Sunday, June 30, 2013

Vatican Assures Cooperation With Authorities in Light of Arrest | ZENIT - The World Seen From Rome

Vatican Assures Cooperation With Authorities in Light of Arrest | ZENIT - The World Seen From Rome
Monsignor Nunzio Scarano is under investigation

A top Catholic cleric with connections to the Vatican Bank was under arrest last night accused of laundering tens of millions of euro.
Monsignor Nunzio Scarano, 61, is suspected of plotting to help rich friends smuggle huge sums of cash into Italy from Switzerland.
The move comes two days after the Pope set up an inquiry to look into the activities of the troubled bank.
In a scandal that reads like a spy novel, it involves police wiretaps, a private plane rented to collect the cash and burned mobile phones.
An allegedly corrupt secret services agent who promised to get the money past Customs is also being quizzed by police.
The case against Msgr Scarano will come as an acute embarrassment to Pope Francis who has dispensed with many of the
trappings of office stressing the importance of a simple life.
The Vatican announced he had set up a commission of inquiry into the Vatican bank which has been hit by a number of scandals in the past decades.
Msgr Scarano was arrested in Rome after allegedly hatching a plot to bring up to €40million into Italy for a family of shipbuilders in his hometown of Salerno in southern Italy.
It was not clear how or when the money got to Switzerland in the first place.
Asked if money laundering was involved, magistrate Nello Rossi said that would depend if the original source of the money was criminal activity. He added: “We are trying to determine the origin of the vast amount of money at the disposal of Scarano, who is the holder of several accounts.”
Mr Rossi said Scarano engaged Giovanni Zito, a policeman on loan to the secret services, last July to help him get the money from a Swiss bank into Italy without tax and customs controls.
The third person arrested was Giovanni Carenzio, a financial broker with offices in Switzerland and the Canary Islands.
Papal spokesman Fr Federico Lombardi said Vatican authorities are ready to co-operate with the Italian investigation.
He added FIA, the Vatican’s own financial intelligence authority, was following the case and would take action if necessary.

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Thursday, June 27, 2013



Memorial of Saint Irenaeus, Bishop and Martyr 
Lectionary: 375St. Irenaeus was born in Asia Minor around the year 140. It is not known when he came to Gaul. He was a priest of the Church of Lyons during the persecution of 177 when St. Pothinus, first bishop of the city and the first martyr of Lyons, was put to death. Irenaeus succeeded him as bishop and twenty-five years later was martyred in his turn during a fresh persecution. At a time when Gnostic sects threatened to undermine Christianity by a perversion of Christian thought, St. Irenaeus vigorously denounced all heresies and safeguarded unity of belief by laying down the principles of the doctrinal tradition of the Church.

Monday, June 24, 2013

ASIA/SYRIA – A Catholic priest killed. Bishop Hindo: he offered his martyrdom for peace - Fides News Agency

ASIA/SYRIA – A Catholic priest killed. Bishop Hindo: he offered his martyrdom for peace - Fides News Agency
Vatican RadioThe violence in Syria does not spare the Christian minority, more and more in trouble in the theater of war. Attacked and looted in the north east of the country, the Franciscan monastery of St. Anthony of Padua in Ghassanieh in the Orontes valley, 120 kilometers from Aleppo.
Testo proveniente dalla pagina del sito Radio Vaticana 
Near the town of Jisr al-Shughour in the village of Al-Hassan morning of June 23 militants attacked the Roman Catholic Church, "al-Latin", plundered it and killed the abbot, "Maar Saman Al-Amoudi," Francois Murad.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Pope Mass: Respond to Jesus from the heart

Pope Mass: Respond to Jesus from the heart

“But who do you say that I am?”,
This question is asked by a living person. And we have to respond from the heart.”
“Veneration and love for his Holy Name. Certainty that he set us on a rock – the rock of his love. And from this love, we give you the answer, we give the answer. And when Jesus asks these questions – ‘Who am I for you?’ – we need to think of this: I was set on the rock of his love. He leads me. I must respond firmly on that rock and under his leadership.”
“Who am I for you?” Jesus asks us.Sometimes we are ashamed to respond to his question, underlined the Pope, because we know that something in us is not right, we are sinners. But it is exactly in this moment that we should trust in his love and respond with that sense of truth, as Peter did on Lake Tabor: “Lord, you know everything”. It is exactly in the moment that we feel like sinners, the Lord loves us a lot, said the Pope. And just as he put Peter, the fisherman, at the head of his Church, so, too, will the Lord do something good with us.

