May 2, 2008

Vatican Information Service Bulletin

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

SUMMARY:


CUBAN CHURCH CALLED TO OFFER THE ONLY TRUE HOPE: CHRIST

 VATICAN CITY, 2 MAY 2008 (VIS) - This morning in the Vatican, Benedict XVI received prelates from the Conference of Catholic Bishops of Cuba, who have recently completed their quinquennial "ad limina" visit.

   The Holy Father began his address to the bishops by underlining "the vitality of the Church in Cuba, as well as its unity and its commitment to Jesus Christ". He also remarked upon the "profound change" in ecclesial life in Cuba "especially since the celebration of the Cuban National Ecclesial Meeting, now more than 20 years ago, and above all following the historic visit to Cuba in 1998 by my venerated predecessor Pope John Paul II".

  "At this historic moment, the Church in Cuba is called to offer all Cuban society the only true hope: Our Lord Jesus. ... This means that the fomentation of ecclesial life must be given a central role in your aspirations and your pastoral projects".

   After thanking priests for "their faithfulness and tireless service to the Church and the faithful", the Holy Father expressed the hope that "an increase in vocations and the simultaneous adoption of appropriate measures in this field, may soon enable the Cuban Church to have a sufficient number of priests, as well as the churches and places of worship necessary to accomplish her strictly pastoral and spiritual mission".

   "It is necessary", he went on, "to continue promoting a specific form of vocational pastoral care, one that is not afraid of encouraging the young to follow the footsteps of Christ, Who alone is capable of satisfying their longing for love and happiness". At the same time he encouraged the prelates to ensure seminarians have "the best possible spiritual, intellectual and human formation" so that, "identifying themselves with the Heart of Christ", they can shoulder "the commitment to the priestly ministry".

   Benedict XVI highlighted "the exemplary efforts of so many male and female religious", whom he encouraged to continue "enriching the whole of ecclesial life with the wealth of their charisms and their generous commitment". He also thanked "the numerous missionaries who offer the gift of their consecration to all the Church in Cuba".

   He then turned to focus on "one of the main objectives of the pastoral plan", the promotion of "a committed laity", and he invited the prelates to encourage "an authentic process of education in the faith at various levels, with the help of well-trained catechists". He also asked them to facilitate "reading and prayerful meditation upon the Word of God", for the faithful, "as well as their frequent attendance at the Sacraments of Penance and the Eucharist".

   The Pope also stressed how, with an "intense spiritual life and the support of a solid religious education", the laity "will be able to offer convincing testimony of their faith in all areas of society, illuminating them with the light of the Gospel. In this context, it is my hope that the Church in Cuba, in keeping with her legitimate aspirations, may enjoy normal access to the social communications media".

   On the subject of the pastoral care of marriage and the family, the Holy Father encouraged the prelates "to redouble their efforts so as to ensure that everyone, and especially the young, gains a better understanding of - and feels ever more attracted by - the beauty of the true values of marriage and the family. At the same time, it is necessary to encourage and offer the appropriate means so that families can exercise their responsibilities, and their fundamental right to a religious and moral education for their children".

   The Pope spoke of his joy at realising "the generosity with which the Church in your beloved nation is committed to serving the poorest and the most disadvantaged, for which she receives the appreciation and recognition of all the Cuban people. I give you my heartfelt encouragement to continue bringing a visible sign of God's love to those in need, the sick, the elderly and the imprisoned".

   Benedict XVI concluded by expressing the hope that the forthcoming beatification of Servant of God Fr. Jose Olallo Valdes "may give fresh impulse to your service to the Church and the people of Cuba, always being a leavening for reconciliation, justice and peace".

 

PLENARY ACADEMY SOCIAL SCIENCES: PURSUING COMMON GOOD

 VATICAN CITY, 2 MAY 2008 (VIS) - In the Holy See Press Office at midday today, a press conference was held to present the 14th plenary session of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, which is to take place in the Vatican from 2 to 6 May on the theme: "Pursuing the common good: how solidarity and subsidiarity can work together".

   Participating in the press conference were Bishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo, chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences; Margaret Archer of the University of Warwick, England; and Pierpaolo Donati of the University of Bologna, Italy.

   The goal of the assembly, explains an English-language note released for the press conference, "is to give new meaning and application to the concept of common good in this age of globalisation, which in certain fields is leading to growing inequalities and social injustice, laceration and fragmentation of the social fabric, in short, to the destruction of common goods throughout the world".

   "The main hypothesis on which scholars are called to exchange their views is that the principles of subsidiarity and solidarity can, unlike the compromises between socialism and liberalism, mobilise new social, economic and cultural forces of civil society which, within politically-shared fundamental values, can generate those common goods on which the future of humanity depends.

   "The programme", the note adds, "envisages a careful inspection of the current processes of radical change in the light of the four fundamental principles of the Catholic social doctrine (dignity of the human person, common good, solidarity and subsidiarity) to understand how and in what measure these principles are effectively applied, and to suggest new solutions where they are misconstrued, misunderstood, disobeyed or distorted".

   Explaining how these principles "are very often interpreted in ways that are very far from the meanings and intentions that attain to social doctrine," the note refers to the family. "The common good of the family is identified with its assets", it says, "family solidarity with sentiments of pure affection, subsidiarity with leaving each 'actor' to define the family as he/she likes".

   "At the practical-operational level, some case studies on good practices will be presented", such as "new forms of solidary and subsidiary economy (the 'economy of communion' and the 'Food Bank'); shared access (peer to peer) to information goods on communication networks (the Internet); the new 'Local Alliances for the Family' (born in Germany and spreading throughout Europe); subsidiary educational activities in developing countries; third sector organisations using the instrument of micro-credit for social, economic and human development".

   The note concludes by underlining how "the fundamental challenge" facing the assembly is that "once we acknowledge that the great deficit of modernity, which is nevertheless responsible for many social conquests, has been and still is social solidarity (at all levels, from local to global), it is a matter of seeing whether and how this deficit can be overcome by a new way of intending and practising subsidiarity as a pro-active, promotional principle, not only as a defensive, protective one. In short, the challenge is for a new combination of subsidiarity and solidarity to become the key to activate those social circuits on which common goods depend, the key to turn globalisation into a 'civilisation of the common good'".

 

AUDIENCES

 VATICAN CITY, 2 MAY 2008 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

  - Five prelates from the Conference of Catholic Bishops of Cuba, on their "ad limina" visit:

     - Bishop Manuel Hilario de Cespedes Garcia-Menocal of Matanzas.

     - Bishop Jorge Enrique Serpa Perez of Pinar del Rio.

     - Archbishop Dionisio Guillermo Garcia Ibanez of Santiago de Cuba, accompanied by Archbishop emeritus Pedro Claro Meurice Estiu.

     - Bishop Wilfredo Pino Estevez of Guantanamo-Baracoa.

  - Archbishop Leon Kalenga Badikebele, apostolic nuncio to Ghana, accompanied by members of his family.

  - Bishop Frans Daneels O. Praem., secretary of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, accompanied by members of his family.

  - Bishop Juan Ignacio Arrieta Ochoa de Chinchetru, secretary of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, accompanied by members of his family.

   This evening, he is scheduled to receive in audience Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.

 

OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS

 VATICAN CITY, 2 MAY 2008 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

  - Accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, U.S.A., presented by Archbishop Harry J. Flynn, upon having reached the age limit. He is succeeded by Coadjutor Archbishop John C. Neinstedt.

  - Appointed Fr. Byran Bayda C.SS.R., pastor and superior of the Redemptorist Fathers at Yorkton, Canada, as bishop of the eparchy of Saskatoon of the Ukrainians (Catholics 8,422, priests 11, permanent deacons 3, religious 27), Canada. The bishop-elect was born in Saskatoon in 1961 and ordained a priest in 1987. He succeeds Bishop Michael Wiwchar C.SS.R., whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same eparchy the Holy Father accepted, in accordance with canon 210 para. 1 of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches.

  - Appointed Fr. Fulop Kocsis, a monk of Damoc, Hungary, as bishop of the eparchy of Hajdudorog (Catholics 270,000, priests 227, permanent deacons 2, religious 22), Hungary and apostolic administrator "ad nutum Sanctae Sedis" of the apostolic exarchate of Miskolc (Catholics 20,000, priests 38), Hungary. The bishop-elect was born in Szeged, Hungary in 1963 and ordained a priest in 1989.

   On Thursday 1 May, the Holy Father:

  - Appointed Fr. Anibal Saldana Santamaria O.A.R., pastor of Totonicapan in the archdiocese of Guatemala, Guatemala, as bishop-prelate of Bocas del Toro (area 8,115, population 126,000, Catholics 63,000, priests 11, religious 20), Panama. The bishop-elect was born in Puerto Armuelles, Panama in 1958 and ordained a priest in 1982. He succeeds Jose Agustin Ganuza Garcia O.A.R., whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same territorial prelature the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.

  - Appointed Msgr. Gerardo Melgar Viciosa, vicar general of Palencia, Spain, as bishop of Osma-Soria (area 10,287, population 93,503, Catholics 75,500, priests 160, permanent deacons 1, religious 269), Spain. The bishop-elect was born in Cervatos de la Cueza, Spain in 1948 and ordained a priest in 1973.

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