Monday, October 12, 2020

Holy Mass Online - Readings and Video : Tuesday, October 13, 2020 - Your Virtual Church

Tuesday of the Twenty-eighth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 468
Reading 1
GAL 5:1-6 Brothers and sisters: For freedom Christ set us free; so stand firm and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery. It is I, Paul, who am telling you that if you have yourselves circumcised, Christ will be of no benefit to you. Once again I declare to every man who has himself circumcised that he is bound to observe the entire law. You are separated from Christ, you who are trying to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace. For through the Spirit, by faith, we await the hope of righteousness. For in Christ Jesus, neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love.
Responsorial Psalm
PS 119:41, 43, 44, 45, 47, 48 R. (41a) Let your mercy come to me, O Lord.
Let your mercy come to me, O LORD, your salvation according to your promise. R. Let your mercy come to me, O Lord. Take not the word of truth from my mouth, for in your ordinances is my hope.
R. Let your mercy come to me, O Lord.
And I will keep your law continually, forever and ever. R. Let your mercy come to me, O Lord.
And I will walk at liberty, because I seek your precepts. R. Let your mercy come to me, O Lord.
And I will delight in your commands, which I love. R. Let your mercy come to me, O Lord. And I will lift up my hands to your commands and meditate on your statutes. R. Let your mercy come to me, O Lord.
Alleluia HEB 4:12
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The word of God is living and effective, able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart. R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel
LK 11:37-41
After Jesus had spoken, a Pharisee invited him to dine at his home. He entered and reclined at table to eat. The Pharisee was amazed to see that he did not observe the prescribed washing before the meal. The Lord said to him, “Oh you Pharisees! Although you cleanse the outside of the cup and the dish, inside you are filled with plunder and evil. You fools! Did not the maker of the outside also make the inside? But as to what is within, give alms, and behold, everything will be clean for you.”

Prayer to Make a 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

October 13 : Anniversary of Fatima Miracle of the Sun - #Fatima Witnessed by 70,000 in 1917- True Story to Share!


At Fatima, Portugal, from May to October 1917, three shepherd children (Blesseds Francisco & Jacinta Marto, and Servant of God Lucia dos Santos) saw apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary on a small holm-oak tree. During the these visions, the children were given secrets, were instructed to pray the Rosary and to offer penance for the conversion of sinners. In the September apparition, Our Lady told them:
“Continue to pray the Rosary in order to obtain the end of the war. In October St. Joseph will appear with the Child Jesus in order to bless the world.”
On October 13th over 70,000 people gathered around the site of the apparitions. People from different walks of life (including atheists who had gone to attack the children) witnessed what is now famously known as “The Miracle of the Sun.” During the Miracle of the Sun, the three shepherd children were witnessing what the Virgin had promised them in September. 
A cold rain had been falling throughout the night and into the day. 
Moved by an inner impulse, Lucia asked the people to shut their umbrellas and pray the Rosary. 
At noon, Our Lady appeared over the holm-oak she told Lucia several things.
As Our Lady ascended up into the sky, Lucy shouted: “She’s going! She’s going! Look at the sun!” Then the miracle Our Lady had promised began.
The sky cleared and the people could look at the sun without it hurting their eyes at all. Then the sun began to spin in place.  Then it started to fall, plunging towards the earth.


The sun became very large in the sky and very hot. It looked as if it was going to fall on top of the people and kill them all, as if it was the end of the world. So, the people fell on their knees in the mud and cried to God for mercy, begging Our Lady for Her help, Her intercession, and Her prayers.
Suddenly, the sun stopped falling and went back up into the sky to its regular place. Then the people got up from their knees and they all began to notice that their clothes were dry and clean. Not only that, but many sick persons were cured that day — the blind were able to see and the lame could walk. Many sinners were converted too. They stopped sinning and went to Confession, and then lived according to God’s Commandments.
Lucia explained what they saw:
Our Lady having disappeared in the immensity of the firmament, we saw, beside the sun, St. Joseph with the Child Jesus and Our Lady clothed in white with a blue mantle. St. Joseph and the Child Jesus appeared to bless the world, for they traced the Sign of the Cross with their hands.
Here we have St. Joseph, no words are spoken by him, but rather we have his actions. St. Joseph, holding his son Jesus, blesses the world by tracing the Sign of the Cross with his hand. By giving his special blessing to the world, St. Joseph shows us that he is still vigilant in his role as Patron of the Catholic Church (as proclaimed in 1870 by Bl. Pius IX) and still keeps watch over the faithful entrusted to his care.
Popes Pius XII, Paul VI, John Paul II and Benedict XVI all accepted the supernatural origin of the Fátima. The local bishop declared that (1) the visions of the three children are credible and (2) the veneration of the Blessed Virgin is permitted, the Portuguese bishops approved and declared the genuine supernatural nature of the event. The Vatican responded with granting indulgences and permitting special Liturgies of the Mass to be celebrated in Fátima.
The Fatima Message Continues
It does not end here we are continually called by Our Lady to PRAY the ROSARY daily, make sacrifices and go to confession. Only in this way will Jesus bring His Peace and stop the evils in the world today.
As promised by Our Lady, God soon took Francisco and Jacinta to Heaven. Francisco died on April 4, 1919 and Jacinta on February 20, 1920.
Lucia was left here on earth to tell everyone about Fatima. She was to make our Lady known and loved, and to spread devotion to Her Immaculate Heart.
(Edited from Fatimaforbeginners.org)
***************