Publish Post

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Pope Francis: treasures we can take with us

Pope Francis: treasures we can take with us

 Pope Francis continues, Jesus speaks about the “eye,” a symbol “of the intentions of the heart” that are reflected in the body: a “heart that loves” makes the body luminous; a “wicked heart” makes it dark. “Our ability to judge things,” the Pope says, depends on this contrast between light and darkness, as is shown also by the fact that from a “heart of stone . . . attached to worldly treasures, to “selfish treasure,” can also become a treasure “of hatred,” come wars . . . Instead – this was the final prayer of the Pope – through the intercession of Saint Aloysius Gonzaga, whom the Church remembers today – let us ask for the grace of “a new heart . . . a heart of flesh”:

Friday, June 21, 2013

Laity for the New Evangelization

Laity for the New Evangelization.
Card. Stanisław Ryłko 
Pontifical Council for the Laity 
Vatican City Stanisław Ryłko
Pontifical Council for the Laity
Vatican City

Laity for the New Evangelization

“The Church today ought to take a giant step forward in her evangelization effort, and

enter into a new stage of history in her missionary dynamism”.1 This statement in

Christifideles Laici is still very relevant today, and the role of the laity in this process continues

to be irreplaceable. Christ said “you too go into my vineyard” (Mt 20: 3-4), and this invitation

should be seen as a clear call to an ever-growing number of lay men and women to take on their

responsibility in the life and mission of the Church. This refers to their responsibility in the life

and mission of all the Christian communities – dioceses and parishes, and ecclesial associations

and movements. The engagement of lay people in evangelization is already changing the life of

the Church, and this is a major sign of hope for the Church.

The enormity of the harvest to be collected for the sake of the Gospel today gives a note of

urgency to the Divine Master’s missionary mandate: “Go into all the world and proclaim the

good news to the whole creation” (Mk 16:15). Unfortunately, nowadays a mentality of

relativism has taken root and is spreading even among Christians. This creates a great

deal of confusion for our mission. Some examples are the following: the tendency to

replace mission with a kind of dialogue in which all positions are equal; the tendency to

reduce evangelization to human advancement and no more, being convinced that it is

enough to help people to be better people or to be more faithful to their own religion; a

false concept of respect for the freedom of others that refrains from teaching the need for

conversion. These and other doctrinal errors are addressed in the encyclical Redemptoris

Missio (1990), then in the declaration Dominus Iesus (2000) and later in the Responses to

Some Questions Regarding Certain Aspects of the Doctrine on the Church (2007) issued

by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. These documents deserve to be studied

in depth. Evangelization is an explicit mandate from the Lord and therefore it is not of

secondary importance. It is the reason why the Church is a sacrament of salvation.

Redemptoris Missio tells us that evangelization is a question of faith, “an accurate indicator

of our faith in Christ and his love for us”.3 As Saint Paul says, “the love of Christ impels us”

(2 Cor 5:14). It is therefore not unreasonable to stress that “there can be no true

evangelization without the explicit proclamation of Jesus as Lord”4 by word and through

1 John Paul II, Apostolic Exhortation Christifideles Laici, n. 35.

2 Cf. John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Redemptoris Missio, n. 2.

3 Ibid., n.11.

4 John Paul II, Apostolic Exhortation Ecclesia in Asia, n. 19.

a life of witness. “People today put more trust in witnesses than in teachers, in experience

than in teaching, and in life and action than in theories”.5 Those who know Christ have a

duty to make him known, and those who do not know him have the right to receive this

news. Saint Paul understood this well when he wrote: “If I proclaim the gospel, this gives

me no ground for boasting, for an obligation is laid on me, and woe to me if I do not

proclaim the gospel!” (1Cor 9:16). This missionary concern should always be with each

person who has been baptised.

