January 11, 2008

Vatican Information Service Bulletin

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

SUMMARY:


PAPAL SOLIDARITY WITH THE CHRISTIANS OF IRAQ

VATICAN CITY, 11 JAN 2008 (VIS) - Benedict XVI has sent a telegram to Cardinal Emmanuel III Delly, patriarch of Babylon of the Chaldeans, Iraq, expressing solidarity in the wake of recent attacks against Christian communities in various of the country's cities.

  The English-language telegram, signed by Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B., makes it clear that the Pope was "deeply concerned to learn of the attacks on Christian targets in Baghdad, Mosul and Kirkuk" on 6 and 9 January, and that he "expresses his spiritual closeness to the injured and their families".

  The Holy Father offers the cardinal, who is also president of the Assembly of Catholic Bishops of Iraq, and the archbishops of the cities concerned, his "fraternal assurances of prayer as you seek to offer hope and strength to your people".

  The Pope asks Cardinal Delly "to convey his heartfelt solidarity to the superiors of the religious communities affected by these attacks, and to renew his sentiments of sincere solidarity with all members of the Christian communities in Iraq, Catholic and non-Catholic alike.

  "Mindful that such attacks are also directed against the whole people of Iraq, His Holiness appeals to the perpetrators to renounce the ways of violence, which have caused so much suffering to the civilian population, and he encourages all those in authority to renew efforts towards peaceful negotiation aimed at a just resolution of the country's difficulties, respectful of the rights of all.

  "Praying for a return to the peaceful coexistence of the diverse groups that make up the population of this beloved country, the Holy Father commends all the people of Iraq to the heavenly protection of our almighty and merciful Father".

 

POPE RECEIVES INSPECTORATE FOR PUBLIC SECURITY IN VATICAN

VATICAN CITY, 11 JAN 2008 (VIS) - Benedict XVI today received members of the General Inspectorate for Public Security at the Vatican, in their traditional January meeting to exchange New Year greetings.

  He expressed his best wishes for 2008, which he also extended to the members of their families, and he recalled how his Message for World Peace Day this year had as its theme: "The Human Family, a Community of Peace".

  Quoting from the text of the Message, the Pope indicated that "the natural family, as an intimate communion of life and love based on marriage between a man and a woman, constitutes 'the primary place of humanisation for the person and society', ... the prototype of every social order".

  "In your daily role of vigilance", he told his listeners, "you meet no small number of families. They arrive here from all over the world to pay homage to the Apostles, and in particular to St. Peter upon whose faith Christ founded the Church. They come to renew together their profession of this faith, ... to participate in audiences and celebrations presided by the Apostle Peter's Successor".

  The Holy Father thanked the officers of the General Inspectorate for Public Security for their "constant interest in people and in the motives that animate them", as well as for their "willingness, patience and spirit of sacrifice", and he invited them to seek in each pilgrim "the face of a brother or a sister whom God has put in your path, a friend yet unknown, ... in the knowledge that we are all part of the one great human family".

   "This is why", he continued, "it is essential for each of us to commit ourselves to living with an attitude of responsibility towards God, recognising in Him the ultimate source of our own life and the lives of others. By returning to this supreme Principle it is possible to perceive the unconditional worth of each human being, and it is thanks to such awareness that we can lay the foundations for constructing a pacified humanity".

   The Pope went on: "Without this transcendent foundation, which is God, society risks becoming a mere aggregation of neighbours, and it ceases to be a community of brothers and sisters called to form one great family".

   "May the Lord help you to carry out your profession", Benedict XVI concluded, "remaining ever faithful to the ideals which must constantly inspire it. Society needs people who do their duty and are aware that all work, all service conscientiously undertaken, contributes to building a more just and a truly free society".

 

HOLY SEE PRESS OFFICE COMMUNIQUE

 VATICAN CITY, 11 JAN 2008 (VIS) - The Holy See Press Office released the following communique at midday today:

   "The political manipulation that has followed the words addressed by the Holy Father yesterday to representatives from the Region of Lazio, and the Province and City of Rome cannot but provoke amazement. It was certainly not the Pope's intention to undervalue the social work being carried out with praiseworthy dedication by the leaders of the City of Rome and of the Region. In fact, as Bishop of Rome, he has in various circumstances, even recently, highlighted the achievements made in the service of citizens, achievements he was also careful to underline in yesterday's address. At the same time, however, he could not but mention - giving a voice to the many people who turn to him - certain particularly pressing human problems, which must be faced with everyone's contribution. The Church, as His Holiness has assured, will not fail in her own involvement and collaboration".

 

AUDIENCES

 VATICAN CITY, 11 JAN 2008 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

  - Cardinal Camillo Ruini, His Holiness vicar general for the diocese of Rome.

  - Cardinal Claudio Hummes O.F.M., prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy

  - Cardinal Agostino Vallini, accompanied by Bishop Velasio De Paolis C.S., respectively prefect and secretary of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura.

  - Archbishop Aldo Cavalli, apostolic nuncio to Colombia.

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

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