Monday, November 26, 2012


Vatican City, 26 November 2012 (VIS) - This morning in the Vatican's Paul VI Hall the Holy Father received the new cardinals created in the consistory of Saturday 24 November, and their families.
The Pope noted how the consistory had been characterised by "moments of intense prayer and deep communion, experienced in the awareness that it was an event concerning the entire universal Church, called upon to be a sign of hope for all peoples".
Then, speaking in English, he stated that "whether in the offices of the Roman Curia or in their ministry in the local Churches throughout the world, cardinals are called to share in a special way the Pope's solicitude for the universal Church".
He then addressed the new cardinal, Bechara Boutros Rai, patriarch of Antioch of the Maronites, expressing his wish to encourage "the life and the presence of Christians in the Middle East, where they should be able to live their faith freely", and he made a fresh appeal for peace in the region. "The Church encourages every effort to promote peace in the world and in the Middle East - peace that will be effective only if it is based on authentic respect for others", he said.
He then spoke in Spanish to Colombian faithful and the new cardinal, Ruben Salazar Gomez, archbishop of Bogota, encouraging them to "move forward in peace and harmony along the paths of justice, reconciliation and solidarity".
Finally, in Italian, he invited the cardinals to pursue their "spiritual and apostolic mission, looking always to Christ", and to strengthen their "love for the Church. We can learn this love from the saints, who are the truest fulfilment of the Church: they loved her and, allowing themselves to be modelled by Christ, dedicated their lives fully to ensuring that all mankind be illuminated by the light of Christ that shines from the face of the Church".
Vatican City, 25 November 2012 (VIS) - At 9.30 a.m. today in St. Peter's Basilica, Benedict XVI presided at the concelebration of the Eucharist with the six new cardinals created in yesterday's consistory. At the beginning of Mass, Cardinal James Michael Harvey, archpriest of the papal Basilica of St. Paul Outside-the-Walls, greeted the Pope on behalf of all the new cardinals.
Following are some extracts from the homily given by Holy Father:
"In this final Sunday of the liturgical year, the Church invites us to celebrate the Lord Jesus as King of the Universe. She calls us to look to the future, or more properly into the depths, to the ultimate goal of history, which will be the definitive and eternal kingdom of Christ. ... In the Gospel passage which we have just heard … Pilate asks Jesus, 'Are you the King of the Jews?' In reply to this question, Jesus clarifies the nature of His kingship and His Messiahship itself, which is not worldly power but a love which serves".
"Jesus clearly had no political ambitions. After the multiplication of the loaves, the people, enthralled by the miracle, wanted to take Him away and make Him their king, in order to overthrow the power of Rome and thus establish a new political kingdom which would be considered the long-awaited kingdom of God. But Jesus knows that God’s kingdom is of a completely different kind; it is not built on arms and violence. The multiplication of the loaves itself becomes both the sign that He is the Messiah and a watershed in His activity: henceforth the path to the Cross becomes ever clearer; there, in the supreme act of love, the promised kingdom, the kingdom of God, will shine forth. … Jesus … does not wish to be defended by arms, but ... to establish His kingdom not by armed conflict, but by the apparent weakness of life-giving love. The kingdom of God is a kingdom utterly different from earthly kingdoms.
"That is why, faced with a defenceless, weak and humiliated man, as Jesus was, a man of power like Pilate is taken aback. ... So he asks an apparently odd question: 'So you are a king?' ... But Jesus answers in the affirmative: 'You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth. Every one who is of the truth hears my voice'. Jesus speaks of kings and kingship, yet He is not referring to power but to truth. … Jesus came to reveal and bring a new kingship, that of God; He came to bear witness to the truth of a God Who is love, Who wants to establish a kingdom of justice, love and peace. Whoever is open to love hears this testimony and accepts it with faith, to enter the kingdom of God.
"We find this same perspective in the first reading we heard. The prophet Daniel foretells the power of a mysterious personage set between heaven and earth. … This vision of the prophet, a messianic vision, is made clear and brought to fulfilment in Christ: the power of the true Messiah, the power which will never pass away or be destroyed, is not the power of the kingdoms of the earth which rise and fall, but the power of truth and love".
"In the second reading, the author of the Book of Revelation states that we too share in Christ’s kingship. … Here too it is clear that we are speaking of a kingdom based on a relationship with God, with truth, and not a political kingdom. By His sacrifice, Jesus has opened for us the path to a profound relationship with God: in Him we have become true adopted children and thus sharers in His kingship over the world. To be disciples of Jesus, then, means not letting ourselves be allured by the worldly logic of power, but bringing into the world the light of truth and God’s love. ... It is a pressing invitation addressed to each and all: to be converted ever anew to the kingdom of God, to the lordship of God, of Truth".
"To you, dear and venerable Brother Cardinals - I think in particular of those created yesterday - is entrusted this demanding responsibility: to bear witness to the kingdom of God, to the truth. This means working to bring out ever more clearly the priority of God and His will over the interests of the world and its powers. Become imitators of Jesus, who, before Pilate, in the humiliating scene described by the Gospel, manifested His glory: that of loving to the utmost, giving His own life for those whom He loves. This is the revelation of the kingdom of Jesus".
Vatican City, 25 November 2012 (VIS) - At midday today, following his concelebration of the Eucharist with the new cardinals, the Holy Father appeared at the window of his study to recite the Angelus with faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square. The Pope began by recalling that the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, which closes the liturgical year, "summarises the mystery of Jesus, 'first born from the dead and the ruler of all the powers of the earth'".
"The entire mission of Jesus and the content of His message consists in proclaiming the Kingdom of God and establishing it among men through signs and wonders", the Pope said. "But, as Vatican Council II observes, 'the Kingdom is first manifested in the very person of Christ', a kingdom He founded through His death on the cross and resurrection, by which He is revealed as the eternal Lord, Messiah and Priest. This Kingdom of Christ has been entrusted to the Church, which is the 'seed' and 'beginning' and has the task of proclaiming it and spreading it among all the nations with the power of the Holy Spirit. At the end of the determined time the Lord will hand over the Kingdom to God the Father and present to Him all those who have lived according to the commandment of love. ... We are all called to extend the salvific work of God, converting to the Gospel and committing ourselves to serving the King Who came not to be served but to serve and give testimony to the truth".
Benedict XVI then invited those present to pray for the six new cardinals, created yesterday, so that "the Holy Spirit may strengthen them in faith and in charity and fill them with His gifts in order that they live their new responsibility as a further commitment to Christ and His Kingdom".
"May the Virgin help all of us to live this present time awaiting the Lord’s return, imploring God, 'Thy Kingdom come', and fulfilling those works of light that bring us ever closer to heaven, aware that, through the troubling vicissitudes of history, God continues to build His Kingdom of love", the Pope concluded.
Following the Marian prayer, Benedict XVI mentioned the fact that Maria Troncatti was beatified yesterday in Macas, Ecuador. The new blessed was a religious of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, and born in Val Camonica, Italy; she served as a nurse during the World War I, after which she went to Ecuador where she "dedicated herself fully to the service of the people of the forest, evangelisation and human development".
Vatican City, 26 November 2012 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in audience thirteen prelates of the Episcopal Conference of France, on their "ad limina" visit:
- Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, archbishop of Lyon, accompanied by Auxiliary Bishops Jean Pierre Batut and Patrick Le Gal.
- Bishop Yves Boivineau of Annecy.
- Archbishop Philippe Ballot of Chambery, Saint-Jean-de Maurienne et Tarantaise.
- Bishop Jean-Christophe Lagleize of Valence.
- Bishop Francois Blondel of Viviers.
- Archbishop Pierre-Marie Carre of Montpellier, accompanied by Auxiliary Bishop Claude-Joseph Azema.
- Bishop Alain Planet of Carcassonne et Narbonne.
- Bishop Francois Jacolin of Mende.
- Bishop Robert Wattebled of Nimes.
- Bishop Andre Marceau of Perpignan-Elne.


Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
26 Nov 2012

Cardinal Pell baptises catechumen-elects during the Easter Vigil 2010
Members Sydney's chaplaincies, parishes and Church ministries involved with evangelisation and the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA) have a unique opportunity to acquire formal internationally-recognised qualifications in RCIA Catechesis.
Teresa Kehoe, Course Director of RCIA and Director of Partnership Support at Britain's renowned Maryvale Higher Institute of Religious Sciences will conduct three intensive study days at the Catholic Centre, 3 Keating Street Lidcombe on Sunday, 2 December, Saturday 8 December and Sunday 9 December.
Although specialising in distance learning, candidates embarking on the 12 month course for a Maryvale Certificate and Diploma in RCIA Catechesis must complete three days of required studies in person. This has meant those wishing to study for the certificate initially having to travel overseas to participate in this important three-day study course.

Bishop Julian Porteous
Now for the first time, the Archdiocese's Catechumentate Office is giving local people of faith the chance to extend their knowledge, learning and to study for this important Certificate and Diploma.
Developed by the Birmingham-based Maryvale Institute in England inconjunction with Britain's Association for Catechumenal Ministry, the RCIA Catechesis Certificate program has been designed to help catechists understand and support candidates wishing to join the church, and to inspire and foster skills as well as essential knowledge required for this vital ministry of the church.
A dynamic speaker and key member of the Maryvale Catechumenal team and the UK Catechumenal Ministry, Ms Kehoe will conduct both the three-day intensive study course as well as two important parish information sessions on RCIA.
On her first ever visit to Australia, Ms Kehoe arrives from the Britain on Friday, 29 November on a 12-day visit which mark the first time parishes throughout the Sydney Archdiocese as well as local chaplaincies, ministries and individuals have a chance to further and deepen their knowledge of the faith and explore the best ways to accompany people on their journey of faith over the period of their Catechumenate.

Teresa Kehoe Course Director RCIA at Maryvale Higher Institute of Religious Sciences
"With more and more people choosing to become Catholic each year, there is an ongoing need for enthusiastic, confident and well-formed RCIA catechists," says Catherine Hilder from the Archdiocese of Sydney's Catechumenate Office.
The Maryvale Higher Institute of Religious Sciences is currently the only Ecclesiastical institute of its type in the English-speaking world. Offering degrees of the Holy See at both undergraduate and post graduate levels, the acclaimed institute also offers long distance as well as real-time learning in Catholic Theology, Evangelisation, Catechesis, Philosophy, Ministry and Religious Education Certificate in RCIA Catechesis. In addition the Institute provides short informal courses, lectures and presentations for parishes, youth groups, chaplaincies and individuals.
During her 12-day stay in Sydney, Ms Kehoe will not only conduct three compulsory study days for Maryvale Certificate and Diploma candidates but from Friday evening this week, will hold three Parish Information sessions on RCIA for parishioners involved in RICA or those interested in becoming involved.
The Parish RCIA Information Sessions will be held on Friday 30 November from 6-8 pm and on Saturday, 1 December from 9.30 am to 4.00 pm. Both sessions will be held at the Catholic Centre, Lidcombe with a charge of $30 for both days or $10 for Friday evening only or for $25 for the longer all day session on Saturday.

when joining the Church as adults men and women are taught and guided by priests and their local Catholic community
Bishop Julian Porteous, Episcopal Vicar for Renewal and Evangelisation says the Archdiocese is particularly pleased that in this Year of Grace people of faith across the city will have a chance to attend courses designed by the acclaimed Maryvale Institute conducted by someone of Ms Kehoe's knowledge and experience.
"Faith is ultimately a gift from God, an action of the Holy Spirit, yet it is mediated through the Church," he says and points out that although we live in an increasingly secular age, each year more and more people of all ages and all walks of life are choosing to become Catholic.
Earlier this year Bishop Porteous presided over the Rite of Election and Presentation of Baptised Candidates at St Mary's Cathedral. At the ceremony 180 took part and this was followed by what is known as the Period of Purification and Enlightenment which takes place during Lent and ends with the Third Ritual Step for catechumen-elects at the Easter Vigil when they are fully incorporated into the Church by Baptism, Confirmation and the Holy Sacraments and Eucharist.

Many young people are embracing the Catholic Church and the Lord as they seek deeper meaning to their lives
"Every year hundreds of people decide to become Catholic, and each one has their own special story," he says.
When an adult wishes to be accepted into the Catholic Church, they spend several weeks or months - there is no specified time limit - as a pre-catechumenate during which time they begin their formation, learn the values of the Gospel and at the many parishes that offer the Rite of Christian Initiation (RCIA) have an opportunity to question and explore different aspects of the Catholic faith.
"It is a great privilege to accompany people on this journey of faith during the RCIA process," he says and believes in today's increasingly secular society where instant gratification and materialism dominate, more and more young people are turning to the Church where they are discovering the true meaning of life through the power and love of the Lord.
To find out more about the courses which begin Friday evening, 29 November at the Catholic Centre, 3 Keating Street Lidcombe or to ask about enrolments in either the Parish Information Sessions course or to undertake the three required study days as part of Maryvale Institute's internationally-recognised RCIA Catechesis Certificate program, contact Catherine Hilder at the Archdiocese's Catechumenate Office by emailing


On Sunday, Nov. 25, 2012 a pair of suicide bombs exploded at a St. Andrew's Protestant Church on a military base in Jaji, Kaduna State, Nigeria in Africa. 11 people were killed and 30 injured. Suspect in the case is the group Boko Haram which targets churches with bombs. This group is thought to have killed 760 this year alone in attacks.
The new Cardinal John Onaiyekan of Nigeria said, “Once again, a great tragedy has taken place but in this case the circumstances are particularly worrisome.”
The Cardinal added: “This attack took place within one of the highest military establishment in Nigeria, surely one of the most secure premises you can think of.”
He suggested to the goverment: “Let us hope this particular incident will be a wake-up call to the government that they need to do more than what they are doing at the moment.”


Another fire has hit a 12-storey structure in Dhaka, 48 hours after the tragedy of Tazreen Fashion in Ashulia. The search for survivors continues. The causes of the fire still unknown. The building had no emergency exits: trapped, the victims were burned alive or died after jumping out of the windows to save themselves. The Li & Fung company of Hong Kong, a client of the burned factory, will compensate the victims.

Dhaka (AsiaNews) - A new fire broke out this morning in another textile factory in Dhaka (Bangladesh), two days after the explosion in Ashulia that killed at least 124 workers. At present, police and firefighters are trying to douse the flames, which have engulfed a 12-storey building. "The fire", reported Nisharul Arif, Dhaka's deputy police commissioner, "broke out on the third floor. We can see some people on the rooftop." Meanwhile, the death toll is not stopping for the victims of the accident that on November 24 struck a factory producing clothes for several international chains, including the Dutch C & A and Li & Fung of Hong Kong. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said she was "shocked" by the deaths of the workers, and announced shortly afterwards a national day of mourning in their memory.

The November 24 fire broke out at night in the Tazreen Fashion warehouse, a nine-storey factory in the industrial zone of Ashulia, north of Dhaka. The building has no emergency exits, and the workers found themselves trapped in the structure: most were burned alive. Others tried to jump from the upper-floor windows, but many lost their lives in the fall. For the moment, the cause of the fire is still unknown.

Delwar Houssain, owner of Tazreen Fashion, denies that the premises of the factory were dangerous. However, these two incidents reopen the issue of the working conditions of Bangladeshi workers. Babul Akhter, head of the Bangladesh Garments and Industrial Workers Federation, said: "Global buyers who buy cheap apparel from Bangladesh do audit safety issues in factories. But these audits are not actual inspections." In March, the PVH Corp., which markets brands such as Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein, signed an agreement with unions from Bangladeshi and international unions to develop a fire safety program to prevent future accidents in garment factories.

Meanwhile, Li & Fung, the world's largest supplier of clothes and toys for the retail sector, today announced that it will conduct an investigation to clarify the causes of the fire. In addition, the company from Hong Kong will give 100,000 taka (about 950 euro) to the family of each victim.

After China, Bangladesh is the second largest exporter of clothing in the world. According to the International Labor Rights Forum, since 2005, 700 textile workers have died in the country due to buildings not in accordance with safety regulations. The textile industry accounts for more than 10% of the national GDP and about 80% of exports, mostly to the United States and Europe. Bangladesh has around 4,500 factories, employing over 2 million people.



Agenzia Fides report - "I love life": gathered round this slogan, the population of Santa Cruz participated in the "March for Life" which was held yesterday, Friday, November 23, organized by more than 300 institutions such as the Regional Council of Youth, the Catholic Church and the Women's Civic Committee, among others.
As reported to Fides by the local Church, the initiative wanted to publicly express disagreement concerning law projects that propose the legalization of abortion in the country.
The Coadjutor Archbishop of Santa Cruz de la Sierra, His Exc. Mgr. Sergio Gualberti, invited all people to "participate in mass and with enthusiasm in the March for life, and so reject abortion and euthanasia that want to impose groups with foreign ideologies," he said in a official statement, sent to Fides. "Faced with this situation, as Catholics we want to publicly express our faith in the God of life, inviolable from the moment of conception until natural death," he added.
In the note sent to Fides Agency, Edwin Bazan, a spokesman for the local Catholic Church, remarked that bills such as these are intended to ensure that the "culture of death", often uncritically accepted by politicians, "take root in Bolivia ". Through the march, the Church wanted to remind them that they should promote legislation in favor of life: "We want to tell politicians that we, the people who gave the vote to them, are a nation that wants life and not projects of death. We believe that life is a gift from God and must be respected. It is time to accompany our prayers with acts: the march is a clear message to the political class," said the spokesman of the Catholic Church.
Agustin Aguilera, vice president of the National Association of Evangelicals of Bolivia, who participated in the march, defined the legalization of abortion "murder." "Abortion is a soft word to say 'right to kill', because when a person is conceived he/she has the right to live," he remarked. (CE) (Agenzia Fides 24/11/2012)


Luke 21: 1 - 4

1He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury;2and he saw a poor widow put in two copper coins.3And he said, "Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them;4for they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all the living that she had."