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Thursday, July 11, 2013

CATHOLIC NEWS WORLD : THURS. JULY 11, 2013 - BREAKING NEWS SHARE

2013











POPE FRANCIS CHANGES ABUSE LAWS - MOTU PROPRIO - LATEST FROM VATICAN

4 YEAR OLD GIRL RAPED AND KILLED IN INDIA

DISABLED PEOPLE FIND PAID WORK THROUGH VINNIES IN AUSTRALIA

TODAY'S MASS ONLINE : THURS. JULY 11, 2013

TODAY'S SAINT: JULY 11: ST. BENEDICT OF NURSIA



Vatican Radio REPORT: Pope Francis has issued a Motu Proprio on criminal law matters and administrative sanctions within Vatican City State and the Holy See. In a statement by the Holy See’s Press Office, it was announced that on this same date, the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State has adopted the following laws: 
    Law No. VIII containing Supplementary Norms on Criminal Law Matters;
    Law No. IX containing Amendments to the Criminal Code and the Criminal Procedure Code;
    Law No. X containing General Provisions on Administrative Sanctions.
The note from the Holy See Press Office goes on to clarify the following points:

    The Motu proprio makes the criminal laws adopted by the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State applicable also within the Holy See.
    The criminal laws adopted today are a continuation of the efforts to update Vatican City State’s legal system, building upon the measures adopted since 2010 during the pontificate of Benedict XVI.
    These laws, however, have a broader scope, since they incorporate into the Vatican legal system the provisions of numerous international conventions including: the four Geneva Conventions of 1949, on the conduct of war and war crimes; the 1965 Convention on the elimination of all forms of racial discrimination; the 1984 Convention against torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, the 1989 Convention on the rights of the child and its optional protocols of 2000.

    Of particular note in this context is the introduction of the crime of torture and a broader definition of the category of crimes against minors (including: the sale of children, child prostitution, the recruitment of children, sexual violence and sexual acts with children, and the production and possession of child pornography). 

    A section of the legislation introduces a list of crimes against humanity, in particular, the crimes of genocide and apartheid, following broadly the definitions adopted in the 1998 Statute of the International Criminal Court. The section of the Criminal Code regarding offences committed in the exercise of public administration has also been revised in light of the 2003 United Nations Convention against corruption. With regard to penalties, that of life imprisonment has been abolished and it has been replaced with a maximum penalty of 30 to 35 years of imprisonment. 

    In line with the most recent developments at the international level, the new legislation also introduces a system of penalties for juridical persons who profit from the criminal activities of their constituent bodies or personnel, establishing their direct liability and providing as penalties a set of interdictions and pecuniary sanctions. 

    In the area of criminal procedure, the general principles of presumption of innocence and due process within a reasonable time have been recognized explicitly, while the power of the judicial authorities to adopt precautionary measures has been increased by bringing up to date the provisions for confiscation and the freezing of assets. 

    Also of importance is the modernization of the rather dated norms governing international judicial cooperation, with the adoption of measures in line with the standards of the most recent international conventions.

    The law on administrative sanctions is of a general nature so as to serve as a common framework that provides for the possibility of sanctions in different areas intended to promote respect for the norms, to render them effective and to protect the public interests.

    As a whole, these normative efforts form part of broader process aimed at modernizing further the Vatican legal system with a view to enhancing its consistency and effectiveness. 


The following is an English translation of Pope Francis’ Apostolic Letter Motu Proprio on the jurisdiction of Judicial Authorities of Vatican City State in criminal matters (Full Text)

In our times, the common good is increasingly threatened by transnational organized crime, the improper use of the markets and of the economy, as well as by terrorism.

It is therefore necessary for the international community to adopt adequate legal instruments to prevent and counter criminal activities, by promoting international judicial cooperation on criminal matters.

In ratifying numerous international conventions in these areas, and acting also on behalf of Vatican City State, the Holy See has constantly maintained that such agreements are effective means to prevent criminal activities that threaten human dignity, the common good and peace.

With a view to renewing the Apostolic See’s commitment to cooperate to these ends, by means of this Apostolic Letter issued Motu Proprio, I establish that:

1. The competent Judicial Authorities of Vatican City State shall also exercise penal jurisdiction over:
a) crimes committed against the security, the fundamental interests or the patrimony of the Holy See;
b) crimes referred to:
- in Vatican City State Law No. VIII, of 11 July 2013, containing Supplementary Norms on Criminal Law Matters;
- in Vatican City State Law No. IX, of 11 July 2013, containing Amendments to the Criminal Code and the Criminal Procedure Code;
when such crimes are committed by the persons referred to in paragraph 3 below, in the exercise of their functions;
c) any other crime whose prosecution is required by an international agreement ratified by the Holy See, if the perpetrator is physically present in the territory of Vatican City State and has not been extradited.

2. The crimes referred to in paragraph 1 are to be judged pursuant to the criminal law in force in Vatican City State at the time of their commission, without prejudice to the general principles of the legal system on the temporal application of criminal laws.

3. For the purposes of Vatican criminal law, the following persons are deemed “public officials”:
a) members, officials and personnel of the various organs of the Roman Curia and of the Institutions connected to it.
b) papal legates and diplomatic personnel of the Holy See.
c) those persons who serve as representatives, managers or directors, as well as persons who even de facto manage or exercise control over the entities directly dependent on the Holy See and listed in the registry of canonical juridical persons kept by the Governorate of Vatican City State;
d) any other person holding an administrative or judicial mandate in the Holy See, permanent or temporary, paid or unpaid, irrespective of that person’s seniority.

4. The jurisdiction referred to in paragraph 1 comprises also the administrative liability of juridical persons arising from crimes, as regulated by Vatican City State laws.

5. When the same matters are prosecuted in other States, the provisions in force in Vatican City State on concurrent jurisdiction shall apply.

6. The content of article 23 of Law No. CXIX of 21 November 1987, which approves the Judicial Order of Vatican City State remains in force.

This I decide and establish, anything to the contrary notwithstanding.
I establish that this Apostolic Letter issued Motu Proprio will be promulgated by its publication in L’Osservatore Romano, entering into force on 1 September 2013.

Given in Rome, at the Apostolic Palace, on 11 July 2013, the first of my Pontificate. FRANCIS
SHARED FROM RADIO VATICANA

NEW LAWS AIM TO MODERNISE VATICAN LEGAL SYSTEM
Vatican City, 11 July 2013 (VIS) – The Holy See Press Office has today published the following communique regarding Pope Francis' Motu Proprio on matters of criminal law in Vatican City State:
“Today His Holiness Pope Francis has issued a Motu proprio on criminal law matters. On this same date, the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State has adopted the following laws: Law No. VIII containing Supplementary Norms on Criminal Law Matters, Law No. IX containing Amendments to the Criminal Code and the Criminal Procedure Code, Law No. X containing General Provisions on Administrative Sanctions.
“The Motu proprio makes the criminal laws adopted by the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State applicable also within the Holy See. The criminal laws adopted today are a continuation of the efforts to update Vatican City State’s legal system, building upon the measures adopted since 2010 during the pontificate of Benedict XVI.
“These laws, however, have a broader scope, since they incorporate into the Vatican legal system the provisions of numerous international conventions including: the four Geneva Conventions of 1949, on the conduct of war and war crimes; the 1965 Convention on the elimination of all forms of racial discrimination; the 1984 Convention against torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, the 1989 Convention on the rights of the child and its optional protocols of 2000.
“Of particular note in this context is the introduction of the crime of torture and a broader definition of the category of crimes against minors (including: the sale of children, child prostitution, the recruitment of children, sexual violence and sexual acts with children, and the production and possession of child pornography).
“A section of the legislation introduces a list of crimes against humanity, in particular, the crimes of genocide and apartheid, following broadly the definitions adopted in the 1998 Statute of the International Criminal Court. The section of the Criminal Code regarding offences committed in the exercise of public administration has also been revised in light of the 2003 United Nations Convention against corruption. With regard to penalties, that of life imprisonment has been abolished and it has been replaced with a maximum penalty of 30 to 35 years of imprisonment.
“In line with the most recent developments at the international level, the new legislation also introduces a system of penalties for juridical persons who profit from the criminal activities of their constituent bodies or personnel, establishing their direct liability and providing as penalties a set of interdictions and pecuniary sanctions.
“In the area of criminal procedure, the general principles of presumption of innocence and due process within a reasonable time have been recognized explicitly, while the power of the judicial authorities to adopt precautionary measures has been increased by bringing up to date the provisions for confiscation and the freezing of assets.
“Also of importance is the modernization of the rather dated norms governing international judicial cooperation, with the adoption of measures in line with the standards of the most recent international conventions.
“The law on administrative sanctions is of a general nature so as to serve as a common framework that provides for the possibility of sanctions in different areas intended to promote respect for the norms, to render them effective and to protect the public interests”.
The communique concludes, “As a whole, these normative efforts form part of broader process aimed at modernizing further the Vatican legal system with a view to enhancing its consistency and effectiveness”.
ARCHBISHOP DOMINIQUE MAMBERTI EXPLAINS THE IMPORTANCE OF THE LAWS APPROVED BY THE PONTIFICAL COMMISSION FOR VATICAN CITY STATE
Vatican City, 11 July 2013 (VIS) – Published below is the full text of a presentation given by Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States, on the laws approved by the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State:
“The laws approved by the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State bring about a broad-ranging normative change, necessary for the function that this State, entirely sui generis, is called upon to carry out for the benefit of the Apostolic See. The original and foundational aim of the Vatican, which consists of guaranteeing the freedom of the exercise of the Petrine ministry, indeed requires an institutional structure that, the limited dimensions of the territory notwithstanding, assumes a complexity in some respects similar to that of contemporary States.
“Established by the Lateran Pacts of 1929, the State adopted the judicial, civil and penal structures of the Kingdom of Italy in their entirety, in the conviction that this would be sufficient to regulate the legal relationships within a State whose reason for existence lies in the support of the spiritual mission of Peter’s Successor. The original penal system – constituted by the Italian Penal Code on 30 June 1889 and the Italian Penal Code of 27 February 1913, in force from 7 June 1929 – has seen only marginal modifications and even the new law on sources of law (No. 71 of 1 October 2008) confirms the criminal legislation of 1929, while awaiting an overall redefinition of the discipline.
“The most recently approved laws, while not constituting a radical reform of the penal system, revise some aspects and complete it in other areas, satisfying a number of requirements. On the one hand, these laws take up and develop the theme of the evolution of the Vatican judicial structure, continuing the action undertaken by Pope Benedict XVI in 2010 to prevent and combat money-laundering and the financing of terrorism. In this regard, the provisions contained in the 2000 United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organised Crime, the 1988 United Nations Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, and the 1999 International Convention for the Suppression of Financing of Terrorism, are to be implemented, along with other conventions defining and specifying terrorist activity.
“The new laws also introduce other forms of crime indicated in various international conventions already ratified by the Holy See in international contexts and which will now be implemented in domestic law. Among these conventions, the following are worthy of mention: the 1984 Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, the 1965 International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, the 1989 International Convention on the Rights of the Child and the 2000 Optional Protocols, the 1949 Geneva Conventions on War Crimes, etc. A separate section is dedicated to crimes against humanity, including genocide and other crimes defined by international common law, along the lines of the 1998 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. From a substantial point of view, finally, further items of note are the revision of crimes against the public administration, in line with the provisions included in the 2003 United Nations Convention Against Corruption, as well as the abolition of the life sentence, to be substituted by a maximum custodial sentence of 30 to 35 years.
“While many of the specific criminal offences included in these laws are undeniably new, it would however be incorrect to assume that the forms of conduct thereby sanctioned were previously licit. These were indeed punished, but as broader, more generic forms of criminal activity. The introduction of the new regulations is useful to define the specific cases with greater certainty and precision and to thus satisfy the international parameters, calibrating the sanctions to the specific gravity of the case.
“Some of the new categories of criminal activity introduced (for instance, crimes against the security of air or maritime navigation or against the security of airports or fixed platforms) may appear excessive considering the geographic characteristics of Vatican City State. However, such regulations have on the one hand the function of ensuring respect for international anti-terrorism parameters, and on the other, they are necessary to ensure compatibility with the condition of so-called “dual criminality”, to enable the extradition of persons charged or convicted of crimes committed abroad should they seek refuge in Vatican City State.
“Special emphasis is given to the discipline of 'civil responsibility of juridical persons derived from a criminal violation' (Arts. 46-51 of the law containing complementary regulations on criminal matters), introducing sanctions for juridical persons involved in criminal activities as defined by the current international legal framework. To this end an attempt has been made to reconcile the traditionally cautious approach observable also in the canonical order, according to which “societas puniri non potest” with the need, ever more evident in the international context, to establish adequate and deterrent penalties also against juridical persons who profit from crime. The solution adopted was therefore that of establishing administrative responsibility of juridical persons, obviously when it is possible to demonstrate that a crime was committed in the interests of or to the advantage of that same juridical person.
“Significant modifications are introduced also in terms of procedure. These include: updates in the discipline of requisition, strengthened by measures regarding the preventative freezing of assets; an explicit statement of the principles of fair trial within a reasonable time limit and with the presumption of innocence; the reformulation of regulations regarding international judicial cooperation with the adoption of the measures established by the most recent international conventions.
“From a technical and regulatory point of view, the plurality of sources available to experts was organised by means of their combination in a harmonious and coherent body of legislation which, in the frameworks of the Church’s magisterium and the juridical-canonical tradition, the principal source of Vatican law (Art. 1, Para. 1, Law No. 71 on the sources of law, 1 October 2008) takes into account simultaneously the norms established by international conventions and the Italian juridical tradition, reference to which has always been made by the Vatican legal order.
“In order to better order a legislative work with such broad-ranging content, it has been drafted as two distinct laws. One brings together all the legislation consisting of modifications to the penal code and the code of criminal procedure; the other will instead consist of legislation of a nature which does not permit a homogeneous section within the code structure and is therefore gathered in form of a latere or complementary penal code.
Finally, the penal reform hitherto presented is completed with the adoption by the Holy Father Francis of a specific Motu proprio, also bearing yesterday’s date, which extends the reach of the legislation contained in these criminal laws to the members, officials and employees of the various bodies of the Roman Curia, connected Institutions, bodies subordinate to the Holy See and canonical juridical persons, as well as pontifical legates and diplomatic staff of the Holy See. This extension has the aim of making the crimes included in these laws indictable by the judicial organs of Vatican City State even when committed outside the borders of the state.
“Among the laws adopted yesterday by the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State there is also the law consisting of general legislation on the subject of administrative sanctions. This law had already been proposed in Art. 7, Paragraph 4 of Law 71 on the sources of law of 1 October 2008, and establishes the general principles and regulation of the application of administrative sanctions.
“For some time there has long been an awareness of the expedience of an intermediate tertium genus between penal and civil offences, also in relation to the growing relevance of administrative offences. As a discipline of principle, the provisions of such a law would be used whenever another law establishes the imposition of administrative penalties for a breach of law, no doubt to specify the procedure for their application to the competent authority and the order of other minor effects.
“One of the cornerstones of the system introduced by this law is constituted by the so-called rule of law, as a result of which administrative sanctions may be imposed only in cases defined by law. The procedure for implementation is divided into a phase of investigation and challenge of the infringement by the competent offices, and a second phase of imposition of the sanction, which will fall within the competences of the President of the Governorate. Finally, there will be the right to appeal heard by a single judge except in more cases of more severe penalties, for which the jurisdiction of the Court is established.
“To conclude this brief presentation, it may be observed that the laws indicated above are notable not only for their undeniable substantial and systematic relevance, but also because they represent a further significant step on the part of the Vatican legislator towards the refinement of its legal code, necessary to assume and promote the constructive and useful proposals of the international Community with a view to more intense international cooperation and a more effective pursuit of the
WORLD TOURISM DAY: “TOURISM AND WATER - PROTECTING OUR COMMON FUTURE”
Vatican City, 11 July 2013 (VIS) – A communique was published this morning by the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples to mark the occasion of the 2013 World Tourism Day. The full original text is given below:
“On September 27, we will celebrate World Tourism Day, following the theme suggested for this year by the World Tourism Organization: 'Tourism and water: protecting our common future'. This is in line with the 'International Year of Cooperation for Water', that was proclaimed by the General Assembly of the United Nations, during the International Decade for Action 'Water, source of life' (2005-2015), in order to highlight 'that water is critical for sustainable development, especially for environmental integrity and eradication of poverty and hunger, it is essential for the health and well-being of human beings, and is fundamental to achieve the Millennium Development Goals'.
“The Holy See also wishes to join in this commemoration, bringing its contribution from its own perspective, aware of the importance of the phenomenon of tourism at the present time and the challenges and opportunities it provides to our mission of evangelization. This is one of the economic sectors with the largest and fastest growth in the world. We must not forget that last year it was exceeded the milestone of one billion international tourists, to which we must add the even higher figures of local tourism.
“In the tourism sector, water is of crucial importance, an asset and a resource. It is an asset because people feel naturally drawn to it, and there are millions of tourists seeking to enjoy this natural element during their days off, by choosing as their holiday destination some ecosystems where water is the most specific element (wetlands, beaches, rivers, lakes, waterfalls, islands, glaciers or snowfields, just to name a few), or trying to grasp its many benefits (especially in seaside resorts or spas). At the same time, water is also a resource for the tourism industry and it is essential, among other things, to hotels, restaurants and leisure activities.
“Looking at the future, tourism will be a real benefit if it will be able to manage these resources according to the criteria of the 'green economy', an economy whose environmental impact is kept within acceptable limits. We are invited, therefore, to promote ecotourism, environmentally friendly and sustainable, that can surely promote the creation of new jobs, support the local economy and reduce poverty.
“There is no doubt that tourism plays a fundamental role in preserving the environment, by being one of its great ally, but also a fierce enemy. If, for instance, in order to achieve a quick and easy economic profit, the tourism industry is allowed to pollute a place, this location will cease to be a popular destination for tourists.
“We know that water, key to sustainable development, is an essential element for life. Without water there is no life. 'However, year after year the pressure on this resource increases. One out of three people live in a country with moderate to high-water shortages, and it is possible that by 2030 the shortage will affect almost half of the world’s population, since its demand may exceed the supply by 40%'. According to UN data, about one billion people have no access to drinking water. And the challenges related to this issue will increase significantly in the coming years, mainly because it is poorly distributed, polluted and wasted, or priority is given to certain incorrect or unjust uses, in addition to the consequences of climate change. Tourism also is often in competition with other sectors for the usage of water, and not infrequently it is noted that water is abundant and is wasted in tourism structures, while for the surrounding populations it is scarce.
“The sustainable management of this natural resource is a challenge for the social, economic and environmental order, but especially because of the ethical nature, starting from the principle of the universal destination of the goods of the earth, which is a natural and original right, to which it must be submitted all the legislation relating to those goods. The Social Doctrine of the Church highlights the validity and application of this principle, with explicit references to water.
“Indeed, our commitment to preserving creation stems from recognizing it as God’s gift to the whole human family, and from hearing the Creator’s calling, who invites us to preserve it, aware of being the stewards, not owners, of the gift He gives us.
“Concern for the environment is an important topic for Pope Francis, who has already made many references to it. In the very mass of the inauguration of his Petrine ministry he invited us to be 'stewards of creation, of God’s plan written in nature, the guardians of the other, of the environment; let us not allow' he said, 'that signs of destruction and death accompany our journey in this world', recalling that 'everything is entrusted to the custody of man, and it is everyone’s responsibility'.
“Stressing even more this calling, the Holy Father stated during a General Audience: 'Cultivating and preserving creation is a directive of God given not only at the beginning of history, but to each one of us; it is part of his plan; it means allowing the world to grow responsibly, transforming it to be a garden, a living place for all .... Instead we are often driven by pride of domination, of possession, manipulation, exploitation; we do not 'preserve' it, do not respect it, do not consider it as a free gift to care for. We are losing the attitude of wonder, contemplation, listening to creation'.
“If we foster this attitude of listening, we can discover how water speaks to us also of his Creator and reminds us of his story of love for humanity. Regarding this, it is eloquent the prayer for the blessing of water, that the Roman liturgy uses both at the Easter Vigil and in the Ritual of baptism, where it is recalled that the Lord used this gift as a sign and remembrance of his goodness: Creation, the flood that puts an end to sin, the crossing of the Red Sea that delivers from slavery, the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan, the washing of the feet that turns into the precept of love, the water pouring out of the side of Christ Crucified, the command of the Risen Lord to make disciples and baptize them ... are milestones in the history of Salvation, in which water takes on a high symbolic value.
“Water speaks of life, purification, regeneration and transcendence. In the liturgy, water manifests the life of God shared with us in Christ. Jesus himself presents himself as the one who quenches our thirst, from whose breast rivers of living water shall flow, and in his dialogue with the Samaritan woman he says: 'whoever drinks of the water that I will give will never thirst'. Thirst evokes the deepest yearnings of the human heart, his failures and his quest for authentic happiness beyond himself. And Christ is the one who gives the water that quenches the thirst within, he is the source of rebirth, the bath that purifies. He is the source of living water.
“For this reason, it is necessary to reiterate that all those involved in the phenomenon of tourism have a big responsibility for water management, in order for this sector to be effectively a source of wealth at a social, ecological, cultural and economic level. While we must work to fix the damage already done, we should also encourage its rational use and minimize the impact by promoting appropriate policies and providing effective ways, aiming at protecting our common future. Our attitude towards nature and the mismanagement of its resources cannot burden others as well as future generations.
“Therefore more determination from politicians and entrepreneurs is necessary, because, although all are aware of the challenges made by the issue of water, we are conscious that this willingness should be put into practice with binding, specific and verifiable commitments.
“This situation requires above all a change of mentality leading to adopt a different lifestyle marked by sobriety and self-discipline. We must ensure that tourists are aware and reflect on their responsibilities and the impact of their trip. They must be convinced that not everything is allowed, although they personally carry the economic burden. We need to educate and encourage the small gestures allowing us not to waste or pollute the water and, at the same time, help us appreciate even more its importance.
“We share the Holy Father’s concern to take 'all the serious commitment to respect and preserve creation, to be responsible for every person, to oppose the culture of waste, to promote a culture of solidarity and encounter'.
“With St. Francis, the 'Little Poor' of Assisi, we raise our hymn to God, praising him for his creatures: 'Praised be to you, my Lord, for sister Water, which is very useful and humble and precious and pure'”.
OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS
Vatican City, 11 July 2013 (VIS) – Today, the Holy Father:
- appointed Archbishop Leo Boccardi as apostolic nuncio to Iran. Archbishop Boccardi was previously apostolic nuncio to Sudan and Eritrea.
- appointed Fr. Miguel Angel Cabello Almada, of the clergy of Caacupe, Paraguay, as bishop of Conception (area 30,984, population 406,000, Catholics 399,000, priests 34, religious 66), Paraguay. The bishop-elect was born in Piribebuy, Paraguay in 1965 and was ordained a priest in 1991. He obtained a licentiate and doctorate in dogmatic theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, and has served in a number of pastoral roles, including head of the sanctuary “Dulce Nombre de Jesus” in Piribebuy, formator of the national minor seminary of Villarrica, vicar of the parish of Tobati, professor in the Higher Institute of Theology, Asuncion, vicar of the parish of “Primaro de marzo”, Caacupe, and spiritual director of the national minor seminary in Caacupe. He succeeds Bishop Zacarias Ortiz Rolon, S.D.B., whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.
- appointed Bishop Jan Orosch as archbishop of Trnava (area 4,833, population 52,070, Catholics 51,915, priests 63, permanent deacons 1, religious 38), Slovakia. Bishop Orosch, previously apostolic administrator sede vacante of Trnava, was born in Bratislava, Slovakia in 1953, was ordained to the priesthood in 1976, and received episcopal ordination in 2004.

NATION CONSECRATED TO THE VIRGIN MARY BY BISHOPS IN PHILIPPINES

Agenzia Fides report – National consecration to the Virgin Mary in order to have light in dealing with difficult pastoral challenges the nation is facing: is what the Bishops of the Philippines are doing in a message issued at the end of plenary Assembly, held from 6 to July 8 in Manila and sent to Fides Agency. The text informs that the national consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary is being done every first Saturday of the month in all dioceses in the country and ends in November 2013 which also closes the Year of Faith. In the statement sent to Fides, the Bishops presented the Philippines as a "Pueblo Amante de Maria", committed to being effective bearers and proclaimers of truth, justice, peace and love under the leadership of Pope Francis".
A mature faith has an impact on society and on the life of the nation: the Bishops' message reminds us about the sensitive issue of the Reproductive Health Bill (RH Bill): "We are resolved to do our best to preserve life and the family in our country", says the text.
The central part of the message touches the issues of transparency and the common good, presenting a critical assessment of medium-term elections, which were held in the country in mid-May 2013. The Bishops said they were "very concerned" because the safeguards of the Automated Election Law were not sufficiently carried out and that many voters were disenfranchised due to confusing voters’ lists." The message also pointed out that the "Bishops are dismayed at the massive vote buying and vote selling that is experienced everywhere. The deepening hold of "political dynasties", described as "deplorable". "We should see how the principles of common good and stewardship are to be better imparted to our people in the political education given to them", notes the text.
In the annual assembly, says the text, other issues of importance were also addressed with regards to the nation, such as the peace process in Mindanao, the rapid implementation of the land reform program, the protection of the environment. The Bishops finally talked about the organization of the upcoming "World Youth Day" in Rio de Janeiro and the preparations for the International Year of the Eucharist, to be held in Cebu in 2016 (PA) 

4 YEAR OLD GIRL RAPED AND KILLED IN INDIA

ASIA NEWS REPORT: by Nirmala Carvalho
After the rape, more than 50 stab wounds were inflicted on the body. One member of the Pontifical Academy for life: "A horrifying crime, a sign of the degradation of human dignity. Life is sacred".



Mumbai (AsiaNews) - a "heinous and brutal crime" that "shows the depravity and degradation of the dignity of human life". ToAsiaNews Pascoal Carvalho, Member of the Pontifical Academy for life, thus commented on yet another case of rape and murder that is scandalizing India. The victim is a child of four years, from Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh).
After disappearing on July 8, the little girl was found lifeless, surrounded by a few stray dogs. As revealed by the autopsy, the body had more than 50 stab wounds and serious internal injuries.
Precisely today the country was awaiting the verdict on one of the six rapists in theNew Delhi gang rape, which dominated the pages of national newspapers and has been at the center of a heated debate. In the morning, however, the Court decided to postpone the verdict until July 25. The defendant was a minor at the time of the fact (now he is 18) and for reason could get a maximum of three years in a reformatory.
"These innocent and vulnerable girls", says the doctor, "are among those who are most in need of our protection. The gruesome death of this little girl, a precious human being made in the image and likeness of God, is the sign of the degradation of the dignity and sanctity of every human life".
Rapes against very small children are not isolated cases. "Generally", he explained, "the police are reluctant to register complaints. The police officers are from same patriarchal society that has encouraged a culture of rape, and changing the way they deal with crimes against women will be difficult as it is difficult to change the social perception [of these crimes]."

For this reason "it is urgent not only to condemn this kind violence, but to understand its causes. Our patriarchal mentality has become treacherous for our society. We live in a context that does not consider women equal to men and that continues to assign specific roles. The cycle of domination begins well before birth: the feticide and female infanticide are an by now a well-known malaise of our society". 

DISABLED PEOPLE FIND PAID WORK THROUGH VINNIES IN AUSTRALIA

Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese, 
11 Jul 2013
Spacious and light filled Vinnies redeveloped Ozanam Industries at Stanmore was reopened and blessed this week
After 35 years in business and over these years providing many hundreds of men and women with a disability with permanent paid work, St Vincent De Paul Society's Ozanam Industries at Stanmore has undergone a major redevelopment and refit.
Stanmore's Ozanam Industries is one of three such services across NSW where committed workers sort and assemble everything from show bags to bulk retail items, conference bags, mail and envelope supplies.
Work to update the Stanmore premises began almost 12 months ago. The building has now been transformed into a climate-controlled light-filled state-of-the-art environment complete with a large dining space with a balcony and internal elevators to make travel between floors easier and safer.
This week the updated renovated building was officially reopened and blessed by Bishop Terence Brady, Auxiliary Bishop for the Archdiocese of Sydney.
On hand for this important occasion were Ozanam Stanmore's 40 supported workers, other staff, dignitaries from St Vinnies NSW including President, Ray Reynolds and CEO Michael Perusco, NSW Shadow Minister for Disabilities, Barbara Perry and Allyson Morrison, Vinnies NSW's Disability Services  Vocational Co-ordinator.
For the past 25 years, Allyson has been one of the driving forces behind Ozanam Industries and it was in honour of her dedication and tireless service to Vinnies that the new spacious eating space with its big windows and balcony has been named the Morrison Dining Room.
In Sydney and at the two other sites in NSW, men and women with a disability are not only employed in paid work but supervised, monitored, mentored and given whatever support they may need.
"The new premises at Stanmore give those who work there a safe and comfortable environment in which to work and optimise opportunities for each one to develop to their full potential," she says.
Allyson also believes the input from those who work there, the spacious design and the attention to detail as part of the redevelopment of Ozanam Industries Stanmore will also give Vinnies supported workers a feeling of just how much they are respected and valued.
With the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NIDS), now known as DisabilityCare together with events such as last year's Paralympics in London, Australians have belatedly become far more aware that a disability is no handicap to achievement, and what is important is what those with a disability can do rather than what they cannot.
Vinnies and people like Allyson have long known this and since 1978 Ozanam Industries has given supported paid work to men and women with disabilities and seen them grow in confidence, self esteem and ability. Earning their own living has brought them dignity, a feeling of being in control and much needed sense of independence.
Ozanam Industries employ supported workers with disabilities and help change their lives
Working at Ozanam has also enabled them to make make new and lasting friendships with other workers.
"Work is important for most people and it is no different for people with a disability," says Allyson Morrison. "They want to be part of the economic and social interactions a work place provides and are also keen to be productive and to contribute."
The supported workers at Ozanam Industries have a range of disabilities including intellectual, physiatrist, physical, hearing and vision impairments.
What they don't have is a lack of enthusiasm, humour and dedication and commitment to their work.
To find out more about Vinnies Ozanam Industries and Disability Services log on to www.vinnies.org.au/home-nsw
SHARED FROM ARCHDIOCESE OF SYDNEY

TODAY'S MASS ONLINE : THURS. JULY 11, 2013

Memorial of Saint Benedict, Abbot
Lectionary: 386


Reading 1              GN 44:18-21, 23B-29; 45:1-5

Judah approached Joseph and said: “I beg you, my lord,
let your servant speak earnestly to my lord,
and do not become angry with your servant,
for you are the equal of Pharaoh.
My lord asked your servants, ‘Have you a father, or another brother?’
So we said to my lord, ‘We have an aged father,
and a young brother, the child of his old age.
This one’s full brother is dead,
and since he is the only one by that mother who is left,
his father dotes on him.’
Then you told your servants,
‘Bring him down to me that my eyes may look on him.
Unless your youngest brother comes back with you,
you shall not come into my presence again.’
When we returned to your servant our father,
we reported to him the words of my lord.

“Later, our father told us to come back and buy some food for the family.
So we reminded him, ‘We cannot go down there;
only if our youngest brother is with us can we go,
for we may not see the man if our youngest brother is not with us.’
Then your servant our father said to us,
‘As you know, my wife bore me two sons.
One of them, however, disappeared, and I had to conclude
that he must have been torn to pieces by wild beasts;
I have not seen him since.
If you now take this one away from me, too,
and some disaster befalls him,
you will send my white head down to the nether world in grief.’“

Joseph could no longer control himself
in the presence of all his attendants,
so he cried out, “Have everyone withdraw from me!”
Thus no one else was about when he made himself known to his brothers.
But his sobs were so loud that the Egyptians heard him,
and so the news reached Pharaoh’s palace.
“I am Joseph,” he said to his brothers.
“Is my father still in good health?”
But his brothers could give him no answer,
so dumbfounded were they at him.

“Come closer to me,” he told his brothers.
When they had done so, he said:
“I am your brother Joseph, whom you once sold into Egypt.
But now do not be distressed,
and do not reproach yourselves for having sold me here.
It was really for the sake of saving lives
that God sent me here ahead of you.”

Responsorial Psalm              PS 105:16-17, 18-19, 20-21

R. (5a) Remember the marvels the Lord has done.
or:
R. Alleluia.
When the LORD called down a famine on the land
and ruined the crop that sustained them,
He sent a man before them,
Joseph, sold as a slave.
R. Remember the marvels the Lord has done.
or:
R. Alleluia.
They had weighed him down with fetters,
and he was bound with chains,
Till his prediction came to pass
and the word of the LORD proved him true.
R. Remember the marvels the Lord has done.
or:
R. Alleluia.
The king sent and released him,
the ruler of the peoples set him free.
He made him lord of his house
and ruler of all his possessions.
R. Remember the marvels the Lord has done.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Gospel               MT 10:7-15

Jesus said to his Apostles:
“As you go, make this proclamation:
‘The Kingdom of heaven is at hand.’
Cure the sick, raise the dead,
cleanse the lepers, drive out demons.
Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give.
Do not take gold or silver or copper for your belts;
no sack for the journey, or a second tunic,
or sandals, or walking stick.
The laborer deserves his keep.
Whatever town or village you enter, look for a worthy person in it,
and stay there until you leave.
As you enter a house, wish it peace.
If the house is worthy,
let your peace come upon it;
if not, let your peace return to you.
Whoever will not receive you or listen to your words—
go outside that house or town and shake the dust from your feet.
Amen, I say to you, it will be more tolerable
for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment
than for that town.”

2013

TODAY'S SAINT: JULY 11: ST. BENEDICT OF NURSIA


St. Benedict of Nursia
FOUNDER OF WESTERN MONASTICISM
Feast: July 11


Information:
Feast Day:July 11
Born:
480, Norcia (Umbria, Italy)
Died:21 March 547 at Monte Cassino, Italy
Canonized:1220
Major Shrine:
Monte Cassino Abbey, with his burial
Saint-Benoît-sur-Loire, near Orléans, France

Sacro Speco, at Subiaco, Italy
Patron of:Against poison, Against witchcraft, Cavers, Civil engineers, Coppersmiths, Dying people, Erysipelas, Europe, Farmers, Fever, Gall stones, Inflammatory diseases, Italian architects, Kidney disease, Monks, Nettle rash, Schoolchildren, Servants who have broken their master's belongings, Speliologists, Spelunkers, Temptations
Founder of western monasticism, born at Nursia, c. 480; died at Monte Cassino, 543. The only authentic life of Benedict of Nursia is that contained in the second book of St. Gregory's "Dialogues". It is rather a character sketch than a biography and consists, for the most part, of a number of miraculous incidents, which, although they illustrate the life of the saint, give little help towards a chronological account of his career. St. Gregory's authorities for all that he relates were the saint's own disciples, viz. Constantinus, who succeeded him as Abbot of Monte Cassino; and Honoratus, who was Abbot of Subiaco when St. Gregory wrote his "Dialogues".
Benedict was the son of a Roman noble of Nursia, a small town near Spoleto, and a tradition, which St. Bede accepts, makes him a twin with his sister Scholastica. His boyhood was spent in Rome, where he lived with his parents and attended the schools until he had reached his higher studies. Then "giving over his books, and forsaking his father's house and wealth, with a mind only to serve God, he sought for some place where he might attain to the desire of his holy purpose; and in this sort he departed [from Rome], instructed with learned ignorance and furnished with unlearned wisdom" (Dial. St. Greg., II, Introd. in Migne, P.L. LXVI). There is much difference of opinion as to Benedict's age at the time. It has been very generally stated as fourteen, but a careful examination of St. Gregory's narrative makes it impossible to suppose him younger than nineteen or twenty. He was old enough to be in the midst of his literary studies, to understand the real meaning and worth of the dissolute and licentious lives of his companions, and to have been deeply affected himself by the love of a woman (Ibid. II, 2). He was capable of weighing all these things in comparison with the life taught in the Gospels, and chose the latter, He was at the beginning of life, and he had at his disposal the means to a career as a Roman noble; clearly he was not a child, As St. Gregory expresses it, "he was in the world and was free to enjoy the advantages which the world offers, but drew back his foot which he had, as it were, already set forth in the world" (ibid., Introd.). If we accept the date 480 for his birth, we may fix the date of his abandoning the schools and quitting home at about A.D. 500.
Benedict does not seem to have left Rome for the purpose of becoming a hermit, but only to find some place away from the life of the great city; moreover, he took his old nurse with him as a servant and they settled down to live in Enfide, near a church dedicated to St. Peter, in some kind of association with "a company of virtuous men" who were in sympathy with his feelings and his views of life. Enfide, which the tradition of Subiaco identifies with the modern Affile, is in the Simbrucini mountains, about forty miles from Rome and two from Subiaco. It stands on the crest of a ridge which rises rapidly from the valley to the higher range of mountains, and seen from the lower ground the village has the appearance of a fortress. As St. Gregory's account indicates, and as is confirmed by the remains of the old town and by the inscriptions found in the neighbourhood, Enfide was a place of greater importance than is the present town. At Enfide Benedict worked his first miracle by restoring to perfect condition an earthenware wheat-sifter (capisterium) which his old servant had accidentally broken. The notoriety which this miracle brought upon Benedict drove him to escape still farther from social life, and "he fled secretly from his nurse and sought the more retired district of Subiaco". His purpose of life had also been modified. He had fled Rome to escape the evils of a great city; he now determined to be poor and to live by his own work. "For God's sake he deliberately chose the hardships of life and the weariness of labour" (ibid., 1).
A short distance from Enfide is the entrance to a narrow, gloomy valley, penetrating the mountains and leading directly to Subiaco. Crossing the Anio and turning to the right, the path rises along the left face oft the ravine and soon reaches the site of Nero's villa and of the huge mole which formed the lower end of the middle lake; across the valley were ruins of the Roman baths, of which a few great arches and detached masses of wall still stand. Rising from the mole upon twenty five low arches, the foundations of which can even yet be traced, was the bridge from the villa to the baths, under which the waters of the middle lake poured in a wide fall into the lake below. The ruins of these vast buildings and the wide sheet of falling water closed up the entrance of the valley to St. Benedict as he came from Enfide; to-day the narrow valley lies open before us, closed only by the far off mountains. The path continues to ascend, and the side of the ravine, on which it runs, becomes steeper, until we reach a cave above which the mountain now rises almost perpendicularly; while on the right hand it strikes in a rapid descent down to where, in St. Benedict's day, five hundred feet below, lay the blue waters of the lake. The cave has a large triangular-shaped opening and is about ten feet deep. On his way from Enfide, Benedict met a monk, Romanus, whose monastery was on the mountain above the cliff overhanging the cave. Romanus had discussed with Benedict the purpose which had brought him to Subiaco, and had given him the monk's habit. By his advice Benedict became a hermit and for three years, unknown to men, lived in this cave above the lake. St. Gregory tells us little of these years, He now speaks of Benedict no longer as a youth (puer), but as a man (vir) of God. Romanus, he twice tells us, served the saint in every way he could. The monk apparently visited him frequently, and on fixed days brought him food.
During these three years of solitude, broken only by occasional communications with the outer world and by the visits of Romanus, he matured both in mind and character, in knowledge of himself and of his fellow-man, and at the same time he became not merely known to, but secured the respect of, those about him; so much so that on the death of the abbot of a monastery in the neighbourhood (identified by some with Vicovaro), the community came to him and begged him to become its abbot. Benedict was acquainted with the life and discipline of the monastery, and knew that "their manners were diverse from his and therefore that they would never agree together: yet, at length, overcome with their entreaty, he gave his consent" (ibid., 3). The experiment failed; the monks tried to poison him, and he returned to his cave. From this time his miracles seen to have become frequent, and many people, attracted by his sanctity and character, came to Subiaco to be under his guidance. For them he built in the valley twelve monasteries, in each of which he placed a superior with twelve monks. In a thirteenth he lived with "a few, such as he thought would more profit and be better instructed by his own presence" (ibid., 3). He remained, however, the father or abbot of all. With the establishment of these monasteries began the schools for children; and amongst the first to be brought were Maurus and Placid.
The remainder of St. Benedict's life was spent in realizing the ideal of monasticism which he has left us drawn out in his Rule.


SOURCE: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/B/stbenedictofnursia.asp#ixzz1RnablluW

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