November 8, 2005

Vatican Information Service Bulletin

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

SUMMARY:

- Inter-religious Dialogue: Hope for Brotherhood and Peace
- Three Servants of God to Be Beatified on Sunday
- Declaration on the Confessional Identity of Klaus Berger
- Other Pontifical Acts

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 INTER-RELIGIOUS DIALOGUE: HOPE FOR BROTHERHOOD AND PEACE

 VATICAN CITY, NOV 8, 2005 (VIS) - In a communique made public today, the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity announced the second international conference on the theme: "Peace and Tolerance - Dialogue and Understanding in South East Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia."

   The meeting, due to be held in Istanbul, Turkey, from November 7 to 9, is being promoted by His Holiness Bartholomew I, ecumenical patriarch of Constantinople, and by Rabbi Arthur Schneider, president of the Appeal of Conscience Foundation of New York. The event is being held under the patronage of Jose Manuel Barroso, president of the European Commission, and aims "to promote collaboration between the three great monotheistic religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam, in order to favor reciprocal respect and mutual acceptance, and to achieve peaceful coexistence in a world that has suffered so cruelly through wars and conflicts."

   As his representative at the meeting, Benedict XVI has sent Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and of the Holy See Commission for Religious Relations with Jews. The cardinal will be accompanied by the secretary of the same commission, Fr. Norbert Hofmann S.D.B., and by Archbishop Antonio Maria Veglio, secretary of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches.

   In a message to Cardinal Kasper, the Holy Father expresses his best wishes to the participants meeting in Istanbul, and his "appreciation for their strong commitment to fostering understanding and cooperation between the followers of different religions."

   The message continues: "The themes of peace and tolerance are of vital importance in a world where rigid attitudes so often give rise to misunderstanding and suffering and can even lead to deadly violence. Dialogue is clearly indispensable if solutions are to be found to the harmful conflicts and tensions that cause so much damage to society. Only through dialogue can there be hope that the world will become a place of peace and fraternity.

   "It is the duty of every person of good will, and especially of every believer, to help build a peaceful society and to overcome the temptation towards aggressive and futile confrontation between different cultures and ethnic groups. Each of the world's peoples has a responsibility to make its own particular contribution to peace and harmony by placing its spiritual and cultural heritage and its ethical values at the service of the human family throughout the world. This goal can only be achieved if at the heart of the economic, social and cultural development of each community is a proper respect for life and for the dignity of every human person.

   "A healthy society always promotes respect for the inviolable and inalienable rights of all people," writes the Pope, who goes on to quote the Encyclical 'Evangelium vitae,' affirming: "'Without 'an objective moral grounding, not even democracy is capable of ensuring a stable peace.' In this sense, moral relativism undermines the workings of democracy, which by itself is not enough to guarantee tolerance and respect among peoples."

   Benedict XVI then highlights the importance of education in truth and of fostering "reconciliation wherever there has been injury. Respect for the rights of others, bearing fruit in sincere and truthful dialogue, will indicate practical steps that can be taken."

   He continues: "Every person of good will has a duty to work towards this goal. It is all the more urgent, however, for those who recognize in God the One who is Father of all, Whose mercy is freely offered to all, Who judges with justice and offers to all His life-giving friendship. For Christians, the Creator's generosity is visible in ... Christ, our peace and our true reconciliation."

   The Pope concludes his message by asking Cardinal Kasper, on the occasion of the forthcoming meeting, "to reaffirm the Catholic Church's strong commitment to work tirelessly for cooperation between peoples, cultures and religions."

 

THREE SERVANTS OF GOD TO BE BEATIFIED ON SUNDAY

 VATICAN CITY, NOV 8, 2005 (VIS) - At 9.30 a.m. on Sunday, November 13, Cardinal Jose Saraiva Martins C.M.F., prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, will preside at a Eucharistic celebration in the Vatican Basilica during which, by order of Benedict XVI, he will read the Apostolic Letter by which the Pope proclaims as Blesseds the following Servants of God: Charles de Foucauld, priest (1858-1916); Maria Pia Mastena, virgin and foundress of the Institute of Sisters of the Holy Countenance (1881-1951); and Maria Crocifissa Curcio, virgin and founder of the Carmelite Missionary Sisters of St. Theresa of the Child Jesus (1877-1957).

   At the end of the Mass, the Holy Father will arrive in the basilica in order to venerate the relics of the new Blesseds, greet those present and impart his apostolic blessing.

 

DECLARATION ON THE CONFESSIONAL IDENTITY OF KLAUS BERGER

 VATICAN CITY, NOV 8, 2005 (VIS) - At midday today, Holy See Press Office Director Joaquin Navarro-Valls released the following declaration:

   "In light of certain items of news that have appeared in the German press, we are in a position to be able to give the following information: In the discussion concerning the confessional identity of the exegete Klaus Berger of Heidelberg, who claims to be a Catholic and - according to what has now been made public - in 1968, participating in the Protestant Supper, became a 'member of the Evangelical-Lutheran Church,' the assertion has been made that 'Cardinal Ratzinger, who later became Pope,' had precise knowledge of 'the matter in its formal aspects' and 'raised no objections.'

   "This assertion is false. Until the current discussion arose, no information beyond what was commonly known reached the cardinal, now Pope; there was no knowledge of a dual confessional identity. Thus, the cardinal had no reason to take up a position on the question of Mr. Berger's confessional identity and, indeed, he never pronounced himself on the subject.

   "Obviously, the norms of Catholic canon law, which exclude dual membership of the Catholic Church and of a Protestant 'Landeskirche,' remain in full force without exception, and are therefore also valid in this case. The Church cannot obtain any dispensation from this rule, not even in the Sacrament of Penance."

 

OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS

 VATICAN CITY, NOV 8, 2005 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

  - Appointed Bishop Juan Manuel Mancilla Sanchez, auxiliary of Texcoco, Mexico, as bishop of Ciudad Obregon (area 88,350, population 999,600, Catholics 862,000, priests 129, permanent deacons 1, religious 193), Mexico. He succeeds Bishop Vicente Garcia Bernal, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.

  - Appointed Fr. Joseph Vo Duc Minh, pastor of the cathedral and vicar general of the diocese of Da Lat, Vietnam, as coadjutor of Nha Trang (area 9,486, population 1,564,400, Catholics 185,064, priests 144, religious 419), Vietnam. The bishop-elect was born in My Duc, Vietnam, in 1944 and ordained a priest in 1971.

  - Appointed Cardinal Julian Herranz, president of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, as a member of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

  - Appointed John Haldane, professor at Saint Andrew's University, Scotland, as a member of the Pontifical Council for Culture.

 

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