October 20, 2009

Vatican Information Service Bulletin

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

SUMMARY OF SYNOD OF BISHOPS:

OTHER NEWS:


SEVENTEENTH GENERAL CONGREGATION

VATICAN CITY, 20 OCT 2009 (VIS) - This morning, at the beginning of the Seventeenth General Congregation, a letter from the presidents delegate and the secretary general of the Synod was read out to the assembly. The president delegate on duty was Cardinal Francis Arinze, prefect emeritus of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, and the session was attended by the Pope and 217 Synod Fathers.

  The text of the Letter is given below:

  "To the Presidents of the Episcopal Conferences of Sudan, Uganda, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo and the Central African Republic.

  "As Synod Fathers, gathered at the Second Assembly for Africa of the Synod of Bishops, we have learned with deep sorrow of the persistent war in the dioceses of the Great Lakes Region, with its consequent destruction, violence and death of innocent people. To avoid being killed, hundreds of thousands of persons have been forced to abandon their homes and seek refuge in adjoining countries in extremely perilous conditions. This war gives rise to the worrisome situation of child-soldiers, orphans, those who are maimed and persons with grave physical and psychological problems.

  "As Synod Fathers, in solidarity with the president of the Synod, Our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI, we wish to express our deepest sentiments of fraternal communion with the bishops of the dioceses involved in this inhuman suffering of innocent peoples. At the same time, we turn to the parties concerned, imploring them to replace at once the language of arms with that of dialogue and negotiation. In dialogue, undertaken in mutual respect and peace, all problems can be solved. War, on the other hand, makes everything more difficult, transforming brothers into enemies.

  "Strengthened by the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of the Risen Lord Jesus, we, as Synod Fathers, declare the sacred value of every human life. The commandment 'not to kill' is not only apart of the Decalogue, revealed by God and recorded in the Bible, but a law written in the heart of every person who comes into this world. It is not lawful to kill innocent people for whatever reason, whether it be social, political, ethnic, racial or religious. The blood of the innocent cries to heaven for vengeance, to a God Who sooner or later will judge those who have stained their hands with the blood of the poor, who are His chosen ones.

  "While we are reflecting on reconciliation, justice and peace, we implore, through the intercession of the saints born in Africa, the gift of peace so that justice may come about in those areas where it has been gravely missing, and that hearts may open to the grace of reconciliation with God and neighbour, not only in the Great Lakes Region but in all of Africa.

  "We entrust our distressed, urgent appeal to the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Our Lady of Africa and Comforter of the Afflicted".

  Following the reading of the Letter, the unified list of fifty-four propositions was presented. The propositions will be consigned to the Holy Father to consider as he writes the post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation. The Synod Fathers also participated in the second vote to elect the members of the ordinary council of the General Secretariat of the Synod.

  At the end of each ordinary general synodal assembly, the Ordinary Council of the General Secretariat is formed. The Council is comprised of fifteen members; twelve of whom are elected from the Synod, and three designated by the Roman Pontiff.

  This afternoon the Synod Fathers will meet in language groups to prepare the collective amendments to the propositions.

 

NOTE ON ANGLICANS WISHING TO ENTER THE CATHOLIC CHURCH

VATICAN CITY, 20 OCT 2009 (VIS) - In a meeting with journalists held this morning in the Holy See Press Office Cardinal William Joseph Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and Archbishop Joseph Augustine Di Noia O.P., secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, presented a note on a new measure concerning "Personal Ordinariates for Anglicans entering the Catholic Church".

  Commenting on the English-language note, which has been published by his dicastery, Cardinal Levada explained how, "with the preparation of an Apostolic Constitution, the Catholic Church is responding to the many requests that have been submitted to the Holy See from groups of Anglican clergy and faithful in different parts of the world who wish to enter into full visible communion.

  "In this Apostolic Constitution the Holy Father has introduced a canonical structure that provides for such corporate reunion by establishing Personal Ordinariates, which will allow former Anglicans to enter full communion with the Catholic Church while preserving elements of the distinctive Anglican spiritual and liturgical patrimony. Under the terms of the Apostolic Constitution, pastoral oversight and guidance will be provided for groups of former Anglicans through a Personal Ordinariate, whose Ordinary will usually be appointed from among former Anglican clergy.

  "The forthcoming Apostolic Constitution provides a reasonable and even necessary response to a worldwide phenomenon, by offering a single canonical model for the universal Church which is adaptable to various local situations and equitable to former Anglicans in its universal application. It provides for the ordination as Catholic priests of married former Anglican clergy. Historical and ecumenical reasons preclude the ordination of married men as bishops in both the Catholic and Orthodox Churches. The Constitution therefore stipulates that the Ordinary can be either a priest or an unmarried bishop. The seminarians in the Ordinariate are to be prepared alongside other Catholic seminarians, though the Ordinariate may establish a house of formation to address the particular needs of formation in the Anglican patrimony".

  "The provision of this new structure is consistent with the commitment to ecumenical dialogue, which continues to be a priority for the Catholic Church, particularly through the efforts of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. The initiative has come from a number of different groups of Anglicans" who, said Cardinal Levada, "have declared that they share the common Catholic faith as it is expressed in the Catechism of the Catholic Church and accept the Petrine ministry as something Christ willed for the Church. For them, the time has come to express this implicit unity in the visible form of full communion".

  The cardinal further indicated that "it is the hope of the Holy Father Benedict XVI that the Anglican clergy and faithful who desire union with the Catholic Church will find in this canonical structure the opportunity to preserve those Anglican traditions precious to them and consistent with the Catholic faith. Insofar as these traditions express in a distinctive way the faith that is held in common, they are a gift to be shared in the wider Church. The unity of the Church does not require a uniformity that ignores cultural diversity, as the history of Christianity shows. Moreover, the many diverse traditions present in the Catholic Church today are all rooted in the principle articulated by St. Paul in his letter to the Ephesians: 'There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism'.

  "Our communion", the cardinal added in conclusion, "is therefore strengthened by such legitimate diversity, and so we are happy that these men and women bring with them their particular contributions to our common life of faith".

  In a joint declaration on the same subject, Catholic Archbishop Vincent Gerard Nichols of Westminster and Anglican Archbishop Rowan Williams of Canterbury affirm that the announcement of the Apostolic Constitution "brings to an end a period of uncertainty for such groups who have nurtured hopes of new ways of embracing unity with the Catholic Church. It will now be up to those who have made requests to the Holy See to respond to the Apostolic Constitution", which is a "consequence of ecumenical dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion.

  "The on-going official dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion provides the basis for our continuing co-operation", the declaration adds. "The Anglican Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC) and International Anglican Roman Catholic Commission for Unity and Mission (IARCCUM) agreements make clear the path we will follow together.

  "With God's grace and prayer we are determined that our on-going mutual commitment and consultation on these and other matters should continue to be strengthened. Locally, in the spirit of IARCCUM, we look forward to building on the pattern of shared meetings between the Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales and the Church of England's House of Bishops with a focus on our common mission".

 

OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS

VATICAN CITY, 20 OCT 2009 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

 - Accepted the resignation from the office of auxiliary of the archdiocese of Boston, U.S.A., presented by Bishop Francis X. Irwin, in accordance with canons 411 and 401 para. 1 of the Code of Canon Law.

 - Accepted the resignation from the office of auxiliary of the diocese of Tarnow, Poland, presented by Bishop Wladyslaw Bobowski, in accordance with canons 411 and 401 para. 1 of the Code of Canon Law.

 - Appointed Msgr. Andrzej Jez of the clergy of the diocese of Tarnow, Poland, pastor of the parish of St. Margaret at Nowy Sacz, as auxiliary of Tarnow (area 7,566, population 1,125,753, Catholics 1,118,847, priests 1,395, religious 1,248). The bishop-elect was born in Limanowa, Poland in 1963 and ordained a priest in 1988.

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