Wednesday, February 20, 2013

NOVENA FOR POPE BENEDICT XVI AND ELECTION OF A NEW POPE - SHARE



Share - Novena Prayers for Pope Benedict and the Election of a New Pontiff
Heavenly father, Your Providence guides the Church and the successor to St. Peter, Pope Benedict XVI. May he be protected at all times from spiritual attacks so that he may lead Your Church to greater holiness and unity through your Holy Spirit.
We invoke our Mother Mary, united in prayer with the disciples in the Upper Room, to intercede for our cardinals to select the next Holy Father in docility to the promptings of the Holy Spirit, her divine Spouse. With Mary, Mother of God and of the Church, we entrust this conclave to your maternal and Immaculate Heart, and offer these prayers for your guidance and protection over the choosing of the next Vicar of your Son. (Section from Dr. Miravelli)
Prayer for the Pope:
Let us pray for Benedict, the pope.
May the Lord preserve him,
give him a long life,
make him blessed upon the earth,
and not hand him over
to the power of his enemies.
May your hand be upon your holy servant.
And upon your son, whom you have anointed.
Prayer of St. Benedict
Gracious and holy Father,
please give to our Pope, his successor and 
to we the faithful:
intellect to understand you;
reason to discern you;
diligence to seek you;
wisdom to find you;
a spirit to know you;
a heart to meditate upon you;
ears to hear you;
eyes to see you;
a tongue to proclaim you;
a way of life pleasing to you;
patience to wait for you;
and perseverance to look for you.
Grant your servant the 
Pope, his successor and we the faithful:
a perfect end,
your holy presence.
A blessed resurrection,
And life everlasting.
Our Father...
Hail Mary...
Glory Be...
Amen.

VATICAN : NEW BOOK OF RATZINGER'S COMMUNIO WRITINGS AND OTHER NEWS

FR. LOMBARDI ON THE POSSIBILITY OF A MOTU PROPRIO
Vatican City, 20 February 2013 (VIS) – The director of the Holy See Press Office, Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J., responding to journalists' questions, commented that the Holy Father is considering the publication of a Motu Proprio in the coming days, obviously before the beginning of the Sede Vacante, to clarify a few particular points regarding the Apostolic Constitution on the conclave that have arisen over the last years.
"I don't know if he will deem it necessary or appropriate," he added, "to elucidate the question of the opening date of the conclave. We will have to see if and when a document is published. It seems to me, for example, the clarification of some details in order to be in complete agreement with another document regarding the conclave, that is, the Ordo Rituum Conclavis. In any case, the question depends on the Pope's judgement and if this document comes about it will be made known through the proper channels." (Image source: GOOGLE) 
JOSEPH RATZINGER'S ANTHROPOLOGICAL WRITINGS FOR "COMMUNIO" GATHERED IN NEW BOOK
Vatican City, 20 February 2013 (VIS) – Fourteen texts with an anthropological theme written by Joseph Ratzinger between 1972 and 2005?before being elected Pope?are being published in the volume "Joseph Ratzinger in Communio: Anthropology and Culture (Michigan/Cambridge, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2013), edited by David L. Schindler and Nicholas J. Healy. The texts?articles and contributions?address, among others, themes such as humanity between reproduction and creation; Jesus Christ today; the meaning of Sunday; hope, technological security understood as a problem of social ethics; and God in John Paul II's "Crossing the Threshold of Hope".
As reported by "L'Osservatore Romano", the connecting theme in the Pope's writings is that they been published or re-edited in the American edition of the international Catholic periodical "Communio". This is the second volume dedicated to Joseph Ratzinger's texts, the first of which, "Joseph Ratzinger in Communio: The Unity of the Church" was released in 2010, and was also edited by David L. Schindler. The plan, as Schindler explains in the introductory note in the second volume, is to republish all of Cardinal Ratzinger's articles that appeared in the American edition of "Communio", from its first edition in 1974. Despite the difficulty in clearly establishing the boundaries of their areas, the writings have been grouped into three major categories: Church, anthropology, and theological renewal.
"Communio" is an international journal on theology and culture published quarterly. It was founded in 1972 by various theologians including Hans Urs von Balthasar, Henri de Lubac, Jean-Luc Marion and Joseph Ratzinger himself.
SECAM: COMMON GOOD, RESPECT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS, AND GOOD GOVERNMENT ARE SOCIAL ELEMENTS OF GOSPEL MESSAGE
Vatican City, 20 February 2013 (VIS) – "Governance, Common Good, and Democratic Transitions in Africa" is the title of the Pastoral Letter prepared by the Symposium of Episcopal Conferences in Africa and Madagascar (SECAM)?the organization gathering all the Catholic bishops of that continent?presented in Accra, Ghana by Cardinal Polycarp Pengo, archbishop of Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania and president of SECAM.
The Pastoral Letter, following after Benedict XVI's post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation "Africae Munus", emphasized that "the Church cannot remain indifferent and isolated in the face of Africa’s socio-political and economic challenges, and notes that "the common good, the respect for human rights, and the promotion of good government are essential elements of the Gospel message."
Recalling the Church's prophetic mission, the text states that "the justice that the prophets demanded is not abstract; it is very practical, down-to-earth actions, which take place to ensure that the weak are protected from abuse, that the poor have what they need, and that the socially disadvantaged are cared for. It means giving to everyone what God has intended for them regardless of any distinction."
The document also comments on the lack of work in many African countries, observing that "The drama of immigration, with a growing number of young people who risk their lives to leave Africa, reflects the depth of the malaise of a continent that is still dragging its feet to provide favourable conditions for the blossoming of her sons and daughters." Also, "the situation of women is another cause for worry. It is SECAM's view that women and men are of equal dignity in their humanity before God, both were created in the image and likeness of God. Therefore we should ensure that all are given the opportunity to play their "specific role in the Church and in society at large."
In regard to good governance in Africa, the bishops of SECAM launched an appeal to all of Africa's political leaders and governments "to see poverty eradication as a priority by using proceeds from the continent's sub-soil natural resources, such as land, and forestry for the development of your countries for the benefit of the whole nation and all its citizens. We implore you not to undermine the fight against corruption. Corruption is a canker destroying our nations."
"The Church," reads the Pastoral Letter, "has been at the heart of all efforts towards better governance. In many countries, during the delicate democratic transitional period of the 1990s, the Church played a clearly visible role of support. Five out of the eight National Transitional Conferences that were organized during this epoch were chaired by Catholic Bishops. This intervention by the Church helped, in many cases, to ensure peaceful democratic transitional processes with a lot of success, through inclusive consultations and dialogue. Many Christians in some volatile situations helped in bringing about peace and reconciliation. The Church has to take her responsibilities in the socio-political domain. She has to be fully involved in the in-depth transformation of our society."
OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS
Vatican City, 20 February 2013 (VIS) – Today, the Holy Father:
- appointed Fr. Jose Mario Angonese as auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Curitiba (area 5,751, population 2,420,151, Catholics 1,790,912, priests 391, permanent deacons 52, religious 1556), Brazil, assigning him the titular see of Giufi. The bishop-elect was born in Unistalda, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil in 1960 and was ordained a priest in 1989. He holds a license in Philosophy with a specialization in Psychopedagogy from the philosophy faculty of Canoas, Brazil. He has served in several pastoral and academic roles for the Diocese of Santa Maria, Brazil most recently as pastor of Ressurreicao parish and rector of the archdiocesan major seminary, Sao Jao Maria Vianney.
- appointed Fr. Daniel Miehm as auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Hamilton (area 16,824, population 2,064,000, Catholics 580,000, priests 224, permanent deacons 32, religious 376), Canada, assigning him the titular see of Gor. The bishop-elect was born in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada in 1960 and was ordained a priest in 1989. He holds a license in Canon Law from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas (Angelicum) in Rome, Italy. He has served in several pastoral roles for the Diocese of Hamilton, most recently as pastor of the new parish St. Benedict in Milton, Ontario and spiritual assistant of the St. Thomas More Lawyer's Guild.

