BENEDICT XVI EXALTS THE IMPORTANCE OF FAITHFULNESS
VATICAN CITY, 25 JUN 2011 (VIS) - This morning Benedict XVI received 2,000 members of the Association of Sts. Peter and Paul, who are currently celebrating their organisation's 40th anniversary. (IMAGE SOURCE RADIO VATICANA)
The association came into being at the wish of Paul VI who in 1970 disbanded various groups of pontifical guards, including the Palatine Guard of Honour created by Pius IX in 1850. His intention was to bring together a group of the faithful ofRome who wished to express their unconditional fidelity to the Apostolic See. Former members of the guard were thus invited to join a new group called the Association of Sts. Peter and Paul, the statutes of which were approved by Paul VI in 1971.
The association is divided into three sections: liturgy, culture and charity, plus a general secretariat. It undertakes various initiatives, with the aim of bearing witness to Christian life, the apostolate and faithfulness to the Apostolic See.
In his address the Holy Father thanked them for the charitable work they do in collaboration with the Daughters of Charity, and for their help in ensuring the smooth running of celebrations in the Vatican. "These tasks", he said, "require profound motivation, which must be constantly renewed by an intense spiritual life. In order to help others to pray, our own hearts must be turned towards God; in order to call them to respect holy places and holy things, we too must have a Christian sense of the sacred; in order to help our neighbour with authentic Christian love, we must have a humble heart and an attitude of faith. Your actions, often undertaken in silence, are an indication, an example, a reminder, and as such they also have an educational value".
Benedict XVI commended the members of the association to the Virgin Mary, whom they venerate as "Virgo Fidelis". "Today there is more need for faithfulness than ever before", he said. "We live in a society which has lost this value, which exalts acceptance of change, of 'mobility' and 'flexibility', also for legitimate economic and organisational reasons. But the quality of human relationships is measured by faithfulness. Sacred Scripture teaches us that God is faithful".
The Pope concluded his address by thanking those present for their gift of a chasuble for the sixtieth anniversary of his ordination as a priest. "It reminds me", he said, "that I am always first and foremost a priest of Christ".
VATICAN CITY, 25 JUN 2011 (VIS) - Made public today was a Letter, written in Latin and dated 17 June, in which the Holy Father appoints Cardinal Reinhard Marx, archbishop of Munich and Freising, Germany, as his special envoy to celebrations marking the 350th anniversary of the Marian shrine of Werl, in the German archdiocese of Paderborn, due to take place on 2 July.
The cardinal will be accompanied on his mission by Msgr. Wilhelm Hentze, provost of the metropolitan chapter, and Msgr. Theodor Ahrens, canon of the metropolitan chapter.
VATICAN CITY, 25 JUN 2011 (VIS) - The Holy See Press Office today released the programme of Benedict XVI's forthcoming apostolic trip to Madrid, Spain, for the twenty-sixth World Youth Day (WYD).
The Holy Father is due to depart by plane from Rome's Ciampino airport at 9.30 a.m. on Thursday 19 August, landing at midday at Barajas airport in Madrid where a welcome ceremony will take place. At 7.15 p.m. that day he will join a group of young people to pass under the Puerta de Alcala in the city's Plaza de Independencia, before moving on to Plaza de Cibeles where youth from all over the world will be gathered to greet him.
On Friday 19 August the Pope will celebrate Mass privately in the chapel of the apostolic nunciature inMadrid then, at 10 a.m., pay a courtesy visit to the Spanish king and queen in the Palacio de la Zarzuela. At 11.30 a.m. he will attend a meeting with young religious and another with young university professors at the basilica of San Lorenzo de El Escorial.
At 5.30 p.m., having had lunch with young people at the apostolic nunciature, Benedict XVI is scheduled to hold an official meeting with Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, prime minister of Spain. Later, at 7.30 p.m., the Pope will return to Plaza de Cibeles where he will preside at the Way of the Cross.
On Saturday 20 August Benedict XVI will hear confession from a number of young people inMadrid's Jardines del Buen Retiro before celebrating Mass for seminarians at 10 a.m. in the cathedral of Santa Maria la Real de la Almudena. At5 p.m. that day he will meet with the WYD organising committees at the apostolic nunciature then visit the Fundacion Instituto San Jose. At 8.30 p.m. he will preside at a prayer vigil with young people at the airport of Cuatro Vientos.
At 9.30 a.m. on Sunday 21 August, the Holy Father will preside at the World Youth Day Mass at theairport of Cuatro Vientos, then pray the Angelus. After the ceremony he will have lunch with Spanish cardinals and the papal entourage at the apostolic nunciature.
The Holy Father is scheduled to leave the apostolic nunciature at 5 p.m. He will meet with WYD volunteers in the new Feria de Madrid - IFEMA before travelling to the airport of Barajas where the departure ceremony will take place at 6.30 p.m. The papal plane will depart for Rome at 7 p.m. where it is scheduled to land at 9.30 p.m.
VATICAN CITY, 25 JUN 2011 (VIS) - His Beatitude Bechara Rai, patriarch of Antioch of the Maronites, with the consent of the Synod of the Maronite Church and having informed the Apostolic See, has transferred, in accordance with canon 85 para. 2 of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, Archbishop Paul Nabil El-Sayah of Haifa of the Maronites, patriarchal exarch for Jerusalem, Palestine and Jordan, to the office of bishop of the Patriarchal Curia. The Holy Father has allowed the prelate to maintain his title of archbishop "ad personam".
VATICAN CITY, 26 JUN 2011 (VIS) - Before praying the Angelus today, Benedict XVI made some remarks about the Solemnity of Corpus Christi, the "Feast of the Eucharist", which is being celebrated today in many countries around the world and which represents "the Church's most valuable treasure".
The Pope explained how "the Eucharist is like a beating heart giving life to the mystical Body of the Church, which is a social organisation entirely founded on its spiritual yet tangible bond with Christ. ... Without the Eucharist the Church would simply cease to exist. In fact, it is the Eucharist which renders a human community a mystery of communion, capable of bringing God to the world and the world to God. The Holy Spirit, which transforms the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ, also transforms those who receive it with faith into limbs of Christ's Body, thus the Church truly is a Sacrament of men's unity, with God and with one another.
"In an increasingly individualistic culture", Benedict XVI added, "such as that in which we live in western societies and which is tending to spread throughout the world, the Eucharist constitutes a kind of 'antidote', working on the hearts and minds of believers and continually infusing them with the logic of communion, service and sharing, the logic of the Gospel. The first Christians inJerusalem were an evident sign of this new lifestyle because they lived in fraternity and shared all their worldly goods, so that no one should be left in want. ... In later generations too, the Church, despite human limitations and errors, has continued to be a force for communion in the world. We think particularly of the times of greatest difficulty, times of trial: for example, what could the chance of coming together at Sunday Mass have meant in countries ruled by totalitarian regimes? ... Yet the vacuum produced by false freedoms can be equally dangerous; thus communion with the Body of Christ is like a medicine for the mind and the will, helping us rediscover our taste for truth and for the common good".
After the Marian prayer, the Holy Father turned his attention to last Saturday's beatification in the German city of Lubeck of Frs. Johannes Prassek, Eduard Muller and Hermann Lange, killed by the Nazis in Hamburg in 1943. He also mentioned today's beatification in Milan, Italy, of Fr. Serafino Morazzone, an "exemplary pastor" from the area of Lecco who lived between the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries; Fr. Clemente Vismara, a "heroic missionary" of the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions in Burma, and Sr. Enrica Alfieri of the Congregation of the Sisters of Charity, known as the "angel" of the Milanese prison of San Vittore.
"In Italy, this Sunday preceding the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul, marks the Day of the Pope's Charity", said the Holy Father. "I wish to thank everyone who, with prayer and offerings, supports my apostolic and charitable activities".
Finally the Pope had words of greeting for "all the people of Poland and, in particular, Polish bishops and faithful who are participating in celebrations to mark the 600th anniversary of the consecration of the cathedral of Wroclawek".
VATICAN CITY, 27 JUN 2011 (VIS) - At midday today in the Holy See Press Office, a press conference was held to present the new Vatican internet portal "news.va", which will be inaugurated by the Pope tomorrow, 28 June, eve of the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul.
