Thursday, September 13, 2012


Vatican City, 13 September 2012 (VIS) - Given below is the text of a declaration made by Holy See Press Office Director Fr. Federico Lombardi S.J., concerning the recent attack against the United States consulate in the Libyan city of Benghazi.
"The very serious attack organised against the United States diplomatic mission in Libya, which led to the death of the ambassador and of other functionaries, calls for the firmest possible condemnation on the part of the Holy See. Nothing, in fact, can justify the activity of terrorist organisations and homicidal violence. Along with our sadness, mourning and prayers for the victims, we again express the hope that, despite this latest tragedy, the international community may discover the most favourable ways to continue its commitment in favour of peace in Libya and the entire Middle East". (IMAGE SOURCE RADIO VATICANA)

Vatican City, 13 September 2012 (VIS) - Tomorrow Benedict XVI is due to begin his twenty-fourth apostolic trip abroad, taking him to Lebanon where, in the country's capital city of Beirut on Sunday, he is due to sign the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation of the Special Assembly for the Middle East of the Synod of Bishops, which took place in the Vatican in October 2010.
The name of Beirut is thought to be Canaanite in origin (bis'rot, the plural of bir meaning a well, a reference to the water tables under the city). The city is mentioned in Egyptian chronicles of the second millennium BC and became famous for the activities of Phonecian sailors and merchants. In the year 14 BC it obtained the status of Roman colony and took the name of Julia Augusta Felix Berytus. Destroyed by an earthquake and tidal wave in 551 AD, the city was in ruins when the Muslims arrived in 635. It was conquered by the Crusaders in 1110 and, following their definitive expulsion in 1229, passed under the control of the Mameluks, becoming an important regional port for the spice trade with the Italian Maritime Republics of Venice and Genoa.
The city was occupied by the Ottomans in 1516 and in subsequent centuries its population grew steadily due to its commercial importance. Following the massacres in Mount Lebanon in 1860 the city witnessed a massive influx of Christian refugees. Pacification, brought about by the Great Powers, was followed by the arrival of Protestant missionaries (from Great Britain, the United States and Germany) and Catholic missionaries (above all, from France). The American Protestants founded the American University of Beirut in 1866, while the Jesuits established the Universite Saint-Joseph in 1881. Thanks to the development of printing in Arabic, English and French, Beirut became a hub for journalism and publishing in the Arab world.
At the end of World War I, with the fall of the Ottoman Empire, Lebanon fell under the French mandate. It gained independence in 1943 and, thanks to a prevailing atmosphere of intellectual openness and economic liberalism, became a regional centre for trade, business, finance and tourism, gaining the sobriquet of the "Switzerland of the Middle East". The expulsion of the Palestine Liberation Organisation from Jordan in 1970 was a key moment in the country's history, as the organisation's political and military centre moved to Lebanon where it became a catalyst for the tensions between the various religious communities. The Civil War between 1975 and 1991 wreaked widespread destruction on the economy and infrastructures.
The scale of the destruction meant that the centre of the city had to be almost completely rebuilt. In the absence of an official census, it is estimated that the inhabitants of "Greater Beirut" currently number around 1.5 million, slightly less than half the population of the entire country.
Beirut has five dioceses: Beirut of the Maronites (episcopal see since 1577), an archieparchy with some 232,000 faithful under the care of Archbishop Paul Youssef Matar. Beirut of the Greek-Melkites (dating from the fourth century) and Jbeil of the Greek-Melkites (suburbicarian 1881), a metropolitan see with 200,000 faithful under Archbishop Cyril Salim Bustros. Beirut of the Armenians (1928-1929), metropolitan see and patriarchal eparchy of Cilicia of the Armenians, serving 12,000 faithful and led by His Beatitude Nerses Bedros XIX Tarmouni, patriarch of Cilicia of the Armenians. Beirut of the Chaldeans (1957) with 19,000 faithful under Bishop Michel Kassarji. Beirut of the Syrians (1817), eparchy of the patriarchal church of Antioch of the Syrians with 14.500 faithful under the care of His Beatitude Ignace Youssif III Younan, patriarch of Antioch of the Syrians.
The city also has one apostolic vicariate, that of Beirut of the Latins which has 10,000 faithful and the vicar of which is Archbishop Paul Dahdah O.C.D.

Vatican City, 13 September 2012 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in audience:
- Cardinal Marc Ouellet P.S.S., prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.
- Cardinal Joachim Meisner, archbishop of Cologne, Germany.





'Last Ounce of Courage' is an intergenerational story about family, free expression, and taking a stand for cherished beliefs. A family is struck by tragedy when a young man is lost in combat overseas, leaving behind a wife and young son. Years later, the fallen soldier's father, Bob Revere, serves as mayor of a small town where powerful Washington interests seek to stamp out religious expression. The soldier's son, now a young man, inspires his grandfather to take a stand for the ideals and traditional values that our heroes in uniform sacrifice everything to protect. In honor of his son, Revere embarks on a personal mission to reignite the latent patriotism and faith of his fellow citizens and reassert the cherished rights guaranteed to all Americans.
OVERVIEWGenre: Family Entertainment
Language: English/Subtitles
Country of Origin: USA
Production Status: Coming to theaters in wide release September 14, 2012.
Film Website:
  • Cast: Marshall Teague, Jennifer O'Neill, Fred Williamson, Nikki Novak, Rusty Joiner, Hunter Gomez, Jenna Boyd
  • Directors: Darrel Campbell, Kevin McAfee
  • Genres: Drama
    Directors: Darrel Campbell & Kevin McAfee
    Producer: Kevin McAfee
    Writer: Darrel Campbell
    Story: Richard and Gina Headrick
    Executive Producers: Rodney Stone, Richard Headrick, Gina Headrick, Gen Fukunaga, Cindy Fukunaga, Doug Pethoud, Norman A. Miles, Denise Castelli, Lynn Dean
    Music Producer: Michael Omartian
    Music: Ronald Owen
    Music Supervisor: Barry Landis
    Sound Design: John Chalfant
    Bob Revere is a small town Mayor and combat decorated veteran. He faces a root of bitterness from his past filled with heartbreaking loss. His grandson comes back into his life after many years to ask the most important question, “What are we doing with our life to make a difference?” Bob had grown apathetic along with an entire town. Now with the help of children, a group of people all band together to inspire hope, take back the freedoms that are being lost and take a stand for truth.


