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Tuesday, November 30, 2010


VATICAN CITY, 30 NOV 2010 (VIS) - As is traditional for the Feast of St. Andrew, a Holy See delegation, led by Cardinal Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, has travelled to Istanbul to participate in the celebrations for the saint, patron of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. Every year the patriarchate sends a delegation to Rome for the Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul Apostles, on 29 June.

  This morning the Holy See delegation attended a divine liturgy presided by His Holiness Bartholomew I, at the Church of St. George at Fanar. At the end of the ceremony Cardinal Koch delivered a special Message to the patriarch from Benedict XVI.

  "In a world characterised by increasing interdependence and solidarity", the Pope writes, "we are called to proclaim the truth of the Gospel with renewed conviction, and to present the risen Lord as the response to the most profound spiritual questions and aspirations of the men and women of today.

  "In order to carry out this great enterprise", he adds, "we must continue along the path towards full communion, showing that we have already united our strengths for a shared witness of the Gospel before the people of our time. For this reason I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Your Holiness and to the Ecumenical Patriarchate for the generous hospitality you offered to delegates of the European Episcopal Conferences who - on the island of Rhodes in October - met with representatives of the Orthodox Churches of Europe for the Catholic-Orthodox Forum on the theme: 'Relations between Church and State: theological and historical perspectives'".

  Benedict XVI concludes his Message by assuring the patriarch of the interest with which he follows "your wise efforts for the good of Orthodoxy and for the promotion of Christian values in many international contexts".
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VATICAN CITY, 30 NOV 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father has sent a message to participants in the funeral of Manuela Campagni, one of the "Memores Domini" who serve in his Vatican apartments, who died in a traffic accident on Wednesday 24 November. The funeral was held yesterday at San Piero in Bagno, Italy, home town of the deceased.

  "Such an abrupt separation, and the way in which she was taken from us, have caused us great suffering which only the faith can console", the Pope writes. "I find much support in thinking of the words which form the name of her community: 'Memores Domini'. Meditating upon these words, upon their significance, I find a sense of peace, because they evoke a profound relationship which is stronger than death. 'Memores Domini' means 'those who remember the Lord'; in other words, people who live in the recollection of God and of Jesus. In this daily recollection, full of faith and love, they find a meaning for all things, for little actions and for great decisions, for work, study and fraternity. ... This is why I find peace in thinking that Manuela is a 'Memor Domini', a person who lives in the recollection of the Lord. This relationship with Him is more profound than the abyss of death. It is a link that nothing can break".
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VATICAN CITY, 30 NOV 2010 (VIS) - Benedict XVI's general prayer intention for December is: "That our personal experience of suffering may be an occasion for better understanding the situation of unease and pain which is the lot of many people who are alone, sick or aged, and stir us all to give them generous help".

  His mission intention is: "That the peoples of the earth may open their doors to Christ and to His Gospel of peace, brotherhood and justice".
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VATICAN CITY, 30 NOV 2010 (VIS) - Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B. is currently heading the Holy See delegation to the summit of heads of State and government of the fifty-six members of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), being held in Astana, Kazakhstan, on 1 and 2 December. The cardinal is being accompanied by Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States; Archbishop Miguel Maury Buendia, apostolic nuncio to Kazakhstan, and Msgr. Michael W. Banach, Holy See permanent representative to the OSCE.

  On 3 and 4 December Cardinal Bertone, in the company of Archbishop Mamberti, will make a pastoral visit to Kazakhstan during which he will meet with the governmental and religious authorities of the country.

  This morning, during a liturgical celebration in Astana's Orthodox cathedral of the Assumption to mark today's Feast of St. Andrew, the secretary of State pronounced a homily during which he expressed his joy "at being able to carry out the important task entrusted to me by the Holy Father Benedict XVI of giving you a fragment of the relics of the Apostle St. Andrew, which are venerated in the Italian city of Amalfi.

  "The gift, which I am honoured to be able to place in the hands of His Eminence Metropolitan Alexander, comes in response to the devout request that his predecessor Metropolitan Mefodji and Archbishop Tomash Peta, Catholic metropolitan, jointly made to the Pope. The Pontiff, gladly welcoming this ardent desire, has decided to give their respective Churches two fragments of the precious relics. This is a profoundly significant decision, in that it underlines our shared veneration for the Apostles".
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VATICAN CITY, 30 NOV 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

 - Appointed Bishop Stephen Reichert O.F.M. Cap. of Mendi, Papua New Guinea, as archbishop of Madang (area 27,792, population 412,000, Catholics 153,000, priests 39, religious 81), Papua New Guinea. The archbishop-elect was born in Leoville, U.S.A. in 1943, he was ordained a priest in 1969 and consecrated a bishop in 1995. He succeeds Archbishop William Joseph Kurtz S.V.D., whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same archdiocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.

 - Appointed Cardinal Paolo Sardi as patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta.
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Monday, November 29, 2010


VATICAN CITY, 27 NOV 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received the Letters of Credence of Hidekazu Yamaguchi, the new Japanese ambassador to the Holy See.

  In his address to the diplomat the Pope highlighted Japan's important contribution "to the spread of peace, democracy and human rights in the Far East and beyond, especially in developing countries". He likewise expressed the Holy See's satisfaction at the "financing of development and other forms of assistance" practiced by Japan.

  "Efforts to construct the unity of the human family through international co-operation will help build a global economy in which all the world comes to occupy its rightful place and can enjoy, as never before, the earth's resources", said the Pope. In this context, he encouraged the Japanese government "to continue its policies of co-operation and development, particularly in areas that most affect the poorest and weakest".

  Going on then to recall that this year marks the sixty-fifth anniversary of "the tragic atomic bombardment of Hiroshima and Nagasaki", Benedict XVI said "this tragedy is an insistent reminder to us of the need to persevere in efforts to promote disarmament and the non-proliferation of nuclear arms. Nuclear arms continue to be an important concern; their possession and the risk of their possible use increase tension and mistrust in many parts of the world. Your country", he told the ambassador, "should be cited as an example because of its constant support for political solutions to avoid the proliferation of nuclear arms, and for efforts to ensure that war is not considered a way of resolving conflicts between nations and peoples".

  "The Holy See", he concluded, "encourages all nations to work patiently to weave a political and economic fabric of peace, in order to promote integral human development and peoples' authentic aspirations. Part of the finances allocated for armaments could be devolved to projects of economic and social development, of education and healthcare. Without doubt this would contribute to internal stability within countries and among peoples. In these unstable times for markets and employment, the need to ensure the financing of development continues to be a constant concern".

  The Pope laid emphasis on the important position Japan occupies in the world economy, noting that "the decisions of its government will continue to have an impact far beyond its frontiers".

  "May all men and women of good will see in the current economic crisis an opportunity for discernment and for preparing projects characterised by charity in truth, by solidarity and commitment in an ethically-oriented economy", he said.

  The Holy Father then went on to refer to the freedom of conscience and worship which exist in Japan, and the opportunity the Catholic Church has "to live in peace and fraternity with everyone in the country".

  "The members of the Catholic Church in Japan", he said, "have long been committed to open and respectful dialogue with other religions. ... The Church has always promoted respect for human beings in their integrity and their spiritual dimension, being an essential element common to all cultures which finds expression in the personal search for the sacred through the practice of religion. ... I wish to ensure the Japanese people", Pope Benedict concluded, "of the great respect with which the Catholic Church undertakes inter-religious dialogue, while remaining firmly committed to fostering mutual trust, understanding and friendship, for the benefit of the entire human family".
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VATICAN CITY, 27 NOV 2010 (VIS) - In the Vatican Basilica this evening, the Holy Father presided at first Vespers for the first Sunday of Advent. This year's ceremony included a "vigil for unborn life", promoted by the Pontifical Council for the Family, which was also celebrated in dioceses all over the world.

  Benedict XVI began his homily by noting that "with this celebration of Vespers the Lord gives us the grace and joy to begin the new liturgical year", in which "we will feel that the Church takes us by the hand and, in the image of Most Holy Mary, expresses her maternity by enabling us to experience the joyful expectation of the coming of the Lord, Who embraces us all in His salvific and consoling love".

  Highlighting the fact that this evening's celebration "is being enriched" with the solemn prayer vigil for unborn life, the Pope thanked "everyone who has taken up this invitation, and those who specifically dedicate themselves to protecting human life in various situations of fragility, especially at its beginnings and in its first stages".

  "The Incarnation reveals to us - with intense light and in a surprising way - that each human life has exalted and incomparable dignity. Man has an unmistakeable originality with respect to all other living things which inhabit the earth. He is a unique and distinctive being, gifted with intelligence and free will, as well as being composed of material reality. He simultaneously and inseparably lives in the spiritual and the corporeal dimensions".

  "God loves us deeply, completely, without distinction", the Pope explained. "He calls us to be His friends. He brings us to share in a reality which is beyond all imagination, all thoughts or words: His divine life. Moved and grateful, we become aware of the value and incomparable dignity of each human being, and of the great responsibility we have towards others".

  Human beings, said the Pope, "have the right not to be treated as objects to be possessed, or things to be manipulated at will; not to be reduced to the status of a mere tool for the benefit of others and their interests. Human beings are a good per se, and it is necessary always to seek their integral development. Love for everyone, if sincere, spontaneously turns into preferential attention for the weakest and poorest. This is the context of the Church's concern for nascent life, which is the most fragile, the most threatened by the selfishness of adults and the clouding of conscience. The Church continually repeats Vatican Council II's declarations against abortion and all other violations of unborn life: 'from the moment of its conception life must be guarded with the greatest care'".

  The Holy Father went on: "There are cultural tendencies which seek to anaesthetise people's consciences by using pretexts" Yet, "as concerns the embryo in the womb, science itself highlights its autonomy and capacity for interaction with the mother, the co-ordination of its biological processes, the continuity of its development, the increasing complexity of the organism. It is not simply an accumulation of biological matter, but a new living being, ... a new individual of the human race. This is how Jesus was in Mary's womb; this is how it is for each one of us in our mother's womb".

  Benedict XVI lamented the fact that "even after birth the life of children continues to be exposed to abandonment, to hunger and misery, to sickness, abuse, violence and exploitation. The multiple violations of children's rights committed in the world are a painful wound on the conscience of all men and women of good will. Faced with the sad spectacle of the injustices committed against the life of man, both before and after birth, I reiterate John Paul II's impassioned appeal for responsibility: 'respect, protect, love and serve life, every human life! Only in this direction will you find justice, development, true freedom, peace and happiness!'"

  In this context, the Pope also exhorted "political, economic and media leaders to do everything they can to promote a culture that is ever more respectful of human life, in order to create favourable conditions and support-networks that welcome life and ensure its development".

  At the end of the celebration of Vespers the Holy Father read a "Prayer for Life" specially composed for this occasion.
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VATICAN CITY, 27 NOV 2010 (VIS) - The Special Assembly for America of the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops held its fifteenth meeting on 16 and 17 November. The work focused on the question of "New evangelisation for the transmission of the Christian faith" which was one of the key themes of the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation "Ecclesia in America".

  Under the presidency of Archbishop Nikola Eterovic, secretary general of the Synod of Bishops, a number of questions concerning the social and ecclesial situation in various countries of the continent were discussed.

  According to a communique released after the meeting, America shows "many signs of hope but also some causes for concern. The positive economic development of certain countries was noted with satisfaction, although the more equal distribution of wealth and natural resources should be encouraged". People are showing "growing ecological awareness" and there are "efforts towards greater continental integration ... which seek to recover the unity of the entire continent". Among the reasons for concern, the communique mentions "the alarming social situation in Haiti" where "the concrete solidarity shown by foreign governments and ecclesial organisations would being better fruits if the local bodies were able to make more organic use of the aid received.

  "Migration is one of the aspects to arouse most concern", the text adds. Illegal immigrants have to face serious difficulties and are often forcibly repatriated to their countries of origin. The Church remains dedicated to promoting programmes of social and religious assistance to immigrants, in order to favour cultural integration and social peace.

  "Other sources of concern include the production and trafficking of drugs, the trafficking of arms, violence and political corruption. ... Particular attention must be given to the promotion of a series of laws that run counter to ethical norms (laws on abortion, euthanasia, and marriage between persons of the same sex), and the diffusion of a spirit that does not conform with Christian values in the fields of education and of communications".

  From a social perspective "it must be noted with satisfaction that electoral processes regularly take place in various countries. ... Nonetheless, there is no lack of ideological attempts to alter constitutional and legislative norms, provoking internal tensions even with local Churches. ... In this context the tendency is to ignore the Catholic Church, excluding her as a partner in social dialogue despite the high credibility she enjoys among the people.

  "In the ecclesial field, one cause for consolation is the increase in vocations to the priesthood, though this varies greatly between different countries and between different dioceses. ... One particularly important aspect is the awareness that all the Church on the continent must be in a state of mission".

  "The impact of the Twelfth Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the Word of God in the life and the mission of the Church was judged to be very positive, as was that of its respective Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation 'Verbum Domini'".

  "The other point of order", the communique reads, "concerned the expectations of the Church in America about the Thirteenth Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, due to be held from 7 to 28 October 2012 on the theme 'The new evangelisation for the transmission of the Christian faith'".

  The next meeting of the Special Assembly for America of the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops will be held from 27 to 28 October 2011.
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VATICAN CITY, 27 NOV 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

 - Erected the new diocese of Bunda (area 5,530, population 1,023,390, Catholics 335,000, priests 2, religious 2) Tanzania, with territory taken from the archdiocese of Mwanza and from the diocese of Musoma, making it a suffragan of the metropolitan church of Mwanza. He appointed Fr. Renatus Leonard Nkwande, diocesan administrator of Mwanza, as first bishop of the new diocese. The bishop-elect was born in Mantare, Tanzania in 1965 and ordained a priest in 1995.

 - Appointed Fr. Santo Loku Pio Doggale of the clergy of the archdiocese of Juba, Sudan, vice pastor of the cathedral, as auxiliary of the same archdiocese (area 25,137, population 875,199, Catholics 679,916, priests 45, religious 56). The bishop-elect was born in Katire, Kenya in 1969 and ordained a priest in 2001.

 - Appointed Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski, prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education, as his special envoy to celebrations marking the fourth centenary of the foundation of the "Santo Tomas" Pontifical University at Manila, Philippines, due to take place on 28 January 2011.
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VATICAN CITY, 28 NOV 2010 (VIS) - At midday today, the first Sunday of Advent and beginning of the liturgical year, the Holy Father appeared at the window of his study to pray the Angelus with faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square.

  The Pope remarked on the dual nature of the period of Advent, which "looks both to the first coming of the Son of God, when He was born of the Virgin Mary, and to His glorious return, when He will come 'to judge the living and the dead'". He described this "expectation" as a "profoundly human aspect in which the faith becomes, so to say, a single thing with our flesh and our heart.

  "Expectation and awaiting represent a dimension that touches our entire individual, family and social existence", he added. "Expectation is present in many situations, from the smallest and most insignificant to the most important". These include "a couple expecting a child; awaiting a relative or friend who comes to visit us from far way; ... the expectation of the result of some decisive examination; ... in personal relations the expectation of meeting the loved one. ... We could say that man is alive so long as he expects, so long as hope remains alive his heart. And man can be recognised by his expectations: our moral and spiritual 'stature' may be measured by what our hopes are".

  Thus, "in this time of preparation for Christmas each of us may ask ourselves: what do I expect? ... And this same question can be posed at the level of the family, the community, the nation. What do we expect together? What unites our aspirations, what brings us together?" In this context, Benedict XVI recalled how "in Israel in the period prior to Jesus' birth there was a very strong expectation of the Messiah, ... who would free the people from all moral and political slavery and establish the Kingdom of God.

  "But no-one could have imagined that the Messiah would be born of a humble girl like Mary, who had been promised in marriage to the good Joseph. Neither could she have imagined it; yet in her heart the expectation of the Saviour was so great, her faith and hope so ardent, that in her He could find a worthy mother. ... There is a mysterious correspondence between the expectation of God and that of Mary, the creature 'full of grace', completely transparent before the Almighty's plan of love. Let us learn from her, the woman of Advent, to live daily life with a new spirit, with feelings of profound expectation which only the coming of God can satisfy".

  In his greetings following the Marian prayer, Benedict XVI made various references to respect for unborn life. Addressing Polish pilgrims he said: "With Mary, who lovingly awaited the birth of the Divine Child, let us persevere in our prayers, thanking God for the gift of life and asking Him to protect all human existence. May the future of the world become the civilisation of love and of life".
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VATICAN CITY, 29 NOV 2010 (VIS) - This morning in the Vatican, the Holy Father received prelates from the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines, who have just completed their "ad limina" visit. Addressing them in English, the Pope referred to the close ties that for four centuries have united the Philippines and the See of Peter, highlighting the benefits the leaven of faith has brought to the Filipino people and their culture.

  "To be such a leaven, the Church must always seek to find her proper voice, because it is by proclamation that the Gospel brings about its life-changing fruits", he said. "Thanks to the Gospel's clear presentation of the truth about God and man, generations of zealous Filipino clergymen, religious and laity have promoted an ever more just social order. At times, this task of proclamation touches upon issues relevant to the political sphere. This is not surprising, since the political community and the Church, while rightly distinct, are nevertheless both at the service of the integral development of every human being and of society as a whole".

  "At the same time, the Church's prophetic office demands that she be free 'to preach the faith, to teach her social doctrine ... and also to pass moral judgments in those matters which regard public order whenever the fundamental human rights of a person or the salvation of souls requires it'. In the light of this prophetic task, I commend the Church in the Philippines for seeking to play its part in support of human life from conception until natural death, and in defence of the integrity of marriage and the family. In these areas you are promoting truths about the human person and about society which arise not only from divine revelation but also from natural law, an order which is accessible to human reason and thus provides a basis for dialogue and deeper discernment on the part of all people of good will. I also note with appreciation the Church's work to abolish the death penalty in your country.

  "A specific area in which the Church must always find her proper voice comes in the field of social communications and the media", Pope Benedict added. "It is important that the Catholic laity proficient in social communications take their proper place in proposing the Christian message in a convincing and attractive way. If the Gospel of Christ is to be a leaven in Filipino society, then the entire Catholic community must be attentive to the force of the truth proclaimed with love".

  Finally the Holy Father turned his attention to "a third aspect of the Church's mission of proclaiming the life-giving word of God: ... her commitment to economic and social concerns, in particular with respect to the poorest and the weakest in society". The Church in the Philippines, he said, takes "a special interest in devoting herself more fully to care for the poor. It is heartening to see that this undertaking has borne fruit, with Catholic charitable institutions actively engaged throughout the country. Many of your fellow citizens, however, remain without employment, adequate education or basic services, and so your prophetic statements and your charitable action on behalf of the poor continue to be greatly appreciated. In addition to this effort", he concluded, "you are rightly concerned that there be an ongoing commitment to the struggle against corruption, since the growth of a just and sustainable economy will only come about when there is a clear and consistent application of the rule of law throughout the land".
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VATICAN CITY, 29 NOV 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

 - Cardinal Marc Ouellet P.S.S., prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.

 - Eight prelates of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines, on their "ad limina" visit:

    - Bishop Leopoldo C. Jaucian S.V.D. of Bangued.

    - Bishop Sergio L. Utleg of Laoag.

    - Bishop Camilo D. Gergorio, prelate of Batanes.

    - Bishop Ramon B. Villena of Bayombong.

    - Bishop Joseph A. Nacua O.F.M. Cap. of Ilagan.

    - Bishop Riodolfo F. Beltran, apostolic vicar of Bontoc-Lagawe.

    - Bishop Marlo M. Peralta of Alaminos.

    - Bishop Sofronio A. Bancud S.S.S. of Cabanatuan.

  On Saturday 27 November he received in separate audiences:

 - Eight prelates of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines, on their "ad limina" visit:

    - Archbishop Ernesto A. Salgado of Nueva Segovia.

    - Archbishop Diosdado A. Talamayan of Tuguegarao, accompanied by Auxiliary Bishop Ricardo L. Baccay.

    - Archbishop Socrates B. Villegas of Lingayen-Dagupan, accompanied by Auxiliary Bishop Renato P. Mayugba.

    - Archbishop Paciano B. Aniceto of San Fernando, accompanied by Auxiliary Bishops Roberto C. Mallari and Pablo Virgilio S. David.

 - Justino Maria Aparicio Guterres, ambassador of the Democratic Republic of East Timor, on his farewell visit.
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Friday, November 26, 2010


VATICAN CITY, 26 NOV 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received three hundred representatives from the Italian Federation of Catholic Weeklies a body which, since 1966, has represented all diocesan and Catholic-inspired weekly publications in the country.

  In his address to them the Pope affirmed that creating channels of communication between the various organs of the local press "was a response to the need to promote collaboration ... so as to increase the efficiency and incisiveness of the announcement of the evangelical message. The specific function of Catholic-inspired newspapers", he said, "is to announce the Good News by recounting the concrete events that Christian communities experience in the real situations in which they live".

  "One of the most important cultural challenges in our own post-modern world involves the way we understand truth. The dominant culture, the culture propagated by the areopagus of the media, adopts a sceptical and relativist attitude towards truth, considering it as equivalent to mere opinion and, consequently, believing that many truths can legitimately coexist. But the desire that lies in the heart of man testifies to the impossibility of resting content with partial truths. ... The truth for which man thirsts is a person: the Lord Jesus. By encountering this Truth ... we find peace and true happiness. The Church's mission consists in creating the conditions that make this meeting between man and Christ possible.

  "Collaborating in this task", he added, "the communications media are called to serve the truth with courage so as to help public opinion contemplate and decipher reality from an evangelical standpoint. This means presenting the reasons for the faith which, as such, surpass any ideological vision and have the full right to exist in public debate. From here arises your constant commitment to give voice to a point of view that reflects Catholic thought in all ethical and social questions".

  "Continue to be newspapers of the people", Benedict XVI concluded. "Seek to favour true dialogue between the various elements of social life, be arenas for confrontation and debate between contrasting opinions. By doing this, the Catholic press, while undertaking the vital task of informing, will also play an indispensable formational role, promoting evangelical knowledge of complex reality, and educating critical minds and Christian consciences".
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VATICAN CITY, 26 NOV 2010 (VIS) - The Pope today received participants in the general assembly of the Union of Superiors General (USG, for male religious) and the International Union of Superiors General (UISG, for female religious).

  "The profound renewal of consecrated life stems from the centrality of the Word of God and, in more concrete terms, from the Gospel the supreme rule for you all", the Holy Father told his audience. "The Gospel, put into practice every day, is the element that makes consecrated life intriguing and beautiful, presenting you before the world as a reliable alternative. This is what contemporary society needs, this is what the Church expects of you: to be a living Gospel".

  Referring then to "another fundamental aspect of consecrated life, that of fraternity", Benedict XVI highlighted how this "is one of the aspects that young people seek most when they feel attracted by your lifestyle. It is an important prophetic element you offer to a highly fragmented society". In this context he spoke of the need "for serious and constant discernment in order to listen to what the Spirit is telling the community, in order to recognise what comes from the Lord and what is contrary to Him. Without discernment, accompanied by prayer and reflection, consecrated life risks basing itself on the criteria of this world: individualism, consumerism, materialism; criteria that undermine fraternity and cause consecrated life to lose its allure".

  The Holy Father then turned to consider another theme: mission. "It is part of your identity", he said, "it encourages you to bring the Gospel to everyone, without borders. Mission, supported by a strong experience of God, solid formation and fraternal life in the community, is a key to understanding and revitalising consecrated life. ... Renew your presence in today's areopaghi, in order to announce the 'unknown' God, as St. Paul did in Athens".

  Speaking then of the decreasing numbers of consecrated people, especially in Europe, the Pope noted that "the difficulties must not make us forget that consecrated life has its origins in the Lord; chosen by Him for the edification and sanctity of His Church. Thus consecrated life "will never be lacking" in the Church.

  The Holy Father concluded by encouraging consecrated people "to progress in faith and hope", and called for "a renewed commitment in the pastoral care of vocations and in initial and permanent formation".
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VATICAN CITY, 26 NOV 2010 (VIS) - The Pontifical Council Cor Unum, "the agency of the Holy See responsible for orienting and co-ordinating the organisations and charitable activities promoted by the Catholic Church", is organising spiritual exercises for the heads of diocesan Caritas and other ecclesial agencies in Europe. The exercises will take place at the Marian shrine of Jasna Gara at Czestochowa, Poland, from 29 November to 3 December.

  This is the third such gathering. In June 2008, 500 leaders of the Catholic Church's mission of charity from North America, Latin America and the Caribbean met in Guadalajara, Mexico. For Asia, the meeting took place in September 2009 in Taipei, Taiwan, and was attended by 450 participants.
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VATICAN CITY, 26 NOV 2010 (VIS) - In the Holy See Press Office at midday today a press conference was held to present the "Vatican Foundation: Joseph Ratzinger - Benedict XVI". The conference was presented by Cardinal Camillo Ruini, president of the foundation's academic committee; Msgr. Giuseppe Antonio Scotti, president of the foundation, and Fr. Stephan Otto Horn S.D.S, president of the "Ratzinger Schulerkreis" and of the "Joseph Ratzinger Papst Benedict XVI - Siftung".

  Msgr. Scotti explained how on 1 March this year the Holy Father had ordered the creation of a new foundation, with the name of "Vatican Foundation: Joseph Ratzinger - Benedict XVI", in order "to respond to a desire expressed by many scholars over the course of the years". As regards the financing of the new body, he explained, "a first ample contribution will come from the Pontiff himself, who has chosen to devolve a large part of the proceeds from his author rights".

  For his part Cardinal Ruini explained how, apart from himself, the academic committee will be composed of Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B.; Cardinal Angelo Amato S.D.B. prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints; Archbishop Jean-Louis Brugues O.P., secretary of the Congregation for Catholic Education, and Archbishop Luis Francisco Ladaria Ferrer S.J., prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

  The committee will have three tasks, he said, "firstly, drawing up criteria and objectives for the annual and long-term programme of the foundation's activities; secondly, establishing criteria of excellence for the creation and conferral of prizes to scholars who have distinguished themselves in academic publications and/or research; and finally, organising cultural and academic initiatives".

  "The theology of Joseph Ratzinger moves forward, looking to the present and the future on the basis of an extraordinary knowledge of the origins and history of the Christian faith. His capacity, what I would call his tastefulness, in keeping these two aspects united ... likens Joseph Ratzinger to great teachers of other periods of Christian history. It is no coincidence that the foundation which bears his name will focus particular attention, on the one hand on biblical and patristic studies, and on the other on fundamental theology. The aim is to bring out the truth, significance and beauty of Christianity in its relationship with contemporary culture and society".

  Fr. Horn then spoke to explain that, even before Cardinal Ratzinger's election to the papacy, his students had thought of creating a Joseph Ratzinger Foundation. "Not only did they feel profound gratitude towards their teacher", he said, "but they were also deeply convinced of the importance of his theology for the Church. ... In the meeting of the 'Schulerkreis' with the Holy Father at Castelgandolfo in 2007 we received his approval to create an autonomous foundation".

  This foundation, Fr. Horn went on, "has a clear direction and broad ranging projects. Its goal is to promote the study of Joseph Ratzinger's theology and spirituality, propagating his ideas in the Church and society, and ensuring they are absorbed. Thus will his memory be conserved for the future".

  One of the foundation's projects concerns the University of Regensburg "with the creation of chair for a visiting professor in the faculty of theology during the summer term". In September this year a "Benediktakdemie" (Benedict Academy) for young students was held at Salzburg in Austria, while in Rome (in collaboration with the "Casa Balthasar", an institution for discerning vocations in young Catholic men) there is a plan to crate a study centre for theology and spirituality. "And we have also", Fr. Horn concluded, "collected the recollections of more than forty of Joseph Ratzinger's former students in order to establish an archive".
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VATICAN CITY, 26 NOV 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

 - Cardinal Gaudencio B. Rosales, archbishop of Manila, Philippines, accompanied by Auxiliary Bishops Bernardino C. Cortez and Broderick S. Pabillo.

 - Anglican Bishop Geoffrey Rowell of Gibraltar in Europe.

  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, 26 NOV 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father accepted:

 - The resignation from the office of auxiliary of the archdiocese of Esztergom-Budapest, Hungary, presented by Bishop Gaspar Ladosci, in accordance with canons 411 and 401 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law.

 - The resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Ondo, Nigeria, presented by Bishop Francis Folorunsho Clement Alonge, upon having reached the age limit. He is succeeded by Coadjutor Bishop Jude Ayodeji Arogundade.
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Thursday, November 25, 2010


VATICAN CITY, 25 NOV 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

 - Accepted the resignation from the office of auxiliary of the archdiocese of Medellin, Colombia, presented by Bishop Jorge Ivan Castano Rubio C.M.F., upon having reached the age limit.

 - Appointed Msgr. Luigi Marrucci of the clergy of the diocese of Volterra, Italy, vice national ecclesiastical assistant of UNITALSI, as bishop of Civitavecchia-Tarquinia (area 876, population 89,295, Catholics 87,295, priests 78, permanent deacons 14, religious 177), Italy. The bishop-elect was born in Montescudaio, Italy in 1945 and ordained a priest in 1970.

 - Appointed Bishop Patrick D'Rozario C.S.C. of Chittagong, Bangladesh, as coadjutor archbishop of Dhaka (area 26,788, population 31,289,807, Catholics 79,816, priests 120, religious 709), Bangladesh. The archbishop-elect was born in Chittagong in 1943, he was ordained a priest in 1972 and consecrated a bishop in 1990.
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Wednesday, November 24, 2010


VATICAN CITY, 24 NOV 2010 (VIS) - During his general audience, held this morning in the Paul VI Hall in the presence of 7,000 faithful, Benedict XVI focused his catechesis on St. Catherine of Siena (1347-1380), declared a Doctor of the Church by Paul VI and co-patroness of Europe by John Paul II.

  At the age of sixteen she became a Dominican Tertiary, dedicating herself to prayer, penance and works of charity, especially towards the sick. "As fame of her sanctity spread", the Pope explained, "she became intensely active in the spiritual counselling of many categories of peoples: nobles, politicians, artists, common people, consecrated persons, ecclesiastics, and even Pope Gregory XI who at that time resided in Avignon and whom Catherine energetically and effectively encouraged to return to Rome. She also travelled widely to promote interior reform of the Church and peace among States". She expounded her doctrine in three works: the "Treatise on Divine Providence", her "Letters" and a collection of "Prayers".

  Catherine was also a great mystic. Particularly famous are her visions of her exchanging hearts with Christ, and of the Virgin presenting her the Baby Jesus Who gives her a ring. "The living centre of Catherine's religiosity and of all authentic spirituality", the Holy Father explained, "is Christocentrism. For her, Christ was as a bridegroom with whom she maintained a relationship of intimacy, communion and fidelity. ... Like the saint of Siena, all believers feel the need to conform themselves to the sentiments of Christ's Heart, in order to love God and neighbour as Christ Himself loves. And, indeed, we can all allow our hearts to be transformed and learn to love like Christ through familiarity with Him, nourished by prayer, mediation upon the Word of God and the Sacraments, especially ... Holy Communion".

  "Around her strong and genuine personality an authentic spiritual family came into being of people attracted by the moral authority of this young woman. ... Many placed themselves at her service, considering it a privilege to be spiritually guided by Catherine. They called her 'mother' because, as spiritual children, from her they drew nourishment for the spirit. Today too the Church receives great benefit from the spiritual maternity of many consecrated and lay women, who nurture the idea of God in people's souls, strengthen their faith and orient Christian life towards ever higher peaks".

  Another characteristic of Catherine's spirituality is associated with her "gift of tears, expression of a delicate and profound sensitivity capable of emotion and tenderness", said the Holy Father. "Many saints have had the gift of tears, renewing the emotion of Jesus Himself Who did not hold back or hide His tears before the grave of his friend Lazarus and the pain of Martha and Mary, or the sight of Jerusalem during His last days on earth. For Catherine, the tears of the saints mix with the Blood of Christ", said the Pope.

  Finally he recalled how Catherine of Siena, "though aware of the human failings of the clergy, always had the greatest reverence for them, because through the Sacraments and the Word they dispense the salvific power of the Blood of Christ. The saint invited holy ministers, even the Pope whom which called 'sweet Christ on earth', to remain faithful to their responsibilities, moved always and only by her profound and constant love for the Church". From her, Benedict XVI concluded, "we learn the most sublime science: that of knowing and loving Jesus Christ and His Church".
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VATICAN CITY, 24 NOV 2010 (VIS) - Following today's general audience, the Holy Father went to the altar of the Cathedra in the Vatican Basilica, where he presided at the rites of "Ultima Commendatio" and "Valedictio" at the end of the funeral Mass for Cardinal Urbano Navarrete S.J., who died on 22 November at the age of 90. The Mass was celebrated by Cardinal Angelo Sodano, dean of the College of Cardinals.

  In his homily, the Holy Father described the late Spanish cardinal as a "master of justice. The meticulous study and impassioned teaching of canon law were the central element of his life. Educating the young generations in true justice, the justice of Christ, the justice of the Gospel, was the ministry Cardinal Navarrete accomplished over the course of his life".

  The Pope then went on to recall how Cardinal Navarrete was, "in particular, an expert on marriage law". He was dean of the Faculty of Canon Law at the Pontifical Gregorian University, and rector of the university itself. Pope Benedict also highlighted the cardinal's "interest in important ecclesial events, such as the diocesan synod of Rome and Vatican Council II, his competent scholarly contributions to the revision of the Code of Canon Law and his fruitful collaboration with various dicasteries of the Roman Curia as a highly-esteemed consultant".

  Cardinal Navarrete "used to say that three fundamental principles guided him in his studies: great love for the past and for tradition; ... sensitivity towards the problems, needs and challenges of the present where God has placed us and, finally, the capacity to look and open oneself to the future, not with fear but with hope, the hope that comes from faith. This profoundly Christian vision guided his efforts for God, for the Church and for man in his teaching and his works".

  "The shining truth of faith in eternal life comforts us each time we bid our final farewell to a deceased confrere. Cardinal Urbano Navarrete, spiritual son of St. Ignatius of Loyola, ... loved Christ and lived in intimate union with Him, especially in his prolonged periods of prayer". As a child, his own parents "created a climate of profound Christian faith in their family, favouring in their six children - of whom three became Jesuits and two nuns - the courage to bear witness to their faith, not putting anything before the love of Christ and doing everything for the greater glory of God".
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VATICAN CITY, 24 NOV 2010 (VIS) - The Holy See Press Office today released the following English-language communique concerning an episcopal ordination at Chengde in the province of Hebei, Mainland China:

  "With regard to the episcopal ordination of Fr. Joseph Guo Jincai, which took place last Saturday 20 November, information has been gathered about what happened and it is now possible to state clearly the following.

  "(1) The Holy Father received the news with deep regret, because the abovementioned episcopal ordination was conferred without the apostolic mandate and, therefore, constitutes a painful wound upon ecclesial communion and a grave violation of Catholic discipline (cf. Letter of Benedict XVI to the Church in China, 2007, n. 9).

  "(2) It is known that, in recent days, various bishops were subjected to pressures and restrictions on their freedom of movement, with the aim of forcing them to participate and confer the episcopal ordination. Such constraints, carried out by Chinese government and security authorities, constitute a grave violation of freedom of religion and conscience. The Holy See intends to carry out a detailed evaluation of what has happened, including consideration of the aspect of validity and the canonical position of the bishops involved.

  "(3) In any case, this has painful repercussions, in the first case, for Fr. Joseph Guo Jincai who, because of this episcopal ordination, finds himself in a most serious canonical condition before the Church in China and the universal Church, exposing himself also to the severe sanctions envisaged, in particular, by canon 1382 of the Code of Canon Law.

