Wednesday, May 22, 2013


St.John Baptiste de Rossi
Feast: May 23

Feast Day:May 23
Born:February 22, 1698, Voltaggio, Province of Alessandria, Piedmont, Duchy of Savoy
Died:May 23, 1764, Rome, Papal States
Canonized:December 8, 1881, Rome by Pope Leo XIII
Major Shrine:Church of San Giovanni Battista de Rossi, Rome
Born at Voltaggio in the Diocese of Genoa, 22 February, 1698; died at Rome, 23 May, 1764; feast on 23 May. His parents, Charles de Rossi and Frances Anfossi, were not rich in earthly goods, but had solid piety and the esteem of their fellow-citizens. Of their four children, John excelled in gentleness and piety. At the age of ten he was taken to Genoa by friends for his education. There he received news of the death of his father. After three years he was called to Rome by a relative, Lorenzo de Rossi, who was canon at St. Mary in Cosmedin. He pursued his studies at the Collegium Romanum under the direction of the Jesuits, and soon became a model by his talents, application to study, and virtue. As a member of the Sodality of the Blessed Virgin and of the Ristretto of the Twelve Apostles established at the college, he led the members in the meetings and pious exercises, in visits to the sick in the hospitals and in other works of mercy, and merited even then the name of apostle. At the age of sixteen he entered the clerical state. Owing to indiscreet practices of mortification he contracted spells of epilepsy, notwithstanding which he made his course of scholastic philosophy and theology, in the college of the Dominicans, and, with dispensation, was ordained priest on 8 March, 1721. Having reached the desired goal, he bound himself by vow to accept no ecclesiastical benefice unless commanded by obedience. He fulfilled the duties of the sacred ministry by devoting himself to the labourers, herds, and teamsters of the Campagna, preaching to them early in the morning, or late in the evening, at the old Forum Romanum (Campo Vaccino), and by visiting, instructing, and assisting the poor at the hospital of St. Galla. In 1731 he established near St. Galla another hospital as a home of refuge for the unfortunates who wander the city by night ("Rom. Brev.", tr. Bute, Summer, 573). In 1735 he became titular canon at St. Mary in Cosmedin, and, on the death of Lorenzo two years later, obedience forced him to accept the canonry. The house belonging to it, however, he would not use, but employed the rent for good purposes.

For a number of years John was afraid, on account of his sickness, to enter the confessional, and it was his custom to send to other priests the sinners whom he had brought to repentance by his instructions and sermons. In 1738 a dangerous sickness befell him, and to regain his health he went to Cività Castellana, a day's journey from Rome. The bishop of the place induced him to hear confessions, and after reviewing his moral theology he received the unusual faculty of hearing confessions in any of the churches of Rome. He showed extraordinary zeal in the exercise of this privilege, and spent many hours every day in hearing the confessions of the illiterate and the poor whom he sought in the hospitals and in their homes. He preached to such five and six times a day in churches, chapels, convents, hospitals, barracks, and prison cells, so that he became the apostle of the abandoned, a second Philip Neri, a hunter of souls. In 1763, worn out by such labours and continued ill-health, his strength began to ebb away, and after several attacks of paralysis he died at his quarters in Trinità de' Pellegrini. He was buried in that church under a marble slab at the altar of the Blessed Virgin. God honoured his servant by miracles, and only seventeen years after his death the process of beatification was begun, but the troubled state of Europe during the succeeding years prevented progress in the cause until it was resumed by Pius IX, who on 13 May, 1860, solemnly pronounced his beatification. As new signs still distinguished him, Leo XIII, on 8 December, 1881, enrolled him among the saints.

(Taken From Catholic Encyclopedia)



Vatican Radio REPORT  Below a Vatican Radio translation of Pope Francis’ General Audience catechesis, Wednesday, May 22, 2013. [Original text Italian]:

Dear brothers and sisters, good day!

in the Creed, after having professed faith in the Holy Spirit, we say: "We believe in One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church." There is a deep connection between these two realities of faith: the Holy Spirit gives life to the Church, guides Her steps. Without the presence and the incessant action of the Holy Spirit, the Church could not live and could not accomplish the task that the Risen Jesus has entrusted her; to go and make disciples of all nations (cf. Mt 28:18). Evangelization is the mission of the Church, not just of a few, but my, your, our mission. The Apostle Paul exclaimed: "Woe to me if I do not preach the Gospel" (1 Cor 9:16). Everyone must be evangelizers, especially through with their life! Paul VI pointed out that "... evangelizing is in fact the grace and vocation proper to the Church, her deepest identity. She exists in order to evangelize,"(Apostolic Exhortation. Evangelii Nuntiandi, 14).