AMERICA : RESOURCES OF PRAYER FOR RESIGNATION OF POPE BENEDICT XVI - BISHOPS CONFERENCE


USCCB RELEASE: LITURGICAL NOTES AND RESOURCE MATERIALS 
FOR USE UPON THE RESIGNATION OF THE POPE
INTRODUCTION
February 13, 2013
(IMAGE SHARE : RADIO VATICANA)
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
With great surprise tinged with sadness, the Church  learned of the resignation of Pope
Benedict XVI.  During his reign, he has been a faithful witness to Christ, and in this decision, he
teaches us with his integrity and humility, putting the needs of the Church first.  Such a message is
most appropriate as we embark once again on the pilgrimage of Lent.
The Secretariat of Divine Worship of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
has prepared these liturgical and musical resources to assist dioceses, parishes, and other groups to
pray for Pope Benedict XVI, to give thanks for his pontificate, and to pray for the Church as we
look to the future and the election of a new Pope.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Rev. Msgr. Richard B. Hilgartner
Executive Director

TABLE OF CONTENTS
INTRODUCTION
Rev. Msgr. Richard B. Hilgartner, Executive Director…………………………………………………………………….. 2
LITURGICAL RESOURCES
Upon the Resignation of Pope Benedict XVI ………………………………………………………………………… 3
During the Time of Election of a New Pope……………………………………………………………………………7
Upon the Election of a New Pope………………………………………………………………………………………….9


USCCB Secretariat of Divine Worship3
Upon News of the Pope’s Resignation
It is appropriate to offer special prayers for Pope Benedict XVI, for his health and well-being, and
in thanksgiving for his service to the Church.  The custom of praying the Our Father, Hail Mary,
and Glory Be to the Father is to be encouraged, especially with school children.  The pope can also
be prayed for in the recitation of the Rosary.
Both the Diocesan Bishop and priests in every parish might consider offering a special Mass for
the Pope. Mass offered by the Diocesan Bishop at the Cathedral or in each Vicariate for the
attendance of as many of the faithful as possible is desirable.  Care should be taken that such a
Mass be celebrated according to the norms of the liturgical calendar.
Prayers to be Used from the Roman Missal
The Roman Missal provides a Mass formulary for a Pope.  It can be found in the section, “Masses
and Prayers for Various Needs and Occasions: 2. For the Pope.”  This Mass is permitted, with
white vestments, on weekdays in Lent “at the direction of the Diocesan Bishop or with his
permission” (General Instruction of the Roman Missal [GIRM], no. 374), but not on the Sundays of
Lent.
Entrance Antiphon Mt 16:18-19
You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church,
and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.
To you I will give the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven.
Collect
O God, who in your providential design
willed that your Church be built
upon blessed Peter, whom you set over the other Apostles,
look with favor, we pray, on Benedict our Pope
and grant that he, whom you have made Peter’s successor,
may be for your people a visible source and foundation
of unity in faith and of communion.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Or:
O God, shepherd and ruler of all the faithful,
look favorably on your servant Benedict,
whom you have set at the head of your Church as her shepherd;
grant, we pray, that by word and example
he may be of service to those over whom he presides4
so that, together with the flock entrusted to his care,
he may come to everlasting life.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Or:
O God, who chose your servant Benedict
in succession to the Apostle Peter
as shepherd of the whole flock,
look favorably on the supplications of your people
and grant that, as Vicar of Christ on earth,
he may confirm his brethren
and that the whole Church may be in communion with him
in the bond of unity, love and peace,
so that in you, the shepherd of souls,
all may know the truth and attain life eternal.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Prayer over the Offerings
Be pleased, we pray, O Lord,
with the offerings presented here
and govern with unfailing protection your holy Church,
together with Benedict our Pope,
whom you have chosen to be her shepherd.
Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon Jn 21:15, 17
Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?
Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.
Prayer after Communion
Having been made sharers at the heavenly table,
we humbly entreat you, Lord:
by the power of this mystery,
strengthen your Church in unity and charity
and, as you have entrusted your servant Benedict with the office of shepherd,
grant him always salvation and protection,
together with the flock entrusted to his care.
Through Christ our Lord.5
The Homily
The homily at this Mass could reflect on the particular ministry of Pope Benedict XVI as an
example to follow, especially as it relates to Lent. Of particular note is the constant theme in Pope
Benedict’s teachings and writings of the need for an authentic personal relationship with Jesus
Christ.  His love for the liturgy as well as his desire to foster an authentic celebration and
participation in the sacred liturgy could be highlighted.  The efforts of the Pontiff to achieve peace
in the world, as well as his ecumenical outreach might be highlighted.  His faithfulness to the
proclamation of the Paschal mystery as well as his constant care, concern and outreach for the
poor, the sick, and oppressed should be central topics.  The homily may also assist the Church to
face this moment in great hope.  If the Diocesan Bishop or celebrating priest has any personal
reflections about the Holy Father, these would be more appropriately offered following the Prayer
after Communion.
Universal Prayer or Prayer of the Faithful
At all the Masses celebrated between now and the election of a new Pope, petitions can be offered
in the Universal Prayer.  The following are provided as suggestions:
 That Pope Benedict XVI may be given the strength needed to complete faithfully and fully
his remaining ministry as our Pope, we pray to the Lord.
 That Pope Benedict XVI, who has served the Church faithfully as Supreme Pontiff, may
find peace and consolation as he turns to a life of prayer for the Church, we pray to the
Lord.
 That the tireless efforts of Pope Benedict XVI in fostering the unity and communion of the
Church may bear fruit in our hearts and among all Christians, we pray to the Lord.
 For Pope Benedict XVI, who preached that God is love and that we are saved in hope, that
he may strengthened in hope and know God’s love for him now and for all eternity, we
pray to the Lord.
The Eucharistic Prayer
In accord with liturgical norms, the Eucharistic Prayer for Various Needs I is appropriately used.
Until 2:00 PM Eastern time, February 28, 2013, the formula for mentioning the name of the Pope
in the Eucharistic Prayer is to be followed as usual.  After that time, during the sede vacante, the
formula is adjusted as follows:
Eucharistic Prayer I (The Roman Canon)
Be pleased to grant her peace,
to guard, unite and govern her
throughout the whole world,
together with N. our Bishop,
and all those who, holding to the truth,
hand on the catholic and apostolic faith.6
Eucharistic Prayer II
Remember, Lord, your Church,
spread throughout the world,
and bring her to the fullness of charity,
together with N. our Bishop
and all the clergy.
Eucharistic Prayer III
May this Sacrifice of our reconciliation,
we pray, O Lord,
advance the peace and salvation of all the world.
Be pleased to confirm in faith and charity
your pilgrim Church on earth,
with N. our Bishop,
the Order of Bishops, all the clergy,
and the entire people you have gained for your own.
Eucharistic Prayer for Various Needs I
Lord, renew your Church (which is in N.)
by the light of the Gospel.
Strengthen the bond of unity
between the faithful and the pastors of your people,
together with N. our Bishop,
and the whole Order of Bishops,
that in a world torn by strife
your people may shine forth
as a prophetic sign of unity and concord.
Other Suggestions
If there is time, prayer cards might be printed with the Pope’s picture and a brief biography on the
back. One of the prayers cited above or another prayer of thanksgiving may be placed on the card.7
During the Time of Election of a New Pope
Once the Pope’s resignation takes effect, both the Diocesan Bishop and priests in every parish
might consider offering a special Mass for the election of the Pope, according to the guidelines of
the liturgical calendar.  Mass offered by the Diocesan Bishop at the Cathedral or in each Vicariate
for the attendance of as many of the faithful as possible is desirable.  The Mass for the Election of
a Pope or a Bishop (found in the section “Masses and Prayers for Various Needs and Occasions” in
the Roman Missal) may be celebrated.  A Votive Mass of the Holy Spirit might also be celebrated,
using, for example, Preface II of the Holy Spirit: “The action of the Spirit in the Church.”  During
weekdays in Lent, these Masses may be celebrated “at the direction of the Diocesan Bishop or with
his permission” (GIRM, no. 374).
Entrance Antiphon 1 Sm 2: 35
I will raise up for myself a faithful priest,
who shall do according to my heart and mind;
I will establish a lasting house for him
and he shall walk before me all his days.
Collect
O God, eternal shepherd,
who govern your flock with unfailing care,
grant in your boundless fatherly love
a pastor for your Church
who will please you by his holiness
and to us show watchful care.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Prayer over the Offerings
May your abundant kindness favor us, O Lord,
that, through the sacred offerings we reverently bring to you,
we may come to rejoice that a pastor pleasing to your majesty
presides over your holy Church.
Through Christ our Lord.
Communion Antiphon Jn 15: 16
I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit, says the Lord,
fruit that will last.8
Prayer after Communion
As we have been renewed, O Lord,
with the supreme Sacrament of salvation,
the Body and Blood of your Only Begotten Son,
may the wondrous grace of your majesty
gladden us with the gift of a shepherd
who will instruct your people by his virtues
and imbue the minds of the faithful with the truth of the Gospel.
Through Christ our Lord.
The proper readings may be found in Volume IV of the Lectionary for Mass, nos. 833–837.
The Homily
The homily could offer the opportunity to reflect on the Petrine ministry and its role within the
Church.  It also affords the homilist an opportunity to instruct the faithful in the relationship
between the local and the universal Church.
The Liturgy of the Hours
Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer may also be celebrated and on days when there is no
obligatory memorial, feasts or solemnities, the closing prayer may be taken from the Mass for the
Election of a Pope or Bishop.
The faithful should be exhorted to offer their private prayers, works and almsgiving for the
successful election of a new Supreme Pontiff.  The simple custom of frequently praying the Our
Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be for this intention is encouraged.  The election of the new Pope
should be prayed for in the recitation of the Rosary.
Universal Prayer or Prayer of the Faithful
Petitions, such as the following, may be offered in the Universal Prayer:
 That the Holy Spirit will inspire and strengthen the Cardinal-electors as they choose a new
Holy Father to lead us, we pray to the Lord.
 That the College of Cardinals in its electoral process may be a worthy vehicle of God’s
grace guiding the Church, we pray to the Lord.
 That the Holy Spirit will work strongly in the next Pope chosen by the College of
Cardinals, we pray to the Lord.9
Upon the Election of a New Pope
Upon the election of the new Pope, both the Diocesan Bishop and priests in every parish might
consider offering a special Mass for the newly elected Pope according to the guidelines of the
liturgical calendar.  Mass offered by the Diocesan Bishop at the Cathedral or in each Vicariate for
the attendance of as many of the faithful as possible is desirable.  If it is the day of the election of
the Pope, then the Mass for the Pope (especially on the anniversary of election) is appropriate.
This Mass cannot be used on the Sundays of Advent, Lent and Easter, solemnities, Ash
Wednesday, and the weekdays of Holy Week.  The Mass text is found in the section, “Masses and
Prayers for Various Needs and Occasions” in the Roman Missal.  (See pages 3-4 above for the texts.)
Again, the faithful should be exhorted to pray for the newly-elected Holy Father in their private
prayers.  The recitation of the Our Father, Hail Mary, and Glory Be for the intentions of the Pope
is encouraged.  The newly-elected Pope should be prayed for in the recitation of the Rosary.
According to custom, gold and white bunting could be affixed above the entrance to the church or
chapel.  Flowers could be placed near the Vatican flag, which might be displayed somewhere
prominently in the narthex or gathering space.
Universal Prayer or Prayer of the Faithful
Some of the following petitions might be used in the Universal Prayer:
 For our new Holy Father, N., that he may be strengthened as he embarks on his ministry of
unity, love and peace, we pray to the Lord.
 That our recently elected Holy Father, N., working together with the bishops of the
Church, may build up the Body of Christ in peace and in joy, we pray to the Lord.
 That our newly elected Holy Father N. may be a champion of the poor, a reconciler of
nations and a force for peace and unity in our world, we pray to the Lord.10
SHARED FROM CATHOLIC BISHOPS CONFERENCE
http://usccb.org/about/leadership/holy-see/pope-benedict-xvi/upload/Pope-Resignation-Resources.pdf

RIP BILLINGS METHOD DR. LYN BILLINGS - AGE 95 - AUSTRALIA

ARCHDIOCESE OF MELBOURNE RELEASE

Monday 18 February 2013
AFTER a lifetime of work in the area of natural fertility, Dr Evelyn Livingston Billings AM, DCSG, MBBS (Melb), DCH (Lond) died on 16 February aged 95 after a short illness.

