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Showing posts with label Haiti Relief. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Haiti Relief. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

News Vatican Information Service 01/16/2013



SUMMARY:

- SEEKING THE FACE OF GOD
- THAT CHRISTIANS MIGHT PROFESS TOGETHER THAT JESUS IS SAVIOUR
- ARCHBISHOP MAMBERTI: FREEDOM OF CONSCIENCE AND RELIGION
- OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS
______________________________________

SEEKING THE FACE OF GOD

Vatican City, 16 January 2013 (VIS) -Salvation history, that is, the account of God's saving interaction with humanity, was the theme of the Holy Father's catechesis during this Wednesday's general audience.

The Old Testament narrates how, after creation, God, in spite of original sin, again offers human beings the possibility of His friendship "through the covenant with Abraham and the path of a small people, of Israel, whom He chooses not according to the criteria of earthly power but simply out of love. … For this task He used mediators, like Moses and the prophets and judges, to communicate His will to the people. They recalled the necessity of faithfulness to the covenant and kept alive the hope of the full and definitive realization of His divine promises."

God's revelation reaches its fullness in Jesus of Nazareth. In Him, "God visits His people, He visits humanity in a way that goes beyond all expectations. He sends His Only Begotten Son; God himself becomes man. Jesus does not tell us something about God's nearness, doesn't simply speak of the Father: ... He reveals the face of God to us." Within Jesus' statement, "'Whoever has seen me has seen the Father' ... the newness of the New Testament is contained. … God could be seen, God has revealed His face, He is visible in Jesus Christ."

Benedict XVI recalled the importance of the search for the face of God throughout the Old Testament, that is, for "a 'You' who can enter into relationship, who is not locked away in His heaven, looking down on humanity from on high. Certainly, God is above all things, but He turns toward us and listens to us: He sees us, speaks, extends covenants, and is capable of loving. Salvation history is the story of God with humanity. It is the story of this relationship of God who progressively reveals Himself to mankind."

"Something completely new occurs, however, with the Incarnation. The search for the face of God is unimaginably changed because this face can now be seen. It is that of Jesus, of the Son of God who is made man. In Him God's path of revelation, which began with the call of Abraham, is fulfilled. He is the fullness of this revelation because He is the Son of God as well as 'the mediator and the fullness of all revelation'. In Him coincide the content of Revelation and the One who reveals … Jesus, true God and true man, is not simply one of the mediators between God and humankind, but is 'the mediator' of the new and eternal covenant. … In Him we see and encounter the Father. In Him we can call God by the name of 'Abba, Father'. In Him we are given salvation."

"The desire to truly know God, that is, to see the face of God, is inherent to every human being, including atheists. Perhaps we also, unconsciously, have this desire to simply see who He is. … But this desire is fulfilled in following Christ thus … we finally see God as a friend. What is important is that we follow Christ not only when we need Him or when we find a minute of time among our thousands of daily tasks. … Our entire existence must be directed toward meeting Jesus Christ, toward love for Him. In such an existence, love for our neighbour must take a central position; that love that, in light of the Crucifix, allows us to recognize the face of Jesus in the poor, the weak, and in those who are suffering."

THAT CHRISTIANS MIGHT PROFESS TOGETHER THAT JESUS IS SAVIOUR

Vatican City, 16 January 2013 (VIS) – After his Wednesday catechesis, Benedict XVI noted that the day after tomorrow, Friday 18 January, will begin the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. This year its theme is "What does God require of us?", inspired by a passage from the prophet Micah. The Pope invited all "to pray, asking insistently of God, for the great gift of unity between all of the Lord's disciples. May the Holy Spirit's limitless strength arouse us to the sincere commitment to seek unity, so that we might all profess together that Jesus is the saviour of the world."

ARCHBISHOP MAMBERTI: FREEDOM OF CONSCIENCE AND RELIGION

Vatican City, 16 January 2013 (VIS) - Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for the Holy See's Relations with States, was interviewed by Vatican Radio on the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights in several cases relating to freedom of conscience and religion.

"On 15 January, the European Court of Human Rights published its judgements on four cases relating to the freedom of conscience and religion of employees in the United Kingdom. Two of these cases concern employees’ freedom to wear a small cross around their neck in the workplace, while the other two concern the freedom to object in conscience to the celebration of a civil union between persons of the same sex and to conjugal counselling for couples of the same sex."

Some time ago, the Holy See’s Mission to the Council of Europe published a Note on the Church’s freedom and institutional autonomy. The archbishop explained the context of the Note as "the issue of the Church’s freedom in her relations with civil authorities," which "is at present being examined by the European Court of Human Rights in two cases involving the Orthodox Church of Romania and the Catholic Church. These are the Sindacatul 'Pastorul cel Bun' v. Romania and Fernandez Martinez v. Spain cases. On this occasion, the Permanent Representation of the Holy See to the Council of Europe drew up a synthetic note explaining the Magisterium [official Church teaching] on the freedom and institutional autonomy of the Catholic Church."

"In these cases," the archbishop said, "the European Court must decide whether the civil power respected the European Convention on Human Rights in refusing to recognize a trade union of priests [in the Romanian case] and in refusing to appoint a teacher of religion who publicly professes positions contrary to the teaching of the Church [in the Spanish case]. In both cases, the rights to freedom of association and freedom of expression were invoked in order to constrain religious communities to act in a manner contrary to their canonical status and the Magisterium. Thus, these cases call into question the Church’s freedom to function according to her own rules and not to be subject to civil rules other than those necessary to ensure that the common good and just public order are respected. The Church has always had to defend herself in order to preserve her autonomy with regard to the civil power and ideologies. Today, an important issue in Western countries is to determine how the dominant culture, strongly marked by materialist individualism and relativism, can understand and respect the nature of the Church, which is a community founded on faith and reason."

Faced with this situation, "the Church is aware of the difficulty of determining the relations between the civil authorities and the different religious communities in a pluralist society with regard to the requirements of social cohesion and the common good. In this context, the Holy See draws attention to the necessity of maintaining religious freedom in its collective and social dimension. This dimension corresponds to the essentially social nature both of the person and of the religious fact in general. The Church does not ask that religious communities be lawless zones but that they be recognized as spaces for freedom, by virtue of the right to religious freedom, while respecting just public order. This teaching is not reserved to the Catholic Church; the criteria derived from it are founded in justice and are therefore of general application."

"Furthermore, the juridical principle of the institutional autonomy of religious communities is widely recognized by States that respect religious freedom, as well as by international law. The European Court of Human Rights itself has regularly stated this principle in several important judgements. Other institutions have also affirmed this principle. This is notably the case with the OSCE [Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe] and also with the United Nations Committee for Human Rights in, respectively, the 'Final Document' of the Vienna Conference of 19 January 1989 and 'General Observation no. 22 on the Right to Freedom of Thought, Conscience and Religion' of 30 July 1993. It is nevertheless useful to recall and defend this principle of the autonomy of the Church and the civil power.

OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS

Vatican City, 16 January 2013 (VIS) – Today the Holy Father appointed Archbishop Joseph Salvador Marino as apostolic nuncio to Malaysia and to East Timor and as apostolic delegate to Brunei. Archbishop Marino, titular of Natchitoches, was previously apostolic nuncio to Bangladesh.


You can find more information at: www.visnews.org
The news items contained in the Vatican Information Service may be used, in part or in their entirety, by quoting the source:
V.I.S. -Vatican Information Service.
Copyright © Vatican Information Service 00120 Vatican City

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

News Vatican Information Service 01/11/2011



SUMMARY:

- President "Cor Unum" in Haiti for Earthquake Anniversary

___________________________________________________________
 
PRESIDENT "COR UNUM" IN HAITI FOR EARTHQUAKE ANNIVERSARY


VATICAN CITY, 11 JAN 2011 (VIS) - A year after the earthquake which devastated Haiti on 12 January 2010 leaving 250,000 people dead and more than a million homeless, Benedict XVI has sent Cardinal Robert Sarah, president of the Pontifical Council "Cor Unum", who will bring a Message from the Pope and economic aid to the people so gravely afflicted twelve months ago, according to a communique released by "Cor Unum".

  The cardinal arrived in Haiti yesterday when he visited a number of religious communities in Leogane: the Sisters of Christ the King whose hospital was destroyed, the "Petites Soeurs de Sainte-Therese de l'Enfant Jesus" who run a clinic for people suffering from AIDS and tuberculosis, and the "Compagnes de Jesus" who had an old people's home and a school destroyed by the quake. During the course of the day Cardinal Sarah laid the cornerstone of the "Ecole Notre Dame des Anges". In the Holy Father's name, he also brought concrete support in the form of donations received following the earthquake: 800,000 U.S. dollars for the rebuilding of schools and 400,000 U.S. dollars for the reconstruction of churches.

