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The Vatican Information Service is a news service, founded in the Holy See Press Office, that provides information about the Magisterium and the pastoral activities of the Holy Father and the Roman Curia...[]

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Wednesday, October 31, 2007


VATICAN CITY, OCT 31, 2007 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

 - Accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Breda, Netherlands presented by Bishop Martinus Petrus Maria Muskens, in accordance with canon 401 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law. He is succeeded by Coadjutor Bishop Johannes Harmannes Jozefus Van den Hende.

 - Appointed Bishop Mauro Aparecido dos Santos of Campo Mourao, Brazil, as metropolitan archbishop of Cascavel (area 8,103, population 390,000, Catholics 292,000, priests 60, religious 179), Brazil. The archbishop-elect was born in Fartura, Brazil in 1954, he was ordained a priest in 1984 and consecrated a bishop in 1998. He succeeds Archbishop Lucio Ignacio Baumgaertner, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same archdiocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.

 - Appointed Msgr. Hector Eduardo Vera Colona, vicar general of Chiclayo, Peru, and pastor of "San Pedro" in Lambayeque, as bishop of Ica (area 21,305, population 745,000, Catholics 735,000, priests 49, religious 132), Peru. The bishop-elect was born in Chiclayo in 1962 and ordained a priest in 1987. He succeeds Bishop Guido Brena Lopez O.P., whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.

 - Appointed Bishop Miguel Angelo Freitas Ribeiro of Tocantinopolis, Brazil, as bishop of Oliveira (area 7,738, population 307,000, Catholics 290,000, priests 40, religious 43), Brazil.

 - Msgr. Angelo Pirovano, official in the Section for General Affairs of the Secretariat of State, as bureau chief in the same section.

 - Vincenzo Buonomo, assistant in the Holy See permanent mission to the United Nations Organizations for Food and Agriculture (FAO, IFAD, and PAM), as bureau chief in the same permanent mission.
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VATICAN CITY, OCT 31, 2007 (VIS) - Pope Benedict's general prayer intention for November is: "That those dedicated to medical research and all those engaged in legislative activity may always have deep respect for human life, from its beginning to its natural conclusion."

  His mission intention is: "That in the Korean peninsula the spirit of reconciliation and peace may grow."
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VATICAN CITY, OCT 31, 2007 (VIS) - During his general audience, held this morning in a rainy St. Peter's Square in the presence of 30,000 faithful, Benedict XVI dedicated his catechesis to the figure of St. Maximus of Turin.

  Maximus became bishop of that Italian city in the year 398 just as it was being threatened by various barbarian tribes which had entered Italy through the eastern passes and pushed as far as the western Alps. Turin was protected by a military garrison and served as a safe haven for people fleeing rural areas.

  Faced with such a situation the activities of Maximus, author of around 90 sermons, "bear witness to his commitment to react to the degradation and break-up" of civil society, said the Pope. The bishop censured the faithful when they sought to turn another's disadvantage to their own benefit, thus highlighting "the profound relationship between a person's duties as a Christian and as a citizen." And Maximus was concerned "not only with people's traditional love for their hometown" but also proclaimed "the specific duty of paying taxes."

  A historical and literary analysis of the figure of St. Maximus, said the Pope, "demonstrates his growing awareness of the political responsibility of the ecclesiastical authorities at a time in which they were, in effect, substituting civil authority."

  "It is clear that today's historical, cultural and social context is completely different," the Holy Father went on, "but in any case, ... the duties of believers towards their city and their homeland remain the same. The link between the obligations of the 'honest citizen' and those of the 'good Christian' has not changed in the least."

  In this context, Pope Benedict then went on to refer to the Vatican Council II Pastoral Constitution "Gaudium et spes" which had the aim "of illuminating one of the most important aspects of the unity of Christian life: coherence between faith and life, between Gospel and culture."

  Vatican Council II, he concluded, "exhorts Christians, as citizens of two cities, to strive to discharge their earthly duties conscientiously and in response to the Gospel spirit. They are mistaken who, knowing that we have here no abiding city but seek one which is to come, think that they may therefore shirk their earthly responsibilities. For they are forgetting that by the faith itself they are more obliged than ever to measure up to these duties, each according to his proper vocation."
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Tuesday, October 30, 2007


VATICAN CITY, OCT 30, 2007 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

 - Appointed Bishop Pierre Burcher, auxiliary of Lausanne, Geneve et Fribourg, Switzerland, as bishop of Reykjavik (area 103,000, population 299,407, Catholics 6,451, priests 15, religious 48), Iceland. He succeeds Joannes Baptist Matthijs Gijsen, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.

 - Appointed Fr. Hermenegildo Torres Asanza of the clergy of the diocese of Machala, Ecuador, episcopal vicar for the "Zona Alta," as auxiliary of the same diocese (area 5,819, population 527,000, Catholics 499,000, priests 38, religious 94). The bishop-elect was born in San Roque, Ecuador in 1966 and ordained a priest in 1992.

 - Appointed Fr. William Patrick Callahan O.F.M. Conv., spiritual director of the Pontifical North American College in Rome, as auxiliary of the archdiocese of Milwaukee (area 12,323, population 2,271,840, Catholics 707,688, priests 703, permanent deacons 167, religious 2,856), U.S.A. The bishop-elect was born in Chicago, U.S.A. in 1950 and ordained a priest in 1977.

 - Appointed Fr. Herve Gaschignard of the clergy of the diocese of Nantes, France, pastor of Notre-Dame la Blanche in Guerande, as auxiliary of Toulouse (area 6,372, population 1,126,000, Catholics 743,160, priests 384, permanent deacons 18, religious 768), France. The bishop-elect was born in Saint-Nazaire, France in 1959 and ordained a priest in 1989.
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ARCHBISHOP CELESTINO MAGGIORE, permanent observer of the Holy See to the United Nations, spoke yesterday in New York before the second committee of the 62nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly on the theme of sustainable development. Speaking English, Archbishop Migliore highlighted the "underlying moral imperative that all, without exception, have a grave responsibility to protect the environment." This, he said, means we must "examine how we use and share the goods of the earth and what we pass on to future generations. It exhorts us to live in harmony with our environment."

AT THE ALTAR OF THE CATHEDRA in St., Peter's Basilica at 11.30 a.m. on Monday, November 5, the Holy Father will preside at a Mass concelebrated with members of the College of Cardinals for the souls of cardinals and bishops who died during the course of the year.

"THE MEDIA: AT THE CROSSROADS BETWEEN ACTIVISM AND SERVICE. Seeking the Truth in order to share it with others" is the theme chosen by Benedict XVI for the 42nd World Communications Day, due to be celebrated on May 4, 2008. In a communique released today Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, writes that such a theme "calls on us to reflect on the role played by the media and especially the increasing risk of their becoming self-absorbed and no longer tools at the service of truth - something which is meant to be sought and shared."
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Monday, October 29, 2007


VATICAN CITY, OCT 29, 2007 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Archbishop Aldo Cavalli, apostolic nuncio to Chile, as apostolic nuncio to Colombia.

  On Saturday, October 27, it was made public that he:

 - Gave his assent to the canonical election by the Synod of Bishops of the Greek-Catholic Romanian Church of Fr. Mihai Catalin Fratila, rector of the "Pio Romeno" Pontifical College in Rome, as auxiliary bishop of the archieparchy of Fagaras and Alba Iulia of the Romanians (Catholics 367,000, priests 217, religious 166), Romania. The bishop-elect was born in Barman, Romania in 1970 and ordained a priest in 1996.

 - Gave his assent to the canonical election by the Synod of Bishops of the Greek-Catholic Romanian Church of Fr. Vasile Bizau, professor of moral theology at the major seminary in the eparchy of Maramures, Romania, as bishop to the Major Archiepiscopal Curia. The bishop-elect was born in Maramures in 1969 and ordained a priest in 1997.
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VATICAN CITY, OCT 29, 2007 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audience:

 - Cardinal Friedrich Wetter, archbishop emeritus of Munchen und Freising, Germany.

