October 10, 2005

Vatican Information Service Bulletin

The following, in it's entirety, is a copyrighted transcript of the Vatican Information Service.

SUMMARY OF SYNOD OF BISHOPS: OCTOBER 7 - 10

- Ninth General Congregation
- Tenth General Congregation
- Commemoration of 40th Anniversary of Synod of Bishops
- Eleventh General Congregation 

OTHER NEWS: OCTOBER 8 - 10

- Blessed von Galen: Defended Rights against the Nazis
- Pope Appeals for Victims of Natural Disasters
- In Brief
- Other Pontifical Acts

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 NINTH GENERAL CONGREGATION

 VATICAN CITY, OCT 7, 2005 (VIS) - The Ninth General Congregation of the Eleventh Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops was held this afternoon in the Vatican's Synod Hall. The president delegate on duty was Cardinal Juan Sandoval Iniguez and 239 Synod Fathers were present. The Holy Father attended the end of the afternoon session and participated in the free discussions.

   Following are excerpts from some of the speeches delivered this afternoon:

 BISHOP GERVAIS BANSHIMIYUBUSA OF NGOZI, BURUNDI. "Burundi, a Christian country, and more than 60% Catholic, has just experienced a period of trial with tragic conflicts among the country's various ethnic communities. These conflicts degenerated into civil war, and the situation reached the point that people from different ethnic groups no longer dared pass one other in the street. Eucharistic celebrations remained privileged places where people from different ethnic groups could meet to pray for reconciliation. By means of this 'double Table' of the Word of God and of the Eucharistic bread, the Eucharistic celebration became, so to say, a privileged opportunity for prophetic proclamation which regularly nourished people's hope in possible reconciliation, and a Word which called everybody indiscriminately to a conversion of hearts and minds. Over and above all this, the Eucharistic celebration was a source of grace which gave Christians supernatural courage to go against the tide, refusing - often at the price of their own blood - all negative forms of solidarity based solely on the fraternity of ethnic groups or selfish interests."

 CARDINAL FRANCISCO JAVIER ERRAZURIZ OSSA, ARCHBISHOP OF SANTIAGO DE CHILE, CHILE. "Paragraph 25 of the 'Instrumentum Laboris' invites us to consider interior participation in the Eucharist. It says that 'the participation of the faithful at liturgical celebrations, particularly the Eucharistic liturgy, is essentially entering into this spiritual worship where God comes down to the individual and the individual is raised to God.' ... Therefore, as the 'Instrumentum Laboris' says, it is a question of entering into the action of the liturgy. The best way to do this is to share the feelings and the attitude of Mary Most Holy, 'Eucharistic woman,' who preceded and still precedes the Church along the paths of faith, of Calvary, of the Covenant and of new life. ... The lay faithful participate fully when their lives are profoundly united with the Eucharist; when all their lives are marked by acceptance of God, attentiveness to the Word and docility to the Spirit, by adoration and thanksgiving, and by renewal of the New Covenant; when all their lives are offering and communion, sacrifice, imploration and expiation, a free gift of God for our brothers and sisters."

 BISHOP JOSE DE LA TRINIDAD VALERA ANGULO OF LA GUAIRA, VENEZUELA. "Celebrate with joy and celebrate the joy of the Lord's Easter. The world has to know and to live joyfully in the Holy Spirit; it is hungry for God and it is Christ who reveals man to man. Revelation, more than pure reason, is life, it is the joy of communicating the Trinity of the One God. ... Our service, as shepherds of the flock, is to find ways that enable our people to live the joy of the Risen One. Liturgical guidance must avoid any kind of legalism and search for ways to ensure that our people find joy in the Holy Spirit, that the world may believe and have life."

 CARDINAL ZENON GROCHOLEWSKI, PREFECT OF THE CONGREGATION FOR CATHOLIC EDUCATION. "The Eucharist constitutes the framework for all formation of seminarians: human, spiritual, intellectual and pastoral. This centrality of the Eucharist must be strongly emphasized in the life of the seminary at various levels. Solid theological elucidation of the mystery of the Eucharist and its relationship with the Sacrament of Penance, explanation of the meaning of liturgical norms, the example of teachers, correct preparation of Eucharistic celebrations in order that they be intimately experienced by the whole community, the presence and availability of good confessors, well-prepared adoration of the Eucharistic, persistent invitations to private adoration of the Most Holy Sacrament, etc., all these factors, seriously and constantly undertaken, should introduce the seminarian to a full understanding and love of the Eucharist. ... The formation of seminarians is of great importance and should be underlined because, in reality, how the Eucharist is celebrated and how it is perceived by the faithful, mainly depends on priests."

 ARCHBISHOP DOMINIC JALA S.D.B., OF SHILLONG, INDIA. "In multi‑religious contexts, the assembly gathered for the Eucharist is often composed not only of Catholics. The presence of followers of other faiths poses a serious question to our Eucharistic ecclesiology, especially in India. What place do such people have vis a vis our faith community? How wide can a Eucharistic community stretch itself? If the sacrifice of communion is celebrated for the salvation of all, what is the relation of the Eucharistic Christian community with the rest? The Church's faith and discipline admits to communion only those who share in the faith and who profess the same Eucharistic faith. ... There remains the challenge to find ways of showing some means of Eucharistic hospitality to members of other faiths. ... Eucharistic devotion outside the Mass, flowing from it and leading to it, has had and continues to have a great influence in drawing people to the Church and in helping communities to be more missionary. Of particular relevance are, for instance, the yearly Eucharistic processions especially in Northeast India. However communities still awaiting a priest, as in most of the more remote villages of our missions, are a great concern for us. The Sunday liturgy should foster in these faithful a true love and a longing for the Eucharist."

 BISHOP LEO LABA LADJAR O.F.M., OF JAYAPURA, INDONESIA. "The priest may not be separated from the community. I get the impression that the 'Instrumentum laboris' is too 'priest centered.' There are some praxis and rules which should be questioned, inter alia: The authority for a priest to celebrate the Eucharist without an assembly (so‑called 'private' Mass); the limitation of the purpose of ordination only to the Eucharist; ... enlarge the difference between ministerial and common priesthood to the point of reducing the role of acolytes to mere emergency situations; ... the meaning of reconciliation in community and liturgical assembly is underestimated. ... My impression of the 'priest centered' view of the 'Instrumentum laboris' is strengthened also in the underestimation of the liturgy of the Word, presided by a lay minister. Paragraph 55 of the 'Instrumentum laboris' speaks of this as 'liturgies awaiting a priest,' and not as the listening to the voice of the Lord and answering Him in prayer. Suggestions: we need to encourage the theologian to study and formulate a new theology of priesthood in connection with the threefold 'munera' of clerics in the ecclesial community, listening also to the praxis of apostolic times and the Eastern Churches."

 

TENTH GENERAL CONGREGATION

 VATICAN CITY, OCT 8, 2005 (VIS) - In the Vatican's Synod Hall this morning, the Tenth General Congregation was held of the Eleventh Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops. The Holy Father was present at the meeting which was also attended by 238 Synod Fathers. The president delegate on duty was Cardinal Telesphore Placidus Toppo.

   Following are excerpts from some of the speeches delivered this morning:

 ARCHBISHOP SEAN BAPTIST BRADY OF ARMAGH, IRELAND. "The Word of God is alive and active, with the ability to change minds and hearts. It can address the needs of the individual and the community gathered to hear the Word of Life. It is an important source of the Holy Spirit's transforming activity in the Liturgy. ... Experience has shown in my own country the transforming power of the liturgy of the Word and of the homily. ... It is gratifying to note how scriptural words like justice, peace, forgiveness have become the lingua franca of the peace process. In recent days, a historic moment in that political process has been achieved with the decommissioning of weapons by the largest paramilitary organisation. Two clergymen who have worked for many years to promote dialogue and reconciliation, a former president of the Methodist Church and a Redemptorist priest, were asked to witness the act of decommissioning. This was perhaps, among other things, an acknowledgement of the role played by ministers of the Word of God in creating the conditions for reconciliation and peace. It attests to the power of the Word, under the action of the Holy Spirit, to make all things new."

 ARCHBISHOP BERHANEYESUS DEMEREW SOURAPHIEL, C.M., OF ADDIS ABEBA, ETHIOPIA. "The celebration of the 'Sunday Eucharist' presumes that there is a 'Sunday' ‑ the Day of the Lord ‑ set apart, and that the Eucharist can be celebrated freely on Sundays. In some parts of the world, this is not possible: for example, in Saudi Arabia or in some other Muslim countries. Sunday is a working day and the Eucharist is not celebrated because there are no Churches and no priests, or there is simply no religious freedom. From Eritrea and Ethiopia, there are many Christians who are working and living in Muslim countries. ... Before they go to the Muslim countries, they are forced to change their Christian names into Muslim ones, and especially the women have to dress in Muslim attire. Once they reach their destinations, their passports are taken from them and they suffer all kinds of abuses and exploitation. Many are forced by the situation to become Muslims. They are forced to go to these Muslim countries because of the poverty of their own countries, and because the doors of other Christian countries are closed to them. We know that many African Christians die crossing parts of the Sahara desert or drown in the Mediterranean Sea attempting to go to Christian countries in Europe and America. ... I request the Synod Fathers, especially those working in Muslim countries where poor Christians go in search of employment, to extend their pastoral care to these Christians and to ask the Muslim governments to respect the religious freedom of Christians.

 BISHOP FELIX LAZARO MARTINEZ Sch. P., OF PONCE, PUERTO RICO. "Many Catholics are still far from being able to explain or defend their faith. As St. Peter says in his first letter: 'Always be prepared to make a defence to anyone who calls you to account for the hope that is in you.' Yet it is difficult to love what one does not know. And if one has no knowledge of the Church, the Eucharist or the Christian faith, then with difficulty one can love the Church, the Eucharist or even the Christian faith itself. What is needed is catechesis. In my view we are suffering from a lack of catechesis. ... The absence of catechesis and religious formation can, perhaps, also explain why some of our faithful so easily go to other religious confessions or sects, attracted by the blinding light of pseudo religious science because we were unable to illuminate them in time with good and appropriate catechesis."

 BISHOP AMEDEE GRAB O.S.B., OF CHUR, SWITZERLAND. "My remarks refer to ecclesial communities that celebrate the memorial of the Lord in the Holy Supper. In ecumenical dialogue with these communities, one can often see an increasing convergence on very important themes: real presence, sacrificial characteristic of the memorial, need for ordination. What has proved more difficult is finding a formulation on the nature of the Church, and an agreement that the Holy Eucharist - source and summit of her vocation and her mission - was entrusted to Her. 'It makes no sense not to belong to a Church community and, at the same time, to want to receive the Eucharist,' and we cannot accept inter-celebration, inter-communion, and general hospitality offered to all baptized (or even to all those present). However, participation in Holy Communion by individual non-Catholic baptized, in exceptional cases and under certain conditions, is specifically provided for in paragraph 129 of the 1993 Ecumenical Directory, which not only mentions admittance but also invitation, following verification of the aforementioned conditions, among which belonging to the Catholic Church is not mentioned. This possibility should not be forgotten and must be taken into account in pastors' dealings with those who, without belonging to the Catholic Church, share the impassioned prayer of Jesus for unity. This should remain a recognized way to achieve unity, when and how the Lord, 'the living bread descending from heaven for the life of the world,' wishes."

 BISHOP GABRIEL PIROIRD OF CONSTANTINE, ALGERIA. "We are very much a minority of local churches, living in a world where Islam has strongly marked culture. ... Because of the needs of the mission, many live far away from any priestly presence. Due to this they cannot participate in the Eucharist, except on rare occasions. Such a situation leads us to look into the bond between the Eucharist and mission. Our thanksgiving to God joins that of our Muslim friends who also praise God for His works of creation and mercy. We could spiritually incorporate their prayers in our Eucharistic celebrations. We are sometimes amazed to see our Muslim friends 'linked with the Paschal Mystery.' When we come to inscribe our life in the offering of Christ, we also, in some way, do so with the lives of our friends. ... In an imperceptible way, our Eucharistic celebrations bring together a people who are yet absent, a people searching for God in the righteousness of their hearts. For a particular Church, the way of living the Eucharist cannot be separated from her concrete history with the people to whom the Lord gave her."

 CARDINAL GEORGES COTTIER O.P., THEOLOGIAN OF THE PONTIFICAL HOUSEHOLD. "If the Church has pronounced directives concerning the admission to the Eucharist of non-Catholic Christians and if she rejects inter-communion, this is because Eucharistic communion is not a starting point, rather it expresses and perfects a communion to be considered in its entirety: communion in the doctrine of the Apostles, in the Sacraments and in communion with the apostolic college of which Peter is head. This position seems unjustly hard to our Protestant brothers, because it is not understood. In fact, it is a fraternal duty for the Church to make it clear that she cannot dispose at her will of a gift received from her Lord. Her attitude is one of adoration, of praise and of obedience."

 

COMMEMORATION OF 40TH ANNIVERSARY OF SYNOD OF BISHOPS

 VATICAN CITY, OCT 8, 2005 (VIS) - A special General Congregation was held this afternoon in the Vatican's Synod Hall to commemorate 40 years since the foundation of the Synod of Bishops. The president delegate on duty was Cardinal Telesphore Placidus Toppo, archbishop of Ranchi, India.

   At the beginning of the session, Archbishop Nikola Eterovic, secretary general of the Synod of Bishops, spoke on the subject of the Synod as an expression of episcopal collegiality, affirming that the 40th anniversary "represents a propitious occasion for more profound study into the theological and juridical nature of this institution, born of Vatican Council II." The Synod, he said, "has had the great merit of developing the synodal dimension of the 'corpus episcoporum,' of fomenting episcopal collegiality between bishops and the Holy Father."

   After recalling that the Synod of Bishops was established on September 15, 1965, Archbishop Eterovic noted that "up to now it has had four presidents: Paul VI, John Paul I, John Paul II and Benedict XVI, of whom the latter is presiding the Synod for the first time."

   The Synod of Bishops, he continued, "has had the privilege of two of its relator generals for Ordinary General Assemblies later becoming Pope: cardinals Karol Wojtyla and Joseph Ratzinger, respectively in 1974 and 1980."

   Archbishop Eterovic stressed "a tangible sign of the youthfulness of the Synod" in the fact that "more than half the Synod Fathers of the Eleventh Ordinary General Assembly are participating in a synodal meeting for the first time."

   Next to speak were Cardinal Jozef Tomko, president of the Pontifical Commission for International Eucharist Congresses, and former secretary general of the Synod from 1979 to 1985, and Cardinal Peter Erdo, archbishop of Esztergom-Budapest, Hungary, who discussed, respectively, the theological and juridical aspects of the Synod of Bishops.

   Cardinal Adrianus Simonis, archbishop of Utrecht, Netherlands, spoke on the Special Assembly for the Netherlands - called by John Paul II and celebrated in January 1980 - of which he had been a member.

   Archbishop Paul Verdzekov of Bamenda, Cameroon, spoke on the Special Assembly for Africa of the Synod of Bishops - held in April and May of 1994 - of which he had been a member.

   Archbishop Cyril Salim Bustros M.S.S.P., eparch of Newton of the Greek-Melkites, U.S.A., presented some reflections on the results of the Special Assembly for Lebanon, held in November 1995, of which he had been relator general.

   Cardinal Juan Sandoval Iniguez, archbishop of Guadalajara, Mexico, spoke of the fruits of the Special Assembly for America, held in November and December 1997, of which he had been relator general.

   Cardinal Paul Shan Kuo-Hsi S.J., of Kaohsiung, Taiwan, addressed the assembly on the subject of the Special Assembly for Asia, held in April and May 1998, of which he had been relator general.

   Archbishop John Atcherley Dew of Wellington, New Zealand, read out a text prepared by Cardinal Thomas S. Williams, emeritus of the same archdiocese, on the subject of the Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for Oceania. Cardinal Williams was president delegate of that meeting, held in November and December 1998.

   Finally Cardinal Antonio Maria Rouco Varela, archbishop of Madrid, Spain, spoke on the Second General Assembly for Europe of the Synod of Bishops, held in October 1999, of which he had been relator general.

 

ELEVENTH GENERAL CONGREGATION

 VATICAN CITY, OCT 10, 2005 (VIS) - This morning, in the presence of the Holy Father and of 244 Synod Fathers, the Eleventh General Congregation of the Eleventh Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops was held. The president delegate on duty was Cardinal Francis Arinze.

   Following are excerpts from some of the speeches delivered this morning:

 CARDINAL LUBOMYR HUSAR M.S.U., ARCHBISHOP OF LVIV OF THE UKRAINIANS, UKRAINE. "My premise is that there can be no doubt whatsoever that the Eucharist is the source and summit of the life and the mission of the Church. But this is also true for Oriental Churches! (Therefore) if the Liturgy is a 'regula fidei' ('lex orandi, lex credendi'); if the divine liturgy celebrated by Oriental Churches in communion with the See of Rome, and by Orthodox or Apostolic Churches, is identical; if there is mutual recognition of the apostolic succession of bishops and, consequently, of priests that celebrate the Eucharist, then my question is: what more is required for unity? Is there perhaps another 'fons' or another 'culmen' superior to the Eucharist? And if not, why isn't con-celebration permitted?"

 CARDINAL CRESCENZIO SEPE, PREFECT OF THE CONGREGATION FOR THE EVANGELIZATION OF PEOPLES. "Need is felt for a more organic approach ... to clarify the distinction between evangelization 'ad gentes' and evangelization aimed at people who have abandoned their faith. It is true that the content of evangelization is the same, but it can be diversified depending upon the recipients to whom it is directed. ... Today there are some 5 billion people who do not know Jesus, and who therefore cannot nourish themselves on His Body and His Blood. The Church has the right and the duty to ensure that they too receive the bread of Life and the chalice of Salvation. To this end it is necessary that Eucharistic doctrine be offered to non-Christians in its integral truth, without submitting to the 'cultural fashions' ... in which the Eucharist loses its mystic dimension and becomes a variant of the cultural anthropology that even relativizes the person of Jesus Christ Himself."

 BISHOP PETRU GHERGHEL OF IASI, ROMANIA. "From the very beginning, 'abiding in Christ' guaranteed the vitality and strength of the first Christian communities. ... In the long period of communist rule, the Church was the only place in which the faithful could nourish the courage of their faith. Celebration of the Eucharist was, at one and the same time, a moment for evangelization, for catechesis and for communion with God and with our brothers and sisters. ... My suggestion is a proposal to increase respect towards the Eucharist. Bearing in mind the oriental tradition, the richness of such testimony and the attempt to exchange gifts between our Churches, I propose that Mass also be given the name of 'Holy and Divine Liturgy,' alongside the Latin name already in use but not very precise. Such a name would be more suggestive of the divine, and would invite people, to meditation, wonder, silence and adoration."

 BISHOP GABRIEL MALZAIRE OF ROSEAU, DOMINICA. "The Sacrament of Penance is not a regular part of the spiritual life of a growing number of Catholics. Mixed marriages sometimes lead to a diminished regard for the Eucharist. Inter-communion poses a problem in the Antilles. Many of the faithful believe Holy Communion leads to personal sanctification and transformation of attitudes and engenders responsiveness to the needs of others. However, for many others there is a disparity between what they believe and how they live. Some recommendations include: A return to the emphasis on Easter duties with its requirement for (at least) annual Confession; reclaiming the respect and reverence due to the holy places; need for greater silence before and during the celebration of Mass; pews with kneelers should be returned to the Church so that people get into the habit of showing reverence before the Blessed Sacrament."

 FR. PETER HANS KOLVENBACH S.J., SUPERIOR GENERAL OF THE SOCIETY OF JESUS (JESUITS). "The rediscovery of the Tridentine notion of sacramental re-presentation ... opens promising horizons of dialogue between Catholics and Protestants. Instead of saying that the Mass is the renewal of the sacrifice of the Cross, today we say with more precision that Mass is the renewal of the memorial of the sacrifice of the Cross. In fact, Mass is a sacramental sacrifice, in other words, the sacrament of that sacrifice, our sacramental re-presentation of the one sacrifice. The limit that set Catholic theology of the second millennium against Orthodox theology, was that of analyzing Eucharistic transformation on the basis of the notion of physical time, making it depend exclusively either from the moment the words of consecration were pronounced, or from the moment in which the consecratory epiclesis was pronounced. Both sides have forgotten that the moment when the transubstantiation (or 'metabole') occurs is not that of our chronometer, rather it is God's instant, which is sacramental time. The Magisterium of the 'lex orandi' teaches that this instant - which by nature is 'beyond physical things' - has two strong moments, both of which have absolute consecratory effectiveness: institutional dedication and epiclesis. With reference to the words of consecration and to the consecratory epiclesis, the notion of absolute consecratory effectiveness leaves no room for conflict or exclusivity. Far from presenting itself as an obstacle, the question of epiclesis is revealed as a real ecumenical bridge in the dialogue between Catholics and Orthodox."

 BISHOP OSWALD GRACIAS OF AGRA, INDIA. "In India where there is a great need for faith formation, more attention should be paid to lead the people to understand, appreciate and live the Scriptures in their richness. For this purpose, attempts could be made to use mediatic means like audiovisuals, projections of Gospel scenes and power presentations to make the proclamation appeal to the different human senses. Bishops, being fully involved, would take care to avoid the danger of showmanship. ... People in some areas in India are attracted to the sects because they find our liturgies monotonous and impersonal, far from being a God experience. Episcopal conferences along with the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments could work out ways for further inculturation of the liturgy as well as introduction of more freedom and creativity, while at the same time safeguarding it from the danger of abuse. Group Masses and Masses for families could be effective means for strengthening family unity and for giving family catechesis."

 

BLESSED VON GALEN: DEFENDED RIGHTS AGAINST THE NAZIS

 VATICAN CITY, OCT 9, 2005 (VIS) - Today at 9.30 a.m., Cardinal Jose Saraiva Martins C.M.F., prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, presided at a Eucharistic celebration in the Vatican Basilica during which, by order of Benedict XVI, he read the Holy Father's Apostolic Letter proclaiming as Blessed, Servant of God Cardinal Clemens August von Galen (1878 - 1946), bishop of Munster, Germany.

   At the end of Mass, the Holy Father arrived in the basilica to venerate the relics of the new blessed and, after addressing some words to the assembly, imparted his apostolic blessing.

   The Holy Father greeted pilgrims and civil and religious authorities from Munster and other parts of Germany, who had come to Rome for the ceremony. Speaking of Cardinal von Galen in off-the-cuff remarks, he said: "All people, especially we Germans, are thankful because the Lord gave us this great witness of faith who brought the light of truth to shine in times of darkness, and showed the courage to oppose the power of tyranny. But we must also ask ourselves where did he get such intuition from, at a time when intelligent people seemed blind? And where did get the strength to oppose, at a time when even the strong showed themselves to be weak and vile?

   "He drew intuition and courage from the faith, which showed him the truth and opened his heart and his eyes. He feared God more than he feared man, and God gave him the courage to do and to say what others did not dare say and do. Thus, He gives us courage and again exhorts us to live our faith, teaching us how this can be achieved in simple and humble things that nonetheless are great and profound."

   The Pope also stressed how the new Blessed "shows us this simple Catholicity, in which the Lord meets us, in which He opens our hearts and gives us discernment of spirit, courage of faith, and joy at being saved. Let us give thanks to God for this great witness of the faith and pray that he illuminates and guides us."

   Returning to his prepared text, the Holy Father continued: "Among the many witnesses of Christ in the twentieth century, the figure of this zealous pastor and generous bishop stands out. The Lord gave him the heroic courage to defend the rights of God, of the Church and of man, which the National Socialist regime gravely and systematically violated in the name of an aberrant neo-pagan ideology.

   "His beatification today again presents him as a model of profound and intrepid faith. We invoke the intercession of the new Blessed: may he bless the Church and human society in Germany, Europe and the entire world."

   Later, during the Angelus, Benedict XVI reminded the thousands of faithful filling St. Peter's Square that Blessed von Galen was "an intrepid opponent of the Nazi regime. Ordained a priest in 1904, for a long time he practiced his ministry in a parish of Berlin, before becoming bishop of Munster in 1933."

   "In the name of God, he denounced the neo-pagan ideology of National Socialism, defending the freedom of the Church and human rights which were being so gravely violated, and protecting Jews and others whom the regime considered as refuse to be eliminated."

   The Holy Father mentioned the "three famous sermons" pronounced by Bishop von Galen in 1941, then recalled how a month after being created a cardinal by Pius XII in 1946, he "died amid the veneration of the faithful who recognized in him a model of Christian courage. Here is Blessed von Galen's ever-present message: faith cannot be reduced to a private emotion, perhaps even to be hidden when it becomes inconvenient, rather faith implies coherence and testimony, also in the public sphere, in favor of mankind, justice and truth."

 

POPE APPEALS FOR VICTIMS OF NATURAL DISASTERS

 VATICAN CITY, OCT 9, 2005 (VIS) - At midday today, before praying the Angelus, Benedict XVI recalled the figure of Cardinal Clemens August von Galen, who was beatified this morning in the Vatican Basilica. He also asked the pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square to continue to pray "for the Synod, that it may yield the desired fruits."

   The Pope went on: "In particular in this month of October, when all ecclesial communities are called to renew their missionary commitment, I invite you to go back to what John Paul II wrote in ... his Apostolic Letter 'Mane nobiscum Domine,' about the Eucharist being 'principle and plan of mission': 'The encounter with Christ, constantly intensified and deepened in the Eucharist, issues in the Church and in every Christian an urgent summons to testimony and evangelization'."

   After the Angelus, the Holy Father commended "to God's loving mercy," the thousands of victims of the earthquake in Pakistan, India and Afghanistan, expressing his "deepest sympathy" to the injured and bereaved. "I pray that the international community will be swift and generous in its response to the disaster and I ask the Lord to grant courage and strength to those involved in the task of rescue work and reconstruction."

   Benedict XVI also recalled "the dear nations of Central America and Mexico - especially El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua - suffering the effects of torrential rains and flooding, which have caused numerous victims and great material damage. I pray to the Lord for the eternal repose of the deceased and express my spiritual closeness and affection to those who have been deprived of their homes and of the instruments of their trade. I also call upon institutions and upon people of good will to give effective help in a spirit of true fraternal solidarity."

   Finally, the Pope greeted Italian teachers of Catholic religion who are currently holding their first national meeting. "Your commitment in schools represents a precious contribution to the formation of the new generations, and to their development in the knowledge of Catholic culture and tradition, in the awareness of personal responsibilities and in adherence to the values of civil coexistence."

 

IN BRIEF

 BENEDICT XVI WROTE A MESSAGE to participants in a Conference at Rome's Pontifical Lateran University, called to commemorate the centenary of the birth of the Swiss theologian Hans Urs von Balthasar (Basel 1905 - Lucerne 1988). "I can testify," the Holy Father writes in his Message, "that his life was a genuine search for the truth, which he understood as being a search for the true Life. He sought traces of the presence of God and of His truth everywhere: in philosophy, literature and religions; and he always managed to break those circuits that often make reason a prisoner of itself, opening it onto the vast expanses of infinity."

 CARDINAL JAVIER LOZANO BARRAGAN, president of the Pontifical Council for Health Care Ministry, has released a note for Mental Health Day, which is celebrated on October 10. He observes that the Catholic Church and religious institutions that help the mentally infirm and their families show with their activity "that mental illness does not create insuperable barriers, nor does it prevent relationships of true Christian charity with those who are victims thereof."

 

OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS

 VATICAN CITY, OCT 10, 2005 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed:

  - Bishop Jabulani Nxumalo O.M.I., auxiliary of the archdiocese of Durban, South Africa, as metropolitan archbishop of Bloemfontein (area 64,393, population 123,185, Catholics 113,833, priests 32, religious 91), South Africa.

  - Fr. Barry Wood O.M.I., former vicar general of Durban, South Africa, as auxiliary of the same archdiocese (area 20,318, population 3,000,000, Catholics 205,387, priests 134, permanent deacons 30, religious 597). The bishop-elect was born in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, in 1942 and ordained a priest in 1968

 

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