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Tuesday, December 13, 2005


VATICAN CITY, DEC 13, 2005 (VIS) - The Holy Father:

 - Appointed Fr. Alexander King Sample of the clergy of Marquette, U.S.A., diocesan chancellor, as bishop of the same diocese (area 42,152, population 317,616, Catholics 68,360, priests 100, permanent deacons 28, religious 70). The bishop-elect was born in Kalispell, U.S.A. in 1960 and ordained as a priest in 1990. He succeeds Bishop James Henry Garland, whose resignation from the pastoral care of the same diocese, the Holy Father accepted, in accordance with canon 401 para. 2 of the Code of Canon Law.

 - Appointed Fr. Rafael Zornoza Boy, seminary rector, as auxiliary of Getafe (area 2,295, population 1,290,656, Catholics 1,161,590, priests 264, permanent deacons 4, religious 779), Spain. The bishop-elect was born in Madrid, Spain in 1949 and ordained as a priest in 1975.
NER:RE:NEA/.../SAMPLE:GARLAND:ZORNOZA                VIS 20051213 (140)


VATICAN CITY, DEC 13, 2005 (VIS) - Made public today was Benedict XVI's first Message for the Celebration of the World Day of Peace. The Day is due to be celebrated on January 1, 2006 and the Message has been published in English, French, Spanish, Italian, German and Portuguese.

  Extracts from the Holy Father's Message are given below:

  "Before all else, I wish to express my heartfelt gratitude to my predecessors, the great Popes Paul VI and John Paul II, who were astute promoters of peace. ... As tireless heralds of the Gospel, they constantly invited everyone to make God the starting point of their efforts on behalf of concord and peace throughout the world. This, my first Message for the World Day of Peace, is meant to follow in the path of their noble teaching; with it, I wish to reiterate the steadfast resolve of the Holy See to continue serving the cause of peace.

  "The very name Benedict, which I chose on the day of my election to the Chair of Peter, is a sign of my personal commitment to peace. In taking this name, I wanted to evoke both the patron saint of Europe, who inspired a civilization of peace on the whole continent, and Pope Benedict XV, who condemned the First World War as a 'useless slaughter' and worked for a universal acknowledgment of the lofty demands of peace.

  "The theme chosen for this year's reflection - 'In truth, peace' - expresses the conviction that wherever and whenever men and women are enlightened by the splendor of truth, they naturally set out on the path of peace."

  "Peace cannot be reduced to the simple absence of armed conflict, but needs to be understood as 'the fruit of an order which has been planted in human society by its divine Founder,' ... As the result of an order planned and willed by the love of God, peace has an intrinsic and invincible truth of its own, and corresponds 'to an irrepressible yearning and hope dwelling within us'."

  "Whenever there is a loss of fidelity to the transcendent order, and a loss of respect for that 'grammar' of dialogue which is the universal moral law written on human hearts, whenever the integral development of the person and the protection of his fundamental rights are hindered or denied, whenever countless people are forced to endure intolerable injustices and inequalities, how can we hope that the good of peace will be realized? The essential elements which make up the truth of that good are missing"

  "Who and what, then, can prevent the coming of peace? Sacred Scripture, in its very first book, Genesis, points to the lie told at the very beginning of history" by the serpent, the devil. "Lying is linked to the tragedy of sin and its perverse consequences, which have had, and continue to have, devastating effects on the lives of individuals and nations. We need but think of the events of the past century, when aberrant ideological and political systems willfully twisted the truth and brought about the exploitation and murder of an appalling number of men and women, wiping out entire families and communities. After experiences like these, how can we fail to be seriously concerned about lies in our own time, lies which are the framework for menacing scenarios of death in many parts of the world. Any authentic search for peace must begin with the realization that the problem of truth and untruth is the concern of every man and woman; it is decisive for the peaceful future of our planet."

  "We need to regain an awareness that we share a common destiny which is ultimately transcendent, so as to maximize our historical and cultural differences, not in opposition to, but in cooperation with, people belonging to other cultures. These simple truths are what make peace possible."

  "The truth of peace calls upon everyone to cultivate productive and sincere relationships; it encourages them to seek out and to follow the paths of forgiveness and reconciliation, to be transparent in their dealings with others, and to be faithful to their word."

  "As a means of limiting the devastating consequences of war as much as possible, especially for civilians, the international community has created an international humanitarian law. In a variety of situations and in different settings, the Holy See has expressed its support for this humanitarian law, and has called for it to be respected and promptly implemented, out of the conviction that the truth of peace exists even in the midst of war.

  "International humanitarian law ought to be considered as one of the finest and most effective expressions of the intrinsic demands of the truth of peace. Precisely for this reason, respect for that law must be considered binding on all peoples. Its value must be appreciated and its correct application ensured; it must also be brought up to date by precise norms applicable to the changing scenarios of today's armed conflicts and the use of ever newer and more sophisticated weapons."

  "Nowadays, the truth of peace continues to be dramatically compromised and rejected by terrorism, whose criminal threats and attacks leave the world in a state of fear and insecurity."

  "Not only nihilism, but also religious fanaticism, today often labeled fundamentalism, can inspire and encourage terrorist thinking and activity. From the beginning, John Paul II was aware of the explosive danger represented by fanatical fundamentalism, and he condemned it unsparingly, while warning against attempts to impose, rather than to propose for others freely to accept, one's own convictions about the truth."

  Nihilism and fundamentalism "both show a dangerous contempt for human beings and human life, and ultimately for God Himself. ... In analyzing the causes of the contemporary phenomenon of terrorism, consideration should be given, not only to its political and social causes, but also to its deeper cultural, religious and ideological motivations.

  "In view of the risks which humanity is facing in our time, all Catholics in every part of the world have a duty to proclaim and embody ever more fully the 'Gospel of Peace,' and to show that acknowledgment of the full truth of God is the first, indispensable condition for consolidating the truth of peace."

  "History has amply demonstrated that declaring war on God in order to eradicate Him from human hearts only leads a fearful and impoverished humanity toward decisions which are ultimately futile. This realization must impel believers in Christ to ... place themselves at the service of peace in broad cooperation with other Christians, the followers of other religions and with all men and women of good will.

  "Looking at the present world situation, we can note with satisfaction certain signs of hope in the work of building peace. I think, for example, of the decrease in the number of armed conflicts. ... These are reassuring signs which need to be confirmed and consolidated by tireless cooperation and activity, above all on the part of the international community and its agencies charged with preventing conflicts and providing a peaceful solution to those in course.

  "All this must not, however, lead to a naive optimism. It must not be forgotten that, tragically, violent fratricidal conflicts and devastating wars still continue to sow tears and death in vast parts of the world."

  "Those authorities who, rather than making every effort to promote peace, incite their citizens to hostility towards other nations, bear a heavy burden of responsibility."

  "What can be said, too, about those governments which count on nuclear arms as a means of ensuring the security of their countries? Along with countless persons of good will, one can state that this point of view is not only baneful but also completely fallacious. In a nuclear war there would be no victors, only victims. The truth of peace requires that all - whether those governments which openly or secretly possess nuclear arms, or those planning to acquire them - agree to change their course by clear and firm decisions, and strive for a progressive and concerted nuclear disarmament. The resources which would be saved could then be employed in projects of development capable of benefiting all their people, especially the poor.

  "In this regard, one can only note with dismay the evidence of a continuing growth in military expenditure and the flourishing arms trade, while the political and juridical process established by the international community for promoting disarmament is bogged down in general indifference."

  "It can only be hoped that the international community will find the wisdom and courage to take up once more, jointly and with renewed conviction, the process of disarmament, and thus concretely ensure the right to peace enjoyed by every individual and every people."

  "The first to benefit from a decisive choice for disarmament will be the poor countries, which rightly demand, after having heard so many promises, the concrete implementation of their right to development."

  "The Catholic Church, while confirming her confidence in [the U.N.], calls for the institutional and operative renewal which would enable it to respond to the changed needs of the present time, characterized by the vast phenomenon of globalization. The United Nations Organization must become a more efficient instrument for promoting the values of justice, solidarity and peace in the world."

  "Every community should undertake an extensive process of education and witness aimed at making everyone more aware of the need for a fuller appreciation of the truth of peace. At the same time I ask for an increase of prayers, since peace is above all a gift of God, a gift to be implored incessantly."
MESS/WORLD PEACE DAY 2006/...                        VIS 20051213 (1610)


VATICAN CITY, DEC 13, 2005 (VIS) - This morning in the Holy See Press Office, Cardinal Renato Martino, prefect of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, presented Benedict XVI's Message for the World Day of Peace 2006. World Peace Day is celebrated on January 1 each year and this time will have as its theme: "In truth, peace."

  Archbishop Giampaolo Crepaldi and Msgr. Frank J. Dewane, respectively secretary and under-secretary of the same pontifical council, also participated in the press conference.

  Cardinal Martino began by indicating how the Holy Father has chosen "'the truth' as the theme for reflection, linking its many dimensions to the various questions concerning peace in the modern world," and drawing inspiration from the Vatican Council II Pastoral Constitution "Gaudium et spes."

  "The theme of truth is, without doubt, very dear to Benedict XVI, and constantly recurs in his teaching even to the point of characterizing his papal ministry, like a background motif on the basis of which other themes are developed in keeping with the musical art of 'variations on a theme'."

  The cardinal pointed out how the Pope's Message is divided into four parts: "The first part, which is of a spiritual and theological nature, highlights the meaning and value of the bond between peace, truth and lies." The second part considers peace in the context of real situations of war. "In the third part, the truth of peace is considered in close relation ... to terrorism." The fourth part considers the truth of peace from the point of view of the need to relaunch the political process of disarmament.

  In the first part of his Message, the cardinal went on, "the Holy Father insists that the themes of truth and lies must not be considered as irrelevant pastimes or useless pseudo-intellectual pursuits, but ... as decisive historical events upon which the joy or misery of men and women depend."

  The Pope then goes on to affirm that peace "is the fruit of an order which has been planted in human society by its divine Founder," said Cardinal Martino, adding that "in order for the cause of peace to progress, humanity today must cherish universal moral law. ... At this point, ... the Holy Father introduces his reflections on lies as a sin with devastating consequences on the lives of individuals and nations." From a historical point of view, the Holy Father then "formulates a very severe judgement of last century" and concludes the first part of his Message by highlighting the "need for peace" which is intrinsic to human beings and is "the shared birthright of all men and women of the one human family."

  In the second part of the Message, said the prefect of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, "the Holy Father considers the truth of peace in cases where war has actually broken out. In such cases, there must be full respect and complete observance of international humanitarian law, which ... must remain a point of reference for the international community."

  The cardinal went on to outline the third part of the Holy Father's Message, saying that "after having confirmed his customary condemnation of terrorism, ... Benedict XVI offers an innovative and thus far unexplored interpretation of the phenomenon of terrorism." According to this interpretation, the inspiration of terrorism lies in nihilism and in fanatical fundamentalism, which "have an entirely erroneous approach both to truth and to the truth of peace."

  The Pope does not overlook the fact that the number of armed conflicts has decreased, said the cardinal, but he does refer to the many situations where conflict is latent and specifically mentions "authorities who ... use their power to incite their citizens to hostility towards other nations," and "the programs of certain governments who use nuclear energy to create arms, ... in the false conviction that this guarantees the security of their people."

  In closing, Cardinal Martino indicated numerous points in the Pope's Message "that trace out a path of spirituality in peace" in its Christological, missionary and ecclesial dimensions. He also stressed how the text concludes with "an invitation to pray for and bear witness to peace through the exercise of charity."

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