May 26, 2008

Vatican Information Service Bulletin

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

SUMMARY: 24 - 26 MAY


IMPORTANCE OF REDISCOVERING CHRISTIAN ROOTS

VATICAN CITY, 24 MAY 2008 (VIS) - This morning in the Vatican Benedict XVI received in separate audiences Nikola Gruevski, prime minister of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, then Ivajlo Kalfin, deputy prime minister and foreign minister of the Republic of Bulgaria. Both men, leading delegations from their respective countries, have come to Rome for the commemoration of Sts. Cyril and Methodius.

  In his address to the Macedonian delegation, the Pope indicated that the "shining spiritual witness" of Sts. Cyril and Methodius "points to a perennial truth which must be rediscovered to an ever greater degree: only when hope comes from God, is it trustworthy and secure".

  "This hope becomes tangible reality when people of good will in all parts of the world, like the brothers Cyril and Methodius, imitating Jesus' example and faithful to His teaching, tirelessly dedicate themselves to laying the foundations of friendly coexistence among peoples, respecting the rights of each and seeking the good of everyone".

  In his audience with the delegation from the Republic of Bulgaria, the Holy Father told them that the memory of the two saints "stimulates believers, both Orthodox and Catholics, in their desire to spur the country to probe more deeply into its rich Christian heritage, the origins of which go back to the tireless initiative of these two great evangelisers from Salonika".

  "The work of evangelisation, undertaken with apostolic zeal by Sts. Cyril and Methodius in the lands inhabited by the Slav peoples" is still important today, said Pope Benedict, because "it represents a model for the inculturation of faith" valid "even for the post-modern age. The Gospel does not undermine the authentic elements it finds in the various cultural traditions, but helps mankind of all times to recognise and achieve the real good, illuminated by the splendour of truth".

  Benedict XVI concluded his remarks by highlighting how "the rediscovery of Christian roots is important for building a society in which the spiritual and cultural values arising from the Gospel remain present", values that "draw nourishment from constant union with God, as is evident from the lives of Sts. Cyril and Methodius who strove relentlessly to weave relationships of mutual understanding and cordiality between different peoples, and between diverse cultures and ecclesial traditions".

 

SPECIAL ENVOY TO ANNIVERSARY OF THE VIRGIN OF THE POOR

VATICAN CITY, 24 MAY 2008 (VIS) - Made public today was a Letter from the Pope, written in Latin and dated 27 March, to Cardinal Godfried Danneels, archbishop of Mechelen-Brussels, Belgium, appointing him as special papal envoy to celebrations marking the 75th anniversary of the apparitions of the Virgin of the Poor, due to be held at the shrine of Banneux, Belgium on 31 May.

  Cardinal Danneels will be accompanied on his mission by Fr. Karl Gatzweiler and Fr. Joseph Bodeson, members of the cathedral chapter of Liege, Belgium.

 

COMMUNIQUE CONCERNING DIRECTOR OF BAMBINO GESU HOSPITAL

VATICAN CITY, 24 MAY 2008 (VIS) - Given below is the text of a communique released by the Holy See Press Office on the afternoon of Friday 23 May, concerning the position of Giuseppe Profiti, director of the "Bambino Gesu" paediatric hospital in Rome.

  "While making clear its total faith in, and desire to collaborate with, the Italian investigating authorities, the Property of the 'Bambino Gesu' paediatric hospital expresses its complete solidarity with the incumbent president, Professor Giuseppe Profiti, who is currently the subject of an enquiry concerning the Italian province of Liguria and the public offices he held in the past.

  "Professor Giuseppe Profiti, who last January assumed responsibility for directing the 'Bambino Gesu' hospital, internationally recognised in the field of paediatric research and treatment, has given daily proof of dedication and great professionalism, also garnering the support of his staff, all of them dedicated in a joint effort to respond with excellence to the request for health from their young patients who, from Italy and abroad, come trustingly to the paediatric hospital, property of the Holy See.

  "The solidarity of individuals and of institutions translates on the ground into continuing daily efforts ... in support of those who suffer, following Professor Profiti's organisational and methodological guidelines, in the hope that the activity of the magistrates will soon clarify the professor's position and enable him to resume his work".

 

THE EUCHARIST IS A SCHOOL OF CHARITY AND SOLIDARITY

VATICAN CITY, 25 MAY 2008 (VIS) - The Feast of the Eucharist, as celebrated at Corpus Christi, was the theme of remarks that Benedict XVI addressed to faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square, before praying the Angelus today.

  "The Lord and Creator of all things became a 'grain of wheat' to be sown in our land, in the furrows of our history", said the Pope. "He became bread in order to be .... shared; ... He became our food in order to give us life, His own divine life".

  "The Eucharist is a school of charity and solidarity", he went on. "Those who nourish themselves on the bread of Christ cannot remain indifferent before people who, even in our own time, are without daily bread. Many parents have great difficulty in feeding themselves and their children. It is an ever more serious problem which the international community struggles to resolve. The Church not only prays to 'give us this day our daily bread' but, following the example of her Lord, seeks in all ways 'to multiply the five loaves and the two fish', through countless initiatives of human promotion and participation so that no-one may lack what they need to live".

  "May the Feast of Corpus Christi be an occasion to increase this authentic concern for our brothers and sisters, especially the poor", said Benedict XVI and he concluded by calling upon the Virgin Mary "from whom the Son of God drew flesh and blood", to intercede to this end.

 

MAY THE VIRGIN MARY SUPPORT CHRISTIANS IN CHINA

VATICAN CITY, 25 MAY 2008 (VIS) - After praying the Angelus today, the Pope addressed a special greeting to Chinese pilgrims present in St. Peter's Square, who have come to Rome from all over Italy for the World Day of Prayer for the Church in China, which was celebrated yesterday 24 May.

  "I entrust to the merciful love of God those of your fellow citizens who died as a consequence of the earthquake that struck a vast area of your county", the Holy Father told them.

  He then went on to renew his "personal closeness to those who are living through a period of anguish and tribulation. With the fraternal concern of everyone, may the people of those areas soon return to the normality of daily life.

  "Together with you, I ask Mary Help of Christians, Our Lady of Sheshan, to support the 'commitment of those within China who, amid their daily labours, continue to believe, to hope and to love, that they may not be afraid to speak of Jesus to the world, and of the world to Jesus', always being 'credible witnesses' of His love and remaining 'united to the rock of Peter upon which the Church is built'".

 

CO-OPERATION TO TACKLE PROBLEM OF CLUSTER MUNITIONS

VATICAN CITY, 26 MAY 2008 (VIS) - On 19 May, Archbishop Silvano M. Tomasi C.S., Holy See permanent observer to the Office of the United Nations and Specialised Institutions in Geneva, delivered an address during a diplomatic conference on cluster munitions being held in Dublin, Ireland.

  Speaking English Archbishop Tomasi, head of the Holy See delegation to the conference which is being held from 19 to 30 May, underlined the Holy See's insistence on "the priority of human dignity, of the interests of the victims, the priority of prevention and stability, and on the concept of security based on the lowest level of armament. Peace transcends by far the framework of military considerations. Peace is not just the absence of war".

  "In a globalised and more inter-dependent world, the problems of some are the problems of all" said the archbishop, warning that "what is not done today, will have to be done tomorrow with a supplement of suffering, of economic costs, and of deeper wounds to heal".

  He referred to moves underway to resolve the problem of cluster munitions, indicating that that "such efforts should be considered by the political and military leadership, and by the people of their countries, as a necessary but quite rewarding participation in the construction of a more peaceful and more secure world, where everyone enjoys greater security".

  "In this as in other contexts", he added, "co-operation and partnership are essential for success. A partnership between States, United Nations, international organisations, the Committee of the Red Cross and NGOs, is the secret to a common success and an indispensable element to reach the object of the future instrument. Victims should have a privileged place in this plan, their role should be an active one from start to finish".

  Archbishop Tomasi concede that "States have a right to defend peace, security and the stability of peoples under their responsibility" but, he said, "this can be better achieved without recourse to the arms race and to war".

  After recalling Paul VI's 1965 address to the U.N. General Assembly when the then Pope had said "one cannot love with offensive arms in hand", the head of the Holy See delegation reminded his listeners that "the eyes of peoples, of victims, of affected countries, are focused on this diplomatic conference, and all wait from us a courageous decision, as Pope Benedict XVI reminded the world" during the Angelus prayer of 18 May.

  "The world awaits an act of faith in the human person and his highest aspirations to live in peace and security, a commitment to make solidarity the most splendid expression of the unity of the human family and of its common destiny".

 

AUDIENCES

 VATICAN CITY, 26 MAY 2008 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

 - Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.

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

    - Archbishop Paul Zinghtung Grawng of Mandalay.

    - Bishop Raymond Sumlut Gam of Banmaw.

    - Bishop Nicholas Mang Thang of Hakha, accompanied by Auxiliary Bishop Felix Lian Khen Thang.

    - Bishop Philip Lasap Za Hawng of Lashio.

  On Saturday 24 May, he received in separate audiences:

 - Four prelates from the Episcopal Conference of Albania, on their ad limina" visit:

    - Archbishop Rrok K. Mirdita of Tirane-Durres, accompanied by Auxiliary Bishop George Frendo O.P.

    - Bishop Cristoforo Palmieri C.M. of Rreshen.

    - Bishop Hil Kabashi O.F.M., apostolic administrator of southern Albania.

 - Archbishop Luciano Suriani, apostolic nuncio to Bolivia, accompanied by members of his family.

 

OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS

VATICAN CITY, 26 MAY 2008 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Fr. Albert Thevenot M. Afr., provincial superior for Canada of the White Fathers, as bishop of Prince-Albert (area 118,834, population 186,400, Catholics 49,942, priests 55, permanent deacons 1, religious 102), Canada. The bishop-elect was born in Treherne, Canada in 1945 and ordained a priest in 1980. He succeeds Bishop Blaise-Ernest Morand, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.

  On Saturday 24 May, it was made public that the Holy Father:

 - Appointed Fr. Ghaleb Moussa Abdalla Bader of the clergy of the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem, president of the ecclesiastical tribunal of first appeal of Ammam, Jordan, as metropolitan archbishop of Alger (area 54,927, population 9,663,000, Catholics 3,000, priests 41, permanent deacons 2, religious 100), Algeria. The archbishop-elect was born in Khirbeh, Jordan in 1951 and ordained a priest in 1975. He succeeds Archbishop Henri Teissier, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same archdiocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.

 - Appointed Archbishop Henryk Hoser S.A.C., adjunct secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples and president of the Pontifical Missionary Works, as bishop of Warszawa-Praga (area 3,300, population 1,113,000, Catholics 1,088,000, priests 650, religious 1,623), Poland. He conserves his personal title of archbishop.

 - Appointed Msgr. Piergiuseppe Vacchelli of the clergy of the diocese of Cremona, Italy, under secretary of the Italian Episcopal Conference and president of the committee for charitable initiatives in support of the Third Word, as adjunct secretary of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples and president of the Pontifical Missionary Works, at the same time elevating him to the dignity of archbishop. The archbishop-elect was born in Longardore di Sospiro, Italy in 1937 and ordained a priest in 1961.

 - Appointed Archbishop Janusz Bolonek, apostolic nuncio to Uruguay, as apostolic nuncio to Bulgaria.

 - Appointed Archbishop Anselmo Guido Pecorari, apostolic nuncio, as apostolic nuncio to Uruguay.

 - Elevated Msgr. Paolo De Nicolo, regent of the Prefecture of the Pontifical Household, to the dignity of bishop.

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