Who is the real engine of evangelization in our lives and in the Church? Paul VI wrote with clarity: "It is the Holy Spirit who, today just as at the beginning of the Church, acts in every evangelizer who allows himself to be possessed and led by Him. The Holy Spirit places on his lips the words which he could not find by himself, and at the same time the Holy Spirit predisposes the soul of the hearer to be open and receptive to the Good News and to the kingdom being proclaimed."(ibid., 75). To evangelize, then, we must be open to the action of the Spirit of God, without fear of what He asks us or where He leads us. Let us entrust ourselves to Him! He enables us to live and bear witness to our faith, and enlighten the hearts of those we meet. This was the Pentecost experience of the Apostles gathered with Mary in the Upper Room, " Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire, which parted and came to rest on each one of them. And they were all filled with the holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues, as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim"(Acts 2:3-4). The Holy Spirit descending upon the Apostles, compels them to leave the room in which they had locked themselves in fear, makes them come out of themselves, and turns them into heralds and witnesses of the "mighty works of God" (v. 11). And this transformation wrought by the Holy Spirit is reflected in the crowd that rushed to the scene and which came "from every nation under heaven" (v. 5), so that everyone hears the words of the Apostles as if they were spoken in their own language (v. 6 ).

Here is a first important effect of the Holy Spirit that guides and inspires the proclamation of the Gospel: unity, communion. At Babel, according to the Bible, the dispersion of peoples and the confusion of tongues began, the result of man’s act of arrogance and pride in wanting to build on his own strength, and without God, "a city and a tower whose top may reach unto heaven "(Gen 11:4). At Pentecost, these divisions are overcome. There is no longer more pride toward God, nor closure towards one another, but there is openness to God, to going out to announce His Word: a new language, that of love that the Holy Spirit pours into our hearts (cf. Rom 5:5), a language that everyone can understand and which, when welcomed, can be expressed in every life and in every culture. The language of the Spirit, the language of the Gospel is the language of communion, which invites us to overcome closure and indifference, division and conflict. We should all ask ourselves: how do I let myself be guided by the Holy Spirit so that my witness of faith is one of unity and communion? Do I bring the message of reconciliation and love that is the Gospel to the places where I live? Sometimes it seems that what happened at Babel is repeated today; divisions, the inability to understand each other, rivalry, envy, selfishness. What do I do with my life? Do I bring unity? Or do I divide with gossip and envy? Let us ask ourselves this. Bringing the Gospel means we in the first place must live reconciliation, forgiveness, peace, unity, love that the Holy Spirit gives us. Let us remember the words of Jesus: "By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another" (John 13:34-35).

A second element: on the day of Pentecost, Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, stands up "with the eleven" and "raided his voice" (Acts 2:14); "proclaimed" (v. 29) the good news of Jesus, who gave His life for our salvation and who God raised from the dead. Here is another effect of the Holy Spirit: Courage! the courage to proclaim the newness of the Gospel of Jesus to all, with self-confidence (parrhesia), in a loud voice, in every time and in every place. And this happens even today for the Church and for each of us: from the fire of Pentecost, from the action of the Holy Spirit, ever new missionary energies are released, new ways in which to proclaim the message of salvation, new courage to evangelize. Never be closed to this action! May we live the Gospel with humility and courage! May we witness the novelty, the hope, the joy that the Lord brings to life. Let us feel within us "the delightful and comforting joy of evangelizing" (Paul VI, Apostolic Exhortation. Ap. Evangelii nuntiandi, 80) Because evangelizing, announcing Jesus, evangelizing brings us joy! It energizes us. Being closed up within ourselves brings bitterness. Proclaiming the joy and hope that the Lord brings to world lifts us up!

I will only mention a third element, but it is particularly important: a new evangelization, a Church that evangelizes must always start from prayer, from asking, like the Apostles in the Upper Room, for the fire of the Holy Spirit. Only a faithful and intense relationship with God allows us to leave our enclosures and announce the Gospel with parrhesia. Without prayer our actions become empty and our proclamation soulless, it is not animated by the Spirit.

Dear friends, as said Benedict XVI, the Church today " especially feels the wind of the Holy Spirit that helps us, shows us the right path, and so, with new enthusiasm, we are on our journey and we thank the Lord" (Address to Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, October 27, 2012). Let us renew our trust in the Holy Spirit every day. The trust that He enacts in us, He is in us, He gives us courage, confidence and peace! Let us be guided by Him, men and women of prayer, witnessing the Gospel with courage, becoming instruments in our world of God’s unity and communion.

Thank you.

English summary:
Dear Brothers and Sisters: In our catechesis on the Creed, we now pass from the article on the Holy Spirit to that on the Church, “one, holy, catholic and apostolic”. The Holy Spirit and the Church are in fact inseparable. The Spirit enlivens and guides the Church, and each of us within the Church, to carry out Christ’s mandate to make disciples of all peoples. He opens minds and hearts to the beauty and truth of the Gospel. The Spirit overcomes selfishness and division, creating unity, communion, reconciliation and love. The Spirit also instils the strength needed to bear courageous witness to the Risen Christ; he is the spirit of mission and evangelization. The fire of the Holy Spirit was sent down upon the Apostles at Pentecost in answer to their fervent prayer; ardent prayer in the Spirit must always be the soul of new evangelization and the heart of our lives as Christians. Let us renew each day our trust in the working of the Holy Spirit, open our hearts to his inspiration and gifts, and strive to be signs of unity and communion with God in the midst of our human family.

Greetings in English:

I invite all of you to pray with me for the victims, especially the children, of the disaster in Oklahoma. May the Lord himself console everyone, in particular parents who have lost a child in such a tragic way. I offer a cordial welcome to all the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors present at today’s Audience, including those from England, Ireland, India, Canada and the United States. My special greeting goes to the pilgrims from the Archdiocese of Hartford and the Alumni Association of the Catholic University of America. In these days when the Church celebrates the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, I invoke upon you and your families his gifts of wisdom and peace. God bless you all!



Vatican Radio REPORT “Doing good” is a principle that unites all humanity, beyond the diversity of ideologies and religions, and creates the “culture of encounter” that is the foundation of peace: this is what Pope said at Mass this morning at the Domus Santae Martae, in the presence of employees of the Governorate of Vatican City. Cardinal Bechara Boutros Rai, Patriarch of Antioch of the Maronites, concelebrated at the Mass.

Wednesday’s Gospel speaks to us about the disciples who prevented a person from outside their group from doing good. “They complain,” the Pope said in his homily, because they say, “If he is not one of us, he cannot do good. If he is not of our party, he cannot do good.” And Jesus corrects them: “Do not hinder him, he says, let him do good.” The disciples, Pope Francis explains, “were a little intolerant,” closed off by the idea of ​​possessing the truth, convinced that “those who do not have the truth, cannot do good.” “This was wrong . . . Jesus broadens the horizon.” Pope Francis said, “The root of this possibility of doing good – that we all have – is in creation”:

"The Lord created us in His image and likeness, and we are the image of the Lord, and He does good and all of us have this commandment at heart: do good and do not do evil. All of us. ‘But, Father, this is not Catholic! He cannot do good.’ Yes, he can. He must.
Not can: must! Because he has this commandment within him. Instead, this ‘closing off’ that imagines that those outside, everyone, cannot do good is a wall that leads to war and also to what some people throughout history have conceived of: killing in the name of God. That we can kill in the name of God. And that, simply, is blasphemy. To say that you can kill in the name of God is blasphemy.”
“Instead,” the Pope continued, “the Lord has created us in His image and likeness, and has given us this commandment in the depths of our heart: do good and do not do evil”:

"The Lord has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the Blood of Christ: all of us, not just Catholics. Everyone! ‘Father, the atheists?’ Even the atheists.
Everyone! And this Blood makes us children of God of the first class! We are created children in the likeness of God and the Blood of Christ has redeemed us all! And we all have a duty to do good. And this commandment for everyone to do good, I think, is a beautiful path towards peace. If we, each doing our own part, if we do good to others, if we meet there, doing good, and we go slowly, gently, little by little, we will make that culture of encounter: we need that so much. We must meet one another doing good. ‘But I don’t believe, Father, I am an atheist!’ But do good: we will meet one another there.”
“Doing good” the Pope explained, is not a matter of faith: “It is a duty, it is an identity card that our Father has given to all of us, because He has made us in His image and likeness. And He does good, always.”

This was the final prayer of Pope Francis:

"Today is [the feast of] Santa Rita, Patron Saint of impossible things – but this seems impossible: let us ask of her this grace, this grace that all, all, all people would do good and that we would encounter one another in this work, which is a work of creation, like the creation of the Father. A work of the family, because we are all children of God, all of us, all of us! And God loves us, all of us! May Santa Rita grant us this grace, which seems almost impossible. Amen.”

