March 17, 2006

Vatican Information Service Bulletin

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

SUMMARY:

- Communications Media: Common Good before Profit
- Pope and Patriarch Alexis II Exchange Messages
- Audiences
- Other Pontifical Acts
- In Memoriam

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COMMUNICATIONS MEDIA: COMMON GOOD BEFORE PROFIT

 VATICAN CITY, MAR 17, 2006 (VIS) - Today in the Vatican, Benedict XVI received participants in the plenary assembly of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, the president of which is Archbishop John P. Foley.

   The Pope began his English-language address by praising those present for their commitment "to the important apostolate of social communications, both as a direct form of evangelization and as a contribution to the promotion of all that is good and true for every human society." He then went on to refer to his own first Message for World Communications Day, which considers "the media as a network which facilitates communication, communion and cooperation."

   That Message, the Pope continued, also recalls how "the Vatican Council II decree 'Inter Mirifica,' had already recognized the enormous power of the media to inform the minds of individuals and to shape their thinking. Forty years later we realize, more than ever, the pressing need to harness that power for the benefit of all humanity."

   The Holy Father referred to words of St. Paul to the effect that "we are no longer strangers and aliens but citizens with the saints and members of the household of God," adding: "This sublime portrayal of a life of communion engages all aspects of our lives as Christians and for you, in a particular way, points to the challenge to encourage the social communications and entertainment industries to be protagonists of truth and promoters of peace."

   "Such a commitment demands principled courage and resolve, on the part of those who own and work within the hugely influential media industry, to ensure that promotion of the common good is never sacrificed to a self-serving quest for profit or an ideological agenda with little public accountability."

   Another theme of his Message, the Pope continued, was "the urgent need to uphold and support marriage and family life, the foundation of every culture and society." In this context he stressed the importance of presenting children with "edifying models of human life and love," that do not "ridicule the God-given dignity of the human person and undermine family interests."

   The Pope concluded his address by calling on leaders in the communications sector "to promote what is good and true, especially in regard to the meaning of human and social existence, and to denounce what is false, especially pernicious trends which erode the fabric of a civil society."

 

POPE AND PATRIARCH ALEXIS II EXCHANGE MESSAGES

 VATICAN CITY, MAR 17, 2006 (VIS) - Made public today were two Messages, exchanged between Benedict XVI and His Holiness Alexis II, patriarch of Moscow and all the Russias, during the month of February.

   At a meeting in Moscow, Russia that took place on February 20, Cardinal Roger Etchegaray, vice dean of the College of Cardinals, presented the patriarch with the Pope's Message and with a gold medal commemorating the current pontificate. In his turn, Alexis II, following a solemn liturgy celebrated of February 24 in the cathedral of the Holy Savior in Moscow to mark his birthday and name day, presented the cardinal with his own Message and a pectoral cross for the Holy Father, as a sign of his gratitude and respect.

   In his Message, the Pope declares that he "spiritually associates" himself with the patriarch's double celebration, and invokes "abundant blessings from the Lord upon your person and your ministry, so generously dedicated to the great cause of the Gospel.

   "The gestures and words of renewed fraternity between pastors of the Lord's flock show how ever more intense collaboration in truth and charity contribute to increasing the spirit of communion, which must guide the steps of all the baptized."

   The modern world, Benedict XVI continues, "needs to hear voices indicating the way of peace, of respect for everyone, of condemnation for all forms of violence, of the higher dignity of all individuals and of their intrinsic rights."

   In his Message, Alexis II thanks Benedict XVI for his greetings and writes: "In our own times, with the rapid growth of secularism, Christianity finds itself facing important challenges that require a shared testimony.

   "I am convinced," the patriarch continues, "that one of today's priorities for our Churches, which have a shared vision of the many problems currently facing the modern world, must be the defense and affirmation in society of the Christian values by which humanity has lived for more than a millennium. I hope that the rapid resolution of outstanding problems between our two Churches will also contribute to this end."

   The patriarch concludes his Message by expressing his "best wishes for good health" to the Holy Father and invoking divine assistance "in carrying out the exalted office of primate of the Roman Catholic Church."

 

AUDIENCES

 VATICAN CITY, MAR 17, 2006 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences seven prelates from the National Episcopal Conference of Cameroon, on their "ad limina" visit:

     - Archbishop Antoine Ntalou of Garoua.

     - Bishop Jean-Bosco Ntep of Edea.

     - Bishop Dieudonne Bogmis of Eseka.

     - Bishop Dieudonne Watio of Nkongsamba, accompanied by Bishop emeritus Thomas Nkuissi.

     - Bishop Philippe Albert Joseph Stevens of Maroua-Mokolo.

     - Bishop Joseph Djida O.M.I., of Ngaoundere.

   This evening, he is scheduled to receive in audience Archbishop William Joseph Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

 

OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS

 

VATICAN CITY, MAR 17, 2006 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Msgr. Heiner Koch of the clergy of the archdiocese of Colgone, Germany, pro-vicar, director of the pastoral office of the archiepiscopal Curia and canon of the metropolitan chapter, as auxiliary of the same archdiocese (area 6,181, population 5,370,000, Catholics 2,196,771, priests 1,316, permanent deacons 292, religious 1,509). The bishop-elect was born in Dusseldorf, Germany in 1954 and ordained a priest in 1980.

 

IN MEMORIAM

 VATICAN CITY, MAR 17, 2006 (VIS) - The following prelates died in recent weeks:

  - Cardinal Pio Taofinu'u S.M., archbishop emeritus of Samoa-Apia, on January 20, at the age of 82.

  - Bishop Joao Jose Burke O.F.M., of Miracema do Tocantins, Brazil, on March 14 at the age of 70.

  - Archbishop Giovanni Ceirano, apostolic nuncio, on January 30, at the age of 78.

  - Bishop Jean Hermil, emeritus of Viviers, France, on March 10 at the age of 88.

  - Bishop Antonio de Hornedo Correa S.J., emeritus of Chachapoyas, Peru, on January 10 at the age of 90.

  - Archbishop Mario Epifanio Abdallah Mgulunde of Tabora, Tanzania, on March 14 at the age of 74.

  - Bishop John Joseph Paul, emeritus of La Crosse, U.S.A., on March 5 at the age of 87.

  - Archbishop Donato Squicciarini, apostolic nuncio, on March 5 at the age of 78.

  - Bishop Ramon Artemio Staffolani, emeritus of Villa de la Concepcion del Rio Cuarto, Argentina, on March 8 at the age of 75.

  - Archbishop Antonio Maria Travia, former almsgiver of His Holiness, on February 5 at the age of 92

 

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