Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Volume 8, Issue 7

Expand Messages
  • John N. Lupia
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 9, 2008
    • 0 Attachment
      Roman Catholic News

      Volume 8, Issue 7

      THURSDAY 10 JANUARY 2008

      * * *


      * * *


      VATICAN CITY, 10 JAN 2008 (VIS) - This morning in the Vatican, the Pope received Piero Marrazzo, president of the Region of Lazio, Italy; Walter Veltroni, mayor of the City of Rome; and Enrico Gasbarra, president of the Province of Rome, each accompanied by an entourage, for the traditional exchange of New Year greetings.

      As is customary during these annual meetings, the Holy Father remarked on a number of subjects of current concern that affect the lives of the inhabitants of Rome and Lazio.

      Referring to the "educational emergency" he had highlighted last June during the ecclesial congress of the diocese of Rome, Benedict XVI noted how "it seems ever more difficult convincingly to present new generations with firm certainties and criteria upon which to build their lives". Nonetheless, he told his audience, such an emergency "cannot leave the Church or your administrations indifferent.

      "What is clearly at stake in the formation of individuals", the Pope added, "is the very basis of co-existence and the future of society. For its part, the diocese of Rome is dedicating its special attention to this difficult task", with initiatives that touch "the various educational fields, from families and schools to parishes, associations and movements". He then went on to express his thanks to the Region of Lazio for the support it has given to oratories and children's centres run by parishes and ecclesial communities.

      The Holy Father called on civil institutions to "increase their efforts at various levels in order to tackle the educational emergency, drawing constant inspiration from the guide-criterion of the centrality of the human person.

      "It is clear that respect and support for the family based on marriage have primary importance", he added. "Unfortunately, we daily see how unrelenting and threatening are the attacks and misunderstandings suffered by this fundamental human and social institution. It is, then, more necessary than ever that public administrations do not support such negative tendencies but, on the contrary, give the family their convinced and concrete support, in the certainty that in this way they are working for the common good".

      The Holy Father identified poverty as "another worsening emergency situation, ... especially on the outskirts of major cities. ... The increased cost of living, and especially the price of accommodation, a persistent lack of work, and often inadequate salaries and pensions, make living conditions truly difficulty for many individuals and families", he observed.

      Going on to consider the problem of security and the degradation of some areas of Rome, Benedict XVI dwelt on the need for "constant and real efforts, with the dual and inseparable aims of guaranteeing the safety of citizens and ensuring that everyone (immigrants in particular) has at least the indispensable minimum for an honest and dignified life. The Church, through Caritas and many other forms of voluntary activity, ... makes prodigious efforts also on this difficult front" which also requires "the intervention of the public authorities".

      The Pope concluded by highlighting another area of shared concern for the Church and the public authorities: the sick. "We are well aware", he said, "of the serious difficulties the Region of Lazio has to face in the field of healthcare, but we must also note how the situation of Catholic healthcare structures is also often a dramatic one. ... I must ask, then, that in the distribution of resources [Catholic structures] not be penalized, not for any interest of the Church, but in order to avoid prejudicing a service so indispensable to our people".

      * * *


      VATICAN CITY, 10 JAN 2008 (VIS) - According to a note published today by the Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff, at 6.30 p.m. on Sunday, 13 January, Cardinal Urbano Navarrete S.J. will take possession of the new diaconate of St. Pontian in Via Nicola Festa 50, Rome.

      The communique also announces that at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, 16 January, Cardinal Sean Baptist Brady, archbishop of Armagh, Ireland will take possession of the title of Sts. Quiricus and Julitta in Via Tor de' Conti 31/A, Rome.

      * * *


      VATICAN CITY, 10 JAN 2008 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

      - Cardinal Giovanni Lajolo, president of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State and of the Governorate of Vatican City State.

      - Francis Rooney, ambassador of the United States of America, accompanied by his wife, on his farewell visit.

      This evening, he is scheduled to receive in audience Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches.

      * * *


      VATICAN CITY, 10 JAN 2008 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Ignacio Rodriguez-Iturbe, professor of civil and environmental engineering at Princeton University, U.S.A., as an ordinary member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.

      * * *


      Friday after Epiphany

      Today's Gospel reading is a perfect example that clearly illustrates all three senses of sacred scripture.

      The three senses of sacred scripture are the literal sense, the spiritual sense, and the fuller sense.

      The literal sense of today's reading is a vivid narrative about a man suffering from a skin disease known as leprosy. According to the story this man is described as "full of leprosy." This meant he was very sick with open sores and wounds all over his body. Suffering this way without proper medical treatment it was impossible to clean the skin and wounds and they only became worse, infected and gave off a terrible stench. Lepers suffering this way have a difficult time wearing garments since most fabrics available at that time, cotton, linen and wool, would become irritating to the skin and chafe and itch making the pain worse.

      This leper, like all other lepers were social outcasts. Jewish law forbade them to enter into the town so as not to spread their disease among the other citizens. This meant they had to leave their homes, their jobs, loose their income and material possessions, and their friends and neighbors as well. Lepers literally only owned the clothes they were wearing. They were forced to beg for food and people would leave food and drink for them in specially designated places where lepers were allowed to go outside the city walls.

      We can only imagine how terrible the life of a leper must have been. They lived tragic lives of neglect of every type. The psychological state of this poor man must have been desperate. He probably prayed day and night to God asking Him for forgiveness of his sins.

      Jewish teaching at this time attributed all physical handicaps, deformities, sickness and disease to the personal sins of the victim and even of their parents.

      This poor leper was a social outcast not only because of the horror of the sight of his physical deformity due to the disease and the terrible stench of rotting infested flesh, but also because people looked down on them as cursed by God due to sin and immorality.

      So, here we see a poor leper who came from one of the towns Jesus visited. When the leper heard the loud murmur of the crowds raising their voices in excitement that Jesus was outside the town on His way to visit them the leper evidently overheard this and he too became excited that the possibility of his disease could be cured if Jesus only wished it to be so.

      The leper was desperate because of his pitiable situation. Yet, he like his townsmen had heard that Jesus was a powerful holy man that God empowered to perform miracles and stories of countless cures were well known to all of them.

      St. Luke tells us that the leper, "when he saw Jesus, he fell prostrate, pleaded with him, and said, “Lord, if you wish, you can make me clean.”

      And, Jesus did heal him and the story of this cure spread throughout the town.

      The spiritual sense of this beautiful story is that the leper is the typology of every human person; since we are all sinners and sinfulness in our souls makes us like a leper in the spiritual sense.

      The leper now becomes our model to reflect on. We too like him are infested and full of sins. Like the leper we need Jesus to make us clean. Notice the leper in the story does not ask Jesus in the general way to cure him of the disease but instead says, “Lord, if you wish, you can make me clean.” The lepers request to be made clean impels us to see the parallel between the leper and every sinner who needs Christ to cleanse them of their sins. Also take note that the leper bowed down prostrate before Jesus showing Him adoration, respect, reverence and praise. We too must develop pure hearts to be truly humble and prostrate ourselves like the leper before Christ in His Majesty.

      The fuller sense also called sensus plenior reveals an even deeper meaning expressed by God through His Sacred Word. Notice how St. Luke describes Jesus when the leper begs Him to make him clean. "Jesus stretched out his hand, touched him, and said, “I do will it. Be made clean.” The words that describe Christ's action "Jesus stretched out his hand," refers not only to this moment in the story when Christ sent the power out from Himself to cure the man, but also, it refers to another moment when Christ on the cross stretches out His hands to be nailed to the patibulum and hang crucified dying for our sins. This fuller sense reveals what theologians call soteriology, or the theology of salvation. God's divine plan to save each and every one of us unravelled through time and in the life of Christ we see here a foreshadowing of things to come where salvation is won once and for all time. It is in virtue of His supreme sacrifice by death on the cross that Christ merited the power to heal and cure those whom He encountered in His lifetime. Just as we Catholics believe Mary was conceived without original sin from the moment of her conception in her mother's womb because she was the very first recipient of the benefits of Christ's salvific act on the cross, so too this leper and all of the others who received cures and miracles were those who came after Mary.

      Inspired by this story and reflection go to the sacrament of confession and reconciliation. Like the leper cry out to Christ in tears from your very depths begging him saying, “Lord, if you wish, you can make me clean.”

