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Volume 4, Issue 17

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  • John N. Lupia
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 27, 2004

      Volume 4, Issue 17

      WEDNESDAY 28 January 2004

      St. Thomas Aquinas

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      * * *

      • Pope Meets Cheney and Asks International Cooperation for Peace
      • John Paul II Calls for Joint Efforts to Battle World Hunger
      • Scientific Research Needs Faith-and-Reason Dialogue, Says Pope
      • Philippine Bishops Decry Electoral Corruption
      • Mexican Bishops Warn About "Morning-After" Pill
      • Holocaust Memorial Day Prompts Warnings
      • Videoconference to Focus on Laity and Ecclesial Councils
      • John Paul II Hails "Inestimable Value" of Priestly Celibacy
      • Permanent Deacons Help Church Stay Close to the Faithful, Pope Says

      * * *

      Pope Meets Cheney and Asks International Cooperation for Peace

      U.S. Vice President Arrives Amid Tight Security

      VATICAN CITY, JAN. 27, 2004 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II received U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney in audience and appealed to the American administration to promote peace in the world through international cooperation and solidarity.

      Following the private meeting today, the Pope greeted Cheney's wife and daughter and his entourage. "A cordial meeting" was how Joaquín Navarro-Valls, director of the Vatican press office, described it.

      John Paul II delivered a brief address to his guests, in which he encouraged Americans "to work, at home and abroad, for the growth of international cooperation and solidarity in the service of that peace which is the deepest aspiration of all men and women."

      After thanking Cheney for the greetings he expressed on behalf of President George Bush, the Pope said that the "American people have always cherished the fundamental values of freedom, justice and equality."

      "In a world marked by conflict, injustice and division, the human family needs to foster these values in its search for unity, peace and respect for the dignity of all," John Paul II added.

      Finally, the Holy Father said, "Upon you and all the American people, I cordially invoke the abundant blessings of almighty God."

      Navarro-Valls said in a statement that the U.S. vice president later met with Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Vatican secretary of state, and Archbishop Giovanni Lajolo, secretary for relations with states.

      "During the course of the conversations there was an exchange of opinions on the international situation, with special attention to the peace process in the Middle East and to developments in the situation in Iraq," Navarro-Valls said.

      There "was also an examination of the moral and religious problems that touch upon the life of states, especially relative to the defense and promotion of life, the family, solidarity and religious freedom," the Vatican spokesman said in his statement.

      Navarro-Valls later told Vatican Radio that on the above topics, the "Pope made reference to the responsibility of the United States. He appreciates the United States administration's position on these topics."

      Cheney arrived in the Vatican amid tight security measures in the framework of his official visit to Rome, after participating Saturday in the World Economic Forum, in Switzerland.

      During his meeting with John Paul II in the papal library, Cheney gave the Pope a dove made of glass. The Pope gave Cheney a set of 20 silver medals with reproductions of masterpieces from the Vatican, and presented to Mrs. Cheney and their daughter, Liz, silver rosaries and medals of the pontificate.

      This was Vice President Cheney's first visit with the Pope. It follows U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell's visit last June. President Bush has been received on two occasions by the Holy Father: in July 2001, at the papal summer residence in Castel Gandolfo, and in May 2002.

      * * *

      John Paul II Calls for Joint Efforts to Battle World Hunger

      Meets Director of World Food Program

      VATICAN CITY, JAN. 27, 2004 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II praised the work of the U.N. World Food Program and urged that the problem of hunger be addressed through "joint efforts."

      "The complexities of our modern era are such that the joint commitment and efforts of many different organizations are necessary if the nutritional needs of millions of men, women and children are to be adequately met," the Pope said today when he received in audience James Morris, the executive director of the World Food Program.

      "This is no easy task," the Holy Father said in English. "But I am confident that, with the help and support of countless people of good will, the World Food Program will continue to be an important instrument of solidarity and assistance in the ongoing battle against undernourishment and starvation."

      Established in 1963, the World Food Program is the United Nations' frontline agency in the fight against global hunger.

      In 2002, the program fed 72 million people in 82 countries, including most of the world's refugees and other displaced people.

      The Holy Father expressed his "profound appreciation for the work of the WFP in helping those who suffer hunger and malnutrition throughout the world."

      The Pontiff promised his prayers for all those who dedicate themselves to eliminating world hunger. "May almighty God bless your work with success," he added.

      The Rome-based World Food Program is governed by an executive board consisting of 36 member-states. The executive director is appointed by the U.N. secretary-general and the director general of the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization for a five-year term.

      In 2002, the World Food Program had 2,684 staffers, including 2,063 who were working in the field delivering food and monitoring its use.

      * * *

      Scientific Research Needs Faith-and-Reason Dialogue, Says Pope

      Notes That Theology Can Help Round Out Human Learning

      VATICAN CITY, JAN. 27, 2004 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II says that scientific research needs the dialogue between faith and reason if it is to respond to the full development of the human being.

      The Pope expressed this conviction Tuesday when he received Archbishop Zygmunt Kaminski of Szczecin-Kamien, accompanied by a delegation of the academic senate of the University of Szczecin.

      The Polish guests came to Rome to celebrate with the Pope the decision of the senate that the university "embrace within its walls the School of Theology that until now has carried out its scientific and educational activity independently."

      John Paul II noted that during the Middle Ages it was generally considered that "a university without a school of theology was, in a certain sense, incomplete."

      "It is true that modern times have created many dynamic universities that do not have a school of theology, but it seems that the point of view of that time had its reason for being," the Pope added. "The latter is based on the need for dialogue between reason and faith."

      "This type of dialogue," the Holy Father continued, "is necessary so that the fruits of scientific research in various disciplines serve the full development of human beings. Just as reason cannot be separated from the soul, science cannot be fully transmitted without keeping in mind the needs of the human soul, which is open to the infinite."

      "In addition," he said, "development in the sciences entails many ethical questions that should be resolved while respecting the autonomy of the sciences and the spirit of truth."

      John Paul II concluded: "The collegial tendency toward the knowledge of truth about man, the dignity of the human person, the value of life and, at the same time, the greatness of scientific results in all disciplines, will surely serve in the deeper study of transmitted knowledge."

      * * *

      Philippine Bishops Decry Electoral Corruption

      TAGAYTAY, Philippines, JAN. 27, 2004 (Zenit.org).- Philippine bishops are lamenting the corruption and lack of credibility that dominate the country's election campaign.

      "Even before the election campaign began, the 2004 elections were poisoned by an atmosphere of confusion, cynicism and lack of credibility," says a note published Monday by the Catholic bishops' conference following their three-day plenary assembly.

      "The electoral process is more than ever before dominated by favoritism, corruption, personalities, and not by principles, party platforms, and the genuine participation of the people," the note states.

      Archbishop Fernando Capalla of Davao, president of the episcopate, told the Inquirer newspaper: "There are threats to democratic life, but the best way to protect freedom is a vigilant and well-formed citizenry. Otherwise, there would be recourse to violence, coup d'etat attempts and anarchy."

      National and presidential elections in the Philippines are scheduled for May.

      The bishops urged citizens to participate in the elections as an exercise of social responsibility and to remain vigilant during the campaigning.

      * * *

      Mexican Bishops Warn About "Morning-After" Pill

      MEXICO CITY, JAN. 27, 2004 (Zenit.org).- The Mexican bishops' Commission on the Family warned of the abortion-inducing properties of the "morning-after" pill authorized by the country's health office.

      Last Wednesday, the Health Secretariat, through the Official Mexican Norm on family planning, authorized health services to use the pill. Two days later the bishops' commission issued its warning.

      The morning-after pill is a "combination of hormones that can act to impede the implantation of an already fertilized ovum in the uterus, causing an abortion, that is, a gravely illicit act," the bishops' panel said. "It is an attack on the life of the most innocent of human beings."

      Aware of the "serious problem of adolescents' pregnancies," the bishops request the authorities that "endeavors of public health policies" be oriented to education for a responsible exercise of sexuality based on ethical values, and not only "on the simple distribution of products" which can endanger a woman's health.

      * * *

      Holocaust Memorial Day Prompts Warnings

      Christian and Jewish Leaders in Ireland and Britain Issue Statements

      MAYNOOTH, Ireland, JAN. 27, 2004 (Zenit.org).- The lessons of the Holocaust that doomed 6 million Jews still have not been learned, says the archbishop primate of Ireland.

      In a message for Holocaust Memorial Day issued through the Irish bishops' press office, Archbishop Sean Brady of Armagh said: "We need to heed the lessons of the Holocaust and learn for the future."

      "We know that these lessons have not been learnt, as the genocide of 1994 in Rwanda shows," the message said. "There, 1 million people were murdered within the space of 100 days."

      A number of European countries observed the day in honor of the victims of the Nazi-led Holocaust.

      "Tuesday, 27 January, Holocaust Memorial Day, marks the anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi concentration camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau," the Irish primate's message said. "One of the purposes of marking this date is to try and ensure that the horrendous crimes committed during the Holocaust are never repeated anywhere in the world."

      The message lamented: "Racism and bigotry continue to raise their ugly heads, much nearer home, albeit on a much smaller scale, and in different contexts and circumstances. A truly democratic and tolerant society, free of the evils of prejudice, racism and other forms of bigotry, acknowledges and respects, at all times, the dignity of all its citizens, regardless of race, religion, gender or social condition."

      In London, the Anglican archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, and the Catholic archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, joined Jewish leaders in warning of the resurgence of anti-Semitism.

      Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks also signed the statement, which challenges in particular anti-Semitic criticism of Israel, the Times reported.

      The leaders acknowledge that criticism of any government is a legitimate part of democratic debate. But they insisted that such criticism should not extend to a denial of Israel's right to exist or serve as justification for attacks on Jews around the world. The Times described the statement as "unprecedented in its strength."

      * * *

      Videoconference to Focus on Laity and Ecclesial Councils

      VATICAN CITY, JAN. 27, 2004 (Zenit.org).- A theologians videoconference organized by the Vatican will focus on the collaboration of the laity through diocesan and parish pastoral councils, as well as the pastoral care of shrines.

      The videoconference, overseen by the Congregation for Clergy, can be followed live from Rome beginning at midday Wednesday. Catholic theology professors from around the world will participate.

      The conference may be followed live or recorded on the congregation's Web page at http://www.clerus.org

      Subsequently, the speakers' original texts will be posted on the same page.

      * * *

      John Paul II Hails "Inestimable Value" of Priestly Celibacy

      Urges Vigilance Against the Seductions of the World

      VATICAN CITY, JAN. 26, 2004 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II considers priestly celibacy of "inestimable value," and appealed for the support that priests need to show that Christ gives full meaning to their lives.

      "In today's world, the question of ecclesiastical celibacy and chastity that derives from it continues to be, frequently, both for youth as for other faithful, a stumbling block, object of numerous misunderstandings in public opinion," the Pope said Saturday when receiving a group of French bishops. The bishops, from the ecclesiastical provinces of Montpellier and Toulouse, were ending their five-yearly visit to the Vatican.

      In the audience, the Holy Father began by mentioning the faithfulness of so many priests, "who in this way show the world that Christ and the mission can fulfill a life."

      Those lives, he said, are "a testimony of the absoluteness of God and a particularly fruitful participation in the building of the Church."

      In fact, John Paul II said, "chastity in celibacy has an inestimable value. It constitutes an important key for the spiritual life of priests, for their commitment in the mission, and for their appropriate pastoral relation with the faithful, which should not be based on emotional aspects, but on the responsibility of his ministry."

      For these reasons, the Holy Father invited priests "to be vigilant in the face of the seductions of the world and to make an examination of conscience regularly to live ever more profoundly fidelity to their commitment."

