June 22, 2005

Vatican Information Service Bulletin - 06-22-05

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

- Telegram for Death of Cardinal Sin

- The Lord Saves Us from Danger and Frees Us from Evil

- Pope Confirms Special Synod for Africa

- Archbishop Lajolo Returns from Southeast Asia Visit

- Audiences






VATICAN CITY, JUN 22, 2005 (VIS) - Given below is the text of the telegram sent by Benedict XVI to Archbishop Gaudencio B. Rosales of Manila, Philippines, for the death yesterday at the age of 76 of Cardinal Jaime L. Sin, emeritus of the same archdiocese.


  "Deeply saddened by the death of Cardinal Jaime L. Sin, I offer heartfelt condolences to you and to all the clergy, religious and laity of the archdiocese of Manila. Recalling with gratitude Cardinal Sin's unfailing commitment to the spread of the Gospel and to the promotion of the dignity, common good and national unity of the Philippine people, I join you in praying that God our merciful Father will grant him the reward of his labors and welcome his noble soul into the joy and peace of His eternal Kingdom. To all assembled for the solemn Mass of Christian burial I cordially impart my apostolic blessing as a pledge of consolation and strength in the Lord."






VATICAN CITY, JUN 22, 2005 (VIS) - In today's general audience, held in St Peter's Square, the Pope spoke on the subject of Psalm 123: "Our help is in the name of the Lord."


  Benedict XVI explained to the 31,000 people present in the square that the psalm "is a song of thanksgiving sung by the entire community gathered in prayer, who raise praise to the Lord for the gift of freedom. ... If the Lord had not sided with the victims they, with their limited strength, would have been unable to free themselves and the adversaries, like beasts, would have torn them to pieces."


  The Pope continued: "Although it has been suggested that the reference is to a specific historical event, such as the end of the Babylonian exile, it is more likely that the psalm is a hymn of thanksgiving to the Lord for dangers evaded, and an imploration for Him to bring liberation from all evil."


  The Holy Father pointed out that "the life of men is surrounded by the snares of evildoers, who not only threaten his life but also want to destroy all human values. However, the Lord arises to defend and save the righteous."


  "The blessing expressed in the psalm brings us to understand that the destiny of the faithful, which was death, has been radically altered by salvific intervention. ... Prayer here becomes a sigh of relief rising from the depths of the soul: even when all human hopes collapse, the divine liberating force may appear."


  The Pope recalled how the psalm concludes "with a profession of faith that for centuries has formed part of Christian liturgy as an ideal premise for all our prayers: 'Adiutorium nostrum in nomine Domini, qui fecit caelum et terram' - 'Our help is in the name of the Lord, Who made heaven and earth'."






VATICAN CITY, JUN 22, 2005 (VIS) - Following this morning's general audience catechesis, Pope Benedict saluted the faithful in various languages, including greetings to the members of the Special Council for Africa of the Synod of Bishops who have been meeting at the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops.


   The Pope said that, "confirming the decision made by my venerated predecessor last November 13, I wish to announce my intention to call the Second Special Assembly for Africa of the Synod of Bishops. I have great hopes that such a gathering will mark a further impulse for evangelization on the African continent, the consolidation and growth of the Church and the promotion of reconciliation and peace."






VATICAN CITY, JUN 22, 2005 (VIS) - At midday today, Holy See Press Office Director Joaquin Navarro-Valls released the following declaration:


  "Archbishop Giovanni Lajolo, secretary of the Holy See for Relations with States, returned to Rome today, following a trip to southeast Asia which lasted from June 11 to 22 and during which he visited Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei Darussalam."


  "Archbishop Lajolo met with prelates from the Bishop's Conference of Thailand, as well as with the archbishop of Kuala Lumpur, the archbishop of Singapore, and the apostolic vicar for Brunei Darussalam. He also held talks with George Yong-Boon Yeo, foreign minister of Singapore, and with Vice Sultan Prince Haji Mohamed Bolkiah, foreign minister of Brunei.


  "In the course of his meetings with the diplomatic heads, attention was given to various aspects of the presence and life of the Catholic Church in those countries. Discussions particularly focussed on the situation of bilateral relations and other aspects of international affairs, with special reference to the southeast Asian region.


  "On Sunday, June 12, Archbishop Lajolo travelled to the parish of Our Lady of Assumption on the island of Phuket, Thailand, where he celebrated a Mass for the victims of the tsunami that devastated the region on December 26, 2004. He then inaugurated, in the village of Tha Chu, a number of small houses built by the Catholic Church for the families of fishermen struck by the tidal wave.


  "On Friday, June 17, in the city of Singapore, the secretary for Relations with States attended the inauguration of the exhibition: 'The Journey of Faith, Art and History from the Vatican Collections', which has been organized by the Vatican Museums and by the Asian Civilizations Museum, and participated in a well-received conference on the nature and aims of pontifical diplomacy."






VATICAN CITY, JUN 22, 2005 (VIS) - Following today's general audience, the Holy Father received in separate audiences:


 - Six members of the Special Council for Africa of the Synod of Bishops:


    - Archbishop Pietro Sambi, apostolic nuncio to Israel and Cyprus and apostolic delegate to Jerusalem and Palestine.


    - Archbishop Bruno Musaro, apostolic nuncio to Guatemala.


    - Archbishop Mario Roberto Cassari, apostolic nuncio to Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso and Niger.


    - Archbishop Timothy Broglio, apostolic nuncio to the Dominican Republic and apostolic delegate to Puerto Rico.


    - Archbishop Andres Carrascosa Coso, apostolic nuncio to the Republic of Congo and Gabon.


    - Msgr. Francesco Follo, permanent observer to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).


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