Cardinals Update : Cardinal Paul Josef Cordes, President Emeritus of Pontifical Council ‘Cor Unum’ (Germany), turned 80, ceases to be a Cardinal-elector

On Friday, 5 September 2014, Cardinal Paul Josef Cordes, Cardinal-Deacon of S. Lorenzo in Piscibus, President Emeritus of the Pontifical Council ‘Cor Unum’ (Germany), turned 80, and therefore, according to the rules written in the Apostolic Constitution Universi Dominici Gregis, he lost his right to vote in any future conclave. Cardinal Paul Josef Cordes was born in Kirchhundem, Germany on 5 September 1934.


Cardinal Cordes was made Cardinal-Deacon of S. Maria Ausiliatrice in Via Tuscolana by Pope Benedict XVI in the 2007 Consistory of Cardinals on 24 November 2007, the second Consistory of his pontificate. Cardinal Cordes was made a Cardinal in honour of his position as the President of the Pontifical Council ‘Cor Unum’, the branch of the Roman Curia focused on the efforts of the Holy See in the field of human and Christian development, involved in various charitable acts and humanitarian relief efforts, a position he held from 1995 to 2010. Before that, Cardinal Cordes was the Secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Laity from 1980 to 1995, and before that, the Auxiliary Bishop of Paderborn (Germany), from 1975 to 1980.


May God bless His Eminence Cardinal Cordes with a blessed old age and health. May he remain strong in the faith and hopefully can perhaps still continue to work great graces and good works of love and peace just as he had once done in his long service to the Church, particularly his contributions as a member of the Roman Curia in helping the actions of the Holy See and the Pope.


The College of Cardinals now stands at 210 members in total, with 114 Cardinal-electors and 96 Cardinal non-electors. There are now a vacancy of 6 Cardinal-elector as compared to the maximum number of electors allowed in the Conclave of 120.

Next Cardinal-elector to age out (80) will be Cardinal Franc Rode, C.M. (Slovenia), the Prefect Emeritus of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and for Societies of Apostolic Life on 23 September 2014.

100,000 views for my blog! Thanks to all the visitors and Praise be to God!

As of last Sunday, 7 July 2014, my blog has reached its 100,000th view by visitors from different parts of the world. I thank all those who had spent their time to come and read what I had published in this blog.

May God be with us all, bless us and guide us always. And may He guide me and bless me so that I can continue to write, to publish and to work for His greater glory.


Blog world map - 13 July 2014


Blog statistics (as of Sunday, 13 July 2014) :

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Statistics by countries (views) – 104,780 views tabulated

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Friday, 6 June 2014 : 7th Week of Easter, Memorial of St. Norbert, Bishop (Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : White

Brothers and sisters in Christ, today we heard about the calling and the commissioning of St. Peter the Apostle, when the Lord Jesus talked to him, heart-to-heart on the shore of the Lake of Galilee after His resurrection. He asked Peter three times whether he loved Him more than anything or anyone else, and Peter affirmed his love and faith in Jesus. And Jesus gave him His sheep to care for, as His vicar on earth, which is the position inherited by our Pope today as the successor of St. Peter the Apostle.

For those of us who do not realise the significance of such an action by Jesus in today’s readings, Jesus asked Peter three times for his answer whether he loved Him is exactly because, for the same number of times, Peter had betrayed His Lord by denying Him on that night when Jesus was brought before the Sanhedrin, that is the Council of the elders and the chief priests to be condemned to death.

Peter surely knew that the Lord did such when He asked for his love three times, that the Lord knew of His denial, and how he had fallen as a disciple of His, but yet when Jesus asked him and affirmed his love for Himself, Peter had truly been forgiven by the most merciful Lord, and from then on, became the greatest servant of the Lord, leading the flock of Christ as His vicar on earth.

Today we focus on the Lord in His merciful and loving aspect, just as He is caring to all of us. But He also revealed today that to be His followers and servants is definitely not easy, and various challenges will await us if we decide to remain true to His path, as St. Peter himself had been told and what truly happened to him at the end of his life, as well as what had happened to St. Paul, who had to endure prison and incarcerations after incarcerations.

Jesus told Peter himself how he would die at the hands of the godless, and those who refused to listen to the truth of Christ. This was in fact the same fate that awaits all those who went on to preach the Good News, including the other Apostles and disciples of Christ, and St. Paul himself. They all met their deaths in various ways, but nevertheless, through their death, they brought glory to God, and through them more and more people came to know of the Lord and be saved.

All of these bring about the reality about our faith. For too long we have indeed been complacent in our faith, and we often take a laid-back attitude about it, pretending that we have easy and blissful life all the time in this world. On the other extreme is also that we are afraid to seek the Lord and ask for His forgiveness whenever we have committed sins in our respective lives. We therefore become isolated and do not receive the Lord’s forgiveness and instead we fall into even greater darkness, committing even greater evils.

We have to realise, brothers and sisters in Christ, as today’s Scripture readings had highlighted it to us, that we have to accept the realities it presented to us, that first, God is loving and merciful, for to those who have the will and desire to love God, He will grant them pardon and rich blessings. And secondly, that His way is different from the ways of the world, and this is why, suffering and persecution will be a part of the lives of those who keep their faith in God.

But God is always with us, and He will guide us, if we remain faithful, and that He assured the disciples and the Apostles, and rich indeed would be their reward for keeping the faith in heaven. And today, brethren, we also commemorate yet another faithful servant of God, that is St. Norbert, a bishop of Germany, who lived during the middle of the Medieval era Europe, and was also known as St. Norbert of Xanten, for he was born in that city.

St. Norbert led a very holy and religious life, and a life of simplicity and humility, especially after an incident which almost took his life, which he attributed to divine protection, and ever since, he deepened further his spirituality and dedication to the Lord. He established and strengthened religious orders and helped to spread the teachings of the faith to many people, and gained great following in the process.

He was a great reformer of the Church and the faith, adamant and strong in his principles in reforming the Church for the better, especially after he was appointed as the Archbishop of Magdeburg, an important position in the Church. And in conducting and pushing forward with his reforms, he made many enemies, many of whom sent assassins after him. Nevertheless those attempts failed, and St. Norbert continued to carry out his good deeds and works until his passing from this world.

We have to realise, brethren, that we have many graces awaiting us if we allow God to come to us, and do not close ourselves to the loving hands of the Lord, which He extends freely to us, offering us forgiveness and everlasting love. May St. Norbert intercede for us, that we may be brought ever closer to reconciliation with our God, and receive great blessings in our lives. Let us also face the challenges and opposition in life with joy and happiness, knowing that God is always with us, His beloved children. God bless us all. Amen.

Friday, 6 June 2014 : 7th Week of Easter, Memorial of St. Norbert, Bishop (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

John 21 : 15-19

After they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these?” He answered, “Yes, Lord, You know that I love You.” And Jesus said, “Feed My lambs.”

A second time Jesus said to him, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?” And Peter answered, “Yes, Lord, You know that I love You.” Jesus said to him, “Look after My sheep.”

And a third time He said to him, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?” Peter was saddened because Jesus asked him a third time, “Do you love Me?” and he said, “Lord, You know everything; You know that I love You.”

Jesus then said, “Feed My sheep! Truly, I say to you, when you were young, you put on your belt and walked where you liked. But when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will put a belt around you, and lead you where you do not wish to go.”

Jesus said this to make known the kind of death by which Peter was to glorify God. And He added, “Follow Me.”

Friday, 6 June 2014 : 7th Week of Easter, Memorial of St. Norbert, Bishop (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : White

Psalm 102 : 1-2, 11-12, 19-20ab

Bless the Lord, my soul; all my being, bless His holy Name! Bless the Lord, my soul, and do not forget His kindness.

As the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His love for those fearing Him; as far as east is from the west, so far does He remove from us our sins.

The Lord has set His throne in heaven; He rules, He has power everywhere. Praise the Lord, all you His angels.

Friday, 6 June 2014 : 7th Week of Easter, Memorial of St. Norbert, Bishop (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : White

Acts 25 : 13b-21

As King Agrippa and his sister Bernice were to stay in Caesarea for several days, Festus told the king about Paul’s case and said to him, “We have here a man whom Felix left as a prisoner. When I was in Jerusalem, the chief priests and the elders of the Jews accused him and asked me to sentence him. I told them that it is not the custom of the Romans to hand over a man without giving him an opportunity to defend himself in front of his accusers. So they came and I took my seat without delay on the tribunal and sent for the man.”

“When the accusers had the floor, they did not accuse him of any of the crimes that I was led to think he had committed; instead they quarrelled with him about religion and about a certain Jesus who has died but whom Paul asserted to be alive. I did not know what to do about this case, so I asked Paul if he wanted to go to Jerusalem to be tried there. But Paul appealed to be judged by the emperor. So I ordered that he be kept in custody until I send him to Caesar.”

Thursday, 5 June 2014 : 7th Week of Easter, Memorial of St. Boniface, Bishop and Martyr (Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Red (Martyrs)

God has given glory to His Son, Jesus Christ, and He has shown it through Him, as He Himself revealed to the disciples as in the Gospel today, and also based on what He has done in this world. To the rebellious and wretched nation and people who constantly disobeyed His will and commandments, He once again showed His truth and glory through Christ, who performed such wonderful miracles on the kind and scale which have not been seen before in this world.

And through those too, God wanted to remind the people of the love which He has for them and the concern which He always has for them, through all ages. Through Jesus, mankind watched firsthand the undeniable evidence for the love of God, and He proved it through His willingness to bear the suffering and punishments for our sins on the cross and to die to save us from death.

He rose up from the realm of the dead and entered into His glory to bring us from the darkness and hopelessness of this world into the new hope and light of the world that is to come. He wants us to be saved, and to do so, He did not hesitate to give His all, even His life for our own good and safety. All these so that we may have hope in Him, and through Him, enter into the eternal life He has prepared for us.

Brothers and sisters in Christ, we must always keep the tenets and the basics of our faith strong, trusting in God in the matter of all that He had revealed to us. What are in this faith? We must always believe that the Lord is God, One and only Almighty and omnipotent God, Lord above all lords and Sovereign of all sovereigns and powers on earth and in heaven.

And then not just that, but that He is One, but has three separate and yet equal Divine Persons, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, all three of whom are different and separate from each other, and yet at the same time also are completely united to each other in perfect love and harmony, forming the Most Holy Trinity that is the basic of our faith.

And that the Son, who is the Word of God, was made flesh and descended into the world as one of us, and we know Him as Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ, who revealed to His disciples the glory that He had in Him, just before He was to be betrayed to the chief priests and the elders to be crucified. The Son is worthy, and He offered Himself to the Father to be the One to make clean the people of God, as the only sacrificial victim worthy to absolve the sins of all mankind, something, that the blood of animals cannot do.

And that through His suffering and death, He endured for us the punishments and sufferings which should have been our due for our sins and unworthiness, and instead He bore them upon Himself, and liberated us from death by His rising from the dead on Easter day. The Risen Christ is the proof that God gave as a final reminder of His love to all of us, which St. Paul bravely stood by in the first reading today.

We also have to keep all of these basic tenets of our faith, and we have to keep in mind always the love that God has for all of us. God is Love, and He will always love us, and He will never want us to be separated from Him, unless it is we ourselves who want to be separated from Him. Hence, brethren, loosen our hearts and open them for the Lord, and allow His love to touch us tenderly and transform us into creatures worthy of Him.

Today we celebrate the feast of St. Boniface, a bishop and a martyr of the faith. He was a bishop in the region of what is now today’s western areas of Germany, and he did many evangelising and preaching works throughout the still pagan areas of Germany, then still occupied in its eastern portion by many separate pagan tribes worshipping the pagan gods such as Odin, Thor, and other related Scandinavian pantheons.

St. Boniface worked hard for the faith, and managed to convert many people and helped them to accept the faith in God, abandoning their sinful old ways and cast down their pagan idols to accept the Lord Jesus as their Saviour and God. He preached in many places and villages, explaining about the faith to the people who then went on to accept the faith.

A particularly famous and renowned happening about St. Boniface and his evangelisation is that he felled a sacred oak in Germany, where the populace had once worshipped the pagan gods there, especially the god of thunder, Odin. When St. Boniface spoke up against the pagan worship and courageously hacked the oak tree down, the people waited for the gods to punish St. Boniface. However, seeing that no harm came upon St. Boniface, they laid down their pagan worship and eagerly took up the faith in God.

St. Boniface was martyred when he met a rogue group of pagan bandits on his way to preach to villages, and he was slain by them, while trying to defend himself with the Gospel book. He welcomed death readily, even at that moment when he was already very old. He did not fear to die, as long as He had brought the light of Christ to so many people and saved so many souls from destruction and damnation.

Therefore, brothers and sisters in Christ, inspired by the examples shown by St. Boniface, let us all be courageous in defending our faith, and let us all have a living and strong faith, one that is anchored firmly on the basic tenets of our faith and put all our trust completely in Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour. May He guide us always and remain with us always, all the time. Amen.

Thursday, 5 June 2014 : 7th Week of Easter, Memorial of St. Boniface, Bishop and Martyr (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Red (Martyrs)

John 17 : 20-26

I pray not only for these, but also for those who through their word will believe in Me. May they all be one, as You Father are in Me and I am in You. May they be one in Us, so that the world may believe that You have sent Me.

I have given them the glory You have given Me, that they may be one as We are one : In them and You in Me. Thus they shall reach perfection in unity; and the world shall know that You have sent Me! And that I have loved them, just as You loved Me.

Father, since You have given them to Me, I want them to be with Me where I am, and see the glory You gave Me, for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. Righteous Father, the world has not known You, but I have known You, and these have known that You have sent Me.

As I revealed Your Name to them, so will I continue to reveal It, so that the love with which You loved Me may be in them, and I also may be in them.

Thursday, 5 June 2014 : 7th Week of Easter, Memorial of St. Boniface, Bishop and Martyr (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Red (Martyrs)

Psalm 15 : 1-2a and 5, 7-8, 9-10, 11

Keep me safe, o God, for in You I take refuge. I say to the Lord, “O Lord, my inheritance and my cup, my chosen portion – hold secure my lot.

I bless the Lord who counsels me; even at night my inmost self instructes me. I keep the Lord always before me; for with Him at my right hand, I will never be shaken.

My heart, therefore, exults, my soul rejoices; my body too will rest assured. For You will not abandon my soul to the grave, nor will You suffer Your Holy One to see decay in the land of the dead.

You will show me the path of life, in Your presence the fullness of joy, at Your right hand happiness forever.

Thursday, 5 June 2014 : 7th Week of Easter, Memorial of St. Boniface, Bishop and Martyr (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Red (Martyrs)

Acts 22 : 30 and Acts 23 : 6-11

The next day the commander wanted to know for certain the charges the Jews were making against Paul. So he released him from prison and called together the High Priest and the whole Council; and they brought Paul down and made him stand before them.

Paul knew part of the Council were Sadducees and the others Pharisees; so he spoke out in the Council, “Brothers, I am a Pharisee, son of a Pharisee. It is for the hope in the resurrection of the dead that I am on trial here.”

At these words, an argument broke out between the Pharisees and the Sadducees and the whole assembly was divided. For the Sadducees claim that there is neither resurrection, nor angels nor spirits, while the Pharisees acknowledge all these things.

Then the shouting grew louder, and some teachers of the Law of the Pharisee party protested, “We find nothing wrong with this man. Maybe a spirit or an angel has spoken to him.” With this the argument became so violent that the commander feared that Paul would be torn to pieces by them. He therefore ordered the soldiers to go down and rescue him from their midst and take him back to the fortress.

That night the Lord stood by Paul and said, “Courage! As you have borne witness to Me here in Jerusalem, so must you do in Rome.”