In an address delivered in the year 2000, the future Pope Benedict XVI made some very

good points that invite us to return to the essential. Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was

speaking about evangelization, and he set out from a basic premise: “the true problem of

our times is the ‘Crisis of God’, the absence of God, disguised by an empty religiosity

[...] Everything changes, whether God exists or not. Unfortunately – we Christians also

often live as if God did not exist (si Deus non daretur). We live according to the slogan:

God does not exist, and if He exists, He does not belong. Therefore, evangelization must,

first of all, speak about God, proclaim the only true God: the Creator – the Sanctifier –

the Judge (cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church)”.6 He also said: “Speaking about God

and speaking with God must always go together”.7 Prayer is irreplaceable as the wellspring

from which every true and authentic missionary initiative is born. The subject of

God then becomes the subject of Jesus Christ: “Only in Christ and through Christ does

the subject of God become truly concrete: Christ is Emmanuel, the God-with-us—the

concretization of the ‘I am’, the response to Deism”.8 Taking this as his basic premise,

Cardinal Ratzinger formulated three laws that guide the process of evangelization in the

Church, laws that are well worth recalling. He called the first one the law of

expropriation. We Christians are not the proprietors. We are humble servants of God’s

action in the world. Saint Paul wrote: “For we do not proclaim ourselves; we proclaim

Jesus Christ as Lord and ourselves as your slaves for Jesus’ sake” (2Cor 4:5). This is why

Cardinal Ratzinger strongly emphasised that “evangelizing is not merely a way of

speaking, but a form of living: living in the listening and giving voice to the Father. ‘He

will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak’, says the Lord

about the Holy Spirit (Jn 16:13) [...] The Lord and the Spirit build the Church,

communicate through the Church. The proclamation of Christ, the proclamation of the

Kingdom of God presupposes listening to his voice in the voice of the Church. ‘Not to

speak on one’s own authority’ means: to speak in the mission of the Church”.9

5 John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Redemptoris Missio, n. 42.

6 J. Ratzinger, La nuova evangelizzazione, “L’Osservatore Romano”, 11-12 dicembre 2000, p. 11. [Address of

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger on the Jubilee of Catechists and Religion Teachers, 10 December 2000)]

7 Ibid.

8 Ibid.

9 Ibid.

Evangelization, therefore, is never a private affair. Behind it there is always God and there is

always the Church. Cardinal Ratzinger said: “We ourselves cannot draw people. We must

acquire them by God for God. All methods are empty without the foundation of prayer. The

word of proclamation must always be steeped in an intense life of prayer”.10 This certitude

gives us great support and it gives us the courage needed to deal with the challenges that

are presented to the Church by the world.

The second law of evangelization springs from the parable of the mustard seed, “the

smallest of all the seeds on earth; yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the

greatest of all shrubs” (Mk 4:31-32). “All great things begin in humility”,11 Cardinal

Ratzinger emphasised. In fact, God is particularly fond of all that is small: the “remnant

of Israel” that brings hope to the chosen people; the “little flock” of disciples that are told

by the Lord never to fear because it is to them that the Father wishes to give his Kingdom

(cf. Lk 12:32). The parable of the mustard seed tells us that those who proclaim the

Gospel must be humble. They must not expect to obtain immediate results – neither

qualitatively nor quantitatively. The law of great numbers is not the law of the Church.

God is Lord of the harvest, and it is God who decides the rhythm, times and method for

sowing. This law keeps us from becoming discouraged in our missionary engagement,

yet it does not exempt us from giving everything we can. We are reminded by the apostle

to the gentiles: “whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows

bountifully will also reap bountifully” (2Cor 9:6).

