October 23, 2006

Vatican Information Service Bulletin

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

SUMMARY: OCTOBER 21 - 23


CARDINAL POMPEDDA, A LIFE IN THE SERVICE OF THE CHURCH

 VATICAN CITY, OCT 21, 2006 (VIS) - At 5 p.m. yesterday evening at the major altar of St. Peter's Basilica, Benedict XVI celebrated the funeral Mass for Cardinal Mario Francesco Pompedda, who died on October 18 at the age of 77.

   In his homily, the Holy Father recalled how Cardinal Pompedda's entire life "was spent in the service of the Holy See, ever since 1955 when he began working at the Tribunal of the Roman Rota." After holding various offices, in 1993 the late cardinal "became dean of the same tribunal. ... His theological, biblical, and particularly his juridical knowledge, made him a competent collaborator of various dicasteries of the Roman Curia, and he finally reached high office as prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura and president of the Court of Appeal of Vatican City State."

   The cardinal "united pastoral work" to his daily activities, said the Pope, "exercising the priestly ministry for some 30 years in the parish of Our Lady of Guadalupe at Monte Mario in Rome. To all who met him, he communicated the solidity of his faith, enlightening minds with the principles and teachings of Catholic doctrine."

   Benedict XVI then recalled how the last stages of the late prelate's earthly journey "were marked by an illness that effectively prevented him from performing any kind of activity. Thus assimilated to Christ's passion, our friend and brother was compelled progressively to separate himself from all the things of the world and abandon himself without reserve to the divine will. ... It was faith in Christ that always guided the life of Cardinal Pompedda, especially in his final months. His soul we now entrust to the mercy of the Father."

   "Cardinal Mario Francesco Pompedda died in the certainty that Christ is the vanquisher of death, and in the hope of being raised by Him on the last day. In his exodus from this world we accompany him with our fraternal prayers, entrusting him to the heavenly protection of Mary."

 

SCIENCE MUST PROMOTE THE HUMAN SEARCH FOR WHAT IS GOOD

 VATICAN CITY, OCT 21, 2006 (VIS) - This morning, the Holy Father visited the Pontifical Lateran University to mark the opening of the academic year. Prior to the ceremony, he blessed the institution's new "St. Pius X" library, the "John Paul II" reading room, and the recently-restored Great Hall, which has been given the name "Benedict XVI."

   After greeting Cardinal Camillo Ruini and Bishop Rino Fisichella, respectively chancellor and rector of the university, as well as religious and academic representatives, Benedict XVI addressed some remarks to those present.

   "In a context such as that of academia," he said, "we are especially invited to consider the question of the crisis of culture and identity which recent decades have, not without drama, faced us. ... The university is one of the best places to seek appropriate ways to resolve this situation," because it "safeguards the wealth of living tradition down the centuries. Universities can reveal the fruitfulness of truth when accepted in all its authenticity," and "form new generations, who await a serious proposal ... capable of answering the perennial question about the meaning of their life."

   "The contemporary world," he continued, "seems to give pride of place to an artificial intelligence ever more dominated by experimental techniques and thus forgetful that science must always defend man and promote his efforts towards true good. Overestimating 'doing' and obscuring 'being' does not help to recompose that fundamental balance which everyone needs in order to give life a firm foundation and a valid goal."

   "Mankind," the Pope added, "is called to give meaning to its actions, especially when they enter the territory of a scientific discovery that compromises the very essence of personal life. To allow oneself to be carried away by the joy of discovery, without safeguarding the criteria that arise from a more profound view, would be to relive the drama of the ancient myth: the young Icarus, carried away with the desire of flying to absolute freedom ... got ever closer to the sun, forgetting that the wings upon which he rose to the skies were made of wax. His fall and death were the price he paid for his illusion. ... There are other illusions in life that cannot be trusted without the risk of disastrous consequences for one's own existence and that of others."

   Addressing the university professors, Benedict XVI told them that they have "the task not only to investigate truth, ... but also to promote knowledge of every aspect of that truth, defending it from reductive and distorting interpretations. ... This is of vital importance in order to confer a deeply-rooted identity on personal life, and to encourage responsibility in social relationships."

   "Understanding the true essence of things, even things of minimal importance, takes great effort," said the Holy Father quoting the words of Erasmus of Rotterdam. "This is the effort the university must be committed to make, through study and research."

   "God is the ultimate truth to which all reason naturally tends, impelled by the desire to fulfill the journey it has been assigned. God is not an empty word or an abstract hypothesis. ... He is the foundation upon which to build life. ... Believers know that this God has a face and that with Jesus Christ, once and for all, He came close to man. ... To know Him is to know the full truth, thanks to which we find freedom."

 

MISSIONS, A WORKSHOP WITH ROOM FOR EVERYONE

 VATICAN CITY, OCT 22, 2006 (VIS) - World Mission Day was the central theme of Benedict XVI's reflections before praying the Angelus with thousands of faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square.

   The Pope recalled how World Mission Day was established by Pius XI who, during the Jubilee Year 1925, promoted a great exhibition which later became the nucleus of the Vatican Museums' ethnological-missionary collection. Pope Benedict then went on to refer to the theme of this year's Day - "Charity, Soul of the Mission" - emphasizing how missions, "if not driven by love, are reduced to a philanthropic and social activity," while Christian missions must be inspired by "the words of St. Paul: 'the love of Christ controls us'."

   "All baptized people," he continued, "like shoots attached to the vine, can thus cooperate in Jesus' mission: ... bringing everyone the good news that God is love and, precisely for this reason, wants to save the world. The mission begins in the heart. ... This is what happened 800 years ago to the young Francis of Assisi in the chapel of St. Damian, which was then a ruin. From the height of the Cross, ... Francis heard Jesus tell him: 'Go, repair My house, which as you see is in ruins'."

   Benedict XVI indicated how this house was, in the first place, Francis' own life, which he had "to 'repair' through a true conversion; it was the Church, not built of bricks but of living people, in constant need of purification; it was also humanity entire, in which God loves to dwell."

   He concluded: "The mission is, then, a workshop with room for everyone: for people committed to fulfilling the Kingdom of God in their own family; for people who live their professional lives with a Christian spirit; for people totally consecrated to the Lord; ... for people who go out with the specific intention of announcing Christ to those who do not yet know Him. May Mary Most Holy help us to experience ... the joy and courage of the mission!"

 

APPEAL FOR PEACE IN IRAQ

 VATICAN CITY, OCT 22, 2006 (VIS) - After praying the Angelus with thousands of faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square, the Pope sent "a cordial greeting to Muslims all over the world who, during these days, are celebrating the end of the month of fasting of Ramadan. To all of them, my best wishes for serenity and peace.

   "In dramatic contrast to this climate of joy," he added, "is the news coming from Iraq of the grave situation of insecurity and of the pitiless violence to which so many innocents are exposed, simply for being Shias, Sunnis or Christians.

   "I am aware of the great concern being felt by the Christian community, and wish to give assurances of my closeness to them, as to all the victims, asking that strength and consolation be granted to everyone.

   "I invite you," he concluded, "to join me in my plea to the Almighty that He may give the necessary faith and courage to religious and political leaders, both locally and all over the world, to support [the Iraqi] people on the road of rebuilding their homeland, in their search for a shared equilibrium, with mutual respect, and an awareness that the multiplicity of [the country's] components is an integral part of its wealth."

 

STUDY THE RICH HERITAGE OF JOHN PAUL II

 VATICAN CITY, OCT 23, 2006 (VIS) - At midday today, the Pope received members of the John Paul II Foundation, led by Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, archbishop of Krakow, Poland. The purpose of the meeting was to mark the establishment of the foundation 25 years ago.

   The Holy Father began by expressing his joy at having the opportunity to meet "representatives of the people who, the world over, work to keep alive John Paul II's memory, his teaching and the apostolic work he undertook during the course of his pontificate. It must be added that their commitment shows real promise, because it involves not only documentation and research, but touches upon the mystery of the sanctity of the Servant of God."

   After highlighting how the foundation has become more important following Pope John Paul's death, Benedict XVI pointed out how "its collections of pontifical writings and ... documents on the Holy See's activities, as well as of literary texts and comments made via the social communication media, make for a very complete and well-organized archive, and lay the foundations for a detailed and profound study of John Paul II's spiritual heritage."

   "This," he added, "is the aspect of the foundation's activities that I would like to underline today: ... [its] study of the pontificate. John Paul II, philosopher, theologian, great pastor of the Church, left us a wealth of writings and gestures expressing his desire to spread the Gospel of Christ in the world using the methods indicated by Vatican Council II and to lay down guidelines for the development of Church life in the new millennium. These precious gifts cannot be forgotten. Today I entrust to you, dear members and friends of the John Paul II Foundation, the task of studying the richness of his message, and transmitting it to future generations."

 

MAY HUNGARY BUILD A FUTURE FREE FROM OPPRESSION

 VATICAN CITY, OCT 23, 2006 (VIS) - Made public today was a Message from Benedict XVI to Laszlo Solyom, president of the Republic of Hungary, for the 50th anniversary of the revolution against the then communist regime. The uprising began with a popular demonstration in Budapest on October 23, 1956, and was crushed by Soviet tanks on November 4. Hungary remained part of the Soviet Bloc until the fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989.

   "On 23 October 1956," the Pope writes in his Message which has been published in Hungarian, Italian and English, "the courageous people of Budapest struggled to express their desire for freedom, in the face of a regime that was pursuing ends contrary to the values of the Hungarian nation. Memories are still vivid of the tragic events that, in the space of a few days, left thousands of people dead or wounded, and caused deep distress throughout the world. At that time the grief-stricken appeals of ... Pope Pius XII resounded strongly; with four impassioned public interventions, he pleaded insistently that the international community recognize Hungary's right to self-determination."

   "I gladly support the various initiatives planned to commemorate this significant event, so vital for the history of the Hungarian people and for Europe. It is for this reason that I have asked the dean of the College of Cardinals, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, until recently my secretary of State, to be present at the celebrations in my name."

   "I am pleased to observe," the Pope tells the Hungarian president, "that despite all the oppression they have endured down the centuries, most recently from Soviet communism, your people have always maintained the correct evaluation of the relationship between the State and citizens, beyond all ideology. According to the Christian vision that inspired the various peoples who were to form the Hungarian nation, the human person, with his legitimate moral, ethical and social aspirations, takes precedence over the State. The legal structure and the secular nature of the State have always been conceived with respect for natural law expressed in authentic national values which, for believers, are enriched by Revelation."

   Benedict XVI expresses the hope that Hungary "may build a future free from all forms of oppression and ideological conditioning," and that the commemoration "will provide an occasion for timely reflection on the moral, ethical and spiritual ideals and values that have shaped Europe." May Hungary, he concludes, "continue to promote a civilization based on respect for the human person and his supreme destiny."

 

IN BRIEF

 ON 20 NOVEMBER, THE POPE WILL RECEIVE GIORGIO NAPOLITANO, president of the Italian Republic, on an official visit.

 MSGR. FRANCESCO FOLLO, PERMANENT OBSERVER of the Holy See to UNESCO, addressed the 175th session of that organization's executive council. Msgr. Follo's talk, delivered on October 11, came during the course of a debate on "the suitability of drawing up an international declaration on scientific ethics."

 THE 11th MEETING OF THE SPECIAL COUNCIL for America of the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops was held on October 2 and 3. Particular attention was given to two themes: pastoral care of vocations and the promotion of human life from conception to natural end. "The social and ecclesial situation on the continent shows hopeful signs, but also worrying ones," reads a communique released by the Synod of Bishops. Although, on the one hand, the number of diocesan priests increased by 17.66% between 1978 and 2004, "the crisis of democratic structures favors populist and demagogical - often neo-Marxist - forms of government that, for ideological motives, tend to manipulate social promotion."

 

AUDIENCES

 VATICAN CITY, OCT 23, 2006 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

  - Cardinal Jean-Marie Lustiger, archbishop emeritus of Paris, France.

 - Four prelates from the Irish Episcopal Conference, on their "ad limina" visit:

     - Bishop William Murphy of Kerry.

     - Bishop William Walsh of Killaloe.

     - Bishop Donal Brendan Murray of Limerick.

     - Bishop William Lee of Waterford and Lismore.

   On Saturday, October 21, he received in audience Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.

 

OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS

 VATICAN CITY, OCT 23, 2006 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

  - Appointed Fr. Marco Antonio Ordenes Fernandez, diocesan administrator of Iquique, Chile, as bishop of the same diocese (area 41,799, population 241,000, Catholics 125,400, priests 32, permanent deacons 11, religious 57). The bishop-elect was born in Iquique in 1964 and ordained a priest in 1996.

   On Saturday, October 21, it was made public that he:

  - Accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the archdiocese of Arequipa, Peru, presented by Archbishop Jose Paulino Rios Reynoso, in accordance with canon 401 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law. He is succeeded by Coadjutor Archbishop Javier del Rio Alba.

  - Erected the Chaldean eparchy of Oceania with the name of "St. Thomas the Apostle of Sydney of the Chaldeans," appointing Archbishop Djibrail Kassab of Bassorah, Iraq as the first bishop of the new eparchy, allowing him to maintain his title of archbishop "ad personam."

  - Appointed Bishop Edward Ozorowski, auxiliary of the archdiocese of Bialystok, Poland, as archbishop of the same archdiocese (area 5,550, population 421,426, Catholics 352,041, priests 435, religious 220). The archbishop-elect was born in Wolka Przedmiescie, Poland, in 1941, ordained a priest in 1964 and consecrated a bishop in 1979.

  - Appointed Fr. Jan Niemiec, rector of the major episcopal seminary of the diocese of Kamyanets-Podilskyi of the Latins, Ukraine, as auxiliary of the same diocese (area 47,100, population 4,020,000, Catholics 255,000, priests 153, religious 266). The bishop-elect was born in Rzeszow, Poland, in 1958 and ordained a priest in 1987.

  - Appointed Giuseppe Facchini, bureau chief of the Department of Technical Services of the Governorate of Vatican City State, as vice-director of the same office.

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