Tuesday, September 18, 2012


(Radio Vaticana image) Sunday 16 September 2012, Homily
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
"Blessed be God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!" (Eph 1:3). Blessed be God on this day when I have the joy of being here with you, in Lebanon, to consign to the Bishops of the region my Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Ecclesia in Medio Oriente! I offer heartfelt thanks to His Beatitude Bechara Boutros Raï for his kind words of welcome. I greet the other Patriarchs and Bishops of the Eastern Churches, the Latin Bishops of the neighbouring regions, and the Cardinals and Bishops who have come from other countries.
I greet all of you with great affection, dear brothers and sisters from Lebanon and from throughout this beloved region of the Middle East, as you join with the Successor of Peter in celebrating Jesus Christ crucified, dead and risen. My respectful greeting goes also to the President of the Republic, to the Lebanese authorities, and to the leaders and followers of the other religious traditions who have elected to be present this morning.
On this Sunday when the Gospel asks us about the true identity of Jesus, we find ourselves transported with the disciples to the road leading to the villages around Caesarea Philippi. Jesus asks them: "Who do you say that I am?" (Mk 8:29). The moment he chose to ask this question is not insignificant. Jesus was facing a decisive turning-point in his life.
He was going up to Jerusalem, to the place where the central events of our salvation would take place: his crucifixion and resurrection. In Jerusalem too, following these events, the Church would be born. And at this decisive moment, Jesus first asks his disciples: "Who do men say that I am?" (Mk 8:27). They give very different answers: John the Baptist, Elijah, one of the prophets!
Today, as down the centuries, those who encounter Jesus along their own way give their own answers. These are approaches which can be helpful in finding the way to truth. But while not necessarily false, they remain insufficient, for they do not go to the heart of who Jesus is. Only those willing to follow him on his path, to live in fellowship with him in the community of his disciples, can truly know who he is. Finally, Peter, who had dwelt with Jesus for some time, gives his answer: "You are the Christ" (Mk 8:29).
It is the right answer, of course, but it is still not enough, since Jesus feels the need to clarify it. He realizes that people could use this answer to advance agendas which are not his, to raise false temporal hopes in his regard. He does not let himself be confined to the attributes of the human saviour which many were expecting.
By telling his disciples that he must suffer and be put to death, and then rise again, Jesus wants to make them understand his true identity. He is a Messiah who suffers, a Messiah who serves, and not some triumphant political saviour. He is the Servant who obeys his Father's will, even to giving up his life. This had already been foretold by the prophet Isaiah in today's first reading.
Jesus thus contradicts the expectations of many. What he says is shocking and disturbing. We can understand the reaction of Peter who rebukes him, refusing to accept that his Master should suffer and die! Jesus is stern with Peter; he makes him realize that anyone who would be his disciple must become a servant, just as he became Servant.
Following Jesus means taking up one's cross and walking in his footsteps, along a difficult path which leads not to earthly power or glory but, if necessary, to self-abandonment, to losing one's life for Christ and the Gospel in order to save it. We are assured that this is the way to the resurrection, to true and definitive life with God. Choosing to walk in the footsteps of Jesus Christ, who made himself the Servant of all, requires drawing ever closer to him, attentively listening to his word and drawing from it the inspiration for all that we do.
In promulgating the Year of Faith, which is due to begin next 11 October, I wanted each member of the faithful to renew his or her commitment to undertaking this path of sincere conversion. Throughout this Year, then, I strongly encourage you to reflect more deeply on the faith, to appropriate it ever more consciously and to grow in fidelity to Christ Jesus and his Gospel.
Brothers and sisters, the path on which Jesus wishes to guide us is a path of hope for all. Jesus' glory was revealed at the very time when, in his humanity, he seemed weakest, particularly through the incarnation and on the cross. This is how God shows his love; he becomes our servant and gives himself to us. Is this not an amazing mystery, one which is at times difficult to accept? The Apostle Peter himself would only come to understand it later.
In today's second reading, Saint James tells us to what extent our walking in the footsteps of Jesus, if it is to be authentic, demands concrete actions. "I, by my works, will show you my faith" (Jas 2:18). It is an imperative task of the Church to serve and of Christians to be true servants in the image of Jesus. Service is a foundational element of the identity of Christ's followers (cf. Jn 13:15-17). The vocation of the Church and of each Christian is to serve others, as the Lord himself did, freely and impartially.
Consequently, in a world where violence constantly leaves behind its grim trail of death and destruction, to serve justice and peace is urgently necessary for building a fraternal society, for building fellowship! Dear brothers and sisters, I pray in particular that the Lord will grant to this region of the Middle East servants of peace and reconciliation, so that all people can live in peace and with dignity. This is an essential testimony which Christians must render here, in cooperation with all people of good will. I appeal to all of you to be peacemakers, wherever you find yourselves.
Service must also be at the heart of the life of the Christian community itself. Every ministry, every position of responsibility in the Church, is first and foremost a service to God and to our brothers and sisters. This is the spirit which should guide the baptized among themselves, and find particular expression in an effective commitment to serving the poor, the outcast and the suffering, so that the inalienable dignity of each person may be safeguarded.
Dear brothers and sisters who are suffering physically or spiritually, your sufferings are not in vain! Christ the Servant wished to be close to the suffering. He is always close to you. Along your own path, may you always find brothers and sisters who are concrete signs of his loving presence which will never forsake you! Remain ever hopeful because of Christ!
And may all of you, my brothers and sisters who have come to take part in this celebration, strive to be ever more fully conformed to the Lord Jesus, who became the Servant of all for the life of the world. May God bless Lebanon; may he bless all the peoples of this beloved region of the Middle East, and may he grant them the gift of his peace. Amen.

Vatican City, 18 September 2012 (VIS) - The Holy Father has appointed the following prelates as Synod Fathers for the forthcoming Thirteenth Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, due to take place from 7 to 28 October on the theme: "The New Evangelisation for the Transmission of the Christian Faith".
- Cardinal Angelo Sodano, dean of the College of Cardinals.
- Cardinal Joachim Meisner, archbishop of Cologne, Germany.
- Cardinal Vinko Puljic, archbishop of Vrhbosna-Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
- Cardinal Polycarp Pengo, archbishop of Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania and president of SECAM/SCEAM (Symposium of the Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar).
- Cardinal Christoph Schonborn O.P., archbishop of Vienna, Austria.
- Cardinal George Pell, archbishop of Sydney, Australia.
- Cardinal Josip Bozanic, archbishop of Zagreb, Croatia.
- Cardinal Peter Erdo, archbishop of Esztergom-Budapest, Hungary and president of CCEE (Council of European Episcopal Conferences).
- Cardinal Agostino Vallini, His Holiness' vicar general for the diocese of Rome.
- Cardinal Lluis Martinez Sistach, archbishop of Barcelona, Spain.
- Cardinal Andre Vingt-Trois, archbishop of Paris, France.
- Cardinal Oswald Gracias, archbishop of Bombay, India and secretary general of FABC (Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences).
- Patriarch Francesco Moraglia of Venice, Italy.
- Archbishop John Olorunfemi Onaiyekan of Abuja, Nigeria.
- Archbishop Hector Ruben Aguer of La Plata, Argentina.
- Archbishop Antonio Arregui Yarza of Guayaquil, Ecuador, president of the Ecuadorian Episcopal Conference.
- Archbishop John Atcherley Dew of Wellington, New Zealand, president of FCBCO (Federation of Catholic Bishops' Conferences of Oceania).
- Archbishop Jose Octavio Ruiz Arenas, secretary of the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelisation.
- Archbishop Jose Horacio Gomez of Los Angeles, U.S.A.
- Archbishop Carlos Aguiar Retes of Tlalnepantla, president of CELAM (Latin American Episcopal Council).
- Archbishop Bernard Longley of Birmingham, England.
- Archbishop Ricardo Antonio Tobon Restrepo of Medellin, Colombia.
- Archbishop Luis Antonio G. Tagle of Manila, Philippines.
- Archbishop Filippo Santoro of Taranto, Italy.
- Bishop Javier Echevarria Rodriguez, prelate of the Personal Prelature of Opus Dei.
- Bishop Dominique Rey of Frejus-Toulon, France.
- Bishop Menghisteab Tesfamariam M.C.C.J., eparch of Asmara, Eritrea.
- Bishop Benedito Beni dos Santos of Lorena, Brazil.
- Bishop Santiago Jaime Silva Retamales, auxiliary of Valparaiso, Chile and secretary general of CELAM.
- Bishop Luigi Negri of San Marino-Montefeltro, Italy.
- Bishop Alberto Francisco Sanguinetti Montero of Canelones, Uruguay.
- Bishop Enrico Dal Covolo S.D.B., rector of the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome.
- Fr. Julian Carron, president of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation.
- Fr. Renato Salvatore M.I., superior general of the Clerks Regular Ministers to the Sick (Camillians).
- Fr. Heinrich Walter, superior general of the Schoenstatt Fathers.
- Fr. Jose Panthaplamthottiyil C.M.I., prior general of the Carmelites of Mary Immaculate.
Vatican City, 18 September 2012 (VIS) - The Holy See will once again take part in the celebration of European Heritage Days, an initiative of the Council of Europe in which more than fifty countries on the continent participate. The celebrations this year will take place on Sunday 30 September and have as their theme: "The Image of the Faith in European Heritage". The Pontifical Commission for the Cultural Patrimony of the Church and the Vatican Museums are both collaborating in the event and, on 30 September, entrance to the Vatican Museums will be free of charge.
Vatican City, 18 September 2012 (VIS) - The following prelates died in recent weeks:
- Bishop Joseph Banchong Aribarg, emeritus of Nakhon Sawan, Thailand, on 1 September at the age of 85.
- Bishop Xavier Baronnet S.J., emeritus of Port Victoria, Seychelles, on 8 September at the age of 85.
- Bishop Luis D'Andrea O.F.M. Conv., emeritus of Caxias do Maranhao, Brazil, on 8 September at the age of 78.
- Bishop Lucas Luis Donnelly O. de M., prelate emeritus of Dean Funes, Argentina, on 31 August at the age of 91.
- Bishop Jose Foralosso S.D.B., emeritus of Maraba, Brazil, on 22 August at the age of 74.
- Bishop Helio Goncalves Heleno, emeritus of Caratinga, Brazil, on 4 September at the age of 77.



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Agenzia Fides REPORT - The program for the eradication of child labor in the markets of the province of Guayas was re-launched to the rhythm of the mapalé dance, the marimba, Amorfini and folklore songs. Accompanied by mothers and staff of the Ministry for Economic and Social Inclusion (Mies), 250 students, many of them rescued from child labor, are launching the campaign "No to child labor at risk" through the streets of the city of Guayaquil, claiming their rights and showing posters with "a child who works is a child with no rights, my job is to learn not to work, I have the right to study" written on them. Among music, dancing and traditional games, the provincial director of the Mies-Infa, informed of the existence of five support organizations, 78 technicians present throughout the province, and 948 promoters for the protection of children's rights. Since 2007, the organization had begun to work on a basis of 17% of boys, girls and adolescent workers. Today, in the province of Guayas they have been able to redeem 647 children from the streets and landfills, who have been included in the educational system, while their families have been integrated within the popular and solidarity economy. Objective of the National Government is to eradicate child labor in the country by 2015. (AP) (Agenzia Fides 18/09/2012)


Go to Bishop Anthony's Statement
“We want world class education for all our kids.”
Statement from Most Rev Anthony Fisher OP
The funding cuts to Catholic schools outlined by the NSW Education Minister, Adrian Piccoli, this week appear to cut much deeper than was first thought, according to the Chairman of the Catholic Education Commission of NSW, Bishop Anthony Fisher OP.
“On closer examination of the Government’s announcement on Tuesday, we are increasingly alarmed that the loss of revenue to non-government schools could be much greater than the $116 million announced by the Government. We don’t know how the Government’s figures were arrived at but we do know that two-thirds of those schools are Catholic schools,” Bishop Fisher said.

Funding cuts put State’s future in jeopardy

Executive director of schools in the Diocese of Parramatta, Greg Whitby, said he understands the deep level of anger in NSW school communities and sense of betrayal by a government which has shown a lack of understanding of what is needed to deliver quality learning and teaching in today’s world.
Contact the Premier and the Education Minister:
The Hon. Barry O'Farrell, MPPremier and Minister for Western Sydney
GPO Box 5341 SYDNEY, NSW, 2001
Tel (02) 9228 5239
The Hon. Adrian Piccoli, MPMinister for Education
Level 34 Governor Macquarie Tower
1 Farrer Place
SYDNEY, NSW, 2000Tel (02) 9228 5261office@piccoli.minister.nsw.gov.au


JUBA, September 18, 2012 (CISA) -The Archbishop of Khartoum who is the President of the Sudan Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SCBC) has arrived in Juba to lead the plenary of Bishops from both Sudans.
Cardinal Gabriel Zubeir Wako arrived in Juba on Monday September 17 from Khartoum via Nairobi.
SCBC Secretary General-Sudan Secretariat Santino Maurino told CRN that Cardinal Zubeir is in Juba for the annual plenary assembly of Bishops.
He said the Bishops will discuss a number of issues affecting the Church at the present moment in both countries.
Fr Maurino called on the faithful of South Sudan and Sudan to pray for the success of the Episcopal meeting.
He said the problems affecting the Church in both countries are many and prayer is a powerful tool to solve them and the only weapon that can overcome devil.
Cardinal Zubeir was received at Juba International Airport by the SCBC-Sudan and South Sudan Secretary Generals, fathers Santino Maurino and Charles Abud, and Presidential Advisor for Religious Affairs, Mark Lote’de Lochapi.
The plenary starts on Wednesday September 19 and will end next Monday.
Meanwhile the number of faithful in the Catholic Archdiocese of Khartoum, Sudan, has reduced drastically with the return of displaced South Sudanese to the south.
SCBC Secretary General-Sudan Secretariat Santino Maurino told CRN that the number of leaders, including catechists and youths, has also come down.
He said there are very few pockets of Christians coming for prayers in the Catholic parishes of the Archdiocese.
Following the independence, many Southerners returned from Sudan to South Sudan and the Catholic Church is bracing itself to come to terms with its new diminutive reality in the country.


Christians support Muslims over 'offensive' film    
Catholic Church News Image of Church condemns ‘blasphemou​s’ movie
Father Aftab James Paul reading out the Church statement
Church leaders in Faisalabad at the weekend added their voices to those of enraged Muslims in condemning an anti-Islamic film which has sparked a wave of violence across the Muslim world.
The Diocesan Commission for Interfaith Dialogue issued a statement on Saturday, expressing outrage over the controversial movie – Innocence of Muslims.
“The movie has hurt spiritual and religious sentiments of Muslims as well as Christians worldwide. The Vatican, like leaders of other countries, has condemned its release and promotion. This is a huge blow to world peace and efforts for interfaith harmony,” the statement said.
It concluded with a call for the arrest of movie maker Sam Becile and Terry Jones, an American pastor who publicly supported the movie. Jones achieved notoriety and offended Muslims by burning the Qu’ran in April.
Father Aftab James Paul, director of the commission, said the Church hoped to avoid a possible backlash against Christians by showing support to Muslims over the controversial film.
On Friday a large banner was also hung on the gates of Sts. Peter and Paul Cathedral. “We strongly condemn the blasphemous American-made movie against the Holy Prophet”, it said.
It was undersigned by Bishop Rufin Anthony, apostolic administrator of Faisalabad diocese, and the “Christian community of Pakistan.”
The banner was put up as violent protests gathered momentum following Friday sermons attacking the controversial movie.


Matthew 11: 25 - 30
25 At that time Jesus declared, "I thank thee, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to babes;
26 yea, Father, for such was thy gracious will.
27 All things have been delivered to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and any one to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.
28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.
30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."


St. Joseph of Cupertino
Feast: September 18
Feast Day:
September 18
June 17, 1603, Copertino, Puglia, Kingdom of Naples
September 18, 1663, Osimo, Marche, Papal States
July 16, 1767, Rome by Pope Clement XIII
Patron of:
Aviation, astronauts, mental handicaps, test taking, students

Mystic, born 17 June, 1603; died at Osimo 18 September, 1663; feast, 18 September. Joseph received his surname from Cupertino, a small village in the Diocese of Nardo, lying between Brindisi and Otranto in the Kingdom of Naples. His father Felice Desa, a poor carpenter, died before Joseph was born and left some debts, in consequence of which the creditors drove the mother, Francesca Panara, from her home, and she was obliged to give birth to her child in a stable. In his eighth year Joseph had an ecstatic vision while at school and this was renewed several times; so that the children, seeing him gape and stare on such occasions, lost to all things about him, gave him the sobriquet "Bocca Aperta". At the same time he had a hot and irascible temper which his strict mother strove hard to overcome. He was apprenticed to a shoemaker, but at the age of seventeen he tried to be admitted to the Friars Minor Conventuals and was refused on account of his ignorance. He then applied to the Capuchins at Martino near Tarento, where he was accepted as a lay-brother in 1620, but his continual ecstasies unfitted him for work and he was dismissed. His mother and his uncles abused him as a good-for-nothing, but Joseph did not lose hope. By his continued prayers and tears he succeeded in obtaining permission to work in the stable as lay help or oblate at the Franciscan convent of La Grotella near Cupertino. He now gave evidence of great virtues, humility, obedience, and love of penance to such an extent that he was admitted to the clerical state in 1625, and three years later, on 28 March he was raised to the priesthood. Joseph was but little versed in human knowledge, for his biographers relate that he was able to read but poorly, yet infused by knowledge and supernatural light he not only surpassed all ordinary men in the learning of the schools but could solve the most intricate questions.
His life was now one long succession of visions and other heavenly favours. Everything that in any way had reference to God or holy things would bring on an ecstatic state: the sound of a bell or of church music, the mention of the name of God or of the Blessed Virgin or of a saint, any event in the life of Christ, the sacred Passion, a holy picture, the thought of the glory in heaven, all would put Joseph into contemplation. Neither dragging him about, buffeting, piercing with needles, nor even burning his flesh with candles would have any effect on him - only the voice of his superior would make him obey. These conditions would occur at any time or place, especially at Mass or during Divine Service. Frequently he would be raised from his feet and remain suspended in the air. Besides he would at times hear heavenly music. Since such occurrences in public caused much admiration and also disturbance in a community, Joseph for thirty-five years was not allowed to attend choir, go to the common refectory, walk in procession or say Mass in church, but was ordered to remain in his room, where a private chapel was prepared for him. Evil-minded and envious men even brought him before the Inquisition, and he was sent from one lonely house of the Capuchins or Franciscans to another, but Joseph retained his resigned and joyous spirit, submitting confidently to Divine Providence. He practised mortification and fasting to such a degree, that he kept seven Lents of forty days each year, and during many of them tasted no food except on Thursdays and Sundays. His body is in the church at Osimo. He was beatified by Benedict XIV in 1753, and canonized 16 July 1767 by Clement XIII; Clement XIV extended his office to the entire Church. His life was written by Robert Nuti (Palermo, 1678). Angelo Pastrovicchi wrote another in 1773, and this is used by the Bollandist "Acta SS.", V, Sept., 992.