Thursday, October 13, 2011



VATICAN CITY, 13 OCT 2011 (VIS) - "This morning the Holy Father Benedict XVI received in audience Porfirio Lobo Sosa, president of the Republic of Honduras. The president subsequently went on to meet with Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B. who was accompanied by Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States", according to a communique released at midday today by the Holy See Press Office. (IMAGE RADIO VATICANA)

"During the cordial discussions appreciation was expressed for the great contribution the Church makes to development in Honduras, especially in the fields of education and healthcare. Emphasis was also given to the importance of continuing to foment reconciliation, mutual understanding, solidarity and peace in the country, in a persistent search for the common good.

"The parties went on to take note of the improved situation of Honduras' international relations, as well as giving attention to other questions regarding the international scene".

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VATICAN CITY, 13 OCT 2011 (VIS) - The Holy Father is due to celebrate Mass for the people of Latin America for the bicentenary of their independence, according to a communique released by the Pontifical Commission for Latin America. The celebration will take place in St. Peter's Basilica at 5.30 p.m. on 12 December, Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, patron of Latin America.

The communique explains that "this initiative is a gesture of the concern, affection and solidarity felt by the Holy Father towards the peoples and nations of the 'Continent of Hope', as it has been called by Roman Pontiffs from Paul VI to Benedict XVI. It is a clear expression of the pastoral solicitude with which Benedict XVI embraces those peoples, among whom the Gospel of Jesus Christ was sown and brought forth precious fruit. They represent 40 percent of the baptised of the Catholic Church, united in filial devotion to Most Holy Mary, while their local Churches remain in faithful communion with the See of Peter".

"The initiative is indicative of the original contribution the Catholic Church wishes to make to the commemoration of this bicentenary, in the light of historical truth, so as to throw light on the current situation in Latin America and nourish hope in a future of peace and justice".

The 12 December Mass will be attended by the Roman Curia, the diplomatic corps accredited to the Holy See and to the Italian government, Latin American priests religious and citizens who study or reside in Rome, and public figures from the Latin American continent.

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VATICAN CITY, 13 OCT 2011 (VIS) - The relationship between religion, nature and art is being examined in a conference which began today at the Vatican Museums, organised by the Museums and by the International Society for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture. The conference, which comes to an end tomorrow, will focus on the concern for nature felt in the Catholic world, also highlighting the presence of ecological awareness, as expressed in art, in other religions and cultures.

The initiative is entitled "Religion, Nature and Art" and is being held under the patronage of Archbishop Giuseppe Bertello, president of the Governorate of Vatican City State. It is being attended by experts from all over the world, fromFinland to Japan, and has been organised by Laura Hobgood-Oster, a professor at Southwestern University, U.S.A., for the International Society for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture, and by Fr. Nicola Malpelli and Katherine Aigner for the Vatican Missionary Ethnological Museum.

The papers being delivered over the two days of the conference will focus on such subjects as "The Entanglement of Religion and Art: Joseph Beuys, Shamanism and Ritual"; "Representation and Conceptions of Nature"; "Global Indigenous Perceptions and the Sacred World"; "Reading Religion and Resistance in Earth Art and the Book of Nature", and "Spirituality-based Environmental Activism, Nature, Art".

The programme of events also includes a visit to the exhibition "Rituals of Life: the Culture and Spirituality of Aboriginal Australians", which was inaugurated last year at the Missionary Ethnological Museum of the Vatican Museums.

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VATICAN CITY, 13 OCT 2011 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

- Porfirio Lobo Sosa, president of the Republic of Honduras, accompanied by an entourage.

- His Beatitude Fouad Twal, patriarch of Jerusalem of the Latins.

- Five prelates from the Australian Catholic Bishops' Conference, on their "ad limina" visit:

- Cardinal George Pell, archbishop of Sydney, accompanied by Auxiliary Bishops Julian Charles Porteous, Terence John Gerard Brady and Peter Andrew Comensoli.

