Saturday, August 17, 2013










Vatican Radio REPORT: Pope Francis has renewed his call for peace and reconciliation in Egypt. In a statement, the vice-director of the Vatican Press Office, Father Ciro Benedettini, CP, said the Holy Father “continues to follow with growing concern the serious news coming from Egypt and continues to pray for end to violence, and that the parties choose the path of dialogue and reconciliation.”

Earlier in the week, during the Angelus prayer on the Feast of the Assumption (Aug. 15), Pope Francis had launched an urgent appeal for peace in Egypt, assuring “the victims, their families, the wounded and those who suffer” of his prayers.
Meanwhile, the Coptic Orthodox Church in Egypt, headed by Pope Tawadros II, has issued a press release concerning the recent events in their country.

Below, please find the full text of the press release, translated by the Office Of His Holiness Pope Tawadros II:

The Coptic orthodox church of Egypt is following closely the unfortunate incidences occurring in our nation Egypt and confirms its strong stance with the Egyptian law enforcement, the armed forces, and all of the institutions of the Egyptian people in its confrontation of the violent armed organizations, dark terrorists, both internal and external, the attacks on the government offices as well as our peaceful churches which are terrorizing our citizens both Coptic and Muslim.

These actions stand against all religions, morality, and humanity. We commend the stance of the friendly and loyal countries who understand the nature of these turns of events and we strongly denounce the erroneous reporting that is being broadcasted in the western media. We invite them to review the actual events subjectively instead of legitimizing these bloody terrorist organizations and all its affiliations with international support and political protection while they are attempting to spread devastation and destruction in our dear nation. We only request that the international and western media please report an valid account of the events with accuracy, truth, and honesty.

We send our condolences for all the victims and martyrs of duty that gave their lives, and we pray for the recovery of all the injured and afflicted. We persevere in our strong national unity and repulse any attempts to polarize our nation into a secular conflict. We absolutely reject any complete or even partial foreign interference in the internal national affairs of Egypt and as the hands of evil are extended to burn, kill and destroy; but the hands of God are nearer to protect, strengthen, and build. We have full confidence in the divine intervention that will navigate the Egyptian people in the delicate time of our history to a better tomorrow and a brighter future that will be filled with justice, peace, and democracy that the people of the Nile Valley deserve.

Long live Egypt, free and proud.

The Coptic Orthodox Church of Egypt 


(Vatican Radio) Below is a telegramme of condolonce from Pope Francis and signed by Cardinal Secretary of State, Tarcisio Bertone following a ferry disaster in the Philippines which left at least 28 people dead and many more missing or injured.
The Most Reverend Jose S. Palma Archbishop of Cebu

His Holiness Pope Francis was deeply saddened by the tragic loss of life resulting from the ferry boat accident off the central port of Cebu. He assures all affected of his closeness in prayer and commends the victims to the loving mercy of Almighty God. The Holy Father invokes divine strength and comfort upon the grieving families, the injured and those involved in the rescue efforts.
Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone
Secretary of State


Jewish Catholic Friendship Dinner

David Marlow, Friday 9 August 2013

The Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV) and the Ecumenical Interfaith Commission (EIC) hosted the annual Jewish Catholic Friendship Dinner with a record crowd of over 100 people attending the event at the Adele Southwick Hall at St Kilda Shule on Sunday 30 June.

The highlight of this year’s event was a Q&A type panel featuring three Catholic and three Jewish panellists: Emeritus Prof Louis Waller from Monash University, retired Supreme Court Judge The Hon. Howard Nathan, Principal of Bialik College Jeremy Stowe-Lindner, Associate Professor Mary Coloe from the Yarra Theological Union, Member for Monbulk and Deputy Leader of the Opposition James Merlino MP, and Christina Kennedy from Catholic Voices Australia.

Questions from the audience and via Twitter were wide ranging, including the Pope and Jewish-Catholic relations, religion in schools, parole board decisions and sentencing, Jewish-Muslim relations, and addressing racial and religious vilification through legislation.

