May 8, 2006

Vatican Information Service Bulletin

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


- Swiss Guards: Unreserved Adherence to Christ and Church
- Priests Must Live for Christ and for Others
- Vocation Is Renewal of Personal Friendship with Christ
- Missions: Communicate Divine Love That Leads to Salvation
- Cardinals Take Possession of Titular, Diaconate Churches
- Audiences
- Other Pontifical Acts



 VATICAN CITY, MAY 6, 2006 (VIS) - In the Vatican Basilica at 9.30 a.m. today, the Pope presided at a Eucharistic celebration to mark the fifth centenary of the foundation of the Pontifical Swiss Guard. Civil and military authorities from Switzerland and other countries participated in the ceremony, as did relatives and friends of the Guards, and military chaplains.

   Commenting in his homily on the readings from the Book of Wisdom and St. Paul's Letter to the Romans, the Holy Father affirmed that "whoever, fascinated by wisdom, seeks and finds it in Christ, leaves everything for Him, receiving in exchange the priceless gift of the Kingdom of God; and, clothed in temperance, prudence, justice and strength (the 'cardinal' virtues), he lives his witness of charity within the Church."

   Benedict XVI then asked whether "this vision of mankind may constitute an ideal of life, even for the men and women of our own time, especially the young," like the Pontifical Swiss Guard who, "motivated by love for Christ and the Church, put themselves at the service of Peter's Successor."

   Recalling how some of the Swiss Guards sign up for a limited period while others decide to offer their services for their whole lives, the Pope also expressed his joy for those whose service in the Vatican "brought them to mature a response to a priestly or religious vocation."

   He went on: "Nonetheless, for everyone, being Swiss Guards means an unreserved adherence to Christ and to the Church, and a readiness to give one's life. Actual service may cease, but in your hearts you always remain Swiss Guards, a fact testified by the nearly 80 former Guards who, from April 7 to May 4, made the extraordinary march from Switzerland to Rome, mainly following the old pilgrim route of the Via Francigena."

   The Pope then invited those present to draw nourishment from the Eucharist and to be above all "men of prayer, that divine wisdom may make you true friends of God and servants of His Kingdom of love and peace. It is in the sacrifice of Christ that the service of your long line of predecessors over these 500 years acquires completeness of meaning and value."

   The Holy Father concluded by thanking the Guards, also in the name of other pontiffs whom they "served faithfully" over the centuries; and he called on them to continue their progress "'acriter et fideliter,' with courage and loyalty."



 VATICAN CITY, MAY 7, 2006 (VIS) - Today, the fourth Sunday of Easter and the 43rd World Day of Prayer for Vocations, the Pope presided at a Eucharistic celebration in the Vatican Basilica, conferring priestly ordination on 13 deacons of the diocese of Rome and on two religious of the Order of Discalced Carmelites.

   In his homily, the Pope referred to the figure of Christ the Good Shepherd, Who gives His life for His flock, humankind, Who recognizes them and is recognized by them, and Who remains at the service of unity.

   The priestly spirit, said Pope Benedict, is opposed to "careerism, the attempt to arrive 'high up,' to seek out a position through the Church, serve oneself and not serve others. This is the image of a man who, through the priesthood, seeks to become important and famous." Yet, he added, "the only legitimate ascent towards the ministry of the shepherd is the cross. That is the door."

   To be a priest, the Pope affirmed, is not "to desire to be someone important, ... but to live for others, for Christ, and through Him and with Him to live for the men and women He seeks, whom He wants to lead along the path of life.

   "We enter the priesthood through a Sacrament," said the Holy Father, "and this means through the total donation of self to Christ, so that He may use me as He wishes, so that I serve Him and follow His call even when this contrasts with my own desires for self-fulfillment and respect. To enter by the door, which is Christ, means knowing Him and loving Him ever more deeply, that our will may unite with His and our action become one with His action."

   The Pope highlighted the importance for priests of "the daily Eucharist," which "must become a school of life for us, one in which we learn to donate our lives."

   He also underlined the importance of "a practical and concrete knowledge of the people entrusted to us. ... The pastor cannot be content with remembering names and dates, his knowledge must also be a knowledge of the heart. This, however, is only fully possible if the Lord has opened our own hearts."

