Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Holy Mass Online - Readings and Video : Thursday, September 17, 2020 - Your Virtual Church



Thursday of the Twenty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 446

Reading 1
1 COR 15:1-11
I am reminding you, brothers and sisters,
of the Gospel I preached to you,
which you indeed received and in which you also stand.
Through it you are also being saved,
if you hold fast to the word I preached to you,
unless you believed in vain.
For I handed on to you as of first importance what I also received:
that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures;
that he was buried;
that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures;
that he appeared to Cephas, then to the Twelve.
After that, he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at once,
most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep.
After that he appeared to James,
then to all the Apostles.
Last of all, as to one born abnormally,
he appeared to me.
For I am the least of the Apostles,
not fit to be called an Apostle,
because I persecuted the Church of God.
But by the grace of God I am what I am,
and his grace to me has not been ineffective.
Indeed, I have toiled harder than all of them;
not I, however, but the grace of God that is with me.
Therefore, whether it be I or they,
so we preach and so you believed.
Responsorial Psalm
PS 118:1B-2, 16AB-17, 28
R. (1) Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good,
for his mercy endures forever.
Let the house of Israel say,
“His mercy endures forever.”
R. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.
“The right hand of the LORD is exalted;
the right hand of the Lord has struck with power.”
I shall not die, but live,
and declare the works of the LORD.
R. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.
You are my God, and I give thanks to you;
O my God, I extol you.
R. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.

Alleluia
MT 11:28
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened,
and I will give you rest, says the Lord.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel
LK 7:36-50
A certain Pharisee invited Jesus to dine with him,
and he entered the Pharisee’s house and reclined at table.
Now there was a sinful woman in the city
who learned that he was at table in the house of the Pharisee.
Bringing an alabaster flask of ointment,
she stood behind him at his feet weeping
and began to bathe his feet with her tears.
Then she wiped them with her hair,
kissed them, and anointed them with the ointment.
When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this he said to himself,
“If this man were a prophet,
he would know who and what sort of woman this is who is touching him,
that she is a sinner.”
Jesus said to him in reply,
“Simon, I have something to say to you.”
“Tell me, teacher,” he said.
“Two people were in debt to a certain creditor;
one owed five hundred days’ wages and the other owed fifty.
Since they were unable to repay the debt, he forgave it for both.
Which of them will love him more?”
Simon said in reply,
“The one, I suppose, whose larger debt was forgiven.”
He said to him, “You have judged rightly.”
Then he turned to the woman and said to Simon,
“Do you see this woman?
When I entered your house, you did not give me water for my feet,
but she has bathed them with her tears
and wiped them with her hair.
You did not give me a kiss,
but she has not ceased kissing my feet since the time I entered.
You did not anoint my head with oil,
but she anointed my feet with ointment.
So I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven;
hence, she has shown great love.
But the one to whom little is forgiven, loves little.”
He said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”
The others at table said to themselves,
“Who is this who even forgives sins?”
But he said to the woman,
“Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”

Prayer to Make a Spiritual Communion-People who cannot communicate now make spiritual communion.At your feet, O my Jesus I bow down and offer you the repentance of my contrite heart, which abysses itself into its nothingness and Your holy presence. I adore you in the Sacrament of Your love, the ineffable Eucharist. I wish to receive you in the poor home that my heart offers you. In anticipation of the happiness of sacramental communion, I want to possess you in spirit. Come to me, oh my Jesus, that I may come to you. May Your love inflame my whole being, for life and death. I believe in you, I hope in you, I love you. So be it. Amen

Saint September 17 : Saint Hildegard von Bingen a Doctor of the Church and Patron of Music, Medicine who Founded a Monastery

