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Volume 3, Issue 158

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  • John N. Lupia
    ROMAN CATHOLIC NEWS Volume 3, Issue 158 TUESDAY 26 August 2003 Feast of the Transverberation of St. Teresa of Avila (Carmelite calendar) * * * WEAR THE BROWN
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 24, 2003

      Volume 3, Issue 158
      TUESDAY 26 August 2003

      Feast of the Transverberation of St. Teresa of Avila (Carmelite calendar)

      * * *


      * * *

      • Pope Resumes Daily Appointments
      • John Paul I's Election to Be Commemorated
      • Mother Teresa's Beatification Expected to Send a Message
      • French Dioceses Launch Campaign to Promote Catechesis
      • Colombia Opposes Recognition of Same-Sex Couples
      • Caritas Seeking Aid for People of North Korea
      • Registration Open for International Singers Festival
      • Parish Vicar Hauled Off and Murdered in Congo
      • Dynamite Attack on Archbishop of Medellin's Residence
      • Why the Hamas Problem Goes Beyond the Military Realm

      * * *

      Pope Resumes Daily Appointments

      CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy, AUG. 25, 2003 (Zenit.org).- Following his days of summer rest, when he suspended many of his audiences, John Paul II has returned to his ordinary activities at the papal residence here.

      Today the Pope welcomed five Coptic-rite bishops of the Egyptian episcopal conference who are making their fiveyearly visit to the Holy See. Over the next few days, he plans to receive other Egyptian bishops.

      This was the third consecutive appointment kept by the Pope in recent days, following Saturday's special audience attended by young people, and Sunday's Angelus.

      John Paul II has been in Castel Gandolfo, south of Rome, since July 10. He will visit Slovakia from Sept. 11-14.

      An audience scheduled for Tuesday with Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas was postponed after last week's bus attack in Jerusalem.

      * * *

      John Paul I's Election to Be Commemorated

      Cause of Beatification Is on the Horizon

      VATICAN CITY, AUG. 25, 2003 (Zenit.org).- Twenty-five years ago, on Aug. 26, 1978, the patriarch of Venice, Albino Luciani, was elected Pope, taking the name John Paul I.

      The solemn commemoration of this pontificate, which lasted only 33 days, will be presided over on Tuesday by the present patriarch of Venice, Archbishop Angelo Scola, in Canale d'Agordo, Luciani's birthplace.

      Over the past few months, Bishop Vincenzo Savio of BellunoFeltre, the diocese to which Canale d'Agordo belongs, has successfully concluded the investigation verifying the premises to open the cause of beatification.

      The cause will be introduced officially this autumn. Testimonies are already being gathered.
      "It is important to keep Luciani as a companion who will lead us to discover ordinary holiness," Bishop Savio said.

      "Luciani is not a holy saint characterized by many miracles or works of who-knows-what extent," he added. "His holiness consists in the exercise of daily virtues, in the ordinary character of life."

      Albino Luciani was born on Oct. 17, 1912. Ordained a priest on July 7, 1935, he dedicated his priestly ministry to the study of theology and the formation of seminarians of the Belluno Diocese, of whose seminary he was vice rector.

      Appointed bishop of Vittorio Veneto in 1958, he took part in the four sessions of the Second Vatican Council. In 1969, Paul VI named him patriarch of Venice.

      Father Diego Lorenzi, Cardinal Albino Luciani's secretary since 1973, recalls that the prelate was timid, and that he walked around Venice dressed as any other priest.

      "But it must be added that when the truth had to be told, there was no timidness able to silence him," he recalled.

      Albino Luciani had a sense of humor, the priest continued. The former used to say that the not-so-interesting homilies he had given as a priest, automatically became brilliant and exciting for the people the moment he was consecrated bishop.

      At least on two occasions, Paul VI expressed publicly before Patriarch Luciani the possibility that he would succeed him as Pope. However, in his first address, the new Pope John Paul I said: "Today, when entering the conclave, I would never have thought what was going to happen to me. Danger has started for me."

      And he added: "I don't have either the wisdom of the heart of Pope John, or the preparation and learning of Pope Paul, but I am in their place, I must try to serve the Church. I hope that you will help me with your prayers."

      More information is at http://www.papaluciani.com or http://www.papaluciani.it

      * * *

      Mother Teresa's Beatification Expected to Send a Message

      Archbishop Concessao Foresees Positive Effects for India

      NEW DELHI, India, AUG. 25, 2003 (Zenit.org).- The forthcoming beatification of Mother Teresa of Calcutta may provide a great chance for evangelization, says the archbishop of Delhi.

      With the beatification, "the message of love and compassion of Christianity will reach many people who did not know it and who at last will understand what we do and why we do it," Archbishop Vincent Concessao told the Misna agency.

      "The Albanian religious is very well known by Indians, who respect her enormously and consider her an authentic mother for the poor and the disinherited," said the prelate, who is also vice president of the Indian episcopal conference.

      The archbishop said that almost everyone in India, a country that is 83% Hindu, is happy about the beatification, planned for Oct. 19 in Rome.

      "Only some groups of Hindu fundamentalists have misunderstood her work, considering it as a way of forced conversion of Christianity," he said. "For the time being, these extremists have not pronounced themselves openly and I think that, for the occasion of the beatification, there won't be disorders of any kind in India."

      The beatification will give the Church in India an occasion to send out important messages to the world, according to the Delhi prelate.

      "We intend to communicate again the message of love and mercy toward the poor, characteristic of Mother Teresa's mission, and invite new people to reinforce the commitment in favor of those who have nothing," he said.

      Among the initiatives planned by the Indian bishops' conference in the context of the beatification are a solemn Mass in New Delhi and the inauguration of a street dedicated to the religious, where a statue will be unveiled in her honor. Food for the neediest will be distributed in the capital's parishes.

      Archbishop Concessao asked Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee last week that the beatification be transmitted live on television at the national level.

      "These days, every now and then there is a program or some news on Mother Teresa, but only occasionally," the archbishop said.

      India's bishops have also asked the Prime Minister to send an interreligious delegation to the Vatican on Oct. 19.

      * * *

      French Dioceses Launch Campaign to Promote Catechesis

      PARIS, AUG. 25, 2003 (Zenit.org).- Six of the eight Catholic dioceses of the metropolitan Paris area launched a joint campaign to have children register for catechism classes.

      The campaign, illustrated with the photograph of a smiling girl leaning on a large globe, includes the slogan: "The catechism: reference points for life."

      "It is addressed, in particular, to families of Catholic tradition that do not have a regular relation with a parish, to remind them about the pertinence of the catechism in a world in search of points of reference," the dioceses explain in a statement released today.

      Each diocese has a telephone line available to answer requests for information. Web sites also have details.

      The Archdiocese of Paris had already launched a similar campaign last year with "encouraging results," according to the statement. "The number of those registered for catechism, which was declining over 10 years, was stabilized for the first time."

      During the 2002-2003 school year, 17,000 children between ages 8 and 12 attended catechism classes in the Archdiocese of Paris. Parishes have directed 80 recreation centers, in which they offered numerous activities, including catechism.

      In France, fewer than a third of children ages 8 to 12 attend catechism classes.

      * * *

      Colombia Opposes Recognition of Same-Sex Couples

      CALI, Colombia, AUG. 25, 2003 (Zenit.org).- The Colombian government stated its opposition to a proposal to recognize same-sex couples, for what it considers practical reasons.

      The Senate will resume debate Tuesday on draft legislation. Among other things, the proposal would allow a beneficiary of the social security system to register his partner for benefits under the system.

      A partner would also have rights of inheritance and receive a substitution pension at the death of his partner, the Cali newspaper El País reported.

      Interior Minister Fernando Londoño Hoyos announced his opposition to the draft because, in his judgment, the way it is conceived "is dangerous for the patrimonial management of persons."

      "Two men or two women living together are not necessarily homosexuals," he said. "There could be the case of students who make this decision to lower costs and, with this draft law one could claim the patrimony of the other."

      Londoño emphasized that the government did not have moral objections to the draft.

      A document of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, published on July 31, stated that all laws that seek legal recognition of homosexual unions are "gravely immoral," and cannot receive the vote of Catholic politicians.

      * * *

      Caritas Seeking Aid for People of North Korea

      HONG KONG, AUG. 25, 2003 (Zenit.org).- Caritas International has renewed its appeal for aid to the people of North Korea.

      Tensions caused by the Pyongyang government's nuclear program have led to a drastic cut in funds for aid to the people, who are facing health problems and hunger, Caritas sources said.

      In June, Caritas-Hong Kong, in charge of the aid, and Caritas-Korea, the main financial supporter of the assistance to North Korea, sounded the alarm.

      Kathi Zellweger, director of cooperation of Caritas-Hong Kong, said the organization has received only 30% of the $2.67 million needed this year to finance humanitarian aid for North Koreans.

      If the funds don't arrive, "the price will be paid by the most vulnerable, such as children in orphanages, the sick and pregnant women," she warned.

      For more information, see http//www.caritas.org.

      * * *

      Registration Open for International Singers Festival

      Zenit.org)- Registration is under way for the 32nd International Festival "Pueri Cantores" (child and youth singers), which will take place in Germany next July 11-18.

      More than 100 groups have registered, organizers said. The deadline for registration has been extended to Sept. 30.

      The invitation is for "all choirs of boys, girls and youths who wish to participate in the festival as a preparation for the next World Youth Day, which will also take place in the city of Cologne, Germany," the organizers explain.

      From July 11-13, the visiting choirs will be the guests of the dioceses all over Germany. They will perform throughout Germany. From July 14-18, the visiting choirs and their German hosts will meet in Cologne for the grand finale.

      More details are at http//www.chorfestival2004.de

      * * *

      Parish Vicar Hauled Off and Murdered in Congo

      BUNIA, Congo, AUG. 25, 2003 (Zenit.org).- A 30-year-old parish vicar in the town of Fataki, in Congo's northern Ituri province, was murdered by a militia following a recent raid.

      The town where Father Justin Mandro Kpanga worked is predominately populated by the Hema ethnic group. The murder was linked to an opposing Lendu militia.

      Eyewitnesses reported the incident to the pastor, Father Protais Dhena, according to news sources.

      Contact with the Congolese priest ceased at the beginning of August, when Fataki was attacked by the Lendu militia. Following the attack, Father Kpanga was deported along with several civilians. A number of those abducted by the Lendu militia, who managed to escape, said that the priest was shot to death.

      "His body was abandoned alongside the road, while he was being deported together with other civilians, but for the moment, due to the insecurity throughout the area, it is impossible to recover his body," a religious source from Bunia told the Misna agency.

      Bunia, the administrative capital of the troubled Ituri province, has been the site of ethnic clashes between rival forces fighting for the region's enormous mineral resources.

      * * *

      Dynamite Attack on Archbishop of Medellin's Residence

      BOGOTA, Colombia, AUG. 25, 2003 (Zenit.org).- Archbishop Antonio Giraldo Jaramillo of Medellin appealed again for national reconciliation following a dynamite attack on his residence. The attack wounded two policemen.

      The archbishop was not in his residence when a fragmentation grenade exploded, thrown by two men on motorcycle. The explosion, around 8 p.m. Friday, damaged the residence's parking area, ACI reported.

      At the time, the archbishop was in Valledupar, where he had traveled for the installation of the new bishop of the area.

      Asked who might be responsible for the attack, Archbishop Giraldo Jaramillo said: "Frankly, I have no idea," and added "if someone has something against the Church, the best thing would be for us to meet and talk."

      The archbishop appealed for reconciliation in Colombia, pointing out that dialogue is still the best way, as "violence only confuses everyone."

      * * *

      Why the Hamas Problem Goes Beyond the Military Realm

      Massimo Introvigne on What Drives the Fundamentalist Movement

      TURIN, Italy, AUG. 25, 2003 (Zenit.org).- The religious factor cannot be overlooked when it comes to analyzing the fundamentalist movement Hamas, the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, says a researcher.

      Maximo Introvigne, director of the Center of Studies on New Religions, shared his views of Hamas, in the wake of last Tuesday's attack against a bus in Jerusalem that left 20 people dead, including six children.

      Introvigne is author of many books, including "Hamas: Fondamentalismo islamico e terrorismo suicida in Palestina" (Hamas: Islamic Fundamentalism and Suicidal Terrorism in Palestine), published by Elledici.

      Q: What exactly is the Hamas movement?

      Introvigne: Hamas is part of a great international galaxy, Muslim fundamentalism, which influences millions of people.

      Hamas is a Palestinian branch of the Muslim fundamentalist movement, the Muslim Brotherhood, founded in Egypt in 1928 by Hassan al-Banna. In 1954, Egyptian President Nasser declared them illegal and persecuted them, a fact which resulted in a marked internal division.

      On one hand, there is a radical current that is faithful to the Leninist formula of the coup d'état. On the other, there is a neo-traditionalist current, which tries to pursue Islamization at the grass roots. It is a kind of Gramsciesque view [of Antonio Gramsci], which hopes to take power but first wants to win over the society, organizing Muslim labor unions, Muslim schools, Muslim newspapers.

      In 1957, the directorship of the Muslim Brotherhood in Palestine aligned itself with the neo-traditionalist position, ceased all military activity, stopped organizing attacks, and dedicated itself to redouble the number of mosques present in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

      It built a network of fundamentalist institutions village by village, and neighborhood by neighborhood. Between 1957 and 1987, there was armed and terrorist activity in Palestine linked to the lay nationalists of Fatah and other components of the PLO.

      However, the intifada broke out in 1987, at a moment of weakness of the PLO. Then, the Muslim Brotherhood declared that the neo-traditionalist operation had been successful and that a radical phase could begin of the armed struggle. The Muslim network is strong throughout Palestine. Hamas forged a word there which means "fervor" and which, at the same time, is the acronym of the Islamic Resistance Movement.

      Q: Is it bold to describe Hamas as a religious movement?

      Introvigne: No, in fact, we can define it as that. Often, in the West, the error is made of regarding religious phenomena as superstructures. It is a legacy of the Marxist analysis. Clearly, there are multiple causes in all complex phenomena, and economic, political and religious motives are intertwined. However, in the case of Hamas, religion is a determinant element.

      If we read its statute, we see how the objective of this organization is to transform Palestine into an Islamic state, that is, rule by the Shariah [Islamic law] in view of a reunification of the whole Muslim world in the Caliphate - but with a specificity, announced in Article 14: The liberation of Palestine is an obligation for every Muslim, no matter what country he lives in.

      For Hamas, the Palestinian question is not one of many along with Chechnya, Kashmir and others. It is the central question, and not just for political but also for theological reasons.

      Q: Would it be utopian to think that Hamas could disappear altogether from the Palestinian Territories?

      Introvigne: Yes. The fact is that between members and sympathizers it numbers hundreds of thousands of people. The solution to the problem of Hamas cannot be only military.

      Q: Does Hamas use religion to justify terrorism?

      Introvigne: In Muslim fundamentalism's view of the world, there is no difference between politics and religion. What is more, to state that they are different is considered a typically Western prejudice which fundamentalists regard as foreign to Islamic tradition.

      Hamas pays much attention to overcoming objections, according to which suicide is against Islam and, therefore, suicide attacks would not be licit for a Muslim. Hamas answers that it is not about suicide but about martyrdom, and it finds similar figures in the fundamentalist galaxy to support its reasoning.
      It might be disagreeable to say that Hamas' suicide terrorist is motivated by religion. But it is so. It is quite an error to consider them only as being manipulated or as people hiding economic motives.

      An analysis of the socioeconomic profile of those who have chosen martyrdom shows that their level, whether power of acquisition or education, is higher than the average for Palestinians. What is more, two of the terrorists were part of the upper middle class.

      It is the ideology, or rather the religion, which drives them. It is not only despair.

      Q: Are there kamikaze women in Hamas?

      Introvigne: The truth is that, until now, women have not taken part in Hamas attacks. The movement does not exclude the theoretical possibility of this happening. Women have committed suicide in Palestine, but they formed part of the al-Aqsa Martyr Brigades, a secular and nationalist formation.

      Hamas states that its theology does not impede the martyrdom of women and, in fact, it exalts the women of the Chechen fundamentalist movements who have carried out suicide attacks.

