Saturday, August 10, 2019

Saint August 11 : St. Clare the Founder of the Poor Clares and Patron of Television and Sore Eyes


Cofoundress of the Order of Poor Ladies, or Clares, and first Abbess of San Damiano; born at Assisi, 16 July, 1194; died there 11 August, 1253.She was the eldest daughter of Favorino Scifi, Count of Sasso-Rosso, the  wealthy representative of an ancient Roman family, who owned a large palace in Assisi and a castle on the slope of Mount Subasio. Such at least is the traditional account. Her mother, Bl. Ortolana, belonged to the noble family of Fiumi and was conspicuous for her zeal and piety.From her earliest years Clare seems to have been endowed with the rarest virtues. As a child she was most devoted to prayer and to practices of mortification, and as she passed into girlhood her distaste for the world and her yearning for a more spiritual life increased. She was eighteen years of age when St. Francis came to preach the Lenten course in the church of San Giorgio at Assisi. The inspired words of the Poverello kindled a flame in the heart of Clare; she sought him out secretly and begged him to help her that she too might live "after the manner of the holy Gospel". St. Francis, who at once recognized in Clare one of those chosen souls destined by God for great things, and who also, doubtless, foresaw that many would follow her example, promised to assist her. On Palm Sunday Clare, arrayed in all her finery, attended high Mass at the cathedral, but when the others pressed forward to the altar-rail to receive a branch of palm, she remained in her place as if rapt in a dream. All eyes were upon the young girl as the bishop descended from the sanctuary and placed the palm in her hand. That was the last time the world beheld Clare. On the night of the same day she secretly left her father's house, by St. Francis's advice and, accompanied by her aunt Bianca and another companion, proceeded to the humble chapel of the Porziuncula, where St. Francis and his disciples met her with lights in their hands. Clare then laid aside her rich dress, and St. Francis, having cut off her hair, clothed her in a rough tunic and a thick veil, and in this way the young heroine vowed herself to the service of Jesus Christ. This was 20 March, 1212.
SOURCE: CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA

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#BreakingNews Millionaire Jeffrey Epstein Accused of Sex Trafficking found Dead in Jail Cell by possible Suicide


Jeffrey Epstein died by possible suicide  at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan.  He was arrested July 6, 2019 on federal sex trafficking charges.
Jeffrey Epstein, the well-connected financier accused of orchestrating a sex-trafficking ring, had been taken off suicide watch before he killed himself in a New York jail.

Attorney General William Barr said, "Mr. Epstein's death raises serious questions that must be answered," in a statement.
 The FBI and the Department of Justice's Office of the Inspector General will investigate, he said.


Epstein was found unresponsive in his cell on Saturday, August 10, 2019  at the Metropolitan Correctional Center, according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons. Fire officials received a call at 6:39 a.m. Saturday that Epstein was in cardiac arrest, and he was pronounced dead at New York Presbyterian-Lower Manhattan Hospital.

Epstein, 66, had been denied bail and faced up to 45 years behind bars on federal sex trafficking and conspiracy charges unsealed last month. He had pleaded not guilty and was awaiting trial on accusations of sexually abusing dozens of underage girls.

Lisa Bloom, a lawyer representing some of Epstein's alleged victims, tweeted after his death that civil cases will proceed against his estate. She added that her clients would have liked him to live to "face justice."

She later added a statement from an alleged victim who says, "I will never have a sense of closure now."


A little over two weeks ago, Epstein was found on the floor of his jail cell with bruises on his neck, according to a person familiar with the matter who spoke on condition of anonymity. At the time, it was not clear whether the injuries were self-inflicted or from an assault.


On Friday, more than 2,000 pages of documents were released related to a since-settled lawsuit against Epstein's ex-girlfriend by Virginia Giuffre, one of Epstein's accusers. The records contain graphic allegations against Epstein, as well as the transcript of a 2016 deposition of Epstein in which he repeatedly refused to answer questions to avoid incriminating himself.


Sigrid McCawley, Giuffre's attorney, said Epstein's suicide less than 24 hours after the documents were unsealed "is no coincidence."

Edited from CBC

Pope Francis Renews the Statutes of the Vatican Bank (IOR) and allows for External Auditor


Vatican News Report: Pope Francis renews the Statutes of the Vatican Bank (IOR)
Pope Francis approves the renewed Statutes for the Institute for the Works of Religion (IOR). These include the appointment of an external auditor and new regulations regarding both governance and employees.
By Sergio Centofanti

Pope Pius XII founded the Institute for the Works of Religion (IOR), commonly known as the Vatican Bank, in 1942 – although its origins go back to 1887 and the pontificate of Pope Leo XIII. In 1990, Pope Saint John Paul II approved the IOR’s Statutes in order to better adapt the Vatican Bank "to the needs of the times".

With an Administrative Order, published on Saturday, Pope Francis has renewed those Statutes ad experimentum, for a period of two years.

The mission of the IOR
As expressed in the original Statutes, the purpose of the Institute remains unchanged: “to provide for the custody and administration of goods transferred or entrusted to the Institute by natural or legal persons, designated for religious works or charity”.

The role of the External Auditor
One of the main changes contained in the renewed Statutes is the introduction of an external auditor, who can be a person or a company. The Institute's governing bodies no longer include three internal auditors, whose office was renewable. The Commission of Cardinals appoints the external auditor following the proposal of the Superintendence Board. The position is held for three consecutive financial years, renewable only once, and includes responsibility for the statutory audit of all accounts. The external auditor may “express opinions on the Institute's financial statements in a special report", "examine all the books and accounting documents", and "request any information useful for auditing activities".

The Commission of Cardinals
The IOR’s internal structures have been reduced from five to four. The Commission of five Cardinals, appointed by the Pope for a five-year period, can be confirmed only once, rather than indefinitely as before.

The Board of Superintendence
The Board of Superintendence, composed of seven members (previously five), appointed for a five-year period by the Commission of Cardinals, can also now be confirmed only once. The Board may establish "special advisory committees within the Board in order to receive adequate support in taking decisions on specific matters". The President of the Board of Superintendence, appointed by the Commission of Cardinals, is the legal representative of the IOR.

The role of the Prelate
The Prelate is appointed for five years by the Commission of Cardinals and can also serve only one term. The renewed Statutes describe this role in detail: it includes promoting the "ethical dimension" of administrators and employees so that their work is consistent with Catholic principles and the mission of the Institute, and maintaining constant exchanges with all IOR staff. The Prelate also keeps in his office the archive of the Commission of Cardinals, placing it at the disposal of the cardinals, should they request it.

The Governance
The Institute's fourth governing body is the Board of Directors. The Director General may be appointed for a fixed term (a five-year period that may be confirmed only once) or for an indefinite period: in any case, he or she ceases to hold office at the age of 70.

Replacement of members
According to the new Statutes, any member may be replaced, not only if they fail in their responsibilities, but if they prove to be “incapable or cease to hold office prematurely for any reason".

Exclusivity of employment
There is also a new paragraph regarding staff obligations: "All employees of the Institute are obliged to have exclusive employment rights during their employment. They may not engage in any other activity of an advisory nature, whether paid or unpaid, nor may they engage or participate in any commercial activity, in any capacity, either inside or outside the Vatican City State".

Reference to Canon Law
The IOR has no subsidiaries or branches. The responsibility for the custody and administration of the goods received is governed by the rules of Vatican City State, the Statutes and the Implementing Regulations, as well as by the code of Canon Law. In cases of proven necessity, meetings of the Board of Superintendence may be held by means of telecommunications.

Most recent IOR report
In June this year, the IOR published its balance sheet for 2018, which recorded a profit of 17.5 million euros (compared to 31.9 million in 2017). Despite being lower than the previous year, the IOR said in a statement that this result was achieved "despite strong turbulence in the markets" and "the persistence of very low interest rates". In a press release also issued in June, the IOR stressed its efforts at “refining the introduction of negative and positive screening criteria for selecting financial assets in which to make investments consistent with Catholic ethics, exclusively selecting companies that carry out activities that are compliant with the Social Doctrine of the Catholic Church".

Supporting those in need
The same statement explains how the IOR continues “to make investments aimed at supporting the development of the poorest countries, with choices consistent with the realization of a sustainable future” for the generations to come. The Institute for the Works of Religion also contributes “to the performance of many charitable and social activities, through financial donations and by letting properties it owns at low prices or offering them for free to entities that pursue social aims”.
FULL TEXT Release by VaticanNewsva

#BreakingNews over 40 Deaths and 100,000 people displaced by Floods in India

Asia News Report: Monsoon rains cause emergency in western India with over 40 deaths and 100,000 people displaced
by Nirmala Carvalho
Kerala, Maharashtra and Karnataka are the most affected states. More heavy rains are expected in the next 24 hours. “Catholics are at the forefront of saving lives,” said Mgr Derek Fernandes, bishop of Belgaum. “We ask for prayers and solidarity of all kinds,” he added. Card Gracia meets local bishops and coordinates aid from Bangalore.


New Delhi (AsiaNews) – Non-stop monsoon rains have devastated western India causing floods. In the last three days, 22 people have died in Kerala, whilst more than 20 people lost their lives in Maharashtra and neighbouring Karnataka.

As rescue operations continue, more than 120,000 have been evacuated. The weather service warns that more heavy rains are expected over the next 24 hours.

"At present, villages have been isolated. Catholic social services in Karwar have rushed emergency measures to provide relief and assistance,” said Mgr Derek Fernandes, bishop of Belgaum and apostolic administrator of Karwar (Karnataka), speaking to AsiaNews.