    Agenzia Fides REPORT - "We need new courage in the face of difficulties. Gazing into the distance, dialogue in the language made up of sympathy, friendship and compassion has to be created. This common language allows us to talk, seeing the beauty of differences and the value of equality. Living together in peace is God's will. Hatred, division, violence, massacres and genocide, do not come from God." This is an excerpt of the Peace Appeal which concluded the meeting "Living Together is the Future" organized by the St. Egidio Community in the Bosnian capital from 9 to 11 September.
    Representatives of different religions came together in this land, which still bears the wounds of the last war fought in Europe: the painful conflict reminds everyone "how the war is a great evil and leaves a poisoned legacy. One should avoid with all one’s might to slip into terrible spiral of hatred, violence and war " is what is written in the Appeal. Although in our time "more and more different people get closer geographically.... It must be done spiritually despite the difference of religions. We are different. But our unanimous belief is this: to live together among different people is possible anywhere in the world, it is very fruitful. It is possible in Sarajevo and elsewhere. We must prepare the future responsibly. Religions have a great responsibility in this sense. "
    In times of economic crisis such as the present, "it is tempting to give up, even to blame other people for their problems, those of the past or present. So people become for others a foreigner or enemy. Dangerous cultures of resentment, hatred, fear develop ... Religions have a great task: they speak of God to the human heart and free man from hatred, prejudice, fear, and opens him to love. It changes a man and a woman from the inside. Religions can teach every man and woman and the people the art of living together through dialogue, mutual respect, respect for freedom and difference. They can thus create a more humane world. Because we are all the same and all different." (SL) (Agenzia Fides 12/09/2012)


    Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
    13 Sep 2012

    Memorial Mass for the Unborn
    Bereaved mothers and fathers hurt by the tragedy of abortion and the loss of their unborn child will be among those who will attend Sydney's first-ever Memorial Mass for the Unborn to be celebrated by the Archbishop of Sydney, Cardinal George Pell at St Mary's Cathedral tomorrow night.
    An initiative of Cardinal Pell's, the idea for an annual Sydney Memorial Mass for the Unborn was inspired by Los Angeles' Requiem Mass for the Unborn which was introduced by Cardinal Roger Mahony in 2003.

    In January this year Cardinal Pell was invited to concelebrate Los Angeles' Requiem Mass for the Unborn with the Archbishop of Los Angeles, the Most Rev Jose Gomez. Participating in the solemn remembrance of the unborn children lost to abortion, Cardinal Pell recognised the need for a similar Memorial Mass for the Unborn in Sydney.
    Abortion can trigger longterm trauma and distress for a woman
    Each day 82 unborn children lose their lives to abortion across NSW. The Mass tomorrow evening will provide a beautiful and consoling occasion to unite the Catholic community in remembrance and prayer for these children as well as reaching out to support and pray for the mothers and fathers who grieve their loss.

    "During the Mass 82 candles will be lit to commemorate the children lost each day to abortion in NSW, and will express the Church's love and compassion for all those hurt by abortion," says Mary Joseph, Project Officer with the Archdiocese of Sydney's Life, Marriage and Family Centre which has helped organise this very special Mass.
    Newborn and unborn babies are aware and respond to music, voices and even their own name
    Among attendees at the Mass will be staff and students from Catholic schools and universities, members of parishes across the Archdiocese and representatives from Catholic agencies such as CatholicCare, the Catholic Education Office, Pregnancy Help Australia, the Catholic Women's League, the Maronite community, pro-life groups such as Family Life International, Right to Life Australia and NSW Right to Life. Representatives from Rachel's Vineyard, a healing ministry of the Catholic Church for women hurt by abortion will also be present.
    While abortion can trigger long term emotional distress among mothers, what is often forgotten is the toll taken on fathers of unborn children whose lives were terminated.
    Each day in NSW 82 unborn children lose their lives to abortion
    "A recent Los Angeles Times survey of 3600 men found that 66% or two third reported feelings of guilt and anxiety after their involvement in an abortion," Mary reports. "Other research indicates men can experience post-traumatic stress, depression, sexual dysfunction and anger post abortion as more and more fathers share testimonies on how deeply they regret their involvement and the ongoing grief they feel for the loss of their child."
    As with many women, men also find the birth of their first child and the deep joy they feel at becoming a parent can trigger grief for the child they never had a chance to know or love.
    But it is not only mothers and fathers of children lost to abortion who suffer, Mary says but grandparents and siblings who have also lost the chance of ever knowing their unborn grandchild or sibling.

    Prayers will echo the words of Blessed John Paul II in Evangelium Vitae that those touched by abortion may come to understand what has happened and know they can turn to their heavenly Father and his infinite mercy with the sure hope entrust their child to him.
    The birth of a first born can trigger grief and distress over involvement in abortion for men as well as women
    Those babies lost for medical or sometimes inexplicable reasons prior to birth and those still born will also be remembered during the Mass.
    The Mass will also offer prayers for those in public office and those entrusted with the responsibility of the law and healthcare in NSW that they will recognise the truth that the unborn child belongs to the human family and that their life must be protected and valued.
    Prayer cards distributed at the Mass will also provide contact details for pregnancy counselling and support and post-abortion healing.
    All are welcome at this historic Memorial Mass for the Unborn to be held at St Mary's Cathedral at 7.30 pm, Friday 14 September.


    by Paul Dakiki
    For the head of the Maronite Church, Benedict XVI comes as a witness of peace in the Middle East, demanding governments, interested parties and mercenaries to stop buying and using weapons. Together, Christians and Muslims can build for a real Arab Spring. The movie that denigrates Muhammad is an insult to all religions. It is unclear who the director and producer are.

    Bkerke (AsiaNews) - During his visit to Lebanon, Benedict XVI will c all for peace in Syria and an end to arms sales to the region, said Patriarch Bechara Rai, at a press conference this morning. The head of the Maronite Church said the anti-Islam movie that caused demonstrations, acts of violence and deaths in Libya, was "shameful". For him, "this movie offends everybody."

    The pope's visit on 14-16 September is designed "to stop the spiral of violence and hatred," the patriarch explained, and "ask arms merchants to stop selling to either group."

    Tensions in Syria developed as part of the Arab Spring but turned into an all-out civil war that has left tens of thousands of dead.

    Together with Saudi Arabia and Qatar, Western governments are providing rebels with money and weapons. Russia, China and Iran back Bashar al-Assad and his regime.

