Sunday, July 8, 2012


Vatican Radio REPORT The UN Human Rights Council concluded its 20th regular session on Friday, adopting 22 resolutions and a presidential statement on a wide range of issues including the human rights situations in Belarus, Eritrea, Syria, Ivory Coast, Mali and Somalia.

Other issues discussed included arbitrary detention, the right to peace, the effects of foreign debt on human rights, freedom of expression on the Internet and religious freedom.

Speaking at the session earlier this week, Archbishop Silvano M. Tomasi, the Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations and Other International Organizations in Geneva, stressed the importance of protecting religious freedom.

“If there is respect in a country for freedom of religion, then other human rights are respected and an environment is created that facilitates progress for both developing and developed countries,” Archbishop Tomasi later told Vatican Radio.

“It establishes a climates of confidence, mutual acceptance and respect that becomes the right terrain on which the common good flourishes.”

You can find the full text of Archbishop Silvano Tomasi's statement below:
Madam President,

With deep concern, the Holy See delegation calls attention to the widening gap between the commitment and the stated principles of the international community regarding freedom of religion, conscience, and belief and the right to freedom of assembly, and the implementation of these fundamental human rights. The use of bombs and violent attacks against houses of worship and Christian communities at prayer have recently killed hundreds of innocent people in several countries. The persistence of such crimes and their geographical spread, the support in personnel and resources that fundamentalist groups provide them, their objective of destabilization of peaceful coexistence in mutual respect and collaboration, are as many reasons that should prompt a more effective response both in terms of public awareness and of preventive action.

Religious strife is a danger to social, political, and economic development. Religious conflict in a polarized society breaks the ties that are necessary for social life and commerce to flourish. It produces violence which robs people of the most fundamental right of all: the right to life. It sows the seeds of distrust and bitterness that can be passed down through generations. Strife in one country can spill over and cause serious difficulties in other countries.

In a similar way, disappearances, arrests, detention, death threats and discrimination against converts and against individuals belonging to religious minorities or other faith communities are not uncommon all around the world. Violent attacks, statements and even school manuals inciting violence and killings of members of religious communities and religious minorities are on the news very often. Such threats to religious freedom profoundly affect human dignity. Limitations on the exercise of this right jeopardize personal identity, conscience, and fundamental life choices, and they impair the enjoyment of other human rights.

Pope Benedict XVI has expressed his grave concern about such disturbing situations in various parts of the world as a result of which “it is impossible to profess one’s religion freely except at the risk of life and personal liberty. In other areas, we see more subtle and sophisticated forms of prejudice and hostility towards believers and religious symbols.” Christians represent the religious group that is subjected to religious persecution in the greatest numbers.

The transversal nature of religious freedom demands equal and effective protection under the law without discrimination for any person, but most especially for members of minority groups or persons who might be vulnerable to prejudice or discrimination for a variety of reasons. Thus the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action proclaimed that “… persons belonging to minorities have the right to enjoy their own culture, to profess and practice their own religion … in private and in public, freely and without interference or any form of discrimination”.

Several other international human rights texts, General Assembly and Human Rights Council Resolutions unambiguously state that “everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion or belief.” The freedom to manifest one’s religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance is also guaranteed. “It is inconceivable that believers should have to suppress a part of themselves – their faith – in order to be active citizens. It should never be necessary to deny God in order to enjoy one’s rights.”

The ideals of religious freedom – in worship, practice, and expression – are enshrined in the constitutions of most democratic States throughout the world. Such freedom is, moreover, a multi-faceted right, related, among others, to the rights to life and liberty.

In accord with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Holy See Delegation recognizes that States are obligated to create and support infrastructural measures and favorable conditions to facilitate free and non-discriminatory development of religious communities and their members. Thus the right to religious freedom is not only an individual right but also constitutes a collective right for religious communities. Madam President,

My delegation acknowledges the correlation between social stability and recognition of human rights. Due to the unstable economic and political contexts in States throughout the world, it is essential that all human rights, and most especially the right to religious freedom, be protected. States must encourage the formation of collaborative networks that aim toward mutual understanding, promote inter-religious dialogue, and strengthen protection of religious groups through adequate and effective guarantees of religious freedom through access to legal systems that provide proportionate and adequate remediation and, when necessary, redress.

