Saturday, December 22, 2012


Vatican City, 22 December 2012 (VIS) - Given below is the communiqué released this morning by the Secretariat of State:
"This morning the Holy Father Benedict XVI visited Paolo Gabriele in prison in order to confirm his forgiveness and communicate in person his decision to grant Mr Gabriele's request for pardon, thereby remitting the sentence passed against the latter. This constitutes a paternal gesture towards a person with whom the Pope shared a relationship of daily familiarity for many years.
"Mr Gabriele was subsequently released from prison and has returned home. Since he cannot resume his previous occupation or continue to live in Vatican City, the Holy See, trusting in his sincere repentance, wishes to offer him the possibility of returning to a serene family life".
Vatican City, 22 December 2012 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in audience Cardinal Marc Ouellet P.S.S., prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.
Vatican City, 22 December 2012 (VIS) - The Holy Father today appointed:
- Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio, president of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts; Cardinal James Michael Harvey; Archbishop Felix del Blanco Prieto, almoner emeritus of His Holiness; Archbishop Fabio Bernardo D'Onorio O.S.B. of Gaeta; Archbishop Renato Boccardo of Spoleto-Norcia; and Bishop Paolino Schiavon, auxiliary of Rome, as members of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.
- Bishop Alfonso Cortes Contreras of Cuernavaca, Mexico, as archbishop of Leon (area 8,110, population 2,866,000, Catholics 2,543,000, priests 355, permanent deacons 12, religious 882), Mexico. He succeeds Archbishop Jose Guadalupe Martin Rabago, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same archdiocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.
- Fr. Estanislau Marques Chindekasse S.V.D. as bishop of the diocese of Dundo (area 103,130, population 827,000, Catholics 269,000, priests 10, religious 23), Angola. The bishop-elect was born in Huambo, Angola in 1958 and ordained a priest in 1987. He has served as a missionary in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and as a professor at the major seminary of Luanda. He obtained his doctorate in philosophy from the Gregorian Pontifical University in Rome, and is currently General Counsellor of the Society of the Divine Word.
- Fr. Robert W. Oliver, assistant for canonical matters of the archdiocese of Boston, U.S.A., as promoter of justice of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.


SPECIAL TO JCE NEWS : by Ken Lambert - Recently analyzed pictures of the Shroud, utilizing new micropictography, may help explain the origins of the famous artifact.