   Benedict XVI concluded by emphasizing how priests "must concern themselves with everyone," especially "those who believe and live with the Church," but also with "bringing God's invitation to His banquet to those men and women who have still not heard of it."



 VATICAN CITY, MAY 7, 2006 (VIS) - The World Day of Prayer for Vocations provided the theme of the Pope's brief reflections before praying the "Regina Coeli" at midday today.

   Speaking from the window of his study, the Holy Father greeted the pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square and expressed his joy at having recently ordained fifteen priests during a solemn Eucharistic celebration in the Vatican Basilica. He then went on to recall that today, Sunday of the Good Shepherd, marks the World Day of Prayer for Vocations which this year is dedicated to: "Vocation in the mystery of the Church."

   "Christian vocation," he said, "is the renewal of the personal friendship with Jesus Christ, which gives full meaning to one's existence and makes it receptive to the Kingdom of God. The Church lives off this friendship, nourished by the Word and by the Sacraments, holy truths especially entrusted to the ministry of bishops, priests and deacons consecrated by the Sacrament of Holy Orders."

   "For this reason," Pope Benedict added, "the priest's mission is irreplaceable; and although in some areas there is a lack of clergy, it must not be doubted that God continues to call boys, young men and adults to leave everything and dedicate themselves to preaching the Gospel and to pastoral ministry."

   He continued: "Another special way to follow Christ is the vocation to consecrated life, expressed though an existence of poverty, chastity and obedience, entirely dedicated to God in contemplation and prayer, while serving our brothers and sisters, especially the weakest and poorest."

   Benedict XVI concluded his remarks by recalling that "Christian marriage is also and to all effects a vocation to sanctity, and the example of saintly parents is the primary condition favoring the growth of priestly and religious vocations."



 VATICAN CITY, MAY 8, 2006 (VIS) - Benedict XVI today received participants in the general assembly of the senior council of the Pontifical Missionary Works. The assembly is reflecting upon the theme of "the missionary mandate that Jesus entrusted to His disciples."

   "Your presence," said the Pope, "testifies to the Church's missionary commitment on the various continents, while the 'pontifical' character that distinguishes your association highlights the special link binding you to the See of Peter."

   After pointing out that, "following an intense period of aggiornamento," the association was able to draw up and gain approval for its new statutes, the Holy Father recalled how, ever since its foundation at the beginning of the nineteenth century, the Pontifical Missionary Works "has realized that missionary activity consists in communicating to our brothers and sisters the love of God, as revealed in the plan of salvation."

   "Through initiatives of effective and generous charity," he went on, "the Works of the Propagation of the Faith, of St. Peter the Apostle and of the Holy Childhood have spread the announcement of the Good News and contributed to establishing and consolidating the Church in new territories. The Pontifical Missionary Union of the Clergy has encouraged an increase of concern for evangelization among clergy and religious.

   "All this has led to a reawakening of faith and love among Christian people, together with great missionary enthusiasm. ... Prayer and concrete support for missions are seen today as being an integral part of every Christian's life," while "a responsible sense of sharing and communion involves faithful of all communities in support for the needs of mission lands. This is an eloquent sign of the catholicity of the Church."

   "This intense missionary movement," he went on, "has developed over these years into a promising form of missionary cooperation. You are significant witness thereto because you contribute to nourishing everywhere that spirit of universal mission which was the distinctive sign of your birth ... and the force behind your growth."

   At the end of his address, Benedict XVI called on his listeners to continue to "provide this precious service to ecclesial communities," highlighting how the "unity of evangelizing activity grows in the extent to which all activity has as its reference God Who is love," and "Christ, in Whom that love finds its supreme expression. In this way," he concluded, "your activity will never be reduced to mere organizational efficiency or linked to particular interests of any kind, but will always be a manifestation of divine love."



 VATICAN CITY, MAY 8, 2006 (VIS) - A note published today by the Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff announced that:

   At 8.30 a.m. on Wednesday May 10, Cardinal Carlo Furno, grand master of the Equestrian Order of the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, will take possession of the title of Sant'Onofrio at Piazza Sant'Onofrio 2, Rome.

   At 6.30 p.m. on Saturday May 13, Cardinal Franc Rode, prefect of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, will take possession of the diaconate of St. Francis Xavier at Garbatella, Via Daniele Comboni 4, Rome.

