Thursday, July 12, 2012


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Vatican City, 12 July 2012 (VIS) - "It pleases me to welcome an orchestra such as this one, which was born of the conviction, or better yet, of the experience that music unites persons, over and above any division". With these words the Pope thanked Director Daniel Barenboim and the musicians of the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra for the concert given in the Apostolic Palace of Castelgandolfo to celebrate the feast of St. Benedict, patron of Europe.
"Music", the pontiff continued, "is the harmony of differences ... from the multiplicity of tones of the various instruments a symphony can arise. However, this doesn't happen magically or automatically. It comes only from ... a patient and laborious commitment, which requires time and sacrifices in the effort to listen to one another, avoiding excessive egoism and privileging the best success of the whole".
"In these moments I am thinking of the great symphony of peace between the peoples that is never complete. My generation, like that of Director Barenboim's parents', lived the tragedy of the Second World war and the Shoah. It is highly meaningful that the maestro desired to bring a to life a project like the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra: a group in which musicians from Israel, Palestine, and other Arabic nations play; Jewish, Muslim, and Christian persons. The numerous acknowledgements that have been conferred on you and this orchestra demonstrate your professional excellence as well as your ethical and spiritual commitment".
Continuing, the Pope emphasized that the symphonies that were performed, Beethoven's Fifth and Sixth, express two aspects of life: "drama and peace; humanity's struggle against adversity and its enlightening immersion in a bucolic environment... The message I would like to draw from it for today is this: to achieve peace we must dedicate ourselves to dialogue with a personal and communal conversion, patiently seeking possible areas of understanding".
"I wish and pray that each of you", he concluded, "continue sowing the hope for peace in the world through the universal language of music".

Vatican City, 12 2012 (VIS) - Yesterday afternoon the Holy Father welcomed Giorgio Napolitano, president of the Republic of Italy, and his wife, Clio Maria Bittoni to the papal summer residence in Castel Gandolfo. They met briefly in the Apostolic Palace's Garden of the Moor, later conversing along the parapets of the gardens.
At 6:00pm the president and the Holy Father attended a concert of the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, directed by Maestro Daniel Barenboim, whom they greeted after the performance. Afterwards the president of the Republic and his wife dined with the Pope in his private apartments.

Vatican City, 12 July 2012 (VIS) - Members of the press and spokespersons of the European Episcopal conferences met in Cologne, Germany to discuss the relationship between the media and the Catholic Church.
Bishops, priests, and laypersons from across the continent are participating in the various sessions of the meeting, which will take place from 11 to 14 July. It will deal with, among other themes, communication regarding financial issues related to the life of the churches. A special session will be held dedicated to the Year of Faith and the media projects of the various episcopal conferences related to this event.


Nawal al-Fares, ambassador in Baghdad, was a regime member since the days of al-Assad Afez. The Baath Party has become a tool to kill the innocent. Invitation to army to join the revolution and really defend the population against foreign enemies. Other major defections planned in coming days.

Damascus (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Nawaf al-Fares, Syrian ambassador to Iraq, has defected from the regime of Bashar al-Assad and the Baath Party. The fight against terrorism launched by the President has now become a "horrible massacre" against the Syrian people. The diplomat announced his resignation in a statement to the Qatari channel al-Jazeera.

"I urge all honest members of this party - he said - I to follow my path because the regime has turned it [the party] to an instrument to kill people and their aspiration to freedom." The ambassador appealed to the army to join the revolution and begin to defend the people and the homeland against foreign enemies, not by killing innocent people.

Fares, a Sunni Muslim born in Deir al-Zor, Syria's eastern city to the border with Iraq is a veteran of the Damascus government, active in the days of Hafez al-Assad, father of the President. He is the second leading diplomat who turns his back to the president. The first was Bassam Imadi, Syrian ambassador in Sweden, now a member of the Syrian National Council. Another major defection was that of Tlas Manaf, a general from a Sunni family and personal friend of Assad, who in recent weeks has left the country seeking asylum in France.

According Imadi defections are a sign that diplomats and members of the regime sense the imminent end of Assad. "We should consider [Fares] as someone very close to the regime - he said - we should also remember that he is also calling on other ambassadors to resign, which means that others will follow suit".

Meanwhile, the UN has prepared a new plan to end the violence. The draft text - the fruit of the Paris conference of July 6 - orders the Syrian regime to cease "within ten days," the use of heavy weapons against rebellious cities'', or risk "immediate" new economic and diplomatic sanctions as provided by Article 41 of the UN Charter.

There are no end to clashes between the army and rebels of the Free Syrian Army and foreign Islamist militants. Overnight there were clashes in the capital's neighborhoods and Ibril. In Homs attempts at reconciliation are in progress between the various families thanks to the "Mussalaha" launched by Christian religious leaders, Catholics, Protestants and Orthodox.



Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
12 Jul 2012

Capuchin friars and fresh-made capucchinos were
in big demand at SCENE's
Vocations Expo which opened today
The faithful were there. The supporters and organisers, friends and family, priests and religious.
But so too were the office workers, students and tourists who strolled through Martin Place today and found themselves caught up in a happy, out-going festival of faith.
This is SCENE 2012, the Sydney Congress Embracing the New Evangelisation.
Created to continue the momentum and enthusiasm of Sydney's World Youth Day in 2008, SCENE features daily workshops, pub nights, catechesis, Eucharist adoration, music and prayer. Held in the years between each international World Youth Day, SCENE 2012 has become an integral part of the Sydney calendar.

This year along with international and leading speakers from across Australia, there are panel discussions where Catholic painters, poets, musicians and writers together will share their experiences and explain the close relationship between creativity and inspiration with spirituality and mission.
Young and old checked out the 40 stalls at SCENE's
Vocations Expo which runs until the end of the week
This year's SCENE began at St Mary's Cathedral with morning prayer and Auxiliary Bishop, Bishop Julian Porteous.
However by lunchtime the action was in Martin Place with what has become one of the most popular outdoor features - the Vocations Expo.
Held over three days with 40 stalls showcasing the wide range of Catholic religious communities, resources, organisations, schools, universities as well as adult education, this year's Expo also offers a daily lunchtime barbecue and sausage sizzle as well as freshly-made cappuccinos brewed by a team of Capuchin Friars.

Live music attracted the crowds at the
first day of SCENE's Vocations Expo 2012
And the friars were only too happy to explain the connection between a frothy coffee and a hooded habit. But you have to go back to 1525 when a new order of Catholic monks was founded in Europe. Members wore a long, pointed cowl called a "cappuccino" which is the Italian word for hood and they became known as the Capuchin order. Years pass and a blend of espresso coffee mixed with steamed milk was dubbed "cappuccino" because it was the same colour as the habit worn by the Capuchin friars.

Fact or fiction the coffee the Capuchin friars were serving up to the crowds today was certainly appreciated.
Jessica Langrell, Chaplaincy Convenor at the
University of Notre Dame helmed one of the
40 stalls at SCENE's Vocations Expo in Martin Place
Early on there was some concern for showers forecast for the day Maybe the morning prayer took care of that because by lunchtime Martin Place was filled with people of all ages, checking out the stalls, asking questions and simply sitting in the warm sunshine to listen to SCENE's musicians and non-stop live music.
The Vocations Expo continues tomorrow and Friday beginning each day at 11 am. In addition to Expo SCENE 2012 has a packed program of pub talks, workshops, panels, forums, live music, prayer, tours of St Mary's Cathedral, a daily Holy Hour, candlelight processions culminating on Saturday, 14 July with GRACEFest - an evening of live rock bands, prayer and catechesis in the courtyard at the University of Notre Dame.
To find out details of the program for SCENE 2012 log on to

Fresh cappuccinos a pleasant habit to have at
SCENE 2012
The Capuchin Friars will take your order


ABIDJAN, July 10, 2012 (CISA) -A two-day working session of a Steering Committee of a Forum on Culture and Development in Africa is currently taking place in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, to finalize arrangements for the holding of a Workshop on the theme: Culture and Development in Africa.
According to Benedict Assorow, Director of Communications, SECAM, the Workshop will take place in November 2012 in Dar-es-Salam, Tanzania. It will be organized by the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM) in collaboration with the Pontifical Council for Culture (PCC).
The need for the setting up of a Culture and Development Forum in Africa came about following a recommendation of a meeting that was organized jointly by the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples and the Pontifical Council for Culture in Abidjan, in September 2010.
The main challenge from that meeting was that Africa needed to appropriate the process that will bring about a structured dialogue between Africa and the Holy See on matters of culture and development.
Culminating from this the SECAM Standing Committee in October, 2010 approved the formation of a Steering Committee to look into how such a Forum can be organized and formalized. The Standing Committee mandated the Department of Evangelization of SECAM to manage the process.
The Steering Committee of the Forum is under the Chairmanship of His Eminence, Theodore Adrien Cardinal Sarr, First Vice-President of SECAM and Archbishop of Dakar, Senegal. Bishop
Barthelemy Adoukonou, Secretary of the PCC is representing his Council at the meeting.
The Committee’s purpose among others is to prepare the Church in Africa to form an Ecclesiastical Subject with a vision and mission for an enlarged Forum on Culture and Development in November this year. It will also work out a holistic and unifying approach to culture and development on the continent of Africa with particular reference to the resources and the challenges of the Church on the continent.
The Workshop in Tanzania is expected to come out with concrete proposals of the desired name, structure and modalities under which the proposed permanent Forum will function.
About sixty participants of the workshop will be drawn from all the Episcopal Regions of SECAM. They would include bishops, priests, and lay people. Religious Congregations- both men and women- operating in Africa will also be represented.
Other members of the Steering Committee attending the meeting include Rev Fr Joseph Komakoma, First Deputy Secretary General of SECAM and in-charge of Evangelization; Fr Leonard Santedi, Secretary General of the Episcopal Conference of the Democratic Republic of Congo; Rev Sr Teresa Okure, SHCJ Professor, Catholic Institute of West Africa (CIWA) in Port Harcourt, Nigeria; Rev Fr Edouard Ade, Professor at UCAO in Benin; Rev Fr Anthony Makunde, Secretary General of the Episcopal Conference of Tanzania; Rev Br Hilaire Raharilalao of Madagascar and Benedict Assorow, Director of Communications, SECAM.


Agenzia Fides) - The 98th Assembly of the Episcopal Conference of Venezuela (CEV) ends today, July 12. The words that were our guide in the work are those of His Exc. Mgr. Diego Padron, Archbishop of Cumanà and President of the CEV, who pointed out that the primary task for the Church in Venezuela is to "be the mediator of reconciliation and to continue her service to the people, without distinction." Mgr. Padron also stressed the Church's attention towards national life, to provide answers to questions about the fate of Venezuela: its democracy, its freedom and its security. In the opening speech of the work, the President of the CEV noticed the climate of "secrecy" with which one wants to manage some aspects of country’s life, such as the President’s health and the real situation of prisons. During this meeting, the Episcopal Conference addressed the issues of the new evangelization of Christian education and socio-political commitment. Mgr. Padron then said he hopes that election day in October can be lived "in a climate of respect and justice, so that the electoral process is fair and transparent". Venezuela will have to elect a new President for the period between 2013-2019 among 7 candidates, although the 2 who have a better chance are Chavez and Henrique Capriles.
In the context of the Assembly of the CEV, on July 10 a meeting was held between the authorities of the Episcopal Conference and the authorities of the government, represented by the Vice President of the Republic, Elías Jaua, and by the ministers of Interior and Justice, Tarek El Aissami and Youth, Mari Pili Hernandez. The Government thus sought to emphasize the value of the Church for the Venezuelan society, and thanked the Church for the work carried out especially against violence. On behalf of the Bishops, His Exc. Mgr. Mario Moronta, Vice President of CEV, reminded the government the emergencies affecting the country and the possibility to work together to resolve them.
According to data collected by Fides Agency, with this meeting, the government resumed a relationship of dialogue and collaboration with the Church. During the 13 years of Chavez government in fact the climate between the government and the Church was very tense, to the point that in 2010 there was a breaking-point, when President Chavez qualified the Bishops as "cavemen" after they publicly expressed their support for Cardinal Jorge Urosa Savino, who had accused Chavez of wanting to violate the Constitution (see Fides 28/12/2010). President Chavez then ordered a review of the Church-State agreement on the financing of social works, but the measure was not followed and on 27 April, the government gave 294 million dollars to the Catholic schools network that welcome more than 500,000 students. (CE) (Agenzia Fides 12/7/2012


Obituary: Fr Tony Bullen | Fr Anthony Francis Bullen
Anthony Francis Bullen was born in Aughton, Lancashire, on 6 March 1924, the son of David and Mary Bullen. He attended St Mary's School, Aughton, before studying for the priesthood at Ushaw College, Durham. He was ordained at St George's Church, Maghull, on 6 June 1948.
His first appointment was as Assistant Priest at St Mary's, Woolton, from July 1948 until September 1957, when he moved for a brief period to St Benet's, Netherton. In April 1958 he went to work with the Catholic Missionary Society, based in London, but travelling the country offering missions and retreats to parishes and groups. He returned to the archdiocese in October 1959 to take up his appointment as secretary to Archbishop John Carmel Heenan and the following October was appointed Chancellor of the archdiocese. Three years later in October 1962 he was appointed to St Oswald's, Padgate, but continued to work in the curia as Vice-Chancellor.
The beginning of 1965 saw him appointed as Chaplain to St Vincent's School for the Blind, Director of Schools and Director of the Archdiocesan Catechetical Centre. It was a significant appointment in his life as he was charged with implementing the teachings of the Second Vatican Council, which was just coming to an end in Rome, in the work of Religious Education in the archdiocese and further afield. His work was soon recognised, a report in the 'Catholic Herald' of 17 November 1967 saying: "Wherever Father Bullen or his colleagues go, they draw record attendances. In two recent sessions in Scotland 1,000 teachers turned out to hear Father Bullen, who insists to his audience that "people are affected more by what you are than what you say."'
They were turbulent years for the Church with many embracing the seismic changes wrought by the Council whilst others sought to resist them. Father Tony wholeheartedly accepted the challenge of change; in 1968 he said, in typically forthright manner: "I would think that when and where religious teaching has failed in the past, the cause will nearly always have been sheer boredom. Many of our children just don't see the relevance of religion to their lives. It seems to me that the principal aim of religious teaching today should be that pupils acquire an appreciation of their involvement in God's plan of salvation, more through discovery than through being told religious facts."
A prolific writer over many years his landmark Religious Education works: 'Exploring God's World' and 'Living and Believing' were written in 1969. A year later his famous, and often reprinted, 'Catholic Prayer Book' was published; it was the first ordinary Catholic Prayer Book since the Council and took Father Tony six months to compile.
He continued his work at the now renamed Christian Education Centre until October 1975 when he was appointed as Parish Priest of St Paul's, West Derby, Liverpool. In July 1980 ill health forced his resignation from the parish and in order to recover his health he left for America to serve as Assistant Priest at the Church of St Nicholas in Laguna Hills, California. He was popular and his ministry was admired by many; it was at this time that friendships were forged which would last for years following his return to England.
It was in September 1983 that, having regained his health, he returned to the archdiocese as Parish Priest of St Bartholomew's, Rainhill. Just as he had accepted the challenge of the changes brought by the Council so too he embraced the need for change in the parish and worked tirelessly using his energies to build up the Catholic community. He reordered the nineteenth century church and brought about collaborative ministry as envisaged by the Council. On one occasion St Bartholomew's was visited by a number of the English and Welsh Bishops who were meeting at nearby Loyola Hall; a few days later Father Tony received a letter from Archbishop Derek Worlock expressing their thanks for the work being done in the parish, evidence of which they had clearly seen in the extensive list of parish ministries and contacts at the entrance to the church.
During his time in Rainhill Father Tony led major celebrations: for the rededication of the church following reordering and for the 150th anniversary of the church. At the end of May 1988 he was ambushed by a group of grateful parishioners who gave him seven days notice of the celebrations they had organised for his Ruby Jubilee of ordination to the priesthood.
He will be remembered for his pastoral care and for his support of anyone in need and it was with great sadness that in the summer of 1993 his parishioners heard of his intention to retire the following October.
In retirement he returned to live at the family home in Aughton and for a number of years regularly celebrated Mass at the nearby parish of St Mary. He returned to St Bartholomew's for the celebration of his Golden Jubilee of ordination. In later years he lived in Cumbria and failing health led to a more private celebration of his sixty years of priesthood. He died on Friday 6 July 2012 at the age of 88 and in his sixty-fifth year of priesthood. May he rest in peace.
His body will be received into St Bartholomew's Church, Rainhill, at 6.00 pm on Sunday 15 July when Mass will be celebrated by the Most Reverend Patrick Kelly, Archbishop of Liverpool. His Funeral Mass will be celebrated at St Bartholomew's on Monday 16 July at 11.00 am, followed by burial in the churchyard. The Funeral Mass will be celebrated by the Right Reverend Vincent Malone, former Auxiliary Bishop of Liverpool, and the homily preached by the Right Reverend John Rawsthorne, Bishop of Hallam, who worked for many years with Father Tony at the Christian Education Centre.
Source: Archdiocese of Liverpool


