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Tuesday, June 28, 2005


VATICAN CITY, JUN 28, 2005 (VIS) - As previously announced, there will be no edition of VIS tomorrow, June 29, Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul, Apostles, and a holiday in the Vatican. Service will resume on Thursday, June 30.
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VATICAN CITY, JUN 28, 2005 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Fr. Raymond Centene of the clergy of the diocese of Perpignan, diocesan chancellor and pastor of the parish of Saint-Joseph-de-la-Gare, as bishop of Vannes (area 6,822, population 606,600, Catholics 600,000, priests 444, permanent deacons 45, religious 1,827), France. The bishop-elect was born in Banyuls-sur-Mer, France, in 1958 and ordained a priest in 1993. He succeeds Bishop Francois-Mathurin Gourves, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese the Holy Father accepted, upon having reached the age limit.
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VATICAN CITY, JUN 28, 2005 (VIS) - Yesterday, the Holy Father received in audience Cardinal Marian Jaworski, archbishop of Lviv of the Latins, Ukraine, and Cardinal Franciszek Macharski, archbishop of Krakow, Poland.
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VATICAN CITY, JUN 28, 2005 (VIS) - Next month, the Pope is due to travel to Les Combes in the Valle d'Aosta region of northwestern Italy, where he will spend a period of relaxation from July 11 to 28, according to a communique from the Prefecture of the Pontifical Household.

  During this period, the Wednesday general audiences of July 13, 20 and 27 will be suspended. On Sunday, July 17 and 24, the Pope will pray the Angelus from his residence in Les Combes.

  On Thursday July 28, Benedict XVI will travel to the Apostolic Palace of Castelgandolfo, his summer residence south of Rome.

  Over the summer period, all private and special audiences are suspended. The general audiences will resume regularly from Wednesday, August 3.
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VATICAN CITY, JUN 28, 2005 (VIS) - This afternoon, eve of the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul, Apostles, in the St. John Lateran Basilica in Rome, the opening session will be held of the diocesan investigation into the life, virtues and fame of saintliness of Servant of God John Paul II (Karol Wojtyla).

  On May 13, in the course of a meeting with the Roman clergy held in the same basilica, Benedict XVI announced the opening of the cause, waiving the normal waiting period of five years after the death of a Servant of God.

  The diocesan tribunal of Rome is responsible for the first phase of the process (an analysis of the life and writings of the Servant of God, and the hearing of witnesses). If a positive verdict is forthcoming, the case will pass to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints where, following a fresh examination of the material, extraordinary favors that may be miracles will be studied with the help of doctors and experts. Following the certification of a miracle, the Pope could order beatification.

  The official Internet site for the cause of beatification of John Paul II is: www.JohnPaulIIBeatification.org . The postulator of the cause, Msgr. Slawomir Oder, explains that the site will soon "offer a space for giving testimony of grace received, ... personal encounters with John Paul II, and prayer meetings throughout the world in support of the cause of beatification."

  The site also contains, in various languages, the prayer approved by the vicariate of Rome to implore the intercession of Servant of God John Paul II.

  "O Blessed Trinity. We thank You for having graced the Church with Pope John Paul II and for allowing the tenderness of your Fatherly care, the glory of the cross of Christ, and the splendor of the Holy Spirit, to shine through him. Trusting fully in Your infinite mercy and in the maternal intercession of Mary, he has given us a living image of Jesus the Good Shepherd, and has shown us that holiness is the necessary measure of ordinary Christian life and is the way of achieving eternal communion with you. Grant us, by his intercession, and according to Your will, the graces we implore, hoping that he will soon be numbered among your saints. Amen."


VATICAN CITY, JUN 28, 2005 (VIS) - The Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church was presented today. It was prepared by a special commission of cardinals presided by the then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who was at the time prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

  The need for such a book emerged during the 2002 International Catechetical Congress, called to commemorate ten years since the publication of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. A suggestion was put to the Holy Father John Paul II that a compendium be prepared in order to meet two essential objectives: concision and focus on essentials.

  John Paul II accepted the proposal and a year later instituted a special commission of cardinals who began work on the compendium. A first draft was sent to cardinals and presidents of episcopal conferences all over the world. Following the largely positive response to the draft, the commission proceeded to revise it taking into account the suggestions received.

  The text being presented today has 205 pages containing 598 questions and answers, 15 images, an appendix (of the main Christian prayers and certain formulae of Catholic doctrine) and an alphabetical index.

  Archbishop Angelo Amato S.D.B., secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, explained that the principal characteristics of the compendium are "its strict reliance on the Catechism of the Catholic Church, its text in the form of a dialogue, and its use of images for catechesis." He underlined the fact that this "is not an autonomous work and in no way aims to substitute the Catechism of the Catholic Church, on the contrary it constantly refers back to the Catechism, both by indicating reference numbers and by referring continuously to the structure, development and contents" of the Catechism. The new work, moreover, "aims to awaken a renewed interest and enthusiasm for the Catechism, which ... remains the basic text for ecclesial catechesis today."

  The compendium is divided into four parts, corresponding to the fundamental laws of the life of Christ. The first part, "Profession of Faith," provides a brief summary of the "lex credendi," in other words, the faith professed by the Catholic Church on the basis of the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed, "the constant proclamation of which in Christian assemblies keeps the principal truths of the faith alive in memory."

  The second part, "Celebration of the Christian Mystery," presents the essential elements of the "lex celebrandi," because "the announcement of the Gospel finds its authentic response in sacramental life, in which the faithful experience ... the salvific power of the Paschal mystery."

  "Life in Christ" is the title of the third part of the compendium, dedicated to the "'lex vivendi,' through which the baptized manifest their commitment to the faith they have professed and celebrated, through their actions and ethical choices."

  The final section, "Christian Prayer," summarizes the "lex orandi," the life of prayer. The Christian is called to a dialogue with God in prayer, one expression of which is the Our Father, the prayer that Jesus Himself taught us.

  Referring to the fact that the text of the compendium takes the form of a dialogue, the secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith noted how this "makes the text notable shorter, reducing it to what is essential. This may help the reader to grasp the contents and possibly to memorize them as well."

  In closing, Archbishop Amato explained the use of images in the book, inviting catechists to make use of the rich heritage of Christian iconography. "In the current culture of images," he observed, "a sacred image can express much more than words. ... It certainly has an aesthetic value, but above all its value is recollective (recalling the mysteries of salvation), catechetical (for teaching and instruction), and theological, because it presents in artistic form the facts and the various aspects of the doctrine of the faith."
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VATICAN CITY, JUN 28, 2005 (VIS) - This morning in the Clementine Hall, Benedict XVI presided at a liturgical celebration for the official presentation of the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

  At the beginning of the ceremony, one of the cardinals who had been part of the special commission charged with compiling the compendium thanked the Holy Father for the book.

  Following the singing of a number of psalms and a reading from the Letter of St. Paul to the Ephesians, the Pope pronounced his homily.

  Benedict XVI recalled how, ever since the publication of the Catechism of the Catholic Church in 1992, the need had been felt for "a brief, concise catechism, containing all and only the essential and fundamental elements of Catholic faith and morals, formulated in a simple, universally-accessible, clear and succinct manner."

   The Pope said that through the cardinals, bishops, priests, religious, catechists and lay people present at the ceremony, he wished "ideally to consign this compendium to all people of good will who wish to know the unfathomable richness of the salvific mystery of Jesus Christ."

  He continued: "This is certainly not a new catechism, but a compendium that faithfully reflects the Catechism of the Catholic Church" which "maintains intact, then, all its authority and importance, and will find in this summary a valuable support to become better-known and more widely used as a fundamental tool of education in the faith."

  After highlighting that the new compendium "is a renewed announcement of the Gospel," the Holy Father explained how it presents the faith "in a dialogic format" and how "the brevity of the responses favors the essential concision and clarity of communication."

  As for the sacred images that appear at the beginning of each section, Benedict XVI said that they too are "an announcement of the Gospel and express the splendor of Catholic truth, showing the supreme harmony between the good and the beautiful, between the 'via veritatis' and the 'via pulchritudinis'."

  The Pope concluded by thanking everyone who helped prepare the compendium, expressing the desire that it may serve as "a new impulse to evangelization and catechesis."

  Following his homily, the Holy Father distributed various copies of the compendium to a cardinal, a bishop, and various priests, religious and lay people.
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