Friday, July 20, 2012


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(Image source: Radio Vaticana)
Vatican City, 20 July 2012 (VIS) - "For many months now the Church and the entire international community have been looking with great apprehension and profound sadness at the escalating violence in Syria, where arms seem to have taken the place of dialogue".
These are the opening words of a declaration concerning the situation in Syria, issued yesterday afternoon by the Council of European Episcopal Conferences (CCEE) and signed by Cardinal Peter Erdo, archbishop of Esztergom-Budapest, Hungary; Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, archbishop of Genoa, Italy, and Archbishop Jozef Michalik of Przemysl of the Latins, Poland, respectively president and vice presidents of the CCEE.
"We hope that the authorities in the country, the population and all believers of whatever religion may look to God and find the way to put an end to hostilities, set aside their arms and start down the path of dialogue, reconciliation and peace. The conflict cannot but lead to mourning, destruction and serious consequences for the noble people of Syria. War is a dead end. Happiness can be achieved only by acting together, never by the abusive exercise of power of one side against another", the text reads.
"The coming days could prove decisive for the outcome of this crisis. Therefore we exhort all the Christians of Europe to redouble their prayers for peace in that region. Our faith leads us to hope that a constructive solution to the crisis is possible, one which respects the interests of all sides. It is important to rediscover space for a dialogue of peace; and it is never too late to understand one another, to negotiate and to build a shared future together.
"We are certain that, with God's help, good sense may prevail and lead to peaceful coexistence in truth, justice, love and freedom, and in respect for all monitories, particularly the Christians in the country".

Vatican City, 20 July 2012 (VIS) - Beginning in August, the "Osservatore Romano" newspaper will be distributed in the United States of America. It will be published by the "Our Sunday Visitor" Catholic publishing house, based in Indiana, which also publishes the "Our Sunday Visitor" weekly newspaper, the largest selling Catholic periodical in the U.S.
The publishing house will also supervise the subscription service and marketing strategies to promote the circulation of the "Osservatore Romano". Thanks to this initiative, news concerning the Pope and the Vatican will now be more accessible to families in the United States.


A Mass shooting at the premiere of the Batman film `The Dark
Night Rises` in Aurora, Colorado. The movie started at 12:00am on Friday, July 20, 2012. Tear gas filled the theater and a man armed with a rifle and a hand gun started firing killing 12 and injuring 59. Some young children including infants were among the injured. The suspect is a white male age 24 named James Holmes (pictured right). He was apprehended in the parking lot with weapons. Holmes was dressed head to toe in protective gear and wearing a gas mask. The 59 victims are in hospital with some in critical condition.
Goverment Website: Gov. John Hickenlooper released this statement today in response to the shooting overnight at the Aurora movie theater:

“This is not only an act of extreme violence, it is also an act of depravity. It is beyond the power of words to fully express our sorrow this morning. Our prayers and condolences go first to the families of those killed, and we share the grief of everyone affected by this senseless event. We appreciate the swift work by local, state and federal law enforcement. Coloradans have a remarkable ability to support one another in times of crisis. This one of those times.”
In the chaos of the moment, people poured from the movie theater into the darkness of the night—the darkness of confusion, of ambiguity, of despair. We stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters cast into that darkness. They do not stand alone. As Catholic bishops, we “weep with those who weep.”
But in Aurora, which means “the dawn,” the sun rose this morning. In a city whose name evokes the light, people of hope know that the darkness may be overcome.
For those who were killed, our hope is the tender mercy of our God. “Neither death nor life,” reflected St. Paul, “can separate us from the love of God.” We commend their souls, and their families and friends, to God’s enduring love.
For those who were wounded—physically, emotionally and spiritually, our hope is in their recovery and renewal. To them we offer our prayers, our ears to listen, and our hearts to love. The road to recovery may be long, but in hope we are granted the gift of new life.
We hope also for the perpetrator of this terrible crime, and we pray for his conversion. Evil ruled his heart last night. Only Jesus Christ can overcome the darkness of such evil.
We hope that all of us may find the peace which surpasses understanding.
The Archdiocese of Denver stands ready to assist the victims of this tragedy, and our community. Regina Caeli Counseling Services of Catholic Charities will offer counseling over the next few weeks to those who need it. We look for opportunities to pray with our community. And we continue to work to support families and communities in forming people of peace.
-Most Reverend Samuel J. Aquila
Archbishop of Denver

Most Reverend James D. Conley
Auxiliary Bishop of Denver

Dear Readers we ask you to pray for the victims and their families and James Holmes. Please pray for an end to violence in the hearts and minds of all peoples and a return to God in peace.


Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
20 Jul 2012

Thomas Kelly's funeral today
Violence at Kings Cross is not only fuelled by alcohol but has become vicious, mindless and random, says Dr Gordian Fulde, Director of the Emergency Department (ED) at St Vincent's Hospital, Darlinghurst.
"Where conflicts used to break out between two people, now we have groups attacking a single person for no reason at all and when that person goes down and is unconscious, they continue attacking him with multiple punches and kicks," he says and believes one of the most dangerous places for a young man and his girlfriend to be is at one of a fast food take-aways at the Cross at on a Friday or Saturday night.
"That's when groups of young louts are out on the streets bored, full of testosterone and alcohol, and looking for trouble," he says.

Thomas Kelly - dead at 18
For 18-year-old Thomas Kelly whose funeral was held today at King's School, Parramatta, it was just 10 pm on Saturday, 7 July when out on a date with his girlfriend and on his first-ever visit to Kings Cross, he was king hit in an unprovoked, random and senseless attack. He was rushed to nearby St Vincent's Hospital but his injuries were so severe he never regained consciousness and two days later his parents had to make the agonising decision to turn off his life support.
Yesterday Kieran Loveridge, 18 was arrested in Belmore and charged with murder. He has also been charged with a further three unprovoked assaults at the Cross the same evening, two of which took place after he allegedly delivered the fatal blow to Thomas Kelly.
The unnecessary and tragic death of the young trainee accountant and former King's School student has horrified Sydneysiders and galvanised demands for the Cross to be cleaned up. Citizens across the city have called on officials, community leaders, public and club licensees, police, the Mayor and local, state and Federal politicians to join together to find solutions to alcohol-fuelled violence and to prevent such tragedies from happening again.

Kings Cross ER takes tv viewers
inside the emergency department
of St Vincent's Hospital, Darlinghurst
On Wednesday night this week, Federal Member for Wentworth Malcolm Turnbull, joined Clover Moore, Assistant Police Commissioner Mark Murdoch, NSW Hospitality Minister George Brandeis and CEO of Australian Hotels Association's NSW branch, Paul Nicolauo attended a public forum for a "Safer Sydney"at the Town Hall.
Assistant Police Commissioner Murdoch identified alcohol as the primary cause of the violence while others blamed the lack of transport out of the Cross after 1 am on a Friday or Saturday night and believed an increase in public transport could help to address the problem. Some residents wanted to see earlier closing with a 1 am lockout of licensed premises while the Mayor suggested a "cooling off period" of a 3.a.m lockout followed by 4 am closing as happens in New York - and even lollipops on the way out of bars and clubs for patrons.
But for Dr Fulde the solution is far more simple and direct.

Dr Gordian Fulde Director of the Emergency
Department at St Vincent's Hospital Darlinghurst
"The whole attitude of society is off the rails and we have lost focus. People should be able to go out at weekends and have a couple of drinks and a pleasant night out with friends, and not be afraid they will be assaulted or hurt and not have to keep looking around in a bid to stay out of trouble," he says and places responsibility for much of the escalating and mindless violence with parents.
"The issue needs to be a community solution. It's time mums and dads and sisters and brothers acted as role models. It's not good enough to get drunk at a family barbecue and think this has no effect on their kids," he says. "Somewhere along the way young people have been programmed to think you have to be intoxicated before you can enjoy anything. Young people aged 16 and 17 seem to think getting drunk is a prerequisite for a good time."
One of the reasons he believes is the media coverage given to sports stars or tv stars who drunkenly misbehave and do something stupid.

Young people increasingly believe
drunkeness is a badge of honour
"Young people think if they do something equally drunken and stupid they will became famous and they post their antics on Facebook. But it still all comes down to parents and families as role models and showing young people that drinking is not the answer and that you can have a good time with just one or two drinks - and no more."
Dr Fulde says the Cross has always been a hotspot and that alcohol is nothing new to the area. But what is new is the vicious mindless violence and a disregard for what used to be considered the "code of conflict."
"Once, when there was a difference between two guys one would tell the other to 'come outside.' They'd both go outside and resolve things with a bit of a 'set to'. But as soon as one was down or called it quits, they'd shake hands and it was all over and they often became firm friends. But it is not like that anymore."

Alcohol fuelled violence by groups of bored
testosterone filled young men has made
the Cross a dangerous place at weekends
Not only do police at the Cross have to deal with groups of teens and young people throwing punches and abuses but paramedics sent to collect victims of the area's weekend violence suffer the same sort of attacks.
While the Emergency Department at St Vincent's Hospital is safe and secure both for patients and staff what is new Dr Fulde says is the sectioned-off area of the emergency department with recliner chairs set aside each weekend for the young people who are brought in, drunk, vomiting and bleeding.
"They sit there slumped in the chairs, hooked up to IV fluids, miserable and in pain with cuts to their heads or lacerations and covered in vomit. Some are young women who obviously got all dressed up in their prettiest frocks but are now filthy and have thrown up all down the front of themselves," he says and describes this sight each weekend as "horrible, unnecessary and preventable."
Dr Fulde added he would like to see a mega-billboard place in the heart of Kings Cross with the Words "Drinking Makes You Ugly".


MOMBASA, July 17, 2012 (CISA) -Hundreds of Kenyan Muslim, Christian faithful and government officials on July 16, held a special joint prayer meeting in Mombasa to preach peace and condemn terror attacks targeting churches in the country.
The meeting brought together Sheiks, Imams and pastors from different churches alongside their followers. They said that the attackers serve their own interests and not those of any religion.
A series of attacks have hit the country’s coastal and the North East regions the latest being the Garissa attack on July 1that killed more than 14 and left 66 others seriously injured.
The attacks on two churches in Garissa followed shortly after the killing of one aid worker and the kidnapping of four others in Dadaab refugee camp, as well as an attack on a nightclub in Mombasa the previous weekend.
Somalia militia group Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the twin attacks on two churches in Garissa County who said it was in retaliation for Kenya Defence Forces (KDF)’s incursion in Somalia.
Muslim leaders in Kenya agreed to form self-defence groups to protect churches following the deadly attacks.
An Al-Shabaab loyalist Sheikh Hassan Takar said that the militia killed people who did not profess allegiance to Allah.
“The mujahedeen (holy warriors) punished with their hands those believing and worshipping other than Allah,” he said.
“The militants will continue until such practice is eliminated,” he added
They urged the Kenyan government to pull its troops out of Somalia, warning that they will target major buildings in Nairobi if they continue fighting the insurgents.
At the same time, Adan Wachu, head of the Supreme Council of Kenyan Muslims, told the BBC the attacks were acts of terrorism.


With 302 deaths, yesterday was the worst day since the start of the uprising. Syria's national security chief was among the dead. Rebels seize border posts with Turkey and Iraq. After Russia-China veto at the Security Council, the UK and the US announce new initiatives in favour of the rebels. Moscow complains.

Beirut (AsiaNews) - The battle for Damascus continues to rage. Loyalist soldiers have retaken the capital's al-Midan district. The rebels have seized instead two important posts on the borders with Iraq and Turkey.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that yesterday's death toll reached 302, the highest since the uprising began 16 months ago. General Hisham Ikhtiyar, head of Syria's National Security Council, was among them. He had been wounded two days ago during an attack in which Syria's defence and interior ministers were killed.

Reports coming out of Turkey say that another general, the 21st, has defected, crossing into Turkey. He would be the third in as many days.

The controversy over the veto imposed by Russia and China in the Security Council on a resolution to toughen sanctions against the Syrian regime refuses to die down.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague said that the UK plans to help the rebels. "There are several things we can do: first of all to give more practical support to the Syrian opposition." However, "We do not give lethal support," he added.

The US ambassador to the United Nations said that Washington and its allies have plans to use against the Syrian government outside of the United Nations.

Russia sharply criticised the US over this. "If such declarations and such plans are elements of actual policy, I think that is a very, very alarming signal to all of us," Russia Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich told a weekly briefing.

Meanwhile, rebels seized border posts with Turkey and Iraq to make it easier to get aid through.

On the Turkish border, they seized the Bab al-Hawa crossing, but the intervention of helicopter forced them to retreat from Abu Kamal (pictured).

Iraq is vetting the possibility of closing its entire border with Syria, Iraq's Deputy Interior Minister Adnan al-Assad told al-Jazeera after the attack against Abu Kamal border crossing. The latter is on the Damascus-Baghdad highway, one of the most important trade routes in the Middle East.

The Iraqi official said that when rebels took over the border post, they "executed 22 Syrian soldiers in front of the eyes of Iraqi soldiers".

"If this situation continues, we are going to close the entire border with Syria," he added. (PD)



Bishop Fellay, the society's superior general (CNS photo)
Bishop Fellay, the society's superior general (CNS photo)
The Society of St Pius X has said it must defend Church teaching from error but that it recognises the full authority of the Pope over the Church.
“As for all the novelties of the Second Vatican Council, which remain tainted with errors, and for the reforms derived from it,” the statement said, “the society can only continue to uphold the affirmations and teachings of the constant Magisterium of the Church.”
The statement from the society’s general chapter meeting, which ended on July 14, was posted in French, Italian, English, German and Spanish on the society’s website.
Chapter participants “determined and approved the necessary conditions” for an eventual, full reconciliation with the Vatican, it said. If the conditions are met, “an extraordinary chapter with deliberative vote will be convened”.
The website said the statement had been sent to the Vatican prior to publication.
Fr Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman, said the Vatican did not consider the statement to be “a formal response” by the SSPX to the last document it asked Bishop Bernard Fellay, the society’s superior general, to sign.
Because “we do not consider it – and it is not – a formal response”, Fr Lombardi said, the Vatican would not comment on the statement’s content.
“The Holy See has taken note of this declaration, but awaits the forthcoming official communication” of the society as its “dialogue with the Pontifical Commission ‘Ecclesia Dei’ continues,” he said. “Ecclesia Dei,” now led by US Archbishop Augustine Di Noia, is handling the discussions with the SSPX under the guidance of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
The SSPX statement said members of the general chapter believe “the paramount duty of the society, in the service which it intends to offer to the Church, is to continue with God’s help to profess the Catholic faith in all its purity and integrity with a determination matching the intensity of the constant attacks to which this very faith is subject nowadays”.
Chapter members formally affirmed their faith in the Roman Catholic Church and its hierarchical structure in which “the supreme power of government over the universal Church belongs only to the Pope, vicar of Christ on earth.”
At the same time, members said they would continue to seek guidance from the “constant tradition of the Church” as they await “the day when an open and serious debate will be possible which may allow the return to tradition of the ecclesiastical authorities”.
Ending with a prayer, the statement asked Mary “to chase the enemies out from inside the Church”, saying some inside the Church “are trying to destroy it more radically than its enemies from outside”.
Pope Benedict XVI launched a new series of doctrinal discussions with the SSPX in 2009, lifting excommunications imposed on its four bishops, who were ordained in 1988 without papal approval, and expressing his hopes they would return to full communion with the Church.
As the discussions progressed, the Vatican gave SSPX leaders a “doctrinal preamble” to sign. The Vatican said the document, which has not been published, outlines principles and criteria necessary to guarantee fidelity to the Church and its teaching.
When it appeared Bishop Fellay was close to signing an agreement with the Vatican, internal tensions within the SSPX erupted. The statement from the general chapter said that during the July meeting, the SSPX leaders recovered their “profound unity”.


