April 7, 2006

Vatican Information Service Bulletin

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

SUMMARY:

- The Pope Meets with Young People in St. Peter's Square
- Pope Meets with Heads of Dicasteries of the Roman Curia
- Audiences
- Other Pontifical Acts

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THE POPE MEETS WITH YOUNG PEOPLE IN ST. PETER'S SQUARE

 VATICAN CITY, APR 7, 2006 (VIS) - Yesterday evening in St. Peter's Square, Benedict XVI participated in a gathering of young people from the diocese of Rome. The meeting was held in preparation for 21st World Youth Day (WYD) which will be celebrated on Palm Sunday, April 9, in dioceses all over the world on the theme: "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path."

   Prior to the Pope's arrival, orchestras and choirs entertained the crowd, their music at times accompanied by dances. Italian singers such as Ron and Giuseppe Povia also participated in the event.

   The Pope arrived at 6 p.m. and greeted the young people present. Together with them, he then welcomed the World Youth Day Cross, carried into the square by a group of youths from the German city of Cologne, site of last year's WYD.

   Maddalena Santoro, the sister of Fr. Andrea Santoro who was murdered in Trabzon, Turkey in February this year, read out some words recalling the life and testimony of her brother, who was a priest from the diocese of Rome. After her reading, Benedict XVI rose to embrace her and thank her for participating in the event.

   The Pope then answered questions from five young people concerning the themes of Holy Scripture, love, apostolate, vocation, and the relationship between science and faith.

   "The Bible," said the Holy Father to the first of his questioners, an engineering student who wished to know whether Holy Scripture is always the Word of God, "cannot be read as if it were a history book. ... The Word cannot be read as an academic exercise, but by praying and saying to God: 'Help me to understand Your Word'."

   The Pope also recommended Holy Scripture be read while closely following "the masters of 'Lectio Divina,' ... in the company of the People of God, and in communion with the Church which transmits the Word down through the centuries."

   On the second theme, love, the Holy Father recalled how the first pages of Scripture say that for love "man will abandon his father and his mother; he will follow a woman and they will become one flesh, one life. From the beginning, then, we are given a prophecy of what marriage is, a vision that will remain the same in the New Testament. ... It is a Sacrament of the Creator of the Universe inscribed in human beings themselves. ... Thus, it is not an invention of the Church."

   On the subject of the apostolate, the Pope said that it consisted above all in "bringing God into our societies and our lives. ... God Who showed us His face in Jesus, Who loved us unto death and Who overcame violence."

   Replying to another young person who asked him about vocations, Benedict XVI then explained his own decision to become a priest. "I grew up in a world very different from ours," he said, "on the one hand there was a 'situation of Christianity' and it was normal to go to church, on the other we lived under the Nazi regime which sought a world without priests. Faced with this brutal and inhuman culture, I understood that the Gospel and the faith show us the right path to follow."

   Other factors, the Pope went on, also helped him to discover his vocation, such as theology and the "beauty of the liturgy. ... Obviously there was no lack of difficulties and I asked myself if I would manage to live my entire life in celibacy, aware that theology was not enough to be a good priest. ... Courage and humility are also necessary, as are the trust and openness to ask oneself what the Lord wants. It is a great adventure, but life can only be lived if we have the courage to dare and the faith that the Lord will not abandon us."

   Finally, the Pope spoke on the subject of science and faith, explaining that while mathematics is a creation of the human mind that explains the laws of nature, "there is an intelligence that precedes mathematics and natural laws, the intelligence of God; in other words, an 'intelligent plan' which created both nature with its laws and the human mind."

   "There are two possibilities," he added, "God exists or He does not exist. In other words, we recognize the precedence of a creative intellect ... or we uphold the precedence of the irrational. In the end, we cannot speak of 'proving' one project or the other, but the great option of Christianity is the option for rationality, for the precedence of reason."

   At the end of the meeting, the Pope symbolically handed the Bible to a number of young people, affirming that it is "a lamp to your feet," he also recalled John Paul II, "a great witness to the Word of God." Then, accompanied by a group of young people, he went down to the Vatican Grottoes to pray before the tomb of his predecessor.

 

POPE MEETS WITH HEADS OF DICASTERIES OF THE ROMAN CURIA

 VATICAN CITY, APR 7, 2006 (VIS) - In the Bologna Hall of the Vatican Apostolic Palace at 10.30 a.m. today, Benedict XVI presided at a meeting of heads of dicasteries of the Roman Curia.

 

AUDIENCES

 VATICAN CITY, APR 7, 2006 (VIS) - This evening, the Holy Father is scheduled to receive in audience Cardinal William Joseph Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

 

OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS

 VATICAN CITY, APR 7, 2006 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

  - Erected the new diocese of Novo Mesto, Slovenia, with territory taken from the archdiocese of Ljubljana, making it a suffragan of the same metropolitan church. He appointed Bishop Andrej Glavan, auxiliary of Ljubljana, as first bishop of the new diocese.

  - Erected the new diocese of Celje, Slovenia, with territory taken from the diocese of Maribor. He appointed Bishop Anton Stres C.M., auxiliary of Maribor, as first bishop of the new diocese.

  - Erected the new diocese of Murska Sobota, Slovenia, with territory taken from the diocese of Maribor. He appointed Msgr. Marjan Turnsek, rector of the episcopal seminary of Maribor, as first bishop of the new diocese. The bishop-elect was born in Celje in 1955 and ordained a priest in 1981.

  - Elevated the diocese of Maribor, Slovenia, to the status of metropolitan archdiocese, assigning it the suffragan dioceses of Celje and Murska Sobota, and elevating Bishop Franc Kramberger of Maribor to the rank of metropolitan archbishop.

 

 

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