February 3, 2006

Vatican Information Service Bulletin

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

SUMMARY

- Consecrated People: A Sign of the Kingdom of God
- Indulgences for the World Day of the Sick
- Audiences
- Other Pontifical Acts

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 CONSECRATED PEOPLE: A SIGN OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD

 VATICAN CITY, FEB 3, 2006 (VIS) - Yesterday, Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, and the tenth Day of Consecrated Life, the Pope presided at a Eucharistic celebration in the Vatican Basilica for members of institutes of consecrated life and societies of apostolic life.

   In keeping with tradition, the Mass was preceded by the liturgy of light, during which candles were lit and blessed before being carried in procession to the altar of the Confession.

   In his homily the Holy Father commented on the texts of today's liturgy, recalling that "in taking her Son to Jerusalem, the Virgin Mother offered Him to God as a true Lamb that takes sin from the world, she tendered Him to Simeon and to Anna as an announcement of redemption; she presented Him to everyone as light for a safe journey along the path of truth and love."

   Benedict XVI affirmed then that this Feast, which coincides with the celebration of the Day of Consecrated Life, provides "a fitting occasion to praise the Lord and thank Him for the priceless gift of consecrated life, in its various forms; it is also an incentive to promote understanding and respect, among all the people of God, for those who are totally consecrated to the Lord."

   He went on: "Indeed, just as the life of Jesus, in His obedience and dedication to the Father, is a living parable of 'God with us,' so the real dedication of people consecrated to God and to their brothers and sisters becomes an eloquent sign of the presence of the Kingdom of God in today's world. 

  "Their way of life and work unequivocally expresses their adherence to the one Lord. Their complete abandonment in the hands of Christ and of the Church is a clear and powerful message, announcing the presence of the Lord in a language that can also be understood by our contemporaries."

   This, the Pope concluded, "is the primary service that consecrated life performs for the Church and the world. Among the people of God they act as sentinels who discover and announce the new life that is already present in history."

 

INDULGENCES FOR THE WORLD DAY OF THE SICK

 VATICAN CITY, FEB 3, 2006 (VIS) - The Apostolic Penitentiary today published a decree announcing the concession of indulgences to the faithful for the fifteenth World Day of the Sick, which is celebrated every year on February 11, Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes. This year, the Day will be celebrated in Adelaide, Australia, culminating with a Eucharistic celebration in the cathedral of St. Francis Xavier in that city.

   The text of today's document explains how, during an audience granted on January 2 to Cardinal James Francis Stafford, major penitentiary, the Benedict XVI stipulated the concession of special indulgences for the sick. The Pope, the document says, was "motivated by the ardent wish that the illnesses and pains of mankind, borne with resignation and offered to the Eternal Father, ... may bring abundant spiritual fruits. Above all, he was sustained by the hope that activities and initiatives of Christian piety and social solidarity may be promoted in favor of the sick, especially those who, afflicted by mental problems, are marginalized by society and by their own families."

   For this reason, Plenary Indulgence will be granted "to the faithful who, under the usual conditions (sacramental Confession, Eucharistic communion and prayer in keeping with the intentions of the Holy Father), and with the soul completely removed from attachment to any form of sin, participate on February 11 at the cathedral of Adelaide, or at any other place decided by the ecclesiastical authorities, in a sacred ceremony held to beseech God to grant the goals of the World Day of the Sick."

   The decree continues: "The faithful who, in public hospitals or in private houses, like 'Good Samaritans' charitably assist the sick - especially those with mental problems who require greater patience, care and attention - and who, because of the service they provide, cannot participate in the aforementioned ceremony, will obtain the same gift of Plenary Indulgence if on that day they generously provide, at least for a few hours, their charitable assistance to the sick as if they were tending to Christ the Lord Himself, with the soul completely removed from attachment to any form of sin, and with the intention of observing, as soon as they can, the conditions required for obtaining the Plenary Indulgence."

   The faithful who, "through sickness, old age or similar reason, are prevented from participating in the aforementioned ceremony, may obtain the Plenary Indulgence if, with the soul completely removed from attachment to any form of sin and with the intention of observing, as soon as they can, the conditions required, they spiritually participate together with the Holy Father in the aforesaid ceremony, pray devotedly for the sick, and offer - through the Virgin Mary 'Health of the Sick' - their physical and spiritual sufferings to God."

   Partial Indulgence, the text of the decree concludes, will be conceded to "all the faithful whenever, between February 9 and 11, with a contrite heart they raise devout prayers to the merciful Lord calling for these aspirations to be met in order to help the sick."

 

AUDIENCES

 VATICAN CITY, FEB 3, 2006 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences six prelates from the Episcopal Conference of the Democratic Republic of the Congo on their "ad limina" visit:

     - Bishop Marcel Utembi Tapa of Mahagi-Nioka.

     - Bishop Janvier Kataka Luvete of Wamba.

     - Bishop Melchisedec Sikuli Paluku of Butembo-Beni.

     - Bishop Theophile Kaboy Ruboneka of Kasongo, apostolic administrator of Kindu.

     - Bishop Jean-Pierre Tafunga S.D.B., of Uvira.

     - Bishop Dominique Kimpinde of Kalemie-Kirungu.

   This evening, he is scheduled to receive in audience Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.

 

 OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS

 VATICAN CITY, FEB 3, 2006 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

  - Appointed Bishop Oscar Domingo Sarlinga, auxiliary of Mercedes-Lujan, Argentina, as bishop of Zarate-Campana (area 5,903, population 660,500, Catholics 600,000, priests 58, permanent deacons 2, religious 154), Argentina. He succeeds Bishop Rafael Eleuterio Rey, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese, the Holy Father accepted, in accordance with canon 401 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law.

  - Appointed Bishop John Choi Young-su, auxiliary of Daegu, Korea, as coadjutor archbishop of the same archdiocese (area 9,128, population 4,466,810, Catholics 402,958, priests 315, religious 1,048).

 

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