Sunday, August 22, 2010
CATHOLIC WORLD NEWS: SUN. AUG. 22, 2010: HEADLINES-
VATICAN: POPE'S ANGELUS MESSAGE: "MARY QUEEN OF PEACE, PRAY FOR US"-
EUROPE: AUG. 23 DAY OF REMEMBRANCE -VICTIMS OF STALIN AND HITLER-
ASIA: INDIA: BISHOPS DECLARE AUG. 29 AS NATIONAL DAY FOR INDIAN MARTYRS-
AFRICA: KENYA: BISHOPS AND CHURCH DEMAND CHANGE OF CONSTITUTION-
AMERICA: USA: CARDINAL DINARDO ASKS SUPPORT FOR NEW LAW-
AUSTRALIA: BUDGET CUTS TO CATHOLIC EDUCATION-
VATICAN: POPE'S ANGELUS MESSAGE: "MARY QUEEN OF PEACE, PRAY FOR US"
Radio Vaticana report: Pope Benedict during his Angelus at Castelgandolfo Pope Benedict urged people to build a civilisation of love, where there is the absurd logic of violence. We have this report...
"Mary Queen of Peace, pray for us so that all people will be persuaded that in this world we must help each other as brothers to build the civilization of love.
Those were Pope Benedict XVI’s words to the faithful, on Sunday, before reciting the Angelus prayer in the Courtyard of the Papal Summer Residence at Castelgandolfo
The Pope recalled that Sunday’s liturgy, eight days after the feast of the Assumption, makes us venerate the Virgin under the title of Queen, because - he explained - Mary is the first that passed through the "Road" opened by Christ leading to the Kingdom of God, a way accessible to the poor, those who trust the word of God and who are committed to putting it into practice.
“Today’s Gospel reminds us that the way to heaven is through the narrow door. May we enter through this narrow door by means of prayer, humility and service of our neighbours, and thus live the joy of the Kingdom even now.” We entrust to her intercession - said the pope - the daily prayer for peace, especially where at times there is the absurd logic of violence.
The Madonna is in fact an example of the Gospel truth in which God humbles the proud and powerful of this world and raises the lowly.
During the Pope’s greetings to pilgrims, the Holy Father speaking in French urged nations to welcome diverse nationalities and invited parents to educate their children in the way of universal brotherhood.
Following his greetings in various languages including English, Pope Benedict was treated to a musical interlude after which he praised the musicians and thanked them for their performance.
EUROPE: AUG. 23 ANNUAL DAY OF REMEMBRANCE FOR VICTIMS OF STALIN AND HITLER
CNA report- On Monday, August 23, the European Union will mark its second annual “Day of Remembrance for Victims of Stalinism and Nazism,” honoring those who suffered or lost their lives under the totalitarian regimes. Millions of Catholics, along with those of the Eastern Orthodox churches and Protestant denominations, are among the victims to be remembered.
Dozens of victims of both the Nazi and Stalinist regimes have been beatified or canonized by Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI, both of whom personally experienced life under totalitarian governments.
A cardinal archbishop of the Polish church, Augustine Hlond, described the aftermath of the Nazi invasion of Poland in 1939: "The Cathedral has been turned into a garage at Pelplin; the Bishop's palace into a restaurant; the chapel into a ballroom. Hundreds of churches have been closed. The whole patrimony of the Church has been confiscated, and the most eminent Catholics executed."
Terese Schwartz, a Jewish researcher, estimates that three million Polish Catholics died at the hands of the Nazi regime. Heinrich Himmler, who oversaw the Nazi SS during World War II, had called for the “elimination of all Polish people.” His strategy explicitly targeted the country's leaders and central institutions, including the Catholic Church.The author and publisher Thomas Craughwell, in a 1998 article on non-Jewish victims of Nazism titled “The Gentile Holocaust,” described the concentration camp at Dachau as “the Calvary of at least 2,600 Catholic priests from 24 nations.” A full reckoning of Catholic suffering at Dachau, he said, “would fill volumes.” Priests, in particular, were starved and worked to death, and singled out as the victims of medical experiments.
The recently inaugurated European holiday's implicit comparison of the Soviet Union with the Third Reich provoked controversy in contemporary Russia last year, according to AFP reports. Nevertheless, according to the Encyclopedia Brittanica, 20 million Russians and other citizens of the Soviet empire died in government detention or through famine and executions under the regime of Joseph Stalin. During his leadership of the Soviet Union, 14 million people were confined to the system of work camps known as the Gulag.
Catholics living in Soviet territories were singled out for persecution by authorities, because of their faith and the Church's consistent stance against atheistic Communism. Fr. Christopher Zugger, a Byzantine Catholic priest who has written extensively about Catholics under Communism, described how prisoners in the Gulag “were interrogated, tortured, put into solitary confinement, experimented on, and sent to work in factories.”
Pope John Paul II, addressing members of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in 1999, said that the martyrs and confessors of the 20th century “knew the truth, and the truth set them free.”
“Christians in Europe and throughout the world,” he said, “pausing in prayer before the concentration camps and prisons, should be grateful for the light which they gave: it was the light of Christ, which they caused to shine in the darkness. For long years the darkness seemed in the eyes of the world to prevail, but it was not able to extinguish that light, which was the light of God and the light of man, wounded but not laid low.”
ASIA: INDIA: BISHOPS DECLARE AUG. 29 AS NATIONAL DAY FOR INDIAN MARTYRS
Agenzia Fides REPORT – This coming August 29, all over India, faithful will be marking the anniversary of the massacres in Orissa, on the "National Day for Indian Martyrs." This is what Fides learned from the Ecumenism Commission of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India. The special day was established to recall all those - priests, religious, and laity - who "have sacrificed their lives for their faith in Christ" and are "modern martyrs" in India today. The last Sunday in August was chosen as the date for the commemoration of the Christians who have died in the massacres that occurred in Orissa in late August of 2008, events that still demand justice and will likely to remain unpunished.
The proposal of the Day has found unanimous agreement among all Christian denominations in India and will be celebrated, the Commission says, on an ecumenical level in order to gain more strength and visibility in social and civic life.
The Commission pointed out that "Christians have a common martyrology, which includes all the martyrs of the 20th century and of the current century."
Bishop Anil Cuto, Bishop of Jalandhar and Chairman of the Ecumenism Commission, said: “We request all Christians belonging to all denominations to remember those died for the sake of their faith. The Catholic Church has a very dignified procedure to declare martyrs, saints etc. but what we expect is to remember the sacrifice made by people. It is not declaring somebody a saint but an effort to preserve their suffering and sacrifice as a heritage of the Christians. It can inspire many generations.”
Fr. Anbu, Secretary of the same Commission, said: “We want to honor our martyrs. The Christians who sacrificed their lives are from different denominations and ecclesial communities, so it could be an ecumenical effort to unite the Christians towards their great sacrifice.”
On the occasion of the National Day, a major awareness campaign is being organized among all the Christians in the nation, to hold special prayer services, fasting, commemoration meetings, and symbolic gestures of solidarity such as blood drives at hospitals.
AFRICA: KENYA: BISHOPS AND CHURCH DEMAND CHANGE OF CONSTITUTION TO RESPECT LIFE
All Africa report: The Catholic Church Thursday demanded for amendments of new Constitution immediately after it is proclaimed next week.
Its top-decision making organ-the Kenya Episcopal Conference headed by John Cardinal Njue insisted that the changes were possible "as a matter of urgency" despite the new Constitution indicating it would be an uphill task.
Chapter 16 stipulates that certain sections of the Constitution such as the Bill of Rights can only be amended with the approval of people through a referendum while others would require the support of a million signatures.
The amendments must also be approved by both the Senate and the Lower House.
Addressing journalists at Holy Family Basilica, the 25 Catholic Bishops cited sections on life, family, reproduction health, equity and justice as those that should be immediately amended.
