Friday, September 30, 2011



VATICAN CITY, 30 SEP 2011 (VIS REPORTS) - Made public today was a Letter, written in Latin and dated from Castelgandolfo on 21 September, in which Benedict XVI appoints Cardinal Walter Kasper, president emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, as his special envoy to celebrations marking the 950th anniversary of the dedication of Speyer Cathedral in Germany, due to take place on 2 October. (IMAGE SOURCE: RADIO VATICANA)

In his Letter the Pope dwells on the significance the cathedral, which was built between 1030 and 1061, has had in German history, also underlining its important role in confirming the faith of the German faithful and their union with Peter's Successor. The Holy Father likewise greets Bishop Karl-Heinz Wiesemann ofSpeyer and express the hope that the forthcoming commemoration will be a time of grace. He concludes by inviting participants in the forthcoming celebration to practise the great Christian virtues of faith, hope and charity, like the Virgin Mary to whom the cathedral is dedicated.

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VATICAN CITY, 30 SEP 2011 (VIS) - Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B. yesterday presided at Mass at the Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes in the Vatican Gardens for the feast of the patron of Vatican Radio. The Mass was concelebrated by, among others, Fr. Federico Lombardi S.J. and Fr. Andrzej Koprowski S.J., respectively director general and director of programmes of Vatican Radio which this year celebrates eighty years of activity.

In his homily Cardinal Bertone gave a brief overview of the history of Vatican Radio, and expressed the hope that it may continue to be "a typically ecclesiastical medium of communication; that is, attached to the Church in the same way that the vine shoot is attached to the vine which nourishes it".

Following Mass, Cardinal Bertone conferred pontifical medals on six employees of the radio "for their faithful service to the Pope and the Church", while Fr. Lombardi gave Cardinal Bertone the first copy of a two-volume work, "Eighty Years of the Radio of the Pope", which is due to be presented on 4 October.

The introduction to the work was written by Fr. Lombardi himself. "The aim of this book", he writes, "is to help people remember and understand how Vatican Radio (both as an institution and as a community of people) has accompanied the last seven pontificates with the awareness that it has a mission to accomplish, a message to spread and a duty continually to seek and find new instruments to broadcast it". Vatican Radio constantly seeks to combine "commitment to evangelisation, inculturation of the message for the various peoples of the world, and the technical know-how to make that message reach 'unto the ends of the earth'".

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VATICAN CITY, 30 SEP 2011 (VIS) - On 27 September Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States, addressed the sixty-sixth General Assembly of the United Nations in New York, focusing his remarks on the principal challenges facing the international community: humanitarian emergencies, lack of religious freedom and the economic crisis.

On the first of these subjects, Archbishop Mamberti recalled how "in certain parts of the world, such as the Horn of Africa, we find ourselves facing grave and dramatic humanitarian crises which cause millions of people, mostly women and children, to flee there homes, and many have fallen victim to drought, hunger and malnutrition. The Holy See wishes to renew its appeal to the international community, an appeal repeatedly voiced by Benedict XVI, to increase and support humanitarian policies in those areas".

Christians are the most persecuted religious group

The secretary for Relations with States then went on to consider the question of respect for religious freedom, which he described as "the fundamental way to build peace, to ensure recognition of human dignity and to protect the rights of man".

"Unfortunately, many situations exist in which the right to religious freedom is denied to followers of various religions. At the same time we are seeing an increase in religiously motivated intolerance, and we note that Christians are currently the religious group suffering the greatest number of persecutions on account of their faith. Lack of respect for religious freedom is a threat to security and peace", the archbishop said.

The solution to the problem lies "in a shared commitment to recognise and promote the religious freedom of each individual and each community". This requires "sincere inter-religious dialogue, promoted and practised by representatives of the various religious and supported by governments and international institutions".

Archbishop Mamberti then turned his attention to the global economic crisis. "We know that a fundamental part of the current plight is a lack of ethics in economic structures", he said. "The economy cannot function only through market self-regulation, and even less so through agreements limited to balancing the interests of the most powerful groups. It needs an ethical raison d'etre to ensure that it works for mankind. The idea of producing goods and services ... without seeking to do good - in other words, without ethics - has shown itself to be an illusion, either ingenuous or cynical, but always with fatal results. All economic decisions have moral consequences. The economy needs ethics ... focused on the person and capable of offering prospects to the new generations".

"The Holy See has repeatedly highlighted the need for fresh and profound reflection on the significance and objectives of economic activity, and for a clear-sighted revision of global financial and commercial structures in order to correct their dysfunctions and distortions. This revision of international economic rules must take place within the framework of a global model for development".

Such a model has to take account of the notion of "family of nations" so as to pay greater attention to the needs of poorer peoples. "By its nature a family is a community founded on interdependence and mutual trust. ... Its full development is based not on the supremacy of the strongest, but on care for the weakest, ... and its responsibility extends to future generations". Thus, Archbishop Mamberti concluded, "development strategies must be created which focus on people, favouring solidarity and responsibility towards everyone, including future generations".

On 26 September, the day prior to addressing the United Nations General Assembly, Archbishop Mamberti received a doctorate "honoris causa" from St. John's University in New York.

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VATICAN CITY, 30 SEP 2011 (VIS) - Pope Benedict's general prayer intention for October is: "That the terminally ill may be supported by their faith in God and the love of their brothers and sisters".

His mission intention is: "That the celebration of World Mission Day may foster in the People of God a passion for evangelisation with the willingness to support the missions with prayer and economic aid for the poorest Churches".