      Rather, it mentions difficulties of a practical character, for example, according to Hamas, women who were to go to Israel would have to go covered by the veil, and this would allow the police to readily identify them.

      Hamas states that there are many more Palestinian youths of masculine sex who ask to become martyrs than it can accept. So, then, the problem of women is not of concern for the time being.

      Q: Could Hamas put down the weapons and negotiate at the political level?

      Introvigne: If we limit ourselves to reading Hamas' statute -- a document that asserts the perennial struggle until the Israelis are expelled to the sea -- the answer would be negative. Hamas has always been able to combine the poetry of rhetoric with the prose of reality.

      Hamas is not a monolith and within it there are more pragmatic currents, especially a part of the leaders of the West Bank, which in this aspect is different from Qatar.

      To imagine a peace process which considers Fatah, or in general the "lay" components of the Palestinian world, as the only interlocutor and which excludes the religious parties completely, is not reasonable.

      One of the great challenges is to find within it interlocutors prepared to talk about peace, or at least about a truce or the giving up of terrorism.

      The West at times is victim of a sort of "Voltaire syndrome," according to which, the best interlocutor of the Arab world is the most secular and least religious. But interlocutors without religious roots in countries of Muslim majority often have little popular following.

      * * *


      The fifth and final section of Chapter One is entitled: “The Ultimate Goal”.

      Sister Thelma focuses on the active aspect of daily living that prayer and contemplation call us to fulfill perfectly in Christ. Loving Jesus means loving our neighbor. We are called to embrace and love the whole human family. We are also called to respond to Jesus in the realities of our daily living in this world.

      She then points out that the experience of contemplation is not our ultimate goal, but rather, it is God Himself Who is our ultimate goal. Prayer and contemplation spark within us the flame of love and longing for God alone. This yearning of the soul brings us to the realization that we are exiles longing to be “at home” with God.

      On this theme of spiritual longing Sister Thelma cites St. Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians 5:1-9.

      It is our interior disposition of long for God that opens us up to receive the grace to accomplish it and make it a reality in our contemplative praying. However, this can only be accomplished after we empty ourselves of earthly desires and self-seeking. She calls this “a painful path” since divesting ourselves of our earthly baggage is not some much riding ourselves of material things as it is in changing our minds and hearts so that they are oriented to loving God alone above everything else.

      To illustrate this “emptying” of ourselves by way of a parable Sister Thelma relates an ancient story told in the monasteries. There once was a monk who approached Christ’s door and knocked. After knocking at Jesus’ door he hears the response: “Who is there?”. The monk replies: “It is I Lord.” Jesus responds: There is no room in here for both of us.” The monk leaves despondent and goes off into the woods to pray and reflect on the words that Jesus spoke. After months of reflection he returns and knocks on Jesus’ door once again. “In response to the same question, “Who is there?” he replies, “It is Thee!” – and the door opens to receive him.” (15).

      “The transformation of the “I” into the “Thee” in this fable indicates the prospect of a real kind of death. We begin to realize the seriousness of this imperative when we are able to suspend our defenses and really hear what Jesus is saying, in teaching that to follow Him we must “deny” and ‘renounce” ourselves, and even “hate” and “lose” our lives, for His sake.” (15). Sister Thelma points out we tend to ignore the words of Jesus and look beyond them seeking more consoling words that only reveals in the end that we resist dying to ourselves and truly seeking God alone.

      “If anyone wants to be a follower of mine, let them renounce themselves and take up their daily cross and follow me. Anyone who wants to save their life will lose it; but the one who loses their life for my sake, will save it.” Luke 9:23-34.

      Thelma Hall, R.C., Too Deep For Word. Rediscovering Lectio Divina. (Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press, 1988). ISBN 0-8091-2959-0

      * * *


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      3. Today's Lectionary Readings Text

      Biblica Online

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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.

      Call or write today regarding favors granted through the intercession of Dolores Immacolata "Mama" Gili, or, for more information about 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.

      Sample Newsletter

      Abbey of Saint-Joseph de Clairval


      Phone.: 03 80 96 22 31
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      10. Thomas a Kempis, Imitation of Christ. English Trans. Online

      Thomas a Kempis, De Imitatione Christi. Latin Text 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'll always be safe."

      * * *

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