Monday, October 8, 2012


Luke 10: 25 - 37
25 And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, "Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?"
26 He said to him, "What is written in the law? How do you read?"
27 And he answered, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself."
28 And he said to him, "You have answered right; do this, and you will live."
29 But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?"
30 Jesus replied, "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him, and departed, leaving him half dead.
31 Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him he passed by on the other side.
32 So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.
33 But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was; and when he saw him, he had compassion,
34 and went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; then he set him on his own beast and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.
35 And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, `Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.'
36 Which of these three, do you think, proved neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?"
37 He said, "The one who showed mercy on him." And Jesus said to him, "Go and do likewise."


Our Lady of the Rosary
Our Lady of the Rosary
Our Lady of the Rosary
pinxit O.D.M.

Vatican City, 8 October 2012 (VIS) - The passion for announcing Christ to the world and the knowledge that God acts in the Church were the two key themes of the brief remarks addressed this morning by Benedict XVI to the Synod Fathers at the opening of the thirteenth Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, which is to examine the subject of new evangelisation.
The Pope explained how the question as to whether God is real is as urgent today as it was in the past. With the Gospel God broke His silence, He spoke to us and entered into history. Jesus is His Word, the God Who showed that He loved us, Who suffered with us even unto death, then rose again.
This, the Holy Father went on, is the Church’s response to that great question. Yet there is another question: how to communicate this truth to the men and women of our time, that they might learn of salvation? "We cannot make the Church", he said, "we can only make known what He did. The Church did not begin with our actions but with the actions and word of God".
Having recalled how the Apostles received the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, while gathered in prayer in the Upper Room, Benedict XVI went on: "The fact, then, that each synodal assembly begins with prayer is no mere formality; rather, it is evidence of our awareness that the initiative is always God's: we may implore it, but the Church can only cooperate with God".
Having achieved this awareness, the second step is "confession"; that is, bearing witness even in dangerous situations. It is precisely such witness in moments of difficulty that is a guarantee of credibility, because it implies a readiness to give our lives for that in which we believe.
Yet, confession requires a visible form, a 'clothing'. This, the Pope explained, is charity; the most powerful force, which must burn in the hearts of Christians. Faith, he concluded, must become a flame of love within us, a flame which burns in our lives and is propagated to our neighbours. This is the essence of evangelisation.
Vatican City, 8 October 2012 (VIS) - Given below is the text of a communique released today by the Holy See Press Office in response to an article which appeared in the Italian daily "Il Messaggero", concerning alleged irregularities in the Fabric of St. Peter's, which administers the Vatican Basilica.
"Regarding an article which appeared in 'Il Messaggero' on 8 October 2012, entitled 'The Fabric of St. Peter's: combing through the accounts', the Holy See Press Office having duly acquired the relevant information, states:
"(1) There is no pending dossier lying on the desk of the Secretary of State concerning the accounts of the Fabric of St. Peter's.
"(2) All the accounts of the Fabric of St. Peter's have been submitted for examination by the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See, and have always been approved by the Secretariat of State.
"(3) The article in question is entirely misinformed".
