Wednesday, May 19, 2010
CATHOLIC WORLD NEWS: WED. MAY 19, 2010: HEADLINES-
VATICAN: POPE: BENEDICT XVI RECALLS HIS RECENT TRIP TO PORTUGAL-
ASIA: BANGLADESH: UNKNOWN VICTIM BURIED IN CATHOLIC CEMETERY-
AMERICA: USA: MOTHER ANGELICA RECEIVES HONORARY DEGREE FROM AVE MARIA-
EUROPE: ENGLAND: NEW EFFORT TO RAISE SUPPORT FOR MISSIONARY PRIESTS-
AFRICA: NIGERIA: BISHOPS CALL ON PRESIDENT TO FIGHT CORRUPTION-
AUSTRALIA: CANTEENS BUILT BY CATHOLIC SCHOOL SYSTEM SAVE GOV. FUNDS-
POPE: BENEDICT XVI RECALLS HIS RECENT TRIP TO PORTUGAL
VATICAN CITY, 19 MAY 2010 (VIS) - During his general audience this morning, Benedict XVI reminisced about his recent apostolic trip to Portugal, which took place from 11 to 14 May to mark the tenth anniversary of the beatification of the shepherd children Jacinta and Francisco.
The Holy Father began by explaining how throughout his journey he had felt the "spiritual support" of his predecessor John Paul II, "who visited Fatima three times, to give thanks for the 'invisible hand' that delivered him from death in the attack of 13 May here in St. Peter's Square".
During Mass in the capital city of Lisbon, "whence over the centuries so many missionaries left to carry the Gospel to other continents", the Pope had called the local Church "to vigorous evangelising activity in the various areas of society, in order to sow hope in a world often marked by mistrust". In particular he had encouraged believers "to announce the death and resurrection of Christ, the core of Christianity, fulcrum and support of our faith and the reason for our joy".
Benedict XVI then went on to refer to his meeting with representatives from the world of culture, where he had "underlined the heritage of values with which Christianity has enriched the culture, art and tradition of the Portuguese people. In that noble land, as in every country deeply marked by Christianity, it is possible to build a future of fraternal understanding and collaboration with other cultures, opening reciprocally to sincere and respectful dialogue", he said.
In Fatima, "a town marked by an atmosphere of authentic mysticism, in which the presence of the Virgin is almost palpable", the Pope had been "a pilgrim among other pilgrims", who presented Our Lady with "the joys and expectations, as well as the problems and sufferings of the whole world", said the Holy Father.
He also recalled how he had celebrated Vespers in Fatima's church of the Blessed Trinity with priests, religious and deacons of Portugal, thanking them "for their witness, often silent and not always easy, and for their faithfulness to the Gospel and to the Church", inviting them to follow, in this Year for Priests, "the shining example of the 'Cure of Ars'".
The Pope mention the Rosary he had prayed with hundreds of thousands of people on the evening of 12 May, vigil of the anniversary of the first apparition of the Virgin. "This prayer, so dear to Christian people, has found in Fatima a driving force for all the Church and the world", he said. "We could say that Fatima and the Rosary are almost synonymous".
During the Mass of 13 May, celebrated on the esplanade of Fatima in the presence of half a million people, the Pope had reaffirmed that "the demanding but consoling message the Virgin left us at Fatima is full of hope. It is a message that focuses on prayer, penance and conversion, a message projected beyond the threats, dangers and horrors of history, inviting humankind to have faith in the action of God, to cultivate great hope, and to experience the grace of the Lord in order to love Him, the source of love and peace".
In his meeting with pastoral care organisations, Benedict XVI recalled how he had "indicated the example of the Good Samaritan, in order to meet the requirements of our most needy brothers and sisters, and to serve Christ by promoting the common good".
In his celebration of the Eucharist in Porto, "the city of the Virgin", the Pope had highlighted "the duty to bear witness to the Gospel in all environments, offering Christ to the world so that all situations of difficulty, suffering and fear may be transformed by the Holy Spirit into an opportunity for growth and life".
"'Wisdom and Mission' was the motto of my apostolic trip to Portugal", Pope Benedict concluded his reminiscences. "In Fatima the Blessed Virgin Mary invites us to walk with hope, letting ourselves be guided by the 'wisdom from on high' which was manifested in Jesus, the wisdom of love, to bring the light and joy of Christ into the world".
POPE TO BLESS VIRGIN OF MONTE MARIO, VISIT DOMINICAN NUNS
VATICAN CITY, 19 MAY 2010 (VIS) - The Holy See Press Office today announced that at 10.30 a.m. on 24 June Benedict XVI will visit the Don Orione Centre located in Rome's Monte Mario district to bless a statue of the Virgin "Salus populi romani". The statue, which looks out over the city, has recently been restored and replaced on its tower.
The great statue of Our Lady, nine metres high and made of gilded copper, fell from its nineteen-metre pedestal in a storm and high winds on 12 October last year.
The fall of the statue elicited a great swell of affection and devotion on the part of the authorities and people of the capital, who requested to see it back in place as soon as possible.
Benedict XVI himself, in a message sent to the superior general of the Orionine Fathers, had expressed the hope "that the statue be replaced as soon as possible for the devotion of all Romans". The Holy Father's brief pilgrimage, and his blessing of the restored statue of the Virgin, has great religious and civil significance for the whole city, because the statue is a memory of historical events inscribed in the poplar imagination.
Benedict XVI's visit to Monte Mario also coincides with the 'Feast of the Pope' which the Orione Family promotes all over the world, following a tradition begun by St. Luigi Orione.