Hildegard was born in 1098 at Bermersheim, Alzey, to parents of noble lineage who were wealthy landowners. At the age of eight she was received as an oblate at the Benedictine Abbey of Disibodenberg, where in 1115 she made her religious profession. Upon the death of Jutta of Sponheim, around the year 1136, Hildegard was called to succeed her as magistra. Infirm in physical health but vigorous in spirit, she committed herself totally to the renewal of religious life. At the basis of her spirituality was the Benedictine Rule which views spiritual balance and ascetical moderation as paths to holiness. Following the increase in vocations to the religious life, due above all to the high esteem in which Hildegard was held, around 1150 she founded a monastery on the hill of Rupertsberg, near Bingen, where she moved with twenty sisters. In 1165, she established another monastery on the opposite bank of the Rhine. She was the Abbess of both.
Within the walls of the cloister, she cared for the spiritual and material well-being of her sisters, fostering in a special way community life, culture and the liturgy. In the outside world she devoted herself actively to strengthening the Christian faith and reinforcing religious practice, opposing the heretical trends of the Cathars, promoting Church reform through her writings and preaching and contributing to the improvement of the discipline and life of clerics. At the invitation first of Hadrian IV and later of Alexander III, Hildegard practised a fruitful apostolate, something unusual for a woman at that time, making several journeys, not without hardship and difficulty, to preach even in public squares and in various cathedral churches, such as at Cologne, Trier, Liège, Mainz, Metz, Bamberg and Würzburg. The profound spirituality of her writings had a significant influence both on the faithful and on important figures of her time and brought about an incisive renewal of theology, liturgy, natural sciences and music. Stricken by illness in the summer of 1179, Hildegard died in the odour of sanctity, surrounded by her sisters at the monastery of Rupertsberg, Bingen, on 17 September 1179.
3. In her many writings Hildegard dedicated herself exclusively to explaining divine revelation and making God known in the clarity of his love. Hildegard’s teaching is considered eminent both for its depth, the correctness of its interpretation, and the originality of its views. The texts she produced are refreshing in their authentic “intellectual charity” and emphasize the power of penetration and comprehensiveness of her contemplation of the mystery of the Blessed Trinity, the Incarnation, the Church, humanity and nature as God’s creation, to be appreciated and respected.
These works were born from a deep mystical experience and propose a perceptive reflection on the mystery of God. The Lord endowed her with a series of visions from childhood, whose content she dictated to the Benedictine monk Volmar, her secretary and spiritual advisor, and to Richardis von Stade, one of her women religious. But particularly illuminating are the judgments expressed by Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, who encouraged her, and especially by Pope Eugene III, who in 1147 authorized her to write and to speak in public. Theological reflection enabled Hildegard to organize and understand, at least in part, the content of her visions. In addition to books on theology and mysticism, she also authored works on medicine and natural sciences. Her letters are also numerous — about four hundred are extant; these were addressed to simple people, to religious communities, popes, bishops and the civil authorities of her time. She was also a composer of sacred music. The corpus of her writings, for their quantity, quality and variety of interests, is unmatched by any other female author of the Middle Ages.
Her main writings are the Scivias, the Liber Vitae Meritorum and the Liber Divinorum Operum. They relate her visions and the task she received from the Lord to transcribe them. In the author’s view her Letters were no less important; they bear witness to the attention Hildegard paid to the events of her time, which she interpreted in the light of the mystery of God. In addition there are 58 sermons, addressed directly to her sisters. They are her Expositiones Evangeliorum, containing a literary and moral commentary on Gospel passages related to the main celebrations of the liturgical year. Her artistic and scientific works focus mainly on music, in the Symphonia Harmoniae Caelestium Revelationum; on medicine, in the Liber Subtilitatum Diversarum Naturarum Creaturarum and in the Causae et Curae, and on natural sciences in the Physica. Finally her linguistic writings are also noteworthy, such as the Lingua Ignota and the Litterae Ignotae, in which the words appear in an unknown language of her own invention, but are composed mainly of phonemes present in German.
Hildegard’s language, characterized by an original and effective style, makes ample use of poetic expressions and is rich in symbols, dazzling intuitions, incisive comparisons and evocative metaphors.
Source: Excerpt from Pope Benedict XVI's Letter declaring St. Hildegard a Doctor http://w2.vatican.va/content/benedict-xvi/en/apost_letters/documents/hf_ben-xvi_apl_20121007_ildegarda-bingen.html

Quote to SHARE by St. Mother Teresa "People ask me: 'What will convert America and save the world?' My answer is prayer..."

"People ask me: 'What will convert America and save the world?' My answer is prayer. What we need is for every parish to come before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament in Holy Hours of prayer." 
Saint Mother Teresa

#BreakingNews Cathedral in El Paso, Texas Vandalized and Historic Sacred Heart of Jesus Statue Destroyed - FULL TEXT


Diocese of El Paso release:
We are saddened to announce the vandalism at St. Patrick Cathedral earlier today.

The Cathedral was vandalized this morning at around 10:00am. A suspect came into the sanctuary at St. Patrick Cathedral and destroyed the almost 90-year-old statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which was located in the center behind the main altar of the church. The church was open and available for prayer.

A suspect has been detained by the El Paso Police department. The police are currently continuing their investigation into the vandalism.

The Rector of St. Patrick Cathedral, Fr. Trini Fuentes, said, “I am in shock and we at the Cathedral are heartbroken over such an unexpected situation.”

Bishop Seitz also expressed his sadness about the damage caused to the historic Sacred Heart of Jesus Statue.

“This statue is one of my favorite representations of Jesus—his arms open wide in welcome, his heart aflame with love for us. I would often take inspiration from this image as I prepared for Mass.”

“As sad as I am to see a statue attacked and destroyed, I am grateful that it was not a living person,” Bishop Seitz added. “But a statue, particularly this statue, concretizes and connects us to persons and ideals that are not visible to our eyes. They reveal to us realities that are close to us, but unseen,” he said.

“At this point we do not know anything about the person who carried out this assault, but he certainly must be a person who is greatly disturbed to have attacked this peaceful place in our city and this image of the King of Peace. I hope this might be the impetus for him to receive the help he needs. He will be in my prayers,” Bishop Seitz added.

“I am devastated at this irreplaceable loss as I know members of this parish community and the whole Church of El Paso will be. In this moment we will reach out in confidence to the One this statue represented and I know he will console us,” Bishop Seitz concluded.

St. Patrick, Patron of Ireland and our Diocese, Pray for us.
FULL TEXT Release from the Facebook Page of the Diocese of El Paso 

Pope Francis says "Contemplation also heals the soul." and "Caring is a Golden Rule of our nature as human beings, and brings.." FULL TEXT + Video



GENERAL AUDIENCE
San Damaso courtyard
Wednesday, 16 September 2020
Catechesis “Healing the world”: 7. Care of the common home and contemplative dimension
Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!
To emerge from a pandemic, we need to look after and care for each other. To look after and care for each other. And we must support those who care for the weakest, the sick and the elderly. Ah, there is the tendency to cast the elderly aside, to abandon them. And this is bad. These people - well defined by the Spanish term "cuidadores" (caretakers), those who take care of the sick - play an essential role in today's society, even if they often do not receive the recognition and recompense they deserve. Caring is a golden rule of our nature as human beings, and brings with it health and hope (cf. Encyclical Laudato Si’ [LS], 70). Taking care of those who are sick, of those who are in need, of those who are cast aside: this is a human, and also Christian, wealth.
We must also extend this care to our common home: to the earth and to every creature. All forms of life are interconnected (see ibid., 137-138), and our health depends on that of the ecosystems that God created and entrusted to us to care for (see Gen 2:15). Abusing them, on the other hand, is a grave sin that damages us, and harms us, and makes us sick (cf. LS, 866). The best antidote against this misuse of our common home is contemplation (see ibid., 85214). But how come? Isn’t there a vaccine for this, for the care of the common home, so as not to set it aside? What is the antidote against the sickness of not taking care of our common home? It is contemplation. “If someone has not learned to stop and admire something beautiful, we should not be surprised if he or she treats everything as an object to be used and abused without scruple" (ibid., 215). Also in terms of using things and discarding them. However, our common home, creation, is not a mere "resource". Creatures have a value in and of themselves and each one "reflects in its own way a ray of God's infinite wisdom and goodness" (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 339). This value and this ray of divine light must be discovered and, in order to discover it, we need to be silent, we need to listen, and we need to contemplate. Contemplation also heals the soul.
Without contemplation, it is easy to fall prey to an unbalanced and arrogant anthropocentrism, the “I” at the centre of everything, which gives excessive importance to our role as human beings, positioning us as absolute rulers of all other creatures. A distorted interpretation of biblical texts on creation has contributed to this misinterpretation, which leads to the exploitation of the earth to the point of suffocating it. Exploiting creation: this is the sin. We believe that we are at the centre, claiming to occupy God's place and so we ruin the harmony of creation, the harmony of God’s plan. We become predators, forgetting our vocation as custodians of life. Of course, we can and must work the earth so as to live and to develop. But work is not synonymous with exploitation, and it is always accompanied by care: ploughing and protecting, working and caring... This is our mission (cf. Gen 2:15). We cannot expect to continue to grow on a material level, without taking care of the common home that welcomes us. Our poorest brothers and sisters and our mother earth lament for the damage and injustice we have caused, and demand we take another course. It demands of us a conversion, a change of path; taking care of the earth too, of creation.
Therefore, it is important to recover the contemplative dimension, that is, looking at the earth, creation as a gift, not as something to exploit for profit: no. When we contemplate, we discover in others and in nature something much greater than their usefulness. Here is the heart of the issue: contemplating is going beyond the usefulness of something. Contemplating the beautiful does not mean exploiting it, no: contemplating. It is free. We discover the intrinsic value of things given to them by God. As many spiritual masters have taught us, heaven, earth, sea, and every creature have this iconic capacity, or this mystical capacity to bring us back to the Creator and to communion with creation. For example, St. Ignatius of Loyola, at the end of his Spiritual Exercises, invites us to carry out "Contemplation to come to love", that is, to consider how God looks at His creatures and to rejoice with them; to discover God's presence in His creatures and, with freedom and grace, to love and care for them.
Contemplation, which leads us to an attitude of care, is not a question of looking at nature from the outside, as if we were not immersed in it. But we are inside nature, we are part of nature. Rather, it is done from within, recognising us as part of creation, making us protagonists and not mere spectators of an amorphous reality that is only to be exploited. Those who contemplate in this way experience wonder not only at what they see, but also because they feel they are an integral part of this beauty; and they also feel called to guard it and to protect it.And there is one thing we must not forget: those who cannot contemplate nature and creation, cannot contemplate people in their true wealth. And those who live to exploit nature end up exploiting people and treating them like slaves. This is a universal law. If you cannot contemplate nature, it will be very difficult for you to contemplate people, the beauty of people, your brother, your sister. All of us.
Those who know how to contemplate will more easily set to work to change what produces degradation and damage to health. They will strive to educate and promote new production and consumption habits, to contribute to a new model of economic growth that guarantees respect for our common home and respect for people. The contemplative in action: this is good! Each one of us should be a guardian of the environment, of the purity of the environment, seeking to combine ancestral knowledge of millennia-long cultures with new technical knowledge, so that our lifestyle may always be sustainable.
Finally, contemplating and caring: these are two attitudes that show the way to correct and rebalance our relationship as human beings with creation.
Oftentimes, our relationship with creation seems to be a relationship between enemies: destroying creation for our benefit. Exploiting creation for our profit. Let us not forget that this will be paid for dearly; let us not forget that Spanish saying: “God always forgives; we forgive sometimes; nature never forgives”. Today I was reading in the newspaper about those two great glaciers in Antarctica, near the Amundsen Sea: they are about to fall. It will be terrible, because the sea level will rise and this will bring many, many difficulties and cause so much harm. And why? Because of global warming, not caring for the environment, not caring for the common home. On the other hand, when we have this relationship - let me say the word - “fraternal": it is a figure of speech; a "fraternal" relationship with creation, we will become guardians of the common home, guardians of life and guardians of hope. We will guard the heritage that God has entrusted to us so that future generations may enjoy it. And some may say: "But, I can get by like this". But the problem is not how you are going to manage today - this was said by a German theologian, a Protestant, a good man: Bonhoeffer - the problem is not how you are managing today; the problem is: what will be the legacy, life for future generations? Let us think of our children, our grandchildren: what will we leave if we exploit creation? Let us protect this path of the "guardians" of our common home, guardians of life and also guardians of hope. They safeguard the heritage that God has entrusted to us (people, all people) so that future generations may enjoy it. I think especially of the indigenous peoples, to whom we all owe a debt of gratitude - also of penance, to repair the evil we have done to them. But I am also thinking of those movements, associations, popular groups, which are committed to protecting their territory with its natural and cultural values. These social realities are not always appreciated, and at times they are even obstructed; because they do not earn money; but in reality they contribute to a peaceful revolution, that we might call the “revolution of care”. Contemplating so as to care, contemplating to protect, to protect ourselves, creation, our children, and our grandchildren, and to protect the future. Contemplating to care for and to protect, and to leave a legacy to the future generation.
And this must not be delegated to others:this is the task of every human being. Each one of us can and must be a “guardian of the common home”, capable of praising God for His creatures, and of contemplating creatures, and protecting them. Thank you.

