Category: News

Watch Video – Lourdes Shrine Evacuated Due To Heavy Flooding 

Watch Video – Lourdes Shrine Evacuated Due To Heavy Flooding 


As heavy rains cause flash flooding across parts of France, the Marian shrine at Lourdes has been evacuated until further notice.

The Grotto is flooded and the International Mass in the underground basilica is canceled. Flooded everywhere,” said Bishop Philip Egan of Portsmouth, UK on June 13 in a Tweet.


Flooding has been taking place across the country over the past two weeks. Four deaths have been reported in connection with the heavy rains. A landslide near Paris derailed a train and damaged various roads. Some reports have also speculated the upcoming Tour de France may be re-routed due to the weather.May God protect everyone,” he continued.

The torrential rains caused the River Gave to overflow near the Lourdes shrine, similar to the flooding which occurred five years ago when Lourdes was last evacuated.

The Lourdes chaplains said on Twitter June 14 that the grotto will be reopened at Lourdes this evening for a procession. 

Flooded area near the Sanctuary of Notre Dame de Lourdes after heavy rainfalls in Lourdes, June 13, 2018. Credit: LAURENT DARD/AFP/Getty Images.

Source:

CNA/EWTN

‘…They Are Killing God Again As They Did In Calvary’ – Full Text Of Statement Released By Philippine Bishops On The Recent Murder Of A Catholic Priest. 

‘…They Are Killing God Again As They Did In Calvary’ – Full Text Of Statement Released By Philippine Bishops On The Recent Murder Of A Catholic Priest. 

‘WE ARE NOT AFRAID.’ Archbishop Socrates Villegas denounces the killing of Nueva Ecija priest Father Richmond Nilo. 

‘They are killing our flock. They are killing us shepherds.’

Archbishop Socrates Villegas and other leaders call on President Rodrigo Duterte ‘to stop the verbal persecution of the Catholic Church,’ as they denounce the killing of Father Richmond Nilo.

Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas and other leaders of his archdiocese released a strongly worded statement Monday evening, June 11, against the killing of Nueva Ecija priest Father Richmond Nilo.

“They are killing our flock. They are killing us shepherds. They are killing our faith. They are cursing our Church. They are killing God again as they did in Calvary,” their statement read. 

Villegas and his fellow leaders also called on President Rodrigo Duterte “to stop the verbal persecution of the Catholic Church because such attacks can wittingly embolden more crimes against priests.”

Signing the statement alongside Villegas were Bayombong Bishop-elect Jose Elmer Mangalinao and other officials of the Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan.

Rappler received a copy of the statement via email shortly before 8 pm on Monday.

Earlier on Monday, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines denounced the “outrageously evil” murder of Nilo.

Nilo, 43, was shot dead by unidentified gunmen on Sunday, June 10, as he was preparing to say Sunday Mass. He was the 3rd Catholic priest to be killed since December 2017, following the murders of 37-year-old Father Mark Anthony Ventura in Cagayan, and 72-year-old Father Marcelito Paez in another part of Nueva Ecija.

Read the full text of the statement below:

“WILL NO ONE RELIEVE ME OF THIS MEDDLESOME PRIEST?” (King Henry II)

Message to the People of God
by the Clergy of
the Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan
on June 12, 2018

Our dear people of God:

They are killing our flock. They are killing us the shepherds. They are killing our faith. They are cursing our Church. They are killing God again as they did in Calvary.

Killing is the solution. Killing is the language. Killing is the way. Killing is the answer. Killing is encouraged. Killing is their job. Killers are rewarded. Killers boast of their murders.

They kill in the streets. They kill inside homes. They kill in tricycles and jeeps. They kill in plazas. They kill in the malls. They kill in the chapels. The nation is a killing field. They kill everywhere. They are happy to kill. But we are not a nation of killers.

Are you still clapping? Are you still laughing? You still find it funny? You still think “Dapat lang”? Are you still saying “Pagbigyan natin”? Are you still saying our people feel safer now? Are you still saying this is the best government we ever had? Is this the change you want? Are these the changes you dream of? Are you still saying “There are some good things happening! Focus on the good”? If they curse us again for speaking up, we will not be surprised.

Are you afraid to talk? You think silence is a virtue? You think we your shepherds should sow unity by being like the monkeys who see and speak and hear no evil? You think we can be the next target if we speak? Do you still care? Where is your faith? You talk in whispers. You are afraid to be heard? Have we become numb and dumb?

“Who will rid me of this meddlesome priest?” said King Henry II about Saint Thomas Becket. Like blind fanatics, the knights of the King went to the Cathedral, searched for the Archbishop, hacked him, and split his skull to make the King happy, but the king was unnerved instead. The King became penitent and offered penance. The murderers were disgraced.

Today, the murderers are commended and the king is undisturbed.

We your Archbishop, the Bishop-elect of Bayombong, and the clergy of the Archdiocese of Lingayen Dagupan, represented by our Vicars Forane, say together:

We are not afraid. We trust in the Lord. We are ready to battle for God’s honor. They want to bury us priests. But they forget that we priests are seeds. When you bury us, we will grow more and flourish. You cannot stop the Gospel from growing. You cannot stop God from being God. You cannot muzzle the voice of Truth.

Killing is a sin. It is all wrong. This is not Filipino. This is not Christian. This is not how our parents taught us. The earth, soiled by the blood of Father Mark Ventura, Father Tito Paez, and Father Richmond Nilo, is crying.

The bloodied soil is crying to heaven for justice. God’s justice be upon those who kill the Lord’s anointed ones. There is a special place in hell for killers. There is a worse place for those who kill priests.

We declare a Day of Reparation in the Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan on June 18th, the 9th day of the death of Father Richmond Nilo.

  1. All the Masses in the Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan will be offered as reparation for the sins of blasphemy against God; the sins of sacrilege and calumny hurled against our priests and bishops; the murders that continue without relent. The Mass presiders are to wear the penitential color of violet. It will be a day of fasting and abstinence for the priests, religious, and lay faithful of our Church.

  2. The parish priests should expose the Blessed Sacrament for one hour at a time most convenient for the parishioners to adore and make reparation. The priests must go to confession and, in turn, hear the confessions of the faithful on this day, too. 

  3. All the parish church bells should ring for 15 minutes at 6 o’ clock in the evening on June 18th to commemorate the time when Father Richmond Nilo was killed. 

  4. The image of the Santo Entierro or the Black Nazarene should be brought out in procession in the evening of June 18th to close the Day of Reparation. 

  5. The seminarians of Mary Help Christians Seminaries will lead a dawn penitential pilgrimage on foot from San Jacinto Parish Church at 4:30 am to the Basilica of Manaoag. We encourage the youth to join.

We call on you brother priests from the other dioceses and religious congregations to join us if your bishops and religious superiors so agree.

Let us implore the grace of God to touch the heart of the President of the Philippines to stop the verbal persecution of the Catholic Church because such attacks can unwittingly embolden more crimes against priests.

We seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit that our leaders in government may arrest the further erosion of law and order in the country and restore respect for human life and human dignity, keeping in mind that they are “the king’s good servants but God’s first” (Saint Thomas More).

We beg the Lord to wake up our people, now walking in darkness and numbed by fear, to stand up for the Lord and courageously correct error and sin. May we find among our lay people the readiness to work actively for social and political changes grounded in Catholic moral teachings and Christian social ethics.

By the rosaries at EDSA 1986, we cast the dictator from his throne. Courage is contagious. Cowardice stinks. Prayer heals. Penance revives the dead.

“If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14).

From the Cathedral of Saint John the Evangelist, Dagupan City, June 12, 2018.

+SOCRATES B. VILLEGAS 
Archbishop of Lingayen-Dagupan

+JOSE ELMER I. MANGALINAO
Bishop-Elect of Bayombong

Father Alvin Gerald Platon
Vicar General and Chancellor

Monsignor Oliver Mendoza
Moderator Curiae and Economus

Monsignor Manuel Bravo
Minister for Evangelization
Vicar Forane of Saint Vincent Ferrer

Father Allan Lopez, OP
Episcopal Vicar for Religious

Father Winston Estrada
Vicar Forane of Saints Peter and Paul

Father Hernan Caronongan
Vicar Forane of Epiphany of the Lord

Father Estephen Mark Espinoza
Vicar Forane of Saint Thomas
Minister for Social Action

Father Antonio Ray Quintans
Vicar Forane of Saint Dominic

Father Kristoffer Allan Soriano
Judicial Vicar and Vice Chancellor

Father Eric Galivo
Minister for Worship

‘…There Is A Special Place In Hell For Killers, There Is A Worse Place For Those Who Kill Priest’ – Philippine Bishops 

‘…There Is A Special Place In Hell For Killers, There Is A Worse Place For Those Who Kill Priest’ – Philippine Bishops 

Sadly, three priests have been brutally murdered over the past six months in the Philippines. 

Image
Crime scene

Reverend Father Richmond Nilo, the parish priest of St. Vincent Ferrer Parish in Zaragoza, was shot in the chapel on Sunday where he was preparing for Mass. Surveillance video obtained by police shows that he was targeted in a premeditated murder by a group of men. 

CCT video shows one of the men crouching by one of the chapel windows and firing seven rounds from a .45 caliber pistol through the window, killing Fr. Nilo beside the altar. Amado Corpus, the regional director for Central Luzon police, explained at a press conference on Monday that Fr. Nilo was followed as he drove to the chapel. The car drove away, but a few minutes later a motorcycle with two men stopped beside Fr. Nilo’s car. 

Corpus explained, “They shot the priest almost two to three meters away from the altar.” 

Archbishop Socrates Villegas and other several officials from the diocese of Lingayen-Dagupan called on Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte “to stop the verbal persecution of the Catholic Church because such attacks can wittingly embolden more crimes against priests.” 

Father Nilo is the third priest killed in the last six months. In May, Fr. Mark Ventura was shot after Mass. In December, Fr. Marcelito Paez was shot by gunmen riding a motorcycle. 

In a statement released on Tuesday, the clergy of the archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan decried the killing of priests.

The bloodied soil is crying to Heaven for justice,” they wrote. “God’s justice be upon those who kill the Lord’s anointed ones. There is a special place in Hell for killers. There is a worse place for those who kill priests.”

They also called for a day of reparation on June 18, the ninth day after his death, to be a day of fasting and abstinence, with a dawn pilgrimage, exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and Masses.

The bloodied soil is crying to Heaven for justice.

Additionally, they call that “all the parish church bells should ring for 15 minutes at six o’clock … to commemorate the time when Fr. Nilo was killed.”

The statement recalled the power of the Rosary that helped remove Ferdinand Marcos from power in 1986 and “cast the dictator from his throne.” 

“Courage is contagious. Cowardice stinks. Prayer heals. Penance revives the dead,” the statement read. It continues: 

We are not afraid. We trust in the Lord. We are ready to battle for God’s honor. They want to bury us priests. But they forget that we priests are seeds. When you bury us, we will grow more and flourish. You cannot stop the Gospel from growing. You cannot stop God from being God. You cannot muzzle the voice of Truth.

Image
Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte

Some parishioners believe the murder was a result of a rift with members of the Iglesia ni Cristo (Church of Christ, INC). The INC was started in 1914 by Felix Y. Manalo, an ex-Catholic, who believes himself to be the restorer of the church of Christ and “God’s last messenger.” 

Father Nilo was reported to be “a stern defender of the Catholic religion” and a public debate with the INC was scheduled for August 31. 

Noel Jetajobe, the Vicar General, said these rumors were unfair, noting there have been other public debates that didn’t result in killings. 

Corpus confirmed that a religious motive has been included in the investigation, but said, “We cannot say the motive until it’s supported with enough evidence.”

A witness who was planning to attend Fr. Nilo’s Mass told reporters that there were around 70 people inside the chapel when Fr. Nilo was shot. Corpus explained that a police task force is preparing a composite sketch based on the CCTV footage and eyewitness accounts.

Eternal rest grant unto him oh Lord and let your perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace. Amen. 

‘…There Is A Special Place In Hell For Killers, There Is A Worse Place For Those Who Kill Priests’ – Philippine Bishops 

‘…There Is A Special Place In Hell For Killers, There Is A Worse Place For Those Who Kill Priests’ – Philippine Bishops 

Sadly, three priests have been brutally murdered over the past six months in the Philippines. 

Image
Crime scene

Reverend Father Richmond Nilo, the parish priest of St. Vincent Ferrer Parish in Zaragoza, was shot in the chapel on Sunday where he was preparing for Mass. Surveillance video obtained by police shows that he was targeted in a premeditated murder by a group of men. 

CCT video shows one of the men crouching by one of the chapel windows and firing seven rounds from a .45 caliber pistol through the window, killing Fr. Nilo beside the altar. Amado Corpus, the regional director for Central Luzon police, explained at a press conference on Monday that Fr. Nilo was followed as he drove to the chapel. The car drove away, but a few minutes later a motorcycle with two men stopped beside Fr. Nilo’s car. 

Corpus explained, “They shot the priest almost two to three meters away from the altar.” 

Archbishop Socrates Villegas and other several officials from the diocese of Lingayen-Dagupan called on Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte “to stop the verbal persecution of the Catholic Church because such attacks can wittingly embolden more crimes against priests.” 

Father Nilo is the third priest killed in the last six months. In May, Fr. Mark Ventura was shot after Mass. In December, Fr. Marcelito Paez was shot by gunmen riding a motorcycle. 

In a statement released on Tuesday, the clergy of the archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan decried the killing of priests.

The bloodied soil is crying to Heaven for justice,” they wrote. “God’s justice be upon those who kill the Lord’s anointed ones. There is a special place in Hell for killers. There is a worse place for those who kill priests.”

They also called for a day of reparation on June 18, the ninth day after his death, to be a day of fasting and abstinence, with a dawn pilgrimage, exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and Masses.

The bloodied soil is crying to Heaven for justice.

Additionally, they call that “all the parish church bells should ring for 15 minutes at six o’clock … to commemorate the time when Fr. Nilo was killed.”

The statement recalled the power of the Rosary that helped remove Ferdinand Marcos from power in 1986 and “cast the dictator from his throne.” 

“Courage is contagious. Cowardice stinks. Prayer heals. Penance revives the dead,” the statement read. It continues: 

We are not afraid. We trust in the Lord. We are ready to battle for God’s honor. They want to bury us priests. But they forget that we priests are seeds. When you bury us, we will grow more and flourish. You cannot stop the Gospel from growing. You cannot stop God from being God. You cannot muzzle the voice of Truth.

Image
Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte

Some parishioners believe the murder was a result of a rift with members of the Iglesia ni Cristo (Church of Christ, INC). The INC was started in 1914 by Felix Y. Manalo, an ex-Catholic, who believes himself to be the restorer of the church of Christ and “God’s last messenger.” 

Father Nilo was reported to be “a stern defender of the Catholic religion” and a public debate with the INC was scheduled for August 31. 

Noel Jetajobe, the Vicar General, said these rumors were unfair, noting there have been other public debates that didn’t result in killings. 

Corpus confirmed that a religious motive has been included in the investigation, but said, “We cannot say the motive until it’s supported with enough evidence.”

A witness who was planning to attend Fr. Nilo’s Mass told reporters that there were around 70 people inside the chapel when Fr. Nilo was shot. Corpus explained that a police task force is preparing a composite sketch based on the CCTV footage and eyewitness accounts.

Eternal rest grant unto him oh Lord and let your perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace. Amen. 

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