Vatican City, 7 October 2012 (VIS) - This morning in St. Peter's Square, Benedict XVI proclaimed St. John of Avila and St. Hildegard of Bingen as Doctors of the Universal Church. He then went on to preside at a Eucharistic celebration during which he inaugurated the thirteenth Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, the theme of which is "The New Evangelisation for the Transmission of the Christian Faith". The Mass was concelebrated by the Synod of Fathers and by the presidents of the German and Spanish episcopal conferences.
"Evangelisation always has as its starting and finishing points Jesus Christ, the Son of God", said the Pope in his homily. "And the Crucified One is the supremely distinctive sign of he who announces the Gospel: a sign of love and peace, a call to conversion and reconciliation".
"The Church exists to evangelise", he went on. "Faithful to the Lord Jesus Christ’s command, His disciples went out to the whole world to announce the Good News, spreading Christian communities everywhere. With time, these became well organised Churches with many faithful. ... Even in our own times, the Holy Spirit has nurtured in the Church a new effort to announce the Good News, a pastoral and spiritual dynamism which found a more universal expression and its most authoritative impulse in the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council. Such renewed evangelical dynamism produces a beneficent influence on the two specific 'branches' developed by it, that is, on the one hand the 'Missio ad Gentes' or announcement of the Gospel to those who do not yet know Jesus Christ and His message of salvation, and on the other the new evangelisation, directed principally at those who, though baptised, have drifted away from the Church and live without reference to Christian life.
"The Synodal Assembly which opens today is dedicated to this new evangelisation, to help these people encounter the Lord, Who alone fills existence with deep meaning and peace; and to favour the rediscovery of the faith, that source of grace which brings joy and hope to personal, family and social life".
The Holy Father then turned his attention to the theme of marriage, which was the subject of today's Gospel and first reading, noting that it "deserves special attention", because "it invites us to be more aware of a reality, already well known but not fully appreciated: that matrimony is a Gospel in itself, a Good News for the world of today, especially the de- Christianised world. The union of a man and a woman, their becoming 'one flesh' in charity, in fruitful and indissoluble love, is a sign that speaks of God with a force and an eloquence which in our days has become greater because unfortunately, for various reasons, marriage, in precisely the oldest regions evangelised, is going through a profound crisis. And it is not by chance. Marriage is linked to faith, but not in a general way. Marriage, as a union of faithful and indissoluble love, is based upon the grace that comes from the Triune God, Who in Christ loved us with a faithful love, even to the Cross. ... There is a clear link between the crisis in faith and the crisis in marriage. And, as the Church has said and witnessed for a long time now, marriage is called to be not only an object but a subject of the new evangelisation".
Before then going on to refer to the newly proclaimed Doctors of the Church, the Pope reminded the faithful that "one of the important ideas of the renewed impulse that Vatican Council II gave to evangelisation is that of the universal call to holiness, which in itself concerns all Christians. The saints are the true actors in evangelisation in all its expressions. ... Holiness is not confined by cultural, social, political or religious barriers. Its language, that of love and truth, is understandable to all people of good will and it draws them to Jesus Christ, the inexhaustible source of new life.
"At this point", he added, "let us pause for a moment to appreciate the two saints who today have been added to the elect number of Doctors of the Church. St. John of Avila lived in the sixteenth century. A profound expert on the Sacred Scriptures, he was gifted with an ardent missionary spirit. He knew how to penetrate in a uniquely profound way the mysteries of the redemption worked by Christ for humanity. A man of God, he united constant prayer to apostolic action. He dedicated himself to preaching and to the more frequent practice of the Sacraments, concentrating his commitment on improving the formation of candidates for the priesthood, of religious and of lay people, with a view to a fruitful reform of the Church.
