January 3, 2007

Vatican Information Service Bulletin

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

SUMMARY:


OPENING OUR HEARTS AND MINDS TO CHRIST

 VATICAN CITY, JAN 3, 2007 (VIS) - In his first general audience of this year, held this morning in the Vatican's Paul VI Hall, the Pope pointed out how the atmosphere of Christmas "invites us to rejoice for the birth of the Redeemer."

   "Those who pause in meditation before the Son of God lying defenseless in the manger cannot but marvel at this humanly incredible event; they cannot but share the wonder and the humble abandonment of the Virgin Mary, whom God chose as the Mother of the Redeemer precisely because of her humility.

   "In the Child of Bethlehem," the Holy Father added, "all mankind discovers itself to be gratuitously loved by God. In the light of Christmas, the infinite goodness of God is made plain to each of us. In Jesus, the heavenly Father inaugurated a new relationship with us: He made us 'sons in the Son'."

   "However, the joy of Christmas does not make us forget the mystery of evil (mysterium iniquitatis), the power of the dark that seeks to obscure the splendor of divine light, and unfortunately we experience this power of darkness every day. ... This is the drama of the rejection of Christ which, today as in the past, shows and expresses itself in many different ways." Indeed, "perhaps the ways of refusing God in the modern age are even more insidious and dangerous: from outright rejection to indifference, from scientistic atheism to the presentation of a modernized or post-modernized Jesus, a human Jesus, reduced in various ways to being a simple man of His time and deprived of His divinity; or perhaps a Jesus so idealized as to appear as a character of legend."

   Yet, Pope Benedict said, "only the Child lying in the manger possesses the real secret of life. For this reason He asks for acceptance, for space to be made for Him among us, in our hearts, in our houses, in our cities and in our societies," In this "we are helped by the simplicity of the shepherds and the quest of the Magi, who through the star scrutinized the signs of God, [and by] the docility of Mary and the prudent wisdom of Joseph."

   "At the beginning of this new year, let us reawaken our commitment to open our minds and hearts to Christ, sincerely demonstrating to Him our will to live as His true friends. Thus will we become collaborators in His plan of salvation and witnesses of the joy He brings, that we may spread it abundantly about us. ... Let us accompany Jesus, walk with Him, and thus the new year will be happy and good."

 

OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS

 VATICAN CITY, JAN 3, 2007 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

  - Appointed Fr. Angelo Pignoli of the clergy of the diocese of Franca, Brazil, diocesan coordinator of pastoral care and pastor of the parish of "Sant'Ana," as bishop of Quixada (area 15,134, population 294,125, Catholics 263,900, priests 40, religious 98), Brazil. The bishop-elect was born in Cappella Picenardi, Italy in 1946 and ordained a priest in 1976. He succeeds Bishop Adelio Giuseppe Tomasin P.S.D.P., whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese, the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.

  - Appointed Fr. Joao Bosco Barbosa de Sousa O.F.M., pastor of the parish of "Sao Francisco de Assis," in the archdiocese of Sao Paulo, Brazil, as bishop of Uniao da Vitoria (area 10,000, population 286,000, Catholics 246,000, priests 39, permanent deacons 12, religious 72), Brazil. The bishop-elect was born in Guaratingueta, Brazil in 1952 and ordained a priest in 1978. He succeeds Bishop Walter Michael Ebejer O.P., whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese, the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.

  - Appointed Fr. Messias dos Reis Silveira of the clergy of the diocese of Guaxupe, Brazil, pastor of the diocesan cathedral "Nossa Senhora das Dores," as bishop of Uruacu (area 43,''', population 354,000, Catholics 302,000, priests 38, religious 36), Brazil. The bishop-elect was born in Passos, Brazil in 1958 and ordained a priest in 1992. He succeeds Bishop Jose da Silva Chaves, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese, the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.

  - Appointed Bishop Rene-Marie Ehuzu C.I.M., of Abomey, Benin, as bishop of Porto Novo (area 4,545, population 1,180,015, Catholics 376,050, priests 61, religious 109), Benin.

  - Appointed as members of the Congregation for Bishops, Archbishops Giovanni Marra, emeritus of Messina-Lipari-Santa Lucia del Mela, Italy, and Giorgio Zur, apostolic nuncio.

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