  "(4) This ordination not only does not contribute to the good of the Catholics of Chengde, but places them in a very delicate and difficult condition, also from the canonical point of view, and humiliates them, because the Chinese civil authorities wish to impose on them a pastor who is not in full communion, either with the Holy Father or with the other bishops throughout the world.

  "(5) Several times, during this current year, the Holy See has communicated clearly to the Chinese authorities its opposition to the episcopal ordination of Fr. Joseph Guo Jincai. In spite of this, the said authorities decided to proceed unilaterally, to the detriment of the atmosphere of respect that had been created with great effort with the Holy See and with the Catholic Church through the recent episcopal ordinations. This claim to place themselves above the bishops and to guide the life of the ecclesial community does not correspond to Catholic doctrine; it offends the Holy Father, the Church in China and the universal Church, and further complicates the present pastoral difficulties.

  "(6) Pope Benedict XVI, in the above-mentioned Letter of 2007, expressed the Holy See's willingness to engage in a respectful and constructive dialogue with the authorities of the People's Republic of China, with the aim of overcoming the difficulties and normalising relations. In reaffirming this willingness, the Holy See notes with regret that the authorities allow the leadership of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association, under the influence of Mr. Liu Bainian, to adopt attitudes that gravely damage the Catholic Church and hamper the aforesaid dialogue.

  "(7) The Catholics of the entire world are following with particular attention the troubled journey of the Church in China: the spiritual solidarity with which they accompany the vicissitudes of their Chinese brothers and sisters becomes a fervent prayer to the Lord of history, so that He may be close to them, increase their hope and fortitude, and give them consolation in moments of trial".
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VATICAN CITY, 24 NOV 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

 - Accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Cacador, Brazil presented by Bishop Luiz Carlos Eccel, in accordance with canon 401 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law.

 - Appointed Bishop Joao Mamede Filho O.F.M. Conv., auxiliary of Sao Paulo, Brazil, as bishop of Umuarama (area 13,200, population 413,000, Catholics 316,000, priests 64, permanent deacons 6, religious 76), Brazil.

 - Appointed Fr. Pedro Cunha Cruz of the clergy of Sao Sebastiao do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, pastor of the parish of "Santa Rita" and director of the "Joao Paulo II" Ecclesiastical Faculty of Philosophy in Rio de Janeiro; Fr. Nelson Francelino Ferreira, also of the clergy of Sao Sebastiao do Rio de Janeiro, pastor of the parish of "Nossa Senhora da Gloria"; and Fr. Paulo Cesar Costa of the clergy of the diocese of Valenca, Brazil, rector of the "Paulo VI" Seminary at Nova Iguacu and director of the department of theology at the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro, as auxiliaries of Sao Sebastiao do Rio de Janeiro (area 1,261, population 6,095,000, Catholics 3,699,000, priests 619, permanent deacons 104, religious 1,366). Bishop-elect Cruz was born in Rio de Janeiro in 1964 and ordained a priest in 1990. Bishop-elect Ferreira was born in Sape, Brazil in 1965 and ordained a priest in 1990. Bishop-elect Costa was born in Valenca in 1967 and ordained a priest in 1992.
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Tuesday, November 23, 2010


VATICAN CITY, 23 NOV 2010 (VIS) - This morning in the Holy See Press Office, a press conference was held to present a new book published by the Vatican Publishing House. The volume is entitled: "Light of the World. The Pope, the Church and the Signs of the Times. A conversation of Benedict XVI with Peter Seewald".


VATICAN CITY, 23 NOV 2010 (VIS) - The International Theological Commission, which is presided by Cardinal William Joseph Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, is due to celebrate is annual plenary session from 29 November to 3 December in the Vatican's "Domus Sanctae Marthae". The meeting will be chaired by Fr. Charles Morerod O.P., secretary general of the commission.

  According to a communique published today the commission will study three important themes: the principles of theology, its meaning and its methods; the question of the one God in relation to the three monotheistic religions; and the integration of Church social doctrine into the broader context of Christian doctrine.

  At the end of their deliberations the members of the International Theological Commission will be received in audience by the Holy Father.
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VATICAN CITY, 23 NOV 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Fr. Felix Gmur of the clergy of the diocese of Basel, Switzerland, secretary of the Conference of Swiss Bishops, as bishop of Basel (area 12,585, population 3,045,000, Catholics 1,080,000, priests 715, permanent deacons 104, religious 2,554). The bishop-elect was born in Lucerne, Switzerland in 1966 and ordained a priest in 1999.
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Monday, November 22, 2010


VATICAN CITY, 20 NOV 2010 (VIS) - The afternoon session of the day of prayer and reflection - a gathering of the College of Cardinals presided by the Pope for the occasion of the ordinary public consistory - began at 5 p.m. yesterday with the celebration of Vespers. The meeting then continued with the presentation of three reports.

  Archbishop Angelo Amato S.D.B., prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, spoke on "The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith's Instruction 'Dominus Iesus' ten years after its publication". He noted that the document had served to clarify certain fundamental Christological and ecclesiological truths, and to relaunch ecumenical and inter-religious dialogue on the basis of a precisely defined Catholic identity. At the same time it did not close the lines for research into the great question of the salvation of non-Christians, as indicated by Vatican Council II. "Dominus Iesus", by warning against a poorly-understood pluralism, remains a valid call to doctrinal and pastoral clarity, as a foundation for catechesis, new evangelisation and the "mission ad gentes".

  Cardinal William Joseph Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, then delivered two contributions, dealing with "The Church's Response to Cases of Sexual Abuse: towards shared guidelines", and "The Apostolic Constitution 'Anglicanorum coetibus'". In the first of these, the cardinal outlined recent aggiornamenti to canonical legislation regarding the crime of sexual abuse of minors, and made certain observations about the broader responsibility of bishops to protect the faithful under their care. In this, he drew inspiration from the Holy Father's words and from his example of listening to and welcoming victims, also dwelling on collaboration with civil authorities, the need for effective commitment to protect children and young people, and the careful selection and formation of future priests and religious. Finally, he reported on preparatory work on a circular letter from his congregation to episcopal conferences concerning guidelines for co-ordinated and effective efforts in this field".

  In his second report Cardinal Levada explained the nature and origins of the Apostolic Constitution on the institution of an Ordinariate for Anglican faithful who wish to enter "corporately" into full communion with the Catholic Church. He explained the ecumenical context and the current situation concerning the constitution of Ordinariates, the first of which will be established in Great Britain as announced today in a statement from the Episcopal Conference of England and Wales.

  A period of discussion then followed in which twelve cardinals arose to express their views. Some of them referred to questions considered during the morning session (religious freedom and the liturgy), exploring them more deeply, while others focused particularly on the question of the Church's response to cases of sexual abuse. The suggestion was made, among others, to encourage episcopal conferences to develop effective and incisive plans for the defence of minors, taking account of the multiple aspects of the problem and the necessary methods of intervention, in order to re-establish justice and assist victims, and to help in prevention and formation even in countries where the problem has not arisen as dramatically as in others.

  During the course of the debate, the decision was also taken to express the solidarity of the College of Cardinals - united with the Holy Father - to the people of Iraq and Haiti, and to begin a concrete initiative of gathering charitable donations to be sent via "Cor Unum".
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VATICAN CITY, 20 NOV 2010 (VIS) - In St. Peter's Basilica this morning, Benedict XVI celebrated the third ordinary public consistory of his pontificate, during which he created twenty-four new cardinals.

  Following the liturgical greeting, the Holy Father read the formula of creation and solemnly proclaimed the names of the new cardinals. The first of them, Archbishop Angelo Amato S.D.B., prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, then thanked the Pope in the name of all the others.

  After a Gospel reading, the Holy Father pronounced his homily.

  From now on the new members of the College of Cardinals will, he said, "be part of that 'coetus peculiaris' which offers Peter's Successor more immediate and assiduous collaboration, supporting him in the exercise of his universal ministry".

  Commenting on today's Gospel reading, the Holy Father explained that "it places before our eyes the image of Jesus as Messiah - foretold by Isaiah - Who comes not to be served, but to serve. The manner of His life becomes the foundation for new relations within the entire Christian community, and for a new way of exercising authority".

  "What path", the Pope asked, "must then be followed by those who wish to be disciples? The path of the Master is the path of complete obedience to God", he said.

  Pope Benedict highlighted how "in the Church no-one is proprietor; rather, all are called, all are invited, all are touched and guided by divine grace. This is also our security! Only be listening again to the word of Jesus which tells us 'come and follow me', only by returning to the original vocation, is it possible to understand our presence and mission in the Church as true disciples".

  "The fundamental criterion of greatness and primacy according to God is not dominion, but service. The diaconate is the fundamental law of the disciple and of the Christian community. ... The Son of man came to serve. He defined His mission under the category of service, understood not in generic terms but in the concrete sense of the cross, of the total giving of life as 'ransom' and redemption for many, and He indicates this as a condition for following Him. This message applies to the Apostles, it applies to the entire Church, above all it applies to those who have the task of guiding the People of God. It is not the logic of domination, of power according to human criteria which lies at the basis of the exercise of authority, but the logic of bending to wash the feet, the logic of service, the logic of the cross. At all times the Church is committed to conforming herself to this logic, to bearing witness to it in order to reveal the true 'Lordship of God', that of love".

  The Holy Father told the new cardinals that the mission to which God has called them today "requires an ever stronger will to imitate the style of the Son of God. ... This means following Him in his donation of humble and total love to the Church, His Bride, on the cross. ... This requires ever more profound and solid roots in Christ. An intimate relationship with Him ... is the primary requirement to ensure that our service remains serene and joyful, and can give produce the fruits the Lord expects from us".

  At the end of the homily the new cardinals made the profession of faith before the people of God, swearing their faithfulness and obedience to the Pope and his successors.

  One by one, in the order in which they were created, the new cardinals then came and knelt before the Holy Father who imposed the red "biretta" or hat and assigned them a titular or diaconate church in Rome as a sign of their participation in the Pope's pastoral concern for the city.

  The Pope gave each new cardinal his Bull of Creation and exchanged an embrace of peace with them. The cardinals then exchanged the same embrace with each other

  The celebration concluded with the prayer of the faithful, the recitation of the Our Father and the final blessing.
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VATICAN CITY, 20 NOV 2010 (VIS) - Following are the names of the twenty-four new cardinals created by Pope Benedict XVI in this morning's consistory, and the titular or diaconate churches he assigned to them:

 - Cardinal Angelo Amato S.D.B., diaconate of St. Mary in Aquiro.

 - His Beatitude Cardinal Antonios Naguib, patriarch of Alexandria of the Copts, Egypt.

 - Cardinal Robert Sarah, diaconate of St. John Bosco in Via Tuscolana.

 - Cardinal Francesco Monterisi, diaconate of St. Paul alla Regola.

 - Cardinal Fortunato Baldelli, diaconate of St. Anselm on the Aventine.

 - Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke, St. Agatha of the Goths.

 - Cardinal Kurt Koch, diaconate of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart.

 - Cardinal Paolo Sardi, diaconate of Our Lady of Help in Via Tuscolana.

 - Cardinal Mauro Piacenza, diaconate of St. Paul at the Three Fountains.

 - Cardinal Velasio De Paolis C.S., diaconate of Jesus the Good Shepherd alla Montagnola.

 - Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, diaconate of St. George in Velabro.

 - Cardinal Medardo Joseph Mazombwe, title of St. Emerentiana at Tor Fiorenza.

 - Cardinal Raul Eduardo Vela Chiriboga, title of St. Mary in Via.

 - Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya, title of St. Mary "Regina Pacis" at Ostia Mare.

 - Cardinal Paolo Romeo, title of St. Mary Hodegetria of the Sicilians

 - Cardinal Donald William Wuerl, title of St. Peter in Chains.

 - Cardinal Raymundo Damasceno Assis, title of Our Lady Immaculate al Tiburtino.

 - Cardinal Kazimierz Nyc, title of Sts. Sylvester and Mariano ai Monti.

 - Cardinal Albert Malcolm Ranjith Patabendige Don, title of St. Lawrence in Lucina.

 - Cardinal Reinhard Marx, title of St. Corbinian.

 - Cardinal Jose Manuel Estepa Llaurens, title of St. Gabriel the Archangel all'Acqua Traversa.

 - Cardinal Elio Sgreccia, diaconate of St. Angelo in Pescheria.

 - Cardinal Walter Brandmuller, diaconate of St. Julian of the Flemish.

 - Cardinal Domenico Bartolucci, diaconate of the Most Holy Names of Jesus and Mary in Via Latia.
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VATICAN CITY, 21 NOV 2010 (VIS) - In the Vatican Basilica at 9.30 a.m. today, Solemnity of Christ the King, the Pope presided at a Eucharistic concelebration with the twenty-four new cardinals created in yesterday's consistory. During the course of the ceremony he presented them with their ring of office.

  In his homily, the Holy Father affirmed that "the primary service of Peter's Successor is the service of faith. ... The drama that takes place under the cross of Christ is a universal drama", he said. "It involves all mankind before God, Who reveals himself for what He is: Love. In the crucified Christ divinity is disfigured and stripped of all its visible glory, yet it is present and real. Only the faith can recognise it; the faith of Mary who, ... though she could not yet see everything, still continued to confide in God, repeating once again with the same abandonment: 'here am I, the servant of the Lord'".

  Benedict XVI highlighted how "Peter's ministry consists entirely in his faith; ... a faith which must traverse the scandal of the cross in order to become authentic, truly 'Christian', in order to become the 'rock' upon which Jesus can build His Church".

  "This ministry is difficult because it is not aligned with the way mankind thinks, with that natural logic which, nevertheless, also remains active in us. ... And we must bear witness to and announce this paradoxical regality just as He, the King, did; in other words, by following His path and struggling to adopt His logic, the logic of humility and service, the logic of the seed of grain which dies to bring forth fruit".

  The Holy Father then went on to explain how "the effectiveness of our service to the Church, the Bride of Christ, essentially depends on this, on our faithfulness to the divine regality of crucified Love. For this reason, on the ring I give you today, the seal of your nuptial pact with the Church, is a depiction of the crucifixion. And for the same reason the colour of your robes alludes to blood, symbol of life and love, the Blood of Christ which according to ancient iconography was gathered by Mary from the pierced side of her Son, dead on the cross, and which the Apostle John saw as it flowed out mixed with water, in accordance with prophetic Scripture".

  "The primacy of Peter and his Successors", Benedict XVI concluded, "remains entirely at the service of this primacy of Jesus Christ, the one Lord; at the service of His Kingdom, His Lordship of love, in order that it may come and spread, renewing mankind and creation, transforming the earth and bringing peace and justice".
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VATICAN CITY, 21 NOV 2010 (VIS) - At the end of today's Eucharistic concelebration with the new cardinals created in yesterday's consistory, the Holy Father appeared at the window of his study to pray the Angelus with faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square.

  In his remarks the Pope spoke of today's Solemnity of Christ the King, noting how it was established by Pope Pius XI in 1925 and later, following Vatican Council II, placed in its current position at the end of the liturgical year.

  "The Gospel of St. Luke", said Pope Benedict, "presents the regality of Jesus at the moment of the crucifixion. The leaders of the people and the soldiers deride 'the firstborn of all creation' and put Him to the test to see if He has the power to save Himself from death. Yet it is precisely on the cross that Jesus is 'at the height' of God, Who is Love. There He can be recognised".

  "In fact, while the Lord seems indistinguishable between two criminals, one of them, aware of his sins, ... turns to the 'king of the Jews' saying 'Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom'. ... The so-called 'good thief' immediately receives forgiveness and the joy of entering the Kingdom of heaven. ... Jesus, from His throne of the cross, welcomes all men with infinite mercy".

  "The path of love, which the Lord reveals to us and invites us to follow, may also be seen in Christian art. Indeed from earliest times, 'in the arrangement of Christian sacred buildings, ... it became customary to depict the Lord returning as a king - the symbol of hope - ... while the west wall normally portrayed the Last Judgement as a symbol of our responsibility for our lives'': hope in the infinite love of God and commitment to ordering our lives in accordance with the love of God", the Pope explained.

  "When we contemplate the depictions of Jesus inspired by the New Testament", he concluded, "we are, as the Council of Trent taught, led 'to understand ... the sublime nature of the humiliation of the Word of God, and ... to remember His life in the flesh, His salvific passion and death, and the redemption of the world which arises therefrom".
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VATICAN CITY, 21 NOV 2010 (VIS) - After praying the Angelus, the Pope recalled how today in Italy, at the invitation of their bishops, "ecclesial communities are praying for Christians who suffer persecution and discrimination, especially in Iraq. I wish to join this choral appeal to the God of life and peace", he said, "that religious freedom may be guaranteed to everyone all over the world. I remain close to these brothers and sisters for the exalted witness of faith they render unto God.

  "On today's liturgical memory of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Temple", the Holy Father added, "the Church is particularly close to cloistered monks and nuns. This is 'Pro Orantibus Day' which also renews the invitation to give our concrete support to these communities. Upon them I impart a heartfelt blessing.

  "Today is also the 'Day of Road Traffic Victims'. While giving assurances of recollection in my prayers, I encourage people to continue their commitment towards prevention, which is yielding positive results, recalling always that prudence and respect for norms represent the fundamental way to protect oneself and others".

  Benedict XVI also expressed his closeness "to people affected by torrential rains which over recent days have devastated a large part of Colombia. In the hope that calls for solidarity will not go unheard, I join those who raise prayers to the Lord for the victims and for people experiencing a period of anguish and suffering".
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VATICAN CITY, 21 NOV 2010 (VIS) - Given below is the text of a note issued by Holy See Press Office Director Fr. Federico Lombardi S.J. concerning certain remarks by the Pope on the use of condoms, which appear the new book "Light of the World".

  "At the end of chapter eleven of the book 'Light of the World' the Pope responds to two questions about the battle against AIDS and the use of condoms, questions that reconnect with the discussions that arose in the wake of certain statements the Pope made on this subject during the course of his 2009 trip to Africa.

  "The Pope again makes it clear that his intention was not to take up a position on the problem of condoms in general; his aim, rather was to reaffirm with force that the problem of AIDS cannot be solved simply by distributing condoms, because much more needs to be done: prevention, education, help, advice, accompaniment, both to prevent people from falling ill and to help them if they do.

  "The Pope observes that even in the non-ecclesial context an analogous awareness has developed, as is apparent in the so-called ABC theory (Abstinence - Be Faithful - Condom), in which the first two elements (abstinence and fidelity) are more decisive and fundamental in the battle against AIDS, while condoms take last place, as a way out when the other two are absent. It should thus be clear that condoms are not the solution to the problem.

  "The Pope then broadens his perspective and insists that focusing only on condoms is equivalent to trivialising sexuality, which thus loses its meaning as an expression of love between persons and becomes a 'drug'. This struggle against the trivialisation of sexuality is 'part of the great effort to ensure that sexuality is positively valued and is able to exercise a positive effect on man in his entirety'.

  "In the light of this broad and profound vision of human sexuality and the problems it currently faces, the Pope reaffirms that 'the Church does not of course consider condoms to be the authentic and moral solution' to the problem of AIDS.

  "In this the Pope does not reform or change Church teaching, but reaffirms it, placing it in the perspective of the value and dignity of human sexuality as an expression of love and responsibility.

  "At the same time the Pope considers an exceptional circumstance in which the exercise of sexuality represents a real threat to another person's life. In such a case, the Pope does not morally justify the disordered practice of sexuality but maintains that the use of a condom to reduce the danger of infection can be 'a first act of responsibility', 'a first step on the road toward a more human sexuality', rather than not using it and exposing the other person to a mortal risk.

  "In this, the reasoning of the Pope certainly cannot be defined as a revolutionary change.

  "Many moral theologians and authoritative ecclesiastical figures have supported and support similar positions; it is nevertheless true that we have not heard this with such clarity from the mouth of the Pope, even in an informal and non-magisterial form.

  "Thus Benedict XVI courageously makes an important contribution to help us clarify and more deeply understand a long-debated question. His is an original contribution, because, on the one hand, it remains faithful to moral principles and transparently refutes illusory paths such as that of 'faith in condoms'; on the other hand, however, it manifests a comprehensive and farsighted vision, attentive to recognising the small steps (though only initial and still confused) of an often spiritually- and culturally-impoverished humanity, toward a more human and responsible exercise of sexuality".
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VATICAN CITY, 22 NOV 2010 (VIS) - In the Paul VI Hall this morning, the Holy Father received the twenty-four new cardinals created in the consistory of Saturday 20 November. With the prelates were members of their families and other faithful who have accompanied them to Rome.

  The Pope greeted the cardinals in Italian, English, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese and Polish, and expressed the hope that their followers may "support you with their prayers, that you many continue to persevere faithfully in your various tasks, for the good of the Gospel and of all Christian people".

  "Your ministry", he told the cardinals, "is now enriched by the further duty of supporting Peter's Successor in his universal service to the Church. I place a lot of trust in you, in your prayer and in your vital assistance. With fraternal esteem I encourage you to continue your spiritual and apostolic mission which has just gone through a very important stage. Maintain your gaze fixed on Christ, drawing all grace and spiritual comfort from Him and following the shining example of cardinal saints, intrepid servants of the Church who, over the course of the centuries, have rendered glory to God with their heroic exercise of the virtues and their tenacious faithfulness to the Gospel".

  Invoking on the cardinals "the maternal protection of the Virgin Mary Mother of the Church, and of the martyr St. Cecilia whose liturgical memory falls today", the Pope said "may she, the patroness of music and 'bel canto', accompany and support your efforts to listen attentively to various voices within the Church, in order to make the unity of hearts more profound".
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VATICAN CITY, 22 NOV 2010 (VIS) - Benedict XVI has written a Message to Fr. Hermann Geissler F.S.O., director of the International Centre of Newman Friends, for a symposium the group has organised in Rome on the theme: "The Primacy of God in the Life and Writings of Blessed John Henry Newman".

  In the text the Pope recalls how Newman, having experienced a youthful period of difficulty and doubt (which eventually concluded with the grace of conversion) and while still an Anglican, allowed himself to be guided by two fundamental criteria which "fully express the primacy of God in his life". The first of these was that of "holiness before peace", evidence, the Pope said, "of his unshakeable will to adhere to the inner Master with his conscience, to abandon himself trustingly to the Father, and to live in accordance with recognised truth". The second criterion, that "growth is the only evidence of life", expresses "his predisposition to continuous conversion, transformation and interior growth, while always resting trustingly on God".

  "Thus", the Holy Father adds, "did he discover his vocation at the service of the Word of God and, drawing greater clarification from the Fathers of the Church, proposed an authentic reform of Anglicanism, ultimately joining the Catholic Church".

  "For Newman, then, primacy of God translates into primacy of truth, a truth that must be sought above all by conforming one's own inner life to acceptance, in an open and sincere dialogue with everyone that reaches its culmination in the meeting with Christ, 'way, truth and life'".

  "In presenting and defending Truth, Cardinal Newman was always careful to use suitable language, correct form and an appropriate tone. He never sought to offend, and attempted to bear witness to the kindly inner light, striving to convince people using humility, joy and patience".

  "To Blessed John Henry Newman, the master who teaches us that primacy of God is also primacy of truth and love, I entrust the reflections and work of this symposium", the Holy Father concludes.
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VATICAN CITY, 22 NOV 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father has sent a telegram of condolence to Fr. Adolfo Nicolas Pachon, superior general of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits), for the death of Cardinal Urbano Navarrete S.J., dean of St. Pontian, who died today at the age of 90.

  In his telegram to Fr. Pachon, the Holy Father expresses his "profound condolences to you, to the entire Society of Jesus, and to the relatives of dear cardinal", recalling "his long and competent service as a distinguished jurist to the Pontifical Gregorian University and to the Holy See".

  At the altar of the Cathedra in the Vatican Basilica at 11.30 a.m. on Wednesday 24 November, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, dean of the College of Cardinals, will preside at the funeral Mass with other members of the college.

  At the end of the ceremony, the Pope will address those present and administer the rites of "Ultima Commendatio" and of "Valedictio".
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VATICAN CITY, 22 NOV 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

 - Cardinal Jaime Lucas Ortega y Alamino, archbishop of San Cristobal de La Habana, Cuba.

 - Cardinal Jose T. Sanchez, prefect emeritus of the Congregation for the Clergy.

 - Cardinal Ricardo J. Vidal, archbishop emeritus of Cebu, Philippines.
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VATICAN CITY, 22 NOV 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed:

 - Fr. Jose Bonello O.F.M., vicar general of the diocese of Comayagua, Honduras, and pastor of "Santa Ana" in La Libertad, as coadjutor of Juticalpa (area 24,341, population 578,000, Catholics 530,000, priests 23, religious 49), Honduras. The bishop-elect was born in Xaghra, Malta in 1961 and ordained a priest in 1985.

 - Bishop Vincenzo Di Mauro, secretary of the Prefecture for Economic Affairs of the Holy See, as coadjutor bishop of Vigevano (area 1,509, population 184,356, Catholics 174,869, priests 118, permanent deacons 10, religious 198), Italy, giving him the "ad personam" title of archbishop. The archbishop-elect was born in Monza, Italy in 1951, he was ordained a priest in 1976 and consecrated a bishop in 2007.

  On Saturday 20 November it was made public that he appointed Archbishop Adolfo Tito Yllana, apostolic nuncio to Pakistan, as apostolic nuncio to the Democratic Republic of Congo.
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Friday, November 19, 2010


VATICAN CITY, 19 NOV 2010 (VIS) - As part of the consistory during which the Holy Father will create twenty-four new cardinals, the College of Cardinals is today meeting in the Vatican's New Synod Hall to hold a day of reflection and prayer.

  The meeting began at 9.30 a.m. with a greeting from the Pope who focused his remarks on the two themes of the morning session. Considering the first of these themes, he noted that the Lord's command to announce the Gospel implicitly embraces the need for the freedom to do so, although, over the course of history, it has encountered various forms of opposition. The relationship between truth and freedom is essential but today faces the great challenge of relativism, which seems to complete the concept of freedom but which actually risks destroying it and becoming an authentic 'dictatorship'. We are then, he suggested, facing a difficult period in our commitment to affirm the freedom to announce the truth of the Gospel and the great achievements of Christian culture. The Pope also recalled the essential importance of liturgy in Church life, being the place of God's presence with us.

  The cardinals then turned their attention to the two chosen themes: the situation of religious freedom in the world and new challenges, with an introductory talk by Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B., and the liturgy in the life of the Church today, with a preliminary contribution from Cardinal Antonio Canizares Llovera, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.

  Cardinal Bertone presented a panoramic overview of current attempts to restrict the freedom of Christians in various parts of the world, inviting people to reflect on the situation of religious freedom in Western States. We are witnessing, he said, a process of secularisation accompanied by attempts to remove spiritual values from social life. The Cardinal Secretary of State also elucidated the situation of religious freedom in Muslim countries, recalling the conclusions reached during the recent Special Assembly for the Middle East of the Synod of Bishops. Finally, he explained the activities the Holy See and local episcopates make to defend Catholics, in both East and West. On this subject he also recalled the great efforts made by the Holy See in the international arena to promote respect for the religious freedom of believers.

  For his part, Cardinal Canizares Llovera focused his remarks on the importance of liturgical prayer in the life of the Church.

  In the course of a broad-ranging debate, eighteen cardinal arose to speak of the great difficulties the Church has to face today in defending values founded on natural law, such as respect for life and the family. Another question examined was that of inter-religious dialogue, in particular with Islam.

  Two further contributions are scheduled for the afternoon session. The first, to be delivered by Cardinal William Joseph Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, will focus on Holy See norms for welcoming Anglican priests and faithful who request to be admitted to the Catholic Church, and for defending victims of child abuse by members of the clergy. The second contribution, by Archbishop Angelo Amato S.D.B., prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, will serve to recall the validity of the Instruction "Dominus Iesus" on Jesus Christ our only Saviour, published ten years ago.
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VATICAN CITY, 19 NOV 2010 (VIS) - At 10.30 a.m. tomorrow, Saturday 20 November, the Pope will hold an ordinary public consistory for the creation of twenty-four new cardinals.

  The consistory for the creation of new cardinals, according to the new rite introduced during the consistory of 28 June 1991, is structured as follows:

  Following a liturgical greeting, the Pope reads the formula of creation, and solemnly proclaims the names of the new cardinals. The first of the new cardinals then addresses the Holy Father on behalf of them all.

  This is followed by the Liturgy of the Word, the Pope's homily, the Profession of Faith and the taking of the oath by each cardinal.

  Each new cardinal then approaches the Holy Father and kneels before him to receive the cardinal's biretta and to be assigned a title or deaconry.

  The Pope places the biretta on the cardinal's head and pronounces a formula which includes the following words: "(This is) red as a sign of the dignity of the office of a cardinal, signifying that you are ready to act with fortitude, even to the point of spilling your blood for the increase of the Christian faith, for peace and harmony among the people of God, for freedom and the spread of the Holy Roman Catholic Church".

  The Holy Father hands over the Bull of Creation as cardinal, assigns the title or deaconry and exchanges a kiss of peace with the new members of the College of Cardinals. The cardinals also exchange such a sign among themselves.

  The rite concludes with the Prayer of the Faithful, the recitation of the Our Father and the final blessing.

  At 9.30 a.m. on Sunday 21 November, Solemnity of Christ the King, the Holy Father will preside at a concelebrated Mass with the new cardinals, during which he will give them the cardinal's ring, "the sign of dignity, pastoral care and the most solid communion with the See of Peter."

  As he places the ring on the new cardinal's finger, the Pope says: "Take this ring from the hand of Peter and know that, with the love of the Prince of the Apostles, your love for the Church is strengthened."

  Following tomorrow's ceremony, the College of Cardinals will have 203 members, of whom 121 are electors. The members of the College, by continent of origin, are divided as follows: 111 from Europe, 21 from North America, 31 from South America, 17 from Africa, 19 from Asia and 4 from Oceania.
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VATICAN CITY, 19 NOV 2010 (VIS) - Yesterday the Holy Father received in audience Cardinal Joachim Meisner, archbishop of Cologne, Germany.
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Thursday, November 18, 2010


VATICAN CITY, 18 NOV 2010 (VIS) - Participants in the plenary assembly of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, who have been meeting to examine the subject "Towards a new stage of ecumenical dialogue", were received this morning by the Holy Father.

  Benedict XVI began his address to them by recalling the fiftieth anniversary, which fell yesterday, of the foundation of this dicastery, created by Blessed John XXIII in 1960 on the eve of Vatican Council II. Originally called the Secretariat for Promoting Christian Unity, it became a pontifical council in 1988 by wish of John Paul II.

  John XXIII's decision "represented a milestone on the ecumenical journey of the Catholic Church", said the Pope. "Over these fifty years more realistic knowledge and greater respect for other Churches and ecclesial communities have been acquired, overcoming the sediments of historical prejudice. Theological dialogue has increased, and so has the dialogue of charity. Various forms of collaboration have been developed, including - apart from those that aim to defend of life, protect creation and combat injustice - important and fruitful steps in the field of the ecumenical translations of Sacred Scripture".

  The Pope then turned his attention to the "Harvest Project", an initiative of the dicastery to draw up an initial assessment of results. It has, he said, "highlighted areas of convergence and those in which reflection must continue and intensify". In this context the Holy Father invited members of the pontifical council to continue "your task of promoting the correct reception of the results achieved so far, and publicising the current state of theological research on the journey towards unity.

  "Today", he added, "some people believe that this journey has lost its impetus, especially in the West. Thus do we see the urgent need to revive ecumenical interest and give a fresh incisiveness to dialogue", facing such challenges as "new anthropological and ethical understandings, the ecumenical education of new generations and the greater fragmentation of the ecumenical panorama".

  "The Catholic Church passionately continues her dialogue with the Orthodox Churches and the Ancient Eastern Churches, with which bonds of the 'closest intimacy' exist, seriously and rigorously seeking to develop our shared theological, liturgical and spiritual heritage, and to face the elements that still divide us. With the Orthodox we have reached a crucial point of confrontation and reflection: the role of the Bishop of Rome in the communion of the Church. The ecclesiological question is also at the heart of dialogue with the Ancient Eastern Churches: despite many centuries of misunderstanding and remoteness we have joyfully noted that we have preserved a precious shared heritage".

  "Though faced with new problematic situations or difficult points of discussion, the goal of the ecumenical journey remains unchanged, as does the firm intention to continue. This is not however, a commitment that falls into what could be called political categories, in which negotiating ability or greater capacity to reach compromise come into play, and in which the participants hope that, as good mediators, after a certain period they will reach an agreement acceptable to everyone.

  "Ecumenical activity has a dual dynamic", the Pope explained. "On the one hand it means searching dedicatedly, passionately and tenaciously for all the unity in truth, devising models of unity, illuminating points of contention and obscurity in order to achieve unity. This must take place through the necessary theological dialogue, but above all in prayer and penance, in that ecumenical spirit which constitutes the pulsating heart of the entire journey. The unity of Christians is and remains prayer, it dwells in prayer. On the other hand there is another operational dynamic which arises from our firm awareness that we do not know the time that the unity of all Christ's disciples will be achieved, and we cannot know it because we do not 'make' unity, God 'makes' it; it comes from on high, ... it is a participation in divine unity. Yet this must not diminish our commitment; quite the contrary, it must make us ever more attentive to recognising the signs and times of the Lord, knowing how to recognise with gratitude what unites us and working to ensure it ... grows".

  "In the final analysis", the Holy Father concluded, "also on the ecumenical journey we must leave to God that which is exclusively His and seriously explore, with constancy and dedication, our own task, bearing in mind that that our commitment is characterised by the twofold concepts of acting and suffering, activity and patience, fatigue and joy".
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VATICAN CITY, 18 NOV 2010 (VIS) - Benedict XVI has written a Message to Archbishop Zygmunt Zimowski, president of the Pontifical Council for Health Pastoral Care, and to participants in the council's twenty-fifth international conference which is currently being held on the theme: "Towards egalitarian and human healthcare in the light of 'Caritas in veritate'".

  In his Message the Pope highlights "the need to work with greater commitment at all levels in order for the right to healthcare to be effective, facilitating access to primary medical assistance. In our own time", he continues, "we are witnessing, on the one hand, a care for health which risks turning into pharmacological, medical and surgical consumerism, almost a cult of the body while, on the other hand, we see the difficulties millions of people face as they seek to obtain minimal subsistence and the medicines they need to cure themselves".

  After highlighting the importance of "establishing true distributive justice which guarantees everyone adequate care on the basis of objective needs", the Pope insists that "the world of healthcare cannot divorce itself from moral rules, which must govern it in order to ensure it does not become inhuman".

  "Justice is promoted when we welcome the life of others and take responsibility for them, answering their expectations because in them we see the face of the Son of God, Who became man for us. The divine image impressed in the features of our brothers and sisters is the basis of the exalted dignity of each individual and arouses in each of us the duty to respect, care and serve".

  The Holy Father writes that "healthcare justice must be one of the priorities on the agendas of governments and international institutions. Unfortunately, along with positive and encouraging results, opinions and schools of thought exist which harm this justice. I am thinking of questions such as those associated with so-called 'reproductive health', the use of artificial procreation techniques that involve the destruction of embryos, and legalised euthanasia. Love for justice, the defence of life from conception until natural end, must be supported and proclaimed, even if this means going against the tide. Fundamental ethical values are the shared heritage of universal morality and the basis for democratic coexistence", he says.

  "Only by looking at the world with the gaze of the Creator, which is a gaze of love, will humanity learn to live on earth in peace and justice, equitably sharing the planet and its resources for the good of each man and woman. For this reason", the Pope concludes, "I would advocate the adoption of a model of development based on the centrality of the human person, on the promotion and sharing of the common good, on responsibility, on a realisation of our need for a changed lifestyle, and on prudence, the virtue which tells us what needs to be done today in view of what might happen tomorrow".
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