  Today, 11 January, the president of "Cor Unum", accompanied by Msgr. Segundo Tejado, under secretary of the dicastery, will meet Rene Preval, president of the Republic of Haiti. The cardinal will then visit the Parc Acra displaced persons camp where he will celebrate Mass.

  On Wednesday 12 January, Cardinal Sarah will read out the Pope's Message during a Mass to commemorate the first anniversary of the earthquake. He will then meet with bishops and seminarians as well as with directors of Caritas and of international and volunteer organisations.

  His final engagement in Haiti will take place on 13 January when he will celebrate Mass in the convent of the "Paridean" Daughters of Mary who lost fifteen religious in the disaster, while twelve other sisters were seriously injured.

  The visit also has the aim of thanking everyone who collaborated in the huge efforts of the emergency period, and of renewing the Church's commitment in the reconstruction, encouraging a new phase of charitable commitment.
CON-CU/                                                                                         VIS 20110111 (360)




You can find more information at: www.visnews.org

The news items contained in the Vatican Information Service may be used, in part or in their entirety, by quoting the source:
V.I.S. -Vatican Information Service.
Copyright © Vatican Information Service 00120 Vatican City


Thursday, January 28, 2010

News Vatican Information Service 01/27/2010




SUMMARY:

- Francis of Assisi, a Giant of Sanctity
- Pope Remembers the Victims of the Holocaust
- Special Issue of Postage Stamps in Favour of Haiti
- Other Pontifical Acts

___________________________________________________________

FRANCIS OF ASSISI, A GIANT OF SANCTITY

VATICAN CITY, 27 JAN 2010 (VIS) - Benedict XVI dedicated his catechesis during the general audience, held this morning in the Paul VI Hall, to St. Francis of Assisi (1181/82-1226), a "true 'giant' of sanctity who continues to enthral many people of all ages and religious beliefs".

  Francis, the Pope explained, was born into a rich family and passed a carefree youth. At the age of twenty he took part in a military campaign and was taken prisoner. On his return to Assisi he began a process of spiritual conversion that gradually led him to abandon worldly life. In the hermitage of St. Damian, Francis had a vision of Christ, Who spoke to him from the crucifix inviting him to repair His Church.

  This call "contains a profound symbolism", said the Holy Father, because the ruinous condition of the hermitage also represented "the dramatic and disquieting situation of the Church at that time, with her superficial faith that neither formed nor transformed life, her clergy little committed to its duties, ... and the interior decay of her unity due to the rise of heretical movements. Yet nonetheless, at the middle of that Church in ruins was the Crucifix, which spoke and called for renewal, which called Francis".

  Pope Benedict also remarked upon the coincidence between that event in Francis' life and the dream of Pope Innocent III in the same year of 1207. The Pope had dreamt that the basilica of St. John Lateran was about to collapse, and a "small and insignificant" friar held it up to prevent its fall. Pope Innocent recognised the friar in Francis, who came to see him in Rome two years later.

  "Innocent III", said Benedict XVI, "was a powerful Pontiff, who possessed profound theological culture as well as great political power, but it was not he who renewed the Church. It was the 'small and insignificant' friar, it was Francis, called by God. Yet it is important to recall that Francis did not renew the Church without the Pope or against the Pope, but in communion with him. The two things went together: Peter's Successor, the bishops and the Church founded on apostolic succession, and the new charism that the Spirit had created at that moment to renew the Church".

  Having renounced his paternal inheritance in 1208, the saint elected to live in poverty and dedicate himself to preaching. A year later, accompanied by his first followers, he travelled to Rome to present his project for a new form of Christian life to Pope Innocent III.

  Referring then to the philosophical debate concerning, on the one hand, the Francis of tradition and, on the other, the Francis some scholars define as historical, the Pope explained that the saint "wished to follow the Word of Christ ... in all its radical truth", but at the same time "he was aware that Christ is never 'mine' but 'ours', that 'I' can never possess Him, that 'I' can never rebuild against the Church, her will and her teaching".

  It is also true that at first Francis "did not wish to create a new order" with all the due canonical procedures. However, not without disappointment, he came to understand "that everything must have its order and that the law of the Church is necessary to give form to renewal. Thus he entered ... with all his heart into communion with the Church, with the Pope and the bishops".