Vatican City, 22 May 2013 (VIS) – At the end of this morning's general audience, the Holy Father—noting that this Friday, 24 May, is the day dedicated to the liturgical memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Help of Christians, who is venerated with great devotion at the National Shrine of Sheshan in Shanghai, China—launched an appeal, inviting “Catholics around the world to join in prayer with our brothers and sisters in China; to implore of God the grace to proclaim Christ, dead and risen, with humility and joy; to be faithful to his Church and the Successor of Peter; and to live their everyday lives in service to their country and their fellow citizens in a manner consistent with the faith they profess.”
The Pope offered these words to be said in order to call upon Mary's intercession: “Our Lady of Sheshan, in their everyday struggles, sustain the commitment of all those in China, so that they may continue to believe, to hope, to love, and so they may never fear to speak of Jesus to the world and of the world to Jesus.”
“Mary, Virgin most faithful, support Chinese Catholics. Make their commitments, which are not easy, ever more precious in the eyes of the Lord and help the affection and the participation of the Church in China to grow in the path of the universal Church.”
Vatican City, 22 May 2013 (VIS) – This afternoon in the Press Office of the Holy See, Rene Brulhart, director of the Vatican Financial Information Authority (L’Autorità di Informazione Finanziara, AIF), presented the AIF's first annual report, which examines their activities and statistics from 2012. The AIF is the competent authority of the Holy See and the Vatican City State for financial intelligence and for supervision and regulation in the prevention and countering of money laundering and financing of terrorism. It was established in 2010 and became operational in April of 2011.
“Over the course of the year,” reads a press release accompanying the conference, “AIF reported the submission of six Suspicious Transaction Reports, up from only one in the previous year. AIF itself forwarded two Suspicious Transaction Reports to the Vatican Promoter of Justice for further investigation.”
"The statistics and trends from 2012 are encouraging and indicates that the system is consistently improving," said Dr. Brulhart. In 2012, AIF also initiated the systematic screening and analysis of Cash Transaction Reports submitted by the obliged entities.
“In our efforts to actively tackle any potential abuse of the financial system,” continued Director Brulhart, “we initiated a close and constructive interaction with the Secretariat of State, the Gendarmeria, the Promoter of Justice and the institutions under our oversight in order to improve awareness and safety and ensure a coordinated internal cooperation in AML/CFT matters.”
A further important element of the report is the progress made in international cooperation that builds on the clear commitment of the Holy See to be a credible partner in the international fight against money laundering. 2012 saw the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with relevant authorities in Belgium and Spain. Dr. Brulhart stated that “it will continue to be our policy in 2013 to further strengthening international cooperation by signing several more Memorandum of Understanding with our partners in other relevant countries and jurisdictions.”
The outlook for 2013 foresees a further strengthening of the AML/CFT system including the implementation of Moneyval Recommendations through appropriate new or amended legislation and a continuation of the awareness enhancing process across all relevant authorities and institutions.
The full-year report is available at:
Vatican Radio REPORT Pope Francis visited the "Gift of Mary" soup kitchen and women’s shelter run by the Missionaries of Charity on Tuesday evening, to mark the 25th anniversary of the facility's opening in the Vatican. In remarks to staff and guests, the Holy Father praised the work of the sisters, noting the many mouths they have fed, and the wounds both spiritual and bodily, that they have helped to heal. “In these years,” said Pope Francis, “like the good Samaritan, you have so many times bent low to [serve] those in need."
The facility is inside the walls of Vatican city, situated in the vicinity of the building that houses the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. The house feeds roughly 60 people every day, and offers accommodation to 25 women.
  “My presence here this afternoon represents, first of all, a heartfelt 'thank you' to the Missionaries of Charity founded by Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, who have worked here for 25 years, with many volunteers, for the many people who are in need of assistance. Thank you! All of you make the Church's love for the poor visible … and with your daily service you are—as the Psalm says—'You open wide your hand and satisfy the desire of every living thing'. … How many people have you fed in these years; how many wounded, above all wounded spiritually, have you cared for!”
With these words Pope Francis addressed the missionaries, volunteers, and residents in the Gift of Mary Hospitality House located within Vatican City, just outside St. Peter's Square. He visited the community yesterday, Tuesday 21 May, at around 5:30pm in the afternoon, to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Blessed John Paul II's placing the house under the care of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta. The Pope was welcomed by Cardinal Angelo Comastri, vicar general of His Holiness for Vatican City, and the Superior General of the Missionaries of Charity, Sr. Mary Prema Pierick, M.C., and the sisters placed a garland of flowers around the pontiff's neck, in a gesture from Hindu tradition.
In his brief speech to the community, the Pope focused on three words: house, gift, and Mary.
“This structure, built and inaugurated by Blessed John Paul II,” he said, “… is a 'home'. And when we say 'home', we mean a place of welcome … where you can feel good, re-find yourself, feel part of … a community. Even more profoundly, 'home' is a word with a typically familial flavour that recalls the warmth, affection, and love that can be felt in a family. A 'home' thus represents the most precious human wealth, that of encounter, that of the relationships between persons of different ages, cultures, and histories, but who live together and who, together, help one another to grow. … And that is what this house has sought to be for 25 years! At the border between the Vatican and Italy, it is a powerful reminder to all of us—to the Church, to the city of Rome—to always be more of a family, a 'home' in which we are open to welcome, to attention, and to fraternity.”
“Then there is a second very important word, 'gift', which qualifies this house and defines it typical identity. … I mean that this house gives welcome, material and spiritual support to you, dear guests, coming from various parts of the world. But you also are a gift for this house and for the Church. You tell us that loving God and our neighbour is not something abstract but profoundly concrete. It means seeing in every person the face of the Lord to serve and serving him concretely. … Here is lived a an open hospitality, regardless of one's nationality or religion, according to Jesus' teaching: 'Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give.' We must recover the entire sense of gift, of gratuity and solidarity. A savage capitalism has taught the logic of profit at any cost, give in order to get, exploitation without looking at persons …. and we see the results in the crisis we are living through! This house is a place that teaches charity, a 'school' of charity, that teaches us to go out to every person, not for profit, but out of love.”
“Finally, there is one more feature of this house: it is qualified as a gift 'of Mary'. … Mary is an example and an inspiration for those who live in this house, and for all of us, to live charity towards our neighbour, not out of a type of social duty, but starting from God's love, from God's charity. … Mary is the one who leads us to Jesus and who teaches us how to go out from Jesus … For us Christians, love for one's neighbour is born from the love of God and is the clearest expression of it. Here you seek to love your neighbour, but also to let yourselves be loved by them. These two attitudes go hand in hand. There cannot be one without the other.”