"St. Hildegard of Bingen, an important female figure of the twelfth century, offered her precious contribution to the growth of the Church of her time, employing the gifts received from God and showing herself to be a woman of brilliant intelligence, deep sensitivity and recognised spiritual authority. The Lord granted her a prophetic spirit and fervent capacity to discern the signs of the times. Hildegard nurtured an evident love of creation, and was learned in medicine, poetry and music. Above all, she maintained a great and faithful love for Christ and the Church.
"This summary of the ideal in Christian life, expressed in the call to holiness, draws us to look with humility at the fragility, even sin, of many Christians, as individuals and communities, which is a great obstacle to evangelisation and to recognising the force of God that, in faith, meets human weakness. Thus, we cannot speak about the new evangelisation without a sincere desire for conversion".
Benedict XVI concluded by entrusting the work of the Synod "to God, sustained by the communion of saints, invoking in particular the intercession of great evangelisers, among whom, with much affection, we ought to number Blessed John Paul II, whose long pontificate was an example of the new evangelisation".
Vatican City, 7 October 2012 (VIS) - Before praying the Angelus this morning, Benedict XVI recalled that the traditional annual "supplication", in which thousands of faithful around the world participate, is taking place today at the Italian shrine of Pompei, dedicated to Our Lady of the Rosary.
"As we too spiritually unite ourselves to that choral invocation, I would like to invite everyone to cherish the Rosary during the forthcoming Year of Faith. With the Rosary, in fact, we allow ourselves to be guided by Mary, the model of faith, in meditating upon the mysteries of Christ, and day after day we are helped to assimilate the Gospel so that it can shape our lives. Therefore, in the wake of my predecessors, and in particular Blessed John Paul II who ten years ago gave us his Apostolic Letter 'Rosarium Virginis Mariae', I invite people to pray the Rosary individually, in the family and in the community, placing themselves in the school of Mary who leads us to Christ, the living centre of our faith".
Vatican City, 6 October 2012 (VIS) - The Tribunal of Vatican City State today delivered the following sentence in the trial of Paolo Gabriele, who is accused of aggravated theft.
The accused Paolo Gabriele is declared "guilty of the offence under article 404 paragraph 1/1 of the Criminal Code, for abusing the trust inherent in relationships deriving from his professional responsibilities, and stealing items which - by virtue of those relationships and on the basis of the trust placed in him - were left unattended and in full view.
"For this reason the Tribunal sentences him to prison for a period of three years.
"Pursuant to article 26 of the Law of 21 June 1969, in view of the accused's lack of a criminal record, his record of service in the period prior to the facts in question, the subjective (though mistaken) belief identified by the accused as the motive for his conduct, as well as his own statement of his awareness of having betrayed the trust of the Holy Father, the Tribunal reduces the sentence to imprisonment for one (1) year and six (6) months, and orders the guilty party to defray the costs of the trial.
"Signed: Giuseppe Dalla Torre, president; Paolo Papanti-Pelletier; Venerando Marano, and Raffaele Ottaviano, substitute registrar".
Vatican City, 6 October 2012 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in audience:
- Cardinal Marc Ouellet P.S.S., prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.
- Cardinal Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.
Vatican City, 6 October 2012 (VIS) - The Holy Father:
- Accepted the resignation from the office of auxiliary of the diocese of Sandomierz, Poland, presented by Bishop Edward Frankowski, upon having reached the age limit.
- Appointed Msgr. Charles J. Scicluna of the clergy of Malta, Malta, promoter of justice at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, as auxiliary of the archdiocese of Malta (area 246, population 412,970, Catholics 388,970, priests 671, religious 1,291). The bishop-elect was born in Toronto, Canada in 1959 and ordained a priest in 1986. Having studied in Malta and in Rome, he worked as defender of the bond and promoter of justice at the metropolitan tribunal of Malta. He was also active in education and in the pastoral care of various parishes.
- Appointed Archbishop Henryk Jozef Nowacki, apostolic nuncio to Sweden and Iceland, also as apostolic nuncio to Denmark.


Lord Alton: 'Time to challenge conspiracy of silence about abortion' | David Alton, abortion

David Alton
Jeremy Hunt's announcement that he would favour a reduction in the abortion upper time limit to twelve weeks was as welcome as it was brave.
The reactions have ranged from the incandescent response of the Shadow Home Secretary, Yvette Cooper who said she was "chilled and appalled" to the equally predictable response of the Shadow Health Minister, Diane Abbott, that she was "staggered" and that it was "playing politics with people's lives."

What is truly staggering is that so little is said about abhorrent laws which permit the phenomenal loss of unborn life in this country - around 600 every working day; 189,574 in the past year and on track for 7 million since legalisation of abortion in 1967 -only 143 of which were undertaken where the mother's life was at risk. 98% of all British abortions are done under the Abortion Act's social clause - nothing to do with the hard cases with which we are regularly regaled. And abortion has become routine with 48,000 people having more than one abortion- some as many as eight.

In the case of disability, eugenic abortion is permitted up to and even during birth -recent figures revealing that 90% of babies with Down's Syndrome are now killed in the womb. There were recently calls for "after birth abortion" allowing unwanted or sick babies to die rather than treat them in our NHS Hospitals. There have even been abortions simply on the grounds of a little girl's gender - justified by some by some as a perfectly reasonable choice-driven decision. This is an unethical, impoverished, and inhumane defence of child destruction.
Against this backdrop the conspiracy of silence and manipulation of debate is indefensible. Our duty should always be to show compassion for the pregnant woman, perhaps abandoned or frightened, feeling she has been left with no choice, but we must also show compassion for the unborn child too.
It is now twenty four years since, in 1988, I laid a Bill before Parliament to reduce the upper time limit from 28 weeks to 18 weeks - and I pointed out at the time that the average European Union time limit then was around 12 weeks - and that remains the case. It is the UK which is out of step and Mr.Hunt is right to say so.
In a vote which I called in 1988 I was supported by 296 MPs, a majority of Members of the House of Commons - but the Bill was talked out by opponents.
Twenty four years ago I told Parliament that "Every country and every age will be judged by the simple test: how did they treat their people?" and I reminded the House of Commons what actually happens in the abortions in the private clinics which so many defend, and where most abortions take place (at a cost to British taxpayers of last year of £118 million, £75 million of which went to the private clinics):
"There is a chance that when prostaglandins is used in an abortion the child will be born alive. To avoid this a child is usually poisoned before the abortion. Because this is a long-drawn-out business, the method of late abortion used in private clinics is primarily dilatation and evacuation. By this method, the cervix is dilated and the baby's body removed piece by piece. To facilitate its extraction from the womb, the skull is crushed, the spine snapped and the body removed piece by piece. An attendant nurse then has the job of reassembling the body to ensure that nothing has been left behind that might cause infection. Throughout this procedure no anaesthetic is used on the child."
What is truly "appalling" and "chilling" Ms.Cooper, is that we permit such barbarism and that two decades later we still try to stifle any open debate about what is permitted behind the closed doors of these private clinics. In many political circles support for these laws has become a principal test for political sponsorship and advancement. Such intolerance has extended into the medical profession with two midwives recently taken to Court because they say that they didn't wish to be involved in such procedures. Where here is respect for freedom of conscience - let alone the sacredness of life?
In 1988 I told the House of Commons, and it remains true today that:
"By 18 weeks, a foetus is not just a clump of tissues, not just a blob of jelly. The child has sentience and can feel pain. If a light is shone at its mother's womb, the child will react and turn away. The child has a complete skeleton and reflexes. It pumps 50 pints of blood a day. A report "Human Procreation - Ethical Aspects of the New Techniques", published by the Council for Science and Society - certainly not a body supporting my view-states that pain is experienced after the foetus has developed a nervous system, six weeks after pregnancy being the earliest."
I cited Dr Peter McCullagh, an eminent immunologist, who reported that research on foetal nervous systems showed that pain could be felt at eight or nine weeks, and perhaps earlier. He said that babies could be in agony during abortions.
Over twenty years ago a nurse wrote to me spelling out the realities of abortion:
"Sometimes the foetus lives for a few minutes though the harsh contractions caused by the drugs have usually battered it to death. I don't know which is worse, those done in theatre, where you see the uterine contents being sucked into a bottle, or seeing the bruised bodies of these always perfectly formed foetuses in a receiver on the wall."
This is a corrupting and degrading business for the medical staff who become the destroyers instead of the defenders of life.

The Health Secretary is right to have spoken out and right that there is a moral case for reducing the time limit. It is not he who should be asked to defend his remarks but those who defend what is permitted.


Cardinal to Attend  Synod on the New Evangelisation in RomeCatholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
5 Oct 2012