VATICAN CITY, 30 SEP 2011 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences ten prelates from the Indonesian Episcopal Conference, on their "ad limina" visit:

- Archishop Vincentius Sensi of Ende.

- Bishop Silvester San of Depansar.

- Bishop Franciscus Kopong Kung of Larantuka.

- Bishop Gerulfus Kherubim Pareira S.V.D. of Maumere.

- Bishop Hubertus Leteng of Ruteng.

- Archbishop Ignatus Suharyo Hardjoatmodjo of Jakarta, Military Ordinary.

- Bishop Cosmas Michael Angkur O.F.M. of Bogor.

- Archishop Peter Turang of Kupang.

- Bishop Dominikus Saku of Atambua.

- Bishop Edmund Woga C.SS.R. of Weetebula.


THELOCAL REPORT: Pope Benedict XVI ended his first state visit to Germany on Sunday evening with a call for the Catholic Church to go back to basics.

Speaking at the Lahr airport in Baden-W├╝rttemberg before departing for Rome, the pope said, “I want to encourage the Church in Germany to continue to - with strength and confidence - take the path of faith which leads people to return to the roots, to the fundamental message of Christ.”
He said the future belonged to a Church which was convincing and infectious. “There will be small communities of believers – and there are some already – who shine out with their enthusiasm into the pluralist society and make others curious enough to seek out this light which gives life in abundance.”

Earlier on Sunday he had celebrated mass before around 100,000 of the faithful in Germany's Catholic heartland at the end of a visit that has disappointed many inside and outside the Church.

Mothers held up babies and toddlers for the pontiff to bless and kiss as he arrived in brilliant sunshine at an airfield in Freiburg in the specially-built "popemobile".

The 84-year-old pontiff said it was "moving" for him to celebrate the mass with so many.

He urged German Catholics to overcome their internal differences and remain faithful and obedient to Rome in "this time of danger and radical change" and a "crisis of faith".

"The Church in Germany will overcome the great challenges of the present and future, and it will remain a leaven in society, if the priests, consecrated men and women, and the lay faithful... work together in unity," he said.

And in remarks seemingly aimed at German Catholic groups clamouring for change such as Wir sind Kirche - We are Church - or Die Kirche von unten - The Church from below -, he said: "The Church in Germany will continue to be a blessing for the entire Catholic world: if she remains faithfully united with the successors of Saint Peter and the apostles."

During his stay, Benedict also met President Christian Wulff and Chancellor Angela Merkel and gave his first speech to a parliament, the German lower house or Bundestag.

The pope has used his trip to call German Catholics to order and hammer home his ultra-conservative credo on a range of issues such as artificial contraception, abortion, euthanasia and gay marriage.

He has warned against "lukewarm" Christians who he said were damaging the Church.

AFP/DPA/The Local/hc


CCCB REPORT – Ottawa This coming First Sunday of Advent, 27 November 2011, the Catholic Church in Canada will implement the revised liturgical norms of the third “typical edition” of the Roman Missal, as well as the revised Liturgical Calendar for the dioceses of Canada. “Typical edition” means the text is the official version to which all copies and translations around the world are to conform.

That same day, Canadian Catholics are to begin using the revised English-language translation of the Roman Missal, which is being published by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB). French-speaking Catholics will continue to use the current translation of the Roman Missal until their new translation is available. The French Sector Bishops of Canada are currently working on this project. It is part of a long and intensive process expected to continue for several more years.

The present revision follows an announcement in 2000 by Pope John Paul II there would be a “third typical edition” of the Roman Missal. The revised Latin text of the Missal was published by the Vaticanin 2002, and later amended by the Holy See in 2008.

In order to assist in introducing and understanding the revised liturgical norms, as well as the revised English-language translation, CCCB President Bishop Pierre Morissette has published a pastoral letter. While the letter is addressed to all Catholics, it focuses especially on those involved in liturgical and catechetical ministries.

In his letter, Bishop Morisette recalls that the introduction of the revised liturgical norms is a moment of grace that invites all the faithful to deepen their unity as the body of Christ. “On behalf of the Bishops of Canada,” he writes, “I invite everyone to embrace the new norms and welcome the new translation. In our communal celebrations, the words, gestures and postures we use at worship are an important sign of our unity and harmony.”

The CCCB has produced various resources to aid in introducing the liturgical revisions, including:

  • Two shortened versions of the pastoral letter, retitled as “Message to all the Faithful”, which focus on the specific liturgical changes in each of the two linguistic sectors;
  • Four templates of the pastoral letter so it can be distributed as bulletins or news letters to specific groups.

The above resources, including the pastoral letter from the CCCB President, are available on the CCCB website,


UCAN REPORT: Ceremony installs Bejoy Nicephorus D’Cruze as Oblate Bishop of Sylhet
Rock Ronald Rozario, Lokhipur, Moulvibazar
September 30, 2011
Catholic Church News Image of New diocese gets first prelate
Oblate Bishop Bejoy D’Cruze of Sylhet lights a candle in front of new diocese map

Thousands of Catholics attended the installation ceremony today of Oblate Bishop Bejoy Nicephorus D’Cruze, as the first prelate of newly created Sylhet diocese in the northeast of the country.

The installation Mass was held at the Immaculate Conception Church in Lokhipur, in Moulvibazar district.

Nine bishops, including Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Joseph Marino and Archbishop Paulinus Costa of Dhaka, as well as several hundred priests, nuns, and brothers joined about 3,000 Catholics who attended what was a historic event for the local Church.

Archbishop Marino read out the Apostolic Letter from the Holy Father that canonically erected Sylhet as the country’s 7th diocese on July 8 this year.

Bishop D’Cruze had served as Bishop of Khulna before his appointment to the new diocese.

Sylhet, which covers four civil districts — Sylhet, Sunamganj, Habiganj and Moulvibazar was carved out ofDhaka archdiocese, making it a suffragan of the same metropolitan Church.

“The Catholic Church in Lokhipur shall be the temporary cathedral under the patronage of the Divine Mercy,” the apostolic letter said.

The new diocese has seven parishes and 11 mission centers with about 17,000 mostly tribal Catholics, served by 21 priests and 33 Religious.

“The faithful in Sylhet have waited for autonomy for so long, and today their dream has come true,” Archbishop Paulinus Costa said in his homily.

“I would like to call upon Bishop Bejoy to look upon education, financial independence, participation in social activities and evangelization, as well as promoting religious vocations as the major challenges for Catholics in the diocese,” he added.


Sydney Archdiocese REPORT
30 Sep 2011

"Hear My Voice.....Believe"

With the launch of World Mission Month tomorrow, 1 October, Catholic Mission Australia is celebrating the unique culture, language and spiritual traditions of the residents of Wadeye, and its long time partnership with the people of this remote community in far north Queensland.

Using the theme: "Hear My Voice...Believe," Catholic Mission Australia is urging all Australians to "hear the voices" of our Indigenous brothers and sisters.

The theme for World Mission Sunday takes its inspiration from Pope Benedict XVI's message for World Mission Sunday on 23 October where he describes the universal mission as involving everyone.

"The Gospel is not an exclusive possession of those who have received it, but it is a gift to be shared, good news to be passed on to others," he said in his statement for this year's Mission Sunday.

The theme for this year's Mission Month also looked to Blessed John Paul II and the theme drew on the memorable address he gave during his visit to Alice Springs in 1986 when he invited Australia's Aboriginal people to "express the living word of Jesus in ways that speak your Aboriginal minds and hearts."

"The Church herself in Australia will not be fully the Church that Jesus wants her to be until you have made your contribution to her life and until that contribution has been joyfully received by others," he told Australia's Indigenous people.

Pope John Paul 11 during his visit to Alice Springs

in 1986

Now 25 years later, Catholic Mission Australia expands on these powerful words and urges the world to hear the voices of Indigenous people and pay tribute to the way their culture and traditions have enriched the Universal Church and the Catholic faith.

The Catholic Mission partnership with the people of Wadeye dates back to 1935 with the arrival of Father Richard Docherty, MSC who arrived by boat from Darwin. He was joined six years later by three sisters of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart who staffed a mission kitchen, taught basic skills to the children in the community and established the region's first hospital.

A number of local Indigenous women joined the Sisters as religious and the first married Indigenous deacon in Australia, Boniface Perdjert made history when he was ordained at Wadeye in 1974. Today, 37 years later, he is the nation's longest serving Catholic deacon.

"Firstly and above all else we are a catholic Community. This is not just what we are but who we are," says Thodora Narndu, one of Wadeye's most respected and beloved elders.

Today more than 3000 live in this remote community which is made up of 12 separate communities which form 21 clan groups. Seven languages are spoken within the town of Wadeye and 11 spoken in the greater Wadeye area. What is particularly interesting is that all in the community are Catholic and under the dedicated pastoral care of Father Leo Wearden MSC, whose living costs are funded by Catholic Mission Australia.

On his journeys throughout Wadeye and to the outlying bush settlements, Fr Wearden is frequently accompanied by Indigenous Catholic leaders, Angela Ninnal and Carmelita Perdjert who speak to each group in their own language bringing the gift of God's all embracing love and how He wants the Indigenous people to value themselves as Aboriginal Catholics, strong in culture, identity and faith.

Graeme Mundine with Indigenous Leaders from

Wadeye at launch of World Mission Month

Students at Darwin's ecumenical Nungalinga Theological College, Angela and Carmelita flew to Sydney last week to help Catholic Mission Australia launch World Mission Month 2011 and to speak about the languages, culture, spiritual traditions and strong faith of the people of Wadeye.

Among the speakers at the launch was well known Aboriginal elder and Executive Officer of the Aboriginal Catholic Ministry, Graeme Mundine.

"This is an opportunity to not only recognise what we have achieved together, but to also connect and learn more about the good things that are being done, the things still to be done and at a deeper level, to learn more about ourselves as people who care and who place our faith in a loving God," he said, explaining how lucky those present were to have Angela and Carmelita on hand to talk about their experiences and the achievements of those at Wadeye.

"Too often at events involving Indigenous people the focus is on the troubles Aboriginal people have, and inevitably the talk turns to how we can 'fix them,'" he said pointing out a frequent negative focus with achievements frequently overlooked. "And we forget that not all Aboriginal people are living in poverty and that many who have managed to get educated, are living everyday lives; earning a living, paying a mortgage, raising and educating their kids, paying taxes, supporting charities and contributing to our society- just as other Australians do."

But Mr Mundine added that for each of these "success" stories there was a story of struggle and that somewhere along the line they, their parents or grandparents, had to have bucked the system to find a way through discrimination, dispossession and poverty to take their place as equals in Australian society.

"Many of our great leaders have come through the Church," he said and urged programs developed to support Aboriginal people involve Aboriginal people themselves and take advice and counsel from the people who know best - the Aboriginals themselves. "You need to trust us to run our own lives."

In addition to focussing on the achievements of Australia's Indigenous people and the community of Wadeye in particular, Catholic Mission Australia turns its spotlight on the Indigenous people of Izabal in Guatemala as part of World Mission Month.

"Like the people of Wadeye, those in Izabal live in a remote community and face similar challenges and like the people of Wadeye are an inspiration for their strong faith in the way they live their lives," says Martin Teulan, Director of Catholic Mission Australia.

World Mission Month runs throughout October and gives Catholic Mission Australia a chance to talk about the work of Catholic Mission where priests, religious and lay men and women work tirelessly bringing practical help and pastoral care to people who live in some of the most conflict-ridden, war-torn, troubled, remote or inaccessible regions of the world.

To find out more about World Mission Month and World Mission Appeal Sunday by logging on to


Agenzia Fides report – Tension on the eve for the celebrations of national Independence which will be celebrated tomorrow, October 1, in Nigeria. Both the Islamist Boko Haram sect, originally from the north of the Country, and MEND (Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta), active in the south, have threatened to carry out attacks in the federal capital, Abuja, on the occasion of the anniversary. Last year, MEND claimed the two car bombs which exploded a few meters from the place where the military parade was held to celebrate 50 years of national independence (see Fides 2/10/2010).
In a statement sent to the "Nigerian Tribune" newspaper, MEND, through its representative, said that the threats of the attack is due to the alleged "injustices" committed against the group. In particular, the prosecution of its leaders Henry and Charles Okah (the first is imprisoned in South Africa, the second in Nigeria).
Another part of the message states that among the reasons for the bomb threats, is to "make a point to the Boko Haram and their sponsors, who are trying to intimidate President Goodluck Jonathan simply because he is from the Niger Delta, will eventually lead to the destruction and downfall of northern political structures, including their elite".
The message also addresses specific threats to citizens of certain Countries, which according to MEND, sponsor Boko Haram, and invite them to evacuate as soon as possible from Nigeria. Even members of another group, "Akhwat Akwop", that claim to be made up of Christians from the north tired of the violence carried out by Boko Haram, have threatened the citizens of 5 Islamic countries, accused of funding the Islamist sect.
To prevent possible attacks on the occasion of Independence Day, the Nigerian authorities are taking into consideration to disconnect the mobile phone networks on the day, October 1, to avoid the coordination between terrorist cells and especially to prevent the activation of explosive devices. A measure that is still causing controversy in the country. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 30/09/2011)


St. Jerome
Feast: September 30
Feast Day:
September 30
340-342, Stridon, on the border of Dalmatia and Pannonia
420, Bethlehem, Judea
Major Shrine:
Basilica of Saint Mary Major, Rome, Italy
Patron of:
archeologists; archivists; Bible scholars; librarians; libraries; schoolchildren; students; translators

