January 18, 2006

Vatican Information Service Bulletin

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

SUMMARY:

- Communion in Christ Sustains the Ecumenical Movement
- Pope Benedict's First Encyclical to Be Published on Jan 25
- Audiences
- Other Pontifical Acts

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 COMMUNION IN CHRIST SUSTAINS THE ECUMENICAL MOVEMENT

 VATICAN CITY, JAN 18, 2006 (VIS) - Benedict XVI dedicated his catechesis during today's general audience to the subject of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, which begins today. The audience, held in the Vatican's Paul VI Hall, was attended by 8,000 people.

   The Week of Prayer, the Pope began, represents "an important opportunity to reflect upon the drama of division within the Christian community and to ask, together with Jesus Himself, that 'all might be one, ... that the world may believe'."

   "Prayer for the 'union of all' involves - in different forms, times and ways - Catholics, Orthodox, and Protestants, united by faith in Jesus Christ, the one Lord and Savior," said the Pope. Such prayer, he added, "is part of the central nucleus that Vatican Council II called 'the soul of the whole ecumenical movement'."

   "The elements that, despite the permanent division, still unite Christians, sustain the possibility of raising a common prayer to God. This communion in Christ upholds the entire ecumenical movement and indicates the goal of the search for unity among all Christians in the Church of Christ. This distinguishes the ecumenical movement from all other initiatives of dialogue and contact with other religions and ideologies."

   The Holy Father recalled how prayers raised throughout the world during this period, and during Pentecost, are also an expression of "the shared commitment to re-establish the full communion of all Christians."

   However, these prayers must not simply be a petition. "We can also give thanks to the Lord for the new situation painstakingly created through ecumenical relations among Christians in their newfound brotherhood, for the strong links of solidarity that have been forged, for the growth of communion, and for the convergence, ... between various forms of dialogue. The future stands before us."

   Benedict XVI concluded by recalling the words of John Paul II - "who did and suffered so much for the ecumenical question" - in his Encyclical "Ut unum sint:" "An appreciation of how much God has already given is the condition which disposes us to receive those gifts still indispensable for bringing to completion the ecumenical work of unity."

 

POPE BENEDICT'S FIRST ENCYCLICAL TO BE PUBLISHED ON JAN 25

 VATICAN CITY, JAN 18, 2006 (VIS) - During today's general audience, Benedict XVI announced that his first Encyclical, the title of which is "Deus Caritas est," will made public on January 25. The official presentation of the document will take place in the Holy See Press Office at midday on the same day.

   Explaining the contents of the document, the Pope said that "love today often appears as something far removed from Church teaching." Yet "It is a single movement that has various dimensions."

   "Charity," the Holy Father went on, "is the love that renounces itself in favor of others. 'Eros' becomes 'agape' if one seeks the good of others, it becomes 'caritas' if it opens to one's own family and to the entire human family."

   The Pope affirmed that his Encyclical "seeks to show that the very personal act of love must be expressed within the Church also as an organizational act. If it is true that the Church is an expression of God, it must be true that love becomes an ecclesial act."

   "I feel it is a sign of Providence that the Encyclical will be published on January 25, the final day of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, when I will go to the basilica of St. Paul's Outside-the-Walls, to pray together with our Protestant and Orthodox brethren."

   Benedict XVI concluded his remarks by expressing the hope that the forthcoming document may "illuminate our Christian life."

 

AUDIENCES

 VATICAN CITY, JAN 18, 2006 (VIS) - Following today's general audience, the Holy Father received in audience Archbishop Pedro Lopez Quintana, apostolic nuncio to India and Nepal.

 

OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS

 VATICAN CITY, JAN 18, 2006 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

  - Renewed for a further four years the appointment of Bishop Salvatore Fisichella, auxiliary of Rome, as rector of the city's Pontifical Lateran University, in accordance with article 10 of the university's statutes.

  - Appointed Msgr. Livio Melina, professor of fundamental moral theology and vice president of the cultural section of the John Paul II Pontifical Institute for the Study of Marriage, as president of the same institute, in accordance with article 8 of the statutes of the institute.

  - Appointed Fr. Remidio Jose Bohn of the clergy of the archdiocese of Porto Alegre, Brazil, pastor of the parish of Our Lady of the Rosary, and Fr. Alessandro Carmelo Ruffinoni C.S., provincial superior of the Scalabrinian Fathers, as auxiliaries of the archdiocese of Porto Alegre (area 18,598, population 3,306,657, Catholics 2,475,398, priests 400, permanent deacons 33, religious 2,035). Bishop-elect Bohn was born in Feliz, Brazil, in 1950 and ordained a priest in 1975. Bishop-elect Ruffinoni was born in Piazza Brembana, Italy, in 1943 and ordained a priest in 1970.

 

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