June 12, 2008

Vatican Information Service Bulletin

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

SUMMARY:


CATHOLICS IN BANGLADESH: FOSTER UNITY AND PEACE

VATICAN CITY, 12 JUN 2008 (VIS) - "Personal integrity and holiness of life are essential components of a bishop's witness", Benedict XVI told prelates from the Catholic Bishop's Conference of Bangladesh, whom he received this morning in the Vatican at the end of their "ad limina" visit.

  "Bishops are called to be patient, mild and gentle in the spirit of the beatitudes", he said in his English-language address. "In this way they lead others to see all human realities in the light of the Kingdom of Heaven. ... Many of your people suffer from poverty, isolation or discrimination, and they look to you for spiritual guidance that will lead them to recognise in faith, and to experience in anticipation, that they are truly blessed by God".

  The Pope then went on to examine "the effective transmission of the deposit of faith", highlighting the importance of ensuring that "lay catechists are sufficient in number, well prepared and given due recognition by the faithful. ... As you know from your own pastoral experience, catechists play an integral role in preparing lay people to receive the Sacraments. This is especially true in the increasingly important work of preparing young men and women to recognise the Sacrament of Matrimony as a life-long covenant of faithful love and as a path to holiness.

  "I have often mentioned", he added, "my concern regarding the difficulty modern men and women have in making a lifelong commitment. There is an urgent need on the part of all Christians to reassert the joy of total self-giving in response to the radical call of the Gospel. One clear sign of this radical commitment is seen in the many vocations to the priesthood and the consecrated life the Church in your country is currently experiencing".

  "The Church is Catholic: a community embracing peoples of all races and languages, and not limited to any one culture or particular social, economic or political system. ... This gives her a connatural ability to foster unity and peace.

  "My dear brothers", he told the Bangladeshi prelates, "you have much to offer the nation. In your love for your country you inspire tolerance, moderation and understanding. By encouraging people who share important values to co-operate for the common good, you help to consolidate your country's stability and to maintain it for the future. These efforts, however subtle, give effective support to the majority of your fellow citizens who uphold the country's noble tradition of mutual respect, tolerance and social harmony".

  Pope Benedict then turned his attention to inter-religious dialogue, which he described as an "essential component of the Church's mission 'ad gentes'". Such dialogue, "based on mutual respect and truth, cannot fail to have a positive influence on the social climate of your country. The delicacy of this task requires thorough preparation of clergy and lay people, first of all by offering them a deeper knowledge of their own faith and then by helping them to grow in their understanding of Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and the other religions present in your region".

  Finally, the Holy Father mentioned the forthcoming Pauline year, "which will be for the whole Church a renewed invitation to announce with unfailing courage the Good News of Christ Jesus. ... I am aware of the difficulties of this mission entrusted to you. Like the first Christians, you live as a small community among a large non-Christian population. Your presence is a sign that the preaching of the Gospel, which began in Jerusalem and Judea, continues to spread to the ends of the earth in accordance with the universal destination the Lord willed for it".

 

WORKING DOCUMENT FOR FORTHCOMING SYNOD ON WORD OF GOD

VATICAN CITY, 12 JUN 2008 (VIS) - In the Holy See Press Office this morning, Archbishop Nikola Eterovic, secretary general of the Synod of Bishops presented the "Instrumentum laboris" (working document) for the Twelfth Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, which is due to take place from 5 to 26 October on the theme: "The Word of God in the Life and the Mission of the Church".

  Archbishop Eterovic explained that the working document for the forthcoming Synod highlights how the aim of the assembly is, above all, "of a pastoral and missionary character", and "will have two important points of reference. The first is the previous Synod on the Eucharist, and the second is the Pauline Year which will begin on 28 June". In this context he expressed the view that "the memory of St. Paul, Apostle of the Gentiles, will not fail to arouse a renewed missionary drive in the Church, for the benefit of all humanity. The centre of such dynamism remains the Sunday celebration of the Eucharist", he said.

  The "Instrumentum laboris", which has been published in English, French, Spanish, Italian, German, Portuguese and Polish, is divided into three parts: (1) The Mystery of God Who Speaks to Us; (2) The Word of God in the Life of the Church; (3) The Word of God in the Mission of the Church.

  The secretary general of the Synod explained how part one is subdivided into three chapters. "The first chapter", he said, "seeks to explain the scope of the term 'Word of God'". Chapter two "is dedicated to the subject of the inspiration and truth of Holy Scripture, and to its relationship with the Word of God"; it also contains reflections on the relationship between Tradition, Scripture and Magisterium for a correct ecclesial interpretation of Holy Writ". Chapter three concentrates on the "the disposition believers should have towards the Word of God: listening to God Who speaks".

  Archbishop Eterovic indicated that the second section of the "Instrumentum laboris" is subdivided into two chapters, the first of which "makes it clear that the Word of God gives life to the Church, which is born and lives by the Word of God". Chapter two of this section "describes the Word of God in the many services of the Church. The ministry of the Word, which has various modes of expression, finds a privileged place in liturgical celebrations", he said.

  "It is necessary, then," he went on, "to exercise particular care over the liturgy of the Word, the readings, the homily and the prayer of the faithful, which are essential parts of the Mass". The document, he said, also "underlines the importance of studying theology - and especially exegesis - in accordance with the orientation of the Church, in other words interpreting Scripture in the context of the Church's living Tradition, giving due weight to the patrimony of the Fathers and listening to the indications of the Magisterium".

  Archbishop Eterovic then proceeded to examine part three of the "Instrumentum laboris", which is also subdivided into three chapters. "The first reiterates the Church's mission to proclaim the Word of God ... through evangelisation and catechesis". Chapter two "indicates how to put into effect the faithful's shared vocation to receive and give the Word of God" in accordance with the tasks and responsibilities of each within the Church. "Chapter three is dedicated to ecumenical and inter-religious relations", said the archbishop, recalling that "Sacred Scripture is an important bond of unity with other Christians", and that "there exists a special relationship uniting Christians and Jews, with whom they share a large part of Scripture". This chapter also contains "important considerations concerning faithful of other religions, ... especially Islam. Even though Christianity is more the religion of the person of Jesus Christ and not of the Book, Holy Scripture is an important aspect of inter-religious dialogue".

  Closing his remarks, the secretary general of the Synod mentioned Benedict XVI's contribution to the "Instrumentum laboris". The Pope, he said, "has spoken about Holy Scripture many times, enriching theological and spiritual reflections on the subject. The topic has also been the subject of many of his written works, from his commentary on the Vatican Council II Dogmatic Constitution 'Dei Verbum', to his book 'Jesus of Nazareth'".

 

AUDIENCES

VATICAN CITY, 12 JUN 2008 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

 - Archbishop Giovanni Bulaitis, apostolic nuncio to Albania.

 - Two prelates from the Catholic Bishop's Conference of Bangladesh, on their "ad limina" visit:

    - Bishop Paul Ponen Kubi C.S.C. of Mymensingh.

    - Bishop Gervas Rozario of Rajshahi.

 - Fredrik Vahlquist, ambassador of Sweden, on his farewell visit,

 - Pavel Jajtner, ambassador of the Czech Republic on his farewell visit.

 

OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS

VATICAN CITY, 12 JUN 2008 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed:

 - As a member of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, archbishop of Genoa, Italy.

 - As members of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, Cardinal Agustin Garcia-Gasco Vicente, archbishop of Valencia, Spain; Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, archbishop of Genoa, Italy; Cardinal Theodore-Adrien Sarr, archbishop of Dakar, Senegal, and Cardinal John Patrick Foley, grand master of the Equestrian Order of the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem.

 - As members of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, Cardinal Paul Josef Cordes, president of the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum"; Cardinal Angelo Comastri, archpriest of the papal basilica of St. Peter's in the Vatican, vicar general of His Holiness for Vatican City and president of the Fabric of St. Peter's; Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko, president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, and Cardinal Raffaele Farina S.D.B., archivist and librarian of Holy Roman Church.

 - As members of the Congregation for Bishops, Cardinal Andre Vingt-Trois, archbishop of Paris, France; Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, archbishop of Genoa, Italy; Cardinal Giovanni Lajolo, president of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State and of the Governorate of Vatican City State, and Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko, president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity.

 - As members of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples, Cardinal Theodore-Adrien Sarr, archbishop of Dakar, Senegal; Cardinal John Njue, archbishop of Nairobi, Kenya; Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches; Cardinal John Patrick Foley, grand master of the Equestrian Order of the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, and Cardinal Paul Josef Cordes, president of the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum".

 - As members of the Congregation for the Clergy, Cardinal Odilo Pedro Scherer, archbishop of Sao Paulo, Brazil; Cardinal John Njue, archbishop of Nairobi, Kenya, and Cardinal Paul Josef Cordes, president of the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum".

 - As a member of the Congregation for Catholic Education, Cardinal Raffaele Farina S.D.B., archivist and librarian of Holy Roman Church.

 - As a member of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, Cardinal Lluis Martinez Sistach of Barcelona, Spain.

 - As a member of the Pontifical Council for the Laity, Cardinal Lluis Martinez Sistach of Barcelona, Spain.

 - As members of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, Cardinal Sean Baptist Brady, archbishop of Armagh, Ireland, and Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches.

 - As members of the presidential committee of the Pontifical Council for the Family, Cardinal Agustin Garcia-Gasco Vicente, archbishop of Valencia, Spain, and Cardinal Andre Vingt-Trois, archbishop of Paris, France.

 - As a member of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, Cardinal Paul Josef Cordes, president of the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum".

 - As a member of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples, Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, archbishop of Galveston-Houston, U.S.A.

 - As a member of the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue, Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches.

 - As a member of the Pontifical Council for Culture, Cardinal Giovanni Lajolo, president of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State and of the Governorate of Vatican City State.

 - As a member of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See, Cardinal Giovanni Lajolo, president of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State and of the Governorate of Vatican City State.

 - As members of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America, Cardinal Francisco Robles Ortega, archbishop of Monterrey, Mexico, and Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko, president of the Pontifical Council for the Laity.

 - As members of the Pontifical Commission for the Cultural Patrimony of the Church, Cardinal Sean Baptist Brady, archbishop of Armagh, Ireland, and Cardinal Raffaele Farina S.D.B., archivist and librarian of Holy Roman Church.

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