 - Cardinal Salvatore De Giorgi, archbishop emeritus of Palermo, Italy.

  On Saturday, October 27, he received in separate audiences:

 - Gunther Beckstein, minister-president of Bavaria, Germany, accompanied by his wife and an entourage.

 - Archbishop Edward Joseph Adams, apostolic nuncio to the Philippines.

 - Bishop Wilhelm Schraml of Passau, Germany.

 - Miroslav Palameta, ambassador of Bosnia and Herzegovina, on his farewell visit.
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VATICAN CITY, OCT 29, 2007 (VIS) - In St. Peter's Square 10.30 a.m. on Saturday, November 24, Benedict XVI will celebrate an Ordinary Public Consistory for the creation of 23 new cardinals, according to a note published today by the Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff.

  Courtesy visits to the new cardinals will take place on the same day from 4.30 to 6.30 p.m.

  In St. Peter's Square at 10.30 a.m. on Sunday, November 25, Benedict XVI will preside at a Eucharistic concelebration with the new cardinals, during which he will give them their ring of office.
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VATICAN CITY, OCT 29, 2007 (VIS) - The Holy See Press Office today released the following communique:

  "This morning Oscar Nicanor Duarte Frutos, president of the Republic of Paraguay, visited His Holiness Benedict XVI, subsequently going on to meet with Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B. and Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States.

  "The cordial meetings served to consider questions concerning the current situation of Paraguay, with particular attention being given to the specific roles of Church and State in political life and in the human, moral, educational an socio-economic development of the nation, The hope was expressed that Paraguayan society may continue along the path of the common good, of legality and of social peace, inspired by the Christian values of justice and of respect among all citizens."
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VATICAN CITY, OCT 29, 2007 (VIS) - "The new frontiers of pharmaceutical activity" is the theme of the 25th international congress of Catholic pharmacists, currently being held in Rome. The participants in the meeting were received today by Benedict XVI.

  In his brief remarks to them the Pope first considered current developments in drugs and medicine and the therapeutic possibilities they offer, reminding the pharmacists of the need "to reflect upon the ever broader functions they are called to undertake, especially as intermediaries between doctor and patient," and upon their role in educating patients "in the correct use of medications" and in informing them of "the ethical implications of the use of particular drugs."

  "In this context," he went on, "we cannot anaesthetize consciences as regards, for example, the effect of certain molecules that have the goal of preventing the implantation of the embryo or shortening a person's life. Pharmacists must seek to raise people's awareness so that all human beings are protected from conception to natural death, and so that medicines truly play a therapeutic role."

  "Moreover, no individual may be used ... as an object to undertake therapeutic experiments." Such experiments "must be carried out following protocols that respect fundamental ethical norms."

  The Pope emphasized how "all attempts at cure or experimentation must be undertaken while bearing in mind the wellbeing of the person concerned, and not only the pursuit of scientific progress." Furthermore, "the quest for the good of humanity cannot proceed at the expense of the wellbeing of the people being treated."

  In the moral sphere, the federation of pharmacists "is called to face the question of conscientious objection, which is a right that must be recognized for people exercising this profession, so as to enable them not to collaborate directly or indirectly in supplying products that have clearly immoral purposes such as, for example, abortion or euthanasia."

  It is also important, the Pope proceeded, that pharmaceutical organizations practice "solidarity in the therapeutic field so as to enable people of all social classes and all countries, especially the poorest, to have access to vital medicines and assistance."

  "The biomedical sciences are at the service of man," the Pope concluded. "Were it otherwise they would be cold and inhuman. All scientific knowledge in the field of healthcare ... is at the service of sick human beings, considered in their entirety, who must have an active role in their cure and whose autonomy must be respected."


VATICAN CITY, OCT 28, 2007 (VIS) - At midday today, Benedict XVI appeared at the window of his private study overlooking St. Peter's Square in order to pray the Angelus with thousands of faithful gathered below. Most of those present were Spaniards who had just attended a ceremony for the beatification of 498 Spanish martyrs of the 20th century, presided in the Pope's name by Cardinal Jose Saraiva Martins C.M.F., prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.

  The beatification of such a large number of martyrs "shows how the supreme witness of blood is not an exception reserved just for a few individuals, but a realistic possibility for an entire Christian people," said the Holy Father.

  The 498 new Blesseds, killed in Spain in the 1930s, were "men and women of various ages, vocations and social conditions who paid with their lives for their faithfulness to Christ and to His Church."

  "The month of October, which is especially dedicated to the mission, thus closes with the shining witness of the Spanish martyrs whose names are added to those of the martyrs Albertina Berkenbrock, Manuel Gomez Gonzalez and Adilio Daronch, and Franz Jagerstatter, recently proclaimed as Blesseds in Brazil and in Austria. Their example testifies to the fact that Baptism commits Christians to participate courageously in creating the Kingdom of God, cooperating therein, if necessary, with the sacrifice of their own lives.

  "Of course," Benedict XVI added, "not everyone is called to a cruel martyrdom. However, there exists a bloodless 'martyrdom' which is no less important, such as that of Celina Chludzinska, wife and mother, widow and religious, who was beatified yesterday in Rome. This is the silent and heroic witness of so many Christians who live the Gospel without compromise, doing their duty and dedicating themselves generously to the service of the poor.

  "This martyrdom of everyday life is a vital testimony in the secularized societies of our own time, It is the peaceful battle of love that all Christians, like Paul, must tirelessly wage, the race to spread the Gospel which keeps us committed unto death."

  Following the Angelus, the Holy Father addressed a special greeting to some 40,000 Spanish faithful - bishops, priests, religious, seminarians and lay people - who had participated in the morning's beatification ceremony.

  "Let us thank God," the Pope said, "for the great gift of these heroic witnesses of the faith who, moved exclusively by their love for Christ, paid for their faithfulness to Him and to His Church with their blood. With their witness, they illuminate our own spiritual path to sanctity and encourage us to give our lives as a gift of love to God and to our fellows."

  The new Blesseds, "with their words and deeds of pardon towards their persecutors encourage us to work tirelessly for mercy, reconciliation and peaceful coexistence.

  "From my heart I invite you to strengthen ecclesial communion day after day, to be faithful witnesses of the Gospel in the world, conscious of the joy of being living members of the Church, the true bride of Christ.

  "Let us ask the new Blesseds," the Holy Father concluded, "through the Virgin Mary, Queen of Martyrs, to intercede for the Church in Spain and in the world. May the fecundity of their martyrdom produce abundant fruits of Christian life in the faithful and in families, may the blood they spilt be a seed for many holy priestly, religious and missionary vocations."
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VATICAN CITY, OCT 27, 2007 (VIS) - This evening in the Paul VI Hall, Benedict XVI attended a concert held in his honor, during which the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and Choir played Beethoven's 9th Symphony. The event was organized to thank the Pope for his visit to Bavaria of September 2006.

  At the end of the concert the Holy Father remarked how Beethoven had composed his final symphony in 1824, following a period of isolation and difficulty "which threatened to suffocate his artistic creativity." Yet he "surprised the public with a composition that broke with the traditional structure of the symphony" rising at the end "in an extraordinary finale of optimism and joy."

  "This overwhelming sentiment of joy," the Pope said, "is not something light and superficial; it is a sensation achieved through struggle" because "silent solitude ... had taught Beethoven a new way of listening that went well beyond a simple capacity to experience in his imagination the sound of notes read or written." His was akin to "the perceptivity given as a gift by God to people who obtain the grace of interior or exterior liberation."

  Benedict XVI recalled how in 1989, when the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and Choir had played Beethoven's 9th Symphony for the fall of the Berlin Wall, they altered the text from "Ode to Joy" to "Freedom, Spark of God," thus expressing "more than the simple sensation of a historical moment. True joy is rooted in the freedom that only God can give.

  " God - sometimes through periods of interior emptiness and isolation - wishes to make us attentive and capable of 'feeling' His silent presence, not only 'over the canopy of stars' but also in the most intimate recesses of our soul. There burns the spark of divine love that can free us to be what we truly are."
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VATICAN CITY, OCT 27, 2007 (VIS) - Benedict XVI has written a Letter to Giovanni Maria Vian for the occasion of his appointment as director of "L'Osservatore Romano," a role, the Pope writes, "of great responsibility because of the particular nature of the Vatican newspaper."

  The Pope praises the new director's "profound cultural formation as a historian of Christianity" and his "knowledge of the history of the modern papacy." Since the year 1861, the Holy Father notes, L'Osservatore Romano "has made known the teachings of the Roman Pontiffs and the contributions of their closest collaborators concerning the crucial problems humanity encounters on its journey."

  Benedict XVI then traces a brief history of the "newspaper of the Popes," recalling "the decision to remain impartial, which characterized the information given by the Vatican daily during the First World War," and the fact that during the Second World War L'Osservatore Romano saw its prestige and circulation grow "thanks also to the opportunity the newspaper had to draw from sources of information which, at the time, only the independence of the Vatican could guarantee."

  Throughout the 20th century the publication of various language editions ensured the newspaper "had a truly international circulation" and gave it "a world dimension which ... is extremely important in truly expressing the reality of the Universal Church and the communion of all the local Churches, ... in a context of sincere friendship towards the women and men of our time.

  "Seeking and creating opportunities for encounter," the Pope adds, "L'Osservatore Romano will be able to serve the Holy See ever more effectively, demonstrating the fecundity of the meeting between faith and reason, thanks to which cordial collaboration between believers and non-believers becomes possible."

  The newspaper's fundamental task, the Holy Father concludes, "obviously remains that of favoring, in the cultures of our time, a trusting and at the same time profoundly reasonable openness to the Transcendent, upon which, in the final instance, rests respect for the dignity and the authentic freedom of each human being."


VATICAN CITY, OCT 27, 2007 (VIS) - Today in the Vatican, Benedict XVI received the Letters of Credence of Fausto Cordovez Chiriboga, the new ambassador of the Republic of Ecuador to the Holy See.

  At the beginning of his talk, the Pope dwelt upon the heritage which, "handed down over the centuries" through "various forms of popular piety and art, and along with civic and social values, forms part of Ecuador's identity as a nation."

  After remarking how "new scenarios of freedom and hope," are "often overturned by unstable political situations and as a consequence of weak social structures," the Holy Father affirmed "the urgent necessity to work towards building an internal and international order that promotes peaceful coexistence, cooperation and respect for human rights, and the recognition, above all, of the central position of the individual and his inviolable dignity."

  Faced with the fact that "many Ecuadorians emigrate to other countries in difficult circumstances, seeking a better future for themselves and their families," it must not be forgotten, said the Pope, "that love - caritas - will always be necessary even in the fairest of societies. No State order, however just it may be, can render superfluous the service of love. ... Indeed it is charity, the generous giving of self to others, that has generated and continues to generate those activities of education, assistance, promotion and development which so honor the Church and Ecuadorian society."

  "Through her pastoral ministry the Catholic Church ... makes an important contribution to the overall good of the country," said the Holy Father. "Hence the need to promote and strengthen the margin of freedom which she is recognized as having in the law and constitution of Ecuador. Hence also, it is to be hoped that the new constitution will provide ample guarantees for the religious freedom of the Ecuadorian people, so that the nation may have a legal framework which ... conforms to its context and to international agreements."

  The Pope emphasized that "the Church's freedom of action, apart from being an alienable right, is a primordial condition for her to carry out her mission among people, sometimes in difficult circumstances. For this reason," he went on quoting his own Encyclical "Deus caritas est," "we do not need a State which regulates and controls everything, but a State which, in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity, generously acknowledges and supports initiatives arising from the different social forces and combines spontaneity with closeness to those in need.

  "There can, indeed, be no other aspiration for a democratic government committed to fomenting a culture of respect and equality before the law, and to the exemplary exercise of an authority which aims to serve all its people. Hence, the government of Ecuador has expressed its firm will to make a priority of tending to the most needy, drawing inspiration from the Church's social doctrine."

  The Holy Father concluded by expressing the hope that Ecuador's "citizens may enjoy all their rights, together with their corresponding obligations, achieving better living conditions and easier access to a proper home and to a job, to education and healthcare, in full respect for life from conception to natural end."

Friday, October 26, 2007


VATICAN CITY, OCT 26, 2007 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

 - Cardinal Telesphore Placidus Toppo, archbishop of Ranchi, India.

 - Three prelates from the Episcopal Conference of Gabon, on their "ad limina" visit:

    - Bishop Jean-Vincent Ondo Eyene of Oyem.

    - Bishop Mathieu Madega of Port-Gentil.

    - Fr. Joseph Koerber C.S.Sp., apostolic prefect of Makokou.
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VATICAN CITY, OCT 26, 2007 (VIS) - The Holy See Press Office released the following communique today:

  "This morning in the Vatican Apostolic Palace, the Holy Father Benedict XVI received in audience Geir H. Haarde, prime minister of Iceland. The prime minister subsequently went on to meet Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B., and Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States.

  "In the course of the cordial discussions, the mutual respect and esteem marking relations between Iceland and the Catholic Church were noted, as was the contribution the Church makes to society, especially in the educational and social fields. Certain international questions of joint interest were also examined, highlighting the need for an ever greater commitment on the part of the international community to promote peace, fight against poverty, and favor environmental protection."
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VATICAN CITY, OCT 26, 2007 (VIS) - Today in the Vatican, the Holy Father received prelates from the Episcopal Conference of Gabon, who have just completed their five-yearly "ad limina" visit to Rome.

  At the beginning of his address to them, the Pope noted how the people of Gabon "sometimes let themselves be attracted by the consumerist permissive society, paying less attention to the poorest people of their country. I encourage them to increase fraternal sentiment and solidarity. Furthermore, a certain relaxation has been noted in the lives of Christians, taken in by the attractions of the world. It is my hope that their conduct become ever more exemplary in terms of spiritual and moral values."

  Benedict XVI identified one of the most vital tasks of the Church in Gabon as "transmitting the faith and acquiring a deeper knowledge of the Christian mystery. In order to meet the challenges they face, the faithful need a thorough formation that enables them to found their Christian life upon clear principles."

  In this way "ecclesial communities will be more vibrant and the faithful will draw strength from the liturgy and from individual, family and community prayer, so that, in all fields of social life, they become witnesses of the Good News and workers for reconciliation, justice and peace in this world of ours which needs these things more than ever."

  The Pope emphasized the need to pay particular attention to the youth of Gabon. In this context, he expressed the hope that the young may become "the first evangelizers of their peers. Many times, through friendship and sharing, people come to discover the person of Christ and to join themselves to Him."

  After then dwelling on the bishop's concern over the low numbers of vocations to the priesthood and the religious life, the Holy Father noted that "the seminary in Libreville must be watched over with particular care because the future of evangelization and of the Church are at stake." This, he said, " will not cease to be a stimulus so that, in each diocese, pastoral care of vocations develops and intensifies."

  The Holy Father encouraged priests and religious, and their families, to "mobilize themselves through prayer, attention to the youngest and a concern for transmitting the call of Christ, so that the vocations your country needs may arise and spread."

  Nor can we forget," he continued, "the role of Catholic education, in which teachers and educators have the mission of the integral education of the young. This task requires witness to and transmission of the faith, as well as attention to vocations."

  With reference to priests, the Pope stressed that, "living in constant intimacy with Christ, they will have a sharper awareness of the need to remain faithful to the commitments made before God and the Church, especially ... chastity and celibacy. In this way, they will experience their priestly ministry ever more as a service to the faithful."

