Thursday, April 15, 2010
AUSTRALIA: ECOLOGIST FR. MCDONAGH SPEAKS ON PROTECTION OF CREATION-
POPE: THE EUCHARIST: HEART OF CHRISTIAN LIFE
(VIS) - Today the Holy Father received the prelates of the North II Region of the Brazilian National Conference of Bishops on the conclusion of their ad limina visit.
Speaking of the Eucharist, the Pope recalled that it constitutes "the centre and permanent source of the Petrine ministry, the heart of the Christian life, source and summit of the Church's mission of evangelization. You can thus understand the concern of the Successor of Peter for all that can obfuscate this most essential point of the Catholic faith: that today, Jesus Christ continues alive and truly present in the consecrated host and the chalice."
"Paying less attention at times to the rite of the Most Holy Sacrament constitutes," he said, "a sign and a cause of the darkening of the Christian sense of mystery, such as when Jesus is not the centre of the Mass, but rather a community preoccupied with other things instead of being taken up and drawn to the only one necessary: their Lord."
Benedict XVI emphasized that "if the figure of Christ does not emerge from the liturgy ... it is not a Christian liturgy". This is why, he added, "we find those who, in the name of enculturation, fall into syncretism, introducing rites taken from other religions or cultural particularities into the celebration of the Mass."
As Venerable John Paul II wrote, "the mystery of the Eucharist is 'too great a gift' to admit of ambiguities or reductions, above all when, 'stripped of its sacrificial meaning, it is celebrated as if it were simply a fraternal banquet'." The Pope highlighted that "behind many alleged motives, there exists a mentality that is incapable of accepting the real possibility of divine intervention in this world to assist human beings. ... Admitting God's redeeming intervention to change our situation of alienation and sin is seen as fundamentalism by those who share a deist vision and the same can be said about the sacramental sign that makes the salvific sacrifice present. For such persons, the celebration of a sign that corresponds to a vague sentiment of community would be more acceptable." "Worship, however," he continued, "cannot come from our imagination: that would be a cry in the darkness or mere self-affirmation. True liturgy supposes that God responds and shows us how we can adore Him. ... The Church lives in His presence and its reason for being and existing is to expand His presence in the world." The Holy Father concluded, recalling that within a month the 16th National Eucharistic Congress will be celebrated in Brazil. In this context he asked that Jesus in the Eucharist "truly be the heart of Brazil, from which comes the strength for all Brazilian men and women to recognize themselves and help one another as brothers and sisters and as members of Christ. Whoever wishes to live, has a place to live, has something to live for. Let them draw near, create and begin to form part of the Body of Christ and they will be given life."
DECLARATION OF THE PRESS OFFICE DIRECTOR (VIS) - The Holy See Press Office Director, Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J., made the following declaration yesterday afternoon:
"Ecclesial authorities do not consider it within their competency to make general affirmations of a specifically psychological or medical character and therefore naturally must refer to the study of specialists and the inquiries they carry out."
"Concerning the competency of ecclesial authorities, in the area of the causes of abuse of minors on the part of priests, which the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith has faced in recent years, the statistical data related by Msgr. Charles J. Scicluna states that in 10% of cases of pedophilia, in the strict use of the term, 90% should rather be defined as ephebophilia (that is, with adolescents). Further, 60% of those are of a same sex and 30% of a heterosexual character. This, of course, references the problems of abuse on the part of priests and not of the population in general."
ACCORD SIGNED BETWEEN HOLY SEE AND LOWER SAXONY
(VIS) - Last Tuesday, 6 April, an accord between the Holy See and Lower Saxony was signed in Hanover, Germany, modifying the Concord of 26 February 1965.
Archbishop Jean-Claude Perisset, apostolic nuncio to Germany, signed as plenipotent emissary on behalf of the Holy See, and Minister-President Christian Wulff signed for Lower Saxony.
The communique reads that, "the accord modifies Article 6 of the addendum to the accord between the Holy See and Lower Saxony and regulates the juridical position of some Catholic schools administered by the diocese of Hildesheim, Osnabruck, and Munster en ese Land."
MASS FOR VICTIMS OF SMOLENSK ACCIDENT (VIS) - This afternoon at 5:00pm, Cardinal0 Angelo Sodano, dean of the College of Cardinals, will preside at a Mass for the souls of Polish President Lech Kaczynski and the other victims of the airplane accident that occurred on 10 April in Smolensk, Russia. Many members of the Diplomatic Corps and other accredited institutions to the Holy See and the Italian State will participate in the funeral rites.
AUDIENCES: (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:
- Cardinal Ivan Dias, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples.
and six prelates from the National Conference of Bishops of Brazil (North II Region), on their ad limina visit:
- Bishop Alberto Taveira Correa, archbishop of Belem do Para.
- Bishop Luigi Ferrando of Braganca do Para.
- Bishop Carlo Verzeletti of Castanhal.
- Bishop Pedro Jose Conti of Macapa.
- Bishop Jose Foralosso, S.D.B., of Maraba.
-Bishop Esmeraldo Barreto de Faria of Santarem.
OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS (VIS) - Today the Holy Father accepted the resignation of Bishop Jacob Venance Koda from the pastoral care of the Diocese of Same, Tanzania in accordance with Canon 401, para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law.
MYANMAR: BOMBS KILL 30 AND WOUND MANY
Asia News report: Bombs were placed near a pavilion set up to celebrate a water festival near Kandawgyi Lake. State TV reports eight dead. The authorities close emergency ward where injured were taken to stop news leaks. Sources tell AsiaNews the junta wants to fuel a “terror strategy” ahead of upcoming elections.
Yangon (AsiaNews) – Three bombs exploded at a water festival in Yangon on Thursday; killing eight people; wounding 75, state TV reported. Sources told AsiaNews that about 30 people were killed and that the military junta has adopted a “terror strategy” to crush any democratic opposition.
Three bombs exploded in quick succession near Kandawgyi Lake, in Mingalartaungnyunt Township, which was crowded with people enjoying Burma's water festival from 13 to 16 April, a four-day event that marks the start of Burmese New Year.
In a brief statement, state TV announced the death of eight people. The authorities closed the emergency ward in the Yangon hospital where about 30 injured people were rushed to prevent news leaks.
The military junta has not made any statement yet, or blamed any group, dissidents or ethnic minorities, for the attacks.
Local sources told AsiaNews that “more than 30 people died” in the blasts and that dozens of people were injured. The blasts, they said, occurred near medical stand, one of the many areas where “people gather to spray water on each other as dictated by tradition.” The bombs blew up the structure with an “intent to kill”.
In recent days, there were explosions in other parts of the city and elsewhere in the country.
“Bombs are usually placed in public lavatories or trash cans,” the sources said. “But today’s attacks were designed to cause a massacre”. At this time of the year, visitors crowd the festival area, mostly middle class people who support the pro-democracy opposition.
“The attack was a move by the regime. It is connected to the upcoming elections and is an attempt to silence any opposition that might threaten the interests of the military,” the source told AsiaNews. “The goal is to fuel a ‘terror strategy’ and send a ‘warning’ ahead of the poll to those groups and segments of the population that are against the military dictatorship.”
Recently, the leaders of the National League for Democracy (NLD), the country’s main political opposition, announced that they would not register the party, thus staying away from the election. They are against the rules adopted by the Election Commission, which prevent Aung San Suu Kyi, who is still under house arrest, from running.
URUGUAY: BISHOPS CONFERENCE OPENS 1ST PLENARY ASSEMBLY OF 2010
CNA report: Yesterday, the Bishops’ Conference of Uruguay opened its first Plenary Assembly of 2010 in the Uruguayan city of Florida. The meeting runs April 14-21.
According to a press release, the bishops will break from their meeting on April 19 in order to participate in the “national pilgrimage to Our Lady of Verdun in the town of Minas.”
“All the bishops will participate that day at 10 a.m. in a Mass of thanksgiving for the 50th anniversary of the creation of the Diocese of Minas. At that time, “the church dedicated to the Virgin Mary on the hill of Verdun will be declared a national shrine.”
During their assembly, the bishops will discuss the implementation of the Great Continental Mission launched by the Latin American Bishops’ Council at its 2007 meeting in Aparecida, Brazil.
They will also discuss the closing of the Year for Priests in Uruguay, set for May 12 and 13. The event will culminate with a Mass at the National Eucharistic Shrine on Mount Victoria in Montevideo. All priests in Uruguay will be invited to attend.
NIGERIA: YOUTH PROGRAM AT NATIONAL CENTRE FOR NATION YOUTH DAY
All Africa report: Abuja — Ahead the World Youth Day celebration, the Catholic Church has unveiled plans to host a Youth programme this week at the National Christ Centre in Abuja; as part of the second National Youth Day (NYD) Celebration.
According to a press statement made available to THISDAY, Pope Benedict XVI, has permitted the 2011 World Youth Day to be held in Madrid, the capital of Spain. As a result, the Catholic Bishops of Nigeria have scheduled the NYD to take place in Abuja; to allow the Nigerian youths who may not have the opportunity to participate in Madrid to have a feel of the programme.
The Secretary General of the Youth Section, Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria, Rev. Fr., Peter Okonkwo, said that the 2010 National Youth Day celebration is set to target the formation of youths with value driven orientation.
Speaking in a press conference at the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria, Abuja, Rev. Okonkwo said that the NYD celebration is an event that takes place in the week long catholic celebration of youths from around the world, prior to the World Youth Day celebration.
He however called on all Nigerian youths, Catholics and non-Catholics alike, to attend an event that will feature series of event aimed at addressing the issues affecting the youths squarely, that will teach them (youths) civil manners and behaviours, which will help them desist from violent behaviours.
He added that the programme though organised by Catholics is open to all youths not minding the religion. "We have no limitations in our invitation" he said.
Many guest speakers are to speaking on various topics like the Information Minister, Prof. Dora Akunyili, who is to speak on 'Reorientation, towards integral rebranding'; Senate President, Senator David Mark, on 'Role of legislators on youth empowerment'; and Rev. Valerian Okeke on 'Significance of the Cross'.
He noted that the programme is expected to imbue in youths at the end the spirit to shun violence and all kinds of activities capable of causing damage to the society. "It is to challenge the youth to live a value oriented life, to challenge them to embrace integral development, integrity and nobility, and to influence the young people positively by the hierarchies of the church" he said.
ENGLAND: JOURNALIST WRITES BOOK ABOUT SUFFERINGS OF CHILDREN
Catholic Herald report: A Catholic journalist has spoken of how his faith inspired him to investigate human rights abuses in Romanian orphanages.In a new book, Undercover, Chris Rogers relates the story of how he teamed up with the Duchess of York and her daughters to bring the sufferings of abandoned children to the world’s attention. “My Catholic faith plays a major role,” Mr Rogers said, “in my passion as a journalist in exposing human rights abuses.”Mr Rogers’s television documentaries and reports into conditions of neglect and cruelty in Romanian orphanages pricked the conscience of the world and caused concern in the European Union, which admitted Romania as a member in 2006.
The following year, the Duchess of York asked to join his crusade to expose the conditions suffered by abandoned children in other European countries. The result was a undercover trip back to the orphanages of Romania. Undercover is published by Authentic Media.
Subsequently female celebrities – including Louise Redknapp, the Catholic singer, Lisa B and Yasmin LeBon – contacted Mr Rogers. Together they formed a charity, Mothers4Children, which helps neglected children.
ECOLOGIST FR. MCDONAGH SPEAKS ON PROTECTION OF CREATION
Cath News report: Outspoken Irish Columban ecologist Fr Sean McDonagh has told a Sydney audience that a Synod on Creation is necessary if Church teaching on ecology is to grow out of its infancy.
Father McDonagh was speaking last Saturday to a multi-faith audience at Santa Sabina College, Strathfield.
Columban E-News reports that he alluded to Pope Benedict XVI's 2010 New Year Message "If you want to cultivate peace, protect creation."
Father McDonagh welcomed the Pope's insistence that affluent lifestyles have an enormous negative impact on the planet. He also noted that the Pope has called for both intergenerational solidarity and for new relationships between developing and highly industrialized countries which carry a historical responsibility for environments problems.
However he criticised church social doctrine that "fails to give any overall sense of the magnitude of the current ecological crisis."
He suggested that it passes over the destruction of global biodiversity, or, in theological language, the irreversible destruction of God's creation.
He lamented that current Church ecological analysis gives no sense of the urgency of this situation in spite of the Vatican delegation lending its support to the robust 40% reduction target at Copenhagen.
He said 'the fault lies in tending to ignore data-focused nature of ecology'. This often stems from Church misgivings about ideas which challenge the "hubris" of believing that humans are the only beings on earth that have intrinsic value.
"It is not clear to me whether the Pope is challenging the Darwinian understanding of evolution through natural selection?' Church coinage of such terms as "human ecology" seems at odds with what we know from various sciences," said Father McDonagh.
However one of the three respondents to the lecture, recently appointed Chair of Catholic Earthcare Australia, Bishop Julian Porteous, called for prudence in accepting scientific data on such issues as climate change.
Sts. Basilissa and Anastasia
MARTYRS AND DISCIPLES OF STS. PETER AND PAUL
Feast: April 15
Information: Feast Day: April 15
According to tradition, Basilissa and Anastasia were noble Roman women who recovered the remains of Peter and Paul for burial. As a result, they were arrested and beheaded by order of Emperor Nero.
John 3: 31 - 36
31 He who comes from above is above all; he who is of the earth belongs to the earth, and of the earth he speaks; he who comes from heaven is above all.
32 He bears witness to what he has seen and heard, yet no one receives his testimony;
33 he who receives his testimony sets his seal to this, that God is true.
34 For he whom God has sent utters the words of God, for it is not by measure that he gives the Spirit;
35 the Father loves the Son, and has given all things into his hand.
36 He who believes in the Son has eternal life; he who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God rests upon him.