Saint October 12 : Blessed Carlo Acutis - Millennial Gamer Teen who said the Eucharist was his Highway to Heaven! Patron of Internet, Gamers, Youth



Carlo Acutis of the Millennial generation, a fifteen-year-old, was beatified in Assisi, Italy on Saturday, October 10, 2020.

 Feastday: October 12

 Patron of Youth, Students, Gamers, Information Technology / Internet and Computer Programmers. 

He died in a hospital in Monza, Italy, in 2006, offering all his sufferings for the Church and for the Pope.
This popular young teen was known for his love of video games, soccer, animals and sweets. His parents were Antonia Salzano and Andrea Acutis. He was born on May 3, 1991, in London, United Kingdom and died on October 12, 2006, in Monza, Italy.
 Carlo said, “our goal must be the infinite and not the finite. The Infinity is our homeland. We are always expected in Heaven”. In particular, Carlo placed the Sacrament of the Eucharist at the centre of his life and he called it “my highway to Heaven”. 
He attended daily Holy Mass and went to Confession every week. Carlo was very gifted with everything related to the world of computers and liked computer programming, film editing, website creation, editing and laying out small publications, to help those most in need especially children and the elderly.
Carlo explained, “to be always united with Jesus, this is my plan of life”. “I am happy to die because I lived my life without wasting even a minute of it on anything unpleasing to God”.  Cardinal Angelo Comastri said, 
Carlo asks of us the same thing: he asks us to spread the Gospel through our lives, so that each of us can be a beacon to light the journey of others.
He used his first savings to buy a sleeping bag for a homeless man he often saw on the way to Mass.  In his diary he explained, “Sadness is looking at oneself, happiness is looking at God. Conversion is nothing but a movement of the eyes”.
 Raejsh, a Hindu who cleaned at Carlo's house, was impressed that someone "as handsome, young and rich” decided to live a simple life. “He captivated me with his deep faith, charity and purity,” he remarked. Through Carlo’s example, Raejsh decided to be baptized in the Catholic Church.
Purity was very important in Carlo's life. "Each person reflects the light of God", was something he commonly said. It hurt him when his classmates did not live according to Christian morals. He would encourage them to do so, trying to help them understand that the human body is a gift from God and that sexuality had to be lived as God had intended. "The dignity of each human being was so great, that Carlo saw sexuality as something very special, as it was collaborating with God's creation," his mother recalled. 
Carlo's true passion was the Eucharist: "his highway to heaven". This led to his mother's conversion. A woman who had only gone "three times to Mass in her life" was conquered in the end by the boy's affection for Jesus. She enrolled herself in a theology course so she could answer all the questions of her young son.
At the age of 11, Carlo began to investigate the Eucharistic miracles that have occurred in history. He used all his computer knowledge and talents to create a website that traced that history. It comprises 160 panels and can be downloaded by clicking here and that have also made the rounds of more than 10,000 parishes in the world.
Carlo could not understand why stadiums were full of people and churches were empty. He would repeatedly say, “They have to see, they have to understand."
Carlo was diagnosed with one of the worst types of leukemia – Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML or M3). His reaction was striking:
"I offer to the Lord the sufferings that I will have to undergo for the Pope and for the Church, so as not to have to be in Purgatory and be able to go directly to heaven."  He died shortly after. 
“He is being a priest from heaven," says his mother. 

