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Wednesday, October 11, 2006


VATICAN CITY, OCT 11, 2006 (VIS) - Archbishop Celestino Migliore, Holy See permanent observer to the United Nations in New York, yesterday pronounced a talk before the second committee of the 61st session of the UN General Assembly, which is considering: "Follow-up to and implementation of the outcome of the International Conference on Financing for Development."

  In his English-language address, the apostolic nuncio highlighted the need to help developing countries because "foreign direct investment is unlikely to be significant, primarily because it is not meant to resolve problems of poverty and development as such," although "it may help do so if properly regulated."

  He went on: "The Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers, prepared by developing country governments through participatory processes, have an important role in this process since they could provide an appropriate framework for defining national development strategies.

  "External debt, which has crippled many economies for decades, also remains a concern although several useful initiatives are making inroads into the problem. The G8 proposal of July 2006 that the International Monetary Fund, the International Development Association and the African Development Fund cancel 100 percent of their claims over the poorest countries, most of them in Africa, is a welcome addition to the other initiatives in this regard."


VATICAN CITY, OCT 11, 2006 (VIS) - The Apostles Simon the Cananaean and Jude Thaddaeus were the subject of the Pope's catechesis in his general audience, held this morning in St. Peter's Square in the presence of 40,000 pilgrims.

  The Holy Father explained how Simon is also known as the Zealot. "It is highly possible," he said, "that this Simon, if he did not actually belong to the nationalist movement of the Zealots, was nonetheless characterized by his ardent zeal for the Jewish identity, hence for God, for His people and for the Divine Law.

  "If this was so," he added, "Simon was at the opposite extreme from Matthew who, as a tax collector, had practiced an activity universally considered as impure. This is an evident sign that Jesus calls His disciples and collaborators from the most diverse social and religious groups, without preclusion. He is interested in people, not in social categories and labels. ... All His followers, though different from one another, lived together, overcoming the understandable difficulties. Jesus Himself was, in fact, the cause of their cohesion." We, on the other hand, are "often inclined to underline differences and contrasts, forgetting that in Jesus Christ we are given the strength to settle our conflicts."

  Turning to consider the figure of Jude, Benedict XVI explained how his name of Thaddaeus means "magnanimous." This Apostle's question to the Lord during the Last Supper - "how is that You will manifest Yourself to us, and not to the world?" - prompted "Jesus' indirect reply" which, said the Pope "affirms a very important truth: the full manifestation of Jesus to His disciples is not exterior but interior, it is conditioned by the disciple's love."

  "To Jude Thaddaeus is attributed ... one of the Letters of the New Testament," the principal theme of which "is to warn Christians from all those who use the grace of God as a pretext for their own dissoluteness and to mislead their brethren with unacceptable teachings, introducing divisions within the Church."

  "Today, perhaps, we are no longer accustomed to using such polemical language which, though adopting beautiful poetic imagery, does not fail to state with great clarity both what is distinctive of Christianity and what is incompatible with it. The path of tolerance and dialogue ... taken by Vatican Council II must certainly be continued with firmness and constancy. This must not, however, make us forget the duty to reconsider and highlight the irrefutable guiding lines of our Christian identity." An identity which is not merely cultural "but requires strength, clarity and courage of conviction."

  Following the audience, the Pope blessed a statue of St. Edith Stein which has been placed in a niche on the outside of St. Peter's Basilica. The Discalced Carmelite saint was canonized by John Paul II eight years ago today.

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