Friday, November 16, 2012




(Vatican Radio IMAGE SHARE)
Vatican City, 15 November 2012 (VIS) - The close ties between the work of evangelisation and the need to overcome the divisions that still exist between Christians was the central theme of this morning's address by the Holy Father to the members and consultors of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity on the occasion of their plenary assembly dedicated to "The importance of ecumenism in new evangelisation".
The Pope stated, "We cannot follow a truly ecumenical path while ignoring the crisis of faith affecting vast areas of the world, including those where the proclamation of the Gospel was first accepted and where Christian life has flourished for centuries. On the other hand, we cannot ignore the many signs indicating a persistent need for spirituality, which is made manifest in various ways. The spiritual poverty of many of our contemporaries, who no longer perceive the absence of God in their lives as a form of deprivation, poses a challenge to all Christians".
In this context, the Pope added, "we, believers in Christ, are called upon to return to the essential, to the heart of our faith, to bear witness to the living God before the world. … We must not forget what it is that unites us: our faith in God the Father and Creator, revealed in His Son Jesus Christ, effusing the Spirit which revives and sanctifies. This is the faith we received in Baptism and it is the faith that, in hope and charity, we can profess together.
"In the light of the primacy of faith we may also understand the importance of the theological dialogues and conversations in which the Catholic Church is engaged with Churches and ecclesial communities. Even when we cannot discern the possibility of re-establishing full communion in the near future, such dialogue facilitates our awareness, not only of resistance and obstacles, but also of the richness of experience, spiritual life and theological reflection, which become a stimulus for ever deeper testimony".
Benedict XVI emphasised that the aim of ecumenism is "visible unity between divided Christians". To this end, we must "dedicate all our forces, but we must also recognise that, in the final analysis, this unity is a gift from God, and may come to us only from the Father through His Son, because the Church is His Church. From this perspective we see, not only the importance of invoking the Lord for visible unity, but also how striving after this end is relevant to the new evangelisation.
"It is good to journey together towards this objective, provided that the Churches and ecclesial communities do not stop along the way, accepting the various contradictions between them as normal or as the best they can hope to achieve. It is, rather, in the full communion of faith, Sacraments and ministry that the strength of God, present and working in the world, will find concrete expression".
The Pope concluded, "Unity is on the one hand the fruit of faith and, on the other, a means - almost a prerequisite - for an increasingly credible proclamation of the faith to those who do not yet know the Saviour or who, while having received the proclamation of the Gospel, have almost forgotten this valuable gift. True ecumenism, recognising the primacy of divine action, demands above all patience, humility, and abandonment to the will of the Lord. In the final analysis, ecumenism and new evangelisation both require the dynamism of conversion, understood as the sincere desire to follow Christ and to fully adhere to the will of the Father".
Vatican City, 15 November 2012 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in audience eleven prelates of the Episcopal Conference of France, on their "ad limina" visit:
- Archbishop Thierry Jordan of Reims
- Bishop Jean-Luc Bouilleret of Amiens.
- Bishop Jacques Benoit-Gonnin of Beauvais.
- Bishop Gilbert Louis of Chalons.
- Bishop Philippe Gueneley of Langres.
- Bishop Herve Giraud of Soissons.
- Bishop Marc Stenger of Troyes.
- Archbishop Laurent Ulrich of Lille, accompanied by Auxiliary Bishop Gerard Coliche.
- Bishop Jean-Paul Jaeger of Arras.
- Archbishop Francois Garnier of Cambrai.
Following yesterday's general audience, Benedict XVI met with Saad Hariri, former prime minister of Lebanon. The former prime minister subsequently went on to meet with Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States.





Bishops Adopt Message On Confession, 2013-2016 Strategic Plan, Approve Canonical Step For Dorothy Day Sainthood Cause

November 13, 2012
BALTIMORE—The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) issued a message inviting Catholics to more frequent participation in the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation, approved their 2013-1016 strategic plan, and advanced the canonization cause of Dorothy Day during their annual Fall General Assembly in Baltimore, November 13.
The bishops approved the message on confession in a 236-1 vote. The new strategic plan, which focuses on the New Evangelization, passed in a 233-0 vote, with four bishops abstaining.
The bishops also participated in a consultation on the sainthood cause of Dorothy Day, the U.S. activist and founder of the Catholic Worker movement. Cardinal Timothy Dolan, president of the USCCB, led the bishops in discussion in his role as archbishop of New York, which is overseeing the cause. The bishops approved the advancement of Day's cause in a voice vote.
The bishops approved adding the optional memorial of Blessed Francis Xavier Seelos to the U.S. liturgical calendar in a 213-1 vote, with one bishop abstaining. They also approved the creation of a new public affairs position for the USCCB in a 202-25 vote, with four bishops abstaining.
The bishops rejected a proposed document, "The Hope of the Gospel in Difficult Economic Times." The message received a vote of 134-85-9, falling short of a necessary two-thirds majority.
More information on the bishops' meeting is available


Royal Commission Bishops' Response

Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
16 Nov 2012
Prime Minister Gillard announces the Royal Commission
The President and Permanent Committee of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, on behalf of the Australian Bishops, support the announcement by the Prime Minister of a Royal Commission into child sex abuse in our community. This is a serious issue not just for the Catholic Church but for the whole community. As Catholic bishops and as individuals we share the feelings of horror and outrage which all decent people feel when they read the reports of sexual abuse and allegations of cover ups.
Over the past 20 years, there have been major developments in the way the Church responds to victims, deals with perpetrators and puts in place preventive measures. In addition, there is a much greater general awareness of the issue of paedophilia in the broader community.
Sexual abuse of children is not confined to the Catholic Church. Tragically, it occurs in families, churches, community groups, schools and other organisations. We believe a Royal Commission will enable an examination of the issues associated with child abuse nationally, and identify measures for better preventing and responding to child abuse in our society.
We have taken decisive steps in the past 20 years to make child safety a priority and to help victims of abuse. This includes working closely with police.
While there were significant problems concerning some dioceses and some religious orders, talk of a systemic problem of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church is ill-founded and inconsistent with the facts.
To assist in determining the appropriate scope of the Royal Commission, it would be very useful for police and child protection authorities to release the information they have about the number of cases they are dealing with now and the situations which they have arisen: families, government organisations and non-government organisations, including churches. In NSW it would also be helpful to highlight when the offences occurred and, in particular, whether they occurred pre or post the Wood Royal Commission in the 1990s, and the rigorous child protection regime put in place after it.
We deeply regret the suffering and trauma endured by children who have been in the Church's care, and the effect on their families. Mistakes were made and we apologise to victims and their families for these failures.
Much of the public discussion is about how the Church dealt with cases 20 or more years ago. Critics talk as though earlier failures are still prevalent. Major procedural changes in dealing with these matters have been implemented by the Church since then.
It is unjust and inappropriate to suggest crimes are being - or have been - committed, without producing evidence; without asking those accused for their responses before making generalised slurs.
It is unacceptable, because it is untrue, to claim that the Catholic Church does not have proper procedures, and to claim that Catholic authorities refuse to cooperate with the police.
As we have welcomed the opportunity to cooperate with the Inquiries announced in Victoria and NSW, and to address issues that have been raised - both justified and unjustified - we are also ready to cooperate with this Royal Commission. We look forward to consultations with the Government on the terms of reference.


The rocket was launched from the strip hitting a building in Kiryay Malachi. Some people are still trapped under the rubble. This night, the Israeli army killed the leader of the armed wing of Hamas. Israeli army Operation "Pillar of defense" began yesterday and has already left nine dead. Hamas vows revenge for the bombing raids. Prime Minister Netanyahu threatens a land invasion if the Islamists do not stop the rocket attacks on settlements in the Negev. The Arab League is ready for a special session to avoid a spiral of violence.

Gaza (AsiaNews / Agencies)-A building in Kiryat Malachi, southern Israel, has been hit by a rocket. According to police people have died, others are trapped in the structure. The rocket was launched in response to the massive offensive on the Gaza Strip by the Israeli army launched yesterday. Today, the UN Security Council will meet in an extraordinary session to discuss the situation in the Middle East. Barak Obama has contacted the Egyptian president Morsi to attempt mediation between Israel and Hamas.
Yesterday twenty air raids struck the Palestinian territories. The operation called "pillar of defense" aims to destroy the armed wing of Hamas, which in recent days has directed its rockets at Israeli Negev. Ahmed Jaabari, 52, considered the '"strongman in Gaza, "was killed in the bombing. He was the commander of the armed wing of Hamas, the Ezzedin al-Qassam Brigades, and the mind behind the kidnap of Gilad Shalit, the Israeli soldier abducted in 2006 and released October 18, 2011. However, the targeted operation has cost the lives of at least nine civilians, including three children.
Shortly after the beginning of the raid, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said: "Today, we have sent a clear message to Hamas and other terrorist organizations. And if necessary the Israeli defense forces are ready to expand our influence." This phrase has been interpreted by many as a reference to a possible land invasion  in case of reprisals from Hamas. "We will continue - said the Prime Minister - to do everything possible to protect our citizens."
For its part, Hamas has launched an appeal on its official radio station, noting that "occupiers have opened the gates of hell" and that other Islamist groups help the Palestinians in revenge against the Israeli raids. "Israel has declared war on Gaza - they affirmed - and will suffer the consequences, including Islamic Jihad."
The Israeli air raids have provoked the condemnation of the Arab countries. Egypt has recalled its ambassador to Tel Aviv. Last night President Mohammad Morsi has called the representative of Israel in Cairo to protest against the bombing, according to diplomatic sources the officer had left Egypt with all staff to avoid the meeting. Hamad bin Jassem al-Thani, Qatar's foreign minister stated that "this heinous crime must not go unpunished." He announced that the Arab League will meet in extraordinary session on 16 November, following a request of Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas. Western countries are more cautious calling on both sides to avoid the escalation of violence. The United States has stressed that the Pentagon is keeping the situation under close watch, and the British Foreign Office has sent a message to both parties calling for restraint.
On the ground Palestinians are reliving scenes from  "Operation Cast Lead" that between 2008 and 2009 killed more than 1,400 Palestinians and 13 Israelis. The operation "Pillar of defense" come three months ahead of Israeli elections scheduled for January 22, 2013 and a few weeks after the official request of the Palestinian Authority to for membership UN General Assembly of the United Nations as a non-member state . Yesterday, Avigdor Lieberman, the Israeli foreign ministry said in a statement that "the only solution to prevent UN recognition of Palestine is to overthrow the regime of Mahmoud Abbas." According to the politician a possible entry in the Assembly of the United Nations would represent failure to all the leaders of Israel.



Agenzia Fides REPORT- In Uganda a new outbreak of deadly Ebola is ongoing that so far has recorded two deaths, both belonging to the same family, in Luweero district, 62 kilometers away from the capital Kampala. Last month, the country was declared free of the virus which in July killed at least 17 people in a remote district in the western part of the country. Since August, there were no more alerts. The Ministry of Health does not yet know if the new epidemic is connected in some way to the previous year. In 2000, 425 people were infected, of whom half died. The virus is highly infectious and causes death quickly. It was recorded for the first time in 1976 in Congo and takes its name from the river where it was discovered. No cure has been found yet and sick people are treated with antibiotics, medications to relieve pain and for other diseases such as malaria, in order to strengthen their resistance. Over the last 12 years, Uganda has undergone a series of major epidemics of Ebola. (AP) (Agenzia Fides 15/11/2012)


Philemon 1: 7 - 20

7For I have derived much joy and comfort from your love, my brother, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you.8Accordingly, though I am bold enough in Christ to command you to do what is required,9yet for love's sake I prefer to appeal to you -- I, Paul, an ambassador and now a prisoner also for Christ Jesus --10I appeal to you for my child, Ones'imus, whose father I have become in my imprisonment.11(Formerly he was useless to you, but now he is indeed useful to you and to me.)12I am sending him back to you, sending my very heart.13I would have been glad to keep him with me, in order that he might serve me on your behalf during my imprisonment for the gospel;14but I preferred to do nothing without your consent in order that your goodness might not be by compulsion but of your own free will.15Perhaps this is why he was parted from you for a while, that you might have him back for ever,16no longer as a slave but more than a slave, as a beloved brother, especially to me but how much more to you, both in the flesh and in the Lord.17So if you consider me your partner, receive him as you would receive me.18If he has wronged you at all, or owes you anything, charge that to my account.19I, Paul, write this with my own hand, I will repay it -- to say nothing of your owing me even your own self.20Yes, brother, I want some benefit from you in the Lord. Refresh my heart in Christ.

Psalms 146: 7 - 10
7who executes justice for the oppressed; who gives food to the hungry. The LORD sets the prisoners free;
8the LORD opens the eyes of the blind. The LORD lifts up those who are bowed down; the LORD loves the righteous.
9The LORD watches over the sojourners, he upholds the widow and the fatherless; but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.
10The LORD will reign for ever, thy God, O Zion, to all generations. Praise the LORD! 
Luke 17: 20 - 25

20Being asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God was coming, he answered them, "The kingdom of God is not coming with signs to be observed;21nor will they say, `Lo, here it is!' or `There!' for behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you."22And he said to the disciples, "The days are coming when you will desire to see one of the days of the Son of man, and you will not see it.23And they will say to you, `Lo, there!' or `Lo, here!' Do not go, do not follow them.24For as the lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one side to the other, so will the Son of man be in his day.25But first he must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation.



St. Albert the Great
Feast: November 15
Feast Day:
November 15
1206, Lauingen, Bavaria
November 15, 1280, Cologne, Holy Roman Empire
1931 by Pius XI
Major Shrine:
St. Andreas in Cologne
Patron of:
medical technicians; natural sciences; philosophers; scientists; students

He was known as the "teacher of everything there is to know," was a scientist long before the age of science, was considered a wizard and magician in his own lifetime, and became the teacher and mentor of that other remarkable mind of his time, St. Thomas Aquinas.
St. Albert the Great was born in Lauingen on the Danube, near Ulm, Germany; his father was a military lord in the army of Emperor Frederick II. As a young man Albert studied at the University of Padua and there fell under the spell of Blessed Jordan of Saxony, the Dominican who made the rounds of the universities of Europe drawing the best young men of the universities into the Dominicans.
After several teaching assignments in his order, he came in 1241 to the University of Paris, where he lectured in theology. While teaching in Paris, he was assigned by his order in 1248 to set up a house of studies for the order in Cologne. In Paris, he had gathered around him a small band of budding theologians, the chief of whom was Thomas Aquinas, who accompanied him to Cologne and became his greatest pupil.
In 1260, he was appointed bishop of Regensberg; when he resigned after three years, he was called to be an adviser to the pope and was sent on several diplomatic missions. In his latter years, he resided in Cologne, took part in the Council of Lyons in 1274, and in his old age traveled to Paris to defend the teaching of his student Thomas Aquinas.
It was in Cologne that his reputation as a scientist grew. He carried on experiments in chemistry and physics in his makeshift laboratory and built up a collection of plants, insects, and chemical compounds that gave substance to his reputation. When Cologne decided to build a new cathedral, he was consulted about the design. He was friend and adviser to popes, bishops, kings, and statesmen and made his own unique contribution to the learning of his age.
He died a very old man in Cologne on November 15,1280, and is buried in St. Andrea's Church in that city. He was canonized and declared a Doctor of the Church in 1931 by Pope Pius XI. His writings are remarkable for their exact scientific knowledge, and for that reason he has been made the patron saint of scientists.
Thought for the Day: St. Albert the Great was convinced that all creation spoke of God and that the tiniest piece of scientific knowledge told us something about Him. Besides the Bible, God has given us the book of creation revealing something of His wisdom and power. In creation, Albert saw the hand of God.
From "The Catholic One Year Bible": Since we have a kingdom nothing can destroy, let us please God by serving him with thankful hearts, and with holy fear and awe. For our God is a consuming fire.—Hebrews 12:28-29
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