Her funeral will be held at St Patrick's Cathedral on Thursday 21 February.

See Funeral Details

Dr Lyn  Billings, together with her husband, Dr John Billings, founded the Method of natural fertility regulation which bears their name.

Her studies on breastfeeding mothers and women approaching menopause made a major contribution to the work. For half a century they traveled the world teaching and promoting their Method in faithfulness to Pope Paul VI’s call to “men (and women) of science (and) physicians (to) be obedient to the Lord’s call and to act as faithful interpreters of His plan.”

She was the author of the best selling non-fiction book The Billings Method, first published in 1980. This book was reprinted 16 times with 7 new or revised editions. The latest completely revised edition was published in 2011. Access to this book, published in 22 languages, made the Billings Method a household name and gave hope to millions of couples throughout the world.

Personal friend of three Popes, in 2003 Lyn was made a Dame Commander of St Gregory the Great by Pope John Paul II and she was an active member of the Pontifical Academy for Life.

Dr Lyn Billings was recognized with Honorary Doctorates from universities around the world including an Honoris Causa Degree from Tor Vergata University in Rome in 2005. In 2002 Drs John and Evelyn Billings were jointly declared International Catholic Physicians of the Year by the International Catholic Federation of Medical Associations.

Couples in more than 100 countries bear testament to the wonderful work of this selfless woman and her husband. In China alone, where they trained thousands to teach their Method, a substantial drop in the abortion rate has been attributed to their work.

She is survived by 8 of her 9 children, 39 grandchildren and 31 great grandchildren.

Read an interview with Dr Billings published in Kairos Catholic Journal in May, 2012  here

Funeral Details:
Time: 10 am
Date: Thursday 21 February
Where: St Patrick's Cathedral, Melbourne

As it is the season of Lent and Catholic churches are not adorned with flowers during this time, the family have requested that in lieu of flowers a donation be made to WOOMB International Ltd.  Envelopes for the purpose will be available at the Cathedral.
Vale Dr Lyn Billings

SHARED FROM ARCHDIOCESE OF MELBOURNE

SAUDI ARABIA : 53 CHRISTIANS ARRESTED FOR PRAYING TOGETHER AT HOME

ASIA NEWS REPORT
46 are women, and most likely face deportation. The authorities have accused them of converting Muslims to Christianity. There is no religious freedom in the country: the monarchy allows private worship of other faiths, but the religious police carry out indiscriminate arrests.

Damman (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Saudi Arabia has arrested 53 Ethiopian Christians - 46 women and six men - for holding a prayer meeting in a private home. Police officials have sealed the house and taken the faithful away, accusing the three religious leaders present of attempting to convert Muslims to Christianity. The incident occurred at Dammam, the capital of the Eastern Province of the Kingdom, and dates to February 8, but local sources, linked to the World Evangelical Alliance's Religious Liberty Commission (WEA-Rlc) recently reported the news.
According to the WEA-RLC, Saudi authorities should release two of the Christians who hold residency permits. In all likelihood, all the others will be deported.

Saudi Arabia does not recognize, or protect, any religious expression other than Islam. The religious police (muttawa) carries out controls to eliminate the presence of Bibles, rosaries, Crosses  and Christian assemblies. And even if the royal family allows religious practices other than Islam, at least in private, muttawa agents tend not to differentiate.
This is not the first episode of religious persecution against the Ethiopian community. In December 2011, the Saudi authorities arrested 35 Ethiopian Christians, 29 of them women, charging them with "illegal socialization." In this case, the faithful were detained in the middle of a prayer meeting in a private home in Jeddah. According to Human Rights Watch (HRW), the imprisoned women were subjected to arbitrary "medical inspections".

The city of Dammam, where the accident occurred on February 8, is a major industrial center and port, rich in oil and natural gas.
SHARED FROM ASIA NEWS IT

BRAZIL : HELPING WOMEN WITH EMERGENCY PHONE LINES

Agenzia Fides REPORT – Increasing numbers of Brazilian women are victims of prostitution exploitation, with the complicity of sex tourism which reaches its peak during the Carnival season. During this period with the arrival of numerous foreign tourists, many in search of "sexual adventure", Brazilian women fall easily into the hands of criminal gangs, which exploit them at home and then ‘export’ them abroad for more prostitution.
To address the phenomenon also in view of international Women’s Day on March 8, various initiatives to support women are planned. A report sent to Fides says the first to adhere to the initiative has been the government of Brazil, but organizers expect participation and cooperation from no less than ten countries in North America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.
The inter-institutional anti-crime action, (the Catholic Church in Brazil is also participating) has contacted countries with the highest rate of crimes reported. The aim is to guarantee support for women at risk also outside Brazil. 
In 2012 Brazil’s Centre for Assistance for Women (international exchange 180) received 80 telephone calls from Brazilian women victims living in foreign countries. The service accepts free calls from Brazilian women abroad and has special help lines with 3 countries: Spain, Portugal and Italy.
Brazilian victims of violence living in Spain can call 900 990 055; from Portugal the number is 800 800 550; from Italy the number is 800 172 211. Brazilian women living in Brazil may also contact the Centre for Assistance to Women, by calling 180.
(CE) (Agenzia Fides, 20/02/2013)

TODAY'S MASS ONLINE : WED. FEB. 20, 2013


Luke 11: 29 - 32
29When the crowds were increasing, he began to say, "This generation is an evil generation; it seeks a sign, but no sign shall be given to it except the sign of Jonah.
30For as Jonah became a sign to the men of Nin'eveh, so will the Son of man be to this generation.
31The queen of the South will arise at the judgment with the men of this generation and condemn them; for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and behold, something greater than Solomon is here.
32The men of Nin'eveh will arise at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold, something greater than Jonah is here.

