July 13, 2009

Vatican Information Service Bulletin

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

SUMMARY: 11 - 13 JULY


POPE RECEIVES PRESIDENT OBAMA OF THE UNITED STATES

VATICAN CITY, 11 JUL 2009 (VIS) - Given below is the text of a communique released yesterday afternoon by the Holy See Press Office:

  "This afternoon, Friday 10 July, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI received in audience Barack H. Obama, president of the United States of America. Prior to the audience, the president met Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B., and Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States.

  "In the course of their cordial exchanges the conversation turned first of all to questions which are in the interests of all and which constitute a great challenge for the future of every nation and for the true progress of peoples, such as the defence and promotion of life and the right to abide by one's conscience.

  "Reference was also made to immigration with particular attention to the matter of reuniting families.

  "The meeting focused as well upon matters of international politics, especially in light of the outcome of the G8 Summit. The conversation also dealt with the peace process in the Middle East, on which there was general agreement, and with other regional situations. Certain current issues were then considered, such as dialogue between cultures and religions, the global economic crisis and its ethical implications, food security, development aid especially for Africa and Latin America, and the problem of drug trafficking. Finally, the importance of educating young people everywhere in the value of tolerance was highlighted".

 

CANADIAN PRIME MINISTER MEETS THE HOLY FATHER

VATICAN CITY, 11 JUL 2009 (VIS) - The Holy See Press Office released the following communique at midday today:

  "This morning His Holiness Benedict XVI received Stephen Harper, prime minister of Canada, who afterwards met with Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B., accompanied by Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary of the Section for Relations with States.

  "The friendly conversation focused on several issues of international politics discussed at the G8 and on the results of the summit, also in the light of the new Encyclical 'Caritas in Veritate', and particularly the economic and financial crisis and its ethical implications, aid to developing countries, especially Africa, climate change, disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation.

  "Attention was given also to the Middle East and to the future prospects for peace in the region, as well as to religious freedom in several countries.

  "With regard to Canada, the conversation involved ethical values, the defence and promotion of life, marriage and family".

 

CHURCH IN EUROPE: APOSTOLIC WORK OF UNIVERSITY STUDENTS

VATICAN CITY, 11 JUL 2009 (VIS) - This morning in the Vatican Benedict XVI received 1,100 participants in the first European meeting of university students promoted by the Catechesis-School-University Commission of the Council of European Episcopal Conferences (CCEE). The theme of the meeting was: "New disciples of Emmaus. In university as Christians".

  Having observed that the students' visit to the Vatican is taking place on the Feast of St. Benedict, the Pope remarked that the aim of their meeting was "to show the episcopal conferences of Europe your willingness to continue along the path of cultural development, which St. Benedict knew to be vital for the human and Christian maturity of the people of Europe. This will come about if you, like the disciples of Emmaus, meet the risen Lord in an authentic ecclesial experience, and especially in the celebration of the Eucharist".

  "Your missionary efforts in the university environment consist, then, in bearing witness to your own personal encounter with Jesus Christ, the Truth Who illuminates the path of all mankind. ... Only in this way can we become the ferment and leaven of a society enlivened by evangelical love".

  "University pastoral activity must", the Pope went on, "be expressed in all its theological and spiritual implications, helping the young to ensure that communion with Christ leads them to perceive the more profound mystery of man and of history".

  The Holy Father continued: "The Christian presence in universities is becoming ever more demanding, yet at the same time fascinating, because faith is called, as it was in centuries past, to offer its indispensable service to knowledge, which is the true motor of development in modern society. From knowledge, enriched with the contribution of faith, depends the capacity of a people to look to the future with hope, overcoming the temptation of a purely materialist vision of life and of history".

  "You are the future of Europe", the Pope told the young people. "The new amalgamated culture which is currently being forged in Europe and in the globalised world needs the contribution of intellectuals capable of bringing discussion of God back into the classroom; or rather, of reviving mankind's desire to seek God, 'quaerere Deum'. ... The Church in Europe places great trust in the generous apostolic commitment of all of you, aware of the challenges and difficulties but also of the great potential of pastoral work in the university environment".

 

CARDINAL CIPRIANI THORNE, SPECIAL ENVOY TO AYACUCHO

VATICAN CITY, 11 JUL 2009 (VIS) - Made public today was the Letter in which the Holy Father appoints Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani Thorne, archbishop of Lima, Peru, as his special envoy to celebrations marking the fourth centenary of the archdiocese of Ayacucho, Peru, due to take place on 20 July. The Letter, written in Latin, is dated 25 May.

  The names of the members of the mission due to accompany the cardinal were also made public. They are Fr. Javier Obon Molinos, vicar general of the archdiocese of Ayacucho, and Fr. Jorge Villaran Mendoza S.J., president of the archdiocesan commission for consecrated life.

 

OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS

VATICAN CITY, 11 JUL 2009 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

 - Appointed Bishop Richard John Grecco, auxiliary of the archdiocese of Toronto, Canada, as bishop of Charlottetown (area 5,660, population 142,300, Catholics 65,253, priests 54, permanent deacons 1, religious 116), Canada. He succeeds Bishop Joseph Vernon Fougere, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, in accordance with canon 401 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law.

 - Appointed Bishop Lewis Zeigler of Gbarnga, Liberia, as coadjutor archbishop of the archdiocese of Monrovia (area 15,971, population 1,822,000, Catholics 139,515, priests 37, religious 51), Liberia. The archbishop-elect was born in Harrisburg, Liberia in 1944, he was ordained a priest in 1974 and consecrated a bishop in 2002.

 

SOLUTIONS TO HUMAN PROBLEMS CANNOT BE MERELY TECHNICAL

VATICAN CITY, 12 JUL 2009 (VIS) - Benedict XVI dedicated his remarks prior to the recital of the Angelus at midday today to the recent G8 summit meeting, held in the Italian city of L'Aquila "so harshly tried by the earthquake", and to the publication of his third Encyclical "Caritas in veritate".

  The Pope recalled how some of the themes on the G8 agenda were "dramatically urgent" because "there are social inequalities and structural injustices in the world that can no longer be tolerated and which require, apart from immediate interventions, a co-ordinated strategy to seek lasting global solutions.

  "During the summit meeting the G8 heads of State and government reiterated the necessary of reaching shared agreements in order to ensure a better future for humankind", he added. "The Church has no technical solutions to offer but, expert in humanity, she offers everyone Sacred Scripture's teaching of the truth about man, and announces the Gospel of love and of justice".

  In this context the Holy Father referred to his own recent Encyclical, published shortly before the G8 meeting, in which he speaks of the need for "a new economic project to redesign development in global terms, based on the ethical foundation of responsibility before God and on the human being as creature of God".

  "The great Pontiff Paul VI, in his 'Populorum progressio' had already recognised and identified the worldwide reach of the social question. Following the same path, I too felt the need to dedicate 'Caritas in veritate' to this topic, which in our time has become 'a radically anthropological question' in that it implicates the way life itself is conceived, something that biotechnology places increasingly under man's control".

  Pope Benedict went on: "The solutions to the current problems of humanity cannot be merely technical, they must take account of all the needs of the person, who has a soul and a body; thus they must take account of the Creator, God. The absolute supremacy of technology, which finds its greatest expression in certain practices that run counter to life, could lead to a grim future for humankind. Acts that do not respect the true dignity of the person, even when they seem to be motivated by a 'choice of love', are in fact the fruit of 'a materialistic and mechanistic understanding of human life' which reduces love without truth to 'an empty shell, to be filled in an arbitrary way'".

  Yet, the Holy Father concluded, "however complex the current situation of the world may be, the Church looks to future with hope and reminds Christians that 'announcing Christ is the first and principal factor of development'".

 

DIALOGUE TO ACHIEVE TRUE DEMOCRACY IN HONDURAS

VATICAN CITY, 12 JUL 2009 (VIS) - After praying the Angelus this morning the Pope told faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square of the "profound concern" with which he was following recent events in Honduras.

  "I would like today to invite you to pray for that dear country so that, by the maternal intercession of Our Lady of Suyapa, the leaders of the nation and all its inhabitants may patiently follow the path of dialogue, mutual understanding and reconciliation.

  "This will be possible if, overcoming particularist tendencies, everyone strives to seek the truth and to pursue the common good with tenacity", he added. "This is the condition that will ensure peaceful coexistence and authentic democratic life. To the beloved Honduran people I give assurances of my prayers, and upon them I impart a special apostolic blessing".

  Benedict XVI then went on to remind people that tomorrow, Monday, he will be leaving "for a brief period of rest in the mountains. I will travel to Les Combes in Valle d'Aosta, a place made famous by the time my beloved predecessor John Paul II spent there, and one also very close to my heart. In saying 'arrivederci' to St. Peter's Square and to the city of Rome, I invite everyone to accompany me with their prayers.

  "Prayer knows no distances or separation. Wherever we are it makes us a single heart and a single soul".

  "And on the subject of departures", he concluded, "I take this occasion to reiterate once again eveyrone's obligation to drive carefully and to respect traffic regulations. It is from this that a happy holiday starts!"

 

HOLY FATHER BEGINS A BRIEF HOLIDAY IN VALLE D'AOSTA

VATICAN CITY, 13 JUL 2009 (VIS) - At 10.30 a.m. today, Benedict XVI left Rome by plane and, following an hour-long flight, arrived at Caselle airport in the northern Italian city of Turin. From there he travelled by helicopter to the residence of Les Combes in the region of Valle d'Aosta where he will spend a sixteen-day vacation.

  As he did in 2005 and 2006, the Pope will stay in a chalet belonging to the Salesian Order, the same as that in which John Paul II often used to spend his holidays. The building, made of wood and stone, has two floors and is surrounded by a large garden. It stands at an altitude of 1200 meters and has views over Mont Blanc and other mountains on the French-Italian frontier as well as over the Italian-Swiss Alps.

  The only two public ceremonies scheduled for the Pope's vacation are on Sunday 19 July and Sunday 26 July. On 19 July he will pray the Angelus at Piazza Ruggia in front of the parish church of Sts. Peter and Solutor at Romano Canavese in the diocese of Ivrea. On 26 July he will pray the Angelus in the residence of Les Combes.

  Benedict XVI will stay at Les Combes - located some 20 kilometres from the city of Aosta within the municipality of Introd - until 29 July.

  Following his vacation in Valle d'Aosta, the Pope will move to his summer residence of Castelgandolfo, 30 kilometres south of Rome, where he will remain until the end of September.

  The Pope's next apostolic trip, the thirteenth since the start of his pontificate, will take him to the Czech Republic from 26 to 28 September.

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