Friday, October 31, 2008

Pope sees physicist Hawking at evolution gathering

Reuters Fri Oct 31, 2:12 PM ET
Enlarge photo...

Pope Benedict XVI (R) greets British professor Stephen Hawking during a meeting of science academics at the Vatican October 31, 2008.
(Osservatore Romano/Reuters)

Reuters via Yahoo! News - Oct 31 10:52 AM

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Benedict told a gathering of scientists including the British cosmologist Stephen Hawking on Friday that there was no contradiction between believing in God and empirical science.

Benedict, who briefly met the wheelchair-bound physicist at an event hosted by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, described science as the pursuit of knowledge about God's creation.

"There is no opposition between faith's understanding of creation and the evidence of the empirical sciences," the pontiff said.

"Galileo saw nature as a book whose author is God."

If Obama Wins, History Will Blame the Clergy

Where is the Black Regiment?

By Randall Terry
Founder, Operation Rescue

I am convinced that if Obama wins, future historians will conclude that it was because of the clergy that Obama won. I beg you to let me make my case.

After reading this, if you agree with my sentiments, forward it to your pastor, priest, or bishop. This may be the most soul jarring article he reads during the 2008 election.

If you are a clergymen, please read this all the way through.

Please ponder four critical moments in history:

1- The birth of the Church;

2- The American Revolution;

3- The German Church before and during the holocaust;

4- The Church in America today.

Consider the Church as Recorded in the Book of Acts

The Apostles were commanded to cease preaching in the name of Jesus. They refused to obey the authorities, and defied the authorities to their face, saying: "We must obey God rather than men!" (See Acts 5:29)

They were hunted, beaten, imprisoned – and ultimately – all the early Apostles were martyred except for John the Beloved.

Why were they killed? Because they preached that Jesus is Lord of heaven and earth; that Jesus is the King of kings, that "all authority in heaven and earth" is His (See Matthew 28:18), and that God would make Jesus' enemies a footstool for His feet. (See Acts 2: 34, 35)

That message was illegal to preach. In fact, those who hunted Paul brought charges that the Apostles preached what was not lawful for Romans to hear; things "…contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying there is another King, Jesus." (See Acts 17:7)

They preached that Christ was above the Emperor, and that their first obedience was due to Him. The Roman authorities viewed them as revolutionaries; Heaven viewed them as heroes.

Think of Clergy During the American Revolution

The clergy were such a key part of the Revolution, that King George III called it "the parsons rebellion." The clergy earned the nick-name, "The Black Regiment" because of their role in instigating and sustaining the war effort (and because they wore black robes!)

They preached that tyrants must be resisted; that there was "no King but Jesus;" that according to Romans Chapter 13 the colonists had a duty to resist, and overthrow those brutes who had betrayed their God ordained duty to serve in politics in the fear of God. (Ironically, Romans 13:1-5 is now misquoted and misused by those calling for groveling submission to tyrants)

The British authorities viewed them as traitors, revolutionaries, and criminals. Heaven viewed them as heroes, faithful to the Word of God.

Think of the German Church During the Holocaust

Adolph Hitler declared just after he was voted into power:

The parsons will be made to dig their own graves. They will betray their God to us. They will betray anything for the sake of their miserable little jobs and incomes." (The Nazi Persecution of the Churches, J.S. Conway.)

Martin Niemoller and a handful of others offered surprising resistence: "Not you, Herr Hitler, but God is my Führer." Niemoller, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and a small amount of other clergy – both Catholic and Protestant – were arrested and imprisoned. Many of them perished in concentration camps.

But overall, Hitler's assessment of German clergy proved true. After the war, Martin Niemoller wrote Guilt and Hope, and basically blamed the German clergy for Hitler's rise to power. If only the clergy had spoken out early on, Hitler could have been stopped. The clergy chose silence and safety; they lost the life and soul of their nation in the exchange, and the condemnation of countless generations to come.

Heaven viewed them with tears; history views them in contempt.

Now Compare the American Church Today

Devout protestant and Catholic clergy (and for that matter, devout laymen) like to believe that they have the guts and mettle of the early Church and the American Revolution.

We may even daydream; "If I had been there, I would have stood shoulder to shoulder with the Apostles, and the clergy of the American Revolution."

Likewise, we look with contempt on the cowardice and treachery of German clergy and laity during Hitler's time, thinking: "If I had been there, I would have spoken out. I would have helped the Jews; I would have resisted Hitler."

In reality, these happy daydreams may be delusions.

If you are a clergyman, and someone from your Church forwarded this to you, PLEASE finish reading this. It will only sting for a minute, and the cure offered at the end will be a healing balm for your soul. PLEASE READ THIS TO THE END.

The Prophet Jeremiah said: "If you have raced with men on foot, and they have wearied you, how will you compete with horses? And if in a safe land you fall down, how will you do in the jungle of the Jordan?" (Jeremiah 12:5)

Forgive me for speaking in general terms – and surely there are some exceptions to what I'm about to say – but here it is: The vast majority of American clergy are cut from the cloth of most German clergy under Hitler. They are not like the Apostles in the book of Acts, or the clergy during the American Revolution.

Am I wrong? The early Apostles risked their lives to preach "Jesus is Lord!" The preaching and suffering of the early Church ended the reign of terror from Ceasors.

The clergy of the Revolution risked their "lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor" to foment the American Revolution; a revolution where Christian laymen and clergy shot real bullets to kill their fellow humans. Many Americans died in battle, after heeding the call of the clergy to take up arms.

That is what it took to end the tyranny of King George III, and give birth to this great nation.

What hardships do American Clergy face today

To derail and defeat Obama?

Will they be hunted? No.

Will they be beaten? No.

Will they go to a concentration camp? No.

Will they be executed? No.

The most they will face is annoying letters from the IRS, and maybe some low-grade litigation. And maybe, just maybe, they will have to surrender their tax exempt status.

Let me put it plainly: Is there even one active Catholic Bishop who will risk his life to end the abortion holocaust? Is their even one Evangelical leader who will risk being a martyr to speak out against Obama, and help end the slaughter of babies.

It is not likely, because not even one of them will risk his tax-exempt status. They have run with men and grown weary, how can they run against horses?

In short: The pulpits of America stand silent; they do not resist the baby-killing tyrant named Obama by name, because childish fear has gripped the heart of clergy.

Stated plainly: they have sold their pulpit; they are hirelings. They have agreed to accept "hush money" from the 501(c)3 tax code in exchange for not naming the names of political villains and despots.

Perhaps, like the German Clergy, they are trying to keep their jobs. But as Hitler prophesied, they are betraying their God and digging their graves; and they are selling the soul of their nation in the process.

To the clergy who have made it this far, I ask you: What do you want? The praise of God, or the praise of men? You usually can't have both.

Jesus said: "Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so men persecuted the prophets who were before you." (Matthew 5:10-12)

How Do You Want to be Remembered?

