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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

CATHOLIC NEWS WORLD WEDNESDAY JULY 25, 2012


TODAY'S MASS ONLINE : WEDNESDAY JULY 25, 2012
TODAY'S SAINT: JULY 25: ST. JAMES THE GREATER, APOSTLE
TODAY'S SAINT: JULY 25: ST. CHRISTOPHER
 
TELEGRAM FOR THE DEATHS OF OSWALDO PAYA AND HAROLD CEPERO
Vatican City, 25 July 2012 (VIS) - Benedict XVI has sent a telegram to Cardinal Jaime Lucas Ortega y Alamino, archbishop of San Cristobal de la Habana, Cuba, for the traffic accident of 22 July which killed Oswaldo Paya Sardinas, founder of the Christian Liberation Movement and winner of the 2002 Sakharov Prize, and Harold Cepero Escalante, youth leader of the Movement, and injured a number of others. The telegram was sent through Archbishop Giovanni Angelo Becciu, substitute for General Affairs of the Secretariat of State, who was apostolic nuncio to Cuba between 2009 and 2011.
Having learned of the "tragic episode", the Pope asks Cardinal Ortega y Alamino to inform the victims' families of "his heartfelt condolences and spiritual closeness. At the same time he prays to the Lord that the injured may be restored to complete health".
The telegram continues: "The Holy Father likewise raises fervent prayers to God for the eternal repose of the deceased and asks Him to grant consolation and strength to those who, at this sad time, are weeping their irreparable loss. ... Invoking the protection of Nuestra Senora de la Caridad del Cobre, and as a pledge of copious divine favour at this time of suffering, the Holy Father affectionately imparts his apostolic blessing as a sign of faith and hope in Jesus Christ, the Redeemer of mankind".


