Sunday, January 27, 2013


Vatican Radio report: Lack of faith may hurt the intrinsic goods of marriage: procreation, marital fidelity and its indissolubility. This was the message at the heart of Pope Benedict XVI’s address Saturday morning to members of the Tribunal of the Roman Rota received in audience for the opening of the judicial year. The Pope reiterated that the current crisis of faith brings with it a crisis of conjugal society. He also pointed out that the rejection of the Divine leads to a deep imbalance in all human relationships.

Contemporary culture, the Pope says, places "pressing challenges" before families because of its "accentuated subjectivism and moral and religious relativism." In particular, he notes, there are those contrast human liberty with the individual’s “ability to make a lifelong commitment”. There is, in fact, a "widespread mentality" that leads people to believe that we becomes ourselves only “by remaining 'autonomous’ and coming into contact with others only through relationships that can be interrupted at any time."

"Everyone is aware of how the choice of the human being to make a lifelong commitment influences our basic perspective, this is if it is merely anchored in a human plan or closed off to the light of faith in the Lord”.

"Only by being open God ‘s truth - he added - is it possible to understand and realize the concreteness of life including marriage and family, the truth of man as His child, regenerated by baptism." The Pope spoke of the indissolubility of the commitment between a man and a woman. This commitment, he noted "does not require, for the purposes of sacramentality, the personal faith of those to be married." What is required, "as the minimum condition - he said - is the intention of doing what the Church does"

"But while it is important not to confuse the issue of intent with that of the personal faith of the contracting parties, it is not always possible to completely separate them."

In this regard, the Pope cites a 1977 document of the International Theological Commission, which states that, if "you do not feel any trace of faith as such", there could be a problem of knowing “if the general and truly sacramental intention” is ”present or not, and if the marriage contract is valid or not".

The Pope then paused to reflect on the goods and essential element of marriage . Quoting St. Augustine he spoke of three goods: procreation, marital fidelity and its indissolubility. And he warned against disregarding the fact that there can be cases where “the very absence of faith compromises” conjugal values and prohibits consent.

The Pope recognized the difficulties "from a legal and practical point of view, in singling out one essential element" of the goods of marriage. At the same time, he noted that the issue of the validity of the marriage, "especially in the current context”, needs further reflection. The Pope recalled that those saints who lived marital union, "in the Christian perspective," and so were able "to overcome even the most adverse situations, sometimes achieving the sanctification of the spouse and children with a love always strengthened by a solid trust in God ":

"These experiences, marked by faith, help us to understand, even today, the precious sacrifice offered by those spouses who have been abandoned or those who have suffered divorce – while recognizing the indissolubility of valid marriage – succeed in not allowing themselves to become involved in a new union. In this case ... their example of fidelity and Christian consistency takes on particular value as witnesses to the world and the Church '(Familiaris Consortio). "

shared from RADIO VATICANA


Friday 25 January 2013

By Fiona Basile

WHILE many of us may have been relaxing at home with family and friends over the Christmas and New Year holiday period, a group of young people from around Australia, including two from the United States, were making a pilgrimage on foot along the east coast of Australia (from Brisbane to Melbourne) bearing witness to the Gospel message of love and life.

A core group of ten volunteers, aged between 18-30 years, participated in the inaugural ‘Crossroads Australia’ walk to promote and raise awareness for the pro-life cause. They came from Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra, Brisbane, Gold Coast, rural NSW and two from the United States.

The Crossroads walk initiative began in the United States in 1995. It was a direct response to Blessed John Paul II’s speech at World Youth Day in 1993, Colorado, where he challenged all young men and women to break free from their routine modes of living and to go out into the streets and preach the gospel of life.

Since then, every year a group of volunteers have walked from the west coast to the east coast of the United States to raise the profile of the pro-life cause. The walks in the USA usually take three months—they walk every step and wear T-shirts that clearly read Pro-Life across them. The walk has now spread to Canada, Ireland, Spain, and for the first time, it came to Australia.

Having recovered from their recent walk, two local Crossroads participants, Daniel Mount and Angela Schumann share their inspirational journey.

Daniel Mount from Essendon, Group Leader for Crossroads Australia

On Saturday 15 December 2012, we embarked on our 1,500km pilgrimage from Brisbane to Melbourne. We were a group of strangers brought together by a love of life. As Catholics, we all believe in the dignity and sanctity of life from the moment of conception to natural death. We had all given up a month of our time over Christmas to bear witness to life and to speak out against the culture of death that has crept into this world and has now become so widespread and accepted.

The pilgrimage works differently in each country and in order for it to have been a success in Australia we had to alter the template of the walk. In the USA they walk every step, day and night to complete the 4,700km journey in three months. In Australia, the biggest hurdle we faced was finding places to walk legally and safely. Due to the strict regulations in Australia and because safety was paramount, we decided to only walk during the day and only on footpaths.

