September 11, 2009

Vatican Information Service Bulletin

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

SUMMARY:


PRESIDENT OF PANAMA INVITES THE POPE TO VISIT HIS COUNTRY

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

  "Today in the Apostolic Palace of Castelgandolfo Ricardo Martinelli Berrocal, president of the Republic of Panama, was received in audience by His Holiness Benedict XVI. The president subsequently went on to meet Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B. and Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States.

  "The cordial discussions provided an opportunity for a fruitful exchange of opinions on questions concerning the current international and regional situation.

  "Attention also focused on certain aspects of the situation in Panama itself, in particular on the social policies launched by the government, development projects for the country, and collaboration between Church and State with a view to promoting Christian values and the common good. Finally, the president invited the Holy Father to visit the country".

 

CHRISTIANS AND MUSLIMS: TOGETHER IN OVERCOMING POVERTY

VATICAN CITY, 11 SEP 2009 (VIS) - The Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue today published its annual Message to Muslims for the end of the month of Ramadan. The Message is signed by Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran and Archbishop Pier Luigi Celata, respectively president and secretary of the council, and has as its theme this year (1430 AH / 2009 AD): "Christians and Muslims: Together in overcoming poverty".

  The Message has been published in twenty-four languages. Excerpts from the English version are given below.

  "This message of the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue has become a tradition cherished by us all, which is looked forward to each year and this is certainly a cause for joy. It has become, over the years, an occasion of cordial encounter in many countries between many Christians and Muslims. It often addresses a matter of shared concern, making it therefore conducive to a confident and open exchange. Are not all these elements immediately perceived as signs of friendship among us for which we should thank God?"

  "We all know that poverty has the power to humiliate and to engender intolerable sufferings; it is often a source of isolation, anger, even hatred and the desire for revenge. It can provoke hostile actions using any available means, even seeking to justify them on religious grounds, or seizing another man's wealth, together with his peace and security, in the name of an alleged 'divine justice'. This is why confronting the phenomena of extremism and violence necessarily implies tackling poverty through the promotion of integral human development that Pope Paul VI defined as the 'new name for peace'".

  "In his talk on the occasion of the World Day for Peace, 1 January 2009, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI distinguished two types of poverty: a poverty to be combated and a poverty to be embraced.

  "The poverty to be combated is before the eyes of everyone: hunger, lack of clean water, limited medical care and inadequate shelter, insufficient educational and cultural systems, illiteracy, not to mention also the existence of new forms of poverty: 'in advanced wealthy societies, there is evidence of marginalization, as well as affective, moral and spiritual poverty'. The poverty to be embraced is that of a style of life which is simple and essential, avoiding waste and respecting the environment and the goodness of creation. This poverty can also be, at least at certain times during the year, that of frugality and fasting. It is the poverty which we choose which predisposes us to go beyond ourselves, expanding the heart.

  "As believers, the desire to work together for a just and durable solution to the scourge of poverty certainly also implies reflecting on the grave problems of our time and, when possible, sharing a common commitment to eradicate them".

  "A careful study of the complex phenomenon of poverty directs us precisely towards its origin in the lack of respect for the innate dignity of the human person and calls us to a global solidarity, for example through the adoption of a 'common ethical code' whose norms would not only have a conventional character, but also would necessarily be rooted in the natural law written by the Creator in the conscience of every human being.

  "It seems that in diverse places of the world we have passed from tolerance to a meeting together, beginning with common lived experience and real shared concerns. This is an important step forward".

 

EUROPEAN HERITAGE DAYS: 27 SEPTEMBER

VATICAN CITY, 11 SEP 2009 (VIS) - The Holy See will once again participate in the celebration of European Heritage Days, an initiative of the Council of Europe in which more than 40 countries on the continent take part. The celebrations this year will take place on Sunday 27 September and have as their theme: "European Heritage for Inter-cultural Dialogue".

  A communique made public today explains that the Pontifical Commission for the Cultural Patrimony of the Church, the Vatican Museums and the Pontifical Commission of Sacred Archaeology are all collaborating in the event.

  On 27 September visitors will be able enter to the Vatican Museums free of charge. Entrance to all catacombs in Rome that are normally open to the public will also be free.

  On 26 September a photographic exhibition will be inaugurated at the San Callisto Catacombs on the Old Appian Way. The exhibition is entitled "Customs and Grave Goods of Rome in Late Antiquity: Christian, Pagan and Jewish tombs compared", and will remain open until 27 October.

 

AUDIENCES

 VATICAN CITY, 11 SEP 2009 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

  - Three prelates from the National Conference of Bishops of Brazil, on their "ad limina" visit:

     - Bishop Genival Saraiva de Franca of Palmares.

     - Bishop Francesco Biasin of Pesqueira.

     - Bishop Paulo Cardoso da Silva O. Carm. of Petrolina.

  - Cardinal Karl Lehmann, bishop of Mainz, Germany.

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