February 27, 2012

Vatican Information Service Bulletin

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


Summary

- SPIRITUAL EXERCISES OF THE POPE AND THE ROMAN CURIA

- LENT: PRAYER, PENANCE AND CHARITY TO RENEW OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD

- MARRIAGE, THE ONLY WORTHY "PLACE" IN WHICH TO PRODUCE CHILDREN

- AUDIENCES

- OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS

 

SPIRITUAL EXERCISES OF THE POPE AND THE ROMAN CURIA
Vatican City, 26 February 2012 (VIS) - The Pope and the Roman Curia began their annual spiritual exercises this evening, the first Sunday of Lent.
This year's meditations are being directed by Cardinal Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya, archbishop of Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, who will focus on the theme of "the communion of Christians with God".
The exercises are being held in the "Redemptoris Mater" Chapel of the Vatican's Apostolic Palace, and will come to an end on Saturday 3 March. During the retreat all audiences are suspended, including the weekly general audience of Wednesday 29 February.

 

LENT: PRAYER, PENANCE AND CHARITY TO RENEW OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD
Vatican City, 26 February 2012 (VIS) - In his reflections before praying the Angelus this morning with faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square, Benedict XVI commented on the Gospel reading from this Sunday's liturgy, St. Mark's narrative of the temptation of Jesus in the wilderness.
"The Lord chose to undergo the attack of the tempter so as to defend us with His help and instruct us with His example", said the Holy Father quoting a text written by St. Leo the Great. This episode teaches us that man is never free from temptation, but we can become stronger than any enemy "by following the Lord every day with patience and humility, learning to build our lives not without Him or as if He did not exist, but in Him and with Him, because He is the source of true life. The temptation to remove God, to regulate ourselves and the world counting only on our own abilities, has always been present in the history of man", the Pope said.
In Christ, God addresses man "in an unexpected way, with a closeness that is unique, tangible and full of love. God became incarnate and entered man's world in order to take sin upon Himself, to overcome evil and to bring man back into God's world. But His announcement was accompanied by a request to respond to such a great gift. Indeed, Jesus said "repent, and believe in the good news'. This is an invitation to have faith in God and to convert every day of our lives to His will, orienting our every action and our every thought towards what is good. The period of Lent is a good time to renew and strengthen our relationship with God through daily prayer, acts of penance and works of fraternal charity".
Following the Angelus the Pope greeted pilgrims in a number of different languages, asking them to pray for him as he and the Roman Curia retire for their Lenten spiritual exercises, which begin this evening.

 

MARRIAGE, THE ONLY WORTHY "PLACE" IN WHICH TO PRODUCE CHILDREN
Vatican City, 25 February 2012 (VIS) - At midday today, the Holy Father received 200 scientists and members of the Pontifical Academy for Life, which is currently celebrating its eighteenth general assembly on the theme: "The diagnosis and treatment of infertility". This subject, said the Pope, "has particular scientific importance, and is an expression of the concrete possibility of fruitful dialogue between ethics and biomedical research".
"Research into diagnosis and therapy is the most scientifically correct approach to the question of infertility, as well as being the most respectful of the human condition of the people involved", said Benedict XVI. "Indeed, the union of a man and a woman, in that community of love and life which is marriage, represents the only worthy 'place' for a new human being to be called into existence".
The Pope explained how "the human and Christian dignity of procreation does not lie in a 'product', but in its bond with the conjugal act: that expression of the spouses' love for one another, that union which is not only biological but also spiritual. ... An infertile couple's legitimate aspirations to become parents must therefore, with the help of science, find a response which is fully respectful of their dignity as people and as spouses". Yet, the Holy Father said, the field of human procreation seems to be dominated "by scientism and the logic of profit", which often "restrict many other areas of research.
"The Church is attentive to the suffering of infertile couples", he added, "and her concern for them is what leads her to encourage medical research. Science, nonetheless, is not always capable of responding to the needs of many couples, and so I would like to remind those who are experiencing infertility that their matrimonial vocation is not thereby frustrated. By virtue of their baptismal and matrimonial vocation, spouses are always called to collaborate with God in the creation of a new humanity. The vocation to love, in fact, is a vocation of self-giving and this is something which no bodily condition can impede. Therefore, when science cannot provide an answer, the light-giving response comes from Christ".
Benedict XVI invited the participants in the general assembly to continue to develop "a science which is intellectually honest and dedicated to the continual search for the good of mankind. ... Indifference towards truth and goodness is a dangerous threat to authentic scientific progress", he warned. In conclusion, the Pope encouraged his audience to dialogue with faith because "it was Christian culture - rooted in the affirmation of the existence of Truth, and the intelligibility of reality in the light of Supreme Truth - which enabled modern scientific knowledge to develop in mediaeval Europe, a knowledge which in earlier cultures had remained in the bud".

 

AUDIENCES
Vatican City, 25 February 2012 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in audience Cardinal Marc Ouellet P.S.S., prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, accompanied by Archbishop Lorenzo Baldisseri, secretary of the same congregation.

 

OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS
Vatican City, 25 February 2012 (VIS) - The Holy Father:
- Appointed Bishop Arrigo Miglio of Ivrea, Italy, as archbishop of Cagliari (area 4,041, population 572,615, Catholics 567,615, priests 247, permanent deacons 37, religious 919), Italy. He succeeds Archbishop Giuseppe Mani, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same archdiocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.
- Accepted the resignation from the office of auxiliary of the archdiocese of Medellin, Colombia, presented by Bishop Gilberto Jimenez Narvaez, upon having reached the age limit.
- Appointed Bishop John F. Du of Dumaguete, Philippines, as metropolitan archbishop of Palo (area 4,620, population 1,762,000, Catholics 1,362,000, priests 161, religious 191), Philippines.

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