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Wednesday, October 19, 2005


VATICAN CITY, OCT 19, 2005 (VIS) - The Holy Father appointed Bishop Guillermo Rodrigo Teodoro Ortiz Mondragon, auxiliary of the archdiocese of Mexico, as bishop of Cuautitlan (area 2,145, population 4,000,000, Catholics 3,500,000, priests 223, religious 445), Mexico.
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VATICAN CITY, OCT 19, 2005 (VIS) - In the general audience held today, exactly six months since his election to the Chair of Peter, Benedict XVI dedicated his catechesis to Psalm 129, "out of the depths I cry to thee," which is, he recalled, "one of the best-known and most loved psalms of the Christian tradition." The audience, held in St. Peter's Square, was attended by 40,000 people.

  Pointing out how the psalm is known as the "De profundis," the Pope explained that "it is, in the first place, a song of divine mercy and of reconciliation between the sinner and the Lord. ... It opens with a voice arising from the depths of evil and guilt. ... then continues over three stages dedicated to the subject of sin and forgiveness."

  Benedict XVI commented on the verses: "If thou, O Lord, shouldst mark iniquities, Lord, who could stand? But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared," saying: "It is significant that fear, an attitude of respect mixed with love, is generated not by punishment but by forgiveness. More than God's anger, it is His generous and disarming magnanimity that should provoke our holy fear. In fact, God is not an implacable sovereign who condemns the guilty, but a loving Father Whom we must love, not out of fear of punishment, but for His goodness and readiness to forgive."

  In the second part of the psalm "watchfulness and hope blossom in the penitent psalmist's heart, along with the certainty that God will pronounce a liberating word and cancel out sin." In the third part, "the personal salvation that the psalmist had originally implored, is extended to the whole community" and "and takes root in the historical faith of the people of the Covenant, 'redeemed' by the Lord, not only from Egyptian oppression, but also 'from all iniquities'."

  In this way, "from the dark gorge of sin the supplication of the 'De profundis' reaches God's luminous horizon, dominated by 'mercy and redemption,' two of the great characteristics of the God of love."

  In concluding remarks, Benedict XVI placed the psalm in the context of Christian tradition, quoting St. Ambrose who, in his Tractate on Penance, writes: "Never lose hope in divine forgiveness, however great your sin. With God there can always be a change of heart, if you acknowledge your offence."

  At the end of the audience, and after greeting pilgrims in several languages, the Pope blessed a statue of St. Mariana de Jesus Paredes y Flores (1618 - 1645), the "lily of Quito" and first saint of Ecuador, canonized by Pius XII in 1950. The statue has been placed in a niche on the outside of St. Peter's Basilica.
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VATICAN CITY, OCT 19, 2005 (VIS) - This morning, the Synod Fathers met in Working Groups, or language groups, in order to prepare the collective amendments to the propositions. Their deliberations will continue this afternoon. At the end of the afternoon session, the groups will consign the propositions to the secretary general of the Synod. After the session, the Synod Fathers will have the opportunity to watch a private showing of the film "St. Peter," by the Italian director Giulio Base, offered in homage by Ettore Bernabei, director of Lux Vide, the company that produced the film. The film will be aired on RAI (Italian State television) in a few weeks time.

  During yesterday's Nineteenth General Congregation, Archbishop Nikola Eterovic, secretary general of the Synod of Bishops, presented the Holy Father with the first copy, bound in white, of the first volume of the Enchiridion of the Synod of Bishops, a work published for the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the institution of the Synod of Bishops.

  A note on the Enchiridion made public yesterday explains that it "is a collection of documents regarding the Synod of Bishops, from its origins to 1988, of great interest not only to the members of the episcopal college, but also to researchers, historians and theologians, to whom it furnishes documentation of primary importance for the life and mission of the Church after Vatican Council II.

  "The Holy Father has decided to give this book to the Synod participants, as a sign of gratitude and encouragement in faithfulness, communion and love for the Church centered on the mystery of the Eucharist."
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