Special greetings
I cordially greet the English-speaking faithful. In these days, my thoughts turn especially to the elderly and infirm, and those who generously care for them. Upon all of you and your families I invoke the joy and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ. God bless you!


Historic Day for Peace as US, Israel, UAE and Bahrain Sign Peace Accord in Washington DC - FULL Official Text + Video


Remarks by President Trump, Prime Minister Netanyahu, Minister bin Zayed, and Minister Al Zayani at the Abraham Accords Signing Ceremony
 White House Official Full Text Release: 
FOREIGN POLICY

  Issued on: September 15, 2020

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Thank you very much. Please. Thank you. The First Lady and I are honored to welcome to the White House Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel and Mrs. Netanyahu. Thank you so much. Thank you, Sarah. (Applause.) And Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed — (applause) — United Arab Emirates, UAE. Thank you very much. And Foreign Minister Abdullatif Al Zayani of Bahrain. Thank you. (Applause.) Thank you very much.

We’re here this afternoon to change the course of history. After decades of division and conflict, we mark the dawn of a new Middle East. Thanks to the great courage of the leaders of these three countries, we take a major stride toward a future in which people of all faiths and backgrounds live together in peace and prosperity.

In a few moments, these visionary leaders will sign the first two peace deals between Israel and the Arab state in more than a quarter century. In Israel’s entire history, there have previously been only two such agreements. Now we have achieved two in a single month, and there are more to follow. (Applause.)

Israel, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain will establish embassies, exchange ambassadors, and begin the cooperate — and work together so strongly to cooperate as partners across the broad range of sectors, from tourism to trade, and healthcare to security. They’re going to work together. They are friends.

The Abraham Accords also open the door for Muslims around the world to visit the historic sites in Israel and to peacefully pray at Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, the third holiest site in Islam. (Applause.)

