January 19, 2007

Vatican Information Service Bulletin

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

SUMMARY:


CATHOLICS COMMITTED TO THE COMMON GOOD IN TURKEY

 VATICAN CITY, JAN 19, 2007 (VIS) - This morning in the Vatican, Benedict XVI received the Letters of Credence of Muammer Dogan Akdur, the new Turkish ambassador to the Holy See. In his French-language address to the diplomat, the Holy Father reiterated his gratitude to the authorities and the people of Turkey for the welcome they showed him during his apostolic visit to the country in December last year.

   Pointing out that his trip had led him in the footsteps of his predecessors Paul VI and John Paul II, Benedict XVI noted that it had also given him the opportunity "to witness the good relations" between Turkey and the Holy See. And he recalled how, in his meetings with political leaders in Turkey, he had sought to reaffirm "the presence of the Catholic Church in Turkish society, thanks to the important heritage of the first Christian communities of Asia Minor" and the "existence of today's Christian communities, clearly minorities but dedicated to the country and to the common good of all society, and desirous of making their contribution to the construction of the nation."

   "While enjoying the religious freedom guaranteed to all believers by the Turkish Constitution, the Catholic Church wishes to benefit from a recognized juridical statute, and to see the start of official dialogue between the episcopal conference and the State authorities in order to resolve any problems that may arise and maintain good relations between both sides. I do not doubt that the government will do everything in its power to progress in this direction."

   The Holy Father then went on to underline how during his "memorable visit" to Turkey he had repeatedly expressed "the Catholic Church's respect for Islam, and the esteem in which the Pope and the faithful hold Muslim believers."

    "In the modern world, in which tensions seem to be increasing," he observed, "the Holy See is convinced ... that believers from different religions must make every effort to work towards peace, beginning with the rejection of violence, which in the past was often used on religious pretexts, and learning to understand and respect one another. ... Furthermore, religions can unite their forces to promote respect for human beings ... and for the fundamental rights that rule the lives of individuals and societies."

   "The Holy See recognizes Turkey's specific role, and its geographical and historical status of being a bridge between the continents of Europe and Asia and a crossroads of cultures and religions," said the Holy Father. He also expressed the Holy See's appreciation for Turkey's commitment "in favor of peace at the heart of the international community," and particularly "its efforts towards the resumption of negotiations in the Middle East" and its aid in Lebanon "for the reconstruction of a country devastated by war and for the furtherance of constructive dialogue between all sides of Lebanese society."

   In this context the Pope reaffirmed the Holy See's interest in "efforts being made by nations to regulate, ... sometimes with the help of other countries and of regional and international authorities, situations of conflicts inherited from the past," and in initiatives in favor of bringing countries closer together. "The universalization of exchanges, already evident in the economic and financial field, must obviously be accompanied by joint political commitments in order to guarantee organized and lasting development that excludes no one and ensures all peoples a harmonious future."

   Benedict XVI concluded his address by asking the ambassador to pass on his greetings to the Catholic communities in Turkey, as well as to the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I and the faithful of the Orthodox Church "to whom," he said, "we are bound by so many fraternal ties."

 

CONVINCING TESTIMONY TO THE TRUTHS OF THE GOSPEL

 VATICAN CITY, JAN 19, 2007 (VIS) - This morning in the Vatican, Benedict XVI received an ecumenical delegation from Finland for the occasion of the Feast of St. Henry, patron saint of that country, which is celebrated today.

   Addressing the delegates in English, the Pope noted how "in recent times relations between Christians in Finland have developed in a way that offers much hope for the future of ecumenism. Readily they pray and work together, bearing common public witness to the Word of God.

   "It is precisely this convincing testimony to the guiding and saving truths of the Gospel that all men and women seek or need to hear," he added. "On the part of Christians this demands courage."

   "In the Joint Declaration on Justification, Lutherans and Catholics have covered a considerable distance theologically. Further work remains and so it is encouraging that the Nordic Lutheran-Catholic dialogue in Finland and Sweden is examining the topic of 'Justification in the Life of the Church'."

   The Holy Father concluded by expressing the hope "that these conversations will effectively contribute to the quest for full and visible unity of the Church, while at the same time offering an ever clearer response to the fundamental questions affecting life and society."

 

ROME'S "ALMO COLLEGIO CAPRANICA" CELEBRATES 550 YEARS

 VATICAN CITY, JAN 19, 2007 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received the superiors and students of the diocesan seminary of Rome, the "Almo Collegio Capranica," on the eve of the feast day of their patroness, St Agnes. The "Almo Collegio" forms students to the priesthood for Rome, other Italian dioceses and the rest of the world.

   The Pope recalled that 550 years have passed since the college was founded by Cardinal Domenico Capranica, whose wish, said the Pope, was that the seminary "should be exclusively dedicated to the formation of future priests, with preference shown to candidates from less privileged backgrounds."

   The cardinal's main reason for founding the institution was "his conviction that the quality of the clergy depends on the seriousness of their formation," said Pope Benedict. Indeed, Cardinal Capranica ensured that all students were taught Aristotelian ethics, that students of theology dedicated particular attention to St. Thomas Aquinas and that students of law studied the doctrine of Pope Innocent III.

   Benedict XVI also recalled how the study program "was incorporated within a framework of integral formation, focussing on the spiritual dimension and having as its pillars the Sacraments of the Eucharist (every day) and of Penance (at least once a month), and supported by the devout practices prescribed or encouraged by the Church. Great importance was also given to education in charity, both in everyday fraternal life and in helping the sick, and in what today we call 'pastoral experience'."

   The Pope expressed the hope that the " Almo Collegio Capranica" may continue along this path "faithful to is long tradition and to the teachings of Vatican Council II." He concluded by calling on the students to renew their "offer to God and to the Holy Church, conforming yourselves ever more to Christ the Good Shepherd, Who has called You to follow Him and to work in His vineyard."

 

AUDIENCES

 VATICAN CITY, JAN 19, 2007 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

  - Cardinal Andrea Cordero Lanza di Montezemolo, archpriest of the pontifical basilica of St. Paul's Outside-the-Walls.

  - Fr. Beda Paluzzi O.S.B., apostolic administrator of the abbey of Montevergine, on his "ad limina" visit.

   This evening, he is scheduled to receive in audience Cardinal William Joseph Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

 

OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS

VATICAN CITY, JAN 19, 2007 (VIS) - The Holy Father accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the diocese of Venice, U.S.A., presented by Bishop John J. Nevins, upon having reached the age limit. He is succeeded by Coadjutor Bishop Frank J. Dewane.

Local site Links: