CATHOLIC WORLD NEWS: SUN. SEPT 6, 2009: HEADLINES-
VATICAN: POPE'S MESSAGE FROM VITERBO-
EUROPE:POLAND: BISHOPS ISSUE A DOCUMENT ON FAMILIES-
ASIA: VIETNAM: BISHOP COMPOSES MUSIC & BRINGS SOULS TO CHRIST -
AUSTRALIA: CRASH VICTIM REMEMBERED DURING MASS-
AFRICA: RWANDA: GENOCIDE TRIAL FOR CHURCH MASSACRE-
AMERICAS: ECUADOR: GOSPEL TO POOR THROUGH STUDENTS-
TODAY'S SAINT: ST. DONATIAN-
VATICAN: POPE'S MESSAGE FROM VITERBO-
The Pope in his visit to Viterbo said the following: "Religions can and must play a role in promoting forgiveness and reconciliation against violence, racism, totalitarianism and extremism that disfigure the image of the Creator in man, erasing the horizon of God and, consequently, lead to contempt of man himself. " He also said that "numerous leaders and representatives of various religions - invited by the Archdiocese of Krakow and the Community of Sant'Egidio – have gathered to reflect and pray for peace, 70 years after the outbreak of World War II. We can not forget, the dramatic events that began one of the most terrible wars in history, which caused tens of millions of deaths and much suffering to the beloved Polish people, a conflict that saw the tragedy of 'The Holocaust and the extermination of scores of other innocent people. The memory of these events lead us to pray for the victims and for those who still bear wounds in the body and heart and may it also be a warning to everyone not to repeat such barbarism and to intensify efforts to build in our own time, still marked by conflicts and confrontations, a lasting peace, transmitting, especially the younger generation, a culture and a way of life marked by love, solidarity and respect for each other. In this perspective, the contribution that religions can and should play in promoting forgiveness and reconciliation against violence, racism, totalitarianism and extremism is particularly important, because they disfigure the image of the Creator in man, wipe the horizon of God and, consequently, lead to contempt of man himself. The Lord help us to build peace based on love and mutual understanding.
The Pontiff also travelled to the Faul Valley, where he said Mass. In the homily, he called on Catholics to have the courage to witness to their faith. " The seasons of history pass, -he said recalling the Viterbo native Mario Fani, one of the 'fathers' of Azione Cattolica- social contexts change, but the vocation of Christians to live the Gospel in solidarity with the human family, in step with the times, does not change and does not go out of fashion. This is social commitment, this is proper service of political action, this is integral human development”.
It is a "development" that requires knowledge - and the Pope spoke of an "educational emergency", witness of faith and attention to the"signs of God"; those "deeds and words" through which he continues to reveal his project.
The Pope commented on the Gospel where the healing of the deaf-mute and on the prophet Isaiah (35,4-7): when God is present the eyes of the blind see, the ears of deaf, hear, the lame "jumps" like a deer. Everything is reborn and everything comes back to life because beneficial waters irrigate the desert. The "desert" as symbolic language, can evoke the dramatic events, difficult situations and the loneliness that often marks life, the most profound desert is the human heart, when it loses the ability to listen, speak, communicate with God and with others. It then becomes blind because incapable of seeing reality, it closes its ears to the cries of those who plead for help, it hardens with indifference and selfishness. But now - announces the Prophet - everything is about to change, the "dry land" will be irrigated by a new divine life. And when the Lord comes, to the lost heart of every time he says with authority: "Take courage, fear not! (V. 4)”.
Similarly, in the healing of the deaf-mute, we can see " the ardent desire of Jesus to overcome man’s inability to communicate and loneliness created by selfishness, to give a face to a "new humanity", the humanity of hearing and speech, dialogue , communication, communion. A "good" humanity, as good and the whole creation of God, a humanity without discrimination, without exclusion - as the Apostle James warns in his letter (2:1-5) - that the world really is and for all "a place of genuine brotherhood "(Gaudium et Spes, 37)”.
And to achieve this objective the Pope, quoting the pastoral plan of the Bishop of Viterbo, Msgr. Lorenzo Chiarinelli, stressed the importance of "education in faith, like research, like Christian initiation, as life in Christ. It is - he underlined – “becoming Christian”. The history of the Church, moreover, has "spiritual source" from which "we can safely draw inspiration to address, with clarity and consistency, the inescapable priority of the current "educational emergency", that is a great challenge for every Christian community and for society as a whole".
"The lay faithful, young people and families, do not be afraid to live and witness the faith in the various areas of society, in many situations of human existence."
POLAND: BISHOPS ISSUE A DOCUMENT ON FAMILIES
CNA reports that the Catholic bishops of Poland have issued a document on the value of healthy families and pro-family policies. At one point, they clearly warn Catholic politicians that they risk excommunication if they voice support for or acceptance of abortion.
The 100-page document, titled “To Serve the Truth about Marriage and Family,” is a compilation of Catholic doctrine on the value of family life. It was drafted by the bishops’ Council for Family Issues. Polskie Radio reports that the document discusses the duties of society towards the family as a crucial, fundamental part of a healthy society.
Discussing the duties of Catholic politicians specifically, the document said it is “absolutely not true” that a politician or government member “has to, or can, act against his conscience.”
“When it comes to God's law, everybody is equal, politicians included,” the Polish bishops said.
The bishops said that anyone who publicly contradicts fundamental moral values, such as the commandment “Thou Shall Not Kill,” by voicing support or acceptance of abortion should be immediately excommunicated, Polskie Radio says.
Fr. Andrzej Rebacz, head of the bishops’ Council for Family Affairs and the National Chaplain for Families, commented on the document. He cited Pope John Paul II’s warning about “very strong, organized attacks on marriage and the family” and said these attacks could destroy the “Christian spirit” of Europe.
“These attacks include promotion of sex education at schools,” he added. “We have to remember who was the first to introduce the idea of sex education.”
Fr. Rebacz charged that sex education was developed by the Hungarian György Lukács, whom he described as a “communist ideologue.” The priest said Lukács thought promiscuity was the best method to fight the institution of marriage, “in order to fight Christianity.”
Last year Polish Health Minister Ewa Kopacz, a self-described Catholic, was reported to have arranged an abortion for a 14-year-old. Catholic groups protested and brought up the question of whether she should be excommunicated.
VIETNAM: BISHOP COMPOSES MUSIC & BRINGS SOULS TO CHRIST
UCAN reports that Catholics from Phan Thiet diocese expect their new bishop, a music composer, to bring faith education and a new sense of joy to the local Church.
Bishop Joseph Vu Duy Thong and twochildren sings songs he had composed
Hundreds of people clapped in time to the songs sung by Bishop Joseph Vu Duy Thong of Phan Thiet at his installation ceremony on Sept. 3.
"He (Bishop Thong) sings sweetly and is cheerful," one of the congregation, Anna Le Thi Kim Quy, 49, said. "So I hope he will take active steps to develop the local Church, and especially to rekindle the faith life of young people."
She said as many young people from the coastal area where the diocese is based abuse drugs, steal and are sometimes forced into prostitution.
The diocesan worker for the Church social action agency Caritas said many people in the diocese also live in poverty. She said hopes Bishop Thong will visit them.
Bishop Thong, 57, head of the Episcopal Commission for Cultural Affairs, and Catholic singers sang the songs he had composed to mark his installation ceremony at the cathedral in the coastal city of Phan Thiet.
The bishop, who has produced CDs of religious songs, led the ceremony concelebrated by Cardinal Jean Baptiste Pham Minh Man of Ho Chi Minh city, 11 bishops and 180 priests. Some 1,200 Catholics and Religious attended the event.
In his homily, the former auxiliary bishop of Ho Chi Minh city said he is "simply a member of the local Church" and asked the local people to help him fulfill his episcopal duties.
Pope Benedict XVI named him bishop of Phan Thiet on July 25 after accepting the resignation of Bishop Paul Nguyen Thanh Hoan, who turns 77 on Nov. 1.
Bishop Thong is the third bishop of the 34-year-old diocese and teaches at the Saint Joseph Major Seminary in Ho Chi Minh city, 200 kilometers away. He urged local clergy to work with him to bring the Gospel's values to local Catholics.
Adorers of the Holy Cross Sister Anna Tran Thi Than told UCA News she admired Bishop Thong for his friendliness toward all people. The bishop "is a great gift from God," she said.
Sister Than, 61, also expressed hope that Bishop Thong will boost the faith life of the local Church.
Noting that hundreds of thousands of pilgrims visit the diocesan shrine of Our Lady of Ta Pao every year, she said Bishop Thong should improve the shrine's facilities. Bishop Hoan had declared Dec 8, 2008-Dec 8, 2009 as a special year marking the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the Marian statue here.
Phan Thiet diocese was established on Jan 30, 1975, and covers Binh Thuan province. It has 155,000 Catholics out of a total population of 1.05 million. It has 105 priests and 486 Religious serving 63 parishes and 39 sub-parishes.
Bishop Thong was born on July 2, 1952, in the northern Thai Binh diocese. He was ordained a priest for Ho Chi Minh city archdiocese on Oct 26, 1985 and appointed auxiliary bishop of the archdiocese in 2001.
CRASH VICTIM REMEMBERED DURING MASS
Kokoda plane crash victim Matthew Leonard was remembered as a "superhero" during a funeral Mass held in Perth. The 28 year old was among 13 killed in the ill-fated flight to Papua New Guinea.
Leonard was due to start as a No Roads tour guide of the Kokoda Track, after working previously for the Metropolitan Fire Brigade in Victoria and volunteering with AFIRE in Cambodia, WA Today reported.
Matthew's father and senior WA police officer Bill Leonard told the congregation how his son's first love was Spiderman.
"It was evident from a young age he was always going to be a do-gooder," he said. He also took the time to reflect on the fact that "fathers should not bury their sons".
About 1,000 people attended the ceremony at All Saints Church in Greenwood, including family, friends and girlfriend Lauren Carr, Deputy Police Commissioner Chris Dawson, 30 police, 20 Metropolitan Fire Brigade officers from Victoria and local politicians Kingsley MLA Andrea Mitchell and Liberal MP Luke Simpkin.
Local priest Father Vinh said: "So many people have visited the Leonard family since Matt's passing. There have been so many tears that they could have filled this church today."
Matthew leaves behind mother Anne, father Bill, brothers Russell and Michael and sister Rebecca.
RWANDA: GENOCIDE TRIAL FOR CHURCH MASSACRE
CISA reports that the trial of former businessman Gaspard Kanyarukiga for genocide, complicity in genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide and crimes against humanity began on Monday.Kanyarukiga is being tried in Trial Chamber II, composed of Judges Taghrid Hikmet, Presiding, Seon Ki Park and Joseph Masanche.In its opening remarks the Prosecution told the Trial Chamber that it will call 10 factual witnesses, both survivors and perpetrators of the Nyange Massacres, whose testimony will prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused committed the crimes.Trial Attorney, Ms. Holo Makwaia, stated that thousands of Tutsis were massacred at Nyange Parish when the church was razed to the ground. She added that the Prosecution would present evidence that Kanyarukiga was one of the instrumental persons in the commission of genocide in Nyange Parish.Traditionally, churches were safe havens when attacks occurred. In 1994, this was not the case, the Prosecution told the Court.Kanyarukiga and his co-perpetrators who included Fr Athanase Seromba, (serving life sentence) Gregoire Ndahimana, recently arrested, who was the burgomaster of Kivumu commune, Fulgence Kayishema, a police inspector, Ndugutse Habyambere, still at large, and others teamed up to execute their common objective, that of exterminating the Tutsis of Kivumu Commune.Kanyarukiga was born in 1945 in Kivumu Commune. He was arrested on 16 June 2004 in the Republic of South Africa and was transferred to the UN Detention Facility in Arusha on 19 June 2004.The Defence is led by Counsel Jacobs David from Canada. It will make its opening remarks at a later date. (SOURCE: http://www.cisanewsafrica.org/story.asp?ID=4104
ECUADOR: GOSPEL TO POOR THROUGH STUDENTS
CNA reports that the University of Loja has launched of this year’s missionary outreach program. Since 2004, the program has given college students a chance to bring the gospel “to the poorest communities of Ecuador.” According to the organizers, the program is supported by the president of the Ecuadoran Bishops’ Conference, Bishop Antonio Arregui Yarza, and runs from September 2 through 13. This year’s theme is, “Missionary of Christ, You Are The Hope of Ecuador.” “The intention of this missionary program over the years has been to reach the most fragile regions of our country to bring about humanistic, socio-economic development in communities,” they said. The program also provides assistance to these regions in the form of training workshops and career development. (SOURCE: http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/new.php?n=17031
Feast: September 6
Martyr with Fusculus, Germanus, Laetus, Mansuetus, and Praesidius, duing the severe persecution of the orthodox Church in Africa by the Arian Vandals. All of the martyrs were bishops of northern Africa. Their martyrdom was precipitated by their opposition to the closing of churches by the Arian King Hunneric of the Vandals (r. 477-484). After being tortured, these bishops were abandoned in a desert, where they died of exposure. Laetus was burned to death.
May all Christians be found worthy of either the pure white crown of a holy life or the royal red crown of martyrdom. St. Cyprian
TODAY'S MASS READINGS
YEAR B: 23RD SUN. ORDINARY TIME
Isaiah 35: 4 - 7
Say to those who are of a fearful heart, "Be strong, fear not! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God. He will come and save you."
Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped;
then shall the lame man leap like a hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing for joy. For waters shall break forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert;
the burning sand shall become a pool, and the thirsty ground springs of water; the haunt of jackals shall become a swamp, the grass shall become reeds and rushes.
Psalms 146: 7 - 10
who executes justice for the oppressed; who gives food to the hungry. The LORD sets the prisoners free;
the LORD opens the eyes of the blind. The LORD lifts up those who are bowed down; the LORD loves the righteous.
The LORD watches over the sojourners, he upholds the widow and the fatherless; but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.
The LORD will reign for ever, thy God, O Zion, to all generations. Praise the LORD!
James 2: 1 - 5
My brethren, show no partiality as you hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory.
For if a man with gold rings and in fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in,
and you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, "Have a seat here, please," while you say to the poor man, "Stand there," or, "Sit at my feet,"
have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts?
Listen, my beloved brethren. Has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which he has promised to those who love him?
Mark 7: 31 - 37
Then he returned from the region of Tyre, and went through Sidon to the Sea of Galilee, through the region of the Decap'olis.
And they brought to him a man who was deaf and had an impediment in his speech; and they besought him to lay his hand upon him.
And taking him aside from the multitude privately, he put his fingers into his ears, and he spat and touched his tongue;
and looking up to heaven, he sighed, and said to him, "Eph'phatha," that is, "Be opened."
And his ears were opened, his tongue was released, and he spoke plainly.
And he charged them to tell no one; but the more he charged them, the more zealously they proclaimed it.
And they were astonished beyond measure, saying, "He has done all things well; he even makes the deaf hear and the dumb speak."