    "The war is not fought in the name of Islam or Christianity, but on behalf of states by interested parties, mercenaries," Rai said.

    "Christians and Muslims must come together around some values to build a real Arab Spring," he said.

    The pope is coming to Lebanon to sign and promote the Apostolic Exhortation he wrote following the Synod of the Middle East held in Rome in October 2010 that discussed some aspects and values found in the movements that are changing the Arab world.

    "The pope's visit is a plea for peace in the Middle East, the separation of state and religion, acceptance of others and diversity within unity," the patriarch added.

    Speaking about the anti-Islam movie 'Innocence of Muslims,' produced by an American Jew, the patriarch said that "the movie is offensive towards Muslims, but towards all religions."

    "The United Nations and the international community must take a strong stance against such insults," he added.

    The low quality movie appears to have been made to offend Muslims. According to the actors who play in it, the plot had nothing to do with Muhammad. The original dialogue was instead changed.

    Shown only once in Hollywood, it depicts Muhammad as homosexual, a violent man, a paedophile in favour of child abuse.

    The identity of the movie's director and producer is still unclear. It is supposed to be a certain Sam Becile, but in Los Angeles, that is a common alias.



    NAIROBI, September 11, 2012 (CISA) -Two National Christian bodies have today, September 11 urged the Government to ensure that security is beefed up in the country’s Tana River District, where on Sunday, September 10, 38 people including nine policemen were killed.
    Local media here described the killing as a result of revenge attack from a local community that had been attacked by another one in the locality.
    The Sunday, September 10 attack brought to 111 the number of people, who have so far died following the two attacks between the Pokomo and Orma communities.
    In their joint statement, the National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK) and the Evangelical Alliance of Kenya (EAK) said, “As part of the Christian community in Kenya, we are greatly perturbed by the developing scenario in which Kenyans are being killed and property and livestock destroyed with blatant impunity,”
    “Our Grand Coalition government is the only government we have entrusted with both the safeguarding of the constitution and the people of Kenya regardless of their tribe, clan, race, religion and social or economic status,” stressed the Church statement, entitled: Government, Be Government and signed jointly by NCCK General Secretary, Rev Canon Peter Karanja and EAK General Secretary, Rev Dr Willy Mutiso.
    “As we have said before, it is not enough for government to issue hard hitting statements after the damage is done,” emphasized the two Christian bodies.
    Kenyans want to see the Executive arm of the government taking all actions necessary to pre-empt, punish and restrain all forces of evil from causing havoc and tragedy and destroying our socio-political fabric, stressed the NCCK/EAK statement.
    “It is indeed incomprehensible to us that more than a hundred Kenyans have been killed in Tana River County over the last three weeks yet the government seems either incapable of or un-committed to restoring sanity,” the NCCK/EAK statement further said.
    As the custodian of security and safety of Kenyans, we call upon the government to ensure that it provided humanitarian relief to all the affected community members regardless of their ethnic backgrounds, and deploy adequate and well equipped security agents on the ground to protect all the community members without discrimination.
    The two Christian bodies also called on the Government to arrest and prosecute the masterminds of the violence from both sides to ensure that no further mobilization of communities for violence takes place and also facilitate intra and inter-community mediation with a view to correcting erroneous community narratives that presume anyone can further their interests by harming and destroying their perceived enemies.
    The Christian bodies also called on the Government to address the underlying causes of the violence, top among these being the boundary between Tana River and Garissa Counties, and sort out the water problem at the heart of the crisis by assuring pastoralists of access to the river for their livestock.
    “We remind the President and Prime Minister that they have a sworn duty to ensure the security of all Kenyans and the residents of Tana River should neither be allowed to butcher one another nor remain vulnerable to criminal activities as they wait for government action and protection,” they said.
    If the conflict is left to fester, it will create a bad model to other regions and locations in the country where there are underlying and unresolved issues that taking the law into one’s own hands and unleashing violence and terror on one’s protagonists is a viable option, reminded the statement.
    It added that as a the country is headed to the general elections next year, allowing lawlessness to reign in any part of Kenya is to take a great risk of violence around the elections period.
    “On their part, we urge all the residents of Tana River County to cease the violence and to remember the words recorded in Genesis 9: 6: “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made man. Violence will only breed more violence. It is not a solution to the problems you have”, observed the NCCK/EAK statement.
    Meanwhile the International Center for Policy and Conflict (ICPC) has expresses grave concern on the deteriorating security situation in Tana River. It has said this is a primary duty and responsibility of the government to protect citizens and that this responsibility entails the prevention of occurrence of crimes, including their incitement, through appropriate and necessary means.
    “It is worrisome that the country is facing a surge of violence and lawlessness that has shattered the lives of thousands of Kenya in Tana River and neighboring areas just a few months to the momentous and definitive general elections. There is absolutely no convincing action that government of Kenya has taken to deter further bloodletting.
    “We want to remind government of Kenya that whenever a state is unable to protect the human rights of its citizens, or indeed are actively involved in violating those rights on a significant scale, then the world community’ has a responsibility to step in and ensure that these rights are protected,” said Ndung’u Wainaina Executive Director, ICPC.


    Luke 6: 27 - 38
    27 "But I say to you that hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,
    28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.
    29 To him who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also; and from him who takes away your coat do not withhold even your shirt.
    30 Give to every one who begs from you; and of him who takes away your goods do not ask them again.
    31 And as you wish that men would do to you, do so to them.
    32 "If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them.
    33 And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same.
    34 And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to receive as much again.
    35 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for he is kind to the ungrateful and the selfish.
    36 Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.
    37 "Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven;
    38 give, and it will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For the measure you give will be the measure you get back."