TOURISM AND SUSTAINABLE ENERGY: POWERING SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
Vatican City, 25 July 2012 (VIS) - The Message for World Tourism Day published by the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples was issued today. The Day, which is due to be celebrated on 27 September, has as its theme this year: "Tourism and Sustainable Energy: Powering Sustainable Development".
The message, signed by Cardinal Antonio Maria Veglio and Archbishop Joseph Kalathiparambil, respectively president and secretary of the pontifical council, recalls the fact that World Tourism Day is promoted annually by the World Tourism Organisation (WTO). "The Holy See has adhered to this initiative from its first edition. It considers it an opportunity to dialogue with the civil world and offers its concrete contribution, based on the Gospel, and also sees it as an occasion to sensitise the whole Church about the importance of this sector from the economic and social standpoint and, in particular, in the context of the new evangelisation".
"Also in this edition of the World Day we make the theme proposed by the WTO our own: 'Tourism and Sustainable Energy: Powering Sustainable Development'", the English-language version of the message reads. "It is in harmony with the present 'International Year of Sustainable Energy for All' promulgated by the United Nations with the objective of highlighting 'the need to improve access to reliable, affordable, economically viable, socially acceptable and environmentally sound energy services and resources for sustainable development'.
"Tourism has grown at a significant rhythm in the past decades. According to the World Tourism Organisation statistics, it is foreseen that during the year in progress the quota will reach one billion international tourist arrivals, which will become two billion in the year 2030. To these should be added the even higher numbers involved in local tourism. This growth, which surely has positive effects, can lead to a serious environmental impact owing, among other factors, to the immoderate consumption of energy resources, the increase in polluting agents and the production of waste".
"The concept of 'sustainable development' is already engrained in our society and the tourism sector cannot and must not remain on the margin. When we talk about 'sustainable tourism', we are not referring to one means among others, such as cultural, beach or adventure tourism. Every form and expression of tourism must necessarily be sustainable and cannot be otherwise. Along this way, the energy problems have to be taken into due consideration. It is an erroneous assumption to think that 'an infinite quantity of energy and resources are available, that it is possible to renew them quickly, and that the negative effects of the exploitation of the natural order can be easily absorbed'".
"In this area also the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People wishes to offer its contribution based on the conviction that 'the Church has a responsibility towards creation and she must assert this responsibility in the public sphere'. It is not up to us to propose concrete technical solutions but to show that development cannot be reduced to mere technical, political or economic parameters. We wish to accompany this development with some appropriate ethical guidelines which stress the fact that all growth must always be at the service of the human being and the common good".
"We cannot separate the theme of environmental ecology from concern for an appropriate human ecology in the sense of interest in the human being's integral development. In the same way, we cannot separate our view of man and nature from the bond which unites them with the Creator. God has entrusted the good stewardship of creation to the human being. In the first place, a great educational effort is important in order to promote 'an effective shift in mentality which can lead to the adoption of new life-styles'. This conversion of the mind and heart 'allows us rapidly to become more proficient in the art of living together that respects the alliance between man and nature'.
"It is right to acknowledge that our daily habits are changing and that a greater ecological sensitivity exists. However, it is also true that the risk is easily run of forgetting these motivations during the vacation period in a search for certain comforts to which we believe we are entitled, without always reflecting on their consequences.
"It is necessary to cultivate the ethics of responsibility and prudence and to ask ourselves about the impact and consequences of our actions. In this regard, the Holy Father says: 'The way humanity treats the environment influences the way it treats itself, and vice versa. This invites contemporary society to a serious review of its life-style, which, in many parts of the world, is prone to hedonism and consumerism, regardless of their harmful consequences'. On this point, it will be important to encourage both entrepreneurs and tourists to consider the repercussions of their decisions and attitudes. In the same way, it is crucial 'to encourage more sober lifestyles, while reducing their energy consumption and improving efficiency'.
"These underlying ideas must necessarily be translated into concrete actions. Therefore, and with the objective of making the tourist destinations sustainable, all initiatives that are energy efficient and have the least environmental impact possible and lead to using renewable energies, should be promoted and supported to promoting the saving of resources and avoiding contamination. In this regard, it is fundamental for the ecclesial tourism structures and vacations proposals promoted by the Church to be characterised, among other things, by their respect for the environment. All of the sectors involved (businesses, local communities, governments and tourists) must be aware of their respective responsibilities in order to achieve sustainable forms of tourism. Collaboration between all the parts involved is necessary.
"The Social Doctrine of the Church reminds us that 'care for the environment represents a challenge for all of humanity. It is a matter of a common and universal duty, that of respecting a common good'. A good which human beings do not own but are 'stewards', a good which God entrusted to them so that they would administer it properly.
"Pope Benedict XVI says that 'the new evangelisation, to which all are called, requires us to keep in mind and to make good use of the many occasions that tourism offers us to put forward Christ as the supreme response to modern man’s fundamental questions'. Therefore, we invite everyone to promote and use tourism in a respectful and responsible way in order to allow it to develop all of its potentialities, with the certainty that in contemplating the beauty of nature and peoples we can arrive at the encounter with God".

OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS
Vatican City, 25 July 2012 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed:
- Fr. Vincent Dollmann of the clergy of the archdiocese of Strasbourg, France, official of the Congregation for Catholic Education and spiritual director of the Pontifical French Seminary in Rome, as auxiliary of the same archdiocese (area 8,280, population 1,909,000, Catholics 1,367,000, priests 810, permanent deacons 78, religious 1,529). The bishop-elect was born in Mulhouse, France in 1964 and ordained a priest in 1990. He has served as preacher and confessor in the cathedral, spiritual director of the major archdiocesan seminary and pastor of the parish of "Sainte-Madeleine".
- As members of the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelisation: Archbishop Paul Youssef Matar of Beirut of the Maronites, Lebanon, and Archbishop Ignatius Ayau Kaigama of Jos, Nigeria.