Vatican City, 22 May 2013 (VIS) – Yesterday afternoon, the Holy Father sent a message, through Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone, S.D.B., to Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA, for the tornado that devastated the city and suburbs, causing numerous victims and wounded on Monday, 20 May.
“The Holy Father,” reads the text, “has followed with deep concern the aftermath of the devastating tornado which has struck Oklahoma and he asks you convey to the entire community the assurance of his solidarity and closeness in prayer. Conscious of the tragic loss of life and the immensity of the work of rebuilding that lies ahead, he asks Almighty God to grant eternal rest to the departed, comfort to the afflicted, and strength and hope to the homeless and the injured. In a particular way he commends to the Father of mercies the many young children among the victims and their grieving families. Upon the local civil and religious leaders, and upon all involved in the relief efforts, His Holiness invokes the Risen Lord’s gifts of consolation, strength, and perseverance in every good.”
Vatican City, 22 May 2013 (VIS) – After this morning's general audience, the Holy Father received the President of the Republic of Benin, Dr. Thomas Yayi Boni, in the study adjoining the Paul VI Audience Hall.


O holy protectress of those who art in greatest need, thou who shineth as a star of hope in the midst of darkness, blessed Saint Rita, bright mirror of God's grace, in patience and fortitude thou art a model of all the states in life. I unite my will with the will of God through the merits of my Savior Jesus Christ, and in particular through his patient wearing of the crown of thorns, which with tender devotion thou didst daily contemplate. Through the merits of the holy Virgin Mary and thine own graces and virtues, I ask thee to obtain my earnest petition, provided it be for the greater glory of God and my own sanctification. Guide and purify my intention, O holy protectress and advocate, so that I may obtain the pardon of all my sins and the grace to persevere daily, as thou didst in walking with courage, generosity, and fidelity down the path of life. [Mention your request.]
Saint Rita, advocate of the impossible, pray for us. 
Saint Rita, advocate of the helpless, pray for us. 
Pray 3 times: 1 Our Father, 1 Hail Mary, and 1 Glory Be



Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
21 May 2013

Cardinal Pell opened the Great Grace Conference at St Mary's Cathedral
Around 500 people attended a public lecture by the Archbishop of Sydney, His Eminence Cardinal George Pell at St Mary's Cathedral last night which marked the opening of The Great Grace Conference.
The three-day conference recognises the fifty years since the opening of the Second Vatican Council. Delegates to the conference will hear from international keynote speakers and those from around Australia about how the Council continues to be a great gift of great to the church.
Cardinal Pell's address last night was titled "Yesterday's Council for Tomorrow's World".
Those present included international speakers Cardinal March Ouellet PSS, Prefect of the Congregation of Bishops in Rome; Archbishop Allen Vigneron from Detroit; Archbishop Arthur Roche, Secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, Rome; Bishop Peter Ingham, the Bishop of Wollongong and Sydney's Auxiliary Bishops, Bishop Peter Comensoli, Bishop Julian Porteous and Bishop Terry Brady.
Cardinal Pell's reflected on life prior to the Second Vatican Council - a Europe severely wounded by the Second World War but where churchgoing was generally high although France was seeing the start of an exodus from the Church.
"It was January 25th 1959 when the much loved Pope John XXIII announced, to general surprise and astonishment, that he would summon a new council to renew the  religious life of the Church and bring her teachings, discipline and organisation up to date," Cardinal Pell said.
"The unity of all Christians was its ultimate goal and the first Session opened on October 11th, 1962."
However Pope John died on June 3rd, 1963. He was succeeded by John Baptist Montini, then archbishop of Milan who took the name Pope Paul VI.