TODAY'S SAINT : FEB. 20 : ST. EUCHERIUS BISHOP


St. Eucherius
BENEDICTINE BISHOP OF ORLEANS
Feast: February 20


     Information:
Feast Day:February 20
Born:
687 AD, Orléans, France
Died:20 February 743
Benedictine Bishop of Orleans, France, exiled for opposing Charles Martel (r. 714-741), the famous and powerful mayor of the palace in the Frankish kingdom. Born in Orleans, Eucherius became a Benedictine at Jumieges about 714 and bishop in 721. He immediately set about protesting Charles Martel's seizure of Church properties. Charles exiled Eucherius to Cologne, Germany, where he became very popular as a result. Eucherius was then held captive in Liege, Belgium, but was allowed to retire to Saint-Trond Abbey near Maastricht, Netherlands, where he died in the monastery. Apparently, he was never reconciled with Charles.
(Taken from Our Sunday Visitor's Encyclopedia of Saints)


source: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/E/steucherius.asp#ixzz1mvJo6fHS

VATICAN : CARDINAL VISITS SYRIAN REFUGEES AND OTHER NEWS

COMMUNIQUE ON CONGREGATION OF CHILDREN OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION
Vatican City, 19 February 2013 (VIS) – After Archbishop Filippo Iannone's apostolic visit to the Congregation of Children of the Immaculate Conception on 15 February, the Holy Father has decided to entrust the regulation of that religious institute to Cardinal Giuseppe Versaldi, president of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See, naming him as the pontifical delegate. As such, Cardinal Versaldi will carry out the task of guiding the religious institute and of bringing the health facilities it runs to a possible economic well-standing, avoiding, however, participation by the Holy See in those tasks, according to a communique published by the Press Office of the Holy See yesterday afternoon.
 
CARDINAL SARAH VISITS SYRIAN REFUGEES IN JORDAN
Vatican City, 19 February 2013 (VIS) - Cardinal Robert Sarah, president of the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum" and Msgr. Giampietro Dal Toso, secretary of that dicastery, are in Jordan from today until Thursday, 21 February, to participate in the regional conference of Caritas in the Middle East, North Africa, and Horn of Africa, which is taking place in that country.
The forum is a very important opportunity to take stock of the humanitarian aid provided by Catholic charities, including Caritas, to refugees and victims of violent conflict in Syria since representatives of all the Caritas organizations of that region, as well as representatives of the local churches, will be present.
"The humanitarian situation in Syria, and throughout the region," a press release from Cor Unum states, "is unsustainable. Some estimates speak of a million refugees, more than two and a half million displaced persons, and almost one hundred thousand deaths directly attributable to violence. There are countless others, whose numbers cannot be quantified, indirectly caused by the general impoverishment of the population, caused mainly by war. The harsh winter is further contributing to this sad situation of suffering of an exhausted people, especially the weakest and most vulnerable on the fringes of society."
During their trip Cardinal Sarah and Msgr. Del Toso will visit centres housing numerous persons who have escaped the fighting in Syria. The visit with the refugees will be organized by Caritas Jordan along with other Catholic charities that deal with humanitarian assistance and intervention. A meeting with King Abdullah of Jordan is also planned for the prelates.
 
OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS
Vatican City, 19 February 2013 (VIS) – Today, the Holy Father appointed Bishop Fabio Martinez Castilla as archbishop of Tuxtla Gutierrez (area 22,629, population 1,280,000, Catholics 997,000, priests 139, religious 337), Mexico. Archbishop Martinez Castilla, previously of the diocese of Ciudad Lazaro Cardenas, Mexico was elected as director of the Dimension for Missionary Outreach at the last plenary assembly of the Mexican Episcopal Conference and is a member of the Permanent Council.

ASIA : PAKISTAN : DEATH TOLL AT 89 WITH ETHNIC CLASHES

ASIA NEWS REPORT
Security forces raided the city this morning, killing four suspected terrorists and arresting seven others. Protests mount against government after February 16 massacre at the general market. In 2012, more than 400 members of the Muslim Shiite minority killed.


Quetta (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Pakistani security forces this morning killed four people and arrested seven others, accused of carrying out repeated attacks on minority Shiite Muslims. According to initial reports the targeted group includes the masterminds of the February  16 massacre of hazaras in Quetta, in which at least 89 people died. The Asian country, a large Sunni Muslim majority, is often the scene of violent attacks against members of minority ethnic groups or religions, even Muslims such as the hazara Shiites, Sufis, Christians, Buddhists and Hindus.

The security forces carried out an extensive operation in the south-western outskirts of Quetta, where fierce protests erupted involving thousands of members of the Shiite minority. Angered by the slaughter of the last few days, they are demanding greater protection and the deployment of the army.  Moreover they are refusing to bury the victims until the government meets their demands despite the Islamic tradition of burying the deceased within 24/48 hours of their death.

This morning's raid, explain the interior minister of Baluchistan and the head of the Border Guards in a joint statement, is part of an "ongoing operation" to target "high-profile people" involved in the death of "a Shiite judge and senior police officers".

One of the masterminds of the February 16 Hazara massacre at the vegetable market in Quetta, in which at least 89 people were killed and another 200 were injured, is reportedly among those targeted in the raid.  The attack was claimed by the Islamic extremist group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), one of the most active and bloodthirsty in the entire nation. The officers also seized bombs, weapons and uniforms. A government delegation is on its way from Islamabad, to attempt mediation to put an end to the Shiite protests involving thousands of people including women and children. Just a few months before elections, discontent with the government is mounting, blamed for allowing insecurity to proliferate and of being unable to stop extremists and the Taliban.

In recent months, there have been several targeted attacks against the Shiite minority in Quetta, the provincial capital of Baluchistan. The local nationalist movements, as well as extremist groups, have adopted the technique of massacres, to force the government to hand over more resources from the exploitation of natural gas and minerals in the subsoil. 2012 was one of the bloodiest years to date for Shiites, with a toll of more than 400 deaths in several attacks, including 125 in the province of Baluchistan alone, home to a large hazara presence.

SHARED FROM ASIA NEWS IT

AUSTRALIA : CATHOLIC HOSPITALS - STRUGGLE WITH $1.5 BILLION IN FUNDING CUTS


Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese REPORT
19 Feb 2013
Catholic Hospitals Care for One in 10 Australians
In the wake of the Federal Government funding cuts, Catholic public hospitals will be forced to reduce as many as 50 beds this year. The hospitals will also have to cut back on elective surgeries, reduce access to Intensive Care Units and terminate staff, says Martin Laverty, CEO of Catholic Health Australia (CHA).
In Treasurer, Wayne Swan's 2012-2013 Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook released in October last year, Catholic public hospitals discovered funding promised in the previous May budget had been reduced by $20 million under the Government's National Health Reform Funding initiative.
Across all public hospitals in all states the discrepancy between the Government's 2012-2013 Budget and the Mid Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook was equally alarming showing an overall reduction in funding of more than  $254 million.
But what is even more worrying is the Commonwealth warning  hospital funding will be slashed by $1.5 billion over the next four years.
The Catholic Church operates 75 hospitals and 550 residential and community aged care services throughout Australia
CHA represents 75 public and private Catholic Hospitals across Australia. On any given day, one in 10 hospital patients is being cared for in a Catholic public or private hospital with Catholic hospitals' 2,300 public beds accounting for around 5% of all of Australia's public beds.
Of the nation's 19 public Catholic hospitals which are operated under contract to State or Territory governments in Qld, NSW, Vic, WA and the ACT, all are privately owned and operated as not-for-profit entities.
"The mission of Catholic services to particularly look after the poor and vulnerable means that Catholic public hospitals will try to avoid reducing services that will impact on those least able to make other arrangements," Mr Laverty says and warns that the extent of the funding cuts "threatens to hurt those within our community who would be most impacted by reductions in availability of public hospital services."
He also takes issue with the belated timing of the funding cuts which came midway through the current financial year.
Martin Laverty Chief Executive Officer of Catholic Health Australia
"Whilst no hospital group is likely to ever welcome reductions in funding as demand for services continues to grow, the way the funding reductions have been imposed part way through the financial year has been particularly difficult to deal with and has magnified their impact," he says.
Although the cuts cover the full financial year, the reductions required by hospitals have to be made in the final six months of the year, multiplying the adverse effect of these cuts.
As Catholic public hospitals are Not-for-Profit and privately owned, their fiduciary duty is to acquit their service funding by "breaking even" and are not able to overrun their allocated  budgets in the hope of a subsequent financial bailout  as has occurred with some State and Territory operated public hospitals.
"As a result cuts to service revenue have to be offset by reductions in service output," he says.
Particularly troubling for Mr Laverty is the fact that after four years of intense health reform effort, where the need to move away from a culture of cost and blame-shifting between different tiers of government was a constant theme, Australia's public health care consumers and health care professionals have once again been impacted by a continuing consequence of poor management of Commonwealth-State financial arrangements.
In his submission to the Senate Standing Committee on Finance Public Administration on the Implementation of Commonwealth's National Health Reform Agreement, lodged late last week, Mr Laverty predicted further reductions in services at Catholic public hospitals would have to be made as a result the Commonwealth's intention to reduce funding further over the next four years.
Catholic hospitals account for 2300 public hospital beds across Australia
"One potential impact of the public hospital funding reductions may be that public hospital managers seek to augment their revenue by treating additional private patients, and indeed are currently incentivised to do so," he writes his submission on behalf of CHA and the nation's Catholic public hospitals. "In the context of shrinking public capacity, the targeting of additional private patients by public hospitals, particularly if it is at the expense of the treatment of public patients will further exacerbate public patient waiting times and further undermine the Medicare principle of universal access to treatment at the time of need, regardless of financial circumstance."
Mr Laverty believes for public hospitals what would ultimately be preferable would be for Australia to move to a system where a single tier of government takes responsibility for funding publicly delivered health services.


SHARED FROM ARCHDIOCESE OF SYDNEY

AMERICA : VENEZUELA : PRIEST SHOT DEAD IN CAR - RIP FR. MENDOZA - AGE 44

Agenzia Fides REPORT - Another Catholic priest has been killed in a Latin American country. Fr. José Ramón Mendoza, age 44, was shot dead in the evening of Sunday 17 February in the Venezuelan state of Lara (about 400 km from Caracas) Fr. Mendoza was driving along the El Manzano road in the district of Iribarren. When he stopped at the traffic lights he was attacked by a gang of bandits. According to information supplied by the police probably the priest’s first reaction was to accelerate, but, fatally wounded with a shot to the head, he was found dead at the crossing of via Uruguay and via La Riberena.
The first news of the tragic event published by the local El Informador newspaper, said the crime would appear to be an attempted car theft which ended in tragedy. Local authorities have opened an enquiry to establish what actually happened.
A report sent to Fides said that Fr José Mendoza was the parish priest at San Juan Evangelista parish, in the Brisas District of El Obelisco.
The Archbishop of Barquisimeto, Archbishop Antonio José López Castillo, who went to the morgue to identify the body, said, addressing some local Catholics who had gathered at the site: "Fr. Mendoza was a man of prayer. Violence is never a way forward. They have taken the life of a minister of God. They have taken the life of an innocent man".
The archdiocese has issued a statement calling for respect for human life, and urging the authorities to put an end to all violence.
In 2010 a Catholic priest was killed in the state of Bolivar. Since the beginning of this year 2013, a total number of 4 priests have been killed in Latin America. (see Fides 05/02/2013). (CE) (Agenzia Fides, 19/2/2013)

EUROPE : 675 PEOPLE JOIN THE CATHOLIC JOIN AT CATHEDRAL

IND. CATH. NEWS REPORT
675 adults formally elect to become Catholic  at Westminster Cathedral | Rite of Election, Westminster Cathedral

Bishop Alan Hopes with some RCIA candidates

On the weekend of 16 & 17 February, 675 people from 115 parishes in the Diocese of Westminster underwent the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults’ (RCIA) Rite of Election in Westminster Cathedral.

During the Rite of Election the 675 adults made a public commitment to entering into the communion with the Catholic Church. Presiding over the ceremony was Bishop Alan Hopes, along with Bishops John Arnold, John Sherrington and Canon Paschal Ryan, Episcopal Vicar in the Diocese.

At Easter, of those adults undergoing RCIA, 335 will receive the sacraments of Confirmation and the Holy Eucharist, and 340 adults will be baptised.

Bishop Alan praised those undergoing the Rite of Election saying: “Election is a translation of a Latin word for chosen. Today you are being elected, chosen, called to salvation...Along with the whole Church, this Lent is a time for you to be renewed through an examination of your lives and a deepening of your commitment to God. We are called to turn to the Lord - we are called to holiness – we are called to be saints.”

Antony Curran, Director of Catechetics said: “RCIA, the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, is an exciting process by which adults become members of the Catholic Church, and through the Church deepen their relationship with Jesus Christ. It is a process of prayer, discussions, study and celebration. “

“The RCIA process helps assimilate adult men and women into the Catholic way of life so that they can comfortably pray and serve with the Catholic community. It is not a hurried process, but a deliberate, personal process of growth and understanding that takes as long as it takes. Typically, the process takes about 9 months to one year - but it may be longer if that is what a person is more comfortable with.”

Canon Stuart Wilson, Dean of the parishes of Kensington & Chelsea, who presented the Candidates and Catechumens from his Deanery, said of the meaning of the service to the wider Catholic Church: “What you see speaks volumes. A Cathedral full of enthusiastic people, many of them young adults, publically proclaiming that they want to become Catholics. It will be the same at the second Celebration. 700 people happy to be Catholics. Our Church is blessed indeed.”
The Church of Mary, Mother of God in Ponders End had 14 Catechumens and seven Candidates. Speaking about why people had chosen to undergo the RCIA programme to become Catholics, Parish priest Fr John B Shewring said: “Many of this year’s RCIA Group had already been coming to our church for some time. For them having experienced the faith, the worship and the life of the Church, there was a desire to know more about the Church and its teaching. Others had been touched by the faith of friends or partners and wanted to experience more.
Having spoken on several occasions to the members of our RCIA programme and who had been part of our community for some time it was easy to discover that there was a deep yearning within them to be fully committed to the faith and to receive the Sacraments of the Church – particularly the Eucharist.”