The third law of evangelization is the law of the grain of seed that dies in order to bring

forth fruit (cf. Jn 12:24). In evangelization, the logic of the Cross is always present.

Cardinal Ratzinger said: “Jesus did not redeem the world with beautiful words but with

his suffering and death. His passion is a never-ending source of life for the world; the

passion gives power to his words”.12 This explains the importance we find in

evangelization of the witness of martyrs for the faith. Tertullian was right when he wrote:

“the more you kill the more we are. The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church”.13

The witness of faith sealed by the blood of so many martyrs is the great spiritual

patrimony of the Church and a shining sign of hope for its future. Christians can join

Saint Paul in saying: “We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not

driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always

carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in

our bodies”. (2Cor 4: 8-10).

10 Ibid.

11 Ibid.

12 Ibid.

13 Tertullian, Liber apologeticus 50, 13

The importance of the tasks facing the Church at the start of the third millennium of the

Christian era can make us feel inadequate and helpless. Our work for God and the Gospel

in the world is constantly being hindered and contested by various hostile forces.

However, we are heartened by words of hope by Benedict XVI. In a homily on “God’s

failures” given when the Swiss bishops were on their ad limina visit, he said: “initially

God always fails, he lets human freedom exist and this freedom constantly says ‘no’; but

God's imagination, the creative power of his love, is greater than the human ‘no’[...]

What does all this mean for us? First of all, it means one certainty: God does not fail. He

‘fails’ continuously, but for this very reason he does not fail, because through this he

finds new opportunities for far greater mercy and his imagination is inexhaustible. He

does not fail because he finds ever new ways to reach people and to open wider his great

house so that it is completely filled”.14 This is why we should never lose hope. The

Successor of Peter assures us that: “even today the message spreads along the roads to the

very ends of the earth and people crowd into God's hall for his banquet. Today too, he

will find new ways to call men and women. He wants to have us with him as his

messengers and servants”.15

14 Benedict XVI, Homily during Mass with the Swiss Bishops, 7 November 2006.

15 Ibid.

Thursday, June 20, 2013


Winter Solstice Northern hemisphere but relevant by Benedict XVI

Fourth Sunday of Advent - Angelus, 21 December 2008
Christ is the sun of grace who, with his life, "transfigures and enflames the expectant universe".....
among my Predecessors of venerable memory there were some who studied this science, such as Sylvester II who taught it, Gregory XIII to whom we owe our calendar, and St Pius X who knew how to build sundials.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

AMERICA/HONDURAS - "The government has not yet responded to the peace initiative of the gangs," said Mgr. Emiliani - Fides News Agency

AMERICA/HONDURAS - "The government has not yet responded to the peace initiative of the gangs," said Mgr. Emiliani - Fides News Agency
According to UN statistics, Honduras is considered to be the most violent Country in the world. (CE) (Agenzia Fides 18/06/2013)
Maras activities range from arms traffickingassaultauto theftburglariesdrug trafficking,extortionhuman traffickingidentity fraudidentity theftillegal gamblingillegal immigration,kidnappingmoney launderingpeople smugglingprostitutionracketeeringrobbery andvandalism. Almost all maras display tattoos on their bodies as a sign of their affiliation to their gang.[1] "La vida por las maras" or "the life for the gang" is a very commonly used phrase by these gangs. Although contrary to common belief, there is no evidence that the gang has ever had the killing of an innocent person as an element or form of initiation.

Lutherans and Catholics: From Conflict to Communion

Lutherans and Catholics: From Conflict to Communion

Also from our Catholic side, our own conviction is 'Ecclesia semper reformanda' - that the life of the Church has to be reformed all the time, in every age, so we have this common intention of reform on both sides....what we could do in this document is to indicate the main themes of the theology of Martin Luther in lifht of our own ecumenical dialogue, showing that many ideas of Martin Luther have been issues for the whole Church and important elements of renovation of the Church.....
This document could be a basis for all sorts of ecumenical dialogues....with other partners because it addresses the basic intention necessary reform of the Church and also addresses our own relationship with God"
The full text of the document ‘From Conflict to Communion’ is available from the German Evangelische Verlangsanstalt and Bonifatius publishing house.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

proudtobecatholic | Fr Michael Gielen reports from Rome

proudtobecatholic | Fr Michael Gielen reports from Rome
Usually the new Pope comes out within an hour, but it was an hour and a quarter- apparently it was because he was trying to ring Pope Benedict, and Pope Benedict was watching the TV waiting for the new Pope and didn’t answer the phone. The story going around Rome is that they rung the Pope 6 times and Pope Emeritus Benedict just wasn’t answering his phone, I mean, what’s more important than the new Pope being chosen- and it was the Pope trying to ring him!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

A soul for the laws - The principle of secularism must not mean hostility to the reality of religion

A soul for the laws - The principle of secularism must not mean hostility to the reality of religion

For her own part, “the Church,” assured the Pontiff, “desires in this way to offer her own specific contribution to the deeper questions that engage in a more complete picture of the person and his or her destiny, of society and its destiny. This contribution does not solely lie in the anthropological or social sphere, but also in the political, economic and cultural spheres”.

"The Catholic Civilization".

Matteo Ricci, SJ 

Pope Francis at the Community of Writers of "The Catholic Civilization",
 June 14, 2013
And to seek God in all things, in all fields of knowledge, art, science, politics, social and economic studies are needed, feel, experience. Some of the matters dealt with may have no explicit relationship with a Christian perspective, but they are important for understanding the way in which people understand themselves and the world around them. Your observation information is broad, objective and timely. E 'must also have a focus towards truth, goodness and beauty of God, which always should be considered together, and are valuable allies in efforts to defend the dignity of man, the building of a peaceful co-existence and special care of creation. From this attention comes the calm judgment, sincere and strong about the events, enlightened by Christ. Great figures such as Matteo Ricci are a model. 

Matteo Ricci's grave 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Forced migration: Pastoral Guidelines

Forced migration: Pastoral Guidelines(Vatican Radio) A new document dealing with the issue of forced migration was presented Thursday at the Holy See Press office by the Presidents of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People and the Pontifical Council Cor Unum.

About Us  The 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees is the key legal document in defining who is a refugee, their rights and the legal obligations of states.

Monday, June 10, 2013

International protection is based on two very basic and simple principles: the first that people not participating in some violence have a special right to be protected from this violence, and the second, that if protection cannot be provided to them where they are, they have a right to seek protection outside the zone of risk and danger, even across borders

homeBRUSSELS, 8 May 2013 (ICMC) -- The International Catholic Migration Commission (ICMC) today in Brussels held an awareness-raising, information-sharing and networking conference for civil society, local and regional authorities to promote moreresettlement places for refugees and to help improve their integration across Europe. Johan.pdf

Johan Ketelers bio"International protection is based on two very basic and simple principles: the first that people not
participating in some violence have a special right to be protected from this violence, and the second,
that if protection cannot be provided to them where they are, they have a right to seek protection
outside the zone of risk and danger, even across borders."(Johan Ketelers Secretary General of the
International Catholic Migration Commission (ICMC) Welcoming Christ in refugees and forcibly displaced persons. Press Conference. Rome June 6th 2013).

The " two very basic and simple principles " Ketelers mentions; are they defining the welcoming of the stranger? I believe they are and further to making a point regarding men of good will.that people not involved in violence should be able to find find a peaceful place to live and flourish. Our faith constantly teaches the primary duty of a Christian is to witness charity by aiding the poor in every circumstance. By leaving a home whether by force or voluntary migration a family has to make a giant leap. Often fear and isolation play an important part in the decision to give up all the memories and possessions people of all cultures accumulate over time and to settle in a new place, often of a different culture is foreboding in that what new life can be created without faith. The Christian has a missionary spirit and this can e a foundation in creating a civil society in any land and culture. This is why religion is so important to a country, a faith in doing good aids in the culturalization of new peoples.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

United Nations News Centre - UN announces largest ever humanitarian appeal for conflict-torn Syria

United Nations News Centre - UN announces largest ever humanitarian appeal for conflict-torn Syria
A building severely damaged by an airstrike in Aleppo City, Syria. Photo: OCHA/Gemma Connell

13 June 2013 – Warning the real figure is likely to be much higher, the United Nations human rights chief today announced that the death toll in Syria is nearly 93,000, with more than 5,000 people killed a month as the situation in the country has “deteriorated drastically” over the past year.
Civilians are bearing the brunt of widespread, violent and often indiscriminate attacks which are devastating whole swathes of major towns and cities, as well as outlying villages.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Pontifical Council "Cor Unum" - Index

Pontifical Council "Cor Unum" - Index  = 'ONE HEART'
The Holy See’s concern for the crisis in Syria, and in a particular way, for the people, often defenceless, who are suffering as a result of it, is well known.The destiny of the Syrian people is a concern that is close to my heart also.

 The Pontifical Council “Cor Unum” called a meeting, from 4-5 June, of the Catholic charitable agencies that are working to combat the crisis in Syria.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

AFRICA/CENTRAL AFRICA - "The important thing is to be close to the poor," says the Bishop of the devastated Diocese of Bangassou - Fides News Agency

AFRICA/CENTRAL AFRICA - "The important thing is to be close to the poor," says the Bishop of the devastated Diocese of Bangassou - Fides News Agency

Bangui - The advance towards the east of the dissident faction of Seleka who conquered Bangassou on March 11, in south-eastern Central African Republic seems to have stopped."I was able to contact the mission of Rafai which is 150 km from Bangassou. The rebels have not entered the mission but they managed to steal missionary father's car and then left again heading towards Bangassou" says to Fides Agency His Exc. Mgr. Juan José Aguirre Munos, Bishop of Bangassou."Thank God, therefore the rebels have not continued towards the town of Rafa or beyond this, towards Zemio and Obo. In this last place the Seleka men would have to face the military and especially the Central African Ugandan soldiers and Americans and even the LRA rebels, " added the Bishop. "So in the end the rebels have returned to Bangassou, where so far we have not had precise information about the situation," concluded Mgr. Aguirre Munos. (NEWS VA)

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Cardinal Koch visits Ukraine to deepen Catholic-Orthodox dialogue

Cardinal Koch visits Ukraine to deepen Catholic-Orthodox dialogue   "Remembering the words of Blessed John Paul II, who said that ecumenism is not only an exchange of ideas but “an exchange of gifts,” the Swiss cardinal stressed also that “we mustn’t be afraid of ecumenism, because it is an enrichment.” “My personal experience is that, with ecumenism, I have become much more Catholic,” he concluded."

His Eminence


Mieczyslaw Mokrzycki

Metropolitan of Lviv

Monday, June 3, 2013

Pope visits John XXIII's tomb on the 50th anniversary of his death

John XXIII's hometown.

Pope: all is lost in war; all is to be gained in peace

Pope: all is lost in war; all is to be gained in peace

“In deploring all of these” – Francis continued –“I wish to assure my prayers and my solidarity for those who are being held in captivity and for their families, and I appeal to the humanity of the kidnappers to free their victims”. 

I have detailed our haphazard route to our destination, because our experience aptly reflects the atmosphere of the time. Everyone was new, young and ignorant, feeling this way along a trial and error basis, seemingly going no place but somehow getting there. Given the times and everyone’s youth and lack of experience amid the aftermath of the war. (Fr Norris diary.)

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Millions of Indians to join Pope Francis in Eucharistic adoration

Millions of Indians to join Pope Francis in Eucharistic adoration

Despite the rapid growth in our economy, economic precariousness is another major issue as the gap between rich and poor widens further. We must indeed address the widening inequality, which could also have serious social consequences. Since we are one human family, one universal holy hour will make our shared humanity very tangible. When one member of the family suffers, all suffer. (Text from page
of the Vatican Radio website)

 Millions of people around the world took part in an hour of Solemn Eucharistic Adoration on Sunday evening.