Archbishop of Sydney Cardinal George Pell will join bishops from around the world in Rome this weekend for the opening of the Synod on the New Evangelisation for the Transmission of Christian Faith.
The Synod, which runs until 22nd October, will discuss key themes including the importance of the family and the transmission of faith and also the media and how the Christian faith can be spread in a digital media culture.
A working document for the Synod has been prepared in four chapters and will serve as the basis of reflection and discussion.
The first chapter is dedicated to a discovery of the heart of evangelisation: the experience of Christian faith - the encounter with Jesus Christ, God the Father's Gospel to humanity, which transforms us, gathers us together and introduces us, through the gift of the Spirit, to a new life, already experienced by us in the present in our feeling gathered as the Church.
The second chapter seeks to focus attention on discerning the changes which affect how we live our faith and which influence our Christian communities. The reasons for spreading the idea of the new evangelisation are then evaluated as well as the different ways the many particular Churches feel involved.
The third chapter treats the basic places, means, persons and activities in the transmission of the Christian faith - the liturgy, catechesis and works of charity - and how, in the process of transmission, the faith needs to be professed, celebrated, lived and prayed.
The fourth and final chapter discusses areas of pastoral activity, specifically those dedicated to the proclamation of the Gospel and the transmission of faith.


by Mathias Hariyadi
It is a local version of the event launched by John Paul II in 1985. The days scheduled are from October 20-26 in Sanggau Diocese, in West Kalimantan. Each diocese will be represented by 100 youth, accompanied by priests and laity. A delegation of young people from neighboring Malaysia.

Jakarta (AsiaNews) - Catholics in Indonesia are preparing to celebrate the first edition of the Indonesian Youth Day (IYD), scheduled for October 20-26, 2012 in the diocese of Sanggau, province of West Kalimantan, the Indonesian part of Borneo Island, one of the most remote and secluded areas of the archipelago. The event will include at least 100 youth representing each of the 37 dioceses into which the country is subdivided, accompanied by priests and lay guides as heads of mission. There will also be a large and lively Malaysian delegation from Sabah and Serawak, the two states in Borneo under the administration of Kuala Lumpur.

For young people it is a historic event that marks the beginning of an event that will touch - every four years - all the dioceses in Indonesia. As emphasized by Katanalius, a Christian from Sanggau, it will take "another 148 years before the diocese can host another event like this." Even if he won't be able to be present in the first row in the celebrations "due to the large number of people," said the young man to AsiaNews, he added that "my heart will be united with the other young people of IYD."

The vast majority of participants will have to make a long trip to the diocese, called to host the days. The motto chosen for this first event - and already used for the XXVI World Youth Day in Madrid - is "Rooted and built up in Jesus Christ, firm in the faith" (Col 2:7), and is taken from a passage from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Colossians. Many activists and students have contributed to the organization of an event that will last six days and will focus on the value of life and the Catholic faith in the current social context, with particular reference to natives of the Kalimantan ethnic group.

The highlight will be the Mass, concelebrated by the bishops and priests present, plus moments of encounter, reflection and prayer. Events which address not only the Christian faith, catechism, the Gospel and mission, but also touch on current topics such as ecology, a sustainable world, cultural events and stories related to experiences of faith.

The day dedicated by the Indonesian Church to the youth is a local version of the international appointment launched by Pope John Paul II in 1985 and celebrated for the first time in Rome in March of the following year. The next round of World Youth Day is scheduled for the end of July 2013 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.



ONITSHA, October 5, 2012 (CISA) -Jubilee is a period of rejoicing and thanksgiving to God, a time to take stock, a time to look back on the past, a time of renewal and a time to recall the initial zeal, purpose, vision and mission and begin again, forgetting all the mistakes associated with youthful exuberance and forging ahead with courage.
Speaking in a sermon on Sunday September 30 to thousands of the faithful at the Basilica of the Most Holy Trinity in Onitsha, Nigeria to mark the foundation of the sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Archbishop Valerian Okeke recalled that the Jubilee was designated by God himself as a year of favour when injuries and hurts are forgiven, freedom granted to captives and slaves and special prayers are offered for and by the people.
Archbishop Okeke said that for an Institution, Diamond jubilee is only a foundation, an opportunity for the Institution to lay a solid foundation which would sustain it for the many years ahead.
Archbishop Okeke asked the Immaculate Heart Sisters to rediscover the initial vision and mission of their Father Founder, Archbishop Charles Heerey who is also his predecessor; and to rediscover the zeal and sacrifices of the Foundation members, who embraced the religious life when it was a taboo to do so in most parts of Nigeria.
“Keeping such memories alive would assist the Congregation to justify the sacrifices of the past and achieve the dream and aspirations of Archbishop Heerey,” he added.
Addressing the crowd, the Superior General, Rev. Mother Claude Oguh remarked that the age 75 is a mature age, a time of stocktaking and a time to “take a deep breath and forge ahead”.
She thanked all who had come to participate in the celebrations and also those who had come to witness how the sisters are determined to continue their journey of faith in God, “As we bear prophetic witness in a world that is in dire need of authentic and courageous prophets.”
For the IHM Sisters, it has been along week marked with various activities which include symposium, sports, a day with the elderly, a day with the youth, mission exhibition, a day with their fathers and mothers in faith, planting of diamond trees etc.
The congregation was founded in 1937 by an Irish Archbishop who served the people of Nigeria till his death in 1967. So far, there are over 900 sisters working in 11 countries.


