Friday, April 20, 2012


Vatican City, 20 April 2012 (VIS) - The Pontifical Biblical Commission today concludes its annual plenary session, during which it has been examining the theme: "Inspiration and Truth in the Bible". For the occasion the Holy Father has sent a message to Cardinal William Joseph Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and president of the commission. (image source: RADIO VATICANA)
The Pope notes that the theme of this year's gathering is vital "for a correct interpretation of the biblical message. It is inspiration as an act of God which ensures that human utterance can express the Word of God", he writes. "Indeed, any interpretation of Sacred Scripture which overlooks or forgets its inspiration fails to take account of its most important and precious characteristic; that is, the fact that it comes from God".
"Thanks to the charisma of inspiration", the Benedict XVI goes on, "the books of Sacred Scripture have a direct and tangible appeal. Yet the Word of God is not confined to writing, for although the Revelation ended with the death of the last Apostle, the revealed Word has continued to be announced and interpreted by the living Tradition of the Church. Thus the Word of God, fixed in the holy texts, is not an inert matter at the heart of the Church but the supreme rule of her faith and her life force. The Tradition she draws from the Apostles advances with the assistance of the Holy Spirit, and grows through reflection and study on the part of believers, through the individual experience of spiritual life and the preaching of bishops".
Hence the need for deeper study on the theme of inspiration and truth in the Bible, because it is "fundamental for the life and mission of the Church that Sacred Scripture be interpreted according to its nature; and inspiration and truth are constituent characteristics of that nature".
In conclusion, the Pope expresses his appreciation to the Pontifical Biblical Commission for the activities it undertakes to promote knowledge, study and acceptance of the Word of God in the world.

Vatican City, 20 April 2012 (VIS) - The Vatican internet service released a communique yesterday announcing that, as of 19 April, seventh anniversary of the election of the Holy Father Benedict XVI, the new widget will be available to users of the Internet.
By using this interface it will be possible, automatically and dynamically, to transfer some of the most important content contained in the institutional website to another user's website.
Pontifical Magisterium is thus enriched with a another means of communication, making the content of the institutional website more widely known, and using all the opportunities technology offers in order to spread the word of the Holy Father.
In particular, using the new widget it will be possible to export all the principal novelties, the Sunday Angelus, Audiences and the Bulletin of the Holy See Press Office.
The "Focus" area of the homepage contains the mail address at which users may request the code to insert on the own homepage of their own websites in order to visualise the " widget".

Vatican City, 20 April 2012 (VIS) - Among the many people who have contacted the Holy Father Benedict XVI to congratulate him on his birthday, and on the seventh election of his election, was Mario Monti, the Italian prime minister, who made a private visit to the Vatican to see the Pope on Wednesday.
The visit reflects the climate of understanding and collaboration between Italy and the Holy See, which was also on display later that day, during the traditional reception offered by the apostolic nunciature to Italy to mark the anniversary of the papal election. Prime Minister Monti attended and was welcomed by the nuncio, Archbishop Adriano Bernardini. Also present were the ministers of justice, employment, and economic development, as well as other national, regional and local authorities, and ecclesiastical figures. During the event, Prime Minister Monti held a long talk with Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B.
United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also sent the Pope a message of congratulation, in the name of President Barack Obama. The message highlights Benedict XVI's tireless efforts "to unite peoples of different faiths" in the one creed of peace.
Vatican City, 20 April 2012 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in audience:
- Stanislaw Tillich, minister president of the Free State of Saxony, Germany, accompanied by his wife and an entourage.
- Archbishop Giovanni d'Aniello, apostolic nuncio to Brazil.
- Fifteen prelates of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, on their "ad limina" visit:
- Archbishop Jose Horacio Gomez of Los Angeles, accompanied by Auxiliary Bishops Thomas J. Curry, Gerald E. Wilkerson, Edward William Clark, Alexander Salazar and Oscar Azarcon Solis, and by Cardinal Roger Michael Mahony, archbishop emeritus.
- Bishop Armando Xavier Ochoa of Fresno.
- Bishop Richard John Garcia of Monterey in California.
- Bishop Tod David Brown of Orange in California, accompanied by Auxiliary Bishop Dominic Mai Luong.
- Bishop Gerald Richard Barnes of San Bernardino, accompanied by Auxiliary Bishop Rutilio Juan Del Riego.
- Bishop Robert Henry Brom of San Diego, accompanied by Coadjutor Bishop Cirilo B. Flores.


Bishop Bernard Fellay, superior of the SSPX, ordains a priest in Econe, Switzerland (Photo: CNS)
The Society of St. Pius has answered favorably to an agreement with the Vatican. This is a good step towards re-unificaiton of the SSPX and the Holy See.
VIS: The Pontifical Commission Ecclesia Dei has published the following communication concerning the Society of St. Pius X:

"The text of the response of Bishop Bernard Fellay (pictured) , Superior General of the Priestly Society of Saint Pius X, as had been requested at the meeting of 16 March 2012, was received by the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith on 17 April 2012. The text will be examined by the Dicastery and then submitted to the judgement of the Holy Father.

Fr. Federico Lombardi, head of the Vatican Press Office, said that, with the latest response, “steps forward have been taken, that is to say, that the response, the new response, is rather encouraging. But there are still developments that will be made, and examined, and decisions which should be taken in the next few weeks.”
Please see for futher information:


Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese REPORT
19 Apr 2012

Permanent deacons have also increased worldwide
Deacons play an important part in the life of the Church but despite the tradition of deacons dating back many centuries, today's parishioners remain confused or ignorant of the duties and responsibilities of a deacon, and their contribution to parish life.
"People frequently misunderstand the role of a deacon while others are not aware deacons, who are usually married with families, are even part of the Catholic Church," says Bernard Toutounji, Executive Officer of the Archdiocese of Sydney's Permanent Diaconate.
However Bernard and the Archdiocese are determined to change this and on Saturday, 12 May will host an information afternoon at the Seminary of the Good Shepherd, Homebush on the vocation, formation and role of a Deacon.
"We are inviting all those interested in finding out more about the Archdiocese's Permanent Diaconate and those who are considering a possible vocation as a deacon," says Bernard, emphasising that the invitation is not only for men but their wives as well.
"As most Deacons are married with families of their own, the decision to pursue a vocation with the Diaconate affects the entire family and a wife's support is all important, he says.

Deacon Paul Naggar
whose wife Julianne is
on the Diaconate
Advisory Committee
A Deacon-in-training needs the encouragement, understanding and full-hearted support of his wife as well as the rest of the family while undergoing the four year period of formation and discernment, Bernard explains, as well as during the years after his ordination when he is called on to serve a parish or ministry.
"A wife is the backbone and if she isn't okay with her husband answering the call, then we would not proceed."
Such is the importance the Archdiocese plays on a wife's support, not only are they encouraged to come along with their husbands to formation but the Archdiocese Diaconate Advisory Committee who will decide on this year's candidates includes two women. One is Sister Isabell Naumann ISSM STD and the other is Mrs Julianne Naggar of Liverpool, NSW. Mrs Naggar is married to Deacon Paul Naggar from the Archdiocese and has long experience as the wife of a Deacon and what this means.
"Unlike priests, a permanent deacon maintains his professional as well as his family life while serving the Church," Bernard says and believes this is one of the reasons for the frequent confusion over a deacon's role in a parish or allocated ministry.
Another reason for ignorance about a deacons' role, could be put down to numbers. Currently there are just 35,000 deacons worldwide compared with almost half a million priests.
Although deacons have been ordained and served the Church since the second and third century, in the west the numbers of permanent deacons gradually declined, and deacons became associated primarily with seminarians who were ordained and worked as deacons during the last year or two before their ordination as priests.
But after the Second Vatican Council called for a reinstatement and revitalisation of the tradition, numbers have begun to increase.
Two years ago, the Archbishop of Sydney, Cardinal George Pell re-established the Archdiocese's Permanent Diaconate and appointed Bishop Julian Porteous, Episcopal Vicar of Evangelisation and Renewal as Director and Bernard Toutounji as Executive Officer.

