Archbishops Burke, Wuerl among new cardinals

VATICAN CITY  — Here is the list of the 24 cardinals-designate, in the order in which Pope Benedict XVI announced them Oct. 20:

— Italian Archbishop Angelo Amato, prefect of the Congregation for Saints Causes, a Salesian, 72. (DOB 6/8/1938)

— Coptic Patriarch Antonios Naguib of Alexandria, Egypt, 75. (DOB 3/7/1935)

— Guinean Archbishop Robert Sarah, president of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, 65. (DOB 6/15/1945)

— Italian Archbishop Francesco Monterisi, archpriest of Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls, 76. (DOB 5/28/1934)

— Italian Archbishop Fortunato Baldelli, head of the Apostolic Penitentiary, 75. (DOB 8/6/1935)

— U.S. Archbishop Raymond L. Burke, head of Apostolic Signature, 62. (DOB 6/30/1948)

— Swiss Archbishop Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, 60. (DOB 3/15/1950)

— Italian Archbishop Paolo Sardi, pro-patron of Knights of Malta, 76. (DOB 9/1/1934)

— Italian Archbishop Mauro Piacenza, prefect of the Congregation for Clergy, 66. (DOB 9/15/1944)

— Italian Archbishop Velasio De Paolis, president of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See, a Scalabrinian, 75. (DOB 9/19/1935)

— Italian Archbishop Gianfranco Ravasi, president of the Pontifical Council for Culture, 68. (DOB 10/18/1942)

— Zambian Archbishop Medardo Joseph Mazombwe, retired archbishop of Lusaka, 79. (DOB 9/24/1931)

— Ecuadorean Archbishop Raul Eduardo Vela Chiriboga, retired archbishop of Quito, 76. (DOB 1/1/1934)

— Congolese Archbishop Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya of Kinshasa, 71. (DOB 10/7/1939)

— Italian Archbishop Paolo Romeo of Palermo, 72. (DOB 2/20/1938)

— U.S. Archbishop Donald W. Wuerl of Washington, 69. (DOB 11/12/1940)

— Brazilian Archbishop Raymundo Damasceno Assis of Aparecida, 73. (DOB 2/15/1937)

— Polish Archbishop Kazimierz Nycz of Warsaw, 60. (DOB 2/1/1950)

— Sri Lankan Archbishop Albert Malcolm Ranjith Patabendige Don of Colombo, 62. (DOB 11/15/1947)

— German Archbishop Reinhard Marx of Munich and Freising, 57. (DOB 9/21/1953)

— Spanish Archbishop Jose Manuel Estepa Llaurens, former military ordinary of Spain, 84. (DOB 1/1/1926)

— Italian Bishop Elio Sgreccia, retired president of the Pontifical Academy for Life, 82. (DOB 6/6/1928)

— German Msgr. Walter Brandmuller, retired president of the Pontifical Committee for Historical Sciences, 81. (DOB 1/26/1929)

— Italian Msgr. Domenico Bartolucci, retired director of the Sistine Chapel Choir, 93. (DOB 5/7/1917) 

Charitable giving dips, but some Catholic agencies holding on

The Chronicle of Philanthropy reported this week that giving to the 400 largest charities in the U.S. is down overall 11 percent this year. That’s the worst drop in the two decades since the Chronicle began ranking its Philanthropy 400. Collectively, the 400 top charities raised over $68 billion last year. That’s a lot of giving, but still about $7 billion less than 2008.

The Chronicle list includes charitable organizations that raise funds from private individuals, businesses and foundations. It does not consider government funding, for example, research dollars or student support. The rankings are based on 2009 data.

Ten Catholic institutions made the top 400 this year. They include social service agencies, health care organizations and universities.

(CNS/Bob Roller)

The only agency in the top 10 is Catholic Charities USA, ranking No. 3. It brought in $1.28 billion last year, a 5.2 percent increase over the prior year.

Three other service agencies are in the 400. They are (with ranking, funds raised in 2009 and percentage increase or decrease from 2008): Catholic Medical Mission Board (No. 52) with $279 million, up 35.5 percent; Catholic Relief Services (No. 67) bringing in $240 million, up only 0.7 percent; and the Phoenix-based St. Mary’s Food Bank (No. 152) raising $127 million, up 53.5 percent.

Father Flanagan’s Boy’s Home in Nebraska (No. 160) brought in $121 million, up a nice 130.8 percent.

The lone Catholic health care system in the 400 — the San Francisco-based Catholic Health Care West (No. 237) — saw $82 million in giving, up 1.4 percent.

Five higher-education institutions made the list. They are: University of Notre Dame (No. 88) with $198 million, down 25.6 percent; Georgetown University (No. 99) with $181 million, up 2.7 percent; Boston College (No. 230) raising $84 million, down 16 percent; St. Louis University (No. 261), new to the list this year, raising $73 million, up 56.7 percent; and finally Fordham University (No. 267) bringing in $70 million, up 4.5 percent.

Other agencies charities that have old or close Catholic ties making the list include United Way, Food for the Poor, the Christian Foundation for Children and Aging, Covenant House, Habitat for Humanity and St. Jude’s Hospital.

New saints: Mother Mary MacKillop, Brother Andre Bessette

VATICAN CITY — At today’s canonization Mass to proclaim six new saints, Pope Benedict spoke about figures dear to Catholics of Australia and Canada, Mother Mary MacKillop and Brother Andre Bessette.

St. Mary MacKillop (CNS file photo)

St. MacKillop, the pope said, began a teaching ministry that continues today:

“Remember who your teachers were – from these you can learn the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.” For many years countless young people throughout Australia have been blessed with teachers who were inspired by the courageous and saintly example of zeal, perseverance and prayer of Mother Mary McKillop. She dedicated herself as a young woman to the education of the poor in the difficult and demanding terrain of rural Australia, inspiring other women to join her in the first women’s community of religious sisters of that country. She attended to the needs of each young person entrusted to her, without regard for station or wealth, providing both intellectual and spiritual formation. Despite many challenges, her prayers to Saint Joseph and her unflagging devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, to whom she dedicated her new congregation, gave this holy woman the graces needed to remain faithful to God and to the Church. Through her intercession, may her followers today continue to serve God and the Church with faith and humility!

St. Andre Bessette (CNS photo/archives of St. Joseph's Oratory)

The pope said St. Bessette, with simple faith and boundless charity, “lived the beatitude of the pure of heart”:

Brother André Bessette, born in Quebec, in Canada, and a religious of the Congregation of the Holy Cross, knew suffering and poverty very early in life. This led him to turn to God for prayer and an intense interior life. Doorman at the Notre Dame College in Montreal, he showed boundless charity and did everything possible to soothe the despair of those who confided in him. With little instruction, he nevertheless understood what was essential to his faith. For him, to believe meant to submit freely and lovingly to Divine Will. Everything existed through the mystery of Jesus, he lived the beatitude of the pure of heart, that of personal rectitude. It is thanks to this simplicity, he showed many God. He had the St. Joseph Oratory of Mont Royal built, where he was the faithful guardian until his death in 1937. There, he was the witness of many healings and conversions. “Do not try to have your trials taken away from you,” he said, “rather, ask for the grace to endure them well.” For him, everything spoke of God and his presence. May we, following his example, search for God with simplicity to discover him always present in the core of our lives! May the example of Brother André inspire Canadian Christian life!

A papal crown makes for not-quite-perfect gift

VATICAN CITY — A gift can be appreciated and used even when it’s not perfect. That seems to be what happened last Sunday when a different papal coat of arms appeared on a tapestry hung from the window of Pope Benedict XVI’s apartment. 

A closeup of the tapestry used Sunday, featuring the tiara. (CNS/L'Osservatore Romano)

The Catholic blogosphere has been abuzz since Sunday with images, questions and opinions about the tapestry because it featured a crown or tiara topping the crest, rather than the miter Pope Benedict chose — apparently very intentionally — when he was elected in 2005. 

“The pope’s coat of arms has not changed. It is what was explained at the beginning of his pontificate,” Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman, told Catholic News Service this morning. 

The 2005 explanation of the elements of the pope’s crest — including the decision to replace the traditional tiara with a bishop’s miter — is available  on the Vatican website

The tapestry featuring the pope's official coat of arms -- with a miter. (CNS/Paul Haring)

“The Holy Father Benedict XVI decided not to include the tiara in his official personal coat of arms. He replaced it with a simple miter, which is not, therefore, surmounted by a small globe and cross as was the tiara. The papal miter shown in his arms, to recall the symbolism of the tiara, is silver and bears three bands of gold (the three powers: Orders, Jurisdiction and Magisterium), joined at the centre to show their unity in the same person.” 

Father Lombardi said Sunday’s tapestry — the one with the tiara — was a gift, hung “without any intention of changing the crest.” 

He also said, “If it is used again, it will be modified” to match the pope’s official coat of arms, featuring the miter.

Mass closes Port-au-Prince hospital damaged in earthquake

The devastated St. Francis de Sales Hospital hosted its final event today: a Mass to say goodbye and remember the 70 people who died when a wing housing the pediatric unit collapsed during the Jan. 12 earthquake.

Bishop Joseph Lafontant, apostolic administrator of the Archdiocese of Port-au-Prince, and Archbishop Bernardito Auza, papal nuncio, concelebrated the Mass on the grounds of the crumpled facility.

Plans call for building a modern 200-bed facility on the site, said Anna Van Rooyen, chief of party, health and HIV for Catholic Relief Services. She is working with the hospital staff in the rebuilding effort.

Plans call for construction to begin some time after the first anniversary of  the quake and take at least 18 months, Van Rooyen told CNS.

Despite sustaining serious damage, St. Francis de Sales Hospital remained open and its staff accepted patients immediately after the earthquake. Gallant staff members treated seriously injured patients under harsh conditions in tents set up in an outdoor courtyard for months. Equipment and beds were salvaged from what was left standing.

The hospital closed last month so it could move to a temporary location in Cazeau, north of the international airport and about 12 miles from the old facility in the center of the Haitian capital. Still working under tents, but in a more orderly setting, the staff is treating up to120 patients at any one time.

Teen provided translation for Verdi’s ‘Requiem’

Our Oct. 8 story on the concert-drama “Defiant Requiem: Verdi at Terezin” has a few side notes which deserve mention. Although the language of Giuseppe Verdi’s “Requiem” — primarily a funeral Mass — was unfamiliar to the Jewish concentration camp prisoners who performed it more than 16 times while in the Nazi prison camp in Terezin, Czeckoslovakia, in 1943-44, they knew exactly what the words of the choral work meant — thanks to a young translator.

Conductor Murry Sidlin leads rehearsal of 'Requiem' at former Nazi camp. (CNS photo from CUA)

Murry Sidlin, who is former dean of the music school at  The Catholic University of America and the creator and conductor of “Defiant Requiem,” told Catholic News Service that the choir was singing what they couldn’t say to their captors and giving hope to fellow prisoners — and all  from a Latin text. The prisoners had insight into these Latin phrases about liberation and God’s judgment, because of  a teenage girl in the camp who had converted to Catholicism and was familiar with Latin. According to Sidlin, the young girl met with the camp’s conductor, Rafael Schaechter, to provide the translation of the work. She survived the camps and went on to become a Carmelite nun. She died a few years ago.

Another note: Verdi’s “Requiem” — honoring the famous novelist and poet Alessandro Manzoni, who died in 1873 — was first performed in Milan in 1874.  Sidlin suspects that Verdi — “the political animal he was” — would have been honored that his work found new life in rehearsals in the dark basement at a concentration camp and the multiple public performances there.

“If he knew they had reached out to his work from a concentration camp, he would be on bended knees in tears with humility,” said Sidlin, who has made it part of his life’s work to give credit to this group of singers and their conductor for fighting their captivity with music.

What’s your take on the Orthodox-Catholic consultation vision statement?

A vision for what the unity of the Orthodox and Catholic churches might look like was offered by the North American Orthodox-Catholic Theological Consultation earlier this month. CNS published a story Oct. 8 that looked at what the consultation had to offer for consideration.

In one of the documents developed during a meeting that ended Oct. 2, members of the consultation laid out their thoughts on issues such as the primacy of the pope and suggestions upon which to build a “worldwide ecclesial communion.” Topics addressed included acceptance of each church’s diversity and continuing traditions and practices and the selection or election of bishops.

A second document looked at using advanced scientific instruments to calculate the date of Easter so the entire Christian world can celebrate the resurrection of Christ on the same day. Only rarely does the celebration of Easter in the Latin and Orthodox churches correspond. One such time is in 2011 when both churches celebrate Easter April 24.

What do you think of the vision of the consultation? What will unity between the Catholic and Orthodox churches mean? How soon can unity occur? Are there too many differences to overcome?