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524Volume 3, Issue 128

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  • John N. Lupia
    Jul 1, 2003

      Volume 3, Issue 128
      WEDNESDAY 2 July 2003

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      • "Road Map" Needs a "Friendly Presence" in Mideast, Says Vatican
      • Bishop Sean O'Malley Named as Archbishop of Boston
      • Hope in Bethlehem Over Withdrawal of Israeli Army
      • Foundations of Nazareth Mosque Razed
      • U.S. Conference President Assails Court Decision on Sodomy

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      VATICAN CITY, JUL 1, 2003 (VIS) - Today John Paul II received the Letters of Credence from Abdulhafed Gaddur, the new Head of Mission of the Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya.

      In his speech in Italian, the Holy Father affirmed that "courageous and persevering dialogue is especially useful to confront the many existing tensions in the world that concern us and require active collaboration on all sides to be resolved, keeping in mind the fundamental principles of truth, justice, love, and freedom." The Pope went on to refer to "the situation in the Middle East that is very much on my mind; terrorism
      which may indiscriminately strike any part of the world and which makes cities,
      peoples and even all of humanity insecure; conflicts that prevent the inhabitants of many regions of Africa from developing; unequal distribution of the goods of the land and of the fruits of technological, human and spiritual research."

      "Dialogue," he continued, "based on solid moral law, facilitates the resolution of conflicts and promotes respect for life and for all human beings."

      John Paul II emphasized that the "Church, conscious of the role that religion plays in consolidating the culture of coexistence and of reciprocal understanding and active collaboration, wants to advance the mission of peace, urging everyone to take on the responsibility of caring for others in order to build a fairer, more united and free world. This testimony," headded, "is offered by the small but active Catholic community in Libya," which "wants to continue its activity, cultivating the spirit of fraternal communion, service to one's neighbor, with a discreet and loving presence."

      After expressing his gratitude to the authorities and to the entire Libyan people for their respect for the Church's mission, the Pope said: "A sincere will for honest collaboration constitutes the foundation for fruitful cooperation among believers and among all human beings. This is valid, in particular," he concluded, "for followers of Islam and Christianity.
      Faced by attempts to falsify religion and an illegitimate use of sacred traditions, it is necessary to remember that practices that incite violence and lack of respect for human life are against God and man."

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      VATICAN CITY, JUL 1, 2003 (VIS) - Pope John Paul's general prayer intention for the month of July is: "That governments and those responsible for the economy and finance of the world, may make an effort to find modalities and conditions which guarantee all peoples the necessary means to live in a dignified way."

      His missionary intention is: "That all those in Africa who are sick - the victims of AIDS and other serious diseases - may experience the consolation and love of God thanks to the services of the doctors and those who lovingly take care of them."

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      VATICAN CITY, JUL 1, 2003 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

      - The Presidency of the Brazilian Episcopal Conference:

      - Cardinal Geraldo Majella Agnelo, archbishop of Sao Salvador da Bahia, president.

      - Bishop Antonio Celso Queiroz of Catanduva, vice-president.

      - Bishop Odilo Pedro Scherer, auxiliary of Sao Paolo, secretary general.

      - Archbishop Adriano Bernardini, apostolic nuncio in Argentina.

      - Three prelates from the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India on their "ad limina" visit:

      - Archbishop Joji Marampudi of Hyderbad.

      - Bishop Thumma Bala of Warangal.

      - Bishop John Baptist Sequeira of Chikmagalur.

      - Cardinal Paul Poupard, president of the Pontifical Council of Culture, accompanied by Frs. Bernard Ardura, O. Praem., and Fabio Duque Jaramillo, O.F.M., respectively secretary and undersecretary of the same pontifical council.

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      VATICAN CITY, JUL 1, 2003 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

      - Erected the new ecclesiastical province of Palembang, Indonesia, dividing it from the ecclesiastical province of Medan, Indonesia. The new ecclesiastical province will consist of the suffragen dioceses of Pangkal-Pinang and Tanjungkarang.

      - Appointed Bishop Aloysius Sudarso, S.C.I., of Palembang, Indonesia, as metropolitan archbishop of the same archdiocese. (area 157,000, population 11,000,000, Catholics 77,000, priests 72, religious 227), Indonesia.

      - Appointed Bishop Sean P. O'Malley, O.F.M.Cap., of Palm Beach (U.S.A.), as metropolitan archbishop of Boston (area 6,382, population 3,888,944, Catholics 2,060,225, priests 1,678, permanent deacons 209, religious 3,759,), U.S.A. The archbishop-elect was born in Ohio in 1944 and made his solemn profession of vows as a Capuchin in 1968. He was ordained a priest in 1970 and a bishop in 1984.

      - Appointed Bishop Gerald M. Barbarito of Ogdensburg, U.S.A., as bishop of Palm Beach (area 11,510, population 1,599,467, Catholics 246,040, priests 140, permanent deacons 43, religious 182), U.S.A.

      - Appointed Bishop Thomas Gerard Wenski, auxiliary of Miami, U.S.A., as coadjutor bishop of Orlando (area 27,900, population 3,360,319, Catholics 353,342, priests 221, permanent deacons 130, religious 195), U.S.A.

      - Appointed Msgr. Juan Jose Dorronsoro Allo, canon of the Basilica of St. Mary Major in Rome, as consultor of the Congregation for the Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life for the section of Secular Institutes.

      - Appointed Msgr. Arnaldo Fraccaroli as consultor of the Pontifical Commission for the Cultural Patrimony of the Church.

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      "Road Map" Needs a "Friendly Presence" in Mideast, Says Vatican

      VATICAN CITY, JULY 1, 2003 (Zenit.org).- The Vatican believes that a "friendly presence" is necessary in the Middle East to make possible the implementation of the "road map" for peace.

      Israelis and Palestinians must be helped to "talk with one another, and to look at one another around a common table," the Vatican secretary for relations with states, Archbishop Jean-Louis Tauran, said on Monday.

      Among other objectives, the so-called road map, sponsored by the United States, the European Union, Russia and the United Nations, calls for the declaration of a sovereign Palestinian state.

      The plan constitutes "notable progress, due to the commitment of the United States," and is an "example of how the international community, when it works in a unitary manner, can obtain results," Archbishop Tauran said.

      The archbishop believes that it is important to ensure "respect for agreements" through a "friendly presence, of peace or insertion," although "it is not up to the Holy See to propose the technical formula."

      This would make possible the implementation of the plan in a land where "one must always be conscious of the fact that, at night there is a peace process, in the morning an attack, and in the afternoon the outbreak of war," he concluded.

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      Bishop Sean O'Malley Named as Archbishop of Boston

      Ogdensburg, N.Y., Prelate to Take Over Diocese of Palm Beach

      VATICAN CITY, JULY 1, 2003 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II named Bishop Sean O'Malley of Palm Beach, Florida, as the new archbishop of Boston.

      Archbishop-designate O'Malley, 59, succeeds Cardinal Bernard Law, who quit last December in the wake of scandals involving priests in the archdiocese. Bishop Richard Lennon has been serving as apostolic administrator of the archdiocese.

      Meanwhile, the Pope also named Bishop Gerald Barbarito of Ogdensburg, New York, to succeed Sean O'Malley as bishop of Palm Beach.

      Sean O'Malley was born June 29, 1944, in Lakewood, Ohio. He attended St. Fidelis Seminary, in Butler, Pennsylvania, and Capuchin College and the Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C.

      He entered the Order of Friars Minor Capuchins (Franciscans) when he was in high school. He made his solemn profession on July 14, 1968, and was ordained a priest two years later.

      Then Father O'Malley was director of the Apostolate for the Spanish Speaking in the Archdiocese of Washington when he was named coadjutor bishop of the Diocese of St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, in 1984. He became bishop of St. Thomas on Oct. 16, 1985.

      Appointed bishop of Fall River, Massachusetts, on June 16, 1992, he served there until last September, when he was appointed bishop of Palm Beach.

      The Boston Archdiocese has a Catholic population of about 2.1 million out of a total population of 3.9 million.

      The new bishop of Palm Beach, Gerald Barbarito, was born Jan. 4, 1950, in Brooklyn, New York.

      He was ordained Jan. 31, 1976, after studies at Cathedral College in Douglaston, New York, and the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception in Huntington. He pursued graduate studies at the Catholic University of America where he earned a licentiate in canon law.

