Monday, November 12, 2012


Vatican City, 12 November 2012 (VIS) - This morning the Holy Father visited the Sant Egidio Community's "Viva gli Anziani" rest home for the elderly in Rome. In a brief address to the residents he said that he came among them "as Bishop of Rome, but also as an elderly person visiting his peers. I well know the difficulties and limitations of age, and am aware that for many people these difficulties are aggravated by the economic crisis".
"At times", he continued, "at a certain age, one turns to the past with regret for the loss of youth, its energy and plans for the future. At times our perspective is veiled with sadness, as we consider this phase as the twilight of life. This morning, ideally addressing all the elderly and aware of the difficulties that our age brings, I would like to say to you with profound conviction: it is good to be elderly! At every age it is necessary to know how to discover the presence and the blessing of the Lord, and the richness that this brings. We must not allow ourselves to be imprisoned by sadness! We have received the gift of long life. To live is beautiful, even at our age and despite infirmities or limitations. Let our faces always reflect the joy of being loved by God, and never sadness".
The Holy Father recalled that in the Bible, "longevity is considered as a blessing from God; today this blessing is widespread and must be seen as a gift to appreciate and value. Yet often society, dominated by the logic of efficiency and profit, does not welcome it as such; on the contrary, it often rejects it, considering the elderly as unproductive and useless". However, the Pope observed, the elderly are a source of wisdom and "a great resource. The quality of a society, of a civilisation, may also be judged by how it treats its elderly and by the place reserved for them in communal life. To give space to the elderly is to give space to life!"
Benedict XVI's visit forms a part of the European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity Among Generations, and in this context he affirmed that the elderly "are of value to society, above all for the young. There can be no true human education and growth without fruitful contact with the elderly, because their very existence is like an open book in which younger generations may find valuable guidance for their own journey through life".
"At our age", he observed, "we often experience the need for the assistance of others, and this also happens to the Pope. ... I would like to invite you to see in this too a gift from the Lord. It is a grace to be supported and accompanied, to receive the affection of others! This is important in every phase of life: no one can live alone and without help; humans are relational beings. … Never be discouraged: you are valuable to society, even in suffering and sickness. And this phase of life is a gift that also allows us to deepen our relationship with God. The example of Blessed Pope John Paul II was and remains illuminating to all. Do not forget that, among the valuable resources you have, there is the essential gift of prayer".
"The prayer of the elderly can protect the world, helping it perhaps in a more incisive way than is achieved by the efforts of many. I would like, today, to entrust to your prayer the good of the Church and peace in the world. The Pope loves you and counts on you all! Know that you are loved by God, and bring to our society, often so individualistic and intent upon efficiency, a ray of God's love".
Vatican City, 11 November 2012 (VIS) - At midday, Benedict XVI appeared at the window of his studio to pray the Angelus with faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square. He commented on this Sunday's liturgy of the Word, which presents two widows as examples of faith: one in the First Book of Kings, the other in the Gospel of Mark.
"Both these women are very poor, and it is precisely in this condition that they demonstrate their great faith in God. The first widow appears in the cycle of narratives on the prophet Elijah. During a period of famine he receives an order from the Lord to go to Sidon, therefore outside Israel and in pagan territory. There he encounters a widow and asks her for some water to drink and a little bread. The woman answers that all she has is a handful of flour and a drop of oil, but since the prophet insists and promises her that, if she listens to him, she will no longer lack flour and oil, she grants his request and is rewarded. The second widow, from the Gospel, is noticed by Jesus in the temple of Jerusalem, in the treasury where the people offer contributions. Jesus sees that this woman throws two coins into the chest and then calls the disciples to Him, explaining that her offering is greater than that given by the rich as, while they gave what was superfluous to them, she gave all she had to live on".
These two biblical episodes offer us "valuable teaching on faith", said the Pope. "The faith is presented as the interior attitude of one who bases his or her own life on God, on the Word, and who confides fully in Him. To be a widow, in ancient times, constituted in itself a condition of grave need. Thus, in the Bible, widows and orphans are people of whom God takes particular care; although they have lost their means of subsistence on earth, God remains as their Spouse or their Father. However, the Scriptures state that the objective condition of need, in this case the fact of being a widow, is not enough: God always asks us to adhere willingly to faith, which is expressed as love for Him and for one's neighbour. No one is so poor that they are unable to give something. And indeed, both these widows show their faith in an act of charity: one towards the prophet and the other in giving alms. They therefore demonstrate the indivisible unity of faith and charity, which is like that between love for God and love for neighbour".
The Pope concluded by recalling the words of St. Leo the Great, "No act of kindness is meaningless before God, no mercy is fruitless".
Vatican City, 11 November 2012 (VIS) - After praying the Angelus, the Pope recalled how yesterday in Spoleto, Italy, Maria Luisa Prosperi, an Italian abbess of the Benedictine convent of Trevi who lived in the nineteenth century, was declared a blessed. "Let us praise God for this His daughter, who chose to dedicate her life to the Passion of Christ", he said.
Going on then to refer to the Day of Thanksgiving, which is being celebrated today in Italy, he observed: "In the context of the Year of Faith, the theme of this Day - 'Trust in the Lord and do good, so you will live in the land' - reminds us of the need for a lifestyle rooted in the faith so that, with a grateful heart, we may recognise the creative and provident hand of God which nourishes His children. My greetings and best wishes to all who work in agriculture".
