NEW AMBASSADOR OF COTE D'IVOIRE TO HOLY SEE
VATICAN CITY, 4 NOV 2011 (VIS) - This morning in the Vatican, Benedict XVI received the Letters of Credence of Joseph Tebah-Klah, the new ambassador of Cote d'Ivoire to the Holy See. Their meeting coincided with the fortieth anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two States.
In his address to the diplomat, the Holy Father spoke of the great concern with which he had followed the recent post-electoral crisis, which created the divisions currently affecting Cote d'Ivoire. He also expressed his hope that the recently created Dialogue, Truth, and Reconciliation Commission would carry out its duties diligently and impartially. (IMAGE SOURCE: RADIO VATICANA)
"The serious crisis affecting Cote d'Ivoire", said the Pope, "has given rise to equally serious violations of human rights, and much loss of life. For this reason, I encourage your country to promote any initiatives that may lead to peace and justice. You must not be afraid to discover the truth behind all the crimes and violations committed against the rights of the people. It will only be possible to live together harmoniously by striving after truth and justice, ... and by recognising and respecting the sacred nature of all human life. Each life comes from God and is sacred by virtue of its divine origin. Thus the loss of a human life - whether great or small, rich or poor - is always a tragedy, and especially when man is responsible".
The Holy Father described the diversity of religions and ethnicities in Cote d'Ivoireas "a great treasure. Coexistence must always be ardently supported and encouraged", he said, going on to encourage political leaders to work to ensure that the country's resources benefit all citizens equally.
The Church for her part "makes her own specific contribution to reconstruction efforts. She has no desire to replace the State but she can, through her many institutions in the fields of education and health, bring comfort and care to the soul. Indeed, such aid is often more necessary than material support, especially when both wounds of the body and wounds of the soul are in need of attention".
In closing the Holy Father called for the Virgin Mary to intercede, that the Lord might pour His abundant blessings upon the people of Cote d'Ivoire.
VATICAN CITY, 4 NOV 2011 (VIS) - Given below is the text of a declaration made yesterday by Holy See Press Office Director Fr. Federico Lombardi S.J. in response to a note issued by the Irish Foreign Ministry announcing the decision of the government of Ireland to close, for economic reasons, its embassies in the Holy See and Iran, and its office of representation in East Timor.
"The Holy See takes note of the decision by Ireland to close its embassy in Rometo the Holy See. Of course, any State which has diplomatic relations with the Holy See is free to decide, according to its possibilities and its interests, whether to have an ambassador to the Holy See resident in Rome, or resident in another country. What is important are diplomatic relations between the Holy See and the States, and these are not at issue with regard to Ireland".
VATICAN CITY, 4 NOV 2011 (VIS) - The Special Council for America of the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops celebrated its sixteenth meeting from 27 to 28 October. According to a note published today, the meeting reflected upon such themes as the new evangelisation, inter-religious dialogue and the situation of the Church and society in various parts of the continent, in the light of the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation "Ecclesia in America".
"'Ecclesia in America' reformulates for the continent of America the criteria used to evaluate non-Christian religions, as expressed by Vatican Council II Declaration 'Nostra Aetate'", the note reads. According to those criteria "the Catholic Church, while affirming the specific originality of Christianity, does not reject anything that is true and holy in non-Christian religions".
"In the field of ecumenical and inter-religious dialogue, there is sometimes a certain level of interference by States which, while proclaiming themselves as secular, to all intents and purposes tend to consider the Catholic Church as just one among many other religious denominations. In this way they ignore her true nature and the incontestable historical role she played in the first evangelisation of the continent, and in the formation of the identity of individual nations. This strategy followed by the civil authorities means that ecumenical and inter-religious dialogue comes to be replaced by the generic concept of 'inter-religious relations'. Thus, not only are all religions considered as spiritual phenomena of equal status, but there is a tendency to see religion as a tool at the service of political life. Nonetheless, the Church in America is determined to continue her ecumenical and inter-religious activities, following the pastoral guidelines laid down by Vatican Council II and subsequent Magisterium".