Participating in today's event were: Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications; Fr. Federico Lombardi, director of the Holy See Press Office; Giovanni Maria Vian, director of the "Osservatore Romano" newspaper; Gustavo Entrala, founder and director of the 101 advertising agency, and Thaddeus Jones, an official of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications.
Archbishop Celli expressed his happiness at having the opportunity to present the new multimedia portal which will come online on 29 June, Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul, Apostles, "thus completing the task entrusted to the Pontifical Council for Social Communications by the Secretariat of State", he said.
"Our desire", he went on, is to ensure that the new portal "should be an expression of our faithfulness and dedication to the Holy Father, for the sixtieth anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood".
The president of the dicastery explained how it will now be possible "to consult atnews.va the principal news items printed or transmitted by other Vatican media outlets": the "Osservatore Romano", Vatican Radio, the Vatican Information Service, Agenzia Fides, the Holy See Press Office and the Vatican Television Centre.
The new portal will contain news items relating to the words and activities of the Holy Father in the course of his Magisterium, declarations issued by the various dicasteries of the Holy See, and information about important global events and situations affecting the particular Churches.
"For the first few months", Archbishop Celli explained, "the portal will be available in just two languages: Italian and English. ... After the summer the website will be restyled and at least one new language added, perhaps Spanish. Subsequently it will also become available in French and Portuguese".
Concerning its relationship with other Vatican media outlets, the archbishop pointed out that the new portal "will not have a specific editorial slant. ... Each of the outlets will maintain its own autonomy and identity, as will be evident from the way in which the information is presented".
The main Vatican website (vatican.va) "will not disappear, but will continue its mission to put the Holy Father's Magisterium online. Since it was founded, theVatican website has served as a source of documentation and so it will remain, working in harmony with the new portal".
The president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications expressed particular thanks to Thaddeus Jones for having co-ordinated the activities "which brought this long and not always easy process to a successful conclusion".
Finally he also thanked Gustavo Entrala of the 101 advertising agency, who oversaw the technical and graphic aspects of the initiative.
VATICAN CITY, 27 JUN 2011 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in audience Cardinal Angelo Amato S.D.B., prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, and authorised the promulgation of decrees concerning the following causes:
- Servant of God Mariano Arciero, Italian diocesan priest (1707-1788).
- Servant of God Jean-Joseph (ne Alcide Lataste), French priest of the Order of Friars Preachers and founder of the Sisters of the Third Order of St. Dominic of Betania (1832-1869).
- Servant of God Maria Ines-Teresa of the Blessed Sacrament Arias Espinosa (nee Manuela de Jesus), Mexican foundress of the Poor Clare Missionary Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament and the Missionaries of Christ for the Universal Church (1904-1981).
- Servant of God Hildegard Burjan, German laywoman and foundress of the Sisters of Social Charity (1883-1933).
- Servant of God Salvio Huix Miralpeix, bishop of Lleida, Spain, killed in hatred of the faith in 1936.
- Servant of God Karl Lampert, Austrian diocesan priest and pro-vicar of the apostolic administration of Innsbruck Feldkirch, killed in hatred of the faith in 1944.
- Servants of God Josefina Martinez Perez of the Congregation of the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, and twelve companions, killed in hatred of the faith in 1936.
- Servant of God Giovanni Marinoni (ne Francesco), Italian professed priest of the Order of Cleeks Regular Theatines (1490-1562).
- Servant of God Jose Maria Garcia Lahiguera, archbishop of Valencia, Spain, and founder of the Congregation of Oblate Sisters of Christ the Priest (1903-1989).
- Servant of God Matthew Kadalikattil, Indian diocesan priest and founder of the Congregation of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (1872-1935).
- Servant of God Raffaele Dimiccoli, Italian diocesan priest (1887-1956).
- Servant of God Sofia Czeska-Maciejowska, Polish foundress of the Congregation of the Virgins of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (1584-1650).
- Servant of God Maria Giuseppina Benvenuti (nee Zeinab Alif), Sudanese professed religious of the Order of St. Clare (1845/46-1926).
- Servant of God Laura Meozzi, Italian professed religious of the Institute of Daughters of Our Lady of Help (1873-1951).