    St. John Chrysostom
    EWTN: Feast: September 13
    Feast Day:
    September 13
    347, Antioch
    Commana in Pontus, 14 September, 407
    Patron of:
    Constantinople, education, epilepsy, lecturers, orators, preachers

    Doctor of the Church, born at Antioch, c. 347; died at Commana in Pontus, 14 September, 407.
    John -- whose surname "Chrysostom" occurs for the first time in the "Constitution" of Pope Vigilius (cf. P.L., LX, 217) in the year 553 -- is generally considered the most prominent doctor of the Greek Church and the greatest preacher ever heard in a Christian pulpit. His natural gifts, as well as exterior circumstances, helped him to become what he was.LifeBoyhood
    At the time of Chrysostom's birth, Antioch was the second city of the Eastern part of the Roman Empire. During the whole of the fourth century religious struggles had troubled the empire and had found their echo at Antioch. Pagans, Manichaeans, Gnostics, Arians, Apollinarians, Jews, made their proselytes at Antioch, and the Catholics were themselves separated by the schism between the bishops Meletius and Paulinus. Thus Chrysostom's youth fell in troubled times. His father, Secundus, was an officer of high rank in the Syrian army. On his death soon after the birth of John, Anthusa, his wife, only twenty years of age, took the sole charge of her two children, John and an elder sister. Fortunately she was a woman of intelligence and character. She not only instructed her son in piety, but also sent him to the best schools of Antioch, though with regard to morals and religion many objections could be urged against them. Beside the lectures of Andragatius, a philosopher not otherwise known, Chrysostom followed also those of Libanius, at once the most famous orator of that period and the most tenacious adherent of the declining paganism of Rome. As we may see from the later writings of Chrysostom, he attained then considerable Greek scholarship and classical culture, which he by no means disowned in his later days. His alleged hostility to classical learning is in reality but a misunderstanding ofcertain passages in which he defends the philosophia of Christianity against the myths of the heathen gods, of which the chief defenders in his time were the representatives and teachers of the sophia ellenike (see A. Naegele in "Byzantin. Zeitschrift", XIII, 73-113; Idem, "Chrysostomus und Libanius" in Chrysostomika, I, Rome, 1908, 81-142).Chrysostom as lector and monk
    It was a very decisive turning-point in the life of Chrysostom when he met one day (about 367) the bishop Meletius. The earnest, mild, and winning character of this man captivated Chrysostom in such a measure that he soon began to withdraw from classical and profane studies and to devote himself to an ascetic and religious life. He studied Holy Scripture and frequented the sermons of Meletius. About three years later he received Holy Baptism and was ordained lector. But the young cleric, seized by the desire of a more perfect life, soon afterwards entered one of the ascetic societies near Antioch, which was under the spiritual direction of Carterius and especially of the famous Diodorus, later Bishop of Tarsus (see Palladius, "Dialogus", v; Sozomenus, Church History VIII.2). Prayer, manual labour and the study of Holy Scripture were his chief occupations, and we may safely suppose that his first literary works date from this time, for nearly all his earlier writings deal with ascetic and monastic subjects [cf. below Chrysostom writings: (1) "Opuscuia"]. Four years later, Chrysostom resolved to live as an anchorite in one of the caves near Antioch. He remained there two years, but then as his health was quite ruined by indiscreet watchings and fastings in frost and cold, he prudently returned to Antioch to regain his health, and resumed his office as lector in the church.Chrysostom as deacon and priest at Antioch
    As the sources of the life of Chrysostom give an incomplete chronology, we can but approximately determine the dates for this Antiochene period. Very probably in the beginning of 381 Meletius made him deacon, just before his own departure to Constantinople, where he died as president of the Second Ecumenical Council. The successor of Meletius was Flavian (concerning whose succession see F. Cavallera, "Le Schime d'Antioche", Paris, 1905). Ties of sympathy and friendship connected Chrysostom with his new bishop. As deacon he had to assist at the liturgical functions, to look after the sick and poor, and was probably charged also in some degree with teaching catechumens. At the same time he continued his literary work, and we may suppose that he composed his most famous book, "On the Priesthood", towards the end of this period (c. 386, see Socrates, Church History VI.3), or at latest in the beginning of his priesthood (c. 387, as Nairn with good reasons puts it, in his edition of "De Sacerd.", xii-xv). There may be some doubt if it was occasioned by a real historical fact, viz., that Chrysostom and his friend Basil were requested to accept bishoprics (c. 372). All the earliest Greek biographers seem not to have taken it in that sense. In the year 386 Chrysostom was ordained priest by Flavian, and from that dates his real importance in ecclesiastical history. His chief task during the next twelve years was that of preaching, which he had to exercise either instead of or with Bishop Flavian. But no doubt the larger part of the popular religious instruction and education devolved upon him. The earliest notable occasion which showed his power of speaking and his great authority was the Lent of 387, when he delivered his sermons "On the Statues" (P.G., XLVIII, 15, xxx.). The people of Antioch, excited by the levy of new taxes, had thrown down the statues of Emperor Theodosius. In the panic and fear of punishment which followed, Chrysostom delivered a series of twenty or twenty-one (the nineteenth is probably not authentic) sermons, full of vigour, consolatory, exhortative, tranquilizing, until Flavian, the bishop, brought back from Constantinople the emperor's pardon. But the usual preaching of Chrysostom consisted in consecutive explanations of Holy Scripture. To that custom, unhappily no longer in use, we owe his famous and magnificent commentaries, which offer us such an inexhaustible treasure of dogmatic, moral, and historical knowledge of the transition from the fourth to the fifth century. These years, 386-98, were the period of the greatest theological productivity of Chrysostom, a period which alone would have assured him for ever a place among the first Doctors of the Church. A sign of this may be seen in the fact that in the year 392 St. Jerome already accorded to the preacher of Antioch a place among his Viri illustres ("De Viris ill.", 129, in P.L., XXIII, 754), referring expressly to the great and successful activity of Chrysostom as a theological writer. From this same fact we may infer that during this time his fame had spread far beyond the limits of Antioch, and that he was well known in the Byzantine Empire, especially in the capital.St. Chrysostom as bishop of Constantinople
    In the ordinary course of things Chrysostom might have become the successor of Flavian at Antioch. But on 27 September 397, Nectarius, Bishop of Constantinople, died. There was a general rivalry in the capital, openly or in secret, for the vacant see. After some months it was known, to the great disappointment of the competitors, that Emperor Areadius, at the suggestion of his minister Eutropius, had sent to the Prefect of Antioch to call John Chrysostom out of the town without the knowledge of the people, and to send him straight to Constantinople. In this sudden way Chrysostom was hurried to the capital, and ordained Bishop of Constantinople on 26 February, 398, in the presence of a great assembly of bishops, by Theophilus, Patriarch of Alexandria, who had been obliged to renounce the idea of securing the appointment of Isidore, his own candidate. The change for Chrysostom was as great as it was unexpected. His new position was not an easy one, placed as he was in the midst of an upstart metropolis, half Western, half Oriental, in the neighbourhood of a court in which luxury and intrigue always played the most prominent parts, and at the head of the clergy composed of most heterogeneous elements, and even (if not canonically, at least practically) at the head of the whole Byzantine episcopate. The first act of the new bishop was to bring about a reconciliation between Flavian and Rome. Constantinople itself soon began to feel the impulse of a new ecclesiastical life.
    The necessity for reform was undeniable. Chrysostom began "sweeping the stairs from the top" (Palladius, op. cit., v). He called his oeconomus, and ordered him to reduce the expenses of the episcopal household; he put an end to the frequent banquets, and lived little less strictly than he had formerly lived as a priest and monk. With regard to the clergy, Chrysostom had at first to forbid them to keep in their houses syneisactoe, i.e. women housekeepers who had vowed virginity. He also proceeded against others who, by avarice or luxury, had given scandal. He had even to exclude from the ranks of the clergy two deacons, the one for murder and the other for adultery. Of the monks, too, who were very numerous even at that time at Constantinople, some had preferred to roam about aimlessly and without discipline. Chrysostom confined them to their monasteries. Finally he took care of the ecclesiastical widows. Some of them were living in a worldly manner: he obliged them either to marry again, or to observe the rules of decorum demanded by their state. After the clergy, Chrysostom turned his attention to his flock. As he had done at Antioch, so at Constantinople and with more reason, he frequently preached against the unreasonable extravagances of the rich, and especially against the ridiculous finery in the matter of dress affected by women whose age should have put them beyond such vanities. Some of them, the widows Marsa, Castricia, Eugraphia, known for such preposterous tastes, belonged to the court circle. It seems that the upper classes of Constantinople had not previously been accustomed to such language. Doubtless some felt the rebuke to be intended for themselves, and the offence given was the greater in proportion as the rebuke was the more deserved. On the other hand, the people showed themselves delighted with thesermons of their new bishop, and frequently applauded him in the church (Socrates, Church History VI). They never forgot his care for the poor and miserable, and that in his first year he had built a great hospital with the money he had saved in his household. But Chrysostom had also very intimate friends among the rich and noble classes. The most famous of these was Olympias, widow and deaconess, a relation of Emperor Theodosius, while in the Court itself there was Brison, first usher of Eudoxia, who assisted Chrysostom in instructing his choirs, and always maintained a true friendship for him. The empress herself was at first most friendly towards the new bishop. She followed the religious processions, attended his sermons, and presented silver candlesticks for the use of the churches (Socrates, op. cit., VI, 8; Sozomenus, op. cit., VIII, 8).