AFRICA : SUDAN : 300 LAWYERS PROTEST OVER GOVERNMENT VIOLENCE

CISA NEWS REPORT:
KHARTOUM, July 17, 2012 (CISA) -A group of over 300 Sudanese lawyers protested, outside Khartoum’s main courtroom on Monday, the government’s use of violence and arbitrary detention against peaceful demonstrations.
The lawyers marched from Khartoum criminal court to the presidential place where they submitted a memorandum urging president Omer Al-Bashir to order stoppage of violence against protester and the release of detainees.
Local human rights groups estimate that some 2,000 people have been detained over the last four weeks as first students, and then other parts of Sudanese society, protested against the government and the worsening economic situation.
Police forces supported by pro-regime militiamen known as “Rabata” used teargas, rubber bullets and mass arrests to disperse the protests which spread beyond Khartoum to other regional towns including Kassala in the east and Al-Obied in the southern province of North Kordofan.
“We call on you (Mr President) to immediately order to stop the use of force against peaceful demonstrators and release all arrested people,” said a memorandum submitted by a delegation of lawyers at the presidential palace.
The police surrounded the lawyers’ procession but, unlike in other demonstrations in recent weeks, did not use teargas, plastic bullets or batons.
The lawyers held up placards denouncing violations of law and human rights by police and security services. They also chanted slogans calling for restoration of democracy and regime change.
The Sudanese government denies suppressing protesters referring to them as “small groups of rioters” and accusing opposition parties of standing behind them.
However activists say the security forces arrested many of them from their homes and stressed that they take to the street peacefully.
Most of the lawyers who took part in Monday’s protest were from opposition parties.
The Lawyers asserted in their memorandum that the right to freedom of opinion and expression, and peaceful assembly are guaranteed by Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and part and parcel of the Constitution of Sudan.
Similarly, lawyers in the western region of Darfur on Monday held a protest outside the house of the governor of South Darfur State to protest against the crackdown on demonstrations and detention of activists.
Meanwhile, the anti-government youth group Girifna announced on Monday that the next Sudan Revolts weekly protest on Friday will be named after Darfur.
The “Darfur Baladna Friday” will be the fourth in a series of Friday protests to which the government responded with excessive force, particularly around the epicenter of the protests in Wad Nubawi Mosque in Omdurman, which is linked to the opposition National Umma Party (NUP).
Darfur was subjected in 2003-2004 to a brutal counterinsurgency campaign in which pro-regime ethnic militias backed by regular forces had targeted not only the rebels who took up arms accusing the government of marginalization but also the ethnic communities linked to them.
UN agencies say more than 300,000 people have died and 2.7 million lost their homes during the conflict which decreased in intensity over recent years. Khartoum however disputes the figure saying only 10,000 people died.
SHARED FROM CISA NEWS

AUSTRALIA : QUALITY OF TEACHING IMPORTANT

ARCHDIOCESE OF SYDNEY REPORT:
Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
20 Jul 2012


Professor Scott Prasser, Executive Director
of the Public Policy Institute
When it comes to teaching, the quality of teaching is far more important than the number of teachers, the size of the class or the amount of money spent, says Professor Scott Prasser, Executive Director of the Public Policy Institute at the Australian Catholic University (ACU).
"Unions continue to insist public schools need more money for education and more teachers. But in the past 10 years although there was a 44% increase on the amount spent on education, there has been no improvement in outcomes, with some areas even slipping backwards," he says.
Not only do Australia's highest achieving students now lag behind their counterparts in Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea and Hong Kong, but despite the government's massive financial investment in education, there has been no improvement in the nation's lowest achievers.
The one-size-fits-all-approach adopted by the public school system which rewards seniority rather than performance does not encourage academically gifted students to choose teaching as a profession.
"What we have to do is raise the bar for people doing teacher education and insist on stronger and better standards," he insists.
Professor Prasser's concerns at the decline in teaching training at university level as well as the people it attracts to the profession are shared by Coalition spokesman on education, Federal MP Christopher Pyne.

Catholic students consistently raise the bar and
outperform their state school counterparts
In a speech to the Sydney Institute this week, Mr Pyne sharply criticised the low ATAR marks now required for those entering teaching courses at Australia's universities. Set in the mid 50s and low 60s, they are far below the ATAR cut off for professions such as law which at the University of Sydney requires a minimum of 99.7.
Not only had academic standards of teachers fallen, but evidence shows that increasing numbers of students choose to study education because it is cheap, easy and it does not extend or deepen knowledge gained during year 12.
While the Archdiocese of Sydney's Catholic Education Office (CEO) operates a "Targeted Graduate Employment Program" as a way of sponsoring and attracting the best teachers to work in the city's Catholic schools, there are few if any similar schemes operating within the public school system.
"Australia won't attract high calibre people to teaching until we treat teaching like a profession, and right now if you're a young person looking for a career and you look at teaching, you discover your salary will plateau after about five years and no matter how hard your work, how early you come in, how much you give to your students, you will not earn a cent more," Mr Pyne warned the Sydney Institute.
20 percent of all Australian students
attend Catholic Schools
Professor Prasser agrees and like Mr Pyne is impatient with the unions and government's continued focus on class size despite repeated Australian and international studies finding no correlation between class size and education outcomes.
"More teachers, smaller classrooms and more money is the catchcry. But this scatter gun approach that simply has more money sloshing around the system is not a solution," Professor Prasser says and calls for target spending on appropriate groups and areas.
While the Gonski Review into education called for a further $5 billion to be spent on education, he does not believe this will lead to high student achievement or more equitable outcomes.
"So much was promised, so much was needed, so much was expected but in the end the Gonski Review delivered little and did not focus on the real issues such as teacher training, institutional flexibility, competition, parental investment, choice and diversity."

Coalition Shadow Minister
for Education,
Christopher Pyne
concerned about
declining standards
in teacher training
According to Professor Prasser the sort of flexibility, competition, parental investment and involvement, choice and diversity needed is already in operation at Catholic schools as well as at other private and independent schools.
As he points out, principals at Catholic schools have long been given able to hire and fire their own staff, have input and oversight into the way their school is run and have flexibility to adapt the curriculum to better help students. Under the Catholic education system, there is usually close liaison and interaction with parents as well as with the local community.
But above all, Catholic schools go out of their way to foster and encourage quality teaching and put strategies in place to retain their outstanding teachers over the long term, he says.
SHARED FROM ARCHDIOCESE OF SYDNEY

ASIA : TAJIKISTAN 42 KILLED IN FIGHTING WITH REBELS

ASIA NEWS REPORT:
Fighting broke out in Khorog, capital of semi-autonomous Gorno-Badakhshan province, on the border with Afghanistan, a hub for the international opium trade. The death of the local security chief set off the violence. Government pins the murder on local rebels.


Dushanbe (AsiaNews/Agencies) - At least 42 people died in fighting between Tajikistan government troops and rebels in the eastern mountainous semi-autonomous Gorno-Badakhshan province, on the border with Afghanistan.

According to the Tajik government, 12 soldiers and 30 militants were killed in the fighting. Radio Free Europe (RFE) reported more than 100 people killed. About 30 of the 40 rebel fighters captured by the security forces were Afghan nationals. Up to 30 soldiers were wounded in the fighting.

The violence reportedly erupted after Tajik government forces launched a massive operation in the region on Tuesday in retaliation to the fatal stabbing of a top official from the Security Ministry on Saturday.

Tajik authorities have blamed the killing on an armed group led by Tolib Ayombekov, a former warlord and Islamist rebel accused by the authorities of involvement in drug and arms smuggling as well as brutal crimes.

The main fighting occurred in Khorog, the capital of Gorno-Badakhshan autonomous region, which sits along a river that marks Tajikistan's border with Afghanistan.

