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Volume 3, Issue 184

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  • John N. Lupia
    ROMAN CATHOLIC NEWS Volume 3, Issue 184 WEDNESDAY 1 October 2003 Feast of St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus * * * WEAR THE BROWN SCAPULAR OF OUR LADY OF MOUNT
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 30, 2003

      Volume 3, Issue 184
      WEDNESDAY 1 October 2003

      Feast of St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus

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      * * *

      • Cardinal Ratzinger Urges Prayers for John Paul II
      • Christian Humanism Proposes Man's Search for God, Says Pope
      • Dr. Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury to Visit the Pope
      • Religious Seen as a Sign of Hope in World
      • Holy See's Call for a Ban on All Human Cloning
      • In Ex-Soviet Republics, Mixed Relations With the Church

      * * *


      VATICAN CITY, SEP 30, 2003 (VIS) - On Sunday, October 5, at 10 a.m. in St. Peter's Square Pope John Paul will celebrate the Eucharist during which he will canonize Blesseds Daniele Comboni, Arnold Janssen and Josef Freinademetz.

      Blessed Comboni (1831-1881), bishop, founded the Congregation of Combonian
      Missionaries of the Heart of Jesus and the Combonian Missionary Sisters Pious Mothers of Nigrizia. Blessed Janssen (1837-1909), a priest, was the founder of the Society of the Divine Word, the Congregation of Missionary Sisters Servants of the Spirit and the Congregation of Sisters Servants of the Holy Spirit of Perpetual Adoration. Blessed Freinademetz (1852-1908) was a priest of the Society of the Divine Word.

      "In proximity to World Mission Day," says a note from the Office of the Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff, "the Church gives the faithful three new Saints who dedicated their lives to proclaiming the Gospel of salvation to the four corners of the globe."

      * * *

      Cardinal Ratzinger Urges Prayers for John Paul II

      But Vatican Says Pope Still Following His Schedule

      VATICAN CITY, SEPT. 30, 2003 (Zenit.org).- Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, one of John Paul II's closest advisers, recently asked the faithful to pray for the ailing 83-year-old Pope.

      "He is in a bad way," the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith told Germany's Bunte magazine. "We should pray for the Pope."

      The comments were made Sept. 22, a day before the Holy Father came down with an intestinal ailment that caused him to miss his general audience last week, the Associated Press said.

      The cardinal's comments fueled fresh speculation in the media about the Holy Father's health. But the Holy See said today that the Pope will hold his traditional general audience on Wednesday and will canonize three saints this Sunday as planned.

      John Paul II finished his normal commitments today, receiving four Philippine bishops in audience during their five-yearly visit to Rome. He also met the apostolic nuncio to Libya, Archbishop Felix del Blanco Prieto.

      "The Supreme Pontiff will celebrate his weekly general audience tomorrow in St. Peter's Square and we also confirm that he will celebrate Mass on Sunday for the canonization of three blessed," papal spokesman Joaquín Navarro-Valls said in a statement.

      * * *

      Christian Humanism Proposes Man's Search for God, Says Pope

      Illustrates Importance of St. Thomas Aquinas' Thought Today

      VATICAN CITY, SEPT. 30, 2003 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II says that Thomas Aquinas continues to teach contemporary men and women when the 13th-century saint states: "The human being comes from God and must return to him."

      "How illuminating this truth is for man of the third millennium, in constant search for fulfillment," the Pope exclaims in a message addressed to the participants in the International Thomist Congress, held in Rome last week, and organized by the Pontifical Academy of St. Thomas and the Thomas Aquinas International Society.

      In his message, the Pope invites the more than 500 philosophers, theologians and professors who participated in the meeting to ask themselves "what is the specific contribution that St. Thomas can offer at the beginning of the new millennium in the understanding and realization of Christian humanism."

      St. Thomas Aquinas' "Summa Theologiae" centers the first part on God, while the second, "more innovative," analyzes "man's long journey to God," the Pontiff explains.