“Catholics are at the forefront of saving lives,” he added, “and are providing immediate relief to people: we have opened all our facilities as shelters for them.”

"Roads have been washed away, so reaching villages is very difficult,” he noted. “However, people from Catholic social services are travelling by boat or any other means to bring relief to suffering people without any thought of caste or creed. The Catholic Church suffers with them."

"It took me 32 hours to reach Karwar from Belgaum. Usually, it takes only three and a half hours,” Mgr Fernandes explained. “The situation is very bad. The suffering of the people is tremendous. We are supplying food to about 2,000 people,” and "Our medical teams are in the field with their ambulances.”

“The poorest people are the most affected. They have lost everything. The little they had was washed away by the floods: houses, livestock, crops; all their possessions have gone. We ask for prayers and solidarity of all kinds.”

"The Catholic Church in Karnataka is very worried; we are coordinating aid for the people affected by the floods,” said Mgr Peter Machado, archbishop of Bangalore (Karnataka). “We are doing collections in all our churches, for relief and rehabilitation” of the area.

Card Oswald Gracias, archbishop of Mumbai and president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India (CBCI), also expressed sorrow for the loss of human life, damage and devastation.

"The Catholic Church feels heartfelt solidarity for all those affected by the floods. I will contact Caritas India to organise relief and emergency rescue,” Card Oswald said. “We will also send teams of medical personnel.”

"Bishop Derek Fernandes is already overseeing rescue and relief operations,” he explained. “As I am currently in Bangalore, I will meet all the bishops of Karnataka to coordinate relief and rehabilitation for victims and survivors. Collections during Masses will go to flood relief.”

“I invoke God’s consolation and strength for those affected by these floods.”
FULL TEXT Release by Asia News IT - Image source: Google Images

Head of Polish Bishops' Conference warning of LGBT "Respect for specified individuals cannot, however, lead to the acceptance of an ideology..."


Archbishop Stanisław Gądecki, President of the Polish Bishops’ Conference in a statement on LGBT+ issued August 8, 2019.

FULL TEXT Statement on LGBT+

Despite the holidays, which should be a time of rest and reflection on the beauty of nature created by God, polemics arose in Poland over the “LGBT ideology” (gay, lesbian, bisexual and transsexual). This is probably related to the offensive of LGBT+ milieus and a significant increase in the number of so-called pride marches organized in our country, as well as with the introduction to school curricula of a new approach to sexual education, in accordance with this ideology, planned by some local governments after holidays.

People belonging to milieus of the so-called sexual minorities are our brothers and sisters for whom Christ gave his life and whom He wants also to be saved. Respect for specified individuals cannot, however, lead to the acceptance of an ideology that aims to revolutionize social customs and interpersonal relationships. “This revolution of customs and morals – emphasizes Pope Francis – has often waved «the flag of freedom», but it has, in reality, brought spiritual and material devastation to countless human beings, especially the poorest and most vulnerable” (Vatican, 17.11.2014).

Hence my appeal to local authorities not to make decisions that – under the guise of counteracting discrimination – would conceal the ideology that denies the natural gender difference and complementarity between men and women. I also appeal to parliamentarians to resist the far-reaching plans of LGBT+ milieus, that aim to change Polish law in order to introduce the so-called “homosexual marriage” and the possibility of adoption children by them.

The wave of criticism that affected the Metropolitan of Cracow, the archbishop, and professor, as well as the reactions of employers towards people expressing their disapproval of LGBT+ ideology, testify to the ideological totalitarianism rooted in certain milieus, consisting in removing people who think differently outside the sphere of freedom. Therefore, I appeal to all people of goodwill to apply the principle of non-discrimination in public discussion not only to the supporters of the mentioned ideology, but also to allow its opponents on equal rights to debate.

Archbishop Stanisław Gądecki

Metropolitan of Poznań

President of the Polish Bishops’ Conference

Warsaw, August 8, 2019

Research shows that only one-third of U.S. Catholics agree with their church that Eucharist is Body, Blood of Christ


Latest research released by the Pew Research Center acknowledges that just one-third of U.S. Catholics agree with their church that Eucharist is body, blood of Christ
In a recent report by Gregory A. Smith, the associate director of research at Pew Research Center, the beliefs of many Catholics were revealed.
The report explains:
Transubstantiation – the idea that during Mass, the bread and wine used for Communion become the body and blood of Jesus Christ – is central to the Catholic faith. Indeed, the Catholic Church teaches that “the Eucharist is ‘the source and summit of the Christian life.’”

But a new Pew Research Center survey finds that most self-described Catholics don’t believe this core teaching. In fact, nearly seven-in-ten Catholics (69%) say they personally believe that during Catholic Mass, the bread and wine used in Communion “are symbols of the body and blood of Jesus Christ.” Just one-third of U.S. Catholics (31%) say they believe that “during Catholic Mass, the bread and wine actually become the body and blood of Jesus.”

Seven-in-ten U.S. Catholics believe bread, wine used in Communion are symbolic

However, what was important to notice in the report was the fact that about six-in-ten (63%) of the most observant Catholics — those who attend Mass at least once a week — accept the church’s teaching about transubstantiation.

This is an significant finding about the crucial element of the Catholic faith, namely, transubstantiation: when the bread and wine become the body and blood of Christ.
It is important to change this statistic by education and prayer please consider reading and sharing this article explaining the Eucharist :


What is the Eucharist or Communion? 5 Points on the Eucharist to Share from the Bible and Catechism

US Bishops' Chairmen Call for Change in Language and Rhetoric of All Americans - Full Text




In Wake of Horrific, Hate Filled Violence in El Paso, USCCB Migration Chairman, Domestic Social Development Chairman, and Chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee on Racism Call for Change in Language and Rhetoric of All Americans
WASHINGTON— Today, Bishops from three committees at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) expressed their deep concern about racism and xenophobia that apparently motivated this weekend’s massacre in El Paso and that have motivated numerous other recent mass shootings in the United States. The Chairmen called on our elected officials to exert leadership in seeking to heal the wounds that these shootings have caused and to deal with the scourges of racism, xenophobia, and religious bigotry, including refraining from expressing hurtful, painful, and divisive rhetoric that dehumanizes and polarizes people on the basis of their race, religion, ethnicity, or national origin.   Bishop Joe S. Vásquez of Austin, chairman of the Committee on Migration, Bishop Frank J. Dewane, Bishop of Venice, FL, chairman of the Committee on Domestic Social Development, and Bishop Shelton J. Fabre, Bishop of Houma-Thibodaux, chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism offered the following comments.
“The tragic loss of life of 22 people this weekend in El Paso demonstrates that hate-filled rhetoric and ideas can become the motivation for some to commit acts of violence. The anti-immigrant, anti-refugee, anti-Muslim, and anti-Semitic sentiments that have been publicly proclaimed in our society in recent years have incited hatred in our communities. Hatred and harsh rhetoric were echoed in the El Paso shooter’s explanation about why he committed this weekend’s shooting, as well as being evident in the motivation of the shooters who attacked the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh last year and the Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston in 2015. We, therefore, renew our call to all to act swiftly to stop using hate-filled language that demeans and divides us and motivates some to such horrific violence. Instead, we ask our leaders and all Americans to work to unite us as a great, diverse, and welcoming people.”
Full Text Press Release USCCB

Quote to SHARE by St. Edith Stein "The Nation doesn't simply need what we have. It needs what we are."


"The Nation doesn't simply need what we have. It needs what we are." 
by St. Edith Stein

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Saturday, August 10, 2019 - #Eucharist


Feast of Saint Lawrence, Deacon and Martyr
Lectionary: 618

Reading 12 COR 9:6-10

Brothers and sisters:
Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly,
and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.
Each must do as already determined, without sadness or compulsion,
for God loves a cheerful giver.
Moreover, God is able to make every grace abundant for you,
so that in all things, always having all you need,
you may have an abundance for every good work.
As it is written:

He scatters abroad, he gives to the poor;
his righteousness endures forever.


The one who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food
will supply and multiply your seed
and increase the harvest of your righteousness.

Responsorial PsalmPS 112:1-2, 5-6, 7-8, 9

R.(5) Blessed the man who is gracious and lends to those in need.
Blessed the man who fears the LORD,
who greatly delights in his commands.
His posterity shall be mighty upon the earth;
the upright generation shall be blessed.
R. Blessed the man who is gracious and lends to those in need.
Well for the man who is gracious and lends,
who conducts his affairs with justice;
He shall never be moved;
the just one shall be in everlasting remembrance.
R. Blessed the man who is gracious and lends to those in need.
An evil report he shall not fear;
his heart is firm, trusting in the LORD.
His heart is steadfast; he shall not fear
till he looks down upon his foes.
R. Blessed the man who is gracious and lends to those in need.
Lavishly he gives to the poor,
his generosity shall endure forever;
his horn shall be exalted in glory.
R. Blessed the man who is gracious and lends to those in need.

AlleluiaJN 8:12BC

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness
but will have the light of life, says the Lord.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelJN 12:24-26

Jesus said to his disciples:
"Amen, amen, I say to you,
unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies,
it remains just a grain of wheat;
but if it dies, it produces much fruit.
Whoever loves his life loses it,
and whoever hates his life in this world
will preserve it for eternal life.
Whoever serves me must follow me,
and where I am, there also will my servant be.
The Father will honor whoever serves me."