Monday, March 15, 2021

Saint March 16 : St. Heribert Archbishop of Cologne and Patron of Rain

 

Born:
970 at Worms, Germany

Died:
16 March 1021 at Cologne, Germany
Canonized:
1075 by Pope Saint Gregory VII
Major Shrine:
Deutz
Patron of:
rain

Archbishop of Cologne; born at Worms, c. 970; died at Cologne, 16 March, 1021. His father was Duke Hugo of Worms. After receiving his education at the cathedral school of Worms, he spent some time as guest at the monastery of Gorze, after which he became provost at the cathedral of Worms. In 994 he was ordained priest; in the same year King Otto III appointed him chancellor for Italy and four years later also for Germany, a position which he held until the death of Otto III on 23 January, 1002. As chancellor he was the most influential adviser of Otto III, whom he accompanied to Rome in 906 and again in 997. He was still in Italy when, in 999, he was elected Archbishop of Cologne. At Benevento he received ecclesiastical investiture and the pallium from Pope Sylvester II on 9 July, 999, and on the following Christmas Day he was consecrated at Cologne. In 1002 he was present at the death-bed of the youthful emperor at Paterno. While returning to Germany with the emperor's remains and the imperial insignia, he was held captive for some time by the future King Henry II, whose candidacy he first opposed. As soon as Henry II was elected king, on 7 June, 1002, Heribert acknowledged him as such, accompanied him to Rome in 1004, mediated between him and the House of Luxemburg, and served him faithfully in many other ways; but he never won his entire confidence until the year 1021, when the king saw his mistake and humbly begged pardon on the archbishop. Heribert founded and richly endowed the Benedictine monastery and church of Deutz, where he lies buried. He was already honoured as a saint during his lifetime. Between 1073 and 1075 he was canonized by Pope Gregory VII. His feast is celebrated on 16 March. source: The Catholic Encyclopedia

Cardinal Luis Tagle's FULL TEXT Beautiful Message to Pope Francis, Calling him Grandfather "Lolo Kiko", on 500th Anniversary of Faith in the Philippines

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Here is the full text of Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle’s message to Pope Francis at the end of Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica for the 500 Years of Christianity in the Philippines:
Holy Father,
The Filipino migrants in Rome want to express our gratitude to you for leading us in this Eucharistic celebration in thanksgiving for the arrival of the Christian faith in the Philippines five hundred years ago. We bring you the filial love of Filipinos in the 7641 islands of our country. There are more than ten million Filipino migrants living in almost one hundred countries in the world. They are united with us this morning. We treasure your concern for us and for all migrants in Rome, consistently manifested by Your Vicar for the Diocese of Rome, His Eminence Cardinal Angelo de Donatis and the Director of the Diocesan Office Migrantes, Monsignor Pierpaolo Felicolo, and the Chaplain of the Centro Filippino, Fr. Ricky Gente.1
The coming of the Christian faith to our land is God’s gift. That the Christian faith was received by the majority of our people and given by them a Filipino character is God’s gift. Now the Philippines has the third largest number of Catholics in the world. This is truly God’s gift. We attribute the enduring faith of the Filipino people only to God’s love, mercy and fidelity, not to any merit of our own.
From 1521 to 2021, we see gift upon gift. We thank God for the bearers of the gift these 500 years: the pioneering missionaries, the religious congregations, the clergy, the grandmothers and grandfathers, the mothers and fathers, the teachers, the catechists, the parishes, the schools, the hospitals, the orphanages, the farmers, the laborers, the artists, and the poor whose wealth is Jesus. By God’s grace, the Filipino Christians have continued to receive the faith, one of the sources of hope in facing poverty, economic inequality, political upheavals, typhoons, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, and even the current pandemic. As we confess our failure in living the faith in a consistent manner, we also recognize the great contribution of the Christian faith in shaping the Filipino culture and the Filipino nation.
The gift must continue being a gift. It must be shared. If it is kept for oneself, it ceases to be a gift. By God’s mysterious design, the gift of faith we have received is now being shared by the millions of Christian Filipino migrants in different parts of the world. We have left our families, not to abandon them, but to care for them and their future. For love of them, we endure the sorrow of separation. When lonely moments come, Filipino migrants find strength in Jesus who journeys with us, the Jesus who became a Child (Santo Nino) and known as the Nazarene (Jesus Nazareno), bore the Cross for us. We are assured of the embrace of our Mother Mary and the protection of the saints. When we miss our families, we turn to the parish, our second home. When there is no one to talk with, we pour our hearts to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and ponder His word. We take care of the children under our charge as our own children, and the elderly as our own parents. We sing, we smile, we laugh, we cry, and we eat. We pray that through our Filipino migrants, the name of Jesus, the beauty of the Church, and the justice, mercy and joy of God may reach the ends of the earth. Here in Rome, when we miss our grandfathers, we know we have a Lolo Kiko. Thank you very much, Holy Father.
Source: CBCP News - Bishops of the Philippines

Catholic Priest is Excommunicated by Bishop after Allegedly Beating his Bishop in India



Bishop Pius Thomas D’Souza of Ajmer announced the suspension of Father Varghese Palappallil on March 10, 2021. This Catholic priest has been excommunicated after he allegedly beat up his bishop in India’s Rajasthan state. The excommunication occurred  three days after the priest allegedly attacked him in the dining room of the bishop’s house.
According to Canon Law 1370, the priest has incurred automatic suspension from all priestly ministries and from receiving sacraments in the Church because he attacked his bishop, said the bishop’s letter to Father Palappallil. Canon law indicates that a person who uses physical force against a bishop “incurs latae sententiae interdict and, if a cleric, he incurs also a latae sententiae suspension.”
In 2015 the bishop removed Fr. Palapplallil from the post of principal of a church-run school following an allegation he was in a sexual relationship with a woman. 
Since then, the bishop has not assigned him a parish or given any other responsibility in the diocese. 
This year the priest was also accused of sexually abusing a girl.
On March 7, the priest visited the bishop’s house to speak with him about getting a placement.    
Father Cosmos Shekhawat, the diocese’s vicar general, released an official statement on March 9.
“He gave a strong blow to my face near my eyes. My spectacles fell to the ground. Before I could manage to grasp the situation, he gave a blow to my neck,” said the bishop.
The priest, Fr. Palapplallil, denies that he hit the bishop but says he pushed  the bishop after he waved his knife at him at the table.
The diocese has about 50 priests, who are reportedly divided over the issue.
Edited from UCAN News and MattersIndia
Image source Youtube

#BreakingNews Vatican Decree that the Catholic Church Cannot Bless Same-Sex Unions - FULL Official TEXT


 

Responsum of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to a dubium

Regarding the blessing of the unions of persons of the same sex

TO THE QUESTION PROPOSED:
Does the Church have the power to give the blessing to unions of persons of the same sex?

RESPONSE:
Negative. (Vatican News noted that Pope Francis approved the publication of this response)

Explanatory Note

In some ecclesial contexts, plans and proposals for blessings of unions of persons of the same sex are being advanced. Such projects are not infrequently motivated by a sincere desire to welcome and accompany homosexual persons, to whom are proposed paths of growth in faith, “so that those who manifest a homosexual orientation can receive the assistance they need to understand and fully carry out God’s will in their lives”[1].

On such paths, listening to the word of God, prayer, participation in ecclesial liturgical actions and the exercise of charity can play an important role in sustaining the commitment to read one's own history and to adhere with freedom and responsibility to one's baptismal call, because “God loves every person and the Church does the same”[2], rejecting all unjust discrimination.

Among the liturgical actions of the Church, the sacramentals have a singular importance: “These are sacred signs that resemble the sacraments: they signify effects, particularly of a spiritual kind, which are obtained through the Church’s intercession. By them men are disposed to receive the chief effect of the sacraments, and various occasions of life are sanctified”[3]. The Catechism of the Catholic Church specifies, then, that “sacramentals do not confer the grace of the Holy Spirit in the way that the sacraments do, but by the Church’s prayer, they prepare us to receive grace and dispose us to cooperate with it” (#1670).

