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POPE RECEIVES PRESIDENT OF LEBANON: FOCUS ON DIALOGUE BETWEEN VARIOUS LEBANESE COMMUNITIES, SYRIA, REFUGEES, AND SITUATION OF CHRISTIANS IN MIDDLE EAST
Vatican City, 3 May 2013 (VIS) – This morning in the Vatican Apostolic Palace, the Holy Father received in audience His excellency Mr. Michel Sleiman, president of Lebanon. President Sleiman then met with the Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, S.D.B., accompanied by Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States.During the cordial talks, discussion touched on the situation in the country, emphasizing the importance of dialogue and collaboration among the members of the various ethnic and religious communities that make up the nation's society and constitute its richness. Likewise, the common good, development, and the nation's stability were also considered. In that regard, best wishes were expressed for the formation of a new government that will have to face the important challenges in the national arena as well as in the international sphere.
The regional situation was also discussed, referencing in particular the conflict in Syria. The enormous number of Syrian refugees who have sought safety in Lebanon and neighbouring countries arouses much worry. Greater humanitarian assistance, with the help of the international community, was requested for the welcoming countries as well as for the suffering peoples. At the same time, the desire for a rapid and beneficial resumption of negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians, evermore necessary for the peace and stability of the region, was expressed.
Finally, the delicate situation of Christians throughout the Middle East was not overlooked as well as the meaningful contribution that they can offer in light of the post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation “Ecclesia in Medio Oriente”, which constitutes an important point of reference for Catholic communities and societies of that region.
|BENEDICT XVI HAPPY TO RETURN TO VATICAN|
Vatican City, 3 May 2013 (VIS) – Yesterday afternoon, Pope emeritus Benedict XVI returned to the Vatican after a two-month stay at Castel Gandolfo.
Arriving by helicopter at the Vatican heliport shortly after 4:45pm, Benedict XVI was accompanied by Archbishop Georg Ganswein, prefect of the Papal Household, and was greeted by: Cardinal Angelo Sodano, dean of the College of Cardinals; Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, S.D.B., secretary of State; Cardinal Giuseppe Bertello, president of the Governorate of Vatican City State; Archbishop Angelo Becciu, substitute of the Secretariat of State; Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States; and Bishop Giuseppe Sciacca as auditor general of the Apostolic Camera. Bishop Sciacca, secretary general of the Governorate of Vatican City State.
The Pope emeritus then travelled to his new residence, the “Mater Ecclesiae” monastery. At the entrance, Pope Francis was awaiting him and welcomed him warmly. The two went to pray together in the monastery's chapel.
“Benedict XVI,” reads a press release from the Press Office of the Holy See, “is very happy to return to the Vatican, to the place where he wishes to dedicate himself … to the service of the Church, primarily through prayer.” This was his intention, announced by the Pope emeritus this past 11 February, the day he resigned the Petrine ministry.
The monastery, recently restored, is “a welcoming house,” Benedict XVI said. “Here one can work well.”
|PROMULGATION OF DECREES BY CONGREGATION FOR CAUSES OF SAINTS|
Vatican City, 3 May 2013 (VIS) - Yesterday afternoon, 2 May, the Holy Father received in audience Cardinal Angelo Amato, S.D.B., prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, and authorized the promulgation of decrees concerning the following causes:
MIRACLES, attributable to the intercession of:
- Venerable Servant of God Maria Cristina of Savoy, Italian, Queen of the Two Sicilies (1812-1836).
- Venerable Servant of God Maria Bolognesi, Italian, layperson (1924-1980).
- Servant of God Joaquim Rosello Ferra, Spanish, priest of the diocese of Mallorca, Spain, founder of the Missionaries of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary (1833-1909).
- Servant of God Maria Teresa of Saint Joseph (nee: Janina Kierocinska), Polish, founder of the Carmelite Sisters of the Child Jesus (1885-1946).
Vatican City, 3 May 2013 (VIS) – This morning the Holy Father received six prelates from the Marche region of the Italian Episcopal Conference on their "ad limina" visit:
- Archbishop Edoardo Menichelli of Ancona-Osimo,
- Archbishop Piero Coccia of Pesaro,
- Bishop Giuseppe Orlandoni of Senigallia,
- Bishop Giancarlo Vecerrica of Fabriano-Matelica,
- Bishop Gerardo Rocconi of Jesi, and
- Bishop Claudio Giuliodori, apostolic administrator of Macerata-Tolentino-Recanati-
This afternoon he is scheduled to receive:
- Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Muller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and
- Fernando Cardinal Filoni, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.
|OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS|
Vatican City, 3 May 2013 (VIS) – Today the Holy Father appointed Fr. Michael Charles Barber, S.J., as bishop of Oakland (area 3,798, population 2,589,322, Catholics 555,000, priests 374, permanent deacons 108, religious 944), California, USA. The bishop-elect was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA in 1954 and was ordained a priest in 1985. Since ordination he has served in several missionary, academic, and pastoral roles, most recently as Director of Spiritual Formation at St. John's Seminary in Boston, Massachusetts.
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Friday, May 3, 2013
IND. CATH. NEWS REPORT
|John 14: 6 - 14|
|6||Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me.|
|7||If you had known me, you would have known my Father also; henceforth you know him and have seen him."|
|8||Philip said to him, "Lord, show us the Father, and we shall be satisfied."|
|9||Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you so long, and yet you do not know me, Philip? He who has seen me has seen the Father; how can you say, `Show us the Father'?|
|10||Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority; but the Father who dwells in me does his works.|
|11||Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father in me; or else believe me for the sake of the works themselves.|
|12||"Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I go to the Father.|
|13||Whatever you ask in my name, I will do it, that the Father may be glorified in the Son;|
|14||if you ask anything in my name, I will do it.|
Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
3 May 2013
3 May 2013
On Thursday next week, the NSW Legislative Council will begin debating a bill which seeks to legalise voluntary physician assisted suicide.