The Hon. Howard Nathan pointed out that times and relations between the faiths have changed dramatically over the years.  “Thirty years ago, Jews were considered by Catholics as the killers of Christ” and the perceptions have changed dramatically. Assoc. Prof. Mary Coloe pointed out that Pope Francis has said recently “it’s impossible for a Christian to be anti-semitic as Jesus Christ was born a Jew, lived as a Jew and died a Jew.”

Nina Bassat, President of the JCCV said that the dinner was a demonstration of the success of dialogue and friendship building across the Jewish and Catholic faiths: “This was a highly successful event and was highly praised by all who attended.”
First published by the Jewish Community Council of Victoria. Reprinted, in an edited form, with permission.

Photos by Casamento Photography.


The following list of 58 looted and burned buildings (including convents and schools) has been verified by representatives of the Christian Churches.

Cairo (AsiaNews) - At least 58 Christian churches, schools, institutions, homes and shops have been attacked, looted and torched over the last three days by the Muslim Brotherhood and supporters of Mohamed Morsi, the former Egyptian president who was deposed on 3 July . On August 14 the army has tried to evict the sit-in of the Islamists in Rabaa El Nahda Square and Adaweya. In a wave of devastating violence, over 600 people were killed and thousands injured. But violent attacks were also carried out on Catholic, Orthodox, Evangelical churches as well as the homes and shops of Christians, as we have documented

The representatives of the Christian Churches have drawn up a list which we publish below. The list was handed over to AsiaNews by the Press Office of the Catholic Church in Egypt.

Catholic churches and convents

  • 1. Franciscan church and school (road 23) - burned (Suez)
  • 2. Monastery of the Holy Shepherd and hospital - burned (Suez)
  • 3. Church of the Good Shepherd, Monastery of the Good Shepherd - burned in molotov attack (Asuit)
  • 4. Coptic Catholic Church of St. George - burned (Minya, Upper Egypt)
  • 5. Church of the Jesuits - burned (Minya, Upper Egypt)
  • 6. Fatima Basilica - attacked - Heliopolis
  • 7. Coptic Catholic Church of St. Mark - burned (Minya - Upper Egypt)
  • 8. Franciscan convent (Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary) - burned (Beni Suef, Upper Egypt)
  • 9. Church of St. Teresa - burned (Asuit, Upper Egypt)
  • 10. Franciscan Church and School - burned (Asuit, Upper Egypt)
  • 11. Convent of St Joseph and school - burned (Minya, Upper Egypt)
  • 12. Coptic Catholic Church of the Sacred Heart - torched (Minya, Upper Egypt)
  • 13 Convent of the Sisters of Saint Mary - attacked (Cairo)
  • 14. School of the Holy Shepherd - attacked (Minya, Upper Egypt)

    Orthodox and Evangelical Churches
  • 1. Anglican Church of St. Saviour - burned (Suez)
  • 2. Evangelical Church of St Michael - surrounded and sacked (Asuit, Upper Egypt)
  • 3. Coptic Orthodox Church of St. George - Burned (Minya, Upper Egypt)
  • 4. Church of Al-Esla - burned (Asuit, Upper Egypt)
  •  5. Adventist Church - burned, the pastor and his wife abducted (Asuit, Upper Egypt)
  •  6. Church of the Apostles - burned (Asuit, Upper Egypt)
  •  7. Church of the Holy renewal - burned (Asuit, Upper Egypt)
  • 8. Diocesan Centre Coptic Orthodox Qusiya - burned (Asuit, Upper Egypt)
  • 9. Church of St. George - burned (Arish, North Egypt)
  • 10. Church of St. George in al-Wasta - burned (Beni Suef, Upper Egypt)
  • 11. Church of the Virgin Mary - attacked (Maadi, Cairo)
  • 12. Church of the Virgin Mary - attacked (Mostorod, Cairo)
  • 13. Coptic Orthodox Church of St. George - attacked (Helwan, Cairo)
  • 14. Church of ​​St. Mary of El Naziah - burned (Fayoum, Upper Egypt)
  • 15. Church of Santa Damiana - sacked and burned (Fayoum, Upper Egypt)
  • 16. Church of St. Theodore - burned (Fayoum, Upper Egypt)
  • 17. Evangelical Church of al-Zorby - Sacked and destroyed (Fayoum, Upper Egypt)
  • 18. Church of St. Joseph - burned (Fayoum, Upper Egypt)
  • 19. Franciscan School - burned (Fayoum, Upper Egypt)
  • 20. Coptic Orthodox Diocesan Center of St. Paul - burned (Gharbiya, Delta)
  • 21. Coptic Orthodox Church of St. Anthony - burned (Giza)
  • 22. Coptic Church of St. George - burned (Atfeeh, Giza)
  • 23. Church of the Virgin Mary and father Abraham - burned (Delga, Deir Mawas, Minya, Upper Egypt)
  • 24. Church of St. Mina Abu Hilal Kebly - burned (Minya, Upper Egypt)
  • 25. Baptist Church in Beni Mazar - burned (Minya, Upper Egypt)
  • 26. Church of Amir Tawadros - burned (Minya, Upper Egypt)
  • 27. Evangelical Church - burned (Minya, Upper Egypt)
  • 28. Church of Anba Moussa al-Aswad- burned (Minya, Upper Egypt)
  • 29. Church of the Apostles - burned (Minya, Upper Egypt)
  • 30. Church of St Mary - arson attempt (Qena, Upper Egypt)
  • 31. Coptic Church of St. George - burned (Sohag, Upper Egypt)
  • 32. Church of Santa Damiana - Attacked and burned (Sohag, Upper Egypt)
  • 33. Church of the Virgin Mary - burned (Sohag, Upper Egypt)
  • 34. Church of St. Mark and community center - burned (Sohag, Upper Egypt)
  • 35. Church of Anba Abram - destroyed and burned (Sohag, Upper Egypt)

    Christian institutions
  • 1. House of Fr. Angelos (pastor of the church of the Virgin Mary and Father Abraham) - burned (Minya, Upper Egypt)
  • 2. Properties and shops of Christians - Burnt (Arish, North Egypt)
  • 3. 17 Christian homes attacked and looted (Minya, Upper Egypt)
  • 4. Christian homes - Attach (Asuit, Upper Egypt)
  • 5. Offices of the Evangelical Foundation - burned (Minya, Upper Egypt)
  • 6. Stores, pharmacies, hotels owned by Christians - attacked and looted (Luxor, Upper Egypt)
  • 7. Library of the Bible Society - burned (Cairo)
  • 8. Bible Society - burned (Fayoum, Upper Egypt)
  • 9. Bible Society- burned (Asuit, North Egypt).


Saturday of the Nineteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 418

Reading 1               JOS 24:14-29

Joshua gathered together all the tribes of Israel at Shechem,
and addressed them, saying:
“Fear the LORD and serve him completely and sincerely.
Cast out the gods your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt,
and serve the LORD.
If it does not please you to serve the LORD,
decide today whom you will serve,
the gods your fathers served beyond the River
or the gods of the Amorites in whose country you are dwelling.
As for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.”

But the people answered, “Far be it from us to forsake the LORD
for the service of other gods.
For it was the LORD, our God,
who brought us and our fathers up out of the land of Egypt,
out of a state of slavery.
He performed those great miracles before our very eyes
and protected us along our entire journey and among all the peoples
through whom we passed.
At our approach the LORD drove out all the peoples,
including the Amorites who dwelt in the land.
Therefore we also will serve the LORD, for he is our God.”

Joshua in turn said to the people,
“You may not be able to serve the LORD, for he is a holy God;
he is a jealous God who will not forgive
your transgressions or your sins.
If, after the good he has done for you,
you forsake the LORD and serve strange gods,
he will do evil to you and destroy you.”