      * * *


      "It is certainly true that anyone who tries to preach the faith amid people involved in modern life and thought can really feel like a clown, or rather perhaps like someone who, rising from an ancient sarcophagus, walks into the midst of the world today dressed and thinking in the ancient fashion and can neither understand nor be understood by this world of ours. Nevertheless, if he who seeks to preach the faith is sufficiently self-critical, he will soon notice that it is not only a question of form, of the kind of dress in which theology enters upon the scene. In the strangeness of theology’s aims to the men of our time, he who takes his calling seriously will clearly recognize not only the difficulty of the task of interpretation but also the insecurity of his own faith, the oppressive power of unbelief in the midst of his own will to believe. Thus anyone today who makes an honest effort to give an account of the Christian faith to himself and to others must learn to see that he is not just someone in fancy dress who needs only to change his clothes in order to be able to impart his teaching successfully. Rather will he have to understand that his own situation is by no means so different from that of others as he may have thought at the start. He will become aware that on both sides the same forces are at work, if in different ways." (page 17)

      Fr. Ratzinger here points out the universality of the human condition lays equally amongst every human person, not just the laity, but with everyone in the priesthood, religious life and those called to be theologians. Although some theologians are technically numbered amongst the laity they are called to a more perfect life in virtue of their sacred task and role as a theologian. Regardless, every human person is subject to the same human condition irrespective of their vocation. What distinguishes variations among the human population is vocation translated into one's state in life. The laborer as well as the professional and specialist all are subject to superiors, and the stresses and strifes not only in the workplace but the larger society as well as in their own home, community and neighborhood. The clergy and religious too are subject to superiors and the stresses and strifes within religious communities, monasteries and convents, parishes, dioceses and dicasteries. So that the sets of circumstances though similar differ according to one's state in life.

      The theologian, therefore, be they lay or clerical or professed each has their humanity in which to existentially identify with every human person across cultures. There is no real need to alter theological truths or how we define them, but rather, the quintessential task is to take these truths and definitions and give them vitality by making them relevant to people in every day life without alteration or watering down that which they have no authority to do.

      "First of all, the believer is always threatened with the uncertainty which in moments of temptation can suddenly and unexpectedly cast a piercing light on the fragility of the whole that usually seems so self-evident to him. A few examples will help make this clear. That lovable saint Teresa of Lisieux, who looks so naive and unproblematical, had grown up in an atmosphere of complete religious security; her whole existence from beginning to end and down to the smallest detail, was so completely molded by the faith of the Church that the invisible world had become not just a part of her everyday life, but that life itself. It seemed to be an almost tangible reality that could not be removed by any amount of thinking. To her, “religion: really was a self-evident presupposition of her daily existence; she dealt with it as we deal with the concrete details of our lives. Yet this very saint, a person apparently cocooned in complete security, left behind her, from the last weeks of her passion, shattering admissions which her horrified sisters toned down in her literary remains and which have only now come to light in the new verbatim editions. She says, for example, “I am assailed by the worst temptations of atheism”. Everything has become questionable, everything dark. She feels tempted to take only the sheer void for granted. In other words, in what is apparently a flawlessly interlocking world someone here suddenly catches a glimpse of the abyss lurking – even for her – under the firm structure of the supporting conventions. In a situation like this, what is in question is not the sort of thing that one perhaps quarrels about otherwise – all of this becomes absolutely secondary. What is at stake is the whole structure; it is a question of all or nothing. That is the only remaining alternative; nowhere does there seem anything to cling to in this sudden fall. All that can be seen is the bottomless depths of the void into which one is also staring." (pages 17-18)

      In order to illustrate the temptations against faith which everyone is subject to Fr. Ratzinger chooses those of the "dark night of the spirit" which mystics and contemplatives pass through in the spiritual journey in the unitive way with God.

      Fr. Adolphe Tanquerey in his masterpiece, The Spiritual Life, cites two temptations against faith, those that are general or vague and those that are focused on a specific doctrine or belief. (see nos. 1184-1185) In either case the temptations against faith are exactly the same as those in which Luck Jack blindly had fallen. Belief in the doctrines of the Catholic faith puts us in possession of the truth. Like Jack we too possess a huge lump of gold, yet, the treasures of our Catholic faith are infinitely greater than a lump of gold the size of our head. The temptation to give up this gold and trade it for something base, temporal and passing is what the temptation to doubt is all about!

      Joseph Ratzinger, Introduction to Christianity (New York : Herder and

      * * *


      1. HOW TO USE LINKS -- RealPlayer

      Roman Catholic News is very happy to announce new exciting links
      available to you, our fine subscribers. Some links require Realplayer
      a software program that allows you to see live television and hear
      audio recordings as copy go to EWTN Live TV and Radio on the link
      below and scroll down until you find the Download Free RealPlayer link
      and click it on.

      2. Live EWTN TV and Radio



      Live EWTN TV - English EWTN AM/FM RADIO
      Live EWTN TV - Spanish Catholic World Today Radio
      Today's Homily (Video) Audio of Todays Homily
      Pope's Wednesday Audience Audio Radio Catolica Mundial
      EWTN's The World Over Mother Angelica Live Video
      Audio Library Life On The Rock (Video)
      The Journey Home (Video) EWTN Religious Catalogue

      Send EWTN donations online:


      * * *

      3. Today's Lectionary Readings Text
      <http://www.usccb.org/nab/011008.shtml> (English)


      Biblica Online

      * * *





      * * *


      Rosary in English or Latin with Gregorian Chant


      Rosary Prayers in All Languages

      * * *


      * * *


      Color Photograph of Mama Gili, Biography and Prayers

      Testimonial of Fr. Peter M. Rinaldi, SDB

      Testimonial of Fr. Benedict Groeschel, CFR

      New Jersey State Senate Honors Mama Gili

      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

      Get a copy of the book about Mama Gili written by her eldest daughter
      Claudia (now deceased). Claudia Gili Phaneuf, Dolores Immacolata Gili:
      Mama Gili
      (Mama Gili Guild, 1989). The 2005 Edition is available from the Mama
      Gili Guild
      by contacting Fr. Dante: address and phone number below. The cost of
      the book,
      last time I checked, was $5.00 plus postage.

      Call or write today regarding favors granted through the intercession
      of Dolores Immacolata "Mama" Gili," or, for more information about the
      book and the cause of her investigation for canonization to:

      Rev. Dante DiGirolamo, Director
      Mama Gili Guild
      P. O. Box 455
      Kearny, New Jersey 07032
      Phone (973) 412-1170
      Fax (973) 412-7011

      * * *


      The Benedictine monks of Abbaye Saint-Joseph de Clairval mail a free
      monthly newsletter to anyone who requests it. Also free of charge are:
      the tract about the divinity of Jesus Christ; tract about the Truths
      of the Catholic Religion; scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, with
      explanatory notice; the promises of the Sacred Heart; the mysteries of
      the Rosary.

      Abbey of Saint-Joseph de Clairval

      Phone.: 03 80 96 22 31
      Fax: 03 80 96 25 29
      Email: <englishspoken@c...> or


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


      Thomas a Kempis, De Imitatione Christi. Latin Text Online


      10. Catechism of the Catholic Church online


      * * *


      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."

      * * *


      "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 will always be safe."

      * * *

      To gain access to all of the Roman Catholic News archives go to the

      This will give you the archive of all of the articles in all issues.
      There are four ways to access archived articles: (1) Go to the Home
      Page panel on the far left and click on the word "Messages" just below
      the word "Home"; (2) then click on the articles posted by date; (3) or
      click on the blue Arabic numerals in the box for the month in the
      yearly calendar window at the bottom of the page;(4)or type in a
      keyword in the long rectangular white box alongside the long
      rectangular button that reads SEARCH ARCHIVE, and then click that

      Copyright 2008 John N. Lupia for Roman Catholic News at the URL:
      <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Roman-Catholic-News>, unless specified
      otherwise. All rights reserved. Neither this work nor any part of it
      may be reproduced, distributed, performed or displayed in any medium,
      including electronic or digital, without permission in writing from
      the copyright owners. All articles from VIS, VID, Zenit , Associated
      Press (AP), Reuters, and Noticias Eclesiales are republished by
      approval and courtesy of these news agencies. We encourage our readers
      to send financial support to Zenit, a private news organization in
      Rome. Zenit (www.zenit.org), VIS (V.I.S. - Vatican Information
      Service) Zenit, Associated Press (AP), Reuters, (VID) Vidimus Dominum,
      and Noticias Eclesiales own the original copyright for their news
      releases as credited. All copyright materials copied in any form must
      include the appropriate copyright owner; for Roman Catholic News use
      our URL as follows:


      All correspondence should be sent to:
    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.