  "They will find spiritual support in the brotherhood of priests, comforted by you who are father and brother to them," he told the bishops. "Thus, together, you will be able to implement joint pastoral projects that give fresh impetus to the mission. I encourage each priest to seek ... the good of the Church and not personal advantage, conforming his life and mission to the gesture of the washing of the feet. From such love, lived as disinterested service, profound joy will arise."
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VATICAN CITY, OCT 26, 2007 (VIS) - Yesterday evening, following a Eucharistic concelebration presided by Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski, prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education, to mark the beginning of the academic year at Roman Pontifical Universities, the Holy Father entered St. Peter's Basilica to greet the students gathered there.

  "Seek to create," the Pope told them, "a climate in which commitment to study and fraternal cooperation enable you to enrich one another, not only as concerns cultural, academic and doctrinal aspects, but also on a human and spiritual level."

  The Holy Father also reminded the students that Rome is a city "rich in historical memories, in masterpieces of art and culture, and above all in eloquent Christian testimony.

  "Over time," he added, "universities and ecclesiastical faculties came into being, now centuries old. There, entire generations of priests and pastoral workers were formed, including many great saints and illustrious men of the Church."

  Referring then to John Paul II's Apostolic Constitution "Sapientia christiana," which refers to the need to consider "new problems" in the light of Christian revelation and to present truth "in a manner adapted to various cultures," Benedict XVI reaffirmed that such a commitment "is more pressing than ever in our post-modern age, in which the need is felt for a new evangelization, and which needs masters of faith and appropriately-trained heralds and witnesses of the Gospel."

  "The time you spend in Rome can and must serve to prepare you to undertake ... the task that awaits you in the various fields of apostolic activity. In our own time, the Church's evangelizing mission requires, not only that the Gospel message be spread everywhere, but that it penetrate deeply into the way people think, into their criteria of judgement and their behavior. In a word," he concluded, "all the culture of modern man must be permeated by the Gospel."

Thursday, October 25, 2007


MSGR. FRANCESCO FOLLO, HOLY SEE permanent observer to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), delivered an address on October 22 during the 34th UNESCO general conference, being held in Paris, France, from October 16 to November 3. In his talk, which was made public yesterday afternoon, Msgr. Follo highlighted such factors as the integral education of people, recognition of the religious dimension in the public sphere, urban development and the protection of the environment.

ARCHBISHOP CELESTINO MIGLIORE, HOLY SEE permanent observer to the United Nations in New York, made a speech on October 19 before the 62nd session of the UN General Assembly concerning the role of NEPAD (New Partnership for Africa's Development) in this its seventh year of existence. NEPAD was founded by the heads of State of South Africa, Nigeria, Senegal, Algeria and Egypt, and one of its primary objectives, noted Archbishop Migliore, "is to halt the marginalization of Africa in the globalization process and enhance its full and beneficial integration into the global economy."
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VATICAN CITY, OCT 25, 2007 (VIS) - At 11.30 a.m. this morning in the Vatican's Old Synod Hall, the presentation took place of the book "Processus Contra Templarios," the third volume of the Vatican Secret Archives' "Exemplaria Praetiosa" series, which is being issued in collaboration with the Scrinium publishing house.

  The book contains facsimile copies of the original acts of the hearing against the Knights Templar (1308-1311) which are kept in the Vatican Secret Archives, while an accompanying volume contains a critical edition of the transcription of the acts (from Schottmuller's transcription of 1877). The new book has a print run of just 799 copies and has already been ordered by collectors, scholars and libraries from all over the world.

  "Processus Contra Templarios" was presented by Archbishop Raffaele Farina S.D.B., archivist and librarian of Holy Roman Church; Bishop Sergio Pagano, prefect of the Vatican Secret Archives; Barbara Frale and Marco Maiorino, officials of the Vatican Secret Archives; Franco Cardini, a professor of mediaeval history; Valerio Massimo Manfredi, an author and archaeologist; and Ferdinando Santoro, president of Scrinium."
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VATICAN CITY, OCT 25, 2007 (VIS) - This morning in the Vatican Apostolic Palace, Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B., and Zeljko Komsic, president of the rotating Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, exchanged the instruments of ratification of the Basic Agreement between the Holy See and Bosnia and Herzegovina, signed in Sarajevo on April 19, 2006, and its Additional Protocol, signed on September 29 of the same year. Both documents come into effect today.

 According to a communique made public today, among those present at the ceremony were, for the Holy See, Cardinal Vinko Puljic, archbishop of Vrhbosna and president of the Bishops' Conference of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Archbishop Dominique Mamberti and Msgr. Pietro Parolin, respectively secretary and under-secretary for Relations with States. For Bosnia and Herzegovina, those present included Sven Alkalaj, minister for foreign affairs, and Miroslav Palameta, ambassador to the Holy See.

  In his address, Cardinal Bertone affirmed that with the signing ceremony "the norms approved in the Basic Agreement come into force, ... by which certain provisions of joint interest concerning the life and activity of the Catholic community in Bosnia and Herzegovina have been defined. They particularly refer to the recognition of the juridical status of the Catholic Church and her institutions in ... civil society, of her independence to worship and practice the apostolate, and of the specific contribution she makes in the cultural, educational, pastoral, military, ... and charitable fields, as well as in the country's mass media."


VATICAN CITY, OCT 25, 2007 (VIS) - The Holy See Press Office released the following communique at midday today:

  "This morning the Holy Father Benedict XVI received in audience Zeljko Komsic, president of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The president subsequently went on to meet Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B., and Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States, for the exchange of the instruments of ratification of the Basic Agreement and the Additional Protocol between the Holy See and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Also present was Cardinal Vinko Puljic, archbishop of Vrhbosna.

  "During the cordial discussions consideration was given to questions concerning the implementation of the Agreement itself, and in particular to the Church's commitment in the fields of education, social and charitable activities, and pastoral assistance to the Catholic faithful. The Catholic community's contribution in favor of the peaceful coexistence of the various ethnic and religious groups in the country was also underlined.

  "President Komsic invited the Holy Father to visit Bosnia and Herzegovina."
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VATICAN CITY, OCT 25, 2007 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

 - Cardinal Ivan Dias, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.

 - Cardinal Emmanuel Wamala, archbishop emeritus of Kampala, Uganda, accompanied by an entourage.

 - Three prelates from the Episcopal Conference of Gabon, on their "ad limina" visit:

    - Archbishop Basile Mve Engone S.D.B. of Libreville.

    - Bishop Timothee Modibo-Nzockena of Franceville.

    - Dominique Bonnet C.S.Sp. of Mouila.
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Wednesday, October 24, 2007


VATICAN CITY, OCT 24, 2007 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Fr. Pablo Emiro Salas Anteliz of the clergy of Valledupar, Colombia, diocesan vicar for pastoral care, as bishop of Espinal (area 14,000, population 439,000, Catholics 331,000, priests 98, religious 39), Colombia. The bishop-elect was born in Valledupar in 1957 and ordained a priest in 1984.
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VATICAN CITY, OCT 24, 2007 (VIS) - During today's general audience, Benedict XVI continued his series of catecheses dedicated to Fathers of the Church, turning his attention to the figure of St. Ambrose, bishop of Milan. The audience, held in St. Peter's Square, was attended by more than 30,000 people.

  It was from Origen that Ambrose (ca. 340-397), considered to be one of the four greatest Doctors of the Church, learnt to know and comment the Bible. It was Ambrose, the Pope explained, who "brought meditation upon the Scriptures into the Latin world, ... introducing the practice of 'lectio divina' to the West." This practice "guided all his own preaching and writing which flow, in fact, from his listening ... to the Word of God."

  With him catechumens "learnt first the art of correct living" in order "to be prepared for the great Mysteries of Christ." His preaching was founded on "the reading of Sacred Scripture" with the aim of "living in conformity with divine Revelation.

  "It is evident," the Pope added, "that the preacher's personal witness and the exemplary nature of the Christian community influence the effectiveness of preaching. ... From this point of view, one decisive factor is life context, the reality of how the Word is lived."

  Benedict XVI recalled the fact that St. Augustine in his Confessions recounts how his own conversion was not due "chiefly to the beautiful homilies" of Ambrose, whom he knew in Milan, but above all "to the witness of the bishop and of his Milanese Church, who sang and prayed together like one single body." Augustine also tells of his surprise at seeing how Ambrose, when he was alone, would read the Scriptures without moving his lips, because at that time reading was considered as something to be proclaimed out loud in order to facilitate its comprehension.

  It is "in such reading, ... when the heart seeks to achieve an understanding of the Word of God, that we catch a glimpse of Ambrosian catechesis," said the Holy Father. "Scripture intimately assimilated suggests what must be announced to convert people's hearts. ... Thus catechesis is inseparable from life witness."

  "Who educates in the faith," he continued, "cannot run to the risk of appearing like a clown who plays a role, ... rather he must be like the beloved disciple who rested his head on the Master's heart and there learnt how to think, speak and act."

  St. Ambrose died on Good Friday, his arms open in the form of the cross. "Thus," the Pope concluded, "he expressed his mystical participation in the death and resurrection of the Lord. This was his final catechesis. In the silence of words, he spoke still with the testimony of his life."
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Tuesday, October 23, 2007


VATICAN CITY, OCT 23, 2007 (VIS) - Yesterday, the Holy Father received in audience Archbishop Piero Marini, president of the Pontifical Committee for International Eucharistic Congresses.
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VATICAN CITY, OCT 23, 2007 (VIS) - Cardinal Renato Martino, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, has issued a call for the elimination of unexploded ordnance (UXO) in countries that have been involved in armed conflicts.

  According to a communique issued by the pontifical council, on October 18 Cardinal Martino met with Heidi Kuhn, founder of the international Roots of Peace organization, which is based in the U.S. and concerns itself with the "Mines for Vines" campaign, an undertaking that aims to transform minefields into farmland.

  "Every 30 minutes," the communique reads, "a person is killed or maimed by UXO in countries that have been theaters of war. Every year 20,000 civilians are killed or injured because of the explosion of mines or cluster munitions. This cruel type of weaponry does not discriminate between civilians and combatants; it is designed to inflict maximum suffering and not always to kill."

  UXO, the communique goes on, "prolongs fear among the civilian population and often accentuates their dependence on aid from the international community. According to estimates, planting a mine costs 3 dollars, while removing it costs 1,000 dollars. There are some 70 million mines in areas of some 70 countries of the world."

  In the meeting, Cardinal Martino underlined the need "to increase commitment, particularly at the local level, to free the world from the dangers of UXO, which causes so much suffering and death in countries that seek to reestablish an order of justice and peace following the atrocities of a conflict."
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Monday, October 22, 2007


VATICAN CITY, OCT 22, 2007 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Fr. Valentin Reynoso Hidalgo M.S.C., pastor of the parish of "Nuestra Senora de la Altagracia," as auxiliary of the archdiocese of Santiago de los Caballeros (area 3,691, population 1,187,000, Catholics 969,000, priests 99, permanent deacons 116, religious 241), Dominican Republic. The bishop-elect was born in Nagua, Dominican Republic in 1942 and ordained a priest in 1975.

  On Saturday, October 20, it was made public that he appointed Luis Ernesto Derbez Bautista, professor of the Center for Globalization and Democracy of the Technological Institute of Monterrey in Mexico City, Mexico, as an ordinary member of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences.
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VATICAN CITY, OCT 20, 2007 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

 - Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.

 - Archbishop Leopoldo Jose Brenes Solorzano of Managua, Nicaragua.
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VATICAN CITY, OCT 20, 2007 (VIS) - The Holy See Press Office today released the following communique:

  "This morning, Francois Bozize, president of the Central African Republic, visited His Holiness Benedict XVI, subsequently going on to meet with Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B. who was accompanied by Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States.

  "During the cordial discussions consideration was given to questions concerning the situation in the Central African Republic, with particular reference to the peace process and the role played by the Church in the fields of national dialogue, healthcare and education. Mention was also made of the need for the international community's support to help the country overcome poverty and the other difficulties it currently faces."


VATICAN CITY, OCT 22, 2007 (VIS) - At 1 p.m. today, in the great hall of the archiepiscopal seminary of Capodimonte in Naples, Benedict XVI met with the heads of the delegations participating in the 21st International Meeting for Peace, an annual initiative promoted by the Sant'Egidio Community which has as its theme this year: "A world without violence, faiths and cultures in dialogue."

  "What you represent," said the Pope in his address, "in a certain sense expresses the different worlds and religious heritages of humanity, to which the Catholic Church looks with sincere respect and cordial attention."

  "The current meeting takes us back in our minds to 1986 when ... John Paul II invited high-level religious representatives to the town of St. Francis in order to pray for peace, underlining on that occasion the intrinsic link uniting authentic religious attitudes with this fundamental good for humanity," said the Holy Father. He also recalled how in 2002, following the attack against the World Trade Center in New York of September 11, 2001, John Paul II again invited religious leaders to Assisi "to ask God to put an end to the grave perils threatening humanity, especially because of terrorism.

  "While respecting the differences of the various religions," Benedict XVI added, "we are called to work for peace, and to an effective commitment to promote reconciliation between peoples. This is the true 'spirit of Assisi' which is opposed to all forms of violence and to all abuses of religion as a pretext for violence. Faced with a world riven by conflict, where sometime violence is justified in the name of God, it is important to reiterate that religions can never become vehicles of hatred, that never by invoking the name of God can evil and violence be justified.

  "Quite the contrary, religions can and must offer valuable resources for the creation of a peaceful humanity, because they speak to man's heart of peace. The Catholic Church intends to continue down the path of dialogue in order to favor understanding between religious cultures, traditions and wisdom. It is my heartfelt hope that this spirit may become ever more widespread, especially where tensions are strongest, where freedom and respect for others are denied, and men and women suffer the consequences of intolerance and incomprehension."

  After the meeting, the Holy Father had lunch with cardinals and bishops of the Campania region of Italy, who are participating in the International Meeting for Peace, and, at 4 p.m., travelled to the cathedral of Naples where he prayed before the Blessed Sacrament and venerated the relics of Naples' patron saint, St Gennaro.

  At 5.30 p.m. Benedict XVI boarded his helicopter bound for the Vatican, where he arrived at 6.30 p.m.


VATICAN CITY, OCT 22, 2007 (VIS) - At the end of today's Mass in Naples' Piazza del Plebisicito, and before praying the Angelus, Benedict XVI made some brief remarks to the faithful.

  The Pope greeted a number of delegations from various countries, in Naples for the International Meeting for Peace promoted by the Sant'Egidio Community on the theme: "A world without violence, faiths and cultures in dialogue." The Pope expressed the hope that "this important cultural and religious initiative may contribute to consolidating peace in the world."

  He then recalled the fact that today is World Mission Day which, he said, "has a highly significant theme: 'All the Churches for all the world.' Each particular Church is jointly responsible for the evangelization of all humanity and this cooperation between Churches was increased by Pope Pius XII with the Encyclical 'Fidei donum' published 50 years ago.

  "Let us ensure that our spiritual and material support to those working on the frontiers of the mission is not lacking: priests, religious and lay people who not infrequently encounter serious difficulties in their work, and sometimes even persecutions."

  Finally, Benedict XVI referred to the 45th Social Week of Italian Catholics which is currently being celebrated in the Italian cities of Pistoia and Pisa. "Many are the problems and challenges facing us today," he said. "What is required is strong commitment on everyone's part, especially the lay faithful who operate in the social and political fields, in order to ensure that all individuals, and particularly the young, enjoy the vital conditions for developing their natural talents and for making generous life choices at the service of their families and of the entire community."

  After praying the Angelus, the Pope travelled by car to the archiepiscopal seminary of Capodimonte to meet the heads of the delegations participating in the International Meeting for Peace.
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VATICAN CITY, OCT 22, 2007 (VIS) - Today the Pope made a pastoral visit to Naples, Italy, celebrating Mass at 10 a.m. in the city's central square of Piazza del Plebisicito where, despite the cold and rain, more than 20,000 people gathered to hear him. He subsequently went on to inaugurate an International Meeting for Peace, organized by the Sant'Egidio Community.