Introduced yesterday as a private members bill by Greens senator, Cate Faehrmann and called the Rights of the Terminally Ill, the proposed legislation suggests assisted suicide of the terminally ill is a human rights issue with the Greens claiming the bill has included protections for those with dementia or incapacity due to their illness to make their wishes known.
But as Dr Bernadette Tobin, Director of the Plunkett Centre for Ethics at St Vincent's Hospital and Reader in Philosophy at the Australian Catholic University (ACU) warned last year, voluntary euthanasia not only requires the will and judgement of the patient but the will and judgement of the doctor who must decide whether they agree with the patient, and that the patient would be better off dead.
In a keynote address on Ethics and Euthanasia as part of ACU's Voice Speaker series, Dr Tobin pointed out that "if a doctor can make such a judgement on a competent patient, then the doctor can equally make such a judgement in the case of an incompetent patient."
Both judgements, she said, were mistaken and warned that such judgements held grave implications for the week and disabled.
"Every human being is equal precisely in having a human life which is our common humanity, our personhood and our dignity and intrinsic value. In refusing to violate that life, one respects the human person in the most fundamental and indispensable way," she said insisting this was no less true with regard to the life of a person trapped in an irreversible coma or an irreversibly unresponsive state.
While the Greens, whose attempts to have voluntary euthanasia legalised in other states and territories of Australia have so far been defeated, the party is now in a bid to have NSW legislators pass a bill to allow laws permitting voluntary assisted suicide of the terminally ill, claiming this is a human rights issue.
Dr John Obeid, Senior Staff Specialist in Geriatric Medicine and Stroke at Blacktown Hospital disputes this, dismissing the Greens argument that euthanasia is a "right". He says the decision to die should be left up to the individual.
"This is a fatuous argument as once you involve a third person, such as a doctor to deliver a lethal injection, you are asking society to sanction killing," he says. As an example he compares a person who commits suicide with a person who asks someone to shoot them.
"Suicide is not a criminal offence and is a matter for the individual. But when you bring in a doctor to administer a lethal injection, it becomes the doctor's decision and this involves serious consequences for society as a whole."
Opposition to euthanasia and physician-assisted killing should not be confused as a "religious" issue he says and points out that abhorrence at so-called "therapeutic killing" dates back to the time of Hippocrates who lived 400 years before Christ.
Hippocrates was the ancient Greek who formulated the oath of ethics which is still taken today by members of the medical profession and which promises above all to: "prescribe regimens for the good of my patients...and never do harm to anyone."
The Rev Associate Professor at the Sydney Catholic Institute, Dr Gerard Gleeson stresses the proper goal of medicine was to promote the health and well being of the patient.
Despite the bill before the house listing so-called safeguards he points out that none of these would be needed if the Greens bill before the Legislative Council was genuinely in the best interests of the terminally ill.
"Euthanasia is a complex issue with far reaching consequences to society and is far too important to be decided by a bill requiring a few days of parliamentary debate followed by a conscience vote," says Professor Scott Prasser, Executive Director of the Public Policy Institute at ACU.
Advances in palliative care and trained specialists in this relatively new field of medicine are able to bring comfort to the dying in their final months or days of life not only helping to relieve pain but also depression, turmoil and other distress associated with their illness.
Dr Obeid points out that the frail and elderly who are often delirious, confused and at the weakest point in their lives are in no position to make an "informed decision" about ending their life. He is also unimpressed with surveys and polls touted by advocates of euthanasia that seem to suggest that the majority of Australians want to see voluntary suicide legalised.
"These polls are always maliciously designed and full of emotive language, asking people if they were in terrible pain with no help of relief would they want a lethal injection. The question instead should be, if a doctor couldn't work out why you are suffering and in pain and couldn't be bothered putting in the time and effort; or spending the resources to find out; should society decide to kill you. Phrased that way, you would get the opposite result," he predicts.
SHARED FROM ARCHDIOCESE OF SYDNEY
Renewed outrage in India after another child is brutally rapedIndia has seen public outrage and protests following a number of high-profile rape cases (photo by Noah Seelam)
- ucanews.com reporter, Bhopal
- A court in central Madhya Pradesh state sentenced three men to death for the rape and murder of a four-year-old girl on Friday in a case which has attracted less international attention than the more recent rape of a five-year-old in New Delhi but has prompted outrage in India.
In chaotic scenes, the crowd outside the courthouse in Indore, the state capital, tried to attack the three defendants – named as Babu, Jitrenda and Sunny – but were held back by police.
Judge Indra Singh called the crime the “rarest of the rare” after handing down the three death sentences despite an appeal by the defense who said the men were young and deserved leniency. All three are in their early twenties.
Autorickshaw driver Babu and his two unemployed friends were found guilty of abducting the four-year-old victim after she accompanied her father to a hospital in Indore for treatment for his tuberculosis in June last year.
After watching a marriage procession late in the evening, the girl then went missing. Her body was later found with a smashed skull in a drain close to a police station.
Police tracked down the three men responsible after they left a cheque and a note near the body in an apparent attempt to pay compensation. They were captured about 50 miles south of Indore in the town of Omkareshwar preparing to flee, police said.
The case is among the most gruesome in a string of high-profile recent rape cases in India that have sparked outrage inside the country and lurid headlines in international media.
Last month, a Swiss woman was raped in Madhya Pradesh during a cycle tour and on Saturday a six-year-old girl was raped in New Delhi in a public toilet, just a few days after a five-year-old was abducted and raped during a two-day ordeal.
The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has come under rising criticism from rival political parties with every new case, particularly in Madhya Pradesh, which has recorded the highest number of rape cases in the country in recent years. Government statistics show there are nine rapes a day and 25 gang rapes every month there.
Madhya Pradesh opposition Congress Party leader Ajay Singh said that the BJP has lost the "moral right to continue" in office as an “anarchy-like situation" prevails in the state with no safety for women and children.
“What we see is nothing but the absolute collapse of law and order,” said Badal Saroj, secretary of the Communist Party’s state unit.
In response to criticism, the government has attempted to fast-track the prosecution of rape cases, while in Madhya Pradesh State Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan has ordered the establishment of a new 'neighborhood watch' scheme of community law enforcement modeled on the UK.
SHARED FROM UCAN NEWS
It is with deep sadness that we inform you of the death of Bishop Joseph P. McFadden. He died unexpectedly while attending a meeting of the Catholic Bishops of Pennsylvania being held in Philadelphia.
While staying at a rectory he awoke feeling ill and was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead at approximately 7:40 a.m. A cause of death has not yet been announced.
The governance of the Diocese of Harrisburg passed to the College of Consultors upon his death. They will have eight days to elect an Administrator who will be in charge of the day to day operation of the Diocese until a new Bishop is appointed by the Holy Father.
Bishop McFadden was the tenth Bishop of Harrisburg. He was appointed on June 22, 2010 by then Pope Benedict XVI. He was installed as Bishop of Harrisburg on August 18, 2010 in St. Patrick Cathedral, Harrisburg.
Joseph P. McFadden was born in Philadelphia on May 22, 1947, the son of Thomas and Ellen (Griffin) McFadden. He lived with his parents and brother, John, and his two sisters, Jane and Ellen, in West Philadelphia and was baptized at Saint Rose of Lima Parish. He attended Our Lady of Lourdes elementary school from 1953-1961. He attended Saint Thomas More High School for Boys from 1961 to 1965. While in high school, he was a member of the Student Council, the Newspaper, the J.V. and Varsity Basketball teams and a member of the National Honor Society. He was also the Class Valedictorian. Following high school, he matriculated to Saint Joseph University majoring in Political Science. He graduated in 1969 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Politics. While at St. Joseph, he played on the Freshmen Basketball Team and then embarked on a career of coaching basketball during his remaining years in college, first as the Freshman Coach at St. Thomas More High School and then as the Junior Varsity Coach at West Catholic High School for Boys.
On graduating from Saint Joseph University, Bishop McFadden was hired to teach at West Catholic Boys High School. While teaching, he also coached the J. V. Baseball Team, the J.V. and Varsity Basketball Teams becoming the Head Coach in 1973 and was Moderator of the Student Council. In 1972 he was appointed the Director of Athletics for West Catholic and served on the Board of Directors for the Philadelphia Catholic League.
In 1976 Bishop McFadden entered Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary to study for the priesthood and was ordained a Deacon in 1980 and assigned to Our Lady of Fatima Parish, Secane. On May 16, 1981 he was ordained a Priest in the Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul by His Eminence John Cardinal Krol. Bishop McFadden received a Master of Divinity Degree on completion of his studies at Saint Charles Seminary graduating Summa Cum Laude.
In June of 1981, he was assigned the Parochial Vicar at St. Laurence Parish, Highland Park. In 1982 he was appointed Administrative Secretary to Cardinal Krol and held that position from 1982 to 1993. On May 29, 1991, he was named an Honorary Prelate to His Holiness, Pope John Paul II, with the title of Monsignor.
In 1993, Bishop McFadden was named by Cardinal Bevilacqua to be the first President of Cardinal O’Hara High School, Springfield, PA. During his tenure as President, the school’s enrollment increased from 1540 students to 2000 students and he helped to initiate the innovative computer “Laptops for Learning” program in the school.
In 2001, Bishop McFadden was appointed Pastor of St Joseph Parish, Downingtown, where he ministered until his appointment as Auxiliary Bishop of Philadelphia in June 2004. Bishop McFadden was ordained to the Episcopacy by Cardinal Justin Rigali in the Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul on July 28, 2004.
On June 22, 2010 Pope Benedict XVI named Bishop McFadden the Tenth Bishop of Harrisburg. He was installed in St. Patrick Cathedral on August 18, 2010. On that date, he began his ministry as Bishop of Harrisburg.
More information will be sent as it becomes available. A special section dedicated to this information for the Diocesan website is anticipated.
Please pray for the soul of Bishop Joseph McFadden.
FUNERAL FOR BISHOP MCFADDEN
FUNERAL FOR BISHOP MCFADDEN
The following funeral services for Bishop Joseph P. McFadden have been established. All are open to the public. The services will begin on Sunday, May 5 at 7 p.m. when the Body will be received at St. Patrick Cathedral, 212 State Street, Harrisburg, PA.
Bishop McFadden will lie in state that until Tuesday evening, May 7 when a Rite of Transfer of the Body will be held. The coffin will be closed during all services and viewings will end at the conclusion of the evening prayer services.
The funeral service for Bishop McFadden will be held at the Holy Name of Jesus Church, 6150 Allentown Blvd, Harrisburg, PA on Wednesday, May 8. Services that day will begin at 8 a.m. with a Rite of Gathering in the Presence of the Body. The Solemn Funeral Mass will begin at 10:30 a.m. Burial will be at Holy Cross Cemetery in the Bishop’s Circle area. The cemetery is located across from St. Catherine Laboure Parish, 4000 Derry Street, Swatara Township.
Sunday, May 5 – St. Patrick Cathedral, 212 State Street, Harrisburg, PA
7:00 p.m. Rite of Reception of the Body with Solemn Evening Prayer
Monday, May 6 – St. Patrick Cathedral, 212 State Street, Harrisburg, PA
8:00 a.m. Rite of Gathering in the Presence of the Body
Viewing of the Body
12:00 p.m. Mass
12:45 p.m. Viewing of the Body
7:00 p.m. Solemn Evening Prayer
Tuesday, May 7 – St. Patrick Cathedral, 212 State Street, Harrisburg, PA
8:00 a.m. Rite of Gathering in the Presence of the Body
Viewing of the Body
12:00 p.m. Mass
12:45 p.m. Viewing of the Body
4:00 p.m. Rite of Transfer of the Body to Holy Name of Jesus Church
7:00 p.m. Solemn Evening Prayer
Wednesday, May 8 – Holy Name of Jesus Church, 6150 Allentown Blvd, Harrisburg, PA 17112
8:00 a.m. Rite of Gathering in the Presence of the Body
Viewing of the Body
10:00 a.m. Closing of the Coffin
10:30 a.m. Solemn Funeral Mass
Burial in Holy Cross cemetery
St. James the Lesser
Feast: May 3
St. James, to distinguish him from the other apostle of the same name, the son of Zebedee, was called the Less; which appellation is supposed to have taken its rise, either from his having been called later to the apostleship than the former, or from the lowness of his stature, or from his youth. He is also known by the title of James the Just, a denomination all agree, with Hegesippus and St. Clement of Alexandria, to have been given on account of his eminent sanctity. He was the son of Alpheus and Mary, the sister of the Blessed Virgin and seems to have been born some years before our Lord. Jesus came with his brethren, and probably St. James among the rest, to settle in Capharnaum, at the beginning of his ministry. James and his brother Jude were called to the apostleship in the second year of Christ's preaching, soon after the Pasch, in the year 31. He was favored with an extraordinary apparition of his Master after his resurrection. Clement of Alexandria says, that Christ being risen from the dead, communicated the gift of science to SS. James the Just, John, and Peter, and that they imparted it to the other apostles. We are told by SS. Jerome and Epiphanius, that our Lord, at his ascension, recommended his church of Jerusalem to St. James; in consequence whereof the apostles, before their dispersion, constituted him bishop of that city. It was probably for a mark of his episcopal authority, and as an ensign of his dignity, that he wore on his head a lamina, or plate of gold, as is recounted by St. Epiphanius. Polycrates, quoted by Eusebius, testifies, that St. John did the same: others relate the like of St. Mark. It was probably done in imitation of the Jewish high-priest.
St. James governed that church in perpetual dangers, from the fury of the people and their violent persecutions; but his singular virtue procured him the veneration of the Jews themselves. As to his sanctity, Eusebius and St. Jerome give from Hegesippus the following account concerning him: "He was always a virgin, and was a Nazarite, or one consecrated to God. In consequence of which he was never shaved, never cut his hair, never drank any wine or other strong liquor; moreover, he never used any bath, or oil to anoint his limbs, and never ate of any living creature except when of precept, as the paschal lamb: he never wore sandals, never used any other clothes than one single linen garment. He prostrated so much in prayer, that the skin of his knees and forehead was hardened like to camels' hoofs." St. Epiphanius says, that, in a great drought, on stretching out his arms to heaven, he, by his prayers, instantly obtained rain. His eminent sanctity made even the Jews style him the just man: and Origen observes, that Josephus himself gives him that epithet, though it is not to be found now in Josephus' works. The same reverence for his person procured him the privilege of entering at pleasure into the Sanctum or Holy place, namely, that part of the temple where none but the priests were allowed by the law to enter. St. Jerome adds, that the Jews strove, out of respect, who should touch the hem of his garment. In the year 51, he assisted at the council of the apostles, held at Jerusalem, about the observance of circumcision, and the other legal ceremonies of the law of Moses. Here, after having confirmed what St. Peter said, he devised the sentence which the apostles drew up on that occasion. This apostle being bishop of a church, which then chiefly consisted of Jewish converts, tolerated the use of the legal ceremonies, and, together with others, advised St. Paul to purify himself and offer sacrifice. He is the author of a canonical epistle which he wrote in Greek. It is at the head of those called <catholic>, or universal, because addressed not to any one particular church, but to the whole body of the converted Jews dispersed throughout the then known world. It was penned some time after those of St. Paul to the Galatians, in 55, and to the Romans in 58. It could not, therefore, be written before the year 59, fourteen years after the death of St. James the greater. The author's view in this epistle is to refute the false teachers, who, abusing certain expressions in St. Paul's writings, pretended that faith alone was sufficient to justification without good works: whereas, without these, he declares our faith is dead. He adds excellent precepts of a holy life, and exhorts the faithful not to neglect the sacrament of extreme unction in sickness.
The oriental liturgy or mass, which bears the name of this apostle, is mentioned by Proclus, patriarch of Constantinople, and by the council in Trullo, and is of venerable antiquity. St. Basil, indeed, testifies, that the words of the sacred invocation in the consecration of the bread and of the cup, were not committed to writing, but learned and preserved by tradition down to the fourth century, which was done on a motive of respect and veneration: but other parts of the liturgy were written. Perhaps St. James gave only general directions about this liturgy, upon whose plan it was afterwards drawn up or enlarged. His singular learning in sacred matters is extolled by St. Clement of Alexandria, and St. Jerome.
The Jews, being exasperated at the disappointment of their malicious designs against St. Paul, by his appeal to Caesar, to whom he was sent by Festus, in the year 60, were resolved to revenge it on St. James. That governor, dying before the arrival of his successor, Albinus, this vacancy gave them an opportunity of acting more arbitrarily than otherwise they durst have done. Wherefore, during this interval, Ananus, the high-priest, son of the famous Annas mentioned in the gospels, having assembled the Sanhedrim, or great council of the Jews, summoned St. James and others before it. Josephus, the Jewish historian, says, that St. James was accused of violating the laws, and delivered to the people to be stoned to death. And Hegesippus adds, that they carried him up to the battlements of the temple, and would have compelled him from thence to make a public renunciation of his faith in Christ, with this further view, thereby to undeceive, as they termed it, those among the people who had embraced Christianity. But St. James took that opportunity to declare his belief in Jesus Christ, after the most solemn and public manner. For he cried out aloud from the battlements, in the hearing of a great multitude, which was then at Jerusalem on account of the Passover, that Jesus, the Son of man, was seated at the right hand of the Sovereign Majesty, and would come in the clouds of heaven to judge the world. The Scribes and Pharisees, enraged at this testimony in behalf of Jesus, cried out: "The just man also hath erred." And going up to the battlements, they threw him headlong down to the ground, saying, "He must be stoned." St. James, though very much bruised by his fall, had strength enough to get upon his knees, and in this posture, lifting up his eyes to heaven, he begged of God to pardon his murderers, seeing that they knew not what they did. The rabble below received him with showers of stones, and at last a fuller gave him a blow on the head with his club, such as is used in dressing of cloths, after which he presently expired. This happened on the festival of the Pasch, the 10th of April, in the year of Christ 62, the seventh of Nero. He was buried near the temple, in the place in which he was martyred, where a small column was erected. Such was the reputation of his sanctity, that the Jews attributed to his death the destruction of Jerusalem, as we read in St. Jerome, Origen, and Eusebius, who assure us that Josephus himself declared it in the genuine editions of his history. Ananus put others to death for the same cause, but was threatened for this very fact by Albinus, and deposed from the high-priesthood by Agrippa. The episcopal throne of St. James was shown with respect at Jerusalem, in the fourth century. His relics are said to have been brought to Constantinople about the year 572.
Feast: May 3
St. Philip was of Bethsaida, in Galilee, and called by our Saviour to follow him the day after St. Peter and St. Andrew. He was at that time a married man, and had several daughters; but his being engaged in the married state hindered him not, as St. Chrysostom observes, from meditating continually on the law and the prophets, which disposed him for the important discovery of the Messias in the person of Jesus Christ, in obedience to whose command he forsook all to follow him, and became thenceforth the inseparable companion of his ministry and labors. Philip had no sooner discovered the Messias, than he was desirous to make his friend Nathanael a sharer in his happiness, saying to him: <We have found him of whom Moses in the law and the prophets did write>, that is, the Messias; <Jesus, the son of Joseph, of Nazareth.> Nathanael was not so ready to give his assent to this assertion of his friend, by reason that the supposed Messias was reported to be of Nazareth. Philip therefore desired him <to come> himself to Jesus <and see>; not doubting but, upon his personal acquaintance with the Son of God, he would be as much convinced of the truth as he was himself. Nathanael complied, and Jesus, seeing him approach, said, within his hearing: <Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no guile.> Nathanael asked him, how he came to know him: Jesus repined: <Before Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig-tree, I saw thee.> Nathanael, as two holy fathers explain the matter, calling to mind that the closeness of his retirement on that occasion was such, that no human creature could see him, owned him hereupon for the <Son of God>, and the <King of Israel>, or, in other words, the Messiah, foretold by Moses and the prophets. The marriage at Cana of Galilee happening three days after, to which Jesus and his disciples were invited, St. Philip was present at it with the rest. The year following, when our Lord formed the college of apostles, Philip was appointed one of that number, and. from the several passages of the gospel, he appears to have been particularly dear to his divine Master. Thus, when Jesus was about to feed five thousand persons, who had followed him into the wilderness, for the greater evidence of the miracle, and for the trial of this apostle's faith, Jesus proposed to him the difficulty of feeding the multitudes in that desolate place. And a little before our Saviour's passion, certain Gentiles, desirous to see Christ, made their first address to Philip, and by him and St. Andrew obtained that favor. Our Saviour, in the discourse he made to his disciples immediately after his last supper, having promised them a more clear and perfect knowledge of his heavenly Father than they had had hitherto, St. Philip cried out, with a holy eagerness and impatience: <Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us.> From which words our Saviour took occasion to inculcate afresh a steady belief of his divinity, and perfect equality with the Father, saying: <So long a time have I been with you>, (teaching you who I am both by my words and actions,) < and have you not known me?> (If you beheld me with the eyes of faith such as I really am, in seeing me you would see the Father also, because) <I am in the Father, and the Father is in me.>
After our Lord's ascension the gospel was to be preached to the whole world by a few persons, who had been eye-witnesses of his miracles, and were enabled, by the power of the Holy Ghost, to confirm their testimony concerning him by doing the like wonderful works themselves. That this might be accomplished, it was necessary that the disciples should quickly disperse themselves into all parts of the world. St. Philip accordingly preached the gospel in the two Phrygias, as Theodoret and Eusebius assure us from undoubted monuments. St. Polycarp, who was only converted in the year 80, enjoyed his conversation for some time, consequently St. Philip must have lived to a very advanced age. It appears, from a passage of Polyerates, quoted by Eusebius, that he was buried at Hierapolis, in Phrygia, which city was indebted to his relies for its preservation by continual miracles, as is averred by the author of the sermon on the twelve apostles, attributed to St. Chrysostom. An arm of St. Philip was brought from Constantinople to Florence, in 1204, whereof we have an authentic history in the Bollandists. The Orientals keep his festival on the 14th of November; the Latins on the 1st of May, with St. James. His body is said to be in the church of SS. Philip and James, in Rome, which was dedicated to God under their name, in 560. The emperor Theodosius, in a vision, received from St. John the Evangelist, and St. Philip, the assurance of victory over the tyrant Eugenius, the morning before the battle, in 394, as Theodoret relates.
From St. Philip we must particularly learn an ardent love of God, and desire to see the Father. He asked only this favor, because this was his only desire. Is it ours? Do we feel it so perfect as to extinguish all inordinate earthly affections and desires in our breasts? Do we employ the proper means to attain to this happy disposition? To obtain it, let us employ the succor of this apostle's prayers, and by disengaging our hearts from corruption and vanity, become, in desires and affections, citizens of heaven. The pilgrim soul sees herself a stranger here on earth, and discovers nothing in this desert place of her banishment hut an abyss of vanity, and subjects of compunction, grief, and fears. On the other side, looking up to God, she contemplates the magnificence and splendor of his kingdom, which will have no end; its peace, security, sanctity without stain, delights without sorrow, unchangeable and incomprehensible joys; and she cries out in a holy transport: "O joy surpassing all joys, and without which there is no true joy, when shall I possess you? O, sovereign good, discover to me some ray of thy beauty and of thy glory; may my heart be set on flame by thy love, and my soul languish and wade with desire to be united to thee, to behold thee face to face, to sing thy praises night and day, to drink of the plenty of thy house, and of the torrent of thy delights, to be forever confirmed in thy love, and in some measure transformed into thee!" Such a soul seeks to hide herself from the eyes of men, to live unknown to the world; and, in retirement and repose, to apply herself to prayer, all her thoughts being taken up in contemplating the glorious things which are said of the blessed city of her God. All worldly enjoyments and distractions are insupportable to her, and she finds no comfort in this place of banishment but in singing the praises of her God, in adoring and in doing always his will, and in the sweet sighs and tears with which she seeks him, and begs him to reign perfectly in her affections by his grace and love, and to draw her speedily to himself out of this Babylon, in which every object increases her affliction, and inflames her desire, seeming to say to her: <Where is thy God?>
|(Vatican Radio IMAGE-SHARE)|
BENEDICT XVI RETURNS TO THE VATICAN THIS AFTERNOON
Vatican City, 2 May 2013 (VIS) – Shortly before 5:00pm this afternoon, Pope Francis will go to receive Pope emeritus Benedict XVI who is returning to the Vatican after his two month stay at Castel Gandolfo.
Benedict XVI will leave Castel Gandolfo by helicopter around 4:30pm and will arrive some 20 minutes later at the Vatican heliport. From this afternoon on, the Pope emeritus will take up permanent residence at the “Mater Ecclesiae” convent, which has been recently restored. Joining him will be his secretary, Archbishop Georg Ganswein, prefect of the Prefecture of the Papal Household, and the four women of the “Memores Domini” lay association who have been part of the Papal Household for years, cleaning and cooking. The monastery, built over 20 years ago at the bequest of Blessed John Paul II, has housed four different cloistered orders over the years: Poor Claires, Discalced Carmelites, Benedictine nuns, and Visitandine nuns.
In these past two months, Pope Francis and the Pope emeritus have spoken several times by telephone, such as on 19 March and 16 April, respectively Benedict XVI's saint's day and his birthday. The two also met on 23 March in the Apostolic Palace of Castel Gandolfo.
|MESSAGE OF PONTIFICAL COUNCIL FOR INTERRELIGIOUS DIALOGUE FOR FEAST OF VESAKH|
Vatican City, 2 May 2013 (VIS) – Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran and Fr. Miguel Angel Ayuso Guixot M.C.C.I., respectively president and secretary of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, signed the message that, on the occasion of the feast of Vesakh, that dicastery annually sends to the followers of Buddhism.
Vesakh is a major Buddhist holy day that commemorates the birth, enlightenment, and death of Gautama Buddha. According to tradition, the historical Buddha was born, achieved enlightenment and passed away during the full moon of the month of May, thus Vesakh is a mobile feast, which this year falls on 24 or 25 May, depending on the country it is celebrated in. On those days, Buddhists visit local temples to offer the monks food and to hear the teachings of the Buddha, taking special care to meditate and to observe the eight precepts of Buddhism.
This year's message is entitled: “Christians and Buddhists: Loving, Defending, and Promoting Human Life”. Following is the letter in its entirety.
“On behalf of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, I would like to extend my heartfelt greetings and good wishes to all of you, as you celebrate the feast of Vesakh which offers us Christians an occasion to renew our friendly dialogue and close collaboration with the different traditions that you represent.”
“Pope Francis, at the very beginning of his ministry, has reaffirmed the necessity of dialogue of friendship among followers of different religions. He noted that: 'The Church is […] conscious of the responsibility which all of us have for our world, for the whole of creation, which we must love and protect. There is much that we can do to benefit the poor, the needy, and those who suffer, and to favour justice, promote reconciliation, and build peace' ('Audience with Representatives of the Churches and Ecclesial Communities and of the Different Religions', 20 March 2013). The Message of the World Day of Peace in 2013 entitled 'Blessed are the Peacemakers', notes that: 'The path to the attainment of the common good and to peace is above all that of respect for human life in all its many aspects, beginning with its conception, through its development and up to its natural end. True peacemakers, then, are those who love, defend, and promote human life in all its dimensions—personal, communitarian, and transcendent. Life in its fullness is the height of peace. Anyone who loves peace cannot tolerate attacks and crimes against life' ('Message for the World Day of Peace' in 2013, n. 4).”
“I wish to voice that the Catholic Church has sincere respect for your noble religious tradition. Frequently we note a consonance with values expressed also in your religious books: respect for life, contemplation, silence, simplicity (cf. 'Verbum Domini', no. 119). Our genuine fraternal dialogue needs to foster what we Buddhists and Christians have in common especially a shared profound reverence for life.”
“Dear Buddhist friends, your first precept teaches you to abstain from destroying the life of any sentient being and it thus prohibits killing oneself and others. The cornerstone of your ethics lies in loving kindness to all beings. We Christians believe that the core of Jesus’ moral teaching is twofold; love of God and love of neighbour. Jesus says: 'As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you; abide in my love'. And again: 'This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you' ('Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 1823).The fifth Christian Commandment, 'You shall not kill' harmonizes so well with your first precept. 'Nostra Aetate' teaches that: 'the Catholic Church rejects nothing of what is true and holy in these religions' (NA 2). I think, therefore, that it is urgent for both Buddhists and Christians on the basis of the genuine patrimony of our religious traditions to create a climate of peace to love, defend, and promote human life.”
“As we all know, in spite of these noble teachings on the sanctity of human life, evil in different forms contributes to the dehumanization of the person by mitigating the sense of humanity in individuals and communities. This tragic situation calls upon us, Buddhists and Christians, to join hands to unmask the threats to human life and to awaken the ethical consciousness of our respective followers to generate a spiritual and moral rebirth of individuals and societies in order to be true peacemakers who love, defend and promote human life in all its dimensions.”
“Dear Buddhist friends, let us continue to collaborate with a renewed compassion and fraternity to alleviate the suffering of the human family by fostering the sacredness of human life. It is in this spirit that I wish you once again a peaceful and joyful feast of Vesakh.”
|ARCHBISHOP BECCIU SPEAKS OF POPE FRANCIS' REFORM|
Vatican City, 2 May 2013 (VIS) – On 13 April, the news that Pope Francis had established a group of eight cardinals to advise him on the government of the universal Church and to study a plan for revising the Apostolic Constitution on the Roman Curia, “Pastor Bonus” was made public. The decision generated great interest and, at the same time, more than a few speculations. Yesterday, 1 May, Archbishop Angelo Becciu, substitute of the Secretariat of State, gave an interview on this topic to the Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, from which ample extracts are given below.
Osservatore Romano: Much speculation has been heard regarding the reform of the Curia: the balance of power, economic “super-ministers”, revolutions, etc...
Archbishop Becciu: "Actually, it is a little strange. The Pope has not yet met with the group of advisers who have been chosen and already advice is raining down. After having spoken with the Holy Father, I can say that, at this moment, it is absolutely premature to put forward any hypothesis about the future structure of the Curia. Pope Francis is listening to everyone but, in the first place, he will want to listen to those whom he has chosen as advisers. Following that, a project of reform of the 'Pastor Bonus' will be outlined, which will obviously have to follow its own process."
OR: Likewise, much has been said about the IOR, the Institute for Religious Works. Some have gone so far as to predict its elimination.
AB: "The Pope was surprised to see words attributed to him that he never said and that misrepresent his thoughts. The only mention about it was during a brief homily at the Santa Marta, made off the cuff, in which he passionately recalled how the essence of the Church consists in a story of love between God and human beings, and how the various human structures, the IOR among them, should be less important. His reference was a mention, motivated by the presence of some of the employees of the IOR at the Mass, in the context of a serious invitation to never lose sight of the essential nature of the Church."
OR: Should we expect that a restructuring of the current organization of dicasteries may not be imminent?
AB: "I don't know how to predict the timing. The Pope, in any case, has asked us all, the heads of dicasteries, to continue in our service, without, however, wanting to proceed for the moment in confirming any positions. The same holds for the members of the Congregations and the Pontifical Councils: the normal cycle of confirmations or nominations, which occur at end of five-year mandates, is for the moment suspended, and everyone continues in their assigned job 'until otherwise provided for' ('donec aliter provideatur'). This indicates the Holy Father's desire to take the time needed for reflection—and for prayer, we must not forget—in order to have the full picture of the situation."
OR: Regarding the group of advisers, some have argued that such a choice might put the Pope's primacy in question...
AB: It is a consultative, not a decision-making, body and I truly do not see how Pope Francis' choice might put the primacy in question. However, it is true that it is a gesture of great importance, which means to send a clear signal regarding the way in which the Holy Father would like to exercise his ministry. We must not forget the first task that has been assigned to the group of eight cardinals: to assist the pontiff in the government of the universal Church. I would not like for curiosity regarding the arrangement and the structures of the Roman curia to overshadow the profound meaning of Pope Francis' gesture.
OR: But isn't the expression “to advise” a little too vague?
AB: On the contrary, advising is an important task that is theologically defined in the Church and that finds expression on many levels. Think, for example, of the bodies participating in dioceses and parishes, or of councils of superiors, provincials, and generals in the Institutes of consecrated life. The function of advising must be interpreted in theological terms: from a worldly perspective we should say that a council without decision-making power is irrelevant but that would mean equating the Church to a business. Instead, theologically, advising has a function of absolute importance: helping the superior in the task of discernment, in understanding what the Spirit asks of the Church in a precise historical moment. Without this reference, for that matter, it wouldn't even be possible to understand the true meaning of the action of government in the Church.
|POPE NOTES THAT WORK IS FUNDAMENTAL ELEMENT IN DIGNITY OF PERSON|
Vatican City, 1 May 2013 (VIS) – The importance of work and contemplating Jesus, following Joseph and Mary's example, were the central themes of the Pope's first catechesis in the month of May, which coincided with the feast of St. Joseph the Worker.
Before the more than 70,000 persons gathered in St. Peter's Square for the general audience, the Pope explained that Jesus “enters into our history, comes among us, born of Mary by an act of God, but with the presence of St. Joseph, his legal father who cares for him and also teaches him his work … the trade of carpentry in his workshop in Nazareth, sharing with him the commitment, the fatigue, the satisfaction, and also the difficulties of every day. This reminds us of the dignity and importance of labour. The Book of Genesis narrates that God created man and woman, entrusting to them the task of filling and subduing the earth, which did not mean exploiting it but cultivating and safeguarding it, caring for it with their very labour.”
“Labour is part of God's plan of love. We are called to cultivate and safeguard all the goods of creation and, in this way, we participate in the act of creation! Labour is a fundamental element for the dignity of a person. … It makes us like God, who laboured and labours, who always acts. He gives us the capacity to maintain ourselves, our family, to contribute to the growth of our own nations. Here,” the pontiff added, “I am thinking of the difficulties that, in various countries, the world of labour and business encounters today. I am think of how many, and not just young persons, are unemployed,often because of an economistic conception of society that seeks selfish profit, outside the parameters of social justice.”
“I would like to invite all to solidarity, and encourage those responsible for public affairs to make every effort to give new impetus to employment. This means having care for the dignity of the person. Mostly I would like to say not to lose hope. Even St. Joseph had difficult moments, but he never lost trust and he knew how to overcome them with the certainty that God does not abandon us. “
After that exhortation, the Bishop of Rome referenced another troubling situation, “slave labour”, work that enslaves. “How many persons around the world are victims of this type of slavery in which the person is at the service of labour while it should be labour that offers service to the person so that they might have dignity. I ask our brothers and sisters in the faith and all men and women of good will to make a decisive choice against the trafficking of persons within which 'slave labour' figures.”
The Pope then touched upon the second theme of his catechesis, Jesus, who was Joseph and Mary's shared centre of attention in the silence of their everyday actions. The attitude of both is revealed in how the Virgin, as St. Luke narrates in his Gospel, “kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart.” “In order to listen to the Lord, we need to learn how to contemplate him, to perceive his constant presence in our lives. We need to stop and dialogue with him, give him space with our prayer. … Let us remember the Lord more during our days!”
During this month of May, I would like to recall the important and the beauty of praying the Holy Rosary,” Francis continued, “contemplating the mysteries of Jesus, reflecting, that is, on the central moments of his life, so that, as for Mary and St. Joseph, He may be the centre of our thoughts, of our concerns, and of our actions. It would be beautiful if, above all during this month of May, we would recite together in our families, with our friends, and in our parishes, the Holy Rosary or some prayer to Jesus and the Virgin Mary. Praying together is a precious moment for making our family life and our friendship more steadfast! Let us learn to pray more in our families and as a family!”
“Let us ask St. Joseph and the Virgin Mary,” the Holy Father concluded, “to teach us to be faithful to our everyday commitments, to live our faith in our everyday actions, and to give more space to the Lord in our lives, to stop and contemplate his face.”
Vatican City, 2 May 2013 (VIS) – This morning, the Holy Father received in separate audiences:
- His Excellency Mr. Aleksander Avdeev, the new ambassador of the Russian Federation to the Holy See, presenting his credential letters,
- Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, titular of Cluentum and president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, and
- His Excellency Mr. Jozef Dravecky, ambassador of the Slovak Republic, on his farewell visit.
This afternoon he is scheduled to receive Cardinal Angelo Amato, S.D.B., prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.
|OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS|
Vatican City, 2 May 2013 (VIS) – Today, the Holy Father:
- appointed Fr. Raymond Browne as bishop of Kerry (area 5,300, population 149,514, Catholics 143,300, priests 113, religious 215), Ireland. The bishop-elect was born in Athlone, Ireland in 1957 and was ordained a priest in 1982. Since ordination he has served in several pastoral and judicial roles, most recently as pastor in Ballagh and the Diocese of Elphin's designated contact for the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church in Ireland (NBSCCCI) as well as for assistance for elderly and ill clergy. He succeeds Bishop William Murphy, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.
- gave his assent to the canonical election carried out by the Synod of Bishops of the Greek-Melkite Church of Archimandrite Nicolas Antipa, B.A., as metropolitan archbishop of Bosra e Hauran of the Greek-Melkites (Catholics 27,000, priests 22, religious 10), Syria. The archbishop-elect was born in Aleppo, Syria, in 1945 and ordained a priest in 1971. Since ordination he has served in several pastoral and academic roles, most recently as professor of Sacred Scripture at the Saint Paul Theological Institute of Harissa, Lebanon and at the Institute of Theological and Pastoral Studies of the archeparchy of Beirut of the Greek-Melkites, Lebanon.