June 4, 2008

Vatican Information Service Bulletin

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

SUMMARY:


GREGORY THE GREAT: HUMILITY IS THE MEASURE OF GREATNESS

 VATICAN CITY, 4 JUN 2008 (VIS) - In his general audience this morning, held in St. Peter's Square, Benedict XVI resumed the catechesis he began last week on St. Gregory the Great, focusing today on the doctrine of this Pope and Doctor of the Church.

   The Holy Father began by recalling how St. Gregory, in his numerous works, "never displays any concern with outlining a doctrine 'of his own'. Rather, he seeks to echo the Church's traditional teaching on the path to follow to reach God".

   "A passionate reader of the Bible", the author of the Homilies on the Gospels believed that when reading Scripture "Christians must not draw theoretical knowledge so much as daily nourishment for their soul". Gregory likewise insisted that approaching "Holy Scripture only to satisfy one's own desire for knowledge means giving way to the temptation of pride".

   "Intellectual humility is the primary rule for people seeking to penetrate supernatural truth on the basis of the Holy Books", said the Pope, remarking that "where the Word of God is involved, to understand means nothing if understanding does not lead to action".

   In his Moral Commentary to Job this Doctor of the Church, following patristic tradition, examined the sacred text in the light of its threefold significance: literal, allegorical and moral. ... The moral ideal consists in achieving a harmonious integration of word and deed, of thought and commitment, of prayer and dedication to one's duties. ... This great Pope thus outlined a complete life project for true believers, which during the course of the Middle Ages represented a kind of 'Summa' of Christian morals".

   In his most famous work, the Pastoral Rule, Gregory "seeks to delineate the ideal bishop, master and guide of his flock. ... The bishop is above all the 'preacher' par excellence and as such he must primarily be an example to others. ... For pastoral action to be effective, bishops must understand its recipients and adapt their interventions to the situations of each". Gregory also "insists on the daily duty pastors have to recognise their own poverty, so that pride does not make the good achieved ineffective in the eyes of the supreme Judge".

   "All these precious guidelines", said Pope Benedict, "demonstrate St. Gregory's exalted concern for the care of souls, which he defined as 'ars artium' (the art of arts). ... In the theological design that Gregory develops in his works, past, present and future are relativized. What has most importance for him is the entire span of the history of salvation, which continues to unravel through the dark meanders of time. ... He believes that the leaders of the Christian community must continually undertake to reread events in the light of the Word of God".

   Finally Benedict XVI mentioned the relationships Gregory "cultivated with the Patriarchs of Antioch, Alexandria and Constantinople", noting how he was "constantly concerned with recognising and respecting their rights, avoiding any form of interference that could limit their legitimate autonomy". And if Gregory "opposed the title of 'Ecumenical' for the Patriarch of Constantinople", said the Pope, "he did so because he was concerned for the fraternal unity of the universal Church and, above all, because he was profoundly convinced that humility was the fundamental virtue for all bishops, and even more so for a Patriarch.

   "In his heart", the Holy Father added, "Gregory continued to be a simple monk and for that reason opposed the use of grand titles. He wished to be 'servus servorum Dei' (servant of the servants of God). ... Intimately inspired by the humility of God Who in Christ became our servant, ... he was convinced that a bishop must imitate such humility".

   Although Gregory's wish had been "to live as a monk in permanent communion with the Word of God", Benedict XVI concluded, "for His love he became the servant of everyone in a time full of tribulation and suffering; he became the servant of the servants. This is why he was 'Great' and shows us the measure of true greatness".

 

POPE RECALLS ST. FRANCIS CARACCIOLO AND BLESSED JOHN XXIII

 VATICAN CITY, 4 JUN 2008 (VIS) - At the end of today's general audience, the Pope addressed some remarks to participants in a pilgrimage being promoted by the Order of Minor Clerks Regular to mark the end of celebrations for the fourth centenary of the death of their founder, St. Francis Caracciolo (1563-1608).

   "Dear friends", said the Pope, "I hope that this important occasion many contribute to renewing in everyone the living desire to serve Christ, following the teachings of this great saint who was a lover of the Eucharist, a humble servant of the poor, and an ascetic constantly immersed in contemplation of the Crucified Christ".

   The Holy Father then turned to greet Polish pilgrims, recalling that yesterday marked the 45th anniversary of the death of Blessed John XXIII "whom people called 'John the Good' or 'Good Pope John'. It was he who called Vatican Council II which began the renewal of the Church, the reform of her structures and the 'aggiornamento' of her liturgy. May this reform", Benedict XVI concluded, "produce fruits in us and in the Church of the third millennium".

 

OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS

 VATICAN CITY, 4 JUN 2008 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

  - Appointed Bishop Domingo Diaz Martinez of Tuxpan, Mexico, as metropolitan archbishop of Tulancingo (area 10,696, population 1,477,935, Catholics 1,344,921, priests 174, permanent deacons 2, religious 198), Mexico. The archbishop-elect was born in Queretaro, Mexico in 1948, he was ordained a priest in 1977 and consecrated a bishop in 2002. He succeeds Archbishop Pedro Aranda Diaz-Munoz, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same archdiocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.

  - Appointed Msgr. Paul Ssmogerere, vicar general of Kampala, Uganda, as bishop of Kasana-Luweero (area 8,539, population 682,874, Catholics 209,792, priests 53, religious 64), Uganda. The bishop-elect was born in Kusubi, Uganda in 1956 and ordained a priest in 1983

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