October 29, 2007

Vatican Information Service Bulletin

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

SUMMARY: OCTOBER 27 - 29


ECUADOR: NEW CONSTITUTION AND RELIGIOUS FREEDOM

VATICAN CITY, OCT 27, 2007 (VIS) - Today in the Vatican, Benedict XVI received the Letters of Credence of Fausto Cordovez Chiriboga, the new ambassador of the Republic of Ecuador to the Holy See.

  At the beginning of his talk, the Pope dwelt upon the heritage which, "handed down over the centuries" through "various forms of popular piety and art, and along with civic and social values, forms part of Ecuador's identity as a nation."

  After remarking how "new scenarios of freedom and hope," are "often overturned by unstable political situations and as a consequence of weak social structures," the Holy Father affirmed "the urgent necessity to work towards building an internal and international order that promotes peaceful coexistence, cooperation and respect for human rights, and the recognition, above all, of the central position of the individual and his inviolable dignity."

  Faced with the fact that "many Ecuadorians emigrate to other countries in difficult circumstances, seeking a better future for themselves and their families," it must not be forgotten, said the Pope, "that love - caritas - will always be necessary even in the fairest of societies. No State order, however just it may be, can render superfluous the service of love. ... Indeed it is charity, the generous giving of self to others, that has generated and continues to generate those activities of education, assistance, promotion and development which so honor the Church and Ecuadorian society."

  "Through her pastoral ministry the Catholic Church ... makes an important contribution to the overall good of the country," said the Holy Father. "Hence the need to promote and strengthen the margin of freedom which she is recognized as having in the law and constitution of Ecuador. Hence also, it is to be hoped that the new constitution will provide ample guarantees for the religious freedom of the Ecuadorian people, so that the nation may have a legal framework which ... conforms to its context and to international agreements."

  The Pope emphasized that "the Church's freedom of action, apart from being an alienable right, is a primordial condition for her to carry out her mission among people, sometimes in difficult circumstances. For this reason," he went on quoting his own Encyclical "Deus caritas est," "we do not need a State which regulates and controls everything, but a State which, in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity, generously acknowledges and supports initiatives arising from the different social forces and combines spontaneity with closeness to those in need.

  "There can, indeed, be no other aspiration for a democratic government committed to fomenting a culture of respect and equality before the law, and to the exemplary exercise of an authority which aims to serve all its people. Hence, the government of Ecuador has expressed its firm will to make a priority of tending to the most needy, drawing inspiration from the Church's social doctrine."

  The Holy Father concluded by expressing the hope that Ecuador's "citizens may enjoy all their rights, together with their corresponding obligations, achieving better living conditions and easier access to a proper home and to a job, to education and healthcare, in full respect for life from conception to natural end."

 

POPE WRITES TO NEW DIRECTOR OF L'OSSERVATORE ROMANO

VATICAN CITY, OCT 27, 2007 (VIS) - Benedict XVI has written a Letter to Giovanni Maria Vian for the occasion of his appointment as director of "L'Osservatore Romano," a role, the Pope writes, "of great responsibility because of the particular nature of the Vatican newspaper."

  The Pope praises the new director's "profound cultural formation as a historian of Christianity" and his "knowledge of the history of the modern papacy." Since the year 1861, the Holy Father notes, L'Osservatore Romano "has made known the teachings of the Roman Pontiffs and the contributions of their closest collaborators concerning the crucial problems humanity encounters on its journey."

  Benedict XVI then traces a brief history of the "newspaper of the Popes," recalling "the decision to remain impartial, which characterized the information given by the Vatican daily during the First World War," and the fact that during the Second World War L'Osservatore Romano saw its prestige and circulation grow "thanks also to the opportunity the newspaper had to draw from sources of information which, at the time, only the independence of the Vatican could guarantee."

  Throughout the 20th century the publication of various language editions ensured the newspaper "had a truly international circulation" and gave it "a world dimension which ... is extremely important in truly expressing the reality of the Universal Church and the communion of all the local Churches, ... in a context of sincere friendship towards the women and men of our time.

  "Seeking and creating opportunities for encounter," the Pope adds, "L'Osservatore Romano will be able to serve the Holy See ever more effectively, demonstrating the fecundity of the meeting between faith and reason, thanks to which cordial collaboration between believers and non-believers becomes possible."

  The newspaper's fundamental task, the Holy Father concludes, "obviously remains that of favoring, in the cultures of our time, a trusting and at the same time profoundly reasonable openness to the Transcendent, upon which, in the final instance, rests respect for the dignity and the authentic freedom of each human being."

 

JOY IS ROOTED IN THE FREEDOM THAT GOD GIVES

VATICAN CITY, OCT 27, 2007 (VIS) - This evening in the Paul VI Hall, Benedict XVI attended a concert held in his honor, during which the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and Choir played Beethoven's 9th Symphony. The event was organized to thank the Pope for his visit to Bavaria of September 2006.

  At the end of the concert the Holy Father remarked how Beethoven had composed his final symphony in 1824, following a period of isolation and difficulty "which threatened to suffocate his artistic creativity." Yet he "surprised the public with a composition that broke with the traditional structure of the symphony" rising at the end "in an extraordinary finale of optimism and joy."

  "This overwhelming sentiment of joy," the Pope said, "is not something light and superficial; it is a sensation achieved through struggle" because "silent solitude ... had taught Beethoven a new way of listening that went well beyond a simple capacity to experience in his imagination the sound of notes read or written." His was akin to "the perceptivity given as a gift by God to people who obtain the grace of interior or exterior liberation."

  Benedict XVI recalled how in 1989, when the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and Choir had played Beethoven's 9th Symphony for the fall of the Berlin Wall, they altered the text from "Ode to Joy" to "Freedom, Spark of God," thus expressing "more than the simple sensation of a historical moment. True joy is rooted in the freedom that only God can give.

  " God - sometimes through periods of interior emptiness and isolation - wishes to make us attentive and capable of 'feeling' His silent presence, not only 'over the canopy of stars' but also in the most intimate recesses of our soul. There burns the spark of divine love that can free us to be what we truly are."

 

MARTYRS ENCOURAGE US TO WORK FOR RECONCILIATION

VATICAN CITY, OCT 28, 2007 (VIS) - At midday today, Benedict XVI appeared at the window of his private study overlooking St. Peter's Square in order to pray the Angelus with thousands of faithful gathered below. Most of those present were Spaniards who had just attended a ceremony for the beatification of 498 Spanish martyrs of the 20th century, presided in the Pope's name by Cardinal Jose Saraiva Martins C.M.F., prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.

  The beatification of such a large number of martyrs "shows how the supreme witness of blood is not an exception reserved just for a few individuals, but a realistic possibility for an entire Christian people," said the Holy Father.

  The 498 new Blesseds, killed in Spain in the 1930s, were "men and women of various ages, vocations and social conditions who paid with their lives for their faithfulness to Christ and to His Church."

  "The month of October, which is especially dedicated to the mission, thus closes with the shining witness of the Spanish martyrs whose names are added to those of the martyrs Albertina Berkenbrock, Manuel Gomez Gonzalez and Adilio Daronch, and Franz Jagerstatter, recently proclaimed as Blesseds in Brazil and in Austria. Their example testifies to the fact that Baptism commits Christians to participate courageously in creating the Kingdom of God, cooperating therein, if necessary, with the sacrifice of their own lives.

  "Of course," Benedict XVI added, "not everyone is called to a cruel martyrdom. However, there exists a bloodless 'martyrdom' which is no less important, such as that of Celina Chludzinska, wife and mother, widow and religious, who was beatified yesterday in Rome. This is the silent and heroic witness of so many Christians who live the Gospel without compromise, doing their duty and dedicating themselves generously to the service of the poor.

  "This martyrdom of everyday life is a vital testimony in the secularized societies of our own time, It is the peaceful battle of love that all Christians, like Paul, must tirelessly wage, the race to spread the Gospel which keeps us committed unto death."

  Following the Angelus, the Holy Father addressed a special greeting to some 40,000 Spanish faithful - bishops, priests, religious, seminarians and lay people - who had participated in the morning's beatification ceremony.

  "Let us thank God," the Pope said, "for the great gift of these heroic witnesses of the faith who, moved exclusively by their love for Christ, paid for their faithfulness to Him and to His Church with their blood. With their witness, they illuminate our own spiritual path to sanctity and encourage us to give our lives as a gift of love to God and to our fellows."

  The new Blesseds, "with their words and deeds of pardon towards their persecutors encourage us to work tirelessly for mercy, reconciliation and peaceful coexistence.

  "From my heart I invite you to strengthen ecclesial communion day after day, to be faithful witnesses of the Gospel in the world, conscious of the joy of being living members of the Church, the true bride of Christ.

  "Let us ask the new Blesseds," the Holy Father concluded, "through the Virgin Mary, Queen of Martyrs, to intercede for the Church in Spain and in the world. May the fecundity of their martyrdom produce abundant fruits of Christian life in the faithful and in families, may the blood they spilt be a seed for many holy priestly, religious and missionary vocations."

 

THERAPEUTIC EXPERIMENTS MUST RESPECT BASIC ETHICAL NORMS

VATICAN CITY, OCT 29, 2007 (VIS) - "The new frontiers of pharmaceutical activity" is the theme of the 25th international congress of Catholic pharmacists, currently being held in Rome. The participants in the meeting were received today by Benedict XVI.

