December 6, 2007

Vatican Information Service Bulletin

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

SUMMARY:


PONTIFICAL ORIENTAL INSTITUTE: A HERITAGE OF WISDOM

 VATICAN CITY, DEC 6, 2007 (VIS) - Today in the Vatican the Pope received 280 members of the Pontifical Oriental Institute, which was founded by Pope Benedict XV in 1917.

   "The time of that Pope was a time of war," said the Holy Father, "while he himself worked for peace. To achieve peace he launched various appeals and even drew up ... a plan for peace, a detailed plan which unfortunately proved unsuccessful.

   "Nonetheless," the Pope added, "in order to ensure peace within the Church, he created ... three monuments of incomparable value: the Congregation for the Oriental Church (later renamed 'for the Oriental Churches'); the Pontifical Oriental Institute for the study of the theological, liturgical, juridical and cultural aspects of Oriental Christian wisdom; and the 'Codex Iuris Canonici'."

   Noting his own "particular bond" with Benedict XV, Benedict XVI explained how his predecessor thus favored the Oriental Churches, which came to "enjoy a regime more in keeping with their traditions, under the gaze of the Roman Pontiffs who have never ceased to show their concern with concrete gestures of support."

   These communities have known "difficult periods" and "harsh trials," said the Pope. "Though physically distant from Rome, they have always remained close through their faithfulness to the See of Peter. However, their progress and their firmness in difficulties would have been unthinkable without the constant support they were able to draw from that oasis of peace and study that is the Pontifical Oriental Institute, a meeting point for scholars, professors, writers and publishers, some of the greatest experts on the Christian East."

   The Holy Father specifically praised the institute's library, "justly famous throughout the world" and "one of the best on the Christian East," saying he was committed to expanding it still further "as a sign of the interest the Church of Rome has in knowledge of the Christian East, and as a means to eliminate any prejudices which could harm the cordial and harmonious coexistence of Christians. I am, in fact, convinced," he added, "that supporting academic study also has an effective ecumenical value, because drawing from the heritage of wisdom of the Christian East enriches everyone."

   "The Pontifical Oriental Institute," Benedict XVI concluded, "represents an outstanding example of what Christian wisdom has to offer, both to people who wish to acquire an ever more accurate knowledge of the Eastern Churches, and to those seeking a more profound orientation of life according to the Spirit, a subject on which the Christian East can justly boast a rich tradition."

 

THE WORLD NEEDS OUR COMMON WITNESS TO CHRIST

 VATICAN CITY, DEC 6, 2007 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in audience members of the joint international commission sponsored by the Baptist World Alliance and the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, who are currently meeting in Rome to ponder the theme: "The Word of God in the Life of the Church: Scripture, Tradition and Koinonia."

   That theme, said the Pope in his English-language address to the delegates, "offers a promising context for the examination of such historically controverted issues as the relationship between Scripture and Tradition, the understanding of Baptism and the Sacraments, the place of Mary in the communion of the Church, and the nature of ... primacy in the Church's ministerial structure.

   "If our hope for reconciliation and greater fellowship between Baptists and Catholics is to be realized," he added, "issues such as these need to be faced together, in a spirit of openness, mutual respect and fidelity to the liberating truth and saving power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ."

   "Today, as ever, the world needs our common witness to Christ and to the hope brought by the Gospel," Pope Benedict concluded. "Obedience to the Lord's will should constantly spur us, then, to strive for that unity so movingly expressed in His priestly prayer: 'that they may all be one... so that the world may believe.' For the lack of unity between Christians 'openly contradicts the will of Christ, provides a stumbling block to the world, and harms the most holy cause of proclaiming the good news to every creature'."

 

BENEDICT XVI RECEIVES PRESIDENT OF ALBANIA

 VATICAN CITY, DEC 6, 2007 (VIS) - The Holy See Press Office released the following communique at midday today:

   "This morning the Holy Father Benedict XVI received in audience Bamir Topi, president of the Republic of Albania. President Topi subsequently went on to meet with Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B., who was accompanied by Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States.

   "The president conveyed his gratitude to the Catholic Church for the help she offers the Albanian people, especially through educational and charitable institutions, also expressing his happiness for the recently-signed Agreement on healthcare and fiscal matters, and his hope that such collaboration may continue, also from a cultural and spiritual standpoint.

   "President Topi explained the steps recently taken by the Albanian government to resolve the country's main difficulties, establish a State of law, and proceed towards European integration. Finally, attention turned to a number of bilateral and regional questions; concerning the definitive juridical status of Kosovo, talks dwelt on the need to bear in mind the fundamental requests of the parties and to prevent any recourse to violence."

 

IN BRIEF

 ARCHBISHOP SILVANO TOMASI C.S., HOLY SEE permanent observer to the Office of the United Nations and Specialized Institutions in Geneva, participated in the 30th International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, which was held from November 26 to 30 on the theme: "Together for Humanity." In his English-language address, which was made public today, Archbishop Tomasi indicated that "pandemics, international migration, urban violence and environmental degradation" all serve as a reminder that "coexistence among social and political communities, and the construction of a peaceful world order, are only possible on the basis of upholding the fundamental value of every person's human dignity."

 THE 94TH SESSION OF THE COUNCIL of the International Organization for Migration was held in Geneva from 27-30 November. Among the participants was Archbishop Silvano Tomasi C.S., Holy See permanent observer to the Office of the United Nations and Specialized Institutions in Geneva. Addressing the assembly in English on November 29, he expressed the view that "migrants, aware of their rights, can be more secure in offering their services and talents, and the receiving community, well informed and respectful of these rights, will feel freer in extending its solidarity in order to build together a common future."

 

AUDIENCES

 VATICAN CITY, DEC 6, 2007 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

  - Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga S.D.B., archbishop of Tegucigalpa, Honduras.

  - Carl Albert Anderson, Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus, accompanied by Bishop William Edward Lori of Bridgeport, U.S.A.

 

OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS

 VATICAN CITY, DEC 6, 2007 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

  - Appointed Msgr. Francesco Moraglia of the clergy of the archdiocese of Genoa, Italy, professor of dogmatic theology and director of the Institute of Religious Science and of the diocesan office for culture, as bishop of La Spezia-Sarzana-Brugnato (area 881, population 219,551, Catholics 216,983, priests 153, permanent deacons 23, religious 241), Italy. The bishop-elect was born in Genoa in 1953 and ordained a priest in 1977. He succeeds Bishop Bassano Staffieri, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.

  - Appointed Bishop William C. Skurla of the eparchy of Van Nuys of the Ruthenians, U.S.A., as bishop of the eparchy of Passaic of the Ruthenians (Catholics 21,808, priests 81, permanent deacons 23, religious 32), U.S.A. He succeeds Bishop Andrew Pataki, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same eparchy the Holy Father accepted, in accordance with canon 210 para. 1 and 2 of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches.

  - Appointed Msgr. Gerald N. Dino, "protosincellus" of the eparchy of Passaic of the Ruthenians, U.S.A., and pastor of the church of St. George at Linden, New Jersey, U.S.A., as bishop of the eparchy of Van Nuys of the Ruthenians (Catholics 2,863, priests 24, permanent deacons 8, religious 11), U.S.A. The bishop-elect was born in Binghamton, U.S.A. in 1940 and ordained a priest in 1965.

  - Appointed Archbishop Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya of Kisangani, Democratic Republic of the Congo, as archbishop of Kinshasa (area 8,500, population 7,203,000, Catholics 3,601,000, priests 1,038, religious 3,062), Democratic Republic of the Congo.

  - Appointed Bishop Patrick Taval M.S.C., auxiliary of Rabaul, Papua New Guinea, as coadjutor of Kerema (area 34,000, population 106,800, Catholics 22,794, priests 12, religious 27), Papua New Guinea.

  - Appointed Fr. John Doaninoel S.M. regional superior of the Society of Mary, as auxiliary of the archdiocese of Rabaul (area 15,500, population 256,100, Catholics 141,400, priests 48, religious 189), Papua New Guinea. The bishop-elect was born in Timputz, Papua New Guinea, in 1950 and ordained a priest in 1980.

  - Archbishop Giuseppe Pinto, apostolic nuncio to Senegal, Mali, Capo Verde, Guinea-Bissau, and apostolic delegate to Mauritania, as apostolic nuncio to Chile.

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