Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Holy Mass Online - Readings and Video : Wednesday, August 12, 2020 - Virtual Church



FIRST READING
Ezekiel 2.8 – 3.4
Thus says the Lord: But you, mortal, hear what I say to you; do not be rebellious like that rebellious house; open your mouth and eat what I give you. I looked, and a hand was stretched out to me, and a written scroll was in it. He spread it before me; it had writing on the front and on the back, and written on it were words of lamentation and mourning and woe.
He said to me, O mortal, eat what is offered to you; eat this scroll, and go, speak to the house of Israel. So I opened my mouth, and he gave me the scroll to eat. He said to me, Mortal, eat this scroll that I give you and fill your stomach with it. Then I ate it; and in my mouth it was as sweet as honey.

He said to me: Mortal, go to the house of Israel and speak my very words to them.

PSALM
Psalm 119
R. How sweet to my taste is your promise!

I delight in the way of your decrees as much as in all riches. Your decrees are my delight, they are my counsellors. R.

The law of your mouth is better to me than thousands of gold and silver pieces. How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! R.

Your decrees are my heritage forever; they are the joy of my heart. With open mouth I pant, because I long for your commandments. R.

GOSPEL
Matthew 18.1-5, 10, 12-14
At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” Jesus called a child, whom he put among them, and said, “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever becomes humble like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.

“Take care that you do not despise one of these little ones; for, I tell you, in heaven their angels continually see the face of my Father in heaven.

“What do you think? If a shepherd has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray? And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray.

“So it is not the will of your Father in heaven that one of these little ones should be lost.”


Prayer to make Spiritual Communion:
People who cannot communicate now make spiritual communion.
At your feet, O my Jesus I bow down and offer you the repentance of my contrite heart, which abysses itself into its nothingness and Your holy presence. I adore you in the Sacrament of Your love, the ineffable Eucharist. I wish to receive you in the poor home that my heart offers you. In anticipation of the happiness of sacramental communion, I want to possess you in spirit. Come to me, oh my Jesus, that I may come to you. May Your love inflame my whole being, for life and death. I believe in you, I hope in you, I love you. So be it. Amen

Saint August 12 : St. Jane Frances de Chantal a Foundress and Patron of the Forgotten

Born:
January 28, 1572, Dijon, Burgundy, France
Died:
December 13, 1641, Moulins, France
Canonized:
July 16, 1767, Rome by Pope Clement XIII
Major Shrine:
Annecy, SavoyPatron of:

forgotten people; in-law problems; loss of parents; parents separated from children; widows
Born at Dijon, France, 28 January, 1572; died at the Visitation Convent Moulins, 13 December, 1641.
Her father was president of the Parliament of Burgundy, and leader of the royalist party during the League that brought about the triumph of the cause of Henry IV. In 1592 she married Baron de Chantal, and lived in the feudal castle of Bourbilly. She restored order in the household, which was on the brink of ruin, and brought back prosperity. During her husband's absence at the court, or with the army, when reproached for her extremely sober manner of dressing, her reply was: "The eyes which I must please are a hundred miles from here". She found more than once that God blessed with miracles the care she gave the suffering members of Christ. St. Francis de Sales' eulogy of her characterizes her life at Bourbilly and everywhere else: "In Madame de Chantal I have found the perfect woman, whom Solomon had difficulty in finding in Jerusalem". Baron de Chantal was accidently killed by a harquebus while out shooting in 1601. Left a widow at twenty-eight, with four children, the broken-hearted baroness took a vow of chastity. In all her prayers she besought God to send her a guide and God, in a vision, showed her the spiritual director He held in reserve for her. In order to safeguard her children's property, she was obliged to go and live at Monthelon in the home of her father-in-law, who was ruled over by an arrogant and wicked servant. This was real servitude, which she bore patiently and gently for seven years. At last her virtue triumphed over the ill will of the old man and house keeper.
During Lent, 1604, she visited her father at Dijon, where St. Francis de Sales was preaching at the Sainte Chapelle. She recognized in him the mysterious director who had been shown her, and placed herself under his guidance. Then began an admirable correspondence between the two saints. Unfortunately, the greater number of letters are no longer in existence, as she destroyed them after the death of the holy bishop. When she had assured the future security of children, and when she had provided the education of Celse-Benigne, her fourteen year old son, whom she left to her father and her brother, the Archbishop of Bourges, she started for Annecy, where God was calling her to found the Congregation of the Visitation. She took her two remaining daughters with her, the elder having recently married the Baron of Thorens, a brother of St. Francis de Sales. Celse-Benigne, impetous like those of her race, barred his mother's way by lying across the threshold. Mme de Chantal stopped, overcome: " Can the tears of a child shake her resolution? " said a holy and learned priest, the tutor of   Celse-Benigne. "Oh! no", replied the saint, "but after all I am a mother!" And she stepped over child's body.The Congregation of the Visitation was canonically established at Annecy on Trinity Sunday, 6 June, 1610. Its aim was to receive, with a view to their spiritual advancement, young girls and even widows who had not the desire or strength to subject themselves to the austere ascetical practices in force in all the religious orders at that time. St. Francis de Sales was especially desirous of seeing the realization of his cherished method of attaining perfection, which consisted in always keeping one's will united to the Divine will, in taking so to speak one's soul, heart, and longings into one's hands and giving them into God's keeping, and in seeking always to do what is pleasing to Him. "I do always the things that please him" (John, viii, 29). The two holy founders saw their undertaking prosper. At the time of the death of St. Francis de Sales in 1622, the order already counted thirteen houses; there were eighty-six when St. Jane Frances died; and 164 when she was canonized. The remainder of the saint's life was spent under the protection of the cloister in the practice of the most admirable virtues. If a gentle kindness, vivified and strengthened by a complete spirit of renunciation, predominates in St. Francis de Sales, it is firmness and great vigour which prevails in St. Jane Frances; she did not like to see her daughters giving way to human weakness. Her trials were continuous and borne bravely, and yet she was exceedingly sensitive. Celse-Benigne was an incorrigible duellist. She prayed so fervently that he was given the grace to die a Christian death on the battle-field, during the campaign against the Isle of Re (1627). He left a daughter who became the famous Marquise de Sevigne. To family troubles God added interior crosses which, particularly during the last nine years of her life, kept her in agony of soul from which she was not freed until three months before her death. Her reputation for sanctity was widespread. Queens, princes, and princesses flocked to the reception-room of the Visitation. Wherever she went to establish foundations, the people gave her   ovations. "These people", she would say confused, "do not know   me; they are mistaken". Her body is venerated with that of St. Francis de Sales in the church of the Visitation at Annecy. She was beatified in 1751, canonized in 1767, and 21 August was appointed as her feast day.
The life of the saint was written in the seventeenth century, with inimitable charm, by her secretary, Mother de Chaugy. Monsignor Bougaud, who died Bishop of Laval, published in 1863 a "Histoire de Sainte Chantal" which had a great and well-deserved success.Shared from The Catholic Encyclopedia

Wow Pope Francis Baptizes former Conjoined Twins who were Successfully Separated at Vatican Hospital - Video


Pope baptizes Siamese twins, mother thanks him
Hermine Nzotto, the mother of conjoined baby girls who were successfully separated in an extraordinary surgery at Rome’s Bambino Gesù hospital in June, writes to Pope Francis, thanking him for baptizing her daughters a few days ago.
By Robin Gomes

Hermine Nzotto wrote a letter to Pope Francis who recently baptized her twin baby girls.

In her letter, Hermine Nzotto, a native of the Central African Republic (CAR), recounts her life as a "peasant girl from the forest" in the town of  Mbaiki, some 100 km from the capital Bangui, where her Siamese twins were born with fused skulls on June 29, 2018.

Hope of Holy Door in CAR
The twins were transferred to Bangui, where they were cared for in a hospital built with the help of Bambino Gesu Pediatric Hospital, a Vatican-owned hospital in Rome. The unit built in the Central African Republic was a project started after Pope Francis visited the war-torn country in November 2015.
In Bangui, the hospital made arrangements and transferred the mother and her daughters to Rome on September 10, 2018, to see if they could be separated.  At the end of the third surgery on June 5 that ran for 18-hours, involving some 30 specialists, the two girls, Ervina and Prefina, were successfully separated.  They were baptized by Pope Francis recently at a private ceremony at Casa Santa Marta in the Vatican.

During his 2015 visit to Bangui, the Pope had launched the Jubilee of Mercy by opening the Holy Door of the cathedral.  That door assumes an added significance for the mother and her daughters, as Nzotto expresses in her letter to the Pope.

Bridge for the needy
“Baptizing my miraculous Mary and Frances by Your Holiness assures me that God is truly close to the least,” Nzotto writes to the Pope, using the baby girls' baptismal names. "If tomorrow my daughters are able to be among the luckiest children on earth who go to school and learn what I do not know and which I now desire to know, and one day to be able to read Bible verses to my daughters, then it is not a Holy Door that you opened in Bangui in 2015, which closed a year later.

Rather, she continues, “it is a bridge that you built for eternity, which needy people like me and people of goodwill like the team of doctors who are treating my separated inseparable ones can cross”.

Pope knows what the world needs
In her letter, the mother of the two girls expresses her heartfelt gratitude to the doctors of the Bambino Gesù Hospital, Dr Mariella Enoc, the president of the hospital who arranged her transfer and the surgery and Dr Carlo Efisio Marras, the head of the Neurosurgery department, whose team "miraculously separated and resurrected" her daughters.

In conclusion, Hermine Nzotto writes, “Prayer is what can unite the people of the earth.”  Hence, she promises her prayers to Mary for Pope Francis saying, he who dared to defy mosquito bites and visit the CAR during the rebellion in 2015, knows better than her what to ask of the Virgin Mary for the world.
FULL TEXT Release: VaticanNews.va

Over 70 Faith Leaders and Cardinals Call for End to "Genocide" of Uyghur Population - FULL TEXT Press Release


PRESS RELEASE: NGOS AND FAITH GROUPS WELCOME CALL BY FORMER ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY AND OVER 75 FAITH LEADERS FOR ACTION TO STOP ATROCITY CRIMES AGAINST UYGHURS
Posted on August 9, 2020, in "Re-Education" Camps Arbitrary Arrests Cultural Rights Enforced Disappearances Freedom of Religion Human Rights Defenders Human Rights Issues News Other

Press Release– For immediate release
09 August 2020
Contact: World Uyghur Congress www.uyghurcongress.org
+49 89 5432 1999 or contact@uyghurcongress.org

Stop Uyghur Genocide, the World Uyghur Congress, the Coalition for Genocide Response, CSW and the Board of Deputies of British Jews welcome the release of a statement today by leaders of faith and belief communities calling for action to stop atrocity crimes against the Uyghurs in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR), which the Uyghurs refer to as East Turkestan.


Former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, the Cardinals of Myanmar and Indonesia, the Coptic-Orthodox Archbishop of London Archbishop Angaelos, some of Britain’s most senior Rabbis, Muslim faith leaders, the President of the Buddhist Society UK, the representative of the Dalai Lama in Europe  and the Chief Executive of Humanists UK are among 76 signatories to a statement released today calling for action to stop “one of the most egregious human tragedies since the Holocaust: the potential genocide of the Uyghurs and other Muslims in China.”

The Bishops of Truro, Coventry, Southwark and St Alban’s, the former Chaplain to the Speaker of the House of Commons Rose Hudson-Wilkin, now Bishop of Dover and the former Bishop of Rochester Michael Nazir-ali, along with Rev. Jonathan Aitken, the former Cabinet minister and Canon Andrew White, former “Vicar of Baghdad” are also signatories, together with the Catholic Bishop of Clifton Bishop Declan Lang, the Executive Director of the Mecca Institute in Washington, DC and the Chief Convenor of the Islamic Centre of Myanmar, as well as the President of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptists Convention in the United States and Canada’s former religious freedom ambassador Rev. Dr Andrew Bennett.

Rabbi Joseph Dweck, Senior Rabbi, S&P Sephardi Community (and Ecclesiastical Authority of The Board of Deputies of British Jews), Rabbi Charley Baginsky, Interim Director of Liberal Judaism, Rabbi Dr Harvey Belovski, Senior Rabbi of Golders Green Synagogue, Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner, Senior Rabbi to Reform Judaism, Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg, Senior Rabbi for Masorti Judaism and Rabbi Baroness Julia Neuberger are among 20 Rabbis to sign the statement.

“We have seen many persecutions and mass atrocities. These need our attention. But there is one that, if allowed to continue with impunity, calls into question most seriously the willingness of the international community to defend universal human rights for everyone – the plight of the Uyghurs,” the statement reads.

“After the Holocaust, the world said ‘Never Again.’  Today, we repeat those words ‘Never Again’, all over again. We make a simple call for justice, to investigate these crimes, hold those responsible to account and establish a path towards the restoration of human dignity.”

The statement follows a letter last month from the President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, Marie van der Zyl, to the Chinese ambassador in London Liu Xiaoming, and a message from former Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks, both of whom took the rare step of making comparisons between the Holocaust and atrocity crimes committed against the Uyghurs.

For further information contact: 

Rahima Mahmut, World Uyghur Congress, at rahima@uyghurcongress.org or on +44 (0) 7830 039693

Kiri Kankhwende, Press and Public Affairs Team Leader, CSW at  kiri@csw.org.uk or on +44 (0)782 332 9663

Ewelina Ochab, Coalition for Genocide Response at ewelina.ochab@gmail.com or on (+44) (0) 7531 362203

Simon Round, Communications Officer, Board of Deputies of British Jews at simon.round@bod.org.uk or on (+44) (0)20 7543 5437 or 07484 082483

Full text of the statement:

As religious leaders and leaders of belief-based communities, we come together to affirm human dignity for all by highlighting one of the most egregious human tragedies since the Holocaust: the potential genocide of the Uyghurs and other Muslims in China.

We have seen many persecutions and mass atrocities. These need our attention. But there is one that, if allowed to continue with impunity, calls into question most seriously the willingness of the international community to defend universal human rights for everyone – the plight of the Uyghurs.

At least one million Uyghur and other Muslims in China are incarcerated in prison camps facing starvation, torture, murder, sexual violence, slave labour and forced organ extraction.

Outside the camps, basic religious freedom is denied. Mosques are destroyed, children are separated from their families, and acts as simple as owning a Holy Quran, praying or fasting can result in arrest.

The world’s most intrusive surveillance state invades every aspect of life in Xinjiang.

Recent research reveals a campaign of forced sterilization and birth prevention targeting at least 80% of Uyghur women of childbearing age in the four Uyghur-populated prefectures – an action which, according to the 1948 Genocide Convention, could elevate this to the level of genocide.

The clear aim of the Chinese authorities is to eradicate the Uyghur identity.  China’s state media has stated that the goal is to “break their lineage, break their roots, break their connections and break their origins.” As the Washington Post put it,  “It’s hard to read that as anything other than a declaration of genocidal intent.” High-level Chinese government documents speak of “absolutely no mercy”.

Parliamentarians, governments and jurists have a responsibility to investigate.

As faith leaders we are neither activists nor policy-makers. But we have a duty to call our communities to their responsibilities to look after their fellow human beings and act when they are in danger.

In the Holocaust some Christians rescued Jews. Some spoke out. To quote Dietrich Bonhoeffer, “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil … Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act”. After the Holocaust, the world said “Never Again.” 

Today, we repeat those words “Never Again”, all over again. We stand with the Uyghurs. We also stand with Tibetan Buddhists, Falun Gong practitioners and Christians throughout China who face the worst crackdown on freedom of religion or belief since the Cultural Revolution.

We urge people of faith and conscience everywhere to join us: in prayer, solidarity and action to end these mass atrocities. We make a simple call for justice, to investigate these crimes, hold those responsible to account and establish a path towards the restoration of human dignity.

FULL TEXT Source: https://www.uyghurcongress.org/en/ngos-and-faith-groups-welcome-call-by-former-archbishop-of-canterbury-and-over-75-faith-leaders-for-action-to-stop-atrocity-crimes-against-uyghurs/

Signatories:

Imam Daayiee Abdoul, Executive Director for Mecca institute, Washington DC, USA

Mufti Shareef Ahmad, Imam Al Madni Center, Lawrenceville, Georgia, USA

The Reverend Jonathan Aitken, London, UK

Sheikh Rashad Ali, Institute for Strategic Dialogue, UK

Imam Shamsi Ali, New York, USA

Sayed Yousif Al-Khoei OBE, Director of Centre of Academic Shia Studies, UK

Archbishop Angaelos, Coptic-Orthodox Archbishop of London, UK

Dr Khalid Anis, Islamic Society of Britain, UK

Rabbi Robyn Ashworth-Steen, Manchester Reform Synagogue, UK

Imam Qari Asim, MBE, Chair, Mosques and Imams National Advisory Board, UK

Rabbi Charley Baginsky, Interim Director of Liberal Judaism, UK

Qari Zeshan Balooch, Imam, Ghousia Mosque, Leeds, UK

Rabbi Dr Harvey Belovski, Senior Rabbi, Golders Green Synagogue, UK

The Reverend Dr Andrew Bennett, Director and Senior Fellow at the Religious Freedom Institute, and former Canadian Ambassador for International Religious Freedom, Canada

Rabbi Miriam Berger, Finchley Reform Synagogue, UK

Desmond Biddulph CBE, President of the Buddhist Society, UK

Cardinal Charles Bo, Archbishop of Yangon and President of the Federation of Asian Bishops Conferences, Myanmar

Imam Dr Mamadou Bocoum, Muslim Chaplain and Lecturer in Islamic Studies, UK

The Rt Revd Christopher Chessun, Bishop of Southwark, UK

Imam Irfan Chishti MBE, Chashtiah Educational Trust, Rochdale, UK

Andrew Copson, Chief Executive of Humanists UK

The Bishop of Coventry, UK

Sheikh Imtiyaz Damiel, CEO, Abu Hanifah Foundation, UK

Rabbi Joseph Dweck, Senior Rabbi, S&P Sephardi Community (and Ecclesiastical Authority of The Board of Deputies of British Jews), UK

The Reverend Dr Joel Edwards CBE, UK

Canon Dr Giles Fraser, Rector of St Mary Newington, UK

Sonam T Frasi, FCA, RAS, Representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama for Northern Europe, Poland and the Baltic States, London, UK

Rabbi Dr Moshe Freedman, Senior Rabbi, New West End Synagogue, UK

Rabbi Paul Freedman, Senior Rabbi, Radlett Reform Synagogue, UK

Rabbi Aaron Goldstein, Chair of Conference of Liberal Rabbis and Cantors, UK

Rabbi Herschel Gluck OBE, UK

Imam Dr Usama Hasan, London, UK

Sheikh Saeed Hashmi, Imam Shah Jahan Mosque, Woking, UK

Shaykh Sultan Niaz ul Hassan, Chairman, Bahu Trust, UK

The Rt Rev Rose Hudson-Wilkin, MBE QHC, Bishop of Dover, UK

Imam Sheikh Mohammad Ismail DL, Lead Imam, Birmingham Central Mosque, UK

Imam Dr. Abdul Jabbar, Atlanta, USA

Rabbi Richard Jacobi, East London and Essex Liberal Synagogue, UK

Rabbi Dr. Margaret Jacobi, UK

Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner, Senior Rabbi to Reform Judaism, UK

