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St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle; be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray. And do you, O prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God, cast into Hell Satan and all the evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen. Advertise Now

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PHOTO OF THE MONTH

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REFLECTIONS

"Jesus' Baptism"

Why did Jesus, the sinless one sent from the Father in heaven, submit himself to John's baptism? John preached a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins (Luke 3:3). In this humble submission we see a foreshadowing of the "baptism" of Jesus bloody death upon the cross. Jesus' baptism is the acceptance and the beginning of his mission as God's suffering Servant (Isaiah 52:13-15; 53:1-12). He allowed himself to be numbered among sinners. Jesus submitted himself entirely to his Father's will. Out of love he consented to this baptism of death for the remission of our sins. Do you know the joy of trust and submission to God? Read More »

BISHOPS SHIELD POPE AGAINST BBC ASSAULT

The bishops of England and Wales defends Pope Benedict XVI against the attack from the BBC's investigative news show “Sex Crimes and the Vatican” broadcast Sunday by the Panorama saying that it is unwarranted and misleading

The prelates accused BBC of misrepresenting two Vatican documents that the news rganization says Benedict XVI used to cover-up the sexual abuse of minors.The program claims to have uncovered secret Vatican documents that imposed silence regarding all claims of child abuse, and accused then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger -- now Benedict XVI -- of shielding priests from investigation in his previous role as prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

No one can deny the devastating effects of child abuse in our society and the damage inflicted on the victims and their families. This is particularly shameful if such abuse is committed by a priest and it is of course legitimate to portray heart-rending elements of this evil,"says Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, archbishop of Westminster on his letter to Mark Thompson, the director general of BBC to "to express the enormous distress and alarm of the Catholic community" regarding the program.

ardinal Murphy-O'Connor, who is also president of the episcopal conference of England and Wales, further stated: "However, your program sets out to inflict grave damage on Benedict XVI, the leader of a billion Catholics throughout the world. It is quite clear to me that the main focus of the program is to seek to connect Benedict XVI with cover-up of child abuse in the Catholic Church. This is malicious and untrue and based on a false presentation of Church documents. "I must ask if within the BBC there is a persistent bias against the Catholic Church. There will be many, not only Catholics, who will wonder if the BBC is any longer willing to be truly objective in some of its presentations."

Moreover, the cardinal said that he "cannot understand why no one from your corporation made any attempt to contact the Catholic Church in this country for assistance in seeking accurate information about this matter."

In line with this, Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Birmingham, and chairman of the Catholic Office for the Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults, also issued a statement today in which he states that "as a public service broadcaster, the BBC should be ashamed of the standard of the journalism used to create this unwarranted attack on Benedict XVI."

Archbishop Nichols said that the program's attacks against Benedict XVI are "false and entirely misleading. It is false because it misrepresents two Vatican documents and uses them quite misleadingly in order to connect the horrors of child abuse to the person of the Pope."

he Archbishop added, "Viewers will recognize only too well the sensational tactics and misleading editing of the program, which uses old footage and undated interviews. They will know that aspects of the program amount to a deeply prejudiced attack on a revered world religious leader. It will further undermine public confidence in 'Panorama.'

One document mentioned is "Crimen sollicitationis," (The Crime of Solicitation, 1962) issued by the Congregation of the Holy Office -- future Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith -- which was made public in 2003. To this, archbishop Nichols said that it is not directly concerned with child abuse at all, but with the misuse of the confessional. This has always been a most serious crime in Church law. The program confuses the misuse of the confessional and the immoral attempts by a priest to silence his victim.

The second document, issued in 2001, clarified the law of the Church, ensuring that the Vatican is informed of every case of child abuse and that each case is dealt with properly. Archbishop Nichols stated, "This document does not hinder the investigation by civil authorities of allegations of child abuse, nor is it a method of cover-up, as the program persistently claims. In fact it is a measure of the seriousness with which the Vatican views these offences. Since 2001, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, then head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, took many steps to apply the law of the Church to allegations and offences of child abuse with absolute thoroughness and scruple."

A BBC spokesman announced today that the corporation's management will respond to Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor's letter.

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LIVES OF THE SAINTS

APRIL 1
ST. HUGH OF GRENOBLE

St. Hugh was born in 1052 in France. He grew up to be tall and handsome, gentle and courteous. Read More »

APRIL 2
ST. FRANCIS OF PAOLA

St. Francis was born in the tiny village of Paola, Italy, around 1416. His parents were poor but humble.. Read More »

APRIL 3
ST. RICHARD OF CHICHESTER

St. Richard was born in England in 1197. He and his brother became orphans when Richard was very young. Read More »

APRIL 4
ST. ISIDORE OF SEVILLE

This saint was born in 556. Isidore's two older brothers, Leander and Fulgentius, became bishops and.. Read More »

APRIL 5
ST. VINCENT FERRER

A most wonderful Christian hero was St. Vincent Ferrer. He was born in Valencia, Spain, in 1350. Read More »

APRIL 6
BLESSED NOTKER

This Benedictine monk had once been a sickly child. He had a very noticeable speech impediment all his life. Notker was determined not to let it.. Read More »

APRIL 7
ST. JOHN BAPTIST DE LA SALLE

St. John Baptist de la Salle was born in Rheims, France, on April 30, 1651. His parents were from the.. Read More »

APRIL 8
ST. JULIE BILLIART

Mary Rose Julie Billiart was born in Belgium in 1751. Her uncle, the village school teacher, taught her to read and write. Read More »

APRIL 9
ST. WALDETRUDIS

Waldetrudis was born in Belgium in the seventh century. Her mother, her father and her sister have all been declared saints. Read More »

APRIL 10
BLESSED ANTHONY NEYROT

Anthony was born in northern Italy in the fifteenth century. He joined the Dominican order in Florence, Italy. The prior at that time was another saint.. Read More »

APRIL 11
ST. STANISLAUS

St. Stanislaus was born near Cracow, Poland, in 1030. His parents had prayed for thirty years for a child. Read More »

APRIL 12
ST. JOSEPH MOSCATI

His brother's death made a deep impression on Joseph. He asked Jesus in the Eucharist and Mary for.. Read More »

APRIL 13
ST. MARTIN

St. Martin was a priest of Rome who had a reputation for being well-educated and holy. He became pope in.. Read More »

APRIL 14
BLESSED LIDWINA

The name Lidwina means "suffering." Lidwina was from Holland. She was born in 1380 and died in 1433. Read More »

APRIL 15
BLESSED DAMIEN OF MOLOKAI

Joseph "Jeff" de Veuster was born in 1840, the son of Belgian farmers. He and his brother, Pamphile, joined the congregation of the Sacred Hearts. Read More »

APRIL 16
ST. BENEDICT JOSEPH LABRE

This French saint, born in 1748, led a most unusual life. He was the son of a store owner and was taught by his uncle, a priest. Read More »

APRIL 17
ST. STEPHEN HARDING

Stephen was a young Englishman who lived in the twelfth century. He was a good student who liked to learn. Read More »

APRIL 18
BLESSED MARY OF THE INCARNATION

Barbara was born in France in 1566. She was married to Peter Acarie when she was seventeen. She and her husband loved their Catholic faith and.. Read More »

APRIL 19
BLESSED JAMES DUCKETT

James Duckett was an Englishman who lived during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. As a young man he became an apprentice printer in London. Read More »

APRIL 20
ST. AGNES OF MONTEPULCIANO

This saint was born near the city of Monte pulciano, Italy, in 1268. When she was just nine years old, she begged her mother and father to let her live at the nearby convent. Read More »

APRIL 21
ST. ANSELM

Anselm was born in northern Italy in 1033. From his home he could see the Alps mountains. Read More »

APRIL 22
ST. SOTER AND ST. CAIUS

St. Soter was pope long ago in the times of the Roman emperors. He was a real father to all Christians. Read More »

APRIL 23
ST. GEORGE

Pictures of St. George usually show him killing a dragon to rescue a beautiful lady. The dragon stands for.. Read More »

APRIL 24
ST. FIDELIS OF SIGMARINGEN

This saint's name was Mark Rey. He was born in Germany in 1578. Mark went to the famous University of Freigburg to become a lawyer. Read More »

APRIL 25
ST. MARK THE EVANGELIST

Mark lived at the time of Jesus. Although he was not among the original twelve apostles, he was a relative of St. Barnabas, an apostle. Read More »

APRIL 26
ST. RADBERTUS

This saint lived in ninth-century France. No one knows who his parents were. They left their newborn infant on the doorstep of Notre-Dame convent. Read More »

APRIL 27
ST. ZITA

Zita is known as the patron saint of domestic workers. She was born in the village of Monte Sagrati.. Read More »

APRIL 28
ST. PETER CHANEL

St. Peter Chanel was born near Belley, France, in 1803. From the time he was seven, he took care of.. Read More »

APRIL 29
ST. CATHERINE OF SIENA

Born in 1347, this well-known saint is the patroness of Italy, her country. Catherine was the youngest in a family of twenty-five children. Read More »

APRIL 30
ST. PIUS V

This holy pope was born in Italy in 1504. He was baptized Anthony Ghislieri. He wanted to become a priest, but it seemed as though his dream would never come true. Read More »

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