The Holy Father also had words for Polish pilgrims. "The Feast of Independence which is being celebrated today in Poland, commemorates the faith of your forefathers, your history and the strength of spirit of recent generations. On these foundations build the prosperity of your nation. Today, moreover, I support the prayers which - at the initiative of the Aid to the Church in Need - you are offering for Christians in Egypt on this Day of Solidarity with the Persecuted Church".
Finally, the Pope greeted participants in a congress on Fr. Teilhard de Chardin, which has been held over recent days at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome.
Vatican City, 10 November 2012 (VIS) - "Sacred music can support faith and contribute to new evangelisation", said the Pope to members of the "Santa Cecilia" Italian musical association gathered in Rome.
In his address to the group, Benedict XVI, noting that this event coincides with the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of Vatican Council II and the proclamation of the Year of Faith, spoke at length about the teachings of the Conciliar Constitution on the liturgy, and in particular the part referring to sacred music.
He said, "on the subject of the faith, our thoughts naturally tend towards St. Augustine, … and the important role in his conversion played by psalms and hymns in the liturgies presided by St. Ambrose. If indeed faith is born of listening to the Word of God - listening not only with the senses, but also allowing the passage from the senses to the mind and the heart - there is no doubt that music and above all song are able to confer greater communicative power to psalms and canticles. Among the charisms of St. Ambrose was a notable musical capacity and sensibility and, following his consecration as bishop of Milan, he dedicated this gift to the service of faith and evangelisation".
Benedict XVI observed that "the Constitution 'Sacrosanctum Concilium', in accordance with the tradition of the Church, teaches that 'sacred song united to the words ... forms a necessary or integral part of the solemn liturgy'. Why 'necessary' and 'integral'? Certainly not for purely aesthetic reasons, in a superficial sense, but because by virtue of beauty, it contributes to nurturing and expressing faith, and therefore to the glory of God and the sanctification of the faithful, which are the aims of sacred music. Music … is not solely an accessory to or external embellishment of the liturgy, but is itself liturgy".
Referring to the relationship between sacred song and new evangelisation, the Pope remarked that the Conciliar Constitution on the liturgy reminds us of "the importance of sacred music in the 'missio ad gentes' and exhorts us to give due recognition to traditional forms of music. But it is precisely in countries of ancient evangelisation … that sacred music, with its great tradition belonging to our western culture can, and indeed does, have an important role to play in encouraging the rediscovery of God, a renewed approach to the Christian message and the mysteries of faith".
The Pope recalled the example of the poet Paul Claudel, whose conversion occurred while he listened to the 'Magnificat' during Christmas Vespers at the Cathedral of Notre-Dame in Paris. "But, such illustrious cases aside, let us consider how many hearts have been deeply touched by listening to sacred music, and how many, like Claudel, have been newly drawn to God by the beauty of liturgical music". Benedict XVI urged the members of the association to "make efforts to improve the quality of liturgical song, to recover and promote the great musical tradition of the Church, that finds two of its most exalted expressions in Gregorian chant and polyphony".
"The active participation of all the People of God in the liturgy cannot consist only of speaking, but also of listening, welcoming the Word with the senses and the spirit, and this is true also of sacred music".
Vatican City, 10 November 2012 (VIS) - By the Motu Proprio "Latina lingua" published today, Benedict XVI has established the Pontifical Academy for Latin, which will be part of the Pontifical Council for Culture. The new academy will be directed by a president assisted by a secretary, to be appointed by the Pope, and will comprise an academic council. It will supersede the foundation "Latinitas", established by Paul VI with the Chirograph "Romani Sermonis" of 30 June 1976.
"The Latin language", says the Pope in his Motu Proprio, "has always been held in high regard by the Catholic Church and the Roman pontiffs, who have promoted the knowledge and diffusion of the language by making it their own, able to universally transmit the message of the Gospel, as was authoritatively confirmed by my predecessor Blessed John XXIII in the Apostolic Constitution 'Veterum sapientia'.
"Since the Pentecost the Church has spoken and prayed in all languages known to humanity; however, the Christian communities of the first centuries made extensive use of Greek and Latin, languages of universal communication in the world in which they lived, thanks to which the novelty of the Word of Christ encountered the heritage of Hellenistic-Roman culture. After the fall of the western Roman empire the Church of Rome not only continued to use Latin, but in a certain sense also became its custodian and promoter in the theological and liturgical fields, as well as in education and the transmission of knowledge.
"In our times too, knowledge of Latin language and culture remains as necessary as ever for the study of the sources of numerous ecclesiastical disciplines including, among others, theology, liturgy, Patristics and canon law, as confirmed by Vatican Council II. Furthermore, the 'editio typica' of the liturgical books of the Roman Rite, the most important documents of the pontifical Magisterium and the most solemn Acts of the Roman pontiffs are written in Latin, precisely to emphasise the universal nature of the Church.
"However, in contemporary culture, within the context of a generalised deterioration in humanistic studies, we see the danger of an increasingly superficial knowledge of Latin, which may also be detected in the philosophical and theological studies of future priests. On the other hand, in our world in which science and technology are so prominent, we also find renewed interest in the Latin language and culture, and not only in those continents with Greco-Roman cultural roots. This interest seems particularly significant inasmuch as it is present not only in academic and institutional environments, but also involves young people and scholars from very different nations and traditions.
"There is therefore an apparent pressing need to encourage commitment to a greater knowledge and more competent use of Latin, in the ecclesial environment as well as in the world of culture at large. To give prominence and resonance to this effort, it is important to adopt teaching methods adapted to contemporary conditions, and to promote a network of relationships between academic institutions and among scholars with the aim of promoting the rich and varied heritage of Latin civilisation".
The Holy Father concludes by saying that, "in order to contribute to the achievement of these aims, and following in the wake of my venerated predecessors, with the present Motu Proprio I today establish the Pontifical Academy for Latin".
By this Motu Proprio the Pope approves the statute of the new academy "ad experimentum" for a five-year period.
Vatican City, 10 November 2012 (VIS) - Cardinal Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, has sent a message to the new Archbishop of Canterbury and Primate of the Anglican Communion, the Right Reverend Justin Welby. Writing on behalf of Pope Benedict XVI and of his own dicastery, the cardinal expresses his "congratulations and warmest best wishes.
"Relations between the Roman Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion are a hugely important part of the ecumenical call for all Christians to seek greater fidelity to the Lord’s will, so clearly expressed in his prayer to the Father at the Last Supper 'that all may be one'. For almost fifty years, as you are well aware, there has been a formal theological dialogue which continues to seek a deeper understanding of the great heritage shared by Anglicans and Catholics, as well as the points of divergence which still impede fully restored ecclesial communion. During that same time, relations between succeeding Popes and Archbishops of Canterbury have been marked by numerous meetings which have expressed intense spiritual and human friendship, and a shared concern for our Gospel witness and service to the human family.
"I am certain that under your leadership those excellent relations will continue to bear fruit, and I look forward to meeting you personally, and to future opportunities to share our common commitment to the cause of Christian Unity, 'so that the world may believe'.
"Please accept the assurance of my earnest prayers for you and your family as you prepare for a new phase in your dedicated service of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ".
Vatican City, 10 November 2012 (VIS) - This morning the Tribunal of Vatican City State published its ruling in the trial against Claudio Sciarpelletti, the computer technician employed by the Secretariat of State implicated in the "Vatileaks" case.
The Tribunal, pursuant to Article 225 of the Penal Code, ruled that the defendant was "guilty of the offence of assisting in the elusion of the investigations by the Authorities" and "therefore sentences him to prison for four months".
"Pursuant to Article 26 of the Law of 21 June 1969, in view of the accused's service record and lack of previous convictions, the Tribunal reduces the sentence to imprisonment for two (2) months". Pursuant to Article 90 of the same law, the Tribunal "orders the suspension of the sentence for a period of five years, according to the conditions of law". In the light of Article 427 of the Penal Code, the Tribunal orders the suspension of "mention of the sentence on the record of previous offences until such time as the accused commits further offence".
"Pursuant to Articles 39 of the Penal Code and 429 of the Code of Penal Procedure", the Tribunal "orders Claudio Sciarpelletti to defray the costs of the trial and reimburses him the sum of one thousand euros he had deposited as bail".
"Signed: Giuseppe Dalla Torre, president; Paolo Papanti-Pelletier; Venerando Marano, and Raffaele Ottaviano, substitute registrar".
Vatican City, 10 November 2012 (VIS) - Made public today was a Letter, written in Latin and dated 10 October, in which the Holy Father appoints Cardinal Carlos Amigo Vallejo O.F.M., archbishop emeritus of Seville, Spain, as his special envoy to concluding celebrations for the fifth centenary of the arrival of the first bishop of Puerto Rico, Don Alonso Manso O.F.M. The event is due to take place in the city of San Juan, Puerto Rico, on 19 November.
The Cardinal will be accompanied on his mission by Msgr. Elias Salvador Morales Rodriguez, rector of the major seminary and judicial vicar of the diocese of Ponce, and Msgr. Mario Alberto Guijarro de Corzo, paster of the parish of the "Martires de Verona" in San Juan de Puerto Rico.
Vatican City, 10 November 2012 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in audience:
- Cardinal Marc Ouellet P.S.S., prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.
- Archbishop Richard William Smith of Edmonton, Canada, president of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of Canada, accompanied by Archbishop Paul-Andre Durocher of Gatineau and Msgr. Patrick Powers, respectively vice president and secretary general.
Vatican City, 12 November 2012 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Msgr. Fortunatus Nwachukwu, chief of protocol at the Secretariat of State, as apostolic nuncio to Nicaragua. The bishop-elect was born in Ntigha, Nigeria in 1960 and ordained a priest in 1984. He entered the diplomatic service of the Holy See in 1994 and has served, among other places, in Ghana, Paraguay and Algeria.
On Saturday 10 November the Holy Father:
- Appointed Cardinal Paul Poupard, president emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Culture, as his special envoy to the concluding celebrations of the Jubilee Year dedicated to the Venerable Servant of God Pauline Jaricot on the 150th anniversary of her death, and the fiftieth anniversary of her Decree of heroic virtue, to be held in Lyons, France, on 9 January 2013.
- Appointed Bishop Carlos Maria Franzini of Rafaela, Argentina as bishop of Mendoza (area 63,839, population 1,226,000, Catholics 1,042,000, priests 165, permanent deacons 54, religious 276), Argentina. He succeeds Bishop Jose Maria Arancibia, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.
- Appointed Msgr. Serge Poitras, under secretary for the Congregation of Bishops, as bishop of Timmins (area 26,200, population 89,300, Catholics 48,900, priests 24, permanent deacons 7, religious 20), Canada. The bishop-elect was born in Jonquiere, Quebec in 1949 and ordained a priest in 1973. He obtained a doctorate in theology from the Gregorian Pontifical University in 1988 and in 2000 became a collaborator in the apostolic nunciature in Ottawa.
- Appointed Fr. P. Quesnel Alphonse S.M.M., of the clergy of the diocese Port-au-Prince, Haiti, pastor of the parish of "Saint-Louis, Roi di France", as auxiliary bishop of the same diocese (area 5,500, population 4,110,000, Catholics 2,960,000, priests 274, permanent deacons 1, religious 1,635). The bishop-elect was born in Port-au-Prince in 1949 and ordained a priest in 1977. He has served in various pastoral offices in the archdiocese of Cap-Haitien and the dioceses of Port-de-Paix and Port-au-Prince.
- Appointed Archbishop Tommaso Caputo, apostolic nuncio to Malta and Libya, as prelate of Pompei, Italy, and pontifical delegate for the Shrine of the Blessed Virgin Mary of the Holy Rosary.
- Appointed Ivano Dionigi and Fr. Roberto Spataro S.D.B., respectively, as president and secretary of the Pontifical Academy for Latin.