Rabbi Dr Elliott Karstadt, Alyth North Western Reform Synagogue, UK

Imam Adam Kelwick, Muslim Chaplain, UK

The Reverend Cindy Kent MBE, UK

Fr Nicholas King, SJ, Assistant Catholic Chaplain, University of Oxford, UK

Bishop Declan Lang, Catholic Bishop of Clifton, UK

Rabbi Josh Levy, Principal Rabbi, Alyth North Western Reform Synagogue, UK

Al-Haj U Aye Lwin, Chief Convenor, Islamic Centre of Myanmar

Ustadh Dawood Masood, Al-Hira Mosque, Luton, UK

Rabbi David Mason, Muswell Hill United Synagogue and Executive Member of the Rabbinical Council of United Synagogue, UK

Rabbi Monique Mayer, Liberal Judaism, UK

The Reverend Dr Russell Moore, President of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention in the USA

The Rt Rev Philip Mounstephen, Bishop of Truro, Chair of UK FoRB Forum and former Chair of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Independent Review for the Foreign Secretary of FCO Support for Persecuted Christians, UK

Rabbi Lea Mühlstein, Northwood and Pinner Liberal Synagogue, UK

Imam Abdul Malik Mujahid, Washington, DC, USA

The Rt Rev Michael Nazir-ali, former Anglican Bishop of Rochester, UK

Rabbi Baroness (Julia) Neuberger, UK

Fr Uche Njoku, Parish Priest, St Joseph’s Church, New Malden, UK

Imam Yahya Pallavicini, President of COREIS Islamic Religious Community, Italy

The Rt Rev John Perry, former Bishop of Chelmsford, UK

Shaykh Umar Hayat Qadri, Chair, Suffah Foundation, UK

Mufti Abdul Rahman Qamar, Madni Masjid, LaGuardia, New York, USA

Fr Timothy Radcliffe, former Master of the Dominican Order, UK

Imam Nabel Rafi, Director of the International Centre for Tolerance UK

Dr Sheikh Ramzy, founder, Oxford Islamic Information Centre, UK

Imam Ghulam Rasool QTS, Trustee Bahu Trust UK network, UK

Imam Yusuf Rios, Three Puerto Rican Imams Project , Islamic Learning Foundation Chicago, USA

Fr Dominic Robinson, SJ, Parish Priest, Farm Street Church of the Immaculate Conception and Chair, Justice and Peace Commission, Diocese of Westminster, UK

Rabbi Tanya Sakhnovich, Nottingham Liberal Synagogue

Abdurahman Sayed, CEO, Al-Manaar Muslim Cultural Heritage Centre, London, UK

Imam Mustaqeem Shah, Abu Bakr Trust, Walsall, West Midlands, UK

Imam Zaid Shakir, California, USA

The Rt Revd Alan Smith, Bishop of St Alban’s, UK

Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi: President Fiqh Council of North America and Religious Director, the Islamic Society of Orange County, Garden Grove, Californi, USA

Cardinal Ignatius Suharyo, Archbishop of Jakarta, Indonesia

Fr Stephen Wang, Senior Catholic Chaplain to the Universities and other Higher Education Institutions in the Diocese of Westminster

Canon Dr Andrew White, Ambassador of Jerusalem MERIT, UK

The Rt Hon and Rt Rev Lord Williams of Oystermouth, former Archbishop of Canterbury, UK

Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg, Senior Rabbi for Masorti Judaism, UK

Bishops in the Philippines Strongly Oppose Death Penalty and Call on Government to Dialogue - FULL TEXT


STAND FOR LIFE
We at the Episcopal Commission on Prison Pastoral Care of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP-ECPPC) reiterate our strong opposition to the move to revive the death penalty in the Philippines for the following reasons:

The death penalty violates the inherent dignity of a person, which is not lost despite the commission of a crime. No person, no matter how evil he is perceived to be, is beyond reformation. Pope Francis has clearly and unequivocally exhorted countless times that capital punishment is an offense “against the inviolability of life and the dignity of the human person, which contradicts God’s plan for man and society” and “does not render justice to the victims, but rather fosters vengeance.”¹ Furthermore, in a statement in 2016, the Bishops stated that, “…when God had created man and woman, bringing human life upon the earth … God rested from the work of creation. In every human person is that incomparably precious breath of life from God himself… It is this Divine gift of life, sublime and unsurpassable, that the death penalty takes away. It is the breath of life, the gift of the Creator, that every judicial execution snatches and cuts short.”²
There is no direct evidence to prove that the death penalty deters crime, as there are no conclusive studies, local or foreign, that would support this argument that it is indeed a deterrent. On the contrary, a 2009 research study found out that the consensus among criminologists is that the death penalty does not add any significant deterrent effect above that of long term imprisonment. Thus the general assertion that it indeed has a deterrent effect is merely speculative.³ Furthermore, crime statistics do not conclusively show that the death penalty deters the commission of crimes. Based on PNP data in the years after the abolition of the death penalty, crime volume has been actually decreasing⁴.
The death sentence is irrevocable; once carried out, there is no possibility for rectifying an erroneous judgment by an imperfect system. With the death penalty justice is nothing but punishment. But true justice is restorative, never merely punitive. It gives the person the chance to change, no matter how slim the chance may be.
The death penalty is tilted against the most vulnerable sectors of society, the marginalized and the poor. Experience shows that most, if not all persons meted the death penalty are the poor and uneducated, who cannot afford prominent lawyers to defend them.
Being a state party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) enacted in 1989, as well as to the 2nd Optional Protocol of the ICCPR, the Philippines has committed before the international community not to re-impose the death penalty in the future. Reviving it will go against this commitment and will put our country in a bad light insofar as our standing in the community of nations is concerned.
Instead of the re-imposition of the death penalty, we call on Congress:

To focus its full attention to coming up with a comprehensive program to combat the effects of the COVID 19 pandemic and to alleviate the plight especially of the poor who are the ones most adversely affected by this pandemic.
To formulate laws and effectively implement existing ones aimed at modernizing and reforming our judicial and correctional systems to make them more restorative and rehabilitative, rather than punitive. This will enable our convicted PDLs to be truly reformed and, after they have served time, be ready to return to the mainstream of society.
To stop the reality of graft and corruption in the various institutions that manage our jails and penitentiaries, so that the basic human rights of our PDLs are respected, their legitimate demands properly heard and their needs adequately responded to.


Trusting in the help of our Merciful God, we at the CBCP-ECPPC are ready to dialogue with our legislators to explore with them ways and means to improve our criminal justice system and our ways of treating PDLs (persons deprived of liberty).



Together let us STAND FOR LIFE AND HEAL AS ONE!

5 August 2020

+JOEL Z. BAYLON, D.D.
Bishop of Legazpi
Chairman

Endorsed:

+PABLO VIRGILIO S. DAVID, D.D.
Bishop of Kalookan
Acting President
Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines

 SOURCE: https://cbcpnews.net/cbcpnews/stand-for-life/

Bishops of Nigeria Call for All to Join in Prayer to End the Violence and Killings - FULL TEXT


We, members of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria have been following the recent events in Nigeria closely. We continue to hear of increasing insecurity and unabated acts of terrorism in Northern Nigeria. We are
all tired of this situation. We do not want any politician to politicize the killing of Nigerians.

There should be one response from everyone, and that is; the killings must stop. Our hearts are bleeding, and we are more troubled when we hear of the massacre presently going on in Southern Kaduna. We want all the people suffering the incessant attacks in Southern Kaduna to know that all Catholics in Nigeria are praying for them.

We call on the Federal and the Government of Kaduna to bring a complete stop to the killing of innocent people. The loss of the life of any Nigerian does not help to further the agenda of any religious ideology or the ambition of any politician. The perpetrators of the killings must be brought to justice. Where there is no justice or justice is not seen to be done, there cannot be peace. Where there is no peace, there cannot be development.

Any Government, State or Federal that wants peace must work for justice for everyone. There will never be sustained development built upon the bloodshed of innocent people brutally murdered by religious
fundamentalists without any recourse to justice for the victims.

We need not remind Nigerians that the present Federal Government came to power, promising Nigerians, the eradication of corruption, a guarantee of security to life and property, and rapid growth in the economy. The creation of jobs, and an enabling environment that engenders growth of the private sector; a significant increase in the supply of electricity to Nigerians, affordable and quality health care to Nigerians, and the revamping of the educational sector were the promises the Government continues to make. Many Nigerians, irrespective of political party affiliation, will affirm that these promises have remained a far cry. We strongly appeal to Nigerians to unite together in calling the Federal Government to give priority to these areas of our lives.

To all Catholics, we request that you join in praying, one Our Father, three Hail Marys, and one Glory Be to the Father every day after the Angelus for forty days, starting from 22 August 2020 and ending 30 September 2020, the eve of Nigeria’s Independence Day. On Independence Day, let us join in praying the five decades of the sorrowful mysteries starting from 12.noon. We appeal to each Bishop to encourage the faithful in his Diocese to participate fully in this prayer for God to save Nigeria.

Finally, as we pray, we know that God wants us to do what is humanly possible to ensure that there are prosperity and freedom for every Nigerian, Let us not harbour hatred for anyone. We must be instruments of forgiveness and reconciliation. We must be on the part of justice for all and peace in Nigeria.
May God grant eternal rest to all who have lost their lives to the violence in Northern Nigeria and other parts of the country. May God give us courage to work for justice and peace in Nigeria. May God bless Nigeria.

For the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria, I am

+ Augustine Obiora Akubeze
Archbishop of Benin City and
_ President, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria
FULL TEXT Source: Nigerian Catholic Reporter - Image Source: Google Images - The National Newspaper

Novena to St. Philomena - Miracle Prayer of the Patron of Youth and the Living Rosary

NOVENA PRAYER
Say once a day for 9 days: 
We beseech Thee, O Lord, to grant us the pardon of our sins by the intercession of Saint Philomena, virgin and martyr, who was always pleasing in Thy sight by her eminent chastity and by the profession of every virtue. Amen. Illustrious virgin and martyr, Saint Philomena, behold me prostrate before the throne whereupon it has pleased the Most Holy Trinity to place thee. Full of confidence in thy protection, I entreat thee to intercede for me with God, from the heights of Heaven deign to cast a glance upon thy humble client! Spouse of Christ, sustain me in suffering, fortify me in temptation, protect me in the dangers surrounding me, obtain for me the graces necessary to me, and in particular (Here specify your request). Above all, assist me at the hour of my death. Saint Philomena, powerful with God, pray for us. Amen. O God, Most Holy Trinity, we thank Thee for the graces Thou didst bestow upon the Blessed Virgin Mary, and upon Thy handmaid Philomena, through whose intercession we implore Thy Mercy. Amen. Say 1 Our Father, 1 Hail Mary and 1 Glory Be. 

Novena to St. Clare of Assisi - Patron Saint of Television and Sore Eyes

Novena to St. Clare of Assisi
Say once a day for nine days, the Feast of St. Clare.First Day:
O most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, we praise Thy Holy Name and the wonders of grace Thou hast worked in Thy servant, Saint Clare. Through her powerful intercession grant us the favours we beg in this novena, above all the grace to live and die as she did in Thy most Holy Love. Amen.
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O Seraphic Saint Clare, first disciple of the Poor Man of Assisi, who hast abandoned all riches and honours for a life of sacrifice and of highest poverty, obtain from God for us the grace we ask (mention your intentions here), that of always submitting to the Divine Will and of living confidently in the providence of our Heavenly Father. Amen.

V. Pray for us, Saint Clare.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us Pray. We Pray Thee, Lord, Grant us Thy servants who celebrate the festival of blessed Clare Thy Virgin, by her intercession, to be partakers of the joys of heaven and coheirs with Thine only-begotten Son, Who being God, lives and reigns forever and ever. Amen.

Second Day:
O most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, we praise Thy Holy Name and the wonders of grace Thou hast worked in Thy servant, Saint Clare. Through her powerful intercession grant us the favours we beg in this novena, above all the grace to live and die as she did in Thy most Holy Love. Amen.

O Seraphic Saint Clare who, notwithstanding living separated from the world hast not forgotten the poor and the afflicted, but hast become a mother to them, sacrificing for them your riches and working for them innumerable miracles; obtain from God for us the grace we implore (mention your intentions here), Christian charity towards our brethren in all their spiritual and temporal needs. Amen.

V. Pray for us, Saint Clare.  
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us Pray. We Pray Thee, Lord, Grant us Thy servants who celebrate the festival of blessed Clare Thy Virgin, by her intercession, to be partakers of the joys of heaven and coheirs with Thine only-begotten Son, Who being God, lives and reigns forever and ever. Amen.

Third Day:
O most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, we praise Thy Holy Name and the wonders of grace Thou hast worked in Thy servant, Saint Clare. Through her powerful intercession grant us the favours we beg in this novena, above all the grace to live and die as she did in Thy most Holy Love. Amen.

O Seraphic Saint Clare, light of your country, who hast delivered Italy from barbarous invaders; obtain from God for us the grace we implore (mention your intentions here), that of overcoming all attacks of the world against faith and morals thus preserving in our families true Christian peace with a holy fear of God and a devotion to the Blessed Sacrament. Amen.

V. Pray for us, Saint Clare.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us Pray. We Pray Thee, Lord, Grant us Thy servants who celebrate the festival of blessed Clare Thy Virgin, by her intercession, to be partakers of the joys of heaven and coheirs with Thine only-begotten Son, Who being God, lives and reigns forever and ever. Amen.

Fourth Day:
O most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, we praise Thy Holy Name and the wonders of grace Thou hast worked in Thy servant, Saint Clare. Through her powerful intercession grant us the favours we beg in this novena, above all the grace to live and die as she did in Thy most Holy Love. Amen.

Blessed Saint Clare, whose very name means light, illumine the darkness of our minds and hearts so that we might see what God wishes us to do and perform it with a willing and joyful heart. Before your birth, a Heavenly voice foretold that you would be a light illuminating the world. Be a light to us in the sorrows and anxieties of this earthly life, and lead us into the eternal light of our home in Heaven. Amen. 

V. Pray for us, Saint Clare.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us Pray. We Pray Thee, Lord, Grant us Thy servants who celebrate the festival of blessed Clare Thy Virgin, by her intercession, to be partakers of the joys of heaven and coheirs with Thine only-begotten Son, Who being God, lives and reigns forever and ever. Amen.

