January 26, 2007

Vatican Information Service Bulletin

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

SUMMARY:


THE WORLD AWAITS THE JOINT TESTIMONY OF CHRISTIANS

 VATICAN CITY, JAN 26, 2007 (VIS) - Yesterday afternoon in the Roman basilica of St. Paul's Outside-the-Walls, the Pope presided at the celebration of the second Vespers of the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul. The ceremony, which marked the end of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, was attended by representatives from other Churches and ecclesial communities.

   In his homily, the Holy Father recalled how the theme of this year's Week of Prayer, taken from the Gospel of St. Mark - "He even makes the deaf to hear and the mute to speak" - had been proposed by Christian communities in South Africa. "These words," he said, "are good news announcing the coming of the Kingdom of God and the healing of the incapacity to communicate."

   "Listening to the Word of God ... is a priority in our ecumenical efforts. Indeed, it is not we who organize the unity of the Church; the Church does not create herself and does not live by herself, but by the Word that comes from the mouth of God."

   "Whoever undertakes to listen to the word of God can and must then speak out and transmit it to others, to those who have never heard it, or to those who have forgotten it and buried it under the 'thorns' of the cares and illusions of the world.

   "We Christians must ask ourselves," the Pope added, "whether we have not become too silent. Whether we do not lack the courage to speak out and bear witness. ... Our world has need of such witness, it awaits above all the joint testimony of Christians. Unity can clearly not be imposed; it must be shared, and founded on a joint participation in a single faith. Listening and speaking, understanding others and communicating one's faith are, then, essential dimensions of ecumenical practice. Honest and faithful dialogue is the ... indispensable instrument of unity."

   "It is crucial," he continued, "that 'doctrine should be clearly presented in its entirety,' for a dialogue that confronts, discusses and overcomes the differences that still exist between Christians. Yet, at the same time, 'the way and method in which the Catholic faith is expressed should never become an obstacle to dialogue with our brethren'."

   The Pope highlighted the fact that "ecumenical dialogue ... leads to reciprocal spiritual enrichment in the sharing of true experiences of faith and Christian life. For this to happen, we must tirelessly implore the assistance of God's grace and the illumination of the Holy Spirit."

   At the end of his homily, the Holy Father entrusted to St. Paul, "indefatigable builder of unity in the Church, the fruits of the dialogue and shared testimony we have experienced in many fraternal meetings ... during the course of 2006."

   Benedict XVI closed by thanking all those people who "have contributed to intensifying ecumenical dialogue through prayer, and the offer of their suffering and their tireless activities."

 

AUDIENCES

 VATICAN CITY, JAN 26, 2007 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

  - Cardinal Marc Ouellet P.S.S., archbishop of Quebec, Canada.

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

     - Bishop Silvio Cesare Bonicelli of Parma.

    - Bishop Luciano Monari of Piacenza-Bobbio.

    - Bishop Adriano Caprioli of Reggio Emilia-Guastalla, accompanied by Auxiliary Bishop Lorenzo Ghizzoni.

    - Archbishop Giuseppe Verucchi of Ravenna-Cervia

    - Bishop Antonio Lanfranchi of Cesena-Sarsina.

 - Prayitno Bambang, ambassador of Indonesia, on his farewell visit.

   This evening, he is scheduled to receive in audience Archbishop Angelo Amato S.D.B., secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

 

OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS

VATICAN CITY, JAN 26, 2007 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

 - Accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the territorial prelature of Cafayate, Argentina, presented by Bishop Cipriano Garcia Fernandez O.S.A., upon having reached the age limit.

  - Erected the new diocese of Ensenada (area 52,646, population 658,899, Catholics 621,346, priests 43, religious 72) Mexico, with territory taken from the archdiocese of Tijuana, making it a suffragan of the same metropolitan church. He appointed Fr. Sigifredo Noriega Baracelo, vicar general of the diocese of Ciudad Obregon, Mexico, as first bishop of the new diocese. The bishop-elect was born in Granados, Mexico in 1951 and ordained a priest in 1976.

  - Gave his assent to the canonical election carried out by the Synod of Bishops of the Armenian-Catholic Church meeting at Bzommar, Lebanon, from September 4 to 13 2006 of Fr. Emmanuel Dabbaghian, syncellus for Georgia of the Ordinariate for Armenians of Eastern Europe, as archbishop of Baghdad of the Armenians, (Catholics 2,000, priests 2, religious 2), Iraq. The bishop-elect was born in Aleppo, Syria in 1933 and ordained a priest in 1967.

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