Friday, August 17, 2012


Vatican Radio REPORT: Pope Benedict XVI has sent a message of condolence at the passing of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church's Patriarch, His Holiness Abuna Paulos - a renowned ecumenist and inter-religious dialogue partner who led his Church for two decades before his passing on Thursday at the age of 76, after a lenghy illness. Below, please find the full text of Pope Benedict XVI's message.
Message of His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI on the passing of His Holiness Abuna Paulos, Patriarch of the Ethiopian Tewahedo Orthodox Church

Having learned with sadness of the death of His Holiness Abuna Paulos, Patriarch of the Ethiopian Tewahedo Orthodox Church, I wish to express my heartfelt condolences to the members of the Holy Synod, and to the clergy, religious and faithful of the Patriarchate. I still recall with satisfaction his visits to the Vatican, and in particular the address he delivered to the Second Special Assembly for Africa of the Synod of Bishops on 6 October 2009 and the important observations he made on that occasion. I am also grateful for his firm commitment to promoting greater unity through dialogue and cooperation between the Ethiopian Tewahedo Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church. As the Patriarchate mourns the death of His Holiness, I willingly offer an assurance of my prayers for the repose of his soul, and for all who mourn him.

Benedictus PP. XVI


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JOS, August 3, 2012 (CISA) -The Catholic Archbishop of Jos, Most Rev Ignatius Ayau Kaigama on August 2 made a case for unity and peace among Christians and Muslims during a visit to the Jos Central Mosque.
“I came to the Central Mosque first of all to dispel the notion that Muslims and Christians in Plateau State cannot meet,” he said during a meeting with the Chief Imam, Sheikh Balarabe Dawud.
“We are here to show that you are our brothers and sisters. Sometimes we have problems and tension but it is not by being afraid of each other that the problems will be solved.”
According to The Daily Trust, he emphasized that there is need for well-meaning Christians and Muslims to interact and neutralize the machinations of people who stir up trouble for no public good.
He added: “We will continue to preach that the only way to harmony is in our coming together. We have our differences in the way we worship but it is not enough for the violence that we witness. We have the same God and we should all behave as children of God.”
In his response, Sheikh Balarabe Dawud thanked the archbishop for his solidarity visit and assured him that he too appreciates the need for harmony among Muslims and Christians.
He thanked the Catholic cleric for identifying with Muslims each time they have any difficulty, making particular mention of the archbishop’s decision to present relief materials to victims of the recent flood disaster in Rikkos, Jos North Local Government Area penultimate Sunday in which over 30 people died and many houses washed away.
Archbishop Kaigama later visited the camps of the people displaced by the flood and donated relief materials.


Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese REPORT
16 Aug 2012

Time with families all important but work-life balance being eroded
Many Australian families are struggling weighed down by economic pressures, spiralling electricity bills, escalating rents and mortgages, and job insecurity. But when times are tough, Australia's Catholic bishops urge us to remember that families not only offer a beacon of hope and strength but are the fundamental rock on which faith and society are based.
As part of the Year of Grace, the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council (ACSJC) is shining the spotlight on families, particularly those families battling hardship and economic uncertainty. Some are families dealing with illness. Others are single parent families. Many are Indigenous families, others are refugees newly arrived in Australia and in need of support and assistance to begin a new life. Still others are among Australia's 105,000 homeless or are families grappling with the stress of chronic debilitating illness or family members with special needs.
Beginning on Social Justice Sunday on September 30, and continuing throughout the next 12 months, Australian Catholics will be encouraged to celebrate and embrace the gift of family. They will also be reminded of the importance for all of us as Christians of offering help, friendship and compassion to families going through difficult times and need of a helping hand.

Archbishop Denis Hart describes families as the basis of our community of faith and the foundation of society
"In this Year of Grace we have the opportunity to be reminded that family is at the heart of the Church and the basis on which our society is built," says Archbishop Denis Hart, President of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (ACBC). "But in our prosperous nation there are many families who find themselves on the margins. Particularly concerning is the hardship experienced by such families is now being further exacerbated by the global financial crisis and the problems in Europe."
Prior to next month's launch of the ACSJC's Social Justice Statement for 2012-2013, entitled "The Gift of Family in Difficult Times: The social and economic challenges facing families today," Archbishop Hart spoke of the impact financial worries are having on many families as well as the strains of today's 24/7 world where people are increasingly having to work night shifts as well as weekends. Reduced family time as well as ongoing difficulties like making ends meet financially places enormous strains on the bonds of marriage and family and not only threaten the stability of individual families but the stability of society as a whole.
The ACSJC's statement to be released in full in four weeks' time highlights the difficulties facing families and how the radical restructuring of workplaces are affecting family life.
According to the Chairman of the ACSJC, Bishop Christopher Saunders, Australia's rate of casual and irregular work is among the highest in the industrialised world. Up to 25% of all Australian workers are now in casual employment with one quarter of these required to work weekends.

