Monday, October 14, 2013


Vatican City, 14 October 2013 (VIS) – This morning in the Vatican Apostolic Palace the Holy Father received in audience the participants in the Plenary of the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelisation. “In our time we often encounter an attitude of indifference towards faith, which is no longer considered relevant to human life”, he said. “It is important that we Christians demonstrate that we live faith in a concrete way, through love, harmony, joy, suffering, because this gives rise to questions, as at the beginning of the Church's path: why live like this? What is the impetus for our actions? These are questions which lead us to the heart of evangelisation, which is the witness of faith and charity”.
Pope Francis remarked that many people have drifted away from the Church, and in this situation “there is a need for Christians who help show God's mercy and tenderness towards every creature”. He went on to emphasise the importance of encounter, of seeking out and going towards “those who have lost their faith and the deeper meaning of life. … The Church”, he emphasised, “is sent to reawaken everywhere this hope, especially where it is suffocated by difficult and at times inhuman existential conditions, where hope cannot breathe. … We need the oxygen of the Gospel, the breath of the Spirit of the Risen Christ, to reignite [hope] in our hearts. The Church is the house where the doors are always open not only to welcome everyone in to breathe love and hope, but also so we can take this love and hope outside”.
The Pope, in this way, explained that “in the Church, this is not left to chance or improvisation”. Commitment is necessary in the diocese and in the parish to catechesis as a moment of evangelisation. He recalled that many times, for instance, he has encountered children who do not know how to make the sign of the Cross, and remarked that the work of catechists is a valuable service to new evangelisation, while emphasising that parents should be “the first catechists, the first educators in faith in their own families, by their witness and by their words”.
Vatican City, 14 October 2013 (VIS) – This morning a press conference was held in the Holy See Press Office to present the “Courtyard of the Gentiles”, which will be celebrated this year in Berlin, from 26 to 28 November. The initiative, promoted by the Pontifical Council for Culture in collaboration with the archdiocese of Berlin and the German Bishops' Conference, aims to relaunch dialogue between believers and non-believers in relation to the most important issues of the contemporary world.
The speakers in the conference were: Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture; Archbishop Robert Zollitsch, president of the German Bishops' Conference; Fr. Hans Langendorfer, S.J., secretary general of the German Bishops' Conference; Joachim Hake, director of the Catholic Academy of the Archdiocese of Berlin, and Fr. Laurent Mazas, executive director of the “Courtyard of the Gentiles”.
The encounter will address issues such as the depth of ethical humanism, the greatness of faith in God, the freedom of art and beauty, respect and creation, aspects and models of man, the grace and dignity of human nature and worship.
With the title “If there is no God, everything is permitted”, the “Courtyard of the Gentiles” will be inaugurated in the Red City Hall of Berlin, and will be followed by a discussion on the theme “Look at man: God's creation endowed with creativity, or his own creator?” at the Charite University of Medicine; finally, the theme of respect, blasphemy and artistic liberty will be considered at the Berlin Deutsches Theater.
“There exist many experiences of freedom with and without God in Berlin, and they are as varied as the inhabitants of this city”, said Archbishop Zollitsch. “The paths of their lives and their freedom intertwine continually, like the processions in the Bode Museum. The Courtyard of the Gentiles wishes to show the richness and the depth of Catholic faith, and to express esteem for the positions held by non-believers, but also to see in faith the traces of unbelief”.
Vatican City, 12 October 2013 (VIS) – The Prefecture of the Papal Household communicates that for the canonisation of Blesseds John XVIII and John Paul II on Sunday 27 April 2014, participation is open to all those able to find space in St. Peter's Square, Piazza Pio XII and Via della Conciliazione, without any need for tickets.
As on other occasions, the faithful are warned against ticket touts or requests for money by agencies or tour operators in order to obtain tickets.
Attendees are also reminded that the tickets to participate in audiences or celebrations presided by the Holy Father are entirely free.
Vatican City, 14 October 2013 (VIS) - Today, the Holy Father received in audience:
- William Lacy Swing, director general of the International Organisation for Immigration (IOM), with his wife and entourage.
- Cardinal Raffaele Farina, archivist and librarian emeritus of the Holy Roman Church.
- Archbishop Leo Boccardi, apostolic nuncio to Iran.
- Archbishop Vincenzo Pelvi, military ordinary emeritus for Italy.
- Bishop Fernando Panico of Crato, Brazil.
On Saturday, 12 October the Holy Father received in audience:
- Carlos Avila Molina, ambassador of Honduras to the Holy See, presenting his letters of credence.
- Cardinal Marc Ouellet, P.S.S., prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.
Vatican City, 14 October 2013 (VIS) - Today, the Holy Father appointed Cardinal Peter Erdo, archbishop of Esztergom-Budapest, Hungary, and Archbishop Bruno Forte of Chieti-Vatso, Italy, respectively as relator general and special secretary of the 3rd Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, scheduled to take place from 5 to 19 November 2014.
On Saturday 12 October, the Holy Father:
- appointed Msgr. Angel Jose Macin as bishop of Reconquista (area 35,000, population 276,000, Catholics 243,000, priests 46, permanent deacons 1, religious 65), Argentina. The bishop-elect was born in Malabrigo, Argentina in 1967 and was ordained a priest in 1992. He holds a licentiate in theology from the Catholic University of Argentina and a doctorate from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum), Rome. He is a member of the Argentine Society of Theology. He has served in a number of academic and pastoral roles, including professor of science of religion at the San Benito Institute of Victoria, ordinary professor and director of studies at the interdiocesan seminary “La Encarnacion” in Resistencia, parish vicar of “Santa Ana”, Florencia, professor of New Testament at the diocesan seminary San Nicolas, Buenos Aires, parish priest of “Nuestra Senora del Huerto”, Malabrigo, assessor of social pastoral care and professor of sacred scripture at the Institute “Juan Pablo II” in Reconquista, and diocesan administrator of Reconquista.
- appointed Msgr. Ilson de Jesus Montanari, official of the Congregation for Bishops, as secretary of the same dicastery, at the same time elevating him to the dignity of archbishop. Archbishop-elect Montanari was born in Sertaozinho, Brazil in 1959 and ordained a priest in 1989. He holds a licentiate in dogmatic theology from the Gregorian Pontifical University, and has served in a number of pastoral, academic and administrative roles, including parish priest of the parish “Sao Joao Batista” in Sertaozinho, professor of theology at the Study Centre of the archdiocese of Ribeirao Preto and the archdiocesan seminary of Uberaba, chancellor and co-ordinator of pastoral activity for Ribeirao Preto, member of the presbyteral college and the College of Consultors of Ribeirao Preto, and official of the Congregation of Bishops. In 2011 he was named chaplain of His Holiness.
- appointed Msgr. Diego Giovanni Ravelli, official of the Apostolic Almoner, as Office Chief of the Apostolic Almoner.


(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis sent a video message on Sunday marking the beatification of 522 Spanish martyrs who were killed during the anti-Christian persecutions of the 1930s. 

Please find below the full text of the video message in English translation.

Dear brothers and sisters, greetings.

I would like to express my heartfelt participation in the celebration which is taking place in Tarragona, in the course of which a large number of Pastors, consecrated people and lay members of the faith are being proclaimed Blessed Martyrs.

Who are the martyrs? They are Christians who have been “earned” by Christ, disciples who have learnt well the sense of that “love to the extreme limit” which led Jesus to the Cross. There is no such thing as love in installments, no such thing as portions of love. Total love: and when we love, we love till the end. On the Cross, Jesus felt the weight of death, the weight of sin, but he gave himself over to the Father entirely, and he forgave. He barely spoke, but he gave the gift of life. Christ “beats” us in love; the martyrs imitated him in love until the very end.

The Sainted Fathers say: “Let’s imitate the martyrs!” We must always die a little in order to come out of ourselves, of our selfishness, of our well-being, of our laziness, of our sadnesses, and open up to God, to others, especially those who need it most. 

We implore the intercession of the martyrs, that we may be concrete Christians, Christians in deeds and not just in words, that we may not be mediocre Christians, Christians painted in a superficial coating of Christianity without substance – they weren’t painted, they were Christians until the end. We ask them for help in keeping our faith firm, that even throughout our difficulties we may nourish hope and foster brotherhood and solidarity.

And I ask you to pray for me. May Jesus bless you and the Sainted Virgin protect you.


Monday of the Twenty-eighth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 467

Reading 1             ROM 1:1-7

Paul, a slave of Christ Jesus,
called to be an Apostle and set apart for the Gospel of God,
which he promised previously through his prophets in the holy Scriptures,
the Gospel about his Son, descended from David according to the flesh,
but established as Son of God in power
according to the Spirit of holiness
through resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord.
Through him we have received the grace of apostleship,
to bring about the obedience of faith,
for the sake of his name, among all the Gentiles,
among whom are you also, who are called to belong to Jesus Christ;
to all the beloved of God in Rome, called to be holy.
Grace to you and peace from God our Father
and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Responsorial Psalm                                PS 98:1BCDE, 2-3AB, 3CD-4

R. (2a) The Lord has made known his salvation.
Sing to the LORD a new song,
for he has done wondrous deeds;
His right hand has won victory for him,
his holy arm.
R. The Lord has made known his salvation.
The LORD has made his salvation known:
in the sight of the nations he has revealed his justice.
He has remembered his kindness and his faithfulness
toward the house of Israel.
R. The Lord has made known his salvation.
All the ends of the earth have seen
the salvation by our God.
Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands;
break into song; sing praise.
R. The Lord has made known his salvation.

Gospel                    LK 11:29-32

While still more people gathered in the crowd, Jesus said to them,
“This generation is an evil generation;
it seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it,
except the sign of Jonah.
Just as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites,
so will the Son of Man be to this generation.
At the judgment
the queen of the south will rise with the men of this generation
and she will condemn them,
because she came from the ends of the earth
to hear the wisdom of Solomon,
and there is something greater than Solomon here.
At the judgment the men of Nineveh will arise with this generation
and condemn it,
because at the preaching of Jonah they repented,
and there is something greater than Jonah here.”


St. Callistus I
Feast: October 14
Feast Day:
October 14
Patron of:
cemetery workers

The name of St. Callistus is rendered famous by the ancient cemetery which he beautified, and which, for the great number of holy martyrs whose bodies were there deposited, was the most celebrated of all those about Rome. He was a Roman by birth, succeeded St. Zephirin in the pontificate in 217 or 218, on the 2nd of August, and governed the church five years and two months, according to the true reading of the most ancient Pontifical, compiled from the registers of the Roman Church, as Henschenius, Papebroke, and Moret show, though Tillemont and Orsi give him only four years and some months. Antoninus Caracalla, who had been liberal to his soldiers, but the most barbarous murderer and oppressor of the people, having been massacred by a conspiracy raised by the contrivance of Macrinus, on the 8th of April 217, who assumed the purple, the empire was threatened on every side with commotions. Macrinus bestowed on infamous pleasures at Antioch that time which he owed to his own safety and to the tranquillity of the state, and gave an opportunity to a woman to overturn his empire. This was Julia Moesa, sister to Caracalla's mother, who had two daughters, Sohemis and Julia Mammaea. The latter was mother of Alexander Severus, the former of Bassianus, who being priest of the sun, called by the Syrians Elagabel, Emesa, in Phoenicia, was surnamed Heliogabalus. Moesa, being rich and liberal, prevailed for money with the army in Syria to proclaim him emperor; and Macrinus, quitting Antioch, was defeated and slain in Bithynia in 219, after he had reigned a year and two months, wanting three days. Heliogabalus, for his unnatural lusts, enormous prodigality and gluttony, and mad pride and vanity, was one of the most filthy monsters and detestable tyrants that Rome ever produced. He reigned only three years, nine months, and four days, being assassinated on the 11th of March 222 by the soldiers, together with his mother and favorites. His cousin—German and successor, Alexander, surnamed Severus, was for his clemency, modesty, sweetness, and prudence one of the best of princes. He discharged the officers of his predecessor, reduced the soldiers to their duty, and kept them in awe by regular pay. He had in his private chapel the images of Christ, Abraham, Apollonius of Tyana, and Orpheus, and learned of his mother, Mamma a, to have a great esteem for the Christians. It reflects great honour on our pope that this wise emperor used always to admire with what caution and solicitude the choice was made of persons that were promoted to the priesthood among the Christians, whose example he often proposed to his officers and to the people, to be imitated in the election of civil magistrates. It was in his peaceable reign that the Christians first began to build churches, which were demolished in the succeeding persecution. Lampridius, this emperor's historian, tells us that a certain idolater, putting in a claim to an oratory of the Christians which he wanted to make an eating-house of, the emperor adjudged the house to the Bishop of Rome, saying it were better it should serve in any kind to the divine worship than to gluttony, in being made a cook's shop.
