Monday, January 23, 2017

Litany of the Holy Name of Jesus

V. Lord, have mercy on us.
R. Christ, have mercy on us.
V. Lord, have mercy on us. Jesus, hear us.
R. Jesus, graciously hear us.
V. God the Father of Heaven
R. Have mercy on us.
V. God the Son, Redeemer of the world,
R. Have mercy on us.
V. God the Holy Ghost,
R. Have mercy on us.
V. Holy Trinity, one God,
R. Have mercy on us.
V. Jesus, Son of the living God, R. Have mercy on us.
Jesus, splendor of the Father, [etc.]
Jesus, brightness of eternal light.
Jesus, King of glory.
Jesus, sun of justice.
Jesus, Son of the Virgin Mary.
Jesus, most amiable.
Jesus, most admirable.
Jesus, the mighty God.
Jesus, Father of the world to come.
Jesus, angel of great counsel.
Jesus, most powerful.
Jesus, most patient.
Jesus, most obedient.
Jesus, meek and humble of heart.
Jesus, lover of chastity.
Jesus, lover of us.
Jesus, God of peace.
Jesus, author of life.
Jesus, example of virtues.
Jesus, zealous lover of souls.
Jesus, our God.
Jesus, our refuge.
Jesus, father of the poor.
Jesus, treasure of the faithful.
Jesus, good Shepherd.
Jesus, true light.
Jesus, eternal wisdom.
Jesus, infinite goodness.
Jesus, our way and our life.
Jesus, joy of Angels.
Jesus, King of the Patriarchs.
Jesus, Master of the Apostles.
Jesus, teacher of the Evangelists.
Jesus, strength of Martyrs.
Jesus, light of Confessors.
Jesus, purity of Virgins.
Jesus, crown of all Saints.

V. Be merciful unto us, R. spare us, O Jesus.
V. Be merciful unto us, R. graciously hear us, O Jesus.

V. From all evil, R. deliver us, O Jesus.
From all sin, deliver us, O Jesus.
From Thy wrath, [etc.]
From the snares of the devil.
From the spirit of uncleanness.
From everlasting death.
From the neglect of Thine inspirations.
Through the mystery of Thy holy Incarnation.
Through Thy Nativity.
Through Thy Infancy.
Through Thy most divine Life.
Through Thy labors.
Through Thine agony and passion.
Through Thy cross and dereliction.
Through Thy faintness and weariness.
Through Thy death and burial.
Through Thy Resurrection.
Through Thine Ascension.
Through Thine institution of the most Holy Eucharist.
Through Thy joys.
Through Thy glory.

V. Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
R. spare us, O Jesus.
V. Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
R. graciously hear us, O Jesus.
V. Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
R. have mercy on us, O Jesus.

V. Jesus, hear us.
R. Jesus, graciously hear us.

Let us pray.

O Lord Jesus Christ, Who saidst, "Ask and ye shall receive, seek, and ye shall find, knock, and it shall be opened unto you." Grant, we beseech Thee, to us Thy suppliants, the gift of Thy most divine love, that we may love Thee with our whole heart, and in all our words and works, and never cease from praising Thee.

O Lord, give us a perpetual fear as well as love of Thy Holy Name, for Thou never ceasest to govern those Thou foundest upon the strength of Thy love. Who livest and reignest world without end.

R. Amen.

Duterte lashes out at Catholic priests

How can the Catholic clergy understand the seriousness of the drug problem? They should try shabu.
A joking President Duterte floated the proposal here on Wednesday as scored the Church anew for its supposed hypocrisy and pretensions.

The Roman Catholic Church, the faith of more than 80 percent of Filipinos, has been vocal in expressing concerns over the spate of killings linked to Duterte's brutal war on drugs. 

More than 6,000 suspected drug offenders have been killed since Duterte assumed the presidency.

Some churches even displayed tarpaulins that read "Thou shall not kill," an obvious reference to the alleged extrajudicial killings happening under the administration.

Duterte, who has repeatedly denied that the government is endorsing summary executions, said he cannot understand why the Church keeps on hitting on his anti-drug war.