Populated by the Pamiri ethnic minority, the region was the stronghold of Islamist rebels during the 1990s war that cost up to 100,000 lives.

Local sources said that Tajik authorities severed phone and road links with the region on Tuesday.

Residents of the Afghan side of the river said they saw Tajik government helicopter gunships strafing Khorog and heard the sound of rocket-propelled grenades and heavy machine guns through the day's fighting.

Ethnically and religiously different from the rest of Tajikistan, Gorno-Badakhshan has long been a thorn in the side of central authorities.

Probably the poorest area of the poorest ex-Soviet republic, the eastern region is also a gateway for the international opium trade between Afghanistan, the world's main producer of opiates, and consumers in Russia and Western Europe.

The latest episode of violence was precipitated on Saturday when the National Security Committee chief for Gorno-Badakhshan, General Abdullo Nazarov, was killed.

Tajikistan's central government blamed his death on Mr. Ayombekov, who ostensibly ordered the hit to protect his smuggling network.

SHARED FROM ASIA NEWS IT

LATIN AMERICA : OBSERVATORY OF NEW EVANGELIZATION

Agenzia Fides REPORT- The Secretary of the Pontifical Council for the promotion of the New Evangelization, His Exc. Mgr. Octavio Ruiz Arenas, announced that on Tuesday, July 24, during the opening session of the meeting of the President Bishops of the Commissions of CELAM (Latin American Episcopal Council) the inauguration of the "Observatory of the New Evangelization for Latin America" will be held.
According to information sent to Fides Agency, his Exc. Mgr. Rino Fisichella, President of the Pontifical Council for the promotion of the New Evangelization is expected to attend. During the inaugural act of the Observatory, a meeting with the platform "episcopo.net" with all the directors of the Commissions for the communication of the Episcopal Conferences of Latin America is also planned.
The Observatory aims to be a structure of information, research and study regarding the different experiences of the existing New Evangelization in Latin America and the Caribbean, to accompany them on their journey and to stimulate the exchange of experiences, explained Mgr. Arenas.
In addition, the Observatory plans to deepen the great challenges facing the Church in fulfilling its mission of evangelization and investigate the motives for the faithful to abandon the Catholic Church. (CE) (Agenzia Fides 24/7/2012)

EUROPE : OLYMPICS BEGIN AND OFFICIAL CROSS BLESSED

Blessing of Olympic Cross  | Olympic Cross, Sion Centre

Olympic Cross
IND. CATH. NEWS
The Olympic Cross, specially commissioned for the 2012 London Games, has been blessed by Fr Simon Penhalagan, President of the Sion Community, Britain’s leading Catholic community for Evangelization. This was witnessed by young people from six continents, each of whom will make up a part of the team at The Joshua Camp, the international Catholic Olympic camp suitably dubbed ‘Olympic World Youth Day’, which takes place in the heart of East London during the Games between 01 and 13 August.
The Cross was designed and created by artist Jon Cornwall from Walsingham House in Essex. Speaking of his creation, Cornwall said: “I chose to use 12 different timbers from across the world to create the cross so as to represent the 12 disciples who were commanded to ‘go and make disciples of all nations’ (Matthew 28:19). The Olympic Cross has the same purpose: while each individual part may be rich with character, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”
Each timber was carefully selected for its colour, texture, history and for the part of the world it represents. These are as follows: Ash (North America), London Plane (England), Siberian Larch (Russia), Tree of Heaven (China), Olivewood (Holy Land), Gimlet (Australia), Rosewood (India), Pink Ivory (South Africa), Thuya Burr (North Africa), Lignum Vitae (Argentina), Purpleheart (Brazil), and Blue Mahoe (Jamaica).
The timbers chosen to make up the three-step base into which the Cross stands are: Sycamore (faith), Spalted Beech (hope) and Paduk (love), each one chosen deliberately to emulate something of each virtue.
James Parker, Catholic Executive Coordinator for the 2012 Games, said: “We wanted to create a keepsake that symbolises everything the games truly represent, something we could then pass on to future Olympic host nations. As Christians our lives mean nothing without the Cross and so this seemed to be the most suitable object to commission for ourselves and as a future gift to others. We are very grateful to Jon Cornwall for his prayerful reflection and expert craftsmanship.”
Fr Simon Penhalagan said: “There is already a growing affection for this Cross among the young people preparing for The Joshua Camp. I am confident that those who will travel across the globe to be with us in London next week will also come to honour this Cross and in so doing will fall more in love with Christ.”
Parker went on to say: “We also owe deep gratitude as a church to the Sion Community. Their inspiration to run The Joshua Camp throughout the Olympics as a way of placing Christ at the centre of people’s lives is to be highly commended. They have chosen to serve the games way beyond that of any other Catholic organisation in Britain. The Joshua Camp might well become a global blueprint as to how sport and spirituality can begin to interlock at future global sporting events. This initiative is a powerful response to Pope Benedict’s call to find ways to draw modern hearts and minds to Christ.”
The Cross will remain at the Joshua Camp for the entire duration of the Olympic Games and will either be passed on to Sochi in Russia for the 2014 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games or be passed immediately onto Brazil for the 2013 World Youth Day, 2014 Football World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games.
SHARED FROM IND. CATH. NEWS