Fifth Day:
O most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, we praise Thy Holy Name and the wonders of grace Thou hast worked in Thy servant, Saint Clare. Through her powerful intercession grant us the favours we beg in this novena, above all the grace to live and die as she did in Thy most Holy Love. Amen.

O Seraphic Saint Clare, whose virginal heart was great enough to love the whole world, take our petitions into your pure hands and present them to God. Pray for us that we may one day enter joyously before the throne of God. Let the light of your perfect purity consume the shadows of sin and corruption that darkens the world. Intercede by your innocence for our youth. Safeguard the peace of our homes and the unity of our family. Plead with your chaste love for all in peril. Amen.

V. Pray for us, Saint Clare.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us Pray. We Pray Thee, Lord, Grant us Thy servants who celebrate the festival of blessed Clare Thy Virgin, by her intercession, to be partakers of the joys of heaven and coheirs with Thine only-begotten Son, Who being God, lives and reigns forever and ever. Amen.

Sixth Day:
O most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, we praise Thy Holy Name and the wonders of grace Thou hast worked in Thy servant, Saint Clare. Through her powerful intercession grant us the favours we beg in this novena, above all the grace to live and die as she did in Thy most Holy Love. Amen.

Generous Saint Clare, who left wealth and pleasure and all earthly goods to become the first spiritual daughter of Saint Francis and to serve God in the cloister, help us to commit our lives to God without limit or measure so that He may live in us and shine forth from us to all whose lives touch ours. You who loved souls so much as to make your life a continual sacrifice for them, obtain for us the graces we now implore and win for us the strength to praise God in suffering as well as in joy. Amen.

V. Pray for us, Saint Clare.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us Pray. We Pray Thee, Lord, Grant us Thy servants who celebrate the festival of blessed Clare Thy Virgin, by her intercession, to be partakers of the joys of heaven and coheirs with Thine only-begotten Son, Who being God, lives and reigns forever and ever. Amen.

Seventh Day:
O most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, we praise Thy Holy Name and the wonders of grace Thou hast worked in Thy servant, Saint Clare. Through her powerful intercession grant us the favours we beg in this novena, above all the grace to live and die as she did in Thy most Holy Love. Amen.

Faithful Saint Clare, loyal daughter of the Church, friend and confidante of popes, intercede for the holy Church and look graciously from Heaven on our holy Father Pope. Enlighten us to remove from our souls all that hinders the progress of the Church on earth. Grant that we may share your great love for the church of God and spread His kingdom on earth by a holy life. You, who worked miracles in the presence of the pope on earth, obtain for us the graces we need, now that you stand in the presence of the most high God in Heaven. Amen.

V. Pray for us, Saint Clare.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us Pray. We Pray Thee, Lord, Grant us Thy servants who celebrate the festival of blessed Clare Thy Virgin, by her intercession, to be partakers of the joys of heaven and coheirs with Thine only-begotten Son, Who being God, lives and reigns forever and ever. Amen.

Eighth Day:
O most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, we praise Thy Holy Name and the wonders of grace Thou hast worked in Thy servant, Saint Clare. Through her powerful intercession grant us the favours we beg in this novena, above all the grace to live and die as she did in Thy most Holy Love. Amen.

Valiant Saint Clare, who fearlessly stood alone against the barbarous Saracens, trusting in the Blessed Sacrament as your only protection, enkindle in us a tender love for Jesus Christ; help us to live Eucharistic lives. You who saved your city of Assisi from plunder and ruin, protect our city and archdiocese, plead for our beloved country and the suffering world. A voice from the Sacred Host rewarded your trust with a promise: "I will always take care of you." Glorious Saint Clare, from your high place in Heaven, take care of us now in our earthly needs and guide us by your light to Heaven. Amen.

V. Pray for us, Saint Clare.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us Pray. We Pray Thee, Lord, Grant us Thy servants who celebrate the festival of blessed Clare Thy Virgin, by her intercession, to be partakers of the joys of heaven and coheirs with Thine only-begotten Son, Who being God, lives and reigns forever and ever. Amen.

Ninth Day:
O most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, we praise Thy Holy Name and the wonders of grace Thou hast worked in Thy servant, Saint Clare. Through her powerful intercession grant us the favours we beg in this novena, above all the grace to live and die as she did in Thy most Holy Love. Amen.

Gracious Saint Clare, who fulfilled your womanhood by a life of love in prayer and penance, help us to fulfill our destiny that we may one day greet you in Heaven. You who were consoled at your death by a vision of Christ band His Mother, obtain for us the grace that we may die under the special protection of God and enter into the life and bliss you now enjoy. Have pity on us who struggle, on us who mourn, and win for us the favours of God so that after this life we may come home to Him who lives and reigns forever and ever. Amen.

V. Pray for us, Saint Clare.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us Pray. We Pray Thee, Lord, Grant us Thy servants who celebrate the festival of blessed Clare Thy Virgin, by her intercession, to be partakers of the joys of heaven and coheirs with Thine only-begotten Son, Who being God, lives and reigns forever and ever. Amen.