      Bishop Barbarito was assistant pastor, Howard Beach, assistant chancellor and Vice Chancellor, and served on the Appeals Court of the Brooklyn Diocesan Tribunal. He was appointed bishop of Ogdensburg on Oct. 26, 1999.

      The Diocese of Palm Beach has a Catholic population of about 246,000 in a total population of about 1.6 million.

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      Hope in Bethlehem Over Withdrawal of Israeli Army

      Father Ibrahim Faltas Stresses the Safety of Pilgrimages in the Area

      JERUSALEM, JULY 1, 2003 (Zenit.org).- The custodian of Bethlehem's Basilica of the Nativity says the planned withdrawal of the Israeli army from the city is raising hopes for peace.

      Franciscan Father Ibrahim Faltas, the custodian, made his comment as the Israelis planned to begin their withdrawal on Wednesday.

      A "road map" for peace sponsored by the United States, the European Union, Russia and the United Nations has, among other objectives, the declaration of the sovereignty of the Palestinian state.

      The population of Bethlehem, facing an 85% unemployment rate, has received the news of the military withdrawal with relief, said Father Faltas, who played a key role during the siege by Israeli troops of the Basilica of the Nativity in 2002.

      The withdrawal, "together with the truce, which we hope will last more than three months, might trigger a certain recovery, including economic, also making possible the taking of groups of pilgrims to Holy Places," the religious said.

      "The Holy Places are safe and can be visited without problems," he added. "The Bethlehem Grotto awaits the pilgrims. It would represent a hope for all the population."

      It is an appeal shared by Father Giovanni Battistelli, custodian of the Holy Land, who said he is "timidly confident" by the truce. The "great confidence that Palestinians have in Abu Mazen, allows one to have hope in the future, also because of the commitment of international diplomacy," Father Battistelli added.

      The Israeli withdrawal from the northern section of the Gaza Strip and the truce declared by Palestinian factions constitute the first steps of a staggered and long process of pacification which, if successful, would culminate in the implementation of the "road map."

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      Foundations of Nazareth Mosque Razed

      JERUSALEM, JULY 1, 2003 (Zenit.org).- A controversial mosque in Nazareth was demolished early today by Interior Ministry demolition crews, along with Israeli police, the Jerusalem Post reported.

      The Shahab A Din Mosque, still in the early stages of construction, has been a source for controversy which ultimately fueled Islamic riots in April 1999, and interreligious strife in Nazareth since, the newspaper said.

      The Nazareth District Court upheld last week the city's District Court's ruling that the illegal construction of the site must be flattened.

      Christians said the mosque would pose a direct threat to the Basilica of the Annunciation, obscuring its view from the main drag.

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      We have seen the four senses of Scripture as a process of lectio divina. It is not necessarily a mechanical process completed all at once. Sometimes we are only able to focus on one sense or two. Sometimes the prayerful aspect comes later on during the day when engaged in a different activity but is drawn from the lectio divina exercise.

      Contemplation is not an automatic outcome from performing a particular practice or engaging in a process. It has nothing to do with our own efforts but is a gift from God. We cannot achieve contemplation as a result from doing this or that. God is the only source of true contemplation. Contemplation is a form and level of prayer, a spiritual elevation only given to a select few who have progressed in virtue and discipline.

      The ancient monastic tradition speaks of the progression of prayer in lectio divina as a spiritual ladder. This is merely a metaphor and not a sequential development that we can attain by following a precise recipe. Parallel to the four senses of Scripture are the four steps of the ladder: reading, meditation, prayer and contemplation. The first three we can accomplish through focused diligence. Contemplation is given not achieved. For some it is given after many years of rigorous discipline and arduous effort. Others are given this gift from their youth. In all cases it is always a special grace that is built on human nature that is subject to God in all things.

      Tradition teaches that those who diligently adhere to lectio divina and discipline will inevitably enjoy divine contemplation. Contemplation comes when we have learned to contemplate God’s word in perfect serenity and clarity. As St. Augustine says, “Yet his words are as clear as water, limpid, undisturbed, unclouded. And so you should, as sheep, feed on and drink of his message; do not trample on it or stir it up.” (St. Augustine, Sermo 47, 13, De ovibus: CCL 41, 583)

      As we progress over the years in lectio divina our quality of prayer also progresses becoming more tender and intimate with God. The final crown of grace is the fruit of contemplative prayer. There are tastes of this from time to time during our course of prayer that urge us on to make greater efforts to fidelity to grace. The soul that stays on this narrow path enduring through the dark and arid periods that mark the spiritual journey will eventually taste the richness of contemplative union with God.

      The efforts we make are our activity, it is an active form of grace. Contemplation is not our activity, it is God’s action within us and is passive on our part.

      Michael Casey, Sacred Reading. The Ancient Art of Lectio Divina. (Liguori, MO : Liguori/Triumph, 1996). 151 p.; ISBN : 0-89243-891-6. Michael Casey is a Cistercian monk and prior of Tarrawarra Abbey, Victoria, Australia.

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      U.S. Conference President Assails Court Decision on Sodomy

      Sexual Activity Belongs to Marital Tie Between Man and Woman, Says Bishop Gregory

      WASHINGTON, D.C., JULY 1, 2003 (Zenit.org).- The president of the U.S. bishops' conference assailed the Supreme Court's decision that struck down Texas' sodomy law.

      "In its decision, Lawrence vs. Texas, the Supreme Court has chosen to view homosexual behavior between consenting adults as a matter of privacy," Bishop Wilton Gregory said in a statement. "However, human sexuality cannot be viewed this way."

      "Sexual activity has profound social consequences which are not limited to those immediately engaged in sexual acts," he said. "For this reason, the larger society has always shown a concern about what is and is not acceptable in sexual behavior between individuals. The very fact that this case came before the Supreme Court is evidence of that concern."

      "The Catholic Church teaches, in agreement with other faith traditions and with what were once the norms generally accepted by society, that sexual activity belongs to the marital relationship between one man and one woman in fidelity to each other," Bishop Gregory said.

      "This relationship is the basis of the family which is the basic unit of society," he added. "Respect for the purpose of human sexuality and the family needs to be reaffirmed in our society; and anything which reduces respect for them -- such as yesterday's Supreme Court decision -- is to be deplored."

      In an accompanying statement, Mark Chopko, general counsel for the bishops' conference, pointed out the legal limits of the decision.

      "This case was decided on the narrowest grounds," he wrote. "Justice Kennedy took pains to insulate this case from broader conclusions.

      "He points to laws against prostitution and rape to show that not every sexual act between adults is outside the reach of legislatures. He is equally careful to note that this case does not involve the question whether the government must formally recognize homosexual relationships."

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      3. Today's Lectionary Readings Text

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      Monks of Adoration:

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      5. Polish Rosary Hour by the Conventual Franciscans

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      Our Father Movie

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      Cause of Mama Gili as Servant of God (Part 1)

      Cause of Mama Gili as Servant of God (Part 2)

      Need a Miracle?

      Dolores Immacolata "Mama" Gili (1892-1985)


      The Mama Gili Guild was established several years ago to gather, collect, and publish information on Dolores Immacolata Gili (1892-1985) for an investigation into her cause as a Servant of God, as well as to promote her cause and to perpetuate her cult by directing prayer groups assembled in her honor. It has continuously enjoyed the ecclesiastical approval of Theodore Cardinal McCarrick, and the Most Reverend John Joseph Myers, Archbishop of Newark, New Jersey.

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      10. Thomas a Kempis, Imitation of Christ. English Trans. Online

      Thomas a Kempis, De Imitatione Christi. Latin Text Online

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      When the Eucharistic host is elevated at Mass say:

      "Eternal Father, through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer you the crucified Body of Your dearly beloved Son, Jesus Christ, in reparation for all the sins committed against you and for the conversion and salvation of the whole world."

      When the Eucharistic chalice is elevated at Mass say:

      "Eternal Father, through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer you the precious Blood of Your dearly beloved Son, Jesus Christ, in reparation for all the sins committed against you and for the conversion and salvation of the whole world."

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      "during this important time, as the eve of the new millennium approaches unity among all Christians of the various confessions will increase until they reach full communion." John Paul II, Tertio Millennio Adveniente, 16

      "Keep close to the Mother of God as if you were the child Jesus clinging to her robes while walking down a dusty and busy crowded street and you'll always be safe."

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