Born at Stridon, a town on the confines of Dalmatia and Pannonia, about the year 340-2; died at Bethlehem, 30 September, 420.
He went to Rome, probably about 360, where he was baptized, and became interested in ecclesiastical matters. From Rome he went to Trier, famous for its schools, and there began his theological studies. Later he went to Aquileia, and towards 373 he set out on a journey to the East. He settled first in Antioch, where he heard Apollinaris of Laodicea, one of the first exegetes of that time and not yet separated from the Church. From 374-9 Jerome led an ascetical life in the desert of Chalcis, south-west of Antioch. Ordained priest at Antioch, he went to Constantinople (380-81), where a friendship sprang up between him and St. Gregory Nazianzus. From 382 to August 385 he made another sojourn in Rome, not far from Pope Damasus. When the latter died (11 December, 384) his position became a very difficult one. His harsh criticisms had made him bitter enemies, who tried to ruin him. After a few months he was compelled to leave Rome. By way of Antioch and Alexandria he reached Bethlehem, in 386. He settled there in a monastery near a convent founded by two Roman ladies, Paula and Eustochium, who followed him to Palestine. Henceforth he led a life of asceticism and study; but even then he was troubled by controversies which will be mentioned later, one with Rufinus and the other with the Pelagians.
The literary activity of St. Jerome, although very prolific, may be summed up under a few principal heads: works on the Bible; theological controversies; historical works; various letters; translations. But perhaps the chronology of his more important writings will enable us to follow more easily the development of his studies.
A first period extends to his sojourn in Rome (382), a period of preparation. From this period we have the translation of the homilies of Origen on Jeremias, Ezechiel, and Isaias (379-81), and about the same time the translation of the Chronicle of Eusebius; then the "Vita S. Pauli, prima eremitae" (374-379).
A second period extends from his sojourn in Rome to the beginning of the translation of the Old Testament from the Hebrew (382-390). During this period the exegetical vocation of St. Jerome asserted itself under the influence of Pope Damasus, and took definite shape when the opposition of the ecclesiastics of Rome compelled the caustic Dalmatian to renounce ecclesiastical advancement and retire to Bethlehem. In 384 we have the correction of the Latin version of the Four Gospels; in 385, the Epistles of St. Paul; in 384, a first revision of the Latin Psalms according to the accepted text of the Septuagint (Roman Psalter); in 384, the revision of the Latin version of the Book of Job, after the accepted version of the Septuagint; between 386 and 391 a second revision of the Latin Psalter, this time according to the text of the "Hexapla" of Origen (Gallican Psalter, embodied in the Vulgate). It is doubtful whether he revised the entire version of the Old Testament according to the Greek of the Septuagint. In 382-383 "Altercatio Luciferiani et Orthodoxi" and "De perpetua Virginitate B. Mariae; adversus Helvidium". In 387-388, commentaries on the Epistles to Philemon, to the Galatians, to the Ephesians, to Titus; and in 389-390, on Ecclesiastes.
Between 390 and 405, St. Jerome gave all his attention to the translation of the Old Testament according to the Hebrew, but this work alternated with many others. Between 390-394 he translated the Books of Samuel and of Kings, Job, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, the Canticle of Canticles, Esdras, and Paralipomena. In 390 he translated the treatise "De Spiritu Sancto" of Didymus of Alexandria; in 389-90, he drew up his "Quaestiones hebraicae in Genesim" and "De interpretatione nominum hebraicorum." In 391-92 he wrote the "Vita S. Hilarionis", the "Vita Malchi, monachi captivi", and commentaries on Nahum, Micheas, Sophonias, Aggeus, Habacuc. In 392-93, "De viris illustribus", and "Adversus Jovinianum"; in 395, commentaries on Jonas and Abdias; in 398, revision of the remainder of the Latin version of the New Testament, and about that time commentaries on chapters xiii-xxiii of Isaias; in 398, an unfinished work "Contra Joannem Hierosolymitanum"; in 401, "Apologeticum adversus Rufinum"; between 403-406, "Contra Vigilantium"; finally from 398 to 405, completion of the version of the Old Testament according to the Hebrew.
In the last period of his life, from 405 to 420, St. Jerome took up the series of his commentaries interrupted for seven years. In 406, he commented on Osee, Joel, Amos, Zacharias, Malachias; in 408, on Daniel; from 408 to 410, on the remainder of Isaias; from 410 to 415, on Ezechiel; from 415-420, on Jeremias. From 401 to 410 date what is left of his sermons; treatises on St. Mark, homilies on the Psalms, on various subjects, and on the Gospels; in 415, "Dialogi contra Pelagianos".
Characteristics Of St. Jerome's Work
St. Jerome owes his place in the history of exegetical studies chiefly to his revisions and translations of the Bible. Until about 391-2, he considered the Septuagint translation as inspired. But the progress of his Hebraistic studies and his intercourse with the rabbis made him give up that idea, and he recognized as inspired the original text only. It was about this period that he undertook the translation of the Old Testament from the Hebrew.
But he went too far in his reaction against the ideas of his time, and is open to reproach for not having sufficiently appreciated the Septuagint. This latter version was made from a much older, and at times much purer, Hebrew text than the one in use at the end of the fourth century. Hence the necessity of taking the Septuagint into consideration in any attempt to restore the text of the Old Testament. With this exception we must admit the excellence of the translation made by St. Jerome. His commentaries represent a vast amount of work but of very unequal value. Very often he worked exceedingly rapidly; besides, he considered a commentary a work of compilation, and his chief care was to accumulate the interpretations of his predecessors, rather than to pass judgment on them. The "Quaestiones hebraicae in Genesim" is one of his best works. It is a philological inquiry concerning the original text. It is to be regretted that he was unable to continue, as had been his intention, a style of work entirely new at the time.
Although he often asserted his desire to avoid excessive allegory, his efforts in that respect were far from successful, and in later years he was ashamed of some of his earlier allegorical explanations. He himself says that he had recourse to the allegorical meaning only when unable to discover the literal meaning. His treatise, "De Interpretatione nominum hebraicorum", is but a collection of mystical and symbolical meanings. Excepting the "Commenta rius in ep. ad Galatas", which is one of his best, his explanations of the New Testament have no great value. Among his commentaries on the Old Testament must be mentioned those on Amos, Isaias, and Jeremias. There are some that are frankly bad, for instance those on Zacharias, Osee, and Joel. To sum up, the Biblical knowledge of St. Jerome makes him rank first among ancient exegetes. In the first place, he was very careful as to the sources of his information. He required of the exegete a very extensive knowledge of sacred and profane history, and also of the linguistics and geography of Palestine. He never either categorically acknowledged or rejected the deuterocanonical books as part of the Canon of Scripture, and he repeatedly made use of them.
On the inspiration, the existence of a spiritual meaning, and the freedom of the Bible from error, he holds the traditional doctrine. Possibly he has insisted more than others on the share which belongs to the sacred writer in his collaboration in the inspired work. His criticism is not without originality. The controversy with the Jews and with the Pagans had long since called the attention of the Christians to certain difficulties in the Bible. St. Jerome answers in various ways. Not to mention his answers to this or that difficulty, he appeals above all to the principle, that the original text of the Scriptures is the only one inspired and free from error. Therefore one must determine if the text, in which the difficulties arise, has not been altered by the copyist. Moreover, when the writers of the New Testament quoted the Old Testament, they did so not according to the letter but according to the spirit. There are many subtleties and even contradictions in the explanations Jerome offers, but we must bear in mind his evident sincerity. He does not try to cloak over his ignorance; he admits that there are many difficulties in the Bible; at times he seems quite embarrassed.
Finally, he proclaims a principle, which, if recognized as legitimate, might serve to adjust the insufficiencies of his criticism. He asserts that in the Bible there is no material error due to the ignorance or the heedlessness of the sacred writer, but he adds: "It is usual for the sacred historian to conform himself to the generally accepted opinion of the masses in his time" (P.L., XXVI, 98; XXIV, 855).
Among the historical works of St. Jerome must be noted the translation and the continuation of the "Chronicon Eusebii Caesariensis", as the continuation written by him, which extends from 325 to 378, served as a model for the annals of the chroniclers of the Middle Ages; hence the defects in such works: dryness, superabundance of data of every description, lack of proportion and of historical sense. The "Vita S. Pauli Eremitae" is not a very reliable document. The "Vita Malchi, monachi" is a eulogy of chastity woven through a number of legendary episodes. As to the "Vita S. Hilarionis", it has suffered from contact with the preceding ones. It has been asserted that the journeys of St. Hilarion are a plagiarism of some old tales of travel. But these objections are altogether misplaced, as it is really a reliable work.
The treatise "De Viris illustribus" is a very excellent literary history. It was written as an apologetic work to prove that the Church had produced learned men. For the first three centuries Jerome depends to a great extent on Eusebius, whose statements he borrows, often distorting them, owing to the rapidity with which he worked.
His accounts of the authors of the fourth century however are of great value. The oratorical consist of about one hundred homilies or short treatises, and in these the Solitary of Bethlehem appears in a new light. He is a monk addressing monks, not without making very obvious allusions to contemporary events. The orator is lengthy and apologizes for it. He displays a wonderful knowledge of the versions and contents of the Bible. His allegory is excessive at times, and his teaching on grace is Semi-pelagian. A censorious spirit against authority, sympathy for the poor which reaches the point of hostility against the rich, lack of good taste, inferiority of style, and misquotation, such are the most glaring defects of these sermons. Evidently they are notes taken down by his hearers, and it is a question whether they were reviewed by the preacher.
The correspondence of St. Jerome is one of the best known parts of his literary output. It comprises about one hundred and twenty letters from him, and several from his correspondents. Many of these letters were written with a view to publication, and some of them the author even edited himself; hence they show evidence of great care and skill in their composition, and in them St. Jerome reveals himself a master of style. These letters, which had already met with great success with his contemporaries, have been, with the "Confessions" of St. Augustine, one of the works most appreciated by the humanists of the Renaissance. Aside from their literary interest they have great historical value. Relating to a period covering half a century they touch upon most varied subjects; hence their division into letters dealing with theology, polemics, criticism, conduct, and biography. In spite of their turgid diction they are full of the man's personality. It is in this correspondence that the temperament of St. Jerome is most clearly seen: his waywardness, his love of extremes, his exceeding sensitiveness; how he was in turn exquisitely dainty and bitterly satirical, unsparingly outspoken concerning others and equally frank about himself.
The theological writings of St. Jerome are mainly controversial works, one might almost say composed for the occasion. He missed being a theologian, by not applying himself in a consecutive and personal manner to doctrinal questions. In his controversies he was simply the interpreter of the accepted ecclesiastical doctrine. Compared with St. Augustine his inferiority in breadth and originality of view is most evident. His "Dialogue" against the Luciferians deals with a schismatic sect whose founder was Lucifer, Bishop of Cagliari in Sardinia. The Luciferians refused to approve of the measure of clemency by which the Church, since the Council of Alexandria, in 362, had allowed bishops, who had adhered to Arianism, to continue to discharge their duties on condition of professing the Nicene Creed. This rigorist sect had adherents almost everywhere, and even in Rome it was very troublesome. Against it Jerome wrote his "Dialogue", scathing in sarcasm, but not always accurate in doctrine, particularly as to the Sacrament of Confirmation. The book "Adversus Helvidium" belongs to about the same period. Helvidius held the two following tenets:
—Mary bore children to Joseph after the virginal birth of Jesus Christ;—from a religious viewpoint, the married state is not inferior to celibacy.
Earnest entreaty decided Jerome to answer. In doing so he discusses the various texts of the Gospel which, it was claimed, contained the objections to the perpetual virginity of Mary. If he did not find positive answers on all points, his work, nevertheless, holds a very creditable place in the history of Catholic exegesis upon these questions. The relative dignity of virginity and marriage, discussed in the book against Helvidius, was taken up again in the book "Adversus Jovinianum" written about ten years later. Jerome recognizes the legitimacy of marriage, but he uses concerning it certain disparaging expressions which were criticized by contemporaries and for which he has given no satisfactory explanation. Jovinian was more dangerous than Helvidius. Although he did not exactly teach salvation by faith alone, and the uselessness of good works, he made far too easy the road to salvation and slighted a life of asceticism. Every one of these points St. Jerome took up. The "Apologetici adversus Rufinum" dealt with the Origenistic controversies. St. Jerome was involved in one of the most violent episodes of that struggle, which agitated the Church from Origen's lifetime until the Fifth Ecumenical Council (553). The question at issue was to determine if certain doctrines professed by Origen and others taught by certain pagan followers of Origen could be accepted. In the present case the doctrinal difficulties were embittered by personalities between St. Jerome and his former friend, Rufinus. To understand St. Jerome's position we must remember that the works of Origen were by far the most complete exegetical collection then in existence, and the one most accessible to students. Hence a very natural tendency to make use of them, and it is evident that St. Jerome did so, as well as many others. But we must carefully distinguish between writers who made use of Origen and those who adhered to his doctrines. This distinction is particularly necessary with St. Jerome, whose method of work was very rapid, and consisted in transcribing the interpretations of former exegetes without passing criticism on them. Nevertheless, it is certain that St. Jerome greatly praised and made use of Origen, that he even transcribed some erroneous passages without due reservation. But it is also evident that he never adhered thinkingly and systematically to the Origenistic doctrines. Under these circumstances it came about that when Rufinus, who was a genuine Origenist, called on him to justify his use of Origen, the explanations he gave were not free from embarrassment. At this distance of time it would require a very subtle and detailed study of the question to decide the real basis of the quarrel. However that may be, Jerome may be accused of imprudence of language and blamed for a too hasty method of work. With a temperament such as his, and confident of his undoubted orthodoxy in the matter of Origenism, he must naturally have been tempted to justify anything. This brought about a most bitter controversy with his wily adversary, Rufinus. But on the whole Jerome's position is by far the stronger of the two, even in the eyes of his contemporaries. It is generally conceded that in this controversy Rufinus was to blame. It was he who brought about the conflict in which he proved himself to be narrow-minded, perplexed, ambitious, even timorous. St. Jerome, whose attitude is not always above reproach, is far superior to him. Vigilantius, the Gascon priest against whom Jerome wrote a treatise, quarrelled with ecclesiastical usages rather than matters of doctrine. What he principally rejected was the monastic life and the veneration of saints and of relics. In short, Helvidius, Jovinian, and Vigilantius were the mouthpieces of a reaction against asceticism which had developed so largely in the fourth century. Perhaps the influence of that same reaction is to be seen in the doctrine of the monk Pelagius, who gave his name to the principal heresy on grace: Pelagianism. On this subject Jerome wrote his "Dialogi contra Pelagianos". Accurate as to the doctrine of original sin, the author is much less so when he determines the part of God and of man in the act of justification. In the main his ideas are Semipelagian: man merits first grace: a formula which endangers the absolute freedom of the gift of grace. The book "De situ et nominibus locorum hebraicorum" is a translation of the "Onomasticon" of Eusebius, to which the translator has joined additions and corrections. The translations of the "Homilies" of Origen vary in character according to the time in which they were written. As time went on, Jerome became more expert in the art of translating, and he outgrew the tendency to palliate, as he came across them, certain errors of Origen. We must make special mention of the translation of the homilies "In Canticum Canticorum", the Greek original of which has been lost.

TODAY'S GOSPEL: SEPT. 30: LUKE 10: 13-16

Luke 10: 13 - 16
13"Woe to you, Chora'zin! woe to you, Beth-sa'ida! for if the mighty works done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes.14But it shall be more tolerable in the judgment for Tyre and Sidon than for you.15And you, Caper'na-um, will you be exalted to heaven? You shall be brought down to Hades.16"He who hears you hears me, and he who rejects you rejects me, and he who rejects me rejects him who sent me."

Thursday, September 29, 2011



VATICAN CITY, 29 SEP 2011 (VIS) - Today in the Apostolic Palace of Castelgandolfo, Benedict XVI made his traditional farewells to the local civil and religious authorities prior to returning to the Vatican later this week. (IMAGE SOURCE: RADIO VATICANA)

"Over these months", he told his audience, "we have once again had the opportunity to admire the solicitude and generosity of the many people who provide vital assistance to me and my collaborators, as well as to the guests and pilgrims who come here to visit me. For all of this I wish to express my deep recognition to each and every one of you, who have worked to ensure my stay here was peaceful and serene".

"For my part", he concluded, "I will not fail to pray for each of you and for all your intentions, at the same time asking you to remember me in your prayers. May the Lord, rich in goodness and mercy Who never fails to give His aid to those who trust in Him, be your support".

Yesterday afternoon Benedict XVI bid farewell to staff who work at the Pontifical Villas in Castelgandolfo, thanking them for their efforts on his behalf during the period he had spent there.

"Here in this place", he said, "we live in constant contact with nature, and in an atmosphere of silence. I am happy to have this occasion to recall that both these things bring us closer to God: nature, because it is the masterpiece which emerged from the Creator's hands; silence, because it allows us to think and meditate without distraction upon what is essential to our lives. ... In a place like this it is easier to find ourselves, to listen to the inner voice, what I would call the presence of God which gives profound meaning to our lives".

The Pope concluded by thanking the staff of the Pontifical Villas for their prayers. "Christians stand out of their prayers and charity. ... Our relationship with the Lord in prayer nourishes our spirit and allows us to be increasingly generous and open in our charity towards those in need".

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VATICAN CITY, 29 SEP 2011 (VIS) - The Holy Father yesterday promulgated "Quaerit Semper", an Apostolic Letter "Motu Proprio data" which modifies the Apostolic Constitution "Pastor Bonus", transferring certain functions of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments to a new office established in the Tribunal of the Roman Rota. The office will deal with the procedures for dispensation from unconsummated marriage and causes for the nullity of priestly ordination.

Extracts from the document are given below.

"The Holy See has always sought to adapt its structures of government to the pastoral requirements of the various historical periods that have succeeded one another in the life of the Church, modifying the organisation and functions of the dicasteries of the Roman Curia".

"In the current circumstances it seemed fitting that the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments should dedicate itself chiefly to giving fresh impetus to promoting sacred liturgy in the Church, in keeping with the renewal promoted by Vatican Council II through the Constitution 'Sacrosanctum Concilium'.

"Therefore, I believe it is appropriate to transfer the function of dealing with the procedures for dispensation from unconsummated marriage and causes for the nullity of priestly ordination to a new office to be created within the Tribunal of the Roman Rota".

Article 1

"Articles 67 and 68 of the Apostolic Constitution 'Pastor Bonus' are abolished".

Article 2

"Article 126 of the Apostolic Constitution 'Pastor Bonus' is modified to read as follows:

"1. The Tribunal of the Roman Rota is a court of higher instance at the Apostolic See, usually at the appellate stage, with the purpose of safeguarding rights within the Church; it fosters unity of jurisprudence, and, by virtue of its own decisions, provides assistance to lower tribunals.

"2. An office shall be established in this Tribunal with the task of examining the fact of non-consummation in a marriage and the existence of a just cause for granting a dispensation. It receives all the acts together with the 'votum' of the bishop and the remarks of the defender of the bond, weighs them according to its own special procedure, and, if the case warrants it, submits a petition to the Supreme Pontiff requesting the dispensation.

"3. The same office is also competent to examine cases concerning the nullity of sacred ordination, in accordance with universal and specific law, 'congrua congruis referendo'".

Article 3

"The office dealing with the procedures for dispensation from unconsummated marriage and causes for the nullity of sacred ordination shall be moderated by the dean of the Roman Rota, with the assistance of officials, commissioners and consultors".

The new norms will come into effect as of 1 October.

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VATICAN CITY, 29 SEP 2011 (VIS) - The Holy Father has sent a telegram to Riccardo Di Segni, chief rabbi of Rome, for the Jewish festivities of Rosh Hashanah 5772 (New Year), Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) and Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles), which fall in the months of September and October.

The Pope sends his cordial greetings to the rabbi and to all the Jewish community of Rome, expressing the hope that "these important feasts may be an occasion for many blessings from on high, and a source of infinite grace. May the desire grow in all of us to promote justice and peace in the world, which has great need of authentic witnesses of truth. May God in His goodness protect the Jewish community and allow us to deepen our friendship, both here in Rome and all over the world".

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VATICAN CITY, 29 SEP 2011 (VIS) - Benedict XVI is due to make an apostolic trip to Benin from 18 to 20 November, for the signing and publication of the Apostolic Exhortation of the Second Special Assembly for Africa of the Synod of Bishops.

The Holy Father will depart from Rome at 9 a.m. on Friday 18 November, arriving at Cotonou at 3 p.m. Following the welcome ceremony at the airport he will visit the local cathedral.

On Saturday 19 November the Pope will meet with members of the government, representatives of State institutions, the diplomatic corps and leaders of the principal religions at the presidential palace in Cotonou. Later that morning he will visit the grave of Cardinal Bernardin Gantin in the chapel of the Seminary of St. Gall at Ouidah before going on to meet with priests, seminarians, religious and lay faithful in the seminary courtyard. He will subsequently visit Ouidah's Basilica of the Immaculate Conception where he will sign the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation.

That afternoon Pope Benedict will visit the "Peace and Joy" house, run by the Missionaries of Charity in the parish of St. Rita in Cotonou, and meet with a group of children. At 6.15 p.m. he is due to meet the bishops of Benin at the apostolic nunciature.

On Sunday 20 November, the Pope will celebrate Mass and consign the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation to the bishops of Africa at Cotonou's "Stade de l'amitie". He will then have lunch at the apostolic nunciature with members of the Special Council for Africa of the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops before travelling to the local "Cardinal Bernardin Gantin" airport where, at 4.30 p.m., he will board his return flight to Rome.

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VATICAN CITY, 29 SEP 2011 (VIS) - Given below is the text of an English-language note released today by the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, concerning the publication of the theme for World Communications Day Message 2012.

"The extraordinarily varied nature of the contribution of modern communications to society highlights the need for a value which, on first consideration, might seem to stand in contradistinction to it. Silence, in fact, is the central theme for the next World Communications Day Message: 'Silence and Word: path of evangelisation'. In the thought of Pope Benedict XVI, silence is not presented simply as an antidote to the constant and unstoppable flow of information that characterises society today but rather as a factor that is necessary for its integration. Silence, precisely because it favours habits of discernment and reflection, can in fact be seen primarily as a means of welcoming the word. We ought not to think in terms of a dualism, but of the complementary nature of two elements which when they are held in balance serve to enrich the value of communication and which make it a key factor that can serve the new evangelisation. It is clearly the desire of the Holy Father to associate the theme of the next World Communications Day with the celebration of the forthcoming Synod of Bishops which will have as its own theme: 'The New Evangelisation for the Transmission of the Christian Faith'.

"World Communications Day, the only worldwide celebration called for by Vatican Council II ('Inter Mirifica' 1963), is celebrated in most countries, on the recommendation of the bishops of the world, on the Sunday before Pentecost (in 2012, 20 May).

"The Holy Father's message for World Communications Day is traditionally published in conjunction with the Memorial of St. Francis de Sales, patron of writers (January 24)".

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VATICAN CITY, 29 SEP 2011 (VIS) - Today, Feast of St. Michael the Archangel, patron of the Corps of the Gendarmerie, a commemorative ceremony will be held on the square in front of the Governorate of Vatican City State. The event will be attended by Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B., Cardinal Giovanni Lajolo, president of the Governorate of Vatican City State, and by a number of civil and military authorities of the Italian State.

"The Gendarmerie, in co-ordination with the Swiss Guard, are responsible for the security of the Supreme Pontiff", says a communique on the event released today. "They also function as a police force, control the territory of the State and oversee public order twenty-four hours a day, every day. ... In 2008 Vatican City Statebecame a member of the International Criminal Police Organisation (INTERPOL)".

During this afternoon's ceremony Prince Sforza Ruspoli will give the Gendarmerie a flag which has been in the possession of the Sforza Ruspoli family since 1870. Yesterday, in the course of a private audience with the Holy Father, the prince gave him the flag as a gift in memory of the pontifical troops who fell in the defence ofRome in 1870. It will be put on display in the Historical Museum of the LateranPalace.

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VATICAN CITY, 29 SEP 2011 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

- Archbishop Hilarion of Volokolamsk, president of the Department for External Church Affairs of the Patriarchate of Moscow, accompanied by an entourage.

- Bishop Martinus Dogma Situmorang O.F.M. Cap. of Padang, the Indonesian Episcopal Conference, on his "ad limina" visit.