January 30, 2009

Vatican Information Service Bulletin

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

SUMMARY:


REAL AND VISIBLE COMMUNION AMONG THE LORD'S DISCIPLES

 VATICAN CITY, 30 JAN 2009 (VIS) - Today in the Vatican, Benedict XVI received members of the Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches, at the end of their sixth meeting, held over recent days in Rome.

   Addressing the group in English, the Pope praised their "steadfast commitment to the search for reconciliation and communion in the Body of Christ which is the Church". He also pointed out that each member of the commission brings to these meetings "not only the richness of your own tradition, but also the commitment of the Churches involved in this dialogue to overcome the divisions of the past and to strengthen the united witness of Christians in the face of the enormous challenges facing believers today.

   "The world needs a visible sign of the mystery of unity that binds the three divine Persons and, that two thousand years ago, with the Incarnation of the Son of God, was revealed to us", he added. "Our communion through the grace of the Holy Spirit in the life that unites the Father and the Son has a perceptible dimension within the Church, the Body of Christ, ... and we all have a duty to work for the manifestation of that essential dimension of the Church to the world".

   The Holy Father noted how the commission's recently-concluded meeting "has taken important steps precisely in the study of the Church as communion. The very fact that the dialogue has continued over time and is hosted each year by one of the several Churches you represent is itself a sign of hope and encouragement. We need only cast our minds to the Middle East - from where many of you come - to see that true seeds of hope are urgently needed in a world wounded by the tragedy of division, conflict and immense human suffering".

   Benedict XVI concluded by referring to the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, recently concluded in the Roman basilica of St. Paul's Outside-the-Walls. "Paul", he said, "was the first great champion and theologian of the Church's unity. His efforts and struggles were inspired by the enduring aspiration to maintain a visible, not merely external, but real and full communion among the Lord's disciples".

 

INITIATIVES FOR EIGHTIETH ANNIVERSARY OF VATICAN CITY STATE

 VATICAN CITY, 30 JAN 2009 (VIS) - A conference was held this morning in the Holy See Press Office, to present the initiatives planned to celebrate the 80th anniversary of the signing of the Lateran Pacts (11 February 1929) and the foundation of Vatican City State.

   Participating in today's press conference were Cardinal Giovanni Lajolo and Bishop Renato Boccardo, respectively president and secretary general of the Governorate of Vatican City State; Barbara Jatta, director of the office for engravings and designs of the Vatican Museums, and Giancarlo Cremonesi, president of Rome's municipal energy and environment firm, ACEA S.p.A, which is the chief patron of the celebrations.

   In his remarks Cardinal Lajolo indicated that three initiatives have been planned "for the occasion of the eightieth anniversary of the foundation of this small but not insignificant State".

   The first initiative is an exhibition to be held in the Charlemagne Wing - at the end of the left colonnade of St. Peter's Square - from 11 February to 10 May, entitled: "1929-2009: Eighty Years of Vatican City State".

   The cardinal went on to explain how the exhibition is divided into five sections. "The first concerns the Vatican prior to 1929; the second is dedicated to Pius XI (Achille Ratti), the architect of conciliation and the great builder of the juridical and architectural structures of the new State; the third focuses on the Lateran Pacts themselves, in other words the Treaty and the Concordat signed in the Lateran Palace on 11 February 1929; the fourth illustrates the construction of the State, its projects and its new buildings; and the fifth is dedicated to the six pontiffs who succeeded Pius XI, each of whom left his own mark".

   Cardinal Lajolo then turned to the second of the three initiatives, announcing that an academic congress has been organised to take place from 12 to 14 February on the theme: "A small territory for a great mission". The congress will be held at two separate sites: the Conciliation Hall of the Lateran Palace, where the Pacts themselves were signed in 1929, and the New Synod Hall in the Vatican.

   The work of the congress will be opened by Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B., and close with a roundtable meeting to be attended by, among others: Franco Frattini, Italian foreign minister; Abdou Diouf, former president of Senegal, and Michel Camdessus, former president of the International Monetary Fund.

   The third initiative, concluded the president of the Governorate of Vatican City State, is a concert to be held in the Vatican's Paul VI Hall at 5 p.m. on Thursday 12 February, in the presence of the Holy Father. Our Lady's Choral Society of Dublin Cathedral and the RTE Concert Orchestra of Dublin will play Handel's "Messiah".

 

BENEDICT XVI'S PRAYER INTENTIONS FOR FEBRUARY

 VATICAN CITY, 30 JAN 2009 (VIS) - Pope Benedict's general prayer intention for February is: "That the pastors of the Church may always be docile to the action of the Holy Spirit in their teaching and in their service to God's people".

   His mission intention is: "That the Church in Africa may find adequate ways and means to promote reconciliation, justice and peace efficaciously, according to the indications of the Second Special Assembly for Africa of the Synod of Bishops".

 

AUDIENCES

 VATICAN CITY, 30 JAN 2009 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

  - Cardinal Antonio Canizares Llovera, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments.

  - Cardinal Ivan Dias, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples.

  - Cardinal Claudio Hummes O.F.M., prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy.

 

OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS

 VATICAN CITY, 30 JAN 2009 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Fr. Guillermo Martin Abanto Guzman of the clergy of the archdiocese of Lima, Peru, episcopal vicar and pastor of the parish of "El Senor de la Divina Misericordia", and Fr. Raul Antonio Chau Quispe also of the clergy of the archdiocese of Lima, former vicar of the parish of "Santa Rosa de Lima", as auxiliaries of Lima (area 639, population 3,335,041, Catholics 3,001,536, priests 548, permanent deacons 4, religious 2,303). Bishop-elect Abanto Guzman was born in Trujillo, Peru in 1964 and ordained a priest in 1992. Bishop-elect Chau Quispe was born in Lima in 1967 and ordained a priest in 1992.

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