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Pope at Audience: ‘all love is meant to be faithful, generous and fruitful’

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Pope Francis says every Christian vocation, including the priesthood and consecrated virginity, are deeply spousal, life-giving and self-sacrificing. He was speaking at the General Audience during which he reflected on the 6th Commandment.

By Linda Bordoni

Speaking to the pilgrims gathered in St. Peter’s Square for the Wednesday General Audience, Pope Francis reflected on the 6th Commandment, “You shall not commit adultery”, and said that as Christians, our “original call” is “to full and faithful spousal love”, which Jesus Christ revealed and gave to us.

Commenting on the Letter of St. Paul to the Ephesians, he described the concept as “revolutionary” saying that notwithstanding the “anthropology of the time” it affirms that “the husband must love his wife as Christ loves the Church”.

And elaborating on this, the Pope explained that although the Commandment refers “explicitly to matrimonial fidelity”, it also speaks to every human relationship and vocation.

The Pope said the development of human maturity follows the path of love that goes from receiving care to the ability to offer care, from receiving life to the ability to give life.

Marriage is a beautiful journey

He said that when we become adults we are called to live a spousal and parental attitude, which is manifested in various situations of life, and explained that a person who is “adulterous, luxurious, unfaithful” is really an immature person who “keeps his life for himself” and interprets situations “on the basis of his own well-being and self-satisfaction”.

“To really get married”, he said, “it is not enough to celebrate marriage! We need to make a journey from the ‘I’ to the ‘We’ and think and live for each other”.

Marriage, the Pope said, is a beautiful journey, and true love enables us to find ourselves and give ourselves away.

Priesthood and consecrated virginity

Pope Francis then went on to say that the undying love of Christ, that is the basis of marital fidelity, is also reflected in the spousal love and spiritual parenthood that mark the vocations to priestly ministry and consecrated virginity.

In this sense, he said, every Christian vocation is spousal.

He said the priesthood is such because it is the call, in Christ and in the Church, to serve the community with all the love, care and wisdom that the Lord gives.

“In the priesthood we love the people of God with all the paternity, tenderness and strength of a spouse and a father” he said.

In the same way, he continued, consecrated virginity in Christ must be lived faithfully and joyfully as a spousal relationship of fruitful motherhood and fatherhood.

The full meaning of sexuality

And referring to the very words of the 6th Commandment, Pope Francis said that as men and women, body and spirit, we are called to love in ways that leave no room for lust or promiscuity.

The command – “You shall not commit adultery” – he said, is an invitation to live fully our original calling to that pure and faithful spousal love that is revealed in Jesus Christ.

In His mystery, he continued, and in his love we come to understand the full meaning of the gift of our human sexuality and the fidelity demanded by the marriage covenant.

“The human creature, in its inseparable unity of spirit and body, and in its masculine and feminine polarity, is a very good reality, destined to love and be loved. The human body is not an instrument of pleasure, but the place of our call to love, and in authentic love there is no room for lust and its superficiality. Men and women deserve more than this!” he said

1 and 2 November

In his final greetings Pope Francis recalled that tomorrow we celebrate the Solemnity of All Saints and, on November 2, we commemorate all those who have departed.

“The witness of faith of those who have gone before us, should strengthen in us the certainty that God accompanies us on the path of life, never abandoning anyone to himself, and wants all of us to be holy, as he is holy” he said.
 

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CATHOLIC WORLD

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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