A day of mourning for Fr. James Mukalel's death is observed in India

Mangalore, August 01, 2009 – The assassination of Fr. James Mukalel, a 39-year-old priest found dead near Mangalore (Karnataka, southern India), is still a mystery without any suspects in custody. His lifeless body was found by several parishoners in a rural district on July 30, after the young priest had not returned to the parish, in the Siro-Malabar Siorce of Belthangady.Investigators say that the homicide seems to be the result of suffocation, however no clear facts are evident yet, in order to solve the case.On July 29, in the hours shortly prior to his death, the priest had been visiting several families in the area, had eaten lunch in a convent, and later celebrated a funeral. According to the hypothesis of the Church in India, it could be a case of anti-Christian violence, as last year the area also experienced several attacks from extremists. However, nothing is certain yet and police work continues.The young priest was well-loved by all, always smiling ...Read More


A special holy card of the Year for Priests dedicated by Niedzela

Czestochowa, August 01, 2009 – The Polish Catholic weekly magazine “Niedzela,” the most widely-read magazine in the country, based in Czestochowa, has recently prepared and published a special “holy card” of the Year for Priests, dedicated to the priests in this special year. The holy card portrays an image of Saint John M. Vianney, the Holy Cure of Ars, and a prayer invoking his intercession. There is a space reserved for printing the name and last name of a priest, along with his date of ordination.Over 120,000 copies of the cards have been distributed by the magazine.“The Holy Father Benedict XVI's initiative is that of dedicating this year to priests and the priesthood and it is of great pastoral, evangelizational, and theological importance,” Fides was told by Monsignor Ireneusz Skubis, Editor-in-Chief of Niedzela. “In this Year for Priests, our magazine hopes to offer the priests and faithful of our parish a panoramic vision of the various pastoral initiatives de ...Read More


Church in Sri Lanka preparing for annual pilgrimage to Madu Matha Shrine

Colombo, Srilanka, August 01, 2009 – With special prayers for peace in all the dioceses, the Church in Sri Lanka is preparing the customary annual pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Madhu (Diocese of Mannar), which will be held this August 15, for the Solemnity of the Assumption, according to an over 400-year-old tradition.The pilgrimage will focus on the theme of peace and national reconciliation, which will be the main prayer intentions during these days leading up to the event and during the pilgrimage (which many make on foot), as well as in the celebrations at the Shrine.Following an accord between the Catholic Church in Sri Lanka and the government, the pilgrimage was no longer post-poned or cancelled as had been previously thought, for security reasons. The Shrine has been affected in recent months by the fighting between national forces and the Tamil rebels. The statue of the Virgin Mary had to be moved for safety reasons.The government authorities ...Read More


Maria Corazon C. Aquino former President of the Philippines died

Manila, philippins, August 1, 2009 - Maria Corazon C. Aquino, the first woman president of Asia and 7th President of the Philippines died tonight at 3:18 local time from colon cancer. She was 76 years old. Fr. Laguerta, rector of the seminary of San Carlos said that Aquino - familiarly known as "Tita (aunt) Cory" - "was a woman of faith, full of courage and a symbol of democracy."In 1986, Aquino with the collaboration of the late Cardinal Jaime Sin, archbishop of the capital, and the support millions led the “rosary revolution" that resulted in the ousting of Dictator Ferdinand Marcos and the restoration of democracy in the country after years of martial law and political attacks, including one on Aquino’s husband, Benigno, in 1983.Current President Gloria Arroyo, who owes her election to the support of Cory, has declared 10 days of national mourning. Thousands of people are flocking to her house and the Edsa Shrine in Quezon City, where the “rosary revolution” culmina ...Read More


Pope Benedict XVI : Vatican and Italian police like guardian angels

LES COMBES, Italy, Aug 1, 2009 - Pope Benedict XVI said the Vatican and Italian police who watched over him while he was on vacation in the Italian Alps were like "guardian angels, discreet and efficient."But he was not quite so sure what his own guardian angel was up to."Unfortunately, my guardian angel -- certainly following orders from above -- did not prevent my accident," he said, referring to the fact that he tripped in the dark July 17 and broke his wrist.Before leaving Les Combes to fly to the papal summer villa in Castel Gandolfo south of Rome July 29, the pope met with the police, firefighters and other officials who were involved in maintaining public order and security while he vacationed in northern Italy.Still referring to his broken right wrist, the right-handed pope told them, "Perhaps the Lord wanted to teach me greater patience and humility, and give me more time for prayer and meditation."The pope said he had spent the past 16 d ...Read More


Benedict XVI has laicized a Franciscan priest

LONDON, July 30, 2009 - Pope Benedict XVI has laicized a Franciscan priest who served as the spiritual adviser to the Marian visionaries in Medjugorje, Bosnia-Herzegovina.The pontiff, in a document issued "motu proprio" (on his own initiative), returned Father Tomislav Vlasic to the lay state and dispensed him from his religious vows as a member of the Order of Friars Minor.Vlasic was confined to a Franciscan monastery in L'Aquila, Italy, in February 2008 after he refused to cooperate in a Vatican investigation of his activities for suspected heresy and schism.He also was being investigated for "the diffusion of dubious doctrine, manipulation of consciences, suspected mysticism, disobedience towards legitimately issued orders and charges contra sextum (against the Sixth Commandment not to commit adultery)," as stated in the interdict signed by Cardinal William J. Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.According to the congregat ...Read More


Pope Benedict XVI to visit the Shroud of Turin

VATICAN CITY, July 30, 2009 - Pope Benedict XVI confirmed his intention to visit the Shroud of Turin when it goes on public display in Turin's cathedral April 10-May 23, 2010.Cardinal Severino Poletto of Turin, papal custodian of the Shroud of Turin, visited the pope July 26 in Les Combes, Italy, where the pope was spending part of his vacation. The Alpine village is about 85 miles from Turin.The cardinal gave the pope the latest news concerning preparations for next year's public exposition of the shroud and the pope "confirmed his intention to go to Turin for the occasion," said the Vatican spokesman, Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, in a written statement July 27.The specific date of the papal visit has yet to be determined, the priest added.The last time the Shroud of Turin was displayed to the public was in 2000 for the jubilee year. The shroud is removed from a specially designed protective case only for very special spiritual occasions, and its rem ...Read More


Ave Maria: Mgr. Luciano Alimandi : God's Power revealed in weakness

Vatican City - The root of our rebellion against the Lord is pride which, we might say, makes us want to do without God, to feel self-sufficient, capable of running our own lives and sometimes, even the lives of others. Man's intelligence, a gift of God, unless it remains humble can even revolt against God and imagine it can create an alternative path to the one traced by the Lord, who wishes us to be directed to the Supreme Truth and the Supreme Good, that is to God himself. Sacred Scripture tells us of such rebellion, starting with that of Adam and Eve which was the cause of "original sin".Pride blinds the mind and paralyses the heart of man, his interior, stopping him from moving towards eternal Light which shines in all its fullness in the Person of Jesus, the Logos of the incarnate God!The Lord Jesus placed one fundamental condition for following him, deny oneself and take up one's cross (cfr. Mk 8, 34), in other words to accept one's situation.The people ...Read More


Obama expressed his commitment to reduce abortions

vatican City, July 10, 2009 - When Pope Benedict XVI gave President Barack Obama a Vatican document on bioethics, he was trying to be clear with him about church teaching and open a path to further dialogue, the Vatican spokesman said.Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, the spokesman, told reporters after the meeting between the pope and the president that, in giving Obama the document July 10, "the intention was not to be divisive or political, but for clarity and objectivity; to say that, for us, this is extremely important."Pope Benedict gave Obama the document "Dignitas Personae" ("The Dignity of a Person"), which was published in December by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.In discussing issues such as abortion, artificial fertilization and stem-cell research, the document started with two fundamental church teachings: that the human being is to be respected and treated as a person from the moment of conception and that responsible human procreat ...Read More


Pope gave a Vatican document on bioethics to Obama

Vatican City, July 10, 2009 - When Pope Benedict XVI gave President Barack Obama a Vatican document on bioethics, he was trying to be clear with him about church teaching and open a path to further dialogue, the Vatican spokesman said.Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, the spokesman, told reporters after the meeting between the pope and the president that, in giving Obama the document July 10, "the intention was not to be divisive or political, but for clarity and objectivity; to say that, for us, this is extremely important."Pope Benedict gave Obama the document "Dignitas Personae" ("The Dignity of a Person"), which was published in December by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.In discussing issues such as abortion, artificial fertilization and stem-cell research, the document started with two fundamental church teachings: that the human being is to be respected and treated as a person from the moment of conception and that responsible human procreat ...Read More


ENCYCLICAL LETTER CARITAS IN VERITATE

Encyclical Letter Caritas In Veritate of the supreme Pontiff Benedict XVI to the Bishops Priests and Deacons men and women religious the lay faithful and all people of good will on integral human development in charity and truth. ENCYCLICAL LETTER CARITAS IN VERITATE [- Download PDF Version] ENCYCLICAL LETTER CARITAS IN VERITATE [- Download Word doc version] ...Read More


Vietnamese authorities arrested Catholic lawyer

Ho Chi Minh City, June 17, 2009 – Vietnamese authorities arrested Paul Le Cong Dinh (pictured) on Saturday on charges of engaging in "propaganda against the State of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam," state-run media reported on Sunday. The high-profile 41-year-old Catholic lawyer has defended a number of pro-democracy activists. He has also published accounts of the country’s flawed economic, social and political system.State-run media reported that police found “documents distorting the country's socio-economic policies” in Mr Dinh’s home and office.They have also accused him of libelling Vietnam’s top leaders and of “colluding with domestic and foreign reactionaries to sabotage the Vietnamese state.’Mr Dinh, who studied in France, has a Master's Degree in Law from Tulane University in Louisiana in the United States.Back home he has defended leading human rights activists, such as fellow lawyers Nguyen Van Dai and Le Thi Cong Nhan, who have also been j ...Read More


Pope Benedict XVI appointed Archbishop Ranjith Patabendige to head the archdiocese of Colombo

Vatican City, June 17, 2009 - Pope Benedict XVI has appointed Archbishop Albert Malcolm Ranjith Patabendige Don — one of his most trusted collaborators in the Vatican and a forceful advocate for justice and peace — to head the archdiocese of Colombo in Sri LankaA strong leader, he returns as head of the Sri Lankan Church in what many observers see as a particularly difficult moment. A bloody 30-year civil war has just ended with the military defeat of the Tamil Tigers rebels.One of only two Asians in top positions in the Roman Curia — the other being Indian Cardinal Ivan Dias, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of the Peoples — he succeeds Archbishop Oswald Gomis, who reached the official retirement age of 75 over 18 months ago.The Vatican made the announcement on June 16, confirming rumors that have circulated in Rome for almost two years.Archbishop Ranjith was born in Polgahawela, Sri Lanka, on Nov. 15, 1947 and completed his early studi ...Read More


Pope Benedict XVI visibly upset to hear Irish children abuse

Dublin, June 9, 2009 - Pope Benedict XVI was visibly upset to hear June 5 of the abuse suffered by thousands of Irish children in the care of religious congregations, reported the archbishop of Dublin, Ireland.Speaking at a June 8 press conference, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin said the pope was saddened to hear "how the children had suffered from the very opposite of an expression of the love of God."Archbishop Martin and Cardinal Sean Brady of Armagh, Northern Ireland, president of the Irish Catholic Bishops' Conference, met with Pope Benedict for 45 minutes to brief him on the findings of the Commission to Inquire into Child Abuse, which released its report May 20."The Holy Father listened very carefully, very attentively and very sympathetically to what we had to say" during the 45-minute private meeting at the Vatican, Cardinal Brady said during the press conference.The visit with the pope followed a series of meetings to discuss the report's findings h ...Read More


HOLY FATHER TO SPEND A PERIOD OF REST IN VALLE D'AOSTA

Vatican City, 6 June, 2009 - Benedict XVI will spend a period of rest from 13 to 29 July at the residence of Les Combes at Introd, in the Italian region of Valle d'Aosta.This is the third time the Pope has chosen to spend the first weeks of his summer break in Valle d'Aosta, having also been there in 2005 and 2006. Last year he went to Bressanone in the Italian alpine region of Alto Adige, and in 2007 to Lorenzago di Cadore in the Italian Dolomites.A communique released by the Prefecture of the Pontifical Household announces that at midday on Sunday 19 July the Holy Father will pray the Angelus at Piazza Ruggia in front of the parish church of Sts. Peter and Solutor at Romano Canavese in the diocese of Ivrea.On Sunday 26 July he will pray the Angelus at his residence in Les Combes.The Wednesday general audiences of 15, 22 and 29 July are suspended.Following his return from Valle d'Aosta, the Pope will go to the Pontifical Palace at Castelgandolfo. ...Read More


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