Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Saint February 7 : St. Colette of Corbie : Foundress of #Colettine #PoorClares

Born: 13 January 1381, at Corbie in Picardy, France
6 March 1447, Ghent
24 May 1807

(Diminutive of NICOLETTA, COLETTA). Founder of Colettine Poor Clares (Clarisses), born 13 January 1381, at Corbie in Picardy, France; died at Ghent, 6 March, 1447. Her father, Robert Boellet, was the carpenter of the famous Benedictine Abbey of Corbie; her mother's name was Marguerite Moyon. Colette joined successively the Bequines, the Benedictines, and the Urbanist Poor Clares. Later she lived for a while as a recluse. Having resolved to reform the Poor Clares, she turned to the antipope, Benedict XIII (Pedro de Luna), then recognized by France as the rightful pope. Benedict allowed her to enter to the order of Poor Clares and empowered her by several Bulls, dated 1406, 1407, 1408, and 1412 to found new convents and complete the reform of the order. With the approval of the Countess of Geneva and the Franciscan Henri de la Beaume, her confessor and spiritual guide, Colette began her work at Beaume, in the Diocese of Geneva. She remained there but a short time and soon opened at Besançon her first convent in an almost abandoned house of Urbanist Poor Clares. Thence her reform spread to Auxonne (1410), to Poligny, to Ghent (1412), to Heidelberg (1444), to Amiens, etc. To the seventeen convents founded during her lifetime must be added another begun by her at Pont-à-Mousson in Lorraine. She also inaugurated a reform among the Franciscan friars (the Coletani), not to be confounded with the Observants. These Coletani remained obedient to the authority of the provincial of the Franciscan convents, and never attained much importance even in France. In 1448 they had only thirteen convents, and together with other small branches of the Franciscan Order were suppressed in 1517 by Leo X. In addition to the strict rules of the Poor Clares, the Colettines follow their special constitutions sanctioned in 1434 by the General of the Franciscans, William of Casale, approved in 1448 by Nicholas V, in 1458 by Pius II, and in 1482 by Sixtus IV.
 St. Colette was beatified 23 January, 1740, and canonized 24 May, 1807. She was not only a woman of sincere piety, but also intelligent and energetic, and exercised a remarkable moral power over all her associates. She was very austere and mortified in her life, for which God rewarded her by supernatural favours and the gift of miracles. For the convents reformed by her she prescribed extreme poverty, to go barefooted, and the observance of perpetual fast and abstinence. The Colettine Sisters are found today, outside of France, in Belgium, Germany, Spain, England, and the United States. (Text from the Catholic Encyclopedia)

Pope Francis Lent Message God offers us "...the season of Lent as a “sacramental sign of our conversion” FULL TEXT

Pope Francis on Tuesday released his message for the 2018 liturgical season of Lent, which begins on Ash Wednesday, 14 February. The theme of this year’s message is: ‘Because of the increase of iniquity, the love of many will grow cold’ (Mt 24:12). This is the full text of the Pope’s Lenten message:
2018 Lenten Message of His Holiness Pope Francis
“Because of the increase of iniquity, the love of many will grow cold” (Mt 24:12)
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Once again, the Pasch of the Lord draws near!  In our preparation for Easter, God in his providence offers us each year the season of Lent as a “sacramental sign of our conversion”.[1]  Lent summons us, and enables us, to come back to the Lord wholeheartedly and in every aspect of our life.
With this message, I would like again this year to help the entire Church experience this time of grace anew, with joy and in truth.  I will take my cue from the words of Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew: “Because of the increase of iniquity, the love of many will grow cold” (24:12).
These words appear in Christ’s preaching about the end of time.  They were spoken in Jerusalem, on the Mount of Olives, where the Lord’s passion would begin.  In reply to a question of the disciples, Jesus foretells a great tribulation and describes a situation in which the community of believers might well find itself: amid great trials, false prophets would lead people astray and the love that is the core of the Gospel would grow cold in the hearts of many.

False prophets

Let us listen to the Gospel passage and try to understand the guise such false prophets can assume.
They can appear as “snake charmers”, who manipulate human emotions in order to enslave others and lead them where they would have them go.  How many of God’s children are mesmerized by momentary pleasures, mistaking them for true happiness!  How many men and women live entranced by the dream of wealth, which only makes them slaves to profit and petty interests!  How many go through life believing that they are sufficient unto themselves, and end up entrapped by loneliness!
False prophets can also be “charlatans”, who offer easy and immediate solutions to suffering that soon prove utterly useless.  How many young people are taken in by the panacea of drugs, of disposable relationships, of easy but dishonest gains!  How many more are ensnared in a thoroughly “virtual” existence, in which relationships appear quick and straightforward, only to prove meaningless!  These swindlers, in peddling things that have no real value, rob people of all that is most precious: dignity, freedom and the ability to love.  They appeal to our vanity, our trust in appearances, but in the end they only make fools of us.  Nor should we be surprised.  In order to confound the human heart, the devil, who is “a liar and the father of lies” (Jn 8:44), has always presented evil as good, falsehood as truth.  That is why each of us is called to peer into our heart to see if we are falling prey to the lies of these false prophets.  We must learn to look closely, beneath the surface, and to recognize what leaves a good and lasting mark on our hearts, because it comes from God and is truly for our benefit.

A cold heart

In his description of hell, Dante Alighieri pictures the devil seated on a throne of ice,[2] in frozen and loveless isolation.  We might well ask ourselves how it happens that charity can turn cold within us.  What are the signs that indicate that our love is beginning to cool?
More than anything else, what destroys charity is greed for money, “the root of all evil” (1 Tim6:10).  The rejection of God and his peace soon follows; we prefer our own desolation rather than the comfort found in his word and the sacraments.[3]  All this leads to violence against anyone we think is a threat to our own “certainties”: the unborn child, the elderly and infirm, the migrant, the alien among us, or our neighbour who does not live up to our expectations.
Creation itself becomes a silent witness to this cooling of charity.  The earth is poisoned by refuse, discarded out of carelessness or for self-interest.  The seas, themselves polluted, engulf the remains of countless shipwrecked victims of forced migration.  The heavens, which in God’s plan, were created to sing his praises, are rent by engines raining down implements of death.
Love can also grow cold in our own communities.  In the Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, I sought to describe the most evident signs of this lack of love: selfishness and spiritual sloth, sterile pessimism, the temptation to self-absorption, constant warring among ourselves, and the worldly mentality that makes us concerned only for appearances, and thus lessens our missionary zeal.[4]

What are we to do?

Perhaps we see, deep within ourselves and all about us, the signs I have just described.  But the Church, our Mother and Teacher, along with the often bitter medicine of the truth, offers us in the Lenten season the soothing remedy of prayer, almsgiving and fasting.
By devoting more time to prayer, we enable our hearts to root out our secret lies and forms of self-deception,[5] and then to find the consolation God offers. He is our Father and he wants us to live life well.
Almsgiving sets us free from greed and helps us to regard our neighbour as a brother or sister.  What I possess is never mine alone.  How I would like almsgiving to become a genuine style of life for each of us!  How I would like us, as Christians, to follow the example of the Apostles and see in the sharing of our possessions a tangible witness of the communion that is ours in the Church!  For this reason, I echo Saint Paul’s exhortation to the Corinthians to take up a collection for the community of Jerusalem as something from which they themselves would benefit (cf. 2 Cor 8:10).  This is all the more fitting during the Lenten season, when many groups take up collections to assist Churches and peoples in need.  Yet I would also hope that, even in our daily encounters with those who beg for our assistance, we would see such requests as coming from God himself.  When we give alms, we share in God’s providential care for each of his children.  If through me God helps someone today, will he not tomorrow provide for my own needs?  For no one is more generous than God.[6]
Fasting weakens our tendency to violence; it disarms us and becomes an important opportunity for growth.  On the one hand, it allows us to experience what the destitute and the starving have to endure.  On the other hand, it expresses our own spiritual hunger and thirst for life in God.  Fasting wakes us up.  It makes us more attentive to God and our neighbour.  It revives our desire to obey God, who alone is capable of satisfying our hunger.
I would also like my invitation to extend beyond the bounds of the Catholic Church, and to reach all of you, men and women of good will, who are open to hearing God’s voice.  Perhaps, like ourselves, you are disturbed by the spread of iniquity in the world, you are concerned about the chill that paralyzes hearts and actions, and you see a weakening in our sense of being members of the one human family.  Join us, then, in raising our plea to God, in fasting, and in offering whatever you can to our brothers and sisters in need!

The fire of Easter

Above all, I urge the members of the Church to take up the Lenten journey with enthusiasm, sustained by almsgiving, fasting and prayer.  If, at times, the flame of charity seems to die in our own hearts, know that this is never the case in the heart of God!  He constantly gives us a chance to begin loving anew.
One such moment of grace will be, again this year, the “24 Hours for the Lord” initiative, which invites the entire Church community to celebrate the sacrament of Reconciliation in the context of Eucharistic adoration. In 2018, inspired by the words of Psalm 130:4, “With you is forgiveness”, this will take place from Friday, 9 March to Saturday, 10 March.  In each diocese, at least one church will remain open for twenty-four consecutive hours, offering an opportunity for both Eucharistic adoration and sacramental confession.
During the Easter Vigil, we will celebrate once more the moving rite of the lighting of the Easter candle.  Drawn from the “new fire”, this light will slowly overcome the darkness and illuminate the liturgical assembly.  “May the light of Christ rising in glory dispel the darkness of our hearts and minds”,[7] and enable all of us to relive the experience of the disciples on the way to Emmaus.  By listening to God’s word and drawing nourishment from the table of the Eucharist, may our hearts be ever more ardent in faith, hope and love.
With affection and the promise of my prayers for all of you, I send you my blessing.  Please do not forget to pray for me.
From the Vatican, 1 November 2017
Solemnity of All Saints
[1] Roman Missal, Collect for the First Sunday of Lent (Italian).
[2] Inferno XXXIV, 28-29.
[3] “It is curious, but many times we are afraid of consolation, of being comforted. Or rather, we feel more secure in sorrow and desolation. Do you know why? Because in sorrow we feel almost as protagonists. However, in consolation the Holy Spirit is the protagonist!” (Angelus, 7 December 2014).
[4] Evangelii Gaudium, 76-109.
[5] Cf. BENEDICT XVI, Encyclical Letter Spe Salvi, 33. Cf. PIUS XII, Encyclical Letter Fidei Donum, III.
[6] Roman Missal (Third Edition), Easter Vigil, Lucernarium.

Source of Text: Vatican News

#BreakingNews Catholic Actor John Mahoney of Frasier Dies at age 77 - RIP “I’ve always prayed to the Holy Ghost for wisdom..."

He told The Chicago Tribune, (who interviewed him in 1996)
“I was raised a Catholic and still practice, though probably not as often as I should,” he told the paper. “But when I say my prayers every day, I ask for love and respect and dignity. And I try to give those things too.”

John Mahoney (June 20, 1940 – February 4, 2018) was an English-American stage, film, voice and television actor. He was born in Bispham, Blackpool, Lancashire, England, Mahoney started his career on the stage in 1977 and moved into film in 1980. He was best known for playing the father of Frasier as Martin Crane in the American sitcom "Frasier", from NBC during the period of 1993 to 2004. He was the seventh of eight children in the family. His Irish father, Reg, was a baker and his mother, Margaret, was a housewife. John received citizenship in 1959. He lived in Macomb, Illinois, and taught English at Western Illinois University. Mahoney took acting classes at St. Nicholas Theatre. He acted in films such as, Moonstruck, Eight Men Out, Say Anything..., In the Line of Fire, Reality Bites, and The American President.  Mahoney received two Emmy nominations and two Golden Globe nominations for this role. Mahoney also appeared as a priest in Becker, which starred  Ted Danson.
 Mahoney was godfather to Frasier co-star Jane Leeves' son Finn. Mahoney died on February 4, 2018 at the age of 77 while in hospice care in Chicago, after an illness.
Excerpts from the book The God Factor: Inside the Spiritual Lives of Public People (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2006) some  things he mentioned about his faith: 
 “I’ve always prayed to the Holy Ghost for wisdom and for understanding and knowledge. I think he answered my prayers when I stopped in the church that day. My life was totally different from that day on. I saw myself as I was, and I saw into the future and saw what I wanted to be. And I sort of rededicated myself to God and begged him to make me a better person. It wasn’t fear of hell or anything like that. I just somehow knew that to be like this, like what I was, wasn’t the reason I was created. I had to be better. I had to be a better person. And I think I am now. I like myself,” he says, 
Before John goes onstage each night, he says a prayer. “‘Most glorious Blessed Spirit, I thank you for all the gifts and talents that you’ve given me. Please help me to use all these gifts and talents to their fullest. And please accept this performance as a prayer of praise and thanks to you.’ I always say that.”
While he can’t put an exact date on it, John believes his mind began to change when his heart did, around the time he had what he describes as an “epiphany” in a Roman Catholic church in downtown Chicago around 1975. “I was in the Loop, and I went into St. Peter’s and went to Mass, and it was just about the most emotional thing that ever happened to me. I don’t know where it came from, I just had a little breakdown of some sort, and after that, made a conscious effort to be a better person, to be a part of the world, and to try to revolve around everyone else in the world instead of expecting them to revolve around me. 

#BreakingNews Australian Archbishop urges Lawmakers to Protect #ReligiousFreedom - FULL TEXT

Archdiocese of Sydney Release: The Catholic Archbishop of Sydney, Most Rev. Anthony Fisher OP, delivered a strong call for the protection of religious freedom in Australia before a congregation of lawyers and lawmakers that included NSW Attorney-General, Mark Speakman MP, Opposition Leader Luke Foley MP, and Chief Justice of NSW, Tom Bathurst this week.
In the homily for Red Mass, which officially marked the opening of the 2018 law term, Archbishop Fisher addressed the emergence of an aggressive secularism with its "hard-edged determination to minimise the role of faith in every life and exclude it altogether from the public square."  The Archbishop questioned whether people of faith would, in the future, be free in future to hold, speak and practice their beliefs.
Reflecting on the Gospel reading, where Jesus exhorted His followers to render to God what was God's and to Caesar what was Caesar's, Archbishop Fisher remarked that a commitment to the 'common good' and respect for the dignity of all would be crucial in reconciling competing rights.
HOMILY FOR THE RED MASS Votive Mass of the Holy Spirit, St. Mary's Cathedral, Sydney Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP,
29 Jan 2018

Votive Mass of the Holy Spirit, St. Mary's Cathedral, Sydney
One of the most highly acclaimed films of the past year is the biographical war drama, Hacksaw Ridge. Andrew Garfield brilliantly plays Desmond Doss, a Seventh Day Adventist Christian who served as a U.S. army medic in the Second World War but refused to bear arms. He was the first conscientious objector to receive the Medal of Honor for service above and beyond the call of duty. The film explores three tensions for Doss: the terrible war between his country and Japan, played out in the Battle of Okinawa; the conflict between himself and his fellow soldiers over whether and how he would 'have their back'; and the internal struggle between duties to God and country, mates and self. Doss reconciles these things in an extraordinary act of life-saving, and his comrades and nation come to honour his conscience.
The story might occasion some reflection on freedom of religion in Australia today. For all its putative open-mindedness and despite its profound debt to Judeo-Christianity for its laws and customs, our culture is less and less tolerant of such religion. Will people in parishes, Church schools and other faith institutions, let alone in the more public square, be free in future to hold, speak and practice their beliefs?
The recent change to the legal definition of marriage raised such concerns and occasioned the establishment of the Review of Religious Liberty Protections in Australia led by Hon. Phillip Ruddock. If recent trends in Australia and overseas are anything to go by, religious institutions that maintain a traditional view of marriage may well face challenges regarding their ceremonies and sacred spaces, their employment, enrolment and accommodation policies, the message they preach or curriculum they teach, their charitable status or eligibility for government grants and contracts, and so on. People of faith may find themselves the victims of vilification, 'lawfare' or disadvantage in employment, commerce, academic or professional admission, parenting or otherwise, if they are known to hold or dare to voice old-fashioned views on marriage or other matters.
The recent legalisation of euthanasia in Victoria represents not only the first state-sanctioned killing of citizens in that state since the abolition of capital punishment, but also new challenges for people of traditional ethics practising healthcare or running health or aged care facilities. Will they be required, as some jurisdictions require regarding abortion, to perform, refer for or otherwise collaborate in this now-legal activity?
The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse drew attention to the terrible harm done to many young people, especially by clergy, religious or other church workers in the 1960s, '70s and '80s, and to the disastrous failure of some religious leaders to respond appropriately. That Commission has made many important recommendations that will be embraced by all right-thinking Australians. But as the Commissioners themselves recognised, some recommendations touch upon states of life and sacraments and might be thought to overreach the proper boundaries between state and church.
Many other examples of controversies touching upon religious liberty today might be given. Each would merit long and nuanced discussion, and occasion divergent views amongst us. No one would envy the task of the Ruddock Committee, or of lawmakers, judges and practitioners, in reconciling the supposedly non-derogable right freely to hold and practice religious beliefs with other rights, responsibilities or interests. 
How are we to think about such matters? Christ's teaching in today's Gospel about rendering to Caesar what it Caesar's and to God what is God's (Mt 22:5-21) is an excellent starting point, but it raises questions about what properly belongs to each realm, what respecting each demands, and what to do when they overlap. Any hard and fast distinction between private and public does not seem to cut it; nor do appeals to general principles of public order and non-discrimination alone.
Reflecting upon Christian Scripture and Tradition, the Second Vatican Council suggested that the purpose of law and government is to serve 'the common good', that is 'the social conditions necessary for human flourishing'. That includes reasonable access to those natural goods which contribute to human flourishing, i.e. to people's physical, emotional and spiritual wellbeing (Dignitatis humane §6).
Religion is one such good (cf. John Finnis, Natural Law and Natural Rights, ch. 13). Many who are proudly Australian, or who aspire to be after fleeing persecution, treasure the generous space traditionally allowed in our law and culture for people to believe different things and practice their most deeply held beliefs. Not that Australians have any monopoly on such respectfulness: international law insists that such liberties precede the state, are positive rights not just exemptions or concessions to minorities, and must be respected and promoted by law-makers and keepers (e.g. Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights).
Whether through constitutional or positive law, through public education and dialogue, through advancing concepts of 'fair go' and neighbourliness, or in other ways, every community needs mechanisms to safeguard the rights of citizens and resolve conflicts between them. I would say that Australia has mostly been good at this, if not always or in all respects. The militant secularism in the air at the moment, like the colonialism, sectarianism, racism and sexism in the air at other times, threatens to unravel Australian respectfulness in religious matters and historic balances between Church and state. It's not just the annual barneys over whether councils can wish people a Merry Christmas on their street banners or state school choirs sing carols. Rather, there is now a more hard-edged determination to minimise the role of faith in every life and exclude it altogether from the public square. The pressure is on to eradicate Judeo-Christian ideas such as the sanctity of life and love from our laws and customs, to inoculate people to faith or make them embarrassed or secretive about it, and to enforce a kind of practical agnosticism on the whole community. There is no room for a Desmond Doss in such a world. Ninety years ago G.K. Chesterton presciently observed that Thomas More, whom he saw as a martyr for conscience and religious liberty, "is more important at this moment than at any moment in his life... but he is not quite so important as he will be in about a hundred years time." (A Turning Point in History,1929).
Christians will, I trust, continue to work with people of all faiths and none to ensure respect for the dignity of all, not just believers, and freedom of conscience for all, not just their co-religionists. And they will pray for and otherwise support our lawmakers, judges and practitioners who must deal with conundra as difficult as Solomon's (1 Kings 3:16-28). There will be challenges ahead for us all, leaders or servants of Church or state, citizens of the realm of Caesar or of God or both. As Pope Francis has prayed, "May this be the path we take: rejecting pointless disagreement and closed-mindedness... fostering everywhere the peaceful encounter of people of different beliefs... pursuing genuine religious freedom. It is a path to be taken together, for the good of all, and with hope. May our various religions be wombs of life, bearing the merciful love of God to a wounded and needy humanity. May they be doors of hope breaking open the walls of pride and fear." (Address to Representatives of Various Religions, 3 November 2016)

