Monday, October 1, 2012


RADIO VATICANA REPORT: To mark the day the Church remembers Saint Thérèse of Lisieux on October 1st, we bring you an English translation of Pope Benedict XVI' s words focusing on this Doctor of the Church during his weekly general audience of the 6th April 2011.
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Today I would like to talk to you about St Thérèse of Lisieux, Thérèse of the Child Jesus and of the Holy Face, who lived in this world for only 24 years, at the end of the 19th century, leading a very simple and hidden life but who, after her death and the publication of her writings, became one of the best-known and best-loved saints. “Little Thérèse” has never stopped helping the simplest souls, the little, the poor and the suffering who pray to her. However, she has also illumined the whole Church with her profound spiritual doctrine to the point that chose, in 1997, to give her the title “Doctor of the Church”, in addition to that of Patroness of Missions, which had already attributed to her in 1939. My beloved Predecessor described her as an “expert in the scientia amoris” (, n. 42). Thérèse expressed this science, in which she saw the whole truth of the faith shine out in love, mainly in the story of her life, published a year after her death with the title The Story of a Soul. The book immediately met with enormous success, it was translated into many languages and disseminated throughout the world.
I would like to invite you to rediscover this small-great treasure, this luminous comment on the Gospel lived to the full! The Story of a Soul, in fact, is a marvellous story of Love, told with such authenticity, simplicity and freshness that the reader cannot but be fascinated by it! But what was this Love that filled Thérèse’s whole life, from childhood to death? Dear friends, this Love has a Face, it has a Name, it is Jesus! The Saint speaks continuously of Jesus. Let us therefore review the important stages of her life, to enter into the heart of her teaching.
Thérèse was born on 2 January 1873 in Alençon, a city in Normandy, in France. She was the last daughter of Louis and Zélie Martin, a married couple and exemplary parents, who were beatified together on 19 October 2008. They had nine children, four of whom died at a tender age. Five daughters were left, who all became religious. Thérèse, at the age of four, was deeply upset by the death of her mother (Ms A 13r). Her father then moved with his daughters to the town of Lisieux, where the Saint was to spend her whole life. Later Thérèse, affected by a serious nervous disorder, was healed by a divine grace which she herself described as the “smile of Our Lady” (ibid., 29v-30v). She then received her First Communion, which was an intense experience (ibid., 35r), and made Jesus in the Eucharist the centre of her life.
The “Grace of Christmas” of 1886 marked the important turning-point, which she called her “complete conversion” (ibid., 44v-45r). In fact she recovered totally, from her childhood hyper-sensitivity and began a “to run as a giant”. At the age of 14, Thérèse became ever closer, with great faith, to the Crucified Jesus. She took to heart the apparently desperate case of a criminal sentenced to death who was impenitent. “I wanted at all costs to prevent him from going to hell”, the Saint wrote, convinced that her prayers would put him in touch with the redeeming Blood of Jesus. It was her first and fundamental experience of spiritual motherhood: “I had such great trust in the Infinite Mercy of Jesus”, she wrote. Together with Mary Most Holy, young Thérèse loved, believed and hoped with “a mother’s heart” (cf. Pr 6/ior).
In November 1887, Thérèse went on pilgrimage to Rome with her father and her sister Céline (ibid., 55v-67r). The culminating moment for her was the Audience with , whom she asked for permission to enter the Carmel of Lisieux when she was only just 15. A year later her wish was granted. She became a Carmelite, “to save souls and to pray for priests” (ibid., 69v).
At the same time, her father began to suffer from a painful and humiliating mental illness. It caused Thérèse great suffering which led her to contemplation of the Face of Jesus in his Passion (ibid., 71rc). Thus, her name as a religious — Sr Thérèse of the Child Jesus and of the Holy Face — expresses the programme of her whole life in communion with the central Mysteries of the Incarnation and the Redemption. Her religious profession, on the Feast of the Nativity of Mary, 8 September 1890, was a true spiritual espousal in evangelical “littleness”, characterized by the symbol of the flower: “It was the Nativity of Mary. What a beautiful feast on which to become the Spouse of Jesus! It was the little new-born Holy Virgin who presented her little Flower to the little Jesus” (ibid., 77r).
For Thérèse, being a religious meant being a bride of Jesus and a mother of souls (cf. Ms B, 2v). On the same day, the Saint wrote a prayer which expressed the entire orientation of her life: she asked Jesus for the gift of his infinite Love, to be the smallest, and above all she asked for the salvation of all human being: “That no soul may be damned today” (Pr 2).
Of great importance is her Offering to Merciful Love, made on the Feast of the Most Holy Trinity in 1895 (Ms A, 83v-84r; Pr 6). It was an offering that Thérèse immediately shared with her sisters, since she was already acting novice mistress.
Ten years after the “Grace of Christmas” in 1896, came the “Grace of Easter”, which opened the last period of Thérèse’s life with the beginning of her passion in profound union with the Passion of Jesus. It was the passion of her body, with the illness that led to her death through great suffering, but it was especially the passion of the soul, with a very painful trial of faith (Ms C, 4v-7v). With Mary beside the Cross of Jesus, Thérèse then lived the most heroic faith, as a light in the darkness that invaded her soul. The Carmelite was aware that she was living this great trial for the salvation of all the atheists of the modern world, whom she called “brothers”.
She then lived fraternal love even more intensely (8r-33v): for the sisters of her community, for her two spiritual missionary brothers, for the priests and for all people, especially the most distant. She truly became a “universal sister”! Her lovable, smiling charity was the expression of the profound joy whose secret she reveals: “Jesus, my joy is loving you” (P 45/7). In this context of suffering, living the greatest love in the smallest things of daily life, the Saint brought to fulfilment her vocation to be Love in the heart of the Church (cf. Ms B, 3v).
Thérèse died on the evening of 30 September 1897, saying the simple words, “My God, I love you!”, looking at the Crucifix she held tightly in her hands. These last words of the Saint are the key to her whole doctrine, to her interpretation of the Gospel the act of love, expressed in her last breath was as it were the continuous breathing of her soul, the beating of her heart. The simple words “Jesus I love you”, are at the heart of all her writings. The act of love for Jesus immersed her in the Most Holy Trinity. She wrote: “Ah, you know, Divine Jesus I love you / The spirit of Love enflames me with his fire, / It is in loving you that I attract the Father” (P 17/2).
Dear friends, we too, with St Thérèse of the Child Jesus must be able to repeat to the Lord every day that we want to live of love for him and for others, to learn at the school of the saints to love authentically and totally. Thérèse is one of the “little” ones of the Gospel who let themselves be led by God to the depths of his Mystery. A guide for all, especially those who, in the People of God, carry out their ministry as theologians. With humility and charity, faith and hope, Thérèse continually entered the heart of Sacred Scripture which contains the Mystery of Christ. And this interpretation of the Bible, nourished by the science of love, is not in opposition to academic knowledge. The science of the saints, in fact, of which she herself speaks on the last page of her The Story of a Soul, is the loftiest science.
“All the saints have understood and in a special way perhaps those who fill the universe with the radiance of the evangelical doctrine. Was it not from prayer that St Paul, St Augustine, St John of the Cross, St Thomas Aquinas, Francis, Dominic, and so many other friends of God drew that wonderful science which has enthralled the loftiest minds?” (cf. Ms C 36r). Inseparable from the Gospel, for Thérèse the Eucharist was the sacrament of Divine Love that stoops to the extreme to raise us to him. In her last Letter, on an image that represents Jesus the Child in the consecrated Host, the Saint wrote these simple words: “I cannot fear a God who made himself so small for me! […] I love him! In fact, he is nothing but Love and Mercy!” (LT 266).
In the Gospel Thérèse discovered above all the Mercy of Jesus, to the point that she said: “To me, He has given his Infinite Mercy, and it is in this ineffable mirror that I contemplate his other divine attributes. Therein all appear to me radiant with Love. His Justice, even more perhaps than the rest, seems to me to be clothed with Love” (Ms A, 84r).
In these words she expresses herself in the last lines of The Story of a Soul: “I have only to open the Holy Gospels and at once I breathe the perfume of Jesus’ life, and then I know which way to run; and it is not to the first place, but to the last, that I hasten…. I feel that even had I on my conscience every crime one could commit… my heart broken with sorrow, I would throw myself into the arms of my Saviour Jesus, because I know that he loves the Prodigal Son” who returns to him. (Ms C, 36v-37r).
“Trust and Love” are therefore the final point of the account of her life, two words, like beacons, that illumined the whole of her journey to holiness, to be able to guide others on the same “little way of trust and love”, of spiritual childhood (cf. Ms C, 2v-3r; LT 226).
Trust, like that of the child who abandons himself in God’s hands, inseparable from the strong, radical commitment of true love, which is the total gift of self for ever, as the Saint says, contemplating Mary: “Loving is giving all, and giving oneself” (Why I love thee, Mary, P 54/22). Thus Thérèse points out to us all that Christian life consists in living to the full the grace of Baptism in the total gift of self to the Love of the Father, in order to live like Christ, in the fire of the Holy Spirit, his same love for all the others.