"I really cannot understand the Church. They know, their parish priests know how serious it (drug problem) is. And yet they say that's 'extra-judicial killing.' You know that if a person is high on drugs, he will fight (with the authorities)," the president said during the 20th anniversary of the Premiere Medical Center here.

"Kaya dapat 'yung ibang pari, mag-shabu para maintindihan nila (Some priests should take shabu so they would understand). I recommend one or two of the bishops," he added, drawing laughs from the audience.

Duterte then issued sweeping statements about Catholic clergy's supposed illicit affairs and homosexual acts.

"Eh sa kanila walang shabu pero asawa meron. Pareho man kami. Ako pati ang mga pari namin sa Davao? Ah pareho. Tag-dalawa, tatlong asawa. Asus (They don't have shabu but they have wives. We are the same. Even the priests in Davao. Each of them have two or three wives)… All the hypocrisy of, pretension," he said.

"When you expose the frailties of your faithful, you are free to shout on the pulpit but you are exempted. What kind of system is that?"

The Catholic Church has said that there is still hope for drug addicts and that the government should help them recover from their vices. Some Catholic organizations and parishes have launched initiatives seeking to rehabilitate drug users and make them productive members of society.

Duterte has repeatedly said that he is ready to kill drug lords who destroy the country and the next generation even if it costs him his life, his honor and the presidency.

He reiterated that his bloody campaign would not stop until the last drug pusher is out of the streets.

"Kaya mga drug lord dito, panahon lang 'yan, panahon lang. Pangdagdag sa greenery sa mga memorial ninyo dito (For the drug lords, it's just a matter of time. They can be added to the greenery of your memorial parks here)," the president said.

From struggle to development: a Dominican’s narrative of the Catholic Church in Vietnam

“My family was the only family area in that area that was Catholic.”

These are the words Sister Kim, a Dominican religious from Vietnam. 

 Currently a master of divinity student at the University of Notre Dame, Sister Kim plans to bring the theology she has learned back to Vietnam to work toward a country that is freely religious and where the dignity of women is upheld.

She was born in 1969 in North Vietnam, where her communist surroundings limited her and her family’s ability to openly practice religion. At the time, the Catholic Church was struggling to survive. 

In 1954 the Council of Geneva had divided Vietnam into northern and southern zones, and Catholicism was persecuted in North Vietnam.

Sister Kim grew up in a large city near Queen of the Rosary Cathedral in Haiphong. The cathedral had the only two practicing Catholic clergy, the bishop and an elderly priest. In 1954, with the impending advent of communism, nearly all priests fled to the South. 

Seminaries closed and Catholics in the villages far from the cathedral could not attend Mass or receive the sacraments. Additionally, Catholics could only work manual labor jobs. Religious discrimination was everywhere.

“I went to a public school where all my classmates were non-Christian,” she recalled. “Because my family was practicing Catholics, we were isolated among our friends and neighbors. We were not allowed to go to University like everybody else, even though we were very good students.”

It was not until 1995 that Sister Kim was able to follow her vocation of becoming a religious, entering the Dominican Sisters of St. Rosa of Lima in South Vietnam. Later, in 2005, the sisters were welcomed into North Vietnam.

Since becoming a religious — amid teaching, becoming a principal at a school for young children and studying — Sister Kim has come to understand her vocation as promoting the inherent dignity of women, as well as learning theology and spreading the truth of the Catholic Church in Vietnam.

“Women in the rural village work with their parents starting at a very early age, even as early as four,” she shared. “Women raised in the villages do not have a childhood: They do not hope for a happy life. Very few are educated beyond elementary school, as education costs money and is seen as unnecessary.” Instead, women are expected to be wives and mothers. Often married young, by the time a woman is in her early 20s she will usually have several children. And while motherhood is a beautiful gift from God, it can be distorted when promoted at the expense of recognizing a woman’s capability to contribute to society in broader ways, she said.

Before coming to South Bend to study, Sister Kim started a program called the Foundation for Poor Children and Young Women, which focuses on promoting human dignity — especially that of women. The program hosts workshops for young women, providing them time and space to listen, build community, play games and pray.

Participants are always in different places in their education; often, they are behind. The foundation seeks to inspire them to understand that they do have value and can learn, and connects this to the inherent dignity they have because they were created in the image and likeness of God.

