Home - VIS Vatican - Receive VIS - Contact us - Calendar

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...[]

Last 5 news

VISnews in Twitter Go to YouTube

Tuesday, May 31, 2005


VATICAN CITY, MAY 31, 2005 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

 - Accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Bridgetown, Barbados, presented by Bishop Malcolm Patrick Galt C.S.Sp., upon having reached the age limit.

 - Appointed Julio Cesar Corniel Amaro of the clergy of San Francisco de Macoris, Dominican Republic, director of diocesan social pastoral care and professor at the seminary of St. Thomas Aquinas in Santo Domingo, as bishop of Puerto Plata (area 2,700, population 346,520, Catholics 338,560, priests 24, permanent deacons 15, religious 50), Dominican Republic. The bishop-elect was born in Bodita, Dominican Republic, in 1958 and ordained a priest in 1986.

 - In accordance with the new norms for the pontifical basilica of St. Paul's Outside-the-Walls, appointed Archbishop Andrea Cordero Lanza di Montezemolo as archpriest of the basilica.
RE:NER:NA/.../GALT:CORNIEL:MONTEZEMOLO            VIS 20050531 (140)


VATICAN CITY, MAY 31, 2005 (VIS) - This evening, the Holy Father is scheduled to receive in audience Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.
AP/.../...                                VIS 20050531 (40)


VATICAN CITY, MAY 31, 2005 (VIS) - Today, Feast of the Visitation of Mary, Benedict XVI, with the Motu Proprio "The Ancient and Venerable Basilica," emanated new norms for a renewal of the practice of worship in the pontifical basilica of St. Paul's Outside-the-Walls. The norms also affect administrative and extraterritorial aspects of the basilica.

  The Pope recalls that this ancient basilica was built on the site where, according to tradition, the Apostle of the People was martyred. The basilica also serves as church to the abbey of Benedictine monks located in the same complex.

  With the Lateran Pacts of 1929 and successive agreements between the Holy See and Italy, the land and the buildings that make up the complex of St. Paul's Outside-the-Walls belong to the Holy See and enjoy a special juridical status according to the norms of international law. In keeping with current norms, the Supreme Pontiff exercises civil authority over the entire extraterritorial complex.

  Underlining the fact that, in the past, the Holy See defined only some aspects of the jurisdiction of the pontifical administration of the basilica and of the Benedictine abbey, the Pope writes that he now feels it "appropriate to emanate some general norms with the aim of clarifying and defining the principle aspects of the pastoral and administrative management of the complex of St. Paul's Outside-the-Walls. This will make it possible to compile a statute laying down the duties of the parties involved, and regulating their dealings with one another."

  As in the case of the other major basilicas, Benedict XVI has decided to appoint an archpriest to St. Paul's Outside-the-Walls, who will exercise "ordinary and immediate jurisdiction." He will have a vicar for pastoral care in the person of the abbot of the Benedictine abbey, and a delegate for administrative tasks. The archpriest will also have to coordinate the various administrative bodies of the complex, each according to its particular purpose, except in matters that are the exclusive competency of the abbot within the abbey.

  The abbot of the monastery of St. Paul's Outside-the-Walls, after having been canonically elected, must be confirmed by the Pope. He enjoys all the rights and prerogatives as superior of the Benedictine community. In order to enable the abbot to attend to his duties in the monastic community, John Paul II established "that the extraterritorial area around the abbey should be removed from the jurisdiction of the abbot of St. Paul's, who will nonetheless conserve his ordinary jurisdiction 'intra septa monasterii' and his liturgical function within the basilica, as defined in this document and as will be specified in the forthcoming statute."

  Since March 2005, the abbey has taken the name of "Abbey of St. Paul's Outside-the-Walls," and its character and title as a "territorial" circumscription have been suppressed. Thus, excepting the duties of the archpriest of St. Paul's and those of the abbot, "the power of ordinary pastoral jurisdiction over the entire extraterritorial area of St. Paul's Outside-the-Walls, falls to the cardinal vicar of Rome, who exercises that power through the territorially-competent diocesan parish."

  Thus, the pontifical administration of the basilica "is suppressed and all its functions are transferred to the archpriest, who will exercise them in keeping with the statute to be approved by the competent offices of the Holy See."

  In order to guarantee the ministry of Penance in the basilica, much frequented by pilgrims from all over the world, Benedict XVI confirms the norms laid down in Pope Pius XI's Apostolic Constitution "Quod divina favente," that "the administration of the Sacrament of Penance should continue to be entrusted to the care of the penitentiaries, chosen from the Benedictine monks and constituted according to the terms of the forthcoming statute".

  The Pope goes on to point out how, in recent times, the Holy See has shown particular interest in promoting special ecumenical events, either in the basilica or within the abbey. "It will, therefore, be the task of the monks, under the supervision of the archpriest, to organize, coordinate and develop such programs, also with the help of their Benedictine confreres from other abbeys and in accordance with the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity."

  The Pope concludes by calling on the Apostle of the People to illuminate those who work in the basilica and the pilgrims who travel there.
MP/ST PAUL'S BASILICA/...                        VIS 20050531 (730)


VATICAN CITY, MAY 31, 2005 (VIS) - Yesterday morning, the Pope received participants in the 54th general assembly of the Italian Episcopal Conference.

  In his address, which was made public yesterday afternoon, Benedict XVI stressed Italy's "deep and living" relationship with the Christian faith, even though, as in the rest of Europe, there exists a "culture based on purely functional rationality, a culture that contradicts and tends to exclude Christianity and, in general, the religious and moral traditions of humanity."

  Nonetheless, he went on, in Italy the supremacy of such culture "is by no means total, nor does it go unquestioned. In fact, even among those who do not share our faith, or at least do not practice it, there are people who realize  how such a form of culture in fact constitutes a deadly mutilation of man and his reason."

  The Holy Father pointed out that Italy today still has "a dense network of parishes" characterized by their vitality "despite great changes in society and culture." On this matter, he stressed the importance of "strengthening communion between parish structures and the various 'charismatic' groups that have emerged over the last few decades and have a strong presence in Italy, in order for the mission to reach all areas of life."

  Speaking about the family, "a crucial question that calls for all our pastoral attention," the Pope indicated that in Italy too the family "is exposed ... to many risks and threats, of which we are all aware. In addition to the fragility and internal instability of many marriages, there is a tendency in culture and society to question the unique character and mission of the family based on marriage."

  Going on to mention the forthcoming Italian referendum on fertility treatment, due to be held on June 12 and 13, Benedict XVI thanked bishops for their "commitment" to "illuminating and motivating the choice of Catholics and of all citizens. ... Precisely in its clarity and firmness, your commitment is a sign of the solicitude of pastors for all human beings, who can never be reduced to a means but are always an end, as our Lord Jesus Christ teaches us in His Gospel, and as human reason itself tells us. ... We are not working for Catholic interests but for the human being, God's creature."

  After recalling that in August he will participate in World Youth Day, due to be held in the German city of Cologne, the Pope recognized that young people run the risk of being "tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine. Therefore, they need to be helped to grow and mature in the faith: this is the first service they must receive from the Church, especially from us as bishops and from our priests."

  "Many of them," he went on, "are not able to understand and accept all the Church's teaching immediately, but precisely for this reason it is important to reawaken within them the intention to believe with the Church, the belief that this Church, animated and guided by the Spirit, is the true subject of the faith." In order to reach this objective, Benedict XVI explained that young people "must feel loved by the Church, in particular by us, bishops and priests."

  In this way, he concluded, "they will experience in the Church the friendship and love the Lord holds for them, they will understand that in Christ truth coincides with love, and in their turn they will learn to love the Lord, and to have faith in His body which is the Church. This is the central point of the great challenge of transmitting the faith to the young generations."
AC/.../ITALIAN EPISCOPAL CONFERENCE                VIS 20050531 (620)

Monday, May 30, 2005


VATICAN CITY, MAY 30, 2005 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in audience participants in the general assembly of the Italian Episcopal Conference

  On Saturday, May 28, he received in separate audiences:

 - Cardinal Federic Etsou-Nzabi-Bamungwabi C.I.C.M., archbishop of Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo.

 - Cardinal Edmund Casimir Szoka, president of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State and president of the Governorate of Vatican City State.

 - Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe, Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.
AP/.../...                                VIS 20050530 (90)


VATICAN CITY, MAY 28, 2005 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed:

 - Bishop Solomon Amanchukwu Amatu, auxiliary of Awka, Nigeria, as coadjutor of the diocese of Okigwe (area 1,824, population 2,001,838, Catholics 823,483, priests 202, religious 139), Nigeria.

 - Bishop Fabio Suescun Mutis, military ordinary of Colombia, as member of the Council of the Central Office of Pastoral Coordination of Military Ordinariates, within the Congregation for Bishops.
NEC:NA/.../AMATU:SUESCUN                        VIS 20050530 (70)


VATICAN CITY, MAY 28, 2005 (VIS) - This morning, Benedict XVI received members of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of Burundi, who have just completed their "ad limina" visit.

  At the beginning of his address in French, the Pope recalled Archbishop Michael A. Courtney, who was murdered in December 2003 while serving as apostolic nuncio to Burundi. "He was faithful, even to the point of sacrificing his life to the mission with which the Holy Father had entrusted him in the service of your dear country, and of the local Church."

  The Holy Father went on to refer the five-yearly "ad limina" visits bishops make to the Holy See, and the reports they present that underline "the Catholic Church's active role in promoting peace and reconciliation in your country, especially during this election period."

  "The suffering occasioned by the war - during which, we must recall, many Christians bore heroic witness to their faith - cannot conceal the desire to work, for Christ and in His name, towards fraternity and unity among everyone." On this subject, the Pope called on pastoral activity plans and on diocesan synods to contribute "to announcing the Gospel, to healing memories and hearts, to favoring solidarity among all citizens, eliminating the spirit of vengeance and of resentment, and tirelessly calling for forgiveness and reconciliation."

  After highlighting the fact that ten years ago John Paul II had promulgated the post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation "Ecclesia in Africa," the Holy Father expressed the hope that this document becomes "a Magna Carta of your commitment to the mission with which you have been entrusted, in communion with the other local Churches."

  The Pope asked the bishops to follow the faithful carefully "so that they experience ever more intensely the requirements of their Baptism. Many of them know extreme poverty and interior distress, and are tempted to return to ancient practices not purified by the Spirit of the Lord, or to sects." For this reason, he went on, "solid Christian formation is necessary, without neglecting efforts of inculturation, especially in the field of translating the Bible and the texts of the Magisterium."

  Benedict XVI concluded by giving thanks "for the apostolic commitment shown, often in difficult conditions, by priests, and male and female religious in your dioceses, both locals and those who have come from other areas. Nor do I forget the catechists, worthy helpers in the apostolate, or all the faithful who participate in the development of human beings and of society within the ambit of the Church's activity of social promotion, and her service in the world of education and health care."
AL/.../BURUNDI                                VIS 20050530 (440)


VATICAN CITY, MAY 29, 2005 (VIS) - This morning, the Pope traveled by helicopter to Bari for the closing ceremony of the 24th National Eucharistic Congress which was held this week in the southern Italian city, and had as its theme: "Without Sundays, We Cannot Live."

  On his first apostolic trip in Italy, Benedict XVI concelebrated Mass  with prelates of the Italian Episcopal Conference at 10 a.m. in the presence of 200,000 people gathered in the "Marisabella" esplanade. Following the Mass he prayed the Angelus with the faithful.

  In his homily, the Pope recalled how the theme of the Eucharistic congress "takes us back to the year 304, when the emperor Diocletian prohibited Christians, on pain of death, from possessing the Scriptures and from coming together on Sunday to celebrate the Eucharist. ... In Abitene, a small town in what is today Tunisia, 49 Christians" were arrested one Sunday as they celebrated the Eucharist, "in defiance of the imperial proscription. ... Following atrocious tortures, they were put to death."

  Like the martyrs of Abitene, it is not easy for Christians of this century "to live like Christians. ... The world in which we live (is) often marked by unbridled consumerism, by religious indifference and by a secularism closed to all forms of transcendence."

  After recalling how God helped the Jewish people "with the gift of manna," the Pope said: "The Son of God, having been made flesh, could become Bread, and thus act as nourishment for His people on their journey to the promised land in heaven.

  "We need this Bread in order to cope with the fatigue and weariness of the journey. Sunday, the day of the Lord, is the right occasion to draw strength from Him Who is the Lord of life. The precept of the feast day is not, then, simply an obligation imposed from outside. To participate in the Sunday celebration and feed on the Eucharistic bread is a need for Christians, who thus find the energy necessary for the path they must follow."

  Benedict XVI emphasized that the Christ we encounter in the Sacrament of the Eucharist "is the one and same Christ present in the Eucharistic bread all over the world. This means we can encounter Him only together with everyone else. We can only receive Him in unity."

  "The consequence of this is clear," he went on, "we cannot communicate with the Lord if we do not communicate with one another. ... For this it is necessary to learn the great lesson of forgiveness: do not let resentment gnaw at the soul, but open your hearts to the magnanimity of listening to others."

  After again recalling that the Eucharist "is the Sacrament of unity," the Pope lamented the fact that it is precisely in the Sacrament of unity that Christians are divided. "Even more so then, supported by the Eucharist, we must feel stimulated to tend with all our strength towards that full unity that Christ so ardently anticipated in the Cenacle. Here in Bari, the city that holds the bones of St. Nicholas, a land of meeting and dialogue with our brother Christians of the East, I would like to reiterate a fundamental commitment: my desire to work with all my energy to reconstituting the full and visible unity of all Christ's followers."

  He added: "I am aware that, to this end, expressions of good intentions are not enough. Concrete gestures are needed. Gestures that enter into souls and move consciences, calling everyone to that interior conversion that is the prerequisite for all progress on the road of ecumenism. I ask you all to start decisively down the road to that spiritual ecumenism which, in prayer, opens the doors to the Holy Spirit, Who alone can create unity."

  After Mass and before praying the Angelus, the Holy Father said: "Our hearts are full of gratitude, to God and to all those who have worked for the realization of such an extraordinary ecclesial event, particularly meaningful because it takes place in the Year of the Eucharist, which has had in the Congress its most outstanding moment."

  Benedict XVI then travelled by popemobile to the sports ground where he had landed, and returned by helicopter to the Vatican.

Friday, May 27, 2005


VATICAN CITY, MAY 26, 2005 (VIS) - Made public today was the speech given by Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragan on May 18 in Geneva, Switzerland at the World Health Assembly, the supreme decision-making body of the 192-member World Health Organization (WHO). Cardinal Lozano, president of the Pontifical Council for Health Care Ministry, headed the Holy See delegation which also included Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, permanent observer to the Geneva-based United Nations Office and Specialized Institutions.

  Cardinal Lozano conveyed greetings from Pope Benedict XVI who, he said, "is very concerned about health problems in the world, and offers all his support and assistance to the world effort to bring health care to everyone, especially to the most unprotected."

  The cardinal went to say that "unfortunately, illnesses, especially infectious ones, are ever more virulent in the poorest countries that, precisely because they are poor, do not have the resources to obtain medicine that, thanks to modern technology, can easily offer some cures. In fact, each year infectious diseases are responsible for the death of 17 million persons, of whom 90 percent live in developing countries." He noted that in many of these countries the medicines to cure certain illnesses cannot even be found.

  "It is terrible," added the council president, quoting the 2005 World Health Report on  maternal and infant health care, "to note that of the 211 new human beings who were conceived, there were 46 million induced abortions, 32 who died prematurely or at birth and only 133 million reached birth and lived."

  Cardinal Lozano, in concluding remarks, said that, "as the Holy See is aware of these and similar problems, John Paul II established the 'Good Samaritan' Foundation' to help the most needy sick people in the world. The new Pope, Benedict XVI, with joy, has ratified this foundation. The initial objective of this foundation has been concretized by buying medicines for the most needy, and we have already been able to bring aid to the sick of 11 African countries, one in Asia and another in Latin America."


VATICAN CITY, MAY 26, 2005 (VIS) - At 7 p.m. today, Solemnity of Corpus Christi, Benedict XVI celebrated Mass on the square in front of the basilica of St. John Lateran, then led a Eucharistic procession to the basilica of St. Mary Major.

  In his homily, the Pope affirmed that in today's feast "the Church relives the mystery of Easter Thursday in the light of the Resurrection. Easter Thursday also has its own Eucharistic procession with which the Church recreates Jesus' exodus from the Cenacle to the Mount of Olives. ... Jesus truly gives His body and His blood. Crossing the threshold of death, He became living Bread, true manna, inexhaustible nourishment for all time. The flesh became bread of life."

  "In the feast of Corpus Christi," the Pope went on, "we repeat the procession (of Holy Thursday), but in the joy of the Resurrection. The Lord is risen and He goes before us. ... Jesus goes before us to the Father, He ascends to the heights of God and invites us to follow Him. ... The true goal of our journey is communion with God."

  The Holy Father pointed out how in the Sacrament of the Eucharist "the Lord is always moving towards the world. This universal aspect of the Eucharistic presence is apparent in the procession of our feast today. We bring Christ, present in the form of the bread, along the streets of our city. We entrust these streets, these houses, our daily lives, to His goodness. May our streets be Jesus' streets! May our houses be for Him and with Him! May our daily lives be penetrated by His presence. With this gesture we place the suffering of the sick, the solitude of the young and the old, temptations and fears, all our lives, under His gaze. This procession seeks to be a great and public blessing for our city. Christ in person is the divine blessing for the world - may the rays of His blessing extend over us all."

  Referring to Christ's call to "take, eat, ... drink of it, all of you," Benedict XVI emphasized that "one cannot 'eat' the Risen One, present in form of bread, as a simple piece of bread. To eat this bread is to communicate, it is to enter into communion with the person of the living Lord. This communion, this act of 'eating,' truly represents an encounter between two people, it means allowing oneself to be penetrated by the life of the One Who is Lord, the One Who is my Creator and Redeemer. The aim of this communion is to assimilate my life to His, my transformation and conformity to the One Who is living Love. Thus, communion implies adoration, it implies the will to follow Christ, to follow the One Who goes before. Adoration and procession thus make up part of a single gesture of communion, a response to His call to 'take and eat'."

  The Pope concluded by underlining the fact that "our procession finishes before the basilica of St. Mary Major, in the encounter with the Virgin, called by dear Pope John Paul II 'Eucharistic woman.' Mary, Mother of the Lord, truly teaches us what it means to enter into communion with Christ. ... Let us ask her to help us open our being ever more to the presence of Christ, that she may help us follow Him faithfully day after day along the paths of our lives. Amen."

  After Mass, the Pope presided at a Eucharistic procession along Rome's Via Merulana to the basilica of St. Mary Major. Along the route, thousands of faithful prayed and sang accompanying the Most Holy Sacrament. A covered vehicle transported the Sacrament in a monstrance, before which the Holy Father prayed.
HML/CORPUS CHRISTI/...                            VIS 20050527 (640)


VATICAN CITY, MAY 27, 2005 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

 - Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini, S.J., archbishop emeritus of Milan, Italy.

 - Six prelates from the Conference of Catholic Bishops of Burundi, on their "ad limina" visit:

    - Bishop Evariste Ngoyagoye of Bujumbura.

    - Bishop Bernard Bududira of Bururi.

   -  Bishop Joachim Ntahondereye of Muyinga.

   - Bishop Gervais Banshimiyubusa of Ngozi, accompanied by emeritus Bishop Stanislas Kaburungu.

    - Bishop Jospeh Nduhirubusa of Ruyigi.

  This evening he is scheduled to receive Archbishop Angelo Amato S.D.B., secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
AP:AL/.../...                                    VIS 20050527 (100)

Wednesday, May 25, 2005


VATICAN CITY, MAY 25, 2005 (VIS) - As previously advised, due to tomorrow's solemnity of Corpus Christi, a holiday in the Vatican, there will be no VIS service. It will resume on Friday, May 27.
.../.../...                                    VIS 20050525 (30)


VATICAN CITY, MAY 25, 2005 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

 - Appointed Fr. Antonio Roberto Cavuto O.F.M. Cap., pastor and guardian of the Fraternity of St. Sebastian in the diocese of Uberlandia, Brazil, as bishop of Itapipoca (area 11,266, population 446,606, Catholics 402,933, priests 27, religious 55), Brazil. The bishop-elect was born in Espirito Santo do Pinhal, Brazil, in 1944 and ordained a priest in 1971. He succeeds Bishop Benedito Francisco de Albuquerque, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.

 - Appointed Bishop Fernando Mason O.F.M. Conv., of Caraguatatuba, Brazil, as bishop of Piracicaba (area 5,402, population 988,326, Catholics 763,246, priests 82, permanent deacons 34, religious 256), Brazil.
NER:RE/.../CAVUTO:DE ALBUQUERQUE:MASON            VIS 20050525 (130)


VATICAN CITY, MAY 25, 2005 (VIS) - Following today's general audience, the Holy Father received in separate audiences:

 - Blaise Compaore, president of Burkina Faso, accompanied by his wife and an entourage.

 - Amadou Toumani Toure, president of the Republic of Mali accompanied by an entourage.

 - Absalom Themaba Dlamini, prime minister of the Kingdom of Swaziland, accompanied by his wife and an entourage.

 - Archbishop Marco Dino Brogi O.F.M., apostolic nuncio to the Arab Republic of Egypt.

 - Archbishop Ivo Scapolo, apostolic nuncio to Bolivia.
AP/.../...                                        VIS 20050525 (90)


VATICAN CITY, MAY 25, 2005 (VIS) - Archbishop John Foley, president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications is in the United States where he spoke today in Orlando, Florida on the topic "Keeping 5,000 Communicators Happy" at the joint meeting of the Catholic Press Association of the United States and Canada and the Catholic Academy of Communications Arts Professionals.

  Two additional events are scheduled for the Catholic Press Association in Orlando. Tomorrow he will speak at the Catholic News Service breakfast at the association and on May 27 he will deliver the homily in Orlando at a memorial Mass for the association.

  Archbishop Foley will then travel in early June to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and to Camden, New Jersey, where he will deliver addresses on June 1, 2 and 3.
CON-CS/.../US:FOLEY                        VIS 20050525 (140)


VATICAN CITY, MAY 25, 2005 (VIS) - In his weekly general audience, which was held this morning in St. Peter's Square, the Pope spoke on Psalm 115, "Thanksgiving in the Temple."

  Benedict XVI pointed out to the 27,000 people present that this psalm is mentioned by St. Paul when he tells the Corinthians: "Since we have the same spirit of faith as he had who wrote 'I believed and so I spoke,' we too believe, and so we speak." The Pope referred to the spiritual harmony between the Apostle and the Psalmist "in serene faith, and sincere witness, despite human suffering and weakness." This psalm, together with Psalm 114, constitutes "a single act of thanksgiving, addressed to the Lord  Who frees us from the terror of death."

  The text of the psalm describes "a tormented past. The Psalmist has held high the torch of faith, even when the bitterness of desperation and sorrow rise to his lips. Around him was an icy wall of hatred and deceit, because men appeared false and unfaithful. However, the supplication becomes gratitude because the Lord has raised His faithful servant from the dark abyss of falsehood."

  In off-the-cuff remarks, the Pope then added that "Christ was the first martyr, and gave His own life in a context of hatred and falsehood; yet He transformed His passion into 'Eucharist' that is 'joy and salvation'."

  Returning to his prepared catechesis, he continued: "The Psalmist prepares, then, to offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving, in which he will drink at the ritual chalice, the cup of sacred libation that is a sign of recognition for having been set free."

  The Pope indicated how the Psalmist bears witness of his own faith in the presence of all the people and how, "having been saved from death, feels himself to be the Lord's  'servant,' and 'son of His handmaiden;' a beautiful Oriental expression indicating a person born in the same house as his master. The Psalmist humbly and joyfully professes his association with the House of God, with the family of created beings united to him in love and faithfulness."

  "The entire people of God," he concluded, "thank the Lord of life, Who never abandons the just in the dark bosom of pain and death, but leads then to hope and to life."

  At the end of the audience, Benedict XVI invited everyone to participate in the Mass he will celebrate at 7 p.m. tomorrow, Solemnity of Corpus Christi, in the Basilica of St. John Lateran, and in the traditional procession to St. Mary Major, in order "to express together faith in Christ, Who is present in the Eucharist."
AG/PSALM 115/...                                VIS 20050525 (460)

Tuesday, May 24, 2005


VATICAN CITY, MAY 24, 2005 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

 - Erected the new diocese of Cartago (area 3,105, population 378,523, Catholics 272,388, priests 70, religious 53),  Costa Rica, with territory taken from the archdiocese of San Jose de Costa Rica and from the diocese of Limon, making it a suffragan of the metropolitan church of San Jose de Costa Rica. He appointed Bishop Jose Francisco Ulloa Rojas of Limon as first bishop of the new diocese.

 - Appointed Msgr. Elmar Fischer, vicar general of Feldkirch (area 2,601, population 375,543, Catholics 267,950, priests 225, permanent deacons 18, priests 403), Austria, as bishop of the same diocese. The bishop-elect was born in Feldkirch in 1936 and ordained a priest in 1961.

 - Accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Kansas City-Saint Joseph, U.S.A., presented by Bishop Raymond James Boland in accordance with Canon 401, para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law. He is succeeded by Coadjutor Bishop Robert W. Finn.

 - Appointed Msgr. Peter Doyle, of the clergy of the diocese of Portsmouth, Great Britain, vicar general, as bishop of Northampton (area 5,532, population 2,000,769, Catholics 173,539, priests 127, permanent deacons 25, religious 224), Great Britain. The bishop-elect was born in Blackburn, Great Britain, in 1944 and ordained a priest in 1968.
ECE:NER:RE/.../...                                VIS 20050524 (220)


VATICAN CITY, MAY 24, 2005 (VIS) - The Centesimus Annus "Pro Pontifice" Foundation, instituted by Pope John Paul in June 1993, has organized a two-day  international meeting in the Vatican entitled "The World System in the 21st Century: Subsidiarity and Cooperation for Development." The meeting will be held in the Vatican, starting the afternoon of May 27.

  Alberto Quadrio Curzio, president of the foundation's Scientific Committee and dean of the political science faculty at Milan's Sacred Heart Catholic University, will preside at the May 27 meeting. Speakers that day will include Italian Supreme Court Judge Giovanni Maria Flick who will talk on "Human Rights and Globalization: A European Perspective," Moshe Syrquin, professor of economics at the University of Miami, who will speak on "Globalization: Too Much or To Little" and Alberto Curzio whose talk is entitled "The European Union as an Institutional Model in a Globalized World."

  Cardinal Attilio Nicora, president of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See, will open the May 28 sessions. The morning will include a round table on "Promoting Development in the 21st Century: Values, Actors and Instruments," followed by a debate. The morning will close with a talk by a representative of the United Nations on "The Way the World Is: Evils and Angels in Development."

  Cardinal Nicora will close the two-day event with Mass the afternoon of May 28 in the Santa Martha Residence in the Vatican.
.../CENTESIMUS ANNUS FOUNDATION/...            VIS 20050524 (250)

Monday, May 23, 2005


VATICAN CITY, MAY 23, 2005 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Bishop Martin Drennan, auxiliary of Dublin, Ireland, as bishop of Galway and Kilmacduagh (area 2,610, population 105,079, Catholics 102,425, priests 113, religious 277), Ireland. He succeeds Bishop James McLoughlin whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.

  On Saturday, May 21, it was made public that he appointed Fr. Juan Jose Pineda Fasquelle C.M.F., professor at the major national seminary of Tegucigalpa, Honduras, director of pastoral care at the Catholic University of Honduras and secretary of the archbishop of Tegucigalpa, as auxiliary of the archdiocese of Tegucigalpa (area 23,106, population 2,135,516, Catholics 1,601,637, priests 165, permanent deacons 1, religious 503). The bishop-elect was born in Tegucigalpa in 1960 and ordained to the priesthood in 1988.
NER:RE:NEA/.../DRENNAN:MCLOUGHLIN:PINEDA            VIS 20050523 (150)


VATICAN CITY, MAY 23, 2005 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

 - Georgi Parvanov, president of the Republic of Bulgaria, accompanied by his wife and an entourage.

 - Two prelates from the Conference of Catholic Bishops of Burundi, on their "ad limina" visit:

    - Archbishop Simon Ntamwana of Gitega.

    - Bishop Jean Ntagwarara of Bubanza.

 - Vlado Buchkovski, prime minister of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, accompanied by his wife and an entourage.

  On Saturday, May 21, he received in separate audiences:

 - Superiors and officials of the Secretariat of State.

 - Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.
AP:AL/.../...                                    VIS 20050523 (110)


VATICAN CITY, MAY 23, 2005 (VIS) - Made public today was a letter from the Holy Father to the Spanish bishops on the occasion of the national pilgrimage to the shrine of Pilar de Zaragoza to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception and the 50th anniversary of the consecration of Spain to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

  "Mary Immaculate," he writes in the Letter dated May 19,  "reflects the mercy of the Father. Conceived without sin, she was capable of pardoning even those who abandoned and wounded her Son at the foot of the Cross. As our Advocate, she helps us in our needs and intercedes for us to her Son."

   "Accompanied by the paternal solicitude of Joseph," he adds, "Mary welcomed her Son. In the home at Nazareth Jesus reached maturity in a family that was humanly splendid and marked by the divine mystery, one that has been a model for all families. In this respect, in domestic coexistence the family realizes its vocation of human and Christian life, sharing joys and expectations in a climate of understanding and reciprocal help. Thus, the human person, who is born, grows and is formed in the family, is capable of undertaking with certainty the path of goodness, without letting himself or herself be disoriented by methods or ideologies foreign to the human person."

   Benedict XVI said he knows "the Catholic Church in Spain is disposed to take firm steps in her evangelizing projects. Thus, it is to be hoped that she will be understood and accepted in her natural truth and mission because it is a question of promoting the common good for everyone, with respect both to persons and to society. In effect, the transmission of the faith and religious practices of believers cannot remain confined to the purely private sphere."


VATICAN CITY, MAY 23, 2005 (VIS) - Prime Minister Vlado Buchkovski of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and an entourage were welcomed to the Vatican today by Pope Benedict on the occasion of the feast of St. Cyril and Methodius, Apostles to the Slavs. Their feast is celebrated in the East on May 11, and in the West on February 14.

  "When I received the new ambassador a few days ago," said the Holy Father, speaking English, "I wanted to acknowledge how strongly the traditions and culture of the Macedonian people resonate with the values which permeate the spirit of Europe. The brothers Saints Cyril and Methodius, Apostles of the Slav peoples, contributed significantly to its formation. Their human and Christian activity left indelible traces in the history of your own country. The pilgrimage which you make every year to the tomb of Saint Cyril provides a fitting occasion to return to the roots of your history."

  The Pope added, "I am convinced that the way to give life to a society truly attentive to the common good is to seek in the Gospel the roots of shared values, as the experience of Saints Cyril and Methodius demonstrates.  This is the ardent desire of the Catholic Church which has no other interest but to spread and bear witness to Jesus Christ's words of hope and love, words of life which down the centuries have inspired many martyrs and confessors of the faith.

  "I sincerely hope," concluded Benedict XVI, "that your pilgrimage today will contribute to keeping vibrant throughout the Nation these high human and Christian ideals. I pray too that your country will confidently open up to Europe, thereby contributing significantly to building its future, inspired by your invaluable religious and cultural heritage."


VATICAN CITY, MAY 23, 2005 (VIS) - Pope Benedict today received Georgi Parvanov, president of the Republic of Bulgaria, with his wife and a delegation, who are in Rome for the traditional annual homage to the tomb of St. Cyril who, together with his brother Methodius, are Apostles to the Slavs. With St. Benedict, they were proclaimed co-patrons of Europe by John Paul II on December 31, 1980.

  The Holy Father noted that Cyril and Methodius "forged in a Christian perspective the human and cultural values of the Bulgarians and other Slav nations. One could also say that, through their evangelizing action, it is Europe that was shaped, this Europe of which Bulgaria feels itself to be a convincing partner. Bulgaria even realizes that it has a special duty towards other peoples, knowing it is one of the bridges between West and East."

  Highlighting "the good relations that exist between the Holy See and the nation you represent," the Pope then asked: "How can we not thank Divine Providence for this rediscovered capacity of friendly and constructive dialogue after the long and difficult period of the communist regime?"

  In closing remarks, Benedict XVI thanked Bulgaria and its people for the "closeness shown to the Holy See in these last two months You, the government, the parliament, and so many citizens wished to show the Catholic Church their sincere sentiments on the occasion of the death of John Paul II and of my election as his successor."
AC/PRESIDENT BULGARIA/PARVANOV            VIS 20050523 (250)


VATICAN CITY, MAY 22, 2005 (VIS) - Before praying the Angelus with the more than 20,000 faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square, the Holy Father highlighted today's solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity, and greeted participants in the National Eucharistic Congress which opened yesterday in Bari, Italy. The Pope will personally close the congress next Sunday in this city on Italy's Adriatic coast.

  "Jesus has revealed to us the mystery of God," said the Pope. "He, the Son, made us know the Father Who is in heaven, and gave us the Holy Spirit, the Love of the Father and Son. Christian theology synthesizes the truth about God with this expression: one substance in three persons. God is not solitude, but perfect communion. For this reason the human person, in the image of God, is realized in love, which is the sincere giving of oneself."

  "Today, feast of the Most Holy Trinity," continued Benedict XVI, "I am very happy to greet the participants in the Eucharistic Congress of the Church in Italy, which opened yesterday in Bari. In the heart of this year dedicated to the Eucharist, the Christian people gather around Christ who is present in the Most Holy Sacrament, the source and summit of her life and mission." Noting that the theme of the congress is "Without Sundays We Cannot Live," the Holy Father said "as I wait to personally go to Bari next Sunday for the Eucharistic celebration, I am with all of you spiritually for this important ecclesial event."

  After the Angelus prayer, the Pope greeted the faithful in Spanish, Polish, German. "I greet Italian-speaking pilgrims," he said in closing. He then added in spontaneous remarks, as he noted people continuing to arrive in the square, that they "are very numerous, as we can see and hear."
ANG/TRINITY:EUCHARISTIC CONGRESS/...            VIS 20050523 (300)


VATICAN CITY, MAY 21, 2005 (VIS) - Pope Benedict met this morning with Cardinal Secretary of State Angelo Sodano, the substitute for General Affairs, Archbisbop Leonardo Sandri, the secretary for Relations with States, Archbishop Giovanni Lajolo, their assistants and all the collaborators in both the First and Second Sections of the Secretariat of State.

  Following remarks by Cardinal Sodano, who spoke in the name of all officials present as well as of those who work in pontifical representations throughout the world, the Holy Father spoke in off-the-cuff remarks.

  "I have come here with no written speech, but with a sense of vibrant gratitude in my heart, and with the intention to learn. I am slowly learning something about the structure of the Secretariat of State, especially as each day a pile of documentation arrives, of work done in this Secretariat of State. And so I see - from the variety, density and even competency concealed in this work - just how much is done here in these offices."

  "If we think of the great international administrations - for example the European administration, and Msgr. Lajolo has told me the number of employees who work there - we truly are a small number. The fact that such a reduced number of people does such an immense task for the Universal Church does great honor to the Holy See. This large job done by a small number of people shows the assiduousness and dedication with which the work is actually done."

  "We do not work - as many people say of work - to defend power. We do not have a secular, earthly power. We do not work for prestige, we do not work to see a company grow or anything of that nature. We work, in fact, so that the paths of the world may be open to Christ. And in the end all our work, with all its ramifications, serves precisely so that the Gospel, and thus the joy of the Redemption, can reach the world. ... We become ... collaborators of the Truth, in other words, of Christ in His action in the world, in order that the world may truly become the Kingdom of God."

  "I can, then, simply say a big thank you. Together we undertake the service that is proper for Peter's Successor, the 'Petrine service,' that of confirming our brothers and sister in faith."
AC/SECRETARIAT OF STATE/SODANO            VIS 20050523 (420)


VATICAN CITY, MAY 21, 2005 (VIS) - Pope Benedict welcomed eight bishops from Rwanda this morning as they end their "ad limina" visit to Rome and, in his address in French, asked them to greet their communities on his behalf and to "exhort priests and the faithful, harshly tried by the 1994 genocide and its consequences, to remain strong in the faith and to persevere in the hope given by the Risen Christ, while overcoming every temptation to discouragement."

  "To work actively for peace and reconciliation," said the Pope, "you are notably promoting a pastoral ministry of closeness, based on the commitment of small communities of lay people to the missionary work of the Church, in harmony with her pastors. I encourage you to support these communities so that the faithful welcome the truths of the faith and its demands, thus developing a stronger ecclesial and spiritual life, so that they do not allow themselves to be turned away from the Gospel of Christ, notably by the numerous sects present in the country."

  The Holy Father urged the prelates "to work ceaselessly so that the Gospel penetrates ever more deeply into the hearts and lives of believers, inviting the faithful to assume their responsibilities in society, especially in the fields of economy and politics, with a moral sense nourished by the Gospel and the Church's social doctrine."

  Benedict XVI, noting that the clergy is Rwanda is becoming native-born, said, "I would like to honor the patient work done by missionaries to proclaim Christ and His Gospel, and to have created the Christian communities entrusted to you today." He exhorted the bishops to be close to their priests, attentive to their ongoing formation and "to their conditions of life and the exercise of their mission." May your priests, he concluded "remain faithful to the demands of their state and live their priesthood as a true path of holiness!"
AL/.../RWANDA                            VIS 20050523 (320)


VATICAN CITY, MAY 21, 2005 (VIS) - Yesterday afternoon Holy See Press Office Director Joaquin Navarro-Valls made the following declaration to journalists concerning the visit to the Vatican by former U.S. President Bill Clinton:

  "Today, May 20, 2005 Cardinal Secretary of State Angelo Sodano received William J. Clinton, former president of the United States of America, who visited the Vatican to report on activities entrusted to him by the secretary general of the United Nations Organization to promote international solidarity in support of Asian peoples struck by the tsunami.

  "For his part, the secretary of State described to the illustrious guest the Holy See's commitment in this field. Cardinal Sodano then introduced President Clinton to Archbishop Paul Josef Cordes, president of the Pontifical Council 'Cor Unum,' who gave a detailed account of work undertaken in this field by various Catholic institutions around the world.

  "The occasion was also used to give attention to two other large contemporary problems: the contribution of States to under-developed countries and the struggle against AIDS, especially in Africa."
OP/VISIT CLINTON/NAVARRO-VALLS                VIS 20050523 (190)


VATICAN CITY, MAY 21, 2005 (VIS) - Pope Benedict XVI, following the honor conferred by Austria on his brother, Msgr. Georg Ratzinger, on May 19 in the Vatican, made brief remarks in German to those present. Following is a translation of those remarks that was made public yesterday afternoon.

  "It feels strange for me to speak now. As I came down here, my secretary said to me: 'Now, dear Holy Father, your brother is the most important person'. There is no doubt about that. I find it pleasing that my brother, who for 30 years has so committed himself to sacred music in Ratisbone Cathedral and in the rest of the world, should receive recognition from such a competent body.

  "When I speak, despite my inadequacy, I feel, so to say, like the spokesman for those present here who feel joy, gratitude and satisfaction for this moment. As my brother has said, Austria is in a very special way a country of music. Whoever thinks of Austria, thinks in the first place of the beauty of creation that the Lord granted it. They think of the beauty of the buildings, the cordiality of the people, but also and above all of the music. ... For this reason, the fact that our dear neighbor Austria should give this recognition to my brother takes on a particular importance. And I too give my heartfelt thanks.

  "I imagine that also the new generation of cathedral cantors, instructed by the choir master, find cause for joy and encouragement in the fact that 30 years of work have been recognized, and that this may help them to honor the message of the good God, in these times when we have such need, and to lead men to joy with renewed drive and enthusiasm. Thank you."
AC/AWARD:GEORG RATZINGER/...                VIS 20050523 (310)

Friday, May 20, 2005


VATICAN CITY, MAY 20, 2005 (VIS) - The Holy Father accepted the resignation from the office of auxiliary of the diocese of Pittsburgh, U.S.A., presented by Bishop William J. Winter, upon having reached the age limit.
RE/.../WINTER                                    VIS 20050520 (40)


VATICAN CITY, MAY 20, 2005 (VIS) - This evening, the Holy Father is due to receive in audience Archbishop Angelo Amato S.D.B., secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
AP/.../...                                        VIS 20050520 (40)


VATICAN CITY, MAY 20, 2005 (VIS) - At 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 26, solemnity of Corpus Christi, Pope Benedict XVI will celebrate Mass in the square in front of St. John Lateran Basilica. Following this he will preside at the Eucharistic Procession from the basilica, along Via Merulana, to the Basilica of St. Mary Major, according to a communique from the Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff.

  The procession will be led by scouts, confraternities and sodalities, Eucharistic associations, representatives of parishes, Knights of the Holy Sepulcher, religious, priests, pastors, chaplains and prelates of His Holiness, bishops, archbishops and cardinals. Seminarians, the faithful from Roman parishes and members of ecclesial associations and movements will follow the Blessed Sacrament.
OCL/CORPUS CHRISTI/...                        VIS 20050520 (140)


VATICAN CITY, MAY 20, 2005 (VIS) - This morning, the Holy Father received students of the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy, accompanied by their president, Archbishop Justo Mullor, calling on them to use their formative years to reinforce their "sensus Ecclesiae," so as to take on "an ecclesial form in your entire personality, in your minds and in your hearts."

