November 26, 2009

Vatican Information Service Bulletin

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

SUMMARY:


MESSAGE FOR JUBILEE YEAR IN VIETNAM

VATICAN CITY, 26 NOV 2009 (VIS) - Vietnam is celebrating a Jubilee Year to commemorate 350 years since the foundation of the apostolic vicariates of Tonkin and Cochinchina, and fifty years since the creation of the Catholic hierarchy in the country. The Holy Father has joined the commemoration, sending a Message to Bishop Pierre Nguyen Van Nhon of Dalat, president of the Episcopal Conference of Vietnam.

  In the text, dated 17 November, Benedict XVI notes how the opening of the Jubilee coincided with the feast of the 117 Vietnamese martyrs and expresses the hope that "the recollection of their noble witness may help the People of God in Vietnam to intensify their charity, increase their hope and consolidate their faith, which daily life sometimes tests very harshly".

  The Pope likewise recalls how the opening celebrations took place at So-Kien in the archdiocese of Hanoi, location of the first apostolic vicariate in Vietnam, and expresses the hope that this site may become "the centre for a profound evangelisation which brings Vietnamese society the Gospel values of charity, truth, justice and rectitude. Such values, if lived following Christ, take on a new dimension which surpasses their traditional moral sense, because they are anchored in God Who desires the good and happiness of all creatures".

  "The Jubilee Year", he writes, "is a time of grace in which to reconcile ourselves with God and our fellow man. To this end, we should recognise past and present errors committed against brothers in the faith and against fellow countrymen, and ask for forgiveness. At the same time, it would be appropriate to commit to increasing and enriching ecclesial communion, and to building a more just, united, equal society through authentic dialogue, mutual respect and healthy collaboration. The Jubilee is also a special time given to us to renew the announcement of the Gospel to everyone, and to become, to an ever greater degree, a Church of communion and mission".

  Benedict XVI concludes his Message by greeting religious and laity in Vietnam who, he writes, "are ever present in my thoughts and daily prayers", and by encouraging bishops "to bear witness with courage and perseverance to the greatness of God and the beauty of life in Christ".

 

COMMISSION FOR CULTURAL PATRIMONY CELEBRATES 20 YEARS

VATICAN CITY, 26 NOV 2009 (VIS) - Archbishop Gianfranco Ravasi and Francesco Buranelli, respectively president and secretary of the Pontifical Commission for the Cultural Patrimony of the Church, today held a press conference marking the twentieth anniversary of their dicastery.

  Archbishop Ravasi recalled how, until the year 2007, the Pontifical Council for Culture and the Pontifical Commission for the Cultural Patrimony of the Church had had separate presidents, each with his own autonomy.

  Yet, said the archbishop, when he himself was chosen to lead the Pontifical Council for Culture, the Pope decided to unify that dicastery with the Pontifical Commission for the Cultural Patrimony of the Church and with the Pontifical Commission for Sacred Archaeology, because all three deal with strictly cultural matters: the first with culture in general, the second with the Church's cultural and artistic heritage, and the third with the catacombs and their history.

  For his part, Francesco Buranelli explained how "the administration of ecclesiastical cultural heritage is organised in accordance with the hierarchical structure of the Church. The universal Church", he said, "is the competency of this pontifical commission, while each episcopal conference is invited to establish a national office for the cultural patrimony of the Church".

  On the subject of Holy See involvement with international organisations (UNESCO, Council of Europe, etc.), "the main objective ... consists in spreading an ever greater awareness of the role and specific value of religious cultural heritage, especially that of Christianity, in the cultural heritage of each nation and, consequently, in the global heritage of humankind", explained Professor Buranelli.

  He likewise highlighted how the Pontifical Commission for the Cultural Patrimony of the Church, following the teachings of Paul VI, John Paul II and Benedict XVI, undertakes "not to fear the friendship between the Church and art, accepting once more the specific character of art in the West: ... that of seeking God on the basis of its own vision of man, while respecting the sensibility and culture of each artist".

  Holy See participation in the 54th Venice Biennale of modern art, with a pavilion promoted by the pontifical commission will, Professor Buranelli concluded, "through interaction between artists and theologians, enable the development of a connective fabric of images and symbols which will allow our society to regain an awareness of its cultural roots and reacquire its capacity to see the invisible".

 

PLENARY SESSION OF INTERNATIONAL THEOLOGICAL COMMISSION

VATICAN CITY, 26 NOV 2009 (VIS) - The International Theological Commission, which is presided by Cardinal William Joseph Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, is due to celebrate the first annual plenary session of its new five-year term. The session, due to take place from 30 November to 4 December in the Vatican's "Domus Sanctae Marthae", will be chaired by Frt. Charles Morerod O.P., secretary general of the commission.

  According to a communique published today the commission, which this year celebrates the fortieth anniversary of its creation by Paul VI, will decide what questions must be examined over this new five-year term and how to organise the work. Among the subjects Cardinal Levada has put before the commission is "the important question of theological methodology", which was also examined during the last five-year term.

  The members of the International Theological Commission will also be invited to participate in a Mass celebrated by the Holy Father in the Apostolic Palace.

 

 AUDIENCES

VATICAN CITY, 26 NOV 2009 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences five prelates from the National Conference of Bishops of Brazil, on their "ad limina" visit:

    - Fr. Jamil de Souza, diocesan administrator of Franca.

     - Bishop Benedito Goncalves dos Santos of Presidente Prudente.

    - Fr. Joaquim Waldimir L. Dias, diocesan administrator of Jundiai.

    - Bishop Jose Benedito Simao of Assis.

    - Bishop Benedito Beni dos Santos of Lorena.

 

OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS

VATICAN CITY, 26 NOV 2009 (VIS) - The Holy Father erected the new diocese of Tenancingo (area 2,896, population 350,406, Catholics 332,829, priests 65, religious 86) Mexico, with territory taken from the diocese of Toluca, making it a suffragan of the metropolitan church of Mexico. He appointed Fr. Raul Gomez Gonzalez, vicar general of the diocese of San Juan de los Lagos, Mexico, as first bishop of the new diocese. The bishop-elect was born in Capilla de Guadalupe, Mexico in 1954 and ordained a priest in 1983.

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