TODAY'S MASS ONLINE : WEDNESDAY JULY 25, 2012

Matthew 20: 20 - 28
20 Then the mother of the sons of Zeb'edee came up to him, with her sons, and kneeling before him she asked him for something.
21 And he said to her, "What do you want?" She said to him, "Command that these two sons of mine may sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your kingdom."
22 But Jesus answered, "You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am to drink?" They said to him, "We are able."
23 He said to them, "You will drink my cup, but to sit at my right hand and at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father."
24 And when the ten heard it, they were indignant at the two brothers.
25 But Jesus called them to him and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them.
26 It shall not be so among you; but whoever would be great among you must be your servant,
27 and whoever would be first among you must be your slave;
28 even as the Son of man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."

TODAY'S SAINT: JULY 25: ST. JAMES THE GREATER, APOSTLE


St. James the Greater
APOSTLE AND PATRON SAINT OF SPAIN
Feast: July 25


Information:
Feast Day: July 25
Born:
1st century
Died: 44, Judea
Major Shrine: Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, Galicia (Spain)
Patron of: Veterinarians, equestrians, furriers, tanners, pharmacists
The son of Zebedee (q.v.) and Salome (q.v. Cf. Matt., xvii, 56; Mark, xv, 40; xvi, 1). Zahn asserts that Salome was the daughter of a priest. James is styled "the Greater" to distinguish him from the Apostle James "the Less," who was probably shorter of stature. We know nothing of St. James's early life. He was the brother of John, the beloved disciple, and probably the elder of the two. His parents seem to have been people of means as appears from the following facts. Zebedee was a fisherman of the Lake of Galilee, who probably lived in or near Bethsaida (John, 1, 44), perhaps in Capharnaum; and had some boatmen or hired men as his usual attendants (Mark, 1, 20). Salome was one of the pious women who afterwards followed Christ and "ministered unto him of their substance" (cf. Matt., xxvii, 55, sq.; Mark, xv, 40; xvi, 1; Luke, viii, 2 sq.; xxiii, 55-xxiv, 1). St. John was personally known to the high-priest (John, xviii, 16); and must have had wherewithal to provide for the Mother of Jesus (John, xix, 27). It is probable, according to Acts, iv, 13, that John (and consequently his brother James) had not received the technical training of the rabbinical schools; in this sense they were unlearned and without any official position among the Jews. But, according to the social rank of their parents, they must have been men of ordinary education, in the common walks of Jewish life. They had frequent opportunity of coming in contact with Greek life and language, which were already widely spread along the shores of the Galilean Sea. Some authors, comparing John, xix, 25, with Matt., xxviii, 56, and Mark, xv, 40, identify, and probably rightly so, Mary the Mother of James the Less and of Joseph in Mark and Matthew with "Mary of Cleophas" in John. As the name of Mary Magdalen occurs in the three lists, they identify further Salome in Mark with "the mother of the sons of Zebedee" in Matthew; finally they identify Salome with "his mother's sister" in John. They suppose, for this last identification, that four women are designated by John, xix, 25; the Syriac "Peshito" gives the reading: "His mother and his mother's sister, and Mary of Cleophas and Mary Magdalen." If this last supposition is right, Salome was a sister of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and James the Greater and John were first cousins of the Lord; this may explain the discipleship of the two brothers, Salome's request and their own claim to the first position in His kingdom, and His commendation of the Blessed Virgin to her own nephew. But it is doubtful whether the Greek admits of this construction without the addition or the omission of kai (and). Thus the relationship of St. James to Jesus remains doubtful.