But the people answered Joshua, “We will still serve the LORD.”
Joshua therefore said to the people,
“You are your own witnesses that you have chosen to serve the LORD.”
They replied, “We are, indeed!”
Joshua continued:
“Now, therefore, put away the strange gods that are among you
and turn your hearts to the LORD, the God of Israel.”
Then the people promised Joshua,
“We will serve the LORD, our God, and obey his voice.”

So Joshua made a covenant with the people that day
and made statutes and ordinances for them at Shechem,
which he recorded in the book of the law of God.
Then he took a large stone and set it up there under the oak
that was in the sanctuary of the LORD.
And Joshua said to all the people, “This stone shall be our witness,
for it has heard all the words which the LORD spoke to us.
It shall be a witness against you, should you wish to deny your God.”
Then Joshua dismissed the people, each to his own heritage.

After these events, Joshua, son of Nun, servant of the LORD,
died at the age of a hundred and ten.

Responsorial Psalm                PS 16:1-2A AND 5, 7-8, 11

R. (see 5a) You are my inheritance, O Lord.
Keep me, O God, for in you I take refuge;
I say to the LORD, “My Lord are you.”
O LORD, my allotted portion and my cup,
you it is who hold fast my lot.
R. You are my inheritance, O Lord.
I bless the LORD who counsels me;
even in the night my heart exhorts me.
I set the LORD ever before me;
with him at my right hand I shall not be disturbed.
R. You are my inheritance, O Lord.
You will show me the path to life,
fullness of joys in your presence,
the delights at your right hand forever.
R. You are my inheritance, O Lord.

Gospel              MT 19:13-15

Children were brought to Jesus
that he might lay his hands on them and pray.
The disciples rebuked them, but Jesus said,
“Let the children come to me, and do not prevent them;
for the Kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
After he placed his hands on them, he went away.


St. Hyacinth
Feast: August 17

Feast Day:
August 17
1185 at Lanka Castle, Kamin, Silesia, Poland
15 August 1257 at Krakow, Poland
17 April 1594 by Pope Clement VIII
Patron of:
Dominican, called the Apostle of the North, son of Eustachius Konski of the noble family of Odrowaz; born 1185 at the castle of Lanka, at Kamin, in Silesia, Poland (now Prussia); died 15 August, 1257, at Cracow. Feast, 16 Aug. A near relative of Saint Ceslaus, he made his studies at Cracow, Prague, and Bologna, and at the latter place merited the title of Doctor of Law and Divinity. On his return to Poland he was given a prebend at Sandomir. He subsequently accompanied his uncle Ivo Konski, the Bishop of Cracow, to Rome, where he met St. Dominic, and was one of the first to receive at his hands (at Santa Sabina, 1220) the habit of the newly established Order of Friars Preachers. After his novitiate he made his religious profession, and was made superior of the little band of missionaries sent to Poland to preach. On the way he was able to establish a convent of his order at Friesach in Carinthia. In Poland the new preachers were favourably received and their sermons were productive of much good. Hyacinth founded communities at Sandomir, Cracow, and at Plocko on the Vistula in Moravia. He extended his missionary work through Prussia, Pomerania, and Lithuania; then crossing the Baltic Sea he preached in Denmark, Sweden, and Norway. He came into Lower or Red Russia, establishing a community at Lemberg and at Haletz on the Mester; proceeded into Muscovy, and founded a convent at Dieff, and came as far as the shores of the Black Sea. He then returned to Cracow, which he had made the centre of his operations. On the morning of 15 August he attended Matins and Mass, received the last sacraments, and died a saintly death. God glorified His servant by numberless miracles, the record of which fills many folio pages of the Acta SS., August, III, 309. He was canonized by Pope Clement VIII in 1594. A portion of his relics is at the Dominican church in Paris.







