January 16, 2012

Vatican Information Service Bulletin

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

SUMMARY: 14 - 16 JANUARY


ITALIAN PRIME MINISTER VISITS THE POPE

VATICAN CITY, 14 JAN 2012 (VIS) - This morning the Holy Father Benedict XVI received in audience Mario Monti, prime minister of the Republic of Italy. The prime minister - accompanied by Giuliomaria Terzi di Sant'Agata, minister for foreign affairs; Enzo Moavero Milanesi, minister for European affairs, and Antonio Catricala, under secretary for the council of ministers - subsequently went on to meet with Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B. who was accompanied by Msgr. Ettore Balestrero, under secretary for Relations with States.

  "During the cordial discussions consideration was given to the social situation in Italy and to the government's efforts in that field, as well as to the Catholic Church's contribution to national life. Attention also turned to the current international situation, from Europe to the situation in the southern Mediterranean. Finally the parties dwelt on the protection of religious minorities, particularly Christian minorities, in various areas of the world.

  The two parties also confirmed their determination to continue their constructive collaboration, both bilaterally and in the context of the international community.

 

INAUGURATION OF JUDICIAL YEAR OF VATICAN TRIBUNAL

VATICAN CITY, 14 JAN 2012 (VIS) - This morning a celebration was held to inaugurate the eighty-third judicial year of the Tribunal of Vatican City State. The event was attended by a number of religious and civil authorities, including representatives of the Italian government and legal system led by Paola Severino, minister of justice.

  The day began with Mass in the chapel of the Governorate, celebrated by Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B. In his homily he highlighted how, "with the beginning of a new judicial year ... we are again invited to reflect upon the relationship between divine and human justice, so that our consciences may be illuminated and our actions may, as far as possible, correspond to the divine will and its plan of love for each individual and for the community of man". He also mentioned the specific vocation of the Church, which is called to be a sign and instrument of God's love, and of His justice which is always an expression of His merciful love".

  Nicola Picardi, promoter of justice of the tribunal, then presented his inaugural report in which he gave a brief overview of Vatican judicial history before turning to the most innovative aspects of recent norms. These, he said, have been inspired by the development of international relations and the need to adopt an institutional model capable of bearing comparison with other nations, and of contrasting the spread of criminality.

  A broad-ranging reform of the Vatican penal code, together with certain innovations in the field of administration and finance, were made necessary by the 2009 Monetary Convention between Vatican City State and the European Union. In 2010, measures were adopted to harmonise legalisation with European standards in the field of combating money laundering, fraud and the falsification of means of payment.

  New norms were introduced into the Vatican penal code on 1 March 2011 (regarding fraud and the counterfeiting of euros) and on 1 April 2011 (concerning the prevention and countering of the laundering of proceeds resulting from criminal activities and financing of terrorism). These latter norms also impose new obligations on Vatican entities which undertake economic, financial and monetary activities. They must carefully vet their customers and have the duty to report any suspect operations to the Financial Information Authority, which has been set up on the Vatican to contrast illegal economic activities and collaborates with similar authorities in other States.

  Another important aspect of recent reforms concerns the "Motu proprio" of 30 December 2010 for the prevention and countering of illegal activities in the area of monetary and financial dealings. Therein Benedict XVI sought to enact his teachings on economic ethics contained in "Caritas in veritate". According to the "Motu proprio" all dicasteries of the Roman Curia, and other institutions and entities dependent upon the Holy See including the Institute for Works of Religion (IOR), which carry out monetary and financial dealings, are subject to the norms on money laundering and financing of terrorism.

  Finally, the promoter of justice also noted that the jurisdiction of the tribunal now extends beyond the limits of the State and covers ecclesiastical persons and entities which, in principle, are beyond the reach of Vatican law.

 

MIGRANTS, PROTAGONISTS IN THE ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE GOSPEL

VATICAN CITY, 15 JAN 2012 (VIS) - Benedict XVI dedicated his remarks preceding the Angelus to the theme of vocation as it emerged in this Sunday's Gospel readings.

  The first reading described the Prophet Samuel's response to God, following the advice of Eli, the Temple priest, while the second underscored the importance of St. John the Baptist who told his disciples that Jesus was the Messiah.

  The Holy Father laid emphasis on "the decisive role spiritual guidance has for the journey of faith and, in particular, for responding to a vocation of special consecration to serve God and His people. Christian faith itself presupposes announcement and witness", he said, "and thus the call to follow Jesus more closely, renouncing the idea of forming a family of one's own to dedicate oneself to the great family of the Church, normally involves the witness and suggestion of an 'elder brother', often a priest. Nor must we forget the fundamental role of parents, who ... show their children that it is beautiful and possible to construct an entire life upon the love of God".