Matthew 10: 7 - 15
7 And preach as you go, saying, `The kingdom of heaven is at hand.'
8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. You received without paying, give without pay.
9 Take no gold, nor silver, nor copper in your belts,
10 no bag for your journey, nor two tunics, nor sandals, nor a staff; for the laborer deserves his food.
11 And whatever town or village you enter, find out who is worthy in it, and stay with him until you depart.
12 As you enter the house, salute it.
13 And if the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it; but if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you.
14 And if any one will not receive you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet as you leave that house or town.
15 Truly, I say to you, it shall be more tolerable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom and Gomor'rah than for that town.


St. John Gualbert
Feast: July 12

ST. JOHN GUALBERT was born at Florence, A. D. 999. Following the profession of arms at that troubled period, he became involved in a blood-feud with a near relative. One Good Friday, as he was riding into Florence accompanied by armed men, he encountered his enemy in a place where neither could avoid the other. John would have slain him; but his adversary, who was totally unprepared to fight, fell upon his knees with his arms stretched out in the form of a cross, and implored him, for the sake of Our Lord's holy Passion, to spare his life. St. John said to his enemy, "I cannot refuse what you ask in Christ's name. I grant you your life, and I give you my friendship. Pray that God may forgive me my sin." Grace triumphed. A humble and changed man, he entered the Church of St. Miniato, which was near; and whilst he prayed, the figure of our crucified Lord, before which he was kneeling, bowed its head toward him as if to ratify his pardon. Abandoning the world, he gave himself up to prayer and penance in the Benedictine Order. Later he was led to found the congregation called of Vallombrosa, from the shady valley a few miles from Florence, where he established his first monastery. Once the enemies of the Saint came to his convent of St. Salvi, plundered it, and set fire to it, and having treated the monks with ignominy, beat them and wounded them. St. John rejoiced. "Now," he said, "you are true monks. Would that I myself had had the honor of being with you when the soldiers came, that I might have had a share in the glory of your crowns! " He fought manfully against simony, and in many ways promoted the interest of the Faith in Italy. After a life of great austerity, he died whilst the angels were singing round his bed, July 11, 1073.