November 7, 2005

Vatican Information Service Bulletin

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

SUMMARY: NOVEMBER 5 - 7

- To Austrian Bishops: Spread the Catechism
- The Church Lives on and is Guided by the Gospel
- Beatification of Eurosia Fabris, Third Order Franciscan
- Lutheran-Catholic Commission to Publish New Document
- Audiences
- Other Pontifical Acts

 ___________________________________________________________

 TO AUSTRIAN BISHOPS: SPREAD THE CATECHISM

 VATICAN CITY, NOV 5, 2005 (VIS) - Today in the Vatican, Benedict XVI received prelates from the Austrian Bishop's Conference who have just concluded their "ad limina" visit. In his address to them in German, the Pope recalled how such five-yearly visits serve "to consolidate the bonds with Peter's Successor," and express "the communion of the Universal Church."

   "Over the last few months," the Holy Father went on, "we have had the opportunity to experience the vitality of the Church in all its freshness and its missionary vitality, especially during 20th World Youth Day in Cologne, Germany. ... Even when such energy is not visible, we know that the Lord is with us as He promised, and that He dominates all time 'for ever and ever'." The Pope also made reference to the recently-concluded synodal assembly on the Eucharist "source of the life and mission of the Church."

   Benedict XVI then turned his attention to the specific situation of Austrian dioceses, identifying certain points that call for the bishops' attention and highlighting how, "thanks to the presence of the Risen Lord, we can face reality fearlessly and optimistically, yet without losing our capacity to call things by their name, objectively and without seeking to obscure their real nature."

   "Secularization," said Pope Benedict, "is a painful fact that is becoming ever more present in Europe and that has not failed to penetrate Catholic Austria. People no longer identify themselves with the teachings of the Church, and this is accompanied by a decline in the certainty of the faith and in reverence for the law of God. ... I know this situation worries you, and I share your disquiet. With you, I ask myself what can we do? Has God given us a solution to solve the problems of the Church in our time, that we may face the challenges of this third millennium with courage?"

   "There can be no doubt that what is needed is clear, courageous and enthusiastic witness to faith in Jesus Christ, Who is alive and present in His Church, and in Whom alone human beings find their true happiness. At the same time, we must adopt 'missionary measures,' both great and small, in order to invert the current negative tendency."

   "Remember that it is the bishop's primary duty to bear witness to the faith. 'I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God,' said the Apostle Paul in Ephesus. It is true that we must act delicately, but this must not prevent us from presenting the divine message clearly, even on those subjects that do not enjoy widespread approval, or that give rise to protest or even derision, especially in the field of the truth of faith and moral teaching."

   "At times, those who direct this mission fear that people may move away if they are spoken to clearly. However, experience has generally shown that the opposite happens. ... Catholic teaching presented incompletely is self-contradictory and cannot be fruitful in the long term."

   Benedict XVI invited Austrian prelates to intensify their pastoral care of youth and, in their catechesis, to use both the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the recently published Compendium thereto which, he recommended, should be explained and illustrated in "in all parishes, associations and movements," and become "habitual reading" in families.

   The Pope also mentioned the positive factors that characterize the Church in Austria, such as: "the Central European Catholic Day, which is a magnificent expression of Catholic faith on the continent;" the return to the practice of Eucharistic adoration; the groups that meet to recite the Rosary; and the "good collaboration between civil authorities and the Church." And he concluded: "There are many areas where the flame of Christian zeal can be re-ignited."

 

THE CHURCH LIVES ON AND IS GUIDED BY THE GOSPEL

 VATICAN CITY, NOV 6, 2005 (VIS) - At midday today, the Pope appeared at the window of his study in the Vatican Apostolic Palace in order to pray the Angelus with thousands of faithful gathered below in St. Peter's Square.

   The Pope recalled how on November 18, 1965, Vatican Council II "approved the Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation 'Dei Verbum,' which constitutes one of the mainstays of the entire conciliar edifice. This document deals with the Revelation and its transmission, with the inspiration and interpretation of Holy Scripture, and with its fundamental importance in the life of the Church."

   "The Apostles and their successors, the bishops," he went on, "are the depositories of the message, entrusted by Jesus to His Church that it might be passed on intact to all generations. Holy Scripture of the Old and New Testaments, as well as sacred Tradition, contain that message, the understanding of which develops in the Church with the assistance of the Holy Spirit. It is this Tradition that makes the entire canon of Holy Books known, rendering them correctly understandable and effective so that God, Who spoke to the patriarchs and the prophets, does not cease to speak to the Church and, through her, to the world."

   After highlighting how "the Church does not live off herself but off the Gospel, and from the Gospel draws constant guidance for her journey," Benedict XVI said: "'Dei Verbum' gave a powerful boost to the evaluation of the Word of God, whence derived a profound renewal of the life of the ecclesial community, especially in preaching, catechesis, theology, spirituality and ecumenical relations."

   "The Word of God, through the action of the Holy Spirit, guides believers towards the fullness of truth. Among the many fruits of this biblical springtime," the Holy Father mentioned, "the spread of the ancient practice of 'lectio divina,' or the 'spiritual reading' of Holy Scripture." This, he explained, "consists in dwelling at length over a biblical text, reading and re-reading it, ... that it may serve as nourishment for meditation and contemplation, irrigating real life with vital lymph. In order for 'lectio divina' to be effective, mind and heart must be illuminated by the Holy Spirit, in other words by the very Inspirer of Holy Scripture, and they must adopt an attitude of 'religious listening'."

   The Pope stressed that this was "the attitude typical of Most Holy Mary," as in the image of the annunciation when "she welcomed the heavenly messenger while intent on meditating upon Holy Scripture."

   He concluded: "Let us pray that, like Mary, the Church may be a docile handmaiden of the Divine Word, ever proclaiming it with firm faith so that 'the whole world may believe, by believing it may hope, and by hoping it may love'."

 

BEATIFICATION OF EUROSIA FABRIS, THIRD ORDER FRANCISCAN

 VATICAN CITY, NOV 6, 2005 (VIS) - Today in the cathedral of Vicenza, Italy, Cardinal Jose Saraiva Martins C.M.F., prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, acting in the Pope's name, read out the formula for beatification of Eurosia Fabris (1866 - 1932), known as "Mother Rosa."

   The new Blessed, the daughter of agricultural workers, left school after just two years of primary education in order to help her parents at their work in the home and the fields. Nonetheless, she learned to read and write, one of her favorite books being "Eternal Maxims" by St. Alphonsus Liguori. She married Carlo Barban, a widower with three daughters, by whom she had nine children, of whom three became priests. Eurosia Fabris entered the Third Order of St. Francis and, despite her lack of economic means, helped the poor and welcomed into her home a number of children orphaned by the First World War. The cause for her beatification began in 1975. In 2004, a miracle was officially recognized as having come through her intervention, in favor of a sick woman thought by doctors to be beyond recovery.

   The beatification, which took place according to the new norms laid down by Benedict XVI, was co-presided by Bishop Cesare Nosiglia of Vicenza who, in his homily, indicated that "Mother Rosa represents a model of sanctity accessible to everyone, because as a wife and mother she lived, with the commitment of evangelical simplicity, ... a daily family life, accepting its pains and suffering in the constant search for the will of God."

   The bishop also recalled the religious vocations in the family of the new Blessed, highlighting how in many homes today they would be considered as a cause for concern, while for Eurosia "the joy of seeing her children take the path of consecrated life ... was a source of consolation."

 

LUTHERAN-CATHOLIC COMMISSION TO PUBLISH NEW DOCUMENT

 VATICAN CITY, NOV 7, 2005 (VIS) - This morning, the Holy Father received Bishop Mark Hanson, president of the World Lutheran Federation, accompanied by a delegation.

   In his address to them in English, the Pope affirmed that one of the results of the "fruitful dialogue" between the Catholic Church and the World Lutheran Federation is "the Joint Declaration on Justification, which constitutes a significant milestone on our common path to full visible unity. This is an important achievement. In order to build on this accomplishment, we must accept that differences remain regarding the central question of justification; these need to be addressed, together with the ways in which God's grace is communicated in and through the Church."

   The Pope recalled his recent visit to Cologne, Germany, and expressed the hope that "the future progress of our dialogue ... will not only be placed in a context of 'institutional' questions, but will take into account the true source of all ministry in the Church. In fact, the mission of the Church is to witness to the truth of Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh. Word and witness go together."

   "The International Lutheran-Roman Catholic Commission on Unity will soon complete its fourth phase of dialogue and publish its findings in a document on the apostolicity of the Church. We are all aware that our fraternal dialogue is challenged not just by the need to verify the reception of these shared formulations of doctrine in our respective communions, but even more so today by a general climate of uncertainty regarding Christian truths and ethical principles which formerly went unquestioned. This common patrimony in certain cases is being undermined by changed hermeneutical approaches."

   Benedict XVI also indicated that the ecumenical path "will continue to encounter difficulties and will demand patient dialogue. I draw much encouragement, however, from the solid tradition of serious study and exchange which has characterized Catholic-Lutheran relations over the years."

   "As we prepare to mark the five-hundredth anniversary of the events of 1517, we should intensify our efforts to understand more deeply what we have in common and what divides us, as well as the gifts we have to offer each other."

 

AUDIENCES

 VATICAN CITY, NOV 7, 2005 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

  - Valentin Abecia Baldivieso, ambassador of Bolivia, on a farewell visit.

  - Cardinal Dario Castrillon Hoyos, prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy and president of the Pontifical Commission "Ecclesia Dei."

   On Saturday, November 5, he received in separate audiences:

  - Cardinal Adam Joseph Maida, archbishop of Detroit, U.S.A.

  - Archbishop Stanislaw Rylko, president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity.

  - Bishop Mauro Piacenza, president of the Pontifical Commission for the Cultural Patrimony of the Church, and of the Pontifical Commission for Sacred Archaeology.

 - Msgr. Walter Brandmuller, president of the Pontifical Committee of Historical Sciences.

  - Fr. Carlos Alfonso Azpiroz Costa O.P., master general of the Order of Friars Preachers (Dominicans)

  - Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.

 

OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS

 VATICAN CITY, NOV 7, 2005 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Archbishop Paul Fouad Tabet, apostolic nuncio, as consultor of the Secretariat of State, in the Section for Relations with States.

   On Saturday, November 5, it was made public that the Holy Father appointed Fr. Federico Lombardi S.J., director of programs at Vatican Radio, as director general of Vatican Radio. He succeeds Fr. Pasquale Borgomeo S.J.

   Also made public today was the appointment by Cardinal Secretary of State Angelo Sodano of Fr. Andrzej Koprowski S.J., vice director of programs at Vatican Radio, as director of programs at Vatican Radio.

 

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