Wednesday, October 2, 2013


Vatican City, 2 October 2013 (VIS) – The holiness of the Church was the theme chosen by Francis for his catechesis during today's general audience, which took place in St. Peter's Square and was attended by more than 50,000 people.

(Vatican Radio) “Do not be afraid to aim for holiness and turn yourselves over to the love of God. Holiness does not mean performing extraordinary things but carrying out daily things in an extraordinary way – that is, with love, joy and faith.” That’s what Pope Francis told pilgrims gathered in Saint Peter’s square on Wednesday for the weekly General Audience.
Speaking in Italian, the Pope said the Church is not without sin because it is made up of sinners. Priests, sisters, bishops, cardinals and even Popes are sinners. ‘Who, among the pilgrims gathered in the square, he asked, is not a sinner?’ ‘We are all sinners!’ He exclaimed. 
Throughout its two thousand year history, he said, the Church went through many “trials, problems (and) moments of darkness.” But how can a Church “made up of human beings, of sinners,” he asked, “be holy?”

Recalling Christ, who gave himself up for the Church, he said this ultimate sacrifice is what renders the Church holy. The Church, he went on, is holy for three reasons: firstly because it is faithful to God, who does not abandon it to the “powers of death and evil.” Secondly, because it “is united in an everlasting way to Jesus Christ,”and thirdly, because “it is led by the Holy Spirit who purifies, transforms and renews it.”

The Church, he concluded, does not renounce sinners, but opens its doors to everyone so they may find God’s tender mercy and forgiveness. 

Below, we publish Pope Francis’ remarks read out in English by an assistant:
Dear Brothers and Sisters: In the Creed, we confess our faith that the Church is “holy”. But how can we say that the Church is holy when she is all too evidently made up of sinners? Saint Paul helps us to see things aright when he tells us that “Christ loved the Church and gave himself up for her, to make her holy” (Eph 5:25-26). The Church is inseparably one with Christ, and the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit. It is not ourselves, or our merits, which make the Church holy, but God himself, through the infinite merits of Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross. God calls all of us, as sinners, to be redeemed, renewed and made holy in the communion of the Church. So the Church constantly welcomes everyone, even the greatest sinners, to trust in God’s offer of loving mercy, and to encounter Christ in the sacraments of Penance and the Eucharist. Let us not be afraid to respond to Christ’s call, to trust in the working of the Holy Spirit and to pray and strive for that holiness which brings true joy to our lives.
I cordially greet the members of the delegation from the International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue in Vienna. I also welcome the Buddhist visitors from Japan, including the delegations from the Tendai denomination and the Nakano Dharma Center of Rissho Kosei-kai. Upon all the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors present at today’s Audience, including those from Scotland, Benin, Australia, India, Japan, Canada and the United States I invoke God’s blessings of joy and peace! 


Vatican City, 2 October 2013 (VIS) – In a press conference held in the Holy See Press Office this morning, director Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J., gave information on the meeting of the Council of Cardinals, taking place in the Vatican from 1 to 3 October.
The members of the Council, before the beginning of the meeting, concelebrate with the Pope the morning Holy Mass in the Santa Marta chapel, said Fr. Lombardi. Following the first meeting yesterday morning in the third loggia of the papal apartment, they decided to continue the meetings in the Santa Marta guesthouse, where they all currently reside. The meetings will take place in a small room, not far from the Chapel, for logistic reasons, ensuring that the members do not need to transfer to the apostolic palace. The meetings follow an intense schedule: from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Pope Francis will participate in the morning and evening sessions on Tuesday. Today he was not present due to the general Audience, but he will be present this afternoon and tomorrow.
The Pope emphasised the significance of the chirograph by which he instituted the Council of Cardinals, “a document that gives this group juridical status, stability and continuity and which makes the Council a more consistent tool, especially from a juridical point of view”. He also specified that the members are not “continental delegates”, but rather members of the episcopal college who are also cardinals, who have rich pastoral experience, and who come from large dioceses. The Holy Father chose them for this reason, but they are not delegates of the episcopates of various parts of the world.
“They are all people whom the Pope holds in high regard, with whom he is in confidence and accord and whose advice he considers to be helpful in taking what he considers to be the most suitable approach to the governance of the Church”, continued Fr. Lombardi. “This is not an insignificant task, since confidence and esteem foster the climate of serenity necessary for an open and constructive dialogue”.
The first meeting yesterday afternoon opened with a brief introduction from the Pope and a reflection on the ecclesiology of Vatican Council II, in order to define the nature of the Council in relation not only to organisational matters, but to “a broader theological and spiritual vision of the Church, inspired by the ecclesiology of Vatican Council II and the implementation of its themes”. “Naturally”, specified Fr. Lombardi, “this is not achieved simply by means of a morning round table, but indicates the views the various board members take. They have considered issues such as how to revive and refresh the relationship between the universal and local Church, communion and collegiality, the need to be a Church of the poor, and the role of the laity; all points raised by Vatican Council II and which form a backdrop to the work of the Council of Cardinals. In the light of this, they will later consider structures of governance”.
Each of the participants presented a brief summary of the suggestions received, and brought along material which forms part of the common working documentation for the Council. This has enabled the group to classify the major themes to be considered in this and subsequent sessions.
The afternoon session was dedicated to the Synod of Bishops and was attended by the new secretary, Bishop Baldisseri. “It is an important theme, both for the participation of the episcopate in the life of the Church through the synod, and for the urgency of initiating preparations for the next synod, about which we will probably know more within a few days. However we do not know if it will be an ordinary or extraordinary synod”, said Lombardi, adding that the Pope had made reference to a “theme of an anthropological nature: the family according to the Gospel, but in any case it is not yet precise. The Holy Father also said that prominent themes such as family and matrimonial pastoral will be the order of the day in the activity of the Church in the near future”.
“Today, Wednesday, the Council has focused on other issues such as the reform of the Curia in its various aspects, the function of the Secretariat of State, relations between the dicasteries and with the Holy Father. There have been many suggestions and contributions. It is is long term task, and therefore one should not expect conclusions in the short term or within these days”. SHARED FROM VIS


Agenzia Fides REPORT- Religious leaders from Kenya have unanimously condemned the terrorist attack at the Westgate Mall in Nairobi.
As reported by CISA Agency, a special interreligious prayer service was held on October 1st at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre (KICC) in Nairobi, which was attended by the main Christian and Muslim religious leaders. They all expressed the desire to work for peace and national reconciliation, and commemorated the victims of the terrorist attack.
The Auxiliary Bishop of Nairobi, David Kamau, who was representing Cardinal John Njue, Archbishop of the Kenyan capital, stressed that despite the bad moments, Kenyans are still full of hope and would come out strong against the terrorists.
Adan Wachu, Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims, said that the attackers who killed and maimed innocent civilians at the Westgate mall under the guise of Islam must be condemned with the strongest terms possible". There is nowhere in the holy Koran or Bible that says or gives anyone the authority to take away innocent lives", he said.
The Secretary-General of the National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCC) finally stated that the unity and diversity of the nation must be capitalized on and terrorists should never injure the peaceful co-existence of Kenyans. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 02/10/2013 )


Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
2 Oct 2013
Soldiers escorting Rusty Priest's coffin to Hyde Park for a Military Salute
The former boss of the NSW RSL and tireless advocate for diggers from all conflicts was honoured with a State Funeral in St Mary's Cathedral attended by the Governor, Premier, family and hundreds of veterans, proud to wear their service medals and call Rusty their mate.
Rusty died last week at the age of 86.
The NSW Governor, Prof Marie Bashir paid tribute to Rusty for his distinguished 22-year military career and service to his country and veterans since his retirement.
"Godfrey Rusty Priest's life certainly was a life of unstinting service to his country and to the men and women who protect it," the Governor told those gathered in the Cathedral for the service.
Benjamin Ijumi(Chef of Kokoda)and Rusty Priest chairman at the kokoda Track education centre at Concord
She said he was "a soldier's soldier" and a fierce advocate for fellow diggers, those who fell in war in far off countries and those who returned.
"Once he set himself a goal, he was not one to be easily distracted or deterred," she said.
Mr Priest was instrumental in creating the Kokoda Track Memorial Walkway at Concord and having the Glebe Island Bridge renamed the Anzac Bridge.
The two bronze statues on the bridge, one of an Australian soldier, the other a New Zealand soldier even carry within their plinth  some sand from the beach of Gallipoli.
Hundreds attended the service at St Mary's Cathedral for war veteran and advocate Rusty Priest
Fr Graeme Malone SSS, Honorary Chaplain to the Kokoda Track Memorial Walkway at Concord told the gathering that although their hearts are shaped by sorrow and grief they should also celebrate Rusty's rich and colourful life.
Rusty's son, Tim and daughter Carole-Anne both spoke of their father's achievements as a soldier, veteran advocate, mate to many friends but most importantly as a loving husband and father.
Head of the NSW RSL for a decade before retiring in 2002, it was expected the Cathedral would be full with other veterans, young and old.
At the end of the service there was the laying of a wreath at The Fallen Soldier Memorial in the Cathedral, the Last Post followed by a minutes silence and then soldiers escorted Rusty Priest's body to Hyde Park for a gun salute.
The mourners said as one "Lest we forget" and you just knew they wouldn't.


by J.B. An Dang
He will also have to pay a fine of more than $50,000. The Court convicted him of tax evasion. The hearing lasted for a couple of hours and ended with the expected guilty sentence. Outside, thousands of police officers and government-hired thugs prevented entry into the courtroom to supporters of the activist.

Hanoi (AsiaNews) - The judges of the Court in Hanoi condemned the Catholic activist and lawyer Le Quoc Quan, on trial for alleged "evasion", to 30 months in prison and to pay a $56,000 fine. The farcical hearing lasted a couple of hours and - despite protests and appeals by the defence - it ended with a prison sentence and heavy fine. Outside thousands of Catholics expressed their support in the capital's streets, waving palms (pictured) in a symbolic gesture that invokes the Sunday when Jesus makes his entry into Jerusalem.
At first the authorities had promised a trial that would be open to the public; however, the roads leading to the Court were blocked by a human wall composed of police and military.
In addition to the agents, the security cordon was formed also by pro-government thugs whom experts know very well to be inmates or former inmates who are hired by the authorities to target and punish dissent. For days, a succession of messages and warnings have been issued to the public, not to organise and gather in demonstrations in anticipation of the hearing in the courtroom.
Together with the Catholics, many Buddhists (including one religious) marched peacefully through the streets of Hanoi to demand the freedom of Le Quoc Quan. Not only that, the demonstrators also demand complete freedom, respect for human rights and an end to all acts of persecution against believers of all religions.  Earlier, the leaders of the Vietnamese Catholic Church promoted prayer meetings and torchlight processions for the liberation of the Catholic lawyer and activist, whose trial is another example of "the continuing series of violations of human rights" in the country.


Memorial of the Holy Guardian Angels
Lectionary: 457/650

Reading 1             NEH 2:1-8

In the month Nisan of the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes,
when the wine was in my charge,
I took some and offered it to the king.
As I had never before been sad in his presence,
the king asked me, “Why do you look sad?
If you are not sick, you must be sad at heart.”
Though I was seized with great fear, I answered the king:
“May the king live forever!
How could I not look sad
when the city where my ancestors are buried lies in ruins,
and its gates have been eaten out by fire?”
The king asked me, “What is it, then, that you wish?”
I prayed to the God of heaven and then answered the king:
“If it please the king,
and if your servant is deserving of your favor,
send me to Judah, to the city of my ancestors’ graves,
to rebuild it.”
Then the king, and the queen seated beside him,
asked me how long my journey would take
and when I would return.
I set a date that was acceptable to him,
and the king agreed that I might go.

I asked the king further: “If it please the king,
let letters be given to me for the governors
of West-of-Euphrates,
that they may afford me safe-conduct until I arrive in Judah;
also a letter for Asaph, the keeper of the royal park,
that he may give me wood for timbering the gates
of the temple-citadel and for the city wall
and the house that I shall occupy.”
The king granted my requests,
for the favoring hand of my God was upon me.

Responsorial Psalm                   PS 137:1-2, 3, 4-5, 6

R. (6ab) Let my tongue be silenced if I ever forget you!
By the streams of Babylon
we sat and wept
when we remembered Zion.
On the aspens of that land
we hung up our harps.
R. Let my tongue be silenced if I ever forget you!
Though there our captors asked of us
the lyrics of our songs,
And our despoilers urged us to be joyous:
“Sing for us the songs of Zion!”
R. Let my tongue be silenced if I ever forget you!
How could we sing a song of the LORD
in a foreign land?
If I forget you, Jerusalem,
may my right hand be forgotten!
R. Let my tongue be silenced if I ever forget you!
May my tongue cleave to my palate
if I remember you not,
If I place not Jerusalem
ahead of my joy.
R. Let my tongue be silenced if I ever forget you!

Gospel                  MT 18:1-5, 10

The disciples approached Jesus and said,
“Who is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven?”
He called a child over, placed it in their midst, and said,
“Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children,
you will not enter the Kingdom of heaven.
Whoever humbles himself like this child
is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven.
And whoever receives one child such as this in my name receives me.

“See that you do not despise one of these little ones,
for I say to you that their angels in heaven
always look upon the face of my heavenly Father.”


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

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