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Simon of Cyrene

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 Contents - May 2011AD2000 May 2011 - Buy a copy now
Benedict XVI: The true meaning of mature faith - Pope Benedict XVI
Two million in Rome for beatification of John Paul II - Peter Westmore
News: The Church Around the World
Modern martytrs: Shahbaz Bhatti (1968-2011): Pakistan's contemporary martyr - Babette Francis
Culture: The decline of the Christian West - Cardinal Raymond Burke
Oppression: Christians under fire worldwide - Cardinal Sean Brady
The Anglican Ordinariate: what impact on Catholic worship? - Shawn Tribe
Interview: International Conference on Eucharistic Adoration in Rome - Father Florian Racine
University Life: Australian Catholic Students' Conference 2011 a success - Br Barry Coldrey
Liturgy: Welcome to the new translation of the Missal - Audrey English
Literature: The 'impossible dream' of Don Quixote - Part 2 (Matthew 6:19) - Andrew Kania
Letters: Climate alarmism - Peter Donald
Letters: 'Spirit of Vatican II' - Fr. M. Durham
Letters: Simon of Cyrene - Andrew Sholl
Letters: A mixture - Arnold Jago
Letters: William Wardell - Cambria M. Parkinson
Poetry: One Cross - Bruce Dawe
Books: CHRISTIANITY IN IRAQ, by Suha Rassam - Michael Daniel (reviewer)
Books: SIMON, CALLED PETER, by Dom Mauro-Guissepe Lepori, O.Cist. - Michael Daniel (reviewer)
Books: ELIZABETH HAYES: Pioneer Franciscan Journalist, by Pauline J. Shaw - Br Barry Coldrey (reviewer)
Books: DAUGHTER OF MAN, MOTHER OF GOD, by Barry M. Coldrey - Michael Gilchrist (reviewer)
Books: Order books from
Reflection: The Resurrection: ultimate meaning of our existence - Fr Dennis Byrnes

The current civil war in Libya brings to mind an important, indeed vital fact of our Faith, especially during the Easter season.

Simon of Cyrene (a town in north-eastern Libya) was made to carry the Cross of Jesus by the Romans (Matthew 27:32). In fact Cyrene, now called in Arabic Shahhat, was such an important town at the time of Jesus that the whole eastern half of Libya was and is still called Cyrenaica. Tripolitania is the western half of the nation, with its chief city of Tripoli which is now the "united" nation's capital.

What to us Christians is significant is that Simon only helped Jesus to carry the Cross: Simon did not die on that Cross, as was claimed by Gnostics in their controversy with Catholics in the early Church.

It is therefore not surprising that Muhammad appears to have adopted the Gnostics' idea in the seventh century AD, since Muslims are explicitly taught in the Koran that Jesus did not die on the cross, but another man stood in as a substitute.

However, Saint Paul tells us that if Jesus had not been crucified and died for us, and then was raised on the third day, we would still be in our sin and our Faith would be worthless.

Townsville, Qld

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Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 24 No 4 (May 2011), p. 15

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