      The third part of the "Summa" states that Jesus "precisely because he is true man, reveals in himself the dignity of every human creature, and is the way of return of the entire cosmos to its beginning, which is God," the Holy Father observes. "Christ is, therefore, the true way of man."

      The Pope adds: "Therefore, the humanism of St. Thomas pivots around this essential intuition: Man comes from God and to him he must return. Time is the realm in which he can fulfill his noble mission."

      This view of man, however, is not accepted by modern men and women because of "the loss of confidence in reason and in its metaphysical capacity."

      Among the phenomena that reveal the problem are "the rejection of transcendence; nihilism; relativism; the denial of the value of human intelligence in the search for truth; the forgetfulness of being; the denial of the soul; the prevalence of the irrational and feeling; fear of the future; existential anxiety," John Paul II says.

      "To respond to this very serious challenge, which affects the future destiny of humanism itself," he urges Christians to study in-depth and propose the thought of St. Thomas, who, "with his firm confidence in reason," is able to harmonize "nature and grace."

      "In this difficult beginning of the third millennium, many experience to the point of suffering, the need for teachers and witnesses who are able to show valid ways that lead to a world more worthy of man," the message adds.

      "It is the historical task of believers to propose Christ 'the Way' by which to advance toward that new humanity, that is in God's plan," it says. "It is clear, therefore, that a priority of the new evangelization consists precisely in helping the man of our time to encounter him personally and to live with him and for him."

      See http://e-aquinas.net/?idio==en&id=h.

      * * *

      Dr. Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury to Visit the Pope

      On Friday 3 October until Sunday 5 October the Archbishop of Canterbury will visit Rome and meet Pope John Paul II for the first time. Details about the meeting are posted on the Press Releases webpage of the Canterbury website and can be read by clicking on the link below.


      * * *


      VATICAN CITY, SEP 30, 2003 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audience:

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

      - Archbishop Leonardo Z. Legaspi, O.P., of Caceres.

      - Bishop Manolo de los Santos of Virac.

      - Bishop Joel Z. Baylon of Masbate.

      - Bishop Filomeno G. Bactol of Naval.

      - Archbishop Felix del Blanco Prieto, apostolic nuncio in Malta and in Libya.

      * * *

      Religious Seen as a Sign of Hope in World

      John Paul II Receives Premonstratensians in Audience

      VATICAN CITY, SEPT. 30, 2003 (Zenit.org).- In a divided world, religious communities are called to be a sign of hope, says John Paul II.

      Communion among those who are consecrated "will be a powerful sign and source of hope for a world with exaggerated forms of individualism and social fragmentation," the Pope said Monday when he received in audience the participants in the general chapter of the Order of Canons Regular of Prémontré.

      In his address, the Holy Father said that "consecrated life and its witness of the salvific message of Jesus Christ has had a fundamental role in the evangelization of Europe and in the formation of its Christian identity."

      "Europe continues to need the holiness, prophecy, evangelizing activity and service of consecrated persons," he said.

      The recent extension of the order's presence in other parts of the world and new forms of the apostolate pose new challenges, the Pope added.

      In this new phase, he proposed to the canons regular "the example of the early Church, living and promoting the ideal of 'a single heart and soul.'"

      The Canons Regular of Prémontré, known as Premonstratensians, Norbertines, or White Canons (in the British Isles), number 1,310 religious and novices, including 930 priests.

      St. Norbert founded the order in the early 12th century, at the dawn of the great reform movement of the high Middle Ages in Western Europe.

      The order contributed to the culture known in secular circles today as Western civilization. It was the reforming, pacifying and civilizing influence of St. Norbert, combined with the zeal he inspired, which resulted in the creation of almost 400 order houses throughout the Medieval world, stretching from Palestine in the east to Norway (some even say Finland) in the west; from Latvia in the north to Sicily in the south.

      In each location, peace, Christian virtue, learning, and other attributes now considered "native" to Western culture, were sown and cultivated, reflected in time in the high Middle Ages, the Renaissance and finally modern Western civilization.