Together, these agreements will serve as the foundation for a comprehensive peace across the entire region — something which nobody thought was possible, certainly not in this day and age; maybe in many decades from now — but one founded on shared interests, mutual respect, and friendship.

To our honored guests from Israel, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain: Congratulations on this outstanding achievement. Congratulations. (Applause.) Fantastic.

I also want to thank Vice President Mike Pence. Thank you, Mike. Great job. (Applause.) Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Mike, thank you very much. (Applause.) National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien. Robert, thank you. (Applause.) Mr. Jared Kushner. Jared, thank you very much. (Applause.) Ambassador Brian Hook. Thank you very much, Brian. (Applause.) Thank you. Thank you. And Avi Berkowitz. Avi, thank you very much. (Applause.) I also want to give a very special thanks — he’s been an incredible Ambassador to Israel, David Friedman. (Applause.)

That’s a very great group of people, great group of patriots. They wanted this to happen so badly. They worked so hard. And again, nobody thought it could happen. And they thought it could happen. They never even doubted it. So I want to thank you all very much. Thank you. (Applause.)

For generations, the people of the Middle East have been held back by old conflicts, hostilities, lies, treacheries. So many things held them back. Actually, lies that the Jews and Arabs were enemies and that Al-Aqsa Mosque was under attack. Constantly, they would say it was under attack.

These lies, passed down from generation to generation, fueled a vicious cycle of terror and violence that spread across the region and all over the world.

These agreements prove that the nations of the region are breaking free from the failed approaches of the past. Today’s signing sets history on a new course. And there will be other countries very, very soon that will follow these great leaders. (Applause.)

The people of the Middle East will no longer allow hatred of Israel to be fomented as an excuse for radicalism or extremism. So important. And they’ll no longer allow the great destiny of their region to be denied.

On my first foreign trip as President, I had the honor of addressing the leaders of more than 54 Arab and Muslim nations in Saudi Arabia.

My message that day was very simple: I urged the nations of the Middle East to set aside their differences, unite against the common enemy of civilization, and work together toward the noble aims of security and prosperity. I offered America’s friendship, I offered America’s help, but I said clearly that the nations of the regions had to decide what kind of a future they wanted for their children, and for their families, and for their nation itself. No one could make that choice for them; they had to do that themselves.

Today, the world sees that they’re choosing cooperation over conflict, friendship over enmity, prosperity over poverty, and hope over despair. They are choosing a future in which Arabs and Israelis, Muslims, Jews, and Christians can live together, pray together, and dream together, side by side, in harmony, community, and peace.

Once again, let me congratulate the people of Israel, the people of the United Arab Emirates, and the people of the Kingdom of Bahrain. God bless you all. This is an incredible day for the world. This is a really wonderful and beautiful occasion.

I want to thank all of the members of Congress for being here: senators, congressmen, congresswomen. We just appreciate it so much. Everybody wanted to be here. It’s a very important day for the world. It’s a very important day for peace.

Before the parties sign the Accords, I’d like to ask Prime Minister Netanyahu to say a few words, followed by the Foreign Minister of the United Arab Emirates, and the Foreign Minister of Bahrain.

Thank you very much. It’s a great honor. Thank you. (Applause.)

PRIME MINISTER NETANYAHU: Our dear friend President Trump, First Lady Melania Trump, thank you for hosting me, my wife Sarah, and our entire delegation on this historic day. I want to recognize Vice President Pence, Secretary Pompeo, National Security Advisor O’Brien, and other Cabinet members; Jared Kushner, Avi Berkowitz, Ambassador Friedman, and other members of the President’s able peace team; senators, members of Congress; Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer, his Emirate and Bahraini counterparts; as well as all the dignitaries gathered here on this sunny day.

I want to also express my gratitude for all the Israelis who have worked for years, sometimes in less sunny climes, to bring this date. And I thank each and every one of you. Thank you. (Applause.)

Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. President, this day is a pivot of history. It heralds a new dawn of peace. For thousands of years, the Jewish people have prayed for peace. For decades, the Jewish State has prayed for peace. And this is why, today, we’re filled with such profound gratitude.

I am grateful to you, President Trump, for your decisive leadership. You have unequivocally stood by Israel’s side. You have boldly confronted the tyrants of Tehran. You’ve proposed a realistic vision for peace between Israel and the Palestinians. And you have successfully brokered the historic peace that we are signing today — a peace that has broad support in Israel, in America, the Middle East, indeed in the entire world. (Applause.)

I am grateful to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed, of the United Arab Emirates, and to you, Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed. (Applause.) I thank you both for your wise leadership and for working with the United States and Israel to expand the circle of peace. I am grateful — (applause) — I am grateful to King Hamad of Bahrain, and to you, Foreign Minister Abdullatif Al Zayani, for joining us — (applause) — joining us in bringing hope to all the children of Abraham. (Applause.)

To all of Israel’s friends in the Middle East, those who are with us today and those who will join us tomorrow, I say: As-salamu alaykum. Peace unto thee. Shalom. (Applause.)

And you’ve heard from the President that he is already lining up more and more countries. This is unimaginable a few years ago. But with resolve, determination, a fresh look at the way peace is done, this is being achieved. Thank you, Mr. President. (Applause.)

Ladies and gentlemen, the people of Israel well know the price of war. I know the price of war. I was wounded in battle. A fellow soldier, a very close friend of mine, died in my arms. My brother, Yoni, lost his life while leading his soldiers to rescue hostages held by terrorists at Entebbe.

My parents grieve over the loss of Yoni; was unrelieved until their dying day. And over the years, when I’ve come to console the families of Israel’s fallen soldiers and victims of terror, I have seen that same grief countless times. And this is why I am so deeply moved to be here today, for those who bear the wounds of war cherish the blessings of peace. (Applause.)

And the blessings of the peace we make today will be enormous. First, because this peace will eventually expand to include other Arab states. And, ultimately, it can end the Arab-Israeli conflict once and for all. (Applause.)

Second, because the great economic benefits of our partnership will be felt throughout our region, and they will reach every one of our citizens.

And third, because this is not only a peace between leaders, it’s a peace between peoples. Israelis, Emiratis, and Bahrainis are already embracing one another. We are eager to invest in a future of partnership, prosperity, and peace. We’ve already begun to cooperate on combating corona, and I am sure that, together, we can find solutions to many of the problems that afflict our region and beyond.

So despite the many challenges and hardships that we all face, despite all that, let us pause for a moment to appreciate this remarkable day. Let us rise above any political divide. Let us put all cynicism aside. Let us feel, on this day, the pulse of history, for long after the pandemic is gone, the peace we make today will endure.

Ladies and gentlemen, I have devoted my life to securing Israel’s place among the nations to ensure the future of the one and only Jewish State. To accomplish that goal, I work to make Israel strong — very strong — for history has taught us that strength brings security, strength brings allies, and ultimately — and this is something President Trump has said again and again — ultimately, strength brings peace. (Applause.)

King David expressed this basic truth thousands of years ago in our eternal capital of Jerusalem. His prayer immortalized in the Book of Psalms in the Bible echoes from our glorious past and guides us towards a brilliant future.

Adonai oz le’amo yiten; Adonai yevarekh et-amo va’shalom. May God give strength to His people. May God bless His people with peace.

Mr. President, distinguished guests, this week is Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. And what a blessing we bring to this New Year — a blessing of friendship, a blessing of hope, a blessing of peace. Thank you. (Applause.)

MINISTER BIN ZAYED: Mr. President, Mr. Prime Minister, and my friend, Abdullatif Zayani, distinguished guests: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh.

Let me start by conveying the best regards of the UAE people and the leadership, and especially of Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, to you, Mr. President, and everyone gathered here today.

I’ll continue my speech in Arabic, and I’m sure there will be translation to that.

(As interpreted.) I stand here today to extend a hand of peace and receive a hand of peace. In our faith, we say, “O God, you are peace, and from you, comes peace.” The search for peace is an innate principle, yet, principles are effectively realized when they are transformed into action.

Today, we are ready — we are already witnessing a change in the heart of the Middle East, a change that will send hope around the world. (Applause.)

This — this initiative would not have been possible without the efforts of His Excellency President Donald Trump, and his team, who worked hard and sincerely for us all to reach here. Most notably, my counterpart, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo; and Jared Kushner, Senior Advisor to the President of the United States; and all those who are genuine about the principle of peace in the United States, who have strived to realize this major achievement. Thank you. (Applause.)

Your Excellency Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister of the State of Israel, thank you for choosing peace and for halting the annexation of Palestinian territories, a decision that reinforces our shared will to achieve a better future for generations to come.

Ladies and gentlemen, we are witnessing today, a new trend that will create a better path for the Middle East. This peace accord, which is a historic achievement for the United States of America, the State of Israel, and the United Arab Emirates will continue to have a positive impact, as we believe that its reverberations will be reflected on the entire region.

Every option other than peace would signify destruction, poverty, and human suffering. This new vision — which is beginning to take shape as we meet today for the future of the region, full of youthful energy — is not a slogan that we raise for political gain, as everyone looks forward to creating a more stable, prosperous, and secure future. (Applause.)

At a time when science is prevailing, the region’s youth are looking forward to taking part in this great humanitarian movement. We are pleased that the United Arab Emirates will be part of the momentum towards stability and the growth of human potential in a new, civilized approach that opens wide the doors of opportunity for those who look forward towards peace, prosperity, and the future.

Our societies today possess the foundation of modern human development, such as infrastructure, a solid economy, and scientific achievements that will enable them to advance the future of the Middle East.

