Sunday, February 19, 2012


RADIO VATICANA REPORT: Pope Benedict XVI was the principal celebrant at Mass on Sunday morning in St. Peter’s Basilica, with the twenty-two Cardinals he created the day before during the course of an Ordinary Public Consistory he had called for just that purpose. In his homily, the Holy Father stressed the centrality of the Petrine ministry – the special office of care and responsibility for the whole Church everywhere in the world, which the Bishop of Rome exercises in virtue of his being the Successor to St. Peter. Focusing on the Feast of the Chair of St. Peter, which was moved forward to Sunday from its usual calendar place on February 22nd, since this coming February 22nd is Ash Wednesday, the Holy Father explained:

Saint Peter’s chair, we could say, is the throne of truth which takes its origin from Christ’s commission after the confession at Caesarea Philippi. The magisterial chair also reminds us of the words spoken to Peter by the Lord during the Last Supper: “I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail; and when you have turned again, strengthen your brethren.”

Describing the great chair present in the Basilica behind the High Altar, Pope Benedict noted that it is supported by the Fathers of the Church – symbolically represented in statues that bear the chair. “The two Eastern masters, Saint John Chrysostom and Saint Athanasius, together with the Latins, Saint Ambrose and Saint Augustine, represent the whole of the tradition, and hence the richness of expression of the true faith of the one Church,” said Pope Benedict. “This aspect of the altar teaches us that love rests upon faith. Love collapses if man no longer trusts in God and disobeys him. Everything in the Church rests upon faith: the sacraments, the liturgy, evangelization, charity. Likewise the law and the Church’s authority rest upon faith.”

“Indeed,” said Pope Benedict, “faith is oriented towards love.”

“Dear brothers and sisters,” he said, “the gift of this love has been entrusted to us, to every Christian. It is a gift to be passed on to others, through the witness of our lives.”

“This,” he told the new Cardinals, “is your task in particular: to bear witness to the joy of Christ’s love.”

It was a theme to which the Holy Father returned in his Angelus address to the thousands of faithful gathered in St. Peter’s Square for the occasion. “Dear friends,” he said before the ancient prayer of Marian devotion, “we entrust the new Cardinals to the maternal protection of Mary Most Holy, asking that she always assist them in their service to the Church and sustain them in the trials,” they shall face.

The Holy Father asked that Mary, Mother of the Church, help him and his collaborators to work tirelessly for the unity of the People of God and to proclaim to all peoples the message of salvation, humbly and courageously serving the truth in love.

After the Angelus, Pope Benedict had greetings for the faithful in many languages, including English:

I welcome all the English-speaking visitors present for this Angelus prayer, especially those accompanying the new Cardinals. In today’s Gospel, Jesus grants healing and life in body and soul in response to faith. May we too believe and trust in Christ, and seek from him both forgiveness of sin and the power to live a new life of grace. Upon all of you I invoke God’s blessings of joy and peace!


by: Miriam Westen
As the world mourns the passing of Whitney Houston it is important to look beyond her sins and to consider her Faith. Houston was frought with drug and alcohol addictions and made some wrong choices in life. However, those who knew her report that her Christian foundation never left her. In a glamerous world of fame and fortune keeping faith in God is difficult. She was born in Newark, New Jersey, on August 9, 1963.
Her father was John Russell Houston, Jr. and mother a gospel singer named Cissy (born: Emily Drinkard). Her heritage was African American, Native American and Dutch. Houston
 It was at New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, N.J., that Whitney Houston learned about God.

Houston came to music fame in 1985 - Houston sold over 170 million records worldwide. She had seven consecutive No. 1 Billboard hits and she won six Grammy Awards.
In 1996 she made a movie entitle "The Preacher's Wife" with Denzel Washington. This was a religious film with songs including "I Love the Lord" and "He's All Over Me." She also starred in the movie, "The Bodyguard," with Kevin Costner. He recalled that both of them grew up in the Baptist faith. "Church was our bond," Costner said.
In her last public perfomance in February, just two days before her death, Houston sang "Jesus Loves Me" at a night club in Los Angeles. She died in Beverly Hills, California, at the age of 48.
Her funeral was held at New Hope Baptist Church, here Houston, soloed in the junior choir by age 11. The funeral service lasted three-and-a-half-hour service. Houston's casket was covered many flowers and rested in front of the altar. Pastor Marvin Winans delivered the eulogy. For the funeral her mother wrote the message, "God said 'It's time, Nippy. Your work is done.'" It was signed, "Thanks for being such a wonderful daughter. Love, Mommie."

She married singer Bobbi Brown on July 18, 1992.  On March 4, 1993 their only child was born. Later they separated. Houston leaves behind her daughter, Bobbi Kristina Brown, 18 (pictured).
Celebrities Oprah Winfrey, Mary J. Blige, Mariah Carey, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Spike Lee, and Houston's former husband, Bobby Brown, attended the Church service.
At the time of her death on February 11, Houston was in the Los Angeles area for the 54th annual Grammy Awards. She was discovered dead in her hotel suite. A cause of death has not been determined.
Houston will be laid to rest Sunday at the Fairview Cemetery in Westfield, just south of Newark.
 St. Francis once said, "There but for the grace of God go I".
It has become clear that a lifestyle of fame, fortune and prestige does not ensure a sound marriage or spiritual life. Stars are not Angels and are subject to many temptations.
It is important to remember the example of St. Mary Magdelene who publicly repented of her many sins. She became a great Saint in the Church. Houston has performed good deeds for society and therefore she and her family are in need of our prayers for the repose of her soul.  (with files from CNN and CBN)
(Images sources:,


Berlins designierter Erzbischof Rainer Maria Woelki  (© dapd )

Erzbischof Dr. Rainer Maria Woelki (IMAGE : DOMRADIO)
KNA REPORT:By Gregor Krumpholz (KNA)

"In the beginning, I was still relatively relaxed," says Rainer Maria Woelki. But when I was on the line, I've got then it moist hands.»

On Saturday Pope Benedict XVI brought the Archbishop of Berlin with 21 other Catholic priest from 14 countries in the Vatican in a solemn consistory Cardinal.

The Roman basilica is almost completely filled, as Woelki is managed as one of the last candidates before the head of the Church. Like its predecessors, Benedict XVI relies on the bright red Cardinal Birett him, presented the document of appointment and infect it the cardinal ring.
In addition, the Pope announces the Roman Pope that is now formally transferred to Woelki. Benedikt XVI. «San Giovanni Maria Vianney» assigns it, a church in a suburb of Rome. The custom recalled that the Cardinals in a special way to the city of the Pope are bound and pledge his loyalty, obedience and cooperation. Because as cardinal Woelki belongs now to the most important advisory body of the Pope - and is with choosing one day probably also his successor.

By the Jesuit Karl Josef Becker, who is absorbed in the consistory on this day as another German a lot distinguishes him. Otherwise as the earlier Roman Professor of theology who advises the Vatican Congregation for many years, until a few months acting Berlin striking Archbishop already externally as he kneels before Pope Benedict XVI. The tall Woelki under the other «Eminences» stands out with its distinctive black eyeglass frame.

Also in other respects, Woelki stands out. 55 Years of age he is the youngest among the 213 members of the Papal Council of «elders» now Is he takes over from the Munich Archbishop Reinhard Marx (58), bearing the cardinal purple since over a year.

Now Marx and he will shape with significantly the course of the Catholic Church in Germany in the coming years, Woelki - white "and strengthen the connections with Rome", as the Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Jean-Claude Périsset, with him there at one of the many Cardinal receptions than desire on the way.

Also many other well-wishers came specifically from Berlin and Cologne, where Woelki previously was Auxiliary Bishop. Not only Church dignitaries as the Chairman of the Episcopal Conference, Archbishop Robert Zollitsch, traveled to Germany. Woelkis disoriented parents celebrate with. That they can experience the high honor of her son, is also a rarity at Cardinal surveys.

Particularly noted are the words of the Berlin Governing Mayor Klaus Wowereit, who delivers the congratulations of Brandenburg and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania (SPD). The openly gay politician holds with his criticism of ecclesiastical morals not otherwise behind the mountain. Now congratulates Wowereit appointed «city bishop», unexpectedly welcome for many, and is pleased that it understands the dignity of Cardinal as an award of Berlin.

«Impressed» the solemn consistory except Wowereit has two more Berlin: the Evangelical Bishop Markus Dröge and the outgoing President of the Jewish community, Lala Süsskind. Unlike Wowereit are away from the crowds of well-wishers. They enjoy nevertheless about the invitation. «It fits in our city», Susskind praises Woelkis start on the river Spree. Dröge, a Protestant prayer book as a gift presented his colleague. He advises the new Cardinal smirking that he «advises the Pope from the situation of a country of out of the Reformation ".

In the face of so many good wishes, Woelki must still find his new role, he stressed: "sometimes I have a feeling, I'm in the wrong film. And with this openness, he has the sympathy once again on his side.