(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has sent a message to Catholics in Argentina ahead of a national collection day to raise money and finance activities in the poorest parts of his native country. The initiative known as ‘Mas por Menos,’ or More for Less, is supported by the Argentinian bishops and last year raised almost three million dollars. The collection takes place on September 8th and this year is being organized around the theme ‘We trust in your help’. 
In the message, signed by the Cardinal Secretary of State, Pope Francis encourages Catholics to make a commitment to solidarity based on their “faith in God who gave everything for us”. He invites all Argentinians to “identify themselves ever more closely with Christ” through prayer and the Sacraments. In that way, he says, they can find strength to offer their continuous and precious support to those most in need.


Friday of the Nineteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 417

Reading 1             JOS 24:1-13

Joshua gathered together all the tribes of Israel at Shechem,
summoning their elders, their leaders,
their judges and their officers.
When they stood in ranks before God, Joshua addressed all the people:
“Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel:
In times past your fathers, down to Terah,
father of Abraham and Nahor,
dwelt beyond the River and served other gods.
But I brought your father Abraham from the region beyond the River
and led him through the entire land of Canaan.
I made his descendants numerous, and gave him Isaac.
To Isaac I gave Jacob and Esau.
To Esau I assigned the mountain region of Seir in which to settle,
while Jacob and his children went down to Egypt.

“Then I sent Moses and Aaron, and smote Egypt with the prodigies
which I wrought in her midst.
Afterward I led you out of Egypt, and when you reached the sea,
the Egyptians pursued your fathers to the Red Sea
with chariots and horsemen.
Because they cried out to the LORD,
he put darkness between your people and the Egyptians,
upon whom he brought the sea so that it engulfed them.
After you witnessed what I did to Egypt,
and dwelt a long time in the desert,
I brought you into the land of the Amorites
who lived east of the Jordan.
They fought against you, but I delivered them into your power.
You took possession of their land, and I destroyed them,
the two kings of the Amorites, before you.
Then Balak, son of Zippor, king of Moab,
prepared to war against Israel.
He summoned Balaam, son of Beor, to curse you;
but I would not listen to Balaam.
On the contrary, he had to bless you, and I saved you from him.
Once you crossed the Jordan and came to Jericho,
the men of Jericho fought against you,
but I delivered them also into your power.
And I sent the hornets ahead of you that drove them
(the Amorites, Perizzites, Canaanites,
Hittites, Girgashites, Hivites and Jebusites)
out of your way; it was not your sword or your bow.

“I gave you a land that you had not tilled
and cities that you had not built, to dwell in;
you have eaten of vineyards and olive groves
which you did not plant.”

Responsorial Psalm                 PS 136:1-3, 16-18, 21-22 AND 24

R. His mercy endures forever.
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good,
for his mercy endures forever;
Give thanks to the God of gods,
for his mercy endures forever;
Give thanks to the LORD of lords,
for his mercy endures forever.
R. His mercy endures forever.
Who led his people through the wilderness,
for his mercy endures forever;
Who smote great kings,
for his mercy endures forever;
And slew powerful kings,
for his mercy endures forever.
R. His mercy endures forever.
And made their land a heritage,
for his mercy endures forever;
The heritage of Israel his servant,
for his mercy endures forever;
And freed us from our foes,
for his mercy endures forever.
R. His mercy endures forever.

Gospel                 MT 19:3-12

Some Pharisees approached Jesus, and tested him, saying,
“Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any cause whatever?”
He said in reply, “Have you not read that from the beginning
the Creator made them male and female and said,
For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother
and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh?

So they are no longer two, but one flesh.
Therefore, what God has joined together, man must not separate.”
They said to him, “Then why did Moses command
that the man give the woman a bill of divorce and dismiss her?”
He said to them, “Because of the hardness of your hearts
Moses allowed you to divorce your wives,
but from the beginning it was not so.
I say to you, whoever divorces his wife
(unless the marriage is unlawful)
and marries another commits adultery.”
His disciples said to him,
“If that is the case of a man with his wife,
it is better not to marry.”
He answered, “Not all can accept this word,
but only those to whom that is granted.
Some are incapable of marriage because they were born so;
some, because they were made so by others;
some, because they have renounced marriage
for the sake of the Kingdom of heaven.
Whoever can accept this ought to accept it.”


