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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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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.

TYPE KEYWORDS OF THE MONTH
ROSARY FATIMA JUDE

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LIVES OF THE SAINTS

DECEMBER 1
T. EDMUND CAMPION

St. Edmund lived in the sixteenth century. He was a very popular young English student who was..Read More »

DECEMBER 2
ST. BIBIANA

St. Bibiana's father Flavian had been prefect of the city of Rome in early Christian times. Read More »

DECEMBER 3
ST. FRANCIS XAVIER

St. Francis Xavier, the great missionary, was born at Xavier Castle in Spain in 1506.Read More »

DECEMBER 4
ST. JOHN DAMASCENE

St. John lived in the eighth century. He was born in the city of Damascus of a good Christian familyRead More »

DECEMBER 5
ST. SABAS

St. Sabas, born in 439, is one of the most famous monks of Palestine.Read More »

DECEMBER 6
ST. NICHOLAS

St. Nicholas is the great patron of children and of Christmas giving.Read More »

DECEMBER 7
ST. AMBROSE

St. Ambrose was born around 340. He was the son of the Roman governor of Gaul. When his father died.. Read More »

DECEMBER 8
IMMACULATE CONCEPTION OF MARY

Our first parents offended God by sinning seriously.Read More »

DECEMBER 9
BLESSED JUAN DIEGO

St. Juan Diego is well-known because the Mother of God appeared to him. It was to Juan Diego ..Read More »

DECEMBER 10
ST. JOHN ROBERTS

St. John was born in Wales in 1577. Although he was not a Catholic, he was taught by an elderly priest.Read More »

DECEMBER 11
ST. DAMASUS I

ST. Damasus was born in Rome and lived in the fourth century-exciting times for the Church.Read More »

DECEMBER 12
OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE

We celebrate the event of Mary's appearances on Tepyac Hill in Mexico. The heavenly visitor came..Read More »

DECEMBER 13
ST. LUCY

St. Lucy, the beloved saint, lived in Syracuse, Sicily. She was born toward the end of the third century.Read More »

DECEMBER 14
ST. JOHN OF THE CROSS

St. John was born in Spain in 1542. He was the son of a weaver.Read More »

DECEMBER 15
ST. NINO

St. Nino was a Christian girl who lived in the fourth century.Read More »

DECEMBER 16
ST. ADELAIDE

St. Adelaide was born in 931. At the age of sixteen, this Burgundian princess was married to King Lothair.Read More »

DECEMBER 17
ST. OLYMPIAS

St. Olympias was born around the year 361. She belonged to a great family of Constantinople.Read More »

DECEMBER 18
ST. FLANNAN

St. Flannan lived around the seventh century. He was the son of an Irish chieftain named Turlough. Flannan was educated by the monks.Read More »

DECEMBER 19
BLESSED URBAN V

Blessed Urban's name before he became pope was William de Grimoard. He was born in France..Read More »

DECEMBER 20
ST. DOMINIC OF SILOS

St. Dominic, a Spanish shepherd boy, was born at the beginning of the eleventh century.Read More »

DECEMBER 21
ST. PETER CANISIUS

ST. Peter, a Dutch man, was born in 1521. His father wanted him to be a lawyer. To please him, young Peter..Read More »

DECEMBER 22
ST. CHAEREMON AND ST. ISCHYRION AND OTHER MARTYRS

The third century was marked by Roman persecutions of the Church.Read More »

DECEMBER 23
ST. JOHN OF KANTY

St. John, the Polish saint, was born in 1390, the son of good country folk. Seeing how intelligent their son was, Read More »

DECEMBER 23
ST. MARGUERITE D'YOUVILLE

St. Marguerite was born in Quebec, Canada, on October 15, 1701. Her father died in 1708 ..Read More »

DECEMBER 24
ST. CHARBEL

St. Charbel was born Youssef Makhlouf on May 8, 1828, in a mountain village in Lebanon.Read More »

DECEMBER 25
CHRISTMAS, THE BIRTHDAY OF JESUS

The time had come for the Son of God to become man for love of us.Read More »

DECEMBER 26
ST. STEPHEN

St. Stephen's name means crown. He was the first disciple of Jesus to receive the martyr's crown.Read More »

DECEMBER 27
ST. JOHN THE APOSTLE

St. John was a fisherman in Galilee. He was called to be an apostle.Read More »

DECEMBER 28
THE HOLY INNOCENTS

When Jesus was born in Bethlehem, the Wise Men came from the east to worship him.Read More »

DECEMBER 29
ST. THOMAS BECKET

St. Thomas Becket was born in 1118, in London, England.Read More »

DECEMBER 30
CST. ANYSIA

St. Anysia lived in Thessalonica toward the end of the second century.Read More »

DECEMBER 31
ST. SYLVESTER

St. Sylvester dates back to early Christian times, to the reign of Constantine.Read More »

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