Blessings belong to the category of the sacramentals, whereby the Church “calls us to praise God, encourages us to implore his protection, and exhorts us to seek his mercy by our holiness of life”[4]. In addition, they “have been established as a kind of imitation of the sacraments, blessings are signs above all of spiritual effects that are achieved through the Church’s intercession”[5].

Consequently, in order to conform with the nature of sacramentals, when a blessing is invoked on particular human relationships, in addition to the right intention of those who participate, it is necessary that what is blessed be objectively and positively ordered to receive and express grace, according to the designs of God inscribed in creation, and fully revealed by Christ the Lord. Therefore, only those realities which are in themselves ordered to serve those ends are congruent with the essence of the blessing imparted by the Church.

For this reason, it is not licit to impart a blessing on relationships, or partnerships, even stable, that involve sexual activity outside of marriage (i.e., outside the indissoluble union of a man and a woman open in itself to the transmission of life), as is the case of the unions between persons of the same sex[6]. The presence in such relationships of positive elements, which are in themselves to be valued and appreciated, cannot justify these relationships and render them legitimate objects of an ecclesial blessing, since the positive elements exist within the context of a union not ordered to the Creator’s plan.

Furthermore, since blessings on persons are in relationship with the sacraments, the blessing of homosexual unions cannot be considered licit. This is because they would constitute a certain imitation or analogue of the nuptial blessing[7] invoked on the man and woman united in the sacrament of Matrimony, while in fact “there are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God’s plan for marriage and family”[8].

The declaration of the unlawfulness of blessings of unions between persons of the same sex is not therefore, and is not intended to be, a form of unjust discrimination, but rather a reminder of the truth of the liturgical rite and of the very nature of the sacramentals, as the Church understands them.

The Christian community and its Pastors are called to welcome with respect and sensitivity persons with homosexual inclinations, and will know how to find the most appropriate ways, consistent with Church teaching, to proclaim to them the Gospel in its fullness. At the same time, they should recognize the genuine nearness of the Church – which prays for them, accompanies them and shares their journey of Christian faith[9] – and receive the teachings with sincere openness.

The answer to the proposed dubium does not preclude the blessings given to individual persons with homosexual inclinations[10], who manifest the will to live in fidelity to the revealed plans of God as proposed by Church teaching. Rather, it declares illicit any form of blessing that tends to acknowledge their unions as such. In this case, in fact, the blessing would manifest not the intention to entrust such individual persons to the protection and help of God, in the sense mentioned above, but to approve and encourage a choice and a way of life that cannot be recognized as objectively ordered to the revealed plans of God[11].

At the same time, the Church recalls that God Himself never ceases to bless each of His pilgrim children in this world, because for Him “we are more important to God than all of the sins that we can commit”[12]. But he does not and cannot bless sin: he blesses sinful man, so that he may recognize that he is part of his plan of love and allow himself to be changed by him. He in fact “takes us as we are, but never leaves us as we are”[13].

For the above mentioned reasons, the Church does not have, and cannot have, the power to bless unions of persons of the same sex in the sense intended above.

The Sovereign Pontiff Francis, at the Audience granted to the undersigned Secretary of this Congregation, was informed and gave his assent to the publication of the above-mentioned Responsum ad dubium, with the annexed Explanatory Note.

Rome, from the Offices of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the 22nd of February 2021, Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter, Apostle.

 

Luis F. Card. Ladaria, S.I.
Prefect

✠ Giacomo Morandi
Archbishop tit. of Cerveteri
Secretary

_______________________

[1] FRANCIS, Apostolic Exhortation Amoris laetitia, 250.

[2] SYNOD OF BISHOPS, Final Document of the XV Ordinary General Assembly, 150.

[3] SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy Sacrosanctum Concilium, 60.

[4] RITUALE ROMANUM ex Decreto Sacrosancti Oecumenici Concilii Vaticani II instauratum auctoritate Ioannis Pauli PP. Il promulgatum, De bendictionibus, Praenotanda Generalia, n.9.

[5] Ibidem, n. 10.

[6] Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2357.

[7] In fact, the nuptial blessing refers back to the creation account, in which God's blessing on man and woman is related to their fruitful union (cf. Gen 1:28) and their complementarity (cf. Gen 2:18-24).

[8] FRANCIS, Apostolic Exhortation Amoris laetitia, 251.

[9] Cf. CONGREGATION FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH, Letter Homosexualitatis problema On the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons, 15.

[10] De benedictionibus in fact presents an extended list of situations for which to invoke the blessing of the Lord.

[11] CONGREGATION FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH, Letter Homosexualitatis problema On the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons, 7.

[12] FRANCIS, General Audience of December 2, 2020, Catechesis on Prayer, the blessing.

[13] Ibidem.

Source : https://press.vatican.va/content/salastampa/it/bollettino/pubblico/2021/03/15/0157/00330.html

EU Bishops to meet with European Commission’s Vice President Margaritis Schinas

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2021 COMECE Spring Assembly

EU Bishops to meet with European Commission’s Vice President Margaritis Schinas

 

Delegates of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Union will participate in the COMECE Spring Assembly to be held in a digital format on 17-18 March 2021 with the participation of European Commission’s Vice President Margaritis SchinasThe focus of the Assembly will be: Covid-19 recovery, Migration and Asylum policies, Freedom of Religion inside the EU.

In the context of the first anniversary of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has caused the death of more than 2,5 million people across the globe, the Bishops of the European Union will exchange on the current status of the recovery process in the EU and its Member States. 

 

Bishops will also discuss on how to better promote a people-centred and value-based approach in EU policies, which has become even more urgent due to the socio-economic impact deriving from Coronavirus.

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The participation of European Commission’s Vice President Margaritis Schinas will allow the EU Bishops to analyse the state of play of the “open, transparent and regular dialogue” between Churches and EU institutions as enshrined in Article 17 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU).


The meeting will also be an occasion for the Bishops to restate some concrete policy recommendations to be considered

in view of the future negotiations on the  EU Pact on Migration and Asylum.


The meeting will also be an occasion for the Bishops to restate some concrete policy recommendations to be considered in view of the future negotiations on the  EU Pact on Migration and Asylum. These recommendations are contained in a statement elaborated by the COMECE Working Group on Migration and Asylum in December 2020. 

 

In the light of various national concerns towards the promotion and protection of Freedom of Religion inside the EU, the Bishops of the European Union will also reflect on  how to address future challenges to this fundamental right. 

 Source: Press Release COMECE

Holy Mass Online - Readings and Video : Monday, March 15, 2021 - #Eucharist in Your Virtual Church



 
Monday of the Fourth Week of Lent
Lectionary: 244
Reading I
Is 65:17-21
Thus says the LORD:
Lo, I am about to create new heavens
    and a new earth;
The things of the past shall not be remembered
    or come to mind.
Instead, there shall always be rejoicing and happiness
    in what I create;
For I create Jerusalem to be a joy
    and its people to be a delight;
I will rejoice in Jerusalem
    and exult in my people.
No longer shall the sound of weeping be heard there,
    or the sound of crying;
No longer shall there be in it
    an infant who lives but a few days,
    or an old man who does not round out his full lifetime;
He dies a mere youth who reaches but a hundred years,
    and he who fails of a hundred shall be thought accursed.
They shall live in the houses they build,
    and eat the fruit of the vineyards they plant.
Responsorial Psalm
30:2 and 4, 5-6, 11-12a and 13b
R.    (2a)  I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me.
I will extol you, O LORD, for you drew me clear
    and did not let my enemies rejoice over me.
O LORD, you brought me up from the nether world;
    you preserved me from among those going down into the pit.
R.    I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me.
Sing praise to the LORD, you his faithful ones,
    and give thanks to his holy name.
For his anger lasts but a moment;
    a lifetime, his good will.
At nightfall, weeping enters in,
    but with the dawn, rejoicing.
R.    I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me.
“Hear, O LORD, and have pity on me;
    O LORD, be my helper.”
You changed my mourning into dancing;
    O LORD, my God, forever will I give you thanks.
R.    I will praise you, Lord, for you have rescued me.
Verse before the Gospel
Am 5:14
Seek good and not evil so that you may live,
and the LORD will be with you.
Gospel
Jn 4:43-54
At that time Jesus left [Samaria] for Galilee.
For Jesus himself testified
that a prophet has no honor in his native place.
When he came into Galilee, the Galileans welcomed him,
since they had seen all he had done in Jerusalem at the feast;
for they themselves had gone to the feast.
Then he returned to Cana in Galilee,
where he had made the water wine.
Now there was a royal official whose son was ill in Capernaum.
When he heard that Jesus had arrived in Galilee from Judea,
he went to him and asked him to come down
and heal his son, who was near death.
Jesus said to him,
“Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will not believe.”
The royal official said to him,
“Sir, come down before my child dies.”
Jesus said to him, “You may go; your son will live.”
The man believed what Jesus said to him and left.
While the man was on his way back,
his slaves met him and told him that his boy would live.
He asked them when he began to recover.
They told him,
“The fever left him yesterday, about one in the afternoon.”
The father realized that just at that time Jesus had said to him,
“Your son will live,”
and he and his whole household came to believe.
Now this was the second sign Jesus did
when he came to Galilee from Judea.
 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

