Saturday, April 6, 2013


Vatican Radio report: Pope Francis on Sunday April 7th 2013 takes possession of his Cathedral, the Archbasilica of Saint John Lateran. 

As we know the prime title of Pope Francis is 'Bishop of Rome', a role he has emphasised on many an occasion during the past month. Beginning at the start of his pontificate when he said: 
" ...the diocesan community of Rome has its Bishop and now let us begin this journey: bishops and people - this journey of the the Church of Rome which presides in Charity over all the Churches".

As Father James F. Puglisi Minister General of the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement tells us, Saint John Lateran was the seat of the head of the local Church: "... so this title is a very important ecclesiastical title because it's a sacramental title..." 

And so on Sunday Pope Francis will take possession of his cathedral, a Church founded here in Rome by the two Apostles Peter and Paul and sanctified by the lives of many martyrs.


Roger Joseph Ebert died on April 4, 2013, due to complications from Thyroid Cancer. He was born on June 18, 1942 in Urbana, Illinois, USA. He is most famous for his show of movie critiquing entitled "Siskel and Ebert". That show ended in 1999 when Gene Siskel died with a brain tumor. Ebert continued the show with co-host Richard Roeper until 2006. He worked for the Chicago Sun-Times from 1967-2013 as a film critic. Ebert was an author, journalist, film critic and screenwriter. 
In 1992 he married Chaz Hammelsmith. The two had no children together. His ancestry was German, Dutch and Irish. He was diagnosed with Thyroid cancer in 2002 and underwent surgery in 2006 which left him unable to eat or speak. He therefore continued to work by writing. He was the first film critic to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He won the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism. As a child he was deeply affected by the education he received from Nuns in a Catholic Elementary school. 
He writes, 
"I received a first-rate education. At St. Mary's Grade School in Champaign, one block across Wright street from Urbana, were we taught by Dominican nuns who knew their subjects cold, gave us their full-time attention, were gifted teachers and commanded order and respect in the classroom." (Source:
He also served as an altar boy. (pictured in middle) (Images shared from GOOGLE)
He was open about his opinion of Pro-Life issues, "My choice is to not support abortion, except in cases of a clear-cut choice between the lives of the mother and child. A child conceived through incest or rape is innocent and deserves the right to be born." 


Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
4 Apr 2013
Chair of the Royal Commission Justice Peter McClellan
The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Sexual Abuse began in Melbourne yesterday with Chairman Justice Peter McClellan saying the volume of evidence and scope of the inquiry was so large it was unlikely the process would be finished by the end of 2015, as the government had forecast.
More than 5,000 people may seek to tell their stories to the Royal Commissioners.
Justice McClellan said for the individuals who have been traumatised, giving an account of their experience and telling their story can be an important part of their own recovery process.
During his formal opening address Justice McClellan said; "The Royal Commission's Terms of Reference are broad-ranging. They are not confined as to the time at which a person says he or she was abused and the definition of institution is broad. It extends from the organised churches through to schools, children centres and recreational bodies. It also includes any state-run institution providing residential care for children and each of the state departments and non-government organisations responsible for organising and supervising foster care arrangements."
The Commission has already received about 1,200 phone calls from people who want to speak to the Commission on a wide range of issues and experiences. Many do not want their account reported in public so arrangements have been made for the six commissioners to travel to different parts of Australia to listen to individual stories.
Justice McClellan said their findings and recommendations will be made public but they must try to ensure that no person who has suffered from abuse is further damaged by the Commission's process.
The commission has already moved to seek relevant documents from some organisations including the Catholic Church, the Salvation Army and the New South Wales Director of Prosecutions.
Royal Commission could go well beyond the 2015, the date set by the Federal Government.
Justice McClellan said; "The Commission welcomes the response from the Catholic Church, which has repeated on a number of occasions, that it will fully cooperate with the Commission. We have had discussions with the Chief Executive of the Truth, Justice and Healing Council and we understand that the work of collecting and organising the documents held by the Catholic Church in its various manifestations has commenced. It is an enormous task."
The Commission is not a prosecutorial body. Its investigative processes will be used to receive and consider accounts by individuals of their experience when living within or when they were associated with an institution.. The Commission is not tasked with determining whether any person may be entitled to compensation for any injury which they may have suffered. It is required by the Terms of Reference to make recommendations as to changes which may be made to laws, policies, practices and systems to better protect against and respond to child sexual abuse in an institutional context. To aid this the Commission has formed a research arm which will look at previous reports in relation to child sexual abuse and undertake work to identify the most effective manner of responding to the problem.
The Commission will now proceed to gather documentation and begin to analyse and put the information together and develop a program of private sessions followed by public hearings.


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Archbishop Nichols joins faith leaders’ call for action on global poverty | Archbishop Vincent Nichols, the Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Justin Welby, Financial Times, Millennium Development Goals, MDGs

 G8 Convention on Tax Transparency

Archbishop Nichols
Archbishop Vincent Nichols, the Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Justin Welby,  together with 60 religious leaders from across the G8 countries,  have called on Heads of Government to follow the UK in fulfilling existing commitments to spend 0.7% of national income on aid, in a letter to the Financial Times.  They point out that from Friday 5 April, 1000 days remain to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by the 2015 deadline.
In the letter,  the religious leaders argue for a G8 Convention on Tax Transparency committing signatory countries to prevent individuals and companies from hiding wealth so that it is untraceable. Further, they call on the G8 to press for greater financial transparency from governments of developing countries so citizens can hold their governments to account for the money they spend.
‘Development is working but challenges remain,’ the letter points out. ‘The number of people living in extreme poverty has been halved ahead of time and 14,000 fewer children die each day than in 1990. Yet one in eight people still goes to bed hungry every night and more than 2 million die of malnutrition each year.’
The financial crisis may be a reason but is not an excuse for hesitation or deferral of countries aid commitments the letter states. "Reaching a purposeful consensus on these areas won’t be easy. But, if the political will and moral leadership is forthcoming, this year’s G8 could help to create an environment that encourages the conditions for inclusive, equitable and sustainable economic growth – conditions that are desperately needed if we are to realise the MDGs and even greater things beyond."
Christian Aid’s Senior Adviser on Poverty and Inequality, Helen Dennis, welcomed the intervention from faith leaders: "The MDGs have guided a huge amount of work to tackle global poverty, but will expire in 2015, precisely 1000 days from Friday April 5, 2013. And there is nothing to replace them. Without a new plan in place, political leaders could relegate tackling poverty to a 'nice to have' rather than a 'must do'. It is vital that David Cameron and the G8 make this a priority at their meeting in June, which this year is being held in the UK.
"They need to focus on promoting financial transparency and tackling tax dodging in developing countries which cost them $160 billion a year - much more than they receive in aid. The Prime Minister and his fellow world leaders have an opportunity to create a new global plan to tackle poverty and protect the planet."
To read the full letter, follow the links on the Christian Aid website here:
 For more information about the Millennium Development Goals see:
You can follow the twitter conversation at #1000DaysToGo


Agenzia Fides REPORT - The Air Force of Khartoum continues to bomb villages of the Nuba Mountains in South Kordofan, State of Sudan on the border with South Sudan, where a strong military confrontation has long been opposing the Sudanese army to the fighters of the SPLM -N (Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North).
According to a spokesperson of the SPLM-N, quoted by Sudan Radio Network, between March 31 and April 1, the Sudanese planes launched 17 bombs on several villages in the area. According to the report entitled "New War, Old Enemies: Conflict Dynamics in South Kordofan" of the organization Small Arms Survey, aerial bombingt do not bring significant advantages at a military level to the troops of Khartoum in the ongoing fighting, but aim to terrorize civilians, forcing them to flee. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 05/04/2013)


by Nirmala Carvalho
The ceremony took place yesterday in Ettumanoor (Kerala), his native village. Thousands of people, including priests and lay people, wanted to bid a final farewell to a man of faith and "true witness" of Christ. Police investigations are continuing, according to which the murderers are "acquaintances" of Fr. Thomas.

Bangalore (AsiaNews) - Thousands of faithful yesterday afternoon attended the funeral of Fr. Thomas, the rector of the seminary in Bangalore (Karnataka) killed on the night between Easter Sunday and Easter Monday. The function took place in the church of St. Joseph in Ettumanoor (Kerala), his native village, and was presided by Mar Mathew Moolakkatt OSB, Syro-Malabar Archbishop of Kottayam, along with many other prelates and priests who took turns at leading the ceremonies in memory of the murdered priest. His body was buried at St. Joseph Knanaya Church Cemetry, in Kottayam district, and since the early hours of yesterday morning thousands of people - bishops, priests, nuns, lay people - have been paying their respects.
During his homily at the funeral, Auxiliary Bishop Mar Joseph Pandarasseril recalled the friendship and the bond that the community had with Fr. KJ Thomas, who was greatly appreciated both in the seminary and throughout the diocese. He cared about the fate of his seminarians and was "a true witness" of the Christian faith. The prelate asked people to "pray for the conversion" of the perpetrators and those who "have committed so cruel an act."
Meanwhile, Bangalore police investigations continue. According to investigators, Fr. K.J. Thomas knew his killers. Before the murder, in fact the victim and aggressors are believed to have exchanged a brief conversation, which ended with the death of the priest. One of them knocked on the door of Fr. K.J. Thomas, causing him to leave the room, while another attacked him from behind. Then they are believed to have cleaned up the traces of blood with the victim's clothes, and taken the documents they needed from the room.
The autopsy results have not yet been made available, but it is known that the priest was hit in the face and head with a blunt instrument - perhaps a brick - and then smothered with the dhoti he was wearing.

The sequence of events suggests that the perpetrators of the murder were not hired killers. "These people - explain the agents - did not steal anything of value from the office, moreover they lost time to clean the blood stains."



Mark 16: 9 - 15

9Now when he rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, from whom he had cast out seven demons.10She went and told those who had been with him, as they mourned and wept.11But when they heard that he was alive and had been seen by her, they would not believe it.12After this he appeared in another form to two of them, as they were walking into the country.13And they went back and told the rest, but they did not believe them.14Afterward he appeared to the eleven themselves as they sat at table; and he upbraided them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they had not believed those who saw him after he had risen.15And he said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation.


St. William of Eskilsoe
Feast: April 6

Feast Day:April 6
Born:1125 at Paris, France
Died:6 April (Easter Sunday) 1203 in Denmark
Canonized:21 January 1224 by Pope Honorius III
He was born of an illustrious family in Paris, about the year 1105, and received his education in the abbey of St. Germain-des-Prez, under his uncle Hugh, the abbot. By the regularity of his conduct, and the sanctity of his manners, he was the admiration of the whole community. Having finished his studies, he was ordained sub-deacon, and installed canon in the church of St. Genevieve au-Mont. His assiduity in prayer, love of retirement and mortification, and exemplary life, seemed a troublesome censure of the slothful and worldly life of his colleagues; and what ought to have gained him their esteem and affection, served to provoke their envy and malice against him.
Having in vain endeavored to prevail on this reformer of their chapter, as they called him, to resign his canonry, in order to remove him at a distance, they presented him to the curacy of Epinay, a church five leagues from Paris, depending on their chapter. But not long after, Pope Eugenius III. coming to Paris, in 1147, and being informed of the irregular conduct of these canons, he commissioned the celebrated Suger, abbot of St. Denys, and prime minister to King Louis the Young, to expel them, and introduce in their room regular canons from the abbey of St. Victor: which was happily carried into execution, Eudo of St. Victor's being made the first abbot. St. William with joy embraced this institute, and was by his fervor and devotion a pattern to the most perfect. He was in a short time chosen sub-prior.
The perfect spirit of religion and regularity which he established in that community, was an illustrious proof of the incredible influence which the example of a prudent superior has over docile religious minds. His zeal for regular discipline he tempered with so much sweetness and modesty in his injunctions, that made all to love the precept itself, and to practice with cheerfulness whatever was prescribed them. The reputation of his wisdom and sanctity reached the ears of Absalon, bishop of Roschild, in Denmark, who, being one of the most holy prelates of his age, earnestly sought to allure him into his diocese. He sent the provost of his church, who seems to have been the learned historian Saxo the Grammarian, to Paris on this errand. A prospect of labors and dangers for the glory of God was a powerful motive with the saint, and he cheerfully undertook the voyage. The bishop appointed him abbot of Eskille, a monastery of regular canons which he had reformed. Here St. William sanctified himself by a life of prayer and austere mortification; but had much to suffer from the persecutions of powerful men, from the extreme poverty of his house in a severe climate, and, above all, from a long succession of interior trials: but the most perfect victory over himself was the fruit of his constancy, patience, and meekness. On prayer was his chief dependence, and it proved his constant support.
During the thirty years of his abbacy, he had the comfort to see many walk with fervor in his steps. He never left off wearing his hair-shirt, lay on straw, and fasted every day. Penetrated with a deep sense of the greatness and sanctity of our mysteries, he never approached the altar without watering it with his tears, making himself a victim to God in the spirit of adoration and sacrifice, together with, and through the merits of the holy victim offered thereon: the dispositions in which every Christian ought to assist at it. He died on the 6th of April, 1203, and was canonized by Honorius III. in 1224.
See his life by a disciple in Surius, and at large in Papebroke's Continuation of Bollandus, t. 1, Apr. p. 620. Also M. Gourdan in his MSS. Lives of Illustrious Men among the regular Canons at St. Victor's, in Paris, kept in the library of MSS. in that house, in fol. t. 2, pp. 324 and 814.