  In his brief remarks to them the Pope first considered current developments in drugs and medicine and the therapeutic possibilities they offer, reminding the pharmacists of the need "to reflect upon the ever broader functions they are called to undertake, especially as intermediaries between doctor and patient," and upon their role in educating patients "in the correct use of medications" and in informing them of "the ethical implications of the use of particular drugs."

  "In this context," he went on, "we cannot anaesthetize consciences as regards, for example, the effect of certain molecules that have the goal of preventing the implantation of the embryo or shortening a person's life. Pharmacists must seek to raise people's awareness so that all human beings are protected from conception to natural death, and so that medicines truly play a therapeutic role."

  "Moreover, no individual may be used ... as an object to undertake therapeutic experiments." Such experiments "must be carried out following protocols that respect fundamental ethical norms."

  The Pope emphasized how "all attempts at cure or experimentation must be undertaken while bearing in mind the wellbeing of the person concerned, and not only the pursuit of scientific progress." Furthermore, "the quest for the good of humanity cannot proceed at the expense of the wellbeing of the people being treated."

  In the moral sphere, the federation of pharmacists "is called to face the question of conscientious objection, which is a right that must be recognized for people exercising this profession, so as to enable them not to collaborate directly or indirectly in supplying products that have clearly immoral purposes such as, for example, abortion or euthanasia."

  It is also important, the Pope proceeded, that pharmaceutical organizations practice "solidarity in the therapeutic field so as to enable people of all social classes and all countries, especially the poorest, to have access to vital medicines and assistance."

  "The biomedical sciences are at the service of man," the Pope concluded. "Were it otherwise they would be cold and inhuman. All scientific knowledge in the field of healthcare ... is at the service of sick human beings, considered in their entirety, who must have an active role in their cure and whose autonomy must be respected."

 

HOLY FATHER RECEIVES PRESIDENT OF PARAGUAY

VATICAN CITY, OCT 29, 2007 (VIS) - The Holy See Press Office today released the following communique:

  "This morning Oscar Nicanor Duarte Frutos, president of the Republic of Paraguay, visited His Holiness Benedict XVI, subsequently going on to meet with Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B. and Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States.

  "The cordial meetings served to consider questions concerning the current situation of Paraguay, with particular attention being given to the specific roles of Church and State in political life and in the human, moral, educational an socio-economic development of the nation, The hope was expressed that Paraguayan society may continue along the path of the common good, of legality and of social peace, inspired by the Christian values of justice and of respect among all citizens."

 

CONSISTORY FOR THE CREATION OF 23 NEW CARDINALS

VATICAN CITY, OCT 29, 2007 (VIS) - In St. Peter's Square 10.30 a.m. on Saturday, November 24, Benedict XVI will celebrate an Ordinary Public Consistory for the creation of 23 new cardinals, according to a note published today by the Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff.

  Courtesy visits to the new cardinals will take place on the same day from 4.30 to 6.30 p.m.

  In St. Peter's Square at 10.30 a.m. on Sunday, November 25, Benedict XVI will preside at a Eucharistic concelebration with the new cardinals, during which he will give them their ring of office.

 

AUDIENCES

VATICAN CITY, OCT 29, 2007 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audience:

 - Cardinal Friedrich Wetter, archbishop emeritus of Munchen und Freising, Germany.

 - Cardinal Salvatore De Giorgi, archbishop emeritus of Palermo, Italy.

  On Saturday, October 27, he received in separate audiences:

 - Gunther Beckstein, minister-president of Bavaria, Germany, accompanied by his wife and an entourage.

 - Archbishop Edward Joseph Adams, apostolic nuncio to the Philippines.

 - Bishop Wilhelm Schraml of Passau, Germany.

 - Miroslav Palameta, ambassador of Bosnia and Herzegovina, on his farewell visit.

 

OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS

VATICAN CITY, OCT 29, 2007 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Archbishop Aldo Cavalli, apostolic nuncio to Chile, as apostolic nuncio to Colombia.

  On Saturday, October 27, it was made public that he:

 - Gave his assent to the canonical election by the Synod of Bishops of the Greek-Catholic Romanian Church of Fr. Mihai Catalin Fratila, rector of the "Pio Romeno" Pontifical College in Rome, as auxiliary bishop of the archieparchy of Fagaras and Alba Iulia of the Romanians (Catholics 367,000, priests 217, religious 166), Romania. The bishop-elect was born in Barman, Romania in 1970 and ordained a priest in 1996.

 - Gave his assent to the canonical election by the Synod of Bishops of the Greek-Catholic Romanian Church of Fr. Vasile Bizau, professor of moral theology at the major seminary in the eparchy of Maramures, Romania, as bishop to the Major Archiepiscopal Curia. The bishop-elect was born in Maramures in 1969 and ordained a priest in 1997.

Local site Links: