Catholic World News: Thurs. Sept. 10, 2009:HEADLINES:
AMERICAS: MEXICO: MURDER OF REPRESENTATIVE JOSE FUENTES-
EUROPE: ENGLAND: ACTOR SPEAKS AT CATHOLIC YOUTH FESTIVAL-
AFRICA: KENYA: ARCHBISHOP SPEAKS ON NATIONAL ISSUES-
ASIA: CHINA: TIBETAN MONK TORTURED & KILLED-
AUSTRALIA: FR TOM WHITE FOUNDER OF ENQUIRY CENTRE DIES-
POPE: RELIGIOUS DIMENSION OF THE ENVIRONMENT
DISCOVER SPIRITUAL, RELIGIOUS DIMENSION OF THE ENVIRONMENT VATICAN CITY, 10 SEP 2009 (VIS) - This morning in the Apostolic Palace of Castelgandolfo Benedict XVI received a group of sponsors of the Holy See's Pavilion at "Expo Zaragoza 2008", an international exposition held in the Spanish city of Zaragoza in 2008 on the theme: "Water and sustainable development". The group included Francisco Vazquez, Spanish ambassador to the Holy See, and Archbishop Manuel Urena Pastor of Zaragoza. In his address the Pope noted how the pavilion, which "was one of the most visited and appreciated, contained an important display of the priceless artistic, cultural and religious heritage of the Church. The aim of this initiative was to offer the many visitors an opportunity to reflect upon the significance and primordial importance water has for human life". "By participating in the exposition", the Holy Father explained, "the Holy See wished to demonstrate not only the urgent need constantly to defend the environment and the natural world, but also to discover its more profound spiritual and religious dimension. ... The truth is that when God, through creation, gave man the keys to the earth, He wanted him to use this great gift responsibly and respectfully, making it fruitful. ... In this context it is important to reiterate the close relationship between protection of the environment and respect for the ethical requirements of human nature, because 'when human ecology is respected within society, environmental ecology also benefits'". Pope Benedict XVI concluded his remarks by entrusting the promoters of the Holy See pavilion to Our Lady of the Pillar "at whose feet flow the abundant waters of the River Ebro".AC/ENVIRONMENT/EXPO 2008 VIS 090910 (280)
HOLY FATHER TO MEET WITH ARTISTS ON 21 NOVEMBER VATICAN CITY, 10 SEP 2009 (VIS) - A press conference was held in the Holy See Press Office this morning to present Benedict XVI's forthcoming meeting with artists, which is due to take place in the Sistine Chapel on 21 November. Among those participating in the press conference were Archbishop Gianfranco Ravasi, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture and of the Pontifical Commission for the Cultural Patrimony of the Church, and Antonio Paolucci, director of the Vatican Museums. Archbishop Ravasi explained how his dicastery is promoting and organising the meeting, which will coincide with the tenth anniversary of John Paul II's Letter to Artists of 4 April 1999, and the forty-fifth anniversary of Paul VI's meeting with artists of 7 May 1964. "The aim of the meeting", said the archbishop, "is to renew friendship and dialogue between the Church and artists, and to encourage new opportunities for collaboration". For his part, Antonio Paolucci explained how the artists invited, their numbers necessarily limited due to the space available in the Sistine Chapel, come from all the continents, "They are", he said, "men and women of different cultures and languages: ... painters, sculptors, architects, writers and poets, musicians and singers, directors and actors from cinema and theatre, dancers". On the evening of 20 November, before their meeting with the Holy Father on 21 November, the artists will visit the Vatican Museums' collection of modern and contemporary art, which was created at the express wish of Paul VI.OP/MEETING POPE ARTISTS/RAVASI:PAOLUCCI VIS 090910 (260)
AUDIENCES VATICAN CITY, 10 SEP 2009 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences five prelates from the National Conference of Bishops of Brazil, on their "ad limina" visit: - Archbishop Fernando Antonio Saburido O.S.B. of Olinda and Recife. - Bishop Bernardino Marchio of Caruaru. - Bishop Adriano Ciocca Vasino of Floresta. - Bishop Fernando Jose Monteiro Guimares C.SS.R. of Garanhuns. - Bishop Severino Batista de Franca O.F.M. Cap. of Nazare.AL/.../... VIS 090910 (80)
OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS VATICAN CITY, 10 SEP 2009 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed: - Msgr. Juan Fernando Usma Gomez, official of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, as bureau chief at the same dicastery. - Msgr. Boguslaw Turek C.S.M.A. as bureau chief at the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.NA/.../USMA:TUREK VIS 090910 (60)
MEXICO: MURDER OF REPRESENTATIVE JOSE FUENTES
CNA reports that in a statement condemning the murder of Representative Jose Fuentes Esperon, his wife and their two children, Bishop Benjamin Castillo Plascencia of Tabasco, Mexico called on all Mexicans to pray and work for an end to the violence. “I think acts like these affect us and are of interest to us all and therefore we all must be involved in remedying the violence that our society is experiencing, because these events are nothing more than evidence of social dissolution. Violence is now taking over our lives and it must be eradicated from society. Crimes like these have no justification,” the bishop said. He urged Mexicans to find the roots of such violence and to work to overcome it. “No one can say they see speck in the eyes of the authorities and ignore log that it is one’s own home. Violence begins there, but we must remain calm, maintain unity and participate not as mere spectators but with real change, eradicating violence from our homes,” Bishop Castillo said. Mexicans must not leave everything in the hands of the government. Instead, they must help their children to rediscover that Christian and moral values are a true remedy for overcoming violence, he added. After calling for investigations into the assassination, Bishop Castillo asked for calm as the campaign season continues forward. “If any candidate moves up by hurting another, he better not expect to be respected by others,” the bishop said. (SOURCE: http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/new.php?n=17065
ENGLAND: ACTOR SPEAKS AT CATHOLIC YOUTH FESTIVAL
CNA reports that Catholic actor Eduardo Verastegui was one of several speakers at an annual festival held at Walsingham, England during the country’s August bank holiday weekend. About 1,500 young people took part in the five day session of camping, music and Catholic renewal. Verastegui told the youthful audience that they were called to holiness in their everyday lives, according to a press release from Youth 2000. He also spoke to the young pilgrims about chastity.
He explained that after his conversion he refused film scripts that did not promote Christian values.
“I was without work for four years,” he said.
He told the audience he had felt called to become a missionary in the Brazilian jungle, but a priest told him “Hollywood is your jungle.”
Verastegui founded Metanoia Films, a company dedicated to producing films that are upbeat and promote virtue. The actor starred in Metanoia’s 2007 film “Bella” about the story of a young girl who was considering an abortion.
The festival was entirely youth-led and featured testimonies and prayer and worship in the style of the World Youth Days. There were also opportunities for small group discussion, sports and socializing.
Some attendees came from as far away as Germany and Spain.
Michelle Moran, a member of the Pontifical Council of the Laity, was another of the festival’s inspirational speakers. She told the audience that the Holy Spirit has been “poured into our lives” so that we can “grow in holiness.”
“And then in the spirit of Pentecost we can reach out to others and become agents of the new evangelization,” she continued.
Fr. Steven Langridge, Vocations Director for the Archdiocese of Southwark, was one of the many priests who celebrated Mass and heard confessions. In a homily he encouraged the young people to be generous in the discernment of their vocations.
“The world needs heroes!” he said.
Fr. Stephen Wang, chaplain to Youth 2000, told young people: “The holiness you have found here is also found in your parishes – live your faith in your parishes and allow it to come alive in your daily lives.”
Noel Murphy, the 31-year-old National Director of Youth 2000, said the group was “delighted” at the festival’s success.
“The number of young people who have attended for the first time and whose lives have been touched is quite moving. We are encouraging them to return to their parishes and get involved, to evangelize their friends, and continue living the Christian life rooted in the sacraments and prayer.”
“We are especially delighted that Eduardo Verastegui was able to join us,” Murphy continued. “It is hard to live your faith as a young Catholic and Eduardo’s talk was a strong encouragement to young people to stand up for their Christian values. Young people of this country need role models like Eduardo.”
The group Youth 2000, which sponsored the event, aims to provide a “gateway” back into the Church for those in their late teens and twenties who no longer practice their faith. The festivals are donation-only and introduce attendees to the basics of Catholic faith and prayer.
The next Youth 2000 festival is scheduled to take place in Carmarthen from October 30 to November 1. Organizers are seeking funds to finance their events.
More information on Youth 2000 is at http://www.youth2000.org/.
KENYA: ARCHBISHOP SPEAKS ON NATIONAL ISSUES
CISA reports that a statement issued today by the Catholic Justice and Peace Commission (CJPC) on issues of national concern in Kenya:LET US SAVE OUR NATIONPreambleWe, the Catholic Justice and Peace Commissioners drawn from all the Catholic dioceses in Kenya, gathered in Mariapolis Centre for our Annual General Meeting from 6th to 10th September, are highly concerned about the following issues that are currently affecting our nation.Increased Border ConflictIt is with great concern that Catholic Justice and Peace Commission has noted a major increase in border conflicts in Kenya especially our borders with Somalia, Sudan, Ethiopia and Uganda. This is worrying because a state that cannot protect its citizens and their sovereignty is a failing state. Such a state does not inspire confidence of its citizens. We urge the government to act swiftly to address border conflicts before they escalate.InsecurityCurrently, insecurity is rampant in the country and Kenyans have become hostages in their own country. We are concerned about the killing of innocent people by militia, vigilante groups, police and other security forces; increased cases of abduction and carjacking. Recently taxi drivers have been targeted and nothing has been done. Organized violence has destroyed the African identity. This is occurring through incitement, exploitation by the political elite and the inability by a majority in making a living from day to day with about half of the population living below the poverty line. As a result of this there is an increase in the number of widows, widowers and orphans. The Government has a mandate on security and therefore it is her responsibility to ensure that all people living in Kenya are safe and secure. The Government should make sufficient investment in suggested police reforms.Food securitySerious thought and effort needs to be put by the Government and Kenyans towards food security. Currently in this country we have the capacity to feed our country and even other countries but year after year Kenyans still die of starvation. The President has declared drought as a national disaster. As much as the Church is in favour of a free market economy the government should provide a framework that ensures that prices of basic needs such as maize meal, oil, vegetables are within reach for all Kenyans. The time has come for the Government to empower farmers by introducing subsidies in the agricultural sector. Kenyans also have a responsibility to practise good farming methods such as organic farming and contribute to feeding the nation. If the Government is able and willing to pipe oil from Mombasa to neighbouring countries it should equally be able to pump water from water bodies to arid and semi-arid areas in the country for irrigation purposes.EnvironmentIn Genesis 1: 27 – 28, God created man and woman and entrusted them with the goods of the earth for the common good. Unregulated encroachment of the water catchment areas like Mau, Mt. Kenya and Aberdares Forests has adversely affected our country. Rivers, lakes, dams and other water sources are running dry, food is scarce, there is high power rationing, desertification is on the rise and irrigations schemes are in peril.This problem is urgent and needs to be addressed now and we observe that the two years is too long for the Mau Taskforce. The government needs to come up with a humane policy to resettle Kenyans living in the Mau Forest and other Catchments areas and embark on reforestation. We are called upon to properly utilise our resources not just for ourselves but for future generations in line with the principle of stewardship.“Our duties towards the environment are linked to our duties towards the human person. It would be wrong to uphold one while trampling the other.” (Pope Benedict XVI Caritas In Veritate)Internally Displaced PersonsOver a year and a half down the road we still have Internally Displaced Persons scattered across our country in IDP and Transition Camps. Are they really Kenyans when their plight is forgotten? Operation Rudi Nyumbani appears to have become Operation Sahau IDPs. Our brothers and sisters are still sleeping in the cold, hungry, vulnerable and awaiting justice. Let us not forget them and endeavour to improve their situation so that they can feel that they are Kenyans. We urge the Government to look at various concerns of IDPs and resolve the issues amicably once and for all.Transitional JusticeThe TJRC was conceived to address primarily historical injustices in our country. Transitional justice can only be successful if the all the pillars are there; Accountability, Truth Recovery, Institutional Reforms and Reparations. Justice must be seen to be done at all levels. Justice Delayed is Justice Denied. We ask our leaders to give Kenyans correct information and guidance. There is no “either, or” debate Kenya must have a Special Tribunal to deal with those who bear the greatest responsibility for atrocities committed during the 2007/2008 Post Election Violence; and the masterminds and financiers should go to the International Criminal Court.For meaningful reconciliation and healing there must be restorative justice for the victims. This is an important process for Kenyans and the Truth, Justice and Reconciliation Commission should be allowed to do its work unfettered.“Love and Truth will meet; Justice and Peace will kiss. Truth will spring from the earth; Justice will look down from heaven.” (Psalms 85: 11-12)Implementation/enforcement of commission reports, policies and reformsTime has come for the government to fully implement the various Commission and Taskforces’ recommendations. The Waki (Post Election Violence), Kriegler (2007 Elections), Ndung’u (Land), Ransley (Police Reforms) and Akiwumi (Ethnic Land Clashes) Reports amongst others must be put into operation.We note that our country is famous for instituting Commissions and Taskforces on every case or problem that arises without implementation of the recommendations generated thereafter. Surely this is a very poor way of spending public funds?We commend the Cabinet for ratifying the National Land Policy; it is our hope that this was not just a gimmick to have this crucial and long overdue policy shot down in Parliament. Land is an important component of the economic system. Access and ownership of land should not be limited to private gain; rather, it should be tied to usage and guaranteeing food security for the nation.Impunity and CorruptionWe are concerned about the continued wrong decisions made by the leadership without further reflections on the consequences to the citizenry of Kenya such as the culture of extra-judicial killing, ad hoc creation of districts, looting public coffers, land grabbing and rampant corruption. Decisions are made without consultation and Kenyans views and interests are not taken into consideration. It is our prayer that various appointments are made in the spirit of consultation, transparency and accountability. Unhindered accumulation of wealth amidst a sea of poverty is immoral and contrary to the principle of economic justice.We are concerned about the raising of the retirement age from 55 years to 60 years; when will qualified young Kenyans get the opportunity to serve?ConstitutionThe Catholic Justice and Peace Commission is currently carrying out Constitutional Education for the public. The Commission is closely following the Road Map to a New Constitution and we appreciate the commitment shown by the Committee of Experts. We call upon all Kenyans to engage meaningfully with the process towards a just and democratic constitution. We are hopeful that the committee will deliver the long awaited constitution for Kenyans.ConclusionAs the Church, we are called upon to be the voice of the voiceless, and to be in solidarity with the oppressed. The Church’s Social Doctrine becomes judge and defender of unrecognised and violated rights, especially those of the poor, the least and the weak.“I am the way, the truth and the light” John 16:10Signed: Archbishop Zacchaeus Okoth, Chairman Catholic Justice and Peace Commission (SOURCE:
CHINA: TIBETAN MONK TORTURED & KILLED
AsiaNews reports that a Tibetan monk from Drepung monastery died from torture during detention. Lhundup Phuntsok, 32, from Drepung Monastery, was arrested March 10, 2008, during demonstrations in Lhasa. His body was handed over to family members in late August. No news of another monk from the same monastery held for over a year in police custody. The Buddhist religious was arrested during the riots in Lhasa in March 2008, which caused the deaths of hundreds of Tibetans and the arrest of thousands more.
The Tibetan Center for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) announced today that it has received reports from reliable sources that the monk Phuntsok Lhundup (secular name: Kalden - see photo), 32 years, from the village n.8 of Tos-doe, Phenpo Lhundup County, near Lhasa died while in prison due to torture. He is believed toh ave died in mid-August. His family received the lifeless body of their relative at the end of August.
On 10 March 2008 Phuntsok, along with 300 other monks at the Drepung Monastery attended a peaceful march to protest against Chinese policy in Tibet. He and dozens of monks were arrested by security forces.
Since his arrest until a few days ago nothing was heard of him. Nobody, not even his family or fellow monks from the monastery have ever received any information about his detention.
According to TCHRD sources, Phuntsok died in prison in mid-August, suffering torture, abuse and isolation. The same sources point out that a brother monk of Phuntsok Samdup, also from Drepung Monastery, and also arrested on 10 March 2008. Nothing has been heard of him either.
Irish born Fr Thomas Augustine White died on Sunday, the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference said in a press release. His funeral will take place in Melbourne on today.
Fr White undertook the work to establish the Catholic Enquiry Centre in 1958. The Centre was aimed at reaching out to non-Catholics who wished to learn more about the faith, with a particular focus on non-Catholics who were marrying Catholics. He took the role of founding Director of the CEC in 1959.
"Through his dedication and leadership, Fr White inspired many to join the work of the Catholic Enquiry Centre and left a legacy that continues the work of Evangelisation 50 years later," said Archbishop John Bathersby, the Chairman of the Bishops Commission for Mission and Faith Formation.
"The Catholic Enquiry Centre today continues to reach out to all people who are interested in learning more about the Catholic faith.
"Whether it is through initiatives like cinema advertising, or by providing information online, in newspapers or on television, the evangelising work carried out by the Centre today has grown from the seeds sown by Fr White."
He was born in County Tipperary, Ireland on August 17 1923 and ordained to the priesthood on June 6 1948 in the College Chapel, St Patrick's College, Carlow when he was 24. The following year, he arrived in Melbourne, beginning his long ministry in Australia.
Fr White has served as Assistant Priest at St Joseph's Northcote in March 1949 and Our Lady of Victories at Camberwell from January 1955.
In March 1972 he returned to the Archdiocese of Melbourne and was appointed as Parish Priest of St Raphael's West Preston, followed in September 1973 as Parish Priest of St Mary's Dandenong.
In 1973 and 1974, Fr White had two brief appointments as Assistant Priest in Sacred Heart Newport and St Cecilia's South Camberwell, before returning to St Joseph's Northcote as Parish Priest in 1974.
He was appointed Parish Priest of Stella Maris Beaumaris on January 22 1977 and while continuing this role took on the role of Administrator of St Joseph's at Black Rock.
"As Pastor Emeritus since February 1999, Fr White had continued his interest in the work of the Catholic Enquiry Centre," Archbishop Bathersby said. "The Catholic Church in Australia will always be grateful to him for the important evangelising work he started and which continues today." (SOURCE: http://www.cathnews.com/article.aspx?aeid=16382
St. Nicholas of Tolentino
Feast: September 10
5 June (Pentecost) 1446 by Pope Eugene IV
animals; babies; boatmen; dying people; mariners; sailors; sick animals; souls in purgatory; watermen
This Nicholas was born in answer to his mother's prayers. Childless and in middle age, she had made a pilgrimage with her husband to the shrine of St. Nicholas of Bari to ask for a son whom she promised to dedicate to God's service. When her wish was granted, she named the boy Nicholas and he soon gave unusual signs of saintliness. Already at seven he would hide away in a nearby cave and pray there like the hermits whom he had observed in the mountains. As soon as he was old enough he was received into the Order of Augustinian friars. On account of his kind and gentle manner his superiors entrusted him with the daily feeding of the poor at the monastery gates, but at times he was so free with the friary's provisions that the procurator begged the superior to check his generosity. He was ordained in 1271 and said his first Mass with exceptional fervor; thereafter, whenever he celebrated the holy Mystery he seemed aglow with the fire of his love. His preaching, instructions and work in the confessional brought about numerous conversions, and his many miracles were responsible for more, yet he was careful not to take any credit for these miracles. "Say nothing of this," he would insist, "give thanks to God, not to me. I am only a vessel of clay, a poor sinner." He spent the last thirty years of his life in Tolentino, where the Guelfs and the Ghibellines were in constant strife. Nicholas saw only one remedy to the violence: street preaching, and the success of this apostolic work was astounding. "He spoke of the things of heaven," says his biographer St. Antonine. "Sweetly he preached the divine word, and the words that came from his lips fell like flames of fire. Among his hearers could be seen the tears and heard the sighs of people detesting their sins and repenting of their past lives." During the last years of his life St. Nicholas was bedridden and suffered grievously. He died surrounded by his community. In 1345 a lay Brother cut off the arms of his body intending to take them to Germany as relics, and the friars then hid his body to prevent further attempts of this kind. It has not been found to this day, but the arms have been preserved. It is recorded that they have bled on several occasions, usually, it is said, before some calamity that befell the Church or the world(SOURCE: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/N/stnicholasoftolentino.asp
"But I say to you that hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,
bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.
To him who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also; and from him who takes away your coat do not withhold even your shirt.
Give to every one who begs from you; and of him who takes away your goods do not ask them again.
And as you wish that men would do to you, do so to them.
"If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them.
And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same.
And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to receive as much again.
But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for he is kind to the ungrateful and the selfish.
Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.
"Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven;
give, and it will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For the measure you give will be the measure you get back."