June 6, 2006

Vatican Information Service Bulletin

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

SUMMARY:

- Educating Young People in Faith, a Fundamental Task
- Document on the Family and Human Procreation
- Other Pontifical Acts

___________________________________________________________

EDUCATING YOUNG PEOPLE IN FAITH, A FUNDAMENTAL TASK

 VATICAN CITY, JUN 6, 2006 (VIS) - Yesterday evening in the Basilica of St. John Lateran, the cathedral of Rome, Benedict XVI inaugurated the diocesan ecclesial congress, which is being held from June 5 to 8 on the theme: "The joy of faith and the education of new generations."

   In his remarks, the Pope pointed out how "educating new generations in the faith is a great and fundamentally important task that involves the entire Christian community," one that has become "particularly difficult" today and, hence, is "even more important and urgent."

   The "certainty and joy of being loved by God must, in some way, be made palpable and concrete for each of us, and especially for the young generations who are entering the world of faith," he said.

   The Holy Father then highlighted the importance of the new generations feeling that the Church "is a company of friends, one that is truly trustworthy and remains close in all the moments and circumstances of life, ... and that will never abandon us even in death, because it carries in itself the promise of eternity."

   Young people and adolescents, he went on, "must be disabused of the widespread prejudice that Christianity, with its commandments and its prohibitions, places too many obstacles to the joy of love, and in particular that it prevents the full enjoyment of the happiness that man and woman find in their mutual love. ... The Ten Commandments are not a series of 'nos', but a big 'yes' to love and to life. Human love must be purified, it must mature and go beyond its own limits in order to become truly human, to be the origin of true and lasting joy, to respond to that demand for eternity it carries within itself and which it cannot relinquish without betraying itself. This is the fundamental reason for which love between man and woman is fully realized only in marriage."

   Benedict XVI highlighted how the theme of truth "must occupy a central position." In the faith, he said, "we welcome and accept the Truth that our minds cannot fully understand, that they cannot posses." This "enables us to arrive at the Mystery in which we are immersed and to rediscover in God the definitive meaning of our existence."

   Another dimension of the faith, the Pope went on, "is entrusting oneself to a person: not to any person but to Jesus Christ" Who "fills our hearts, expanding them and imbuing them with joy, spurring our intelligence towards unexplored horizons, offering His decisive standpoint to our freedom, thus raising it up from the straits of egoism and making it capable of authentic love."

   "Scientific progress," the Pope went on, "is often presented as opposed to the affirmations of the faith, giving rise to confusion and making it more difficult to accept Christian truth." On this matter he added: "Dialogue between faith and reason, if conducted sincerely and firmly, makes it possible to gain a more effective and convincing vision of the rationality of faith in God - not in any God but in the God Who revealed Himself in Jesus Christ - and to show how the fulfillment of all authentic human aspirations lies in Jesus Christ Himself."

   Alongside the experience of faith, there exists a "privileged space in which this meeting [with God] takes place more directly: ... prayer," said the Pope. And he called on all the Church in Rome, especially consecrated people, to be "assiduous in prayer" and to adore "the living Christ in the Eucharist, falling ever more in love with Him, Who is our brother and true friend, the Bridegroom of the Church, the faithful and merciful God Who loved us first. Thus, you young people will be ready and willing to welcome His call, if He wants you totally for Him in the priesthood or in consecrated life."

   "The Pope concluded his remarks: "In the extent to which we nourish ourselves from Christ and love Him, we also feel within ourselves the stimulus to bring others to Him. Indeed, we cannot keep the joy of the faith to ourselves, we must transmit it. This need becomes even stronger and more impelling in the presence of that strange forgetfulness of God that exists today in vast areas of the world and, to some extent, even here in Rome."

 

DOCUMENT ON THE FAMILY AND HUMAN PROCREATION

 VATICAN CITY, JUN 6, 2006 (VIS) - The Pontifical Council for the Family, founded 25 years ago by John Paul II with the Motu Proprio "Familia a Deo Instituta," and presided by Cardinal Alfonso Lopez Trujillo, today published a document entitled: "Family and Human Procreation."

   The text, according to an explanatory note written by Fr. Abelardo Lobato O.P., consultor of the pontifical council, "is destined to be an object of study, both for its doctrine and in its pastoral application." The document opens with "an introduction to the theme of the relationship between ... the family and procreation."

   This theme is then developed over four chapters covering "procreation; why the family is the only appropriate place for it; what is meant by integral procreation within the family; and what social, juridical, political, economic and cultural aspects does service to the family entail" The fifth chapter presents the theme "from two complementary perspectives: the theological, in that the family is an image of the Trinity; and the pastoral, because the family lies at the foundation of the Church and is a place of evangelization."

   "The document," the explanatory note continues, "makes reference above all to Vatican Council II, to Pope John Paul II who dedicated great attention to these matters, and to the recent 'Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church.' All this means that the document aims not only to find a doctrinal approach to the problem, but also to open doors to future research on the questions that are the object of discussion today."

   The introduction evokes the words of John Paul II in Puebla, Mexico, in 1979, where "he affirmed that the Church possesses the truth about man and at the same time seeks the truth entire. Man is not just a 'rational animal,' he is also familial. The family is connatural to man and was instituted by God. But today man has become a great enigma to himself and lives through the most acute crisis of his history in its family dimension: the family is subject to attack as never before; the new models of the family destroy it; procreation techniques jettison human love; the politics of birth control lead to the current 'demographic winter.' ... Along these paths ... we deviate towards a 'post-human' world. It is necessary to save man."

   An understanding of human procreation, the text goes on, may be attained from various perspectives: "the historical," reaffirming the value historically attached to having descendants, "the anthropological, ... and the religious, which places man before God the Creator, Who infuses a soul into each individual and relies on man's cooperation to achieve the fullness of human existence."

   The explanatory note continues: "Procreation is the means of transmitting life by the loving union of man and woman," and it "must be truly human." This means that it must be the "fruit of the actions of man," and the "fruit of a human act, free, rational, and responsible for the transmission of life. ... The unitive act of man and woman cannot be separated from its connatural dimension, which is that of procreation and which makes responsible paternity and maternity possible. Only on this personal basis can conjugal morality be understood.

   "The Church's doctrinal documents, such as the Encyclical 'Humanae vitae,' and the Apostolic Exhortation 'Familiaris consortio,' refer to the fundamental principle of the dignity of human beings and their ethical dimension." The condemnation of abortion, the inseparable nature of the two dimensions - the unitive and the procreative - and the view of sexuality as a procreative function, "have their foundation in individual beings and their dignity."

   "This is the key to the solution: an integral understanding of what is human. Without a 'meta-anthropology' which touches the being, the substance, the spirit, there can be no integral understanding of what is human, because the concepts of person and being are emptied of content. Morals and religion, which are fundamental and decisive values, are reduced to a 'private matter.' The return of metaphysics is vital in order to regain a sense of what is human in man.

   "The human being is a familial being," Fr. Lobato's note adds, "and for this reason has the characteristics of a social, political, economic, cultural, juridical and religious being. The family is involved with each of these aspects, which are essential to it. The family requires services, help, protection and constant promotion; and the document indicates how each of these elements should develop. It emphasizes the juridical dimension and recalls that in 1983 the Holy See published the first 'Charter of the Rights of the Family,' which is a solid defense of that institution."

   "The doctrine concerning integral human procreation," the note concludes, "is corroborated by the theology of creation and by the mystery of salvation revealed in Jesus Christ and put into effect in the new evangelization. The Creator wished human beings to be two-in-one; the Redeemer assumed the familial condition in Nazareth reminding everyone of the nature of the family since the beginning of the divine plan: two in a single flesh."

 

OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS

 VATICAN CITY, JUN 6, 2006 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Msgr. Octavio Cisneros of the clergy of the diocese of Brooklyn, U.S.A., rector of the Cathedral Seminary Residence of the Immaculate Conception in Douglaston and secretary for priestly formation; Msgr. Guy Sansaricq of the clergy of the diocese of Brooklyn, pastor of the parish of St. Jerome and national director of the Haitian apostolate; and Msgr. Frank J. Caggiano of the clergy of the diocese of Brooklyn, vicar for evangelization and pastoral life, as auxiliaries of the diocese of Brooklyn (area 466, population 4,698,009, Catholics 1,832,235, priests 771, permanent deacons 152, religious 1,452). Bishop-elect Cisneros was born in Havana, Cuba in 1945 and ordained a priest in 1971. Bishop-elect Sansaricq was born in Jeremie, Haiti in 1934 and ordained a priest in 1960. Bishop-elect Caggiano was born in Brooklyn in 1959 and ordained a priest in 1987.

 

 

Local site Links: