March 11, 2010

Vatican Information Service Bulletin

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

SUMMARY:


CONFESSORS: OPEN A "DIALOGUE OF SALVATION" WITH PENITENTS

 VATICAN CITY, 11 MAR 2010 (VIS) - At midday today, the Pope received participants in an annual course on the "internal forum" organised by the Apostolic Penitentiary. By participating in the course, he told them, "you have shown the pressing need to dedicate deeper study to a subject that is essential for the ministry and the life of priests".

   Benedict XVI recalled how this year's course coincides with the current Year for Priests, dedicated to St. John Mary Vianney, "who heroically and fruitfully exercised the ministry of Reconciliation. ... From the saintly 'Cure of Ars' we priests can learn not only a limitless trust in the Sacrament of Penance which leads us to reinstate it as the focus of our pastoral concerns, but also the method of 'the dialogue of salvation' which must be part thereof", he said.

   "Awareness of one's own limits and the need to turn to Divine Mercy in order to ask forgiveness, to convert the heart and to find support on the path of saintliness, are fundamentals in the life of priests. Only someone who has himself experienced greatness can convincingly announce and administer the Mercy of God", the Holy Father explained.

   The current cultural context, characterised by "a hedonistic and relativist mentality which tends to remove God from the horizon of life, does not facilitate our acquisition of a clear picture of reference values, and does not help us to discern good from evil or to develop a correct sense of sin". This, the Pope noted, is not very different from the period in which St. John Mary Vianney lived, marked as it was by "a mentality hostile to the faith, as expressed by certain forces that even sought to prevent the exercise of the priestly ministry.

   "In these circumstances, the saintly 'Cure of Ars' made 'the church his home' in order to lead men and women to God", the Pope added, "and he appeared to his contemporaries to be an evident sign of God that he encouraged many penitents to come to his confessional". Thus, the Holy Father went on, "it is necessary for priests to live their own response to vocation 'exaltedly', because only someone who daily becomes living and clear presence of the Lord can arouse a sense of sin in the faithful, give them courage and stimulate their desire for forgiveness from God".

   "The 'crisis' in the Sacrament of Penance, which is often spoken of, is an appeal addressed first and foremost to priests and to their great responsibility to educate the people of God in the radical demands of the Gospel. In particular, it calls on them generously to dedicate themselves to hearing sacramental confessions, and courageously to guide their flock not to conform itself to this world, but to make choices that go against the tide, avoiding deals and compromises".

   Finally, Benedict XVI invited priests to open a "dialogue of salvation" with their penitents, as suggested by the "Cure of Ars". A dialogue that, "arising from the certainty of being loved by God, helps man to recognise his own sin and progressively to introduce himself into a stable process of conversion of heart, which leads to the radical rejection of evil and to a life lived in accordance with God's wishes".

 

MESSAGE FOR THE DEATH OF SHEIKH TANTAWI

 VATICAN CITY, 11 MAR 2010 (VIS) - Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B. has sent the following English-language message, in the Pope's name, to Sheikh Muhammad Abd al-Aziz Wasil, "wakil" of al-Azhar University in Cairo, Egypt.

   "Having learned of the sudden death of the Grand Imam and Sheikh of al-Azhar, Dr. Muhammad Sayyed Tantawi, Pope Benedict XVI has asked me to convey to your community and to the family of Sheikh Tantawi his heartfelt and prayerful condolences. He recalls the distinguished figure of this religious leader, who for long years was a valued partner in the dialogue between Muslims and Catholics.

   "I willingly express my own condolences and I recall with gratitude the impulse which the late Sheikh gave to the meetings between the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue and the Permanent Committee for Dialogue of al-Azhar".

 

AUDIENCES

 VATICAN CITY, 11 MAR 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

  - Cardinal Ivan Dias, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples.

  - Five prelates from the Sudan Catholic Bishops' Conference, on their "ad limina" visit:

     - Archbishop Paulino Lukudu Loro M.C.C.J. of Juba.

     - Msgr. Roko Taban Mousa, apostolic administrator "sede vacante et ad nutum Sanctae Sedis" of Malakal, accompanied by Bishop emeritus Vincent Mojwok Nyiker.

     - Bishop Cesare Mazzolari M.C.C.J. of Rumbek.

     - Bishop Edward Hiiboro Kussala Tombura-Yambio.

 

OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS

 VATICAN CITY, 11 MAR 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

  - Appointed Bishop Jorge Solorzano Perez of Matagalpa, Nicaragua, as bishop of Granada (area 7,453, population 543,000, Catholics 445,000, priests 74, religious 191), Nicaragua. He succeeds Bishop Bernardo Hombach, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.

  - Appointed Msgr. John Douglas Deshotel of the clergy of the diocese of Dallas, U.S.A., vicar general, and Msgr. Mark Joseph Seitz, also of the clergy of the diocese of Dallas, pastor of the parish of St. Rita, as auxiliaries of Dallas (area 19,475, population 3,630,955, Catholics 1,094,688, priests 198, permanent deacons 143, religious 196). Bishop-elect Deshotel was born in Kinder, U.S.A. in 1952 and ordained a priest in 1978. Bishop-elect Seitz was born in Milwaukee, U.S.A. in 1954 and ordained a priest in 1980.

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