September 29, 2006

Vatican Information Service Bulletin

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

SUMMARY:


THE PRIESTHOOD IS NOT THE MEANS FOR SOCIAL ADVANCEMENT

VATICAN CITY, SEP 29, 2006 (VIS) - The bishops of Malawi, in ending their "ad limina" visit, were received this morning by Benedict XVI. In his speech to the prelates, the Pope reminded that "the exuberance with which the peoples of Africa give praise to God in their liturgical worship is known all over the world, and the Church in Malawi is no exception".

   He continued saying: "Their joyful celebration expresses the great vitality of your Christian communities, and it reflects the predominance of young people in your population". The Holy Father exhorted the bishops to watch over and guide the faithful "with true fatherly care towards a deeper knowledge of their Crucified and Risen Lord, always providing them with sound catechesis in the faith" and stated his hope that the recent inauguration of the Catholic University in Malawi will contribute to this spurring the bishops "to provide it with sufficient resources and to maintain high-quality teaching in fidelity to the Church's Magisterium".

  "In a world dominated by secular and materialist values, it can be hard to maintain the counter-cultural manner of life that is so necessary in the priesthood and the religious life". He said: "The clergy in your country, like those to whom they minister, sometimes find themselves in situations of want, lacking the means necessary for their 'decent support ... and the exercise of works of the apostolate and of charity.'"

   The Holy Father said, "I am sure that you will do your utmost to provide for the legitimate needs of your co-workers, while at the same time warning them against excessive concern with material possessions.  Help your clergy not to fall into the trap of seeing the priesthood as a means of social advancement by reminding them that 'the only legitimate ascent towards the shepherd's ministry is the Cross'(...) The formation staff in the seminaries need to teach the students that a priest is called to live for others and not for himself."

 

  Benedict XVI also manifested his satisfaction because the teachings of the bishops of Malawi extend to matters of social interest, as can be seen in the Pentecost Pastoral Letter "Renewing Our Lives and Society with the Power of the Holy Spirit". The text "drew attention to some of the social and moral evils afflicting the nation", such as "food security is threatened not only by drought but also by inefficient and unjust management of agriculture" and "the spread of AIDS is increased by failure to remain faithful to one partner in marriage or to practise abstinence", as well as "the rights of women, children and the unborn are cynically violated by human trafficking, by domestic violence and by those who advocate abortion."

   "Never cease to proclaim the truth, and insist on it, 'in season and out of season' because "the truth will set you free", the Pope said. The Holy Father asked the bishops to follow the example of the Good Shepherd who "watches over his sheep and protects them always. (,,,) I pray that they will pay heed to your counsel, so that the face of the earth may be renewed and the Spirit of God may truly maintain the unity of your nation in the bond of peace."

 

ALBANIA: PROMOTE COLLABORATION BETWEEN RELIGIOUS BELIEFS

VATICAN CITY, SEP 29, 2006 (VIS) - This morning, the Pope received the credentials from the new ambassador from the Republic of Albania to the Holy See, Rrok Logu.

  In his speech, the Holy Father pointed out that the Albanian population's aspiration "to truth and freedom was never cancelled, not even by the long and weighty Communist dictatorship, just recently abolished. To grow in a climate of authentic freedom, an adequate ethnic-spiritual context is needed, founded upon a concept of man and of the world that mirrors nature and vocation".

  As well as supporting Albania's integration into the European Union, Benedict XVI expressed the hope that it "could offer a particular contribution to the harmonious process towards the continent's unification".

  The Pope referred to the past work of the Catholic Church in Albania "for the promotion of faith and spiritual values, as well as, the support in many situations of need". In this context he recalled the Blessed Mother Theresa of Calcutta, who during her lifetime "proclaimed to all that God is love and loves all men, especially the poor and the abandoned. (...) The Church wishes to testify this love with its educational and social work, open not only to the Catholics but open to all".

  He continued: "a primary form of charity is political activity, lived as a service to the 'polis', to the 'public good', a service belonging to the lay Catholics, with respect for the legitimate autonomy of politics and collaborating with other citizens for the building of a prosperous, brotherly and solidal nation".

  The Holy Father mentioned one of the other problems the country must face, emigration. "If on one hand this phenomenon must be fought, the conditions must be created for those who wish to return to their homeland".

  As concerns the official relations between the Catholic Church and the State, Benedict XVI asserted his appreciation for the law approved "to enact the 2002 Accord between the Holy See and the Republic of Albania, joined to the hope for opportune acts to regulate the financial aspects, which are very important".

  He concluded: "The Holy See, this way, wishes to contribute  in the consolidation in Albania of a state of law and the necessary juridical framework towards the real exercise of the citizens' rights in the religious area. This will also promote the diverse religious confessions present in the Nation to co-inhabit, offering an example of mutual respect and collaboration up until now, to be conserved and promoted".

 

BUILDING A EUROPE BASED ON SPIRITUAL AND CULTURAL VALUES

VATICAN CITY, SEP 29, 2006 (VIS) - Today a letter written by Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone was made public. This message was sent to the participants of the V European Symposium of university professors, which is being held in Rome from September 28 to October 1, on the theme: "Where is culture going? Culture, people and institutions".

  He writes that in continuation of what was proposed in the speech at the University of Regensburg last September 12, the Pope indicates the "objective of a full rationality, faithful to the integral human experience, as a duty of Christian university teachers and students, an objective to be achieved through constructive dialogue with all those sharing the same passion for truth and with mutual respect for the diversities".

  Cardinal Bertone states that "Based on this cultural foundation, one can work realistically towards the construction of a renewed European identity, apt to offer the world, faced with epochal challenges, a contribution of inestimable spiritual and cultural inheritance, able to forge a humanism that is rational and open to the revelation of Jesus Christ, tolerant but steadfast in its ethical principles".

 

DIPLOMATS: ARTISANS OF PEACE AND SINCERE DIALOGUE

VATICAN CITY, SEP 29, 2006 (VIS) - Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Secretary of State, received the members of the diplomatic corps to the Holy See at noon today, in the Duke's Hall, in the Vatican.

  During his first meeting with the diplomats, Cardinal Bertone was pleased with the shows of friendliness and the messages received for his appointment this past September 15.

  He assured that the world hopes that the diplomats will be "artisans of peace, men of law, reason, sincere dialogue and promote a renewed impulse of solidarity between peoples, especially in rethinking the problem of debts of the poorest countries, so that no longer will any person, especially children, die of hunger or endemic illnesses, no longer will people be innocent victims of wars or local conflicts, nor poorly treated because of their convictions or beliefs".

  "Our main preoccupation - he continued - must be the dignity, the freedom and the unconditional respect of all human beings as to his fundamental rights, in particular his freedom of conscience and religion".

  Cardinal Bertone stated that "As diplomats, they are particularly attentive to these sensitive problems founds throughout the world. I am thinking especially about all forms of violence inflicted on women, children born and to be born. The defense of life, from its conception to its natural end, as well as the defense of the family based on marriage, are also essential themes in social life".

  The Cardinal mentioned the areas where the greatest difficulties lie, "difficulty of the bond between the prophetic aspect and the concrete necessities of life - which must also be considered by a humane ethos, especially in the context of violence, private or organized, marked also by the plurality of opinions confronting each other".

  These domains include "social defense to guarantee the objective order and the defense of human rights; the condemnation of war, on the ethical level and its exclusion as a means to resolve possible differences between nations; security, favoring the non -military members and in turn reinforce the political, economic and social structures; disarmament, which must include all types of weapons, and thus become a generality, also including the objective of 'unilateral disarmament', which contains a great ethical and positive value".

  He continued saying that "Research by intellectuals and reflection by the organisms of the Church and Christian communities must never stop looking at these themes".

  "The documents of the Holy See, and above all those of the Magisterium of the post-war Popes - the Secretary of State concluded - are not texts lightly read, or even worse, to be ignored. These are texts which must be read carefully and meditated upon, so that the ideas may be translated into practical acts, and that the world may recognize the force and actuality of the Christian message (...) with which the Christians act in favor of peace, today, for all men".

 

AUDIENCES

VATICAN CITY, SEP 29, 2006 (VIS) - Today, the Holy Father received in separate audiences three prelates from the Episcopal Conference of Malawi, on their "ad limina" visit:

- Bishop Felix Eugenio Mkhori of Lilongwe.

- Bishop Joseph Mukasa Zuza of Mzuzu.

- Bishop Thomas Msusa, S.M.M., of Zomba.

 

OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS

VATICAN CITY, SEP 29, 2006 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed:

- Bishop Giacomo Lanzetti, auxiliary of Turin, as Bishop of Alghero-Bosa (area 2,012, population 106,400, Catholics 106,200, priests 91, permanent deacons 3, religious 208), Italy. He succeeds Bishop Antonio Vacca, in conformity with can. 401 paragraph 2 of the CIC.

 - Monsignor Sergio Pintor, Director of the CEI Office for the Pastoral of Health and Consultant of the Pontifical Council for Health Care Workers, as bishop of Ozieri (area 2,288, population 57,000, Catholics 56,000, priests 58, religious 44), Italy. The bishop-elect was born in Oristano, Italy, in 1937 and was ordained a priest in 1961.

 

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