    Unfortunately, the feelings of amity did not last. At first Eutropius, the former slave, now minister and consul, abused his influence. He deprived some wealthy persons of their property, and prosecuted others whom he suspected of being adversaries of rivals. More than once Chrysostom went himself to the minister (see "Oratio ad Eutropium" in P.G., Chrys. Op., III, 392) to remonstrate with him, and to warn him of the results of his own acts, but without success. Then the above-named ladies, who immediately surrounded the empress, probably did not hide their resentment against the strict bishop. Finally, the empress herself committed an injustice in depriving a widow of her vineyard (Marcus Diac., "Vita Porphyrii", V, no. 37, in P.G., LXV, 1229). Chrysostom interceded for the latter. But Eudoxia showed herself offended. Henceforth there was a certain coolness between the imperial Court and the episcopal palace, which, growing little by little, led to a catastrophe. It is impossible to ascertain exactly at what period this alienation first began; very probably itdated from the beginning of the year 401. But before this state of things became known to the public there happened events of the highest political importance, and Chrysostom, without seeking it, was implicated in them. These were the fall of Eutropius and the revolt of Gainas.
    In January, 399, Eutropius, for a reason not exactly known, fell into disgrace. Knowing the feelings of the people and of his personal enemies, he fled to the church. As he had himself attempted to abolish the immunity of the ecclesiastical asylums not long before, the people seemed little disposed to spare him. But Chrysostom interfered, delivering his famous sermon on Eutropius, and the fallen minister was saved for the moment. As, however, he tried to escape during the night, he was seized, exiled, and some time later put to death. Immediately another more exciting and more dangerous event followed. Gainas, one of the imperial generals, had been sent out to subdueTribigild, who had revolted. In the summer of 399 Gainas united openly with Tribigild, and, to restore peace, Arcadius had to submit to the most humiliating conditions. Gainas was named commander-in-chief of the imperial army, and even had Aurelian and Saturninus, two men of the highest rank at Constantinople, delivered over to him. It seems that Chrysostom accepted a mission to Gainas, and that, owing to his intervention, Aurelian and Saturninus were spared by Gainas, and even set at liberty. Soon afterwards, Gainas, who was an Arian Goth, demanded one of the Catholic churches at Constantinople for himself and his soldiers. Again Chrysostom made so energetic an opposition that Gainas yielded. Meanwhile the people of Constantinople had become excited, and in one night several thousand Goths were slain. Gainas however escaped, was defeated, and slain by the Huns. Such was the end within a few years of three consuls of the Byzantine Empire. There is no doubt that Chrysostom's authority had been greatly strengthened by the magnanimity and firmness of character he had shown during all these troubles. It may have been this that augmented the jealousy of those who now governed the empire -- a clique of courtiers, with the empress at their head. These were now joined by new allies issuing from the ecclesiastical ranks and including some provincial bishops -- Severian of Gabala, Antiochus of Ptolemais, and, for some time, Acacius of Beroea -- who preferred the attractions of the capital to residence in their own cities (Socrates, op. cit., VI, 11; Sozomenus, op. cit., VIII, 10). The most intriguing among them was Severian, who flattered himself that he was the rival of Chrysostom in eloquence. But so far nothing had transpired in public. A great change occurred during the absence of Chrysostom for several months from Constantinople. This absence was necessitated by an ecclesiastical affair in Asia Minor, in which he was involved. Following the express invitation of several bishops, Chrysostom, in the first months of 401, had come to Ephesus, where he appointed a new archbishop, and with the consent of the assembled bishops deposed six bishops for simony. After having passed the same sentence on Bishop Gerontius of Nicomedia, he returned to Constantinople.
    Meanwhile disagreeable things had happened there. Bishop Severian, to whom Chrysostom seems to have entrusted the performance of some ecclesiastical functions, had entered into open enmity with Serapion, the archdeacon and oeconomus of the cathedral and the episcopal palace. Whatever the real reason may have been, Chrysostom, found the case so serious that he invited Severian to return to his own see. It was solely owing to the personal interference of Eudoxia, whose confidence Serapion possessed, that he was allowed to come back from Chalcedon, whither he had retired. The reconciliation which followed was, at least on the part of Severian, not a sincere one, and the public scandal had excited much ill-feeling. The effects soon became visible. When in the spring of 402, Bishop Porphyrius of Gaza (see Marcus Diac., "Vita Porphyrii", V, ed. Nuth, Bonn, 1897, pp. 11-19) went to the Court at Constantinople to obtain a favour for his diocese, Chrysostom answered that he could do nothing for him, since he was himself in disgrace with the empress. Nevertheless, the party of malcontents were not really dangerous, unless they could find some prominent and unscrupulous leader. Such a person presented himself sooner than might have been expected. It was the well-known Theophilus, Patriarch of Alexandria. He appeared under rather curious circumstances, which in no way foreshadowed the final result. Theophilus, toward the end of the year 402, was summoned by the emperor to Constantinople to apologize before a synod, over which Chrysostom should preside, for several charges, which were brought against him by certain Egyptian monks, especially by the so-called four "tall brothers". The patriarch, their former friend, had suddenly turned against them, and had them persecuted as Origenists (Palladius, "Dialogus", xvi; Socrates, op. cit., VI, 7; Sozomenus, op. cit., VIII, 12).
    However, Theophilus was not easily frightened. He had always agents and friends at Constantinople, and knew the state of things and the feelings at the court. He now resolved to take advantage of them. He wrote at once to St. Epiphanius at Cyprus, requesting him to go to Constantinople and prevail upon Chrysostom at to condemn the Origenists. Epiphanius went. But when he found that Theophilus was merely using him for his own purposes, he left the capital, dying on his return in 403. At this time Chrysostom delivered a sermon against the vain luxury of women. It was reported to the empress as though she had been personally alluded to. In this way the ground was prepared. Theophilus at last appeared at Constantinople in June, 403, not alone, as he had been commanded, but with twenty-nine of his suffragan bishops, and, as Palladius (ch. viii) tells us, with a good deal of money and all sorts of gifts. He took his lodgings in one of the imperial palaces, and held conferences with all the adversaries of Chrysostom. Then he retired with his suffragans and seven other bishops to a villa near Constantinople, called epi dryn (see Ubaldi, "La Synodo ad Quercum", Turin, 1902). A long list of the most ridiculous accusations was drawn up against Chrysostom (see Photius, "Bibliotheca", 59, in P.G., CIII, 105-113), who, surrounded by forty-two archbishops and bishops assembled to judge Theophilus in accordance with the orders of the emperor, was now summoned to present himself and apologize. Chrysostom naturally refused to recognize the legality of a synod in which his open enemies were judges. After the third summons Chrysostom, with the consent of the emperor, was declared to be deposed. In order to avoid useless bloodshed, he surrendered himself on the third day to the soldiers who awaited him. But the threats of the excited people, and a sudden accident in the imperial palace, frightened the empress (Palladius, "Dialogus", ix). She feared some punishment from heaven for Chrysostom's exile, and immediately ordered his recall. After some hesitation Chrysostom re-entered the capital amid the great rejoicings of the people. Theophilus and his party saved themselves by flying from Constantinople. Chrysostom's return was in itself a defeat for Eudoxia. When her alarms had gone, her rancour revived. Two months afterwards a silver statue of the empress was unveiled in the square just before the cathedral. The public celebrations which attended this incident, and lasted several days, became so boisterous that the offices in the church were disturbed. Chrysostom complained of this to the prefect of the city, who reported to Eudoxia that the bishop had complained against her statue. This was enough to excite the empress beyond all bounds. She summoned Theophilus and the other bishops to come back and to depose Chrysostom again. The prudent patriarch, however, did not wish to run the same risk a second time. He only wrote to Constantinople that Chrysostom should be condemned for having re-entered his see in opposition to an article of the Synod of Antioch held in the year 341 (an Arian synod). The other bishops had neither the authority nor the courage to give a formal judgment. All they could do was to urge the emperor to sign a new decree of exile. A double attempt on Chrysostom's life failed. On Easter Eve, 404, when all the catechumens were to receive baptism, the adversaries of the bishop, with imperial soldiers, invaded the baptistery and dispersed the whole congregation. At last Arcadius signed the decree, and on 24 June, 404, the soldiers conducted Chrysostom a second time into exile.Exile and death
    They had scarcely left Constantinople when a huge conflagration destroyed the cathedral, the senate-house, and other buildings. The followers of the exiled bishop were accused of the crime and prosecuted. In haste Arsacius, an old man, was appointed successor of Chrysostom, but was soon succeeded by the cunning Atticus. Whoever refused to enter into communion with them was punished by confiscation of property and exile. Chrysostom himself was conducted to Cucusus, a secluded and rugged place on the east frontier of Armenia, continually exposed to the invasions of the Isaurians. In the following year he had even to fly for some time to the castle of Arabissus to protect himself from these barbarians. Meanwhile he always maintained a correspondence with his friends and never gave up thehope of return. When the circumstances of his deposition were known in the West, the pope and the Italian bishops declared themselves in his favour. Emperor Honorius and Pope Innocent I endeavoured to summon a new synod, but their legates were imprisoned and then sent home. The pope broke off all communion with the Patriarchs of Alexandria, Antioch (where an enemy of Chrysostom had succeeded Flavian), and Constantinople, until (after the death of Chrysostom) they consented to admit his name into the diptychs of the Church. Finally all hopes for the exiled bishop had vanished. Apparently he was living too long for his adversaries. In the summer, 407, the order was given to carry him to Pithyus, a place at the extreme boundary of the empire, near the Caucasus. One of the two soldiers who had to lead himcaused him all possible sufferings. He was forced to make long marches, was exposed to the rays of the sun, to the rains and the cold of the nights. His body, already weakened by several severe illnesses, finally broke down. On 14 September the party were at Comanan in Pontus. In the morning Chrysostom had asked to rest there on the account of his state of health. In vain; he was forced to continue his march. Very soon he felt so weak that they had to return toComana. Some hours later Chrysostom died. His last words were: Doxa to theo panton eneken (Glory be to God for all things) (Palladius, xi, 38). He was buried at Comana. On 27 January, 438, his body was translated to Constantinople with great pomp, and entombed in the church of the Apostles where Eudoxia had been buried in the year 404 (see Socrates, VII, 45; Constantine Prophyrogen., "Cæremoniale Aul Byz.", II, 92, in P.G., CXII, 1204 B)