ASIA NEWS REPORT: So far, 22 people are confirmed dead and more than 300 wounded. After Lebanon's president blames Israel, the government is more cautious. A previously unknown group, the Battalion of Ayesha, claims responsibility, slamming Hizbollah for its alliance with the Syrian regime. Criticism also falls on Iran and Saudi Arabia. 

Beirut (AsiaNews) - The Lebanese government declared a national day of mourning today after a car bomb blew up yesterday in a Hizbollah stronghold, south of the capital Beirut, killing 22 with seven missing, including a man and three children. The Red Cross reported 325 people wounded, but the final toll is not yet in.
The blast occurred in the densely populated district of Ruwais, a stronghold of Shia-dominated Hizbollah. For some observers, the attack was the worst of its kind in a Hizbollah-controlled area in 30 years. It was so big that it devastated nearby buildings, many bodies beyond recognition.
Investigators are now on the site of the attack, whilst security officials are meeting with President Michel Sleiman.
The government said that all lines of inquiry are being pursued, but the Lebanese president said the blast bore Israel's fingerprint. His Israeli counterpart, Shimon Peres, denied any responsibility.
Hizbollah has many enemies, especially after it publicly backed Syria's Bashar Assad in his fight against the Sunni-dominated Free Syrian Army and Sunni fundamentalists who want to topple the Syrian president.
Local residents blame Saudi Arabia for the attack. The Saudis supply weapons to the Syrian rebels.
A previously unknown group, the Battalion of Ayesha, claimed responsibility for the attack. After accusing Hizbollah of meddling in Syrian affairs and acting as an Iranian proxy, it pledged further attacks.
On 9 July, a booby-trapped car exploded at a parking lot in Bir al-Abed, leaving 53 people wounded and causing extensive material damage.

In May, two rockets slammed into the Beirut southern suburb of Shiyyah, wounding four people.
Shared from Asia news it




Feast Day:
August 16
975, Hungary
August 15, 1038, Esztergom or Székesfehérvár, Kingdom of Hungary
August 20, 1083, Esztergom, Hungary by Pope Gregory VII
Major Shrine:
Saint Stephen's Basilica in Budapest, Hungary
Patron of:
First King of Hungary, b. at Gran, 975; d. 15 August, 1038.
He was a son of the Hungarian chief Géza and was baptized, together with his father, by Archbishop St. Adalbert of Prague in 985, on which occasion he changed his heathen name Vaik (Vojk) into Stephen. In 995 he married Gisela, a sister of Duke Henry of Bavaria, the future Emperor St. Henry II, and in 997 succeeded to the throne of Hungary. In order to make Hungary a Christian nation and to establish himself more firmly as ruler, he sent Abbot Astricus to Rome to petition Pope Sylvester II for the royal dignity and the power to establish episcopal sees. The pope acceded to his wishes and, in addition, presented him with a royal crown with which he was crowned at Gran on 17 August, 1001 (see HUNGARY.--History). He founded a monastery in Jerusalem and hospices for pilgrims at Rome, Ravenna, and Constantinople. He was a personal friend of St. Bruno of Querfurt and corresponded with Abbot St. Odilo of Cluny.
The last years of his life were embittered by sickness and family troubles. When on 2 September, 1031, his only son, St.   Emeric, lost his life on a bear hunt, his cherished hope of transferring the reins of government into the hands of a pious Christian prince were shattered. During his lifetime a quarrel arose among his various nephews concerning the right of succession, and some of them even took part in a conspiracy against his life. He was buried beside his son at Stuhlweissenburg, and both were canonized together in 1083. His feast is on 2 September, but in Hungary his chief festival is observed on 20 August, the day on which his relics were transferred to Buda. His incorrupt right hand is treasured as the most sacred relic in Hungary.