In the view of my delegation, religious freedom cannot be restricted merely to freedom of worship. Also included in this fundamental freedom should be the right to preach, educate, receive new adherents, contribute to political discourse, as well as participate in public activities. Most importantly, the right to freedom of conscience must be upheld and protected. Believers should not be forced by governments to choose between conformity to governmental policies or legislation and faithfulness to religious tenets and beliefs. It also is important to respect the right of parents to a send their children to schools that reflect their beliefs. Compulsory, “one-size-fits-all” educational systems can constitute a direct attack on the rights and duties of parents to assure the religious and ethical formation of their children. At the same time, all educational systems should promote respect and protection of people without any prejudice toward their respective religious beliefs or practices.

Madam President,

The Holy See Delegation would like to conclude by citing the Vienna Declaration, which calls “upon all Governments to take all appropriate measures in compliance with their international obligations and with due regard to their respective legal systems to counter intolerance and related violence based on religion or belief…”

Finally, we encourage every State to ensure, protect and promote the legitimate right of people to have, practice and to express their own religion or belief freely and without any type of coercion and violence and without the constant fear of becoming victims of anti-religious attacks that destroy their fundamental human rights.
Thank you, Madam President.



July 6, 2012
WASHINGTON—Gatherings of two different Catholic-Jewish dialogues explored topics including economics, education, religious freedom and even a Jewish commentary on the New Testament.
The semi-annual consultation of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops/National Council of Synagogues (USCCB/NCS) discussed the publication of Amy Jill Levine and Mark Zvi Brettler's book, The Jewish Annotated New Testament(Oxford, 2012) at their May 22 meeting in New York City. Bishop Denis Madden, auxiliary of Baltimore, and Rabbi David Straus of the Main Line Reform Temple in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania co-chaired the meeting.
"The publication of Levine's and Brettler's comprehensive work on the New Testament represents an important milestone in Catholic-Jewish relations," said Bishop Denis Madden, chairman of the USCCB Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs. "Never before has a group of Jewish scholars made so learned and technical a reading of the New Testament. Clearly, this new effort reflects the progress we have made since the Second Vatican Council in mutual respect for each other's sacred Scriptures."
Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York, president of USCCB, joined the meeting to extend his greetings and welcome to all the participants. He made brief remarks on the central importance of Catholic-Jewish dialogue and, in particular, of the work done between the USCCB and National Council of Synagogues. He thanked all of the members present for their continued dedication.
Professor Amy Jill Levine of Vanderbilt University gave a brief overview of her work, co-edited with Professor Marc Brettler of Brandeis University, while Jesuit Father John Donahue, professor of New Testament at Loyola University, Baltimore, offered a Catholic response. Dialogue members then discussed various aspects of biblical studies, as well as how the publication of The Jewish Annotated New Testament marked a deepening of understanding in Catholic-Jewish relations. Levine stressed that it is vital for Jews to study the New Testament to gain respect for their Christian neighbors, even as Christians must do the same with the Hebrew Scriptures.
Rabbi Gil Rosenthal, executive director of the National Council of Synagogues, remarked: "This important volume is testimony not only to the enormous competence of its editors and authors, but to the spirit of dialogue that can allow Jews to read and appreciate the Jewish context of Christian scriptures."
Reports on other dialogue issues, such as continued progress in the implementation of practical aspects of the Vatican-Israeli accord, and updates on the reconciliation of the Society of St. Pius X with the Vatican filled the second half of the meeting. Plans for a two-day October dialogue were considered, centered around the topic of the role of religion in the public square.