The note also highlights the good relations that exist with other Christian confessions, and with non-Christians, especially Jews and Muslims. On the subject of the indigenous religions which existed before the arrival of Christianity, the note explains how "the Catholic Church seeks to discover elements which are compatible with the Gospel, to purify them and integrate them appropriately into the life of local ecclesial communities". The sects, however, represent "the true challenge for the Church in the process of new evangelisation", because, "through energetic proselytisation they spread rapidly in the big cities and wherever the Church's presence is weak".
Poverty, violence and the spread of values that fail to respect human life remain a concern. They are seen as being "the negative outcome of the process of secularisation which is extending from north to south". The effects of the earthquake in Haiti still persist, made worse by illness and difficult social conditions. It is to be hoped that concrete solidarity will be forthcoming from governments, international institutions and Church organisations.
Another phenomenon of vast proportions which affects the entire continent is migration. "In this field", the note explains, "the Church is involved in promoting social programmes and religious assistance to migrants, with the aim of favouring cultural integration and social peace. Although it is true that illegal migrants face serious difficulties, there are positive aspects to the phenomenon of migration, which can favour greater integration among different peoples and the unity of the continent".
The note expresses satisfaction at the increased number of vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life among men, but highlights that in some areas female religious life is diminishing. However, "there is great readiness to welcome the faith on the part of the new generations".
The note concludes by referring to the positive results of the Fifth General Conference of the Episcopate of Latin America and the Caribbean, which took place in the Brazilian city of Aparecidain 2007, "raising awareness that the entire Church on the continent must be in a state of mission". It also mentions the positive reception accorded to the "Lineamenta" of the Thirteenth Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, which is due to be held in the Vatican in October 2012 on the theme: "The new evangelisation for the transmission of the Christian faith".
VATICAN CITY, 4 NOV 2011 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in audience thirteen prelates of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, on their "ad limina" visit:
- Cardinal Sean Patrick O'Malley O.F.M. Cap. of Boston accompanied, by Auxiliary Bishops Walter James Edyvean, John Anthony Dooher, Robert Francis Hennessey, Arthur L. Kennedy, and Peter J. Uglietto.
- Bishop Salvatore Ronald Matano of Burlington.
- Bishop George William Coleman of Fall River.
- Bishop Richard Joseph Malone of Portland.
- Bishop Timothy Anthony McDonnell of Springfield in Massachusetts.
- Bishop Robert Joseph McManus of Worcester.
- Bishop Francis J. Christian, auxiliary of Manchester, accompanied by Bishop emeritus John B. McCormack.
VATICAN CITY, 4 NOV 2011 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Bishop Joachim Ouedraogo of Dori, Burkina Faso, apostolic administrator of Koudougou, Burkina Faso, as bishop of the diocese of Koudougou (area 26,354, population 1,649,000, Catholics 278,000, priests 80, religious 180).
During this meeting the members heard reports about major events in the lives of the Catholic and Orthodox Churches and issued a brief statement, “On the Plight of Churches in the Middle East.”
The members of the Consultation also continued their study of the role of the laity in the two churches and the intermediate or regional levels of ecclesial authority. A paper on the Catholic theology of the parish by Sister of Charity of Leavenworth Susan K. Wood of Marquette University was presented in her absence. Father Patrick Viscuso of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America delivered a paper, “Canonical Reflections on the Orthodox Parish.” Father Nicholas Apostola of the Romanian Orthodox Archdiocese in the Americas presented a study, “The Role of the Laity in the Church,” and Chorbishop John D. Faris, pastor of St. Louis Gonzaga Maronite Church in Utica, New York, presented a paper, “Synodal Governance in the Eastern Catholic Churches.”
The Consultation also welcomed a new Orthodox member, Despina D. Prassas, Ph.D., associate professor of theology at Providence College in Providence, Rhode Island.
The next meeting is slated to take place at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Brookline, Massachusetts, June 5-7.
Additional Orthodox members include Rev. Dr. Thomas FitzGerald, dean of the Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Brookline, Massachusetts; Father John Erickson, former dean and professor of canon law and church history at Saint Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary in Crestwood, New York; Father James Dutko, pastor of St. Michael’s Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Church in Binghamton, New York; Susan Ashbrook Harvey, Ph.D., of Brown University; Paul Meyendorff, Ph.D., Alexander Schmemann professor of liturgical theology and editor of Saint Vladimir’s Theological Quarterly, Crestwood, New York; Bishop-Elect Alexander Golitzin, professor of theology at Marquette University, Milwaukee; Robert Haddad, Ph.D., Sophia Smith professor emeritus of history at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts; Father Robert Stephanopoulos, pastor emeritus of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocesan Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, New York; Father Theodore Pulcini, associate professor of religion at Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pennsylvania; and Father Mark Arey, general secretary of the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas (SCOBA), New York, staff.
Additional Catholic members are Jesuit Father Brian Daley (secretary), Catherine F. Huisking professor of theology at the University of Notre Dame; Thomas Bird, Ph.D., of Queens College, City University of New York, Flushing, New York; Sylvain Destrempes, Ph.D., faculty of the Grand Seminaire in Montreal; Father Peter Galadza, Kule Family professor of liturgy at the Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky Institute of Eastern Christian Studies, Ottawa; Father John Galvin, professor of Systematic Theology, The Catholic University of America (CUA); Father Sidney Griffith, professor in the Department of Semitic and Egyptian Languages and Literatures, CUA; Father Joseph Komonchak, professor emeritus of religious studies at CUA; Monsignor Paul McPartlan, Carl J. Peter professor of systematic theology and ecumenism at CUA; Father David Petras, spiritual director and professor of liturgy at the Byzantine Catholic Seminary of Sts. Cyril and Methodius, Pittsburgh; Vito Nicastro, Ph.D., associate director of the Office for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, Archdiocese of Boston; and Paulist Father Ronald Roberson, Ph.D., associate director of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, staff.
FULL TEXT of the joint statement follows:Statement of the North American Orthodox-Catholic Theological Consultation
It was a peaceful end to an extraordinary life.
Sister Eileen Heath died last Saturday, just over a month before her 106th birthday and after a lifetime of service.
Sister Eileen spent her last years at the Shoalwater Aged Care home but lived for decades in the bush, including working with Aboriginal people in Moore River and Alice Springs. It was, as someone once described it to her, her experience of "life with the lid off".
Awarded the Medal of the British Empire in 1968, Sister Eileen was described in her biography, written by Annette Roberts, as "an angel" by one of her former charges.
She would receive hundreds of notes, wellwishes and flowers on her birthday each year, which the aged care home struggled to find room for.
Her nephew, Noel Heath, said he only got to know his aunt well after she retired but was "always amazed" by the people she knew and her history.
No doubt many of those people will fill the St George Anglican Church in Safety Bay for her funeral on Wednesday.
Born in Fremantle in 1905, Sister Eileen was involved with the Church from a young age and went on to become an Anglican deaconess. Her first posting, at age 30, was to the notorious Moore River Native Settlement near Mogumber, since immortalised in the film Rabbit-Proof Fence.
There was no sanitation and no electricity. Visitors were not encouraged.
Sister Eileen later described it as a dumping ground for unwanted people, out of sight and out of mind.
Despite official resistance, she introduced activities, including scouting and excursions, for the children living in the dormitories, some separated from their families under the policy of the time.
But by 1944, she felt compelled to raise the worsening conditions with the Anglican headquarters in Perth. When her report became public, it sparked a government inquiry.