Matthew 12: 1 - 8

1 At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the sabbath; his disciples were hungry, and they began to pluck heads of grain and to eat.
2 But when the Pharisees saw it, they said to him, "Look, your disciples are doing what is not lawful to do on the sabbath."
3 He said to them, "Have you not read what David did, when he was hungry, and those who were with him:
4 how he entered the house of God and ate the bread of the Presence, which it was not lawful for him to eat nor for those who were with him, but only for the priests?
5 Or have you not read in the law how on the sabbath the priests in the temple profane the sabbath, and are guiltless?
6 I tell you, something greater than the temple is here.
7 And if you had known what this means, `I desire mercy, and not sacrifice,' you would not have condemned the guiltless.
8 For the Son of man is lord of the sabbath."


According to tradition, St. Peter sent St. Apollinaris to Ravenna, Italy, as its first bishop.
His preaching of the Good News was so successful that the pagans there beat him and drove him from the city. He returned, however, and was exiled a second time.
After preaching in the area surrounding Ravenna, he entered the city again. After being cruelly tortured, he was put on a ship heading to Greece. Pagans there caused him to be expelled to Italy, where he went to Ravenna for a fourth time.
He died from wounds received during a savage beating at Classis, a suburb of Ravenna.
A beautiful basilica honouring him was built there in the sixth century.


St. Margaret of Antioch
Feast: July 20

Feast Day:July 20
Born:Antioch (in Pisidia)
Patron of:childbirth, pregnant women, dying people, kidney disease, peasants, exiles, falsely accused people; nurses
Virgin and martyr; belonged to Pisidian Antioch in Asia Minor, where her father was a pagan priest. Her mother dying soon after her birth, Margaret was nursed by a pious woman five or six leagues from Antioch. Having embraced Christianity and consecrated her virginity to God, she was disowned by her father and adopted by her nurse.
While she was one day engaged in watching the flocks of her mistress, a lustful Roman prefect named Olybrius caught sight of her, and attracted by her great beauty sought to make her his concubine or wife. When neither cajolery nor threats of punishment could succeed in moving her to yield to his desires, he had her brought before him in public trial atAntioch. Threatened with death unless she renounced the Christian faith, the holy virgin refused to adore the gods of the empire and an attempt was made to burn her, but the flames, we are told in her Acts, left her unhurt. She was then bound hand and foot and thrown into a cauldron of boiling water, but at her prayer her bonds were broken and she stood up uninjured. Finally the prefect ordered her to be beheaded.
The Greek Church honors her under the name Marine on 13 July; the Latin, as Margaret on 20 July. Her Acts place her death in the persecution of Diocletian (A.D. 303-5), but in fact even the century to which she belonged is uncertain. St. Margaret is represented in art sometimes as a shepherdess, or as leading a chained dragon, again carrying a little cross or a girdle in her hand, or standing by a large vessel which recalls the cauldron into which she was plunged. Relics said to belong to the saint are venerated in very many parts of Europe; at Rome, Montefiascone, Brusels, Bruges, Paris, Froidmont, Troyes, and various other places. Curiously enough this virgin has been widely venerated for many centuries as a special patron of women who are pregnant.