May 20, 2005

Vatican Information Service Bulletin - 05-20-05

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

- Benedict XVI condemns nazism and atheist communism
- Cultivate communion, mission and evangelizing passion
- Holy father to preside Corpus Christi celebrations May 2
- Audiences
- Other pontifical acts

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BENEDICT XVI CONDEMNS NAZISM AND ATHEIST COMMUNISM

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

CULTIVATE COMMUNION, MISSION AND EVANGELIZING PASSION

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

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

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

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

 

HOLY FATHER TO PRESIDE CORPUS CHRISTI CELEBRATIONS MAY 26

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

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

 

AUDIENCES

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

 

OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS

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

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