Saint March 15 : St. Louise de Marillac : Patron of Disappointing children, Rejected by Religious orders, Social workers


Born:
12 August 1591 at Meux, France
15 March 1660 at Paris, France
Canonized:
11 March 1934 by Pope Pius XI
Major Shrine:
Chapel of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, Rue du Bac, Paris, France
Patron of:
disappointing children, loss of parents, people rejected by religious orders, sick people, social workers, Vincentian Service Corps, widows
FOUNDRESS AND PATRONESS OF SOCIAL WORKERS
Foundress of the Sisters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, born at Paris, 12 August, 1591, daughter of Louis de Marillac, Lord of Ferri res, and Marguerite Le Camus; died there, 15 March, 1660. Her mother having died soon after the birth of Louise, the education of the latter devolved upon her father, a man of blameless life. In her earlier years she was confided to the care of her aunt, a religious at Poissy. Afterwards she studied under a preceptress, devoting much time to the cultivation of the arts. Her father's serious disposition was reflected in the daughter's taste for philosophy and kindred subjects. When about sixteen years old, Louise developed a strong desire to enter the Capuchinesses (Daughter of the Passion). Her spiritual director dissuaded her, however, and her father having died, it became necessary to decide her vocation. Interpreting her director's advice, she accepted the hand of Antoine* Le Gras, a young secretary under Maria de' Medici. A son was born of this marriage on 13 October, 1613, and to his education Mlle Le Gras devoted herself during the years of his childhood. Of works of charity she never wearied. In 1619 she became acquainted with St. Francis de Sales, who was then in Paris, and Mgr. Le Campus, Bishop of Belley, became her spiritual adviser. Troubled by the thought that she had rejected a call to the religious state, she vowed in 1623 not remarry should her husband die before her.
M. Le Gras died on 21 December, 1625, after a long illness. In the meantime his wife had made the acquaintance of a priest known as M. Vincent (St. Vincent de Paul), who had been appointed superior of the Visitation Monastery by St. Francis of Sales. She placed herself under his direction, probably early in 1625. His influence led her to associate herself with his work among the poor of Paris, and especially in the extension of the Confrérie de la Charité, an association which he had founded for the relief of the sick poor. It was this labour which decided her life's work, the founding of the Sisters of Charity. The history of the evolution of this institute, which Mlle Le Gras plays so prominent a part, has been given elsewhere (see Charity, Sister of); it suffices here to say that, with formal ecclesiastical and state recognition, Mlle Le Gras' life-work received its assurance of success. Her death occurred in 1660, a few month before the death of St. Vincent, with whose labours she had been so closely united.

(Taken From Catholic Encyclopedia)

Prayer: May the God of Louise de Marillac be with us more and more each day, drawing us into ever deep union with the Holy One, quickening our hearts’ desire for love and sharpening our awareness of all that the world suffers. As the Charity of Christ impelled her, may we be moved with urgency to be women of the charism— witness and vision, justice and truth, passion and peace. May our response to the challenges our God and our world place before us reflect Louise’s vision of loving service and may the Charity of Christ impel us. May the blessing of Louise be upon us! Amen. Source: sistersofcharityfederation.org