Each day we would travel approximately 100km down the coast of Australia towards Melbourne. We walked through towns and drove where there were only highways. Individually we would walk 25-30km each day and because we restricted ourselves to the footpath we gained a lot more exposure because we were able to bear witness in many more rural and coastal towns than previously planned.

The average week day would begin with Mass at a local church followed by Morning Prayer. We’d then begin our walk. While we walked we prayed the Rosary, The Divine Mercy Chaplet and The Stations of the Cross. We were like a mobile prayer group and we humbly offered these prayers to God asking for His intercession to bring about a culture of life.

We ate lunch on the run and we would arrive at our destination between 6-7pm each night. There we were either hosted by families, parishes and on the rare occasion we stayed at caravan parks. On the weekends we would stop walking and speak at parishes to raise awareness and funds in the main cities of Brisbane, Newcastle, Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne.

The group was led by Allison Lattie, Director of Crossroads, Washington DC and John Smith, Assistant Group Leader, Albury. Personally, it was an amazing experience which would not have been so if we didn’t have such an amazing group of walkers. I cannot speak highly enough of these inspirational, loving, patient and devout young men and women. It makes your job very easy when all they want to do is pray, walk and love God. We experienced a lot of support along our way but also a lot of opposition. In these testing times it was always beautiful to see the soft touch of love and tenderness shown to those people who have obviously been gravely hurt by the evil of abortion.

The generosity shown to us by friends, families, parish priests and parishioners was overwhelming. At a drop of a hat they were willing to cancel their personal plans, open their doors, feed us and give us a place to sleep, and for this we are forever grateful.

We arrived in Melbourne on Thursday 10 January and walked from Broadmeadows, through Essendon, and onto St Francis’ Catholic Church in the city for 5:30pm Mass. The following day, Friday, was our last day of walking and by complete coincidence, that morning the group was honoured to have crossed paths with Cardinal George Pell in St Patrick’s Cathedral where he was in quiet prayer. We were all humbled to shake his hand and hear his strong words of support and encouragement before continuing our walk through Melbourne’s Flinders St, St Kilda Road, Chapel St, Fitzroy St and Beaconsfield Parade before heading back to St Mary’s in West Melbourne where we were kindly billeted.

Crossroads Australia concluded on Saturday 12 January with 8am prayer outside the Wellington St Abortion Mill, 10am Mass at St Augustine’s, followed by a peaceful parade to the steps of Parliament House where we sang songs and prayed the rosary. It was a fitting and symbolic end to the walk as it represented exactly what we had been doing each day for the last four weeks.

The experiences, contacts and connections made from this first Crossroads in Australia have paved a sure and sturdy path for Crossroads here in the future.

Angela Schumann from Ferntree Gully, Crossroads volunteer

I joined Crossroads because I was intrigued by the idea of a group of young people walking down the east coast of Australia wearing ‘Pro Life’ T-shirts—they didn't tell me about the fluoro yellow until later! I confess that at the outset I was a little bit sceptical—do they know that it gets hot in summer? I was also uneasy about the kind of impact we could make. But as the journey progressed, so did my belief that this is a truly worthwhile endeavour.

The core group consisted of about 10 walkers between the ages of 18 and 30, with many others within this age range joining us for a day or two as we walked through their local areas. Almost half of us came from Melbourne, me included, with others from Sydney, Canberra, rural NSW, Brisbane and the Gold Coast. Crossroads also sent out two walkers from America, where they've been doing these walks for nearly 18 years.

The mission of the walk was to take the pro-life message and the joy of the Gospel of Life into the public sphere. These walks are inspired by the late Blessed John Paul II, who called out to youth to be bold, like the first apostles, and preach the Good News in the streets.

As I said, at first I was sceptical—we seemed like a bunch of little fluoro yellow flies, too insignificant to make an impact in the big wide world, like ‘lambs to the slaughter’. It took me four weeks of walking 20-30 km a day in the sun, slathered in sunscreen and deodorant, to realise that that's exactly what God wanted us to be. We were not big, but our message was, and it made itself loud enough to be heard.

We had countless conversations on the street with curious (and sometimes hostile) onlookers, and often people who carried wounds from experiences of abortion shared their stories with us, both on the streets and out the back of churches after we had spoken. We—or rather what we represented—gave validation to their grief. It allowed them to speak about pain which some of them had been harbouring for decades.

In the practical sphere, we handed out hundreds of fliers and ‘little feet and hands’ to people on the streets, received local and Christian media attention and met many incredible people. In the spiritual sphere, we spent hours each day praying for the unborn, for pregnant mothers and those touched by abortion in any way, and offering up any small sacrifices we made for the intentions of those we met.

