September 28, 2006

Vatican Information Service Bulletin

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

SUMMARY:


NEW GERMAN AMBASSADOR'S CREDENTIALS

VATICAN CITY, SEP 28, 2006 (VIS) - Today, Benedict XVI received the credentials for Hans-Henning Horstmann, the new ambassador from the Federal Republic of Germany to the Holy See. In his speech to the diplomat, the Pope recalled his recent apostolic journey to his birthplace and, once again, thanked the German authorities who collaborated to its successful outcome.

  The Holy Father then referred to the strong community feeling of those sharing the same beliefs that he experienced during his travels and asserted: "Where a community prospers and persons become strong through the message of faith, also the common life of the person in society, reinforcing the citizen in his availability in taking on the responsibility for the sense of common good, is established".

  With reference to the universal mission of the Holy See, Benedict XVI stated that the "Holy See wants to work together with all those persons of good will to serve the person, his dignity, his integrity and his liberty". He also underlined that the center of the Church's pastoral solicitude is the salvation of man and the human society.

  "Faith in Jesus Christ, announced by the Church, can only be achieved through freedom. Therefore tolerance and cultural openness must be mutual. However, tolerance should never be confused with indifference, any type of indifference is radically opposed to the Christian interest on the human person and his salvation".

  He continued, quoting the words of the homily he gave in the Neue Messe of Munchen: "The tolerance which we urgently need includes the fear of God - respect for what others hold sacred. This respect for what others hold sacred demands that we ourselves learn once more the fear of God. But this sense of respect can be reborn in the Western world only if faith in God is reborn, if God become once more present to us and in us".

  Speaking about the relations between the German Federal Republic and the Holy See, the Pope first mentioned the safekeeping of matrimony and the family, and pointed out that the concept of married life has changed in public politics, since the legislator assigns new forms of family that endanger the integrity of the family. Another constant worry is abortion, as well as the ethical problems within the context of research on cell stems in modern therapy.

  Benedict XVI recalled that Germany was converted into a new nation for many peoples, endangered in their countries of origin for religious or political reasons. Because of this, the Pope asked that political asylum be guaranteed according to a principle of justice and reasserted the Holy See's solicitude for an adequate promotion of integration.

 

ALL STATES MUST PROMOTE RELIGIOUS FREEDOM

VATICAN CITY, SEP 28, 2006 (VIS) - In New York, Archbishop Giovanni Lajolo, President of the Governatorate of the Vatican City State, intervened yesterday during the LXI Session of the United Nation's General Assembly.

  The once secretary for the Relations with States of the Secretary of State stated that the Holy See "favours its (United Nations) ongoing reform in the fields of peace-building, development and human rights". "The need to improve the system for effective humanitarian interventions in catastrophes brought on by war, civil conflict and ethnic strife will be an important test of the UN reform agenda".

  With reference to the theme of human rights, Monsignor Lajolo asserted that "the Holy See regards the promotion of human rights as one of the United Nations' primary forms of service to the world". In this context, he recalled the three most important fundamental rights: the right to life, the right to religious freedom and the right to freedom of thought and expression, "including freedom to hold opinions without interference and to exchange ideas and information and the consequent freedom of the press".

  "We must acknowledge, however, that not all fundamental rights - and in particular the three which I have mentioned - are adequately protected in every nation, and, in not a few, they are openly denied, even among States sitting on the Human Rights Council", he continued.

  In conclusion, Archbishop Lajolo, with reference to Muslim reactions to some passages of the Pope's academic address at the University of Regensburg, last September 12, stated: "His real intention was to explain that 'not religion and violence, but religion and reason go together', in the context of a critical vision of a society which seeks to exclude God from public life".

  "It falls to all interested parties - to civil society as well as to States - to promote religious freedom and a sane, social tolerance that will disarm extremists even before they can begin to corrupt others with their hatred of life and liberty. This will be a significant contribution to peace among peoples, because peace can be born only from the hearts of human beings".

 

RELIGION AND REASON ARE ROOTED IN THE PERSON

VATICAN CITY, SEP 28, 2006 (VIS) - The speech made last September 21 during the second session of the Human Rights Council by Archbishop Silvano Tomasi, permanent observer to the Office of the United Nations and Specialized Institutions in Geneva, was published today.

  Archbishop Tomasi said that the implementation of the Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of Discrimination Based on Religion and Belief "remains in many ways still a distant goal", and because of this requires "concerted action to promote the standards of religious freedom recognized by the international community".

  "Religion and the reason for religious tolerance are rooted in the person, believer or not. Focusing on ideologies rather than on people and communities of believers carries the risk of transforming religious claims into political self-interest".

 

CARDINALS TAKE POSSESSION OF TITLES

VATICAN CITY, SEP 28, 2006 (VIS) - Today, the Office of the Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff announced that:

- On Sunday, October 1, at 6:30 p.m., Cardinal Sean Patrick O'Malley, O.F.M. Cap, Metropolitan Archbishop of Boston (United States), will take possession of the Title of Saint Mary of Victory, Via XX Settembre, 17 (Rome).

- On Sunday, October 8, at 6:30 p.m., Cardinal Jena-Pierre Ricard, Metropolitan Archbishop of Burdeos (France), will take possession of the Title of Saint Augustine, Via della Scrofa, 80 (Rome).

 

AUDIENCES

VATICAN CITY, SEP 28, 2006 (VIS) - Today, the Holy Father received the following persons in separate audiences:

- Doctor Gunter Hirsch, President of the Supreme Court of the German Federal Republic, and wife.

- Doctor Henry Kissinger.

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