She was banned from the settlement by the "ropeable" superintendent. She recalled how he came towards her waving a newspaper carrying articles on her concerns.
"It was a very distressing time for me," she said in an interview with the National Library of Australia in 2000. "I was frustrated for the Aboriginal people because I didn't think they were getting the treatment they deserved.
"I was heartbroken leaving there because I didn't want to leave and I would never have left those people, stranded as they were with nobody for them at all."
Sister Eileen moved to Alice Springs in 1946 to become the superintendent of St Mary's boarding school for part-Aboriginal children. She was in charge until the end of 1955, when she moved to Darwin to set up a home for abused and neglected children.
Sister Eileen told the national library she was sorry for the hurt experienced by the Stolen Generation but the removals were done "with the best of intentions".Sister Eileen retired to WA in 1992. She returned to Moore River several times, including when the land was handed back to its Aboriginal owners.
“The incident happened at 2.45pm on 3 November, when hundreds of police, militiamen, professionally trained dogs and hired thugs, along with state-run television crews, attacked our people and ransacked our monastery,” wrote Fr Joseph Nguyen Van Phuong in his statement released today.
Fr John Luu Ngoc Quynh, Bro.Vincent Vu Van Bang, and Bro. Nguyen Van Tang were among several who were physically and verbally assaulted when they tried to stop the thugs from smashing the monastery's gate. The attack seemed to be premeditated since the church was deserted, as usual, during the noon hours.
After getting inside the monastery, the thugs attacked Fr. Pham Xuan Loc who tried to try to stand in their way. Church bells were rung to summon help. The attackers withdrew when thousands of Catholics and nearby parish priests rushed to the site of the violence.
This is the third time local government forces have attacked and ransacked Hanoi Redemptorist Monastery.
On Sunday, 21 September, 2008 the monastery's chapel was ransacked with statues destroyed, and books torn to pieces. In addition, "the gang yelled out slogans threatening to kill priests, religious, faithful and even our archbishop,” wrote Fr Matthew Vu Khoi Phung, Superior of Hanoi Redemptorist Monastery in a protest letter sent to People's Committee of Hanoi City and police agencies of Hanoi and Dong Da district, referring to then Archbishop of Hanoi Joseph Ngo Quang Kiet.
In response to his complaint, on 11 November, a second attack came by an even larger crowd of thugs. A stern message was sent to the vulnerable religious order and parish who were long considered as one of the biggest "thorn in the flesh" of the government.
For years, Redemptorist priests and their faithful have requested the return of their land illegally seized by the state.
On 6 January 2008, parishioners protested over a State plan to sell their land to private estate developers. After a series of attacks, arrests and trials of parishioners, the government hastily converted the land into a public park.
Another piece of land in dispute, which is the main focus now, is Lake Ba Giang. Initially, authorities planned to sell piece by piece to private estate developers. The plan has been faced with relentless protest and criticism by the religious community. Now, the government has announced a plan to turn it into a wasted water treatment plant, which threatens the environment where tens of thousands of parishioners live and worship.
The government seems to be resorting to openly persecuting Christians now. This latest attack was preceded by a month-long campaign on the State media. They have also installed electronic megaphones at strategic positions around the church in order to disrupt Masses and other services at the monastery.
The Ivory Coast has just come out from a bloody civil war between the men of former President Laurent Gbagbo and the current President Alassane Ouattara, who was installed in power by force (after winning the presidential election, certified as being correct by international observers) with the help of UN troops and the French. Gbagbo refused to recognize the electoral defeat. After the assault carried out to the presidential residence in Abidjan, the former President is now in custody awaiting trial. Both Gbagbo’s supporters and Ouattara’s are accused of having committed crimes against civilians.
In the west of Côte d'Ivoire various militias have proliferated recently. "The problem - said Mgr. Gnéba - is the fact that the program of disarmament and recovery of the weapons that are in the hands of former combatants has not yet begun. Added to this is - continues the Bishop of Man - the high unemployment that affects the population. In towns and villages the problem of unemployment is felt, especially by young people who had taken up arms during the recent political crisis".
Côte d'Ivoire is the world's largest producer of cocoa. The government has decided to reinstate a public authority to regulate the production and to establish a minimum price between 50 and 60% of the international price which will be guaranteed to the farmers.
"I think this is a positive measure - said Mgr.Gnéba -. If the price of cocoa increases, this will help farmers, and since much of the local population is made up of farmers, these measures should help reduce the number of unemployed. What needs to be remembered is that during the war, several plantations were abandoned and now labour is required in order to start producing again. It is therefore necessary to create the conditions so many unemployed and displaced persons in the region return to work in the fields", concluded the Bishop of Man (LM) (Agenzia Fides 04/11/2011)
CATHOLIC ONLINE SOURCE: Charles was the son of Count Gilbert Borromeo and Margaret Medici, sister of Pope Pius IV. He was born at the family castle of Arona on Lake Maggiore, Italy on October 2. He received the clerical tonsure when he was twelve and was sent to the Benedictine abbey of SS. Gratian and Felinus at Arona for his education.
In 1559 his uncle was elected Pope Pius IV and the following year, named him his Secretary of State and created him a cardinal and administrator of the see of Milan. He served as Pius' legate on numerous diplomatic missions and in 1562, was instrumental in having Pius reconvene the Council of Trent, which had been suspended in 1552. Charles played a leading role in guiding and in fashioning the decrees of the third and last group of sessions. He refused the headship of the Borromeo family on the death of Count Frederick Borromeo, was ordained a priest in 1563, and was consecrated bishop of Milan the same year. Before being allowed to take possession of his see, he oversaw the catechism, missal, and breviary called for by the Council of Trent. When he finally did arrive at Trent (which had been without a resident bishop for eighty years) in 1556, he instituted radical reforms despite great opposition, with such effectiveness that it became a model see. He put into effect, measures to improve the morals and manners of the clergy and laity, raised the effectiveness of the diocesan operation, established seminaries for the education of the clergy, founded a Confraternity of Christian Doctrine for the religious instruction of children and encouraged the Jesuits in his see. He increased the systems to the poor and the needy, was most generous in his help to the English college at Douai, and during his bishopric held eleven diocesan synods and six provincial councils. He founded a society of secular priests, Oblates of St. Ambrose (now Oblates of St. Charles) in 1578, and was active in preaching, resisting the inroads of protestantism, and bringing back lapsed Catholics to the Church. He encountered opposition from many sources in his efforts to reform people and institutions.
He died at Milan on the night of November 3-4, and was canonized in 1610. He was one of the towering figures of the Catholic Reformation, a patron of learning and the arts, and though he achieved a position of great power, he used it with humility, personal sanctity, and unselfishness to reform the Church, of the evils and abuses so prevalent among the clergy and the nobles of the times. His feast day is November 4th.
|Luke 16: 1 - 8|
|1||He also said to the disciples, "There was a rich man who had a steward, and charges were brought to him that this man was wasting his goods.|
|2||And he called him and said to him, `What is this that I hear about you? Turn in the account of your stewardship, for you can no longer be steward.'|
|3||And the steward said to himself, `What shall I do, since my master is taking the stewardship away from me? I am not strong enough to dig, and I am ashamed to beg.|
|4||I have decided what to do, so that people may receive me into their houses when I am put out of the stewardship.'|
|5||So, summoning his master's debtors one by one, he said to the first, `How much do you owe my master?'|
|6||He said, `A hundred measures of oil.' And he said to him, `Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.'|
|7||Then he said to another, `And how much do you owe?' He said, `A hundred measures of wheat.' He said to him, `Take your bill, and write eighty.'|
|8||The master commended the dishonest steward for his shrewdness; for the sons of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than the sons of light.|