The United Arab Emirates believes that the role of the United States in the Middle East is positive. And this belief is evidenced by the accord that we are signing today at the White House, for which you have taken the lead and will remain a beacon in human history for all peace-loving people around the world.

And as for us in the United Arab Emirates, this accord will enable us to continue to stand by the Palestinian people and realize their hopes for an independent state within a stable and prosperous region. This accord builds upon previous peace agreements signed by Arab nations with the State of Israel. The aim of all these treaties is to work towards stability and sustainable development.

In this difficult year, when the world is suffering from the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic, my country, the United Arab Emirates, has reinforced its humanitarian commitments established by our nation’s founding father, Sheikh Zayed, who taught us that standing with others, regardless of the religious or ethnic affiliation, is a humanitarian duty and a firm principle. (Applause.)

During this difficult time, the United Arab Emirates, my country, was able to launch the probe — a probe to Mars. The Hope Probe indeed represents hope that our region is capable of advancement and progress if governments and people embrace science. After the United Arab Emirates sent astronaut Hazza al-Mansoori, last year, as the first Arab astronaut to reach the International Space Station and launched a peaceful nuclear power plant, this accord opened up prospects for a comprehensive peace in the region.

Thank you, Mr. President. (Applause.)

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Thank you very much.

MINISTER BIN ZAYED: (As interpreted.) Ladies and gentlemen, peace requires courage, and shaping the future requires knowledge. The advancement of nations requires sincerity and persistence. We have come today to tell the world that this is our approach and that peace is our guiding principle.

Those who begin things in the right way will reap bright achievements with the grace of God. Thank you.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. Fantastic. (Applause.)

MINISTER BIN ZAYED: With grace of God, sir.

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. Thank you. Great job.

MINISTER AL ZAYANI: Mr. President, the First Lady, Prime Minister, your Highness, ladies and gentlemen: Good afternoon. Today — today is a truly historic occasion, a moment of hope and opportunity for all the peoples of the Middle East and, in particular, for the millions in our younger generations.

The declaration supporting peace between the Kingdom of Bahrain and the State of Israel is an historic step on the road to genuine and lasting peace, security and prosperity across the region, and for all who live there regardless of religion, sect, ethnicity, or ideology. (Applause.)

For too long, the Middle East has been set back by conflict and mistrust, causing untold destruction and thwarting the potential of generations of our best and brightest young people.
Now I’m convinced we have the opportunity to change that.

Today’s declaration was made possible by the vision, courage, and commitment of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa who, supported by — (applause) — supported by the people of Bahrain, has protected, institutionalized, and enhanced Bahrain’s centuries-old spirit of coexistence and harmony, and has the wisdom to recognize that genuine cooperation is the most effective means to achieve peace and to safeguard legitimate rights.

Thank you, Your Majesty, for this vision of peace for the region based on trust, respect, and understanding between all faiths, races, and nations.

To our brothers in the United Arab Emirates: I congratulate you on your own momentous peace accord being signed today with Israel. His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, has shown great leadership and foresight to make peace possible and secure a brighter future for our region. (Applause.)

For the State of Israel and Prime Minister Netanyahu: We welcome and appreciate these steps from you and your government, recognizing that enduring peace and security is only possible through a genuine engagement that protects the rights and interests of countries and peoples in the region. (Applause.)

In particular, I want to express my deep appreciation to President Donald Trump — (applause) — and his administration. Mr. President, your statesmanship and tireless efforts have brought us here today and made peace a reality. (Applause.)

And to Secretary Pompeo, Senior Advisor Jared Kushner, and Special Representative Avi Berkowitz, who have — (applause) — and others — many others — who have carried out their mandates with dedication and skill.

Ladies and gentlemen, today’s agreement is an important first step, and it is now incumbent on us to work urgently and actively to bring about the lasting peace and security our peoples deserve. A just, comprehensive, and enduring two-state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict will be the foundation, the bedrock of such peace.

We have shown today — (applause) — we have shown today that such a path is possible, even realistic. What was only dreamed of a few years ago is now achievable, and we can see before us a golden opportunity for peace, security, and prosperity for our region.

Let us together, and with our international partners, waste no time in seizing it. Thank you. (Applause.)

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Good. Very good.

MINISTER AL ZAYANI: Thank you, sir.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: That’s a great job.

MINISTER AL ZAYANI: Thank you, sir. Thank you.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Beautiful.

MINISTER AL ZAYANI: Thank you.

ANNOUNCER: The President of the United States, the Prime Minister of the State of Israel, and His Highness the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the United Arab Emirates will sign a treaty of peace, diplomatic relations, and full normalization. They will each sign three copies: one in English, Hebrew, and Arabic.

(The documents are signed.) (Applause.)

ANNOUNCER: The President of the United States, the Prime Minister of the State of Israel, and the Minister of the Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Bahrain will now sign the declaration of peace. They will each sign three copies: one in English, Hebrew, and Arabic.

(The documents are signed.) (Applause.)

ANNOUNCER: The President of the United States, the Prime Minister of the State of Israel, His Highness the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the United Arab Emirates, and the Minister of the Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Bahrain will now sign Abraham Accords. They will each sign four copies: one in English, one in Hebrew, and two in Arabic.

(The documents are signed.) (Applause.)

END
FULL TEXT Release: https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/remarks-president-trump-prime-minister-netanyahu-minister-bin-zayed-minister-al-zayani-abraham-accords-signing-ceremony/

Bishops and President Kiir Meet in South Sudan in Attempt to Work Together for Peace


AFRICA/SOUTH SUDAN - Meeting between two Bishops and President Kiir: "Let's work together for peace"
Tuesday, 15 September 2020
Juba (Agenzia Fides) - "A very productive and successful meeting". This is how His Exc. Mgr. Barani Eduardo Hiiboro Kussala, Bishop of Tombura-Yambio, defined the meeting together with His Exc. Mgr. Stephen Amenyu, Archbishop of Juba, with the President of the Republic of South Sudan, General Salva Kiir Mayardit .
"We met the Head of State to assure him of our closeness as leader of the Church and as representatives of the Bishops' Conference, we went on behalf of the people of South Sudan to assure him our willingness to collaborate with him and to work with him and with the government for the peace and growth of our people in the Republic of South Sudan", said Mgr. Hiiboro.
The Bishop of Tombura-Yambio added that the two representatives of the Church congratulated the President for the implementation of the peace agreement reached on 31 August between the Sudanese government and a series of rebel groups (see Fides, 2/9/2020), for the formation of the national unity government, and for the decision to reduce the 32 States of the Federation to 10, which was the original number at the time of independence.
Mgr. Hiiboro encouraged the President and his collaborators and the opposition to continue to implement the peace agreement. "We told him that he is on the right path and that he should continue to work hard with his colleagues in order to consolidate peace in the Country", said Mgr. Hiiboro. "We underlined the fact that although it is complex and difficult to implement the peace agreement, we must not give in to the temptation to return to war, but we must work tirelessly to restore peace in the Republic of South Sudan". "The President has also assured that he will never bring the Republic of South Sudan back to war", reports Mgr. Hiiboro.
The two Bishops also informed the Head of State on the feelings of the people, on the desire for peace widespread among the population, on their sufferings and on everything that happens in the Country due to war, and they assured the Church's readiness to continue to collaborate with the government and other partners for peace.
Mgr. Hiiboro reported that the President said he was happy to meet the two representatives of the Catholic Church, and "appreciated everything we talked about". As for the coronavirus pandemic and the closure of places of worship, the President authorized the reopening of churches in compliance with precautionary measures.
"The President said that the government cannot do without the Church. We need it just as we did during the struggle for liberation, when the Church was there to unite", concluded Mgr. Hiiboro. (L.M.) (FULL TEXT - Agenzia Fides, 15/9/2020)

US Bishops Respond to Court Decision Allowing An End to Temporary Protected Status for Over 200,000 People - FULL TEXT


Lives Will Be Upended: Bishops Respond to Court Decision Allowing An End to Temporary Protected Status for Over 200,000 People 
SEPTEMBER 15, 2020
Washington, DC – Yesterday, in Ramos v. Wolf, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals vacated an existing preliminary injunction or pause of the Trump Administration’s attempt to terminate Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for over 200,000 individuals living legally in the United States. Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), Bishop Mario E. Dorsonville, auxiliary bishop of Washington, chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Migration, and Sean Callahan, president and CEO of Catholic Relief Services, issued the following statement:
“The Ninth Circuit’s decision continues a heartbreaking path of uncertainty and fear for hundreds of thousands of TPS recipients needlessly put into motion by the Trump Administration. As detailed in our extensive work in Central America and the CaribbeanTPS countries such as El Salvador and Haiti cannot adequately handle the return of TPS recipients and their families. The spread of COVID-19 has only made conditions worse. Today's decision will fragment American families, leaving, for example, over 192,000 U.S. citizen children of Salvadoran TPS recipients without their parents and with uncertain futures.
“Our nation must not turn its back on TPS recipients and their families; they too are children of God. We stand in solidarity with TPS recipients, who are here and have been living and working in the United States legally, and we will continue to do so with them in their countries of origin.
“We renew our call for the U.S. Senate to take up the American Dream and Promise Act, which the House passed last year. We stand ready to support such efforts. Without action by Congress, however, recipients’ lives will be upended. Congress must act to ensure that such catastrophic human consequences do not occur.”
To learn more about Temporary Protected Status, please see the Justice for Immigrants website.