  Benedict XVI called on the future pontifical diplomatic representatives to cultivate "the two constitutive and complementary dimensions of the Church: communion and mission, unity and evangelical passion."

  "While you are in the academy," said the Pope, "seek to become fully 'Roman' in an ecclesial sense, in other words, sure and faithful in your adherence to the Magisterium and to the pastoral guidance of Peter's Successor. At the same time, cultivate missionary zeal, with eagerness to cooperate in spreading the Gospel to the farthest confines of the world."

  The Holy Father pointed out that, in order to adequately undertake their roles, the students need "a firm cultural formation, including knowledge of languages, history and law, with a judicious openness to different cultures." He also stressed the need for them to have, as "the fundamental goal of your lives, holiness and salvation of the souls you will meet on your journey. To this end, tirelessly seek to be exemplary priests, animated by constant and intense prayer, cultivating intimacy with Christ. Be priests according to Christ's heart and you will carry our your ministry with success and apostolic fruits. Never allow yourselves to be tempted by the logic of career advancement and power."


VATICAN CITY, MAY 20, 2005 (VIS) - Yesterday evening, the Holy Father attended a showing of the film: "Karol un uomo diventato Papa" (Karol, A Man Who Became Pope) which was screened in the Paul VI Hall in the presence of several thousand people. Based on a script written by Italian journalist Gian Franco Svidercoschi, the film covers the life of John Paul II until his election as bishop of Rome.

  In an address following the showing, the Pope pointed out how the first half of the film "highlighted what happened in Poland under Nazi occupation," and he referred to the "repression of the Polish people and the genocide of the Jews. These were atrocious crimes which demonstrate all the evil contained in Nazi ideology. Shaken by so much pain and so much violence, the young Karol decided to transform his own life, responding to the divine call to the priesthood."

  Benedict XVI indicated that the film contained scenes that, "in their crudity, give rise to an instinctive feeling of horror in viewers, bringing them to reflect on the depths of iniquity that can be hidden in the human soul. At the same time, evoking such aberrations cannot but give rise in all right-thinking people to a commitment to do all they can to ensure that such acts of inhuman barbarity are never repeated again."

  "May 8, 1945 marked the end of that immense tragedy that sowed destruction and death in Europe and the world at a level never known before. ... Every time a totalitarian ideology crushes man underfoot, all humanity is seriously threatened.

  "Memories must not pale with the passing of time," said the Pope, "rather they should remain as a strict lesson for our own and future generations. We have the duty to remind ourselves and others, especially the young, what forms of unprecedented violence can be reached by scorn for human beings and violation of their rights."

  How, Benedict asked, can we not see "a providential divine plan in the fact that on the Chair of Peter a Polish Pope was succeeded by a citizen of Germany, where the Nazi regime affirmed itself with particular virulence, before attacking its neighbors, in particular Poland? Both these Popes in their youth - though on different sides and in different situations - were forced to experience the barbarism of the Second World War and the senseless violence of man against man, of peoples against peoples."

  The Pope stressed how "nothing can improve in the world, if evil is not overcome; and evil can be overcome only through forgiveness. May the shared and sincere condemnation of Nazism and of atheist Communism serve as a commitment for everyone in building reconciliation and peace on the basis of forgiveness."

  Prior to the screening of the film, Pope Benedict had participated in a ceremony in which his brother, Msgr. Georg Ratzinger, was decorated by Helmut Turk, Austrian ambassador to the Holy See, with the "Osterreichisches Ehrenkreuz fur Wissenschaft und Kunst, Erste Klasse" (Austrian First Class Cross of Honor for Science and Art). The medal was assigned to him on December 7, 2004 by Heinz Fischer, president of Austria, for his close cultural and priestly ties with the Republic of Austria.
AC/FILM:JOHN PAUL II/...                            VIS 20050520 (550)

Thursday, May 19, 2005


VATICAN CITY, MAY 19, 2005 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed:

 - Bishop Ramon del Hoyo Lopez of Cuenca, Spain, as bishop of Jaen (area 13,497, population 651,565, Catholics 630,000, priests 308, religious 717), Spain.

 - As members of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See, Cardinals Giovanni Battista Re, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, and Jean-Louis Tauran, archivist and librarian of Holy Roman Church.
NER:NA/.../DEL HOYO:RE:TAURAN                    VIS 20050519 (80)


VATICAN CITY, MAY 19, 2005 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

 - Archbishop Franc Rode C.M., emeritus of Ljubljana, Slovenia and prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life.

 - Four prelates from the Conference of Catholic bishops of Rwanda, on their "ad limina" visit:

    - Bishop Augustin Misago of Gikongoro.

    - Bishop Frederic Rubwejanga of Kibungo.

    - Bishop Alexis Habiyambere S.J., of Nyundo.

    - Bishop Kizito Bahujimihigo of Ruhengeri.

 - Archbishop Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz of the archdiocese of the Mother of God in Moscow, Russia.

  This afternoon, the Holy Father is scheduled to confer a decoration on his brother, Msgr. Georg Ratzinger. Later he is due to attend a screening of the film: "Karol un uomo diventato Papa" (Karol, A Man Who Became Pope) in the Paul VI Hall.
AP:AL/.../...                                    VIS 20050519 (140)


VATICAN CITY, MAY 19, 2005 (VIS) - The Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, in collaboration with St. Anselm Pontifical Athenaeum, has organized a two-day study seminar on "Peace and Liturgy: A Research Program," whose aim is to study more deeply the pastoral and cultural instruments and methods to make liturgical life more closely linked to the social and political commitment for peace. The meeting starts today in the council's San Calisto offices.

  This follows the one-day seminar yesterday at council headquarters on the social doctrine of the Church as an indispensable basis for the formation and commitment of the lay Christian.
CON-IP/PEACE:LITURGY/...                    VIS 20050519 (110)


VATICAN CITY, MAY 19, 2005 (VIS) - Pope Benedict today received the Letters of Credence of Bartolomej Kajtazi and welcomed him as the new ambassador to the Holy See from the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

   Macedonia, said the Pope, by "reaffirming its commitment to forge a path of peace and reconciliation, ... can become an example to others in the Balkan region. Tragically, cultural differences have often been a source of misunderstanding between peoples and even the cause of senseless conflicts and wars. In fact, dialogue between cultures is an indispensable building stone of the universal civilization of love for which every man and woman longs."
  The Holy Father noted that the country is pursuing "a goal of social integration" which brings it "closer to the rest of Europe. ... As my beloved predecessor said on a number of occasions: Europe needs the Balkan nations, and they need Europe! Entry into the European Community should not, however, be understood merely as a panacea to overcome economic adversity. ... The process of the European Union's expansion ... 'will lack substance if it is reduced to merely geographic and economic dimensions'. Rather, the union must 'consist above all in an agreement about values which ... finds expression in its law and in its life'. This rightly demands of each state a proper ordering of society that creatively reclaims the soul of Europe, acquired through the decisive contribution of Christianity, affirming the transcendent dignity of the human person and the values of reason, freedom, democracy and the constitutional state."

  Turning to authentic development, Benedict XVI said this "requires a coordinated national plan of progress which honors the legitimate aspirations of all sectors of society and to which political and civic leaders can be held accountable." Programs "must be based on the protection of human rights including those of ethnic and religious minorities, the practice of responsible and transparent governance, and the maintenance of law and order by an impartial judiciary system and an honorable police force."

  The Pope spoke of the importance of presenting young generations with "a vision of confidence and optimism" and hope for the future through "the creation of educational opportunities," especially schools "staffed by people of personal integrity. ... Integral to such formation is religious instruction."

  He concluded his remarks by noting that "the Catholic Church in your nation, though numerically small, desires to reach out in cooperation with other religious communities to all members of Macedonian society without distinction. ... I am confident that the Church is willing to contribute even more extensively to the country's human development programs, promoting the values of peace, justice, solidarity and freedom."


VATICAN CITY, MAY 19, 2005 (VIS) - Yesterday afternoon a joint communique was released from the bilateral commission between the Holy See and Italy studying the question of the quantity of electromagnetic smog allegedly emitted by Vatican Radio at its transmitting station outside of Rome at Santa Maria di Galeria. The commission had met on May 16 to seek a solution linked to the problems of the intensity of these emissions.

  The communique stated that "the commission examined the results of the measuring done in recent months by Italian experts of the National Agency for the Protection of the Environment, by the regional agency for Lazio and by the Ministry of Communications, and ascertained that, in all sites observed, the levels of emission were maintained in conformity with the quality control objectives indicated by the DPCM (Decree of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers) of July 8, 2003, and thus the continuation of commitments reciprocally assumed with the Accord of June 8, 2001."

  The monitoring of emissions will continue and new tests will be done in September and October. As to a definitive solution to the problem of the intensity of electromagnetic waves produced at the Santa Maria installation, the commission noted with pleasure the work underway to adapt or convert several of the radio's medium and short wave transmitters to terrestrial digital technology which, once finished, would allow Vatican Radio to broadcast its programs with a lower emission power and with a better broadcast quality.
RV/ELECTROMAGNETIC EMISSIONS/...            VIS 20050519 (260)


VATICAN CITY, MAY 19, 2005 (VIS) - The Holy Father sent a Message to Cardinal Francisco Javier Errazuriz Ossa, archbishop of Santiago de Chile and president of the Latin American Episcopal Council (CELAM), on the occasion of its 30th plenary assembly which is being held in Lima, Peru from May 17 to 20.

  In his Message, which is dated May 14 and was made public yesterday afternoon, Benedict XVI recalls that CELAM was founded by Pope Pius XII 50 years ago "with the aim of supporting the pastoral work of bishops and, at the same time, of responding to some of the grave problems of the Church in Latin America."

  The Pope affirms that over this half century, CELAM has helped "to face up to the challenges of the Latin American subcontinent with harmonized efforts and ecclesial spirit, ... and to invigorate what over the years has become known as the 'new evangelization'."

  After highlighting that, from the beginning, CELAM has given particular support to "the promotion of vocations, in order that they be many and holy," Benedict XVI writes that, with a view to the future, CELAM "must continue to make an important contribution and provide strong support in this field, teaching how to discover the signs of the call and to accompany the response."

  The Holy Father invites members of the episcopal council to reflect on the pastoral care of the family which, in our time, "is beset by grave challenges represented by the various ideologies and customs that undermine the very foundations of Christian marriage and family. Particular emphasis must be laid on family catechesis and on the promotion of a positive and correct view of marriage and conjugal morality, thus contributing to the formation of truly Christian families, that stand out for their practice of Gospel values. A Christian family, a true 'domestic church', will also be the seedbed for numerous holy vocations."

  At the end of his Message, the Pope suggests that, "in aiming to promote collaboration both among bishops and of bishops with the Holy See, thus encouraging the growth of 'affectus collegialis,' CELAM should foster a spirit of communion, of mutual charity in the internal life of the Church. In the exercise of pastoral care, that unity must shine forth in charity between pastors, between them and people consecrated to the religious life, and between people who live their consecration within the particular charism of their community. All this should be done while bearing in mind the model of our Savior, Who came into the world not be served but to serve."
MESS/CELAM/ERRAZURIZ                            VIS 20050519 (440)

Wednesday, May 18, 2005


VATICAN CITY, MAY 18, 2005 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

 - Accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Linz, Austria, presented by Bishop Maximilian Aichern O.S.B., in accordance with Canon 401, para. 2, of the Code of Canon Law.

 - Appointed Fr. Roque Paloschi, pastor in Pinheiro Machado in the diocese of Bage, Brazil, as bishop of Roraima (area 224,118, population 324,397, Catholics 200,000, priests 30, permanent deacons 2, religious 74), Brazil. The bishop-elect was born in Progresso, Brazil, in 1956 and ordained a priest in 1986.

 - Bishop Fernando Antonio Saburido O.S.B., auxiliary of Olinda and Recife, Brazil, as bishop of Sobral (area 18,920, population 863,713, Catholics 731,554, priests 54, religious 125), Brazil.
RE:NER/.../AICHERN:PALOSCHI:SABURIDO                VIS 20050518 (130)


VATICAN CITY, MAY 18, 2005 (VIS) - Cardinal Renato Martino, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, yesterday morning received Bob and Mary Schindler, the parents of Terri Schiavo, the young American women whose feeding tube was removed by court order at the request of her husband at the end of March, causing her death.

  A communique released yesterday afternoon by the council stated that the Schindlers, accompanied by promoters of the Association of Missionaries of the Gospel of Life, are in Rome to thank Cardinal Martino for his efforts to save their daughter's life and to present the Holy See with the statutes of this association, recently created to defend life from its conception to natural death.

  Cardinal Martino, notes the communique, in encouraging the initiatives of this new association, "recalled the recent very firm position of Benedict XVI on the occasion of his enthronement on the chair of St. John Lateran when he underlined that 'freedom to kill is not a true freedom, but rather a tyranny that reduces man to slavery'." The cardinal added that this statement "not only regards abortion and euthanasia, but also the death penalty, war, terrorism, the destruction or manipulation of human embryos, and extermination through hunger or devastation of the natural environment."

  The Schindlers attended Pope Benedict's general audience this morning.


VATICAN CITY, MAY 18, 2005 (VIS) - Following today's general audience catechesis in Italian, with summaries in English, French, Spanish, German and Portuguese, and greetings to the 25,000 pilgrims in Croatian, Czech, Slovak, Ukrainian Russian and Hungarian, Pope Benedict saluted the Polish people present, noting that today would have been the 85th birthday of "John Paul II, the unforgettable Pontiff who is in everyone's hearts. My wishes for all God's blessings on the Poles present today, May God bless you."

  Then, speaking Italian, the Holy Father pointed out that "today, in the Italian region of Abruzzo, a very significant act is taking place, which I join spiritually. A mountain peak of Italy's Gran Sasso mountain chain is being named for the unforgettable Pope John Paul II, who so loved these splendid mountains and visited them many times. I greet and thank the promoters of such a praiseworthy initiative and I hope that all those who will visit this peak will be encouraged to raise their spirit to God, Whose goodness shines forth in the beauty of creation."
AG/BIRTHDAY:JOHN PAUL II/...                    VIS 20050518 (190)


VATICAN CITY, MAY 18, 2005 (VIS) - At the beginning of the general audience, celebrated in a rain-soaked St. Peter's Square, the Pope recalled that today "our beloved Pope John Paul II would have been 85. We are certain that he is watching us from on high and that he is with us. We wish to give thanks to the Lord for the gift of this great Pope, and for everything he did and suffered."

  Then, commenting on the catechesis theme, Psalm 112, "Praise the name of the Lord," Benedict XVI explained to the 25,000 people present that it "exalts the freedom from slavery" of the people of Israel, and their joy over "serving the Lord in liberty."

  The first part of the psalm, he said, "praises the 'name of the Lord,' which in biblical language indicates the person of God Himself, His living and active presence in human history. ... All being and all time, 'from the rising of the sun to its setting,' is involved in a single act of thanksgiving."

  The second part, the Holy Father affirmed, celebrates "the Lord's transcendence. ... The divine gaze takes in all of reality, both earthly and heavenly beings. Yet His eye is not arrogant or aloof like that of some cold-hearted emperor."

  Commenting the last part of the psalm, the Pope indicated how "the Lord stoops attentively to our smallness and indigence. ... With His loving gaze and His effective commitment towards the lowest and most wretched of the world, 'He raises the poor from the dust, and lifts the needy from the ash heap.' ... God bends down, then, to the needy and the suffering to console them. ... The psalmist praises a God very different from us in His greatness, yet at the same time very close to His creatures who are suffering."

  Benedict XVI concluded by indicating that the closing verses foreshadow "the words of Mary in the Magnificat, the canticle of the choice of God, Who 'contemplates the humility of His servant.' In a more radical way than in our psalm, Mary proclaims that God 'has put down the mighty from their thrones, and exalted those of low degree'."
AG/PSALM 112/...                                VIS 20050518 (380)

Tuesday, May 17, 2005


VATICAN CITY, MAY 17, 2005 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed:

- Fr. Clarence Silva of the clergy of the diocese of Oakland, U.S.A., vicar general, as bishop of Honolulu (area 16,660, population 1,244,898, Catholics 234,588, priests 157, permanent deacons 51, religious 361), U.S.A. The bishop-elect was born in Honolulu in 1949 and ordained a priest in 1975.

 - Msgr. Kevin W. Vann of the clergy of the diocese of Springfield in Illinois, U.S.A., episcopal vicar for the clergy and pastor of the parish of the Blessed Sacrament, as coadjutor bishop of Fort Worth (area 62,007, population 2,770,961, Catholics 400,501, priests 115, permanent deacons 74, religious 160), U.S.A. The bishop-elect was born in Springfield in 1951, and ordained a priest in 1981.
NEC:NER/.../VANN:SILVA                            VIS 20050517 (130)


VATICAN CITY, MAY 17, 2005 (VIS) - The Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and the International Federation of Catholic Men - Unum Omnes HIFC have organized a study seminar tomorrow, May 18 at the council offices on the theme "The Social Doctrine of the Church, the Indispensable Foundation for the Formation and Commitment of the Lay Christian."

  After the opening prayer and greetings by the organizers, Cardinal Renato Martino, council president, will present the theme. According to a press release from the Council for Justice and Peace, other topics to be discussed during the seminar include the difficulties and resources of Christians when called to make choices in situations that imply priority ethical values such as the sacredness of life, the indissolubility of marriage, correct use of the media, scientific research, and decisive economic options for the lives of citizens, especially the poorest.

  Round table discussions on "The Social Doctrine of the Church and Formative Paths" will be conducted by leaders of international Catholic organizations such as the International Federation of Catholic Action, the World Union of Catholic Women's Organizations, the International Coordination of Young Christian Workers, the International Rural Catholic Association, and the International Federation of Associations of Catholic Doctors.


VATICAN CITY, MAY 17, 2005 (VIS) - Archbishop Giovanni Lajolo, secretary for Relations with States, participated in the third Summit of Heads of State and Governments of the Council of Europe, which is being held May 16-17 in Warsaw, Poland.

   In his address in English, the head of the Holy See delegation underscored the theme of the session, European unity and European values, affirming that "Europe will be loved by its citizens and will serve as an agent of peace and civilization in the world only if it is animated by certain fundamental values: the promotion of human dignity and fundamental human rights, ... in the first place freedom of conscience and religion; the pursuit of the common good in a spirit of solidarity; and respect for national and cultural identity."

  "The pre-eminent role that Christianity has played in forming and developing this cultural, religious and humanistic patrimony is well known to all and cannot be ignored."

   Archbishop Lajolo indicated how the challenges that European society must face "derive from the great world-wide problems handed down from the twentieth century: the nuclear threat, ... the emergence of forms of political and religious fundamentalism, large-scale migration of peoples and certain situations of dangerous instability," such as those "in Bosnia-Herzegovina and in the Kosovo region, both of which are in need of a reliable solution, which cannot be reached without providing effective guarantees for minorities."

  The secretary for Relations with States also highlighted the need for "a better coordination of European organizations," and indicated that "the experience of the Council of Europe is particularly important because it sketches the outlines of what could become a blueprint for European society."

  He concluded: "Regarding the European Union, it is in the juridical sector in relation to human rights that one finds further concrete possibilities for closer institutional cooperation. The common commitment to corroborate the human rights and the legal protection of European citizens - reaffirmed by the will of the European Union to adhere to the European Convention for the protection of human rights and fundamental liberties - must be given adequate expression in the propositions to be presented by the Coordination Group created in December 2004."
DELSS/EUROPE/WARSAW:LAJOLO                    VIS 20050517 (380)

Monday, May 16, 2005


VATICAN CITY, MAY 16, 2005 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences four prelates from the Conference of Catholic bishops of Rwanda, on their "ad limina" visit:

    - Archbishop Thaddee Ntihinyurwa of Kigali.

    - Bishop Philippe Rukamba of Butare.

    - Bishop Servilien Nzakamwita of Byumba.

    - Bishop Jean Damascene Bimenyimana of Cyangugu.

  On Saturday, May 14, he received in separate audiences:

 - Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy.

 - Cardinal Jose Saraiva Martins C.M.F., prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.

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

 - Cardinal Eduardo Martinez Somalo, camerlengo of Holy Roman Church.

 - Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.
AL:AP/.../...                                    VIS 20050516 (130)


VATICAN CITY, MAY 16, 2005 (VIS) - Made public today was the annual Message  sent by the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue to Buddhists on the occasion of the feast of Vesakh 2005. The Message, written in English, is signed by Archbishop Michael Fitzgerald, president of the pontifical council. Vesakh is a moveable feast which marks important events in the life of Gautama Buddha.

  Archbishop Fitzgerald points to this year's 40th anniversary of "Nostra Aetate," the Vatican Council II document on the relationship of the Church to other religions, which states that 'the Catholic Church rejects nothing of what is true and holy in these religions'. Accordingly, Buddhists and Catholics are able to meet together, in a spirit of openness, sincerity and mutual respect, engaging in many different forms of dialogue."
  Where they live and work side by side, says the Message, "the resulting 'dialogue of life' allows them, while witnessing to their own beliefs, to deepen their understanding of one another, to foster goodwill and to promote a spirit of neighbourliness. In fact, a particular bond has developed between many Buddhist and Catholic monks and nuns."

  Archbishop Fitzgerald underscores that "nowhere has the need for collaboration been felt more keenly than in the countries of South and Southeast Asia which were affected by the earthquake and the ensuing tsunami of December 26, 2004. ... The long-term requirements of reconstruction call, however, for a continuation of these inter-religious expressions of solidarity" as do "many other situations which require cooperation among people of good will."
  "This year's feast of Vesakh," he concludes, "will find many families missing some of their members. I wish to assure them that their loved ones will not be forgotten but will be remembered in our prayers."


VATICAN CITY, MAY 16, 2005 (VIS) - Made public today was a Letter from Benedict XVI to Cardinal Camillo Ruini, vicar of Rome and president of the Italian Episcopal Conference, confirming his nomination by John Paul II in January as special envoy to the 24th Italian Eucharistic Congress to be held in Bari, Italy from May 21 to 29. The Pontifical Letter was dated May 13, 2005.

  The Holy Father, noting that his "venerated predecessor John Paul II" had received a pressing invitation last October to preside at the concluding celebrations of the Congress, called this "a very significant event for the Italian Church which takes place within the special context of the Year of the Eucharist, during which Catholics throughout the world are stimulated to have a renewed awareness of the great gift left by Christ at the Last Supper." The Pope also noted that the theme of the Congress, whose closing celebrations he will preside on May 29,  is "Without Sundays, We Cannot Live."

  Made public with the Letter were the names of the Pontifical Mission that will accompany Cardinal Ruini: Msgrs. Domenico Ciavarella, vicar general of the archdiocese of Bari-Bitonte and Piergiuseppe Vacchelli, under-secretary of the Italian Episcopal Conference.
BXVI-LETTER/ENVOY:CONGRESS/RUINI            VIS 20050516 (210)


VATICAN CITY, MAY 16, 2005 (VIS) - This morning, the Pope received pilgrims who participated in Saturday's ceremony for the beatification of Mothers Ascension del Corazon de Jesus Nicol Goni, and Marianne Cope. "Exemplary witnesses of Christ's charity," said the Holy Father, "these two new Blesseds help us to better understand the meaning and the value of our Christian vocation."

  Addressing himself particularly to the Dominican Missionary Sisters of the Rosary "who, following the example of their Blessed Foundress help us to experience, in our own time, the spirit of St. Dominic," the Pope said: "Keep alive the experience of the closeness of God in missionary life - 'how close God feels,' Mother Ascension used to say. And keep alive the spirit of fraternity in your communities, always ready to go where the Church most needs you, with the same pioneering spirit that took Mother Ascension to the wild lands of the Vicariate of Puerto Maldonado."

  The Holy Father then greeted pilgrims from that apostolic vicariate and from other areas of Peru, "who saw a precious fruit of genuine evangelization come into bloom, cultivated with special care by female hands." He also greeted pilgrims from Navarre, the area of Spain in which the new Blessed was born, and from other parts of Spain.

  Speaking about Blessed Marianne Cope, he recalled how "in 1862 she entered the Congregation of the Franciscan Sisters of Syracuse where she imbibed the particular spirituality of St. Francis of Assisi, dedicating herself wholeheartedly to spiritual and corporal works of mercy."

  After explaining how Mother Cope accepted an invitation from the bishop of Honolulu, Hawaii, to work among lepers, Benedict XVI affirmed: "For 35 years, until her death in 1918, our new Blessed dedicated her life to the love and service of lepers on the islands of Maui and Molokai."

  "Undoubtedly the generosity of Mother Marianne was, humanly speaking, exemplary," said the Pope. "Good intentions and selflessness alone, however, do not adequately explain her vocation. It is only the perspective of faith which enables us to understand her witness - as a Christian and as a religious - to that sacrificial love which reaches its fullness in Jesus Christ. All that she achieved was inspired by her personal love of the Lord which she in turn expressed through her love of  those abandoned and rejected by society in a most wretched way."
AC/PILGRIMS BEATIFICATION/...                        VIS 20050516 (410)

Copyright © VIS - Vatican Information Service