      The religious lead communal lives in priories and abbeys, following the Rule of St. Augustine, but are also very involved in activities outside their houses.

      The canons regular are present in France, Belgium, the Netherlands, England and Scotland, the Republic of Ireland, Denmark, Germany, Spain, Italy, Austria, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Romania, the United States, Canada, South Africa, Congo, Brazil, Chile, Peru, India and Australia.

      See http://www.premontre.org

      * * *

      Holy See's Call for a Ban on All Human Cloning

      U.N. Speech by Archbishop Migliore

      NEW YORK, SEPT. 30, 2003 (Zenit.org).- Here is the text of the Holy See's speech delivered Monday at a U.N. session on human cloning. Archbishop Celestino Migliore, permanent observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, gave the speech.

      Statement by
      H.E. Archbishop Celestino Migliore,
      Apostolic Nuncio, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the U.N.
      on Agenda Item 158:
      International Convention against the Reproductive Cloning of Human Beings

      Mr. Chairman,

      On behalf of my Delegation, allow me to congratulate you and other members of the Bureau on your election. We stand ready to cooperate with you and all other delegations in deliberating and deciding upon this important issue regarding human cloning.

      The item on human cloning has been on our agenda for over two years now. Its multifaceted impact on the very life of all humanity as well as on convictions rooted in different cultures requires a common set of clear benchmarks that expeditiously address all of the issues concerning human cloning. In order to contribute to the debate in a constructive manner, my delegation has presented its views in a position paper that offers some parameters within which the debate could possibly unfold. The position paper has been circulated by this Working Group under document symbol, A/C.6/WG/CRP.1, which is now before you.

      While virtually all delegations stand in opposition to reproductive cloning, there is a diversity of views on the so-called "therapeutic" cloning; however, we must understand as clearly as we can that the distinction between the two is superficial.

      Mr. Chairman,

      We do need to support the advancement of human biological sciences to the benefit of all members of the human family. To this end, the Holy See supports the procurement of human "adult" stem cells as well as the use, for research or experimental purposes, of the "adult" stem cells, and of material derived from them, when it is pursued in a way that does not offend human dignity and, if applied clinically, respects the principle of informed consent. Procuring, investigating and developing potential therapies with "adult" stem cells, as far as is known, is a scientific course that holds great promise.

      On the other end of the spectrum, the cloning of human embryos to produce stem cells for potential therapeutic use has not only failed to demonstrate any verifiable scientific promise, it also raises serious ethical questions. The experimental or research cloning of embryonic stem cells requires the production of millions of human embryos with the intention of destroying them as part of the process of using them for scientific research. The early human embryo, not yet implanted into a womb, is nonetheless a human individual, with a human life, and evolving as an autonomous organism toward its full development. Destroying this embryo results in a deliberate suppression of an innocent human life.

      Mr. Chairman,

      My delegation is of the view that any possible attempt to limit a ban on human cloning to that undertaken for reproductive purposes would be nearly impossible to enforce simply because human embryos cloned for research purposes would be widely available and would have the potential to be brought to birth. Since human reproductive cloning is universally condemned, only a complete ban on all forms of human embryonic cloning would achieve the goal of prohibiting human reproductive cloning.

      There are other grave ethical problems which are of concern to my delegation. In the first place, if "research" cloning with embryos were permitted, it would require, to be effective, a large number of human eggs or oocytes. The process of obtaining these eggs, which is not without risk, would use women's bodies as mere reservoirs of oocytes, instrumentalizing women and undermining their dignity. In the second place, the massive demand for human oocytes would disproportionately affect the poor and marginalized women of the world bringing a new type of injustice, victimization and discrimination into existence.

      Furthermore, a partial ban on "reproductive" cloning would only encourage the development of commerce in cloned human embryos and their derivatives for scientific research or for industrial research and related development purposes.

      Mr. Chairman,

      These points lead to one logical conclusion: only a comprehensive convention on human cloning, that would address all these issues and not just reproductive cloning, will be able to respond to the challenges of the twenty-first century on this issue. Situations that pose grave dangers to human dignity can only be effectively addressed by international agreements that are comprehensive, not partial. While a partial agreement might address immediately some issues related to human cloning, it could generate more problems. The most durable solution should therefore be an all-inclusive legal instrument. In fact, comprehensive conventions are not at all new to this Organization and lately they would even seem to be the preferred legal instrument. Moreover, an all-inclusive convention could provide a legal instrument that would sufficiently enable States to formulate appropriate domestic legislation on human cloning. For all these reasons, my delegation wishes to reiterate its fundamental position that only a comprehensive convention will be able to address all issues related to human cloning.

      Mr. Chairman,

      As we debate this important issue, let us remain positive in our outlook and constructive in our objective. In this spirit, my delegation shares the view of many others that the procurement and use of human "adult" stem cells, is a moral and sound way to help all, not just some, human beings. With the passage of each day, their great scientific promise increases. Do we really want to render an effective and timely service to many of our fellow human beings suffering from incurable diseases? I am sure we all do. Let's give a powerful signal in that direction.

      In this context, let me recall here an old and wise principle of conduct. When, in an effort to advance human science or to help human beings in need, one faces a choice between an unobjectionable means, such as "adult" stem cells, and a means that is universally recognized as raising profound ethical questions, such as "research" cloning, prudence dictates choosing only the unobjectionable means.

      For these reasons, the Holy See seeks a complete and explicit prohibition of all techniques of creating new individual human embryos by cloning.

      Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

      * * *

      In Ex-Soviet Republics, Mixed Relations With the Church

      Problems in Georgia, But Progress in Armenia and Azerbaijan

      VATICAN CITY, SEPT. 30, 2003 (Zenit.org).- A Vatican official saw mixed success during his recent visit to three ex-Soviet republics.

      In Armenia and Azerbaijan, Archbishop Jean-Louis Tauran, the Vatican secretary for relations with states, witnessed the growth and good relations of the Catholic community, both with the government as well as with the local Orthodox Church.

      In Georgia, however, the Orthodox Church's opposition has left Catholics without juridical recognition.

      Archbishop Tauran, who will be elevated to cardinal in the Oct. 21 consistory, visited the Eastern republics from Sept. 18-25.

      In Georgia, the first leg of his trip, he was supposed to sign, following protracted talks, a church-state agreement, to offer juridical recognition to the Catholic Church in the country.

      At the last moment, Petre Mamradze, First Vice Minister of State and head of the state chancellery, told the Foreign Affairs Ministry that the agreement would not be signed because of the local Orthodox Church's opposition. Three-quarters of Georgia's 5 million inhabitants are Orthodox.

      Earlier, the Orthodox patriarchate published a statement expressing its opposition to the juridical recognition of the Catholic Church in the country. Moreover, false information about the pact was leaked to the media.

      The protocol meetings having been canceled, Archbishop Tauran presided at a Mass in the Latin-rite cathedral in the center of Tbilisi. In his homily he encouraged Catholics to promote unity and the spiritual and moral rebirth of the country.

      On Sept. 20, he arrived by car in Armenia, a country where both the government as well as the majority Armenian Orthodox Church maintain good relations with Catholics.

      The former Soviet Republic has 3.3 million inhabitants, 94% of whom belong to the Armenian Apostolic Church, which separated from Rome 1,500 years ago.

      The following day, Archbishop Tauran traveled to Etchmiadzin -- see of the Catholicos, Karekin II Nersissian, Supreme Patriarch of All the Armenians -- the spiritual center visited by John Paul II in September 2001.

      The afternoon of the same day, the archbishop met in Erevan with Robert Kocharian, president of the republic, and then presented a floral tribute at the memorial to the victims of the 1915 massacre at the hands of the Ottomans.

      On Sept. 22, the papal representative visited Monsignor Nerses der Nersessian, archbishop for Eastern Europe of Catholic Armenians, with whom he spent time in prayer and then visited an orphanage of the local Caritas.