"These issues cannot be taken lightly as they touch on life of Kenyans...We are not saying we do not accept the constitution but want the changes addressed. We hope after inauguration of new constitution the changes would be taken as a matter of importance," Cardinal Njue said.
Responding to an observation from the Nation that amendments would take time as some required to establishment of counties and the Senate, Cardinal Njue who together with Kisumu Archbishop Zaccheaus Okoth read a statement on behalf of the bishops, said: "It is not difficult. Even if they do the amendments today...the better."
They added that President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga should also fulfill their campaign promise that amendments would be done after the passage of new constitution.
They also thrashed opinion polls suggestions that Kenyans had lost confidence with the Church following the outcome of referendum saying "the truth and right are not about numbers.
Further, they said, they were not in a popularity contest.
"We therefore, as the shepherds placed to give moral guidance to our people, still reiterate the need to address the flawed moral issues in this new constitution. That voice will never be silenced," they said, in the statement titled May God be with Kenya!
They said they were convinced they had played their role with diligence and respect and that they had not shied away from stating the tenets of their faith in regard to certain issues in the constitution.
It desires an "authentic" reform process and will remain at forefront to support a good constitution and the legal reform process.
"This reform process cannot end, must not end, since we all aspire to build a better society that will respect the rights of all and facilitate our economic, social and moral development," they said, adding that most Kenyans recognised the new constitution they voted for had errors that needed to be corrected.
They also called for vigilance of the implementation process of new constitution so that new legislations respect "natural law."
They also called for mutual respect of all, forgiveness, peace and unity among Kenyans.
The leaders said civic education on new constitution should continue.
"We would like to invite all Kenyans to join us in the task of developing a better society where all our members are cherished and loved, where human solidarity and economic effectiveness travel side by side. The destiny of our country is more important than individuals," they said.
Speaking to the Nation from Singapore where he is attending an official function, Youth and Sports assistant minister Kabando wa Kabando said it was needless to chase for elusive amendments.
"Defeated No camp should show humility and set independent non-Parliamentary audit to checkmate government implementation of law. Party parleys and shows are diversionary sideshows. We can and must bring joy and success as we entrench katiba season," Mr Kabando said.
He said implementation of the new constitution especially Chapter 6 would make Kenya register growth.
The Committee of Experts chairman Nzamba Kitonga has also since opposed any amendments to the new Constitution before it is applied and its efficacy tested.
He said although the right to amend new constitution is enshrined in it, it is a "weighty and grave" matter that it should take at least 10 years before any change could be done.
"It cannot happen now as the Senate is not there. We have not even formed counties. After 10 years when it is understood and has started working, there might even be no need to change anything," Mr Kitonga said.
Amending even one clause of a Constitution impacts on the entire document leading to distortion and disharmony in its structure adding that this was why the old constitution was disfigured beyond recognition.
AMERICA: USA: CARDINAL DINARDO ASKS SUPPORT FOR NEW LAW
USCCB REPORT: Cardinal Dinardo Urges Support for Law Preventing Federal Funding of Abortion
Would protect health care providers from retaliation for not assisting with abortions
WASHINGTON—Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, chair of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities, called on members of the House of Representatives to support the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act” (H.R. 5939), introduced by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) at the end of July.
He called for support in an August 20 letter. The bill already has 166 co-sponsors including 20 Democratic members. The text of the letter can be found at www.usccb.org/prolife/DiNardo-HR5939.pdf .
“H.R. 5939 will write into permanent law a policy on which there has been strong popular and congressional agreement for over 35 years: The federal government should not use taxpayers’ money to support and promote elective abortion,” Cardinal DiNardo said. “Even public officials who take a ‘pro-choice’ stand on abortion, and courts that have insisted on the validity of a constitutional ‘right’ to abortion, have agreed that the government can validly use its funding power to encourage childbirth over abortion.”
However, he noted, the Hyde amendment, which precludes money for elective abortions and health plans that provide them, is only a rider to the annual Labor/Health and Human Services appropriations bill. It has been maintained essentially intact by Congress over the last 35 years, but it only governs funds appropriated under that particular act.
Federal funds are prevented now from funding abortion by riders to various other appropriations bills as well as by provisions incorporated into specific authorizing legislation for the Department of Defense, Children’s Health Insurance Program, foreign assistance, and so on. Gaps or loopholes in these protections have also been discovered at various times, requiring Congress to address them individually.
Thus, “while Congress’s policy has been remarkably consistent for decades, implementation of that policy in practice has been piecemeal and sometimes sadly inadequate,” Cardinal DiNardo said.
H.R. 5939 would also codify the Hyde/Weldon amendment that has been part of the section containing the Hyde amendment in annual Labor/HHS appropriations bills since 2004. Hyde/Weldon has ensured that federal agencies and state and local governments that receive federal funds do not discriminate against health care providers because they do not perform or provide abortions.
“It is long overdue for this policy, as well, to be given a more secure legislative status,’’ Cardinal DiNardo said. “No hospital, doctor or nurse should be forced to stop providing much-needed legitimate health care because they cannot in conscience participate in destroying a developing human life.”
AUSTRALIA: BUDGET CUTS TO CATHOLIC EDUCATION
Cath News report: The National Catholic Education Commission has voiced its concerns, along with other education groups, about budget cuts unveiled by the Opposition this week.
It plans to abolish a $330 million scheme for disadvantaged schools and a $227m program to help low-income students to gain university entry; and cut $950m from apprenticeships.
The chairwoman of the National Catholic Education Commission, Therese Temby, said disadvantaged Catholic schools would bear the brunt.
"This funding is helping schools to serve disadvantaged communities and to address the learning needs of students and families," Mrs Temby said.
TODAY'S SAINT: QUEENSHIP OF MARY MOTHER OF GOD
Queenship of Mary
information: Feast Day: August 22
The beginning of the concept that she is a Queen is found in the annunciation narrative. For the angel tells her that her Son will be King over the house of Jacob forever. So she, His Mother, would be a Queen.
The Fathers of the Church soon picked up these implications. A text probably coming from Origen (died c. 254: cf. Marian Studies 4, 1953, 87) gives her the title domina, the feminine form of Latin dominus. That same title also appears in many other early writers, e.g. , St. Ephrem, St. Jerome, St. Peter Chrysologus. (cf. Marian Studies 4. 87-91. The word Queen appears abut the sixth century, and is common thereafter (Marian Studies, 4, 91-94. )
The titles of king or queen are often used loosely, for those beings that excel in some way. Thus we call the lion the king of beasts, the rose the queen of flowers. Surely Our Lady deserves the title richly for such reasons. But there is much more.
Some inadequate reasons have been suggested: She is the daughter of David. But not every child of a king becomes a king or queen. Others have pointed out that she was free from original sin. Then, since Adam and Eve had a dominion over all things (Genesis 1. 26) she should have similar dominion. But the problem is that the royalty of Adam and Eve was largely metaphorical.
The solidly theological reasons for her title of Queen are expressed splendidly by Pius XII, in his Radio message to Fatima, Bendito seja (AAS 38. 266): "He, the Son of God, reflects on His heavenly Mother the glory, the majesty and the dominion of His kingship, for, having been associated to the King of Martyrs in the unspeakable work of human Redemption as Mother and cooperator, she remains forever associated to Him, with a practically unlimited power, in the distribution of the graces which flow from the Redemption. Jesus is King throughout all eternity by nature and by right of conquest: through Him, with Him, and subordinate to Him, Mary is Queen by grace, by divine relationship, by right of conquest, and by singular choice [of the Father]. And her kingdom is as vast as that of her Son and God, since nothing is excluded from her dominion."
We notice that there are two titles for the kingship of Christ: divine nature, and "right of conquest", i.e. , the Redemption. She is Queen "through Him, with Him, and subordinate to Him." The qualifications are obvious, and need no explanation. Her Queenship is basically a sharing in the royalty of her Son. We do not think of two powers, one infinite, the other finite. No, she and her Son are inseparable, and operate as a unit.
Of the four titles Pius XII gave for her Queenship , we notice that two are closely parallel to those of Jesus: (1) He is king by nature, as God, she is Queen by "divine relationship" that is, by being the Mother of God. In fact her relation to her Son is greater than that of ordinary Mothers of Kings. For she is the Mother of Him who is King by very nature, from all eternity, and the relationship is exclusive, for He had no human father. Still further, the ordinary queen-mother gives birth to a child who later will become king. The son of Mary is, as we said, eternally king, by His very nature. He is king by right of conquest. (2) She too is Queen by right of conquest. We already saw that this title for Him means that He redeemed us from the captivity of Satan. She shared in the struggle and victory. Since the Pope expressed her dependence on Him in a threefold way—something we would have known anyway—then it is clear that he did not have in mind any other restriction which he did not express. So, with subordination, "by right of conquest" means the same for her as it does for Him.
The other two titles: (3)She is Queen by grace. She is full of grace, the highest in the category of grace besides her Son. (4)She is Queen by singular choice of the Father. A mere human can become King or Queen by choice of the People. How much greater a title is the choice of the Father Himself!
Pius XII added that "nothing is excluded from her dominion." As Mediatrix of all graces, who shared in earning all graces, she is, as Benedict XV said in a text already cited, "Suppliant omnipotence": she can obtain by her intercession anything that the all-powerful God can do by His own inherent power.
In the OT, under some Davidic kings, the gebirah, the "Great Lady", usually the Mother of the King, held great power as advocate with the king. Cf. 1 KGB 2:20, where Solomon said to his Mother Bathsheba, seated on a throne at his right: "Make your request, Mother, for I will not refuse you." Here is a sort of type of Our Lady.
MASS READINGS: AUG. 22- 21ST SUN. IN ORDINARY TIME
Isaiah 66: 18 - 21
18 "For I know their works and their thoughts, and I am coming to gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come and shall see my glory,
19 and I will set a sign among them. And from them I will send survivors to the nations, to Tarshish, Put, and Lud, who draw the bow, to Tubal and Javan, to the coastlands afar off, that have not heard my fame or seen my glory; and they shall declare my glory among the nations.
20 And they shall bring all your brethren from all the nations as an offering to the LORD, upon horses, and in chariots, and in litters, and upon mules, and upon dromedaries, to my holy mountain Jerusalem, says the LORD, just as the Israelites bring their cereal offering in a clean vessel to the house of the LORD.
21 And some of them also I will take for priests and for Levites, says the LORD.
Psalms 117: 1 - 2
1 Praise the LORD, all nations! Extol him, all peoples!
2 For great is his steadfast love toward us; and the faithfulness of the LORD endures for ever. Praise the LORD!
Hebrews 12: 5 - 7, 11 - 13
5 And have you forgotten the exhortation which addresses you as sons? -- "My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor lose courage when you are punished by him.
6 For the Lord disciplines him whom he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives."
7 It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline?
11 For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant; later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
12 Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees,
13 and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed.
Luke 13: 22 - 30
22 He went on his way through towns and villages, teaching, and journeying toward Jerusalem.
23 And some one said to him, "Lord, will those who are saved be few?" And he said to them,
24 "Strive to enter by the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able.
25 When once the householder has risen up and shut the door, you will begin to stand outside and to knock at the door, saying, `Lord, open to us.' He will answer you, `I do not know where you come from.'
26 Then you will begin to say, `We ate and drank in your presence, and you taught in our streets.'
27 But he will say, `I tell you, I do not know where you come from; depart from me, all you workers of iniquity!'
28 There you will weep and gnash your teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God and you yourselves thrust out.
29 And men will come from east and west, and from north and south, and sit at table in the kingdom of God.
30 And behold, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last."