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Millions Storm Vatican …as Pope John XXIII, Pope John Paul II are canonized

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Pope Jon Paul II and Pope John XXIIIOver three million pilgrims are expected to witness the canonization of two Catholic Pontiffs – Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II at the Vatican today, Mercy Sunday, April 27.

Our correspondent said, across Rome and much of Italy, hotel rooms were booked beyond capacity and residents are taking in strangers who would otherwise be sleeping on the street.

In addition to the over three million pilgrims, 19 heads of State and 24 Prime Ministers are expected to attend the ceremony. Most of the world 1.2 billion Catholics will watch the event on television.

While much of the focus of today’s’ “dual canonization” will be on the globetrotting Pope John Paul II and his near-record sprint to sainthood, many other Catholics will be celebrating the short but historic Pontificate of the “Good Pope”, John XXIII.

However, the two Popes have each left very important legacies for the church and important examples of holiness.

Pope John XXIII led the Church into the Second Vatican Council and Pope John Paul II served as its key interpreter, leaving the church a profound legacy that continues to shape the third millennium of Christianity.

Two miracles are required for canonization. While two miracles were attributed to John Paul II, only one was recorded for John XXIII.

However, Pope Francis approved his canonization with evidence of only one miracle – instead of the two normally required, breaking an old tradition.

Vatican watchers said it is not unprecedented to have a Pope waive the second miracle requirement.

They said, the last one to do so was John XXIII himself, who in 1960 waived it for St. Gregorio Barbarigo, a 17th Century Venentian Cardinal for whom John XXIII had a particular veneration.

When John Paul II died in 2005, the streets of Rome were filled with shouts of Santo Subito or Sainthood now. His successor Benedict XVI, waived the normal five-year waiting period so that his sainthood could be fast-tracked.

For John Paul II, a woman whose “miraculous” recovery from an inoperable brain aneurysm paved the way for him to be declared a saint.

Three years ago, Mrs. Floribeth Mora Diaz was told by doctors in her home country that her condition was hopeless and that her death was only a matter of time.

Partially paralyzed, she was on pain medication and lying in bed at home on May 1, 2011, clutching a magazine with a front cover photograph of the former Polish pontiff, when he purportedly appeared before her in a vision.

It was the day that John Paul II was beatified at a grand open-air ceremony in St. Peter’s Square – the first step towards him being made a saint.

“Floribeth, get up, what are you doing here? Why don’t you go into the kitchen and see your husband?”, the vision said to her.

The late Pope’s hands seemed to reach out towards her from the cover of the magazine, she said.

Acknowledging that many people would be highly skeptical of her recovery and of the whole concept of miracles she said that “people can think what they want – what I know is that I’m healthy”.

The first miracle attributed to John Paul II was the apparent healing of a French nun, Sister Marie Simon-Pierre.

Her recovery from Parkinson’s disease after praying for the late Pope’s “intercession” in 2005 had no medical explanation, the Catholic Church maintains.

For Pope John XXIII, Pope Francis on July 5, 2013 bypassed the traditionally required second miracle and declared him a saint based on his merits of opening the Second Vatican Council.

He revolutionized the Catholic Church through the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) which reviewed doctrines, replaced the Latin Mass with native Language and opened up the church to a broader ecumenical agenda.

 

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Killing of Christians: Buhari lied to Trump – CAN fumes

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Killing of Christians: Buhari lied to Trump - CAN fumes

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has reacted to President Muhammadu Buhari’s revelation of his conversation with United States President, Donald Trump, on the massacre of Christians in Nigeria, saying President Buhari was economical with the truth.

President Buhari had on Tuesday, revealed that at the heat of the bloody clashes between herdsmen and farmers in Nigeria, the United States President, Donald Trump, unequivocally accused him of killing Christians.

Buhari said these in his closing remarks at the two-day ministerial performance review retreat held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Tuesday.

At a point, the President digressed from his prepared speech and narrated his encounter with Trump on the bloody clashes.

He said he managed to explain to the American leader that the clashes were not about ethnicity or religion.

He said, “I believe I was about the only African among the less developed countries the President of United States invited.

“When I was in his office, only myself and himself, only God is my witness, he looked at me in the face, and asked, ‘Why are you killing Christians?’

“I wonder, if you were the person, how you will react. I hope what I was feeling inside did not betray my emotion, so I told him that the problem between the cattle rearers and farmers, I know is older than me not to talk of him. I think I am a couple of years older than him.

“With climate change and population growth and the culture of the cattle rearers, if you have 50 cows and they eat grass, any root, to your water point, then they will follow it. It doesn’t matter whose farm it is.

“The First Republic set of leadership was the most responsible leadership we ever had. I asked the Minister of Agriculture to get a gazette of the early 60s which delineated the cattle route where they used meager resources then to put earth dams, wind mills even sanitary department.

“So, any cattle rearers that allowed his cattle to go to somebody’s farm would be arrested, taken before the court. The farmer would be called to submit his bill and if he couldn’t pay, the cattle would be sold, but subsequent leaders, the VVIPs (very important persons) encroached on the cattle routes. They took over the cattle rearing areas.

“So, I tried and explained to him (Trump) that this has got nothing to do with ethnicity or religion. It is a cultural thing.”

However, CAN’s Vice President and Chairman of the association in Kaduna State, John Hayab, was not impressed with Buhari’s submission, saying “Buhari and his government will never stop from amusing us with their tales by moonlight because what is happening in Zamfara, Sokoto, Katsina, Birnin Gwari, Southern Kaduna, Taraba, Plateau and others cannot be described as a cultural thing.

He told Punch correspondent in an interview: “President Buhari’s weak story about his conversation with President Donald Trump further confirms why his government does not care about the killings in our country by calling them cultural things.

“Just this (Tuesday) evening, I received a report from the Kaduna Baptist Conference President about the number of their members that have been killed by bandits in Kaduna State from January 2020 to date to be 105 and our President will call it a cultural thing? All we can say is may God save our Nigeria.”

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Nuncio tasks clergy, laity on good stewardship

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Nuncio tasks clergy, laity on good stewardship

The Apostolic Nuncio to Nigeria, Archbishop Antonio Guido Filipazzi, has urged the clergy, religious and lay faithful to be trustworthy, transparent, selfless and generous stewards in the discharge of their duties in the Church, following the way of Jesus.

Archbishop Filipazzi made the call during the opening ceremony of the maiden General Assembly of the Abuja Archdiocese, which was held on at Our Lady Queen of Nigeria Pro-Cathedral, Friday September 4.

The General Assembly, with the theme “Catholic Archdiocese of Abuja: Together in Evangelization,” saw Bishops, priests, religious men and women, and the laity gathered together to discuss means of strengthening the faith of God’s people amid the ongoing Covid-19 health crisis.

Addressing participants, Archbishop Filipazzi said that “an administrator is neither a master nor a slave who cannot decide anything, but one who is given a responsibility by the Master.” In this light, the faithful are called to be “true administrators of divine mystery” entrusted to them by Our Lord, according to their varying roles in the Church.

The Apostolic Nuncio also said “differences must not lead to division,” as everyone, though different, must strive for unity since there is no room for divisions in the body of Christ.

Archbishop Filipazzi, speaking on the upsurge in violence in northern Nigeria in a Vatican News interview on 29 August, had also called for shunning divisions along religious and ethnic lines.

Rather, he appealed for “general respect of the law and general intervention of the government” in the violent attacks which have claimed many lives and caused massive material damage.

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Assumpta CMO raises fund to roof “St Joseph’s Hall of Faith”

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Assumpta CMO raises fund to roof “St. Joseph's Hall of Faith”

The Catholic Men Organization, CMO, Maria Assumpta Cathedral Parish Owerri, joined their counterparts in the Archdiocese to celebrate Father’s Day on Sunday, August 30.

The celebration earlier scheduled for May 10 this year was differed because of Covid-19 pandemic.

The occasion began with a Pontifical Mass presided over by His Grace, Most Rev. Anthony Obinna, Archbishop of Owerri cum Parish Priest of the Cathedral Parish.

In his homily, Archbishop Obinna called on Christians to live a life of witnessing to Christ at all times. He said that the zeal to preach the word of God is like a fire that burns inside the heart of a Christian and will not abate until one bears witness to Christ. This, he said, must be done in the course of our daily lives, in our places of work, in our families, among our friends, through living life that is Christ-like.

He congratulated the Christian fathers on the occasion and appealed for support to enable them complete their building project in no distant time. His Grace also appreciated the performance of the CMO choir during the Mass.

The theme for the parish celebration is: “Catholic Men As Spiritual Heads of the Domestic Church: Implications in the Family.”

The parish CMO used the celebration to raise fund for the roofing of their building project named: “St. Joseph’s Hall of Faith.”

In his brief remark at the occasion, the Parish CMO President, Arc. Anthony Emeka Ozoude said, “We have been able to complete the block work,” adding that, “the task before us now is to put a roof on the building.”

He therefore made a passionate appeal for generous donations from members and well wishers, assuring donors that every kobo donated will be prudently applied for the purpose.

Arc. Ozoude recalled that early this year, the parish CMO executive identified a three-prong programme of focus, namely: Membership revalidation, Debt recovery and Fund raising for the roofing.

He advised members not to sit on the fence anymore as there is so much to gain spiritually, morally and even intellectually from participating in the CMO activities both at the parish, stations and prayer groups levels.

“The committed members who attend our programmes regularly have discovered this and have remained resolute in their participation,” he said.

Activities marking this year’s celebration included Retreat, visit to ailing members in their homes, thanksgiving Mass blessing of the mini altars for the 5 prayer groups of CMO etc.

Arc. Ozoude thanked in a special way, Archbishop Obinna, the Cathedral Administrator and priests working in the Cathedral for their support. He also commended the various stations and prayer groups for their cooperation.

The CMO president acknowledged the good work and sacrifice of the Planning Committee, headed by Dr. Uche Ukozor and thanked them for a job well done.

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