October 29, 2009

Vatican Information Service Bulletin

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

SUMMARY:


DEACONATE OF CULTURE IN THE DIGITAL CONTINENT

 VATICAN CITY, 29 OCT 2009 (VIS) - The Pontifical Council for Social Communications "has, for some time now, been following the surprising and rapid evolution of the means of communication growing in the involvement of the magisterium of the Church". With these words, Benedict XVI received participants in the plenary assembly of that dicastery, presided over by Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, which is examining the role of new technologies in the media during these days.

   The Holy Father cited Paul VI's pastoral instruction "Communio et Progressio" and John Paul II's "Aetatis Nova", "two important documents that have favoured and promoted greater awareness on the themes tied to communication in the Church".

   He also recalled John Paul II's encyclical "Redemptoris Missio" that affirms: "Involvement in the mass media, however, is not meant merely to strengthen the preaching of the Gospel. There is a deeper reality involved here: since the very evangelization of modern culture depends to a great extent on the influence of the media, it is not enough to use the media simply to spread the Christian message and the Church's authentic teaching. It is also necessary to integrate that message into the 'new culture' created by modern communications".

   "Effectively," Benedict XVI said, "modern culture is established, even before its content, in the very fact of the existence of new forms of communication that use new languages; they use new technologies and create new psychological attitudes. All of which supposes a challenge for the Church, which is called to announce the Gospel to persons in the third millennium, maintaining its content unaltered but making it understandable, thanks also to the instruments and methods in tune with today's mentality and culture".

   At the same time, the Pope referred to his last message for the World Communications Day in which he encouraged "those responsible for communication in all areas, to promote a culture of respect for the dignity and worth of the human being, a dialogue rooted in the sincere search for truth and friendship (...) capable of developing the gifts and talents of each and of putting them at the service of the human community".

   "In this way the Church exercises that which can be defined as a "deaconate of culture" in today's "digital continent", using its means to announce the Gospel, the only Word that can save the human being. The task of enriching the elements of the new culture of the media, beginning with their ethical aspects, falls to the Pontifical Council for Social Communications as well as serving as orientation and guide in helping the particular churches understand the importance of communication, which represents a key point that cannot be overlooked in any pastoral plan".

   Concluding, the pontiff recalled the 50th anniversary of the Vatican Film Archive founded by Blessed John XXIII, which possesses a "rich cultural patrimony pertaining to all humanity" and he encouraged to continuing collection and cataloguing of images "that document the path of Christianity through the suggestive witness of the image".

 

IRAN: SERVE THE CAUSE OF PEACE, DEFEND UNIVERSAL RIGHTS

 VATICAN CITY, 29 OCT 2009 (VIS) - This morning the Holy Father received the credential letters of the new ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ali Akbar Naseri.

   Speaking of Iran, the Pope affirmed that "it is a great nation that possesses eminent spiritual traditions and its people have a profound religious sensibility. This can be reason to hope for a greater openness and confident collaboration with the international community. For its part, the Holy See is always willing to work in harmony with those who serve the cause of peace and promote the dignity that the Creator endowed to all human beings".

   "Today," he continued, "we must hope for and sustain a new phase of international cooperation, more concretely rooted in humanitarian principles and in the effective assistance of those who suffer, one less dependent on the cold calculation of exchange and technological or economic benefits".

   Benedict XVI emphasized that "faith in the one God should draw all believers closer and urge them to work together to defend and promote the fundamental human values".  In this context he recalled that "among universal rights, religious freedom and the freedom of conscience occupy a fundamental place because they are the origin of all other freedoms. The defence of other rights that arise from the dignity of persons and peoples, particularly the protection of life, justice, and solidarity, should also be the object of true collaboration".

   "As I have already had repeated occasion to emphasize, the establishment of cordial relations between believers of different religions is an urgent need in our day, in order to build a world that is more human and that conforms more to God's plan of creation".

   The Pope stressed that "Catholics have been present in Iran from the first centuries of Christianity and have always been an integral part of the nation's life and culture".

   "The Holy See", he added, "trusts the Iranian authorities to strengthen and guarantee Christians the freedom of professing their faith and of assuring the Catholic community conditions essential to its existence, especially the possibility of counting on sufficient religious personnel and their ability to move within the country to ensure religious service to the faithful".

   The Holy Father emphasized that "the Holy See, by its nature and its mission, is directly interested in the life of the local churches and wishes to make all the necessary efforts to help the Catholic community in Iran keep alive the signs of Christian presence in a spirit of benevolent understanding with all".

   Finally, addressing the Catholics who live in Iran, the Pope assured them that he is "near to them and prays that they persevere in maintaining their own identity and remaining rooted to their land, generously working with all their compatriots in the development of the nation".

 

PAPAL CELEBRATIONS (NOVEMBER 2009-JANUARY 2010)

 VATICAN CITY, 29 OCT 2009 (VIS) - This is the calendar of celebrations that the Holy Father will preside over from the end of November 2009 until January 2010.

NOVEMBER

 - Saturday 28. At 17 p.m. in the Vatican Basilica, celebration of first Vespers for the First Sunday of Advent.

DECEMBER

 - Tuesday 8. Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary. At. 4 p.m. in Piazza di Spagna, veneration of the Virgin.

 - Thursday 24. Solemnity of the Lord's Nativity. At 10 p.m. in the Vatican Basilica the Pope will celebrate Midnight Mass.

 - Friday 25. Solemnity of the Lord's Nativity. At 12 p.m. the Pope will impart the Urbi et Orbi blessing from the central balcony of the Vatican Basilica.

 - Thursday 31. At 18 p.m. in the Vatican Basilica the Holy Father will preside over first Vespers in thanksgiving for the closing year.

JANUARY

 - Friday 1. Solemnity of Holy Mary, Mother of God, and the 43rd World Day of Peace. At 10 a.m. in the Vatican Basilica, celebration of Holy Mass.

 -Wednesday 6. Solemnity of the Lord's Epiphany. At 10 p.m. in the Vatican Basilica, celebration of Holy Mass.

 -  Sunday 10. Feast of the Lord's Baptism. At 10 p.m. in the Sistine Chapel, celebration of Holy Mass and baptism of children.

 - Monday 25. Feast of the conversion of St. Paul the Apostle. At 5:30 p.m. in the Basilica of St. Paul without the Walls, celebration of Vespers.

 

AUDIENCES

 VATICAN CITY, 29 OCT 2009 (VIS) - The Holy Father received today in audience Cardinal Ivan Dias, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.

 

OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS

 VATICAN CITY, 29 OCT 2009 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed as members of the Directive Council of the Holy See's Agency for the Evaluation and Promotion of the Quality in Universities and Ecclesiastical Faculties (AVEPRO) Msgr. Piero Coda, President of the Italian Theological Association; Fr. Philippe Curbelié, Dean of the Theology Faculty of the Institut Catholique of Toulouse (France); Fr. Friedrich Bechina, F.S.O., Official of the Congregation for Catholic Education; Sjur Bergan, Director of the Department of Higher Education and Research on the Council of Europe; Paolo Blasi, former Rector of the University of Studies in Florence (Italy); Jan Sadlak, Director of the European Centre for Higher Education (UNESCO-CEPES) in Bucharest (Romania); and Annick Johnson, Director of the same organization.

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