The Archbishop of Sydney's address was titled "Yesterday's Council for Tomorrow's World
Cardinal Pell, then  a seminarian, arrived in Rome following the death of Pope John but was present for the last three of the four Conciliar sessions.
"The Council was saved by the accession of Pope Paul who guided it through to a successful conclusion with the Council producing a number of truly excellent documents and realignments of Church life in conformity with the Scriptures and the soundest tradition," Cardinal Pell said.
Cardinal Pell spoke of the Council itself, pointing to an important distinction made by Pope Benedict which helps us understand what happened not only during the Council but after it as well.
"He distinguished between the 'true Council' and the 'Council of the media', between the real Council and what he called a virtual council," he said.
"The true Council of the Fathers, as the bishops of the Council were called, obviously moved within the faith tradition, but the Council of the journalists was seen through the categories of the secular media."
The Council set out to be pastoral rather than dogmatic, with the Council Fathers opening address urging renewal, their ambition for the Church to be "increasingly faithful to the gospel of Christ while the two special issues they emphasised as important were peace rather than war and social justice.
In all the Council produced sixteen documents, dogmatic institutions, decrees and declarations on the major areas of church life.
Although the Council brought many blessings and changes which have benefited church communities, Cardinal Pell said there have been many unexpected developments and plenty of surprises.
"I did not predict the doctrinal and moral confusion which developed, as largely secular majority views in Australian society penetrated into Catholic hearts and minds," he said.
This confusion was particularly marked in the understanding of sexual morality, marriage and family, he said, and a "contraceptive Christianity" where nearly everything appears normal on the surface, but is unable to produce new life.
However there is much to support the Christian virtue of hope, Cardinal Pell said.
For the full text of Cardinal Pell's address click here


Suicide at the altar shocks Notre Dame sightseers
<p>(Picture: The Guardian/EPA)</p>

(Picture: The Guardian/EPA)
A far-right French historian has killed himself at the altar of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris after declaring that more radical action was needed in opposition to same-sex marriage in France.
Dominique Venner, 78, walked into the building at 4pm and put a letter on the altar before shooting himself through the mouth, according to local media reports. Hundreds of visitors were immediately evacuated from the site, which is the most visited Catholic monument in Paris.
The motive for the suicide and the contents of the letter were not immediately clear, although Marine Le Pen, head of the far-right Front National, tweeted her "respect" for Venner and said his death was an "eminently political" gesture.
Manuel Valls, the French interior minister, arrived as officers cordoned off the site. He told French TV: "At the time of this act, the suicide of a desperate man, there were 1,500 people in the cathedral. These people were evacuated very quickly."
He said worshippers and tourists must have been in shock, adding: "Notre Dame is one of the most beautiful symbols of the capital and our country, and we can measure the impact of such an act."
The rector of Notre Dame, Monsignor Patrick Jacquin, said it was the first suicide in decades at the 850-year-old cathedral, which is visited by some 13 million people each year, and perhaps the first time anyone had taken their own life in the building. "It's unfortunate, it's dramatic and it's shocking," he said.
Venner, a historian and former member of the Secret Army Organisation that opposed Algerian independence in the early 1960s and waged a terror campaign against Charles de Gaulle's government, had written on his blog on Tuesday about his anger over the recent legalisation of same-sex marriage, which he called vile.
Referring to a rally planned for Sunday against the law, which also amended adoption rights, he said the demonstrators were "right to shout their impatience and anger".
He also wrote of what he described as the risk of "a France fallen to the power of Islamists", saying that for 40 years all governments and parties, except the Front National, businesses and the church had accelerated north African immigration. He added that there needed to be "new gestures, spectacular and symbolic" to "reawaken the memory of our origins". He added: "We're entering a time where words should be authenticated by actions."
The bill became law on Saturday after a parliament vote and months of street protests, political slanging matches and a rise in homophobic attacks.
François Hollande had made the legislation his flagship social reform, but the move triggered the biggest conservative and rightwing street protests in 30 years, followed by skirmishes near parliament that led to more than 200 arrests.
France is the ninth country in Europe and the 14th globally to legalise same-sex marriage. A concert to celebrate the law was scheduled to be held at Bastille in Paris on Tuesday night.
The country's first gay marriage is scheduled to take place in Montpellier, in the south, on 29 May between Vincent Autin, 40, who works in the tourist office, and Bruno Boileau, 30, a public sector employee.
More than 172 hours of heated debate in the parliament and senate meant the bill was one of the most debated in recent history, with furious clashes and a near fist-fight in the National Assembly.
One rightwing MP claimed the government was "killing children" by allowing same-sex married couples to adopt, while a senator said gay marriage would pave the way for people being able to marry animals or objects.
MPs in favour of the bill – the most significant social reform since France banned the death penalty in 1981 – suffered death threats; skinheads attacked a gay bar in Lille, while rights groups reported a surge in homophobic attacks.
One victim of such an attack, a Dutchman who lives in Paris, Wilfred de Brujin posted a picture of his bloodstained face on Facebook. The image was captioned: "Sorry to show you this. It's the face of homophobia."