Economic hardship has resulted in families losing their homes
Australian workers' hours, whether casual or permanent, are among the longest in the developed world with about 2 billion hours of unpaid overtime worked each year, he says and points out that since 1985 average weekly hours have increased by almost three hours for men and over two hours for women.
In addition to the longer hours, inability for many to obtain the security of full time employment and the number of shifts they need to make ends meet, families are facing financial pressures that have seen houses prices rise by 147% over the past decade with 700,000 Australian households now paying more than 30% of their weekly income on rent or mortgage repayments.
The ACSJC pin points the most vulnerable groups as Indigenous families, asylum seeker children and families held in detention with limited or no access to education or normal community life, families and single parents struggling to survive on a Newstart Allowance which is below the poverty line and has not been increased in more than 15 years, the homeless and families caring for members with severe disabilities.

"The greatest model for family life - Jesus' own family - knew poverty, the refugee experience, a life of hard work and finally injustice and bereavement," the ACSJC points out. "Yet their example shows us the true nature of the gift of family."
Jesus and His family should be our inspiration and example, the ACSJC says, urging us to set aside time for worship so we can look beyond the social and economic structures that "dehumanise and compartmentalise us" to cherish and find nourishment and fulfilment in family life.
The entire statement by the ACSJC will be released by the Australian Catholic Bishops Council in the weeks before Social Justice Sunday on 30 September and along with prayer cards, a powerpoint presentation and a "ten steps" leaflet will be available for download at


Agenzia Fides REPORT – Tomorrow’s Mass at the parish Saint Mary Mother of God in the city of Los Patios in Cucuta (Colombia) will recall its pastor, a diocesan priest Pablo Emilio Sanchez Albarracín, who died tragically on Saturday, August 11, after three days of agony due to his injuries during a robbery in his rectory.
The Diocese of Cucuta (Colombia) has denounced this latest act of violence in a statement on the death of its father Pablo Emilio Sanchez Albarracín. The priest's funeral was held in the Cathedral of San José and the Eucharist was presided by the Bishop of Cucuta, Mgr. Julio Cesar Vidal Ortiz, concelebrated by diocesan priests and in the presence of a hundred faithful who also came from other parishes. The priest was buried in the cemetery Jardines La Esperanza.
The city of Cucuta has been experiencing a serious problem of public order for a long time, and there is little security for citizens. The local church has received numerous threats and "requests" to abandon the territory. Last July, the Apostolic Nuncio, Mgr. Aldo Cavalli visited the city to encourage the clergy and pastoral workers to continue their work. The Nuncio was also explicit in saying: "The Church will never leave these people and will not abandon her mission of evangelization" (see Fides 21/07/2012). (CE) (Agenzia Fides 17/08/2012)


by NAT da Polis
The Ecumenical Patriarch is opposed to the proposal of the Vice-President Bulent Arinc because there is "no need" for worship. Bartholomew is also supported by the head of the Muslim community, who points out the many mosques, which remain largely empty. Regarding minorities, the government is Turkish makes "one step forward, one step back." Anti-conformist sentiments on the up.

Trabzon (AsiaNews) - There is "no need" to transform the ancient church of Aghia Sophia in Trabzon into a mosque, it is better that it remains a museum open to all religions: Bartholomew I, Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, expressed with clarity his opposition to the idea supported by the Deputy Turkish Prime Minister, Bulent Arinc who would like to turn this monument of Christianity in an exclusive place of worship for Muslims.

The church of Aghia Sofia (Saint Sofia) is a gem of ancient architecture and dates back to the era of the Comnenus Emperors (1204-1461). It testifies to the ancient presence of Christians of Pontus on the Black Sea, wiped out as a result of various genocides and purges first by the Ottomans, then by the neo-Turks.

Yesterday, the Ecumenical Patriarch visited the church and met with the mayor of the city, Genc. In front of reporters, Bartholomew said: "We respect all mosques and all places of worship, but in this case - turning Hagia Sophia into a mosque - I see no need for worship."

He added. "We are in favor of maintaining the church of Hagia Sophia as a museum. Moreover, as stated by the head of the local [Islamic] community [here] there are already many mosques to meet the needs for worship of the faithful, and they remain largely partially empty. "

The Patriarch recalled the recent statements by the President of the Muslim community of the place, Zeki Baytar who reacted strongly to the Arinc proposal, even threatening a revolt, and said: "First we must fill the mosques, then, if necessary, transform Saint Sophia into a mosque."

"If Hagia Sophia in Trabzon is converted into a mosque - continues Bartholomew I - it will be made available only to our Muslim brothers. Conversely, if it remains as a museum, it can offer its services to the entire international community, with sizeable profits for its inhabitants."

Among the journalists present, many remember the words of the same Bulent Arinc during his visit to the Phanar - the seat of the patriarchate - in January 2011: "As a government we have a duty to meet the needs of these citizens who have a centuries old presence in these lands."

Therefore, the position of the Ecumenical Patriarch is hardly surprising. What is of wonder however, is the Turkish government policy towards minorities of "one step forward, one step back", depending on the circumstances and political conjunctures. Precisely for this reason anti-conformist courageous groups voicing anti-conformist sentiments are on the increase in Turkey.

Trabzon, in the far north-east of Turkey, is inhabited by a population of almost 300 thousand inhabitants. Of these few are Christians. On 5 February 2006, Italian priest Andrea Santoro was murdered by a young nationalist Islamic.

(Photo: Nikos Manginas)



Matthew 19: 3 - 12
3 And Pharisees came up to him and tested him by asking, "Is it lawful to divorce one's wife for any cause?"
4 He answered, "Have you not read that he who made them from the beginning made them male and female,
5 and said, `For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh'?
6 So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder."
7 They said to him, "Why then did Moses command one to give a certificate of divorce, and to put her away?"
8 He said to them, "For your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so.
9 And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for unchastity, and marries another, commits adultery."
10 The disciples said to him, "If such is the case of a man with his wife, it is not expedient to marry."
11 But he said to them, "Not all men can receive this saying, but only those to whom it is given.
12 For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. He who is able to receive this, let him receive it."


St. Hyacinth
Feast: August 17

Feast Day:
August 17
1185 at Lanka Castle, Kamin, Silesia, Poland
15 August 1257 at Krakow, Poland
17 April 1594 by Pope Clement VIII
Patron of:
Dominican, called the Apostle of the North, son of Eustachius Konski of the noble family of Odrowaz; born 1185 at the castle of Lanka, at Kamin, in Silesia, Poland (now Prussia); died 15 August, 1257, at Cracow. Feast, 16 Aug. A near relative of Saint Ceslaus, he made his studies at Cracow, Prague, and Bologna, and at the latter place merited the title of Doctor of Law and Divinity. On his return to Poland he was given a prebend at Sandomir. He subsequently accompanied his uncle Ivo Konski, the Bishop of Cracow, to Rome, where he met St. Dominic, and was one of the first to receive at his hands (at Santa Sabina, 1220) the habit of the newly established Order of Friars Preachers. After his novitiate he made his religious profession, and was made superior of the little band of missionaries sent to Poland to preach. On the way he was able to establish a convent of his order at Friesach in Carinthia. In Poland the new preachers were favourably received and their sermons were productive of much good. Hyacinth founded communities at Sandomir, Cracow, and at Plocko on the Vistula in Moravia. He extended his missionary work through Prussia, Pomerania, and Lithuania; then crossing the Baltic Sea he preached in Denmark, Sweden, and Norway. He came into Lower or Red Russia, establishing a community at Lemberg and at Haletz on the Mester; proceeded into Muscovy, and founded a convent at Dieff, and came as far as the shores of the Black Sea. He then returned to Cracow, which he had made the centre of his operations. On the morning of 15 August he attended Matins and Mass, received the last sacraments, and died a saintly death. God glorified His servant by numberless miracles, the record of which fills many folio pages of the Acta SS., August, III, 309. He was canonized by Pope Clement VIII in 1594. A portion of his relics is at the Dominican church in Paris.