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Volume 4, Issue 147

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    ROMAN CATHOLIC NEWS Volume 4, Issue 147 SATURDAY 31 JULY 2004 St. Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556) * * * WEAR THE BROWN SCAPULAR OF OUR LADY OF MOUNT CARMEL AND
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 31 10:18 AM

      Volume 4, Issue 147

      SATURDAY 31 JULY 2004

      St. Ignatius of Loyola

      * * *


      * * *

      . Pope Sends Condolences for Victims of Gas
      . Papal Intention: More Cooperation in Missionary Work
      . Hong Kong Eyes Exhibition of Vatican Artworks
      . Catholic Church Bringing a Rebirth of Catechesis to Russia
      . Catholic Schools in Australia Attracting More Non-Catholics
      . Notice

      * * *

      * * *


      VATICAN CITY, JUL 31, 2004 (VIS) - Made public today was a document
      from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith entitled "Letter
      to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on the Collaboration of Men
      and Women in the Church and in the World." Dated May 31, 2004, feast
      of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Letter was
      published in English, French, Spanish, Italian, German and
      Portuguese. The Holy Father approved it during an audience granted
      to Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, prefect of the congregation, and
      ordered its publication.

      The 37-page Letter consists of an Introduction, four Chapters and
      a Conclusion. The chapters are entitled: I: The question: II. Basic
      elements of the biblical vision of the human person; III. The
      importance of feminine values in the life of society; and IV. The
      importance of feminine values in the Church.

      Archbishop Angelo Amato, S.D.B., secretary of the congregation,
      explained the purpose and content of this document in an interview
      with Vatican Radio:

      VATICAN RADIO. After "Mulieris Dignitatem" (August 15, 1988) and
      the "Letter to Women (June 29, 1995) of the Holy Father, Pope John
      Paul II, what is new in this document from the Congregation for the
      Doctrine of the Faith?

      ARCHBISHOP AMATO. What is new is the response given to two
      tendencies which have become quite strong in contemporary culture.

      The first tendency focuses on women's subordination and advances
      the idea that women, to be truly themselves, must make themselves
      the opponents of men. It posits a radical competition between the
      sexes in which the identity and role of one are emphasized to the
      disadvantage of the other.

      A second current, seeking to avoid this kind of confrontation,
      tends instead to deny the differences between the sexes. Physical
      difference, termed "sex", is minimized and held to be the mere
      effect of social and cultural conditioning. The purely cultural
      difference, on the other hand, termed "gender", is given maximum
      importance. From this, the institution of the family is called into
      question, in its natural two-parent structure of mother and father,
      and the equivalence of homosexuality and heterosexuality is
      asserted, in a new model of polymorphous sexuality.

      VR. What is the root of this second tendency?

      AMATO. This perspective arises from the premise that human nature
      does not possess characteristics determining it in an absolute way
      as either man or woman. Therefore, every person, free from all
      biological determinations, can shape himself or herself as he or she

      Faced with these erroneous ideas, the Church is reasserting some
      essential aspects of Christian anthropology which are based on the
      revealed truth of the Holy Scriptures.

      VR. What does the Bible say about this?

      AMATO. The longest part of the Congregation's document is dedicated
      precisely to a meditation of the Biblical passages on the creation
      of man and woman.

      The first text, Genesis 1:1-2:4 describes God's creative power,
      which acts to make distinctions in the original chaos (light/dark,
      sea/land, plants/animals), finally creating man: 'in the image of
      God He created him; male and female he created them'.

      The second creation account, in Genesis 2:4-25, confirms the
      essential importance of sexual difference. God places the first
      women next to the first man, created as she is, from his very flesh
      and shrouded in the same mystery.

      VR. What does this mean?

      AMATO. The Biblical texts offers three important insights.

      In the first place, human beings are persons, men and women,
      equally so. They exist in a reciprocal relationship.

      Secondly, the human body, marked as male or female, is called to
      exist in communion and mutual self-giving. For this reason, marriage
      is the first and fundamental dimension of this vocation.

      Thirdly, these original determinations, made by God he Creator -
      even if they have been upset and obscured by sin - can never be

      The Biblical vision of the human person suggests that problems
      related to sexual difference, whether on the public or private
      level, should be addressed by a relational approach and not by
      competition (no. 8)

      VR: Are there other biblical indications?

      AMATO: The Congregation's Letter also offers some theological
      considerations regarding the spousal dimension of salvation. In the
      Old Testament, for example, a salvific history takes shape in which
      both male and female participate through the metaphors of bridegroom-
      bride and covenant. We find a nuptial language that orients the
      reader toward the male figure of the suffering Servant as well as
      toward the feminine figure of Zion.

      These prefigurations find their fulfillment in the New Testament.
      On the one hand, Mary, the chosen daughter of Zion, sums up the
      condition of Israel/Bride waiting for the day of her salvation. On
      the other hand, Jesus embodies in his person God's love for his
      people which is described as the love of a bridegroom for his bride.

      Saint Paul develops this nuptial sense of the redemption by seeing
      Christian life as a nuptial mystery of Christ and the Church, His
      bride. Drawn into this mystery of grace, Christian spouses,
      notwithstanding sin and its consequences, are able to live their
      union in love and mutual faithfulness.

      The consequence is that man and woman do not see their difference
      in terms of rivalry and opposition, but in terms of harmony and

      VR: What is the contribution of femininity in the life of society?

      AMATO: Woman, distinct from man, has her own charism, which has been
      called "the capacity for the other."(n.13) It is an intuition
      linked to her physical ability to give life and orients her to the
      growth and protection of others. This is the "genius of women"
      which allows her to acquire maturity early on, and gives her a sense
      of responsibility, a respect for what is concrete, as well as a
      significant capacity to persevere in adversity. This storehouse of
      virtue leads women to be actively present both in the family and in
      society, through the proposal of innovative solutions to economic
      and social problems.

      VR: How can a woman's role in the family be reconciled with her work?

      AMATO: This is an important question. Society should give proper
      value to the work done by women within the family and in bringing up
      children, with recognition on both the social and economic levels.

      VR: What kind of contribution can women make in the life of the

      AMATO: In the Church, woman as a "sign" is more than ever central
      and fruitful. From the beginning of Christianity, the Church has
      understood herself to be a community joined to Christ in a
      relationship of love. In this, the Church, as a bride of Christ,
      has always seen Mary as her mother and her model. From Mary, the
      Church learns certain fundamental ways of acting, in receiving the
      word of God in faith and in experiencing deeply the intimacy of
      Jesus and his merciful love.

      The reference to Mary, with her dispositions of listening,
      welcoming, humility, faithfulness, praise and waiting, places the
      Church in continuity with the spiritual history of Israel. These
      attributes are common to every baptized person. In reality, however,
      it is a characteristic of maximum importance in the Church's life by
      becoming witnesses and models for all Christians of how the bride
      ought to respond to the love of the bridegroom (n.16). In so doing,
      women contribute in a unique way to revealing the face of the Church
      as the mother of believers.

      VR: A concluding word?

      AMATO: The are two concluding words: rediscovery and conversion.
      Rediscovery of the common dignity of men and women in mutual
      recognition and collaboration. Conversion of both men and women to
      their original identity as "image of God," each according to his or
      her own grace.

      The Introduction of the Letter says:

      "The Church, expert in humanity, has a perennial interest in
      whatever concerns men and women. In recent times, much reflection
      has been given to the question of the dignity of women and to
      women's rights and duties in the different areas of civil society
      and the Church. Having contributed to a deeper understanding of this
      fundamental question, in particular through the teaching of John
      Paul II, the Church is called today to address certain currents of
      thought which are often at variance with the authentic advancement
      of women.

      "After a brief presentation and critical evaluation of some
      current conceptions of human nature, this document will offer
      reflections - inspired by the doctrinal elements of the biblical
      vision of the human person that are indispensable for safeguarding
      his or her identity - on some of the essentials of a correct
      understanding of active collaboration, in recognition of the
      different between men and women in the Church and in the world.
      These reflections are meant as a starting point for further
      examination in the Church as well as an impetus for dialogue with
      all men and women of good will, in a sincere search for the truth
      and in a common commitment to the development of ever more authentic

      Click here for full text.

      * * *

      Pope Sends Condolences for Victims of Gas
      Explosion in Belgium

      VATICAN CITY, JULY 30, 2004 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II sent a
      message of condolence and assured his prayers for the victims of a
      gas explosion in the industrial area of Ghislenghien, in southern

      In a telegram sent by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Angelo
      Sodano to Archbishop Karl Josef Rauber, papal nuncio in Belgium, the
      Holy Father said that he "joins in prayer the persons affected by
      this tragedy."

      Authorities reported that at least 10 people died and some 200 were
      injured today as a result of the explosion of a gas pipe.

      In his message, the Pope said that he "commended the deceased to the
      mercy of God so that he would receive them in his peace." The Holy
      Father also "prays for the numerous wounded and their families, so
      that they will be surrounded by help and consolation."

      The Pontiff "encouraged the rescuers and the various health services
      in the important mission to receive and treat the wounded and assist
      the families and inhabitants of the region."

      Lastly, the Bishop of Rome "prays that the Lord will make all feel
      his closeness and grants the wounded, their families, and all those
      affected by this catastrophe his apostolic blessing."

      * * *

      Papal Intention: More Cooperation in Missionary Work

      VATICAN CITY, JULY 30, 2004 (Zenit.org).- In August, John Paul II
      will pray "for the growth of communion and cooperation among
      institutes working actively in the missions."

      The intention, announced by the Apostleship of Prayer, is adopted by
      the Pope, who offers his prayer and sacrifices together with
      thousands of faithful worldwide.

      "How can we remain insensitive to the cry of humanity while the
      number of missionaries decreases?" asked Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe,
      prefect of the Vatican Congregation for the Evangelization of
      Peoples, when commenting to the Fides agency on the prayer

      According to the cardinal, it is not just a question "of numbers as
      it is of strengthening our faith, reinforcing our commitment,
      coordinating better available forces, without dispersing energies,
      but concentrating on the essential."

      "In a word, we must return to evangelical radicalness, knowing how
      to recognize the signs of the times, confident in the Word of the
      Lord, without being hindered by doubts, incomprehension, and the
      spirit of self-sufficiency," Cardinal Sepe said.

      Every month, the Pope also offers his prayers for a general
      intention, which in August will be: "That the European Union will
      constantly draw new sap from the Christian heritage, which is an
      essential party of its history and culture."

      * * *

      Hong Kong Eyes Exhibition of Vatican Artworks
      Talks Under Way With Holy See

      VATICAN CITY, JULY 30, 2004 (Zenit.org).- The Holy See and Hong Kong
      authorities are studying the possibility of organizing an exhibition
      of the Vatican Museums' works of art in that city in 2006.

      According to Eglises d'Asie, an agency of the Paris Foreign
      Missions, Father Lawrence Lee Len, chancellor of the Diocese of Hong
      Kong, said he will be happy to mediate between Beijing and Rome so
      that the initiative can take place.

      The South China Morning Post reported that there have been recent
      contacts between representatives of the Hong Kong government and the

      Last September, Patrick Ho Chi-ping, secretary of Hong Kong's
      Internal Affairs, visited Rome and requested an audience with
      Archbishop Claudio Celli, secretary of the administration of the
      patrimony of the Apostolic See, as well as with Monsignor Gianfranco
      Rota Graziosi, of the Vatican Secretariat of State.

      According to a spokesman of Ho Chi-ping, the negotiation of the
      exhibition has not yet arrived at the level of "technical
      discussions" among art experts, but the Hong Kong representative "is
      very interested in the subject, as he thinks the Vatican collections
      are fascinating."

      According to Anthony Lam Sui-ki, of the Holy Spirit Center of
      Studies of the Hong Kong Diocese, although the initiative reflects
      the Holy See's desire to improve relations with Beijing, it is still
      not possible to think of a normalization of diplomatic relations.

      "It seems more probable that the continent [Beijing] regards this as
      an exchange of a cultural character more than as an initiative of a
      diplomatic nature," he told AsiaNews.

      * * *

      Catholic Church Bringing a Rebirth of Catechesis to Russia
      Archbishop Kondrusiewicz Addresses Conference

      MOSCOW, JULY 30, 2004 (Zenit.org).- A key element in the rebirth of
      the Catholic Church in Russia lies in its catechesis, including to
      foreigners, says Archbishop Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz.

      The head of the Archdiocese of the Mother of God in Moscow delivered
      that message at the recent European Catechetical Conference,
      organized by the Vatican Congregation for Clergy. The conference's
      written lectures are now available on the congregation's Web page:

      "At the time of the persecutions in the Soviet Union, there existed
      the practice of individual catechesis, primarily within the family,
      which was then considered a 'domestic Church,'" Archbishop
      Kondrusiewicz said.

      "Catechesis was taught by devout grandmothers or parents, using old
      prayer books and catechisms with questions and answers, which were
      copied by hand or typed using carbon paper," he said.

      "I know a woman who, risking her life, typed 70,000 copies of these
      catechisms. Those who managed to obtain one were lucky, not to
      mention a copy of the Bible which was impossible to find," the
      prelate recalled.

      He continued: "The restoration of the Catholic Church's structures
      in 1991 marked the beginning of the normalization of pastoral
      activities, including catechesis, needed now not only by children
      and young people, but also by adults who had not previously had this

      Archbishop Kondrusiewicz illustrated some of the initiatives in
      recent years to support and impart catechesis in Russia, such as the
      St. Thomas Aquinas College of Theology. Founded in 1991 in Moscow,
      its objectives include the training of lay catechists.

      The Catholic Commission for Catechesis, established in 1994, has
      drawn up a seven-year program for children, which includes
      preparation for first Communion and confession.

      Since 1999, there are "catechesis schools" which offer a four-year
      program of systematic lessons in theology as well as spiritual

      "The duty of the catechesis schools," the archbishop said, "is to
      prepare catechists to organize and carry forward evangelization, to
      guide prayer groups, to help priests and foreign religious personnel
      to understand the particularity of the Russian culture, bearing in
      mind the requirements of the times, the country's situation, and the
      spirit of ecumenism."

      "In Russia's great metropolises there are many Catholics of various
      nationalities," he added. "Liturgical celebrations and catechesis is
      organized for them in their native languages, usually using material
      prepared in their own countries."

      In all, there are in Russia more than 400 catechists, including 100
      lay people, he added.

      The archbishop noted that over "the past 13 years, starting
      practically from zero, with God's help and that of Western
      benefactors, efficient and still-developing catechesis structures
      have been set up in Russia, and 25,000 copies of catechistic
      literature have been distributed."

      * * *

      Catholic Schools in Australia Attracting More Non-Catholics

      BRISBANE, Australia, JULY 30, 2004 (Zenit.org).- The quality of
      Catholic education in Australia is convincing more families,
      regardless of their religion, to choose a Catholic school for their
      children, says the Brisbane Archdiocese.

      A case in point: about one-quarter of the pupils at Catholic schools
      in the state of Queensland are non-Catholics.

      In a note sent to the Fides agency, the Brisbane Archdiocese
      reported an annual growth of 22.5% in the number of non-Catholic
      pupils enrolled at Catholic schools.

      Families like the quality of the instruction offered at the
      institutions as well as the education in moral values, the
      archdiocese said.

      Joe MacCorley, head of the Commission for Catholic Education in
      Queensland, said that some poorer Catholic families cannot afford
      the private school education.

      The Church, however, cannot lower the school fees because government
      contributions to Catholic schools are the same as they were 10 years
      ago, officials said.

      In this country of 20 million, the Church runs 1,700 schools with
      more than 640,000 pupils.

      * * *

      Daily Service to Resume Aug. 16

      NEW YORK, JULY 30, 2004 (Zenit.org).- ZENIT's next weekday service
      will be published on Monday, Aug. 16. ZENIT will publish its Weekly
      Analysis feature this Saturday.

      * * *

      * * *


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      3. Today's Lectionary Readings Text
      <http://www.nccbuscc.org/nab/073104.htm> (English)

      <http://www.alingilalyawmi.org> (Arabic)

      Biblica Online

      * * *




      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)

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      * * *


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      * * *


      When the Eucharistic host is elevated at Mass say:

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

      When the Eucharistic chalice is elevated at Mass say:

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

      * * *


      "during this important time, as the eve of the new millennium
      approaches unity among all Christians of the various confessions
      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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