Do you want to be remembered like the Prophets of old, and the early Apostles, and the Revolutionary clergy – who risked all to herald the Gospel of Jesus, and to fight for the lives and rights of the oppressed?

Or do you want to be remembered like the German clergy, who skulked and hid in the shadows, and neither risked much, nor accomplished much, and lost everything?

You can't have it both ways; you can't be a hero and a coward.

Here is a simple cure: Tell the powers that be that you are done wearing the muzzle provided to you by fearful attorneys and the 501(c)3 tax status. Tell them to take it back to hell where it came from. Tell them you are a servant of Christ, not a hireling of the state. Tell them you will put the lives of innocent babies ahead of money.

Tell them you will not stand silent while Obama is elected. Tell them you are Christ's own, and that there is one King: Jesus!

And by the way…the best way to tell them is to ignore them. JUST PREACH! Just say the truth about Obama. Show his vile commitment to kill babies, and then thunder like Elijah and John the Baptist against his villainy.

Walk in the spirit of the early Apostles, and the Revolutionary clergy, not the clergy of Germany.

And you, like your champions, will be viewed from Heaven's viewpoint as a hero.

Here are some final marching orders for Laity:

1) Forward this letter to your pastor, no matter what denomination he is. Beg him to read it all the way through.

2) Send him a personal email, asking him to go to to watch the very short video made for him. We have Catholic and Evangelical versions.

3) Try to get bishop Gracida's radio ad on the air in your area. Go to to download an mp3 file that your radio station can use. Pay for the ad to run out of your own pocket. It is called an independent expenditure.

4) Give any small gift you can to help with our activities. All that we are doing costs money, and we need your help. If you support this message, please help. I beg you, if you can possibly give, please do so right away. Click here to contribute. And no, we are not tax-deductable!

No matter what, please forward this letter to your clergy. Beg him to read it all the way through. And ask him to watch the videos we made for him at

And tell him you will support him when he throws off the 501(c)3 muzzle! Tell him you will defend him! Beg him to have the courage of his heroes and forbearers!

Lift up your voice for the voiceless!

God bless you,

Randall Terry
Founder, Operation Rescue

2.9M Hispanic Voters get Anti-Obama Email from Hispanic Bishop (English Version)

All I can say to this is: Thanks be to God!

Contact: Randall Terry, Founder Operation Rescue, 904-687-9804

WASHINGTON, October 31 /Christian Newswire/ -- Randall Terry and William Greene are available to comment on this project and the recent drop in Catholic support for Obama.

Randall Terry says: "Bishop Gracida's radio ad is causing a massive uproar and major defection from Obama in the Catholic Community. This may be the first time in American history that an election is determined by Hispanics and a Catholic Bishop."

The letter was sent in Spanish. The following text and audio clip From Catholic Bishop Rene H. Gracida was sent this morning (Friday, October 31) to 2.9 Million Hispanic Voters via email.

Bishop Gracida's ad is running on radio and TV in swing states. Here is the English Translation of the Spanish text that was sent to 2.9 million Hispanic voters.

Dear Friends:

We only have days left before a critical election to elect a new president. In this moment, like no other moment in history, Hispanic votes will decide the future of the United States. That means that we have a great weight of responsibility.

During this election, there are many Catholics who have told the Catholic people that it is ok to vote for Obama for president.

That is simply not true. Unfortunately, it is a lie.

Please, read the words of a beloved Hispanic bishop, Bishop Rene H. Gracida, who has faithfully served the Hispanic Catholics of Florida and Texas.

"I am Bishop Rene A. Gracida, reminding all Catholics that they need to vote in these elections with an informed conscience.

A Catholic cannot say that he/she voted in this election in good conscience if he/she votes for a candidate in favor of abortion.

Barak Hussein Obama is a candidate in favor of abortion."

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Pray Pre-Election Novena to "divide and conquer revolutionary men"

I believe we as Americans are embroiled in a great spiritual battle between forces of darkness and forces of light and the deceit of "revolutionary men." At this critical juncture, could you please join me in praying (with fasting, if possible) the following pre-election novena "to divide and conquer revolutionary men" as urged by Catholic Family News:

Catholic Family News urges you to join us in a

Nine-Day Rosary Novena
Prior to the US Election

From October 27 to November. 4.

Please forward this email to as many as possible…

Whether you plan to vote for John McCain, Chuck Baldwin, Ron Paul or no one at all. Join us in the Rosary Novena and in the daily recitation of a special approved prayer against "revolutionary men”.


• Obama is the most pro-abortion candidate in history.
Catholic Bishop Arthur Serratelli of Paterson, NJ, Obama, in a recent column on his diocesan website, effectively compared Obama to Herod. Obama has promised to pass the Freedom of Choice Act. Should Obama keep this promise, said Bishop Serratelli, “not only will many of our freedoms as Americans be taken from us, but the innocent and vulnerable will spill their blood.” The Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA), introduced in the United States Congress in 2004, would remove all restrictions on abortion in the United States, both on the state and federal level. “FOCA goes far beyond guaranteeing the right to an abortion throughout the nine months of pregnancy. It arrogantly prohibits any law or policy interfering with that right,” says Bishop Serratelli. This is the “dark reality” kept secret by propagandists for ‘choice’.”

• Obama vows to fight for the legalization of homosexual marriages and for hate crimes legislation.
In June, Obama sent a letter to the Alice B. Toklas Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Democratic Club saying he supports repealing the Defense of Marriage Act and the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” US military policy. In 2004, Obama sent a letter to a “gay” newspaper in Chicago in which he called the Defense of Marriage Act “abhorrent” and said, “We must vigorously expand hate-crime legislation and be vigilant about how these laws are enacted.” Such pro-homosexual hate crimes legislation is being used around the world to persecute Christians. Last year, a Columbia bishop was jailed for refusing to allow a homosexual into his seminary. “Hate crimes” could also be used against churches that refuse to perform homosexual marriages; and used against schools that teach homosexuality is a sin.

• Even the Wall Street Journal is concerned about an Obama win.
An WSJ article entitled “A Liberal Supermajority” warns of “one of the most profound political ideological shifts in US History. Liberals would dominate the entire government in a way they haven’s since 1965 or 1933” and warned that an Obama victory would unleash “a period of unchecked left-wing ascendancy.” WSJ also noted that an Obama presidency would result in regulatory overkill in the business world; substantial tax hikes; a “green” tax to repel so-called “climate change’; and the “Fairness Doctrine” that would effectively silent conservative ralk radio and political opposition.

Catholics throughout the nation (such as Father John Corapi) are organizing Rosary novena’s on the nine-days prior to election day. Let us unite all of our payers to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The battle of Lepanto was won not so much by superior firepower, but by Catholics praying the rosary to defeat the enemies of God.

Prayer given by Our Lord to Sister Marie de Sainte Pierre (1816-1848 – Apostle of the Holy Face of Jesus), to divide and conquer revolutionary men.

"Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and all the instruments of His Holy Passion that Thou mayest put division in the camp of Thine enemies, for as Thy beloved Son hath said, "a kingdom divided against itself shall fail".

The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass (Tridentine) will be offered for - and in union with — all those who take part in the Novena on October 27 and November 4.

Please email to tell us you will take part in the Rosary Novena:

Thank you.

In the Holy Family,

John Vennari
Editor, Catholic Family News

This page, along with the links containing documentation, can be accessed at

God bless you all and may God bless America!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Cross teaches Christians to renounce pride and choose love, Benedict XVI says

Vatican City, Oct 29, 2008 / 10:50 am (CNA).- In the presence of thousands of people at St. Peter's Square, Pope Benedict XVI continued his weekly teachings on St. Paul, speaking about the central place of the Cross of Jesus Christ in Paul's preaching. The Cross should teach Christians to renounce their own "superiority" and choose love, the Pope underscored.

The Pope began by noting that Paul's "existence was entirely consumed for souls." In his encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus, the Holy Father said, Paul "understood that Jesus had died and risen for all and for him also."

"Both were important," Pope Benedict explained. Jesus really died for all, and he also died for me. Once Paul experienced this love "above all in himself," he became a believer and an apostle, the Holy Father added.
For Paul, his new life in Christ was a daily experience that “salvation was 'grace'," Benedict observed. The "gospel of grace, became for Paul the only way to understand the Cross, the reason not only for his new existence, but also the message in his preaching."

Pope Says John XXIII's Faith Was His Secret

Remembers Predecessor on Election Anniversary

VATICAN CITY, OCT. 29, 2008 ( Faith in Christ and the Church was the secret that made Pope John XXIII a worldwide promoter of peace, Benedict XVI proposed in celebrating the 50th anniversary of the election of the "Good Pope."

The German Pontiff affirmed this in an address Tuesday to pilgrims who gathered in St. Peter's Square to mark the anniversary with a Mass celebrated by the Pope's secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone.

The hour of the Mass recalled the exact hour when, 50 years earlier, Cardinal Angelo Roncalli (1881-1963) was elected to the See of Peter.

Recalling the "gaudium magnum" (great joy) that the Church experienced at seeing the new Pope on the balcony of St. Peter's Basilica, his successor recognized that "it was a prelude and a prophecy of the experience of paternity, which God would offer us abundantly through the words, gestures and ecclesial service of the Good Pope."

"The grace of God prepared a vulnerable and promising season for the Church and for society, and found in docility to the Holy Spirit, which characterized all of John XXIII's life, the good soil to bring to germination concord, hope, unity and peace, for the good of all humanity," he added.

"Pope John presented faith in Christ and belonging to the Church, mother and teacher, as the guarantee of fruitful Christian testimony in the world," Benedict XVI continued. "In the difficult conflicts of his time, the Pope was a man and a pastor of peace, who knew how to open in the East and in the West, unexpected horizons of fraternity among Christians, and dialogue with all."

The German Pope recalled one of John XXIII's famous audiences -- his first Christmas as Pope in 1958 -- when he asked those who had gathered what was the meaning of their meeting. John XXIII himself responded: "The Pope has set his eyes on yours and his heart next to yours."

"I ask Pope John," Benedict XVI concluded, "to allow us to experience the closeness of his gaze and his heart so as to feel that we are truly the family of God."

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Vatican invokes Gandhi in plea to end Orissa violence

END TO VIOLENCE: The Vatican called the Mahatma or ''Great Soul'', as a global icon of non-violence.

IBN live
Published on Tue, Oct 28, 2008 at 21:17, Updated on Tue, Oct 28, 2008 at 21:33 in World section

Vatican City: The Vatican invoked the memory of Indian independence leader Mahatma Gandhi in an appeal on Tuesday for an end to religious violence in India after anti-minority riots killed at least 35 people.

On Sunday, Pope Benedict had called for governments to protect Christian minorities in India and Iraq.

In a written address to majority commmunity, the Vatican office in charge of relations with other religions said Christian and Hindu leaders needed to foster a belief in non-violence among followers.

The Vatican pointed to Mohandas K Gandhi, also known as the Mahatma or ''Great Soul'', as a global icon of non-violence.

''During the course of (Gandhi's) struggle for freedom, he realised that 'an eye for a eye, and soon the whole world is blind,''' Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, head of the Pontifical Council for Inter-Religious Dialogue, said in the address.

''He is a model for non-violence and he led by example to the point of laying down his life because of his refusal to engage in violence.''

Vatican II is still relevant for the Church and society, says Benedict XVI

Vatican City, Oct 28, 2008 / 10:20 am (CNA).- Calling Vatican II “an extraordinary ecclesial event,” Pope Benedict XVI has written to members of an international congress on the pontificate of John Paul II and the council, saying that the council’s documents must continue to be applied to the Church to lead people to Christ and give them hope.

The Pontiff sent the message to the St. Bonaventure Pontifical Theological Faculty which is hosting an international congress that opened today in Rome to discuss the theme, “Vatican Council II on the Pontificate of John Paul II.”

In his letter, Benedict XVI noted that John Paul II “welcomed the fundamental tenets of Vatican II,” making him a “qualified interpreter and coherent witness of the Council.”

John Paul II’s “constant concern was to make everyone aware of the advantages that would ensue from welcoming the conciliar vision, not only for the good of the Church, but also for that of civil society and of the people in it."

"We are all debtors of that extraordinary ecclesial event," Pope Benedict said as he described how the “vast doctrinal patrimony” found in the council’s Dogmatic Constitutions, Declarations and Decrees, “still stimulates us to a deep appraisal of the Word of the Lord in order to apply it to the Church today.”

Before concluding his message, the Pope also discussed St. Bonaventure’s teachings and Vatican II saying that the Church Father “can still offer you valid guidelines with which to approach the conciliar documents in order to seek satisfying answers to the many questions of our time.”

Cardinal Egan: Abortion support equal to Nazism

Cardinal Edward Egan

New York, Oct 28, 2008 / 09:37 am (CNA).- In a strongly worded article published next to a moving photo of an unborn baby in the womb, Cardinal Edward Egan, Archbishop of New York, compared tolerating abortions to the reasoning used by Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin to commit mass murders.

The cardinal begins his column for the latest edition of the archdiocesan newspaper “Catholic New York” by explaining that “the picture on this page is an untouched photograph of a being that has been within its mother for 20 weeks. Please do me the favor of looking at it carefully.”

“Have you any doubt that it is a human being?” Cardinal Egan asks.

“If your answer to this last query is negative, that is, if you have no doubt that the authorities in a civilized society would be duty-bound to protect this innocent human being if someone were to wish to kill it, I would suggest—even insist—that there is not a lot more to be said about the issue of abortion in our society. It is wrong, and it cannot—must not—be tolerated.”

