Friday, April 5, 2013







(Vatican Radio IMAGE SHARE)

VATICAN RADIO REPORT: We can only be saved in the name of Jesus Christ, no-one else can save us, not fortune tellers or tarot card readers. On Friday Pope Francis continued his reflections on how the Resurrection shapes our lives and human history during morning Mass in the Domus Sanctae Marthae chapel with employees from the Vatican Pharmacy. 
Commenting on the readings of the Friday the Octave of Easter, the Pope recalled St. Peter's words: " There is no salvation through anyone else." Peter, who had denied Jesus, now with courage, in prison, gives his testimony in front of the Jewish leaders, explaining that it is thanks to the invocation of the name of Jesus that he has healed a cripple. It is "the name that saves us." 

However, Peter does not pronounce that name on his own strength, rather he is "filled with the Holy Spirit." In fact - said the Pope - "we cannot profess Jesus, we cannot talk about Jesus, we cannot say anything of Jesus without the Holy Spirit. It is the Spirit that impels us to profess Jesus, to speak about Jesus, to have faith in Jesus. Jesus who is always with us on our life’s journey”.

Pope Francis then told a story: "A humble man works in the curia of Buenos Aires. He has worked there for 30 years, he is the father of eight children. Before he goes out, before going out to do the things that he must do, he always says, 'Jesus!'. And I once asked him, 'Why do you always say' Jesus '?'. 'When I say' Jesus '- this humble man told me - I feel strong, I feel I can work, and I know that He is with me, that He keeps me safe'”. 

Pope Francis continued: “This man never studied theology, he only has the grace of Baptism and the power of the Spirit. And this testimony, did me a lot of good too, because it reminds us that in this world that offers us so many saviors, it is only the name of Jesus that saves”. 

Pope Francis concluded: “In order to solve their problems many people resort to fortune tellers and tarot cards. But only Jesus saves and we must bear witness to this! He is the only one. " 

"Mary always leads us to Jesus," as she did at Cana when she said: "Do whatever he tells you”. Let us trust in the name of Jesus, let us invoke the name of Jesus, and let the Holy Spirit push us to say this prayer trusting in the name of Jesus ... it will do us all good."

Vatican City, 4 April 2013 (VIS) - Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone, S.D.B., in the Holy Father's name, sent a telegram to Archbishop Mario Aurelio Poli of Buenos Aires, Argentina expressing the Pope's deep concern for those suffering from the severe weather and heavy rains that have devastated that country's capital, killing 56 persons to date and wreaking enormous damage. Following is the full text of the message.
“Pope Francis, deeply upset by the news of the serious damage caused by the torrential rainfall of the past days, prays to the Lord for the eternal rest of those who have died. At the same time he wishes to express his paternal closeness to all the victims and their families.
“Also, the Pope urges civil and ecclesial institutions, as well as all persons of good will, to offer their assistance with love and a spirit of Christian solidarity to those who have lost their homes and personal goods. With these thoughts, the Supreme Pontiff imparts to all those affected and all those offering assistance, his consoling apostolic blessing as a sign of his nearness to the beloved Argentinians.”
Vatican City, 4 April 2013 (VIS) – Today, the Vatican Museums inaugurated a virtual reality installation that reconstructs the famous Regolini-Galassi tomb of the Sorbo necropolis of Cerveteri, Italy, the grave goods of which are now located in the Gregorian Etruscan Museum of the Vatican Museums.
The installation is part of Etruscanning 3D, “a European project (Culture 2007 framework) that explores the possibilities of new visualization techniques in order to re-create and restore the original context of the Etruscan graves.” The project is the result of collaboration between: the Allard Pierson Museum (the archaeological museum of the University of Amsterdam); the National Museum for Antiquities in Leiden, Holland; the Gallo-Roman Museum in Tongeren, Belgium; the CNR-ITABC of Rome, Italy; and Visual Dimension of Ename, Belgium. Support was also given from the Vatican Museums and the Soprintendenza per i Beni Archeologici dell'Etruria Meridionale (archaeological superintendency of Southern Etruria).
Discovered still intact in 1836, the actual tomb can only be visited by appointment. Its 3D reconstruction at the Vatican Museums presents it as it probably existed in the Etruscan Age (mid 7th century BC), shortly before it was sealed. The grave goods, which make the tomb one of the most interesting of the Etruscan period, have been virtually reconstructed within the installation. Their placement, however, was not a simple task since—at the time of the tomb's discovery—the archaeological dig was not systematically documented. Drawings and representations of what was found were all recreated after the objects had been removed. It was therefore necessary to recover and interpret the various iconographic and documentary sources in order to achieve a plausible reconstruction. In this case, the 3D process was not used merely as a means of communication and dissemination but also as a tool for verification and interpretation.
Like the tomb, the grave goods that are now housed in the Vatican Museums were reconstructed in 3D through photogrammetry and computer imaging. Although, for the most part, the objects are well preserved, they were subjected to a careful digital restoration based on observation, study of sources, and the analysis of comparative case studies. Some of the uncertain decorations have been reinstated with a good degree of reliability and the materials have been virtually returned to what was most likely their original state.
According to a press release from the Vatican Museums, the installation's most innovative element is its interactivity. “Based upon the use of natural interaction interfaces, the public has the opportunity to explore the virtually rebuilt space, to get closer to the objects, which are laden with symbolic meaning, to touch them and to listen to the narration of the deceased” (a woman of royal rank and a cremated man). This is all possible without the use of a joystick, mouse, keyboard, or console, simply by walking though the area in front of the projection. The projection is displayed on a large, high-definition holographic screen that is about 3 metres wide. It has two main “viewports”: the larger one dedicated to exploring the tomb and its interior objects and the second one that has a dynamic menu of the objects closest to the visitor while they are moving through the virtual space.
“The soundscape was composed specifically for this application and combines ancient sounds with a contemporary musical language with … purely evocative intentions. The musical timbres are partly real (eg. flutes recorded live) and partly synthetic (bells and drums), interspersed with sounds echoing real life … (chariots, horses galloping, fire, etc.).”
The application won the first Archeovirtual Award for best natural interaction at the international ArcheoVirtual exhibition organised by the Virtual Heritage Lab at CNR-ITABC in Paestum, Italy last November. The award was conferred by recognition of both the public in attendance as well as an international scientific panel.
Vatican City, 4 April 2013 (VIS) – This morning, the Holy Father received in separate audiences:
Cardinal Fernando Filoni, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples,
Cardinal James Michael Harvey, archpriest of Saint Paul Outside-the-Walls Basilica, and
Archbishop Piero Marini, president of the Pontifical Committee for International Eucharistic Congresses.


Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
3 Apr 2013
President of UFPA, Ernie Bridge
CARITAS Australia, the international aid and development organisation of the Catholic Church, has paid tribute to Ernie Bridge, the President of its partner organisation, Unity of First People of Australia (UFPA) who passed away on Sunday 31 March after a long illness.
UFPA is one of Caritas Australia's long-term partners in the First Australians Program. In 2003 Caritas started supporting UFPA, which runs a holistic, community-owned Australian Indigenous Wellness Program in Djarindjin and eight other communities across the Kimberley region.
Caritas CEO Jack de Groot said Ernie was instrumental in the establishment, development, management and implementation of the program, which strives to prevent diseases like diabetes and to improve healthcare across vulnerable Indigenous Australian communities.
Mr de Groot and Mark Green, Group Leader, First Australians Program, both recently spent time with Ernie and his family in Perth.
"To know of Ernie's wonderful focus on walking with Aboriginal people so they become the owners of programs to prevent diabetes has been inspiring," Mr de Groot said.
Caritas Australia's Group Leader, First Australians Program with Ernie Bridge
"It was lovely to have the time with Ernie recently to say thank you for all he has taught me. Ernie has taught all of us at Caritas a lot about friendship and partnership.
"He was a man of many talents, not only the founder of UFPA, but also a country and western singer, Western Australia's first Aboriginal MP and the first Indigenous Cabinet minister in any Australian government.
"He has made a difference to all our lives, our communities and he matters, as do all our partners. It is the relationships with people like Ernie that enable us to live our mission each day."
Mr Green said UFPA was also the fruit of Ernie's own battle with diabetes and a determination that the rates at which First Australians are dying prematurely through chronic lifestyle diseases, be slashed.
"Ernie led his organisation with great humility and he empowered the UFPA staff to be innovative and to take risks," Mr Green said.
"He dealt with his own people with the utmost respect. As a musician he also knew the healing power of song and dance."
"I think he was able to do so much because he believed that much was possible."



KISUMU, April 02, 2013 (CISA) -Calm returned to the western Kenyan stronghold of defeated presidential candidate Raila Odinga on Monday April 01, after two days of running battles with police following the Supreme Court’s confirmation of his rival Uhuru Kenyatta as president-elect.
Two people were shot dead in the unrest, but the violence was on a much smaller scale than the nationwide bloodshed that followed the 2007 election when the western city of Kisumu was one of the places worst affected places by deadly riots.
This year there was little sign of any violence beyond Kisumu, which strongly backs Odinga, reflecting a desire by Kenyans to avoid a repeat of the bloodshed that badly damaged their economy, east Africa’s biggest, five years ago.
A busy bus station that had been deserted since the rioting began on Saturday was once again bustling as passengers scrambled to board minibuses as they disgorged dozens returning from rural areas where they had fled for fear of violence.
“Business is booming today. The demand has gone up and fares doubled since many are returning from home and others leaving for various places,” said Bonny Otieno, 32, transporter.
“Politics is over and we’ve embarked on nation building.”
Shops and houses were broken into and goods looted during the rioting. But attempts to set fire to some houses belonging to rival communities were thwarted by police. The regional police chief said the volatile situation had been contained.
Kenyatta is expected to be sworn in on April 9.
“So far we have arrested 23 culprits but the number could go up since we are pursuing more elements that broke into people’s properties and looted,” said police commander Joseph Ole Tito.
“During the violence we lost business forcing us to partially open our shops only when a customer approached. But today we have fully opened since peace has prevailed,” said Ishmael George, 26, a dealer in electronics. “We expect good sales since calm has returned.”
The comparatively peaceful election has helped restore Kenya’s image as one of Africa’s most stable democracies.
The Kisumu unrest appeared to reflect spontaneous anger by Odinga supporters, worried by the prospect of marginalization in a country where governments have traditionally rewarded their own ethnic support base with investment and new infrastructure, reports the Reuters.
Kenyatta is the son of Kenya’s founding president whose family controls vast property and a business empire. But he promised in a televised address after the court ruling to work for all Kenyans, including those who challenged his election.
Kenyatta’s indictment by the International Criminal Court for allegedly organizing violent gangs after the least election will however complicate relations with Western states because of their policy of having only “essential contacts” with inductees.
But diplomats said there could be latitude in how to define that if Kenyatta and his deputy, who also faces charges of crimes against humanity, continue to cooperate with the court.
Along the coast, where Odinga also received strong support, peace prevailed, but the banned Mombasa Republican Council (MRC) called on Kenyatta to heed its demand for secession from Kenya. The Central government has flatly rejected the call.
The MRC feeds off local discontent largely based on long-held grievances over land and frustration at the perceived economic marginalization of the coast by the central government.
Police have given MRC members seven days to give themselves up after blaming the group for a series of attacks in and around Mombasa, the country’s main port.


Agenzia Fides REPORT- There are more than 50 victims due to the rains, and unfortunately the death toll due to flooding caused by storms that have affected the area of La Plata, in the Province of Buenos Aires is growing by the hour. The Archbishop of La Plata, Mgr. Hector Aguer, sent from Rome condolences to the families of the victims and ordered his bishops to coordinate efforts with Caritas and parishes to assist victims.
Mgr. Aguer called the auxiliary bishop of La Plata, Mgr. Alberto Bochatey to get detailed information about the victims and the damage several affected families have suffered. According to a note sent to Fides, the Archbishop reported that one of the areas most affected is where the Major Seminary of San Jose is situated, in front of Castelli park, and the parish adjacent Our Lady of Mercy, that suffered flooding and serious damage. The water reached one meter inside the buildings. However, the seminarians have provided shelter, food and blankets to dozens of people, including residents and public transport passengers, who had to spend the night in the house of priestly formation. (CE) (Agenzia Fides 04/04/2013)


by Shafique Khokhar
Siddique Masih was seized by his former employer, Shahid Khan, a criminal and murderer with "influential protection" in the area. He managed to escape and denounce the band. The violent beatings he was subjected to caused fractures and serious damage to his kidneys. He confesses to AsiaNews: "I will fight for justice until my last breath."

Lahore (AsiaNews) - "I am a  poor man and earn barely enough to support my family, I had no enmity with Shahid Khan but he kidnapped me to take out his grudge". This is a dramatic story and desperate plea for justice and protection, launched by a Christian father, Siddique Masih through AsiaNews. The man was kidnapped on Easter night, suffered beatings and violence that have left him seriously injured and even today, after a few days, is the victim of threats while the gang of criminals has gone into hiding. "I could have died - he adds - if I had not managed to escape". "They beat me brutally and promised to kill my family. Luckily some Muslim friends - he said - helped me to denounce each one of them and I will fight for justice until my last breath".

The drama of Siddique Masih began at 2 in the morning of  March 31, Easter Sunday. The man, 38 years old and father of four children, born in Tajpura, a suburb of Lahore (Punjab) was kidnapped by a gang of thugs led by Muslim Shahid Khan (pictured), along with his brother-in-law Muhammad Rauf and Munir Ahmat, a well-known local bandit. In the last year the victim had worked as a driver for the wealthy Muslim, then he left the job after discovering that his master is - in fact - a criminal and assassin, with interests in gambling.

In revenge for the Christian driver's resignation, regarded as a betrayal, the criminals kidnapped the poor Masih while he was returning home after visiting his parents in Faisalabad, segregating him in an office owned by Shahid Khan in Garden Town, Lahore. He was kept there for two nights in the hands of his captors and subjected to all kinds of torture that inflicted deep wounds on his body.  The lives of his family were also threatened. On the night of April 2, he managed a daring escape, lowering himself from a third floor window.

Rescued by the police and rescue forces, Masih was admitted to the hospital where he was diagnosed with several fractures and serious damage to his kidneys, which may be compromised as a result of the severe beatings. With the help of some Muslim friends, he reported his captors to Garden Town police, but so far there is no news of his captors, who have gone into hiding.

Many residents of the area told AsiaNews that Shahid Khan and his gang are mercenaries, with hundreds of reports against them, but have always managed to escape the attention of the police thanks to connections with influential people in the provincial authorities. Fr. Aftab James Paul, Diocesan Director for Interreligious Dialogue, said that "kidnappings are despicable crimes" and he strongly condemns "both the kidnapping and threats [of heavy retaliation] against the family." For the Pakistani priest " Shahid Khan is history sheeted, he must be punished for his illegal crime."



Luke 24: 35 - 48

35Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he was known to them in the breaking of the bread.36As they were saying this, Jesus himself stood among them.37But they were startled and frightened, and supposed that they saw a spirit.38And he said to them, "Why are you troubled, and why do questionings rise in your hearts?39See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself; handle me, and see; for a spirit has not flesh and bones as you see that I have."41And while they still disbelieved for joy, and wondered, he said to them, "Have you anything here to eat?"42They gave him a piece of broiled fish,43and he took it and ate before them.44Then he said to them, "These are my words which I spoke to you, while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the law of Moses and the prophets and the psalms must be fulfilled."45Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures,46and said to them, "Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead,47and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be preached in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.48You are witnesses of these things.

Thursday, April 4, 2013


St. Isidore of Seville
Feast: April 4

Feast Day:April 4
Born:560 at Cartagena, Spain
Died:4 April 636 at Seville, Spain
Canonized:1598, Rome by Pope Clement VIII
Patron of:computer technicians, computer users, computers, the Internet, schoolchildren, students
Born at Cartagena, Spain, about 560; died 4 April, 636.
Isidore was the son of Severianus and Theodora. His elder brother Leander was his immediate predecessor in the Metropolitan See of Seville; whilst a younger brother St. Fulgentius presided over the Bishopric of Astigi. His sister Florentina was a nun, and is said to have ruled over forty convents and one thousand religious.
Isidore received his elementary education in the Cathedral school of Seville. In this institution, which was the first of its kind in Spain, the trivium and quadrivium were taught by a body of learned men, among whom was the archbishop, Leander. With such diligence did he apply himself to study that in a remarkably short time mastered Latin, Greek, and Hebrew. Whether Isidore ever embraced monastic life or not is still an open question, but though he himself may never have been affiliated with any of the religious orders, he esteemed them highly. On his elevation to the episcopate he immediately constituted himself protector of the monks. In 619 he pronounced anathema against any ecclesiastic who should in any way molest the monasteries.
On the death of Leander, Isidore succeeded to the See of Seville. His long incumbency to this office was spent in a period of disintegration and transition. The ancient institutions and classic learning of the Roman Empire were fast disappearing. In Spain a new civilization was beginning to evolve itself from the blending racial elements that made up its population. For almost two centuries the Goths had been in full control of Spain, and their barbarous manners and contempt of learning threatened greatly to put back her progress in civilization. Realizing that the spiritual as well as the material well-being of the nation depended on the full assimilation of the foreign elements, St. Isidore set himself to the task of welding into a homogeneous nation the various peoples who made up the Hispano-Gothic kingdom. To this end he availed himself of all the resources of religion and education. His efforts were attended with complete success. Arianism, which had taken deep root among the Visigoths, was eradicated, and the new heresy of Acephales was completely stifled at the very outset; religious discipline was everywhere strengthened. Like Leander, he took a most prominent part in the Councils of Toledo and Seville. In all justice it may be said that it was in a great measure due to the enlightened statecraft of these two illustrious brothers the Visigothic legislation, which emanated from these councils, is regarded by modern historians as exercising a most important influence on the beginnings of representative government. Isidore presided over the Second Council of Seville, begun 13 November, 619, in the reign of Sisebut. But it was the Fourth National Council of Toledo that afforded him the opportunity of being of the greatest service to his county. At this council, begun 5 December, 633, all the bishops of Spain were in attendance. St. Isidore, though far advanced in years, presided over its deliberations, and was the originator of most of its enactments. It was at this council and through his influence that a decree was promulgated commanding all bishops to establish seminaries in their Cathedral Cities, along the lines of the school already existing at Seville. Within his own jurisdiction he had availed himself of the resources of education to counteract the growing influence of Gothic barbarism. His was the quickening spirit that animated the educational movement of which Seville was the centre. The study of Greek and Hebrew as well as the liberal arts, was prescribed. Interest in law and medicine was also encouraged. Through the authority of the fourth council this policy of education was made obligatory upon all the bishops of the kingdom. Long before the Arabs had awakened to an appreciation of Greek Philosophy, he had introduced Aristotle to his countrymen. He was the first Christian writer to essay the task of compiling for his co-religionists a summa of universal knowledge. This encyclopedia epitomized all learning, ancient as well as modern. In it many fragments of classical learning are preserved which otherwise had been hopelessly lost. The fame of this work imparted a new impetus to encyclopedic writing, which bore abundant fruit in the subsequent centuries of the Middle Ages. His style, though simple and lucid, cannot be said to be classical. It discloses most of the imperfections peculiar to all ages of transition. It particularly reveals a growing Visigothic influence. Arévalo counts in all Isidore's writing 1640 Spanish words.
Isidore was the last of the ancient Christian Philosophers, as he was the last of the great Latin Fathers. He was undoubtedly the most learned man of his age and exercised a far-reaching and immeasurable influence on the educational life of the Middle Ages. His contemporary and friend, Braulio, Bishop of Saragossa, regarded him as a man raised up by God to save the Spanish people from the tidal wave of barbarism that threatened to inundate the ancient civilization of Spain, The Eighth Council of Toledo (653) recorded its admiration of his character in these glowing terms: "The extraordinary doctor, the latest ornament of the Catholic Church, the most learned man of the latter ages, always to be named with reverence, Isidore". This tribute was endorsed by the Fifteenth Council of Toledo, held in 688.

Post a Comment