#BreakingNews Historic Christ the Savior Cathedral Hit by Bomb during Attack in Azerbaijan - VIDEO



EUROPE/AZERBAIJAN - Armenian Cathedral in Shushi damaged in bomb attack: Patriarch Karekin II denies rumors regarding "religious conflict"

Friday, 9 October 2020

Shushi (Agenzia Fides) - The Armenian Cathedral of the city of Shushi, in Nagorno Karabakh, dedicated to Christ the Savior, was hit by a launch of missiles on Thursday, October 8, which caused significant damage to the roof of the Christian church. The Armenian authorities attributed the bombing to the Azerbaijani army, in the context of the new military escalation in the region, yet another episode of the thirty-year conflict in this area which sees the two former Soviet republics in opposition (see Fides, 3/10/2020).

For their part, the Baku political and military authorities have denied the allegations made by the Armenian government, arguing that "in contrast to the actions of the Armenian armed forces, the Azerbaijani army does not attack historical and cultural objects, especially religious buildings and monuments".

The 30-meter-high Cathedral of Christ the Savior, built between 1868 and 1887, was also used as a weapons depot by the Azerbaijani army in the early 1990s during the first outbreak of the conflict.

In the past few days, in an interview with Armenpress, Armenian Patriarch Karekin II defended himself against attempts of provoking a religious conflict between Christians and Muslims in the context of the military escalation in Nagorno-Karabakh. "Armenian people", said Patriarch Karekin, "began to spread all over the world since the Middle Ages, and even more so after the Armenian genocide in Ottoman Turkey. Many Islamic countries have extended a fraternal hand to the children of the Armenian people who survived the Genocide and welcomed them. These Armenian communities still exist. Our Holy Armenian Apostolic Church has dioceses and parishes in a dozen Muslim-majority countries where the sons and daughters of our people live as exemplary citizens, contributing to the prosperity of these nations and enjoying the friendly attitude of the local authorities".

In this context, Patriarch Karekin II also recalls that at the beginning of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, "thanks to the mediation of the Patriarchs of the Russian Church, a platform for trilateral meetings was created, in which representatives of the Muslims of the Caucasus and the Catholicos of all the Armenians had taken shape. During these meetings, it was repeatedly highlighted that the conflict in Karabakh has no religious roots. The need for peaceful and harmonious coexistence between the Christian and Muslim populations of our region was also reiterated".

"Today", concluded the Catholicos of all Armenians, "we regularly experience the desire of Azerbaijani President to attribute a religious aspect to the conflict in Karabakh. This is a provocation that can unfortunately have terrible consequences". (GV) (FULL TEXT Release: Agenzia Fides, 9/10/2020)


Columbus Day Explained - A Brief History into the Discovery of America in 1492 by the Italian Christopher Columbus



Christopher Columbus, of Italy, is the discoverer of America in the year 1492. Early in the morning of October 12, 1492, a sailor on board the Pinta sighted land, beginning a new era of European exploration and expansion. The next day, the ninety crew members of Columbus’ three-ship fleet ventured onto the Bahamian island that he named San Salvador (now Watling Island, and then called Guanahaní by the natives), ending a voyage begun nearly ten weeks earlier in Palos, Spain. 
 
 The first recorded celebration of Columbus Day in the United States took place on October 12, 1792. Organized by the Society of St. Tammany, also known as the Columbian Order, it commemorated the 300th anniversary of Columbus’ landing. 
The 400th anniversary of the event inspired the first official Columbus Day holiday in the United States. President Benjamin Harrison issued a proclamation in 1892, “recommending to the people the observance in all their localities of the 400th anniversary of the discovery of America…” and describing Columbus as “the pioneer of progress and enlightenment.” Since then, school programs, plays, and community festivities have been organized across the country in celebration of Columbus Day. 
 In the decades that followed, the Knights of Columbus, an international Roman Catholic fraternal benefit society, lobbied state legislatures to declare October 12 a legal holiday. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt designated Columbus Day (then celebrated October 12) a national holiday in 1934. Since 1971, when Columbus Day was designated the second Monday in October, it has been celebrated as a federal holiday. In many locations across the country Americans hold parades to commemorate the day. US President Trump issued a statement affirming Columbus Day in 2020. 
 "Christopher Columbus had a mystic belief that God intended him to sail the Atlantic Ocean in order to spread Christianity. He said his prayers several times daily. Columbus wrote what he called a Book of Prophecies, which is a compilation of passages Columbus selected from the Bible which he believed were pertinent to his mission of discovery. Columbus's own writings prove that he believed that God revealed His plan for the world in the Bible, the infallible Word of God. Columbus believed that he was obeying the mission God staked out for his life when he set sail west across the Atlantic Ocean." 

