May 18, 2005

Vatican Information Service Bulletin - 05-18-05

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

- BENEDICT XVI: LET US THANK GOD FOR JOHN PAUL II

- MOUNTAIN PEAK IN ITALY NAMED FOR JOHN PAUL II

- CARDINAL DECRIES ALL FORMS OF VIOLATION OF THE RIGHT TO LIFE

- OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS

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BENEDICT XVI: LET US THANK GOD FOR JOHN PAUL II

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

MOUNTAIN PEAK IN ITALY NAMED FOR JOHN PAUL II

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

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

 

CARDINAL DECRIES ALL FORMS OF VIOLATION OF THE RIGHT TO LIFE

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

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

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

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

 

OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS

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

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

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

  - Bishop Fernando Antonio Saburido O.S.B., auxiliary of Olinda and Recife, Brazil, as bishop of Sobral (area 18,920, population 863,713, Catholics 731,554, priests 54, religious 125), Brazil.

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