A Catholic Sister of Charity of Jesus and Mary named Liliane Mapalayi was stabbed on February 2. She was pronounced dead at the hospital. This 32-year old was working a local school in her office when a scream was heard. Given the recent elections in the country; this murder is seen as a having a political motive according to reports. There has been much violence in the country lately and the Catholic Church has undergone persecution. The latest elections have been deemed by many authorities as corrupt. The Democratic Republic of Congo has a large Catholic population of nearly 50%; therefore violence against the Church as a powerful body in elections has been ongoing. (With files and photo from NCR and AFP)


New cardinal adds that radicals are a minority and that most Hindus 'live in harmony' with Christians
Alessandro Speciale, Vatican City
Vatican City
February 19, 2012
Extremist groups in India see the growth of the Catholic Church as a “threat” and have successfully lobbied the government against Christians’ rights, the newly elevated Cardinal of the Syro-Malabar Church George Alencherry warned in an interview with in Rome.
Alencherry was among the 22 new cardinals created yesterday by Pope Benedict XVI in St Peter’s Basilica. Most of the new princes of the Church come from the Curia and from Europe. Only two – Alencherry and the bishop of Hong Kong, John Tong Hon – come from Asia.
In his homily, the pope warned the new cardinals that their duty is “serving God and others” and urged them to be “self-giving”, rejecting the “power and glory which belongs to this world.”
After weeks of document leaks inside the Vatican and rumors of power struggles, plots and even a possible resignation by the pontiff, Pope Benedict also asked cardinals to pray for him, that he “may continually offer to the people of God the witness of sound doctrine and to guide holy Church with a firm and humble hand.”
Speaking ahead of yesterday’s ceremony, Archbishop Alencherry said he looked at his entrance into the College of Cardinals – who will eventually be called to elect Pope Benedict’s successor – with a spirit of service.
“I am really searching what I can do for the Church, especially at the universal level.”
He said that though Christians in India are a small minority – Catholics account for only 1.9 percent of the population – their strong faith and their communion can send a strong message to the whole Church.
“The tradition is strong, the faithful are ready to pay any price for their being Catholic,” he said.
Archbishop Alencherry stressed that religious extremists are a small minority of India’s Hindus and Muslims, but they have been responsible for “atrocious attacks.” He also cautioned that political parties often pander to them in an effort to attract votes.
“You cannot say that Hinduism is intolerant. The vast majority of Hindus live with us in harmony and peace, and they even welcome Christianity in India.”
While India’s constitution guarantees religious freedom, sometimes the state protects extremists as “certain political parties” try to “exploit” religious tensions “to gain more votes” by giving “patronage to these groups”.
The new cardinal also called on the government to reverse its policy that denies preferential status to people from lower castes that convert to Christianity. According to Alencherry, the official reason for this is that “there is no caste difference in Christianity.”
But while it is true that “there is no inequality in the Christian community,” the archbishop noted that “economic inequality subsists.”
“My reading is that they are afraid that if people who embrace the Catholic faith and are from the so-called lower caste are given equal rights, there may be a flow of people into Christianity, and that would be a challenge for the majority community.”
Even if no one says it explicitly, Alencherry suggested that “behind the scenes” many see Christianity “as a threat to the majority religion, Hinduism.”


7 February 2012
The Australian Catholic Migrant and Refugee Office (ACMRO) supports the Government's efforts to reduce the human cost of prolonged and indefinite detention.

Media reports which criticise the Government for providing asylum seekers released into community detention with up to $10,000 of home furnishings, electrical goods and other financial support has been called misleading and provocative by the ACMRO.

ACMRO Director Fr Maurizio Pettenà said today that community detention is not only cheaper in financial terms but also reduces the impact on the mental health and recognises a sense of human dignity.

"These costs are an appropriate expense to facilitate community detention which is a much more dignified way to host asylum seekers while awaiting their refugee claims to be processed", he said.

"These asylum seekers do not own these goods, they are owned by the Australian community who places them at the service of a truly humane and compassionate program for those who are in great need of our help."

"We also expect to see some reduced downstream costs, including the cost of mental and physical health services, family intervention services and other support programs. There is also the potential that time in community detention could facilitate a faster entry to the workforce once a client gets a visa."

"It can be expected that asylum seekers will experience better mental health and better integration generally as they have an opportunity to learn about the Australian community and have autonomy over their own lives", said Fr. Pettenà

Bishop Eugene Hurley who has just been appointed to the Minister's advisory council on immigration also spoke out on the matter, saying that the newspaper's treatment of this issue is simplistic and incorrect.

"By providing asylum seekers, particularly families, with essentials, we demonstrate a more humane way to assist vulnerable people. This reflects more fully our interest in living up to our international convention obligations and the values of a more compassionate society", he said.

A spokesperson for the Department of Immigration said that they expect that costs will actually decrease with this new move.


Feb 19, 2012 - 7th Sun in Ordinary Time

Isaiah 43: 18 - 19, 21 - 22, 24 - 25
18 "Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old.
19 Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.
21 the people whom I formed for myself that they might declare my praise.
22 "Yet you did not call upon me, O Jacob; but you have been weary of me, O Israel!
24 You have not bought me sweet cane with money, or satisfied me with the fat of your sacrifices. But you have burdened me with your sins, you have wearied me with your iniquities.
25 "I, I am He who blots out your transgressions for my own sake, and I will not remember your sins.
Psalms 41: 2 - 5, 13 - 14
2 the LORD protects him and keeps him alive; he is called blessed in the land; thou dost not give him up to the will of his enemies.
3 The LORD sustains him on his sickbed; in his illness thou healest all his infirmities.
4 As for me, I said, "O LORD, be gracious to me; heal me, for I have sinned against thee!"
5 My enemies say of me in malice: "When will he die, and his name perish?"
13 Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting! Amen and Amen.
2 Corinthians 1: 18 - 22
18 As surely as God is faithful, our word to you has not been Yes and No.
19 For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, whom we preached among you, Silva'nus and Timothy and I, was not Yes and No; but in him it is always Yes.
20 For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why we utter the Amen through him, to the glory of God.
21 But it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has commissioned us;
22 he has put his seal upon us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.
Mark 2: 1 - 12
1 And when he returned to Caper'na-um after some days, it was reported that he was at home.
2 And many were gathered together, so that there was no longer room for them, not even about the door; and he was preaching the word to them.
3 And they came, bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men.
4 And when they could not get near him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him; and when they had made an opening, they let down the pallet on which the paralytic lay.
5 And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "My son, your sins are forgiven."
6 Now some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts,
7 "Why does this man speak thus? It is blasphemy! Who can forgive sins but God alone?"
8 And immediately Jesus, perceiving in his spirit that they thus questioned within themselves, said to them, "Why do you question thus in your hearts?
9 Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, `Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, `Rise, take up your pallet and walk'?
10 But that you may know that the Son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins" -- he said to the paralytic --
11 "I say to you, rise, take up your pallet and go home."
12 And he rose, and immediately took up the pallet and went out before them all; so that they were all amazed and glorified God, saying, "We never saw anything like this!"
2 Corinthians 1: 18 - 22
18 As surely as God is faithful, our word to you has not been Yes and No.
19 For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, whom we preached among you, Silva'nus and Timothy and I, was not Yes and No; but in him it is always Yes.
20 For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why we utter the Amen through him, to the glory of God.
21 But it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has commissioned us;
22 he has put his seal upon us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.


St. Conrad of Piacenza
Feast: February 19

Feast Day:February 19
1290, Piacenza, Province of Piacenza, Emilia-Romagna, Italy
Died:February 19, 1351, Noto, Province of Syracuse, Sicily, Italy
Patron of:cure of hernias
Hermit of the Third Order of St. Francis, date of birth uncertain; died at Noto in Sicily, 19 February, 1351. He belonged to one of the noblest families of Piacenza, and having married when he was quite young, led a virtuous and God-fearing life. On one occasion, when he was engaged in his usual pastime of hunting, he ordered his attendants to fire some brushwood in which game had taken refuge. The prevailing wind caused the flames to spread rapidly, and the surrounding fields and forest were soon in a state of conflagration. A mendicant, who happened to be found near the place where the fire had originated, was accused of being the author. He was imprisoned, tried, and condemned to death. As the poor man was being led to execution, Conrad, stricken with remorse, made open confession of his guilt; and in order to repair the damage of which he had been the cause, was obliged to sell all his possessions. Thus reduced to poverty, Conrad retired to a lonely hermitage some distance from Piacenza, while his wife entered the Order of Poor Clares. Later he went to Rome, and thence to Sicily, where for thirty years he lived a most austere and penitential life and worked numerous miracles. He is especially invoked for the cure of hernia. In 1515 Leo X permitted the town of Noto to celebrate his feast, which permission was later extended by Urban VIII to the whole Order of St. Francis. Though bearing the title of saint, Conrad was never formally canonized. His feast is kept in the Franciscan Order on 19 February.

(Taken from Catholic Encyclopedia)