In the year  1451, a son had just been born to the Colombos of Genoa, Italy. The boy, who was the eldest of five children, was Baptized with the name of Christobal [Christopher]. Although his father was a successful weaver------Christopher set to sea at the age of 22, taking part in several expeditions, some to the East Indies. His education had not been thorough and he was almost illiterate going by today's standards; however, he was bright and taught himself to read and write, especially Spanish, along with Latin, because maps and geography were in Latin.  It is thought that because Genoa is a port city that the young Columbus would have had some experience on the ships in the harbor.

Columbus went to Spain to offer his services to King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella. He took his young son with him. About five miles from Palos was a friary called La Rabída which had a school for young boys. Columbus left Diego there with the friars, one of whom was Father Juan Perez, who became a friend of the navigator and recommended him to the Queen. Some of her advisors were against the employment of Captain Columbus for his endeavor. Eager, she offered to sell her jewels to finance the ships and supplies but Louis was able to retrieve the $14,000 needed from the coffers, a small price to pay for the new world.

Columbus made more than one voyage to the American continent. The first one had three wooden vessels, the Santa María, the Pinta, and Niña. The first was manned by a crew of 39 while the other two had 26 and 22 seamen.  The tiny fleet sailed from Palos [Cape de Palos today] on August 3, 1492, just before Columbus birthday, which is thought to have been between August 25 and the end of October.

The date Columbus selected for departure was August 2, 1492 was the fiesta of Our Lady of Angels, patroness of the Franciscan monastery of La Rabída whose friars had supported Columbus and called for the realization of his dream from the beginning; and protector of the people of Palos, from which his ships would depart, when they were in danger at sea (as Pope Eugenius IV had proclaimed 55 years before). 

The 1st island that Columbus found was named after our Savior, San Salvador, was sighted at two in the morning. Before noon Columbus had disembarked at Fernandez Bay and claimed the land for Spain. He still thought he was near the East Indies or Japan. There were men who came to greet them in all felicity, the Arawak, whom he named Indians because of his mistaken notion. And this is how the Amerinds became to be known as Indians and the islands he found, the West Indies. the little fleet remained there for until late in the month when it entered Cuba on October 28. 

Queen Isabella was delighted to hear about the new world he had found. Most thought that he would retire after his discovery.  This pleased Isabella who was known for her pious faith and zeal for the Church. So in 1493, he set sail once again but with a larger fleet. 

The cadre of seventeen ships carrying colonists, priests, officials, gentlemen of the court, and horses, left Cadiz on September 25, 1493 and reached the new world in just three weeks. His flagship was still named after Our Lady, this time bearing the title Mariagalante, the name he gave to an island in the West Indies.

Columbus established the first colony of Santo Domingo and became the governor of the island.

When Columbus finally returned from his five months' voyage, he was prostrated by a severe fever; after recovering from that, he was crippled for weeks with arthritis.

Controversy

"Unable to control the Spaniards on the island, Columbus blamed the Indians for his troubles and the very small production of gold. In January 1495 he seized over a thousand Indians to make them slaves. There can be no excuse for this, but it is very important to remember that it was contrary to Spanish law and vigorously countermanded by Queen Isabella as soon as she found out about it. She declared firmly that no one had authorized her Admiral to treat 'her subjects' in this manner, released the Indian captives who had been brought to Spain, and made clear her unalterable opposition to enslavement of the Indians. She then sent a former member of her household named Juan Aguado to investigate what Columbus was doing as governor of Hispaniola and report back to her.

The Death of Columbus

Christopher Columbus died on May 20, 1506 in obscurity and near poverty in Valladolid, Spain in a rooming house. Later his remains were moved to the Dominican Republic. It is thought that arthritis was the main contributor to his death. His family never received any monies still owed to him by the Spanish Crown.

Edited from http://www.catholictradition.org/Tradition/christopher-columbus.htm and https://www.loc.gov/item/today-in-history/october-12/

Indian Catholic Bishops Call for the Release of Jesuit Priest Fr. Stan Swamy - who was Arrested in India



Indian Catholics call for the immediate release of Fr. Stan Swamy

by Mons. Felix Machado


Appeal by the Indian Bishops' Conference for the liberation of the Jesuit, arrested for alleged links with the Maoist rebels. Fr. Swamy has worked for decades to defend the rights of tribals in Jharkhand.  Concerns for his health.  The Indian Catholic community has always contributed to the building of the nation.

 New Delhi (AsiaNews) - On October 8 tribal activist Fr. Stan Swamy was arrested on charges of "Maoist terrorism".  For over 50 years the Jesuit priest has been committed to defending the forest rights of the Adivasi in Jharkhand.  For months he had been interrogated and faced with false evidence.  Confreres, activists and members of the opposition to the Modi administration denounce his arrest as an "attack on the poor".  Under the government of the Bharatiya Janata Party (Hindu nationalist), he was also accused of sedition.  Below is the text of the appeal signed by Msgr.  Felix Machado, Archbishop of Vasai and general secretary of the Indian Bishops' Conference.


The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI) expresses its deep sorrow and anguish on the arrest of Fr Stan Swamy from his residence by the National Investigation Agency (NIA), accusing him of being related to the Bhima –Koregaon incident. 


Fr Stan Swamy, 83 years old, a Jesuit has spent a major portion of his life-giving yeoman service to the tribals and the downtrodden in the state of Jharkhand. According to our reports Fr. Stan has for decades been working to protect the rights of the Adivasis, especially their land rights. This could have worked against the interests of certain people. When questioned during the months of July- August 2020 by authorities, Fr Stan Swamy has fully cooperated with Investigating Agencies and has provided detailed statements, claiming to be innocent in the case.

It is difficult to comprehend the plight of an octogenarian with several morbidities, like Fr Stan Swamy to have to undergo such difficulties during this pandemic in which even a normal healthy person would hesitate to travel or would never travel risking one’s life. 

The CBCI makes a strong appeal to the concerned authorities to immediately release Fr Stan Swamy and to permit him to go to his residence. The Catholic Community has always been lauded by all as body of loyal, law abiding and service minded citizens of Mother India. The community has always been contributing to nation building and continues to collaborate with the government in working for the common good of all Indians and the progress of our nation. We earnestly urge that the rights, duties and privileges of all citizens are duly safeguarded, and peace and harmony prevail among all.

The Catholic Church is very grateful to all people of goodwill, people from all walks of life, belonging to all religions, and all institutions that have come out in an overwhelming support for Fr Stan Swamy’s immediate release and safe return to his residence. 

FULL TEXT Release : Asia News.it

US President Trump Resumes Election Campaign after Physician says he Meets Criteria for Discontinuation of Isolation after COVID-19 Diagnosis



US President Trump's Physician indicates he meets criteria for safe discontinuation of isolation after COVID-19 diagnosis. 

U.S. President Donald Trump returns to the campaign trail on Monday, beginning a three-week push for the Nov. 3 elections.

President Trump spent three nights in the hospital for treatment for COVID-19. He said on Sunday, that he had fully recovered and was no longer infectious.

The Republican president, is 74 years old,  and running against the democratic challenger Joe Biden, aged 77.

COVID-19 has infected nearly 7.7 million people in the United States, with a low mortality rate of 214,000, however, restrictions have put millions out of work.

 11 close Trump aides have tested positive for the coronavirus.

Trump said in an interview for Fox News on Sunday, that he felt good and mentioned his physician's memo from Saturday saying he had taken a test showing he was no longer infectious.

"I passed the highest test, the highest standards, and I'm in great shape," Trump told Sunday Morning Futures.

The 1st Filipino Swiss Guard at the Vatican was Sworn in to Protect Pope Francis



By CBCP News
October 9, 2020
Manila, Philippines
For the first time, the Vatican has sworn in a Swiss with Filipino parentage as member of the Swiss Guard, the elite corps of soldiers who protect the pope.
Vincent Lüthi was among the 38 new recruits who took oath of allegiance to Pope Francis in the Vatican on October 4.
The 22-year-old grew up in Cugy, Switzerland and the only child of a Swiss father and a Filipino mother from Santa Fe town on Bantayan Island in Cebu province.
The ceremony for new Swiss Guards was due to take place in May, but it was moved to October due to the coronavirus restrictions.
The event was also held behind closed doors, in accordance with current protection regulations.
Pope Francis met with the guards and their parents before the Sunday ceremony and thanked them for choosing to dedicate “a period of their youth in the service of the Successor of Peter”.

In the audience on Oct. 2, he told the new recruits that “the time you will spend here is a unique moment in your life.”
“May you live it in a spirit of fraternity, helping one another to lead a meaningful and joyfully Christian life,” the pope said.
The pontiff also emphasized the crucial role of the family in the transmission of faith.
“The presence of your family members expresses the devotion of Swiss Catholics to the Holy See, as well as the moral education and good example by which parents have passed on to their children the Christian faith and the sense of generous service to their neighbor,” he said.
Established in 1506, the duty of the world’s smallest but oldest standing arm is to protect the Vatican, Apostolic Palace and the pope.
Members of the Swiss Guard must be Swiss, Catholic and top-notch soldiers. They are also famous for their antique blue, red and yellow striped uniforms.
FULL TEXT Release: CBCP News - Image Source: Screen Shot Veritas846.ph

READ - Bishops of Africa Support Pope Francis' "Fratelli Tutti" saying “We join the Holy Father to earnestly plead for intensified efforts towards true brotherhood..." FULL TEXT



SECAM: Church in Africa Echoes Pope’s Call in “Fratelli Tutti” to Intensify Continent’s Brotherly Unity
 2 days ago AMECEA Social Communications
Pope Francis and Philippe Cardinal Ouédraogo
Sr. Jecinter Antoinette Okoth, FSSA
Three days after Pope Francis released his third Encyclical Fratelli Tutti, addressing issues on fraternal and social friendship, the Church leaders in Africa and its surrounding islands under its continental body Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM) has reiterated the Pope’s call on the need to strengthen brotherly unity on the continent and close bridges of division.
“We join the Holy Father to earnestly plead for intensified efforts towards true brotherhood, solidarity, dialogue, mutual acceptance, trust and support, which are crucial values for our current world visibly divided along cultural, religious, social, political and ideological lines or principles,” the President of SECAM Philippe Nakellentuba Cardinal Ouédraogo said in a communique dated Tuesday, October 6.
Speaking on behalf of the Bishops in Africa of their appreciation of the Encyclical the Cardinal said, “The Church-Family of God in Africa and the surrounding islands joyfully welcomes the new Encyclical of our Holy Father, Pope Francis, Fratelli Tutti (FT) on human fraternity and social friendship,” adding that “It is a call on human beings everywhere in the world for renewed commitment to universal brotherhood, friendship, solidarity and peaceful co-existence.”
The Cardinal who is the Local Ordinary of Ouagadougou Archdiocese, Burkina Faso, highlighted what Pope Francis had said earlier that, “Time has come; to break totally with personal interests and cultural barriers, fixed ideological beliefs, religious persecution and radicalized religion” so as to “end terrorism everywhere in the world, and to work assiduously for religious freedom.”
He cited Pope’s message concerning Covid-19 pandemic which erupted unexpectedly and “exposed our false securities” and which the document states that “despite the different ways that various countries responded to the crisis, their inability to work together became quite evident.”
“In view of the current Coronavirus pandemic, it is a fact that no one can face life in isolation; that we are a single human family and true brothers and sisters of the one Father, God, the call invites for swift response,” the statement reads in part and highlights that “Genuine brotherhood is an appropriate response to the challenges posed by Covid-19.”
As a continental Church, the leadership of the Catholic Church in Africa encourages efforts of having a unified Church and for the members to keep off from vices which deteriorate her growth.
“For us in Africa and Madagascar, the Encyclical reminds us of the need to intensify efforts towards building up the Church as Family, avoiding all ethnocentrism and excessive particularism,” the statement issued at SECAM’s secretariat in Ghana indicates adding, “We need to “encourage reconciliation and true communion between different ethnic groups, favouring solidarity and the sharing of personnel and resources among the particular Churches, without undue ethnic considerations.”
The leadership of the Catholic Church has called on all the peoples of Africa and the surrounding Islands, especially, Christians to “not only study the Encyclical, Fratelli Tutti, diligently but also respond to it positively in family, cultural, religious, political, social and business circles.”

Bishop in Florida Sends Message to Voters "Pope Francis has made it clear that if we fail to protect life, no other rights matter." FULL TEXT



My Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
As election day in our country approaches, people have been asking for guidance as they consider the candidates and their votes. While the Church and its clergy cannot endorse a particular candidate or political party, we do have a responsibility to encourage you to
understand the issues in the context of Church teaching and to help you in this area of the “proper formation of your conscience.”
This election, at both the federal and state level, will shape the future of our nation for generations to come. Some would prefer that
Catholics and others of faith remain silent, or
they will say that such beliefs have no place
in the public square. Such views run contrary
to our fraternal bonds and commitment to
the common good as equal and valued
citizens. Since politics is about securing
justice in society, it is a fundamentally moral
activity. As Catholics, our belief is that there
are fundamental truths about the human
person and society that are accessible to both
faith and reason. We, therefore, have a right
and a duty to participate in the public square
in a way that reflects these truths, both for
the good of our community and for the glory of the God who created us.
When the Declaration of Independence was penned, three rights were deemed unalienable, given to all human beings by their Creator, and, therefore, unable to be taken away from
someone or given away by someone else. They are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. That they were written in this order was no mistake — even the Founding
Fathers knew that the right to life surpassed all others in importance: without the right to life, none of the other rights could be protected. The right to life was, and is, preeminent.
We hold these truths to be self‐evident,
that all men are created equal, that they
are endowed by their Creator with certain
unalienable Rights, that among these are
Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
—The Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776

