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August 24, 1998
SECTION ONE   vol 9, no. 165
To print out entire text of Today's issue, print this section as well as SECTION TWO
All the bishops in union with the Bishop of Rome constitute a collegiallity which no individual bishop can divert from
Today we begin a seven part segment on the Holy Father's Apostolic Letter to the Bishops of the world on Episcopal Conferences entitled APOSTOLOS SUOS. In his Motu Proprio, Pope John Paul II asserts in no uncertain terms that all bishops must be in union with Rome and their particular conferences and cannot go out on their own without full approval from the Holy See. He cites the way Jesus set up His Church and appointment of His apostles. For the first part, click on THE VICAR OF CHRIST SPEAKS.
The Apostolic Letter Motu Proprio below Apostolos Suos was released on the Solemnity of Ascension Thursday, May 21, 1998 by the Holy Father and deals with reigning in the bishops from launching their own initiatives without full support from Rome or their colleagues. Many believe the Bishops' Letter "Always Our Children" by a group of liberal American bishops on homosexuality may have been the straw that broke the proverbial camel's back and prompted the Holy See to issue this Letter. Below is part one.
HIS HOLINESS POPE JOHN PAUL II APOSTOLIC LETTER ISSUED MOTU PROPRIO
ON THE THEOLOGICAL AND JURIDICAL NATURE OF EPISCOPAL CONFERENCES (1)
NEXT WEEK: Part Two of INTRODUCTION to Apostolos Suos
Part One of INTRODUCTION to APOSTOLOS SUOS
1. The Lord Jesus constituted the Apostles "in the form of a college or permanent
assembly, at the head of which he placed Peter, chosen from amongst them".(2)
The Apostles were not chosen and sent by Jesus independently of one another,
but rather as part of the group of the Twelve, as the Gospels make clear by the
repeatedly used expression, “one of the Twelve”.(3) To all of them together the
Lord entrusted the mission of preaching the Kingdom of God,(4) and they were
sent by him, not individually, but two by two.(5) At the Last Supper Jesus prayed to
the Father for the unity of the Apostles and of those who through their word would
believe in him.(6) After his Resurrection and before the Ascension, the Lord
reconfirmed Peter in the supreme pastoral office (7) and entrusted to the Apostles
the same mission which he had himself received from the Father.(8)
With the descent of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, the Apostolic College
showed itself filled with the new vitality which comes from the Paraclete. Peter,
"standing with the Eleven",(9) speaks to the crowd and baptizes a large number of
believers; the first community appears united in listening to the teaching of the
Apostles (10) and accepts their decision in relation to pastoral problems.(11) It
was to the Apostles who had remained in Jerusalem that Paul turned in order to
ensure his communion with them and not risk having run in vain.(12) The Apostles'
awareness that they constituted an undivided body was also demonstrated when
the question arose whether or not Christians converted from paganism were
obliged to observe certain precepts of the Old Law. At that time, in the community of
Antioch, "Paul and Barnabas and some of the others were appointed to go up to
Jerusalem to the Apostles and the elders about this question".(13) In order to
examine the problem the Apostles and the elders meet, consult one another and
deliberate, guided by the authority of Peter, and finally issue their decision: "It has
seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay upon you no greater burden than
these necessary things...".(14)
2. The saving mission which the Lord entrusted to the Apostles will last until the
end of the world.(15) For this mission to be carried out, in accordance with Christ's
will, the Apostles themselves “were careful to appoint successors... Bishops have
by divine institution taken the place of the Apostles as pastors of the Church".(16)
Indeed, in order to carry out the pastoral ministry, "the Apostles were endowed by
Christ with a special outpouring of the Holy Spirit coming upon them",(17) and by
the imposition of hands they passed on to their assistants the gift of the Holy
Spirit,(18) "a gift which is transmitted down to our day through episcopal
"Just as, in accordance with the Lord's decree, Saint Peter and the rest of the
Apostles constitute one apostolic college, so in like fashion the Roman Pontiff,
Peter's Successor, and the Bishops, the successors of the Apostles, are joined to
one another".(20) Thus, all the Bishops in common have received from Christ the
mandate to proclaim the Gospel in every part of the world and are consequently
bound to have concern for the whole Church. So too, for the fulfilment of the
mission entrusted to them by the Lord, they are held to cooperate with one another
and with the Successor of Peter,(21) in whom the Lord established "the lasting
and visible source and foundation of the unity both of faith and of communion".(22)
The individual Bishops are in turn the source and foundation of unity in their
3. Without prejudice to the power which each Bishop enjoys by divine institution in
his own particular Church, the consciousness of being part of an undivided body
has caused Bishops throughout the Church's history to employ, in the fulfilment of
their mission, means, structures and ways of communicating which express their
communion and solicitude for all the Churches, and prolong the very life of the
College of the Apostles: pastoral cooperation, consultation, mutual assistance,
From the first centuries on, the reality of this communion has found an outstanding
and typical expression in the holding of Councils. Worthy of mention among these
are, together with the Ecumenical Councils which began with the Council of
Nicaea in 325, the Particular Councils, both plenary and provincial, which were
frequently held throughout the Church from the second century on.(24)
The practice of holding Particular Councils continued throughout the Middle Ages.
Following the Council of Trent (1545-1563), however, they became less frequent.
Nevertheless, the 1917 Code of Canon Law, seeking to revitalize so venerable an
institution, included provisions for the celebration of Particular Councils. Canon
281 of that Code spoke of the plenary Council and laid down that it could be held
with the authorization of the Supreme Pontiff, who would designate a delegate to
convene the Council and preside over it. The same Code called for provincial
Councils to be held at least every twenty years (25) and conferences or
assemblies of the Bishops in each province to be held at least every five years, in
order to deal with the problems of the Dioceses and prepare for the provincial
Council.(26) The new Code of Canon Law of 1983 retains a considerable body of
laws governing Particular Councils, both plenary and provincial.(27)
- (1) The Oriental Churches headed by Patriarchs and Major Archbishops are
governed by their respective Synods of Bishops, endowed with legislative, judicial
and, in certain cases, administrative power (cf. Code of Canons of the Eastern
Churches, Canons 110 and 152): the present document does not deal with these.
Hence no analogy may be drawn between such Synods and Episcopal
Conferences. This document does concern Assemblies established in areas
where there exist several Churches sui iuris regulated by Code of Canons of the
Eastern Churches, Canon 322, and by their relative Statutes approved by the
Apostolic See (cf. Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, Canon 322, 4;
Apostolic Constitution Pastor Bonus, Art. 58), to the extent that these Assemblies
are comparable to Episcopal Conferences (cf. Second Vatican Ecumenical
Council, Decree on the Pastoral Office of Bishops in the Church Christus Dominus,
- (2) Cf. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church
Lumen Gentium, 19; cf. Mt 10:1-4; 16:18; Mk 3:13-19; Lk 6:13; Jn 21:15-17.
- (3) Cf. Mt 26:14; Mk 14:10,20,43; Lk 22:3,47; Jn 6:72; 20:24.
- (4) Cf. Mt 10:5-7; Lk 9:1-2.
- (5) Cf. Mk 6:7.
- (6) Cf. Jn 17:11,18,20-21.
- (7) Cf. Jn 21:15-17.
- (8) Cf. Jn 20:21; Mt 28:18-20.
- (9) Acts 2:14.
- (10) Cf. Acts 2:42.
- (11) Cf. Acts 6:1-6.
- (12) Cf. Gal 2:1-2,7-9.
- (13) Acts 15:2.
- (14) Acts 15:28.
- (15) Cf. Mt 28:18-20.
- (16) Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church
Lumen Gentium, 20.
- (17) Cf. Acts 1:8; 2:4; Jn 20:22-23.
- (18) Cf. 1 Tim 4:14; 2 Tim 1:6-7.
- (19) Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church
Lumen Gentium, 21.
- (20) Ibid., 22.
- (21) Cf. ibid., 23.
- (22) Ibid., 18. Cf. ibid., 22-23; Nota explicativa praevia, 2; First Vatican Ecumenical
Council, Dogmatic Constitution Pastor Aeternus, Prologus: DS 3051.
- (23) Cf. Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church
Lumen Gentium, 23.
- (24) For some second-century Councils, cf. Eusebius of Caesarea, Historia
Ecclesiastica, V, 16, 10; 23, 2-4; 24, 8: SC 41, pp. 49, 66-67, 69. Tertullian, at the
beginning of the third century, praises the Greek usage of celebrating Councils (cf.
De Ieiunio, 13, 6: CCL 2,1272). From the letters of Saint Cyprian of Carthage we
learn of different African and Roman Councils beginning with the second or third
decade of the third century (cf. Epist. 55, 6; 57; 59, 13, 1; 61; 64; 67; 68, 2, 1; 70; 71,
4, 1; 72; 73, 1-3: Bayard (ed.), Les Belles Lettres, Paris 1961, II, pp. 134-135;
154-159; 180; 194-196; 213-216; 227-234; 235; 252-256; 259; 259-262; 262-264).
For Councils of Bishops in the second and third centuries, cf. K. J. Hefele, Histoire
des Conciles, I, Adrien le Clere, Paris 1869, pp. 77-125.
- (25) Cf. Code of Canon Law (1917), Canon 283.
- (26) Cf. Code of Canon Law (1917), Canon 292.
- (27) Cf. Code of Canon Law, Canons 439-446.
In our constant struggles with the devil, lean heavily on the Woman Clothed with the Sun - the Blessed Mother of God
In his sixth part on The subtleties of satan in his weekly column, Father Stephen Valenta, OFM Conv. points out the vital role of the Woman clothed with the sun - the Blessed Virgin Mary and how, relying on her through prayer and all she has imparted, we can offset the wiles of the evil one who is so clever in his subtle ways of leading us astray, and be drawn ever closer to Mary's Divine Son Jesus. For Father's column, click on HEARTS TO HEART TALK
The subtleties of satan part six
When you and I entered the world, we were indeed unaware that we had been
born into an arena wherein there is raging a continuous battle between the
Woman clothed With the Sun and the Angel submersed in Darkness. Although
the opportunity was given to us in Scripture, and, although we may have
been told of this ongoing battle, it is not until recent times that anyone
of us have had the internal depth experience that there was a war raging,
and that each one of us, by the designs of God, is to take an active part
in it. It is expected of you and me to make a decision whether to stand
with Mary, or with Satan.
Nor is it so simple as to make one decision once and for all. Angels
could do so and have done so, but humans have it otherwise. We struggle
day in and day out in our decision making. Satan, as the Great Deceiver,
revenging himself against God, wishes to steal us from Him, our Creator.
Mary, having been given by Jesus, our Savior, the motherly charge over each
one of us, pleads that we remain close to her that she might carry us in
her arms to the Father to Whom we really belong. Satan uses subtleties to
confuse and trip us up. Mary makes use of her motherly wisdom and love
that we might not only clearly understand the ways of Satan, but obtains
graces for us that we might have continual power of him.
In previous installments of this column, we had given some thought to
satan's subtleties. Let us now turn our attention to what it is that Mary
asks and pleads for in order to give us a helping hand to detect these
subtleties and to opt continuously for the directives she offers.
Foremost, and perhaps the most basic of her directives is that we pray.
She emphasizes this often by repeating the word "pray" three times, i.e.
PRAY, PRAY, PRAY. In addition to this, over and over again she speaks of
the necessity to pray with the HEART. She asks that we seek guidance from
her Spouse Who is the Source of Wisdom, understanding and knowledge. She
makes it clear that if we pray, we will find out what it is that the Father
wants of us. She continually requests of us to pray the rosary for in this
form of prayer all of the above can be put into practice.
Mary is the Mother of all children whether these be good, bad or
indifferent, whether these be of the True Faith, of other faiths or of no
faith at all. It is to all of her children, all without one single
exception, that she pleads for prayer from them. Prayer is the umbilical
cord that connects each human being with his/her Maker and Owner. This
cord may be of different sizes, different textures, different forms, but it
must be there if human beings are to be in touch with their Source of Life.
Imagine an employee who never touches base with his/her employer. There
are many of God's most special creatures on earth who never make contact
with Him. Especially for these does Mary weep. She knows well that satan
is the chief destroyer of this umbilical cord, thus contributing to a
condition that keeps the minds of human on themselves rather than upon
NEXT WEEK: Part Seven of the sublteties of satan
LITURGY OF THE DAY
Today is the feast of Saint Bartholomew, Apostle while tomorrow is the Twenty-First Tuesday in Ordinary Time as well as the feast of Saint Louis IX and the feast of Saint Joseph Calasanz. For the readings, liturgy, meditations, and vignettes on these saints, the click on LITURGY FOR THE DAY.
Monday, August 24, 1998
First Reading: Revelation/Apocalypse: 21-9-14
Psalms: Psalm 145: 10-13, 17-18
Gospel Reading: John 1: 45-51
SAINT BARTHOLOMEW, APOSTLE
One of the Apostles chosen by Jesus, was Nathanael, better known as Saint Bartholomew. His closest friend
was Saint Philip, a disciple of Saint John the Baptist whose martyrdom we commemorate later this month. Bartholomew came from Cana in Galilee. Bartholomew was renowned for his honesty and simple, strong faith. He is a great inspiration for Catholics today to hold strong to the true faith and renew our loyalty to the Holy
Father and Holy Mother Church. St. Bartholomew knew implicitly that Jesus was the Messiah from his reply in
John 1: 49, yet originally he is the one the famous quote in John 1: 46 is attributed to: "Can anything good come out of Nazareth?" Jesus knew Bartholomew's heart when in John 1: 47 Christ said of Bartholomew's heart and soul, "Behold a true Israelite in whom there is no guile." This is a great tribute to this Apostle who was loyal to his Master throughout his apostolate which included India, Mesopotamia, Phrygia, and Arabia after Pentecost. He was marytred in Armenia by pagan Persians who literally skinned him alive peeling the skin from his body. His relics were brought to Rome in the 10th Century and established this day for his feast for
the universal Church. His skull was also recovered and venerated in Frankfurt, Germany since 1238. This
Apostle is revered as Patron of the Sick.
Tuesday, August 25, 1998
Tuesday August 25:
Twenty-First Tuesday in Ordinary Time and
Feast of Saint Louis IX, King of France and
Feast of Saint Joseph Calasanz, Priest, Religious Founder and Educator
Green and white vestments
First Reading: 2 Thessalonians 2: 1-3, 14-17
Psalms: Psalm 96: 10-13
Gospel Reading: Matthew 23: 23-26
Saint Louis IX, King of France
Born into royalty on April 25, 1214 in Poissy, France, Saint Louis was crowned King of France in 1226 on the death of his father King Louis VIII. He had been raised in a staunch Catholic atmosphere by his mother Blanche of Castile, who became regent upon her husband's death until her son reached adulthood. The youthful Louis, one of the youngest rulers in French history, weaned on his faith by his mother exemplified his Catholicity throughout his life. It served him well in his long reign which was frought with great crisis including fending off those who would usurp his throne such as Thibault of Champagne. At the age of 20, Louis married the daughter of the Count of Provence, Margaret Berenger and they populated the royal court with eleven children. At the age of 28 Louis quelled rebellion in the south of France and followed that up by soundly defeating the English and King Henry III at the Battle of Taillebourg. With that accomplished, he turned his attention to bringing all the provinces in line with the king, securing this with victories over Guienne, Poitou and Toulouse. Satisfied that France was safe, Louis set his sights on his life-long goal to lead the Crusades in liberating the Holy Land in 1248. His ambitions, at first successful with victory over the Saracens at Damietta in 1249 met harsh reality at the Massacre of El Mansura when he was soundly defeated by the infidels. Historians have not been kind to Louis, claiming his crusade was ill-timed and poorly planned, but they overlook the fact Louis was a peacemaker evidence in Louis' ability to convince his Saracen captors to release him and his troops in order to reach the Holy Land. It was not a cheap gesture as he ransomed many treasures and emptied many a coffer to assure their safety. There in Jerusalem he stayed until 1254 when his beloved mother Blanche died, prompting him to return to France. Always opting for peaceful measures he brought calm to Flanders in 1256 and assured, through the Treaty of Paris with Henry III that the provinces of Anjou, Maine, Normandy, Poitou and Touraine would remain part of France in exchange for Cahors, Limoges and Perigueux as Brit territory. He followed that up with the Treaty of Corbeil in 1258 by giving up Roussillon and Barcelona in order to secure Provence and Languedox from Aragon. Once a crusader, always a crusader and in 1270 he set out once again on an expedition to the Holy Lands. However he would not reach his promised land this time, succumbing to typhus, as well as his dear son Philip, at Tunis on the North African coast where he died on August 25, 1270 at the age of 56 leaving a legacy of peace and fairness to posterity. His last words were "Into Thy hands I commend my soul." Throughout his life he forged numerous peace treaties for allies and foes alike. He was a close friend of the great Doctor of the Church Saint Thomas Aquinas and endowed and founded the Sorbonne University as well as building impressive cathedrals drawing on the Gothic theme which
flourished during his reign. He was a friend to vassals whom he protected, forbidding fighting between feudal
lords and assuring they would not mistreat their subjects. Louis was a master of streamlining government
while remaining always true to his word no matter what he said. He built France's first Naval operations and,
despite his defeats in the Holy Land, was considered a master military technician. But war was only a last
resort for this saintly king who desired, above all, peace at home and with his neighbors. He was greatly loved
by all who prospered during his glorious reign of 44 years of peaceful coexistence with the other countries of
Europe as France gained in prestige and profit through peace. One of his other goals was to reunite the
Eastern Church with Rome, calling on the Greek Ambassadors to work with him toward reunion. What might
have been never materialized for death deprived history of even greater accomplishments. History, however,
cannot deny the fact that Louis, a Franciscan Tertiary, lived his faith and preached through example. In fact, this
stately king lived the austerity of a monk, praying daily the Divine Office and attending Daily Mass. He received
from the Latin emperor in Constantinople the priceless gift of the authentic Crown of thorns that pressed
against Our Lord's skull. To honor this sacramental relic, Louis built the renowned Sainte Chapelle in Paris.
Thirty seven years after his death Pope Boniface VII canonized Louis, who was a champion of both the poor and privileged classes.
Saint Joseph Calasanz, Priest, Religious Founder and Educator
Like Saint Louis, the holy priest Saint Joseph Calasanz was born into royalty. Joseph was the youngest son of the Count Pedro Calasanz from the Castle of Peralta de la Sal in Aragon, Spain. Having the wherewithal to persue his studies, Joseph studied in the finest universities and went on to teach civil and canon law at the University of Alcala before becoming a priest in 1584, despite his father's vocal desire that Joseph become a career soldier. His career was indeed as a soldier, but as a special soldier of Christ. He was appointed Vicar General of his diocese and was soon summoned to Rome where he became theologian for Cardinal Ascanio Colonna. It was in the eternal city that Joseph became renowned for his work with the poor and the sick during the plague of 1595, as well as educating the underprivileged children. In 1597, with the aid of two other priests, he opened a school with no tuition for poor students. Some competitive institutions, who charged great sums to educate, mounted a smear campaign to discredit Fr. Calasanz and his fellow priests as well as their curriculum. It became so vicious that Pope Clement VIII conducted a thorough investigation and found Joseph's school and all parties involved above reproach. So impressed was the Holy Father that he put the school under papal protection which created more schools throughout Italy as well as Bohemia, Germany, Moravia and Poland. This subsequently resulted in the recognition of the religious order of the Clerks Regular of Religious
Schools where St. Calasanz served as the first superior general. However, as is so often the case with new
religious communities, satan tries his darndest to divide and conquer. So also with Fr. Calasanz' organization
as some of his close associates within the order decided to follow their own agenda and the bickering and
backbiting provided a tremendous cross for this holy, dedicated priest. One of his great friends Fr. Mario Sozzi
turned on Joseph which resulted in the latter being removed as superior general and Sozzi being appointed.
Shortly after Sozzi died and his successor Fr. Cherubini followed Sozzi's policies, much to the detriment of the order which was placed under investigation by Pope Innocent X and dissolved in 1646. In its place the pontiff ordered all priests who wished to continue to form a new society of secular priests that they would be subject to their local bishop. He called upon Fr. Cherubini to draw up a new constitution, but a funny thing happened on the way to the forging of a new order; Fr. Cherubini was caught skimming funds from Nazarene College where he was rector. He was forced to resign and, after a period of repentance, reconciled with Joseph who he realized had been greatly maligned by Sozzi and his cohorts. Shortly thereafter Joseph (also known as Saint Joseph Calasanctius), still broken hearted but trusting in God, died on August 25, 1648 in Rome at the ripe age of 92. He would not live to see the fruits of his labors as eight years later his order was reformed and
recognized in 1669 as a religious order known as the Piarists by Pope Clement IX. Ninety eight years later he was canonized by Pope Clement XIII in 1767 and proclaimed patron saint of popular Christian schools by Pope Pius XII in 1948.
PRAYERS & DEVOTION
Today's Prayer is taken from the Opening Prayer for the Mass honoring Saint Bartholomew, Apostle:
Lord, sustain within us the faith which made Saint Bartholomew ever loyal to Christ. Let Your Church be the sign of salvation for all the nations of the world.
July 25th Medjugorje Monthly Message
Dear children! Today, little children, I invite you, through prayer, to be with
Jesus, so that through a personal experience of prayer you may be able to discover the beauty of God's
creatures. You cannot speak or witness about prayer, if you do not pray. That is why, little children, in the
silence of the heart, remain with Jesus, so that He may change and transform you with His love. This,
little children, is a time of grace for you. Make good use of it for your personal conversion, because
when you have God, you have everything. Thank you for having responded to my call.
For more on Medjugorje, click on MEDJUGORJE AND MORE
Click here to go to SECTION TWO or click here to return to the graphics front page of this issue.
August 24, 1998 volume 9, no. 165 DAILY CATHOLIC