January 15, 2007

Vatican Information Service Bulletin

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

SUMMARY: JANUARY 13 - 15


ADDRESSING VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN

VATICAN CITY, JAN 13, 2007 (VIS) - On February 27, Archbishop Celestino Migliore, Holy See permanent observer to the United Nations in New York, together with the Path to Peace Foundation and the Vincentian Center for Church and Society of St. John's University in New York, will host an event within the framework of a meeting of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, entitled "The Human Dignity of Women in Contemporary Society: Addressing Violence against Women."

  According to a communique made public today, the event "will identify the key contemporary social economic and legal issues that violence has upon women; discuss these issues through the prism of the dignity of the human person; describe current best practices and the applied ethics approach to the issue of violence and its prevention; and provide a forum for the exchange of experience across nations and enhanced communication among panelists and participants."

  The meeting, which will be moderated by Marilyn Martone, associate professor of theology at St. John's University, will consider such questions as: Domestic Violence: Service and Policy Issues; Sexual Exploitation of Women and Girls: Trafficking, Prostitution and Weapons of War; and Gender-Based Violence: International Human Rights and Family Reunification Policy.

 

FAMILY OF NAZARETH: MODEL OF THE MIGRANT FAMILY

VATICAN CITY, JAN 14, 2007 (VIS) - The World Day of Migrants and Refugees, and in particular "the migrant family," provided the theme for Benedict XVI's reflections this morning before praying the Angelus with pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square.

  As an example of the migrant family, the Pope mentioned the Holy Family of Nazareth in St. Matthew's account of their flight to escape the persecution of Herod. In their drama, he said, "we contemplate the painful condition of so many migrants, especially refugees, exiles, displaced people, and the persecuted. We particularly recognize the difficulties of migrant families: their discomforts, humiliations, privations and frailties."

  The Holy Father went on to recall how the phenomenon of human mobility "is very extensive and varied," and that according to recent United Nations statistics, "economic migrants number almost 200 million, refugees nine million and international students two million."

  To these must be added "internally displaced people and irregular migrants, taking into account the fact that each of them has, in one way or another, a family. It is, therefore, important to protect migrants and their families with specific legislative, juridical and administrative assistance, as well as through a network of services, welcome centers, and social and pastoral care structures."

  The Pope expressed the hope that "a harmonious regulation of migratory flows and of human mobility in general" would soon be achieved, "so as to bring benefits to the entire human family, beginning with effective measures to favor legal migration and family reunion."

  "Only respect for the human dignity of all migrants, on the one hand, and recognition by the migrants themselves of the values of their host societies, on the other, can make it possible to integrate families into the social, economic and political systems of their countries of destination."

  "Migration," Pope Benedict concluded, "must never be seen only as a problem, but also and above all as a great resource for the progress of mankind. And the migrant family is a particularly special resource, so long as it is respected as such; it must not suffer irreparable divisions but remain united, or reunite, and complete its mission as the cradle of life and the primary place for welcoming and educating human beings."

 

LETTER FROM POLISH BISHOPS TO THE FAITHFUL

VATICAN CITY, JAN 14, 2007 (VIS) - Polish cardinals and bishops meeting this week in plenary session - members of the permanent council of the Polish Episcopal Conference and diocesan bishops - have sent a letter to all the faithful of the Church in Poland. The letter was read out today in all the country's parishes.

  "In recent days," the prelates begin their letter, which was also made public in Italian and English translations, "we have experienced dramatic events related to Archbishop Stanislaw Wielgus of Warsaw resigning from office. ... With sadness, we have followed the accusations brought against him in recent weeks. ... We are grateful to the Holy Father Benedict XVI for his fatherly help in the difficult situation we face. Thanks to his resolve ... we are better prepared to live through this unusual time courageously and fruitfully."

  The Polish bishops note that "not taking into account the widely accepted rule of the presumption of innocence helped to apply pressure to the accused archbishop, which did not make it easy for him to present public opinion with an appropriate defense, to which he is entitled."

  Later in their letter, the bishops write: "We wish Ash Wednesday, February 21, to be a day of prayer and repentance for the entire Polish clergy. In all the churches in our dioceses services to the Merciful God should be celebrated for forgiveness of mistakes and weaknesses in the proclamation of the Gospel."

  "We appeal to those in power and to members of parliament to ensure that materials found in the archives of the Popular Republic of Poland are used in such a way as not to encroach upon the rights of a human person and demean the dignity of man, and to ensure that such materials may be verified in an independent court of justice. Nor should it be forgotten that the documents incriminate their authors above all."

  "We ask everyone to refrain from passing superficial and rash judgements, for they can be damaging. We mean especially those who work in the media. May Christian conscience and human sensibility suggest to them what should be presented to public opinion and how it should be done, always taking into account the dignity of the human person, and the right to defense and good name, even after one's death."

  The Polish prelates conclude their letter: "We believe that our current experience will contribute to a renewal of the Church, to a greater transparency and maturity of her members. We believe that it will help the Church to be faithful to the Gospel and look to it for solutions of our problems, to be reborn from it, in order to be a leaven of good and love in the world."

 

AUDIENCES

 VATICAN CITY, JAN 15, 2007 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

 - Six prelates from the Italian Episcopal Conference, on their "ad limina" visit:

    - Archbishop-Bishop Beniamino Depalma C.M., of Nola.

    - Bishop Gennaro Pascarella of Pozzuoli.

    - Archbishop Felice Cece of Sorrento-Castellammare di Stabia.

    - Bishop Arturo Aiello of Teano-Calvi.

    - Bishop Antonio Napoletano C.SS.R., of Sessa Aurunca.

    - Archbishop Gerardo Pierro of Salerno-Campagna-Acerno.

 - James T. Morris, executive director of the World Food Program, on his farewell visit.

  On Saturday, January 13, he received in separate audiences:

 - Six prelates from the Italian Episcopal Conference, on their "ad limina" visit:

    - Bishop Salvatore Giovanni Rinaldi of Acerra.

    - Bishop Pietro Farina of Alife-Caiazzo.

    - Archbishop-Bishop Mario Milano of Aversa.

    - Archbishop Bruno Schettino of Capua.

    - Bishop Raffaele Nogaro of Caserta.

    - Bishop Filippo Strofaldi of Ischia.

 - Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio S.J., archbishop of Buenos Aires, Argentina and president of the Argentine Episcopal Conference, accompanied by Archbishop Luis Hector Villalba of Tucuman and Bishop Augustin Roberto Radrizzani S.D.B., of Lomas de Zamora, vice presidents, and by Bishop Sergio Alfredo Fenoy of San Miguel, secretary general.

 - Guillermo Leon Escobar-Herran, ambassador of Colombia, on his farewell visit.

 - Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.

 - Archbishop Paul Josef Cordes, president of the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum."

 

OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS

VATICAN CITY, JAN 15, 2007 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

 - Appointed Fr. Christian Blouin C.M.M., master of novices in the diocese of Lae, Papua New Guinea, as bishop of the same diocese (area 35,968, population 534,810, Catholics 31,000, priests 14, religious 5). The bishop-elect was born in Saint-Sebastien, Canada in 1941 and ordained a priest in 1969. He succeeds Bishop Henry Anthony A. van Lieshout C.M.M., whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese, the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.

 - Appointed Fr. Gervas Rozario of the clergy of the diocese of Rajshahi, Bangladesh, pastor of Rohanpur and diocesan administrator, as bishop of the same diocese (area 18,063, population 15,000,000, Catholics 45,588, priests 40, religious 89). The bishop-elect was born in Stiangaccha, Bangladesh in 1951 and ordained a priest in 1980.

 - Appointed Fr. Emigdio Duarte Figueroa, rector of the seminary of the diocese of Culiacan, Mexico, as auxiliary bishop of the same diocese (area 37,800, population 2,382,072, Catholics 2,287,722, priests 150, permanent deacons 4, religious 301). The bishop-elect was born in Guamuchil, Mexico in 1968 and ordained a priest in 1996.

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