Tuesday, October 2, 2012


Matthew 18: 1 - 5, 10
1At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, "Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?"
2And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them,
3and said, "Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
4Whoever humbles himself like this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
5"Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me;
10"See that you do not despise one of these little ones; for I tell you that in heaven their angels always behold the face of my Father who is in heaven.


Vatican Radio REPORT On the second day of his trial, Paolo Gabriele, the butler charged with stealing and leaking Pope Benedict’s correspondence, said he was innocent of charges of aggravated theft but guilty of betrayal. He said he loved the Pope like a son.

Text of report follows: 

Taking the stand first, Gabriele said what he described as widespread concern about what was happening in the Vatican led him to collect photocopies of the Pope’s private correspondence and eventually to leak it to a journalist. He told the court that no one encouraged him to steal and leak the documents. He also said hadn’t received any money or benefits for doing this. Although Gabriele said he acted on his own initiative he told the court he did so after sharing confidences about the general atmosphere in the Vatican with four people in particular: retired Cardinal Paolo Sardi, a former official in the Vatican Secretariat of State, Cardinal Angelo Comastri, archpriest of St. Peter’s Basilica, Ingrid Stampa, a longtime assistant to Pope Benedict going back to his time as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger and Bishop Francesco Cavina of Carpi, who worked in the secretariat of state until 2011. 

Under questioning by his lawyer, Gabriele said he never showed any of the documents to the Pope but tried – conversationally--- to bring some concerns to the Holy Father’s attention. 

The morning session of Gabriel’s trial, on October 2nd also featured testimony by Monsignor Georg Ganswein, the Pope’s personal secretary and Cristina Cernetti, one of the consecrated laywomen who work in the papal apartment. Monsignor Ganswein testified that he only began suspecting Gabriele in mid-May after a journalist published documents Monsignor Ganswein knew had never left the office he shared with Gabriele. 

During the Tuesday morning session, Gabriele’s lawyer also asked him several questions about the 60 days he spent in Vatican detention, including whether or not it was true that he first was held in a tiny room and that, for the first 15-20 days, the Vatican police left the lights on 24 hours a day. Gabriele said both were true. 

The Director of the Holy See’s press office, Father Federico Lombardi, however later told reporters that Judge Nicola Picardi, the Vatican prosecutor, had opened an investigation into the conditions under which Gabriele was detained. Later on Tuesday, the Vatican City State Gendarmes issued a communiqué confirming that the light was left on 24 hours a day but said this was done in order to prevent possible acts of self harm by the defendant and also for security reasons. The communiqué said Gabriele himself later requested that the light be left on during the night because it kept him company. The Vatican police said the other detention cell was undergoing renovation works at the time of Gabriele’s arrest and as soon as the building works were completed the defendant was moved into the new cell. The police also stressed that the treatment of Gabriele whilst in detention followed international norms including being allowed regular access to his family members and the chance to enjoy periods of relaxation and to socialise with the Vatican Gendarmes. 

Vatican City, 2 October 2012 (VIS) - A conference was held in the Holy See Press Office this morning to present an International Academic Conference: "Vatican Council II in the Light of the Archives of the Council Fathers, on the Fiftieth Anniversary of its Opening (1962-2012)". The event has been organised by the Pontifical Committee for Historical Sciences in collaboration with the "Vatican Council II" Centre for Research and Study of the Pontifical Lateran University, and will take place from 3 to 5 October.
Participating in this morning's presentation were Fr. Bernard Ardura O. Praem., president of the Pontifical Committee for Historical Sciences, and Philippe Chenaux, director of the "Vatican Council II" Centre for Research and Study of the Pontifical Lateran University and a member of the Pontifical Committee for Historical Sciences.
Fr. Ardura explained how a global project has been organised in view of the anniversary of Vatican Council II, involving an examination of the personal archives of the Council Fathers, the aim being to produce original and academically valid research and to favour an increasingly deep understanding of an event "which has profoundly marked the life of the Church over the last half century".
"Following the path laid down by Blessed Pope John XXIII in his opening address to the Council, all available archive material must be submitted to careful historical scrutiny, in order to ensure that people do not, as the Pope himself said, 'act as if they had nothing to learn from history, which is a teacher of life'. The consultation and publication of diaries, memories and correspondence of important figures who participated in Vatican Council II has already contributed to the development of an hermeneutic of the Council; ... that 'hermeneutic of reform in continuity' identified by Benedict XVI as the way to ensure authentic ecclesial interpretation.
"In this light", Fr. Ardura added, "we have begun researching the private archives of the Council Fathers, in order to identify and catalogue the documents they produced: diaries, notes on the various meetings of commission, ... and all the documents that may help us to understand how the Council Fathers experienced the great event, how they viewed it and how they reacted to the various opinions expressed".
The current conference is to be the first of two events on Vatican Council II. It aims to "present the current state of research and to highlight, for example, the difficulties encountered in searching the archives". Of the Council Fathers, 2,090 were from Europe and the Americas, while 408 were from Asia, 351 from Africa and 74 from Oceania. A large number of the latter came from mission lands and belonged to missionary institutions, for which reason much of their documentation is held in convents. Moreover the 'cult of the archive' which is habitual in Europe and America is not equally widespread in Asia and Africa, although the archives of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples do, to some extent, make up for these shortcomings".
Fr. Ardura explained that "the intention of the Pontifical Committee is to promote, in the light of the Holy Father's Magisterium and following a strict historical-critical methodology divorced from any ideology, a pondered and academically grounded historiographical re-reading of what was undeniably 'the great event' of Vatican Council II".
The conference will begin with a documentary prepared by the Vatican film library, and an opening address by two speakers. The first of these will be Cardinal Angelo Scola, archbishop of Milan, Italy, who will focus on the months between the announcement and the opening of the Council because, Fr. Ardura said, "the preparatory period offers many keys to understanding the subsequent development of the Council". The other opening speaker will be Professor Philippe Chenaux himself, who will discuss historiography with relation to Vatican Council II. In order to recall the ecumenical dimension, "strongly underlined" by Blessed John XXIII, one representative from the Patriarchate of Moscow and one from the Protestant churches will also attend the conference.
The results of the research of recent years, and of the conference, "will be a preliminary inventory of the Council Fathers' archives. This will be fed into an online database which may be consulted free of charge on the website of the Pontifical Council".
For his part, Philippe Chenaux explained that "the attempt to write a history of Vatican Council II involves not only research into the sources, ... but also interpretation, the so-called conciliar 'hermeneutic'. In other words, the historians who devised this project of the history of Vatican II have 'excogitated' the Council, whence have emerged two interpretative criteria which guided their work: the Council as 'event' and the Council as 'rupture'".
"The fundamental challenge for historians of the Council is, then, how to reconcile these two opposing readings of Vatican II and its decisions. This does not mean writing a 'counter history' of Vatican Council II. Rather, more modestly, it means resuming historical research on the basis of the widest possible documentation and with no ideological bias. It means avoiding the manipulation of conciliar history for ends other than the history itself, in order to achieve a more balanced and shared understanding of the event and its decisions. 'Starting again from the archives', that is the challenge underlying the great research project of into the archives of the Council Fathers", he concluded.
Vatican City, 2 October 2012 (VIS) - Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States, yesterday spoke before the sixty-seventh General Assembly of the United Nations, which has as its theme: "Adjustment or settlement of international disputes or situations by peaceful means".
In his address the archbishop highlighted how "loss of faith in the value of dialogue, and the temptation to favour 'a priori' one of the sides in regional and national conflicts, threaten respect for the juridical mechanisms of the United Nations. However, the pre-eminence of the values contained in the Charter should lead to the adoption of all possible means to ensure the protection of the most vulnerable, the promotion of respect for the rule of law and the rights of man, and the safeguarding of centuries-old cultural and religious balances".
The secretary for Relations with States went on: "The urgency of the situation is even more evident with respect to current events in the Middle East, and in particular in Syria. A solution is impossible if it fails to respect the rules of international and humanitarian law, or falls outside the mechanisms established in the United Nations Charter. All interested parties should not only facilitate the mission of the special envoy of the United Nations and the Arab League, but also ensure humanitarian assistance to the suffering peoples. The international community must unite its efforts so that all sides replace the race to arms with negotiation, just as it must insist on effective respect for religious liberty, human rights and all fundamental freedoms".
"Only an international community strongly anchored in values that are truly concordant with human dignity will be capable of suggesting feasible solutions to new types of conflict. These include transnational groups which diffuse a hegemonic, pseudo-religious ideology that fails to respect the rights of persons and civil peace. We are thinking of recent terrorist attacks in certain parts of Africa and Asia, and of the collusion between drug trafficking and terrorism in other parts of the world".
"It is of vial importance", Archbishop Mamberti concluded, "to reach an effective outcome in the debate about the reform and improvement of the working of the United Nations Organisation, in order to revive its capacities to foresee conflicts and to resolve then using peaceful means".


Archbishop Nichols launches Year of Faith video series | Archbishop Nichols launches Year of Faith video series

Archbishop Nichols
The Most Rev Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster, is the first to feature in a new video testimony series being offered in support of the celebration of the Year of Faith which begins on 11 October.
Interviewed at the Eucharistic Congress in Dublin in June, Archbishop Nichols said: “What my faith means to me is, above all else, a relationship with the Lord. That’s the consistent thing that has run right through my life so far and which I hope and pray will come to its fulfilment after death. It starts, of course, with our baptism, the most important call and sacrament, because it is then that we start on this journey of a relationship with the Lord and it’s a relationship that I try to sustain every day, partly through what I do, but partly, quite explicitly, separately from what I do, an inner friendship, an inner being present to each other, an inner awareness of the Lord’s presence deep inside me and alongside me day-by-day. So that’s more than anything, what my faith means to me, knowing Our Lord, loving him and just wanting to be with him and serve him, the best I can.”
He added, when asked to share a moment when he had experienced God’s presence: “I’d like to give you a very Catholic answer and that moment for me is every time I celebrate Mass. You might think that’s a bit much but it isn’t, it really isn’t, because I know in faith that when we celebrate Mass, we are drawn into the presence of God. Sometimes it feels great, sometimes it doesn’t feel so great, but that’s not the important thing. The deepest meaning of experience is something that I know and I enter into during every Mass. Sometimes that's quietly in the chapel in Archbishop’s House in the morning with just two or three other people present, sometimes it’s Mass celebrated in a great event in Westminster Cathedral, and sometimes a very remarkable event such as in the Eucharistic Congress here in Dublin. But for me the crucial experience of God at work in my life, the crucial experience, the crucial sense of being drawn into the mystery of God is in every celebration of the Mass, and especially when I receive Holy Communion.”
The Archbishop’s video testimony is the first in a series of video faith testimonies from bishops which will be made available on a monthly basis during the Year of Faith. Among other resources being provided by the Bishops’ Conference Home Mission Desk are: daily ‘faith tweets’ offered in partnership with the Bible Society; Little Way Week resources for schools offered in partnership with the Catholic Education Service to encourage prayer and service; a brand new faith sharing booklet for small groups titled Radiating Christ that is being promoted in partnership with the Diocese of Westminster, amongst many other materials.
For more information please see: http://www.yearoffaith.org.uk
These materials complement those also being provided during the Year across the dioceses of England and Wales. For a snapshot of what is happening please see the dedicated page on the Bishops’ Conference website:
To view the Archbishop’s video testimony please see: http://vimeo.com/50534667 and http://vimeo.com/50534668


Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
2 Oct 2012
Sr Maria Casey rsj supports and helping with Cause of Suzanne Aubert for Sainthood
Australian Josephite, Sister Maria Casey, rsj former Postulator for St Mary of the Cross MacKillop, has offered her help and support for the case for elevating Suzanne Aubert, founder of New Zealand's Sisters of Compassion, to sainthood.
Elected the first woman president of the New Zealand and Australian Canon Law Society at its annual conference in Auckland last month, Sr Maria took time out during her trans-Tasman visit to travel to Wellington to meet with Father Maurice Carmody, Postulator for the cause of Suzanne Aubert.
"Fr Carmody was appointed Postulator by the Vatican in 2010 and has already carried out the initial writings and is now undertaking detailed investigations into her life and evidence of her holiness as well as taking testimonies," says Sr Maria, explaining that the cause for the beatification and sanctification of Suzanne Aubert is still in the very early stages of what can be very long and complicated process.
Father Maurice Carmody Postulator for the Cause of Suzanne Aubert
"This is to ensure there is real integrity and no room for future contradiction," she says.
While there is no doubt Suzanne Aubert lived a selfless life which included founding some of New Zealand's first hospitals and working closely with the Maori people, to be beatified and later, canonised, the person for whom a case is made for sainthood is judged on her holiness.
"There is no doubt Mother Aubert, as she was known, inspired great devotion and I am happy to give whatever help I can from the experience which led to the canonisation of St Mary of the Cross MacKillop. But this is largely confined to the actual process and suggesting which set out in detail exactly what is required as part of this process, but which are not commonly available " Sr Maria explains.
If the quest by New Zealand's Catholics is successful and approved by the Vatican's Congregation for the Cause of Saints in Rome, Suzanne Aubert is set to become the country's first-ever saint.
Athough 82 Suzanne Aubert returned to New Zealand having obtained papal permission for the congregation she founded
Although living at the same time as St Mary of the Cross MacKillop who spent considerable time in New Zealand, so far there is no record the pair ever met. But Sr Maria believes it is highly likely their paths may have crossed.
Born in 1835 to a respectable middle class family in a small French village not far from Lyon, Suzanne Aubert was just two years old when she fell through the icy surface of a pond onto the rocks below, leaving her temporarily crippled and blind. She would later regain the use of her limbs.
As a result of the accident and the later early death of a disabled brother, Suzanne developed an enduring empathy for the sick, ill and disabled.
Educated by Benedictine nuns, she worked as a nurse in Crimea as a teenager alongside Florence Nightingale. As was the custom of the time, her parents arranged a marriage for her to the son of a family friend. Suzanne, however, refused to wed him or anyone else, which left her distraught mother seeking advice from the parish priest of Ars, Father Jean Marie Baptiste Vianney, better known today as St Jean Vianney or the Cure of Ars. Fr Vianney made no attempt to persuade Suzanne to marry but instead told her family, God had other designs for her. These were realised as a 24 year old when Bishop Pompallier arrived in Lyon to recruit missionaries for his diocese in Auckland.
Suanne Aubert with Maori and pakeha - European - students at her school in Jerusalem, NZ
Setting sail for New Zealand with three other young Frenchwomen, she arrived in Auckland and joined the English-speaking Sisters of Mercy. Although new arrivals were expected to teach French, embroidery, singing and sewing to the daughters of Auckland's wealthy families, Suzanne and her fellow French sisters were determined to help the nation's indigenous people.
Not only learning Maori and speaking it fluently, Suzanne worked in orphanages, established hospitals and developed herbal remedies for the sick. She also set about compiling an English-Maori dictionary as well as a French-Maori phrase book, and later a groundbreaking Maori-English phrase book as well as a Catholic Maori prayer book. After several years she left Auckland for Hawke's Bay and then at the request of a Maori group on a trading mission, headed for Hiruharama, or Jerusalem as it was also known, a small hamlet 60 km up the Whanganui River on the west coast of the North Island.
The Sisters of St Joseph, the congregation founded by St Mary of the Cross MacKillop, were already working in the area. But there were only a few in number and it was Suzanne, with her energy, charisma and hard work that helped revive the Catholic mission there. Teaching the Maori language and customs to her fellow sisters. Many children and adults who came to the local school where she taught became converts and when Mother Mary MacKillop's Sisters of St Joseph decided to leave the area in 1884, Suzanne was asked to lead and establish a branch of the Marist Third Order Regular of Mary. 
Committed to working together in a spirit of compassion, openness and integrity to meet the needs of the aged, the sick, the oppressed and the powerless, Suzanne Aubert and her sisters created a productive farm out of scrub and bush, manufactured and sold medicines and raised homeless children.
Suzanne Aubert in bonnet with the orphans and foundlings she cared for
Moving to Wellington in 1899, she and her sisters set up a soup kitchen for the poor as well as a much-needed home for the disabled. Ahead of her time, she also established a crèche for the children of working families. The sisters work expanded across NZ and in 1891 they opened a home for babies in Auckland. But as happened with the Sisters of St Joseph, the Church hierarchy in New Zealand were unhappy with the direction the community. In response Suzanne established her own congregation and in 1892 founded the Sisters of Compassion, New Zealand's first and only home-grown congregation.
Again like St Mary of the Cross, Mother Aubert travelled to Italy to enlist the Pope's support. She remained in Rome for four years until April 1917 when at the age of 82, Pope Benedict XV finally granted the congregation she had founded independence from the Church in New Zealand.
Returning to Wellington, she continued to work with the poor and with her sisters to provide hospital treatment and trained nursing, all free of charge to the poor.
Mother Aubert died in New Zealand on 1 October 1926, aged 91. Her funeral in Wellington remains the greatest funeral ever accorded a woman in New Zealand's history.



ANTANANARIVO, October 02, 2012 (CISA) -The government of Madagascar has initiated an educational programme for children with Visual, physical and mental disabilities.
In addition to this, 400 teachers have received training on teaching the disabled children.
This comes three years after Government’s failed attempt at making education attainable for the disabled children in the State.
In 2008, the Government issued a decree to introduce a program providing for the Inclusion of Children with Disabilities in education, but unfortunately, it was blocked the following year, after the army ascended to power in a coup.
The coup significantly reduced the education budget, limiting it to the funding of benefactors and going from $82 million in 2008 to 14.9 million in 2012.
Government inability to satisfy the teacher’s salary, as a result of the reduced budget, meant poor families had to pay school fees and hence, making their economic situation even worse.
According to the Southern Africa Regional Food Security Update of February 2012, four fifths of the population of Madagascar is forced to live on less than $ 1 a day, and poor households spend 74% of their income on food.
As a result, school enrollment has declined. In 2010, they were 73.4%, compared to 83,3% in 2005.
According to FIDES the parents of the disabled children preferred not to send them to school because they are convinced that sending a child with disabilities to school is a waste of time and money. With the implementation of the new changes, this situation is bound to change.
shared from CISA NEWS 


Agenzia Fides REPORT- In view of the upcoming presidential elections on October 7, the Archbishop of Mérida, His Exc. Mgr. Baltazar Enrique Porras Cardozo, released a statement that was also sent to Fides Agency. Mgr. Porras presents the election as "an occasion for serene and confident reflection, but we need to pray," and explains what it means to pray: "It is not to repeat phrases, but to put ourselves before God who asks us questions: What have you done for your brother and sister?". And continues:" Without respect and consideration for others, whatever their condition is, there is no possibility of building fraternity. This is why the Bishops of Venezuela stress the need for reconciliation and dialogue. It is necessary to avoid any violence and hatred, desire and action which determines physical or spiritual harm or death."
Mgr. Porras recalls the importance of civic duty: "The vote is a positive way to participate and decide the future of the country. But one has to do it consciously, thinking about the good of all, rather than personal property. It is not my interests that should mark the preferences, but the social good: which allows one the freedom to expand, dissent and opinion become a right, truth will prevail over any manipulation or deception, creativity is our best contribution to a society in which we all live, thinking first of the poor and the disadvantaged. "
The Catholic Church has specifically asked all "a conscience vote, freely and without violence" (see Fides 28/09/2012). While the National Electoral Council has started the distribution of the material needed to prepare the polls, the majority of the population is still uncertain about the choice of the presidential candidate to vote for. (CE) (Agenzia Fides 02/10/2012)


by Nirmala Carvalho
Today, anniversary of the Mahatma's birth, is International Day of Non-Violence. Fr Cedric Prakash, director of the Prashant Centre for Human Rights, gives his thoughts about the "growing religious intolerance" and the role of the media. He also looks at the upcoming Synod of Bishops (7-28 October) and the "desperate" need for a new evangelisation and a society based on Gandhian values.

Mumbai (AsiaNews) - Today, birthday of the Mahatma Gandhi, is the International Day of Non-Violence. This year's celebration comes at time of great tensions: violence in the Arab world related to the anti-Muhammad movie, Muslim attacks against Buddhists in Bangladesh, Hindu nationalist attacks against Christians in India, and bombs against churches in Africa.
"In a context of growing religious intolerance, we are witnessing a rising level of violence, which we must address," said Fr Cedric Prakash, director of the Prashant Centre for Human Rights, Justice and Peace.
For him, the world today has a "desperate need" to rediscover two Gandhian ideals, namely Ahimsa (non-violence) and satyagraha (insistence on or zeal for truth). In fact, "Whatever the provocation, no one has the right to take the law into their own hands," he explained.
At the same time, mass media "have the power to provoke and incite people. In a world that is increasingly polarised because of the bad use of religion by fanatics and fundamentalists," the media, "while respecting and promoting the freedom of speech and expression everywhere, should use caution and restraint and be more sensitive."
Against the backdrop of the day dedicated to the Mahatma, the 13th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops (7-28 October) is fast approaching.
With the new evangelisation and the transmission of the Christian faith as its main themes, the gathering "should be a clarion call to all Christians to take radical and prophetic positions on the side of truth and justice, and bear witness to their faith in peaceful and non-violent ways, just as Jesus did."


The Feast of the Guardian Angels
Feast: October 2
Feast Day:
October 2

Not only do believers have faith on their side, but they have "witnesses" of God's Word. Holy Scripture contains numerous examples that witness to the existence of angels and their manifestations in relation to the fulfillment of particular missions.
The well-known example of Mary's Annunciation involved an angel sent by God to announce that the moment had arrived for the fulfillment of the coming of God's Son: He would be conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of Mary as man.
Angels were also the witnesses and heralds of Jesus' Resurrection.
Sacred Scripture and angels
With Sacred Scripture as its foundation, the Church affirms the existence of angels and puts into light their mission in relation to collective salvation in history as well as individual salvation.
In a Catechesis during the early years of his Pontificate, keeping in mind what is held by tradition, John Paul II affirmed that "the angels, as pure spirits, not only participate in the holiness of God himself, in the manner proper to them, but in the key moments they surround Christ and accompany him in the fulfillment of his salvific mission in regard to mankind" (General Audience, 30 July 1986; L'Osservatore Romano English Edition, 4 August, p. 1).
Holiness, therefore, as the fruit of grace and love, is shared by the angels. It is not shared by all, however, for in the beginning there was a rebellion, and those unfaithful to God and his project of salvation were excluded.
Without manipulating Scripture, we can say that participation in God's holiness can be understood in relation to the redemptive holiness which springs forth from Christ, by means of and in sight of which the angels were created. Such participation was held in a specific way by the angels.
Guardian angels
In the Catechesis mentioned above, John Paul also affirms that "in the key moments [the angels] surround Christ and accompany him in the fulfilment of his salvific mission in regard to mankind". This is a logical consequence of the aforementioned text.
Angels, created by God according to the importance and necessity of each situation, therefore "accompany" and "surround" the Church, the Mystical Body of Christ. In this way the mission is complete, embracing the whole Christ, Head and Body.
This dynamic refers not only to the Ecclesial Community as such, but also individual Church members. But as part of the historical and ecclesiological profile it must also be mentioned that angels journey together with the Church in her mission of salvation and at the same time travel side-by-side with her members; all human beings have their own guardian angel to guard, protect and enlighten them.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church proclaims that "from infancy to death human life is surrounded by their [angels'] watchful care and intercession. Beside each believer stands an angel as protector and shepherd leading him to life. Already here on earth the Christian life shares by faith in the blessed company of angels and men united in God" (CCC, n. 336).
Such protection will benefit those who respond to the Holy Spirit's direction and for those who willingly collaborate. In her liturgy, the Church prays to the angels for herself and others, calling upon their protection and intercession: it is sufficient to follow the liturgy of the Mass to be convinced.
The same Church makes the special prayer to the guardian angel available to the faithful and to all who wish to recite it. As a result, praying it at least twice a day, morning and evening, should not be "an option".