- Archbishop Philip Edward Wilson of Adelaide.

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VATICAN CITY, 13 OCT 2011 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Bishop Luis Antonio Tagle of Imus, Philippines, as metropolitan archbishop of Manila (area 117, population 3,296,000, Catholics 2,884,000, priests 642, permanent deacons 3, religious 1,481), Philippines. He succeeds Cardinal Gaudencio B. Rosales, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same archdiocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.

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Agenzia Fides REPORT - "The last words spoken by the Holy Father yesterday, encourage us and we will reread them during World Mission Day" says Fr. Nabil Fayez Antoun to Fides, National Director of the Pontifical Mission Societies (PMS) of Egypt, expressing his gratitude for Pope Benedict XVI’s intervention, who at the end of the general audience in St. Peter's Square expressed his concern for the suppression of the Copts’ demonstration, which caused dozens of deaths and hundreds of injuries (see Fides 10 and 11 October 2011). "I am deeply saddened by the episodes of violence that were committed in Cairo on Sunday. I join in the sorrow of the victims' families and the entire Egyptian people, torn by the attempts to undermine the peaceful coexistence between its communities, which is important to preserve, especially in this time of transition", said Benedict XVI.
"Unfortunately, the Holy Father's words were reported by the Egyptian media without comment and without in-depth examination", says don Nabil. "However - adds the priest - in newspapers and Egyptian television stations, criticism and controversy for the massacre of the Copts is very high, and requests are made to clarify the role played by the military. As Catholics we participated in the 3 days of fasting and prayer promoted by the Coptic Orthodox Church to honor the victims. Tomorrow night we will have a prayer vigil to express our union with the Coptic Church in this time of sorrow", concluded the National Director of the PMS in Egypt. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 13/10/2011)


USCCB REPORT; Twenty Catholic leaders sign joint statement for reform of health care law
HHS mandate harms religious freedom, access to care

WASHINGTON—Leaders of 20 national Catholic organizations signed a joint statement to protest the “preventive services” mandate issued by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). They also called for legislative reform of health care law to protect conscience rights.

The new rule on mandated “preventive services” issued by the HHS “will force Catholic organizations that play a vital role in providing health care and other needed services either to violate their conscience or severely curtail those services. This would harm both religious freedom and access to health care,” the statement says. The new rule would force employers to pay for such services as sterilization and contraceptives, including drugs which can induce abortion. As of now, a narrowly-written religious exemption to the rule would apply only to church institutions that hire and serve mostly Catholics and meet other narrow criteria, thus excluding most Catholic schools, hospital, and social service agencies.

The statement appeared as an ad in two Capitol Hill newspapers, Politico and The Hill, on October 11 with the headline: “Support access to health care? Protect conscience rights.”

Signatories include Archbishop Timothy Dolan, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), and heads of Catholic universities, health care associations, domestic and international agencies that serve refugees and the poor, and lay associations. Many signers represent Catholic employers and service organizations who will be affected if the law is not reformed. Others represent lay Catholics who would face coercion under the same HHS rule because they participate in private health insurance plans.

In addition to Archbishop Dolan, the co-signers wereRobert B. Aguirre, President, Catholic Association of Latino Leaders; Carl A. Anderson, Supreme Knight, Knights of Columbus; F. DeKarlos Blackmon, OblSB, Supreme Knight/CEO, Knights of Peter Claver; William J. Cox, President/CEO, Alliance of Catholic Health Care; Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles, Chairman, Migration and Refugee Services; Michael Galligan-Stierle, PhD, President /CEO, Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities; John Garvey, JD, President, The Catholic University of America; Sheila Gilbert, President, National Council of the U.S. Society of St. Vincent de Paul; John M. Haas, PhD, STL, President, National Catholic Bioethics Center; Ken Hackett, President, Catholic Relief Services; Jan R. Hemstad, MD, President, Catholic Medical Association; Father John Jenkins, CSC, President, University of Notre Dame; Patty Johnson, President, National Council of Catholic Women; James G. Lindsay, Executive Director, Catholic Volunteer Network; Stephen L. Mikochik, JD, Chair, National Catholic Partnership on Disability; Karen M. Ristau, EdD, President, National Catholic Educational Association; Geralyn C. Shelvin, Supreme Lady, Knights of Peter Claver Ladies Auxiliary; Father Larry Snyder, President, Catholic Charities USA; and Joanne Tomassi, National Regent, Catholic Daughters of the Americas.