On May 25, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops/Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America/Rabbinical Council of America (USCCB/OU/RCA) met for their semi-annual consultation to discuss global economics, religious education, religious freedom and the state of Israel. Bishop William Murphy of Rockville Centre, New York, and Rabbi David Berger, Ph.D., of Yeshiva University co-chaired the meeting.
The meeting began with a discussion of a religious perspective on financial reform and a vision for a just economic order. The group review of the full text of the Bilateral Commission Meeting of the Delegations for the Chief Rabbinate of Israel and the Holy See's Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews, which took place March 27-29, at the Vatican. Both traditions underscored the need for the moral leadership of religious groups to shed light on ethical considerations in economic systems, their failures and possible reforms.
James Cultrara, director of education for the New York Catholic Conference, and Michael Cohen, New York State political director for the Orthodox Union, updated the group on the funding of religious schools in the state of New York, a topic of shared concerns for both communities. "There is a tuition crisis in both of our communities," Cohen told the group. "The escalating cost of tuition, in some communities it has doubled within six or seven years. We need to find the solution that works."
Thomas Renker, legal counsel for the Diocese of Rockville Centre, updated the group on developments in the federal HHS contraception mandate and the response of the Catholic community. The group discussed the situation at some length with several noting the inherent threat to religious freedom for all faith traditions which the situation presents.
Rabbi Tzvi H. Weinreb, executive vice president emeritus of the Orthodox Union, gave a brief presentation on current cultural and domestic policy issues in Israel. Bishop Murphy gave a brief report on the new Catholic Catechism for Youth titled "YouCAT." Of specific interest to the group were sections dealing with Jewish people. Some concerns had previously been voiced surrounding the formulation of some parts of the text, initiating a revision.
Additional Jewish participants in the USCCB/OU/ RCA consultation included: Maury Litwack, director of political affairs, OU; Betty Ehrenberg, executive director of the World Jewish Congress North America; Nathan Diament, director of public affairs, OU; Rabbi Basil Herring, executive vice president, RCA; Rabbi Aaron Glatt, Young Israel of Woodmere; andMr. Avi Schick, an attorney with experience in both government work and interfaith relations.Additional Catholic included: Msgr. Donald Beckman, ecumenical officer of the Diocese of Rockville Centre; Father Robert Robbins, pastor of the United Nations Parish Church of the Holy Family and New York archdiocesan director for ecumenical and interreligious affairs; Msgr. Robert Stern, Catholic Near East Welfare Association; Father John Crossin, executive director, USCCB Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs (SEIA); Kirsten Evans, program and research specialist, USCCB SEIA.
Jewish participants at the USCCB/NCS consultation included Rabbi Lewis Eron, Cherry Hill, New Jersey; Rabbi Joel Meyers, executive vice-president emeritus of the (Conservative) Rabbinical Assembly; Rabbi Jonathan Waxman, Temple Beth Sholom, Smitonthtown, New York; Rabbi David Straus, Central Conference of American Rabbis; Rabbi Gilbert Rosenthal, National Council of Synagogues; Rabbi Daniel F. Polish of La Grangeville, New York; Ruth Langer, Ph.D., of Boston College; Rabbi David Sandmel, Ph.D. of The Catholic Theological Union, Chicago; Rabbi Alvin Berkin of The Tree of Life Congregation, Pittsburgh; Rabbi Jeffrey A. Wohlberg of Adas Israel, Washington; Rabbi Jerome Davidson of Temple Beth-El, Great Neck, New York; Judith Hertz of the International Council of Presidents of the World Conferences of Religions for Peace and Betty Ehrenberg, executive director of the North American Division of the World Jewish Congress. Catholic participants at the consultation included Bishop Basil H. Losten, former bishop of Stamford for Ukrainians; Brother of the Christians Schools David Carroll, former associate director at Catholic Near East Welfare Association; Msgr. Robert Stern, former director of the Catholic Near East Welfare Association; Father Dennis McManus, USCCB consultant for Jewish Affairs and Jesuit Father Drew Christiansen, editor of America Magazine.