Because of the large numbers of people taking part,  with their parish priests, catechists, familes and friends,  the Rite of Election was held in two services -  at 3pm on Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 February at Westminster Cathedral.

The ’Rite of Election’ is an ancient ceremony for adults choosing to be Catholics. The ceremony sees both Catechumens (those who are preparing to be baptised) and Candidates (those who are already baptised in another Christian tradition) being “sent forth” by their bishops to prepare to be received into parish churches across the Diocese of Westminster at Easter.

Bishop Alan Hope’s full homily from the service is available below:

“Each year, on the First Sunday of Lent, the Church recalls the forty days the Lord spent in the desert in preparation for his mission which would lead to his Passion, Death and Resurrection. The Church also recalls the devil’s efforts to tempt Jesus away from his path of obedience to God.

This time of forty days is foreshadowed in the journey of the people of Israel through the desert to the Promised Land, after their exodus from Egypt. This journey took forty years. Unlike the people of Israel, Jesus does not cry out to God in anger when he is hungry. Nor does he give up his vocation of obedience to the one true God, by succumbing to the flattery of the devil in the hope that he would give him effortless power and fame. Nor does he become a slave to the devil by testing God.

The Lord’s resolute courage in standing up to the devil comes at a great cost. His obedience to his Father in the wilderness already foreshadows that obedience which will lead him to the Cross.

Lent, then, is not simply our attempt to imitate Jesus in resisting temptation. It is an opportunity to journey with Him to the Cross. For in the Cross is our salvation. In one of his letters, St Paul calls the Cross a stumbling block for many but, he says, to those who are called, the Cross is the power of God and the wisdom of God.

Dear Catechumens and Candidates, dear brothers and sisters, these words are addressed to you! This Rite of Election which we celebrate today is a celebration of your hope and trust in Jesus Christ, to whom you turn for salvation. The word, Election is a translation of a Latin word for chosen. Today you are being elected, chosen, called to salvation. The Church rejoices with you as she numbers you amongst all those who have been called and chosen. These holy days of Lent are a time of final preparation which will reach their climax at the great Vigil of Easter when those of you who are Catechumens will be baptised, and then together with the Candidates will be confirmed and receive the Eucharist for the first time.

Along with the whole Church, this Lent is a time for you to be renewed through an examination of your lives and a deepening of your commitment to God. We are called to turn to the Lord - we are called to holiness – we are called to be saints.

This is not just for special people – but for all of us! How do we become holy? We have to strive to become like Jesus Christ, the Son of God - to imitate the One who gave his life to God and for his neighbour.

Holiness is rooted in the Sacrament of Baptism. Baptism moulds us into the likeness of Jesus Christ. Baptism gives us a share in the life of God himself.

Striving to become like Jesus Christ is a great challenge. There will be moments when we will be tempted, like the Lord, to give up and to take the easy way out! But take courage, for God’s grace is always given to us to strengthen us and especially in the sacraments. As we seek to become holy, we are actually learning to rely on and trust in that grace and to co-operate with God. Because this is what holiness is – a lifelong journey of seeking God through his Son Jesus Christ.

Today marks one step for you on this lifelong journey.

During this special Year of Faith, Pope Benedict has invited the Church to ponder more deeply on the treasure of the Faith we have received. You have been doing this during your time of preparation. This is the Faith which you will embrace at Easter. This is the Faith which the Church guards and cherishes. It is also something which she hands on to and shares with every generation.
As Jesus said to those first disciples whom he had called and chosen : You will be my witnesses, to the ends of the earth. He will address these words to you at the moment of your Baptism and Confirmation.

Dear Catechumens and Candidates, dear friends, throughout your lives Jesus will call you to live lives of holiness - to become saints. He will offer you God’s grace to strengthen you - through prayer, through the Mass, through the Sacraments, the Scriptures, the teachings of the Church, the commandments that give life and through all the opportunities to serve and to love others as Christ loves you.”

You have indeed been called and chosen. You are indeed the elect of Jesus Christ. And you too will become his witnesses in the world.
In cathedrals around the UK, more than 3,000 people took part in the RCIA this year. The total numbers will be published after Easter. For more information, and prelimnary statistics see: http://www.catholicnews.org.uk/rite-of-election-2013
 Source: Archbishops House
SHARED FROM IND. CATH. NEWS 

TODAY'S MASS ONLINE : TUES. FEB. 19 , 2013


Matthew 6: 7 - 15
7"And in praying do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard for their many words.
8Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
9Pray then like this: Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
10Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, On earth as it is in heaven.
11Give us this day our daily bread;
12And forgive us our debts, As we also have forgiven our debtors;
13And lead us not into temptation, But deliver us from evil.
14For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father also will forgive you;
15but if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

TODAY'S SAINT : FEB. 19 : ST. CONRAD PIACENZA


St. Conrad of Piacenza
CONFESSOR
Feast: February 19


Information:
Feast Day:February 19
Born:
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)




source: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsHoly/saints/C/stconradofpiacenza.asp#ixzz1mph8Xrsl

VATICAN : POPE ASKS "CONTINUE TO PRAY FOR ME AND FOR THE NEXT POPE "

SPIRITUAL EXERCISES IN THE VATICAN
Vatican City, 17 February 2013 (VIS) – At 6:00pm today, the first day of Lent, the spiritual exercises of the Roman Curia, which the Holy Father participates in, began in the Redemptoris Mater Chapel of the Vatican's Apostolic Palace. The Lenten exercises will conclude on Saturday morning, 23 February. This year the meditations are led by Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture.
During the retreat all papal audiences are suspended, including the weekly general audience of Wednesday, 20 February.
 
POPE: AT CORE OF TEMPTATION ALWAYS LIES INSTRUMENTALIZATION OF GOD
Vatican City, 17 February 2013 (VIS) – More than one hundred and fifty thousand people attended Benedict XVI's second-to-last Angelus in St. Peter's Square today. The Pope, who appeared at the window of his study at noon, focuses his Sunday meditation on Lent, "a time of conversion and penitence in preparation for Easter."
"The Church, who is mother and teacher," he said, "calls on all of her members to renew their spirit, to reorient themselves toward God, renouncing pride and selfishness in order to live in love. In this Year of Faith, Lent is a favourable time to rediscover faith in God as the fundamental criterion of our lives and the life of the Church. This always implies a struggle, spiritual combat, because the spirit of evil, naturally, opposes our sanctification and tries to turn us from God's path. … Jesus, after having received 'investiture' as the Messiah?'anointed' by the Spirit?at his Baptism in the Jordan, was led by the same Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil. On beginning his public ministry, Jesus had to unmask and reject the false images of the Messiah proposed to him by the tempter. But these temptations are also the false images of humanity that have always harassed our consciences, disguising themselves as convenient and effective, even good proposals."
"The core of these temptations," Benedict XVI explained, "always consists in instumentalizing God for our own interests, giving more importance to success or material goods. The tempter is sly: he doesn't push us directly toward evil, but toward a false good, making us believe that power and that which satisfies our basic needs are the true realities. In this way, God becomes secondary; He is reduced to a means, becomes unreal, no longer counts, disappears. In the final analysis, faith is what is at stake in temptation because God is at stake. In the decisive moments of our lives, but on closer inspection in every moment, we are faced with a choice: do we want to follow the 'I' or God? Do we want to seek out selfish interests or the true Good, that which is truly good?"
"As the Church Fathers teach us, temptation forms part of Jesus' 'descent' into our human condition, into the abyss of sin and its consequences. It is a descent that Jesus follows to its very end, even to death on the cross and the hell of extreme distance from God. … As St. Augustine teaches, Jesus has taken temptation from us in order to give us victory over it. Therefore we too have no fear of facing the battle against the spirit of evil. What is important is that we face it with him, with Christ the Victor," the pontiff concluded.
After the Marian prayer the Pope thanked everyone for their prayers and affection, which he has felt in these days. "I ask," he said, "that you continue to pray for me and for the next Pope, as well as for the spiritual exercises that I will begin with the members of the Roman Curia this afternoon." He also greeted the "beloved city of Rome", seeing that among those filling St. Peter's Square there was a delegation from the municipality headed by the mayor.
 
AUDIENCE WITH ITALIAN PRIME MINISTER
Vatican City, 16 February 2013 (VIS) – This afternoon at 6:00pm, the Pope received Senator Mario Monti, Prime Minister of the Italian Republic, in a private farewell audience that, according to a communique published today, was both particularly cordial and intense.
Prime Minister Monti expressed once again the gratitude and affection of the Italian people for the Holy Father's high-minded religious and moral teaching, for his attention to social problems, and for sharing the hopes of Italy and Europe.
 
HOLY SEE AND GUATEMALA: COOPERATION TO RESOLVE SOCIAL PROBLEMS
Vatican City, 16 February 2013 (VIS) - This morning, the Holy Father received in audience Mr. Otto Fernando Perez Molina, president of the Republic of Guatemala. President Perez Molina then met with Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, S.D.B., secretary of State of His Holiness, accompanied by Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States.
The cordial relations between the Holy See and Guatemala were evident during the talks, as well as the appreciation for the Church's unique contribution in that country's development, especially in the areas of education, the promotion of human and spiritual values, and social and charitable activity. The latter has been particularly evident during, among other situations, the recent earthquake that affected the Guatemalan people.
Later in the conversations, the need to continue working together in solving social problems of poverty, drug trafficking, organized crime, and emigration was agreed upon and, in conclusion, talk also turned to the importance of the defence of human life from the moment of conception.
 
RENEWAL OF COMMISSION OF CARDINALS FOR THE IOR
Vatican City, 16 February 2013 (VIS) – Today the Holy Father renewed, for a five-year period, the Commission of Cardinals for oversight of the Institute for the Works of Religion (IOR).
The new oversight commission is composed of: Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, S.D.B., secretary of State (president of the commission); Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue; Cardinal Odilo Pedro Scherer, archbishop of Sao Paulo, Brazil; Cardinal Telesphore Placidus Toppo, archbishop of Ranchi, India; and Cardinal Domenico Calcagno, president of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See (APSA), who takes the place of Cardinal Attilio Nicora, president of the Financial Information Authority (AIF).
 
AUDIENCES
Vatican City, 16 February 2013 (VIS) – Today, the Holy Father received in separate audiences:
- Mr. Otto Perez Molina, president of the Republic of Guatemala, with his wife and entourage,
- thirteen prelates from the Lombardy region of the Italian Episcopal Conference on their "ad limina" visit:
Cardinal Angelo Scola, archbishop of Milan, with auxiliaries:
Bishop Erminio De Scalzi, titular of Arbanum,
Bishop Luigi Stucchi, titular of Horrea,
Bishop Mario Enrico Delpini, titular of Stephaniacum, as well as:
Cardinal Dionigi Tettamanzi, archbishop emeritus of Milan and apostolic administrator of Vigevano, and
Bishop Giovanni Giudici of Pavia,
Bishop Dante Lafranconi of Cremona,
Bishop Luciano Monari of Brescia,
Bishop Giuseppe Merisi of Lodi,
Bishop Diego Coletti of Como,
Bishop Francesco Beschi of Bergamo,
Bishop Oscar Cantoni of Crema,
Bishop Roberto Busti of Mantova, and
- Senator Mario Monti, prime minister of the Republic of Italy.
 
OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS
Vatican City, 16 February 2013 (VIS) - Today, the Holy Father appointed:
Fr. Wieslaw Krotki, O.M.I., as bishop of Churchill-Baie d'Hudson (area 2,300,000, population 32,090, Catholics 8,570, priests 10, religious 2), Canada. The bishop-elect was born in Istebna, now in the Silesia Province of southern Poland in 1964 and was ordained a priest in 1990. Immediately after ordination for the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate in Obra, Poland, he was sent to the missions in the Great North of Canada where he has served in several roles for the order and to various missions. From 1999 to 2005 he was superior of the Oblate Delegation of Hudson Bay and, since 2001, has been a missionary to the Inuit community of Igloolik. He succeeds Bishop Reynald Rouleau, O.M.I., whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.
Fr. Titus Joseph Mdoe as auxiliary bishop of Dar-es-Salaam (area 40,000, population 5,329,000, Catholics 1,618,000, priests 262, religious 712), Tanzania. The bishop-elect was born in Lushoto, Tanga, Tanzania in 1961 and was ordained a priest in 1986. He has served in several pastoral and administrative roles for the Diocese of Tanga, Tanzania, and from 2010 has been the deputy principal for Administration and Finance at Stella Maris Mtwara University College constituency of St. Augustine University in the Diocese of Mtwara, Tanzania. The Holy Father has assigned him the Titular See of Bahanna.
Archbishop Aldo Cavalli as apostolic nuncio to Malta. Archbishop Cavalli, titular of Vibo Valentia, was previously apostolic nuncio to Colombia.