Saturday, September 1, 2018

Pope Francis "It is our duty to thank the Creator for the impressive..." on World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation - FULL TEXT


Dear brothers and sisters,
On this Day of Prayer, I wish first to thank the Lord for the gift of our common home and for all those men and women of good will committed to protecting it. I am likewise grateful for the many projects aimed at promoting the study and the safeguarding of ecosystems, for the efforts being made to develop more sustainable agriculture and more responsible nutrition, and for the various educational, spiritual and liturgical initiatives that involve Christians throughout the world in the care of creation.
It must be acknowledged that we have not succeeded in responsibly protecting creation. The environmental situation, both on the global level and in many specific places, cannot be considered satisfactory. Rightly, there is a growing sense of the need for a renewed and sound relationship between humanity and creation, and the conviction that only an authentic and integral vision of humanity will permit us to take better care of our planet for the benefit of present and future generations. For “there is no ecology without an adequate anthropology” (Laudato Si’, 118).
On this World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, which the Catholic Church for several years now has celebrated in union with our Orthodox brothers and sisters and with participation of other Churches and Christian communities, I would like to draw attention to the question of water. It is a very simple and precious element, yet access to it is, sadly, for many people difficult if not impossible. Nonetheless, “access to safe drinkable water is a basic and universal human right, since it is essential to human survival and, as such, is a condition for the exercise of other human rights. Our world owes a great social debt towards the poor who lack access to drinking water, because they are denied the right to a life consistent with their inalienable dignity” (ibid., 30).
Water invites us to reflect on our origins. The human body is mostly composed of water, and many civilizations throughout history arose near great rivers that marked their identity. In an evocative image, the beginning of the book of Genesis states that, in the beginning, the spirit of the Creator “swept over the face of the waters (1:2)”.
In considering the fundamental role of water in creation and in human development, I feel the need to give thanks to God for “Sister Water”, simple and useful for life like nothing else on our planet. Precisely for this reason, care for water sources and water basins is an urgent imperative. Today, more than ever, we need to look beyond immediate concerns (cf. Laudato Si’, 36) and beyond a purely utilitarian view of reality, “in which efficiency and productivity are entirely geared to our individual benefit” (ibid., 159). We urgently need shared projects and concrete gestures that recognize that every privatization of the natural good of water, at the expense of the human right to have access to this good, is unacceptable.
For us Christians, water represents an essential element of purification and of life. We think immediately of baptism, the sacrament of our rebirth. Water made holy by the Spirit is the matter by which God has given us life and renewed us; it is the blessed source of undying life. For Christians of different confessions, baptism also represents the real and irreplaceable point of departure for experiencing an ever more authentic fraternity on the way to full unity. Jesus, in the course of his mission, promised a water capable of quenching human thirst for ever (cf. Jn 4:14). He prophesied, “If any one thirst, let him come to me and drink (Jn 7:37). To drink from Jesus means to encounter him personally as the Lord, drawing from his words the meaning of life. May the words he spoke from the cross – “I thirst” (Jn 19:28) – echo constantly in our hearts. The Lord continues to ask that his thirst be quenched; he thirsts for love. He asks us to give him to drink in all those who thirst in our own day, and to say to them, “I was thirsty and you gave me to drink” (Mt 25:35). To give to drink, in the global village, does not only entail personal gestures of charity, but also concrete choices and a constant commitment to ensure to all the primary good of water.
I would like also to mention the issue of the seas and oceans. It is our duty to thank the Creator for the impressive and marvellous gift of the great waters and all that they contain (cf. Gen 1:20-21; Ps 146:6), and to praise him for covering the earth with the oceans (cf. Ps 104:6). To ponder the immense open seas and their incessant movement can also represent an opportunity to turn our thoughts to God, who constantly accompanies his creation, guiding its course and sustaining its existence (cf. St. John Paul II, Catechesis of 7 May 1986).
Constant care for this inestimable treasure represents today an ineluctable duty and a genuine challenge. There is need for an effective cooperation between men and women of good will in assisting the ongoing work of the Creator. Sadly, all too many efforts fail due to the lack of effective regulation and means of control, particularly with regard to the protection of marine areas beyond national confines (cf. Laudato Si’, 174). We cannot allow our seas and oceans to be littered by endless fields of floating plastic. Here too, our active commitment is needed to confront this emergency. We need to pray as if everything depended on God’s providence, and work as if everything depended on us.
Let us pray that waters may not be a sign of separation between peoples, but of encounter for the human community. Let us pray that those who risk their lives at sea in search of a better future may be kept safe. Let us ask the Lord and all those engaged in the noble service of politics that the more sensitive questions of our day, such as those linked to movements of migration, climate change and the right of everyone to enjoy primary goods, may be faced with generous and farsighted responsibility and in a spirit of cooperation, especially among those countries most able to help.
Let us pray too, for all those who devote themselves to the apostolate of the sea, for those who help reflect on the issues involving maritime ecosystems, for those who contribute to the development and application of international regulations on the seas in order to safeguard individuals, countries, goods, natural resources – I think, for example, of marine fauna and flora, and coral reefs (cf. ibid., 41) or sea beds – and to guarantee an integral development in view of the common good of the entire human family and not particular interests. Let us remember, too, all those who work to protect maritime areas and to safeguard the oceans and their biodiversity, that they may carry out this task with responsibility and integrity.
Finally, let us be concerned for the younger generation and pray for them, that they may grow in knowledge and respect for our common home and in the desire to care for the essential good of water, for the benefit of all. It is my prayerful hope that Christian communities may contribute more and more concretely helping everyone to enjoy this indispensable resource, in respectful care for the gifts received from the Creator, and in particular rivers, seas and oceans.
From the Vatican, 1 September 2018

#BreakingNews Former Nuncio Vigano Now says Sanctions against McCarrick were Private

Former nuncio now says sanctions against McCarrick were 'private'
ROME Catholic News Service FULL TEXT Release : Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, the former nuncio to the United States who called on Pope Francis to resign for allegedly lifting sanctions placed on Archbishop Theodore E. McCarrick, now says those "sanctions" were "private" and neither he nor now-retired Pope Benedict XVI ever was able to enforce them.
While Archbishop Vigano went into hiding after publishing his "testimony" Aug. 25 about Archbishop McCarrick -- and about Pope Francis and a host of other current and former Vatican officials -- the former nuncio has continued to speak to the writers who originally helped him publish the document.
Pope Francis has not said anything since Aug. 26 when he told reporters traveling with him to study the document and do their own research. Even if the sanctions were private, Archbishop Vigano claimed Pope Francis was aware of them.
The measures imposed by Pope Benedict were in response to reports of Archbishop McCarrick's sexual misconduct with and sexual harassment of seminarians. After allegations that Archbishop McCarrick had sexually abused a minor were deemed credible in June, Pope Francis publicly imposed sanctions on him and accepted his resignation from the College of Cardinals.
Archbishop Vigano also had said Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl of Washington, Archbishop McCarrick's successor, had long been aware of Pope Benedict's sanctions, but the Archdiocese of Washington said Aug. 27, "Cardinal Wuerl has categorically denied that any of this information was communicated to him."
One of the outlets that originally published Archbishop Vigano's text, LifeSiteNews, published an article Aug. 31 with Archbishop Vigano explaining how, after Pope Benedict allegedly imposed sanctions on Archbishop McCarrick in "2009 or 2010," Archbishop McCarrick continued to concelebrate at large public Masses and visit the Vatican and Pope Benedict himself.
Archbishop Vigano now says Pope Benedict made the sanctions private, perhaps "due to the fact that he (Archbishop McCarrick) was already retired, maybe due to the fact that he (Pope Benedict) was thinking he was ready to obey."
The former nuncio said that in November 2011 he was sent as nuncio to the United States with specific information about the sanctions from Cardinal Marc Ouellet, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops. The cardinal has not responded to a Catholic News Service request for an interview.
Archbishop Vigano appeared publicly with then-Cardinal McCarrick at a May 2012 gala in New York honoring the cardinal. LifeSiteNews said the archbishop explained that "he was just beginning his role as the pope's representative at the time" and that "the nuncio is not somebody who may enforce restrictions directly, especially with a cardinal, who is considered the superior."
The other English-language outlet that originally published Archbishop Vigano's text was the National Catholic Register, a newspaper owned by EWTN. The Register had reported that it "independently confirmed" that Pope Benedict "remembers instructing Cardinal (Tarcisio) Bertone to impose measures but cannot recall their exact nature."
In a Register blog post Aug. 31, the author of the original story, Edward Pentin, provided more information from his source, saying the retired pope is now "unable to remember very well" how the supposed sanctions were handled. "As far as (Pope) Benedict could recall, the source said the instruction was essentially that (then-Cardinal) McCarrick should keep a 'low profile.' There was 'no formal decree, just a private request,'" Pentin wrote.
FULL TEXT Release by 

By Cindy Wooden Catholic News Service

The photo above shows Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, who was nuncio to the United States at that time. Here he congratulates then-Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick of Washington at a gala dinner of the Pontifical Missions Societies in New York in May 2012. The crucial element is that Vigano said McCarrick already was under sanctions at that time. Furthermore, Oblate Father Andrew Small, also pictured, director of the societies, said Viganò never tried to dissuade him from honoring the cardinal. (Credit: CNS photo/Michael Rogel, PMS.)

#BreakingNews Extreme Flooding in Myanmar Causes 13 Deaths and leaves 63,000 Displaced

Heavy rains damage dam near Bago, flood 85 villages forcing 63,000 to be evacuated
Heavy rains caused a dam spillway, which controls the release of more than 20,00 cubic metres of water, to break. Water poured into the Sittaung River, flooding settlements on its east bank. Floods in July and August have affected so far more than 210,000 people in more than 9,900 household, with 13 deaths.
Yangon (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Following the collapse of the Swar Creek dam, four people have died, three are missing and 63,000 have been evacuated from 85 villages in 17 village-tracts in Yedashe Township (Taungoo District), this according to state media and the Bago Region Government Office.
Heavy rainfall over the past week has caused the dam's spillway, a structure that controls the release of more than 20,000 cubic metres of water held in Swar Chaung's levee, to break two days ago.
Water poured into the Sittaung River, forcing it to overflow, flooding villages along its east bank.
Officials said that at present the amount of water flowing out of the dam was decreasing but they remain worried as the river was still very swollen.
The Meteorological Department yesterday warned residents of Madauk and Shwe Kyin near the Sittaung and Shwe Kyin rivers in Bago region and Hpaan near the Salween River “to take precautionary measures” as the water had reached a dangerous level. It also warned that the Bago River is likely to reach dangerous levels today and tomorrow.
Government ministers, officials, soldiers and firefighters have been making desperate rescue efforts since the spillway burst on Wednesday, flooding villages and causing a bridge on the Yangon-Mandalay Highway in Yedashe Township to buckle, disrupting commuters and transportation.
The authorities noted that some 7,000 people found shelter in villages near the dam, in Buddhist monasteries, and in safe areas in Yedashe Township; more than 1,500 found refuge in Thagaya, a town not affected by the disaster.
Ko Lwin, one of the displaced residents in Swa, said: "The regional government is offering assistance in first aid centres located along the main roads. However, there are some villages that are still inaccessible. The military is trying to bring water and rice to trapped people."
U Lwin added, "The floods have damaged most of the roads; the government is trying to build alternative paths".
Meanwhile, another 32 villages and six quarters in Okpho Township in Tharrawaddy district of Bago were also inundated on Wednesday due to heavy rains.
From late July to mid-August, 10 townships in Bago’s four districts — Bago, Taungoo, Pyay and Thayawady — have been flooded. Over 137,000 acres of farmland out of almost 500,000 acres have been inundated, the Bago Region Government Office said. More than 116,000 residents of the 10 townships have been affected. Bago is the most flood-affected area in the country, but other regions have also faced flooding including Magwe, Tanintharyi, Irrawaddy, Sagaing and Naypyitaw, as well as Chin, Karenni, Karen and Mon states.
The flooding in July and August has so far affected more than 210,000 people in over 9,900 households, and caused 13 deaths nationwide, this according to figures released by the National Natural Disaster Management Committee on 25 August
Text Source: Asia News IT

Great New Book Explores St. Bede's Ecclesiastical History by Dr. Richard Shaw

Historians have long relied on Bede’s Ecclesiastical History for their narrative of early Christian Anglo-Saxon England, but what material lay behind Bede’s own narrative? What were his sources and how reliable were they? How much was based on contemporary material? How much on later evidence? What was rhetoric? What represents his own agendas, deductions or even inventions?
This book represents the first systematic attempt to answers these questions for Bede’s History, taking as a test case the coherent narrative of the Gregorian mission and the early Church in Kent. Through this critique, it becomes possible, for the first time, to catalogue Bede’s sources and assess their origins, provenance and value – even reconstructing the original shape of many that are now lost. The striking paucity of his primary sources for the period emerges clearly. This study explains the reason why this was the case. At the same time, Bede is shown to have had access to a greater variety of texts, especially documentary, than has previously been realised.

This volume thus reveals Bede the historian at work, with implications for understanding his monastery, library and intellectual milieu together with the world in which he lived and worked. It also showcases what can be achieved using a similar methodology for the rest of the Ecclesiastical History and for other contemporary works.
SEE LINK below to Buy this Great Historical Book on Amazon
Most importantly, thanks to this study, it is now feasible – indeed necessary – for subsequent historians to base their reconstructions of the events of c.600 not on Bede but on his sources. As a result, this book lays the foundations for future work on the conversion of Anglo-Saxon England and offers the prospect of replacing and not merely refining Bede’s narrative of the history of early Christian Kent.
Text Source:

About the Author

Richard Shaw is Associate Professor and Chairman of the History Department at Our Lady Seat of Wisdom College. He has published on Antony of Egypt, Cassiodorus, Gregory of Tours, Augustine of Canterbury, Bede, Ælfric of Eynsham, Thomas Aquinas and François de Laval. He was awarded the 2014 Eusebius Essay Prize by the Journal of Ecclesiastical History and was shortlisted for the 2016 Medium Ævum Essay Prize.

