July 21, 2008

Vatican Information Service Bulletin

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

SUMMARY OF POPE'S APOSTOLIC TRIP TO AUSTRALIA:

OTHER NEWS:


POPE MEETS WITH VICTIMS OF SEXUAL ABUSE

VATICAN CITY, 21 JUL 2008 (VIS) - Made public today were a communique and a note from Holy See Press Office Director Federico Lombardi S.J., concerning the Pope's meeting this morning with victims of sexual abuse by members of the clergy.

  "As an expression of his ongoing pastoral concern for those who have been abused by members of the clergy, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI today celebrated Mass with a representative group of victims. He listened to their stories and offered them consolation. Assuring them of his spiritual closeness, he promised to continue to pray for them, their families and all victims. Through this paternal gesture, the Holy Father wished to demonstrate again his deep concern for all those who have suffered sexual abuse".

  In a note accompanying the communique, Fr. Lombardi specifies that "the meeting took place at the celebration of Mass in the little chapel of Sydney's Cathedral House, where the Pope has been staying over these days. The celebration began at 7 a.m.

  "Four people were present, two men and two women, with their attendants and a priest responsible for pastoral care and accompaniment.

  "Concelebrating with the Holy Father were Cardinal George Pell, archbishop of Sydney, Archbishop Fernando Filoni, substitute of the Secretariat of State, and the Pope's two private secretaries.

  "At the end of the Mass, the guests had the chance to speak individually to the Pope, who addressed to them affectionate words of concern and comfort.

  "The meeting ended shortly before 8 a.m., everything took place in an atmosphere of respect, spirituality and intense emotion.

  "As happened in the United States, the Pope wished to meet a number of victims as a concrete way of conveying sentiments he has previously expressed on various occasions concerning the drama of sexual abuse.

  "In Australia, he wished to do so after the events of World Youth Day, because that was the specific reason for his trip".

 

WITNESSING AT FIRST HAND THE JOY OF FAITH

VATICAN CITY, 21 JUL 2008 (VIS) - This morning, having left Cathedral House, the Holy Father travelled to The Domain, a park in Sydney, to greet the 12,000 volunteers who had helped to organise and run the 23rd World Youth Day.

  "During these days", he told them in his address, "we have been able to witness at first hand the joy that so many thousands of young people find in their faith, and we have been able to offer praise and thanksgiving to God for His goodness to us. We have had a taste of the warmth and generosity of Australian hospitality, and we have glimpsed something of the glorious scenery of this beautiful continent. It has truly been a week to remember".

  "I want to thank all of you for the generous commitment of time and energy you have made, in order to ensure the smooth running of each of the events we have celebrated together. ... Your efforts have prepared the ground for the Spirit to come down in power, forging bonds of unity and friendship among young people from widely differing backgrounds, and rekindling their love for Jesus Christ and His Church. In the crowds that have assembled here in Sydney we have seen a vivid expression of the unity-in-diversity of the universal Church, a vision in microcosm of the united human family that we long to see. In the power of the Spirit, may these young people make that vision a reality in the world of tomorrow".

  "As I set off on my journey back to Rome", the Pope continued, "I shall treasure the memory of the many grace-filled events we have experienced together".

  "I pray that you too will take many precious memories and spiritual insights away with you, and will return to your homes and families with fresh zeal to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In the power of the Spirit, go forth now to renew the face of the earth!"

  Having concluded his brief remarks, the Holy Father was taken by car to the international airport of Sydney where political, civil and religious authorities were waiting to greet him before his return journey to Rome.

 

THE CHURCH IS FILLED WITH HOPE FOR THE WORLD OF TOMORROW

VATICAN CITY, 21 JUL 2008 (VIS) - Following his meeting with World Youth Day volunteers at The Domain in Sydney, the Holy Father travelled by car to the city's international airport where the departure ceremony took place.

  On his arrival at the airport, the Pope was welcomed by Michael Jeffery, governor general of Australia, by Kevin Rudd, prime minister, and by civic leaders of New South Wales society. Among the religious authorities present were Archbishop Philip Edward Wilson of Adelaide, president of the Australian Catholic Bishops' Conference, Cardinal George Pell, archbishop of Sydney, and Bishop Anthony Fisher, the World Youth Day co-ordinator.

  In his remarks, the Pope thanked those present for the hospitality he had been shown during his time in Australia, "In characteristic Australian style", he said, "you have extended a warm welcome to me and to countless young pilgrims who have flocked here from every corner of the globe".

  "The principal actors on the stage over these last few days, of course, have been the young people themselves. World Youth Day is their day. It is they who have made this a global ecclesial event, a great celebration of youth and a great celebration of what it is to be the Church, the people of God throughout the world, united in faith and love and empowered by the Spirit to bear witness to the risen Christ to the ends of the earth".

  Recalling the events of the previous days, the Pope said he had been "deeply moved" by his visit to the Mary MacKillop Memorial, and he thanked the Sisters of St. Joseph "for the opportunity to pray at the Shrine of their co-foundress. The stations of the Cross in the streets of Sydney", he went on, "were a powerful reminder that Christ loved us 'to the end' and shared our sufferings so that we could share His glory.

  "The meeting with the young people at Darlinghurst", Pope Benedict added, "was a moment of joy and great hope, a sign that Christ can lift us out of the most difficult situations, restoring our dignity and enabling us to look forward to a brighter future. The meeting with ecumenical and inter-religious leaders was marked by a spirit of genuine fraternity and a deep desire for greater collaboration in building a more just and peaceful world.

  "And without doubt, the gatherings at Barangaroo and Southern Cross were high-points of my visit. Those experiences of prayer, and our joyful celebration of the Eucharist, were an eloquent testimony to the life-giving work of the Holy Spirit, present and active in the hearts of our young people. World Youth Day has shown us that the Church can rejoice in the young people of today and be filled with hope for the world of tomorrow", he concluded.

  The ceremony over, the Pope boarded his aircraft which flew to the Australian city of Darwin for a refuelling stop before continuing the journey to Rome, where his flight is due to arrive at Ciampino airport at 11 p.m. From there the Holy Father will be taken by car to the pontifical residence of Castelgandolfo.

 

OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS

VATICAN CITY, 21 JUL 2008 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

  - Accepted the resignation from the office of auxiliary of the archdiocese of Durango, Mexico, presented by Bishop Juan de Dios Caballero Reyes, upon having reached the age limit.

  - Appointed Fr. Enrique Sanchez Martinez of the clergy of the archdiocese of Durango, Mexico, pastor of the parish of St. Helena and regional vicar for pastoral care, as auxiliary of the same archdiocese (area 109,422, population 1,824,000, Catholics 1,407,000, priests 225, religious 478). The bishop-elect was born in Cuencame, Mexico in 1960 and ordained a priest in 1986.

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