On this issue of preeminence of the right to life – and its source in our Creator – the
Founding Fathers and the Church are agreed.
Yet issues of life are under attack, and they
appear in our national conversation and laws
in terrible ways, as threats to the unborn
(abortion), and as threats to the vulnerable,
the disabled, and the elderly (euthanasia or
assisted suicide). The Church teaches that
abortion, euthanasia, and assisted suicide, as
direct attacks on innocent human life, are all
intrinsically evil – always and everywhere
profoundly immoral. And preeminent among
these is the most fundamental threat to the
beginning of life itself – abortion. Pope Francis has made it clear that if we fail to protect life, no other rights matter. He also said that abortion is not primarily a Catholic or even a
religious issue: it is first and foremost a human rights issue.
Let each citizen remember at the moment
he is offering his vote that he is not
making a present or a compliment to
please an individual – or at least that he
ought not so to do; but that he is
executing one of the most solemn trusts in
human society for which he is accountable
to God and his country.
—Samuel Adams, The Boston Gazette on April 16, 1781

All too often, we hear people say: As a matter of faith, I am against abortion, but I cannot
impose my belief on others. It is not a matter of imposing a belief, but of being committed to
the truth about human life, which, as biological science confirms, begins at conception.
Those who argue otherwise are not
committed to reason, but the false belief that
there are some human beings not deserving
of the protection of our laws.
In the case of an intrinsically unjust law, such as a law permitting abortion or euthanasia, it is therefore never licit to obey it, or to take part in a propaganda campaign in favor of such a law, or vote for it.
 — Pope St. John Paul II
By our baptismal call, and in our prayer to
the Father, all children of God are pledged to
seek God’s Kingdom and fulfill his will on
earth as it is in heaven. We vow that we will
strive for perfect integrity in submitting our
will to the will of God. We cannot with
integrity pray the words of the Our Father or say “Amen” when receiving the Eucharist, and
then be passive on the issues that destroy God’s creation. This is true for all people of faith,
elector, and elected officials.
There are some who will claim that, by focusing on the preeminent issue of abortion, the
Church is promoting single-issue voting that will tend to support a particular candidate or
party. The Church will always act to promote the dignity and value of every human life
from conception to natural death. We care about both mothers and their children, born and
unborn, as well as the poor, the immigrant, the sick, the disabled, the elderly, those who are
marginalized, and those on death row. We seek to promote a Culture of Life through our teaching and through our ministries, some of which are threatened by the extreme positions taken by some on issues of life and the family.
As you endeavor to be an educated voter with a properly formed conscience as regards the
issues we face as individuals, families, and as one nation under God, you can count on the prayers of your shepherds. The political parties and their candidates have provided you with information that they believe will help you to understand their positions on issues
that are important to you and for the good of the country. The Church engages in this political process by providing you with the faith context to judge some of these positions.
This is a difficult time in our nation and a critical time to not only exercise your right to vote but to do so with the utmost integrity.
Most Reverend Felipe J. Estévez
Bishop of the Diocese of St. Augustine
October 7, 2020 

Pope Francis gives TED Talk Video on Climate Change "Each of us can play a valuable role if we all set out on the road....the future is being built today..." FULL TEXT + Video

 VIDEO MESSAGE FROM THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS

TO PARTICIPANTS IN THE "COUNTDOWN",
TED DIGITAL EVENT ON CLIMATE CHANGE

 

Good morning!

We are living in a historical moment marked by difficult challenges. The world is shaken by the crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, which highlights even more another global challenge: the socio-environmental crisis.

This confronts us all with the need for a choice.

The choice between what matters and what doesn't. The choice between continuing to ignore the sufferings of the poorest and mistreating our common home, the Earth, or engaging at every level to transform the way we act.

Science tells us, more precisely every day, that urgent action is needed - and I am not exaggerating, science says so - if we are to have any hope of avoiding radical and catastrophic climate change. And for this, act urgently. This is a scientific fact.

