Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Is this the image of the new Pope?

There is a lot of talk about this 55year old Cardinal from Manila. Here is what wiki has to say about him:

Luis Antonio Tagle (Latin: Aloysius Antonius Tagle) (born June 21, 1957, in Manila) is a Roman Catholic Filipino cardinal, titular-archpriest of the Church of Saint Felix of Cantalice at Centocelle and de facto Primate of the Philippines. Appointed by Pope Benedict XVI, Tagle succeeded the Archbishop Emeritus, Cardinal Gaudencio Rosales. Tagle is also the Professor of Dogmatic Synthesis at the Graduate School of Theology of San Carlos Seminary, the archdiocesan major seminary of Manila, and an Associate Professor of Systematic Theology at the Loyola School of Theology of the Ateneo de Manila University.
Tagle is known for his charismatic nature.He has become involved in many social issues in the Philippines with emphasis on helping the poor and the needy while maintaining opposition against atheism, abortion, contraception, and the Reproductive Health Bill. Tagle currently wields strong religious and political influence as the country's primate, with an estimated 2.8 million professed Roman Catholics in the Archdiocese.

Tagle was installed on the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe and is currently the head of the Metropolitan See of Manila along with its mother church, the Cathedral-Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, as both its metropolitan archbishop and archpriest.

Tagle was made a cardinal by Pope Benedict XVI in a papal consistory on November 24, 2012 at Saint Peter's Basilica in Vatican City.

Despite his appointment as Archbishop of Manila, Tagle is still the presenter of The Word Exposed, a Catholic television programme produced by the Jesuit Communications Foundation, which also maintains a non-official FaceBook account while all his official correspondences and press releases are maintained and released by the Archdiocesan Chancery of Manila.
He is also co-presenter on Kape't Pandasal ("Coffee and Prayer", a pun on the term kape't pandesal or "coffee and salted bread"), an early morning religious inspirational programme partly produced by the same network.

Saturday, 23 February 2013

My mothers bed

When my mother was alive, I would go to her house and chat with her a while. Then I would head off to her room, lie on her bed and proceed to fall asleep. This was a situation that all my siblings found themselves in. Mummy's bed was the comfort, serenity and peace away from their lives. A place that we could feel relaxed enough to fall asleep in the middle of the day.

When you think about it, it is only natural that we all gravitate to mummy's bed. My kids do so now. When they are scared, sick, tired, upset, angry, frustrated or just looking for a hug, my wife and I are sought out (my wife is sought first.. I am the plan B). At night our bed is the comfort zone for bad dreams... or the bigger ones will prefer to rally out the flu in our bed rather than theirs (and that's not good for us).

Even my 50 year old brother would find himself on mummy's bed when he would come by for a visit. 

My mother has passed on now, and I have that bed. My brother still seeks it out, but it is not the same for him now. Even for me, it is not the same. My daughter sleeps in the bed. It offers no comfort or tranquility.

The trick of mummy's bed wasn't the bed...it was that we were coming home.

We were children again... not a care in the world.

Today, Jesus is saying.... you are my child. Don't worry about anything. Just ask and it will be given.

Praise God for that.

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Don't mess with nuns, especially if they carry guns

Thanks to pinktiger355 who I got this image from

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

He who enters the Conclave as Pope, leaves it as a Cardinal

So the Italians have a word to describe a cardinal that is good Pope material. He is called Papabile. Now here is what Wikipedia has to say about the term Papabile:

PAPABILE (Italian pronunciation: [paˈpaːbile], pl. papabili) is an unofficial Italian term first coined by Vaticanologists and now used internationally in many languages to describe a Catholic man, most often a cardinal, who is thought a likely or possible candidate to be elected pope. A literal English translation would be "pope-able" or "one who might become pope".
In some cases the cardinals will choose a papabile candidate. Among the papabili cardinals who have been elected pope are Eugenio Pacelli (Pius XII), Giovanni Battista Montini (Paul VI), and Joseph Ratzinger (Benedict XVI). However, at times the College of cardinals elect a man who was not considered papabile by most Vatican watchers. In recent years those who were elected pope though not considered papabili include John XXIII, John Paul I, and John Paul II. There is a saying among Vaticanologists: "He who enters the conclave as pope, leaves it as a cardinal."
The list of papabili changes as cardinals age. For instance Carlo Maria Martini was thought to be papabile until he retired from his see upon reaching 75 years of age. The list of papabili in the 2005 papal conclave shows who was considered papabile at the death of John Paul II. As Pope Benedict XVI was one of the oldest men on the list, most men on the list remain among his potential successors.

Monday, 18 February 2013

One hour (not two hour) masses on a regular sunday please..

I was having a discussion with my cousin recently. He says he is tired of the long masses. I know his distress. My children always complain that the mass is too long. I wonder if the mass was half an hour if I would still get that complaint. The reality is that there are some parishes that people stay for about two hours in the church.Now that is reduiculous. I have never really paid attention, but I have been told that the dominican masses go on for one hour.. and one hour only.

Well maybe so, but they don't have all the fru fru that our other masses have. We must celebrate our parishioners birthdays, and new people, and visitors, and those from abroad, and those who lost a love one, and those who have aniversaries (of any sort) and then we have the announcements and then on some days we have one parish group thanking some individuals and  there are other reasons that keep us in after the offical mass has ended. Weather people like it or not, this fru fru is important. It helps build a sense of comunity.

The real issue is the time of the homily. Someone once told me that the homily must be of a certain length. Well, I don't know. I have heard some really great homilies that left me so enthused, and others that I really couldn't remember, even after just hearing it minutes before. In this day of entertainment, I don't want to be entertained, but I do want to be fed. I want to hear the word of God and feel compelled to follow it.

It is true that very few people are great orators. Father Mechelle DeVertueil homilies were epic for my children. They understood his homilies. They enjoyed them. His homilies were really just very short explainations of what the scripture told us in the reading and what we are being asked to do. ... very very short. The homilies took just a few minutes.

Some homilies leave an impression. The last nuncio to Port of Spain gave a homily on the Catholic church not being a tent revival. When I made that statement in the newsletter, one particular Charismatic Catholic was very upset. Another homily by an irish priest, Father Tiernan, moved me and my wife to be against the death penalty. Still another homily I heard got me upset with the priest as I interpretted his soliloquay as racist..... so homilies can leave you with some feeling... long or short.

Perhaps what can be said in twenty minutes, can also be said in ten minutes. There is such a thing as over explaining, and repeating yourself. It is a distastful thing to be put into a lecture hall and have the same thing said to you over and over. Similarly, in the over explaining  process, you could loose the AUDIENCE. Loosing an audience is of course bad, because now they are no longer being spiritually fed,  but also they are also loosing interest in going to church... and they become indifferent to the word of God.

Some might find that they are being fed in other parishes or denominations... and that is not good for catholic community.

So in closing I would like to say that I am in agreement with my cousin. The masses should be kept to one hour. I wonder what the Archbishop can do about this.

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Arab King gives land to Catholic church

The King of Bahrain has donated 9,000 square metres of land to the Catholic Church for the construction of a cathedral.

Mgr Camillo Ballin, mccj, Apostolic Vicar of north Arabia, vicariate which includes Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia told Fides that he was in Kuwait when he received a request for a meeting from the King of Bahrain's Minister, Shaykh Ahmed Bin Ateytallah Al Khalifa, who later handed him the deeds to the land.
Mgr Ballin was keen to highlight that the document was dated 11 February, the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes that in Bahrain corresponds to Our Lady of Arabia .

"Our prayers have been answered," writes the Bishop. "Our Lady of Arabia is capable of doing miracles!"
Bishop Ballin said that 13 February he was invited to the royal palace for a meeting with King Hamad bin Issa al-Khalifa with all the religious authorities, and was that he was going to be seated seated next to the King as a guest of honour. He said this would enable him to personally thank the King for this gift. The new church will be Cathedral dedicated to Our Lady of Arabia.

Here is what Wikipedia says about the land:

In August 2012, the Apostolic Vicariate of Northern Arabia was created and its headquarters was decided to be in Bahrain. The largest Catholic church in the Persian Gulf is to be constructed in Awali, south of Manama, the countries capital.The land for the church is being provided by King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa due to a request from Pope Benedict XVI in December 2008, and will cover 9,000 square meters. It will be the headquarters for the Apostolic Vicariate of Northern Arabia, and also open to other Christian denominations. Protests from various Islamist groups have occurred over the donation. Although Bahrain does have a small native Christian population, most Catholics in Bahrain are ex-patriots from India, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Lebanon, and Western countries. Many parishioners are people who cross the border from Saudi Arabia, where there are no churches and it is illegal to be a Christian.There are currently two churches in the country; Sacred Heart Church in the capital Manama, and Our Lady of the Visitation in Awali in central Bahrain.

continuous applause for Pope Benedict

At the Ash Wednesday Mass the faithful broke out in continuous applause for Pope Benedict. A Solemn, yet humble man, he will be missed and while applause is not what we might call liturgical, How can we help ourselves. God bless you Pope Benedict XVI

Pope’s last addresses call on Catholics to stay strong on marriage, abortion, eugenics, euthanasia

ROME, February 13, 2013 (by Hilary White, Rome Correspondent LifeSiteNews.com) –

It was an emotional day at the Vatican as Pope Benedict XVI, in two of his last public addresses, called again on Christians to continue to defend the lives of innocent unborn and vulnerable people and to uphold the sanctity of natural marriage. In this morning’s regular Wednesday general audience he warned that Christians will face great pressure to give up their commitments.

“Even those who come from a Christian family … must renew daily their decision to be Christian, to give God the first place in the face of the temptations continuously suggested by a secularized culture, in the face of the criticism of many of their contemporaries.”

But this must not deter them from proclaiming the truth: “The temptation to set one’s faith aside is always present and conversion becomes a response to God that must be confirmed at various times throughout our lives,” he said.

“It is not easy to be faithful to Christian marriage, to practice mercy in our everyday lives, or to leave space for prayer and inner silence.

“It is not easy to publicly oppose the decisions that many consider to be obvious, such as abortion in the case of an unwanted pregnancy, euthanasia in the case of serious illness, or the selection of embryos to avoid hereditary diseases.”

The tone of the Ash Wednesday homily was sombre, befitting the occasion of both the first day of Lent and the mood of Catholics around the world at Pope Benedict’s almost unprecedented and shocking revelation on Monday. In the homily, he warned ominously against divisions and “sins against the unity of the Church”.
He referred to “the prayers of priests, who, with tears in their eyes,” pray to God, asking, “Spare your people, Lord! Do not let your heritage become a disgrace, a byword among the nations! Why should they say among the peoples, ‘Where is their God?’”

“This prayer leads us to reflect on the importance of witnessing to faith and Christian life, for each of us and our community, so that we can reveal the face of the Church and how this face is, at times, disfigured,” the pope said.

“I am thinking in particular of the sins against the unity of the Church, of the divisions in the body of the Church.”

He called upon those listening to live Lent “in a more intense and evident ecclesial communion, overcoming individualism and rivalry is a humble and precious sign for those who have distanced themselves from the faith or who are indifferent.”

Towards the end of the Mass, the pope stood quietly while prolonged applause erupted spontaneously from the crowd. One observer present said that although the tone of the Mass was deeply reverent, “as all papal Masses have been under this pope, it was simply impossible to stop people pouring out their affection and deep sorrow at his impending departure from the throne of Peter.”

Tuesday, 12 February 2013



This is for all those who like to Hate. You must not criticize. When you see Ashes on a persons forehead, give praise to God for that persons intention to fast, pray and do good works during lent.

Who will be the next Pope? ... here is the list

Well, there is a question we all want to know the answer for. Who will be the next Pope?

On the night of February 28 2013 the diocese of Rome will be "sede vacante" Within 20 days from that date the conclave will be called.

. He is the Cardinal who will announce the new Popes election and the new Pope's NEW NAME. He bestows the Pallium and Tiara to the new Pope.  In the absence of a Pope nearly all the offices of the Roman Curia are suspended, however, Cardinal Jean-Louis will maintain some of the responsibilities and duties of the seat of Saint Peter.

61 are from Europe.(20 from Italy)
19 are from Latin America,
14 are from North America, (11 from USA)
11 are from Africa,
11 are from Asia and
1 is from Oceania.

-- Walter Kasper, president emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.

-- Severino Poletto of Turin, Italy.

-- Juan Sandoval Iniguez of Guadalajara, Mexico.

-- Godfried Danneels of Mechelen-Brussels.

-- Francisco Javier Errazuriz Ossa of Santiago de Chile.

-- Raffaele Farina, retired head of the Vatican Secret Archives and the Vatican Library.

-- Geraldo Majella Agnelo of Sao Salvador da Bahia, Brazil.

-- Joachim Meisner of Cologne, Germany.

-- Raul Vela Chiriboga of Quito, Ecuador.

-- Giovanni Battista Re, former prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.

-- Dionigi Tettamanzi of Milan.

-- Francesco Monterisi, retired secretary of the Congregation for Bishops.

-- Claudio Hummes, retired prefect of the Congregation for Clergy.

-- Carlos Amigo Vallejo of Seville, Spain.

-- Paolo Sardi, a former official in the Vatican Secretariat of State.

-- Paul Josef Cordes, past president of Cor Unum.

-- Franc Rode, retired prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life.

-- Tarcisio Bertone, secretary of state.

-- Julius Darmaatmadja, Jakarta, Indonesia.

-- Jean-Baptiste Pham Minh Man, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

-- Giovanni Lajolo, former president of the commission governing Vatican City State.

-- Antonios Naguib, Alexandria, Egypt.

-- Justin Rigali of Philadelphia.

-- Velasio De Paolis, papal delegate overseeing reform of the Legionaries of Christ and Regnum Christi.

-- Santos Abril Castello, archpriest of Basilica of St. Mary Major.

-- Jose da Cruz Policarpo, Lisbon, Portugal.

-- Roger Mahony, retired archbishop of Los Angeles.

-- Julio Terrazas Sandoval of Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia.

-- Ivan Dias, former prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.

-- Karl Lehmann of Mainz, Germany.

-- William Joseph Levada, retired prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

-- Anthony Olubunmi Okogie of Lagos, Nigeria.

-- Jean-Claude Turcotte of Montreal.

-- Antonio Maria Rouco Varela of Madrid.

-- Jaime Ortega Alamino of Havana.

-- Nicolas Lopez Rodriguez of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

-- Ennio Antonelli of Florence, Italy.

-- Theodore-Adrien Sarr of Dakar, Senegal.

-- Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires, Argentina.

-- Francis George of Chicago.

-- Audrys Juozas Backis Vilnius, Lithuania.

-- Raymundo Damasceno Assis of Aparecida, Brazil.

-- Attilio Nicora, president emeritus of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See.

-- Lluis Martinez Sistach of Barcelona, Spain.

-- Antonio Maria Veglio, president of the Pontifical Council for Migrants and Travelers.

-- Paolo Romeo of Palermo, Italy.

