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Thursday, March 28, 2013

CATHOLIC NEWS WORLD : WED. MARCH 27, 2013


2013











POPE FRANCIS - A TIME OF GRACE - LATEST FROM VATICAN

TODAY'S SAINT : MARCH 27 : ST. RUPERT OF SALZBURG



(Vatican Radio IMAGE - SHARE) 
FRANCIS' FIRST GENERAL AUDIENCE: FOLLOWING JESUS IS LEARNING TO GO OUT OF OURSELVES
Vatican City, 27 March 2013 (VIS) - “I am happy to welcome you to this, my first general audience,” Pope Francis said to the thousands of faithful who filled St. Peter's Square to participate in the Bishop of Rome's first catechesis. “With gratitude and veneration,” he continued, “I take up this 'witness' from the hands of my beloved predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI. After Easter we will return to the catechesis of the Year of Faith. Today I want to focus on Holy Week. We began this week—the heart of the entire liturgical year—during which we accompany Jesus in his Passion, Death, and Resurrection, with Palm Sunday.
“But what,” the Pope asked, “does it mean for us to live Holy Week? What does it mean to follow Jesus on his journey to Calvary, toward the Cross and his Resurrection? On his earthly mission, Jesus walked the streets of the Holy Land. He called 12 simple persons to stay with him, sharing his path and continuing his mission … He spoke to everyone, without distinction: to the great and the humble ... the powerful and the weak. He brought God's mercy and forgiveness. He healed, consoled, understood. He gave hope. He brought to all the presence of God who cares for every man and woman as a good father and a good mother cares for each of their children.”
“God,” Francis emphasized, “didn't wait for us to come to him. It was He who came to us. … Jesus lived the everyday reality of the most common persons. … He cried when he saw Martha and Mary suffering for the death of their brother Lazarus … He also experienced the betrayal of a friend. In Christ, God has given us the assurance that He is with us, in our midst. … Jesus has no home because his home is the people, us ourselves. His mission is to open the doors to God for all, to be the presence of God's love.”
“During Holy Week we are living the apex … of this plan of love that runs throughout the history of the relationship between God and humanity. Jesus enters into Jerusalem to take the final step in which his entire existence is summed up. He gives himself completely, keeping nothing for himself, not even his life. At the Last Supper, with his friends, He shares the bread and distributes the chalice 'for us'. The Son of God offers himself to us; puts his Body and his Blood in our hands to be always with us … And in the Garden of the Mount of Olives, as at the trial before Pilate, he makes no resistance, but gives himself.”
“Jesus doesn't live this love that leads to sacrifice passively or as his fatal destiny. He certainly didn't hide his deep human turmoil when faced with violent death, but he entrusted himself to the Father with full confidence ... to show his love for us. Each one of us can say, 'Jesus loved me and gave himself up for me'.”
“What does this mean for us? It means that this path is also mine, also yours, also our path. Living Holy Week, following Jesus not only with moved hearts, means learning to come out of ourselves … in order to meet others, in order to go toward the edges of our existence, to take the first steps towards our brothers and sisters, especially those who are farthest from us, those who are forgotten, those who need understanding, consolation, and assistance.”
“Living Holy Week is always going deeper into God's logic, into the logic of the Cross, which is not first and foremost a logic of sorrow and death but one of love and the self giving that brings life. It is entering into the logic of the Gospel. Following, accompanying Christ, staying with him when he demands that we 'go out': out of ourselves, out of a tired and habitual way of living the faith, out of the temptation of locking ourselves in our own schemes that wind up closing the horizon of God's creative action. God went out of himself in order to come amongst us … to bring us the mercy … that saves and gives hope. And we, if we want to follow and remain with him, cannot be satisfied with staying in the sheep pen with the ninety-nine sheep. We have to 'go out', to search for the little lost sheep, the furthest one, with him.”
“Often,” he observed, “we settle for some prayers, a distracted and infrequent Sunday Mass, some act of charity, but we don't have this courage to 'go out' and bring Christ. We are a little like St. Peter. As soon as Jesus talks of his passion, death, and resurrection, of giving himself and love for all, the Apostle takes him aside and scolds him. What Jesus is saying shakes up his plans, seems unacceptable, the safe certainty he had constructed, his idea of the Messiah, in difficulty. And Jesus … addressing some of the harshest words of the Gospel to Peter, says: 'Get behind me, Satan. You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.' God thinks mercifully. God thinks like a father who awaits the return of his son and goes out to meet him, sees him coming when he is still afar … a sign that he was awaiting him every day from the terrace of his house. God thinks like the Samaritan who doesn't pass by the unfortunate man, pitying him or looking away, but rather assisting him without asking anything in return, without asking if he was a Jew or a Samaritan, rich or poor.”
“Holy Week,” Francis concluded, “is a time of grace that the Lord gives us to open the doors of our hearts, of our lives, of our parishes—so many closed parishes are a shame—of our movements and associations, to 'go out' and meet others, to draw near them and bring them the light and joy of our faith. To always go out with the love and tenderness of God!”
After the catechesis and the summaries in different languages that the Gospel readers gave, the Pope greeted all the groups in Italian. Also in Italian, he addressed, among other groups, the university students participating in the international UNIV Congress sponsored by the Prelature of Opus Dei, thanking them for their prayers and affection for the Pope. “With your presence in the university world, each one of you carries out what St. Josemaria Escriva wished for: 'It is in the midst of the most material things of the earth that we must sanctify ourselves, serving God and all humankind'.”
 
FRANCIS ASKS FOR HALT TO VIOLENCE IN CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC
Vatican City, 27 March 2013 (VIS) – After the catechesis of this morning's General Audience, the Holy Father called for an immediate end to the violence in the Central African Republic.
“I am attentively following what has been happening in these hours in the Central African Republic and I wish to ensure all those who are suffering—especially the relatives of the victims, the wounded, and those who have lost their homes and been forced to flee—of my prayers. I call for an immediate halt to the violence and looting, and that a political solution to the crisis may be reached as soon as possible so that peace and harmony may be restored in that dear country, which has, for too long, been marked by conflict and division.”
 
POPE TO TAKE POSSESSION OF ROMAN CATHEDRA ON 7 APRIL
Vatican City, 27 March 2013 (VIS) – The solemn celebration of the Eucharist during which Francis will take possession of the cathedra of the Bishop of Rome will take place in the Lateran Basilica on 7 April, the Second Sunday of Easter, or Divine Mercy Sunday, at 5:30pm.
 
DOCUMENTARY OF ELECTION OF POPE FRANCIS
Vatican City, 26 March 2013 (VIS) – “Francesco – Elezione di un Papa che viene dalla fine del mondo” (Francis: Election of a Pope from the Ends of the Earth) is the title of the documentary from Vatican Television, made in collaboration with the Officina della Comunicazione (OC) and the Italian newspaper, Il Corriere della Sera. The DVD will be distributed as a supplement to the Friday, 2 April edition of the newspaper.
The documentary registers the events following Pope Benedict XVI's renunciation of the papacy, the days of the Sede Vacante, and the conclave that brought the election of Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio as the new Pope. Through images and previously unpublished interviews with four cardinals—Cardinal Angelo Comastri, archpriest of the Basilica of St. Peter; Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, archbishop of Tegucigalpa, Honduras; Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture; and Cardinal Angelo Sodano, dean of the College of Cardinals—it reconstructs the most important stages of this period, culminating in the meeting of the two pontiffs this past Saturday, 23 March, in Castel Gandolfo.
The DVD supplement will cost 10.90 euro. Put together in record time, it was presented this morning in the Press Office of the Holy See by Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications; Msgr. Dario Edoardo Vigano, director of Vatican Television; and Dr. Ferruccio De Bortoli, editor of Il Corriere della Sera.

BISHOPS WARN PHILIPPINES AGAINST EXTREME CRUCIFIXIONS ON GOOD FRIDAY

CATHOLIC HERALD REPORT


By  on Wednesday, 27 March 2013
A hooded penitent in the  Philippines pauses while carrying a cross (AP)
A hooded penitent in the Philippines pauses while carrying a cross (AP)
Authorities in the Philippines have announced that at least 24 “penitents” are expected to be nailed on the cross on Good Friday, an annual ritual meant to atone for sins and give thanks to God for blessings.
But the country’s Catholic bishops warned the faithful against resorting to extreme forms of sacrifice on Good Friday, including crucifixion and self-flagellation.
Archbishop Jose Palma of Cebu, president of the Philippine Bishops’ Conference, said: “Let us concentrate more on the prayers. These are the wonderful ways of celebrating the Holy Week,”
He added that the real spirit of the observance of the Holy Week is “conversion of oneself”.
Bishop Joel Baylon of Legazpi, chairman of the bishops’ commission on youth, also reminded the faithful that there are “other forms of sacrifice and suffering that would lead to real conversion”.
“The Lord appreciates all these forms of sacrifices, but sometimes the kind of sacrifice that we impose on ourselves is not what the Lord wants us to do,” he said.
Although the Church decries the ritual, the government says it cannot stop devotees from crucifying and whipping themselves.
The department of health has already said that those taking part in the rituals to have tetanus shots and must only use sterilised nails.
SHARED FROM CATHOLIC HERALD UK

CENTRAL AFRICA REPUBLIC IN DANGER WITH NEW REBEL LEADER

CISA NEWS REPORT


I Will Rule by Decree, says Rebel Chief
BANGUI, March 26, 2013(CISA) -Central African strongman Michel Djotodia has dissolved the country’s institutions and declared transitional rule a day after a bloody coup that has drawn international condemnation.
The former diplomat turned rebel leader, whose Seleka coalition took over the capital Bangui in a rapid-fire weekend assault, announced late on Monday March 25 that he would rule by decree until elections are organized in three years.
Earlier on Monday, the African Union suspended the coup-prone landlocked nation from its membership and the European Union condemned the coup as “unacceptable”.
The 15-member UN Security Council emerged from an emergency meeting on the crisis called by former colonial power France to condemn the coup. But while it threatened “further measures”, it made no explicit threat of sanctions.
Already late on Sunday, the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon condemned Seleka’s power grab and called for “the swift restoration of constitutional order”.
Djotodia announced the suspension of the constitution, as well as the dissolution of parliament and the government late on Monday in Bangui.
“During that transition period which will lead us to free, credible and transparent elections, I will legislate by decree,” he told reporters.
Earlier on Monday, in an interview with Radio France Internationale, Djotodia made it clear he would not rule out running in polls he promised for 2016.
The power change in Bangui came after a lightning offensive that shattered a January 11 power-sharing deal between the old regime and Seleka.
Francois Bozize, the ousted president, who himself seized power in a 2003 coup fled the country over the weekend and on Monday he was in Cameroon. But the authorities there said he would be moving on “to another host country”.
The Seleka rebels were initially welcomed by residents waving palm leaves in celebration, but the mood quickly darkened as looters took to the streets.
With Bangui still without electricity or radio on Monday, it was difficult to assess casualties from the weekend’s fighting. But 13 South African soldiers were killed in the fighting, the nation’s heaviest post-apartheid military loss.
As well as suspending Bangui from its membership the African Union announced “sanctions, travel restrictions and an asset freeze on Seleka’s leaders” naming seven individuals including Djotodia.
According to AFP, ousted president Bozize never delivered on his promises to harness the oil, gold and uranium wealth that has remained largely untapped since independence from France in 1960.
The Central African Republic, despite its mineral riches, remains woefully underdeveloped thanks in large part to chronic political instability.
Meanwhile, Rt Rev DieudonnĂ© Nzapalainga, Archbishop of Bangui has called for the protection of the population and its property. “We are again in a difficult moment in which the population is shunted from right to left, my first thoughts go to those who have lost their lives,” he said.
The Archbishop launched an appeal to the executives of Seleka to avoid the sectarian drift. “It is time to put an end to these actions that could provoke in people’s minds anti-religious sentiments or that might suggest that this crisis has as its objective the Christians.”
“It is necessary that priests, pastors and imams are protected. I speak for everyone. Men of God should be protected. This crisis is political, we cannot let it take a religious drift ” concluded Archbishop Nzapalainga.
SHARED FROM CISA NEWS 

AUSTRALIA : EASTER MESSAGE FROM ARCHBISHOP HART

ARCHDIOCESE OF MELBOURNE RELEASE

Archbishop Denis Hart: Easter Message 2013

Wednesday 27 March 2013

Read Archbishop Denis Hart's Easter message released on Wednesday 27 March.


My dear Friends,

With the approach of Easter there is time for reflection, for family and for each other. On Good Friday, Easter remains an inspiring hope.  At Easter, that hope is turned into reality.

We cannot live without Easter because we are made for God, for hope and for love. Jesus’ rising from the dead shows us that for the Christian death is not the end.  Our capacity for life opens out into what God can make us and helps us to overcome the sorrow and limitations of daily living, to know that we live for God and for each other.

As Pope Francis recently reminded us we are all on a journey, walking in the light of the Lord; we are invited to build up the family of the Church and to make our public confession of Christ crucified the motivation of all that we do on our journey.  We walk in the presence of the Lord with his cross. By making this the centre of our lives we will go forward together.

May this Easter bring you a surety and hope that God is with you, that his love encircles you and that he is leading you on your journey. May the risen Lord be with you always.

+ Denis J. Hart,
ARCHBISHOP OF MELBOURNE.

ASIA : INDIA : CHURCH DEMOLISHED BY POLICE

ASIA NEWS REPORT
In March, Hindu fundamentalists and police demolished a church in Chhattisgarh. The Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC) calls for protection for the Holy Week celebrations.


Mumbai (AsiaNews) - Even at Lent, while preparing for Easter, Christians in some parts of India are victims of aggression and violence, denounces Sajan K. George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), pointing to attacks that took place in March in Chhattisgarh and Kerala. "This - said the Christian leader launching an appeal to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) - is the most important week of the year: the Christian minorities should have greater protection and security."
On March 13 in Gadia (Jagdalpur district , Chhattisgarh), a group of Hindu fundamentalists accompanied by administrative personnel and police demolished a church, claiming it had been built illegally. The local community tried to intervene, but the group physically and verbally attacked the Christians, not sparing women and children. Before demolishing the church, the Hindu radicals and officials destroyed Bibles, musical instruments and pews, and then desecrated other sacred objects.
A few days earlier, on March 10, hundreds of Hindu extremists attacked a prayer service of the Brethren Assembly Church, in the village of Chirayinkeezzh (Trivandrum district , Kerala), beating those present with wooden sticks. One Christian suffered serious head injuries. The Hindus attacked the community accusing it of practicing forced conversions.
"This anti-Christian sentiment - warned Sajan George - bodes ill  for a peaceful and solemn religious celebration of the Lords Pasch.  GCIC appeals for enhanced protection from the administration, to  enable the Christian citizens of Secular India exercise their Consitutionally guaranteed Religious Freedom.  It is most  unfortunate, that the administration which  is duty bound to protect the citizens -themselves cohort with the extremists to unleash violence minority community".

SHARED FROM ASIA NEWS IT

TODAY'S MASS ONLINE : WED. MARCH 27, 2013


Matthew 26: 14 - 25

14Then one of the twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests15and said, "What will you give me if I deliver him to you?" And they paid him thirty pieces of silver.16And from that moment he sought an opportunity to betray him.17Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus, saying, "Where will you have us prepare for you to eat the passover?"18He said, "Go into the city to a certain one, and say to him, `The Teacher says, My time is at hand; I will keep the passover at your house with my disciples.'"19And the disciples did as Jesus had directed them, and they prepared the passover.20When it was evening, he sat at table with the twelve disciples;21and as they were eating, he said, "Truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me."22And they were very sorrowful, and began to say to him one after another, "Is it I, Lord?"23He answered, "He who has dipped his hand in the dish with me, will betray me.24The Son of man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born."25Judas, who betrayed him, said, "Is it I, Master?" He said to him, "You have said so."

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 27, 2013

TODAY'S SAINT : MARCH 27 : ST. RUPERT OF SALZBURG


St. Rupert of Salzburg
BISHOP, MISSIONARY
Feast: March 27


Information:
Feast Day:March 27
Died:27 March 710, Salzburg, Austria
Patron of:Salzburg, The State of Salzburg
First Bishop of Salzburg, contemporary of Childebert III, king of the Franks (695-711), date of birth unknown; d. at Salzburg, Easter Sunday, 27 March, 718. According to an old tradition, he was a scion of the Frankish Merovingian family. The assumption of 660 as the year of his birth is merely legendary. According to the oldest short biographical notices in the "Mon. Germ. Script.", XI, 1-15, Rupert was noted for simplicity, prudence, and the fear of God; he was a lover of truth in his discourse, upright in opinion, cautious in counsel, energetic in action, far-seeing in his charity, and in all his conduct a glorious model of rectitude. While he was Bishop of Worms, the fame of his learning and piety drew many from far and wide. The report of the bishop's ability reached Duke Theodo II of Bavaria, who had placed himself at the head of the current ecclesiastical movement in Bavaria. Theodo sent Rupert messengers with the request that, he should come to Bavaria to revive, confirm, and propagate the spirit of Christianity there. Despite the work of early missionaries, Bavaria was only superficially Christian; its very Christianity was indeed to some extent Arian, while heathen customs and views were most closely interwoven with the external Christianity which it had retained. St. Rupert acceded to Theodo's request, after he had by messengers made himself familiar with the land and people of Bavaria. St. Rupert was received with great honour and ceremony by Theodo in the old residential town of Ratisbon (696). He entered immediately upon his apostolic labours, which extended from the territory of the Danube to the borders of Lower Pannonia, and upon his missionary journey came to Lorch. Thence he travelled to the lonely shores of the Wallersee, where he built a church in honour of Saint Peter, thereby laying the foundation of the present market-town of Seekirchen in the Newmarket district of Salzburg. From the Roman colony there Rupert obtained an account of the ancient Roman town of Juvavum, upon the site of which there still remained many more or less dilapidated buildings, overgrown with briars and brushwood.
Having personally verified the accuracy of this account concerning the place and position, Rupert requested Theodo, in the interests of his apostolic mission to the country, to give him the territory of Juvavum (which was still a place of considerable commerce) for the erection of a monastery and an episcopal see. The duke granted this petition, bequeathing the territory of Juvavum (the modern Salzburg), two square miles in area, to St. Rupert and his successors. At the foot of the precipice of the Monchberg, where once St. Maximus, a disciple of St. Severin, had suffered martyrdom with his companions (476), St. Rupert erected the first church in Salzburg, the Church of St. Peter, in honour of the Prince of the Apostles, as well as a monastery. Upon the lofty prominences (Nonnberg) to the southeast of the town, where the old Roman fortress once towered, he established a convent of nuns which, like the monastery of the Mönchberg, he placed under the protection and Rule of St. Benedict. To set his institutions upon a solid basis, Rupert repaired home, and returned with twelve companions besides his niece Ehrentraud (Erindruda), whom he made abbess over the Benedictine Convent of Nonnberg, while he with his twelve companions formed the first congregation of the famous Benedictine Monastery of St. Peter at Salzburg, which remains to the present day. St. Rupert thenceforth devoted himself entirely to the work of salvation and conversion which he had already begun, founding in connection therewith manny churches and monasteries — e.g., Maxglan, near Salzburg, Maximilianszelle (now Bischofshofen in Pongau), Altotting, and others. After a life of extraordinarily successful activity, he died at Salzburg, aided by the prayers of his brethren in the order; his body reposed in the St. Peterskirche until 24 Sept., 774, when his disciple and successor, Abbot-Bishop St. Virgil, had a portion of his remains removed to the cathedral. On 24 Sept., 1628, these relics were interred by Archbishop Paris von Ladron (1619-54) under the high altar of the new cathedral. Since then the town and district of Salzburg solemnize the feast of St. Rupert, Apostle of Bavaria and Carlnthia, on 24 September.
In Christian art St. Rupert is portrayed with a vessel of salt in his hand, symbolizing the universal tradition according to which Rupert inaugurated salt-mining at Salzburg; this portrayal of St. Rupert is generally found upon the coins of the Duchy of Salzburg and Carinthia. St. Rupert is also represented baptizing Duke Theodo; this scene has no historical foundation. St. Rupert was the first Abbot-Bishop of Salzburg, for, as he established his foundations after the manner of the Irish monks, he combined in his own person the dignities of abbot and bishop. A similar combination of dignities existed also in Ratisbon and Freising. This twofold character of the bishop continued in Salzburg for nearly 300 years until the separation of the dignities was effected in 987 by Archbishop Friedrich I of Salzburg, Count of Chiemgau, the twenty-first Abbot of the Monastery of St. Peter. The period of St. Rupert's activity was until very lately a matter of great discussion. Formerly the opinion was held that the end of the fifth and beginning of the sixth centuries was the age of his missionary work, but, according to the most exhaustive and reliable investigations, the late seventh and early eighth centuries formed the period of his activity. This fact is established especially by the "Brevesnotitiae Salzburgenses", a catalogue of the donations made to the Church of Salzburg, with notices from the ninth century. In these latter Bishop St. Virgil, whose ministry is referred to 745-84, appears as a direct disciple of St. Rupert. It is forthwith evident that the assumption of the end of the sixth and beginning of the seventh centuries as the period of Rupert's activity is extremely doubtful, even apart from the fact that this view also involves the rejection of the catalogue of the bishops of Salzburg and of Easter Sunday as the day of Rupert's death. Many churches and places bearing Rupert's name, serve as surviving memorials of his missionary activity. A successor of St. Rupert, the present scholarly Abbot of St. Peters in Salzburg, Willibald Hauthaler, has written an interesting work upon this subject entitled "Die dem hl. Rupertus Apostel von Bayern geweihten Kirchen und Kapellen" (with map, Salzburg,  1885).
(Taken from Catholic Encyclopedia)



source: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/R/strupertofsalzburg.asp#ixzz1qJ84Apo3
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