Curremt Diaconate Aspirants and Wives from left to right,
Sue and John Kelly, Kayshinee and Aruna Perera,
Fr Danny Meagher Director of Formation, Eddie
and Anne Ho, Rita and Mervyn Francis
At the time, the Archdiocese had five hard-working, dedicated and permanent deacons, all of whom had been ordained in the 1990s. But since the Permanent Diaconate was re-established, there have been an increased interest and a growing number of applications from men of faith to become candidates for holy order of Deacons.
Currently four men - all married - are in formation and set to be ordained as deacons in 2013-14. A further three are currently undertaking preliminary studies at the Catholic Institute of Sydney at Strathfield.
Pope Benedict XVI explains that the word deacon literally means "servant" and that the original role of a deacon was to serve the poor. But in modern times, he says deacons serve a new poverty which is describes as a "spiritual and cultural poverty."
Some of a deacon's duties are similar to those of a parish priest. He is an official minister in the liturgy and is entitled to carry out baptisms, celebrate marriages and officiate at funerals. However a deacon is not permitted to celebrate Mass, nor is he permitted to hear Confessions.
"A deacon is one who brings the face of Christ in a unique way into his work, family and recreational life and can be an important link for people into the life of the Church," Bernard says.
To find out more about the information afternoon to be held at the Seminary of the Good Shepherd on 12 May log on to You can also email the Office of the Permanent Diaconate at or call 02 9390 5941.


CISA REPORT: KAMPALA, April 20, 2012 (CISA) -The Archbishop of Kampala, His Grace Cyprian Kizito Lwanga, has clarified that Catholics do not worship statues of saints, but use them to reflect on the holy life lived by them. He made the clarification last Sunday as he showed the faithful at Rubaga cathedral the relics of Saint Faustina Krakow of Poland, to whom Christ revealed the Divine Mercy.
Archbishop Lwanga was responding to the frequent attacks by some evangelical churches that Catholics worship statues, paintings and photos. He explained that Catholics use the holy images, paintings and other pieces of art to recall the persons they depict. Just as it helps one to remember one’s mother by looking at her photograph, he explained, images also help Catholics to recall saints by looking at their pictures or statues.
Archbishop Lwanga lamented that the use of images of Christ and the saints in the Catholic Church is misunderstood by many. He said this shows that many non Catholics lack knowledge about the catholic faith and about what sacred scriptures say.


UCAN REPORT: Father Arokiasamy Soosai remembered as an 'outstanding scholar'
Jessy Joseph, New Delhi
Moral theologian Jesuit Father Arokiasamy Soosai passed away this morning in a Delhi hospital from complications following a lung infection and cardiac problems.
Fr Soosai, 75, died at 10am after receiving the final anointing, said Fr Edward Mudavassery, Jesuit provincial for South Asia.
Fr Soosai, a consultor and member of the commission for doctrine and faith at the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India, was professor emeritus of Vidyajyoti College of Theology.
He received his doctorate in moral theology from Gregorian University in Rome and served in the Office for Theological Concerns at the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences.
Born August 6, 1937, Fr Soosai entered the seminary on May 30, 1957, and was ordained a priest in March 1971.
“His death is too sudden for us,” Fr Mudavassery said.
Fr Joe Antony, editor of Jeevan, a Jesuit publication, and director of culture and communication at Loyola College in Chennai, said Fr Soosai had served as an adviser to the bishops’ conference on matters of faith and morals for several years.
Hundreds of former students now serving as priests all over India would be “saddened by the death of their highly respected and much loved professor,” he said.
CBCI spokesman Fr Babu Joseph said that “in Fr Soosai’s death the Church has lost an outstanding scholar in theology as well as a wonderful person.”
A funeral service is scheduled for 4pm tomorrow in Delhi.


