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St. Ladislaus

St. Ladislaus

Feast date: Jun 27

St. Ladislaus was the King of Hungary, born 1040  and died at Neutra, July 29, 1095 as one of Hungary's national Christian heroes. He was the son of Béla I, and the nobles, after the death of Geisa I, passed over Solomon, the son of Andrew I, and chose Ladislaus to be their king in 1077.

Ladislaus eventually made peace with Solomon, when the latter gave up all claims to the throne of Hungary, however, later on he rebelled against Ladislaus, who took him prisoner and held him in the fortress of Visegrád. On the occasion of the canonization of Stephen I, Ladislaus gave Solomon his freedom, but in 1086 Solomon, with the aid of the heathen Cumans, revolted against Ladislaus a second time. Ladislaus, however, vanquished them again, and in 1089 gained another victory over theTurkish Cumans. In 1091 Ladislaus marched into Croatia at the request of his sister, the widowed Queen Helena, and took possession of the kingdom for the crown of Hungary where, in 1092, he founded the Bishopric of Agram (Zágráb). In the same year (1092), he also founded the Bishopric of Grosswardein (Nagy-Várad) in Hungary, which, however, some trace back to Stephen I.

Ladislaus governed the religious and civil affairs of his assembly of the Imperial States at Szabolcs, that might almost be called a synod. He tried vigorously to suppress the remaining heathen customs. He was buried in the cathedral of Grosswardein. He still lives in the sagas and poems of his people as a chivalrous king.

He was canonized by Celestine III in 1192.

St. Cyril of Alexandria

St. Cyril of Alexandria

Feast date: Jun 27

On June 27, Roman Catholics honor St. Cyril of Alexandria. An Egyptian bishop and theologian, he is best known for his role in the Council of Ephesus, where the Church confirmed that Christ is both God and man in one person. The Eastern churches celebrate St. Cyril of Alexandria on June 9.

Cyril was most likely born in Alexandria, the metropolis of ancient Egypt, between 370 and 380. From his writings, it appears he received a solid literary and theological education. Along with his uncle, Patriarch Theophilus of Alexandria, he played a role in an early fifth-century dispute between the Egyptian and Greek churches. There is evidence he may have been a monk before becoming a bishop.

When Theophilus died in 412, Cyril was chosen to succeed him at the head of the Egyptian Church. He continued his uncle's policy of insisting on Alexandria's preeminence within the Church over Constantinople, despite the political prominence of the imperial capital. The two Eastern churches eventually re-established communion in approximately 418.

Ten years later, however, a theological dispute caused a new break between Alexandria and Constantinople. Cyril's reputation as a theologian, and later Doctor of the Church, arose from his defense of Catholic orthodoxy during this time.

In 428, a monk named Nestorius became the new Patriarch of Constantinople. It became clear that Nestorius was not willing to use the term “Mother of God” (“Theotokos”) to describe the Virgin Mary. Instead, he insisted on the term “Mother of Christ” (“Christotokos”).

During the fourth century, the Greek Church had already held two ecumenical councils to confirm Christ's eternal preexistence as God prior to his incarnation as a man. From this perennial belief, it followed logically that Mary was the mother of God. Veneration of Mary as “Theotokos” confirmed the doctrine of the incarnation, and Christ's status as equal to the God the Father.

Nestorius insisted that he, too, held these doctrines. But to Cyril, and many others, his refusal to acknowledge Mary as the Mother of God seemed to reveal a heretical view of Christ which would split him into two united but distinct persons: one fully human and born of Mary, the other fully divine and not subject to birth or death.

Cyril responded to this heretical tendency first through a series of letters to Nestorius (which are still in existence and studied today), then through an appeal to the Pope, and finally through the summoning of an ecumenical council in 431. Cyril presided over this council, stating that he was “filling the place of the most holy and blessed Archbishop of the Roman Church,” Pope Celestine, who had authorized it.

The council was a tumultuous affair. Patriarch John of Antioch, a friend of Nestorius, came to the city and convened a rival council which sought to condemn and depose Cyril. Tension between the advocates of Cyril and Nestorius erupted into physical violence at times, and both parties sought to convince the emperor in Constantinople to back their position.

During the council, which ran from June 22 to July 31 of the year 431, Cyril brilliantly defended the orthodox belief in Christ as a single eternally divine person who also became incarnate as a man. The council condemned Nestorius, who was deposed as patriarch and later suffered exile. Cyril, however, reconciled with John and many of the other Antiochian theologians who once supported Nestorius.

St. Cyril of Alexandria died on June 27, 444, having been a bishop for nearly 32 years. Long celebrated as a saint, particularly in the Eastern Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches, he was declared a Doctor of the Church in 1883.

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Archbishop says peace a prerequisite for justice in Cameroon

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Brazilian bishops discuss violence in the Amazon with Pope Francis

A week after the Brazilian police confirmed the killings of British journalist Dom Phillips and of the Brazilian human rights activist Bruno Pereira in the Amazon, the region’s bishops visited Pope Francis and discussed the violence in the region.

Orthodox delegation to visit Rome for feast of Sts. Peter & Paul

Following a long-standing tradition, a delegation of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople is in Rome this week to help build unity between the Catholic and Orthodox Churches.

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Vatican publishes updated guidelines for cases of clerical sexual abuse of minors

Two years after the first edition, the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith publishes a second version of the "Vademecum on Certain Points of Procedure in Treating Cases of Sexual Abuse of Minors Committed by Clerics".

