May 31, 2006

Vatican Information Service Bulletin

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

SUMMARY:

- Benedict XVI Recalls His Apostolic Trip to Poland
- Ecclesial Movements: Builders of a Better World
- Other Pontifical Acts

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 BENEDICT XVI RECALLS HIS APOSTOLIC TRIP TO POLAND

 VATICAN CITY, MAY 31, 2006 (VIS) - Benedict XVI dedicated this morning's general audience to a special catechesis on his recently-concluded journey to Poland, "revisiting," together with the 35,000 faithful in St. Peter's Square, the various stages of his apostolic trip.

   "My pilgrimage began under the sign of the priesthood," he said recalling his meeting with clergy in Warsaw. "It continued with an expression of ecumenical solicitude in the Lutheran church of the Most Holy Trinity. On that occasion I reiterated my firm intention to consider the restoration of full visible unity among Christian as a priority of my ministry."

   The Holy Father then went on to refer to "the solemn Eucharistic celebration" in Pilsudski Square, a place, he said, "that has now acquired a symbolic value, having hosted many historic events," including Masses celebrated by John Paul II, the funeral of Cardinal Wyszynski, and "mourning ceremonies in the days following the death of my predecessor."

   The Pope also mentioned his visits to the shrines "that marked the life of the priest and bishop, Karol Wojtyla:" Czestochowa, Kalwaria Zebrzydowska, and Divine Mercy.

   "I will never forget the visit to the famous Marian Shrine of Jasna Gora at Czestochowa, ... heart of the Polish nation," he said, "where I again presented the faith as a fundamental attitude of the spirit that involves the entire person. ... From the Virgin of Sorrows at the Shrine of Kalwaria ... I asked support for the faith of the ecclesial community in moments of trial and difficulty. The visit to the Shrine of Divine Mercy ... gave me the opportunity to highlight how Divine Mercy illuminates the mystery of man. In the nearby convent, ... St. Faustina Kowalska received a message of faith for humanity, echoed and interpreted by John Paul II."

   The Pope also mentioned "other symbolic shrines" of his journey: Wadowice, birthplace of John Paul II, where lie "the roots of his robust faith, his sensitive and open humanity, his love for beauty and truth, his devotion to the Virgin, his love for the Church, and above all his vocation to sanctity;" and Wawel cathedral "where he celebrated his first Mass."

   Referring to his meeting with young people in Krakow's Blonie Park, the Holy Father quoted a phrase his predecessor used to like to repeat: "Stand firm in your faith." This, he added, "is the duty I left to the beloved children of Poland, encouraging them to persevere in their faithfulness to Christ and to the Church, that Europe and the world may not lack their evangelical witness. All Christians must feel the commitment to bear such witness, so as to ensure that humanity in the third millennium may never again know horrors similar to those ... of the concentration camps of Auschwitz-Birkenau."

   In places such as those, the Holy Father went on, "the only response is the Cross of Christ: the Love that descended to the abyss of evil in order to save man at his very roots, where his freedom can rebel against God."

   "He concluded: "May modern man never forget Auschwitz or the other 'factories of death' in which the Nazi regime sought to eliminate God and take His place. May he not be tempted to racial hatred, which is the origin of the worst forms of anti-Semitism. May he go back to recognizing that God is Father of all, and calls us all in Christ to build together a world of justice, truth and peace.

   At the conclusion of his general audience the Holy Father said: "My thoughts go out to the beloved nation of East Timor, wracked by tension and violence which has caused victims and destruction. As I encourage the local Church and Catholic organizations to continue, together with other international organizations, their efforts to help those displaced, I invite you all to pray to the Most Holy Virgin that with her maternal protection she may sustain the efforts of the people working for the pacification of souls and the return of normality."

 

ECCLESIAL MOVEMENTS: BUILDERS OF A BETTER WORLD

 VATICAN CITY, MAY 31, 2006 (VIS) - Made public today was a Message from the Pope to participants in the 2nd World Meeting of Ecclesial Movements and New Communities which is taking place in Rocca di Papa, south of Rome, from May 31 to June 2 on the theme: "the beauty of being a Christian and the joy of communicating this."

   Referring to the theme of the meeting, Benedict XVI affirms in his Message: "Over the course of the centuries, Christianity was communicated and spread thanks to the novelty of the lives of individuals and communities who were capable of providing an incisive witness of love, unity and happiness. This was the force that 'mobilized' so many people over the generations. ... Today also, Christ continues to make so many people's hearts ring with that decisive 'come and follow Me,' which can decide their destiny."

   The Holy Father calls on the ecclesial movements "always to be schools of communion. ... Carry the light of Christ into all the social and cultural environments in which you live. ... Illuminate the darkness of a world confused by the contradictory messages of ideologies. ... How much evil in the lives of men and nations can be produced by thirst for power, possession and pleasure! Bring to this troubled world the witness of the freedom with which Christ set us free."

   "Where charity is expressed as a passion for the life and destiny of others, radiating into the affections ... and becoming a force for creating a more just social order, there we build a civilization capable of facing up to the advance of barbarism. Be builders of a better world, according to the 'ordo amoris' in which the beauty of human life is expressed."

   The Pope highlights how ecclesial movements and new communities form part of "the living structure of the Church. She thanks you for your missionary commitment, for your increasing formative efforts among Christian families, and for the promotion of vocations to the priestly ministry and to consecrated life."

   The Church also thanks you, the Holy Father's Message concludes: "for the willingness you show in welcoming the operational guidelines, not only of Peter's Successor, but also of bishops in the various local Churches who, together with the Pope, are the custodians of truth and charity in unity. I trust in your ready obedience. ... The movements must face all problems with sentiments of profound communion, in a spirit of adherence to legitimate pastors."

 

OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS

 VATICAN CITY, MAY 31, 2006 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

  - Accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Idiofa, Democratic Republic of the Congo, presented by Bishop Louis Mbwol-Mpasi O.M.I., upon having reached the age limit.

  - Appointed Fr. Mario Marquez O.F.M. Cap., pastor of the "Rainha da Paz" cathedral of the Military Ordinariate of Brazil, as auxiliary of the archdiocese of Vitoria (area 7,234, population 3,018,000, Catholics 1,890,000, priests 85, religious 184), Brazil. The bishop-elect was born in Lucerna, Brazil in 1952 and ordained a priest in 1980.

 

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