St. Mary's Cathedral, Sydney
Welcome to St Mary's Cathedral for the annual Red Mass at the opening of the new law term. Our law-makers, judges, practitioners, teachers and students play an essential role in our community, and rightly seek a higher wisdom - the wisdom of Solomon - and a higher inspiration - that of the Holy Spirit - to serve true justice and mercy.
I acknowledge the concelebrating clergy, including Fr Peter Joseph, chaplain to the St Thomas More Society. I thank all the members of that Society for assisting in organising this occasion.
Amongst our NSW law-makers I acknowledge:
  • The Attorney-General, Hon. Mark Speakman SC MP
  • The Treasurer, Hon. Dominic Perrottet MP
  • The Leader of the Opposition, Hon. Luke Foley MP
  • Representing the Shadow Attorney-General, Hon. Dr Hugh McDermott MP
  • Parliamentary Secretary for Justice, Hon. David Clarke MLC
  • The Solicitor-General, Michael Sexton SC
  • Former Attorneys-General, Hon. Justice Terry Sheehan AO and Hon. Greg Smith SC
  • And other current or past MPs.
From our courts of law I acknowledge:
  • The Chief Justice of New South Wales, Hon. Justice Tom Bathurst AC, and other judges of the Supreme Court
  • The President of the Court of Appeal, Hon. Justice Margaret Beazley AO
  • The Chief Judge of the Land and Environment Court, Hon. Justice Brian Preston, and other judges and commissioners
  • The Chief Judge of the District Court, Hon. Justice Derek Price AM, and other judges of that court
  • The President of the Workers Compensation Commission, Hon. Judge Greg Keating and other judicial officers of that commission
  • The Chief Magistrate of the Local Court, Hon. Judge Graeme Henson, and other magistrates
  • Hon. Justice Michael Lee and other judges of the Federal Court of Australia
  • Other current and retired judges and judicial officers.
From our law professions and legal education I acknowledge:
  • The representative of the President of the Bar Association, and members of the bar
  • The President of the Law Society, Doug Humphreys OAM, and solicitors
  • Emeritus Ambassador to the Holy See, John McCarthy QC
  • The Dean of the School of Law in the University of Notre Dame, Prof. Michael Quinlan, and law teachers and students.
To anyone associated with the law, a very warm welcome.
Text Source: Archdiocese of Sydney Australia

#BreakingNews Cardinal Zen New FULL TEXT Letter "...the Vatican is ready to surrender to the Chinese Communists"

Card. Zen: Do not manipulate Pope Benedict XVI’s Letter

Card. Joseph Zen

ASIANEWS: The bishop emeritus of Hong Kong comments on some statements and publications of the past few days, after the declaration of the Vatican press office on the "presumed difference of thought and action between the Holy Father and his collaborators in the Roman Curia on issues relating to China". The accusation of Card. Zen: the Letter of Benedict XVI to Chinese Catholics is only partially quoted. Comfort to the faithful of the underground communities forced "to enter the lion’s cage".

Hong Kong (AsiaNews) - In a blog post published yesterday, Card. Joseph Zen returns to questions related to the possible agreement between China and the Vatican on illegitimate bishops replacing legitimate bishops, and on what he called the "selling-out" of the Chinese Church to the government of Beijing. FULL TEXT : Translation from Chinese by AsiaNews.
  • Some people who care about me advised me not to speak more, or rather to pray more. Of course to pray more is absolutely correct, and all our hopes should be on God, and entrusted to the intercession of the Blessed Mother.
  • Those who advised me not to speak more probably are concerned of me being easily attacked by others if talking too much. I am not afraid of that, only if I am sure that the words are fair and useful, then I am not afraid of the gains and losses, given my age.
  • I still want to talk because I'm afraid I won't be able to speak any more soon. Please bear with me.
Today I would like to talk about:
  1. On the Book of Job in the First Reading of this Sunday, he has been assigned “months of misery, and troubled nights”. He said, “I shall not see happiness again." (Job 7) But the Psalm responds: Praise the Lord, who heals the brokenhearted.” (Psalm 147)
The mainland brothers and sisters, in the past few days, have heard that the Vatican is ready to surrender to the Chinese Communists, their hearts are probably very uncomfortable. If the illicit and excommunicated bishops are to be legitimized, and the legitimate bishops are to be forced to retreat, wouldn't the legitimate bishops of the underground communities be worried about their fate? Priests and believers will soon have to obey and respect those who are today illicit and excommunicated but become legitimized bishops by the Holy See because of the backing by the Chinese government. How painful nights will they have to bear?
No need to say tomorrow, but even today the great plague has begun. Since February 1, 2018 the Chinese government will strictly enforce the Religious Regulations. The underground priests of Shanghai have informed their Church members not to go to their Masses. Those who are stubborn and disobedient will probably be detained!
Don't be afraid, God will heal the broken heart!
  1. The Secretary of State of the Holy See says: "We understand the pain of Chinese brothers and sisters yesterday and today." Alas! This man of little faith knows what real pain is?! Mainland brothers are not afraid of losing homes and properties, not afraid of being imprisoned, also not afraid of shedding blood. Their greatest pain is to be betrayed by their “closed ones”!
Cardinal Parolin also made a long interview, all were paradoxical fallacies (hopefully words and mind are not different). But the most undignified of all was the Secretary of State had the audacity to insult emeritus Pope Benedict XVI. Parolin only cited, out of context, the Pope’s Letter to the Church in China ten years ago, by saying: "the solution to existing problems cannot be pursued via an ongoing conflict with the legitimate civil authorities". But he did not say (the second half of the sentence): “at the same time, though, compliance with those authorities is not acceptable when they interfere unduly in matters regarding the faith and discipline of the Church.” (Pope Benedict XVI Letter 2007, 4.7)
[In Italian in the text:]
Non? decente per un alto ufficiale della Santa Sede manipolare la lettera di un Papa, anche se gi? ritirato, citando la frese (4.7): “la soluzione dei problemi esistenti non pu? essere perseguita attraverso un permanente conflitto con le legittime Autorit? civili” nascondendo che la lettera segue immediatamente dicendo“nello stesso tempo, per?, non ? accettabile un'arrendevolezza alle medesime quando esse interferiscano indebitamente in materie che riguardano la fede e la disciplina della Chiesa.”
Pope Francis also spoke to the Bishops in Asia at the Asian Youth Day, in South Korea: "The first condition of dialogue is coherence to one's own identity."
A “high-ranking source of the Holy See” humbly said: “We will still be like caged birds, but the birdcage will be bigger…..We will inch the cage space.” My God! The question is not the size of the birdcage, but who are inside the birdcage?! The faithful of the underground communities are not inside the birdcage. Now it is you who force them into the cage, and have to "unite” inside the birdcage? Of course in the birdcage some are slaves, but some are willing to be in the cage to be minions of the swagger. (I was the first one to say that there is only one Church in China, and the open Church members also love the Pope in heart. Now I dare not say so.)
Now that I have decided to give priority to truth and justice (all I am saying is to protect the pope's reputation and to clarify the Church's Truth), I also wish to tell you that I received a private audience with Pope Francis three years ago. It took me 40 minutes to report my views on the “dialogue”. The Pope listened to me for 40 minutes without interrupting me, only when I said, “The Church on the mainland is objectively speaking a schismatic one (independent and government-managed)”. The Pope said, “Of course!” (“Certo!”).
  1. Yesterday many people called to "comfort me" in person or by telephone because I was scolded by a spokesman for the Holy See. This is another big misunderstanding. I definitely do not need sympathy. Let us comfort the spokesman instead! He is a caged bird, forced into such an awkward position: this time he was so efficient, all at once criticized my speech (of course, written by others, he read out). However, not more than a year ago, before the Ninth National Assembly of the Catholic Representatives in China, did he not say “Holy See is waiting for hard facts before it makes a judgement”? (“La Santa Sede attende di giudicare in base a fatti comprovati.”)It is more than a year, and we are still waiting for that judgement!
  2. South China Morning Post commentator A. L. is also worthy of sympathy. Every day he has to find an object to criticize, to mock, and he is a learned person (he can talk about de omnibus et aliquibus aliis, all topics, and others.) In his the article that day, he said that I like politics more than religion. I want to remind him. “Where angels fear to tread, the fools rush in”. What does he know about religion? What is faith? He said that I decided to make the faithful of the Mainland to suffer. Does he know: what is the real pain for a man of faith? But his last remark was right: “The Vatican has to readjust its worldly diplomacy, whatever its spiritual preferences may be.” However, those are not just preferences, they are not-negotiable principles!