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Nigeria: Catholic priests killed in Edo and Kaduna

The Catholic Dioceses of Auchi and Kaduna mourn the deaths of Fr. Christopher Odia and Fr. Vitus Borogo, who were killed in the Nigerian states of Edo and Kaduna over the weekend.

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Mexican bishops: The country is spattered in the blood of the dead and disappeared

The Cathedral of the Assumption of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven in Mexico City, Mexico / Eduardo Berdejo/CNA

Mexico City Newsroom, Jun 26, 2022 / 15:26 pm (CNA).

"Our Mexico is being spattered in the blood of so many dead and disappeared," the Catholic Church in the country decried, remembering the thousands of victims of organized crime in the country, especially the two recently murdered Jesuit priests.

In a video message posted June 23, Bishop Ramón Castro Castro of Cuernavaca, secretary general of the Mexican Bishops’ Conference, referred to Pope Francis’ message of “sorrow and dismay” after learning of the death of the two Jesuit priests gunned down in the Sierra Tarahumara region of Chihuahua state.

“The bishops, as pastors, want to express in the same way all our closeness and the deep sorrow that we carry in our hearts. Now, as never before, the pain of the cross becomes more intense due to so much innocent blood spilled throughout the country,” Bishop Castro said.

Jesuit priests Javier Campos Morales and Joaquín César Mora Salazar were murdered June 20 inside the Catholic church of Cerocahui when they tried to protect an injured man who fled inside the church as he was being pursued by an armed assailant who then shot him and the two priests, killing all three.

The murderer has purportedly already been identified by the authorities, who have offered a reward of up to 5 million pesos (about $250,000) for information leading to his capture.

The crime, which is part of a growing wave of violence in Mexico, has shaken the country.

In just three and a half years of the López Obrador administration, there have already been more than 121,000 recorded homicides in the country, which is on track to exceed the more than 156,000 crimes committed during the six year term of his predecessor, Enrique Peña Nieto.

From January 1 to June 21 of this year, according to official figures, 12,481 homicides have taken place in Mexico.

The secretary general of the Mexican Bishops’ Conference lamented that in Mexico "the rate of violence and its structures of death have overflowed and set themselves up in our communities, disfiguring the human person and destroying the culture of peace, a culture of peace that makes us brothers." 

"Together with our people, we expect a response in keeping with the circumstances by the civil authorities at all levels," he said.

The prelate stressed that "it’s the responsibility of those who govern to seek justice and promote peace and harmony in social coexistence."

The priests who have died at the hands of organized crime identify "with the thousands of victims of our people who have met this end, with the tens of thousands of disappeared persons whose families continue to search for them."

“We would have to add the great deal of extortion and the total impunity prevailing throughout the country. This situation is already unbearable and demands and requires of us that we all bear fruits of peace,” Bishop Castro said.

The prelate said that the bishops also appeal "to those who are the cause of each and every one of the atrocious episodes of death and destruction against their own brothers."

“We remind them that we are part of the same people. We admonish them to stop killing their own brothers and violating social peace " he said.

"Recover the fear of God and let us make His Law prevail, which tells us 'You shall not kill,'" he exhorted.

On behalf of the entire Church in Mexico, Bishop Castro asked the criminals: “in the name of God, be sensitive to the laments of your brothers, who are children of God, whose tears of suffering, helplessness, and restrained rage cry out to heaven.”

“We implore you, we beg you, we demand, in the name of God, enough of so much evil and hatred! We all want peace," he concluded.

This story was first published by ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.

Two priests killed in Nigeria in separate incidents

Fr. Vitus Borogo, who was killed by armed bandits in Nigeria’s Kaduna state, June 25, 2022. / CBCN

Denver Newsroom, Jun 26, 2022 / 13:49 pm (CNA).

Two priests were killed over the weekend in Nigeria, one in Kaduna state and one in Edo state.

Fr. Vitus Borogo, a priest serving in the Archdiocese of Kaduna, was killed June 25 “at Prison Farm, Kujama, along Kaduna-Kachia Road, after a raid on the farm by Terrorists,” the chancellor of the Kaduna archdiocese said in a statement shared with ACI Africa. 

The priest, who was age 50, was the Catholic chaplain at Kaduna State Polytechnic.

In Edo state, Fr. Christopher Odia was kidnapped from his rectory at St. Michael Catholic Church, Ikabigbo, Uzairue, around 6:30 am June 26. He was killed by his abductors, the Diocese of Auchi has announced.

Fr. Odia was 41, and the administrator of St. Michael’s and principal of St. Philip Catholic Secondary School in Jattu.

The Sun, a Nigerian daily, reported that a Mass server and a local vigilante who followed the abductors were shot and killed during Fr. Odia’s kidnapping.

More Christians are killed for their faith in Nigeria than in any other country worldwide — at least 4,650 in 2021, and nearly 900 in the first three months of 2022 alone.

According to the UK-based human rights foundation Christian Solidarity Worldwide, Kaduna state has become "an epicenter of kidnapping and violence by non-state actors, despite being the most garrisoned state in Nigeria.”

Earlier this month gunmen attacked a Catholic church and a Baptist church in Kaduna state, killing three people and reportedly kidnapping more than 30 worshippers, and more than 40 Christians were killed in an attack on a Catholic church in Ondo state on June 5.

Jude Atemanke contributed to this report.