“In Vietnam now, the situation is very complicated,” Sister Kim shared. No longer is the Catholic Church in Vietnam struggling to survive; rather, there is space for growth and development, although still within the confines of what the government will allow. As of 2015, Catholic universities are permitted: The first one opened in Saigon in September.

For Sister Kim, studying at Holy Cross College and the University of Notre Dame has been an invaluable gift, a gift that will continue to grow and flourish as she continues her studies and then returns home. “I have done a lot of ministry in Vietnam, but with the lack of theological education, I did not have the resources to learn new skills.” She left the country to acquire a theological background in hope that others will not have to do the same.

“After I finish my study, I want to go back to Vietnam and spread theology. The government wants us not to think: They want to do the thinking for everyone. When I go back I will have to be really careful. I want them to know I am not a dangerous person. I am not against the government. I am here to promote human dignity, care for the poor, uphold the dignity of women and promote love of God and neighbor so that the Catholic Church in Vietnam can develop.”

Priest 'had sex with nine women'

Image result for rectory in PaduaAn Italian priest had sex with at least nine women during orgies in the rectory in Padua, sources said Wednesday.

The women came forward after the priest's first lover, a 49-year-old parishioner, reported him saying their relationship had become "too violent".

The priest has been transferred by the local curia.

A second priest has confessed to taking part in the orgies, the sources said.

New moderator for Church of South India

The Bishop of Madhya Kerala, Thomas Oommen, has been chosen to be the new moderator of the Church of South India. He was elected by an overwhelming majority at the CSI Synod meeting at Kottayam in the state of Kerala. 

Bishop Thomas had been the deputy moderator. He succeeds Bishop Govada Dyvasiryvadam who is stepping down after three years in office.  

Bishop Thomas will divide his time between his diocese and the CSI office in Chennai.

Speaking after his election, the Bishop set out his vision for the church which focuses on the importance of Christ surpassing boundaries.

 “The boundaries of the denominations of the Christian Church must become thinner in order to proclaim Jesus in practice. The Church should go to the people and work among them. This is the kind of vibrant Church that I believe in, he said

 “And I believe that we need to continue to take up the cause of ecological concerns, of the rights of dalits and adivasis and the need for gender equality. We will continue to oppose injustice, particularly where it concerns the rights of Dalit Christians.”

He also promised that the church's extensive mission activities would be expanded further.

The Bishop of Dornakal, Vadappally Prasada Rao, was elected deputy moderator.  Revd Daniel Rathnakara Sadananda and Advocate Robert Bruce were each re-elected to serve a second term as general secretary and treasurer respectively.

The 35th Synod has been taking place at the CSI Retreat Centre in Kottayam. The city was in the news recently when it hosted huge celebrations in November to mark the 200th anniversary of the founding of the diocese of Madhya Kerala following the arrival of the CMS missionary, Thomas Norton.

The Synod began with a procession from the diocese office to the Retreat Centre, where delegates were welcomed by the general secretary. The theme of the gathering was ‘Pilgrim Journey Towards Forgiveness and Reconciliation’. The inaugural sermon was delivered by Revd Christopher Ferguson, the general secretary of the World Council of Reformed Churches.  

Among the other guests at the synod were the moderator of the Church of North India, Bishop Pradeep Samantaroy; the general secretary of CNI, Alwan Masih; Revd Roger Gaikwad, the general secretary of the National Council of Churches in India; and Revd Peniel  Jesudason Rufus Rajkumar from the World Council of Churches.

How dialogue with the Jews progressed under recent pontificates

The contribution of Francis’ two immediate predecessors, St. John Paul II and Benedict XVI was crucial. 

But the roots of the dialogue between Catholics and Jews that is celebrated on 17 January with the special Day for Judaism and which was consecrated by Wojtyla and by his many gestures and words,  much deeper. 

After centuries of misunderstandings, humiliation, oppression in Christian Europe, the 20th century marked a change of course, which was undoubtedly triggered by the immense tragedy of the Holocaust.

Readers will recall the example of the famous phrase pronounced by a deeply moved Pius XI in September 1938 during an audience with a group of Belgian Catholics at a time when Europe was on the brink of war: “Anti-Semitism is unacceptable. Spiritually, we are all Semites". 

But it must also be recalled that two months earlier, on 29 July of that same year, Pius XI said the following words to his students at the Propaganda Fide College: “The whole of humankind, is a single, great universal human race. There is no room for special races… Human dignity consists in us being one great family, humankind, the human race. This is the belief of the Church." 

The message was heavily criticised by the German press and branded as being against the culture and dignity of Nazi Germany.

There has been a great deal of discussion and there will continue to be, surrounding the figure an choices of his successor, Pius XII, although current affairs journalism and historiography now offer more objective interpretations of Pacelli’s pontificate. 

Ideologically, he is presented as “Hitler’s Pope”. Without entering into the controversial matter of the so-called “silences”, there are many initiatives that could be cited here, which the Pope himself carried out or agreed to in order to assist and protect Rome’s Jews.

But it is also worth recalling that during high school, Eugenio Pacelli had become friends with a young man named Guido Mendes, who was a member of Rome’s Jewish community. He was the descendent of a reputable family of doctors and medical scholars that dated back to the physician to the royal court of King Charles II of England. 

The day after Pius XII’s death, Dr. Mendes, who at the time was living in Ramat Gan in Israel, told the Jerusalem Post of his friendship with the Pope , which dated back to their days at Liceo Visconti: “Pacelli was the first Pope who back in his youth attended a Shabbat dinner in a Jewish house and informally discussed Jewish theology with eminent members of Rome’s community”. 

In 1938, the future Pius XII, then Secretary of State, did his utmost to help the Mendes family, which had been affected by the shameful anti-Semitic laws promulgated by Italy’s fascist government. 

The cardinal arranged for their safe passage to Switzerland and from here they were able to emigrate to Palestine the following year.

Finally, it should be recalled that Pius XIIwas the first Pope after more than ten centuries who made small modifications in favour of the Jews to the liturgy. Ever since the pontificate of Gregory the Great, the Good Friday liturgy referred to perfidi Judaei and perfidia Judaica

The term “perfidi” in Latin means “misbelievers”. But when texts were introduced in the vernacular and in translation, the Latin term “perfidi” became “perfidious” in English, “perfide” in French, “treulos” in German, “trouweloos” in Dutch and “perfidy” in Italian, clearly suggesting moral condemnation. 

Pius XII, who was asked by the Chief Rabbi of Rome, Israel Zolli, to remove that expression, did not grant the rabbi’s request but had the Congregation of Rites issue a clarification on the matter, which was published on 10 June 1948.

Just over a year later, on 16 October 1949, Jewish professor Jules Isaac, who was received in an audience at Castelgandolfo, pointed out another problem to Pacelli. In the same Good Friday liturgy, unlike in other cases, when prayers were said for the Jews, the people and the priest would not kneel but remained standing. Isaac explained that “the omission of genuflection during the prayer for the Jews, was perhaps even more serious than the mistranslation of perfidus”. 

Finally, some years later, as Pacelli was reforming the Holy Week liturgy, he introduced the genuflection gesture to the prayer for Jews, as was done during other prayers within that rite. These steps, albeit small and hesitant, for sure, were nevertheless – as the then honorary consul of Israel to Milan, Pinchas Lapide wrote – “were the first improvements made in favour of the Jews to be introduced in the Catholic tradition since the Middle Ages and they opened the door to deeper and broader reaching changes”.

It was St. John XXIII, the Pope who stopped his car in front of the Roman Synagogue to greet and bless the Jews who were just leaving the temple, who definitively abolished the expression “perfidi guidei” from the liturgy. In March 1959, Roncalli decided to alter the controversial Good Friday prayer, removing the terms “perfidi” and “perfidia” from the text.

This led to other initiatives by the same Pope to remove other formulas and prayers that may have been offensive toward the Jews: from the reference to deicide in the formula for the consecration of the human race to the sacred heart of Jesus introduced by Leo XIII to those regarding “Iudaica Perfidia” and “Hebraica superstitio” present in the Roman Ritual, during the rite of the conversion of Jews for baptism.

The Council and the “Nostra Aetate”, promulgated by Paul VI,  marked the turning point. 

The text recalls that “what happened” in Jesus’ Passion “cannot be charged against all the Jews, without distinction, then alive, nor against the Jews of today”. 

It states that “the Jews should not be presented as rejected or accursed by God, as if this followed from the Holy Scriptures. All should see to it, then, that in catechetical work or in the preaching of the word of God they do not teach anything that does not conform to the truth of the Gospel and the spirit of Christ.” 

Finally, it specifies that “the Church, mindful of the patrimony she shares with the Jews and moved not by political reasons but by the Gospel's spiritual love, decries hatred, persecutions, displays of anti-Semitism, directed against Jews at any time and by anyone.”

But that momentous change needed to be turned into concrete gestures. The turning point came with John Paul II and is tied to the Pope’s personal life story. The man who rose to the Chair of St. Peter was someone who experienced first-hand the tragedy of war in a devastated Poland. 

Having been born in Wadowice, a small town with a large Jewish community, he had forged many ties with Jewish schoolmates and playmates. Many of them later died in Nazi concentration camps. 

The question mark surrounding their sacrifice would torment John Paul II, who as Pope – as observed by Norberto Hofmann, Secretary of the Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews – felt it was his duty “to personally commit to the development and intensification of the Catholic Church’s friendship with Judaism”. 

On 7 June 1979, Wojtyla visited the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp and prayed before the monument to the Holocaust victims: “Before this gravestone, no one can remain indifferent”.

Even more significant was his visit to the Roman synagogue on 13 April 1986 and his embrace with the Chief Rabbi of Rome, Elio Toaff in front of the Great Temple. The Holy See’s diplomatic recognition of Israel as a state at the end of 1993, marked a further step forward in relations. The “We Remember” document, a reflection on the Holocaust, was published under John Paul II’s pontificate, in 1998. 

In the penitential liturgy of the 2000 Jubilee, Wojtyla asked for forgiveness for the wrongdoings against the people of Israel. Just a few days after the liturgy, John Paul II visited the Holy Land, where he prayed before the Western Wall and visited the Yad-Vashem memorial, praying for the Holocaust victims and meeting some survivors. 

Frequent meetings started to be held with Jewish delegations both in the Vatican and during papal visits abroad.

With Benedict XVI’s election in 2005, came a theologian Pope who had meditated on the special and unique bond between Christians and Jews, more than anyone else. One of his first messages the day after his election, was addressed to Rome’s rabbi, Professor Riccardo Di Segni. Benedict XVI also visited the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp on 28 May 2006 and repeated the gestures of his rpedecessor during a visit to Israel in May 2009. Ratzinger visited the synagogue of Cologne in 2005, of New York in 2008 and of Rome in 2010. 

“Our closeness and spiritual fraternity,” said Benedict XVI in his speech at the Great Temple in Rome, “find in the Holy Bible in Hebrew Sifre Qodesh or "Book of Holiness" their most stable and lasting foundation, which constantly reminds us of our common roots, our history and the rich spiritual patrimony that we share. It is in pondering her own mystery that the Church, the People of God of the New Covenant, discovers her own profound bond with the Jews, who were chosen by the Lord before all others to receive his word.”

After these historic gestures and detailed theological study, the Church, under Pope Francis – who also has a personal history of friendship with the Jewish community in Buenos Aires – has entered the friendship phase, relations have thawed even further, as was demonstrated by the cordiality of his visit to the Roman synagogue in January 2016. 

One of Jorge Mario Bergoglio’s most important texts before he was elected Pope, were his conversations with Argentinian rabbi Abraham Skorka. During his trip to Poland in July 2016, Francis followed in the footsteps of his predecessors, visiting Auschwitz-Birkenau: he chose not to add to the eloquent words already pronounced by his predecessors preferring instead to express himself with total silence.

Release of China's new religious regulations imminent

A top Chinese official has disclosed that the newly amended religious affairs regulations will be released imminently and the State Administration of Religious Affairs (SARA) plans to focus on enforcement.

The national meeting for religious directors across China was held in Beijing on Jan. 9-10, during which SARA's director Wang Zuoan delivered the remarks while setting out his plan for the year ahead.

According to Hong Kong's pro-Beijing daily, Wenweipo, Wang reported that the newly amended Regulations on Religious Affairs would be released after receiving approval from the State Council's executive meeting which will be held on date yet made public.

"The amendment focused on resolving issues related to national security and has strong requirements from the religious sector," Wang said.

The amendment, which completed a one-month public consultation on Oct. 7, is part of President Xi Jinping's strategy on religious management laid out during the National Conference of Religious Work in April 2016.

Observers believe that the amendment is to reinforce the Communist Party's control over religions, minorities and any potential sources of "social disruption."

In the SARA meeting, Wang also emphasized the bureau's work in 2017 would be to implement the spirit of the National Conference of Religious Work, strengthening the rule of law and insisting on Sinicization, that is, to make foreign religions more Chinese.

Religious work "must be [involved with] politics, must be politically clearheaded, must be strict in discipline and must dare to be responsible," Wang said.

Review on religious work in 2016

In the yearly plan for 2016, SARA stated that China would continue electing and ordaining bishops on its own for the Catholic Church in China, that is, without Vatican approval.

In the last quarter of 2016, four episcopal ordinations took place in Shaanxi, Shanxi and Sichuan provinces. However, all the new bishops were approved by both the Vatican and the Chinese government.

The Ninth National Congress of Catholic Representatives was also held as planned. The meeting on Dec. 27-29 elected new leadership for the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association and the Bishops' Conference of the Catholic Church in China.

However, there does not appear to have been much progress on the plan to certify all Catholic priests in China. Church sources told that ID cards for religious clerics have been around for years but no one ever took them seriously.

Catholic priest jailed on rape charges released

Image result for Father Joseph DhanaswamiA Catholic priest arrested and jailed 16 months ago on charges of a raping a minor in the eastern Indian state of Chhattisgarh was released as the prosecution failed to establish the crime.
Father Joseph Dhanaswami from Ambikapur Diocese was arrested on Sept. 11, 2015 on charges of sexually abusing a fourth-grade girl student at the church-run Jyoti Mission High School where he was the principal. He was released on Jan. 9.

"We are relieved. It was a totally fabricated case aimed at tarnishing the image of the church," Bishop Patras Minj of Ambikapur told

The last 16 months were times of "stress and pain for us. We were sure that our priest had not done anything wrong. He is victim of fabrication by people opposed to the church," said Bishop Minj.

The legal process was a long one, with influential factions working toward the priest’s conviction. The state's top court denied bail to the priest on Oct. 26 after prosecutors told the court that a chemical analysis found "semen and human spermatozoa" in the girl's undergarments.

The court was also told on Nov. 9 that a medical examination of the girl showed injuries to her wrists and genitals and that the medical officer was adamant the injuries were "suggestive of sexual intercourse."

However, during the trial witnesses refuted the prosecutor’s case and the evidence soon fell apart. "It was the result of hard work from a team of lawyers from the diocese, prayers of the people," the bishop said.

Father Dhanaswami told that along with him, the school hostel warden Samaritan Sister Christ Maria, and school hostel maid Philomina Kerketta, were also arrested. A court granted bail to the nun on Sept. 23 but rejected bail for the priest and the maid.

"I knew that one day I would be freed, but did not know when. I had full faith in my bishop, diocese and the judiciary," the 45-year-old priest told after his release.

He said the girl was suffering from a skin disease that infected her genitals but her mother and local groups blamed church workers for harming the child.

He said being in the jail was "a very hard experience and quite painful." However, the priest said that it brought him "closer to God and deepened his faith in Him."

"It also gave me a different kind of experience of how people live in jail," he said.

Bishop Minj accused the state’s governing Bharatiya Janata Party and Hindu hard-liners of falsely implicating the priest and putting pressure on state police and authorities. He said that because of pressure the judgment was postponed four times.

The bishop had even sought the intervention of Indian President Pranab Mukherjee to look into the case.

Christians have been at the receiving end of the political activities of the BJP and other Hindu groups that want to make India a Hindu theocratic nation. Christian leaders have reported several attacks against their people, especially among tribal and poorer citizens.

"The attempts are to keep people away from the church," Bishop Minj said.

Christians number less than 1 percent of the population in the Hindu-dominated state, where the church is engaged primarily in education and health care among the poor.

Fire-damaged Delhi church re-dedicated