Text Source: AsiaNews IT

Head of Canadian Bishops makes Strong #ProLife Statement “The state has a legitimate interest in protecting the unborn” FULL TEXT

CCCCB: “The state has a legitimate interest in protecting the unborn”: Statement on the 30th anniversary of the Morgentaler Decision

gendronExactly thirty years ago, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that existing abortion provisions in our nation's Criminal Code violated a woman's Charter rights to the security of person, and were thus unconstitutional. Since that ruling, there has been no criminal law regulating abortion in Canada. Yet, Mr. Justice Gerard Mitchell, retired Chief Justice of Prince Edward Island, has noted that at the time of the 1988 Morgentaler decision, "none of the seven judges held that there was a constitutional right to abortion on demand". In fact, "all of the judges acknowledged [that] the state has a legitimate interest in protecting the unborn". Despite the heroic efforts of countless Canadian citizens and organizations to secure in law that full protection for the unborn, a succession of federal governments has failed to take any decisive action. Canada today is one of the only countries in the world in which abortion continues to be permitted at every stage of pre-natal development and for any motive.
Legal or not, every abortion involves at least four victims: the unborn child, the mother, the father, and the community. The mother's actions, whether coerced or freely chosen, leave her wounded – in many instances for the remainder of her life. Abortion can also cause destructive tensions between the parents themselves and with their families. While unrestricted access to abortion continues to be touted by some as the guarantor of women's freedom, the truth is that abortion does nothing at all to address the very real challenges which confront a woman when she finds herself facing an unintended pregnancy. Nor does it address any of the other conditions in a society that unjustly limit a woman's freedom. Abortion merely makes it easier for society to avoid its moral obligations to ensure protection and shelter for the most vulnerable – expectant mothers, the unborn child, and all who are in need. Abortion is never a solution.
From its very beginning, and throughout its history, the Catholic Church has consistently taught that human life is sacred, and derives its value not from any measure of "usefulness" but from its origin, hidden in the creative power of God, and from the eternal destiny to which it is directed. The intentional killing of innocent human beings at any stage of development is always gravely wrong. The life that begins at conception is that of a unique and irreplaceable human being; a life, like all others, at least in some measure dependent yet genetically distinct – a human life, full of potential. As proclaimed in The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), we hold that every member of the human family enjoys the right to life.
Today, the sciences of embryology and genetics have placed the humanity of the unborn child beyond question. That a new human life comes into existence at conception is not, as some suggest, "a theological opinion"; reason tells us that each human life has the right not to be killed. As Canadians, we take pride in our record of upholding international human rights – while at the same time failing to provide the most basic protection for the child in the womb and so contradicting and eroding our own humanity. In our country, in order to create a society which recognizes the inherent value of human life, we need to do more in making the choice for life a real option and opposing erroneous notions of "freedom" and "autonomy" which pit the welfare and rights of the individual against those of his or her neighbour, friend, or unborn child and thus also against the human community. What impoverishes one impoverishes all; what enriches one enriches all. To those who have succumbed to the pressures to abort, we hold out the promise of divine forgiveness. God, who is full of mercy and compassion, desires the friendship and healing of all.
With great hope and thanksgiving, the Catholic Bishops of Canada recognize that respect for life and opposition to abortion is not, as some have asserted, merely "the Catholic" position. Over the course of the last decades, many of our fellow Christians, members of other faiths, and those of no faith at all, have worked tirelessly with members of our own communities to uphold the value of human life from the first moment of conception. Through these collaborative efforts, countless vulnerable lives have been protected and mothers assisted; couples struggling with infertility have experienced the joys of parenthood; and mercy, forgiveness and healing have been celebrated and shared throughout the community. It is our prayer that this unity of purpose may continue to grow and flourish and that in the near future Canadian law will offer protection for the lives of the unborn. Let us continue to try hard and do what is right so that the most vulnerable among us will one day benefit from the protection which they are owed.
+Lionel Gendron, P.S.S.
Bishop of Saint-Jean-Longueuil and
President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops
27 January 2018

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Tues. February 6, 2018 - #Eucharist

Memorial of Saint Paul Miki and Companions, Martyrs
Lectionary: 330

Reading 11 KGS 8:22-23, 27-30

Solomon stood before the altar of the LORD
in the presence of the whole community of Israel,
and stretching forth his hands toward heaven,
he said, “LORD, God of Israel,
there is no God like you in heaven above or on earth below;
you keep your covenant of mercy with your servants
who are faithful to you with their whole heart.

“Can it indeed be that God dwells on earth?
If the heavens and the highest heavens cannot contain you,
how much less this temple which I have built! 
Look kindly on the prayer and petition of your servant, O LORD, my God,
and listen to the cry of supplication which I, your servant,
utter before you this day.
May your eyes watch night and day over this temple,
the place where you have decreed you shall be honored;
may you heed the prayer which I, your servant, offer in this place.
Listen to the petitions of your servant and of your people Israel
which they offer in this place.
Listen from your heavenly dwelling and grant pardon.”

Responsorial PsalmPS 84:3, 4, 5 AND 10, 11

R. (2) How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord, mighty God!
My soul yearns and pines 
for the courts of the LORD.
My heart and my flesh
cry out for the living God. 
R. How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord, mighty God!
Even the sparrow finds a home,
and the swallow a nest
in which she puts her young—
Your altars, O LORD of hosts,
my king and my God!
R. How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord, mighty God!
Blessed they who dwell in your house!
continually they praise you.
O God, behold our shield,
and look upon the face of your anointed.
R. How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord, mighty God!
I had rather one day in your courts
than a thousand elsewhere;
I had rather lie at the threshold of the house of my God
than dwell in the tents of the wicked.
R. How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord, mighty God!

Alleluia PS 119:36, 29B

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Incline my heart, O God, to your decrees;
and favor me with your law.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMK 7:1-13

When the Pharisees with some scribes who had come from Jerusalem
gathered around Jesus,
they observed that some of his disciples ate their meals
with unclean, that is, unwashed, hands.
(For the Pharisees and, in fact, all Jews,
do not eat without carefully washing their hands,
keeping the tradition of the elders.
And on coming from the marketplace
they do not eat without purifying themselves.
And there are many other things that they have traditionally observed,
the purification of cups and jugs and kettles and beds.)
So the Pharisees and scribes questioned him,
"Why do your disciples not follow the tradition of the elders
but instead eat a meal with unclean hands?" 
He responded,
"Well did Isaiah prophesy about you hypocrites,
as it is written:

This people honors me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me;
In vain do they worship me,
teaching as doctrines human precepts.

You disregard God's commandment but cling to human tradition."
He went on to say,
"How well you have set aside the commandment of God
in order to uphold your tradition!
For Moses said,
Honor your father and your mother,
and Whoever curses father or mother shall die.
Yet you say,
'If someone says to father or mother,
"Any support you might have had from me is qorban"'
(meaning, dedicated to God),
you allow him to do nothing more for his father or mother.
You nullify the word of God
in favor of your tradition that you have handed on.
And you do many such things."