- Servant of God Luigia (Gina) Tincani, Italian foundress of the Union of St. Catherine of Sienaof the Missionary Sisters of Schools (1889-1976).
VATICAN CITY, 27 JUN 2011 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:
- Cardinal Angelo Amato S.D.B., prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.
- Cardinal Albert Malcolm Ranjith Patabendige Don, archbishop of Colombo, Sri Lanka.
- Cardinal Francisco Javier Errazuriz Ossa, archbishop emeritus of Santiago de Chile, Chile.
- Cardinal Roger Etchegaray president emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and of the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum".
On Saturday 25 June he received in separate audiences:
- Fra' Matthew Festing, prince and grand master of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, accompanied by an entourage.
- Archbishop Giuseppe Pinto, apostolic nuncio to the Philippines.
- Cardinal Marc Ouellet P.S.S., prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.
- 75 beautiful illustrations from eight gifted artists
- 3 simple reflections for each Sunday and Feast Day of the Church year
- provides a brief family prayer-time to prepare for Mass or continue the theme of the feast later in the day
- an appropriate gift for First Communions, Baptisms, Weddings, etc.
Rediscover the beauty of your Catholic Faith with your children, as a couple, or on your own with the colourful Lift Up Your Hearts devotional. This devotional has three inspiring reflections and a beautiful illustration for every Sunday and important feast day of the year (Christmas, Mary – Mother of God, Ash Wednesday, Easter Sunday, Pentecost, Triumph of the Cross, etc…). From season to season and Sunday to Sunday, Lift Up Your Hearts helps us enter into the many meaningful expressions, prayers, and gestures that take place during the Mass. This devotional is great for helping parents, grandparents, and teachers explore the Faith with their children, grandchildren, and students. Lift Up Your Hearts is a treasure for any Catholic home and classroom and is an appropriate gift for First Communion, Confirmation, Weddings, Christmas, and Easter.
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ALL AFRICA REPORT: Luanda — Canon Apolónio Graciano on Sunday in Luanda called on christians to pray for peace and stability in the continent.
The Catholic prelate said so at the Sunday mass sermon held at the Seminário Maior chapel, having reminded that some African countries are facing a climate of war, with interventions from international powers, reason why there is a need to pray so that there may be peace and stability in the African regions that are facing conflicts.
The prelate also appealed to citizens to do good actions and show charity, as well as recognise and confess their sins.
He also stressed that people need to show happiness and joy so that they can transmit good mood to everyone around them, aiming for healthy and harmonious socialisation.
Screenshot from The West Australian
CATH NEWS REPORT: The remains of the first Catholic bishop of Perth, John Brady, are back in WA, to be re-interred to a new crypt under the city's St Mary's Cathedral in August, reports the West Australian.
Archbishop Barry Hickey said the project to bring back the remains of Bishop Brady had gone smoothly. "The Church, in a formal sense, dates back to his arrival," he said.The remains, exhumed by a team from the Catholic Church in WA, have been brought back from France in a purpose-built ossuary. They will join the remains of two bishops and three archbishops also re-interred at St Mary's.
"He represents the beginning of the work of the Catholic Church of Western Australia."
Archbishop Hickey will preside over a re-interment mass at St Mary's on August 2. The remains will be transferred to the crypt
Beijing (AsiaNews) – The Episcopal ordination of Fr Joseph Sun Jigen as the coadjutor bishop of Handan, Hebei (northern China) this Wednesday, feast day of Sts Peter and Paul, has been cancelled, Catholic sources, anonymous for security reasons, told AsiaNews today.
The 43-year-old bishop-designate was taken away by police yesterday morning morning after a five-day spiritual retreat, they said.
Fr Sun’s appointment had been approved by the Holy See and recognised by the Chinese government.
Local Catholics said that his whereabouts are unknown. Some people believe he was taken to Shijiazhuang, the provincial capital, north of Handan.
Sources said the diocese hoped only legitimate bishops from Hebei would attend the ordination liturgy. In recent day, diocese officials had negotiated with local and provincial officials on ordination arrangement, but had failed to reach an agreement.
Yesterday, Corpus Domini, as soon as Fr Sun finished his retreat and prepared to return to his diocese from Weihui in Henan province, he and another clergyman, Fr Joseph Huai Jianting, chancellor of Handan, were forced by a few public security officials from Handan into a police vehicle.
When the police car reached Handan, Fr Huai insisted both priests should return to their respective dioceses. Instead, they were driven to nearby Shahe city, where police put Fr Huai into another vehicle and took him alone back to Handan. Fr Sun continued the journey northward toward Shijiazhuang. Since then, Fr Sun’s whereabouts have not been known, the sources said.
In the meantime, Bishop Yang Xiangtai of Handan, 89, suffered a heart attack and is now under treatment in Dazhong Hospital in Weixian (Hebei). Bishop Yang was scheduled to ordain Fr Sun.
Born on 2 August 1967, Fr Sun entered Handan diocesan minor seminary in 1986. In 1994, he taught in the minor seminary. In 1995, he was ordained into the priesthood by the late Bishop Chen Bolu of Handan. In 1997, he was appointed chancellor, and between 2001-2005, he was named vicar general. In 2005, he was named parish priest in Yongnian. In 2007, he was appointed bishop-designate of Handan by the Holy See.
His Episcopal emblem was ready, a cross and a shield to defend faith and, in the background, the topography of Handan areas.
In the diocese, the faithful are particularly devoted to the Holy Spirit.
St. Cyril of Alexandria
DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH
Feast: June 27
Doctor of the Church. St. Cyril has his feast in the Western Church on the 28th of January; in the Greek Menaea it is found on the 9th of June, and (together with St. Athanasius) on the 18th of January.
He seems to have been of an Alexandrian family and was the son of the brother of Theophilus, Patriarch of Alexandria; if he is the Cyril addressed by Isidore of Pelusium in Ep. xxv of Bk. I, he was for a time a monk. He accompanied Theophilus to Constantinople when that bishop held the "Synod of the Oak" in 402 and deposed St. John Chrysostom. Theophilus died 15 Oct., 412, and on the 18th Cyril was consecrated his uncle's successor, but only after a riot between his supporters and those of his rival Timotheus. Socrates complains bitterly that one of his first acts was to plunder and shut the churches of the Novatians. He also drove out of Alexandria the Jews, who had formed a flourishing community there since Alexander the Great. But they had caused tumults and had massacred the Christians, to defend whom Cyril himself assembled a mob. This may have been the only possible defence, since the Prefect of Egypt, Orestes, who was very angry at the expulsion of the Jews was also jealous of the power of Cyril, which certainly rivaled his own. Five hundred monks came down from Nitria to defend the patriarch. In a disturbance which arose, Orestes was wounded in the head by a stone thrown by a monk named Ammonius. The prefect had Ammonius tortured to death, and the young and fiery patriarch honoured his remains for a time as those of a martyr. The Alexandians were always riotous as we learn from Socrates (VII, vii) and from St. Cyril himself (Hom. for Easter, 419). In one of these riots, in 422, the prefect Callistus was killed, and in another was committed the murder of a female philosopher Hypatia, a highly-respected teacher of neo-Platoism, of advanced age and (it is said) many virtues. She was a friend of Orestes, and many believed that she prevented a reconciliation between the prefect and patriarch. A mob led by a lector, named Peter, dragged her to a church and tore her flesh with potsherds till she died. This brought great disgrace, says Socrates, on the Church of Alexandria and on its bishop; but a lector at Alexandria was not a cleric (Scr., V, xxii), and Socrates does not suggest that Cyril himself was to blame. Damascius, indeed, accuses him, but he is a late authority and a hater of Christians.
Theophilus, the persecutor of Chrysostom, had not the privilege of communion with Rome from that saint's death, in 406, until his own. For some years Cyril also refused to insert the name of St. Chrysostom in the diptychs of his Church, in spite of the requests of Chrysostom's supplanter, Atticus. Later he seems to have yielded to the representations of his spiritual father, Isisdore of Pelusium (Isid., Ep. I, 370). Yet even after the Council of Ephesus that saint still found something to rebuke in him on this matter (Ep. I, 310). But at last Cyril seems to have long since been trusted by Rome.
It was in the winter of 427-28 that the Antiochene Nestorius became Patriarch of Constantinople. His heretical teaching soon became known to Cyril. Against him Cyril taught the use of the term Theotokus in his Paschal letter for 429 and in a letter to the monks of Egypt. A correspondence with Nestorius followed, in a more moderate tone than might have been expected. Nestorius sent his sermons to Pope Celestine, but he received no reply, for the latter wrote to St. Cyril for further information. Rome had taken the side of St. John Chrysostom against Theophilus, but had neither censured the orthodoxy of the latter, nor consented to the patriarchal powers exercised by the bishops of Constantinople. To St. Celestine Cyril was not only the first prelate of the East, he was also the inheritor of the traditions of Athanasius and Peter. The pope's confidence was not misplaced. Cyril had learnt prudence. Peter had attempted unsuccessfully to appoint a Bishop of Constantinople; Theophilus had deposed another. Cyril, though in this case Alexandria was in the right, does not act in his own name, but denounces Nestorius to St. Celestine, since ancient custom, he says, persuaded him to bring the matter before the pope. He relates all that had occurred, and begs Celestine to decree what he sees fit (typosai to dokoun--a phrase which Dr. Bright chooses to weaken into "formulate his opinion"), and communicate it also to the Bishops of Macedonia and of the East (i.e. the Antiochene Patriarchate).
The pope's reply was of astonishing severity. He had already commissioned Cassian to write his well known treatise on the Incarnation. He now summoned a council (such Roman councils had somewhat the office of the modern Roman Congregations), and dispatched a letter to Alexandria with enclosures to Constantinople, Philippi, Jerusalem, and Antioch. Cyril is to take to himself the authority of the Roman See and to admonish Nestorius that unless he recants within ten days from the receipt of this ultimatum, he is separated from "our body" (the popes of the day had the habit of speaking of the other churches as the members, of which they are the head; the body is, of course the Catholic Church). If Nestorius does not submit, Cyril is to "provide for" the Church of Constantinople. Such a sentence of excommunication and deposition is not to be confounded with the mere withdrawal of actual communion by the popes from Cyril himself at an earlier date, from Theophilus, or, in Antioch, from Flavian or Meletius. It was the decree Cyril has asked for. As Cyril had twice written to Nestorius, his citation in the name of the pope is to be counted as a third warning, after which no grace is to be given.
St. Cyril summoned a council of his suffragans, and composed a letter which were appended twelve propositions for Nestorius to anathematize. The epistle was not conciliatory, and Nestorius may well have been taken aback. The twelve propositions did not emanate from Rome, and were not equally clear; one or two of them were later among the authorities invoked by the Monophysite heretics in their own favour. Cyril was the head of the rival theological school to that of Antioch, where Nestorius had studied, and was the hereditary rival of the Constantinopolitan would-be patriarch. Cyril wrote also to John, Patriarch of Antioch, informing him of the facts, and insinuating that if John should support his old friend Nestorius, he would find himself isolated over against Rome, Macedonia, and Egypt. John took the hint and urged Nestorius to yield. Meanwhile, in Constantinople itself large numbers of the people held aloof from Nestorius, and the Emperor Theodosius II had been persuaded to summon a general council to meet at Ephesus. The imperial letters were dispatched 19 November, whereas the bishops sent by Cyril arrived at Constantinople only on 7 December. Nestorius, somewhat naturally, refused to accept the message sent by his rival, and on the 13th and 14th of December preached publicly against Cyril as a calumniator, and as having used bribes (which was probably as true as it was usual); but he declared himself willing to use the word Theotokos. These sermons he sent to John of Antioch, who preferred them to the anathematizations of Cyril. Nestorius, however, issued twelve propositions with appended anathemas. If Cyril's propositions might be might be taken to deny the two natures in Christ, those of Nestorius hardly veiled his belief in two distinct persons. Theodoret urged John yet further, and wrote a treatise against Cyril, to which the latter replied with some warmth. He also wrote an "Answer" in five books to the sermons of Nestorius.
