May 15, 2008

Vatican Information Service Bulletin

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



 VATICAN CITY, 15 MAY 2008 (VIS) - This morning in the Vatican, the Pope received participants in the plenary assembly of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples, who have been meeting over the last few days to reflect upon the theme: "The emigrant and itinerant family".

   Benedict XVI recalled how during his recent visit to the United States, he had encouraged people "to continue their commitment to welcoming those brothers and sisters who arrive there, usually from poor countries", and had given particular emphasis to "the serious problem of the reunification of families".

   "The Church's solicitude towards emigrant families does not diminish her concern for itinerant families", he noted, highlighting how families of whatever condition "represent the original cell of society which must not be destroyed but courageously and patiently defended". The family is "the community in which, from infancy, we are formed to adore and love God, learning the grammar of human and moral values, and discovering how to make good use of freedom in truth. Unfortunately, in no small number of situations this is difficult to achieve, and especially in cases of people affected by the phenomenon of human mobility".

   Pope Benedict then went on to examine the "profound bond" between the Sacrament of the Eucharist and that of Marriage, noting how "the liturgy places the celebration of the Sacrament of Marriage at the heart of the celebration of the Eucharist. ... In their daily lives, couples must draw inspiration for their behaviour from the example of Christ Who 'loved the Church and gave Himself up for her'", he said. "This supreme gesture of love is presented anew in each celebration of the Eucharist; and it is appropriate for the pastoral care of families to refer back to this sacramental fact as a reference point of fundamental importance.

   "People who go to Mass - and the celebration of Mass must also be facilitated for migrants and itinerant peoples - find in the Eucharist a powerful allusion to their own family, their own marriage; and they are encouraged to live their lives from the point of view of faith, seeking in divine grace the strength to succeed", the Pope added.

   The Holy Father concluded by pointing out that "human mobility represents, in today's globalised world, an important frontier for new evangelisation". In this context, he encouraged the members and consultors of the pontifical council "to continue your pastoral commitment with renewed zeal".



 VATICAN CITY, 15 MAY 2008 (VIS) - Five hundred women, members of the "Ordo Virginum" who have come to Rome on pilgrimage to participate in an international congress being held by their order, were received in audience this morning by Benedict XVI.

   In his remarks to them the Pope, quoting the theme chosen for the congress, pointed out that consecrated virginity is "a gift in the Church and for the Church". And he invited the women "to develop, from day to day, their understanding of a charism which is as luminous and fruitful in the eyes of the faith as it is obscure and futile in the eyes of the world".

   "The Order of Virgins represents a particular form of consecrated life which flowered anew in the Church after Vatican Council II", the Holy Father explained. "However, it has ancient roots that go back to the beginnings of evangelical life when, in an unprecedented novelty, the hearts of certain women began to open to a desire for consecrated virginity: in other words, the desire to give one's entire being to God, which had had its first extraordinary fulfilment in the Virgin of Nazareth and her 'yes'".

   "Your charism must reflect the intensity, but also the freshness, of its origins", said Benedict XVI noting how, "when it came into being, the charism did not involve a particular way of life. Little by little, however, it was institutionalised, finally becoming a full public and solemn consecration conferred by the bishop through an inspirational liturgical rite that made the consecrated woman 'sponsa Christi', an image of the Church as bride".

   "Your vocation", he told the women, "is profoundly rooted in the particular Church to which you belong. ... From the diocese, with its traditions, its saints, its values, limits and difficulties, you open up to the scope of the Universal Church, sharing particularly in her liturgical prayer. ... In this way your prayerful 'I' progressively broadens out, until in the prayer there is nothing more than a great 'we'. ... In your dialogue with God, open yourselves to dialogue with all creatures".

   "The choice of virginal life", the Pope concluded, "is an allusion to the transitory nature of earthly things and an anticipation of future good. Be witnesses of vigilant and industrious hope, of joy, of the peace that belongs to those who abandon themselves to the love of God. Be present in the world, yet pilgrims on the journey to the Kingdom".



 VATICAN CITY, 15 MAY 2008 (VIS) - The Holy See has adhered to the Convention of Vienna for the Protection of the Ozone Layer, and to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer.

   Archbishop Celestino Migliore, Holy See permanent observer to the United Nations in New York, deposited the document of adherence before the U.N. Secretary General on 5 May.

   In English-language remarks, Archbishop Migliore explained that with this gesture "the Holy See desires to encourage the entire international community to be resolute in promoting authentic co-operation between politics, science and economics. Such co-operation, as has been shown in the case of the ozone regime, can achieve important outcomes, which make it simultaneously possible to safeguard creation, to promote integral human development and to care for the common good, in a spirit of responsible solidarity and with profound positive repercussions for present and future generations".

   "The Holy See, by means of the solemn act of accession, intends to give its own moral support to the commitment of States to the correct and effective implementation of the treaties in question and to the attaining of the mentioned objectives. To this end, it expresses the wish that by recognising 'the signs of [an economic growth] that has not always been able to protect the delicate balances of nature', all actors will intensify the aforesaid co-operation and strengthen 'the alliance between man and the environment, which must mirror the creative love of God'".



 VATICAN CITY, 15 MAY 2008 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

  - Three prelates from the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Thailand, on their "ad limina" visit:

     - Cardinal Michael Michai Kitbunchu, archbishop of Bangkok.

     - Bishop Lawrence Thienchai Samanchit of Chanthaburi.

     - Bishop Francis Xavier Kriengsak Kovithavanij of Nakhon Sawan.

  - Bishop Gerhard Ludwig Muller of Regensburg, Germany, accompanied by an entourage.

   This evening he is scheduled to receive in separate audiences two prelates from the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Thailand, on their "ad limina" visit:

     - Bishop John Bosco Panya Kritcharoen of Ratchaburi.

     - Bishop Joseph Prathan Sridarunsil S.D.B. of Surat Thani.



 VATICAN CITY, 15 MAY 2008 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

  - Appointed Msgr. Alceste Catella of the clergy of the diocese of Biella, Italy, vicar general, as bishop of Casale Monferrato (area 970, population 103,000, Catholics 99,000, priests 115, permanent deacons 12, religious 172), Italy. The bishop-elect was born in Tavigliano, Italy in 1942 and ordained a priest in 1966.

  - Appointed Fr. Adolfo Bittschi Mayer, pastor of Incahuasi, Bolivia, as auxiliary of the archdiocese of Sucre (area 49,975, population 604,292, Catholics 527,016, priests 96, permanent deacons 1, religious 275), Bolivia. The bishop-elect was born in Ingolstadt, Germany, in 1950 and ordained a priest in 1977.

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