Tuesday, April 20, 2010
- Cardinal Spidlik, a Great Man of Faith
- Program of Benedict XVI's Visit to Turin
- Activities and Trips of the Holy Father: May - September
- Other Pontifical Acts
CARDINAL SPIDLIK, A GREAT MAN OF FAITH
VATICAN CITY, 20 APR 2010 (VIS) - This morning Benedict XVI delivered the eulogy at the end of the funeral of Cardinal Tomas Spidlik S.J., who died on 16 April at the age of 90. The funeral Mass was celebrated in St. Peter's Basilica by Cardinal Angelo Sodano, dean of the College of Cardinals.
"The will of Jesus coincides with the will of God the Father and, along with the action of the Holy Spirit, represents a kind of secure, strong and sweet 'embrace' of man, leading him to eternal life", said the Pope.
"I believe that the great men of faith live immersed in this grace, that they have the gift of perceiving this truth particularly clearly, and that they can thus undergo harsh trials, just as Fr. Tomas Spidlik did, without losing their trust; rather, they retain a sense of humour, which is certainly a sign of intelligence but also of inner freedom".
Benedict XVI went on: "In this context, there was an evident resemblance between the late cardinal and the Venerable John Paul II: both were wont to make jokes though having suffered difficult, and in some ways similar, personal circumstances in their youth. Providence led them to meet and work together for the good of the Church, with the particular aim that she might learn to breathe fully 'with both her lungs', as the Slavic Pope liked to say.
"This free and ready spirit had its objective foundation in the Resurrection of Christ", the Holy Father added. "The hope and joy of the risen Jesus are also the hope and joy of His friends, thanks to the action of the Holy Spirit. Fr. Spidlik demonstrated this regularly in the way he lived, and his witness became ever more eloquent with the passing of the years because, despite his advanced age and inevitable health problems, his spirit remained fresh and youthful. What is this, if not friendship with the risen Lord?"
In choosing "ex toto corde" (with all my heart) as his motto, the cardinal placed "his life within the commandment to love, inscribing his entire existence in the primacy of love and of charity". The words "phos" and "zoe" (light and life) on the cardinal's coat-of-arms "are names of God", the Pope explained. "Thus the man who fully 'ex toto corde' accepts the love of God, accepts light and life, and becomes in his turn light and life in humankind and in the universe".
Benedict XVI concluded his eulogy by recalling Cardinal Spidlik's membership of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits). "In other words", he said, "he was a spiritual son of St. Ignatius who placed the contemplation of God in the mystery of Christ at the centre of faith and spirituality. In this symbol of the heart, East and West come together, not in a devotional but in a profoundly Christological sense".
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PROGRAM OF BENEDICT XVI'S VISIT TO TURIN
VATICAN CITY, 20 APR 2010 (VIS) - On Sunday 2 May the Holy Father will travel to the Italian city of Turin for the exposition of the Holy Shroud, which began on 10 April and is due to last until 23 May.
The Pope will depart from Rome's Fiumicino airport at 8.15 a.m. on that day, arriving in Turin an hour later. At 9.45 a.m. he will meet with the local population in the city's Pizza San Carlo where, at 10.15 a.m., he will concelebrate the Eucharist then pray the Regina Coeli.
At 1.30 p.m. he will lunch with bishops of the Piedmont region in the archbishopric of Turin before returning to Piazza San Carlo at 4.30 p.m. for a meeting with young people. At 5.30 p.m. Benedict XVI will visit the cathedral of St. John where he will venerate the Holy Shroud and, an hour later, travel to the church of the Little House of Divine Providence - Cottolengo where he will meet with sick people.
The Pope's return flight to Rome is due to leave at 7.30 p.m., arriving at Ciampino airport at 8.30 p.m. whence a helicopter will carry him back to the Vatican.
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ACTIVITIES AND TRIPS OF THE HOLY FATHER: MAY - SEPTEMBER
VATICAN CITY, 20 APR 2010 (VIS) - Following are highlights of the activities and trips due to be undertaken by Pope Benedict XVI between the months of May and September.
- Sunday 2: Pastoral visit to Turin, Italy, for the exposition of the Holy Shroud.
- Tuesday 11 to Friday 14: Apostolic trip to Portugal.
- Sunday 23: Solemnity of Pentecost: Mass at 10 a.m. in the Vatican Basilica.
- Thursday 3: Solemnity of Corpus Christi. Mass at 7.00 p.m. in the basilica of St. John Lateran, procession to the basilica of St. Mary Major and Eucharistic blessing.
- Friday 4 to Sunday 6: Apostolic trip to Cyprus.
- Thursday 10: Prayer vigil with priests at 6 p.m. in St. Peter's Square.
- Friday 11: Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. At 10 a.m. in St. Peter's Square, Mass for the close of the Year for Priests.
- Sunday 20: At 9 .30 a.m. in the Vatican Basilica, priestly ordination of deacons from the diocese of Rome.
- Monday 28: First Vespers for the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul Apostles, at 6 p.m. in the Basilica of St. Paul's Outside-the-Walls.
- Tuesday 29: Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul Apostles. Mass at 9.30 a.m. in St. Peter's Basilica and imposition of the pallium on new metropolitan archbishops.
- Sunday 4: Pastoral visit to Sulmona, Italy, for the eighth centenary of the birth of Pope St. Celestine V.
- Sunday 15: Solemnity of the Assumption. Mass at 8 a.m. in the parish church of St. Thomas of Villanova in Castelgandolfo.
- Sunday 5: Pastoral visit to Carpineto Romano, Italy, for the second centenary of the birth of Pope Leo XIII.
- Thursday 16 to Sunday 19: Apostolic trip to the United Kingdom.
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OTHER PONTIFICAL ACTS
VATICAN CITY, 20 APR 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father:
- Appointed Bishop Thomas G. Wenski of Orlando, U.S.A., as metropolitan archbishop of Miami (area 12,836, population 4,299,000, Catholics 860,000, priests 397, permanent deacons 119, religious 415), U.S.A. The archbishop-elect was born in West Palm Beach, U.S.A. in 1950, he was ordained a priest in 1976 and consecrated a bishop in 1997. He succeeds Archbishop John C. Favalora, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same archdiocese the Holy Father accepted, in accordance with canon 401 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law.
- Appointed Bishop Thomas J. Paprocki, auxiliary of the archdiocese of Chicago, U.S.A., as bishop of Springfield in Illinois (area 39,195, population 1,176,000, Catholics 164,000, priests 157, permanent deacons 23, religious 661), U.S.A.
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Friday, April 09, 2010
- Pope to Attend Screening of a Film on Pius XII
- Exposition of Holy Shroud to Begin Tomorrow in Turin
- Fr. Lombardi on Debate Concerning Sexual Abuse
POPE TO ATTEND SCREENING OF A FILM ON PIUS XII
VATICAN CITY, 9 APR 2010 (VIS) - At 5.30 p.m. today in the pontifical residence at Castelgandolfo, Benedict XVI will attend the screening of a film entitled "Under the Roman Sky", an international production starring the American actor James Cromwell which reconstructs Hitler's plan to kidnap Pope Pius XII.
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EXPOSITION OF HOLY SHROUD TO BEGIN TOMORROW IN TURIN
VATICAN CITY, 9 APR 2010 (VIS) - Tomorrow 10 April, the exposition of the Holy Shroud of Turin will open in the cathedral of that Italian city. One of the highlights of the exposition, which is due to end on 23 May, will be the visit of Benedict XVI, who will celebrate Mass in the city's Piazza San Carlo on 2 May.
The Shroud of Turin is believed by millions of Christians to be the burial cloth which wrapped the body of Jesus Christ following His death. The pure linen cloth in a fishbone weave measures 4.37 metres by 1.11 metres. It contains the full frontal and dorsal imprints of a supine man and has carmine-colour stains corresponding to blood. It is marked with a double series of dark spots caused by burns it suffered in a fire in the sixteenth century, while the water use to douse the flames has left broad symmetrical rings, clearly visible. Less visible are transverse marks corresponding to creases in the linen which, before its final voyage to Turin in 1578, had been preserved in a reliquary in forty-eight folds.
The man in the image is 180 centimetres tall and has long hair, a beard and moustache. The eyes are closed, the hands and forearms crossed, and the body bears signs of torture.
During the period of the exposition, daily Mass will be celebrated in the cathedral in front of the Shroud at 7 a.m., followed by Lauds. The Blessed Sacrament will be exposed in the penitentiary of Palazzo Chiablese throughout the day. The chapel will be reserved for silent prayer and Eucharistic worship.
Priests will be available in the penitentiary to hear confessions and administer the Sacrament of Reconciliation. The exposition route to view the Shroud will be open from the end of Mass up to 8 p.m. (reservations are required). It will also be possible to enter the cathedral by the main door, but then the Shroud will only be visible from a distance. The nave will be reserved for prayers and silent reflection. In the evening, depending on the calendar, the cathedral may be open for special ceremonies or religious cultural events.
The website www.sindone.org provides texts and information concerning all aspects of the organisation of the exposition.
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FR. LOMBARDI ON DEBATE CONCERNING SEXUAL ABUSE
VATICAN CITY, 9 APR 2010 (VIS) - Given below is a text entitled "Following Holy Week, Holding Our Course", written by Holy See Press Office Director Fr. Federico Lombardi S.J. and published today on the website of Vatican Radio.
"The debate concerning sexual abuse, and not only that committed by the clergy, continues with news items and comments of various kinds. How can we sail through these stormy waters while maintaining a secure course and responding to the evangelical motto 'Duc in altum - Put out into the deep'?
In the first place, by continuing to seek truth, and peace for the victims. One of the most striking things is that today so many inner wounds are coming to light, wounds that also date to many years (sometimes decades) ago, but evidently still open, Many victims do not seek financial compensation but inner assistance, a judgement on their painful individual experiences. There is something that we have yet to fully understand; perhaps we need a more profound experience of events that have had such a negative impact on the lives of individuals, of the Church and of society. One example of this, at the collective level, is the hatred and violence of conflicts between peoples which are, as we see, so difficult to overcome in true reconciliation. Abuse opens wounds at a deep inner level. For this reason, certain episcopates were right when they courageously resumed developing ways and places in which victims could express themselves freely, listening to them without taking it for granted that the problem had already been faced and overcome by the workshops established sometime ago. For this reason also, other episcopates and individual bishops were right to intervene paternally, showing spiritual, liturgical and human concern for victims. It seems certain that the number of new accusations of abuse is falling, as is happening in the United States, but for many people the road to profound healing is only now beginning, and for others it has yet to start. In the context of this concern for victims, the Pope has written of his readiness to hold new meetings with then, thus sharing in the journey of the entire ecclesial community. But this journey, in order to achieve profound effects, must take place in respect for people and the search for peace.
Alongside concern for victims we must continue to implement, decisively and truthfully, the correct procedures for the canonical judgement of the guilty, and for collaborating with the civil authorities in matters concerning their judicial and penal competencies, taking the specific norms and situations of the various countries into account. Only in this way can we hope effectively to rebuild a climate of justice and complete trust in the ecclesiastical institution. It has happened that a number of leaders of communities and institutions, through inexperience or unpreparedness, have not had a ready understanding of the protocols and criteria for intervention which could have helped them intervene decisively even when this was very difficult or painful for them, also because they were often surprised by the accusations. But, while civil law intervenes through general norms, canon law must take account of the specific moral gravity of an abuse of the trust placed in persons who hold positions of responsibility within the ecclesial community, and of the flagrant contradiction with the conduct they should show. In this sense, transparency and rigour are urgent requirements if the Church is to bear witness to wise and just government.
The formation and selection of candidates for the priesthood, and more generally of the staff of educational and pastoral institutions, is the basis for an effective prevention of the risk of future abuses. Achieving a healthy maturity of the personality, also from a sexual point of view, has always been a difficult challenge, but today it is particularly so, although the best psychological and medical knowledge is of great help in spiritual and moral formation. It has been observed that the greatest frequency of abuses coincided with the most intense period of the 'sexual revolution' of past decades. Formation must take account of this context and of the more general context of secularisation. In the final analysis, this means rediscovering and reaffirming the sense and importance of sexuality, chastity and emotional relationships in today's world, and doing so in concrete, not just verbal or abstract, terms. What a source of disorder and suffering their violation or undervaluation can be! As the Pope observed in his Letter to Irish Catholics, a Christian priestly life today can respond to the requirements of its vocation only by truly nourishing itself at the wellspring of faith and friendship with Christ.
People who love truth and the objective evaluation of problems will know where to seek and find information for a more overall comprehension of the problem of paedophilia and the sexual abuse of minors in our time, in different countries, understanding its range and pervasiveness. Thus they will be able to achieve a better understanding of the degree to which the Catholic Church shares problems that are not only her own, to what extent they have particular gravity for her and require specific interventions,and, finally, the extent to which the experience the Church is going through in this field may also be useful for other institutions or for society as a whole. In this context, we truly feel that the communications media have not yet worked sufficiently, especially in countries in which the Church has a stronger presence and in which she is more easily subject to criticism. Yet, documents such as the national US report on the mistreatment of children deserve to be better known in order to understand what fields require urgent social intervention, and the proportions of the problem. In the U.S.A. in 2008 alone, 62,000 people were identified as having committed acts of abuse against minors, while the proportion of Catholic priests was so small as not to be taken into consideration as a group.
The protection of minors and young people is, then, an immense and unlimited field, which goes well beyond the specific problem concerning certain members of the clergy. People who sensitively, generously and attentively dedicate their efforts to this problem deserve gratitude, respect and encouragement from everyone, especially from the ecclesial and civil authorities. Theirs is an essential contribution for the serenity and credibility of the education and formation of young people, both inside and outside the Church. The Pope rightly expressed words of great appreciation for them in his Letter to Irish Catholics, though naturally with a view to a vaster horizon.
Finally, Pope Benedict XVI, a coherent guide along the path of rigour and truth, merits all respect and support, testimony of which is reaching him from all parts of the Church. He is a pastor well capable of facing - with great rectitude and confidence - this difficult time in which there is no lack of criticism and unfounded insinuations. It must be said that he is a Pope who has spoken a lot about the Truth of God and about respect for truth; and he has become a credible witness of this. We accompany him, learning from him the constancy necessary to grow in truth and transparency, continuing to open our horizons to the serious problems of the world and responding patiently to the slow and gradual release of partial or presumed 'revelations' which seek to undermined his credibility, and that of other institutions or individuals of the Church.
This patient and solid love of truth is necessary, in the Church, in the society in which we live, in communicating and in writing, if we wish to serve rather than confuse our fellow men and women".
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