The Holy Father will then go on to visit the Dominican convent of Santa Maria del Rosario in Monte Mario, where he will meet the cloistered nuns. The convent contains the seventh-century icon of the Virgin "Hagiosoritissa", known as Our Lady of St. Luke, as well as precious relics of St. Dominic, St. Catherine of Siena and other Dominican saints.
The Pope is expected to return to the Vatican at about midday.
OP/ VIS 20100519 (320)
OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS
VATICAN CITY, 19 MAY 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father:
- Appointed Bishop Giovanni Santucci of Massa Marittima - Piombino, Italy, as bishop of Massa Carrara - Pontremoli (area 1,174, population 204,110, Catholics 199,000, priests 161, permanent deacons 28, religious 233), Italy. He succeeds Bishop Eugenio Binni, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.
- Appointed Bishop Canisio Klaus of Diamantino, Brazil, as bishop of Santa Cruz do Sul (area 17,568, population 555,000, Catholics 470,000, priests 85, permanent deacons 22, religious 255), Brazil. He succeeds Bishop Aloisio Sinesio Bohn, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.
BANGLADESH: UNKNOWN VICTIM BURIED IN CATHOLIC CEMETERY
Asia News report: The identity of the victim, whose body was found April 30 at the edge of a road, is unknown. The authorities have entrusted the task of burial to the Catholic Church because she wore a medallion with the image of the Virgin Mary. The body showed signs of violence.
Dhaka (AsiaNews) - The identity of the Bangladeshi woman, victim on 30 April of a probable murder, remains unknown, but she can at least rest in peace - buried in a Christian cemetery in Dhaka. For more than two weeks, her body was kept in a morgue. On 16 May the judge ordered Christian burial rites. The decision was taken because the murdered woman wore a necklace with the image of the Virgin Mary.
Sahjahan Hossain deputy inspector of police in Badda - a sub-district of Dhaka - reports that "on April 30 last we found the body of a dead woman wrapped in blankets in a manhole at the roadside." The body showed signs of torture and abuse, especially to the neck and head. But the police officer’s attention was attracted by a medal with the image of the Virgin Mary, which she wore at the time of the murder, and from which they deduced her "probable" Christian faith.
The woman's corpse was held in the morgue for 19 days, without anyone coming forward to indentify the body. Pictures of the woman were released in newspapers and on TV, but to no avail. On 16 May, the chief judge of Dhaka ordered her burial in the Christian cemetery of the capital, the police, meanwhile, have opened an investigation for murder against unknown persons.
At first the authorities have sought the aid of Anjuman Mopfidul, who deals with the burial of unidentified bodies. He objected, explaining that the woman was wearing a Christian medal and should not be buried among Muslims.
When police issued the clearance, Fr. Joyti Costa of St. Mary's Cathedral, celebrated the funeral and proceeded to give a decent burial to the unidentified body. A decision welcomed by human rights activists, who applaud the choice of the Catholic Church to "look first of all to love of the person, rather than the religion they belong to".
USA: MOTHER ANGELICA RECEIVES HONORARY DEGREE FROM AVE MARIA
In the resolution attending the award at the school's commencement ceremonies, Ave Maria Law President and Dean Eugene R. Milhizer praised Mother Angelica as "a robust advocate for the unborn child" and "an icon in the Catholic media."
Milhizer also lauded the 87-year-old for having "served the Roman Catholic Church with outstanding devotion" and having "been in the vanguard of the renewal of religious life following Vatican II."
As revealed in her biography, penned by EWTN's Raymond Arroyo, Mother Angelica’s life is remarkable for her unwavering dedication to upholding authentic Catholicism, even as left-leaning Catholic bishops fought vigorously to take over the network that now broadcasts uniquely and staunchly pro-life and pro-family Catholic programming around the world.
Born Rita Antoinette Rizzo, Mother Angelica is a Poor Clare Nun of Perpetual Adoration who founded Our Lady of the Angels Monastery in Irondale, Alabama in 1961, before beginning the Eternal Word Television Network in a garage on the monastery property twenty years later. Mother Angelica relocated the Monastery in 1991 to the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Hanceville, Alabama, where she remains with her burgeoning young community of contemplative nuns. At a time when the often heterodox "social justice" brand of Catholicism was entering the mainstream, Mother Angelica's hard-headed determination to follow Christ motivated her to pursue a different path.
After learning to her horror that Jesus was portrayed by a woman in a Stations of the Cross play at World Youth Day in 1993, broadcast live on EWTN, Mother Angelica fumed: "Enough is enough. I'm tired of inclusive language that refuses to admit that the Son of God is a man. I'm tired of you, liberal church in America. You're sick."
After that, Mother Angelica revamped her image, and acquired a zeal for traditional Catholicism - attracting scorn even from Catholic sources, such as the National Catholic Reporter, which criticized the nun's approach as lacking in intellectual sophistication. Yet Mother Angelica's charm, wit and profound wisdom on spiritual matters continued to win her admirers around the world.EWTN, available on television in 140 countries and territories, and over the internet and on the radio around the world, is now famous for putting the deeply pro-life and pro-family teachings of the Catholic church on a pedestal, by featuring prominent conservative figures such as Fr. John Corapi, Fr. Benedict Groeschel, Fr. Mitch Pacwa, Fr. Thomas Euteneuer of HLI and Fr. Frank Pavone of Priests for Life.
ENGLAND: NEW EFFORT TO RAISE SUPPORT FOR MISSIONARY PRIESTS
CNA report: In an effort to raise funds in support of missionary priests, a Catholic charity is urging the faithful in the United Kingdom to offer Masses in honor of the Pope and his upcoming visit to the area.
As an incentive to donate to their charity, Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) is compiling a list of names of those who participate and will present a commemorative book to the Holy Father or his U.K. representative when he visits this September.