In honor of the YEAR OF FAITH - JCE news will be showing some of the TOP Catholic movies of all time. Tune in for the next PART of St. Bernadette of Lourdes- tomorrow.



Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York,
president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB)

Address given at the USCCB General Assembly Fall meeting on November 12, 2012.

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My brother bishops,
Yes, we have "a lot on our plate" as we commence our meeting, urgent issues very worthy of our solicitude as pastors -- the suffering in vast areas not far from here caused by the Hurricane of two weeks ago, the imperative to the New Evangelization, the invitation offered by the Year of Faith, and our continued dialogue, engagement, and prophetic challenge to our culture over urgent issues such as the protection of human life, the defense of marriage, the promotion of human dignity in the lives of the poor, the immigrant, those in danger from war and persecution throughout the world, and our continued efforts to defend our first and most cherished freedom -- all issues calling for our renewed and enthusiastic commitment.
But I stand before you this morning to say simply: first things first. We gather as disciples of, as friends of, as believers in Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, "the Way, the Truth and the Life," who exhorted us to "seek first the Kingdom of God."
We cannot engage culture unless we let Him first engage us; we cannot dialogue with others unless we first dialogue with Him; we cannot challenge unless we first let Him challenge us.
The Venerable Servant of God, Fulton J. Sheen, once commented, "The first word of Jesus in the Gospel was 'come'; the last word of Jesus was 'go'."
Fifty years ago, on October 11, 1962, Blessed John XXIII courageously convened the Second Vatican Council "the greatest concern of which," he insisted, "is that the sacred deposit of Christian doctrine should be guarded and taught more efficaciously." (Allocution on the occasion of the opening of the Second Vatican Council, Gaudet mater ecclesia).
We gather for our plenary assembly in our nation's premiere see, at the close of the XIII Ordinary General Synod of Bishops, still near the beginning of the Year of Faith. Both occasions have the same origin, the same goal expressed by Blessed John XXIII: the effective transmission of the faith for the transformation of the world.
A year ago we began our visits ad limina Petri et Pauli. I know you join me in expressing deep gratitude for the extraordinary affection, warmth and fraternal care with which our Holy Father welcomed us.
But Pope Benedict did not stop with his gracious hospitality. No. He also gave us plenty of fatherly advice --for our ministry as pastors of the Church and our personal role in the New Evangelization.
Here's an especially striking example from his first ad limina address: "Evangelization," the Successor of St. Peter noted, ". . . appears not simply a task to be undertaken ad extra; we ourselves are the first to need re-evangelization. As with all spiritual crises, whether of individuals or communities, we know that the ultimate answer can only be born of a searching, critical and ongoing self-assessment and conversion in the light of Christ's truth."
As we bishops at the just concluded Synod of Bishops confessed in our closing message:
"We, however, should never think that the new evangelization does not concern us as Bishops personally. In these days voices among the Bishops were raised to recall that the Church must first of all heed the Word before she can evangelize the world. The invitation to evangelize becomes a call to conversion."
"We Bishops firmly believe that we must convert ourselves first to the power of Jesus Christ who alone can make all things new, above all our poor existence. With humility we must recognize that the poverty and weaknesses of Jesus' disciples, especially us, his ministers, weigh on the credibility of the mission. We are certainly aware – we bishops first of all – that we can never really be equal to the Lord's calling and mandate to proclaim His Gospel to the nations. We… do not hesitate to recognize our personal sins. We are, however, also convinced that the Lord's Spirit is capable of renewing His Church and rendering her garment resplendent if we let Him mold us." (Final Message of the Synod of Bishops to the People of God, October 28, 2012)
The New Evangelization reminds us that the very agents of evangelization – you and me -- will never achieve that abundant harvest Blessed John XXIII described unless we are willing and eager to first be evangelized themselves. Only those themselves first evangelized can then evangelize. As St. Bernard put it so well, "If you want to be a channel, you must first be a reservoir."
I would suggest this morning that this reservoir of our lives and ministry, when it comes especially to the New Evangelization, must first be filled with the spirit of interior conversion born of our own renewal. That's the way we become channels of a truly effective transformation of the world, through our own witness of a penitential heart, and our own full embrace of the Sacrament of Penance.


