Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Pope Francis Prayer Intention for June "That social networks may work towards that inclusiveness which respects others for their differences."

Universal: Social Networks
Pope Francis : "Let us pray together that social networks may work towards that inclusiveness which respects others for their differences.
The full text of the message is below: The Internet is a gift of God, but it is also a great responsibility. Communication technology, its places, its instruments have brought with it a lengthening of horizons, a widening, for so many people. It can offer immense possibilities for encounter and solidarity. May the digital network not be a place of alienation. May it be a concrete place, a place rich in humanity. Let us pray together that social networks may work towards that inclusiveness which respects others for their differences.

Wow 7000 Catholics Join "Walk with Christ" - Annual Eucharist Procession in Sydney, Australia for Corpus Christi

Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese Release:
Around 7,000 Catholics followed their Eucharistic Lord through the streets of Sydney yesterday, for the annual Walk With Christ procession.
This year's procession, on the Feast of Corpus Christi, coincided with the 200th anniversary of adoration of the Blessed Sacrament in Sydney, making it a particularly momentous occasion.
Beginning near the corner of Martin Place and Pitt Street in the city, the Blessed Sacrament was carried in procession with thousands following. Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP led proceedings, along with Auxiliary Bishops Anthony Randazzo, Richard Umbers and Terry Brady. Numerous priests also took part in the procession.
Along the way hymns were sung and prayers recited, including the rosary and Divine Mercy Chaplet. Participants were quiet, prayerful and reverent, amid the curious glances from on-lookers and passers-by. Many carried banners proudly representing their local parishes.
The procession made its way to the forecourt of St Mary's Cathedral for adoration and reflection, during which many knelt in silent prayer before the Blessed Sacrament.

NSW Police have estimated there were about 7,000 people in attendance.
During his homily Archbishop Fisher recounted the story of Fr Jeremiah O'Flynn, the only Catholic priest in the Colony of Sydney in 1818, who left the Blessed Sacrament with the lay faithful before he was deported back to England.
"That preserved sacrament became the focus of Catholic life ... what those people knew was that the most precious thing in the world is the Blessed Sacrament," Archbishop Fisher said.

Those pioneering Catholics, he said, would not have imagined that 200 years later there would be 5.2 million Catholics in Australia, 1400 parishes, or that Sydney would sport one of the most beautiful cathedrals in the world.
The Archbishop also referred to the enormous contribution Catholics have made to Australian society in the form of "10,000 hospital beds, 20,000 aged care beds, 45,000 tertiary education places, 700,000 school desks and innumerable acts of service and care every day".
He urged those present to "not forget the struggles of our ancestors and what they have bequeathed to us" or that "this Blessed Sacrament is but a foretaste of the heavenly banquet to come".
The Archbishop then led Benediction during which he blessed the crowed with the Blessed Sacrament.
Mark Baylon from the Schoenstatt community said the event shows "the unity within the Catholic Church".
"We just want to be here and celebrate with everyone," he said.
"To see people from different congregations and parishes is so nice. It's great to see a lot of people coming here and celebrating the Catholic faith."
Favria from St Calvin's Parish in Eastwood said it was her first time at the Walk and she was surprised by the size of the crowd.
"It was fantastic. I'm surprised there are so many people here. It's my first time. That we can walk together with Christ, it's really an amazing time."
Several parishes around Sydney also held their own Eucharistic processions, to mark the Feast of Corpus Christi.

#BreakingNews Death Toll Rises to over 69 People after Volcano Erupts Sunday in Guatelmala - Please Pray

A Guatemala volcano eruption occurred on Sunday, June 3, 2018.  The death toll has risen to over 69 with many still missing and probably killed. Columns of smoke and ash went 10 km into the air, covering the area with ash. Many were engulfed in floods of searing ash and mud.  There is no electricity in the hardest hit areas of Los Lotes and El Rodeo, so most searching continued only until sunset. Warning came too late, residents say, only a few have been identified so far because the intense heat of the volcanic debris flows left most bodies unrecognizable. "It is very difficult for us to identify them because some of the dead lost their features or their fingerprints" said Fanuel Garcia, director of the National Institute of Forensic Sciences. "We are going to have to resort to other methods ... and if possible take DNA samples to identify them."  Bodies were so thickly coated with ash that they looked like statues. Hot gas, ash and rock roared into villages, just below the mountain's flanks. " The fast-moving flows overtook people in homes and streets with temperatures reaching as high as 700 C. 3,271 people had been evacuated. (Edited from CBC)
Vatican News Released: Pope Francis said he is praying for the dead and for all those affected by a powerful volcanic eruption in Guatemala in which at least 69 people have died.
A telegramme addressed to Archbishop Nicolas Thevenin, the Apostolic Nuncio in Guatemala by Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin on behalf of the Pope, said Francis was “deeply saddened to learn of the news of the violent eruption of the Volcano of Fire, which has claimed numerous victims, caused enormous material damage and affected a significant number of people who live in the area”.
In it the Pope said he is praying for the eternal repose of the deceased and conveys his condolences to family members mourning the loss of their loved ones.
Please Pray as the search still continues....

Mission Priest in Central Africa says a Genocide is Occuring "...the CAR is a religious war between Muslims and Christians,"- Please PRAY

Bangui (Agenzia Fides) - "When a Central African returns home after spending a few years abroad, he realizes the abnormal and precarious situation that the Country is going through. Since 2013, so many resolutions have followed in relation to the Central African crisis and yet reality does not change": says to Agenzia Fides Fr. Francis Davy Barka-Nado, Superior of the District of the Society of African Missions of the CAR since 2017. 
"The news on incidents and massacres committed by rebel groups against the civilian population do not reflect reality on the ground. What is said, transmitted and disseminated by international means, is bias and exploited.
When there is a tragedy in a city or village, the survivors know who did what and know the number of victims. But they are also victims and do not have access to international media to express themselves. Often the perpetrators are presented as victims", explained Father Francis.
"The suffering of the Central African population - he notes - far exceeds what is reported outside the Country or what is seen on television in the West. Death has become an everyday friend. The morgues of the Bangui General Hospital and the community hospital are no longer sufficient to receive corpses. The coffin business, which culturally represents a taboo, is becoming very profitable right now".
"Our people do not understand why the international media are doing everything to keep the idea that what is happening in the CAR is a religious war between Muslims and Christians," explains the priest. "After the last events, which cost the lives of many faithful during a religious celebration, the leaders
of the religious platform of Central Africa invited the people to a demonstration at the Bangui sports stadium on Friday 25 May (see Fides 28/5/2018). On that day - adds Father Francis - strangely, nothing can be found regarding the statement of the spiritual fathers of the Platform on international media".
The religious observes: "The statement of the leaders of the platform of religious confessions of the CAR expresses the great unjustified suffering imposed on the entire nation, held hostage by rebels, foreign mercenaries with the complicity of some neighboring countries that crave and illegally exploit the riches of the subsoil with the legitimacy of some western countries that supply arms to looters. The arrival of the Russian army in the country was greeted by the population as a relief against the atrocities, despite the presence of United Nations forces, even if there is renewed violence and threats in different cities across the country. The triumphal entry of rebel groups in the city of Bambari during the month of May 2018 is just one example. Anxiety due to uncertainty, war psychoses and planned attacks on the peaceful population are sources of great concern. Schools and the administration are experiencing a state of general uncertainty. War weapons still enter the country. We are here, surrounded by chaos. There is no religious war. There is rather an exploitation of the religions of Central Africa. It seems as if there was a planned depopulation project in some parts of the country. Villages, infrastructures, human lives are destroyed; entire families eradicated due to ethnicity, race and religion. It can be said that at present there is an atypical form of genocide in the CAR, he concludes. (AP/FBN) (Text Source: Agenzia Fides, 4/6/2018)

Wow 85,000 Youth at Lednica a Polish Catholic Youth Festival with Support of Bishops and President

In Poland a large annual meeting of Catholic youth called LEDNICA 2000 has had a great success with 85,000 young people from Europe. The Polish Bishops and the President of Poland took part in the 22nd Youth Meeting in Lednica, under the motto “I am”. 
The Youth Meeting on the Lednica Fields began with a procession with relics, in which took part President of the Republic of Poland Andrzej Duda, Primate of Poland Archbishop Wojciech Polak and President of the Polish Bishops’ Conference Archbishop Stanisław Gądecki. This year, on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of Poland’s regaining independence, President Andrzej Duda gave the participants Polish flags.
The Primate of Poland, Archbishop Wojciech Polak, stressed that he is very happy that the youth gathers once again on the Lednica fields. “I am happy that we come here as to a source. Father Jan told us that it is possible to imagine Christ who, like in Galilee, strides on the waters of the lake of Galilee, so he also here comes through the waters of Lednica Lake. We come to meet Jesus, to say aloud today: ‘Lord, here I am!’ – said Metropolitan of Gniezno.
The president thanked the youth for accepting the flags from him. “Take them with you, have them, respect them. I am asking for that. But please, make use of them. Our white and red colours, so dear, please exhibit when there are important moments for you, for our homeland, for our history, for our identity. Also in these moments when we pray, because we have 1050 years of Christian tradition behind us, our history of building the Polish nation and the Polish state. Therefore, I thank you that you come here and pray as we have been taught by this tradition for 1050 years in this unique place – the place where the historical heart of our homeland beats” – said President Andrzej Duda.
The Holy Mass was presided by Archbishop Wojciech Polak, while Archbishop Grzegorz Ryś delivered the homily, emphasizing that in the centre of the Church there is a man. “Jesus says: I am with you, you are inside, I am focused on you, I look into your soul, I do not look only on the surface. I look what your illness is doing to your soul. That is to put a man in the centre – to see his soul, save his soul, to see his inner self, to see his desires, his dreams, his hopes, which are broken because he cannot do many things. Jesus sees his life, he came to save him, he came, so that a man can live”.
The National Youth Meeting LEDNICA 2000 is Poland’s largest annual meeting of Catholic youth from Poland and abroad. The meeting takes place on the Lednica Fields, at Lednica Lake. This place was chosen because, according to historical records, the baptism of Poland took place on the Ostrów Lednicki island. The initiator of the meeting was Fr. Jan Góra OP, who died in 2015. On the Lednica Fields there are: Arc of the Fish, called the Third Millennium Gate, and the House of St. John Paul II, where the souvenirs from John Paul II are collected. Each year participate in the meeting 80,000-150,000 young people.
Edited form Press Office of the Polish Bishops’ Conference- Zenit

#BreakingNews 115,000 at Vigil for Tiananmen Square Victims in Hong Kong

115 thousand at vigil in memory of Tiananmen dead (Photo)
by Paul Wang
Many young people also present. Before the vigil, a Christian prayer meeting, led by 
Card. Joseph Zen. The testimonies of the families of Tiananmen dissidents and 
martyrs. Thank you to the people of Hong Kong, the only place to where the dramatic 
event can be commemorated.

Hong Kong (AsiaNews) - At least 115 thousand people took part in the Victoria Park vigil in memory of those who were killed by the Chinese army on 4 June 1989 in Tiananmen Square. The large number of 

participants surprised the organizers: for several years diverse pro-Beijing groups have 
contested the peaceful event claiming that "there was no massacre" 29 years ago.  In 
addition, a growing number of young "localists", who care for democracy in Hong Kong, refuse to participate, considering the vigil ineffective. In reality there were many young people and students at the vigil, as well as entire families.
Many Protestant and Catholic Christians were also present. As per tradition, they held a moment of prayer for the "martyrs" of Tiananmen in an area adjacent to the park, just before the vigil. Their prayer was led by Card. Joseph Zen, bishop emeritus of Hong Kong.
At the vigil, a series of commemorative videos, elegies similar to prayers, songs, the ritual of 
flowers laid before a copy of the monument of heroes, which stands in Tiananmen Square in 
Beijing, also saw the two moving video testimonies: that of Li Wenzu, wife of human rights 
lawyer Wang Quanzhang, and that of Di Mengqi, one of Tiananmen's mothers.
Di recalled her son, Wang Hongqi, 19, who greeted her on the morning of June 3, 1989, on his
 way to work and who never returned because he was killed by soldiers.” “As a mother, I hope
 the state can step forward to clarify its stance on the massacre,” Di said. “If not, I’ll not close
 my eyes in my grave ".
Hong Kong is the only place in China where the Tiananmen massacre can be freely remembered. In the People's Republic every event or commemoration is prohibited and many activists are forced under house arrest or 
forced to take a vacation in the company of members of the public security.
Li Wangling, sister of the late dissident Li Wangyang, released a short video on Facebook 
to thank the people of Hong Kong for supporting the murdered of Tiananmen.
Her brother, who had participated in the 1989 democratic movement, was in prison for 22 
years. Released in 2011, he lived under police surveillance 24 hours a day. He died in 2012 in 
a case of suspected suicide.
Wang Dan, one of the leaders of the then protests, now exiled in the United States, also 
thanked the Hong Kong people who attend the vigil: "Every year we attend the candlelight 
vigil at Victoria Park in Hong Kong ... and we have seen that this moral support has continued for 29 years ... It is something that the people of Hong Kong should be proud of ".
The Hong Kong Alliance in support of the democratic and patriotic movements in China, who
 organize the vigil, is already preparing for the next year's event, marking the 30th anniversary. These days, until June 10, the group has organized an exhibition on Tiananmen in the Shek Kip Mei district
. Text Source: Asia News IT

Pope Francis Disagrees with German Bishops on Inter-Communion as further Study needed

Pope: Communion for Protestants married to Catholics requires further study
A letter from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith sheds light on Pope Francis’ position regarding the Eucharist in inter-communion marriages. The issue has been raised by the German Catholic Bishops’ Conference and regards an ecumenical theme that concerns the Universal Church. By Linda Bordoni
Pope Francis has invited German bishops to await legislation that is applicable to the whole universal Church on the delicate question of allowing Protestants who are married to Catholics to receive Communion in Catholic Churches. His request came in a letter sent on his behalf by the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Archbishop Luis Ladaria, to the President of the German Episcopal Conference, Cardinal Reinhard Marx.
The text highlights the need to carefully evaluate the repercussions and impact that any decision may have on the balances achieved in ecumenical dialogue.

The position of the German bishops

A majority of German bishops this year voted to publish guidelines that would have made it easier for Protestants to receive the Eucharist at Mass in a Catholic Church and sometimes wine that have been consecrated.
The subject of what is known as “inter-communion” in marriages between Catholics and Protestants is a possibility recognized by Canon Law under certain conditions.
The issue was addressed last February by the German bishops in a document entitled "Walking with Christ - in the footsteps of unity. Mixed marriages and common participation in the Eucharist".
The bishops who supported “inter-communion” argued that it was the compassionate thing to do.

Bishops to decide on a case-to-case basis

The prelates who had not expressed a favourable opinion during the plenary - and who had written their concerns in a letter to Pope Francis, were invited to study the question directly with the leaders of the CDF and the Dicastery for Christian Unity and the legislative texts.
Pending further study, Pope Francis’ letter refers to the Diocesan Bishop the responsibility of deciding on a case to case basis.
Full Text Release by Vatican News

Today's Mass Readings and Video : Tuesday June 5, 2018 - #Eucharist

Memorial of Saint Boniface, Bishop and Martyr
Lectionary: 354

Reading 12 PT 3:12-15A, 17-18

Wait for and hasten the coming of the day of God,
because of which the heavens will be dissolved in flames
and the elements melted by fire.
But according to his promise
we await new heavens and a new earth
in which righteousness dwells.

Therefore, beloved, since you await these things,
be eager to be found without spot or blemish before him, at peace.
And consider the patience of our Lord as salvation.

Therefore, beloved, since you are forewarned,
be on your guard not to be led into the error of the unprincipled
and to fall from your own stability.
But grow in grace
and in the knowledge of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ.
To him be glory now and to the day of eternity. Amen.

Responsorial PsalmPS 90:2, 3-4, 10, 14 AND 16

R. (1) In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.
Before the mountains were begotten
and the earth and the world were brought forth,
from everlasting to everlasting you are God.
R. In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.
You turn man back to dust,
saying, "Return, O children of men."
For a thousand years in your sight
are as yesterday, now that it is past,
or as a watch of the night.
R. In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.
Seventy is the sum of our years,
or eighty, if we are strong,
And most of them are fruitless toil,
for they pass quickly and we drift away.
R. In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.
Fill us at daybreak with your kindness,
that we may shout for joy and gladness all our days.
Let your work be seen by your servants
and your glory by their children.
R. In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.

AlleluiaSEE EPH 1:17-18

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
May the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ
enlighten the eyes of our hearts,
that we may know what is the hope
that belongs to his call.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMK 12:13-17

Some Pharisees and Herodians were sent
to Jesus to ensnare him in his speech.
They came and said to him,
"Teacher, we know that you are a truthful man
and that you are not concerned with anyone's opinion.
You do not regard a person's status
but teach the way of God in accordance with the truth.
Is it lawful to pay the census tax to Caesar or not?
Should we pay or should we not pay?"
Knowing their hypocrisy he said to them,
"Why are you testing me?
Bring me a denarius to look at."
They brought one to him and he said to them,
"Whose image and inscription is this?"
They replied to him, "Caesar's."
So Jesus said to them,
"Repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar
and to God what belongs to God."
They were utterly amazed at him.

Violence in Nicaragua a Crisis with over 100 Dead in 2 Months with almost 1000 Injured - Please Pray

Masaya (Agenzia Fides) - "On Saturday a young man was executed, this is the right word, because he was arrested, he was helpless, but a woman police officer shot him in the chest. The young man told her: if you have the intention of killing me, then kill me, and the policewoman shot him, and the victim fell in front of the parish of San Miguel", said Fr. Edwin Román, parish priest of San Miguel Church in Masaya. The parish priest, together with the Nicaraguan Human Rights Association, managed to deal with the release of 21 residents who had been arrested and imprisoned in the police station in Masaya on the morning of last Saturday, 2 June.
The new clashes between the military forces of the government against the demonstrators in the center of the city of Masaya caused a toll of five dead last Saturday - as confirmed by the Association to Agenzia Fides -. Father Roman explained that "the whole city of Masaya organized to demonstrate, so in the center of the city barricades were erected, no one slept in Masaya and the attacks began Saturday morning at six o'clock in San Miguel Park (where the church is situated, ed.) We were surrounded by riot police, two people died".
The wounded were taken care of inside San Miguel church, said the priest, and added: "we do not close doors, we must help the civilian population, help these people, even with water". Eight young paramedics are taking care of the wounded". The priest states that the violence was provoked by police authorities: "Citizens were protesting civilly and peacefully without weapons, there is an excessive use of force by the police and anti-rebels", he said.
At the same time, in another part of the country, similar scenes were seen: the residents of Diriá, Granada, left their homes to defend the Catholic church and the parish priest, Father Mario Jarquín, attacked by an armed group of Ortega’s followers (Turbas Sandinistas), after the church bells had rang in warning and protest against the aggression against two young men.
Nicaragua has been living a socio-political crisis for almost two months, the bloodiest since the '80s, which has left more than 100 dead and nearly a thousand injured, according to figures from the Nicaraguan Center for Human Rights (Cenidh). The protests against the government of Daniel Ortega began in April due to the failed social security reforms and were accentuated because of the killing of young people during the demonstrations (see Fides 4/05/2018 and 21/04/2018). The Episcopal Conference, mediator and witness, for dialogue has had to interrupt its participation in the dialogue sessions, due to the violence of the government forces.
Yesterday Pope Francis at the Sunday Angelus address appealed for peace in Nicaragua due to the violence that has caused many deaths and injuries: "I join my brother Bishops of Nicaragua in expressing sorrow for the serious violence, with dead and wounded, carried out by armed groups to repress social protests. I pray for the victims and their families. The Church is always for dialogue, but this requires an active commitment to respect freedom and above all life. I pray that all violence should cease and the conditions for the resumption of dialogue [come] as soon as possible". (CE) (Agenzia Fides, 4/06/2018)
This Video was made before the latest deaths: