Thursday, August 23, 2012


RADIO VATICANA REPORT: Below is a telegram of condolence from Pope Benedict XVI on the death of Cardinal Paul Shan Kuo-hsi.

The Most Reverend Peter Liu Cheng-chung
Bishop of Kaohsiung

I was deeply saddened to learn of the death of Cardinal Paul Shan Kuo-hsi, Bishop Emeritus of Kaohsiung. With gratitude to Almighty God, I recall his years of dedicated service there, as well as his ministry as Bishop of Hwalien and as President of the Chinese Regional Bishops’ Conference. I offer you, the clergy, religious and lay faithful of those Dioceses, and indeed the entire Church in Taiwan, my condolences and the assurance of my prayers. In joining you and all who mourn him, including his Jesuit confreres, I commend his priestly soul to the infinite mercy of God our loving Father. To all assembled for the solemn funeral Mass, and as a pledge of peace and consolation in the Lord, I cordially impart my Apostolic Blessing.

Benedictus PP. XVI


Pope Benedict has sent a message to the 6th Ordinary Meeting of the International Forum of Catholic Action, which began on Thursday. This year’s Meeting is focusing on “Lay Catholic Action members: ecclesial and social co-responsibility.”

“This responsibility requires a change in mentality concerning, in particular, the role of the laity in the Church,” Pope Benedict writes. “They should not be considered as merely ‘collaborators’ of the clergy, but as people truly ‘co-responsible’ in the work of the Church.”

The Holy Father says it is important that the laity be well-formed and capable of making “their own specific contribution to the mission of the Church, in accordance with the ministries and tasks in which each one takes part in the life of the Church, and always in an amicable communion with the Bishops.”

Pope Benedict encourages members of Catholic Action to announce the message of Christ in the language of our time, which has been marked by rapid social and cultural changes, calling this “the great challenge of the New Evangelization.”



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CARDINAL DOLAN of New York will provide a concluding benediction to the GOP convention. Cardinal Timothy Dolan is the head of the US Catholic Bishop's Conference. The convention will take place on August 30 in Tampa, Florida. Mitt Romney is scheduled to accept the presidential nomination for the Republican party with Catholic Paul Ryan as Vice President. (Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan - below)

Cardinal Dolan has spoken out openly against the Obama administrations required health insurance plan to include contraception in violation of freedom of religion. Many organizations have sued the governemental administration; stating that the HHS mandate violates the 1st Amendment.


SCOTTISH CATHOLIC MEDIA OFFICE REPORT: Cardinal O'Brien calls on politicians to " sustain rather than subvert Marriage"

"The Catholic Church in Scotland will inaugurate "National Marriage Sunday" on Sunday 26 August 2012. In a Pastoral Letter to be read out in
all of Scotland's 500 Catholic parishes, the Bishops' of Scotland will "place a special emphasis on the role of the family founded on marriage"
and stress that "marriage is a unique lifelong union of a man and a woman"

In a strongly worded message, the Bishops will restate, their "deep disappointment that the Scottish Government has decided to redefine
marriage and legislate for same sex marriage" As well as thanking parishioners for their past support in defence of marriage, the message
will urge them to, "continue to act against efforts to redefine it"

Endorsing the initiative Cardinal Keith O'Brien, President of the Bishops' Conference of Scotland said;

"The Church's teaching on marriage is unequivocal, it is uniquely, the union of a man and a woman and it is wrong that Governments, politicians
or Parliaments should seek to alter or destroy that reality."

Cardinal O'Brien added;

"With this letter we will announce the creation of a National Commission for Marriage and the Family, a body which will be charged with promoting
the true nature of marriage, it will develop an online prescence and produce materials and organise events which will help Catholic families to
support and sustain marriage"

"While we pray that our elected leaders will sustain rather than subvert marriage, we promise to continue to do everything we can to convince them
that redefining marriage would be wrong for society"

A Message for Marriage Sunday 26 August 2012
 Bishops’ Conference of Scotland
In all things, we as Catholics look to Jesus Christ as our model and teacher. When asked about marriage He gave a profound and rich reply: “Have you not read that the Creator, from the beginning, ‘made them male and female’, and said: ‘This is why a man must leave father and mother and cling to his wife and the two become one body’.” (Matthew, 19: 4-5)
In the Year of Faith, which begins this October, we wish to place a special emphasis on the role of the family founded on marriage. The family is the domestic Church, and the first place in which the faith is transmitted. For that reason it must have a primary focus in our prayerful considerations during this period of grace.
We write to you having already expressed our deep disappointment that the Scottish Government has decided to redefine marriage and legislate for same-sex marriage. We take this opportunity to thank you for your past support in defense of marriage and hope you will continue to act against efforts to redefine it. We reaffirm before you all the common wisdom of humanity and the revealed faith of the Church that marriage is a unique life-long union of a man and a woman.
In circumstances when the true nature of marriage is being obscured, we wish to affirm and celebrate the truth and beauty of the Sacrament of Matrimony and family life as Jesus revealed it; to do something new to support marriage and family life in the Catholic community and in the country; and to reinforce the vocation of marriage and the pastoral care of families which takes in the everyday life of the Church in dioceses and parishes across the country.
For that reason, in the forthcoming Year of Faith we have decided to establish a new Commission for Marriage and the Family. This Commission will be led by a bishop and will be composed mostly of lay men and women. The Commission will be charged with engaging with those young men and women who will be future husbands and wives, fathers and mothers, and with those who already live out their vocation to marriage and parenthood in surroundings which often make it hard to sustain and develop the full Catholic family life we cherish.
We wish to support too, those who are widowed, separated and divorced and all who need to feel the Church’s maternal care in the circumstances in which they find themselves. The new Commission will promote the true nature of marriage as both a human institution and a union blessed by Jesus. The Commission will be asked to develop an online presence so that prayer, reflection, formation and practical information on matters to do with marriage and family life can be quickly accessible to all. It will also work to produce materials and organise events which will support ordinary Catholic families in their daily lives. During the course of the coming year we will ask for your support for these initiatives.
Our faith teaches us that marriage is a great and holy mystery. The Bishops of Scotland will continue to promote and uphold the universally accepted definition of marriage as the union solely of a man and a woman. At the same time, we wish to work positively for the strengthening of marriage within the Church and within our society.
This is an important initiative for all our people, but especially our young people and children. We urge you to join us in this endeavour. Pray for your own family every day, and pray for those families whose lives are made difficult by the problems and cares which they encounter. Finally, we invite you to pray for our elected leaders, invoking the Holy Spirit on them, that they may be moved to safeguard marriage as it has always been understood, for the good of Scotland and of our society.


Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese  REPORT
23 Aug 2012

Leading Sydney lawyer John McCarthy, QC
Leading Sydney lawyer John McCarthy, QC, flies out to Rome today to take up his new position as Australia's Ambassador to the Holy See.
Mr McCarthy will officially take up his new role when he presents his credentials to Pope Benedict XV1 at the Vatican later next month.
A senior counsel for the NSW ALP for about 20 years, Mr McCarthy, 64, replaces the Hon Tim Fischer AC, who served as Australia's first resident Ambassador to the Holy See from February 2009 to January this year.
One of Mr McCarthy's specialisations has been in native title. He was counsel for the Dunghutti in their native title action in 1997 which was the first successful determination of native title on the mainland.
However he has also been involved in many and varied public and church affairs including university and education governance, sports administration, arts administration, legal and professional committees and international charitable and disaster relief activities. In 2006 he was appointed Knight Commander of the Order of St Gregory the Great by the Holy See for services to the Catholic Church in Australia and to the wider Australian community.

The McCarthy family at a private audience with Pope John Paul II in 1994, when James (second form the left) was twelve years old.
Since the new Ambassador's appointment was announced, Mr McCarthy has consulted widely across Australia and not just with church leaders and organisations. He has been speaking with people from all tiers of government and public service which will assist him in his position to represent Australia.
But don't expect to see this Ambassador stepping out across St Peter's Square wearing an Akubra - the trademark of Tim Fischer.
If anything you are more likely to see the new ambassador wearing a Canterbury Bulldogs cap or Sydney Swans cap during finals week - but not in any official capacity.
Tim Fischer certainly helped put Australia on the map in Rome with the build up to and the canonisation of Mary MacKillop. However John McCarthy says there is much to be done to keep up Australia's presence but he adds Tim Fischer was a benchmark and a challenge.
"I will not even attempt to compete with Tim about trains for example but this position is a privilege and an honour and I hope to build on the good work already achieved here in Rome.

Fr James McCarthy organised a number of disabled youth to join pilgrimage to Egypt and the Holy Land prior to WYD Madrid.
"I have consulted widely and am very much looking forward to this new challenge," he said before leaving for Rome where he will take up residence at Domus Australia for the short term.
"There are many events coming up in Rome featuring Australians, visits and presentations by a variety of people and certainly other ambassadors to get to know. It will be a busy time."
One of the Ambassador's first duties will be to accompany Archdiocese of Sydney Auxiliary Bishop, Bishop Peter Comensoli to Il Gesu Church in Rome to accept a relic of St Francis Xavier which is coming to Australia for a national tour starting here on 16 September. The relic (the right forearm) is under the protection of the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) and has only been allowed to leave Rome a few times. St Francis died in 1552 and is credited as "the greatest missionary since St Paul".

Fr James McCarthy (blue shirt) with a group of pilgrims.
Mr McCarthy married concert pianist Christine Slattery who has been the National Convenor of the Society for Eucharistic Adoration and has served on the Liturgical Commission for the Archdiocese of Sydney. They have three daughters and three sons including Claire McCarthy, internationally acclaimed film director, writer and producer and Fr James McCarthy, Sydney Harbour North parish assistant priest. Fr James was the architect of a special program which saw a number of disabled youth accompany Cardinal George Pell and other young pilgrims to Egypt and the Holy Land in the lead up to World Youth Day in Madrid last year.
The official reception when John McCarthy presents his credentials, or Letters of Credence, to His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI will be at the Pope's summer residence at Castel Gandolfo next month. A number of the new Ambassador's children, and grandchildren, will also be at the presentation.


by Shafique Khokhar
Suneel Masih, an orphan, disappeared on August 19. His body was found two days later in a remote area. Some internal organs removed, probably for the black market. His face disfigured with acid. Police Officer confesses to never having seen "such a murder." The Christian community calls for justice, but so far not even an investigation has been opened.

Faisalabad (AsiaNews) - A brutal murder, of a shadowy nature, has shaken the Christian community in Pakistan already marked by the experience of a disabled girl imprisoned for blasphemy in Islamabad, 11-year-old Rimsha Masih (see AsiaNews 19/08/2012 An 11-year-old disabled Christian girl arrested for blasphemy, 300 families flee). On 21 August the police in Faisalabad found the horribly mutilated body of Suneel Masih in an isolated area of ​​the city. They boy a Christian orphan from the city had disappeared two days earlier. Still shocked by the ferocity of the killers a police officer confided on the condition of anonymity to AsiaNews: "It's the first time - said the inspector - that I have ever seen such a murder ". The body was found with the ears, nose, tongue and limbs torn from the body, the belly ripped open and internal organs (including the liver and kidneys) taken, perhaps to be sold on the black market. The killers then poured acid on his face, perhaps to make him unrecognizable.

But investigators have yet to open an investigation into the terrible murder of the 14 year old orphan Christian, whose funeral took place yesterday in the presence of minority leader and local politicians. A protest march was held on the streets of Faisalabad, during which people repeatedly demanded "justice" for the 14 year old Suneel Masih (pictured). Tomorrow an autopsy will be held on the remains of the boy, to clarify whether there was also sexual violence before death.

According to the story of some witnesses informed of the facts, on August 19 last Suneel - a 5th class student - went to a shop in Liberty Market to buy a shirt. That night, the boy did not return home and the family raised the alarm. A desperate search began, which proved to be useless and his disappearance was reported to police. Two days later, on 21, police found the horribly mutilated corpse of the boy in an isolated industrial area.

The Christian community is in shock and demanding justice, perhaps in vain because so far the police have not even opened a formal investigation. Speaking to AsiaNews, Fr. Nisar Barkat, diocesan director of the National Commission for Justice and Peace of the Catholic Church of Pakistan (NCJP), appealed to the government and law enforcement to bring the perpetrators to justice "as soon as possible." The Christian community, the priest adds, feels insecure and cannot stop thinking about this horrible case. Hindus and Christians "live in fear". The Christian MP of Punjab Joel Aamir Sohotra echoes this fear, saying that "this brutal murder poses a serious reflection on the freedoms enjoyed by minorities, because" we are not just in front of the murder of a Christian boy, but the freedom of all minorities. "

The Christian lawyer Kamal Chughtai confirms that he has never seen "such a thing, with this level of cruelty in my entire life." He strongly condemns this "atrocity" and calls for the immediate arrest of the culprits. And if they are not brought to justice in two days, as promised by the police, all the Christians in the city should take to the streets to demand justice.



Matthew 22: 1 - 14
1 And again Jesus spoke to them in parables, saying,
2 "The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a marriage feast for his son,
3 and sent his servants to call those who were invited to the marriage feast; but they would not come.
4 Again he sent other servants, saying, `Tell those who are invited, Behold, I have made ready my dinner, my oxen and my fat calves are killed, and everything is ready; come to the marriage feast.'
5 But they made light of it and went off, one to his farm, another to his business,
6 while the rest seized his servants, treated them shamefully, and killed them.
7 The king was angry, and he sent his troops and destroyed those murderers and burned their city.
8 Then he said to his servants, `The wedding is ready, but those invited were not worthy.
9 Go therefore to the thoroughfares, and invite to the marriage feast as many as you find.'
10 And those servants went out into the streets and gathered all whom they found, both bad and good; so the wedding hall was filled with guests.
11 "But when the king came in to look at the guests, he saw there a man who had no wedding garment;
12 and he said to him, `Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding garment?' And he was speechless.
13 Then the king said to the attendants, `Bind him hand and foot, and cast him into the outer darkness; there men will weep and gnash their teeth.'
14 For many are called, but few are chosen."