"To believers also the Church must ever preach faith and penance," declared the council fathers in the very first of the documents to appear, Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy. (SC, n. 9)
​To be sure, the sacraments of initiation - -Baptism, Confirmation, the Eucharist - - charge, challenge, and equip the agents of evangelization. Without those sacraments, we remain isolated, unredeemed, timid and unfed.
​But, the Sacramentof Reconciliation evangelizes the evangelizers, as it brings us sacramentally into contact with Jesus, who calls us to conversion of heart, and allows us to answer his invitation to repentance -- a repentance from within that can then transform the world without.
​What an irony that despite the call of the Second Vatican Council for a renewal of the Sacrament of Penance, what we got instead was its near disappearance.
​We became very good in the years following the Council in calling for the reform of structures, systems, institutions, and people other than ourselves.That, too, is important; it can transform our society and world. But did we fail along the way to realize that in no way can the New Evangelization be reduced to a program, a process, or a call to structural reform; that it is first and foremost a deeply personal conversion within? "The Kingdom of God is within," as Jesus taught.
​The premier answer to the question "What's wrong with the world?" "what's wrong with the church?" is not politics, the economy, secularism, sectarianism, globalization or global warming . . .none of these, as significant as they are. As Chesterton wrote, "The answer to the question 'What's wrong with the world?' is just two words:'I am,'"
I am! Admitting that leads to conversion of heart and repentance, the marrow of the Gospel-invitation. I remember the insightful words of a holy priest well known to many of us from his long apostolate to priests and seminarians in Rome, Monsignor Charles Elmer, wondering aloud from time to time if, following the close of the Council, we had sadly become a Church that forgot how to kneel.If we want the New Evangelization to work, it starts on our knees.
Remember a few years back, when Cardinal Cahal Daly led us in our June retreat? Speaking somberly of the Church in his home country, he observed, "The Church in Ireland is in the dirt on her knees." Then he paused, and concluded, "Maybe that's where the Church is at her best."
We kneel in the Sacrament of Penance because we are profoundly sorry for our faults and our sins, serious obstacles to the New Evangelization. But then we stand forgiven, resolute to return to the work entrusted to us - as evangelizers of the Gospel of Mercy.
I recall a conversation about a year ago with one of our brother bishops, newly ordained, attending his first plenary assembly. I asked his impressions of the meeting. "Well organized, informative, enjoyable," he replied, but he went on to observe that it was one moment in particular that had the greatest impact on him. It was during our closing Holy Hour, as he entered the large room next to the chapel, to see dozens and dozens of bishops lined up to approach the Sacrament of Penance. This new Bishop told me that he felt that moment had more of an influence upon him than anything else at the meeting.
Who can forget the prophetic words of repentance from Blessed John Paul II, during the Great Jubilee, as he expressed contrition –publically and repeatedly - for the sins of the past? He mentioned the shame of the slave trade, the horrors of the holocaust, the death and destruction wrought by the crusades, the injustices of the conquest of the new world, and the violence of religious wars, to name only a few.
I remember during the celebration of the 50th International Eucharistic Congress in Ireland last June, when Cardinal Marc Ouellet, the Papal Legate, expressed this so forcefully as he spoke on behalf of the Holy Father at the penitential shrine of St. Patrick's Purgatory: "I come here with the specific intention of seeking forgiveness, from God and from the victims, for the grave sin of sexual abuse of children by clerics. . . In the name of the Church, I apologize once again to the victims, some of which I have met here in Lough Derg."
And so it turns to us, my brothers. How will we make the Year of Faith a time to renew the Sacrament of Penance, in our own loves and in the lives of our beloved people whom we serve? Once again, we will later this week approach the Sacrament of Penance.
And we'll have the opportunity during this meeting to approve a simple pastoral invitation to all our faithful to join us in renewing our appreciation for and use of the Sacrament. We will "Keep the Light On" during the upcoming Advent Season!
The work of our Conference during the coming year includes reflections on re-embracing Friday as a particular day of penance, including the possible re-institution of abstinence on all Fridays of the year, not just during Lent. Our pastoral plan offers numerous resources for catechesis on the Sacrament of Penance, and the manifold graces that come to us from the frequent use of confession. Next June we will gather in a special assembly as brother bishops to pray and reflect on the mission entrusted to us by the Church, including our witness to personal conversion in Jesus Christ, and so to the New Evangelization.
We work at giving our people good examples of humble, repentant pastors, aware of our own personal and corporate sins, constantly responding to the call of Jesus to interior conversion. Remember the Curé of Ars? When a concerned group of his worried supporters came to him with a stinging protest letter from a number of parishioners, demanding the bishop to remove John Vianney as their curé, claiming he was a sinner, ignorant, and awkward, St. John Vianney took the letter, read it carefully ... and signed the petition!


As I began my talk this morning, my brothers, so I would like to end it, with Blessed John XXIII.
It was the Sunday angelus of October 28, 1962.The message the Holy Father delivered on that bright Roman afternoon never even mentions the phrase New Evangelization.But it strikes right at the heart of the mission entrusted to each of us as shepherds.
"I feel something touching my spirit that leads to serenity," Good Pope John remarked. "The word of the Gospel is not silent.It resonates from one end of the world to the other, and finds the way of the heart. Dangers and sorrows, human prudence and wisdom, everything needs to dissolve into a song of love, into a renewed invitation, pleading all to desire and wish for the establishment of the Kingdom of Christ. A kingdom of truth and life; a kingdom of holiness and grace; a kingdom of justice, love and peace."
How could we not see it alive in those holy men and women of every time and place, the heroic evangelizers of our faith, including most recently St. Kateri Tekakwitha and St. Marianne Cope?
We have beheld it in the Church's unrelenting corporal and spiritual works of mercy, in the heroic witness of persecuted Christians, in the Church's defense of unborn human life, the care of our elders and the terminally ill, advocacy for the unemployed, those in poverty, our immigrant brothers and sisters, victims of terror and violence throughout our world, of all faiths and creeds, and in our defense of religious freedom, marriage and family.
And, I have suggested today, that as we "come and go" in response to the invitation of Jesus, we begin with the Sacrament of Penance.This is the sacrament of the New Evangelization, for as Pope Benedict reminds us, "We cannot speak about the new evangelization without a sincere desire to conversion." (Homily for the Opening of the XIII Ordinary General Synod of Bishops).

With this as my presidential address, I know I risk the criticism. I can hear it now: "With all the controversies and urgent matters for the Church, Dolan spoke of conversion of heart through the Sacrament of Penance. Can you believe it?"
To which I reply, "You better believe it!"
First things first!


Vatileaks computer analyst convicted | papal butler, laudio Sciarpelletti, Paolo Gabriele, Vatileaks

View from St Peters - pic ICN
A Vatican court has convicted a Holy See computer technician of helping the former papal butler access confidential papal documents. Claudio Sciarpelletti, 48, received a two month suspended sentence on Saturday for his part in the leak of information which formed the core of an Italian journalist's book alleging corruption in high ranks of the Vatican bureaucracy.
Last month, the papal butler Paolo Gabriele, was convicted in a separate trial for the theft of the documents from the papal apartment. He is now serving an 18-month prison sentence in Vatican City.
Gabriele and Sciarpelletti are the only Vatican employees to be formally investigated in the case. Vatican press officer Fr Federico Lombardi told reporters after the verdict that investigations are continuing, but he did not say whether there were any more suspects.
Judge Giuseppe Dalla Torre cited Sciarpelletti's long years of service at the Vatican and ordering the criminal conviction not to appear on his record.


Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
12 Nov 2012

At night thanks to state of the art lighting the Outdoor Nativity is equally spectacular
The installation of the outdoor Nativity in Cathedral Square will begin on Wednesday this week and will be completed by the first Sunday of Advent on 2 December when the Archbishop of Sydney, Cardinal George Pell will bless the life-size recreation of Christ's birth.
Erecting the Nativity with its hand-painted three-panel backdrop, covered manger and the 12 beautifully-crafted resin figures of the Holy Mother, Joseph, the Christ child, the Angel Gabriel, the three Kings, shepherds and livestock usually takes about two weeks.
"But with Sydney's unpredictable weather the installation can end up as a race against time," says Dieter Koch, Property Officer for the Archdiocese of Sydney, and recalls how last year's storms and heavy rain dogged the installation and had construction workers, electricians and the rest of the team working around the clock when the weather finally cleared.
Installed in the forecourt of St Mary's Cathedral, this open air Nativity is beloved by Sydneysiders and signifies Christmas not only to Catholics but to people of all faiths or even no faith at all.

The Nativity's 12 life size figures were crafted by ecclesiastical artists in Italy
A treasured tradition for Sydney families, school children and tourists, the Archdiocese's life-size open air Nativity has an extra special meaning for students from five Catholic secondary schools as well as past and present students at Burwood's Southern Cross Catholic Vocational College.
In 2011, after more than five years in use, the original backdrop of the Nativity painted by Sydney artist Tony Johansen had suffered from exposure and the city's high summer temperatures along with normal wear and tear, and needed replacing. But instead of turning to professionals, the Archbishop of Sydney Cardinal George Pell was keen to employ the talents, vision and enthusiasm of young people from the city's systemic Catholic schools.
John Charadia, Creative Arts Advisor at the Catholic Education Office (CEO) embraced the Cardinal's suggestions and invited visual art classes at different schools across the Archdiocese to participate. Those first off the mark were chosen and in April last year under John's guidance, students from Marist Sisters College, Woolwich; Freeman Catholic High School at Bonnyrigg; Kingsgrove's St Ursula's College; Auburn Trinity Catholic College and De La Salle College, Carringbah met for the first time to discuss the design and their vision for the new backdrop.

The Navity in Cathedral Square is a beloved tradition for Catholics and non Catholics alike
Using a hall in Carringbah, the students not only worked on the backdrop during their visual art classes during school hours, but also volunteered their time and skills at weekends under the supervision of John Charadia and professional painter, Wanda Grein, who frequently helps John at artist retreats.
From a theme they developed entitled "Light of Hope" the young art students created a brilliant and spectacular backdrop for 12 life-size figures that were created in Italy 2005 by the Demetz family, renowned ecclesiastical artists since the 16th century.
Students from Burwood's Southern Cross Catholic Vocational College then stepped in and created a very handsome fence made of cypress to surround and protect the Nativity while on display in the Cathedral forecourt.
"In previous years the Nativity was surrounded by a series of street barriers as a form of protection but now, thanks to the students at Southern Cross, we have our very own and very handsome beautifully-made fence," Dieter Koch reports.

John Charadia with some of the students who helped paint the backdrop of the Cathedral's outdoor Nativity
Along with the backdrop and custom-designed fence, both of which were seen for the first time last year, the Nativity also boasts a new state-of-the-art electrical lighting system, thanks to the generous donation and support given by Damian Fogarty, Managing Director of LED Safe. With the new lighting, the Nativity will delight at night as much as it is enjoyed by day.
While outdoor Nativities have long been popular in Europe but it is believed that Sydney's magnificent outdoor recreation of the Nativity is an Australian first.
An initiative of Cardinal Pell, the recreation of the Nativity in Cathedral Square has not only become a beloved pre-Christmas tradition but in the midst of the city's bustling commercialised of the season, stands as a potent reminder to tourists and residents alike of the true meaning of Christmas, when God gave His only son, Our Saviour, as a gift to the world.


Opposition demands probe after 27 are killed reporter, Colombo
Sri Lanka
November 12, 2012
Catholic Church News Image of Inmates die in prison riot ‘massacre’
Inmates were seen rioting on the roof after stealing weapons (photo by Romesh)
A shootout at a prison in Colombo which started on Friday night has left people 27 people dead and 59 injured, in what the opposition is calling a “massacre” by the military.
Violence erupted at Welikada Prison when inmates armed themselves by breaking into the armory ahead of a search for narcotics and communication devices, according to officials.
Dozens of prisoners were later seen holding weapons on the roof as back-up was called in from the Special Taskforce (STF), a division of the military.
After tear gas was used, the STF then opened fire, according to reports.
Sri Lanka’s opposition has condemned the incident, calling it illegal.“The international charter on prisons has been violated by allowing the STF to search the prison,” said opposition party Secretary General Tissa Attanayake. “Pay compensation to the families.”
The government appears to have heeded calls for an inquiry, although it remains unclear who would lead it. Minister of Rehabilitation and Prison Reforms Chandrasiri Gajadeera said he has appointed a committee to investigate, without giving further information.
The Army is enforcing “special security arrangements” at the prison while authorities try to regain full control.
Security forces have recovered nearly all of the 82 weapons stolen by prisoners, said Commissioner General of Prisons P.W. Kodippili, who also confirmed that three prisoners remain on the loose.
Sri Lanka has seen a wave of violence in its prisons in recent years.
In January, clashes at Welikada left 28 people injured and similar attackstook place there in 2010. In a revolt at another facility in June, two inmates died and human rights groups accused guards of beating prisoners to death.
Reports claimed those that died were linked to the Tamil Tigers, the insurgent group defeated by the army in 2009 after years of civil war.


