius had been consecrated bishop (probably on 8 June, 536) all the Roman presbyters gave their consent in writing to his elevation. The assertion made by the author just mentioned that Silverius secured the intervention of Theodatus by payment of money is unwarranted, and is to be explained by the writer's hostile opinion of the pope and the Goths. The author of the second part of the life in the "Liber pontificalis" is favourably inclined to Silverius. The pontificate of this pope belongs to an unsettled, disorderly period and he himself fell a victim to the intrigues of the Byzantine Court.

After Silverius had become pope the Empress Theodora sought to win him for the Monophysites. She desired especially to have him enter into communion with the Monophysite Patriarch of Constantinople, Anthimus, who had been excommunicated and deposed by Agapetus, and with Severus of Antioch. However, the pope committed himself to nothing and Theodora now resolved to overthrow him and to gain the papal see for Vigilius. Troublous times befell Rome during the struggle that broke out in Italy between the Ostrogoths and the Byzantines after the death of Amalasuntha, daughter of Theodoric the Great. The Ostrogothic king, Vitiges, who ascended the throne in August, 536, besieged the city. The churches over the catacombs outside of the city were devastated, the graves of the martyrs in the catacombs themselves were broken open and desecrated. In December, 536, the Byzantine general Belisarius garrisoned Rome and was received by the pope in a friendly and courteous manner. Theodora sought to use Belisarius for the carrying out of her plan to depose Silverius and to put in his place the Roman deacon Vigilius, formerly apocrisary at Constantinople, who had now gone to Italy. Antonina, wife of Belisarius, influenced her husband to act as Theodora desired. By means of a forged letter the pope was accused of a treasonable agreement with the Gothic king who was besieging Rome. It was asserted that Silverius had offered the king to leave one of the city gates secretly open so as to permit the Goths to enter. Silverius was consequently arrested in March, 537, roughly stripped of his episcopal dress, given the clothing of a monk and carried off to exile in the East. Vigilius was consecrated Bishop of Rome in his stead.

Silverius was taken to Lycia where he was went to reside at Patara. The Bishop of Patara very soon discovered that the exiled pope was innocent. He journeyed to Constantinople and was able to lay before the Emperor Justinian such proofs of the innocence of the exile that the emperor wrote to Belisarius commanding a new investigation of the matter. Should it turn out that the letter concerning the alleged plot in favour of the Goths was forged, Silverius should be placed once more in possession of the papal see. At the same time the emperor allowed Silverius to return to Italy, and the latter soon entered the country, apparently at Naples. However, Vigilius arranged to take charge of his unlawfully deposed predecessor. He evidently acted in agreement with the Empress Theodora and was aided by Antonina, the wife of Belisarius. Silverius was taken to the Island of Palmaria in the Tyrrhenian Sea and kept their in close confinement. Here he died in consequence of the privations and harsh treatment he endured. The year of his death is unknown, but he probably did not live long after reachingPalmaria. He was buried on the island, according to the testimony of the "Liber pontificalis" on 20 June; his remains were never taken from Palmaria. According to the same witness he was invoked after death by the believers who visited his grave. In later times he was venerated as a saint. The earliest proof of this is given by a list of saints of the eleventh century (Mélanges d'archéologie et d'histoire, 1893, 169). The "Martyrologium" of Peter de Natalibus of the fourteenth century also contains his feast, which is recorded in the present Roman Martyrology on 20 June.

[Editor's note: According to the Liber Pontificalis, Pope St. Silverius was exiled not to Palmaria, but rather to the Island of Palmarola, a much smaller and more desolate island near Ponza, Italy, in the Bay of Naples.]

(Taken from Catholic Encyclopedia)


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