The full-page ad featuring the joint statement is posted on the USCCB’s conscience protection web page:

EUROPE: SPAIN: NEW APP FOR FINDING CHURCH AND MASS TIMES REPORT The Spanish website has developed a search engine for mobile phones to find a Church as well as their Mass hours for locations throughout Spain.

This system allows you to locate the nearest church, see their schedules and plot the easiest route to reach them by foot, car or public transport.

It includes opening times, confessions, Easter crafts, as well as information on facilities for disabled persons.

The system operates on the iPhone, BlackBerry, Android, Nokia and different tablet technologies. has registered almost 14,000 churches in Spain and more than 50,000 separate schedules for Mass.


CATH NEWS REPORT: Three Vietnamese asylum seekers who escaped immigration detention after slipping away during a Mass in Darwin last month have been picked up by police on the Sturt Highway at Adelaide River, about 110 kilometres away, said a report on

"It is believed that the men had been picking mangoes and were travelling with another man to Katherine," Northern Territory Police said in a statement.

The asylum seekers who escaped were part of a group of 50 Christians allowed out of detention to attend the Catholic church service in Darwin.

"They were returned to the Berrimah Detention Centre and into the custody of immigration officers," police said after apprehending them.

In the Long-term health costs of extended mandatory detention of asylum seekers report, Dr Tony Ward of Milbur Consulting conservatively estimates that trauma sufferers will have lifetime mental health costs 50 percent more than the average - amounting to an additional $25,000 per person.

Meanwhile, a separate media statement from the Yarra Institute for Religion and Social Policy announced the release of a report later today that says prolonged detention of asylum seekers results in significant additional costs for their long-term health after they are released into the community.

This is the first study of its type in Australia, applying innovative costing approaches developed in the Netherlands.

The full report will be available online at after its media launch in Melbourne at 11am today, the statement adds.


UCAN REPORT: Amendments aimed at abolishing forced marriages and depriving women of property rights
October 13, 2011
Catholic Church News Image of New law offers hope for women’s rights
Pakistan's parliament has passed amendments of a bill banning some forms of discrimination against women

The partial passage of a new law prohibiting discrimination against women has given hope to human rights activists who say such practices violate the tenets of Islam.

The lower house of parliament on October 11 adopted some amendments of the Prevention of Anti-Women Practices 2008 bill aimed at abolishing forced marriages and depriving women of the right to inherit property.

IA Rehman, secretary general of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, characterized the partial adoption of the bill as a success after many years of effort by the group.

“We had formed a committee against forceful marriage to the Quran and sent recommendations to the government more than five years ago. Finally there is hope.”

Researchers of cultural practices say they believe that such marriages are common in rural areas of southern Sindh province and parts of Punjab province, and that while feudal families do so to prevent the transfer of property outside the family, the practice has been adopted more widely as part of the country’s caste system.

Azra Shad, chair of the Women Workers Help Line, an NGO that works on women’s rights issues, condemned the practice as a violation of the Muslim faith.

She also criticised so-called ‘marriages to the Qu’ran’. “This is illegal and [against Islam]. The victim has to spend her whole life inside the boundary of a house and is not permitted contact with anyone. Even hospitalization is not permitted.”

Fouzia Jacob, assistant coordinator for the Bishops’ Catholic Women’s Organization, expressed guarded optimism about the adopted amendments to the bill.

“There is little data available about such marriages; still the new law gives hope. A lot depends on implementation and the mind set in this male-dominated society,” she said.

