May 17, 2005

Vatican Information Service Bulletin - 05-17-05

The following is a copyrighted release of the Vatican Information Service.

- CHRISTIANITY HAS HAD A PRE-EMINENT ROLE IN EUROPE

- SOCIAL DOCTRINE OF THE CHURCH AND FORMATION OF THE LAITY

- OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS

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CHRISTIANITY HAS HAD A PRE-EMINENT ROLE IN EUROPE

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

SOCIAL DOCTRINE OF THE CHURCH AND FORMATION OF THE LAITY

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

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

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

 

OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS

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

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

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

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