   At 10.30 a.m. on Sunday May 14, Cardinal Antonio Canizares Llovera, archbishop of Toledo, Spain, will take possession of the title of St. Pancras, Piazza San Pancrazio 5 Rome.



 VATICAN CITY, MAY 8, 2006 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

  - Their Royal Highnesses, the Grand Duke Henri and Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg, accompanied by an entourage.

 - Four prelates from the Canadian (Quebec) Conference of Catholic Bishops on their "ad limina" visit:

     - Bishop Clement Fecteau of Sainte-Anne-de-la-Pocatiere.

     - Bishop Martin Veillette of Trois-Rivieres.

     - Bishop Raymond Saint-Gelais of Nicolet.

     - Bishop Francois Lapierre P.M.E., of Saint-Hyancinthe.

   On Saturday, May 6, he received in separate audiences:

  - Moritz Leuenberger, president of the Helvetic Confederation.

  - Five prelates from the Canadian (Quebec) Conference of Catholic Bishops on their "ad limina" visit:

     - Cardinal Marc Ouellet P.S.S., archbishop of Quebec, accompanied by Auxiliary Bishops Jean-Pierre Blais, Pierre-Andre Fournier, and Gilles Lemay.

     - Bishop Andre Rivest of Chicoutimi.

  - Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.



 VATICAN CITY, MAY 8, 2006 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

  - Appointed Msgr. Sebastian Thekethecheril, former vicar general of Vijayapuram, India, as bishop of the same diocese (area 9,000, population 3,584,506, Catholics 82,930, priests 127, religious 486). The bishop-elect was born in Aapadanad, India in 1954 and ordained a priest in 1980. He succeeds Bishop Peter Thuruthikonam, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese, the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.

  - Appointed Bishop Luis Felipe Gallardo Martin del Campo S.D.B., prelate of Mixes, Mexico, as bishop of Veracruz (area 9,000, population 2,000,000, Catholics 1,800,000, priests 123, permanent deacons 8, religious 248) Mexico.

   On Saturday, May 6, it was made public that he appointed Msgr. Santo Marciano of the clergy of the archdiocese of Reggio Calabria-Bova, Italy, rector of the major seminary, as archbishop of Rossano-Cariati (area 1,415, population 134,000, Catholics 133,500, priests 89, permanent deacons 3, religious 116), Italy. The archbishop-elect was born in Reggio Calabria in 1960 and ordained a priest in 1988. He succeeds Archbishop Andrea Cassone, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same archdiocese, the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.

   On Saturday, May 6, it was also made public that he appointed the following cardinals, created at the concistory of March 24, as members of dicasteries of the Roman Curia, as follows:

  - As members of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinals Jean‑Pierre Ricard and Antonio Canizares Llovera.

  - As members of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, Cardinals Joseph Zen Ze‑kiun S.D.B. and Franc Rode C.M.

  - As member of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, Cardinal William Joseph Levada.

  - As members of the Congregation for Bishops, Cardinals William Joseph Levada and Franc Rode C.M.

  - As members of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, Cardinals Carlo Caffarra and Joseph Zen Ze‑kiun S.D.B.

  - As member of the Congregation for the Clergy, Cardinal Sean Patrick O'Malley O.F.M. Cap.

  - As members of the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life, Cardinals Sean Patrick O'Malley O.F.M. Cap. and Agostino Vallini.

  - As member of the Congregation for Catholic Education, Cardinal Stanisław Dziwisz.

  - As member of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, Cardinal William Joseph Levada.

  - As members of the presidential committee of the Pontifical Council for the Family, Cardinals Nicolas Cheong Jinsuk and Carlo Caffarra.

  - As member of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, Cardinal Jorge Liberato Urosa Savino.

  - As member of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, Cardinal Agostino Vallini.

  - As member of the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue, Cardinal Gaudencio B. Rosales.

  - As member of the Pontifical Council for Culture, Cardinal Franc Rode C.M..

  - As members of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, Cardinals Gaudencio B. Rosales, Nicolas Cheong Jinsuk and Stanisław Dziwisz.

  - As member of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See, Cardinal Agostino Vallini.

  - As member of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America, Cardinal Jorge Liberato Urosa Savino.



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