July 6, 2005

Vatican Information Service Bulletin

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

- Audience: God Is Love and Has Destined Us to Be His Children

- Bear Witness in Europe to Christian Values

- Audiences

- Other Pontifical Acts

- In Memoriam

 

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AUDIENCE: GOD IS LOVE AND HAS DESTINED US TO BE HIS CHILDREN

 

VATICAN CITY, JUL 6, 2005 (VIS) - In today's general audience, held in St. Peter's Square, the Holy Father spoke on the canticle in St. Paul's Letter to the Ephesians (1, 3-14), "God the Savior."

 

  The Pope told the 15,000 people present that this hymn "is a prayer of blessing addressed to God the Father" that outlines "the various stages of the plan of salvation achieved through the action of Christ."

 

  Benedict XVI went on: "The Father first chooses us that we might walk holy and blameless in love, then destines us to be His children; He also redeems us and forgives our sins, and makes the mystery of salvation in Christ fully known to us; finally He gives us the eternal inheritance, offering us a guarantee in the gift of the Holy Spirit until the final resurrection."

 

  Among the successive divine gestures of the hymn is that of "choosing the believers, a free and gratuitous initiative of God. In principle, then, 'before the foundation of the world,' in the eternity of God, divine grace was ready to enter into action. The content of this call is 'sanctity,' in other words participation in the transcendent purity of the divine Being and in His intimate essence of 'charity,' 'God is love'."

 

  "Following this course, we move towards the next stage, which has also been contemplated in the divine plan for all eternity: our 'predestination' as children of God. Elsewhere in his writings, St. Paul exalts this sublime condition of being children, which implies brotherhood with Christ - the Son par excellence, 'first-born among many brothers' - and intimacy with the heavenly Father - Who can now be invoked as 'Abba,' Father, in a spontaneous and loving relationship."

 

  The Pope concluded by referring to St. Ambrose, who wrote that God is above all rich in mercy because in Christ "He redeemed everyone and, as architect of nature, transformed us who by the nature of flesh were children of rage and subject to punishment, that we should be children of peace and of charity."

 

 

 

BEAR WITNESS IN EUROPE TO CHRISTIAN VALUES

 

VATICAN CITY, JUL 6, 2005 (VIS) - At the end of the general audience, held this morning in St. Peter's Square, Benedict XVI greeted a delegation from the Italian archdiocese of Spoleto-Norcia. The delegation was led by Archbishop Riccardo Fontana and brought the Benedictine Torch of Peace, "an important symbol," the Pope recalled, "that has now reached its 30th anniversary."

 

  The Pope recalled how this year the torch had departed from Moscow, Russia, "after having been welcomed by a representative of the Patriarch Alexis II," and had passed through Germany, at the monastery of Ottobeuren and at Marktl am Inn, Benedict XVI's own birthplace. He went on: "As a symbol of peace, the torch today rests near the tombs of the Apostles, and will later continue its journey to Norcia. May this important initiative encourage an ever more generous commitment to bear witness to Christian values in Europe."

 

  Addressing a group of pilgrims from Poland, the Holy Father expressed the joy he shared with them "for the opening last week of the cause of beatification of the Servant of God, the much-loved Pope John Paul II. To your prayers I entrust the progress of this cause."

 

 

 

AUDIENCES

 

VATICAN CITY, JUL 6, 2005 (VIS) - Following today's general audience, the Holy Father received in separate audiences:

 

 - Archbishop Lorenzo Baldisseri, apostolic nuncio to Brazil.

 

 - Archbishop Salvatore Pennacchio, apostolic nuncio to Thailand, Singapore and Cambodia and apostolic delegate to Myanmar, Laos, Malaysia and Brunei Darussalam.

 

 - Archbishop Juliusz Janusz, apostolic nuncio to Hungary.

 

 - Msgr. Francesco Giovanni Brugnaro, Holy See permanent observer to the World Tourism Organization.

 

 

 

OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS

 

VATICAN CITY, JUL 6, 2005 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Bishop Ludwig Schwarz S.D.B., auxiliary of Vienna, Austria, as bishop of Linz (area 11,909, population 1,388,500, Catholics 1,067,298, priests 754, permanent deacons 71, religious 1,531), Austria.

 

 

 

IN MEMORIAM

 

VATICAN CITY, JUL 6, 2005 (VIS) - The following prelates died in recent weeks:

 

- Cardinal Jaime L. Sin, archbishop emeritus of Manila, Philippines, on June 21, at the age of 76.

 

- Bishop Jean-Baptiste Gourion O.S.B., auxiliary of Jerusalem of the Latins, on June 23, at the age of 70.

 

- Bishop James John Hogan, emeritus of Altoona-Johnstown, U.S.A., on June 14, at the age of 93.

 

- Bishop Paul Themba Mngoma, emeritus of Mariannhill, South Africa, on June 15, at the age of 63.

 

- Bishop Joseph Perrot M. Afr., emeritus of San, Mali, on June 22, at the age of 84.

 

- Bishop Joseph M. Raya, formerly of Akka of the Greek-Melkites, Israel, on June 10, at the age of 87.

 

- Bishop Manuel Samaniego Barriga of Cuautitlan, Mexico, on June 26, at the age of 74.

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