-- Francesco Coccopalmerio, president of the Pontifical Council for Interpreting Legislative Texts.

-- Keith O'Brien of St. Andrews and Edinburgh, Scotland.

-- Manuel Monteiro de Castro, head of the Apostolic Penitentiary.

-- Carlo Caffarra, of Bologna, Italy.

-- Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for Saints' Causes.

-- Edwin F. O'Brien, grand master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre.

-- Stanislaw Dziwisz of Krakow, Poland.

-- John Tong Hon of Hong Kong.

-- Sean Brady of Armagh, Northern Ireland.

-- Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya of Kinshasa, Congo.

-- Zenon Grocholewski, prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education.

-- Telesphore Toppo, of Ranchi, India.

-- Bechara Rai, Maronite patriarch.

-- Agostino Vallini, papal vicar for Rome.

-- Donald W. Wuerl of Washington.

-- Gabriel Zubeir Wako of Khartoum, Sudan.

-- Wilfrid F. Napier of Durban, South Africa.

-- George Pell of Sydney.

-- Angelo Scola of Milan.

-- Norberto Rivera Carrera of Mexico City.

-- Jorge Urosa Savino of Caracas, Venezuela.

-- Ruben Salazar Gomez of Bogota, Colombia.

-- Giuseppe Bertello, president of the Governorate of Vatican City State.

-- Gianfranco Ravasi, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture.

-- Andre Vingt-Trois of Paris.

-- Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga of Tegucigalpa, Honduras.

-- Angelo Bagnasco of Genoa, Italy.

-- Domenico Calcagno, president of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Holy See.

-- Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue.

-- George Alencherry of Ernakulam-Angamaly, major archbishop of Syro-Malabar Catholic Church.

-- Dominik Duka of Prague, Czech Republic.

-- Crescenzio Sepe of Naples, Italy.

-- Giuseppe Versaldi, president of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See.

-- Angelo Comastri, archpriest of St. Peter's Basilica.

-- Leonardo Sandri, prefect of the Congregation for Eastern Churches.

-- Juan Cipriani Thorne of Lima, Peru.

-- John Olorunfemi Onaiyekan of Abuja, Nigeria.

-- Marc Ouellet, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.

-- Sean Patrick O'Malley of Boston.

-- Polycarp Pengo of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

-- Mauro Piacenza, prefect of the Congregation for Clergy.

-- Jean-Pierre Ricard of Bordeaux, France.

-- Oswald Gracias of Mumbai, India.

-- John Njue of Nairobi, Kenya.

-- Christoph Schonborn of Vienna.

-- Robert Sarah, president of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum.

-- Stanislaw Rylko, president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity.

-- Vinko Puljic of Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina.

-- Antonio Canizares Llovera, prefect of the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments.

-- Fernando Filoni, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.

-- Thomas C. Collins of Toronto.

-- Giuseppe Betori of Florence, Italy.

-- Joao Braz de Aviz, prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life.

-- Albert Malcom Ranjith of Colombo, Sri Lanka.

-- Raymond L. Burke, prefect of the Supreme Court of the Apostolic Signature.

-- Peter Turkson, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.

-- Francisco Robles Ortega of Guadalajara, Mexico.

-- Josip Bozanic of Zagreb, Croatia.

-- Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston.

-- Odilo Pedro Scherer of Sao Paulo.

-- James M. Harvey, archpriest of the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls.

-- Kazimierz Nycz of Warsaw, Poland.

-- Timothy M. Dolan of New York.

-- Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.

-- Philippe Barbarin of Lyon, France.

-- Peter Erdo of Esztergom-Budapest, Hungary.

-- Willem Jacobus Eijk of Utrecht, Netherlands.

-- Reinhard Marx of Munich and Freising, Germany.

-- Rainer Maria Woelki of Berlin.

-- Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila, Philippines.

-- Baselios Cleemis Thottunkal, major archbishop of the Syro-Malankara Catholic Church.

Marion O'Callaghan talks about old time Trinidad Carnival

I read a very interesting article by Marion O'Callaghan in the Newsday of Monday February 11th 2013. Marion is a Trinidadian Social Anthropologist, and a Catholic. Her article talks about the early days of Carnival.... Interesting from a Catholic viewpoint. 

There was a time when Calypsos were forbiden during lent, but that time has past. The respect for Christmas has also past. Now we say CARNIVAL IS OUR CULTURE, and Catholic Culture has been pushed aside, never mind that it was during my lifetime that the Catholic seasons were trampled upon by those who believed that Calypso music was more important than Catholic faith. It should be noted that even during the early days of Calypso, the music was exported, more than it is today, despite not being played during lent. Here is what Marion says about Carnival back in the day:

Long time Carnival season began on January 7. It followed Christmas. The taking down of Christmas decorations on January 6 ensured that no one would be busied from that house in the New Year.
The All Saints Epiphany candle lit procession through the streets, assured us that Christmas was over. The Carnival Season could begin. So could the warnings. They came from a consortium of Ministers and Pastors, ie from Adventists, “Small Churches”, Baptists, Presbyterians and Methodists. Jehovahs were yet to burst on the scene. Pentecostals were cantoned in Gallus Street. The solemn warning was that the world would end at Carnival. The Lord would descend to divide the sheep from the goats. The goats would be sent to burn in hell fires (we were yet to have that fashion bequeathed to us by Eric Williams, ie the crematorium), the sheep would be taken up into a heaven of milk and honey.

The goats were those who “played mas”. Those days are far away from our own. Then, the only tangible sins within Carnival were for the Consortium of Doomsdayers low class calypso tents forbidden to decent women, drinking rum in the streets, wearing a mask or playing mas’. The mask was not only of Carnival. It was, like women talking politics, a class symbol. Upper class women wore dominoes, went around on trucks or in roped-around bands and threw confetti at the crowds.

The working class wore full masks, usually very pink and very false. The middle class wore neither. They were as ambiguous about their women playing “pretty, pretty mas” as they were over living in Woodbrook or Newtown. The Dominoes were usually subject to (the then Archbishop) Finbar Ryan’s razor tongue and lived in St Clair.
You can read the entire article HERE.

Saint Malachy - prophecy of the Popes - the last 10 ...again

On Tuesday, March 15, 2011, I posted the following...

Saint Malachy - prophecy of the Popes - the last 10

There is a supposed Prophecy of the last 112 popes of the Catholic Church begining with Pope Celestine II (elected in 1143) and concluding with a pope described in the prophecy as "Peter the Roman", whose pontificate will end in the destruction of the city of Rome. Here is the list of the fianl 10. You can check out the full list on Wikipedia:

Pope Benedict XV (Religio depopulata)The motto means "religions laid waste". During Pope Benedict XV's reign, four significant events occurred:

1. the apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Fátima in 1917
2. World War I, which killed 20 million people in Europe,
3. Spanish flu, the 1918 flu pandemic which killed 50–100 million people worldwide
4. the October Revolution in Russia, which established the atheist Soviet Union.

Pope Pius XI(Fides intrepida)The motto means "intrepid faith". This pope released the encyclical Mit Brennender Sorge which condemned Nazi racism and also signed agreements with Fascist Italy which, among other things, gave the Vatican sovereignty, established the pope as head of state, and added 700 million lire to the church coffers.

Pope Pius XII (Pastor angelicus)The motto means "angelic shepherd". This pope was known to be very mystical, and it was believed that he received visions. His writings added greatly to understanding of Catholic beliefs and church doctrine. During his reign, Pius exercised Papal Infallibility in defining dogma when he issued, on November 1, 1950 an apostolic constitution, Munificentissimus Deus, which defines ex cathedra the dogma of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into heaven, on the request of the heavenly father. He was declared Venerable in 2009.

Pope John XXIII (Pastor et nauta)"Pastor et nauta" translates to "shepherd and sailor". Prior to his election he was patriarch of Venice, which is a maritime city, famous for its waterways and gondolas.

According to Peter Bander in The Prophecies of Malachy, during the conclave which was to elect John XXIII, Cardinal Spellman (who did not become pope), evidently having taken Malachy's forecast that the next pope would be "pastor and mariner" literally, rented a boat, filled it with sheep and sailed up and down the Tiber.

Pope Paul VI (Flos florum)Pope Paul VI, is described in the prophecies as "flos florum" or "flower of flowers". His personal arms bore three fleurs-de-lis, the heraldic charge best known as that in the arms of the French monarchy. Fleur-de-lis literally means "flower of the lily": yet the medieval flower par excellence was the rose[citation needed], not the lily; and many popes have borne various flowers in their arms.

The fleur-de-lys has the meaning of purity and chastity in Catholic religion. This is based upon scripture. Paul VI published his encyclical Humanae Vitae subtitled On Human Life, on July 25, 1968. In this encyclical he reaffirmed the Catholic Church's traditional condemnation of artificial birth control.

Pope John Paul I (De medietate lunae)"De medietate lunae" translates to "from the midst of the moon" or "from the half moon". It has also been interpreted as "De media aetate lunae", meaning "of the middle age of the moon".

Albino Luciani, who later became Pope John Paul I, was born in Canale d'Agordo, diocese of Belluno, which name is similar to bella luna or beautiful moon.
He was elected on August 26, 1978, the day after the moon reached its last quarter, and reigned for 33 days, approximately five days longer than a lunar cycle. He died the day before the new moon. However, a much simpler explanation might be that he was born on the day of the half moon: on October 17, 1912, the moon was in its first quarter.

Others point to his name before becoming pope, Albino Luciani. Albino is related to "albus", white, and "Luciani", derived from "Lucius", is ultimately related to the Latin word lux "light", whence "white light". Still others have linked "half-moon" to the smile often exhibited by John Paul I, who is remembered by many as the "smiling Pope."

Pope John Paul II (De labore solis).The prophetic motto corresponding to Pope John Paul II is "De labore solis", which literally means "Of the labor (work/giving birth) of the sun"; but "labor solis" is a common Latin expression that means a solar eclipse.

There are a variety of explanations that have been given to explain the motto:

Karol Jozef Wojtyła, who later became Pope John Paul II, was born on 18 May 1920, the day of a partial solar eclipse over the Indian Ocean, and buried on 8 April 200, the day of a rare hybrid eclipse over the south-western Pacific and South America.
During World War II, Karol Wojtyła worked in a quarry, "laboring in the sunlight".
John Paul II introduced the Luminous Mysteries to the Rosary.

Pope Benedict XVI (Gloria olivae)"Gloria olivae" or "glory of the olive", is the last short phrase on the list.

Prior to the papal conclave, this motto led to speculation that the next pontiff would be from the Order of Saint Benedict, whose symbols include the olive branch.
Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, elected in April 2005, is not a Benedictine, but did choose Benedict XVI as his regnal name, partially named after Benedictine founder Benedict of Nursia, which might be regarded as a fulfillment of this prophecy.
By choosing the name Benedict, the Pope became linked with St. Benedict, who in turn is distantly connected to the Olivetans, a small sub-order of Benedictines. Although it is frequently stated that the Order of St Benedict is also known as that of the Olivetans, this is not true: while all Olivetans are Benedictines, few Benedictines are Olivetans.

On 5 April 1993, the future Pope Benedict XVI was installed as the cardinal bishop of Velletri-Segni. Velletri's coat of arms are emblazoned with three olive trees. It was while Cardinal Bishop of the Sees of Ostia and Velletri-Segni that Cardinal Ratzinger took part in the 2005 Conclave, in which he was elected Pope.

Pope Benedict XVI was born on 16 April, the feast day of Saint Benedict Joseph Labre (26 March 1748 – 16 April 1783), also known as the Holy Pilgrim, with whom the Pope now shares both names, Benedict and Joseph. St. Benedict Labre, however, is not associated with olives, Olivetans or Mount Olivet in any way.

Petrus Romanus

The notation that goes with this Pope is translated as folows: "In the last persecution of the Holy Roman Church, Peter the Roman will hold the see, who will pasture his sheep in many tribulations: and when these things are finished, the city of seven hills will be destroyed, and the terrible judge will judge his people."

However, in the 1595 Lignum Vitae, it is unclear whether the tribulation is related to Gloria Olivae which precedes it, or to Petrus Romanus, which follows it.

There is, also, a claim that the original list written by St. Malachy, does not contain a reference to Petrus Romanus and that the last lines were added to the printed text in Wyon's Lignum Vitæ. This, however, cannot be proved, as the original manuscript (if any) probably no longer exists.

Pope Benedict XVI Resigns. Who will be the next Pope?

 It was monday morning.The island of Trinidad was embroiled in Carnival... the J'Ouvert  (or in english: I open) celebration was almost at en end. The electrical power went out and being bored I decided to get in my car to look for some breakfast. Switching the station to BBC I was dumbfounded to learn that Pope Benedict XVI had resigned. Who or what made him resign? Was he being run out of Rome? All sorts of things went through my mind.

You know I never took the end of the world (dec 2012) prophecy seriously. I am wondering about the next Pope though. Will he be Peter the Roman, of the St Malachy Prophecy. Even though the Church says that the prophecy is false, one can't help but wonder. About the next Pope the Prophecy states:

Peter the Roman will nourish the sheep in many tribulations; when they are finished, the city of seven hills will be destroyed, and the dreadful judge will judge his people. The end.

I am sorry to see Pope Benedict resign, but I do agree with one political pundit, Benedict has made it OK for Popes to resign. He has ensured dignity to the position of the Pope. He has given up the position of power with a humility that is not common in todays world. God bless you Your Holiness.

There are many people who have published part of the Pope Benedict's resignation speech, I have chosen to publish the whole thing. Here it is:
"Dear Brothers,
I have convoked you to this Consistory, not only for the three canonizations, but also to communicate to you a decision of great importance for the life of the Church. After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God, I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry. I am well aware that this ministry, due to its essential spiritual nature, must be carried out not only with words and deeds, but no less with prayer and suffering.
"However, in today's world, subject to so many rapid changes and shaken by questions of deep relevance for the life of faith, in order to govern the bark of Saint Peter and proclaim the Gospel, both strength of mind and body are necessary, strength which in the last few months, has deteriorated in me to the extent that I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me.
"For this reason, and well aware of the seriousness of this act, with full freedom I declare that I renounce the ministry of Bishop of Rome, Successor of Saint Peter, entrusted to me by the Cardinals on 19 April 2005, in such a way, that as from 28 February 2013, at 20:00 hours, the See of Rome, the See of Saint Peter, will be vacant and a Conclave to elect the new Supreme Pontiff will have to be convoked by those whose competence it is..
Dear Brothers, I thank you most sincerely for all the love and work with which you have supported me in my ministry and I ask pardon for all my defects. And now, let us entrust the Holy Church to the care of Our Supreme Pastor, Our Lord Jesus Christ, and implore his holy Mother Mary, so that she may assist the Cardinal Fathers with her maternal solicitude, in electing a new Supreme Pontiff.
"With regard to myself, I wish to also devotedly serve the Holy Church of God in the future through a life dedicated to prayer."

Friday, 8 February 2013

Catholic Church in Trinidad allow HPV Vaccinations to proceed, but with a but.

In what seems to be a well thought out response the Catholic Church in Trinidad and Tobago has decided to allow the vaccination of girls attending Catholic Schools. - You see Mr Minister, we can be accomodating, if you are willing to be....

In an article entitled U-Turn on HPV Vaccine, written by Kalifa Clyne in the Guardian Newspaper of February 8th 2013, we read the following:
The Roman Catholic Church has made a U-turn on its decision not to allow the inoculation of female students in their schools with the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine. The vaccination programme is piloted by the Ministry of Health but the decision by the Catholic Board several weeks ago caused the ministry to rethink its plans and offer the service instead at all public health facilities in T&T.
The RC Church, however, sent out a release yesterday, saying it had agreed to allow the Gardasil vaccine to be administered in its schools but under specific conditions. The conditions require the ministry to provide full disclosure about the vaccine to enable parents to make an informed decision. The information requested by the church includes the virus strains not covered by the vaccine, the period for which the vaccine is effective, situations in which the vaccine should not be used and the full range of possible side effects.
The church also called for a “systematic programme” to monitor students after they receive the vaccine. The church’s initial concerns stemmed from the fact that Gardasil’s United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) approval had been fast-tracked over a two-year period and there had been reports of negative side effects, including death. The release said an agreement had been reached with the ministry to make certain amendments to the brochure.
These amendments would include inserting information that will encourage cancer screening and pap smears in later life and locations where this can be obtained and the full range of side effects.

“The archdiocese shares the concern of the ministry over the high incidence of cervical cancer in T&T and supports the goal of reducing the incidence of this disease and preventing deaths that result from cervical cancer,” said the release.

It encouraged students to reserve sexual activity to within marriage and get regular pap smears. “Parents are urged to learn the medical facts concerning this vaccine and to consider the spiritual, emotional, moral, and physical health of their daughters in making their decision about it,” it said. And Health Minister Fuad Khan says he is extremely happy that the RC Church has changed its mind on allowing the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) vaccine in its schools.
In January, the Ministry of Health launched the HPV vaccine initiative in schools nationwide. The initiative, which offered voluntary vaccines for the HPV, targeted around 20,000 girls. A few days after the initiative was introduced, however, the ministry suspended the administering of the vaccine in schools after opposition from the RC Church. “We had several meetings with them and we are extremely happy to know they have changed their minds,” said Khan.
Members of the Archdiocese of Port-of-Spain including Vicar General Msgr Robert Llanos, chairman of the Catholic Education Board of Management Roland Baptiste and CEO Sharon Mangroo met with representatives of the Ministry of Health and the Pan American Health Organization. Khan said while the administering of vaccines had been switched from schools to community health centres, the ministry had continued to give lectures to students.
“It shouldn’t be difficult to get back to our original plan,” said Khan. “I expect we will begin soon.”

Thursday, 7 February 2013

no cussing allowed - well for the girls anyway

Here is an interesting article coming from the DAILY CALLER, dated 4th February 2013:

Girls at Catholic high school — but not boys — take no-cussing vow.

Girls at Queen of Peace High School, a coeducational Catholic high school in a northern New Jersey suburb, have taken a “no-cursing” vow at school officials’ request, but it doesn’t apply to male students.
“We want ladies to act like ladies,” said Lori Flynn, according to The Record, a newspaper in Bergen County, New Jersey. Flynn, a teacher at Queen of Peace, coordinated the no-swearing crusade.
The school’s principal, Brother Larry Lavallee, voiced his support for the double standard, noting his belief that girls use profane language more frequently than boys.

Girls at the school are aware they were being treated differently, but many support the initiative.

Cursing is “part of everyone’s vocabulary but it doesn’t make you look educated,” Kathleen McLaren, 17, told The Record.

The pledge is a “good idea,” agreed Kaitlin McEnery, 16. “But putting it into action is the problem.”

Boys at Queen of Peace also approved of the no-cussing-for-girls pledge.

“It’s unattractive when girls have potty mouths,” declared Nicholas Recarte.

Recarte, a 16-year-old pitcher on the school’s baseball team, added that he routinely hollers obscenities from the mound when he makes mistakes — a habit he expected would remain unchanged.

Teachers told the newspaper that they hoped boys at the school would improve their filthy language — even perhaps on the baseball diamond — if they saw girls fulfill their no-cussing vows.

School officials scheduled the pledge to complement Catholic Schools Week — January 27 to February 2 — and the traditional romance associated with Valentine’s Day. There are pins with a red slash over a set of pink lips. Students who can avoid dropping f-bombs and other vulgarities for an extended period of time will receive lollipops.

Dressed in standard-issue blue shirts and khaki pants, the girls of Queen of Peace stood, raised their right hands and solemnly swore the no-cursing oath last week.

“I do solemnly swear not to use profanities of any kind within the walls and properties of Queen of Peace High School,” they said in unison. “In other words, I swear not to swear. So help me God.”

Flynn, the coordinator, then admonished the boys not to cuss, but only “in the presence of ladies.”

Caribbean Community Catholic Education

According to the Antilles Episcopal Conference, they hope to effect a survey on Catholic Education in the Eastern Caribbean islands. I hope they are successful in promoting sound education that would create good catholics and willing canidates for religious life.

The following article is from the AEC website dated Monday 4th February was written by Mike James:

“Catholic education institutions transforming Caribbean societies”
The above vision statement was developed at a January 22-23 Meeting of the Commission at St. John Vianney Seminary attended by Commission Chairman Bishop Gabriel Malzaire of Roseau Dominica and Bishop Jason Gordon of Bridgetown Barbados and Kingstown St. Vincent, as well as members Claudette Rolle, Director of Catholic Education in the Bahamas; Raymonde Joseph, Coordinator for Catholic Education in St. Lucia; Celia Nicholas, President of the Dominica Association of Teachers; and Sharon Mangroo, CEO of the Catholic Education Board of Management (CEBM) and former Chief Education Officer of Trinidad and Tobago.
The meeting also developed a proposed Mission statement for the AEC Education Commission.
“To provide the framework for our Catholic education institutions to form Disciples of Christ and leaders in society
The Catholic educators were convinced that the core business of Catholic education is formation and they prepared a series of proposed (Goals) for the Commission in the following (Key Responsibility Areas) of support to Catholic education in the region:
Governance: Develop and provide a Governance Framework to facilitate the prudent management of our diocesan education institutions
Values: Develop and provide a values framework in keeping with the gospel and Catholic tradition to transform Catholic institutions to faith communities of living witnesses
Formation: Develop and provide a formation framework so that our Catholic education institutions will be proficient in forming this generation into Disciples of Christ and good citizens
Curriculum: Develop and provide a curriculum framework and classroom management competencies to ensure achievement of high standards of learning so that all children, especially the most vulnerable. can achieve their full potential
The Commission also agreed to complete and publish the results of a survey of Catholic Education in the region which will include a summary of the number of students of all Faiths including Catholics, who are served by Catholic education institutions across the region.
One highlight of the meeting was the very positive appraisal given to the focus and content of Caricom (Caribbean Community)  Governments’ “Ideal Caricom Person” profile and particularly its emphasis on family values. The Commission proposed the “integration of the CARICOM ‘Ideal Caribbean person’ statement into our value system to facilitate renewal of Caribbean culture.”
The draft proposals for the mission and goals of the AEC Education Commission in the 21st Century in the Caribbean are to be submitted to next Annual Plenary Meeting of the Bishops of the AEC in Guadeloupe in April 2013 for their review and endorsement for follow up in individual dioceses in the region.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

happy birthday Bob

Today is the birthday of a great caribbean musical artiste  - Robert Nesta Marley.

"give thanks and praise to the Lord and I will feel all right"

Born: 6 February 1945
Died: 1 May 1981

Bob was what we in the caribbean call red, and what the rest of the world calls mulatto. Born to a white father and a black mother, he said he was called half caste while growing up. Bob said that he was not prejudiced. He was not for the white man or the black man. He was for God.

Although Bob was a vegetarian it was rumoured that  he ate KFC while in Trinidad for a concert.  Bob did not like Trinidad or our carnival. He did not like our penchant for alcohol.

Bob speaks of God alot in his music. He was raised a Catholic, however in the1960's he became a Rasta.

Rastafarianism, gets it's name from  Tafari Makonnen Woldemikael titled Ras (1892-1975). Ras Tafari (always mispronounced Rasta Fari) eventually became Emperor of Ethiopia and took the name Haile Salasie the first or Haile Salasie I. A devout Christian, Salasie claimed descendancy from the Bible's King Solomon. Tafari means "one who is respected or feared" Haile means  "Power of" and Selassie means trinity—therefore Haile Selassie roughly translates to "Power of the Trinity" Salasie was called by other names in  Ethiopia including Janhoy. It is this name that Rastafarians use when they refer to him as Jah! Rastas believe that Salasie was god on Earth. Bob Marley's wife erroneously believed she saw the stigmata on his hands when he visited Jamaica.

Bob became a Rasta, growing his hair and trying to follow the life of a Nazirite (Numbers 6:5). Eventually he joined the Twelve Tribes of Judah (tribe Joseph). The Twelve tribes was an organised religion for Rastas, promoting theology and rituals.

In later life, Bob was given a ring worn by Haile Salasie. He wore that  ring until just before he died. When he took it off he stated that the ring used to burn his finger when he wore it. It was returned to the person who gave it to him: Haile Salasie's son. Just before he died Bob was baptised into the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. 

It is interesting that when Bob went to germany in 1979 to be treated for his cancer he was treated by an exNazi: Joseph Issels. Issels treatment to cure Cancer has not proven to be effective.It should be stated that Issels resigned from the Nazi party during the second world war because he thought that he should be able to treat Jewish patients.

Bob drove a BMW. He said that for him it stood for Bob Marley and the Wailers. He usually parked it up with the windows down. No one would steal from it, or steal it. It was Bobs.

Bob has a string of awards and memorials, but while he was alive he was only given three:

Bob lives on through his music. Hear is one song that I truly love. And the video is cool too.... Go Sir Paul!: