February 5, 2009

Vatican Information Service Bulletin

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

SUMMARY:


NOTE FROM THE SECRETARIAT OF STATE

 VATICAN CITY, 5 FEB 2009 (VIS) - The Secretariat of State of the Holy See, published the following note yesterday afternoon:

   "In the wake of reactions provoked by the recent Decree from the Congregation for Bishops lifting the excommunication on the four prelates of the Society of St. Pius X, and with reference to declarations denying and reducing the Shoah pronounced by Bishop Williamson, a member of that society, it is felt appropriate to clarify certain aspects of the issue:

1. Remission of the excommunication

   "As has previously been explained, the Decree from the Congregation for Bishops, dated 21 January 2009, was an act by which the Holy Father benignly responded to repeated requests from the superior general of the Society of St. Pius X.

  "His Holiness wished to remove an impediment that hindered the opening of a door to dialogue, and he now awaits a similar readiness to be expressed by the four bishops, in complete adherence to the doctrine and discipline of the Church.

   "The extremely serious penalty of excommunication 'latae sententiae', which these bishops incurred on 30 June 1988, formally announced on 1 July of the same year, was a consequence of their illegitimate ordination by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre.

   "The remission of the excommunication has freed the four bishops from a serious canonical penalty, but it has not altered the juridical position of the Society of St. Pius X which, at the present time, enjoys no canonical recognition within the Catholic Church. Even the four bishops, though released from excommunication, have no canonical function in the Church and cannot legally exercise a ministry within her".

2. Tradition, doctrine and Vatican Council II

  "An indispensable condition for any future recognition of the Society of St. Pius X is their full recognition of Vatican Council II and of the Magisterium of Popes John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul I, John Paul II, and Benedict XVI.

   "As already affirmed in the Decree of 21 January 2009, the Holy See will not fail, in ways considered most appropriate, to join the parties concerned in a profound examination of outstanding issues, so as to be able to reach a full and satisfactory solution to the problems that gave rise to this painful split".

3. Declarations concerning the Shoah

   "Msgr. Williamson's views on the Shoah are absolutely unacceptable, and firmly rejected by the Holy Father as he himself said on 28 January when, referring to that brutal genocide, he reiterated his complete and indisputable solidarity with our Brothers and Sisters who received the First Covenant, affirming that the memory of that terrible event must 'induce humankind to reflect upon the unpredictable power of evil when it conquers the heart of man', adding that the Shoah remains 'an admonition for everyone against oblivion, negation and reductionism, because violence against a single human being is violence against all'.

   "In order to be readmitted to episcopal functions within the Church, Bishop Williamson must absolutely, unequivocally and publicly distance himself from his views concerning the Shoah, which were unknown to the Holy Father at the moment he lifted the excommunication.

   "The Holy Father asks all the faithful to accompany him in prayer, that the Lord may illuminate the path of the Church. May all pastors and faithful increase their commitment in support of the delicate and onerous mission of the Successor of the Apostle Peter, the 'custodian of unity' within the Church".

 

CELEBRATIONS TO BE PRESIDED BY THE POPE: FEBRUARY-APRIL

VATICAN CITY, 5 FEB 2009 (VIS) - Below is the calendar of liturgical celebrations due to be presided over by the Holy Father between 21 February and 12 April.

FEBRUARY

 - Saturday 21. At 11 a.m. in the Clementine Hall, concistory for certain causes of canonisation.

 - Wednesday 25. Ash Wednesday. At 4.30 p.m. in the basilica of Sant'Anselmo, "statio" and penitential procession. At 5 p.m. in the basilica of Santa Sabina, blessing and imposition of the ashes.

MARCH

 - Sunday 1. First Sunday of Lent. At 6 p.m. in the Apostolic Palace's "Redemptoris Mater" Chapel, beginning of the spiritual exercises of the Roman Curia.

 - Saturday 7. At 9 a.m. in the "Redemptoris Mater" Chapel, conclusion of the spiritual exercises of the Roman Curia.

 - Tuesday 17 to Monday 23. Apostolic trip to Cameroon and Angola.

 - Sunday 29. Fifth Sunday of Lent. Pastoral visit to the Roman parish of the Holy Face of Jesus. At 9 a.m., celebration of the Eucharist.

APRIL

 - Thursday 2. At 6 p.m. in the Vatican Basilica, Mass attended by young people from the diocese of Rome for the anniversary of the death of Pope John Paul II.

 - Sunday 5. Palm Sunday and the Passion of the Lord. At 9.30 a.m. in St. Peter's Square, blessing of palms, procession and Mass.

 - Thursday 9. Holy Thursday. At 9.30 a.m. in the Vatican Basilica, Chrism Mass. At 5.30 p.m. in the Basilica of St. John Lateran, beginning of the Easter Triduum with the Mass of the Last Supper.

 - Friday 10. Good Friday. At 5 p.m. in the Vatican Basilica, celebration of the Lord's Passion. At 9.15 p.m. at the Colosseum, Way of the Cross.

 - Saturday 11. Holy Saturday. At 9 p.m. in the Vatican Basilica, Easter vigil.

 - Sunday 12. Easter Sunday. Mass in St. Peter's Square at 10.30 a.m. At midday, from the central loggia of St. Peter's Basilica, "Urbi et Orbi" blessing.

 

AUDIENCES

 VATICAN CITY, 5 FEB 2009 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences six prelates from the Catholic Bishops' Conference of Nigeria, on their "ad limina" visit:

     - Cardinal Anthony Olubunmi Okogie, archbishop of Lagos.

     - Bishop Alfred Adewale Martins of Abeokuta.

     - Bishop Albert Ayinde Fasina of Ijebu-Ode.

     - Archbishop John Olorunfemi Onaiyekan of Abuja.

     - Bishop Anthony Ademu Adaji M.S.S.P., auxiliary of Idah.

     - Bishop Matthew Ishaya Audu of Lafia.

 

OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS

 VATICAN CITY, 5 FEB 2009 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

  - Appointed Bishop Victor Sanchez Espinosa, auxiliary of Mexico, Mexico, and secretary general of the Latin American Episcopal Conference (CELAM), as metropolitan archbishop of Puebla de los Angeles (area 20,932, population 4,574,000, Catholics 4,230,000, priests 593, permanent deacons 1, religious 1,192), Mexico. The archbishop-elect was born in Santa Cruz, Mexico in 1950, he was ordained a priest in 1976 and consecrated a bishop in 2004. He succeeds Archbishop Rosendo Huesca Pacheco, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same archdiocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.

  - Appointed Bishop Carlos Aguiar Retes of Texcoco, Mexico as metropolitan archbishop of Tlalnepantla (area 682, population 4,069,000, Catholics 3,570,000, priests 366, permanent deacons 13, religious 427), Mexico. The archbishop-elect was born in Tepic, Mexico in 1950, he was ordained a priest in 1973 and consecrated a bishop in 1997. He succeeds Archbishop Ricardo Guizar Diaz, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same archdiocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.

  - Appointed Fr. Valentine Tsamma Seane, pastor of the cathedral of Gaborone, as bishop of the diocese of Gaborone (area 109,005, population 1,033,754, Catholics 64,618, priests 31, permanent deacons 6, religious 52), Botswana. The bishop-elect was born in Lobaste, Botswana in 1966 and ordained a priest in 1994. He succeeds Bishop Boniface Tshosa Setlalekgosi, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.

  - Appointed Fr. James S. Wall of the clergy of Phoenix, U.S.A., episcopal vicar for the clergy in that diocese, as bishop of Gallup (area 143,648, population 491,400, Catholics 57,927, priests 53, permanent deacons 31, religious 138), U.S.A. The bishop-elect was born in Ganado, U.S.A. in 1964 and ordained a priest in 1998.

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