Agenzia Fides REPORT - The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Colombia presented in Bogotá and in nine other Colombian cities where it works, its annual report containing serious reports on the growing humanitarian problems affecting the civilian population. Issues such as forced displacement, threats, sexual violence, violations against the work of doctors and damage to property of the community are placed in the context of internal armed conflict that Colombia has been living for almost 50 years.
As indicated in the ICRC statement sent to Fides by Adital, the report is also a way of reminding all parties involved in the conflict, that they must respect and apply the strictly humanitarian regulations. The humanitarian problems are more common in so-called "forgotten areas". In these places, people are suffering the consequences of the fighting (recently increased) and military operations. Also in these areas there are no basic services like water, public education, healthcare and transport.
The ICRC found that regions where the population is most affected by the conflict are: Cauca, Narino, Choco, Antioquia, Cordoba, Putumayo, Caquetá, Meta, Guaviare and Norte de Santander. In Medellin, Tumaco and Buenaventura, the report indicates that people are facing not only the consequences of internal conflict, but also other forms of organized violence. The report finds cases of aerial spraying of illicit crops. Practice that has also affected the legal plantations of the community who live in conflict areas, and that has made it even harder to find food and sustenance, as well as affecting the health of the population.
In 2011 the report cataloged more than 760 violations of international humanitarian law: the government has made efforts to change this reality, but these are still insufficient. To demonstrate that these regions are part of "the other Colombia", "the forgotten Colombia," Jordi Raich, head of the ICRC delegation, cites data that show the disparity in the country's economic growth. Based on figures provided by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), Raich emphasized that Colombia is the second country with the worst income distribution. At the same time, in 2011, the country's economic growth was above 5%, one of the highest in Latin America. (CE) (Agenzia Fides 20/4/2012


John 6: 1 - 15

1 After this Jesus went to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, which is the Sea of Tiber'i-as.
2 And a multitude followed him, because they saw the signs which he did on those who were diseased.
3 Jesus went up on the mountain, and there sat down with his disciples.
4 Now the Passover, the feast of the Jews, was at hand.
5 Lifting up his eyes, then, and seeing that a multitude was coming to him, Jesus said to Philip, "How are we to buy bread, so that these people may eat?"
6 This he said to test him, for he himself knew what he would do.
7 Philip answered him, "Two hundred denarii would not buy enough bread for each of them to get a little."
8 One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, said to him,
9 "There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two fish; but what are they among so many?"
10 Jesus said, "Make the people sit down." Now there was much grass in the place; so the men sat down, in number about five thousand.
11 Jesus then took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated; so also the fish, as much as they wanted.
12 And when they had eaten their fill, he told his disciples, "Gather up the fragments left over, that nothing may be lost."
13 So they gathered them up and filled twelve baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves, left by those who had eaten.
14 When the people saw the sign which he had done, they said, "This is indeed the prophet who is to come into the world!"
15 Perceiving then that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, Jesus withdrew again to the mountain by himself.


St. Agnes of Montepulciano
Feast: April 20

Feast Day:April 20
Born: 1268 at Gracchiano-Vecchio, Tuscany, Italy
Died:20 April 1317
Canonized: 1726 by Pope Benedict XIII
Born in the neighbourhood of Montepulciano in Tuscany about 1268; died there 1317. At the age of nine years she entered a monastery. Four years later she was commissioned by Pope Nicholas IV to assist in the foundation of a monastery at Proceno, and became its prioress at the age of fifteen. At the entreaty of the citizens of her native town, she established (1298) the celebrated convent of Dominican nuns at Montepulciano which she governed until the time of her death. She was canonized by Benedict XIII in 1726. Her feast is celebrated on 20 April.
(Taken from Catholic Encyclopedia)