Ireland: young Catholics walk from Lough Derg to Knock Summer Youth Festival | Clogher, Raphoe, Kilmore, Elphin, Achonry,Tuam,Knock Summer Youth Festival, Bishop Donal McKeown, Auxiliary Bishop of Down and Connor,
Young people from the dioceses of Clogher, Raphoe, Kilmore, Elphin, Achonry and Tuam have decided to do a relay walk to this year's Knock Summer Youth Festival carrying a penal cross and a flame. The walk is to show that the young people of Ireland are carrying on the faith and are fanning the flame of faith in their lives and to their peers.
Groups accompanied by Bishop Donal McKeown, Auxiliary Bishop of Down and Connor, will take part in the walk which will begin in Lough Derg on Monday 23 July and which will end in Knock to coincide with the 2012 Knock Summer Youth Festival on Saturday 28 July. The group will walk for five to six hours each day and finish each day with a celebration of the Eucharist in a difference diocese where they will pass on the flame to the next group of young people who will pick up the walk the following day.
Commenting on the walk Bishop Donal said: "This initiative aims to build on the great energy of the many young people of faith who attended the International Eucharistic Congress. In Dublin we all saw that here are many generous, enthusiastic and gifted individuals and groups who want to grapple with the pain of the world - but also to generate hope, community and healing for a better future. Walking together is a great way to share our journeys and our stories. I really hope that these days leading up to Knock will show how penance and celebration, silence and song are part of God's way to heal the world - and that the strong, silent Mary of Knock continues to point to the Lamb
of God who takes away the sin of the world."
Helen Toner, Director of Youth Ministry at Knock Shrine said: "The week of the 50th International Eucharistic Congress saw thousands of people taking part in talks, workshops, liturgies and prayer. Perhaps the most surprising thing was the youth space, a first for any congress. The dedicated youth space in the RDS Simmonscourt saw hundreds of young people gathered together each evening for music, workshops, catechesis and fun. Each diocese chose a different day to attend the Congress youth space and this is where the idea of a relay walk came from.
"Young people are very much interested in their faith and they want to explore that more, they are all searching for something, something that cannot be satisfied by the materialistic things this world offers them. Young people of Ireland are realising that they are indeed the 'tomorrow' that Archbishop Diarmuid Martin spoke about recently in his
remarks at the Statio Orbis for the 50th International Eucharistic Congress and they are willing and excited about taking ownership of their faith and the important role they have to play in the church."
The Knock Summer Youth Festival is a one-day event which will take place on Saturday 28 July at Knock Shrine. The event is for people between the ages of 17-30. The one-day festival comprises talks, workshops, music, prayer, reflection and finishes with celebration of the Eucharist.
For more information on Knock Summer Youth Festival see: or find them on Facebook.


by Jibran Khan
Since their arrival, in 1982, they have emphasized religious education, promoted pastoral care such as a home for the disabled and care for drug addicts. Minimum fees or free education in schools for children of poor families. Regional Superior invites priests to strengthen the teaching of catechism.

Lahore (AsiaNews) - Enhancing education among young people, promoting pastoral care, helping addicts and caring for the disabled and marginalized by society. These are just some of the many activities undertaken over the years by the Sisters of Charity of St Jeanne Antide Thouret (Sdc), who first arrived in Pakistan in 1982 under the guidance of Sr. Anna Sammut. The nuns have chosen Lahore (Punjab) as a base, working initially to encourage study and education among the poor children of Shahdara Bagh, a suburb north of the town, on the north bank of the river Ravi. To tell AsiaNews about their work today is Sister Hend Salloum, the first regional superior of Sdc in Pakistan. She arrived in 2001 from Damascus, in Syria, and had previously worked in Lebanon, Egypt, India and the island of Malta.

Through education, said the nun, even children born into poor families can earn their own place in the home and in society. To achieve the goal is important to promote the work of ministry, which encourages the full development of children. After years I parents themselves began to understand the importance of studying and "making every effort" to enable children to study. And in Shahdara, where they founded the first center, the sisters have set up relief and aid centre for families, so all children have access and the right to education.

Sister Hend Salloum explains the work of women religious in Lahore, in the field of pastoral care and education, combined with the management of a center for mentally disabled - a home to women and children - called Dar-ul-Krishma and located in the suburb of Youhanabad. For families who do not have sufficient resources to send their children to school, she adds, we guarantee a free education, or just ask for a minimum fee. "Schools - says Sr Hend - are very helpful for the local Church in Pakistan."

In Faisalabad, however, there is a center for drug addicts where meetings and initiatives for women and girls with drug problems are organized. Some of them are also provided with accommodation and the opportunity to continue their studies, to try to build a better life. At Baji Mariam, the name of the institution founded by a missionary originally from Malta, a hundred girls are cared for - there were originally only twenty - thanks to the dedication of the nuns and their collaborators. Often, police bring the girls to the sisters, not knowing who to entrust them to. And the priests, in case of need, know they can count on the diligent work of the Sisters of Charity.

But the central point, says Sister Hend Salloum, revolves around the religious education of the people, which is why she is launching a call for priests and religious, to become "more passionate" and vigorous in their pastoral work and teaching of the catechism.




“You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God!”

Go to Bishop Anthony's Homily - Ordination of Larry Tolentino
Photo: Alphonsus Fok & Grace Lu
Arnulfo (Larry) Tolentino was ordained a Priest for the Catholic Diocese of Parramatta by the Bishop of Parramatta, Most Rev Anthony Fisher OP, on Friday 29 June at St Patrick’s Cathedral.
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KAMPALA, JULY 6, 2012 (CISA) -Long-serving Catholic priest of Kampala Archdiocese, Msgr Caesar Mutyaba was laid to rest at St Mbaaga’s Seminary Ggaba graveyard on Wednesday July 4.
The burial was attended by hundreds of mourners, some from different dioceses, the United Kingdom and the United States where some of his relatives and other workmates live.
Msgr Mutyaba, 90, was the former Episcopal vicar of Kampala, Kiyinda-Mityana and Ssezzibwa. He was a resident of St Mbaaga Seminary Ggaba for over twenty years.
Emmanuel Cardinal Wamala, hailed Mutyaba saying that he had left a big gap in the Catholic Church. He asked priests to emulate Msgr Mutyaba’s exemplary life. Wamala said Mutyaba was also influential in the preaching the word of God, which led many to love their religion. He also described him as a talented advisor and teacher to all Christians.
“Although he was in a wheel chair, he was dedicated and determined clergy, which all of us we should emulate in our service,” Wamala said.
Fr Joseph Sserunjogi, the rector of St Mbaaga Seminary, also praised him saying that he was a dedicated priest and was an idol to them all. He was always a happy man who never got angry with anyone.
The Auxiliary Bishop of Kampala Archdiocese, Christopher Kakooza, who represented the Archbishop, Dr Cyprian Lwanga, who is currently in Rome, also hailed him for the great work he had done for the Church and his nation.
According to Kampala Archdiocese chancellor, Rev Fr Joseph Kazibwe-Ntuuwa, Mutyaba was born to the late Mark Mukiibi and Maria Bogera of Waluleeta in Nandere Parish, Luweero diocese on May, 9, 1922.
According to the New Vision Mutyaba was ordained priest in December, 1954 by Bishop Joseph Kiwanuka. He was first appointed as curate priest (assistant parish priest) at Nandere Parish in Luweero diocese in 1955-1956, before he went to Rubaga Parish.
In 1958-1960, Mutyaba served as assistant Parish priest, Naluggi parish for two years, Bujuni, Ggoli, and Kkonge-Mpigi. In 1971, he was parish priest of Rubaga parish.
Pope Benedict XVI promoted Mutyaba to title of Monsignor in 2008 in appreciation of his service to the church.


Matthew 9: 14 - 17
14 Then the disciples of John came to him, saying, "Why do we and the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?"
15 And Jesus said to them, "Can the wedding guests mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? The days will come, when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast.
16 And no one puts a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch tears away from the garment, and a worse tear is made.
17 Neither is new wine put into old wineskins; if it is, the skins burst, and the wine is spilled, and the skins are destroyed; but new wine is put into fresh wineskins, and so both are preserved."


St. Ethelburga
Feast: July 7

Feast Day: July 7
Died: 664 at Faremoutier, France
English abbess of a monastery in France, the daughter of Anna, king of the East Angles. Ethelburga accompanied her half sister, Sethrida, to France to become a nun under the direction of St. Burgundofara. They spent the remainder of thier lives in prayer.


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