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Tuesday, October 24, 2006


VATICAN CITY, OCT 24, 2006 (VIS) - This morning, Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B. delivered a brief talk at the opening of the exhibition: "L'Osservatore Romano. From Rome to the world, 145 years of history through the pages of the Pope's newspaper."

  Participating in the event were Enrico Gasbarra, president of the Province of Rome, accompanied by members of the provincial council, as well as various civil and religious authorities.

  Cardinal Bertone recalled how the newspaper, "created to defend the Catholic religion and the Roman Pontiff, ... later became the unofficial organ of the Apostolic See." This made it an ideal instrument for "spreading the teaching of Peter's Successor and information concerning Church affairs."

  "We cannot fail to highlight," he added, "that it is thanks to certain lay faithful,... that the first steps were made. ... Over these 145 years ... the succession of historical events has shown that, in order to spread the evangelical message, the Church ... needs the work, inventiveness and charism of the laity."

  The cardinal then went on to observe how the exhibition "familiarizes us with the pastoral work of 11 Popes: Blessed Pius IX who gave his consent to the foundation of the Osservatore Romano; ... the profound social changes ... of the pontificate of Leo XIII; ... St. Pius X, the Pope of the great reforms within the Church; Benedict XV ... who on the pages of the newspaper published his heartfelt 'Appeal to the Leaders of the Warring Nations;' ... Pius XI who condemned political totalitarianism of all kinds, as did his successor, Pius XII; ... the springtime of the Church under Blessed John XXIII; ... the wise and providential activities of Paul VI; ... the brief pontificate of John Paul I; and ... the renewed dialogue of the Holy See with the world that characterized the pontificate of John Paul II," up to "our own times in which the Church progresses under the prudent guidance of Benedict XVI."

  The cardinal concluded his talk by expressing the hope that, "through the glorious memory of the past," this initiative "may relaunch, with a prophetic spirit, an effective and convincing means of communication of the Church."
SS/OSSERVATORE ROMANO/BERTONE                    VIS 20061024 (380)


VATICAN CITY, OCT 24, 2006 (VIS) - The eleventh Ordinary Council of the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops held its fourth meeting on October 10 and 11, under the presidency of Archbishop Nikola Eterovic secretary general of the Synod. The meeting was attended by six cardinals and six archbishops and bishops.

  According to a communique from the General Secretariat made public today, the participants considered various questions associated with the theme of the next ordinary general assembly: "The Word of God in the Life and the Mission of the Church." The assembly is due to be held in the Vatican from October 5 to 26, 2008. Attention was thus given to such matters as the Word of God in the liturgy, in preaching, in catechesis, in theology, in spirituality, in the "lectio divina," in inculturation, and in ecumenism. Particular emphasis was laid on the Vatican Council II Dogmatic Constitution "Dei Verbum," which is "a vital reference, especially in the preparatory phase of the Synod."

  The work groups prepared two outline projects for the " Lineamenta" (the preparatory document of the Synod), the definitive text of which will be examined and approved at the ordinary council's next meeting, to be held on January 24 and 25.
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VATICAN CITY, OCT 24, 2006 (VIS) - "Soldiers at the service of peace" is the theme of the fifth international congress of military ordinariates, which is being held from October 23 to 27 in the Vatican's Old Synod Hall.

  The president of the congress is Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops. He is being assisted by Fr. Giulio Cerchietti, head of the congregation's central office for the pastoral coordination of military ordinariates.

  The program of the event has been divided under six subject headings to be discussed during the course of the meetings. These are: "the nature of military ordinariates in the light of the Apostolic Constitution 'Spirituali Militum Curae' and subsequent documents of the Magisterium; the mission of military ordinariates and their importance in the light of new international situations; ordained ministry and other ecclesial ministries at the service of the pastoral mission of military ordinariates; the right to religious assistance of soldiers on peace missions and the need for training in international humanitarian law; the experience of a military ordinary in his dealings with the episcopal conference and with the diocesan bishops of his country; soldiers as servants of peace." Attention will be also be given to the question of "the juridical value of the statutes of military ordinariates."

  The congress began with an address delivered by Cardinal Re, and will conclude with Mass in St. Peter's Basilica presided by Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B.


VATICAN CITY, OCT 24, 2006 (VIS) - Yesterday evening, following a Eucharistic concelebration presided by Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski, prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education, to mark the beginning of the academic year at Roman Pontifical Universities, the Holy Father entered the Vatican Basilica to greet the students and professors gathered there.

  In his talk, the Holy Father emphasized how the community of teachers and students, coming from many different nationalities and cultures, "eloquently expresses the universality and unity of the Catholic Church. A community that is all the more attractive because it prevalently addresses the young, giving them the opportunity to enter into contact with institutions of great theological and cultural value and, at the same time, offering them access to rewarding ecclesial and pastoral experiences."

  Benedict XVI highlighted "the primary importance of spiritual life," and of concern for "cultural development, balanced human maturity and a profound ascetic and religious formation." He also stressed the need for "silence and contemplation," because we must be able "to listen with the heart to God Who speaks."

  He went on: "Thought always needs purification in order to be able to enter the dimension in which God pronounces His creating and redeeming Word. ... Only if they arise from the silence of contemplation can our words have some measure of value and utility, and not subside into ... worldly discourse which seeks the consensus of public opinion.

  "People who study in ecclesiastical institutes must, then, prepare themselves to be obedient to truth," he added, "and cultivate a particular form of ascesis of thought and word."

  "Your apostolate will be rich and fruitful," he concluded, "in the measure to which you prepare yourselves over these years, studying seriously and, above all, nourishing your personal relationship with Him, tending towards sanctity and having as the only goal of your lives the realization of the Kingdom of God."
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