As the fifteenth-century idea of an oecumenical council superior to the pope had yet to be invented, and there was but one precedent for such an assembly, we need not be surprised that St. Celestine welcomed the initiative of the emperor, and hoped for peace through the assembly. (See EPHESUS, COUNCIL OF.) Nestorius found the churches of Ephesus closed to him, when he arrived with the imperial commissioner, Count Candidian, and his own friend, Count Irenaeus. Cyril came with fifty of his bishops. Palestine, Crete, Asia Minor, and Greece added their quotient. But John of Antioch and his suffragans were delayed. Cyril may have believed, rightly or wrongly, that John did not wish to be present at the trial of his friend Nestorius, or that he wished to gain time for him, and he opened the council without John, on 22 June, in spite of the request of sixty-eight bishops for a delay. This was an initial error, which had disastrous results.
The legates from Rome had not arrived, so that Cyril had no answer to the letter he had written to Celestine asking "whether the holy synod should receive a man who condemned what it preached, or, because the time of delay had elapsed, whether the sentence was still in force". Cyril might have presumed that the pope, in agreeing to send legates to the council, intended Nestorius to have a complete trial, but it was more convenient to assume that the Roman ultimatum had not been suspended, and that the council was bound by it. He therefore took the place of president, not only as the highest of rank, but also as still holding the place of Celestine, though he cannot have received any fresh commission from the pope. Nestorius was summoned, in order that he might explain his neglect of Cyril's former monition in the name of the pope. He refused to receive the four bishops whom the council sent to him. Consequently nothing remained but formal procedure. For the council was bound by the canons to depose Nestorius for contumacy, as he would not appear, and by the letter of Celestine to condemn him for heresy, as he had not recanted. The correspondence between Rome, Alexandria, and Constantinople was read, some testimonies where read from earlier writers show the errors of Nestorius. The second letter of Cyril to Nestorius was approved by all the bishops. The reply of Nestorius was condemned. No discussion took place. The letter of Cyril and the ten anathemaizations raised no comment. All was concluded at one sitting. The council declared that it was "of necessity impelled" by the canons and by the letter of Celestine to declare Nestorius deposed and excommunicated. The papal legates, who had been detained by bad weather, arrived on the 10th of July, and they solemnly confirmed the sentence by the authority of St. Peter, for the refusal of Nestorius to appear had made useless the permission which they brought from the pope to grant him forgiveness if he should repent. But meanwhile John of Antioch and his party had arrived on the 26th and 27th of June. They formed themselves into a rival council of forty-three bishops, and deposed Memnon, Bishop of Ephesus, and St. Cyril, accusing the latter of Apollinarianism and even of Eunomianism. Both parties now appealed to the emperor, who took the amazing decision of sending a count to treat Nestorius, Cyril, and Memnon as being all three lawfully deposed. They were kept in close custody; but eventually the emperor took the orthodox view, though he dissolved the council; Cyril was allowed to return to his diocese, and Nestorius went into retirement at Antioch. Later he was banished to the Great Oasis of Egypt.
Meanwhile Pope Celestine was dead. His successor, St. Sixtus III, confirmed the council and attempted to get John of Antioch to anathematize Nestorius. For some time the strongest opponent of Cyril was Theodoret, but eventually he approved a letter of Cyril to Acacius of Berhoea. John sent Paul, Bishop of Emesa, as his plenipotentiary to Alexandria, and he patched up reconciliation with Cyril. Though Theodoret still refused to denounce the defence of Nestorius, John did so, and Cyril declared his joy in a letter to John. Isidore of Pelusium was now afraid that the impulsive Cyril might have yielded too much (Ep. i, 334). The great patriarch composed many further treatises, dogmatic letters, and sermons. He died on the 9th or the 27th of June, 444, after an episcopate of nearly thirty-two years.
Read more: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/C/stcyrilofalexandria.asp#ixzz1QUK9zdgx
|Matthew 8: 18 - 22|
|18||Now when Jesus saw great crowds around him, he gave orders to go over to the other side.|
|19||And a scribe came up and said to him, "Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go."|
|20||And Jesus said to him, "Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man has nowhere to lay his head."|
|21||Another of the disciples said to him, "Lord, let me first go and bury my father."|
|22||But Jesus said to him, "Follow me, and leave the dead to bury their own dead.|