  The Pope concluded by entrusting "all educators, especially priests and parents", to the intercession of the Virgin Mary, "that they may become fully aware of the importance of their spiritual role to foment, not only young people's human development but also their response to the call of God".

  Following the Angelus the Pope spoke of today's celebration of the World Day of Migrants and Refugees. "Millions of people are involved in the phenomenon of migration", he said, "but they are not just numbers! They are men, women and children, the young and the old who seek a place in which to live in peace. In my message for this Day I called people's attention to the theme of 'migrations and new evangelisation', underlining the fact that migrants are not just recipients but also active protagonists of the announcement of the Gospel to the modern world".

  Finally the Holy Father referred to the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, which is celebrated annually from 18 to 25 January, inviting everyone, "as individuals and in communities, to participate spiritually, and where possible practically, to ask God for the gift of full unity among the disciples of Christ".

 

AUDIENCES

VATICAN CITY, 16 JAN 2012 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in audience:

 - Nine prelates of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, on their "ad limina" visit:

    - Cardinal Donald William Wuerl, archbishop of Washington, accompanied by Auxiliary Bishops Martin David Holley and Barry C. Knestout, and by Cardinal Theodore Edgar McCarrick, archbishop emeritus.

    - Bishop Herbert A. Bevard of Saint Thomas.

    - Archbishop Timothy Broglio, military ordinary, accompanied by Auxiliary Bishops Richard Brendan Higgins, F. Richard Spencer and Neal J. Buckon.

 - Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, archbishop of Genoa, Italy, president of the Italian Episcopal Conference.

  On Saturday 14 January he received in audience:

 - Cardinal Marc Ouellet P.S.S., prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.

 - Archbishop Rainer Maria Woelki of Berlin, Germany.

 

OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS

VATICAN CITY, 16 JAN 2012 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

 - In accordance with canon 185 para. 1 of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, gave his assent to the canonical election carried out by the Synod of Bishops of the Maronite Patriarchal Church of Fr. Michel Aoun, "sincellus" for the clergy of Beirut of the Maronites, Lebanon, as bishop of Jbeil-Byblos of the Maronites (Catholics 250,000, priests 94, religious 78), Lebanon. The bishop-elect was born in Damour, Lebanon in 1959 and ordained a priest in 1984. He has worked as a pastor and educator in Lebanon and as rector at seminaries in Cairo and in Rome. He is also vice president of "La Sagesse" University in Beirut.

 - In accordance with canon 185 para. 1 of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, gave his assent to the canonical election carried out by the Synod of Bishops of the Maronite Patriarchal Church of Fr. Elias Slaiman Slaiman, professor and judge in the Lebanese ecclesiastical tribunals, as bishop of Lattaquie of the Maronites (Catholics 33,000, priests 28, religious 51), Syria. The bishop-elect was born in Hekr Semaan, Syria in 1951 and ordained a priest in 1987. He studied in France where he also served as vicar at a parish in Paris. He has worked as chaplain of "La Sagesse" University in Beirut and vicar general of Damascus, Syria.

 - In accordance with canon 185 para. 1 of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, gave his assent to the canonical election carried out by the Synod of Bishops of the Maronite Patriarchal Church of Fr. Mounir Khairallah, "protosincellus" of Batrun of the Maronites, Lebanon, as bishop of Batrun (Catholics 69,800, priests 56, religious 95). The bishop-elect was born in Mtah-Ezziat in 1953 and ordained a priest in 1977. He studied in France where he also worked in pastoral care in Parisian parishes. On his return to Lebanon he served as secretary of the Maronite Patriarchal Synod, as seminary professor and as pastor in a number of parishes.

 - Accepted the resignation from the office of auxiliary of the diocese of Zielona Gora-Gorzow, Poland, presented by Bishop Pawel Socha C.M., upon having reached the age limit.

  On Saturday 14 January it was made public that he:

 - Accepted the resignation from the pastoral care of the archdiocese of Beira, Mozambique, presented by Archbishop Jaime Pedro Goncalves, upon having reached the age limit, appointing Bishop Joao Carlos Hatoa Nunes, auxiliary of the archdiocese of Maputo, Mozambique, as apostolic administrator "sede vacante et ad nutum Sanctae Sedis" of Beira.

 - Erected the new diocese of Ifakara, (area 14,245, population 322,779, Catholics 287,000, priests 62, religious 201) Tanzania, with territory taken from the diocese of Mahenge, making it a suffragan of the metropolitan church of Dar-es-Salaam. He appointed Bishop Salutaris Melchior Libena, auxiliary of Dar-es-Salaam, as first bishop of the new diocese.

 - Accepted the resignation from the office of auxiliary of the archdiocese of Bombay, India, presented by Bishop Bosco Penha, upon having reached the age limit.

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