Conscience tells us that we cannot be indifferent to the suffering of the poorest, to growing economic inequalities and social injustices. And the economy itself cannot be limited to production and distribution. It must necessarily consider its impact on the environment and the dignity of the person. We could say that the economy must be  creative  in itself, in its methods, in the way of acting. Creativity.

I would like to invite you to go on a journey together. A journey of transformation and action. Made not so much of words, but above all of concrete and urgent actions.

I call it a "journey", because it requires a "shift", a change! From this crisis none of us must come out the same - we cannot come out the same: from a crisis, we never come out the same -; and it will take time and effort to get out. It will be necessary to go step by step, to help the weak, to persuade the doubters, to imagine new solutions and to commit to carrying them out.

But the goal is clear: to build, in the next decade, a world where we can respond to the needs of present generations, including everyone, without compromising the possibilities of future generations.

I would like to invite all people of faith, Christian or not, and all people of good will, to undertake this journey, [starting] from his faith or, if he has no faith, from his will, from his own good will. Each and every one of us, as individuals and members of groups - families, faith communities, businesses, associations, institutions - can make a significant contribution.

Five years ago I wrote the encyclical letter Laudato si ', dedicated to the care of our common home. It proposes the concept of "integral ecology", to respond together to the cry of the earth but also to the cry of the poor. Integral ecology is an invitation to an integral vision of life, starting from the conviction that everything in the world is connected and that, as the pandemic reminded us, we are interdependent on each other, and also dependent on our mother earth. From this vision derives the need to look for other ways of understanding progress and measuring it, without limiting ourselves to the economic, technological, financial and gross product dimensions, but giving central importance to the ethical-social and educational dimensions.

Today I would like to propose three courses of action.

As I wrote in Laudato si ' , the change and the right orientation for the journey of integral ecology requires, first of all, to take an educational step (cf. n. 202 ). So the first proposal is to promote, at every level, an education in the care of the common home , developing the understanding that environmental problems are linked to human needs - we must understand this from the beginning: environmental problems are linked to human needs - ; an education based on scientific data and an ethical approach. This is important: both. I am heartened by the fact that many young people already have a new ecological and social sensitivity, and some of them are fighting generously for the defense of the environment and for justice.

As a second proposal, we must then put  the emphasis on water and nutrition . Access to safe and safe water is an essential and universal human right. It is essential, because it determines the survival of people and for this reason it is a condition for the exercise of all other rights and responsibilities. Ensuring adequate nutrition for all through non-destructive farming methods should then become the fundamental purpose of the entire cycle of production and distribution of food.

The third proposal is that of the energy transition: a gradual, but immediate, replacement of fossil fuels with clean energy sources. We have a few years, scientists estimate roughly less than thirty - we have a few years, less than thirty - to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere. This transition must not only be rapid and capable of meeting present and future energy needs, but it must also be attentive to the impacts on the poor, local populations and those working in the energy production sectors.

One way to encourage this change is to lead companies towards the urgent need to commit themselves to the integral care of the common home, excluding from investments those companies that do not meet the parameters of integral ecology and rewarding those who concretely work in this phase. of transition to place parameters such as sustainability, social justice and the promotion of the common good at the center of their activities. Many Catholic organizations and other faiths have already taken on the responsibility to work in this direction. In fact, the land must be worked and cared for, cultivated and protected; we can't keep squeezing it like an orange. And we can say that this, taking care of the earth, is a human right.

These three proposals must be understood as part of a large set of actions that we must carry out in an integrated way to arrive at a lasting solution to the problems.

The current economic system is unsustainable. We are faced with the moral imperative, and the practical urgency, to rethink many things: how we produce, how we consume, think about our culture of waste, the short-term vision, the exploitation of the poor, the indifference towards them, increasing inequalities and dependence on harmful energy sources. All challenges. We have to think about it.

Integral ecology suggests a new conception of the relationship between us and with nature. This leads to a new economy, in which the production of wealth is directed towards the integral well-being of the human being and the improvement - not the destruction - of our common home. It also means a renewed policy, conceived as one of the highest forms of charity. Yes, love is interpersonal, but love is also political. It involves all peoples and involves nature.

Therefore, I invite you all to undertake this journey. So I proposed it in Laudato si ' and also in the new Encyclical Fratelli tutti . As the term "Countdown" suggests, we must act urgently. Each of us can play a valuable role if we all set out on the road today. Not tomorrow, today. Because the future is being built today, and is being built not alone, but in community and in harmony.  

Thank you!

 


Bulletin of the Holy See Press Office , 10 October 2020