To the debaucheries of Heliogabalus St. Callistus opposed fasting and tears, and he every way promoted exceedingly true religion and virtue. His apostolic labours were recompensed with the crown of martyrdom on the 12th of October 222. His feast is marked on this day in the ancient Martyrology of Lucca. The Liberian Calendar places him in the list of martyrs, and testifies that he was buried on the 14th of this month in the cemetery of Calepodius, on the Aurelian Way, three miles from Rome. The pontificals ascribe to him a decree appointing the four fasts called Ember-days; which is confirmed by ancient Sacramentaries, and other monuments quoted by Moretti. He also decreed that ordinations should be held in each of the Ember-weeks. He founded the Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary beyond the Tiber. In the Calendar published by Fronto le Duc he is styled a confessor, but we find other martyrs sometimes called confessors. If St. Callistus was thrown into a pit, as his acts relate, it seems probable that he was put to death in some popular tumult. Dion mentions several such commotions under this prince, in one of which the praetorian guards murdered Ulpian, their own prefect. Pope Paul I and his successors, seeing the cemeteries without walls, and neglected after the devastations of the barbarians, withdrew from thence the bodies of the most illustrious martyrs, and had them carried to the principal churches of the city. Those of SS. Callistus and Calepodius were translated to the Church of St. Mary beyond the Tiber. Count Everard, lord of Cisoin or Chisoing, four leagues from Tournay, obtained of Leo IV, about the year 854, the body of St. Callistus, pope and martyr, which he placed in the-abbey of Canon Regulars which he had founded at Cisoin fourteen years before; the church of which place was on this account dedicated in honour of St. Callistus. These circumstances are mentioned by Fulco, Archbishop of Rheims, in a letter which he wrote to Pope Formosus in 890. The relics were removed soon after to Rheims for fear of the Normans, and never restored to the abbey of Cisoin. They remain behind the altar of our Lady at Rheims. Some of the relics, however, of this pope are kept with those of St. Calepodius, martyr, in the Church of St. Mary Trastevere at Rome. A portion was formerly possessed at Glastonbury.
Among the sacred edifices which upon the first transient glimpse of favour, or at least tranquillity, that the church enjoyed at Rome, this holy pope erected, the most celebrated was the cemetery which he enlarged and adorned on the Appian Road, the entrance of which is at St. Sebastian's, a monastery founded by Nicholas I, now inhabited by reformed Cistercian monks. In it the bodies of SS. Peter and Paul lay for some time, according to Anastasius, who says that the devout Lady Lucina buried St. Cornelius in her own farm near this place; whence it for some time took her name, though she is not to be confounded with Lucina who buried St. Paul's body on the Ostian Way and built a famous cemetery on the Aurelian Way. Among many thousand martyrs deposited in this place were St. Sebastian, whom the Lady Lucina interred, St. Cecily, and several whose tombs Pope Damasus adorned with verses.
In the assured faith of the resurrection of the flesh, the saints, in all ages down from Adam, were careful to treat their dead with religious respect, and to give them a modest and decent burial. The commendations which our Lord bestowed on the woman who poured precious ointments upon him a little before his death, and the devotion of those pious persons who took so much care of our Lord's funeral, recommended this office of charity; and the practice of the primitive Christians in this respect was most remarkable. Their care of their dead consisted not in any extravagant pomp, in which the pagans far outdid them,[8] but in a modest religious gravity and respect which was most pathetically expressive of their firm hope of a future resurrection, in which they regarded the mortal remains of their dead as precious in the eyes of God, who watches over them, regarding them as the apple of his eye, to be raised one day in the brightest glory, and made shining lustres in the heavenly Jerusalem.


<p><span class="keyword">File photo shows Malala</span> Yousafzai recovering after her shooting (picture: AFP/HO/University Hospitals Birmingham) </p>
File photo shows Malala Yousafzai recovering after her shooting (picture: AFP/HO/University Hospitals Birmingham) 
  • Malala Yousafzai, a young girl shot by the Taliban, has recently written a book called "I am Malala". She was interviewed by Jon Stewart which brought her great publicity. A Taliban gunman put a bullet in her head believing he was ending the Pakistani teenager's campaign for girls' education. She mentions in the interview with Jon Stewart:
I started thinking about that, and I used to think that the Talib would come, and he would just kill me. But then I said, 'If he comes, what would you do Malala?' then I would reply to myself, 'Malala, just take a shoe and hit him.'  But then I said, 'If you hit a Talib with your shoe, then there would be no difference between you and the Talib. You must not treat others with cruelty and that much harshly, you must fight others but through peace and through dialogue and through education.' Then I said I will tell him how important education is and that 'I even want education for your children as well.' And I will tell him, 'That's what I want to tell you, now do what you want.'

Doctors had to place a titanium plate over the hole in her skull and her hearing has been badly affected. 

She has already been named as one of Time magazine's most influential people in 2013 and has reportedly secured a $3 million contract for a book on her life story.
"This frail young girl who was seriously injured has become such a powerful symbol not just for the girls' right to education, but for the demand that we do something about it immediately," said former British prime minister Gordon Brown, UN envoy on education who organized World Malala Day.
"From the day that terrible shooting -- assassination attempt -- took place, Malala Yousafzai is a symbol for the rights of girls, and indeed the rights of all young people, to an education," said UN spokesman Martin Nesirky.
The Taliban made it clear that the aim of the shooting was to let the world know that girls have no right to equality at school.
Now, more girls than ever before are attending schools in the Swat Valley.
But the United Nations estimates that 57 million children of primary school age do not get an education -- half of them in countries at conflict like Syria.
"Students and teachers across our globe are intimidated and harassed, injured, raped, and even killed. Schools are burned, bombed, and destroyed," said Diya Nijhowne, director of the Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack.
Gunmen from the Boko Haram Islamist group -- whose name literally means "Western education is a sin" -- broke into a secondary boarding school and killed 41 students and one teacher before setting fire to the building.
According to Ban's annual report on children and conflict, 115 schools were attacked last year in Mali, 321 in the occupied Palestinian territory, 167 in Afghanistan and 165 in Yemen.
Schools were also a regular target in Pakistan when Malala started a diary at the age of 11, written under the pseudonym of Gul Makai, the name of a Pashtun heroine, that was published on BBC Urdu.
The young girl built up a worldwide following of supporters as she told of the anxiety she and friends felt as they saw students dropping out for fear of being targeted by militants. Girls also refused to wear uniforms to school in case militants saw them.
Malala and her family briefly left Swat during a government offensive on the Taliban controlled territory.
On their return, they were the subject of threats by militants before the attack on October 9 last year.
The family now live in Birmingham, England where the girl has undergone surgery and rehabilitation. The Taliban said it shot Malala because of her efforts to promote "secular education" and have made it clear she remains a target. AFP
Edited FROM UCAN/ UN/Interview with Jon Stewart


For release: Sunday 13th October 2013
The Australian Christian Lobby has expressed concern at the anger and vitriol directed at pro-life supporters during yesterday’s annual March for the Babies in Melbourne.
More than 3,000 people participating in the peaceful march were confronted by around 50 radicals who yelled and screamed abuse. The shocking abuse of pro-life supporters was captured by Channel 7 and Channel 9.
According to media reports, several of those hurling abuse were members of the Socialist Alliance and one was filmed wearing a T-Shirt advertising the Australian Sex Party.
ACL’s Victorian Director Dan Flynn, who is also Deputy Chair of March for the Babies, said today that such abuse was unacceptable in a society which respects freedom of speech.
“Every group has the right to lawful assembly and free speech, but no group has a right to violently attack such a lawful assembly with abuse and violence.
“I can only surmise that the motive of these 50 people is to manufacture a violent scene to dissuade people from attending the March for the Babies in the future.”
Mr Flynn said he respected the view of the pro-abortion protestors but said the cause of protecting unborn babies and reforming Victoria’s abortion laws should be allowed to be debated in a civil manner.
March for the Babies occurs each year to peacefully campaign for human rights protections for the unborn, which were completely removed by the passing of a 2008 abortion bill in the Victorian Parliament.


Hindu festival bridge stampede kills 117
Madhya Pradesh authorities expect death to climb<p>Pilgrims caught in the stampede were marking the Durga Hindu festival</p>
Pilgrims caught in the stampede were marking the Durga Hindu festival reporter, Bhopal, India, October 14, 2013
  • At least 117 pilgrims were killed and 100 injured in a bridge stampede on the last day of a Hindu festival in central India on Sunday.
The tragedy occurred after people reportedly panicked on their way to the famous Ratangarh Mata temple on the ninth day of the Durga festival as rumors spread that the bridge over the Sindh River in Madhaya Pradesh was about to collapse. About a quarter of a million people were reported to have gathered around the temple.
The death toll was expected to rise further as people were still missing on Monday, officials said, while some families were understood to have taken bodies away to avoid red tape.
Authorities said that search and rescue operations had ended as families continued to look for missing loved ones around the site of the tragedy.
Mangal Kishore, who lost his two-year-old son and whose wife was hospitalized, blamed the local government for failing to take suitable measures to manage the large crowds.
"She [my wife] went to seek blessing for our son, and we lost him," he said.
Chief Secretary Anthony De Sa, the state's highest ranking civil servant, said that there would be an investigation into the stampede, a common occurrence at religious festivals in India where authorities have routinely faced accusations of failing to properly manage large crowds. 
The Sindh River bridge was only recently rebuilt after water was released from a nearby dam without warning, killing 49 people during the same festival in 2006.