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Monday, January 25, 2010

News Vatican Information Service 01/23-25/2010




SUMMARY: 23 - 25 JANUARY

- Catholic Church Will Always Stand Alongside Haitians
- Message to New Patriarch of Serbian Orthodox Church
- Announce the Word Using New Technologies
- The Priest and Pastoral Ministry in a Digital World
- Meeting of Special Council for Africa of Synod of Bishops
- A Church United in the Multiplicity of Her Charisms
- May Blessed Samso Stimulate Courageous Witness of Faith
- Audiences
- Other Pontifical Acts
- Acts of the Oriental Churches

___________________________________________________

CATHOLIC CHURCH WILL ALWAYS STAND ALONGSIDE HAITIANS

VATICAN CITY, 23 JAN 2010 (VIS) - Made public today were two telegrams sent by the Holy Father on 16 January to Rene Preval, president of the Republic of Haiti, and to Archbishop Louis Kebreau S.D.B. of Cap-Haitien and president of the Episcopal Conference of Haiti, for the earthquake which devastated the country on 12 January, killing and injuring hundreds of thousands of people.

  Benedict XVI tells President Preval of his "profound sadness" at the tragic event and assures him of his "fervent prayers for all the people affected by this dreadful catastrophe. I also pray", the Pope continues, "that a spirit of solidarity may enter people's hearts and that calm may reign in the streets, so that the generous aid arriving from all countries may bring comfort to everyone, and that people who have today lost everything may be consoled by knowing that the international community is truly concerned about them".

  The Holy Father expresses his appreciation for "the commitment shown by both Haitians and foreigners, sometimes at risk of their own lives, to do everything in their power to search for and rescue survivors". And he assures the president that the Catholic Church, "through her institutions, will remain - and not only in these moments of great commotion - alongside the people who have been so sorely tried by this tragedy, and will, to the limit of her powers, help them regain the chance to build a better future".

  In his telegram to Archbishop Kebreau, the Pope mentions the tragic death in the earthquake of Archbishop Joseph Serge Miot of Port-au-Prince, and of many faithful, priests and consecrated people. "At this sad hour", he writes, "I invoke Our Lady of Perpetual Help that she may become 'Mother of tenderness', and that solidarity may triumph over isolation and individualism in people's hearts".

  The also Pope praises "the rapid mobilisation of the international community, collectively touched by the fate of Haitians", and reaffirms that, through her institutions, the Church "will not cease to make her contribution to the emergency efforts and to the patient reconstruction of devastated areas".
TGR/HAITI EARTHQUAKE/PREVAL KEBREAU                      VIS 100125 (360)

MESSAGE TO NEW PATRIARCH OF SERBIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH

VATICAN CITY, 23 JAN 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father has sent a Message to His Holiness Irinej, Archbishop of Pec, Metropolitan of Belgrade-Karlovci and Patriarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church, for his recent election to that office. In the English-language message he congratulates the new Patriarch and prays "that the Lord may grant you abundant gifts of grace and wisdom for the fulfilment of your high responsibilities in the service of the Church and the people entrusted to you.

  "You succeed Patriarch Pavle, our brother of happy memory, who was a pastor both fervent and esteemed, and who bequeathed to you a spiritual inheritance that is rich and profound", the Pope adds. "As a great pastor and spiritual father, he effectively guided the Church and maintained its unity in the face of many challenges. I feel bound to express my appreciation of his example of fidelity to the Lord and of his many gestures of openness towards the Catholic Church.

  "I therefore pray that the Lord will grant Your Holiness the inner strength to consolidate the unity and spiritual growth of the Serbian Orthodox Church, as well to build up the fraternal bonds with other Churches and ecclesial communities. Let me assure you of the closeness of the Catholic Church and of her commitment to the promotion of fraternal relations and theological dialogue, in order that those obstacles which still impede full communion between us may be overcome. May the Lord bless our common efforts in this regard, so that the disciples of Christ may again be united witnesses before the whole world to His salvific love".
MESS/ELECTION PATRIARCH/IRINEJ                                      VIS 100125 (280)
 
ANNOUNCE THE WORD USING NEW TECHNOLOGIES


VATICAN CITY, 23 JAN 2010 (VIS) - This morning in the Holy See Press Office, the Message for the forty-fourth World Day of Social Communications was presented. Its theme this year is: "The priest and pastoral ministry in a digital world: new media at the service of the Word".

  Participating in today's press conference were Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli and Msgr. Paul Tighe, respectively president and secretary of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications.

  Archbishop Celli explained how the Pope had chosen the theme of the priest, because of the current celebration of the Year for Priests. However "the Message is not addressed only to them. ... Priests work in the digital world, alongside lay people who are involved in that sector", he said.

  The president of the pontifical council noted that "the Pope expresses a positive assessment of new technologies. ... He is aware of their utility and knows they can make a positive contribution to pastoral care".

  In his Message Benedict XVI also recalls that "the main task of priests is to announce Christ", said Archbishop Celli, and that "they must focus pastoral attention on the communications media, ensuring it remains at the service of the Word".

  For his part Msgr. Tighe, speaking English, explained how in the Message "priests are invited to appreciate the great potential of the new technologies to make known the Good News of God's love for all people".

  "The priest is invited to be present in the digital world precisely as a priest", he said, pointing out that the Pope "takes for granted the need for the formation of priests in the skilful use of the new technologies, but his primary concern is to ensure that such technologies are used in ways that promote the Gospel and offer hope to all".

  "The Pope invites priests, and by implication all believers, to use the web to create a space of dialogue where Christians, believers of other religions and non-believers can encounter each other in a respectful search for truth and wisdom", he said.

  Referring then to specific initiatives in the digital field - such as the website of the Congregation for the Clergy dedicated to the Year for Priests: www.annussacerdotalis.org - the secretary of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications noted how "around the world the new technologies are being used to promote the ongoing theological and spiritual formation of priests. ... In addition, there have been many worthwhile personal efforts by individual priests, often supported by lay people with developed technical proficiencies and media competencies, to use the new technologies to give a new dimension to their pastoral mission".
OP/MESSAGE SOCIAL COMMUNICATIONS/...           VIS 100125 (450)
 
THE PRIEST AND PASTORAL MINISTRY IN A DIGITAL WORLD


VATICAN CITY, 23 JAN 2010 (VIS) - Made public today was the Holy Father's Message for the forty-fourth World Day of Social Communications, which will be celebrated on 24 May and has as its theme: "The priest and pastoral ministry in a digital world: new media at the service of the Word". The Message, published in various languages, is dated 24 January, Feast of St. Francis de Sales, patron of journalists.

  Excerpts from the English-language version are given below:

  "Church communities have always used the modern media for fostering communication, engagement with society and, increasingly, for encouraging dialogue at a wider level. Yet the recent, explosive growth and greater social impact of these media make them all the more important for a fruitful priestly ministry.

  "All priests have as their primary duty the proclamation of Jesus Christ, the incarnate Word of God, and the communication of His saving grace in the Sacraments. ... Responding adequately to this challenge amid today's cultural shifts, to which young people are especially sensitive, necessarily involves using new communications technologies. ... Priests stand at the threshold of a new era: as new technologies create deeper forms of relationship across greater distances, they are called to respond pastorally by putting the media ever more effectively at the service of the Word".

  "Priests can rightly be expected to be present in the world of digital communications as faithful witnesses to the Gospel, exercising their proper role as leaders of communities which increasingly express themselves with the different 'voices' provided by the digital marketplace. Priests are thus challenged to proclaim the Gospel by employing the latest generation of audiovisual resources".

  "Using new communication technologies, priests ... must learn, from the time of their formation, how to use these technologies in a competent and appropriate way, shaped by sound theological insights and reflecting a strong priestly spirituality grounded in constant dialogue with the Lord. Yet priests present in the world of digital communications should be less notable for their media savvy than for their priestly heart, their closeness to Christ. This will not only enliven their pastoral outreach, but also will give a 'soul' to the fabric of communications that makes up the 'Web'".

  "Our pastoral presence in that world must thus serve to show our contemporaries, especially the many people in our day who experience uncertainty and confusion, 'that God is near; that in Christ we all belong to one another'. Who better than a priest, as a man of God, can develop and put into practice, by his competence in current digital technology, a pastoral outreach capable of making God concretely present in today's world?"

  "Consecrated men and women working in the media have a special responsibility for opening the door to new forms of encounter, maintaining the quality of human interaction, and showing concern for individuals and their genuine spiritual needs. They can thus help the men and women of our digital age to sense the Lord's presence, to grow in expectation and hope, and to draw near to the Word of God which offers salvation and fosters an integral human development".

  "With the Gospels in our hands and in our hearts, we must reaffirm the need to continue preparing ways that lead to the Word of God, while being at the same time constantly attentive to those who continue to seek. ... A pastoral presence in the world of digital communications, precisely because it brings us into contact with the followers of other religions, non-believers and people of every culture, requires sensitivity to those who do not believe, the disheartened and those who have a deep, unarticulated desire for enduring truth and the absolute".

  "The development of the new technologies and the larger digital world represents a great resource for humanity as a whole. ... But this development likewise represents a great opportunity for believers. No door can or should be closed to those who, in the name of the risen Christ, are committed to drawing near to others. To priests in particular the new media offer ever new and far-reaching pastoral possibilities, encouraging them to embody the universality of the Church's mission, to build a vast and real fellowship, and to testify in today's world to the new life which comes from hearing the Gospel of Jesus".

  "At the same time, priests must always bear in mind that the ultimate fruitfulness of their ministry comes from Christ Himself, encountered and listened to in prayer; proclaimed in preaching and lived witness; and known, loved and celebrated in the Sacraments, especially the Holy Eucharist and Reconciliation. ... May the Lord make all of you enthusiastic heralds of the Gospel in the new 'agora' which the current media are opening up".
MESS/SOCIAL COMMUNICATIONS DAY/...                             VIS 100125 (800)

MEETING OF SPECIAL COUNCIL FOR AFRICA OF SYNOD OF BISHOPS

VATICAN CITY, 23 JAN 2010 (VIS) - A communique was released late this morning concerning the Special Council for Africa of the Synod of Bishops, which held its second meeting in the Vatican on 19 and 20 January.

  The communique explains that during the course of the meeting the members of the council discussed the problems they are facing, "observing how the Church in various African countries finds herself at the necessity of defending the people from injustice. The lack of peace stimulates the Church to make a strong commitment to mediation and to welcoming those who suffer the consequences of intestine wars.

  "Reconciliation continues to be a challenge for the African Church, which must be reconciled in herself in order to become credible in her preaching and social activities", the communique adds.

  On the subject of inter-religious dialogue, the participants in the meeting spoke of the "efforts being made to create bonds of understanding and collaboration, especially with Islam which is the continent's most widespread religion. It is to be hoped that the fundamentalist groups become increasingly disowned and marginalised by the official representatives of Islam", says the communique.

  The members of the council likewise studied the proposals that emerged from the Synod - held in the Vatican in October 2009 - "which will serve as a foundation for further study and as a contribution to the composition of the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation".

  The next meeting of the Special Council for Africa will take place on 27 and 28 April.
SE/SPECIAL COUNCIL/AFRICA SYNOD                                  VIS 100125 (270)

A CHURCH UNITED IN THE MULTIPLICITY OF HER CHARISMS

VATICAN CITY, 24 JAN 2010 (VIS) - At midday today Benedict XVI appeared at the window of his private study to pray the Angelus with faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square.

  Before the Marian prayer, the Pope quoted an excerpt of the First Letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians, from today's liturgy, in which the Apostle compares the Church to the human body. "The Church", the Holy Father explained, "is conceived like a body of which Christ is the Head, and it forms a united whole with Him.

  "However", he added, "what the Apostle is seeking to communicate is the idea of unity in the multiplicity of charisms, which are gifts of the Holy Spirit. Thanks to these charisms the Church is a rich and living non-uniform organism, fruit of the one Spirit Who leads everyone to profound unity, absorbing diversities without eradicating them and creating a harmonious whole".

  The Church "prolongs the presence of the risen Lord over history, especially through the Sacraments, the Word of God, the charisms and pastoral ministry in the community. Therefore, it is precisely in Christ and in the Spirit that the Church is one and holy; in other words, an intimate communion which transcends human capacities and supports them".

  In this context the Holy Father turned his attention to the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity which comes to an end tomorrow, Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul. To mark the occasion the Pope will preside at the celebration of Vespers in the Roman basilica of St. Paul's Outside-the-Walls, with representatives of other Churches and Christian communities present in Rome. "We will", said Pope Benedict, "invoke from God the gift of the full unity of all Christ's disciples" because "the communion of Christians ... makes the announcement of the Gospel more credible and effective".

  Finally the Holy Father spoke of St. Francis of Sales, patron of journalists, whose feast falls today. And to that saint, who taught that "the call to sanctity is addressed to everyone, and that each has his or her place in the Church", he entrusted his own recent Message for the World Day of Social Communications.
ANG/CHARISMS UNITY/...                                                VIS 100125 (370)

MAY BLESSED SAMSO STIMULATE COURAGEOUS WITNESS OF FAITH

VATICAN CITY, 24 JAN 2010 (VIS) - After praying the Angelus at midday today with thousands of people gathered in St. Peter's Square, the Pope recalled how yesterday in the Spanish city of Mataro near Barcelona, the beatification took place of Servant of God Josep Samso i Elias, "a Catalan priest and martyr killed during the Spanish civil war. Like a true witness of Christ, he died forgiving his tormentors", said Benedict XVI. "For priests, and especially pastors, he represents a model of dedication to catechesis and charity towards the poor".

  Greeting Spanish-speaking pilgrims present at the Angelus, the Holy Father expressed the hope that, in this current Year for Priests, the example of Blessed Samso i Elias "may serve as a stimulus to priests in the diligent exercise of their pastoral ministry, and encourage the faithful always to give firm and courageous witness of their faith".
ANG/BLESSED SAMSO I ELIAS/...                                            VIS 100125 (160)

AUDIENCES

VATICAN CITY, 25 JAN 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

 - Nine prelates from the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales, on their "ad limina" visit:

    - Archbishop Vincent Gerard Nichols of Westminster, accompanied by Auxiliary Bishops George Stack, Alan Stephen Hopes and John Arnold.

    - Bishop Declan Ronan Lang of Clifton.

    - Bishop Brian Michael Noble of Shrewsbury, accompanied by Coadjutor Bishop Mark Davies.

    - Archbishop Peter Smith of Cardiff.

    - Bishop Thomas Matthew Burns S.M. of Menevia.

  On Saturday 23 January he received in separate audiences:

 - Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops.

 - Cardinal Agostino Vallini, His Holiness' vicar general for the diocese of Rome.

 - Cardinal Jozef Tomko, president emeritus of the Pontifical Committee for International Eucharistic Congresses.

 - Cardinal Renato Raffaele Martino, president emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, and of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant Peoples.

 - Archbishop Francesco Monterisi, archpriest of the papal basilica of St. Paul's Outside-the-Walls.
AL:AP/.../...                                                                           VIS 100125 (180)

OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS

VATICAN CITY, 25 JAN 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

 - Appointed Fr. Monfort Stima, vicar general of the archdiocese of Blantyre, Malawi, as auxiliary of the same archdiocese (area 9,166, population 4,600,000, Catholics 1,133,850, priests 78, religious 287). The bishop-elect was born in Neno, Malawi in 1957 and ordained a priest in 1986.

 - Appointed as members of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura: Cardinal Giovanni Lajolo, president of the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State and of the Governorate of Vatican City State; Archbishop Velasio De Paolis C.S., president of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See; Archbishop Stanislav Zvolensky of Bratislava, Slovakia; Bishop Filippo Iannone O. Carm. of Sora-Aquino-Pontecorvo, Italy; Bishop Fernando Jose Monteiro Guimaraes C.SS.R. of Garanhuns, Brazil, and Bishop Ryszard Kasyna, auxiliary of Gdansk, Poland.

 - Appointed Msgr. Piero Pioppo, nunciature counsellor and prelate of the Institute for Works of Religion (IOR), as apostolic nuncio to Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea, at the same time elevating him to the dignity of archbishop. The archbishop-elect was born in Savona, Italy in 1960 and ordained a priest in 1985.

  On Saturday 23 January it was made public that he appointed Fr. Vincenzo Pisanello of the clergy of the archdiocese of Otranto, Italy, episcopal vicar for administration and pastor of the parish of Sts. Peter and Paul in Galatina, as bishop of Oria (area 921, population 183,300, Catholics 180,000, priests 117, permanent deacons 6, religious 265), Italy. The bishop-elect was born in Galatina, Italy in 1959 and ordained a priest in 1984.
NEA:NA:NN:NER/.../...                                            VIS 100125 (260)

ACTS OF THE ORIENTAL CHURCHES

VATICAN CITY, 25 JAN 2010 (VIS) - The Synod of Bishops of the Syro-Malankar Major Archiepiscopal Church, having duty consulted with the Holy See, has adopted the following provisions and, with the prior assent of the Holy Father, has proceeded with the following episcopal elections:

 - Erected the new eparchy of Pathanamthitta, India, appointing Bishop Yoohanon Mar Chrysostom Kalloor of Marthandom, India, as first bishop of the new eparchy.

 - Appointed Fr. K. M. Vincent Kulapuravilai, professor at St. Mary's Malankara Major Seminary, as bishop of the eparchy of Marthandom (area 1,684, population 1,977,000, Catholics 63,988, priests 39, religious 190), India. The bishop-elect was born in Anakkarai, India in 1964 and ordained a priest in 1991.

 - Erected the new eparchy of Puthur, India, appointing Bishop Geevarghese Mar Divannasios Ottathengil of Battery, India, as first bishop of the new eparchy.

 - Appointed Bishop Joseph Mar Thomas Konnath, auxiliary of Trivandrum, India, and apostolic visitor for North America and Europe, as bishop of the eparchy of Battery (area 75,000, population 1,767,000, Catholics 27,675, priests 88, religious 284), India.

 - Appointed Fr. Samuel Kattuakallil, vicar of the archieparchy of Trivandrum, India, as auxiliary of the same archieparchy (area 4,636, population 5,935,000, Catholics 251,000, priests 257, religious 868). The bishop-elect was born in Kadamanitta, India in 1952 and ordained a priest in 1978.

 - Appointed Fr. Stephen Thottathil, professor of moral theology and dean of theology at Malankara Seminary, as auxiliary of the archieparchy of Tiruvalla (area 11,120, population 5,435,000, Catholics 37,648, priests 132, religious 344), India. The bishop-elect was born in Ranni, India in 1952 and ordained a priest in 1979.

 - Appointed Fr. Anthony Valiyavilayil O.I.C., chancellor of the Syro-Malankar Major Archiepiscopal Curia, as bishop of the Syro-Malankar Major Archiepiscopal Curia. The bishop-elect was born in Adoor, India in 1955 and ordained a priest in 1980.
ECE:NER:NEA/.../...                                                           VIS 100125 (310)



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