We will never know the affect that we had on a person's heart, but if we saved one life through our efforts or changed one mind then I think that it was all worth it, and I would do it again.

One of the highlights was certainly the concluding Mass and rally in Melbourne. On the 12 January the group, accompanied by about 40 people, including several religious, processed down Bourke Street to the steps of Parliament, where we prayed a rosary for the pro-life cause. Crossroads hosts these walks every year from Brisbane to Melbourne. If you are aged 18-30 and passionate about the pro-life cause I urge you to consider joining. You will even grow to like the fluro yellow T-shirts. I guarantee it!

For more information about Crossroads, see

Photos courtesy John Smith.



Holocaust Memorial Day | Pope Benedict XVI, Holocaust Memorial Day, Yad Vashem

Yad Vashem monument to Janusz Korczak
On 27 January each year, the United Nations sets aside a day in special remembrance of Holocaust victims. The International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust also commemorates when the Soviet troops liberated the Nazi concentration and death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau in Poland on 27 January 27, 1945.
Around the world Holocaust survivors and world leaders will speak out in remembrance of victims, but also to ensure that the world never forgets what happened in Europe in the 1930s and 1940s.
When Pope Benedict XVI visited the Holocaust Memorial of Yad Vashem in Jerusalem on 11 May, 2009 he said:
'I have come to stand in silence before this monument, erected to honour the memory of the millions of Jews killed in the horrific tragedy of the Shoah. They lost their lives, but they will never lose their names: these are indelibly etched in the hearts of their loved ones, their surviving fellow prisoners, and all those determined never to allow such an atrocity to disgrace mankind again. Most of all, their names are forever fixed in the memory of Almighty God.
Established in 1953, as the world centre for documentation, research, education and commemoration of the Holocaust Yad Vashem and its partners has collected and recorded the names and biographical details of two thirds of the six million Jews murdered by the Nazis. Two million more still remain unidentified.

As the Pope quoted at the beginning of his visit to Yad Vashem, a passage from the Book of the prophet Isaiah furnishes two simple words which solemnly express the significance of the place itself: “vad” – which means memorial, and “shem” which means name…
“I will give in my house and within my walls a memorial and a name … I will give them an everlasting name which shall not be cut off” .
Pope Benedict said: "One can weave an insidious web of lies to convince others that certain groups are undeserving of respect, yet, try as one might, one can never take away the name of a fellow human being.
"May the names of these victims never perish! May their suffering never be denied, belittled or forgotten! And may all people of goodwill remain vigilant in rooting out from the heart of man anything that could lead to tragedies such as this!"
Pope Benedict said that the Catholic Church feels deep compassion for the victims remembered here. Similarly, he said, " she draws close to all those who today are subjected to persecution on account of race, colour, condition of life or religion – their sufferings are hers, and hers is their hope for justice." And he reaffirmed that he is committed to pray and work tirelessly to ensure that hatred will never reign in the hearts of men again.
Pope Benedict said: "Gazing upon the faces reflected in the pool that lies in stillness within this memorial, one cannot help but recall how each of them bears a name. I can only imagine the joyful expectation of their parents as they anxiously awaited the birth of their children. What name shall we give this child? What is to become of him or her? Who could have imagined that they would be condemned to such a deplorable fate!"
"Their cry still echoes in our hearts.
"My dear friends, I am deeply grateful to God and to you for the opportunity to stand here in silence: a silence to remember, a silence to pray, a silence to hope."
For more information on Yad Vashem and Holocaust Memorial Day see:
Source: VIS/Yad Vashem/Wiki images


AGENZIA FIDES REPORT - Lebanon – On Sunday, January 27 in convents, shrines and nearly one thousand parishes of the Maronite Church, funds will be collected for the activities supported by Caritas Lebanon in favor of Syrian refugees who have found precarious refuge in the Lebanese territory. The special day of solidarity was called by Cardinal Bechara Boutros Rai, Patriarch of Antioch of the Maronites, with an appeal to all members of the Church led by him. Even in the schools and academic institutions related to the Patriarchate will take initiatives to channel donations to all Syrian refugees, "without distinction."
The Syrian refugees registered in Lebanon territory by UN bodies are about 220 thousand. "Actually," explains to Fides Agency Fr. Simon Faddoul, President of Caritas Lebanon "Syrian refugees in Lebanon are many more. Probably they exceed the figure of 400 thousand. Many are living in desperate conditions, made even more unbearable due to the harsh winter this year. " Caritas Lebanon - said Fr. Faddoul to Fides - already directly assists more than 50 thousand displaced Syrians, distributing food, clothing, medicines, stoves for heating, hygiene products.
On Sunday, according to the Patriarch’s indications, in all the Eucharistic liturgies celebrated in the Maronite churches, prayers will be dedicated to all the victims of the conflict and for peace in Syria. In his appeal, S. B. Rai calls for prayers for peace "in Lebanon, Syria and in all the Arab countries " so that the Lord will "inspire local and international leaders to seek peaceful ways to end the violence and war, and to find the right solutions ".
For Christians - recalls the Patriarch - the aid to be offered to the brothers not only responds to a noble humanitarian sentiment, but also to the invitation by Jesus himself. The Patriarch - who will celebrate Sunday Mass in the patriarchal see of Bkerké according to the intentions indicated in the appeal - in particular cites the words of Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew: "Come, blessed by my Father, you inherit the kingdom prepared for you since the founding of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink; I was a stranger and you gave me hospitality, naked and you clothed me, sick and you visited me, in prison and you came to visit me ... When you do it also for the last of my brothers, you do it for me." (GV) (Agenzia Fides 26/01/2013).


It is the second anniversary of the Jasmine Revolution. The most serious clashes in Suez, where the army blocked the entrance to the channel. President Mohamed Morsi threatens to use an iron fist against the perpetrators of violence. Port Said in flames after the verdict on the massacre of supporters of the February 2, 2012. Police barracks attacked.

Cairo (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The toll from riots marking the Egyptian Jasmine Revolution now stands at 12 dead and nearly 500 people injured. Yesterday, hundreds of thousands of people protested in major Egyptian cities - Cairo, Alexandria, Assuit, Port Said, Suez, Sharqiya, Kafr al-Sheikh - calling for the end of the Islamist establishment and a true democracy. The most serious clashes took place in Suez, where eight people were killed. Later in the evening the army blocked the city, deploying troops to the channel.

According to witnesses, the police fired first rubber bullets, then live ammunition into a crowd trying to break into the headquarters of the regional governor. Among the victims: a woman, a boy of 15 and two policemen. Violent clashes also took place in Cairo, Alexandria, Ismailiya. In the capital, police and demonstrators clashed near Tahrir Square. Police did not even spare the religious buildings as they chased protesters, which remained open to provide shelter and care for the wounded.

A Qasr al-Aini street, police fired tear gas into the local evangelical church, poisoning many people. "The police targeted the church - says Nermeen a young protester - they shot down six candelabras in the nave, where we were taking care of many affected by smoke inhalation from tear gas." In Ismailiya (Suez), the demonstrators set fire to the local headquarters of the Freedom and Justice Party (PLJ), of the Muslim Brotherhood, invading the seat of the government. Public buildings were attacked in Damietta (Nile Delta) and Kafr el-Sheikh (Red Sea).

In a short message to the nation published on Facebook and Twitter, President Mohamed Morsi has vowed to "restore order in a country divided by political unrest." The Islamist leader has threatened to use an iron fist against the perpetrators of violence: "The security forces will pursue them all over the country to bring them to justice. They are doing their best to protect and ensure the peaceful demonstrations."

Meanwhile, the court of Port Said sentenced 21 of the 73 accused in the massacre of February 2, 2012, during the post-match clashes between the fans of the local team Al-Masry al-Alhawy and Cairo. The invasion was caused by the pitch invasion by hooligans from Al-Masry. This morning, hundreds of ultras of the local team and family members of prisoners raided some police stations. The partial toll is 11 dead, dozens injured, but there are fears of new clashes in the coming hours.





Mark 3:
20 - 21

20 Then he went home; and the crowd came together again, so that they could not even eat.
21 And when his family heard it, they went out to seize him, for people were saying, "He is beside himself."

St. Timothy
Feast: January 26

Feast Day: January 26
Died: 80, Ephesus
Patron of: intestinal disorders, stomach diseases
A native of Lystra, he was the son of a Jewish woman named Eunice and a Greek Gentile. Converted to the faith by St. Paul, Timothy willingly received circumcision in order to assuage the Jews to whom he and Paul would be preaching, especially as it was known that his father was a Gentile. Paul found Timothy a very valuable assistant and companion, using him on several missions, such as those to the Corinthians (1 Cor 4:17) and the Thessalonians (1 Thes 3:2-3). According to tradition, he was the first bishop of Ephesus, the basis for this being his journey to the city at the command of Paul to act as his representative (1 Tm 1:3). He is mentioned with St. Paul in the salutations of seven epistles in the New Testament and was teh addressee of two of three pastoral letters - 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, and Titus. His martyrdom on January 22, 97 by a mob of angry pagans came about through his opposition to the celebration of the feast of Diana; it was recorded in the fourth-century Acta S. Timothei.

(Taken from Our Sunday Visitor's Encyclopedia of Saints)

Post a Comment