“Almost all Christian women give up their right of inheritance. The dowry is the only inheritance they receive.”


St. Edward the Confessor
Feast: October 13
Feast Day:
October 13
1003 at Islip, Oxford, England
5 January 1066
Major Shrine:
Westminster Abbey
Patron of:
difficult marriages, kings. separated spouses

King of England, born in 1003; died 5 January, 1066. He was the son of Ethelred II and Emma, daughter of Duke Richard of Normandy, being thus half-brother to King Edmund Ironside, Ethelred's son by his first wife, and to King Hardicanute, Emma's son by her second marriage with Canute. When hardly ten years old he was sent with his brother Alfred into Normandy to be brought up at the court of the duke his uncle, the Danes having gained the mastery in England. Thus he spent the best years of his life in exile, the crown having been settled by Canute, with Emma's consent, upon his own offspring by her. Early misfortune thus taught Edward the folly of ambition, and he grew up in innocence, delighting chiefly in assisting at Mass and the church offices, and in association with religious, whilst not disdaining the pleasures of the chase, or recreations suited to his station. Upon Canute's death in 1035 his illegitimate son, Harold, seized the throne, Hardicanute being then in Denmark, and Edward and his brother Alfred were persuaded to make an attempt to gain the crown, which resulted in the cruel death of Alfred who had fallen into Harold's hands, whilst Edward was obliged to return to Normandy. On Hardicanute's sudden death in 1042, Edward was called by acclamation to the throne at the age of about forty, being welcomed even by the Danish settlers owing to his gentle saintly character. His reign was one of almost unbroken peace, the threatened invasion of Canute's son, Sweyn of Norway, being averted by the opportune attack on him by Sweyn of Denmark; and the internal difficulties occasioned by the ambition of Earl Godwin and his sons being settled without bloodshed by Edward's own gentleness and prudence. He undertook no wars except to repel an inroad of the Welsh, and to assist Malcolm III of Scotland against Macbeth, the usurper of his throne. Being devoid of personal ambition, Edward's one aim was the welfare of his people. He remitted the odious "Danegelt", which had needlessly continued to be levied; and though profuse in alms to the poor and for religious purposes, he made his own royal patrimony suffice without imposing taxes. Such was the contentment caused by "the good St. Edward's laws", that their enactment was repeatedly demanded by later generations, when they felt themselves oppressed.
Yielding to the entreaty of his nobles, he accepted as his consort the virtuous Editha, Earl Godwin's daughter. Having, however, made a vow of chastity, he first required her agreement to live with him only as a sister. As he could not leave his kingdom without injury to his people, the making of a pilgrimage to St. Peter's tomb, to which he had bound himself, was commuted by the pope into the rebuilding at Westminster of St. Peter's abbey, the dedication of which took place but a week before his death, and in which he was buried. St. Edward was the first King of England to touch for the "king's evil", many sufferers from the disease were cured by him. He was canonized by Alexander III in 1161. His feast is kept on the 13th of October, his incorrupt body having been solemnly translated on that day in 1163 by St. Thomas of Canterbury in the presence of King Henry II.

TODAY'S GOSPEL: OCT. 13: LUKE 11: 47-54

Luke 11: 47 - 54
47Woe to you! for you build the tombs of the prophets whom your fathers killed.
48So you are witnesses and consent to the deeds of your fathers; for they killed them, and you build their tombs.
49Therefore also the Wisdom of God said, `I will send them prophets and apostles, some of whom they will kill and persecute,'
50that the blood of all the prophets, shed from the foundation of the world, may be required of this generation,
51from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechari'ah, who perished between the altar and the sanctuary. Yes, I tell you, it shall be required of this generation.
52Woe to you lawyers! for you have taken away the key of knowledge; you did not enter yourselves, and you hindered those who were entering."
53As he went away from there, the scribes and the Pharisees began to press him hard, and to provoke him to speak of many things,
54lying in wait for him, to catch at something he might say.