Vatican City, 1 October 2012 (VIS) - Made public this morning was the list of witnesses to be called in the trials against Paolo Gabriele and Claudio Sciarpelletti who are accused, respectively, of aggravated theft and complicity.
The witnesses in the criminal trial against Claudio Sciarpelletti are: Msgr. Carlo Maria Polvani, William Kloter, Gianluca Gauzzi Broccoletti and Domenico Giani.
The witnesses in the criminal trial against Paolo Gabriele are: Cristina Cernetti, Giuseppe Pesce, Msgr. Georg Gaenswein, Costanzo Alessandrini, Luca Cinitia, Stefano De Santis, Silvano Carli and Luca Bassetti.
Also made public today was the response to a question raised during a briefing with journalists on 27 September, to the effect that the trial will take place without a "reporting magistrate". In a criminal trial, unlike a civil trial, normally there is no report into the circumstances of the case. The documents published on 13 August when the accused were sent for trial, and the earlier indictment of the promoter of justice, already describe the case in detail.
Vatican City, 30 September 2012 (VIS) - At midday today the Holy Father appeared at the balcony overlooking the inner courtyard of the Apostolic Palace at Castelgandolfo to pray the Angelus with faithful gathered there.
The Pope focused his comments on today’s reading from the Gospel of St. Mark which narrates how a man who was not one of Jesus' disciples expelled demons in His name, The Apostle John wanted to stop him but Christ would not allow it, taking "the opportunity to teach His disciples that God can bring about good and even miraculous things, even outside of their circle, and that one can cooperate with the Kingdom of God in various ways".
"Therefore, members of the Church must not feel jealous, but rejoice if someone from outside the community does good in the name of Christ, provided it is done with right intention and with respect. Even within the Church, it can sometimes happen that people find it difficult to appreciate and recognise, in a spirit of profound communion, the good done by different ecclesial elements. And yet, all of us should always be able to appreciate and respect one another, praising the Lord for the infinite 'imagination' with which He acts in the Church and the world".
Benedict XVI then turned his attention to the Letter of St. James, which inveighs "against the dishonest rich, who put their trust in riches accumulated by deceit. ... The words of the Apostle James, while they warn against the vain desire for material wealth, are also a powerful call to use it in the perspective of solidarity and the common good, always acting with fairness and morality, at all levels".
Vatican City, 30 September 2012 (VIS) - "I follow with affection and concern the affairs of the people in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, who are currently the subject of a high-level meeting at the United Nations. I remain especially close to the refugees, the women and the children who suffer violence and profound hardship because of the persistent armed clashes. I pray to God that peaceful means may be found to open dialogue and protect the innocent, that peace based on justice may return as swiftly as possible; and that the fraternal coexistence of those sorely-tried peoples may be restored, there and throughout the region".
Subsequently, speaking in French, he spoke of the reopening of universities after the summer break, encouraging professors and educators "in their exalted mission to serve young people". He expressed the hope that they would transmit to their students "the pleasure of learning in order to find a job and occupy a place in society. Universities can be places where people experience fraternity. They are places in which God must not be absent. I invite adults always to educate the young in mutual respect, concern for others and the search for God".
Vatican City, 29 September 2012 (VIS) - Yesterday afternoon Benedict XVI bid farewell to the staff of the Apostolic Palace of Castelgandolfo where, as he does every year, he has spent the summer months.
"Everything in this world is transitory", said the Pope. "All things that begin, even the most positive and beautiful things, inevitably encapsulate their own conclusion. So it is for the serene and peaceful time I have spent with you in the beautiful setting of Castelgandolfo where, once again, I have been able to breathe a cordial family atmosphere. ... My affectionate greetings go to all the staff and their families".
The Holy Father went on: "The month of September, which is now behind us, is always a time for restarting after the summer holidays. For your children school has opened, for all of you more intense and assiduous work has begun again. In the Church too, for many Christian communities throughout the world, what God the Father gives us is the time of a new pastoral year which begins. Certain significant events are now upon us: I am thinking of my imminent visit to Loreto by which I wish to recall the fiftieth anniversary of Blessed John XXIII's pilgrimage there during which he entrusted Vatican Council II to the Virgin; I am thinking of the Synod of Bishops which will reflect on new evangelisation in the world and finally of the opening - on the fiftieth anniversary of Vatican Council II - of the Year of Faith which I have called in order to help all men and women open their hearts and lives to the Lord Jesus and the Word of salvation.
"Thus to your prayers, dear friends, do I entrust these important ecclesial events we are called to experience", the Pope added. "May the Virgin Mary, the Church's Mother and ours, whom we trustingly invoke during the month of October with the daily recitation of the Rosary, protect you always", he concluded.
This morning the Holy Father likewise bid farewell to representatives of the civil and religious authorities of Castelgandolfo. The time spent there, he told them "has allowed me to enjoy a period of study, prayer and rest. ... During the summer Castelgandolfo is transformed into a 'second see' of the Bishop of Rome, which competes with the 'first' in its capacity to welcome the visitors and pilgrims who come to pray the Angelus or to attend the Wednesday general audiences".
Vatican City, 29 September 2012 (VIS) - "One of the most important challenges facing the task of evangelisation today is that which is emerging from the digital environment. Pope Benedict XVI calls attention to this particular topic, in the context of the Year of Faith, in his choice of theme for the forty-seventh World Communications Day: 'Social Networks: portals of truth and faith; new spaces for evangelisation'", reads a communique released today by the Pontifical Council for Social Communications.
"The theme suggests a series of important points for reflection. During a time in which technology has emerged as part of the fabric of connectivity of human experiences, such as relationships and knowledge, we need to ask: can it help men and women meet Christ in faith? It is not enough to find an adequate language, but rather, it is necessary to learn how to present the Gospel as the answer to that basic human yearning for meaning and faith, which has already found expression online", the English-language communique says.
"Such an approach, which will serve to create a more dynamic and humane digital world, requires a new way of thinking. It is not simply a question of how to use the internet as a means of evangelisation, but instead of how to evangelise in a context where the lives of people find expression also in the digital arena.
"In particular, we need to be attentive to the emergence and enormous popularity of social networks, which privilege dialogical and interactive forms of communication and relationships.
"World Communications Day, the only worldwide celebration called for by Vatican Council II (Inter Mirifica, 1963), is celebrated in most countries, on the recommendation of the bishops of the world, on the Sunday before Pentecost (12 May in 2013).