Agenzia Fides REPORT - Hugo Chávez Frías, with 54.42% of the vote (according to the local press) won the presidential election, whereas Henrique Capriles, managed to obtain 44.97%. Hugo Chávez was re-elected president and will hold the post until 2019.
The Catholic Church had asked the population to participate actively in the elections, with the hope of one day of peace and without violence (see Fides 28/09/2012). The Rector of the Basilica of Our Lady of Chiquinquirá, in Maracaibo, Father Eleuterio Cuevas said on Saturday, October 6, that "whoever is elected President in the elections, will be formally invited to the Mass in honor of Our Lady of Chiquinquirá to be held on November 18".
The invitation is significant because the ceremony will commemorate 303 years of the discovery of the image of the Morena Queen of Venezuelans, and will be presided over by Mgr. Ulises Gutierrez, Archbishop of Ciudad Bolivar. On this occasion we will recall the 70th anniversary of Our Lady of Chiquinquirá; there will be 25 Bishops and many priests from all over the country. The devotion to the "Virgen Chinita" is extremely felt in all Venezuelan people and dates back to 1700. (CE) (Agenzia Fides 08/10/2012)


St. Pelagia
Feast: October 8
Feast Day:
October 8

She was a tender virgin at Antioch, only fifteen years of age when she was apprehended by the persecutors in 311. Being alone in the house, and understanding that their errand was to carry her before the judge, where her chastity might be in danger, she desired leave of the soldiers to go up stairs and dress herself. But fearing to be an innocent occasion to others' sin, threw herself from the top of the house, and died on the spot by her fall: in which action, says St. Chrysostom, she had Jesus in her breast inspiring and exhorting her. She probably hoped to escape by that means; and might lawfully expose her life to some danger for the preservation of her chastity; but nothing will ever make it lawful for any one directly to procure his own death.
Whoever deliberately lays violent hands upon himself is guilty of a heinous injury against God, the Lord of his life, against the commonwealth, which he robs of a member, and of that comfort and assistance which he owes to it; also against his friends, children, and lastly against himself, both by destroying his corporeal life, and by the spiritual and eternal death of his soul; this crime being usually connected with final impenitence, and eternal enmity with God, and everlasting damnation. Nor can a name be found sufficiently to express the baseness of soul, and utmost excess of pusillanimity, impatience, and cowardice, which suicide implies. Strange that any nation should, by false prejudices, be able so far to extinguish the most evident principles of reason and the voice of nature, as to deem that an action of courage which springs from a total want of that heroic virtue of the soul. The same is to be said of the detestable practice of duels. True fortitude incites and enables a man to bear all manner of affronts, and to undergo all humiliations, dangers, hardships, and torments, for the sake of virtue and duty. What is more contrary to this heroic disposition, what can be imagined more dastardly, than not to be able to put up a petty affront and rather to offend against all laws divine and human, than to brook an injury or bear a misfortune with patience and constancy, than to observe the holy precept of Christ, who declares this to be his favorite commandment, the distinguishing mark of his followers, and the very soul of the divine law! Mention is made of a church at Antioch, and another at Constantinople, which bore the name of this saint in the fifth century.