Agenzia Fides REPORT - In Luanda, Angola, there are many children who sleep in the streets, in deserted houses or in parks, inhale gasoline to try to cope with hunger and to give themselves courage to survive on the streets. Thanks to a new initiative of the Salesian missionaries, for some of these young children a new life begins.
We are talking about the St. Kizito home, a reception center that functions as a day and night center. Children can wash themselves, eat, play and sleep. At the moment there are 600 children and young people, and every week more than 250 adolescents go to the center. In Angola there are thousands of children who abandon their families or who are orphaned and end up on the streets.
"Open your arms so that no one takes a step back" is the motto of this new center. (AP) (Agenzia Fides 12/11/2012)


Titus 1:
1 - 9

1 Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to further the faith of God's elect and their knowledge of the truth which accords with godliness,
2 in hope of eternal life which God, who never lies, promised ages ago
3 and at the proper time manifested in his word through the preaching with which I have been entrusted by command of God our Savior;
4 To Titus, my true child in a common faith: Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.
5 This is why I left you in Crete, that you might amend what was defective, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you,
6 if any man is blameless, the husband of one wife, and his children are believers and not open to the charge of being profligate or insubordinate.
7 For a bishop, as God's steward, must be blameless; he must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain,
8 but hospitable, a lover of goodness, master of himself, upright, holy, and self-controlled;
9 he must hold firm to the sure word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to confute those who contradict it.
Psalms 24: 1 - 6
1 The earth is the LORD's and the fulness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein;
2 for he has founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the rivers.
3 Who shall ascend the hill of the LORD? And who shall stand in his holy place?
4 He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false, and does not swear deceitfully.
5 He will receive blessing from the LORD, and vindication from the God of his salvation.
6 Such is the generation of those who seek him, who seek the face of the God of Jacob. [Selah]
Luke 17: 1 - 6
1 And he said to his disciples, "Temptations to sin are sure to come; but woe to him by whom they come!
2 It would be better for him if a millstone were hung round his neck and he were cast into the sea, than that he should cause one of these little ones to sin.
3 Take heed to yourselves; if your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him;
4 and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, and says, `I repent,' you must forgive him."
5 The apostles said to the Lord, "Increase our faith!"
6 And the Lord said, "If you had faith as a grain of mustard seed, you could say to this sycamine tree, `Be rooted up, and be planted in the sea,' and it would obey you.


Feast: November 12
Feast Day:
November 12
1580 at Volodymyr, Lithuania (modern Ukraine)
12 November 1623 at Vitebsk, Belarus
Patron of:

Josaphat is one of those figures in history caught in a web of controversy where even good people find it hard to keep their heads. He was caught in a battle between Catholic and Orthodox, Latin and Byzantine, and found himself criticized and opposed on every side: by the Orthodox for being Catholic and by the Latins for being Byzantine. He held firmly to Catholic unity against the Orthodox and just as firmly to Byzantine rights against the Latins. At that period of history, it was a no-win situation, and he is the great martyr to the cause of unity.
St. Josaphat was born in Lithuania about 1580 into a Catholic family and early promoted Catholic unity in a country divided between Orthodox and Catholic. He entered the Byzantine monastery of Holy Trinity in Vilna in 1604 and was elected Catholic archbishop of Polotsk in 1614. While clinging firmly to unity with Rome, he firmly opposed those Latins who saw unity only in Latin terms and would suppress Byzantine traditions in the name of Catholic unity. He firmly opposed the Latinization of his people and made enemies and severe critics among the Latin clergy of Poland.
Politically, the Catholic and Orthodox clergy were rivals in Lithuania, and the archbishopric of Polotsk was one of the contested sees. An Orthodox archbishop of Polotsk was appointed, and Josaphat was accused of taking office invalidly. Many of his Byzantine Catholics were won over to allegiance to Orthodoxy. Even the king of Poland wavered in his support of Josaphat, especially when Polish bishops accused him of betraying his faith by not Latinizing his diocese.
One of the hotbeds of trouble in Josaphat's diocese was Witebsk, and in November of 1623 he went there to bring about peace in his flock, preaching in the churches and trying to reconcile differences. On November 12, a mob broke into the house where he was staying, shouting hatred and violence. When he confronted them, he was struck in the head with a halberd and shot. His mangled body was dragged out and thrown into the river. He was canonized by Pope Pius IX in 1867.
Thought for the Day: It is important to say that there was a martyr for unity on the Orthodox side as well, and even good men were uncertain where truth and justice lay. St. Josaphat died working for reconciliation, and peacemakers often find themselves hated by both sides. It is part of the risk of being a true follower of Christ.
From 'The Catholic One Year Bible': What is faith? It is the confident assurance that something we want is going to happen. It is the certainty that what we hope for is waiting for us, even though we cannot see it up ahead. Men of God in days of old were famous for their faith.—Hebrews 11:1-2