The Galilean origin of St. James in some degree explains the energy of temper and the vehemence of character which earned for him and St. John the name of Boanerges, "sons of thunder" (Mark. iii, 17); the Galilean race was religious, hardy, industrious, brave, and the strongest defender of the Jewish nation. When John the Baptist proclaimed the kingdom of the Messias, St. John became a disciple (John, i, 35); he was directed to "the Lamb of God" and afterwards brought his brother James to the Messias; the obvious meaning of John, i, 41, is that St. Andrew finds his brother (St. Peter) first and that afterwards St. John (who does not name himself, according to his habitual and characteristic reserve and silence about himself) finds his brother (St. James). The call of St. James to the discipleship of the Messias is reported in a parallel or identical narration by Matt., iv, 18-22; Mark, i, 19 sq.; and Luke, v, 1-11. The two sons of Zebedee, as well as Simon (Peter) and his brother Andrew with whom they were in partnership (Luke, v, 10), were called by the Lord upon the Sea of Galilee, where all four with Zebedee and his hired servants were engaged in their ordinary occupation of fishing. The sons of Zebedee "forthwith left their nets and father, and followed him" (Matt., iv, 22), and became "fishers of men". St. James was afterwards with the other eleven called to the Apostleship (Matt., x, 1-4; Mark, iii, 13-19; Luke, vi, 12-16; Acts, i, 13). In all four lists the names of Peter and Andrew, James and John form the first group, a prominent and chosen group (cf. Mark, xiii, 3); especially Peter, James, and John. These three Apostles alone were admitted to be present at the miracle of the raising of Jairus's daughter (Mark, v, 37; Luke, viii, 51), at the Transfiguration (Mark, ix, 1; Matt., xvii, 1; Luke, ix, 28), and the Agony in Gethsemani (Matt., xxvi, 37; Mark, xiv, 33). The fact that the name of James occurs always (except in Luke, viii, 51; ix, 28; Acts, i, 13—Gr. Text) before that of his brother seems to imply that James was the elder of the two. It is worthy of notice that James is never mentioned in the Gospel of St. John; this author observes a humble reserve not only with regard to himself, but also about the members of his family.
Several incidents scattered through the Synoptics suggest that James and John had that particular character indicated by the name "Boanerges," sons of thunder, given to them by the Lord (Mark, iii, 17); they were burning and impetuous in their evangelical zeal and severe in temper. The two brothers showed their fiery temperament against "a certain man casting out devils" in the name of the Christ; John, answering, said: "We [James is probably meant] forbade him, because he followeth not with us" (Luke, ix, 49). When the Samaritans refused to receive Christ, James and John said: "Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them?" (Luke, ix, 54; cf. v. 49). On the last journey to Jerusalem, their mother Salome came to the Lord and said to Him: "Say that these my two sons may sit, the one on thy right hand, and the other on thy left, in thy kingdom" (Matt., xx, 21). And the two brothers, still ignorant of the spiritual nature of the Messianic Kingdom, joined with their mother in this eager ambition (Mark, x, 37). And on their assertion that they are willing to drink the chalice that He drinks of, and to be baptized with the baptism of His sufferings, Jesus assured them that they will share His sufferings (ibid., v. 38-39). James won the crown of martyrdom fourteen years after this prophecy, A.D. 44. Herod Agrippa I, son of Aristobulus and grandson of Herod the Great, reigned at that time as "king" over a wider dominion than that of his grandfather. His great object was to please the Jews in every way, and he showed great regard for the Mosaic Law and Jewish customs. In pursuance of this policy, on the occasion of the Passover of A.D. 44, he perpetrated cruelties upon the Church, whose rapid growth incensed the Jews. The zealous temper of James and his leading part in the Jewish Christian communities probably led Agrippa to choose him as the first victim. "He killed James, the brother of John, with the sword." (Acts, xii, 1-2). According to a tradition, which, as we learn from Eusebius (Hist. Eccl., II, ix, 2, 3), was received from Clement of Alexandria (in the seventh book of his lost "Hypotyposes"), the accuser who led the Apostle to judgment, moved by his confession, became himself a Christian, and they were beheaded together. As Clement testifies expressly that the account was given him "by those who were before him," this tradition has a better foundation than many other traditions and legends respecting the Apostolic labours and death of St. James, which are related in the Latin "Passio Jacobi Majoris", the Ethiopic "Acts of James", and so on. The tradition asserting that James the Greater preached the Gospel in Spain, and that his body was translated to Compostela, claims more serious consideration.
According to this tradition St. James the Greater, having preached Christianity in Spain, returned to Judea and was put to death by order of Herod; his body was miraculously translated to Iria Flavia in the northwest of Spain, and later to Compostela, which town, especially during the Middle Ages, became one of the most famous places of pilgrimage in the world. The vow of making a pilgrimage to Compostela to honour the sepulchre of St. James is still reserved to the pope, who alone of his own or ordinary right can dispense from it (see VOW). In the twelfth century was founded the Order of Knights of St. James of Compostela.
With regard to the preaching of the Gospel in Spain by St. James the greater, several difficulties have been raised:
• St. James suffered martyrdom A.D. 44 (Acts, xii, 2), and, according to the tradition of the early Church, he had not yet left Jerusalem at this time (cf. Clement of Alexandria, "Strom.", VI, Apollonius, quoted by Euseb., "Hist. Eccl." VI, xviii).
• St. Paul in his Epistle to the Romans (A.D. 58) expressed the intention to visit Spain (Rom., xv, 24) just after he had mentioned (xv, 20) that he did not "build upon another man's foundation."
• The argument ex silentio: although the tradition that James founded an Apostolic see in Spain was current in the year 700, no certain mention of such tradition is to be found in the genuine writings of early writers nor in the early councils; the first certain mention we find in the ninth century, in Notker, a monk of St. Gall (Martyrol., 25 July), Walafried Strabo (Poema de XII Apost.), and others.
• The tradition was not unanimously admitted afterwards, while numerous scholars reject it. The Bollandists however defended it (see Acta Sanctorum, July, VI and VII, where other sources are given).
The authenticity of the sacred relic of Compostela has been questioned and is still doubted. Even if St. James the Greater did not preach the Christian religion in Spain, his body may have been brought to Compostela, and this was already the opinion of Notker. According to another tradition, the relics of the Apostle are kept in the church of St-Saturnin at Toulouse (France), but it is not improbable that such sacred relics should have been divided between two churches. A strong argument in favour of the authenticity of the sacred relics of Compostela is the Bull of Leo XIII, "Omnipotens Deus," of 1 November, 1884.


SOURCE: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/J/stjamesthegreater.asp#ixzz1T7TOR2WE



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