The Archbishop of New York continues by asking: “Why do I not get into defining ‘human being,’ defining ‘person,’ defining ‘living,’ and the rest?”

“Because, I respond, I am sound of mind and endowed with a fine set of eyes, into which I do not believe it is well to cast sand. I looked at the photograph, and I have no doubt about what I saw and what are the duties of a civilized society if what I saw is in danger of being killed by someone who wishes to kill it or, if you prefer, someone who ‘chooses’ to kill it.”

Here is Cardinal Egan's complete column, "In the Holiness of Truth - October 23, 2008" in the Catholic New Yorker.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

AP Sun Oct 26, 8:22 AM ET
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In this photo provided by the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, bishops gather in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican during a Mass celebrated by Pope Benedict XVI on the occasion of the conclusion of the XII bishops' synod, Sunday, Oct. 26, 2008.
(AP Photo/L'Osservatore Romano, HO)

Pope calls on the faithful to mobilize the power of prayer

Manila Bulletin Online
Sunday, October 26, 2008

HIS Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI, recently called on the faithful to mobilize the power of prayer to continue the struggle against evil and every form of violence. Inasmuch as we cannot truly hope to expunge these elements from the surface of the earth, His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI, in his now recognizable mellow but direct manner of leading the flock, basically repeated what his predecessor, the late Pope John Paul II, said almost two decades ago.

Around the world, conflicts among nations and among ethnic groups, a great deal of destruction is caused by syndicates that are well networked within and beyond national boundaries. These syndicates thrive for a number of reasons. First, as they are so intricately structured, the syndicates exact obedience and loyalty from their members, a predisposition that is normally sustained because of the spoils that the system produces, though not necessarily evenly distributed.

The biggest casualties of syndicates are the people whose lives have been wasted, maimed, or extinguished outright by the operations of these syndicates. As these operate and maintain themselves through the exercise of force, they spawn a vicious cycle, every ruthless act answered by an equally merciless act.

This cycle must end. It is truly lamentable that syndicates have produced fear in the hearts of the public that reside in areas within their control. To stop this cycle, it is important for governments to take action and for the public to be mindful of their share to stop the nefarious acts of these syndicates.

As we live in a world with individuals who have fallen from the grace of God and who taunt the Almighty in wicked ways, in praying to end evil and all forms of violence, those who have yet to be swallowed by evil can be insulated from it through sincere prayer.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Has America Lost Its Way?

Bishop Aquila on Returning to Nation's Foundations

FARGO, North Dakota, OCT. 24, 2008 ( Here is an excerpt of the homily given Sunday by Bishop Samuel Aquila of Fargo at the Cathedral of St. Mary.

* * *

Today, Catholic politicians and individual voters on both sides of the aisle have lost the sense of this fundamental principle that underlies every just and enduring society. Most especially, they have lost the sense of the inalienable right to life for the unborn child. Even without considering God in the equation, human life, for every human being, begins at the moment of conception. That is when human life begins. That is when your life began. And that is when Rep. Pelosi’s life began. That is when Sen. Biden’s life began. That is when Sen. Obama’s life began and Sen. McCain’s life began.

Sadly, the dignity of human life from the moment of conception is lost today. The truth nonetheless exists. Our forefathers recognized it but present day politicians and voters do not.

Furthermore, we have lost too this fundamental principle in what it means to pursue happiness. We see the attempted pursuit of happiness without God and the collapse of this pursuit in Wall Street and the economics of today. Greed has guided the hearts of men and women, in which a 40 million dollar bonus is not enough in one year. When you take God out of the equation and life is lived as if he did not exist, the only thing left to pursue is materialism, because there is no life after death, there is no judgment. And so greed guides the hearts of men and women when we lose that basic essential understanding of the presence of God.

We see that abandonment of God’s presence, too, in the area of human sexuality. Fifty percent of marriages end in divorce. Women are treated as sexual toys and objects. People proclaim a “good” in same sex unions, living promiscuously, and moving from one intimate relationship to the next.

Once we lose God in the pursuit of happiness, and once we lose the sense of the dignity of the human person and the God in whose image and likeness we are truly created, then we lose all sense of any moral compass or any moral standard. Without God, can there be any morality at all? Or is it set by the thinking of the day that can change from generation to generation, rooted in no truths that are valid for every person in every generation?

We as a nation stand at a crossroads. There is a fork in the road between the culture of life and the culture of death. The culture of death made great inroads with activist judges in the 1973 court that created a so-called right to abortion. They, like the pharisees and the Herodians, hid behind lies, they hid behind deceit, they hid behind a lack of reason and the majority said, “It is okay to destroy human life in all nine months of pregnancy.”

Judges, politicians and voters who went so far as to state that human life may be destroyed at the beginning are now attacking human life at its end by support for assisted suicide. The next step will be to deny healthcare for the elderly and handicapped because they are no more of any use to society. Once the right to life is no longer understood as a gift from God, but attributed to people by the state, the road to further atrocities against human life is a spiral downward quite rapidly.

What many Catholic politicians and citizens have done by their actions and votes today is to sell their souls, because what they have done is to say, “We will be created in the image and likeness, not of God, but of a Democratic platform, of a Republican platform -- that’s whose image and likeness we will embrace.” There is neither reason nor logic in their statements, but anything to gain power and this compromise leads only to blindness and darkness.

Pope, Orthodox Patriarch Pray Together; Try to Bridge Differences

The Christian Post
By The Associated Press
Fri, Oct. 24 2008 09:01 AM EDT

VATICAN CITY (AP) — The spiritual leader of the world's Orthodox Christians prayed with Pope Benedict XVI in the Sistine Chapel and urged Roman Catholics and Orthodox to work together to combat fundamentalism and to promote religious tolerance.

Benedict praised his guest, Patriarch Bartholomew I, on the occasion of an Orthodox leader's first service in the chapel, which is famous for its frescoes painted by Michelangelo.

Bartholomew's participation in the Oct. 18 Vespers service and speech, in the chapel where popes are elected, is a "joyous experience of unity, perhaps not perfect, but true and deep," Benedict said.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Pope: Adam and Christ Took Contrasting Paths

Says Humility, Not Pride, Is Key to Happiness and Heaven

VATICAN CITY, OCT. 22, 2008 ( To be happy and reach heaven, follow Christ's lead and not Adam's, says Benedict XVI.

In a lesson on Pauline Christology today during the general audience in St. Peter's Square, the Pope explained that Adam's pride ended in his self-destruction, whereas Christ took the opposite route -- that of humility -- and was "greatly exalted" by the Father.

The address was a continuation of a series of reflections the Holy Father has been giving on Paul the Apostle, within the context of the Church's celebration of the Pauline Jubilee Year.

