Home - VIS Vatican - Receive VIS - Contact us - Calendar

The Vatican Information Service is a news service, founded in the Holy See Press Office, that provides information about the Magisterium and the pastoral activities of the Holy Father and the Roman Curia...[]

Last 5 news

VISnews in Twitter Go to YouTube

Tuesday, May 31, 2005


VATICAN CITY, MAY 31, 2005 (VIS) - Today, Feast of the Visitation of Mary, Benedict XVI, with the Motu Proprio "The Ancient and Venerable Basilica," emanated new norms for a renewal of the practice of worship in the pontifical basilica of St. Paul's Outside-the-Walls. The norms also affect administrative and extraterritorial aspects of the basilica.

  The Pope recalls that this ancient basilica was built on the site where, according to tradition, the Apostle of the People was martyred. The basilica also serves as church to the abbey of Benedictine monks located in the same complex.

  With the Lateran Pacts of 1929 and successive agreements between the Holy See and Italy, the land and the buildings that make up the complex of St. Paul's Outside-the-Walls belong to the Holy See and enjoy a special juridical status according to the norms of international law. In keeping with current norms, the Supreme Pontiff exercises civil authority over the entire extraterritorial complex.

  Underlining the fact that, in the past, the Holy See defined only some aspects of the jurisdiction of the pontifical administration of the basilica and of the Benedictine abbey, the Pope writes that he now feels it "appropriate to emanate some general norms with the aim of clarifying and defining the principle aspects of the pastoral and administrative management of the complex of St. Paul's Outside-the-Walls. This will make it possible to compile a statute laying down the duties of the parties involved, and regulating their dealings with one another."

  As in the case of the other major basilicas, Benedict XVI has decided to appoint an archpriest to St. Paul's Outside-the-Walls, who will exercise "ordinary and immediate jurisdiction." He will have a vicar for pastoral care in the person of the abbot of the Benedictine abbey, and a delegate for administrative tasks. The archpriest will also have to coordinate the various administrative bodies of the complex, each according to its particular purpose, except in matters that are the exclusive competency of the abbot within the abbey.

  The abbot of the monastery of St. Paul's Outside-the-Walls, after having been canonically elected, must be confirmed by the Pope. He enjoys all the rights and prerogatives as superior of the Benedictine community. In order to enable the abbot to attend to his duties in the monastic community, John Paul II established "that the extraterritorial area around the abbey should be removed from the jurisdiction of the abbot of St. Paul's, who will nonetheless conserve his ordinary jurisdiction 'intra septa monasterii' and his liturgical function within the basilica, as defined in this document and as will be specified in the forthcoming statute."

  Since March 2005, the abbey has taken the name of "Abbey of St. Paul's Outside-the-Walls," and its character and title as a "territorial" circumscription have been suppressed. Thus, excepting the duties of the archpriest of St. Paul's and those of the abbot, "the power of ordinary pastoral jurisdiction over the entire extraterritorial area of St. Paul's Outside-the-Walls, falls to the cardinal vicar of Rome, who exercises that power through the territorially-competent diocesan parish."

  Thus, the pontifical administration of the basilica "is suppressed and all its functions are transferred to the archpriest, who will exercise them in keeping with the statute to be approved by the competent offices of the Holy See."

  In order to guarantee the ministry of Penance in the basilica, much frequented by pilgrims from all over the world, Benedict XVI confirms the norms laid down in Pope Pius XI's Apostolic Constitution "Quod divina favente," that "the administration of the Sacrament of Penance should continue to be entrusted to the care of the penitentiaries, chosen from the Benedictine monks and constituted according to the terms of the forthcoming statute".

  The Pope goes on to point out how, in recent times, the Holy See has shown particular interest in promoting special ecumenical events, either in the basilica or within the abbey. "It will, therefore, be the task of the monks, under the supervision of the archpriest, to organize, coordinate and develop such programs, also with the help of their Benedictine confreres from other abbeys and in accordance with the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity."

  The Pope concludes by calling on the Apostle of the People to illuminate those who work in the basilica and the pilgrims who travel there.
MP/ST PAUL'S BASILICA/...                        VIS 20050531 (730)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Copyright © VIS - Vatican Information Service