(Austin, TX)  Ronald Stewart, PhD, ThD, has just released 3 digital images of the controversial Shroud of Turin (or “Shroud of Jesus”) which may shed some additional light on the centuries-old question: “Is this fabric the actual burial cloth of Jesus Christ?”.  The Shroud is, still today, one of the most researched and controversial artifacts in history.
Stewart’s initial analysis of various close-ups of the available pictures and images of the Shroud has shown what seem to be pictographic images/icons within various areas of the Shroud’s negative.  In addition, via various images it appears as though the eyes of the man alter from open to closed.   What this may mean is unclear- and requires further investigation.  Stewart has released the following short video which explains specifically what he has uncovered, as well as a bit about his imaging methods:
The Shroud has undergone intense scrutiny and analysis since 1978 when a large group of scientists and technologists were allowed to study and analyze the Shroud up close.  This research project, called STURP for short, concluded (after two years of study) “that the Shroud image is that of a real human form of a scourged, crucified man. It is not the product of an artist.”  But this group was unable to scientifically determine exactly how the image was transposed onto the fabric.  Their true verdict was that the Shroud was an enigma.
Since the STURP conclusion there have been countless papers and analysis on the Shroud, even up to the current year.   In 1989 radiocarbon dating of a portion of the shroud fabric dated the shroud at somewhere in the 13th- 14th centuries, long past the days of Christ.  Hoewever, since this conclusion there have been some researchers and scientists who claim that the specific sample used for this dating method was not representative of the entire garment.
Just in the past couple of years the following data has been analyzed and released by various persons worldwide:
  • November 2011-  Study on the changes in the yellowed fibril density values.  These results, due to an unexplained energy source, were inconclusive.
  • December 2011-  Scientists in Italy announced, after conducting their own tests, that the image on the shroud could only have been created by “some form of electromagnetic energy” similar to a flash of light at short wavelength.  The lead researcher declared  ”….it appears unlikely a forger may have done this image with technologies available in the Middle Ages or earlier”.
  • December 2011-  Physicist Giulio Fanti published a critical compendium of the major hypotheses regarding the formation of the body image on the shroud. Fanti stated that “none of them can completely explain the mysterious image”.  Fanti then considered corona discharge as the most probable hypothesis regarding the formation of the body image.
The potential authenticity of the artifact remains as murky as ever, and Stewart’s findings may prove to be just one more study added to a never-ending debate.
Ron Stewart has consulted with law enforcement and various museums, including the Brooklyn Museum, in regards to analyzing photos and actual artifacts with his proprietary imaging technology, which is called Infinite Macroscopic Microscopic Imaging (IMMI).   The IMMI technology is a proprietary technology that in part uses at least three different combined imaging technologies, known in scientific terms as :  ”Preliminary, estimated, and extremely advanced Deconvolution Wavelet Transforms”.  In layman’s terms this simply means: “when an image is distorted, blurred, and unclear, that in part these three combined technologies will bring the image into appropriate resolution, clarity, and focus,”.
Mr. Stewart  holds a Doctorate of Theology in World History ; Emphasis On Historical Archaeology, and also has a Ph.D. in Theoretics.  Additionally he holds a Bachelor degree in Electronics with a focus in Imaging and Photography.  The culmination of these various degrees has resulted in the development of his specialized form of imaging and analysis.  For more information on his images of the Shroud, please visit his website at
(Note: Some portions of this article was researched via information from the following website )
About the Author:
I am from the NH and Massachusetts area, and have been involved in my local congregation for many years. In addition, I enjoy writing professionally- about Christian topics and also about real estate and associated secular topics. I've recently co-written a church history "intro" book titled "Top Ten Most Influential Christians- since the Apostles".
KLambert – who has written  posts on Taber's Truths Christian New and Commentary.


Opening Prayer:

V. O God, come to my assistance.

R. O Lord, make haste to help me.

Glory be to the Father and to
the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now
and ever shall be, world without

Our Father, Who art in heaven
Hallowed be Thy Name;
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil. Amen.

Day 6 Prayers

The Adoration of the Kings
O most sweet infant Jesus, who was made known
to the three kings, who worshipped you as you lie on
Mary's breast, and offered you the mystical presents
of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. 

Have mercy on us.
Have mercy on us, 0 Lord. Have mercy on us.
Hail Mary...



NOVENA PREPARATORY TO CHRISTMAS In order to the devout preparation of ourselves for the glorious Birthday of our most loving Saviour, Jesus Christ, which the holy Church recalls to our memory every year on the 25th of December, and at the same time to render Him thanks for this great benefit, Pope Pius VII., by a Rescript of the Segretaria of the Memorials, dated August 12th, 1815 (which said Rescript is preserved in the Segretaria of the Vicariate), granted to all faithful Christians who, being contrite in heart, should prepare themselves for that great solemnity by a novena, consisting of pious exercises, prayers, acts of virtue, &c. -
i. An indulgence of 300 days each day of the said novena, and -
ii. A plenary indulgence to be gained on Christmas day, or on some day in its octave, by those who, after Confession and Communion, shall have made the said novena every day, and who shall pray according to the intentions of the Sovereigns Pontiff: and note that the Confession and Communion may be made on any one of the days of the said novena, provided the novena is correctly kept. This was declared by Pope Pius VIII., of holy memory, by means of the S. Congr. of Indulgences, July 9, 1830. These indulgences were extended by the above-named Pius VII. to one other time in the year, besides the the specified, when any one should make the aforesaid novena in honour of the Child Jesus.


PART 1 -
2 -
3 -


Luke 1: 46 - 56
46And Mary said, "My soul magnifies the Lord,
47and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48for he has regarded the low estate of his handmaiden. For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed;
49for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name.
50And his mercy is on those who fear him from generation to generation.
51He has shown strength with his arm, he has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts,
52he has put down the mighty from their thrones, and exalted those of low degree;
53he has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent empty away.
54He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy,
55as he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his posterity for ever."
56And Mary remained with her about three months, and returned to her home.


2012 Christmas Message from the Most Reverend Mark Coleridge
For the first time I speak to you as Archbishop of Brisbane in this
Christmas season.  It’s hot up here, and the Queensland heat tends to
melt away the dreamy carols that can sentimentalise the truth of
Christmas.  Here Down Under we dream not of a white Christmas but of a
cool Christmas with a breeze to relieve the humidity and heat of the day.
Christmas in our part of the world is bathed in light and warmth, hectic
and lazy all at the same time.
However, the truth of Christmas has nothing to do with vapid dreaming.
It has everything to do with what it means to be human and what it
means to say that Jesus remains a powerful living presence among us.
God takes flesh. We call this “Incarnation” - but it’s more than a word; it’s
an event, an experience, an encounter, a Person. The truth that we
celebrate at Christmas is that God – the source and destiny of all things –
has not remained some indistinct and distant deity, or a name we give to
a vague human instinct.  The real God has become enfleshed, in every
sense of that word, and lived among us. God has a face and a name –
If we want to know what God looks like, we look to Jesus. It’s as simple
as that. If we want to know what God wants us to be, we look to Jesus. I
don’t mean Jesus as some kind of role model.  We’ve got enough of
them; we don’t need another.  Our culture values choice, and that’s fine
when you’re looking for a bargain, but it won’t do when we’re searching
for what is true and real. The whole point of the Gospel is, in fact, that
God chooses us, and in choosing us the Father sends his Son, into a world
that is not yet ready – a world that can never be truly ready to receive
the real God. That’s why we talk of mangers and shepherds and stars –
because it’s a birth that was hoped for, but not prepared for; a birth that was dreamed of but not expected.  God didn’t send a representative, an
envoy or a go-between.  God sent his own Son; in that sense, God came
himself. And that’s more than anyone was prepared for or expected.
These days, life is lived at such a fast pace that we do more and more,
and yet are often left with the feeling that we achieve less and less. Our
lives are full, but we can feel empty. Perhaps the question is not why are
we on the run, but what are we running from? Are we parched because
we thirst for meaning but can find little that is meaningful? The seasons
of the Church are a doorway into the truth of things. The Incarnation of
Jesus Christ embodies the deepest reality of human existence; of life and
death; of the mystery and wonder of all creation; and that which we
silently and intuitively know by heart – we are not alone in the vast
darkness of the universe, and our lives have dignity and meaning because
we are made in the image and likeness of God who is our ultimate
Our existence is not some mere chance by-product of the Big Bang and
the Dark Silence. Our existence, our conscious mind, our way of seeing,
and hearing and reflecting, our way of making sense of the world, and our
inherited wisdom reveal the reality of life. And the reality is this: We are
made to hear the voice of our first and greatest love – our Creator, the
Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Jesus is that Word of love – not in any
abstract or fanciful way. We are not speaking here about wishful thinking.
Jesus fleshes out the mystery of God, yesterday, today and always. Think
about it – the One through whom the whole universe was created, the
One who formed a rag-bag mob into the people of God, is the One who
comes among us an infant who grows into adult. The One who is eternal
takes flesh in the tender skin of a newborn child. The baby’s cry is the
yearning of the human heart seeking its beginning and end. It is the cry
of joy when the One whom we seek is found. And what do we find?  The very face of God dwelling among us, for Jesus is either here and now, or
nowhere and never.  He’s not just “once upon a time”.
So let’s look with fresh eyes at this mystery, this Christmas event. Let’s
unwrap the gift and contemplate the Giver.  Jesus Christ reveals to you
and to me and to every human being who we really are. There is no
greater gift than that. That’s the grace that we ponder in this Year of
In these troubled times, I say:  Peace to you from the One born before all
time, yet born in time, Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh.  May the
coming of the Christ-child bathe you and your family in the light that
never fades, the light of hope. May the dawn of a new year be for you a
fresh start, and may the peace of Christmas rest upon you today and


The vote is taking place in 17 provinces, among the most conservative. In the first round only 30% of the population participated. At least 250 thousand soldiers and police must ensure order. ElBaradei: The country is on the brink of bankruptcy.

Cairo (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The Egyptians have begun voting for a new constitution called for by the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafis and opposed by much of the population. Today is the second round of voting, which takes place in 17 provinces who did not vote last week. The areas covered in this round are in Upper Egypt, considered more conservative and Islamic. For this reason a result in favor of the draft constitution is expected.

According to unofficial results, the vote in the first round on December 15 last, was 56% in favor of the constitution. But the turnout was very low: only 30%.

The figures underscore that the country is very divided on this constitution, drawn up by an assembly consisting only of the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafis. The opposition - Christian, secular, moderate Muslims and women - accuse the Islamists of attempting to stifle society in a Shariah regime, with less respect for human rights, minorities and women.

On the eve of the vote in the first round there were clashes between Islamists and opposition, with dozens wounded. At least 250,000 police and soldiers were deployed to ensure order.

The country suffers from instability also because of the attempts of President Mohamed Morsi to assume dictatorial powers, above all over the judiciary.

One of the opposition leaders, Mohamed El Baradei, the former head of the UN atomic agency, has pushed the Egyptians to vote "no" to the constitution and said that "the country is on the brink of bankruptcy."



Standoff escalates between Church and local government reporter, Wuhan
2012-12-21 16:35:35
Catholic Church News Image of
Father Joseph Shen Guo’an (far right) has been dismissed
The provincial government in Hubei has replaced two priests from Wuhan diocese with a government-selected management committee amid an escalating standoff between authorities and the Church in the province.
During a confrontational meeting on December 13, 15 priests and several nuns were escorted to the office of the provincial Religious Affairs Bureau where officials announced a reshuffle of leading clergy positions, said sources who declined to be identified.
Father Joseph Shen Guo’an, who was temporarily in charge of Wuhan diocese and who has defied authorities in recent weeks, and another priest were dismissed from the government-sanctioned Catholic Patriotic Association. The Board of Diocesan Consultors was also disbanded, sources said.
The two priests were replaced by a five-member management committee led by Father Francis Cui Qingqi, who is said to be close to the government.
“No priests and nuns except Fr Cui were allowed to speak at the meeting,” said a church source using the pseudonym David.
Last Thursday’s reshuffle by the authorities effectively overrules church leaders in Wuhan who want to decide on the allocation of priests to parishes themselves.
On November 29, 19 out of 23 priests in Wuhan held a meeting and drew up their own list of assignments and transfers between parishes.
Some of the attending priests later received warnings from government officials stating the meeting itself was illegal, according to church sources.
The following day, Fr Shen defied the warning by announcing the transfers during Mass, to applause from the congregation.
Authorities again tried to block the decision, sources said, by summoning priests to meetings individually in which they were told not to leave their parishes and head to their new appointments.
Father Francis Wu Zhengfu, who proceeded to Boquan church on December 9, was locked in a room by officials to prevent him from meeting his new parishioners, church sources said, who added that he was insulted and threatened.
“Father Wu had no choice but to return to [his previous posting at] the cathedral while his predecessor, Father Joseph Huang Xuefeng, was not allowed to leave his parish,” said David.
Events over the past few weeks represent the latest example of interference by authorities in Wuhan.
After the former bishop died in 2007, authorities tried and failed to install their preferred candidate in 2011.
The Church’s candidate at the time, Fr Shen, was informed without reason that his ordination was canceled and has since fallen out of favor with authorities.


St. Chaeremon
Feast: December 22

Feast Day:December 22
Bishop of Nilopolis, in Egypt. When the sever anti-Christian persecution was instituted by Emperor Trajanus Decius (r. 249-251), Chaeromon was quite elderly. he and several companions fled into the Arabian Desert and were never seen again. The bishop and his companions are listed as martyrs.