"The Holy Father’s message for World Communications Day is traditionally published in conjunction with the Memorial of St. Francis de Sales, patron of writers (January 24)".
Vatican City, 29 September 2012 (VIS) - At 9.30 a.m. today the Tribunal of Vatican City State began its first hearing in the trial of Paolo Gabriele and Claudio Sciarpelletti who are accused, respectively, of aggravated theft and complicity.
The judicial bench is composed of Giuseppe Dalla Torre, president; Paolo Papanti-Pelletier, judge, and Venerando Marano, judge.
The promoter of justice of the Tribunal is Nicola Picardi.
The defence lawyers are Cristina Arru for Paolo Gabriele, and Gianluca Benedetti for Claudio Sciarpelletti.
The accused Gabriele was present at the hearing, the accused Sciarpelletti was represented by his counsel.
The trial is public and is being followed by a pool of journalists: one from the "Osservatore Romano" and one from Vatican Radio, as well as eight others from Italian and foreign media outlets who will take turns in attending the court hearings. According to Vatican Radio, at the end of today's sitting Holy See Press Office Director Fr. Federico Lombardi S.J. held a brief meeting with the press during which he summarised the morning's events.
"One important aspect of the first phase", he said, "was the request made by counsel for Claudio Sciarpelletti to separate the trial against his client from that against Paolo Gabriele, on the grounds that it was not necessary for the two cases to be heard together. The judges accepted his request and therefore the trial against Sciarpelletti will be dealt with after that against Gabriele.
"Counsel for Paolo Gabriele, Cristina Arru raised a series of objections before the proceedings began, regarding the jurisdiction of the Tribunal, the documentation and the evidence thus far presented. Having listened to her requests, the three judges retired for approximately one hour and twenty minutes, then emerged to announce their decision. As I said earlier, they accepted the separation of Sciarpelletti's trial, decreeing that it should take place after Gabriele's. They rejected a number of objections raised by Cristina Arru regarding the jurisdiction of the Tribunal, the validity of the indictment and other elements, while they accepted a series of objections relative to the acquisition of statements, for example those relative to conversations which that took place in the absence of the defence lawyers, and other more specific matters".
"In concluding, the president of the Tribunal announced that the trial would continue with the next hearing, or rather the continuation of this hearing, at 9 a.m. on 2 October. The first item on the agenda will be the deposition and cross examination of Paolo Gabriele, because the accused is the first to speak in the proceedings. The other witnesses who have been called will then come up to depose. The president made it known that other sittings may also be held next week. He spoke of the possibility of four sittings during the course of the week, the desire being to expedite the proceedings. Precise forecasts as to the duration and the conclusion are completely inappropriate because everything obviously depends on the course of the debate".
Vatican City, 1 October 2012 (VIS) - The Holy Father:
- Accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Erfurt, Germany, presented by Bishop Joachim Wanke, in accordance with canon 401 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law.
- Accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Passau, Germany, presented by Bishop Wilhelm Schraml, upon having reached the age limit.
- Appointed Msgr. Giampaolo Rizzotti, official of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, as bureau chief of the same congregation.
On Saturday 29 September it was made public that he:
- Appointed as members of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace: His Beatitude Fouad Twal, patriarch of Jerusalem of the Latins; Archbishop Pedro Ricardo Barreto Jimeno S.J. of Huancayo, Peru; Bishop Yves Boivineau of Annecy, France; Bishop Michele Pennisi of Piazza Armerina, Italy; Bishop Stephan Ackermann of Trier, Germany; Fr. Bonnie Mendes (Pakistan), regional coordinator of Caritas for Asia and executive director of the Society for Human Development; Rodrigo Guerra Lopez (Mexico), director of the Centre for Advanced Social Research; Fayez Georges Nahal (Egypt), accounting and budget director of the Confederation of African Football; Juan Somavia (Chile), director general of the International Labour Organisation; Hania M. Fedorowicz (Austria), director of formation at the Community Based Conflict Resolution Institute; Marie-Madeleine Kalala (Democratic Republic of Congo), lawyer and member of the Panel of the Wise of the African Union; Roza Pati (U.S.A.), professor of law and executive director of degree courses in inter-cultural human rights at the St. Thomas University School of Law in Miami, and Elizabeth Joyce Villars (Ghana), founder of Camelot Ghana Ltd.
- Appointed as consultors of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace: Msgr. Peter Klasvogt (Germany), director of the "Kommende" Institute for Social Studies; Msgr. Martin Schlag (U.S.A.), professor of moral theology at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross; Msgr. Giovanni Manzone (Italy), professor of Church Social Doctrine and moral theology at the Pontifical Lateran University; Fr. Paolo Carlotti S.D.B. (Italy), professor of moral theology at the Pontifical Salesian University; Lawrence Archibald Honny, president of the justice and peace commission of the archdiocese of Cape Coast, Ghana; Paul Murray, director of the Catholic Studies Centre and professor of systematic theology at Durham University, England; Nicolas Michel, professor of international law at the Faculty of Jurisprudence of the University of Geneva, Switzerland; Manfred Spieker, professor of Christian social sciences at the Institute of Catholic Tehology of the University of Osnabruck, Germany, and Takaaki Pio Yasuoka, president of the International Life Commission (International Catholics Organisation of the Media - ICOM), Japan.
- Appointed as members of the Pontifical Council for Migrants and Itinerant Peoples, Bishop Alessandro Carmelo Ruffinoni C.S. of Caxias do Sul, Brazil, and Bishop Vjekoslav Huzjak of Varazdin, Croatia.
- Appointed as consultors of the Pontifical Council for Migrants and Itinerant Peoples, Msgr. Giancarlo Perego, director general of the "Migrantes" foundation of the Italian Episcopal Conference, and Msgr. Giacomo Martini, coordinator of the "Migrantes" office of the archdiocese of Genoa, Italy.
- Appointed Bishop Franco Agostinelli of Grosseto, Italy, as bishop of Prato (area 290, population 206,800, Catholics 191,000, priests 144, permanent deacons 19, religious 284), Italy. He succeeds Bishop Gastone Simoni, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.
- Appointed Msgr. Massimo Camisasca F.S.C.B., superior general of the Missionaries of St. Charles Borromeo, as bishop of Reggio Emilia - Guastalla (area 2,394, population 576,283, Catholics 508,364, priests 308, permanent deacons 88, religious 378), Italy. The bishop-elect was born in Milan, Italy in 1946 and ordained a priest in 1975. Among other roles, he works as a consultor of the Congregation for the Clergy and of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life. He succeeds Bishop Adriano Caprioli, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.
- Appointed Msgr. Joseph E. Strickland of the clergy of the diocese of Tyler, U.S.A., delegate of the apostolic administrator of Tyler and chaplain of the Bishop Gorman Middle and High School, as bishop of Tyler (area 59,472, population 1,464,000, Catholics 68,600, priests 97, permanent deacons 88, religious 67). The bishop-elect was born in Fredericksburg, U.S.A. in 1958 and ordained a priest in 1985. Among other things, he has served as pastor in various parishes and worked as defender of the bond and judicial vicar.


The violence erupted in the south-east of the country, after the release of an "anti-islam" photo on Facebook. Hundreds of homes destroyed. A 250 year old temple destroyed. It is one of the rarest and most violent attacks against the Buddhist community in the country.

Dhaka (AsiaNews / Agencies) - About 25 thousand Muslims set on fire and destroyed 22 Buddhist temples and hundreds of homes in south-eastern Bangladesh, one of the rarest and most violent attacks against the Buddhist community in the country. The violence took place on the night of September 29th and was sparked a photo posted on Facebook, deemed "offensive" against Islam. According to some protesters, a Buddhist in the area posted the image on the social network. For the moment, the authorities have arrested a young man, Uttam Kumar Barua, but it is unclear whether he is really responsible for the having posted the photo. During the disorder, two Hindu temples were also demolished.

The violence has affected dozens of villages of the upazila (sub-districts) of Ramu, Ukhia, Patia and Teknaf (Chittagong Division). The most serious losses were reported in Ramu, where 15 Buddhist temples were razed to the ground and more than 100 houses burnt. It all started around 10 pm (local time), when hundreds of people invaded the area of ​​Choumuhani, staging a protest. The crowd soon swelled, reaching thousands of people and breaking the security cordon of police. Around midnight, people started to spread gunpowder and gasoline, and set fire to temples and homes. Among the places of worship destroyed, there was also the 250 year old temple of Shima Bihar,.

So far police have arrested 26 people for public disorder. According to local authorities, Muslim Rohingya, the Muslim minority originally from Myanmar's Rakhine State, fomented the protests. For months, this community has been a victim of ethnic persecution: the country, in fact, does not recognize the Rohingya as an ethnic group, but considers them illegal immigrants from Bangladesh.

Bangladesh is a Muslim-majority country (90%). With a population of about 161milioni of people, it is one of the poorest nations in the world, but the third largest Islamic state in the world. Hindus are about 9% of the population, Buddhists and Christians, a minority of the small percentage of just 1%. However, the Buddhist community has never experienced violence on this scale.



ABUJA, September 28, 2012 (CISA) -Saudi Arabia ignored protests by the Nigerian government over the deportation of female pilgrims to the holy land as the Saudi authorities deported another batch of 510 Nigerian female pilgrims to this year’s hajj. 171 pilgrims had earlier been deported on Wednesday September 26.
The authorities of Saudi Arabia insisted that the women were unaccompanied by male relations which was considered against laid down rules of the kingdom.
An adamant Saudi Arabia has so far refused to yield any ground to Nigeria on the issue of alleged unaccompanied female pilgrims, in spite of spirited diplomatic efforts by the Federal Government.
An intriguing development was that the husband of one of the female deportees also returned home with his wife, in protest, when the Saudi Authorities refused to clear his wife, even after explaining that he was the husband of the woman.
According to the VANGUARD, a highly placed source at the National Hajj Commission who disclosed this said that the return (in protest) by the male pilgrim in question was an indication that there was more to the stance of the Saudi authorities than meets the eyes.
He said: “On board of the plane bringing the women is also a male pilgrim. He decided to return home with his wife in protest when his explanations and entreaties to the fact that his wife was accompanied fell on deaf ears. That shows clearly that there is more to the issue than meets the eyes”.
President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan constituted a Presidential delegation to interface with the Saudi authorities over the issue surrounding the detained Nigerian female pilgrims at King Abdul-Azziz International Airport, Jeddah.
Senate had asked President Goodluck Jonathan to liaise with the King of Saudi Arabia, King Fahad Abdulaziz to allow over 1, 500 Nigerian female pilgrims stranded in Saudi airport entry into the holy land to perform their hajj.
Meanwhile, the Saudi Arabian Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Khalid Abdrabuh gave an assurance that the controversy over the detention of about 1,200 female Nigerian pilgrims in Saudi Arabia will be resolved.
More than 908 women were detained at the Jeddah Airport while 171 of them were deported to Nigeria on Wednesday.
The Saudi Ambassador explained that the issue of detention of pilgrims who failed to meet entry requirements was not restricted to Nigeria. According to him, some pilgrims from other countries have also been subjected to similar screening on arrival at the Holy Land.
He also hinted that officials of the Saudi Ministry of Hajj were already holding talks with a delegation of the Nigerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Mecca on the issue.
The standoff began when the Saudi Arabian authorities discovered that hundreds of female Nigerian pilgrims were without their statutory male escorts which is a prerequisite to entry into Saudi Arabia.


Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese REPORT
28 Sep 2012

Many will celebrate through music and dance
In the past 20 years the number of Catholic Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders has more than doubled growing from just 62,000 in 1991 to 125,000.
"What is even more exciting is the surge in young people with the average Indigenous Catholic just 21.5 years old," says Craig Arthur, National Administration of NATSICC - the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Catholic Council.
The statistics released today by the Pastoral Research Office of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (ACBC) comes on the eve of NATSICC's four-day Assembly to be held in Melbourne from next week from 1-4 October.

The Assembly, which is held every three years, has already received a large number of registrations from young Indigenous Australians and includes a range of special youth programs including workshops and keynote speakers as part of the four-day program.
"We knew there had been a surge in our young people proclaiming their faith and becoming involved with the Church but I don't think any of us realised the extent to which this has been happening," says Craig.
Surge in numbers of young Indigenous Catholics
Elsie Heiss, respected and admired elder, and Executive Officer of the Archdiocese of Sydney's Aboriginal Catholic Ministry, is looking forward to the vibrancy, energy and enthusiasm young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Catholics will bring to this year's NATSICC Assembly.
"The increasing numbers of young Indigenous people proclaiming their faith and regularly attending Mass is partly due to Sydney's World Youth Day in 2008 and WYD in Madrid last year," she says.
Elsie believes young people feel embraced by the Church and as a result of World Youth Day in Madrid and Sydney, whether they attended or not, they were filled with pride in their faith and no longer shy about proclaiming it.

"It is wonderful to be at Mass at the Church of Reconciliation at La Perouse and look across the pews and see all these young faces," she says.
Native American Sister Kateri Mitchell will address the NATSICC Assembly
For NATSICC and ACMs across the country the findings of the Pastoral Research Office show a fast expanding Church with statistics that are quite outstanding, particularly when compared with statistics for the overall Catholic population.
"The average age of Indigenous Catholics is a little more than 21.5 years while the median age for all Catholics is far higher at 37.6 years of age," says Craig. "The increase in Indigenous Catholics over the past 20 years has also outstripped the overall population and has grown at a rate of 102 % against a national mean for all Catholics of just 2.3%."
NATSICC will have good reason to celebrate at its Assembly next week. But despite the overwhelming increase in numbers of young Indigenous Catholics, it wasn't until the previous NATSICC Assembly of 2009 that part of the program was specifically designed for young people.

"They were a big success and this year we have made sure we have even more activities and workshops for young Catholics," Craig says.
Along with workshops created for young delegates to the Assembly there will be a Youth Mass on Wednesday 3 October and a variety of tours to Melbourne's SCG and the National Sports Museum where Cathy Freeman's famous Olympics 2000 body suit and other mementoes of Indigenous sporting greats are on display.
NATSICC Assembly a celebration of faith, culture, music and dance
More than 50 under 25s are expected at this year's Assembly with contingents of young people flying in from Queensland, NSW, the Northern Territory, Broome and other WA towns and communities, as well as from South Australia.
Taking "Culturally Enriched Through the Gospel" as its theme, the Assembly which will be attended by up to 300 delegates from dioceses and parishes across Australia has a line up of acclaimed national and international speakers.

Sister Kateri Mitchell from the St Regis (Akwesasne Mohawk) Reservation in upstate New York will give one of the keynote addresses. The first Native American woman to be appointed to the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue and in October 2011, Sr Kateri was also one of the 300 delegates representing leaders of Traditional Religions at the 25th Anniversary of the World Day of Prayer for Peace in Assisi.
Indigenous musician, comedian and radio personality Mark Bin Bakar
Miriam-Rose Ungunmerr-Baumann, a trained teacher and art consultant with the Northern Territory Department of Education is another keynote speaker. Miriam-Rose whose primary language is Ngan'gikurunggurr but speaks four other local languages was the driving force behind the establishment of Darwin's Aborginal Women's Centre. She is a talented artist in her own right and active promoter of Aboriginal Culture.
Also addressing the Assembly will be New Zealand's Danny Karatea-Goddard, a member of the Maniapoto, Te Rarawa, Ngapuhi, Ngati Whatua tribal groups, and a member of the working party that translated the new Missal texts into the Maori language. He is also an executive member of the Te Runanga o te Hahi Katorika ki Aotearoa (the New Zealand Maori Catholic Council.)
Others who will be keynote speakers over the four day Assembly include Fr Frank Brennan, social justice advocate and Professor of Law in the Public Policy Institute at the Australian Catholic University and visiting Professional Fellow at the University of NSW; Mark Bin Bakar, the Broome-based Indigenous musician, comedian, radio announcer and host of an SBS television variety show; Lee Malezer of the Butchulla/Gubbi Gubbi peoples of South Western Queensland, Chair of the Foundation for the Aboriginal and Islander Research Action, and delegate to United Nations forums on indigenous issues.
Bishop Christopher Saunders, Bishop of Broome and Chair of the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council will lead a workshop of the Year of Grace with other leading figures in the Indigenous community conducting workshops in Scripture, music to sustain and raise the spirit, painting and healing.
To find out more about NATSICC's 2012 Assembly go to


Agenzia Fides REPORT - The upcoming municipal elections, which will be held on October 7, is "an opportunity to strengthen the Brazilian democracy." The use of violence, which characterizes the campaign in many areas, "is unacceptable: candidates are opponents, not enemies": So says a statement issued by the Council of Bishops of Brazil, gathered in Brasilia from September 25 to 27. According to the Council of Bishops, the next administrative elections "trigger a process of greater participation," approaching candidates and voters.
The Bishops’ note, sent to Fides Agency, said: "The law that fights vote-buying and the law of 'Transparent Paper', both born of popular mobilization (see Fides 17/02/2012, 24/09/2011 and 30/10/2010), have proved to being effective in preventing corrupted people occupying public offices." But, the report says, it is always necessary that every voter exercises "their awareness, both at the moment of voting, and when applying these laws," denouncing candidates and parties involved in illegal practices.
The document, signed by the highest authorities of the Episcopal Conference, warned: "The use of violence is unacceptable: candidates are opponents, not enemies. The division, fueled by hatred and revenge, contradicts the gospel principle of charity and forgiveness and hurts human dignity: It also violates the basic rules of healthy living together in society, which should guide every political militancy. Otherwise, how can one look for the common good, inspiring principle of politics? ".
Brazilian citizens of 5565 the city will be called to the polls on October 7th. According to the Brazilian press, the "Workers Party", currently in power in the country, have a decline in popularity, due to the scandals concerning the alleged vote-buying. The surveys foresee the decline in key cities such as Sao Paulo, Belo Horizonte, Salvador and Recife. (CE) (Agenzia Fides 29/09/2012)


Red Mass at Westminster Cathedral | Red Mass,legal profession, Westminster Cathedral, Bishop John Sherrington,

lawyers at Red Mass
The Red Mass - the annual Mass for the legal profession, was celebrated at Westminster Cathedral by Bishop John Sherrington, Auxiliary Bishop of Westminster, on Monday, 1 October, to mark the start of the new legal year. Judges, lawyers, solicitors and other court staff, dressed in their official wigs and robes - gathered for the service, and attended a reception afterward. During his homily, Bishop Sherrington urged those present to be guided by the cardinal virtues of justice, prudence, temperance and fortitude in serving society.
He said: “We pray today that the Holy Spirit will continue to perfect the virtues in your service of justice. The virtue of justice renders to the other what is due to himself or herself. It protects human dignity so that all are seen and treated as equals. Prudence develops right thinking and right willing about actions so that a balanced judgement may be made. Temperance enables the right appetite towards what is good to be developed so that the passions and emotions are recognised and integrated into one’s character in an appropriate way. Fortitude enables one to act with persistence and determination for the good.”
The Red Mass has always been an important celebration in the legal year. Before the Reformation the Judiciary and legal profession gathered at Westminster Abbey on the first day of the Michaelmas term, and law year, to call upon the Holy Spirit to guide it in its work in the year ahead. This practice stopped during the Reformation but was revived in 1891, and from then until 1904 was celebrated in the Sardinian Chapel, now the Parish church of St Anselm and St Cecilia, Kingsway. In 1904 the Mass was transferred to Westminster Cathedral at the request of Archbishop Bourne (as he was then). Every year since then the tradition has continued at the Cathedral.
The arrangements for the Mass are made each year by the Thomas More Society, whose membership comprises mainly of Catholic members of the Judiciary and Bar as well as solicitors.
Source: Archbishops House


Gospel Lk 9:46-50
An argument arose among the disciples
about which of them was the greatest.
Jesus realized the intention of their hearts and took a child
and placed it by his side and said to them,
"Whoever receives this child in my name receives me,
and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.
For the one who is least among all of you
is the one who is the greatest."

Then John said in reply,
"Master, we saw someone casting out demons in your name
and we tried to prevent him
because he does not follow in our company."
Jesus said to him,
"Do not prevent him, for whoever is not against you is for you."


St. Therese of Lisieux
Feast: October 1
Feast Day:
October 1
January 2, 1873, Alençon, France
September 30, 1897, Lisieux, France
May 17, 1925 by Pope Pius XI
Major Shrine:
Basilique de Sainte-Thérèse, Lisieux, France
Patron of:
AIDS sufferers; aviators; bodily ills; florists; France; illness; loss of parents; missionaries; tuberculosis

The spread of the cult of St. Therese of Lisieux is one of the impressive religious manifestations of our time. During her few years on earth this young French Carmelite was scarcely to be distinguished from many another devoted nun, but her death brought an almost immediate awareness of her unique gifts. Through her letters, the word-of-mouth tradition originating with her fellow-nuns, and especially through the publication of Histoire d'un ame, Therese of the Child Jesus or "The Little Flower" soon came to mean a great deal to numberless people; she had shown them the way of perfection in the small things of every day. Miracles and graces were being attributed to her intercession, and within twenty-eight years after death, this simple young nun had been canonized. In 1936 a basilica in her honor at Lisieux was opened and blessed by Cardinal Pacelli; and it was he who, in 1944, as Pope, declared her the secondary patroness of France. "The Little Flower" was an admirer of St. Teresa of Avila, and a comparison at once suggests itself. Both were christened Teresa, both were Carmelites, and both left interesting autobiographies. Many temperamental and intellectual differences separate them, in addition to the differences of period and of race; but there are striking similarities. They both patiently endured severe physical sufferings; both had a capacity for intense religious experience; both led lives made radiant by the love of Christ.
The parents of the later saint were Louis Martin, a watchmaker of Alencon, France, son of an army officer, and Azelie-Marie Guerin, a lacemaker of the same town. Only five of their nine children lived to maturity; all five were daughters and all were to become nuns. Francoise-Marie Therese, the youngest, was born on January 2, 1873. Her childhood must have been normally happy, for her first memories, she writes, are of smiles and tender caresses. Although she was affectionate and had much natural charm, Therese gave no sign of precocity. When she was only four, the family was stricken by the sad blow of the mother's death. Monsieur Martin gave up his business and established himself at Lisieux, Normandy, where Madame Martin's brother lived with his wife and family. The Guerins, generous and loyal people, were able to ease the father's responsibilities through the years by giving to their five nieces practical counsel and deep affection.
The Martins were now and always united in the closest bonds. The eldest daughter, Marie, although only thirteen, took over the management of the household, and the second, Pauline, gave the girls religious instruction. When the group gathered around the fire on winter evenings, Pauline would read aloud works of piety, such as the Liturgical Year of Dom Gueranger. Their lives moved along quietly for some years, then came the first break in the little circle. Pauline entered the Carmelite convent of Lisieux. She was to advance steadily in her religious vocation, later becoming prioress. It is not astonishing that the youngest sister, then only nine, had a great desire to follow the one who had been her loving guide. Four years later, when Marie joined her sister at the Carmel, Therese's desire for a life in religion was intensified. Her education during these years was in the hands of the Benedictine nuns of the convent of Notre-Dame-du-Pre. She was confirmed there at the age of eleven.
In her autobiography Therese writes that her personality changed after her mother's death, and from being childishly merry she became withdrawn and shy. While Therese was indeed developing into a serious-minded girl, it does not appear that she became markedly sad. We have many evidences of liveliness and fun, and the oral tradition, as well as the many letters, reveal an outgoing nature, able to articulate the warmest expressions of love for her family, teachers, and friends.
On Christmas Eve, just a few days before Therese's fourteenth birthday, she underwent an experience which she ever after referred to as "my conversion." It was to exert a profound influence on her life. Let her tell of it—and its moral effect—in her own words: "On that blessed night the sweet infant Jesus, scarcely an hour old, filled the darkness of my soul with floods of light. By becoming weak and little, for love of me, He made me strong and brave: He put His own weapons into my hands so that I went on from strength to strength, beginning, if I may say so, 'to run as a giant."' An indelible impression had been made on this attuned soul; she claimed that the Holy Child had healed her of undue sensitiveness and "girded her with His weapons." It was by reason of this vision that the saint was to become known as "Therese of the Child Jesus."
The next year she told her father of her wish to become a Carmelite. He readily consented, but both the Carmelite authorities and Bishop Hugonin of Bayeux refused to consider it while she was still so young. A few months later, in November, to her unbounded delight, her father took her and another daughter, Celine, to visit Notre-Dame des Victoires in Paris, then on pilgrimage to Rome for the Jubilee of Pope Leo XIII. The party was accompanied by the Abbe Reverony of Bayeux. In a letter from Rome to her sister Pauline, who was now Sister Agnes of Jesus, Therese described the audience: "The Pope was sitting on a great chair; M. Reverony was near him; he watched the pilgrims kiss the Pope's foot and pass before him and spoke a word about some of them. Imagine how my heart beat as I saw my turn come: I didn't want to return without speaking to the Pope. I spoke, but I did not get it all said because M. Reverony did not give me time. He said immediately: 'Most Holy Father, she is a child who wants to enter Carmel at fifteen, but its superiors are considering the matter at the moment.' I would have liked to be able to explain my case, but there was no way. The Holy Father said to me simply: 'If the good God wills, you will enter.' Then I was made to pass on to another room. Pauline, I cannot tell you what I felt. It was like annihilation, I felt deserted.... Still God cannot be giving me trials beyond my strength. He gave me the courage to sustain this one."
Therese did not have to wait long in suspense. The Pope's blessing and the earnest prayers she offered at many shrines during the pilgrimage had the desired effect. At the end of the year Bishop Hugonin gave his permission, and on April 9, 1888, Therese joined her sisters in the Carmel at Lisieux. "From her entrance she astonished the community by her bearing, which was marked by a certain majesty that one would not expect in a child of fifteen." So testified her novice mistress at the time of Therese's beatification. During her novitiate Father Pichon, a Jesuit, gave a retreat, and he also testified to Therese's piety. "It was easy to direct that child. The Holy Spirit was leading her and I do not think that I ever had, either then or later, to warn her against illusions.... What struck me during the retreat were the spiritual trials through which God wished her to pass." Therese's presence among them filled the nuns with happiness. She was slight in build, and had fair hair, gray-blue eyes, and delicate features. With all the intensity of her ardent nature she loved the daily round of religious practices, the liturgical prayers, the reading of Scripture. After entering the Carmel she began to sign letters to her father and others, "Therese of the Child Jesus."
In 1889 the Martin sisters suffered a great shock. Their father, after two paralytic strokes, had a mental breakdown and had to be removed to a private sanitarium, where he remained for three years. Therese bore this grievous sorrow heroically.
On September 8, 1890, at the age of seventeen, Therese took final vows. In spite of poor health, she carried out from the first all the austerities of the stern Carmelite rule, except that she was not permitted to fast. "A soul of such mettle," said the prioress, "must not be treated like a child. Dispensations are not meant for her." The physical ordeal which she felt more than any other was the cold of the convent buildings in winter, but no one even suspected this until she confessed it on her death-bed. And by that time she was able to say, "I have reached the point of not being able to suffer any more, because all suffering is sweet to me."
In 1893, when she was twenty, she was appointed to assist the novice mistress, and was in fact mistress in all but name. She comments, "From afar it seems easy to do good to souls, to make them love God more, to mold them according to our own ideas and views. But coming closer we find, on the contrary, that to do good without God's help is as impossible as to make the sun shine at night."
In her twenty-third year, on order of the prioress, Therese began to write the memories of her childhood and of life at the convent; this material forms the first chapters of Histoire d'un ame, the History of a Soul. It is a unique and engaging document, written with a charming spontaneity, full of fresh turns of phrase, unconscious self-revelation, and, above all, giving evidence of deep spirituality. She describes her own prayers and thereby tells us much about herself. "With me prayer is a lifting up of the heart, a look towards Heaven, a cry of gratitude and love uttered equally in sorrow and in joy; in a word, something noble, supernatural, which enlarges my soul and unites it to God.... Except for the Divine Office, which in spite of my unworthiness is a daily joy, I have not the courage to look through books for beautiful prayers. . . . I do as a child who has not learned to read, I just tell our Lord all that I want and he understands." She has natural psychological insight: "Each time that my enemy would provoke me to fight I behave like a brave soldier. I know that a duel is an act of cowardice, and so, without once looking him in the face, I turn my back on the foe, hasten to my Saviour, and vow that I am ready to shed my blood in witness of my belief in Heaven." She mentions her own patience humorously. During meditation in the choir, one of the sisters continually fidgeted with her rosary, until Therese was perspiring with irritation. At last, "instead of trying not to hear it, which was impossible, I set myself to listen as though it had been some delightful music, and my meditation, which was the 'prayer of quiet,' passed in offering this music to our Lord." Her last chapter is a paean to divine love, and concludes, "I entreat Thee to let Thy divine eyes rest upon a vast number of little souls; I entreat Thee to choose in this world a legion of little victims of Thy love." She counted herself among these. "I am a very little soul, who can offer only very little things to the Lord."
In 1894 Louis Martin died, and soon Celine, who had of late been taking care of him, made the fourth sister from this family in the Carmel at Lisieux. Some years later, the fifth, Leonie, entered the convent of the Visitation at Caen.
Therese occupied herself with reading and writing almost up to the end of her life. That event loomed ever nearer as tuberculosis made a steady advance. During the night between Holy Thursday and Good Friday, 1896, she suffered a pulmonary haemorrhage. Although her bodily and spiritual sufferings were extreme, she wrote many letters, to members of her family and to distant friends, as well as continuing Histoire d'un ame. She carried on a correspondance with Carmelite sisters at Hanoi, China; they wished her to come out and join them, not realizing the seriousness of her ailment. She had a great yearning to respond to their appeal. At intervals moments of revelation came to her, and it was then that she penned those succinct reflections that are now repeated so widely. Here are three of them that give the flavor of her mind: "I will spend my Heaven doing good on earth." "I have never given the good God aught but love, and it is with love that He will repay." "My 'little way' is the way of spiritual childhood, the way of trust and absolute self-surrender."
A further insight is given us in a letter Therese wrote, shortly before she died, to Pere Roulland, a missionary in China. "Sometimes, when I read spiritual treatises, in which perfection is shown with a thousand obstacles in the way and a host of illusions round about it, my poor little mind soon grows weary, I close the learned book, which leaves my head splitting and my heart parched, and I take the Holy Scriptures. Then all seems luminous, a single word opens up infinite horizons to my soul, perfection seems easy; I see that it is enough to realize one's nothingness, and give oneself wholly, like a child, into the arms of the good God. Leaving to great souls, great minds, the fine books I cannot understand, I rejoice to be little because 'only children, and those who are like them, will be admitted to the heavenly banquet.’"
In June, 1897, Therese was removed to the infirmary of the convent. On September 30, with the words, "My God . . . I love Thee!" on her lips she died. The day before, her sister Celine, knowing the end was at hand, had asked for some word of farewell, and Therese, serene in spite of pain, murmured, "I have said all . . . all is consummated . . . only love counts."
The prioress, Mother Marie de Gonzague, wrote in the convent register, alongside the saint's act of Profession: ". . . The nine and a half years she spent among us leave our souls fragrant with the most beautiful virtues with which the life of a Carmelite can be filled. A perfect model of humility, obedience, charity, prudence, detachment, and regularity, she fulfilled the difficult discipline of mistress of novices with a sagacity and affection which nothing could equal save her love for God...."
The Church was to recognize a profound and valuable teaching in 'the little way'—connoting a realistic awareness of one's limitations, and the wholehearted giving of what one has, however small the gift. Beginning in 1898, with the publication of a small edition of Histoire d'un ame, the cult of this saint of 'the little way' grew so swiftly that the Pope dispensed with the rule that a process for canonization must not be started until fifty years after death. Almost from childhood, it seems, Therese had consciously aspired to the heights, often saying to herself that God would not fill her with a desire that was unattainable. Only twenty-six years after her death she was beatified by Pope Pius XI, and in the year of Jubilee, 1925, he pronounced her a saint. Two years later she was named heavenly patroness of foreign missions along with St. Francis Xavier.
Saint Therese of Lisieux, Virgin. Celebration of Feast Day is October 1.