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Friday, May 19, 2006


VATICAN CITY, MAY 19, 2006 (VIS) - The following prelates died in recent weeks:

 - Bishop Charles Garrett Maloney, former auxiliary of Louisville, U.S.A., on April 30, at the age of 93.

 - Archbishop Metodi Dimitrov Stratiev A.A., apostolic exarch emeritus for Catholics of Byzantine-Slav rite resident in Bulgaria, on May 12, at the age of 90.

 - Bishop Cirilo Polidoro Van Vlierberghe O.F.M., prelate emeritus of Illapel, Chile, on May 9, at the age of 97.
.../IN MEMORIAM/...                                VIS 20060519 (80)


VATICAN CITY, MAY 19, 2006 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

 - Her Majesty Queen Margrethe II of Denmark, accompanied by an entourage.

- Four prelates from the Canadian (Atlantic) Conference of Catholic Bishops on their "ad limina" visit:

    - Archbishop Andre Ricahrd C.S.C., of Moncton.

    - Archbishop Brendan Michael O'Brien of Saint John's Newfoundland.

    - Bishop Martin William Currie of Grand Falls.

    - Bishop Douglas Crosby O.M.I., of Saint George's.

  This evening, he is scheduled to receive in audience Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples.
AP:AL/.../...                                    VIS 20060519 (100)


VATICAN CITY, MAY 19, 2006 (VIS) - With reference to recent news concerning the person of Fr. Marcial Maciel Degollado, founder of the Legionaries of Christ, the Holy See Press Office released the following communique:

  "Beginning in 1998, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith received accusations, already partly made public, against Fr. Marcial Maciel Degollado, founder of the Congregation of the Legionaries of Christ, for crimes that fall under the exclusive competence of the congregation. In 2002, Fr. Maciel published a declaration denying the accusations and expressing his displeasure at the offence done him by certain former Legionaries of Christ. In 2005, by reason of his advanced age, Fr. Maciel retired from the office of superior general of the Congregation of the Legionaries of Christ.

  "All these elements have been subject to a mature examination by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and - in accordance with the Motu Proprio 'Sacramentorum sanctitatis tutela,' promulgated on April 30 2001 by Servant of God John Paul II - the then prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, authorized an investigation into the accusations. In the meantime, Pope John II died and Cardinal Ratzinger was elected as the new Pontiff.

  "After having attentively studied the results of the investigation, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, under the guidance of the new prefect, Cardinal William Joseph Levada, decided - bearing in mind Fr. Maciel's advanced age and his delicate health - to forgo a canonical hearing and to invite the father to a reserved life of penitence and prayer, relinquishing any form of public ministry. The Holy Father approved these decisions.

  "Independently of the person of the Founder, the worthy apostolate of the Legionaries of Christ and of the Association 'Regnum Christi' is gratefully recognized."
OP/LEGIONARIES CHRIST/MACIEL                    VIS 20060519 (320)


VATICAN CITY, MAY 19, 2006 (VIS) - Today in the Vatican, Benedict XVI received members of the "Centesimus Annus Pro Pontifice" Foundation, marking the occasion of an international congress currently being promoted by that organization on the theme: "Democracy, Institutions and Social Justice."

  The Holy Father mentioned the fact that the foundation's name recalls that of the "the last great social Encyclical of John Paul II," which drew together 100 years of history of the Church's social doctrine and "projected the Church forwards, stimulating her to an evaluation of the 'res novae' of the third millennium." The description "Pro Pontifice," he added, highlights a will "to cultivate a special closeness with the pastoral duties of the Bishop of Rome."

  The Holy Father expressed his pleasure because the organization, which began its activities above all in the Italian sphere, "is progressively spreading to other areas of Europe and America." He then went on to consider the specific theme of the current conference.

  You are discussing, he told the delegates, "problems of great topical significance. At times we decry the slowness with which true democracy progresses, however it remains the most valid historical instrument ... for guaranteeing the future in a way worthy of man."

  Democracy needs "appropriate institutions, credible and authoritative, not aimed at merely managing public power but capable of promoting various levels of popular participation, while respecting the traditions of all nations and with constant concern to protect the identity of each."

  Benedict XVI went on: "Equally, there is an urgent need for tenacious, lasting and shared efforts to promote social justice. Democracy will be fully implemented only when all individuals and all peoples have access to primary needs (life, food, water, health, education, work, certainty of their rights), through an ordering of internal and external relations that guarantees everyone a chance to participate. There can be no true social justice if not in the light of genuine solidarity. ... The great challenge facing Christian lay people is how to bring this about in today's world."

  "The Church - as I wrote in the Encyclical 'Deus caritas est' - aims 'to contribute to the purification of reason and to the reawakening of those moral forces without which just structures are neither established nor prove effective in the long run.' May each of you, as members of the lay faithful, perform your 'direct duty to work for a just ordering of society,' because 'charity must animate the entire lives of the lay faithful and therefore also their political activity, lived as social charity'."

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