June 7, 2005

Vatican Information Service Bulletin - 06-07-05

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

- Papal Reflections on Marriage and the Family

- Archbishop Foley on the Internet and the Catholic Church

- Russian Foreign Affairs Minister Meets Cardinal Sodano

- Other Pontifical Acts

 

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PAPAL REFLECTIONS ON MARRIAGE AND THE FAMILY

 

VATICAN CITY, JUN 7, 2005 (VIS) - Last evening at St. John Lateran Basilica, Pope Benedict XVI inaugurated the ecclesial congress promoted by the diocese of Rome on the theme "The Family and the Christian Community: Formation of the Person and Transmission of the Faith."

 

  The Pope offered some reflections on "the meaning of marriage and the family in the plan of God, Creator and Savior."

 

  The Anthropological Foundation of the Family:

 

  He starts by saying that "the human being has been created in the image and likeness of God and God Himself is Love. Thus, the vocation to love is what makes man the authentic image of God. ... From this basic link between God and man comes another: the indissoluble link between spirit and body."

 

  "The totality of man," he continues, "includes the dimension of time and man's 'yes' ... means 'always', it is the space of fidelity. Only within it can one grow in faith." He adds that "the greatest expression of freedom ... is the capacity to choose a definitive gift in which freedom, giving of itself, fully finds itself. Concretely, the personal and reciprocal  'yes' between a man and a woman ... is destined to the gift of a new life" and it is also a "public 'yes' with which the spouses take on the public responsibility of fidelity."

 

  Benedict XVI underscored that "the various forms of dissolving marriages today, as well as the free unions and the 'trial marriages', including pseudo-marriage between people of the same sex, are, rather, expressions of an anarchical freedom, which passes itself off, wrongly, for a true liberation of man. Such pseudo-freedom is based on making the body banal, which inevitably includes making man banal."

 

  Marriage and the Family in the History of Salvation.

 

  The Pope recalled that "biblical revelation, in fact, is above all the expression of a story of love, the story of the covenant of God with man; therefore the story of the love and union between a man and a woman in the covenant of marriage was able to be assumed by God as a symbol of the history of salvation."

 

  "In the same way that the Incarnation of the Son of God reveals its true meaning in the cross, authentic human love is the giving of oneself and cannot exist if a person wishes to rid himself of the cross."

 

  The Holy Father underscored several negative tendencies that are in opposition to "the profound link between God and man, between God's love and human love. ...The depreciation of human love, the suppression of the authentic capacity to love is revealed, in fact, in our times as the most adept and efficacious arm to remove God from man, to distance Him from man's gaze and from his heart."

 

  Children.

 

  "Even in generating children marriage reflects its divine model, the love of God for man. In man and woman, paternity and maternity, as the body and as love, do not let themselves be limited to the biological: life is given entirely only when, with birth, love and the sense that make it possible to say yes to this life are also given. Precisely in this way does it become clear how contrary to human love, to the profound vocation of a man and a women, it is when the union is closed to the gift of life, or worse yet, suppresses or manipulates unborn life. ... For this reason the building of every single Christian family is placed within the larger context of the great family of the Church, which sustains it and bears it within itself."

 

  The Family and the Church.

 

  "Benedict XVI affirmed that "from all this comes an evident consequence: the family and the Church, concretely the parishes and other forms of ecclesial communities, are called to the closest collaboration in that basic duty which comprises, in an inseparable fashion, the formation of the person and the transmission of the faith."

 

  The Threat of Relativism.

 

  "Today an especially insidious obstacle to the work of education is the massive presence, in our society and culture, of a relativism which, while recognizing nothing as definitive, establishes as a final measure only one's 'I' with one's own desires and which, under the appearance of freedom, becomes for each person a prison. Within such a relativistic horizon it is not possible therefore to have a true education: without the light of truth, sooner or later every person is in fact condemned to doubt the goodness of his own life and the relations that comprise it, to doubt the validity of his commitment to build, with others,  something in common. It is therefore clear that not only must we seek to overcome relativism in our work of forming people, but we are also called to fight its predominant place in society and culture."

 

  Priesthood and the Consecrated Life.

 

  The Holy Father concluded by pointing to the need to pray for many vocations to the priesthood and to consecrated life and to pray that priests and religious "give witness to the joy of having been called by the Lord."

 

 

 

ARCHBISHOP FOLEY ON THE INTERNET AND THE CATHOLIC CHURCH

 

VATICAN CITY, JUN 7, 2005 (VIS) - Archbishop John Foley, president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, yesterday addressed the Information Office of the Italian Episcopal Conference on the topic "Internet and the Catholic Church in Europe."

 

  He defined the Internet as a "present and pressing reality that cannot be ignored," and noted that the Internet had been the subject of both John Paul II's Message for World Communications Day in 2002 and two documents from the pontifical council, "The Church and the Internet" and "Ethics in the Internet."

 

  The archbishop stated that the Church must welcome the challenges posed by the Internet but also "remain firm on the ethical principles and values that are universally recognized as indispensable for the growth and evolution of all cultures. The Church, as the bearer of the Revelation of God, has the duty to communicate the Word and to encourage the use of the Internet for the common good, for the development of peace and justice in respect for personal dignity and in a spirit of solidarity. ... Internet is thus the areopagus of our times, the instrument for spreading the Christian message."

 

  "Among the millions of people who navigate daily on the Internet," said Archbishop Foley, "many will be able to find a word of hope. ... Thus the Internet can be a new path to God," a way for the Church "to bring the Word of God to every place, to reach those living in solitude and who perhaps would never open the doors of their home."

 

 

 

RUSSIAN FOREIGN AFFAIRS MINISTER MEETS CARDINAL SODANO

 

VATICAN CITY, JUN 7, 2005 (VIS) - Holy See Press Office Director Joaquin Navarro-Valls made the following statement this morning:

 

  "Today, June 7, Foreign Affairs Minister Sergei Lavrov of the Russian Federation paid a visit to the Vatican and met with Cardinal Angelo Sodano, secretary of State. Also present for the talks were Archbishop Giovanni Lajolo, secretary for Relations with States, and Vitaly Litvin, ambassador to the Holy See.

 

  "In the course of the meeting there was an exchange of viewpoints on bilateral relations between the Holy See and Russia and on the international situation, with particular regard to the dialogue between cultures and to collaboration within international organizations.

 

  "The meeting underscored the existing cordial relations and the possibility of further developing them. To this end, Minister Lavrov invited Archbishop Lajolo to Moscow next autumn."

 

 

 

OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS

 

VATICAN CITY, JUN 7, 2005 (VIS) - The Holy Father has appointed Cardinal Renato Raffaele Martino, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, as a member of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State.

 

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