Monday, February 11, 2013


Dear Brothers,

I have convoked you to this Consistory, not only for the three canonizations, but also to communicate to you a decision of great importance for the life of the Church. After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God, I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry. I am well aware that this ministry, due to its essential spiritual nature, must be carried out not only with words and deeds, but no less with prayer and suffering. However, in today’s world, subject to so many rapid changes and shaken by questions of deep relevance for the life of faith, in order to govern the bark of Saint Peter and proclaim the Gospel, both strength of mind and body are necessary, strength which in the last few months, has deteriorated in me to the extent that I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me. For this reason, and well aware of the seriousness of this act, with full freedom I declare that I renounce the ministry of Bishop of Rome, Successor of Saint Peter, entrusted to me by the Cardinals on 19 April 2005, in such a way, that as from 28 February 2013, at 20:00 hours, the See of Rome, the See of Saint Peter, will be vacant and a Conclave to elect the new Supreme Pontiff will have to be convoked by those whose competence it is. (IMAGE SHARE RADIO VATICANA)

Dear Brothers, I thank you most sincerely for all the love and work with which you have supported me in my ministry and I ask pardon for all my defects. And now, let us entrust the Holy Church to the care of Our Supreme Pastor, Our Lord Jesus Christ, and implore his holy Mother Mary, so that she may assist the Cardinal Fathers with her maternal solicitude, in electing a new Supreme Pontiff. With regard to myself, I wish to also devotedly serve the Holy Church of God in the future through a life dedicated to prayer.

From the Vatican, 10 February 2013
Before midday on Monday Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation which will officially take effect at the end of the month, at 8pm on February 28th.

The statement of his resignation, read by the Pope in Latin, states clearly that his “advanced age” and his declining physical strength “are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry”

Canon law makes no provision for a Pope being incapacitated for reasons of health, either temporarily or permanently; nor does it specify what body has the authority to certify that the Pope is incapacitated.[10] It does state that "When the Roman See is vacant, or completely impeded, no innovation is to be made in the governance of the universal Church."[11]
Sede vacante is an expression, used in the Canon Law of the Catholic Church and the Church of England, that refers to the vacancy of the episcopal see of a particular church. It is Latin for "the seat being vacant" (the ablative absolute of sedes vacans "vacant seat"), the seat in question being the cathedra of the particular church.
After the death or resignation of a pope the Holy See becomes sede vacante. In this case the particular church is the Diocese of Rome and the "vacant seat" is the cathedra of Saint John Lateran, the cathedral church of the bishop of Rome. During this period, the Holy See is administered by a regency of the College of Cardinals.
According to Universi Dominici Gregis, the government of the Holy See sede vacante (and therefore of the Catholic Church) falls to the College of Cardinals, but in a very limited capacity
The Catholic Encyclopedia notes that one catalogue of popes has Pope John XVIII resigning office in 1009 and ending his life as a monk.[4][5]
In 1045, in order to rid the Church of the scandalous Pope Benedict IX, Pope Gregory VI paid Benedict to resign the papacy in his favour.[6] Gregory himself resigned in 1046 because the arrangement he had entered into with Benedict was considered simony. Gregory's successor, Pope Clement II, died in 1047 and Benedict IX became Pope again.
The best-known resignation of a Pope is that of Pope Celestine V in 1294. After only five months of pontificate, he issued a solemn decree declaring it permissible for a Pope to resign, and then did so himself. He lived two more years as a hermit and then prisoner of his successor Pope Boniface VIII and was later canonised. The Papal decree that he issued ended any doubt among canonists about the possibility of a valid Papal resignation.
Pope Gregory XII (1406-1415), resigned in order to end the Western Schism, which had reached the point where there were three claimants to the Papal throne: Roman Pope Gregory XII, Avignon Antipope Benedict XIII, and Pisan Antipope John XXIII. Before resigning he formally convened the already existing Council of Constance and authorized it to elect his successor.
On 11 February 2013, the Vatican announced that Pope Benedict XVI would resign effective 28 February, due to infirmity from advanced age.[7] He is the first pope to resign since Gregory XII in 1415.






MOGADISHU, February 08, 2013 (CISA) -Thousands of land mines and other unexploded ordnance (UXO) scattered in different parts of Somalia during the last decades of conflict are, creating a new source of threat to the security the country, according to a Fides News report. Experts say that Somalia lacks the appropriate equipment for clearing weapons of war.
The eastern border of Somalia-Ethiopia is reported to have many UXOs.
According to the Office of the United Nations that deals with anti-mine actions (UNMAS), there is also a threat from factories that keep explosives, abandoned weapons, ammunition and explosive devices (IEDs). UNMAS argues that most of southern and central Somalia is ridden with explosive remnants of war (ERW).
In 2012, at least eight children died in an explosion in the town of Balad in Middle Shabelle Region. According to UNMAS, in 2011, landmines caused 4% of deaths and injuries in Somalia, while UXO caused 55%. Somalia signed the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention in 2012 that involves the destruction of the remnants of war within four years. In the last five years over 21,461 UXO and landmines have been destroyed in Somalia.


Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
11 Feb 2013

CaSPA's dance team who are off to Los Angeles
Talented singers, dancers and actors from Sydney's Catholic Schools head for Los Angeles next week to showcase their talents during America's four day international Religious Education Congress to be held in Anaheim, right next door to Disneyland.
The 36 youngsters who range in age from 11 to 17 auditioned to be part of the tour of Los Angeles which will perform at several Los Angeles schools culminating in a special performance with John Burland, the Australian-based internationally acclaimed educator and composer of religious music for children and adults. The RE Congress which will be attended by more than 50,000 young people from across the US.
John Burland who is also Project Officer for Liturgy and Music at the Archdiocese of Sydney's Catholic Education Office (CEO) will lead the team from Sydney's Catholic Schools Performing Arts (CaSPA).

The LA tour marks the third time young singers, dancers and actors from Sydney's Catholic schools have headed overseas. This 10 day trip will not only give them a chance celebrate their faith via the performing arts but will also give them an insight into what it takes to be a performer.
CaSPA Musical advisor James Long puts cast members through their paces at last week's rerhearsal
"Before heading to Los Angeles the students will have learned invaluable 'on the job' training. By helping create the show, rehearse, workshop their performances and finally go on stage for the performance itself will teach them an enormous amount and also show them the very real demands a professional artist has to confront," says Iris McGill, Regional Primary CaSPA co-ordinator for CEO.
A member of the team who will travel with the 36 performers to Los Angeles when they fly out of Sydney on Tuesday 19 February, Iris describes the tour as an "incredible opportunity for the CaSPA students to showcase their own and John Burland's talents."
"The trip is chance to join with thousands of other students from across the US to share in Liturgy, workshops and entertainment, to make new friends and to deepen and enrich their faith," she says.
The young cast are currently in the countdown to their final rehearsal this Sunday when, in full costume they will a stage program of songs, dances and dramatic story telling to parents and close family.

Students at last weekend's rehearsal before heading for LA
"The dress rehearsal on Sunday at Southern Cross Vocational College in Burwood will be extra special and will give parents a chance to see just how talented their children are," says Iris.
Although the cast auditioned and were chosen to be part of the group last year, each had to rehearse their individual roles by themselves over the summer break relying on internet downloads from CaSPA to learn the entire two program repertoire and get their routines down pat by the time they returned to school last week.
With students from as many as 18 different schools taking part getting the entire 36 youngsters together to rehearse as a group was too difficult during the summer vacation. So the children each learned what was expected of them and were ready for a full rehearsal of all members when the new term started.
"We held a rehearsal of the program we'll be presenting at the RE Congress last weekend and each of the students taking part arrived knowing exactly what was expected of them and their repertoire. This meant all we had to do was fine tune this and concentrate on the actual staging," Irish says, paying tribute to the young cast's dedication, enthusiasm and professionalism.

Young actors, singers and dancers will showcase their talents at the RE Congress in LA
Although renowned composer- musicians such as John Burland along with outside professionals and CaSPA leaders such as Iris joined together to create the music, design, choreography and program to be performed by the Years 6 to Year 12 students, the cast themselves were involved every step of the way and encouraged to give input and suggestions, many of which are now part of the show.
In addition to giving performances at the RE Congress on 22 and 23 February as well as performances at LA schools on 25 February, the students will also have a chance to enjoy themselves as tourists with planned visits to Disneyland, Universal Studios and Knotts Berry Farm as well as a chance to see the famed basketball team, the LA Lakers play. In addition the cast will take in a performance of Jekyll and Hyde: The Musical at Los Angeles' famed Pantages Theatre.



by Mathias Hariyadi
The Toraja Mamassa attacked in Makassar, the provincial capital. Three unidentified persons hurled crude bombs against the front of the building, which suffered minor damage, no one has so far claimed responsibility. The authorities have tightened security levels in the area.

Jakarta (AsiaNews) - A group of unknown assailants attacked the Protestant Church Toraja Mamassa in Makassar, the capital of the Indonesian province of South Sulawesi with Molotov cocktails. The episode took place at 4 this morning and so far, nothing is known of the authors of the act and there are no official claims. In an attempt to set it on fire, the unknown assailants caused minor damage to the building. Investigators are focusing on Islamic extremist factions in the area, but there is no physical evidence so far.

Local authorities have tightened controls and the level of security around the Christian place of worship and throughout the area. Local witnesses reported that, in the night, three unidentified people hurled Molotov cocktails at the building, then they hastily abandoned the scene of the crime. The act has caused minor damage to the walls of the structure.

The area of ​​Makassar has long enjoyed peace and tranquility, without serious incidents linked to Islamic fundamentalism or religious tensions. However, towards the end of last year the situation changed so much that the authorities had to raise the alert level. In November, an Islamic extremist faction targeted the governor of South Sulawesi Sahrul Yasril Limpo, targeting him with a rudimentary bomb during a sporting event. In early January 2013 two members of a Muslim extremist group engaged in a shootout with police inside a mosque. The battle ended with the death of two terrorists.

From 1997 to 2001 the island of Sulawesi and the nearby Moluccas were the scene of a bloody Muslim-Christian conflict. Thousands of victims and houses were razed to the ground, hundreds of churches and mosques destroyed, and almost half a million people made refugees, of which 25 thousand in Poso alone. On 20 December 2001 a truce was signed between the two sides in Malino, South Sulawesi, through a peace plan promoted by the government. However, the truce has not stopped sporadic episodes of terror against innocent victims. Among the various cases the beheading of three girls on their way to school, at the hands of Islamic extremists in October 2005 (see . AsiaNews 29/10/2005 Indonesia: three Christian schoolgirls beheaded) raised global indignation.



Mark 6: 53 - 56

53 And when they had crossed over, they came to land at Gennes'aret, and moored to the shore.
54 And when they got out of the boat, immediately the people recognized him,
55 and ran about the whole neighborhood and began to bring sick people on their pallets to any place where they heard he was.
56 And wherever he came, in villages, cities, or country, they laid the sick in the market places, and besought him that they might touch even the fringe of his garment; and as many as touched it were made well.


Mark 6: 53 - 56
53 And when they had crossed over, they came to land at Gennes'aret, and moored to the shore.
54 And when they got out of the boat, immediately the people recognized him,
55 and ran about the whole neighborhood and began to bring sick people on their pallets to any place where they heard he was.
56 And wherever he came, in villages, cities, or country, they laid the sick in the market places, and besought him that they might touch even the fringe of his garment; and as many as touched it were made well.