Monday, October 31, 2005

Pope appeals to Catholics: Reread key Vatican II documents and keep its real spirit alive

Pope Urges Faithful to Keep Spirit of Vatican II Alive
Notes Council's Insights on Education and Religious Freedom

VATICAN CITY, OCT. 30, 2005 ( Benedict XVI appealed to Catholics to keep the real spirit of the Second Vatican Council alive, as the 40th anniversary of the closing of the ecclesial event approaches.

According to the Pope, the legacy of that historic assembly is decisive for helping establish "in the world that universal fraternity that responds to the will of God on man, created in the image of God."

Vatican II, which had been convoked by Pope John XXIII, formally closed Dec. 8, 1965.

Today, in his weekly Angelus address to crowds in St. Peter's Square, Benedict XVI highlighted two legacies left by Vatican II which changed the life of the Church and, in part, of humanity: the importance of education and the promotion of religious freedom.


AP via Yahoo! News

Pope: Vatican II Documents Still Relevant

By NICOLE WINFIELD, Associated Press Writer
Sun Oct 30, 8:55 PM ET

VATICAN CITY - Pope Benedict XVI urged the faithful on Sunday to reread key Vatican documents on Christian education and relations with Jews and Muslims, saying the teachings were of "great relevance" today.

The documents were signed 40 years ago this weekend, during the Second Vatican Council, the 1962-65 meetings that led to many liberalizing changes in the Mass, such as having priests face the congregation and celebrating the service in the local language instead of only in Latin.


Sunday, October 30, 2005

Pope asks for more aid for victims of Oct. 8 earthquake in South Asia

AP via Yahoo! News

Pope Makes Appeal for More Earthquake Aid
1 hour, 54 minutes ago

VATICAN CITY - Pope Benedict XVI called on Sunday for more generous international aid for the victims of the Oct. 8 earthquake in South Asia, saying the needs had far outweighed the help offered so far.

Benedict made the appeal during his traditional Sunday blessing, delivered from his studio window overlooking St. Peter's Square.

He noted that aid had poured into the region, "but the needs seem greater than the help offered so far."


Saturday, October 29, 2005

Pope Benedict leaves Vatican to pray at shrine outside Rome once beloved by John Paul II

AP via Yahoo! News
21 minutes ago

Pope Slips Out of Vatican, Prays at Shrine

VATICAN CITY - Pope Benedict XVI made an unannounced trip Saturday to a shrine outside Rome that was beloved by Pope John Paul II, officials said.

Benedict celebrated Mass in honor of the Madonna during the "private pilgrimage" to the Mother of the Graces of Mentorella shrine, about 30 miles from Rome, Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls said.

The previously unannounced visit fell on the 27th anniversary of the first time John Paul prayed at the shrine as pope, the ANSA news agency reported.

The Polish-born John Paul had prayed at the shrine two days before his Oct. 16, 1978, election, and returned there on Oct. 29, 1978, as well as several more times during his pontificate.

John Paul would occasionally slip out of the Vatican for unannounced day trips. Saturday's pilgrimage was the first known one for Benedict.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Pope condemns human trafficking in message to mark World Day of Migrants and Refugees

Associated Press

Pope Condemns Sex Trafficking
Friday, October 28, 2005

VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI (search) on Friday condemned the human trafficking that fuels the sex industry and called for just treatment of women migrants.

His appeal came in a message to mark World Day of Migrants and Refugees, which local churches will celebrate Jan. 15.

Benedict said women more often are emigrating autonomously for financial reasons and not just crossing borders to join their husbands or family members, as was the case for many of them in the past.

When women do find work, it is often low-salaried domestic or service job, the pope said. He said they deserved fair treatment "out of respect for their femininity in recognition of their equal rights."

Benedict also spoke of the "scourge" of trafficking in human beings, and especially women's vulnerabilities.

"It becomes easy for the trafficker to offer his own 'services' to the victims, who often do not even vaguely suspect what awaits them," the pope said. "In some cases, there are women and girls who are destined to be exploited almost like slaves in their work, and not infrequently in the sex industry too."


Thursday, October 27, 2005

On 40th anniversary of "Nostra Aetate," Pope committed to good Catholic-Jewish relations

Pope says committed to good relations with Jews

By Philip Pullella

Thu Oct 27,12:38 PM ET

ROME (Reuters) - Pope Benedict assured the world's Jews on Thursday that he and the Vatican were irrevocably committed to good Catholic-Jewish relations and to never forgetting the Holocaust.

The Pope spoke for the 40th anniversary celebrations of a Second Vatican Council document called "Nostra Aetate" (In Our Time) that revolutionized relations by repudiating the concept of continuing collective Jewish guilt for the death of Christ.

"This anniversary gives us abundant reason to express gratitude to almighty God ..." he said in a message to Catholic and Jewish leaders commemorating the anniversary in Rome.


Historic document on inter-religious relations turns 40, experts gather to discuss future prospects

Vatican City, Oct. 27, 2005 (CNA) - Today at the Vatican, religious leaders from around the world are gathering to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Vatican Council II Declaration “Nostra aetate”, translated, “In Our Time”, which sought, among other things, to root out Christian anti-Semitism.

The event, which is being organized by the Holy See Commission for Religious Relations with Jews, began this morning with a discussion about the particular initiatives and ecumenical events which have characterized the world since Vatican II.


Wednesday, October 26, 2005

The Pope: Christ's cross helps us to understand true meaning of suffering and pain

Jesus’ cross helps us understand suffering, Pope tells young hospital patients

Vatican City, Oct. 26, 2005 (CNA) - Following today’s General Audience in St. Peter’s Square, Pope Benedict addressed a group of children from the "Citta di Speranza" (City of Hope) hospital in Padua, Italy, telling them encouragingly, that, Christ’s cross “helps us to understand the true meaning of suffering and pain.”

The Pope told the young people that, "As we heard during the catechesis, the cross of Christ brings us to understand the true meaning of suffering and pain. Unite yourselves spiritually to the Crucified Christ, and abandon yourselves in the hands of Mary, constantly invoking her in the Rosary."

According to the Vatican, the hospital came into being in 1994 with the dual aim of building a new department of pediatric onco-hematology, which was inaugurated two years later, and to support research into childhood cancer.


Monday, October 24, 2005

Pope publishes Synod's 50 propositions; will be basis for postsynodal apostolic exhortation

Benedict XVI Publishes Synod's Recommendations
Only Available in Non-official Translation

VATICAN CITY, OCT. 23, 2005 ( In an unprecedented move, Benedict XVI published the 50 propositions presented by the Synod of Bishops on the Eucharist.

The propositions, which will be the basis for the Pope's postsynodal apostolic exhortation, will only be presented in a non-official Italian translation of the Latin original, in order to preserve some confidentiality, reported the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops on Saturday.

Benedict XVI said today that the postsynodal exhortation will "portray the face of the 'Catholic' community," which finds its strength and unity in the Eucharist.

This announcement would meet Proposition 1, which requests that the Pontiff write the exhortation on the Eucharist.

Proposition 2 refers to the "beneficial influence that the liturgical reform implemented since the Second Vatican Council has had for the life of the Church."


Sunday, October 23, 2005

Bishops approve set of 50 propositions reaffirming church teaching

Here is a breakdown of the Synod's final propositions:


Oct-21-2005 (400 words) xxxi

Synod's final propositions defend celibacy, status quo on remarriage

By John Thavis
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The Synod of Bishops on the Eucharist made only minor changes to its final list of propositions, maintaining a strong defense of priestly celibacy and recommending no relaxation of church rules on divorced and remarried Catholics.

The 50 propositions, which the synod was to vote on Oct. 22, contained no major differences from the list presented earlier in the week. Catholic News Service, which reported on the earlier list in detail Oct. 18, obtained copies of both documents.

The synod was expected to overwhelmingly approve the propositions, following the pattern of previous assemblies. The recommendations were then to be handed over to Pope Benedict XVI for his use, possibly in a post-synodal document.

Proposition 46 said Catholic politicians must show "eucharistic coherence" and avoid promoting laws that go against human good, justice and natural law.


And, the results of the concluding vote on October 22:

Bishops Reaffirm Celibacy for Priests
Bishops Reaffirm Roman Catholic Church Teachings on Such Issues As Celibacy for Priests

By NICOLE WINFIELD Associated Press Writer
The Associated Press

VATICAN CITY Oct 22, 2005 — Bishops from around the world on Saturday approved a set of 50 recommendations for Pope Benedict XVI on running the Roman Catholic Church that reaffirm church teaching on such issues as celibacy for priests.

They also dealt with whether Communion should be denied to Catholic politicians who support laws that contradict church teaching, such as the right to abortion, as well as the plight of Catholics who divorce and remarry without getting an annulment.


Saturday, October 22, 2005

Synod of Bishops final message--The Eucharist: Living Bread for the peace of the world

Date: 2005-10-22

Message of the Synod of Bishops on the Eucharist
"The Eucharist: Living Bread for the Peace of the World"

VATICAN CITY, OCT. 22, 2005 ( the Twentieth General Congregation held yesterday, Friday 21th October 2005, the Synodal Fathers approved the Message of the Synod of Bishops to the People of God, at the conclusion of the XI Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops.

We publish here below the full text of the English version:

* * *

The Eucharist: Living Bread for the Peace of the World

Dear brother bishops,
dear priests and deacons,
Dearly beloved brothers and sisters

1. “Peace be with you!” In the name of the Lord who appeared in the Cenacle of Jerusalem on the evening of Easter, we repeat, “Peace be with you!” (Jn 20:21). May the mystery of his death and resurrection bring you consolation and give meaning to the whole of your life! May he keep you joyful and full of hope! For Christ is living in his Church, as he promised (see Mt 28:20). He remains with us always until the end of the world. He gives himself to us in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist, along with the joy of loving as he loved. He commands us to share his victorious love with our brothers and sisters of the whole world. This is the joyful message that we proclaim to you, beloved brothers and sisters, at the end of the Synod of Bishops on the Eucharist.


Friday, October 21, 2005

Pope John Paul II left last message, not yet heard

Pope John Paul II left last message, unheard until now, reveals his former personal secretary

Krakow, Oct. 19, 2005 (CNA) - The archbishop of Krakow( Poland), and former personal Secretary of pope John Paul II, Archbishop Stanislaw Dziwisz, revealed in the Italian Catholic daily Avvenire, that an audio recording of the former pontiff existed. Alhtough he said he didn’t have the strength to listen to it yet.


Thursday, October 20, 2005

TIME on whether Pope Benedict will liberalize the Church---"...don't hold your breath"

TIME Online Edition

Web Exclusive World

Why Benedict XVI Won't Liberalize the Church
Progressives' hopes for surprises from the new Pope may be in vain

Posted Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2005

Listen to a liberal Catholic in Rome these days, and the words "like Nixon going to China" will probably slip out at some point in the conversation. It is the whisper of hope among long shut-out Church reformers that Pope Benedict XVI's unquestioned conservative credentials could make him just the right man to loosen rigid doctrinal policy after the quarter century of John Paul II's traditionalist ways. The German Pope's surprisingly warm persona and his decision to create a more open debate in this month's synod of bishops have fuelled the sense among some that change is in the air. Last week, after Benedict spoke to the synod—a once-every-few-years advisory council to the Holy Father—one progressive Rome-based priest told TIME: "He offered very thoughtful remarks. I'm surprised to see that he seems to be open to hear new ideas." But six months into Benedict's papacy, the Republican-Meets-the-Communists analogy sounds a lot like wishful thinking. Those who believe the 78-year-old Pope could lift the clergy's celibacy requirement or welcome gays into the priesthood are not imagining a Nixon going to China, but Nixon becoming a Marxist. In other words, don't hold your breath.


Special screening for Pope of CBS mini-series on JPII to be held at Vatican on Nov. 17

CBS to screen John Paul miniseries for new Pope

By Steve Gorman
Wed Oct 19, 5:49 PM ET

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - He may never have seen Oscar-winner Jon Voight as a male prostitute in "Midnight Cowboy," but Pope Benedict XVI will be among the first to see him portray the last head of the Roman Catholic Church.

CBS television said on Wednesday that Benedict will attend a world premiere screening of the network's upcoming big-budget miniseries charting the life of the late Pope John Paul II, with Voight in the title role.

The special screening of "Pope John Paul II" will be held November 17 at the Vatican in the Paolo VI Hall, site of the pope's weekly general audience, ahead of the network broadcast of the two-part miniseries on December 4 and December 7, CBS said.


Wednesday, October 19, 2005

CBS mini-series on Pope John Paul II to air on Dec. 4 and 7

AP via Yahoo! News

1 hour, 13 minutes ago

CBS Schedules Pope John Paul II Miniseries

NEW YORK - After screening it for Pope Benedict XVI, CBS will air its miniseries on the life of Pope John Paul II on Dec. 4 and 7, the network said Wednesday.

The four-hour "Pope John Paul II" features two actors portraying the pope, whose 26-year reign ended with his death April 2. Cary Elwes portrays Karol Wojtyla in his young adult years, and Jon Voight takes over the role after Wojtyla becomes pope.

CBS said it has arranged a world premiere screening of the movie for Nov. 17 at the Vatican, where the current pope is expected to attend. He's briefly depicted in the movie as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger; actor Mikolaj Grabowski portrays him.


Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Reflection of Benedict XVI before Angelus Prayer, Oct 16, anniversary of JPII's pontificate

VATICAN - Pope Benedict XVI at Angelus reflection recalls Pope John Paul II, “contemplative and missionary”: “In him we admired the power of the faith and prayer and total trust in Most Holy Mary who accompanied and protected him always”

Vatican City (Fides Service) - On 16 October 1978, 27 years ago the Archbishop of Krakow Cardinal Karol Wojtyła was elected successor of Saint Peter. The recurrence was highlighted by Benedict XVI during his reflection before the Angelus prayer on Sunday 16 October .

“With Pope John Paul II began one of the longest pontificates in the history of the Church - said Pope Benedict XVI -, during which the pope ‘who came from afar’ was recognised as a moral authority by many also non Christians and non believers as it was seen by expressions of affection on the occasion of his illness and later sympathy at his death.” The unending pilgrimage to his tomb “is an eloquent sign of how much the beloved John Paul II found his way to people’s hearts above all with his witness of love and dedication in suffering. In him we admired the power of the faith and prayer and total trust in Most Holy Mary who accompanied and protected him always, particularly at the most difficult the tragic times of his life.”


Rosary, evangelization, became symbols of John Paul II’s pontificate, says Pope Benedict

Vatican City, Oct. 17, 2005 (CNA) - On the day that would have been his 27th anniversary of being elected Pope, Benedict XVI honored the memory of his successor, John Paul II during yesterday’s Angelus prayer, recalling his influence to both Christians and non-Christians.

"On a day like today, 27 years ago," the Pope told pilgrims gathered in St. Peter‘s Square, "the Lord called Cardinal Karol Wojtyla, archbishop of Krakow, to succeed John Paul I, who died just over a month after being elected."

Benedict recalled that, "John Paul II, 'who came from a far country,' was recognized as a moral authority even by many non-Christians and non-believers, as was clear from the many moving expressions of affection on the occasion of his illness and of profound condolence after his death.”


4-phase program, "Fishers of Men," created to help priests call others to the priesthood

New Vocations Program Encourages Renewed Priests to be 'Fishers of Men'

Washington DC, Oct. 14, 2005 (CNA) - The United States Catholic Bishops Conference is launching today a new program to renew priests' sense of vocational fulfillment and to encourage them to draw on that satisfaction and invite other men to pursue the priesthood: “Fishers of Men.”

The program is designed to get priests to step back from their daily lives and reflect on the many positive reasons they pursued their vocations, to discuss those reasons with their brother priests, and ultimately to share those reasons with other men with an invitation to the priesthood.

"At the basis of the 'Fishers of Men' program is the conviction that there is a close connection between priests regenerating their appreciation of their own priestly vocation and the creation of an environment in which men are actively invited to respond to God's call to the priesthood," said Bishop Blase Cupich of Rapid City (S.D.), the chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) Committee on Vocations.

Research done for the Vocations Committee indicates that an invitation from a priest is one of the most effective ways of having a man consider the priesthood. Of seminarians ordained in 2003, 78 percent said that a priest had invited them to consider the priesthood.

An extensive resource kit prepared by the Vocations Secretariat includes everything a diocese needs to implement the program. Sample letters, interview questions, timelines, a model agenda for a day-long summit, as well as a sample PowerPoint(r) presentation are all contained in a three-ring binder sent to all 195 dioceses in the United States.

The kit also includes a trailer for a "Fishers of Men" video that can be incorporated into the Summit program. Produced by Grassroots Film (see note below) of Brooklyn, N.Y., the fast-paced video shows many of the facets of a priest's daily life.

"Its purpose is twofold: renew in US priests and bishops an awareness of how treasured the gift of priesthood is and what it means in each of our lives; and to encourage us all, inspired by this renewal, to urge other men to consider the vocation which we have received as a gift." Bishop Cupich concluded.


NOTE: The Fishers of Men video is produced by Joseph Campo of Grassroots Films:

Monday, October 17, 2005

Transcript of Pope Benedict XVI's interview of Oct. 16--"Pope John Paul II Day"--on Polish TV

Date: 2005-10-17

Benedict XVI's Interview on Polish Television
John Paul II "Is Always Close to Me"

VATICAN CITY, OCT. 16, 2005 ( Here is a translation of the interview Benedict XVI gave to the public television station in Poland. It was broadcast today, Pope John Paul II Day.

Last July the Polish Parliament established the day honoring the late Pontiff to be observed every Oct. 16, the day Cardinal Karol Wojtyla of Krakow was elected Pope. He was elected 27 years ago today.

* * *

Q: Thank you, Holy Father, for granting us this brief interview on the occasion of the Pope's Day, which is being celebrated in Poland.

On October 16, 1978, Cardinal Karol Wojtyla became Pope, and from that day Pope John Paul II, for more than 26 years, as the Successor of St. Peter, as you are now, led the Church together with the bishops and cardinals. Among the cardinals, your Holiness was also present, enjoying the appreciation and esteem of your predecessor: a person about whom Pope John Paul wrote in his book "Arise, and Let's Be on Our Way": "I thank God for the presence and help of Cardinal Ratzinger. He is a proven friend," John Paul II wrote.

Holy Father, how did this friendship begin and when did your Holiness meet Cardinal Karol Wojtyla?

Benedict XVI: I him personally during the two pre-conclaves and conclaves of 1978. Naturally I had heard about Cardinal Wojtyla, especially in the context of correspondence between the Polish and German bishops in 1965. The German cardinals told me about the great merits and contribution of the cardinal of Krakow and how he was the soul of this historic correspondence. I had also heard from university friends about his stature as a philosopher and thinker. But as I said, the first personal encounter took place during the conclave of 1978. I liked him from the beginning and, thanks to God, without any merit on my part, the then cardinal immediately made friends with me.


Sunday, October 16, 2005

Campaign to recruit priests started by USCCB

The shortage of priests reflects many different societal factors. Now, determined to reverse that trend, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has started a campaign to recruit priests :

Priests Urged to Recruit Young Men for the Pulpit

Published: October 15, 2005

Faced with wounded morale and diminishing numbers in the priesthood, Roman Catholic bishops in the United States began a program yesterday to remind priests why they serve and to enlist them in a recruitment campaign.

In past generations, it was common for American priests to encourage young men to make lifetime commitments to the church. But a recent poll by the bishops found that one out of three priests were doing that now, said Bishop Blase J. Cupich of Rapid City, S.D., chairman of the bishops' committee on vocations.

"This program," Bishop Cupich said, "aims at having priests step back for a moment, reflect on their own service and their own vocation call and then not only use that as an opportunity to renew themselves, but also to encourage them to share their story with others who can then be called to follow in their footsteps."

The bishops made their announcement as their counterparts from around the world met at a three-week synod in Rome. Among the topics being debated there is how to deal with the worldwide shortage of priests. Although some bishops support allowing priests to marry, many others oppose lifting the celibacy requirement.


Several articles from the USCCB---"Priestly Life and Vocation Summit: Fishers of Men" and "Recruiting Vocations"---give further details.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

To honor JPII, Polish RC Church to build interfaith dialogue center "Be Not Afraid"


Poland Catholic church will build center in honor of late Pope John Paul II

19:00 2005-10-14

Poland's Roman Catholic church plans to build a center devoted to interfaith dialogue in honor of late Pope John Paul II at the site in southern Poland where he toiled during the Nazi occupation of his country, a church official said Friday.

The center is to be named "Be Not Afraid" after one of the Polish-born pontiff's best-known mottos. Plans foresee it being built on land near Krakow where Karol Wojtyla, the future John Paul, performed forced labor in a quarry during World War II, said Rev. Robert Necek, spokesman for the Krakow Archbishop Stanislaw Dziwisz.


Friday, October 14, 2005

Celebrating the anniversary of John Paul II's illustrious pontificate

Thank you, Angry Twins for this tribute to the late great John Paul II:

How are you going to celebrate Pope Day?

On the anniversary date of his election to the Chair of Peter, October 16, Polish national TV will broadcast a live gala that celebrates his incredible life. Long live his memory:

Gala for John Paul II to Be Broadcast Live

WARSAW, Poland, OCT. 13, 2005 ( TVP Polish national television will broadcast live a gala to be held in Warsaw and dedicated to Pope John Paul II.

The broadcast Sunday will also include the first television interview granted by his successor, Benedict XVI.

Oct. 16 has been designated John Paul II Day by the Polish Parliament in memory of the day in 1978 when Cardinal Karol Wojtyla of Krakow was elected to the Chair of Peter. John Paul II died April 2 at age 84.

On that day, Polish television will broadcast the first TV interview granted by Benedict XVI, recorded by Jesuit Father Andrzej Majewski last Sept. 20 in Castel Gandolfo south of Rome.

"During the interview, which lasted more than 15 minutes, the Pope very cordially recalled his predecessor and his contacts with him, especially, his friendship with him," Father Majewski told Vatican Radio after the interview. Benedict XVI also alludes to his "forthcoming visit to Poland," said the priest.


A witness to the power of the Eucharist---testimony from Siberia

Our Holy Father has emphasized not only the beauty of the Eucharist but its power. For those persecuted Christians around the world the Eucharist truly is the Bread of Life:

Fides News
October 14, 2005

“The Eucharist and its miracles”: testimonial from Siberia

Vatican City (Fides Service) - We give a testimonial by Mgr. Massimo Camisasca, founder and Superior general of the Priestly Fraternity of the Missionaries of St Charles Borromeo, on how the faith survived through long years of persecution in Siberia.

“In his homily during Mass for the opening of the Synod of Bishops on 2 October the Pope urged the bishops not only to speak of the beauty of the Eucharist but to draw life from its power. And the Eucharist is vital energy, the tangible sign of Christ’s presence. This emerges clearly from direct experience and stories of my missionaries serving in many different parts of the world.

In Siberia, where the Christian faith was persecuted for over 70 years, miraculously many small Catholic communities survived. Most of these people were farmers of German or Polish origin deported by Stalin to that cold and inhospitable region. All through the long years without a priest or the sacraments, the faith was kept alive thanks to some of the women who led the small communities in prayers and hymn singing.

Since 1991 a group of priests of our Fraternity have worked in the area. They were given a warm welcome by minute groups of Catholics, some of them only two or three people. They had been waiting for someone to bring them Christ and his saving presence in the Eucharist.

One of our priests told me the story of grandmother Agda who lived in Rescjoti a tiny village in the steppe land. Our priest was called to the bedside of Grandmother Agda, babushka (grandmother in Russian) who was 96. When he arrived he was met by her son who said his mother’s condition was serious. When he entered the room grandmother Agda recognised him. Although extremely weak she was overjoyed at the sight of the priest. Fr Francesco recited the Our Father and the Hail Mary. Babushka opened wide her mouth to receive Holy Communion. Her son could not hold back his tears. Neither could the priest, he was certain the woman was a saint.

Grandmother Agda summoned her last energy to receive the Body of Christ with joy and content. As he prayed silently beside her Fr Francesco remembered other meetings. A year earlier after receiving Communion Agda, sat up in bed and began to sing a hymn in German. Her daughter was also there and repeated the words of the hymn a faction later as she heard her mother singing. That day Agda gave birth to her daughter a second time, giving birth to her in the faith. These are the miracles of the Eucharist . (Mgr. Massimo Camisasca) (Agenzia Fides 14/10/2005; righe 32, parole 444)

And now for a little bit of fun...

Thanks to Christifideles for this bit of fun. I'm sure our Holy Father would laugh as well. Hopefully, I won't have to do some extra time in Purgatory...

What happens when you have a German Pope

Thursday, October 13, 2005

As the Vatican discerns how to handle homosexuals in the clergy---pray for God's will

Spirit Daily


It's crunch time in Rome as we pray for the discernment of the Vatican. In front of a new Pope is the new document on how to handle homosexuals in the clergy and rumors have swung back and forth, between those that claim it will be an '"H-bomb" -- a tough document restricting all homosexuals from the priesthood, even if they are celibate -- and those that predict the Vatican will allow those with gay tendencies into the clergy if they can prove that they have been celibate for three years and appear that they will remain so.

We have to believe -- perhaps "hope" is a better word -- that despite recent reports, the Vatican will not blink and that its choice will be the former. The Church hierarchy must be cleansed, and immediately, of homosexuality. We still recall the ways of John Paul II, and it's difficult to see him issuing any document unless it was tough on this particular problem. Under him, homosexuality was dealt with compassionately but as an "intrinsic disorder" (as are other sinful tendencies). This seems to us the Christian route. We can love those with such tendencies at the same time that we realize they should not be ministering but rather should be ministered to.

Then there is the issue of practicality: how could a seminarian with homosexual tendencies (themselves difficult, often, to detect) prove that he has been celibate? And even if he has, is three years long enough? Isn't that number a bit toward the short end?


Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Bob and Mary Schindler to be given Culture of Life Award for disability rights advocacy

Michigan Catholic Radio to Honor Parents Who Fought to Save Their Daughter From Court Ordered Starvation, Oct. 13

To National Desk

Contact: John G. Kruse, Executive Director of Michigan Catholic Radio, 248-568-6530

FERNDALE, Mich., Oct. 12 /Christian Wire Service/ -- WCAR 1090 AM will present the 2005 Culture of Life Award to Bob and Mary Schindler, parents of Terri Schiavo, at the 7th Anniversary celebration of Michigan Catholic Radio on October 13 at the Detroit Marriott Renaissance Center. The Schindlers will speak about their ongoing advocacy for disability rights. The event will begin at 5:30 p.m. and will include a silent auction, full meal and a program featuring video tributes of John Paul II, Terri Schiavo and Fr. Robert Fox of the Fatima Family Apostolate, who is receiving Catholic Radio's Pillar of the Church Award. The 20 member Metropolitan Gospel Choir will perform throughout the evening. Blues singer Sunny Girl will sing the National Anthem. Gold tickets at $150 include a pre reception with the honored guests. Silver tickets are $50. For tickets call 877-327-1090 or visit

The Schindler family gained national and international attention over the course of nearly 20 years as they pursued legal means to preserve the life of their brain injured daughter Terri Schiavo. The battle ended abruptly last March when Terri's feeding tube was removed by court order at the request of her husband Michael and over the objections of the Schindler family, who sought to care for Terri themselves. Through the establishment of the Terri Schindler Schiavo Foundation, the Schindler family continues to raise awareness and seek humane treatment and respect for the lives of the disabled members of society.

Michigan Catholic Radio is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that operates WCAR 1090 AM (Livonia-Detroit) and WOAP 1080 AM (mid-Michigan). All contributions are tax deductible. For tax purposes, tickets are valued at $30. Amounts in excess of that sum are considered contributions.

Pope says: "Communion with God must be followed by communion with others"

Biblical religion is not abstract, says Pope, 'Communion with God must be followed by communion with others'

Vatican City, Oct. 12, 2005 (CNA) - During his general audience this afternoon at the Vatican, Pope Benedict XVI continued his weekly catechesis on the Psalms saying that the holy city of Jerusalem symbolized for ancient Israel, the ideas of security, stability, and God's presence among the people. For Christians today, he said, the Holy City of the Church is supported fully on the foundation of our Redeemer--Jesus Christ.

Speaking to some 50,000 listeners, the Pope spoke on Psalm 121, which tells of "the joy of reaching Jerusalem, the holy city upon which we wish peace."


Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Pope Benedict's 2005 WYD speeches published today in new book, "The Revolution of God"

New book of Pope Benedict's WYD speeches unveiled

Vatican City, Oct. 11, 2005 (CNA) - In the Vatican press office earlier today, Cardinal Camillo Ruini, president of the Italian Episcopal Conference, and Archbishop Stanislaw Rylko, president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, unveiled the new book: 'La Rivolzione di Dio', or 'The Revolution of God', in English. The book is a collection of Pope Benedict's 2005 World Youth Day speeches.

According to the Holy See, the volume, which is being published by the Vatican Publishing House and the St. Paul Publishing House is a collection of the Holy Father's discourses during August's World Youth Day celebration in Cologne, Germany, as well as his general audience of August 24, in which he explained the legacy of World Youth Day.

"In his addresses," Archbishop Rylko told members of the press this morning, "the Pope supplied important elements for a precise pastoral program which draws inspiration from the exemplary spiritual adventure of the Magi. It is a program constructed around three key words: seek, find and adore Christ, the Redeemer of mankind."


Should men with a homosexual inclination be allowed in seminary? --- multiple viewpoints

Father McBrien calls reported change in seminarian document 'a big stand-down' for Vatican (65 articles, updated Tuesday)

Oct. 11 -

Father McBrien calls reported change in seminarian document 'a big stand-down' for Vatican; Father Reese: under Pope John Paul Church was 'pressure cooker,' and now the lid is coming off (Detroit Free Press)

New signs of openness; 'Vatican officials have all but scrapped a controversial proposal to ban gays from seminaries' (Detroit Free Press)

Op-ed: Talk, and walk, message of inclusion (Knoxville Sentinel)

Editorial: Church targets gays in seminaries (Miami Herald)

Document on homosexual seminarians expected next month (Time)

Report: Celibate homosexual men can become priests; decree to require three chaste years (AP)

Michigan priest's book on homosexuality (Renew America)

Episcopal Church cathedral rector, an ex-Catholic denied entrance into seminary in 1975 because of his homosexuality, compares Catholicism to 'abusive relationship' (Allentown Morning Call)

Gay men can be Catholic priests if celibate-- paper (Reuters)


Monday, October 10, 2005

Pope praises newly Blessed Cardinal von Galen for witness of faith & defiance of Nazis

Pope Benedict: newly Blessed von Galen saw with light of faith when intelligent world went blind

Vatican City, Oct. 10, 2005 (CNA) - On Sunday, before leading the weekly Angelus prayer, Pope Benedict visited the relics of the newly blessed Servant of God, Cardinal Clemens August von Galen, the late bishop of Münster, Germany who, the Pope said, was given the gift, through faith, to see clearly when much of the German intelligentsia went blind to the horrors of the Nazi regime.

Speaking off the cuff about the Cardinal, the Holy Father said that, "All people, especially we Germans, are thankful because the Lord gave us this great witness of faith who brought the light of truth to shine in times of darkness, and showed the courage to oppose the power of tyranny."

"But we must also ask ourselves where did he get such intuition from, at a time when intelligent people seemed blind? And where did get the strength to oppose, at a time when even the strong showed themselves to be weak and vile?"


Bishop who denounced Hitler is beatified

10:47 AM EDT on Sunday, October 9, 2005
By FRANCES D'EMILIO / Associated Press

VATICAN CITY — A German bishop whose homilies boldly condemned anti-Semitism and other policies of Hitler's Nazi regime was beatified Sunday in a ceremony at St. Peter's Basilica, moving him a step closer to possible sainthood.

Clemens August von Galen, known as the "Lion of Muenster" for his courageous sermons while bishop of the Germany city, died in 1946, shortly after Pope Pius XII promoted him to cardinal.

Von Galen's homilies were secretly copied and circulated, according to German church officials. He also spoke out against the Nazi campaign to exterminate the mentally ill and handicapped.


Sunday, October 09, 2005

Today in Philadelphia Repent America protests annual homosexual celebration, "OutFest 2005"

We must fight against the moral relativism of our age. Truth is never relative but ever constant. Truth reflects the very nature of God.

As followers of Christ we are to follow the laws of the Lord and point others toward them. We are to point others to Jesus---the Way, the Truth, and the Life. We are called to lead those who do not know Him toward He Who is the Ultimate Truth.

And, when Jesus encounters us in our sin, He, because of His great love for us, does convict us of whatever sin we are indulging in. Even when we are transgressing His law, He does not condemn us (to damnation). He calls us to repentence.

This homily from Fr. Raymond Suriani entitled, "The woman caught in adultery: convicted but not condemned,"an exegesis of John 8:1-11 (NIV) from the Fifth Sunday of Lent (C), given on April 1, 2001 at St. Pius X Church, Westerly, R.I., makes this important distinction between being convicted of sin or being condemned (to Hell).

Because God loves the sinner yet hates the sin, we who love God and our neighbor must follow in His footsteps. We must stand against---but, with a loving opposition---those who would and do promote sin within our culture.

Repent America is taking such a stand against the annual homosexual celebration, "OutFest 2005," today in Philadelphia. May we pray and stand with them as they courageously fight against this evil:

Repent America



PHILADELPHIA - On Sunday, October 9, Repent America (RA) will be coming out to minister the life-changing Gospel of Jesus Christ and to take a stand against the public celebration of sin at "OutFest 2005," an annual homosexual celebration in the public streets of Philadelphia. Despite threats of violence by a militant group of homosexuals, this will be the first year that the Christians with RA will return after being arrested, jailed for 21 hours, and charged with a hate crime for evangelizing at last year's festival.

At the event last year, six men and five women with Repent America were approached by a militant group of homosexuals calling themselves the "Pink Angels". This group was formed by Chuck Volz, a homosexual attorney and senior adviser to Philly Pride Presents, Inc. Philly Pride Presents organize "OutFest" each year, receiving $22,500 from the City of Philadelphia for such events. Upon arrival, the "Pink Angels" blocked access to RA by forming a human chain, refusing to allow the Christians to walk down the public sidewalk. Police intervention only occurred after a elderly woman was attempting to get to her home in the area.

While on the public sidewalk and street inside the event, RA began to open-air preach with the use of Scripture banners, and to distribute Gospel literature, as members of the "Pink Angels" blew loud whistles and carried large signs alongside the Christians to block their message and their access to the event attendees, while others screamed obscenities. The police refused to take action as the Christians were continuously followed, obstructed, and harassed.


Revisiting the origin of life debate to answer the question: "Who is Adam?"

Who Was Adam? -- Evolution/Intelligent Design Debate Trial Underway

For the first time in 80 years, innovative approach catapults the evolution/ID debate from science vs. religion, to science vs. science.

To: National DeskContact: Kathleen Campbell, Campbell Public Relations, 877-540-6022,

News Advisory, Oct. 6 /Christian Wire Service/ -- Internationally respected biochemist and one of the world's leading experts in origin of life research, Fazale "Fuz" Rana, PhD, is available for comment on the validity of teaching "Intelligent Design" in public schools. Has the theory of evolution met its nemesis? Internationally respected biochemist Dr. Fazale 'Fuz' Rana, and world renowned astrophysicist Dr. Hugh Ross think so. These two scientists have developed a creation model that is testable, falsifiable, and predictive. For the first time in 80 years, this innovative approach catapults the evolution/creation debate from science vs. religion, to science vs. science.

"As currently formulated, Intelligent Design is not science. It is not falsifiable and makes no predictions about future scientific discoveries," says Dr. Fazale Rana, one of the world's leading experts in origin of life research.

"At Reasons To Believe, our team of scientists has developed a theory for creation that embraces the latest scientific advances. It is fully testable, falsifiable, and successfully predicts the current discoveries in origin of life research.


Saturday, October 08, 2005

Synod of Bishops concerned with growth of Protestant movements in Latin America

Vatican: Priestly formation key to understanding mass

VATICAN CITY (AP) - A senior Brazilian cardinal on Saturday lamented the rapid growth of Protestant movements in Latin America and wondered aloud how much longer the continent could be called Roman Catholic.

The comments by Cardinal Claudio Hummes to the Synod of Bishops reflected increasing concern in the church about the competition for souls in Latin America and Africa.

Hummes cited Brazilian government and church statistics that found that Brazil's Catholics, who represented about 90 per cent of the country's population during the 1962-65 Second Vatican Council, had fallen to 83 per cent in 1991 and 67 per cent today.

At the same time, for every Catholic priest in Brazil, there are now two Protestant ministers, he said, according to a summary of his remarks released by the Vatican.

"We ask ourselves with anxiety: how much longer will Brazil be a Catholic country?" Hummes said. "Many indications say the same is true for all of Latin America, and also here we ask ourselves: How long will Latin America be a Catholic continent?"

Pope Benedict has spoken out on a few occasions about the threats to the Catholic faith posed by Protestant groups, including on the first day of the conclave that elected him pope.

During a homily April 18 in which he denounced the "dictatorship of relativism" in the world, he cited the groups as well as Marxism, liberalism, atheism and agnosticism as threats to the fundamental truths of the church.


Friday, October 07, 2005

Was Hurricane Katrina a chastisement?: Theologians and politicians weigh in



By Michael H. Brown

I don't get to see television very often, but from I understand a state senator from Alabama, Henry E. "Hank" Erwin Jr. [left], was pilloried the other night in one of those programs where the name of the game is pillorying.

In this case it was for Senator Erwin's view that Hurricane Katrina was God's response to the "gambling casinos, sin, and wickedness" of the Gulf and the senator was attacked by both "left" and "right" for that "radical" viewpoint.

It is curious how frenetically the devil attacks notions of chastisement. Sin and wickedness? "It is the kind of behavior that ultimately brings the judgment of God," Senator Erwin had the nerve to say in a nation where even the churchgoers have forgotten what it says in the Bible.

In New York, a discussion among Protestant theologians led by Bill Moyers seemed to purvey the collective discernment that the hurricanes were no chastisement because -- said one participant -- the Lord would not have done so without warning.

Without warning? How many times have we received warnings! "Warnings year after year by godly evangelists and preachers went unheeded," wrote Senator Erwin for a column in a local paper. "So why were we surprised when finally the hand of judgment fell? Sadly, innocents suffered along with the guilty. Sin always brings suffering to good people as well as the bad. America has been moving away from God. We all need to embrace godliness and churchgoing and good, godly living, and we can get divine protection for that point. The Lord is sending appeals to us. As harsh as it may sound, those hurricanes do say that God is real, and we have to realize sin has consequences."

Meanwhile, back in New York, Moyers made the point that it's dangerous to "read the Bible as literally true," and this report comes at the same time that bishops in England, Wales, and Scotland reportedly advised their flocks not to take the Good Book as an historically accurate document, including the predictions of Revelation.

Fortunately, other Protestants, including Franklin Graham, son of Billy, have differed:

Shortly after the storm hit New Orleans, Graham said, “There's been Satanic worship in New Orleans. There's been sexual perversion. God is going to use that storm to bring a revival. God has a plan. God has a purpose.”

Such is also emphasized by Archbishop Philip M. Hannan, who led the New Orleans archdiocese for 23 years and is still such a visible figure that many refer to him as the "pope of New Orleans." He called the hurricane a "Divine chastisement" and urged Catholics to make sure that others -- especially children and grandchildren -- understood God was sending a message; only if we do, he said, will we correct what he called our nation's "low level" of morality.

Ah: no wonder the devil's frenzy!


Thursday, October 06, 2005

Bishops at General Synod in Rome: Eucharist is the antidote for "culture of death"

Eucharist is antidote for culture of death, say bishops

Vatican City, Oct. 06, 2005 (CNA) - As the 11th General Synod of bishops continued their fourth day of meetings yesterday in Rome, the idea of the Eucharist, as an antidote to what John Paul II coined as the "culture of death", figured prominently in the remarks of many prelates.

Archbishop Juan Francisco Sarasti Jaramillo C.I.M., of Cali Colombia, said in his address that, "The Eucharist is the response to the negative signs of modern culture. In the first instance, in the face of a culture or anti-culture of death that traffics in arms, builds systems of wide-scale destruction, legalizes abortion and authorizes research on human embryos, Jesus defines and gives Himself to us as 'Bread of Life.'"

"In the second instance," the Archbishop continued, "our culture is marked by hatred and terrorism. ... The Eucharist offers the permanent possibility of reconciliation with God and our brethren, an invitation to find reconciliation among ourselves before worshipping the Lord."

He added that, "Another modern trait is that of scientific positivism or relativism, yet the Eucharist reaffirms the reality of the 'mystery' and the value of belief and love as a way to knowledge; with Eucharistic faith, upheld by ecclesial tradition and based on the words of the Lord, we have access to real, though imperfect, certainties. Finally, in the face of the solitude and desperation that undermine mankind today, the Eucharist offers us ... profound companionship and a promise of eternal life that fills us with definitive hope."

Likewise, Archbishop Stanislaw Rylko, who is President of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, said that "Increasing secularization, as well as the spread of religious indifference and of a 'strange forgetfulness of God' - as the Holy Father Benedict XVI calls it - provoke among many baptized of our time a worrying deterioration, if not even loss, of their own Christian identity.

He stressed that, it is in the Eucharistic celebration where lay Catholics realize the fullness of their Christian roles.

"It is in the Eucharist", he said, "that lay Christians fully realize their participation in the triple mission entrusted to them by Christ: priestly, prophetic and royal. ... As the Holy Father recalled in Cologne, the real revolution that changes the world starts with the Eucharist. ... In this way the Eucharist becomes not only the heartbeat of the Church, but also of the world. For this reason true lay spirituality can only be Eucharistic spirituality."


Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Pope to Synod: reverence for Eucharist a means to combat despoiling of “the Lord’s vineyard”


The First Synod after the Conclave Gets Underway. The Pope Is Being Tested

The élite of the Catholic hierarchy worldwide are meeting again in Rome, half a year after the election of Benedict XVI. And they’re evaluating his first steps, beginning with his cleaning house within the Church

by Sandro Magister

ROMA, October 3 – For three weeks beginning at the start of October, 250 cardinals and bishops from all over the world – the élite of the Catholic hierarchy – are meeting in synod in Rome. They will be dealing with the theme that Benedict XVI has put at the center from the beginning of his pontificate: the Eucharist.

An abstract theme? On the contrary. Joseph Ratzinger has been stressing this point for months: it is in the sacrament of the Mass that the Church comes to life; it is here that it has its model, here that it offers itself to the world. He has pointed to the example of Pope Gregory the Great: a great celebrator of the liturgy, a great constructor of civilization.

For Benedict XVI, everything hinges on this. In the homily for the Mass on October 2 in St. Peter’s Basilica, he explained that the opposite of the Eucharist is the devastation of “the Lord’s vineyard”: excluding God from public life in the name of a tolerance which in reality is “hypocrisy,” injustice, “the dominance of power and interests.”

And Christians are not exempt from blame, he warned. Especially the Christians of Europe and the West: “The Lord cries aloud into our ears, too, the words which in Revelation he addressed to the Church of Ephesus: ‘I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent’ (2:5). Our light can also be taken away, and we do well if we let this warning resound in all its gravity within our souls, and cry aloud to the Lord: ‘Help us to convert! Give us all the grace of true renewal! Do not permit your light in our midst to be extinguished! Strengthen our faith, our hope, and our love, that we may bear good fruit!’”

The synod will be a twofold test for the new pope. He will give the pros and cons, as he sees the situation, on the theme of the Eucharist. But he will be under close observation on many other themes.

Benedict XVI has already made known the path he intends to take on a number of them, both within and outside of the Church: with the other Christian churches, the Jews, the Muslims, the atheists.


Tuesday, October 04, 2005

La Stampa publishes 1988 interview with John Paul II; his analysis of Communism of 80's

“Secret interview” with John Paul II published in Italy

Rome, Oct. 04, 2005 (CNA) - The Italian daily La Stampa has published a “secret interview” granted by John Paul II in 1988, in which the late Pontiff addressed a variety of issues, including Communism.

Pope John Paul granted the interview to Polish journalist Jas Gawronski on October 11, 1988, during a dinner at the Vatican, but because of a direct request by the Holy Father in the following days, it was not published.

“The interview has remained secret for all these years,” said Gawronski. He said that during his discussions with the Pope, the Holy Father gave an extensive analysis of the state of Communism in the 80’s, noting especially that “even African countries are seeking to forsake the Soviets and their ideology. They no longer want to have anything to do with the inefficiency and unproductiveness of this system. Perestroika means mainly one thing: how to get free from this system.”

“Some have said,” John Paul continued, “that in general Stalin had greater leadership qualities than Hitler. From the moral point of view, both are reprehensible. If Stalin has been better judged, it is simply because Communism had a more profoundly sustained program than National Socialism. National Socialism and Fascism, which were very closely related, were inhumane ideologies, as well as simplistic and superficial. Communism was and will always be recognized as a system that promotes a greater social justice,” John Paul II said during the interview.


Monday, October 03, 2005

Bild am Sonntag: East German secret service, the Stasi, spied on Pope Benedict from 1974

East Germany's secret police used eight agents to report on Pope Benedict XVI

20:13 2005-10-03

The former East Germany's secret police used a total of eight agents over the years to report on Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, the agency that oversees the Stasi's files said Monday.

Christian Booss, a spokesman for the agency, confirmed a report published Sunday by the Bild am Sonntag weekly that the Stasi spied on Ratzinger starting in 1974.


USA Today

Posted 10/3/2005 12:10 AM

Report: Former East Germans spied on pope

By Melissa Eddy, AP Writer

BERLIN — The former East German secret service considered Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, one of the most dangerous critics of communism and spied on him starting in 1974, a leading weekly reported Sunday.

The Bild am Sonntag released excerpts of vast files showing that the secret police, or Stasi, closely watched Ratzinger for years, collecting biographical details, information from spies and expectations of his next moves.

Ratzinger's friendship with Polish-born Pope John Paul II — who Poles today largely credit with giving them the courage to challenge communism — was viewed by the Stasi as particularly dangerous.


The Anglican Church in America to seek union and "single Eucharist community" with Rome

Anglican group seeks reunion with Rome

Portland, Sep. 30, 2005 (CNA) - The Anglican Church in America has decided to seek union with the Roman Catholic Church. If unification were successful, this would be the first post-Reformation church to reunite with Rome, reports journalist Ken Tatro from “keep me current” in Oregon.

The Anglican Church in America is part of the worldwide Traditional Anglican Communion, which consists of churches that split from the mainstream Anglican Communion in 1979 in opposition to the ordination of women clergy and to changes made to the Book of Common Prayer, which includes the basic doctrines and prayers.

Tatro reported that an international gathering of members of the Traditional Anglican Communion, including their highest-ranking cleric, Archbishop John Hepworth, met at St. Paul’s in Portland last week.

They voted in favor of starting a formal discussion with Rome and eventually creating what is called a “single Eucharist community.” This would allow members of the Traditional Anglican Communion and the Roman Catholic Church to take communion at each other’s churches.


Sunday, October 02, 2005

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem

Please join in the "Day of Prayer for the Peace of Jerusalem." However expressed, in whatever bible version, the Lord in Psalm 122:6 asks us to "pray for the peace of Jerusalem."

In my favorite version of the bible, the Revised Standard Version (RSV),
Psalm 122, verses 6-9 read as follows:

6: Pray for the peace of Jerusalem! "May they prosper who love you! 7: Peace be within your walls, and security within your towers!" 8: For my brethren and companions' sake I will say, "Peace be within you!" 9: For the sake of the house of the LORD our God, I will seek your good.

Pat Robertson of the 700 Club reminds us all of our call to intercede:

October 2: Day to Prayer for Jerusalem's Peace
The 700 Club – Robert Stearns, worship leader and founder of Eagles’ Wings Ministries, is praying for the peace of Jerusalem, and he’s calling others to do the same. A day of prayer for the peace of Jerusalem has been established and is held on the first Sunday of every October each year until the return of Jesus. Last year more than 50,000 churches and 70 nations united in this prayer initiative, and double that number are expected to participate this year on October 3, 2005. Robert and over 500 other major Christian leaders are following God’s mandate from the Psalms to pray for the peace of Jerusalem.

PAT ROBERTSON: Would you please welcome back to The 700 Club Robert Stearns. Robert, I understand 53 churches, 72 nations?

ROBERT STEARNS (Founder Eagles' Wings Ministries): Well, we had an extraordinary response for the first Sunday day of prayer for the peace of Jerusalem last year. You were with us at the Rose Garden in the Knesset. And we had 53,000 churches and 72 nations around the world, 27 languages. The Lord is raising up watchman on the wall to fulfill the biblical mandate to pray for the peace of Jerusalem.

PAT ROBERTSON: That’s what it says. “Blessed are they that love you. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.” And I was there. It coincided, of course, with the Feast of Tabernacles. And that’s coming up very shortly, Rosh Hashanah and then sukkot. This is a key time. Do you see the prophetic significance in this particular feast in the Bible?

ROBERT STEARNS: I really do. I believe that the season of the high holy days is just such a special time, and Christians around the world are awakening to the Jewish roots of the Christian faith and the reality that God has His hand on Israel in such a covenantal and unique way. And so the first Sunday of October day of prayer has been positioned to coincide with the high holy days so that Christians around the world in the season of the high holy days are standing in prayer on behalf of Jerusalem.


Saturday, October 01, 2005

Pope Benedict's prayer intentions for October

October prayer intentions, Pope seeks strength for Christians in hostile society, building up of world missionaries

Vatican City, Sep. 30, 2005 (CNA) - This morning, the Vatican announced Pope Benedict's prayer intentions for the upcoming month of October. In them, the Holy Father focuses his attention on asking God to strengthen Christians in the face of an increasingly hostile secular society.

The Pope's general prayer intention for the month is, "That Christians may not be discouraged by the attacks of secularized society, but with complete trust, may bear witness to their faith and hope."

Likewise, his mission intention is, "That the faithful may join to their fundamental duty of prayer the support also of economic contributions to the missionary works."