He noted that St. Paul's preaching made clear that "the Resurrection is not an event in itself that is separated from the Death. The risen One is the same One who was crucified. The risen One also had his wounds. […] Paul had understood on the road to Damascus this identification of the risen One with Christ crucified: In that moment, it was revealed with clarity that the Crucified is the risen One and the risen One is the Crucified, who says to Paul, 'Why do you persecute me?'"

Paul's contemplation of this reality leads him to a deep understanding of Christ's "eternal existence in which he is one with the Father," the Pontiff said.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Resurrection is crucial for understanding Paul’s teachings, Benedict explains

Vatican City, Oct 22, 2008 / 12:07 pm (CNA).- In the presence of 17,000 people at St. Peter’s Square, Pope Benedict XVI spoke about the necessity of the Resurrection “in the mystery of salvation” to understand the teaching of St. Paul.

For Paul, the Pope began, Christ "is the principle for understanding the world and discovering the path of history." Unlike the Gospel writers, Paul was “not concerned with narrating the individual episodes of Jesus' life," the Holy Father said, explaining that instead, he “sought to sustain the nascent communities” by concentrating on “announcing Jesus Christ as the 'Lord,' living and present, now among His people."

The signature mark of St. Paul’s teaching is the announcement of the “central fact of ... the death and resurrection of Jesus as the culmination of His earthly journey and as the root of the subsequent development of all Christian faith, of all the reality of the Church,” Pope Benedict explained.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Israel website in 'Nazi pope' row

An exhibit at the Yad Vashem memorial is seen as critical of Pius XII

BBC News
Page last updated at 13:55 GMT, Monday, 20 October 2008 14:55 UK

A photo montage which superimposed a Nazi swastika over Pope Benedict has appeared on a website run by supporters of Israel's leading political party.

The image was later removed from the Yalla Kadima website, apparently on the orders of party leader, Tzipi Livni.

The incident comes amid a row with the Vatican over Israeli claims that the late Pope Pius XII did not do enough to prevent the Jewish holocaust.

Ms Livni is currently trying to form a government and become prime minister.

"Tzipi Livni strongly condemns this and we are working to remove this shameful picture. We strongly oppose this. It doesn't represent Kadima," spokeman Amir Goldstein said shortly before the photo was changed.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

AP Sun Oct 19, 2:07 PM ET
Enlarge photo...

Pope Benedict XVI waves to pilgrims from his pope-mobile after reciting the rosary inside the Basilica of a 19th century shrine in Pompeii, seen in the background, near Naples, southern Italy, Sunday, Oct. 19, 2008. Benedict XVI traveled to a shrine near the ruins of ancient Pompeii on Sunday and prayed for all people in pain or difficulty, saying faith can promote personal and social recovery.
(AP Photo/Franco Castano')

Prayer prepares the way for the Gospel, Pope Benedict says

Vatican City, Oct 19, 2008 / 10:52 am (CNA).- Following Mass in the square in front of the Shrine of Mary, Queen of the Rosary in Pompeii, Italy, Pope Benedict XVI greeted the 30,000 faithful present and invited them to pray for two special intentions: the synod of bishops and World Mission Day. The Holy Father also spoke about today’s beatification of Louis Martin Zélie Guérin, the parents of St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus, patroness of missions, in Lisieux, France.

In this Pauline Year, Pope Benedict recalled St. Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians: “Woe to me if I do not preach the Gospel!”

The Pope continued: “In this month of October, month of missions and of the Rosary, how many faithful and communities pray the Holy Rosary for missionaries and for evangelization! I am, therefore, blessed to find myself here today, in Pompeii, in the most important Shrine dedicated to Our Lady of the Rosary. This, in fact, gives me the opportunity to stress that the primary missionary obligation of each of us is prayer. It is, above all, prayer that prepares the way for the Gospel; it is prayer that opens hearts to the mystery of God and disposes souls to accept the Word of Salvation.”

Friday, October 17, 2008

Pope praises new film for showing JPII’s ‘valor’ and ‘evangelical passion’

Vatican City, Oct 17, 2008 / 10:09 am (CNA).- The Vatican’s Paul VI Hall hosted a screening of a new documentary on the life of Pope John Paul II on Thursday afternoon. Following the film, Pope Benedict XVI praised the affectionate tribute for its ability to convey the “valor and evangelical passion” of the late Pope.

The new film, which is called “Testimony” is based on the book "A Life with Karol" by Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, who was John Paul II´s personal assistant, and the Italian journalist Gian Franco Svidercoschi.

With the final scenes of “Testimony” echoing in the minds of the audience, Pope Benedict offered his reflections on the documentary.

The film "takes our minds back to that late evening of October 16, 1978, thirty years ago today, which has remained engraved in everyone's heart" Benedict XVI said recalling the late Pope´s first words to the crowd waiting to greet their new shepherd, "If I make a mistake [in the language] you will correct me."

Encapsulating the life of the Pontiff, Pope Benedict said, "We could say that the pontificate of John Paul II is enclosed between two expressions: ‘Open the doors to Christ! Do not be afraid,’ and his words on his deathbed: ‘Let me go to the house of the Father’.”

John Paul II: The Man From a Distant Land

Who Taught Us to Not Be Afraid

By Father Thomas Rosica, CSB

VATICAN CITY, OCT. 16, 2008 ( Today marks another of Rome’s and the Vatican’s significant anniversaries taking place during the Twelfth Ordinary Synod of Bishops at the Vatican.

I remember very well this night 30 years ago -- Oct. 16, 1978. I was a 19-year-old university student, driving home from classes at the university, when the cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church elected Cardinal Karol Wojtyla as the 264th Successor to the Apostle Peter. The radio announced that there was white smoke in the evening Roman air. After the sad events of the previous weeks of 1978 in Rome, anxiety and expectation were in my North American air. Little did I ever imagine that night that I would come to know this man, serve him, love him and strive to imitate him.

On that first night in 1978, Pope John Paul II stood on the loggia of St. Peter’s Basilica and opened his arms, his heart and his mind to the world. His refrain would become: “Do not be afraid! Open wide the doors to Christ!” During this synod, John Paul II’s name and memory have been evoked dozens of times by the synod fathers, especially in relation to his now famous letters “Redemptoris Missio” and “Novo Millennio Ineunte.”

There are few places on this planet that have not been touched by Pope John Paul II. He opened the doors to millions of human hearts, bringing to women and men of every race, nation and culture, a message of hope; a message telling us that human dignity is rooted in the fact that each human being is created in the image and likeness of God. He was a living exegesis of the Gospels. He walked his talk.

The final days

At the end of March and the beginning of April in 2005, we were inundated with words, stories, images, and profoundly moving ceremonies coming to us from this very place. We learned once again in the retreating and passing of Pope John Paul II how vast a person he was among us and on the world stage. Our memories of what he was like before his "retreat" or "departure" became suffused with the profound weight of post-mortem insight.

That period of 2005 was an extraordinary time of evangelization, catechesis and education for the universal Church. John Paul II was a bestseller in life and also in death. The Vatican daily newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, got it right on the Wednesday after John Paul II’s death with the huge title on its Wednesday daily Italian edition -- a day normally set aside to cover the Pope's weekly General Audience. The title read "Che Udienza!" (What an audience!) as over 600,000 people passed silently that day through the Vatican basilica to pray before the body of John Paul II.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Aide: Pope John Paul II wounded in 1982 stabbing

AP Thu Oct 16, 2:29 PM ET

In this May 12, 1982 file photo Pope John Paul II is seen on his popemobile after he celebrated a mass in Fatima Square, Portugal, May 12, 1982. The longtime private secretary of the late Pope John Paul II has revealed that the pope was wounded in a 1982 knife attack by a priest in Portugal. Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz makes the revelation in 'Testimony,'' a movie on John Paul's life that was screened for Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican on Thursday, Oct. 16, 2008. It was known that John Paul was assaulted by a knife-wielding Spanish priest while visiting the shrine of Fatima in Portugal to give thanks for surviving an assassination attempt in 1981, when he was shot by a Turkish gunman in St. Peter's Square.
(AP Photo, file)

AP via Yahoo! News
By DANIELA PETROFF, Associated Press Writer
52 minutes ago

VATICAN CITY - The longtime private secretary of the late Pope John Paul II revealed in a film screened Thursday that the pope was lightly wounded in a 1982 knife attack by a priest in Portugal. Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz made the revelation in "Testimony," a movie on John Paul's life that was screened for Pope Benedict XVI and top clergy at the Vatican.

It was known that John Paul was assaulted by a knife-wielding Spanish priest while visiting the shrine of Fatima in Portugal to give thanks for surviving an assassination attempt. He was shot by a Turkish gunman in St. Peter's Square in 1981 and seriously injured.

But it was not known in 1982 that the pope had been cut by the knife.

"Today I can say what up to now we have kept secret," Dziwisz said in the movie. "That priest wounded the Holy Father."

The ultraconservative priest, Juan Maria Fernandez Krohn, was opposed to the reforms adopted by the Catholic Church and attacked the pope in a Fatima square. He was stopped by police and spent several years in jail.

Revelation ‘purifies and exalts’ reason, Pope says

Vatican City, Oct 16, 2008 / 10:35 am (CNA).- Pope Benedict XVI on Thursday declared Pope John Paul II’s encyclical Fides et Ratio to be of “constant relevance” during an address to participants in a conference marking the tenth anniversary of the encyclical’s promulgation. The encyclical, Pope Benedict said, is characterized by its “great openness to reason” at a time when some speculate about reason’s weakness.

“The truth of Revelation is not superimposed on the truth achieved by reason,” Pope Benedict explained. “Rather, it purifies and exalts reason.”

The conference marking the encyclical’s anniversary was organized by the Pontifical Lateran University in collaboration with the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and the World Conference of Catholic University Institutions of Philosophy, the Vatican Information Service reports. Participants in the congress were received by Pope Benedict in a Thursday morning audience.

Speaking at the audience, the Pope described how John Paul II’s encyclical “underlined the importance of uniting faith and reason in a reciprocal relationship” while respecting the autonomy of each. The encyclical addressed an “emerging need” of modern societies by defending “the force of reason and its capacity to arrive at truth” while presenting the faith as a “specific form of knowledge” which opens us to the truth of Revelation.

Heroes: Columbus and Pius XII

Remembering the Truth of Their Faith and Courage

ROME, OCT. 16, 2008 ( Even the ancient Romans understood the importance of gratitude. Marcus Tullius Cicero, orator extraordinaire, extolled that "gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others."

Yet in our modern age we seem to have lost this virtue as revisionist history, cinema and popular literature have vilified those whose achievements have shaped the world we live in today.

This came to mind Sunday, Oct. 12, on what was once known as Columbus Day in commemoration of the day Christopher Columbus first sighted the New World.

This event, which opened the age of discovery, has been since renamed "Indigenous People Day" by some U.S. towns, thus casting into obscurity the courageous and visionary undertaking of the explorer and his patrons who equipped the mission.

Columbus himself has been recast as a greedy, social-climbing tyrant, and while his defects have been blown out of all proportion, his admirable qualities have been simply forgotten.

Ironically, Columbus, the first European man to set foot in America, was the first example of what would later be called "the American dream."

Born of poor parents in Genoa, he immigrated to Spain with only his hard-earned knowledge of seamanship, his desire to get ahead and his profound Catholic faith to sustain him.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

God 'creates the unity of the Church,' teaches the Holy Father

Vatican City, Oct 15, 2008 / 10:17 am (CNA).- Continuing his catechesis on St. Paul, Pope Benedict XVI dedicated today's audience to Paul's teachings on the Church. The Holy Father recalled Paul’s invitation to understand and love the Church ever more deeply, and to work to build her in faith and charity.

Speaking to thousands of faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square, Pope Benedict began his address by noting that the word "Church" in Greek, " ekklesia," comes from the Old Testament and means "assembly of the people of Israel," "summoned by God."

In his First Letter to the Thessalonians, Paul addresses the new Thessalonian community of believers in Christ as the "Church of the Thessalonians." In addition to local Christian communities, the word "Church" refers to the Church as a whole. "The Church of God" precedes the local Christian communities.

The Pope observed that the word "Church" almost always appears with the qualifier "of God." "The unity of God," he continued, "creates the unity of the Church wherever She is." In his Letter to the Ephesians, Paul elaborates on the unity of the Church and presents it as the one Church of God as "spouse of Christ."

In his youth, Paul was an adversary of the Church of Christ because he saw the new movement as a threat to the tradition of the people of God. However, after his encounter with the Risen Christ, Paul understood that the God of Israel had expanded His call to all nations. All were called to be part of the one people of God of the "Church of God" in Christ.

Pope Benedict explained that the fundamental value of Christ and of the "word" that he was proclaiming became suddenly clear for Paul. The Apostle to the Gentiles knew that one was not Christian by coercion. The institutional component was tied to the "living" word, to the proclamation of the living Christ, in which God opens Himself to all peoples.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Benedict at the Table and Jesus on the Road

Showing Us What It Means to “Open the Scriptures”

By Father Thomas Rosica, CSB

VATICAN CITY, OCT. 14, 2008 ( big news today was Pope Benedict's lesson at this morning's session of the synod of bishops.

After listening to the first round of 11 cardinals and bishops deliver their five-minute talks, we heard the solemn pronouncement "Fiat intervallum." (Let there be a break!), which we have heard many times over the past 10 days.

