#PopeFrancis "Everything passes, only God remains." Homily/Video of Mass - Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul
i. An indulgence of 100 days to all the faithful who, being contrite, shall say at least once a day the following prayer, with one Pater, Ave, and Gloria, in honour of the blessed Apostles Peter and Paul.
ii. A plenary indulgence, on all Feasts of SS. Peter and Paul, provided that, after Confession and Communion, they shall on such feast-day itself, or one of the nine days preceding it, or eight days following it, visit a church or altar dedicated to those Saints, saying there the following prayer, and remembering the Holy Church and its Sovereign Pontiff.
O blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, I, NN., elect you this day for my special protectors and advocates with God. In all humility I rejoice with thee, blessed Peter, Prince of the Apostles, because thou art the rock whereon God hath built his Church; and I rejoice with thee too, blessed Paul, because thou wast chosen of God for a Vessel of election, and a preacher of the truth throughout the world. Obtain for me, I beseech you both, a lively faith, firm hope, and perfect charity, entire detachment from myself, contempt of the world, patience in adversity, humility in prosperity, attention in prayer, purity of heart, right intention in my works, diligence in the fulfilment of all the duties of my state of life, constancy in my good resolutions, resignation to the holy will of God, perseverance in Divine grace unto death; that, having overcome by your joint intercession and your glorious merits, the temptations of the world, the flesh, and the devil, I may be made worthy to appear before the face of the chief and eternal Bishop of Souls, Jesus Christ our Lord, to enjoy Him and to love Him for all eternity, who with the Father and the Holy Ghost liveth and reigneth ever world without end. Amen.
Pater, Ave, and Gloria
or 1 Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be
#PopeFrancis "Everything passes, only God remains." Homily/Video of Mass - Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul
Encouraging Reactions to the Pastoral Letter: Don't Mess With Marriage
Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
26 Jun 2015
26 Jun 2015
"Unfortunately much of this attention has given the impression that the Pastoral Letter has been highly-criticised by parents and students, a point contested by Anthony Cleary, Director of Religious Education and Evangelisation at the Archdiocese of Sydney's Catholic Education Office (CEO).
Of the 100,000 booklets distributed across the Archdiocese of Sydney in June Mr Cleary has received fewer than a dozen direct complaints, and a number of them were not related to the issue of marriage itself he reported.
"Some of the complaints were about side issues, rather than the Church's teachings on marriage or the same sex marriage debate," he says.
Don't Mess with Marriage explains the Church's formal teachings on the Sacrament of Marriage, and it reaffirms and supports the definitions contained within the Marriage Act 1961 and the Marriage Act Amendment of 2004 which defines marriage as "a union between a man and a woman to the exclusion of all others". It also details the implications of changing this law to permit same sex couples to marry.
Australia's bishops decided to issue the booklet as the debate on same sex "marriage" gained momentum earlier this year. At the end of April, Acting Labor Leader, Tanya Plibersek led a push to secure a binding vote in favour of same sex marriage at the Party's conference in July.
This was followed less than three weeks later by Ireland becoming the first nation worldwide to hold a referendum on the issue. This resulted in favour of legalising marriage between same sex couples, and is expected to become law across Ireland from April 2016.
Then in early June, Leader of the Opposition, Bill Shorten who had refused to back his Deputy's call to make a binding vote on same sex marriage part of the Labor Party's platform, introduced a Bill to change Australia's Marriage Act so that the words "a union between a man and a woman" be replaced by "a union between two people."
The Government led by Prime Minister Tony Abbott refused to debate the Bill but conceded that a conscience vote on marriage between same sex couples could be argued in the Party Room by Liberal MPs later in the year.
The Bishops' booklet, Don't Mess with Marriage, had been carefully planned, written and designed over a period of weeks and months, but its release coincided with Bill Shorten's tabling of the "Marriage Equality Act", which gave significant attention to the Pastoral Letter.
"The Church's contribution to informing the public debate is crucial, however, because at the moment this side of the argument is not being adequately covered either by social or the mainstream media," he says.
Critics of Don't Mess with Marriage have simply taken a paragraph or line from the booklet out of context to make a provocative headline or chosen to run interviews with advocates of same sex marriage who accused the booklet of being "discriminatory" and full of "anti gay propaganda."
"Although only small, the negative response by the media to "Don't Mess with Marriage'nevertheless needs to be addressed. They have exaggerated negative responses to the Pastoral Letter and failed to report the positive responses," Anthony Cleary says. "Some critics have even questioned the right of the Catholic Church to distribute the Letter in Catholic schools. Such reactions are astonishing. While we are respectful of the opinion and views of others, the Catholic context of our schools means that all social, moral and ethical issues are presented from a Catholic perspective, and in accord with Catholic teachings."
He points out that this should come as no surprise to anyone as most organisations, institutions and businesses across a variety of sectors and corporations are underpinned by a particular ethos or set of values and the material disseminated and promoted would reflect this.
As for charges of discrimination, particularly those from the well-funded and media savvy organisation, Marriage Equality which is led by Rodney Croome, controversial Tasmanian academic and gay rights activist, Anthony Cleary makes it clear that there can be no "discrimination" when what is being supported is the current Australian law on marriage.
"To claim Don't Mess with Marriage is discriminatory is incorrect," he says firmly. "To disagree with another person's view does not mean that you are discriminating against them. In this instance, particular lobby groups label people as prejudiced simply because they agree with the current definition of marriage in Australia's Marriage Act, and oppose the proposition of legalising marriage between same sex couples. The Pastoral Letter reflects the Church's teachings, which are in accord with Australia's Marriage Act."
"We all know and love people with same-sex attraction. They are our brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, friends and neighbours. They need love and support like anyone else," Australia's Catholic Bishops write in Don't Mess With Marriage.
Anthony Cleary says that for people of faith, marriage is not simply a label that can be attached and transferred to different types of relationships as the fashion of the day dictates.
He points out that marriage for Catholics is not only an emotional union, but a total commitment of body and spirit. The Church also believes that God is the author of marriage and that the matrimonial covenant between baptised persons is holy and has the status of a sacrament.
Taking issue with advocates of same sex marriage such as Rodney Croome who accuse the Church of only telling one side of the story, Anthony Cleary argues that if these advocates were serious about presenting both sides of this issue, they would be disseminating the Bishops' Pastoral Letter.
Although the most well-known group advocating same sex marriage, the Marriage Equality organisation does not represent all same sex attraction, bi sexual or transgender men and women across Australia.
"I am concerned that some organizations who are active proponents of the same sex marriage debate may be creating the impression that they speak for all of those attracted to the same sex, and that Australia's entire gay and lesbian community are championing the cause of same sex marriage," Anthony Cleary says. "Such an impression is inaccurate as well as surprising, especially when some of the gay and lesbian community have spoken out against same sex marriage."
Above all, he is concerned that despite the plethora of private members Bills over the past 15 years in state, territory and Federal Parliaments, all of which have been voted down, that the general public have become so worn down by the constant headlines and debates over the issue that some are now beginning to regard changes to the Australian Marriage Act as "inevitable."
"Among all the world's nations, only 19 of these have legalised same sex marriage. Many have in fact rejected these moves in recent months, including most recently - Austria. We now await the imminent decision of the US Supreme Court," he says.
But even if the US Supreme Court hands down a judgment next week to legalise same sex marriage in every one of America's 50 states, this does not mean Australia will inevitably follow suit.
The best advice, however, is for people wanting to engage in the debate over changes to the Marriage Act, and to better engage in discussions in and outside the Church, he urges us all to read: Don't Mess with Marriage.
"The Pastoral Letter not only explores and explains Catholic teaching on the meaning of marriage, but also details the implications of redefining marriage. Furthermore, this well-crafted letter will help people in their critical thinking and moral reasoning, especially on this issue."
"Freedom of religion is a fundamental right but in many cases this freedom is increasingly at risk from states and nations where it is lawful for same sex couples to marry," he warns and commends the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference for exercising their "freedom of speech" and contributing to and presenting the other side of this ongoing debate.
The Don't Mess with Marriage document is available at:https://www.catholic.org.au/search?searchword=don%27t+mess+with+marriage
Reading 1ACTS 12:1-11
FIRST POPE AND PRINCE OF THE APOSTLES
Feast: June 29
|St. Peter is mentioned so often in the New Testament—in the Gospels, in the Acts of the Apostles, and in the Epistles of St. Paul—that we feel we know him better than any other person who figured prominently in the life of the Saviour. In all, his name appears 182 times. We have no knowledge of him prior to his conversion, save that he was a Galilean fisherman, from the village of Bethsaida or Capernaum. There is some evidence for supposing that Peter's brother Andrew and possibly Peter himself were followers of John the Baptist, and were therefore prepared for the appearance of the Messiah in their midst. We picture Peter as a shrewd and simple man, of great power for good, but now and again afflicted by sudden weakness and doubt, at least at the outset of his discipleship. After the death of the Saviour he manifested his primacy among the Apostles by his courage and strength. He was "the Rock" on which the Church was founded. It is perhaps Peter's capacity for growth that makes his story so inspiring to other erring humans. He reached the lowest depths on the night when he denied the Lord, then began the climb upward, to become bishop of Rome, martyr, and, finally, "keeper of the keys of Heaven."|
Our first glimpse of Peter comes at the very beginning of Jesus' ministry. While He was walking along the shore of the Sea of Galilee, He saw two brothers, Simon Peter and Andrew, casting a net into the water. When He called to them, "Come, and I will make you fishers of men," they at once dropped their net to follow Him. A little later we learn that they visited the house where Peter's mother-in-law was suffering from a fever, and Jesus cured her. This was the first cure witnessed by Peter, but he was to see many miracles, for he stayed close to Jesus during the two years of His ministry. All the while he was listening, watching, questioning, learning, sometimes failing in perfect faith, but in the end full of strength and thoroughly prepared for his own years of missionary preaching.
Let us recall a few of the Biblical episodes in which Peter appears. We are told that after the miracle of the loaves and fishes, Jesus withdrew to the mountain to pray, and his disciples started to sail home across the Lake of Galilee. Suddenly they saw Him walking on the water, and, according to the account in Matthew, Jesus told them not to be afraid. It was Peter who said, "Lord, if it is Thou, bid me come to Thee over the water." Peter set out confidently, but suddenly grew afraid and began to sink, and Jesus stretched forth His hand to save him, saying, "O thou of little faith, why didst thou doubt?"
Then we have Peter's dramatic confession of faith, which occurred when Jesus and his followers had reached the villages of Caesarea Philippi. Jesus having asked the question, "Who do men say that I am?" there were various responses. Then Jesus turned to Peter and said, "But who do you say that I am?" and Peter answered firmly, "Thou art the Christ, son of the living God." (Matthew xvi, 13-18; Mark viii, 27-29; Luke ix, 18-20.) Then Jesus told him that his name would henceforth be Peter. In the Aramaic tongue which Jesus and his disciples spoke, the word was kepha, meaning rock. Jesus concluded with the prophetic words, "Thou art Peter, and upon this rock shall be built My church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."
There seems to be no doubt that Peter was favored among the disciples. He was selected, with James and John, to accompany Jesus to the mountain, the scene of the Transfiguration, to be given a glimpse of His glory, and there heard God pronounce the words, "This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased."
After this, the group had gone down to Jerusalem, where Jesus began to prepare his disciples for the approaching end of his ministry on earth. Peter chided Him and could not bring himself to believe that the end was near. When all were gathered for the Last Supper, Peter declared his loyalty and devotion in these words, "Lord, with Thee I am ready to go both to prison and to death." It must have been in deep sorrow that Jesus answered that before cockcrow Peter would deny Him thrice. And as the tragic night unrolled, this prophecy came true. When Jesus was betrayed by Judas as he prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, and was taken by soldiers to the Jewish high priest, Peter followed far behind, and sat half hidden in the courtyard of the temple during the proceedings. Pointed out as one of the disciples, Peter three times denied the accusation. But we know that he was forgiven, and when, after the Resurrection, Jesus manifested himself to his disciples, He signaled Peter out, and made him declare three times that he loved Him, paralleling the three times that Peter had denied Him. Finally, Jesus charged Peter, with dramatic brevity, "Feed my sheep." From that time on Peter became the acknowledged and responsible leader of the sect.
It was Peter who took the initiative in selecting a new Apostle in place of Judas, and he who performed the first miracle of healing. A lame beggar asked for money; Peter told him he had none, but in the name of Jesus the Nazarene bade him arise and walk. The beggar did as he was bidden, cured of his lameness. When, about two years after the Ascension, the spread of the new religion brought on the persecutions that culminated in the martyrdom of St. Stephen, many of the converts scattered or went into hiding. The Apostles stood their ground firmly in Jerusalem, where the Jewish temple had become the spearhead of opposition to them. Peter chose to preach in the outlying villages, farther and farther afield. In Samaria, where he preached and performed miracles, he was offered money by Simon Magus, a magician, if he would teach the secret of his occult powers. Peter rebuked the magician sternly, saying, "Keep thy money to thyself, to perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased by money."
With his vigorous outspokenness, Peter inevitably came into conflict with the Jewish authorities, and twice the high priests had him arrested. We are told that he was miraculously freed of his prison chains, and astonished the other Apostles by suddenly appearing back among them. Peter now preached in the seaports of Joppa and Lydda, where he met men of many races, and in Caesarea, where he converted the first Gentile, a man named Cornelius. Realizing that the sect must win its greatest support from Gentiles, Peter helped to shape the early policy towards them. Its growing eminence led to his election as bishop of the see of Antioch. How long he remained there, or how or when he came to Rome, we do not know. The evidence seems to establish the fact that his last years were spent in Rome as bishop. The belief that he suffered martyrdom there during the reign of Nero in the same year as St. Paul is soundly based on the writings of three early Fathers, St. Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria, and Tertullian. The only writings by St. Peter which have come down to us are his New Testament Epistles I and II, both of which are thought to have been written from Rome to the Christian converts of Asia Minor. The First Epistle is filled with admonitions to mutual helpfulness, charity, and humility, and in general outlines the duties of Christians in all aspects of life. At its conclusion (I Peter v, 13) Peter sends greetings from "the church which is at Babylon." This is accepted as further evidence that the letter was written from Rome, which in the Jewish usage of the time was called "Babylon." The second Epistle warns against false teachings, speaks of the Second Coming of the Lord, and ends with the beautiful doxology, "But grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. To him be the glory, both now and the day of eternity."
The latest archeological findings indicate that St. Peter's Church in Rome rises over the site of his tomb, as Pius XII announced at the close of the Holy Year of 1950. In the catacombs many wall writings have been found which link the names of St. Peter and St. Paul, showing that popular devotion to the two great Apostles began in very early times. Paintings of later date commonly depict Peter as a short, energetic man with curly hair and beard; in art his traditional emblems are a boat, keys, and a cock.
APOSTLE OF THE GENTILES, MARTYR, MISSIONARY, MYSTIC, GREAT THEOLOGIAN
Feast: June 29