October 18, 2006

Vatican Information Service Bulletin

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

SUMMARY:


JUDAS ISCARIOT: MYSTERY OF DIVINE PLAN OF SALVATION

VATICAN CITY, OCT 18, 2006 (VIS) - During today's general audience, Benedict XVI dedicated his remarks to the figure of Judas Iscariot, and to his successor in the group of the twelve Apostles, Matthias. The audience was held in St. Peter's Square in the presence of more than 30,000 people.

   "The name of Judas Iscariot," said the Pope, "always appears last in the lists of the Twelve ... [which also] recall the fact of his betrayal as having already been accomplished." However, he added, the evangelists do emphasize Judas' status as an Apostle "to all effects."

   "We ask ourselves why Jesus chose this man and put His trust in him. ... Even more uncertain is the mystery concerning his eternal fate." However "it is not for us to judge his gesture, putting ourselves in the place of God, Who is infinitely merciful and just."

   "Why did he betray Jesus?" the Holy Father asked. "Some people highlight the question of his greed for money. Others favor a messianic explanation: Judas was disappointed to see that Jesus' plans did not include the political-military liberation of his country."

   Benedict XVI pointed out how the evangelists explain Judas' betrayal "going beyond the historical reasons," and attributing it to "the personal responsibility of Judas who miserably submitted to a temptation of the Evil One. ... Jesus treated him like a friend but, in His invitations to follow Him, ... did not force people's will or protect them from the temptations of Satan, respecting human freedom. Truly, there are many ways in which the human heart can be perverted. The only way to obviate them is ... to be in full communion with Jesus."

   Judas' repentance "degenerated into desperation and thus became self-destruction. For us, this is an invitation never to despair of divine mercy."

   Even Judas "negative role" is part of God's mysterious plan of salvation, said the Pope, explaining how "God takes Judas' inexcusable gesture as an occasion for the total donation of the Son for the redemption of the world." Judas was replaced by Matthias "of whom we know nothing more, save that he was a witness to the entire earthly teaching of Jesus, remaining faithful to Him unto the end," his election "almost compensating the betrayal. Here," said Pope Benedict, "is a final lesson: if even in the Church there is no lack of unworthy and false Christians, it is up to each of us to counterbalance the evil they commit with our own clear witness of Jesus Christ."

   At the end of the audience, the Pope made reference to yesterday's accident on Rome's underground railway system in which one person was killed and 236 were injured. "At this painful moment," he said, "I am especially close to those affected by this tragic event. To them I express my affection and give assurances of a special recollection in my prayers."

 

IN BRIEF

 ARCHBISHOP CELESTINO MIGLIORE, PERMANENT OBSERVER of the Holy See to the United Nations in New York, yesterday addressed the second committee of the 61st session of U.N. General Assembly, which is deliberating on questions of macroeconomic policy, international trade and development. In his English-language talk, the nuncio pointed out how "the urgent need for agreement is clear when one considers that the effects of trade relations have serious consequences for some of the most vulnerable people in the world, and ultimately for their dignity."

 MSGR. ANTHONY FRONTIERO, official of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, addressed the annual meeting of the 56 participating States of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe concerning commitments undertaken in the field of human rights, held in Warsaw, Poland from October 2 to 13. In his English-language talk, given on October 9, Msgr. Frontiero expressed the "conviction that authentic democracy is possible only in a State ruled by law, and on the basis of a correct conception of the human person and the inherent dignity with which each person is endowed."

 

AUDIENCES

 VATICAN CITY, OCT 18, 2006 (VIS) - The Holy Father yesterday received in audience Archbishop Paul Josef Cordes, president of the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum."

 

IN MEMORIAM

 VATICAN CITY, OCT 18, 2006 (VIS) - The following prelates died in recent weeks:

  - Cardinal Dino Monduzzi, prefect emeritus of the Pontifical Household, on October 13, at the age of 84.

  - Bishop Francisco Austregesilo de Mesquita, emeritus of Afogados de Ingazeira, Brazil, on October 9 at the age of 82.

  - Bishop German Garcia Isaza C.M., of Apartado, Colombia, on October 11, at the age of 70.

  - Bishop Pavel Hnilica S.J., on October 8, at the age of 85.

  - Bishop Joseph Marie Nguyen Quang Tuyen of Bac Ninh, Vietnam, on September 24, at the age of 61.

  - Archbishop Auguste Nobou, emeritus of Korhogo, Ivory Coast, on October 12, at the age of 78.

  - Archbishop Michel Yatim, emeritus of Lattaquie of the Greek-Melkites, Syria, on September 14, at the age of 85.

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