While many of us are used to hearing "Fiat lux" from the Genesis account of creation, or responding with "Fiat mihi senundum verbum tuum" (Be it done to me according to your word) during the Angelus, the words "Fiat intervallum" signal those long desired and merited espresso or caffé latte breaks from the hours of sitting and listening in the "Aula del Sinodo." (When I return to Toronto at the end of the synod, I will begin using "Fiat intervallum" at Salt and Light Television, rather than the crude "breaktime.")

Benedict at the table in the aula

Immediately following the "intervallum," we returned to the synod hall and were informed by Archbishop Eterovic that the "president" of the synod would now like to address us. And the president is the Holy Father! Pope Benedict sat down in his usual spot, put on the professorial glasses, opened his notebook and began speaking to the synodal assembly.

Every single person in the room came to life and paid close attention, including the synod staff, secretaries, "runners" and of course the five language press attaches. We were not given any "script" for this lesson and realized that the Pope was simply reading his own handwriting out of a notebook. Here before a sampling of the world Church was Joseph Ratzinger the professor, sitting among his students, disciples and colleagues, sharing his reflections on what he has seen and heard during the first week of the synod of bishops.

Referring to "Dei Verbum," the Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation, the Pope spoke of the importance of the historical-critical method that finds its roots in John 1:14, the Word becoming flesh. The Pope spoke to us as a father and teacher, reminding the assembly of the importance of Scripture studies that reflect the unity of all Scriptures; studies that are done with and flow from the living tradition of the Church. Our exegesis and analysis of the word of God must always have a theological dimension for we are not simply dealing with a history book of the past but with a Word that is alive in the community of the Church: a Word that is Jesus. When biblical exegesis is divorced from the living, breathing community of faith that is in the Church, exegesis is reduced to historiography and nothing more. The hermeneutic of faith disappears. We reduce everything to human sources and can simply explain everything away. Ultimately, we deny the One about whom the Scriptures speak, the one whose living presence lies underneath the words. When exegesis is divorced from theology, then Scripture will not be the soul of theology. The Pope stressed the intrinsic link between Scripture studies and the theological tradition of the Church. He also stressed the importance of theology that is rooted in the Bible.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Our Lady of Fatima's sixth and last apparition - 13 October 1917 -- miracle of the sun...

The America Needs Fatima Blog
Monday, October 13, 2008

Even the secular Portuguese paper "O Seculo" reported on the seers and on the miracle of the sun. The miracle was witnessed by 70,000 people.


As on the other occasions, the seers first saw a bright light, and then they saw Our Lady over the holm oak.

Lucia: What does Your Grace wish of me?

Our Lady: I wish to tell you that I want a chapel built here in my honor. I am the Lady of the Rosary. Continue to pray the Rosary everyday. The war is going to end, and the soldiers will soon return to their homes.

Lucia: I have many things to ask you: if you would cure some sick persons, and if you would convert some sinners...

Catholics Launch 3,500 Rosary Rallies Asking God to Save America

Contact: Gary Isbell, America Needs Fatima, 717-309-1990SPRING

GROVE, Penn., Oct. 9 /Christian Newswire/ -- At noon on October 11, 3,500 public rosary rallies will take place across America to ask God to intervene and save America from its pressing spiritual, moral, political, financial and national security troubles. October 11 is the Saturday closest to October 13, anniversary of the Fatima miracle of the sun.

The American TFP and its America Needs Fatima campaign are coordinating the events and expect it to be one of the largest network of public rosary rallies ever held.

"October 13 is the day the Miracle of the Sun occurred before 70,000 witnesses in Fatima in 1917," said Robert Ritchie, director of America Needs Fatima. "The date also marks the last apparition of the Blessed Mother, when she asked for conversion, penance, prayer and especially for the recitation of the rosary.

"The America Needs Fatima web site ( offers visitors material to start a rosary rally, such as posters, banners, rosaries, and a detailed map of the nation announcing rally locations by state. Anyone interested in attending a rally can find the nearest location online.

"Amidst today's suffering and uncertainty, more people are turning to the rosary. And there is a compelling reason. It offers hope. It changes lives. It's a great consolation for those who suffer and seek spiritual solutions in this troubled world," continued Mr. Ritchie.

"There's lots of anxiety about the future. I believe that's why 3,500 rally captains volunteered to organize rosary rallies and spread Our Lady's Fatima message," Mr. Ritchie said. "Catholics have great confidence in the Mother of God who promised at Fatima: 'Finally, My Immaculate Heart will triumph.'"

"The phones never stop. We could have possibly had 5,000 rallies if we had enough volunteers to handle all these calls. There's that much interest," Mr. Ritchie concluded.

For more information, visit or call toll-free 866-584-6012.

Holy Father urges the faithful to pray for Christians in India and Iraq

Vatican City, Oct 12, 2008 / 11:03 am (CNA).- Following the canonization Mass for four new saints, Pope Benedict XVI greeted the pilgrims present inviting them to rejoice in the saints canonized today and to pray for the victims of religious persecution in India, Iraq and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Directing his words toward English-speaking pilgrims, in particular the Official Delegation from India and those who came to celebrate the canonization of Saint Alphonsa of the Immaculate Conception, Pope Benedict recalled Alphonsa’s heroic virtues of patience, fortitude and perseverance. In the midst of deep suffering, he explained, they remind us “that God always provides the strength we need to overcome every trial.”

Addressing the violence against Christians in India, the Pope continued, “As the Christian faithful of India give thanks to God for their first native daughter to be presented for public veneration, I wish to assure them of my prayers during this difficult time.¨

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Indian Christians celebrate canonisation of first woman saint

AFP Sun Oct 12, 8:07 AM

An Indian nun pays obeisance at the portrait of Sister Alphonsa at a special mass in Hyderabad on October 12. About 40,000 people attended a ceremony Sunday at which Pope Benedict XVI canonised four new saints, among them Sister Alfonsa, an Indian nun who became the country's first woman saint.
Photo:Noah Seelam/AFP

Yahoo! Canada News
Sun Oct 12, 8:07 AM

VATICAN CITY (AFP) - About 40,000 people attended a ceremony Sunday at which Pope Benedict XVI canonised four new saints, among them Sister Alfonsa, an Indian nun who became the country's first woman saint.

Many of those in St Peter's Square in Rome had come from India, among them large numbers of priests and nuns.

Born in 1910, Sister Alfonsa was so determined to enter a convent that she deliberately stepped into a burning fire to disfigure her feet so that her aunt would stop pressuring her to marry.

She was plagued by serious illness for much of her relatively short life, but was known for her stoicism and compassion. After her death, numerous miracles were attributed to her and her burial place became a pilgrimage site, especially for those seeking relief from ill health.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Pope Benedict commemorates fiftieth anniversary of Pius XII’s death

Vatican City, Oct 9, 2008 / 11:06 am (CNA).- Pope Benedict XVI commemorated the fiftieth anniversary of the death of Servant of God Pope Pius XII on Thursday at a Mass concelebrated with several cardinals. He described his predecessor as one who, during a time of totalitarian ideologies, proposed the ideal of sanctity to "everybody."