Pope Francis "We follow Saint Francis as an example par excellence "of the care for what is weak..." FULL TEXT


Sala Clementina
Saturday, 1 September 2018


Mister President,
Ladies and gentlemen,

a cordial welcome to all of you and thanks for this meeting.

I am delighted that you have set out to reflect this weekend, particularly today, World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation, on the occasion of your "Roman Forum", on the Encyclical Laudato si ', as well as to more adequately in favor of sustainability. I heartily thank Mr. Peter Kurth for his heartfelt greetings.

We follow Saint Francis as an example par excellence "of the care for what is weak and of an integral ecology, lived with joy and authenticity" (Enc. Laudato si ', 10). For Francis, every contact with people and concrete things became an encounter with the Creator. From his faith in God derived his mission for justice, for peace and respect for creation.

Each of us also has a responsibility for others and for the future of our planet. Similarly, the economy must serve man, not exploit it and rob it of its resources. Today we are called to make use of the possibilities that technology makes available to us, with a good use of resources, helping in particular the countries most affected by poverty and degradation to take the path of renewal and sustainable and integral development.

My hope is that the men and women of our time, recognizing each other as sons and daughters of the Father and Creator who is in heaven, will contribute ever more and more concretely so that everyone can share the precious resources of the earth. I encourage you to continue to give your specific contribution for this purpose, and for this I invoke the blessing of the Lord on you and your work.

Many thanks and pray for me!

Today's Mass Readings and Video : #1stSaturday September 1, 2018 - #Eucharist

Saturday of the Twenty-first Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 430

Reading 11 COR 1:26-31

Consider your own calling, brothers and sisters.
Not many of you were wise by human standards,
not many were powerful,
not many were of noble birth.
Rather, God chose the foolish of the world to shame the wise,
and God chose the weak of the world to shame the strong,
and God chose the lowly and despised of the world,
those who count for nothing,
to reduce to nothing those who are something,
so that no human being might boast before God.
It is due to him that you are in Christ Jesus,
who became for us wisdom from God,
as well as righteousness, sanctification, and redemption,
so that, as it is written,
Whoever boasts, should boast in the Lord.

Responsorial PsalmPS 33:12-13, 18-19, 20-21

R. (12) Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own.
Blessed the nation whose God is the LORD,
the people he has chosen for his own inheritance.
From heaven the LORD looks down;
he sees all mankind.
R. Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own.
But see, the eyes of the LORD are upon those who fear him,
upon those who hope for his kindness,
To deliver them from death
and preserve them in spite of famine.
R. Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own.
Our soul waits for the LORD,
who is our help and our shield,
For in him our hearts rejoice;
in his holy name we trust.
R. Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own.

AlleluiaJN 13:34

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I give you a new commandment:
love one another as I have loved you.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelMT 25:14-30

Jesus told his disciples this parable:
"A man going on a journey
called in his servants and entrusted his possessions to them.
To one he gave five talents; to another, two; to a third, one–
to each according to his ability.
Then he went away.
Immediately the one who received five talents went and traded with them,
and made another five.
Likewise, the one who received two made another two.
But the man who received one went off and dug a hole in the ground
and buried his master's money.
After a long time
the master of those servants came back and settled accounts with them.
The one who had received five talents
came forward bringing the additional five.
He said, 'Master, you gave me five talents.
See, I have made five more.'
His master said to him, 'Well done, my good and faithful servant.
Since you were faithful in small matters,
I will give you great responsibilities.
Come, share your master's joy.'
Then the one who had received two talents also came forward and said,
'Master, you gave me two talents.
See, I have made two more.'
His master said to him, 'Well done, my good and faithful servant.
Since you were faithful in small matters,
I will give you great responsibilities.
Come, share your master's joy.'
Then the one who had received the one talent came forward and said,
'Master, I knew you were a demanding person,
harvesting where you did not plant
and gathering where you did not scatter;
so out of fear I went off and buried your talent in the ground.
Here it is back.'
His master said to him in reply, 'You wicked, lazy servant!
So you knew that I harvest where I did not plant
and gather where I did not scatter?
Should you not then have put my money in the bank
so that I could have got it back with interest on my return?
Now then! Take the talent from him and give it to the one with ten.
For to everyone who has,
more will be given and he will grow rich;
but from the one who has not,
even what he has will be taken away.
And throw this useless servant into the darkness outside,
where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.'"