  In his homily, commenting today's Bible reading on the "need to pray always and not to lose heart," the Holy Father told the citizens of Naples that "faced with difficult and complex social situations such as your own, it is necessary to reinforce hope, which is founded on faith and expressed in tireless prayer."

  "Faith," he went on, "assures us that God always listens to our prayers and answers them at the right moment, even if daily experience seems to contradict this certainty.

  "In fact," he added, "in the face of certain criminal acts, or of the many problems of daily life which the newspapers do not even mention, the entreaty of the ancient prophet arises spontaneously in the heart: 'O Lord, how long shall I cry for help and you will not listen? Or cry to you 'Violence!' and you will not save?' There is just one reply to this urgent invocation: God cannot change things without our conversion, and our conversion begins with the 'cry' of the soul imploring forgiveness and salvation."

  Turning to consider the daily reality of life in Naples, the Holy Father mentioned "poverty and the lack of housing, unemployment and underemployment, and the lack of prospects for the future. Then there is the sad phenomenon of violence," he added, which concerns not only "the deplorable number of crimes of the Camorra, but also the fact that violence tends, unfortunately, to become a widespread mentality insinuating itself into the fiber of social life - in both the historic neighborhoods of the city center and in the modern and anonymous outskirts - with the particular risk of attracting young people who grow up in environments in which illegality and the black market ... flourish."

  In this context, Pope Benedict called for an "intensification of efforts towards a serious prevention strategy, aimed at school, work and helping young people to manage their free time. What is needed is an intervention that involves everyone in combating all forms of violence, starting with the formation of consciences and transforming mentalities, attitudes and everyday behavior."

  Benedict XVI concluded by asking God "to make the Christian community grow in true faith and firm hope, capable of effectively contrasting despair and violence.

  "Naples needs appropriate political interventions but, even more so, a profound spiritual renewal. It needs believers who put their full faith in God and, with His help, commit themselves to spreading the values of the Gospel in society. For this we ask the help of Mary and of your patron saints, in particular St. Gennaro."
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Friday, October 19, 2007


VATICAN CITY, OCT 19, 2007 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Bishop Franco Croci, vice-president of the Central Labor Office of the Holy See, as consultor of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See.
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VATICAN CITY, OCT 19, 2007 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences Cardinal Ricardo Maria Carles Gordo, archbishop emeritus of Barcelona, Spain.

  This evening, he is scheduled to receive in audience Cardinal William Joseph Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
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VATICAN CITY, OCT 19, 2007 (VIS) - At midday today, the Holy See Press Office released the following communique:

  "This morning in the Vatican Apostolic Palace, the Holy Father Benedict XVI received in audience Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, president of the United Republic of Tanzania. Immediately afterwards, the illustrious guest met with Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B.; also present at the meeting were Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States, Bernard Kamillius Membe, Tanzanian minister for foreign affairs, and Ali Siwa, ad interim charge d'affaires at the Tanzanian embassy to the Holy See.

  "In the course of the discussions, having recalled the role that for many years Tanzania has played in the pacification of the Great Lakes region of Africa, attention turned to relations between State and Church, ever marked by mutual respect and esteem, and to the contribution Catholics make to the progress of the Tanzanian people, especially in the fields of education, healthcare and other forms of social work.

  "Other areas of common interest were examined, such as the importance of peaceful coexistence and collaboration between believers in all religions, in particular between Christians and Muslims, For its part, the Holy See reiterated the commitment of the Catholic Church and her institutions to work for an integral and harmonious development of all the Tanzanian people."


VATICAN CITY, OCT 19, 2007 (VIS) - At midday today, the Holy Father received eight prelates from the Episcopal Conference of the Congo who have just completed their "ad limina" visit.

  In his address to them the Holy Father highlighted "the specific and concrete contribution of bishops in establishing peace and reconciliation in the country," and made a call "to Christians and to the population entire to open the way to reconciliation so that ethnic and social differences, experienced with mutual respect and love, become a shared wealth and not a cause for division."

  Referring then to the bishops' reports in which they identify "the urgent need to create real dynamism in the local Churches," Benedict XVI pointed out how evangelizing activity depends upon "living ecclesial communities. Places in which the Gospel is lived and charity (especially with the poor) is practiced, demonstrate a form of pastoral care based on the idea of proximity, and also constitute a strong bulwark against the sects," he said.

  The Pope invited the prelates to concern themselves "with the initial and permanent Christian formation of the faithful, ensuring they understand the Christian mystery, and base themselves on the reading of Scripture and sacramental life." In this context, he thanked the people involved in the formation of the laity, in particular catechists and their families.

  The Holy Father asked the bishops to support and help priests to lead "an ever more dignified and holy existence, rooted in a profound spiritual life and an emotional maturity lived in celibacy."

  "By remaining close to priests," he continued, "you will be for them models of priestly life and help them to a greater awareness of the sacramental fraternity that comes into being with ordination. I call upon the many Congolese priests who live outside their country to give serious consideration to the pastoral needs of their dioceses, and to take the necessary decisions in response to the urgent appeals of their diocesan Churches."

  Benedict XVI warned that "the noticeable reduction in the number of canonical marriages is a real challenge facing the family. ... Civil legislation, the weakening of the family structure, and the weight of certain traditional practices, especially the exorbitant cost of dowries, are a real brake on young people's commitment to marriage."

  "What is needed," the Holy Father concluded, "is a profound pastoral reflection in order to promote the dignity of Christian marriage, the reflection and realization of Christ's love for His Church. It is important to help couples to achieve the human and spiritual maturity necessary to undertake ... their mission as Christian spouses and parents, reminding them that their love is unique, indissoluble, and that marriage contributes to the full realization of their human and Christian vocation."
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VATICAN CITY, OCT 19, 2007 (VIS) - Today in the Vatican, the Pope received a delegation from the Mennonite World Conference, a group which has recently expressed the desire to meet the Pope and to visit some of the dicasteries of the Holy See. This is the Mennonite Conference's first visit to Rome.

  "The Mennonites are part of the Anabaptist tradition of the Reformation," explains a communique issued by the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. "To use a modern term, the Mennonites could be described today as pacifists. For their views on Baptism which, they feel, should be administered only to people capable of making autonomous decisions, they were subject ... to persecution in both Protestant and Catholic countries." In 1986 and 2002, the leaders of the Mennonite World Conference accepted John Paul II's invitation to participate in the meetings for peace in Assisi.

  "In the ecumenical spirit of recent times, we have begun to have contacts with each other after centuries of isolation," the Pope told the Mennonite leaders in his English-language talk. "Since it is Christ Himself who calls us to seek Christian unity, it is entirely right and fitting that Mennonites and Catholics have entered into dialogue in order to understand the reasons for the conflict that arose between us in the sixteenth century. To understand is to take the first step towards healing."

  "Mennonites are well known for their strong Christian witness to peace in the name of the Gospel, and here, despite centuries of division, the dialogue report 'Called Together to be Peacemakers' has shown that we hold many convictions in common. We both emphasize that our work for peace is rooted in Jesus Christ."

  Catholics and Mennonites "both understand that 'reconciliation, non violence, and active peacemaking belong to the heart of the Gospel.' Our continuing search for the unity of the Lord's disciples is of the utmost importance. Our witness will remain impaired as long as the world sees our divisions."

  The Pope concluded his address by expressing the hope that the visit "will be another step towards mutual understanding and reconciliation."


VATICAN CITY, OCT 19, 2007 (VIS) - The Pope has sent a Message to Archbishop Angelo Bagnasco, president of the Italian Episcopal Conference for the occasion of the 45th Social Week of Italian Catholics, which is being held in the Italian cities of Pistoia and Pisa from October 18 to 21 on the theme: "The common good today: a commitment that comes from afar."

  After recalling the fact that this year marks the centenary of the first Social Week, the Pope affirms that the theme "still maintains all its importance" and that "it must be considered and promoted also in the context of international relations. ... Precisely because of the social foundations of human life, the good of each individual is naturally interconnected with the good of all humanity."

  The task of lay men and women, writes Pope Benedict, is "to work for a correct ordering of society ... and to cooperate in the just organization of social life together with all other citizens, each according to their skills and under their own autonomous responsibility."

  The Pope also highlights the importance of anthropological questions including "respect for life and the attention that must be given to the needs of the family based on marriage between a man and a woman."

  "These are not just 'Catholic' values and principles, but shared human values to be protected and safeguarded, like justice, peace and the defense of creation."

  The Message then goes on to consider the effect of work-related problems on families and young people saying, "when lack of job-security does not allow young people to build their own family, the authentic and complete development of society is seriously compromised." The Pope also invites Italian Catholics to respond to these challenges "not by giving up and withdrawing into themselves but, on the contrary, with renewed dynamism, opening themselves trustingly to new relationships and not neglecting any of the energies capable of contributing to cultural and moral growth."

  Finally, Benedict XVI turns his attention to "a specific area" which "stimulates Catholics to question themselves: that of the relationship between religion and politics. The absolute novelty brought by Jesus is that He opened to way to a freer and more human world, with full respect for the distinction and autonomy that exists between what is of Caesar and what is of God."

  "The Church, then, if on the one hand she recognizes she is not a political player, on the other she cannot but concern herself with the good of the entire civil community, in which she lives and operates. To that community she offers her particular contribution, forming the political and business classes to a genuine spirit of truth and honesty, with the aim of searching for the common good and not for individual profit."

Thursday, October 18, 2007


VATICAN CITY, OCT 18, 2007 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed:

 - Bishop Anthony Mancini, auxiliary of Montreal, Canada, as metropolitan archbishop of Halifax (area 21,770, population 564,583, Catholics 161,125, priests 80, permanent deacons 28, religious 260), Canada, and apostolic administrator of Yarmouth (area, 32,150 population 145,265, Catholics 37,105, priests 26, religious 20), Canada. The archbishop-elect was born in Mignano Monte Lugano, Italy in 1945, he was ordained a priest in 1970 and consecrated a bishop in 1999.

 - Bishop Martin William Currie of Grand Falls, Canada, as metropolitan archbishop of Saint John's, Newfoundland (area 16,641, population 215,000, Catholics 112,000, priests 49, religious 225), Canada. Bishop Currie will remain as bishop of Grand Falls, governing the two circumscriptions united "in persona Episcopi." The archbishop-elect was born in Marinette, Canada, in 1943 he was ordained a priest in 1968 and consecrated a bishop in 2001.

 - Archbishop Giovanni Tonucci, apostolic nuncio to Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Iceland and Norway, as prelate of Loreto and pontifical delegate for the Shrine of Loreto (area 17, population 11,785, Catholics 11,400, priests 52, religious 264), Italy.

 - Msgr. Simone Giusti of the clergy of Pisa, Italy, pastor of "Cascine di Buti" and director of the diocesan center for evangelization and catechesis, as bishop of Livorno (area 250, population 201,149, Catholics 193,632, priests 110, permanent deacons 22, religious 385), Italy. The bishop-elect was born in Cascine di Buti in 1955 and ordained a priest in 1983.
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VATICAN CITY, OCT 18, 2007 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

 - Cardinal Roger Etchegaray, president emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and of the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum."

 - Archbishop Leonardo Sandri, prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches.

 - Bishop William Stephen Skylstad of Spokane, U.S.A., Cardinal Francis Eugene George O.M.I., archbishop of Chicago, U.S.A., and Msgr. David John Malloy, respectively president, vice-president and secretary general of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

 - Msgr. Guido Marini, master of Papal Liturgical Celebrations.
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VATICAN CITY, OCT 18, 2007 (VIS) - Made public today was the text of an address delivered by Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin, Ireland, at the United Nations headquarters in New York for the occasion of the 40th anniversary of Pope Paul VI's Encyclical "Populorum Progressio."

  Archbishop Martin began his English-language talk by recalling how "it was the challenge of addressing the needs of the poorest nations and their peoples which led the Pope to write his Encyclical."

  "Populorum Progressio," said the archbishop, was "the first social Encyclical to be written after Vatican Council II, an event which had among its aims that of establishing a new way of looking at the relationship between the Church and the world."

  "Authentic development is one of the key concepts of 'Populorum Progressio'," he continued, indicating that such a concept "also touches on the very nature of the human person and the response we need to make to his or her needs."

  "Were Pope Paul here with us today he would certainly be saying thanks to all those who have given themselves in the service of humanity within the U.N. system. He would surely also certainly be making remarks on the slow progress of U.N. reform. We need a well-functioning U.N. Today's possibilities for inter-connectivity among peoples offer new and innovative ways of cooperation, also within the U.N. system."

  "In talking about responsibility for development and of international cooperation," said Archbishop Martin, "the Encyclical "consistently stresses the role of public authorities. This recalls today's debate about both good governance and the important role of politics."

  "Politics," he concluded, "is an essential dimension of the construction of society. We need around the world a new revival of politics. Around the world we need a new generation of politicians inspired by ideals, but also capable of taking the risks involved in transmitting those ideals into the 'possible,' through the optimum use of resources and talents to foster the good of all."
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VATICAN CITY, OCT 18, 2007 (VIS) - "Apocalypse: the Final Revelation" is the title of an exhibition inaugurated today in the Sistine Hall of the Vatican Museums.

  The event, which will run until December 7, has been organized at the initiative of the St. Florian Committee of the archdiocese of Udine, Italy. Its aim is to invite people "to reconsider the last book of the New Testament through a selection of masterworks, outstanding among them a series of ancient icons."

  The exhibition is made up of around 100 pieces (codices, paintings on wood panel, canvases, sculptures, jewelry, engravings and drawings) dating from the 4th to the 20th century. They come from some of the most important museums in Europe and the United States: the Vatican Museums, the Louvre, the Pompidou Center, the Musee de Cluny, the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum in Madrid, the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow, the national museums of Budapest and of Warsaw, and St. Mark's Basilica in Venice.

  Among the artists whose works are on display are: Beatus of Liebana, Pedro Berruguete, Guido Reni, Alonso Cano, Albrecht Durer, El Greco, Francisco Zurbaran, Salvador Dali, Giorgio de Chirico, and many others. One large section of the exhibition is made up of Byzantine and Russian icons, including one of the vision of the Apocalypse from the Monastery of St. John the Theologian in Patmos, the Greek island where the Apostle wrote the last book of the Bible.

  The centerpiece of the exhibition is composed of important works that record the history of the artistic representation of the Apocalypse, these include: a series of 16 engravings by Durer from the "Apocalypsis in figuris;" Guido Reni's "St. Michael Defeating Satan;" El Greco's "Immaculate Conception" inspirited by the apocalyptic vision of the woman clothed with the sun; the "Savior Enthroned" by the School of Novgorod; Catalan Romanesque and French Gothic sculptures; and the book "Apocalypse" containing works by seven 20th century artists, published by Josef Foret in 1961 and blessed by Pope John XXIII.


VATICAN CITY, OCT 18, 2007 (VIS) - The Holy See Press Office today released the following communique:

  "This morning the Holy Father Benedict XVI received in audience Michelle Bachelet, president of the Republic of Chile. The president subsequently went on the meet Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B., and Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States.

  "The cordial discussions provided an opportunity for an exchange of information and ideas on the socio-political situation of the country and its role in Latin America. Themes of common interest were considered, such as human life and the family, education, human rights, justice and peace and other important questions on the international agenda. Attention also turned to the positive contribution made by the Catholic Church to Chilean society, especially in the social and educational fields."

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


VATICAN CITY, OCT 17, 2007 (VIS) - The following prelates died in recent weeks:

 - Archbishop Gianni Danzi, prelate of Loreto and pontifical delegate to Loreto, Italy, on October 2 at the age of 67.

 - Archbishop Ignatius D'Cunha, emeritus of Aurangabad, India, on October 11 at the age of 83.

 - Archbishop Ambrose B. De Paoli, apostolic nuncio to Australia, on October 10 at the age of 73.
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VATICAN CITY, OCT 17, 2007 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Fr. Joao Carlos Seneme C.S.S., provincial superior for the province of "Santa Cruz" of the Stigmatine Fathers, as auxiliary of the archdiocese of Curitiba (area 5,528, population 2,262,347, Catholics 1,480,046, priests 426, permanent deacons 67, religious 1,746), Brazil. The bishop-elect was born in Gerturdes, Brazil in 1958 and ordained a priest in 1985.
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VATICAN CITY, OCT 17, 2007 (VIS) - The Pope has sent a telegram of condolence to Cardinal Jorge Liberato Urosa Savino, archbishop of Caracas, Venezuela, for the death yesterday at the age of 85 of the Venezuelan Cardinal Rosalio Jose Castillo Lara S.D.B., president emeritus of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State.

  In the telegram, the Holy Father expresses his "heartfelt condolences" to Cardinal Urosa Savino, to the relatives of the deceased and to all the Venezuelan people, entrusting to the mercy of God "this zealous pastor who served the Church with such charity."

  The Pope's telegram continues: "Cardinal Castillo Lara's generous and intense ministry, first as coadjutor bishop of Trujillo" and later in the various posts he occupied in the Roman Curia, last of which was that of the presidency of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State, "testifies to his great dedication to the cause of the Gospel, at the same time demonstrating his profound love for the Church."
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VATICAN CITY, OCT 17, 2007 (VIS) - Following today's general audience, the Holy Father announced the names of 23 prelates who will be created cardinals in a consistory due to be held on November 24, the eve of the Feast of Christ the King. The consistory will be the second of his pontificate.

  Following the November 24 concistory, the College of Cardinals will number 202 members of whom 121, under the age of 80, will be electors.

  Given below is a list of the new cardinal electors:

 - Archbishop Leonardo Sandri, prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches.

 - Archbishop John Patrick Foley, pro-grand master of the Equestrian Order of the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem.

 - Archbishop Giovanni Lajolo, president of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State and of the Governorate of Vatican City State.

 - Archbishop Paul Josef Cordes, president of the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum."

 - Archbishop Angelo Comastri, archpriest of the papal basilica of St. Peter's in the Vatican, vicar general of His Holiness for Vatican City and president of the Fabric of St. Peter's.

 - Archbishop Stanislaw Rylko, president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity.

 - Archbishop Raffaele Farina S.D.B., archivist and librarian of Holy Roman Church.

 - Archbishop Agustin Garcia-Gasco Vicente of Valencia, Spain.

 - Archbishop Sean Baptist Brady of Armagh, Ireland.

 - Archbishop Lluis Martinez Sistach of Barcelona, Spain.

 - Archbishop Andre Vingt-Trois of Paris, France.

 - Archbishop Angelo Bagnasco of Genoa, Italy.

 - Archbishop Theodore-Adrien Sarr of Dakar, Senegal.

 - Archbishop Oswald Gracias of Bombay, India.

 - Archbishop Francisco Robles Ortega of Monterrey, Mexico.

 - Archbishop Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, U.S.A.

 - Archbishop Odilo Pedro Scherer of Sao Paulo, Brazil.

 - Archbishop John Njue of Nairobi, Kenya.

  Having pronounced the names of the new cardinal electors, the Pope then indicated that he had also decided to elevate to the dignity of cardinal "three venerable prelates and two worthy priests," all over the age of 80 and hence non-electors, for their "commitment and service to the Church." Their names are:

 - His Beatitude Emmanuel III Delly, patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans, Iraq.

 - Archbishop Giovanni Coppa, apostolic nuncio.

 - Archbishop Estanislao Esteban Karlic, emeritus of Parana, Argentina.

 - Fr. Urbano Navarrete S.J., former rector of the Pontifical Gregorian University.

 - Fr. Umberto Betti O.F.M., former rector of the Pontifical Lateran University.

  He added: "Among these, I had also intended to confer the dignity of cardinal upon the elderly Bishop Ignacy Jez of Koszalin-Kolobrzeg, Poland, a worthy prelate who died suddenly yesterday. We offer a prayer for the repose of his soul."

  "The new cardinals come from various parts of the world," said the Holy Father. "And the universality of the Church, with the multiplicity of her ministries, is clearly reflected in them. Alongside deserving prelates who work for the Holy See are pastors who dedicate their energies to direct contact with the faithful."

  He went on: "There are other persons, very dear to me who, for their dedication to the service of the Church, well deserve promotion to the dignity of cardinal. In the future I hope to have the opportunity to express, also in this way, my esteem and affection to them and to their countries of origin."

  Benedict entrusted the future cardinals "to the protection of Mary Most Holy asking her to help each of them in their new tasks, that they may know how to bear courageous witness in all circumstances to their love for Christ and for the Church."
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VATICAN CITY, OCT 17, 2007 (VIS) - At the end of today's general audience which was celebrated in St. Peter's Square, the Pope recalled the fact that today marks the "International Day for the Eradication of Poverty," an annual event recognized by the United Nations.

  Certain peoples, said the Holy Father, "still live in conditions of extreme poverty. The disparity between rich and poor has become more evident and more disturbing, even within the most economically advanced nations. This worrying situation appeals to the conscience of mankind because the conditions being suffered by such a large number of people are such as to offend the dignity of human beings and, as a consequence, to compromise the authentic and harmonious progress of the world community. I encourage, then, an increase in efforts to eliminate the causes of poverty and the tragic consequences deriving from it."
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VATICAN CITY, OCT 17, 2007 (VIS) - St. Eusebius of Vercelli was the subject of Benedict XVI's catechesis during his general audience, held this morning in St. Peter's Square in the presence of 30,000 people.

  The saint, born in Sardinia at the beginning of the 4th century and educated in Rome, was elected as bishop of Vercelli in the year 345. He showed great commitment and dedication in evangelizing largely-pagan rural areas and founded a priestly community - inspired by the model of the early monastic communities - from which many bishops and saints arose.

  The Pope explained how St. Eusebius was "solidly formed in the Nicene Creed, in the faith in the Trinitarian God." He defended the "full divinity of Jesus Christ" against the pro-Arian politics of the Emperor Constantius for whom Arianism "was more politically useful." This led to the saint being exiled, first in Palestine and later in Cappodocia and Thebaid.

  Despite his exile, the bishop maintained a correspondence with his own community of faithful, said the Holy Father, "asking them in his letters also to greet those who are outside the Church yet who nonetheless ... nourish sentiments of love for us." The Pope added: "It is evident that the bishop's relationship with his city was not limited to the Christians but that it also extended to the people who, ... in some way, recognized his spiritual authority and loved this exemplary man."

  When Constantius was succeeded as emperor by Julian the Apostate, Eusebius was able to return home. There he educated the clergy of his diocese in "the observance of monastic rules even though they lived in the city" because he felt that "the bishop and clergy had to share the problems of citizens in a credible way" at the same time cultivating "a different citizenship, that of heaven." In this manner, said Benedict XVI, they created "a shared solidarity."

  "The pastor and the faithful of the Church are in the world but they are not of the world," said the Pope. "For this reason pastors must exhort the faithful not to consider the cities of the world as their stable home, but to seek the ... definitive celestial Jerusalem. ... This decision enables pastors and faithful to safeguard a correct scale of values without bowing before the fashions of the moment and the unjust impositions of political power."

  "The authentic scale of values," the Holy Father concluded, "does not come from yesterday's emperor, or from today's, but from Jesus Christ, the perfect man, equal to the Father in divinity and a man like us. For this reason, Eusebius recommends the faithful always 'to protect the faith with care, to maintain harmony and to be assiduous in prayer.' From the bottom of my heart, I also recommend these perennial values to you."
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