The Mass reading from Sirach, Pope Benedict said in his homily, reminds those who follow the Lord that they must be prepared to face “difficult trials and sufferings.” The reading also provides a way to examine the earthly life of Pope Pius XII.

According to the Vatican Information Service, the Pope noted how Pius XII’s service to the Church began under Leo XIII in 1901 and continued under St. Pius X, Benedict XV, and Pius XI.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Paul knew the ‘historical’ Jesus without seeing Him, explains Pope

Vatican City, Oct 8, 2008 / 10:14 am (CNA).- Pope Benedict XVI dedicated today's audience to St. Paul's relationship to the so-called "historical" Jesus. The Holy Father reminded the faithful that for Paul, "Jesus is alive, speaks for us and lives with us."

Speaking to the 25,000 faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square, Pope Benedict began his address by noting that St. Paul himself distinguishes two ways of knowing Jesus. In Paul's Second Letter to the Corinthians, he writes, "(E)ven if we once knew Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know him so no longer." To know someone "according to the flesh," the Pope said, means knowing them from the outside: how someone speaks, moves, etc.

And yet, one does not really know a person from mere externals, he explained. The only way to truly know someone else is with the heart, unlike the Sadducees and Pharisees who only knew Jesus superficially.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Pius XII: The Man and the Pontiff

CNA launches a new section dedicated to Pope Pius XII as the fiftieth anniversary of his death approaches.

Church and State Can Respect Each Other, Says Pope

Points to Italy as Example of Coexistence

VATICAN CITY, OCT. 7, 2008 ( Italy's presidential palace and the Vatican are two symbols of mutual respect for the sovereignty of the state and the Church, says Benedict XVI.

The Pope affirmed this Saturday when he visited the Quirinal Palace, Italy's official presidential residence. He was returning the visit President Giorgio Napolitano made to the Vatican in late 2006.

Responding to the president's greeting, the Holy Father recalled how "at a certain moment in history, this palace became almost a sign of contradiction as, on the one hand, Italy longed to become a unified state and, on the other, the Holy See was concerned with maintaining its own independence as a guarantee of its universal mission. [...] I am referring to the 'Roman question,' which came to an end with the signing of the Lateran Pacts on Feb. 11, 1929."

The Bishop of Rome said his visit served "to confirm the fact that the Quirinal and the Vatican are not two hills that ignore one another or face one another acrimoniously; rather that they are places symbolizing mutual respect for the sovereignty of the state and of the Church, ready to cooperate to promote and serve the integral good of human beings and the peaceful continuance of social coexistence."

Monday, October 06, 2008

Pope says world financial system 'built on sand'

The Pontiff said the banking collapse shows that 'money is nothing'

From Times Online
October 6, 2008
Richard Owen in Rome

Pope Benedict XVI today said that the global credit crisis shows that the world's financial systems are "built on sand" and that only the works of God have "solid reality".

Opening a Synod of Bishops in the Vatican the Pope referred to a passage from St Matthew's Gospel on false prophets, saying ''He who builds only on visible and tangible things like success, career and money builds the house of his life on sand''.

He added: ''We are now seeing, in the collapse of major banks, that money vanishes, it is nothing. All these things that appear to be real are in fact secondary. Only God's words are a solid reality''.

He was referring to Jesus's words in Matthew Chapter 7, beginning "Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves."

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Bishops' synod will pave the way for Biblical studies, says Benedict XVI

Vatican City, Oct 5, 2008 / 09:50 am (CNA).- After celebrating the opening Mass for the 12th general assembly of the Synod of Bishops at the Basilica of St. Paul's Outside the Walls, Pope Benedict XVI made the synod the focus of his words before the recitation of the Angelus. The Holy Father invited his audience to support the work of the synod on the Bible with their prayers, invoking in a special way "the maternal intercession of the Virgin Mary, the perfect Disciple of the Divine Word."

Speaking to 20,000 faithful present in St. Peter's Square, Pope Benedict recalled morning Mass at the Roman basilica and reflected on the origins of bishops’ synods.

"This is an important body, instituted in September of 1965 by my venerable predecessor, the servant of God Paul VI, during the final phase of Vatican Council II, to carry out an order contained in the Decree on the Pastoral Office of Bishops in the Church, 'Christus Dominus'. These are the ends of the synod: foster close union and collaboration between the Pope and the bishops of the entire world; to provide direct and precise information on the situation and problems of the Church; to foster agreement on doctrine and pastoral actions; and to address topics of great importance and relevance."

Friday, October 03, 2008

Italy: Pope reaffirms opposition to birth control

Vatican City, 3 Oct. (AKI) - Pope Benedict XVI on Friday reaffirmed the Catholic Church's condemnation of contraception despite claims that the policy has driven millions of believers away from the church.

The Pope's comments were released on the 40th anniversary of a papal encyclical on the controversial topic to coincide with a congress organised by Sacred Heart Catholic University and the John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and the Family.

"The possibility of procreating a new human life is inherent to the complete giving of the spouses," the Pope said.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Pope Acclaims Faith in Post-communist Lands

Urges Bishops to Keep Flame Alive

VATICAN CITY, OCT. 2, 2008 ( Benedict XVI is encouraging prelates from former communist countries to keep the flame of faith alive in their small communities.

The Pope made this appeal today when he received in separate visits prelates from Kazakhstan and Central Asia, who were in Rome for their five-yearly visit.

In addresses in Italian and Russian, the Holy Father invited the bishops to be grateful that communist repression had not extinguished the faith of their peoples, thanks to the "zealous sacrifices of priests, religious and laypeople." He was addressing prelates from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan.

He went on to acknowledge that the prelates generally minister to very small Catholic communities. In Kyrgyzstan, for example, 2004 statistics showed only 500 Catholics in the apostolic administration. The "sui iuris" mission of Turkmenistan reported only 50 Catholics that same year.

Thus, the Pontiff called on the prelates to be guided by the Holy Spirit and to draw from their past experiences.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Papal Intention Focuses on Synod

VATICAN CITY, SEPT. 30, 2008 ( Benedict XVI is praying this month that the upcoming synod of bishops will help the truth of faith to be transmitted.

The Apostleship of Prayer announced the general intention chosen by the Pope: "That the synod of bishops may help all those engaged in the service of the word of God to transmit the truth of faith courageously in communion with the entire Church."

The 12th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops will open with a Mass at St. Paul Outside the Walls on Oct. 5. It will run through Oct. 26 and focus on the theme "The Word of God in the Life and Mission of the Church."

The Holy Father also chooses an apostolic intention for each month. In October, he will pray that "in this month dedicated to the missions, every Christian community may feel the need to participate in the universal mission with prayer, sacrifice and concrete help."