ASIA NEWS IT The man, victim of brutal family planning police violence, is hospitalized. He was punished for being a father of three children. Reggie Littlejohn: "They are government terrorists, beyond any law."

Beijing (AsiaNews / Agencies) - More than twenty officers, from the family planning bureau have brutally beaten a man Wednesday, May 15 in the vicinity of Xiny. China Aid reports that the only reason that Zhang Futao, a farmer from Jiangsu Province, was attacked was because he is the father of three children, 12, 6 and 4 years of age.

The family says the victim is currently in hospital with a fractured skull and a brain hemorrhage. "We condemn this incident of violence with the consent of the state authority against a citizen, whose only crime was to have more than one child - says Reggie Littlejohn president of Women's Rights Without Frontiers - we ask that those responsible are brought to justice and that all the victim's medical expenses be paid. "

The one-child policy, promoted by Deng Xiaoping in the late seventies, has killed to date, according to an estimates, approximately 200 million people. The officials of the Office for Family Planning apply the norm with violence and in a systematic way. On March 21, 2011, a man was killed for having come to the defense of his sister: party agents were entering her house to impose a forced sterilization. "The attack on May 15 last should be a warning of the violence that Chinese women and men are forced to endure every year in the name of population control", concluded Reggie Littlejohn.


Agenzia Fides report - A premeditated attack, a young Catholic student was killed and two people were wounded: is the toll of the attack which took place in the village of Kushpur, in the district of Faisalabad, in the Province of Punjab. Kushpur (in Urdu means "land of happiness") is the village famous for being "the beating heart of the Pakistani Catholics": it is inhabited by Christians and gave birth to men like Shahbaz Bhatti (the Christian minister killed two years ago), as well as numerous bishops and priests.
According to what was said to Fides by Fr. Khalid Rashid, General Vicar of the Diocese of Faislabad, the murder, which occurred on 17 May, was motivated by the dispute over a piece of land that some Christian inhabitants of Khushpur sold to a Muslim family. In the punitive expedition a 14-year-old Catholic Faisal Patras was killed, while his brother Danish and his father Patras Masih were seriously wounded. The police intervened and arrested the killer, a 25-year-old Muslim man. Fr. Khalid Rashid, who celebrated the funeral of the young man, told Fides: "There was much sadness. I launched a message of forgiveness and peace: Christians do not want revenge. The murder is not motivated by religious hatred, but from a dispute between farmers. Of course, Christians are always the most vulnerable. We have trust in the new government and we hope to do more for the protection of minorities."
Accidents and disputes among farmers are frequent, because with the phenomenon of urbanization many Christian farmers in the villages of Punjab - who had received land as a gift by Christian missionaries - move into town and sell the land to Muslim farmers.
The attack is added to the serious accident which occurred in southern Punjab, where a village near Multan was abandoned by more than 1,500 Christian faithful who were at risk of mass killing (see Fides 21/05/2013). Khalid Gill, head of the "All Pakistan Minorities Alliance" (APMA) has strongly condemned the attack on the village of Khushpur demanding the punishment of the murderer and the protection of Christians. (PA)


Mark 9: 38 - 40

38 John said to him, "Teacher, we saw a man casting out demons in your name, and we forbade him, because he was not following us."
39 But Jesus said, "Do not forbid him; for no one who does a mighty work in my name will be able soon after to speak evil of me.
40 For he that is not against us is for us.


St. Rita of Cascia
Feast: May 22

Feast Day:May 22
1381, Roccaporena, Perugia, Umbria, Italy
Died:May 22, 1457, Cascia, Perugia, Umbria, Italy
Canonized:May 24, 1900, Rome by Pope Leo XIII
Patron of:Lost and impossible causes, sickness, wounds, marital problems, abuse, mothers
If St. Rita belongs to that wonderful band of elect who were holy from their cradles, it must be said that she required every available help that sanctity gives, to have enabled her to endure the trials and difficulties with which most of her life was filled! She was the daughter of parents, both nearing middle age at the time of her birth, and the author of the Latin memoir of the Saint says that shortly after this event (1386), a swarm of bees was seen to come and go several times to and from the cradle a portent which was taken as indicating that the career of the child was to be marked by industry, virtue and devotion. The father and mother of Rita were themselves very pious, and from their laudable habit of composing the quarrels and differences among their neighbours, they were known as the "Peacemakers of Jesus Christ." Little Rita as she grew up, seems to have acquired a great deal of this spirit of the supernatural, for she showed little if any inclination for games, seeking her recreation chiefly in prayer and visits to sacred shrines-an exercise, by the way, which-granted the proper disposition-brings with it a wealth of real enjoyment and satisfaction quite wanting to other arid more secular amusements. This being so, it is not surprising to learn that Rita, as she neared womanhood, felt that her vocation lay in the convent rather than in that of domestic life. We are not aware of the circumstances that led her parents to oppose this apparently obvious course, but oppose it they did, and Rita submitted, even so far as to please them by marrying a man whom all accounts describe as exceedingly bad-tempered and something worse! It is the teaching of the Church that the grace of the Holy Sacrament of Matrimony, if corresponded with by a good life, works miracles, almost, in the way of establishing and perpetuating conjugal happiness. Acerbities of temper, temperamental differences, and all the other difficulties arising out of the necessary variations of human nature, are, under God's influence, toned down and adjusted, provided always Holy Mass, prayer and the sacraments are not forgotten—for "wheresoever two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them." So Rita tamed her rough spouse, and for two-and-twenty years lived harmoniously (concorditer) with a husband who, like most quarrelsome individuals in the days when sword and stiletto ever sharp, hung from every Italian gentleman's belt, perished in a feud. Such a death in the Italy of the Decamerone and the Republics, and, indeed, till well into our own time, usually meant a prolonged vendetta, and, of course, the two sons of the dead man at once took up the quarrel. Meantime, poor Rita was in despair, and finding her expostulations useless to prevent further effusion of blood, she had recourse to prayer, earnestly beseeching God to take her boys from this world rather than permit them to live on stained by homicide. The mother's prayer was heard, and the two youths shortly afterwards died edifying deaths, forgiving their father's slayers and resigned to God.

The way was now clear for our Saint to satisfy her long yearning for a conventual life. After due consideration, she applied to be "accepted" by the Augustinian nuns at Cascia, but was informed that the custom was only for women who had never been married, to be received as postulants. The time was to come when not only widows were to enter religious orders of their own sex as a matter of course, but even occasionally to found them, as in the case of St. Jane Francis de Chantal and the Nuns of the Visitation. Again did Rita have recourse to prayer, and it is related that the night following her second great "storming of Heaven," St. John the Baptist, to whom she had a great devotion, appeared to her, accompanied by St. Augustine and St. Nicholas of Tolentino, and these three Saints conducted her to the convent, where the Superiors who had been similarly warned, received her with great kindness. The new postulant entered upon her life in religion with characteristic zeal and thoroughness. She disposed of her family property as alms to the poor, and in addition to the ordinary mortifications prescribed or permitted by the rule, she added others of great severity, wearing a hair shirt, fasting rigorously on bread and water and taking the discipline at intervals. The Passion of Our Lord was her constant meditation, and while recalling the manifold sufferings of the Man of Sorrows, she often seemed to be carried away by mingled grief and devotion.

In the midst of such wonderful progress on the road to perfection, this pattern to the community was afflicted by God after the following mysterious manner. She was meditating one day on the Passion before the crucifix, when she apparently, accidentally, wounded her forehead by striking it against some of the no doubt very realistic thorns in Our Lord's crown. The injury caused by the hurt developed into a serious ulcer, one most painful and unsightly, so unsightly, in fact, that for many years Sister Rita had to make her devotions alone! She accepted this great trial in the light of an additional penance sent her by God, and it was about this time that many spiritual and temporal favours are said to have been granted to various persons as the direct result of the prayers of this wonderful religious, the fame of whose sanctity had already extended far beyond the convent walls. The extraordinary fact, too, that her garden—which, in common with the rest of the nuns, she had allotted to her—produced beautiful roses and ripe figs in the depths of an abnormally severe winter, was taken as an additional sign that the unceasing prayers and heroic virtues of Sister Rita were blessed beyond measure, even in this world. The last years of the Saint were marked by a most painful and lingering illness—cancer doubtless—which as in the case of all her other seeming misfortunes she employed as another means of forwarding her greater sanctification. At the approach of death, she received with wonderful fervour the last rites of the Church, and then, as it is piously believed, at the call of Our Lady, she breathed forth her spotless soul to God on 20th May, 1456.1
The sacred remains long after death yielded a most sweet and refreshing odour, and many miracles have been recorded as the fruit of her powerful intercession. The cultus of the wonderful nun of Cascia spread far and wide, notably in Spain, where she has since been known as "La Santa de los impossibiles!" She was Beatified by Clement XII, though as far back as 1637, a Mass and office were granted in her honour by Urban VIII. Finally, on 24th May, 1900, Pope Leo XIII enrolled her name among the Saints-the Saints it may be added, whose virtues shone as stars both in the world and in the cloister.



Part 11 of the life story of St. Molokai shared from Youtube