    Vatican City, 12 September 2012 (VIS) - During his general audience, held this morning in the Paul VI Hall, Benedict XVI focused his catechesis on prayer in the second part of the Book of Revelation in which, he noted, attention moves from the interior life of the Church "to the entire world, because the Church advances through history and is a part thereof".
    In this second part of Revelation, the Christian assembly is called "to undertake a profound interpretation of the history in which it lives, learning to discern events with faith so that, through its actions, it may collaborate in the advancement of the kingdom of God. Such interpretation, discernment and action are closely associated with prayer".
    The assembly is invited to ascend unto heaven "in order to see reality with the eyes of God". There, according to St. John's narrative, we find three symbols with which to interpret history: the throne, the scroll and the Lamb. On the throne sits Almighty God "Who has not remained isolated in heaven but has approached man and entered into a covenant with him". The scroll "contains God's plan for history and mankind, but it is hermetically sealed with seven seals and no one can read it. ... Yet there is a remedy to man's confusion before the mystery of history. Someone is able to open the scroll and illuminate him".
    That someone appears in the third symbol: "Christ, the Lamb, Who was immolated in the sacrifice of the cross but stands in sign of His resurrection. The Lamb, Christ, Who died and rose again, will progressively open the seals so as to reveal the plan of God, the profound meaning of history".
    These symbols, the Pope explained, "remind us of the path we must follow to interpret the events of history and of our own lives. Raising our gaze to God's heaven in an unbroken relationship with Christ, ... in individual and community prayer, we learn to see things in a new way and to grasp their most authentic significance". The Lord invites the Christian community "to a realistic examination of the present time in which they are living. The Lamb then opens the first four seals of the scroll and the Church sees the world of which she is part; a world containing ... the evils accomplished by man, such as violence ... and injustice, ... to which must be added the evils man suffers such as death, hunger, and sickness".
    "In the face of these often dramatic issues the ecclesial community is invited never to lose hope, but to remain firm in the belief that the apparent omnipotence of the Evil One in fact comes up against true omnipotence, that of God". St. John speaks of the white horse, which symbolises that "the power of God has entered man's history, a power capable not only of counterbalancing evil, but also of overcoming it. ... God became so close as to descend into the darkness of death and illuminate it with the splendour of divine life. He took the evil of the world upon Himself to purify it with the fire of His love".
    The Holy Father went on: "How can we progress in this Christian interpretation of reality? The Book of Revelation tells us that prayer nourishes this vision of light and profound hope in each one of us and in our communities. ... The Church lives in history, she is not closed in herself but courageously faces her journey amidst difficulties and sufferings, forcefully affirming that evil does not defeat good, that darkness does not shade God's splendour. This is an important point for us too: as Christians we can never be pessimists. ... Prayer, above all, educates us to see the signs of God, His presence and His action; or rather, it educates us to become lights of goodness, spreading hope and indicating that the victory is God's".
    At the end of the vision an angel places grains of incense in a censer then throws it upon the earth. Those grains represent our prayers, the Pope said. "and we can be sure that there is no such thing as a superfluous or useless prayer. No prayer is lost. ... God is not oblivious to our prayers. ... When faced with evil we often have the sensation that we can do nothing, but our prayers are in fact the first and most effective response we can give, they strengthen our daily commitment to goodness. The power of God makes our weakness strong".

    Vatican City, 12 September 2012 (VIS) - At the end of his general audience today, the Holy Father spoke of his forthcoming apostolic trip to Lebanon, where he is due to sign the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation of the Special Assembly for the Middle East of the Synod of Bishops.
    "At this hour in two days' time", he said, "I will be on a plane bound for Lebanon. I rejoice at this apostolic trip which will enable me to meet many members of Lebanese society: the civil and ecclesiastical authorities, Catholic faithful of various rites, other Christians, and the Muslims and Druze of the region. I thank the Lord for this rich variety, which will be able to continue only if people live in permanent peace and reconciliation. For this reason I exhort all Christians of the Middle East, both those born there and the newly arrived, to be builders of peace and architects of reconciliation. Let us pray to God that He may fortify the faith of Christians in Lebanon and the Middle East, and fill them with hope. I thank God for their presence and call upon the entire Church to show solidarity, that they may continue to bear witness to Christ in those blessed lands, seeking communion in unity. I thank God for all the individuals andinstitutions who, in many ways, help them to do so. The history of the Middle East teaches us the important and sometimes primordial role. played by the various Christian communities in inter-religious and inter-cultural dialogue Let us ask God to give that region of the world its longed-for peace, and respect for legitimate differences. May God bless Lebanon and the Middle East. May God bless you".

    Vatican City, 12 September 2012 (VIS) - Given below is the text of a declaration made by Holy See Press Office Director Fr. Federico Lombardi following episodes of violence in the Libyan city of Benghazi yesterday.
    "Profound respect for the beliefs, texts, outstanding figures and symbols of the various religions is an essential precondition for the peaceful coexistence of peoples. The serious consequences of unjustified offence and provocations against the sensibilities of Muslim believers are once again evident in these days, as we see the reactions they arouse, sometimes with tragic results, which in their turn nourish tension and hatred, unleashing unacceptable violence.
    "The message of dialogue and respect for all believers of different religions, which the Holy Father is preparing to carry with him on his forthcoming trip to Lebanon, indicate the path that everyone should follow in order to construct shared and peaceful coexistence among religions and peoples".

    Vatican City, 12 September 2012 (VIS) - Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B. has sent a letter, in the Holy Father's name, to Cardinal Polycarp Pengo, archbishop of Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania, for the opening of the first Integrated Meeting for the Pastoral Care of the Road/Street for the Continent of Africa and Madagascar, which is currently taking place in that city.
    "As the Synod Fathers at the two Special Assemblies for Africa of the Synod of Bishops prophetically acknowledged, the Church's concern for the development of every person and the whole person, especially of the poorest and most neglected, is at the heart of her mission of evangelisation in Africa", the English-language text reads.
    "His Holiness trusts that the present meeting will lead to greater cooperation and coordinated efforts among the particular Churches for the sake of safeguarding every life at risk on African streets and roads. He asks that special attention be paid to the pastoral needs of those women and children who find themselves on the streets, whether as a result of concrete social, economic and political factors, or as victims of organised national and international exploiters. He is likewise confident that the meeting will address situations affecting the lives of those who travel in their work and, not least, the road insecurity which threatens the lives of millions on African soil.
    "With these sentiments, the Holy Father offers fervent prayers that the meeting will confirm the Church in Africa and Madagascar in its witness to the Gospel and its contribution to the building up of civil society and to the forging of a new Africa".

    Vatican City, 12 September 2012 (VIS) - Following this morning's general audience, the Holy Father received in audience Karekin II, Catholicos and Supreme Patriarch of All Armenians.


    Agenzia Fides REPORT- The house for the young people of Dharmapuri was recently inaugurated and opened : Home of Hope - Marialaya. The project involved the extension of the home of the Salesian Sisters of the district in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu to give hospitality to approximately 200 disadvantaged children and young people, from rural villages and belonging to the group of Dalits. The new home is a great opportunity for women and girls in the area. The nuns in fact, thanks to the new structure will be able to ensure the girls to continue their studies and accompany their personal development and the acquisition of additional skills in the construction industry, in business management and in group activities. In addition, the house can accommodate young people fleeing from situations of abuse and violence, where they can find their specific reintegration pathways. (AP) (Agenzia Fides 13/09/2012)


    London: unique exhibition on Blessed Mother Teresa | Blessed Mother Teresa exhibition

    Blessed Mother Teresa's room
    There are just three days left now to see the unique exhibition on the life of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta, at St Patrick’s in Soho Square, central London. The show includes a life-size replica of her little room, complete with a cardboard box with the inscription 'Awards' which she tucked away under the bed. Many visitors are stopping to pray in the chapel.
    The presentation includes a series of posters, handwritten letters, family photographs, her prayerbook, sari, headband and cardigan. There is a copy of the chapel typical to houses of the Missionaries of Charity, the order Mother Teresa founded in 1950.
    A film being screened through the day, shows rare interviews with Mother Teresa, with her sisters and footage from the state funeral given Mother by the Government of India in 1997.
    Father Alexander Sherbrooke, parish priest of St Patrick’s, said: “This exhibition has just so much to say for today. Mother Teresa lived the love of God in a most profound and powerful way – that is what the exhibition shows. It gives a real sense of who Mother was, and what she is calling us into. Mother always spoke of how we must marvel at God’s love for us and share it with our brothers and sisters. She radiated that love in her whole being,"
    Some of the 20 missionaries of Charity based in London may be present at the exhibition, on some days. But their schedule is busy – in their three houses in London (out of a total of 11 in the UK) the Sisters run soup kitchens, visit old people at home and in hospital, run a hostel for homeless women, and organize days of prayer, pilgrimages and a summer camp for 100 children.
    The exhibition is open from 11am-7pm until 15 September in the crypt of St Patrick’s church, Soho, 21a Soho Square, London W1D 4NR. Getting there is difficult as there is major building work taking place on the new Cross Rail station. Follow the signs from the church and you should find it!
    If you would like to hold the exhibition in your parish, contact the sisters at:
    Missionaries of Charity
    177 Bravington Road,
    London W9 3AR
    England, U.K.
    Tel: 0208-960-2644
    For more information see:


    Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese REPORT
    12 Sep 2012

    Cardinal Pell - "Is Catholicism Compatible With Women's Health?", RANZCOG Conference, Canberra
    Following nearly three days of scientific and medical presentations and discussions, Cardinal George Pell brought a different perspective to an international conference in Canberra today on women's health.
    The conference was the 2012 Annual Scientific Meeting of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and the scientific program was titled "capital gains in women's health".
    Many noted researchers and practitioners presented papers during the conference which was officially opened by Rear Admiral Robyn Walker, Surgeon General of the Australian Defence Forces.
    However the last session today was entitled "Wish List". The address was certainly more down to earth.
    The Archbishop of Sydney, Cardinal George Pell presented a paper for this session titled "Is Catholicism Compatible With Women's Health?"
    Cardinal Pell emphasised the Catholic approach to women's health including the dignity of the human person; support of marriage, the union of a man and woman, permanent and exclusive, open to life; the right of couples to the knowledge and understanding of their own fertility so they may determine the number and spacing of their children and non-violence to mother and child.

    He also said these key principles included the call to solidarity with the mother; the call to solidarity with the unborn child; health care as a natural human good and fundamental human right and the preferential option for the poor and vulnerable.
    Approximately 600 million of the Catholic Church's 1.2 billion members are women. The Catholic Church is the single largest health care provider in the world operating 117,000 health care facilities, which represents 26% of the world's total care of anyone and everyone in the community.
    Cardinal Pell told the conference; "Catholics understand the relationship between doctor and patient according to the Hippocratic idea, rather than the more modern notion of a doctor simply being a service provider to the consumer."
    The Cardinal went on to say Catholicism understands respect for patient autonomy in a particular way - that the doctor, on the basis of his or her knowledge, skill and experience, makes recommendations to the patient, who is seeking advice and treatment, who then decides whether or not to accept that recommendation. This approach has significant implications for how obstetricians and gynaecologists think of themselves and their patients.
    "We understand the role of the obstetrician as being a doctor to two patients: mother and child. We recognise that although the healthcare needs of these two patients normally run i parallel they can sometimes - although infrequently - come apart, and this can be very difficult and distressing for all concerned. Catholicism has worked out practical principles to support the thinking and choosing of both the doctor and the parents in such circumstances," Cardinal Pell said.
    Catholicism critics have often said the Church's pro-life stance damages women's health by contributing to global maternal mortality rates. Cardinal Pell addressed this issue saying numerous studies of maternal mortality rates have demonstrated that the major cause of maternal mortality is not lack of access to abortion, but lack of access to a hospital or skilled midwife. He also said; "The Catholic Church around the world acts to address the critical factors of human, social and economic injustice which cause and contribute to poor maternal health outcomes for women and often generate pressure for abortions. Many women are forced to have abortions by their menfolk. All women who have undergone this procedure should, of course, be treated with compassion and respect."
    On the issue of abortion Cardinal Pell mentioned the "missing women of China and India". He highlighted the appalling situation in these countries where female foetuses are sex-selected for abortion and untold baby girls are abandoned or murdered with a smaller number of baby boys.
    Cardinal Pell also addressed Catholic health professionals' groundbreaking work in reproductive and maternal health and the role Caritas Internationalis, the international relief, aid and development network of the Catholic Church, is playing in advancing maternal health in some of the world's poorest countries by caring for mothers with HIV and reducing mother-to-child transmission of the virus.
    For the full address by Cardinal Pell click here