      The next day, Archbishop Tauran traveled to Baku, Azerbaijan, to meet with representatives of the country to find peaceful ways to resolve the question of Nagorno-Karabakh, an Azeri territory inhabited primarily by Armenians.

      To mark the visit, the mayor of the city offered the local Catholic community a plot of land to construct a church. An earlier building, built in the Gothic style in 1888, was destroyed in the 1930s by Stalin's order.

      In this country of 7.8 million inhabitants, 93% of whom are Muslim, on Sept. 24 in the morning, Archbishop Tauran addressed the juridical situation of Catholics with Rafik Aliev, president of the government's Committee for Religious Communities.

      He then visited Sheikh Allahshukur Pasha-zade, president of the Spiritual Council of the Caucasus Muslims. Also invited to his residence were Bishop Aleksander Iscenin of the Russian Orthodox Patriarchate, and Semyon Ikhiidov, president of the Jewish community.

      At the invitation of Bishop Aleksander, Archbishop Tauran then visited the Russian church, rebuilt after the destruction of the Communist years.

      The visit concluded with the celebration of the Eucharist, presided over by the archbishop in the Salesian Chapel, in the presence of some 120 people. After the Mass, those present went to pray at the site of the proposed Catholic church.

      * * *


      Chapter Two: Saint Gregory, Doctor of Desire (31-44)

      “St. Gregory bridges the gap between the patristic age and the monastic culture of the Middle Ages.” (31). St. Gregory was a prolific writer on the doctrine of the Christian experience. “A short introduction to this doctrine seems essential for anyone who wants to become informed on monastic literature of the Middle Ages. Almost all its vocabulary comes from Gregory the Great; we find in him a whole sacred philology which we might be tempted to think of as purely symbolic, and which indeed does arise from poetic expression but which is not, for all of that, any less rich in content.” (32).

      Monastic writers composed centos, i.e., compositions formed by joining scraps or excerpts from other authors. The author most widely read and cited in excerpts was St. Gregory the Great. “In every period, centos were composed, made up of more or less elaborated excerpts from characteristic texts.” (32). (cf. Jean Leclercq, O.S.B., “Un centon de Fleury sur les devoirs des moines,” in Anelecta monastica I (Studia Anselmiana 20) (1948), 75-90; Anselme Davril O.S.B. e Eric Palazzo, eds., La vie des moines au temps des grandes abbayes : Xe-XIIIe siècles. Series : Vie quotidienne. (Paris : Hachette littératures, 2000).

      “After Aristotle and St. Augustine, he is the most quoted author in the Summa of St. Thomas; he is apparent in the works of Gerson; St. Teresa annotated his Moralia; St. John of the Cross was certainly inspired by him. . . . Only recently, a collection of parallel extracts from St. Gregory and from St. John of the Cross have shed light on the kinship and the modernity of these two mystical authors.” (33). (cf. Dom G. Lefèvre, Prière pure et pureté de coeur. Textes de S. Grégoire le Grand et de S. Jean de la Croix. (Paris, 1953).

      St. Gregory had been a monk for fourteen years (590-604). He founded the monastery of St. Andrew, Caelian Hill, Rome, and lived there for five years. He was sent as the apocrisarius (papal legate to Constantinople) from 579-586. The lectures he gave the monks at Constantinople were later on collected and edited forming his famous work: Moralia in Job. He wrote commentaries on Old Testament books: Ezeechiel, Kings, Canticle of Canticles; the Gospels of the New Testament; four books of Dialogues, and a numerous collection of Letters (epistolary) form his collected writings.

      Before we begin to examine his writing on prayer we must first his teaching on the Christian life. For him this was “a life of detachment and desire; detachment from the world and from sin, and an intense desire for God.” (36).

      Jean Leclercq, O.S.B., The Love of Learning and the Desire For God. A Study of Monastic Culture. (NY: Fordham University Press, 1961, 1974) ISBN 0-8232-0406-5

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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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      Color Photograph of Mama Gili, Biography and Prayers

      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.

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      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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