      "Every attitude that goes against this teaching constitutes an anti-testimony for the Christian community and for all men," he said.

      The Holy Father asked the bishops to support young priests especially who, like their contemporaries, "are characterized both by extraordinary enthusiasm as well as the frailties of their time."

      "Appropriate psychological and spiritual assistance can also be shown to be necessary so that situations will not last that, with the passing of time, could become dangerous," he said.

      "At the same time," the Pope added, "in the case of priests who have a way of life that does not conform to their state, it is necessary to invite them expressly to conversion."

      * * *

      Permanent Deacons Help Church Stay Close to the Faithful, Pope Says

      Thanks Them for Their Service

      VATICAN CITY, JAN. 26, 2004 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II praised the work of permanent deacons who he says enable the Church to be close to the daily life of many people, including those who have strayed from the faith.

      When he met Saturday with a group of visiting French bishops, the Pope noted the constant increase in the number of permanent deacons, most of whom are married.

      The Holy Father expressed thanks to the wives and children of deacons for their support to their ministry. And he expressed his appreciation for the deacons who at times "are in contact with environments that are very removed from the Church."

      Permanent deacons "present a characteristic face of the Church, which likes to be close to the people and their daily reality, to root in their lives the proclamation of Christ's message," the Pope said.

      The ministry of deacons flowered in the Western Church until the fifth century. For a variety of reasons, it declined slowly to the point that it became only an intermediate phase of candidates for priestly ordination.

      The Second Vatican Council opened the way to restore this ministry as a "proper and permanent stage of the hierarchy," making it possible to be conferred on men of mature age who are already married.

      With the apostolic letter "Sacrum Diaconatus Ordinem" of 1967, Pope Paul VI implemented the conciliar indications, establishing the general rules for the Latin-rite Church.

      In his meeting with the French bishops, John Paul II requested that permanent deacons be thanked for "the mission they carry out for the Church as servants of the Gospel, frequently supporting the Christian people in a professional framework, which is the first context of their ministry."

      "With their word and demanding personal, conjugal and family life, they make the Christian message known and make men and women reflect on social questions, so that the evangelical values will shine," the Pope said.

      According to the Statistical Yearbook of the Church, in 2001 there were 28,626 diocesan permanent deacons and 578 religious permanent deacons. In 1967 there were none. The United States has almost half the world's permanent deacons: 13,391.

      Europe has 9,122 diocesan permanent deacons. Italy had the largest number (2,546), followed among others by Germany (2,351), France (1,644), Belgium (547), Great Britain (534), Austria (489), the Netherlands (288) and Spain (188).

      In the Americas, the country with the greatest number of permanent deacons after the United States is Brazil (1,218), followed by Canada (894), Mexico (691), Chile (600), Argentina (543), Puerto Rico (404), the Dominican Republic (251) and Colombia (210).

      In the whole of Africa, there are 339 permanent deacons, including 204 in South Africa.

      There are 72 permanent deacons in Asia, and 189 in Oceania, including 48 in Australia.

      * * *


      Chapter Nine (continued)

      The thirteenth section: "Personal Experience" points out that monastic theologians derived their knowledge through the intimacy of God in personal prayer and loving affection. Leclercq reminds us of St. Bernard's dictum: "We search in a worthier manner, we discover with greater facility through prayer than through disputation (orando quam disputando)." (St. Bernard, De consideratione V,32: PL 182.808).

      The gift of piety instills reverance and awe for God's mysteries. Following piety one is naturally drawn to approach God's mysteries through humble prayer asking Him for light and knowledge and the wisdom to understand. Today is the feast of St. Thomas Aquinas who lived such a pious way that he humbly implored God for the gift to know and understand the things important to God for us to know.

      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 toperpetuate her cult by directing
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      Call or write today regarding favors granted through the intercession
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      cause of her investigation for canonization to:

      Rev. Dante DiGirolamo, Director
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      P. O. Box 455
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      Fax (973) 412-7011

      * * *


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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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