May 28, 2007

Vatican Information Service Bulletin

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

SUMMARY: MAY 26 - 28


EVANGELIZATION, THE MAIN PRIORITY FOR MOZAMBIQUE

VATICAN CITY, MAY 26, 2007 (VIS) - Today in the Vatican, Benedict XVI received bishops from the Episcopal Conference of Mozambique who have just completed their "ad limina" visit.

  The Pope greeted the older prelates, while to those recently consecrated he expressed the hope that, with their "youthful energies, they may contribute to the growth of evangelizing activities" in Mozambique.

  "As you were told on the day of your episcopal consecration," he went on, "you are responsible for announcing the Word of God throughout the area entrusted to you." The bishop's responsibilities also include, he added, "formation in prayer and preparation for the Sacraments, that they may be decorously administered to Christian people," as well as a concern for "the organic unity of the diocese and its charitable, educational and apostolic institutions."

  "Obviously, this pastoral service depends upon your presence, as often as possible, in all the communities of your dioceses and on your pastoral attention to people's living conditions, both human and religious. In particular, priests need you to visit and to receive them, they need your guidance and counsel."

  The Holy Father also mentioned the "immense task" facing Mozambican bishops in "evangelizing more than half the population," highlighting how all Christians must "collaborate to bring this about. One providential means to this end ... are the ecclesial movements and new communities," he added.

  In this mission "it is important to deepen the faith using all the means at your disposal," from the catechesis of young people and adults to meetings and liturgy, with the consequent inculturation these activities bring. Indeed, without inculturation "it would not be possible to impregnate ancestral customs with the Christian spirit," and "respectful dialogue with other religions would be difficult."

  "A profound and committed faith renews people's behavior in their social and professional lives," and consequently also renews "the fabric of society. ... Christians must contribute to overcoming injustices, ... helping the most needy, ... and promoting tolerance and reconciliation."

  "This," said Pope Benedict, "is a vitally important ethical task for the nation and as pastors it is your duty to inspire and sustain it, always preserving your own freedom -which is the Church's freedom on her prophetic mission - and maintaining a clear distinction between this pastoral mission and the ... programs of political leaders."

  The Pope then went on to consider the "great lack" of priests in the country, a situation that calls for "investment in the pastoral care of vocations." He also recognized the efforts of catechists who, he said, need "careful training" for their work and "special help to assume their responsibility of bearing witness to the faith in the face of the cultural evolution of their brothers and sisters."

  "The evangelization of Christian life and the increase of vocations depend upon families ... accepting as a model the requirements and grace of Christian marriage. I know that there is no lack of difficulties due to the limitations of certain ancient customs, as well as to the instability of homes which have to face harsh trials from a society in which sensuality and individualism predominate."

  Finally, the Holy Father recalled the numerous areas in which the pastoral solicitude of Mozambican bishops is required: "assistance to the poor and the marginalized, countering the advance of sects, and developing the social communications media. ... The questions upon which we have touched," he added, "represent a challenge that requires great efforts considering the limited apostolic resources available to you, even calling on priests and religious from other countries who, I hope, will prove generous."

  "I am sure you will overcome these challenges thanks to the faith and determination that motivate you," he concluded. "Treasure your experience, interpret it in harmony with the signs of the times and relative to the needs of your people, moved always by a spirit of faithfulness to the Church."

 

RESPECT WORKERS' DIGNITY AND RIGHTS

VATICAN CITY, MAY 26, 2007 (VIS) - At midday today, the Holy Father received participants in a meeting being promoted by Young Entrepreneurs of Confindustria (the General Confederation of Italian Industry).

  The Pope opened his address to them by affirming that "all business enterprises are to be considered primarily as groups of people, whose rights and dignity must be respected. ... Human life, and the values of human life, must always be the foundation and the final aim of the economy."

  Pope Benedict spoke of "profit as the primary indicator of the good functioning of a firm," pointing out how "the social Magisterium of the Church recognizes its importance, at the same time underlining the need to safeguard the dignity of the people who, in one way or another, work for a company."

  "It is necessary," he continued, "for working activity to become once again an area in which people can realize their potential and make the most of their individual capacities and genius. And it depends upon you, dear business people, to create the most favorable conditions to bring this about."

  Benedict XVI told his audience of his conviction that, despite the crisis being suffered by the world of work, they would do everything possible "to safeguard jobs, especially among the young. In order to build the future with hope, young people must be able to rely on a reliable source of income for themselves and their loved ones."

  Over the years, he said, apart from reflecting upon "the centrality of mankind to the economy," the entrepreneurs have also considered the question of "the family in Italian industry." In this context, he remarked, "working in favor of families means contributing to a renewal of society and ensuring the foundations for real economic development."

  In closing, the Pope referred to the question of globalization saying that "if on the one hand it holds out hopes for a more widespread participation in development," on the other "it also presents various risks associated with new aspects of commercial and financial relations, which tend towards an increase in the gap between the economic wealth of the few and the growing poverty of the many. It is vital, as my venerated predecessor John Paul II so incisively said, 'to ensure a globalization in solidarity, a globalization without marginalization'."

 

FLORENCE REMEMBERS ST. MARY MAGDALENE DE' PAZZI

VATICAN CITY, MAY 26, 2007 (VIS) - Made public today was a Letter from the Pope addressed to Cardinal Ennio Antonelli, archbishop of Florence, Italy, marking the fourth centenary of the death of the mystic St. Mary Magdalene de' Pazzi, a Carmelite nun who was born on April 2, 1566 and died on May 25, 1607.

  In the Letter, which Cardinal Antonelli read out yesterday evening during a Eucharistic celebration in the cathedral of Florence, the Holy Father points out how the Florentine saint "continues to be an inspirational spiritual presence for the Carmelites of Ancient Observance. In her they recognize the 'sister' who completed the entire journey of transforming union with God, and who identified in Mary the 'star' on the road to perfection.

  "This saint has the gift of being a mistress of spirituality for everyone," the Pope adds, "especially for priests, for whom she always nourished a real passion."

  Benedict XVI expressed the hope that the ongoing jubilee celebrations marking the death of the saint "may contribute to making better known this shining figure, who shows everyone the dignity and beauty of the Christian vocation."

  "May this great mystic - from Florence, from its seminary, from the Carmelite convents that draw inspiration from her - still make her voice heard throughout the Church, spreading the announcement of God's love for all human beings."

 

PENTECOST: THE CHURCH REACHING OUT TO ALL CULTURES

VATICAN CITY, MAY 27, 2007 (VIS) - Pentecost, the Solemnity in which "the liturgy brings us to relive the birth of the Church," was the theme of Benedict XVI's meditations before praying the Regina Coeli with thousands of pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square.

  "We can say, then," the Pope told the faithful, "that the Church had her solemn inauguration with the descent of the Holy Spirit. In that extraordinary event we find the essential and distinguishing features of the Church: The Church is one, like the community of the Pentecost which was united in prayer and 'of one heart and soul.' The Church is holy, not because of her merits but because, moved by the Holy Spirit, her gaze is fixed on Christ in order to conform herself to Him and to His love. The Church is catholic, because the Gospel is addressed to all peoples and for this reason, from the very beginning, the Holy Spirit brought her to speak all languages. The Church is apostolic because, built upon the foundation of the Apostles, she faithfully safeguards their teaching through the uninterrupted chain of apostolic succession.

  "The Church moreover," Pope Benedict added, "is by her nature missionary. Since the day of Pentecost the Holy Spirit has not ceased to impel her along the roads of the world, to the very ends of the earth and to the end of time.

  "This fact ... is already alluded to in the Acts of the Apostles which describes the passage of the Gospel from the Jews to the pagans, from Jerusalem to Rome. Rome represents the world of the pagans and, hence, all those peoples who are outside the ancient people of God."

  "The Acts of the Apostles end with the arrival of the Gospel in Rome," the Pope concluded. "It can, then, be said that Rome is the real name of catholicity and of missionary endeavor, that it expresses faithfulness to the origins, to the Church of all times, to a Church that speaks all languages and reaches out to all cultures."

 

SYRO-MALANKAR CHURCH: A TIME OF NEW EVANGELIZATION

VATICAN CITY, MAY 28, 2007 (VIS) - This morning in the Vatican, the Pope received His Beatitude Issac Cleemis Thottunkal, major archbishop of Trivandrum of the Syro-Malankars, India.

  "As Peter's Successor, I happily confirmed the Synod's decision" said the Holy Father in his English-language address, referring to the election of Archbishop Thottunkal to his current office by the Synod of the Syro-Malankar Church on February 8.

  "Now the universal Church, together with all those who belong to your ecclesial tradition, is counting upon Your Beatitude to ensure that the Malankar community can proceed along a twofold path. On the one hand, through faithfulness to the Apostolic See you will always participate fully in the universal breath of the one Church of Christ; on the other hand your fidelity to the specifically Eastern features of your tradition will enable the whole Church to benefit from what in His manifold wisdom the Spirit is saying to the Churches'."

  "As head and shepherd of the Syro-Malankar Church," the Pope continued, "Your Beatitude has been entrusted with the mission of leading and sustaining the Christian witness and ecclesial life of the faithful of that noble Church throughout the vast Indian Sub-Continent and the other regions where Syro-Malankar Catholics are found."

  Going on to refer to the challenges of the current moment, the Holy Father expressed the view that "now is a time of new evangelization, a time of constantly renewed and convinced dialogue with all our brothers and sisters who share our Christian faith, a time of respectful and fruitful encounter between religions and cultures for the good of all, and especially the poorest of the poor.

  "Our commitment to evangelization needs to be constantly renewed, as we strive to build peace, in justice and solidarity, for the whole human family. May you always draw strength from the Lord and from the collegial support of your brother bishops - the members of the Synod."

  Benedict XVI concluded by assuring the major archbishop of his prayers for bishops of the Syro-Malankar Church, to whom he also sent a special greeting for "the happy occasion of the 75th anniversary of the establishment of the Syro-Malankar hierarchy."

 

AUDIENCES

VATICAN CITY, MAY 28, 2007 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

 - Josette Sheeran, executive president of the World Food Program.

 - Four prelates from the Central African Episcopal Conference on their "ad limina" visit:

    - Archbishop Paulin Pomodimo of Bangui.

    - Bishop Peter Marzinkowski C.S.Sp., of Alindao.

    - Bishop Edouard Mathos of Bambari.

    - Bishop Juan Jose Aguirre Munoz M.C.C.I., of Bangassou.

  On Sunday, May 27, he received audience Robert Spaemann, professor emeritus of the University of Munich, Germany.

  On Saturday, May 26, he received in separate audiences:

 - Two prelates from the Episcopal Conference of Mozambique on their "ad limina" visit:

    - Bishop Germano Grachane C.M., of Nacala.

    - Bishop Ernesto Maguengue of Pemba.

 - Kiko Arguello, co-founder of the Neo-Catechumenal Way.

 

OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS

VATICAN CITY, MAY 28, 2007 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Msgr. Carmelo Cuttitta, pastor of the parish of St. Joseph Cottolengo, as auxiliary of the archdiocese of Palermo (area 1,366, population 914,506, Catholics 890,142, priests 570, permanent deacons 32, religious 1,863), Italy. The bishop-elect was born in Godrano, Italy in 1962 and ordained a priest in 1987.

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