  The Holy Father recalled how St. Clare also joined the school of St. Francis, and he praised the fruits that the Second Order of St. Francis, the Poor Clares, has brought to the Church. He then went on to speak of Francis' 1219 voyage to Egypt, where he met the Sultan Melek-el-Kamel and preached the Gospel of Jesus Christ. "In an age marked by an ongoing conflict between Christianity and Islam, Francis, armed only with the faith and his personal gentleness, effectively followed the path of dialogue. ... His is a model which even today must inspire relations between Christian and Muslims: promote dialogue in truth, in reciprocal respect and mutual understanding".

  The Pope also referred to the possibility that Francis might have visited the Holy Land and pointed out that the saint's spiritual children have made the Holy Places a privileged place for their mission. "I think with gratitude", he said, "of the great merits of the Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land".

  Francis, who died in 1226, "lying on the bare earth" of the Porziuncola, "represents an 'alter Christus'", and this "was, in fact, his ideal, ... to imitate Christ's virtues. In particular, he wished to give fundamental value to interior and exterior poverty, also teaching this to his spiritual children. ... The witness of Francis, who loved poverty in order to follow Christ with complete devotion and freedom, continues to be, also for us today, an invitation to cultivate interior poverty so as to develop our trust in God, with a sober lifestyle and a detachment from material goods.

  "In Francis", the Pope added, "love for Christ was expressed in a special way in the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament of the Eucharist". He also mentioned the saint's great admiration for priests "because they have received the gift of consecrating the Eucharist. ... Let us never forget", he said, "that the sanctity of the Eucharist requires us to be pure, to live in a manner coherent with the Mystery we celebrate".

  Another characteristic of the saint's spirituality was "the sense of universal fraternity and love for nature which inspired him to write the 'Laudes Creaturarum'. This is a very relevant message because ... the only form of sustainable development is that which respects creation and does not harm the environment", and "even the construction of lasting peace is linked to respect for the environment. Francis reminds us that that the creation reflects the wisdom and benevolence of the Creator".

  The Holy Father concluded by describing Francis as "a great saint and a joyful man. ... There exists, in fact, an intimate and indissoluble bond between sanctity and joy. A French author once wrote that only one sadness exists in the world: that of not being saints".
AG/FRANCIS OF ASSISI/...                                                          VIS 100127 (1040)

POPE REMEMBERS THE VICTIMS OF THE HOLOCAUST

VATICAN CITY, 27 JAN 2010 (VIS) - At the end of today's general audience, the Pope recalled how "sixty-five years ago, on 27 January 1945, the gates of the Nazi concentration campo near the Polish city of Oswiecim, better known by its German name of Auschwitz, were opened and the few survivors freed.

  "That event, and the testimony of those who survived, revealed to the world the horror of the crimes of unprecedented cruelty committed in the extermination camps created by Nazi Germany", he added.

  "Today we celebrate 'Holocaust Remembrance Day', to recall all the victims of those crimes, and especially the planned annihilation of the Jews, and to honour those who, at the risk of their own lives, protected the persecuted and sought to oppose the murderous insanity. Deeply moved, our thoughts go to the countless victims of that blind racial and religious hatred, who suffered deportation, imprisonment and death in those abhorrent and inhuman places.

  "May the memory of those events", he concluded, "and in particular the drama of the Shoah which struck the Jewish people, arouse ever greater respect for the dignity of each person, so that all mankind may feel itself to be one large family. May omnipotent God illuminate hearts and minds, that such tragedies never happen again".
AG/HOLOCAUST REMEMBRANCE/...                                      VIS 100127 (230)

SPECIAL ISSUE OF POSTAGE STAMPS IN FAVOUR OF HAITI

VATICAN CITY, 27 JAN 2010 (VIS) - The Philatelic and Numismatic Office of the Governorate of Vatican City State has issued a special stamp, the sales of which will be used for the benefit of the people of Haiti, victims of the recent earthquake.

  A communique made public yesterday afternoon explains that the stamp is dedicated to the 1500th anniversary of the shrine of Our Lady of Grace, better known as the shrine of Mentorella, located in the Italian region of Lazio.

  The series of 900,000 stamps, each with a face value of 0.65 euros, will be sold for 0.85 euros, though their postal value will remain 0.65 euros.

  The 0.20 euros surplus will be used to aid victims of the earthquake. According to estimates of the Governorate of Vatican City State, if almost the entire series is sold some 150,000 euros will be collected.
OP/SPECIAL STAMP/HAITI                                                         VIS 100127 (160)

OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS

VATICAN CITY, 27 JAN 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Bishop Antonio Lanfranchi of Cesena-Sarsina, Italy, as archbishop-abbot of Modena-Nonantola (area 2,089, population 488,400, Catholics 476,900, priests 264, permanent deacons 56, religious 403), Italy. The archbishop-elect was born in Grondone di Ferriere, Italy in 1946, he was ordained a priest in 1971 and consecrated a bishop in 2004. He succeeds Archbishop Benito Cocchi, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same archdiocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.
NER:RE/LANFRANCHI:COCCHI                                                 VIS 100127 (90)





You can find more information at: www.vatican.va - www.visnews.org

The news items contained in the Vatican Information Service may be used, in part or in their entirety, by quoting the source:
V.I.S. -Vatican Information Service.
Copyright © Vatican Information Service 00120 Vatican City

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.
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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".
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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.
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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.
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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.
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You can find more information at: www.vatican.va - www.visnews.org

The news items contained in the Vatican Information Service may be used, in part or in their entirety, by quoting the source:
V.I.S. -Vatican Information Service.
Copyright © Vatican Information Service 00120 Vatican City

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

News Vatican Information Service 01/19/2010




SUMMARY:

- Cor Unum: Twelve Aid Centres in Haiti
- Draft Guidelines for October's Middle East Synod
- Benedict XVI to Preside at Vespers in St. Paul's Basilica
- Other Pontifical Acts

___________________________________________________________

COR UNUM: TWELVE AID CENTRES IN HAITI

VATICAN CITY, 19 JAN 2010 (VIS) - The Pontifical Council "Cor Unum" released the following English-language communique late yesterday:

  "In light of the request of the Pontifical Council 'Cor Unum' that Catholic Relief Services (CRS), the international humanitarian agency of the Bishops of the United States, co-ordinate the Church's relief efforts in Haiti at this stage, CRS has been holding on-site meetings with the Haitian Episcopal Conference, the apostolic nuncio and several foreign Catholic charitable agencies, now operating in Port-au-Prince, to asses and respond to the disaster.

  "The group initiated immediately the provision of food, water, clothing, shelter and medical aid for the displaced survivors in informal camps. Twelve sites have now been jointly determined as distribution points for further provision with security and operational assessments already undertaken. Personnel and supplies from neighbouring Santo Domingo and other nations continue to arrive through a variety of Catholic aid organisations.

  "As with previous disasters, the concrete generosity of Churches, institutions and individuals worldwide is again being manifested. The needs and challenges remain significant, particularly on the level of movement of goods and people and security, and are likely to grow as the effects of the earthquake in and beyond Port-au-Prince become increasingly evident".
CON-CU/EARTHQUAKE/HAITI                                                    VIS 100119 (210)

DRAFT GUIDELINES FOR OCTOBER'S MIDDLE EAST SYNOD

VATICAN CITY, 19 JAN 2010 (VIS) - At midday today in the Holy See Press Office Archbishop Nikola Eterovic, secretary general of the Synod of Bishops, presented the "Lineamenta" of the Special Assembly for the Middle East of the Synod of Bishops. The synodal meeting is due to be held in the Vatican from 10 to 24 October on the theme: "The Catholic Church in the Middle East. Communion and Witness. Now the company of those who believed were of one heart and soul".

  The "Lineamenta" or draft guidelines on the theme of the Synod have been published in Italian, English, French and Arabic, and are made up of an introduction, three chapters and a conclusion. The text includes a general questionnaire concerning the topics covered, the answers to which (thirty-two in all) must be sent to the general secretariat of the Synod no later than Easter. A summary of the answers will then be compiled, and this will form the "Instrumentum laboris" or working document of the Synod, which the Pope will hand to representatives of the Eastern Catholic Churches during his apostolic trip to Cyprus scheduled for 4-6 June.

  Archbishop Eterovic explained how the first chapter of today's document, "The Catholic Churches in the Middle East", briefly reviews the history of the Eastern Churches and presents the current challenges, including: "political conflicts in the region (Israel-Palestine, Iraq, Lebanon); ... and freedom of worship and of conscience, lamenting the considerable number of obstacles to exercising this fundamental right of individuals and of all religious communities".

  "Ecclesial communion", the title of chapter two of the "Lineamenta", focuses on "the question of communion within the Catholic Church; that is, among the various Eastern Catholic Churches. ... Obviously, communion is also expressed in the relations between the bishops of the various Eastern Catholic Churches, as well as between them and the faithful", said the archbishop.

  He then went on to explain how chapter three, "Christian witness", turns the spotlight on "the witness of Catholics within the Church herself, especially by means of catechesis and works, as well as outside the Church.

  "Dialogue with other Churches and Christian communities exists", he added, "but it needs to be increased". The chapter also mentions Jewish-Christian dialogue "which exists in Palestine and in Israel thanks to various associations".

  On the subject of relations with Muslims, the archbishop noted the document's focus on the "need to promote dialogue, also in order to know one another better, ... and as the best way to resolve problems".

  The conclusion to the "Lineamenta" presents "the reasons - not so much political reasons as those of faith - why it is essential that Christians remain in the Middle East and continue to make their specific contribution for a more just, peaceful and prosperous society".

  For his part Msgr. Fortunato Frezza, under secretary of the Synod of Bishops, explained that what we call the Holy Land "is not simply a geographical entity. ... That small space wedged between sea and desert was the stage for nearly two thousand years of history of the Jewish people, from the coming of Abraham to the Hasmonean dynasty of the second century BC and, subsequently, for the human history of the Son of God made man, and that of His disciples and Apostles".

  He went on: "The Synod will concern itself with all the Middle East from Asia Minor to Iraq, and the Holy Land is a geographical part of that vast and heterogeneous area, a spiritually eminent part that is by no means historically inferior or insignificant for civilisation. There, and specifically in Jerusalem, the three monotheistic religions have vital roots and bonds, each in its own way".

  "These vital bonds directly concern the original stages of each of the historical religions, yet we must ask whether belonging to this portion of the Middle East can foment an awareness of the authenticity and purity of faith and of religious practice. We must also ask", he concluded, "whether a shared land of origin and coexistence can favour reciprocity of recognition and respect, going so far as to have a positive influence on relations in the entire area of the Middle East".
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BENEDICT XVI TO PRESIDE AT VESPERS IN ST. PAUL'S BASILICA

VATICAN CITY, 19 JAN 2010 (VIS) - A communique released today by the Office of Liturgical Celebrations of the Supreme Pontiff announces that in the Roman basilica of St. Paul's Outside-the-Walls on Monday 25 January, the Holy Father will preside at the celebration of second Vespers of the Solemnity of the Conversion of St. Paul, for the closing of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, the theme of which this year is: "You are witnesses of these things".

  The celebration will be attended by representatives from other Churches and Christian communities present in Rome.
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OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS

VATICAN CITY, 19 JAN 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father elevated the apostolic prefecture of Donkorkrom (area 4,285, population 160,000, Catholics 17,000, priests 12, religious 7), Ghana, to the rank of apostolic vicariate with the same name and territorial configuration as before. He appointed Fr. Gabriel Edoe Kumordji S.V.D., currently apostolic prefect of Donkorkrom, as first apostolic vicar of the new vicariate. The bishop-elect was born in Accra, Ghana in 1956 and ordained a priest in 1985.
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You can find more information at: www.vatican.va - www.visnews.org

The news items contained in the Vatican Information Service may be used, in part or in their entirety, by quoting the source:
V.I.S. -Vatican Information Service.
Copyright © Vatican Information Service 00120 Vatican City

Monday, January 18, 2010

Time Is Of The Essence




We are seeing and hearing more and more of the desperate plight of the people in Haiti after the devastating earthquake.

The people of Haiti desperately need our aid and support. You may begin by going to the site for Catholic Relief Services, and making a donation now. If you are not comfortable making a donation online, you may donate to Catholic Relief Services by phone, by calling 1-800-736-3467 between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (U.S. and Canada), or you may send a check by mail to: Catholic Relief Services, P.O. Box 17090, Baltimore, MD 21203-7090


You may also go to The Hunger Site, and click on the banner entitled “Earthquake in Haiti - PLEASE HELP NOW”.

This is so important, that this same post is going to be placed on all of the Faith of the Fathers blogs.

Let’s all do what we can. No matter how little it seems, all donations help.

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