January 17, 2007

Vatican Information Service Bulletin

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

SUMMARY:


FOLLOW PATH TO CHRISTIAN UNITY WITHOUT DISCOURAGEMENT

VATICAN CITY, JAN 17, 2007 (VIS) - The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, which begins tomorrow, was the focus of Benedict XVI's catechesis during his general audience, held this morning in the Paul VI Hall in the presence of more than 6,000 people.

   "Unity," said the Pope, "is a gift from God and the fruit of the action of His Spirit. For this reason it is important to pray. The closer we draw to Christ, converting ourselves to His love, the closer we also draw to one another."

   The Holy Father recalled the theme of this year's Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, taken from the Gospel of St. Mark: "He even makes the deaf to hear and the mute to speak." This phrase, he explained "by highlighting two aspects of the mission of each Christian community - announcing the Gospel and giving witness of charity - also underlines how important it is to translate Christ's message into real initiatives of solidarity. This advances the journey towards unity because ... all relief Christians together bring to their fellows, however small, also contributes to making their communion more visible."

   "The road to unity remains long and difficult, but we must not be discouraged, and continue our journey, relying on the sure support of Christ" said the Pope. He also noted how he had had the opportunity to note, over years of meetings with representatives from other Churches and ecclesial communities, "and in a particularly moving way, during my recent visit to the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I in Istanbul, how deeply felt the desire for unity is. ... That experience and others like it, have brought hope to my heart."

   The Pope mentioned the fact that today, in some countries, is the Day for Dialogue between Jews and Christians, and he recalled some high points in the "mutual friendship" between the two communities, such as Vatican Council II and John Paul II's visit to the synagogue of Rome in April 1986.

   The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity will come to an end on January 25 with the celebration of Vespers presided by the Holy Father in the basilica of St. Paul's Outside-the-Walls, in the presence of representatives from other Churches and Christian communities.

 

FINAL DOCUMENT OF MEETING ON PASTORAL CARE OF THE ROAD

 VATICAN CITY, JAN 17, 2007 (VIS) - The Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples has recently published the final document of the 2nd International Meeting on the Pastoral Care of the Road, which was held in the Vatican on December 1 and 2, 2006.

   The document, published in Italian and English, makes various recommendations, among them that "there be a more thorough examination of pastoral attention for a secure and sustainable mobility that respects life, human persons, their dignity, rights and destiny."

   Also, that "contacts with the social communications media be intensified, in order to invite them to analyze with greater care the messages they transmit daily and to become our allies in the work of education, including road education."

   The document also proposes that "places and occasions of meeting with professionals of the road be created, since, differently from those who use a car for personal or family reasons, they are more sensitive to the feeling of solitude and distance from their family."

   Such meetings, the document suggests, should "be held in places considered by the people involved as 'their own,' like big parking areas and highway stops," so as to create "moments of a more intense spiritual life, with the possibility of growing in the faith."

 

AUDIENCES

 VATICAN CITY, JAN 17, 2007 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in audience Ivo Sanader, prime minister of the Republic of Croatia accompanied by his wife and an entourage.

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