ACN reported on Monday that stipends from the Masses, for which there are suggested donation amounts, will benefit priests within the organization who do missionary work in countries were Christianity has been suppressed.
“At this moment, more than ever, our Holy Father and all priests need our prayers and support,” said Neville Kyrke-Smith, ACN national director on Monday.
“We must invoke the Holy Spirit and ask the prayers of our Blessed Mother to strengthen their faith and renew the priesthood,” he added.
The charity is placing a particular emphasis on the Middle East in response to Benedict XVI comments about how the Church is threatened in that region. ACN has been active in providing financial assistance to beleaguered Catholics in the area.
In addition to providing monetary assistance, ACN suggested that spiritual gifts, such as Eucharistic adoration or rosaries, can be offered in support of the Pope and the work of the organization.
For more information, please visit: http://www.acnuk.org/pages/papal-gifts.html
NIGERIA: BISHOPS CALL ON PRESIDENT TO FIGHT CORRUPTION
All Africa report: Some Catholic Bishops on Sunday called on President Goodluck Jonathan to put in more effort in fighting corruption, and ensuring credible elections in 2011.
Emmanuel Badejo of the Oyo Diocese, Alaba Job of Ibadan Archdiocese and Joseph Bagobiri of Kafanchan Diocese, who spoke in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja, also called on Jonathan to tackle the energy problem.
Badejo said the biggest challenge for the new President was to tackle corruption, saying "the President is aware of the challenges facing Nigerians, the issue of power, communication, roads and poverty must all be addressed.
"His name is already positive, we wish him well, the way he has come, we know is God's will; so, he should cooperate with the grace of God and help Nigerians to come out of poverty."
Alaba-Job said the new President should ensure that he conducted 2011 elections in a credible manner, adding that "for the elections to be free and fair, the Uwais report should be implemented and he should make sure that sincere people coordinate the elections.
"Also, there should be liberty for the church and other organisations to monitor the elections."
Job, who also is the President of Catholic Bishops' Conference of Nigeria (CBCN), urged Nigerians to cooperate and support Jonathan "as God has blessed us with so many resources both human and natural, to bring new hope to the nation".
Bagobiri, the Bishop of Kafanchan Diocese, advised Jonathan to put personal gains aside and act by God's divine providence to do his best to put the country in the right direction.
CANTEENS BUILT BY CATHOLIC SCHOOL SYSTEM SAVE GOV. FUNDS
Cath News report: School canteens built by the Catholic school system under the Government stimulus scheme are up to five times cheaper than those delivered by state governments, The Australian reports.
The vast difference between the cost of buildings delivered by state governments and those delivered by Catholic schools was highlighted yesterday at the Senate hearing into the BER.
Bill Walsh, executive officer of the NSW Catholic Block Grant Authority, which is handling $1 billion of funds and delivering architect-designed buildings at a fraction of the cost of the public sector, said the authority set maximum construction rates for all Catholic schools, to prevent price gouging and rip-offs.
"We know what a building should cost; we didn't allow any price gouging" Mr Walsh said.
"We don't allow builders to say 'You've got funding of $3m, so this building is going to cost $3m'." Fronting the inquiry yesterday NSW Department of Education director-general Michael Coutts-Trotter said he "absolutely" stood by claims the NSW government "ensures value for money" under the BER.
But he was unable to adequately explain the vast difference in costs of buildings delivered to Catholic schools from those delivered by the government, except to claim those NSW government buildings were of a higher quality.
The inquiry heard that the school building program has widened the divide between public and private schools, reports the Sydney Morning Herald.
Representatives from the independent and Catholic school sectors told the Senate inquiry into the Building the Education Revolution program yesterday that they had received value for money through self-managing their projects.
St. Crispin of Viterbo
FRANCISCAN LAY BROTHER
Feast: May 19
Information: Feast Day: May 19
Born: 13 November 1668, Viterbo
Died: 19 May 1750, Rome
Canonized: 20 June 1982 by Pope John Paul II
St. Celestine V
Feast: May 19
Information: Feast Day: May 19
Born: 1210 at Isneria, Abruzzi, Italy
Died: 19 May 1296 in Ferentino, Italy
Humility raised this saint above the world, and preserved his soul free from its poison, both amidst its flatteries and under its frowns. He was born in Apulia about the year 1221. His parents were very virtuous, and charitable to the poor to the uttermost of their abilities. After his father's death, his mother, though she had eleven other sons, seeing his extraordinary inclination to piety, provided him with a literary education. His progress gave his friends great expectations; but he always considered that he had only one affair in this world, and that an affair of infinite importance, the salvation of his soul: that no security can be too great where an eternity is at stake: moreover, that the way to life is strait, the account which we are to give of all our actions and thoughts most rigorous, the judge infinitely just, and the issue either sovereign happiness or sovereign misery. He therefore made the means, by which he might best secure to himself that bliss for which alone he was created, his constant study. An eremitical state is only the vocation of souls, which are already perfect in the exercises of penance and contemplation. Peter had made the practice of both familiar to him from his tender years; and by a long noviceship was qualified for such a state, to which he found himself strongly inclined. Therefore at twenty years of age he left the schools, and retired to a solitary mountain, where he made himself a little cell under ground, but so small that he could scarce stand or lie down in it. Here he lived three years in great austerities, during which he was often assailed by violent temptations; but these he overcame by the help of such practices and austerities as the grace of God suggested to him. Notwithstanding the care he took to sequester himself from the world, he was discovered, and some time after compelled to enter into holy orders. He was ordained priest at Rome; but in 1246 returned into Abruzzo, and lived five years in a cave on mount Morroni, near Sulmona. He received great favors from heaven, the usual recompense of contemplative souls who have crucified their affections to this world: but then they are purchased through severe interior trials; and with such Peter was frequently visited. He was also molested with nocturnal illusions during his sleep, by which he was almost driven to despair, insomuch that he durst not say mass, and once determined to abandon his solitude; but was encouraged by the advice of a religious man, his confessor, who assured him that it was no more than a stratagem of the enemy, by which he could not be hurt if he despised it. For further satisfaction, he determined to go to Rome to consult the pope on that subject, and received great comfort by a vision he was favored with on the road; a certain holy abbot lately deceased appearing to him, who gave him the same counsel, and ordered him to return to his cell and offer every day the holy sacrifice, which he accordingly did. The wood on his mountain being cut down in 1251, he with two companions removed to mount Magella. There, with the boughs of trees and thorns, these three servants of God made themselves a little enclosure and cells, in which they enjoyed more solid pleasure than the great ones of the world can find in their stately palaces and gardens. The devil sometimes endeavored to disturb them; but they triumphed over his assaults. Many others were desirous to put themselves under his direction; but the saint alleged his incapacity to direct others. However, his humility was at length overcome, and he admitted those who seemed the most fervent.
Peter spent always the greatest part of the night in prayer and tears which he did not interrupt, while he was employed in the day in corporal labor or in copying books. His body he always treated as a most dangerous domestic enemy. He never ate flesh; he fasted every day except Sunday. He kept four lents in the year, during three of which, and on all Fridays, he took nothing but bread and water, unless it were a few cabbage leaves in lieu of bread. The bread which he used was so hard, that it could only be chopped in pieces. His austerities were excessive, till he was admonished in a vision not to destroy that body which his duty to God required him to support. If the Holy Ghost sometimes conducted the saints by extraordinary paths, we must learn from their fervor the condemnation of our sloth, who dare undertake nothing for the sake of virtue, and who shrink often under indispensable duties. St. Peter wore a shirt of horse-hair full of knots, and a chain of iron about his waist. He lay on the ground, or on a board, with a stone or log of wood for a pillow. It was his chiefest care always to nourish his soul with heavenly contemplation and prayer; yet he did not refuse to others the comfort of his spiritual succors. He gave advice, except on Wednesdays and Fridays, and during his rents, which he passed in inviolable silence. Finding his solitude too much disturbed, he went with some of his disciples to a cavern which was almost inaccessible on the top of mount Magella. This did but increase the ardor of others to pursue him. Wherefore he returned to mount Morroni, where many lived in scattered cells under his direction, till he assembled them in a monastery; and in 1271 obtained of pope Gregory X. the approbation of his religious order, under the rule of St. Bennet, which he restored to its primitive severity. The saint lived to see thirty-six monasteries, and six hundred monks and nuns; and this institute has been since propagated over all Europe, but is at present much mitigated.
Upon the death of Nicholas IV. the see of Rome continued vacant two years and three months, when the cardinals assembled at Perugia unanimously chose our saint for his successor, out of pure regard for his eminent sanctity. This election, on account of its disinterestedness, met with a general applause, and the saint seemed the only person afflicted on the occasion. He was indeed alarmed beyond measure at the news; and finding all the reasons he could allege for his declining the charge ineffectual, betook himself to flight in company with Robert, one of his monks, but was intercepted. He would gladly have engaged Robert still to attend him, but the good monk excused himself by an answer worthy of a disciple of the saint: "Compel me not," says he, "to throw myself upon your thorns. I am the companion of your flight, not of your exaltation." Peter thereupon dropped his request, and sighing before God, returned to Morroni, where the kings of Hungary and Naples, besides many cardinals and princes, waited for him. Thence he proceeded to the neighboring cathedral of Aquila, to be ordained bishop of Rome, being accompanied by the two kings, and an incredible number of princes and others; yet could not be prevailed upon to travel any other way than riding on an ass: he even thought it a great deal that he did not go on foot, as he desired to do. He was consecrated and crowned at Aquila on the 29th of August, taking the name of Celestine V., from an allusion to the Latin name of heaven, where he always dwelt in his heart: his monks have been distinguished by the name of Celestines ever since. Charles, king of Naples, persuaded him to go with him to his capital, to regulate certain ecclesiastical affairs of that kingdom, and to fill the vacant benefices. The new pope disgusted many of the cardinals by employing strangers in the conducting matters, the care of which had been usually intrusted to them. He was sometimes led by others into mistakes, which gave occasion to complaints, and increased his own scruples for having taken upon him so great a charge, to which he found himself unequal; especially on account of his want of experience in the world, and his not having studied the canon law. He continued his former austerities, and built himself a cell of boards in the midst of his palace, where he lived in solitude amidst the crowds which surrounded him, humble on the pinnacle of honor, and poor in the midst of riches. He shut himself up to spend the Advent in retirement, that he might prepare himself for Christmas, having committed the care of the church to three cardinals. This again was an occasion of fresh scruples, when he reflected that a pastor is bound himself to a personal attendance on the duties of his charge. These fears of conscience, the weight of his dignity, which he felt every day more and more insupportable, and the desire of enjoying himself in solitude, moved him at length to deliberate whether he might not resign his dignity. He consulted cardinal Benedict Cajetan, a person the best skilled in the canon law, and others, who agreed in their advice, that it was in the power of a pope to abdicate. When this became public, many vigorously opposed the motion; but no solicitations or motives could make the holy man alter his resolution. Wherefore, some days after, he held at Naples a consistory of the cardinals, at which the king of Naples and many others were present: before them he read the solemn act of his abdication, then laid aside his pontifical robes and ornaments, put on his religious habit, came down from his throne, and cast himself at the feet of the assembly, begging pardon for his faults, and exhorting the cardinals to repair them in the best manner they were able, by choosing a worthy successor to St. Peter. Thus, having sat in the chair four months, he abdicated the supreme dignity in the church, on the 13th of December, 1294, with greater joy than the most ambitious man could mount the throne of the richest empire in the world. This the cheerfulness of his countenance evidenced, no less than his words. Cardinal Benedict Cajetan, the ablest civilian and canonist of his age, was chosen in his place, and crowned at Rome on the 16th of January following.
Men, as it usually happens on such occasions, were divided in their sentiments with regard to this extraordinary action, of which we see a specimen in the writings of those great men who in that age began to restore at Florence the true taste of polite literature. Dante, who has stained his reputation with many blots in his moral and civil conduct, and his works with many falsities and unjust prepossessions, ascribes this cession of Celestine to pusillanimity. But this base censure is justly chastised by his country man Petrarch, who passed his unjust and glorious banishment at Vaucluse near Avignon, respected by the whole world, till he was courted by his fellow-citizens to honor his native country again with his presence, though he preferred to it a retirement to Papua. This great man, speaking of the abdication of our holy pope, says: "This action I call a sublime and heavenly fortitude, which he only possesses who knows the emptiness of all worldly dignities. The contempt of honors arises from a heroic courage, not from a want of that virtue; as the desire of them shows that a soul raiseth not herself above herself."
St. Celestine immediately stole away privately to his monastery of the Holy Ghost, at Morroni. But several who were offended at some acts of justice and necessary severity in the new pope, raised various reports, as if he had by ambition and fraud supplanted Celestine: others advanced that a pope could not resign his dignity. Boniface, moreover, was alarmed at the multitudes which resorted to Morroni to see Celestine, on account of the great reputation of his sanctity; and fearing he might be made a handle of by designing men, the consequence whereof might be some disturbance in the church, he entreated the king of Naples to send him to Rome. The saint, seeing that he could not be permitted to return to his cell, betook himself to flight, and put to sea, with a view to cross the Adriatic gulf; but was driven back by contrary winds into the harbor of Vieste, where he was secured by the governor, pursuant to an order of the king of Naples, and conducted to pope Boniface at Anagni. Boniface kept him some time in his own palace, often discoursing with him, that he might discover if he had ever consented to those that called his abdication null and invalid. The saint's unfeigned simplicity bearing evidence to the contrary, many advised the pope to set him at liberty, and send him to his monastery. But Boniface, alleging the danger of tumults and of a schism, confined him in the citadel of Fumone, nine miles from Anagni, under a guard of soldiers. The authors of the life of the saint say, that he there suffered many insults and hardships, which yet never drew from his mouth the least word of complaint. On the contrary, he sent word to Boniface, by two cardinals who came to see him, that he was content with his condition, and desired no other. He used to say, with wonderful tranquillity: "I desired nothing in the world but a cell; and a cell they have given me." He sang the divine praises almost without interruption, with two of his monks who were assigned him for his companions. On Whit-Sunday, in 1296, after he had heard mass with extraordinary fervor, he told his guards that he should die before the end of the week. He immediately sickened of a fever, and received extreme unction. Even in that dying condition he would never suffer a little straw to be strewed on the hard boards upon which he always lay, and prayed without interruption. On Saturday, the 19th of May, finishing the last psalm of lauds at those words, Let every spirit praise the Lord, he calmly closed his eyes to this world, and his soul passed to the company of the angels, he being seventy-five years old. During his ten months' imprisonment he never abated any thing of his ordinary austerities. Pope Boniface, with all the cardinals, performed his funeral obsequies at St. Peter's. His body was sumptuously buried at Ferentino; but was afterwards translated to Aquila, and is kept in the church of the Celestines near that city. Many miracles are authentically recorded of him, and he was canonized by Clement V., in 1313. Boniface fell into great calamities. Philip the Fair, Icing of France, who was his declared enemy, sent a body of troops, under the command of William Noggret, to support the conspiracy of Stephen and Chiarra Colonna against him, by whom he was made prisoner at Anagni. After much ill-treatment, he was rescued out of their hands by the Ursini from Rome; but died soon after of grief, in 1303.
John 17: 11 - 19
11 And now I am no more in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to thee. Holy Father, keep them in thy name, which thou hast given me, that they may be one, even as we are one.
12 While I was with them, I kept them in thy name, which thou hast given me; I have guarded them, and none of them is lost but the son of perdition, that the scripture might be fulfilled.
13 But now I am coming to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves.
14 I have given them thy word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
15 I do not pray that thou shouldst take them out of the world, but that thou shouldst keep them from the evil one.
16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
17 Sanctify them in the truth; thy word is truth.
18 As thou didst send me into the world, so I have sent them into the world.
19 And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be consecrated in truth.
CATHOLIC WORLD NEWS: TUES. MAY 18, 2010: HEADLINES-
VATICAN: POPE WITNESSES TO CHRIST IN THE POLITICAL COMMUNITY-
EUROPE: ENGLAND: PAPAL NUNCIO SUFFERS STROKE-
AMERICA: USA: BISHOP: ANNOUNCED THAT NUN EXCOMMUNICATED HERSELF-
AFRICA: UGANDA: PRIEST RETURNS TO CHURCH-
ASIA: INDIA: 45 KILLED IN BUS ATTACK-
AUSTRALIA: NATIONWIDE APPEAL TO RAISE FUNDS FOR CANONISATION CEREMONY-
POPE WITNESSES TO CHRIST IN THE POLITICAL COMMUNITY
VATICAN CITY, 18 MAY 2010 (VIS REPORT) - The twenty-fourth plenary assembly of the Pontifical Council for the Laity will take place in Rome from 20 to 22 May on the theme: "Witnesses to Christ in the political community".
A communique on the event explains how "Benedict XVI has, on various occasions, highlighted the pressing need for a renewed commitment of Catholics in political life".
The plenary will be inaugurated by Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko, president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, and is scheduled to include three lectures: Lorenzo Ornaghi, rector of the Sacred Heart Catholic University in Milan, Italy, will speak on "politics and democracy today: 'status quaestionis'"; Cardinal Camillo Ruini, president of the "Cultural Project" of the Italian Episcopal Conference, will examine the topic of "Church and political community: certain vital points"; finally Archbishop Rino Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Academy for Life, will speak on "the responsibility of the lay faithful in political life".
The assembly will also include two reports, one by Andrea Riccardi, founder of the St. Egidio Community, on "what the great Christian figures in the history of politics have to say to us today"; and the second by Guzman Carriquiry, under secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, who will discuss "criteria and methods for the formation of the lay faithful in politics".
The participants will be received in audience by the Pope on Friday 21 May.
On the afternoon of Saturday 22 May, Bishop Joseph Clemens, secretary of the pontifical council, will consider the dicastery's achievements and explain its programmes for the future.
IMAGE SOURCE http://www.radiovaticana.org/en1/index.asp
OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS
VATICAN CITY, 18 MAY 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father:- Appointed Fr. Kieran O'Reilly S.M.A., superior general of the Society of African Missions, as bishop of Killaloe (area 4,523, population 133,201, Catholics 122,746, priests 132, religious 125), Ireland. The bishop-elect was born in Cork, Ireland in 1952 and ordained a priest in 1978. He succeeds Bishop William Walsh, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.
- Appointed Msgr. Salvador Cristau Coll, vicar general of the diocese of Terrassa, Spain, as auxiliary of the same diocese (area 1,197, population 1,241,332, Catholics 1,218,420, priests 186, permanent deacons 7, religious 671). The bishop-elect was born in Barcelona, Spain in 1950 and ordained a priest in 1980.
ENGLAND: PAPAL NUNCIO SUFFERS STROKE
Idependent Catholic News report: The Pope's ambassador to Britain, Archbishop Faustino Sainz Muñoz, suffered a mild stroke yesterday. Most Rev Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster said today: “I am very sorry to inform you that the Apostolic Nuncio, His Excellency the Most Reverend Faustino Sainz Muñoz, has suffered a stroke and is at present receiving medical care in hospital. Please do keep him in your prayers.”
Cardinal Keith O'Brien has sent his best wishes to Archbishop Sainz Muñoz. Cardinal O’Brien said: "I have advised the members of our Conference letting them know of the Nuncio's illness and also asking for their prayers."
Archbishop Faustino, 72, was born in Almaden, Spain. He was ordained a priest in December 1964 and has held a number of posts in the diplomatic service of the Holy See since 1970. He was appointed Papal Nuncio to Britian in 2004, replacing Archbishop Pablo Puente, who retired in October, 2003.
USA: BISHOP: ANNOUNCED THAT NUN EXCOMMUNICATED HERSELF
LifeSiteNews.com report- The Bishop of Phoenix has announced that a Catholic nun and administrator of St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix has automatically excommunicated herself by approving an abortion on a woman who was 11-weeks pregnant, and whose life hospital officials allege they were trying to save.
Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted said the excommunications apply to all involved, and lambasted the hospital's defense of their decision by comparing the ill woman's unborn child to a disease that needed to be removed.
The Arizona Republic reports that in late 2009, Sister Margaret McBride, then vice president of mission integration at St. Joseph's, joined the hospital's ethics committee in determining that doctors and the hospital would be morally justified in performing a direct abortion in the first trimester, because they felt that the mother's life was at risk.
The woman, whose identity is anonymous, was reportedly seriously ill with pulmonary hypertension.
The hospital has two directives relating to abortion, as reported by the Republic. The first says that physicians cannot perform direct abortions under any circumstances, including for such reasons as to save the life of the mother.
A second directive adds, however, that "operations, treatments and medications that have as their direct purpose the cure of a proportionately serious pathological condition of a pregnant woman are permitted ... even if they will result in the death of the unborn child." This directive is based on the Catholic philosophical principle of double effect, which says that if the treatment sought addresses the direct causes of the woman's health condition (such as radiation treatment for cancer), but never intends to kill the unborn child (even though that may happen as a secondary, but unintended, effect of the lifesaving treatment), then it is morally licit.
Hospital officials claimed that they were following the second directive by aborting the baby.
But Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted said in a statement provided to the Republic that he was "gravely concerned by the fact that an abortion was performed several months ago in a Catholic hospital in this diocese," and furthermore said he was appalled by the hospital's twisted reasoning that justified the direct abortion by reducing the unborn child to a disease.
"An unborn child is not a disease. While medical professionals should certainly try to save a pregnant mother's life, the means by which they do it can never be by directly killing her unborn child. The end does not justify the means," the prelate said.
Olmsted made clear that McBride and all Catholics who had "formal cooperation" in the woman's abortion of her child, were automatically excommunicated from the Church.
"The Catholic Church will continue to defend life and proclaim the evil of abortion without compromise, and must act to correct even her own members if they fail in this duty," Olmsted declared.
McBride has since been demoted from her position, and transferred by the hospital to another area of administration.
Catholic Healthcare West, which oversees St. Joseph's hospital, sent a letter to Olmsted Monday defending McBride's and the hospital's actions.
"If there had been a way to save the pregnancy and still prevent the death of the mother, we would have done it," the letter says. "We are convinced there was not."
However, Dr. Paul A. Byrne, Director of Neonatology and Pediatrics at St. Charles Mercy Hospital in Toledo, Ohio, disputes the claim that an abortion is ever a procedure necessary to save the life of the mother, or carries less risk than birth.
In an interview with LifeSiteNews, Dr. Byrne said, "I don't know of any [situation where abortion is necessary to save the life of the mother].
"I know that a lot of people talk about these things, but I don't know of any. The principle always is preserve and protect the life of the mother and the baby."
Byrne has the distinction of being a pioneer in the field of neonatology, beginning his work in the field in 1963 and becoming a board-certified neonatologist in 1975. He invented one of the first oxygen masks for babies, an incubator monitor, and a blood-pressure tester for premature babies, which he and a colleague adapted from the finger blood pressure checkers used for astronauts.
Byrne emphasized that he was not commentating on what the woman's particular treatment should have been under the circumstances, given that she is not his patient.
"But given just pulmonary hypertension, the answer is no" to abortion, said Byrne.
Byrne emphasized that the unborn child at 11 weeks gestation would have a negligible impact on the woman's cardiovascular system. He said that pregnancy in the first and second trimesters would not expose a woman with even severe pulmonary hypertension - which puts stress on the heart and the longs - to any serious danger. A pregnant mother's cardiovascular system does have "major increases," but they only happen "in the last three months of pregnancy," Byrne explained.
The point of fetal viability is estimated at anywhere between 21 - 24 weeks, he indicated, at which point a baby can artificially be delivered and have a good shot at surviving. In the meantime the mother's pulmonary hypertension could be treated, even by such simple things as eliminating salt from her diet, exercising, or losing weight.
"It's not going to be any extra stress on the mother that she can't stand," said Byrne. "Eventually you get to where the baby gets big enough that the baby can live outside the uterus and you don't have to do an abortion."
"I am only aware of good things happening by doing that. I am not aware of anything bad happening to the mother because the baby was allowed to live."
"The only reason to kill the baby at 11 weeks is because it is smaller," which makes the abortion easier to perform, he said, not because the mother's life is in immediate danger. "I've done this work just about as long as neonatology has existed," said Byrne. "The key is we must protect and preserve life, and we have to do that from conception to the natural end."
To contact Catholic Healthcare West:
Catholic Healthcare West
185 Berry Street, Suite 300
San Francisco, CA 94107
Phone: (415) 438-5500
To contact Bishop Thomas Olmsted:
Diocese of Phoenix
400 East Monroe Street
Phoenix, Arizona 85004-2336
UGANDA: PRIEST RETURNS TO CHURCH
All Africa report: One of the priests who rebelled against the out going bishop of Kinkiizi has apologised and returned to the church. The Rev. Benjamin Rweijungu wrote to the bishop on May 13, asking to be pardoned and deployed for pastoral duties.
He has been part of the group, which disagreed with Bishop John Wilson Ntegyereize and abandoned the church in 2005.
For the last six years, Rweijungu refused to attend church functions. As a trained teacher, he is reported to have taken to teaching, but said he realised that he was called to serve as a priest and decided to return.
A brief service officiated by Ntegyereize was held at the bishop's office in Nyakatare on Friday to welcome him back.
The development comes after a group of Christians, including three priests, protested the election of the Rt. Rev. Benjamin Bagaba as the second bishop of Kinkiizi Diocese.
His consecration was put on hold by the archbishop after it was alleged that Bagaba produced two children outside wedlock and he was hand-picked by the outgoing bishop.
Addressing journalists, Reijungu said he was misled by people who promised to help him after the church failed to sponsor him for his degree course but he was neglected by the same people.
He advised the clergy to understand why they were called to serve God before quitting in the middle of their service. Consequently, Rweijungu was redeployed and appointed the new parish priest of Kibimbiri parish in Kihiihi sub-county. He resumed pastoral duties on Sunday.
INDIA: 45 KILLED IN BUS ATTACK
Asia News report: Special police officers are among the killed. The attack, the second of its kind in just over a month, took place in Dantewada district (Chhattisgarh), some 400 kilometres from the state capital. Security forces are now on high alert in five states as Maoists today launch a 48-hour general strike to protest the government military offensive against them.
Indian security forces are now on maximum alert in the states of Orissa, Bihar, West Bengal, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh after Maoist rebels launched a 48-hour bandh (general strike) to protest against the government, which began an offensive against the Maoists back in October 2009 to retake areas under their control. In less than a year, some 300 people have been killed in the operation whilst another 50,000 has had to flee their homes.
The Maoist revolt began in 1967 in the village of Naxalbari (West Bengal) when a group of peasants turned against local landowners over a land dispute.
In recent years, India’s economic development has led to more confrontations as peasants resist land seizures. Increasingly, they have backed the Maoist insurgency.
Naxalites and other extreme leftwing groups are active in states like Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Orissa. Here, Maoists can field a military force of some 10,000 members, organised in the People's Liberation Guerrilla Army, made up mostly of illiterate peasants.
In response to this threat, the central government has set up independent paramilitary forces outside of the regular armed forces.
Lenin Raghuvanshi, director of the People's Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (PVCHR), slammed the attacks, saying, “there is no justification for killing.”
“Maoists are the armed opposition group with the worst record of human rights violations,” he said. “They do not represent any democratic movement and conduct kangaroo trials by so-called People’s Courts, which summarily judge and execute their political opponents, after labelling them, ‘police informers’.”
For the human rights activist, the government has to shoulder some of the blame for the situation, especially after it unleashed an offensive using paramilitary groups. This has only fuelled the rebels’ violence.
In Raghuvanshi’s view, India is now faced with a new form of leftwing extremism, concentrated in a ‘red corridor’ that runs from Nepal in the north to Tamil Nadu in the far south. (N.C.)
NATIONWIDE APPEAL TO RAISE FUNDS FOR CANONISATION CEREMONY
Cath News report: A nationwide appeal has been launched to raise funds for the canonisation ceremony of Mary MacKillop in Rome and official celebrations around Australia and the world.
The Mary MacKillop Canonisation Appeal will be held on Sunday 30 May and Sunday 8 August, with donations made through collections in parishes, online and via telephone.
"This is an opportunity for us to mark this unique event and historic occasion and to honour Mary MacKillop," she said. "The Mary MacKillop Canonisation Appeal provides an opportunity for everyone to assist in the preparations and celebration of Mary's canonisation both in Australia and in Rome."
Proceeds from the Appeal will also assist in involving the Sisters of St Joseph in the canonisation ceremony in Rome, together with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representatives and youth representatives across all dioceses.
Donations can be made through local parishes, by telephoning the national call centre on 1800 753 959 or online at the Blessed Mary MacKillop website.
St. John I
Feast: May 18
Information: Feast Day: May 18
Born: Populonia, Tuscany, Italy
Died: 18 May 526 in Ravenna, Italy
Died at Ravenna on 18 or 19 May (according to the most popular calculation), 526. A Tuscan by birth and the son of Constantius, he was, after an interregnum of seven days, elected on 13 August, 523, and occupied the Apostolic see for two years, nine months, and seven days.
We know nothing of the matter of his administration, for his Bullarium contains only the two letters addressed to an Archbishop Zacharias and to the bishops of Italy respectively, and it is very certain that both are apocryphal.
We possess information -- though unfortunately very vague -- only about his journey to Constantinople, a journey which appears to have had results of great importance, and which was the cause of his death. The Emperor Justin, in his zeal for orthodoxy, had issued in 523 a severe decree against the Arians, compelling them, among other things, to surrender to the Catholics the churches which they occupied. Theodoric, King of the Ostrogoths and of Italy, the ardent defender of Arianism, keenly resented these measures directed against his coreligionists in the Orient, and was moreover highly displeased at seeing the progress of a mutual understanding between the Latin and Greek Churches, such as might favour certain secret dealings between the Roman senators and the Byzantine Court, aiming at the re-establishment of the imperial authority in Italy. To bring pressure to bear upon the emperor, and force him to moderate his policy of repression in regard to the heretics, Theodoric sent to him early in 525 an embassy composed of Roman senators, of which he obliged the pope to assume the direction, and imposed on the latter the task of securing a withdrawal of the Edict of 523 and -- if we are to believe "Anonymous Valesianus" -- of even urging the emperor to facilitate the return to Arianism of the Arians who had been converted.
There has been much discussion as to the part played by John I in this affair. The sources which enable us to study the subject are far from explicit and may be reduced to four in number: "AnonymousValesianus", already cited; the "Liber Pontificalis"; Gregory of Tours's "Liber in gloria martyrum"; and the "Liber Pontificalis Ecclesiæ Ravennatis". But it is beyond question that the pope could only counsel Justin to use gentleness and discretion towards the Arians; his position as head of the Church prevented his inviting the emperor to favour heresy. That this analysis of the situation is correct is evident from the reception which the pope was accorded in the East -- a reception which certainly would not have been kindly, had the Roman ambassadors opposed the emperor and this Catholic subjects in their struggle waged against the Arian sect. The inhabitants of Constantinople went out in throngs to meet John. The Emperor Justin on meeting him prostrated himself, and, some time afterwards, he had himself crowned by the pope. All the patriarchs of the East made haste to manifest their communion in the Faith with the supreme pontiff; only Timothy of Alexandria, who had shown himself hostile to the Council of Chalcedon, held aloof. Finally, the pope, exercising his right of precedence over Epiphanius, Patriarch of Constantinople, solemnly officiated at St. Sophia in the Latin Rite on Easter Day, 19 April, 526. Immediately afterwards he made his way back to the West.
If this brilliant reception of John I by the emperor, the clergy, and the faithful of the Orient proves that he had not been wanting in his task as supreme pastor of the Church, the strongly contrasting behaviour of Theodoric towards him on his return is no less evident proof. This monarch, enraged at seeing the national party reviving in Italy, had just stained his hands with the murder of Boethius, the great philosopher, and of Symmachus his father-in-law. He was exasperated against the pope, whose embassy had obtained a success very different from that which he, Theodoric, desired and whom, moreover, he suspected of favouring the defenders of the ancient liberty of Rome. As soon as John, returning from the East, had landed in Italy, Theodoric caused him to be arrested and incarcerated at Ravenna. Worn out by the fatigues of the journey, and subjected to severe privations, John soon died in prison.
His body was transported to Rome and buried in the Basilica of St. Peter. In his epitaph there is no allusion to his historical role. The Latin Church has placed him among its martyrs, and commemorates him on 27 May, the ninth lesson in the Roman Breviary for that date being consecrated to him.
Luke 12: 22 - 31
22 And he said to his disciples, "Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you shall eat, nor about your body, what you shall put on.
23 For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing.
24 Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds!
25 And which of you by being anxious can add a cubit to his span of life?
26 If then you are not able to do as small a thing as that, why are you anxious about the rest?
27 Consider the lilies, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin; yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
28 But if God so clothes the grass which is alive in the field today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O men of little faith!
29 And do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be of anxious mind.
30 For all the nations of the world seek these things; and your Father knows that you need them.
31 Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things shall be yours as well.